The official countdown is on…less than four weeks away from the big wedding day! This is also the time where all of those little details start creeping up on us. Who is going to pass out our programs? How are we going to get from the church to the reception? Do we need to purchase a fancy knife to cut the cake? Seriously, these are just a few of the things that have been occupying our minds and conversations lately. I think at this point we are just focusing on “the big picture” and trying desperately not to get caught up in the minutia of every little detail. It’s during those times when we get frustrated and overwhelmed. This weekend appeared to be one of those weekends. So, what did we do? Well, after our runs, breakfast and a few errands, we got the hell outta Austin to decompress!
We finally used my Element for its intended purpose–experiencing the great outdoors with an overnight camping trip! Ok, so neither of us are really into camping, but we gave it our best shot. We decided to head a short 40 minutes east to the Bastrop/Smithville area and set up camp (i.e. park the car) in Buescher State Park. Of course, we brought our road bikes along with an intended long ride on Sunday morning. Even though it’s so close to home, we really did feel like we had gotten out of town. We enjoyed some wine courtesy of my friend Jane from my shower the night before (yes Jane, I’ll eventually post pics from THAT shower) and enjoyed some quiet conversation about the wedding.
We also ran into a group of 12 cyclists who were part of an Adventure Cycling group that was in the middle of a cross-country bike ride. We couldn’t help but be intrigued by this and Shawn struck up conversations with a few of the riders. Here’s the thing about sports. There’s always someone who will top you! If you run a marathon, there will be someone that runs a 100 mile race. If you do an Ironman, there will always be someone that does a week-long Adventure Race. If you do the MS 150 bike ride, there will always be someone who will ride their bikes across the country. Well, we met those people. They started in San Diego in Mid-March with their final destination being St. Augustine Florida on May 25th. They ride their bikes pretty much EVERY DAY and it is totally self-supported. There’s no supply van, even though there is a guide. They carry everything on their bikes including food, tents, propane, clothing, etc. Some people are hauling 65 extra pounds on their bikes!! The “fast guys” avg 13-15 mph and the slower folks were averaging 8 miles an hour. Now that would be excrutiating. They camp every night in very primitive surroundings and cook for themselves each night. Here’s the irony…It’s an Adventure Cycling Club and not one person appeared to be enjoying the Adventure!!! They were tired, sore, injured and somewhat grumpy from having ridden through the mountains, deserts and long stretches of highways just to get to this halfway point. Understandably, all of the riders were older since not just anyone can take off over two months just to ride a bike across the country. While they were fascinating to talk with, not one of them did a good selling job of convincing me that this was an adventure that sounds all that appealing. It’s almost as if they were at the “no turning back” point and they were just riding now because they had to. I feel like if we would’ve asked them “why,” they wouldn’t have a good answer.
It really made me want to focus on the “why” for my training. While I do get tired and worn down, I still enjoy it so much. On Sunday morning, we hopped on our bikes for a hilly 25 mile bike ride. For those that know the MS 150 route, we rode the 11 mile road in between Bastrop and Buescher State Parks for an out and back. We then threw in a few extra miles around the park. While it wasn’t long on mileage, it was a great reintroduction into the hills! From Buescher to Bastrop, it took us 49 minutes, while it only took us 45 minutes on the way back. Afer throwing in a few more miles, we completed a solid 2 hour ride. My bike was feeling good and, aside from my sore quads, I was also feeling good. After our ride, we hopped off the bikes and set off on a brief 20 minute run around the park. It was a great start to the day!
Now, that’s what I call an adventure weekend!
Sign me up!!