Friday, February 26, 2010

Weekly Report

I was able to sneak in a 1:45hr ride outside Tuesday at noon as the temps were pretty decent. Our evening turned out pretty busy as we picked up one of Ian's basketball teammates then made an early trip over to practice as I was meeting with a high school girl to give a quick evaluation of her jumping skills. (background: I was a jumper in college and have coached high/long/triple jumping for the high school team for the past two years and will continue this year). After the eval it was practice time; I love the boys on our team as each one works hard, understands instruction, and applies both. It will be fun watching this core group of kids grow up.

After practice Deb and I took Ian over to a new baseball training facility in Bolivar called Home Runs Plus. It is owned and operated by a guy I played basketball with in high school at Marionville along with an SBU ball player. While basketball has four more weeks before wrap up Ian has baseball tryouts for a competitive team next weekend. While he is a lock to make the team he still needed some help with his batting (fielding and throwing are nutty good thus he always plays third base - cannon for an arm) and the guys at HRP are great. With a couple of significant alterations Ian is a night and day better batter.

Ian has a frustrating issue with his parents as we let him play one sport at a time and refuse to have him in too many activities at once (we did/do the same with Jake). He is equally talented for football as he is baseball and basketball but it falls during the end of one and the beginning of the other. We give him the choice and he sticks with basketball and baseball (every time), but many of his friends play all and it is tough for him to watch. As it is now we practice once and play once a week and if he adds football then it becomes a four night a week deal and that is too much for his little body (and mind).

After HRP we scooted over to watch the last home SBU basketball game of the '09/'10 season. The Bearcats are still in the hunt for a regional playoff spot, but are playing far off of years past.

Wednesday was a chance to catch our breathe as Jake went off to his church youth group, Ian and I hung out at home and did a bunch of nothing, and Deb got in some 'Marla' time as they worked out at SBU. I got in a solid 1:45hr trainer ride before work and watched The Taking of Pelhem 123 (I liked it). At noon I played an hour of basketball at SBU and found my ankle was at around 75% (while wearing a brace) which was enough for the equivalent of a light interval session.

Thursday was a 'rest' day from the bike, but not from basketball as I had an intramural game at SBU at 10pm (don't they know I am old...). Our team is pretty similar to the one that has won the football championship for the past three years and our b-ball team is not short on talent. Five of the eight players were starters on either DI or DII teams - nice. The earlier evening was pretty routine with Ian and I hitting the gym for a shoot around while Deb and Jake made a grocery run.

Going to try to slip in a ride at noon today, but might not happen. A have had solid riding/training as of late and a couple days off the bike might be just what the body needs.

Speaking of bikes... today my frame should hit Georgia and if all goes correctly will be shipped off to me by COB. The Blue folks are great and are throwing in some 'extras' for my patience. Hopefully this time next week I'll be rolling on it and the mtb will returned to mtb trail usage.

Deb and I are heading out this weekend for our church's annual marriage retreat in Branson after Ian's basketball game in SGF this afternoon. While 'sessions' are held on a time schedule Deb and I have always thought the 'retreat' is more about 'she and I' time and less of listening to someone tell us how to do it (I am always amazed on how so many people depend on someone else telling them how to be married). We usually make most of the sessions, but don't mind walking in late or leaving early. Deb and I have a great marriage/friendship and I fully understand it's the result of her and less of I (since most of my readers know us personally I guess I didn't really need to explain this). Ian is staying with g-ma and g-pa Jones and Jake will have a Risky Business weekend (house to himself).

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up

Friday - early to work means early departure for a solid afternoon ride. 2:15 or so hours solo meant for solid tempo riding (a little faster than of late). Got off on more gravel/dirt roads which was a big mistake as they are still sloppy from the raising freeze; it will be some time before they are 'fun' to ride again as now they are simply sloppy work (same thing for the Frisco Trail). The mtb is still working out fine, but it is starting to wear on me riding it on the road so much. On the up side, I am getting plenty of resistance and weight training on the flats and climbs. Feb 26th is the ETA on the Blue hitting Georgia and it can't come soon enough.

Friday evening Deb, Ian, and I went over to BHS and watched the boys basketball game. It's fun going as we see many friends and most of Ian's teammates are there and they all hang out and watch the action (OK, not all watch and it drives Ian nuts as he actually watches).

