Saturday, June 30, 2012

Over 300...

I had one goal today: to break 300 miles for the week! I woke up at 6:00 without an alarm and got on my bike as quickly as I could. I had to be back at the house by 7:30 to take my daughter to an activity at the church.

I rode out onto the highway to see which way the wind was blowing. It wasn't blowing much so I decided I'd ride west and see what there was to see. What I saw was another cyclist. At first I thought it was Dan M. I yelled his name! No reaction. I pressed my legs into action and chased the rider ahead. It took quite a bit of effort, but I finally reeled him in as I passed the Kwik Shop on the edge of town. It was not Dan. I would never have caught Dan. Instead, it was Mike, a cyclist I met and rode with once last summer.

I slowed down and rode with him. It took me awhile I catch my breath, but eventually I was able to carry on a conversation with my new old friend. We rode out toward Coats talking about Dan and the Tour and whatever else came to mind.

When I'd ridden 12 miles, we turned around and headed for home. The pace picked up considerably with the wind at our backs. It was nice to ride nice and easy at 18-20mph.

When we got back into town, we took the highway all the way to Champa where I veered off to go home and Mike continued on his way back home as well. I rode up to the house at 7:33. Everyone was already awake.

After a brief rest, I went out south of town to get the last of the miles I needed to break 300 for the month. I met a couple of dogs along the way, one behind an invisible fence. I love those things!

I rode out to 30th turned and rode west over to Highway 281 and took it south for awhile. When I was seven plus miles from home, I turned around and rode back. Instead of turning at 30th, I followed the highway into town and enjoyed the plunge down into the city limits. From there, I zigged and zagged my way back to the house. (garmin data)

Friday, June 29, 2012

Riding them out of town...

I really enjoyed my ride time this morning. It started with a nice little four mile warm up before meeting up with Dan M. From his house, the two of us rode side by side to the old high school gym where we met up with the 29 riders who are riding across the U.S. to raise money for the Ulman Cancer Fund. You can find them online at

Around 6:20 or so, we left the school. I rode with the lead group to show them the way out of town. Dan rode with another group. It was fun to talk with the guys in my group as we cruised along. We took the old highway to avoid traffic, so we were able to ride two or three abreast until we got to Cullison and rejoined Highway 54.

I rode to the flagperson about three or four miles from the county line, then said my goodbyes and left them to ride to Dodge City. Dan went on with them since he had business in Greensburg this morning.

The ride back was much faster, but kind of lonely. I sped along at 17-20mph most of the time. I rode back into town and made my way home by 8:00. (garmin data)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Riding them into town...

It was way too hot to be out riding this afternoon! It was 101 when I left to ride out and find the "4K for Cancer" riders and bring them into town. I'd talked with one of them and I thought they were closer to town than they were, so I kitted up and headed out!

I rode along at a fairly easy pace, not wanting to overexert in the heat. I climbed up and out of town and then settled in to a rhythm and let the miles roll under my tires. When I got to Cairo and hadn't seen the group yet, I was a little concerned. I didn't really want to deal with the four-lane stuff, but I crossed over to the wide left shoulder and rode against traffic. I was just a little concerned when I saw a highway patrol car, but he didn't even give me a flash of his lights as he sped on his way. Finally, when I'd ridden about 13.5 miles out of town, I spotted a cluster of cyclists headed toward me. I swung around and rolled to a stop so they could catch me.

When we were all together, we rolled on down the road. I talked with the riders as we made progress against the blast furnace wind. Today was, for them, better than yesterday. Less than 24 hours ago, they rode 102 miles into a furious headwind in the Kansas heat. Ugh! I'm glad I didn't do that with them.

We rode fairly slowly into town, stopping once for the "water wagon" which pulled off at Cairo. We stopped again in the shade of some trees at a house. I didn't figure the owner would mind. They came out after we'd been there for a few minutes and were pretty friendly. They even let one of the girls use their bathroom.

From that house, we rode all the way into town and I took my charges down to Sixth Street and across to the old gym where they're staying tonight. I rested for a bit, then left for home where I showered and returned to work.

This evening, I may go out for a short ride with a couple of the guys who were in the support vehicles today. We'll see! (garmin data)

One tenth for each day...

Today I stuck with the plan! I did not add 20 miles to my route! I will be on time to work!

I woke to my alarm at 5:00, got up and ready and rolled away from my driveway around 5:15. It helped that I didn't stop to see what was going on here on dailymile and that I'd readied everything last night.

I rode west on School Street and, skipping right by Stout, took Curtis south to the highway instead. That provided a little excitement with the brick surface and all. On the highway I rode west to Main Street, took it south to Fifth and rode out of town headed west on Fifth.

When I got to the end of Fifth, I took Highway 54 out to Skyline and jumped over to the old highway. I took it to the Coats road and headed south. It was much nicer riding this stretch of road today with my good lights. I could actually see what was coming.

I didn't push too much going south since the slight wind was in my face and I didn't really care about speed today. I just rode for the fun of riding. I hit the hour mark right at Coats and turned east to ride over to Sawyer. I really like these mostly traffic-free roads. Not once did I have a car overtake me from behind and the cars coming toward me were few and far between.

