14 08 2012

For the past two weekends, it has seemed like Bill and I have been playing a game of dodge ball rain with the storm clouds when trying to get in a bike ride.

I’ve learned that in Florida, it is actually possible to maneuver your way away from and/or around rain storms. Or you just get rained on for a little and then it clears as quickly as it started.

Last Sunday, we ventured up to the Suncoast Trail with a goal to ride at least 50 miles. We couldn’t leave home without properly fueling, so I made some blueberry yogurt and orange infused pancakes. Man oh man were they tasty! Next time you make pancakes, add a little orange zest. Trust me. It’s delicious!

On our drive to the trailhead, it started to downpour. Just great. We’re going to drive 30 minutes only to turn back around and drive home. But thankfully, it was a “typical” Florida storm, and by the time we parked the car and got geared up, the rain had stopped. Yeah!

So, we hopped on our bikes and hit the trail. We rode up about 12ish miles, but the clouds were looking very ominous up ahead. I was fearful we were headed straight for a huge downpour, so I told Bill that we should turn around. So, we headed back towards our car. Heading that direction, the sky was blue, so we discussed biking to the car, turning around, and doing the loop again if the storm had cleared out. Unfortunately, we were about two miles from the car and we saw more storm clouds ahead. Crap. We looked behind us, and saw blue sky. So, we turned back around and rode in that direction.

We dodged the rain that these clouds brought!

A few miles later, the trail splits off to a little park. There’s a 6.5 mile trail that takes you to the park entrance. So, we decided to ride that way, which would also take us away from the highway that paralleled the trail, and away from the storm clouds.

There were no other cyclists (maybe one?) on this section of the trail, but we did see some other signs of life.

A turtle!

I think we saw about 3 or 4 of these guys throughout our ride.

We also rode within feet of some deer. Unfortunately, the time I tried to get a picture I wasn’t fast enough! Can you see the brown spot in the center of the picture below? That’s a deer!

After riding this part of the trail for 13 miles (6.5 each way), we hit the main trail again and decided to keep on riding. We were feeling good, had the trail mostly to ourselves, and the overcast sky made the temperature bearable. We laid down a few more miles, and Bill pointed to look off the side of the trail. Armadillos!! There were five of these little guys crawling around. I thought they were actually kinda cute.

Though not as cute as the guy trying to lure them to come closer. 🙂

When they started to scurry away, Bill and I got back on our bikes to finish our ride. The remainder of the ride was pretty uneventful, except for a failure on my part to keep my electrolytes up. At around mile 60, I started to feel ill. I had taken salt tabs, and was drinking plenty of water and eating Gus and gels, but I just started feeling nauseous. So we slowed down tremendously and stopped at the rest area 2 miles from the car. I drank some Gu Brew and sat for a few minutes before I felt ready to continue. We slowly rode the last two miles back to the car and then I drank up some Gatorade. I still wasn’t feeling 100% until we stopped for some Chipotle and I drank some Coke. I used to turn up my nose when people told me that Coke was the drink of choice after a triathlon or marathon; now I usually bring a can with me to long training sessions and races.

When it was all said and done, Bill and I had ridden 63.5 miles.

That’s a PDR for me! Yeah baby!

This past weekend, Bill and I had grand plans to get in a good long bike ride. We weren’t going to do 60, but we decided to get in a good solid 40. We drove to a five mile long, quiet road which dead ended into cow pasture.

To the left of this there’s a research center, and on the same road there’s a hospital and a gated community. So random.

We figured we’d do four loops, and then go for a little run. When we started our second loop, I saw clouds rolling in. We heard thunder as we rode away from the storm, and when we turned around, I feared that we’d be in the pouring rain when we got back to the car.

Thankfully, it appeared that the storm was passing off to our west (south? east? not sure which direction). But unfortunately, Bill and I were both feeling kinda crappy on the ride. We thought about pushing through, but opted to go for a short jog before the storm hit. By short jog, I mean we only went half a mile. Wah wah. Neither of us were feeling the run either, and we worried about leaving the bikes tied to the truck while we ran. So, we threw in the towel and went home. A 20 mile ride and a half mile run ain’t so bad, right?

We were almost home when the sky opened up. I was relieved we didn’t get caught in that! Later, we caught sight of a rainbow that filled the sky. I wish I had the ability to take a panoramic shot, because it was a full rainbow!

Two weekends and two bike rides, both of which we managed to walk away from having dodged the rain. I’d say that is a win in my book!


2 04 2012

Hi friends! How was your weekend? Congrats to all the folks who raced this weekend, especially those who did the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler!

