Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Spring in the Foothills

I love Spring. Next to Fall, it's my favorite season. Especially when it comes in February. When you get a day like today, it's special for a couple reasons. #1: it comes after a month of heavy snowstorms and lots of rain, and #2: you know it won't last long. I don't need a groundhog to tell me we have more winter ahead of us.

Due to how my legs are feeling, I've been incorporating more cross-training into my routine (I haven't run for 4 days). Today was the perfect day for a long, hilly bike ride. If you could bottle up today's weather and sell it to all the cyclists out there, you'd make a fortune. Started out with a chilly descent into the South Yuba river canyon then an enjoyable climb out the other side. The climbing felt effortless and my heart rate stayed under control which was my goal. The legs felt strong. I guess all that base running has really paid off.

After the initial climb I got onto some smaller, quieter country roads and I found myself looking around and laughing to myself. I'm in shorts and a short-sleeve jersey, it's sunny and 65 degrees, all the fields are green (no wildflowers yet), rivers and creeks are running and birds are out enjoying the warmth. And it's the middle of February. Perfect.

My route took me in and out of the Yuba River canyon a couple times, once at Hwy 49 and the other at Bridgeport, after a cruise through North San Juan. Bitney Road has a really steep section that I use as a gauge: if I need to drop into my granny gear, I'm in poor shape. Today I stayed out of my granny gear and actually enjoyed the climbing (this is unusual for me, I'm not a good climber). Before I knew it, I had made a big loop and ended up back where I started. The ride was over and I felt great. I did 42 miles in 3:05, only 13.5mph average but not bad considering all the hills.

Sarah and Scott, thank you for the nice thoughts. I see my doctor on Friday. Sarah, your post on the pool running is intersting. I might have to try that. Unfortunately, the gym pool doesn't have a deep end, it's just used for laps. Scott, hope you enjoyed the snow, sorry we didn't have any fresh powder for you.

a fellow endorphin junkie.

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