Sunday, March 30, 2008

Wondrous Bike Ride

A few weeks ago, I had one of those runs that makes you feel glad that you are alive. Yesterday, I had one of those bike rides. The weather was perfect - the weather was just a little cold, foggy and overcast, but the roads were mostly dry and not slick. No wind.

I joined forces with some people from my team and we started out easy with the large group. As the ride strung out, someone went by and I hopped on his wheel. Two others hopped on as well and we cruised until we hit the first turn a few miles down. The pack broke up a bit and the road narrowed, but we still made good time and were able to reform. As we descended a long hill, some challenges presented themselves - wooden bridges and road debris, but we skirted those and I suddenly found myself drafting off my teammate, making very good time. I took a turn and we pulled into the back of another paceline. I was content to sit there, but my teammate pulled out and I went with him. I had noticed by now that I was pretty much the fastest one out there going downhill (my weight was good for something). On stretches that were mostly downhill, I would take a pull. We jumped out again, and he pulled, then I pulled and we skipped the first rest stop. My heart rate was really sky high at this point, but I gamely jumped on the wheel to keep the draft going uphill. We saw another paceline and I thought "refuge." So I took the front for a strong pull, then he did (with me struggling) and we finally pulled in the back. I was nearly cooked, 16 miles in, but I thought I might be able to recover. And I did, for a bit. The paceline held together pretty well for another 10 miles or so, but when we turned, I had a bit of crosswind and knew I was in trouble. I finally cracked a mile short of the 2nd aid station, where everyone stopped. At this point, my teammate and I pulled out our maps and said, "Wow - we've covered a serious amount of pavement." It was just 3 1/2 miles to the turn for the longest route. Time off the bike always restores me, so we hopped on pretty quickly and fell into a pattern of "sharing duties." I'd go hard on stretches that were mostly downhill, he'd drag me up sections that were mostly uphill and give some rest on the downhills, too.

Long story short, we traded off that way through the rest of the ride, well matched and flying. Toward the end, I was hurting a lot and standing up on some uphill sections to keep pace, but we pulled into the parking lot with a 19.7 mph average. It was by no means a "long ride" (more like 3 1/2 hours of intervals for me), but it was an immensely satisfying ride with just two weeks to go to the MS150.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Workouts working

I've had some pretty good workouts lately. I'm feeling faster, but I'm not really checking my times.

I had two strong Saturday long rides on my bicycle in preparation for the MS150.
I did several tempo workouts, and the night before last even played soccer afterward in a little neighborhood pick up game. I miss soccer.

On the celiac front - I asked if there was a "gluten-free" option for a carbo-loading dinner for the training series. I know there isn't, but it makes me feel better for asking.

I'm losing weight, but oh so slowly. The other day, I weighed in at 4.8 pounds under my starting weight. Then my wife said, "You still have your keys in your pocket?" Well - yes - that's how I weigh in. I guess life is different for people with purses. (I didn't tell her I was also carrying my cell phone and wallet.)

Work and home have been busy.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I think my offseason is over

Lately, I've really been itching to get back on a regular workout scheme. Last night, I was free on a Wednesday for the first time in a long time. I was bored, so I created a running workout schedule. I guess I'll be starting that up with some more biking.

My GIG Celiac Conference note came in the mail today, too.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Won my age group!

I didn't peak for it and I didn't plan it, and I can't remember my time, but I won my age group at a fun run this weekend! We just came back from a cub scout campout and I realized I had enough time to make it over to the high school for the run. So I did. This year, I made it with enough time to chat and warm up. My big strategy was to line up behind the cross country team and run an even pace. The first part went well. Aside for some jostling at the too-narrow start, the cross country team dusted me so fast that there was a good amount of room to run. The second part was more confusing... The mile splits they called out were 7 min, 15:23 and then I finished in 23:22 (I think), for an overall 7:30 pace. Something wasn't quite right on the mile splits. But never mind - I knew I'd done well given my 31 mile bike ride up by Lake Livingston.

The kids wanted to come, too, so they came later with my wife. The weather was rainy in spurts, so they decided to start the kids race early. I didn't have my cell phone, so I had to run back to the truck, only to run to my wife caught in traffic, to turn around to run to the registration table and then to run to the mile start. (Did I mention the earlier 5K?) Then the kids said, "Dad - will you run with us?" "Um, sure"

Wouldn't you know it that both of them outran the pack for first place in boys and girls? It was a small race, but that was sure fun. And the best part wasn't the winning, it was that we all did our best and we did it as a family.