Sometimes Ironman Training looks like 17 hours of travel followed almost immediately by a 100 mile bike ride.

Last week I was in Spain for vacation with my family. There will be more about that later. But today my post is about yesterday’s crazy bike ride at the Everglades Bicycle Club Snowbird Century.

Let’s back up a minute. I knew that I was going to miss two weekends of training for this trip and I also suspected that missing those 2 weekends would stress me out this close to the big race. This is because Ironman Lake Placid is just 4 months away and Ironman 70.3 Haines City a mere 2 weeks away.

My friend Nicole. Who I saw for about 10 seconds as she rode past me and gave me my gu's and extra chamois creme that I had requested while traveling. It's helpful to have friends who work in bike stores. It really is.
My friend Nicole. Who I saw for about 10 seconds as she rode past me and gave me my gu’s and extra chamois creme that I had requested while traveling. It’s helpful to have friends who work in bike stores. It really is.

So, before I left when my friend Nicole suggested we sign up for the Everglades Bicycle Club Snowbird Century ride … I agreed. This was a little bit nuts because the ride was Sunday the 29th and I returned from Spain in the evening of the 28th. But I ran it by my husband and he said okay, so I went ahead and signed up.

After our second flight my son lay down by the luggage belt. He's asleep here. Fast asleep. On the floor of an airport.
After our second flight my son lay down by the luggage belt. He’s asleep here. Fast asleep. On the floor of an airport.

So I woke up in Spain Friday morning at 6 am Spain time. Flew to JFK airport where it was about 1 pm local time and snowing for what it’s worth which caught me by surprise. Then flew to Fort Lauderdale where we arrived at 7:30 local time and then took a car home where I immediately climbed into bed at 9 pm local timeĀ  which is 2 am in Spain. Super long day. Before going to bed I did no preparations for the ride the next day other than to drink as much water as possible during the flights. I didn’t even shower which everybody I hugged the next morning probably wishes they knew before I hugged them instead of now.

Amazingly, I got up and loaded everything up and found my way to Homestead Air Force base for the start. I had a little too much coffee and was seriously jet-lagged and feeling a little crazed but I got my packet and got my stuff and was ready to go. “Ready” in this sentence is a serious overstatement.

There are several distance options to ride at this event 30 miles, 41 miles, 63 and 100 miles a fully century. I only needed to do the metric or 63 miles but my friend Cristina was planning the full and she really wanted some company. Who wouldn’t?

At every stop people would ask how far are you riding and Cristina would say 100 and I would keep my mouth shut. Then around the turn around for the metric I was feeling okay and I thought I’ll go ahead and do it. But then at the point of decision I suspected that I could have a great 63 mile ride or a pretty crappy 100 so I would have maybe opted to turn buuut it wasn’t happening.

This is at the spot where I had to commit because a quarter mile past this is where 63 miles goes one way and 100 goes the other. Notice the look of glee on Cristina's face and the look of possible indecision or perhaps anguish on mine.
This is at the spot where I had to commit because a quarter mile past this is where 63 miles goes one way and 100 goes the other. Notice the look of glee on Cristina’s face and the look of possible indecision or perhaps anguish on mine.

Now Cristina is a grown up and she’s done plenty of rides by herself and she did offer me many chances to back out. But when push came to shove I was not going to leave my friend all alone riding through the redlands or wherever we were. So I did the century and amazingly it was fine. Other than the 15 miles right after I committed to ride 100 miles- those were rough but all the other miles were very pleasant.

This is the first stop after I committed to the century. We have 40 miles to go still. These were my toughest miles and it was an extremely windy stretch. We took the standard technique of making friends with bigger riders and hiding behind them. The rest stops were well stocked and the people extremely nice.
This is the first stop after I committed to the century. We have 40 miles to go still. These were my toughest miles and it was an extremely windy stretch. We took the standard technique of making friends with bigger riders and hiding behind them. The rest stops were well stocked and the people extremely nice.

This is a good event. The course was very well marked. It was windy but it is always windy this time of year. So just know, it’s always windy at the EBC Snowbird. Always.

All done. Not pictured here are the new friends we made to get to the finish. 2 big guys who helped us get to the end. One was named Richard the other I never caught. Nice guys and excellent wind blockers. They were tearing down most things when we got to the finish but there was still food ... which I didn't want and diet pepsi which I did. There was also beer which amazingly I didn't want.
All done. Not pictured here are the new friends we made to get to the finish. 2 big guys who helped us get to the end. One was named Richard the other I never caught. Nice guys and excellent wind blockers. They were tearing down most things when we got to the finish but there was still food … which I didn’t want and diet pepsi which I did. There was also beer which amazingly I didn’t want.

After the 100 miles I drove home and took a much needed shower. This was the best shower – ever. I really missed my home shower while in Spain. I’m not sure what the deal is with European showers they are just super small and in the apartments we’ve rented they seem to flood.

This field was full when I arrived at the start. One thing I did better this year was to get better directions.
This field was full when I arrived at the start. One thing I did better this year was to get better directions.

I have done the Snowbird Century ride before. It was my first 60 mile ride. Read about it here.

So, what did you do this weekend? If you’ve got kids on spring break did you travel – where did you go?

About the Author Amy


Amy Stone (she/her/hers) is a life coach who helps adults in blended families. She is a mom, step-mom and a step-grandma. Other random fun facts include that She is a 7-time Ironman triathlon finisher and many many marathons and shorter races. She created amysaysso.com.

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