So I went biking this morning. I had a biking partner too. You'll never guess who it was.
As in Hurricane Hannah!
(Well, now she's a tropical storm, thank goodness.)
Yup, she was out in force this morning. When I first started out, it was warm with a strong, warm breeze blowing but really not too uncomfortable. Then as I got about a mile from home, it started sprinkling. Actually, it was pretty cool. You know those hand-held, battery-operated fans that you can squirt a mist of water from and it blows a cools mist of water into your face? That's what it felt like almost the whole way and it was fabulous. The winds gusted a bit from time to time but most of them were head winds so it was refreshing. There were only two times when the wind knocked me sideways just a bit, but it wasn't so bad.
When I start out biking, it's dark (6am) and the sun doesn't start coming up until 6:30 so I like to stay on paths that I've ridden on before. Who knows what'll be on paths I'm not familiar with—a gap in the pavement or a tree branch or something like that. But this morning, I wanted to try a path I hadn't been on in quite a while.
What did I learn? I need to get a light for the front of my bike, oh and a bell. I thought I knew the path well enough, but something scary happened. I'll tell you about it in just a minute.
First, I'll tell you about my route. I went on the sidewalks through residential areas and two school zones—a high school and a middle school. So the kids were out on the corners waiting for the buses. Middle and high schoolers don't really pay attention to what's going on around them for the most part. They're in their own special world. I just about hit one girl because she didn't look up as she walked right out onto the sidewalk. Then I scared this one poor guy to death. I came up behind him while he was walking his two pups. I don't have a horn, but I did announce myself as "coming up behind you" real loud. I thought he heard me because he started moving to one side of the sidewalk but then when I got up next to him he just about jumped out of his skin and he gave a short scream and grabbed or his dogs. I felt bad. I yelled back "Sorry! I didn't mean to scare you!" Yes, I need a bell, poor guy.
So I got all the way back home and realized I'd only been peddling for a half hour. Man! I was so tired and it had only been a half hour!!?? I had really been pushing it hard and going so fast. So I looked at my heart rate monitor and said "if it says I've burned at least 500 calories, I'll go home".
It said 332.
So I turned around and went back through the same route but the opposite direction. Now is when the ride got beautiful. The sun had started to come up and things were starting to turn a rosy color. Then around the corner I saw the most beautiful lake. It's a lake I see all the time. I've probably passed by it at least a thousand times. And I've noticed it glistening in the sun and it is beautiful. But I'd never seen it like this morning. The trees were silhouetted black. The sky was only still a dark gray but because it had been dark up until then, it looked a light gray to me. And it was reflecting on the black waters that made them glow a beautiful rosy gray color. It was breathtaking. I wished I could have taken a picture of it, but I remember thinking there was no way this would show up in a photograph. It was one of those moments that you just have to ingrain on your brain and remember for all time.
So onward and upward (literally) I went on the sidewalks. (Here comes the scary part.) Then I got to this one part where I saw a skinny, white tube-looking stick that was about 5 or 6 feet long that was sticking up out of the side of the sidewalk next to the grass and kind of bending over the sidewalk just a bit. It was bending away from me so my first thought was "whew, that could have been dangerous if it would have been bowing the other direction, towards me, and I didn't see it". It could have impaled me. But then I remembered, I had just ridden my bike down this exact same pathway only the opposite direction. And I though, man, was I lucky. I didn't even see it in the dark. That thing could have really hurt me. Then I thought, what about someone else who might not see it, it might impale them. Yikes. So I stopped, got off my bike and bent the pole thingy the opposite direction and tucked it into the fence behind it. I have no idea what it was.
Then I come to the school zones for the second time, but this time all of the parents have decided to drop their kids off at school at the exact same minute. So all the roads are backed up and the sidewalks are blocked by their cars waiting to move into the drop off lanes. Ugh.
I had to be really careful and go real slow so that ALL cars saw me when I crossed the parking lot entrances. There were cars coming and going from every direction. Shew, I made it through the first parking lot entrance, one more to go. So I have to come to a complete stop at the next entrance because it has a light and was the main entrance to the school. So I wait until everyone makes eye contact with me and they let me past. So now I'm about 20 feet down the sidewalk, with the entrance behind me, and I hear this gawd awful screeching of tires. And not a quick one either, but a long screeeeeeech. I look back over my shoulder and some idiot had decided to take advantage of all the cars stopping for me and thought he could skip line and get around the car in the front of the line, only to find out that another car was already turning in front of him. Man! That noise was awful!
Then the rain picked up a bit more and the drops were hitting my face like thousands of tiny sand pellets. It was no longer refreshing but now it was a minor annoyance. But what am I going to do? Not like I can stop and go home, right? I gotta keep going until I can get home.
The last mile was the worst. It was all up hill. And there's this one overpass (passes over a trail underneath) that is straight up and over. Ugh! I was audibly coaching myself trying to get up and over it... "come on Cara, you can do this" ... "push through" ... "a little further, don't give up". I'm sure if there were people in their yards listening to me they got a good chuckle. :) I know I would have. But I made it up and over. And then just the littlest hills seemed so huge. I can't believe how out of shape I am. I was never so glad to see the entrance to our community.
And I still haven't lost those 5 pounds that I gained last Sunday (remember the Oreo's, greasy breakfast and pizza?). I'm usually up anywhere from 3-5 pounds on any given Monday, but by Thursday or Friday I'm back down to my usual weight and below. But I can't kick these pounds. I don't know what's up. I thought "easy on, easy off". Nothin' doin'.
Oh well, nose to the grindstone, right?
My main worry is that if I keep going the way I am I won't make my 100 pound goal by Thanksgiving. I really want to do that so bad. I knew it was a tough challenge to begin with, but it's seeming like I'm getting alot more than I bargained for.
I'm not losing hope or getting discouraged, just a little bummed.
Eye on the prize. You can do it Cara.
Being as tomorrow is weigh in for me, I'll do a Challenge update for you guys then.
Wish me luck.