Saturday I took the Lightning out the Burke Gilman, to the Sammamish River Trail, then east into some hills near Redmond. I averaged a paltry 13.6 mph, but really spend most of my time over 14. The hills just killed my average speed. Although I think I'm a bit faster uphill now than I was earlier this spring, going from 3.5 mph to 5 isn't enough improvement.
Overall I felt great on the ride, except for my lower back. It was a bit tired and sore on the last two long rides I did (56 and 70 mi), but felt fine after getting off the bike for a few minutes and resting. I'm trying to do more ab and back exercises during the week to help with that, and I'm pretty confident I can make some improvement over the next five weeks.
I doubt I can improve my climbing much in that time period though, especially with my limited training schedule. Since the STP route is pretty flat, I'm not too concerned about it. I mostly want to get better on climbs so that I can enjoy more riding in this area and keep up with any groups I join. Once the STP is over, I think I'll start riding shorter, but more difficult routes in pursuit of this goal.
4 months ago