Yesterday was a big day for me. I had a two hour ride on the schedule and was very nervous about it. It was going to be my longest ride, done by myself, and done on a completely unfamiliar to me course. I didn't want to be so nervous about it but I was. To try to minimize my nerves some I decided to follow the route for a 30 mile ride that took place back in June. I figured the organizers of this ride probably chose roads that weren't very busy, plus I knew it was a popular ride meaning people had to like the route.
It was raining when I woke up so I decided to postpone the ride to around 12:30 which was not my smartest move. I normally have no trouble riding in the heat that wasn't the case today. It probably didn't help that I didn't drink anything before I left for the ride. Stupid, yes. Something I'm working on, also yes. I know it sounds silly but I really do forget to drink sometimes.
Despite a few things going wrong, I really enjoyed this ride. The ride went something like this: first ten miles I was smiling ear to ear, second 10 miles I was getting annoyed with my directions, last 10 miles I was ready to be done but still loving being out there. Even though I had the directions clipped to my bike, they were very confusing and I had to keep stopping to figure out where to go. Plus I ran out of water with about 6 miles left.
Looking back I feel silly for being so nervous. I enjoyed [almost] every minute of this ride, which for someone who hated riding last year, this is a big deal. It's kind of weird, when I'm riding with others or near cars I'm fairly anxious and nervous but when I'm out there all alone I'm completely at peace and happy. For most of the ride I had the road to myself and felt so good out there. The nice thing about being so new to riding is that I feel like I'm making so much progress with every ride.
33.31 miles - 2:03:14 - 16.2 mph
When I was so nervous about this ride to try to calm myself down I would say that I could do this ride easy and not worry about pace. Ironically I rode my longest ride to date at one of my fastest training paces to date. Funny how things work out. Next week I have another two hour long ride on the schedule and I'm planning on doing the same route. Despite my issues with the directions I really liked this route. It was the perfect mix of hills and nice flats.
My plan next week is to eat a bigger breakfast before heading out, start hydrating the night before, and bring a mix of gatorade and water with me. I also want to see if there is any place along the route to stop to fill up my bottles.