Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Deb's Birthday, Ball Game(s), and a Little Riding

Where to begin as we have hopped from place to place and activity to activity quite a bunch since my last entry. Let's keep it chronological...

Friday after work Deb, Ian, Payton (E's buddy and twin), and I met my mom and dad at Hammond's Field to take in a SGF Cardinals game. My folks got some tickets that included a facility tour prior to the game, several pieces of swag, and nicely discounted prices on good seats (12th row behind home plate). So we arrive for the tour, but no one from the Cards shows up. Once the gates opened we went to guest relations (while the boys headed off for autographs) and they apologized as they dropped the figurative ball and comp'ed us with tickets for another game WITH the tour (more later). Super nice temps and great seats made for a fun evening. The boys really enjoyed themselves as sometimes I think Ian would pay to watch a Little League game just to watch the action.

Jake skipped the game (no surprise as he's not really a 'sports' fan) and hung out with friends. Him getting older is really starting to suck as I'm selfish and want him near always.

Saturday morning was Deb's birthday (let's just say STILL 29 even though her 40th was last year) and she had told me exactly what she wanted for a gift: 1) Sleep in, 2) No cooking, 3)No cleaning, 4) Not being an intermediary for the boys when feuding, 5)Brenda's breakfast, and 6) Lounging with her books all day; I can do that. So off to breakfast (way late in the morning) we went. Afterwards I threatened the boys no to disturb MOM and headed off with Ira and Dale on a 'cross ride on the gravel/dirt roads of southwestern Polk County.

Good 2:45hrs ride, but it was dry, windy, and (together) dusty. Toward the end it got a pretty warm and I think all of us were ready when Dale said he was buying drinks at Sonic.

Got home and we lazied around until Deb, Ian, and I headed off to catch SBU's season football opener and pre-game meal with the university President. Weather was good and that's about it as SBU got pounded 60-13 (thank you UCM, may we have another...).

Later Saturday evening Jake snagged an hour run and came back with a grin from ear to ear. The temp was nice and cool and the air was dry; he said it was the first time since April that he ran and it didn't hurt a single bit. He said he flew like in '09 and didn't want to stop; answered prayer! This was a huge mental hurdle for him as he knows he is not far off of being clear. We desperately need some cooler temps and lighter air for him... The Liber ator's first meet is this Saturday and looks like coach is going to run him with the team (pack run) as they are a young group and it will benefit both he and team this early in the season.

Sunday AM I hit SBU and got in 1:20hrs of bike driving. As promised the following is installment #2 of "Show JB SBU":

Off to church and immediately after my bro and I jumped on the rigs and road to Republic (well, pretty close) where we met my mom and dad, and aunt and uncle for a late lunch. After chowing down we all went to my dad's church to celebrate his 30th anniversary of pastoring Reavisville Baptist Church, which is an incredible feat. He and my mom have seen their share of ups and downs, but mostly ups as the group that once was 20-25 folks is now over 120 strong. They (RBC) have an incredible love and sense of community that is missing in so many 'large/metro' churches these days. I have no idea how much longer my pop will preach at RBC, but I don't really see signs of him slowing down. I am so proud of his ministry and service and love that I am part of his family.

Back to the Bodunklivar ranch with just enough daylight to get a family soccer game in. Deb and I couldn't hold off Jake and Ian as they took home the 1st of many '10 UBSWCC (United Backyard Soccer World Cup Championships) to be played.

Took Monday as a recovery day as the rest of the week is full on LOAD IT UP mode.

Cruised out of work a little early Monday afternoon, picked up Ian and Payton, and headed back down to our 'make up' Cards tour and game. This time the good folks of Hammond's were there and we got the look of the place to include going down on the field and dugout (the boy's favorite).

