Tag Archives: Cycling

Photo Post: Wenatchee Century Ride

I never wrote about one of my favorite training weekends so far this year – the Wenatchee Century ride.

I’m lucky enough to have a friend and training partner whose family has a vacation home in Eastern Washington, and she invited a bunch of us over for the first weekend in June to ride our bikes in sunshine on nice roads.

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Here we are at around 25 miles in, but the smiles never stopped for all 98 of them!

 

We ended up riding about 98 miles with 4,300(ish) feet of climb in under 5 hours and 30 minutes.

I wish that was real life every weekend!

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It’s That Time Of Year

#trainertime

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Seattle Century Ride

Last Saturday I embarked on my 3rd 100 mile ride.

The 1st was too soon after my crash to be awesome, and I played it quite safe by stopping every hour or so to refill bottles and get off the bike to make sure I felt well enough to continue. It was a good confidence booster to remind myself that no matter what happens I CAN get through this, but it took me so long, and I was so tired, that I can barely legitimately call it a century.

The 2nd one went surprisingly well. At mile 40 I couldn’t believe that’s ALL I had ridden – I should have been at mile 75 for how my legs felt – but I reigned it in and kept my energy and strength level and consistent by backing off a little, eating what felt like a lot, and drinking what felt like even more.

With my 3rd century being so soon after my first and second it was a little more challenging for me to get myself excited about spending another 6 hours with… MYSELF! Luckily the Seattle Century was happening and I figured at least I’d have a pre-mapped and marked supported course to follow, and maybe I’d meet some cyclists along the way.

Within the first 15 minutes I met a friend to ride with, within the first 2 hours I got fresh pie, and when 100 miles was said and done I had climbed over 5,100 feet. Success!

I highly recommend the 100 mile ride to anyone looking to get in that kind of distance. It was incredibly scenic, well-marked, safe, and the event allows riders to start early (a plus so you can choose to pace yourself however you please OR take off before you risk congestion). I hear the other rest stops had great food too but I only cared about pie and getting done. The ride was a tough hilly course, and I pushed myself in the second half of the ride to keep up through all of the climbs and descents (I’m silly a bit wimpy), but it was a beautiful route through Woodinville, Redmond, Duvall, Carnation, Fall City, Snoqualmie, Issaquah, over Lake Washington, and back to Magnuson Park.

The 100 mile distance is still hard for me to wrap my head around, and to combat that I find myself focusing more on time and landmarks than mileage. It’s similar to when I first started running in that a count of miles sounds impossible, but if you can break it down into 3 or 4 chunks pretty soon you’re halfway done, and in the blink of an eye there’s only have a tiny bit left. Though my “almost home” landmarks are still about 20 miles from my front door, once I get there I know I can make it. I’m definitely going to have to find a few of these on course in Canada to keep me motivated and happy.

If anyone is looking to ride the Seattle Century next year let me know! I’m definitely in for more pie. 🙂

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Always Wear Your Helmet

Written July 1, 2012.

Yesterday morning I set out on what should have been my first century ride; 100 miles in the overcast drizzle. I was not looking forward to the drizzle, but I was looking forward to getting this ride under my belt, exploring a new route, and most of all not being in a hurry to get it all done. 100 miles in the saddle – and my previous longest ride being 85ish – and I planned to pace myself to enjoy it. For once I didn’t have a slammed schedule in the afternoon so there was no rush to fit it all in.

I made it less than 1 mile before I found myself splattered on the pavement.

Leaving my neighborhood there’s a hill to descend about 1 mile long, and at the bottom the road curves right. You can’t see around it until you start turning, it’s pretty blind for cars and cyclists alike. I’m familiar with how scary it can be and have nearly gotten hit there by careless parkers before. Though I see people fly down the hill at times I don’t. EVER. I ride my brakes all the way down like a weenie.

Yesterday I hit that turn and had about 30 feet to stop on wet pavement. A truck was blocking the bike lane, plus the entire vehicle lane, while backed into a driveway unloading. I braked, fishtailed, released to straighten out, tried to brake again gently, and went down. Hard.

My right side was first, and went straight into the raised (sidewalk height strip) median, and I bounced. Everything seemed in slow motion and while still being catapulted with the crash’s momentum I actively thought about 2 things: 1. How close my face was to the edge of the sidewalk as my head bounced along it 3 or 4 times. My eyes were literally centimeters from the corner but my helmet kept hitting first and created a buffer. And 2. WHEN.WILL.THIS.END. I could feel myself rolling, flying, bouncing, and tumbling forward but knowing that I couldn’t stop the momentum I stayed loose and tried to keep my awareness of which way was up and where to land. Thank you very much 16 years of gymnastics.

When I finally stopped moving I checked my face (no blood), my extremities (nothing catastrophic), and my bike (TBD) and dragged myself to the side of the road. I’m certain, the witnesses were much more afraid for me than I was for myself in those moments. They approached – one man running – to see if I was okay. The looks on their faces while I stood there trying to assess the damage and figure out what to do next were more paralyzing than the moment I realized I’d either be flying straight into the truck or straight into the pavement.

I’m beat up, hurting, partially broken, frustrated, and tired. I’m damaged, my things are damaged, and I’m quite sure that Garth is damaged from receiving that phone call while half awake and half dozed off enjoying a Saturday morning. Hi, it’s me. I need you to come scrape me off the pavement and take me to the ER. I had a crash. 

But I’m also incredibly grateful and lucky. And LUCKY. It could have been so much worse. Garth could have been out for a long run. That truck could have been moving. My helmet, now misshapen and cracked, stayed on my head and did its job. It most certainly saved me.

