Training for My First Century

Always looking to for a challenge and to push it to the next level, Bill and I registered for the August 22nd Reston Century. My training plan is pretty simple – spend more time in the saddle with 3 to 4 rides per week and to get a 70-miler under my belt a couple of weeks before the ride. Four weeks out and I’m feeling strong. Let’s just hope it stays that way!


Overview of the Week

Before discussing each day’s workouts, here’s an overview of my workouts from this past week. Scroll down for daily details…



It was around 70° with low humidity as the twelve of us rolled out of the parking lot in Upperville for a ride simply known as Mount Weather. As we drove toward the fire station where we were meeting our friends, I took a picture of the mountain we would be climbing and later take pictures in front of the FEMA Emergency Operations Center – it’s the clearing on top of the mountain.


We stopped to rest and take pictures before continuing on with our ride; however, the hills didn’t stop because we were at the top of Mount Weather. After battling annoying headwinds much of the ride, and especially during the last 6-mile climb back into Upperville, I finished the 41-mile ride with an average speed of 13.5 MPH.



With a busy work day, I only had time to squeeze in an hour of strength training. I debated going for a run at the end of the day, but my legs were still tired from the previous day’s hilly ride plus I didn’t want to blow them out more prior to a fun ride planned for the next morning. I did spend about 30 minutes gardening just before dinner, though.



My friend Mary and I rolled onto the W&OD Trail at 9 AM in the hazy 76° (climbing to 90° by the time we finished) with only two goals: introduce Mary to the Thomas Mill Road 1.55-mile hill (the one I love to hate) and enjoy the scenic side roads from Paeonian Springs to Hamilton rather than staying on the trail. After meeting our two goals, we decided to ride on to Purcellville for lunch and even stopped by 2 bike shops. We finished our 42-mile ride tired, but pleased with the 13.9 MPH average speed considering we’d climbed Thomas Mill. Tour de France climbers we’re not!



I was up and out the door by 5:30 AM for a sweatfest of a run despite the 69° temperature which was overruled by 94% humidity. My legs felt heavy from the previous day’s ride and I settled into a slightly slower than normal 9:49 average pace for my 5K. I squeezed in an hour of strength training between clients and later rolled and stretched for 20 minutes total after work.



I was out the door in the delightful 63° just before 7 AM and shortly after turning onto the W&OD Trail I saw my friend Chuck riding toward me. I turned and rode with him for about 5 miles before it was time for me to turn back and finish my 36-mile ride. Since I didn’t climb my favorite hill, I was able to maintain a little bit of a faster pace at 15.2 MPH, still a bit slower than last fall when I was in such great riding shape.



I lifted weights for an hour between clients and then squeezed in a 3.25-mile walk (14:41 average pace) in the delightful 74° before heading to the 55+ gym to teach my balance and stretching class. During the class I participated as I led my students in 45 minutes of weight bearing leg exercises, balance drills, and stretching.



Bill and I joined approximately 35 other VeloPigs (gravel group) for an 8:30 AM 34-mile gravel ride. It was 68° as we rolled from Plum Grove Cyclery with the business casual group. Riders divide themselves into three groups: business (15+ MPH), business casual (14 MPH), and party pace (10-12 MPH with a shorter course). We opted for the business casual group because we wanted to ride the longer course, but suspected we might bring up the rear – we did. The five of us pictured below settled into a comfortable pace and stayed together as our own little subgroup finished with a 12.5 MPH average speed.

Once back at the bike shop, there was ice cold beer and soda for the beer and social part of the BBSC (Bike Beer and Social Club). After a fantastic ride, we hung out for about 30 minutes before heading home.


In case there was any question that we rode gravel…


If You Haven’t Checked in, Here’s What You Might Have Missed

In case you skipped checking in on my blog this past week, here’s what you missed…


  • • What was your favorite challenging workout or sporting event?
  • • Are you training for anything big right now?
  • • Did you run in a race this weekend? If so, was it live or virtual?


And that’s my rundown… Have a great week!




I’m linking up with Deborah at Confessions of a Mother Runner and Kim from Running on the Fly for their Weekly Run Down. Be sure to check out not only the hosts’ posts, but those of the other great bloggers joining in on the fun!