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"So you won't be able to run around in the desert for 24 hours so why don't you sign up for a 100 mile bike ride in the desert?"

That was me, to myself. 

As much as it pained me NOT to race World's Toughest Mudder this year, I knew for recovery sake and longevity of this new knee, I was going to have to make the choice to opt out. So instead I decided to join  friends, Jax and Marco on a 100 mile bike ride through Palm Desert. Also known as Palm Desert Century. What seemed to be a good idea in the moment actually turned out to be, surprisingly, a good idea. 

Leading up to the race I was eager to train for it, I got a few good rides in with the help of my friend Shannon and was able to get some mileage on the bike. But not as much as I would like since my longest ride was about 40 miles.  Last couple weeks I debated doing the race and just wanted my physical therapist to tell me it would be bad and I wasn't ready. But he just smiled. So well that was not an excuse. I was ready, my knee is good and in reality my  Pro's and Con's list went out the window. 

Week leading up the the race I kept my training the same, I ate a little bit more but made sure to stay hydrated. I was using this ride as training. Not so much physical but more mental. Of course sitting on a bike riding for 7 hours is physical, but I knew the monotony of the ride would be killer. On the way to the event I had a breakdown, feeling sorry for myself and sad I wasn't doing WTM. I called a few friends, including the boyfriend and was able to get out of the feeling. Also, knowing there were a bunch of my athletes all over doing races that same day and I was able to show up (not physically, but emotionally) for my athletes.  It was hard, and what I had to do was be grateful that my body was even able to do what it was about to do after less than a year of recovery.

Race day shows up and we ride to the venue ( an extra mile and a half) and take off. I was told to make sure to use the rest stops and get some blood flow, focus on nutrition, re up on the butt butter and stay hydrated, so I did just that. About every 15 miles there was a stop and I used those stops to make sure I was staying on top of those key elements. If I was racing to win, well I would probably strategize a bit different. Like get a new bike would be one strategy. Side note: Some of these guys were FLYING by me.  I would look at the gear they were in and I was in the same but they were just moving... Effortlessly. Nuts. 

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As the last few miles were coming to a close my GPS died, I assumed I had about 10 miles left and I can grind that out and push it out in another zone. Like a zone 3-4 (if you take my cycle class you get it). Well that last 10 miles felt like forever but it finally came to an end. Free Subway?? And a soda!? I'll take it. (I don't do either, but at the moment it seemed like a grand idea, and again it turned out to be a grand idea.) 

After the race my body felt good, knee felt good and I was glad that the lower region of my body was just fine. Biking is no joke. I love running. I would of rather ran 100 miles, but for the knee's sake I chose to bike. Would I do it again? Only if it was after a 2.4 mile swim and before 26.2 mile run in 2017. Oh and on a new bike. So I am looking for bike Sponsors. I promise to represent the company to my upmost ability and ride more than once a week! 

 

Please feel free to contact me at 

ashley@becomingbadass.me

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