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Showing posts from November, 2016

Thanksgiving, again

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I was particularly eager to travel home for Thanksgiving this year. Something about uncertain times spurs a strong desire to reconnect with family, visit familar places, and engage in comforting traditions. Beat wasn't able to join this time around, so I drove solo to Salt Lake City on Wednesday. Northern Utah was slammed with a snowstorm that reduced visibility to black-and-white mayhem. Near Park City, dozens of trucks and cars had careened into precarious positions on the interstate, and traffic snaked around them in a meandering single file. With the blizzard swirling chaotically, people walking zombie-like amid the wreckage, and hazard lights flashing into the darkness, the whole scene had a post-apocalyptic feel. Of course, I thought of the memes going around the Internet — "This is fine." 
Thanksgiving morning, my mother woke up at 6 a.m. to bake pies, and I ventured outdoors for a sputtering shuffle. I had my round of allergy shots on Wednesday morning, and whil…

Week 5

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Monday: Treadmill intervals, 3 miles, 0:30, weightlifting, 0:40. I was able to squeeze in a workout before allergy shots, which always leave me with that "I think I'm coming down with something" feeling. Allergy shots are like a weekly dose of the pre-flu. And now that I'm down to high-concentration single doses, it's every five days. Ugh.

Tuesday: Run, 1:12, 6.3 miles, 1,161 feet climbing. Languished in my "pre-flu" all morning, but feel surprisingly upbeat for this quick afternoon run.

Wednesday: Mountain bike, 6:58, 49.2 miles, 5,922 feet climbing. This ride thoroughly beat me up, in the form of several new bruises, cuts and deep gouge wounds from my pedals. (Technical rocky singletrack comprises about 5% of my riding on average, and yes, it's the only time I wish I had clipless pedals.) I also struggled with the "heat," and it was very windy — gusts that almost knock you off your bike windy. The ride took longer than I expected, and I ha…

Just like autumn leaves, we're in for change

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Is there anything better than spending most of a day on a bike, traveling from your doorstep to places you haven't yet seen? Rolling across the countryside, feeling the contours under the wheels as your legs strain to meet the wildly undulating landscape? Of course there are better things, but they rarely occur to me as I wheel my bike up the driveway with an entire late autumn day in front of me, and only a vague idea of where this ride will take me, and a hot November sun warming my skin beneath short sleeves and shorts.

 As I've slipped back into the rhythm of longer bike rides, I've realized how much I value this simple motion. To be fully engaged in moments, focused on roots and rocks and flickers of memories, and somehow, even if temporarily, able to leave everything else behind. But sometimes, maybe most times, I set out with this ideal in mind, and instead everything is hard from the beginning. I crash on the rocks and add new bruises to the patchwork on my legs.…

Week 4

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It's been some week, hasn't it? This is a boring workout post.

Monday: Treadmill intervals, 3 miles, 0:30; weightlifting, 0:40. 

Tuesday: Run, 0:55, 4.2 miles, 796 feet climbing. I had a half-round of allergy shots on Monday afternoon, cut short again because I'm having mild reactions to these higher concentrations. This one hit me especially hard the next day, when I felt like I was coming down with the flu. Election day was stressful enough, so it was nice to get out for a slow afternoon shuffle, even though I felt like crap.

Wednesday: Mountain bike, 5:23, 43.4 miles, 6,384 feet climbing. This is the strongest I've felt on a bike since my CTS surgery. Interesting juxtaposition to Tuesday's run, especially since I was feeling more emotionally distraught on this day. I crashed hard about 12 miles into the ride and bruised both legs, with pain that didn't subside for the duration of the ride. Despite all this, I was on fire. It was cathartic.

Thursday: Mountain bi…

A second reckoning of sorts

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On Wednesday I woke up to bright November sunshine and unsettling dread. I don't venture very far into my personal life or politics on this blog for good reason, but I know that many people felt this way — as though we'd suddenly become strangers in our own country, poised on the precipice of a bleak future where the things we love and need will only continue to lose value: Public lands, open space, wildlife, water, friends and family who are sick or struggling, people who don't fit into the majority. And on and on. 
I don't need to rehash what's already all over the Web. Many have posted much better missives than I could write. But I was among those bewildered and distraught after Tuesday's election, much more so than I even expected. So I retreated to one thing that will, I hope, always bring comfort — moving through the outdoors. Bicycles still exist, so there's that.
 I spent much of the first two hours crying. It's true. All of these pessimistic t…

Week 3

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Monday: Weight lifting, 0:40. I received six allergy shots first thing in the morning. I didn't have a reaction like last week, but I felt down for the rest of the day. The weight lifting was more than I could manage, and stopped after two sessions of 12 lifts, 12 reps at the same weights as last week.

Tuesday: Run, 1:18,  6.2 miles, 1,171 feet climbing. Moderate pace.

Wednesday: Mountain bike, 4:48, 41.2 miles, 5,412 feet climbing. This was a pleasant afternoon ride where I traced a scenic, mostly dirt route from home to Gold Hill. There were plenty of steep climbs, but for the most part I rode about as easy as possible for myself on this type of terrain. I've been aiming to track my heart rate more closely, since my resting heart rate has remained noticeably higher since I moved to Colorado in April. When my breathing issues were at their worst — July and August — my exercise heart rates were lower than usual. But now that I'm feeling better, I'm also exercising with a…