This morning rather then heading into the office I got on my single speed and rode to the Lake Sammamish State part to join the rest of my org from work in volunteering to help restore native plants at the park with the Mountain to Sound Greenway folks. To be completely honest my main motivation in participating was the fact the park is only a few miles from my house and I could ride my bike there and back and spend the day outside.
Brady, the other big triathlete guy in the department obviously thought the same thing and rode his bike - but he rode from Seattle which was way longer than me.. But still :)
I got there a bit later than I planned because I got distracted watching the Tour so there were already a TON of people gathered and ready to go so I quickly changed out of my bike clothes and ready to pull some blackberry bushes out. I wound up in a group with a lot of the people I work with on a daily basis and we had a great group leader Holly who walked us though how to use a shovel and clippers without hurting ourselves or other just in case lol. And just like that we grabbed ourselves a shovel and we got started.
The main area we worked is actually along the Lake Sammaimish sprint tri run course which was kind of cool - though it felt weird not running lol. Everyone started off at break neck speed. It was pretty amazing how quickly everyone worked. The piles grew quickly and some people pulled out some enormous root balls.
I quickly regretted not bringing more than one bottle of gatorade endurance with me. I can't believe I did not bring any snacks or more Gatorade.. it was very toast and even though they told us to wear long pants I was getting way to hot so I snuck behind a tree and changed into my sugoi capris I road in (I considered changing into my tri shorts i brought for the ride home but thought that might be a bit much).
Kim and I took a short water break after an hour or more.
But quickly got back to work...
In all we worked for about 4 hours and cleared out a LOT of blackberry bushes. I think someone said there were something like 200 people that showed up to help out and if we all worked 4 hours that is a TON of volunteer hours (you can do the math it is not really my thing ;) ) . It really made me feel very proud of the company I work for and all the people who took time to do something for the community/environment. It also reminded me of being in teh Earth Corps group in high school. It was amazing how much area we were able to clear in only 4 hours. Not to mention it was fun getting to know people from work outside of the office setting. Even found out another girl in my org is getting more into triathlon and is doing her first olympic next weekend :)
Anyway they had lots of sanwiches, fruit, veggies, treats and lots of water waiting for us when were done for lunch. Which was really good because I was feeling a little light headed from sweating so much and only having 1 bottle of gatorade - oh and I still needed to ride home.
It was not totally clear what we were doing next but to everyone's pleasure they told us to head out and enjoy the rest of the day off and start the weekend early. (Both of my bosses had already told me to do that but it was still cool).
I got back on my bike and headed home.
The ride home was more of a challenge then usual - especially the last mile that is all uphill. I was kind of surprised how tired I was. I guess I will spend the rest of the day trying to rehydrate... But really the day has been pretty great and a wonderful way to start the weekend.