Dam2Dam - Damn
So today I'm in Leavenworth with Brandon, Steve, Chuck and Derek (Steve's son). We participated in the 5th Annual Dam2Dam bike ride over in East Wenatchee. The Dam2Dam has 3 different routes, a 25, 50 and 100 mile. We decided earlier this year that we'd do the 50. I got up at 5:15 this morning and got all my stuff together and met the guys around 5:45. We grabbed a light breakfast at the hotel and headed out.
We arrived at Lincoln Rock State Park about 10 minutes to 7 and picked up our registration packets. At about 8:00 we headed out on our ride. The ride started out up hill, and I'm just not good on hills (yet!). So about two miles in, I was pretty winded. Over the next 8 or so miles, I started to get into a groove. We reached the first rest stop at 10.5 miles and grabbed some grub and drink and headed back out.
It took me a couple miles again to get warmed up, but then we settled into a pretty good groove. At about 13 miles, the road starts to climb . . and climb . . . and climb. You end up gaining about 350 feet of elevation over about 4 miles. It's definitely more of a hill than I've done all year. However, when we finally crested the top, I was really proud that I had not gotten off the bike to walk at all. I may have been in my granny gear a couple times barely moving 5MPH, but I did not walk. I was psyched about that.
Well the work of going uphill is rewarded by the fun of going downhill. At one point I hit just about 38 MPH and I noticed that one of our mile splits was 1:55! That means that for that whole mile we averaged OVER 30 MPH. Pretty cool. You might remember that last week I was happy to have broken the 3 minute mile mark, so this was awesome. After coming down the hill, the road levels out and even climbs ever so slightly as you approach the 25 mile turn around point. Again, I was happy because all through that I was in my top gear, averaging around 20MPH. Coming into the half way mark, I felt really pretty good.
We spent about 30 minutes rehydrating, eating and relaxing. Then it was back on the bikes. Now as I was wandering around the rest stop, I felt a couple twinges in my legs. My biggest issue is now, and always has been my endurance. At some point during a strenuous workout, my legs are just DONE. They cramp severely and will eventually lock out straight, requiring me to have assistance to even bend them. So the twinges were a sign of things to come.
We started the climb back up the hill. At about 31 miles, my legs were cramping pretty badly. However, at that point there were still 2 or 3 miles of climbing to go to get to the top of the hill again. I alternated between my granny gear and a mid range gear to power my way through the uphill. I knew at this point I wasn't likely to make the whole 50 miles. However, I did know that once I was off the bike, my ride was over. At that point my legs would lock and getting back on would be a near impossibility. So I just kept going. I couldn't stand fully upright as my legs would lock, so I just took minor butt breaks by just raising a couple inches off the saddle. Again, I made it to the top of the hill without stopping. That felt AWESOME! To know that despite the pain of cramping legs, I was still able to menatlly power up the hill.
Coming down the other side, I was able to rest my legs a bit, but just after hitting bottom and with a slight incline, my left leg decided it was DONE! I was at 38.2 miles at that point and my left leg locked straight out. I coasted for a few feet trying with everything I had to bend it, but it wasn't going to happen. I unclipped from my right pedal and leaned up against the guard rail letting out a LOUD AUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHH to let Steve and Derek know I was in trouble. Some people stopped behind me and asked if I was alright. I asked them to bend my leg, which they did, I thanked them and sent them on their way. Steve and Derek came back to check on me and I just sat on the guard rail . . . pissed.
Fairly soon a support vehicle came by and I asked for a ride back to the start line. Arriving back, it was still pretty painful to walk, but eventually the cramps subsided. Overall this was a great experience. I know what I have to do for next year and I plan on doing some serious training in the off season. I'm bummed I didn't make the whole 50 of course, but for once in my life, my body gave out before my mind. I was still mentally strong when I stopped, my legs just wouldn't let me go any further. So I'm happy for that. Anyway, thanks to everyone who supported me during training. I really appreciate it. I'll do better next year, I know that. Kudos and congrats to Brandon, Steve, Derek and Chuck for making the whole 50! You guys rock! I'm proud to be on the "team".
Here's a link to motion based for an analysis of the ride:
Brank's BBQ to South Prairie and Back . . .
So yesterday morning, I went for a ride with Brandon and Chuck. (Sorry to have missed you Steve) I was a little nervous before we went as I had not been on a bike in probably six weeks or more. With vacation and two good illnesses, I just hadn't. The plan was to do 40 miles. Instead of meeting at the Puyallup trail head and riding the 30 on the Orting trail, we'd meet at a BBQ joint in the Sumner Industrial Park about 5 miles north of the trail head. That additional 5 miles out and back would put us at about 40.
