Friday, May 30, 2008

Raccoons and Alligators

Hola Amigos! Seems forever since I've posted.
Life is busy these days.
Time to catch up a bit.

On the training front, I've just had about the most consistent, fun, fitness building 8 week block of training I think I've ever had. Since this is a "non-racing" kinda year for me, I've given myself a blank check when it comes to training. Each week I have an overall time goal to reach, 10, 12, 14 hours, etc....and that's it. Each week builds a little on the last. No heart rate limits, no strict structured workouts, just get out and train and put in enough time to meet the weekly time target. Training this way has let me rediscover my hard can I run and not get injured?...can I hang on with the fast group and recover for the next day?....can I go hard and long without blowing myself to bits?...etc...etc. Much different than last year's training. I'm enjoying all the freedom and flexibility, absorbing the training and recovering well (so far). I'm gonna keep it rolling until the wheels start to wobble.

The most memorable session during the last few weeks was a 55 miler a few Saturdays back. It was just me and a riding buddy and we were maybe 10 miles into the ride. I was up front and noticed something off to the right of the road coming towards me. I soon realized it was a raccoon. A big one. It got maybe two feet from the road, turned around, high tailed it to the nearest tree and quickly climbed up. Then a few miles down the road we were cruising along and passed over a small creek. I glanced over into the creek, and there, in the creek, was an alligator. A freakin ALLIGATOR. Maybe 6 feet long. I’ve never…NEVER…seen an alligator that close to a highway. Then, about a ¼ mile down the road….same thing. Another alligator in another creek. I was starting to wonder what the hell would be next. However, we finished the ride without any further critter encounters. Crazy!

KJ’s final day of school was last Friday and DJ finished up this week with her last teacher-work-day (aka…meeting-day) Wednesday. KJ has been spending every free minute playing her new Wii. We’d been trying to find one since Christmas and finally lucked out and found one a few weeks ago. It’s pretty darn fun. She’s gotten a few new games so far, but our favorite is still Wii Sports that came with the unit.

We had a great Memorial Day weekend and enjoyed some backyard BBQ and a few adult beverages. I grilled up some mean chicken and DJ made an awesome desert and all the other fixins. I burned off the extra calories with a ride and long run Monday.

We’re heading out for Panama City Beach tomorrow afternoon. We’ll be there for about a week. I’ve promised to leave my bike at home, but I plan to run every day. I haven’t had a “recovery” week in a couple of months, so it’ll probably do me good to leave the bike at home.
Otherwise I’ll be resting, drinking a few cervezas on the beach, working on my tan, enjoying some of the local seafood and spending lots of time with D and K. I’ll check in with some pictures when we get back.

Happy Training!

Friday, May 02, 2008


Other than good judgment, a helmet is a cyclists one guard against harm while on the road. We don't have seat belts, roll cages, air bags, or any of the many other safety features that normally protect us on the road.

Whenever I see a rider doing something dumb, like riding against traffic, I can usually give them somewhat of a break and assume they're just ignorant of the fact that traffic laws apply to them. Maybe they just don't know it's against the law to ride in the WRONG direction.

When I see a rider without a helmet, I find it a bit more difficult to give them a pass. I mean, even football players know to protect their gray matter. But.... on occasion, I can dig deep enough and give even the helmetless a break. Maybe by some chance their situation in life won't allow them the luxury of a helmet.

But, yesterday, I saw the most stupid thing I think I've ever seen when it comes to cycling. I actually saw a guy riding down the road, in heavy traffic, not wearing a helmet, with the helmet hanging from his handlebars.
I freakin laughed out loud.

I'm off to run before the heat kicks up.
Happy Friday!