What’s Been Going On With Me?

 

 

That’s a very good question.  What could possibly render me silent? I’ll tell you all about it….. 

Shortly after returning from the honeymoon I woke up, stepped on the scale, and saw a high number.  During the honeymoon I did nothing for days, ate everything in sight, and drank all kinds of fruity cocktails.  I shrugged it off.  About a week later I stepped back on the scale and saw that I had lost a couple of pounds and wasn’t really worried about it.  Some time went by and that number wasn’t changing.  It took a bit of time to realize that it wasn’t the honeymoon that made me fat but that I slowly got fat over the past couple of years.

When I first started riding I weighed 22lbs less than I did at my moment of realization but I didn’t have any muscle tone to speak of.  In 2016 I weighed 17lbs less and was in the best shape of my life.  In two years I put on 17lbs!  I made excuses about the weight gain.  A friend of mine didn’t coddle me, she told me that I had to own it and do something about it if I was unhappy.  This is what started my journey. 

I’ve gained and lost weight many times over the years and every time I promised myself that it would be the last time.  This time I really mean it.  I’m getting to the age that I have to lock it down.  Not only that but I really have to make a healthy commitment to myself.  I never wanna spend hours looking through the closet or not want to post a pic because it makes me look fat.  These are things that didn’t worry me in 2016 and are things that shouldn’t worry me now.

How do you lose weight while maintaining strength in an active lifestyle? My friend told me that it was all about the macros.  Another person told me about the apple cider vinegar regimen.  I read about the apple cider vinegar and saw that it had many great health benefits so I got started on it.  I downloaded an app that helps me track my food intake, got started on the apple cider vinegar, and started working out every day.

I’m not doing crazy powerhouse workouts every day but just enough to keep burning calories and quicken my metabolism.  It’s also psychological.  Working out daily gives me the confidence that I’m earning food every day.  I’m doing three hard cycling workouts, two easy cycling recovery workouts, and two moderate/heavy gym days.  I’m working out 8-12 hours per week.

At first my gym workouts were just about getting stronger on the bike but I see so many changes in my body.  I really enjoy feeling strong.  I’m also enjoying my treadmill runs and I’m hoping to be able to run outside soon.  My new focus at the gym is to become firm.  I want to turn all of my fat into solid muscle.  I don’t need to be ripped but just very fit.  I don’t want any part of me jiggling.

I workout at the gym at 5am twice a week so I go fasted.  Many people swear that doing cardio while fasted is the key to losing weight.  I don’t know if thats what’s getting me thin but I do know something is.  Strength training is definitely the key to speeding up the metabolism.  After losing six pounds I noticed that my bones were starting to protrude.  If I looked like this already then did I really need to lose eleven more pounds?

A friend of mine has a scale that tells her all about her body composition.  She showed me the app on her phone once and it’s very detailed.  I realized that investing in this scale would benefit me greatly.  The last thing I need is to lose too much weight and not be able to ride efficiently.  The scale was a very small investment.  I got a rechargeable version of it on a Black Friday special for $24!

I’m not using this scale regularly, I weigh in with it once a week.  I keep my old digital scale in the bathroom for regular use.  I assumed that I was high in body fat simply because I’m fatty.  What I found out is that my bones are heavy, I’m very muscular, and my body fat was 18.2%.  A female athlete is supposed to have 14-20% body fat.  My new goal is not a weight goal but to get down to 16% body fat no matter what weight number gets me to that point.  I’m currently at 17.8%.  At this rate I may lose more weight than my original goal but we’ll see.  

It’s incredibly easy to lose control.  I’m not kicking myself for it and neither should any of you.  The most important thing is to own up to it and get back on track.  Whatever your goal is don’t wait until Monday or New Years.  It all starts here and now.  The holiday season is here and this is the time most people gain a few pounds.  I’m not saying that you can’t enjoy it but you certainly can’t eat treats every single day.  

