I always do better with a goal in mind, so I think you're brilliant to set a goal.
My advice is gradually increase your time in the saddle and take at least one day a week off the bike.
Every year I set a goal of riding a century by the end of the season (which is late October/early November around here). I pick a date I'm going to do the century, and then work backwards. Every weekend has a suggested ride length, and I generally add three to five miles a week. (I commute by bike most days, so I'm getting a good base that way.) I keep it flexible: in lieu of the suggested mileage, I can go ride hills (which I hate going up (hence the username) but LOVE going down!) or go for a mountain bike ride.
I've yet to make it to 100 miles, but I believe I've fixed the problems that have plagued me in the past (saddle sores (wrong saddle height) and runners knee (lots of stretching & self-torture with a foam roller)). The journey is as important as the destination; whether I make it to a century is less important than all the riding I do in preparation for it.
Enjoy yourself! There's lots of advice out there, much of it more scientific and better than mine. Fuel right, train smart, and listen to your body. And keep us updated - I get motivated reading about other people working toward their goals.
Edited by: HILLSLUG98239 at: 3/6/2013 (12:35)
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