I arrived in Sawyer about an hour and a half after I left. I took a left and rode back toward Pratt on Highway 281. By that time, I had decided I was going to aim for 36.5 miles to commemorate the first anniversary of our arrival in Pratt. That's one tenth of a mile for each day of the year. You knew that, right? From mapping this route last night, I knew it was going to be close to that many miles, so I just had to figure out how to add a little distance to make it happen.

The ride on the highway was pretty nice. There still wasn't a lot of traffic and the wind was at my back. Again, I wasn't in any big hurry, so you can't see that advantage much in the mile splits. I only had one mile over 20mph.

Once I rolled into town, I rode my usual route back toward the house until I got to Howard. Instead of turning there, I rode on to Country Club and took it up to Highway 54. I then only had to add a block detour to get to 36.5 miles right at the house.

That's my morning workout. This afternoon, I'm riding east on Highway 54 to ride a group of 25 to 30 cross country riders in. Several months ago I set up staying at the high school gym for them, so I'm looking forward to the people I've talked with on the phone and emailed back and forth with. (garmin data)

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Oops! Too far...

My eyes popped open at 4:40 this morning. I was wide awake! I got out of bed, shut off my alarm clock and headed for the garage. I wanted to go for a ride.

The first problem I encountered was a major lighting issue. Some idiot forgot to plug the battery in last night, so it wasn't recharged. I had to go to "Plan B" or go back to bed. I wasn't about to do that, so out came the Knuckle Lights.

I got ready and left the house a little before 5:00. Rolling through the city, the Knuckle Lights did alright. There were moments when I couldn't see as well as I'd like to, but I didn't hit anything and no one hit me.

When I got out of town, the much dimmer light that comes from the Knuckle Lights became a bit of a nuisance. Keeping my hands in the same place forever wasn't very comfortable either. Grrrrr! I hate it when I forget to recharge my good lights! Less than an hour into the ride, I was able to turn off the Knuckle Lights and see by the light of the rising sun. Yippee!

My plans were to ride to Coats, over to Sawyer and then back home. I followed the plan all the way to Sawyer. Then I looked at my time and thought I had time to ride over to the Isabel road and take it north to the highway. I was wrong! It's a lot further over there than I thought! I added about 20 miles to my ride instead of the 8 or 9 I thought I was adding. Of course, I didn't figure this out until I came out on the highway 10 miles from home.

What do you do when you've ridden 40 miles and you're 10 miles from home? You ride home. I made it back just before 8:00. That was much later than I expected. I cleaned up quickly and dove into the day's work as soon as I could. (garmin data)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Passing Dan...

I woke up to find Dan M. at the top of my leaderboard. I shook my head when I saw it. The crazy man rode 76 miles yesterday during the heat of the day! It was 109 degrees at its worst! He was out riding!

If I wanted to be back on top this morning, I had to ride at least 28 miles. I thought for a bit before heading out and settled on a plan. I'd ride the Coats loop which I thought would give me about that many miles.

I left the house around 5:30, rode out to the highway and started west. I got to the edge of town and a strange thought hit me. I realized I'd never ridden from Pratt to Haviland in all the months I'd been here. Haviland is the home of Barlcay College, my alma mater, and the home of the Run for Missions races. On a whim, I made my mind up and rode on past the turn off for the Coats loop.

The wind wasn't super strong this morning, but it was strong enough to make my trip to Haviland a little slower. I enjoyed the ride, looking at the scenery and trying to figure out what the numbers painted on the side of the road by the highway crews meant. It was 1.9 miles for every 100. I never figured it out. Anyone know what they're measuring?

I rode into Haviland around 7:00, turned onto Main Street and did a loop through the college campus. No one's there right now, so I just came back south by the Friends Church and back to the highway to go home.

The trip home was a bit faster. Yippee! I didn't get any great speed on the gradual grade up to Cullison, but after leaving the "big" metropolis I was able to knock out seven miles at over 20mph. The fastest mile of the bunch was the last one. Amazingly enough, it was in Pratt riding with traffic. I even had to slow down a bit to make the corner onto Stout.

I rode directly back to the house and there decided to take a little cool down and get my miles up over 45. I was less than a mile and a half from it, so I figured why not. I dropped down to less than 15mph for that mile plus. I didn't care. I'd had a great ride and I was ahead of Dan M. again. (Now, we'll see what he does today to make me suffer!) (garmin data)

Monday, June 25, 2012

Elm Mills: a great turnaround...

I got up at 5:00 with a singular purpose: to ride at least 35 miles. Why, you ask. I did the math yesterday and I needed 35 miles to make June the biggest cycling month of the year so far. That's no a great big feat this year since I'm running more than cycling, but it is a feat.

I left the house before 5:30 - I didn't get on dailymile first - and rode south on Howard to Sixth Street. I turned there and when I got to the turn off for Sixth Street park, I took it and wound my way down to the edge of town where I turned south onto Highway 281.

The wind was greatly diminished compared to Saturday's suffer fest! I rode up the hill out of town at nearly 15mph. After than, I rarely dipped below 16mph. I mostly rode at 17-18mph with moments of 19-20mph.

