Sunday, August 30, 2009

Heeeeerrrrrre's Johnny!!!

Yep, that sense of impending doom is here. I can't run and hide any longer. School starts tomorrow. There is no escape from it. I have 3 classes tomorrow: Ortho I, Adult Neuro Rehab II, and Psychosocial Disability.

It's funny when you think about it. School and Tri training are very similar. At the beginning of each training year or school year, you start out with such enthusiasm about the upcoming schedule. You make promises to yourself like "this year I will stay on top of my reading" or "I will make every workout on my schedule." But as the year drags on, the same thing always happens. The mental and physical fatigue gets to you. Your thinking now becomes "I wish this semester was over already" or "Oh man, can I just do my race now and get it over with." You almost become sick of the task at hand, but really it's just the fatigue talking. And you can guess with my tone here that I just completed my last long workout prior to my race taper.

That's right, Taper Madness begins tomorrow. And you know exactly what I am talking about. The anxiety you feel during this period is pure madness. With the decreased training volume you wonder if you are losing all of that valuable fitness you worked so hard for. You get a little restless that you aren't training as much. You think about sneaking out for an extra ride or run or maybe even stretching the scheduled time. You start looking at the weather forecast 2 weeks out from the race and worry that there's a 10% chance of rain (as if the weather people can get anything right). You notice every little twinge in your body and panic that some injury is brewing deep inside. You sneeze and start taking "Airborne" like it's candy. Or you just flat our refuse to shake anyone's hand or touch anyone just in case they might have come into contact with someone in their lifetime that was sick. The addiction to training and the sudden decrease may leave you irritable. You feel as is you are getting slower and fatter during this time. It's amazing what mental anguish put ourselves through.

But the reality is, during this time you lose nothing. You are actually building all that fitness and resting your body so when you race you are fresh and ready to go.

Today was my last long ride. I woke up early again and let the Wingman sleep a little. Imagine my surprise when he emerged a little while later from the bedroom all dressed and ready to go! And here I was, the slacker still in my pajamas! So I got dressed quickly, pumped the tires, prepped the bottles and we were on our way. Early on we felt a few drops of rain but that was the extent of it. I attacked most of the ride as best I could. I wanted to get out of my comfort zone. I think I achieved it again. We took turns passing each other and enjoyed the morning. On the way back home, I noticed Miloski's turkey farm has their fall tenants out in the field already. A few years back I rode by and made what I thought was a turkey noise (gobble, gobble) and I must have said something offensive in their language because quite a few of them starting making a lot of noise and flapping about. This time around I kept my mouth shut. My focus was on my last long ride and feeling good throughout. I had one bad spot on the ride, but managed to get myself through it and finished strong. I can really feel the fatigue in my legs tonight though. Thank goodness tomorrow is a rest day.

I am so glad that my Wingman has gotten into cycling with me. It makes it much easier to leave the house when you have someone to ride with. I don't have to feel guilty about leaving for hours to go riding. We don't chat much on the rides, but it's time well spent together. He is turning into quite the rider. We have our little battles on the hills, but I just can't match his explosiveness yet. When he stands up to pedal, he generates so much more power. I have to work on this in the off season if I want to try to win back the polka dot jersey.

So my race is two weeks away. I will be thinking about my race plan and what I want to achieve in the race. I dedicated this race to my cousin and her son's battle with Lymphoma and Leukemia respectively. I raised some money through the Livestrong foundation in their honor. So if the race gets tough, I will just remember what Cathy and Michael went through and realize that I have it easy with doing this race.

Wingman will go into Sherpa mode at this point. He prides himself of making sure I have everything I need and he even offers to carry it. A few years back at a local race, he brought my bike, 2 bags, and a folding beach chair back to the car while I waited at the beach. His cousin came down to see her husband after the race and she said "I just saw your pack mule going to the car." I felt Sherpa was a much more dignified name for him. So from that day forward, he became known as my race Sherpa.

So tonight as I lay my head down on the pillow, thoughts of taper madness will swirl in my head.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Yesterday's ride brought to you by.....

.......the letter H, as in "Holy hell, Hotchkiss is hammering the hills."

