So today I tried the 40 mile ride I was talking about last week, and I made it! Here's the route: http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/36453650
Plan A was to have my husband pick me up at the library, which was 42 miles. But 42 is such a wishy washy number I decided to keep going to 45. At 45 miles I looked at my odometer and realized I was only 3 miles away from hitting 2,000 miles, so how could I stop? So, I ended up with 48 miles. Another wishy washy number and I was tempted to go for 50, but DH wanted to go to Lowe's so I stopped.
I feel pretty good! My legs are tired but not sore (yet). I finally gave up on the saddle I've been riding for the past two months and changed back to my old one after this ride. I was starting to think a female castration would be preferable to sitting on that seat any longer. I stopped at mile 30 to eat some fig newtons per the advice from this group. I'm an athena trying to lose some weight, and haven't been eating on my shorter rides. Imagine how happy I was to be TOLD to eat something and was looking forward to those fig newtons. Unfortunately, at mile 30 I had no interest in eating, but I ate two anyway. What else could I eat during a ride that might be easier to get down, gu's, maybe?
So, I was slow, but I was able to get up the hills fairly comfortably, and did the distance, so I'm really happy!