Isn’t it the old Lululemon saying that says ‘do something every day that scares you.’ Well each year as I get fitter and more confident; it would seem that I take on bigger challenges. Last year I rode my first hundred kilometer bike event and completed the Mind Over Mountain Adventure Race with my friend. This year I have decided to take on the Prospera Valley GranFondo. This GranFondo is 100 miles…. so it would seem that I have committed to riding 163 km on July 23.

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I’m not going to lie and pretend that the task lying ahead of me is not very daunting. It is extremely daunting! To be honest, I can’t believe that I’ve finally committed to it, but it’s something that I’ve always wanted to try, so this is the year! I’m utterly nervous and a ‘tad’ out of my comfort zone and I can’t wait to share my experience!

Committing to this distance is at times overwhelming and I’m worried that despite my training plan; I won’t be able to log enough miles. I want to go into this event feeling confident and prepared…no one wants to be the weakest link. You often see athletes in the headlines of marathons hitting a wall and finishing draped over their fellow runners, just to make their way across, only to collapse in the arms of the paramedics. When I see this I get really intimidated. I don’t want to be that athlete! However, everybody assures me that with the right training and the right fueling I will be fine and I will be able to complete the event!  

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I am fortunate enough to have people on my team and within my group of friends who have done events like this before and have been with me throughout my progression, postpartum until now. They’ve seen me train for other events and assure me that just like my past events, I will conquer this one as well. When I have doubt in what I can accomplish it’s reassuring to have friends to connect with that can share their process with me.

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So with that being said what am I doing? Well in January I switched my training in the gym to one that was based on power and endurance. I’m doing lots weighted squats, lunges and glute work as well as core and upper body work. I lift heavy weights and push loaded sleds. I spent time on an indoor trainer in my garage during our abnormally cold winter when I couldn’t get outside to ride. Now that the weather is finally improving, I’m slowly but surely increasing my distance during my longer rides on the weekend and trying to get in other training during the week, including hill work and hill repeats.

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I’m currently playing around with different ideas for fueling while on my bike as I know eating and drinking will be crucial to me finishing this event. I’ve been including Cliff shot blocks (I love gummies) and the Trail Peanut Butter Bars from Blacksmith Bakery in Fort Langley… I LOVE them!!!!! I love food and as I’m training more; I’m eating more. Sometimes there are days I eat anything that’s not nailed down. I love breakfast and always eat a good meal to start my day. I consume protein shakes after workouts and have a recovery shake that helps in restoring my carbohydrate stores after long rides.

When I think about completing this event I find it a little bit overwhelming. In fact, I think this might be the first event where I cry at the finish line. I’ve always held the GranFondo distance to a high standard; one that only serious athletes are able to endure and complete. I don’t always find the time to ‘do something every day that scares you’. But the day I clicked enter on the Valley GranFondo website, is definitely a day that I committed to something that scares me but it also fills me, invigorates me and motivates me to achieve something I once thought impossible!

I had always been fit, but returning to my athletic self postpartum self was not easy, read more about my Stepping Back into Fitness journey.

Is this a sponsored post?: While we received a complimentary race entry, our words reflect our experience and we’re excited to share it with you.

Article Written By: Sarah McConnell