Saturday morning I met up with Jamie, Linda, Seth, George, Tom, and Cormac for a wet and muddy run in Forest Park. The first miles were slow as they are uphill and it was all about the chit chat at that point. I hadn’t seen Seth in forever so I ran with he and Linda to get caught up. At about Mile 4 most of them headed on to the Wildwood Trail while George and I stuck to Leif Erickson instead. I’m not a big fan of trail running and even less so when it is really wet and muddy. I don’t need any falls nor twisted ankles in my life. George and I spent the remaining nine wet and dirty miles talking about marathons and marathon training. He is also a marathon veteran and set a 2:58:xx PR at Newport last June. We compared training plans and ideas and we each gave one another some things to think about and possibly incorporate into our next marathon training seasons. After the muddy run we all met for coffee, pastries, and conversation at Grand Central before heading off to enjoy the rest of our respective weekends. Later that day, after raking up and bagging a dozen or so huge bags of leaves in the rain, I climbed on the trusty bike and trainer for a spin session. This particular session featured some high-cadence drill work. Stats for Saturday’s run: 13-miles in 1:47:11 @ 8:14/m pace. Stats for Saturday’s bike: 17.1-miles in 1-hour.
Sunday morning my beautiful wife and I hit the pool together to get our respective swims on. It was pretty full, but we didn’t need to share a lane this time which is always better. I did intervals of 200 alternating faster sets with drill sets. And again, later in the morning I climbed up on the trusty aluminum steed corralled in the bike trainer for a longer session of steady-state aero-position spinning. Stats for Sunday’s swim: 1,400-yards in 28:04 (31:04 w/rest) 7x200-yards w/30-sec rests. Stats for Sunday’s bike: 34-miles in 2-hours @ 17-mph.
Then finally, today I headed out at lunch time for an easy run. The wind was blowing good again, but at least it wasn’t raining or freezing cold. No speedwork today, just a nice easy run on a nice autumn day. Stats for today’s run: 6.2-miles in 49:39 @ 8:00/m pace. Last night I finished reading We Might As Well Win: On the Road to Success with the Mastermind Behind a Record-Setting Eight Tour de France Victories by Johan Bruyneel. If you know anything about Lance Armstrong or the Tour de France then you know that Bruyneel won eight of them in nine years (seven with Armstrong & one with Contador.) That is a feat that had never been done before as a Race Team Director and may never be done again. The book isn’t overly long, but it still gave some great insights and behind-the-scenes looks into the Tour and just the world of bicycle racing in general. Bruyneel was a pro racer himself through the mid-1990’s and had a couple of stage wins in the Tour and also briefly wore the Yellow Jersey. To me, the most interesting parts of the book were when he and Lance would be get so obsessive and methodical about learning the route of the Tour every year, scouting and riding all the mountain stages, and knowing exactly how to win the race and where. Another interesting story surrounds the effort to put together an entire racing system (bike, shoes, helmet, glasses, water bottles, tires, wheels, etc…) that all worked together in perfect harmony instead of just getting all the fastest part separately and throwing everything together. The result was Team F-One and the fastest bike the world had ever known as far as drag coefficient and aero-dynamics were concerned. Over a million dollars was spent to create the F-One System and ultimately Lance didn’t ride the bike in any races that counted because it didn’t feel “right.” I guess when you’re Lance Armstrong you can get away with that. If you’re a fan of Lance, the Tour de France, or bike racing you’d enjoy this book.
And now I’m on to AC/DC: Maximum Rock & Roll: The Ultimate Story of the World's Greatest Rock-and-Roll Band. I’ve been a huge fan of AC/DC for 30+ years and I can honestly say they have never put out a song that I didn’t love. There are critics that make fun of AC/DC and the “3-chord” myth and Angus’ schoolboy outfit…but at the end of the day they have lasted over thirty years, they are still selling out huge concert venues in hours, and their latest release sold a million copies in its very first week to debut #1 on Billboard. Not bad for a bunch of old guys. And this is one old guy that hasn’t minded growing old with them as my soundtrack. I’ll let you know what I think of the book upon completion.