Saturday - Snagged a Brenda's late breakfast with Deb and Ian (Jake spent the night with a friend) after we all slept in (I should turn pro). Nate Bethell and I hit the roads around noon for 2:30hrs of tempo in the afternoon sun (actually got to 58* and it honestly felt like a heat wave). When I got home Ian and I went over to the new baseball training facility in Bolivar called Home Runs Plus and got some instruction from the owner (a guy I played basketball with in high school from my home town). Nice to have this place in town as they have indoor batting cages and elevated pitching mounds. I already scheduled Ian for some 1-on-1 instruction this week as his competitive ball team for the spring/summer has tryouts this coming Monday. He is a lock for the selection, but having some additional instruction is always good. Played some poker with the 'regulars' on Saturday night and was able to squeak out a win. Got home and divided up the winning to the boys.

Got three days in a row of 2+ hours per and I am feeling really good about my fitness for the end of February. I am not interested right now in rides longer than 3hrs as I have only 1 race all year that will exceed it (Syllamore's Revenge) and that is simply for fun and not a race I plan for 'competition'. March will begin to get some speed and concentrated strength/climbing as the mtb races start. I would like to be at really good fitness in May and early June as that's when the crits come into play so I keep the reigns pulled back on doing too much now.

Sunday - Rain and cold so no riding plans and a bunch of laziness abounded. Ian, Deb, and I spent some of the afternoon as the gym while Jake had youth groups at church. Sunday evening was full of Amazing Race, Olympics, Scrabble, and more nothingness (sweet).

Monday was a routine Monday. I jumped on the trainer (20* wind chill outside) for 1:10hrs and got in a great high spin workout while watching the first part of Law Abiding Citizen (LAC) -good flick and highly recommend it. Got home from work and found Deb had whipped up another great Chicken/Pasta dish that the boys and I devoured. It is amazing how she finds time to work full time, take care of all of us, crank out awesome dish after dish for eats, and keeps her sanity...

Deb headed off for a girl's movie night at a friends so Ian and I hit the gym while Jake knocked out some homework and watched the first part of LAC. Got home, helped Ian study for a test, watched the ending of LAC with Jake, got E-ball tucked into bed, wrapped up the night with Jake, then turned in for the evening after Deb got home.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Thursday Ride

Thursday's weather (high 40's) was as good as we have had in some time so Ira and I headed out northeast of Bolivar and ended up with 2:15hrs. On the way back in we wanted to check out a collapsed bridge to see if any work was done to repair/replace and a couple of the below clips show what we found. Not only was there work being done, but an entire bluff taken down (where we used to do some repelling) and construction of a major bridge is going in. Ira, being Ira, and I, being I, didn't want to turn back and ride around so we hiked the bikes through the boulder field (no exaggeration) and made our way through the mess.

Thursday after work we met up with my bro's crew and celebrated my niece's 15th b-day (of course she had to wear the sombrero - not an option). Can't believe she is old enough to have a driving permit.

Later we all suffered through an SBU home basketball loss (those are rare).

Will probably ride the trainer since it's raining, but if a clear window opens I am out of here for a couple hours. Still working on getting the 'smoke' from the rear wheel like in the below clip (snuck this one from G. Keller - M&C):

PUSH PULL from Landis Fields on Vimeo.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Thank You Dead Presidents, Cupid, Japan, DECA, and the 3-Ball

***VIDEO CLIPS DO WORK they just won't populate with an image prior to playing them***

Where to start, where to start??? Three-day weekend thanks to President's Day and it was sweet. A mix of warmer (all relative) and blistery cold temps had me outside some days and cooped up others.

Thursday night Jim, Cheri, Deb, and I headed to SGF to have out 2009 Christmas office dinner. I know it was a little late, but better late than never. Haruno's sushi and entrees were super nice and filling and time with my bro outside the office is always quality. We ordered way too much, but somehow followed the eating instruction of one IRA BROWN and we "ate through the pain".
Friday Ira and I struck out on the bikes and got in 2:20hrs. Sort of chilly, but not too bad. The rest of the day included a trip to SGF for some shopping and Ian's ball game. The Courts had his 3rd grade team playing at 9:30PM (ended up being 9:45 tip-off). The boys played great and bagged another win and didn't look too tired until afterwards. Late night getting home and even later when you factor in CODMW2 still going on until 2am.

