needing endorphins

After ending my son’s summer vacation with two weeks of no camps, and with training for my first 5K running race in years, I did not have many chances to ride my bike. Well, I’ll take that back. While camping at Donner Lake with my son’s Cub Scout Den, I was able to sneak out on a road ride while the rest of the group went to the beach. I rode from the campground west along Donner Pass Road to the west end of Donner Lake and then up the hill to the summit. It was 7 miles to the summit and I decided I wanted to get 20 miles total so I rode 3 miles further, almost all the way into Soda Springs. I turned around for the short climb up to the summit and then began the descent. Although I had done the climb once before, this was my first time descending. I must say it was a little scary, especially when the drop off is on the right and the view of Donner Lake far below is in front of you. I didn’t have my camera but here’s a photo I took when I did the climb a year ago:

Taking a break above Donner Lake after the blustery climb

That climb a year ago was on a cold windy day and we called for a ride before going back over the summit. Last week I did the climb wearing a sleeveless top and shorts.

Now for the endorphin need. My last workout before today was the Giant Race 5K on Saturday in San Francisco. I’ve had a few busy days with the start of school for my son. I’ve been getting that familiar feeling of depression that hits me every once in a while. I know the antidote is exercise, so it’s frustrating when I don’t have time. Today, I went for a ride, even though I didn’t feel like it. I rode out to Mogul and around Cliff View then back toward Reno and climbed up Plateau and Caughlin Parkway, went around Village Green, then Cashill back home. It was not quite 20 miles but I noticed an uptick in my outlook after 45 minutes and I felt even better after 1 hour and great after 1.5 hours. Love those endorphins. It’s always best for me to ride in the morning – I know I can get my ride in before my son comes home from school, plus it’s really nice to come home to my shady driveway after a hot ride. (and the shade is gone by afternoon!)

 

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