After yesterday's swim, Mary Ellen and Bruce said they would wait for me to go home and get my bike so I could ride with them. I enjoy riding with other people because it can take you out of your comfort zone and make you push a little harder. And I realized early on, I would be waaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone.

We mounted our bikes at the county center and rode south on CR 51. I was behind Bruce and when I saw how his hamstring tendons were visible almost halfway up the back of his thigh, I knew this was going to be rough. At this point I just wanted to stay in eye sight of him. When we got to Mont Ventoux (the site of the infamous hill repeats) he stood up and disappeared. I did manage to climb it 2-3 mph faster than I did in the past. When I got to the top I didn't feel too bad and did not have that sense of impending doom that I just killed my whole ride. I was actually quite excited at how quickly I got to the top. Well......quickly for me. I attribute it all to my Dance, Dance Revolution brick workout from Tuesday.

From here we made our way to CR 111 to head north. Again, I was feeling really good and pushed myself to keep up with Bruce, who by the way, was long gone at this point. He totally killed that hill. I kept my eye on Mary Ellen as she was not too familiar with the area. CR 111 has some nice wide shoulders and a nice gradual downhill that you can pickup speed easily on. When I got to Halsey Manor Road, Bruce was waiting for us. I got the rest of the route information from him in case we split up again.

From Halsey Manor we made our way into Calverton onto my new favorite riding road, Mill Road. I was giddy with excitement at the thought of soon passing my Dance, Dance Revolution mat that was tossed aside with some other trash. But we would not be stopping today.

On Mill Road I rode along side Bruce and we discussed bike wheels and components. Something the Wingman would not be happy about. As thoughts danced in my head about new wheels, ceramic bearings, etc., I could hear him say "You don't need new wheels. You're not getting new wheels."

Where we are riding is nice because there is very little traffic (I think only one car went by) and the road is nice and twisty. As we made our way north, you could feel the wind pickup. I was on my road bike so I went into the drops and kept hammering away trying to catch Bruce. At the corner of 25 and Wading River Road, he was waiting for us. We made the turn and I thought we just had a few more miles to go, but no. He had other plans. We rode back to Edwards Ave and I thought we would go straight down to the county center (CR 51). Nope. Sucks to be me today. We went back to CR 51 via reversing the route (Mill, Halsey Manor, CR 111, CR 51). After we crossed over CR 51, that would be the last we would see of Bruce on the ride. No matter how hard I tried, I could not reel him in. I felt really good pushing myself along the way though. I welcome the opportunity to try and ride with him again.

When Mary Ellen and I got back to the county center, Bruce already had his bike put away on top of his car and his sneakers on for his run. My goal for next time is to tether a line to his bike (without him knowing) and hang on the back!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Taking it to the next level

I am always looking for ways to improve my riding speed. I follow the workouts religiously and read anything I can get my hands on. Progress has been slow but steady. But today, I had a breakthrough. I've been going about this all wrong. I was out for a 1 hour ride today when I stumbled upon my new secret weapon. After using this new tool, I was flying home. My speed jumped up dramatically. I highly recommend it:

That's right ladies and gentlemen, one round of Dance Dance Revolution and my bike speed went up. I like to think of it as a new brick workout. And if you ask nicely, I might let you in on where to find this along my bike route.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Timberman Short Course Tri

I went up to New Hampshire 3 years ago to race and was greeted by rain. So why should this year be any different? We drove up Friday and got there in the early afternoon. Just in time for the rain to fall. I picked up my packet from the race expo and we drove the bike course so I can see the hills. They certainly did not look as daunting as they did for the Mooseman course. The trick with this course is to just pace the hills. Nothing steep on the short course, just slow climbing.

Wingman and I made it to the hotel and checked in. It was ~10 minutes from the race start which is always good. I managed to get to bed pretty early, but staying asleep is always an issue for me the night before a race.

When the alarm went off at 4a, the usual race morning thoughts went through my head: "maybe I can skip the race cause I'm tired", "the roads are wet, I don't want to ride", "what was I thinking when I signed up" etc. But as soon as I start moving around, it's all good. I had to force myself to eat breakfast. It is such a struggle to eat as I have no appetite on race morning. My bags were already packed and the bike was ready to go. We loaded up the Element and drove over to Ellacoya St park. The park has limited parking so we wanted to get there early to be sure we got a spot. I got body marked and went back to the car and went to sleep again. I woke up a minute before my watch alarm went off. Now it's time to really get ready.

