Saturday, June 20, 2009

Horribly Hilly Hundreds!...OUCH!!!

Today I went up to Blue Mound, WI to experience the "rolling countryside" that Wisconsin has to riding the Horribly Hilly Hundreds! Check out this excerpt from the course description...
"The course is hilly — horribly hilly — and manages to find every famous climb in the area, including Barlow Road, Pinnacle Road, and the last 3.5 miles and 900 feet up tortuous Mounds Park Road, into the park and all the way to the top of the mound (just to mention three of the more than 40 significant climbs)."

I chose to do the 100 kilometer course (0ver the 200 kilometer course!) due to:
  1. Being a wimp- not confident in my training, fitness, or 27 cassette! (They suggest you bring your 29 or MTB gears!!)
  2. My wonderful mother chose to ride up with me (left at 3:30AM from Roselle this morning for 7AM start in WI...bless her heart!). I didn't want her to wait like 8 hours for me to finish!

Beautiful, hothothot day! The course is NO JOKE. There were ALL kinds of hills- long, short, steep, gradual, windy, pot-holley, hard, and HARDER!!!

With every "up", there was a rewarding "down" though! I am normally the biggest WIMP with descents - I sit up and make myself a human parachute, grab my breaks for dear life, and end up going slower on the descent than I did on the climb! Well, not really, but I am usually freaked out going 30 mph+. Triple T and REV3 helped me out with my bike handling and descent confidence and handling ability, and I think it's been paying off - I was actually having FUN on some of these descents!! Had to watch out for potholes though!!

As far as the climbs...seriously tough!! I secretly like hills though -I love that pain!! There were very few sections on this course that were flat and enabled you to get a was mostly up, up, UP, UUP,DOOOOOOOOOWN. The long, gradual hills I could do all day (rpm 50-70), but there were about 4 hills that were so STEEP that if I let up just a LITTLE BIT I would have fallen off my bike!!! We're talking rpm <>

As far as bike gear, I don't know what I have on the front, but I have a 27 cassette, and that was BARE bones quads are still jello. I was POUNDING on my pedals in my smallest gear going 5mph (3mph at an all-time low) while some fat old ladies spinned on by me with their triple chainrings.

I ended up taking a wrong turn and re-doing a loop, adding about 15 miles to my route, I ended up with 80 miles for the day, averaging 15mph...sounds slow, and it is, but I am damn proud!

The last few miles were KILLER!! Miles of climbing getter steeper and steeper (and me getting more and more worried about falling off my bike) until there was finally a brief break, a turn to the final ascent to the finish line, and I saw my mom! That gave me a big push...which I needed, since the LAST climb was probably the STEEPEST! 1/2 mile later I was DONE! Just beyond the finish line I was greeted byt the Culvers tent, who provided a delicious chocolate frozen custard cone for me!!

I'm so happy that I never fell off my bike or had to walk it up any hills...I would say that I saw 20+ people doing that! Also, the volunteers and food at this event were great - the aid stations along the course had a great spread of food, suntan lotion, icy rags, and bike mechanics!

Great training for IM Canada! Looking forward to riding this course again (either this year for Insane Terrain or HHH next year!)

1 comment:

AJ said...

Nice job Laura! It sounds like your training is going well! Hope you're having a great summer!