What do you get when you take 1 Pro Ironman, 2 has-been swimmers (only joking boys – you’re still awesome!) who haven’t cycled for over an hour in a very long time, and one complete walley who can neither stand up on the bike nor take her hand off the handlebars to drink/indicate/eat/wave/do the YMCA etc etc (you know, crucial things), and ask them to complete 100 miles in a day?
We found out you get a lot of complaints, banter, hissy fits (mainly from the diva in me…and Doug), force-feeding exercises, interventions, punctures and “bonks”, but also the best banter, adrenaline, endorphins, photo ops, Snickers bars (I had 4!), and (literally) breath-taking views! Oh, and I have to mention that, although the others were soooo close, only 1 person (ME!!!) actually completes this challenge (take that, you pro!)!
So the weirdo in me thought it would be a great idea to celebrate commemorate the new chapter in Noodles’ life (he has moved to Houston for work 😦 …) by really pushing our boundaries and challenging our wee group to do a hundred miles in his final weekend in Scotland. Turns out Scott did waaayyyyy more than that on a weekly basis when he was in beast training mode, so it was a walk in the park for him (wow Ironman is going to be tougher than I thought!) but an epic journey for us…probably not the most sensible thing to do but us athletes do love a challenge!
We were to meet at Scott’s for 8am. I showed up at 7.30am because I like to get him to do all the “manly stuff” ie pump up my tires/oil the chain etc in exchange for me working my butt off (not literally – since I can’t stand up on the bike yet) and coaching me until I cry (he is the devil of the coaching world). I had a massive bowl of porridge with peanut butter and a banana, with some coffee, before the 4 of us (Noodles, Andy, Doug and me) headed off down South Deeside Road.
About 45 mins into the ride, we made a pit stop (so that I could drink – THAT’s how good I am) and I was made to eat a whole Snickers bar. Not I am never usually one to turn down chocolate, but I had JUST eaten like 500 cals and was not ready to eat any more. I did it anyway because
they made me we wouldn’t be stopping again before the hilly segment, and we continued on past Banchory towards Cairn O Mount.
Remembering I cannot stand up on the bike, Cairn O Mount is no speed bump. The signs heading up said 14% incline so I powered up in my “granny gear”, died a little inside, and tried to keep up with Scott up the hill. Little did I know he was taking it easy making sure we were ok (and taking photos of us at our worst!) so once I told him I was trying to beat him, he shot up the hill like the Roadrunner and I was left trailing behind, sounding like Darth Vader on speed. I still made it to the top ahead of Andy and Doug, who both showed signs of fatigue….
After some selfies and scenic shots (and another Snickers bar as well as Andy’s homebakes), we rode down the hill, heading towards Brechin. The hardest part was over although we had only done about 30 miles! There was a looonnnnngggggg way to go!
We passed through Edzell, where we were offered a bottle of Buckfast to keep us going (only in Scotland, eh?!) and then about 10 mins later THE PRO GOT A PUNCTURE!! Doug continued because he was struggling a little so thought he’d keep going until we caught up again then we could all stop, but that didnt work so well. We took longer than normal (I’m not sure why – I should really have paid more attention!) so Scott told me and Andy to head off and he’d catch us up in 5 mins, but just as Scott set off again he got ANOTHER PUNCTURE (a pinch puncture?)!!!
Andy and I were about 5km away at this point so had to call Doug (he had already given up and was enjoying a 3 course meal in a nearby hotel) to tell him we were going back to get Scott again. The weather turned cold (typical) and we were struggling to find the area that punctured so, while I just watched eating Andy’s flapjack (I really need to stop being grossed out by oil if I’m going to make a good cyclist) they changed the tyre again and off we went! 3rd time lucky!
We warned Doug in advance we were leaving and got him to cycle to Montrose (we only got there a few mins before him!) at a cafe for lunch! I was not hungry in the slightest but since I was with Hitler he made me have a baguette and soup, but I got an intervention when I ordered Diet Coke and that would be the reason I bonk later…I hate the taste of real Coke! Which meant I was force fed another Snickers to resolve my Coke error.
After lunch we headed up the coastal road towards Stonehaven – it was stunning!! And for some reason I was BUZZING! I had so much energy and was flying (there was probably a tail wind but let’s pretend there wasn’t m’kay?) Scott and I left Andy and Doug and I kept telling him to push me. It worked cause I was flying (for me!) We waited for the boys at Dunottar Castle – both had hit a wall and were ready to head home. They were only about 10k short of the 100 miles but both said they just couldnt go on! Scott and I, on the other hand, did a really random route which took us on some country roads up to Banchory-Devenick, only to finish a wee bit short when we got to Duthie Park. The A-type in me had to get to 100 so up and down the old railway line, and up and down Holburn St got me to my goal, despite hitting a wall with about 3 miles to go – I was having a mad rage at Scott but he just kept laughing at how ridiculous I was being 😦 I was just soooo ready to go home, have a long shower and get ready for his leaving night out! BUT….I pushed through and managed to reach 100!!!
Scott was about 11k short since he got his punctures, but he’s so horizontal (and does those rides all the time!) that he couldn’t care less and instead ordered pizza for us all and got the beers out! I went home to get ready and leave my car, and then we had a few too many vodkas, beers and wine to celebrate the day
Don’t worry….Scott will still be helping with my training – I will text/Skype/Facebook/email/visit ALL the time!! Although this didn’t bring much confidence:
Total: 100 miles in 6:09:07 with 1,463m of elevation (Average speed 26.2km/h)