Sunday, September 22, 2013

Altering My Course

It has been a rough week for me.  I feel completely stupid and selfish for being concerned about my bike path when there are so many other pressing issues, but old habits die hard, too, and thinking I could not bike (and not getting to bike last weekend) really wore on me.  I've been watching the river recede, and everywhere I drive I'm trying to get a good look at the greenway that I can see.  It looks like any paved path that was parallel to the river, for the most part, survived mostly intact.  There are a few exceptions - at one place (Sunset Street) the river raged through a very narrow channel and took out the bridge, and most of the concrete.  In later pictures, the concrete is stacked up like plates 50 or so yards downstream.  Anywhere that the bike path bisected the river was completely obliterated.  The river made its own channels and paths downstream, and there are large pieces missing.  I hold out hope that repairs will not require a complete overhaul of the greenway, just repairing the sections that are damaged and replacing what is missing.  Still, I think it will be next summer before the path is back to what riders, walkers, and joggers need it to be.  I will miss seeing fall on the greenway, something I saw in great detail last fall.

So this week, I had to find somewhere else to bike.  McIntosh Lake, to the north of town, seemed like it might be a decent subsitute.  It is partially paved (about a third of it) with the rest being fine gravel.  It is a 3.5 mile ride if I do the whole circuit, about a third of what I was doing on the destroyed greenway.  The problem with a gravel route is that it is very hard on my bike, and hard also on my back side and my lower back.  I have a street bike, and that bumpy gravel path rattles and shakes my bike like nobody's business.  As sturdy as it is, this can't be good for it.  And three times around the same loop was -- shall I say it -- boring.  The other problem with this route is that it is much narrower than the greenway.  The greenway is 8-10 feet wide, the McIntosh lake route is about 5 feet wide.  There are a lot of walkers (with and without dogs) on it, and getting around them on a narrow path is dangerous for all of us.  I'm a little leery of doing this every weekend until the greenway is back in business.

So I am looking at alternatives.  There is a bike route near Garden Acres Park, which would add several blocks (and maybe 2.5 miles) to the route around McIntosh Lake.  If I started there, went around the lake, and then back to the park, it would be 6 miles.  If I did that twice, it would be 12 miles.  Upping my mileage is not a problem, as I was starting to feel the greenway was too easy at 10.5 miles.  So there is that.  I'm still looking for other ways to stay on a paved surface, but not on city streets or highways.  We'll see what I come up with.  For now, this will have to do.  I do need to start earlier in the morning, to avoid as much foot traffic as possible on the new route.  I've been getting lazy and getting out at 8 a.m. instead of 7.

In other news, my daughter and I started Zumba classes at FitChicks.  Zumba is this generation's Aerobics.  I had fun, and it was a decent workout, but I was so consumed by trying to figure out the moves that I didn't get as great a workout as I wished I did.  The classes are on Mondays and Wednesday nights, and we will keep doing them as long as we can stand it.  The Zumba plus two bike rides a week should help keep me losing weight and getting in better shape.  I cannot do any of the jumping with my compromised ankle, but I can still keep moving.  It may help me get through the long cold winter, too.  I still may join a gym too.  There will be days I won't be able to bike because of winter weather or just sheer cold.  I need to be prepared for that.

A shot of the bike path where it goes under Martin Street.  As you can see, it appears to be intact, just covered in mud and debris.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

You Can't Get There From Here

We have just lived through a 500-year flood in my town.  Much of the Front Range of the Rockies has been impacted by devastating flash floods from four days of rain that started at the Continental Divide and ended at our town.  9 inches of rain have caused the two major waterways in our town - St. Vrain River and Lefthand creek - to overflow.

The bike path I rode every weekend is now mostly destroyed.  Much of it is still under water, but what I can see of it is not passable.  I do not know where I will ride in the near future, as it will be a year or more before this trail is once again open.  It needs major rebuilding and repair, or maybe even re-routing, before it can be used again.

I do start Zumba classes this week, through FitChick Express in our town.  I don't know if it will be enough to make up for the lack of biking.  I cannot bike on streets or county roads, as they are too dangerous for bikers.  Most other bike paths have been devastated by the flooding, even in other towns.  I feel selfish and foolish being so upset about losing my bike path, when there are so many other bigger issues right now in my town, and in towns nearby.  Major infrastructure repairs will be needed just to make county roads passable. 

I wrote a big blog post about it at my other blog.  Feel free to check it out for more details and pictures.  I'm posting a picture below of what is left of some of the bike path.  The bridge looks to be intact, but the pavement and embankment on the other side, where they connected, is gone.  You can see where the pavement is still there.  That's where I would ride...across that bridge then up that pathway and on to the Airport.  There are at least three other bridges I crossed on those rides, and if I went east, towards Sandstone Ranch, there were a couple bridges there too.  I'm assuming much of the pavement is washed out, or the earth beneath them so degraded that they will need major repairs.  In some places of my path, I was riding ride alongside the river, only a foot or so higher than the river.  The river rose more than 15 feet, obliterating everything.  Scary.

I'll keep you posted.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Time for an Upgrade?

The other day, one of my student staff had a crash on his Trek bike.  He was tooling across campus on an errand for me, and was summarily run down by another student.  His front wheel looked like an accordion.  So I loaded his bike up on my bike rack and took it and him to the local Trek store, so they could put on a new wheel and tire, and check to be sure his frame wasn't bent.

While I waited for him to get finished so I could take him home, I wandered around the bike shop looking at all the awesome Trek bikes.  I adore my bike, and am very happy with the brand.  The last month or so, it has occurred to me that I may be needing an upgrade by spring. You see, I am running out of gears.  I max out at about 16 mph in 7th gear on my current Trek, the Women's Navigator 1.0.  I rarely go below 5th gear anymore, and never below 4th.  There are times when I'm cruising along that I really wish I had another two, three, or four gears to move into. 

There were plenty of pretty Trek bikes in the shop.  I touched tires and handlebars and looked at the myriad of colors.  The only thing that is stopping me right now is the price tag of a new Trek.

So after my ride yesterday, I took my Trek to the local Bike n' Hike, where my Trek was purchased.  They put air in the tires for me, and I talked to them about a tune-up.  I've had the bike for almost a year, and it's about time for it to have one.  Since I ride in wet and dry conditions, sometimes on pavement and sometimes not, a yearly tune-up is a necessity.  It is starting to make a little noise, where before it had been a virtually silent ride.  I scheduled a tune-up for the end of the month.

