Hello, My Name is ___.And I’m a Raceaholic.

If you have ever participated in a race (running, cycling, duathlon, or triathlon), you may understand the thought process associated with racing. I do not mean with the actual participation in a race, or emotions during a race–that is a completely separate post–but what is involved when choosing races. For me, looking at potential races is, ehh, addicting.Sometimes I think there should be a support group for people like me who constantly search for races that I can participate in.

“Hello, my name is Molly. I am a raceaholic.”

I came to this conclusion the other day, still on holiday, when I turned to Kevin and showed him a race website.

“Maybe I should train for this one?” I suggest, with a spark of excitement in my eye. Kevin let out a soft sigh.

“Molly, no. Put the laptop away…No races right now.” I silently shut the laptop, and did not think about races.

Less than twenty four hours later, while everyone was sleeping, and after failed attempts to watch ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ on Hulu (FYI, Hulu does not work overseas), I found myself yet again searching for races. Working certain weekends affords less opportunities to participate in certain races, as most races take place on weekends–which is a reason why I think I cherish when my schedule does let me participate in a race.  I find myself scrolling through races throughout the state (or outside the state for that matter). Ouu…a 50k on September 8th of 2013! That is a weekend I am not working—I could totally pull that off. Wait, even better, a 5k on Saturday, and a duathlon the next day….Perfect! There have been times when I’ve had to stop myself, and think realistically regarding certain distance races, which, I guess most people do not have to do. I.e. When I decided that running a 50miler on a Saturday and doing a sprint Triathlon the following Sunday would not be a good idea.

Returning to the night of the sad acceptance of my inability to watch trashy television shows overseas, I decided to run a marathon this May. On my birthday. Why not? I ran my first marathon on my 21st birthday…Running another one on my 27th sounds like fun!’** Mind you, the amount of time to train for said marathon will be cut a little short, but I am not worried about that. I’m not one to stick to training plans…Or train at all for that matter. However, I am determined to change that aspect of running races, as my body is not the young, limber one it was when I did my other marathons. Long gone are the days when I can decide two days before a marathon to actually take part in it, and have a functioning body post-race.

Anyway, there is a thrill associated with registering for a race. Once you click that “Register” button, or send in that mail-in registration form (which do not exist with too many races anymore), there is no going back. The challenge of the race awaits. It is exciting! However, my mentality of “just finish the race without dying” does not apply to multisport races. Different emotions errupt when registering with those. A competitive drive forces me to study my past results, and the results of others in my age group…To train so that I will be faster than last year…Get through transition times quicker and more efficiently.

Finishing the Luxembourg Marathon--my first marathon

Finishing the Luxembourg Marathon–my first marathon, 2007

Do you share similar thoughts and feelings towards racing?

*I admit it, I watch TRHW.

**Not too many people consider running marathons fun. Truth be told, it is fun when you finish.

***I convinced Kevin to run the marathon with me in May. This will be his first marathon. Ohh what I can convince people to do.  

She Lives!

Nowadays, it is rare when I find myself wide awake in the early hours of the morning. Late night midnight or early two am runs have not occurred in over a year now.After tossing and turning, I decided to get up and do something productive since I could not sleep. And what better way to beat insomnia than write a blog post? Yes, I do realize it has been for-e-ver since I have written.

Mother nature has been acting rather odd as of late.  From digit-freezing weather to giving us a glimpse of springtime, only to take that glimmer of reminiscing how amazing spring is away from us. I did go out on a couple road rides bundled up as a riding ninja, but not as much as I have been riding in the past due to the fact I lost one of my beloved lobster gloves. Bad circulation + riding in freezing temperatures = me unable to use my hands for a couple hours post-ride until they thaw…Which is an incredibly painful process. Spring, please come soon.

I was able to, however, capture a couple awesome shots of the frozen land.

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Trail run

Trail run

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Frozen ride

…So was Kevin on weekend days when I had to work.

A little too close to the ridge for my comfort.

A little too close to the ridge for my comfort.

Due to the lost glove, I’ve been spending more time on the trainer (ugh), and Kevin actually purchased rollers so he could ride indoors.* Note: He once told me that he would never ride indoors. I’m pretty sure he was jealous of my indoor riding and wanted in on the fun. I even captured a moment of him trying out my set-up before he realized what he was missing.