On Saturday I rode 7.52 miles in the first 38 minutes. Today I rode 10.73 in the same time. I rode to and on through Sawyer in less than 48 minutes. On Saturday it took me 1:08 to get to Sawyer where I turned around. Today I rode way past Sawyer to Elm Mills, turned around and made it to 19.77 miles before 1:08 showed up. Ugh! That hill up from Elm Mills! It's a killer! I dropped down to 13-14mph climbing it.

My trip back to Pratt wasn't quite as fast today. I didn't have a 20mph or better tailwind to help me along. Still I managed near 20mph most of the way. There were five miles that I did at or faster than 20mph. Miles 32, 33 and 34 were all over 21mph. I love dropping down the hill into town! Wheeeeee!

Once I got into town, I backed off my effort quite a bit. That gave me a nice cool down before I got home, my mission accomplished. With a little extra loop I did just because I still had time, I ended up with over 36 miles. It's official! June is the biggest cycling month of 2012! (garmin data)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Grueling miles...

I was running down to the Redbox to rent "Sherlock Holmes" to watch later today when I saw the paper delivery guy headed toward our house. My plan had been to pick up the movie, run it back to the house and then run around my mile loop until the bundles were dropped on our porch. Instead, I stopped at the house, folded the papers, loaded them up in two backpacks and headed out the door.

I hadn't run my daughter's paper route in ages, not once since she added two more routes. Those two routes double the number of papers from 40 to 80. Eighty newspapers, even small town newspapers, weigh a lot more than you think. I ran most of the routes, but I couldn't keep going the whole time. My heart would've given out! I was drenched with sweat when I got done.

Since I near four miles at that point, I decided to run one more mile unencumbered. In my worn out state, that mile was still pretty slow. I just couldn't speed up my legs. I finished just past the house, walked around the block and went inside to eat something. (garmin data)

After I'd eaten breakfast, I foolishly believed I could go out for a ride and not die. My legs were fried from my run. I thought they'd loosen up a bit if I rode easy. That's what would happen on any normal day. Today was not normal! The winds from the south were over 20mph most of the time. When you're riding on that kind of day there is no easy, at least not on the way out.

I thought about going out to Glendale and back, but I thought the wind felt like it was slightly out of the west, so I didn't want to have to deal with that on the way back. When I got to the intersection of Country Club and Lake, I turned west and rode over to Highway 281 instead of heading toward the lake.

Riding south on 281 was awful. I don't know if I can describe the suffering I went through. Awful doesn't do it justice. Add to the gusting headwind a mostly uphill trip out of town and you have the makings of something really bad. Even though it hurt, I kept going. I kept telling myself I could make it to Sawyer. "Go to an hour or to Sawyer which ever comes first," was my mantra.

After I took the first curve to the east before Sawyer, the going was a little bit better. The wind wasn't directly in my face. I was able to get up to 13 or 14mph. Scary, isn't it? I past and waved at Jimmy Lee as he rode his bike back toward Pratt. I almost turned around and joined him. I would have, but my "one hour or Sawyer" goal kept me moving forward. No retreat!

I went past my goal. When the timer rolled over an hour and I was less than a mile out of Sawyer, I just couldn't turn around. I pressed on, rounded the last corner and entered Sawyer. I rode till the timer ticked over to 1:08, then turned around.

The ride back was slightly more pleasant. I was quickly up and over 20mph. The hour against the wind had taken its toll though. I didn't feel like pushing very hard until I decided to try to catch Jimmy. Nothing like a rabbit to get me going! I cranked up my effort and flew along at over 20mph all the way back to town. For four or five miles my average hovered around 30mph. I didn't catch Jimmy. I did, however, hit over 40mph on the final downhill into town. I smiled as I flew past the 30mph speed limit sign.

Shortly after rolling onto the bricks of South Main, I hit a bump that knocked my taillight out of its mount. I braked hard, leaned my bike against a tree nearby and walked back to pick up the pieces. From that point until less than a half mile from home, my Garmin was not running. I thought I'd left it on and let it auto-pause. I hadn't. I'd stopped it! Grrrrr! I hate losing miles. At least they were slower miles, so my average looks higher.

I rolled up to the house, clicked out of my pedals and put my bike away. I'm going to shower now, then watch "Sherlock Holmes". I hope it's good. If it doesn't keep my interest, I might fall asleep. (garmin data)

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sort of speedy ride...

I woke up late this morning. It happens once in awhile when you don't set an alarm clock. I rolled out of bed and dressed quickly before heading out on my bike. I rode south on Edgeford, crossed over to Howard on Random and rode south to Sixth. There I took a left and headed for Country Club.

When I turned onto Country Club, I knew today was going to be fun. I climbed the hill as quickly as I've ever done it. It was a blast. Then I took the rollers on Lake Road at 20mph or more. That is a good morning.

As I neared the lake, I encountered a couple of walkers. I was going to wait till I was past them to say hello, but I coughed about 50 meters back and they jumped. My cough evidently alerted the dog at that house that we were all there, because he came out to attack the women. I accelerated and left them to their fate.

Taking the curve by the lake, I headed south again on whatever that road is called. I've never really taken note of that. All I know is that it is all hill. I climbed it fairly well for me thought I'm sure Dan M. would say my efforts were wimpy. I stayed mostly above 17mph, so I'm happy.

