Saturday, June 19, 2010
There were around 330 of us at our Great Finger Lakes Bike Tour this year...which marked its THIRTIETH (WOW!) anniversary!
We were tucked away in the Hidden Valley Campgrouds within Watkins Glen State Park. As many may know, Watkins Glen is known for its racing and NASCAR events. You could hear them going it throughout the day over the hill...sounding like a swarm of angry hornets! Some of the roads we biked were part of the first Watkins Glen International Speedway...hard to believe these roads which were either twisting up / down valleys or straightaways through open fields could have been the scene of such mayhem! It was all so serene and peaceful (away from the track!).
The first day I biked up and down the east side of Seneca Lake from Watkins Glen along past MANY different wineries and vineyards. During a couple of stops I had a chance to chat with some pleasant cyclists who had come all the way from Windsor, Ontario! Total miles for Saturday were 38.
Vineyards overlooking Seneca Lake north of Watkins Glen
Hector Falls north of Watkins Glen
Hector Falls emptying into Seneca Lake
That afternoon a fellow member of SparkPeople (TEAMAEGIS) who is ALSO a member of the bike club was giving another walking tour of Watkins Glen. I have walked the glen in the past, but it had been a while and I appreciated the opportunity to share our stories while re-visiting such beautiful sites of nature!
Saturday had been HOT and increasingly MUGGY...the bank thermometer in Watkins Glen put the temp @ 86! But it felt SO NICE to catch up with some SUNSHINE!
That night I think I had the longest sleep I'd seen in many moons...! There was a raffle @ 8 pm...finished dinner @ 7 pm. Back at the cabin the sleepies struck. I thought, hey, I'll just rest a bit until it's time for the raffle. Didn't wake up until the next morning 6 pm! Whew WEE was that ever GREAT!
Sunday's weather was a whole different story! By the time we had breakfast, packed and left the campgrounds for Hammondsport the rains had begun! It was like being back in Georgia again! TORRENTIAL rains, nearly forcing us to pull over to the side of the road at times!
It was still raining steadily when we arrived at Keuka Lake and I was like...don't think I'm up for biking in THIS! So we killed some time by driving around the lake to see the route I would bike IF the rain let up!
That was when we saw multiple washouts of mud & stone strewn across the road in a number of spots. UGH! But I was like...well, maybe by the time we circle round the lake...? The rain DID let up and there was only a light, off & on drizzle:
Misty, foggy, post-torrential Keuka Lake
I just KNEW there would be no LIVING with myself if I didn't get out there and NAIL that route 'round the lake! So off I went! Keuka Lake is shaped like a large "Y" with Hammondsport at the bottom of the stem, Branchport at the left tip of the "Y" and Penn Yan at the right tip. The route was 44 miles IF one travels directly from Branchport to Penn Yan, 57 miles if one undertook the bluff route traveling down and up the inside of the "Y"...and this route has a notorious hill to negotiate. Our bike club president says: "I never met a hill I couldn't...walk up!" :-)
Because the time was running tight and I didn't want to stay TOO late I vetoed the bluff run...saving that for another day!
One of the special joys of the ride up the west side of the lake was the run-off of the rains which had just pounded down. On my right was Keuka and on my left were rocky embankments through which every 100 yards or so a mini-waterfall cut through the stone...a treat for my eyes and ears!
This weekend reminded me yet one more time how blessed we are to have such beauty in our backyard here in rural upstate New York!
Hope everyone in our SparkFamily is doing well and alive & thriving on into the wonderful summer months!
Sunday, June 06, 2010
Well, I may have forgotten to bring a 2nd pair of tips for my Nordic poles, which I discovered I wore out during yesterday's outing on those Georgia country roads...got around 45 mins. from my son's home when I realized that *scrape-scrape* those rubber tipped poles weren't quite sounding right as I was traveling along...sure enough looked at the bottom of the pole and the rubber had been worn right down to the metal pole...sheesh!
What to do now? Well, walk, dummy! Yeah, but walking just didn't cut it for me...just didn't satisfy my urge to MOVE! So I started jogging! I had ventured around 45 mins. from home when I had decided to return just carrying my poles while jogging along...at first thinking I'd just jog a bit and get back to walking...but you know...? It felt kinda all right! So I jogged the whole way back in 30 mins.! Now I know my Nordic walking tends to vary between 4-5 mph. So how fast was I jogging...? Dunno...
BUT: Tonight on our way traveling home after 12 hours on the road we checked in at a low-budget hotel...you know, for one night why spend any more than necessary...? Did they have a pool...? Yep: opens in two days. Did they have wireless internet? Yep: except not in our room. Did they have a fitness center? Yep: except they just keyed the room and the manager couldn't find any key that would open it.
Batting a thousand, eh....? Well, I always have my two feet AND I brought along my jump rope as a back up plan...
Anyhow, after fiddling with their internet service for a half hour trying to get the wireless working I gave up and lo & behold the manager gets the fitness center (such as it was...) open. Ugh: no elliptical! I SO like to do elliptical when I'm away from home. There was a stair climber...tried it for 10 mins. ugh...still don't like those things...too clunky, awkward, can't get any RHYTHM going on one of those.
All right how about the stationary bike? I've been away from my bicycle for around 2 weeks now...would be good to at least limber up on a stationary bike! Yep, if it worked! No power...pedals whizzed around with no resistance whatsoever...
That left the 3rd and last gadget...a treadmill.