Thank you to everyone who loves, supports, and helps me.  Without you my transformation may not even be possible.  I appreciate all the advice you have given me as well as your level of concern. I love you!

 I hope that your journey takes you to amazing places and new heights along the way.  Happy Holidays!

The Honeymoon (day 1)

 

 

I’m sorry I’ve been so distant.  I’m just trying to get settled into my new life.  I’ve been making a lot of positive changes which I will tell you about in due time but first I’ll tell you about our honeymoon.  

In my excitement to get away with my soulmate, I couldn’t sleep.  I was still high from the wedding and very excited to take my first real vacation in twelve years.  I eventually got to sleep, when my alarm went off my sweetie told me to stay in bed and that he would wake up first to start getting ready.  I woke up a few minutes later and started to get ready.  My brother in law was a few minutes late to pick us up so we had a few minutes to remember anything we may have forgotten.  Of course we remembered things when he came and we had to run back in, we had to run in anyway because we had to lend him something while we were gone.

We got to the airport with enough time to eat something before boarding.  The plan took off and landed on time.  There was a bus waiting to take us to our hotel once we retrieved our bags and made it outside.  The bus driver told us a few things about Aruba and showed us around on the way to the hotel.  He made the first stop to drop a couple off at their hotel and we were next.  The bus ride was twenty minutes, at most.  

We arrived at the Manchebo Beach Resort.  We were greeted warmly and were handed a cool towel to freshen up.  We checked in and they gave us a mojito.  We made our dinner reservations for that evening with the front desk.  Our room wouldn’t be ready for a couple of hours so we got a couple of things from our luggage and a nice young man showed us around the resort.  After that we went to lunch and it was delicious.  After lunch we went to the beach and another nice young man set us up in a palapa closest to the water.  

The beach was heavenly.  It was warm, breezy, and quiet.  The water was warm and inviting.  While we were in the water, the water carried us away and we had to search for our palapa.  When we found it we also found that two ladies that weren’t staying at our resort had set up directly next to us.  The palapas were spread apart so that guests could have their privacy but these ladies were right there.  They were loud and giggly.  We finally had a nice getaway only to be crowded.  I looked at them with disdain every chance I got.  They slurped their fruit and were very annoying.  After a bit of time had passed, they finally left.  We are able to enjoy the beach in peace and quiet.  The young man came to inform us that our room was ready but we decided to stay on the beach a bit longer.  

After the beach, we were showed to our room.  It was beautiful! The view was spectacular.  There were chocolate covered strawberries and champagne waiting for us as well a bouquet of flowers.  There was a balcony that overlooked the beach with a table and two chairs.  The room wasn’t huge but it was perfect for the two of us, it was also the only room with an ocean view. 

After bathing, we hung out in the room for a bit before heading to dinner.  We ate at the Chophouse which was indoors.  The very nice older gentleman that waited on us informed us that we may choose what we like for dinner but he had a very special dessert that he would be preparing for us.  Dinner was absolutely delicious.  As promised, for dessert he wheeled a cart over to us.  It had a few items on it as well as a single burner.  He prepared a flaming dessert which was simple, delicious, and fun to watch.  After the presentation a lady at another table inquired about the dessert and he informed her that it was exclusively for the honeymooners.  

We felt very special.  We had been there only a few hours and the staff made us feel like royalty.  They had a high level of communication.  Everywhere we went, including the bus ride to the hotel, everyone knew we were honeymooning. We highly recommend this resort to anyone who is looking to get away and be treated very well.  

We left the resort that evening to do a bit of shopping.  I was looking for a small purse to carry a few items around in while we were on vacation.  I found that as well as a straw hat to wear on the beach.  We danced to music outside of a piano bar and just had a good time walking around.  We went back to the hotel and watched the live jazz performance before heading back to our room. We were exhausted from the full day that we had just had.

The Wedding

 

 

On September 15th, I woke up an hour earlier than I should have.  In my excitement to marry my soulmate I couldn’t fall back asleep.  It was a beautiful morning, cool and crisp.  When my alarm went off I got up and got dressed to meet my friends for a ride.  

