Todd's Blog


LEARN. WIN. INSPIRE.

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

LEARN.  WIN.  INSPIRE.

LEARN SOMETHING NEW.  Read a lot.  Listen a lot.  Every, single, day.

DEFINE THE WIN.  Set a goal.  Figure out the process that is going to get you there.  Do it.

INSPIRE OTHERS.  Share your journey.  We're all rooting for you.

______

164.4 lbs
20 pull ups/60 push ups
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OFFICER TODD

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

OFFICER TODD

ENTER OFFICE TODD.  Not me.  The CHP.  On his way to patrol the canyon we ride, in the hopes of finding the kook who buzzed the riders last week, he stopped everybody for a little lecture.

Guys, I'm on the way to see if we can't find the person who buzzed you in the white BMW last week.

Can you make my job easier?

Yessir.

Please ride no more than 2 abreast in the bike line.

That was it.  Just a dude, doing a thankless job, and being awesome about it.

Guess what?

We're gonna do our best to make his job easier.

PS If you can identify this jackass in the 2014 BMW M5, let me know.  

CA License 8JUJ265

______

165.2
0 pull ups/0 push ups
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SOME MILES ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posee Life

SOME MILES ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS

HOW THE HECK CAN I POP UP AND RIDE 90 MILES LIKE IT'S NOTHING?  Well, it's significantly easier if I'm riding with the posse vs alone... or worse, chasing the group.

Just this morning, while I was happily caboosing on the back of the train, Pete was caught on the other side of the road.  Couldn't get across. Could only shout a gassed message at Siri.

Some miles are better than others.  Like:

Riding and chatting with friends.

A beautiful road with an ocean view.

A solitary climb in the mountains.

Heading to a destination with great food.

Working hard in a pace line.

Any single track.

Rides sans flats or other mechanical issues.

An early morning sunrise.

The first ride on a new bike.

So many ways for good miles.

The worst miles of all?

... the ones we skipped... we can never get 'em back.

_____

CV was muy fast today

Stopped by and saw some of the fam on the way home

Even had enough energy to do some car shopping

 ______

166 lbs. : (
10 pull ups/30 push ups
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NAME THAT BIKE!

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posse Forum

NAME THAT BIKE!

 I ALWAYS NAME MY BIKES.  It gives them soul.  Connects us better.  Let's me love it up when detailing it, and ride it hard when racing.  

The names come fast.  Sometimes before I even ride it.

There's The Marvel, my Specialized Allez with the rad fork design.  Right off, it reminded me of the start of a Marvel movie... superhero kinda stuff.  And I'll be damned if I haven't ridden some super heroic days on that bike.

Sparky is my Scott Spark.  First ride, I knew it was gonna be Sparky.  That bike makes me feel young again.  Like a teen fulla zest and pluck.  Sho' 'nuff, me 'n Sparky just PR'd Leadville.

HVY MTL is my gravel/rain/play/got no plans bike.  It's steel, a special edition Specialized collab with Merz.  It's heavy.  It's fun.  There are no rules with this bike.  Just today I was jumping curbs, carving single track, and loping along the gravel goodness.  This is my no agenda bike and I love it.

If you don't name your bikes... maybe that'll inspire ya.  

If you do... do tell... what are their names and why?

_____

165.4 lbs.
10 pull ups/30 push ups
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ALL MY LOVIN'

TODD BROWN PEDAL Posse Forum

ALL MY LOVIN'

IS THERE SUCH A THING AS TOO MUCH LOVE?  

My Surfergirl reminded me there was a time when I wouldn't make time for "making time" before a big race.

Ahhh... the superstitions.

No doubt inspired by some Rocky-type movie... Ya gotta stay away from the girls!

But, is that really a thing these days?

Does it matter?

Honestly... at the risk of no loving for a long time... love makes the world AND wheels go 'round... So I always pack my pink nighty into my RaceDay Bag.

How 'bout you... love or no love before a big race?

_____

165.8 lbs.
20 pull ups/60 push ups
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SCARED: TO PEE OR NOT TO PEE

TODD BROWN Bike Racer Forum

SCARED: TO PEE OR NOT TO PEE

LET'S BE REAL, sometime you really, really, really, really, really gotta pee during a race.  What's a racer to do?

My friend Kevin, perfected the stand up and pee off to the side for LoToJa... which is fine for some, certainly not for the ladies... and no matter what sex you are, impossible during a mountain bike race. 

Such was my dilemma Saturday at Leadville.

