Monday, March 31, 2008

Training Monday, 3/31/08

After a weekend away, made it out on the bike for an hour before dinner (in light rain). Ran the usual 14-mile circuit in just over 50 minutes. Fairly uneventful, but nice to be outside and certainly beat another training session in the basement. Spring is coming quickly now!!! Garmin didn't record data correctly, but estimates are average speed about 16.5 mph, calories burned ~ 800.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- turkey on wheat with pickle and chips
  • Dinner -- shrimp scampi

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Training Tuesday, 3/25/08

With the phone going off fairly regularly after work, was hard to get a good workout in (should have let it ring). Did manage to get in roughly 30 minutes on the elliptical machine, but not much else...

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar w/large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- Taco salad, apple
  • Dinner -- turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy

Training Monday, 3/24/08

Today was a weightlifting day, starting with chest and shoulders and throwing in a little bit of leg work. Finished up (as always) with abs. Exercises: inclined bench press, bench press, leg curls, leg extensions, hack squats, toe raises, triceps (rope), shoulder pull, chest press, inclined dumbbell press, bicep curls, and abs.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar with large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- Turkey on wheat w/lettuce and Italian dressing, chips, pickle
  • Dinner -- turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, gravy, and iced Easter cookies

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Geocaching Saturday, 3/23/08

Spent several hours Friday out back with a shovel moving dirt, cleaning up tree remains, etc. in the back yard, so I was pretty pooped (and back was a bit sore) by the evening. Made Saturday an easy workout day as Mrs. Beagle and I decided to head outside for an attempt at 'geocaching.'
What is geocaching, you might ask? Great question, I just learned the answer today myself. According to the Geocaching FAQ: "Geocaching is an entertaining adventure game for gps users. Participating in a cache hunt is a good way to take advantage of the wonderful features and capability of a gps unit. The basic idea is to have individuals and organizations set up caches all over the world and share the locations of these caches on the internet. GPS users can then use the location coordinates to find the caches. Once found, a cache may provide the visitor with a wide variety of rewards. All the visitor is asked to do is if they get something they should try to leave something for the cache."
What that means is, we basically took our little GPS system (typically used on bike to keep me from getting lost or stolen) out into the local park and searched for hidden boxes that others had left. The sun was out, the wind was mild, and the balmy 28°F made for a nice refreshing jaunt. Of the four caches we looked for, we managed to find three of them in our two hours outside, as well as doing quite a bit of ice skating on the trails.

Of the three caches we found, we especially liked the Christmas tree cache (easy to spot once you got close)
and the 'Council of Trees' cache, which was hidden at the base of one of a group of gnarley old trees about 100 yards off the forest path.

Our trek through the woods led us back near the car after about two hours, by which point we were ready to head home, scrape the mud off, and get warmed up in a hot shower. A nice way to get outside and off the beaten path a bit on a sunny day off when it was still a bit too cold and icy to get on the bike and go a reasonable distance.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Training Tuesday, 3/18/08

Tuesday was an all-around rough day... you know, one of those days when, despite challenges throughout the day, you push hard and try to be positive but still get to the end of the day and say, "you know, this was one of those days where spending my waking hours attempting to herd cats would have been preferable to what I had on my agenda."

But, you meander through those days and move on. So, moving on...

Decided to suck it up around 9 p.m. and hop on the bike for an hour while finishing up the Star Wars movie. Didn't quite make it to the end of the movie, but with a very early morning at work coming up (i.e. alarm will go off around 4-ish), I decided to call 'er quits right at the 10 p.m. mark and get some sleep. Will make Wednesday a better day!

