Sunday, November 29, 2015

Bike Week + going out with a bang

Lots of bike miles this week!  I got 100 miles for the first time since early August.  Having a week off from school made it much easier to get the miles in, and the weather was cooperative as well.  As of yesterday morning, I had about 93 miles.  I thought about going for a run since I hadn't done that at all this week, but I was so close to 100 miles, I had to bike again.  Plus it was warm enough to bike in shorts!  I made plans with a friend to go for a 40-ish mile ride right after lunch.  The ride started out well enough.  We were cruising along at a good pace after racing down a long hill.  We were talking, and I was looking at him instead of at the road.  It was a freshly paved road, which means the edge of the pavement drops sharply several inches into the weeds.  My front tire slipped off the road.  Instead of doing the smart thing and laying over into the weeds, I tried to save it and swerve back onto the pavement.  It did not work out well for me.  Thankfully there were no broken bones and nothing needed stitches.  I do have a good bit of road rash though.  And the worst part is that one of my front teeth seems to have taken the hardest hit.  It got bent back a little bit.  I was able to push it back into place, but it was not a pleasant feeling, and it is now a bit loose.  I can't bite at all, and sometimes when I am talking my bottom teeth hit it, which is very unpleasant.  Small town life means I have already been put in touch with a dentist who is ready to help me out if I need it.  Only time will tell if my tooth will recover on its own or if I will need a root canal, or a new tooth.  For now all I can do is wait and hope for the best.  

As far as crashes go, I could not have been any luckier.  I wasn't alone and I wasn't seriously injured.  And, even better, minutes after I crashed, Merrick drove by in the bike shop van with his family, so they were able to take me and my bike back to their house and help me clean up the wound on my knee and some of the road rash.  It was nice not to have to bike up the three mile hill to home after that crash!   

Bike Rides This Week
T : 22.3 miles / 16.9 mph / 1148 ft (Portsmouth, RI)
W : 27 miles / 17.6 mph / 843 ft (Newport, RI w/Cecilia & Scott)
R : 43.6 miles / 15.3 mph / 33327 ft (Aquidneck Island, RI, TSS Thanksgiving Hill Fest)
Sa : 7 miles / 20.1 mph / 423 ft (Lewisburg, WV w/Dan)
total bike miles : 100.1

Thursday's ride with Ten Speed Spokes was my longest ride since late July, and my first ride over 30 miles on the Super Six.  It was a tough hill ride, and I forgot my inhaler, which didn't make the hills any easier, but I had a great ride.  It was fun to ride with a group for once.  

Photos from Tuesday's ride

My face post-crash.
I do not understand how I hit hard enough to knock a tooth out of place, 
but my face doesn't look any worse than this.  
My chin is bruised, but doesn't even have a mark on it!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sunset over Narragansett Bay 11/25/2015

It's hard to beat a sunset over the water!  Lucky to be able to catch them on the East coast.

roaming through my childhood backyard

It wouldn't do to travel and not go on at least one photo-adventure!  I'm only in RI for a few days, and yesterday I spent the day feeling too cold to get myself out the door to wander around taking photos.  Luckily today was a bit warmer, and I didn't go outside at all before my adventure, so I couldn't be frightened off of it by any coolness in the air.  It turned out to be a gorgeous day for photos.

My friend and I used to have picnics under this railroad bridge.
I wanted to go down under it today, but the path was too overgrown to navigate with my cameras.

There were a few teepees in random places in the woods today.  
I've never seen them before.

The colorful leaves are already gone in WV, but I was glad to find some here in RI!

Of course I had to put my tripod to use and have some fun!

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Winter is Coming

I had the bright idea to ride my bike at 8:30 this morning, without anything to cover my face and without my winter gloves.  Brilliant.  Not only was it cold, it was also windy.  I froze my face off, and my fingers were so cold they hurt.  But hey, I got some exercise and that's what matters!

It's been a good week of exercise.  Running is still going well.  I had toyed with the idea of running a fourth time this week, but I didn't get to it, and that's okay.  Maybe next week.

This week : 
M : Pub Run 7.4 miles / 7:15 pace / 187 ft
T : sweatfest 60 min / 16 miles
W : 7.4 miles / 7:23 pace / 551 ft
F : bike 21.6 miles / 15.9 mph / 2057 ft
Sa : 5.6 miles / 7:21 pace / 404 ft
Su : bike 15.4 miles / 16.9 mph / 1138 ft

total run miles : 20.4
total bike miles : 53

The Pub Run was fun this week.  There were only 3 of us, and we were all in the "fast" group.  We did 3 extended loops at a faster pace than usual, and then two of us decided to do the shorter loop one more time, at a hard pace.  I had to do a short cool down loop after that to slowly return my breathing to normal in an attempt not to go into a violent coughing fit.  Happily, I succeeded. 

For Wednesday's run, I tried out a potential 5 mile race course for Lewisburg.  It was brutally hilly, because the neighborhood we want to use is...brutally hilly.  I had to treat it like a "race" in order to even get myself to run it without dying on the hills.  Good workout. 

In other news, one of my orthotics was bruising the bottom of my foot and while I was running once a week I was ignoring it, and then I started running more and it was a bigger problem but I still didn't get around to getting it fixed.  It was starting to cause leg pain. I finally went to PT to get it fixed this week.  They gave me a new one, and now I am pain free in both feet, hooray!  Nothing can stop me now...except maybe asthma.  I have no control over that beast.

