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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It’s Because She’s Lazy (wink)

The last couple nights at work have been insane. In the three years working as a nurse, I have dealt with numerous horrible situations, seen things which non-medical staff are unable to even comprehend, and with what happened to me, even medical staff were alarmed. unfortunately, I will not get into too much detail because of HIPPA, and the fact in those three nights I saw the most horrific things I have ever seen in real life. Saturday morning after I gave the report to the charge nurse coming in, she asked me, “Are you okay?”

“Yeah, I’m fine….”

“Your tearing up, Moll, it’s not okay.”

“It wasn’t a good night….”

I went home, and in the car found myself weeping from the events at work, the insanity, how I had managed to keep calm in the midst of chaos is beyond me. I think the tears also came as a result of exhaustion, lack of sleep, and the fact that June has basically been a horrible month for me. With sickness, a DNF, a defective and now broken heart, I decided to restart my training and do Timberman in August. It will be tough, but I have a good base behind me. And, a friend joked around that I was too lazy to finish my last HIM, which, I know was a joke, because most of those I know think the amount of physical activity I do is nuts. But with everything which has happened, the comment made me even more determined to finish this triathlon….Ohh, btw, I took the comment seriously.

Yesterday, as a result of the comment, and the fact that there is nothing better to help heal a broken heart than by having an awesome ride, swim, and run, I brought my road bike to lake onteora and rode from the parking lot, then rode up meads road to the parking lot at Overlook mountain where I switched into my trail running shoes and ran up and then down towards Indian Head Mountain. It ended up being a 16mile trail run, one which I needed to digest everything which has happened to me this past month. But in retrospect my legs were not prepared for it.

I have not been on a trail run for months, and miss it so much (kind of hard to do trail running in the dark).

After maybe 5 or 7  miles I came across this area where there were just slabs or slates of rock. It was right near the mountains edge and I never even knew it existed on my other runs along the road to Indian Head Mountain.

Closer to the edge, there were chairs made out of slate and stone that overlooked the hudson valley, and from there I could see how far I had run from the fire tower at the top of the fire tower.

wow, so far away from the fire tower on overlook!

The views closer to the edge, despite being somewhat hazy, were pretty awesome.

looking out over the hudson valley

After finishing the run, and seriously dehydrated, I stopped at Bread Alone to fill up my camelback and water bottle and continue my ride back to the lake.  Once I was at the lake, I was hot and drench in sweat, and exhausted. But the water was calm and cool, and I went for a 45 min swim in the late which was incredibly peaceful. I love lake Onteora! The water was cool, and still, and it was only me in the lake swimming. For the first time I felt internal peace, which I haven’t felt for a long time.

So, to those who even joke around about this girl being lazy, beware, I might take it seriously.

Below is the bike route I did

Lake Onteora to Overlook to Glasco Turnpike and back down to lake onteora

Mmmmm olives. Salty,juicy, yumm

On my way back I stopped at Adam’s Fairacre Farms for food, because I had nothing to eat before I started the ride and run and was 1) so thirsty from dehydration and 2) starving. And, I managed to eat three containers of olives (mmmmm they tasted a-m-a-z-i-n-g), although now the thought of eating any more olives makes me feel nauseous….

And now I leave you with a song that was stuck in my head on my run.

I Think I’m Going to Die

Life is all about learning lessons, and I’m going to share some that I’ve learnt the hard way, with you, so that you will not repeat them, as in many of my blog posts. This might be one of the most important lessons yet: It’s really, really, REALLY stupid to go for a 46mile tough ride after being deathly ill with whatever gastrointestinal bug that was going around work. Believe me when I tell you this. Learn from my mistakes. Don’t do it.

After spending the last 48 hours cooped up inside, and cancelling a coffee meeting due to this illness (which upon finding out, I was scolded by my friend for doing) I awoke feeling refreshed and needing to spend time in the fresh air.

J.G.: “Um, you canceled meeting K to go for a bike ride?”

Me: “But I was sick!”

J.G.: “Mol, you went for a freaking 46 mile bike ride!”

Me: “But, when I cancelled, I was sick!I couldn’t consume caffeine.”

J.G.: “You’re NUTS!”

Me (after a long sigh): “Yeah, I know.”

If you are nuts like me, and could consume a banana without vomiting, perhaps you would have done the same thing. Or, maybe not. It was in the high 40’s for goodness sake. I couldn’t bear to sit inside on my couch.

A couple weeks ago I complained to my coach that I was getting tired of riding on route 9 and asked her if she had any routes that I could do. In response, she told me I could bring my bike somewhere and ride–I didn’t always have to ride from my house–and gave me a website with routes that she has completed. And today I thought, why not go for a ride? My stomach can tolerate the consumption of a banana, and I’m game for an adventure.

Oh, was I wrong.

I decided to go somewhere I’ve never been before. A friend asked me if I tell people where I’m going when I go for long rides, or on “Molly adventures” as she calls them. “No, but I do bring my cell phone with me, and a first aid kit.” (Note: make sure your cell phone is fully charged before you go. Having a cell phone with a dead battery is of no use whatsoever incase you do have an emergency).

I started off in Phoenicia, a little town where I’ve never been. In fact, you really do not need to go there either. There isn’t really anything there. Sitting in the front seat of my car with a sick-to-my-stomach feeling, I looked down at the directions in my lap and it dawned on me,  no wonder I get lost easily. My “directions” are really the worst directions anyone could ever write.

So, I thought, perhaps it might be a good idea to see if the “grocery store” had a map. And, I needed gatorade and felt my sugar begin to drop and I wanted to also get a powerbar. I entered the small shop, and was actually slightly creeped out, which rarely happens to me. I walked down the aisles of dust covered cereal boxes and overpriced food and managed to find a Gatorade, but to my dismay, there were no powerbars. They did have maps though! I asked the kind lady behind the counter if there was anyplace to park in this lovely small quaint town, and she said I was welcome to park across from the post office.

