I Never Committed To Doing A Century

Today I completed my first century. 100 miles. It still seems like a dream. I was telling Derek that it still doesn't feel like I really ran my marathon in April, and that's the same feeling I have about this century. Did I really do it? It seems so far fetched. Until I try to get out of bed and my body reminds me, yes, you rode 100 miles today. 

I have been planning on doing this century for 38 days, but I never once actually committed. I had a lot of friends telling me that it would be fine to do the 50 mile ride, and save the 100 for next spring when I was more prepared. I had no pressure from Derek to commit to anything. I also had a few training rides that had gone south for various reasons...  flat tires I didn't know how to fix, head winds that left me feeling weak and defeated, the list goes on and on. 

The longest ride I ever actually completed in training was 54 miles, and with that I knew my smartest option was to do the 50, and to save the 100 for later. 

Friday we had some family drama, and that is the number one thing that triggers all the emotions out of me, anger and frustration topping the charts. I joked with Derek that I had felt like I had enough steam to burn off over 100 miles, and that maybe I could actually commit to the full century, but even then,  I still didn't believe it. 

When I got to the starting line this morning, I learned about a seven hour cutoff for the century ride. This made me nervous because I thought, "I could do it in seven hours, but it could also take me 10 hours." There was just no telling what the day would bring. The ride started at 7am, and if I didn't make it to the half way point by 10:30, I would be pulled from the course. 

I told myself to just do the first 50 miles, and be done with it. I really thought that I was okay and settled on that decision. I did the first 50 miles, and still felt like I had more in the tank. I also made it to the half way point with one minute to spare. It was 10:29. This was after stopping at an aid station, losing a water bottle on the road, and stopping to help a guy with a flat tire. I had made it by one minute. 

I shoved my face with some food, hopped on my bike, and out of what felt like sheer stupidity, headed out for the 75 mile aid station. When I headed out, I literally had no intentions of finishing the 100 miles. Literally zero intention. It was hot, and I thought that there was no way in heck I was making it back to the finish line by 2pm, and that I would surely get pulled from the course. 

There was a huge headwind from miles 60-75, and I kept telling myself that I was going to pull over and call Derek to get me at the 75 mile mark. I kept saying, "Make it to 75 miles and you're all done! You get to quit as soon as you make it to 75 miles!" I was repeating this in my head over and over again, but I also never called Derek to get me. 

When I made it to the 75 mile mark, I figured I had just made it to through the worst head wind ever, I might as well head back with the nice tailwind, and then have Derek get me at mile 90. I had ridden 75 miles and still was planning on quitting and still wasn't actually committed to what I was doing!

Around mile 80 I saw a boy on the trail who was about 12-13 and he was crying. I rode past him, and then realized if it was my kid, I would want someone to stop and help them. I turned around, and found out that he had fallen over and had a huge sliver in his hand, and it was bleeding pretty badly. He said he didn't need to call his parents, but wanted me to help him get the sliver. We got it out, and then I headed on my way toward the aid station at mile 90. 

When I got to the next aid station, I met a guy who had only ridden his bike six times before today! I was laughing, and glad to hear I wasn't the only inexperienced one out there. I figured if he was set on finishing the ride, I could probably do it too, but figured I'd never make it the last 10 miles, and that I'd have Derek pick me up close to home somewhere. 

Once I made it back to Layton I was only a few miles from the finish line, and every single pedal felt like death in my legs, knee, and neck. I was falling apart. Luckily I hit most of the red lights so I got to hop off my bike and stretch, but it was seriously so so hard. 

I was so close to the finish, and figured Derek and the kids would be waiting for me over there, and figured it would be rude to make Derek put the kids back in the truck to come and get me on the side of the road, so I decided to finally just ride the last few miles to the park where I thought they were waiting. 

The last three miles, all I kept thinking of was getting a hug from my kids at the finish line, and that was seriously the only thing that was keeping me going. I finally made it to the end, only to find out that Derek's boss needed him to work from home, and he and the kids weren't there! It was seriously the saddest/most pathetic thing ever. I can laugh about it now, it's fine. 

The course was a little short, it was actually only 98.8 miles long, so then after I finished, I rode another 1.2 miles until my watch said 100 miles, and then I headed back to my car. I finished the ride in 6:58:22. I was seriously a minute and thirty eight seconds under the seven hour cutoff and made it just in time! 

It was a crazy roller coaster day, and I still can't believe I did it. I don't know what the next big goal is for me quite yet. I want to do a half marathon relatively soon just to make sure I haven't killed my running endurance since I haven't done one since June. Then there is this psychotic part of me that is saying... "I've done a marathon, and a century, I might as well do an Ironman now." All I can think about in the immediate future though is recovering, getting some sleep, and eating all the things. I'm starving. 


  1. You should totally do an Iron Man! My brother has done them, and while he trains, he is no where near as trained as you. Now that you have an awesome bike, you'll do great! He said his first one was the hardest and that you should definitely rent the bike tires they offer, but once you do one, he said you learn a lot and the rest are way easier. He was an awesome swimmer in high school, so that helps, but I'm sure you could train the swim and kill the whole thing!

  2. wow! Well done! 100 seams so hard to me. I mean I did it but feels so unreal, like, 'did I actually DID it?'. I wonder if it will feel the same with marathone, I only ran a half so far, 30 tops as training