Have Dental Floss, Will Travel

Mapping the world, one waxy strand at a time…

Midnight Cowboy

As I was leaving work last night, I sent my friend Val a text message.

“I can’t decide if I want you to talk me into or out of starting the century ride at 10 pm.”

Now, on the surface, this may have sounded ridiculous.

But hear me out —

(1) It was only 7:30 PM when I got in my car.  That meant that I was on my way home two hours earlier than anticipated.

(2) Our first race of the season – just six weeks away – is going to be a fast-paced 28-hour event in Shenandoah.  While I feel reasonably confident that I can tackle the distance, in reality, I’ve only actually done four overnight races (admittedly, one of them was three days long), and I still feel like I can use all the sleep-deprivation training I can get.

(3) Brent’s out of town, so there was no one I’d be disturbing by blasting the television.

(4) The thought of a totally free Saturday was really appealing.

So when Val, ever the enabler, wrote back with, “Do it!” that was really all the encouragement I needed to put my plan into action.

I stopped at the grocery store to stock up on diet coke (I actually wanted diet mountain dew, my caffeine of choice during night racing, but they didn’t have any bottles of it), loaded up the DVD player, and hopped on the bike just a few minutes before 10.

Bright eyed at the start (sorry for the blurry pictures to follow - a self-portrait from a smart phone does not an artful photo make... and don't mind the magazine - I started getting a free subscription to Shape a couple years ago and it never stopped! I actually didn't even open it during the ride.).

The biggest problem with riding through the night (aside from not going to sleep until 4:00 in the morning) is that the things that might serve as distractions during the day – people watching, emails and blogs, chatty husbands – are non-existent when you begin when everyone’s either out or going to bed.  So, I was all by my lonesome in the darkened upstairs office, my only company one of the most underrated shows in television history.

My view for the next 100 miles

I alternated the ride between a tough hour of hills and intervals and a half hour recovery as I became reacquainted with the Pryors. I’d intended to vary the entertainment, too, but seriously – teenage angst, family drama, Philadelphia trivia, and 1960’s political turmoil, all wrapped up under the banner of American Bandstand?  What more could you ask for?

In general, the ride went pretty smoothly.  I pushed hard and felt strong, and most of the hours flew by.

Sure, there were moments where I felt like this:

Two hours in, I almost called it a night.

But just as many like this:

Channeling my inner-Marvin Gaye. I may also have rocked out to Bob Dylan, Jay and the Americans, the Beach Boys, and the Angels. Thank goodness the curtains were closed.

With a day’s worth of food in my stomach at the start, I actually didn’t feel the need for much replenishment.  I mostly stuck with pretzels, water, and diet coke, though at 1:00 AM I pulled out my newest secret weapon – the cliff bar I’d stuck in the freezer at the start of the ride.

I inadvertently discovered these when Brent and I hiked Mount Greylock over the holidays.  They’re way better cold, and it takes several miles to gnaw your way through a whole one.  Great way to pass the time!

When I came back up from the kitchen, I found this scene in our bedroom:

Guess he couldn’t handle the excitement.

I finished the ride at 3:30 AM, spent some quality time with the foam roller, (perhaps stupidly) opted for a quick shower over an ice bath, and fell into bed a couple minutes after 4 o’clock.  I woke up at 8 AM feeling as though my stomach was eating itself, and now, a giant bowl of oatmeal later, I’m back on the couch, ready to tackle Disc 3 of American Dreams.

Not a bad start to the weekend.


17 responses to “Midnight Cowboy

  1. Kim (Book Worm Runs) February 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

    You are amazing!!! 🙂 Nice ride girl!!! P.S. Hubby and I are thinking of trying rock climbing (indoor of course!). You inspired me to get over my fear of heights and try it out 🙂

  2. bearrunner February 26, 2011 at 10:21 am

    Interesting… Thats crazy 100 miles through the night.. I have difficulty wrapping my head around riding 100 miles in general. I am looking to get a bike and start cycling myself.


  3. kari w/ Jogging with Fiction February 26, 2011 at 11:38 am

    You are awesome!!! If Mike is ever gone on the weekends, maybe I’ll do a night marathon on the treadmill. Love that the pup couldn’t take the excitement lol

  4. denise February 26, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    please tell me i won’t ever have to do something like that for IM training. you are insane. yes. insane. and a rock star!! enjoy your free saturday! i was just saying how i hate that my run today ate up 5 hours from door to door. but there was no way i was doing it at 10pm.

  5. Katherine: Unemployed February 26, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    no start to a weekend is a bad start for a weekend. I totally spot your magazine shape; that’s the next one queued up for me to read 🙂

  6. Black Knight February 27, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    You made an unbelievable thing! 100 miles at that time and after only 4 hours of sleeping!!!
    Great pictures, I like the lazy dog too: he is lovely. I would like to have a dog but we have 3 ladies cat at home.

  7. Johann February 27, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    Now that is dedication…crazy but fantastic! Tons of respect for you!

  8. Heather Eats Almond Butter February 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm

    Wow…you are dedicated my friend. I never even did a century out on the roads, much less on a stationary bike…in the middle of the night. I’m impressed.

    Can’t wait to hear how your Oscar party went and what you thought of the awards.

    Now I want a frozen Clif bar.

  9. Mallory February 28, 2011 at 8:54 am

    Great job! I am very impressed. I’ve never heard of that TV show! I’ll have to check it out though. You are so hardcore lady!

  10. the dawn February 28, 2011 at 10:34 am

    you are an absolute beast! i love it 🙂 way to tackle a mentally challenging ride and totally kill it–solo!!!

  11. RunToTheFinish February 28, 2011 at 3:17 pm

    ok i love doing these kinds of things!! i wish we still had our treadmill so i could put on a movie sometimes and just go as long as i feel like.

    seriously i have your post together and am putting it up next week. I did shorten it some, but love it!

  12. Julie March 1, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    VERY nice! I liked the two hours in picture!
    Poor pup probably couldn’t figure out what the heck was going on in there.
    You rock!

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