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Tuesday, July 14, 2009

7/14/09

Distance: 14.229 mi
Time: 1:07:33
Avg. Speed: 12.7 mph
Max. Speed: 20.7 mph
Calories: 527.6

Monday, July 13, 2009

Plans

I have some bike rides planned through October. I had seen something about the Ride the Rivers century ride, which looks to be cool and isn't far from me. I thought a century would be a neat accomplishment and something to keep working towards. Waiting til October gives me more time to prepare for it, but it also gives me plenty of time to backslide. Knowing myself, I know that I need closer goals to work towards as well. So...

August 22 I'm riding 60 miles.

Sept. 26 I think I'm doing this 75 mile ride.

That should put me in good shape to ride 100 miles on October 11. I hope.

I think I've managed to drag one friend into the 60 mile ride, and I'm working on several for the century. The cool thing, though, is that I'm meeting new people, too, as I do different rides. I'm loving this cycling thing. :)

7/13/09

I got up this morning at 5:10 to ride my bike. Daniel spent the night at a friend's house, and Nathan had volleyball camp at 8:30, so my babysitters were gone during my normal bike ride time. If I didn't get up and ride before Nathan left, I wouldn't have been able to. Also, I figured it was good practice for when school starts again.

I am not good at getting up, but I had an online friend who was also getting up, so I felt like I was accountable to someone...even if the someone is 4 hours away. It was pretty dark at 5:10, but by 5:30 it was light enough to ride. Boy, was it chilly!! I tried pushing myself some after warming up, attempting to ride for 5-minute increments at or about 16 mph. The first increment, I held out for 4 minutes. The second one I managed 3 minutes. I felt, for the most part, like I was riding in jello. Maybe I was pushing too hard after pushing myself so hard on Saturday.

My stats for the ride most certainly weren't very important...but I saw a fox on the bike trail!! Not 1.5 miles from my house, basically in the center of town. Very cool!

Distance: 17.025
Avg. speed: 12.3 mph
Max. speed: 21.2
Time: 1:22:52
Calories: 619.9

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Minor revelation

Nothing earth-shattering, for sure, but when I was sitting in church today I did have a minor revelation about something.

Back in January, in the midst of a not-so-pleasant conversation, Jeff asked me if I was happy.

"(sniff, sob)...sometimes," I answered.

He asked me what would make me happy, and sadly, I didn't even know. I told him how I never really had an opportunity to find my "thing". I've been raising kids since I was 19. I'm not complaining--my kids are blessings and my own doing, for sure--but I've been parenting and working and going to school and married to first one man and then another. I've always done whatever it is that my husband wants to do. With Jeff, we do a lot of camping, we watch a lot of movies, and we go to sporting events. And I love those things. But they're none of them "my" things. I didn't even know what I'd want to do if given the opportunity.

Well, in church today I realized (kind of out of nowhere, because it had nothing to do with the message...except I guess just in looking at what God has done in my life over the past 6 months) that biking has become that "thing". I wasn't looking for it to or planning for that, but it has taken that place.

Of course, that leads to some reconfiguration in our lives. It has been a real adjustment for Jeff that I have something apart from "us" to do. I've tried to interest him in cycling, but he couldn't be much less interested in either participating himself or just being involved in what I'm doing there. I guess he's accustomed to me being available (for the most part) for whatever, and now I have other plans. He's been fairly supportive (understanding that I needed to be riding to train for the Katy Trail ride), but sometimes I wonder if that's wearing thin for him as he realizes that it wasn't just a one-time ride but is, instead, more of a lifestyle change.

It's going to be interesting for me to balance this new love with still making my husband feel secure and loved and still fulfilling my role in our family. I'm not quite sure how that'll work out. And I hope, additionally, that he can find (or return to) something of his own so it doesn't seem so one-sided to him.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Tour de Donut

Well...what an experience. Today dawned cloudy and slighly ominous. I actually got to Staunton pretty early, and Daniel and I checked in and got our t-shirts and everything. There was a huge pack of riders...1,120 showed up to ride today, trusting that the weather would be good to us.



In front of us...


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Behind us...


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As we stood in our place in the pack of riders, it started to rain. Of course, it was windy and chilly, too. Trying to think positive, I said, "Well, it could be worse."



Daniel looked at me like I was crazy and said, "What are you DOing??? Do you WANT it to rain harder??"

And then it did.

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It POURED on us. Big, fat, hard raindrops. All you could do was laugh...and shiver. We were soaked. The worst part was waiting in the rain for the start. We were there for about 40 minutes before they started us off. Once we were riding, I didn't feel cold anymore, though I still needed sunglasses to keep the rain from pelting my face.

I've never ridden with so many people before, so that was a little scary, especially combined with the wet roads. Daniel stayed ahead of me for the first 10 miles, and I was starting to wonder if I was going to get my butt kicked by a kid who's only ridden his bike twice this summer.


One thing I hadn't really expected was HILLS. There were sooo many hills on the course! My legs definitely got a good workout today! I am usually a big chicken going downhill (just ask Jeff about riding bikes at Meramec State Park!), but today I needed the momentum just to get up the next hill. At one point, my bike spedometer showed I was going 29.9 mph. I had to just hold my breath and pray.

