What I absolutely decided was that the best part of birthdays (besides rum cake...that's a teaser for Friday's post!) is presents. It's fun when people give you things or when you decide to buy yourself exactly what you want because it's your birthday and why not?
When my first family was here last week, we did a pre-birthday celebration since they wouldn't be here on my real birthday. My sister gave me a book of her poetry that I can't even talk about without tearing up. It's totally fabulous and unique. My mom and dad gave me some cash, $50 of course :) and my mom gave me a gorgeous necklace from her own jewelry box. I haven't even put it on yet, but I have spent some time just staring at it. It's a simple three diamond pendant on a delicate gold chain. Exquisite.
On Saturday I treated myself to a mani/pedi. It feels so good to have someone rub your hands and feet and I really love to have my nails painted. I'm not the most girly of girls, but I have a thing for nail polish, especially when someone else puts in on my fingers and toes.
My sister gave me another cool gift: planner pages! We have this thing where we give each other planner pages for our birthdays. Yeah, we're nerdy that way but I still really love my Franklin planner! Getting new pages in the middle of the year is super fun for me (did I really just write that? I am a nerd). It feels like kind of a reset. I set goals for myself at the start of the year, and six months in feels like a good time to see where I'm at with the goals and recommit or restructure using my new planner pages. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail I always say. (I really am a cool awesome person.)
The big thing I wanted for myself this year was to get back to riding my bike. It's been a couple of years since I have been on my bike on the road. The reason for that is I always borrowed MT's truck to take my bike to my favorite trail, but since he's been working on the fixer, he's always using the truck to haul his tools and he works on the place all the time so he's using the truck. This year I decided to get a bike rack for my car. So I did. Then I asked MT to take me and the bike over to REI so I could get the bike tuned and cleaned since it's been sitting around for awhile. Then I wanted to get toe cages for my pedals so that my feet would stay in place and I could get more power on the upstroke. The REI guy convinced me that I didn't need toe cages, I needed cycling shoes with lock-in cleats.
Cycling shoes have a very hard sole so your foot stays flat on the pedal. You don't want to pedal with your toes down because it can hurt your leg and you don't have as much power either. Most of the people in my spinning class wear the hard sole cycling shoes with cleats and I had been thinking about getting some shoes like that anyway for the classes because my feet have been hurting a little after cycling class. The cross-trainers that I usually wear have flexible soles and so the pedal would push against the arch of my foot and cause some discomfort.
Long story short - I bought the cycling shoes! I did not buy the cleat (yet) because I want to try out the shoes since they will be quite different from what I have been wearing. I tried out the shoes tonight at cycling class. Here's what I learned: you don't want to walk very far in the cycling shoes. Because the sole is so hard, there is no flex at all when you walk, so it's pretty uncomfortable. I walked from the parking lot to the class and I didn't enjoy the walk (and it was short!) Next time I will wear other shoes in and change into my cycling shoes when I get there. That's what most people do, but they have the metal clip on their shoes, too. That's really hard to walk on!
As for the cycling, it made a big difference. My foot was a lot more comfortable on the pedals and I felt I had better form too. I had laced the shoes up too tight, though, and my toes were tingling. I'll do better next time which will probably be Saturday morning. I'm hopeful that the weather will be nice enough that I can take my bike out on Sunday. I'm really looking forward to that! My plan is to start with a short ride of about 10 miles round trip and stretch out the distance over the summer.
Well, I'm going to go put my pages into my binder now and lovingly gaze at all the blank spaces to fill in with groovy adventures and not so wonderful things too. (A colonoscopy is in my future now that I'm 50, my doctor says.)
Hope you find something that makes you happy today!
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