Tag Archives: bike

The zoo and a run for two

25 Jun

On Saturday we headed out bright and early for a day trip to the Bronx Zoo with our friends and their little girl. None of us had been there before and we were all just as excited as the 3 year old!

Bronx Zoo 1 rbbI was especially excited to see the giraffes. Maybe I have an affinity for all things tall?

giraffeIt’s hard to tell, but there are baboons in this photo, along with the Nubian ibex. We ate lunch next to these guys.

ibexThere were so many things to see. We were there the whole day and we only got to see about half of the exhibits and animals!

zooanimalsIt’s hard to pick a favorite, but I did really enjoy the butterfly garden and I was pretty amazed by the tigers. It was truly a fun day and I’m so glad we took the trip!


Mark and I both had our long runs planned for Sunday morning, so we made sure to hydrate, ice, compress, and get some rest after all that walking! When the morning came, we slowly got ourselves out of bed, packed a cooler with runfreshments, strapped the bikes to the car, and went to the nearby bike trail.

First, I biked while Mark ran 3.5 miles. Since it was a pretty casual ride, this loosened my tired legs up. After a little stretching, fueling, and trespassing borrowing a construction site porta-potty, Mark hopped on the bike while I ran 9 miles.

runbikeloveBy the time it was my turn, it was after 10:30 AM and the sun was getting high and hot. I started out feeling pretty good and keeping a comfortable sub-9:00 pace. After the midpoint, I started to struggle. Despite sipping on nuun and water, downing a Gu gel, and pouring water on my head, the heat and humidity really got to me. I didn’t feel like I was in some physical shut down mode – just very hot and sweaty, so I kept going at a much slower pace and just took it easy.

hotrunI didn’t start to feel absolutely miserable until after I finished those 9 miles. The PowerICE electrolyte freeze pop was pure bliss (even though it was lime flavored) and I wish I had about a dozen more of them. I worked on cooling myself down and getting some recovery fuel into my body for a while.

My body felt really weak – I actually fell asleep on the 2 mile car ride home. As soon as we got home, I spent some time under the nice cold water from the hose. Then…I threw up. Twice. (You’re welcome for that.) After some breakfast,  more nuun, and a couple of short naps, I started to feel better.

I’m not a doctor, but I think I ended up drinking too much water and not getting enough electrolytes and fuel during the run in proportion to how much sweat I was losing. (If you’re a doctor or expert and want to help me figure out what went wrong, by all means please email me because the literature on dehydration vs. overhydration is really confusing.)

I’m usually pretty cautious about planning runs in the heat, but this run apparently had to teach me a few things:

  1. Start your run as early as possible to avoid getting the sun’s most direct rays and postpone it if you need to
  2. Don’t wear a black top, no matter how thin and moisture-wicking the fabric is
  3. Skip the compression socks if the heat and humidity are so high
  4. Don’t experiment with putting nuun in one bottle and water in the other on a long run in high heat and humidity
  5. Bring double energy gels on the run, just in case

And that is how my run started happy and ended miserably. If you’ve had a similar experience before, feel free to share!


One year married and the happiest place on earth

20 May

We returned home last night from our anniversary trip to Cape Cod, but I’m still 100% there in my mind. It truly was a wonderful trip and the perfect way to celebrate the first year of our journey together as a married couple.

Speaking of, I can’t believe how fast time went by! It seemed like only a moment ago we were saying our vows in front of family and friends and now here we are a full year later, even more in love than ever. Is it cool if we still call ourselves newlyweds?


May 18, 2012

A long weekend in Cape Cod was our first trip together as a couple way back in 2008, so it was a natural choice to spend a few days there to celebrate our first wedding anniversary there.

2008 v 2013

Provincetown Then & Now

Even though we packed a lot into 4 days, the whole trip felt easy and relaxing. We spent the days exploring towns and beaches, biking to lighthouses, getting massages, shopping, wining and dining, and simply just being together. Absolute perfection.

roadtrip rbb

Road trip!

Disney claims to be “the happiest place on earth,” but I have to disagree. Theme rides and cartoon characters are totally unnecessary to me. I’m more of a sun on my shoulders, wind in my hair, sand between my toes kind of girl. Cape Cod is a place where I feel connected to myself, my husband, and nature – pure bliss. It’s truly my happy place. (The Adirondacks are a close second.)

beach hair rbb

How can you not be happy here?

