Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Long time, no posts

It's been a little hectic the last couple of weeks. I've been to several interviews and had considerable amounts of school work along with lots of training. And because of this I've been unable to write an entry. I can't even write a decent one tonight because I need to be up at 5 for a 6 mile hill run.

Sooo, on July 4th weekend I went camping with family and friends. Also brought Kristi along for the fun. And while friday evening was very nice it rained most of the day on saturday. Which meant, lots of drinking, early, like starting around 3pm. We had bought some beer and the cheapest bottle of wine we could find. Within about a half hour the wine was gone! And then we moved on to the beer. After dinner (you just can't beat our camping food!) we watched some movie. And then went to bed. We didn't get our run in the next morning because it was still raining so we did it once we got back home. A nice 7 miles that was uphill for a good 2 or 3 at least!

That monday was a rest day and we resumed training on tuesday with an easy 4 miler. And then did the time trial that night and finished with a new PR of 27:55 or 21.92mph average. Wensday we did a 6 mile out and back hill run on Cliff rd in Cleves. Kristi yelled at me the entire fucking run! But she was ok once it was over. Just a VERY difficult run and she was hurting big time. Of course my legs were still toast from the previous days activities as well.

Thursday I went to the BMX track for about 45 minutes just to loosen up a little and have some fun doing something different. I think it's helping with my pain threshold because it's a sprint the whole way and I'm starting to tolerate the burn better than I was.

Friday I did an easy 5 miles with Kristi. And then did homework most of the day. After I cut the grass of course. And by homework I mean reading "Hound of the Baskervilles". That afternoon I met Kristi and we went to Jungle Jims. It was my 1st time there. The best score we made there was the chocolate peanut butter! Stuff is the shit! Fo real! We also stopped by the pet store just for the hell of it and got to play with a chocolate lab. He was a cool dog. Of course he better have been because they wanted $1299 for him.

For dinner we made a salad with SwissChar (sp?), tomato, onion and fresh mozzarela and topped with oil and vinegar. Then for the main course we had tuna steaks and sweet potatoes (my 1st time with tuna steak). Desert was homeade popcicles consisting of greek yogurt, blueberries and strawberries. Everything was excellent! Then we passed out on the couch.

Saturday morning came way too soon! But, as luck would have it I actually had someone to ride with this week. Bill is a year or two younger than I and like me got into cycling this year to lose weight. So far I think he's down 30lbs. He wanted something different and challenging. So I delivered with a nice scenic ride out past Miami Whitewater. Turned out to be about 43 miles with some pretty serious climbs. I could have made it a lot worse but I didn't want to scare him too soon. Even so he called me a masakist when we got back to the shop. All in fun of course, but, it is true. It started raining just as we pooled into the shop. So I ditched my 5 mile run that I was supposed to do and helped out at the shop since Wanda was busy.

Sunday me and Kristi did a 9 or so mile run from her place in Norwood to Ault Park and back. We didn't keep a crazy fast pace or anything and I let her lead the majority of the run so I wouldn't leave her. But, she isn't used to those long, sustained efforts yet. As a consequence she isn't very pleasant to be around during or shortly after. To attest to this we had our 1st fight immediately following the run. I thought it was a completely ridiculous argument. Unfortunately she didn't feel the same way. I was debating whether I should go home or stay (original plan) while she went to the stadium to fill out some paperwork. I decided to stay. And when she got home she was in a much better mood and we calmly talked it out. All is good once again.

Monday was an off day. And today (tuesday) I did a 3 mile run early this afternoon in 23:27. I know I can go faster but I don't know how much. Probably shave another 15 to 30 seconds off if I went balls out. It still hurt though. And tonight I journeyed back to Cleves for yet another TT. Left from the house and met Judy and Amanda and the tomb. We rode the course backwards for warm-up. Some of the guys from the MS ride were there as well. I wasn't really sure how I was going to fair since my legs felt a little heavy. But once I got going I felt really good and attacked all the hills. Then I caught Judy with a couple miles too go. She gave me the finger as I passed! Of course, considering I started a 1:30 behind her, I'd be a little pissed too. She didn't have her best race but it wasn't bad either. I finished with a 27:24 (22.3mph) a new all time PR! And they had prizes tonight for PR's so I walked with a new T-shirt and waterbottle!