When I arrived to the start of the ride I discovered that I was the only one there.  I got ready and did CCP loops.  Only one of my friends showed up.  I knew my girl wouldn’t be there because she had a really bad cold.  We had a nice ride the day before just her and I.  My friend and I had a very nice ride at a social pace.  That was all we could muster with the blinding sun in our eyes.  We bumped into another friend on the path, Scuba Cyclist.  She asked me what I was doing there and I informed her I had a little less than five hours to go.  We counted down over the course of the ride and made it back to my car with plenty of time to spare.  I did my post ride ritual and then we parted ways.  We would see each other again in about four hours.

In my excitement I forgot to tell my groom that I was on my way back.  I let him know I was outside when I saw his car.  I forgot that he was getting dressed at home.  He hid in the other room and I darted into the bathroom.  Luckily, I didn’t see him.  We said goodbye through the bathroom door.  I took a shower, put on a casual outfit, and headed over to the makeup artist.

The makeup artist greeted me with a smile and immediately sat me down.  I let her know I was into a more natural look with bold eyes.  She assured me that, being that I have good skin, I wouldn’t need much makeup.  She put a flattering amount of makeup on me.  I looked pretty but something was missing.  I didn’t need to say anything, she knew what I was thinking.  She offered me some shimmer for my eyes.  It wouldn’t be visible unless I was looking down.  I would be looking down while reading my vows so it was perfect.  I was complete.  My makeup didn’t take much time.  I was going to do my own hair in the bridal suite but, at the last moment, I decided to get my hair done while I was there.  They were able to squeeze me in. I enjoyed being pampered and I watched in awe as my hair came to life.  I forgot all about the phone in my purse.  I didn’t hear it over the hair dryer.  My hair stylist took great care of me and thought of all the things I didn’t.  I didn’t think to dye my hair in advance so she sprayed some color to hide my grays.  She put on my jeweled headband and I was amazed at the princess looking back at me in the mirror.  Now I was truly ready for the day ahead of me.

I rushed out to my car.  I was running way late! I read all the texts I got.  One of them informed me of a street fair that caused a lot of traffic.  I was able to bypass it and made it to The Stewart Manor Country Club with only 15 minutes to get dressed before the ceremony.  I pulled up and abandoned my car outside with the door wide open and the keys inside.  I ran in and went straight to the bridal suite.  My girl was there with our photographer and she told me how beautiful I looked.  I forgot that I was pretty and I was happy to receive the compliment.  I thought she looked very pretty too.  She had very little makeup on and looked stunning.  I loved the shimmer of her eye makeup.  I told her how silly I was to have such a beautiful maid of honor.  Then the photographer took pics of me before getting dressed and then excused himself so my girl and I could get into our gowns.  

My right hand man, the guy who runs everything, came up to the suite and we let him in.  He informed me that there was no reason to rush as the ceremony couldn’t start without me.  He also informed me that the ceremony itself wouldn’t be more than 20 minutes.  He told us when he would come back for us and gave us pointers.  He took the framed pictures that I brought in to display in the entryway where the place cards were.  Our photographer came back and took more pics of my girl and I in our gowns.  Then we were beckoned to come downstairs for the start of the ceremony.  My father was at the base of the stairs waiting for me.  We were very happy to see each other.  I have five older brothers so he was excited to finally give someone away.

We were escorted to the door that led to the gazebo.  My right hand man opened the door and I saw my groom in the gazebo as well as all of our guests.  It was a perfect day for a wedding, warm and slightly overcast.  I got choked up for a second and tears welled up in my eyes but then I caught myself.  My father and I made our way to the gazebo and he gave me a kiss before giving me to my groom.  I told him how handsome he looked and he told me I was gorgeous. My dad was invited to stand in the gazebo for a few words.  He was then asked who gives me away and he answered, with pride, that he does.  He then left the gazebo and we continued with the ceremony.  I originally wanted a general, non religious ceremony but then our parents got involved.  God was mentioned so many times, even after I gave a three God limit.  We exchanged our rings.  We decided to say our own vows as well as the regular vows.  My groom almost made me cry but I held it together somehow without tearing up.  His vows to me were wonderful.  I read him my vows, a poem that I had written.  Afterwards I handed him the card that I had read from.  We went on with the regular vows and before I knew it we were wed and kissing.

