I got a chance last weekend to practice my get-up-and-do-it philosophy of my previous blog post. Saturday I had to get up early (for me, 6:30) and provide support for the NABR ride. While I didn't do much in the way of physical activity (I drove around the course, fixed a few bikes, and picked up a crash victim) I did get a taste of what cycling is for some folks.
Don't get me wrong, most of the folks out there were riding, having a good time, and being responsible cyclists, but there were a number who didn't do any of those. Bike riding for them was an excuse to drink (a lot), complain about almost everything cycling related, and act like it was a "hard ride".
I have a lot more respect for the person who goes out on their decade old hybrid, does the 12 mile loop and finishes exhausted than the person who goes out on their '11 carbon & Dura-Ace race machine, does half of the the 42 mile loop, and then has to be picked up at the VFW because they're too drunk to continue. I guess everyone has their own way of having fun.
I was also surprised that there were at least three fairly serious crashes (as far as I know not alcohol related). I hardly ever see anyone crash on a gravel ride, but on clean dry pavement people still managed to go down. Two of the crash victims ended up in the ER with likely concussions. Luckily those folks were wearing helmets. However after the ride one person still had the gall to argue that helmets don't do any good and said you'd never catch him wearing one.
But enough complaining on my part. I had a good time helping out and seeing a lot of people whose bikes I fix enjoying those bikes.
Afterward, since it was such a nice day, I got out and practiced my in-line skating. I got a few miles in and gained a little more confidence on the skates. It's tough, but enjoyable learning a new skill and I hope my work pays off come winter when I get on the skis.
Sunday I got up at 5:30 after four hours of sleep to run the TIMTAM 50k. There was a pretty small turnout for this virtually unadvertised race, but who can complain about a nice low key race like this for $10 within two miles of home. The course is pretty flat and I was hoping to PR in both the Marathon and 50k. I don't know if I managed it in the Marathon as I don't know what my split was, but I did manage it in the 50k. I didn't have much trouble (as expected), but I did have to dig down a little bit when I wanted to walk about 25 miles in.
Recovery was good too. I'm back to 100% after just two days as I had hoped. All in line with my summer fitness goals. I want to be able to run a 50k or ride 150 miles of gravel without seriously tapering or hurting afterwards. Ultimately I'd like to expand this goal to include skating or roller-skiing, but I don't know what an appropriate distance is yet.