Thursday, November 4, 2010

The Off Season

So what does the Vagabond do during the Off Season?  I hope to get one more ride in on Saturday, if it's not too cold. It's been awesome to bounce around the trails at the MDC reservoir.  Of course I'll give my brother his MTB back... honest.  And eventually, maybe I'll learn actual techniques beyond the simple slide-and-pray that I use right now as I hit bumps and realize there's an awful lot of pointy rocks on the ground.


I also spend a lot of time wondering how fast I can clip out if I need to.


Tonight, M and I are going to go see Race Across the Sky.  Yes, I'm such a geek I will go see bike documentaries.  And I will say things like, "No way will I ever be hardcore enough to do that race."  But then I will remember the Fat Cyclist's training commentaries, and the lure of french fries might do me in...  he has this neat theory that the more you ride, the more you get to eat.  Maybe I can talk my brother-in-law into riding, and I'll just crew for him, and steal his french fries later on.  Crewing in cold climates is hard work, and I bet he doesn't like french fries... right?


Yesterday, I went to Fleet Feet in West Hartford.  I promised my coach I'd get a real pair of actual running shoes after the tri, and it was finally time.  There's a Turkey Trot I want to do later this month, and my trail runners are over a year old.  They fit you for shoes at this store, so you get the perfect shoes for your feet and running style.  As it turns out, I overpronate.  That's a super-fancy word to explain that I roll my feet in at the ankles.  I also have high arches, narrow heels, and wide metatarsals.  Picture frog feet- like big flippers.  Sigh.  Apparently, this may be the cause of my outer ankle pain that kicks in around mile 3.  My new shoes have so much arch support, I feel slanted, but I also admit my feet feel spectacular and after a hard workout, I have absolutely zero ankle pain.


BUT WAIT!


There's more.


The shoes I got were Nikes, and there was a little slot in there for a little Nike disc which can wirelessly connect with your iPod.  It'll give you distance, pace, and play you songs and have a nice male voice saying things in your ear.  I find that, in the gym, it's a little bland as it only gives me pace information.  But once outside, it'll somehow figure out how much distance I will cover.  For example, it's 1/10 of a mile from my apartment door to the gym door.  Finally, at last, I will know how far I'm actually running. All summer long, I used  a fancy technique called "wild guesses" to calculate distance.


Finally, honesty.


And this will make my coach happy.  Since (did I mention it yet?) I'm thinking strongly of signing up for another event in 2011.  We haven't beat cancer just yet.  My partner is getting a stem cell transplant.  His wife is finally off crutches, but their race isn't over.  I bet Team Ben could be even more awesome next time...