Extended Adventure

While I am not writing about everything, I feel that this is a pretty worth while topic to talk about…

Everyone that knows me, knows that wherever I go, our pup Campy is not far behind. She is with me at work, in the car, and anywhere in between.. Now, she will have to share my attention with someone else.

Welcome to the party, Napali.
IMG_0471.JPG She really is a great looking dog


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She is a Catahoula Leopard Dog, was brought up with her 2 sisters from Teaxs, and now she is finding her spot in our house. So far, everything has been going great. Then again, its only been about 4 hours. But, I think she will be a great addition to the family as she has TONS of energy to burn.

What does Campy think about this situation?? Well, she has mixed opinions..
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Easy rest day

Yesterday was a planned out rest day before coach has me doing some tests these next 2 days to see how m progress is coming along.  I was never one to just sit on the couch and do nothing, ok that’s a lie, but the weather is finally nice enough that I can head out with just a pair of shorts and a t-shirt, so out with the dog I went.  My goal, to clean up a bunch of the trails nearby that I will be riding almost daily.

On my ride the other night, I found 3 large downed trees, so I equipped myself with a hatchet and a hand saw and out I went. Sorry for the blurry pictures, I forgot my camera and had to use my Blackberry.

Before:before-1

After:after-2

Not to shabby for a clean up.  I feel proud of my work.  I didn’t take a before picture of this next site.  Honestly, when I got there, it seemed like too much of a daunting task and I didn’t think I had enough time to do the entire thing.

Turns out I did:after-3

These are some of the piles of Hemlock that I had to move:moved-piles

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If you look in the back, you can see the infamous Campycabra:campycabra

Even the Campycabra came in close enough to see what as going on:campycabra2

Holiday Vacation

The last few days have kept me busy both on the bike and off.

On the bike, I put together a few different Pugsley rides.  Gotta say, that bike is pretty much fun to ride.  There isn’t much that stops it.  Unless you are talking about some ice with just a hair of snow over it.  Then, I don’t care how wide the tires are.  Without any studs, its easy to go down.

On New Years Day, the task was simple.  Get on the rollers for 2 hours and spin at around 90-100 RPM.  Easy enough.  Check that one off the list.

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On the 2nd, coach had me going for an aerobic ride, keeping the heart rate down and just enjoying myself.  Pugsley and snow mobile tracks to the rescue.  It was the first time I have been outside on a bike in a while and it was enjoyable, plus it was a night ride and they are always fun.

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Saturday had be doing a little cross training in the form of 3 hours of hiking.  So that is just what I did.

I grabbed my snowshoes (Tubbs Moutaineer) and strapped them on the back pack:

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Dug out the Tubbs poles for some serious conditions:

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My training buddy, the iPod Shuffle:

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But due to the cold and wind, Campy didn’t come along.  Doesn’t she look sad?

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Cranmore Ski Area from the start of my hike.

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Its getting dark, so needed to strap on the headlamp, my Marwi Nightpro Elite.  I’m such a dope.

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Doesn’t it look like I suprised myself with this photo?

wha

This one is from the top of Peaked Mountain of the shopping area of downtown North Conway with all the outlets.  Those bright lights in the middle.  Those are EMS and LL Bean.  I thought those companies wanted to be “green” and “environmentally friendly”?  If that is the case, how much money you think they spend to throw off the most light pollution in the valley??  One would think that with them just buiolding these stores a few months ago and making the inside of the store so “green” that they would have done something for the outside.  I guess not.  Yet another reason I won’t buy anything from them.

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Last but not least was another Pugsley ride on Sunday.  More of the snow mobile trails but this time there was more ice out there.  I went down  going about 20mph on ice and there was nothing I could do about it.  Thankfully, I only whacked my knee on the stem (and pretty hard I must say) and everything else is fine and dandy.

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Today is a rest day before I do some testing for coach tomorrow.

Stupid Daylight

Got to be honest, not a huge fan of this lighting that is going on right now.  By the time I get out of work, it is completely dark.  That is no good.  Last night I strapped on the head light and took Campy out into the woods for a little walk.  I prefer to walk her in the woods because she doesn’t need a leash.  However, she does tend get a little spooked in the woods, so it is usually a short walk.  I figure if I keep going on trails she knows real well, she might get used to being out at night.   I could get up an extra hour early and take her out, but who wants to do that??

Keeping up with the stretching and such tonight.  Other than that, just heading out to vote.  I’m not too stoked on much that I will be voting on other than no longer seeing and hearing all of the nonsense commercials.  Even with my Tivo, they get on my nerves..

Spring Training

Pre-season for the 2009 year has begun.  This past weekend, I sat down and made out a schedule.  It seems like it is going to be a pretty daunting year.  It looks like there will be 10 endurance races that start in June and end in October with August being the toughest month.  Either way, if I plan on doing the races, it is time to start the workouts and that is what I am doing.

This first week, I won’t be doing much in terms of on the bike, but instead some light weight training and some stretching to get the blood flowing to the muscles again.  I will try to sneak out on the bike here and there, but mostly just for fun.  Starting in a week or 2 will begin the structured workouts.

Speaking of stretching things out, went for a few hikes with Campy this weekend.  It was such a nice weekend for it.  Nice 55-60 degree weather, no wind, and just me and the Campster out on the trails.  Ain’t nuttin wrong with that.

