Monday, October 31, 2011

"The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling...

... but in rising again after you fall." - Vince Lombardi
 October 29th, 8:30am Wompatuck State Park --It's mountain bike time!!!  Saturday morning, planned a ride with Little T, Markie M. from work and a gang of his riding buds.  We had 8 total riders: myself(Jowderballs), Little T, Markie M, Mark #2, Crazy Chris and his open toed biking sandals, Big George, Patrick the kind of Newbie, and one last guy whose name escapes me, my bad.

So we meet up at 8:30am and it was a balmy 40degrees.  Most people over dressed, I tend to under dress, knowing how hot I get once I start exerting myself.  I figure 10 minutes of cold is way better than 2 hrs of hot and uncomfortable.  So off we head into the woods, Chris and Little T in the lead.  They took off like two wheeled rockets and like a dumb ass, I took off after them.  I stuck with them for about 5 minutes and then thought to myself "what the hell am I doing? If I keep this up, my ride will be 1/2 an hour and hardly worth the trouble of getting up at 7am on a Saturday.  Once we all caught up with each other, we kind of drifted into 3 groups.  Mark #2, Chris and Little T leading the way.  Myself, Mark from work, a guy to be named later at a medium pace, and george and Patrick pulling up the rear.

It was a great ride as we blasted through a section that has a lot of small rolling hills and sharp turns.  Pretty kick ass.  We banged out about 13.5 miles in roughly 2 hours.  Splashed through puddles and took some trails in the reverse direction of what I am used to.  I made it down the short steep that my buddy Jeff took a header down last week.  Shortly after that I went down pretty hard though.  I went down a short, steep, narrow downhill and when I got to the bottom I tried to pedal out.  As I tried to pedal, my chain fall off so my feet were just spinning.  I knew I was in trouble so I tried to unclip my right foot and of course I couldn't.  I basically went straight down but luckily, I had turned my handle bars so I landed chest first right on the end of one.  I had a similar incident last year that left the mark below.  Now I have one on the other side!
 Smashed my thumb pretty good but all in all, nothing too severe.  I landed on my back, sat up, took inventory of myself and my bike, hopped up and rode on to catch up with everyone else.  That's really all you can do right?  Myself and Patrick wound up at the back of the pack when he crashed in a puddle that was about a foot deep.  He hit a rock that was under the water and fell over and smashed his knee pretty good, got soaked and did I mention it was 40 degrees and riding in wet clothes isn't all that fun?  We then proceeded to get lost on the way back to the lot so we were out a little longer than everyone else and by the time we hit the parking lot we were just in time to say good bye to everyone. 

The ride was great!  Filled with everything you could want.  Thrills, spills, and literal chills!  Little T had a good time during her first ride with this crew.  The rest of the day was a halloween party for the Tukka Bear at her doggy daycare place.  Need to get some pics of her in her butterfly costume downloaded and then out for some drinks with Mac the knife, Jackaay and some other folks who were on a nice little pub crawl that day!  Tomorrow I'll finish off the weekend with the Cape Cod Marathon relay and a dissappointing Pats game.  I will leave you with this nice little video from my ride in Rutland a coouple weeks ago.  The was a long rock bed I made it about halfway across before I lost my momentum.  I think it pops up sideways and I'm not sure how to rotate it.  See you next time.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Ice... not just for keeping drinks cold!

