Yesterday (Saturday) I spent all day with the love of my life–my husband (y’all thought I was going to say my road bike, didn’t you?).
The day was perfect, nearly 70, a bit windy. My back hurt from my 4 mile run Friday with Dulce (more of a “mostly run”–we took two .10 mile walk breaks), but I was happy with the results. Each of my “almost mile” splits were faster than the previous–which was not my intention, but a great result nonetheless. It might have had something to do with the fact that it was uphill out for 2 miles. . . either way, I’m still pleased.
Saturday we had hoped to meet with another blogger whose blog I respect and have learned so much from already (CultFit). Turns out he lives just up the road in the next big town over. Unfortunately, due back pain partially from the long run (but most likely due to a too-weak core), I couldn’t handle getting on my bike for a lovely 20-mile ride.
I think it was meant to be, though, because my hubby reminded me that it might be our last weekend day together for a long time. So, we hopped in the car and headed where? To all the bike shops we could find! We actually ended up heading out of town and hit two big bike shops in CultFit’s town–Trek Bikes and The Bike Rack (and Penzey’s Spices). My hubby test drove a CrossRip and an FX7.6. They didn’t have the Big Boy 9 (Canondale) that he wanted to try, but he learned he liked the feel of the CrossRip. He wants more of a commuter bike since we’re both trying to get away from using a car for everything.
Good thing, because of our two vehicles are senior citizens (1994 and 1999). They work fine, mind you. Well, mostly. We haven’t had the pickup for a year–we let hubby’s daughter borrow it until she headed off for Graduate School this summer (she got a full ride! Yay!).
And unfortunately, the jetta decided to cause us problems yesterday. We accidentally partially tore off the front bumper (he caught it on the curb in front of us and as we backed out, it tore off the right side–I heard it when he drove forward, I knew I should’ve said something). Luckily, he’s a genius, so except for one plastic clip that broke, he actually fixed it with the little tool box that Daddy put in my car years ago so I’d have some tools. Thanks, Dad!
Then after missing a turn–I mean, choosing to go the scenic route home–the oil light came on. You’d think it would give some advance warning or something–but there was NOTHING in the tank. We put in 4 quarts.
That wasn’t the problem. When I took off the cap, dahlin’ said, “Oh, that’s not good.”
Yellow gloppy glop just below the cap.
“That’s what it looks like when water gets in, which means the engine block may have cracked.”
Then he got quiet, trying to think of how else moisture would have gotten in the oil. . . . he just kept saying, “this is not good.”
Maybe my girl is trying to tell me she’s giving up the ghost. She’s only got 130k, but I had hoped to keep her another 100k. Who wants car payments? Higher insurance rates? Higher taxes (Nebraska is ridiculous when it comes to taxes. It cost me $25 to register a car in New Mexico, here it’s in the hundreds). She’s going in first thing Monday. Hopefully, they’ll tell me hubby was wrong and the car is fine.
In the meantime. Today my back felt better, so we headed out for a morning bike ride (temps in the 40s) to meet hubby’s daughter and her hubby at a park for breakfast. It was about 4.5 miles away, but a great ride. Maybe 42 degrees with a light north wind when we left (into the north wind).
We enjoyed a chilly but sunny picnic of OJ and cranberry muffins, chatted for a while. Her husband’s an engineer and has been working in Colombia a lot this year so far. When we got too cold, we parted ways. Hubby headed over to work for a minute while I took the long way home.
Another 12 miles, with lots of rolling hills–just what I needed. Hill work. I have improved so much in the past year. This time last year I always lost speed going up even moderate hills (for the rest of you, slight inclines–like 4% and less grades). Today, however, I powered up those hills and actually gained speed going up (until the inclines became more challenging–for me about 7-10% grade). I felt stronger than last year when I did the same stretch, as if I could power through where I couldn’t last year.
I often still weaken at the top of hills. The best advice I ever heard or read was that the hill isn’t over until you’re at least two bike lengths down the other side. I tended to give up right before I reached the crest. Keeping this in my head today helped me power through the last of the hill–not giving in to the pain until I’m headed down on the other side. Great bit of advice.
I had to deal with a lot of car noise (the bike path ran along a rather busy street, well, busy for our town), streetlights, and one really muddy underpass from the rains the night before. The last two hills wore me out coming home, but I am really proud of myself for taking the long way home. Instead of just hitting 8.5 or so miles, hitting 16.5. A good day over all. Burned about 800 calories.
The rest of the day I simply enjoyed reading a book in the sun for a while, until I got too hot (!). I headed inside to Dad’s comfy recliner and quickly fell asleep reading.
Supper celebration with the birthday girl, and now? Decompressing before bed. Ahhh, nice day. Tomorrow? No work. Car goes in. Steal mom’s car–which she will not be using for the next 3 weeks: total knee replacement. Send her positive thoughts!
Oh, and a final note? Just so you know, still in the top ten among women in the early National Bike Challenge for Endomondo.