Bike Riding and Weird Massages

My weekend once again was the perfect combination of active and relaxing, starting with Friday night.

After work, like a champion, I headed to the gym and ran it out on the treadmill. This week, I wasn’t as tired as last, and I had a solid run before finishing it off with a quick Yoga flow. For dinner, I stir fried up some chicken, veggies, and brown rice.

If you’ve ever wanted to know what bad zucchini tastes like, it is not good. Luckily, I didn’t cut the zucchini into too small bites and I was able to scrape it out of the plate!

Some old Saturday Night Live episodes later and it was time to fall asleep, cus this girl was tired! Working 9-5 is hard, ya’ll.

On Saturday, I met up with a friend-of-a-friend for brunch before going to the gym to knock out a lower body workout. I biked over on the beautiful afternoon, then biked on over to a reflexology massage place for my sore feet. My feet were so swollen on Tuesday of this past week, they didn’t fit properly in my sneakers. This massage was $20 bucks, so I was weary of the quality.

Let’s just run this down for you:

An older man began my experience by massaging my forehead. As we know, I have a large forehead, so a long time was spent on this area. At one point, the gentleman began tickling my outer ears, which I thought was strange, but then he stuck his fingers in my ears, and I learned a new definition of “strange.” It was weird, but I didn’t hate it?

The man was clearly head honcho of this establishment as other workers kept coming over and talking to him, which was unsettling in an otherwise quiet situation. At one point, I thought a woman was trying to tell me to do something, so I opened my eyes and the woman hushed me, apologized, then stuck her hand on my forehead for a long time. I was then blind-folded, which I think was to hide the fact that a new worker took over my footwork, though I will tell you, once you’ve had giant, calloused fingers in your ears, you can decipher the difference of the petite, gentler touch of soft hands.

As mentioned above, my forehead is gaping, so it elevated the blindfold to the point of which I could see clearly. It was good that I distinguished this new individual as female when I was then planked on so that the massager could recenter my hips (or whatever the hell it was she was doing?) After some hand work, I rolled over and got all the sore spots in my shoulders and back worked out.

Listen, it was a weird experience, but it worked. For $20 bucks, I will accept your strange scenario and tip you for it.

It was dinnertime when I finished, so I pedaled over to my “local” taco shop before heading home to read and work on a new project. After some grocery shopping, it was time for bed.

Sunday is a great day to be outside seeking adventures. First up, was hike time. I actually went to the same place I did last week, this time with a meet-up group. The day was cooler, but in no means cool, and overcast, which made it great to be active.

Stopping at home for a few minutes, it was time to take my bike out for its first long journey. 18 miles is no joke. I’ve got a bike path, down the street from me, that leads to the huge Southern California coastal bike path that is remarkable. There are no words to describe the views and the feelings inspired by pedaling down this path.

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My intention was to go to Santa Monica and believe me, I kept waiting to see the enlightening sight of Santa Monica Pier, but as I rolled and rolled, I still couldn’t see it and I almost cried. At a stopover for a water and lunch break, I typed in my GPS location and realized I had ridden in the complete opposite of Santa Monica and had made it to Manhattan Beach. Since Manhattan (New York) is my favorite place in the entire universe (other than home), and I had never been there before, it was fitting.

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On my way back, I prayed for no hills, and had to stop to capture the above picture. I mean, what?

Back at my apartment and nursing my sore quads, it was time to meal prep for the coming week. Soup! It’s not appropriate in the warm, sunny SoCal environment, but back at home in Boston, it’s fall and prime time for soup.

I’ve had these lentils in my cabinets since back home, so it was time to cook ’em. I found the recipe online and added my own touches, such as doubling the recipe and adding zucchini.

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I had enough for four lunches of the week and enjoyed the remnants for dinner, paired with brown rice and a dash of cheese.

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Now I’m all cozy, full, and super sweaty.

It’s Monday, but let’s live like it’s Friday!

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!