I turned west and headed for Glendale United Methodist Church's abandoned building. I rode the rollers with no problems, sped past Diamond's and Jimmer's house. They barked and ran after me, but I had too much of a head start. I got to the top of the hill just beyond their house and pedaled on. I must say that this section of road seems to be ever so slightly uphill going both ways. I know that's not possible, but it sure feels that way.

I turned around at Glendale. My time was under 30 minutes. A big change from the long times I did last week against a blustery headwind.

As I began rolling down the road on my return voyage, I decided I'd do my best to keep my speed above 18mph the whole way. For the most part, I accomplished that goal. I blew past Diamond and Jimmer at around 30mph and climbed the other side of the valley at over 20mph. I dipped slightly below 18mph then, but built up steam again and rolled for quite some time without another drop below my goal.

Going down the hill toward the lake wasn't as much fun as I would've liked it to be. I guess the wind was just a little out of the north so I only manages speeds in the 20s. Still, with little effort I was above 25mph when I spun past the speed limit sign.

I passed the walkers I'd encountered earlier again as I rolled back toward town. I was glad the dog hadn't done too much damage after I abandoned them. I rode up the hill to Country Club, sped down it back into town and then turned this way and that to get home. (garmin data)

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Electric mile...

I probably should have stayed indoors this morning. Probably. The moment I stepped out the door I saw jagged lightning shoot from cloud to cloud. "What to do? Hmmmm. I'm not going to be running in the clouds. I should be good."

I started out with a plan to run a couple of miles. I ran pretty slowly at first, somewhere north of 8:00 pace. Then the rumbles of thunder and lightning strikes got closer and louder. I decided one mile would be enough and picked up my pace. The second half mile was done entirely south of 7:00 pace. My best pace according to my Garmin 305 was 5:49! I didn't see that. The fastest I saw at a glace was 6:22.

I felt fairly good when I finished. I walked around a bit, trying to cool down. That's not easy with nearly 100% humidity! I looked at the sky while I was walking and wondered, "Could I get in another mile? I bet I could do one sub-7:00." Just then lightning shot across the sky. My better sense won. I walked back in the house. I'll live to run another day. (garmin data)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Running in unfamiliar places...

I know many people who post questions about good running routes when they're going to visit an unfamiliar city. I've done that a few times, but my usual strategy for finding a route in a new town is simple enough. 
  1. Open the door of the hotel or house I'm staying in.
  2. Start running.
  3. Don't lose track of where I am and how to get back to the hotel or house.
The last one is the most important. I mean what good is it to have a place to stay if you can't find it again?

Sweaty five...

70 degrees at 5:30...ridiculous! It should be cooler! I suppose it is relatively. It's going to get to 90-something today. I shouldn't complain. Still, it's ridiculous! Add in the 80% humidity and it's a sweaty mess!

I took it kind of easy today. I walked down to the highway before I started on my loop. I ran slowly. I didn't push it much except for the half mile or so it took me to get past to stupid dogs and catch up to the runner ahead of me on the cemetery road. I "had" to say, Hi! Scared the poor woman even though I tried to let her know I was there before I ran past.

I'd never done this exact loop before. I kind of liked it. I'll use it again when I want around five miles. (garmin data)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

One tenth...

I left the house this morning planning to run for two hours. A little over half way through the run, I remembered that I had places I needed to be early this morning, so I decided I'd better cut things short and only run 10 miles.

I ran close to the same loop I did a few weeks back. I did it in the reverse order and I must say going down that one steep hill is a lot more fun than running up it. I was only bothered by a couple of mostly friendly dogs and they didn't even come closer than 20 or 30 feet from me. I heard some others bark, but never really saw them.

When I finished, it occurred to me that 10 miles is only a tenth of what I'm going to do this fall. It was NOT an encouraging thought. (garmin data)

Saturday, June 16, 2012


STUPID RUNNER ALERT: Do not let your children read this post. It contains material that is deemed inappropriate by the Weather Safety Commission. This account of a man's morning workout includes outdoor activity during a Severe Thunderstorm Alert. If you allow your children to read it, you are now liable for them if they attempt any of the things that follow. This concludes this Stupid Runner Alert.

I woke up to thunder and lightning. I really wanted to run. I looked out the window. It wasn't raining. I looked at the radar. The worst of the storm was past. I decided I'd go for a run. I stayed close to home. I got soaked with sweat. It was fun. I was not struck. That would not have been fun. (garmin data)

Friday, June 15, 2012

Nice and easy solo ride...

After last night's sweat and wind fest, this morning's cooler temps and calmer breezes were greatly appreciated. I headed out just after 6:30, rode to my office to take care of a small task that I couldn't do at home, then rode back by Dan M.'s house to see if he was up. He wasn't. I rode past the bank to check the flag for wind direction, then headed north into the wind.

I rode out on Highway 281 toward Iuka. The wind slowed me a little, but not nearly as much as it did last night. I rode along, taking my own sweet time, not worried about speed at all.

When I got to Iuka, I took the "bypass" around town. When I got to the north side of town and turned west. On a whim, I decided to take in more of the big city. I rode most of the main streets then headed south back to Pratt.

