Going long, then going home

As I wind down the season, I’m very excited about riding in the CU Buffalo Bicycle Classic this weekend, which will provide scholarships to students wanting to attend CU. Last year, this was my first and is still my only century ride. This year, they have upped the distance to 110 miles in celebration of their 11th anniversary.

If you have never ridden the Buff, the greatest thing about this ride is that it gives you the opportunity to ride up Boulder Canyon with the road closed to traffic. The scenic stretch runs alongside the river for miles as the gentle white caps direct you towards Nederland. A quick stop at Ned and its up the steepest part of the day to Ward for another break. The reward for climbing up to Ward is far and away the best part of the day as you descend for what seems like an eternity into Lyons. From there it’s a quick turn to Carter lake and then the rest of the day is spent on rollers as you make your way back along the remaining 50 or so miles to CU.

This year I have guilted 2 other poor souls into joining me and we will be taking our sweet time making our way around the course. There will be no racing for us, though I would love to be able to watch those going after the polka-dotted jersey awarded for the fastest climb Boulder Canyon.

Once the day is done, I immediately begin what I have dubbed my personal “Octoberfest”. Two long weeks of ZERO training. This will be the longest stretch that I’ve been down since I started this journey two years ago. While I’m definitely looking forward to the break, both mentally and physically, I’m a bit apprehensive about what it will do me. At this point, I start to become edgy about 36 hours after a workout. I rarely take two consecutive days off and when I do, those around me can tell. Two weeks is almost unimaginable.

Diet is a big concern for the downtime as well. I’ve been hungry since I hit puberty and an unprecedented amount of restraint will be required to reduce my caloric intake to meet the reduced needs and note pack on weight that will take months to work off. In an attempt to combat this, I have begun tracking meals in training peaks to force myself to acknowledge the decisions I make. I know it’s not that long, but at three days out, it still feels like it. Plus, with 2 training rides to go before the Buff, I can rest easy knowing that it is still more than 150 mile away.

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