Tag Archives: biking

Days 358 & 359: Reservoir Ride and Mammoth Gyms

Day 358:  I don’t know about you, but I am one of those people who will not leave my house after a move until everything is in perfect order.  Does that sound crazy?  I have kind of felt that way the past few days.  It probably did not help that the only time I left the house was to go on a daily run to Wal-Mart.

I knew that the only way I was going to feel better was by exploring my new neighborhood.  The reason we chose this hood’ over other suburb hoods’ is because of the beautiful reservoir just 1/2 mile down the street.  I hopped on my bike and completed the 8 mile loop around while taking in some of the most breathtaking views and loads of cool animals.  I tried to get pictures of the deer and antelope that I kept seeing, but they blend in so well with their surroundings that they did not show up (which is surprising because I used my fancy camera phone!).

There was also the feeling of relief when I came across runners, bikers, scuba divers getting certified, paddle boarders, kayakers and people just sitting in nature.  It was a sense that I had found home in a place that I had never been before.

What a cool feeling to have such natural beauty so close to home and to have at our disposal whenever our athletic legs need exercise or our minds need grounding.  #watermountainviewlove

Day 359:  The only downside that I’ve found with moving to the suburbs is that I have to drive EVERYWHERE!  I have not had to do that since I graduated high school 5 years ago…or 11 years ago.  Its definitely going to take some adjusting.  Although listening to Matisyahu really loud and singing/screaming really helps speed up travel time.  The point of this driving madness is that I have to drive 15 minutes to get to a gym. That seemed semi-ridiculous to me until I stumbled upon the Wal-Mart sized Lifetime Fitness.  The mandatory tour took 25 minutes and then membership director dropped me off in a peaceful yoga studio for an hour-long hot vinyasa flow.  After that, I hit the treadmill for a 15 minute run and then came home.

The gym has so much to offer that my city gal pint-sized gym self was so overwhelmed.  It’s a big commitment to join a gym and an even bigger one to join a scary mammoth sized gym 15 minutes away.  Until I have to decide on a gym, I think I’ll stick to a routine that includes trips to the reservoir for runs or rides and throw in some trips to Denver to for my yoga fix.  Don’t mind if I do….

Days 338-341: City Nostalgia

Day 338:  On Wednesday it rained.  That is the most beautiful statement that I can write for a state that is in a severe drought.  It rained so much that I was preparing to stay inside all day and make up my own version of an insanity workout that would include Crate & Barrel box dodging as the main event.  Fortunately around 3:00 pm the rain stopped and I was able to get in a good 40 minute run before a rainy day pizza dinner date with a friend.

Day 339:  Thursday morning I went for a run around 8:00 a.m. and it was downright chilly outside.  The crisp air made it hard to stop and the slight change in leaves made the scenery even more beautiful.  My pre-move nostalgia has officially kicked in.  In two weeks we will be suburbanites.  Every time I leave my house for a run, walk or ride my heart feels heavy with a sadness of change.  The change is a good thing, but I’m allowing myself to feel a loss for the city that I love….and for the stray cat that we have named “Tiger” that greets me outside my apartment after every run.

Day 340: Yesterday Mike and I had some errands to run to get the mortgage application process r0lling (round #2!) and wanted to checkout the progress made on the house.  After that, I decided to walk the 2.5 miles into work and bask in the ability to walk almost anywhere.  #citylove

Day 341:  After work today I decided to take advantage of the afternoon sun and go on an hour-long bike ride.  I threw on some Bob Marley radio and rode down the Cherry Creek Trail, trying not to look creepy to other rides while I semi-sing and smile too much.  It was just one of those happy, chai tea mornings followed by a sunny ride that makes my soul light up.

Days 334-337: Sweat as a Religion

Day 334:  On Saturday I rode my bike to and from work and tagged on a few extra miles for good measure.  It was all that my schedule could fit in, but it was still enough to become a hot sweaty mess by the time I locked my bike up outside our apartment.

