Even though I'm mostly used to this New Orleans heat, long runs in the summer still aren't ideal--or, truthfully, smart. Running for long periods of time in the bright sun, high humidity and intense heat tends to give me headaches, muscle fatigue and generally takes the fun out of running. If I'm lucky enough to plan a 6-miler when it's cloudy or an 8-miler while it's just sprinkling, you just never know how your body will handle the spiked temps or if the mist will turn into a full-on monsoon.
Biking, however, provides a different kind of leg strengthening and still allows me to get outside for summer workouts. The faster you ride, the stronger the breeze. Semi-cool wind slams in your face, glides along your quickly-heating arms, chest & back. Built-in cooling system.
You all know how much I love biking along Bayou St. John, but what I've left out is the treasure that awaits me at the end of the path: Lake Ponchartrain. It's the reward I pedal so hard for. Approaching the lake and only seeing the horizon reminds me of Lake Michigan. The waves and wind are loud...yet it's so quiet out there. My husband has joined me a few times, but the lone trips are the ones I look forward to. They're as much about exercise as they are about taking care of yours truly.
This new handlebar bag has made my long trips much more convenient. The pouch fits ID, chapstick, sunglasses, phone and a small towel (despite the lake breeze, some sweat is inevitable, folks)...all with extra space for one or two granola bars for when these rides get even longer.
I'm not going to come all the way up here and not take advantage of the refreshing water, the view and some me-time. Come on!
This pace wasn't ideal, but today was about enjoyment as much as exercise. This is just shy of 1/3 of the distance we'll be expected to travel in October--on the first day.
Um...can we do this?
*Bonus: My cutie babies were waiting for me when I got home, ready for a walk. I was pretty tired from my ride, but it's hard to resist those faces. So, they dragged me to a nearby park...and then started complaining about the heat. Maybe I should get them bikes for summer exercise.
Wrapping up the evening w/ one of my favorite cold treats.
Plus, thanks to Meggie, I've been introduced to another blog, which recently featured a bike/coffee shop on the North Side of Chicago. Very fitting read for this evening.
Not a bad Sunday.