Stubborn Little Irish Boy

17 03 2009

The last day of our weekend. We got some fantastic deals on bike gear for Heidi this morning, then took to the streets for a nice hour spin. She flatted when we were almost home and I didn’t have the right tools on me so I had to race back to the truck and swing around to pick her up. Beers followed. And yeah, what a bummer to flat on your first ride ever on your first road bike ever?! Lame. At least up until that point everything was smooth and gravy. She was even rocking clipless (eggbeaters) pedals for the first time!

Santa Maria!

Santa Maria!

Light Rail: The Silent Killer

Light Rail: The Silent Killer

Over the shoulder.

Over the shoulder.

Mesquite repair stand.

Mesquite repair stand.

Beer and bikes. Wish that one was in my stable.

Beer and bikes. Wish that one was in my stable.

By the way, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! and Happy Shave Yer Man Legs Day! (for all you tri-geeks). With a name like Mackey it’s a safe assumption that I’m Irish…not like all the posers that go out drinking their shitty green-colored swill this one day of the year. Real Irishmen drink whiskey and that’s what happens to be in the cup that I’m firmly grasping at the moment. Drive safe you mofos.





Backyard Paradiso

3 03 2009

After that last little spill off the bike I took a few days off. The legs were (still are) fairly bruised and beaten up…but that’s how it goes. Yesterday I had the bright idea to take off on an eight mile run. It was fine, I finished in under an hour ten ( <9 minute mile ) and felt pretty good though I think my knees and ankle swole up afterwards.

This morning I spent a solid two hours cleaning the bike, tightening and adjusting bolts, and tweaking my seat position. The thing looked beautiful when I was done with and I just had to take it out for a quick hour spin on the near-by trail system.

Beef.

Beef.

Back end of the loop.

Back end of the loop.

Rider profile.

Rider profile.

Thigh huggin'

Thigh huggin'

Lost and Found.

Lost and Found.

At some point during the ride I had unknowingly ejected my water bottle, so I went back through a partial loop to find it.  Great little ride, all in all. The bike is running as good as it ever has (except for a little quirky-ness in the front der). I’m feeling about as good as I ever have. Life is alright.

On with my regularly scheduled day off.

Kloe catching some sun.

Kloe catching some sun.





Object Fixation is a Bitch.

26 02 2009
About to drop in.

About to drop in.

Some days you kick ass, and some days your ass gets kicked. Today was the latter. I’ve been doing quite well on the mountain bike lately and this is from a guy who you can spot in the parking lot, loading the bike back on the rack, bleeding from at least two points on his body…on the regular. Anyways today I was barreling down this hill much faster than I would have been if I had any sense of self-preservation and I see this giant fucking rock right in my line. What do I do? What should I have not done? The answer to these questions is unfortunately the same. STARED AT THE ROCK. It wasn’t there when I rode this trail two days ago, which shouldn’t be a surprise, but for some reason I was mortified by this obstacle and it got the best of me.

It's only a flesh wound.

It's only a flesh wound.

After walking it off, scaring the jackrabbits with a few f-bombs, and doing a quick self-check I hopped back on the bike to continue. This wasn’t going to ruin my ride. Wrong. My seat is all jacked up…even after two seperate adjustments it’s sliding all over the place, tilting towards uncomfortable angles, and the last thing I need (beyond my current injuries) is a taint bruise. Not only that, but my front brake rotor is screaming like a witch at every revolution and my handlebars are no longer lined up with my fork.

That’s enough to send me home early. So now I’m sitting in the lazy boy contemplating which hurts more: my elbow or my leg. No picture of the leg because superficially it looks fine, but I can assure you that I feel like Nancy Kerrigan right about now. That is…until this scotch kicks in.

I’m hoping to go watch my Sun Devils take the PAC-10 by beating the Huskies tonight. That’s the plan but it’s a late game (9pm) and I have to work early (6am) and I know there will be booze involved. I must remember that I’m not 21 anymore. I’m not even sure what that’s supposed to mean.





No SOMA for you!

25 02 2009

After yesterday’s shortened commute I was “inspired” by Heidi to go for a run and then swim some laps. Another (unscheduled) brick day. I suppose that it’s so early on in my quote-unquote training career that I don’t really need to worry about burn-out. I don’t recall the last time I took a full day off, though.

The next big race on the books is going to be the Whiskey Off-Road. After that I have no idea what to expect. We could be moving to Washington as soon as May or as late as July. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited. It’s great that Heidi is going to fulfill one of her dreams of getting her Ph.D. It’s great that I’m going back to school to at the very least increase my knowledge base and at the most get a grad degree, myself. But man has this thrown a wrench into my IM plans…not only in the financial sense but my race schedule I had planned out is junked. No SOMA for you!

It is what it is and I just gotsta keep rollin’ along. So I’ve got myself exactly two months to prep for the Whiskey. It’s only 25 miles but it’s my first mtb race ever. Here are some micro-goals for the next eight weeks:

  • Log at least 25 miles a week on the fixie.
  • Ride SoMo at least once a week which will be the long ( >2 hours ) ride.
  • Do one BIG* day.
  • Keep on running and swimming!