Pretty fun seats again above the first baseline dugout and E & P even scooted their way down and got front row seats for several innings. Ian lucked out and got a player to toss him a ball after a third out (his evening was made and the smile lasted a long time). Since it was a school night I rounded up the boys at the end of the 5th inning and he headed back toward Bolivar. Two absolutely fun evenings at the ball park with my folks (even though I am still waiting for my funnel cake - much like a pony...).
Tuesday AM I got out for a lite run and swim workout; the air was super thick and Jake confirmed it as his AM run was brutal on his asthma. Racing the A&B Dirt Crit tonight and look forward to watching the 'fast kids' disappear and me trying to hold on for dear life. A&B Cycles has some 29er Specialized bikes for demo and I am toying with the idea of cruising on one tonight... we'll see.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Touch and an AM Run with The Boy

Thursday afternoon I hopped out for a quick 1000m lap swim; nice and easy. When I was knee deep in triathlons a usual pool workout was around 4,000 meters with tons of drills, but since I'm not looking to swim competitively I can skip the drills (although I would be much more efficient if I did) and simply stroke out a quick one and be done with it. No doubt an IM is around the corner for me and the big pool time will happen, but not in '10.

After work I dropped Ian off at soccer practice (a local team - no travel is good) then Deb and I made it down to SGF to meet some friends for dinner at Touch; nice place, good food and great bunch of friends. Got lucky enough to secure a private room, which worked out perfect for our group of eight. Got home pretty late so made no plans for an AM Friday ride (nice timing for a rest week), but figured I would get out later in the day.

For some unknown reason I woke up Friday around 4:15am and couldn't get back to sleep so I figured I might as well go knock out some running miles with Jake and his cross country team at their AM practice. 5:15am he and I (along with the team behind) head out into the chilly morning for 5 miles; great running weather. Even battling his Pleurisy he took it easy on 'the old man' and we chatted the entire run; he said I was free to come back any time as he enjoyed it (typed with HUGE smile). If it takes up and at 'em to find time with the boy then that's what I'll do. With the exception of Tuesday morning it had been since February (SwampStomper 25k in Memphis) since I had ran over 3 miles and I was pleasently happy to still have a decent stride and pace. Got back to the casa and snoozed a little before heading out for the day.

This evening we are going to a SGF Cardinals game as my folks got some special tickets that gives us a tour of the park and workout facilities and sits up behind home plate; should be fun.

Below is Deb's new prized possession which she worked the 'deal of the year' to get cheap. Next month the granite counter tops and back splash tile go in along with a new stove. She's been waiting for this for some time and I am excited for her (and us, but mostly her).

Deb's birthday is tomorrow...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A&B Dirt Crit #3 (Not 100* Finally)

Loaded up the Durango with Ira, Dale, and Tommie Brock (long time cyclist and a newbie to Bodunklivar) and headed down to the A&B Dirt Crit #3 at Dry Sac. The mornings run and swim (as lite as they were) had me a little concerned as to the 'punch' I would have during the night's contest. Super great temps and a solid turnout for the 'A' race last night meant it was going to be a fast event. Dale and Jered Lotz (Bolivar youngster) both stepped up to the A race, which was good to see.
Think this was the biggest 'A' field so far this year and all the regular 'fast kids' were present. This meant fighting for table scraps after Cale, Jered, and Mark finished up 'supper'. The course was reversed this week (which honestly was a refreshing change) and probably benefited me as there was more open grinders up slight longish inclines than running the other way.

Lined up and as soon as the whistle blew we all heard a lound pop and there was Mark with a busted chain - bummer as he is a super solid mtb'er and gives the STJ's boys a run for their money. Hit the single track in my usual place (behind Cale and Jered) and watched them slowly pull away (but kept it closer than in weeks prior). My legs felt really good after the first loop so I kept it steady and pushed on the open sections and reserved on the tight stuff. Several corners were loose which made for a lot of surfing, but never went down (later heard quite a few did). Was able to hold on to 3rd place for the night (Cale took the win) without too much time near the red zone.

I continue to say these crits are working out perfect in my lead up to 'cross. SGF is really getting their stuff together with this, the Waffle, and ScottyD's TT and I can only see this getting better.

Hung around a little bit afterwards before taking the crew back north. Solid evening and always fun hanging out with my boys.

Got some bad news yesterday that the De Stadt series in KC will not happen this year. Disappointing, but you can't hold it against the promoter as he has always done tons for the cycling scene and needed time to regroup for work and family - wise choice, my man. Still plenty of racing in the KC area, but will have to re-look at calendars to mix in some STL two-day events and maybe hop in with Crusty to some USGPs (not a bad fall back plan at all).

