Friday, May 11, 2007

The World Moves On a Woman's Hips

Morning weigh-in: 175.5#, 13.5% BF

My right hip is sort of feminine-shaped right now, much bigger at the lower point of the hip joint than the left one; it also has an enormous but somewhat diffuse yellowish bruise coming through from deep inside. Pain is mostly gone (it's still a bit sore to the touch but that's all), and all tightness has worked its way out: I'm pretty much recovered. Yoga and riding were definitely the right decisions.

VMB meeting at Sals last night, with pre-meeting ride. Rich B, Eric, Eric B, Doug, Trevor, Greg M, Rudy & a few others, some of whom started way earlier. Good ride, but I was disappointed in my technical riding (and speed: those guys are fast), and also with the ride's relatively short duration-- we only had an hour, which is really not enough time to let things develop. I was climbing well though, no complaints there. Pleasant (and as usual lately, very productive) out-of-doors meeting afterwards at the ballfield, then I went to Which Brew -- what, again? -- for dinner. Saw Stu & Kathy, a nice surprise on a weeknight, and sat out on the deck with them, as well as Perry, Judy (talking about her new place) and Ann. I think actually prefer weeknights at the WB over weekends, which is good because I'm probably not going out tonight or tomorrow.

Parting shot: Second night in a row I had a fan on in my bedroom. Bring the heat.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Hold My Hands And Pray For Rain

Morning weigh-in: 175.5#, 13% BF

Killer ride yesterday as I said, and hopefully I'll be up for another good ride tonight; the VMB meeting is at Sals and there's a ride beforehand. Rain cancels of course, and tomorrow will be the gym because of the rain.

Saturday will be yoga and then the PPRAC fundraiser at the Whitehall Wal-Mart; Sunday I'll be racing again, this time at French Creek. I hope I'm not overextending myself, doesn't feel like it but then again it never does until too late...

I'm pretty sure nutrition is the key to good fast recovery, which in turn is the key to multiple workouts. Last night I ate about 600 calories worth of couscous for dinner (this was post-ride, pre-ride I had a bowl of cereal with strawberries) as well as a quart of E-Load, I hit the glycogen window so I think I got a leg up on my replacement carbs. I ate all that on the porch, hanging with my neighbor Ebony, and Nick from across the street, pretending to not be nosy while the cops refereed an altercation between the teenage girls next door...

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

It Is A Mystery

I took this photo a few months ago, while XC skiing with Doug & Lori. Other photos I posted from that day are getting maybe 5 or 10 views total, but this one has been looked at 83 times so far, making it my 18th most popular photo. I have no idea why -- I mean, it's a nice picture, I like it, but it just doesn't seem like anything special.

Anyway, rode the "northern benchmark" road ride tonight, 24 miles in 1:25, OK but really just average pace by the standards of a few years ago. I felt fast though, at least until I started the return trip and realized the way out had been with the wind...

One (OK, Two) For Sociability

Morning weigh-in: 178#, 13% BF

Stopped in last night at Bike King, bought new cleats which I'll put on tonight before hitting the road. I was planning on installing the cleats last night after Yoga (which was lovely), but I got a call from Doug, met him & Lori for a couple of beers at Which Brew. Very nice catch-up, hadn't seen them in a while.

I'd gone to Bike King on Monday as well, but had forgotten my wallet which necessitated the return trip yesterday, and with going out last night, I managed to extend to three days what should have been a 10 minute task -- D'oh! Anyway, I removed the old cleats (the hardest part of the job) this morning before work, and should be ready to ride pretty quickly tonight. The hip is just now starting to feel OK, so it's not like I missed anything.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Third Knee On My Hip

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 176.5#, 11.5% BF
Morning weigh-in (Tuesday): 178.5, 11% BF

Quick weekend recap: Friday was a hot lap on the towpath, followed by an abbreviated evening out (bed by 11:00 I'd guess), Saturday was a rest day, did some chores and had an even earlier evening out, bed by 8:00 for Sunday's 4:30 wake-up.

Michaux: A Race Report (something I wrote up for the Chain Gang)

It was an excellent day for racing and riding yesterday, and trail conditions were ideal, maybe even a bit on the dry side with a few notable exceptions. Joe and I, having left his house at some ungodly hour, and being sent on a detour through the woods, arrived around 8:30 AM, just after the 50-mile racers took off. Register, prep bikes, port-o-john, warmup, more port-o-john, and then we lined up for the start about 10:30.

The start setup, by the way, was different from previous years: we lined up on the dirt road behind registration, heading towards the parking lot entrance but from there straight, up that dirt road climb for about a mile and into about 4 miles of mixed single/doubletrack I'd never seen before. Very nice stuff, but also very tight and twisty, hard to pass -- and if anyone stops ahead, everyone's walking. That area ended with a boggy section, one of only three wet spots on the whole course, but like those other spots it was a giant mud pit; the trail literally went through a swamp. It was rideable, but once again we were forced off the bikes by the general chaos. That swamp was the last place I saw my left cleat...

I was pretty ticc'ed at first, and I lost a lot of time figuring out what happened & looking for a spare in my pack (no such luck or foresight), but in the end the handicap might have helped me: I was forced to be very careful with my foot, especially on technical climbs, and as a result I just toodled up at a sedate pace (where I might have gone in more aggressively, blown up, and walked), and actually passed a lot of guys walking up the hills.

Downhill I wasn't so fortunate. There's a lot of bike-handling done unconsciously through your feet, and for the most part (by forcing myself to think about it) I was able to compensate for that -- until one double log where I just bunny-hopped without thinking first... Foot flew to the side, bike plowed into the log and stopped, and I did a somersault over the bars, landing on my hip on a rock. I got to watch all the guys I just passed on the hill go by, thinking "those %$#!!&$ dudes probably think I'm some kind of roadie, passing on a hill and then crashing! I'll show them! Ow, I'll probably feel this tomorrow." (I was right on at least one count.)

The rest of the ride was uneventful. I was pretty far behind, and when I got to Grave's Ridge I was disappointed to see it was empty because I was cleaning it -- until I dabbed on something stupid in front of the only two spectators. That was at mile 15; there was maybe another mile or two of loamy singletrack, then a 5-6 mile jeep road climb (log sled trail, mainly), followed by a mile or so of rocky singletrack before the last bit of dirt road to the finish. My final time was 3:11 or so, just about what I expected (shooting for an average of 7.5 mph) so I was happy.

Saw Joe at the finish, first time I saw him since the start. He rode with Jay for most of the race, and his story is better than mine but you'll have to hear it from him. I also saw Joe Gabor at the finish; he did the 50-miler, and finshed not long after I did. He looked like death warmed over and said "this was harder than the Wilderness 101!" I'm guessing I made the right course choice...

Long ride home, made even longer by construction delays, but it was still one heck of a good day.

One last observation: the atmosphere was very laid-back, very "old school" as both Joe and Jay noted: things were very relaxed, there were quite a few racers taking "spliff breaks" on the course, and most everyone had a bottle of barley pop at the end. Sue, who ran support for Joe G at the rest areas, told us of one guy (probably not an official) trying to induce the 50-mile singlespeeders to chug a beer at the last rest stop, on the grounds that if they were that damn hardcore... He had a few takers.

So anyway, I have a huge (and very sore) welt on my hip, but last night's yoga helped out, and a few more days should get me back up to 100%. Dinner last night was at the monthly Mug Club at Which Brew, and tonight it'll probably be something light.