commuting to work on bike

Brewing and Peddling

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Michael had a friend staying with us for a few days and the logistical planning that went into trying to figure out how the three of us can bike to downtown (Michael and I to work) was insane. I was working a half day and then the three of us were meeting at the Brewfest on the waterfront. We finally figured out a scenario that worked and then realized we didn’t have a spare helmet for his friend. Ugh. All that planning. Backup plan: Leave the car at the park and ride, the two of them take the bus downtown and I bike to work.

I was weary at first because it was a little longer distance than I’ve done so far and there were also a few really steep hills from the park and ride. My doc said no hills and take it easy. In the end, I did the hills I just went REALLY slowly. And it was fine! My knees did okay and I didn’t feel fatigued or like I couldn’t make it up the hills.

The rest of the morning ride was fairly slow. I got stuck behind a group of casual riders on the Springwater trail, which was fine because it forced me to go slower. I took a different route once I got to the waterfront and went over the Hawthorne Bridge (shorter distance, less hilly) than the Steel Bridge like I usually do.

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Pretty good start to the day!Β I worked a half day and then at lunchtime I biked back to the car at the park and ride to leave my bike and then met Michael and Jeremy downtown.I was nervous about my increased mileage but it didn’t seem to bother my body.

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I’m happy with my performance on the bike. I took it slow and FORCED my body to not push it. And something I discovered: going slower on the hills was actually easy and I recovered faster. Okay, okay, maybe giving 110% ALWAYS on the bike isn’t always the best method…lesson learned.

BREWFEST!

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First things first. FOOD. It was nearing 2pm and I hadn’t eaten anything since my banana at 10am and I’d ridden a lot of miles. I was famished and starting to get shaky. I got a bratwurst from Gustav’s and had some of Michael’s salted pretzel. He was totally off the gluten-free wagon during Brewfest (even though there were a lot of GF beers at the event).

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I devoured my sausage and then tried the first beer that Michael kindly fetched for me. It was the Transgression IPA from Heathen Brewing–a Washington brewery I’d never heard of–that I actually loved. It was a great beer and probably my favorite of what I tried. It was very hoppy and citrusy, not as good as my beloved Boneyard IPA but a close second.

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Next was another brewery I’d never heard of, Ballast Point Brewing Company from San Diego. Their Sculpin IPA was so good I went back for a second tasting. It was sweet, smooth and lacked the bitterness that a lot of IPAs have.

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Brewfest used to start on Friday the last weekend in July but it got so big that they started opening on Thursday. This year it started on Wednesday–yes, it’s that big! Even going on Wednesday it was PACKED and the lines were starting to get really long (like you get a tasting from one line and then get in the second line to wait while you drink your first taste).

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Are you thinking,Β “Don’t these effers have jobs?!?! It’s a WEDNESDAY?!” Yeah, I was thinking that too. πŸ™‚ I was glad I took a half day because getting there after work would have been an even bigger mess of people. But don’t let that discourage you from going to the Brewfest. It’s so much fun and I always find at least one or two new to me beers that I really like.

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Another one I really liked was of course from Boneyard. It was their Bone-A-Fide Pale Ale and while it wasn’t as good as their IPA, it was still enjoyable. It was milder in flavor than their IPA, smooth and balanced and not quite as citrusy and hoppy. I don’t care if it was 90 degrees out, I was still gonna get an IPA. πŸ™‚

There was another beer that I DID not like, the Chronicle 11: Subtropical IPA by Dunedin Brewery (from Florida). I took one sip and was scrunched my face. Jeremy had a tasting of Gigantic’s & Juice IPA and we swapped glasses. He liked the Subtropical and I liked the Gigantic! The Gigantic was called a “Beermosa” and that’s TOTALLY what it tasted like–a mimosa!! I loved it! What a nice surprise. Well done, folks!

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After an afternoon in the hot sun on the waterfront, the three of us ended up at Apizza Scholls for dinner. I can’t complain. Beer. Pizza. Sunshine. Sign me up! I had two slices of pizza and didn’t feel a lick of guilt (but ask me that tomorrow…).