Monday, August 23, 2010

Recovery/Rest week - Good

My pre-'cross racing practice agenda is pretty much centered around two hard/loaded weeks then one lite and easy (a standard format for many). I am looking forward to it more than I realized... but it won't start until Sunday (this past one).

Friday morning I met Ira at SBU courses and we got to driving bikes. After a short warm up we knocked out 3 x 5min efforts (with 3min recovery) on the tightest of the three courses then moved on to one of the more open ones and hit another 3x 5mins. Afterwards he headed off to class and I cruised the SBU XC course for another hour and worked turns and short climbs. I limped home as it was a solid morning. Work was work and in mid-afternoon I jumped in the pool for some easy pull-buoy laps, but turns out they were the fastest since I re-started a couple months ago. My form/technique is improving as the times dropped AND I used significantly less effort - nice. I really like the fitness I get from my swims and the strength (upper torso and core - which is what drives the entire stroke) is top notch.

Friday evening we all (yes, that includes a rare appearance from Jake) went over to some friend's casa for 'build your own pizza and movie night'. They had never seen 'The Village' so that's what we took in; I like that flick and enjoyed it again. Super fun evening!

Saturday early morning (Deb reminded me how EARLY it was) Deb and I met up with my bro and Dale and got in a 50 miler. Decent temps at 6:30am and by 9:45 (finishing time) we were glad to be getting out of the sun. My bro is getting ready for a century in October and this was one of his longer rides of the year and he rode great. Who would have thunk it that years from our childhood we would still be riding bikes together... Deb, who has turned out a great tandem partner, and I took it Dale early on regarding sprint/city limit signs. The two early we got did have a downhill approach and he had little chance coming around us at 45mph+, but uphill signs spelled our doom and the day finished Dale - 3/J&D - 2.

After a quick breakfast at Brenda's it was time to load us all up and hit my grandmother's 90th birthday party. Mildred Smith is incredible as she looks (and it super active) for even a 70yr old, let alone 20+ added on. A lot of folks came through and everyone seemed to have a great time.

Afterwards we grabbed some grub with my bro's crew at Old Chicago before heading home. Bit of a disappointment as they no longer serve their 'stuffed pizza', but what we did eat was solid (as always). Back to the casa...

Lazy rest of the evening except for the 'first layer' applied to the cross tubulars.

Sunday was the start of a week of recovery as I have hit it pretty hard for the past two. Plan to stay active, but at a lower effort level. Haven't decided how I'll ride on the A&B Dirt Crit on Tuesday, but imagine I'll race it full on and have it as my only elevated effort for the week (it's just too much fun not to get after it).

Slept in then we all headed off to church. Afterwards it was grocery shopping with Deb, relaxing at casa (Tiger Woods '09), and then quite a bit of yard/garden work. We are in good need of some rain as the yard is looking thirsty; Thinned down some of the tomato plants (getting overgrown). The Roma's just won't quit pumping out tons of 'maters every day so I keep chopping them up for fresh Pico ('when life gives you lemons...'). All in all a super relaxing day with several little chores accomplished and the all important 'second layer' of Mastik applied.

Monday morning I hopped over to SBU and knocked out some low effort bike driving; just a ton of turns, turns, and a couple more turns... Really nice temps. At the end of practice I put together a couple clips of the 'Library Course' just to give Justin B a glimpse of our little bit of 'cross heaven (will show other two courses over the next week or so). This course is more of a 'pedaler's' loop as it has longer grass sections with a mix of sweeping turns and just a couple areas of tight turns; lots of grinding out grass stuff:

Played a lite hour of basketball at noon.

Tuesday morning started the 'run' part of 'cross. Laced 'em up and headed out on the road for a bit, hit the stadium stairs repeats for a bit, then off to the pool for a quick 1000 meters, and finally back to the casa; 50 minutes in total - nice and easy.

A&B Dirt Crit (really more of a short track than crit) is tonight and I am debating full on racing or a lesser effort as I want to keep it all low-key this week. It will be a startline decision (which usually means 'full on'), but if I can keep in the top 5 and not exert too much I'll do that (don't have a prayer of keeping up with Gullett, Cale, and JB).