In other news I finally found a job. Not that I'm happy with the position. It's Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 4pm to 1am. Driving a shuttle bus at the casino formerly known as Argosy. I start this weekend and I'm NOT looking forward to it.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

It's been a crazy week and a half! Not even sure if I can go into detail on the whole thing. Training wise I did about 2 hours at the bmx track last tuesday instead of going to the time trial. Mainly because my bike pump was broke and I was stuggling getting clothes washed without electricity. Overall I'm feeling pretty good on the bmx bike. Although it's still a little sketchy in the air. I went back thursday for about an hour. It was 90 something degrees and 90% humidity and miserable. So I didn't stick around long.

I spent the majority of thursday doing a thourough cleaning of my room. And packing for New York. Kristi's cousin was having her graduation party and Kristi invited me. Sooo, she picked me up thursday night and we went to her parents house to stay the night. This way we could get an early start. Early, is, of course, a relative term. Because we left at 7:30 which although early, isn't THAT early. Kristi's parents, her sister and brother in-law and their two kids (Abby and Evelyn). Her dad drove up with Lori (sister), Joe (brother in-law) and Evy (their 12 day old daughter). I had the pleasure to ride with Kristi, her mom, and Abby (Lori's 2 yr old daughter).

Abby and Evy

After a 9 hour drive we arrived at her Uncle Ed and Aunt Judy's house. Ed is a doctor and is pretty loaded. They have a huge house and live at a country club. Friday night we just hung out and ate dinner. On saturday Kristi and I had planned to go running. But Ed (her uncle) wanted to go play golf. So I went with him, Ritchie (her dad) and Joe. I sucked it up pretty bad but I don't play enough to be any good and it was a tough course.

The course

Nina's party that night was nice. I got to meet all the relatives that matter and they all seemed to like me. Even uncle Steve who tried to give me some shit but I was able to give it back which I think earned me bonus points. They also had some college band that was ok but nothing special.

Sunday we just sat around and watched tv for most of the day as Kristi's family had to go to Nina's graduation ceremony and it wound up raining. But I managed to get a 6 mile run in before the rain and Kristi got 4.2. It was just an out and back but the out was mostly downhill so coming backed sucked ass!

We drove back home on Monday. And Kristi got this pic of Abby sleeping in the car.

Tuesday officially started Columbus Marathon training. I did a moderately hilly 4 mile run and maintained a 9 min/mile avg. Not blistering but considering the weather and being tired I'll take it. Then after doing some chores and what not I went to the TT. I wasn't feeling all that great but I figured why not. Amanda and Judi both went as well. Both Amanda and I were off our pace from the previous week. I clocked a 28:57. Once I get some clip-on aero bars I should lose about a minute. The big surprise was Judi. She actually beat my sorry ass by a couple of seconds. And it went straight to her head. She just started in on this uncontrollable laughter and I was NOT a happy camper (as can be seen in the pic below of me showing Judi my appreciation).

Wensday morning me and Kristi went to Colerain Highschool to get in our 6 mile hill run. It was a 3 mile loop she used to run when she was on the track team. We ran it forward and then backward. Overall it was a good route. The hills weren't anything too crazy and I finished in about 54 minutes. She finished around 57. Considering it was her 1st 6 mile run since doing the half pig she did really good. Afterwards we did 4 sprints and then some stretches. She's unnaturally flexible! If you notice her hands are flat on the ground. I can't even get 6 inches to the ground!

Today I just finished a 20 miler or so with Judi. I wanted to do a serious hill ride but she pussied out on me. So we did the hill loop once and then the tt course. Even so it was about 700ft in the 1st 12 miles. My kind of ride. Now I need to pack for camping this weekend!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weekend craziness

-Thursday evening I went down to the BMX track for about 2 hours. It was miserably hot and although I'm a little shaky in the air I still did pretty well. I was definetly feeling a lot more at ease on the bike by the end. I also didn't eat shit while I was there! Woohoo!!

-Friday I went shopping for clothes with Kristi in the morning. And then I went to the old house to help level out the back patio with Dad before relaying the brick. All so it looks good when we sell it. They were saying 92F out and 80% humidity made it feel like a 100F. It sucked! And my arms felt a little like jell-o when we were done.

-Saturday morning nobody showed up for the ride from BAM. Sooo, I called Judi to see if she was riding. As it turned out she was meeting Amanda down at the gym in covington. And they were doing a 2 hour out and back ride down rt.8. So I left the shop and headed down. By the time I got there I had a good 20 miles in. And I wound up riding 40 miles with them. Once back at the gym we parted ways and in doing so Amanda, with her right foot clipped in, leaned a little too far right, and as though in s-l-o-w-m-o-t-i-o-n fell over at a blistering pace of barely moving. It was pretty damn funny. After the excitement I rode the 20 miles back home. Giving me a total mileage on the day of about 80.