Caught!

Caught!

In between working way too much ( it IS possible for this girl to turn into a workaholic), my baking adventures continue, as evidenced by the photo below. If colleagues decide I should quit nursing and bake all the time, I guess the baked goods are noteworthy.  That, or I’m just a lousy nurse–I prefer to think the former.

Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

Chocolate chip cookie dough cupcakes

Since I do not like cupcakes/cake, Kevin has been an eager guinea pig to test my creations before they head to work. In the meantime, I’ve become a fan of making smoothies (which is a post in itself) in an attempt to consume healthy things. Below is one with almond milk, peanut butter, banana, blueberries, chia seeds, and ground flax seeds. Vegan/vegetarian friendly and ohh-so-delicious, especially post workout.* I’m looking for protein powders to perhaps add, if anyone has suggestions of a good type/brand?

Mmmmm

Mmmmm

On the subject of nursing, nursing outside of the workplace has actually come in handy numerous times. For example, having your bag with scissors and tape allows for improptu Valentines Day gift wrapping in your car. I can also just lounge in–clean– scrub bottoms when I am too lazy to even put on sweat pants on a day off. Now that, there, is just plain LAZY lazy.

Well, I suppose I should try to get some zzz’s in before Kevin and I head to Europe later today. Yup, going back to my homeland! When I return, photos from the trip will be shared, and training for races will resume.

Happy February everyone!

Post script: Since writing this, I found my second Lobster glove!

 

What? No Suspension?

If the world does not know, they will now: Kevin recently got a new mountain bike. I’ve shared how amazing he is on a mountain bike, not to mention amazingly patient when going on rides with me. And I never realized until the other day, that I have not given him nearly enough credit for his ability to handle a bike on rocks, over roots, through mud, especially since he’s been riding a bike with no suspension.

Having multiple bikes within eyesight, or new bikes I should say, cast some sort of strange spell on me, and, for reasons unknown to me, I thought it would be interesting to try out a non-suspended mountain bike. To be more precise, Kevins mountain bike.

And, before I continue, I must apologize to him for what I am about to share, since he doesn’t know what happened until he reads this

Dean

Dean

I think it was fatigue from long, tough hours at work that caused me to think riding a rigid mountain bike would be a good idea. Why not? Nice day for a ride…All I had to do was change the seat height, and change the pedals. (The bike was still too big for me to ride with the seat post lowered…But that did not stop me.) As I went to take his pedals off so I could use mine, I was met with resistance that a giant with the strength of a thousand giants—those suckers were stuck on! (Excuse my lame analogy of giants and strength…) Did Kevin not grease his threads?!?  Kevin, the man who told me the importance of greasing any threads on a bike when he taught me how to assemble a bike? I was aghast. After what seemed like eternity trying to take off his pedals I was able to do so with success. For you readers out there, please, grease the pedal threads before installing them onto your bike. It makes it much easier for the person who wants to secretly ride your bike to take them off.

I began my ride along a road, and the bike felt like riding any other bike on pavement, hence leading me to believe it was easy. It only dawned on me, suddenly, upon entering Ferncliff forest that perhaps this “great idea” I had was not such a “great idea.” All you have to do is let your legs and arms be the suspension, Mol, legs and arms was my mantra. For the first few dips and turns, all was well in the world. Yes, the bike was big, and yes, my arms and legs felt like they were disconnected from my body, but I was riding.

Then I came up to trees lying across the path. Ohh crap, trees…Yes, Molly, those are the same trees that have been lying across the path for the past two years you’ve been riding those trails. With my full suspension bike, I just let the bike do the work for me. And so I prepared to go over the trees like I would on normally. Alas as I started to get ready to raise the handle bars, I realized there is no front suspension fork. Panicking, I forced the bike over the tree only to to be startled by lack of suspension and fell. Ka-Boom!

First thing I thought of, “is his bike okay?” (don’t you worry, I researched the value of the bike before I rode it…Man, are Dean Bikes pricey) not if I had any broken bones, which I had not, thank goodness. Part of me thought I should just turn around, and that nothing positive could come out of riding a rigid bike. Not to mention, a bike that wasn’t mine.