Haven't really talked much lately of Jake's xc running as it's a tough topic... He is running with the team, but simply cannot kick this pleurisy (SBU recently had an All-American get it at the beginning of his last senior year, already red-shirted one, and didn't get to run all season). Our doctor recently gave him a steroid inhaler to combat the pain/restricted breathing and it looks to slowly be working. Jake said of late that it is getting better, but he is still far from on top of it. He is so frustrated as it's his senior year and so much hard work over the last three years is not providing him the 'big payoff' he expected; several times he has talked about simply quiting. As a dad it is killing me inside as he seems lost. He and I continually talk about developing as a person and it's easy to be on top and these tough times are what forge true character and champions. Deb, I, and coach keep focusing him on late October (Conference, Districts, and State) as the targets and all other meets count as little; it's tough to do that no matter the age. He doesn't whine and gripe about it as he understands these things happen and getting upset cures nothing; he is quite the sharp kid. We keep praying for God's healing hands and understand if He has other purposes for the injury/illness in the big picture. I imagine that if by mid-September it is not better he'll call the rest of the xc season off and try to regroup for track.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Waffle Race #2 and Back to School

St. John's Cycling crew held the Waffle Race #2 last night and Nate and I made the short drive from Bodunklivar. The rain held off all day and the temps were nice and decently cool.

Nate jumped in the B race while I toed the line in the A. Pretty small group in my race considering the good temps and no rain, but it was a solid crew who did show to include several of the St. John's boys and Brad Huff (Jelly Belly rider). Pretty routine for the most part, but on the last lap (of 3) Huff and Austin Vinton (a 17yr old St. John's phenom) slipped away and it was full on pulling our butts off trying to bring them back. I had two choices 1) bury myself with a handful of others and see if we could reel them in or 2) sit in, skip some pulls and try for a decent finishing place... Since it's a training race I opted for #1 and roasted myself with Cale, J Brackett, and another trying to close the gap. We got it pretty close, but couldn't seal the deal and on the last climb up the dam wall I was done and rolled in for 5th (video clip shows me limping in to the finish). The evening turned out exactly as I hoped as the efforts will pay dividends down the road. ***Pics from Roger Hinson and video from Nate Bethell***

While I am liking the Dirt Crits it was a good change of pace to hit 33miles full of efforts. Next Tuesday it's back to the dirt.

Wednesday I took a lite spin this AM on the road to work out the efforts from Tuesday night; ended up with 1:30hrs of flat roads. Would like to hit the FT early mornings for recovery, but every 10' you eat a spider web (no fun) so I usually try to get on in the afternoons after someone else does community service and clears it out.

Played an intense hour of basketball at SBU at noon and took Ian with me so he could shoot around. All summer long Coach Guiot (head men's b-ball coach) has had E-ball step up the free throw line (in front of everyone) and see how many free throws he could sink out of 10. He was always around 4 or 5 as it was obvious the pressure of everyone watching would get to him. Wednesday, the last noon ball of the year for Ian since he goes back to school, he stepped up and sunk 9-10; he was on cloud nine. Coach took him in the locker room afterwards and gave him an SBU Basketball t-shirt and then his favorite player from last year's practice jersey - way cool. It was a fun noon ball.

Workout #3 for the day found me at the SBU pool after work. Splits the laps up with a pull buoy (small foam piece that sits between legs and forces you to use only waist up, but still provides some flotation/balance to your legs) which torched my upper body and core. I know I keep saying this, but there is no better total body workout than swimming. Being a bi-lateral breather (every third stroke and sometimes I am pushing for 4th stroke) it forces a controlled breathing that I think aids in my breathing during efforts on the bike (less short shallow and more long deeper).

This morning (Thursday) it was back to school for the kids. Hard to believe I have a senior in our house. Both the boys won't admit it, but you can tell they are ready to be back. Deb has taken a 'back to school' picture every year since he was in kindergarten so he was drug out again for the last time this morning... sigh.

Rest day and looking forward to it!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cool Temps - AHHHHHH

Friday after work I jumped in the SBU pool and got in some solid laps. That was my fitness for the day as I was still dragging hiney from being out late the night prior.