I arrived at about 7:45 and Brandon and Chuck were already there. On the way down, I downed a bottle of water, an apple, an ExcelGel and a ZipFizz Liquishot. In hindsight, the combination wasn't probably the greatest in the world, but it did not upset my stomach, so I went with it. We hit the road at just before 8:00 and to my surprise, going along at about 16 -17 MPH was pretty easy. I knew I probably couldn't keep that up, so I backed off a bit. We stayed on Valley Ave (Highway 162) until we got to Military and then cut over to the trail.
A brief pit stop at the McMillan trail head and we were off again. Once through the town of Orting, Brandon and Chuck picked up the pace, but I just kept it slow and steady. I arrived at the end by the South Prairie Fire Station about a minute behind them. The Forerunner read 18.79 miles out. We headed back to South Prairie for a stop at the latte stand. We refueled and hydrated for a good 30 minutes. Then it was back on the bikes for the return trip. Overall I was feeling pretty good. About a mile in on the way back, we decided to try a pace line for a bit. So Brandon lead, followed by Chuck and then me. We were going just over 20 MPH for a good two miles. When Brandon was pulling, I could really feel the difference. However, behind chuck, that is easily half my size, I was still working pretty hard. So I could only keep up the line for about two miles. Looking at the stats when we got back though, I noticed that we avereaged sub 3 minute miles for those two miles. That's been a small goal of mine since I started riding. It took a paceline to do it, but we got there.
At about 33 miles, I started to cramp up in my right quad. But not so bad that I couldn't continue, I just knew that standing fully upright on the bike was out of the question. Then at about 36 miles, I hit a good bump and I heard the "Ping" of a popped spoke. SIGH. So I took it easy for the last couple miles so as not to put undue stress on my front wheel. After arriving back at Brank's, I noticed that on spoke popped and another was REALLY loose. Overall I felt really good about the ride. With the Dam2Dam coming next weekend, I'm not sure I've got another 12 miles in me to do the 50, but I'm going to give it a shot. There are breaks at 12.5, 25, and 37.5 miles, so I'll just REALLY have to take advantage of those.
Anyway, here's a link to the stats from yesterday. Enjoy.
1.2 Miles this morning . . .
So this morning Taylor was especially wound up . . . so we headed out for our walk and I decided she was ready for a bit of an extension and so was I. So we took a longer route. According to Pedometer.com, we went 1.2 miles. Nice work!
Here's the link: http://www.gmap-pedometer.com/?r=1332940
Teri has a blog!
I guess all my blogging has rubbed off ... Last week Teri asked me to set up a blog for her on her site: http://terishaw.com/
After some initial issues with my hosting provider, I got it set up for her yesterday. When you have a chance, pop on over and have a look at "Teri's Timely Tidings"
. OR you can subscribe to her RSS feed at: http://terishaw.com/blog/xml-rss2.php
Have fun honey! I'll be reading!
So, as part of the LWLP (Labrador Weight Loss Program) Taylor and I have been going for morning walks. Teri and I also try to get her out for an evening walk as well as playing with her throughout the day. A tired lab is a happy lab. Anyway, I found a cool site at: http://gmap-pedometer.com/
listed in Men's Health magazine
. It allows you to plot a course on Google maps to see how far you went or to plan for a specific distance. When we brought Taylor home a few weeks ago, we didn't walk her at all for the first week or so. Then we started by going down to the mailbox and back. As she got used to her leash and collar, we started going further. Now that she's building up stamina and getting big (She weighs 23 pounds!) we're going even further. This morning was our longest walk at .92 miles.
I know it doesn't seem like much, but picture doing .92 miles when your legs are only 9 inches long! The nice thing is that I wasn't really walking at all before Taylor arrived. Now I can count on at least one walk a day. Taylor has a blast sniffing everything in site. And I get some exercise. The plan is to be doing some serious mileage next summer. I want to train for a triathlon and as we build up stamina together, I'm hoping some pounds come off and I can start running again. As we walk, if a car or School bus approaches, I stop and say "Taylor - Sit!" and she sits right beside me and looks up at me as if to say "OK Dad, now what? I've got this sit thing down!" After the vehicle passes I say "OK - Let's Go" and we're off again!
I'm excited for puppy training to begin next Thursday! We'll have 8 weeks of puppy class and I think it'll do both of us good!
Here's a link to a map of our route this morning:
When you call Beacon START Freakin'!OK, this is getting cross posted to all three of my blogs I'm in such disbelief.
I have a listing in Wallingford (hip, trendy section of north Seattle) for a cute as a button condo close to Lake Union, Gas Works Park, the Burke Gilman trail and the University of Washington. A couple weeks ago we had an offer on the place and a contract was signed to purchase. After doing the inspection, a couple minor things were noted on the inspection report. The dryer makes noise, and the bathroom sink drain drains slowly. The dryer will be covered by the 1 year warranty the buyer gets when they close on the home. The sink drain needed someone qualified to look at it, i.e. a plumber.
