Saturday, July 31, 2010

Training Ride - Saturday, 31 July

Well, folks, you might have noticed another week of total silence (except for the update about last week's GTR). And, you might have thought to yourself "Megan's slacking off again." And, you would be right. I didn't ride this week after the GTR in Peachtree City, but I did do 2+ hours of yard work on Sunday, and I have run/walked/hiked between 2 and 4 miles every day this week. And my entire body is exhausted and tired. So, it was with all of this weighing on me that I joined the TEAM today for a 70-mile jaunt from Vinings past Six Flags and Douglasville.

It was a long, hot day.

My right knee (especially) is really sore -- I need to get my bike fitted. Fortunately, it's not really the knee so much as it is the tendon, which is why I'm pretty sure that it's just a fit issue. Also, notice I said we rode out of Vinings. My old nemesis from an epic fail of a recovery ride from a few weeks ago. I made it through all of those hills--TWICE. That's why my knee(s) hurt(s). (My left knee joint hurts, and has hurt, and I attribute that to the jogging/hiking).

I did not feel great today on the ride, though my speed was pretty good until we hit the hot hills toward the end. My stomach was upset at first, and my legs were tired and knees were achey (like flu achey) and then I was just hot and tired. Around mile 40 I decided that I hated the ride (but not to the point of quitting or cursing at the world, just wanted it to be over). As you can see, dear readers, I made it to the end, as I knew I would, and I'm proud of myself. I just need to be awesome this week before heading up north and be on the bike as much as I can. I think I will also ask Dad to bring his and Mom's bikes to the lake after all. Or, I'll find a gym and spin for an hour a day. I just need to ride.

Maximum speed: 35.4 mph
Average speed: 14.5 mph
Distance: 17.44 mi
Time: 4.54.16

Monday, July 26, 2010

YTD Mileage

Hi kids,

I feel the need to brag a little bit here. For the last several years, my seasonal goal has been to ride 1000 miles. I almost made it in 2008, when I was short by only about 80 miles (I'm still disappointed with myself, because I hardly rode after August that year, so there was no excuse, really, except laziness).

This year, however, I have made it, in no small part due to my training with TNT for the Wilson 100.

Since January (13 January, to be specific), I have ridden 1004.39 miles. Since 12 May (when I began training), I have ridden 786.76 miles. That's a lot of miles (especially when one considers that my commute is only 5 miles round-trip... at the longest).

I am thrilled to have finally reached that goal, and hope to double it (?!) this year. It shouldn't be too difficult, given the possible plan of riding a couple more centuries this fall, and the obvious need to train for them.

Training Ride - GTR Saturday, 24 July

Sorry for the silence, folks. I really did ride on Saturday, but I didn't have my computer with me and I didn't want to hijack M's for the purpose of posting here. I know you have been champing at the bit for an update, so here goes.

Saturday's ride was hot. Very hot. I mean hot. But, despite the very, very, intense, oppressive heat and humidity, the ride was basically awesome. I did drop my chain in the first 10 miles (that pissed me off, believe me) but, as we were in PTC, it wasn't too much of an issue because the ride was mostly rollers, with only a few rises. And, better still, it was a large portion of what we will be riding in one month. That's right, boys and girls, the Big Day is about one month away, on 29 August.

You may not realize it, but I am stoked. Saturday was awesome, yes it was hot and I was sweaty, but I felt GREAT afterward. I am considering riding another century (not with TNT) here in GA (there's one in September in Cartersville, which is where we trained last week, and it was amazing), and a couple of others in October and November. Pretty freaking sweet.

Anyway, I felt like a freaking champ-een after the ride on Saturday, except for a whanging headache that kicked in around 4:00p. I swear, I drink so much water on the ride (and before... and after...) I don't understand this dehydration thing. I will keep at it, and try to hydrate even MORE the day before the ride, but that's the best I can do.

Maximum speed: 33.3 mph
Average speed: 15.6 mph
Distance: 59.58 mi
Time: 3.48.15

I'm making damn good time on these rides (of course, this is riding time and doesn't include stopping time), and see no reason why I can't do this sucker real quick-like.

