A Likely Story

I had invited two new-to-gravel-grinding friends to join my husband and me for an introductory ride on a relatively easy gravel route (20 miles with only 1,019 feet of climbing). Neither were able to make, but we wanted a chill ride so we decided to ride the course anyway. After driving about 30 minutes for the start of our ride, we unloaded our bikes, and after chatting with a lady whose dogs had run across the street to say hello, we started our ride.

About a quarter mile into the ride we approached a small hill, and when I tried shifting, nothing happened so I stood for more leverage. After cresting the top I tried shifting again, but both my front and rear Di2 shifters were dead. I had charged them a week ago (I have a reminder set up on my calendar to charge them every two months), but something must have happened and they hadn’t charged properly.

I love the ease of shifting with electronic shifters, especially after a wrist injury in 2020 that made it nearly impossible for me to shift the front derailleur, but when the battery goes dead they’re inoperable. Mine were stuck in a high gear which made climbing even the smallest of hills difficult and steep hills impossible. I made the best of it and rode a bunch of laps on a flatter section and called it a day.

When we returned to our car, the lady we’d spoken with earlier was standing in her driveway and commented that we hadn’t been gone very long.  When I told her I’d had a mechanical problem, she replied, “A likely story.” I chuckled and told her I liked her sense of humor.


Overview of the Week

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



Walking: 3.09 miles
• Average pace: 15:08 minute/mile
• Elevation gain: 94 feet
• Start time: 8:28 AM
• Location: neighborhood trails
• Weather: 83° (feels like 91°) and partly cloudy, climbing to 87° (feels like 95°)
• What I wore: shorts, tank, and visor

After Saturday’s extremely hot 42-mile gravel ride with lots of climbing, Garmin told me I needed 62 hours rest. For once I listened and took a walk instead of another ride in the heat.



Strength training: 1 hour of full body

Walking: 3.07 miles
• Average pace: 15:10 minute/mile
• Elevation gain: 204 feet
• Start time: 12:32 PM
• Location: neighborhood trails
• Weather: 84°, sunny, and breezy with lowering humidity, climbing to 85°
• What I wore: shorts, s/s shirt, and visor

I needed to pick up a few items from the grocery store so I grabbed my backpack and combined my walk with running an errand. I miss the days when I literally “ran” errands. A delightful breeze was bringing in lower humidity, and in the shade it felt absolutely wonderful.



Cycling: 30.29 miles
• Average speed: 12.9 MPH
• Bike: Specialized Roubaix Comp
• Surface: paved
• Elevation gain: 1,460 feet
• Start time: 7:52 AM
• Location: W&OD Trail Ashburn/Leesburg loop with Thomas Mill and Woodburn climbs
• Weather: 73° and sunny with low humidity, climbing to 87°
• What I wore: bike shorts, s/s jersey, and fingerless gloves

After getting downright chilly when I stepped out onto our deck to water my flowers at 5:30 AM I added arm warmers to my bike kit, but the temperature warmed up quickly and I didn’t need them by the time I was able to get out for my ride. The weather was amazing and very much appreciated after last week’s high heat. I was happy to be back climbing my Tuesday hills and took a picture from near the top of Woodburn, the second hill, but it doesn’t have a sweeping view like Thomas Mill.



Strength training: 1 hour of full body

Walking: 3.05 miles
• Average pace: 16:52 minute/mile
• Elevation gain: 76 feet
• Start time: 12:39 PM
• Location: neighborhood trails
• Weather: 98° (feels like 105°) and mostly sunny
• What I wore: shorts, tank, and visor

In order to beat the forecasted storms, I headed out for my walk mid-day, and to beat the heat I stayed mostly on the shaded trails. The storms didn’t arrive until 9 PM, though.



Walking: 4.24 miles
• Average pace: 16:11 minute/mile
• Elevation gain: 114 feet
• Start time: 5:34 AM
• Location: neighborhood trails
• Weather: 70° and partly cloudy with 100% humidity
• What I wore: shorts, s/s shirt, and visor

Cycling: 26.2 miles
• Average speed: 14.6 MPH
• Bike: Specialized Roubaix Comp
• Surface: paved
• Elevation gain: 761 feet
• Start time: 9:43 AM
• Location: W&OD Trail Sterling/Leesburg loop
• Weather: 75° and partly cloudy with 86% humidity, climbing to 85° and mostly sunny with 57° humidity
• What I wore: bike shorts, s/s jersey, and fingerless gloves

Planning ahead for the collage theme for our weekly virtual cardio workout, Kim let me know that it was National Sunglasses Day. I wear prescription sunglasses and didn’t want to bring two pairs of glasses on my walk so I donned my favorite sunnies even if it was just barely getting light out when I left my house.

Collage credit: Kim

A little later I headed out for a ride, keeping it shorter since I had plans to ride again the next day. Seeing that I’d ridden exactly 26.2 miles brought a smile to my face.



Cycling: 41.15 miles
• Average speed: 14.2 MPH
• Bike: Specialized Roubaix Comp
• Surface: paved
• Elevation gain: 1,598 feet
• Start time: 5:29 AM
• Location: W&OD Trail Ashburn/Reston loop with Hunter Station loop
• Weather: 67° and clear with low humidity, climbing to 73°
• What I wore: bike bibs, s/s jersey, and fingerless gloves

Balance and stretching: 45 minutes

My Friday 6:30 AM client was on vacation so I jumped at the chance of joining my Dawn Patrol friends for their Friday morning ride. The weather was fabulous and I was so happy to be outside enjoying it.



Cycling: 6.13 miles
• Average speed: 12.3 MPH
• Bike: Salsa Warbird
• Surface: gravel
• Elevation gain: 217 feet
• Start time: 9:48 AM
• Location: Unison loop
• Weather: 74° and cloudy with high humidity
• What I wore: bike shorts, s/s jersey, and fingerless gloves

With our ride cut drastically short (see opening paragraphs), we spent a little time taking pictures before loading up our bikes and driving home.


Last Week’s Blog Posts

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


  • • Do you have any mechanical or equipment failure stories to shore? ~ I once had a shoe lace come untied at a 5K that I was racing hard. I was so bummed and it probably took me longer to tie it because I was rushing so much.
  • • Did you know about National Sunglasses Day? ~ I’d forgotten until Kim texted to tell me. Back when our sons were in college my husband and I posted a selfie of us in sunglasses and it cracked them up. LOL
  • • Did you run in race this weekend? ~ no


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!


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