Then I asked the guy, the same one that sold me the Trek in the first place, about an upgrade.  I told him I was running out of gears.  He laughed.  The next step up has 27 gears, but it was ugly.  I can't have an ugly bike!  But that's what I need, more gears.  He said I could get more speed with smaller wheels and tires, but I don't want a skinny bike.  And I don't necessarily need additional speed, I just need better push to get to the speed I want.  And that will only come with more gears.

So perhaps I will save for an upgrade in the spring.  We'll see what the new models look like.  Because no matter what, I won't be on an ugly bike!

I wrote a blog post about my weight/size loss over on my other blog.  You might want to check it out!

Momilies Blog

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Falling Down

Sorry about the lack of a post last week.  I had family in town and we spent Sunday in the mountains, and I just didn't have the energy at bed time to try to put out a post.  I also only got one bike ride in, so I didn't have a lot to say.  This weekend is much less busy, and includes an extra Monday because of the Labor Day holiday, so I am chillaxing at the local coffee shop for the afternoon. 

There's a phrase I use pretty often, "The bigger they are, the harder they fall."  I know the phrase means something else, but to me, it means because I'm big, and because I'm tall, when I fall, I fall hard. And I fall quite a bit, and always have.  I blame it on my big feet, my lack of a decent sense of balance, but mostly, because I'm big.  There's that whole gravity thing going on.

After lunch yesterday, I rode my bike to downtown, about 9 blocks or so, to drop off some knitted dollies my mother had made to the Yarn Store.  On Thursday nights, a small group gets together and knits dollies for kids in oncology wards, and while my mom was in town, she went to help.  She didn't finish her projects, so she took them with her, and when she finished them, she mailed them to me.  So I rode down to drop them off, and stop at the Bulk Store to pick up some Basmati Rice, which I can't seem to find anywhere else.  It is actually quicker to bike downtown than it is to drive and find a parking place, so it is really a no-brainer when I just need to make a quick trip downtown.  On these short trips, I sometimes wear my helmet and sometimes not.  I know, bad girl.

And I was reminded on the way back how important it is for me to wear my helmet.  Every single time.  I had to stop at a stop sign and wait for cross traffic, and ended up being a bit too close to the curb on my left.  When I tried to move my foot over to get better balance, I and my bike fell over.  No, I wasn't hurt, I'm pretty well padded, but there was quite a bit of traffic and therefore witnesses.  And after I got up and dusted myself off and got back on the bike, I realized I should really be wearing my helmet.  You just never really know, and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

So today, as I rode to the cafe about seven blocks from the house, you can bet I was wearing my helmet.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Two Days a Week?

Well, I knew this was going to happen.  Things at work finally got "fixed" and I no longer have Fridays off.  This means less time to bike, but in addition, more money earned and less crazy at the job when I can't get everything finished in 32 hours.  I've been wishing this for a long time.

I do have some flexibility, but until I figure it out, I will only be biking on Saturdays and Sundays.  Today as I biked I wondered how I could cram another hour's worth of biking into those two days.  I will miss doing it three times a week, and my body will too.  In another few weeks, it will be cool enough to ride in the evenings, but that will only work until daylight savings time goes away and I lose the evening light.  I am still committed to exercise at least three times a week.  Serious exercise, not just sitting on a stationary bike at the gym. 

My daughter is looking into Zumba classes for us.  If I could do that once or twice a week, that would help. I don't want to lose what I've worked for since last year, and certainly not all the hard work I've put in since March when I could finally get back on a bike. 

Not sure how this will play out, but I will see what I can work out over the next few weeks to give myself the riding time I need and deserve.  This coming week will be difficult, not only because I'm putting in 40 hours when I haven't done that in about 18 months, but because I have family coming to visit for the weekend, which may make my bike rides not happen.  I will definitely be hurting if I don't get my bike rides in this coming weekend!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Treading Water

This has been a tough two weeks for my biking schedule.  Last week the car broke down on Saturday, so there went my Saturday and Sunday rides, and this week our Saturday schedule did not permit a bike ride.

Well, it did, if I don't mind riding in the late afternoon heat, which I most definitely do mind.

But as fall begins to approach, I know that I won't have to limit myself to early morning rides to avoid the heat.  This will give me a lot more flexibility, and I might even be able to get rides in during the week as well.  In order to have a decent ride, I need at least 1 hour of riding time, as 10-11 miles takes me right at an hour or a few minutes over.  Then I need time to shower and drive from my house to the bike path and back, which adds another half-hour to my workout time.  This summer other things have taken up my time - gardening, my mother visiting, keeping my school child occupied.  Fall means the gardening falls off, the daughter is back in school, and we don't have a lot of visitors stopping by.

But it also means that the weather will be turning toward the chilly, and as winter comes on, getting three rides a week in may be difficult.  Last winter, I was riding up to the weekend before I fell and broke my leg.  If I waited until late enough in the day, when the temp could get up to at least the mid-40's, I was able to ride.  While I was laid up for the 12 weeks I could not bike, there were days that would have been perfect for a bike ride.  People think of Colorado as being this bitterly cold, snowy place, but it is not necessarily.  If I lived in the mountains, then yes, that would be winter.  But here, on the high, semi-arid plains, snow happens but it doesn't last, and many days end up in the 50's and 60's.  Mid-40's is all I need to ride.  If you dress right, you can ride in many different types of weather.  I've ridden in a wet snow, and rain, and hot sun.
This morning's bike ride got me a pretty close look at a turkey buzzard.  I knew they were around but I was less than 30 feet from this one so got a good view of him.  Also saw some of my "regulars" including the cute young guy who roller-blades the entire train (I do only half).  He always gives me this huge grin and a wave.  Also had a short conversation with a fisherman just headed out to catch some trout on the river.  He and I both agreed that the sleek little animals we'd been seeing around were not mink, but otter.  I feel validated!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Not a Good Week for Biking

I biked 11 miles on Saturday, but that's it.  Yesterday the Boulder County Fair opened with a parade and there wasn't going to be time in the morning to go, and then, the car decided not to start.  Without the car, I can't get from my house to the biking path that is safest for me to ride.  So I didn't get to ride yesterday, or today, other than to downtown to do a little shopping and watch the parade yesterday, and biked about 20 blocks to meet the tow truck to take the car to the mechanic so it can be repaired on Monday.

I hate setbacks like this, that are completely out of my control.  Really annoying. 

