Thursday, July 25, 2002

I promise there's an update coming later tonight. Things are still completely crazy around the office.

More later, after tonight's bike ride.

Hello to whoever checked out the site from WKOW TV. I'd love to work at a station with those call letters. :-)
(or something like that)

anyway, more later.


Wednesday, July 24, 2002

Quick work break. Things have completely busted loose at work this week and I'm feelin' the pain. We're getting ready to air a series on a national satellite network in a couple weeks and have to get everything into order so that we can ship it out on Monday. What it means, of course, is that I'm completely busy. Talked to the bike shop today and my bike is supposed to be back soon. The shop-owner SWEARS that the wheel is REALLY true, and thinks that the reason this spoke broke was from damage that was incurred during the first spoke breakage. I'm going to trust him on this ONCE more. If it happens again though...

Swam in Turtle Lake yesterday since it was near work and I only had a little bit of time. I think all of the lakes in Shoreview (which is the town that neighbors little canada) are shallow and weedy. I like Lake Gearvis more and more. I was tentatively going to meet up with some other IronMooers from the Mile141 board this morning, but after getting home yesterday night and not actually getting to bed until 1:30, getting up at 5 to drive to Excelsior which is on the complete opposite side of the Twin Cities wasn't probably going to happen. It didn't.

Going to call up Now Bike in a couple minutes to check and see what's up with the group ride I'm supposed to lead tomorrow and find out if I need to have maps or not. if I do, it's one more thing that I need to add to my list of things to accomplish.

more news later. I promise.


Sunday, July 21, 2002

Back to the loooooooooong weekends.

Now that I'm not sick and I'm back from vacation, I'm finally starting to get back into the swing of training. Or at least, I'm TRYING to get back into the swing of training. Friday was another off day, so no workouts for me, but Saturday had me doing 3 hours on the bike at E2 and an 1:15 in the water at E2. Sunday? Well, Sunday was a 2:15 hour run at E3. <-- which I mistakenly thought was 2:30 at E2... oh well. I was at race pace anyway (for a slow guy) so I'm not especially concerned.

Saturday started off with quite a bit of rain. It's just not great riding in the rain, so if I don't have to, I don't. Plus it meant I got to sleep in. For whatever reason, my body has CRAVED sleep lately. 10 hours feels REALLY good. The problem with this is that I'm just NO good at going to bed early. I'm going to be working on it though, because I don't want to deprive my body. I need it in one piece. Anyway, I was finally off on my bike ride by 1. I'm always perplexed that no matter how I go about planning a route, my feet always take me a different way than I'd think they would. I swear they have a mind of their own. This happens driving to. Some days I'll just be driving out somewhere and it's as if my body is subconsciously driving for me. It's not that I'm COMPLETELY out of control, but it seems as if direction is by intuition vs. a concrete decision. In any case, that was what happened on Saturday. I meandered my way over towards the Gateway trail, trying to keep my heart rate in the 150-160 zone, which for me just doesn't happen very easily. I need to work really hard at not working very hard sometimes. My body just wants to go a certain speed, maybe it's connected to the direction thing somehow.

Anyway, I eventually made it onto the Gateway and headed out towards Stillwater. I really haven't had a chance to do the route that leads down to Stillwater this year. It's so much fun heading out there because it's the part of the eastern suburbs where the hills REALLY start. Heading into Stillwater, there's a mile downhill that's really fun to coast down. I think I hit somewhere above 40 on the way down this time, but you can never reach maximum speed because there's a stop sign almost immediately at the bottom of the hill. I was just going over the 20 mile mark when I got to my gas station/checkpoint.

Here's a shot of downtown that I found.

and the park that I hung out at for a while after I got down there.

The neat thing about Stillwater is that it's one of the only outlying "suburbs" that actually retained a bit of its identity. There's an actual main street, which is kind of unique around here. In Chicago, a lot of the outlying suburbs have their own identity or downtown, for whatever reason, that just didn't happen around the Twin Cities. Oh well, enough sociology.