  • Breakfast -- Fiber One oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- taco salad and cup of hot tea
  • Dinner -- chicken fajitas on wheat tortillas
  • Snack -- very tasty mother-in-law oatmeal/raisin cookies

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Training Sunday, 3/16/08

Hopped on the bike trainer this morning for an hour while watching the first half of Star Wars II. Shoulder had been sore since last Thursday's volleyball match so I was taking it easy for a few days, but it felt really good on the bike for the whole 60 minutes -- back in business! Total distance, 14.9 miles, speed 14.9 mph (go figure), average heart rate ~ 140 bpm. Toes still go numb after about 30 minutes, still convinced it's too-tight shoes. Can't wait for spring to get here so I can get out of the basement and ride outdoors regularly.

  • Breakfast -- Fiber One oats/chocolate bar
  • Lunch -- chicken breast on wheat roll w/barbecue sauce, red apple
  • Dinner -- gnocchi w/red sauce and peppers, golden apple
(PS -- Happy Birthday Corny!!!)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Finally had the basement back in order, dry, and cleaned up, so took advantage of it and hopped in the exercise bike to work on my technique using the Spinervals 8.0 "Recovery and Technique" tape. For a recovery workout, it certainly had me struggling in a few sections, especially the 10x30s single leg high cadence spins. Not bad for the first few, but by the end I was struggling to keep the pedals moving on the 'pull up' portion of the pedal stroke. The experts on the tape were huffing and puffing too, which made me feel a bit better. All told, on the bike for 42 minutes, distance of 9.3 miles, reached a maximum cadence of ~165 rpm during the superspin intervals, and average heart rate of about 150 bpm.

  • Breakfast -- FiberOne oats/chocolate bar with large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- turkey sandwich with lettuce and Italian dressing, chips, pickle
  • Dinner -- pork tenderloin with brown wild rice, mixed vegetables, and a croissant

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Training Tuesday, 3/11/08

Decided to mix things up a bit tonight, as the basement exercise area wasn't put back together yet, so I went worked out with Mrs. Beagle in the living room to her Biggest Loser: The Workout exercise DVD. We started with the warm-up, then did the low-impact workout, concluding with stretching/cool down routines. It was actually kinda funny, and I liked it because the folks in the video were just as out-of-rhythm as I was. You've got to look hard to find someone who has less rhythm than I do!

Since I was then already sweaty, I went down to the basement and spent about 90 minutes cleaning up, rearranging boxes, and in general getting things back in order so that the exercise area is clear again. Was pretty impressed with the final look of the basement, and am definitely looking forward to getting back on the bike!

  • Breakfast -- Fiber One oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- turkey sandwich on wheat with lettuce and Italian dressing, chips, pickle
  • Dinner -- pork tenderloin, rice, and mixed veggies
  • Dessert -- Skinny Cow caramel ice cream cone

Monday, March 10, 2008

Training Monday, 3/10/08

Another day with the basement in shambles as the dehumidifiers keep running and the fans keep blowing. Hopefully another day or two and the exercise area will be available for reassembly. In the meantime, I've started looking at backup sump pump system installations (a subject I had quite a bit of practice with due to a power outage at my previous abode), as well as finishing up my schoolwork and planning fence installation for the spring so Cricket the wonder dog can have free run of the back yard. Was considering doing the sump pump installation myself, but Mrs. Beagle highly recommended having it done by a professional. Although I believe I could make it work, she's got a good point that if I do get stuck, we could be without any basement drainage for a day or two while we try to get someone in house to fix my mistake, and one flooded basement event really should be enough excitement for one spring. And I don't really have the all-time greatest track record with home improvement projects... but I'm learning!

  • Breakfast -- Fiber One oats/chocolate bar and a large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- garden salad (with 'fancy' lettuce) and two tbs of fat-free raspberry dressing
  • Dinner -- pork tenderloin with rice and mixed vegetables.
  • Snack -- 'Skinny Cow' 150-calorie ice cream cone.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Training Sunday, 3/9/08

Turned into a tough weekend for exercising. After work Friday, we went to calling hours for a fwe minutes before meeting some friends for dinner and a fun night out at the musical Avenue Q, a Broadway traveling show using Muppet-like charactes but with some rather funny and exceedingly crude humor. We all had a good time, but were pretty whooped by the time we got home.

