Sunday, May 15, 2011
Binghamton Bridge Run
I have to admit I had my doubts how this run was going to go with all the forecasts of thunderstorms and the steadiness of the rain that kicked in just an hour or so before the 5K was to begin. I had no doubt I was going to DO IT, just wondered how gratifying it might be.
THEN I discovered from some fellow members of SP who were also doing the 5K that mp3 players weren't allowed unless you signed some sort of waiver. Of course I could have read all the details posted about the run, but you know us guys...READ?!?! :-)
So I wore my red SparkPeople shirt and navy shorts, headed out and turned on my "inner radio"...using this tune which did so well for my big Ocean City century ride last year:
And VOILA! The rain dropped off to a light, spotty drizzle which was pretty pleasant and MISSED when it stopped! Fellow Sparker BAM-MA set a good pace for the first stretch down Clinton and we chatted a little bit along the way. Perhaps it was all those old treadmill sessions of yore with the incline set at "10," but for some reason I seemed to want to pick up the pace while heading uphill on Jarvis toward Main St. I THOUGHT I had kicked it up a bit on the last stretch heading down Main St. into the stadium, but somewhere later I thought I saw a time of 40 mins. But then the official time was posted of just over 35 mins., which was a nice surprise after pulling 40s during all my practice jogs.
There is something about an event like this which really makes a person want to do their very best! I was nearly last in my age group, but I'm very pleased with my jog.
We had such a WONDERFUL turnout for the event among our Binghamton Area Losers! Way to SPARK you guys!
Will I be back for more in the future...?
Hmmm...well maybe this catchy oldie I revisited during our Spinning class this past Saturday offers a clue:
Make it a SPARKIN' week everyone!
Friday, May 13, 2011
...and plopped a ball in the sand right in front of me begging to have me join in the fun just like the dog sitting atop VALERIEMAHA's posting of Hafiz's fierce, yet delightful reminder "to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom:"
So out into the sun I went! And into the fitness center as well. Today was a double whammy day as I had a late work day yesterday that totally wiped out any chance of working out. I suppose you really can't "make up" for what you didn't do yesterday but today was my attempt nonetheless...lol! As I had gone to the movies (I saw a movie I never would have DREAMED I would have seen..."Fast Five"...ugh! That'll teach me to have a "Client's Choice" night...lol!) with my clients last night I flexed my time off for this afternoon and had some time to "play!" :-)
Back on the bike for my commute, including a 5K jog at Otsiningo on the way home. Also stopped at Riverwalk Athletic Center for a set of ST, 30 mins. elliptical, another set of ST and 30 mins. rowing machine. Caught up with a private client at my office in the mix as well. Had my pannier CRAMMED with office clothes, notebook, address book and my mp3 player which DIED on me during my RiverWalk workout (forgot to charge it...grr!). Had to do my 5K jog sans music...!
So, time to turn on my internal "radio" and whaddya know but an old Wes Montgomery version of "Tequila" comes to mind. Wes was one of my first jazz guitar inspirations and remains one of my favorites:
Don't ask me why that song came along! But it soon got boring and I needed to shake it loose for something else. Just couldn't seem to do it though! So I tried something else: a failed "project" of mine last year when we got our new cell phones which had an micro SD slot was to put a lot of tunes on my phone so I could listen to them whenever I wanted. Problem? My headphones aren't compatible with my phone and the speaker on the phone really doesn't sound too hot.
But: it was better than nothing! So I played tunes on my phone, which would at least give me some idea of tunes to hear mostly internally through my memory.
First up? Santana's Life Is Anew!
Then Don Henley's Not Enough Love in the World
Lots of others...U2 picked up the pace with Get On Your Boots
All in all a great day to SPARK and soak up that sun before it hibernates as the weather is calling for rain for all but one day during the next two weeks...OOF!
That INCLUDES a forecast for THUNDERSHOWERS on SUNDAY, the day of the Binghamton Bridge Run and my 1st official 5K...this could be interesting...
Monday, May 09, 2011
While rolling on into work today I began to notice something different about today's ride: I wasn't hitting any red lights!
Okay, so let's have a little fun and see how my luck (and a little psyching, timing skill) continues.
Well I counted 13 traffic lights on my way to work (hmm...maybe I want a RECOUNT and see if I get a different total...lol) and took care as I approached each light and VOILA! Didn't snag a single red light! (you don't want to know how many tissues I filled when I finally stopped...lol!)
The sun is out, heading for upper 60's, no traffic lights...hey, it's just GOTTA be one humdinger of a day ahead, right? Maybe I'd better head to Vegas or Atlantic City?
I'll let you know later if I get struck by lightning for tempting the fates...! :-)
And here's your cycling news of the day, continuing our "May Is National Cycling Month" theme:
"As Gas Prices Soar Cycling Gains Speed"
"As gas prices surge beyond $4 a gallon, more Americans are cycling as a way to stay fit, save money, or both."
One of my favorite fellows and causes, Tim Blumenthal, president of www.Peopleforbikes.org is featured in the article.