I really wanted to pass out when I got home but I had to get ready for my cousins wedding instead. So a quick shower and got on some of the new clothes. Then off to pick up Kristi. She looked great in her black dress. At least to me she did. Apparently I looked pretty good myself. The wedding was short and sweet. The reception was nice as well. Dinner was really good and I had way too much candy. They had a really good live band. And we did some dancing and what not. My brother got completely wasted. He talked the bartender into making bourbon shots for him. It was midnight when the band stopped and we left. When we got to her house we both passed out. I for one was spent.

-Sunday (father's day) I went for a bike ride with dad. His feet hurt. Pretty sure he has nerve damage from his diabetes that cause the problems. Any way we did about 11 miles with Bernie and Jake (his son). I rode to and from Brower though so I got about 20 or 25 miles in. That afternoon we went to Gran Fiesta which is this really good mexican place down the street. And again, I ate WAY to much.

-Monday I went running early with Kristi and then to class. Then she came over and we went to the gym and lifted. I'm still a little sore from it. But it's good for me so I'll deal.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Rain Delay

Yesterday morning started off with me putting in an application to Argosy for a shuttle driver position. Guess I've resorted to looking for any job I can possibly find. Anyway the online app was a pain in the ass and took about 90 minutes to complete.

After that I had to go cut grass at the old house and then went and picked up Judi's camera and dropped it off at the bike shop. Came home, ate, showered, put in some more app's and then went back to BAM. I did get an unexpected call while I was at home though. Last week I put in an app for a new Nike store that will be opening up in Monroe. One of the recruiters called me for some screening. She said that I'd hear back sometime next week about an interview. Of course I'm not a huge fan of Nike but it's a possible job. I'm still hopefull that I'll get a call for an engineering position though.

I was also leading out the liesure ride last night from BAM. I was really hopefull nobody would show so I could head to the BMX track but I wasn't that fortunate. Instead 2 guys showed up on BMX bikes. I say guys because they were mid 30's! And smoking a cigar outside of the shop before we left. Apparently they decided to join to get some excercise in. And after 2 or 3 miles they were pretty well toast. But they stuck it out for the full 8 miles or so.

From there it was off to Kristi's. We walked the mile or so up to Yagoot for some yogurt. I think it's going to be a weekly occurance from here out. She had the original flavor with strawberries, roasted pecans and blueberries and I had strawberries and pineapple on mine. She wasn't too surprised with my selection. I LOVE pineapple! On the way back we talked about jobs (or the lack there of) and about moving in together. It's still a scary proposition for me. But, at the same time it seems to make sense. I'm there almost all the time as is and honestly I hate not being with her. Even so, everything seems so easy with her. And we go from stupid to serious in the blink of an eye without much middle ground. All the stuff that I thought might cause a fight we've talked about without ANY fighting. And the only "fights" we have are about station selection in the car.

This morning I was supposed to go for a hill ride with Bill. A guy from the bike shop who, like me, started riding to lose weight. So far I think he's down 20 or so pounds. But the rain is here and thus. No ride. So instead I'm writing. Hopefully the rain will stop soon.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Lazy day, sort of

Today was pretty lax. I didn't get out of bed until 9 or so and even then I was in NO hurry to do anything. But Kristi had to go babysit for Abby her niece. This was mainly because her sister is still in the hospital after having Evelyn yesterday afternoon. Kristi was soooo happy when we went to see her yesterday evening! I think she could have held her all night. But, we couldn't stay all night and left about 9:30.

So anyway, back to today. I started reading "Murder on the Orient Express" this afternoon for school. And messed around trying to get a gps watch to work, unsuccessfully. And then about 5:30 Judi came over to go to the Time Trials in Cleves. She'd never done it before and was apparently so nervous she thought she might throw up before hand. Pretty picture right? Jaime from the MS ride last year was there as well tonight. Anyway, Judi was second off the line as they start everyone in 30 second intervals. Jaime was 6th I think. And I was 9th. Everytime I do these I always think "what the fuck do I do this for!". It's always painful, ALWAYS!

Judi finished just under 30 minutes at 29:55. Don't remember what Jaime did. And I set a new PR for myself at 28:54. Of course I did a 27:30 or so last year. And I'm trying to rationalize the difference by telling myself that it's because I don't have aerobars this year. But I think it's because I'm in worse shape. Who knows? The aerobars would shave a good minute off I'm sure. At least that's what they did last year. And then because I'm an enormous dork I just had to create a nice little excel program to calculate average mph and plot to a graph (seen below).

