Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everything needs work

Apparently my idea of freedom includes pounding my legs into dust. Having the weekend to myself was in.cred.i.ble! Everything a husband could hope for. I also realized I am completely useless without the wife keeping everything on track.

Friday ended up being a good work day, with solid code writing until about 11:00 pm. 'cause that's how us wifeless people roll. We party like that. But it was a great rest day after the 6 miler on thursday, and I really needed to get that project finished off.

Saturday I had a friend come over and hang out for a while and we worked on his web site some and watched football. I made it out really later than I had hoped, and the gym closed when I was only 11 miles into my 14 mile run. So I just cut it short. 11 miles is still quite a long way. And the machine said I burned about 1700 calories, so I thought I did ok. I felt pretty good, maybe a little shin pain but not much. And the ankle pain was the worst of it. My shoes have an arch support insert, and the one for the left shoe worked its way loose and out. How strange is that? I never thought those things would just wiggle loose and end up on the floor behind the treadmill. I can't remember the times, but I kept the treadmill at about a 6.1 - 6.3 speed the whole time. And I only had to slow down and walk 4 times. So all in all, that was a great workout cut 3 miles short.

Needless to say, the next day I was just a little sore. Not as bad as I really expected, but not what you would call "spring time fresh". So it's a great time to climb up a mountain, right?

The bike ride on sunday was awesome! Wow, that was cool. I mean I had pretty high expectations, and it was way better than that. I haven't been on a long bike ride since training for the triathlon, so I was really looking forward to it. Of course, this is also where the wife would have come in handy.

Now this ride came across the email from one of the Yahoo groups I am in. I saw the date/time, and thought I can do that. It was only 18 miles, most of the group rides on that list are 30 - 60 miles, so I thought I can do that. And the launching pad was only a couple of miles from my house, so I said I will do that. Now I've never been on a group ride before, so I had no idea what I was in for. AND the fact that we were climbing a mountain and that might be difficult somehow escaped me. So I told Ken, the ride leader, that I was in and he agreed to hang back with this newbie, slow down and help me out. That came in handy.

The route was 9.2 miles out and back, 18.4 miles total. About 4 miles of the route was climbing 1000 ft in elevation. This didn't seem too bad on paper.

So I rolled up as the underdressed beginner. Everyone else was in nice biking clothes (read: tight stuff), and I was in jeans, a t-shirt, and old running shoes that have been relegated to cross-training. We had 9 people going on the ride, with some nice $3000+ Specialized bikes and I pulled the $500 Jevis out of the car. I don't have any cold weather bike gear or clipless pedals & bike shoes yet. So I tucked my right pants leg into my sock and we rolled out of there. Oddly enough I got a few "that works for you?" comments, but nobody was pointing and laughing. Bike people are really nice! And I knew that at some point in time, every one of those guys also went out on their first group ride, so I didn't feel too bad.

At least not until we got into the ride. I stayed at the back of the pack to draft a little while it was flat, and I still noticed I was breathing heavier than anyone else. People would ask me questions about the marathon or smoking and I would respond by exhaling. Not exactly intellectually stimulating conversation. But I was having too much fun to care.

We hit the climbing parts to get up Paris Mountain, and the hills got long and fairly steep. I was surprised how long the hills were. Most of the hills weren't as steep as what's around the house here, but they were certainly longer. I did get off and push the bike up one stretch called "The Wall", a 15% grade for a couple hundred feet. I might have been able to make it up the wall, but there would have been nothing left to get up the rest of the mountain. So I wanted to leave a little in the tank. Margaret did the same thing, and she's completed the Assault on Mt Mitchell before and is an incredibly experienced rider. So I followed her lead.

Once we got to the top, it was amazing. It was a really clear day, we could see all the way over downtown Greenville, through the Eastside, the Furman University campus. I told people that I had just bought the bike in august, it was my first road bike, and turns out none of those guys had attempted to climb Paris Mountain until they had been cycling for 2 or 3 years. So apparently I did something incredibly difficult and there is no way a newbie as newbie as me should have been able to do that.

