Training for a Century Ride

Gear Prudence reached out to me this week about a question he received about training for a century. The person writing in wondered if it was truly necessary to train for a century.

The question surprised me somewhat because I am a big believer in preparing for things and avoiding problems when I can. I’m not a person who signs up for stuff just for the heck of it to see how I’ll do. If that means training, then so be it.

Gear Prudence did an excellent job summarizing my perspective, and as a follow-up, I put together a more complete response to training for a century. Some people see training as a dirty word, but I think it’s helpful to train or build one’s fitness in order to better control a ride experience. Continue reading “Training for a Century Ride”

Building Up to Brevet Distances

Like a lot of randonneurs, Felkerino and I have developed a method that serves us well in our preparation and training for brevets. I see our approach as one that works for people who have other activities vying for their time and attention (be it job, family, or other pursuits) and for those who have already developed a solid base level of fitness. Continue reading “Building Up to Brevet Distances”

Lifestyle Changes in Small Packages: Brown Bag Lunch

In 2013, I read David A. Kessler’s somewhat horrifying yet engrossing book The End of Overeating, in which he provides an inside look at how the food industry perpetually entices us to shove the ideal mix of sugar, fat, salt, and who knows what else down our throats.

After being shown how I was being taken for a ride by companies that say they prepare “food,” but want us to be loyal patrons of junk, I committed to making changes in my diet. I bought fewer prepared foods, read food labels more consistently, and ate more fruits and vegetables. Continue reading “Lifestyle Changes in Small Packages: Brown Bag Lunch”

Throwing Away the Cycling Spreadsheet

Quickbeam and Capitol

A funny thing happened to me at the end of April. Funny to me, anyway. I lost interest in tracking my cycling miles, and stopped caring about the number of days I rode each month.

Continue reading “Throwing Away the Cycling Spreadsheet”

Goals versus Plans


In one of my 2013 roundup posts I noted that I had not written down any goals in 2013. However, I did make a variety of plans and spent a great deal of time making sure they came to fruition.

I see my plans distinctly from my goals. For me, plans are generally more concrete like a bike tour or a brevet. A plan may be part of my effort to reach a larger personal that is almost always bigger and often more abstract than my plan.

Continue reading “Goals versus Plans”

Life is What Happens While You’re Making Other Plans: Looking Ahead in 2014

Winter's here. Time to plan for summer
Winter’s here. Time to plan for summer.

Recently, Felkerino sat down at our laptops and talked and dreamed about all we wanted to accomplish in 2014.

It’s rather fun to have a partner who likes to engage in the same kinds of activities as you. Weekend rides, brevets, bike tours… we both want to share these experiences.

However, I’ve come to appreciate that these activities don’t just happen. Okay, maybe a weekend century ride does, but other things require planning.

Continue reading “Life is What Happens While You’re Making Other Plans: Looking Ahead in 2014”

2013 in Review: Goals, Mileage, Rides, and Runs

At the beginning of this year I committed to having a different kind of year than I had in 2012. At the end of last year I had started to feel burned out, as though I had been doing the same thing over and over and not enjoying it. Felkerino and I agreed to back off on the longer brevets this year. Instead we focused … Continue reading 2013 in Review: Goals, Mileage, Rides, and Runs

The Furlough, Fall Events, and a Marathon Taper

Quickbeam and me

Taking the topic away from coffeeneuring for a moment, I wanted to post some thoughts about three separate, yet interrelated, topics: lions; tigers; and bears. Or really: how I spent my furlough days, the impact of the furlough on the fall event plans, and my marathon taper. It also gives me an opportunity to post some of the many photos I took during that time.

Continue reading “The Furlough, Fall Events, and a Marathon Taper”

Fall Events and an August Wrap-Up

Panda shot on the Quickbeam

August passed in a herky jerky fashion. I had trouble getting into a rhythm with my riding and I ventured infrequently to the weight room. As a result my cycling miles were down and I probably have reduced my pushups capability for the moment. Who knows what miserable state my core is in (kidding… I’m sure it’s mostly okay).

