30 March 2012

4 out of 5 isn't bad

raining this morning - i briefly considering donning the rain gear and riding in to make it a perfect 5/5 but opted for the more sensible option of driving in. going into the winter, if you told me there would be a chance i could ride 4 days in one week in march i would have said 'no way.' so that is pretty cool.

we get to have dinner with our friends pat, katie and charlotte tonight. pat is in town for the madison 50k tomorrow. i saw a news article where there is talk of several participants beating his course record that he set a few years back - but no mention of him being one of them. bulletin board material?

i wish i could watch the race but we will be heading to lovely gresham, wi for some family stuff. i was considering bringing a bike but in all reality that probably isn't happening. i'll bring my running shoes and hope for the best.

happy friday.

29 March 2012

settle down

it has been about a year since my crash that put me in the er. my wrist pain/stiffness subsided a month or two ago (once i stopped racing cross - who would have thought?) and final bit of dental repair was completed in january. i still haven't posted a photo from the crash - if i think of it i'll put one up tonight.

the reason i mention it is that any training i'm able to do over the next 2-3 months will be bonus when compared to last year. i wasn't right for quite awhile following and didn't do a whole lot of anything during those months.

i'm not feeling so hot this morning and it was pretty cold (34) when it was time to leave - but even though i could come up with a couple of decent excuses i told all of them to shut up. i rode in this morning anyway. i ride in at the same time on the same route every day - i don't understand how traffic can vary so much for no apparent reason. i also don't understand why people panic/get so angry while driving in traffic.

happy thursday.

28 March 2012

a new look

man was it windy last night. a nice training aide for sure but i was feeling it coming home. i finally got around to uploading my data from the new edge 500 last night and that is a really nice bit of technology. it will serve as the training log i've always wanted to keep but never had the discipline to keep. distance, pace, route, temp, elevation gain, heart rate and power (maybe some day) all in one place. i love it!

 felt good riding in today. one of those 'happy to be alive' mornings. the sun was shining (if not very windy again) and i felt good turning the pedals. checks have started to clear for fat tire - but mine has not. hopefully that just means they are processing in waves and that mine is in a later wave. hopefully.

happy wednesday.

27 March 2012

roll with it

the plan for yesterday was to add some distance to my ride home by hitting the military ridge trail in riley and then following it into verona and then home. it rained all afternoon so i thought that plan would be foiled. fortunately, it stopped and dried out enough to not make it completely miserable. the m.r. trail is in rough shape - it looks like a vehicle drove on it when it was soggy so there is a huge rut on the right side - the trail is rock hard to that is like having a curb mid trail. probably a county truck removing all the snow mobile signage. got about 1:40 for the day - nice.

put some new rubber on the klein - one of the new tires was so tight i had to enlist a little help from r. those tires were pretty old and have seen a lot of miles and trainer time - i deserved the flat i got on sunday.

training from last week:
m: 0:45 (run)
t: 1:15 (commute)
w: 1:15 (commute)
r: 1:00 (commute)
f: 0
s: 0
n: 1:30 (road ride)
total: 5:45

not a great week from many perspectives. so, 5:45 actually seems like a small victory.

happy tuesday.

26 March 2012

beat down

being sad makes me tired. driving a lot and schlepping toddler goods around the state makes me tired. allergies make me tired.

so, driving/schlepping our toddler to and from wausau for my grandfather's funeral during an early allergy season meant that sunday was a recovery day. it was beautiful out so i took advantage - by mustering a little energy to ride for 90 minutes. we'll, i was gone closer to 105 minutes but that was due to a flat rear tire. my CO2 cartridge had no C02 so i pumped up the spare as much as i could with my little hand pump and then babied it home. i stood for most of the 8 miles home which was a pretty good workout in itself.

the tire was old and well used. time to put some new ones on i guess.

i am still tired today. but, i rallied and rode in this morning. it would have been easy to bag it (temps in the 30's with a brisk wind) but instead i had the conditions make me a sandwich.

happy monday.

23 March 2012

that is life

1/2 day today and then we're heading north to wausau. i'm not looking forward to it but that is life. i know that dying is part of the deal - i'm just not too keen on traditional funeral practices.

i heard a piece on wpr the other day about green burials that caught my interest. it turns out that there are more and more green cemeteries popping up where there isn't much preparation of the body done and no concrete tomb or vault. it is essentially a nature preserve that happens to be a cemetery. i've always been in the cremation boat but i kind of like the thought of that. there were accounts of family members and friends hand digging the grave together for a loved one - and while that would be absolutely heartbreaking i would derive comfort from being a very intimate part of the process.

anyway, enough of this morbid stuff - on a friday no less. i've been super tired this week - not sure if it is allergies or being sad or what but i have been useless after cal goes to bed. i took the direct route home after work because it was raining. not sure what i'll be able to do this weekend training wise. i think i'm going to try and get short run in before we leave just for stress relief. maybe a family bike ride on sunday?

happy friday.

