Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Sunday Feb 17th

Today was a pretty good day starting off with the traditional Mornings With Martin swim. It was pretty fun this morning because I can see each person that swims in the same lane as me getting faster. I don't know if I am, I like to think so. But the improvement everyone els has made is very impressive. We swam some longer sets today, and people all hung in there and no one got lapped. Which I have to say is the 1st time we have incorporated 200s and no one got lapped. I know people were bustin' their butts not to get caught, and I know people get faster because of that. Granted, sometimes they look like a friggin' steamboat in the water spinning their arms as fast as they can, but they do get stronger.

We ended the swim today with 12 50s which always seem to go pretty fast because the rest interval is so short and it feels like you just keep going. But the people in my lane rotated in the position behind me. I kept it steady and swam what I would normally swim steady 50s at. And every person was able to hang in there. They were touching my toes going both directions. I was really impressed. I know some of the people really pushed it and swam harder than they ever probably wanted to, but I think it was a lot of fun and people realized what they can ‘potentially’ do, and are capable of doing. Now it’s the choice of weather or not to do it. Fun swim.

Then of course I normally run on Sundays…as do so many other people. It was a beautiful day today… probably 45 degrees and sunny. I stayed inside most of the day doing projects and cleaning bikes up. Jessi went for her run and I was going to run when she got home. But instead, I got hungry and made Emma and me some big ass blueberry pancakes and bacon—at 3:30pm. Not the ideal time to put that kind of carbs in the body, but I wanted to and Emma agreed. I figured I would have 1 hr before I would need to leave to be able to still run in the daylight. Well, Jessi came home talking about how beautiful the weather was and how it seemed like Spring. I was feeling like a stuffed whale, but I figured in an hour I could still bust it out. Instead of running, I fell asleep. When I woke up and mustered enough energy to get going it was 5:15pm and the sun was disappearing. So, it turned into a typical weekday winter run. I grabbed all my warmer clothing (clothing for weather 35 degrees and below), my reflective gear, and headlamp and off I went. My legs felt a little fagged (had to throw that word in). But they eventually started to rebound about 45 minutes into the run and I started to feel better. It would have been easy to postpone the run until tomorrow, but I knew I would be frustrated that I procrastinated so much.

Saturday Feb 16th

We received about 1-2 inches of snow overnight that was a little disappointing. But I figured that it would probably melt overnight… it didn’t. Sara, one of our club members was hosting the BAT (bikes and trainers) at her house and many people realized that getting out on the road might be a little tough. I thought that I would eventually be able to get out, but it might be a little sloppy… or some might actually call it slushy :) I received multiple calls that day saying that there was no way that I would be able to ride on the road. Got one call form Rick P. that said he was going to ride for 4 hours and that I could join him since there was no way I could get on the road. Had another person call and ask if I had seen the roads… it would be impossible. And then the call of calls came. A person actually said, “You can’t ride in this weather.” Now, there are a few things that spur me on… ask anyone that knows me. One of those things is the statement, “You Can’t.” The list is pretty long of things that I was told I could not do. Mark could probably tell you a dozen of them off the top of his head. Maybe a post for another time. We have all heard the standard saying that there is no such thing as can’t, and, don’t use that word, or, yes you can… whatever motivates you… great. But I think I might be motivated to prove people wrong. I had a short conversation with a mom of a past student of mine recently. I will write a post on that one. I felt like all I was saying is why you can, when she was trying tell me why I couldn’t. Not to mention the challenge that it poses when someone says you can’t.

Anyway, I posted it on the tri forum that I was planning on riding outside, and people were trying to call my bluff. Mark never did. Of course he comes from a cycling background and knows some of the weather we did 3-4 hour rides in when we were 15 year olds. Wet roads really never deterred us at all. Watch the European races. They go over mountain passes while it’s snowing… and accumulating on the roads. And guess what? There is a winner. Someone does finish first and finish last. And every person has a story that they will never forget. Besides, I will take a ride in the cold and wet over a ride on the trainer any day.

As I got all of my riding gear on, I emerged from the basement. Jessi was working on the computer and looked up to see something that resembled a snowmobiler and a cyclist. It was the typical cold weather riding gear... nothing special at all. She just looked at me and smiled. So you're going to go huh? I said of course. It looked like a good day for a ride. She called my bluff and said, "You are going on this ride out of spite aren't you?" I said, "Maybe a little." but deep down inside me, I am a cyclist. And cyclists ride on the road. I love to race in the rain, the wind, and the cold weather... always have. So to go out and train in this was simply an opportunity. An opportunity to know that I am out there getting in quality miles, and so many others are not.

So Jessi got up and grabbed Emma. I asked what she was doing. She said that she was going to go and take pictures because only the people who really knew me would believe you rode today. She just needed a few pictures to document it for those people that wouldn't.