I sat back in the front seat of my horribly dirty car and studied the map in my lap and chugged the gatorade.Okay, I’m ready. I unpacked my car, hopped on my bike, clipped in, and was off. Note: Chugging Gatorade after being unable to even consume Ginger Ale, is not a good idea. Emesis of fruit punch flavored fluids may occur.

I’m not going to lie, the ride was hard. Very hard. So hard that, for the majority of the ride, I thought I might die. “Ride the hills harder on this ride, so your heart rate is in zone 3” were the weekly directions from my coach. It’s safe to say my watch kept beeping to tell me I was in zone 4, and my heart rate was too high. No wonder at some points I thought my heart was fibrillating and going to jump out of my throat; my heart rate was in the 190’s.

Ouu, I've never been so close to Hunter Mountain before!

I rode up, and down, and around on winding roads that I’ve never been on, and managed to survive the waves of nausea that accompanied the twisting roads. I passed through Tannersville, which oddly reminded me a bit of Woodstock, and through Pallenville, which I haven’t been to since I was a youngster. And, I passed Kaaterskill Falls, thanking God as I coasted down the long, long hill on route 23A that I did not decide to do this route in reverse like I had originally planned. Because going in reverse, there is a MAJOR incline. For miles. And, had I done that, I think I really would have died.

Looking back up at what would have killed me.

Who knew the highest waterfalls in NY were so close by?

Whilst riding, I realized that there is a reason why my coach, who has completed full Ironman races, the  S.O.S., and other major triathlons (she’s truly amazing) is in amazing shape. If I did these rides like her on a regular basis, I’d be in terrific shape, too.

Phoenicia->Palenville->Phoenicia Route

The roads continued to go up, and down, and around. I stopped a couple times to glance at my map (BEST purchase ever) because I was afraid I was lost, and being lost in the Catskills is not where you want to be. But, upon reaching Glasco Turnpike, I knew exactly where I was. Then again, there are only so many Glasco Turnpikes outside of Woodstock of which I’m aware.

When dehydration sets in, you find signs like this funny.

In all honesty, it was perfect weather for riding, and going down hills were nice. When you go for long rides, or tough ones I should say, you really should bring something to eat incase your blood sugar plummets, and make sure you have enough water. Thankfully I was smart enough to pack a banana with me which I think might have saved me from a hypoglycemic coma in Shandaken.

On all of my recent rides, to my dismay, I have not passed other cyclists. I know other people do go out for rides, just not on weekdays when I go, since I tend to work on weekends. However, I was very excited to pass two cyclists, who, imagine this, I actually recognized. Okay, the fact I was close to Woodstock, and the fact they were wearing yellow jackets with red, green, and black stripes across the chest, kind of gave them away.

Sickler Road

Finally, after what I felt was hours of pedaling (and indeed, it was hours), I made it safely back to my embarrassingly dirty car.

Upon arriving home, I opened my e-mail to find one from my coach which read the following:

How was your long ride today? You weren’t on 212 by any chance–Steve said he passed someone who looked like you.

And, after laughing, I replied,

Yes, that was me. I thought I passed him. Your routes are killers!

Breakfast at Tiffany’s was in my head for the majority of the ride. Thank you, Pandora, for putting me through even more pain than I was already in.

Peace, love, and Iced Coffee

Modern day hippie

Yesterday I went out on ride, determined to get to Woodstock from where I live. In the past, I have driven to Woodstock, and have ridden my bike up close to Woodstock, but never actually made it into the small, quirky town in upstate New York, where time seems to have stopped in 1969.

I actually wrote yesterday about this trip, so I will not be redundant about my navigation skills. But eventually, I found my way to Woodstock, New York, where shops are cluttered with old black and white photographs of famous musicians from the ’60’s, tie-dyed shirts flutter in the wind, and people sit on the corner shirtless and play the drums once a day.

I set out for a goal, and that was to get to Woodstock. There’s some great riding up there in the Catskills if you like lots of hills. But after being lost in Saugerties (I know, who gets lost in such a small town?), riding in 95 degree heat and the sun blazing down on you, I was not to thrilled about these rolling hills. And for some reason, the shade from the trees was on the other side of the road that I was riding on.

Despite my silent groans, I wanted to get to Woodstock…Not only to sit and people watch for a bit, which is an activity I often do when I go to that town…But more importantly, so that I could get some coffee. Iced Coffee.

Ahh, after I don’t know how long of going up and down and dehydration and getting lost, I made it, and rode right up to Bread Alone Bakery for that glorious, burnt sepia colored liquid gold–aka Iced Coffee. As a rule, I always carry a couple of dollars whenever I go riding incase something happens (and $2 will magically fix everything, ofcourse), and when I entered the town, my two wrinkled, sweat-soaked dollar bills were taken out from their hiding place under the sole of my shoe and used to buy this beverage. God bless the barista for accepting my drenched dough. If you are in Woodstock, NY, Bread Alone has some pretty tasty Iced Coffee.

After adding just enough soy milk to raise the coffee to the brim of the plastic cup, swirling the liquid with my straw, I took it and went outside to sit on the curb (I would have sat inside in some air conditioning, but was afraid someone would steal my bike) and enjoy my “emergency” beverage for a few minutes.

Two gulps later, ice cubes remained in the bottom of the cup, and I had a brain freeze from chugging the cold liquid. I guess my attempt to savor one of the best beverages ever known to man went down the drain with my thirst.

Alas, the sharp pain to my brain was totally worth it.

When was the last crazy post written?

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