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.





Just Another Dog-Day Afternoon

19 02 2009

It sucks working a no-brainer job. Even if it’s for one of the best companies to work for (in this case, Whole Foods) it just plain blows sometimes and don’t let anyone tell you different. Here I am saving up money for grad school and moving to said-school and I’m getting shit on by assholes with bluetooth headsets. Fuck them. I need a beer and a ride. Not necessarily in that order.

Shadow moves faster than I.

Shadow moves faster than I.

That-a-way to the Lizard Trai.

(I went in the opposite direction. Shhh.)

Rock-lined singletrack.

Rock-lined singletrack.

Yet another shadow shot. Oh well.

Yet another shadow shot. Oh well.

I met a friend on the trail today. As I sat on a rock tightening the screws in my cleats some shirtless guy pushing his Motive up the hill stopped and asked how I was doing. I tried valiantly to keep it short but he persisted conversation upon me. He seemed like he wanted a buddy but I wasn’t interested. I hate awkward conversations with strangers. I’m really not much of a people person to begin with, which is partly why I chose wildlife biology as a field of study (look at where that’s gotten me) but I always seem to find myself in these situations with people….and I’m just too damn nice of a guy to cold shoulder someone.

The bike and gear are all staged up for tomorrow. Nothing big, but I’m planning on hitting the trails on South Mountain after work. I haven’t been to SoMo is quite some time and with my newly re-found passion for mountain biking I think it’s time I hit the old stomping grounds.

In other news, I’ve just about nailed the flip-turn.

Word of the day: FOOSHAW!

Tonight I’m just hanging out with the restless dogs. Heidi made up some eggplant sandwiches for dinner which were absolutely fantastic. Currently there is a glass of scotch next to me and I’m feeling sleepy. I must be getting old. It’s only 8:30.





Plan “B”

16 02 2009

Headed up to the pool this morning to get in some laps but it wasn’t meant to be. Every single lane was doubled up and the pool was only open for about another hour. Oh well. On to Plan B.

OTB

OTB

Empty trails on a holiday.

Empty trails on a holiday.

Tonsil check.

Tonsil check.

Larsen's love desert dirt.

Larsens love desert dirt.

No more races until April. That’s probably just fine. I can save that cash and put towards the Whiskey Off-Road that’s coming up in April.  Until then I’m going to switch gears (no pun inteded) towards mountain biking from running. Though running won’t necessarily slow down it’s focus will change: Instead of base training by running a little bit every day I’m going to start interjecting some longer runs while easing up on the frequency.

Hopefully by focusing on particular sports I’ll end up being a fairly well-rounded when it comes time to begin a focused IM training plan. For now I’m having fun getting back into shape and seeing progress!