Monday, March 22, 2010

What I did this weekend: Part 1

We had beautiful weather here in Boston for basically this past weekend, and we made sure to take advantage of it. It was such a full weekend that I don't want Sunday to get lost further down the post, so I'm breaking the weekend into two pieces.

Friday night we celebrated 6 months of wedded bliss by visiting a nice restaurant and then heading to the pool for a good hard swim. Why is it I have to keep learning the same lessons over and over? Eating a 8 oz steak and mashed potatoes or any other heavy meal, even with a good amount of water and veggies will only lead to horribly slow times in the pool and feeling like I have a rock in my gut. Sure enough, it happened again. I hadn't exactly eaten great on Friday, but I would have felt better without the giant dinner.

This was just one of those times that you have to write off how you feel during the workout because of the value of the workout itself. It's not like every special occasion meal for the rest of my life will be completely healthy. Plus, I think it's better to do the workout and maybe not feel my best than to just not do the workout.

In the end it was a tiring 1300 yards, and I figure I can take steak off my pre-race nutrition list.
Saturday was the Multisport World Expo at MIT in Cambridge. As a nerd/geek/dork, I have always been intrigued by MIT, and having any excuse to be on their campus would have been inviting. Now that I live literally across the river from MIT, I was far more excited about the weather and the festival. So excited that we walked instead of riding over.

A view of rowers practicing in the Charles River from the Mass Ave/Harvard/MIT bridge 

You'd think that because I remembered to take some photos of what was going on outside that I'd remember to take some pictures of the festival, right? Wrong. Being overstimulated sort of short circuits my usefulness.

None the less, the festival was terrific. We got to see a few members of our triathlon team, take a look at some races we either had never heard of or hadn't considered, and take a look at some of the newest technology and clothing. A couple of wetsuit companies were there, which was nice we're still looking for a wetsuit for Rachelle. While we didn't wind up buying a wetsuit, we did take advantage of the many discounts being offered on last years products. Rach got a new tri top and I got my first pair of bike shoes at the insane price of $25 each!

For those not into cycling, bike shoes are used in combination with special pedal/cleat combinations in order to generate more power throughout the whole pedal stroke. They're normally a pretty large expense for a pretty limited use, but they're a lot easier to use than the clips and straps for regular shoes, which is what I currently have. Considering the price and that I actually found something that fit me on sale, I didn't think I could pass it up.

We learned a little bit about Chi Running while attending a demonstration by Newton Running. I understand they are selling a product that supports a position they believe in; but they are selling a product none the less. Sure, I think running barefoot is most natural, but I also believe the environment I live in is not conducive to that style. Further, as a big guy, I go through shoes about twice as fast as normal sized folks, and I can only imagine the number of miles I'd get out of a pair of Newtons. Definitely not worth it for me.

Because we weren't inside the first 1000 to register for the event, I didn't think we'd win up getting one of the goodie bags the event sponsors put together. Thankfully, the sunny weather lured a few folks away, so we were able to each get a bag. Aside from the usual sale prices and coupons, they had some good sports nutrition samples and some training DVD's that we'll definitely watch.

We enjoyed the rest of the day shopping on Newbury and Boylston streets; and I went home with a much needed new pairs of bike shorts and workout shoes. My Nike Vomero +3's seem to be the root cause of my heel and Achilles pain, so they were replaced with a pair of Brooks that better suit my feet. And I had to throw out last years bike shorts a few weeks ago as they were falling apart. The new ones are stronger and have a gel pad that really seems to make a difference in my comfort level (more on that tomorrow).

Obviously we weren't the only folks out on this gorgeous day

We ate a lot better Saturday, and it showed in my workout Saturday night. 14 miles on the bike in 14 minutes. I was able to spend much of the time at a real high cadence (around 100 RPM) at a good resistance setting from the bike.

Tomorrow I'll tell you all about Sunday, the first long outdoor ride of the season, and how nice it is to see Boston from the back of a bike.

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