Monday, November 10, 2014

Update on my Biking Adventures

Well, we are still at it.  YES!!!  I am so glad that I wrote about my early biking experiences.  Reading them now, after 4 months, shows me that I really have improved a lot and am stronger and braver than I was 4 months ago.  I really need to keep writing about all of this!  So I'll share a couple of highlights and a quick catch up and then I'll try harder to keep up with all of this.  Because even though 4 months feels like it has been a long time, I think it's pretty safe to say that I am still having early biking experiences.  I plan to keep biking for a very, very long time.

At the end of July, while camping in Kilgore with my side of the family, I was able to go mountain biking with my two brothers, two brother-in-laws, and James and Stephen.  I was the only girl.  We rode up the trail to Aldous Lake, rode around the lake, and then back down.  Around 3 miles I think.  I was by far the slowest rider, but James and Ben stayed with me and were very encouraging.  I made it up, around, and back much better than I thought I would.  It was great!  I'm so thankful all those guys were willing to put up with me!!!

Then at the end of August Cecily, Kim, and I rode the Tour de Lentil.  We rode 32 miles in 2 hours and 52 min.  Kim had ridden it the year before which was nice because she knew the route and what we should have with us and all that good stuff.  Cecily and I were a little nervous because before that day our longest ride was only 18 miles.  But it was great!  When we finished we felt like we could have kept going!  It was a beautiful day and a beautiful ride!  It was SO much fun and felt so good to finish that ride!  Next year we are doing the 100K!!!

Mountain biking has just been getting better and better for me.  My legs are stronger!  I am able to bike all the way up the road and not feel shaky starting out on the trail.  I hardly ever feel wobbly any more.  I am able to bike right past places that used to scare me to death.  There are still some places I can't bike yet.  But we aren't quitting!  Oh, and we have come upon moose a couple of times and had to turn around.  Just part of the adventure!  

When school started we weren't able to continue our early morning rides any more.  I really miss them!  But we did join a gym, North Idaho Athletic Club, and have been going there about three days a week.  We do pilates, yoga, spinning, and a little Zumba.  It's not too unusual for me to have sore muscles now.  But again, I can feel myself getting stronger!  I am so very thankful to be able to be getting stronger and to be able to work at it with great friends. 

Something I really do need to work on is drinking enough water.  That has always been difficult for me!  I do notice now though, that I am able to bike better or do crunches better or whatever it is I'm working at better when I have been drinking plenty of water.  Imagine how much I could have felt my whole life if I had been drinking lots of water! 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Biking - week 3

This was a hard biking week for me.  Sort of.  I feel like I learned and experienced some important things. 

Monday was ok.  I felt a little sluggish after the weekend and a couple of late nights.  But I rode down a spot that I had only walked down before and didn't crash and that felt really good!

Tuesday was pretty good.  We biked on the bike path towards Troy and decided to go farther than we had before.  I felt like I conquered one hill but now had a new much harder hill to deal with.  Kind of discouraging.  But we stopped at the church on our way back for the Mid-Week Relief Society Meeting which was being held in the morning this month.  It was really good!  We learned about the best way to start our days. 
     1. Positive "I am" statements and gratitude.
     2. Meditate
     3. Pray - less of the "Help, I'm in trouble" and more open, two-way communication
     4. Move your body! (got that one down)
     5. Get into the Scriptures
It was a very short, but very good lesson.  I was really glad we stopped!

Wednesday was really HARD!  And I'm still not completely sure why.  We were back to mountain biking.  My muscles really hurt going up the gravel road just to get to the trail so I was shaky starting out on the trail and that scared me and it only got worse from there.  I walked my bike more on Wed. than I ever have before.  I could not get over it!  I did ride over the hump by the gate at the end, which is still a pretty new thing for me to be able to do, so I felt like I finished ok but had a really tough time otherwise.  I was pretty scared to go again!

Thursday was good.  Back on the bike path we rode farther than we ever had and the really big hill was still hard for me, but not as hard as it had been on Tuesday.   We biked about 13 miles in just over an hour.  It was encouraging!

