Sunday, May 18, 2008

This Weekend in Review

The weather is getting nicer, the nature is getting greener (or otherwise more colorful) and the hours are still growing longer. What a time to be tapering for a race.

One Week Away

I gotta tell you I've never been this worked up for a race before, with the exception of The Josh, and I'm getting antsy. I had a nightmare the other night where we couldn't find the start of the race and when we did I had forgotten to wear a shirt. The first two miles of my dream-race were substantially slower than my goal pace, to the point that I'd never be able to make up the time. I woke up in a panic.

The hardest part about the couple of weeks leading up to this race is that I'm supposed to be tapering, meaning running fewer, easier miles. At this point there's nothing to gain by running hard so you're just maintaining and trying not to get hurt. After busting your hump for months it's awful to try and hold back. Just today when we finished 8 miles up and over a mountain, or at least some wicked steep trails, with a two to three mile ass-hauling at the end, I felt like I could have done it again. I had to use great restraint to get in the car and drive home. The last thing I want is to run my race a week early.

Out for a Spin

Yesterday I was scheduled for an easy 3-miler. The weather was perfect (despite the predictions) and I had just stopped to buy a new hat, some shorts and a shirt for the race when I got a call regarding a bike ride. Technically a bike ride is considered cross-training so I opted for that over the run. Plus my road bike was fresh back from surgery where she had a new crankset installed.

I made my purchases, passing up the race shorts with the 3/4" inseam (which I will be returning to buy after all) and was on my way. The ride went into the wind in both directions (figure that out) and we met a couple of interesting folks.

The first was a young woman out cruising the Berkshire countryside checking out roofs for her upcoming roofing project. We rode with her to a coffee shop slightly outside the range of our initial ride route, and headed back when she went to meet up with a friend.

On the way back, we ran into a guy who liked to ride fast. My counterpart doesn't have her summer biking legs on yet and we kept dropping her on the climbs. He didn't seem to care and just kept on pedaling. I should have let him go instead of leaving my friend behind, but I couldn't come up with a polite way to drop off. Don't worry, I felt plenty bad.

We stopped at another friend's house to admire his firewood pile (as instructed) which was not the 30' tower we were promised. I'd give it 15', but it was a letdown. I slithered through the post and rail fence to steal some logs while my partner in crime watched the horses (oh yeah, there were horses) to make sure they didn't come after me. For the record, animals larger than cats (and many the size of cats) scare me to death.

After leaving a note written in logs and placing a few on the lawn as a sign (and a close call with the big horse) we started to make our getaway when I noticed I had a flat. SHIT! We were going to get caught for sure. I had the tube replaced and tire almost back on the bike when the woman of the house showed up, busting us right there by the road. DAMN THAT FLAT! She was clueless to our intentions though, so I think we're fine.

Unbroke My Brakes

Remember how my folding bike showed up with a broken brake? Well yesterday the new set of brake calipers showed up. It's a good thing the guy on the phone asked me what color mine were, because he made sure to send me a different color. Either way, these are way better than the original ones, being made of metal and all.

Last night I installed the new brakes, tweaked the rear ones that had been squeaking, swapped my mountain bike seat onto the folding bike, oiled the chain and called it a night.

If you haven't ridden a bike much, you should know that big fat wide cushy saddles (what cyclists call seats) are the worst. They're fine for a couple of miles, but after that they tear you up. Being used to a skinny, hard saddle I found the fat saddle rubbing me the wrong way. The mountain bike saddle is an improvement, and I hope it does the trick.

Well, I guess I had more to say than I thought. I could go on, but I'm sure I've already lost a lot of you. Peace out, y'alls.

Over and Out,
Old Coot

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"Something inside of me just said 'Hey, wait a minute, I want to beat him.' and I just took off." -Pre