Thursday, September 20, 2007

Day 231: I Don't Know My Own Strength

Update: 207.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 9 lbs to 60 lb goal.

I know I've been losing fat and gaining some muscle mass, but I guess I didn't realize just how much.

Pictured below are my clubs. A few TaylorMade woods, three different wedges - a sand wedge from my old Tommy Armour 845s, a new Titleist gap wedge, and my trusty old rusty Cobra Phil Rodgers 60 degree that I've had since I was 12 years old. Until this summer, I've played that Cobra and my same Ping Anser putter...that's 26 years for those who are counting. I recently retired the Ping and have moved on to a Titleist putter, but the Cobra will never leave my bag. Anyway, you also see a set of TaylorMade R7 (draw bias) irons that I started playing about 2 months ago. So far, so good, I've been dialing them in and have been having some decent rounds with them. I really like the set up of my bag right now.

Now, pictured below is what happened out on hole 5 at Creekside on an approach shot to a cozy little green. Apparently I must have some pent up anger or frustration or something because as I came down on that ball with my 9 iron, something felt funky after impact, and then something felt really funky on the back of my head. I pulled my club back around to see this:

Yep, that's right, snapped it near the top of the shaft on impact - two month old clubs. The funky feeling I felt on my head was the club not stopping on the follow through and wacking me in the back of the head, leaving me with a headache for a few holes. After looking at my club for a few moments in amazement, I figured I'd better check out the damage from a wayward shot with a broken club, but to my bewilderment, I was about 10 feet from the cup, on the green. Two putts in, and a par. Crazy.

Now I've got to go replace my 9 iron.


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Day 230: Maggie's Buns

Update: 207.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 9 lbs to 60 lb goal.

I've hesitated posting this blog for the obvious jokes that can come from I'll be careful in my word choices.

This past weekend was supposed to be our annual business partner golf trip, but for a couple of reasons, it didn't happen last minute. Since I had already requested a Sunday away from iglesia, I figured it would be a great time to take my favorite group of Lopi away for a much needed quick vacation. So we loaded up the truck and headed to Forest Grove.

Yeah, "Forest Grove?", you might ask - but there's a good reason...Maggie's Buns. In my preparation for the Hagg Lake section of the ride, I searched out other people online who've ridden that segment to get their experiences. More than once this funky little restaurant showed up as a place that cyclists had stopped at for a refueling snack, or full blown meal. Since I was hoping to get up to Hagg to do a quick pre-ride around the lake, I figured we might try to get to MB for a meal knowing that everyone in our house would love a quaint, funky new place to eat.

As it turns out, they were only open until the afternoon hours on Saturday so after I rode 50 miles that morning, we had to break land-speed records to get there before they locked the door. We were literally the last people they served before locking up, and all through our meal people kept coming to the door. We decided to sit outside, so we even had to knock on the door ourselves a couple times to ask for condiments, napkins, or a to-go box at the end, but I will say that it was worth getting over there.

Our meal consisted of Walnut Crusted Chicken with Asian Noodle Salad, Prime Rib with Coos Coos, three various sandwiches with fresh homemade bread and giant cookies, poppyseed cake, and some toffee cookie thing for dessert. We had plenty to eat, and even though we ate dinner before 4 pm were full enough that we didn't have another meal that night. In fact, we took the desserts with us and ate them in our hotel later that night with some coffee we picked up at Peets after the girls hit Anthropologie in downtown Portland.

And you don't have to believe me, you can read the reviews for Maggie's Buns online - which if nothing else are good for a giggle if you personally know a Maggie yourself. I've intentionally tried to live above the obvious lines here, but the reviews definitely show how people truly love Maggie's Buns....the restaurant.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Day 228: Yet Again, More Life Lessons From the Road

Update: 207.2 lbs, 50 lb Goal Reached Day 124. 9 lbs to 60 lb goal.

Sometimes my cycling thoughts are plain silly, and others are more introspective. Today's post is a combo of the two of them....

With just two weeks left until my 70 mile Livestrong Challenge ride in Portland, I figured it was time to work just a little harder at training for the big day. I had a week of not feeling great, and having zero motivation to do much of anything, so coming off of that and making my biggest effort to date was a great challenge in itself, but one I'm glad to have taken on. As a nice little benefit to riding 50 miles on Saturday were some more life lessons from the road. In no particular order:

Who Knew It Was Pepperoni Season?
Seriously, somewhere between Keizer and St. Paul, someone is harvesting Pepperoni sticks. I didn't actually get to see any of my people harvesting the amazing food itself, but I could sure SMELL the pepperoni in mid-harvest. Did the Oberto's move into town?...Oh Boy! And if so, I wonder when Beef Jerkey season is...and if they'll be having a crop of Lizard Bacon to boot?

It's Good To Have Mini-Goals Along the Path To The Big Goal.
My "big goal" was to ride 50 miles on Saturday, but the first mini-goal for the day was just to get to The Banker's Cup in St. Paul and have a nice little espresso break.

Last week, I rode out and had part of a latte, but this week I was determined to get something without the milk, so I just ordered 3 shots of espresso with a splash of sugar free vanilla syrup for a little kick. Forget Red Bull, this is really nature's little energy drink. I also decided to do a little refueling and had a small raspberry scone to go with my party in a cup. After riding 25 miles, it's amazing what a 10 minute break can do in helping to make it to the big goal.

If You Think A Ghost Rider is Following You, He Probably Is.
I check over my shoulder every so often, but sometimes I can ride 5-10 miles without really looking back. At about mile 20, I happened to slide out to a weigh station just to coast for a few moments, stand up out of the saddle, and stretch a second. While I was coasting I looked over my shoulder and all of a sudden a fully kitted cyclist was about 100 yds back of me. Being caught off guard a bit, I got back in my seat, kicked it back up to my cruising speed, and kept after it. Another mile later, I looked over my shoulder, and the guy was pretty much drafting me, so I figured it'd be good exercise to pull someone else for a while. Finally, about 4 miles later, I was pulling into St. Paul and turned around to say something like 'sorry if I slowed you down there,' but Ghost Rider was nowhere to be found. He either decided to take his roadie off-road for the day, found some sideroad I blew by, or teleported to another dimension.

You Can Always Go Back Home Again.
One thing I've come to realize and appreciate is the fact that I LOVE my home. It's my favorite place to be, especially as we get to this time of the year. I love the months from September to December, and I enjoy them most when our family is cozied up inside our little home in K-town. On days when something at work sucks, or something in life in general sucks, I relish in the thought that soon enough that moment will pass and I'll be headed up River Road towards the warm glow of our kitchen window and the comfort of my favorite place, with my favorite people in the world. And on days when I'm cranking away on my bike, wondering why in the heck I decided to commit myself to pedaling away for more than 3 hours to travel a great distance on two skinny wheels, I know that that pain/agony will also pass, and before I know it, I'll be back home, around my beautiful wife and precious kids. A triple shot espresso at one end of the ride is a great motivator to get halfway there, but getting back to my home and family are an even greater kick in the butt to make it to the big goal...every time!

That's it for me. With less than two weeks left, I'm going to cut back to just 12-25 mile rides until the big day, with maybe one last shot at getting up to Hagg Lake before then, but in any case, we're in the final countdown now!