Saturday, November 27, 2010

Good Times

Vacation comes to a close.  Time to head back home and return to normal life.  As far as my training load goes it would not be a stretch to call it a heavy week.  Totals on the week are as follows: Sunday-Tuesday, Thursday and Friday; running: just shy of 30 miles. Biking 105 miles.  No injuries, no pain, no problems at all.  Good times I tell you.  I came down here expecting to bang out some good numbers and I didn't disappoint myself.

Today was our last full day here in LI and I awoke to a grey and cloudy day which was surprisingly a bit warm.  For the last day here I decided to mix it up a bit and do something I haven't done before: a brick.  So as a light rain began to fall I jumped on my bike and began to peddle my way to a 20 mile ride.  I felt bad getting her wet and sandy but she didn't let me down.

I arrived back at the house, stowed the bike and ran upstairs to get changed into my running shoes where I found my daughter had once again molested my computer and ripped off the last remaining ctrl key.  So please excuse the lack of copying and pasting.  Also, the shift key is now wonky so ignoring any capitilization mistakes. After a stern talking to aimed at her I was back on the road.  And my quads were tired.  But I soldiered on and soon the legs were warmed up and rearin' to go.  Mile after mile ticked off as I enjoyed my tour around historic Riverhead (ie; marveled at all of the closed store fronts) and back to the house.  It was a solid run with the last 1.5 miles run at a brisk pace, just because.  My first brick was a fun one, but short.  Total mileage was 21 miles on the bike, 8 running.  A good way to end a hard chargin' week.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

1st AG

Sometimes things work out and there is no rhyme or reason to it.  Today I ran the Mattituck-Cutchogue 5th Annual Turkey Trot 5K here on Long Island.  Jen and I decided to do this 5K just to get out and have some fun.    It was a cool day, but great running weather so I knew I could do well.  I was looking to do a sub-20 minute but wasn't sure if I could; after-all, I haven't really been training for speed.  The race began and I found that I was able to keep up with most of the lead pack which was encouraging.  I began to pass more and more people and before I knew it there was only a quarter mile left to go.  This is when I got a bit confused, I was able to break into a near sprint up the last hill and down the finish straight to pass a couple of runners.  My pace throughout the race had been quick so I wasn't sure why I had all of this energy left at the end.  I hadn't been looking at my watch for the last two miles so I was shocked when I read the clock at the finish, 19:06.  Where the hell had that come from?  That time was good enough for 13th place overall and a 1st in my age group.

Being able to put out that kind of run doesn't really make sense when looking at what I have been doing this week.  Sunday to Tuesday I logged 18 miles of running and 85 miles of biking.  Wednesday I took a day off but still, I haven't exactly been taking it easy this week. Going into the race I fully expected my legs to be tired given the miles I have been putting in, but they weren't.  At no point during the race did any of my muscles show signs of tiredness.  In fact, the whole race felt good.  How can it be that I have been pushing my limits all week and still am able to pull out a performance like this?  Conventional wisdom dictates that my legs should be tired or sore and that should have effected my performance and yet there I was cruising along and somewhat upset that I hadn't pushed myself further.

I guess there are just some times that we can't predict how we will do.  Maybe I was psychologically ready for a big race, maybe all the miles I did this week set me up for increased performance, maybe it's just that sometimes things just click in the right way.  I have no idea.  All I know is that I'm thankful this Thanksgiving that I could go out there and run better than I could have imagined.  That I could take home an AG win.  That I got to share the race with my wife.  And mostly, that I have the ability and talent to just get out there and run.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Vacation continues with only minor annoyances that come from sharing a house with four sub-5 year old kids. But at least they have inspired me to go long this week; 35 miles on the bike yesterday and two-and-a-half hour run this morning. Tomorrow I plan on a 40 mile bike and it has absolutely nothing to do with wanting to get away for several hours. Really, I swear.

The north fork of Long Island is a pretty decent place to run and bike. There are basically three main roads running East to West and a bunch that intersect them. This leads to some long stretches that I can hammer down which is a big change from Norfolk where it can be a challenge to find a nice long stretch. There's also beaches on both sides here which is always fun to see. All I need is the wind to die down and conditions will be nearly ideal.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Light week

This past week was a self-imposed light week. The week before I began pushing myself more than normal. I started off with a 16 mile run, then a 40 mile bike and sprinkled in some hills and tempo run for good measure during the week. It was all capped off with a 12 miler and then I eased into a couple days off. Overall it was a gret week; the most intense so far but all systems felt good.

Thursday I gor out after work for a nice 7 miles and it was a first for me. I decided to run the entire thing without a light, relying only on my night vision. Smart idea? Probably not, but it was fun. The only sketchy parts was when I woud step to the side to avoid cars, then I came close to twisting an ankle a few times. So I stopped doing that.

During the run I had ample opportunity to further test what I like to call "Putt's Second Law of Running"; which states that "Vehicles approaching from opposite directions shall cross planes while passing the runner and do so at the most inopportune time?" Simply put, cars will pass you at the narrowest point in the road while going around a corner on the side of a ten thousand foot dropoff. Needless to say this law was confirmed many times during the run.

Now I am off to Long Island for a week of vacation. On the docket is running followed by biking, then some more running and maybe some turkey in there too. Hopefully the weather will hold because I plan on kicking it up a notch this week. I haven't had a vacation in a long time and what could be better than getting in a ton of running and biking? Maybe relaxing, but that is just so boring.
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Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Runputt Bikes?

It only took several months (5 to be precise) of searching, ordering, and waiting, but the day after BayState I finally picked up my new bike.  And here it is...

No, I'm just fucking with you, I really don't have a spare 9 grand to spend on a bike.  I got the DA's baby sister, the 2011 Felt B16!

She may not be as glamorous as the DA, but she is one sexy bitch.

And boy, can she ride!  The first thing I noticed when I took her out for her maiden ride was that this bike was built for speed.  Even though I was wobbling all over the road as I tried to get accustomed to the aero bars I was surprised at how easy it was to ride.  I was so used to pushing a heavy mountain bike along that it suddenly felt like there was any effort needed at all.  Weighing only 20 lbs made it easy to get up to speed fast and on one downhill I was shocked to find that I was pushing past 35mph!  Any faster and they'd be giving me a speeding ticket.

Naturally though, there are some things that are going to take a bit of getting used to.  Obviously my riding position has completely changed from an upright angle to a much more aero position and this will take a bit to get comfortable with.  I've also found going uphills takes a lot more effort; I'm not sure if it is just a perception issue but it seems to be harder to get up the big hills with this bike.  Maybe it is the change in position that accounts for it.  Another thing I'm not too happy with is that I've only put 70 miles on it and already I've thrown a chain and gotten a flat (thank God I had the foresight to buy a CO2 pump).  While technically both issue were my fault (too aggressive on the shifting and didn't see the debris in the road) it is annoying.  Other than those things the bike is a dream; although the new saddle position makes for some sore areas after 30 miles.

I'll be bringing it back to Landry's, where Andy did a great job fitting me, for some final tweaks soon and then it's back on the road before the snow hits.  So far I'm having fun on it and adapting well to the new riding style.  The one thing that I have definitely noticed about the bike is that it is in no way a touring bike; I hardly even notice what I am riding by since my focus is constantly sighted straight in front of me.  I could blow by Danny Glover fighting the Predator with backup support from President Obama and I wouldn't even notice.  I would not recommend this bike for slow rides in the countryside, it is all about speed.

For those of you tech geeks that care about this sort of thing, here are some measurements (sorry for the low quality pics).  Let me know if you think there is room for improvement, I'm sure there is.