I also had another problem earlier this week.  I had not seen the payments for my workouts appear on my paycheck stub, so I sent off an email to find out what was going on.  Turns out I was only receiving credit for half or less of my workouts.  I'm sure this information was in the fine print somewhere, but basically, I can only count one workout per day.  I need 12 workouts to get the incentive ($25), but they need to be on 12 separate days.  Since I cannot bike except on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, I can not ever make those 12 days.  Well, technically I could, if nothing got in the way of those weekend rides.  I would need perfect weather and no family events, and then I would barely get the 12 workouts in.  Workouts that are non-cardio do not count, so any weight training I do at the gym doesn't count.

Understandably, I'm upset by this.  Since April 1st, I've put 412 miles on my bike in 67 workouts, burned over 50,000 calories, and lost 10 pounds. Obviously I'm getting my workouts in.  The fact that I'm doing it all should be enough.  It almost feels like the program is designed to not pay out the incentive.  It's a lousy $25, I shouldn't be upset, but I am. 

It will not change my bike rides.  I just won't bother syncing the bike rides to the program anymore, since there's no real reason for me to do so.  I'll just keep the ride information for my own purposes. 

And I may be adding something else to work on.  Yesterday at the parade, my 20 year old daughter and I watched a Zumba class doing the parade.  There were girls of all sizes, dancing their hineys off to the music, looking like they were having so much fun!  Yes, they were also sweating like crazy, which is not my favorite thing in the world, but if it helps me get thinner, and more in shape, I will do it.  I sweat plenty when I bike, too, so what's the difference?  So my daughter and I will be looking into classes in the area.  We didn't get the name of the group that was doing these, but I'm sure we can find something.  I have asked friends if they've tried it or what they know about it.  They say it is fun, it is hard, but that I can do it.

So, why not?  *gets out the Yellow Pages*

Sunday, July 28, 2013


We are having an unusual cool stretch of weather.  It is also damp.  Misty and damp.  I managed decent bike rides the last two days, but this morning there was just no way.  This means only about 90 miles ridden this month.  That's down from 125 last month.  That sort of bums me out.

Lots of people talk about finding their happy place, their zen moments.  Mine are on my bike.  No one can call me when I'm on my bike.  Well, they can, but I won't stop to answer.  No one can really talk to me on my bike.  Other than hi or good morning, we're all whizzing past each other and there's no time for anything else.  It is one hour, or maybe a little more, where I can think my own thoughts, without interruption.  I like that.

One thing I find amusing on my bike rides is the small groups of people jogging, walking, or biking.  They will be in twos or threes, and they are talking to each other.  Having conversations.  And there's the woman I see regularly walking, while talking on her cell phone.  The thought that pops into my head is that if they can hold conversations with each other (or on the phone), they aren't working hard enough at their workout. 

Of course, if they can talk while they are doing their workout, maybe that says a lot how good a shape they are in.

Not much to day in this week's blog, but I'd like to leave you with this.  My friend Ellie wrote this, and I agree with her.  You should read it too.

A Body is Not a Lifestyle

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Washed Out

My path was washed out this morning by yesterday's rains.  I had to walk my bike across it.

This weekend was full of many roadblocks.  The weather was horrid.  It was hot and humid, since we are moving into our monsoon season, and the mornings were muggy and sticky and uncomfortable.  Unless I could get myself up and ride at 5 in the morning, it means I'm going to encounter this heat for a while.  Then on Saturday, there was some sort of foot race going on in the space I usually ride.  There had been no signage, I just suddenly rode right into a huge group of families running down the usual idyllic and quiet green space.  I had to go around them, and still ended up in the middle of them later down the greenway, and received a scolding to boot, from a "helpful" volunteer.  So it was hot, humid, there were a bunch of people on the greenway, and I realized as I huffed and puffed trying to go around them through muddy grass and gravel that I was in 7th gear. 

Ouch, my knees. 

Today was a bit better, but a bit more than halfway through, I encountered a washed-out path from the previous day's rain.  I stopped and walked my bike across, then kept on going.  I'll have to keep this in mind next week, after we'll have had a lot more heavy rain showers.  Might have to alter my path.

Which is just fine, if you let me know ahead of time!

I like my routine.  So far this month I've ridden 50 miles.  Not bad for a fat girl.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Never Take a Day Off

This past week I was on vacation, and I thought that meant I would bike more, but I didn't.  In fact, I seemed to have biked less, which disappoints me.  I know, there were things that I let get in the way, but there were days I just didn't get up and get out there.

I know me well enough to know that if I start slacking off, I will eventually stop altogether.  And I don't want to give up this journey I'm on.  I may not be losing a ton of weight (I've lost a grand total of 6 pounds in just about three months) but I am in better shape than I've ever been.  I have good stamina, and my legs and knees are strong and mostly pain-free these days.  That's the benefit of what I'm doing.  And that's a benefit I don't want to lose.

I did bike the Monday of my vacation, but then didn't bike again until the following Sunday.  I rode more than 99 miles in May, and over 125 in June.  If I don't get cracking, July won't be as good as either of those two.  As I get stronger, biking in a wind is not as big a problem, and I've been using a windy morning as an excuse.  That won't happen again, unless the wind is 20 mph or better.

I did take my bike on a short trip when my mom and I went to Santa Fe last week.  We rode around downtown, just to get around a bit easier.  It's the first time my bike has been out of the state!  It and my mother's bike traveled just fine on the bike rack on the back of her truck.  The doggies rode around in our baskets, and a fun time was had by all. 

This weekend I will bike all three days.  That has to come first, no matter what.  Winter will be here soon enough and I won't be able to bike.  Gotta get it in while I can!

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Rainy Ride

I elected not to ride yesterday and instead spend time with my family.  My mother is visiting for a few weeks, and I am busier than ever with just the usual stuff.  It was also incredibly hot yesterday, the last day of a lengthy heat wave that the western U.S. is experiencing right now.

So this morning's bike ride, with a smattering of big fat raindrops and cloudy skies, was quite pleasant.  I was out early, about 7 a.m., so I was pretty much alone on the trail.  I would pass an occasional cyclist, or one might pass me.  I like those early rides.  It is full of birds and the occasional deer, and plenty of space for me to wibble-wobble all over the trail.

I say good morning or hello to everyone I meet on the trail.  I have learned to pick out the ones that will not say hello back.  Those are the "serious" bikers - those with the fancy expensive lycra clothes, and the deep tans from hours of biking in the sun.  Older men always respond to my hellos, or say hello first.  But younger men almost always ignore me.  And virtually all women ignore me.  I may just be a fat chick on a bike, and I may not be wearing any lycra, but I'm out there exercising too, working out too.  It would be nice if a few of them would bother to nod or smile or return a hello.  I live in a friendly town, but I sure can't say that the bikers I encounter are friendly.  Grumpy butts, most of them. 

