Sunday, October 17, 2010

Exploring the Gateway Trail and Celebrating an Important Day

Yeah yeah yeah.  I know.  I made some pretty big promises in my last post.  Well, sometimes plans change.  I promised a long bike ride last weekend with all kinds of photos.  I did, in fact, take a nice long ride last Sunday.  Heck.  I even lugged my camera with me the whole way.  What I neglected to bring was my data card, which was resting safely in my laptop.  Whoops.

In any event, I started the ride by hopping towards the Greenway trail and heading east towards the river.  Once I crossed the river, I continued east on Summit.  There's a nice bike lane on either side of the street.  You can take it all the way to the Cathedral, but I decided to head north on Dale street in the Direction of Cayuga Park.

The park itself is fairly nondescript, but it IS significant for one big reason - it's the western terminus of the Gateway trail.  You see, since I'm a Minneapolis boy, I don't ride on the east end of the metro very often, and I've never actually been on the Gateway before.  The trail starts in St. Paul and heads all the way out to Stillwater.  It's put together pretty well.  The trail is wide and the pavement is smooth.

I stayed on the trail until I hit a good turn-around point - somewhere near North High School.  Then I headed back the way I came.  It was an excellent day for a ride.  We've been really blessed around here lately.  It's not too often that one can go for a 4+ hour ride in the middle of October in just shorts and a jersey.

Here's a look at the route I took:   

I took a slightly different return route through St. Paul so I could stop at Jimmy John's for a sandwich.  A man's gotta eat ya know.  

On Monday I hit the gym.  I've been giving Pilates a try for the last couple of weeks.  I'm hoping that it will help with both my flexibility and my core strength.  I'm also hoping that it will keep me engaged in working out through the lean winter months when going to the gym can get to be a drag.  So far, it's been a nice alternative to all the swimming, biking and running.  I'm not sure if it's working yet, but it sure is one heckuva workout.  I'm sweating buckets just a few minutes into it.  After a one hour session on Monday, I can still feel it in my abs on Wednesday.  If Pilates continues to go well, I'll do a write up in a month or two to detail my experiences.

On Wednesday, I did my first speed work since the Ironman.  I found a nice straight stretch of road in the neighborhood that just happens to be EXACTLY half a mile long.  I did several 1/2-mile repeats, averaging about 3:30.  Okay.  So I'm still not FAST, but I am getting fast-ER.  I'm hoping that a little bit of speed work now will pay off with some quicker splits when I do the Monster Dash 10-miler in a couple of weeks. 

Some day soon, I'll work on a more structured workout plan.  For now, I'm just kind of going by feel.  This is fine by me.  After so many months with a singular focus, it's kinda nice to do what I like.  Once there is another goal or two on the horizon, then we can talk about a serious training plan.

Thursday, The Wife and I celebrated our 4th Wedding Anniversary.  According to tradition, this is the 'linen' anniversary.  So, we 'gave' each other some comfy new bedsheets.  Nice.  Incidentally, I'm looking forward to next year, when I can give my wife wood.  Heh heh.

It's hard to believe that 4 years have already gone by.  It seems like only yesterday I was sobering up after our wedding reception.  Being married is great.  Sure, it can be a lot of work, and  I gave up trying to understand everything going on inside The Wife's head a long time ago.  Sometimes we're all lovey-dovey, and sometimes I go to bed wondering if my latest bonehead move will cause The Wife to murder me in my sleep.  But, in the end every day is a whole new flavor of rewarding. 

Here's to you Honey!

Enjoying last year's trip to Notre Dame.  Go ahead.  Try to find a more adorable couple.

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