Saturday it was up and at 'em at the crack of dawn. Wheels rolling at 5:50am to meet up with a small group at 6am. With a couple no-shows it was Dale, Ira, myself, and 'new-to-group-rides' TJ Johns. We rolled out a handful of miles before Dale (who sounded horrible) pulled the plug and headed home; turns out he was fighting a chest cold and it had him jacked up pretty bad). Now the three of us until TJ hits a peice of metal in the road and sliced a brand new tire. All set to repair and his back up tube is faulty (after going thru 3 co2s) so he calls his wife for rescue. Ira and I finally continue on and wrapped up a solid three hours or ride time. It was a decent morning temp wise, but the humidity was thick.

Got home to find Ian had a buddy over for the day so we loaded everyone up and hit our local breakfast joint. Back to the house for chores and lounging - Nice!

Sunday found us all sleeping in late before heading off to church. Afterwards we kicked around the casa doing not a whole lot (if you don't count sharpening my Tiger Woods '09 skills) until Ian and I headed off to the gym for a quick shoot around. We ended up going toe to toe on the free throw line and let's just say he is still looking for his first win...

Jake and Andee had me watch an interesting (not saying it's good nor bad, just interesting) flick called the Sasquatch Gang (same folks who did Napoleon Dynamite if that tells you anything). I am sure it will be funnier as (if) I watch it a time or two more...

Deb headed off out on the bike for a cruise as the temps were finally getting in her 'comfort' range. I am looking forward to doing some good tandem riding with her this fall. Ian and I knocked out some bike maintenance (he on his rig which he needs no assistance) while Deb was out. He has really taken to riding as of late.

Met Ira at SBU and got in a great 1:20hrs of bike driving practice on the three separate courses. The new cockpit setup allows so much easier flow in, thru, and out of corners. Course #1 is all about turning, turning, and more turning #2 features straight ahead pedaling on rolling grass with some decent long slow climbing and #3 is a nice mix of both. We are not hammering the pace, but likewise theres no goofing around. We keep the flow going from one course to the other without much of a break.

This year at the HUTL the Cat 4 race winner (combined both days) gets a Specialized frame and fork, so... Ira and I started project "Get Ira a Frame". He is riding pretty solid and has a pretty good shot at it.

Got home and Deb and I headed out on a blanket in the front yard to see if we could find any of the meteor stragglers. She saw one and I struck out. Time flew by as we chit chatted and before you know it it was way past 11pm. A light breeze combined with cool temps made for a perfect night out and I almost grabbed a sleeping bag and crashed in the fresh air, but I ended up passing.

Monday morning at 6am Ira and I met at SBU to take in the SBU's "Welcome to your first day of collegiate cross country" 5k time trial for the kids on the Bearcat team. Several of the boys look good while it was apparent a couple were not 'properly prepared' and thus are probably still wondering what they are doing there (funny, but good wake up call). Afterwards he and I took in a nice 1:30hr spin in the most awesome weather in some time; I didn't want to stop riding.

Played 1:30hr basketball at noon and after work Ian and I hopped on the tandem while Deb rode solo for a fun 45minutes. It was such a nice evening out no one wanted to go back inside.

This evening the A&B Dirt Crit takes a breather and the St. John's Cycling Waffle Race #2 is up; 33 miles (3 laps) around Fellows Lake outside of SGF. No expectations other than surviving as long as possible, which last time meant take fair share of pulls until the last lap and then take every other one and hold on for dear life; I expect the same beating tonight.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Night at the Ball Park in KC

So Ian and I had been looking at the Royals schedule to see what 'good' teams were coming in August or September and he was really wanting to see his favorite player Kevin Youkilis - Boston Red Sox (favorite outside any Cardinals players, that is) so we marked out calendars. Turns out Youk got injured and out for the season so of course the next in line was a chance to catch A Rod and D Jeter, which was last night. E was bouncing off the walls all week once I secured tickets and it was game on. Deb and Jake opted out as they had no desire to sit in 100* temps to watch baseball, but when you are 9 years old and love baseball (sports in general) as Ian does it could have been 1000* and it wouldn't have mattered; we ended up getting my brother and pop on board for the trip.

