While I didn't have to endure anything even remotely resembling a 'Blitzkreig', I was engaged in a program ostensibly 'designed' to get my lazy drunk ass back into a work-out regimen over the thanksgiving holiday.
Wednesday, november 24 - an easy 4+ mile run with Matt Simpson, Dan Verrington, and Dave Dunham.
For those not in the know, Dan and Dave are two of the most prolific and accomplished runners in new england. Dave just had an article published in the local newspaper. His career stats are at the end of the article.
Dan's accomplishments are no less impressive, and Matt used to run with the Whirlaway elite team before he tore his achilles tendon several years ago. Matts first forays back into running this year after five years away from the sport are mind boggling. Contrast that with my best effort.
Thursday, november 25 - 18 miles ride up to relative's house in Derry for thanksgiving dinner. It was quite cold with a noticeable headwind the whole way, and I didn't actually warm up until I made it over Warner Hill, with less than 5 miles to go.
I know, it ain't much, but it kinda hurts when it's below freezing into a head wind and you haven't really ridden in a month.
We ate a lot, drank a lot, watched the Patriots finally get their heads out of the asses, and then watched three episodes of The Walking Dead - A dramatic tale of the interactions of several families thrown together on the aftermath of an apocalypse of flesh-eating zombies. Wonderful entertainment after feasting on various forms of roasted animal flesh.....
Friday, november 26 - simple run with my dog
Saturday, November 27 - met up with Simpson again for a CX tour of some local power lines and the former Bensons Wild Animal farm, now turned into a public park.
Bensons is literally crying out to have a 'cross course run on it. There are about 5 miles of a mixture of paved and non-paved trails, some groomed, some not, with a large picnic/ festival area. Seriously, if I didn't live so far away and was hooked up with a local racing club, I'd be all over it.
Sunday, November 28 - Simpson coerces me to com back, this time for a CX tour of some local apple orchards and another pass at Bensons, this time with "The German", aka "the tank"
Roland is a German immigrant living in the US for several years. I didn't get to asking him his citizenship status or if he was raised in the DDR or FRG.
Generally speaking, I was breathing too hard to get out much conversation. Roland is 55, and has an unbelievable amount of fitness and power. Apparently, he also has a reputation amoungst many local racers as being _the_ guy to train with in the off season. After the first hill we went up, I would agree. the guy just rolled effortlessly up over it, with me almost helplessly going into O2 debt just trying to stay in his wheel.
He was on a new 'cross bike, and it was pretty evident he wasn't too interested in ripping up the course like Matt and I. We were diving into the corners around the apple trees, and he was slowing down taking his time. Not that it mattered, as soon as he was out of a turn he was on and past us like a laser. He turned on the gas a few times out on the road, and I was lucky enough to be able to catch his wheel. I could draft him, and that was about it. The truth was told though, as the ride wore on, he would simply maintain his pace on the hills, and I was promptly dispatched. His steady drive and pace was nothing if not blitzkrieg-esque. However, in the woods was a different story. I don't know if it was a lack of handling skills, or just unfamiliarity with the new bike, but he wasn't too keen on staying with us in the fun double track around Bensons or the walking trails around the orchards. Something told me though, if he wanted to, it would have been a different story.