I was glowing as we made our way down the aisle.  We were stopped and we greeted our guests as they went in to the cocktail hour.  I was so happy that it was a small ceremony with only a few guests because I couldn’t imagine kissing any more cheeks.  Then our photographer turned to us to take pics and we informed him that we ourselves were heading to the cocktail hour.  I cut the line and made myself a plate.  I sat down and ate until I was satisfied while talking to my new family members.  We then informed our photographer that we were ready.  We went back outside for more pics.

When we came back inside everyone was being escorted to the main dining room.  We lined up at the door ready for the introductions.  We made our way in and then danced to the first and second dances, we each picked a song.  My song was first and then his.  We mingled around and did a bit of dancing.  Our fathers spoke, then the best man and maid of honor made their speeches.  They were all very touching speeches.  I was very touched by all the things my girl had to say.  I love her and I couldn’t have picked a better woman to stand by my side.  Some of the best family members are the ones that you choose.

We had an awards ceremony where we gave out awards for various talents among our family and friends.  It was so much fun.  We said a few words, announced the recipients, and then took pics with them.  It was very important to us to do this ceremony.  It’s important to spread cheer and let the people that you love know what you love most about them.  We did the cake cutting ceremony and then it was time for the bouquet and garter toss.  My right hand man made me a small bouquet to throw so I wouldn’t ruin my beautiful flowers.  Some of the single women had already left so we were very short on single women, I even had my elderly aunt ready to catch.  One of my male friends offered to fill in.  We thought it was very funny so, at the last moment, we made it coed.  My oldest stepson caught it and then shared it with my special brother which was the sweetest thing ever.  Then everyone dispersed before the garter toss.  Being that both of our families are conservative, we made the last minute decision not to do the garter toss.  

We did the Cha Cha Slide and a bit more dancing and then that was it.  The reception was over.  I was a bit down, it was all over so fast.  This day that took year to plan was over in a flash.  We went home and my groom left to take the kids back to their place.  That’s when it started.  My friends posted pics on Facebook and the feeling of being on cloud nine went on into the evening.  I am very fortunate to have made so many wonderful friends.  They’re all very special in their own way and I’m so happy to call them my family.  My groom came home and we shared this joy together before we finished packing for our honeymoon in Aruba.

Will the next post be about the honeymoon in Aruba? There’s only one way to find out 😉

This Past Weekend (9/8-9/10)

 

 

For all those who celebrate, Happy New Year!  This past week was good and short.  I had the pleasure of having two Mondays off in a row!  I tried taking that FTP test on Wednesday but it didn’t go so well.  I wasn’t recovered enough to take it.  I’ve learned a valuable lesson about proper recovery.  I had a rest day after the long weekend of hammering but it wasn’t enough to get my legs back on track.

