Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A Solid Week(s) of Biking

In an effort to heal my foot thing, I've taken to biking quite a lot lately. Sometimes, it's not much, but sometimes, it's a great deal of mileage. Either way, I'm out there exercising, creating endorphins, burning some calories, and gaining some endurance.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

I biked the farthest that I have ever biked before. I rode for 7 miles from my apartment, by Hermann Park, to Rice Stadium, and in and out of Hermann Park. It was in the middle of the afternoon and not the smartest of decisions to bike then, but that's the time I had available. I had a few mishaps with riding down the wrong way or not knowing whether it's okay to ride on the sidewalk or not. Is there a place on the web where you can find Houston Bike Laws or bike path routes mapped out?

I rode around in Rice University and was reminded why this campus is beautiful. Also, they have flags of special occurances on a certain year. It makes your ride an educational, while breaking a sweat. Although, some might look at it as Rice being too big for their britches.

Anyways, I got alittle heated on the way home and was feeling it. By the time I reached the last stoplight, I was so ready to get off the bike and be done. Some guy honked at me, because he didn't realize that the bike path goes towards the middle. I gave him a dirty look. When I got back, I immediately went to the pool to cool down my body temperature. It took me a long time to get normal, including me being nauseaus afterwards. Eventually, I felt right and then was happy to know that I actually rode for 7 miles. That's a big deal.

Some pretty sunflowers growing along the bike path.

Monday, June 11, 2012

I rode up to the store to return the Red Box video and decided to take the long way home. I listened to the Gipsy Kings and felt at peace. On the way, I noticed a recreational center with a pool that I never knew existed. I only rode for about a mile, maybe more, but it was still a workout.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I didn't really exercise all week due to the rain. The storms kept hitting Houston right when it was the optimal time to ride (less sun, less heat) or right when I got off work causing lots of traffic. I'm getting better at riding around, but I'm still not 100% comfortable riding with cars everywhere. I had a chance on Thursday and I should have, but just didn't  feel up to it after my dinner. That's the problem with waiting on the sun (and heat) to go down a bit in the evenings. The ideal times are somewhere between 7 and 8 p.m., but by then, I get lazy sitting and waiting. I lose my motivation quick. Somehow, I have to change that mentality.

But I decided to change my non exercing fate on Sunday. I woke up super early and took the dogs for 1.5 mile walk. I haven't taken them this far in a long time. Lady had to get stitches and hasn't been able to play ball. So, I thought I would be a good mother and take them out of the apartment for a good while. Afterwards, the dogs were tired and so were my arms. I took a quick rest and then set up my little Dakine backup with a water bottle (realizing that I lost my camelbak in the divorce) for my bike ride. This provided me with water during my ride and it gave me a cooldown on my back. I carried down the bike (I swear my arms are going to be the size of Hulk's by the end of summer), set up my ipod to my running list (works for biking, too), and headed out. I rode to Hermann Park, inside Rice University, around the stadium, down University blvd, to the Village, and then headed back home via Rice blvd, with my path taking me inside Hermann Park. I rode super fast and hard mainly to avoid the storm that was brewing all around me.

I'm seeing these Wiley stickers everywhere. I thought at first that it was the name of this unit, but I saw one on a street sign. Is it a sign for me?

This is what I saw all around me during the entire bike ride. Although, funny thing...it never actually rained or stormed at my apartment.

My bike was extra squeaky and I tried to find a bike place in the Village, but didn't see one. well, really, I just didn't see one on my bike path and didn't bother to try to look for one if it wasn't. I rode for about 8 miles, which is amazing to me that I rode for that long. The big thing I learned was that yes, it's good to watch out for lightrail when crossing the tracks, but you also need to watch out for oncoming car traffic (bad Kristi). When I rode through Hermann Park, I saw the Mean Green Boot Camp class working out and it made me sad. I so wanted to be there. That class was such a great class and I dropped lbs quick. I wished I could afford it, but I just don't have their training schedule in my budget right now. I might look to September when the next set of 6 week training classes open up for everyone.

During my bike ride, I never felt close to being overheated. When I was thirsty, I stopped for water every chance I got. Afterwards, I came home to get in the pool for some exercises. I did basically water aerobics and stretches, with a few laps to help me. Am I secretly training for a triathlon? Maybe...after I get this marathon done. I ended up feeling sick after everything. I realized that I didn't eat anything for breakfast before I set out on my pseudo triathlon training. The only thing I ate was this slushie style popsicle to cool my inside body temperature (read that it helps a lot when running during the summer heats, especially in Texas). So, I now need to always make sure to eat something before I head out.

