Saturday, March 10, 2012

falling in love.. again.. (cycling vs. running)

As promised in an earlier post, I'm going to share my cycling adventures that I've been having in New York.

I'm riding the 5 boro bike tour in May, in NYC. For anyone who doesn't know what that is (all my west coasters!) it's a 40 miles race through all five boroughs of New York City. It's not really a race however, since 32,000 people ride in it, which makes it the biggest biking event in America. 40 miles isn't a lot, but I'd rather have the ride be easy and fun, instead of hard. Therefore I've been training with two teams. First is the team I'm actually riding the tour with, a women's team called "WE bike". We do training rides, and it's a good community to ride with.

I've also been training with the NYU cycling team, which is a racing team. Although I'm not racing with them, I do spin twice a week. I also met a few friends through the team that I ride outside with. I like spin, but I also like getting out and riding outside, along the rivers or in central park. Cycling will never be the same as climbing, but it totally has a place in my heart now.

However... my bike is unavailable at the moment, since I'm home! I've been here since late Thursday night, and all I did yesterday was enjoy the outdoors and spend time with people I've missed. I went running yesterday, on a dirt path I used to train for cross country on. Back in NYC, I've been hating running, I dread going out, and I sometimes make up excuses as to why I shouldn't go running. I thought my dread for it was just because I had lost interest in the activity, but I continued since it's a healthy way to exercise. Yesterday when I went running I heard myself running for the first time in months, there were no ambulances, people, cars, honking, or subway trains. I heard myself breath, my thoughts, and the animals and natural sounds around me. When I started my run, I told myself just to go for 10 minutes and I could turn around. Somewhere around the 7 or 8 minute mark, I realized that I was running, on dirt, alone, and peacefully. There were hills, inclines, and declines (unlike Manhattan), but since I was so psyched to be able to freely run, I motivated myself to push myself up the hills and to run faster than I have in months. Instead of making up excuses to why I would allow myself to turn around, I just wanted to keep running and running, soaking in the sun and dirt. I can't believe I forgot how awesome running to run is, and how much the setting really changes those feelings.

I'm totally sore today, thanks to running for the first time on hills and awhile, and also the hike I took with my friend in Berkeley. I've never been on this trail, or heard of this trail, but it's one of the best I've seen very close to my house. I think it's called the Claremont trail, or Claremont hill. Basically you climb up a huge hill almost behind the Claremont, and look down and see the ENTIRE Bay Area. It's incredible, hard, but also beautiful at the top. Not a time consuming hike, but most definitely challenging.

For the most part, I plan on running, hiking, and enjoying home cooking while I'm here for a week. I have a midterm to study for, and some doctors appointments, but it'll be a good week. On Thursday, my Dad and I will be flying to Colorado for two days, and I'll for sure do a post on that. :)

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