Friday, January 09, 2009

Rest In Peace, Sweetness

At Megan's Party
Originally uploaded by donXfive.
We went to Porter's last night to catch the open-mic show, since some people we know were going to be doing comedy routines routines (it was decent, definitely better than the usual music, and kind of fun to see them learning the ropes), and as we walked in I saw the the board outside said "Rest in Peace, Sweetness." Well, shit.

Sweetness was until recently a regular at Porter's, and you could see him there almost any evening. He told some good stories about his life, but I know almost nothing about him -- not even his name -- except that he had the same birthday as me. He was very good friends with many other regulars and the bartenders too. I hadn't seen him in a while, so I asked recently, and someone told me he had "health issues," which by the way they said it, it sounded like cancer.

Needless to say, things were pretty glum in there last night, especially among the bartenders and regular patrons.

So Far So Good

Partway through my first week of training, and things look good so far...
A Humorous Incident: The first ride of the Chain Gang's 2001 trip to Downieville started with a 17-mile climb. The group is working away, just chugging along up that hill... Joe C and I are riding together, and we looked at each other and said something like "this ain't so bad!" Just then, we turned a corner and saw a sign: "Mile Marker #1." So far so good, but we hadn't even started yet, really. (Actually it wasn't too bad, and the 17-mile downhill on the other side made it all worthwhile.)
Anyway, I did yoga Monday, rode the towpath Tuesday, did more yoga Wednesday, hit the gym last night, and tonight is another towpath ride; tomorrow is yoga and the gym again, and Sunday is a "wintry mix" fun ride. Mostly cross-training right now, but my plan is to ramp up the cycling volume next week and the week after, to complete my first "base period." (Following a "rest week," my next period will pretty much duplicate this first one, but with somewhat more intense rides and pace.) We shall see -- Tipperary is still a long way off.
I do have a secret weapon this year: Google Calendar. I've planned out all my training periods (if not all individual training activities -- yet) up to the W101 as tasks/events on the calendar, and have been keeping logs of my training sessions (OK, session) so far as comments. My big problem last year was that I started training way too late, and this year I think I have that licked -- I'd better, since the very next day after the W101, we head out to start the PPRAC ride.
Yep, I'm doing that too. You have been warned.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

It's Like I Never Left

Well, I'm back at work, starting yesterday after about three weeks off. Pretty ordinary back-to-work days so far, mostly what I expected.
Movie Review: We saw Milk Sunday night, at the 19th Street Theater with Doug & Lori. It was very well done, and the acting was awesome (especially Sean Penn), but it sure wasn't a feel-good movie. (And once again, I managed to see a real downer at the 19th St Theater.) Still, it comes with my recommendation.
Trail Review: Things might be a little different after tonight's "wintry mix," but I think the trails at Sals have never been more fun than they've been in the past week. I rode there multiple times including New Year's Eve, New Year's Day, once or twice before that, and also on Sunday when local pros Jay Dejesus and Rob Lichtenwalner held a skills seminar there. Bonus: Anne checked out the seminar as well! She rode there in maybe September, on what must have been her third time on a mountain bike, and was not sure she liked or was confident on those trails. But this -- along with her new, more properly-sized handlebar -- was exactly what the doctor ordered: plenty of people, of all ability levels including her own (she was mid-pack), learning what works and what doesn't in a "just for fun" environment.
Last night was yoga, and tonight is a towpath ride, in fact my first training ride of the year, Workout Number One in Week One of my first "base" training period. My goal: once again, I am aiming at a sub-ten-hour finish at the Wilderness 101. If I start now and keep to the plan I've come up with, I should hopefully see some major improvements this year.
(By the way, the positional vertigo is back.)