Hello. Long time lurker, first time poster.
Around 10-11 years ago, I lived in NH and rode a fair amount of mountain bike trails. I'd drive to my parents house, ride a couple miles on road to the trails, and play for an hour or two. Then I moved to OH, and became lazy... never rode the bike, and gained 50lbs.
This Feb I decided to get back into it, and signed up for the 35 mile local tour de cure event so I had a goal to work towards (and some fear inspired motivation). Well, I took the ol' full suspension Caloi out for a spin for the first time in 10+ years. Went maybe a half mile around the hilly neighborhood, and came back feeling like I was about to pass out. I kind of expected that to happen though.
Luckily, I decided to get a nice fluid trainer shortly after that. I also got a more road suitable bike - a Fuji Cross 3.0, which I love. Between the cold, almost 6 weeks of rain, and daytime riding limitations of having a 2 year old, I put a lot of time in on the trainer and not a whole lot outside. I can definitely feel that I have more stamina and it seems generally easier.
The last month or so it's finally nice riding weather. My first outdoor ride on the Fuji was two laps around a flat local bike path, about 15 miles. I felt like I could do more, but didn't have time. For mother's day I bought my wife the bike of her choice, which ended up being a comfort/hybrid with a 7 speed IGH. Shortly after that, she bought me a trailer to pull our daughter, and we've had a few nice family outings, though at lower speed/distances. I've managed to squeeze in a few 12-15mile solo rides too.
Anyways, on flat land, I know I can pull off 15+ miles, and feel like I could just keep going and going. Today, I decided to work more on facing my uncomfort with traffic and ride around the rolling hills of my neighborhood. It was the first time riding around here since the ol' MTB incident. I planned a 3 mile loop, figuring it would hurt more, and I could always do additional laps if needed.
Well, I felt like I was going to die after 2 miles. I did hit a personal record 38.4mph on a downhill though, that was FUN. Right after that, I'm climbing the next hill, and SNAP goes my chain. Like a good little cyclist, I had a spare SRAM powerlink. I fix everything up, get about 300 feet, and SNAP again. Apparently I didn't put the link in tight enough, and it popped apart. I was tired and pissed, and walked the bike home.
I'm just not happy right now, and I guess I'm seeking motivation from you guys. How can I go such distances, but just get totally killed by rolling hills? I mapped it out on mapmyride, and the elevation curve thing doesn't even look that hard. My bike came stock with 46/36 chainrings and 11-25 cassette, pretty typical CX gearing it seems. I immediately had it swapped to 11-32 and a MTB derailleur because I figured I'd need it on the hills. (I suspect I slightly bent the chain when this was installed, and that's what caused today's problems)
What do I need to do, other than the obvious practice / just do it? Given the child/job restrictions, majority of my "ride" time is on the trainer right now. Should I be trying intervals or something to try to simulate hills?
It gets better right?