So I tried my hand at my first endurance event last Saturday - a 300k ride into the Black Mountains of the Gila down in New Mexico. This is part of the NM Brevet series, licensed by RUSA (Randonneurs USA), the governing body for randonee events over 200k.
Starting in Truth or Consequences at 6am, this was my first event requiring full lights and reflective gear. We rode our way NW to Winston with checkpoints in Monticello and Chloride, continued up over the Continental Divide and out to the end of the pavement at Beaverhead, 110 miles. Then retrace back to T or C (without the detour to Monticello) for a total of 195 miles and 10,500' of vertical.
I finished with the 3rd fastest time, 14hr:49min, at 8:49pm. I spent 1:45 off the bike, which is way too much time without the wheels turning. I also left my 2nd light in my drop bag out at Beaverhead, expecting to get it back before dark - but I beat the sag wagon back to Winston, so I couldn't ride as fast as I wanted down into T or C with only my small light, there were some steep descents.
But I learned a lot about nutrition, and how important protein is on rides over 3hrs. I used a 40/30/30 mix in my bottle, and supplemented with extra carbs in the form of gels and bars. My legs felt better after 300k than they ever did after a century when I only had carbs for fuel. Scott - I'll be ordering some Hammer Perpetuem!
Now if I can only do something about the cramping in my shoulders and back, I might actually be pretty good at this endurance stuff.