I was too scared to stop and pee because I was chasing a time goal... and well, the pressure ain't what it used to be.  Who knows how long I could be... stage fright and all?

I know we have amazing chamois' in our bibs and that peeing in the bib wouldn't be the end of the world... in fact, it could be a big relief!  

Gross, I know...

but sometimes, you gotta go!

So tell me...

Have you ever let it flow, warm and yellow?

To pee or not to pee?

_____

167.6 lbs.
16 pull ups/48 push ups
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THE GOTTA CONTINUUM

TODD BROWN The R.A.C.E.R.'s Edge

THE GOTTA CONTINUUM

THERE ARE TWO KINDS OF RACERS, one has gotta win and one has gotta do their best.  

Neither is more virtuous than the other.

Neither can exist without the other.

Which one are you today?

How 'bout tomorrow?

_____

166.8 lbs.
0/0
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7 THINGS I'D DO DIFFERENT AT LEADVILLE

TODD BROWN The R.A.C.E.R.'s Edge

7 THINGS I'D DO DIFFERENT AT LEADVILLE

I KNOW, I HAD A RIDICULOUSLY AWESOME TIME AT LEADVILLE.  But, the racer in me can't help wishing I'd done a few things differently.  That's a good thing.  To review, while it's fresh.

So, here's what I'd do different.

7.  I would have pre-driven the course with my crew (Surfergirl) on Thursday so I could rest more on Friday.

6.  I would have her meet me at Pipeline with a bottle then scoot over to aid station at the bottom of Columbine.  This would allow me to carry less at the start.  More importantly, it would give her more time to get back to Pipeline... she only made it with 6 minutes to spare.  That could have gone real bad.

5.  If possible, I'd get to Leadville 10 days early and pre-ride some or all of the course at a race pace... then head somewhere else to taper and play on the resort runs with lift access.

4.  I'd rent a house for Thursday-Saturday nights in Leadville.  We stayed with my sis' in Breck.  They have an exceptional place, but turned out to be a lot further than I'd imagined.  I've stayed in Leadville before, the houses are a little ramshackle, but being close saves a lot of energy.

3.  For my prep, I would do more long days on the MTB with enough food and water to go 6 hours non-stop.  These would be adventure rides, on technical trails.  The past few years I've done so much road riding my MTB skills were still not quite primed.  Big Bear would be great, so would Mammoth.

2.  The altitude is still the biggest killer for us sea levelers... leaving for the mountains a month early, I have to imagine, would be a true game changer.

1.  I would hustled my butt across the Finish Line instead of coasting in and enjoying the fanfare... because, if I'd gone a mere 32 seconds faster (which I could have easily done) I would have qualified for the Silver Corral!!!... a dream come true, and a lot closer to the front and the fastest guys.

Just little things.  The big things I got right:  awesome bike, my body weight down 7 lbs, lots of upper body and core strength, my food was spot on.  In no way am I complaining, just doing the wise thing... review and improve.

Who knows... maybe there's another PR out there?

_____

unknown lbs.
0/0
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WE NAILED IT!

TODD BROWN

WE NAILED IT!

WE NAILED IT!

I like it when you say that.

Hmmm...

Yeah, it makes me feel part of the race.

Oh you are... there's no way I could do it without you.

I'm pretty sure I've cried every year I've raced Leadville.  For various reasons.  It's that kinda race.  Everything is required:  body, mind, soul.

I rounded the corner, there was the van as planned.  Perfectly stationed was my trophy wife.  I skidded to a stop.  Dumped my empty gear.  Like a pro,  she gave me my supplies.  Loaded my water bottle into the cage.  Made sure I took a big swig of pickle juice.

I was off.

Overcome with emotion.

She was so kind and patient and pro.

That's really nothing to cry over, right?  But, you see... that's 2.5 hours into the race.  By that point, I'd...

... wondered what the hell I was doing the race for as my lungs and legs burned a whopping 10 miles into the 100.

... been shocked as every hill, which I'd pre-ridden, seemed longer and steeper and meaner.

... intensely contemplated what was I trying to prove by chasing a PR?

Then there's the whole self-talk... can I even do it?  will the bike hold up?  the body? the weather?

And it's a weird cry... a wounded animal whimper.  No tears.  

Soon enough I was on Columbine.  Emotions gone.  Hungry Like A Wolf blaring in my mind. 

Let me just say, of all the climbs I've done for fun or racing... this is by far the worst.  Straight up to 12,500'.  The top so steep I have to walk.  It's shameful.  But, I gotta do it.  

