Weekend Riding: DK200 Training + Doubting my Fitness + A Visit With Mom!

Monday already. I wish I had a second Sunday to sleep in and recover because this weekend felt jam packed from Friday straight through Sunday evening—in the best way. I had two great training rides, some very necessary quality time with my mom, and real good food (that I managed not to take photos of; ugh).

I wish I could do it all over again. But maybe with a nap in the middle.

On Friday I had an unexpected half day at work, which was such a treat. I headed to the trails in South Boulder but had to turn around after a mile because it was a muddy mess thanks to the melting snow; I finished up on the roads with seven miles. It was probably the worst run of my life, and I cried in my car on the way home, but I was happy to be in the sunshine on a weekday! A few hours later, I met up with my mom for a walk along Pearl Street. She had been in town on business all week, so I think we both loved getting to wind down and catch up together.

Ever since making my non-training training plan for DK200, I’ve been trying to get in longer weekend rides. So on Saturday, I met up with a friend (who I’m racing with) at 7:30 a.m. in Boulder. We started our ride from Rapha then weaved our way northeast of town on some dirt roads.

^^^ THIS is the actual Kanza training. Fixing bike problems frequently and unexpectedly.

^^^ Just trying to keep it together, honestly.

Unfortunately, I was having some tire issues, so we had to cut it a little short. I ended up with 50 miles, but I was hoping for something in the mid-60s.

Throughout the ride, I kept feeling like I was never going to get fit. Last August I was in such great shape going into the Steamboat Gravel 100-miler. Then I rolled right into cyclocross season feeling super strong and ready for an awesome season. It was clear how far away from that level of fitness I am right now. I have felt like absolute garbage on most of my rides this year. WHY? Then I realized that I’ve never started training for something so early in the year (Dirty Kanza is at the end of May). Last year I slowly built up my fitness by just riding more during the spring and summer, doing Tabletop Tuesday with the guys in the evenings, and getting out on my bike more during the week because of all the extra day light. I sort of—accidentally—rode myself into great shape just by having fun on the bike, not training specifically for an event. And it was awesome!

This time, I have a huge 200-mile goal on my calendar in less than three months, and I’m realizing how much harder I have to work to get fit for it since we’re still having winter weather that’s difficult to train in and around. You feel me?

Anyway. I explained all of this to Jimena, and she echoed everything was saying. She rode DK200 last year doing exactly what we are doing now: long weekend rides, and fitting in miles wherever possible during the week. I’m happy to have her support and expertise, and I’m so excited that we’re going to do this thing together in May. Two hundred miles by myself sounds like a death march.

When I got back and showered, I met up with my mom around 11:30 a.m. and we headed to lunch in downtown Boulder. Unfortunately, our Santo were foiled because they’re no longer doing full brunch on the weekends which is DEVASTATING. A LITERAL NIGHTMARE. Santo had one of the best brunches in town and now they do grab-and-go burritos which…guys. C’mon.

After a short pity party, we drove to Dish on Pearl St. It’s one of my favorite sandwich/salad places with big portions and fast service. I ordered the Half Acre with chicken and my mom got an egg salad sandwich…which I ate half of after I finished my own. I forgot about this part of training: ravenous, insatiable hunger.

The last time my mom visited, we did all the typical sightseer things: Pearl Street, Red Rocks, Gold Hill, an easy hike on the Wonderland Lake trail, a visit to Rapha and the surrounding shops, etc. I wanted to do something new so we headed down to Denver. We were a little late to get to the museum, so we walked along the riverfront near downtown and the Highlands. Everyone was out and about taking advantage of the 70* weather; people sunbathing on the grass, friends throwing footballs, others biking, dogs playing in the park. It was nice to see new places, new people my age, and made me want to get out of Boulder more often. We stopped in REI before heading back to Boulder, totally exhausted.

^^^ REI was having a mega sale, so I picked up this bright red puffy for less than $30!

Sunday morning, I was up early for another ride, this time I went solo. I’d planned to get out earlier, but the time change messed me up and I left around 7:30 a.m. thanks to a later sunrise. There was nothing wildly special about this ride, and I tried to keep it shorter since it was my mom’s last day in Boulder. I finished up with about 45 miles and less than 2,000 ft. of climbing; not bad, but next weekend will (has to) be better.

When I was all done, my mom met me in Louisville for a late breakfast at B.O.B.S Diner.

^^^ From the Internet.

I’ve lived in either Louisville or Boulder for about 2.5 years, walked or biked by this place hundreds of times, and still never been. We changed that. The diner is the classic, old-timey place with limited tables and booths, counter seating, décor straight from the 50s, and super friendly service with unlimited coffee refills. The place has been handed down a few generations and the original owner’s son is running things now. Quintessential diner culture; I was living for it. The food was great, too. I order an omelet that came with toast and potatoes. It’s definitely not Santo, ok, but I loved it, including the atmosphere. I’ll definitely be back!

We strolled around Louisville for an hour or so before my mom had to get to the airport. So sad. I love having her here, and I really love getting her advice on life things. Everyone thinks they have the best mom in the whole world—and I’m one of them.

The rest of the day was filled with grocery shopping, cleaning, laundry (two weeks’ worth since I didn’t get any done last week while I was at the Olympic Trials Marathon), and a quick visit to see a friend.

I had grand plans of getting up early to smash a workout this morning, but when I rolled over to turn off my alarm, I could feel the soreness in my legs and knew I’d be better off pushing it to later today or taking a rest day.

I hope you all had a great weekend! (We’re getting closer to spring!!)

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