Outside, Eats, Mountains + Cycling

Being outside does things to me.

Soul-soothing, endorphin-pumping, damn-grateful kinda things. I think that’s why Florida did it for me for so long. I was outside every day no matter what—for morning runs or bike rides, for farmers’ market strolling, for evening and weekend walks, for some stair-running and for people-watching at my favorite coffee shops. I miss Florida’s outside and it’s been difficult to see friends and family enjoy it while I’m inside hiding from the wind and bitter cold.

The other day a friend, who is also new to Colorado, said, “The honeymoon phase is definitely over.” And I got him right away because mine’s over, too. Colorado is fantastic, but it’s not perfect and I’m starting to feel it.

But on Friday and Saturday I got the outside I was craving right at the perfect time, when I really needed some uninterrupted sunshine and saddle time.

I worked from home on Friday, which was a blessing and a curse. I made coffee all nice and slow like; sipping and re-filling and sipping and re-filling. Then I roasted up some veggies and made a spinach and egg sandwich with items I ordered through Instacart.

But as I sipped and re-filled, the Flatirons sat there majestically just outside my window and every so often, in between emails, I’d catch myself staring at their peaks. As soon as I hit send on my last email, I smacked my laptop closed, changed out of my pajamas for the first time the whole day, strapped on my CamelBak and headed…up…toward those magic peaks in the sky.

Outside. It felt so good. It smelled so good. and it sounded so good, too. I scrambled up the steep, winding inclines; the gravel crunched underneath my trail shoes. It was breezy but warm in the sunshine.

I weaved and wandered and ended up with about 10 miles, which was the perfect amount of outside for the day.

Then Saturday. I was blessed with beautiful weather on my one and only day off, so I took full advantage and decided a long bike ride was the outside I needed most.

Lately I’ve been feeling a significant amount of fatigue on the bike and I’m not sure why. I’m fueling and prepping the same way I did in Florida, but I’ve been feeling totally wrecked even on shorter rides. I’m sure the altitude and the elevation gain has something to do with it, but it’s frustrating because I felt like such a stronger rider in Florida. 

Because of all that, I’m trying to take in more fuel before each ride in hopes it will help me go longer and feel stronger.

First I brewed some coffee then topped a sourdough muffin with protein powder and some banana slices.

I hate feeling hugely full, so I ate this while I was getting ready and let it settle a bit before I hopped on the bike.

Verdict: I still didn’t feel awesome. Womp womp. But I think that’s because Friday’s 10-miler (with 2,000+ feet of climbing) destroyed my quads. They were screaming the entire ride.

But I was outside. And better for it.

Around mile 45 I made a pitstop for the best espresso in town, then headed out for about 16 more miles and a little more climbing to make it a solid 61 for the day with about 3,000 feet of elevation gain.

The sun felt so good on my face; it felt good to squint. I pulled out the date and nut bar I picked up at Rapha, parked my butt right on my porch, and munched until my sweat turned cold inside my jacket. A hot shower and a real meal felt so good after a long day outside.

Things are definitely different out here. Much different than I anticipated. And even though things are slowlyyy coming together out here, I think we still have a long way to go.

For now, I’m going to enjoy the sunshine when I can (and now the snow…which just started this Sunday evening.) It’s bonkers…

Did you get some outside this weekend? 

Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>

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