Day 335:    Growing up, religion was a big part of my life until something happened that made me question what I had been taught.  I stopped going to church and let myself not feel guilty with the simple thought, “you’ll come back to it when you’re ready.”  Well life changed and so did my beliefs on almost everything that matters.  My religion now is to love everyone and to do so without hesitation.  It’s a constant practice and dedication.  My Sunday mornings that used to be filled with church services are now filled with runs, asanas and peaceful questions.

With that being said, I miss the organizational religion and am wanting to get back to it- if it feels right.   Mike and I have dedicated our future Sunday morning’s to finding a church home that suits our beliefs.  I will work in a run before to make sure I feel grounded in myself before checking out local services.  For the next two weeks, I’ll continue to build my own spiritual side up with 40 minute runs in the park.  After that, the church dating begins.

PS That was a rant.  I ran 40 minutes on Sunday a.m.

Day 336:  Yesterday I went to my first yoga class in a week and my body felt rusty and downright, tighhhhhht.  Every bend, twist, breath and stretch felt like the first time.  Although my body felt stretched beyond it’s limits, as I walked out of the CPY studio, I realized that I had been completely in the moment the entire class.  I was present for 60 minutes- which is better than being super bendy, it’s the best thing that’s happened in a long time.

When was the last time you were able to quiet your thoughts and stay present?  It’s so hard for me to do.  I suppose when you least expect it to happen, it happens.

Day 337:  Today I went for an hour-long walk and am searching for a yoga class tonight to honor all of the lives touched by 9/11.  I want to breathe with the community and send love and light to everyone around.    I suppose I could do that with my own flow in our living room as well.   However, if you know of any good ones in the city, please shoot me an email!

Days 290-292: Happy Trails

Day 290:  On Thursday afternoon Mike and I went hiking at Mt. Sanitas in Boulder.   The trailhead is just a short distance from the popular flatirons trail and I think it’s a much more difficult hike….which is always more fun when it’s over 🙂  It took us about two hours to scramble up and down the mountain and take lots of scenic pictures.  We even took a break to gobble down peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.  I am not sure what it is about hikes, even short hikes, but I have to eat a PBJ or it is not complete.  I absolutely believe this to be a true statement.

Day 291:  Yesterday my stomach was pretty upset all day, so I decided to get my workout out of the way as early as possible.  I ran a quick three miles to and from Washington Park and said quiet prayers that my stomach pain would not act up.  Luckily, the pain held off until the run was over.  I came home and made my new favorite (pre-wedding breakfast):

-3 egg whites, chopped mushrooms, green onions, spinach, bell peppers and asparagus with an apple

I have been eating the breakfast for the last week and it’s kept me satisfied until lunch.  Give er’ a try!

Day 292:  I just got back from a six-mile run at Washington Park. Feeling excited before about the run, I decided to take a different path the whole time and run in the opposite direction at the park.  I know, I know, getting CRAZY!    I just felt like I had to switch up my pattern to get out of my brain a little bit and let my body take over some more.  It worked.  I ran 6 miles at a 9.40 pace, which is a little faster than I normally run and I felt great.  If you’ve been running the same path for years, I recommend switching it up, no matter how odd it feels.  I promise your bod’ will thank you for it.

Days 278 & 279: Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Day 278:  When I woke up on Saturday morning every single cell in my body was telling me to take a break from working out.  I could actually hear my thighs saying, “come on Betsy, it’s been 277 days without a proper day of rest.  You can skip today.”  It’s a good thing my mind was somewhere else, otherwise this blog would have been a thing of the past.

Instead of partaking in a heart pounding, sweat blinding cardio class I coaxed myself into a nice easy bike ride on my hybrid (despite years of trying, I unabashedly, admit that I still cannot change a tire on my road bike- hence why I take my hybrid when riding alone).  I actually believed myself at first.  I hopped on my bike, went nice and easy down to the Cherry Creek Trail and then turned on Pandora and tore away for 35 minutes out.  I found groups of road bikers and tried to stay at their pace, raced to mile markers and drenched my shirt in sweat.  Then I turned around and rode back in for 40 more minutes.  I think I used most of my energy on my way out because I was exhausted on my way home.