Running miles were higher than previous months, though, partly because my schedule fit the running routine best and also because my body and mind were naturally drawn to going out for a run.

I often use running as a way to manage stress and to clear the clutter out of my head so hopefully I ended the month with a less discombobulated mind than when I started it.

Continue reading “Fall Events and an August Wrap-Up”

Red Rocks! Five Days in Sedona

Group photo in Sedona (Bear Mountain)
Group photo in Sedona (Bear Mountain)

This last week Felkerino and I left the bikes at home and traveled to Sedona, Arizona, for five days of hiking with his daughter DF.

Have you ever been? It was my fist time in the area, and I was constantly amazed by the beauty of its red rocks and vegetation.

Continue reading “Red Rocks! Five Days in Sedona”

What Does Health Mean to You? Laying the Groundwork

This week the WordPress Weekly Writing Challenge, a blog that essentially gives bloggers voluntary writing assignments, encouraged people to reflect on health and what it means to them.

Me and my Tikit

I have been thinking a lot about my health over the last year, in part because I turned 40, which really had me in a prolonged existential funk. This milestone birthday prompted me to scrutinize my physical health and well-being, and reassess how I was spending my time in order to better allocate it.

Through this process I discovered– or in some cases reaffirmed– how I want to live, and I have continued to adapt my environment so that it facilitates a lifestyle that is healthy for me.

This post focuses on laying the groundwork for the more physical aspects of health, but these bleed into other areas of wellness, too.

Continue reading “What Does Health Mean to You? Laying the Groundwork”

2013 In Progress: Kept the Spreadsheet and Changed My Story

Me running

Now that we’ve reached one month beyond the halfway point of 2013, I wanted to take a snapshot of July as well as the year so far.

Continue reading “2013 In Progress: Kept the Spreadsheet and Changed My Story”

Seeing Changes

Co-Motion Java tandem

Instead of riding brevets and doing a 1000K or a 1200K this year, Felkerino and I focused on a weeklong Colorado bike tour, which included two days of riding around Boulder and a seven-day loop rich with hills and mountains. (Felkerino is writing a post of our routes and the gear we took over at The Daily Randonneur, so please stand by for that!)

As we were climbing Loveland Pass, Felkerino asked, “Do you think this tour will change you as a rider?”

Continue reading “Seeing Changes”

A Peak, a Valley, and a New Ascent: May by the Miles

May turned out to be an exciting month around the edges with a big blah and some good lessons learned in the middle.

Numbers-wise, it looked like this:

  • 1 Marathon
  • 91 miles run
  • 0 Brevets
  • 485 miles on the bike
  • 11 trips to the gym for general weightlifting workouts

First, a peak:  The first weekend in May, I ran a personal best marathon of 4:05:11 at the Potomac River Marathon. That time was over 26 minutes faster than my previous personal best. I had hoped to put up a good personal time, but my result surprised me– in a good way.

Continue reading “A Peak, a Valley, and a New Ascent: May by the Miles”

Joining the Ranks of the D.C. Runners

Washington Monument

When I lived in the Midwest I drove most places, worked out erratically, and weighed 25 pounds more than I do now. I was focused on other things; fitness was not one of them.

After moving to Washington, D.C., life changed. My job had more of a regular schedule. Driving a car in the city was a hassle. I started to use Metro and walk most places.

Walking made me more observant of my surroundings and whenever I stepped outside I saw people running. On the National Mall, through Rock Creek Park, and down city streets. Morning, afternoon, day, and night. There was always someone running!

The runners’ energy was infectious, and I found myself joining them. At first I could only run a mile or two interspersed with lots of walking, but over time my body acclimated and I ran longer. It was a great feeling. Gradually, I began to consider myself a runner, too.

Continue reading “Joining the Ranks of the D.C. Runners”