Friday, August 20, 2010

20 August 2010

My work week is over so back to the bike!
School's back in, so it's not so safe to be out as early as I like; too many frenzied parents running around trying to get the kiddo's to school and then get to work. I am a parent, but I refuse to be frenzied. Look, just go to bed a few minutes earlier so you can get up earlier, and then you have time for everything you need to do without killing anyone in your morning rush.
All that leaves me getting on the road about 0830 instead of 0630, and I have to miss out on the coolest part of the day. Oh well, since school's back in and the days are getting shorter, the whole day will soon be getting cooler.
Parked at the dam and left about 0830 and rode toward Irmo; looped around Weed Rd. and #6 and went back across the dam to ride my sort of usual route following (as best as I can) the shoreline of the lake. It's a great ride, rarely flat, so I get in a decent amount of climbing when I'm out for a couple of hours. I have been checking out some new roads I've never ridden, and this morning found a short but intense 13% incline! There's one for the training calendar!
It was an overcast morning but when I checked the radar before leaving it looked good; things change over the course of two hours, and I found myself riding in some rain about 8 miles from the car. Not a bad rain, a very refreshing rain, kind of like drinking a 7Up after cutting the grass.
Made it back to the car and managed to get in a little over 38 miles today. Happy with that, the goal was 35. Also bringing my average speed back up a bit at a time. Still feeling the effects of being off the bike for three weeks, it takes a while to recover. I think I am a little dry though; even though I tried to push it today, my heart rate averaged in the upper 140's; that's high for me.
Anyways, it's a three-day weekend so I hope to get a lot more miles in in the next two days.
Be blessed, be safe.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Gotta get back in the groove!

Went out for another ride Satuday morning, covered just shy of 30 miles, and that was fine with me. My average speed was up a bit from the previous ride and I felt good. However, on the way back in, my rear cable announced its retirement, so I am taking care of that today.

Came home from my morning solo ride, dropped off the road bike, and loaded my son and our mountain bikes and headed out again. Drove to Peak, SC, to a trailhead for the Peak to Pomaria Passage section of the Palmetto Trail. We had a great time hanging out and talking, and when we got to Pomaria we enjoyed one heck of an old-fashioned, grocery-store chili-cheeseburger! We deserved it, we had earned it by riding up there, and would ride it off going back to the car. Because, as beautiful as it was out there, the gravel railbed was a challenge to ride through, even on fat tires. Any suggestions on riding trails in SC that I can take my son to? He doesn't ride as much as I do, so I don't want anything too crazy.

Finally sat down and caught up on my numbers I track for my mileage; a little disappointing. At the rate I am currently going, I will fall ~200 miles short of the miles I got last year, and WAY short of the 6000 I had hoped for this year. Got to get back in the groove.
Be blessed, be safe.

Monday, August 9, 2010

9 August 2010

Back in the saddle today! I wasn't fast (of course!) but I got out and did almost 25 miles after being off the bike for three weeks. It felt good to be back out on the road, in spite of early morning traffic. I parked at the dam and rode up the lake to Panorama Point, came back, and rode across the dam and back. Hope to get back out there Friday morning and add a few more miles to it. Trying not to overdo it, will add about 10%, or 2.5 miles, per recommendation of the "experts." I have to build my miles back up, and get my weight down, to be ready for 2011 Assault on Mt. Mitchell. Yes, I am in fact thinking that far ahead.
A little closer goal though, would be the MS 150 from Camden, SC to Sunset Beach, NC the last weekend in October. It's a two-day ride to raise money and awareness for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. I thoroughly enjoy big group rides, and it is icing on the cake when the ride is for such a good cause.
The weekend before the MS 150 also holds some fun: the Children's Chance Night Owl Ride, an all-nighter (from 8p-8a) on a closed course in Columbia,SC. Another fundraiser, this event will raise money for cancer causes. Did this last year and had a blast!
Started a couple of days ago, now getting on the treadmill (a most boring device) and trying to run some. The t'mill has six programs differing in intensity and I hope to work my way through them until I am able to run at least a couple of miles. No desire to do marathons or IronMans, or anything like that, just want to get into better shape and hopefully quit feeling like such an old man! Just finished 20 minutes followed by some push ups and crunches, and will go walk two miles with my wife after dinner. Weight today is 262.5 pounds.
Be blessed, be safe.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8 August 2010

So obviously I did no blogging in July, and I did very little riding in July; had some other stuff on my plate, so I took some time off the bike. I did however, go to Brevard, NC on the 12th to do some climbing with my brother. We parked inside the Pisgah Forest at the visitor center, climbed up to the Parkway, and rode west for about six miles before turning around and rolling back to the cars. I say "rolled" because I don't remember pedaling much between the Parkway and the cars; saw some serious downhill at speeds up to 44 mph! I know if I ever bust it, I am in trouble, but man that is fun!
I took the last half of the month off so I could do something special: a medical mission trip to the island nation of Western Samoa, way off in the South Pacific. Went with a church group out of West Coumbia (only 18 of us came from SC; the other 21 came from 9 other states. All different church backgrounds, one common cause.) and visited six different villages on two Samoan islands to take them some healthcare and the Good News. We took care of over 2500 people and saw over 800 of them ask Jesus to come into their hearts and forgive their sins. That's awesome stuff!
We worked like slaves and ate like kings and had an incredible time experiencing the Samoan people and their beautiful islands. Saw jungles, beaches, mountains, etc., and even had the opportunity to go snorkeling on a reef with myriads of tropical fish, something I had never done before.
I guess it's because of the volcanic origin of these islands and the warm waters, they are surrounded by reefs which break the waves and create almost a lake-like setting in the beach waters; no waves beating you up and knocking you down, or stirring up the bottom. The water was as clear as tap water and the views were mind-boggling, above and below the surface!
As nice as it all was, it was soon time to come home, back to reality. I haven't returned to work yet but will soon; haven't been back on the bike yet, but hope to in the morning. Put some more weight back on, I have a real knack for that, but I have come home with a renewed vision and will work to get it back off, and more. I weighed in this morning at 263.5 pounds and think I can do Mt. Mitchell next May at 200 or less. Got on the treadmill yesterday to start the ball rolling and ran for the better part of 20 minutes; doesn't sound like much, but it's all relative. I will work to increase my running time, get miles in on the bike, and revolutionize my eating habits to make these goals happen. I've found that without goals, I have a tendency to flounder a bit. Okay, a lot.
Next organized ride in which I'll participate is the Children's Chance Night Owl Ride, a kid's cancer fundraiser. It's on a small closed course in Columbia and goes all night, from 8p to 8a. It can be a tad monotonous because of the small course, but it's still a lot of fun, a great social time and a way to raise money for children's cancer.
A week later is the Breakaway to the Beach MS150, from Columbia,SC to Sunset Beach, NC, a two-day ride spending the night in Florence, SC. This too, is a fundraiser for the Multiple Sclerosis Society.
So, I have a couple of great goals to motivate me and get me back on track to hit the 6000 miles I want in 2010. Let's see if I can turn it around and make it happen.
Be blessed, be safe.