I made a few friends on the climb.  That's always fun.  One was Coach Jonathan from Trainer Road.  A great podcast.  I could tell he was focused on metering out his power.  We rode together most of the day.  Mainly because he took a few bathroom breaks and I, somehow, had the prostrate of a 20 year old.  

But, that's Leadville... emotional.  challenging.  friendly.

This annual gathering comes together to find out what we're made of.

Behind every effort is an extraordinary amount of planning, investment and support from the crew. 

Nobody does it alone.

Together.

We nail it!

... oh, and yeah, I got that PR.  19 years after my 8:20, I posted 8:15.  I crossed the line. Hugged Ken, the founder. ... clutched my Surfergirl, and hustled to the potty to empty my screaming bladder, like a 20 year-old! (mighta been a tear there, too)

 


CLEANLINESS. GODLINESS.

TODD BROWN patriotic

CLEANLINESS.  GODLINESS.

I'M NOT SURE IF CLEANLINESS IS NEXT TO GODLINESS... but I am sure if we expect to uncork our full god-given powers on race day we better have clean, race-ready equipment.

I'm not sure if having a clean bikes guarantees victory... but a dirty bike can lead to a helluva lot of problems.

I'm not sure if a clean bike is virtuous... but meticulously going over each part can expose future trouble.

I'm not sure of a lot in life... but I'm sure glad my drivetrain ready to shred. 

... don't for get to wash behind your gears.

_____

163ish
0/30
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WELCOME HOME.

TODD BROWN patriotic

WELCOME HOME.

THE ROAD TO LEADVILLE IS COLORED WITH WELCOME SIGNS.  Welcome to Dinosaur is a real thing.  But, the We <3 Leadville mural with it's Great Living @ 10,200' stood out.  Long and low, the white sign stretched 200 feet. 

Pulling into town I realized it was gone.  Replaced with houses.  I wondered how welcome I'd be, and how much I'd love this trip... little superstitions are real.

We ambled around the lower roads at set on riding Hagerman's to Power Line.  This is my favorite part of the course.  From the summit, it is a very fast Jeep road.  

As I was geeking and gearing up, I heard Susie chatting to a solo rider outside the van.  He said he used to live in California.  Susie asked if he knew me.

Todd Brown?!

I jumped out.

Nate Whitman!

Oh man... my fears or riding alone at sunset were blown away with memories from Nate's first Leadville, which was also my PR year. 

Nate has finished top 10 and sub-7 hours multiple times, over 18 go's.  That's world class.

But, he didn't start that way... in fact, I gave him a 25% chance of finishing at all.

Somehow we'd met on AOL or something pre-social media.  He lived in Venice.  He was a semi-pro soccer player.  He wanted to see what he'd gotten himself into.  I'd done the race once, which made me the local expert back then.  He drove to meet me and Peter Vidmar at the bottom of Harding on a sweltering July afternoon - weeks before the event. 

I'll never forget it.

Nate.

In a heavy black soccer jersey.

Uh, you sure about that jersey?

Oh definitely.  Soccer guys know this is best.

Ok.

It was a long day for all of us.  Pete and I cruising, Nate nowhere in site.  The afternoon heat scorching our backs.  

Two of us howled with laughter about the black jersey.

I could tell Nate was discouraged at the top.  

At the bottom, he asked Do you think I'll be okay?

My response, which he remembers to this day... You're fit right?

There is no other place like Leadville to find out if you're fit.  It's an obviously infectious quest... one that Nate has answered and mastered.

Seeing my friend Nate was a great sign of being welcome, which would get added to at dinner.

Dinner.

How things have changed up here!  There is finally, really good food.  We sat at Treeline.  Out of town owners who brought their out of town talents and out of town prices.  Well worth it.

Clearly, the locals love it... as in walks the legends themselves.  Founders.  Creators. The spirt of Leadville... Ken and Merilee.  

I popped off my chair.

Gave them a big hug.

They welcomed me like an old friend... I wondered how could they remember so many people, imagined it was impossible and didn't care as Merilee embraced Susie and whispered...

Welcome home.

_____

The legend, Nate Whitman

Side story... we met a real life Leadville Trail runner.  Mark.  64.  1 artificial hip.  He's in for his first LT100 running race.  Got in via lottery.  Has no idea what he's in for... and I mean that in a good way.  Good Luck!