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Did I listen to the little voice in my head telling me to turn around? Pshh, me? No way. I continued through the forest on the bike attempting to stay on the bike and not off it, and low and behold there have been some changes done to the forest paths…Which are pretty awesome, if I must admit. However, those changes must wait until I have my full suspension bike back…Heaven knows what bones or frames would be broken if I were to attempt them on a rigid. The powers within me decided that it was probably most practical to stop the ride and head back while my Kevins bike was in one piece.  Every rock caused my brain to rattle within my skull and arms feel like putty from my death grip on the bars. I think that encounter will fulfill my “longing” to ride a bike without suspension for….meh…the rest of my life.

On a different note, on my run today on pavement, a car stopped and thanked me for wearing such brightly colored, reflective outerwear. I was completely surprised, but it is hard to miss a girl running in bright blinding neon colored jacket, head band, and bright pink running shoes…So, dearest driver, my pleasure for blinding you with my assortment of awesome 3M reflective attire. I will continue to do so with you in mind.

Note: since this has been written, the pedals have been placed back on the Dean with lubricant.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

What’s been happening this holiday season?

My man ran his second Turkey Trot, and is a Speedy Gonzales. I decided he will start training for a marathon after the first run we did together…He just doesn’t know it yet.

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I think my taste in shoes rubbed off on him.

No one can miss two people running in these shoes.

He has been a true sport, indulging in my (perhaps sometimes excessive) love for this season; from dragging him around Rhinebeck to look at store displays and holiday decorations to  watching a Muppet Christmas Carol with me…Okay, he fell asleep five minutes into the movie, but he started watching it with me, and put up with me singing along with the muppets to what might be the best Christmas soundtrack out there. Last weekend, we were able to have a “late” night out on the town, giving me the opportunity to snap a zillion photos, and force Kevin to take photos in front of the Rhinebeck Christmas tree.

All dressed up ready for dessert

All dressed up, ready for dessert

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He gives “digging in” a new meaning

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It’s his, “What did I get myself into with this crazy girl?” look.

Sinterklaas came!

Sinterklaas came!

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Kevin was a little jealous of Santa…

I was able to decorate trees that Martha Stewart would be proud of. From this:

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The tree was a little heavier than I thought…And a little larger…

To this:

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The best gifts ever, homemade chainring ornaments with spoke hanger-things, had to come out from their hiding place, and hang on Molly crafted garlands.

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Even Kevin got in the spirit when decorating his tree with the five ornaments he owns…He was warned of how excited I get in the winter last year when he was greeted at his front door with a strange girl holding a bag of Christmas tree ornaments in one hand, and four foot tree–already put together–in the other. Yes, that girl was me. To be fair, I waited until after Thanksgiving this year to decorate his house for Christmas. All I need is for Silk soymilk to come out with their Chocolate mint milk, and I’ll be all set for the season.

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Nurses rock, even snow-woman nurses

Nurses rock, even snowman nurses

My bike is very happy that the weather in December has been amazing as of late. Yes, I miss the time when I didn’t have to worry about losing feeling in my digits, but I could get used to having no snow, even as much as I love white winters.

So long, warm autumns...

So long, warm weather…See you in a couple months

I seem to find new trails–or make my own trails thinking they are actual trails– and come across crazy bike obstacles going down hills. I thought about trying out my skillz on said obstacles, but then decided my arms and legs are much more useful to me when not broken.

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Mountain bikes seem to be accumulating in the barn. Watching Kevin play on his new full suspension bike was like watching a little child receiving the toy truck he asked Santa for…So long, rigid Dean…

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My man’s got skillz

…Kevin will be found on a bike with a suspension fork from now on.

Kevins full suspension bike

And I leave you with a song straight from a Muppet Christmas Carol.

Happy Holidays!

"Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas"

“Wherever you find love, it feels like Christmas”

Girrrrl…You Be Fine in Those….Pearl Izumis?!?

Nah, I’m only kidding.  It’s almost impossible to look good in padded, spandex shorts–unless you are one of those “less-than-3-percent-body-fat-getting-paid-to-ride-all-those-miles” athletes out there. Believe you me, if I was paid to bike, perhaps I would be able to model cycling gear. And, as much as I think I’m close to looking like the Assos™ model below, I’m further than looking that way in Pearl Izumis™ than circling the entire universe twenty times.

Do you think she rides? I mean, if she is modeling cycling bibs, she must.

