Saturday was our trail club annual holiday get together. Called URINEO, which stands for “Ultra Runner In North Eastern Ohio”, this is a tradition that has been going on since 2004 or 2005.
We have gotten brighter over the years. Gone are the waiting in the cold for other runners to finish, we now rent the Log Cabin for warm and companionship. It’s nice to be able to just hang out for the afternoon after running or hiking.
I was joined by Allison, and my sister-in-law and nephew, Colleen, and Anthony for our hike around Lake Glacier.
The rain obligingly held off until we were back at the Log Cabin for snacks. Mill Creek Park is a beautiful hidden gem in Youngstown. The park has added signage and distance to the trails to make it easy to “hike your own hike”. Come and opt outside at Mill Creek Park!
I like to have a yearly challenge. I believe it started with Project 50. 2018 is the Art Journal Challenge, create a mixed media page weekly with a prompt. I decided I need to get back to some physical activity.
There are tons of challenges out there, push ups, pull ups, plank daily. What to choose??
I came across the blog “Fit is a Feminist Issue” earlier in the year, and they were about halfway through their 218 workouts in 2018. That immediately perked my interest! Of course, I decided to save the challenge for 2019. Never fear, I have been working out all along!
219 in 2019 gives me accountability. I am going to create some calendars so I can number and cross off work outs. I will be working out 2/3 of the year.
What counts as a work out?
Physical activity outside the normal realm of moving
Walking the dogs-not a work out. We do this all the time
House cleaning-unless it’s painting, or scrubbing floors that works one into a sweat-nope
I finally have a BHAG about biking. This post was first penned as “Dream Bike Tour Announcement” but it’s not going to be a dream it’s going to be a GOAL.
This bike route has intrigued me from my first reading of Jill Homer’s book “Be Brave Be Strong” when I didn’t know anything about biking. I thought it was just a good epic read of an adventure.
Accounts of the route would drop into my reading space every now and then, they would always be interesting for the huge suffer fest that the riders experienced. A friend just rode it this summer, and I followed along via FB posts.
The Great Divide Route is the world’s longest off-pavement cycling route. It travels through Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia, and the United States of Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico (map). By route’s end a thru-rider will climb nearly 200,000 feet of vertical.
It’s Not Happening Anytime Soon
The goal is to do this in my 60th year or sooner. That gives me seven years to get in some sort of buff biking shape. Hey, I dreamed about running the Hardrock 100 for years before I actually got to do it.
It Sets Me up with More Short Term Goals
I have much to do and learn before attempting. Let alone figure out how to get that much vacation time off.
Learn all those parts on the bike and how they work
Yes, I finally am going to get interested in my bike and figure out how the parts work together.
Learn how to fix my bike
The only reason to learn all those bike parts is to be able to FIX my bike when it breaks down. This is a good goal to have regardless of where you are biking.
Become a better Biker
I’m now interested in becoming a better biker. I need to learn how to ride hills, gravel, dirt roads..which is good, because I have all of that available to me! I ventured out of my comfort zone just Thursday. Instead of riding my local seven mile flat asphalt trail out and back, I chose a route which turned that ride into a loop. Unknown to me, that meant taking a road so steep I had to walk the bike in two spots. But I did it, instead of turning around back to flat land!
I am now interested in different types of bike rides instead of looking for easy flat tours. It’s been awhile since I’ve had a focus in training. This is a good goal for me.
Today was a training ride on the fat bike. Helga is my Specialized Fat Tire bike. This was an experiement to see how my body could handle riding the fat bike for hours in a day. The North Bend Trail is a more rough rails to trails, so I will ride Helga.
Zoar Valley Trail
The Zoar Valley Trail was a good excursion for the fat bike. This trail follows the Ohio to Erie Canal. It is much rougher condition than the towpath that exists in Stark County and north. A fat bike performs superbly well on it! My NBT trip will be on mainly flat ground, it is another rails to trails conversion.
It’s always fun to go see the Zoarville Bridge, a cool looking Fink Truss Bridge in the middle of no-where! This is just one section of the bridge over Conotton Creek. The bridge originally had three sections which spanned the Tuscarawas River.
Bridge pic from 2013
The Zoarville Station Bridge is a rare survivor of the earliest period of iron bridge construction in the United States. German immigrant Albert Fink first developed this truss design for the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad in the early 1850s.
The bridge features the highly unusual Fink truss configuration. These endposts are vertical and utilize a modified Phoenix Column. Phoenix columns are also used for the top chord and vertical members. Phoenix columns were a special patented type of built-up member. Very few examples of them remain today.
Carrying on the Ride
I will be riding about 40 miles on Day One and 30 miles on Day Two. My only items to carry will be food, water, and bits of toolkit. My two bags fit comfortablly on the front rack of Helga. I will also wear my backpack with a bit more water.
My bike is not set up well for bottles. I have a holder for a small bottle, but I can’t put a bottle cage on the down tube (yes! I have learned some bike nomenclature!!!!) because that interferes with the Saris bike rack when I have to transport Helga. I did buy a water cage which can go on the front fork (look at me, whee!!) so I will have to try that out.
I made a challenge to myself to do some physical activity every day for the month of May. And track it.How did I do?
Since I have not been running, I have been struggling to remember my workouts that I have done. In May, I pledged to move every day, some sort of movement. I have five zero days of no physical activity-three of those days were really long work days (10 or 11 hour shifts) and the other two? I just didn’t feel like it. Call those rest days.
The rest of the month, I hiked, walked, biked, did trail maintenance, gardened, ran a brush hog mower. I meant to do more core and upper body exercises, but after I stabbed myself in the chest with a handlebar, I was not up to doing push ups or sit ups for the month!
Do you track your movements? What’s your goal for the sunny month of June?
The definition of weight bearing exercise is forcing you to work against gravity, such as running, brisk walking, hiking. Other activities of weight bearing exercise is yoga, tennis, golf, dancing. My mom is 79 years old and line dances at least once a week!
Okay, you might be laughing and smirking now. But using video games, such as Nintendo’s Wii Fit system-can get you a workout, even sitting. My 79 year old mom plays in “Wii Bowling Leagues” at several senior citizen centers. I’ve played against her, and she kicks my butt. I’ve also woke up the next morning wondering why my arm is sore-too much tennis/bowling!
Strength training and weight training are weight bearing exercise. You don’t have to go to the gym to do this. A set of ten pound (or five) barbells is less than twenty dollars. There are hundreds of weight training tutorials on the web, or buy a book! I have an older book that I like to use.
Non-Weight Bearing Exercise
Non weight bearing exercise would be when you don’t work against gravity-swimming and biking.These activities don’t help with the loss of muscle mass but they are GREAT especially if you have any sort of joint issues. I have taken up pool swimming and exercise-I have been doing most of my knee exercises in the pool when I am already there!
Pool-you don’t have to be Michael Phelps to get a workout in. Get yourself a swim cap and goggles and go to it.
Biking-if you have access to a gym, there should be plenty of bikes. Ease into biking, your rear end will thank you for it. Go slow and build time. If you start riding outside, wear a helmet!
Don’t allow time and nature to erase your physical fitness. You are heading into wonderful years, so take care of your body!