Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Blow Out The Candles and Raise the Bar

I don't celebrate milestones with a lot of fanfare. I generally start out determining my goals for the next year some time around November. Then it's a matter of revising and refining until I get where I need to be. The milestones are in there somewhere.

This year, as I'm getting ready for the Hotter 'n Hell 100, I felt that a good goal would be riding 50 mile bike rides by my birthday. My birthday was Saturday and I thought that 50 miles for 50 years would make me feel like I was on the right track.

Unfortunately, the weather was not cooperating with the time-line and so I kept missing the cut. Saturday I had to cut out at 17 miles. Sunday - don't even go there lol. Monday was another 17 miles and the first time I got caught out in the rain. I headed back to the car in a panic, thinking about rusting derailleur cables. I finished Monday with an hour on the elliptical.

Today - no chance of rain, no excuses. I still don't have the battery for my bike's computer but I know my turn-around point on the Blackstone River Bikeway is 8.5 miles and so I just wore my heart rate monitor and logged 3 separate sessions, pausing at the half-way point in order to get an accurate assessment of my fitness level.

The first go-round was a high cadence spinner to warm up the legs. The second time out, I used a higher gear on the flats (read: 98% of the path) with about a 65-70 RPM as a strength session. The final out and back put me in new mileage territory this year so I put in one of those coast-and-cruise efforts in order to back off some of the pressure on my knees.

I noticed that while it was quite congested over the weekend on the paths, it was practically desolate today. Perhaps the warmer weather is keeping people indoors? I know I spent a little extra time at my car cooling off with towels dipped in the melted ice from my cooler. It's usually much more crowded, even during the week. Today was much easier going than Monday's crowd that was combined with a surprise Box Turtle Slaloms course. Some of those puppies could send a clueless cyclist like me into an endo.

Nutrition-wise, the three breaks at the car were split between one yogurt and 2 Mojo bars and the turn-arounds were 2 Chomps each except for the last break which was a GU Rocktane. After the ride, I had a coconut water and when I got home, a fresh kiwi fruit. I didn't seem to suffer any ill effects during or after the ride.

So, at least I made it before June. 50 years and 51 miles.

It's nifty at 50. Now, I'm half way home.


  1. Your birthday was Saturday?? Mine too! Happy birthday!

  2. Thanks Ben and right back atcha! It's pretty cool to have a birthday that usually falls on a long weekend, huh?

  3. Happy birthday!

    We had a 21 mile group ride that day--and then had a picnic afterwards. Did the routine 12 mile ride later that day, but since we had a new rider with us, the pace was "cool down".

    If it is any consolation, we are way behind on our base miles also. Christine has lowered her sights to the 100K at HHH but I am still shooting for 100.