Took off a little after noon, chowed on some Gates, picked up the tickets, and made our way to the new 'K'; pretty nice park (prefer STL - Busch). When we arrived at the park my car registered 99* and weatherbug listed KC as 111* heat index (I believe it); a light breeze was the only saving grace standing out in the sun. We stood out front for a bit (with a ton of Yankee fans) before the gates opened and then made our way down to the Yank's dugout area to try for some autographs. Ian and I got a nice 'on top of the dugout' spot while my bro took up a position not far from us. KC players were taking BP (batting practice) while several of the NY players came and went; turns out they signed squat for the fans. Ian was mildly disappointed but liked being down in the mix and seeing the 'big boys' up close (even though it was stifling down low in a packed crowd).

Made our way up to the seats and enjoyed a solid game and Ian even got to see Jeter do one of his patented "jump throws" to get a guy out at first (Ian has done a million of those in our backyard yelling "Jeter" with each); he was on cloud nine. Had a real close call with a foul ball that landed about 10 feet from us. Yanks won 4-3 and Ian left happy. While it was a steamer in the stands it was worth every second seeing Ian's constant smile

Late night drive back got us home around 1:30am; my rear is dragging this morning as I didn't even contemplate hooking up with the mistress this AM.
It is amazing how cheap the Royals tickets are compared to the Cards; then again the Cardinals actually have a competitive team while KC helps others rack up wins.
Fitness wise: Wednesday AM I got in a 1:45 lite spin and then played an hour of basketball at SBU. Thursday was completely off and today (Friday) I am heading out after dark for a 1:30hr strong tempo ride on a good 3 looper around Bolivar. Supposed to stay near 100* for today and tomorrow so I'll probably hit a 3hr cruise the AM (might knock out another with Deb on the tandem as that was a good time last weekend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

A&B Dirt Crit Week #2

Tuesday morning up and early for an hour of bike driving practice at SBU. Lite spin while simply getting the feel/flow of corner after corner after turn after turn... I was soaked with sweat at the finish (even though I doubt my HR got above 135) which let me know Tuesday evening's dirt crit was going to be a steamer as the humidity was higher than last week.

Mid-way thru the day a local bank had 101* (weatherbud had the index at one point 111*) posted and I started rethinking my sanity (which every racer does on a regular basis).

So Ira drops by after work and we head down to Sac Trails for A&B's Dirt Crit #2. The turnout was much better overall even though the A race was a couple folks lighter (noticeably J Brackett who took 2nd last week). We got there in time to watch Dale's B race in which he looked good but was still feeling the Philly Fonda from Sunday. J Lotz, a recent SBU grad and now fellow Bolivarite, jumped in on this first ever bike race and did really good. Nice to see Bodunklivar with a decent turnout. Not much on the warm up side as changing clothes seemed to do the trip of breaking a good sweat. No MWI clothing last night as I grabbed for the coolest/lightest weight material I had even though I knew white bibs would get me some ribbing on the line (thanks Cale).

So whistle blows and off we go with Mark Gullett, Cale M, and Ira head up the front with me right on their tale. After a couple single track areas I jump around Ira (Mark and Cale are already gone) and set off on my tempo knowing that regulation of my effort and heat is key to not blowing before the 45 minutes is done. At the end of 2 laps (still in third) I have a slight lead over some chasers and decide to up the effort level for the next 2 laps to widen the gap; it worked as I increased it my well over a minutes. Time to settle back into my rhythm and ride within myself. Half way thru a lite southern breeze came in and immediately cooled off by at least 10*, which felt incredible. Never really had to step on the gas for the rest of the race as I was no where near the front two and the gap to 4th was over two minutes. Moved up one spot over last week to finish 3rd (fully understand that I will resume my rightful place once JB returns). Since I don't have a cyclo-computer on my rig I'm not sure of the speed compared to last week, but I felt somewhat a little flat fitness wise although I think my bike handling is getting better and better as I get to understand the lines on each turn.

I am digging these weekly efforts as it works in great with my 'cross building. I have not come close to getting in the 'red zone' at these but sustained effort at a higher than normal rate is perfect for early/early season.

Ira had a solid race and came in 5th riding way faster than last week.