Saturday I woke up like any other day of racing at Floyd except earlier.  I forgot to register in advance so I could’ve not gone if I didn’t want to.  When I left it was raining but I looked at the weather forecast and it said it would stop within the hour.  I called my girl but she didn’t answer.  When I was halfway there she called back and informed me that it wasn’t raining where she was.  I took that as a good sign of the rain clearing within the hour.  When I got there it was still raining.  None of us ventured outside of our cars to start getting ready.  There’s no cellular reception there so information is hard to come by.  We finally got an email of the race being cancelled.  One of the guys made a call and let the race organizer know that there were enough people there to race.  The race was back on except, being that it was cancelled, the points wouldn’t count towards the series.  We were a all a bit bummed but we were also itching to race.  We all woke up with the intent to race and so racing is what we would do.  It was chilly but the rain had slowed down to a very light drizzle.  The race was due to start about 45 minutes past the scheduled time.  It was a combined field of cat 4/5 men and women.  I was a little nervous because the turns were wet and sandy.  I did a warmup lap and we lined up to the start about 5 minutes after I returned.  I hung in for a lap and a half.  My new friend is really nice and was encouraging me to stay on his wheel.  I stayed there for a while but I couldn’t hang on for very long.  I stayed on my teammate’s wheel for a bit but I lost his wheel on the tightest of the turns.  Shortly after that I saw him get dropped but I was too far to get to him before turning into the brutal headwind.  One of the other ladies stayed with me for a couple of laps and we took turns pulling but then I couldn’t keep up with her anymore either.  I was lapped twice but I finished the race.  It’s true that I came in last but I’m just happy to be the kind of person that finishes what I start.  That wasn’t always my thing.

After the race we got ready and my girl took me for a pre wedding night on the town.  We went to dinner at a nice little Italian restaurant and saw Chicago.  It was a great show.  The set and costumes were simple.  The story was told with amazing music and great lighting concepts.  I’m just so happy.  She took me out and made me feel so good about myself.  She went through great lengths to make the night very special.  What an amazing friend!

On Sunday I had a hangover, not a drinking hangover, I only overindulged in coffee.  I was tired from getting up early and staying up late.  I woke up at the same time I aways do.  I wasn’t motivated to exercise and, even if I was, my muscles were sore.  It was also raining and the roads were very wet.  I decided to listen to my body and be lazy.  Being that I had the following day off I found it to be more beneficial to save my legs and ride stronger on Monday.  I did a couple of errands and chores but, for the most part, I napped and watched TV.  I never get to watch TV so it was a nice and welcomed way to spend a rainy day.

On Monday it rained again so I slept in just a little bit and exercised all morning long.  I did intervals at my new FTP that I set for myself based on my recent efforts.  It was tough but very doable.  I still had legs so I went for another hour on the course.  I did my planks and, after not doing them all weekend, I felt very good.  I spent a half hour at the gym doing weight training.  It felt so good to exercise the morning away.  I spent the rest of the day doing wedding related errands.  I’m very excited for the big day.  

This may be my last post for a little while but I hope you all spend this time doing whatever it is that will bring you health and happiness.  Remember that your short term goals are just as important as your long term goals.  Have a great week!

 

Healthy Living Fridays (vol 17)

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Raw Energy Balls

 

I had never thought to make my own riding snacks.  I always bought Cliff bars.  Lately I haven’t been eating on the bike, possibly because Cliff bars aren’t very appetizing or convenient to eat.  My friend, Affluent Lady Cyclist, showed me her balls and I immediately asked her for the recipe.  She also gave me permission to share it with all of you.

What you will need:

  • Organic Dates (1 cup)
  • Organic Whole Grain Rolled Oats (3/4 cup, I prefer the quick rolled oats)
  • Salt (a dash, I prefer pink Himalayan salt)
  • Organic Cacao or Cocoa Powder (4 tsp)

How to make it:

Put the rolled oats and cacao powder in the food processor and mix until its a powder.  Add the dates and the salt and mix everything until its a huge ball.  Take small amounts from that ball and roll them into smaller balls.  If you desire, roll your balls in dry ingredients like coconut or minced nuts for a nice coating.  They can be consumed immediately.  Put them in the freezer so they can become more firm.  When you remove them from the freezer, they don’t take much time to soften up.  Enjoy your balls as a snack or take them on the ride with you.  They hold up well in your jersey pocket. 