Saturday was a sweet late sleep-in followed by breakfast at Brenda's - hash browns and biscuits and grave is a staple for Ian and I while Deb always goes for the brown sugar oatmeal. Played a couple games of Scrabble, did a few chores, and continued on with a bunch of nothingness. Got out in great weather in the afternoon for a 3:10hrs ride going over Stockton Lake a couple different (locations) times. Temps were as warm as seen in past weeks and the ride was solid. Got to see the picture to the right during a water refill at a local pump-n-grub in Fair Play. I grew up with this on a regular basis (sometimes the one driving), but figure someone might find it humorous.

Got home, loaded up Ian and Deb (Jake was hanging with friends) and chowed down on SWMO's best hamburger at Squeeze-Inn in Stockton. Deb (and all of us, but especially her) loves a great burger and it doesn't get better than in Stockton. Got back home (with full bellies) and played some games then hit the hay... or did I???? At 1:30am I slipped out of the house and picked up a beautiful tulip/rose combination of flowers for Deb.

Sunday - Valentine's Day and my late night trip paid off; she loved the flowers. We headed off to church and it was kind of weird in that the temps were not too bad going in, but at 12pm coming out it was brutal cold. With it being so cold out and a couple of good rides in my pocket I took the day off from cycling and hung out some more with the crew. Got a couple honey-do's done, played some Scrabble, went to the gym with Ian, watched some Olympics, and that was pretty much the day. Jake had a V-Day date in the afternoon and they ended up coming by the house after an early dinner and watching a movie.
Monday the markets were closed which means SIA is also. Deb slept in while I got the boys off to school then I jumped back in to finish my snooze (9am). Woke to a game of Scrabble, mocha and breakfast, and then we watched The Proposal - pretty funny flick. Deb and I whipped up some lunch before a couple more board games, watched some Olympics, then I hopped on the trainer for 1:30hrs while watching Inglorious Bas...; odd movie and I don't really know if I liked it or not. Boys got home and we all ate on some homemade beef stew Deb made and then kicked back with a good Nerf dunk competition in Ian's room; I figure I won, but was overridden and Ian took top honors, Jake second, and me last (go figure). Boys headed off to bed while Deb and I finished up with some Olympics then it was lights out.

Neither Deb nor I could recall such a good day at home in years just the two of us (for most of the day). She truly is my best buddy and I absolutely live/long for these type of quality days.
Tuesday at noon-ball I wrecked my ankle pretty bad and it will be a couple days before I can put regular pressure on it. Hoping it will be good for cycling, but staying off any type of run activity. This thing is the size of a grapefruit and this morning (Wednesday) the discoloration is starting to settle in.

Jake had a DECA (Delta Epsilon Chi) competition today and he and his teammate placed 2nd in a finance presentation and qualified for the state competition (in April). He said he initially joined DECA to get out of class and school from time to time, but he now realizes he likes (and is good at) the marketing/advertising aspects of the competitions and is going to take it much more seriously (novel idea, young man). You might notice the hair-style change in the pic to the right - trying something new and we like it.
Tuesday evening had Ian's basketball practice followed up with Deb's homemade Chicken Parmesan (a crowd favorite). Deb and I watched some Olympic action and we decided no matter how masculine the dude (Stallone, Mike Tyson...) in men's figure skating he is still going to look somewhat gay in a feathered costume and prancing on ice; it's just the nature of the beast.
This morning before school Ian and I picked up his teammate Nick and took him to Brenda's for biscuits and gravy to pay a debt. The debt: I told the kids last Friday night during their game I would buy B&G for anyone who knocks down a 3 point shot and sure enough Nick killed it. Nick was pretty excited and reminded me last night at practice so this morning I paid up. There was quite an interesting mix of topics discussed over B&G as the minds of 8 yr olds are pretty creative...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Weekend Fun and Snowball Fight (Updated)

Last night as Deb and I were drifting off to sleep we commented on what a great weekend we had... zzzzzzz.

Friday after work Ian and I hit the gym for some ball (big surprise, I know). Back to the casa where Deb made some garlic chicken pasta (Jake's favorite) and we all chowed down. Jake had a buddy spend the night so I picked up Zombie Land for us (hilarious in an odd way).

Saturday we took our time getting up and around as Ian's ball game in SGF started a little after noon. We headed down and watched (I coached) Ian and boys put on a butt-whooping in a 24-7 win. Fuddruckers afterwards followed by some shopping.

