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Thursday, April 23, 2015

One-trick pony

It can't have been all that long ago that I considered myself a runner, but the most running I've done in the past couple weeks has been one terrible 5k training run and the semi-regular Couch to 5K training runs I've been doing with my nephew and his friend. Spring is always a bad time for running what with Dirty Kanza breathing down my neck, but I'm taking it to a new level this year.  On the other hand, I'm getting in plenty of bike time.

Jacob's Saturday soccer game didn't start until 11, so I planned to get up early, leave at 7, and get in a good 3.5 hours or so of riding before meeting Jeff at the soccer fields to watch the game. Instead I d-r-a-g-g-e-d myself out of bed, at a semi-leisurely breakfast, and headed out shortly after 8. Known for my tardy tendencies, I'm even worse with only myself to disappoint.

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Heading out...
We have a great local trail system built on old railroad rightaways. Our county transit system is "rail-banking", basically, saving the trails for potential future light rail lines, but for now they provide us with around 100 miles of car-free biking. They're mostly flat and almost entirely asphalt-surfaced, both lovely things if you're out for a ride but not so much if you're training for a hilly gravel race. On the other hand, I'm pretty familiar with the trail system, and it's super convenient to just go out and ride a certain mileage without having to map out a road route.

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Heading back on the one non-asphalt segment of trail.
Despite my above-referenced familiarity with the trails, I spent my last 11 miles thinking I was on a different trail than, in fact, I was. Still, they both ended up at the same basic point, so I wasn't exactly lost...just slightly misplaced.  I ended up riding 30 miles in a little under 2 hours, arriving home early enough to ride to the soccer fields with my guys (and see Jacob score two goals, which was pretty awesome as well).

Saturday night we had a trivia night with Daniel, his wife, and his in-laws. It was a very fun evening, made somewhat bittersweet by the fact that they're moving to Eugene, OR, in just a couple weeks.  I'm very excited for them; your early 20's is a wonderful time to explore the world and live different places. On the other hand, while they're closer than Nathan in Japan, Oregon won't be an easy visit. I love watching my adult kids grow up and live their lives, but I miss them.
Scenes from today's ride. A little rainy, but I'm not sweet enough to melt. Spring may be my favorite season! #bikes #ridinggravel #dk200training #buschwildlife
Rain makes the colors pop (as do Instagram filters)
Sunday morning Chuck and I had plans to ride a hilly 55 miles in the Defiance area, but a forecast threatening a 90% chance of precipitation and severe storms convinced us to keep our ride in closer proximity to our cars. It did indeed rain, but never hard enough to make it worth putting on a jacket. We ended up logging about 35 miles before calling it a day. Hardly big mileage, but a very enjoyable weekend of biking.

I'm now at 324 miles for April, already 4 miles above what I rode last April. I also (surprisingly) ended March 20 bike miles ahead of 2014. On the other hand, this February was 100 fewer than last year.  Still, maybe I'm closer to on track than I'd thought. That, combined with Tour of Hermann, makes me feel cautiously positive.


In other news, Trans Iowa V11 is going down this weekend. I'd sent in my entry for this 331-mile monster but been (semi) bitterly disappointed to have the rookie division fill up before my postcard arrived.  January and February's light bike training load left me more relieved than sad, and now the upcoming forecast has reinforced that sentiment.  97 hardy souls are currently slotted to attempt the beast, among them my friends Jim, Collin, Josh, and Don; teammates Pete and Jason; and Facebook stalk-ees Tim Ek, Greg Gleason, and Mike Jones.  When I'm not riding this weekend, you'll be able to find me turning my obsessive tendencies to the Mountain Bike Radio coverage of the event, and when I am riding, I'll be thinking of my crazy friends and the incredible stories adverse conditions are sure to write. Wish them luck!!

3 comments:

  1. Looks like you definitely have your bike mojo back :) I still need to explore a lot of the MCT trails. I get so nervous though for no particular reason. Yes, I'm a doof.

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  2. I've got to get back on the bike - we have such a terrible location for riding, it's hard to get motivated

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