King’s Tour of the Quabbin – Century

My adventure this weekend began with a really long run followed by a refreshing OWS. Both had their ups and downs, but nothing like Sunday’s adventure of riding the King’s Tour of the Quabbin century.

Sunday morning began and I was already dreading the day. I knew it was going to be hot, hard,and hilly. Was I ready? Was I going to be able to survive? I was worried about the hills, the distance and what shape would I be in when done, including my hoo haa.

The bike portion of IMLP is 112 and is also known as hilly but my coach told me today was no indication of what its going to be like on race day. Words to live by.

Most of my ‘planning’ for this century has been the ironman training which is a lot of stress on the body and as you know, began 5 months ago. Part of this weekends training began on saturday and included running for 2 1/2 hours and swimming almost a mile. By the end of the day I was pretty exhausted and knowing I was heading out the next day to ride 100 miles left me restless during sleep. My husband was also in the same frame of mind and he had trouble sleeping. We were coming to the end of a training cycle so I think our bodies were telling us that they are overworked, overtrained, overtired! Also, the forecast was partly cloudy with temperatures in the 80’s, so we knew it was going to be hot. A lot to think about and prepare for. Mental toughness.

So our morning started off tired and mostly I was worried. This was only the 2nd century ever for me and the first one was TFCE (Flattest Century of the East) over two years ago. It was easy in contrast to this ride.

Bikes loaded, nutrition packed, clothing, all lubed up (much needed for chafing) electronics charged. We were ready!

Below is the profile of the IMLP (112) and King’s Tour of the Quabbin. (100)

 bike-course

IMLP – 112

           Kings Tour of the Quabbin - century

King’s Tour of the Quabbin -100

We all met at the Naquag School in Rutland, MA. The ride is put on by the Sevenhills Wheelman and three distances were available – Metric, Century, and the Double Metric. The century has the most climbing as compared to the other too but also has some sweet downhills. 🙂

I gathered with my team, Vmps, as many of us are all training for LP, so we all planned on the century.

Off we went and the fun began. Here is the course in its entirety.

Route Quabbin

King’s Tour of the Quabbin – Century route. It took us over the hills and through the woods…

The first part of the course starts down a 2 mile hill, which ironically is also the finish but we will get to that one later…. Once we reached the bottom we turn to the right and after regrouping we head out towards Oakham for the first stretch. Its a gradual downhill for the first 9 miles and then the hills begin. At first they are not that bad, everyone is comfortable in their saddle. Course is well marked…. and then we come to a intersection in which you can only go left or right. I wasn’t paying attention and ended up going straight – not an option and I stopped just before the brush. Most of the peeps went the right way but we had one or two off to the left. That’s one way to do it I guess.

No one got hurt!

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Turned my bike around and headed the right way. The upcoming hills included one climb of about 400 ft that took us about 20 minutes to get to the top. That was followed by a series of rolling hills then a sweet downhill to the first rest stop.

The stops throughout the course were awesome. This one was stocked with peanut butter & jelly, chocolate chip cookies, fig newtons, oranges, bananas, grapes, gatorade, water and a porta potty! We refilled our bottles and stocked up on goodies. On our way we went. But first a few photos.

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Jim was our protector. He took care of all of us to make sure we didn’t get lost. He is pretty darn amazing. ❤

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Stephanie, Alexis and Julie, could not have done it without you. You gals are the best 🙂

The next 55 miles or so was pretty uneventful but you could feel it wearing on the body and the mind. It was starting to get very warm out. Ironman thoughts start going through your head wondering how you are going to do this, thinking…I have to run a marathon after this?

I did say pretty that it was pretty uneventful… that is except for the bee. You see the nice thing about the climb is that there is always a downhill and I get a rush going fast so I tend to enjoy the downhills. There was this one downhill however I was forced to stop abruptly. A bumble bee flew into my shirt. It’s amazing how many panic thoughts can go through your head and images in just a mere few seconds. I was on a downhill on a busy road so it took me a few seconds to stop resisting the urge to come to a screeching halt praying he didn’t sting me or and that I don’t go flying over the handle bars. I could see him sitting there, dazed and confused… I was able to stop and quickly flip him out of my top.

Now the bees perspective… I was just flying along…bzzzzz. and all of a sudden, whoosh! I am picked up and going flying down a hill, can’t sdownload (1)ee a darn thing..wth are those!! Come to a quick stop and I am tossed and being discombobulated, I fall onto the ground…what the heck did I do!! Just flying along, minding my own business…. bzzzzzzz

You will be happy to know that no harm was done to the bee  🙂

Overall the ride was awesome. The people really made it special. The body performed well. My nutrition was really good. I ate and drank more than normal and performed much better than expected. I was able to tackle the hills and my legs and muscles responded well. I ran out of juice during the last 10 miles and I could definitely feel the difference.

Training rides are just that. You train while on the ride. Train how you will ride, your position, technique, what works, what doesn’t work, what to eat, how to eat, how to climb, what position works best when climbing…

My legs responded well even though they were a little shot from the day before’s little half marathon. It amazing, a year ago I would never think of doing a half marathon the day before a century. Pretty crazy huh!

Along the way there were some amazing views. I stole these from a friend that was with us.

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The Quabbin Tower

 We rode through Barre, up to Mt Quabbin, over Rt 202, through Petersham and Oakham… back to Barre, returning to Rutland

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MT Quabbin

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Somewhere along the way 🙂

The final stretch was pretty flat but I knew what laid ahead. The climb back up to the school. Once you take a left, it’s a 2 mile climb. It flattens out a bit but the last 150 feet feel like a 12% grade or my legs were just toast. I crawled to a speed of 6 mph.  But once I reached the top it was overwhelming. I was done.

As of 6/9/2014 there are 47 days, 15 hours….

I feel that I am in a good place with my training and it’s starting to pay off. Its hard at times and I find myself wishing  for more. I have had to learn to focus on so much but to keep my mind on my own goal. It becomes challenging at times when sharing stories with others about training and watching others do races that you think you should have done. I have to work at staying  in my own frame of mind and never mind what else is going on.

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The journey continues…..

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