We hung around for quite a while after the event and got to know/reacquaint with some fellow racers. It's a good group of folks out there and A&B are doing a great job. Found out they have Specialized demo 29ers at the race site for free use. Was thinking about trying one out in a couple weeks, but am hesitant as I probably don't want to know how nice they are as I don't have a budget to get a new one and it would drive me nuts if I liked it; better to not know and enjoy my 'too small for me' 2003 V-brake Trek. Next week St. Johns Waffle #2 takes the place of Dirt Crits to it's to Fellows Lake for a 33 mile RR.

Had a nice lite 1:40hr spin this AM around the outskirts of Bolivar. Ran into Lou and Shelley Harris and cruised a couple miles with them. Smart kids to get their riding early while it is still only double digit temps. Looking at the sun as it rose over the trees this AM you can just tell it is getting ready to unload a ton of heat for the rest of the day.

Hoping to grab some laps in the pool this PM as it's the best total body strength workout for me in a 30 minute span. Since it's indoors SBU does a good job of keeping the water temp just chilly enough to make laps comfortable as opposed to some that cater to the recreational folks and warm it up - horrible swimming conditions.
Tomorrow Ian, my pop, my bro, and I are taking in a KC Royals night game. Why would we go see the Royals when the Cards are the better team to watch? The Yankees are in town and Ian is dying to watch A Rod and D Jeter play (and try to get an autograph). Forecast is at 100* for KC, but we are sitting was the third base side which should be shaded (lets hope). Anyway, should be a good time. Funny how Deb insisted it be a 'boys trip' and opted out knowing it is going to be a "sweat-fest"

Monday, August 9, 2010

Here Piggy Piggy...

We'll get to the title in a bit, believe me it's worth it.

Friday evening Jake and I grabbed a bag o'corn and drinks and caught Dinner With Schmucks. Its a pretty funny watch, but both Jake and I were hoping for a little more hilarity. Up next is The Other Guys.

Saturday morning Deb and I had planned to go with some friends and ride the Tour de Cox on the tandem. As it turns out she and I ended up being the only ones going so we decided to do a three hour ride out of Bolivar just the two of us. The temp was super nice (we left at 7:30am) with a lite southern breeze so we decided to make our way south through Pleasant Hope and make it up from there. Deb was stoking like a champ so at PH we continued on south toward SGF and turned west on WW where Deb made a comment about a huge pig in some one's yard; of course we had to turn around. Sure enough, there was a huge Lawn Pig (pictures and video don't do this thing justice to how huge it was). So I take a picture it starts making it's way to us so then I have to start with the video. The entire time Deb is scared that the ultra-slow moving pig is going to be an 'attack pig' and she is begging for us to get out of there; which only makes me drag me feet more to see exactly how close it will get (we are still on the road mind you). The thing ends up within 8 or 9 feet of us before the owner comes out, calls the 'family pet' by name, and it turns and starts back toward the house. It's not the most bizarre thing I have ever seen on a ride, but the combination of it's hugeness and Deb's frightened start puts it in the top 15 or so.

We ended up with a 50 miler and getting out of the sun before it got really hot. I absolutely love riding the tandem with Deb and have not regretted that purchase as it combines two of my favorite things in one event.

Once back home and cleaned up Deb and I took off for SGF while the boys decided to hang at the casa. Got in some light shopping before heading back home. Saturday evening was mostly spent out of the sun, but Ian and I hit the bikes once the sun started dropping. We cruised various parts of SBU campus as he continually made made dashes for signs and would strike his 'Cav - HTC pose'; he didn't care for my 'Fletcha - arrow' or my 'Sastre - pacifier'. 3G's put a caper on the night.

Sunday was all about rest and relaxation. Slept in some, made it to church, then Deb and Jake took off for SGF (back to school shopping) while Ian and I hung out. It was a toaster outside so we opted for indoor games: several Nerf basketball games (he has the pro version backboard/break-a-way rim combo), Catan, lots of Ping Pong, and a handful of Tiger Woods '09 on the Xbox.

