Mar 242012
 
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Saturday was supposed to be sunny and 60 degrees! Woohoo! 60 degrees in March? I’ll take it! I was so excited about the prospect of some warmer weather and getting some vitamin D. So when Michael suggested we go for a bike ride, I said definitely.

Then we played the oh-so-fun game “What do we wear biking today?” It’s a sometimes frustrating game because until summer time, it’s really hard to gauge how cold it will really be outside on the bike. We both rode around our cul-de-sac while we decided what to wear. I settled on no cycling tights, just my super-pale bare legs in shorts, and a short sleeved cycling jersey with my arm warmers. I wore one of Michael’s base layer tank tops underneath my new cycling jersey.

It was cool in the shade and the wind was strong, but once we were in the sunshine we were comfortable. The arm warmers were the right choice. I ended up taking those off later. Michael and I biked from our house to the I-205 Bike Path and headed North. There was a headwind the entire way but I didn’t mind it.

If you’ve been following my blog for awhile, you know it’s been a long time since I was out on my bike for reals. In fact, November was the last time I ventured out on my bike outside. For the last four and a half months or so I have been faithfully going to Spin class once a week. My goal was to increase it to twice a week but I still haven’t done it because that would mean giving up one of my weight lifting days and I don’t want to do that.

My hope was that Spin class would keep my base steady throughout the winter. Saturday was my chance to see if it worked. The verdict was not quite what I was expecting. The first medium sized hill I came to almost killed me. My THIGHS WERE ON FIRE. I kid you not. I got to the top of the hill where Michael was waiting at a stop light, my heart rate was 170 (that’s high for me) and I was out of breath. Damn.

Each big hill was a challenge for sure. I was starting to feel discouraged about all the time I’ve put into those Spin classes. And then the hills got easier. Maybe I was just rusty? The hills got a little easier, my recovery time improved, and my energy was just fine. I did not feel tired at all, even with a headwind.

The even better news? I did not feel fatigued in the saddle at all. I think Spin class has at the very least has kept my comfortable sitting in the saddle. Plus, all the weight lifting and core work kept my upper body, back, and shoulders  from getting fatigued.

The downside of the beautiful spring day as that my allergies really wreaked havoc on me. I’d also forgotten to take any Claratin before the bike ride.

We turned around and headed South on the I-205 Bike Path to where it connected to the Springwater Trail. We decided to take the trail West into Sellwood to stop somewhere for lunch.

We ended up at Pizzicato for lunch. Michael ordered a slice of pizza and a spinach salad. I got the mozzarella, spinach, basil and tomato panini. Ever since that delicious sandwich I had at the East Side Deli, I’ve been craving a panini. The one I had for lunch was quite good. The spinach salad with feta, tomatos and pine nuts was even better.

Looks pretty good, huh? It was! After we finished our lunch we headed back home. It was still warm and sunny out and I was enjoying my time on the bike. I still felt comfortable on the bike and was really happy that we went out together.

 

Stats:
Time: 2:15
Total Calories Burned: 1101
Total Mileage: 23.25 

The verdict of my Spin class is that I am going to continue going because I feel like it has kept me comfortable in the bike saddle. My goal is to now challenge myself more on the hill climbs in class. I think I’ve been going easy on myself.

QUESTION: Have you noticed a difference between a fitness class and the actual fitness outside of the class? Was there a big difference for you? 

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May 012010
 

The perfect way to prepare for a long bike ride? Stay out too late the night before, drink too much, and eat pizza. Um, yeah…I was pretty weary about today’s long bike ride when I woke up this morning. I wasn’t hung over but I was definitely feeling tired and slow. Michael made breakfast for us. Scrambled eggs with spinach, topped with Grueyere cheese and Light sour cream, 2 turkey sausages each and two pieces of toast each. It was delicious and filling.

Huge Breakfast

I sunscreened myself pretty well.

Sunscreen Even In Cloudy Weather!

I loaded up our bikes and my backpack with GUs and protein bars. I also filled one of my water bottles with a GU Brew mixed with water:

Like Gatorade

We headed out on the I-205 Bike Path North. My legs were slow and I felt like I was biking through water. After about 25 minutes of struggling, I drank some of the GU Brew and got a little pep in my step. We stopped around 45 minutes and I ate my Sports Bean pack and Michael had a Clif Shot. He didn’t like the Clif Shot. He said it had a weird chemical taste. The Sports Beans were OK but I didn’t like the watermelon flavor.

