Saturday, February 23, 2008

Training Saturday 2/23/08

After work on Friday, I spent most of the evening plugging away on a couple of assignments for my last teacher certification class. Took a break to have dinner with Mrs. Beagle, and, as Oscar season quickly approaches, we watched the Oscar-nominated flick "3:10 to Yuma." It was entertaining, but a little bit slow for my taste, although the final gun battle was a bit more to my liking. Amazing with ALL those bullets flying around, none of them seemed to land anywhere useful. After the movie, I skipped the workout in favor of cramming for my last teacher certification test, the Assessment of Teaching Skills -- Written, Secondary Level. After all that excitement, I could hardly keep my eyes open, so off to bed.

Saturday morning I got up dark and early, emptied the pup, got showered, dressed, and snuck out as quietly as I could for my trip to the testing center at SUNY Brockport. Although my entry ticket said show up no later than 7:45, at 7:40 the doors were still locked. They opened at 7:45 on the dot, and I was seated with all my materials by 7:50. In a flurry of activity and efficiency, the test didn't start until 8:41 a.m. Allow me to wipe the sarcasm from the screen before I continue... ahh, that's better. Anyhow, the test went fairly well (I think), and I got out of there as quick as I could, leaving my three sharpened #2 pencils behind for the afternoon session test takers.

As I got back in the car, I noticed my pager had gone off -- guess I wasn't going home quite yet. In to work for a couple hours, got some issues and people cleared up, then back in the car for the drive home. On the way home I noticed something very strange for February, however. The roads were clear, the sun was out, and the thermometer on the car read 28°F. And I'd be home by 3:30! This just called for pulling out the bike.

Grabbed a quick sandwich when I got home, unhooked the bike from the trainer, and got myself suited up. Wool socks under a pair of thick cotten socks, bike shoes, and thermal bike shoe covers. Padded shorts, pair of thermal tights, and a cycling jersey, followed by a cotton turtleneck, a wool over-sweater, and a bright yellow cycling jacket over top. Pulled on the balaclava, helmet, sunglasses, gloves, and I was good to go. Then I remembered -- the bike was in the basement on the trainer. Son of a puppy. Got half the stuff off, wandered downstairs, unhooked the bike, brought it upstairs, grabbed my keys, cell phone (just in case), and I was out the door.

Took a little while to get used to clipping in and out with the thermal boots on over my biking shoots, but I eventually got the hang of it -- this time without falling over in front of any neighbors. Then it was off on the standard 12-mile loop around Webster. First 5-6 miles went very well, as they always do -- heading west there's a very wide berm, the road's a couple miles from the lake, and trees protect you from the wind. Once I hit Irondequoit Bay and turned north toward the lake, however, I could see a definite change in the weather. Started seeing some patches of snow and ice on the road, as well as noticing more pronounced wind. Nothing too terrible, and the sun was still above the tree line, so I should have plenty of time to make it home before dusk hit.

Lake Road is always a little bit dark due to the large trees as well as numerous gulleys and dark asphalt, but by this time I'd been working hard enough that I was having trouble keeping my glasses from fogging over. The reduced visibility with the sun getting lower in the sky combined with the fogging made the faster downhill portions a bit dicey, but I just pulled down the glasses and looked over the top of them. Wasn't too long, however, before a thrill-seeker behind me decided to pass me on an uphill portion of the road with no berm by swinging blindly into the oncoming traffic lane. When I heard him coming around me, I immediately started looking for a bail-out spot to the right of the road, and as I crested the hill, I immediately took note of the pickup truck rapidly approaching in the oncoming lane. This was going to be close. I slowed down quickly and pulled out of the way as the truck hit his horn and slammed on the brakes. The car passing me JUST managed to avoid the truck and get back into the right-hand lane before the two vehicles became intimately familiar with each other. Whew! It certainly pays to stay awake on the narrow roads. The driver of the car that passed me didn't even slow down as it sped into the distance -- the truck on the opposite side, however, waited a moment to make sure I was OK (didn't ditch the bike or anything, but seeing as I was well of the road anyhow, I took the opportunity for a quick breather, glasses defogging, and a picture or two). We each then continued on, shaking our heads at the idiot who was in such a hurry he risked his (and our) lives to save 30 seconds.

Following the break, I continued to have trouble with my glasses fogging over, something I'm going to have to think about a bit more. After mile 10, some of the fingers on my right hand started going a touch numb, even with the gloves on -- I think perhaps in the previous excitement I forgot to keep wiggling them on occasion. Toes were just fine, however, indicating the overboots were performing as advertised. Got home, got everything put away, and hopped in the shower. Legs were a bit red and tingly (still need to find one more layer for my legs), but all in all, a nice day for a ride, especially considering how rarely we see the sun in the winter.

Ride Statistics
Distance: 12.59 miles
Average Speed: 15.6 mph (personal high for this route is 17.9 mph from last September)
Top Speed: 28.2 mph
Avg. Heart Rate: 160 bpm
Max Heart Rate: 182 bpm
Avg. Cadence: 73 rpm
Total Climbing: ~ 600 feet
Calories Burned: ~ 760

  • Breakfast -- small coffee and sausage biscuit w/egg (McDonald's -- I know, but I had a four-hour test to take...)
  • Lunch -- turkey sandwich on wheat with pickles
  • Dinner -- shrimp and pasta with peppers, onions, and green beans
  • Snack -- Chex mix

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