I Rode 50 Miles and Ate the Appalachian Plateau

In the never ending training schedule switcheroo, today (Friday) was Saturday while tomorrow (Saturday) will be Sunday. Monday was Tuesday and vice versa, Wednesday stayed the same, and Thursday became my off-day. Somewhere in the shuffle a 7-mile run got ditched, but I’m sure it wasn’t that important. Besides, when I was bitching about discussing the half Ironman training plan with my coach when he sent it to me 257 months ago, I said that I was sure it was a bad idea for me to run more than 4 days per week.

So today being Saturday as far as training plans go, I was scheduled to ride 50 – 65 miles. I switched things up for two reasons: 1. I like riding when the weather is nice, and Friday’s forecast was much better than Saturday’s. 2. My husband is racing Giant Acorn Sprint on Sunday so training on that day is pretty much out, which means I need to save Saturday for my long run.  The only spanner (that’s English for wrench) in the works was that I had offered to help my son’s 4th grade glass decorate VA cookies. They have been learning about the different regions of Virginia – Piedmont, Blue Ridge, Appalachian Plateau, etc. (yes, by default I have been learning too) – and the highlight of this project is decorating a VA-shaped cookie to show the different regions.

While I was asked to help decorate, I was not asked to actually bake a cookie, which is a good thing, because I didn’t even realize that our cookie (kids worked in pairs, with a cookie between them and one adult helping) was upside down. Thankfully, an astute parent who actually knows what Virginia looks like flipped it over before I could really mess things up. It would have been so much easier if we lived in a rectangular state like Colorado or Wyoming. Mind you, it’s a good thing we don’t live in Hawaii or Alaska…

VA if it were rectangular

The kids used different frosting colors to highlight the regions, a twizzler to show the Fall line, skittles for the state capitol and other major cities…their guess was as good as mine as to the location of those…brown sprinkles for the coal-producing Appalachian Plateau, red skittles for apple-producing regions, and so on. When they were finished, each pair’s VA Cookie was brightly-colored, gooey, sticky, and covered in approximately 3 billion grams of sugar. We cut the giant cookies in half so each child could take some home. We had some of ours for dessert tonight. I believe I ate the entire Appalachian Plateau.

So it’s a good thing I rode 50 miles today. Because of the cookie thing I had to split the ride into two halves, which really helped me mentally. I set off at 8:20am and rode the first 25 miles in just over 90 minutes. It was 58 degrees when I started but the sun was shining so I was sure it would warm up quickly. I wore arm warmers but other than that was dressed as I would for a ride on a 90 degree day.  I’m all about that minimalism stuff right now. I didn’t even wear socks. I really enjoyed my ride and was glad I hadn’t succumbed to the basement riding option. I briefly considered it as I’m halfway through The Bourne Supremacy, but figured Matt Damon would get plenty of chances over the Winter.

My second ride started at noon, after cookie decorating, and by then I didn’t need the arm warmers. I rode this half faster, finishing the entire 50 miles in 3hrs. Then I ran for 20 minutes as per The Wretched Plan. Not long after that, it was time to pick up the kids from school. I tried not to stand too close to anyone as I waited for them to come out, as I had chosen to check my e-mail rather than shower in the spare 20 minutes I had. Priorities, right?

Do you ever split long rides/runs in half? I am thinking I might do this more often as it’s much easier.

Do you know the regions of your state? Is it oddly-shaped? I guess most are. Must look at a map of the USA more often. 


  1. Love the cookie!! 🙂 Looks yummy! Great way to teach the kids about where the mountains, cities, etc are in VA.! I have come to realize that, whatever it takes, to get the miles in, is the way to go. There are days when time is not on my side, and I have to split up my runs. Ideally, for marathon training, I like to get my long run in, without having to break it up, but, sometimes, that’s the only choice. 🙂

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