When I got home, I showered and fell asleep on the couch for 20 minutes before hopping back on my bike and heading into work.  It really amazed me how a little bit of a mind games really turned my workout from a “slacker day” to one of my favorite solo rides.

Day 279:  Today I was feeling a little uninspired in life.  Do you ever have those days?  I have no idea why, I just was.  I decided to go to church and follow it up with a Core Power Sculpt class; hoping that the combination of the two would make me feel better.  The pastor’s message was about drawing strength from your faith and those around you.  He shared this video from the 1976 Olympics that filled me up with inspiration and strength.  I left church feeling renewed and I headed to class.  The instructor opened up class with a song that my Mom used to play for me every morning on my Fisher Price record player, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.”  At first the song made me laugh and then it brought tears to my eyes during a minute long plank (at least I think it was the song and not the plank!).

My day started off feeling blah and by noon I was filled with motivation and reminiscent love.  It catapulted the rest of my day into helping me add new elements to my bride diet/healthy life.  Disclaimer:  I’m not on a real diet, I am trying to make my life healthier and the wedding has helped me make these changes.  I went to the store and (finally) bought Chia Seeds, Probiotics and a food journal.  Here are two links that describe what I am working on and what the heck Chia Seeds are:

Chia Seeds

10 Tips to Get a Bitchin’ Bod (not really the title, but I like it better)

What motivates you when you’re feeling a little blah?  How do you get unstuck when you’re convinced you can’t move?   Besides the obvious 80s songs by Bobby McFerrin, of course.

Days 268-272: Lots of Sweat & Rain

Day 268:   I am starting to think that keeping up with the blog is harder than the working out!  This week was filled with lots of sweaty, humid, rainy runs.  Starting with a four mile run on the 4th!   The air in Denver was thick with smoke from Wyoming wildfires, which proved to make my run a bit tricky.  Luckily, I ran early in the morning before the air quality was too bad.

Days 269 & 270:  4 mile runs to the park both days and biking to/from work.

Day 271: Yesterday I biked to and from work and tagged on a few extra miles thinking that was all I was going to have time for before a storm hit.  Once I got home, I decided to go to Core Power for a Saturday evening sculpt class. Due to my newest Yoga Sculpt addiction,  I made the decision to buy an unlimited month at the nearest studio to add some definition to my guns pronto.    The 60 minute class has bursts of cardio, weight training and yoga poses.  It really is the perfect combination.

Day 272:  This morning Mike and I rode our bikes to lululemon to join their 4 mile run club.  We started out in the same running group for about a mile and then Mike naturally went with the fastest group at an 8:30 pace and I finished with a different group at a 9:30 pace.  Afterwards, we grabbed coffees and walked around the Cherry Creek Arts festival.  We fell in love with lots of art that we could never afford, dreamt of what our house is going to look like in a few months and then rode our bikes home (very quickly) in the rain.

It’s been quite the week, jammed with lots more last-minute wedding planning and holiday playing.  Five more weeks until the big day and again, my apologies for the blog slacking lately.   It will pick back up over the next few weeks!

Days 263 & 264: Adapt, Adapt, Adapt

Day 263:  Yesterday I learned a very important lesson on my bike ride into work; 28 year olds fall harder off of bikes than 4 year olds.  I was on my trusty hybrid bike without clip-in’s and I went to make a quick turn and fell….hard.  My bike flipped over me and my helmet whacked the ground.  I am ashamed to admit that my first thought was, “did anyone see that?”  Yes.  Yes, they did.  Someone and his great dane ran towards me and I mustered up an embarassing, “I’m okay, but my ego is busted.”  That receieved the laugh that I need to hear whenever I feel embarassed.  I got up, checked my injuries, looked around for my dignity, slid my chain back on my gears and pedaled into work.