Oh well.  I'm still out there.  Still enjoying it.  Still keeping myself in as best a shape as I can.  Round is a shape, right?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Yampa River Core Trail, Steamboat Springs

Yesterday's bike adventure brought me the experience of being stopped in my tracks by a big green frog.  Sitting, he was bigger than my hand.  When he decided he didn't want to be run over, he jumped away, and from nose to tip of toes, he was easily a foot long.  I've been challenged by geese, squirrels, prairie dogs, chipmunks, and all types of birds, but never a frog.

Now, back to your regularly scheduled blog post.

Thursday I put my suitcase in the trunk, strapped the bike to the rack, and headed uphill to Steamboat Springs.  I was going for a work-related meeting, but because of the long drive (almost 4 hours) I went up the day before.  My intention was to drop my bags, change my clothes, and ride my bike.

Steamboat Springs is at 7,200 feet above sea level, and I immediately noticed I was having mild trouble breathing.  Not that that was going to stop me. There was a bike shop next to the hotel, and I went over to get a map of bike trails in the area.  Despite my regular biking and pushing my limits, I know I'm not ready for mountain biking, so I asked about a trail that was relatively flat, and paved.  Steamboat is in the Yampa River Valley, and the town has built a paved bike path that goes about 8 miles round trip along that river.

The difference between it and the St. Vrain Greenway trail that I usually ride (which runs alongside the St. Vrain River in my town) was that the trail was a bit more winding, and definitely had more hills and valleys.  There were a few hills I was afraid I couldn't make it up, but I did it, even if it was in 2nd gear.  The worst were the underpasses that went under roads; these were usually narrow, had a sharp turn, and when you got out of the sharp turn, you had a steep uphill to get back up.  The sharp turns made me slow down, which didn't give me any head start on speed for getting up those sharp inclines.

My knees creaked, I groaned, but I made it up every single one.  I doubled back to try to get an extra mile onto my ride.  I ended up with 9 miles, 9 hard miles.  It was completely worth it.  And what a view!  The river was relatively full, and rushing over the rocks.  The trail also went past the Botanic Garden, which had a musical event going on.  So I got a serenade as I went by.

I hope I get to try some other trails around Colorado as time goes on.  I will not do street/road riding at this point. There are too many accidents between cars and bicycles to be comfortable doing that, unfortunately.  But I think it's time for me to look closer at some nearby trails, and expand my horizons a bit.  I am not bored with the greenway, but my experience means that ride is getting easier for me, and I need to keep myself and my body challenged.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

I See Ponies!

I didn't bike the last two days because of wind.  I'm not very aerodynamic to begin with, but throw some wind at me, and biking is just impossible.  I had hoped it would be okay early in the morning each day, but it just wasn't.  On Friday I opted to go up in the mountains to look at the snow instead.  The wind was even worse up there, but since I wasn't trying to bike in it, it was fine!

So today I rode 13 miles instead of my usual 10, to try to make up for some of the lost miles.  I just turned in my miles and hours for May.  I had 16 bike rides in May, for more than 9 hours of riding, and a total of 89 miles.  I burned over 12,500 calories.

Today was 13 miles in a bit over an hour, and I burned over 1700 calories.  You would think this would be helping me lose weight, but it isn't.  I'm still stuck at 320.4 pounds.  I may be putting on muscle, or not, but I am not changing in size.  My clothes still fit the same.  I have more stamina, can climb stairs easier, and generally feel better, and in the end, that was my goal.

Today, there were horses in a field where there are normally only prairie dogs.  They weren't there when I went by, but they were there when I rode back by on my loop. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

A Biking Day is Always a Good Day

This morning's 9 mile ride was under cloudy skies but with humidity, which means I worked up a good sweat even though it was only in the 60's.  It was early enough on a holiday weekend that there just weren't a lot of people out.  I like it when I have the trail to myself, but since I'm riding in remote areas (although they are paved) it does leave me open to encountering unfriendly wildlife.

So far, that hasn't happened, and I do try not to ride too early or too late in the day, when there will be fewer people and therefore more chance of encountering a problem I can't handle on my own.

This past Friday was my 11 year old daughter's first day off school for the summer, so she went with me.  That meant a bit of a slower ride than I normally do, but we still did 10 miles and she did awesome.  There are a lot of "land mines" in the form of goose poop all over the trail this time of year, and she kept saying "So much poo!!" while riding behind me.  I taught her to avoid the wet piles, and worked with her some more on how to downshift when her legs got achy.  She's getting it, slowly but surely.  She will ride with me most Fridays this summer, until she goes back to school in August.  It will be as good for her as it is for me!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Obstacle Course

Some days, it's harder to bike than others.  If it's windy, then it's virtually impossible for non-aero-dynamic me to ride against it.  If it is too hot, I melt.  If it's raining, I get wet.

You get the idea.

But some things can be overcome.  It is Canada goose mating season.  We have a lot of them around here to begin with, and unlike the ones in Missouri, these are skittish and don't attack.  They tend to get out of the way when they see a walker or a rider coming.  But these geese poop.  A LOT.  And they don't care where they poop.  There are places along the trail that are so covered with poop it's hard to avoid the little piles of mush gushy mess.  I try not to run over fresh ones, as it flings it everywhere, but most notably up my backside, as my bike doesn't have fenders.  Right now there are multiple places long the trail where there is more goose poop than open concrete.  A hazard, for sure.

Then there are the bits of road kill.  This morning it was a bird, and then a frog.  Ew. 

But the worst are the water hazards.  Spring snowmelt is occurring now, and the St. Vrain River, which borders the trail I ride, is very full, and moving very quickly.  In places where they've built pedestrian underpasses for us to ride/walk through so we don't have to cross busy streets, the water is very near the trail.  In one place, it was over the trail completely.  I saw some bikers go ahead and go through it, but remember that whole riding in the rain thing above?  Yeah, not cool.  So I went across the road instead.  Minor inconvenience.

The weather here has been spectacular, and as I like to say, "Never waste a nice day."  I've been getting three 10+ mile bike rides in every weekend.  I'm tired, but it feels good to push myself that way, and I can honestly say I get more exercise than most people I know.  And honestly?  More exercise than I've gotten since I was a teenager.  It feels good.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Stretching, and Biking

Read the other day that stretching may not make any difference in your risk of injury during a workout.  While a bit of a warmup is helpful to get your blood flowing and getting you in the mood to get started on your workout, a large amount of stretching does not keep you from hurting yourself when over-doing your exercise.  This is good information to know.

