My 65-Mile Bike Ride
Once again I created a route on the computer, and this time I was very careful to select roads that looked like "major" roads without being state highways. That's hard to do when you're not that familiar with the territory. I uploaded the route into the bike's GPS, which beeps and shows a pink line to indicate a turn. There were at least three times when the turn I was supposed to make was on a dirt road. Therefore I was forced to go off the route, not sure where I might end up but confident that with the GPS at least I wouldn't be permanently lost. (I did have a moment of horror when it occurred to me that if I ever lost the GPS signal or if the battery died or something else happened, I would be out there all alone and clueless as to which way I should go.)
To make a long story shorter than the ride I'm talking about, the route I had planned was 51 miles long, but I wound up riding 65 miles. It's hard to put an extra 14 miles in your brain when you thought all along you only had to ride 51. But I lived, no catastrophes occurred, and I'm at least a tad smarter than I was. It doesn't mean, however, that I won't repeat the same mistake again.
Wildlife on the Ride
Not long after I started riding, I saw a woman on the side of the road with her camera or cell phone. She pointed to a small pond and said, "There's a gator out there." It was kind of far off, but there was indeed a small gator sunning himself (herself?) on a piece of stump in the pond. I didn't take the time to stop and take a picture, and I thought it would be rude to say to the woman, "Sorry, I don't do gators." Later I saw a blue heron taking flight, and that I would have stopped to photograph, but it was gone before I had time. I gave a large snake a wide berth, risking an oncoming car in favor of giving the snake his own lane. I saw a box turtle or snapping turtle (not sure I would know the difference even if I stopped to inspect), and there was a cat off in the woods that was probably as startled by me as I was by it. There were NO houses around, so I wondered if it were a feral cat. I lost count of the number of dogs large and small who chased me, some with greater intent than others. Does NO ONE in Mississippi feel the need to keep dogs in fences?
Any Stores Out Here?
I left with a full bottle of water and a full bottle of Gatorade, thinking I would stop at a store when those ran out. I just thought WE lived in the country. The folks in that part of Mississippi could teach me a thing or two about living in the country. You want to know when I finally found a store? (One I had also visited in November when I first rode my bike from the casino.) It was at mile 49. I was completely out of liquid, and it was around 80 degrees yesterday. It seemed I could never catch up on fluids last night.
I enjoy playing three-card poker, and for some reason I always do well at it. There's no skill involved, so it's not like I'm "good" at it or anything. Last night was no exception. It seemed I was hitting every other hand or so, and my pile of chips built up quickly. Then we had to go to the dinner and awards ceremony for Hubby's tournament, and when I returned to the poker table afterward, the mojo was gone. It seems to work that way - if you leave on a hot streak, it doesn't come back. I think it's punishing you for leaving. I wasn't really into the game after dinner anyway, so I went to the room fairly early and left Hubby at the craps table. I decided I would come home with $100 more than I took with me, and that was almost as good as winning a jackpot.
The 5K Today
I was almost sorry I told Hubby I would like to be home by 2:00 today so I could run in a 5K that is a fundraiser for the baseball team. He's all about getting up early to come home, even if he has only had three hours of sleep. It was a 6-hour drive, but we made it home in time for me to change clothes (NOT enough time to take a nap, though) and go to the high school for the 5K. I set a new personal best (it WAS my second 5K, after all) and shaved five minutes off my previous time. I came in first place in my age division - the first time it has actually been a GOOD thing to be 50. If I had still been 49, I would have come in fourth. Running is taking a toll on my hips, though. I don't know why it only hurts my hips, and why it hurts at all, considering all the other activities I have been doing. Zumba, now THAT should hurt the hips. When I stand up, the pain is excruciating, and going up and down the stairs is a preface to what I'm sure Hell will be like. I'm going to have to reevaluate my future as a runner.
The Rest of the Story
I will omit the parts of the story dealing with Hubby's middle-school behavior and my vegetarian day. I'm not sure I can sustain the vegetarian thing. I am much too fond of chicken. I'm not a fan of steak, although I do enjoy a homemade hamburger every now and again. It will take some careful planning for me to be able to go a whole week without eating meat (#25 on my 50 Things to Do list).
Three more Mondays.....I can do this. I predict a very early bedtime tonight.