Since the wind wasn't all that strong, I didn't get a big boost on the homeward journey. I  didn't sweat it. I didn't have to chase Dan who always rockets home. I rolled into town around 7:30 and rode directly home. (garmin data)

Thursday, June 14, 2012


You know what they say. What doesn't kill you, hurts a lot!! I'm not dead, but I am tired. Seriously, painfully tired!

Without checking the weather at all, I called Dan M. tonight and asked if he wanted to go for a ride. He said, "Yeah. I think I can do that." I said, "See you at 7:00."

I got ready and left the house just before 7:00 and rode slowly to Dan's house. I rode slowly mostly because there was an insane wind blowing against me. With a little effort, I made it the block and a half in about a minute. Dan was sitting in his driveway waiting on me.

We mounted up and headed out toward Glendale. The wind was almost unbearable at times. We were creeping along at 13-14mph on the downhills! Ugh! We somehow made it to the corner of Country Club and Lake and turned east.

Things got ugly fast!

The wind from the side was almost worse than the head wind. We were tossed around by gusts that would've capsized small fishing boats. Did I mention it was hot too! 93 stinkin' degrees! At least the humidity was a bearable 48%. The only good thing about the wind was the way it blew a fine mist over us when we rode past some sprinklers. Of course, it turned around and blew sand all over our legs a minute or two later when we rode past a gravel road. Sandblasted!

We got a short reprieve when we neared the lake and rode in among the trees. We actually got up to 16-17mph. Woohoo! Then we turned south and all woohooness disappeared. We were headed straight into the gale again and we were going uphill!

I hung with Dan about half way up the first part of the hill, then I let the rubber band stretch too much and I was out in no man's land. When I saw my speed dip below 9mph, I quit looking at my Garmin. It was too painful!

Dan reached the crest of the first half of the hill, looked back and saw me suffering far below. I can only imagine what I must have looked like to him. An ant toiling under a load 6000 times my size I suspect. He kindly rode back to me and dragged me up and over the first hump of the hill.

I didn't fair any better on the second half. When the rode tipped upward, I stayed with Dan for just a little bit and then dropped backward as he rode away. This time he didn't come back for me. He just slowed a little at the top and let me catch up. When I did, his encouraging words were, "I forgot how much of a wimp you were." With friends like Dan, who needs enemies?

We rode the next three miles or so out to Glendale dealing with the gusty crosswind again. Our goal was to hit eight miles in less than 38 minutes. That's what Dan had done earlier in the day riding straight into the wind. We made our goal. 8.5 miles in just over 38 minutes.

The second half of the ride was only moderately more enjoyable in the sick sort of way that it's more enjoyable to hit a cat in your car than it is to hit a dog. Less damage! (Sorry cat lovers! I am not one of you!) The crosswind was only slightly in our favor when we were going west, so we weren't a whole lot faster over the first three miles.

When we turned north, headed toward the lake, everything got better. We were quickly up to around 30mph. I hit around 37mph on the first downhill and over 40mph on the second part. It gave me great satisfaction to fly past the 25mph speed limit sign at that rate. I am a criminal in the making I'm sure.

After the lake, we kind of took it easy the rest of the way in. There wasn't any greater joy or lesser pain in working hard, so why bother? We cruised into town and at Sixth and Howard we parted. Dan wanted to go see who was at Lemon Park. I wanted to go see how nice a cool shower felt. Pretty good, it turns out! (garmin data)

A kind of slow morning...

I did NOT want to go for a run this morning. I felt tired. I felt sluggish. I just wanted to go back to bed. I made the mistake of putting my Kinvara 2s on. They dragged me out the door. Stupid shoes!

Since I was on the street, I ran. I didn't run hard though. My shoes couldn't make me do that. I ran a nice easy pace, not pushing it at all. I ran Dan M.'s "ILY" route in slow motion. When I got back to the house, I felt good enough to do another lap.

I ran at the same snail's pace for the second lap. When I got back to the house, I was close to 40 minutes, so I decided to run till I hit that time. It was a block later that I hit "Stop" on my Garmin and walked back to the house. (garmin data)

After my run, I changed into my cycling gear and headed out for a ride. I rode to Dan M.'s house to see if he was up. His bike was there, but there was no sign of the man. I waited for a few minutes before heading out.

When I turned onto Sixth Street, I encountered a line of cross country runners from my daughters' school. They were out putting in their base mileage before the beginning of the season. I yelled and cheered for them as I rolled past.

On Country Club Road I encountered a pleasant surprise. The road was repaved! It wasn't the smoothest surface ever, but it was an improvement over the old pavement! I rode past a couple of women who were walking up the hill. My "good morning" startled them.

When I got to Lake Road, I decided to cross over it and take in the nasty little hills that I'm sure the cross country team loves! I sped down them and stood to sprint up them. On the second set of downs and ups, I encountered a very "friendly" dog who wanted to make sure I heard his greeting. I talked nicely to him and he calmed down a bit.

I rode out to the end of the paved portion of Country Club, turned around and raced back. As I was coming down the first hill, my legs were about to fly off. I couldn't figure out why I couldn't get any more power when my legs were spinning at over 100rpm! I looked down. Silly me! I was in my little chain ring! I shifted to the big ring and adjusted the back cassette and everything felt right again. My second trip through the rollers was dog-free and I went over 30mph on each descent.

