50 for 50

Happy Sunday!! If you are here visiting from Laura’s Blog, WELCOME and thanks for stopping by! If you haven’t been by there, go check out my friend Laura at Mommy Run Fast! Her blog is a great read for running/fitness inspiration, recipes and much more! I am honored to be featured in her “Purposeful Running” series this week.

Alright friends, let’s talk cycling!

There is a long-standing tradition in some cycling circles that when someone has a milestone birthday, they must ride the same # of miles for the number of years of the birthday. Well, my good tri friend, Phil, turned 50 yesterday and there have been emails going around for WEEKS planning the torture that would mark his big day!

The one thing that was certain from the beginning?  We would complete a 50 mile ride with 5,000 feet of climbing! If you aren’t familiar with cycling, the best way I can describe this is that it is A LOT OF FREAKING climbing 🙂

After many, many emails, and tons of route debates, the secret ride was planned and Phil was only told that he was going on a ride with a few friends before an afternoon bbq!

A small group of us met early to take a nice, easy warm-up ride over to the official meeting location. We wanted to use those miles to get our legs ready for the climbing that would start nearly immediately after we rolled out.

Char, Jenni & I just before starting the ride

Phil is a popular guy! 14 riders showed up for the torture that was his birthday celebration! Before riding out, we presented Phil with his polka dot “King of the Mountain” jersey…not so much representing that he was the best climber in the group but to let the world know that he was over the hill 🙂

Birthday Boy! (errr…old man)

P.S. Is it just me or does Phil not look a day over 40?! Friends, I think this is what being a two-time Ironman will do for you!

I was feeling super strong early in the ride and really enjoying the company of new and old riding buddies and the amazing views that we were rewarded with as we headed into the mountains.

It wasn’t long before we hit our first major climb, Hogback Mountain. It is by far the longest, hardest climb that I have ever done. It was completely exposed to the hot, midmorning sun and it seemed to go on FOREVER. My heart was exploding out of my chest, my climbing legs were on fire and I am sure my breathing panting could be heard for miles. FINALLY, we made it to the top and were rewarded with even more absolutely amazing views. The iPhone camera definitely doesn’t do it justice!

Not only was the climb brutal, but the descent was terrifying. It was extremely technical, with a ton of switchbacks and sharp curves and the road was in pretty rough shape, making for a bumpy ride. My shoulders and hands were screaming by the time I got to the bottom because I was so tense and was squeezing the brakes the entire way down.

Side note: I realize that being tense and riding the brakes is definitely NOT the ideal way to descend, but I just couldn’t get my upper body to relax and I definitely wasn’t confident in my ability to make those turns without slowing to a more controlled speed.

Fortunately the next stop was at the Tryon bakery and I refueled with a yummy home made granola bar and filled my bottles with more Nuun before heading out again.

We did two more major climbs before finally, rolling back to our cars nearly 55 miles and several hours later. Neither of the remaining climbs were as long or tough as the first, but my legs were absolutely shot and by the third steep ascent, I was falling toward the back of the pack, my legs were shaking and I was REALLY ready to be off of my bike.


My legs are absolutely shot and the 10 {running} miles that are coming up this morning may be tough!! But it was an awesome day and I am so proud that I made it through it in one piece!

About Corey

I am a 30-something swim, bike, run addict married to my best friend and in love with my two schnoodle doggies.
This entry was posted in bike, friends, training. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to 50 for 50

  1. Seriously!? Wow. I don’t know if the uphill or downhill terrifies me more- that is one intense ride!! I definitely would have been tense and riding my brakes the whole way down too. Congrats on powering through it… how was the run today??

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  3. Ricole Runs says:

    This is so CRAZY impressive that you dominated this ride. I could NEVER have made it up that huge hill! What’s funny (or, maybe not!) is I read this post yesterday and then went out for a bike ride and saw a guy wearing that same polka dot jersey!

    • Corey says:

      I have seen a ton of jerseys kind of like it while watching clips of the Tour de France too. And the real King of the Mountain guy in TdF actually gets a polka dot helmet and bike too! I think it looks cool 🙂

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