So off I went and had a nice 2 hour ride.

Friday, Feb 15th

The weather this week has been pretty amazing. The snow is receding and the dry roads seem to be emerging. I was able to get out on the road for the 1st time this year on Friday afternoon. It felt so great! I rode a bike that a friend loaned me. Well actually, he bought my Felt DA, and the carcass of his old bike lie idle in my basement without pedals or a seat. It was all but retired. Probably a market value of $250. It was pretty dirty and needed a good overhaul. So absolutely perfect for a ride on the silt covered roads. So I threw on my $3000 power meter, pedals, and saddle. Made some minor adjustments (or should I say removal of unnecessary parts), and it looked like a newborn bike. I could hear it smile. I am sure the bike’s spirit thought for sure it would never see the road again… left to a life sitting in the back of a garage, and then eventually in a garage sale for $45. But it made a comeback that Friday and it ran well. I rode about 25 miles and it felt so great to be on a road bike again… no aero bars. I was excited at the opportunity to ride outside on Saturday and skipping an early morning BAT.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Weekend Training

Wow, what a weekend. Even with an entire week off, I still found myslef a tad tired and working hard to get through the workouts. Not necessarily getting them in, or done, but the rigors associated with them.

Started off with a BAT at out house. We packed 12 Tri Fusion members into our basement for some fun riding. I think people were able to get in the desired time. Some rode 1 hour, others rode almost 3 hours. I was able to get in my ride which had some tougher interval work associated with them followed by an enjoyable run with Steve, Francie and Jessi. The roads were pretty clear, and cars were friendly, other than a couple that were either on their phones or texting. I think I am going to start getting people's liscense plates and posting them on my blog... that's an idea. And if you want to investigate who 'owns' the vehicle, that would be totally up to you. Then again, it would be a little tough to remember all of numbers and letters. I digress. After each BAT we have breakfast that so many people help supply food for. It's so great to see people take ownership in these events. Good training with great people, and all done by 9:00am.

Sundays always start off with picking up our Toree, who babysits Emma while we do our weekly Tri Fusion Master swim. This has been one of the most successful activities that the club has been doing. It is actually the very first workout that we regularly did when we first started as a club and we were a board of 13. I have to say that, selfishly, I roped in as many people as I could in late September and early October because I was training for IM Hawaii that was in mid October. They were initially called the 'Starbucks Swims' because we would meet at Starbucks and then drive out to Medical Lake. Now we take over the Oz Fitness pool for 1.5 hours with a paid life guard and have about 25 people swimming each week. Wow, what fun. Again, I digress. So the swim on Sunday was a good one. More peple showed up to swim in the middle lane (the one that I choose to swim in) which makes it a little mroie fun with people pushing onean other.

After the swim I still had a longer run to do which I was able to do on the road in the beautiful sunny weather. I ran on the side of the road and had little trouble with traffic even though most of them were on their way to a Super Bowl party and probably had no clue what a triathlon is nor a triathlete... so I appreciated all the times people slowed or gave me room. The run went well, felt smooth, and I am looking forward to some speedwork soon.

It's February, anf my first race is only 1 month away... gotta get after it.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Thursday Headlamp Run

So I stand corrected on making the statement that we would be back at school on Thursday... we weren't and we are not on Friday either. As I sit here and write this post (after getting up at 9:30am), I see a traditional Spokane winter day and the roads are, well, are fine. I commend the district for making such a 'wise' decision in giving us more vacation, I mean, making a safe decision for the students and staff. There is no way that I could make it 2 miles to work right now. But somehow I was able to make it out the to valley to do some shopping, and had to wash the the car because of how wet and dirty the roads have been. I will probably make it up skiing today as well. Nonetheless, I appreciate the days off this week. I just wish I had more to show for it other than a sore back from all the snow blowing I have been doing. In the month of January, we attended school for 2 weeks. Though being a teacher does have some downfalls, it sure has some unexpected perks too.

Since I though school was on yesterday, I was up at 5:00am to see the large dump of snow we were supposed to get, which amounted to 3 inches. I also wanted to get a ride in on the trainer before school, so this would allow me to do that. But Jessi checked the Mead website, and school was closed for Thursday. You are kidding me? I honestly could not believe it... but I'll take it. So I cleared the driveway, the road, and a couple other driveways and then got on the bike for my training for the day. The ride went well and I am feeling good.

Also there was another great Headlamp Run hosted by the Gallaghers. The turnout was limited this week because of what I believe to be the road conditions. But I have to say that the loop we run was in fine shape. It had been plowed in the recent day(s) so running with tractions devices made it quite enjoyable. You can always find reasons not to workout. But when the opportunity comes to run with a group of friends, I'll always take it. These Thursday runs have turned out to be a lot of fun. You can always count on the Gallaghers being there. But then again, it is at their house.