So Sunday evening was spent in the shop putting the final touches on the Blue to get it in full on CX mode. Dropped the 'big ring' as I'm a single 42t up front kind of guy and installed the Pauls chain keeper; I picked it up into the season last year and am sold on it's simplicity and functionality. I had an issue with Paul's clamp not being big enough for the Blue's seat tube (chunky at the BB area) so I figured out how to use the Sram front d clamp and it works great.
Debated on bar tape (Specialized Roubiax) color this year and decided to go with traditional black (last year it was white and no I didn't have a problem keeping it clean) with the white hoods; I really like how it turned out and think it will be super pimp with my white Challenge XS's.
Speaking of tires, looking forward to getting the Challenge and Vittoria's this week. It's been some years since I last stretched and glued up some tubies, but looking forward to re-familiarizing myself.

Up and at'em this AM for a good 1:45hr tempo ride over the hilliest stuff I could find to get in some strength work. Really liking the tighter cockpit, but hating the warm muggy humidity outside (at 6am I was sweating before I got out of the driveway). Going to hit a swim workout in the pool this PM, a lite hour CX handling skills ride tomorrow AM, and then the A&B Dirt Crit (#2) in the evening (supposed to be hot and nasty like last week - oh joy!).

Dale was out in Philly this past weekend and jumped in the Grand Fondo Colnago Philadelphia on Sunday. He said it was one of the tougher 100 milers he had done with tons of climbing. Colnago set him up with a sweet ride for the event since he reps their bikes and was in Philly for one of their meetings - nice.
Looks like the family is heading to KC this Thursday for a Royals baseball game as the NY Yanks are in town and Ian is dying to see A Rod and Jeter play. Forecast is crazy hot for the game... sigh.

Friday, August 6, 2010

A Roll in the Grass with The Mistress

Thursday night before going to bed I caught the weather forecast and after hearing cool temps in the AM I slipped off to sleep with a smile on my face; couldn't wait for morning...

Jumped up this AM for what would usually be a Polk County backroads affair with my slightly altered girlfriend (more on that in a minutes), but since I got no takers for riding partners I figured it was an awesome morning to bust the dew on the three different training courses I have at SBU. Sleeveless jersey was a bit chilly as I slipped out of the driveway; hold up, did I just say CHILLY!?!?!? Anyway, got in 1:30hrs at an easy spin and re-learning my cornering and general cx skills. I forgot how it takes a bit to 'get the hands tough' on cx terrain. Full dew was in effect and with a recent mowing (a day or two prior) it was full on clippings covering everything. One of my favorite sights is a single line running through wet grass; we all know it brings a smile just thinking about it...

Most of the time I get strange looks from those out and about on campus, but today I had a personal cheering group as the SBU women's soccer team was back in full AM swing and one of the courses runs right next to their practice facility; easy ladies, can't you see I was already on a date... Super morning conditions and all around great workout.

So I jumped ahead a couple days so let me back track. Wednesday was a total rest/off the bike day and in the evening Ian and I went to SBU and shot baskets and swam for a while.
Thursday I played some b-ball at noon and at 8:30pm I headed out for a steady tempo effort for 1:30hrs around Bolivar. I have a well lite loop that runs me near 30 minutes with a lot of cornering so there is a ton of get up out of the saddle and up to speed opportunities. Deb and E went out on a pretty long bike ride around town; he has gotten the bug for riding here of late.
Did a couple minor changes to the Blue's set up as I tried out a shorter stem and a slightly farther back saddle position and it seems to have me in a nice balanced CX position. My cornering is way better and can carry much more speed in tight stuff. Our DS received our Challenge shipment and I can't wait to give the Grifo XS's (in white of course) a spin. Earlier I had no plan to have a set of tubulars so I got the XS in clinchers and passed on ordering any tubies. Since then I picked up a solid set of DA hub/Torelli rim tubulars in great shape really cheap so I ended up getting a set of Vittoria XM 32s (which should arrive in a couple days). The XM's are the newer 320tpi version which received solid reviews.
Speaking of repairs, scooter #2 is under review (mechanically) and it appears this one might require a small investment in parts to get it up and going; still not a big expense when you consider it was free. Ira and I are going to mess with it here and there to see if we can get it up to speed (literally).
Not really sure what is on the agenda for the weekend, but think Deb and I might go to the Tour De Cox tomorrow and ride the 43mile loop on the tandem. Would like to catch Dinner with Schmucks as it looks pretty funny; so does The Other Guys.