Friday, August 19, 2011

Its been a while

So its been a while since I've updated this. I've been busy.
Finished up my first year as an assistant principal in Providence, went away a bunch, took a class and been basically just enjoying myself.
Since last Sunday (like August 7) I have had some form of an upper respiratory infection which has transitioned into bronchitis. Its almost gone now but I'm still coughing and ejecting phlegm. The past four days I've managed to run though. I had a legit fever for three days last week - a rotten experience in August. Make no mistake about this, lower respiratory tract stuff impairs my ability to train.

Monday - Off
Tuesday - 6.7 easy
Wednesday - 4 (Marc Berry's running bachelor party - long story)
Thursday - 5.5...mostly speedwork at the Hope track - did a 400 at 75, then 4 x 800 about 3 min/ea but the first 2 about 2:50. Did not feel fast but I still feel as if its a step in the right direction as I couldn't fathom doing these last week. And yes, I was hungover.
Friday - 7.06 easy

Making my way to Burlington tomorrow for Sarah's triathlon then up to Montreal for the night before coming back. Leaving at 0330 today - or is it tomorrow? Regardless, I should have some great pictures for later on.
I'm going to target a series of races early in September. I ran the Blessing in late July - proving what happens when you go out too hard. Then I got sick. Its time to get my thoroughly mediocre form back and I'm psyched to do so.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Someone stole our recycle bin

Yes, someone has stolen the green recycle bin from my house. The do not pick up the trash unless the green bin is next to the blue bin. Trash has not been picked up for two weeks. They also got a nifty new truck that automatically picks up the bins. This is shit as now the guy just drives around and has this arm that picks up bins whereas they used to pick up all the shit on the street - so now there are mattresses, boxsprings, chairs, trees, child's toys, broken up beds etc... all over the city. Not to mention people who most likely have been laid off.
Usually I would be three sheets to the wind as the Superbowl should be on but they have moved it up to February. The Pro-Bowl doesn't do it for me. Anyway, I've got two rides in this week and two solid runs which is a successful week for me right now. I did a Gold's Gym triathlon day - 4 miles aerobic on the treadmill and then ten miles or about :40 minutes on the virtual reality spin bike. This was a great workout, as it was uphill nearly all the way. It wasn't totally accurate but it was pretty close, there was a power output section, heart rate, and cadence and an approximation of speed.
Everything has been inside as I'm not punishing myself right now in the cold. I'm waiting for some warmer weather to seriously start putting the miles in, its a long season and I've burnt myself out in the past training hard at this point in the year. Regardless, I hope to be in something approaching racing shape for the beginning of June or at most July. I should get into something approaching cat. 3 flat race field fodder fitness much sooner than that. Despite being out of bike racing shape, I'm still doing all the early season stuff because I like doing that stuff.
Running is going okay - did my personal best in the mile the other day. Could not imagine doing that for 3 miles or for 6 miles for that matter. Goal is to run a half marathon - sanctioned or not. I don't care. I've got to do the St. Pats 5K in March to represent my Irish heritage, or so that's what I tell myself.
Rode the homemade moped yesterday. It was cold and it took forever for it to start but start it did. There is some shit coming out of the exhaust when I stopped and let it rest. I bought a speedometer for it so I can post speed reports later on.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

So I'm back

So I'm back riding again. Well, I went on a ride Saturday for 30 miles which was my first ride over ten minutes since late August. It felt great to be on the bike again. I sorely needed the time off. I believe that even though I have a huge amount of fitness to regain I will have the proper motivation to do so when the time is right. Time looks tight until about April but then things should calm down. If I can get 100 miles per week until then I should be OK. Weekday riding is pretty much out of the question - unless I just make cycling a complete priority and neglect other, more important parts of my life for it (which I am not going to do at age 32). I hope to get out there though and be somewhat competitive in the spring because I have come to realize how important riding and racing are to me.
Been running a lot though.
I cannot wait to represent M1 in '10!
*my run (7 miles) on Sunday was my best "long" run ever. I directly attribute this due to cycling on Saturday. Someone told me that cycling helps your running once, and I believe them. Its not supposed to work the other way around - I will post my findings on this blog.
Work is getting really interesting. Picked up some new duties there...will report on this one later on when I find out what really is going on. All good things but this one is to be continued...
My last semester looks to be bitch though - 3 book reviews, 4 projects (8-15 pages ea.), a one hour solo powerpoint, journals each week (2 pages), and a five page culminating paper. Lots of nights and Saturdays and Sunday mornings. I can only do this stuff in the morning as I cannot read or write anything useful after noon and before like 9:00PM.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Road Trip

