Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Not the post I had planned to write!

On Sunday afternoon, I had to do a 38 mile ride on my trainer in the garage. I decided to take some pictures to post on here and on Instagram to keep the boredom at bay, but I didn't have the time until now to actually write the post.

And boy, and I'm glad that I waited!

What's the difference? I got to ride outside today at the park! Confused? Don't worry - I'll bring it all together by the end!

So this past weekend was full of craziness. But I have my first official bike race/ride coming up in a few weeks and I need to get some good distance rides in. But due to the busy-ness, despite the fact that the weather was delightful on Sunday, I had to ride the 38 miles on the trainer. I was not thrilled with this idea, but I tried to embrace the fact that I would be getting some big time mental training in!

My set up!
I've been riding on the trainer quite a bit lately, so I pretty much have this down to a science now. I have the fan oscillating right by where I'm riding. I have a towel draped over a hand truck so I can reach over and grab it to dry myself off! And then I just sit there with my tunes and try to focus on spinning.

1/4 done! 9.5 miles in - taking a pic just for fun!!
I hope this isn't TMI, but my tummy started hurting right after I took this picture. I had planned for a rest break about halfway through, so I toughed it out. I ended up actually going to 20 miles so I'd have less to do when I got done! It's all mental, remember!?

Break time!
I learned during my last really long trainer ride that a break halfway through makes a HUGE difference. This time was no exception. Just walking into the house stretched my legs enough! And I went to the bathroom, which also helped (apparently having an M&M DQ Blizzard two hours before you ride in the hot garage is NOT a smart idea!).

When I got back out onto the trainer, my legs and mind were refreshed!

3/4 of the way done! And not looking completely dead! YAY!

Yes, I got very, very bored. I started taking pics of my legs spinning! I thought this turned out pretty cool, though!
The family got home a little more than halfway into this adventure. I'm so grateful that they don't care about the noise my trainer makes! But one funny thing happened when I was almost done. My 14 year old daughter opened the door and said, "Are you trying to kill yourself?" I said, "What???" And then she shut the door. What cracked me up was that this was the same child who had just danced for 7 hours the day before in the blazing hot sun, and then turned around and got up that morning and danced some more!! Crazy, girl!

Then, when I was almost done, my hubby came out to take a couple of pictures of me on the trainer for blog purposes!

The ride was done and I wasn't as sore as I expected to be. But almost 3 hours on the trainer - sheesh! Mental toughness!!

That was going to be the end of the post.

But today changed everything! Today I got to ride outside for the first time in a few weeks. I had 20 miles on the schedule, and it was gorgeous outside - not a cloud in the sky and around 70 degrees!

I had been pretty stiff through the morning because I ran on Monday, swam yesterday morning, and had tap class last night. The first mile or so was pretty slow and creaky, but as the blood started pumping, everything just fell into place and I ended up having one of the best bike rides in my life. I noticed that I am much stronger on the hills than I usually am, and my pedal stroke is much more fluid and smooth. THAT is all thanks to the hard, mind-numbing work on the trainer! You can't coast on the trainer. It's constant spinning! I couldn't believe how much improvement I could feel in such a short time. My speed wasn't all that much faster, but how I felt during and afterward was much, much improved. I ended up riding 21 1/4 miles and it felt like nothing! It wasn't but just a few months ago when 21 miles would have been a crazy long ride for me!!

Post 21 mile ride - putting on my "pretty please" face! I want to move closer to the Silver Comet Trail!!
The only thing that would have been better today is if I could have done this ride on the Silver Comet or on the Greenway! I posted on Instagram that maybe begging would get my hubby to move us closer to a nicer place to ride! LOL Since that's not going to happen, I'll just have to enjoy my beautiful park - all 7 laps of it! :D

So this was a fantastic early fall day for me! I hope it was for y'all as well!!


  1. I need a better way to track my trainer mileage. I don't have a bike computer - just rely on GPS.

    1. Megan, I use my Garmin and a pair it with a Bike/Cadence sensor. Your LBS should be able to set one up for you for around $30. I love riding by cadence (shooting for 85-95 rpms), and then you also get a fairly accurate tracking of mileage on the trainer. And you can use the sensor outside, too, to continue to work on keeping a high cadence.