cycling training

An Uncertain 40 Miles

Saturday we planned on going for a long bike ride but I was uncertain how my body would hold up after the painful hike the day before. The good news: I could walk around the house without pain or discomfort. I was worried about my knees. I slept in and was SUPER lazy all day. We watched the rest of the Californication, had leftover pizza for lunch and then finally left the house around 1:30 or so.

I had no idea if I could ride at all but I wanted to try. We rode from the house to the trail and headed to downtown. Michael wanted to do 40 so his total for the week would be 75. We biked down to OMSI and took a quick break for GUs.

After the quick snack, we continued on the Esplanade to North Portland. I was feeling good so far. No knee pain.

We took the bike lane by the Rose Garden to N. Williams because it has a wide, safe bike lane.

Last time we did this route we ended up on a horrible street that had no bike lane. It was terrifying and we almost got hit by a car (scary!!). This time we found a route that was much safer!

The bike lanes in North Portland are really nice and the scenery is pretty cool. Lots of buildings had beautiful graffiti art on them. There were some other cyclists going the same way as we were going and we asked if they knew a safer route than that scary street that had no bike lane. They gave suggestions and they turned out great.

We left the Vancouver street with the bike lanes. We followed the signs and ended up on MLK. It was scary but short and we were quickly on Marine Drive.

We rode passed Salty’s to the Marine Drive trail. We stopped for another GU break and continued on.

So far I was feeling good. No issues! We were about halfway there–20 miles done.

For once the wind on Marine Drive was at my back. It was a quick and easy stretch. I enjoyed the water and watching the people on boats. It seemed like a nice way to spend a sunny summer day.

We left Marine Drive for the I-205 Bike Path. I had a huge hill in store for me and I was not looking forward to it. The hill is a long steady climb that doesn’t seem to end. It’s definitely a challenge–I usually see people on bikes walking up that hill (well, people on mountain bikes or cruisers).

We stopped at a small park on the trail to rest, eat another Gu and drink some water before facing The Big Hill. It was a nice break.

We got back on the bikes. It was time to face it. Michael took off and I grinded up the hill. I wish I could accurately capture the size of this hill but pictures just don’t do it just. And honestly, when I’m at the base of the hill I’m counting on momentum to get me part of the way up so I don’t stop to take photos.

I took the hill slow and steady but SURPRISE! The hill was not as bad as it has been in the past! I just hunkered down and made it up that hill. It wasn’t bad. I was so happy and surprised that I made it up the hill. Going into it I’d wondered if it would be the first time I’d have to WALK up that hill…

I got to the top of the hill where Michael was waiting for me at the light and I asked, “That was the killer hill right? I’m not mistaking it for a different one right?” He said no, that was the killer hill and I happily made it! Woo hoo! The rest of the ride was smooth sailings–mostly downhill. Instead of continuing on the I-205 trail we veered back to the Springwater home. It was good to be home!


Ride Stats:

Times: 3:31
Calories Burned: 1464
Distance: 38.25 miles 

Michael and I split a GenUCan Recovery shake as soon as we got home. It was a good snack to tide us over before dinner. Since we’ve been so busy the last few weeks we had no food in the house! Grocery shopping was a must (not exactly what you want to do after biking almost 40 miles).

For dinner Michael made us grilled ham and cheese sandwiches. I steamed some fresh green beans as my side.

By almost 7:30pm we finally were able to sit down and eat dinner, watch some TV and relax!

And enjoy a little dessert. 🙂 Total miles for last week (in two rides): 56.36.

QUESTION: When you’re sore and tired, do you take a day off or do continue with the planned activities?

Trying a Tri

For two days my neck and shoulder has been killing me. I have no idea why, or what I did. Do I need a new pillow? Did I pull something on Wednesday’s workout? Who knows but it’s awful. I have a massage scheduled for Sunday night and I’m praying it helps.

This week my schedule changed at work. I asked my boss if I could switch to 30 minute lunches and leave at 4:30 instead. My reasoning behind this is because I’m hoping that I can start biking to and from work in preparation for the Portland Century. I want to miss some of the 5 o’clock rush hour traffic for safety reasons. The time change was approved so I started getting off work at 4:30. It’s made a huge change! I haven’t started commuting to work on bike yet because of the weather but I’m hoping to do that in the next month. Right off the bat I can see that that 30 minutes will GREATLY improve my way of life. I miss the rush hour traffic commuting home, I get to the gym earlier, hence I get home earlier and have more time to spend with Michael or friends. Plus I will be able to eat dinner at a reasonable hour. Love it!

Friday I got to the pool by 5pm and was in the pool by 5:15. Since it was such a gorgeous sunny day in Portland I didn’t have to worry about the gym being crowded when I got there. I was worried a great deal about my neck and shoulders. I wasn’t even sure I would be able to swim at all with the pain I was in. But the moment I got in the pool all the discomfort melted away. I had a FANTASTIC swim! It was wonderful. I took my inhaler with me this time too and that helped with my chest discomfort.

Swim Stats:

Time: 56

Calories Burned: 412

Distance: 8 lengths short of 1.5 miles

Since I got to the gym early I swam a little longer and enjoyed it. I didn’t feel like I had to rush to hurry up and get home (or try to beat my raging hunger). There was a guy in the lane next to me doing sprints in the pool and when I was done with my swim I chatted with him in the sauna. I asked what he was training for and he said the Coeur d’Alene triathlon. I told him I’d wanted to do a Sprint Tri for a few years now but I hadn’t yet. I’m seriously considering signing up for one this summer. I’m nervous about the idea, anxious about open-water swimming, and nervous that I can actually DO it.

My friend Ember is doing the Girlfriends and Dudes Triathlon this July. I could easily sign up for that tri because I have a buddy doing it too. The only problem? The swim part is in the Columbia River–FREEZING! I would need to buy a full wetsuit for that (expensive) and I already have a partial wetsuit (free). It’s a 1/2 Mile Swim: A fast, down current swim in the Columbia River. Any swim stroke is acceptable including front crawl, back crawl, side-stroke, back float and doggie paddle. The Bike: A 12.5 mile flat ride along country roads. The Run: A 3 mile flat, out and back run on paved trails. Sounds easy right?

I already swim 1.5 (I can do 1/2 mile in 15 minutes). I could easily bike 12.5 miles and running a 5k? I did Hood to Coast! I can do a 5k! But putting them all together….?

My new gym friend suggested the Blue Lake Tri. It’s in June and I was told there’s another on in August. He said I would not need a wetsuit if I did the Blue Lake Tri. I’m conflicted. I don’t know if I’m ready to do it. I want to. What am I afraid of?

I got home at a reasonable hour and Michael and I made turkey burgers and onion rings for dinner. I was famished.


I took a muscle relaxer hoping it would get my neck fixed. I fell asleep almost immediately and slept great. Unfortunately, I woke up in just as much pain as before. 🙁

QUESTION: Have you done a triathlon? What did you think of it? Would you do it again?