Sunday, August 19, 2012

Camel Clancy Tackles 50 Miles of Rochester

After a big mileage week last week and a big weekend, I opted for a light week this week, heavy on my favorite days - rest days.  I had great intentions of getting my zen on with some yoga, but why do that when I can be completely useless and just lay on the couch?

On Tuesday night I ran a 5k with some of the running girls and even though it was a sauna outside, it was a fun run.  The race raised money for a cause close to one of our running friends so we all went out to run and support her.  The course was flat and super fast - both Steph and Thea PR'd, and Laura and I came in right around 36 minutes.  There was pizza at the end so obviously the race was a win in my book.

girls post race, pre pizza
I don't remember why I didn't do anything on Wednesday but it probably ended up being a fantastically lazy "recovery" day.

Thursday brought another toasty day and it was time to ride with Becca.  I love riding with Becca because she always has a killer route planned out and I don't have to think about directions at all.  It turned out to be an eventful ride for a few reasons:

...holy heat.  Pretty sure we rode into the sun the whole time too.  I had a permanent sweat mustache for 30 straight miles. deer!  There were SO MANY of them!  Of course we stopped and took pictures and chatted with them for a few minutes.

...I got so excited when we stopped for the baby deer that I almost forgot to unclip and in the process of avoiding my fall I kicked off my chain ring.  Good thing Becca actually knows what she's doing and was able to save the day.

...sunflowers!  How cool does that look?!  I was riding out here less than a week before this and they hadn't bloomed yet.  Thursday they were out in full force - I guess the country isn't so bad after all :)

...And the other (terrifying) event that made this ride interesting - a super asshole douchebag reckless driver (excuse the language Mom).  We were riding through a green light, single file & in the shoulder, and a truck completely ran his red light (at about 50mph), making a right hand turn and completely running us off the road.  He then continued to gun it and turned in front of us forcing us to brake ridiculously and veer off the road again.  My heart still pounds thinking about it - if we were a teeny bit slower or if he was a teeny bit faster it could have been real scary.  Becca is a beast and got the idiot's license plate and we called and reported it.  It was terrifying and people need to learn how to share the damn road. 

ANYWAYS, besides our scary little encounter, it was a good ride and we covered just over 30 miles.  Not too shabby for a Thursday night!

After two accidental rest days in a row, I was ready for a long ride this morning.  Both Coach Rob and Becca were unavailable for a ride (don't they know their lives should revolve around me?!) so that meant today's ride would be solo.  

Solo rides I've done before, but 20 miles is about my lonesome limit.  I had big plans of tackling 50 miles today so I spent last night getting mentally prepped for it.  I mapped out my route, wrote it down, made sure someone knew my plans, and even had Brie on standby in case I needed an emergency pickup.  

At 7:15 this morning I drove to my starting point, pumped up my tires and hit the road.  It was chilly but PERFECT weather for a long ride.  I rode through Penfield and into Webster and passed the crash site turned roadside memorial again for Heather Boyum.  I felt intrigued to stop so I did and had my own little moment of silence.  

I had a few miles of downhill and was feeling good as I headed onto Lake Rd, which I would be on for 20+ miles.  When I mapped the route out on map my ride, the elevation map made it look like Lake Rd. was nice and flat.  Since I was doing a long ride, I was all about the flats in my mapping.  Well, turns out map my ride failed me and this is what greeted me about every half mile:

Hills! More like lots of rolling hills.  Thanks for the big tease, map my ride.  At first I thought maybe I was just not warmed up or something, but when I got home and looked at my Garmin data, the 500 rollers I feel like I encountered were confirmed:

Oy.  I pedaled through them like a champ though and was having a great ride.  At one point I stopped because I wanted to take a picture of the sun and how pretty it looked.  Solo ride perk - I can stop and take pics whenever I want!  Well, I'm still a clumsy mess when it comes to unclipping, and as I (successfully!) tried to avoid a fall, I kicked off my chain ring again.  Oops.  No oncoming bikers and no riding buddy meant Mollz was on her own to figure out how to put it back on.  A few minutes and lots of grease later, mission accomplished.

Is that a normal amount of grease??  I think someone needs to teach me how to clean my chain.  Anyways, I patted myself on the back and carried on with my ride.  I was halfway up the next hill when my bike started to feel really funny in the back.  I don't know what a flat feels like, but if I had to guess this would be it.

After huffing and puffing up the hill for a minute, I pulled over to check out my tire and sure enough - totally flat.  The good news - I was prepared with tire levers, tubes and CO2!  The bad news - I had absolutely no idea how to use them to fix my flat.

I made 4 phone calls for advice and help, none of which were answered (thanks friends).  So, I was left to my own devices.  I pulled up You Tube and looked for some videos on how to change a flat... let's just say that it's not something best learned via cell phone video.  

As I was swirling in the confusion of bike mechanics and about to have a panic attack for being stranded in the middle of nowhere, a car stopped and offered to help me out.  This guy knew what he was doing and all I did was stand there and hand him tools when he called out for them.  After a few minutes my newly inflated tire was back on my bike and I was ready to go.  I thanked the middle of nowhere kind stranger and he fist bumped me and told me to have a good ride.  BFF.

I carried on and hit some nice lake views along the road:

I felt great until around mile 30.  I hit a 10 mile wall as I was heading back and it was a brutal bunch of miles.  The road was nice and flat which was nice, but it was SO. BORING.  There was nothing to switch it up, and I was in the middle of effing nowhere Williamson.  No offense to your little town Williamson, but it SUCKS.  I was so bored and those were the miles I definitely wished I had someone other than myself to talk to.

I thanked baby Jesus once I finally got out of Williamson and it was pretty much the home stretch once I left the stupid town.  The last 5 or so miles were tiring because of course they ended up being uphill (please refer to above elevation graph) and my legs were kind of ready to be done.  I started doing the slow clap in my head as I turned into my starting point at the Penfield Y - 53 solo miles completed!

I definitely got quite the scenic tour of rural Western New York:

Overall it was definitely an adventurous ride and I felt awesome for about 90% of it.  My average speed was 15mph which shocked me because that is fast for me!  Especially for 53 miles?  Not too shabby Clance!  I feel like I could have kept going or gone faster if I wasn't all by my lonesome, but for my first solo ride - I give it a B+!

Based on how my legs (or more specifically my butt) is feeling right now, tomorrow may not even be a yoga day.  I'm hoping to pick it back up this week since the Geneseo half marathon is in two weeks and the Highlander is in three!  Here's to Camel Clancy picking up the pace for the next few weeks!


  1. I think I need a bike NOW! Yeah for your 53mile ride! Also, next time we are together I will not wear that shirt to run in...I don't want your followers to think I only have one running shirt:). Thea

  2. Damn!! That was definitely a LONG ride. Yeah, I've only been in Williamson 2 times and you can probably see why-not much to look at but they have an AMAZING haunted hayride in October lol The Penfield Y is amazing too. So glad you had a nice, safe ride and thank goodness for that nice stranger who helped you out!