Friday, May 4, 2012

Bike-less to Century Finisher

I may be delusional or just plain crazy, but hear me out.  I have signed up for another season of training with the National Capital Area Chapter for Team In Training (TNT) Program. That is not the crazy part…the crazy part is that I signed up to train for a century ride.
What is a century ride? Great question..
A century ride is a 100 mile bike ride completed in one day (or a few hours depending on how fast you are!). Some races offer 100 km distances, but I am aiming to ride the whole 100 miles. I am obviously excited about this for many reasons. One of those reasons is having the opportunity to train with TNT again and raise money for a great cause. My experience training for a full marathon with TNT was so positive and rewardin that I can’t imagine preparing for an endurance event like this on my own. Not only will I have access to great coaches that will answer my millions of questions, but it is always fun to train with other people, especially people that are preparing for their first 100 mile ride. I have not met my team members yet, but I am hoping there are at least a few of us that are newbies.
The other reason I am excited about training for this is that I am also signed up to run the Marine Corp Marathon in October. This is where the real craziness sets in! I will ride (and complete) the century ride on October 6th and will run the Marine Corp Marathon 3 weeks later. Pending an injury-less ride, I am hoping my legs are fresh and ready to run in my second marathon. At first this seemed a bit daunting to me, but the more I thought about it, the more I really liked this approach.  As the temperate gets higher, the thought of running outside becomes less and less appealing to me, I will need something to keep me motivated to move. There is nothing I detest more than being outside for a prolonged period of time when it is a hot and humid.  The mistake I made last year was taking things really easy during the summer. Way too easy!  When the fall racing season started, I struggled to get started and rather than PR’ing my way through races, it was as if I was starting all over again.
So training for a century during the summer will keep me accountable to workouts and the thought of riding through a hot day appeals to me more than running. (This may also be delusional, so stay tuned to what I have to say about my first ride in July!) I also want to focus my summer workouts on getting stronger, lifting heavy things, and getting FASTER. So my summer training plan will be filled with Crossfit WODs and yoga classes.  I think all the biking and strength training will really complement my running and will prepare me to PR the Marine Corp Marathon. It is exciting to be running in your second marathon because you have a time at which you can start chipping away at! Ideally, every marathon I run in should be a PR for me…right?!
So to add to the craziness, I am signed up to train for a century ride, but I doesn’t even have a bike! Oops..minor detail, right?   Well, I actually have a mountain bike, but a road bike is the ideal piece of equipment for riding a century ride. Before I make the big investment in a road bike, I plan to do a few training rides on my mountain bike and get a feel for cycling. There may also be opportunities to “borrow” or rent a road bike. There are many avid bikers out there looking to convert other people into bikers and they are usually happy to lend out a bike for a few months. So if you are one of those people and you have a size 51’ female road bike, CALL ME!
No bike, no experience riding, and just under 22 weeks to get this all figured out….sounds like a recipe for disaster, but I am excited to take on another challenge and putting my focus toward this goal for the summer.
I’ll blog about my experience going from from bike-less to century finisher so check back often and cheer me on!
Of course, the fundraising has begun! To donate, click here: http://pages.teamintraining.org/nca/seagull12/mhardin

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