It’s Century Week!

On Saturday, I did my last long bike ride in training for the Surf City Aids Ride, my Century Ride. This Sunday, I apparently am going to cycle 100 miles.

I have to admit, I’m so relieved to be done with the training because I haven’t loved it.

I made an important discovery whilst training for this ride. Whilst I LOVE riding my bike, I don’t love TRAINING on my bike.

It’s an important distinction.

‘Cat, would you like to go for a bike ride?’.

‘Yes please, I’d love to.’

Lovely roads
Lovely roads

‘Cat, do you want to do ridiculously long rides every week, getting up at an ungodly hour so you can be sure to be back in time to pick up your Dude? Do you want your bottom to chafe on a weekly basis? Do you want to not stop to take photographs because you need to keep pushing the pace? Do you want to limit your cafe stops and ride the same roads every week because they’re the only safe roads around?’

‘No. Frankly that sounds grim’.

I’m generally not a moaner, and this is clearly a first world problem, but I got so tired of the training. ‘Training’ on my bike just sucked ALL the joy out of cycling. 

me husband cycling

The contrast was marked on Saturday. Last week’s ride was 85 miles, alone, into a headwind for every mile (seriously). I got back drained physically and mentally. On Saturday, I rode 50 miles with my brilliant friend Kat and I loved every second. 50 miles is such a lovely distance. It’s long enough to work your body hard, long enough to cover three big hills, long enough to justify a cake stop, long enough to feel the sun on your face…but short enough that you get home at lunchtime and are physically able to head out to the zoo with your boys immediately afterwards and have a great day. I’m kind of horrified at my average speed (11.5mph, who rides that slowly?) but I had a fab day!

kat cat me cycling
See? Happy cycling faces. Photo credit: Kat


So these are my big learnings from this training cycle.

  1. I don’t want to ‘train’ on my bike. I want to enjoy my riding.
  2. 100 miles takes too much time out of my life. This will be my only 100 miler until the Dude is much older.
  3. 50 miles is a delight.
  4. I think 100k rides are the way forward for me! 62 miles is a perfect stretch-distance.
  5. I LOVE training by running.
  6. I want to run forever more.

This next week, I’m going to be doing a few more shorter rides, get a few runs in and then taper for Sunday. I’m ready to do this!

me cycling
I also learned that one small mango macaron is a perfectly sized sugar hit.

15 Comments Add yours

  1. Erin says:

    Have an amazing ride!!!!

  2. Bean says:

    Best of luck! You have trained so hard I am sure you will be amazing! That being said the runners are happy to have you back ;)!.

    1. Cathryn says:

      I’ll be happy to be back too!!!

  3. Kate says:

    I’m so excited for you!!!!

  4. Layla says:

    There is nothing wrong with riding for the joy of it, at any speed — it’s not your job, it’s not a contest, and nobody is making you do it, so why shouldn’t you enjoy it? You GET to ride, and you also GET to say “I’d rather do this ride instead.” Don’t forget that. And it sounds like all the riding has made you appreciate running more, which will be a great way to kick off Blerch training!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you! I am excited about doing it, I’ll feel such achievement at the end!

  5. Jen says:

    Replace training for a century ride with training for an ultra, and you pretty much described my thoughts this past summer before Big Basin. Best of luck to you this weekend! And have FUN!! (Is there some magical way to stalk you online, or will you be posting? Can you get the Husband to live tweet your ride like Lauren Fleshman did for Jesse Thomas last weekend?)

    1. Cathryn says:

      Ha! Husband is doing the 100k. I don’t think there’s tracking but I may tweet at aid stations. We’ll see. I’m excited, I want it done now.

  6. Caitlin says:

    Good luck! I hope you have fun!

    1. Cathryn says:

      Thank you! I’ve been thinking of you too – hope you have a great ride!! Here’s to no chafing, eh?

      1. Caitlin says:

        LOL seriously! I actually won’t be doing a century though because I feel like it’s asking too much of myself ahead of my half-ironman, but I’m glad to hear you’ll be doing one and I’ll be looking forward to your report!

      2. Cathryn says:

        What what what????

  7. Great job! I am starting to feel the same way about training for marathons. I love the half but the fulls take up so much time and the exhaustion after is overwhelming. Only one more 20 miler this weekend then the taper for Chicago on Oct. 11th. Have fun this weekend and enjoy your taper this week.

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