Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Am I Crazy - Probably!

There is a beautiful light house out there off New Castle but unseen today.
My plan for today was to get up early and get my ride in before the rain which was predicted for 1:00ish.  I got all dressed for cold, wet weather and headed out.  There was a lot of sea spray on my windshield.  Once I was away from the ocean I had to admit that it wasn't sea spray, perhaps it was rain.  I found my way to New Castle, NH, a very sweet island to the east of Portsmouth. I have raced here several times but never been on a bike here and it seemed like a great place to start my ride. I parked at the spot where the race always started.  I got out of my car, unlocked my bike, locked my bike back up and got back in my car. It was freezing and miserable.  I sat there for a very short time and then tried again.  I didn't get all ready and drive there to not even give it a try. I thought I would at least bike around the island. I did wish I had my running stuff as that would have seemed a bit easier to head out for.  This is a great island and I was soon riding along roads that hugged the coastline. I stopped to take a picture but wasn't sure I would be able to as my hands were freezing. Nothing else was particularly cold (you should have seen all I had on)  but there was nothing I could do about my fingers.

I could have taken so many pictures but fingers too cold,
too much trouble to get the camera out of the baggie,
a pain in the rain......
I continued on, past a school - (do they need a teacher - you can see the ocean from some windows!) and along the course I did the 10K on.  One time my husband did this with me and this route brings back many good memories!  You cross various bridges and end up in Portsmouth. I was kind of guessing at the way but decided I would go through Portsmouth and access New Castle from it's other end to return.  I still hadn't completely decided what I was going to do but it seemed foolish to set out for a long ride in the rain and cold. My son's disgusted voice kept playing in my ear when I had casually mentioned I might ride in the rain.  You won't consider riding if it's raining will you? My husband told me to watch out for potholes. Perhaps my family is worried about me when I go away that I might come back with a new injury.  I made a wrong turn and ended up going up  a ramp toward a busy road. I stopped and walked back down it. If a policeman came along I was going to play the ditsy old lady card but I made it down just fine.  I went back to where I thought I should have gone and soon realized that this was the way the race had gone and I knew where I was.  When I came to the turn to New Castle, what did I do?  Why I put on my big girl panties and just kept going!  I wasn't cold. The two worst things were I couldn't wear my glasses - they got too fogged up and were useless and the brakes didn't feel like they were at their finest. But I was aware of both of these things and felt I could do just fine.  I also wished I had a blinking light or reflective arm patch.  Something to throw in for the next trip.  This trip I threw in at the last minute  my rain pants and rain coat. and baggies for my I phone and camera.......good last minute decision.  Soon I was in heaven - moving along easily with little to no traffic on the road and stunning ocean views (some of the time.)

I love riding along the ocean.

A particularly beautiful spot. You go around the corner and
there is ocean everywhere. One of the only downhills.

 I have driven this road many times so had an idea of the route.  I was surprised at how easily I was moving along.  Then it came time to turn around and oops!  The wind had been nicely assisting my forward motion and now it was time to hinder it.  At first it was okay and I do mean okay not great. I was still seeing those ocean views but my rose colored glasses were fogging up.  I was not happy with the wind, feeling wet and tired.  My butt hurt.  The farthest I had gone was 23 miles this year and I was soon past that with a lot left to do.  I really had to pee and as usual there was nowhere to go.  Whine whine whine.  But there was no choice but to continue. Oh yeah,  also couldn't get my snack open.  I knew I could make it but I played that game with myself. If someone I knew and trusted came along with a truck and offered to drive me to my car would I go?   I already have a new longest distance this year.  Well, it wasn't going to happen but I was pretty sure I would say no thanks. Once I set a goal I like to meet it.  So on I went and I finally was back in the neighborhoods and the wind lessened.  Then I was at the island. I came to a sign that said bikes needed to be walked over this bridge.
I was so glad I wasn't allowed to ride my bike on this
bridge. Not being wimpy.  Just following the law.

No problem. I wouldn't trust myself on that at all at this point.  I had planned to pee at my car but there were people watching the storm in cars right next to mine.  My ride ended up being 40 miles which thoroughly did me in!  I was bushed.  So I made my way back to Maine and DD where I finally got a cup of coffee and found a bathroom!  Then I went back to the hotel and relaxed for awhile before I headed out........for a run!
Relaxing is good.

I knew once I stepped out the door I just needed to go!  It felt pretty miserable but off I went.  It wasn't long before I was thoroughly enjoying myself.  I wasn't too warm or cold.  I headed up to the lighthouse and back down the other side of the peninsula.

I was carefully watching where I was going and when I came to the pothole I could see how I stepped in it.
An odd picture of it but you can see it could catch you unaware.

 It was right in line with where I would naturally go when I turned the corner. It was huge! I'm lucky I didn't break my ankle. So I got down to the part where I turned back to the hotel.  I made a goof and ended up on a different road that went back to the lighthouse.  Apparently I can't just run by the lighthouse I need to go up and run around the parking lot even if I was just there.  This turned my run into a 6+ mile run instead of a 4ish mile run but that was fine.  I didn't set any speed records but it felt good to have a run here that ended just fine.  Now I'm waiting for a run here in good weather.
Bike is cleaned up and ready for another ride tomorrow.

Tonight's dinner was at an awesome pub
just down the road.  Fantastic panini 
plus a local beer.  LIG


Paul said...

Not crazy. Or crazy like a fox?
seriously, enjoy the gifts there! Beautiful if rugged weather!

Average Woman Runner said...

Lovely ride, though I do hope it warms up a bit for you. Or the winds die down. It makes me smile to see your blue beauty in the pics :)

Char said...

Such a change from yesterday's photos. Where did the blue sky go? Looks like a memorable day regardless.

Fran said...

You're so hardcore! Amazing!

Darlene said...

Sorry you had rain but you are tougher than me. I would have driven my car. Hope the weather gets better today.

Kandi said...

Definitely crazy. This post made me cold! Glad you are enjoying yourself despite the weather though.

Unknown said...

crazy, but in a good way.

Black Knight said...

You are not crazy, you are a real athlete. You are tougher than the rest as Springsteen sings.....
As a former sailor I love all the pictures with the sea. As I told many times I miss the long period in the Coast Guard.

Giorgio said...

Great post of your wonderful ride along the ocean! The picture I like the most is the fifth one.
I'd like to have a dinner at that pub. Why do they put lemon slices in a glass of beer? Is it wheat beer? People in Germany used to put lemon slices in glasses of wheat beer (Weizenbier).

Michael said...

You are seriously hard core! I would have totally thrown in the towel. I have to admit, while the views are beautiful, I'm not sure I would have done the same...as a matter of fact I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have.

Teamarcia said...

Ah! I can almost smell the salt air! What a fun adventure despite the overcast. Glad you are enjoying.

Ransick said...

Awesome ride and run! You views definitely rewarded you for your effort. Might want to throw some of those chemical hand warmers into your exercise bag or bike bag for cold days.