Trust the Fork

I think my weekends are getting busier.  And not just from training – but life in general.  I’m not sure at what point combustion will occur, but I’ll let ya know if it happens.

Friday:

The Washington National’s moved from the ‘glorious’ RKF Stadium to their Nationals Ballpark a few weekends ago.  And I got some cheap tickets to check out the digs this weekend.  $10 cheap.  I enjoy just wandering around the park so cheap seats are good.  Plus after a few innings you can usually move down to better seats – especially given the stadium was only half full.

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The short review: I don’t like the outside – it’s too 90’s ‘convention center’ looking.  But I do like the inside.  It feels small inside, and there are NO bad seats that I could find.  And my original $10 ticket was pretty darn high up, although you wouldn’t think so from the above photo.  Lower photo is where I moved to later on.

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Saturday:

It’s long-run time.  That what my Saturday’s are all about (well, that and the bike and swim afterwards).  The Pacers group was starting from their Clarendon store because they are opening up a new Tri store soon.  They were planning a simple 12 mile out and back course (6 out, 6 back).  But I needed to get in 2:20 of running.  So I created the mother of all loops.  Encompassed almost all of the major trails.  Curtis, W&OD, Four Mile Run, Mt. Vernon, and the Monuments.  See below for the overview.  Oh, did I mention it was hot out?  80* and thunderstorms/humid.  But the rain felt nice.  Just shy of 19 miles later, I got back to the store (on time).  My pace suffered a bit due to my failure to correctly hydrate/nutrient myself over the first 15 or so miles (and then I got some Gatorade from a vendor near Jefferson).  Lesson learned…again.

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Oh – and I saw The Lazy Triathlete out on the Mt. Vernon trail around mile 13-14.  I was in a bit of a whacked zone at that moment, so it didn’t all mentally process until later.  He was clearly more alert than I though.

After that, I jumped on the bike and headed for a hard 20 mile ride.  In the rain.  Actually, let me correct that.  In the elephant-sized leak of a rainstorm.  Pounding rain – rain that actually almost hurt.  And my helmet got another shower out of it.  But it was fun!  I was cruising through literally an inch or more of moving water at times.  Good times though – it keeps it enjoyable honestly.  After that I added water again and knocked out a few thousand yards in the pool.

Following that, it was time to cook dinner for a friend that came over.  It was good fun.  I made everything from scratch.  The two main dishes were:

- Watercress Salad with a Citrus Vinaigrette, paired with a Watermelon soup and marinated watermelon chunks

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- Roasted portobello mushrooms over sauteed eggplant on a bed of baked phyllo dough, all on top of some reduced balsamic vinegar sauce

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I had also started making baguettes from scratch, but they were late rising so I had to bring in some standby bread instead.  But tomorrow I’ll have fresh baguettes.

Sunday:

I decided I was slowly getting sick of the same cycling routes/trails.  I hit up this site, which has a ton of trails and rides listed for the DC area for cyclists, and picked one heading out to the shore.  I planned about 55-60 miles, or enough to keep me busy for 3 hours.  I printed out the cue sheets and then put them inside some plastic protectors and then folded and rubber banded them to my aero bars.  Perfect!

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However, having very easy to follow and clear directions did not keep me from totally messing up three separate times.  In general, a point to point course should not look like a fork.  Mine looked like a slightly melted pitchfork.  SLB, now you can laugh at my chart.  Perhaps I should look at getting one of those Garmin Edge cycling computers that actually TELLS you were you’re going. 

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It was a really nice ride though (well, the parts where I wasn’t accidentally merging onto I-95N, or otherwise off course).  But the ride included cows and deer and rolling green fields and nice farmland.

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I have come up with three rules though that I need to implement for future cue sheet riding:

1) If something doesn’t seem right – it’s already too late

2) If it seems like I’m on a road with lots of traffic – it’s already too late

3) If the mileages don’t line up exactly – it’s already too late

That said, one of these weekends I’ll make it to the shore successfully.

Following the bike, I did a quick brick and knocked out a 5K in 20 minutes flat.  Shortly afterwards I realized the training plan said “IM Race Pace” and not just “Race Pace”.  Doh.  Oh well.

With that… I’m done.  Have a good week!

Actually, not quite done.  I just finished booking my tickets to Wildflower – woohoo!