After the tt excitement it started to rain while we were waiting for our times. Since Judi and I rode down we were going to get wet. But, Jamie and Mary came to the rescue and let us put our bikes in their cars and drove us back to my house. All in all we got about 26 miles in. 5 from my house to the course, 11 for a pre-race course check and then 10.2 for the race.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Weekend Madness

On thursday I finally turned in my senior design project to Muthar (see below pic). Talk about a relief to FINALLY have it DONE. It was AMAZING. The report wound up being a mere 71 pages and if I can figure out a way to post it here I will.

So after that was done I went home and chilled for the rest of the afternoon. Until about 5 o'clock when I left to meet Dom and Judi for Kelon's b-day ride. Kelon is a friend of theirs. I decided that I'd rid my BMX bike instead of either the huffy or my fuji because it was going to be a SLOW ride.

And sure enough it was an extremely SLOW ride with a bunch of hipsters from Northside. The group pic is courtesy of Judi. About a mile or so in I wound up next to this guy. And I thought, damn, he looks familiar. Turns out it was Zac from Perfect North. So we were talking while riding along for a few miles. Mostly about skiing. It took a good hour to get to Fountain Square. And with rain looming in the distance Dom, Judi and I decided to head back without the group. And we got to the car just in time to miss the rain! From there I headed over to Kristi's stopping at the CVS in clifton to get her a B-day card.

Friday was pretty lax. I spent all morning looking for a job while Kristi was at work. She had to swing by her parents house afterwards and then came over to pick me up. Off to DAAP Works we went. I'm not an artsy type of person at all. And I didn't "get" most of what I saw. And there were a few things that stood out as being completely impractical. My favorite was someone in industrial design came up with this idea to use fiberoptic cables with light collectors mounted on a roof. The cables would transmit the light to another room where an emitter would work similar to a light bulb. This is supposed to be a "green" system. But, there is one major flaw. What happens when the sun isn't out? Like if it's cloudy, or what about at nighttime? Sure it would work in the middle of the day in perfect conditions. But how much light would it really emit into the room? I would almost gaurentee that you would still need regular lights. So since the fiberoptic cable is expensive and made out of, eeks, plastic, which is non-biodegradable what the hell is the point? But, I digress.

Afterwards we went over her place and I made her dinner because it was her birthday and then we sat out on the porch until midnight I guess. It was nice although we had a little too much to drink. Between the two of us we drank a bottle of white wine AND a bottle of red wine. We were a little tipsy by the time we went to bed. Fortunately the next morning I felt fine. She however, didn't fair so well and woke up with a raging headache/hangover. And she had to go to work.

I rode my bike back to the bike shop going up Montana in the big ring up front and 3 down in the rear. With a backpack. After hanging out there for a while I rode down to the BMX track in cleves to check out the state race and then back home. All in all about a 40 mile ride or so. When I got home I showered and got dressed real fast so I could make dinner with her parents. Kristi wanted to go to Orchids and it was VERY good. Of course it's rated #1 in the city so it should be. I felt a little guilty after a 4 course meal but I figure it was a special occasion and I did get the halibut for the main course which should have been somewhat healthy at least.

Sunday she had to work all day but came over to my house afterwards. We watched Gran Torino which is an awesome movie and then fell asleep on the couch.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Thoughts on this upcoming Winter

There are 2 things that I truly LOVE doing. One is riding my bike, all my bikes, BMX, Road and Dirtbike. The other is skiing. I've been skiing since I was 3 or so. Even breaking my leg the 1st time I ever went didn't deter me and I was 3 at the time. I requested a green and pink cast and actually got it. Kinda wierd, right? I used to wish to be as good as my cousin Jim who is a 4 or 5 years older than I. And last year when he was in town to visit we went skiing together and, I was better! In fact he said I was one of the best he'd ever skiied with which meant alot considering he's skiied all over the world.

Then back in highschool me and my bro started getting weekly passes out to Perfect North. Then I was getting a season pass the last few. Until 2 years ago when I became a ski instructor. I didn't need a pass anymore! Because ski instructors are badasses! So now I'm level 1 certified by PSIA and looking to go out west this winter with Jeff (another instructor). I wanted to go to Vail.

But it doesn't seem as though they are hiring instructors this year. So Jeff recently asked me about going to Mammoth instead.

Either way, I really can't go wrong. Both places are absolutely gorgeous and both get about 400" of snow a year. My problem now is I don't want to leave Kristi. Because, well, she makes me so happy. I was very upfront about the fact that I wanted to go out west for the winter when we 1st met. And she has been very supportive about it but, I can tell she'd rather me stay here. I wish this was easier but it is what it is. For now I can take refuge in the fact that ski season doesn't start until November which gives me 3 months to make a final decision.