Dropped off Ian to spend a night and then Deb and I met some friends at a local Mexican dive for later evening grub. That was a lot of fun as the conversation and laughs outweighed the food (man I miss SA). Back home to some Scrabble with Deb and Jake before calling it a night (after a little SNL).

Sunday morning I popped up early, ran to the store for some fresh veggies (and a couple donuts), and came back to start chopping up some Pico de Gallo for later in the day. I am bias, but you are missing out if you haven't sampled my homemade mix (passed down to me from a lady who grew up in in the Rio Grande Valley - no more need said). I use only fresh stuff, but to reach the perfect blend of juices it needs chopped and mixed (and refrigerated) 6-8 hrs prior to use; thus I was chopping in the AM.

Deb, Jake, and I headed off to church. Ironically the sermon was on gluttony (not only food, but other issues) which would come into play later in the day.

After church Ira and I bundled up and grabbed a 3:15hr ride north of Bolivar. Pretty chilly, but not anything that needed avoidance. I have found a great mix of winter clothing/layers which keep me from getting cold (or too warm) during temps in the 20s and 30s. I have been able to get the majority of my rides over the past couple weeks outdoors and I am starting to see results. Yesterday Ira showed me a brand new place that we are going to use for some great mtb training once the ground firms up a bit. I had ridden by this place a million times and had no idea what was on the other side of the fence until he showed me yesterday - huge potential and fun!

Jake headed over to a group of friends house to watch the game. Got home, cleaned up, and headed over to my bro's bungalow to watch the game (and eat) with a couple friends. Deb and the girls watch the commercials upstairs while Ian and I hang with Jim and Randy downstairs on the BIG SCREEN (understatement). Great game, food, and company all evening. A quick scoot back home in the snow (freshly dumped) and we all hit the hay preparing the upcoming week.

Monday was pretty much a routine Monday; played some basketball at noon, had a huge snowball fight after work with Deb, Ian, and Jake (pictures of this coming as it was so much fun), Ian and I shot baskets at SBU, ate some homemade chicken quesadillas (Deb rocks), watched some tube, played a game of Scrabble, and then crashed.
Below is a pic of Ian's snowman that might be the world's smallest (maybe 1' in height... maybe). I came home from work and Deb and Ian where just starting their battle. When Jake showed up it full on warfare.

Tuesday I hopped on the trainer in the afternoon and got in 1:30hrs while watching Public Enemy. It is a good 'trainer movie', but that is about it. It was -3* windchill so I moved indoors and probably will remain there the rest of the week. While I have no cross/road bike I simply hook up the tandem and it works great (the geometry is the same as my cross).

Friday, February 5, 2010

My Girlfriend Rocks

Friday means one thing and one thing only - Friday Mistress! Hit the office early so I could slide out in the afternoon, but opportunity presented itself mid-morning so I checked the local weather and as crappy as it was (31* and snowing/raining) my girlfriend was on my mind and I heard her calling. Wrapped up with a topper of water-proof layers and took the mtb for a 2:10hr cruise of Polk County. It was absolutely nasty weather as it started off with large flake snow then moved to rain, then to sleet, then finally snow again. By the end I was getting pretty chilly even though I was dry. My mtb (with 1.7 slicks) is really coming in handy for this type of weather and the roads/trails I ride in the Bolivar area.

Ian has a ball game in SGF tomorrow at noon and then we are all going to spend the afternoon in the big city doing a little eating and shopping. Might jump on the trainer for a couple hours before heading south.

Sunday is SBS (Super Bowl Sunday) and I think we are heading over to my bro's for the game. Hope Randy wears a disguise as Ian wants no part of him and any kind of championship game (Ian is 0-for when Randola is in the house). Hoping for a solid 3hr ride.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Riding and Vertigo (not with Jimmy Stewart)

Monday was pretty routine and a day I usually take off the bike. I headed up to SBU at noon and got in some solid basketball. The evening was low key with Deb and Marla hitting the gym and Ian and I going up also for some basketball. Jake is taking a week off from running to physcially and mentally prepare for the upcoming track season. This will be his last rest week until the track season wraps up in late May; he is enjoying it! The Scrabble games continue and Deb is up 5-4.

Tuesday I got out for 1:20hrs a little after noon for a chilly ride. Took a hilly route to not only work on some climbing, but to stay out of the winds (worked out good for both). Found myself a little too far north of town for the time constraints I had and ended up riding some on 13Hwy which is not a big deal as it's shoulder is really wide, but for the most part I try and stay off of it.

