Monthly Archives: July 2012

My own Tour de france

Summer sports have been all up by alley these past few weeks: Olympic trials, Wimbledon, and now the Tour de France. As I start riding my bike more and more, and even the smallest of hills seem to slow me down and mess with my confidence, I think of those bike riders in France. How on Earth they ride up mountains and go 100+ miles everyday for 3 weeks is beyond me, but it makes my rides seem like child’s play.

MapMyRide set up a bike challenge this month “Le Tour 2012 Challenge”, during the same time period as the Tour de France. You can select your distance to aim for – 100, 544, 1087 or the full 2173 miles. I went with 100 miles, which seemed doable in 23 days, right? That’s less than 5 miles a day, definitely attainable!

And then all the 100+ degree weather came, and even biking first thing in the morning is brutal. For the most part, I’d rather be biking than walking, jogging or running in this heat. The breeze keeps you (somewhat?) cool, and it’s not until you stop riding that you realize you’re completely soaked with sweat.

Here’s where I stand so far in the challenge. Not as far as I hoped to be at this point, but I think/hope I can make up for it.

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Not completely terrible, but I only have 2 weeks left to go 65+ miles.

Thankfully, mother nature is helping me out this week. Check out the upcoming weather forecast for Chapel Hill – I don’t even know how awesome a week in the 80s will feel!

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Assuming there won’t really be storms every single day, this could be great!

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Elizabeth Goes to the Beach

Yesterday, on a very hot day in North Carolina, this was my view:

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Matt and I both took the day off and went to the beach for a spontaneous day trip. I am not a huge beach person, ever since my first trip as a toddler when I swallowed too much sea water, threw a fit, and had my parents pack us up and drive all the way home. However, I’ve learned a few things that made yesterday enjoyable:

wear lots of sunscreen. I was fortunate enough to not receive any significant sunburns (apart from random splotches on my ankles). Matt, however, wasn’t quite lucky enough and is suffering from lobster-syndrome today Sad smile

wear a hat – I ran to Target the day before and found a nice hat on sale. The hat + sunglasses definitely protected my face!

bring reading material. I packed a few magazines and my latest book (Tina’s Carrots’n’Cake book that I found at a local thrift store last weekend), which made sitting in the heat a little more bearable.

have things to do on the beach (goes along with reading). Matt and I brought my parents Bocce Ball set (although I remembered this set was french, and called Petanque), which was a fun distraction from the heat. We set up a little ‘court’ on the sand, and had fun, despite the fact that most of the people walked right through our game with no attention paid. Rude Americans.

And lessons I still am learning:

bring a beach umbrella! – I can only imagine how much better it would have felt to sit in shade instead of full sun…

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We had a fun 3 hours on the beach, followed by an incredibly delicious late lunch at Flaming Amy’s Burrito Barn in Wilmington. The place reminded me a lot of the ‘weird’ restaurants in Austin, TX. So many vegetarian options! Thanks to Matt’s sister, Lauren, for the recommendation!

Iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts (I swear I can see their logo from a mile away!) continued to cool us off, for a little thrifting (you know me!) and walk around downtown Wilmington. To my complete surprise, there was a Coldplay tribute band playing a free Friday night concert downtown, but we weren’t able to stick around, due to the heat + very full stomachs = need to sit in air conditioning!

All in all, a fun day at the beach. Next time, we’ll bring more sunscreen for Matt, an umbrella for me, and plenty of ice cold drinks!