photo block

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Thursday, October 25, 2012

doughnut houses

For a while now, maybe even a couple years, I've been noticing doughnut houses, or donut shops, or whatever you prefer, when out riding my bike. Most notable to me are the small, independent, mom&pop shops with unique and/or simple names. It seems they're almost always tucked away in the corner of some sort of mini strip mall, which doesn't really seem an ideal location to sit and have a doughnut and a coffee, but I guess that's what's affordable these days. Their connection to biking is two fold. One, I'm always hungry on the bike and from many early-years experiences my body knows just what handy morsel will end my calorie crisis, and fast. And the smells waft out into the street to grab you. On almost every ride I smell fresh baked goodness. Second, as is so often noted, one notices a lot about the neighborhood from the saddle. It's really amazing, the difference - like a whole 'nother world. A friend of mine recently sent me a link about the new trend in combining coffee houses with bike shops. Well, for the would-be entrepreneur out there, I'd say make it a doughbike shop and you'll be in business - of course, you'll want coffee available, too - an beer, naturally. I never get around to stopping at these doughnut spots but I fear that I should or else they will be gone forever, like so many other little shops around the country, classic small town nooks, disappearing before the corpormatronimarts. So I should stop. What's the rush anyway. No need to speed into the future. I can always count on the added sugar spike to pull me back into the peloton. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

rest/taper/sick week, or 3 birds with 1 stone, and 2 of the perks of races

There's a trail race coming up this weekend. I'd like to hit it well rested (relatively speaking for someone with a 3-month-old). So I'm tapering this week. Taking some rest days. Maybe I'll do a few easy 3s. My body has also slotted (conveniently or inconveniently, I'm not sure yet) a few sick days this week. So I guess I'm doing some serious multitasking. 

I go back and forth about whether racing is worth it or not. It's expensive and often far away and often requires a car trip and often requires getting up early and forcing your body to do something that might not be on its schedule for the day which might instead be to sleep in and drink coffee. But I do enjoy the community aspect of races. It's nice to be reminded that other people are into trail running, too. So I do it a few times a year, trying to pick out what I consider to be "the classics," races that have been around a long time and/or that I've done before and/or great location and/or friends are running. 

Two perks of racing that might make them worth it are the ramping up of training leading up to them that wouldn't otherwise happen, and the ramping down of training just before the race that also wouldn't otherwise happen. So they add some waviness to the routine which is probably a good thing. 

This weekend is Lasse Viren named after that famous Finnish Olympic runner from the 70's. Strange that "his" race is in Malibu, California since he lives on the other side of the Atlantic/World, but here it is. 

I'm looking forward to it. I'm ready for the distance. I just hope I can get rid of this cold and show up with some sleep and rest and not too much pre-race "nervousness" (to put it nicely). 

I did this race for the first time last year. It's a good one. It's a trail race that's not steep! - seemingly the first of its kind and a great idea. It's probably the shortest 20K in the world (I swear it's only 18 or 19) so fast times can be had when the planets align. 

Just Ride Over the Hills

Just finished reading Just Ride by Grant Petersen (2012) of Rivendell fame. It's an okay, fun little manual of bicyclism. There are some good tips in there and some silly tips in there. "You decide which is right and which is an illusion." 

Next up: Over the Hills: A midlife escape across America by bicycle, by David Lamb (1996). Quite good through the first chapter. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

swimming to brown mountain

It never really rained this morning, it just sort of clouded-down all around on the run up Brown Mountain. And although the temperature was mild, almost warm, even, and I was a little concerned about my Camelback heating me up too much, by the time I reached the top I was absolutely soaked, clouds dripping off my visor - I felt like I had just climbed out of the pool (no running!) and, of course, I was freezing. And then came the descent. Well, you know how that goes. So we'll call this the first day of winter. Which is always fun at first - to come home and finally take a really hot shower again, having missed out on that all summer, and still have bones cold enough to cozy up in longpants! and a sweater and cook a big pizza just to heat up the house and get started on chipping away at that caloric debt. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Free Brunch on Brown Mtn

Solo (they usually are) run up Brown this morning to find a peanut butter GU pack lying on the side of the trail - likely lost to a cyclist as they bumped their way down the trail. It was all sealed up and who really knows how long it had been there but I figured this was a gift brunch from god so I ate it at the top of the mountain. The mountain will provide… 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Learning New Distances

Now that it's Fall and temperatures are dropping I'm starting to feel the pull for running longer distances. For the last couple weeks I've been experimenting with a new longer distance for my long run. It's actually quite a big increase - 33% - from before but so far it seems acceptable to the body. The mind is having a little more trouble with it because the run takes me right up to the edge of "are we there yet?" I think this is just an adjustment period, though. And soon this new distance will feel natural and normal. However it has pushed me over the edge into the area of needing fuel on the run. My previous distance was pretty much maxing out the no food option. I'm not sure how I feel about this because trail food is not always the healthiest of morsels. I generally take along some "fruit leather" which seems pretty alright. But they're also like 69 cents each - or are they 49 cents - well, anyway, not a big deal really but it adds into the equation. What I've found most helpful in adapting to this new longer distance is to just "sit" with the experience - to not try to get there or get home - just experiencing each stride as much as possible. On my last run through the arroyo I saw someone practicing Meditative Walking - essentially slowly walking with excellent form while trying to be aware to every sensation of the body and particularly the feet as they move across the earth. It would be great to bring this much awareness to the run. Hours and hours of meditative running… a mindful mule could get into that.

Monday, October 1, 2012

things found in the road…

Yesterday's find was a bit more interesting than the usual work gloves and bungee cords: a wallet with 552 dollars in cash! There was no ID beyond a few credit cards but I managed to track down the owner by leaving a note on the windshield of the nearest parked vehicle - somehow that worked. I got a call within half an hour or so. I guess one tends to notice when they lose something of that nature. So no shiny new wheels for Mindful Mule, but it get's you thinking…