|Keeper of the map!!
I have absolutely zero clue how one approaches a long ride...does one taper for it like you do a marathon? How long should my long ride be this weekend, the weekend before the race? Help all you bikers out there!!!
That was just a mild panic attack....back to the story: Christi couldn't go on Saturday and I had plans for Sunday afternoon so when Julie of you just have to tri asked if I wanted to join her for a 60 mile ride, I was all over it! Yes! I need the miles and the company would be awesome.
Julie and I have never met before and really have only been reading each other's blogs for a short time, but we chatted like we've known each other for decades - I love those types of instant friendships. I'm certain we'd have a blast in a Mexican restaurant with a couple margaritas behind us :). Julie is about to embark on her first century in a few weeks so I got the brilliant idea we should ride the shorter course of her upcoming ride.
I printed all my maps of the course and was ready to go,
But that's exactly what I did - get us majorly lost. Many times even.
Did I ever mention I have a minor in cartography??? What the heck is cartography, you ask? Why, it's the study of map making!
So about 3 miles in was our first of probably 400 pulling out the map and checking where we were, by mile 4 we had already missed our turn.
Mile 12, I managed to fall (hard to believe) while pretty much standing still - but major bonus points on that fall cuz now I'm sporting a matching owie on my other knee and I'm more symmetrical now.
|Lookie there, matching knee scars. The right is the new one, the left is the one I mangled up
a few weeks ago. Nice, huh!?! And what the heck is wrong with my right knee all buldging ugly like that?
|Somehow I managed this lovely on the back of my calf. No idea what caused
those pretty scratch marks
We finally got up to the top and it was such a gorgeous view:
|View of the town of Golden from the Top of Lookout Mt.
|View of the Rockies from the top of Lookout
|Julie and I relived to be AT THE TOP!!!
Get to about mile 20 and I'm pulling out the map. Good thing Julie was looking over my shoulder, otherwise we'd still be way lost right now in the town of Evergreen as I'd have had us turning right instead of left, as the map indicated. Hate it when that map gets upsidedown!!
Get to the very bottom of that mountain and pull out that dang map again. Let's turn right and go into Morrison, seemed like that's where everyone else on a bike was going. This brought us along Red Rocks Park, famous for it's amplitheater and where I ran last summer running up and down the stadium stairs.
|Hey Julie, where are we?
|At least the background is pretty, eh?
Back track to the state park....only to realize I've LOST THE DAMN MAP!!!!
Oh good Lord!
Probably for the best...like that map was totally misprinted and not getting us on the right path anyway :). I asked the park entry dude how to get on the bike path since I knew eventually that path would lead to the path that would take us back to heaven on earth: our cars!!
Eventually we made it back, with distance PRs for both of us: 66.7 miles and some ungodly number of mega hours my butt sat on that tiny bike seat. Does one ever get used to that thing cuz wowzie, my butt hurt those last 10 miles. Bad.
Sunday, I was pretty lifeless but not really sore, just tired. I ventured over to the state park near my house and attempted to run on some of my beloved running trails over there. My calves and quads were pretty heavy (remember my chant up Lookout Mountain? Yeah, it was payback time for Jill) so after a couple miles, I felt my form going all sucky and my heel started to complain. Uneven terrain with stiff legs was not my brightest idea....but at least I remembered those trails I hadn't run on since last summer - and I didn't need a map. And I was running.
I wanted to say a quick note about last week's post on shoes. I loved all the comments and thank you dearly for all your support, encouragement and kind words about how I'm running again - means a lot to me! Shelly said it best, "Right now you are needing to give more to your overall wellness, running will be there when your body is ready to allow you to jump back in. Maybe it won't be a the pace you did in your 20s ...but it's the sheer joy of running that you want for a lifetime. Races and places are great but being part of this lifestyle is what it is all about." So true! Thanks, Shelly! I am not going to go after a race right now, not even going to THINK about one, not until I feel I am ready and that's not going to be for a very,VERY long time. And I'm ok with that. I think. More on that later, but on the Nike Free thing: my problem with my heel is not solely due to improper footwear - I have issues with overstriding, as I discussed in a previous post, and I also have imbalances in my hips and gluts, which I will definitely touch on in another post when I understand more. These issues may, or may NOT, be shoe related but shoes have played a major role in my heel hell and all I can say is that my heel has felt better RUNNING these past 3 weeks than it had ever in the many months I took off prior ... I am building strength in my feet and I couldn't do that without the shoes I am wearing, strength I couldn't get in a non-minimalist shoe. I don't know if they'll be the shoes for me forever, very doubtful if I ever get back to the marathon world, but they are the right shoes for me right now - they are giving me the strength back I so desperately need in my feet. How cool is that?!?!
For an excellent article on which running shoes are best for you, click on this link here (please click on the link and "like" the article, I'd greatly appreciate it): this guy, Ron, has been instrumental in getting me back on the road running again and with his guidance, I am certain there will be a positive outcome.
5 months ago my podiatrist told me not to run .. yet in the very same breath told me that time off from running may not necessarily do any good. Finally, after months of heel hell saga, I have found the source to my problem, something I begged my podiatrist to look for, yet he didn't have the resources to - nor the desire to.....
I am running some, I am gaining my strength back, I am learning. I have been blessed with this blog as it has reached the right people who can help me more than any professional I've forked out major bucks to. I am now cautiously hopeful!!
Run strong, friends!