Monday Motivation….Dangle That Carrot!!

Different things motivate me from time to time.  A week ago I get this text and I don’t recognize the number.  Those are always fun.  After reading for a bit I realized it was from the owner of my yoga studio I attend.  She mentioned I had taken 31 yoga classes this year and asked if I could make to 50 classes by the end of December.  If I did, I would get a free gift.  Hmmm.  She didn’t tell me what it was, but I was already texting ~ heck yes!  Mostly, because it’s cold now and cycling is going to move to a crawl…and hey, I love yoga.  If you haven’t tried yoga, you should.  Not just saying that because I have my certification.  It really is great for the body.  It has helped me get through many pains and injuries.

I’m up to 32 classes and I’m taking another one tonight 🙂  I feel I will be able to make the 50 class challenge.  Stay tuned.  The motivation is strong with this one!

Happy Miles to You!

 

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…

 

 

Life Is Good and I Am Grateful

Hello friends, as they say it’s been a while.  Yesterday, I turned another year older.  I am 52.  I have been busy gathering up those miles and now I need to calculate them up and tell you all of the delicious adventures and stories.  There are many.

It’s starting to get cold here in NOVA and cycling will definitely slow down a bit, but I’m still running with the baton.  Stand by….

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 ~ 3 – 9 Jun…I Fear

Hello and Happy Sunday.  You know what that means ~ another blog update!  So, lets all take a deep breath in and let out a collective sigh, that this is happening ya’ll.

Fear comes in many different forms depending on the situation involved.  That’s a really big news flash for you and it doesn’t take a Psychiatrist to charge you a $100.00/hr. to figure that one out.

The fear of a test, water, bugs, planes, crowds or dangerous events…the list is vast.

Merriam Webster defines fear as  “anxiety and usually loss of courage. fear of the unknown dread usually adds the idea of intense reluctance to face or meet a person or situation and suggests aversion as well as anxiety.”

Ooh, the loss of courage.  That just sounds bad, but alas, tis true.  The loss of strength and courage to complete or face a task.  Damn…that sounds real bad.

Fear can have a positive effect such as fleeing a burning building.  But for many, fear causes anxiety and plays on our inability to understand unknown events.  Therefore, we fear unnecessarily before the outcome is really understood or known.

What yellow brick road am I taking you down this time you ask ~ hills of course.  You know those beautiful tree lined things in the forest or whatever rural area you’d like to wrap your head around tonight.

I fear hills.  Or better ~ I fear my inability to get up the hills.  Or better yet ~ I fear my inability to get up the hills and fall.  There…now we get to the crux of the situation.  The final outcome has three possibilities 1) I get up the hill, 2) I’m able to unclip in time and walk up the hill, 3) I am convinced I am Wonder Woman and therefore find out otherwise and fall on the hill.

This weeks training ride was to be around 40 miles.  I drove out to Prince William Park early Saturday morning, the weather was great and I was in the mood to ride.  I could tell in the first 10 miles this wasn’t going to be an easy ride.  I was a little winded and frankly a little tired this week.  Then it became mental and fear set in or should I say anxiety.  When I reached mile marker 7 I actually started feeling a sense of dread, because I knew what was coming at mile 8.  This was fear, I was already thinking in my mind that I wasn’t going to be able to climb three consecutive hills for two miles, much less do it three more times.  Even though I had done it the previous week.  I had no idea what the outcome would be, but I was already thinking the worst.  I was thinking about unclipping, I had the fear that I was going to fall.  Riders know the pain from that one.  If you’ve never clipped into pedals on a bike, it’s a sobering experience.  Everybody falls.  That is the mantra.  But….it’s scary.  Trying to unclip when the shit hits the fan…is well scary.  Must I say it again?  Yes…it’s tres mui.  And falling…hurts.  I have had anxiety of falling since, well, my last fall.

I pass the 8 mile marker and immediately I’m in a dark zone of anxiety.  I round this corner after descending feeling all soulful, then the bike Gods thunder ~ “God giveth…and he taketh away”!  Oh yeah, he took it away ~ that feeling of riding down a hill, green trees lining the street, wind in your face, creek on the side of the road and the beware of bears sign….yeah good times.  I round that corner and it hits you in the face.  It doesn’t even kiss you first.  It’s just like…let’s get to the good stuff.  This was the first one.  Let’s call it, baby.  I manage to make it up this one, heart pounding out of my chest.  My eyes look like that kid from the Little Rascals.   I’m even practicing getting out of my seat.  I make it up, but there is no smile on my face.  Then there is a teaser hill to follow.  No one likes a tease.  You descend a bit then there is a little climb…then Papa hill is right around the corner waiting for you.  Kind of like when you were a kid and acted up at school, you knew that Papa would be waiting at the door with the belt to give your ass another go when you got home for slapping another kid at school.  Southerners will know exactly what I’m taking about.  Well, lets just say ~ my ass got beaten in a major way.  Halfway up the hill I was done.  I wasn’t even going to try it, because I was so afraid of falling.  Even unclipping was hard (especially if you try to do it ascending) and I began to panic a bit.  I unclipped and did the walk of shame up the hill.  I was mentally done for the day.  I then made the plan to just ride back and forth and avoid the major hills.  Wasn’t even gonna try the Momma hill.  No.

The only way to get around this can be with more practice and mental clarity.  I love the mental challenge that cycling gives me, but as you can see I have a long way to go.  Challenge accepted 🙂  It’s just one of those things I’m going to have to get past.  Focusing and being present would have helped too.  My mind was too busy concentrating on something that didn’t even happen or may not have happened.  The fall.  This can happen in every day life.  Wasting so much energy on the unknown.  Courage in all ways….

Ok, squirrel moment ~ what happened to the spell check on WordPress, anyone know?

Back…I have continued to gain miles for 9 straight days.  I had 60.20 miles for the week with my long ride coming to 22.87.  I have 4662.78 miles waiting for me to grow a backbone.  A few pics from the week:

Because sweaty selfies are so good….

You didn’t think I wouldn’t post trees?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This week’s song is by the Toadies.  Awesome and describes this week perfectly….

“When I’am away….come on in, yeah”

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: