Well, it's been an interesting few days. I was able to get in some really good training with my friend Big John who's in his build-up for IM Coeur d'Alene. It's interesting how I met John. We met on the during the bike portion of Beach 2 Battleship last year. Out on the course he recognized my Harrell's jersey and we rode together for a while and chatted a bit. John is definitely an accomplished endurance athlete, having competed in triathlon for many years with multiple ironmans but also 24 hour races and adventure racing!!
I laid down some solid efforts on the bike because my plan called for time in z3 and z4, but also to see how his fitness is progressing since our last training session together. I'm happy to say that he held up quite well. I can see that he has been steadily raising his level of endurance and speed. Here's a picture of John after our climb to the top of Little Mountain (in the big ring for me I might add :p)
I would say that Little Mountain is really just steep hill. Maybe it's 3/4 of a mile to the top at about a 10-12% grade along a narrow little road. Climbs never looks as steep in pictures ...
When you get to the top of the hill you are rewarded with this beautiful view of a cellular tower
From here we rode a steady effort for a while and then went to ride good old Mike Stuck, which is a 15% grade I'm told but not as long as Little Mountain. Thankfully the Chow Mutt of Death (some of y'all know what I'm talking about) wasn't there to greet after getting through the climb.
After 2.5 hours on the bike we headed over the Harbison forest to run the outer loop. I thought this was 15k but turned out to be a little less than 9 miles. The outer loop is very curvy and undulating and hilly and rooty and is the staple weekend run of all the ultra trail runner nuts around here. I guess they do it twice though!
After this I had to wait for the pool to reopen after closing for a mid-afternoon 2 hour cleaning (every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday!!!!) I was tired and encrusted in salt. Here I am before a short nap in the truck. Click on the picture if you want to see the gory details ...
After a mentally challenging (despite it's shortness) 2 km swim, it was time to switch focus to becoming Superdad. My wife went out of town for the weekend leaving me to take care of the three kiddies (scary, huh?) Thankfully my mom came over to help out which made it easier. Also the fact that it wasn't bath night and we went to eat at San Jose made for a pretty simple evening. The next morning after making pancakes for the crew we drove out to my mom's house in country with the hope of wearing the kids slap out!
Now I will have to tell you that my mom is the queen of the front porch. Dare I say no one does front porches like my mom does front porches. I don't even want to call them porches ... they are more like hybrid rooms that bridge the gap between the outdoors and the indoors. Her latest custom porch is larger than her house I think. It has at least 12 foot ceilings - if not 14 on the enclosed portion. There is Sony surround sound, a dining room table, rocking chairs, day bed, ancient Native American pottery and arrowheads, petrified wood, feather collection, various rocks, driftwood incense holders she made from when we lived on Hilton Head island, shells, huge rugs, candles, floor to ceiling drapes, antique chest of drawers, many stools, wicker this and wicker that. On the un-enclosed portions there's a wood burning fire place, rigging from ships holding hanging plants ... it's hard to describe. I love it though ... it reminds me of my childhood and my time with her. It was so relaxing to listen the Eagles latest album with the sound of the wind and the smell of incense that I fell asleep on the porch in the day bed. If there's one thing Mom knows how to do well it's RELAX!
Here's a picture of the house ... or rather, the porch with a little house in the background :-)
I'll leave you with this picture of the kids in a rare moment of unity strolling down the dirt road on the way back to Mom's house from our walk to the lake.
They are going to need me early in the morning ... better get to sleep. Later!