When I got back to Lake Road, I did what any sensible person would do. I went to the lake! I passed the lady runners again. This time I cheered them on after I was past them so that they wouldn't jump out of the skin. Skinless people are kind of messy! I did a lap around the lake enjoying more new pavement! The county boys have been busy!

Leaving the lake, I took the turn north and rode up to the highway to come back to town. I enjoyed the wind at my back and my mood was changing. I didn't feel sluggish any more. I felt alive! I turned at Wal-Mart to take Sixth Street back to Country Club Road. I sped past the ball diamonds and the trailer court before taking one more turn north onto the last paved section of Country Club. I rode to the highway, turned west, climbed the hill and rode myself home. (garmin data)

Almost immediately after dismounting and hanging my bike on the wall, I grabbed my pull up bar and did three sets of hanging leg lifts. My best set to date was the 15 I did a couple of weeks ago. Today, I flew through 20 on my first set. That success gave me the boldness to do two more sets of 20 for a total of 60. The second and third sets weren't as easy, but I did them. Take that, day!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Another out and back...

I enjoyed another great ride this morning. It was a bit windier than yesterday's outing, but all in all not bad at all. I passed a walker about a block from home and didn't see another soul outside a car or truck for another seven or eight miles. I encountered a rather brave deer on Country Club Road. She stood stalk still until I was past her then darted out in front of the car behind me. Brave...or stupid!

I rode on to the lake and south again. My climbing was a bit slower today without Dan to entertain me, but it wasn't too bad. I rounded the corner. All the dogs there were behind the fence like they were supposed to be. I rode on and the dogs at the next house were laying in their driveway. I let sleeping dogs lie. I continued on to the turn around with no more canine encounters.

About a mile into my return journey, I met up with the other cycling Dan in town. Pastor Dan was getting ready for a charity ride this Saturday. This morning was his last training ride. He said tomorrow he'd do an easy ten-miler and then rest on Friday. I wished him well then left him to ride to Glendale.

The ride home was much quicker than the ride out. The wind was at my back and I didn't slow for much. I rode past the sleeping dog house at around 30mph and yelled at them when there was no chance of a catch! The big black dog ran at me for a little, but even slowed by the uphill I was well over 20mph. I love taunting dogs!

I rounded the corner and headed back for the lake. Most of that descent was done at 20mph or more. I broke the speed limit at the lake again, rounded the corner and headed back for Country Club Road.

When I turned north on Country Club I encountered the county road crews out and about. Pretty early for them! They were getting ready to work on the bridge or something near it. I pedaled past them, turned on to Sixth then on Howard and rode to the highway. Rather than shoot straight across as I did yesterday, I went a block west, turned on Lawrence and swung past Dan's house. No signs of life there. He is NOT a morning person. Hopefully, he'll drag himself out of bed another time this week. Maybe we'll get to ride with Jeremy, the guy he met after our ride yesterday. Another cyclists! Woohoo! (garmin data)

After a short rest and a swig of Gatorade, I pulled off 5 consecutive pull ups on my first set this morning! First time ever! I was (and still am) pumped! I got 3 and 2 in my other sets, but what does that matter? I'm getting stronger! I want 25 in a row eventually! Push ups later today!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A crazy morning...

I woke up at 5:45 this morning. No alarm clock! I got out of bed full of energy. I thought, "I can run and ride today!" I dressed quickly, got my bike ready so I could do a quick transition after my run and started out.

My plan as I took my first steps was to run a 10K and then ride for an hour. I took off headed toward the 5K route I'd developed for the Reindeer Run last year. I hit it running pretty fast! I ran down Second Street to Main Street and ran south.

When I rounded the corner and headed for Lemon Park, I was surprised by how many cars were parked there. I had to watch myself and the traffic. It was pretty strange. I turned into the park and saw a group of people gathered on the other side of the street. They looked dressed to run. I waved and ran on around the running path. A short time later, I saw some of the group I'd seen running behind me. I made it my goal to stay ahead of them as long as I could. They looked young, so I pushed hard to show them what I was made of. They never caught me.

When I finished my loop around the park, I ran past a lone person standing where the group had been. It was the cross country coach from Skyline! I waved and ran on. I wondered to myself, "Was that the cross country team running behind me?" If it was, they'd better get faster! They can't have 45-year-old men outrunning them!

I ran up the street and turned into Sixth Street Park as I was nearing the 5K mark. I was not feeling all that great at this point, so I decided I'd quit at 5K. I pushed it through the last quarter mile and came up with a sub-24 time.

I stopped and walked and almost immediately my stomach heaved. Thankfully, I was able to keep the bile down. I stood still for a bit, then started walking to cool down. (garmin data)

After I'd walked for a bit, I felt a lot better. I decided to run a few more miles since I still had time before my planned hour was over. I started running at the corner of Third and Rochester with a plan to run up and do a couple of mile loops near home.

As I headed that direction, I realized I could do a picture route that my friend, Dan, had drawn out for me. I laughed as I thought of it. I was running somewhere around 9:00 pace and thought I could surely cover two miles or more before 7:00.

