I mentioned my last ride once before (an accomplishment), and finally got to the point of thinking on it and trying to get some lessons out of it for the next time(and got a couple of new goals, too).
1) I learned I can ride 43 miles (new distance record), with 853ft worth of climbing, 4 hrs total clock time, about 3:30 or so actual seat time. Met a goal, too, so I'm pleased.
2) I learned to quiet my mind some so I wouldn't go nuts for lack of patience. So much really is mental compared to the physical. So a lesson is don't let what you're thinking constrain you from doing something you can do. I did a much better job on this one than the last ride I took which was my old distance record.
3) As has been said, I do need to do some better management on nutritionals. I did some food and liquids about 1/2 way in, and some liquids about 3/4 of the way in. About 32oz total. I'm not sure that's enough, though.
4) I need to manage my cadence a lot better so it's more even and consistent.
5) The biggest one is the one I'm really needing advice on. The one thing about watching the mental is making sure the physical is still in line with what you aim to accomplish. That being said, I started getting leg cramps about 30 miles in that lasted most of the rest of the day. I don't really know what caused it exactly, given the situation. I was fine riding on the *mostly* flats, but on the hills my legs would start in with the cramping. I'm not sure what caused it, either. It started in on a particularly steep hill, so I don't know if it was from overexertion, or from insufficient fluid intake. I'll try again with riding tomorrow, and hopefully I'll be fine.
A new goal, though (that comes from one of my standing ones): I'll definitely try to see in practice whether I just was gassed by the time I got to that hill or whether it just plain kicked my ass.
Happy ridin' folks!