Yesterday (Sunday), I was supposed to do a recovery ride of about 30 miles. Instead, I went to Tucker to help L with her yard work -- it was easily in the mid-ninties by 11:00 when I got to her house, but we trooped on, being very conscientious about getting hydration breaks. Two and a half hours of hard, hot labor later, my legs were ready to give out, but we were done. So, I think that counts quite nicely as a recovery, as my legs were moving and working. I hate stairs.

I am looking forward to toodling around at the lake in a couple weeks. Even if it is hilly, it'll be a change in scenery and environment, and a proper vacation. w00t!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lack of Training - all week, folks

You, dear readers, might have noticed some relative silence on the UC blog this week (since Sunday, mostly). Due to a deadline (tonight, Thursday), and an oppressive lack of motivation this week, I did not get on the bike. I am in Cumming (after a panicky drive up to get help with SAS out of fear that I would, yet again, not have results for a deadline) and, while I have the bike, I in the car and hacking away on the computer when the ride out of here would have started last night.

I had hoped to make up the ride tonight, but that didn't happen, either. I did, however, pick a boatload of elderberries in preparation for the weekend so, in some regards, I was successful. I think that by getting both berries AND, more importantly, results and a proposal that my advisor said was well written (actually, "you are getting good at writing!" which Mrs. Short has always known: it's surprising what not being under the gun will do for one's fluency) I had a good week.

It doesn't mean that 60 miles on Saturday won't be killer, but maybe this was a good excuse? I still kind of hate myself for missing the ride, but if it weren't for self-loathing, would anything ever get done? I'll consider it the path to self-improvement.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Training Ride, Part II- Sunday, 18 July

I must say I feel an awful lot better about myself. Diane rules -- she said she might right tonight, so I joined her for an out and back on the Silver Comet. Becky came, too, and it was just a really nice ride. It was warm, but the rain we got was refreshing and oh so nice. It was really beautiful out, and I had a great time when we saw a rainbow (it was perfect weather for a rainbow, but even expecting/hoping for a rainbow doesn't make it any less wonderful. Thanks, refraction!

Anyway, as I said, I feel much less worthless after getting on the bike again, bringing today's total to about 30 miles, which is what I was supposed to do in the first place. And, I had a great time and enjoyed the company the whole way.

Maximum speed: 21.3 mph
Average speed: 13.3 mph
Distance: 16.20 mi
Time: 1.12.48

Training Ride - Sunday, 18 July

Today I joined the Kirkwood ride, thinking that it was going to go out to Stone Mtn. I'm partly glad we didn't and partly disappointed we didn't (the disappointment is really all in myself). I rode out to the start of the ride and then after that I stayed with the group for another nine miles or so. We rode right past my apartment and I was mentally exhausted and I'd already had it in my head that I would peel off at that point. I have been kicking myself for that since... it was supposed to be 30 miles. I am a pud. I feel like, to make it up to myself (and the TEAM?) I should go run a mile or two or get back on the bike.

I'm so disappointed.

Maximum speed: 29.3 mph
Average speed: 13.0 mph
Distance: 13.42 mi
Time: 1.01.47

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Training Ride - GTR Saturday, 17 July

This morning I woke up at around sunrise to walk the dog before the ride this morning. We rode in Cartersville, about an hour north of here. It was neat because it, like Silk Sheets, is a popular ride (understandably), so there were a lot of cyclists (and runners, weird) at the parking lot. We rode out of the Budweiser factory there, pretty cool.

The ride itself was really great -- I averaged 16.5 or so for the first 20-30 miles and slowed down from there because I thought I was lost (I was, sort of). It was SO nice out -- overcast so there wasn't a hot hot sun, and it never got above the mid-eighties, even when the sun finally peeked out with about 10 miles left to go. It was still humid (and hot), but to nowhere the extent it has been the last few GTRs. Also, the route was amazing. Slow rollers, a few "climbs", but nothing bad or unpleasant. The way back was a little uphill, but not to the point where you couldn't still spin up it. I caught and passed some people, too, on the way back. That was pretty satisfying. I wish Cville weren't so far away, because I could seriously ride that route every day and not complain. It was amazing.