Friday night the area got hit with quite a snowstorm which lasted into early Sunday morning. Sleet, freezing rain, and snow led to shoveling, snow blowing, and eventually a sump pump failure that left our basement flooded. This, in turn, led to considerable scrambling as we attempted to salvage what we could, got some dehumidifiers hooked up, hauled water-logged cardboard boxes to the garbage, and brought soaked carpets upstairs into the garage to drain and dry out.

Not sure what caused the sump pump not to kick on -- I was able to manually start it after rooting around in the well for a bit -- once it dries and warms up in teh basement, I'll have to explore further. In the meantime, we're hoping the dehumidifiers perform some miracles...

  • Breakfast -- large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- Healthy Choice meal, chicken, potatoes, broccoli
  • Dinner -- Beef on spinach with garlic mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables
  • Breakfast -- cinnamon role and large decaf coffee
  • Dinner -- pasta with peppers, onions, and a baked chicken breast
  • Snack -- apple, chips and salsa
  • Breakfast -- large decaf coffee, sticky bun
  • Dinner -- pasta with peppers, onions, and a baked chicken breast

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Training Thursday, 3/6/08

Can't say as today was a strong training day, but it was a volleyball day. After a rough day at work, headed out to Hotshots to play against our favorite team. We had all six of our regulars back, which is always a good start. First game started a bit slow, but we were starting to get back into form by the end, despite some erratic passing (what's new). I was having quite a bit of luck swinging hard cross shots, something the opposition adjusted to in the second game. Regardless, we won the first game, and switched sides for the second. Going into the second game, the opposing team was blocking me hard cross, so I made the fatal mistake of starting to think before I hit the ball, which led to a couple more blocked hits, although I still had quite a bit of luck with even harder cross shots. We won game 2. Given that the hard cross strategy was working, what would a wise man do in game 3? Now, who's writing this? Therein lies our problem.

Game 3 they adjusted their block over a bit more, but not so far that hard cross shots wouldn't have continued working. In my infinite brilliance, though, I got to thinking too much and switched over to attacking the line (something I'm usually pretty decent at). I even saw a GORGEOUS set come across from our setter with no block within 3 feet of a line shot. I turned my body, and promptly hit the ball a good yard or two out of bounds. Dummy. At this point I realized my approach must be off, because if I approach at the correct angle, it should be very hard to hit a ball out of bounds down the line. Started adjusting my approach, despite the fact that EVERY good coach knows "the approach to the ball should always look the same. " Things went kaflooey from there. Instead of staying behind the ball and attacking it, my approach turned into me running under the ball and hitting from behind my head. Of course, the ball started sailing up, and I hit a few balls out of bounds as well as getting blocked a few times before we dropped the third game to our friends. Oh well. Something to be said for not going mental in a volleyball game.

  • Breakfast -- Fiber One oats/chocolate bar and large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- bowl of chicken noodle/vegetable soup
  • Snack -- golden apple
  • Dinner -- bowl of vegetable chicken soup, TON of mixed vegetables (thanks Mrs. Beagle), and two leftover hot dogs on lite buns.
  • Snack -- Coors Lite at vball

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Training Tuesday, 3/4/08

Snuck in some weight work between all the other excitement recently. Focused primarily on chest, but also touched on legs for a bit. Upped my bench press weight by 10 pounds for both inclined bench and straight bench presses (3rd set was 10 instead of 12 reps). Was extra special productive today both at work and doing classwork... should be on the home stretch for my Drexel classes (a good thing, due to lots of upcoming excitement)!

