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Clydesdales/Athenas (200+ lb / 91+ kg) Looking to lose that spare tire? Ideal weight 200+? Frustrated being a large cyclist in a sport geared for the ultra-light? Learn about the bikes and parts that can take the abuse of a heavier cyclist, how to keep your body going while losing the weight, and get support from others who've been successful.

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Old 08-29-11, 12:03 PM   #1
engstrom
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Hotter'N Hell Hundred lives up to its name as my first imperial century

I completed my first century this weekend. Things started off well at the start line with the temps at a cool 73 degrees and it got even better as we made our way out of the city just before sunrise and the temp drops to 69. From there on out however it got nothing but worse for me.

I managed to reach Hell's Gate - mile 60 - at 9:53 AM which was 7 minutes before the 100 mile route was closed and riders would get redirected to a shorted 80 mile route due to the heat. I, along with the other 17 riders I was riding with, took the turn and went on the 100 mile route. I was feeling good and had a 17.1 MPH average going at that point but the temperature was 102 at that point and continuing to rise.

At the rest stop at mile 70 the group I was riding with stopped and I was still feeling great. Shortly after starting again the group decided to split into faster/fewer rest stops and slower/all rest stops groups. For a moment I considered going with the faster group but realized that even though I felt great now I might not in a little while. Turns out that was one of the best decisions I made as five miles later I hit a wall. The last 25 miles were excruciating - the heat and lack of sleep the night before (3 1/2 hours) finally took its toll on me.

I ended up dropping down a 13 MPH pace and by the time I crossed the finish line I was down to 10 MPH. But hey, I finished and even though the official high (right about the time I was finished at 4:06 PM) in Wichita Falls was 109 my Garmin was reading 115 on the road in the sun. I'm not happy with the way I finished but I'm very happy I finished.

Good news was I didn't cramp and wasn't really sore. Bad news is my muscles just had no power after about mile 80. I'm pretty sure part of that was not eating quite enough near the end because of the heat and fatigue but I'm sure most of it was I simply haven't gotten in enough long rides to build up the necessary endurance to finish 100 miles with gas left in the tank. I did one metric century last month. Apart from that 51 miles was my once-a-week long ride. Time to start getting in some longer rides - especially before my next century.

Here's a link to the data from my Garmin: http://connect.garmin.com/activity/110086805

Last edited by engstrom; 08-29-11 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 08-29-11, 12:07 PM   #2
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Congrats on completing the ride, and doing so without cramps under those conditions is surely saying something.

OTOH, why in the world did you go into it on so little sleep?
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Old 08-29-11, 12:12 PM   #3
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Congrats on completing the ride, and doing so without cramps under those conditions is surely saying something.

OTOH, why in the world did you go into it on so little sleep?
Thanks, and the lack of sleep wasn't part of the plan. I went to bed at 8:30 PM the night before and had the alarm set for 3:30 AM so I could get up and meet my group in time. Turns out the excitement and anticipation had me tossing and turning until 10:30 when I got about an hour of sleep. At 11:30 I woke up due to the "get hydrated the day before the ride" strategy I adopted. At that point it took another couple of hours of tossing and turning to get back to sleep - partly because of the excitement and partly because I was sleeping on an air mattress at a friend's place. Oh well, lesson learned - next year I'm probably going to get a hotel room closer to the start with a good comfortable bed.
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Old 08-29-11, 12:24 PM   #4
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Thanks, and the lack of sleep wasn't part of the plan. I went to bed at 8:30 PM the night before and had the alarm set for 3:30 AM so I could get up and meet my group in time. Turns out the excitement and anticipation had me tossing and turning until 10:30 when I got about an hour of sleep. At 11:30 I woke up due to the "get hydrated the day before the ride" strategy I adopted. At that point it took another couple of hours of tossing and turning to get back to sleep - partly because of the excitement and partly because I was sleeping on an air mattress at a friend's place. Oh well, lesson learned - next year I'm probably going to get a hotel room closer to the start with a good comfortable bed.
get hydrated the night before is a bad strategy. chances are your just gonna piss away the extra hydration. "drink when I'm thirsty" is a better strategy tho in temps as high as you say, I would go with a "drink x bottles per hour strategy" typically for me that would be 2 bottles, one solely being electrolyte such as Nuun and the other bottle being heed or perpetuem so I get my caloric needs in. I aimed for 300 calories per hour on my century last year and that strategy worked great, i felt strong all the way through.

Congrats on completeing it, it's a sick twisted sort of fun. we had 85degree temps in late september when I did mine so it felt pretty hot to everyone but 100+ degrees is pretty brutal. I did 50 miles earlier this summer when it was 95* out and i felt it later that night.
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Old 08-29-11, 03:17 PM   #5
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Congratulations on finishing! It's a great feeling when you can finally get off the bike, lol..

I just did my first century this weekend too, I'll write it up when I get home. I was pretty well beat by the end and the weather was perfect, I can't imagine doing it in heat like that.
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Old 08-29-11, 03:25 PM   #6
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Good job!