Maximum speed: 34.4 mph
Average speed: 15.4 mph
Distance: 55.25 mi
Time: 3.34.51

This was my longest ride EVER, so it's SUPER great to have had such a positive experience. Go Team!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Training Ride - Friday, 16 July

Tonight I set out with the expectation of doing today's miles (5) as well as the miles I was supposed to ride on Tuesday (10) but didn't because of the thunderstorm and I got back to the apartment late. I ended up riding about 5.5 mi because my legs were lead and I didn't want to wear them out before the GTR tomorrow morning (I have to leave at 7a at the latest! gah! to ride 55 mi! gah!)

I just rode along the Freedom Park trail, an out and back. It was nothing, but at least it wasn't completely flat.

Maximum speed: 28.2 mph
Average speed: 13.8 mph
Distance: 5.54 mi
Time: 0.24.09

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 14 July

Happy Bastille Day! If it weren't for those French rabblerousers, we would have to make fun of an entirely different country. Let them eat cake, indeed!

Today I rode the intown ride again, though I think it was a different route than we've done in the past. I noticed today that we rode past Agnes Scott, so either this is the first time I've looked up in the last month or it really was a new route. It felt pretty good, though slow (hilly! hilly!) and my legs were heavy from the beginning. It was also very hot and, having ridden my bike to the start, I noticed it. I drank my water very fast and at about a fifth of the way into the ride I'd drunk well over half my water. It was really hot. But not the kind of hot when it's in the middle of the day and you're on open roads and can feel the heat radiating off the pavement and from the sun... it was merely an atmospheric hot, which is, apparently, worse.

Maximum speed: 35.0 mph
Average speed: 13.1 mph
Distance: 23.38 mi
Time: 1.46.48

I could've tacked on an extra couple miles by riding home, but I was convinced that getting a beer at the restaurant afterward would be a better use of my time.

Also, there are times I just don't like me. Oh well, I like to think we all have those moments. Maybe.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Training Ride - Sunday, 7 July

This morning I woke up before dawn (4:00a!) to join Becky and several hundred other cyclists for the Hospitality Highway ride. We rode the 25-mile loop and had a GREAT time. It was hilly, but it turned out to be OK. A number of people walked their bikes up the various hills, but I proudly made it to the top of each one.

As it was a recovery ride, I took it easy and had a really good time riding with Becky around Roswell. The ride gets its name because the first three miles are on GA 400, which gets shut down for half an hour (6:30a-7:00a) on the day of the ride. It was such a neat experience being on the freeway without cars and just having a good time being on the bike at sunrise.

It was also a good experience because now I know what mass starts are like on bicycles. To be brief: they suck. It was really cool to see people of all ages and abilities out on the 4 routes (8, 25, 62, 100 miles), but getting behind a lot of people who are on the shorter loops and, apparently, aren't used to hilly or longer road rides is frustrating. It was also maddening to be behind people who, if they couldn't make it up a hill, would just stop in the middle of the lane and get off their bikes without looking to see if there was anyone behind them (as it was at the beginning of the ride, there were LOTS of people behind them). So, despite the poor etiquette (I blame it on the assumption that these people just haven't ridden on the road or in groups often -- simple ignorance and not disregard for other riders).

The rest stop was at the top of a long, slow climb at about 10 miles in. It was weird to have a rest stop so early, but nice to have a break at the top of the hill. We climbed that hill twice on the route, today: the second time was at the end of the ride. Literally: climb hill, turn left, stop. Strange route, but very satisfying.

Maximum speed: 29.7 mph
Average speed: 13.0 mph
Distance: 24.30 mi
Time: 1.51.22

Also, I was all over my gears today because of the various climbs and descents, and I didn't have any problems shifting. I hope that means that I'm in the clear.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Year-to-Date Progress

So far this year (beginning in January when I started commuting to school by bike) I have logged ~800 miles (799.98!) on the bike. Considering there have been a number of times where the computer didn't work or I outright forgot to turn it on, I am only 200 miles away from my seasonal goal of 1000 miles.

