On the bike, silly!
Still… If you told me two years ago that I’d go 50 miles on a bike one day, I’d tell you, Never! (If you told me last year, I’d tell you, I wish!)
But obviously, the mileage had to happen sooner or later, if I want to successfully ride 56 next year, after swimming 1.2 and before running 13.1.
So the other day, I had the brilliant idea that this weekend, I’d do that 46-mile loop I’ve been meaning to do forever, but have been too chicken to try. The loop in question goes from home to and around Uvas Reservoir, for which I seem to have developed a soft spot.
And in truth, I had ridden that exact same route once before, except I rode the 26 miles to Uvas, volunteered at a tri, then three-some hours later rode back home.
It’s a pretty scenic ride all along:So technically, all I had to do today was do it again, without the three-hour break in between.
What can I say, it’s intimidating. Any time you have to tackle a distance you’ve never covered before, it’s a little scary.
Like the first time I had to run nine miles. Three more than the longest I’d ever gone! That was 10 years ago, yet I remember it like it was yesterday. OhmygodIhavetorunninemilestoday!! Then, of course, came 13, 15, 18… and on to 26.2. Because, as the saying goes, 26.3 would just be too crazy.
I felt equally intimidated before this ride (not least because a small part of me was sure there was no way I could go that long without falling off the bike; knock on wood, but I do have a talent for accidents).
So this morning, mildly apprehensive and mostly excited (plus aptly caffeinated), I headed out.
I listened to music for the first 20 miles — the majority of those on a flat, straight road that would have been perfect but for the potholes — then I stopped briefly to check directions on my phone, got rid of the music and carried on around the reservoir and back home.
Funny how those hills that only three months ago took may breath away (not with their stunning beauty) were now perfectly breathable. I didn’t even need to switch to the smaller ring. What what?
I was feeling fresh enough to extend my planned miles to 47 by taking a slightly longer route home — then thought, What the heck. I’m so close to 50! So I tacked on a sweet three-mile loop before walking home. Fifty!Could I have gone another six miles to make it to the half-iron distance and give myself irrefutable proof that I can do it? Most definitely, yes.
Could I have run a half marathon after that? Not so much. But that’s what training is for, right?