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Becoming Familiar with Two of the Four Climbs

There will be four significant climbs during the Reston Century:

  • • Woodburn Road – .9 miles long (11% steepest, 4.5% average grade) at mile 31
  • • Taylorstown Road – 1.3 miles long (17.7% steepest, 6.1% average grade) at mile 61
  • • Stumptown Road – 1.3 miles long (13.3% steepest, 5.4% average grade) at mile 65
  • • Meadowlark Road – .7 miles long (10.3% steepest, 3.1% average grade) at mile 75

Meadowlark is along one of my regular routes; however, I usually ride it in reverse with the shorter climb and longer descent. Just yesterday, we rode it in the direction that we’ll follow on the century course. It was probably only my third time riding it in that direction, and as hills go, I don’t consider it that difficult. I will add riding it in both directions to my training for the century.

As I mention below, on Thursday I climbed Woodburn and will add it to at least one of my weekday rides for the next couple of weeks leading up to the century. Just knowing the ins and outs of a climb helps with navigation so the more times I ride it, the better.

We had planned to ride Taylorstown and Stumptown today – both hills Dawn Patrol initiated me on last summer, but rain moved our ride to next Sunday. I’ve ridden these two hills only the one time and really want to have them fresh in my memory for the century.


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…



The day after one of the most fun gravel rides in a long time, Bill and I wanted a repeat so we headed out for a 32’ish-mile ride only to cut it short at 27 miles. It was hot, our legs were heavy, and we just wanted to be done. We finished with an 11.5 MPH average speed and just as dusty as the day before. Look closely at my shin, that’s not a shadow!



With back-to-back clients starting at 6:30 AM, I didn’t think I would be able to fit in a workout until after my last client at 4 PM; however, I had a cancellation and was able to lift for an hour during mid-morning.



With a work-free day ahead of me, but very hot and humid outside, I spent the morning working on blog stuff. I ventured downstairs at 10:40 AM to the delightful 69° climate controlled basement and rode my spin bike (affiliate link) for 40 miles at a 16.5 MPH average speed. I kept myself from reaching maximum boredom by watching the Olympics and was grateful to have the option to avoid riding outside in the oppressive heat and humidity.

Once I finished, I felt that old nagging pain in my right SI joint / hip area.  I tend to ride more upright on my spin bike and that seems to put pressure on the SI joint.



Still with a somewhat cranky SI joint, I was up and out the door at 5:30 AM for a 5K-run (9:40 pace) in the humid 69° (thank goodness for the lower temperature). Once back in the house I had clients booked straight through until 1 PM without any breaks so there wasn’t any time for a morning weight lifting session. Once I showered and ate lunch, I took a 1.5-hour nap rather than doing my strength training session. I just didn’t have it in me to lift so I skipped it! I did make sure to roll and stretch for 10 minutes each, though.



l headed out for a solo ride at 9:30 AM in the humid 76° and getting warmer by the minute, but on my bike it wasn’t nearly as bad as it would have been running. I opted to leave the W&OD Trail to climb Thomas Mill and almost immediately my radar (affiliate link) picked up someone behind me. When a car didn’t pass I assumed it was another cyclist, and sure enough, a guy pulled up beside me. We chatted for the remainder of the climb, and yet I somehow, I set several Strava PR’s (entire climb and several segments).

At the top we introduced ourselves and when Chris mentioned that he was climbing Woodburn next, I asked if I could join him; quickly adding that he could go at his own pace and wouldn’t need to wait for me. We flew back down Thomas Mill and I followed him to the turn onto Woodburn Road. We climbed side-by-side until we reached the top where I turned and we each continued on with our rides. I wrapped up my hilly 34-mile ride very happy with my 14.3 MPH average speed.



I lifted weights for an hour between clients before heading to the 55+ gym to teach my balance and stretching class. During the class I participated whenever I wasn’t walking around the room checking on form as I led my students in 45 minutes of weight bearing leg exercises, balance drills, and stretching.



As I mentioned several weeks ago, Bill and I are upgrading our gravel bikes and giving our old ones to our son and his fiancée. Bill purchased the Canondale Topstone we test rode, but I’m still looking (no shops have my size in stock so I can’t compare). We wanted to take our son and future d-i-l on a gravel ride so I rode my road bike and stayed on paved roads while they turned onto gravel. We met up again to ride paved back home after a stop for coffee in Leesburg. I wrapped up my 38-mile ride with another 14.3 MPH average.

Pablo was super excited to see us when we got home and gave me a big kiss. Interestingly, he’s gotten comfortable around the moving bikes and is no longer skittish if he’s outside when we roll onto the driveway.


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…


  • • Do you find that you get more aches and pains after changing up your workout or mode of transportation? ~ I was bummed that my hip started bothering me after riding my spin bike but it is gradually feeling better and doesn’t hurt while riding my bikes outside.
  •  • Century riders out there, I’m adding number of days in the saddle, making sure to do all of the climbs at least once prior to the day of the century, and doing hills regularly. We have one 70-miler planned, what else am I missing in my training?
  • • 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!


Disclaimer:  This post contains affiliate links which means if you click on the blue product link and then make a purchase, I will receive a small commission for referring you. You will pay no more or less for the product; however, Amazon will show their gratitude for my referral by paying me.