I got in two bike rides this weekend, and three last weekend.  I do have to force myself to go, but always enjoy the experience once I've done it.  Today I put in considerable time in my vegetable garden raking and weeding and mulching before I biked, so making myself go after all that was hard.

But it was so worth it.

As spring comes to Colorado, each week means I get to see new things.  More and more water fowl are migrating to our area lakes and reservoirs.  This weekend brought the return of the fresh water pelican.  These enormous creatures have a nearly 5-foot wingspan, and cruise through the skies like gliders, their black-tipped wings a vivid contrast to their generally snow-white color.  When they paddle around the water, they move in a rhythmic way, unlike ducks and geese.  You can see their legs and feet moving just beneath them, and they rock forward and back with each paddle of their giant feet.  They are not adept at walking, and plod along, leaning side to side as they go.  They are most elegant when flying.  Unlike the geese and ducks, they make no sound that I've heard.  They dip their beaks into the water and back out, I imagine eating vegetation as well as small fish.  In addition to the pelicans, there are white cranes, and blue herons, and at least four types of ducks, not all of which I can identify.  The Canada geese are now paired off, and beginning to nest.  I have not seen goslings as of yet. 

But the most remarkable thing I think I've heard is the frogs.  I have not heard frogs since I left Missouri, and I had forgotten how cheerful they sound.  I've heard them in two places, both of which were around ditches.  I'm not talking about the ditches that run alongside the road to capture rainwater and take it away.  Ditches here are man-made waterways that curve through farm fields to supply irrigation in the summer.  I have no idea what kind of frogs these would be, but I love listening to them.  It makes me remember the time we had a frog infestation at our house in Missouri, and they would croak and creak all night long.  If you went into our back yard with a flashlight and shined it on the back of the house, the wall would be covered with them. 

I like to say these bike rides, which are about 10 miles, are what keep me sane.  It is a way for me to burn off some of my frustrated energy, to work off anxiety, and to work off some calories.  I have not lost any weight, or size, for that matter, but I feel better, stronger, and have more stamina.  My knees are still working it out, however, and after a ride they hurt much worse than they did when I started.  But I know that will get better with time.  As the nights stay light later, I may be able to get bike rides in during the week, instead of having to wait until the weekends to do two or three rides in a row.  As it stands now, I'm getting better about not having to chug slowly along in third gear the whole time; I can often get to fifth and sixth gear, and sometimes even to seventh if there is a slight downhill.  This helps the rides go a bit faster, and if they can go faster, then I'll be able to add miles to make them longer.

When I bike, I go for at least an hour, with a small break in the middle for a piece of fruit and to just enjoy the scenery.  Now that it's almost Monday, I will be sad that I'll have to wait until at least Friday before I can bike again.  But then again, having it to look forward to makes all the difference in how I am able to get through my week of work and housework and just general lifework.  It's totally worth it to get to Friday!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


Yesterday was my youngest's 11th birthday.  Tater is my child who is most unlike the others.  She is overly sedentary, tends to be physically weak, and emotionally immature.  She'll catch up, I know.  It is all about growing up, but also about gaining maturity.

But that physically weak thing, that I can do something about.  For her birthday, we got her a grown up bike.  It is what she wanted, and we've been building up the expectation for it for at least a month. When she got to see it, she was so excited she wanted to ride it right away!  The bike was accompanied by a ding-ding bell, and an adapter bar so it will fit on my car's bike rack.

Today, weather permitting, we will be taking a ride together.  Of course, I woke up to sunny skies, but a very strong wind, so today's bike ride may be limited to a 10-block jaunt down the street to the library.  But it will be better than nothing.  My intent is to take her riding with me at least twice a month.  These will be the long 10 mile rides, if I can work her up to it.  I want to start her out well.  She's just hitting the front edge of puberty, and that was when I started to put on weight and become doughy.  I don't want that for her. 

She will be my first fitness recruit. :)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

DigiFit and BeColorado

I work for the University of Colorado.  Out this way, we like to think of ourselves as the most fit place in the country.  It's probably close to true.  Lots of Coloradans are outdoorsy and busy people; they are more likely to be fit than not.

Except for me, of course.  I'm still a lump of potatoes, for the most part.  I'm getting better about getting up and moving, or at least biking.  The ankle/leg still are not up to par and won't be for months, so walking is out of the question.  But so far, biking is going well.

The university has implemented a "Be Colorado" campaign, intended to get those of us who aren't being so good to ourselves to be a bit better about getting exercise, and ultimately, to be healthier.  I already do many of the things that I need to do to stay healthy, at least in the eating department.  I eat decently, not too much junk in my diet, and I recognize that what I put in my body is important.  This doesn't mean I don't occasionally have that piece of cake or package of candy, of course, but I tend to shy away from the junkiest junk (potato chips).  I usually get plenty of sleep, and I am an active person, overall.  I unfortunately work a sedentary job, however, and that's definitely not good for me.

Be Colorado teamed up with DigiFit to provide university employees with a way to monitor and encourage our workouts.  If I work out at least moderately 30 minutes, twelve times a month, I can actually get paid for it.  The DigiFit app for my Android phone helps me to keep track of everything, and it automatically uploads it to the website so I can get my little payment for being good.  I used the app for the first time this past Thursday, when I made a 10-mile bike ride over the course of an hour and 3 minutes.  The app ran while I biked, giving me periodic updates about my speed, my average speed, and how many miles I had gone.  Very cool.  When I was ready to take a break (I usually take a break halfway through and eat a little something and drink plenty of water), I just paused it, then resumed it when I was ready to go again.  When I completed my workout, it calculated my totals and uploaded them right to the Be Colorado sight so I could get credit for it.

The app itself, which I could not get a screen shot of, shows my time, miles, current speed, average speed, and the calories burned.  This information all gets uploaded to the website and I can see it as a graph and a map.  Very cool.

I liked hearing how far I had biked, and it also helped me to determine when I should either take a break, or turn around and go back.  I find that a 10-12 mile bike ride is about right for me for a "heavy" workout, but I can't do that kind of biking every day, at this point.  This past week/weekend I was able to bike four times.  The first was 10 miles, the second 10.5, but the third was only 7.  I was really worn out.  Today's bike ride was only 2 miles.  I just didn't have much left for it today. 

But you know what?  That's okay.  I was out there, I was moving, I was working, I was DOING IT.  Even if others can bike laps around me, I'm still biking laps around the guy sitting home in his easy chair. 

The weekend is over for me, and that means I probably won't ride again until Friday.  Then it will be three rides in three days.  Besides, we're going to get snow again this week.  No biking in the snow!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Never Waste a Nice Day

The bike path on a spring day with a front rolling through.