Seriously, how often do you see riders strutin’ their stuff in cycling gear when off the bike? Usually, there is a mad dash to the baggy pants or shorts once a ride is over with (there are exceptions, of course…Races, mostly). Really. I’m starting to think that I should start downhill biking. Those riders have it figured out:

(1) The knee pads, elbow pads….Heck, full body armour. I could have used that on my fall fests mountain bike rides.

(2) Baggy baggy. No doubt, there are usually padded tighter garments underneath, but who knows? With the shorts, long jersey… you could be hiding all sorts of stuff under your clothes (not that I do that…But, if I were to, my wads of tissues and chap sticks wouldn’t be all over the place).

(3) You still get the thrill of riding, and keep all body parts nicely hidden and, well, hidden.

She’s got the idea.

The thought of how I must look was brought to my attention the other morning at 0430 when I was caught on the torture device–sweating more than the average person, in those great pearl izumis and sports top. I’ve mentioned it before: no one under any circumstance is allowed to see me on the indoor trainer. My man included. But alas, he did not know me when I first started riding indoors, and although we’ve joked about how one day, I will have my own “workout space,” he has never actually seen me in the act. And, he didn’t get the memo of “let the house burn down before you dare see me,” as I nearly died of a heart attack that morning when he appeared at my side. The blaring “Energy 52’s Cafe Del Mar” from my iPod silenced everything around me out; yes, that is what I listen to; hence not hearing him approach.

“WHAT THE–GO! YOU CAN’T SEE ME!” I screeched, ripping out my ear phones.

“I’ve never actually seen you on the TD.”* My man even calls the trainer the “torture device” now. I told him once I would get him one for Christmas, so he can ride inside like all the cool kids when it is super cold out, but his mental images of me falling off and how “dangerous they are” has him swearing never to get on one.

“Well, that is for a reason. Go…Run…Or something.” Yes, I’m Miss Pleasant Personality when on the trainer, even to those I love, ignoring his attempts to save himself with his, “but you look great” comments. Now, the Fox Racing™ downhill long-sleeve jersey and shorts will be worn while on the trainer.

Despite my unflattering, fashion backwards cycling-running-scrubs- or, everything in my ownership, Tom Ford and Óscar de la Renta would hail my amazing fashion sense as of late. Yup, I actually bought a real person shirt, grown up jeans…AND boots. All you fashionistas out there better watch your backs cause this girl does in fact know a thing or two about how to ‘work-itttt’ in kick-butt high-heeled boots and skinny jeans.** So, I might still have issues actually walking in the boots (going down stairs is a real kicker), but I have them to drool over. Furthermore, the sneakers and new carbon cycling shoes I acquired the same time as my amazing shopping spree might just get more wear and tear than the boots…Pshh, minor details.

**Somehow, wearing tight jeans is okay compared to tight padded athletic leggings, especially in boots you can’t walk in.

Riding High and Riding Low

Working as a nurse, or in any profession where you are scheduled to work every other weekend, one tends to savor the weekends they do have off. Of course, being the person I am, I decided to go to work on Saturday (they were short staffed) missing what might have been one of the most gorgeous autumn days we have had to date. I recall seeing a fellow colleague who rides and having a short conversation about how devestating it was being inside with the perfect riding conditions just outside.

Yes, the weekend was cut short, but I was able to bring X on my northern Dutchess County/ Southern Columbia County folliage tour (or as I call it “foilage”) the next day as we had planned on doing the day before when I chose to go to work instead (smacking my forehead). Ok, I promise, these are the last photos of trees for this season. The weather was not as amazing as the day before, but it was still enjoyable. And, I need to give my riding companion credit for taking some of the photos. Obviously, the tour guide cannot do everything. 

Sheep

Nourishment is key on long rides. One whole serving of fruit in this.*Note: the caps are a hazard to children under three.

Sometimes the tour guide gets a little lost….

…And you cannot forget the mountain biking, which I definitely feel I am improving at. I (for the second or third time since “the incident”) made it over bridges that I have a fear of biking over. I was on cloud nine at the fact my tires moved swiftly over the bridges, effortlessly. I was so excited at the fact that afterwards, continuing on my route, I ran straight into a tree and fell. I guess with the “biking highs” come the “biking lows.”