I ran the route and was pleased when I looked at my Garmin map. It isn't perfect, but you can tell that I was drawing the American sign language sign for I Love You. You might have to do a headstand to see it! If there were any deaf satellites watching, I hope they felt the love coming from the surface! (garmin data)

I finished this run, a good cool down, near my house. I walked back to the garage, did a quick change and jumped on my bike. As I was riding down Edgeford, just getting my legs used to spinning the cranks, I passed my wife who was out for her morning run. I whistled and said, "Hey, Beautiful!" She rolled her eyes and kept going.

I rode out of town and just as I was beginning to climb the hill on Country Club Road I met up with Dan! He had told me yesterday that he thought he'd better not get up and ride with me because he had a meeting to go to in Wichita. Seeing him was a pleasant surprise! He turned around and rode along with me for the rest of my ride.

We turned on Lake Road and rode out to the lake. There were several walkers and runners out there and a friendly puppy who followed ups briefly. When we turned and headed up the hill south of the lake, we stopped seeing people on foot.

We had just made it up and over the first part of the hill when a road grader passed us. Dan jumped at the chance to motorpace. He was gone before I knew what was happening. I just shook my head and watched him pull away. Dan's always good for conversation AND entertainment! I rode up the rest of the hill alone and met up with Dan at the top for the rest of the ride out to the Glendale church.

We turned around and headed back to town. When we dropped down the first hill, we encountered the crazy dog who lives there. He (or she) had watched us when we rode by earlier. This time the chase was on! Thankfully, I was in the lead at that point and the dog gave more attention to Dan as I did my best to rocket up the other side of the valley.

After we'd dropped our canine friend, we continued on at a somewhat lessened pace. We rode up and down another time and then, low and behold, we met yet another dog. This one was completely unexpected since its usually behind a fence. Once again, this time riding on the far side of the road, I was in the right position to dodge the dog. Dan bravely defended me as I sprinted around the corner!

The next section of the trek was a blast! It's mostly downhill back to the lake, so we enjoyed a speedy mile or two. As we neared the lake, we cranked up our speed a bit so that we'd be over the posted speed limit! We were hovering at 10mph over when we blew by the sign! Such miscreants!

The rest of the way home we took it fairly easy. We rode up the hill to Country Club, turned north and rode back into town. We zigged and zagged and zigged again until we were at the corner of Random and Edgeford. There we parted company and rode separately to our homes. (garmin data)

I dismounted in my driveway, opened the garage door and hung my bike on the wall. I turned from there, walked over to my pull up bar, grabbed it and did three sets of 10 hanging leg lifts before going in. I took a swig of Gatorade, finishing off the bottle I'd carried with me on the Glendale ride then hit the floor for some sit ups and leg lifts. I did alternating sets of 100 of each - 100 sit ups, 100 leg lifts, 100 sit ups, 100 leg lifts. I downed a glass of liquid refreshment then walked back to the garage and did three more sets of 10 hanging leg lifts before calling it a day. It wasn't even 8:30!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Post-vacation shake out...

I slept in till 6:24 this morning. I know the exact time because as soon as I opened my eyes, I looked at the clock. I rolled out of bed, cleared my eyes and headed to the back of the house to sort through my gear which was still packed up from vacation. I put most of it away in the house, then took the bag out to the garage to take care of the rest of it. While I was there, I got a little carried away and cleaned up my work bench. That left me with a lot less time to run, so I decided to just take a short two or three mile run.

I started out with no planned route. I just ran south across the highway and started turning whenever I felt like it. I ran some streets that I hardly ever run on, got scared half to death by a dog I didn't see before he barked in a deep husky voice, ran some little hills and enjoyed the beautiful weather. I didn't really push the pace or hold back. My pace was dictated by feel and I felt pretty good.

Now that I've got my first post-vacation run in, I hope I'm ready to kick it up a notch in my training. I've got a 100-miler to run this fall. (garmin data)

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Trail riding fun...

I had a great time this afternoon riding with my family. My wife and daughter, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law and my niece all went out a rode several miles on double- and single-track trails. We took it pretty easy and enjoyed the ride along the river and through the woods. We did a little riding on the road near the meetinghouse where William Penn signed a treaty with the continental natives. Before and after the trail riding, my brother-in-law and I rode from and then to home. The hill that was really fun on the way out to the trailhead was not nearly as much fun going back. It was steep! (garmin data)

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Prettiest ride ever...

My brother-in-law and I took our bikes and drove out to meet up with my Twitter friend, Sam, this afternoon. We arrived at Sam's place a little after 4:00, changed our shoes, strapped on our helmets and headed out for what turned out to be one of the prettiest rides I've ever been on.

The first half of the ride was mostly downhill with little rollers here and there to keep things interesting. We dropped down into a valley and rode beside a babbling stream for miles. We took a little side trip to ride across a covered bridge and then came back to the main route.

About eight or nine miles into the ride, the real hills started. There were several long uphills as we headed up to the high point of the ride somewhere around Pennsylvania's Route 896.

Shortly after we crossed 896, we turned left onto Bell Road. We launched down the hill there and kept a high rate of speed up and over the little roller below. It was awesome!