I've gotta tell ya, my treadmill at home has been gathering LOTS of dust since I've been able to get out cycling and/or Nordic walking. I have to admit to even feeling a bit...ugh, not the TREADMILL...these days...so SPOILED by the outdoors!
I was THIS close to opting to just getting outside and walking / running around the building when I realized: hey...there is an *air conditioner* in here! I can max out the A/C while on the treadmill!
Okay, so I decide...it's been a LONG day and although I'm weary in a way, I feel a lot of pent up energy from sittting and driving all day. Let's give it a good effort: I set it for 60 mins. Was surprised to find that 60 was the max time setting! Incline? Well I use a "10" on my treadmill at home so I'll start with that. Speed? Let's start at 4 for warm up.
Soon I bumped it up to 4.5. Then 5...and noticed something: I usually have a slow jog going at 5 mph, but I was still taking rapid long strides. Hmmm...maybe I need more incline...bumped it up to "15"...the max setting on the incline, which STILL didn't feel like the incline on my home treadmill. What is it with these treadmill manufacturers...can't they kick out more incline...?lol
Good song...okay let's get running...5.5...ooh GREAT SONG...how about 6 mph...? You know...6 is what I used to do for a short song now and again. But tonight? I just held it at 6 or MORE for the majority of my hour on the treadmill! On MAX incline! A couple of songs really pushed me...my personal "Rocky" song, which is Emerson Lake & Palmer's rocked out version of Aaron Copeland's Fanfare for the Common Man...AWESOME track! Even if World Wide Sports DID use it for their theme song once upon a time! www.youtube.com/watch?v=EN5ap9AseQc
Kinda makes me feel like I'm at my own personal Olympics or something...! :-) Pushed it to 6.5 mph!
And THEN came Jefferson Airplane's live version of 3/5 of a Mile in 10 Seconds, which pushed me to 6.7 mph!
I finished my hour on the 'mill racking up 5.9 miles...woo hoo!
Part of me still wonders if this 'mill (Life Fitness) is defective and these numbers aren't valid...? But although I can't say I have the "running bug" just yet, I can certainly feel something percolating that hasn't been there quite to this degree in the past...!
Well, it's late, must crash so I can get up and hit the road for the final home stretch!
Hope everyone's Sparkin' Plenty out there...!
Thursday, June 03, 2010
While staying down here in Georgia our son and fiancée have been kind enough to let us stay in their guest bedroom. He has been so busy that he hasn't yet managed to either buy a lawnmower or arrange for a lawn service and things are looking more than a bit scraggly. I figure, hey, the least I could do is to rent a lawn mower and take care of the lawn!
I am one of the world's WORST estimator...how old is somebody? Um, somewhere between 30 and 60...what time will I be home? Um...sometime...
So how long will it take to get this lawn mowed...?
Couple hours, maybe...?
Try four to five hours! In hot, humid Georgia sunshine! Lots of holes throughout the lawn...I'm told they are from armadillos...which surprises me...didn't think they traveled up north this far! Haven't seen any around, just a flattened armored tail on the road while Nordic walking...the vulture with its knobby head was a bit miffed that I forced it to leave the road! Don't see THOSE 'round up north! Later in evening I got a preview of the firefly light show which hasn't rolled around yet up in New York.
But the lawn is done and muchly appreciated by son & fiancée...PLUS I got a good dose of the outdoors and keeping this body in motion! :-)
Enjoyed a delicious dinner of leftovers: a big tossed salad of spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, red peppers, carrots and broccoli along with leftover blackened catfish (you know, half eaten at the restaurant, the other half is the next meal at home...?) smothered with caramelized onions and roasted cloves of garlic steamed in foil on the barbecue grill...yum!
I'm finally seeing a few bicycles on the roads around here and in Macon I actually saw a road or two with a designated bike lane...precious few bikers and accommodations for them on the roads around this part of the country...grr!
Just wanted to give a shout out to any / all either maintaining or approaching maintaining their weight loss:
4A-HEALTHY-BMI has blogged a SUPERB summary of findings on the strategies used by folks who have successfully lost significant amounts of weight and have been able to KEEP IT OFF! This draws heavily from the research completed by the National Weight Control Registry ( www.nwcr.ws/default.htm ). Those of you here at SparkPeople who have lost a lot of weight and kept it off I URGE you to check it out and JOIN the registry so that YOUR information can contribute to the cause of enabling OTHERS to lose weight and keep it off!
Here is a link to her blog:
Strength In Numbers: Predictors and Behaviors of Maintenance:
Friday, May 28, 2010
Drove all day. Mindless gnoshing on my bag of broccoli, unsalted almonds, Cortland apples and bananas. Trying to make good time, didn't do much working out at rest stops even though I DID bring my Nordic Poles. I DID do some stretches when stopped and while driving I did lots of pelvic tilts, kegels and butt scrunches...all are supposed to strengthen the core and prevent back / sciatica / piriformis troubles.
But when we got to the hotel for an overnight stay I felt like such a slug and was so surprised that even a cheap Super 8 had an elliptical and two stationary bikes that I hopped on the elliptical for about 45 mins and then lapped around the hotel a few times walking and several times jogging.
NOW I can REALLY SLEEP! :-)
On to my son & fiance's place in GA tomorrow...probably after another elliptical session in the morning.
Hope everyone is launching yourselves a SUPER Memorial Day weekend!
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