  • Inclined bench press
  • Hack squat w/toe raises
  • Straight bench press
  • Leg extensions
  • Inclined dumbbell chest press
  • Leg curls
  • Cybex chest press
  • barbell curls
  • tricep rope
  • abdominals


  • Breakfast -- Fiber One oats/chocolate bar with large decaf coffee
  • Lunch -- turkey sandwich on multigrain bread, chips, dill pickle
  • Dinner -- vegetable/chicken soup, hot dogs on lite rolls w/ketchup, apple

Monday, March 3, 2008

Training Monday, 3/3/08

With the weather reaching up into the 50s this afternoon, I actually made it out on the bike for my longest ride so far, an estimated 35 miles. Grabbed a sandwich before heading out, then got dressed with bike shorts, tights over top, a cycling jersey, turtleneck, and windproof jacket over top. Temperature wise, it was just fine (although next time I'll skip the cotton turtleneck, all it did was soak up sweat and keep it there).

Started out heading north to the lake, where I felt really strong the first couple miles and averaged around 22 miles per hour. When I turned east along the lake, I quickly understood why -- there was a strong 20 mph wind from the south. Heading east, I had to fight the wind a bit, but for the most part it didn't come into play. Enjoyed the scenery, sun, and the warmer weather for the first 16 miles or so, stopping at the Pultneyville Pickle Company for a piece of pepperoni pizza and a slight breather. The Pultneyville Pickle Company is actually a small convenience store / deli that seems to be a favorite crossroads for cyclists (motorized and otherwise) due to its location on a scenic, relatively flat favorite biking road. By now I'd gone through my first bottle of Gatorade, and probably should have refilled at the store, but thinking I was basically at the halfway point, I didn't refill, trying to be frugal for the 2nd half of the journey.

From there, I continued through Pultneyville a mile or so, stopping to take a picture of Lake Ontario, before turning south away from the lake (again encountering the wind). By this time I was experiencing some numbness in my left foot, as well as the beginnings of some numbness in my left hand. I couldn't do much about the foot (I'm pretty sure my shoes are too tight), but I started playing with a bunch of different hand positions to get feeling back in my fingers, a battle I kept fighting right up until the end of the ride.

Heading south, my initial route planning was a bit off -- the crossroad I'd hoped to take when I turned back west toward Webster turned out to be a railroad track -- not really navigable on a road bike. I continued south to 104, hopping on the four lane briefly until I came back to some smaller roads that would take me home. It was on these stretches of relatively quiet roads that I saw some of the friendliest cows ever. As I road by the farm, five or six cows started following me, coming to the fence to see what was going on. Two of them even 'jogged' after me for a hundred feet or so. And folks say California has the happiest cows -- I'd have to say these seemed pretty darn smiley to me, at least as far as smiley goes in critters of the bovine persuasion.

About the time I hit mile 25 I really started to sag. I was running out of water, the toes of my left foot were completely numb, my left hand was so numb it was a bit tough to apply the brakes, and my right hand was intermittently going numb. If I'd been thinking, this probably would have been a good time to hop off the bike for a minute, take a picture or two, and give myself a breather. Not thinking, however, I figured I'd keep going and really push the training aspect of this ride.

Started feeling better again around mile 30, and was even tempted to continue on past my planned 35-mile route to add a well-traveled 12-mile route to the day's journey, for a total of 47 miles, which would have crushed my previous distance best. Around mile 32, though, the weather changed drastically, and a much colder wind started blowing from the southwest, gusting hard enough that maintaining control of the bike was difficult in a few places. The wind, numb extremities, and lack of fluids made me re-think my strategy, and I skipped the extra 12-mile loop, ending my ride with a grand total of 35 miles and an average speed of right around 16 miles per hour. Not too shabby for early March, but a LONG ways to go to get to 100!

