Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A little bump in the road

So I think I overdid it. My right thigh has been hurting for three days now, I think it is the IT Band. I have not done anything since Thursday, except ride to and from work on Friday and house work, but the muscle spasms are not going away. And it hurts to sit in a chair at work too. Jeesh. I found a box and elevated my monitor and keyboard and stood all day at work, rocking out to my tunes while doing SoildWorks. It worked pretty good, because standing (and moving) is less painful than sitting (and not moving). I have been icing it and taking ibuprofen. Looks like I will be out all week.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wednesday's Ride

Springtime is known for it's temperature swings, and we have had some for sure. Just two weeks ago we had 80-90 degree days for several days, but Wednesday's after work ride started around 58, and ended at 49 degrees. Now I am used to hiking in the cold-20 degrees is cold for hiking, and well 49 is cold for biking. I am still getting used to the difference between biking and hiking temperatures! By the end of the ride, my hands and toes were numb!

Luckily the MS150 tour is in the summer, and we are progressively getting warmer, or I would need to get some more warm riding clothes (something that stops the wind and does not flap).

This time I took a shorter route than the rest of the team because of the cold and creeping darkness. I knew the route and I was ok riding by myself, besides, except for a small shortcut, I was on the same roads as the group. But, on the way back I missed the turn from Plank Rd onto Old Lynchburg Rd, which added 2 miles to my trip, but I made it back ok. On the upside, during my side trip I rode past a little bog with lots of spring peepers (frogs) chirping loudly.

MS 150 Rides

Today's Ride and Cookout for MS150

Today we had a cookout at Amy's house, our fearless MS150 Team Leader.  Beforehand some of us did the same loop we did last week.  Compared to the Walnut Creek area rides, the loop was very flat, and my average speed went up quite a bit.  This made me very happy.  And I was faster than last week! 

Here are my training rides to date:

DATE  LOCATION    Dist(mi) Time(hr) Avg Spd(mpg)
3/31 Earlysville     13.5  1.00     13.5
4/4  Standardsville  14.7  1.20     12.
4/7  Candlewyck      13.7  1.25     11.
4/10 Walnut Intl Tri 22.4  2.00     11.
4/14 Walnut Sprint   19.4  1.75     11.
4/15 Candlewyck      13.7  0.92     15.
        total miles: 97.4 

Note my average speed 4/7 versus 4/15.

The cookout was a big success and I think we got some more people to join the team, and a few more people to volunteer at the OASC tent on the first day of event (June 12).

I forgot the gps at home, but I timed the hike, and the loop was the same as last week.

From MS 150 Rides

Sunday's Hike

So I am a little behind on my outdoor activity blog posting, but I am diligently blogging away. This hike was last Sunday 4/14, a lovely spring day.

Day hike with Jere/OASC.
Wildcat Ridge-Riprap SNP
9.5 mi
average speed 2mph
elevation gain approx 2000ft
Weather: clear, sunny, hazy, average temperature 70F.

A little crowded from Chimney Rock to AT, otherwise light traffic. Nice lunch near a pool with rock slide/waterfall (note:come back in August!). Water was very cold, but Roland jumped in anyway! Three dachshunds barked loudly at us while walking by un-leashed with their owners. I got sunburned on the right side of my neck.

Jere lead us on a side trail to a 'cave' that was not much more than a rocky overhang with a rock wall that someone built around it. A black vulture found the cave to be very good for a nest however, and was spooked by our arrival.
Wildcat Ridge-Riprap SNP

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Trying not to overdo it.

Things have been very busy here. My mind has finally returned to this world (and country, time zone, etc), and I am in full gear training mode. The spring weather is good for the mood, but hard on the sinuses. I seem to have a perpetual sore throat from the pollen too. But I still love springtime in central Virginia.

Wednesday was a great training ride (for the MS150 Tour), this time from Amy's house (our team leader). The route lead us past some nice houses, country churches, farms, country clubs, and the Foxfield horse race track. I am really enjoying these rides because I am seeing some parts of the area that I have never seen or appreciated before. You absorb your surrounding so much more on a bike than when you drive fast in a car. I wish I could have taken pictures along the way.
From MS 150 Rides

Thursday was me and Tom at BeerRun with Jere and the club. A spring thunderstorm made things interesting. We got an awesome bottle of Pinot Noir from Central Otago, NZ, a region we visited near Queenstown.

Friday was a great Karate practice. I spent the first hour teaching Basic One to a pair of 10-year-old white belts. The next 1-1/2 hours I spent working on my One-Steps and knife defenses with Amir (sp?), an awesome black belt whom I had not worked with much before now.

Saturday morning was another successful training ride. We rode 22 miles from Walnut Creek Park, the route of the Charlottesville Triathlon International Distance. My longest ride yet, and I managed to keep up my previous average speed. Again the scenery was beautiful with the trees in full bloom. We drove past several creeks along the side of the road that were flowing well due to the recent spring showers. The road itself was in bad shape and made for a rough ride. I felt pretty good afterward, and thought, "Maybe I can do the International Distance Triathlon," but then I would have to now run 7 miles, and that does not sound like fun.
From MS 150 Rides

Saturday night Tom and I went to wine tasting (NZ wines), a club event, and sushi afterward.

Sunday was a 10 mile hike in the Shenandoah, but those pictures will have to wait for another day.

Today was an easy swim in the pool.

A small summary of my last 5 days. I am getting tired just writing about it. Time to get some well deserved sleep.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Old Rag Day Hike

Tom and I had Good Friday off from work, so we decided to go hiking with OASC leader Brian B. Old Rag is one of the most crowded hikes in the Shenandoah National Park, and we were hoping that not to many other people had Friday off too. This was my second trip along the Ridge Trail, but Tom's first and I think he had a lot of fun. Here's our group at the summit, near where we ate lunch, with us facing east.
From Old Rag Mt from Berry Hollow

The weather was hot and sunny, and as you can see from the picture, hazy, but nice. It seems that we just skipped over spring and went straight to summer! But it was good to see all the signs of spring on the forest floor, and due to the elevation of this area, I think it's all a few weeks behind from where we live.
From Old Rag Mt from Berry Hollow
Brian usually likes to eat lunch at this rocky area because it is less crowded, but we voted to find more shade because it was so hot!
From Old Rag Mt from Berry Hollow

I was surprised to see how "smooth" this track is, just a steady up and down, without too many "bumps."
From Old Rag Mt from Berry Hollow

I just learned how to view the gps tracks in Google Earth. The view of Old Rag is particularly interesting, because the rocks are so big and non-tree-covered that they show on the satellite picture!
From Old Rag Mt from Berry Hollow

This route is the secret "back door" to Old Rag, especially good if you are coming in from the south.
From Old Rag Mt from Berry Hollow

You can view the OASC group's photos, and all of the photos I took in the link below.
Old Rag Mt from Berry Hollow

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today's bike ride

Today was the first of my MS150 Tour De Vine training rides.  It was with the OASC team and they were very nice to stay with me even though I was a little slow.  We went 13.5 miles, and my average speed was 13 mph.  The last hill was hard, but I managed it just fine without stopping.  The ride made me realize how easy my commute really is!  I still have a way to go for training, but I am committed to completing the tour.

Thanks James for letting me borrow your GPS.

From MS 150 Rides

From MS 150 Rides
Please consider sponsoring my bike tour by donating to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.  Your help is much appreciated.