I had planned on finishing August off with another milestone ride. There is a local road that runs along a creek for about 20 miles and usually has very little traffic. My plan was to ride the 20 miles up stream then 20 back for a new personal best 40 mile ride. I really didn't think that it would be a hard ride because while it is uphill going upstream it is only about a 2% grade. Well I was wrong, At about the 11 mile mark my legs were starting to really feel the sting and even when I went to easier gears it wouldn't go away. My speed started dropping off and my legs just felt like lead. I stopped for a little bit and had to decide weather I would try to push on or turn around short of my goal. Since I still had to do the return ride and felt like my tank was empty I thought it best to turn around. I had made it about 13 miles out, but just didn't think I had enough left to make it to 20. The return ride was much easier and went by quicker than I expected, my legs even got to feeling better by the end of the ride. All told I still did a personal best of just over 25 miles but was very disappointed in my lack of fitness. When I got home I got to looking at my training log and realized that due to life getting in the way I really hadn't done many long rides last month and just hadn't conditioned myself for the longer ride. So this month I am going to try do some interval training at least one day a week and work on increasing my daily mileage. At least now I have a new goal, I will do that 40 mile trip before winter gets here.
Well, you know what they say... fall of the horse, get back on... if you don't try you won't succeed etc etc etc. 2% isn't a lot but it translates into 100 feet per mile.
Now you have a goal!
You can't expect miracles right away, as annoying as that is. 25 is a solid ride too, and depending on the heat it can be a bear. Congrats on a solid effort.
Did you eat enough? Drink enough? Was it hotter than normal out? I don't think you need to eat anything special for a 25 mile ride and water is usually sufficient, but that presumes you had breakfast first. (I'm assuming you rode in the morning) I'm just reading into your "tank felt empty" comment. I like to drink watery gatorade when it's really hot out, and I'll have a clif bar at the half way point of a ride that's 40 or 50 miles long.
I probably did go a little light on breakfast, lesson learned. I think I just hit my cardio limit, really need to work on my breathing. I don't think it was so much muscle fatigue as lactic acid build up because once I got going downhill and was able to stretch it out bit my legs quit hurting and I wasn't really sore when it was all said and done. I need to work on building up my endurance if I want to go farther. I am going to have to get a cadence meter, because I thought I was doing good gear wise and my legs weren't burning until I hit the wall. It was a different burn than when I mash too much. Oh well, it was a good assessment of where I am, and what I need to work on.