Friday, July 23, 2010

Stand Down: Come To A Decision On It

No morning weigh-in: my official weigh-in procedure is to step on the scale before breakfast, just before stepping into the shower, but lately I've been eating breakfast at home, and to save time I do that while the water boils for coffee, ie long before I shower. I'll have to come up with a new procedure...
Today marks Day # of the Great Clinton Water Emergency, we can't use the tap water here at work (not for drinking, or washing hands, or cooking) because they found E. coli in the town well. I will keep eating breakfast at home, and limit myself to Diet Coke at work, at least until they give us the all clear.
My Decision: The Wilderness 101 is a week from tomorrow, and I've decided that I'm not really ready for it, so I am not going. Last weekend's rides were the final tests, and I felt like death on at least one (the other was too short and easy to really tell me anything); since those results might have been anomalous, I tested the situation again with a Sals ride on Tuesday -- and I felt even worse. I'm kind of disappointed, but I just don't think I'm up for it -- 100 miles is a long ride on a mountain bike, that's a lot further than "tough it out" can carry you and I do not feel like spending $200 or more to suffer for 15 hours -- or worse, drop out before the finish like last year. "Go big or go home," as the saying goes, and I think I'd better stay home.
So what about all that training? Some observations:
1. I really felt great a few weeks ago. The training guide I followed says up front that you'll crash after week 11 or so, after peaking at around week 8 of the program, because this program will not give you the base necessary to sustain high levels of effort. (The W101 was supposed to be at the end of week 10.) I wonder if I actually peaked a week or so ago, and crashed early too.
2. I think I made some real progress on this program, and -- up until a week or so ago -- I was riding much better than I had been when I started. Unfortunately, I think I started too far back, I had too much ground to make up.
Anyway, now my time is my own again, that weekend as well as training days. I rode last night with a bunch of friends at Sals, and will do it again tomorrow, and will probably be getting back into yoga and the gym regularly soon.
Reading: I am almost done with Pynchon's latest, Inherent Vice. Pretty good read, more like Vineland or The Crying of Lot 49 than anything else he's done, and fairly entertaining if a bit thin by Pynchon standards -- it's practically a beach novel. When I'm done with this I'll probably take up The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet's Nest, last in Steig Larssen's "Millennium Trilogy," and another fairly light summer thriller. Anne just finished the second book in the series, so I better hurry if I want to stay ahead...
Listening: Recent downloads include the Decemberists' "The Hazards of Love," both albums by Neutral Milk Hotel and Titus Andronicus's "Monitor." For some reason, probably just temporal proximity, they all seem very similar.
Tonight we're going to the Velodrome.
Update: They just lifted the drinking water restrictions! Party!!!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Portrait In Sunburn and Lakewater

Oops! wrote this Monday, forgot to post it...
Morning weigh-in (Monday): 174#, 12% BF
Terrible accident on the way in this morning. I didn't see it happen, just dealt with the aftermath -- they closed I-78 for a while, and I was stuck for more than an hour -- and saw the wreckage when they finally let us through. Three cars at least, one flipped on its side, scene looked like a yard sale littered across the road... People drove carefully for a few miles afterwards, but within minutes I saw the same old stupidity.
Anyway, good weekend, lotsa biking too. The second Heels On Wheels pub crawl (Friday night) was a smashing success, with the ladies (Anne, Donna, Debbie, Amy, and a few others) out riding bicycles in in their skirts and heels, plus a few tag-along guys like myself who were, um, intrigued by the concept... We started at Brew Works, then hit the Bookstore, then Welcome, then Mach's Gut before finishing with nachos back at Brew Works.
Saturday was a bit of a rough morning, but Anne and I got out to Drewstock 2010 (ie the Riverside Bar, just north of Easton on 611), where fellow VMB'er Robin was running the charity road ride. Things stayed rough for me until about the 10-mile mark, but after that I felt pretty good, and Anne and I ended up in the breakaway pack in the "fast group" -- the pace wasn't really too bad, but there were a lot of mechanicals, missed turns etc, and the front group really got winnowed down, just us two and three guys, hammering away on the hot tarmac. Luckily, the entire second half felt like it was down hill... It was a beautiful ride, and an awesome route, and then we dipped our derrieres in the Delaware for about an hour after we got back to the Riverside. They were having bands and a pig roast later in the day, but we took off after the swim, we had plans: we spent Saturday night (after a nap) at a friend's house party, listening to impromptu jam sessions and sampling homebrew.
Sunday was a ride in Jim Thorpe. I'd originally planned to do a Twin Peaks mini-epic, a fairly substantial group ride, while Anne rode the Switchback Trail with a few friends, but in the end it was just Anne and Liz and me, so rather than riding alone I tagged along with the ladies. This was another great ride, and again it was followed by a nice dip -- we rode out to the end of the dam at Mauch Chunk Lake and treated the rocks like our own private beach. (I managed to get some "nice color," ie lobster-level sunburn, on my chest and shoulders.) It was a breezy day, and while the water was warm anything above the surface was exposed to the chilling breeze. We bobbed along with just our heads above water...
Last night was just hanging out; I brought my photos up to date on flickr -- I didn't take any photos of the Heels On Wheels event, and none to speak of from Drewstock either, but I did get a few good shots yesterday -- and after dinner we met Donna at Brew Works. Now it's Monday, so sad...