Another blog? And my thoughts on Strava…

I decided to dedicate another blog to satisfy my love of cooking/baking, separate from this blog…I forgot how “tough” it was starting this blog a couple years ago. Below is a link. It is a work in progress–of course, the wonderful weather has delayed my work on the blog, as my priorities revolve around outdoor activities rather than blogging ­čÖé Feel free to check it out!

That (Vegan) Girl in Sneakers

Views from Overlook Mountain, taken last week on a hike

Views from Overlook Mountain, taken last week on a hike

For the past couple months or so, probably starting February when I started running more in preparation for the marathon, I began using Map My Run to follow my progress. I do have a very expensive Garmin watch and heart rate monitor, but do I use the $350 watch? Nope. The watch still works though…Maybe I’ll start wearing it again now that I feel guilty about never using such an expensive watch. Anyway, Map My Run is a great way to log your progress–the app is free, which is also awesome. However, many of my biker/runner friends use Strava. I used this app maybe twice last year, then deleted it…Not really sure why I deleted it. If you are unfamiliar with Strava (which, I doubt you are if you are up to date on cycling apps), it is basically the same thing as Map My Run. However, there are segments where you can actually “race” other riders (or runners). These segments are usually hills, but can also be segments, like a long, flat road that people use for time trials, etc. The fastest people are called “Queen” or King.” The program then places you according to your time compared to other peoples times. You can also analyze your performance online.

A couple weeks ago, I downloaded the app again. Let me tell you, I think I have actually seen a difference in my cycling. That, or I’m actually focusing more on my rides and pushing myself harder. Perhaps it is the latter. For the first time in a couple years, on my ride, I didn’t simply say (to myself), “Ack, it’s a hill. I’ll go slow.” Nope. My new mantra while going up hills is “Power up!” Pushing myself has definitely improved my tolerance to pain and burning thighs…As well as lead to me beating my “nemesis” female cyclists (road and mountain) whom I have never met.

Strava can also be used for runs…I’m pretty sure it was the reason for one of the fastest 5miles I have ever done.

View of sunset behind the Catskill Mountains

View of sunset behind the Catskill Mountains

I need to warn you, though. It is not always reliable, as I found out today after my run (trying to beat the time I managed for the “fastest 5” mentioned above), when it stopped recording for some reason mid run–and I swear I made a new PB on that run. Grrr! Frustrating! Ohh well, I guess it simply means I will have to do the run again.

Another possible negative regarding the program is it hinders your ability to “go with the flow” if something happens mid run (or mid ride). For example, I ran into an acquaintance on a run once, and had to stop to say hi. I feel it would have been rather impolite to run past her saying, “Sorry, can’t stop–I’m Strava-ing now.”

What are your thoughts on Strava? Is there another app or program you use to keep track of rides or workouts?

 

 

Lazy Weekend Days

I know earlier this spring I made it a goal not to have weekends that were spent doing nothing. But, after what seems like a chaotic month composed of meetings, work, classes, and races, this weekend was spent being lazy. By that, I mean it was spent around the area, spending time with my man, and, least we forget: bikes and running shoes.

What shoe problem? I have no shoe addiction whatsoever. #asics

What shoe problem? I have no shoe addiction whatsoever. #asics

On days off, I’ve been able to engage in some solo time at 909 (a local mountain biking area) learning which paths went where (as well as paths to avoid). Finally, I could show Kevin some local trails he was unfamiliar with. He was able to help me work through some technical parts I’ve been unable to manage (rather, too wimpy to attempt while riding alone). Somehow, he always managed to get ahead of me. I think I need to ride with him more often– I tend to push myself harder physically and mentally when riding with him (and others in general)–mostly, though, in order to keep up with him.

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Dutchess County Trees

A shot by Kevin, whilst waiting for me to catch up.

After showing being lead through trails at 909, it was imperative I introduce Kevin a place I stumbled upon last summer where we could cool off post ride…Ahh, the refreshing nature of rivers during the summer. It’s during the summer when I reconsider taking up triathlons–simply because of the cooling aspect of the swim portion.

Kevin, also a water mammal

Kevin, also a water mammal

Returning to my water roots

Returning to my water roots

Don’t worry, we didn’t forget about road bikes.

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My Deutsch jersey, thanks Mom!
My Deutsch jersey, thanks Mom!

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Kevin stopped next to a sign thinking it needed to be posted in the blog. Alas, I already posted the same sign three years ago here!

We lounged on the porch of the “country house” as Kevin calls it, escaping the heat and humidity, catching up on good reads, and fixing bikes. Life is all about bikes.

Ice cold fizzy water and lemon...The best on a humid, hot day

Ice cold fizzy water and lemon…The best on a humid, hot day

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Taping the handle bars of his newly acquired Serotta

No blog post is complete with an awkward photo taken of you.

No blog post is complete with an awkward photo taken of you.

The evening brought cooler temperatures, and outdoor dining opportunities.

I'll allow for him to have his hot dogs this time.

I’ll allow for him to have his hot dogs this time.

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I missed our after-dinner walks around the neighborhood

Sunday morning, we were able to take a ┬átrip to the Rhinebeck Farmers Market, a small but quaint market I had not had a chance to visit until this weekend.Kevin’s favorite part was his falafel. Mine was organic local mint tea–a much needed refreshing drink on a humid day.

Local cider

Local cider-wine

Waiting in the sun for a falafel

Waiting in the sun for a falafel

Musical greatness, stopping in town from New Orleans

Luke Winslow-King, musical greatness, stopping in town from New Orleans

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Mmmm bread.

Mmmm bread.

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The weekend ended with thunderstorms, sweeping away Northeast humidity…For now.

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When was the last crazy post written?

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