I originally wanted to do 76 miles on Sunday, but ended up only doing 55.5 miles. I was okay with that deviation for a couple of reasons:
- It's the longest I've continually been on the bike. Before, I'd done 60 miles, but had two breaks of about 1 1/2 in between some of the segments (2 miles, 1/2 hour break, 40 miles, 1 1/2 hour break, 18 miles, done). So 55.5 miles continually is pretty good.
- It was getting dark and I haven't got my big light back from Recycled Cycles yet.
- The main reason was that the weather was contributing to the ride being very unpleasant. It was raining just about the entire time, and fairly cold. I didn't have fenders put on the bike because I need a different screw. I had started to put fenders on, but when I encountered the screw problem, I didn't want to bug Paul to help out because he was writing so I just left. It was silly and stupid and would have saved me so much hassle to just finish, but I was too eager to get going. So after about 4 hours of my feet swimming in 40 degree water I couldn't feel my toes and couldn't move them, putting my foot down when I hit a stoplight sent a painful shock up my leg. I was really getting concerned about damaging my feet. Which is REALLY stupid. I stopped and bought new socks and doubled up on the layers because my wool socks were shot (I had stopped and rung out about 1/2 cup of water 4 times already). You also get a back-spray from the rear tire that turns your butt into a mud/water bucket, and the front tire plasters your face in nasty water and you get to eat some asphalt backwash. No fenders riding in the rain = misery. There wasn't a dry spot on me. And I was covered in mud - it made pretty cute dalmatian freckles on my face to go with my dalmatian bruises on my legs :) It's just not pleasant for 5 or 6 hours straight. So I learned a very valuable lesson: being warm and having fenders is essential.
As a deviation: a couple months back I went on a hills route, then rode around with Andrew around some more hills and we got pretty far away from home and I bonked really hard. I had eaten, but not enough and there just wasn't enough food in my system to keep me going. It was miserable and horrible and a really awful experience. My brain shut down, I could barely keep pedaling, and mentally and emotionally I started going haywire - it had the same effect on me that say, going 36-48 hours without sleep would do. HOWEVER - Since then I ALWAYS have kept lots of food on me and I haven't ever bonked on a ride. Sometimes really negative experiences teach you valuable things. So, in addition to the "I will not bonk again" rule, I've enacted the "I will never under-layer on long rides" rule (at least until it gets to be summer). Which leads on to the next reason:
4. I learned lot of valuable things. (ordered in importance)
- I WILL NEVER GO OUT under-layered again. This is not the first time I've gone on a long ride and under dressed and been freezing and cold. It's stupid, it's counterproductive, and I won't do it again.
- It's imperative I put fenders on AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. I've been putting it off for a week or so and before I went out I tried to put them on, but didn't because a screw wouldn't fit. I'm getting them on tonight. No matter how long it takes.
- I need at least 9 hours of sleep after a long ride/brutal weekend. I was exhausted this morning after 7 hours of sleep and it's not going to be great for my body's recovery if I don't give it enough time to recuperate.
- I need a goal of where I'm going, what route I'm taking, and then I just need to point my bike in that direction and go. If I don't know where I'm going, my resolve lags.
- Hills suck (well, that's not a revelation), but they're easy when I put my head down, only look at the road 8-12 feet in front of me and block everything else out with my cap and then pedal till I reach the top. It seems kinda silly, but when I do that, they're not so hard.
5. I also did a lot of adjustments I had been meaning to do for a long time.
- Put the computer on Damian so I can track mileage and speed
- Tilted the handlebars a little towards me to get better positioning on the hoods.
- Adjusted my right cleat so my knee wouldn't give me problems.
- I cleaned up Damian. Although after my fenderless ride, I think it's more dirty than coming off the cyclocross season when Andrew gave it to me. Which makes me kind of proud. Before, someone would look at Damian and say "Wow, it's really dirty, you must ride it a lot!" and I felt it necessary to explain it wasn't my hard work making it dirty, it was Andrew's. Now I just go "Yep!"
As a side note, YAY!!!! I finally got into my "skinny pants" - the pants I haven't been able to wear in over three years. I am SUPER SUPER happy about that. And really pleasantly surprised that when I came back from changing with a glow on my face Andrew instantly asked if they were goal pants and then said "Go You!" which makes me happy - I'm really glad he can share in some part the happienss of reaching awesome goals. He's really been an inspiration and a fantastic friend through this. Also, coming into work on Monday I go over 7 comments in two hours at work about how much weight I look like I've lost from multitudes of people. All because of the awesome skinny pants - not skinny pants, but the skinniest pants!!! And there are no more skinner pants left in my closet. Now I'll have to go out and buy new ones!!!