Thursday, July 17, 2014

STP: Seattle to Portland Finisher!

On July 12 and 13, I rode 207 miles in the Seattle to Portland Ride with my son Sean.
Four years ago, I could never have imagined doing a ride like this. Even three years ago when I did my first organized ride (the Tour De Cure) for 27 miles, I did not envision that I would do back to back centuries. I still have about 30 pounds that I would like to shed, but that extra weight has not stopped me in becoming more fit that I have ever been in my life. 

The route was mainly flat and as you can see here, just beautiful.

I also could not imagine four years ago that my adult son Sean would ride this event with me. He was a great supporter and encouraged me when the route or the heat became hard. I think there were times when I surprised him at my stamina (like riding by him when he was trying to keep a slower base). He drafted me across many parts of the route which saved my energy for when I needed it (the hills). Plus, he was just good company. I would never recommend riding an event like the STP without a companion. 

Finally, as I rode along the route, I was amazed at the diversity of people that rode. All body types and sizes participated, including a few kids aged about 10-14. It was a long ride, but it was something many people could do with proper training. It was not a race, it was a cycling event. 

What about you, have you ever wanted to challenge yourself with a physical event? Maybe for you it is not the STP or not even cycling. If I can do the STP, you can do something physical, too. I was never an athlete, I still do not consider myself to be. I am someone who got fit by cycling and in the process found that I enjoy cycling tremendously. 

Enjoy your day and thanks for stopping by.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

STP is one week away!

Happy Fourth of July Weekend!
I know many of you are in areas of the country with drought. In the upper Midwest we have the opposite weather: too much precipitation. Our spring/summer has been one of the wettest on record. This weekend holiday weekend is one of the first summer weekends where it has not rained (yeah!).

One of our traditions on the fourth of July is to ride our bikes around town to family gatherings and then to the Stone Arch Bridge spanning the Mississippi to watch the fireworks. I logged 32 miles yesterday just pedaling around town. Super fun and a great way to get me back to a calorie neutral day after I made Greek style hamburgers and a Norwegian strawberry cream cake.
Speaking of cycling, I rode 474 miles in June!  So far this year I have cycled over 1600 miles. I have been training since February for the Seattle to Portland (STP) bike ride which will occur next weekend, July 12 and 13. 

I trained very hard for this ride, starting off on my trainer during our very long Minnesota winter. 

Since I rode in the Tour de Cure in May, I have completed several more rides that were 60 miles or greater, including an 80 mile one day, followed by 40 the next day. I believe I am ready for the STP, but I know it will be a challenge. That is why I am doing it because it is a challenge. Becoming an endurance cyclist is not something I ever imagined that I would do. But I have. Cycling is a way for me to continue to work on my health and fitness and do it in the beloved outdoors.

This ride is also a way for  me to celebrate my 60th BD (last May). Yes, I still have a way to go to be at goal, but for now, I am celebrating my accomplishments so far. My son, Sean, who lives in Port Townsend, WA will ride with me. It will be very special to ride with my adult son. He will be a wonderful companion and rider. 

I stopped training about a week ago. The 32 miles I did on the Fourth, was just for fun, not training. I am trying to just let my body recover now and rest.  I shipped my road bike out last week to a local bike shop in Seattle who will get my bike road ready for Saturday. I have my food planned, too, for the ride, including the hydration mix that I love called Skratch lab. Their mixes are not sweet like the Gatorade types and are also not rough on your stomach. The STP is a very well organized ride, with 10,000 riders they have to be. There are food stops every 20 miles, but I want to be sure that I have the foods that I have used all along when I am training. 

Besides training for the STP, I have been working hard on eating overall very well. I have not lost any additional weight, due to the additional calories I had to eat while I trained. 

I have also made plenty to time to play with my grandbabies and cheer on the MN Lynx this summer. 

 I hope you are all making good progress on your own health. Stay strong!