Friday, April 3, 2009

Races, The Right Fit, More Rides, and Soccer.

According to the odometer, I've been out for 220 miles on the Trek and another 20 on the Pebble. With the cold and rain, that's not a bad thing and pretty much in line of where I wanted to be heading into the start of the race season. With some career choices already been made for me, I will be heading to Oklahoma City for some more technical training, and some rides around Lake Hefner and the Redman Bike course. The Redman is an Ironman length course that is not part of the WTC, but is gaining in popularity because it is cheaper and a well put on event. The former observations being first hand accounts from people I know who have been there. Would I race it, most likely not. Not because I don't want to, but because the winds are unmerciful and it is hotter than hades when it is being run.

Instead, I signed up for the OKC Memorial Half marathon. I don't have the base for the marathon, but the half will give me a good indication of how my running is up to this point. Well, I have the base, I never did take my normal month long hiatus after the Akron race, I only scaled down to 4 - 6 mile runs with few tempo and no speedwork thrown in. The few days off for kidney stones don't really count. The OKC Memorial is run just off the location where the Murrah building was when it was blown up by a misguided deviant in 1995. In my many, many, many trips to Oklahoma, I have been to the site several times, when all that was left was the parking garage, a fence stuffed with cards and mementos, and surrounding buildings with boarded up windows. A co-worker of mine lost his grandson, he was in the day-care. I haven't been back to see the memorial itself, but will definitely take the time to see it, and not just on race day either.

One of the bi-products of the upped mileage is a rather uncomfortable irritation in my IT band and a knee that lets me know it is uncomfortable whenever I walk up or down stairs or make a sudden stop. I have never had it happen before, so I surmised that maybe the Trek was the blame. I took it to Competitive Gear in Erie, and now Pete McMaster is my Zen master for bike maintenance. Plus he races and knows his shtuff pretty much through and through. After an hour and a half, my shoes posts were shifted, the handlebar post was shortened, and the Trek was good to go. Since then, I have put in almost 50 miles of test riding with no knee aches, very comfortable, and a noticeable uptick in the MPH. The new seat is also a godsend, my ass only starts to get numb at mile 35 instead of after 15... a noticeable improvement.

With the race season about to commence, maybe in the next few days, I will get my totals for the first 6 months of training to see what kind of numbers I've put up over the 4th crappiest winter in recorded history. With Edinboro Triathlon being the only real competitive race this year, Muncie and Louisville are more or less survival, I'll be interested to see how well the base I've developed this year has helped.

Somewhere in all this, I was enlisted to be coach for my daughters soccer team. After coaching three years of floor hockey, one of flag football (never again,) and assisting for one in soccer, I have come to the realization that 4-5 year olds listen very intently. They don't exactly do what you want or they'll do their best statue impression, but they do listen. I don't agree with the whole not keeping score and these little folk don't either. They will tell you exactly what the score is and if they won. If its a tie, they are pretty cheesed off about it too. Mostly, if in the limited number of practices, I can get them to kick the ball while its moving, or pass to their teammates, and learn that you don't have to take turns kicking the ball, then I consider it successful. The older kids I have coached seem to understand about anticipation of being where the ball is going to be, not where its just been. So far, baby girl has played well, she loves being goalie, and I think she even scored. I don't have to keep score, they do that for me. My oldest decided after swimming, and with Scouts, and the multiple years he's played soccer, that he didn't want to play. Which is cool.

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