I’m pretty sure another key point of mountain biking is actually trusting the bike. Like when you rock climb, to trust your feet. For heavens sake Mols, your mountain bike has FULL suspension! I realized that having a death grip on the bars makes it harder for the bike to move the way it wants to move. And the less control you attempt to have over the bike, the easier it is to actually move over obstacles.

My ultimate riding motivator at Jockey Hill

Someone created something new at Ferncliff

Mountain Biking Bliss

Part Two: Baking/Cooking

In an attempt to continue on my “Fall baking challenge” I have succeeded in creating a couple more fall-themed baked items, they are not, however, on the list I mentioned in one of my posts.

Yesterday after the realization I had forgotten my muffin tin that I needed in order to bake the maple cupcakes I had planned on, and frantically searching X’s cupboards for a baking dish of any kind, I decided to bake a maple cake with maple frosting instead. This cake recipe has real maple syrup in both the cake mix and frosting versus other recipes I found which used maple flavoring.

During the kitchen raid, I proceeded to find a handheld mixer which, I swear, is some sort of psychotic mixer whose slowest speed caused a hurricane of butter and sugar to splatter the walls of X’s kitchen.

As some of you may know, I dislike cakes and cupcakes. But if you like pancakes, this is the cake for you (thank you to The Baker’s Daughter website for the recipe). The aroma of maple pancakes filled the kitchen after I took the finished product out of the oven. I was caught in the act of frosting the cake–the part of cake decorating I am still working on.

Yup, frosting the cake.

Maple Cake, with Maple Buttercream drizzled with maple syrup

The finished product was, if I may say so myself, pretty incredible. And, if one of X’s co-workers shows up with some of the cake in his mouth saying, “Your girlfriend is a keeper,” than I guess it really was a good recipe.

Lastly, I need to tell the world that there are a couple food items my man can make which are drool-worthy (the pita chips for one, that I mentioned in a previous post). The other is guac (which I might have mentioned, but actually have a photo), home made pizza, and his grilled cheese sandwiches are pretty hard to beat. But, I did manage to make my first quesadilla ever, and think it turned out well (okay okay, make-shift quesadilla…more like a grilled cheese in-between two tortillas).

Perfect post-47mile ride snack for X

And now, X’s creations….

PS. For the record, let it be known to the world that for the first time in months, I got dressed up in something other than scrubs or athletic attire for a “night out on the town.” At 6:30pm after dinner, exhausted, I kept asking X how long we had to wait until it was “socially acceptable” to go out on a Saturday night–knowing that usually I’m in bed by 9pm now a days (complete opposite of years in the past, huh?) anything later than 8pm causes me internal stress…Okay, slight exaggeration. Anywho, going out, blow drying my hair, and “dressing up” is such a rarity, not only X is surprised, but, apparently, family members are as well: “So, I guess Mol cleans up pretty nicely, doesn’t she?”

After an Attack by a Dog…

….I realized my fear of dogs chasing me while biking is a valid fear to have.

However, dear readers, this is not about the dog attack. But, before I do start, do not fret; the bite did not break skin, incase you were worried. It did “freak me out,” and, increase my speed. It has always been something that has caused my heart rate to increase: when a dog starts to chase you on a bike. I’ve heard of it happening to other people, but never to me. I guess I can now say that it has, indeed happened to me.

I thought, as I sit here waiting for my homemade pita chips to cook in the oven at 1am (something my man has always made…watch me, and I will probably screw it up), I thought I would continue this post I began before work. And  as a warning, if you are someone who hates trees, or leaves, or nature, you might want to stop reading this now–although there is more than just photos in this post.

Knowing the weather later today would be rainy, I decided to wake up early and get a road ride in before work–mostly because I wanted to document how amazingly stunning it is in Dutchess County at this time of year. And, after todays ride (and a recent mountain bike ride), I think I am gaining the strength I lost from Lymes back, which is awesome. I plan tri training sometime in the near future, once work settles down and I don’t work an insane amount.*Note: since writing this, I have signed up for some running races on my weekends off! 🙂 **Second note: going for a 30 mile road ride before working a 9hr shift where you are on your feet for about 98% of those 9 hrs with no breaks whatsoever, isn’t the best idea in the world. Ohh how I love nursing.

View from Ferncliff fire tower

Onteora Lake in the fall….

