Wednesday: My birthday, regrettably not recognized as an official holiday by my school, was spent first in teacher institute most of the day and then in night class most of the evening. What, the world doesn't stop for me to celebrate? Bad form, world. I did get to come home to dinner fixed for me by Jeff and the boys, so that was nice.
Thursday: The first official day of my Easter break (my kids were off for the entire week) saw me getting up early to meet Lindsay for a run before my babysitter left for volleyball practice. I wasn't at all excited by the prospect of running, but I was really looking forward to seeing my friend. We set off on her 5-mile loop, only to end after 40-some minutes and realize it was more like 5 miles. Then, we opted to run an extra mile to round it out, only to realize at our turning point that we'd run a mile OUT, therefore adding 2 miles to our morning. We walked the way back to give us more time to catch up. Clearly we need to put in a little more work on our distance-estimating skills.
I have no idea what I did for the remainder of the day, but I can tell you it wasn't productive. After all, I was on break. (Not this kind of break.)
Friday: Supposed to meet my brother for a bike ride, but I woke up at 4:30 with a terrible sore throat and spent the day on the couch while J played video games until rescued by his friend's mom for a fun afternoon at Laser Tag while I slept for the rest of the day.
Saturday: Supposed to meet Vanessa to go to a Team Rev mountain bike ride, but I was still feeling cruddy. Basically slept until time to go to my brother's for my mom's retirement party. (Congratulations, mom!) It was nice hanging out with my family, though I did a lot of sleeping there, too.
Sunday: Finally starting to feel like I might feel better. Went to church with Jeff (which is kind of a big deal because we go to different churches), then to my mother-in-law's for family Easter, complete with a gigantic egg hunt, badminton, and football with the kids. Thankfully it's not tackle, though my 17 year old just picked me up and moved me out of the way a few times.
Monday: The kids were all back at school, so I was free to go mountain biking with my brother at Lost Valley. Usually we just ride the local trails, so it was kind of cool to get to show him one of my favorite places to ride. Cool and...uh...a little intimidating. Lost Valley has several spots I've never been able to ride, and I've never been the one leading (so to speak...I had Jim ride ahead of me the majority of the time, but I supposedly knew where we were going).
It seemed like a good day to channel some Team Seagal superior state of mind.
We parked at the Mound and rode down the Hamburg trail to that crazy gravel hill that scares the crap out of me.
As we rode, I could definitely tell that I hadn't ridden my bike since last Saturday's race. Jim, on the other hand, was definitely feeling all the miles he's ridden in the past couple days. Dead legs all around. Of course, they felt much better at the top of the long climb.
I suppressed the repeated urge at all kind of familiar places to tell him, "This is where Wendy (or Chuck, or Robin, or Patrick, or Traci...yeah, I've had a lot of really patient friends ride with me at Lost Valley) told me [whatever words of wisdom they had, most frequently, "You know, this would be a lot easier/smoother if you carried a little more speed..."]
It was a great ride. Pretty mellow pace so that we could talk, but I tried to focus on staying off the brakes more into turns and downhill. I walked the spots I usually walk, though I did go back and retry a couple, putting a foot down once and falling the other time.
The irritating thing is that, looking at the places I walked, I know I could ride them; I just let my head get in the way. Why?? I haven't been hurt in a fall in almost a year, and most of my falls come in the easy places, not the hard ones. So why not go for it? Sigh.
Very practical sunglasses for biking, no? I somehow lost the ones I regularly wear and haven't gotten around to replacing them; this is the most you'll ever see me channelling Paris Hilton or the likes. I was pretty proud of myself for taking a couple pictures while riding. My bike handling isn't all that great, so any time I don't have both hands on the grips is a little dicey.
After a slight navigational misstep, we ended up with another big hill to climb, but I felt really strong for most of this one (it got a little old at the end). I'm so inconsistent on hills; sometimes I feel great, sometimes I'm soooo slow. And there doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason for when it feels better and when I could crawl faster.
I was semi-looking forward to the last climb back to the Hamburg Trail, because the last time I rode at Lost Valley I ended up walking half of it. As we were slowly grinding to the top, Jim told me, "That's the difference between you and me; I'm not too proud to walk it."
"I'm not too proud to walk," I replied. "...well, maybe a little, but just because I know I can ride it."
He pulled ahead of me, and as we reached the steepest part (cruelly, the very last stretch), I watched him fishtail in a deep spot of gravel, veer into the brush, pull out of it, and ride to the top. I hit the same damn spot, did the same thing, and had to put a foot down, letting loose with a few choice words. So close.
Next time, Lost Valley. Next time.
P.S. I'm hard at work on the gear review for my Go Girl. I may set a new world record for the number of times pee is mentioned in a single post.