The way our inspection contingency is written in the NWMLS, if a seller agrees to make repairs, those repairs will be done by someone qualified to do the work. While I've done plumbing in the past and know that a slow drain is usually an easy fix, I'm technically not qualified to do the work. (Although, since my seller is out of state, I would have been happy to accomodate this for them) So I had to call a plumber.
If you've been in the Seattle area for any amount of time, you've probably heard Beacon Plumbing's ads "Stop Freakin' Call Beacon". As I did not have a reliable plumber in the Seattle area, that's exactly what I did. As I live about an hour away from the condo, I asked that they give me ample time to get there when they were ready for me. They did. The plumber arrived at the condo just a few minutes after I had. While I was waiting for him, I played with the stopper in the sink and determined that with some adjustment, the problem would be resolved.
When the plumber came in, I told him what I had discovered and after looking at it, he agreed with my assessment. He played around with the stopper for a couple minutes only to exclaim "It's not coming up far enough" He pulled the stopper and showed me where it had worn out and the lever was no longer able to move it far enough up to allow the sink to drain properly. He said "Let me go get a new one" and headed off to his truck. He returned a minute later with a nice new brass stopper. (The previous one was cheap plastic) After 5 minutes of replacing the stopper and testing it, the job was complete. The plumber was there LESS than 20 minutes all together.
I knew the trip charge was $50.00. I know those stoppers aren't more than 10 bucks at Home Depot. I figured he'd charge me for 30 minutes of labor and the whole bill would be around $100.00. After writing up the bill, he comes out of his truck and says "Now don't freak out on me" (or something to that effect) and I replied "Uh-oh, that can't be a good sign". He shows me his book where this particular job is located. The basic charge for that job is $248.00! Add to that the trip charge, his labor cost and tax and the whole job came to $346.62! Nearly $350.00 for 20 minutes of labor and $10.00 (at the OUTSIDE) in parts. I was completely flabbergasted!
First off, I was supposed to (according to the scheduler) receive a bid prior to any work being done. I did not get that. Secondly, this is simply highway robbery. So I'm telling everyone I know, DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE HIRE BEACON PLUMBING TO DO A JOB FOR YOU. THEY ARE A RIP OFF! I guess they've got to pay for all those fancy radio and TV commercials. So, when you call Beacon, START FREAKIN'!
ER . . .So on Wednesday morning, my mom and I took Taylor to the vet. She got her first puppy check up and a booster vaccine. In addition, they had us bring in a stool sample to check for parasites. Everything checked out a-OK.
When we got back, dad was hungry, so the three of us headed up to the Hangar restaurant for some breakfast. I had already eaten, so I just had a butterhorn and a coke. While we were sitting there, I started to have some pain in my right lower abdomen. It got bad enough that I couldn't sit any longer and had to get up and walk around. That seemed to help some, but not a lot. By the time we got home the pain was excruciating. My mom kept trying to get me to go to the ER and I kept replying "I can't afford to go to the ER right now" (Michael Moore, you're right on. American's are afriad to use their health insurance if they have it because it's still super expensive. I promise to get in to see Sicko soon) Well the pain was only getting worse, so I tried calling my doctor. They could not get me in until Thursday, so at that point I really had no option . . . off to the ER we went.
Teri met my dad and I there (Thanks hon for being there) and I checked myself in. By the way, the staff at St. Clare hospital were all awesome. They even laughed at some of my horrible jokes. After about 35 minutes in the waiting room, we were called back. Another 35 - 40 minutes to see a nurse. The nurse started me on an IV and gave me some morphine for the pain. Now I've never been a drug user, but I can see how people can get hooked on this stuff. After the initial burst and screaming headache, I was in la la land for quite awhile. When the doctor came in, I told her about my bout earlier in the year with Diverticulitis and since my dad has it as well, he said there is a simple blood test you can do to check for it. She apparently did not like being told how to do her job as she set me up for a CT scan. Thankfully I did not have to drink another of those Barium shakes . . . they did a simple IV contrast.
Well after nearly 5 hours in the ER, the results were back. I have Diverticulitis. Great! So now I'm back on antibiotics for that and they gave me percoset for the pain. I'm glad they did. This bout is far more painful than the last. I've been spending a lot of time on the couch and in the bathtub. The pain feels slightly better today. I'm scheduled for another Percoset in a half hour, but I'm going to push it out I think and see how it goes.
I was joking with my parents that I can't hang out with them any more. Everytime I do, I get sick. Last month when I went to California, I came down with another bout of Cellulitis. Geezus. Is someone testing me?