I pumped the tires and grabbed my bag. Setup in transition takes me no time at all that it always makes me think I forgot something. I grabbed my stuff for the swim and we walked over to the swim. I put on the wetsuit and bid farewell to the Wingman. I wanted to get into the water to warm up a little. My last race swim was in the Hudson. This swim was in Lake Winnipesaukee which is regarded as a super clean lake. Well, when I saw a piece of Kielbasa float by, I'd like to challenge that claim. Unless the lake doubles over as a stew, then I guess it would be normal.

Swim waves are supposed to be 6 minutes apart, but after the first few waves went out, they announced that they were going every 4 minutes now. At this time I realized the weather was going to take a turn from the sunshine to rain shortly and they wanted everyone going quickly. I could see that the water was shallow because at the halfway point, I saw a man standing and walking. That's a no-no in a triathlon swim. Now it was time to get into the water for my wave. I got towards the front as I did not want to have to get around people at the start. We we all standing when the horn went off. To my horror, most of the women in my wave RAN ~25 meters before they started swimming. Really people?!?! You're standing in waist deep water and you can't swim? Pathetic. I started swimming as I wanted to find my rhythm. Turns out I had no rhythm the whole time. The words I used later on to describe the swim to the Wingman was "it was an angry swim." I had such rage the whole time. It was a rough swim with a lot of kicking. I was shocked at how many women were doing a breast stroke and kicking wildly. Plus arms were flailing and hitting people. I would have to say this was the closest I ever came to stopping during the swim to kick some ass. I had some woman that tried to swim over me. There was plenty of room around me to pass. So I resorted to increasing my kicking power and she now knows what my foot feels like and I made sure she got an elbow for good measure. Next time I might pack some nunchucks for my next race. Otherwise, I made it out of the swim in a reasonable time. As I ran to transition to get the bike, it started to rain. Ugh.

I made a decision in transition to forgo socks for the bike ride (translation - I was too lazy to dry my feet and put socks on). I was eager to get out onto the bike course before the real rain came down. I was in an easy gear because there is a climb as soon as you get out of the park. I took it easy on the climb because I did not want to fry myself in the first few minutes. The rain is still light at this point and I'm not too concerned. The course is nice and I was able to really move on the flats. About 3 miles in the rain was coming down and I decided to take it easy on the descents. My A race is a few weeks away and I don't want to take myself out of it with a crash in this race. There is nothing on the line for me at Timberman. The turnaround came up quickly and it was time to head back. There were a few downhills to contend with, but other than that, I just plugged away to make up for the time I lost peddling uphill. I made it back to transition within the time frame I predicted. I racked the bike, swapped shoes, downed the last of my drink and was on my way. And no joke, as soon as I racked my bike, the rain stopped. I looked skyward and had a few choice words for mother nature.

The run is a simple out and back. No hills to climb, but the first half is slightly uphill. But first you have to run down the grass chute to get out of the park. Once I made my way onto the road, I plodded along until I felt like I had some running legs. Lucky for me it didn't take took long. I felt decent before I got to the first mile marker. I knew once I got to the turn around I can pickup my pace by having some help from the slight downhill. I wanted to leave it all out there on the course. Once I got to the turnaround, I saw something disturbing. A "large" man in a red speedo running ahead of me. He was in an earlier wave so I was gaining on him. At this point my pride was on the line. No way could I let him finish just ahead of me. I ran a little harder and suddenly realized I made a big mistake by not putting socks on. My toes on my left foot and right arch were on fire. I could picture how raw they must look. Now I really had to move so I could take my shoes off!! I passed the heavy speedo guy, pride intact, and kept on going. I did my best to pass people, but when I got to the long finish chute, a few passed me. Oh well, just keep running. I sprinted across the finish line and was happy it was over.

