Was planning on riding a century next month and have been working toward that goal. Today I rode with my Saturday morning group and we rode 40 miles at around 18 mph average. I wanted to get in some more miles---so I went on solo. I ended up riding 75 miles total---35 of that solo. My average speed for the morning was 17.4 mph.
But here is the thing. I felt like king of the world until 70 miles. I had taken 3 short rest breaks and was taking in some nutrition (couple of Cliff bars, 3 packs of GU, and some cookies I got at a convenience store) and plenty of gatoraide (although I think I need to take in more liquid on a contuinuing basis). But when I hit 70 miles---that last 5 miles seemed like it took forever---and I was pretty well worn out and was beginning to hurt and have doubts about 100 miles. Not sure if I bonked or not---but I was plenty ready to call it a day. It was a relatively cool morning with a slight breeze. I had also ridden a total of 90 miles this week before this ride.
I know I pushed it harder with the group than I would have solo and that may have been a factor at burning out at 70 miles.
Anyway---all you century veterans---did you reach a point in your first century where you thought you had made a big mistake---but somehow found the energy and fortitude to press on? Do you think my 100 miles a week (165 this week) and my 75 mile long ride is sufficent to carry me through 100 miles without being in total misery the last 25? Would love to hear about your (hopefully) similar experiences.