Did the featured image of prescription cat food lure you in? Day one of the REALGAINZ challenge is another one for the storybooks.

Miles: 10.02

Time: 53:01

Ave. Speed: 11.3

Elev. Gain: 432 ft

Weather: 50F, cloudy and windy

Gear notes: Wishing my cool weather pants would arrive already. Wore bike shorts under stretchy bamboo leggings – not super comfortable. Need to wear full-fingered gloves next time. Maybe a neck Buff. New (or used) bike please! Oh yeah, and water would be good to have as well.

Since I hadn’t made adjustments or even sat my butt on Johns bike prior to the moment I needed to ride, I fiddled. Seat post adjustment was a must and wouldn’t you know it, the post moved barely a half inch before bottoming out. Ok, fine, I can handle being on my tip toes. Next up, the shifters. What. The. Heck? I am in no way ashamed to admit my lack of bike knowledge, other than you sit your ass on them, move your legs and shift gears. I guess I will be learning a lot over the next 29 days! (Kale, if you are reading this – please help!)

Managed to figure out the shifters and off I went up the road. The first sense to kick in was sound; mountain bike tires are loud on asphalt. That meant I had to be on super alert for vehicle traffic. With the current stay at home order in NH, I didn’t have to worry much about traffic.

John recommended I stay close to the house, just in case, so I took his advice. I meandered down a cul-de-sac I had been wanting to check out. Being spring there are a lot of houses springing up on the market (tee hee, get it – springing?). Lame, I know. Anyway, at this point I was just about halfway through my ride (5-ish miles) and made a mental note to get myself a bike. This will really be a sufferfest if I use this bike for the duration.

As I was heading up another cut-de-sac, my phone chimed indicating a text message. Note that I was going slow enough uphill that the sound of the tires did not block my ability to hear the phone. After it went off a couple more times, I knew I had to check. Then I wished I had left the phone at home. It was a text from work, asking if I could call into a meeting at 1pm…it was 12:51.

Luckily, I was only a mile or so from the house so I pedaled as fast as I could and tore upstairs to my office – I called in at 12:59.

In my office, just off the call and finding humor in the moment.

After the meeting I was a bit panicked. Crap, what are the REALGAINZ rules? Am I allowed to split my ride, or does it have to be a consecutive 10 miles in one activity? Did I just fail on the first day? Luckily, I didn’t save the activity on my Garmin when I stopped, so I was able to restart the same activity. Phew.

Here is where cat food comes into the story. Islay has been having some issues and the vet recommended trying a prescription diet. The food was ready for pickup at the vets office, which is only 1.3 miles down the road from our house. Perfect for my remaining distance! Now, I knew I would need a backpack to carry the food, but I didn’t realize how much I would be carrying – 20.4 lbs worth! Yes, I weight it. 

En-route home, with 20 lbs of cat food.


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