Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Bike Ride

Okay - forgive the delay in my post this week. I'm finally back among the land of the living for several reasons. Mostly, that old devil Senor Migraine tried to kill me off several times last week. That's a whole post in itself.

So how did Sheri and I do on our bike ride?

Completely. Kicked. It.

We met at 5:00 AM at the appointed place, her sweet patient husband following behind us, and headed on the road. About 3 miles in, I noticed something odd about my bike.... seems that the gear shifts were moving toward me. There was a little something loose but we fixed it as best we could. That held out until about five miles into the trip -- and one hour into the 2:15 we had allotted for ourselves (yeah, rut-roh Raggy!). Sheri graciously offered to switch bikes with me, since she had on riding gloves and could easily provide more resistance to the turning of the handlebar.

It was also an eye-opener for both of us in bike differences. She has a hybrid cruiser, mine is more of a mountain bike. It takes a lot more energy to make it go at the same distance and near the same speed -- which is why I was always much slower and had to get off and walk up hills more often during the practices (and some along the route). We laughed because at one point during our first training ride, she said to me, "You didn't tell me you had asthma!" because I was wheezing so dang hard! We have now decided that whatever time we spent on my bike would count as a high-intensity workout.....

Rob, one of our members, took my bike with him and brought it back later that night, tightened up, checked up, seat raised, etc. YAHOO!!!!! I haven't taken the opportunity to ride it again but I plan to tonight when I get home ... if it's not raining! Ah yes, summer in the South: a pop-up thunderstorm in every afternoon!

And I have found a place I need to visit: the Virginia Creeper Trail ........ 34 miles of mountain trails along an old abandoned train route. Yes, I know -- we have the Swamp Rabbit Trail here, same thing, but this is in the mountains. Think fall and the foliage. Think no city traffic. Think getting the heck outta Dodge and just being somewhere wonderful and new!! Uh, yeah. I think we have a winner! Not that I'd do all 34 at once. I'm thinking 5 or 10 mile stretches.

This could be the start of something wonderful!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

You'd think I would know this....

I was up again (yes, that was the scream you heard late Tuesday afternoon).... but only minimally. But then my friend MH, the receptionist, said something afterwards that made me say, "Well, DUH! Why didn't I make the connection?" She asked what kind of activity I had done and I said, "Well, I didn't yesterday, I had a massage, but usually on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, I lift weights....."

MH said, "Um, you know, I had much better luck doing yoga on Monday instead of weights...."

And it clicked. DUH......... Glycogen. Nasty, nasty glycogen that holds 4-5 times its weight in water! Alllllll day Tuesday, after a Monday strength training session, it just takes in whatever I send its way.... or sucks it right out of my cells and hangs on for life.

She may be on to something there. But I'll be danged if this is gonna beat me!!

****

This past Sunday morning, I had my first practice run for our bike trek. Sheri and I covered 7.5 miles. My biggest obstacle? A couple of hills and a numb rear end. The standard bike seat and my tushie just did not get along. Luckily I had purchased a replacement beach-cruiser style seat and put that on the bike on Sunday night. MUCH better on my little ride around the neighborhood last night! So we are planning to try another trek this coming Sunday morning as one last big prep for our ride on the 14th.

Hard to believe -- I used to go all over the place on my bike until I got a car. Even as large as I was, I always enjoyed biking around town. Who knows, maybe this will be the start of a new love of biking? My friend Jen from Boston -- who has always biked for as long as I have known her -- has given me some awesome tips!

****

And a recipe ..... I didn't take pictures because honestly, it took so little time and I didn't think to grab the camera.

Figs are one of those fruits that just doesn't seem to get a lot of press ...... except in fig preserves or Fig Newtons. In fact, that was my first exposure to figs (the Newtons). I never liked fig preserves as a child, because I was so into strawberry jam/preserves (still a fave) or grape jelly (YECH!). But as an adult, I have grown to like them. And I have seen a lot of recipes for a fig pizza -- mostly with goat cheese and caramelized onions, or with bacon.

I wanted to see if I could make a mini version of it that would be just enough for one or two to enjoy -- SUCCESS!!!

Mini Fig & Chevre Pizzas


Serves one or two persons

1 whole-wheat sandwich thin, split to make 2 discs
2 Tbsp chevre (goat cheese)
2 figs
1 tsp honey

Preheat oven to 375. On each of the sandwich thin halves, place 1 Tbsp of chevre and 1 fig, sliced thinly. Drizzle each with a half-teaspoon of honey. Bake for about 5-7 min or until cheese is melted but not bubbling. For extra taste, you can add a few leaves of arugula or spinach to each half.

WW PointsPlus: 7 for both halves (one person) or 3 per half (two people).

ENJOY!!