After ten days of really not-so-nice Spring weather, which is perfectly normal here, I finally was able to get back out on my bike on Friday.  The weather was warm, in the mid-60's, the sky generally sunny but with some clouds, and there was no wind.  I rode 14.5 miles, my usual route.  My knees are still angry, but I ignore them and push on.  The ankle is twinge-y afterwards, but during the ride itself it does not hurt.  Biking, fortunately, is not weight-bearing, so doesn't put the kind of pressure on my leg and ankle that walking would.

I do miss walking, for sure.  But right now walking is off the exercise menu.  I don't know when it will be back on the menu.  I still limp if I walk too fast or if the surface is uneven.  I don't necessarily favor the foot, but I'm also very careful to look where I'm walking, so I don't accidentally step off the side of the pavement or into a hole.  There are still certain movements that bring sharp pain, and I learned long ago to never ignore or discount sharp pain.  Stiffness and achiness is one thing; sharp pain is not something to mess around with.

I don't know how much of the sharp pain is from all the hardware in there, or just ligaments and other soft tissue readjusting itself.  There is still a lot of soft tissue damage, a lot of healing remains.  But I will keep biking, and work on that leg, until it is as good as the other one.

Saturday's bike ride was a bit more of a challenge for me than Friday.  The weather was still warm, but a busy Friday and ten days since the last time I'd biked had taken their toll.  And, there was a brisk wind, probably about 10-12 miles per hour, as a front was moving through.  This made for really great cloud-watching, but not so great when trying to pedal against that wind.  I did ten hard miles, fighting either a head- or cross-wind the entire time.  I don't regret doing it, but my thighs are sore today.  I'm going to put off riding today, and hope to get more bike rides in later this week.  We are, of course, supposed to get another round of snow/rain/cold over the next four days, so it's a good thing I won't have time to ride.

Brass mile marker on the bike path.  There is a marker ever half mile.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Back At It

Thursday my doctor gave me the all-clear to do whatever I wanted "as tolerated."  This, to me, means, if it hurts a little, it's still okay, so go for it! 

I couldn't wait to get back on my bike, as you well know.  And the weather was going to cooperate, too.  It was in the mid-60's by mid-morning Friday, so I loaded up my bike and headed to the greenway.  Finally got to use my new bike rack, using the adapter bar for my bike that I got for Christmas.  It fits nicely, although I had to make some adjustments to get it just right.  I drove to the flattest part of the greenway, parked and got on my bike.  There was a moment or two of trepidation as I flexed my foot and pushed off for the first time, but once I was moving, I was fine.  It felt wonderful to be moving like that again, and my legs fell into rhythm and I had no trouble.  I rode at a moderate pace for about 2 1/2 miles, then took the trip back at a more leisurely pace.  I didn't want to overdo it, and to be honest my knees aren't all that happy for me right now.

Today I rode 9 miles, the first half working the legs pretty hard, the second half a much more lazy pace.  The legs feel fine, the ankle feels fine, so I'm going to work back up to my 15 miles over the next week or so, weather permitting.

It feels great to be up and moving again, great to be active.  Now I can get back to my plans of getting back in shape, losing a little weight, and overall just taking good care of myself.  I need to do this for myself!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

One More Week...

One more week...

On Thursday I see my surgeon for the second followup from my December 31st surgery.  It has been ten weeks since I broke my leg up there on the mountain.  The cast has been off for just over three weeks, and unless I'm outside of the house, I am going barefoot/in socks.  I go up and down the stairs, sometimes foot over foot, but usually one step at a time.  I definitely have a limp, unless I walk slowly and with shorter steps, then it is virtually unnoticeable.  The leg itself is still swollen from the knee down,some days worse than others, and the ankle and foot are swollen as well.  I expect that will be the case for months.

In a week, I hope to be on my bike again.  I may only go a few miles, rather than my usual 15.  I may stay in one very flat area, rather than to risk inclines or declines.  But I'm going to be on my bike, and I'm going to be riding.  My right knee, from months of non-use because that leg had to be non-weight-bearing, is back to its creaky, painful state.  The first two weeks in the cam boot were so painful to my knee I didn't notice any pain in my foot.  That right knee is the worst of the two, and it had benefited the most from the biking.  It has gotten better over the last week, likely just because I've been getting around more, putting that knee to more use. 

The weather is supposed to cooperate this week.  We had snow yesterday, but it's a spring-like snow.  Wet and melting right away.  We're supposed to have temperatures in the 60's and touching 70 most of the week.  Friday morning, I'm going to load my bike onto the bike rack on my car and drive up to the bike shop and let them air up the tires and give it a looking over.  It's been sitting since right after Christmas, I'm sure the tires need at least air.  After it is given a clean bill of health, I'm going to drive to the flattest of our green spaces and see how I do. 

Will I overdo it?  That is likely, but it is also just as likely that I'll push my limits and stop when I should stop, and come home to ice the ankle and maybe the knee, and rest up.  Then I will do it again on Saturday.  And maybe on Sunday. 

I am anxious to get moving again.  I'm anxious to be on my bike, wind in my hair, my muscles doing what muscles are supposed to do.  It may be a while until I can ride that 15 miles again.  But I'll be closer than I am today, and I'll still be circling all those people who are just sitting on the couch. 

And that will be good enough for me.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

If She Can Do It...

...then so can I.

As I write this, it is snowing heavily, and we are expecting about a foot of snow by the time it is all done sometime after dark.   Not really great biking weather, no matter what kind of bike you have.  But, that doesn't mean I'm not thinking about it, or thinking about other news in the area that involve athletes and fitness.

I live in Colorado, the home of several Olympic athletes and medal holders, including Lindsey Vonn.  A week or so ago, she landed poorly during a giant slalom run in Schladming, Austria, trashing her knee in three very painful ways.  She had to spend nearly a week waiting for surgery, which was performed in her home town of Vail, Colorado, by the doctor who has kept her healthy since she was 13 years old.  I saw the film of her fall, and clearly heard her crying in pain.  Kinda sounded like me when they moved my ankle up on the mountain back in December.  OW.

What is remarkable about any of this is that she intends to ski in the next Winter Olympics, which is less than a year away.  She has to not only heal from the surgery and the broken bone, but she needs to rehab from that, and then work out until she is in Olympic shape again.  I realize she's young, just over half my age, but even so, this sounds really ambitious.  Not that I doubt she will make it.  I certainly do not doubt it at all.  Lindsey is a powerhouse skier who has worked hard to be where she is in the world standings.  