22 March 2012

pumping that gas

after reviewing the weather reports i was resigned to the fact that i wouldn't be able to ride in this morning. i was pleasantly surprised this morning when it looked like the rain would hold off until the afternoon. so i threw my rain gear in the backpack and rode in.

happy thursday.

21 March 2012

did it.

robin and i decided that this year we are going to spend our rei dividend as follows:

- one purchase for the family (a second suitcase similar to the one we used our dividend for last year.
- split what is remaining between us for toys of our preference.

i also had a little bit of birthday money so i have opted for a garmin edge 500. i contemplated a wahoo ant+ bike adapter for my iphone but ended up deciding that i mostly bike these days and would rather have a tool that is specific for the task. i wanted ant+ so i can run a sensor on the back wheel for trainer sessions. i wanted gps with the capability of reading power if i ever end up with that capability. so, considering i got a sizable discount with my portion of the dividend this made the most sense. i am very excited to really start using it but....

first i need to learn how to use it fully. i'm going to try and formalize my training more this year (at times) and i think this will really help. i've got the two included bike mounts on my single speed and my road bike. i'm going to order two more for my mountain bike and my race cross bike that still hasn't been manufactured.

i think i'm also going to sell my nike+ gps wrist unit if anyone is in the market.

happy wednesday.

20 March 2012

a good man.

his health had been failing slowly for the better part of the last decade. he had dialysis treatments three times a week for the past 7 years. he later developed peripheral vascular disease that progressed to the point of causing severe pain in his feet. through it all he maintained his characteristic chuckle and quiet resolve until the end. He passed away last night surrounded by several of his children - although he will be dearly missed, i'm glad that he will no longer feel the pain he has had to endure.

this morning i hugged my son a little bit longer, enjoyed the sounds of my family getting ready on an ordinary workday and breathed the cool morning air a little bit deeper on my ride in with Grandpa in my thoughts. and with the end of one life i am reminded that my life is so very good.

i will miss you grandpa.

19 March 2012

pitter patter

back at it. calvin and oliver conspired against me riding in this morning - everything took a long time. this was my last solo morning - robin comes home this afternoon (yea!!). i had a very nice time with my little guy but 5 nights as a single parent was tough. this is where i say "i'm not sure how single parents deal with it." but as with any circumstance in life if it is your reality you just deal with it.

this time alone with cal has really driven home just how special it is to have a 2 year old. his little mind is amazing - and i am fascinated with how he can simultaneously have very progressive/complex thoughts and very simplistic thoughts.

we stayed active including a bike ride to the tunnel on the badger trail, a trip to the vilas zoo, many games of baseball and football in the backyard, we made bread on two occasions, we went for walks, we did a lot of yard work and we only watched about a total of 2 hours of tv over the 5 days. we don't watch children specific programs very often anyway, but i have a bad habit of having the tv on in the background a lot which i'm trying to break. we watched curious george and shaun the sheep for a bit saturday morning but that was about it.

anyway, i'm glad r is coming home because i miss her. here is to getting the band back together!

happy monday.

18 March 2012

a good week of summer training (in march)

i know i've strung a good week of training together when i fall asleep on the couch - last night i was asleep by 9:30.

m: 1:00 (road ride)
t: 1:15 (single speed commute/add on)
w: 1:15 (single speed commute/add on)
r: 0
f: 3:40 (65 miles w/hills)
s: 1:40 (to, through (a couple of times) and back from the tunnel w/trailer/cal
n: 0
total: 8:50

today i might still go for a cruise with cal again but it won't be substantial. i mean, it's march and my fish get fried starting the end of july. 9 hours with two zeros is big time for me these days.

cal and i got up nice and early again this morning. i made us waffles (not the frozen kind) and then we headed to the zoo. he ran from exhibit to exhibit. then we went for a walk along lake wingra. when we got home, i raked the front yard while he ran some more and jumped off the retaining wall. needless to say, he was ready for his nap time. frankly, i was too.

happy (with melancholy undertones) sunday.

