My last few rides have not been stellar. I even said this week that cycling has kinda become more of a chore than a pleasure, as I HAVE to get my mileage in to prepare for my 2 day, 160K ride next weekend.
3 rides ago - I had planned a 40K ride. Right from the beginning, it just felt rough. Not fun at all. I suffered through 17.5K then turned back, for a total of 35k.
2 rides ago - I planned, and did, a 62K ride. I was doing great at the 1/2 way point. Stopped, had some water, enjoyed the scenery, then headed back. At 40k point, I was starting to feel like I was getting low on energy. This was the longest I had ridden on my own (outside of an event with rest stops), and I had FAILED to bring food. By 50K, all I could think about was food. I was starving, and losing energy fast. By the last few km, I just wanted to get off the bike and stuff my face.
I think this ride, and hunger, contributed in a big way to my overeating this past week. Lesson learned. I will pack food on any ride over 40K.
1 ride ago - The ride itself went reasonably well. I had planned a 40K ride out & back, and part way through decided that at the end I would do a few circles around my neighbourhood to try to get closer to 45K. So I pretty much made it home, then started a loop. At the farthest point on the loop (about 2k from home) I got a flat. I walked/ran part of the way back while my honey came to meet me with the truck. (I would have been fine walking all the way back, but he wanted to come to my rescue.)
Unfortunately, this has me paranoid about getting a flat on my big ride next week. In all my years of cycling, I don't think I've ever had a flat before. Granted, until a month ago, I always rode a mountain bike with big knobby tires. It's a lot harder to get a flat on those than on road bike tires. I'll be picking up a spare tube for the big ride, just in case.
TODAY - I started out heading towards my usual route, then remembered I wanted to check out a bike path that runs across the south end of town. As I am on the northeast corner of town, I figured this would be a good ride. Most of the ride was on bike paths, a bit on very poorly maintained streets. I took my hydration pack, which I've decided is my new best friend, and almonds & a granola bar for my snack. At the 1/2 way point, I called a friend who lives nearby (in the southwest corner of town) and asked him to coffee. I had to wait a bit while he & his son got ready, so I did a lap around the area, then ate my almonds. Coffee & catching up were great, then they headed off to church, and I headed back home.
All in all, it was just a very enjoyable ride. I didn't feel as pressured to get home. I was well hydrated & fed. The weather was nice, a tiny bit of rain, and winds that pushed me home. I was singing out loud to the songs on my ipod (for safety reasons, I only use the right earphone so I can hear traffic). There were a few little hills that made me work then pick up speed, something I don't usually get on my rides in this flat flat prairie town. I had more stop & starts than I usually do from all the traffic lights (usually ride on the highway), but felt faster when I got going. I managed to get 62K in, while I had hoped for 70K, meeting my friend for coffee made up for the missed mileage.
I will probably try to get in a "little" 20K this week, and otherwise just pack & get my bike ready for the big ride on Saturday/Sunday.