Mileage Recap ~ 26 Aug – 7 Sept…The Reston Century Recap

Happy Sunday my friends!  See, I’m being a good blogger.  Probably because I see the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m excited about finishing these miles.  I feel like 2020 will be a good year, one of pushing to get this done.  I’ve been doing this a long time and I’m happy to be on the down tick.  I’m still catching up on calculating my miles, so bare with me just a bit.

Finally, getting around to the Reston Century recap.  This was my second attempt at completing a century ride.  Some people were racing, I was riding 🙂 My first Century was in Tuscon, Arizona about two years ago.  I love the challenge of the century ride.  It’s challenging for mind, body and spirit from the time you start training to ride completion.  I try to train as I would ride during the event.  Meaning when you feel like crap or are having a bad day…you still push through to the best of your ability.

The Ride:

Beginning:

The Century was hosted by the Reston Bike Club.  Good club in NOVA with plenty of different ride events throughout the year at different levels.  The ride started at the square in downtown Reston and it was a rolling start.  Parked about 6 am and went to pick up my cue sheet and moved out smartly with my riding buddy at 6:30 am.  Roads were marked well and I was ready to go at 6:30 am.

Because this is so important ~ more for my memory if anything else.

 

About 15 miles in was the first rest point.  Unfortunately for me, I thought the two portos on the side of the street was the stop….so I stopped.  Yeah, that happened.  Got on my bike to find the REAL stop about a mile down the road.  If you’re thinking hmmm…yeah this sets the stage for later in the ride.

Happy start!

Middle:

For the most part the route was pretty level and easy to follow.  Got up to Purcellville, VA for another stop.  This is where the peel off was if you didn’t feel the full century ride.  Fueled up on some water and food and said goodbye to my riding buddy.  He decided that he only wanted to do 84 and not the full 103.  Off I went alone.

Three quarters of the ride at miles 65 – 80 were the hills.  They were the steepest I have ever climbed and took a lot out of me.  I had to walk one hill towards the end and in true Laurel fashion I fell on one.  It wouldn’t be a ride if I didn’t fall at least once.  I wish I could say I was cruising along and skidded out and fell.  It just sounds so much sexier, but no…no.  Also, what I’m known for is just toppling over.  That’s what happened here.  I lost steam and just tipped over.

Because…there is no reason to post this photo. LOL!

The ride that never ended….

Got past the hills and also, true to form, found myself alone.  How does this happen?  There are hundreds of people on the ride, but yet I’m by myself.  Was following the arrows, until I got to some town and saw a women scrubbing them up.  I yelled at her…okay I spoke loudly…and asked why she was scrubbing up the arrows.  She mentioned the city didn’t want them on the street passed 5pm.  She pointed me in the right direction and I kept going.  Now what happened after this is hard to say.  I know what you’re thinking ~ you got lost.  Annnnndddd, yes I did.

I ended up in another city.  I’ll be honest, I don’t even remember the name of the city now.  I was riding along and saw two women and I stopped to ask which way was the Reston Town Center.  They both looked at me like a deer in the headlights and just said I was 20 miles from Reston.  Uh….How.Did.This.Happen?  Yep, I was 20 miles off course.  Needless to say I was a bit devastated.  I was following the yellow arrows and for some reason I got turned around.  Both the women told me to call an Uber, but I just couldn’t do it.  I needed to finish.  Then I saw this other cyclist (not in the ride) and he started me down the right path.

 

Not too happy.

I ended up doing about 122 miles instead of the 103 and I still wasn’t finished.  The pic above is a far cry from the starting photo, but then again it was a Century plus!  Once I was on the right path I had three interesting events happen.   I stopped at this BBQ place on the trail and saw this:

Met one of the previous deputy’s of NASA Dr. Michael D. Griffin.  He rode with me for a few miles before telling me his bike isn’t made to go that slow.  Yes, he said that….

Then a skunk ran across my path and I nearly hit an women cycling towards me.  Sigh.