Tuesday evening was ball practice and afterwards three games of Scrabble where in I put the whopp'in to Deb and now have a 7-5 lead (that's right a three game sweep).

Wednesday I was looking forward to a solid 2hr ride in the afternoon, but for some unknown reason I woke up with a total lack of balance and any movement made me nausious (like constant motion sickness). I went to the office around noon, but after 15 minutes Deb was taking me back home. I spent the rest of the day in bed and by evening I was somewhat better; I could sit up without the room spinning.

This morning I woke feeling 90% better and by the time I got to work I am down to 80% (but 100% better than yesterday). Will not attempt riding today and hopefully this will fully pass and tomorrow I will be able to hook up with my mistress.

Monday, February 1, 2010

It's Chilly Out There (not exactly a news flash, I know)

Run down of activities since Thursday.

Friday - Got early word from Blue that my rig was in need of replacement (warrantied) and they were checking inventory to see if they had my size in stock. Crossing my fingers they did...

Snow and cold got school closed mid-day and cancelled Ian's evening ball game at The Courts so we hung out at the casa. I passed on an outdoor or trainer ride as I just didn't feel like pedaling so I caught 2hrs of basketball at noon. Ian and I hit the SBU gym Friday evening and it was packed as I guess in a heavy snow dump and living in Bolivar there isn't' too many choices for a college student. Once back home Deb and I broke out the scrabble board and we have been going at it ever since (she is up 5-3; no big surprise there). Jake had a buddy spend the night and they hit the movies (Book of Eli - which Jake really liked). We were all up way too late...

Deb is starting (after 22yrs its about time) to rub off on me so Saturday was another 'sleep in' kind of morning since not too much was going to happen outside. Once up and around Deb and I took the boys (to include Jake's friend) to Brenda's and enjoyed too much breakfast and coffee. Nothing like a local diner and eggs, hash browns, and biscuits and gravy for less than $4!

The temps online made it out to be brutal outside, but Dale and I jumped out for a couple hours on the Frisco Trail and it really wasn't THAT cold; most of the ride was without gloves and jackets open. Maybe it was because we were only averaging 6mph in 6" of snow while trying to ride a straight line with the ice underneath. It was probably the least amount of distance ever covered for the amount of effort it took - absolutely a great time. (Pics and video are coming). On the way back we opted to hit some open roads and that's when we started feeling the sting of the air.

Saturday evening Deb, Ian, and I watched the SBU men's basketball game. SBU won, but lost their All-American player (probably for the season); bitter-sweet. After Ian conked out Deb and I were back at the Scrabble game.

Sunday morning we all hopped up and went to church, came home and Deb finished her 'pot-luck' donation (baked ziti - always good) for Jake's Cross Country Banquet at the high school. They had a big turnout (bigger than the academic banquet the week before - sad) and the season highlight video and awards were great. Jake was voted the boy's team MVP, Iron Liberator, and Team Leader/Captain along with getting recognized as the Runner-Up Conference Champion, 2nd Team All-District, and a State qualifier (he walked out with an arm load of swag).

On a side note - you can't give Ian and I a camera and time to kill without getting the following:

The below picture is from last weekend's Academic Banquet:

After the banquet Dale and I got in a little over 2hr ride northeast of Bolivar. The main roads were all clear, but the side one's were still 75% covered with snow and ice. Good ride until the last 20 minutes as the sun was dropping, the temps dipping (quickly), and I didn't have heavy enough gloves. Dale swapped me out mitts as we got close to his plantation and that made the ride home bearable. ***It was not foggy out, but my lens was fogged up from being in my back pocket***

The rest of the evening included a mix of the Pro Bowl (with Ian), working on a virus ridden computer, and Scrabble (with Deb).

Fitness wise January was a great start to 2010. Running the 16.3 trail race was solid with Jake and the switch from running to riding went well. January was committed to simply getting back on a rig (after a month off) and finding the feel of pedaling; that task was more than accomplished. February is time to keep the base building with a little mix of intesity and quite a bit of strength work. No races for this month so it's all about riding consistent.

Got word this morning that Blue has no frames in stock and they put me on the front of the line to get one coming off a Feb 26th shipment - fingers crossed. These folks are great and easy with which to work. My mtb is working out fine and don't figure it has slowed me down (figuratively) with my early season training especially riding in the conditions of late.

This week looks pretty routine - NICE.