I knew I wanted a bigger ride today - one that would push me over 50 and get me my first half century ride. I studied the bike paths, measured things out...tried to go to bed early. Then the obsessing about it began and no sleep. Honestly, sometimes I think I should just get up and go at 3:30 a.m. rather than toss and turn and obsess about it.
I set the alarm for 5:40 a.m. and after a brief dog walk and feeding the animals, I made myself some scrambled eggs, then was out of the door at 6:06. I was about 1 mile from home when I realized I'd left my water bottles in the refrigerator (note to self: put a checklist on the back of the door and make sure everything is accounted for before leaving!!). So that wasted some time coming back to fetch it, although it gave me 2 bonus miles. I'll take them!
The part of the ride I think I was obsessing about was taking the bike path south of Marina Del Rey, and by the time I arrived to do that leg of the journey, I had already put 30 miles on the bike. Since the bike path was supposed to be about 8 miles long (per mapmyride.com), I thought that would give me an additional 16, plus there would still be another 14 to get back home once I returned to the marina. Then I looked down at the bike path... and it said 11.50 miles to the end. I wasn't sure if I had 23 miles in me plus the return 14, but I decided to go for at least several miles and see how I felt.
First of all, the bike path from Venice Beach north to Temescal Canyon (6+ miles) is pretty much a flat path. The 11.5 mile bike path south of the marina from Bonsall Bridge to Redondo Beach is not. While I know I need to work on my hills, I found them aggravating. Then too there was the issue my bike is having with the clicking noise whenever I have to accelerate. I kept trying to convince myself to do all 11.5 miles down and back, but by the time I got to the Manhattan Beach pier, I knew I would already get enough miles to push me over 50 for the ride, and that was the goal, so I turned around and headed back - and those darn little inclines were even more aggravating on the way back. I was so glad to get back to the Bonsall Bridge, go around the marina, and then head back home in city traffic. I actually had a much better cadence on the city bike lanes going home than on that bike path.
One special note about either El Segundo beach or Dockweiler beach - lots of people were having cookouts on the beach, and the smell of stuff grilling was practically enough to make me want to stop and beg for food.
I took frequent breaks to refuel on liquid or get a bite of the snacks I brought. I think I went through about 75oz of liquid, 32 of which was Gatorade. I really think having the eggs before I left helped, although two were probably not enough. Four would have been nicer. I even took two bathroom breaks - using the handicapped stalls because they are big enough for me to pull the bike in.
I finished the ride at 12:55pm. I didn't try to be in a race with myself and beat the clock. I chose a cadence that would get me through the ride without sapping my energy. It was only about accomplishing the 50, which I did. It was actually 58.1 miles. The only real soreness I had was in my wrists and hands.
Oh, and those 5 regained lbs? Lost them between Thursday and today.