I had mentally drafted such a joyous blog post for this wonderful Saturday. I'd been thrilled to make it home from a three-day drill not too late last night, so I was able to help at Rowan's swim meet this morning. Commitments out of the way, I looked forward to making the most of a beautiful day.
By noon, the sun was shining bright, the winds had chosen to visit somewhere else, and the thermometer at our house read 42 degrees. It had to have been the most incredible March 1st ever. Just because I could, I decided to go for a bike ride.
For several years, I've been saying that my favorite Valdez spring was the one in which I was able to ride my bike for the first time on March 15th and not have to stop until snow flew in the fall. This spring is shaping up to be even better, and I was thrilled to beat my earliest-bike-ride date by two weeks. I was positively giddy as I aired up my tires and zeroes out my odometer for the new season. I was so excited I completely forgot to bring my camera or cell phone, so I have no photographic evidence of my adventure.
The highway was dry, and I was actually a little over-dressed. The only things to get even a bit cold were my toes, and it took 10 miles for them to really start talking to me. The first five miles were harder than I expected given the amount of exercise I've been getting this winter, but I think that was mostly due to getting no exercise this week thanks to work. Once my muscles warmed up, I had a fabulous time. Eleven miles in 53 minutes; not too shabby for a first ride of the season.
As soon as I got home, Thane and Rowan were ready to go cross-country skiing. I changed clothes and we headed to the trails in Mineral Creek Canyon. Thane and I parallel skied while Rowan tried out her new skating skis. She had a couple of minor falls and scraped up her elbow, but she really did great given how little skiing she's done before.
I had a marvelous time for the first two hours we skied. My legs didn't get nearly as tired as they did the last time I went out, and the sunshine was enough to invigorate me regardless. Unfortunately, all good times must end.
We decided to ski back to our truck via the west dike of Mineral Creek (we'd gone in on the east dike). A big pile of snow has been pushed up where the west dike meets the main trail, I presume to slow down snowmachines. Unfortunately, it means access for skiers is a little rough. I followed the tracks Rowan and Thane had made through the gap, but with much less success.
You know how sometime when you first start something you know it's going to go badly? That's how this was. I didn't have my skis under me very well right from the start, and by the time I'd gone 20 yard and hit a little bump, they were no longer under me at all. It felt like both my knees tried to bend outwards sideways as the skis slid out to opposite sides. Pure agony. I collapsed onto the snow in tears.
In his haste to get back to me after I yelled out in shock as much as pain, Thane stepped on one of his ski poles and snapped it, but he made it to me. He unfastened my bindings, took my skis off, and helped me sit up. There wasn't really anything else he could do, so I ordered (it really was an order; sorry, Thane) him to ski back to the truck and bring it around to Water Tower Hill, a much closer distance for me to have to walk. Using my ski poles, I managed to push myself upright, and told Rowan to carry our skis to where Thane would meet us.
I have never moved so slowly in my life. I think it took me nearly half an hour to hobble about 1/4 mile. (Thane's arguing that it wasn't really that much time, but it sure felt like it.) Every ten feet or so I had to stop, clench my teeth, and cry. I made it, though, and was beyond relieved to see that Thane was already back with the truck.
So now I sit here in the recliner, icy water flowing through the wrap that was intended for my shoulder after surgery, but has now been pressed into use for my left knee. My right knee feels pretty good, but I keep having waves of pain through my left despite the blessedness of Vicodan.
I can't help but curse my fate. I've been so proud of how active I've been, how strong I've been getting, and how the pounds have finally been coming off. And now this. Perhaps my knee is not injured as badly as it feels at the moment, but it was still a bitter end to a wonderful day.
Thanks for putting up with my whining. Here's to hoping the rest of the weekend is fantastic!