The good news:  I finished 103 miles under the 10 hr mark.  My last Century was 10:02 so this was good for me.

The bad news:  I didn’t finish at the proper place, I called in and had a friend pick me up at the Green Lizard, a bike shop on the route.  Well, it’s all good and I continue on and can’t wait to do better at the next one.

My mileage for this two weeks only came to 4.65.  There was some serious downtime happening!  I have 4,004.19 miles gratefully remaining in my journey.  I hope this post finds you thankful!  Life is truly good.  Happy Miles to You!!

Because I love pavement…

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 19 – 25 August….Age Is Just A Number ~ Or So I’m Told

Happy Sunday my fellow 11315ians!  Hmmm, I thought that would sound much cooler when I read it aloud, but hey I’m going with it.  As you can probably see, I am far behind in my blogging.  It is November and I’m just now talking about August.  And just to show you how lazy my collective blogging skills are at the moment, this should be the big post ~ the Reston Century.  Alas, I will have to get that on the next round as I try to pull those tidbits of adventure from my brain.  I’m reading “get your Sh*t together” by Sarah Knight.  Maybe there will be something in there I can use to stop dallying with the unimportant sh*t in life and get down to brass tacks.

My Nana used to have this magnet on her fridge that said “screw” the golden years.  Every time I would open the fridge I’d see the magnet and get a slight case of the vapors and thoughts of oldness would swim through my mind as I would contemplate….. is it really that bad, does it really suck?  Sometimes she would walk in the kitchen and I would question “screw the golden years” she would look at me in the eyes and laugh then promptly say yes.  I was in my teens at the time and would collectively sigh a breath of relief as I looked in the bathroom mirror checking to see if any wrinkles were starting to show up…no…everything on the body seems to be, uh, in place…whew!  Ok, ok good I still have time. Fast forward and I am now 52.  For the most part, I don’t feel my age.  I have a few pains every now and again, but all is well in Laurel Land.

But something funny happens when you segway from your 40s to your 50s.  You start hearing the battle cry ~ age is just a number!  Some people say it so vehemently that I feel hmmm what are you trying to tell me?  Almost like I need to do something really bold, just so I can say…hell yes, it is a number bitches ~ watch as I jump out this window head first!  Yeah!  That’s what I’m talkin’ bout.  Age, don’t got nothing on me…can someone please get me an Aleve™ as this sh*t will surely hurt in an hour.

Has there been some slowing…meh sure, but it hasn’t been that bad.  I like to look at it as a state of mind.  I’m WINNING!!!  Some people if you mention age they just get crazy, it seems to happen at 48.  You’re getting closer to 50 and there is a bit of panic, but you’re not full blown crazy yet.  You see it on the horizon and you’ll be dammed if you go gentle into that good night. Hell no, someone get me a Tik Tok account STAT!

Getting older is grace, elegance, humor, joy and experience all rolled up into a tight little California roll.  Get them chopsticks and dig in…because something tells me the last half is going to go faster than the first half.  It’s the way of things.

During this week in August I did some heavy mileage because of the Century.  As I said earlier that recap is coming.  I was able to get  120.17 miles with 4008.84 miles gratefully remaining.  I went out for a walk today and Fall is slowly making it’s way to Winter.  There was a slight breeze in the air; leaves were dancing on the air as I took this 52 year old body out for a walk.  52 isn’t bad ~ I’ve lived 21 years longer than my mother did.  Guess I would say it’s pretty damn awesome.  Be well, be happy and celebrate the lines and the changes.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

Century Ride Prep…So, This Is Happening…

Tomorrow will be my second Century ride and needless to say it doesn’t really matter if I’m ready or not…it’s happening.  I’m a bit exhausted, but I feel ready.  I went to pick up my packet at The Bike Lane on Thursday and it had all of the standards ~ complimentary garments (socks) a wristband instead of a number (interesting) and samples of Hammer™ electrolyte tabs (we’ll see).

