Eventually I made my way down to Osakis, my third stop and guessing about mile 110-120. It was now pretty hot (sunny) and still humid. I took some extra time here to get fluids and food into me. I was feeling really good still. I was bit shocked at how good I did feel. I didn't want to take the trail so I took a road next to the trail to West Union and headed south. About 5 miles down I hit road construction that forced me to turn back and take a turn I passed a couple miles back. I was starting to feel the effects to the heat. My water/gatorade mix was no longer tasting good. I was starting to get the nauseous feeling from too much sun and heat. I planned to work my way over to the trail and take that in as there are towns every 6-7 miles. I jumped on the trail in Sauk Centre. At Freeport I stopped, dumped out my gatorade water, found a shady spot and slammed cold water, and waited a bit. I wasn't getting much better so I figured I needed to push on.
Up to about mile 140 I was feeling great and had an average over 20 mph. Slowly that was changing! I stopped again in Avon to get cold water and dump out the now warm water. From Avon to home seemed like and eternity. I remembered a motto from Kid of Salsa Cycles to just stay constant, keep moving...so I did, albeit slowly!
I made it home, finally, with over 9 hours and 179 miles at a 19.8 average. Thank God for AC! I laid on the floor for a good 10 minutes before I did anything else.
I overshot the distance (shooting for 160) some as I was feeling good and thought why not. I'm glad I did the ride however. I learned a lot about myself and riding in the heat. A good reminder of what can happen and what I can and can't do. Gravel Worlds is coming up in August and usually provides us with similar weather.
I thought about getting up early this morning for a 1-2 hour spin but I struggled to fall asleep. At 11:00 I shut the alarm off. Sleep won out once again!