Easter break

In a good news/bad news type of twist, my much-anticipated Easter break was spent mostly sick in bed, bookended by great times outside.

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.


  1. Being sick on break is just wrong. Sorry. Looks like you made up for it with plenty of fun activities though.

  2. sorry you were sick...I did not think super people could get sick!

    self portrait on the bike?! I would have ended up off the bike for sure!

  3. Aw man, no fair being sick on your birthday. I hope you get a birthday do-over and get to do something fun. Oh wait....you got to do that on the awesome bike ride in the woods :). And birthday bonus, you didn't bite any dirt taking your pic. Next time you'll ride the whole way. I get those days where I walk and think WTH is wrong with me?!?!

    Um...I've heard of that Go Girl. You are the first that I am aware of who has actually used one. Can't wait for that pee report! :)

  4. Can't wait to read the pee post!

    One of the things I like about my birthday is it is in summer and I am Queen for the Day and not working. I would have been grumpy with all that time spent at school on my bday.

    You will get that hill next time no doubt!

  5. Sorry you were sick. No fun! I hope to get back to Lost Valley early this summer, maybe we could meet up. I guarantee that I will walk more spots than you will.

  6. I'm so sorry you were sick for the weekend, but at least you got some fun in on the edges. I second Jill--can't wait for that review. I'm scared, actually.

  7. That sucks you were sick on break but really cool you got to ride with your brother. Your bike handling just keeps getting better and better with more time in the saddle.

  8. Glad you are feeling better now. Such a bad time to be sick. My son was sick the last two days of his Easter break and still not well. Love all the photos!

  9. Glad you are feeling better. Love your pics! Does your brother appreciate you putting pics of his butt on your blog? LOL Sounds like fun family time all around minus all the sick crap. I woke up this morning feeling a little sick to my stomach - sure, now that the kids are back at school and I need to catch up!

  10. First, sorry about being sick. Especially on the Bday. sounds like you have a great husband and family taking care of ya.

    Lost Valley - scares me. There are a few names used to identify landmarks, places and things that have me thinking twice b4 going near - one of them is Lost. The other "Deadman's" anything. I was actually traveling in Eastern Oregon once on Deadman's Pass, and saw a sign for Lost Road. YIKES! I guess it wasn't too lost if a sign found it though? :)

  11. Hey, I like those sunglasses with your biking outfit. Ha! You look cute. I'm glad you are feeling better!

  12. Sorry you were sick on break - that's just not right :)

    (I am looking very forward to your go-girl review - there are way too many times I am jealous that guys have that so easy)

  13. Well, at least it was a super-sickness.

    I don't know what it is about mountain bikes - the same steepness or turn I'd fly on my road bike petrifies be on the mountain. As you said, totally mental.


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