Once a source of "Not all you want to know about Texas Adventure Racing," but now just some "leisure" adventure through the eyes of "The K-SPoT"

Sunday, January 08, 2006

So Close To The Light...

HartmanAlright, this has been a busy week again. Sunday night I saw an email from Michelle on the Yahoo group saying that she was planning to do the Hartman bridge the next day. It was such a huge coincidence because Nick and I were just talking about doing hill work on the Hartman all week long last week. So I told her that I would ride and asked Nick if it was okay (she was planning to ride at around 10am but Nick couldn't go until 2pm). He said it was alright, but I found out later that he was pissed...man, are you a girl or something? We're friends here...you can tell me exactly how you feel before its too late. Anyway, Weihan saw our emails and decided to join us. Michelle's friend, Lee, joined too.

It started off pretty rough. First, we had to ride the Hartman right away, without any warmup! I got up it alright, but my lungs were busting. Then the roads were unbelievably bad--we could have fallen into the potholes and lost forever! We weaved all over La Porte--the wind was pretty stiff. Michelle got a flat, so we had a short break. Lee was pretty interesting...she does a lot of work with pipelines, or at least used to. We started off again then agreed to make a pit stop at Michelle's house, which was just off of our route. I had lost one of my bottles during that crazy ride over nasty roads and at least one of us had to make a potty stop. We got there in about 5mi and emptied and refueled ourselves. We were off again, then my rear wheel decided to jump out of the drops, right in front of traffic! That is at least the 5th time that has happened...I need to get that fixed! Fairmont to 146 and then we were back to the Hartman. Merging into traffic seemed a lot more scarier this direction--there were onramps everywhere! We managed to survive and this time I tried going up at a manageble pace...worked out fine. 40 miles. Not bad.

there's a hole in Renne's garage roof!
I met up with Nick later that day so he could complain about me ditching him. I didn't mind because he picked up some HEED for me at West End. We also visited his friend Renne, who needed some work to be done to his garage, so that I could take photos and show them to Sam. Nick wants to know if Sam had some good ideas on what to do--I figured since Sam was an awesome handyman, he would have a lot of great ideas, plus know what materials he would need.

Tuesday was HART practice...my first running session after my time up north. It was a brick night...4.2mi run, 6.3mi bike, 2.1mi run. I only did a 2.1 run up front because I wasn't sure how my knee would do. It turned out to be a good idea--my knee started to hurt towards the end of the first run. The bike was alright, but when I tried to start up for the 2nd run, my knee was obviously in pain. IT band has resurfaced. Dammit. I was pissed, dejected. I decided to take a break from running...now I had no idea if I could do the marathon. All that work for not.

Wednesday I rode my road bike at the picnic loop before the social. I was able to hammer pretty good, joining a paceline or two to get some rest in between. Its amazing how I can ride and have no pain associated with the IT. I did swim too earlier that day and it was still pretty sore and started to get painful at the end of my sets. I stopped and did some stretches in the pool and moved over to the whirlpool...that actually seemed to help when I put the jets directly onto my quads...the pain went away.

Thursday morning I decided to see Mary Hodge for a deep tissue massage, as recommended by Nick. He warned me that I would want to jump out of my skin once she got going on me, and he wasn't kidding. I wanted to cry several times and I think I almost tore apart her massage table. I was wondering if she was pressing up from the ceiling or something--those elbows seemed to touch bone every time! I tried to find my "happy place" but realized that I didn't have one--she took that away from me! She's the devil incarnate. But it was probably what I needed...I was really tight and had a lot of knots everywhere, even in my calves. She emphasized that I needed to stretch more and come for massages more often. I could tell my legs were looser but they were in pain. I went to practice that night and it was another brick night--6mi bike, 1.5mi run, 6mi bike. The bikes I hammered on, then on the run, Caroline and I decided to run together. Her knee has been bothering her too. That seemed to be fine--no pain in my IT, although the other parts of my legs were sore from the massage. That made me a little less pessimistic. But I still needed to do a mid-distance run to see if it comes back...I'm planning to do that tonight. Wish me luck.

I took Friday off and then did more road riding on Saturday. I did about 10mi around River Oaks and then joined the CVX training ride at about 8am and put another 10mi in at the Fruit Loop. That was fun. We just got in a paceline and slowly increased the speed. I wished that I could stay longer, but I also planned to get some paddling in at Rick's lakehouse. So I left the park at about 930 and got to the lakehouse by 11.

It turned out to be a great day to be out--the sun was shining and the temps were getting pretty warm. Fancy was there to greet me...I didn't realize that Rick lets her just patrol the neighborhood like that. His neighbor across the street feeds her I guess. I pulled out Rick's Current Designs Squamish, which was obviously set up for a female because I barely could get myself in there...it was tight fit! After fiddling around a bit I finally shoved off and piddled around the lakes. Here's the true difference between a sevy and a real kayak--I would have to push really hard to keep a sevy at 3mph while I can keep the Squamish at about 5mph without even trying. It was nice to go out just to enjoy the lake and the sights. I stopped to say hi to many of Rick's neighbors on the lake. They were really nice, waving. It was still windy, but I was able to find some coves for protection. In all, I did a little less than 5miles. I put the boat back up and said bye to Fancy, that crazy dog. I was back in Houston by about 2-3pm. Rest of the day I just folded clothes and took a nap. Stayed in and cooked up a steak...studied up for my Sushi party, Nick and Jaunda :).

KemahThat brings us up to date, to today. I was planning to do another road ride, with hillwork, but decided to just rest up and focus on my test run later today. I really hope my knee has healed. I really will be very disappointed if I can't run. Then again, there is the New Orleans Marathon...that would be fun, too...plus it would be energizing to see how the city has picked itself back up after the devastating hurricanes. I did drive both bridges (Hartman and Kemah) today and found out the grades are only about 5%!! Damn. KOJ is gonna hurt...I need to find better hills it seems.

I think that's it for now. Its nice out again so I may just go home and wash the bikes--they are in dire need of some attention! I need to at least take off my deep rims from my road bike--I shouldn't be logging training miles on them.


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