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Filed under Bike, Health, Injuries, & Prevention, Training

Quite Apropos

What a whirlwind the days since Saturday at 8:30am have been.

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Two Weeks ‘Till Boise! In Highs, Lows, and In Betweens.

Saturday officially marked two weeks until this.

I’m excited because I haven’t raced in a while and look forward to the day. I’m nervous for countless reasons, but mostly also because I haven’t raced in a while…plus the conditions will be a crapshoot and I haven’t gotten in open water as much as I’d (psychologically) like. I’m anxious because I feel like this whole thing crept up on me so quickly. I’m confident because I know I’ve been working hard and even through injury I haven’t put up with excuses from myself. I’m worried because I feel like there’s still a possibility that I won’t do the best that I know I can do, for many reasons (including the ice cream I just ate! :-/).

Because I’m racing in two weekends this one wasn’t too stacked in terms of training. It wasn’t easy but it didn’t feel overwhelmingly stacked.

So the highs, the lows, and the in-betweens:

In Between: On Saturday I had an 80 mile ride with 3x 18min intervals with HR @ 160. I don’t have a Lap HR set up on my watch, and failed pretty miserably at keeping my HR avg at 160. I wasn’t dying, and it’s not that I couldn’t, but I just didn’t see the average ticking low on my watch (155ish). That said I was pretty happy with the ride otherwise. I’ve never ridden that far, I rode at a good clip, and I felt stronger at the end (and for the rest of the day) than I did during the 75miler.

High: I got a (very small) chance to repay the Husband for all of his sherpaing but being his 5k sherpa. And even better, he got 4th OA, 1st AG, and came in sub 20! For someone who only recently starting running again this is hugely impressive.

In Between: I enjoyed an amazing array of delicious food and drink this weekend. It was awesome, but I feel guilty.

Low: On Sunday I was supposed to swim a 45 min OWS in the lake. As a prep for Boise I had really psyched myself up to swim straight without stopping to enjoy the scenery, and to really focus on what was working to keep my form good and pace steady as I’ve been known to freak out in the water. Well, when I arrived the lake looked rough, and as I wetsuited-up it just go rougher and the swimmers who had all headed in. This turned into an In Between, because I forced myself to swim through it and adapt and though I didn’t make the gains I was originally looking for I left the water feeling able to tough the chop out.

Low: This morning I was supposed to bike hard for 40mi and run for 60min. I drove all the way to a loop with hardly any lights and by the time I arrived it was raining and soggy. By the time I got home it was sunny, but I didn’t have time to drive back and there aren’t any places to bike nearby that don’t have 800 stop lights (not conducive to keeping HR up). So I had to tough it out on the trainer but I wasn’t really sure how mileage/time translates. I rode 46 mi in 1:45 and I have no idea of that’s even remotely comparable to the original plan.

High: I ran! Off the bike! For real! A real run! My 60 minute run was supposed to be at max 8min/mi pace, and I averaged 7:47 ‘s. So. Freaking. Happy. About. That. It was tough, but I went in thinking it would be really tough and turned the run into a mind game right off the bat to pick a pace and lock it. The pacing I went with was hard by mile 6, but not impossible. And I didn’t feel the need to die at the end.

In Between: To bikes who want to pass me: Please do so as I am not the speediest out there. However, please don’t pass me, then slow down so that I have pass you, then expect me to want to ride with you. I probably don’t especially if you pull that kind of asshat move.

High (for entertainment): On Saturday’s ride I made a quick pit stop to refill my bottles in a sort of sketchy park. Not unsafe in daylight, but it holds some questionable inhabitants. During my fill up a minivan full of said inhabitants wanted to know how much my bike cost. Not wanting to tell them I skirted the topic. They told me their guess was $1k as though that was TOTALLY INSANE. I wish buddy.

High: I had a few moments during the weekend where I really felt like my hard work was coming together. Even though things weren’t perfect I felt like I’m almost there, a pretty infrequent feeling for me.

Low: I subsequently had a breakdown, with tears, over training-related frustrations with myself. It’s amazing how quickly the mind can switch from “I got this!” to “I suck, big time,” for no good reason. I take a lot of pride in the fact that I won’t accept excuses from myself, as well as in how hard I work. But no matter my dedication or work ethic, I will never be able to control the rain, the wind, or other people. Such is frustrating, such is life.

High: I felt better after I cried for a minute. It’s been a long while.

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Things I’ll Never Do Again

Rewind to Sunday morning. I wake up at 6:00 (ON.A.SUNDAY). Make smoothie. Realize that even though I haven’t had one in a couple of months smoothies still are not a satisfying form of food. Feel hungry. Lift weights for 60 minutes. Stretch. Unlock my bike. Gather water/Nuun/Garmin/gels/helmet/shoes/etc. Load car. Stop for coffee. Drive to meeting spot.

The meeting spot is where my training group was planning to gather for a couple of loops of cycling fun. I had left my house early, in plenty of time to figure out where I was going. The park we were meeting at has a few lots and I wasn’t clear on which one to be at. I figured I’d park, wait for teammates, and if I didn’t see any after a while I’d search other lots or text to figure it out.

So waiting, waiting, waiting. Decide I’m in the right lot. Unload my stuff. Get bike ready. Put on cycling shoes. Adjust new sunglasses. Hide iPhone. Friends arrived. Friends, I’m ready! And so excited to get riding! And. Then. I. Locked. My. Car. Keys. In. My. Car.

I was totally prepared to get into my apartment that’s about 12 miles away though! Because I had separated my keys and stuffed the wrong half into my jersey.

Cycling Fail.

Fail. Fail. Fail.

I had a great ride though!

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