You’ll notice that there are gloves and a helmet included.  That didn’t come with the packet, that was a needed impulse buy.  Now I’m off to prep my bike and pick up some last minute items.  Happy Miles to You!!

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 8 – 14 July…Every Day is a Winding Road

Happy Sunday my friends!  As my Century ride approaches ~ I am keeping the faith and moving forward with training.  I normally train by myself, but every now and again I have a riding buddy join me.  I have found that when my buddy joins me, those hills seem to be easier to climb.  I’ve thought about this a lot and my prognosis is that neither one of you wants to show the other you can’t make it up the hill, so a buddy makes it easier!  Ha!  It has to be it.  So maybe training with a partner is the best option.  It leaves the mind clear or at least that is my take on the situation.

I continue to gain a little bit of mileage every day ~ when I can.  Sometimes life just gets in the way but every week I keep chipping away and I just love to see that Total Miles Completed number go up and up.  It’s exciting!

I went out to Prince William Forest Park for my long ride this weekend.  My goal was to do three loops and three series of hills without freaking out or stopping.  Not really focusing on too much distance, but the quality of the ride.  There you go ~ quality not quantity.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.  I went for three laps starting at a point closer to the entrance of the loop.  Not quite the 10 mile loop but just focusing on the hills.  I did three laps and made it up all hills for a total of 9.  Felt good and I’m ready for next weeks long ride.  I was able to get some running miles in too.  The weather hear has fluctuated a bit from hot and humid to warm and an nice breeze.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Climbing those hills was a bit easier this weekend.  I just concentrated on my breathing and taking my time.  I didn’t stress or worry.  Seems to be a winning combo when I can do it right.  Feeling powerful….  Hope this post finds you in a good way this Sunday.  I have completed 6876.27 miles with 4438.73 gratefully remaining.  Life is good.  Life is beautiful.  Life is what you make it and how you see it.  Happy Miles to You!!

“life’s like an hourglass glued to the table…just breathe”

 

 

 

 

 

Mileage Recap ~ 27 May – 2 June…The Daily Grind

Happy June!  The year is going way too fast.  I can’t believe it’s already June.  As I write this blog it seems like I have been here so many times before over the years.  The miles are slowly lessening as the years pass by.  The changing of the seasons and I keep moving forward.

I have been using my new Vivoactive for about a week now and I really like the way it handles.  It does a lot of what the old one did, but easier to activate etc.  More streamlined.

The exciting news this week is I have formally registered for the 2019-37th Annual RBC (Reston Bike Club) Century on 25 August.  Interesting that this is being held in a extremely hot and humid month instead of October.  Hmmm…I guess that will add to the challenge.  I have begun training with my longest ride being 60 miles.  As I mentioned in my last post I have moved away from training on the W&OD trail to Prince William Park.  Less people and more of a challenge.  I will continue to update on my training progress.

I have been trying to do a little something something every day.  Miles that is and I’m on a three day run.  Let’s see how long I can keep it going.  It’s warm now so rain or shine I should be able to get out and buy some asphalt.

Some pics from the week:

Greasy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s long ride was out on the Mt. Vernon trail and came to 19.97 – lol.  Just couldn’t stand to go an extra .03.  Hey it’s where the trail ended and the watch went “click”.  Like I said before, let it go.  Clock it, log it, move on.  Rolling in some old miles earned on April 7th came to 4.81.

Today I went back out to Mt. Vernon Trail and laid down 6.03 walking miles.  The body is feeling good and my faith is exceptional.  I was able to complete 38.43 for the week with 4722.98 miles gratefully remaining.  Today on my walk, the trees are all filled in with the many spectrum of greens, the air weighed heavy with humidity and there was a slight breeze blowing.  My soul is at ease and I hope yours is too…Happy Miles to You!!  This brought me peace today as I was walking.  Such a beautiful song:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ride Recap of El Tour De Tucson ~ I Did It!

