Training the right way for a big event takes time and some dedication, and that requires a degree of "sticking to it" when the going gets tough. I've had a good plan to work with (obligatory shout out to Coach Debi), but I'm proud that I've stuck with it and kept up with the training.
Sunday was one of those days where it took a little bit extra, though.
On the schedule -- a 4 hour bike ride. Challenging enough for me, but throw in some nasty cold weather on Sunday morning (32 degrees with a 15-20 MPH west wind in the morning) and I was not looking at a fun day. Still, it was supposed to warm up to the high 40s, and the forecast was for sunny skies.
Despite layering as well as I could, I had some doubts right from the beginning of the ride. Almost immediately I had to head west, into the wind. I hunched down over the aerobars and did the best I could as I rode the country roads in the shadow of the Blue Ridge. The high hills and persistent clouds kept out what little sunshine did appear, and soon I was wishing for more climbs -- at least then I could generate a little heat.
Eventually I completed my first loop, 42 miles, and passed by my car. I almost stopped, since I had a thermos of coffee there, but I pressed on -- if I'd stopped I'm not sure I would have started again.
Another short loop of 18 miles and the ride was done. 60 miles, 4 hours. Not too bad, given the weather and the terrain (over 5000 feet of climbing total). I was stiff and cold, but I'd finished. My longest bike in over 5 years.
Home, shower, nap. Life is good.
See for yourself at my training log.