HTH is one of the better run rides in the country.
Well run, plenty of support, plenty of stops, and plenty HOT!

This bud is for you!
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Old 08-29-11, 03:38 PM   #7
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That's awesome. HTH is on my Bucket List. A buddy of mine and I have been talking about giving it a shot next year. That's an accomplishment. Be proud!
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Old 08-29-11, 03:46 PM   #8
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Wow, that's alot of break time.
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Old 08-29-11, 04:25 PM   #9
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get hydrated the night before is a bad strategy. chances are your just gonna piss away the extra hydration.
I have to say I agree with that now. One word of warning - when it's as hot as it was this past weekend it's easy to feel you have to drink as much water at the rest stops as you can so you can refill your water bottles before leaving the rest stop. The problem with that is riding after drinking 20+ oz of cold water is a good way to get an upset stomach. I barely managed to avoid that fate on a couple stops this past weekend so it's important to take little bits of water at all times so you don't end up too thirsty.
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Old 08-29-11, 04:32 PM   #10
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Congratulations on finishing! It's a great feeling when you can finally get off the bike, lol..

I just did my first century this weekend too, I'll write it up when I get home. I was pretty well beat by the end and the weather was perfect, I can't imagine doing it in heat like that.
Yes it is a great feeling when you get off the bike. Doing in it heat does provide it's own set of unique challenges - but I still think I'd rather have heat than hills on a century.



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Good job!

HTH is one of the better run rides in the country.
Well run, plenty of support, plenty of stops, and plenty HOT!

This bud is for you!
It is definitely a very well run ride and I recommend it to anyone considering doing a century as long as they have the opportunity to train in heat.



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That's awesome. HTH is on my Bucket List. A buddy of mine and I have been talking about giving it a shot next year. That's an accomplishment. Be proud!
Thanks, I am proud. Go for it next year...I promise you won't be disappointed. One word of caution - make lodging accommodations as soon as possible since all the hotels get booked very early.



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Wow, that's alot of break time.
Yep, a LOT of rest stops and towards the end a lot of time spent at those stops. 80% of the stopped time was in the last 40 miles when it was over a hundred degrees.
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Old 08-29-11, 05:22 PM   #11
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get hydrated the night before is a bad strategy. chances are your just gonna piss away the extra hydration..
"Lack of sleep issues" are not hydration problems.

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Old 08-29-11, 06:03 PM   #12
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get hydrated the night before is a bad strategy. chances are your just gonna piss away the extra hydration. "drink when I'm thirsty" is a better strategy
"Drink when I'm thirsty" is the absolute worst strategy for any endurance test. If you wait until you're thirsty, it's too late & you're already dehydrated, especially at HHH. I also did the HHH this year (did the cat-3 Ultra race: I'll have a ride report tomorrow, am still in TX and limited Internet), and aiming for X amounts of bottles is better, but still not good enough for the temps we faced, as the PM temps were much higher than what we saw in the AM. My strategy was two big swigs every 5-10 mins or so (water & Gatorade for the electrolytes), and one gel every 20-mins.

Congrats on your first & good job. I completely understand the long rest stops: they were necessary given the temps. Ill have to compare your route profile vs ours as the Ultra races took a slightly different course. It was more hilly than I expected.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:00 PM   #13
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Congrats on your first & good job. I completely understand the long rest stops: they were necessary given the temps. Ill have to compare your route profile vs ours as the Ultra races took a slightly different course. It was more hilly than I expected.
Thanks. I look forward to your ride report and would love to see the profile of the Ultra race because I was pleasantly surprised by how flat the endurance course was.
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Old 08-29-11, 09:09 PM   #14
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You are an inspiration, well done.
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Old 08-29-11, 10:12 PM   #15
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Huge congrats!
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Old 08-29-11, 10:33 PM   #16
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Nicely done sir!
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Old 08-30-11, 07:49 PM   #17
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Well done engstrom. I'm on my third year in a row of physical disasters that have killed my HHH and Livestrong plans. I would love to do a group attack/approach to to the HHH, if I can ever stop breaking.
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Old 08-31-11, 10:47 AM   #18
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That's awesome. HTH is on my Bucket List. A buddy of mine and I have been talking about giving it a shot next year. That's an accomplishment. Be proud!
When I first heard of the HHH I was not too sure why ANYONE would want to do such a thing in our heat. Now, I find that I would like to do it someday.
My wife has a friend that did it this year. 100 mile route in a little over 5:30. Pretty darn fast. (Of course he is a little tiny guy. As Curly in City Slickers said, "I crap bigger than you!")
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Old 08-31-11, 12:08 PM   #19
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I ended up dropping down a 13 MPH pace and by the time I crossed the finish line I was down to 10 MPH.

I'm not happy with the way I finished but I'm very happy I finished.
Dude. I can't even get 13mph average on my 40 mile rides, and drop down to 10mph every time I'm finishing a metric. Be happy. A full century in temperatures hotter than anything I've ever experienced? You're the man.
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