It took us about an hour and a half to get up the moutain, and about 20 minutes to get back. We finished with a big climb going up to the parking lot where we started that just about did me in. But when it was all said and done, I tossed the bike into the trunk of my grandmother's car, and rolled out of there happy and with jello legs. Everybody was so nice, it was really an amazing ride. Thanks, Ken! He's doing this ride every sunday if you're in the area. It was great, but I'm really going to have to think hard before doing it again. Make sure I'm better prepared next time.

I finished the day with several Advil, a protien bar, 2 bowls of cereal and 7 taco's. Morgan ended up coming over to the house to hang out for a while and watch football. Then I crashed.

Saturday night I fell asleep at 10 pm, and woke up at 10 am. Wow, 12 hours was solidly needed and had me rested and ready for the ride. Sunday I also went to bed about 10:30 after some work. I had worked the legs so hard it was really uncomfortable even laying down in bed. Yesterday (Monday) I was onsite for work all day, and my ass was killing me. It's still pretty sore today. That's the rough part of a desk job I guess. So after my 29 mile weekend, Wifey and the girls were waiting for me at home when I got back from the college. I was glad to see them safely back at home, and they were glad to be home.

Their trip marked the first time Wifey was able to make the 4 1/2 hour drive each way without having to stop and change diapers or placate a screaming kidlet! Amazing! That's going to make the Christmas travel a whole lot easier.

So now every possible mode of transportation needs to get some work done. The van (our only family car) needs to get some tire work done. I have to take the bike into the shop, the rear wheel is "out of true" whatever that means. It wobbles a little bit and the brakes rub unevenly. Even the running shoes lost the arch insert. My riding lawmower and push mower neither one will start. So it looks like I will be staying at home for a while. I borrowed my grandmother's car while the van was out of town and it's the only thing running right now. But the thought of pulling up to a bunch of actual bike people in my grandmother's borrowed car with my cheap bike in the trunk and a bungie cord holding everything down, then sporting a naieve grin and "hey let's go climb that mountain" optimism makes me chuckle every time I think about it.

That's when Wifey would have come in handy. Now she claims there's no way she would have let me leave the house like that. The bike fits in nicely in the back of the van, no bungie cords. She also would not have let me show up without some bike appropriate attire. Or so she claims. Tucking my jeans into my sock is another fallacy she wouldn't have let me get away with. But bike people are so nice that they didn't laugh and point or anything. This made me laugh so hard I farted last night when I was telling Wifey about the ride.

Ah, more fun to come. Today is a 3 mile recovery run, tomorrow some cross training. I think I'll hit the weights, havn't done that in a while.


Sarah said...

Great story - all of them! I used to commute to work on a bike (when I lived in Boise). The first time I used the clip shoes, I couldn't get out of them fast enough and fell over at a stop sign. And I never, ever got into bike clothes. They are ugly.

the gazelle said...

Wow - way to go on the bike ride! That sounds pretty impressive. I enjoy a leisurely ride, but once spandex (other than my padded bike shorts) is involved, there's just no way. Way to go - hope you're less sore today!

Wes said...

We all start someplace. For me, it was a Trek FX hybrid. I still lurve it :-) You can move up to something more expensive when the time is right (and the kids are off to college ;-) LOL...

Running 11 miles on a treadmill is just so wrong. You've got way more mental fortitude than I have :-)

Marcy said...

Hey, we all have to start somewhere, right! At least you didn't let it deter you ;-) Great job on that bike ride!

Victoria said...

I just read the comment you posted on POM's blog about how you met your wife, and I have to say that is one of the greatest reminders EVER to be consciously open to the world and its possibilities. So glad you met your wife in such a "Let's see what can happen" manner.

And good luck with the training too...

healthy ashley said...

11 miles is still great! I can't wait until I burn 1,700 calories in a single workout!

I love how you appreciate your wife for keeping things on track. You guys are so cute!

Sarah said...

OMG - John - that is phenomenal! I am so impressed!! And yes, we all start somewhere. My Trek Hybrid got me through several races. Check out BeginnerTriathlete.com. They have a cool Classifieds section where you can pick up some great used gear if you want to try something without committing (this sport is so freakin expensive if you let it be).

ThickChick said...

Okay, kudos on the bike ride but I need to clarify something:


Please tell me how you keep your sanity. 30 minutes, 60 minutes tops and I am insane in the membrane on those things. That is WITH a tv and WITH tunes.