When I began, going 3 miles out and 3 miles back was a pretty big deal. It took a lot of effort and I loved it. As I started getting fitter and riding more, I came up with a goal to ride from Fairmont to the next town of Morgantown. It is around 20 miles, one way, and you can take the flat rail trail (used to be for train tracks) which consists mostly of packed limestone.
Last summer I went up to Morgantown, but didn't come back because I was meeting my beau for lunch who then brought me back home. That is the furthest I had ever ridden. Until now.
I had trouble sleeping last night, yet still woke up relatively early (8am is early for me on a day off). The weather was showing a sunny day with a high of 82 degrees. For some unknown reason, I decided today was the day I was going to mark off the goal of riding the 20 miles to Morgantown and then ride back. As an incentive, I wanted to get lunch at a cafe that I've been wanting to try. So I ate some breakfast, got dressed, got my bike tires pumped, and got my things together. Which by the way, it takes much more stuff to prep for bike riding than running! I had to get my fanny pack together full of chews, a honey waffle and my phone. Then there was my watch, two water bottles one with gatorade and one with ice/water, headphones, some money and my I.D. I used the 'fanny pack' as my boyfriend calls it, for my half two weekends ago and it works out really well! Didn't move at all and now I can take my phone with me a lot easier. Anyway...
Everything started off well. I was on the trail by 10am. The sun was shining, the trees where beautiful. I saw a peacock. Wait! What? Yup. At mile 5 I saw a bird walking across the trail, which I assumed was a turkey buzzard. As I got closer I realized it was a female peacock. Not only that, but there were baby peacocks!!! I tried to get my phone out quick but they were booking it, so you can't really see anything.
Anyway, after that it was back to listening to the Half Size Me podcasts and looking at the Monongahela River (I promise that's a real word). Around mile 13 or so, I started feeling a little tired and hungry! I could tell that I haven't been biking as much as I did last year, since I've been concentrating on the running. My outer thighs were starting to burn. All I could think about was getting to that cafe. And that cafe added an extra 3 miles to my trip each way too. But it tasted good and I will definitely go back! They serve a lot of local, organic food, which I like.
It took me 2 hours and 9 minutes to complete 23 miles. I know this seems incredibly slow and it is. BUT, I ride without clips on my shoes, so I don't get the extra speed from the double motion of pushing and pulling. I'll eventually look into getting clips or straps or something for my pedals, but that seems over my head right now. Yes, even though it is probably easy to get used to in reality.
After lunch all I could think about is how in the
After taking more stops on the way back to take pictures
I'm very proud of the goal that I completed!! I wasn't really sure I could, but like I've said before, the good thing about out and backs, you really don't have a choice to finish. You HAVE to finish or you spend the night out in the woods with only God knows what!
Now I'm going to continue to ice and lay on the couch. I can only imagine how sore I am going to be tomorrow! Oh I also now have a sweet farmer's tan/burn. I know you're jealous.