My First Century

Over the last few weeks I have been trying to increase my base mileage on the bike in preparation of the Half Ironman race series that I'm doing that starts this weekend.

A few weeks ago I did my first mountain climb up Cypress which nearly killed me, luckily there was an ice cream truck on the way down and we stopped for some much needed sustenance.

Vince enjoying his Spideysicle

The week after that we decided to tackle Mt Seymour.  It was painful but I didn't near death so I considered that an improvement over the week before.  We added some extra miles so that when I got home I had done 125km that day.

At the top of Mt Seymour

Our victory food, Cinnamon Buns from Cobs

Sunday night I was planning out my bike ride for Monday and I got the crazy idea to do a Century which is a 100 mile ride, that's 161km.

I woke up Monday morning feeling a little sore from my 20km run Saturday afternoon but was still determined to complete my first Century.  I packed a lot of food to ensure my body would be fueled for this undertaking and left to meet the boys.  I knew Vince and Matt would be coming but I wasn't sure who else would be coming.  When I reached the meeting place Sherwood was there waiting and shortly after Barry arrived.  My plan was to take the ride nice and easy so that my legs would hold out but with these two there I knew that wasn't going to happen; I don't think they have a slow gear, so I was a little worried about how this ride would proceed.

Once the whole party was together we set off.  Our ride to Deep Cove was not insanely fast but near the end of it I was having trouble just staying in their draft; clearly I was the weakest link there.  I managed to hang on and soon we cut over to Mt Seymour.  I decided to take the ascent easy and I was surprised at how much nicer that felt.  After Mt Seymour we once again stopped at Cobs Bread for some tasty snacks and then proceeded onward.  We went to Indian River Road and then headed west to Horseshoe Bay.  Now it was time to head home.

At about 136 km in I was riding over the Burrard Bridge, Vince pulled off and Barry, Sherwood, and Matt sped on ahead so I was on my own.  I surprising felt pretty good except for some mild discomfort in my gut.  I knew that I would be under 100 miles if I just went straight home so as I reached the University Endowment Lands I continued to loop around campus to get the extra miles that I needed.

As I continued my ride, the pain in my stomach grew stronger and stronger.  It became sharp and breathing became a burden.  Every time I drank or ate anything it hurt.  I pushed on anyway.  Fears of some internal rupture filled my mind but I pushed them aside and kept riding.  And then, believe it or not my spleen ruptured!  I didn't know what it was at the time but the sharp shooting pain in my stomach forced me to stop my bike.  I fell to the ground grasping my mid section in agony.  I knew something was wrong so I called 911.  Everything after that was a blur, I have mild recollections of the ambulance ride but mostly I just remember waking up and having the doctor explain to me what happened.  Okay, not really.  No rupture.  But that was the scene that played in my mind.  I pushed on.  It was strength vs will, me vs the road.

My bike computer wasn't working so I had no idea what my total distance was.  I knew that after Vince and I separated I had to complete 26 more km to reach the 100 mile mark and I thought I had done it.  I went home and mapped out my ride.  The total distance: 100.002 miles.  Talk about calling it close.

My First Century

It feels great having accomplished this goal.  It was a challenge but rewarding and that's what it's all about.


Jax @ AlyandAsh said...

Woah, way to scare me! Glad you're ok and congrats on your first century!

Winstonian said...

Nice work Andrew! First century plus seymour climb, thatta boy! I'm so stoked for next weekend! :D

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