Thankfully, I was only left with a few bruises and a swollen ankle from my bike fall.  But the swollen ankle meant I had to revise my workout of running for the day.  I decided on walking to Kindness Yoga after I got done at work.  I took a 75 minute vinyasa flow with a local favorite, Nick Wilder.  He started off class with an apology for not having planned a class for the day.  His previous job ran late, which left him without time to prepare anything.  Nick laughed off his lack of preparation, asked for requests and led us through a practice with inspiring words of adapting.  He turned something that others might view as bad, to something extraordinary….with 20 students watching and hanging onto his every word.  #yogainspiration

Day 264:  I would like to report that today I rode my bike to and from work without any spills.  I even managed to ice my ankle last night and go for a run after leaving lululemon this evening.  Even though I ran at 7:30 pm, it was still a muggy 87 degrees outside.  Woof.  I am not sure how people successfully run in this heat.  My goal was to run three quick miles and then return home to the air conditioner.   The goal was met, although I am starting to feel weary about my abilities to run outside for the rest of the summer.  Any tips from you running readers?

Days 233-236: Calf Muscles: Signed, Sealed, Delivered

Day 233:  It’s becoming apparent to me that I need some help with time management.  Lately, I feel stressed all the time due to lack of hours in the day.  I am guessing that 99.9% of the world can relate to this.  I would love to hear any time management suggestions and how you fit in your workouts on those days.

On Thursday, the only workout that I felt I had time for was to ride my bike to and from work.  Round trip it takes me 40 minutes, which feels like a nice workout for a normal day, but since I have tried to ramp up my workouts lately, I felt as though that was a bit of a slackjob.

Day 234:  On Friday morning I woke up at 6 a.m. to fit in a TRX workout in my family room/dining room/kitchen.  If you’re wondering why there are so many slashes, then I invite you to come check out our 550 sq ft two bedroom apartment!  I hit walls, couches, tables and cabinets with every TRX workout I complete.  Have I mentioned how excited I am for our soon-to-be house to be built?

Day 235:  Yesterday I helped out at the Great West Insurance tent at the American Heart Association Walk and gave away some on the spot coaching tips. It was an awesome event filled with people so full of life.  At one point, I even got to coach Peyton Manning!  Well not really, but I did see him from ten feet away (see picture above).  Same thing, right?   After six hours there I went to work at lululemon for the next seven hours and used my bike as my form of transportation to help me squeeze in a workout on this packed day.  I also spent 30 minutes wandering downtown at 6 a.m. for a cup of Joe, can I add this in as a workout?  Seriously…

Day 235:   I just got back from the Denver Athletic Club and my body is so happy with the workout I was able to complete.  I have not run in quite some time, so I figured I should try out the ol’ IT band on the treadmill before heading outdoors.  The treadmills at this gym are actually touching mirrors.  Have you ever run while staring at yourself for the whole time?  I’m not sure I have.  It’s  an eye-opening experience.  Try it out, I bet you’ll be more impressed with your body than you think.

As I was pounding away at the hamster wheel I thought back to five years ago when a rather mean ex-boyfriend told me that my calves had “zero definition or muscle.”  Three days after that comment, I threw half of a Subway sandwich at him and asked him never to contact me again.  All rational people have their irrational moments- that might have been mine, but his meanness deserved a little chicken teriyaki to the head!

Fast forward five years, add in some experience with a good man, 236 consecutive days of working out and  a running mirror at the DAC and what do you get?  A Betsy with a sense of body pride that has never been felt before.   I saw muscles that I never knew existed in my legs and there was even a rather large muscle bulge protruding from my calf.   There have been many things that I have been proud of throughout this challenge, but seeing the results in my body has become my favorite part.  I was tempted to ask the man behind me to take a picture of me running on the mill, but I thought he might try to get me kicked out.  I did promise some readers that I would post some more body pictures along the way and I will get there…I still promise.

After my three-mile run I spent 30 minutes on the elliptical, followed by an hour of weight lifting and arm work.  Don’t you just love taking your time at the gym?  What a luxurious day to finish out a busy week.