So a 25 mile mountain bike ride, though I’ve never done one, isn’t necessarily anything astromonical. I wouldn’t classify it as an endurance distance. That being said it’s going to require some endurance from myself that I have yet to experience. Looking at past results the slowest male rider is taking over 6.5 hours. I’m shooting for breaking 4 which would better than exactly mid-pack. Gotta set the bar somewhere.

BIG day. I’m going to plan for Monday, April 13 being a day that I get in a big ride to test my endurance level and nutrition. I want to head out for a four hour ride and end with something left in the tank. No idea where I’m going to do this (prob SoMo) but plans are in the works. This all may seem a little funny for you guys and girls who regularly ride 3+ hours but I’m somewhat of a newbie and I’m trying to be as realistic and prepared as I can. If you’ve got any suggestions please feel free to fire off an email to me at speedgoat23 at Gmail.

Alright, my wake-up alarm is about to go off. How exciting.





Aluminum Rodeo

23 02 2009

After hitting up Einstein’s Bagels for free coffee, Heidi and I took to the pool for a morning swim. I got in my usual 1500 yards, which, as Texafornia points out, is rather weak it is a relatively good workout for me. I began swimming “for reals” last summer and took a couple of winter months off but am now getting back to teaching myself. I’m not very efficient at all but I am, slowly, getting better.

Sharing lanes with strangers.

Sharing lanes with strangers.

After the swim we swung by a little tri shop called Triple Sports (quite the original name, eh?) and then headed home for lunch. I woofed down two soydogs and a half of an avocado before getting on the Cannondale for some trail mileage. Pushed through nearly 12 miles in about an hour and a half.

The flat section.

The flat section.

Greeting the hill.

Acknowledging the hill.

Back door angle.

Back door angle.

I don’t have a computer setup on my bike so I toss my little GPS unit into my jersey pocket and just let it click away.  In my opinion it’s probably more accurate than a bike comp. but also gives a lot more information such as elevational change. I used to have a nice little handlebar mount for the thing but that was destroyed in some crash a couple of years ago. Maybe it’s time to visit eBay…





And Then It Was Friday

20 02 2009

Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.
-Kahlil Gibran


Work today is going by quickly. That is almost certainly a good thing. I’ve got the bike strapped to the top of the truck and we’re going to visit an old friend, the Desert Classic, immediately after I’m released from my endentured servantry.

Jump ahead several hours…

A fairly quick ride but that’s all I need. I’m just working on getting my biking legs back.

It beckons me.

It beckons me.

Desert trails. A peculiar beauty.

Desert trails. A peculiar beauty.

Phoenix is on the horizon.

Phoenix is on the horizon.

The old DC. Sweat, blood, and hours have all been left behind here.

The old DC. Sweat, blood, and hours have all been left behind here.

The trails were crowded today, which was good to see and also too be expected with our great weather and upcoming weekend. I’m still riding somewhat conservatively as my legs and handling skills are a little rusty. Also, I carried nothing but a bottle of water, my phone (for the camera) and a little multitool with me…so if I wrecked or blew a tube I would’ve been in a shitty position.

The remainder of tonight is going to be chill. I’ve got some Oskar Blues flavors in the fridge and an assortment of food I can prep for myself, and Hulu. I’m giving the bod an evening in the semi-prone position.





Water Navigation

17 02 2009

Part 1.

Early run this morning after a night-long of rain. The desert smells fantastic after it rains, there’s nothing like it!

Asphalt leads to sonoran desert.

Asphalt leads to sonoran desert.

I see you, hill!

I see you, hill!

Winding singletrack.

Winding singletrack.

Don't kick these if you know what's good for ya!

Don't kick these if you know what's good for ya!

Droplets.

Droplets.

Now that was a fun crossing!

Now that was a fun crossing!

Another hill! I love it!

Another hill! I love it!

That looks like determination.

That looks like determination.

By the time I got home both shoes and socks were completely soaked but I had some extra spring in my step. I could have, and wanted to, gone for much longer but there was more to do today.

Part 2.

With kayaks loaded up on the truck we met a few friends and headed out to Saguaro Lake in hopes of catching sight of some bald eagles. It was overcast and calm…a perfect day on the water.

About to embark.

About to embark.

...and we're off! Still with fresh arms!

...and we're off! Still with fresh arms!

Heidi taking in the view.

Heidi taking in the view.

The canyon walls are green from the rains.

The canyon walls are green from the rains.

A shot of the desert bank.

A glimpse of the desert bank.

Avoiding water hazards.

Avoiding water hazards.

Spiny water vegetation.

Spiny water vegetation.

Some terrestrial exploration.

Some terrestrial exploration.

Crane Kick, Daniel son!

Crane Kick, Daniel son!

What's that emerging from the cave?!

What's that emerging from the cave?!

A final look back before exiting the lake.

A final look back before exiting the lake.

In total we saw three eagles and probably five herons. No bighorn (bummer for me) but some very nice views and enjoyable weather. Not to mention a fairly good upper body workout!

Part 3

After a quick nap we re-gathered ourselves and hit the pool for some laps. I only managed 1500 but am working on flip turns. Easy to fudge, difficult to master.

Laps. Laps. Laps.

Laps. Laps. Laps.

Now we’ve finished up a pizza and are watching There Will Be Blood. I think bed time may interrupt the film, though.