     So in my last post I mentioned having Thursday and Friday off and having something exciting to post but unfortunately there doesn't seem to be much going on.  Due to the lousy weather on Thursday(tons of rain and wind) I was basically stuck with working out in the gym rather than getting outside for a run or a ride but that was ok.  Feels great to get back into the gym and get some consistent workouts in.  this was a good shoulder workout.  Minimal pain int my left shoulder which bothers me on occasion.  Did some ab exercises to work my core since God knows I don't have abs!  Stopped by Gamestop on the way home and picked up a couple video games so I could have another distraction to keep me from keeping myself fit.
Stayed up late Thursday night playing Black Ops online with a couple buddies. 
     The wife did get something cool in the mail though.   A couple weeks ago she received and email from ActiveShwaggle and they were selling Timex GPS watches for 50% off so she ordered one.   For those of you who don't know, the GPS watches will basically tell you your time and distance while you run.  Since they are tied into GPS they can get pretty exact with the distances as well as give you the pace at which you are currently running and most act as heart rate monitors.  they are really cool and I recommend getting one if you run or bike with any frequency.  The wife and I currently use Garmin 405s and love them.  you can download the data after a run and all kinds of cool crap.  Anyways, her new watch showed up yesterday and my first thought was that I thought she ordered a satellite watch, not the whole friggin satellite!  And then I thought, well maybe she just ordered the special Flavor Flav watch.  Here are a couple pics so you can see what I mean.  Keep in mind that the Garmin watch is already a pretty good sized watch.

I'll assume you get the picture.  We had a couple good laughs about it.  It really looks huge on her skinny little wrist(BTW the hairy wrist in the pic is mine, not hers).

Today, Friday, was a much better day as far as the weather goes.  I got up this morning and the wife had sent the dog to daycare so I had a free day.  I made myself a nice big breakfast and logged onto my work email while my food settled.  After about an hour I got dressed for a run.  The weather was perfect.  40 degrees, no wind and plenty of sun.  Off I went on my 4.5 mile loop.  I am pretty sure this was my first run since Sunday two weeks ago.  I really felt great for the first 2 miles and then it was a struggle.  First of all, my foot started hurting.  Chronic plantar fasciatis = good times(please note the sarcasm).  Then my will to run began to wane.  I wish I could figure that out but lately it seems as though my mind has decided that I will not be pushing myself through any "running walls".  I spent the next 20 minutes yelling at myself inside my own head.  Really strange.  Put me in a race and I can't quit, go out for a training run and it's like my head just shuts it down.  As a result, I basically slogged my way through the rest of my run.  It took me about 42 minutes.  By no means a fast pace but I was happy to get through it.  Funny that I just ran the BAA Half Marathon  about a month ago.  That was also a struggle but not until mile 9 ;0).

After the run it was lunch and more work.  Then met up with the wife and a few of her coworkers for some drinks, picked up the puppy, and came home to ice my foot, hence the title of this entry.   I hoped you enjoyed this short tale and will come back again.  I am mountain biking at 8:30  Saturday at Wompatuck State Park if anyone is interested, feel free to join us.  I am also running a marathon relay down in Falmouth on Sunday so I should have some good pics.
Hope to see you again soon! 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Sunday Dog Walk and Monday Workout

So after a great mtn bike ride on Saturday, Sunday was the day of the Cause 4 Paws charirty run/walk.  The wife and I raised some cash at our work places over the last few weeks and headed to Marina Bay for the event.  It was a really great time and a good cause.  The money raised goes towards the Quincy Animal Shelter.  We voted(wife decided) that she would run the 5k and I would walk Tukka(the dog) on the 1 mile walk.  Needless to say the wife kicked ass and banged out the run in 23 minutes while I moseyed along talking to one of my old profs from college.  Lots of dogs in costumes and I'm pretty sure we saw one of the cutest puppies ever.  I'll throw some pics on here if I can figure out how.  The rest of the day was pretty much spent watching football and doing nothing!
some good news on the Weekend Warrior front, I actually made it to the gym this morning.  Dragged my ass out of bed at 4:45, got dressed if my finest bright orange wind pants and navy blue sweatshirt, and drove semiconscious to the the gym.  Felt week since it has really been a while since I got in there but I banged out a decent chest workout.  I am hoping this was the first step to starting a trend.  The plan is to get back in there on Wednesday morning and keep it going.  I have to tell you, once I am up, I'm good to go but getting out of bed, knowing I have to go to work, just makes me want to stay in bed.  Tell me I can go for a ride or run a race and I need to get up at 6am on a Saturday or Sunday and I get up with no problem.  Funny how that works!  Anyways, I need to wrap this up but I am off on Thursday and Friday this week and I am running a marathon relay with some friends on Sunday so I should have some interesting shtuff to write about.

