Fitness Bucket List

7 Things I Learned Training for a Century

7 Things I Learned Training for a Century 

Things didn’t necessarily go as planned this summer. Despite that, I am happy to say I did my first Metric Century, the Salem Peach of a Century ride, and I’m happy I was able to end the summer with a biking event. I learned a lot of things this summer and wanted to share them with you.

1. Sign up for the event as soon as possible.

The last year or so I’ve been wishy-washy about my goals. I wanted to do the Hood River bike ride last spring and drug my feet until it was too late to sign up. I wanted to swim across the Columbia River in the Roy Webster Channel Swim and I’ve worked myself up into a panic over open-water swimming to the point where I don’t want to do it anymore and I have anxiety about doing a sprint-tri. This year, Michael and I planned on doing the Covered Bridges Century ride and I procrastinated signing up for it all summer long. This did NOT help my motivation for training.

Having a specific date on the calendar, paid for, registered for, and planning for has helped me train for so many events. I realized I NEED THAT. I need it written in stone otherwise I flake out. The fire I need to fuel my training is “I’ve signed up for this and I need to be ready by this date.”

2. Life WILL get in the way.

The weather, summer plans, busy schedules, equipment malfunctions…life will always get in the way of training. The trick is to figure out how to get around the crap life hands you. This summer was fraught with jam packed weekends, family events, and flat tires. It also seemed that the weather would not cooperate with my riding schedule early in the summer. Too many rainy days discouraged me from getting out there. As a result, my mileage was not great.

If you want it badly enough, you’ll find the time to fit in training.

3. It WILL be hard.

Training for a Century ride is a difficult thing because it’s easy to talk yourself out of it, or psych yourself out. It’s the same reason that I vowed to lose 50 pounds instead of 100 when I first started my journey. 100 pounds was really overwhelming, yet 50 seemed doable. The same goes for mileage. Start planning for 50, 60, 70, and stop getting freaked out about the number 100!!

4. You need to know how to change a flat tire.

I wish I could say that I can successfully do this. I’ve only done it once and it was in my kitchen after I took a class on bike maintenance–where there was no pressure or stress. I’ve had many, many flat tires and it’s so frustrating, especially when you feel incompetent. Note to self:  take another hands-on class and practice, practice, practice.

5. Food and Rest make a difference.

I can tell when I didn’t eat the right food the night before I ride my bike into work, or when I haven’t given my body enough rest. My body lets me know on those hills I have to bike up to get to work. My heart will be pounding, my legs will feel like they are on fire and I will feel like I won’t make it up that hill.

Like with anything (weight loss, running, etc), exercise is only one part of the equation. The food part is probably even more important. Eating shitty junk food will not get me to my goal.

6. The clothes make the (wo)man.

Having good gear makes a huge difference. If you are planning on riding your bike more than 20 miles at any time in your life, invest in some bike shorts or bib shorts. Seriously. Your butt will thank you. Cycling clothes may be unflattering spandex, but they also serve a purpose. They are skintight to prevent drag and they are made of material to wick moisture from your body and keep you comfortable and cool.

Speaking of gear, take your bike to a professional to get a once-over and make sure you are properly fitted. It makes a world of difference when it’s adjusted correctly and will prevent injuries.

7. The challenge is so worth the sweat, tears, pain, suffering, sore muscles and fatigue.

Seriously–it’s so worth it. Doing things like Reach the Beach, Hood to Coast and the Portland Century have made me a stronger, healthier person and I’ve never regretted challenging myself.

Challenging myself to fitness goals makes me happy. There will always be set-backs, things will rarely go as planned, but that won’t keep me from trying.

QUESTION: What have you learned from training for big fitness events?


Check one off the Bucket List!

It sounds like the Hood to Coast movie was a roaring success! I’m seeing lots of bloggers and people on Twitter inspired to run a relay race. Well if you’re new to my blog, check out my Hood to Coast Recaps here:

You can read the adventure of 197 Miles in order and I’m sure it will inspire you to try a relay race (or any kind of running race). Just be careful of injuries. I know from experience.

Hood to Coast- Leg 12

Since I didn’t have tickets to see the movie, I had a low-key night at home. Michael and I made fajita salads for dinner.

The flank steak is good for making fajitas. Michael made his awesome guacamole. As a compromise we decided to make salads instead of traditional fajitas in tortillas. I knew I’d eat a lot of guacamole and wanted to save a few calories to splurge on it.

Lots and lots of garlic.

I could really just eat an entire meal of just guacamole and tortilla chips. 😉

I made the salad part. Shredded lettuce (a mixture of spinach and green leaf lettuce) and topped it with some cheese and the guacamole.

Michael took care of the steak and the peppers and onions.

Since I’m a sour cream junkie, I topped my salad with two servings of Light Sour Cream.

Michael and I recently had a debate about horror movies. In his opinion Jaws is THE scariest horror movie of all time. His rational is that since Jaws is about a man-eating shark it could totally happen in real life therefore it’s the scariest.

I can see his reasoning behind that but in my opinion the scariest movie is either Poltergeist or The Exorcist.

I think those two movies are by far the scariest. As someone raised a Catholic I totally believe in spirits and the afterlife. That’s probably part of why I think they are scary. Even though I’m not Catholic I still believe in the possibility of an afterlife.

I haven’t a movie as scary as those two as an adult. I’ve heard that Paranormal Activity is pretty scary but I haven’t seen it yet.

QUESTION: What do you think the scariest movie of all time is? Why?