And if she can do it, set the goal and make the goal (which she has had to do before with injuries), then there's nothing to stop me, right?  I'm already well on the way to recovery, after the maddening weeks of the leg being immobilized by the cast.  I'm already walking without crutches, and the movement in my ankle is twice as good as it was the day after the cast was removed.  The swelling continues to go down, day by day.  My goal is to be on a bike by first of April.  I may beat that; if I am cleared to wear a regular shoe when I visit the doctor the middle of March, then I will definitely beat that date.  I may only be able to ride on flat surfaces at first, but that's okay.  There are plenty of flat trails around here.  I will probably be sore, and I will probably need higher-than-usual doses of ibuprofen.  

My knees miss biking.  My legs miss biking.  My face misses biking.  Soon.  Very very soon.

And I leave you now with the last picture I took before my fall.  Why not, right?

Sunday, February 10, 2013

New Treads

In anticipation of my return to freedom, I bought myself some new treads.  The cast is due to come off later this week, if everything looks good in there (won't know until the xray), and I have just about worn out my old New Balance 993's.  I learned years ago the importance of wearing good shoes, and I'm lucky to be in a business where I can wear my tennis shoes to work every day (with jeans).  My very first pair of New Balance 993's were pricy, about $150, but I'd been having problems with my feet and went to a better shoe store to have my foot measured and get a decent recommendation for a supportive, sturdy, and well-fitting shoe for my foot type.  I'm on my third pair of 993's in about 8 years.  They last a long time, they give my feet the overall support they need, the treads hold up in all the walking I do, and run in sizes big enough to accommodate my over-sized feet.

My current pair are pretty worn, both inside and out, and it was time for a new pair.  I went to my favorite website for New Balance shoes, Joe's New Balance Outlet, and took a look.  I usually get my 993's for about a third of the cost of buying them in the store.  And if there's a sale, I do even better, and often get free shipping. But after wearing the same shoes for so long, I kind of wanted a change of pace, so I put in my size in the shoe finder, sorted by price (low to high) and saw what was available.  I think I've found a new love.

These are fashionable, with a slight wedge heel, and leather and mesh.  They have big cleats on the bottom compared to my 993's, and are a more all-around outdoor shoe.  The wedge is going to be helpful as I wear the cam boot for the next few weeks, as it is a higher shoe than my current 993's.

And, they are pink!  I like pink.

The importance of good shoes that fit your foot properly cannot be emphasized enough.  My husband right now is suffering from a bout of Morton's Neuroma,  a very painful foot condition thought to be caused by wearing cheap shoes.  My husband is the king of cheap shoes...if it can't be bought at Walmart he isn't wearing it.  He is now paying for that.  When you're young, you can get away with cheap shoes.  But in your 50's?  You'd better be buying the good ones.

I'm looking forward to breaking these girls in.  Even if it is just one shoe at a time!

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Live Longer, Probably Healthier, Too

Interesting read in today's Parade Magazine, which comes in many of our nation's Sunday papers.  I've been reading Parade Magazine for as long as I can remember. 

Anyway, the article is written in a quiz form, and here is a link to it.  But I'll summarize here.  All of the answers have good solid research to back them up.  And it all makes me that much more determined to take better care of myself in the future.  Most of the living longer tips indicate one should get more physical activity, which is why it caught my eye.

So, if you want to improve your memory after age 50, should you do some sudoku, take some Gingko Biloba, or take a walk?

Take a walk.  Seniors who get more physical activity have less brain shrinkage than sedentary seniors.  So get out and walk.  Or ride a bike.

How do you fix arthritic, creaky knees?  Should you sit and rest, take some supplements (glucosamine or shark cartilage), or take a Tai Chi class?

Tai Chi, if you're playing along.  The stretches and poses can help control pain and improve your physical movement and function.  I also, from my own anecdotal evidence, recommend bike riding.  It's been the best thing for my knees yet! I'll have to look for a Tai Chi class too, as I have no idea how to do that.

Will it shorten your life more to watch TV, or to smoke?

I immediately thought smoking, of course.  But truth is, it is tv watching.  Any sedentary activity shortens your life.  Studies have shown that for ever hour an adult watches tv, it shortens their life by 22 minutes.  Smokers only shorten their life by 11 minutes for every cigarette.  Not that you should take up smoking.  But that tv habit?  That needs to go.  I am not a tv watcher, except for new and the occasional baseball or football game.  I'd rather be doing something else.  That being said, many of my "doing something else" things involve sitting on my butt, so I'm going to stretch this to mean ANY sitting time in front of a screen of any kind.

Been spending my whole life smoking, avoiding exercise, and being unhealthy.  I'm over 40/over 50/over 60.  Is it too late for me?

Not at all.  Get up and get out of the house and get some exercise and put down the cancer stick and be more careful of what you eat.  Any amount of doing these things, even in middle age, will give you a longer life expectancy. I am not a smoker, but I'm fat, and don't get enough exerciseThat is going to change.

What does having a window open have to do with making you feel younger?

Looking outside, particularly at a natural, outdoorsy view, can reduce blood pressure.  No lie!  Living near open areas or green space has been shown to have an positive effect on your "telomeres," a part of the DNA strand that can deteriorate with age.  In other words, looking onto green space, open space, and nature can keep your DNA young.

Does volunteering decrease depression and better your sex life?

Oddly enough, yes.  Being active and involved in your community, or with children, or wherever you choose to spend your time can decrease depressive symptoms.  It has also been show to increase/enhance women's sexual desire and overall contentment with their sexual lives.

I'm physically active and many years can I add to my lifespan?

More than five years, according to a 2012 study.  Elders who swam, walked, or otherwise enjoyed physical activity and had social interactions with others lived more than five years longer than those who were sedentary.  Remaining socially engaged is the key; even a drumming class or writing group could give you the interaction you need to keep healthy.

What about that whole osteoporosis/bone health thing?

This one interested me, of course, as I sit here with a broken leg moving toward recovery.  What should I do to make this not a concern?  Scientists in Denmark sent a group of sedentary women over 40 to either start running, or play soccer, for a time period of 14 weeks.  Surprise...the soccer moms/women had better bone strength after the 14 weeks than the runners did.  Now, I'm not sure my knees can take any kind of soccer, but maybe there's something else I can do to build my bone strength up through activity.

Okay, so how do I get motivated?

According to research, get a dog.  People who had a dog to walk walked more regularly and more often than others.  A dog has to be walked.  If that's your motivation, go with it!  Me, I'll just have to continue to self-motivate; we're not getting a dog, and my cat would not let me take her for a walk (unless it was in a backpack or something).

