Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Weekend

Long week. With family, work, and church responsibilities, I have not been riding or running. Friday was to be different though. Kids were now out of school for the summer and Shelly only had to work until noon. I decided to bike to work. Dragged out the old Jamis Coda and loaded the panniers. It has been months since I last rode this bike. In fact, I have not been on it since getting my new Masi. Did not take long until I was missing the Masi. 21 miles to work, not a bad way to start the day. Decided to take the money I saved on gas and by a nice Cuban steak sandwhich from the Chica Chica Chop Chop buggy uptown for lunch.

The ride home was longer. I took more back roads to avoid traffic. Dropped the chain once, had my front brake start rubbing, I was starting to get sore around my neck and shoulders (poor bit fit I guess, never get sore riding my new bike). 23 miles home.

Set up Brock's birthday swing. He was a little terrified at first but was soon giggling away. Had Brock and E swinging, the chicks were running around in the yard, and Pepper was just hanging out at my feet. Ah, the coutnry life.

This is about how I felt as well.

Saturday was a rough start. Michael had friends over for the night and I got about 3 hours of sleep. Up and out of the house so I could be at a firends by 9am to help them move. Packed a full U-haul and two pickups and then unloaded at their new place. Even made it home in time to watch the UEFA finals live.

Sunday was out to church for sound checks at 8 and then to Sunday School.  I got to say how much I enjoy my SS class.  Anyway, first service sans our senior pastor.  Off to get E from one friends house and deliver him to another while Michael ran camera for high school graduation.  Left Shelly , Brock, and me on our own for lunch.  Grabbed a pizza from Courtside in Athens.  Though, the college kids working were watching a less than tasteful movie, the pizza was very tasty.  Got in a road ride on the Masi in the afternoon heat.

Off work on Monday meant hard work at home.  Set up Ethan's pool, got the place bush-hog'd, and dragged out the ladders to caulk some fresh carpenter bee holes in the house.  Another hot one.  Tried to finish the day off with a 5k run.  Seemed slower than usual and by the 2 mile mark I couldn't get my feet to move.  Light headed I slowed to a walk.  One thing I really need to know more about is nutrition.  Short on calories? Sleep? Fat, protein, electrolytes?  I don't know, I just know I was tanked.

I tried to cram some calories when I got home (by this time my stomach was growling).  Not much to make, how about a PB&J sandwich made from two chocolate chip Eggo waffles and a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top?  Yes, I still felt hungry even after I ate it.

Back to work on today.  Can't get enough to eat and my legs feel like bricks.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Tuesday updates.

Life sure seems crazy recently, both good and bad kinds of crazy.

Grandma Erma passed away on Sunday evening.  What a humble lady.  I am glad to have known her and I know she will be missed by her friends, her family, and her church.

Speaking of church, our Senior Pastor, Rob Vernon, resigned on Sunday citing irreconcilable differences with the church leadership team.  I don't know for sure how to think about this.  I am disappointed and frustrated by it.  We are the church and unless these are doctrinal differences, they are not irreconcilable.  We are the church though, and while it may be tough, we will get through.  Time will tell...

Monday evening I helped a close friend pick up some chicken coops.  We hauled three of these things about 12 miles (one way) down Ohio St. Rt. 555, one of the most twisty roads in SE Ohio.  Glad to help them out though.

Pretty sure there is a redneck joke here somewhere.
We also picked up our chicks.  Our friends helped us get started with 8 Buff Rock laying hens.  Figured I live in the sticks, might as well have some chickens.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Everyone needed some sunshine

Found this guy basking in the sunshine on my run yesterday. Even the reptiles are sick of the rain.

Two days of sun was enough though.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The days are long, but the years are short.

Long week.  Monday started with a phone call that Shelly's grandmother, Erma (for those of you that went to Albany Elementary, Erma cooked you lunches for years), had been admitted to the ICU and things were not looking promising that she would make it much longer.  After a long day at the hospital for Shelly , her sister, cousins, folks, aunt, etc., they moved Erma to a private room and stopped all life sustaining efforts.  She has since been moved back to Hickory Creek to make her feel more "at home".  She was apparently spelling out heaven, "H-E-A-V-E-N, I am ready to go".

Little less than 16 years ago, Erma was coming to our apartment to watch Michael, who was just a baby, so Shelly and I could go to college and work.  Now Michael has turned 16 and Erma is in her last days.

Late Monday evening I heard a sudden hissing sound.  A quick search of the house showed a 1/8" stream of water spraying out of our hot water heater.  Luckily, Brock had already had his bath.  Luckily I was home and awake to hear and find it.  Shut off the water and informed the fam that there would be no more hot showers.  A quick call to Lowe's before they closed to see if they could replace it.  We have a propane power vent heater than exhausts out PVC.  Of course, those are special order and will take 10-14 days!