You know you’ve been away from blogging when the virtual snow has appeared on Word Press.  I will admit it’s kind of a nice feature.  I took some much needed time away from thinking about blogging, but I’m back.  Merry Christmas!

There are a lot of emotions and angst about my latest endeavor.  First, I will start with a recap.  Forgive me for repeating myself to those who follow this blog.  This blog came about and is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Karen Ellen Dennis Mastromonico who died at a young age when I was only eight and my brother was three.  I started it as a way to honor her, my health and the beauty of life that can be taken so quickly.  It is still and foremost dedicated to that purpose, but on most occasions I dedicate an event, i.e run, race or ride to an individual(s) who may be struggling with health issues of their own.  I have raised money for cancer and MS and many other of life’s struggles while participating in various events over the years.  Participating in the El Tour de Tucson supported the Easter Seals and is considered the United States largest perimeter ride at 106 miles.

This past summer I had reconnected with some high school friends and we decided to take a girls road trip from Colorado to Arizona and had a great time.  Shortly after the trip was over, I received an email from my friend Jen (one of the high school friends I travelled with) about her husband Tim.  He was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer.  So, of course I dedicated this ride to Tim and his recovery.  The power of physical prayer is what I like to call it when I participate in these events.  I am sad to say that Tim lost his battle with cancer this month.  He was a young man taken too quickly and too soon.  In her last email what resonated with me the most is we still had stuff to do.  Every time I sat down to write about something that was a triumph all I could think about was Jen’s loss of Tim.  It was a hard thing to swallow.  I feel so badly for Jen and her family.  It happened so quick.  It is mind numbing that just six months ago I was having a drink with Jen and Tim in their home.  Life indeed is unpredictable and short.

This was the first ride I participated in, ever.  I guess for most people who cycle, there is some building up to this massive event.  You know, shorter rides (just like runs) before you go all out.  But….no I decided to go big, first time.  That’s pretty much how I roll…a lot.  For better or worse, that’s how it is.

I took the Friday off before the race from work, so I could take my time getting ready and attend the Expo in Tucson, AZ.  I found the Civic Center, where the Expo was held with no problem, but I will say it was a little stoic walking inside and looking at the different booths.  Please fellow cyclists don’t get offended, but the cycling crowd and the running crowd are very different.  The cycling crowd seems to be a lot calmer, whilst the running crowd ~ loud and proud and a little rowdy.  Very interesting.  I picked up the packet and walked around waiting for a “required safety” briefing that never happened.  As I sat in the front row, waiting for the briefing, there was this older gentleman passing out maps of the event.  He starts talking to me and asks what event I’m participating.  I tell him the century, as a matter of fact, and he looks at me and says….are you physically capable?  At first I was like, you have to be kidding me.  That Scorpio mindset was about to blow.  Then I composed myself and just said yes, the century.  He looked at me and smiled and said good.  Humph!  I took my map and sat for a couple more minutes until an announcement was made the briefing was going to be delayed due to the interview with a cycling pro that showed up.  I ended up walking around and stopped at a vendor selling pickle juice.  I didn’t know that pickle juice helps with cramps.  I tried a sample and it was great!  So I bought a six pack.  I love pickles anyway so this was good!  There were vendors selling all sorts of stuff.  I bought some arm warmers and decided to call it a day.

pickle-juiceexpo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I made reservations for a hotel advertised on the ride site.  I thought this would be easier since I’ve never been to Tucson.  One thing is for sure, when I go somewhere new I don’t like to get too crazy.  Or to put it lightly something fairly easy to access and easy to get to the event.  This hotel was an Indian run casino, so cray it was and easy it wasn’t.  It was about 13 miles out of town.  So, I was overcompensating getting up and getting to the event on time.  I was on edge and didn’t get any rest.  I brought my bike into the hotel because, no way was I going to leave it in the car at a casino parking garage.

in-the-hotelIn order to make the 6 o’clock start time I left the hotel around 4:45.  Kept the French fries and fruit from the night before as an early breakfast, along with some pickle juice.  Hmmm…tasty.

