The spring peepers are out and singing, birds are building nests, and daffodils are beginning to bloom. All this can only mean one thing, and that is that spring has finally arrived.
This winter wasn't as bad as last by any means, but we did have over 70 continuous days of snow cover - and that's a bit of a test. Either way I'm glad that it has finally passed by and that the seasons of getting outside are back with us.
My efforts at improving my fitness have been going pretty well. Kenny and I are in the 9th week of our weightlifting workouts, and have been able to keep up a fairly consistent schedule of three workouts a week. I have skipped a couple of Sunday workouts, but when I have there's been a bike ride or trail work to take it's place. Kenny, being full of the vigor of youth, is definitely showing signs of development in his shoulders, upper arms and upper body. Even my past-prime self is slowly firming up and showing some improvement. It's been a long time since I was involved in a weightlifting program, and it's just as little fun as I remember.
I've been doing very well with my calorie intake as well. Forcing myself to enter everything I eat on the Mapmyride nutrition counter has been a huge help. So far in over two months I haven't exceeded my daily allowance of 2300 calories, plus any calories burned via exercise. According to the calorie deficit that I'm counting over the last 9 weeks I should definitely be burning off some fat, but I'm avoiding the scale until next month some time.
Despite the wet weather I've managed to get in a couple of mountain bike rides since snowmelt. The most notable was last month when there was a spike in temps corresponding to a week without rain. Kenny was out camping for the weekend with the Boy Scouts, Diana was in Columbus visiting her sister - and I was unsupervised for the day. So I headed down to Bavington and rode my favorite section down there. The trails were almost all dry, with only two places where sitting water caused me to get off and walk. It was one of the first real mtb rides of the year, and I was fairly satisfied with my riding and stamina.
|On the trail at Bavington.|
|At Cooper's Rock State Forest, looking down 1400 feet at the Cheat River.|
|On the Rock City Trail at Cooper's Rock S.F.|
|Getting ready to hit the trail in an early spring blizzard|
|At the edge of the wildlife preserve north of town. Note bald eagle nest in trees above steel pole.|
|Snapping turtle crossing on Little Beaver Creek Greenway.|
|On Sandy Creek Trail, PA overlooking Pine Run.|
|Repairing a broken chain on Western Reserve Greenway Trail in Ashtabula County.|
|Looking upstream on Bear Creek from the put-in bridge.|
After the 3.5 mile kayak run I stashed the boat in the woods and hike back upstream on the old rail grade above the creek, climbing about 400 feet on the way back to the trailhead by the road. There I changed out of my wet gear and picked up my bike from it's hiding place for the road ride back to the car. It turned out great - about 2.5 hours of physical exertion and I still had time to get in nearly a half day of work!
And the good news is that it rained another 2 inches over in that area last night! I'm set up to head out early in the morning tomorrow to try my look again on the creeks over there. This time I'm hoping to get on Deer Creek, and I think that I might bring along the GoPro and try to get some whitewater footage. If it turns out I'll be sure to link to it here on my next post!
|Old house in Salem, OH. Love those chimneys!|