Well, I made the whole hundred miles- my first century. It was a great experience, and I hope to do it again, even though there are some things I would do differently. In the next week or two I might go into more detail about the event, but here are some quick thoughts.
1 Thanks to Robert for giving my dad and me a ride to Wichita Falls and back. I really appreciate how Robert spent the race day with my dad and drove him around to see me as well as his own son Jack, who also completed his first century (great job, Jack!). Jack finished about 45 minutes to an hour before me.
2 Thanks to my dad for going there with me to see my first century. I have to say that in all the years that I marched in halftime shows, played in concerts, or directed high school bands, my parents and in fact my whole family has always supported me.
3 At the trade Expo that they had on Friday, it was amazing to see so many fit people. It seems like there is so much overweightness and obesity that it is almost normal to see abnormally large folk. But there it was unusual to see an overweight person.
4 I stopped at all the rest stops except the very first one. The volunteers there were awesome. Plenty to eat and drink, although I was so slow that I missed out on most of the cookies. I figured the only way I could make it was to eat and drink as much as possible. My legs never cramped, but for a while, they would not move fast at all. Since I am allergic to bananas, I think that my chemicals got out of balance.
5 My total time was about 8 hours and 15 minutes. I did not understand the timing clock at the end of the race, and I accidentally reset my bike computer about mile 45 or so, when my legs would not obey. I guess my fingers would not either. So I have no idea how much time it took me, purely from the point of "on the bike time," neither do I know my average speed for on the bike time. After resetting the computer, I had no idea where I was in reference to the end, except when I passed through what they call "Hell's Gate," which is around mile 60.
6 During the ride, I never once desired to quit or get on the sag wagon. Sometimes I did want to pull over and sit under a shade tree for awhile. But at those brief moments, there were no trees as far as I could see, so I kept pedaling.
7 My goals were three: to finish the hundred miles, to pedal at around 90 rpm the whole time, which I could not do for at least half of the race or more, and average 15mph while on the bike, which I missed too. But goal number one was accomplished, so hooray!
8 The organizers of this event did a great job and the whole thing was enjoyable. I cannot say that I like riding the bike in over 100 degree heat, but they made sure that I never had to go with an empty water bottle or be more than 5 miles from medical attention if I needed it.
9 I look forward to my next century. In the meantime, I am trying to get ready for a Triathlon (also my first) in September and an MS150 in October.