I started slightly after 7 AM and worked my way through the farm land. From time to time massive "pelotons" would streak by at 20 mph and then get promptly broken up at the sight of a roller. It was really fun spending some time in these large groups of 40+ cyclists. It certainly helped with the wind! I ended up meeting up with another LA Tri member, Chris Bird at around mile 30 --- we stuck together for 15 or so miles before I went off on my own. At times I was powering through the crazy wind by myself, at times I was leading pacelines. Rarely could I find a group that wasn't riding too fast or too slow. It's ok, all that wind certainly made the trek rougher, which was the point of the day!
Somewhere in all of the insane beauty the course offered we were halted as cattle crossed the road! So witty dude yelled "cow up!" I laughed.
My coach, Rom had told me to really push hard the last 30 miles, which included the hardest rollers on the course (and also the most tired legs.) I took this to heart, and despite hitting "mini walls" at miles 60 and 80 was able to push through, passing hordes of people who went out too hard. The last 10 miles I was finally on the right side of the wind and flew into town at 30+ mph. If it weren't for the crazy rough road this would have been the best part of the day. The last bit of the course was the same as the SB Wine Country Half Marathon - so I got to avenge the two hills that cost me those 2/10 of a second that had me go just over 1:50 last May! Cruising in I noticed that the finish was 1 miles short by my count. I wanted those triple digits! So I road up a half mile, turned around and called my first 100 miler complete in about 6:08. Very happy with a 16 mph average on the windiest day I've ever ridden in.
Although I was totally spent, I was oddly energized. Despite thinking on the course "and I'm planning on running a marathon after this?" I can actually begin to wrap my head around the idea. Training is working...but I'm still freaking bloody tired! But my spirits are definitely lifted by my most recent purchase at the expo....a Dr Pepper cycling jersey! I think I'll have to wear this in my big race...