Taking Advantage of the Longest Day of the Year

This time of year, I love that it’s already daylight as I make my way out of our bedroom at 5 or 5:30 AM and I don’t need to use my phone’s flashlight to guide the way. I’m not sure why, but this year I was determined to celebrate the summer solstice in a big way, outside marveling at how early the sun rises. 

When my friend Chuck mentioned that he planned to ride the full length of the 44.5-mile long W&OD Trail in a loop (a bucket list item for me) and add 10 miles to make it an even 100 to celebrate his birthday, I jumped at the chance. When he said he planned to do it on June 21st, the longest day of the year, I was downright giddy. I quickly named our event the Summer Solstice Century and crossed my fingers that the weather would cooperate and we could pull it off.


Overview of the Week

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



Walking: 5K
• Average pace: 14:27
• Start time: 7:45 AM
• Location: neighborhood circle
• Weather: 59° and sunny with low humidity and a delightful breeze
• What I wore: shorts and s/s shirt

The weather was absolutely perfect to get outside and exercise. Since I was still taking a mini break from running, I did a fast paced walk in our neighborhood before the day’s Father’s Day activities started.



Strength training : 1 hour of total body



Cycling: 100 miles
• Average speed: 14.3 MPH
• Bike: Specialized Roubaix Comp
• Surface: paved
• Elevation gain: 3,035 feet
• Start time: 5:09 AM
• Location: full W&OD Trail loop from Shirlington to Purcellville
• Weather: 62° and cloudy, climbing to 82° and sunny with about 15 minutes of rain in the middle
• What I wore: bike bibs, s/s jersey

Bill and I rolled from our home at 5:09 AM as dawn started to break. Our friend Chuck left his house at about the same time and we meet halfway between our houses, pretty close to the halfway point of the trail. Bill continued to ride with us for about 22 miles until he had to turn to rush back home for work.

Chuck and I took a little break when we got to the trail head at mile 0 in Shirlington. We were surprised that there was no mile marker 0, nor a sign saying 44.5 miles to Purcellville. I was quite dismayed that the weeds were out of control in the middle of the concrete loop at the beginning of the trail. The last time I was there, a weed-free mulched area had flowers planted under and around the signs.


Chuck’s friend Bonnie joined us for a 20-mile segment and snapped this picture of us at the W&OD Trail terminus in Purcellville, VA.


With only about 8 miles to go, we stopped for a well deserved to rest. I hope to put together a short recap to post one day this week. Stay tuned…



Strength training : 1 hour of full body

Walking: 2 miles
• Average pace: 16:14
• Start time: 5:47 AM
• Location: neighborhood circle
• Weather: 65° and cloudy
• What I wore: shorts and s/s shirt

I woke up when Bill’s alarm went off at 4:45 AM for his bike ride and couldn’t go back to sleep so I got up and went on an easy recovery walk before lifting weights. Interestingly, I wasn’t the least bit sore from the previous day’s century and didn’t experience DOMS later that day or the next.



Cycling: 15 miles
• Average speed: 16.7 MPH
• Bike: LifeFitness spin bike
• Surface: N/A
• Elevation gain: N/A
• Start time: 8:45 AM
• Location: basement
• Weather: 68°
• What I wore: bike shorts, tank top

With rain coming down outside, I opted to stay inside on my spin bike for a steady spin to work out my legs from Tuesday’s century ride.



Strength training : 1 hour of full body

Balance and stretching: 45 minutes



Cycling: 45 miles
• Average speed: 12.9 MPH
• Bike: Cannondale Topstone
• Surface: gravel
• Elevation gain: 2,598 feet
• Start time: 9:12 AM
• Location: Philomont lollypop loop
• Weather: 72° and sunny, climbing to 88°
• What I wore: bike shorts, s/s jersey


Last Week’s Blog Posts

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


  • • Did you do anything fun to acknowledge the summer solstice?
  • • What was your favorite workout of the week?
  • • Did you run in a race this weekend?


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!