Monday, May 28, 2007

Running, Cycling and Eating: What Else are Long Weekends For?

While the weekend started off with a soggy early-out Friday afternoon, I finally made my way to Eddy’s bike shop after work to get a tire patch kit and chat about tri-bikes.

Bike guy Josh and I toured the road bikes et al., and after a storewide discussion about how serious a triathlete I was and where I “hoped to finish” (How do you answer a question like that? Granted, I know I’ll never be a world-class athlete and that my competitive spirit can only push me so far… but I always hope to finish first. Where I know I’ll actually finish is a different story) ended up at a Trek 7.5 FX, which happens to be the 2007 version of my 2006 bike. So, if nothing else, I walked away feeling like I was on the right track.

But I also walked away with more GU and took down the Lemon Sublime variety on my Saturday-morning 12.4-mile run around Kent and Stow. It was a better flavor than my first spin with strawberry-banana (which wasn’t really bad) and I chased it with water from a trusty fountain I spotted on my run, so I think I benefited from its effects.

And I couldn’t have taken it at a better time. I was at the furthest point from my house, in an area with absolutely no cover and headed into the all-uphill portion of my run when the skies opened up on me. If you were in NEOhio on Saturday, you may have noticed some evil-looking clouds looming over certain parts of the region. And I was under them. Totally Eeyore style.

It was the first time I had run through torrential rain and super-high winds while training. Luckily it was only a thunderstorm with minimal lightning. Once I got past the ridiculousness of the situation (i.e., not being able to see, breathe or step without a flood of water getting in the way), I pushed through the hills and maintained an 8:46/mile pace over three and a half miles.

As you may have guessed, the rain stopped as soon as I hit flat land… but that was when the chafing began! I think I have full t-shirt and cropped pants-shaped chafing wherever possible. It almost looks like reverse sunburn. Perhaps next time I head out into a cloudy day, I’ll think about less abrasive-when-wet clothes, huh?

Saturday, however, was just the beginning. Not only did I stay on track with my 25-miles-a-week target (the subset of my 100-miles in four weeks goal) with 3.42 miles on Sunday and 2.02 miles on Monday (26.17 miles for the week), but Neil and I hit the trails on our wheels too!

On Sunday we cycled around our neighborhood after a messy time with getting my tire properly mounted on my bike. And then we rode about 10.25 miles through Stow and Hudson for our longest ride this year. Neil was awesome and has become quite the active man these days. I knew the weather would hook him!

My legs and I still have plenty of warming up to do with the cycling motion, but today’s longer ride gave me hope for the future of brick workouts. Although I waited a few hours between cycling and running today (more out of laziness than inability), I felt that I could have run a while after the ride. That’s good news!

Speaking of good news: the Cavaliers pulled one off in the series! For those who didn’t know me last season, I spent the second round of the playoffs writing smack mail to Dan Wetzel, who seems to hate the Cavs almost as much as Charles Barkley. I don’t talk sports smack (well, not until the results are in), but I’m happy with whatever we can get.

Although I’d like to think that my fixing the flat on my bike, LeBron, helped the real LBJ play like a king. Joe warned that it might happen, so I’m really doing my part to bring a championship to Cleveland.

(One quick confession: to reward myself, I picked up a bunch of Main Street Cupcakes on Sunday morning. Neil stuck to his favorite, chocolate lava, and I had some red velvet and a new treat: Half Baked. It's vanilla cupcake with chocolate chips filled with chocolate chip cookie dough and topped with buttercream frosting. Sigh. It was an experience. I also uploaded my latest photos to Flickr, if you would care to see Portland and New York.)


IronGambit said...

Maybe you should try some ClifShots... I personally think that there taste is nicer than GU's

Jim said...

Great photos G. And nice training!

TRI Vortex said...

If weather follows you around like that, sorry but I'm gonna opt out of being your trainning buddy. I'm a SoCal wimp.

Oh, and my steed has not been named yet. "TriChef" is my cousin's AKA because he's a tri-newbie and in a culinary program.

Kris said...

Go Cavs! You are my running hero. I wish I enjoyed running that much.