Here's the pics...

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Roots, Rocks, Mud and Blood

October 22 6:00am ... So after another week worth of telling myself this is the day I am going to get back in the gym or that I was going to go running after work... and not doing it, I got up early to make breakfast this Saturday morning since I knew I would be out on my mountain bike for a couple hours.  I find that 2 eggs over easy on a couple slices of toast and a banana make up the perfect preride breakfast.  Got some carbs, some protein, and some fruit.  A little OJ and a bottle of water and I'm ready to go.

I get to Wompatuck State Park right at 8:00 and my friends are there.  Little T(she got me onto mtn biking), Crazy Mike C(visiting from PA and riding his brothers 29er singlespeed) and Early American Jeff(a little older than the rest of us but crazy fit and fairly new to mtn biking).  We hung around and caught up for a little bit and then off we went.  The ride was a blast.  We went at a pretty good pace and banged out 13.5 miles in about 1hr and 45 mins of actual ride time.

Right off the bat, we hit a rooty incline and EAJ crashes.  One of those crashes that doesn't look too bad but probably hurt like hell.  Blood on his knee and elbow, EAJ shakes it off and continues on only to realize he broke his rear break lever.  He decides to keep on with the ride and we hit it again.  With the recent rains and the fact that Wompatuck never dries(it's aptly called Swampatuck by most riders) we hit  a couple fantastic puddles.  These aren't just 2 feet long and 6 inches deep puddles, I'm talking about the type of puddle you roll up on, stop to try to gauge the depth and when you can't you just say eff it and try to make your way across only to realize the puddle is 2 feet deep and there's a ton of rocks under the surface, just waiting to knock you on your ass!  The first was uneventful but at the second puddle I think Little T made it half way then stopped, got it together and finished it out.  CMC and EAJ cranked through, riding high on their 29ers, and I jammed through it on my 26 with cold water up to my friggin knees!

All through out the ride there was a ton of mud, wet roots and slick rocks.  This led to a few spots where if you got stuck or were in a bad gear, you were screwed and you were walking past the obstacle.  Later on in the ride there was a drop off a rock followed by a sharp right hand turn and EAJ went cruising over it and went ass over tea kettle taking another pretty spill.  Again, bleeding now from his wrist and a little from his chin, he got right up and kept on going God bless him.  After this we ran into some old guy with his dog off leash who didn't seem to care that there were riders coming through and that an offleash dog is a risk to the safety of both the riders and the dog.  He was a miserable dink and got into it a bit with Little T when she said he should hold the dog while we ride by.  After that we headed back to the lot.

I was super impressed with EAJ's ability to bounce back from a couple spills and keep on riding.  I'm sure he'll be feeling it Sunday.  Also, CMC cruised through the whole ride on a singlespeed and I'm pretty sure he didn't even break a sweat!  And Little T, as always, cranked up every hill and over every root and led the whole ride.  It was such a great ride and a great time!

Funny what a difference it makes when I don't do anything during the week.  After riding this morning, I can already feel my legs tightening up and my plantar fasciatis flaring up.  It's not easy being a weekend warrior.  I can't wait to see what tomorrow brings!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Sunday October 16th