TRAVELIN' FOOL

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

TRAVELIN' FOOL

SATURDAY WAS THE LAST BIG RIDE, and it was way bigger than I'd planned.  That's the problem with an epic event that requires travel.  On the way, I always manage to wind up on an amazing trail or road and just can't resist going longer than planned...

... and I'd say returning 4 hours after I'd planned to return shows an incredible lack of self-restraint.

But, who cares?

When the posse is solid, the temperatures pleasant, and the dirt loamy, I'm gonna ride.

Bryson put this together, and Jeff and I joined.  20 of us rolled up and away from PCMR (Park City Mountain Resort).  Normally, this would be a terrible decision.  But, this wasn't your average group.  These were all riders who'd planned and qualified for Leadville.  Utahns, used to altitude.  Committed MTBr's with the skills to carve any trail.

The only person they had to wait for was The Old Diesel.  

By the end of the day, my 4 hour ride had expanded to 8 hours (6 riding).  .  50 miles, 5000' of vert.  All of it sweet, sweet single track.  The group dwindled to 3 of us.

Then it was me.

At The Canyons.

Double patty cheeseburger did nothing to curb my hunger.

It was a big day, possibly too big.  But, I didn't care.  The trails, the air, the beauty, the friends.  Worth it.

Takeaways... my chain fell off and wedged impossibly hard into my frame.  Shouldn't have taken my chain catcher off months ago... now I have to hope my daughter can find it and overnight it to me - plus get a new chain and cassette.  My lube didn't not make it through the day - not sure what to do on that front for PbVille.  Everything else, perfect!

_____

Gettin' ready

And we're off

Dream-like

Best burger ever?

Post-burger, this did the trick

163
0/0
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WE HAVE THIS SAYING

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

WE HAVE THIS SAYING

'ROUND THESE PARTS, IF SOMEONE SAYS IT'S JUST A SOCIAL RIDE most of the time it really means you're about to get slaughtered... have limbs slowly yanked off one at a time.  This slow dismemberment starts out nice enough, and terminates apologetically enough that we keep coming back for more.

But, a funny thing happens over time.

We get to know each other... not just our weaknesses and strengths on the bike, but in life as well.  We learn to recognize more than slobbering suffering, but internal suffering.  

We become friends.

For life.

And we celebrate our victories and our birthdays.

Shout out to Johnny B for the party hats for Ursula's bday.

And, another to Chris Hill who picked me up some sardines in Barcelona.

Yeah... we know each other, and we know you wanna be part of this... whether in person or in spirit.  If you don't have a local social ride, build it... your peeps are counting on you.

(Chris knows I love sardines and black beans before every big endurance event.)

? lbs forgot to bring my scale
0 pull ups (gotta find a park with a bar)/30 push ups
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SYNCHRONICITY

TODD BROWN The RACER's Life

SYNCHRONICITY

HOW DO WE END UP ON THE SAME PATH, AT THE SAME TIME?  I entered the bike path at just the wrong time to miss Jim heading inland.  I could see him, but I wasn't going to catch him. Then I passed a man who is most likely mentally ill, only to round a corner and have my buddy Patrick - who's visiting from Vegas - yell my name.

We stopped.

Said ill man joined us.
Track bike.
Ancient.
Shirtless.
Jeans.
Tennies.
Heavy metal cross hanging about his neck.
Explaining his tough decision to choose from his quiver of 20+ bikes.
Through the sweet breath of what I guessed was a rough night - or woulda been rough for me.

He was different.
I was uncomfortable.

Our paths had crossed and joined for a moment.  I doubted we were going the same direction.

But, we were on bikes.  Talking about gears.  Our divergent paths one, for a brief moment.

To my shame, my discomfort didn't wane.  It grew.  Kinda like a dinner party among strangers when the conversation turns to the weather... but, rougher.

We rode away.
Patrick and I on the same path.

Me thinking, There but for the grace of God go I.
Me wondering, should I have acted differently?  More accepting?  More loving?  More concern?  More empathy?

Later, I went to the office.
To fight my own battles.
The ones I'm comfortable with, whether I know it or not.

166.2 lbs
10 pull ups/30 push ups
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SPLITTING THE GLORY

TODD BROWN

SPLITTING THE GLORY

AS INEOS PROCEEDED TO TURN THE BEST TOUR DE FRANCE IN YEARS FROM THRILLING TO BORING, I realized how happy I am to be racing Leadville on my own terms.  There's no GC to protect and no concern about how I place amongst my peers.  

