I think I’m ready for Saturday’s big 85-mile ride

I think I’m basically ready for Saturday’s big 85-mile ride. I’ve got two more days to go, and although I’m a little nervous about attempting to traverse that long distance, I’m sure it will be fine in the end. I’m even considering, depending on how fast I ride throughout the day, to attempt the 15-mile “power loop” at the end. More on that later.

For the past 3 months, I’ve been working out at least 2-4 times a week. Most of the time, it was only twice a week, but sometimes I was able to squeeze in an additional workout or two. The whole knee injury in Feb certainly through a monkey wrench into the plans, but I’ve mostly recovered. I may take it light on my knee for 1-2 weeks after all of this so I can let it recover with quality. I worked out last night, and I’m no worse for wear. Back at 194 lbs,

Today is my “Friday”, since I’m taking off tomorrow. I have no major plans, but want to run a few errands in prep for Saturday:

  • Get a super-short, race-ready haircut.
  • Ask my local bike shop to make a quick evaluation whether my bike is in decent shape for Saturday. I inspected and cleaned it recently, so I think it’s going to be fine. Still, if I have a problem at mile marker 70, I’m going to rue the day.
  • I have a eye doctor’s appt in the morning, as I wouldn’t mind some new trial contacts on Saturday, vs struggling with my current worn-out pair.
  • I’d like to meet my exquisite wife for a quick lunch in the area.
  • I need an oil change for one of the cars.
  • I plan to squeeze in one more workout at Gold’s. I may do cardio, but I’ll most likely focus on weight-training. Okay, maybe light cardio — how can I resist?
  • I need to go over the registration paperwork and the separate personal checks that I need to submit.
  • Probably do some cleaning up around the house.
  • Lastly, go to bed early for once.

The last item, about going to bed early, is pretty important. Last year, I woke up late, and with the hour drive to Monmouth University (and getting lost trying to find the correct entrance), I missed out on the Team CentraState group picture at 7:30am. Argh, that still bugs me. Of course, I was so wired last year, I didn’t go to bed until 2am the night before. This year, I’m making the group photo!

I’ve never done 85 miles before, so yeah, I’m a little nervous, but I’ve got from 8am to 6pm. Riding at least 16 MPH should get me there in about 6 hours, which would be around 2pm. Now, here’s the interesting part — there is an option at the end to follow a marked 15-mile loop. If I have the energy for another hour of riding, I could ride another 15 miles, and make it a full 100 miles (also called a ‘century’ ride.) Again, I haven’t done more than 51.5 miles (back in May 2004), and that took me 6 hours when I was more fit and thinner. How the heck would I do 85 or 100 miles in about the same time?

Well, I figure that the Valley Forge ride consisted of a lot of me getting lost in the Philly suburbs and going uphill many places. Also, I was fairly inexperienced at the time. I’m older and less fit, but the Jersey shore route will be fairly flat (to uphill bridges though, I’ve been told), so as long as the wind is to my back, I should make good time. I’ve done 50 miles in 3+ hours since May 2004 on more reasonable terrain, so I don’t think this will be as bad. Compared to last year, I’ve got better shoes and pedals, new handlebar tape (with extra gel padding), I’m lighter, and I’ve been working on my cardio and muscle-building for three months now. I’m definitely in better shape than I was last year.

In the end, I’m ready for Saturday, rain or shine. Um, okay, not the “rain” part, but I’m ready for Saturday…. shine or partly cloudy. Overall, I’m pretty psyched!

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