Monday, October 12, 2009

Feeling exceptionally perky

I was really determined to get the Trek out on the trail this weekend. It's rained a lot lately, so I haven't been able to get out as often as I'd like, but it turned out to be a beautiful autumn weekend -- perfect for riding (that is, unless you don't like to get muddy!).

Since I did not do the EMS bike tour on Saturday morning, I went out on my own that afternoon. The sky was just starting to clear up, and I decided to ride southwest on the trail for a change.

After about a mile and a half, I turned around and took my usual route in the opposite direction. It was there that I started to get muddy. There are a lot of horse trail rides that go through this section of the trail, and the horse hooves tear up the ground almost as badly as bicycle tires, so there are a lot of deep, mushy, (and unavoidable) muddy spots to ride through.

This is what I (and my previously white sneakers) looked like after splashing through a few of the really wet puddles:

I had a good time, although, admittedly, I went a little camera happy. I actually don't mind the mud, as long as I don't get my wheels stuck in it or get it on my car upholstery.

I rode 11 miles and I am so excited because I just went to G-maps Pedometer and found out that the trail is now labeled on their maps, so it will be so much easier to map my runs and rides on it. Yes!

Anyway, after my ride, I went home, cleaned the mud off, and did my ab and resistance-band exercises, which include a lot of lunges and squats. I've been noticing that my legs are not quite as thunderous as they used to be, so I'm trying to do all I can to help the improvement along.

On Sunday, I woke up to a beautiful, bright, sunny morning. I ate breakfast and then called my support staff to see if he would like to join me for a ride.

A little while later, we met up at the half-way point on the trail and set off for a really great ride. I was really tired after all of my biking, lunging, and squatting from the day before, so I lagged behind quite a bit, but it was such a great day, and the company was so enjoyable, that it was impossible not to have a great time.

The last time we had ridden this part of the trail was in August, after a really bad storm that may or may not have included a tornado. The path at that time was completely blocked, with downed trees piled so high that it was totally impassable. When we rode through yesterday, it was to a drastically different sight. It looked like the park service removed about 75% of the trees. I wish I had a picture of what it looked like before, but here is how it looks now:

It is still quite a sight, even after being cleared.

Our ride ended up being 7 miles long. My legs were ready for a rest after that! It was a really great ride, though, and I was in a good mood for the rest of the day. When I got home, I checked out the blogosphere to see how everyone was doing with their races, since half of the bloggers whom I follow were running marathons! Congrats to the Chic Runner, Mrs. CJ, and Runblogger for not only finishing your races, but PRing!

I would love to hit the trail again today, but I don't think that my tired legs would take me very far, so I'm going to sit back, read, drink hot cocoa with marshmallow ghost Peeps, and enjoy my day off. It's good to know that I have a substitute for running that will keep me smiling and feeling so ... perky :-D

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