This Past Weekend (Labor Day Weekend)

 

 

This past week was good.  I’m making gains at the gym and feeling great.  I’m at the point where I’m looking forward to my gym workouts.  With the help of my friends, I found apps that I can search through different weight training exercises.   I’ve been mixing my routine up a bit and having fun trying different things.  I’ve been making gains on Zwift and I was advised to do an FTP test since it has clearly increased.  I plan to do that this week.  I was looking into the benefits of doing planks every day and I found a 5 minute planking workout. I was loosely thinking about it so I showed my friend, Affluent Lady Cyclist, and she said she would join me!  We are now 5 days in.  ALC has given me lots of useful tips over the past week.

On Saturday I decided to challenge myself and do the faster ride.  I surprised myself by hanging in there on the climb that I normally fall behind on.  It felt so nice to stay with the group.  I assumed that the group was going slow but, when I uploaded my stats, I saw that I had a PR there.  That means I climbed faster that I had when I was pushed up that hill.  I stayed with the group for more than half of the ride when I started to fall behind.  I eventually got dropped but my friend was nice enough to stay with me.  I really am lucky to have great friends.  There were a couple of mechanicals early on and some drama but it was a very nice ride despite all of that.  

On Sunday I led my wild ride to Centre Island.  My friend that stayed with me the day before came and pulled the group.  A lot of the people that I normally ride with went with the faster group.  The group just below mine had no leader so they came on my ride.  They complained about the pace and I was quick to tell them they came on my ride and would do it at that pace.  Then these guys tried to go in the bushes in a very affluent neighborhood known for their increased surveillance.  I had to tell them no while wagging my finger, as if they were dogs.  There was a bathroom about 2 miles up the road that we were going to stop at.  After the rest stop I got tired.  These guys, after sitting in the whole ride, took off and left me behind.  Those dirty dogs!  My men waited up for me and escorted me back to the shop.  At one point some random guys mingled in with us and wouldn’t let me in behind one of my guys.  I demanded to be let in.  It should be obvious, if we’re all wearing the same jersey, that I belong on that ride behind my guy.  I’m not sure why some cyclists have no class but it makes us all look bad.  Please be courteous when mixing in with other groups and give them their right of way.  

On a sad note, I learned of the passing of a fellow cyclist when I returned from the ride.  It wasn’t just any cyclist but the most supportive Strava friend I’ve ever had.  He was truly a great person and was loved by many.  After years of Strava friendship I had the pleasure of meeting him and he was just as enchanting in person as he was on my computer.  I’m not going into any details but his death was a tragedy that could have been prevented.  I can only pray that this never happens to anyone ever again.  RIP my friend, you really were one of a kind and will be missed by so many.  

On Monday, even though my legs were toast, I decided to race.  It wasn’t the best idea I ever had but it certainly wasn’t the worst.  I decided to go out there and get some more experience.  I will get stronger and, when I’m ready, I’d like to have enough races to upgrade.  I hung in for about half of a lap.  The wheel I was holding pulled off and I couldn’t catch the main group.  I was toast from the weekend rides and wasn’t putting out the power.  At one point I let out a primal scream that powered me up a little but not enough to get me anywhere.  My average normalized power was so low, even for a group ride.  It’s all a learning experience.  From now on I’m only going to attempt to race when my legs are fresh.  

Thank you to my friends who are always there for me and thank you all for reading!  I appreciate your support and, after the wedding, I will resume posting more regularly.  I hope you’re enjoying reading from the Archives tab on the sidebar.  Have a great week! 

 

This Past Weekend (8/25-8/26)

 

This past week was good.  I’ve really been enjoying living life by TSS values instead of feeling obligated to ride just because it’s nice out.  I don’t feel the perpetual soreness I felt last year.  I’ve truly been enjoying this entire season.

