Monday, June 25, 2012

First Road "Race" of 2012 Recap

At the beginning of spring this year Matt convinced me to take up biking this summer. Ok, it wasn't that hard to convince me. I was in good physical shape because of my consistent yoga practice over the last year but I had really been neglecting any cardiovascular activity. So when he mentioned biking I was all "Yeah, why not?". Since I didn't have a bike my dad decided to let me use his (Thanks Dad!!). We got it tuned up at Sportwheels and had new clip-less pedals installed. Having never used clip-less pedals before I was really nervous about trying them out. But Matt kept reassuring me that I would get the hang of it in no time so I had a bit of faith.

My first few rides with the clip-less pedals were pretty nerve wracking. Being physically attached to your bike and having to think about moving your shoe to the side before getting off the bike can be a little stressful. I will admit that I did fall down. More than once. Surprisingly though it was never when I was actually biking, always when I had stopped, unclipped one foot, put that foot on the ground but accidentally transferred body weight into the foot that was still clipped in. And then TIMBER, I fell over. The first time I could not stop laughing once I was on the ground and had done a body check to make sure I was ok. Matt said my face was priceless, complete shock. Where is candid cameras when you need them?

Back to the story... I had to upgrade my biking seat to something with more cushion and then we started hitting the trails a lot more. Sooner than I would have ever expected, we were biking 10km and 15km distances. My body was reacting well to the biking and it was proving to be a lot of fun (except for the sore bum). So we decided to sign up for a race. Well a "race" I should say. We registered for the Valley Lifecycle 50km bike ride. It wasn't really a race, more of a "let's promote health and fitness and all ride our bikes" kind of event.

We had started training for it about a month before the big day by doing shorter rides during the week (20-35km) and longer rides on the weekend (40-50km). Then last week we found out that the 50km ride was actually 62km. I will admit I felt pretty defeated at first. I've never been a cyclist and wasn't sure if I could do that distance as we had only trained for 50km. On top of that I had sore hamstrings from working out too hard earlier in the week and Matt was sore from getting back into badminton Friday night. We got up on Sunday and contemplated not going. Although I really wanted to race (especially since I had told so many people about it) I didn't want to injure myself since I was still sore and I didn't want Matt to injure himself since he was still sore as well. We decided to do a test ride around the neighbourhood and after a couple of laps we decided, what the hell, we're up and feeling ok so we might as well do it.

The experience was awesome. I was surprised with how many people were there and it was really cool to ride through Kentville's main roads and have it completely closed off for bikers. It took Matt and I about 5-10km to get into the groove of the ride but after that I found it almost easy. The scenery was so gorgeous that Matt and I want to drive the route next time we're in the area so we can take some photos. After about 1/3rd into the ride we became spaced out enough from other riders that we were pretty much alone for the rest. I prefer this way more than biking with a bunch of other people because we could be silly and make jokes and chat without people listening in. Most of the bikers tended to be pretty serious too so we probably would have only annoyed them.

We ended up finishing in just under 3 hours (I think, it wasn't timed so I don't have an exact time) which I am overly pleased with. I was guestimating it would take 3.5-3.75hr for us to finish. We only had a few problems on the route. My chain fell off twice and the second time I fell off my bike when I went to stop to put it back on. Thankfully I didn't hurt anything. The last 1/4 of the race was really hard on Matt's muscles since they were so sore to begin with. He has been so supportive of me when we were on some hard rides during training so I was really glad we stuck together for the whole ride and I could be supportive of him. I'm so used to going on bike rides with him now that I think it would be really weird, if not hard for me to ride alone.

All in all it was a super successful day. We went and stuffed our faces at Joe's Food Emporium in Wolfville after the race. The food was much needed as we probably burned between 2000 and 2500cal during the ride.

Started with some cocktails - I had a pina colada and Matt had a long island iced tea.

Appetizer was zatar fingers which is a Lebanese version of garlic fingers
This was delicious! It's called vegetarian m'nazalee and I HAVE to find out how to make it.

Now we're seriously considering doing either a metric century (100km) or a 75km race. Maybe if I have time for the training with my sprint triathlon training :)

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