We had a long weekend and the weather was fabulous!!! Spectacular actually!!!! We headed south and vowed to enjoy every second!!! And I will get to epiphanies and deep thoughts a bit later...first I need to talk about the weekend that makes these thoughts!!
We did enjoy the weather!!!!
We took our bikes and on Sunday we rode on the road near our hotel. The scenery was fabulous!!!! The hills were a bit of a challenge for me and I was breathing like a freight train! However it felt good to be on my bike after a month or two!!!
On Monday we decided to head out to the West Augusta Trail. It was listed as a good beginner trail for a newbie. The newbie would be me!!!
A newbie? Yes....I've ridden my bike quite a bit but I have always ridden on the road or a quasi road (the C&O canal towpath). Going off road would be a new thing for me. I was nervous because I've watched some amazing videos of mountain bikers and the trails they do and how crazy the trails can get! But I told jason a while back that I would give an easy mountain bike trail a hung ho go. And yes, emphasis on the word EASY!!!
So he found this easy trail online! I read the descriptions and thought it would be good for me. The only problem? We couldn't easily find a location for the trailhead! Yeah, that's a bit of a problem!!! We went to the visitor center in the nearest town to try to get clarification. We got pointed in the right direction. We knew the trail was in the George Washington National Forest so off we went (the weekend and holiday meant no answer when we called for directions!)
We searched but we failed miserably to find the trail.
We found a cool lake though!!
And we saw some trails around the lake and decided to head out on them. We could always turn around if we wanted!
The first mile or so was pretty easy! I was hurting a bit because it had been a while since I rode a lot (exuding the day before which has already made my muscles sore) and it was an incline!
And then it started to get rocky.
I pushed forward across a bed or rocks. It was definitely more technical than I was ready for on my first ride out. Eventually it smoothed out a bit and we began to really climb! (I climbed a bit and then walked up to the top!). I climbed on my bike at the top and started the descent. The trail was gorgeous as we went down...a drop-off to one side and the hill going up the other side of the trail.
And then it was time for some lessons!!
****Who knew you shouldn't keep one leg straight down on your bike when your coasting?
****Who knew that my tendency to go fast would cause a problem? (Ironically enough I got home and found a speed camera ticket waiting for me...so yes I go to fast in my car too!!)
****Who knew that the big tree root would snake across the trail???
****Who knew that hitting your front brake on a bike going downhill was a bad idea??? (Ok maybe I should have known that!)
Yup....I went down!!!! Face plant into the trail!
I immediately looked back, fearing that jason would be barreling over me at any second! The look on his face made me bust up laughing!!! Horror is the best way to describe his expression!!! He later told me that I somehow managed to fall off my bike gracefully...not exactly slowly but gracefully. Go figure. (Like I believe that graceful thing...he's a man in love and he had just witnessed his girlfriend take a nasty tumble!!)
I hoped up and quickly checked myself over. Before I could second guess myself I hopped back on my bike and headed down the trail. Focused on keeping is slow...coasting with my feet parallel and not one hanging low....and just being safe! Oh and with jason behind me muttering 'We need to start wearing helmets! That could have been bad. Bring your helmet next time we plan to ride!'
Eventually we made it back to the lake...the other side from where we were parked so we had to get off our bikes and explore!
A little exploration later and we headed up and around the lake.
Sooooo...my injuries? No blood drawn!!!! My left side took the brunt of everything. My wrist is a bit swollen....my Fitbit had to be loosened about two notches. It aches...nothing sharp just a weird dull tingling ache. My elbow is a bit bruised and brush burned. And I have a massive bruise on the inside of my left calf. Ironically enough (or not hahaha) the bruise edges almost perfectly match the size of my bike peddle! Go figure! I got off easy!!! Very easy!!!! That could have been bad...very bad!!!
So the 'easy trail' we tried to find didn't materialize and we actually biked an intermediate trail. Oops.
And yes...we do need to start wearing helmets!!!
So on Tuesday we headed for a different trail...this park was listed as 'easy'. I hopped on my bike ready to ride!
Easy my arse!!!!! Ok in fairness, the red trail wasn't to bad! The blue trail was terrifying!!!! Downhills....hairpin switchbacks....drop offs....the trail was narrow so if you went to one side you were smacking trees....low hanging trees that you had to duck. Uphill..downhill....obstacles galore! Terrifying! I took is SLOW!!! And I had to walk across some obstacles! And I sure as heck didn't do the jumps!! (Or the rock garden on the yellow trail!). I made it safely to the end of the blue trail and just hoped that the yellow trail (the way back to the car....since I didn't want to retrace my path on the blue trail) was easier! It wasn't as terrifying and I did better on it! But it was a heck of a lot of uphill!!! And yes I did have to get off and walk some uphill and over some obstacles!!! Turns out the yellow trail was called 'tough' in a review.
So wow...I guess I got my first mountain biking experiences the hard way!!!
So how did this equate into my thoughts?
It had made me more then ever motivated to get myself moving and into shape! Running might not help the muscles for biking...but if I'm in better shape cardio-wise, then maybe I won't be breathing like a freight train when I am biking!!!
I actually got out and ran this morning! Surprisingly I did better today than I did a few weeks back when I ran. Still slow but not as rough and winded!
In the meantime, Jason is looking at my bike to find out why my back brakes are not catching as well as they should...which forces me to use my front brakes more heavily!! We figured that technical problem out today!! I am focusing on changing the way I sit on the bike while I'm coasting!!! (Legs parallel and not one stretched low!). And well...I guess I'm pulling my helmet out for our next ride! (I can't fault him for thinking a helmet is a good idea for me....after all it was just a few weeks ago that I fell while hiking....and I did sprain my ankle while we were together in the first month of dating!!!! Hahaha
So this morning I hoped on the scale and I was not happy! I'm back up. A lot from post sickness weight! (I had some food poisoning a few weeks back) down a pound or two from my pre sickness weight!
I ate less than I expended for most of the past week!!!
My calories were not at the 1200 mark that I aim for though.
Plans for his week? Nutritious choices! Food that actually nourishes my body!!!