Saturday, May 2, 2009

Ride Around Clark County - 65 Miler

Location: begins and ends at Clark College in Vancouver, WA. Heads east to Camas, up north and then west through beautiful farmland and quiet neighborhoods of Hockinson, Battleground, Ridgefield, and Felida. Then back south to Vancouver.
Distance: 65 miles
Time: 04:45:00 (just under 14mph pace)

My friend Jenn is training for the Livestrong Ride in Seattle next month (a century ride to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer...drop into the link and donate a few dollars to the cause if you are able). We've been riding together for a few weeks, but our long Saturday rides have been derailed by tired legs and/or rainy weather. We really needed to get the full 65 miles in today. Imagine our disappointment when it began POURING rain last night. The alarm went off around 5am and the rain was still coming down. I could hear puddles splashing every time a car drove by outside the house. The gutters were dripping. The vents were rattling. Ugh.

After some texts, we decided we still wanted to ride. At least start out and see how we ended up feeling. 15 miles into it, we diverted to the gym to get Nadine. Then off around Lacamas Lake and onto the main rest stop at Day Break park in Battleground. The rain kept coming, but it was more of a drizzle and the air temps weren't too cold. By the time we got to the stop, the rain was gone and the sun was trying to peek out from the clouds. It turned into a gorgeous day with really awesome scenery and good friends. Times like these that make life incredible.
(Photo 1 = Jenn & Nadine at Day Break Park rest stop; Photo 2 = me after Felida hill)

I don't need to go into detail about the hills in Felida. If you've been there, you know they suck. But they weren't as bad as last year. And everyone was smiling and laughing, which made it seem not so terrible. Time flew and pretty soon we were rolling into Vancouver and hanging out on the porch with post-ride beverages (mmmm...IPA...). Fantastic day!

(Photo 1: Jenn at my place enjoying a hard-earned recovery drink; Photo 2: me also enjoying a lovely recovery beverage -- the goofy face is because I thought Jenn's pants fell down, but it was just her jacket falling off her waist)

Couple of other notes:
We played a couple of games that I pulled from my Don Fink book --
*every time someone said something negative about themselves, they had to then say something positive outloud...5 times.
*each time we complained, we then had to say something that we are thankful for.

This put a positive spin on the day and I only got caught once! To continue with the good vibes, for the last 20 miles we each said something that we liked in life every time we hit another mile. Some of what we came up with (in no particular order): Mathew McConaughey, peanut M&Ms, good hair days, cute shoes, pasta, our families, the first cup of coffee in the morning, bloody marys. I also spent each mile thinking of someone I know who has battled or is battling cancer. I got this idea from Jenn. And when I ran out of names, I thought about people who have been affected by other illnesses, injuries, or who for various reasons are not fortunate enough to be doing what we take for granted each day. So, yeah, today was a good day.

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