P.S.  I was walking through downtown today taking photos of the Holiday Festival and I saw snowflakes blowing around.  Winter is indeed coming. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Still running! And loving every second of it, of course.

It poured rain almost all day Monday, but I told people I would show up for Pub Runs rain or shine.  Several people backed out when the rain was still pouring down at 4:00, but I knew of at least one other brave soul who would show up, and I certainly didn't want to miss a day of running!  At 5:00, the sun actually peeked out of the sky to the west.  I wasn't sure how long the break would last, and so I decided to get a quick run in myself before the group run, in case we cut our run short.  It turned out that the rain did hold off for us and we had our longest run yet!

Wednesday was a teacher work day, and I went in early, so I also left a bit early and got in a good bike ride without having to worry about it getting dark.  After the ride, I was still feeling energetic, so I decided to run as well, since Wednesday is supposed to be a run day anyway.  I was treated to a stunningly gorgeous sunset that lasted for for the entire run.  The colors were so vibrant, and took up a good portion of the sky.  It was awesome.  But of course I really wished I had my camera!

This was the sky towards the end of my bike ride, 
before it exploded with vivid color.

This week : 
M : run 1.3 miles @6:57 pace 
group run 6.2 miles @7:58 pace
T : sweatfest 45 minutes/12.2 miles
W : bike 21.3 miles @16.9 mph, 1857 ft
run 7.3 miles @8:03 pace
F : run 7.3 miles @8:34 pace

I spent most of this morning telling myself that I should go for a bike ride, but I never got around to it.  Perhaps I needed some more time off.  I did ride my horse on Friday and today though.  

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Lake Sherwood Recreation Area

I had a fun night with a group of friends last night so today I was ready to recharge with some solitude and my cameras.  I slept in, then decided to drive up to Lake Sherwood for the morning.  It's a little less than an hour away, and I hadn't been there yet.

As I was driving along a winding road through the forest, I could see little waterfalls in the stream that paralleled the road.  I eventually found a spot to pull over right next to a neat area in the stream, and so I spent a good bit of time there before continuing on to the lake.

I love the sun streaming down in this one.

I eventually headed on to the lake, where signs informed me that all cars were charged a day fee from May through September.  Glad I came in November.  I didn't see a single other person the entire time I was in the area, which was perfect.  I like solitude on my adventures.  

I could hear the geese long before I could see them, and they were clearly not happy about my presence.  They took off for an even more solitary spot shortly after they caught sight of me.  I didn't even have time to adjust settings on my camera to get the exposure right.  And it was hard to focus because the sun was so bright. 

I kind of like the blurred effect in this photo.

This guy was also very unhappy with my presence and quite vocal about it.  It took me awhile to find him, but he was so loud I found him eventually, way up in a tree.  Thank goodness for zoom lenses...

It gets harder to find colorful photos every weekend.  
Now that it's halfway through November, there are hardly any leaves left anywhere.  
It has occurred to me that I'm pretty lucky it hasn't snowed at all yet.

I prefer colorful photos, but at this time of year it seems the only way to 
really get them is through heavy editing...

 Having fun.

Enjoying the peace and solitude.
I really wish I had thought to bring a book along.

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Back to Running!

After 7 weeks of 0-2 runs per week, most of which were Pub Run jogs, I decided it was time to try again.  The last two Pub Runs have been a bit faster and longer, and have felt good.  So on Wednesday, I decided to go for a run.  I kept the pace easy, and planned to head straight home if my foot started hurting.  It never started hurting, so I went for 7 miles.  On Friday, I decided to run again, thinking I would probably stick to 5 or 6, but again, my foot did not hurt.  It felt so good to be running, I gradually picked up the pace as I went along, and I ended up with 8 miles.  I am trying to hold off on running two days in a row or on running too fast quite yet.  We'll see how long I can hold out...

This week:
M : sweatfest 40 min/10.1 miles
Pub Run 5.2 miles / 8:04 pace / 118 ft
T : bike 23.2 miles / 17.8 mph / 1683 ft
W : run 7 miles / 8:08 pace / 492 ft
R : bike 24.7 miles / 19.4 mph / 1640 ft
F : run 8 miles / 7:39 pace / 571 ft
Su : bike 25.1 miles / 15.5 mph / 2556 ft

total run miles : 20.2 
total bike miles : 83.2

Sunday Funday 11/8/2015

I want to go on as many photo adventures as I can while the weather is still decent out, I'm not sure how often I'll manage to drag myself out to take pictures once it's too cold to keep feeling in my fingers while using a camera!  Yesterday was rainy and dreary for most of the day, and by the time it was almost nice out, I was enjoying my couch so much I didn't feel like going out and doing anything.  So I enjoyed a day on the couch going through photos and doing a bit of this and a bit of that.  It was good to have a quiet and relaxing day after a very stressful week at school.  

Today I wanted to bike in the morning, and I had told Sue I would trail ride at 1:30, so that didn't leave much time for a photo-adventure, but I was determined to get some camera time in.  So I went down to the Fort Spring boat launch, only about 15 minutes away.  I had some fun taking photos of the water and being silly jumping around, then went straight to the barn and brought my camera along on the trail ride.

Fort Spring

The trees are bare but the sky is brilliant!

a bit of editing fun

Trail Ride

Pony heard the crinkling sound of the water bottle and tried to bite it, so Sue stuck it in her mouth for her to drink out of.  It was hilarious.

 Check out the cloud of dust she just shook off...