So I went on my first road trip in a few months, well...maybe its been more than a few months but I'm not counting. It was great to get out of dodge for a week, this is something I need to do more often. Only one more class in this endless degree program. I enjoy the feeling of opportunity and the perception of enhanced personal growth that school has given me but I am beginning to loathe the amount of work that it involves.
So we drove straight to South Carolina from Providence. This took 21.5 hours 8AM to 530AM. Really wasn't all that bad, but it was long. We had four people and a dog so we had to stop, we got stuck in this great big giant parking lot which is also known as Route 495 around Washington, DC, and we stopped for a sit down dinner in Virginia. Delaware continues to be my least favorite state - it is the home of big bank credit cards, tolls, and endless traffic jams to pay tolls. 95 goes through like ten miles of this state. Rhode Island should learn from the second smallest state and have tolls at the border to raise revenue instead of taxing the shit out of its residents. Most Rhode Islanders don't leave the state for anything anyways so I don't know why this scheme isn't an option for our lawmakers.
South Carolina with the family was great, I miss them and should visit far more often than twice a year. I must make it a priority to get down to the great prefabricated south more often, maybe even to do some running or even bike races. I went for a run on Christmas which served as my only outlet for exercise. Running in SC is sketchy - there are no sidewalks and the roads have no shoulders. People drive fast and I got the feeling they don't appreciate people running on the roads.
We drove up to Philadelphia (12 hours) on Saturday to meet up with my uncle and his girlfriend. This was a great time, I haven't seen my uncle in fifteen years and it was great to see him. Philadelphia is huge. I always thought it was similar in size to Boston, it is not - it is far larger, almost like a smaller sized New York. It did not seem nearly as busy as Boston though. It sort of has a vibe like Providence - much more grandiose and vibrant though. Somewhat of a worn industrial city with a colonial Americana heritage element mixed in. This completes my hanging out (code for drinking beer) in every big north-east coast city (except for Wilmington...mostly because it is in Delaware and isn't that big). See earlier comments about Delaware.
After walking around in the rain for a while we finally made it to the bar. For some reason, the beer in Philly seemed to be extra potent. This was not a good thing when you drink a lot of this. On this trip my {domestic accountability factor ©} is negligible, save for the absolutely horrible two day hangover I had on the way home. This hangover ranks in the top three of my life, and believe me - this list is very long. After the first of the year it is back to adulthood however I still have a few days off. Tomorrow I plan on going skiing, or to Boston. Depends on "who is around." I did not go skiing AT ALL last year - because last year was shitty. I hope 2010 is better. 2009 sucked. Boston = alone, skiing = others. Will go to art museum, shopping and library in Boston to cement image as total nerd. It might be cool to run the Blue Hill Skyline. I am waiting for the first of the year to ride again, and I'm not riding for hours and hours in the freezing cold - yet. Date is January 15 for scheduled rides. Riding in the cold requires an extra measure of motivation I'm still working on. Still on a running schedule for a little while.
Right now the dog is looking at me and whining slightly. Me thinks he wants something so its time to go.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Great Wait

December is the season of waiting. From Thanksgiving to Christmas everyone seems to be waiting for Christmas. Waiting, not starting anything, just making through each day. Today I have been waiting to leave to visit my family in South Carolina. We are driving. We were supposed to leave yesterday at 8AM. We did not for obvious reasons - although we tried to get out but the car rental place was closed (even though they said they were open on the phone).
So today comes and I'm ready to leave early. Wake up at 6AM, put that essential run in and then call my traveling companions to see what time we were leaving. Complications, complications, complications. Receive answer that we aren't leaving for a while. So I went to the gym and did an extra hard weight workout. I did sets of bench press with an easy weight immediately followed by a set of 6 pullups immediately followed by a set of knees/elbows followed by bench etc...
Get back home, shower and put everything that was packed into a bag yesterday back into a bag and call traveling companions again. Receive word that we are still tied up and will not leave for another little while.
OK. Fine. On Facebook, read a bit, watch TV, walk dog, chip ice off steps, throw darts, pace around, call some people, email some others, more Facebook, read entire NYTimes website, Wall Street Journal, comment to Providence Journal. BTW: The people that comment to this newspaper consistently are a bunch of total idiots. Not all of them, but a lot of them. Especially anyone that PUTS THEIR COMMENTS IN ALL CAPS. It is no wonder why the economy in this state is in such a state of decay.
So it gets to like 2PM. One thing I'm not good at is sitting around. I pretty much have to do something at all times. So the word comes out that we are going tomorrow morning. Wait all day to find out we are going tomorrow. This really isn't anyone's fault, it is just how it worked out. At least I was at home and not in the airport - where I would be drinking too much beer and most likely would have to attend rehab once I reached South Carolina.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Winter 2009

