Friday, April 11, 2008

Yet More Vacation Photos

This time they're from Brian again -- you can find his Picasa albums by clicking here. By the way, it was a good thing the both of us took a lot of photos, because the other guys didn't even bother to bring cameras, unless you count Rich's cellphone...

Hanging in tonight, doing some housework and then taking a bit of a nap, since I want to hit the Funhouse later to check out a band with Doug. I'll be posting some more of my own photos tonight at some point too.


Morning weigh-in: 167#, 7.5% BF (yikes!)

Ran, and also hit the gym last night, and so much for that rest day. (I had to get my driver's license renewed after work, and was done with plenty of time/daylight to spare.) I've been on a tear, multiple days of nonstop activity, and now the inevitable backlash has started: I am exhausted and sluggish, I ate too much last night (gave myself another "birthday party" at Which Brew), ate too much (and all the wrong things) this morning... I did take it easy though, two miles at a very comfortable pace, maybe twenty minutes total followed by an endurance alterna-workout, lighter weights than usual too. Not quite an "active rest" day, easier than usual but not easy enough apparently, and I expect that now I'll be kind of run down at least until Sunday.
I ran into two friends this week, Bryan and Lance, father and son. I saw Bryan at Joe's before the ride, he stopped by on his motorcycle (he was dressed head to foot in leather, looked like he was on his way to a Village People tryout or something). We used to ride together quite often, and he was the one I used to go on cycling trips with back in the day. Powerful guy, used to like climbing in the big ring... he's not much older than Rich, but his knees are shot, even surgery he had this winter didn't help, and now he can't ride.
His son Lance I saw at Jacobsburg. He was riding, part of that big Wednesday group thing. I knew he'd had some reconstructive surgery in January or so (ankle: ligaments and cartilage, snowboarding mishap), so I asked him about it and he told me he just finished rehab and was cleared for running/walking, riding and just about all other activities. He usually rides a singlespeed, but was on a new geared bike; he told me the reason was that he was missing so much cartilage now, that the doctor cautioned him against the SS -- like he could ride with gears for the rest of his life, or ride the SS for a year...
Two years ago I couldn't walk; last year at this time if I ran more than a mile I'd be in agony. Last night I ran two miles at a pace I used to think was fast and called it "rest." Despite everything, I think I was pretty lucky with my ankle.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back Almost A Week Already

Morning weigh-in: 165.5#, 7.5% BF
Wow, a two pound hit -- that's what roast beef and birthday beer will do for you. Then again, after Tuesday's ride my dinner was basically Clif Shot Blocks and a couple of carrots, in other words nothing, so there was more than the usual "suppression weight" to be un-suppressed yesterday.
Killer ride last night though. I go there about 5:40, just as the main group was about to pull out so I told them I'd catch up. I got ready, then went chasing with Jay, who was chatting and missed the start; we swept up Greg M who was there independently, and George who waited for us, and finally we reeled in the main group. I was doing OK on the (fully rigid) SS, except some of the bumpier downhills, but I made up for it up on the uphills... Not sure of the mileage but we were out there, riding fast, but casually and with many stops, until about 7:30.
Then came the meeting. Very productive, which meant there was a lot of tedious back-and-forth. (John was a workaholic on vacation, sitting in on meetings with his cellphone every morning, but his motivation for staying on top of things was valid: you don't try to solve the problems in these kinds of meeting, just identify them, make sure everyone knows what's going on & assign resources to get the problem solved, and then move on. I think we're going to have to learn that lesson.) Anyway, a lot got done. Meantime, word got out that it was my birthday, so there were a few free beers that came my way, also a ridiculous paper hat.
It's supposed to be beautiful out, so I'm going for a lunchtime walk. I won't be able to get out tonight (too many chores/errands), and a rest day is what I need anyway. Two kinds of discipline in the world; I have the one that sends me out riding on rainy winter nights, but I still have trouble sitting still on a nice day...

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Appomattox! Party Naked! Buy Me Beer!

