Monday, February 14, 2011

Some pet peeves and some weekly recapping

Swim - 5:00 hrs = 17,400 yards
Bike - 12:10 hrs = 227.4 miles
Run - 6:01 hrs = 49.3 miles

Total - 23.19 hrs

This week included my first real valley in this, most recent, training "block."  It also included my first missed workout that was (unfortunately or fortunately?) not due to being tired but to being stupid.  I would say these things never happen but then again, they really do.

I'd like to begin this week by mentioning a couple of my most frequently encountered pet peeves (interestingly enough, almost all of them have to do with workout-related topics).

1) I HATE how every single driver in Charlotte feels the need to get to a stop sign at 20 mph and then very late, hit the brakes.  What this looks like to me (as a cyclist or runner) is that the driver is not going to stop and he or she (one sex does seem to do this more frequently than the other, especially around the booty loop...) is just going to roll through the stop sign.  This is both annoying and dangerous, the latter evidenced by me getting run into by a car on the booty loop last year.  The driver rolled up to the stop (in a hurry), didn't see me in the .0001 second look to the left at oncoming traffic and subsequently accelerated and ran into little ol' me!

2) I very strongly dislike the way drivers merge at two, very specific, intersections.  One is coming down East Blvd where it goes from two lanes into one (and the left lane is a left turn only before disappearing) and the other is in front of Queens College, where the exact same thing occurs: the left lane becomes turn only and the right lane is the "go straight" lane.  In both of these situations, cyclists are almost always in the right lane, continuing straight.  Many times drivers do not know that their lane is about to go away (and a lot of times they do, but don't care) and so are surprised to see oncoming traffic ahead of them and merge right into the other lane.  Many times, that lane is taken up by cyclists who, due to motorists general ignorance, are never treated like the "vehicles" they are.  So the driver cuts off the cyclists.  Wham, bam, thank you ma'am.

Now, just to elaborate further on these two points, cyclists are really very much to blame for the amount of ignorance/uncaring that motorists show because many of them blatantly disobey traffic rules that, as vehicles, they are supposed to follow.  To a certain extent and in certain situations, I do such things myself.  There are a couple of people (booty loop champions of whom one stands out; he's always out there and he's always representing a certain team and he's always wearing race wheels on the booty loop) that stand out as being the worst offenders and what they seem to fail to realize is that they represent all cyclists when they do such things, just as certain drivers who do something stupid then have sweeping generalizations applied to all other drivers.

Another thing that drivers seem to forget is that if they cut it too close, saying for example they're put out by a certain group of people (cyclists), speeding by and accidentally clipping a cyclist at 30+ mph, that person is not likely to come out the other side alright.  The driver is protected, air conditioned, and pampered in their metal cocoon and seem to think that, like them, cyclists are invincible.  While I certainly feel that way when I'm sprinting past a dying Watkins, I know that if I tangle with a car, I will NEVER win.

Now, I'm also more than ready to admit that I've been at fault on BOTH sides.  I do, however, try to do dumb stuff as little as possible.

Whew, onto the weekly recap.

Some solid swimming workouts this week, as has been the case for a while.  Got in a nice 5,000 yard swim on Monday in which, for the first time in recent memory, my muscles actually got tired towards the end.  In between my shoulder blades I was beginning to get a little tight, but I suppose that's ok given how many miles we had swum (hard).  Since I wouldn't be able to swim on Wednesday night, I got back in the pool again on Tuesday for another 4000 yards.  I think that's the most work I've ever done in two consecutive days in the pool.  I was certainly tired on Tuesday but not much more so than is usual these days.  I was happy to get in as many yards as I did and only swim four times.  It used to be that 16-17k yards took 5-6 swims.  Now it is four.  I imagine sometime in my not too distant future I will see a fifth swim on my schedule.  Needless to say, that is awesome.  More swimming is more better.

Some super sweet biking miles this week, which I didn't expect after my big mess-up on Thursday evening.  In preface to that, I had a very good workout on Tuesday with some very hard, short intervals (normal Tuesday stuff) and was planning to head up to the Huntersville Business park to meet Behme for 90 minutes easy-ish on Thursday night.  I made the long drive up there and realized I had left my shoes at home.  What's funny is I've done this before, except last time it was at a race and I was only saved because Todd lives so close and hadn't yet left home to come watch the race.  This time, I had no savior.  John felt like riding on the trainer at home so we trucked over to his house and I wore Carrie's pink cycling shoes for 40 minutes (sorry Carrie!) before I had to call it quits.  She had strange wedges in her shoes and they were way, way too small so I called it quits.  So what was supposed to be 90 mins turned into 40 and I since I wanted to make up for that a bit I rode a bit more on Friday/Saturday.  Friday was my first bad ride; my legs felt like garbage and 200 watts felt like a lot.  I was worried for the weekend but like the true champion I am my legs somehow turned a 180 and felt great on Saturday and Sunday when I managed to get in 130+ miles in two days.  I even set a recent wattage high (in the past month or two) at the Lowell sprint sign on Sunday (I will say that it worked out to ~21 watts per kilogram).

Some very solid running this week as for whatever reason I was running a bit faster than I usually do and since my running schedule is laid out by minutes, not miles, this consequently means I ran relatively more miles!  AMAZING!  The runs of note were a great long run on Wednesday, a solid fartlek-like workout on Friday (after my bad bike ride, which hinted it may not have been as bad as I thought) and a great medium run on Sunday after two days of riding.

All in all, a solid week.  Next week will be extremely similar!

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