Monday, July 28, 2014

A Tour de France worthy crash

About 7 miles out from the apartment, I caught a piece of pavement and went tumbling leaving me with road rash on both hands, cuts and scrapes on the fingers and knuckles, a bruised cheek, a far lip and a banged up knee.  Had to sheepishly call L fora ride home.  Probably the folks in the nearby diner weren't too keen on seeing me walk in all bloody to use heir men's room to wash up.

The stupidest thing was that I wasn't riding, I was running.  It was one of those slow motion moments when you know you are going down and just trying to tuck and roll (rather unsuccessfully obviously).  I was so annoyed at myself.  It was hot and humid and I was shuffling along and my mind started wondering about when to turn around and how to pick up the river path home and boom, I'm on the sidewalk and guys sitting on the ground drinking out of a paper bag are asking me if I am ok.

In the chain of proximate cause, this is all related to my decision to go running yesterday rather than today when its 60 and beautiful.  I knew the forecast but didn't want to run long this morning and then get on a 26 hour flight to New Zealand all stiff and sore.  So instead, I will be getting on a 26 hour flight to New Zealand stiff, sore, and bruised.  But the early morning visit to the chiro and business class should make this tolerable and hopefully heal in time to get some runs in down under. 

On the business side, will be speaking informally to the New Zealand Commerce Commission and the annual Competition law and Policy Institute of NZ on Promoting Innovation.  Draft paper available when I get back to all who care about those sorts of things.

Busy Week -- Knock on Wood

Becky, I feel your pain!! At least this week, it is only figuratively, rather than literally.  .  .  .

I am continuing to knock on wood, and this week at least it seems to be working.  Did a pretty intense bric Thursday, ran a slow 12 Friday, took two spin classes Saturday (don't ask -- subject for another blog post maybe), rode 75 miles in Dutchess and Columbia counties Sunday, and today did a recovery spin and swim.  The good news is I stayed on the bike, and don't appear to have aggravated anything.  The bad news is that I am still slow.  This time two years ago, I rode two centuries at 18 mph.  Yesterday, I was pretty gassed after 75 miles at just under 16 mph.  We did get drenched in a pouring rain for the first 20 miles and then again from 30-35.  I also took a wrong turn and added in a bonus climb.  Still, I was a good deal faster not too long ago.  That's what a long layoff and a series of injuries will do, I guess.  Here's hoping for continued forward progress . . .

Becky, take care of yourself.  At some point your foot will recognize that, try as it might, there's no stopping you!!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

I guess I didn't knock on wood

This is how I feel about my foot's progress and then subsequent regression back to pain:

Running + Data

My running coach asked me for my weekly milage. It is possible that I went overboard.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Signs of life

While not coming close to Max's epic achievements, I had a bit of a milestone weekend in the running department.  I'm 16 weeks out from the NYC Marathon, and it is truly important that I start ramping up the long runs.  So Saturday, we went out to the Hamptons to visit friends.  I took a long slow 10 miler, past a Vineyard,

down to Georgica Pond,

where our host was participating in a sailboat race,

and then home.  I felt fine after and was happy.  On Sunday, I went for a very slow and laid back 6 mile run down to Sag Harbor, and still felt fine, and so when R__ was heading out for a run, I joined for another 4.  So that's two 10 mile days in a row, with no negative after effects.  Yesterday I did a spin class and ran two miles outside for a mini-bric . . . I'm still painfully slow, but not in pain, knock on wood.

Luckily today it's raining, so I won't be tempted to do anything stupid.  I think I'll hit the pool.

Monday, July 14, 2014

12-hour Bike Race

Short race report:  rode the Saragota 12-hour on Saturday for the second time (first was in 2012).  Adirondack Ultra Cycling has moved the course from the 32.5-mile loop in Schuylerville NY to a 40.5-mile loop starting and finishing in Saratoga Springs.  (The old and new loops share a few miles of road, including a pretty stretch along the upper Hudson River.)  Perhaps due to unfortunate conflicts between the promoter and the Ultra-Marathon Cycle Association, resulting in this event's being dropped as a RAAM qualifier, the Saratoga 12/24 has lost some ridership; last weekend's race seemed to start about 50% fewer riders than in 2012 when I last entered.

Small crowd at the starting line.
Hot day with lots of exposure to the sun!  I was a piece of jerky by the end of lap 3 and considered quitting at the end of lap 4.  Thankfully a nap under the cold stream from a hose and a few choice words from M__, D__, and RD John Ceceri revived me.  Others fared similarly or worse.

There were upsides, though:  made it through 100 miles in what is probably my fastest non-drafting effort for that distance and rode most of that first century swapping leads with eventual 24-hour winner John Nobile.  (The 24-hour race is run concurrently with the 12, with the same 8 am start.  While my own pace slacked off, and considerably, Nobile kept nearly the same pace through the heat of the day -- and then not appreciably slower through the night -- to ride 468 miles in two turns of the little hand.  For those that are concerned about their age, Nobile is a youthful 51.)  As she has several times prior, M__ came and provided extraordinary support.  While suffering from the heat, she enjoyed the camaraderie that crews share in ultra events.

Still happy-ish before the start.
Final tally for your correspondent was 208.5 miles and a third-place finish.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

What were they thinking?

Today's Tour de France was a 93 mile stretch from Belgium to northern France with 9 cobble stone stretches.  While that is challenging enough, the weather was around 50 degrees and pouring rain with all kind of mud and slime on the roads both cobbled and regular.  The stage was rerouted around two of the cobble stone stretches for safety but the stage was marred by two falls by Chris Froome, last year's winner, knocking him out of the race and bodies flying everywhere at more than a half of a dozen places on the course.  For those that survived it was remarkable to see them take wet cobble stones at 25 MPH with very little control over their bicycles.

This is turning into a star less Tour and a golden opportunity for the two young US riders Van Gardren and Talasky.  Froome is gone, Cavendish is gone, Bradley Wiggins wasn't picked by BMC, and Nauro Qunitana who was #2 last year wasn't picked by Movistar despite winning the Giro D'Italia in the late spring (he may be hurt or at least sub-par).  If Alberto Contador doesn't rebound to win the GC, this could be the year for youngish sprinters like Marcel Kittel and Peter Sagan if their climbing is halfway decent.  Or does Richie Porte lead whatever is left of Team Sky to victory?

I have now exhausted my knowledge of this year's Tour.