Santa Fe Half Century

Today was the 30th annual Santa Fe Century!  But before I go on, some background...

Spring in Santa Fe can be pretty awful. In fact, my Midwestern friends and I complain about it quite frequently. First the snow is dirty and slushy, too slippery to hike but not deep enough anymore for snowshoes. Then you get a few sunny days and your tulips bloom! You think there is hope that summer is almost here, then it freezes overnight and all your flowers die. We'll get a week of beautiful, 70° and sunny afternoons, where you can't help but be outside all day, and you decide you just have to buy a grill, then it rains for three days straight.  Finally it's May and you pack away all your sweaters and boots for good, only to wake up to snow on two Saturday mornings in a row.  By far THE WORST part of spring in Santa Fe, though, is the oppressive and relentless wind.  I would gladly welcome snow any day and exchange for this unforgiving wind.

I've been training for my half century (50 mile) biking event since February, including taking a really awesome spin class to train my endurance and fitness.  However, I didn't get as many long rides in as I had hoped this season.  My plan was to bike every other day for the past two weeks, but because of rain, storms, and even (yes) some snow, I only rode once a week.  I still felt prepared and ready for this morning.  I was thankful that there was zero precipitation in the forecast, and was optimistic about a temperature of 40° versus the predicted 34° at the start time.  

Other than my fingers feeling like icicles, we had a good start to the ride!  I maintained a good pace and enjoyed the scenery.  I found it to be less crowded than last year, so a little less stressful in the beginning.  Jaycob and I started the ride together, then split about an hour in as I turned off for the 50 mile loop and he continued on for the full 100 mile ride, including Heartbreak Hill.

Snacks for the ride

Gettin' all my gear packed

Time to ride

The wind picked up during the morning and became brutal during the last half of my ride. I had to stop twice and stretch a little, and prepare myself to continue on the journey.  I made it up the one steep hill of the ride, although in about twice the time it usually takes me. I counted down in my head the number of hills I had left, and pushed on.  I finished in 3 1/2 hours, a full 30 minutes longer than last year.  I was sore and tired, and desperately ready for a hamburger and a nap.

Sandia mountains to the south

Heading toward Gallisteo

Sangre de Cristo mountains, almost home

Snack time!

Jaycob finished his 100 miler, despite the wind and cold!  And we celebrated with live music and a brew fest this afternoon.  Next year, I'm checking the forecast, and may just decide to sleep in.


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