On Saturday I made the trip to Floyd Bennett Field and met up with my teammates for some racing.  It was an open field of cat 4/5 men and women combined.  As always I felt like throwing up and, as always, I didn’t.  We set our bikes up and did a warmup lap which I used to reacquaint myself with the course.  The officials had just arrived and set up while we were warming up.  After the warmup we got our #s and put them on.  I popped my special race gel (Cliff Shot w/ 100mg of caffeine).  We did another warmup lap after.  When we returned from that lap the national anthem was played and we would be lining up five minutes from then.  At the starting line my girl and I introduced ourselves to the only other women there, a very nice lady from further up north.  The officials went over the rules and shortly after that the first field was dispatched and we approached the line.  I positioned myself behind my teammates.  We were dispatched and as soon as I clipped in I stood to keep my position in the group.  The race started at a moderate pace and I hung in…… for a little more than a lap.  I dropped from the group at the second turn of the second lap. It was the tightest turn there but it wasn’t very sharp.  There was a bit of sand and gravel on the turn but I couldn’t nail it.  I was on my own.  Shortly after that I saw my teammate had dropped off but I couldn’t catch up to him.  I went as hard as I could but I did get lapped.  I tried to hang on but I dropped off on the same turn.  On what I thought was the second to last lap turned out to be the last and the race ended early.  The officials told me I was done.  I was the first to cross the finish line but was in last place.  I cheered everyone on as they came in.  Being that there were only three women there, I had my day in the sun on the podium.  My girl told me that however I made it there, I deserved to stand on that podium and that I did earn it.  I still long to truly earn it and will train hard to get there.  

On Sunday I decided to do the more moderate ride.  I really liked the group that showed up and I was slightly discouraged from doing the faster ride.  It was a very nice ride although it was annoying to stop at certain stop signs for fear of an expensive ticket.  At one point I was in the wrong gear for the hill after the stop sign and had trouble getting going.  At another climb that I would normally get dropped on, the group was taking it slow and I climbed with the rest of them.  It was nice to make it the whole way up the climb with the group.  I’ve noticed improvements in my climbing over the past few rides.  There were certain climbs that I always fell back on no matter what that I’ve been keeping up on.  I’m also noticing that I no longer feel like hell on earth when I climb and there are even some climbs that I look forward to doing to see how I’ve improved.  This is a very welcomed change.  After the ride I headed over to the park for the picnic that my old crew was having.  It was nice to see everyone and talk about all the fun we had back in the day.  Thanks for reading guys, I really appreciate your support!

After the race we were told that in the next couple of weeks, if enough ladies show up, we can have a separate field from the men.  I encourage all the ladies to come out and race.  Try it out.  It’s not about winning but about coming out and trying to see if you like it.  I hope to see more ladies racing so come on out and give it a go.

On The Waterfront

 

On a weekday holiday in October of 2014 I decided to go on an adventure through the city.  I had never been on any of the greenways in the city so I thought it might be fun.  I mapped a route that would take me on the greenways around the city and I put it in my Garmin.

It was a nice fall day, the perfect weather for riding.  I left my apartment in Fresh Meadows and I took the bike lanes and greenways through Forest Park, around Highland Park, and through Prospect Park before arriving at the Brooklyn Bridge.  I had always wanted to ride over the Brooklyn Bridge but that’s actually nearly impossible with all the foot traffic there.  I nearly missed the pedestrian entrance, I had to ask for directions and backtrack to find it.  

Once I crossed over the bridge I made my way to the Hudson River Greenway.  I rode along the water and took in the waterfront views.    Of course I stopped at the Little Red Lighthouse.  I’ve always enjoyed stories about the “little guy” persevering.  Our city has lots of interesting history and, if you look around, you can learn a lot.

From there I took the bike lanes and hooked up to the Harlem River Greenway which led to the FDR Greenway for more scenic waterfront views.  I crossed over a tiny pedestrian bridge into Randalls Island.  Randalls Island was very pretty.  It’s a nice little getaway from the city with it’s green grass and small rolling hills.  Shortly after that was when my scenic ride turned scary.

I got on the pedestrian path of the RFK Bridge.  I was scared out of my mind.  There were small sections of the path that had ramps to walk the bike down a level, but, other than that I rode across.  At one point I even said I was scared aloud although there was nobody there to hear me.  That bridge seemed to have gone on forever.  I was overjoyed when I reached the other side.

