September 16th, 2007


Running, Biking, Geocaching

Yesterday was a busy day, as you might have gathered from the voice posts. All told, it was a very successful busy day.

I got up as early as I could manage and finished getting my stuff ready for the day. I had big plans: a long run, a bit of biking, and lots of geocaching. I was running later than I hoped, but it was OK. I finished setting my bike up, which involved going to the hardware store to pick up some screws to attach my luggage rack to the back. I threw the bike on the back of the truck, along with a cooler full of water. I loaded the cab up with a few changes of clothes, and I headed out to Salem Lake to start my day. I chose to go there because next week, I'll be running in the Salem Lake 10K and I wanted to get a good idea of what the course would look like. My original plan was to run around the entire perimeter of the lake, but I got off to a late enough start that I decided to modify my plan. So, instead, I just ran out along the trail for a half hour, then turned around and ran back to the truck. It got me a 4.5 mile run, and a good idea of what the course looked like. I think my run this Saturday will be a good one, and I should be able to finish before they close the course (I need to finish in an hour and a half). I'm guessing around an hour and twenty minutes for my time.

Once back at the truck, I changed out of my running clothes into biking clothes (plus shorts more than the spandex). After just a little bit, drjekyll arrived, and we got set to bike around the lake, looking for the handful of geocaches that we hadn't found when we were last in the park in December. It was a good ride, although the first hill was a killer. By riding all along the lake, I also learned that the first hill is really the only hill of significance I'll have to contend with on my run Saturday. That's good to know. We found the caches that were findable (several of them are currently disabled). One of them, St. Pat's Cache, gave us particular trouble, but we finally found it. Another good one was Birds of a Feather -- it had that kind of logic problem I enjoy doing. I didn't get it solved, though. But drjekyll had solved it, so we were in good shape.

The biking was really cool. For the most part, the trail was easy to navigate -- wide, hard-packed dirt. But we took a couple of side trails that was real mountain biking. We even discovered a hidden skate park in the middle of the woods. It was pretty freaky.

By the time we finished all that, we were hot, sweaty, and hungry. So we headed over to a Mexican restaurant for supper, where we were joined by beefhyde. It was really yummy.

After supper, we headed over to Walkertown for the Flash Mob Event. We got there early, so we looked for (and found) a couple of other caches. The event was a blast. Afterwards, I hung around a bit, catching up with friends. Lots of fun. It kinda defeats the purpose of a flash mob, but I wish there was more time for hanging out.

Finally, I headed back home. Hot and tired. I slept well.

I'm Getting in Shape

All the running I've been doing lately is really starting to pay off.

I didn't take my bike out of my truck when I got home last night. When I went to do that today, I decided to go on another ride. I ended up doing 13 miles!

I headed down the greenway near our house to the hospital on Friendly. On my way back toward the house, I realized that I took the couple of hills on the greenway without really thinking about it. I couldn't do that a couple of months ago.

When I got back home, I didn't really want to quit, so I decided to try to bike to my office without getting on any big roads for very long. Thank goodness for my GPSr! It kept trying to take me to some major roads (even though I told it to pick the best route for a bicycle), but every time I ignored it, it kept recalculating. Eventually, we came to a compromise. It ran out of nearby big roads to steer me towards, and let me take smaller roads until I got real close to the office. I think I'll try using that route for a bit and see how it works during the week. My biggest concern is crossing Cone. We'll see.

I got home and sprayed my bike down pretty good, knocking yesterday's mud off of it. I should really clean the chain and see about making some minor adjustments to the brakes and derailleur to make it a bit more efficient. I'm almost sure I need to get a new inner tube for the rear wheel. I seem to have a slow leak that I can't find. I'd like to avoid taking it to the shop for a "tune-up" -- I attended a free "basic bike maintenance" class at REI a few weeks ago, so I think I can do most of what needs to be done. The only thing I don't think I can do is true the wheels. And I think they might need truing, 'cause they both rub against the brake at a certain point of their rotation. I'll work on the rest of the stuff and see about getting my wheels trued (if they need it) later.

If I can get up early enough, I think I might try riding my bike to work tomorrow. Eh, no, I'll probably wait 'till Tuesday -- I'm not sure I want to throw in a bike ride to work after my training run just yet. After yesterday's activities, I'm sure I can take it, but I'd rather just start up with one thing at a time. Plus, that will give me a chance to get an inner tube tomorrow afternoon.

Allright, I guess I'll get the rest of the stuff out of the truck, take a shower, do my laundry, and work on cleaning up the clutter I've allowed to accumulate around the house over the past few weeks.