Days 230-232: Tie-Dyed Peace

Day 230:  On Monday I went to Core Power for a sculpt class.  I have not been to one in a while, so I will refresh your memory- hot room, weights, yoga poses and lots of sweat.  At one point I started seeing spots, so I dropped to my knees to help me regain some control.  After a 30 second break, I joined the rest of my classmates to finish up.  I made the declaration on that day that I was going to work really hard to have some seriously toned bridal guns for the wedding in 80 days.  In fact, I might need to get a license for these guns…

Day 231:  Yesterday I went for a bike ride on the Cherry Creek Trail.  When I ride alone I like to take my hybrid bike because I think that bike is less prone to flats (aka me getting stranded because I still do not know how to change a flat tire after six years of biking).   I listened to Adele radio on Pandora, sang out loud every now again when I thought nobody was around and pedaled my hybrid-bike-heart out for 90 minutes.

Day 232:   In 10 days 15 of my nearest and dearest gal pals will be in town for my bachelorette party and I want to make sure that I am working my tail off up until that alcohol infused weekend.  So I decided to take full advantage of the two-week trial membership that the Denver Athletic Club gave all the Colfax half-marathon participants.  Today, I got the official tour of quite possibly the largest gym/club I have ever been to.   The membership director even had me get on this large machine (no clue what it was called) that shakes so fast that supposedly it helps rid you of fat.  Actually, I made that up.  I have no clue what it is meant to do besides threaten a possible orgasm in front of Denver’s most elite gym goers.

After the tour I headed to one of the three locker rooms and threw on my tie-dyed swimsuit and headed to the pool.  I swam a little shy of a mile and was quickly reminded of why I used to love to swim.  I lose myself completely within  seconds of putting on my goggles.  All the noises go away under the water and I am left just to think about my strokes.   Speed up, slow down, flip, repeat.  It feels poetic to be able to lose a sense everything else going on.  If you used to swim and you have not done it in a while, then I challenge you to find a local pool and lose yourself.  It’s amazing how good it feels to find some quiet chlorine induced peace.

Fuel of the week:  Greek yogurt with blackberries and strawberries.

Days 226-229: Hiking and Anniversaries

Day 226:  On Thursday I went to a 5:30 vinyasa flow at Karma Yoga.  The instructor was inspirational, the class vibe was strong, the sun was shining in on my mat and my body felt like a yoga virgin.  It was a strange sensation to feel as though this was my first time experiencing most poses, but my pounding-pavement-half-marathon body wanted nothing to do with stretching and deep breaths.  I found myself falling out of simple poses, taking really shallow breaths and feeling really disconnected from my yogi self.  As I was feeling frustrated with my not so bendy body, I forgave my muscles.  After all, they were just tired, wanting a break and some serious attention.   Isn’t that when yoga is the best?  When the body needs a break, it’s there for you, along with your mat, your breath and the sun.  #shineonyogini

Day 227:  My friends and I were suppose to meet at Pura Vida for a bootcamp style class but we were all feeling like our bodies needed rest.  Instead, we met at Washington Park for a 4 mile walk and blasted through some abdominal work in the wet grass.

Day 228:  Yesterday Mike and I rode our bikes to a farmer’s market, noshed on some crepes and then powered home on our bikes.  We even managed to stock up on our weekly allotment of fruits and veggies!

Day 229:  Today, Mike and I are celebrating our two-year anniversary.  What can I say?  We move fast!   Two years ago I got a text from Mike while he was at Fleet Week in NYC that said, “I think I might like you as more than a friend.”   Nervous, excited and scared of my own feelings I had no idea how to respond.  After all, he’s in NYC celebrating his attractiveness in a Navy uniform, drinking with his buddies and I was sober and at work.  With my guard up, I sent a text back that said “That might be the booze talking, but if it’s not, then let’s talk when you get home.  PS I think I feel the same.”  Fast forward two years and we are planning our wedding, living in our dream city, buying a house, talking about future babies named Charlie and sharing our lives over coffee every single morning.

After our coffee talk this morning we headed to Golden and went for a hike.  We ran into at least a dozen deer and hiked for an hour and a half.  After that, we strolled around the squaint town while sipping on  (yet another) coffee and talking about our past few years.   Two years down, thousands of memories made and some of the best are yet to come.