Overall, my performance is getting better. I am disappointed with the bike ride, but the weather was out of my control. I would love to go back next year and see if I get some better weather and improve my times. And a huge thanks to Brian at Carl Hart Bicycles for covering up the seat bracket so I stop ripping shorts. It worked like a charm!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This is getting ridiculous

Today had such promise. I am winding down heading into a race this weekend. Last night I picked up some new tri shorts due to the fact that I have managed to rip 3 pairs over the last few months. The hole is in the same place and I just figured it was from my leg rubbing the seat. But after today's ride, the seat is not the culprit. It is the seat bracket! Ah ha!!

On my ride this morning, about 30 minutes in, I felt that familiar stinging sensation. F*%k! I pulled over and checked my shorts. Yep, there was a hole in my nice new shorts. I took this time to look over the seat and noticed that the bracket had a sharp edge to it. All this time it was the bracket that was ripping my shorts. So it wasn't the ice cream I had for dessert last night ;-)

In order to get home without ripping my leg open, I thought, what would MacGyver do?

I had no duct tape, chewing gum, paper clip, or string. I found a rock and used it to file down the sharp edge as much as I could. Then I studied the seat from all angles and noticed that from the top, the bracket is wider than the seat itself. Not good. I made it home without making the hole in my shorts worse and called Wingman at work. I asked him to help me figure out a way to make a cover or something for the bracket. He is a master when it comes to stuff like this. So now I wait.

I moved my massage appt up to today because my neck and lower back were bothering me and seemed more stiff than usual. So after my shower, I leave the house to drive to see Tammy. I get in my Civic and notice the windshield is dirty so I turn on the wipers. Imagine my horror as I watched a crack make it's way across my windshield!!! NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why, why does this happen to me? The good news is I have glass coverage so when I get back from my race, I will get the windshield replaced.

So after dinner tonight, Wingman takes a look at the seat bracket and can't come up with a way to cover the bracket in a nice manner. We took the old seat cover from another bike, but it did not come down low enough to cover them. At this point I called the bike shop and tomorrow I will bring it down and see what Darren and Brian can come up with. Hopefully there is a good solution. I can't afford to go through one pair of shorts per ride.

Monday, August 17, 2009

A Tale of Two idiots

I had a long bike ride scheduled for today. Saturday night I prepped the drink bottles and food we would need so it would be a few less things to take of when we woke up Sunday. We even discussed the route we would take. Basically we would do the "Tour de Riverhead" and add in a sub-route of the "Tour de William Floyd" to tack on some extra mileage. Ideally, we wanted to get out early and beat the heat.

Sunday morning arrives and I wake up somewhat early, around 7a. I'm not really much of a late sleeper. I go out into the kitchen to eat breakfast and wait for Wingman. Since I made him get up early Saturday, I figured I would be nice and let him sleep a little. I think a little turned into a lot longer. Around 9:30a he emerged from his slumber. He ate his breakfast and by 10:30a we were on the road. And boy was it hot. But I was in denial thinking to myself "We're riding, it's not like we're running. How bad can it be?" Um, it was bad. I paced myself so I wouldn't blow up early. We made our way down CR 24 and were treated to the site of ~14 Ferrari's, 4 Maserati's, and a few Porsche's and Mercedes roaring by. I was trying to do some quick math to figure the total $$ value that went by. I can't add that fast. Once they blew by us we continued on our way. I made sure at least every 15 minutes I was taking in fluids. On a day like today, it is easy to fall behind with the amount of water I was losing through sweat.

I had my 2nd suspicion that it might not be a good day to ride when we got to CR 51. My nemesis hill was coming up. I decided to take it easy and just spin my way up. No standing today. We were only ~45 minutes into a 3:45 ride so why blow it early. Wingman blew by me on the hill and I had to concede the polka dot jersey. I was no longer the King of the Mountain. He soundly beat me to the top.

We made our way down to CR 111 and started our trip north. I felt really good and was dead on with my fluid intake and nutrition. The only rough part about riding on CR 111 is dealing with the people driving back to the city. Once we got past the LIE it quieted down. The backroads are usually quiet and somewhat shaded. I made a quick stop to assess Wingman's fluid intake. We were 1 hour in and he should have one empty bottle. Not quite. I told him to drink up because we still had a long way to go.

At our usual stop on 25, we picked up some water and I tempted fate by getting a Hershey bar. Mmmmm, it tasted good and hoped it would not haunt me later. After the brief stop, I secretly debated bagging the ride and trying again Monday due to the heat, but like the idiot I am, we continued west.

