The Ins and Outs of an Ordinary Life

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Holiday Weekend

I so enjoyed the Trek over the holiday weekend.  On Saturday morning, I showed up for a club ride that was aborted.  Only 1 other person showed, and the leader had to work.  I decided to return home and take the opportunity to ride with DH.  We did the usual ride with an add-on loop to bring the mileage up to 21.  He rode my pace, which was just under 12 mph.  When I asked him if I was slowing him down much, his response was “considerably.”  Still, it was nice to be out with him and it was turning into a really nice day.  We finished before it got really sunny and hot, which was good.  We watched son #2 play baseball in the late afternoon; the perfect complement to the morning’s activity.

On Sunday we had tickets for the Yankee game.  It was a fun game, which the Yanks won.  Rivera came in for the save.  As expected Richard was selling beer in our section.  Richard and I went to JHS and HS together.  The man is a CPA who has been selling beer at Yankee Stadium for over 30 years.  Actually, I think he’s a beer man who has been dabbling in accounting for 30 years!  When we got home, I went to the track and ran a couple of miles.  I really wanted to keep going but I held myself back.  I only ran 2 miles because I wanted to see how my knee would take it.  Tried to stretch out, warm up, stick to a padded track.  A few hours later I could feel my knee getting stiff.  The knee saga continues.  

Monday was a warm and sunny day. I tried to find a riding companion but was not successful.  DH offered to ride with me, but I declined so he could ride his usual pace.  I mapped out a ride that looked to be a bit over 20 miles. I decided to take it slow to keep my knee in the game.  Luckily, the knee was not a problem. The route was a big figure 8, so I had the opportunity to quit at 10 miles, but the ice cream store was on the 2nd loop!  I had my ice cream cone at mile 14 and I was ready for the biggest climb of the ride.  When I got to the top, I knew the rest of my ride was going to be relatively easy, and I settled in for the last few miles.  It was 22 miles, and it was a great ride! I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more with a companion, but there’s something to be said for going solo.  I went my own pace, thought my own thoughts, and stroked my own ego (whether or not it deserved stroking).  

In the late afternoon, son#2 came along to the supermarket to make sure I bought everything needed for a BBQ/fajita dinner including the watermelon to make watermelon salsa.  Son #1 was a complete vegetable on Monday after reffing a soccer tournament on Saturday and Sunday.  He worked 2 very long days, and was totally beat.  He apologized for stinking up my car with his smelly feet and socks.  He gave me a lesson in offsides.  Today he promised to teach me about penalty kicks.  I can’t wait!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Two Events and In Between

I have participated in two “events.”  On May 7, I rode in the Five Boro Bike Tour.  It was a great day, and a great bike ride.  It is 42 miles, most of it flat.  Most of the hills are the ramps up to the bridges (and there are 5 of them).  We rode over the lower level of the Verrazano Bridge, which was very cool.  It was a perfect day—beautiful sunshine temps into the high 60s.  I came home with a sunburned nose! Riding with 30,000 other bike riders was quite an experience.  It makes you realize that this is really a big city and that there are lots of people committed to this type of lifestyle.  I made two decisions that were key.  First, I rode the hybrid.  I decided that riding with cleats with 30,000 other riders was going to be difficult if not down-right stupid.  That was a good choice.  I’d say that 75% of the riders were on mountain bikes and hybrids.  And I would say that 90% of the bikes that got flats were road bikes.  I had pedal clips put on the hybrid at 4:45 the day before the ride, and that definitely helped with my riding “efficiency.”  Second, I decided to take the train into the city.  Metro-North made this easy and I felt like I belonged to a special club.  All the bikes and bikers were in the front 2 cars of the train both coming and going, and there was all this bike karma and energy there.  Everyone had a different bike, different attire, different reasons for riding, but we shared the experience and I know I felt special.  

On May 14, I ran a Mother’s Day 5K.  I can’t remember the last time I ran in a race.  It’s gotta be at least 17 or 18 years.  The good news is that I ran it in 32:15, which is under 11 minutes/mile.  For me that’s fast.  The bad news is that my knee stiffened up.  It feels OK today, but it was “bothering me” yesterday.  When I saw the doctor about my toe, I had him check out my knee as well, and he really didn’t see any problem.  I know there is a problem, just not something that is easily defined or discernable on X-ray. So right now, I am going to put my 10K plans on hold and concentrate on cycling.  I may seek a second opinion, but it’s not a big rush.  I’m fine with limiting the running and spending the summer on my bike.  My toe is no better, no worse, it’s something I can live with for now (especially if I run less).  I could have surgery to remove the bone spur, which is causing inflammation and pain, but I would still be left with an arthritic joint.  The recovery is 3 months, so that is something I would put off until the winter anyway.  

In between these 2 events, son#1 and I went college touring.  We visited 3 colleges in 3 days: Wesleyan, Tufts and Northeastern.  We both liked all 3.  I also enjoyed spending the time with son#1.  We talked about some of my experiences in college, especially my father’s prohibitions.  I made it clear to Eric that I would not limit his experiences the way my father did.  That also got us into a discussion of what I would do, where I would go if I could do it all over again.  That could be an entire blogatation.  The bottom line is I would do it very differently and I am determined to let him get the most from his experience, in and out of the classroom.