The CRAM, short for the Clarksville Rotary Annual Metric...also could be known for cramming it all in, cramming food in my face and cramming my head to the pillow. My friends and I did the CRAM yesterday in Clarksville, a ride that offers 20, 35, 62 and 100 mile options. Can you guess which one I did? Heck yes, the 100 miler. After a disastrous ride on Thursday with Coach (see having to walk my bike up a hill, hyperventilating, almost puking and averaging 15.6 mph...yeah, DISASTER..."now boarding, one way trip to Bonk Town") I was a little nervous going into a century only two days later. I came to find out I was terribly dehydrated (see 7 liters of fluid and only one trip to the bathroom...yikes!) so I took two days to really load up on fluid, solid nutrition and focus. Not that I haven't done so for the last 6 months, but I really need to focus on being smart and making healthy decisions...it's officially game time.
The plan was for Coach, Ben, Sarah, Andy and me to ride together and average a solid 20mph for the full 100 miles. Gulp! 20mph?! Are you kidding me? Luckily it was a nice flat course and we all took turns drafting and pulling, making for a really fun ride. Riding in a big group really makes the time pass quickly and definitely makes for some good laughs. We rode strong the whole way and came in under 5 hours with a 20.7mph avg...yee haw! I even felt strong enough at the end to pull in Coach and Andy for the last few miles. I hung with the boys again (granted, they could still go way faster and kick my butt any day of the week) and it was a big confidence booster after my major meltdown on Thursday. Coach even exclaimed during the ride "you are going to kick ass in Coeur d'Alene"...whether he meant it or not (maybe he was just trying to get me to pick up the pace right then!) it was a huge motivator and really helped to solidify the fact that I just know that I am ready for this, know that I can complete it and know I can do it with strength and confidence!
Even more crazy sightings on this ride...yes, there was the obligatory dead deer/cow/possum/bird on the side of the road (100 miles is a long way, with lots of opportunity to see dead sh*t). However, we were in northern Tennessee/Kentucky in the Minenite country...so we ran into a few horse drawn carriages, plows powered by hefty steed, kids running around barefoot, and a woman with a wheelbarrow rolling down the road bringing her harvest home (to which the guys said, "see Tilghman, that's an example of a good wife right there...emulate that when you are married"...ha...ha). We were a little perplexed when there was a horse and carriage coming towards us...what do you say to that "buggy back?"..."carriage up?"...I wonder what they thought of us flying by them with thousands of dollars worth of bikes and gear? Have to sell a lot of churned butter to buy my next bike, I guess.
"Borrowed" this picture from a friend...this was the beginning of the ride...can you see me?, I'm in black...ok, I can't really either.