Morning weigh-in: 163.5#, 9% BF (woo hoo!)
Yup, Happy Birthday To Me -- 45 years young today! It's also the anniversary of Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox in 1865, and Bataan's fall to the Japanese in 1942. (It's also Sweetness's birthday -- a Porter's regular, he's maybe 30 years older than me.) I guess the lesson here is that I may not like the aging thing but I can't stop it, so just take your lumps and go with the flow...
I feel like I'm a million years old today. Last night's ride was not blazingly fast (fast enough), but it was hard. Me, Joe and Cindy, and Greg, on one of Joe's "hard ride" loops. It started innocently enough, with a tailwind-assisted semi-downhill paceline -- we were doing 25 mph and I was like "why this isn't hard at all!" -- but we eventually started hitting all sorts of hills, and the fast pace did not drop. Well it did drop some, but we were still going up some long, steep hills at say, 12-15 mph, just about "cracking pace" for me, I barely able to hold on. Cindy, who did a morning run that day, peeled off after a while, and then I was left alone with the monsters, who absolutely crushed me... (Luckily they both said it was the toughest ride of the year so far, for either of them, or I would have cried.) Our total distance was like 24 miles, and our average was 16.9 mph, which means the ride lasted about 1:25. That makes sense, since we got back a little before dark. Actually I feel like a million bucks.
Tonight I'm riding the singlespeed at Jacobsburg, then going to the VMB meeting at the Christian Springs Hotel. I'll be milking the birthday; I expect to get a free beer out of somebody.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Moab: I Wasn't The Only One With A Camera

John and Don in Aa Huddle
Originally uploaded by tahl007.
Brian in fact brought two: one kind of like mine, and one really good one. Not sure which one he used for these, but he posted a bunch that you can check out here.

Positively Splitsville

Morning weigh-in: 164.5#, 7.5% BF
Ran last night, my usual two miles out past the old chemical plant and their next-door neighbor, the reservoir. (Hmmmm....) I started well and got up to a good speed, but after the turnaround I tired and slowed down. My faster friends always recommend what they call "negative splits," by which they mean that the second half of your run should be done a little faster than the first, so your run times for the successive halves will actually drop -- well I had what you might call "positive splits." Did a standard endurance workout in the gym after that, the first in about two weeks and it left me hurting.
My Other Desert Epiphany: Riding in Porcupine Rim, I kind of came to the conclusion that (barring a really bad crash) you really have to be an idiot to get yourself killed out there. It does happen, but you hear the stories of what actually did happen such cases, and it's always a tale of idiocy.
By the way, I've been posting vacation pictures to my flickr account, I have maybe 100 or so posted so far.
Hit Which Brew for dinner -- it was Mug Club Night, and also the first "Metal Monday." (Not sure how rigorous their definition of "metal" might be, but the music did rock.) No one said anything, but one of the girls was totally stressed and depressed, and I took from context clues that her relationship must have tanked. Poor girl, she hasn't always had the best of luck guy-wise, and this one did look like the real deal; I just hope I'm wrong and it was maybe a bad day in some other way. Sheesh, you go away for a week and the world falls apart...

Monday, April 07, 2008

Ghost Town

Morning weigh-in: 165.5#, 8% BF
Whelp, back to work. Tough wake-up, I'm still used to Moab time. The drive in this morning was quiet, the roads almost empty, as if it were a holiday or something, until I hit a traffic jam about 100 yards from my exit. Several people are out of the office today too, showing some guys from India around NYC before they return home, and the immediate area round my cube is deathly quiet -- ditto around my old office too, not sure why that is though.
Tonight is the gym, preceded by a run, and followed by Mug Club Night. Which Brew is open every Monday for the whole of this month I think.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Fun With Epiphanies

Morning weigh-in: 164.5#, 10% BF

I couldn't help it, I had to check the weight, I was worried about the damage I may have done while on vacation. Not bad though.

We got home last night, landing maybe 10:45 PM; I was home by maybe 1:00 AM and in fact made "last call" at Porters -- it truly was late though, and only a few people were there that I knew... Slept in a bit this morning, checked out the Internet, and went downtown for breakfast at the Quadrant, where Violetta's dad had an art exhibit. At 80 years old, and with no prior experience or training, he started painting two years ago, mostly local architecture, and he has like 150 paintings now. It was pretty cool, especially since I ran into Vi (who'd told me to check it out) at Nature's Way, and was able to say that I saw the exhibit if she asked, which she didn't, but I'm back in the Easton groove.

Every morning on vacation I did yoga, a 30 minute routine I got out of a book. There was one pose, involving a bind that I just can't do yet, and every morning I'd do the best I could... Today I took the evening class, and the teacher has us take a card (looked like Tarot cards) from a deck, to use as inspiration for the class. Mine said "Aspire" on it, and had a picture of someone doing that very pose. Well, what do you know!

Reading: By the way, I'm rereading Against the Day. I brought it along on vacation for airport downtime etc, and because so much of the first half of the book involves that part of the country. It's actually a much better read the second time around, not that I was complaining the first time or anything but there's so much going on that I missed a lot that I'm catching this time. I'm on page 352, so I have plenty more to get through.

Things I Realized While Riding In The Desert, Part 1: Maybe it was because of Against the Day, though I felt this way before, but I really came to realize that our civilization (Europe, Asia, Antebellum South or Gulag or outsourced) rests on slavery, and maybe all civilizations.