I’ve been meaning to do a Tour de Victoria post but I haven’t felt inspired. A few days ago, K asked me (via email), how it went, and here’s my reply to her:
My ride was great. I was trying to not have high expectations, mostly since I’d had a three week break from training because of Saudi, but I had the thought that if I finished it in 4:15, I’d be ecstatic. I told Greg to expect me at around 4:30, 4:45.
It was a great day weather-wise. I remember the ride a bit more this year than I did last year, maybe because this year I rode it mostly by myself. Last year I had Ann and I’m sure our chatting distracted me. That and the pain. 🙂 I think I was a bit more aware this year, too. I found it a bit odd that I couldn’t remember huge portions of the first one, so I think I tried to be more aware of where I was.
Anyway, we had to do Munns road this year, which is a brutal climb (that we didn’t do last year). I had ridden it four times before the race, so I knew I could do it, but that doesn’t mean it’s not hard!! It turned out that Greg caught up to me on this climb (earlier than expected — he was doing the longer portion and was whizzing along), so that was a nice boost, and then I started chatting with another girl for a good portion of the climb. Which made me not so conscious of the fact that my legs were complaining loudly and I sounded like I was going to have a heart attack.
Munns was near the beginning, so it was nice to have that under my belt. We then continued along through Brentwood Bay and every Saanich municipality under the sun, out to the ferries. During this time I again chatted a bit with another woman, and then she eventually took off. I found this part of the ride the hardest. I remember looking down and seeing 30 km and thinking that we were not yet a third through, and I was tired. How was I going to make 100 km? (For the record, I’d never actually ridden 100 km before the race…90 was my furthest). But I kept plodding along. I passed the half way point and that was a mental milestone. I was on my own for the rest of the ride…it’s not that I didn’t want to find a group that I could draft with, it’s just that every group that came by was too fast, and I didn’t actually pass any groups — just individual people. I am definitely a loner when it comes to exercise, though, as I was fine by myself. There were a few aid stations along the way but early on I decided not to stop, and I literally did not get off my bike for the whole race.
Going through Cordova Bay I was pretty pooped, and I knew I had two large hills left — Ash and King George Terrace. Friends had told us they’d be at one or the other. I went up Ash looking for them, but they weren’t there. I was a bit disappointed, but it turned out fine, as knowing they were going to be on KG Terrace really helped me along. I had internal conversations with myself saying that once I reached 80 km, I was going to start pushing it a bit more. Turns out I didn’t have a lot left, so that changed to 90 km, and in the end it was only the last three km that I was able to give anything more to.
When I got to King George Terrace I knew L and T would be there, and sure enough they were at the top of the second hump, cheering and ringing their cowbell. It was SOOOO nice to see them. After that it was pretty much downhill to the finish line, and less than 10 km to go.
From about 50 km on, I kept looking at my bike computer and the time, and attempted to do time math in my head…a great way to keep myself occupied. I realized that I was making some good time, and realized I just might make my 4:15 goal. I tried to tell myself that it would be fine if I didn’t. It was apparent that I’d get in under 4:30, unless I royally screwed up, and I think I would have been just fine with that…but I ended up getting in at 4:13. It was awesome, except Greg
missed me at the finish line because he wasn’t expecting me so early.
After 4:13 hours on my bike, not getting off at all, I was pretty sore when I got off. The only thing that helped was squatting. And the beer I had right afterward.
I don’t know what the plan will be for next year…whether I do this race again, or maybe do the 140 km. Or maybe something entirely different. But I do know that I really enjoy riding, and every time I get on my bike I feel like I belong on it.