The weather was gray and cloudy. I dressed for rain and ended up regretting it 2 hours later. It was too hot for tights. We kept heading North on the path and for some reason the freeways were ALL backed up. Thankfully we were on bikes!

Traffic Everywhere

We came to a fork in the trail. Last weekend we turned towards Washington. Today we turned onto Marine Drive. There’s a very nice, scenic bike trail that goes along the Columbia River on Marine Drive. Neither of us had ever been there before.

Marine Drive Trail

Marine Drive

As you can see, it was pretty gray out. Luckily, we did not get rained on at all. We rode along Marine Drive and chatted about how scenic it was. It was also very windy but we powered through it. Now for the CRASH AND BURN part of today’s story…..

CRASH AND BURN!

We were riding along the path; Michael was a bit ahead of me. There were three people coming towards us. They had a bulldog who was running along with them as they biked. I was completely distracted by the puppy. I guess the first guy on his bike was texting ON HIS PHONE and not paying attention and veered into Michael. Michael came to a screeching stop but I didn’t see ANY of this happening and plowed RIGHT into Michael on the bike. We both went down. My handlebars got caught under Michael’s bike seat. Luckily. I fell sideways onto some soft grass/moss and my backpack broke my fall. My leg was stuck in between our bikes (since the bikes were locked together). Michael didn’t fall. A reflector from the front of my bike broke off. THE GOOD NEWS we weren’t seriously hurt and our bikes were OK. My leg got unstuck and I can tell I’m going to have a humongous bruise on my thigh tomorrow. It’s pretty sore. I stood up and tried to shake it off. The adrenaline was of course pumping through my body and I felt all jittery and my legs and arms were shaky. We were lucky nothing serious happened, and that it happened where it did. A few feet ahead of that spot and there was no grass to break our fall–just a very scary rock ledge heading down to the water.

Here I am right after the fall. I’M ALIVE! :)

I'm OK! I'm OK!

I made sure I was alright and we got back on the bikes and continued on. A few minutes later, we got to a Marina and stopped to have some more GU.

Marina

I liked this Berry Flavored GU the best so far. It was yummy. :) We rested for a few minutes and tried to figure out where we were going with my iphone. Our bike ride wasn’t just for training. Our final destination was NW Portland to pick up our packets for Reach the Beach. The packet pickup was at the Lucky Lab from 2-4pm today only.

We continued on Marine Drive. We biked passed the airport. Huge planes were taking off above our heads!

Airport

The Marine Drive Path ended and we took NE 33rd into the city. I was starting to feel stressed for time. We weren’t really sure how to get to NW Portland from where we were so we rode up NE 33rd, passed the Kennedy School Pub  (where we ran into some of Michael’s coworkers) and then took NE Killingsworth to NE MLK. It was frightening riding on such a busy street! We went as fast as we could. Turning onto Broadway, we rode across the Steel Bridge.

Steel Bridge

We biked in a LOT of traffic today. There were a few scary moments. But it wasn’t too horrible. We rode across the river and into NW Portland until we arrived at The Lucky Lab. There were lines out the door to pick up the packets.

While we were standing in line, a lady came by with a tray of Pepperidge Farms cookies! I grabbed 3. :) We picked up all our stuff. Bibs, maps, info packets. There were snacky foods set up buffet style. We ordered a slice of pizza for each of us and got a few snacky things to munch on while we waited.

Lunchtime

Snacks

They had delicious strawberries too! I got a slice of cheese pizza. It wasn’t the best pizza ever but we were so hungry!

After relaxing a bit and letting our food settle,  we hopped back on the bikes and headed home. We rode through downtown Portland, passed the train station, and connected to the waterfront Esplanade (where I run at lunch).

Union Station

We biked on the Springwater Cooridor and then stopped at Oaks Bottom Park to use the bathroom. I had my last GU (Chocolate Mint-my favorite!). I needed that last big “jolt” because I was starting to slow down. We rode the Cooridor home.

MMMM MINT!

When I got home, I had a recovery drink.

Recovery Powder

Recovery Drink

Feeling refreshed after the shower and drink. Not sure yet what we are going to do this evening. Check out today’s stats:

First Part of the Day

Second Part of the Day

Today’s Stats:

Distance Biked: 40 miles

Time Biked: 4 1/2 hours

Calories Burned: 1889!

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