(i love you grandpa)

16 March 2012

what a day

i ended up able to take the day off and boy am i glad i did. cal and i woke up and had breakfast and then he was off to dc for another great day. side note: we got an email today saying that our daycare is installing a mini-splash park this spring for use this summer. we are so very happy we switched last november!

anyway, back home to sip some coffee and watch the news. apparently if you sit and watch the morning news after 8am they switch to pretty much all pop culture 'news.' i don't get it. anyway, after fondling the remote for a bit i kitted up and headed out on my favorite hilly loop. i like to use this one as a fitness gauge periodically and also just plan like riding the roads but it takes a while. i felt strong throughout - althout i wasn't jamming - i was trying to always have a gear or two in reserve when i was climbing or picking up the intensity. it was an amazing day in the saddle.

65 miles. approximately 6000 ft of climbing. 3.5 hours. 48 degrees when i started and 78 when i finished. and this is mid march? now i'm sipping a coffee and surfing the internet. i'll probable bake a loaf of bread soon for dinner tonight. tomorrow, if calvin is up for it i'd like to tow him to the tunnel on the badger trail. i guess i should wait and see how my legs feel too.

i am going to take a day like this every 3 weeks or so. i have a surplus of pto and will probably still have to sell some hours at the end of the year to avoid losing. smoke them if you've got them.

happy friday.

15 March 2012

a seven nation army couldn't hold me back

very busy day at work yesterday - just one of those days that snowballs. i did leave in time to do my add on route to the commute home. it was into the wind the whole way which left me crawling up the hills - good training i guess.

i'll be dropping calvin off at daycare in the mornings the next several days so the bike commuting will be placed on pause. although, based on the forecast there is no reason that i will not be able to resume next week. i'll probably hop on the trainer tonight and, pending a major disaster at work today, i am taking tomorrow off to do whatever i feel like (most likely ride). besides weekends, i haven't had a day off since january 2nd.

happy thursday.

14 March 2012

1.25 hours and i'm out of here

took the long way home last night. felt great to be in shorts/short sleeves. robin and i had date night - we had a groupon type deal for ruth's chris steakhouse that was about to expire so we did it up. a giant porterhouse for two was simultaneously delicious and a little sickening. i had some crazy meat dreams last night - too much corn fed meat for me.

rode in again this morning. robin is heading to DC through monday. our little boy got a little confused by that.

r: "calvin, mommy is going to washington dc for a few days"
c: "i go to dc too!" (we call daycare 'dc')
r: "mommy is going to a different dc"
c: quiet contemplation

he is probably still confused by that.

happy wednesday.

13 March 2012

dst

after meeting up with the family at costco to pick up some bulk provisions, i was able to log a quick hour on the roads last night before dinner. i heart daylight saving time.

rode in this morning and plan on a long route home in the mid to upper 60s. i cannot believe the forecast...it just keeps going like this.

happy tuesday.

12 March 2012

what it do

now that was a great all around weekend.

saturday we were up early and out the door for breakfast at marigold kitchen. off to the overture center for kids in the rotunda which cal digs. a little walking around and then home just in time for a visit from our friend chuck and his two kids. cal went down for a nap and i braved the wind for 2.5 hours on the bike. i purposely chose wide open spaces and power climbs to fully take advantage of the sustained 25 mph winds. sw dane county (south of fitchburg/verona) is an area i really haven't utilized much but boy can you make your eyes bleed. capped the day off with burgers (w/a fried egg on top) and some down time.

sunday, we had blueberry pancakes and then it was off to a sheep farm to see some lambs. there were also pigs, rabbits, chickens, turkeys and calves so cal was pretty happy. i made it out for 45 minutes of trail running to cap off a solid week in march.

m: 0:45 (run)
t: 1:00 (bike commute)
w: 1:00 (bike commute)
r: 1:40 (bike commute/long way home)
f: off
s: 2:30 (road bike)
n: 0:45 (trail run)
total: 7:40

i'll take that. robin heads to washinton dc this week so it'll be just the boys for a few days. i'm contemplating taking a day off (maybe friday) to take advantage of this weather (and because i won't be able to bike commute r/f or monday).

and, no ride in this morning. it was pretty wet from overnight rain. oh well, hopefully i'll get to resume the practice tuesday/wednesday this week.

happy monday.

09 March 2012

early

after a frustrating day at work yesterday i decided to leave early and take a long ride home. i rode down to campus and then home via the sw commuter trail. i wasn't 'training' just riding but end up getting a pretty good workout. my gearing is near perfect and i'm really enjoying the simplicity. it was nice to just ride and look around and feel the world around me. wrapped it up with some decaf coffee when i got home. bonus is i got an 1:40 minutes of ride time yesterday.

we had a nice night as a family with dinner at chipotle and then some shopping at rei. cal got a great pair of boots for a steal. and i used a gift card to buy a down vest that had been marked down to $30. another steal! it has been something i've really wanted to add to my outerwear but have been unwilling to spend $100 on something without sleeves.

the weekend is almost upon us. we have plans to go to a sheep farm to see some lambs on sunday. i'm hoping to get out for a few hours of road riding tomorrow as well - the weather is looking grand!

happy friday.

