July 2007 Archives

I've Been Shot!

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Surprisingly, my legs and butt weren't too sore from Sunday's ride. I was surprised, however, by what did hurt: my neck. Monday morning, I woke up to find that I could barely move my neck. I I was uncomfortable pretty much all day.

I skipped the run I'd been hoping to do Tuesday, mainly because I wanted to sleep in. I blamed my sore neck, though.

Wednesday, I rode to work. Rather than take the long way like last time, I took the short, somewhat trafficy way. I didn't really push the pace, opting mostly to take it easy and enjoy the ride.

At one point, I was riding past a city worker on a riding lawnmower. He was mowing the ditch beside me. Just as I went past, I heard the crunching sound of him kicking up some gravel. Pow! Suddenly, my left index finger felt like it had been shot.

I slammed on the brakes and took a look. I'd been riding in the brake hoods, with my fingers pointed forward. Despite the fact that my index finger was only barely sticking out, a rock had managed to find a way to it, and had hit it just below the first knuckle. I swore a few times, trying to shake out the sting. Looking behind me, the mower was now on the sidewalk, driving away from me. I wondered if he's seen what had happened, and was fleeing the scene. I wasn't really worried - it wasn't really his fault (I'd come up behind him). It was just one of those things. I got (un)lucky.

Neck and finger pains aside, I'm loving riding these days. The weather has been mild, I'm feeling strong, and the summer feels like it will never end.

Altitude

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Overheard on this morning's group ride:

Frank Shorter once said - people seem to think training is like having a plug in your big toe. As soon as you stop training, all the muscle and conditioning just rush out of your body."

It's true, I suppose. I'm guilty of it myself. It's not like I didn't train on vacation, either. But right now, for whatever reason, I have very little expectation when it comes to my level of fitness.

This morning, the tri group was doing a hilly 85km ride. It being the last day of my vacation, I wasn't up for that, but I offered to tag along, and turn back when I needed to. I got all the way to the parking lot at the base of the Gats before turning back, which essentially gave me only 2 hills. The pace was pretty easy on the way out, and after the turnaround, I tried to keep up a steady pace. It helped that the Ottawa River Parkway was closed to cars for the morning, but I found myself flying. It wasn't really comfortable or easy, but I felt strong enough to push myself all the way home.

I ended up riding 48km today, which I'm sure I'll pay for later. Still, it felt very, very good to be out riding.

Deltas and Integrals

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After a day of flying and a day of driving, I'm finally back home.

For the first two days I was home, it rained pretty much nonstop. Sure, I'll train in inclement weather - when I have something to train for. Right now, it feels (rightly or wrongly) like I don't, so I settled for pushups and situps. I (more or less) averaged 40 situps and 30 pushups for the two days. I could feel the strain on my shoulders on the second day, though.

Today, the sun broke through, so as soon as I got up, I headed straight for the TV. It was time trial day on the Tour de France, and I wasn't going to miss it.

I chatted with jeff before the tour started about cynicism and cheating in the tour. I, for one, can not watch the tour wondering who is cheating and who is not. It ruins the experience for me. So, just like baseball, track and field, triathlon and everything else, I cheer for my favorites, hope for some excitement and drama, and curse the cheaters when they're found guilty.

Speaking of drama, nobody brings it to the tour like Alexandre Vinokourov. He's a combination of moronic and fearless. He turned a boring stage into a great one on Thursday, and he entertained again today. He may not have the finesse to be the overall threat that some see him to be, but once again today he showed that he can make the race interesting.

The best part of today, though, was seeing Rasmussen hold onto the yellow jersey. The hills undoubtably helped him, but it was a gutsy performance through and through. The time trial in Paris may be his undoing, but he's a man who is capable of winning the race. The next few days should be key for him.

Anyways, once the drama of the Tour was done, I headed outside for a quick 5km run. The run was a bit shorter than the runs I did on vacation, but it was also a bit cooler and a fair bit lower in altitude. I felt a bit better on the run than I had at altitude, but not very much. What seemed to help is that, the further into the run I'd gone, the more oxygen I'd been able to take in. My chest started hurting about a mile from the end, but I never quite fought for air the way I had a week or two ago.

The big difference was how much faster I was running, for slightly less effort. The shorter run helped, but maybe everything did. While I wasn't exactly fast, the pace wasn't embarrassing, and I was able to fight through the chest pains to finish strongly.

Now that my vacation is coming to a close, I need to start pushing myself out the door more consistently.

I Need To Stop Sucking (Air)

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Vacation continues, as does my intermittent schedule.

On the brightside, I'm up to 2x15 pushups and 2x20 situps every alternate day (more or less). On the downside, 5-6km runs are still kicking my butt majorly.

I think I'm adjusting well to the altitude, but part of me hopes that it's influencing my mediocrity in some significant way. It probably has nothing to do with the pain in my shins when I run, though. Ergo, I strongly suspect that my current mediocrity is self-made.

My mind and body are slowly working towards being serious again. The summer is wasting away, so I'd better not take too long.

Lots of Reasons

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There are lots of reasons that I hadn't run in a week and a half.

For starters, I'm on vacation. My schedule has changed, and I'm not always thinking "run" as soon as I get up. I've missed a couple of runs that I wanted to do because I didn't remember until hours later. It seems that there's always something else to occupy my attention when I could be running.

There's also the altitude change. I'm about 1000m above where I usually train. My first day here, I was playing backyard soccer with a couple of kids, and was shocked by how easily winded I was.

The heat isn't helping, either. I struggled with 15-20 degrees before the marathon, and haven't trained much since. Suddenly, it's 30 degrees every day, and I can't just train at any time of the day like I used to.

Despite all of this, I made it out this morning. For all these reasons, though, my run was inglorious.

I plotted out a 6km route, and decided to take it easy on the first half. At the 3km turnaround, I was averaging a tepid 5:30/km, and feeling ok. Around 4km, though, I could feel myself fading. At 5km, I had a hill to climb, and I was cooked. I finished the 6, but my average pace had slowed to almost 6 minutes per kilometer.

Still, I survived. Hopefully, I'll run again in a couple of days, and it will be the start of a new (old) habit.

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Recent Comments

  • Cheryl: Right on Wendy! read more
  • Wendy: That swimming fitness will be back before you know it! read more
  • deene: you have to listen to your body, you probably needed read more
  • Cheryl: The heat, mixed with the humidity were extreme and it read more
  • Wendy: Sorry to hear you were so ill, Warren, but good read more
  • Cheryl: Sounds like a tough go! It's a shame that everyone read more
  • deene: anything timed in seconds and with repeats sound tough to read more
  • jank: Ease comes soon while riding in a group. As long read more
  • warren: Sadly, no. Nor did I delve into the Leguminosae family read more
  • jeff: WOOHOO! did you ever come up with a name for read more

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from July 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

June 2007 is the previous archive.

August 2007 is the next archive.

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