I know, its been a while.
Anyway, I've been keeping myself busy - really busy. This is a good thing for me because I am my own worst enemy if I am not busy.
Well, I'm almost done with grad school. Just one more class. Last semester was insane. I wrote over 85 pages for this class, which is a lot for me. This is not to mention the amount of time I spent researching and conducting action research for these projects. I'm actually excited for some of the projects that I'm going to be working on in the spring - mostly database and e-learning stuff.
On the training front its been all running. I finally got to the point where I can eat a gigantic Chipotle burrito and then run 5 miles 2 hours later(like I just did) without totally dying. This is one of the measures I am defining my success in my winter training program since the eighteen minute 5k is not coming anytime soon. I'm working on eating better but its so hard for me to do this and I categorically refuse to be anal about what I eat. Cycling is on hold until I get some more time. Running is far less time intensive. It is also a lot easier on the wallet since I'm paying for school out of my own pocket. Since I'm not all set financially, school is a huge expense for me, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Most of my runs are between 3.5 (short late weekday run) to 11 miles. I want to push that long run up to about 13-15 miles in a few weeks but I'm a bit apprehensive about piling on miles right away as running injuries are a real problem. There is a 10K in Newport tomorrow which I may do or if I don't I'll do the long 13 mile run instead. Apart from running I've been lifting a bit - which I enjoy. For me, lifting and doing long runs do not mix. Maybe its my diet, maybe stress, maybe lack of rest, poor form or a combination of all of those. I've also been doing this crossfit stuff. Crossfit is about the best full body workout I've ever done.
I do miss riding though, I've got to get on the bike for a few times each week...soon.
Road trip to South Carolina next week - 4 of us. Stopping in Philadelphia, DC, Charlottesville then the long haul to Greenville for Christmas. Plan on doing a run in DC and some hiking in Charlottesville.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Thoughts on Training

Well its almost October and its been a while since that I have updated the blog. Cycling has been put on hold for the remainder of the year, save maybe a cross race later on in the season. I am not retired, just taking some time off of structured training for a while. Foremost amongst my reasons revolves around the fact that I have very little time to sit on the bike and secondary is still this burnout bug that I still am dealing with. Burnout is something you can put off, and put off, and put off but you can never escape it. Like death, taxes, and hangovers, it always will catch up with you. I think I've been putting burnout off for a couple of years. The thing about burnout is this - when you are in a burnout phase all one can do is train to maintain fitness. Workouts/rides become work, they become stale and over time nothing could rejuvenate myself to be excited about riding for more than three days at a time. This is the part of burnout that is so difficult to manage, having a string of good workouts clustered in a short period followed by another short period where I became bored and uninterested in riding. This makes for inconsistent training, and thus mediocre results. Mentally this leaves a schizophrenic training paradigm where I was reflecting and excited about the few good workouts, believing that burnout was over and then falling back into the unmotivated trap once again only to repeat the cycle. All the while I was internally giving myself a hard time because I know I can train properly and get results. Racing is a blast but not meeting my expectations is not acceptable.

So in an effort to cope with this I've put cycling on hold and I started running. Don't get me wrong, I would rather be racing and cycling a lot I just can't get to it right year is going to be my year. Running is far less time intensive than cycling. I bet that I can control my weight and improve as a runner on nearly four hours of running a week opposed to seven hours to achieve the same goals cycling. I know that I need to ride four days a week for at least seven hours minimum to maintain (and not build) any cycling form. Ten to twelve hours is what I need to race somewhat competitively (which is like 10th place for me) in gently rolling road races and fifteen plus hours a week is what I would have to do if I ever decided to go for broke and try to upgrade another category. I know I have to ride a lot to improve. There is no substitute. Furthermore, I know that each ride has to have a focus and that I am 100% committed to that focus every day that I ride. That is 100% committed...not 75%, not 90% but totally focused on training. Four hours of running a week for me is about 30 miles a week, give or take (probably take). This is my goal from now until the end of February. Along with this is my goal to lift weights 3 times per week. The hour run mark has been broken as of last Thursday, up next is a ten mile run. My first 5K was last weekend which was really a lot of fun.
Yeah, I was just looking at my last post about being sick, I'm not kidding, I was sick. I was sick for five days (100F+ fever for three, 99F for two) and had a cough for two weeks after. This is it for tonight, more news forthcoming...