Are you inspired by any of these things?  Let me hear about it!  Leave me a comment!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Liar Liar Pants on Fire

So this week Lance Armstrong finally admitted that he'd been doping.  Until not too long ago, I actually believed him when he said he had never taken performance-enhancing drugs.  They had never proven anything, and I didn't know all that much about the sport, so I just...believed him.

Of course, I'm much more cynical about baseball players, as I'm a pretty big fan.  I also thought that the use of steroids left physical signs.  Anyone who thought Mark McGwire and Barry Bonds weren't doping was deluding themselves.  There were physical signs that were easy to see...oversized shoulder and arm muscles and heads that looked too big for their bodies.  There were also some strange mental/emotional things, not the least of which was an abhorrence of the media and reporters.  They were grumpy, surly individuals who seemed like they were too good for everyone around them.  It was, to me, obvious.

But Lance Armstrong didn't look like a bobble-head doll.  He had muscles, but he was tall and lean and bony.  He could be surly, but mostly only when people were asking about the doping.  Over the years he appeared at many charity events and even created the LiveStrong organization, which has gone on to do amazing things for a lot of people.  In my mind, he didn't fit the mold of an athletic doper.

And mostly, I think I was naive, and uninformed.  I just didn't know a lot about biking, or the famous bikers that won races all over the world.  I still don't know biking the way I am sure I will in the future.  And even if he had not admitted his doping publicly, I think the mystique was broken months ago when he was stripped of his medals.  And many many people have been disappointed.  Despite the doping, Lance Armstrong did more for the sport of professional biking than any other single person.  The only other thing I knew about biking was the 1979 movie Breaking Away, which portrayed biking as a brutal, arrogant sport. 

That movie may not have been that far off. 

I think I'll stick to riding the green spaces and riding to the coffee shop.  Seems a whole lot safer.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Will I Ever Bike Again?

It has been two weeks to the day since my fall and serious break.  This past Friday I got a new, smaller cast after they removed the surgical cast, bandaging, and staples.  I'm healing well.

That being said, it will still be a long time before I'm walking, or biking.  I miss biking the most, but I'd settle for being able to walk to the bathroom without the walker, or being able to go upstairs and take a shower, or go downstairs to do some laundry or poke around in the freezer or work in my office. 

But the doctor said I'd walk again, and ride a bike again, as long as I do what they tell me to do.  This means no walking on the bad leg (not that I could, that would hurt WAY too much), getting plenty of rest, keeping the foot up until the swelling goes down, and coming back for a replacement cast in about 10 days, at which time they will re-assess my fracture blisters.

It will be a little more than a month before I'm free of the cast for good, if everything goes well.  After that, it will be therapy and therapy and therapy. 

I feel like such a lump.  I'm eating as good as I can, but getting way too many calories for being a sit-around Fat Girl.  I'm trying to increase my calcium intake, and protein intake, and keep the carbs as low as possible.  But I won't be surprised to find at the end of my convalescence that I've gained 10 or 15 pounds.  Considering I was already down about 15 pounds since August, this is a disgusting thought.

Not that I can do anything about it, really.  Starving myself won't help my bones, and won't help my healing.  And I'll lose the weight once I'm active again. 

What's the worst?  I never got to use my wonderful Christmas presents - my compression pants, the ding-ding bell for my bike, and the bike bar adapter that will work with my car's bike rack.  They are all sitting in the garage waiting for me.  It's going to be a pretty long wait.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

You Can Be Fat And Fit

This op-ed piece I read early in the week on CNN was a bit of an eye-opener.  To be honest, I didn't know there were so many studies out there actually looking at morbidity rates of fat people, both fit and unfit.  Go ahead, go on over and read it, and I'll wait for you.  Go ahead.

So, when you read that second-to-last paragraph, did you get down on the floor and try to get up without grabbing onto something? 

Honestly, I don't know too many people over the age of 25 that can do that.  I'm over 50, and there's no way my knees would let me do that, but it did make me think a much more fit do I need to be before I can get up with minimal help? I think this will be my new goal.  After my rehab, of course, because right now I'm doing good just to be able to stand up from the toilet with my bad leg and an arm on the side of the sink. 

It is nice to see that researchers and doctors are looking at fat people as more than walking dead people.  I know I will not die young (too late for that), and I am metabolically healthy.  By the numbers, I'm just like anyone else who eats right and stays reasonably active.  I could do more in the active department, but when it comes to eating, I eat better than most people I know.   My cholesterol and blood sugar numbers are on target, my bp is normal for a person my size and age, and I have no heart problems.  Why would I have any higher risk of anything (except maybe bad knees) than a thin person?  In fact, just being thin isn't enough to be healthy; plenty of thin people have high cholesterol, or pre diabetes or heart issues.  It isn't about being thin.  It's about being healthy.

Now, I hear a nice big salad calling my name.  It's one of my favorite indulgences!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Best Laid Plans...

The universe has really sick ways of keeping me from doing what I want with my legs.

On Sunday I drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park to take pictures of the snow.  I go up there quite a bit, and as I went through the gate, I bought my season pass for the rest of the year.  I stopped at Fall River and hiked up the path to the bridge to listen to the water under the ice.  Then I drove up as far as I could on Trail Ridge Road, which usually is open all the way through the park during the warm months.  There were a lot of tourists, as there usually are this time of year.  I parked and walked across the road to the overlook.

I never made it.  I slipped in some mushy snow, went down on one knee, and broke my ankle in three places.  There was the trip in an ambulance down the mountain to Estes Park (about 4000 feet) to the Estes Park Medical Center, where I was assessed, x-rayed, and it was quickly determined that I needed a better hospital, one with a trauma center.  Away we went down the mountain, another 3000 or so feet, to Good Samaritan in Lafayette, a few miles from my town.  They set my ankle (it was dislocated) and admitted me, and I had surgery on Monday night.  There are plates and screws and a cast that appears to weigh a ton.  I have an unusual complication called fracture blisters, which is a really gross thing and you shouldn't look it up on Google unless you are prepared. The blisters might have put my surgery off for a week, but they weren't bad, so they went ahead and did the surgery,  I have followup in a couple of weeks, when they'll remove my stitches and give me a new cast.

I am non-weight-bearing on that leg for 6-8 weeks, after which there will be therapy.  There will be no driving, and I will have to work from home, which, thankfully, is possible!

I guess now I won't be all worrying about when/how I'm going to bike and walk in the cold and snow.  I'll be sitting right here in my living room, laying on the spare bed hubby dragged up from the basement, and wondering when I'll ever be able to take a shower again.

Thanks Universe.  This was really, uh, helpful?