I saw Daniel at the first donut stop (Prairietown...about 10 miles in). I believe he ate 6 donuts there. I limited myself to 3. I left that stop before he did, and I didn't see him again until he crossed the finish line.

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The first 10 miles were quite an experience, what with all the other riders, the rain, and the hills. I was asking myself, "Why am I doing this?" After that first stop, though, it got easier. The second stop was in Wordon. I ate 3 more donuts, which made the 6 I had planned to eat; then I ate one more for good measure.

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The end of the ride was really neat. There were people standing on the sides of the roads clapping and cheering for us. It was a nice boost there during the last 2 miles. In the end, I crossed the finish line after 2:02 hours of riding...and 2:16 including the time at the donut stops.

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I averaged 14.1 mph over the 32 miles, which is my best average speed yet. I was really surprised by that because of all the hills and the wind. Even with my best effort yet, I was number 453 to cross the finish line, barely in the top 50%. But still there. :) Daniel and I are both strategizing about how to do better next year!

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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bike log 7/9/09

Today Daniel and I took a ride in preparation for Saturday's Tour de Donut. In case I haven't posted this yet (I think I only did on facebook, so I apologize if I already put it here), here's a video that gives you a hint of what we're in for...




We're doing this ride together because he was annoyed that I wasn't taking him with me on the Katy Trail (and never will...it was too lovely to only be responsible for myself!), so I offered to do this ride with him instead. Unfortunately, he hasn't been too motivated to train. He did manage to drag himself out with me today, though, and it was a nice ride.

It's nice to ride with someone else again. I'm once again getting accustomed to the solo rides, but company makes it more enjoyeable. We actually got a chance to talk, something that can be in short supply with the busy schedules of teenagers. And having a partner makes it easier to ride faster...and to be dragged back as well. He was definitely struggling by the end of the ride, but he hung in there. He wasn't at all happy with me because I told him that we were going to ride a 22-mile loop, but it was actually 26 miles of riding (time to and from the loop)...I had told him that before, but it didn't really register.

Distance: 26.541 mi
Time: 2:02:18
Avg. Speed: 13.0 mph
Max. Speed: 20.1 mph
Calories: 1038.7

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Bike log 7/7/09

Back on the bike after mud volleyball weekend. I was a little worried how I'd do because I somehow tweaked my bad knee in the mud, and after Monday's league volleyball game I couldn't straighten it. Not good going into Saturday's ride. It was OK, though. I woke up with my knee feeling better, and the lesser range of motion didn't affect my pedaling.

Distance: 17.044 mi
Avg. speed: 13.8 mph (I think that's a new best!)
Max. speed: 21.7 mph
Time: 1:14:25
Calories: 666.1

I've decided that I am, indeed, going to do the Ride the Rivers century in October. I'm excited. Now to work up a training plan. I've googled and come up with one resource that I'm going to combine with a book I bought a couple of months ago (Bicycling Magazine's Century Training Program: 100 Days to 100 miles, by Marla Streb. The book has all kinds of information, but seems a little thin on specific DO THIS training info.). This is definitely a challenge I need to work up to, but I have a few months to go. I'm busily trying to drag every cyclist I know into doing it as well!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Bike log 7/2/09

I did not want to ride my bike today. The first thing I thought this morning was how little motivation I had. But...Jacob had vacation Bible school for 4 hours, and I hate to "waste" that time apart by not doing something out of the house. After some hemming and hawing, I went.

Every time I do this (drag my complaining self out of the house to ride), I'm glad. Once I got on the trails and started pedaling, it felt great. Of course, it helps that today was a beautiful day--gorgeous!!--but it just felt good to be outside and riding.

Distance: 16.08 miles
Time: 1:14:04
Avg. speed: 13 mph (an increase...would have been more if I hadn't spent some time texting while I rode...also, the last portion of the ride home always kicks my butt)
Max. speed: 24.1 mph (after a hill, but I kept it up for a while :D)
Calories: 625

Once again, I felt pretty good on the hills. I felt pretty strong overall today. And, while the scale doesn't show it, I think my body has definitely tightened up. I won't be modelling swimsuits any time soon, but wearing one won't be as painful.

Bike log 7/1/09

Distance: 24.135
Max. speed: 21.4 mph
Avg. speed: 12.3 mph
Time: 1:58:02
Calories: 855

Notes: Went 15 miles out on bike trails, rode home along the road. Lots of hills on the way back. I'm getting a little bored with same old bike trails, so this was a nice change. Well, maybe "challenging" is a better word than "nice". I was so close to getting off and walking up the first hill, but I did better on the remaining ones.

I'm dragging a little this week. I'm missing having company on my rides, and I'm kind of goal-oriented with the donut race and the century coming up. After the donut race, I'm going back to just riding because I enjoy it. I think my focus on getting faster (which, frankly, isn't happening) is taking away some of my enjoyment of just being out and doing it.