It’s that time of year when I really wish I’d taken a vacation, but I haven’t. Facebook rubs it in by reminding me of past August vacations–trips to the beach and last year’s amazing trip to the Grand Canyon. Between not wanting to leave Tiger Lilly and a hectic work schedule, a vacation just wasn’t in the card this summer. I’ve been making the most of my summer weekends, though, by getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things, like indoor climbing and my first organized bike ride.
Reston Half Metric Century
The Reston Bicycle Club Century is an annual event that offers three course distances: The “century” is 100 miles. The metric century” is 100 kilometers (about 62.1 miles). The course that we signed up for–the “half metric century”– was supposed to be 35.6 miles. (Because of one missed turn and the usual Garmin variations, my Garmin measured 37. 8 miles.) The ride is untimed, and riders can start any time between 6:30-10:00 am. There were several rest stops, “trail guides” riding the route, and a post-ride lunch.
Rachel, Deborah, Coco
We met at about 8:00 am, donned our participant bracelets, and got a volunteer to take the obligatory pre-ride picture. The course started with about 3 miles on relatively quiet roads around Reston Town Center, and then we spent 8 miles on one of my favorite sections of the Washington & Old Dominion Trail. The first rest stop was at mile 10, so we weren’t really hungry or thirsty, but we enjoyed a few orange slices before getting back on our bikes.
Even though the course was well-marked, we missed a turn soon after the first rest stop. We went about a mile further before we realized our mistake, pulled out our phones to pull up Google Maps, and got ourselves back on track. After that mistake, I consulted the turn-by-turn direction sheet every few turns so I could look out for street signs as well as painted arrows!
We spent about 16 miles riding on open roads around Ashburn. Most roads were divided, with two lanes in each direction and speed limits of 35 -45 mph. Of course, cars went much faster, but most gave us plenty of clearance by using the left lane. The terrain wasn’t very difficult, but varied enough to keep it interesting.
Our next rest stop was the same as our first one, but this time I was ready to dig into to some peanut butter crackers and cold watermelon. I also refilled my Nathan and added a few orange slices to the bladder since I forgot to bring an extra Nuun tablet.
We finished with 10 miles on the W & OD Trail, and then cruised back into the staging area at Reston Town Center. Since it was too early for the post-ride lunch, we put our bikes back in our cars and got lunch on our own.
Such a pretty t-shirt–it’s looks like an impressionist painting
of cyclists on the W & OD Trail.
I am so glad that Deborah nudged me out of my comfort zone for this ride. It was great to ride with friends (although I was too nervous for much side-by-side riding), and the weather was surprisingly nice with a hint of cool in the air. Other riders were very friendly, and there was great camaraderie on the course. It wasn’t as scenic as the Farm to Fork Fondo, but when cars weren’t around I actually enjoyed riding on the open road where I could go as fast as my legs wanted to without worrying about the walkers, runners, and rollerbladers I have to share the bike path with!
Monday: Orange Theory Fitness
Like last week, the treadmill and rowing blocks were done as relays. This time we did 0.25 mi on the treadmill each time. I had to bump up the incline to 2.5 and push my pace to 7.7 mph to get my heart rate up.
Tuesday: Speed work on the hotel gym treadmill.
Inspired by Monday’s OTF workout, I decided to do mile repeats at 7.5 mph.
First workout in my new shoes!
Wednesday: Strength workout in the hotel gym, including two rounds of this core/back routine from Runner’s World.
Thursday: Incline workout on the hotel gym treadmill.
At home, I usually do 1 minute incline intervals. Since this treadmill shows “laps,” I decided to do 1/4 mile intervals.
Thanks to my experience at OTF, I did the steepest intervals I’ve ever done–I worked up to level 6, and did 5 intervals at level 6. Before now, I’ve maxed out at 1 minute intervals at level 5.
Friday: After a very long day of work on Thursday and an early flight home on Friday, I decided I should treat my body to yoga. The only class that fit my schedule was Core Power Yoga 1, which was a nice change from Core Power Yoga 2, with a slightly slower pace and more instruction.
I loved this view out the window!
Saturday: The only reason I got in my long run on Saturday is because it’s what I do. I had no motivation or enthusiasm for this run–not even the chance to put my new shoes to the test. Still, I knew I’d regret it and feel out of sorts if I didn’t head out the door, so I did.
I really struggled on my neighborhood hills.
Sunday: Reston Half Metric Century 🙂
Next summer is Labor Day weekend, which marks the unofficial end of summer around here. I will not be heading to the beach, but I will be hosting the Ultimate Coffee Date Link Up with Deborah. Grab our new badge from my sidebar and make sure you stop by!
How are you making the most of the rest of summer?