05 November 2012


The weather here is perfect right now. Low 70's in the morning, a slight breeze coming in from the ocean. It just begs a girl to go outside and play.

However, my right knee and hip still like to scream at me from time to time due to previous years of full and half marathons, added to the 14+  hours I spend on my feet at the hospital, so I'm honestly a little tired running. I'm still putting in three or so miles here and there, but it leaves me wanting to do something more. Something epic.

Something that involves more than sitting around the house in my pajama pants on my days I don't work.

Even though I really, really want to sit around the house in my pajamas on the days I don't work.

November is my motivation. This is my birthday month, the month I turn the big 3-2 and want to put in some serious miles on the days I don't have to wear scrubs and hand out medicine.

I might, might be freaking out about getting older. The more I see of 60 year olds with heart problems made worse by obesity and diabetes on my unit makes me want to stay as active as possible. I refuse to get older and use that as an excuse to be lazy.

Age is what you make of it. My almost-70 year-old neighbors run marathons.

Get outside, people!

So to celebrate, I bought myself a bike. No excuses about knees and hips - biking is a fabulous cardiovascular workout that even people with knee and hip replacements can do.

No. Excuses.

There is a really sweet bike shop down the street from our house called Orchid Island Bikes and Kayaks. Bikes and kayaks. How can you not fall in love with this place? The guys inside are a plethora of knowledge about everything cycling.

Plethora. Wow. I haven't used that word in awhile. Glad to know the English major in me is still alive and kicking.

Anyway, I think the guys saw this new-to-cycling girl coming from a mile away, because I walked out of the shop with a brand new bike that cost more than our house, plus a helmet, tire pump and a brochure of local bike trails.

And forget Huffy and Schwinn. I'm now officially in love with Trek bikes.

Thank you bike guy at Orchid Island. I'm now a believer in the power of specialty shops and not just buying something off the rack at Target.

Even though I still like buying things off the rack at Target.

I've really been missing my Missouri bike trails, especially during the fall. I remember riding some serious curves and hills on the west side of the South Creek Greenway with my dear friend Sarah, listening to Barlow Girl and Superchick to get us pumped up to rock our miles.

So I am very super-excited to discover some local paths.

This morning I set out with my favorite Camelbak and decided to try out the Jungle Trail - a packed sand trail that is 7.4 miles in one direction along Vero's barrier islands.

I'm so, so glad I did this trail.

It. Is. Amazing.

Flat as a pancake, but amazing.

Things I liked: The scenery and discovering native Florida. However, I will always have a special place in my heart for my Missouri trails that wind through the woods and over creeks and streams. But palm trees, mangroves, manatee areas and the breeze off the water is pretty sweet too.

Beautiful coastal houses didn't hurt the scenery much, either. 

Things I didn't like: The sand was mushy in some areas, which made pedaling my skinny hybrid tires a little difficult. Made for a great heart rate and calorie burn, but decreased my average mph.

Things I wish for: The lizards to stop freaking running out in front of me. Scares the bejeezus out of me every single time.

This was a fun little discovery on the path. So very cute.

All in all, a fantastic ride that I will definitely do again. And again and again. 

Total ride summary via Garmin Connect: 

Bike - Jungle Trail

Mon, Nov 5, 2012 9:00 AM Eastern Time (US & Canada) By runnergirl2027
Activity Type: Road Cycling Event Type: Fitness | Course: Packed Sand

Distance:14.50 mi
Avg Speed:9.7 mph

933 C