Leaky pipes and snow

Nothing great has been going on these last few days.  First, this light is killing me.  By the time I get home, it is damn near dark.  Sure, I can get out the lights and head out, but I really want to take Campy for a run, but she doesn’t do so well in the dark, so we don’t do anything.  Second, the bathroom sink drain just about exploded on us the other day, so I have been playing plumber trying to get it back up and running.  Finally, my plumbers crack hanging out has a purpose.  Since my house hasn’t been updated since the early 1960s, the parts for the drain seem to not be a “standard” anymore so things aren’t that easy to find.  Last night, after cursing for a while, I just ripped everything out that I could and will start from scratch tomorrow with it.  I say tomorrow because the plumbing store will be closed when I get home from work.  Why don’t I just go to Home Depot or Lowe’s?  Mostly because the people that work at our are idiots…so I will be staying away from there as much as possible..

On a side note, we are supposed to get an inch of snow tonight.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed and hope warm weather comes in and pushes that snow outta here…

Back to work

Ugh, Mondays.  I don’t really like Mondays, but does anyone?  Its not that I don’t like my job.  I enjoy it to be honest.  It’s just the fact of getting up, and actually going somewhere on someone else’s schedule.  On the weekends, I set my own schedule and that is much better…

This weekend didn’t have much excitement.  Took the dog for a couple hour walk both days to keep her mind occupied.  These next few weeks will be taken easy and just out having fun as the beginning part of training will start during the middle of November.  I haven’t picked the dreadful date yet, but it is coming soon.

Other than that, nothing too exciting except for the fact that we are supposed to get a bit of snow this evening with a high of 37 tomorrow.  I guess winter is coming, and its coming fast.

Night rides and bleeding brakes

Here in New England, the day light is fading fast. It is getting pretty dark around 6:30-7 already. So last night, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to get home and ride before it got dark so I charged up the batteries for my lights. At about 7:30 I left out for the Cranmore access road for 3 reasons.  1)  A sweet, sweet downhill in the Red Tail Trail.  2) I wanted to punish myself a little bit.  That access road is steep in some parts and going give me a quality workout and 3) I wanted to hear the screams of the Cranmore Ghoullog.  If you aren’t familiar with what the Ghoullog is, it is a little halloween event where they try to scare the hell out of you.  They have a little maze set up on the bottom of the mountain and some on the top.  I would imagine it is a nice little set up by looking at the pictures and the money they dump into it.  Anyway, I did the access road to hear the screams of the people, and boy were their screams.  After about 20 minutes of hear coyotes howl (I imagine it was just a tape being played over and over) and people scream, I got a little weirded out, after all, I was out in the dark woods all by myself.  So, I hit play on the ipod, got the death metal cranking and started the pedaling.  Moral of the story?  There is nothing like a good, 2 hour night right.  I got home around 9ish and was completely pumped and just stoked on how much fun it is to ride at night.  If you have never done it and are a big mountain biker, I would suggest getting yourself some lights and head out.

Today was spent watching PSU whoop up on Purdue in football, followed by some hiking with the dog and bleeding of some brakes.  Usually some sloppy brakes don’t bother me so much, but having hardly any front or rear brakes coming down the entire Red Tail Trail was a bit unnerving, enough for me to come home and actually do a little maintenance to the bike.  After getting some HUGE bubbles out of both brake systems, I will feel a little more confident about riding down hills from now on.

I think tomorrow, the Campster and I will hit one of the local 4000 footers (a mountain over 4000 ft tall) to get her a good workout.  If I am feeling good afterwards, I will head out on the bike…maybe on a night ride. Who knows….

A good but tiring weekend..

Kelly’s brother had to move apartments again, so Kelly and I went down to Boston to lend a hand. Thank goodness everything was moved into the new place, we just had to help rearrange everything. I must say it was quite the weekend. The good part about it was that Campy did well in a new house, a new yard and with tons of new people….

Tonight though, I had an realization. With a little reminder and some clever math from some fellow riders, I found out the 24 hours of Great Glen race is in a hair less than 10 weeks. Ok, I think I can handle the training, but I do need to start losing the weight. 10 weeks, 30 pounds, thats an average of 3 lbs a week. That is easily doable. I just need to keep my mind on track and have Kelly quit baking so much. With wanting to do some cyclocross races this fall, I figure some running will help out. So the plan is to run, walk the dog and bike, not all in everyday, but do possibly 2 of 3 every day. Last Thanksgiving when I was running 20 miles a week, I was dropping weight and in GREAT shape. So its time to get back on the horse, or off the horse (whatever that saying is). Either way, as Mello says about buffets and the last day of vacations……its balls to the wall time. No more screwing around. Its time to get serious. I figure week 1, keep a serious log about what I eat. I used to count calories, but not this time. just write it down so I know what to eliminate for the next week. Tomorrow is the start of a new day, and a start of a new Mike…..

Gone and back again

I was away for a bit of time down in New Jersey for the Mountain bike US Open.  It was a pretty good event.  We sold some tires, watched some racing, and did a little road riding.

Back home in NH now and getting ready to seriously start training for this 24 hour race that I signed up for.   I am actually in the search for a 12 hour race or something along those lines to get me into shape for it.  If anyone has any good ideas for things in the northeast, let me know.  I have found a couple, but due to traveling with work, it makes it hard to get to them.

On a different note, I found out why Campy has the runs pretty bad.  I got home yesterday for lunch and there was puke and poop everywhere.  I started to clean it and found some blood in the mix.  After giving her a bath, we loaded her into the car and went right to the vet.  After a bunch of tests, we found out she has a virus called campylobacter.  I guess it is something she most likely caught at the kennel and never shook.  Now she is on some meds and hopefully feeling better.   She certainly keeps life interesting…