There was another stop planned at the 7-11 in Middle Island/Rocky Point. Got some more water and even poured some over my head. It was nice and cold. Poor Wingman, at this point his jersey was completely unzipped and I am not sure how well he was doing in the heat. He said he was OK to go on.

At this point we were heading east again, but had our extra mileage to do on the William Floyd. My plan was to get to Brookhaven Lab and then turn around to head back to 25a and go home. I kept looking behind me to make sure Wingman was near and looked OK. I pulled onto a side street to wait in the shade. He pulled in and told me he was trying to send me messages via mental telepathy to pull in and turn around. Well, somehow I got the message. I shared my Cliff Shot Blocks with him and we discussed the way to get home. We'd just head back to 25 and go home. There was no argument from the Wingman. Overall, I felt good on the ride. My fluid and calorie intake were spot on. I felt like I nailed it. If it wasn't so hot, I would have felt much better.

We made it home safely, but very overheated. We rode for 3:30 instead of 3:45, so the ride wasn't very short. I could feel my core temp was a little high. Wingman went straight into the bedroom, turned on a fan and was flat on the floor in front of it. I told him to put some swimming clothes on and let's go to the LI Sound. At first he said he would just take a cold shower, but I convinced him the water temps are nice and cool. It wound up being the ultimate recovery tool. I think we spent ~20 minutes just hanging out in the water. Once we got home, we stayed indoors with the AC blasting and watched TV.

Note to self, next time, wake up the Wingman!!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

EHVOR Swim Challenge

So this morning I lined up in the water for the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Swim Challenge. This is the 2nd year they are running this race series. There was a race back in July in Montauk and this one was held in Fresh Pond in Amagansett. You have 3 swim options to choose from - 2 miles, 1 mile, and 1/2 mile. Since I am training for a half ironman, I opted for the 1 mile swim. My friend and uber swimmer Sinead was racing in the 2 mile event.

Wingman and I left early this morning to drive to Amagansett. He knew where we had to go. I am pretty much clueless when it comes to driving on the south fork. If I have to go anywhere off of 27, forget it, I need a guide dog or something to get me there. Needless to say with my human GPS in the car, we made it there no problem. Even got there a little earlier than I expected.

Made my way to the registration table and signed up for the 1 mile race. They gave me a white swim cap and a t-shirt. Wingman took this time to nap in the car. Next time you see him, feel free to ask him about how I made him get up early on his day off.

The time comes for the swimmers to line up. The 2 milers will head out first, then the 1/2 milers, then the 1 milers with each wave spaced 5 minutes apart. The course is basically a large triangle. It was a little rough heading out because of the sun so I had to use a boat to attempt to site as the buoys were hard to see. I swam in a pack which wound up being a big mistake. I was so far out to the right and had to swim a diagonal to get back on course. Now I just focused on making the first turn to get out of the sun. I seemed to get to the first turn rather quickly and was feeling really good. At least now I didn't have to deal with the sun and could see all the buoys. I decided to swim close to the buoys so I would go the shortest possible distance. I was getting nervous because I would see clusters of swimmers way out to my right and it had me thinking I was in the wrong place, but I kept looking around and knew I was on course.

The 2nd leg of the swim seemed to take forever. No matter how much or how hard I swam, it seemed like the final turn buoy was not getting closer. But I kept plugging away. I was still a little nervous about not being near many swimmers, but since no life guards were correcting me, I kept the line I was swimming.

When I finally made the final turn, the life guard tried to tell me something. Since I wear ear plugs when I swim, I can't really hear a thing. It sounded something like this "wah wah wah wah strong current wah wah right." Just like the teacher in the old Charlie Brown/Peanuts cartoons. You can't understand a word she says. At this point I could see a swimmer about 15 yards ahead of me in a white cap. She looked like she was either tiring or struggling and her head was bobbing around. It was as if there was blood in the water. I went into attack mode to reel her in. I didn't want to find out that I lost by a few seconds to someone in my age group that I could have overtaken. I figured it was OK to go all out to catch her since I did not have to bike and run afterwards. As I closed in, I noticed a life guard paddling out towards me. Apparently I must have looked like I was going to cut inside the buoy so he was subtly telling me to swim a little more to the right. This altered my move as I was going to pass between the buoy and the woman. Now I had to swing out to the right and pass her on the other side. Once the pass was complete, I kept swimming hard as I did not want her to get her second wind and pass me. I swam scared the rest of the way. And to add insult to my efforts, Sinead blew by me like I was standing still. Crap. She was swimming the 2 mile race and passed me on her second lap. This was due to the 2 milers starting 10 minutes ahead of us. Oh well, can't win them all.