I started on the bike lanes in Long Island City and took them all the way into Corona.  Once in Corona I went through Flushing Meadow Park, around Meadow Lake, and hooked up to the bike lanes that I started on that would bring me back home.

The ride was 55 miles but it took all day with all the stoplights and slow riding.  I was out for six hours.  Although it took all day it was nice to get out and do something out of the ordinary.  I’ve been meaning to do it again just because it’s a fun and scenic ride but I never did.

The Slow Approach

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It’s a really nice day for a ride.  The weather is breezy, warm, and dry.  I’m going along with the flow, I could care less where we go.  We’ve made the turn towards the hill, I’m looking forward to testing my skills.  I’m quite surprised by how I feel, I no longer cower in fear.  Is this what it’s like to feel strong? I feel like nothing could go wrong.  I don’t remember it ever being like this, every part of the ride spent in bliss.  We are slowly approaching the base, this time I will not speed up to it in haste.  If I get dropped it will be alright, I won’t give up without a fight.  We’re on our way up and I’m still right there, I’m quickly breathing in the warm and dry air.  Here it is, I see the top, and somehow I managed not to get dropped.  I’m simply ecstatic that I hung in, I feel inside like I had a win.  Improving my climbing skills will give me some grit, I look forward to each new summit.

This Past Weekend (8/18-8/19)

 

 

This past week was good.  I did my first group ride on Zwift.  It was, surprisingly, a lot of fun.  I’m looking forward to trying some Zwift races as well.  I tried a Zwift race back in 2016 and I was quickly discouraged from virtual racing.  I was dropped as soon as the race started.  I didn’t realize that I should’ve got up to speed before the start of the race.  To be fair the first lap was called a warmup lap.  I was also on my old trainer, my new trainer has a completely different feel.  It’s also very responsive and way more accurate.  I’m willing to try it again and see how long I can hang in.

The weekend weather was looking iffy but Saturday had no rain predicted until the afternoon.  The roads were wet and it was very humid but rideable.  There was no assigned route but a couple of the guys from my group said that they would lead a ride.  For such an iffy day we had a nice sized group.  Everyone that showed up were people that I enjoy riding with.  The ride was very nice.  We went down roads that we don’t normally ride on.  It was nice to mix things up.  I surprised myself when I stayed with the group, even through my normal drop spots.  I felt really good and strong.  One of the guys I haven’t seen in a while made it a point to mention how strong I’ve become and how I look more muscular but in a feminine way.  That really made my day, that and the QOM I managed to snag! 

The weather for Sunday was also iffy but, again, there was no rain predicted until the afternoon.  There were periods of light drizzle but the roads were much drier than Saturday.  There was no ride posted and one of the group rides were cancelled but there were people that wanted to ride so I took my chances to see if anyone was at the lot.  Slowly but surely people trickled to the lot to form another decent sized group and, once again, it was all people that I enjoy riding with.  I had another strong day of riding.  I did get dropped in a couple of places but I was never very far behind, except for when I got stuck at a stoplight.  The group was nice enough to wait up for me.  I got some more good pointers and one of the guys was nice enough to explain something in a way that made sense to me.  It put things in a new perspective and I’m going to make a conscious effort to follow his advice.  I know I always say it, but I’m really lucky to ride with the people that I do.  They’re very helpful, supportive, and encouraging.  The cycling community itself is based on looking out for one another and I’m so happy that I became a cyclist and surround myself with such positivity.  

Speaking of positive things in my life…… In less than one month Cheap Accountant and I are getting married!  I have to devote some time and energy on planning the wedding.  I will do my best to keep up with my writing but I may do so more sporadically than regularly until after the wedding and honeymoon.  Please take some time to catch up with my older posts in the newly installed Archives tab on the sidebar.  Thank you for  your understanding and patience during this positive transition in my life.  I appreciate you all taking the time out to read and support me!