Well after a couple of failed attempts at posting a new entry, as Redman said, tonight's the night baby, so read up on these. Two weekends ago (2/6), the trainer party was at Jen and Chad's again, and that time we managed to fit 7 of us in their basement, up from the previous high of 5, and a good time was had by all for 3.5-4 hours of spinning bliss.
All of the usual suspects were there, plus Matty Mo, Kim, and the famous Heidi that I finally got a chance to meet and train with. This was long overdue, but great to finally make her acquaintance! After 3.5 hours, all of the non-injured runners went out for transition runs of varying lengths and one tough little cookie - - kept spinning right on up to 4 hours for what I think at the time was a trainer record, at least for this winter, among this group. Afterward, J & C had another wonderful snack/brunch ready and waiting, replete with numerous fruits, nuts, smoothies, and the guilty post-spin pleasure: the muffins. I think even a caveman would love a muffin after a 4 hour hunt!
We all chowed down as we told some fun yet controversial stories and then we all parted ways and Jocelyn and I headed to our home pool for a quick swim. Later that night Jocey and I joined my brother Chris and his bride-to-be Alyson for some shopping and dinner in the dreaded, and rarely navigated South Hills. Sunday it was on for another sub-freezing long run, and this time we were on Joe V's turf, mainly to run a downhill 5 kilos or so at his goal Boston Marathon pace. We got in about 14 miles and put a major hurt on our respective calf muscles in the process. Meanwhile Jocey was at the Y doing a 2-hr water run because of her foot, and as you can see was not a happy camper. She did however have some tunes, thanks to a Jen H inspired ipod setup.
The following week of training was standard fare, nothing too wild, just getting in the usual volume. On the real world front, Jocelyn was sick and was having foot issues, and both of us were having some vehicular issues and getting tired of the snowy driveway behind our house. Jocey was getting stuck, I was lamely pushing her in clogs and straining my neck (the 3rd way you can hurt your neck), my battery was dying and car overheating, basically, a reality bites kinda week. However the overwhelming highlight of the week and major bright spot was definitely the Team BallouSkies meeting at Sharp Edge Sewickley on Wednesday night. There the braintrust of BallouSkies was in attendance, represented by Ryan, Ty, Merrett, Melissa, Ward, and then tri team members Kevin, Steve, Kim, Jocelyn, and myself. We had a wonderful meeting, came up with a tentative plan of action for the team's efforts in 2010, revealed some new gear, products, and crescendo-ed with some incredible energy that we will bring to the charity and the fight against DMD! Below are the BallouSkies bracelets that you will soon see at a race, fundraiser, heck, everywhere near you!
Then Ty brought out a bottle of the new BallouSkies Peanut Butter that is now available online and soon in a large number of Western Pa's Giant Eagle supermarkets. 100% of the profits of this All Natural peanut butter are donated to BallouSkies and go towards research to help boys afflicted with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. On the cap is a likeness of Ryan and yours truly!
Get online and buy yourself some extremely tasty peanut butter to spread on those bagels, english muffins, celery stalks, put in your smoothies, etc!
The rest of the week started going a little more smoothly after the high point of Wednesday's meeting and also getting my car's battery replaced, and then it was time to prep for another focused weekend of training. Last weekend's trainer dance was at Kim's house, and we four (Kim, Heidi, Jocey, me) triathletes kept it rolling. Kim and I before the ride, in our sweet BallouSkies gear.
We got in the now predictable pattern of 3.75-4 hours followed up by a ~30 minute transition run. Then Kim treated us to a post-workout meal of some excellent grub, dietitian style, which we all very much enjoyed in our depleted state. Many fruits and nuts, and even some chocolate milk! But maybe the centerpiece of this meal, the savory looking BallouSkies Peanut Butter shown below, and my equally impressive spokesmodeling abilities!
As we talked and rested afterward, we all had a good laugh about some strange locals and some very awkward situations we all have endured. Jocey and I then took off and did a quick swim, and then relaxed the rest of the night. Sunday morning I was supposed to do a swim meet at the Cranberry Y, but between the league officials who never got SEWY's entries and therefore never got us seeded, my so-so neck, and an oncoming cold, I pulled the plug on the meet and decided to do a solo 15 mile run and shovel snow off of our deck. Which pretty much brought on the cold instantaneously and, surprisingly, didn't much help my neck situation either. Now I just gotta get myself better so I can lay it on even more next weekend! As my friend and teammate Steve commented recently, No Rest for the Wicked!