As the water got shallow, I had to figure my strategy for getting to the beach. I usually swim as far as I can and then run. This beach had rocks in the water so I wanted to do as little running as possible. I think when I finally stopped swimming and stood up, I was maybe knee deep in water. At this point I ran to the shore and found the right timing chute. I looked at my watch and was surprised at the time. It felt like I was out there longer than I was. Overall I was happy I did this race and will certainly be back next year to improve my time.

Wingman is getting to be a good spotter now. He said he can pick my swim stroke out of a pack of swimmers. I told him it must not be that hard. All you have to do is find the swimmer that looks like it is losing a wrestling match with an alligator and you'll find me.

Next weekend is the Timberman sprint in New Hampshire. Looking forward to a nice short race to see how all of my training is coming together. But first, on tap for tomorrow Wingman and I are heading out for ~4 hours of biking.

And one more funny item (note it's from 2004 - not that old). It's nice to see this mother is concerned about jackhammer noise and her unborn child:

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hell repeats

"Complete 4-5 hill repeats, in zone 4- staying seated as long as
possible, recover on the way down"

I went out and met up with Ian to do my morning swim and then came home. Had a few things to do at home first before I went out to ride. Wingman was home today so he came out with me for this ride. We went down to CR 51, the location of my nemesis hill. I have to climb this thing 4-5 times. I told Wingman he could do the hell repeats with me, or just climb it once and ride around on 51. With this hill, there is a downhill section just before the uphill, but oddly enough you can't really use momentum to get anywhere up the hill. And what made it worse was it seems there was a bit of a headwind so I didn't even fly down hill! Everyone is conspiring against me today!

I managed to do the first climb with ease........well, sort of. I did the climb and then when the road levels off is a u-turn area to cross the median in the road. I crossed the road, rode downhill (with the wind) and got to another turnaround so I can attempt climb #2. As I started the climb, I realized that maybe the PBJ sandwich I ate just prior to riding was not a good idea. My GI system was saying "Hold on a minute, idiot girl. You can't eat and ride. Pick one." I managed to make the climb with no issues, but I waited at the top and told Wingman "I have to make a pit stop." We stop over at the park I swim at so I can use the facilities.

Once everything was in order, I went out for climb #3. I told Wingman he didn't have to keep climbing with me if he didn't want to, that he could ride south and then come back for me. So we make climb #3 together and now I can feel the burn.

My legs are telling me to stop but my head is saying "you gotta keep going, at least one more". So my head wins out for now and I make the turn around for one last climb. Wingman rode off instead of turning around so I was going solo for #4. I kept my head down a bit on this one as I did not want to see how much more I had to do. With each climb as I got closer to the top, I would pedal a little harder so I could "power" up over the top. I use the word power loosely because if you could actually see me ride, power is one of the last words that comes to mind.

#4 was in the books. Now I rode down 51 a bit to loosen up my legs from the climb and celebrate a job well done. I have no idea where the Wingman is so I double back the parking lot figuring he was there. Nope, I see him on the north side of the road approaching the downhill section just prior to the climb. I stop on the south side of the road to gesture to him that I was done. This is a 4 lane road with a big median in the middle. Shouting is not really an option. We break into our "military" sign language to communicate. He holds up one finger, then points to himself and then the hill. That means he wants to climb one more time. I gesture back with the hand back and forth in front of the neck. This means "No way. I'm done." He repeats his gesture, but this time points at me. I repeat my gesture, and point at me. Next thing I hear is "Get your lazy ass up that hill." Oh hell no. He did not just say that to me.