Tuesday morning, Brock's 1st birthday: ran to Economy Supply in Athens.  They could get one, but it would take a couple days and was rather expensive.  I really try to support these folks any time I can, but I need hot water.  Off to another dealer that says they have them in stock in Marietta.  Run by the office for a few minutes to check in and hit the road.  I took the opportunity to check into a tankless water heater.  The salesman in Marietta informed me that my gas line was too small and would have to be replaced to go tankless (the heater regulates from 11,000 to 199,000 BTU's).  OK then, we'll just take the tank type.  Back home and unload in the rain (surprise).  Old one drained, pulled out, new one in place.  Ahh, not a single fitting lines up with the old one.  Tank is 1" shorter, exhaust is in the front rather than the rear, and the gas line is on the other left rather than the right.  Back to Economy Supply to get all the fittings, etc. to make this work.  Finally around 7pm, water is heating.  Happy birthday Brock, today you get to have a warm bath.

Brock inspects my work. Luckily, it passes.
Can't even remember Wednesday.

Thursday, Michael's 16th birthday.  Really? 16?  Crazy.  Even crazier, 16 year old that does not want to drive.  Off to a crazy day at work and to the math fair for Ethan at 5.  He had just left soccer practice and was so muddy, we had to go to my folks house so he could shower before going back to the math fair.  Finally home by 6:30 and dinner in the oven.  Next thing I know it is 10:30.

Not a single bit of training all week.  I went to bed planning to bike to work for National Bike to Work Day.  About a 22 mile commute, I was looking forward to the ride.  Weather was supposed to be better and I just need to be in the office by 9am for a meeting.  What better way to start the day?

What do I wake up to on Friday morning?  Seriously?  Rain?  I do not have a regular commuting bike, no fenders, no commuting clothing, and no shower at work.  Drove the car.

No commuting by bike today.
Going to finish the day with a date with my wife.  Hope that goes better than the rest of the week.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Wilkesville-2-Wilkesville Race Recap

This is the 19th running of the Wilkesville-2-Wilkesville event that, in the past, fielded nearly 200 riders from all over.  I can remember when we rented a place on County Road 1 watching the fields of riders and their support wagons come rolling by and thinking how cool it would be to ride in that race.  Epic ride: nearly 74 miles with crazy amounts of climbing.  Here is my chance...

Full course.
Got to Wilkesville around 10:10am for the 11:00am roll out.  Checked in at the registration trailer, only to be asked for my license.  In my noob innocence, I got out my drivers license.  No, they needed my USA Cycling license.  Don't have one of those sir (in my defense, I did ask the team before the race if I needed a license and was told it did not seem to be a USA Cycling sanctioned event and would not need one).  "We'll need $10 for a one day license then".  Dang! I didn't bring money.  Sean McGann to the rescue.  He loaned me $10 and then his wife volunteered to refill water bottles as we came back through Wilkesville.

Got the bike ready and my gear on and waited for everyone to show up.  Never happened though.  Think we ended up with a total field of 11 riders. What happened to the race I remember?  With the small numbers, they collapsed the field into a single start.  I think we had Cat 1, 3/4, 5 and Master's riders.

11am the field rolled out.  Wasn't as nervous as I had feared I would be, maybe because 5 of the 11 riders were Team Athens.  Out onto route 124 from the Wilton Civic building and the pace picked up quickly.  I was actually surprised by the initial pace.  I was expecting a much easier start considering the miles and amount of climbing ahead of us. About a half mile in I was already off the back.  Wasn't long until Katsu came off the lead and drifted back to me bringing me back into the pack.  The ride down 124 was uneventful and onto 325 we turned.  Occasionally the field would accelerate and then slow.  Found myself in the middle and on the rear.  Katsu continuously kept an eye on me giving me a needed push at one point.

Rolled down the hill into Vinton and onto route 160 back towards Wilkesville.  Not to far out of town I found myself struggling to maintain the pace of the pack.  As the chase vehicle pulled up to the group, I pulled to the right to give him room.  When I did, I hit a pothole with enough force to rotate my bars in the clamp and knock one of my bottle cages loose.  I immediately fell back.  I tried to force the bars back, but they would not budge.  One hard effort to try and catch me back up got me up alongside the chase car, almost to the last bike as we rolled over Raccoon Creek, but the road turned and then climbed and the pack just left me.