If you haven't yet done so...it's WAY past time to dust off that bike and zip off for some FUN!
ps...after today's commute of 20 miles this year's cycling totals will be up to 239 miles.
Sunday, May 08, 2011
We had a great turnout for our bike club's roadside clean up yesterday! Sadly, we found stuff that demonstrated such APPALLING disregard for all the beauty that nature can bring us: a pc monitor sitting in a puddle down the bank from the shoulder and a lazy boy recliner which had been rolled down the bank of somebody's pick up truck no doubt. I carefully picked up the larger pieces of a heavy glass liquor bottle that had been smashed on a roadside post with pieces all over the riding path of a route which I frequently take. I scruffed the smaller pieces off the shoulder into the grass well out of the path of bicycle tires.
Afterward we all hopped on our bikes for a well-worn route up 79 to Whitney Point. Enjoyed some conversation with another member along the way who clocked us at 17 mph. Nope still no gizmo on my bike to measure such things. But each time I have a member check my speed I find I typically run between 14-18 mph depending on road conditions and elevations. This places me at a middle-of-the-road sorta speed with approximately 1/2 of the riders slower than me and the other 1/2 faster and I'm pretty content with that. Not looking to be a speed freak as I think it would take away too much enjoyment of being out on my bike! Last year coming down Bear Spring Mountain into Downsville we reached around 50 mph coming down a PERFECT road for such a thrilling descent...straight, smooth, no curves or turns...just a swooping, whooping joy!
Whitney Point offers many different interesting routes to take and the 15-20 of us splintered up into various directions. As I had some things to do in the afternoon I opted to simply return back to Chenango Forks with a few others. Soon I felt as though I'd cheated myself from getting out into some new territory. I'd forgotten how much I enjoyed doing that!
Fortunately one of the other members thought of a "detour" on the way back which proved to be delightful! Up Cloverdale Road we went! Nice, quiet, tucked away into the back woods with banks of trees fuzzy with early green sprouting from their branches sprawling before us. I could imagine this view transforming in the fall with the leaves changing color! I'll most definitely be back for THAT! :-)
After a while we rode up to the Black Bear Winery, a place I'd always meant to visit, but never have:
The owners had been puttering around outside and were JUST getting ready to open up shop (noon time). So in we popped to have a look-see! The fellow showed us around sharing that he specializes in making wine from everything EXCEPT grapes...cool twist! Turns out they have an open mike every Friday when folks stop by with their guitars and have fun singing bluegrass and other types of music. I told him my guitar has been gathering too much dust lately and I might just stop back for some fun! Not that I play bluegrass (prefer jazz) but I think I might be able to join in or, who knows kick out a solo tune or two? :-)
He showed us the various vats, tanks and bottles where his current projects were coming along nicely. Very fastidious, neat and tidy facilities! Even if I DON'T drink wine except for rare occasions, for the ambiance and fun...? I'll be back!
I felt SO much better for having taken "the road less traveled" and was ready for the day ahead! Isn't it funny how just a slight tweak, just off the beaten path can open one's eyes too some wonderful things...? Today's was a shorter ride of 22 miles, bringing this year's totals up to 219 miles.
Continuing to celebrate the spirit of Bicycle Month I'll share some notes from our local bike club members on our local television channel:
Go-Green: Save Money and the Environment by Riding a Bike
And a neat BBC series all about bicycles...the first part:
Ride of My Life - The Story of the Bicycle
Links subsequent installments are on the right side of that web page.
Everyone make it a special and wonderful Mother's Day!
Saturday, May 07, 2011
Had a TERRIFIC day yesterday mixing it up with work, cycling and jogging. Biked to my day job, then over to my office to see a client privately and then up to our local park with a great trail along the Chenango River: Otsiningo Park. Off the bike, changed into shorts & T-shirt and then off for a 5K jog! Biked home for a total of 20 miles for the day, bringing this cycling season's totals up to 197 miles.
So what's the "first"...? Got a call from home, needed a prescription picked up. Well there really wasn't a convenient place to lock up my bike so...what the heck: Use the Drive Thru! Felt kinda weird yet kinda proud taking my place in line just like any other vehicle! The clerk didn't blink, we took care of business easy peasy! Love treating my bike just like any other vehicle! :-)
Oh and HEY EVERYONE: May is National BIKE MONTH! Woo hoo!
Here's a link for ya:
Get out there and ride yourselves a BIKE this weekend!
Heading out with the bike club today to do some roadside clean up. We have "Adopted" a stretch of road which happens to be near my house. I always thought that would be a cool thing to do for our local SparkPeople team...have a sign posted indicating a certain road was taken care of by SparkPeople.com...get folks wondering "what's SparkPeople.com?"
Afterward, heading out to Whitney Point for a 20 mile ride. No biggie, but always enjoyable up that way...! Just hope the rain holds off till we get back!
Looks like EXCELLENT sunny skies and upper 60s for our Mother's Day...make it special everyone!
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