Tulsa Tough 100K

12 Jun

The Tulsa Tough 100K was tough, but not as tough as I expected – feared might be more accurate.  The Tulsa area is hilly so I knew there could be some serious hills, and there were – 3 of them to be exact. 


Two of the three I rode without much of a problem.  On the middle hill I had the misfortune of getting stuck behind a car that had to stop to wait for the cyclists in front of them – a good thing that they stopped, but not so good for me.  I didn’t have a clear path around the car (other cyclists) so I had to unclip quickly, get off my bike and walk most of the hill.

If you’ve walked your bike up a steep hill then you know walking up a steep hill is actually harder than pedaling up a steep hill.  That didn’t happen to me on the third hill, no cars for one thing and as the ride went on I felt stronger and had a good rhythm going as I started the 3 mile – about 350 feet climb.  As I climbed I passed two guys walking – one young enough to be my youngest child – and I would adopt him if I could because as I rode by him he yelled “ Way to go you are rockin’ this climb!”  I climbed it at an average speed of 10mph – I was happy with that. 

That was the high point of the day for me.  I loved that climb and I usually don’t even like climbs.  This one was not too steep and had some twists so it was fun.  Can’t believe I just associated the word “fun” with climbing.

One surprising fact for me was that until we got to around mile 50 our “elevation climbed” did not equal the “elevation climbed” when we ride our normal ride on the hilly roads here in the north section/east of I-35 of Oklahoma County.

All things considered we had good weather for the ride, no rain and relatively mild winds.  We had the HEAT, but then nothing’s perfect.  Speaking of heat I ended up with what a doctor told me last year was sun poisoning.  When we did our Vermont to Quebec tour I broke out with a bad rash on my legs that one of the other riders, who was a physician, said was sun poisoning.  I haven’t had it since then until Saturday.  It’s only on rides that last several hours, evidently.

Any one else ever get that and if so, what do you do about it?  I used sunscreen (30spf), but the skin that bakes while riding – lower thigh – is what gets it the worst.  My shorts aren’t long enough to cover it, the physician/cyclist told me that covering the skin is most important.

Mark had his own issues to deal with, he had severe leg cramps in his calves and thighs – both legs – they were just terrible.  He took electrolyte supplements (Endurolyte) and drink before and during the ride, but they seemed to provide no benefit whatsoever.  Three days later and his legs are still sore. 

Mark is an excellent cyclist, very good form and bike skills – plus he’s strong and can suffer with the best of them (see leg cramps), and as we all know if you ride much or for very long you will suffer on the bike.  He has a base of nearly 7,000 miles – but the one thing that he can’t train through is the toll that hot temperatures take on him.  The heat is his kryptonite – it just slays him. Obviously it was behind the leg cramps too.

We were both signed up to ride the 50K Sunday, but because of Mark’s leg cramps he wasn’t going to ride.  I was going to ride solo which would give me a chance to ride my own pace – something I rarely do when we ride together. Not because I can’t, we enjoy riding and training together, but in the future on rides like this we may ride different distances or a different pace on some.

Unfortunately, I didn’t get to ride Sunday either because of weather.  I got up at 5:30am saw it was raining, but no lightening or thunder, so all systems were go.  Rain isn’t something that has ever kept me from doing a ride I was signed up for – and it wasn’t going to today.  The start was about 2 miles from the hotel so to save time Mark drove me over. That’s when things went south – sitting in the car we could see lightening in the distance and hear the thunder.  We checked radar on the phone again (another mistake) and things looked worse.  More storms coming and some of them in the area were yellow – thunderstorms.  Rain is one thing, lightening is another.  I don’t ride when there is lightening – not if I can help it.  Still I waited because I WANTED TO RIDE.  It was a timed ride and I wanted to see what I could do.  I felt good.

They delayed the start until 8am, so we continued to check the forecast and radar.  It started raining heavier and the sounds of thunder continued.  Finally at about 10 of, I made the decision to not ride.  The radar and what was heading our way was the deciding factor.  So we left.  I was so disappointed!

Anyway, you know how this story turns out.  We get back to the hotel, get the bike in the room (after riding it down the hallway), change out of my bike clothes, look out the window of our room and it’s barely raining.  Another 30 minutes and the sun is out.  I didn’t check to see what it did to the north, where the route went, I didn’t want to know. 

So if you rode Sunday and it was beautiful please don’t tell me about it.

All-in-all it was a good weekend.  We saw a little of the racing but it was so blazing hot we didn’t stick around for too long on either Friday or Saturday.  It would have been great to have ridden on Sunday but that’s how it goes. 

The ride on Saturday proved we’re “Tulsa Tough”.

2011-06-11 07.20.242011-06-11 14.25.29249927_219647758065455_156952967668268_740501_2141241_n2011-06-11 14.29.24

2011-06-10 18.57.442011-06-10 20.48.222011-06-11 09.40.442011-06-10 16.26.51

2 Responses to “Tulsa Tough 100K”

  1. Brian Decker June 12, 2011 at 9:54 pm #

    Looks like you kept a good pace. Great job, Susan!

    • Susan June 14, 2011 at 2:37 pm #

      Thanks, Brian, it was a lot of fun!

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