On Saturday, August 2nd, a week after my "Double Skyline" Ride, I accomplished my goal of riding to the Bike Hut and back. The ride requires climbing 2500 feet to Skyline twice, and I had a lot of anxiety about being able to do it. I wasn't sure my fitness was there. The weekend before, I climbed it once, bailed on going over to Half Moon Bay, and turned around. At the bottom, I had climbed to Skyline again on the same side of the hill. This time, I did the whole, originally planned route with no problems. I had been worried about climbing Tunitas, a brutal but beautiful 6 mile climb back to Skyline. Once I was on Tunitas, I paced myself well and actually enjoyed myself. I felt exuberant at the end of the ride.
School began this week on August 17th. My goal now is to maintain the fitness I've built but I'm not putting my pressure on myself to go farther and farther. I would like to consistently work out several times a week and just maintain. I'm teaching virtually, and it's just as hard as my first year of teaching. I'm having to create new curriculum for each class every day...from scratch. I'm often working late until the night. I'm exhausted. Exercise is going to be critical for me to maintain balance and sanity. I ran and did weights on Monday after school. My run felt great. I actually was able to pick up the pace. I felt light and zippy on my feet. It's taken me a long time to get back to the point where I can just meditate and allow my mind to float away blissfully on my runs. I want desperately to maintain this because the first 4-6 weeks of starting to exercise again were miserable. Right now, the air quality is shit because of all the fires in the Bay Area. It smells like campfire, and there is ash on the car. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the wind blows in our favor at some point today so I can get a window of fresh air to go for a much-needed run. Here's to hoping.