Just like in a marathon, there are corrals for the ride.  The fast people up front and slow people in the back.  I was surprised when I arrived at downtown Tucson, I was able to find a parking spot fairly close to the start line and there were so many people around I just followed everyone else to find my way to the start.

When I arrived at the starting line there was a gate that housed all of the faster riders.  Their bikes were upside down like they had slept there the night before.  Then there was everyone else.  I found my way to the back.  I didn’t want to take any chances being “trampled” by the herd.  It was cold.  As with most of these events it’s always hard for me to gauge how much clothing to wear.  It was cold, but not crazy cold.  I bought a “throw away” shirt to wear that I ended up not having to bring, which I was glad because I thought it was too nice to ditch!  So I found my spot and waited for the ride to begin.  There were photographers walking about taking pictures and people moving around deciding whether or not to “move up” or go back. Last minute checking of gear and the bike to make sure everything was in check.

Then the gun went off and it was time to ride!  Similar to a large run, the caterpillar effect was in full force.  My left foot was clipped in as I guided with my right just moving myself along.  We did this for about a quarter of a mile then the flow started to even out.  I was a little put out because I forgot my cellphone in the car, so unfortunately I didn’t get to take any pictures during the ride.

As I have said in previous posts the first 50 miles isn’t a problem.  It’s the last 50.  The ride started out good, I was pumped and was moving along nicely.  I trained for this moment.  I road close to 80 miles and this was going to be fine.  I was going to be fine.  About 30 minutes into the race the wind started blowing… hard.  When I say hard I don’t mean a strong wind, I mean almost knock you off your bike gusts.  It was really unbelievable.  This type of wind went on for 4 hours straight.  It really slowed down my normal pace and of course caused more fatigue early in the ride.  The route contained two washes that needed to be crossed on foot.  Now washes in Arizona are there for the rain.  When it rains in the desert, it happens forcefully and fast.  Those rocky washes can look like raging rivers in 30 minuets flat.  Normally they aren’t very large width wise.  This wasn’t the case for the first wash I had to cross.  Of course it wasn’t.  It was a quarter mile of sandy rock.  This is why I wish I had the phone.  Just imagine 9,000 people, that’s right there were 9,000 riders, crossing a wash, carrying their bikes.  You surely can’t ride it across.  Not a road bike.  So carry it you must.  It was grueling.   I began to have flashbacks of Army road marches.  Yet strangely, there is a solace when you are doing it with people who think like you in the same situation.  There was a Mariachi band that made the crossing…less of a task.  As much as I liked that part, it was a bit of a time waster.  More of that later.  Stopped for a porta potty break took a gel and headed back out.

There were rest stops about every 10 to 12 miles.  In the beginning I stopped when I felt I needed too.  I didn’t want to stop too much because what should have been a 5 minute stop turned into a 15 minute stop because of the amount of people using the facilities and the chit chat.  I felt comfortable knowing there would be a place to go to the bathroom and not some rattlesnake infested ditch.  Around mile 30 I found myself riding with another woman named “Sally”.  It’s interesting when you are doing an event like this how you just kind of come together as what I like to call “necessary friends”.  We just started talking and decided to stick together and offer each other support.  Sally was from Tucson and she had just completed another century two weeks before.  I took this as a positive sign and listened to what she had to say.  She mentioned the “wind” wasn’t normal…of course not and the big thing about the century is finishing on time.  I kept hearing this over and over from different people, but I had done the work and the calculations and 10 hours should be more than enough time.  Every time I looked at Sally I just wanted to sing…”ride, Sally ride”…I know, I can’t help it sometimes.  After about an hour of riding with Sally, I began to notice that Sally was kind of dragging me down.  One thing I learned around mile 40, and this is going to sound like an episode from the Walking Dead, sometimes you gotta smile, and leave them behind.  That’s right…cut bait, move on, see ya!  I had to leave Sally behind, at the rate she was going, I would never make time.  I know it sounds brutal, but I had to do it.  I wished her well and was on my way.