We made a number to twists and turns that brought us to an intersection next to one of the premier cabinet makers in the area. We turned left and began the climb up the nastiest hill of the whole journey. It climbed up to where you could see and then when you turned the corner it climbed some more. It did that twice before we reached the summit. My chain decided to skip once on the steepest part and I lost my brother-in-law's wheel.

From there, we made another turn and followed the road back to Sam's house. Somewhere along the way we stopped to see if we could spot a bald eagle that nests nearby. It wasn't out and about, so we continued on. There was a bunch of downhill and then a steep little incline in the last half mile or so before Sam's driveway.

We pulled in just as Sam's son was leaving. We talked for awhile with Sam as we were loading our bikes up for the trip back to Delaware. Sam encouraged us to come back, offering his driveway as a parking place if we wanted to ride that loop again. We might just do that sometime. Thanks, Sam, for a great afternoon's trek through the countryside! (garmin data)

Mission: accomplished...

I tried running the entire housing development that my in-laws live in Saturday morning. I fell far short of my goal. I felt lousy and just couldn't do it. Today, I set out with the same goal and did more than planned.

I woke up a little before 8:00, dressed semi-quickly and after a quick sip of water headed out. At 54, it was about 10 degrees cooler than Saturday. The breeze felt wonderful as I started out.

I ran in and out of every cul-de-sac, taking left turns all along the way, dreading the left that would take me down beech hill. The early going wasn't too bad. I was a little sluggish, but not overly so. I was running in the 9:00 to 10:00 pace range. I didn't really care. I just wanted to finish.

I was grateful for the little side street break as I took it easy going down the big hill. It kept me from having to pound my knees for too long at a time. I made it down, turned at North Star Road and headed back up. It was slow going, but I didn't walk. My heart was beating pretty hard when I got to the top, so I backed off a bit and ran around one of the circles again before taking on the loop I hadn't done yet.

I completed running the development and then decided I was going to do at least a 10K, so I kept running. I ran a bit more aimlessly, turning when I wanted to and taking it fairly easy.

When I had less than a half mile to go to 10K, I headed back toward the house. I passed 6.2 miles a house or two beyond the driveway and decided to keep going until I'd run an hour. That meant another hill climb or two.

I finally finished my hour long run while coasting down the hill in front of my in-laws' house. I'd covered 6.53 miles, right on pace for a two-hour half marathon. Not bad considering the hills.

I walked a bit to cool down, then went inside and drank a whole glass of water. No drink ever tastes so good as the one you drink after a nice long effort. (garmin data)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Massive, hilly fun...

I love riding in northern Delaware, southeastern Pennsylvania and the northeast corner of Maryland. It is so hilly and so fun! My brother-in-law and I went out for a nice little ride in the hills this afternoon and came back none the worse for the wear.

The beginning of our ride was a nice easy roll with a lot of downhill and short little uphills. We cruised along enjoying the scenery and the "friendly" honks of rush hour traffic. People are so kind here, making sure you know they are behind you, patiently waiting to pass.

When we got to the Quaker meeting house, we turned and climbed and climbed and climbed up the hill that not so many years ago did me in. I climbed it too fast that time and found myself gasping for air at the top of it. This time, we climbed it a bit slower and had no trouble at all. We stopped at the top for a drink and then continued on.

From there we enjoyed a bit of flatter riding. We rode along at a pretty good clip so that when we got into town our average was up around 18.2mph. That dropped precipitously when we turned and started climbing again. It's funny to me that I remembered the last 30 meters or so of that hill, but not the rest of it.

The next few miles are among my favorite on earth. I love the speedy downhills with sharp corners and the grueling uphills. I just feel alive when I'm riding this section of this familiar route.

We rolled past the Quaker meeting house again and made our way to the much dreaded climb. I can't tell you the name of the housing development, but the hill ought to be called hell! It's scary knowing you'll have to climb it after riding almost 26 miles. I had no problem at the bottom of it, which I was told later was the steepest part. I just settled in and rode it seated. It was after that my legs fell off. I kept thinking, "Will this thing ever end?" I wanted to quit, but I kept going. The biggest problem I had was remembering this hill incorrectly in my mind. I thought it went on longer than it did and I was pretty close to redlining as it was. I was sure I would die on the imagined section that I remembered. It never appeared. I just rode over a rise and there was downhill in front of me. That had to be the best I've ever done on "hell" hill.

From there it was a short ride home. There were still hills, but nothing terrible until the entrance to my in-laws' development. I think they need to move. Beech Hill averages about 12% and has a section of 16%. We have to climb it EVERY time we go out for a ride. It is awful!

We made it home. Tomorrow we ride with our families in the afternoon and with one of my Twitter friends in the afternoon. Should be a great day! (garmin data)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

There will be another day...

Some days I feel like I can run forever. Today was not one of those days. I set out to run the entire housing development where we are staying while celebrating my nephew's graduation. I ran about half of it and needed to run back to the house for a - how shall I say it - pit stop. After that I ran less than a mile more and felt really lousy. I don't know if it was sitting in a car for two days straight, lack of sleep, the extra uphills or taking off too soon after breakfast. I just didn't have it today. Oh, well. There will be other days. (garmin data)