Thursday, April 30, 2009

Blue Ridge Brutal

So I'm meeting my bro in Ashe County, NC on August 15 to take on the Blue Ridge Brutal 100. Check out the elevation chart here.

It's going to be a long summer of hill repeats to get prepared for this!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cleveland, meet Barry.

Get Outside!

Here's why. For the last few months I have mainly been trudging along on treadmill in the basement of my office, with only my co-workers and CNN news to keep me company. Now don't get me wrong, I like to talk to my coworkers and (occasionally) I watch the news, but not while I'm working out. Seriously, 50% of why I'm working out is to give the brain a break from the office and reality in general. And I can only take so much doom and gloom from CNN news about how my 401k sucks, if I'm not already laid off - it's coming, I should suspect everyone who looks middle-eastern to be a terrorist, taxes are too high, blah, blah, blah, blah. Yes, we only have one channel on the TV, we can't change it. Ugh! Or, I've spent my rides on the trainer on the basement at home, nuf said.

More importantly, today was a great reason to get outside. As I ran through the downtown malls, across the bridge, passed The Browns Stadium, The Great Lakes Science Center, The Rock Hall, The USS Cod, The Goodtime II, and Burke Lakefront Arpt, I was soaking it in. But for the WEATHER, Cleveland is awesome, we should enjoy it. But those are just objects that pale in comparison to this guy: Barry Noss. You see, as I was running back from my turnaround at Burke Lakefront, I was passed by an obvious touring cyclist. Obvious because all the gear he was carrying and it looked like he hadn't shaved in days. He stopped to take a picture, I ran past. He passed me again near the Rock Hall. He stopped to check his map, I stopped to find out his deal.

Barry is heading to Chicago...from Philly! He is raising money for the American Brain Tumor Association. He recently got laid off and decided to bike to Chicago, which I think is awesome and bold. Awesome because riding 850 miles is just plain cool and adventurous. Bold, because it's only April and it is cold and windy along Lake Erie! Check out Barry's site.

A good ride with some hills...

Unlike a typical ride so far this spring, I had plenty of time on my hands to put some decent miles in the bank yesterday. I headed out to a beautiful sunny day with a little chilly Northerly wind. Out Shaker Blvd and Gates Mills. I dropped in on Old Mill, crossed the bridge and headed North on Chagrin River Road (CRR). Turned left on to Wilson Mills, then a quick right into the N. Chagrin Metroparks Trail. I cruised up, I mean I slugged up that hill, wrapped around N. Chagrin then dropped back in to CRR and headed South. I was absolutely flying through this part with a nice push from the wind. Then I decided to go up Brigham Road for the first time ever. This was painfull and by the way, not very safe. There is hardly any shoulder, coupled with the steepness of the climb and the turns, this trip up was a little nerve-racking. A few close calls. I turned left on Battles and looped back around to County Line, then dropped back into CRR the same way I came up. Flying down at near 50mph doesn't give you much time to realize how much of a dumb idea it was to ride up it. I was just hanging on and tapping the brakes to keep it under control.

After nearly getting smeared by a geezer in a dueley who blew right through the 3 way stop (Yes, I called him a F$@k-Job-A$$h0le right in front of a cop car, who did nothing about either of us), I headed South on CRR all the to Woodland. I paused on the bridge to relax and regroup. Then Falls to Chagrin Falls. Stopped at Starbucks to refuel on a giant double shot and some gels. I also called my training partner to tell him about all the painfull fun he was missing out on:)

Then I ran into an old college friend. After talking for a few minutes I realized I was running out of time to get home and relieve the babysitter. So I looked at the Wall of N. Chagrin, then towards Miles, then the Wall again....and decided to get on with it through Miles. I took Miles to CRR, then shot up Jackson like a snail in mud. I mean I was moving faster than pond water. I was cranking the granny gear just waiting for my momentum to slow the point where I would just fall over. I kept a little lean to the right so that maybe I wouldn't be run over by Geez and his dueley if I just fell into ditch or that big tree. It wouldn't have been too bad, I could have used the break.

After finishing the climb up Jackson I scurried home only 5 minutes late. Exhausted and trashed. My left achiles felt like it could explode at anytime post ride. I guess I'll find out the extent of that issue when I run at lunch today.