As for the baking, I did manage to make cinnamon buns with maple frosting, however forgot to add the yeast (perhaps a sign I’ve been working too much?), but was successful at making one of my recipe goals: homemade pumpkin pop tarts, which are pictured below, before I added a glaze. They were delicious.  I am pretty sure once (1) my schedule settles down and (2) the weather turns horrible, my baking will increase.

Mmmmmm

In addition, I made caramel marbled apple bundt cake which turned out as shown below:

It looked good in the pan…Not so appealing on the ground

Yes, I dropped in on the ground. Kitchen mishap. Major bummer, because it smelled delicious. Probably  would have tasted yummy, too.

Alas, the pita chips are finished, and it’s time to get some food…I hope this finds you happy, healthy, and well!

Autumn Rides

“Autumn…the year’s last, loveliest smile.” William Cullen Bryant

Autumn; it might be my favorite time  of year. I was blessed to be able to live in an area where we can see the colors of the trees change from green to golden brown to shades of  golds and ambers;and to have the opportunity to jump into piles of crispy, crunchy leaves that hath fallen from trees (yes, the youth is still in me). In all honestly, where did September go? I feel the month disappeared without my knowing. I guess all the overtime at work had something to do with it.

Autumn. Think about it. Trees change colors, you do not sweat to death walking to you car….Yes, it might be chilier, and snort sleeve jersies will be replaced with long jerseys. And the change of leaves brings yet  another challenge to (esp) mountain biking, since paths are covered by leaves ( as well as rocks and roots)…Not to mention we have started the  hunting season, which brings a whole different change of mountain biking.  Thankfully, Ferncilff  Forest is a “safe’ zone for riders; i.e. hunters are not able to hunt in these zones (hallelujah!).

On my first couple days off in  a row after hellish days 0f non stop insanity at work, I decided to get back on my road bike– one which, I am afraid to say, tool somewhat of a back seat this summer. I guess with Lyme you need to pick yourself back up and just pedal, pedal,pedal to get back into the shape you once were. Not to mention, most of my recent rides have been mountain bike ones.

Running is getting better as well. I cannot believe the amount of strength I lost–but am determined to get it back, not only that, but he healthier, leaner, and stronger. As well as start swimming again. I am not going to get one little tick bite destroy the goal of mine to do a triathlon.

So, I convinced K to go for a ride with me–a road ride….And for some reason my GPS system doesn’t work (okay you got me on that one….I simply forgot my garmin–gasp. But I think it was about 35miles around through Dutchess and Columbia counties. I have done this route multiple times before, but never with someone else… I’m more of  a solo rider). Below are a few pictures–a few taken by me…the rest taken by him.

Off of River Road

 

Pretty road

River Road….Freshly pave…like riding on clouds.

K  found flowers….

And to top off the day, I created homemade pumpkin pop tarts and pumpkin cinnamon rolls….That post will follow.

To the One I Love

Dearest X,

As the blogging world knows you as “X” or “K” or “The Man,” to me, you will, and always will be, mine.

I know that life has brought its challenges, to both with you and me. And I apologize for those long awkward silences in cars whilst you would drive when I  would attempt to keep the tears streaming from behind my glasses a secret from you, in fear that you would judge me….Or judge my ability to be that strong independent girl who always kept it together. And this kind of scares me, because it has never happened before.For the 26 years I have never had to hide myself from another being– lest alone, an amazing one at that.

 

For years I have spent protecting myself from love–from the possibility of a man loving me. Furthermore  after different times of heatbreak…ones which I feel happened right after the other, I gave up on the possibility of love.

But you, Kevin, are different from all those other men who’ve caused me heartbreak and anguish.

Kevin, (and yes I am referring to you by your real name…let the blogging world know), I love you.

This past year as we’ve grown to know each other as people, I grew to know a man who is honest, sincere, accepting, and loving. It doesn’t matter whether or not I still cannot ride over certain obstacles—you merely stop and tell me it is okay if I cannot ride over–that it is difficult–that one day I will to make it …

We’ve shared numerous bike rides of different kinds, experimented with new dishes, gone cross country skiing, fished in the back yard pond, taken a couple road trips, gone for evening walks after dinner, or simply gone for walks, picking out the houses in a different life we would want. We swam at Lake Onteora for the first time together with high hopes the rope swing would be there, only to find it was no longer there.

