adventuring on my bike

Although I lacked motivation to go for a bike ride today, I eventually finally got out there and did it. And you know what? I told myself I'd only go to the 12.5 mile marker [which is actually about 12 miles round trip for me] but I ended up doing almost twice that distance. You know why? Because once I got out there, of course I felt great and wanted to keep going! This happens more times than I keep track of. It's always the "getting out the door and doing the first mile" part that's the hardest. I ended up doing 22.3 miles, taking the "long" way home [there isn't really a long way home in a city that's one square mile] and exploring a bit. And yes, I took pictures today!

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nerd shirts ftw!
I make this very specific face when I'm riding, and I have no idea why. I'm kind of snarling. My nose is all scrunched up and my mouth is grimacing and my eyes are squinting [even though you can't see because of the sunglasses]. It's weird.

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I love this picture! My orange handlebars and my tiny tire and my heart rate monitor, and my SKINNY LEGS! If only I had remembered to put my streamers on my bike before heading out, this picture would be perfect!

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I got to the clover field at the end of the bike path, and they had mowed the grass and there was no more clover! Such a disappointment!

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I laid down to possibly take a nap, but freshly cut grass is very uncomfortable. Also, it started raining. 

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My legs get really dirty when I'm out on my bike. I don't know why. [Yes, I love my legs and yes, I will be taking a lot of pictures of them probably.]

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The river. Exciting, right?

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Such a long wooden bridge! This is the "extra" part that I don't normally bike on. The bike path ends just beyond this. Well, sort of ends. Mostly. It turns into back roads.

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And then you just keep following the signs until it eventually [supposedly] meets up with another bike path. I didn't go that far. I stopped before hitting the prison. But! Before that, I found something exciting!

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A public track! I didn't know my city had one of these! This will be monumental in getting my ankle used to running outdoors-- it has a little more impact than a treadmill, but still isn't as hard as pavement. And look, there's even a legit place to lock up my bike! That's so difficult to find around here! Ahh, I'm so excited about this and very glad that I decided to take the long way home and do some exploring.

I also noticed, during the ride, that my body's becoming much more efficient than just a month ago. Since I got my heart rate monitor, I've been paying attention to my heart rate [obviously] and how quickly it recovers from heavy exertion. At first, it didn't really recover at all. My heart rate usually topped out at 190bpm on hills, and stayed around 170 or above even on flat road. But that's really changed! Today, my average heart rate was a very respectable 153, and my maximum was 175. I even spent some time in the "fat burning zone" [below 130bpm] while biking, which I don't think I've ever done before. Amazing! And those times that my heart rate did get above 165 on hills, it dropped back down to the 150s almost immediately after cresting the hills. And this is with a higher average speed than usual. I love being able to point directly to these numbers and have proof that I'm improving, besides just how my body feels. This is one of the reasons I really wanted a heart rate monitor!

Okay, somehow it's well past midnight and I need to be up early for the gym, so I'm posting this and going to bed. Good night, and have an exciting weekend! I will check in on Sunday!