NASA, Cyclists and Elderberries

wknd nasaOn Friday, I got to see one of the coolest parades of cars ever.  NASA!  Parts of old space shuttles were transported from Green Cove Springs to the Keystone Heights Airport’s Wing of Dreams Aviation Museum.  I heard the transport was happening and some roads would be closed but I never thought I would actually get to see the pieces.  I’m not even sure what I saw but it was still really cool to see NASA on the side of the equipment escorted by police!

Click here for a more detailed article.

I was down in Keystone Heights, FL having a work day at the Y’s Resident Camp, Camp Immokalee.  Little did I know NASA would be there too!  I only saw the caravan of trucks passing by and I was able to capture some great pictures from the side of the road (yes, I was that person that pulls over to take pictures!).

wknd bikeMy weekend just seemed to get better after that!  Saturday morning started early…  My dad and I did a 40 mile ride at the crack of dawn.  The weather was absolutely amazing.  It must have been mid-60s with ZERO humidity (or felt that way anyway).  We passed by the Gustafson Farms milk plant (who knew this was in south Orange Park/Green Cove Springs area?!).  This was the perfect place to take a short break, and snap a picture. 🙂

After the farm break, we saw about 30 cyclists going on our same route.  We were quick to join up to them.  Drafting is an AMAZING thing!  So we tried to caught up to the group, eventually.  They were averaging 20-21 mph.  It was a little tough for me to keep up but I loved the challenge!  We rode with them for about 15 miles or so.  By the end of the ride, I was tired and ready for a shower, and lunch!  It’s amazing how much energy you burn in 2.5 hours on the bike!  I layered on the sunscreen but still managed to get a farmer’s tan on my legs… so naturally the rest of the day had to be spent at the pool!

Sunday night I went to the movies and saw The Hangover Part III.  I’ve seen the first two and minus the boobs and butts and Chow’s whatever-you-want-to-call-that, these movies really are hilarious, over the top, great comedies.  I liked the first two better than this last one but it didn’t stop me from laughing and many scenes.

After procrastinating my 10 mile run the entire weekend, I got a little motivation after the beach yesterday to run.  Just run.  That was my mission.  So I layered on SPF 70 and hit the road.  Music blasting, PowerBar eaten and Garmin fully charged.

wknd run

I also recently purchased Sambucus Nigra Black Elderberry Extract Syrup.   Elderberry is used for antioxidants, to lower cholesterol, improve vision, boost the immune system and help fight against coughs, colds, flu and infections. I decided to go with this product as an alternative to OTC synthetic cold/flu type medicines.  Summer colds are something I dread and as I’m getting strong and faster in my running, I don’t want a little cold to stop my progress.   Click here or benefits of Elderberries and click here to purchase.

I don’t know if it was that special motivation that kept me running or the fact I didn’t do anything (literally – eating and lounging pool or beach side) for a few days, but I hit the road running.  10 miles. 1:20:23… that’s an 8:02 pace!  A new distance record for me!

wknd run2

37 miles. Let’s Ride!

ride breakfast

Since I signed up for the Katie Ride, I’ve been looking forward to putting some miles on my bike.  Today was my first ride of the year ever!  The plan was to cycle around Green Cove Springs, learn the rules  of the road, tips for an effective ride and ride for 22 miles.  I started out with a hearty breakfast; banana, organic oatmeal with flax seeds and blueberries and black coffee.  My dad was the leader so I got to draft the whole time.  Drafting is when you get within inches of the back wheel of the person in front of you to take advantage of aerodynamics, going faster and it’s easier.  For more information on drafting, click here.

We stopped a few times for water, tips and stretching.  The weather was absolutely perfect!  mid 60s, sunny with just a little bit of wind on some stretches.  My dad was so excited about some “treats” he had for me.  I should have know that if he is sharing any “treats” they can’t be real treats (aka- sugary, chocolatey goodies).  So here comes the first “treat”…. a HILL!  Yes, Florida does have hills.  We had a few treats along the ride but they were definitely great for training.  We averaged about 16 mph during the ride and I clocked just over 31 at my fastest (down hill of course).


My gear wasn’t the best, but it was definitely good.  I road my hybrid bike which doesn’t have clips so I didn’t wear my cycle shoes.  My cycle shoes are awesome because I can get the full revolution, push and pull, on the pedals.  (These are a must have and I highly recommend them to anyone who does cycle classes at least once a week.)  My odometer was working (the only one in the group that did) and the whole ride just felt great.

We came across a few decision points were I had to decide what route to take.  Around mile 10, I decided 22 just wouldn’t be enough, so 30 was on the horizon. At 20, I decided I wanted to go as far as I would be riding in the Katie Ride, 36 miles.  So that was the goal, 36 miles!  36 miles (I thought to myself, am I serious?!)!  I had never even done 6 miles on the road!

Around mile 30, I was really starting to feel my legs getting tired.  Knowing we only had 6 left had to get home somehow, I pushed along strong until the end…. 37.11 miles to be exact!  2 hours and 22 miles!

ride distance

After my first ride of the year ever, I was excited to have breakfast for dinner…. oven baked french toast!  mmmm it was DELICIOUS!

frenchtoast baked

Now I am thinking that I may want to ride the 62 miles route for the Katie Ride!

What do you think of road cycling?  How does it compare to indoor cycling?