I apologize for those nights after work, or me working 12+ hours away, not coming home to meals specially prepared by you, because you already  knew I would be an emotional rollercoaster by the time i got home.

You kill or trap spiders on my walls for me, listen to me rant, and never complain. You tell me, whether or not my day at work was shitty– that I am still an amazing nurse….If one batch of cookies comes out bad, I always have another time to make them,

And despite the person inside me who wants to be perfect at anything I do, I do know that it takes time to navigate the perfect line on a bunch of crooked rocks in order to ” flow over them whenever I  ease,” while on a mountain bike, and a long life ahead of me to do athletic events that I want.

You know me better than anyone–you know exactly what I am thinking, and are definitely the voice of reason between us, i.e. when I was sick from Lyme you told me not to do a race I  really wanted to do, knowing that if I did attempt it, I would not get the result I wanted, leaving me with a heavy heart….Which is exactly what would have happened.

One day, I promise, I will be able to ride over those ridges with ease; without you having to wait for me.  I will finish the line; I will finish my baked good or what have you. I will finish it, with a smile on my face, and you to thanks.

 

And, the thing is, whether you gave me a hug or made dinner for me–the moment you held me in your arms I knew I was safe and loved, and everything would be okay.And after one full year…

Kevin, I love you.

Pure and simple. You are the man who has saved me from my fears, taught me to face my fears and have  loved me unconditionally. And for that, I love you, X, “the Man,” or for the first time ever spoken, Kevin.My best friend,and teacher.

Love, Me

 

 

Verd-Mont

Remember in one post I wrote about wanting to take a Molly-style (aka spontaneous, unplanned) gettaway–as well as do some biking adventures? Well, it all happened on my last trip of the summer, and only trip now that I think of it, of summer 2012. It was the ultimate time of relaxation that I’ve needed after working way more hours than I should be, as well as to spend some quality time with K after he  jokingly expressed (yet not so jokingly) one night, “Yeah, I think I have a girlfriend, but I haven’t seen her in days ’cause she’s been working a lot.”

We headed to Rutland, Vermont to do what we usually do– bike and hike. Neither of us really had concrete plans as to what we were going to do. The sole thing we did know was where we were staying–the Inn at Long Trail— a hiker , road/mountain biker (and in the winter skier) friendly Inn with a-m-a-z-i-n-g breakfasts. After staying there and overhearing stories of hikers who were there to spend a night off the Appalachian Trail, on my bucket list I also want to, one day, hike the whole Appalachian Trail. Plus, I already have my hiking alias: Bridges. Well, that,or Mama Goose. I guess I have time to decide on which one to use.

I, and my partner in this adventure, were surprised that there is not really too much to do in Rutland, except for a jaw-dropping mountain bike park called Pine Hill Park. It is what mountain bike clubs in the Hudson Valley should aspire to when they do trail work. Perhaps a reason for the half dozen riders we met in the park, all of whom knew or were members of Fats in the Cats. Yes, there was something slightly odd about having post-ride drinks at dysfunction junction with fellow Hudson Valley riders. Small world? Anyway, I would travel to Rutland just to bike at the park, which also has pedestrian paths which bikes are not allowed on (oh…So that was why there were no bikers on those paths?!?)

Entering the park

Pre banged up knees shot

The park is stunning. Flowing single track, suspension bridges, some technical terrain, and breathtaking views.

K riding up some boulders

Bridge

All smiles

View from Overlook

My trail name is Bridges.

Broken Handlebar?!?

When not riding, we did some hiking around the Long Trail Inn, climbing up Pico Peak the morning before returning to the Hudson Valley.

A view of Pico Peak–where we eventually hiked

Gorgeous

Just struttin’ along

Ascent

Break

An hour and a half later, look how far we came!

Brim-hitting-mountain-climbing-PDA

When not hiking, we explored a Woodstock not known for its music festival, and found excuses to eat*.

Mmmm finally satisfying my iced coffee craving

I love covered bridges

Who spelled the name wrong?

Once last one for the folks back at home

And before we knew it, it was time to head home. I cannot wait until another weekend adventure!

*If you find yourself in Rutland, definitely head to Roots Restaurant to eat. It serves all locally grown food, at reasonable prices, in a chic atmosphere.

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