2006-03-31 Bike

Afternoon bike on the standard route. JL (Mr. CL, not Tex) came in and joined me and GP. Nice ride. WONDERFUL weather. First time I've been able to ride without fleece tights in... four months, maybe?


2006-03-30 PM Racquetball

Took Debra to work today, then let her sit in the back of /dev/trk all day without riding her. [Sigh]. Planned ride tomorrow though.

Played racquetball at night with GP. He isn't a member at the Y and my guest passes are running low, so we went over to Messiah College instead. He can play there because he is an alum. I was on fire tonight, and GP hadn't played in a few years, so I put a hurtin' on him :-). I was also fueled by some self-induced stress from a) work, and b) a dietary breakdown in the form of a McDonalds trip. Luckily, I managed to work out all my stress during the games (six or seven of them, I think.) I'm not sure I managed to work out all of the McDonalds food though.


2006-03-27 Bike

Awesome weather (finally!), so there was no way I was going to stay inside all day. GP and I did a fairly generic route from work. I think I had been on every one of the roads before, but not always in the direction we went today. I was a bit tired, but can't explain why. Probably residual fatigue from mountainbiking over the weekend.

Fun ride. Nice to not have to fight the weather for a change.

The route (GP's motionbased.com account)


2003-03-25 Mountainbike

Finally got Melinda out for a ride in PA! I didn't realize it until just the other day, but I hadn't gone mountainbiking since I lived in NC! JL (husband of CL, with whom I work), E, and I went down to the Tuckahoe Boy Scout Camp and did some of the trails around there. We ended up riding on a trail right next to the Applachian Trail. When the trail hit Whiskey Springs road, we were only a hundred or so feet from the A.T. As with my lunchtime rides, it always gives me a warm fuzzy feeling when I cross the A.T. [sappy mode ON]When I cross the A.T., I look at my tattoo, think about my thruhike, and generally can't help but feel good about my life :-).[sappy mode OFF]

We also managed to find a Geocache while we were riding. Bonus!

Not quite sure of the total time/distance, as we were looping around a lot and my GPS tracks for the ride came out a bit fractured. Let's call it two hours.

I noticed that I do fairly well on the aerobic sections, but my MTB handling skills are *horrible*. JL has some mad skillz, so I was able to pick up a few tips from him.

2006-03-25 AM Racquetball

Got schooled by BK this morning. He must have been pissed about last week :). He was on fire! I felt like I was seeing the ball ok, but still couldn't make anything happen. His serves had me on defense from the start, and he was damn killshot factory after my returns. First game was nearly a shutout. Second game he won 15-10. Third game I forget.

Bowling last night went the same way for me... I thought I was throwing the ball just fine, but simply wasn't scoring. My first game, I never had less than 9 on the first ball (would have been a 300 in no-tap!), but I had two open frames and very few strikes (non back-to-back). Final score was only 173 or something. The second and third games were even worse.

Mountainbiking with JL (CL's husband, not JL=Tex) in an hour. I haven't ridden Melinda SINCE I LIVED IN NC!!! Yikes! Had to give her a good tuneup last night... hopefully she won't let me down.


2006-03-23 Bike

I missed the lunch ride with JL, MH, and GP because of a rescheduled work meeting, so I went out later in the afternoon for a solo tour of The Normal Route. GP and I are using a 10.?? mile stretch of this as a timetrial route. He did it in 34:28 the other day. I thought I was going to beat his time, but the last part of the Carlisle Pike *killed* me. My HR was in the 160's and I was still only going 15ish mph. Usually that part of the route comes in at 17mph or so. Final time for the TT section was 34:53. Congrats to GP for setting the bar nice and high on this one :-).


2006-03-18 AM Racquetball

Put in new contacts before playing, and they made a world of difference! I was picking up the ball early, and seeing it all the way through my hits. I also managed to find my serve, putting BK on defense from the start.


2006-03-16 Bike

Afternoon bike. Normal route + Miller's Gap climb + over to Sample Bridge and back. The new 12-27 cassette helped, but I could use an even lower gear. Gerrit was on his cyclocross bike, and never had to stand (his lowest gear is something like 22-25.) I guess the 39-27 combo on J is low enough to do what I need. HR peeeked at 176.

53 mph on the descent, according to my new cyclecomputer (which might not be 100% accurate). My water bottle almost launched, so I had to put it back in one-handed during the steepest part of the descent. Scary stuff!


2006-03-14 Bike

Afternoon ride with Gerrit, Mike, and Tex. Did an out-back to the country club west of us, just north of 81. The wind was insane. Motionbased.com says the average wind was 21.9mph (they correlate GPS data with a 3rd party weather source.) I don't doubt it. My guess was 20mph with gusts to 40mph. The good news was that the wind was directly in our faces on the way out... so we were rewarded with a nice tailwind on the way back. Nothing like coasting along at 30mph and hearing only the sound of your tires :-).