Around mile 48 is when my first real test happened.  It’s always a slow motion realization, that something big is about to happen.  You’re not really sure, but you know it’s not going to be good.  I turn a corner and there was the biggest hill I have yet to climb.  I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do it.  Not that I didn’t want to attack the hill and try, I knew that physically, at this point in my training, I couldn’t do this without stopping.  I unclipped my right foot because I knew I would have to stop and I didn’t want to fall on the pavement because I couldn’t unclip fast enough.  I just put my head down and a part of me deep inside just said do what you can.  I made it half the way up before I had to fully stop and walk the rest of the way up.  I felt like I was going to throw up and I was breathing so heavy at the top.  I was at mile 50 and I felt like crap and I was seriously beginning to wonder if I was going to finish this ride.  Seriously.  I was stopped on the side of the road checking out what I thought was a loose clip on my shoe when one of the maintenance team stopped and asked if I needed assistance.  It was around 12:30 pm.  I said no, just checking my equipment.  He looked at me and said you are 45 minutes behind schedule, do you want to finish the ride?  I was like who the hell is this guy.  I looked at him square in the eye and said are you kidding I’m going to ride until they have to pick my ass up!  He gave me a wink and said good to hear, and drove off.  I get back on the bike and continue, then out of nowhere I hear this voice behind me in a strong Spanish accent say, “you can do this, what is your name”?  I turn and there is this sweet young Mexican woman in all white on an all white bike!  Her name was Brenda.  Brenda hung with me for 20 miles.  All the way saying my name in that accent!  It was so cute!  She would say. “Lawwwrel we are strong women, we can do this”!  After a while Brenda had to leave me behind too around mile 70.  Hey, I totally respected that I was now the one, slowing her down.  At this point I was feeling good.

A very strong piece of advice ~ those that are in the lead don’t necessarily know where they are going.  How can you be on a route with 9,000 other people and find yourself alone.  That’s just what happened around mile 80.  I do have some criticisms of the ride.  One, the turns were NOT well marked.   I found myself pretty much alone at one point.  I mean really, how does that happen!?  About a half mile ahead of me I did see two riders and so I just followed.  I am a former Army officer.  I have read maps.  One was given to me.  Did I read it? Heck no, didn’t even know where it was.  So, I just followed the people it front.  I’m pedaling away and I see this guy in a truck following me.  He’s trying to say something out his window..and you know how you shake your head trying to be nice but you don’t even know what this guy is saying.  So I smile and keep on riding.  Then he comes up to me again and this time I hear him ~ “you’re going the wrong way”!  OMG, you have to be kidding, 20 minutes of wasted time.  I begin to panic, because I was trying so hard to make up the time I had fell behind.  This unfortunately was a critical mistake.  I turn around find the right path and continue.  REMEMBER, trust your own instincts…lesson learned.

Around mile 95 my left toes started to go numb and hurt badly.  To the point I almost was in tears.  I started to laugh to myself because I thought surely if anything was going to hurt it would be my back or my thighs.  The pain must have shown on my face because again out of nowhere there was this young man riding next to me.  His left arm had tattoos that formed a sleeve, he looked at me and said, “the pain is worth it” and rode off.  I can remember saying a silent prayer asking to just take the pain away, and like that it was gone for the rest of the ride.  I saw the same man at three other stops and he would just look at me and say the same thing, the pain is worth it, nothing else.  At about mile 101 I didn’t see him again.

The next five miles were filled with angst and anticipation.  I was desperately trying to finish under or at the 10 hour mark and I was drinking water at a crazy pace.  The sun was setting and I was pedaling as hard as I could.  So hard, a couple people took notice and commented on my ending strong.  In the end I finished in 10:02.  Two minutes shy of the 10 hour time limit.  I was pleased with myself that 1) I finished and 2) I cut my 45 minute deficit down to 2 minutes.  I was a little put out I didn’t get a finisher medal.  I was hard to walk through the crowd and see that I just wasn’t good enough that day.  I was also proud that I had no mechanical difficulty with my bike.  I chalk that up to good maintenance on my part.  There were a lot of people who had blow outs or chains off early on, so for that I am grateful.