I didn't bike at all on Sunday. I planned on it, but after I took out the dogs for a walk during the 7 a.m. hour, it was already miserably humid. The day before was nice and cool, but not on Sunday. I said that I would wait until the evening, but after a delicious meal at my brother and sister-in-law's for Father's Day, I just wasn't in the mood.

Monday, June 18, 2012

And then Monday came. I had every intention to bike, but it was just soooo humid and it was Monday and I was being lazy. So, I decided against it. I made a delicious pumpkin ravoli with a great salad full of healthy greens, veggies, and fruit. Within 30 minutes, I was looking out the window chastising myself for not exercising. It was still light outside. Why not? Around, 8 p.m., I grabbed my bike and headed out. I ran in to my neighbor whom told me about the bayou bike trail and then also mentioned about biking with me some time. I was delighted to maybe get some company in the future, because I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going or how to do any of it. I thanked him for the tip, turned on my ipod, and started on my way.

The sun had set and left this beautiful pink hue across the sky. The clouds were making these crazy formations, which I realized later was a storm brewing. Did anyone else get woken up to what sounded like hail against their windows at 3 in the morning? I did.

Normally, I would head to Hermann Park and round back through the bayou biking trail (didn't know the name) from the right hand side. I have never gone to the left...so I did. I saw some other bikers coming in and we both said hello. At that point, I wished I had company. The bayou was cool and allowed for a different perspective on The Medical Center, especially with the sunset. However, as I got farther down, it got creepier and creepier. I just didn't feel right all alone out there; therefore, I turned around and headed back up on to the street. This is where I got the most out of my bike ride with a steep climb up causing me to go in to a higher gear. My thighs were feeling it.

I biked in and around Hermann Park. There was this guy on an old school cruiser bike that I had passed, but he just seemed to be following me. Finally, I turned and he went straight; however, my way didn't have a continuing path. So, I had to turn around. I rode down the street wishing that I had a lamp, but happy that I had a helmet. The trees were low and really hard to see. I believe next time I will fit a light to the bike or use my headlamp for running. All in all, it was a great little 4.5 mile bike ride when I was just expecting to lay on the couch.

The sun setting over The Med Center.

Look at those puffies.

This was a cool bird (actually bigger looking in real life) on the bayou.

Look at that pink sky.
I was sweaty when I got home and it was already 9 p.m. My plan was to go to bed by then, but I had to rinse off before I got in to bed. Needless to say, the shower woke me up as it always does and I went to bed later than I wanted. I'm going to have to find a balance between eating and biking/running if I'm going to go out later in the evening.
Even though I didn't run or bike much at all last week, I did do some small exercises everyday (and still continuing to do them). I have walked the dogs for a mile or more and I'm doing the beach workout. I did 30 squats and 2 sets of 30 second scissor ab crunch every morning. However, this Monday and Tuesday morning, I did everything on the list. I finally got my dumbbells (3 lbs) out of the car and did 15 bicep curl to shoulder press, 30 squats (with bicep curl), 15 pushups (using knees), 2 sets of 30 second scissor ab crunch (can't do the plank yet with the foot thing), 15 supermans, and 20 step-ups on to the bath tub. I hope this works.

On a side note, I have picked out my marathon. I really like the name and it's just a cool concept. The event is called The Day After the End of the World Marathon on December 22, 2012. Who's with me?


  1. Glad you're enjoying the bike.
    No, I will not be joining you on a marathon.

  2. Yes, you will Kate...yes, you will.

  3. OK, here is a little help. Bikes must obey the motor vehicle code - all the rules that apply to automobiles apply to bikes. No riding on the sidewalks, stop at stop signs and lights, if your crossing in a cross walk, walk your bike, yield to pedestrians, etc. Here are a few links about biking in Houston: http://www.houstonbikeways.org/, http://houston.about.com/od/sportsrecreation/tp/BestBikeTrails.htm, http://sports.yahoo.com/top/news?slug=ycn-8216831. There are also biking clubs that do evening rides around the city: here's one - http://www.houstonbicycleclub.org/Pages/HomePage.aspx.

    Good going on the biking!!!! Take water, wear a hat, get some neat gloves (without finger tips); nice helmet by the way.


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