I Got a New Bike!

I guess the title of this post pretty much gives away the surprise, huh? Well, in either case, I got a new bike! I got a new bike! I’m pretty darn excited if you couldn’t tell already.
New BikeIf you read my recap on the Baldcypress Challenge, you may remember my issues with the hybrid bike I had during that race. Apparently, hybrid bikes aren’t made for speed (go figure) so I was SIGNIFICANTLY slower than a lot of the other participants. This was, of course, a huge blow to my self-esteem at the time and I spent a lot of the race getting down on myself. After talking to Ed, my sister, and Luis, I realized a lot of the issue lied in my bike and that if I wanted to continue to cycle as part of my workouts/training, then I needed to get a new one.

While I do want to continue to bike as part of my workouts since I’ve been really enjoying it, I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a bike since I’m not sure if this is just a fleeting infatuation or something I will be interested in long term. Enter Craigslist. Ed spent some time scouring Craigslist to see if there were any viable options or “fixer-uppers” we could rehab and, luckily, we found a good entry level road bike the first day! The woman selling it said she had only used it a few times because it was too big for her and she didn’t feel comfortable riding on it. Since she was a few inches shorter than me, it fit my height pretty well and we scored it for only $90 (it was listed as $100, but Ed negotiated the price down)! Major score!
New Bike HandlesAfter some minor adjustments like tweaking the handles/brakes and getting new pink hand wraps (yes, the pink hand wraps were NECESSARY), she was up and ready to go! It is truly amazing how much faster this bike is than the hybrid. While this is by no means a top of the line bike, it still blows the hybrid out of the water. I couldn’t believe the difference in speed the first time I rode it.

With increased speed and riding frequency comes increased risk for falling though and I have learned this the hard way! On Saturday, Ed and I went out for a quick 15-20 minute bike ride before he left for work. On the way back to my house, I looked down for 2-3 seconds at my watch and by the time I looked up, I was heading right into the back of a parked truck! My life flashed before my eyes and I had just enough time to turn my bike so I wouldn’t slam into the back of the truck. While I did manage to avert the truck, I turned too abruptly and fell (very roughly) to the ground. I may or may not have sobbed like a baby for a good 20-30 minutes while Ed cleaned out my wounds. I’m tough, I swear. As painful as the wounds were, I’m very lucky that I didn’t hurt myself more and I learned a valuable lesson early on in my riding adventures – keep your eyes on the road!
Bike woundLike the tough cookie that I am, I was up and riding the very same day though. No parked cars or bleeding wounds can stop me! Yesterday, Ed and I did a 15 mile bike ride in the morning before work and I’m really enjoying using biking as a cross-training tool for running. It gives my knees a nice break and perfectly accents my weekly interval training and long runs. Woot!


Now the only question is, what do I name my bike? Suggestions? I want to name it something fun/clever!

Posted in fitness | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Weekend Snapshots

Friday night 6 miler
Friday 6 milerWound from my first bike wipeout :(
BIke wipeout woundA walk with friends fueled by Krispy Kreme donuts
Corrina & DonutSummer Ale Festival at the Philadelphia Zoo
Me at ZooSummer Ale FestivalGorilla at ZooAng, Ed, & me at Summer Ale FestivalUnderground Donuts (the top left was a Captain Crunch donut – SO yummy!)
Underground donutsSunday morning breakfast in bed courtesy of Ed (Crab Eggs Benedict w/ strawberries & coffee)
Sunday Breakfast in BedTrip to the Dog Park
Dog Park Sunday

Tell me what fun things you guys did this weekend!

Posted in fitness, fun | Tagged , , , | 18 Comments

My Mind’s Happy Weight vs. My Body’s Happy Weight

Just a brief little disclaimer before I start this post: I know the topic of weight is sensitive for some, so if you feel this post may evoke any negative emotions, please feel free to skip it!

Truth be told, I can’t remember at what age I started to care about or give any thought to my weight. I don’t ever remember having a scale in my house growing up and I don’t have any distinct memories of my mom or older sister “bashing” their bodies whatsoever. I can’t even remember a time where either of them ever discussed their weight quite honestly. I assume, like most girls, that this is a bad habit I picked up from the media or my friends at school.

