Sunday, May 31, 2015

Turn this thing around!

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 bike ride, Women's Ride Day, was sponsored locally by Spokes bike shop and Specialized Bicycles.

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
When we got back to the bike shop, there was coffee and bagels waiting for us, and mimosas if we wanted. We all stuck around for a while and talked, and one woman started a Facebook group for all of us to keep in touch and even plan future rides. Teri from Reinventitude was also there, which was a nice surprise! It was a really nice morning, and I'm glad I went.

The group pre-ride!
But even though I enjoyed myself, I still felt a little uneasy, a little anxious. On the drive home, I decided that I'd go for that 5 mile run this afternoon instead of tomorrow at zero dark thirty. The temperature at my house was about 10 degrees warmer than it was while we rode our bikes, but it was still really windy. Heck, I rode my bike in that, I figured that the run would be nothing in comparison. I ate a bagel, changed into some shorts, and headed out into the neighborhood.

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.
Running, you complete me.

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!

60 comments :

  1. I don't bike, so never done a group ride... I was in a funk at the beginning of the week. It lasted 2 full days, it was awful. I eventually came out of it and had a good weekend. I raced on Saturday (5 p.m. such a weird time for a race) but it was great. The weekend, and much needed rest, brought me out of my funk. Glad your day turned out better !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I"m glad you got out of your funk too! I loathe when I can't shake it off. I'm so glad that the run was the trick.

      Delete
  2. I think those group rides sound great! An yes, I am one of those riders who would feel intimidated too! I usually only ride bike on the trail because road traffic makes me nervous!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was really fun, and I'd for sure do it again!

      Delete
  3. Sorry to hear about the funk. I empathize. But so glad you got some miles and fun in!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yes, I did a solo bike ride. My old bike could never keep up with anyone else's. LOL. I had no idea today was significant for women bike riders. It was just too HOT to run. Endorphins solve everything...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, I'm so glad I got to do both bike and run. Really, the perfect day.

      Delete
  5. I would love to ride, but I'm kind of scared to! I know nothing about it, so I'd need a group to help, but I don't want to do a group ride for all those reasons you listed. lol I even bought a used bike once with intentions of learning. It sat in the garage untouched for a year then I sold it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I loved having this opportunity and I hope to go again with the group!

      Delete
  6. So glad you got out on a group ride! I do them often as I feel safer in a group than on my own. Can't believe the crazy weather. It is 90 degrees here although we are supposed to get the cold front, too. Whatever happened to 70 degree spring?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm still waiting for those temps to stick around!

      Delete
  7. It makes me sad to hear about your funk, but I'm so glad you were able to get out of it! You are such an amazing runner! I don't have a bike, but I always kind of wish I did. I have a feeling it would be pretty disastrous for me though. I'm not super coordinated!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not super coordinated either but I do have fun on my bike!

      Delete
  8. I've rode with a friend a few times. I have a mountain bike used mostly for around the campground but I do love it. I wanted so bad to get a ride in today but the rain stopped us. Just a Rainy afternoon :(

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The spring weather has been really awful for a lot of us!

      Delete
  9. I had no idea about the bike riding day....love the idea!! I like to spin from time to time, but I'm not very comfortable on the road with my bike.... in LA every few months we have something called CicLAVia....they close of 5 to 10 miles of different neighborhoods for about 6 hours for families to bike ride in the streets all day.... We have done that as a family many a times...it's really amazing.... and you've got everything from 4 year olds on 4-wheelers to advanced cyclists doing it....(Ciclavia.org)..... maybe they can bring the concept to more cities!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Once a year in Chicago, the city closes down Lake Shore Drive to traffic and opens it to bikes. It's called Bike the Drive and it's amazing!

      Delete
  10. First world problems -> still problems, but I'm glad that they were catastrophic. I would love to have a cycle and to go out with friends! MUST GET A BIKE

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Must get a bike! Living in the city, you have access to a pretty great place to ride!

      Delete
  11. It's been a year since I last rode my bike, I used to love it. We've got some great paved trails here, and a couple women's biking groups that look like a ton of fun... I just wish I had time to to fit it in with running, strength training and yoga!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm right there with ya, trying to fit it all in, but it worked out well and it was fun!

      Delete
  12. Glad you were able to turn your frown upside down!! I don't bike but did run a half this weekend#

    ReplyDelete
  13. So glad that you ended up feeling better! Exercising always puts me in a better mood. I typically run in the mornings too, but on the rare occasion that I run later in the day it usually ends up going better than expected.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's exactly how it went for me. Exercising really does help!

      Delete
  14. husband snoring-do not get me started! I love all women's bike rides and glad to see you out on yours so much. Too bad we are so far away would be so much fun to run together.

    ReplyDelete
  15. So good to finally get that run in and put a smile on your face! Glad it all turned out okay and that you did that ride.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Okay this is a really shallow comment but I freaking LOVE that Warren Zevon song! Thanks for posting the video.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Not shallow at all! I love it too, which is why I posted it instead of the original by Linda Ronstadt.

      Delete
  17. i'm so glad that you got out there and turned your day around! the smile on your face post run is fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's a really great idea. I am deathly afraid of biking in a group, and I imagine I would probably be more comfortable if something like this was available. Maybe.

    I'm sorry it was a yucky day. Those happen and you handled it beautifully. I think it's how we rise to the occasion that defines us, and you have defined yourself as pretty incredible.

    Also, baffled that its 47! We are in the 90s here!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's still cold here! I think that's partly to blame for my funk. I loathe cold weather!

      Delete
  19. I just signed up for my first sprint triathlon in August and am so intimidated by the bike! So, I feel ya and need to probably get in on a group ride in my area.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Way to turn things around this weekend, Wendy! I'm so glad you enjoyed your group ride; looks like a lot of fun with some great folks. I do not ride; I did have a great race this weekend, though! Thanks so much for linking up with the blog and I hope your day is off to a good start!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You were with some pretty great people this weekend too!

      Delete
  21. Every time I feel like just crawling back under the covers, I try to remind myself how much this can help! I'm (most) always glad I forced myself to get out and after it!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I would love to do a group like that, i have no idea if such a thing exists, I will have to check :)
    Great job on the run! I am super jealous of your temps, wind and all lol

    ReplyDelete
  23. I bike but usually only with my hubby never with a group! I hope today is better than yesterday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I was still a little blah from it all but yes, the sun is shining today!

      Delete
  24. Hope today was better than yesterday was!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Your post just made me want to get a bike for summer. I really want to ride outside (as opposed to spin classes) but don't have a bike. Well I do but it's this little mountain bike that is definitely not the right size for me lol.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I love my bike! Best thing I ever did was buy that bike.

      Delete
  26. I don't bike so I have never done a group race. I do think getting out and doing something physical can really help on a bad day though.

    ReplyDelete
  27. What a fun event and a great idea to support each other especially if you're new to biking.

    ReplyDelete
  28. what a super fun experience! i ride my (old mountain bike) with my kids... but that is as big of a 'group ride' as I get. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It really was a fun morning, in spite of the weather!

      Delete
  29. Such a fun idea! I would love a ladies only group ride to meet other cyclists. I ride with my friends but am sometimes nervous in larger groups. Love that you could have had a mimosa at the end if you wanted to :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This was really fun, and I hope to join the ladies again!

      Delete
  30. Seems like such a fun day! Biking is always better with friends!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never rode with a group before, so yes, it was fun!

      Delete