City loop century

City loop century by Andrew Gills
City loop century, a photo by Andrew Gills on Flickr.

I don’t have a plan when I set off after breakfast, other than that I want to cover 100km today. I just follow where the road takes me and let my mind wander; enjoying the hum of my wheels along the road.

The ride itself wasn’t eventful or particularly scenic; other than the first 10km and last 20km. All I did was ride up the V1 bikeway into the city and then through the eastern suburbs back home. Despite yesterday’s race, I felt strong for most of the ride. I did struggle from 53-63km but after a shot stop at a servo (gas station for those in the US) to buy some Powerade I felt a lot better and enjoyed the cruise home.

I should have been at home writing a paper for university, which is due on Friday. But I didn’t totally blow it off; I spent the first 60km of my ride drafting the short 500 word essay so will be able to just bash it out tonight.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about how far I’ve come in the past year. Last March, I was still a triathlete. My training was focused on the Byron Bay Olympic Distance Triathlon and I was working on speed. I was also still taking parkour classes and volunteering as a technical official with Triathlon Queensland.

The biggest difference between then and now is that I no longer tag my posts as ‘training’. Shortly after I decided to stop racing triathlon in May last year, I stopped seeing my outdoor pursuits as something I do for pleasure.

Ironically, this has seen me increase my mileage significantly without greatly compromising speed. In March last year I rode six sessions of 25 – 43km at 26-29kph, with four of the sessions being 32-34km long. This year, I am riding 50-100km sessions at 25-29kph.

The events I’m racing are also longer than those I did this time last year. Back then, most of my events were 1.5 hours in duration. Now I am racing 4 – 24 hour events.

I love the long events. Endurance is my thing. I’m not yet good at it. In some events I’m in the top half of the field (adventure races and rogaines) while I’m a back-of-the-pack trail runner. But I also don’t follow a training plan and am still developing the base fitness necessary to add speed to my endurance. Not that I aspire to win; I just want to keep enjoying myself.

Total: 100.1 road cycle

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4 responses to “City loop century

  1. And it’s all about enjoying yourself!

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