Thursday, April 4, 2013

Biker Chick

I can now call myself a biker chick!

No, not the harley driving, motor revving, leather chap wearing type.

I am the padded spandex, helmet wearing, bright jersey, mile-trekking type!

Tucson is a huge road biking city! If you're out on a Saturday morning, don't be surprised to see huge packs of road bikers in their bright colors and spandex trekking the mountainous, hilly roads in our beautiful climate. It was named #9/51 for top cities to bike in the US. (Minneapolis won! Which I thought was pretty neat)

To be honest, cycling has not always been my favorite sport. I liked cycling indoors, in spin class, away from traffic. My husband and I used to ride a few years ago, but he had a light road bike - and I had a heavy trail bike. It was really challenging to keep up. So gradually I started to form a bit of dislike towards road bikers.

I would be running along the trail, and a road biker would zip past me. I would roll my eyes. I feared the traffic, the risk of a tire going flat, the worry of breaking the chain. However, when I signed up for this triathlon, it soon dawned on me that I would have to face my fear!

I could just picture it, "Excuse me, race director, I don't do the road -- so I'm just going to set this stationary bike up here. I will do the same mileage as everyone else! Heck, I'll do double!" 

So Monday I drank the koolaid, as they say. One of my good friends, who's a great road biker -- and a very patient friend, got me road ready. Her husband got my bike adjusted, my tires aired up, and gave me a little educational session on how to be safe with my bike. We set out for a nice 15 mile ride.

I'm going to be honest, although it was fun -- I finished the ride thinking, "How will I ever get the hang of this?". I felt so unsteady, wobbly, and at risk of crashing at any moment! Every time I switched gears, I would lose control of my bike and start swerving like a drunk driver.

But today I found my rhythm. I set out for a ride, I practiced changing gears and traffic signals on a quiet residential street -- and then hit the roads! Before I knew it, I was attacking hills - joining cars on turns, soaring down hills going 25 mph. I got the hang of it, and loved every second!

The best part is, especially after being a runner for 13 years, I got to cover 16 miles in 1 hour! I also realized that your stomach doesn't get nearly as upset on a bike as it does running -- so I could make a pit stop at Starbucks for some "fuel". (end I would end up puking coffee up on the road)

 I love the feeling of discovering a new hobby -- and I can't wait to see how many miles and how many sites I discover during this new journey! This girl is a biker chick now!  And yes, Mom, I promise I will wear my helmet ;)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Nourished Soul

My soul is feeling very nourished right now. I had the Easter weekend off, originally because Ryan was supposed to be home during this time. But because he is in pilot school - I decided I was in dire need of some family time. So booked a last-minute trip to Minnesota to be with my family over Easter.

It was exactly what I needed. Getting to spend time with my nephews, finally meet my niece Anna, catch up with my siblings, and of course spend time with my Mom and Dad gave me so much joy. I also got to see my Grandma! If only flying was cheaper.......I wish I could do this on a monthly basis.

So last week I talked about diving into new adventures to make these 6 weeks go faster. Here is what I accomplished week 1:

  • I dove "head-first" into triathlon training. (Literally. Ha!) Bike, Swim, Run, Repeat is in progress.
  • I took a trip home to Minnesota - spent time with the family, laughed a lot, and smiled endlessly
  • I braved a run in the cold, wintery fog Saturday morning on Battle Lake, MN. The visibility was 50 yds (that was my estimate anyways). It felt strange running next to snow, when it's been in the 80-90's in Tucson.
  • The road bike went on it's maiden voyage. Luckily, my friend Kristy had her husband adjust my bike and air the up the tires -- and she was very patient with me while I learned the feel of riding on (what feels like) a toothpick! 
  • I learned how to work the pool pump (by accident, with discovery of some issues). But I said I wanted to learn something new! :)
  • I swam with the sunrise this morning, accompanied by 2 friends I ran the Ragnar race with. It was the neatest site to start a swim in the dark, come up for a break, and see the sun peaking over the mountains! Swimming might be my new favorite thing!!
  • I'm trying a new recipe tonight -- Cauliflower Curry Soup. Recipe to come....
  • I took a small new challenge at work, and was the triage nurse for the 1st time yesterday. It's refreshing to work different parts of your brain sometimes. Even in a place as unstable as an ER -- you can feel then desire for "something new".
Hope everyone's April is off to a beautiful start!