Ok, now done. :)

15 Comments

  1. I can help you out with the "why I am so busy" problem you are having. Look at everything you did not Saturday. LOL

    Reply
  2. Dang! You did a Bass Ackwards training day on Saturday, LOL.

    O.K., where did you learn to cook. If I let my husband fix me a sandwich it would be peanut butter and swiss cheese on a left-over cinnamon roll.

    Reply
  3. I haven't been but man from what I've heard and now read... I can't wait to go to Nats Park!

    Nice training weekend! Wow a 5k in20 min off the bike! Smokin'

    Reply
  4. ha ha i love your rules.

    and nevermind you, MY HEAD is going to explode from all your escapades.

    especially that dinner! you're such a TEASE.

    Reply
  5. Great tip on the cue sheet storage...I'll have to use that, since I don't have a Garmin Edge. Hopefully, I won't be going on 95 though.

    I was hoping to go to that Clarendon brick workout, but alas, I'm still rehabbing the IT band, so I went for a swim and a bike. I did pass by a bunch of the folks who were coming back from their rides though and it looked like fun. Oh, and I've done that mega loop before while training for the marathon. Not a bad run when its not too crowded on the trails.

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  6. Viv

    The ballpark looks great on the inside! For a $10 seat you got a great view, but I am sure they made up their price on the ticket with the overpriced beer. Still, nothing beats ball and beer.

    Awesome training weekend! Are ya wet from sat still, geez! Great idea on the direction sheets. I usually put them on my phone, which requires pulling over..arr.

    Dinner looked delish, supah classy :-)

    Reply
  7. Great ride, great run and sounds like you had a really fun weekend, but I think you missed your calling. You would make one heck of a chef!

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  8. You are a serious chef. That meal was tres impressive. And you made your own baguettes?? Holy cow!
    I love the pics of the ride.

    Reply
  9. Ahh, the ballpark as viewed through a beer glass. My hobby is seeing at least one new major league baseball park a year. Last year I knocked off Anaheim Stadium and SF Giants Stadium, completing all the CA stadiums. This year I don't have to go anywhere to do it (Nats). Then for the two years after that I can do NYC (new Yankee and new Shea). Hardest for me to do is going to be Seattle some year.

    A week ago Sunday when I did my 20, you said you coincidentally thought of me as you went out on the W&OD, wondering how far out I'd ever been west. Actually, 2 bikers went by me out there, and one was a tall skinny redhead. I was about to ask him, Are you Rainmaker? but I knew he wasn't b/c he was going too slow. He was friendly tho, he got his gears mixed up crossing a road out there and I darted past him momentarily and said, Ha Ha, Beat ya. He looked at me and laughed. (Humor isn't always clear when one or the other is tired.)

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  10. i'm most likely gonna be @ Wildflower. not racing though; probably doing a half marathon the day before. but my girlfriend and several other friends are going so i'll head down sat. night and stay through sunday. it's only about 3 hours away for me :-)

    i did ok on a sprint distance bike portion this weekend; averaged about 21mph on the bike which is fast for me :-) it was my first time on the bike since the Half. my hip is still giving me problems; need to go see a chiropractor.

    Reply
  11. SLB

    HAHAHHAHAHA ok got that out my system, looks like a nice ride! Never underestimate rolling green fields.

    You are Mr Busy busy busy!

    Reply
  12. Nat

    I can't believe how much you crammed in to one weekend! I also can't believe you can cook like that....if I make anything other than cereal (including anything out of a box), it's a good day. A very good day.

    Reply
  13. nats park loooks pretty cool...

    i would take in a game there. but.....

    its already too late!!!! sorry just funning on you on the rules...haha.

    I just thought of something...if the indians had not traded bartolo colon to the expos in 02, your starting centerfielder would be grady sizemore, one of your homies from seattle area.

    hey...my daughters a chef...so..maybe if.....ahhh....forget it...haha

    Reply
  14. As soon as I saw that ballpark in March, I checked the schedule for my next trip out there to see if the Nats would be in town. They'll be on a road trip - rats.

    Way to keep cranking out those long workouts! Wildflower's sneaking up soon.

    Reply
  15. I have been away for too long - I didn't realize DC had such a thing as National Ballpark! And, I can't believe this is ONE weekend. Can you cook for me when I'm in town?

    Reply

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