No, it is not a metric century, it is the full 100 miles. Or 98.5 if I can trust my odometer. And, though my husband says I cut the corners that badly - there is no way that would amount to 1.5 miles :) Plano is 1:20h from my house so I had to start around 6am to get there on time to be on the road by 8:00. I still had the pb-jelly sandwiches which were leftovers from yesterday's early start to the Xtreme Challenge. For none of the family came with me I could rise around 5:30 and be on my way in time - had I not mislaid the google-map print-out I did the day before. Looking around I must have put it in a very safe spot - it is still gone. And Comcast's modem had broken down again. Gratefully my palm cell phone can connect to the internet and I just loaded the page with the route to Plano, memorizing the highway part and then driving to the side to check directions. There were lots of construction zones so I had to get there somewhat slower. Yet, despite all of this I still was in time and after registering could start at two minutes before 8:00am. Yeah! In time! I found it somewhat coolish in the beginning but only then. The course is really flat but there are a couple of rolling hills in between. I stopped at every rest stop - just to figure out which way I had to go on - it all was well marked with arrows on the street. The only one I really stopped for a bit longer was the one at 50 miles - I wanted to simulate the place in an Ironman where one then can pick up the special needs bag. Or not. We wound through beautiful rural landscape, saw horses, heaviset ponies, cows, dirt on the road, put there by some agriculture machines; all drivers I encounteres kept a good distance while passing - more than I expect in my urban neighborhood. The street quality was really good, some was a bit crinkled up and there were some crossing humps, but alltogether it was just fine. I had forgotten to apply my body glide and suffered somewhat for it. But all of this was still bearable. In the end I arrived at the Plano High school (the place where we had started) after something around 6h and 2 min. (including around 10 min of break time - at the rest stop I had stopped the rest rooms weren't open so I had to go somewhere else, thus taking that long) All together: What a fun ride. My legs had still been sore (and now really are) after Racine, but it all went well, it was all doable in a decent speed. And this century ride was much easier for me than last year's. But then I also had no birds trying to crack my helmet with their beaks. Things I tried out: this Gel-holder-thingy replacing the vast amounts of tape to attach gels to the bike (I lost one clip zipping off a Carb-boom but they worked fine with the Powerbar- and Gu-variety of gels) and my Diadora bike shoes in barefoot - this is the longest distance I rode in them and besides of my small toes falling asleep like with my old shoes and besides of a bit scratching at my little toe they were ok. Also the POWER-BAR-Gummi'bears' - but I ate them on my way back so I can't really tell how I react to them. The Ciff bar with nuts in on the other hand was really good and did not make me feel sick. And I am still convinced that Gatorade is not the ideal drink for me. On the bike it is just so ok, but I don't get sick at all using infinit hot weather mix. I drove home, salt crusted, filthy dirty but Starbucks still served me an iced Macchiato as recovery drink.