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Clyde - 50 y/o Milestones

Old 08-31-15, 10:55 AM
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Clyde - 50 y/o Milestones

Well, I made 3 goals/milestones this weekend.

1. 300+ miles for the month (stretch goal)
2. 1000 miles on the bike and for me since I started riding back in April.
3. Metric Half Century while I'm still 50 (I turn 51 in about 2 weeks).

I had already accomplished my climbing goal (5280' - Stretch: 6000').

So August was a good month of riding with 22 rides. Today is going to be a rest day, as the Metric half Century really wiped me out. And September may not see as many opportunities with a vacation this week and labor day weekend and at least one other weekend that I won't get to bike.

Of course the big one was the Metric Half Century while I'm still 50. I decided this weekend was the best weekend to attempt it, because I turn 51 in about 2 weeks. I'm also going to be out of town for Labor Day weekend, so that weekend would be out. Then I'd be risking having to do it on the last weekend, with who know what kind of weather or how I'd be feeling.

Sunday morning started out well. A group I just started with was doing a ride at 9am, so I left from my home at 8:30 am, which was about 4 miles from the ride starting point. The weather was nice and sunny with temperatures in the high 60's when I started. By the time I finished the temperatures were in the low 80's.

I'm glad I did ride to the starting point, because my legs felt a little tight when I started, but by the time I got to the group ride starting point, they had loosened up. Now, a couple of things. When I got to the ride, I could tell that I was the least experienced of the group, but a couple of riders were looking at the ride as a "recovery" ride. I'm glad, because I rode with the "C" group on Tuesday, and most of the guys were from the "B" group. There was one other guy from the "C" group ride, but he's probably top C or low B, where I'm in the low-mid C range. Also, there's a big hill right at the beginning of the ride (at least to me), so I knew that there was a regroup point less than a mile after the hill, so I told them not to worry about dropping me on the hill, and that I would meet them at the regroup point. (Which is what happened.)

Group Ride start: 4.1 mi mark of my ride.
Hill: 4.6 mi mark (thank goodness it was really a valley instead of a hill)
Regroup: 6.0 mi mark

When we got to the regroup point, one of the more experienced guys went over the rules of the ride, as we were going to do a paceline. Which also gave me some time to get a little rest. We then went out to Lake Jordan, which has become a standard part of my weekend rides. The rest of the group was feeling pretty good, so they decided to do a hill climb. While talking to them about it, I decided that my goal for today would be the Metric Half Century, and those hills sounded like they might have compromised that goal. So I waited for them at a gas station just before the hills. And they gas station was going to be the rest stop after the hills anyways.

Rest Stop: 14.6 mi mark

While at the rest stop, I realized that just finishing the group ride and going back home wouldn't quite get my Metric Half Century, so I started working out some routes in my head that would give me another 3-4 miles, as I wanted to get to at least 32 miles, so nobody could accuse me of having a favorable odometer to reach my goal. And from comparing my Strava rides to others, my smartphone/Strava seems to underestimate compared to others. I saw several other groups pass, as the route we went is a pretty popular biking route. I'd estimate that on weekend mornings, you can't go more than a mile without seeing another cyclist. And you often see cyclists more often than that. I even talked to one couple that I'd estimate were in their 60's and doing a pretty long ride.

Well, the group that did the hill made it back, and they were comparing downhill speeds on the downhill part of the hills. Almost made me wish I had done it, as the speeds were in the low 40's mph. After they got a chance to rest, we started back. I could tell that I was holding them back a little, but they were nice and stayed at my pace, and I was pushing my normal pace, but having a draft helped. So things were going pretty good. Looking at the Strava segments we were averaging between 15.9 and 18 mph.

Until mile ~23, that is when the cramp hit my right calf. They were nice and slowed the pace while I was cramping. I would pedal for a few seconds until the calf started cramping and then coast for a while. I was definitely heel down pedaling to try to stretch out the cramp. After about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile the cramp subsided enough that I could pedal normally. But I made sure to spin and not mash. Being more observant of my cadence than normal. The hill near the start was much more fun going the other way. It's a valley, and the height coming home starts higher than it ends.

Group Ride End: 25.1

The group ride ended, and I thanked the guys for helping me out. They actually complemented me and said that for just riding since April that I was doing better than expected, especially since my first rides were only about 1.2 miles each. And one guy gave me a complement on my bike. He said it looked like it was helping me. I'm guessing that is because I have a pretty good fit on it. As we split up, I went to the Dunkin Donuts that was in the shopping center to refuel and give my leg some time to recover. Yes, I know that DD seems to be the favorite place of another fat guy, but I wanted to make sure that my leg had recovered, and getting some caffeine and food wouldn't hurt. They did upset me a little, because they wouldn't serve me until I took my bike outside.

Well, I started home, but I still wanted to hit my Metric Half Century, so I couldn't head straight home. I also didn't want too many hills, as I didn't want my cramp to come back. I figures out a route that only had one big hill, and that hill was the 2nd part of a valley, so I could get a head start on it. And then I went through part of my morning route. I did check my mileage when I got to this area, and I wasn't quite at 31.25 miles, but I was close enough that I could tell I would beat the mark by at least 1.5 miles. So being back on "my homeground" and knowing I would hit my goal was more relief at this point.

Home: 32.9 mi mark

When I got home, I was very happy go hit my goal. I stretched, showered, and had lunch. I also spoke to my wife who had been out of town. And helped direct her on her way home to a place where she could have lunch. I could still feel how sore my right calf was the rest of the day. And I'm taking a well-deserved recovery/rest day, today. And the rain in NC helped confirm that.

Thanks for putting up with my meandering story, but I'm proud that I was able to hit this goal after starting at 1.2 miles on a ride in April.

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Old 08-31-15, 11:13 AM
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Excellent job! You have reason to celebrate your accomplishment. You get to these milestones, and it's time to decide what your going to do. Go passively. Go cry in a corner. Drink yourself stupid! Or go in for the fight and give age the middle finger. You and I choose the middle finger route.

I turned 50 (and firmly clyde) just over a week ago. Celebrated by giving the 50 the middle finger solute, and going for my longest ride of my life (71 miles). Butt REALLY hurt, but happy I did it, and grateful that I can still accomplish things that I had never been in a position to do before, and without allot of pain other than the butt thing.

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Old 08-31-15, 11:15 AM
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Old 08-31-15, 11:55 AM
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I love stories like these. It can be tough sometimes to think a milestone ride like this is trivial because of what others can do, but it's not, and it should be a point of pride. IMO, the toughest part of the whole adventure was that first season. You've stuck with it through the worst parts of that, and you are awfully close to the point where, for me, things really fell into place and a whole bunch of milestones went by really quickly. This ride was more than 25 times longer than those early rides. That's pretty amazing.
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Old 08-31-15, 02:52 PM
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