I was actually supposed to run in the Cherry Blossom 10 miler, but since it was no longer a convenient race for me, I gave my bib away. (Side note- I actually registered for the race in the fall, sitting at a coffee shop in Tampa before meeting up with Meghann for the first time. I was checking out Tampa after my interview; who would have thought I’d actually be here now!)

Instead, I spent the weekend in Orlando with Bill. I always have a great time hanging out with this goof ball.

We took this picture before our bike ride FAIL. On Saturday, we planned on going for a long ride on the Seminole Wekiva Trail,  a trail about 30 minutes from Bill’s house. When we left the house, there were a few clouds rolling in, but we packed up the bikes anyhow, thinking we might be able to beat the storm. When we were about 10 minutes away from the trail head, a steady rain started to fall. Bill smiled at me and said, “You live in Florida now, you need to learn to train in the rain.” Yes coach 🙂

We got to the trail head and it was still raining steadily, with no signs of letting up. Bill and I looked at each other and decided we didn’t drive all the way out here just to turn around. So, we threw on our gear, quickly grabbed our bikes and hit the trail.

We didn’t really look at the map in detail before we left, and two miles in we came to an intersection. We were soaking wet, and not sure that we were even headed in the right direction in the first place, so we opted to go back and see if the trail kept going in the other direction. We were headed in the direction of the car, and still the rain was beating down on us. After about a mile, we decided to call it quits when we got to the car. We weren’t getting a good workout in, and we were both pretty miserable. We rode a grand total of 4 miles. Wah. Wah.

At least I got some training in the rain in, right? 😉

One thing we did this weekend that wasn’t a fail was eating at Garabaldi’s. This place had authentic, delicious, and cheap Mexican food. We went at the suggestion of Courtney, and it did not disappoint!

I started with a tasty margarita, and munched on chips and salsa while we perused the menu. The salsa had a little bit of heat, but it was fresh and tasty!

We also ordered a guacamole appetizer, which was quite tasty! It was tough to make a decision, since everything sounded so good, and the pictures made your mouth water. When it was time to order, Bill went with the cheese enchilada and bean burrito.

I ordered a sope and a pork carnitas taco. My mouth dropped when I saw how big the sope was:

I was expecting something much smaller, which is why I ordered a taco too!

Both of my dishes were outstanding and incredibly filling. I was definitely happy with my choice, and so was Bill. This place was a winner in my book!

What really made the meal was our decision to order fried ice cream for dessert.

Best. decision. ever. Crispy on the outside, and cold, delicious vanilla ice cream on the inside. Mmmmmm yum!

If you’re ever in Orlando, check out Garibaldis! You will not be disappointed!

Rainy Days and Wednesdays

8 12 2011

Phew. We made it over the hump. My Wednesday was surprisingly hectic, and I don’t really know why, but it certainly felt crazy.

Yeah, kinda like that.

Yesterday was just “one of those days.” I think the rain contributed to my sour mood. It rained ALL. DAY. LONG. I mean buckets and buckets. Sometimes I don’t mind the rain (especially if I can stay inside in bed and read all day), but most of the time I find it terribly annoying. And annoying it was- like that little kid that follows around the old guy and repeats “Hey mister! Mister!” Non-stop.

It didn’t help that my favorite umbrella broke, and then my spare umbrella wouldn’t stay up properly! And of course when it rains that bad, everyone forgets how to drive. I was in the left hand lane behind a diplomat (they have license plates that tell the world their job) who drove into these permanent traffic cones that divided our lanes of traffic from the cars coming in the other direction. He hit the first one and kept plowing through them until he was directly in the lane of oncoming traffic!!!! Thankfully, there were no cars in that lane at that second, and the driver quickly realized he needed to return to the lane we were in. That could have been really, really bad.

Ok-enough negativity! Let’s talk about food instead!

When I got home I wasn’t in the mood to cook the meal I had planned, so instead I ordered some Thai food from my favorite place, Bangkok 54.

I ordered some Pad See Ew with Tofu and Fresh rolls.

mmm. Hit. The. Spot.

Normally, I would have just eaten everything straight from the container, but I have a habit of “forgetting” to stop eating until its all gone. Plating my food was my attempt to tackle portion size. I’ll be honest and tell you that I ate the second fresh roll and had a few more bites of Pad See Ew, but I’d say I had pretty good self-control! And, I still have plenty of leftovers for lunch 🙂

Fresh Roll: rice paper around fresh avocado, carrots, cucumber, fried tofu, lettuce, and vermicelli noodles. Yummy!

After dinner, I threw together this:

I’m planning on making some cake balls and I thought these would be a yummy seasonal twist. Stay tuned 🙂

The stress of the day melted away as the smell of the gingerbread filled my house.  I plopped into bed with my book, and breathed a sigh of relief. Now this is the way a rainy day should be spent.

Question of the day: How do you like to spend rainy days?