The first distinct memory I have of ever caring about my weight was right before my junior prom. My parents bought me this gorgeous satin dress that had rhinestone detailing around the neckline. It was beautiful but, as we all know, satin is not a very forgiving fabric. It shows off every bulge or ripple with a vengeance. I made it my mission to lose weight so I looked perfect in it despite already being a normal weight. A few times a week for lunch, I would bring low fat cottage cheese, a banana, and a rice cake to eat. I don’t even like cottage cheese so I would literally have to gag it down until I finished it. For some reason, I just thought that’s what you ate when you were on a diet. I also remember my friend, Matt, inviting me over to his house and he said he would make us Oreo milkshakes. While I LOVED his Oreo milkshakes, I declined the invitation because I was “on a diet” (a statement that he looked at me like I was crazy for saying).

Junior Prom (2)

Fast forward a few years and I had gained the dreaded “Freshman 15” during my first year of college at Drexel (which in actuality was more like the Freshman 20 for me). I took a nutrition course during my second semester of sophomore year to fulfill a requirement and actually ended up being really into it. Before this class, I had no idea what a calorie was or how many of them we were supposed to eat. I took the knowledge I gained in this class and applied it to my own life. Within a 3 month period, I was at my goal weight. But wait, was I? I had lost all the weight I gained during my freshman year, but decided that wasn’t good enough. I wanted to be thinner than I was freshman year because I liked seeing that number on the scale better. During this time of trying to get to my “new goal weight” one of my coworkers offered me a cookie at work one day to which I denied because once again I was “on a diet”. He laughed and made a statement about how skinny I already was to which I replied “Yes, but I want to lose 3 more pounds.” Three pounds?! Yup. I must have sounded like a lunatic.

Shortly after that conversation is when I met my now boyfriend, Ed. Like all new couples, we went through a honeymoon phase where all we did was go out to restaurants together, take walks to get ice cream, and watch movies with some take-out. As expected, I gained weight during this time. But a funny thing happened – I wasn’t so upset about it. Sure, I weighed more than I liked, but I was happier. I didn’t have to be so strict with myself all of the time and, therefore, I was less angry and bitter. Food has a funny way of controlling your mood for the better or worse.
Running on AC BEachSomething I’ve failed to mention yet is that never at any of these times during my life have I ever been overweight – not even close actually (unhealthy, yes. overweight, no). I’ve always been in a healthy BMI range (which isn’t the best indicator of health as we all know, but for purposes of this post I’ll use that as reference). Sometimes I’ve been in the lower parts of that range and sometimes in the mid-high range. So how is it possible that I attached so much weight (figuratively speaking) to my weight for so long? I have no clue actually. Really. I’d love to say I had a traumatic experience as a teenager where someone called me overweight or whatnot, but I just don’t. I have no rational reason to feel this way, which I think in itself says a lot. I think it says a lot about how fragile our self images are even though others may not see it and how easy it is to get wrapped up in an unattainable ideal.

After coming to that realization a few years back, I decided to let go of my attachment to the number on the scale (or at least try to). As it stands now, I’m about 8 pounds higher than the number I would “like” to see on the scale (like being the key word). I’ve maintained this weight consistently for the 4 years I’ve been in my relationship without many restrictions. I eat healthy a majority of the time because it’s important to me, but allow for my indulgences since they also make me happy (hello, anyone who says freshly baked cookies don’t make them happy is lying). I don’t have to workout too much or restrict my calorie intake in order to stay here. So, in my personal opinion, that’s what tells me that my body is happy here. Would I get a slight tinge of glee if I woke up and my scale read my “mind’s happy weight”? Yeah, sure. I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t. But do I let it hold any (metaphorical) weight or strive for that number? Not so much. I have my moments of weakness like we all do, but I just take the time to remind myself of how much happier and more at ease I am now.

Has your idea of what it means to be healthy and happy shifted as you’ve grown older? How so?

Posted in fitness, health | Tagged , , | 20 Comments