I ordered a new rear cassette (which should arrive tomorrow), so hopefully there will be no more need for me to bitch about the gearing on J.


2006-03-11 Random Note

I've been complaining about the gearing on my bike a lot lately, but during today's ride I noticed something odd: Gerrit and I, who both have a low gear of "39-25", were not pedalling at the same rate even when in our lowest gears. This struck me as 100% impossible. Tire widths might make a slight difference, but not nearly enough to account for what I was seeing when I simply compared his pedal RPMs to my own as we were climbing a steep hill.

So, just now, I did something silly: I actually looked at my gears. Turns out my rear cassette is a 12-23, not a 12-25. This works out well for me, because I can buy a 12-27 cassette for way less than the cost of a compact crankset.

2006-03-11 Bike

Nice bike ride with Gerrit. We went south, and did a tour around Ski Roundtop, then took a quick tour of Messiah College (Gerrit's Alma Matter (sp?)), then up to Mechanicsburg and home.

It had been a while since I had done a ride longer than 90 minutes, and this one really took a lot out of me. I played racquetball for an hour earlier today, but I don't think my fatigue was from that. And I was eating/hydrating fairly well the entire ride, so I don't think that was a factor either. This one was pure Muscular Endurance (ME) failure. The 10 miles between miles 10 and 20 really nailed me. Lots of climbing, and I simply lost my ability to carry myself over the hills. My HR started spiking on even the small rollers. The second half of the ride was easier, but I was pooped.

Solid ride anyway. Definitely a fitness-improver. 42.5 miles, 2:40ish minutes, 3150 feet of climbing (which is actually quite a bit... Hrmm... my fatigue from this ride is perfectly understandable.)

I've said it before, but I'm saying it again: I need lower gearing. The hills in PA are killing me. There is no efficient way to pedal at 20rpm!

2006-03-11 AM Racquetball

8:00AM racquetball w/ BK. Played really well the first game, then BK's game came up and mine hit the toilet. He ended up winning in 3 games, with a final score of 15-14 in the third game. One point! Argh! (Not that I've been kicking myself about it all day... that would simply be uncool :-))

We played another 0.5 games, but then the herd of folks who always have the courts from 9AM on showed up.


2006-03-08 Afternoon bike

Nice afternoon bike ride with Gerrit. We started off the normal bike route, but at the half-way point we kept going straight on Miller's Gap road, all the way to the top of the mountain. I did this climb once last fall, and guess what? The road is still as steep as it was then. I nearly died. HR was pegged the entire climb, and I still had to resort to mini-switchbacks. Luckily for my pride, Gerrit also did the switchback trick. I gotta get some lower gearing. Gerrit was seeing 17% grade on his cyclecomputer. SEVENTEEN percent! The total elevation of the climb was 700 feet, in ~1.2 miles, which makes it an 11% average grade. I swear, the 3000 foot climbs on the Skyline Drive/Blue Ride Parkway were often easier. Lower gearing and 8% maximum grades are workable. Climbs like Miller's Gap are just nutso.

We missed our turn on the way back, so we turned the ride into an out-back instead of a loop.

Fun ride. Took a bit longer than planned, but who cares? Work can be done after dark, a sweet bike ride can not.

Check out the profile map for the ride on Gerrit's Motionbased.com page.


2006-03-05 Bike

Bike ride w/ Gerrit. Quite windy! 24 miles, 17ish mph. You can see the route on either my account or Gerrit's account over at motionbased.com. HR was 136 average, but I got a bit of a draft from Gerrit during the worst of the wind.

I had no less than three layers on, and was still a bit chilly the entire ride. Gerrit rode with just shorts and a cycling shirt. Crazy New Yorkers with their cold weather handling skills!


2006-03-04 Racquetball

8:00AM racquetball with BK. Three games. I won the first, then Bill clobbered me the next two. Felt pretty good though. I recorded the game on Gerrit's videocamera (thanks, Gerrit! 26 Videocamera), and found a few flaws in my technique.

I also recorded myself bowling last night. My form has improved a lot since the last time I recorded myself bowling, but I still have a few of the same flaws that I had in 2002. Gotta fix that.

Planning to do a treadmill run later (videotaping myself there, too, of course. Good stuff, videotape analysis!)


2006-03-01 Swim

200 free, 100 breast, several hundred swim-with-tennis-balls, 400IM (yep! a genuine 400 IM, inchworm slow at 7:45, but at least it was a genuine 400IM), 200 back kick, 200 breast, and that was about it.

The last 25 of my 400IM butterfly were feable, but I didn't switch to one-arm. I think my first 50 was 7 pulls/25, then it dropped to 9, and finally 12 or so for the last 25. I think I can get my time down to <7:00 if I can build my butterfly some more.