Monday, March 26, 2012

Warm weather and being Euro.

Weather in Ohio has just been amazing the past couple of weeks.  Blue skies, green grass, white trees and temperatures in the 80's.

Wait...this is March isn't it?  Sure doesn't feel like March but just like most of the eastern states, Ohio was caught in a great very nice stretch of weather.

Going back to the 14th, when I had my Muscle Milk taken from from car, the weather allowed me to ride outside.  Five days of riding netted me 110 miles outside on the bike. 

The windows were open in the house, the dogs were sunning themselves on the driveway, the trees were blooming white and pink.

This past Saturday was the first day of potentially crappy weather.  Rain was predicted at 60% and temps around 60, higher than normal but lower than the previous 2 weeks. 

The weekend was cut short due to my travel schedule for work so I had to switch my run and bike days. 

On Saturday Aimee signed up for the Dirty Dash 10k.  This race is part of the Dirty Trail Race Series.  I wanted to take pictures at the race but also needed to get in a bike ride.

I decided to take pictures at the race then ride my bike home, however long that would take. 

We packed up the car and headed out to the race.  I had a lot of fun taking pictures during the race.  Watching people ham it up for the camera and cheering for friends. 

After the awards were handed out I changed into my cycling kit and got ready to ride.  Then I realized I was missing a very important piece of equipment. 

My Helmet.  SHIT!!!!

I couldn't believe of all things to forget it would be my helmet.  I NEVER ride without a helmet.  Even if I am riding along side Aimee during a run I wear my helmet. 

Aimee had a couple stops to make before going home so I decided to go ahead and ride.  I would detour to Bike Authority, the Snakebite Racing team bike shop, and get a loaner helmet. 

It felt weird riding without a helmet.  I felt...naked.  Of course 10 minutes after starting two friends from another multi-sport team went riding by in the other direction.  I felt stupid for them to see me riding without a helmet in my team kit.  There was also the fire truck that passed me on the road.  They were probably hoping I wouldn't crash.  I'm sure they didn't want to scoop my brains off the road. 

I was very careful, especially on the downhills.  I kept my speed in check and didn't attack the descents like I normally would. 

My route to Bike Authority took me straight through downtown Brecksville.  Again, I feel stupid riding my bike without a helmet. I wanted to take off my jersey so people wouldn't know I was with Snakebite. my internal dialogue was probably much worse than what people were really thinking but I'm serious about setting a good example when riding my bike and want to project a good image for cyclists and the team. 

I finally made it to Bike Authority and Chris set me up with a helmet.  He saw me walk in without a helmet and thought I was going all "Euro" on my ride.  Nope....just being stupid and forgetful.  I took a break and chatted with Chris and Mike then headed back out. 

It felt so good to have a helmet on my head for the remainder of my ride.  I could concentrate on the ride instead of being paranoid. 

The rest of my ride was great.  The Metroparks had traffic but wasn't excessive and the drivers were respectful of me being on the road.  I stopped in at Second Sole to top off my water bottle and start my final push home. 

After 3.5 hours of ride time I rolled into the driveway with 64 miles behind me and a new helmet that will stay in the car as my emergency brain bucket.

Game On.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Got Muscle Milk?

I made it to the pool this morning despite a personal battle with getting my tired ass out the door.  As I walked out the door I grabbed a Clif MOJO bar and a Muscle Milk so I could fuel up post workout.

I use the colder weather as my personal refrigerator and leave my Muscle Milk on my windshield to stay cold.

I like going to the YMCA.  The competition pool is kept around 81 degrees with eight lanes.  My membership also allows me to use Y facilities all around the country when I travel.  The staff and members at a Y usually have a very positive attitude which makes traveling bearable.

I also like supporting the Mission of the Y.  Don't forget it stands for Young Men's Christian Association.  And the guiding principles support this.

On the Cleveland Y website you find the following.
  • Put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind and body for all.
  • Develop the total person- spirit, mind and body - through character development programs that build strong kids, strong families and strong communities.
Caring, honesty, respect and responsibility are the foundational values of all YMCA programs and services.

So why did someone decide it was okay to take my Muscle Milk this morning?  That's not a very Christian act displaying honesty or respect.

I have put drinks on my windshield numerous times.  And this is the first occasion when someone has felt the need to take my drink.

I'm not mad at all.  Just dumbfounded that someone would actually do it. 

Maybe it helped them get their Game On for the day.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Training or Working Out?

Working Out involves doing some form of exercise that may, just may, keep your fitness levels steady.  Something that counters the desserts or beer you shouldn't be consuming.
Training however is a focused attempt to improve your overall fitness and take it to the next level.  Training involves a goal either immediate or long term that will allow you to perform at your best when needed.

Unfortunately I have been catching myself working out instead of training. 

My running is definitely in the shitter.  I'm just trying to get myself back up to a good per week mileage.  Essentially I am in base mode which sucks because there is no speed in the legs.  This past Saturday the legs felt heavy and sluggish but I still got in 90 minutes.

Swimming has also been lackluster.  I'm focusing on drills and technique instead of speed and fitness.  My shoulders are very tight from Crossfit lately.

Crossfit is also throwing a big old monkey wrench into the "training" lately.  I have gotten caught up in the CrossFit Games Open Workouts.  Five weeks of worldwide competition WODs to see who will go to the Games in California in July.  The Coca Crossfit "team" has 39 members signed up and I also wanted to see how I would compare against other "masters" in the 45-49 age group. 

I've quickly learned I would have quite a bit of strength work ahead of me to be "competitive".  So the stress of rowing 45k meters, swimming 7k yards and the Crossfit Open WODs has fried my shoulders. 

Now my cycling has been doing pretty well.  The weekly Tuesday night spin at our team sponsor Ride & Workout has been going well.  I also have Aimee's 90 minute spin sessions on Sunday to keep me on the bike.  It's the one area I actually feel good about. 

This may be the year of the bike.

To help with my training I have finally filled out my calendar.  Hopefully it will keep me focused and on a consistent routine with some f'in focus.   

I really need to get my Game On.