After a few minutes, I headed out of Stillwater to continue my ride. I made the mistake of choosing to hit the hills first, so I immediately started chugging up one of the main roads that leads out of downtown. I hope the Ironman Madison course isn't as steep as this because I almost immediately went into my anaerobic threshold zone. From 120bpm to over 180 in just a few strokes of the pedal. It's been a long time since I've had to stop on a hill. This hill made me stop twice. i felt so out of shape... which of course makes me think that Lance Armstrong is even more amazing than he already was. After heading out of Stillwater I was on some back country roads underneath the now HOT sun and I heard a "CLANK!"
I cringed when I heard it, and kind of thought, "No! It can't be. I really hope that's not what I think it is." I pull off to the side of the road and sure enough my back wheel has a spoke fluttering in the wind, kinda like a kid laughing about getting a tooth knocked out. Being 20 miles from home and not having my cell phone, I started limping back towards civilization. Basically, put the bike in an easy gear and spin, spin, spin at 11mph until you reach home. With about 5 miles left on my ride home I pulled up to a stop sign. Accelerating on the other side, all I heard was a "Ker-unk!" and my pedals stopped moving. THIS IS NOT GOOD. I get off my bike figuring my chain has just come loose and I see something quite a bit more shocking. Yes, my chain is off, but on top of that, my entire rear derailleur has completely split off my bike and is swinging gracefully in the air, suspended in mid air with the bike chain threaded through it. Not much to do besides start walking with the bike, so off I go. Almost immediately I notice that there's a problem with this. Because of the wheel going out of true when the spoke broke, and there not being any weight on the bike seat, it's almost impossibly to push the bike. Pushing it along, ever time the rear wheel revolves it gets stuck against the frame and I have to drag the bike for a few feet until the wheel decides to rotate once more. Rine, Repeat.

Thankfully I finally made it to a Park and Ride a couple miles up the road that had a payphone. Ang was gracious enough to come and pick me and my bruised ego up. Because of all the bike problems, I never actually made it to the lake. On top of that though, I'm aware of something new now... these anti-depressants I'm on make it almost impossible to get mad. It's an interesting phenomenon in any case, and probably something that's not all bad. When I brought the bike to the shop today, it allowed me to get the bike taken back a little easier. Besides, it's not something the bike shop did. They're not out maliciously sabotaging my bike. There's got to be some sort of a problem with the rear wheel, that's all there is to it. There isn't any reason that 3 spokes should break within the first 500 miles of a bike's life. I haven't ridden it hard at all. No gravel, no potholes, nothing. Anyway, they took it back and I need to call the bike shop owner tomorrow to see what Fuji has to say. The bike is under warranty, so I'm not going to pay for anything, but I really didn't want to go back to riding my old bike while this is in the shop AGAIN.

Today was carved out for a 2 1/2 hour run. In my wildest dreams would I never have thought that I'd become a runner. Yet, for some reason, here I am. Pushing myself past where I've been before and learning about what's really buried deep down inside of me. My dad was a cross country runner growing up. He was on the varsity team in high school and college and I guess I thought that that would just be something that I'd never do. I think I originally got into cycling because it was a way to approach just a little bit of what my dad had done. I moved past the biking though, and now I'm off and running. The biking is still at the top of my list in the fun categories, but I think there's somethign to be said for running. My brain turns off when I run. I don't think about how my body is moving for the most part. I do watch my hear rate monitor religiously, but there's something primitive about running... and there's also something that's pretty personal. Each step I make for me, is sort of in my dads footsteps. That's what I was mostly thinking about when I finished my run in the rain. The phrase that kept running through my head was "Dad, thanks for giving me your running genes. They were buried, but I think I've finally found them." I haven't had a chance to say that phrase yet, but sometime over the next couple days, I will. I'll finish up in a second with a quote from the Introduction of Becoming an Ironman , but before that just a couple more notes.

My toes hurt. I'm not sure why. I'll probably go to a running store sometime this week to see if they have any ideas. Also, I ordered some stuff from Total Immersion today. They have a package you can get that has a book on Tri-swimming and a DVD all about Freestyle. I'm kind of anxious to watch them and grab some stuff from them.

In the meantime, I close with this from the Intro of Becoming an Ironman:First Encounters with The Ultimate Endurance Event by Kara Douglas Thom

"As varied as our athletic histories are, so too are our personal backgrounds. And while hte least common denominator of all ironman-distance triathlons is 2.4 miles of swimming, 112 miles of biking and 26.2 miles of running, every race experience is unique. What athletes bring to the starting line in terms of who they were before they begain training for this beast-family history, work pressures, aspirations, and fears- combine to make each ironman race as dynamic and distinct as their DNA. Sure, there are places in this book where ironman finishers will say "Aha!" from the knowing, the empathy of a common feeling or shared experience in training or racing. But it's the peoplebehind every finisher's meda; that make the story compelling beyond the enormity of covering the distance on human power. "

I guess that's what I'm trying to do. Tell my story. We'll see what happens. I hope you stay along for the ride.

Deus Te Amat, and I do too.