Just Like Riding A Bike

Happiest of Mondays!

I now understand the phrase, “like riding a bike” because I bought myself a bike and it’s nothing at all like the ones I use in spin class. Yes, I know how to ride a bike, but once we moved to our new-old house, there will hills and the bike riding stopped. I’ve been wanting to buy one for a long time and my change of scenery seemed to prompt an excellent time. Turns out, in SoCal, riding a bike is kind of a thing, and I’m taking a brief respite from my incessant researching to blog. So, you’re welcome.

This is Isobel. I have no idea why that’s her name, but she’s pink and it came to mind and I’m going with it.

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It took me a long time and the kindness of strangers to fit her into my car, and even then I was driving with the back windows down and the handlebars sticking out, but thankfully, I live close to the store.

Once I got settled, it was time for my first ride…to get tacos. I was hungry considering I had also just hiked and there was a taco place down the street, not quite convenient to walk to and I didn’t feel like driving, so now I have the perfect compromise!

Tacos!

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After my meal, I hopped back on and took the bike for a real ride. Like I mentioned, LA loves bicycles, so there are plenty of paths in which to take advantage, all year round, and one of them happens to be by my place. I did fall once thanks to a shifty sidewalk, but wasn’t hurt. I won’t be drifting into traffic anytime soon, but I’m so excited for all the traveling I’ll get to do outside of a car. Especially next weekend, which I won’t spoil.

My Sunday also consisted of a beautiful hike right by my apartment.

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It’s October. Friendly reminder. While everyone at home is soaking up the chill and the fall (tears!), I get this. This photo op will come in much handier once winter hits.

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What’s that say in the background? I think ‘Hollywood’ or something.

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I trekked up and down the trail once and then decided to fit in even more of a workout by climbing these stairs. I’m a short girl with stubby legs, so these stairs were not friendly or easy, and I was out of breath after reaching the top, but what a great workout! The hike, combined with my bike ride and leg-day on Saturday, makes for very tired Caitlin-legs.

Sunday morning breakfast:

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My dad’s birthday was on Saturday and though I wasn’t there to celebrate with him, I know he had a great day filled with love and celebration. Happy birthday, dad!

Saturday consisted of a restful morning of sleeping in before meeting my cousins for brunch. It was so nice to see and spend time with family, especially while sitting outside on a spectacular sunshiny day and eating a gourmet meal. I opted for french toast made of croissants (yeah, worth the indulgence) which came in sandwich form with eggs and bacon, but I ate it separately and miss it now that it’s gone.

At the gym, it was leg-day, which meant lots of lower body exercises that my body does not love. I don’t know if it’s that I’ve been running more on a treadmill, but my knees have been cracking with squats and lunges. They don’t hurt necessarily, but I’m being cautious. The workout consisted of squats, deadlifts, lunges, step ups, kettlebell swings, plie squats, lateral leg lifts, elevated bridges, mountain climbers, and plank jacks. Phew. Four sets of twelve on each, and yeah, I was shaky after. With some core- leg lifts, flutter kicks, bicycle crunches, and side plank dips, and a sweaty mile on the treadmill, I was finito!

On Saturday night, I forced myself out of my comfort zone by joining a Meetup.com social group. This one played board games at a bar. It’s always hard for me to make small talk, but I know that part of moving to a new place is being uncomfortable in a lot of situations (not a bad thing, just a thing), which also means putting myself out there and taking risks. I did have fun, although Cards Against Humanity is much more fun with the idiots you know and Jenga is nerve-wracking, although maybe that’s just my competitive streak showing. After a quick stop at another bar with dancing proved to be a little bit too much for this extroverted introvert, I headed home and ended up making friends with my Lyft driver who is also a writer.

To take it back to Friday was a much-needed, much-appreciated, and much-deserved night of indulgence and rest. For the record, I think I deserve to burn 500x more than the calories I actually burned for showing up to the gym on a Friday night after work. To run. On a treadmill. You better believe I savored my pizza and ice cream and TV catch-up after that! I love Friday nights so much and I also love to do nothing on Friday nights. It’s rare that you’ll get me out for more than a dinner and a movie, especially now that I’m back into regular work hours. I love the idea of Friday and the freedom it provides to just veg, as well as the ability to sleep to my heart’s content on Saturday morning!

So we took a little backwards tour of my weekend, one that was both relaxing and adventurous! I’m rested and ready for the work week and can’t wait to get out cycling and hiking some more!

Have a wondrous week!

Olaf Got It Right About Summer

Last night was the epitome of why summer’s rock. There was a lot to celebrate and I will get to that soon! First, let’s talk about the other events of the day.

After breakfast and blogging, I took myself to the gym for a heavy strength training workout. I started off with six power moves- deadlifts, shoulder presses, rows, squat presses, leg presses, and bench presses. I performed each move in 10 sets of reps of 10x10x8x8x6x6x4x4x2x2, moving up in weight each time. After, I went through a circuit of bicep curls, lying shoulder flies, tricep extensions, front raises, cleans and presses, and high pulls, 4 sets of 12 reps each.

For a hit of cardio, I worked through a Plyometrics circuit- box jumps, skater jumps, jumping jacks, high knees, lunges, and jump roping. To stretch out my legs, I cycled it out on the bike for a 15 minute ride.

Back at home, it was time to refuel and cool down. I had leftover chicken, rice, and veggies from the other night, which made things easier. For fat, I had a handful of cashews.

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I topped off my meal with a popsicle and a dip in the pool as I studied my Personal Training. Though the medical stuff is a little overwhelming right now, it’s been cool to learn more about the processes of the body. It really puts it into the perspective of realizing what a miracle the body is. So let’s treat them right!

As I was finishing up my studying, my aunt, uncle, and cousins came over to celebrate! There were two birthdays, an exciting going away to college goodbye, and a new job! We swam in the pool on a muggy night, ordered dinner out (a salad with steak tips and half a pita for me), then played some games, which inevitably ended up in my neighbors’ pool. Don’t worry, they were there too.

There’s something special about swimming on an August night with the stars shining bright above along with your closest family and friends.

As we dried off, we had a yummy cake and ice cream.

This morning, I woke up with a hankering for a creamy bowl of oats, despite the fact that it’s even hotter and muggier out than the past few days. I heated up some milk, mashed half a banana and tossed some oats in the pan along with a dash of cinnamon, a swirl of vanilla, two generous tablespoons of white chocolate peanut butter, and stirred. When it was cooked, I added a tablespoon of pomegranate craisins and a tablespoon of toasted coconut. Red grapes were the only fruit left, so it’s a good thing I love (and demolished) ’em!

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Now for another day of studying, writing, and working. Let’s see what good can come from it!