Sunday was going to be the first 40 mile bike ride of the season for me. Michael had done it many times in the last few months since he’s out of work right now. I’ve been relying on my commutes to work to get my mileage up. But it was time. Now or never. The event is a month away.

Looking at last year, our first 40 mile ride took us 4 hours (different route) and then our first attempt at this 40 mile loop took us 3:44. How would this year go?

We started the morning off with watching Tour de France and eating breakfast. 1.5 scrambled eggs, 1 turkey sausage link, black beans, unsweetened iced tea and strawberries. We were about to get going when Michael discovered he had a flat tire. At least it happened in the house and not 20 miles from the house.

Our start was delayed and we didn’t actually get on the bikes until after 11:30. And the temperatures were rising steadily. I slathered on the sunscreen and I also wore my new cycling jersey. I bought it for $30 (regularly $80!) and it fits great. For snacks I brought dried apricots and GUs (which I never ate), water and a water mixed with energy powder.

Michael and I set out on the I-205 bike path north which is essentially an uphill climb for about 15 miles. It really is uphill almost the entire time. Sometimes it’s a gradual grade, sometimes it’s a steep climb. I was actually feeling okay on the hills! I think riding to work has gotten me better at it.

There wasn’t really much to see or report on the 205 path. We connected with Marine Drive and were then biking the next few miles into a wall of wind. At least the wind felt nice on the hot, hot day.

We rode along the water and then eventually stopped to help a guy out who had a flat. He borrowed my bike pump and then was on his way.

I got two compliments on my new cycling jersey–the first from the guy with the flat and the second from another cyclist who came up along side me and said “I love your jersey!” Too funny! I thought for sure I’d get compliments from women, not guys.

We left the trail and picked up the bike lanes through North Portland, taking Dekum to Vancouver. We stopped briefly at a convenience store, resting in the shade. Michael got himself a Pepsi and I got a Gatorade. I drank half and put the rest in my empty water bottle. I also had a snack of dried apricots before we pushed on.

Dekum did not have bike lanes but there wasn’t much traffic there. Vancouver has super wide bike lanes and I love it!Β At this point of the day it was very, very hot, almost 90 degrees. I was starting to really feel the heat. The heat makes me feel slow on the bike and there wasn’t much of a breeze to cool me off.

We rode by the Rose Garden and then picked up the Esplanade downtown. The rest of the ride was basically my commute home. The Springwater Trail was very crowded because it was so nice out.

The first 25 miles felt fantastic! My body was good, I felt light on the bike, my legs felt strong, my back was comfortable–no complaints at all. The next 5 miles were slightly uncomfortable. My lower back was getting fatigued. The last 10 or so miles were brutal: I was tired, I was thirsty and what I brought was not helping and it was disappearing quickly, my neck hurt, my back hurt, my FEET hurt (next time wear thicker socks for padding) and I was just ready to be off the bike.

Time: 3:16
Calories Burned: 1753
Mileage: 36.6 miles (almost 40, not sure where you shaved off 3 miles)

Michael and I shared a recovery protein drink and I happily showered the grit, sweat, sunscreen and bike grease off my body! We went to Little Big Burger in SE Portland to grab one of their small burgers as a lunch/dinner. I like that place because the burgers are the size of sliders and they are oh so good! We split an order of truffle fries.

Even though I burned over 1700 calories, I oddly wasn’t that hungry. I blame the heat. It was a good first long ride but it did make me doubt whether or not I’ll be ready to do 100 miles in a month’s time….

In good news: the next day I felt completely normal. My recovery is awesome! That is really good news!

Finally, check out this great post by Suzanne on three success stories!

QUESTION: What’s a summer fitness goal you’re working towards accomplishing? How is it going?

18 Responses

  1. I love the jersey! I have that one and get lots of comments on it from men and women. The only thing I don’t like is that the material is too hot for me – do you find that?. All of my print cycle jerseys are like that, which is a bummer because they are fun to wear.

    100 miles is really tough. Even though I trained for both of them I did, it was hard. I was better trained for the second one and put in a 500 mile month leading up to it. A lot depends on the route of the ride and the weather. Heat just saps energy like nobody’s business. Especially if it is humid. When it is humid and I wear sunscreen, I feel like I can’t sweat enough to stay cool.
    Lori recently posted..Tour de France by women

    1. I can’t be sure if the jersey was hotter because it was almost 90 degrees that day. I will be able to tell tomorrow when I ride and it’s cooler out. BUT I think you might be right about the material.

      Last year when I did 72 miles I had trained pretty well for several months and those last 10 miles still kicked my butt. I recovered well and felt fine the next day but I was definitely done by mile 65. I hope I can figure out how to get over that mental block on long rides.

  2. Nice job on your ride! You should be really proud of yourself; that’s a fantastic improvement, especially when you factor in the heat. And I agree, that jersey is awesome.

    1. Thank you, Beth! I am happy that I successfully did the 40 miles–in the heat AND faster than last year. Disappointed my neck got so sore the last 10 miles. I hope that improves.

  3. That jersey is too cool! Love it!

    It is winter here, so my fitness goals are for summer. I am mainly focusing on my weight lifting, and before summer I want to be able to do a full push up (nearly there!) and get do 8 reps at the max weight on the leg press machine. I mainly use free weights, but the leg press machine and I have unfinished business!

    1. Do you live in Australia?

      I’m with you — in the winter my workouts change to indoor stuff and I focused specifically on weight lifting. That will definitely take a back burner this summer while I bike so much. That’s great that you can almost do a full push up. I do it the “girl” way. I wish I could do it “for real” (it hurts my wrist).

  4. Love the jersey too! I would kill for 90 degree weather! Right now its 109 degrees here. Tomorrow is supposed to be hotter still.

    Great job getting through that ride- 40 miles sounds brutal! I can’t even wrap my head around 100!
    Deb recently posted..Monday Day 269

  5. Hi Lisa, thanks for stopping by my blog πŸ˜‰

    Very impressive biking, seems you’ll be ready for the 100 in your new awesome jersey! I have never done more than bike around the neighborhood so I can’t imagine biking that far!

    1. No problem, Stacie–I’m enjoying checking out your blog.

      I’m trying not to psych myself out on the 100 miles. Trying to think in baby steps…focus on 40. Then go from there…

  6. Epic! I am incredibly impressed with the 40 mile bike ride. I always find I’m not hungry after exercise, and then a few hours later – wham – nothing is enough. I bet your body was thankful for that burger though!

    Nice jersey πŸ™‚
    Kate recently posted..For the Love of Running

    1. Hi Kate πŸ™‚ thanks! It’s weird, some big workouts will leave me famished and ready to eat everything in sight but this case was just the heat I think. I felt some hunger the following day, though!

  7. Lisa, I have to say that a 40 mile ride ONCE ever in my life would be pretty amazing let alone as a practice run! I’m very glad that you commented on BCDC so that I could find you. You have quite a story and I love your “Fat History” page! I need to update my about page with some of my before photos. I talk about my current maintanence efforts but haven’t talked to much about getting there. Thanks for the inspiration in All Ways. Very glad I found you!
    Fran@ Broken Cookies Don’t Count recently posted..WIAW~I’ve Got The Fitness Thing Working!

    1. Fran, there was a time when I never thought I could do something like that either. It seemed so big in my brain! Then I biked 72 miles and 40 didn’t seem so bad.

      I’m glad I found your blog, too. Your title made me crack up! I can’t tell you how many times I told myself broken cookies didn’t count. πŸ™‚ Or that cookies after midnight didn’t count. πŸ™‚

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