Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 11: A happy trail

Neil and I took a bike ride this morning after dropping the kids off at playgroup.  It was wonderful!  I have been itching to get outside and do something all week.  My right knee started hurting last Thursday evening, and after Friday's run I knew I needed to take it easy for a few days.  Monday I attempted a run/walk, but I was only able to run the distance of one block before I had to stop.  It is so discouraging because I've worked hard to get where I am and don't want to lose the endurance or distance I've gained.  I think the explanation is plain and simple: I did too much too soon and now I'm paying for it.  3 miles in only 2 1/2 weeks of running is quite a jump, and while from a breathing perspective I handled it with no problems, I don't think my muscles and joints liked it too much.  I have missed running and the liberation it's given me.  But I realize I need to take it slow and allow my body to fully acclimate before I throw a 5k at it!  I know the situation will eventually resolve itself.  I just hope it's sooner than later because I'm anxious to get back out there! 

In an attempt to maintain some level of activity, we've been taking walks and bike rides this week. None of it has even remotely compared to the satisfaction of a good run, but it's been better than nothing.  There is an asphalt trail behind our neighborhood which we've been talking about exploring for months now.  This morning seemed like a great time to finally embark on the journey since Neil was home and the kids were not!  When we approached the entrance to the trail, we noticed a second trail going the opposite direction.  Unlike the first trail, this one was purely dirt and rock, and looked more narrow and bumpy.  Now normally I'm the safe and boring bike rider, preferring flat and wide roads.  Mountain biking is not the least bit appealing to me.  And while this trail was no "mountain," it also wasn't the safe, generic type that I'd normally look for.  So what on earth drew me in?  Perhaps it was the fact that it was absolutely breathtaking!  Yep, that about sums it up.  It didn't matter what lay ahead.  We were taking that trail! 

In the 3 minutes it took to get from the main road to the trail entrance, I felt as though I'd gone from riding my bike down a common, unexciting street in Ripon, CA to suddenly gliding through a luscious countryside.  Grass and trees surrounded us, and we were secluded from anything man made.  The trail also ran parallel to the Stanislaus River, which just made the whole experience that much cooler.  Several times during our ride, Neil and I commented to each other how gorgeous and scenic it was, and how we couldn't believe this area existed only a mile or two from our house!  The sun was filtering through the trees, and was warm but not hot.  I mean it really was just perfect.

Here's a photo of the trail I found online, just to give you an idea...

Eventually the trail ended just underneath the highway.  At that point we rode up and down a bridge and then headed back towards the house.  It was very relaxing overall, but my heart rate did get up there at times and I could definitely feel my legs burning.  I was just so amazed by the quiet beauty surrounding us as we rode in the morning sunshine.  It was stunning, and I wish so much I'd had my camera!  I cannot wait to get Chloe and Ryan out there for a photo shoot!  And a picnic!  It just may be my new favorite place! 

When we got home I suggested we take a picture because I knew I'd be writing about this later and figured I could incorporate my picture of the day in with that same post.  Well, Neil was a bum and politely declined being in the picture.  So instead, you get to see one of me and my bike!  A dream come true, right?  If I'd actually taken any pictures today I'd post those over this one, but, well, I didn't.  So there you have it: yours truly.

Happy trails! 

1 comment:

Shauna_Rae said...

You are so pretty inside and out! You make me want to start running.....