Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Next Step

The Tahoe ride is over, but my Road to the Century continues. Next weekend I have a metric century, The Delaware Doublecross -

One thing just about everyone knows about Delaware (assuming they know it even exists), is that it's small! Many bicycle clubs have rides that cross their state, or cross the state and come back (doublecross) - these rides usually take days. In Delaware, we can do that in a mere metric century (about 62 miles)!

I have yet to finish a metric century, but for some reason I'm not concerned about finishing this one - perhaps it's because I rode 45 of the toughest miles I've ever experienced a few weeks ago! 62 flat, sea level miles seems like nothing!

On the century front, I've signed up for another century - once again, upon flat, sea level terrain. September 10 - The Amish Country Bike Tour -

While most in this area are aware of the Amish of Lancaster County, many people don't know that we have an Amish settlement here in Delaware, just west of Dover. This ride includes a rest stop manned by the Amish, complete with pies and cookies! My kind of ride!

So the quest continues - and the training too. In fact, I'm heading out shortly to get a nice ride in today.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Finish Line

This ranks up there with some of the worst days I’ve ever had. I can honestly say I did not enjoy myself during this ride. Yes, the views were lovely, but there are lovely views in many places. The air was so thin I could not breathe after the first big climb (800 feet). It felt like I was breathing through a plastic bag with a pinhole in it. I was truly scared I wouldn’t be able to catch my breath. When I finally recovered, another hill appeared to take whatever air I had left in my lungs right back out.

Oh and did I mention it rained for about 75% of the ride, and it sleeted and hailed too, for good measure. When it wasn’t raining, it was still cold. I think the high was about 50F (and that didn't hit until well into the ride). So there were precious few times I was warm (with my three layers on) and most of the time I was just soaked to the core.

I did get through about 43 miles before I needed help. I had some motorized assistance up the 1,000 foot climb, and even downhill for most of the way. I was dropped off about 2 miles from the finish. And then I crossed the finish line.

The Road to the Century continues… but never again in Tahoe…

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Panic attack

I'm in my hotel room, the night before the ride, and I can hardly breathe. Tears are rolling down my face and I'm freaking out. I feel like I don't belong here. I know my sane side is saying that I've trained as hard as I could and I'll be able to make it so long as I don't stop pedaling. But my chest is tight, and my crazy side is trying to get me out of this. I just want to hide, or run, or do anything else but this. Damn my keen sense of flight.

I know I'll talk myself down from this ledge - or my teammates will (assuming they find me..hehe). But right now I'm not feeling like I can do this......

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Packed and ready to go

My suitcase is packed and sitting in my car. My computer bag is sitting waiting for my computer. I leave in about 2 hours for the airport and I'm as ready as I'll ever be.

For those who have been following me, you'll likely remember all the *LOUSY* weather I've faced on my many training rides - the 28 degree weather on the Icicle Metric in March; the 40+ MPH winds at the Ocean to Bay in April; the pouring rain during the Diabetes ride in May - not to mention the regular cold and wet weather we've had this whole spring here in Delaware. looks like that was meant to train me for America's Most Beautiful Bike Ride. From the AMBBR website:
As of Tuesday, May 31, 2011:
Weather Forecast for Sunday, June 5, 2011.
Mostly Cloudy with 40% chance of showers or thunderstorms. Day-time high temperatures – 50-55F

At this time, the 20th Annual America’s Most Beautiful Bike Ride will take place, Rain or Shine, as nearly 1600 Team In Training members are scheduled to travel from 59 different cities in the US / Canada and participate in the event. There is no option to reschedule this event.

Bike the West will do everything possible to provide for the Safety and Welfare of all participants, including the possibility of delaying the Start Time and/or altering the course routes, and providing additional SAG Transport Support for the course.

Please be prepared and dress accordingly for the possibility of showers.

We are also working on alternate indoor facilities if inclement weather should presents itself on June 5.

Whee. Well, here goes. At worst, sounds like I might be doing 100 miles of laps around a velodrome...I'm actually laughing as I type this. What a crazy journey!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An Epiphany

So, as I was climbing the hills of Cecil and Chester Counties this Sunday (re-riding the Icicle Metric), I realized that 100 miles is simply not going to happen. At this point in my training, I can complete a 50 mile ride, but I'm simply not able to get beyond that yet (especially if there are hills involved).

I'm going to go to Tahoe, ride until I need to stop, and then I'm stopping. No guilt. I raised close to $6,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I have biked more and further than I could have imagined when I bought my bike about 14 months ago. I have nothing to be ashamed of.

I intend to fully enjoy my time in Tahoe (I've never been there before so I'm excited about seeing it) and I'm going to enjoy the ride, and I'm going to go as far as I can. Then I'm going to enjoy the post-event party without guilt!

And then I'll set my sights on another century, and keep working toward it.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

In the Homestretch!

Quite a bit has happened in the last few weeks since I've updated my blog.

First of all - I MADE MY FUNDRAISING GOAL! Thanks so much to everyone who contributed! I can't tell you how much your support means to me!

Second, I still have not completed a metric century. The weather last time was not as advertised - it was not 70 and sunny. It was 50, windy, chilly and overcast. And once again, I was miserable. My leg cramped up going up a hill, and I went 4 miles out of my way when I missed a turn. I ended up with 31 miles under my belt before I quit. This Saturday is my last scheduled metric century - the Tour de Cure, benefiting the American Diabetes Association. Once again, it leaves from Newark, and will likely tackle the same hills I've struggled with in both other metric centuries. Wish me luck - completing this would be such a boost to my confidence.

Third, I did complete a ride to Chesapeake City and back - 50 miles, plus two bridges. I crossed the canal via the Chesapeake City Bridge heading down - what a nightmare! There's no margin, so I was in the lane, blocking traffic. And when I got to the top and tried to shift, MY CHAIN FELL OFF!! I nearly fell off my bike and there I was at the top of the bridge trying to fix my chain while making myself as flat as possible so I wouldn't get hit by passing cars! I was terrified! It was not fun! I went home via the St. Georges Bridge, which has a bike lane. Much better! I could weave and maneuver my way up the hill without as much fear.

I get the sense that the hills in Tahoe might be of a similar grade as the St. Georges Bridge - I have nothing concrete to base that on, but that's my sense. Long but not particularly steep. (If anyone who reads this knows differently, and has an idea of a hill I can compare them with, please let me know.) So I think I'm going to climb the bridge a few times in the next few weeks before the ride.

My bike ships out Memorial Day Weekend, so I don't have much training time left! I should put a countdown on my facebook page. 25 DAYS TO GO!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Another Metric Century on the Horizon

This Saturday brings another metric century ride - a ride benefiting the Cecil County College Scholarship Fund. The route is something like a figure 8 - it goes in a 30+ mile loop in one direction, meets back at the start, and then loops 30+ miles in another direction. Much of the first half of the route mimics the route I took for the Icicle Metric in March (the one that kicked my butt) so I'm really looking forward to seeing how I've improved in the last month.

I upgraded my bike to tackle hills, by changing my cassette (the rear gears) and derailleur. I rode yesterday and it made a big difference on the hills (not that I tackled major hills yesterday, but still...)

Next step - I want to see if I can move the clips on my bike shoes back a smidge - I think the pressure point on my foot is incorrectly placed, causing my toes to numb. If my foot hits the pedal slightly more forward, I think it will fix my problem. I have to check my shoes before Saturday and see if this is possible.

I'm really looking forward to Saturday's ride (minus the 7:30 am start time - ugh) and I hope it gives me a good gauge of my efforts to date.

Wish me luck!