|From Alexander and the terrible, no good, very bad day by Judith Viorst|
Yesterday was a really bad day that I couldn't shake off. No, nothing major happened in my life. No one died. I only have first world problems. But like Alexander, it was one of those terrible, no good, very bad days. Nothing went right. You know those days....when you're just better off going to bed early and starting fresh the next day? That's what I did.
This morning I woke up early to the sound of my husband snoring, and contrary to what he tells me, no, it is not a lullaby. So I got up early, drank my coffee, and tried to reframe my mood. Cue the violins, or better yet, Warren Zevon. Poor, poor, pitiful me...
As I looked outside, the wind was blowing, the sky was gray, and it was a chilly 45 degrees. Still in a funk, I needed to mentally prepare myself for a planned bike ride with a friend. It's only 10 miles, I told myself. It's not even a good running day. Pondering what to wear, this runner wanted to bail. But knowing that seeing Karen and riding my bike is just what I needed to turn my frown upside down, I got myself ready to go.
|Ready to ride! Brave Karen, wearing her shorts!|
The idea behind the ride is to get women, who might be intimidated by riding in a group, to connect with other women riders and to help them feel comfortable with a group ride. I've never ridden on a group ride before because believe it or not, I feel intimidated by the group ride. Would I be able to keep up with the other riders? Is my bike adequate? Would I be dropped (left behind)? According to this article in Bicycling magazine, women's bike rides are growing because of these concerns.
Well, I had no idea about all this! Karen is sponsored by Spokes, and besides wanting to see her, I wanted to support her. Plus she just got back from a trip to Specialized bicycles in California, and I wanted to hear all about her trip. So I loaded up my bike and headed out to Spokes to meet her and the other riders. There ended up being about 10-15 riders in all, including 2 men--1 from the bike shop and the other from Specialized. The leader, Erin, is a triathlete and yoga instructor. She showed us the proper hand signals to use while riding in a group. We rode a loop through several of the surrounding suburbs, including riding on some very busy streets. I found a much higher comfort level riding on those streets in the group as opposed to riding busy streets by myself. I also realized that I had nothing to worry about as far as being "dropped". I rode up front behind Erin and Karen, and had no trouble keeping up with them. We stopped multiple times to make sure no one was left behind.
The downside to the ride was the wind. The air temperature, at 47, was really cold for this time of year, and normally would have kept me off the bike. But what really made the ride challenging was the wind. There were some pretty strong gusts at times, and it felt as if I was going to get blown over. Even though we only rode 10 miles, that cold wind made it feel like we rode much farther than that. The good thing is that I wore my new 2XU thermal tights (oh the irony of wearing thermal tights on May 31!) and my legs weren't one bit cold. Good to know, if I plan on going on any cold weather rides in the future! Actually, the only body part that was cold were my hands, and that really bothered me. I would definitely need some warmer gloves.
|Teri, me, Karen after the ride|
|The group pre-ride!|
Miss Morning Runner, I never run in the afternoon, and I had no idea how this one would go. My legs felt good, and I looked down at my Garmin to check my first mile split. 8:15? Ok then. I kept going. The wind, when I ran into it, was pretty brutal, but the rest of the run felt good, especially when I had the wind at my back. Ha! The sun was trying to peek out but it never fully came out. I finished that 5 mile run strong, in 42 minutes on the dot. 8:23 mins/mi. Guess I can't say that I'm exclusively a morning runner! That run put a huge smile on my face, and the endorphins I had been craving were coursing through my veins.
|The look that only running can bring.|
Do you cycle? Have you ever ridden in a group ride? What did you do this weekend?
I'm linking this post up with Tara at RunningNReading and her Weekend Update! Head over to her blog and see what everyone else did over the weekend!