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I didn’t spend as much time at the Brewfest this year as previous years and didn’t try as many samples as I usually do. I took it slow and just kind of enjoyed the afternoon and sunshine. It was a nice change from the hectic party atmosphere it usually is!

Do you have a food or drink festival in your city that you won’t miss?

Let’s Get Serious

Okay, I’m starting to get a little nervous about the Century ride. It’s about 3 weeks away and I feel like my training has not quite been what it should have been. In the past, Michael and I spent most of our weekends doing the 40 mile loop, or trying to get in a 50 mile bike ride. That plan seems to have been thwarted this year. I am biking to work much more than I ever did last year, so that’s something. We’ve just had things come up to prevent us from being consistent. Michael recently had the flu and was not up for going on a long ride, and then the weather got in the way, and then my bike tire exploded… Hence, my worry.

Sunday –

Sunday morning I planned on going for about a 20-30 mile ride. It was most likely going to be solo because Michael was still feeling under the weather. Even though I was nervous about biking alone after my bike tire incident, I was ready to do it. It had to be done. I woke up that morning to rain. Seriously? In the middle of July?! The day after a gorgeous, clear summer day? So not fair. I headed to the pool instead, angry at the weather for getting in the way, and of course when I was done in the pool it was clear skies and sunshine.

I decided to just do it. I got on my bike after lunch and went for a short ride–something was better than nothing. The skies still looked a bit iffy in one direction so I decided I would ride in our neighborhood. My training ride ended up being all hills. There was one hill that in the past wouldΒ kill meΒ and leave me delirious from fatigue and heavy breathing. I was SO happy when I rode up that hill without too much issue this time! Conquering that huge hill made me feel confident and happy!Β Like I said, it was a short ride but all hills so that was definitely a good way to practice for the event.

Stats:
Time: 41:49
Calories Burned: 381
Distance: 9 miles

When I got home from my ride, we made dinner together–lettuce from my garden, grilled chicken sliced on top with avocado and croutons. Michael also made queso from scratch (he gets the weirdest cravings sometimes) and I had some queso with tortilla chips.

I felt like SOME miles were better than no miles. And I spent the next few days obsessively checking the weather in preparation for my next commute.

Tuesday –

I wasn’t sure if I’d be biking Tuesday because the weather was forecasted as “iffy” but it happily didn’t rain so off I went. I felt really strong during my morning ride, hills that used to have me breathing hard were easy, I burned less calories. All in all it was really nice.

The afternoon ride home was hot and humid and felt like I was breathing pea soup. So nasty. But my body felt fine and my tire didn’t explode! It was kind of weird that both my morning and afternoon commutes burned the same calories–it never happens like that!

Stats:
AM Miles: 12.38
PM Miles: 11.02
Total Mileage: 23.4
Calories Burned: 972

And then it rained for a few days and I could finally bike to work again…

Friday –

I love it when I can tell my fitness level is improving for a specific activity. The way it shows itself first is that I start to notice my heart rate doesn’t get elevated as high doing the same activities. The most obvious one is swimming–it used to leave me breathless and panting and now I rarely get my heart rate over 140 unless I’m swimming with fish as big as my arm! With cycling, I notice it when I don’t burn as many calories on the exact same route and when I also climb hills with ease.

Friday was like that. I felt strong on the hills and didn’t get fatigued. Progress!

Stats:
Total Mileage: 23.39
Calories Burned: 933Β 

Total miles for last training week: 55.79

So not even close to 100 miles. πŸ™ It’s frustrating that I set this big goal for myself and then the training just kept getting sideways. The rain. The scheduling issues. Being out of town. Sickness. Injury. Not having a consistent training partner. Not really doing long rides on the weekends. The list of excuses is long and I’m angry with myself for letting them get in the way. Right now, I doubt I am ready to do 100 miles. I could technically do it, but I’d probably hurt myself those last 20.

I don’t know what is going to happen in the next few weeks. I am going to keep training and trying to fit in longer rides whenever I can. My hope is that I can at least get up to the ability to do 75 or 85 miles in the event I want to do. Time will tell.

QUESTION: Have you ever quit an event or race because training didn’t go as planned?