Why is this such a big deal for a girl who's been riding for 5 years? Because I've never reached 1000 miles in a single season yet. I came close a few years ago, missing the goal by about 80 miles (two rides! I'm still embarrassed that I couldn't squeeze out 80 miles in August-December a couple years ago).

Riding is, generally, a catharsis. The sayings about bad days at golf and fishing (or leisure "nothing-box" activities in general) hold at least as true for cycling: it's spiritual, peaceful, rewarding and, even if you have to talk yourself into getting on the bike and riding (which is never a pleasant place to be in, mentally), the end result is, 99% of the time, intense satisfaction.

I'm really glad that I joined the TEAM this year -- I've been feeling guilty hitting people up for money (I could have just joined any club and ridden this summer) -- it gave me something to strive for and gave me a non-selfish reason (sort of?) to get on the bike and do the distances that I want to do, and an obligation to get on the bike and actually do them.

Training Ride - GTR Saturday, 10 July

Today we rode the same route (Silk Sheets) as last week, so it was fun to ride it again and compare times. I was faster by .1mph this week, but I think that's because I was in No Man's Land for the first 16 miles and averaged 16.9mph during that time -- it was hard core and brutal. At 16mi we had our first SAG stop, at which I hooked up with Curtis and rode at a much more reasonable pace. I think that first 16 miles took a lot out of me, the ride felt harder than it did last week (though it was also hotter, we started a little later, etc).

All told, though, it was a REALLY good ride. I felt good, I had only minor shifting problems (Coach Dave adjusted the front derailleur, so I should be OK *knock on wood*), I know how to fix the shoes/pedals problem, and my knee didn't bother me. What a great day!

Maximum speed: 32.7 mph
Average speed: 15.5 mph
Distance: 50.46 mi
Time: 3.14.35

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Training Ride - Wednesday, 7 July

Tonight I am in Cumming, so I joined one of the rides out here. Apparently they ride the same route every Wednesday, so there aren't any cue sheets or anything. This is important, because it meant that I started off with the C (beginner -- in every sense of the word) group, as the B2 group (the next slowest) averages 17-18 mph and I am not that fast (or maybe I am and just haven't pushed myself).

The website said that the groups ride 28 miles, but the C group only ride 18 miles, and I didn't find that out until 9 miles in, when we had stopped (to, as it turns out, turn around and go back). That was a little disappointing, but still an enjoyable ride. The people were nice, and a couple of the ladies I rode with said that they often join the B2 group and pull up the rear. Except for dropping my chain (and getting it jammed in the front rings) it was good.

Maximum speed: 35.6 mph
Average speed: 15.4 mph
Distance: 8.01 mi
Time: 1.10.09

The schedule that TNT sent out was formatted wonky, but if I read it correctly (not a given), this is the week that we go from 3 to 4 (5?) weekly rides, and all of those should have their mileage upped. I don't think 18 miles is going to cut it, but I did ride to and from school yesterday (and walked like 7 miles the last two days), so that counts for something, right? Right?

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Training Ride - Saturday, 3 July

Today the GTR wasn't organized, so a number of us rode Silk Sheets. We were going to ride 40 but, at the rest stop, a few of us opted to add on an extra 10-mile loop. It was great! Except for my turning off my computer at the rest stop the first time and forgetting to start it up again for about a mile, it was a great ride! I can understand the name Silk Sheets -- I could totally do it every weekend. I am looking forward to tomorrow's recovery ride, too. Yea! It'll be like an 80-mile weekend!

Maximum speed: 29.2 mph
Average speed: 15.4 mph
Distance: 49.31 mi
Time: 3.10.55

(notice that these stats are based on the slightly shortened distance due to my forgetting to turn on the computer -- I really did ride ~50.5 miles)

After a week of tough rides, what a great day!