Sunday, October 10, 2010

When the cats away...

It was a really busy weekend, and I have lots of stuff to share:

Rachelle's team had a road game Saturday afternoon in New York, so I was left to my own devices for the start of the weekend. My beloved Columbus Blue Jackets started their season on Friday afternoon, so I scooted out of work early to catch the game. I made chicken wings (baked, not fried) to get a little of the feeling of being at a game, but stayed within my points. 

After watching my boys drop a 3-2 decision, I had a decision of my own to make: take the day off and enjoy my weekend of bachelorhood, or go out and get a run in to keep prepping for Paddy's Road Race. I guess the discipline is really starting to kick in because it was no more than a passing thought before I got off the couch, got into my workout clothes and hit the trail. 

35 minutes later, and I was back in the house.I ran the second day of the third time through the fourth week of my Couch to 5k plan (try saying that five times fast). I realized during this run that I'd been doing part of the workout wrong. Instead of pushing myself to walk as fast as I could between runs, I was supposed to be using that time for recovery to be able to give more during the running period. Guess I'm a little slow on the uptake. The running portions felt a lot better after my realization, and hopefully this will help me improve my running at faster pace than I have been.

Saturday was the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii. The woman's three time defending champion Chrissie Wellington had to pull out of the race due to an illness she came down with the night before, so it was a wide open field on the ladies side. As for the men, the competition is so close, it's hard for any guy to repeat. In the end Marinda Carfrae took it on the women's side while Chris McCormick got his second Kona victory in the past 4 years. I only watched a couple hours of the race, but as always it inspired me to get some work in.

Off I went on the bike, but not the road bike this time. That was still in the box in the living room. Instead I took the mountain bike to the Middlesex Fells for a trip around the 7 mile mountain bike loop. The Fells is a really amazing reservation, and the loop was a cool place to ride. Talk about tough though, lots of climbing on the loop with some technical sections that I thought were much harder than at Wompatuck.

Many of the easier trails that better fit my level of experience are off limits due to unrest between local hikers and bikers as to shared usage of the park. I didn't encounter any problems, other than having to walk about a miles worth of the loop because of my inexperience and lack of skill. I will say though there were some sections of single track that I managed at the Fells that I wouldn't been able to have tackled prior to the Landmine Classic, so I guess I'm improving.

Sunday I had planned on finishing off week 4 of Couch to 5k, but Rach insisted that she wanted to ride and that we needed to run Monday because it would put us on schedule to run every other day this week without having to push or skip a workout prior to Paddy's. She's subscribed us to a off-season training plan, so I had to dig the road bike out of the box and put it back together so we could ride.

We did something I haven't done before, an 85 minute series of increasing speed intervals. 10 minutes of warm-up followed by 5 minutes at 15 MPH. Then we did 10 minutes of cool down and then 5 minutes at 16 MPH. This went on until we ended with 5 minutes at 19 MPH. Normally I can do 5 minutes at 19 MPH pretty easily, but I haven't really tried it in a fashion like this, and let me say I had a hard time keeping the number over 19. In fact I wasn't able for the whole five minutes, but I got most of it.

It felt really good to get in a workout like this that will help keep the legs going through the fall and into winter. The only bad part was hitting a pothole about an hour in. I heard a snap but didn't notice anything wrong, so I assumed it was just the typical noise that comes from the bike during a drop like that. It wasn't until we were 1/4 mile from home when I heard a soft pinging noise and looked down to see a spoke bouncing around between the wheel and the fork. I stopped to unscrew it and walked the bike the rest of the way home.

Thankfully, it was only a front spoke, which is cheap to fix and not that dangerous to be missing, but it still means work needs to be done on the road bike if I'm going to ride it anymore this year.


- Progress on the Timberman medal: The woman I've been working with at WTC told me more of the story of what happened to the medals. Originally, they ordered enough for everyone but somehow come race day, the person responsible for them showed up with fewer than the ordered number of medals. She didn't go into details but it does sound as if something shady went on with the original order and they're still looking into it. 

Worse, when they  made the replacement order, supposedly only 100 of the 200 replacement medals were ordered and delivered. She had been under the assumption they had all been ordered and sent, learning only Friday that this wasn't the case. They have now ordered the final 100 medals and should have them in hand in "two weeks". She didn't know if that was when the warehouse would have them, or when they'd be sent out, but she said to call her back next Friday.

Between this and what I'm hearing was a mess at the Ironman Lake Placid event, it seems as if the WTC is growing at a rate faster than it can properly support. But that's a conversation for another time...

- Eating has been going mostly better as I followed my points all of last week and wound up losing 6.6 pounds from my weigh in on 9/24. I am sure this all happened in the week following Club Nationals because I know what I weighed when I got home from the race, so it was a single weeks worth of work that got me there. I stayed pretty close to points this weekend as well but my food selection Saturday night at the hockey game I attended left something to be desired. Gives me something to work on I guess.


  1. Ben,
    Thats pretty funny that you popped a spoke this weekend also. I went out on my bike for the first time in a month (knees have been cranky and I was concentrating on running) and I popped a spoke also. It was a rear spoke on a 24 spoke count wheel. I trued it up assessed where I was and decided to call the wife to have her pick me up at the bike shop (3 miles away), problem was the shop was closed, UGH. But the wheels are warranted for 5 years so I just gotta find time to drop it off.

  2. Those increasing tempo pieces - we call them "pyramids" and they murder. Wait till you then go back down the count. The 16 MPH you could do at the start will feel like 900 MPH on the last piece. But I guess that's good. That's what I tell myself, anyway. :)

  3. She, we didn't do ladders down, but we dropped into 13 MPH rest periods and spinning to go "only" 13 MPH without being in a really low gear was actually more difficult than doing the 16 - 18 MPH speed stages. It certainly is different. And I remember last year when 13 MPH would feel fast.

  4. nice job on the diet and the dedication to getting out there and running on your own :-)

    Mary from NC