Interstellar Adventures

June 25, 2005

Rockledge Park, Grapevine, TX, June Birthday Challenge

Filed under: Uncategorized — by InterstellarLass @ 7:51 pm

OK, so my friends and I are a little warped. We enjoy extreme physical activity. So, for our June Birthday Challenge, we opted to run some trail, then do some mountain biking. We met up at Rockledge Park just before 8 am.

Packed up and ready to go…Checkin’ on the bike

View from the dam…still driving along the dam…still driving…

The other side of the damn…still driving

Lauren, Dianna, Sam, Mike, Ken, Darin, Maribel, Kim and I were the participants in this little party. Maribel and Kim are total over-achievers, so they got there early and were already biking by the time we showed up. Right around 8, we started off, running.

Lauren, Sam & Dianna

I’d never been out to Rockledge before, but I’d heard it was a nice trail. Um, yeah…a nice trail. Needless to say, Rockledge doesn’t get it’s name for no reason. Yes, it was rocky. The first bit of the trail is quite narrow and rocky, with a sharp drop-off to the left (going out). Hilly, twisty, rocky, and tree-rooted, it was a challenging trail to run.

Views of the lake from the trail

On the road, I can get a good, even pace going, and can run for quite awhile without stopping. On trail, it’s hard to get a pace going, up and down, avoiding rocks and roots, odd strides, etc. So, I try to run 10 walk 2 to get my heart rate back down and recover my legs a little. Except, in my hurry, I left my watch in my road shoes…in my car. 😦 Bummer. So, I ran for what I thought was 10, and walked for what I thought was 2. I occasionally stopped to take a few pictures.

Views of the trail

My knee was a little tender after a bit, so I was taking it rather easy. I got to mile 3, and tried to go a little further, but decided it wasn’t worth it since I have to run tomorrow too. So, I turned back.

Lauren and Dianna headed back…and time to refuel

More views of the lake and wildflowers

On the way back, I encountered quite a few bikers, so I had to stop frequently and move to the side of the trail. As I neared the end of the run, I heard something off the side of the trail. I like to see what wildlife is lurking in the bushes, but had been quite disappointed by squirrels all day long. These live in my neighborhood, so I see them all the time. This time, I wasn’t disappointed. It was a snake. I didn’t see a rattle, and it quickly moved off in the brush, so I don’t know what kind of snake it was. But I’m glad it was off the trail! Don’t need an encounter with one of those!

Trail scenery

I made it back to the end of the trail, for a total of about 6.2 miles. As I was finishing, one of the newest AT members, Ken, was catching up to me. So, we both made it back to the parking lot at the same time.

New AT member Ken

I was going to wait on Darin. I’m racing with him at Mineral Wells in July. Oh, yeah…that promise I made to not race any more ARs until after the marathon…well, I lied. Sorry folks. I’m not perfect. And I already made my full confession to my marathon racing buddy Judy…so, I’m clear. Well, she’s not pleased, but at least I ‘fessed up first this time.

Anyhoo. I was waiting for Darin, so I had a bit of time to sit, rehydrate, refuel, and delete the old pictures off my camera. “Card Full”. Dang it. I’ve uploaded all these photos already…why haven’t I deleted them off the camera. So I did.

Between the run and the ride…I’m still pretty clean

Darin got back to the parking lot, so I unloaded our bikes, and readied myself for our ride. I was rather nervous about this, but glad that I got to run the trail first. Scouted out the walking parts versus the riding parts you know. Filled up the hydration system, changed my running shorts for my biking shorts, donned my brain-bucket and gloves, and I was ready to go.

The Rockledge trailhead…Ken heading out

Less than 3 feet into the trail, I fell off my bike. Yep, trying to avoid the culvert, I rode around it, and then hit a concrete pillar. Nice. In front of the entire parking lot. Lovely.

Back up on the bike, I made my way across the rocky, narrow trail that starts the trailhead. I then came to the first walking point. Up a big hill with lots of sharp rocks. Shortly thereafter, I made a sharp turn into a long downhill, and busted. I fell to the left, skidded to a stop, and banged my chin and felt a rattle in my head. Then I realized I looked down at my knee where a large lump was starting to form and I was *gasp* bleeding. Again. Same knee as Rockstick. Dammit. well, I used language a bit stronger than that…but this is a PG-13 rated blog.

I was in a bad spot to just lay in the trail and cry, so I got up, dragged my bike the rest of the way down the hill, and ran into Darin who heard me fall and curse. He looked at my knee and said “Ouch!”. Yeah, no kidding! 🙂

So, of course, I pulled out my camera and took a picture of it. Pretty, huh?

Yep, busted my knee again…Ouch!…and my chin…looks like I’ve been in a fight!

So, we kept riding. Some nice climbs, and I rode a few of the downhills that I had planned to walk, so I was quite proud of myself. I still got off and walked a bit here and there, but rode more than I anticipated. It was getting quite hot, and I was getting kinda tired. Darin pushed on, and I tried to keep up, but eventually I cried ‘Uncle’ and turned back. I rested a bit, rode a bit, busted again, then rested a bit, and made it back to about two miles out.

My second bust…I’m all dirty now…it was a good skid…

There was a large open picnic area along the trail, so I stopped at one of the picnic tables, and decided to rest a bit more. Soon after, Ken pulled up, ready for a breather, and then after that Darin arrived. We chatted for a bit with some other riders that were resting. It was time to take off again, and then Ken noticed he had a flat. Oops. More time to rest. 🙂

Except Ken’s pump was a Presta valve, and his tubes were Schrader. Oops. Luckily, I had some air cans in my pack, and a lever, so I donated some of my gear to Ken so he could get back on the trail. He finished changing his tire, and we headed back. A few more climbs, some nice flats, more walking down the scary bits, busted again, and made it back to the trailhead. Whew! What a ride! I was very proud of myself! I’ve never ridden so hard, fallen so much, or so well, and dared to do more than I thought I could!

This is not one of the hills I chose to ride after all…

My bloody bandanna…See how dirty I got?…At least part of me is still clean

I got good scratches…blisters (death grip on the bike)…and improved my sexy legs

I awarded myself with a couple of Shiner’s back at the trailhead. Then, I drove home, stopped at Chipolte, got a burrito (yum!) and headed home.

Then, the real drama began…

My first ice bath! I had stopped at 7-11 for two 10-lb. bags of ice. I also had two 10-lb bags half-melted in my cooler. I dumped the cooler water in the tub, (waste not want not), added some cold tap water, and then entered the water. OH MY GOD! BRRRRR! Holy crap, this was going to be 20 minutes of torture. I slowly added more ice from the two new bags, and added more cold tap water. I started my stop watch and popped a new Shiner. Good gravy. Um, it was just a wee bit nippy. Time has never passed so slowly. I sipped my Shiner, wrapped a towel around my shoulders, and watched my watch.

Finally, the eternity ended and I jumped out of the frigid water, covered in goosebumps. My toes were numb, and I could barely feel my legs as I walked to the shower. Whew! Finally, a nice warm shower. I don’t think a shower has ever felt so good. Aaaah.

Then, just because I haven’t tortured myself enough today…

In order to prevent any more poison ivy from popping up on my legs, I drenched a washcloth in rubbing alcohol, and wiped my legs down from top to bottom. OUCH! It barely burned over my existing PI, but my new boo-boo on my left knee…well, it nearly brought tears to my eyes. Just nearly. I don’t cry…unless I watching Beaches. OK, I cry other times too, but not from sporting injuries.

Happy Birthday June People! Again! Can’t wait till the next ride!

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