Speaking of nature, we spent some time walking around the MassAudobon Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary. We got to see some beautiful birds and these itty bitty crabs crawling around the marsh. They would start crawling out of their tiny holes in the mud and then if you moved, they all sped back into their hiding places. We spent a lot of time watching these little guys.

crabbies rbb

One of the other things we did on our first day was to go for a nice bike ride on the Cape Cod Rail Trail. It’s a 22 mile stretch that runs from Dennis to Wellfleet. Since we were staying in Wellfleet, it was easy just to hop on at the end and go. It’s a beautiful path that’s marked at every tenth of a mile, so you always know how far you’ve gone!

railtrail rbbWe rode to the Nauset Light House and beach before heading back. The ride was about 11 miles total. We were sooo ready for some pizza after that!

nauset light rbb

nauset beach rbbAnother fun thing we did was a wine tasting at Truro Vineyards. It’s a small but well-known vineyard with very delicious wines. A couple varietals even come in lighthouse shaped bottles!

truro rbbI fell in love with Corn Hill Beach in Truro…

cornhill rbb…it was so beautiful that we decided to return at sunset. As the sun went down we unlocked the love letter and wine box from our wedding ceremony. Our officiant used the love letters to create our vows to each other, which were a surprise to us until the moment we recited them to each other on our wedding day.

loveletters rbb

My favorite part of the trip

markletter rbb

Mark reading my letter to him

Of course, I made sure I took the opportunity to get a nice run in to the Wellfleet marina. Technically it was a naked run, but I had my phone on to make sure I didn’t get lost, so I know that I ended up going for just under 5 miles. I want to run here all the time. 

nakedrun rbbWe spent the day of our anniversary in Provincetown. We walked and walked and walked and did a little shopping and eating. I wish I was logging our miles because I’m sure we walked at least 8 miles. We were so ready for our fancy dinner at the Red Inn!

redinn rbbThe food was incredible and we had a view of the water where a bunch of horseshoe crabs were hanging out near shore. Once we got back to the Wellfleet house we popped open some champagne and toasted to a successful first year of marriage.

anniversary rbbOur little getaway was so wonderful and refreshing, I really could go on about it all day. Mark took tons of pictures and I think I will be staring at them for a while and daydreaming about my happy place!

It has been quite a year and I am looking forward to what adventures the future will bring.

The Hills Series: Biking the Course

21 Apr

You know that thing that happens when you sign up for a particular half marathon and then you mention it to other local runners and they respond like this?:

Well, for me that would be the Jog4Jugs Half Marathon, which I will be running on May 11. The online registration page is pretty clear that it is a challenging course and from what others have told me it is essentially uphill both ways. Fortunately, the course is only a short drive away and easily accessible for a preview.

Today, Mark and I met up with my friend Jenn, who lives near the course, with plans to bike the half marathon course so I could see for myself what all the talk was about.

nikkijenn WMIt was pretty cold and windy, so we all had to bundle up.

mark wmAs soon as we headed out I could feel every single muscle that doesn’t get a lot of use while running saying, “Hey, are you sure you want to do this right now?”

Ready wmNot long after we started, Jenn got a flat tire that refused to cooperate and fill back up.

flat tire wmSadly, she had to head back home and we were all bummed that she would be missing out on the ride. After seeing her off, Mark and I returned to plotting the race course.

The course is set in a scenic area and it is beautiful! It’s full of farm land, big houses with massive lawns, streams and ponds, and bright green rolling hills.

image_10Part of the course wraps around a quiet lake as well. There’s even an alpaca farm! All around, it makes for plenty of sights to see during the race.

duane lake wmDistractions will be a very good thing during this race because it is hilly. Oh my goodness is it ever hilly. There are little hills, big hills, long hills, and short hills. The course is laid out as an overall out and back, with one loop around the lake.

jog4jugs course

All of the rumors are true. It is in fact, uphill both ways.

Uphill. Both. Ways.

Here is one of those hills:

hill1 wmAfter that hill and a few others, we went down a humongous steep one around mile 5. And you guessed it….we had to come back up that monster of a hill before mile 10.

hill 2 wmThis is only a portion of the hill, and as you can see it continues to wind further up. There were so many hills, there’s no way I could have taken enough pictures to do its hilliness justice.

Needless to say, after biking the course I was a little scared about the race in three weeks. I even told Mark my goal has changed from finishing to surviving.

scared wmOK, OK. Enough with the dramatics.

I am actually quite glad I had the opportunity to preview the whole course because I now know what I’m up against and can prepare myself a little better during these last few weeks before toeing the line. I am very glad I have been incorporating hill repeats into my training. Though, after seeing these whoppers I am going to have to use a bigger hill!

After we finished biking, Jenn made us some delicious hot tea.

guayaki wmThen we headed off for a much needed lunch at Panera Bread.

lunch wmAnd a well deserved cup of frozen yogurt!

froyo wmThis half marathon will be challenging, but I am determined to finish as strong as I can. Now I just to focus on a strategy to get me through it in one piece!

What’s your advice for getting through a very challenging race?