To put this in perspective, the man who won the race finished in 4 hours.  Can you even wrap your brain around that?  The first woman 4-1/2 hours, just amazing.

I can’t tell you enough how endurance races/rides are beneficial for the soul.  It’s at events like these one has to use all of their mind/body/spirit to move on, over come and succeed, just like in daily life.  106 miles ~ I’m truly grateful.

My only picture!  The funny thing was my number is my birth year! It was a coincidence.

My only picture! The funny thing was my number is my birth year! It was a coincidence.

Over all I enjoyed the race and I’m ready for another.  It was challenging and fun.  I would have liked to see more snacks at the stops, especially if you are advertising that is the case.  I think a lot of people gauge how much food they will carry.  And the route needed to be marked a little better.  I later learned that the promoters were pulling up signs early.

So far I have completed 4,211.73 with 7,103.27 remaining.  I look forward to completing each mile with gratitude, love and a smile on my face.  Happy Miles to You!

 

Mileage Recap ~ Week 10 Century Training

I have finally completed the last full week of training for my Century Ride.  I was especially happy to begin the taper week!  There really is nothing like knowing that you can take it a little easier.  At least that’s my opinion, just sayin’.  It gives me a chance to enjoy the journey and get ready for next week’s race.  I’m beginning to focus on what I need to take, my nutrition (staying hydrated and keeping the body limber), the logistics of everything (traveling with the bike on my rack) what to do with my bike when I get to the hotel and how far the start line is from the hotel etc.  I’m not sure what I will be doing with my bike while I’m at the hotel.  I definitely need to call.  I’m sure they won’t let me take it to my room….

I plan to blog about my El Tour de Tucson Century Ride step by step, in hopes that others wanting to give a Century a whirl can learn from my successes and hopefully not to many pitfalls.   This last week will be about prep, a couple of short rides then the big event.

It’s amazing how better equipped my body is to handle the distance and hills.  Climbs that I didn’t look forward too before, I can now accomplish with ease.  There was less physical effort needed and I still maintained my same average speed, which is interesting to me.  I really tried to slow down and just complete the mileage but found my speed didn’t go down from last weeks long ride. I think my main concern will be to pace myself during the full race.

Overall I feel good.  My knees and lower right back are hurting a bit and I am a little tired.  I’ve been concentrating on hydration and good nutrition and feel I will be good shape come race day.  I’m going to do a little yoga every day to keep the body open and the hips less tight.  Yoga is so good for you and really makes a difference in overall body health.  I’m partial as a yogi!

Nothing too crazy this week or anything special to note.  National douche bag alert was at a medium level.  It’s garage sale season here in Phoenix, with the cooler weather, and people are driving crazy to find their second hand treasures.

Had two shorter rides during my busy week and then the long ride on Saturday.  Packed my gels and decided to bring a brownie flavored Cliff Bar®.  I was at one of my stops and I was watching a video message from my friend who is working in Germany, love technology, and as I opened the package the bar went flying to the ground.  You know how something happens and you’re in disbelief and just staring.  I looked at the bar on the ground just pondering my next step.  I know what my next step is…pick it up and eat the damn thing.  As I was picking the bar up I turn and see this little kid and his family looking at me as I stuff the bar in my mouth… and I smile.  Yep, leading by example.  Buck up kiddo, this thing cost about $2.50 and I have 20 more miles to go.

What doesn't kill you makes you stronger.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

week-10

This weeks mileage

Happy that this is my last week!

Happy that this is my last week!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Completed 60.71 miles this week. Looking forward to getting this challenge complete!  There are 7241.92 miles gratefully remaining.  Happy Miles to You!