Friday, August 3, 2012

Tour De Shore 2012

As I've blogged about before, I obviously renewed my crazy pill prescription because after the dehydration I suffered in last year's Tour de Shore, I still managed to sign up for this year's ride. Luckily this year turned out so much better, and I'm more then ever looking forward to doing it again next year! And yes I did take my extra does of 'are you freaking crazy' for biking 65 miles. It's awesome!

The morning of July 29th started off fine, with nerves waking me up at 3:30 am. I rolled out of bed at 4:50 am, showered, drove to get a bagel (carb loading is legitimately my favorite thing about races), and came back home to suit up. I was about half way ready when I decided to fill my hydration pack, only to realize I can't get the water to come up the straw. Dumb, I know, that my first time trying the hydration pack is the morning of the ride. Panic mode strikes. I text my mom at 5:30 am with my current debacle, as we have to leave at 5:45am, and that I'm to coming over to my parents house in full on panic mode.

Thankfully the cooler heads of my parents were able to get the water flowing all the while I'm in hysterics trying to still get ready for the race, aka get SPF 50 slathered over any exposed skin.

Just some of the 1,600 riders!
We made it to the start at the Irish Pub in Philadelphia with plenty of time to spare. I met up with my riding team which consisted of my best friend's mom Terri, her husband's fraternity brother friend Jeff and his wife Barb, along with two other family friends of theirs. We waiting along with the 1,600 other riders for the 'Star Spangangled Banner' to complete and for us to start our journey to Atlantic City!

The ride takes you over the Ben Franklin Bridge and through Southern New Jersey via Route 561. This year my team mates and I all pretty much rode at our own pace instead of trying to stay all together as a group. I have to say that I feel that this was a much better option as opposed to just trying to keep back and waiting for everyone to catch up. All we knew was that we had to be in AC before 1:30pm so they didn't pull us off the road. 

While I do not at all condone riding with headphones in, I still do so much better when I have music to distract me. For my first 17 miles I did not. As we got close to the first rest stop I was struggling. I figured if I was going to be riding at my own pace and by myself for most of the time, I was at least putting one ear bud in and some of my awesome playlists on. Rocking out to these tunes really helped me through the remainder of the ride, keeping me motivated and on a pace to make across the finish line in record time.   

One super scary yet impressive moment was while riding through Hammonton only about 2 miles from our next rest stop, a guy goes flying off his bike, manages to tuck into a somersault and land just fine on his back with his bike flipped over next to him. Honestly it was the most graceful fall I've ever seen. He climbed right back on his bike, uninjured, and continued to ride. The best part was all the police roving vehicles to monitor us during the ride that kept referring to him as Tinkerbell. 

The worst part of the ride was the last 11 miles. Not because I was exhausted; this year ALL of the rest stops were well supplied and staffed as well as my hydration pack I had the entire ride. Plus we had our support team of my mom and dad plus Terri's husband John meet us at rest stop's 2 and 4 with our very own fuel (many thanks to them!). No, once we left the Galloway Rec Center, it was 11 miles through torrental downpours. Oh no, this is no exaggeration. Just when I thought it couldn't rain any harder, IT DID. I swear I've never been so soaked in my entire life. And to add insult to injury, my socks/shoes are retaining water at that point, making my already strained quads have to work even harder with the heavier shoes. AND THEN to get into Atlantic City you HAVE TO GO OVER A BRIDGE. Honestly, it was just cruel and unusual punishment at that point, but I pushed through.

Terri and I slightly damp but finished!
So we made it across the finish line at 1:13pm, knocking a half hour off my time from last year. Terri kicked all of our butts and made it in at 12:31 pm, I'm so proud of her! Even though I was soaked (along with all our family and friends who met us at the finish line), the free food, beer, and bragging rights made it all worth it. The sun did come out eventually to let me and my bike dry out somewhat before getting in the car to head back home. 

Overall the Tour de Shore was a great time this year. Being hydrated does make all the difference. I was so worried as my bike training hadn't been up to the condition it was last year, but by keeping up my cardio in other ways and hydrated/eating at all the stops made a world of difference. It was just insulting to have to come home and shower after my body was practically pruny from being in the rain for a good three hours between the last leg of the race and getting food/drinks at the finish line. But it was all worth it.

My only post ride complaints were sore quads and shoulders for the next couple days, but overall I felt great! My next race is a marathon relay that I'm doing with my mom, aunt, and cousin. Of which I tried to go out and run the Wednesday after biking 65 miles, but my quads only let me get 2 miles, and even that was stretching it. But, as Dory says, just keep swimming... 


  1. I'm fairly sure I saw you running wednesday morning as I was on my way to work...6:55 ish?

    1. I believe you did! Especially if I was wearing a blue shirt, pink sunglasses, and looked like I was ready to die :o)