Distance: 34.94 miles
Total Time: 2:11:17
Avg. Pace: 3:47 / mile
Avg. Speed: 15.8 mph
Max Speed: 28.2 mph
Avg. Heart Rate: 162 bpm (85% of max)
Calories burned: 2297

  • Breakfast -- large decaf coffee and a Fiber One oats/chocolate bar
  • Lunch -- chicken sandwich on wheat
  • Dinner -- grilled chicken breast, mashed potatoes, broccoli
  • Other -- 32 oz. Gatorade on ride, 1 slice pepperoni pizza

Weekend Update, 3/1 and 3/2

Had a tremendous weekend heading out of town to visit my family and friends, attend a fantasy baseball seminar, eat WAY too many tasty things, and avoid thinking for a few days. Training was non-existent, and I won't even begin to think about writing down my meal history for the weekend (let's just say that you can't go wrong with Delmonico steaks and mashed spuds), and as always, Madre made sure nobody left the table hungry. Had to work on Sunday, but as luck would have it, temperatures are supposed to reach mid-40s Monday, so I'm hoping I can get out early and get on the bike for a spell before the temperature drops again and work gets crazy later on in the week.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Training Friday, 2/29/08

First, the business news -- I'm thrilled to announce that we have THREE new members of the BeatsRunning Team! The volleyball crew has increased its presence considerably, which brings us up to a very respectable 10 cyclists. Not bad for a bunch of rookies, huh? Total pledges are up to $895, and we still have three more months...

On a related note, given the general guideline that cyclists increasing mileage should increase no more than 10% of their long-distance-ride mileage per week, I've gotta kick up the training here pretty quickly. I want to do 70+ miles by June 1, which, backing off 10% per week, means I need a good 9 solid weeks of outdoor riding to prepare for the event. Given typical Rochester weather in April and May, most any non-snowy weekend I'll need to make a strong effort to get outside for longer and longer rides.

Mrs. Beagle and I are on the road this weekend, taking off straight from work today to head southwest to visit my family for the weekend. The most direct path always leads us along the lakeshores of Ontario and Erie for a majority of the trip, which can lead to some rather interesting weather in the winter months (October-May). This trip was no exception -- we had near-whiteout conditions for about 30 minutes of the trip northeast of Erie, then icy conditions for our last 15 miles as the snow turned to rain and covered the ~ 3 inches of snow with a nice sheet of ice. Coming up the hills wasn't bad with all-wheel drive, but we did a wee bit of sliding going down the hills.

We all know I'm easily amused, but along the way one of the electronic road signs made me laugh. At about the point where I was considering pulling over because I could no longer tell the edges of the road, the sign advised passing motorists "Whiteout Conditions -- Slow Down." Now I'm all for public safety announcements, especially ones directed toward the lowest common denominator when it comes to situations that could involve my personal safety, but if you're driving in the northeast in the winter and need a sign such as this to provide you with velocity advice, I bet you're the same person that caused all the dessicant pack makers to label their product with safety labels such as "do not eat" and the fast food restaurants to place "Caution-Hot" labels on their coffee cups.

Anyhow, we made it, safe and sound, to the ever-friendly confines and warm reception of what will always be 'home.' Along with our dog, Cricket, we also had another Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and a golden retriever for entertainment as I enjoyed a celebratory malted beverage or two to reduce the 'white knuckle' effect of our drive, along with a much appreciated slice of pizza. Good stuff.

So we talked and kibitzed for quite a while, finally heading off to bed just shy of 11-ish, in preparation for a fairly early morning Saturday, as Padre and I are headed to Cleveland for a three-hour fantasy baseball seminar (not quite sure what to expect here) before heading back home for a nice family dinner, including an introduction to the newest member of the family, a pseudo-nephew who is very cute! No training at all today, just driving -- still feeling pretty good, only ache is what I expect is a slightly pulled abdominal muscle (really started noticing it Thursday night at volleyball), but it hurt a lot less today.

  • Breakfast -- large decaf coffee, Fiber One oats/chocolate bar; large caffeinated coffee and 4 ibuprofen (lack of sleep led to quite the headache in the am)
  • Lunch -- turkey on whole wheat with lettuce, onions, and Italian dressing; pickle; 4 chips (lunch lady was a touch stingy)
  • Dinner -- 2 burgers from McD's in the car, slice of pizza, pepperoni from Mrs. Beagle's pizza, 2 Curs, and a slice of cinnamon toast bread