So now I am publicly shamed into doing repeat #5. I head to a turn around and make my way over to the hill. And to be sure I actually do the climb, he waits near the bottom of it until I ride by and start climbing. My legs are on fire at this point. I get aggressive near the top of the climb and pull away. So once again, I won the "King of the Mountain" jersey:

We did a nice 9 mile recovery ride afterwards to keep the blood moving before driving home. We went cruising around some back roads to avoid traffic. When we finally made it back to the car, I kinda looked like this:

I was done for the day. Though it was a good kind of tired. We got home and I managed to not need a nap this time ;-)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Weekend Wrap-up

I had a long weekend of training planned and a wedding to go to Sunday afternoon. Originally we were thinking of going out to Montauk to ride, but sleeping in a little seemed like a better option. So we finally head out and do (as Wingman calls it) the "Tour de Riverhead". It's a 3 hour loop that takes us through Baiting Hollow/Calverton, Riverhead, Manorville, Wading River, Ridge, Middle Island, Rocky Point, Shoreham, Wading River, and back to Baiting Hollow. We were cruising along and I was spot on with pacing my nutrition until ~2.25 hours in. I suddenly was craving a soda or something sweet like it. I was also feeling a little tired. I passed a 7-11 and seriously thought about stopping for a pepsi, but the potential combination of sport drink I already consumed, the huge amount of sugar, and the carbonation would have been a lethal trifecta:

This would be my stomach if I had bought a soda. So instead I continued my way home. And oddly enough I was tempted to pull over and take a nap. I got home and finished my workout. Then I began the recovery process. I was flat on my back on the floor, legs up on the couch. Wingman copied the position as well. Within seconds I was out like a light. I must have been asleep for a few minutes and then woke up. We went out to get something to eat and then I went for my favorite "ice bath":

There is nothing like helping my legs recover from a hard workout like walking waist deep in the Long Island Sound.

Sunday we had a wedding to go to. For weeks I was in denial about having to go. I hate getting dressed up. I always said "Denial ain't just a river in Egypt". Now this wedding was at 3:30p (or so I thought) and around 11a, I finally decided to go out shopping for something to wear. But first, I call my parents to confirm the time of the wedding. I could not find my invitation and called my dad. I asked him if the wedding was at 3:30p and he said "yeah, that sounds about right." I hang up and head out. We went over to Tanger. I brought the Wingman along because not only is he my Wingman, but my race Sherpa, and my fashion coordinator. I have zero sense of fashion and he is kind enough to not let me walk out the door looking too bad. There were many mornings that I heard "That doesn't go together" as I got ready for work. And this morning he helped me again. I already owned a pair of black dress pants so I needed a top. We went into most of the stores in Tanger I until I found the right top. Didn't really take too long. It was like a covert mission. We would go into each store and split up and walk around. We're working on using hand signals to save time:

When I paid for the top, I looked at the time: 12:15p. Doing well on time. Oh crap, gotta go out and get a card. So we head over to another store to get a card. We're home by 12:45p. I see there is a message on the answering machine. It's my mother calling to tell me my father was wrong and the wedding was at 3p, not 3:30p. We have to leave by 2:15p. That gives us 1.5 hours for me to shower and for Wingman to shave and shower.

Needless to say we made good time and were ready with time to spare. So I get into the proper state of mind for a wedding by watching a documentary on the hunt for Ted Kaczynski. I was flipping channels while waiting and stumbled on it. So now that I got my mind right, we left for Oakdale. We made it in plenty of time. The ceremony and reception were in the same location. Phew, no extra driving. I succeeded with my goal of only eating one item at the cocktail hour and saving room for dinner. Glad I did that. When it was time to leave, I didn't feel like a bloated pig on the ride home. Most catering places use a ton of salt in their preparation and that was the last thing I wanted.

We were home pretty early from the reception so no late night for us. Thank goodness. I had to get up at 5:30a to meet up with my new swimming buddies down at the lake for my workout. Usually when I swim I go in the late afternoon with Wingman and the kayak so I am not alone. But last week we bumped into a couple that normally swim in the morning. I wind up making arrangements to meet up with them in the mornings to swim. The lake this morning was still and looked like a mirror. Very peaceful looking. Got my workout in and made it home in time to see Wingman off to work. Not a bad morning at all.