Pushed on into Wilkesville.  Honestly, I was ready to quit.  I was disappointed, I could not see the pack anymore, I did not have tools to rotate my bars back.  But Sean's wife convinced me to keep going, so out I rolled up to 689.  It felt really awkward with my bars moved.  Riding on the hoods was uncomfortable.  Sat in the drops a lot, made the big climb up just past the old Southern Ohio Coal offices.  By the time I was at the top I could hear the sweep truck behind me. I thought I would at least ride back into Wilkesville.  It was only another 15 miles on roads that I ride all the time, but by the time I was at the orchard, I waved the truck over and threw my bike in the back.  I was already 4 miles behind.  There were lots of volunteers making the race happen, even shutting down sections of road for us.  Just did not make sense to keep pushing just for pride's sake.

My track.
Sat in Wilkesville and watched the finish of the race.  Mike (Team Athens) busted through town on the start of the 4th loop with Katsu near.  A short bit later was David (Team Athens) and a couple other riders.  By the finish, David had caught Mike for a side by side finish with Mike in first.  Katsu was near and finished in third.  Great showing for Team Athens.

I am disappointed I did not finish, but I am glad I raced and look forward to doing it again.  Made it home just before the storm hit and in time for a birthday party for my oldest (who will be 16 on Thursday) and my youngest (who will turn 1 on Tuesday).

Friday, May 13, 2011

Wilkesville Hawk Station Pre-ride

Pre-road the Hawk Station Road loop before work today to get the legs activated.  A little worried about hitting this hill after 56 miles of racing.

From the Cycle Path:  "Climbing out of the Raccoon Creek Valley, Hawk Station Hill is not the steepest hill around but it is a climb that makes the muscles in your legs cry for mercy (especially after 60 miles of hard racing). The ascent starts out mellow enough at 4% and goes down hill. Then the pitch goes up to 11% and goes down hill. Next you make a sharp right turn and you head into a 13% grade and up to a 16% grade. Then when most hills in this neck of the wood level out, Hawk Station throws .5 miles of up hill rollers to gain 50 ft. more elevation. This makes for a hill that first gives you no chance to set a rhythm and then it unrelentingly takes away a chance at a speedy recovery."

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Team Athens TTT, missed

I decided to skip the Team Athens Tuesday Time Trial.  A look at the radar did not look promising.  Rolling thunder in the distance and a tornado warning in Gallia county made it sound like a bad idea.  Ended up only getting a few sprinkles at home and Katsu reported almost perfect conditions for the ride.  Oh well, stayed home with the fam and got a set of pyramid intervals in on the rollers while watching the return leg of Real Madrid and Barcelona from UEFA.

Unhappy radar
Bad color from the camera, but dinner looked a lot like the radar.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Walking with Brock

I know I should be training or mowing or cutting firewood or fixing our deck or finishing the two reports for work or cleaning the basement or studying for Sunday school, but Brock was very unhappy so we went for a walk. No, on second thought, this is exactly what I should be doing.

On our way.

Must have worn him out.

I've heard of a fork in the road, but I didn't know what to do when I came up to a spoon.

What did I just do? 19th Annual Wilkesville-2-Wilkseville

I did it.  I just registered for the 19th Annual Wilkesville-2-Wilkesville classic.  The start is only about 5 miles from my house and the route circles it at one point.  73.4 miles, 2000 ft of elevation gain, two climbs rated cat 5, one of which is 1.7 miles with an average 3.1% grade (http://www.mapmyride.com/routes/view/26031436). I have always wanted to ride this race and this will be my first shot at it. I am a little worried to be honest.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

OU-AIA Sprint Triathlon

Decided to skip this event this year.  Lots of reasons... Mother's day weekend, Ethan has two soccer games on Saturday, I have yet to get to the pool to do any swimming, my shoulder is still hurting (long story), forecast to rain, plus with some other unexpected expenses, $76 is a lot of money right now.  Maybe next year.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011


Just filled out my registration for the Ohio University Athletes in Action sprint triathlon. $76! Really?  Seems like a lot considering. For comparison sake, I can race the 72 mile Wilkesville-2-Wilkesville Classic next weekend for $27. Race-on-the-River in Racine Ohio (a non USAT event) is $30.  Enough venting, not sure I am in shape for the OUAIA triathlon anyway.  Would rather have the money to by plants/flowers/ferns for my wife for mother's day.

On a positive note, I spent 45 minutes on the rollers last night.  I now have a few hours on the new saddle (Fizik Antares) and have to say I really like it.  I can feel more pressure on my sit bones than with the old stock saddle (and much less pressure on my perineum = no numbness).

Monday, May 2, 2011

Photo Monday

These flowers popped this afternoon. Weren't there in the morning.

Scioto Hills

My running partner. Got in 4 miles of wooded trails and some serious elevation. This little guy never cracked a sweat.