Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Holiday Weekend / The Benefit of Crosstraining

This weekend was memorial day weekend, and that means that it's traditionally a very active weekend for me. This year proved no different.

Saturday morning came & the weather was iffy. I fully intended to mow the lawn, but it was spritzing, the grass was soaked, & I just wasn't feeling it. So, I ran. Well, first I got up, took the dogs for their walk, and Cosmo absolutely was all wound up after we walked & he ate. So, I tried to run with Cosmo, but he's a completely different animal without the other dogs around, refused to break into a trot. If I wanted to run with him, it was going to mean dragging him around as he looked for his two co-conspirators, and that wasn't going to be fun for either of us.

So, no Cosmo on the run . . . I managed four miles, though I didn't time myself. By the time I was done, the sun was starting to break through. I showered, packed the kid up, and made my way to my sister's house for Jacob's first birthday party.

The full day was spent with family, and food, and drink. It was pretty awesome. I love my sister, and I love my family. I love wine, and I love beer, and I love food. Really, what more could we want to do on a Saturday afternoon?

Sunday, I woke & finally tackled the lawn. Well, I got up, stumbled around, took a boatload of allergy medicine, tried to figure out why the lawnmower wouldn't start, found that it had no gas, found that my gas container was empty, drove to the gas station without my wallet, drove back home, got my wallet, drove back to the gas station, filled the gas container, got myself a cup of coffee, and then enjoyed the cup of coffee in the sun while letting my mind rest for a bit.

To combat early sunburn at the beach, I decided that it would be best to mow the lawn without a shirt on. The Pennsylvania sun, in mid-morning, in early May, isn't all that dangerous on the UV scale, and if I can get my pasty white chest to absorb a little color, I might have better luck come August at the beach. My biggest fear was that a neighbor went by the nickname of Ahab & would choose to restart the hunt for the white whale in an ocean of long, green grass.

Well, I finished the lawn about 2 hours before I needed to go anywhere, so I figured it was prime time for a bike ride. I hadn't been "out" just for fun in awhile -- I prepped the Giant, and managed 35 miles along the Yellow Breeches creek & through Boiling Springs before heading back home.

It was during this ride that I started seeing the benefit of cross-training. I'm a pretty strong cyclist, in that I can muscle my way through just about anything. But, on the "slight-uphill climbs", I usually peak & allow my forward momentum to carry me for awhile. Generally, it's a pretty pleasant way to ride, but since I've been running, where you have to constantly keep yourself working (or you stand still), I found myself powering after the plateaus. Just those different muscles working in a slightly different method meant that I was moving much more quickly. Running hasn't helped my climbing on the bike, at all, but I feel much stronger immediately after a climb, and it's awesome.

After riding & showering, we headed off for a picnic. Memorial Day food is just awesome. I left the picnic, napped, then friends showed up with ice cream . . . all in all, a good day. Of course, when dinner time came around, the wife & I called a bunch of take-out places, trying to figure out why nobody was answering. See, in Carlisle, most places are closed on Sunday, but, as I had the next day off, it was Saturday in my mind, and Saturday in the wife's mind. We eventually got Chinese (wonton soup for the Rib, veggies in garlic sauce for me).

Memorial Day has traditionally been my first real big solo ride of the season, and I wanted the trend to continue. I had grand plans of riding a century between Waggoner's Gap, Doubling Gap, and King's Gap, but I slept in a bit too late, with too early an afternoon picnic, to attempt it. So, I switched to simply ride the 100k (65 mile) Tour de Cure course, altering the very end to a hillier path back home. The day was beautiful, and I stopped to take some pictures along the way.

The Yellow Breeches Creek.

The Yellow Breeches Creek, again.

The start of the King's Gap climb, the ride that absolutely kicked my ass three years ago & made me start taking cycling seriously.

The view from the top of King's Gap, altitude 1,186 feet.

Ultimately, it was a great ride, and I then spent the afternoon with more family (we introduced Cj to the pool at Grandy's house . . . we'll have pictures on the parenting blog once we have them). I wish more holiday weekends were like this past one.

Of course, after all the running around, and then sleeping like crap because my brain would not shut off, I slept in a bit this morning . . . I'll make up for that tomorrow :-)

1 comment:

JenJen said...

You are a busy man!! I'm exhausted.