08 March 2012

i was in love with a place

there is a lyric from a sufjan stevens song that i really like:

"i was in love with a place, in my mind. i make a lot of mistakes, in my mind."

it got me wondering about how often we do this stuff (we being humans) everyday. you know, spending too much time thinking about how things could be different/better in a hypothetical sense rather than focusing on the plenty of good in the actual sense. i know i do it often. i rode in this morning and this song flashed across my ipod and it got me thinking. i love music and how a single song can change my outlook on a day.

after dinner and cal's bedtime i was feeling a little spry. so, i threw some running gear on and was going to do an easy 6. as soon as i was about to start a pretty strong cell blew through with lightening and driving rain. so i opted out. i mean, it is march and i'd already logged an hour of bike time so it was just missing out on bonus time.

sorry, this is all over the place this morning.

happy thursday.

07 March 2012

uniforms

ah man, adidas (with an aesthetic i've appreciated until now) revealed some ncaa tournament uniforms. bright green and zubaz officially qualifies as jumping the shark. yuck!

got an hour of riding in outdoors on the moto (commuting with a little add on). i was fatigued last night and boy did that feel good. did i mention it was 66 degrees on my ride home? bomber.

happy wednesday.

06 March 2012

great birthday.

a good workout? check! i got out for a run in daylight - 6 miles and i felt like i was pushing it. a nice dinner with my family? check! robin made one of my new favorites - beef tacos (meet sourced locally) on corn tortillas with avacodo-radish salsa. yummy! cake? check! culvers ice cream cake is my new favorite. brewer game? check! i've never watched the brewers on my birthday before so that was a bonus. all in all, a great day (especially when work was done).

carried the bday momentum into today - i rode my bike to work! i am loving the moto set up single. i was inundated when i walked in to work but it was far less stressful after the ride in.

happy tuesday!

05 March 2012

finally over it

it took until yesterday to throw a leg over the bike again. i logged an hour on the trainer. felt ok but definitely had that post sick haven't been doing a whole lot for days feeling. all told, i took 4 straight days off which hasn't happened for many many months. in hindsite i should have taken a block of time completely off after nationals and never did so my body made me. i guess that is good (silver lining)?

m: 1:00 (trainer)
t: 1:00 (trainer)
w: 0 (sick)
r: 0
f: 0
s: 0
n: 1:00 (trainer)
total: 3 hours

even though i have been racing as a 35 year old since the start of cross, i officially reached that threshold today. i joke about being old but i am in my prime. with regard to my profession, i am at a point in life where i have the luxury of pairing experience with my intangibles. i have a very loving family that i cherish more than i often state. i feel fit and healthy (in general). i feel very lucky and i am going to use this age milestone as a reminder of that.

happy monday.

02 March 2012

one more thing

i've seen no fewer than 4 local media outlets discuss this 'issue.'

i get it, it is nice to be able to go to a 'class' on your parents' tab (with taxpayer subsidy) to 'learn' how to train for a triathlon. but there are far more essential things that the uw budget should protect. like science, math and the arts for instance. the funniest part is that the class doesn't culminate in a 'real' triathlon but one that is staged by the instructor.

i'm all for funding social programs. food and healthcare for the poor - yes. k-12 education - yes! but triathlon training for rich kids for credit? f you.

sick is for sucks

no training last night. i know it doesn't matter that i am missing a few days in march relative to my racing goals. i know doing what i did last night (nothing) is better for my health in the long run. but, for some reason it still bothers me. add in the fact that the 4-6 inches of crappy wet snow expected later today will keep me indoors over a weekend i had been planning on getting some good outdoor rides in bothers me further. mostly, i just want to ride because i'm really enjoying it.

i've decided that next week i will resume bike commuting. my goal for march will be 3 days per week. also, depending on how the roads look i might need to take a day off to go riding on one of the days now forecasted to be in the 50s.

i need to go to the dmv today. my license expires on monday and i don't want to pay any more than i have to. a great set of appointments this week: doctor, dentist and dmv. yuck! but that means it is my birthday this weekend. i wonder what a culver's birthday cake taste like (wink, wink)?

happy friday.

01 March 2012

cold got me down

not a terrible cold but just enough to make everything a little less enjoyable. i did manage to hop on the trainer for an hour of easy spinning last night. it probably did nothing to enhance fitness but it felt like a moral victory.

happy thursday.