So, as I mentioned before, I have been a bad girl over the winter. I have been riding my bike, but not as much as I want to – though I believe I have been out more than most considering the weather. It seems like almost all people have put the bike away for the winter, especially women. Like I said, I haven’t lost any weight since 10/15 which is since 4 months.The first 2 months were clearly related to cycling. In September I rode 69 miles, in October 300 miles, in November 352 miles – I could almost watch the muscles on my legs grow! My calves have actual definition, I can only imagine what they’d look like if there wasn’t all that loose skin covering them up. But I really have no excuse for December and January but giving in to the temptation of Christmas candy, dinners and get-togethers with friends and family. It kinda sucks, but I am not too bothered. In previous years, this is the time where I would have gained a ton of weight, now this year I didn’t lose weight.
Now it’s February. It’s time to get my act together. As I mentioned, run raining started yesterday. Like last year, I am running with the Gazelle training group, this year I am in the 10k group. They have changed the schedule and I think this works better. We used to train Mondays/Wednesdays at 6pm and now it is Tuesdays at 6pm and Saturdays at 8am. I am not a morning person but I do feel that I run better in the morning than after a full day of work.
While the run starts at 8am, they have it set up at the YMCA and we will have a variety of clinics before, for example injury prevention, nutrition, info about cross training etc. and those start at 7.15am. I am not sure how many times I will make it out that early. We are rotating between the 4 YMCA locations in the area – one is fairly close so I may make it to those.
So, the first training was yesterday, leaving from the YMCA in Belmont. I did well, even though I hadn’t been running in a month or so. The ground was snowy and it was really icy so I had to be careful. I still came out 3rd in the 10k group – it wasn’t a race, but I still keep count and actually managed to break out of the running trot that I often fall into and tackled the runner ahead of me actually managing to pass him and pull ahead, but the 2 in front of me were too far ahead. After the run we got together in the lobby of the YMCA and they provided some snacks from the Great Harvest Bread Co. and recovery drinks.
But guess what? Your’s truly did not stop after the run! The day before, Kim Thomas – a girl I had met a couple of weeks before on a group ride – had sent me a message asking if I’d like to go for a ride on Saturday morning on the White Pine Trail (WPT). I initially declined telling her that I was starting my run training, but then I realized that the Belmont YMCA location is super close to the White Pine Trail so I told her if she wants to ride at 10am or so, I could probably make it, and I sent her my phone number. I didn’t hear back from her in time but I decided that I’d just throw the mountain bike into my car and see what happens. Worst case scenario, I could actually do a little ride by myself, but it wasn’t necessary. She called after my run and we met at the trail.
I knew from the run that the trail was icy but at the same time I didn’t want to be too slow. She is a much better rider than I am and has been racing for 3 years. Well, we were the only two crazy enough to ride the bike on the trail, which was otherwise littered with runners. At one point I sped up to pass two runners, and I was just past them when I hit a patch of ice and totally wiped out. It was amazing, one second I am on the bike, the next second I am under. Every one stopped to see how I was doing, the runners commented that they were surprised that I wiped out because I had fat mountain bike tires while Kim had skinnier cross bike tires. Well, I dusted myself off, checked if I broke something and if bike and clothes are OK. Thank God the bike was alright – some scratches on the handle bar, pedal and the back skewer, but the frame was A-OK. We picked it up again, and continued to ride, albeit it a little slower, and when we passed the runners again, the one guy hollered something like “Great job, right back on the bike”. I did bruise my knee a bit and I have a big raspberry on my back hip – Chuck called it a third ass cheek
Anyway, we did about 17 miles and I had a great time chatting with Kim. I have to say, I have met the most awesome people since I started riding. I hadn’t found a lot of people to connect with in West Michigan – I just don’t really fit in here. But it seems like everyone who is into cycling is awesome!