The sky as it looked as we headed out on our adventure.
What an absolutely spectacular day we are having in MN today! I am not going to say we deserve this weather; after all, the flowers are blooming and the grass is lush green from all of the rain we have had.
But today we shall enjoy nothing but blue skies.
I mean this not just as it pertains to the weather. I mean my attitude. Today I did something I never have done before. I will get to that.
If I were to take you back 10 years ago, a day like this would not have meant that I could take advantage of it for some outdoor activity; instead, I likely was headed indoors to some mall or just sitting on the couch.
As we climbed into our bike saddles today, I took a deep breath. I am so thankful that I now live a healthy life.
I already knew we would be riding the trail to the end. This was a foregone conclusion in my mind. As stated earlier, the weather and time have not been optimal for a long ride. Today we had both.
The end of the trail is a 33 mile round trip ride. Ben and I have done this several times. The Gateway Trail is spectacular for riding, as all of the other riders on the trail today will tell you. Yes, some get cranky when you pass them, but I did let you know I was coming! It was very busy on the trail today, and it is so great to see families out there taking advantage of the trail and the weather.
When we reached trails end, I told Ben that today I wanted to go further. I wanted 40 miles.
Go back to 10 years ago; was this the same woman? Clearly, the answer to me at least is no.
I wanted 40 miles because it is something I had never done before. To some reading this, perhaps you are thinking that is nothing. Others, you are thinking I get tired driving 40 miles.
Ben and I talked about how to complete 40 miles, and then headed back. We decided that when we reached the spot I normally refer to as my happy place we would keep riding the trail and then return to the happy place to head home.
My happy place; this sign means it is an easy 2.5 miles until we are home.
Please note: this is the happy place on the bike. Not so much when walking!
Thank goodness for my Garmin. I told Ben I wanted to go 40 miles, but no further. Let's not be crazy now!
As we passed my happy place and kept going west on the Gateway (where we would normally turn to head home) we were in relatively unchartered territory. I have walked this part of the trail a few times, but Ben and I had been on there only once before. That time was known as the Great Inch Worm Disaster of 2009. (They were hanging everywhere and at one point were all over me. I jumped off the bike and danced as he swatted them off. Ew.)
As it is no longer inch worm season, we were in good shape. Little did I realize we were headed down a very slight decline. I realized it when we were on the return home; it is a very slight, painful incline!
As we hit my happy place and headed the 2.5 miles home, I thought about how good I felt. I searched my brain for the right word. Alive, energetic, happy...none of them quite cut it. I settled on vibrant.
Vibrant: pulsating with life, vigor, or activity. Today it was all that and more!
As we rounded the last turn, I looked down at my Garmin and saw the 40.57 miles. I was overwhelmed with emotion. Ben no doubt thought I was injured or something, and all I could say was I did it.
40.57 miles. Done and Dusted!
An overwhelming happiness! Flower courtesy of Ben around mile 10.
Over on Nutrimirror, we call these moments a NSV, or non-scale victory. I have no scale victories at all. I don't measure myself as a success or failure because of what the scale says. The victory for me today was truly that I did not give a shit what the scale said; at this moment I am the healthiest, most vibrant person I have ever been in 45 years. This moment was never going to be defined by the number on the scale. I won't recall this ride today and think, oh, this is how much I weighed when I did it. That is a first. This experiment, the journey of this year is working.
So, what do you do after you ride 40+ miles. You EAT!
I did not eat with reckless abandon, but did eat what I had been thinking of for the final 15 miles or so of the ride.
This is a cornmeal pancake with sauteed spinach and an egg. Don't forget the bacon. That I DID earn.
Don't be hatin' on my bacon. I just burned almost 2000 calories!
Here is my wish for you; I wish that anyone reading this at this moment know the feeling of vibrancy. I wish that you know how it feels to not care if you are up a pound or down a pound. I wish that you know what it feels like to look at food as fuel, yet still be able to enjoy every bite you eat without guilt. I wish you health, I wish you happiness, and my mission is to make sure this wish becomes reality.
Now that this is typed, and these words are out of my head, I can relax. I shall head up to my shower on my wobbly legs and with burning crotch (40 miles ain't easy on female parts and pieces) and an energy I have never before felt.
Have a fabulous Saturday!