Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicken & Gravy

The way I move keys you can call me the piano mang - Jay Z

Last night I watched Natalee Holloway on Lifetime Movie Network. It was the story we all know, but told from the perspective of her mother. I'm a follower of this story, as well as Chandra Levy, Laci Peterson and Jon Benet. Anytime a pretty white person dies it is a sad day.

I have also come off the ledge a bit after Boston, so thanks for all of your concern. I only have a few cut marks on my arms, and the doctor says with some Shea's Cocoa Butter there shouldn't be any scars.

I had pretty much already forgotten about the race until yesterday, when I received my finisher's time card in the mail. Thanks for the reminder, BAA.

But onto bigger and better things, namely me + my bike + roads. That's right, triathlon season is upon us and it's finally a sport I seem to do much better in (unless the race is over 2h8m). I've spent the past few years building a little nest egg on the bike, and somehow live off the fat throughout the year. I've ridden my bike exactly 21 times this year. That's pretty sad. But I have 1157 miles, which isn't tremendously less than where I was this time last year.

The main differences are that I have only made one trip out to Frederick, compared with 4 last year. I also haven't been attending my Thursday Night Ride. Most of this was due to Boston, and bad weather, but even now I think it will be difficult for me to get up to Owings Mills on Thursdays this summer. It's about 20 miles from my house, which would mean even if I don't head all the way back to the shop, I'm still looking at 70 miles of riding on a Thursday. Not that I can't do it, I just wouldn't do it each week.

Anyway I'll worry about that later, I can ride hard on my own, I just like the socialization.

Back to this past weekend. I wound up taking 3 days completely off last week to let my body recover a little from the marathon. Hopped in the pool once, and ran about 2.5 miles on Sunday just to get home from where I was. The main objective of the weekend was to ride, and ride we did.

Saturday morning I was rolling up Fleet St by 7:15 to meet OJ and Benda at Meadowbrook. Their plan was to do the PA78 ride we have from TriSpeed, which makes it pretty close to 100 from Meadowbrook. Add the 18 miles for me to and from Meadowbrook and you've got a long day in the saddle. My previous longest rides are 106 mile efforts. I felt pretty decent in the morning, but knew it was going to be a long day.

Away we went from Mt. Washington, up to Timonium and then instead of stopping at the store to start their 9am ride, we just went on our way. There were a couple of parts early that Benda and OJ were picking it up, which I told them was fine - I just wasn't going to have the legs to do it. Finally we got up to Hampstead, and then onto Lineboro Rd. We stopped for water at Leone Springs, one of the highlights of the ride. Then it was back to the grind. We rolled into our next stop, Glen Rock PA, and were averaging 18.7 for the ride at mile 65. That's pretty decent.

From there, the ride gets a little challenging again. You pick up York Rd just north of the state line, and it's very hilly. Overall, you're descending into Hunt Valley, but some of the inclines are rough, and there's not a spot of shade. The worst is the climb up past Hereford HS. As I pedaled up that section I noticed the temperature read 91. Yikes.

I finally made it back to Timonium, and it was decision time. Ride uphill for a couple miles so I could benefit by going downhill for a while, or have a relatively flat ride but through more traffic. I opted for the hills. I made a stop just after 100 at Falls Road Running, and then made my way home. 115 miles, quite a long day. I was pleased that I didn't completely crash and burn, but I don't think I could have gone much quicker - my HR would have spiked and cause me to crumble. I did a great job with nutrition today, which was a highlight and undoubtedly helped me not feel like death the next day.

Sunday morning I headed down to watch a bunch of the team run at the Port to Fort 6k, where we went 1-2 on both the men's and women's side. We had a lot of successes today at various races, which was awesome because even at the early hour it was really warm. I ran home and prepared for my ride. OJ and I were meeting at 1:30 at Old Court Rd to ride to Frederick. It was HOT.

And windy - we had to ride into a pretty stiff headwind all the way out to Frederick. There was no shade and it's a primarily uphill ride, so what little downhills there were didn't offer any relief. It felt like a furnace. My feet were on fire. I was riding okay, but not great. My legs weren't cramping, nor did they feel like they would, but I just couldn't generate much power. I think we held 17.2 for the near 70 mile ride. At 5:15 we went past one thermometer that read 100. It could have been that hot.

After a spicy chicken sandwich and some french fries from Wendy's, we were on the road. OJ dropped me off in Fed Hill to attend Claire's bbq, and then I had to ride the 4 miles back home. Bleh.

Still, a 185 mile weekend is good at this time of year for me. The only casualty is my left knee is a little sore, which feels like it's been overused just a little. I should be good. I'm happy the efforts didn't kill me, so now with a little bit of riding under me I can get out for some harder efforts this coming weekend, ahead of racing season.

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