October 16th 7:00am...  God forbid I sleep late on a weekend.  So after the ride on Saturday, I had a run on Sunday morning.  The wife and I ran the Fireman's 10k in Dorchester.  Race starts at 10am, I set my alarm for 8am, wife decides to set hers for 7am so by default, rise and shine buddy!  Got up early enough to eat a good breakfast and take the dog out for a walk.  Also, had enough time to realize how sore my legs, shoulders and neck were from the ride on Saturday.  It sucks to get old ;o). 
Made it to the race with low expectations.  Hoping to run it under an hour.  Let me take you back to a couple years ago when I would run all the time and I'd run a 10K in about 47 minutes and I weighed about 25 lbs less.  Running was easy back then.  These days not so much.  My running has has dwindled to ... ummmmm once a weekish, typically only if I am signed up for a race of some sort, like this one.
Anyways, as my lovely wife, who is much faster than I am and in better shape, headed up to the start line, I stayed right around the middle of the pack and turned on my headphones.  Start gun goes off, and we're off.  I won't bore you with the details of the run but I will tel you I felt surprising good at the finish.  I will tell you, it made a huge difference for me to look just a few steps ahead of me rather than off into the distance, looking for the finish line and getting overwhelmed by how many miles were left.  55 minutes.  Not too bad for a WEEKEND WARRIOR(sorry I needed to work that in there). 
we met up with another friend of ours and had a couple beers after the run.  Nothing says fitness like a couple cold ones!  Good times!  After that we went home and watch the Patriots easily hand the Cowboys another loss.  Ok not so easy but still, it was entertaining!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Weekend of October 16th

Some time in the middle of last week...  I was talking to a close friend and mountain bike riding partner of mine and we were trying to figure out when we could get together for a ride.  While we were talking, we both mentioned how much we would like to try some new trails just for something different.  She mentioned there was a race on Sunday, 10/16, in Rutland MA and we should do it.  My response was that I already had a road race on Sunday so I couldn't make it and she said what about Saturday?  The trail was already marked and they were allowing folks to preride the race course.  To this I responded "Let me check with my wife."  Once I did that, I responded "I'm in... where the hell is Rutland??"

Saturday 10/15 7:00am... I got picked up by my friend bright and early.  We made the hour and a half - 2 hour trek to Rutland and came to what was actually a boy scout camp??? Odd but whatever.  It was probably about 50 degrees out and windy as hell.  Chilly to say the least and we parked right next to a pond so it was wide open and beezey.  After talking to a few folks to try to figure out where the start of the race was we got dressed for the ride and took off.  Probably just a mile and a half into the ride, we came to a stream to cross.  Around where we usually ride, if there is a stream like this, probably 20 feet across and 1.5 feet deep, there is usually a bridge across it but not here.  My friend went across first.  Pedal pedal pedal.  She made it fairly easily across.  As I stood on the other side, trying to pick the line I wanted to take to get across, a couple other riders came along and blasted through the water.  I followed them and really had no problem getting across.  Of course now the rest of the ride would be with cold, wet feet and this would not be the last body of water we had to cross. 
The rest of the ride was a lot of fun.  I wish the place was closer to here since I found the ride extremely fun and pretty challenging.  A couple extended rock gardens and a lot of fun single track.  Steep uphills(this is where I would click the "dislike" button if I had one) and some really fun downhills.  We met another rider named Tom.  A very talented rider, former downhill racer and trials rider.  He rode with us for about 80% of the ride and was fun to have along. 
We got done the 9.5 mile loop after about an hour and 45 minutes of actual riding.  The ride was a real workout and so much fun!  I felt tired but refreshed after being outside for so long.  This is the part wher i get into the weekend warrior thing.  I wish I could do this sort of thing way more ofeen than my schedule allows but for now it will have to do.  My friend took some video on her phone of me crossing the stream and attempting to ride across a lengthy stretch of rocks but the file was too big to send.  Once I get that I'll attach it so you can check it out crack jokes at my expense!  Luckily there is no video of me struggling up the climbs!
That's all for now but I did run a 10k the next day (10/16) that I will post about shortly.  Please bear with me as I try to get the hang of this blogging thing and feel free to leave comments about how I can improve the site and the entries.  Thanks for reading!