Friday was better.  I was nervous!  I had already decided that there were a couple of places I just wasn't going to worry about.  I was going to try them later.  We got to the mountain and headed up the road.  Cecily is able to just power up the gravel road to the trail.  Her legs are strong!  But Kim(Cecily's sister-in-law who mountain bikes with us) and I decided to mostly just walk up the road.  Kim had walked up Monday, then biked up Wednesday and decided she like walking up better.  I started out on the trail with fresher legs so I wasn't shaky, which in turn gave me more confidence and I was able to bike like I had been at the end of last week.  Then I came to the scary part.  The part that I had already decided to skip.  And I didn't stress over it!  I just walked on past, then got back on my bike.  When I came to other parts just past that spot that make me kind of nervous, I was able to take a deep breath and pedal on!  Breathing became really important to me.  Deep relaxing breathing, almost like I do during contractions.  When I would start to get shaky or nervous, I would stop, breath, relax and then be able to go on.  It helped me a ton!!!  Cecily and Kim were both very encouraging and patient and were really able to help me feel like it was ok for me to go at my own pace.  I am not a person that does well under pressure, and I did not feel pressure from them to hurry up or try things I wasn't ready to try.  And I didn't have a hard time keeping up with them!  They are such great ladies!!!

Cecily and I are thinking about entering the Tour de Lentil at the end of August.  There are three route options:150K, 100K, and 50K.  This year we would definitely go for the 50K which is about 30 miles.  But, we have our sites on longer rides in the future!  We'll see. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mountain Biking Days 3 and 4

I went biking with James last night.  Just the two of us.  He has been wanting to see where we bike and just what kind of trail it is.  He really enjoyed the trail.  It is still slow going for me.  We have to bike up the road for half a mile, maybe a mile.  I really don't know.  I'm a terrible judge of distance.  Anyway, that ride up is hard for me.  I end up walking part of the time when I just can't pedal anymore.  But I do expect that will change!  My legs were so tired last night after James and I got home, and I was worried about how they would feel in the morning since Cecily and I were planning to go this morning at 5:30.


I did fine!  Actually I did better this morning than I did last night.  Both biking up the road and biking on the trail.  Yes!  I was definitely the slowest one of the group, hopefully that will get better too.  But I didn't feel quite so afraid today.  Still nervous, but not so afraid.  I can feel that I'm making some progress.  Wow, my legs are tired though!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Mountain Biking: Day 2

We went mountain biking again today!  My friend Cecily, her sister Julia, and this time Julia's husband Tom.

Last time we only went about half way up the mountain, then turned around and came back.  Today we reached our previous turn-around point in about half the time it took us last time.  WOOHOO!!! That felt good.  So then we continued on up the mountain clear to the top and then took the road down.  And guess what?

I crashed!  TWICE!!  Nothing too terrible.  After the first time I practiced that spot 3 more times and didn't crash again.  The second time I crashed I learned that even if it looks like you are riding on the edge of a cliff and you think you would just tumble clear to the bottom of the mountain like Westley and Buttercup if you should happen to crash right there, you really don't.  The mountain probably isn't as steep as it looks and you really just crash and land right there in the brush and get lots of leaves stuck in your helmet.  Well, maybe just one or two.

I am actually relieved to have those first couple of crashes out of the way.  They weren't nearly as bad as I had anticipated them being.

Thank you, THANK YOU, to Cecily, Julia, and Tom for all your encouragement today!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Goodbye you Great Big Chicken!

I have always thought of myself as the biggest chicken in the world.  If not the biggest, then pretty darn close.  You see, I am afraid of just about everything.  Heights, the dark, animals, WATER!  Ack!  There are just so many things to be afraid of!  The one nice side to all of this is that I have a dear friend who is also afraid of everything.  We are afraid together!

But, that is going to change.  In fact it has already begun to change.

Yesterday my friend, her sister, and I went mountain biking.  Real, holy cow, so scary, way too fast, single track mountain biking!  We did it and we lived!  WHEW!  And we are going again tomorrow morning.  Before our memories of yesterday have a chance to get too scary and we loose our nerve. 

We actually are planning to get over more than just our fear of hurtling down a narrow mountain trail on a bike.  But I won't divulge all of those plans just yet.  After all, we are still at the very beginning, and it just wouldn't do to tell you everything right from the start.  It just wouldn't!

Since this blog is supposed to be all about my adventures and pursuits I do plan to document this whole process.  I really think it will be a grand adventure.  One that I want to be able to share with my children, grandchildren, and so on.  Because even if I do fall flat on my face, maybe even multiple times, I will be able to say that I tried.  And I want them to know that and know that they don't have to be so afraid like I have been. 

So, here's to lots of deep breaths, a few sore muscles, and hopefully a whole lot of fun. 

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pictures from Feb. 1, 2014

Most of these pictures were taken around my yard.  It is such a beautiful day today!

This is Mrs. Redinger's house across the street from us.

Stephen noticed that there was a spider web underneath the birdhouse.

Around the corner from our house is this view of Moscow.

The snowy park near our house.

The rest of these pictures were taken about a mile from our house.  Just outside the city limits.

Paradise Ridge

Moscow Mountain