Tuesday, November 20, 2012

An "Easy" 10 Mile Ride

A few days ago, I was contacted by an individual who had found a photo of me with my bike through the website I use to log calories and exercise. She's in the process of trying to lose a big chunk of weight and just started riding her bike recently. The photo of my progress caused her to ask if I'd be willing to "friend" her so that I could help encourage her during this process. In her request, she stated that the people she typically finds who ride are so skinny, and she just wanted someone who knows what it feels like to have some extra meat on her bones. I was happy to oblige.
Image found here
On Saturday, she had a small note in her feed that she hadn't made it out to ride, but was planning on attempting a 10 mile ride on Sunday. The longest ride she'd taken to date was 6 miles. I assured her it was entirely possible to do the ten miles, and to help motivate her, I was going to ride "with" her. The plan was that we'd check in after our respective rides, so it would help keep her accountable and on track, and it would help me actually get out on a little ride too knowing that I'd have to check in with someone. Sure, it was supposed to be my "day off" from exercise, but at this point, I figured a 10 mile ride wouldn't be much and it would seem like nothing at all.

Boy, was I so very, very wrong. As luck would have it, I was able to con Sam into coming on the ride with me. I told him I wasn't planning on racing through it, but just going on a leisurely 10 mile ride. Unfortunately, the only riding I've done over the last few weeks has been very short rides (less than 4 miles), and I don't think I was aware of how quickly this would turn me into mush. As we were riding and trying to figure out which direction to take, Sam mumbled something about this "taking forever." I shared that I, too, was feeling it and thought it was just me. It's not that I haven't been working out, but riding just hasn't taken the priority it normally does. By the time we had reached 6 miles, we were both ready to call it quits.

Sure, it was cold out (but not that cold), a bit on the windy side, and we'd both not slept well the night before, but neither of us could believe how difficult it ended up being to do those "easy 10 miles." We ended up averaging a little over 12 mph, which certainly wasn't speedy, but wasn't crawling either considering the uphill portion of the ride was fairly significant, but we both got home feeling like we'd just rode a century (or what we imagine a century would feel like).

While I know that simply adding some mileage to the rides each week will quickly remedy this problem, I was really quite alarmed at how quickly everything turned. How are your legs holding up as the seasons change? Are you still able to ride at the same pace? Has weather got in the way of longer rides? I'm curious to know if we're the only ones who've already seemingly "lost our legs."

8 comments:

  1. Yeah, that was actually tough. Who knew 10 miles would be so difficult, as I literally did 17 each way the day before? 62 mile Alpine Odyssey didn't kill me, but a 10 mile stroll is going to! Definitely need to get back, and keep those biking "legs".

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    1. Maybe you were just tired from the riding the day prior? I don't know, but it was a good reminder to keep riding, even as the temps cool down. :O)

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  2. I doubt you've lost it completely. It was probably just the wind!

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  3. Yep! I second the wind vote. I was out riding on Sunday and it felt like I was riding in a hurricane! Okay, maybe not...but with winds did not help at all.

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    1. The worst part is we didn't have much time because we were helping with that move... I'm glad to know it seemed a bit rough to you too. At least I don't feel alone. :O)

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  4. That's so sweet of you to be her virtual riding buddy. I love that idea!

    When I haven't ridden in a few days, my stamina hits the floor. Thankfully, it bounces right back after another day or so. I'm sure that the wind and temperature didn't help, but I know the next ride will be a lot easier.

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    1. It was a bit easier the next ride, but boy - I am definitely dreading the snow because I know my fear of falling on ice will keep me from riding any longer distances. Trying to just enjoy the nicer weather now, and hoping for a mild season. :O)

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