Monday, October 22, 2012

Mega-Athletic Weekend

Talk about lifestyle changes! This weekend was a cornucopia of outdoor sports. (See how I have cleverly worked in an autumn reference?)

- Friday night: I went on a night hike with a group. I'd been wanting to go on a hike with this group: they host a ton of them. Often, though, they put some pretty rigid restrictions on who can attend (in terms of fitness/hiking experience) and they have scared me off. Plus, I have a friend who was sort of badgered by the group leader about her hiking experience when she signed up for a hike with the group. Eeesh! I suppose I can understand this if you have a group of skilled hikers and they don't want to be held back by a slowpoke. Anyway - if the intent was to intimidate, it worked on me! But this hike was right after work and right in my backyard, so I went for it. It was fun! It's never even occurred to me to hike at night: it was daylight for awhile, but about mid-way through the hike (6 miles or so) we were hiking in the dark, with only our headlamps to guide us. Crazy!

After the hike, we all went to a nearby Mexican restaurant for dinner and drinks. It was a very, very fun evening, I am so glad I went.

Nice people, fun night. I'm getting some mileage out of my new biking jacket.
p.s. My MTB friend was familiar with this trail, and when I said I was concerned about showing up in tennis shoes, he said I could hike it in flip-flops. But oh boy, when I showed up at that trailhead right after work in my tennies and that sling bag instead of like all of them with their boots and walking sticks and backpacks and such...hell yes, they gave me the dubious once over. But I was totally fine.

p.p.s. This group is 40+ Outdoor Singles. At 42, I was totally the baby of the group. The photographer is in his early 60s. He was also the fastest hiker, haha.

- Saturday morning started early with Alli's cross-country meet at a city park. Oh boy, she was nervous! This meet was against another school. This is the first year of XC at any of the middle schools in the district (it's just these two schools, I believe). The coach sent out a great email celebrating the end of the season and talked about all the work they are going to do to build this program in the district, and exciting plans for next year. I was so excited about it and what a cool program they're building - then I remembered my daughter will be in high school next year.

My daughter will be in high school next year??
Anyway, she did awesome. Damn, that girl has spirit. She is so tough. I maintain that it takes tremendous courage to sign up for a running team when you are an overweight teenage girl. And then to actually show up, haha. She impresses the hell out of me. She ran the event (they only had one) and even though she finished last, like two minutes after everyone else, she just kept going. She has been getting terrible shin splints: like bad enough to make her cry. I guess I better go get her some new running shoes this week in anticipation of Sunday's upcoming 5K. She hasn't gotten her *own* shoes - she wears my old ones. This could be part of the problem, I suppose.

After the XC meet, it was straight to my son's playoff football game. Sadly, they lost, which really stunk because they were a very powerful team this season. It was cool, though, my son's name was called over the loudspeaker so many times for tackles that the announcer was even saying things like, "Oh look, it's number 23, Blake...again!" And "Tackle by, you guessed it, number 23, Blake..." Very fun! His nickname is "The Hammer." 

Straight after the football game, Blake and I went to the mountain biking park for the first time! OMG - did we ever have fun!! As usual, I was nervous about showing up for the first time, but we got comfortable quickly. Blake was also very nervous. At the trailhead, we hung back waiting for three men to lead the way: they looked like veteran mountain bikers. One of the men had gone no more than ten yards when his bike slid out from underneath him and he BIT IT right at the entrance. You could see the tension completely evaporate out of Blake. :) He needed to know it was okay to screw up and be a beginner. All of us laughed it off and Blake and I went on to have an awesome time. Even though we got caught in a massive hailstorm! Dang, we were soaking wet and cold.

Me and my boy.

The Hammer.
- First thing Sunday morning, I was up and at 'em to go on my first "real" group ride with Cascade Bike Club. Really, it was my second ride, but that was an "easy" trail ride and I was nervous about this one because it was a faster pace and on the roads. I didn't want to screw up, hold people back or embarrass myself, haha. (Damn, I have a lot of nervousness surrounding my athletic pursuits. I suppose this comes from being many years out of practice, and trying new things.)

35 Miles around Lake Sammamish, and the weather was beautiful.

Totally cool. My friend Tina came along and we had a blast. There were six of us - I kept up just fine and will soon be looking to try rides at the higher speed. Although I didn't have much left in me on the hills, on the flats there were many times that I wanted to go much faster than we were. But those hills are a grind.

Anyway, I checked with the ride leader and another one who was on our ride, and they both said this was a very typical ride in that classification and I would have no problems with any other ride. It was very fun and I can't wait to do it again. Wednesday night, I believe. There is a ride out of my park and ride that includes a dinner stop toward the end, and I am planning to attend.

Super, super weekend. The kids were with their dad this weekend but I borrowed Blake for the MTB park. When I dropped him off at his dad's he gave me the hugest hug and told me he loves me with all his heart. Major accolades coming from such a football stud. :) (Who still cuddles on my lap every day, haha.)


  1. I love the Blake bikes with you. :) Hail and all.

  2. WOW, there is no couch-potato weekend in you...awesome! I'm glad your kids are getting into the game also and love that Alli was out there running. You are right, it IS hard to be the overweight one that comes in last, and for her to do it and keep going, she is my hero of the week!!!

  3. Impressive weekend! I hope you are as proud of yourself as you are of your kids!

  4. Excellent advice!
    (and what sounds like an epic weekend) :)