Archive for November 2010

Keep it up, man!

November 30, 2010

Boy, what a difference 13 hours makes!  Last night I really enjoyed the ride home.  The temperature was in the mid-50′s, with a lot of humidity in the air.  The streets were still wet from the afternoon rain, with low hanging clouds looking like they could drop more at any time.  All the moisture and dampness out there acted to muffle most of the traffic noise, making for  a nice, peaceful ride home.  It even seemed like there wasn’t as much traffic as normal.

By this morning, however, most of that had changed.  When we went out to run at 5:15, I immediately noticed a strong wind from the northwest.  My phone app indicated it was blowing at 15 mph, but I swear it was quite a bit more than that.  Coupled with a temperature of 28, it felt good to be finished with the run and back indoors, if only for a few minutes.

Once on the bike and headed to work, it was hard not to grumble.  The wind was at exactly the right direction to make my entire journey to the office harder than it should have been.   I almost wore my balaclava this morning, but opted for my gator at the last moment instead.  That wasn’t the best decision, as my forehead got pretty cold very quickly. 

By the time I got to the intersection of Fremont and Chestnut, I was pretty much just enduring until I got to the office.  Some mornings are just like that….they can’t be helped.  As I was waiting for the light, a gray Infiniti G37 pulled up beside me.  It’s driver rolled down his window, gave me a thumbs up, and said, “Keep it up, man!”  I replied my thanks as he drove away and realized that he had brightened my day considerably with his words of cheer!

Keep it up, man!

God bless…

TW

Post Holiday Stress

November 29, 2010

I’ve always heard that the holidays are rough on people.  For whatever reason, it seems like when folks get together (or maybe don’t), stuff happens.  Crime, sickness, and death are not pleasant subjects, but seem to be things that are more prevalent this time of year than they should be.

As I was riding to work this morning, I noticed flashing lights just off of Ingram Mill Road.  When I got closer, I saw a scene disturbingly similar to what we encountered three weeks ago at my in-law’s home.  A fire truck, ambulance, and patrol car were parked in front of a duplex, with several people milling around outside.  I offered up a quick prayer as I pedaled past, then continued on my way without thinking much more about it.

Then, imagine my shock when I encountered this as I was westbound on Catalpa:

A second fire truck!  The crew were already inside one of the houses, but what struck me so strange was seeing two in one morning.  As I continued toward work, I heard additional sirens heading toward that location.  I guess it really was a stressful holiday weekend….

On a more positive note, I discovered this at the Catalpa overpass:

The barriers are gone!  It’s open again!  Yay!  No more longer routes to and from work!

Actually, I don’t really mind the longer routes.  It only stretches my one-way trip from 8.75 miles to 10.25, so it’s not that big of a deal.  What I don’t like, however, is the heavier traffic I encounter on the way home when I have to cross the highway at Battlefield.  I can live without that!

God bless…

TW

Thanksgiving Turkey

November 25, 2010

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Look what the Thanksgiving Turkey brought me!  New tires for all three bikes!

I went with Michelin Lithion’s for the road bike (23c) and tandem (25c) and Panaracer T-Serv Protex (28c) for the Surly.

If you’re a regular reader, you remember the saga of the new tires I bought for the commuter.  Well, those tires have been sold on Craigslist and the new ones will be mounted for my Monday ride to work.

Have a great holiday!

God bless….

TW

Marathon Results

November 23, 2010

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Man, I can’t believe we didn’t win!  After all, we trained like the devil and we let that guy beat us!

In all seriousness, we finished about like I predicted the other day.   Our official time was 5:21, and I can’t say enough good things about my dear, sweet, tough as nails wife.  She is a trooper, and did an awesome job in some conditions that were a lot tougher than we expected.  Overall, for a couple of fifty year old first time racers, we’re happy with the results.

The temperature when we got up on Sunday morning in Tulsa was 66 degrees, with a high forecasted to be 73.  Not the best conditions to be running.  You’ll notice the clouds in the picture above…it was warm and humid all day. 

The first fifteen miles of the race wound through what we perceived to be “Old Town” Tulsa, with it’s stately houses and pretty neighborhoods, then back through downtown.  It was interesting to run through, but much more hilly than we had trained for.  By the time we were approaching what we knew would be the flat finish on Riverside Drive at the sixteen mile mark, I could tell the hills were taking their toll on us, and especially Pam. 

We were looking forward to the final ten miles on what we assumed would be a relatively easy finish, so you can imagine our dismay when we dropped off the final hill and around the corner into a brutal headwind.  We knew it was windy earlier, but the hills had been somewhat protecting us from the worst of it.  Down along the Arkansas River, there was no protection at all, and we were running straight into a wind that we later found was at 20-30 mph.  Talk about demoralizing!  It felt like we were carrying about 20 pounds of extra weight for the entire 6 miles we had to fight that wind!

At 22 miles, we were relieved to make the turnaround and finish out with that wind at our back, but by that time, we were spent.  Imagine my frustration when I noticed that the empty cups from the water stops were blowing down the street faster than we could run!

There was a nice crowd to welcome us to the finish line, and we enjoyed the fact that the announcer “talked us home” to the finish line.  We crossed together, with our hands clasped together and raised in victory!

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We did it!  Check out our medals!

God bless…

TW

End of the line…

November 18, 2010

At about 5:50 AM today, we officially reached the end of our training for the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa.  Our three mile run was the last one before we race on Sunday.  There is nothing more we can do to prepare other than eat right and rest for the next couple of days. 

In a way, this morning seemed kind of anti-climatic.  We got up as normal, hit the streets in the dark, did our run, finished in the driveway at the end of the cul-de-sac, walked together back to the top of the hill, and executed our usual hug/kiss in the middle of the intersection before walking back down the hill to the house. 

This has been an interesting experience to this point.  When we first started talking about it, I think we were both a little leary about the prospect.  I mean, we had both seen people training through injury and lots of suffering to prepare for marathons.  It just seemed the norm that we would also, but that has not been the case.  Granted, we’ve pretty much just been training to finish rather than set an impressive time, so we’ve been working with a training plan that’s designed to be easy on the body rather than dictating a sufferfest every time out.

We know we can finish the 26.2 miles.  Our plan is (and always has been) to run every step together.  We’ll cross the finish line holding hands and know that we accomplished something together that only a minority will attempt.  That will be our reward.

As for a projected time….I think I can safely say we’ll finish somewhere between 5:00 and 5:30.  Wish us luck!

God bless…

TW


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