Unlike Bernal, I won't be playing it safe at the finish. 
The only safe playing I'll be doing is making sure there is absolutely nothing left at the end.

Unlike the runners up, I won't be trying to hold on to my standing.
The only standing I'll be holding onto is my own time splits.

No race radio in my ear giving me updates.
My race radio will be SurferGirl swapping out my bottles.

No team car to bail me out of a mechanical mishap.
My old, weak hands will have to bail me out if needed.

No teammates to protect me from the wind.
Just sprinting to the riders ahead, surfing one group to the next.

After reviewing all the time splits for my age group for the last few years, I realized my buddy Jeff's time from 6 years ago was almost exactly what I was shooting for.   That was Jeff's 10th and fastest year.

On my top tube will be Jeff's time and my goal splits.  I think I'll go out a little slower than him, and I hope I can come back a little faster.  And it's just a hope.

My mission is to beat my PR set 19 years ago - 8 hours and 20 minutes.  The other 4 attempts are between 8:32 and 8:36 - which is weird when you consider the weather is never the same, I've flatted, I've jammed my chain, etc.

On the surface it seems completely unreasonable given the time span and the unpredictable nature of racing on a given day, but... I'm the lightest I've ever been for the event.  My bike is top notch.  My training best ever.  And, the course is constantly getting faster.  Plus, Jeff and I are pretty even most of the time.

Whatever happens, it won't be boring.

165.2
0/0
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SO PRETTY, NOT

TODD BROWN patriotic

SO PRETTY, NOT

THEY WERE NORDIC, HANDSOME AND LOVELY, WITH HEAVY ACCENTS.  I admired their beauty, right up until I didn't.  There was this moment when the lady ruined it all.

How you ask?  What was this repulsive sin?

Well... it was kinda like when you see someone unload a brand new, glamorous carbon rig. They mount it wearing their elegant super euro kit.  With that first pedal stroke you know... this is gonna be ugly.

Shaky on the straight lines.
Horrendous cornering.
Bowleggedness that begs for a Wide Load sign.
Arms locked straight.
... ah, it's an inexhaustible list.

Where is that person's friend?
Silent, no doubt.
Maybe aghast!

Just like I was this morning as the adorableness of said Nordic offended all in site with a bite of croissant.  Bite is not the right word... it was more a rip of a hunk, mouth open wide in the approach... staying wide, chomping a few times with a colossal gulp.

Ruined it.

Friends don't let your friends ride ugly.

Be light on the hoods.
Cut the apex on the turns.
Tuck those knees in.
Bend those arms.
... this is a good start.

 

164.4
10/30
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SO MANY RIDES

TODD BROWN patriotic

SO MANY RIDES

MASSIVE GROUP RIDES, WEEKDAY AND WEEKEND RACING, PERFECT WEATHER... around here you can pin it 24-7.  Worse, it's Tour time and everybody just wants to race! 

Hard.

Everyday is a new opportunity for Zone 5.

Put it in the big ring, and leave it there.

That's all we want to do.

Ride 'em all...

...soon you won't be able ride at all.

164.4
20/60
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HOW TO INCORPORATE OAT ROOTS INTO YOUR DIET

TODD BROWN patriotic

HOW TO INCORPORATE OAT ROOTS INTO YOUR DIET

TONIGHT, AFTER A RATHER LARGE SNACK, I TORE INTO ONE OF MY OAT ROOTS.  Man, I love these things.  Can't have 'em everyday or I build up a tolerance.  You're probably the same.

Oat roots are after all...

... Haute Routes.

Haute Routes are super cool events, that I used to pronounce hot route... thinking it meant super cool cycling route, then I met the crew over there on a work project.

But, that's not my point.

My point is I work Hot Routes into my weekly regimen.  

A hot route to me, is a loop that brings me pleasure and that I can really rip around on.  I might go out and just spin it a few times, then jump on it for a smokin' fast lap... or I might start our slow and go faster each lap... or I might rip the first lap and go slower and slower as I exhaust myself.

Typically, Tuesdays are the same Hot Route - The TMWC.
Wednesdays, I like to rip a loops off on the MTB
Fridays... I think of new ways to end up at the same old spot for a cup and some journal time.

Fun + Fast = Hot Route

 

165.4
20/60
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THE 3 STAGES OF LIFE

TODD BROWN patriotic

THE 3 STAGES OF LIFE

MY DAD HAD THIS JOKE ABOUT THE 3 STAGES OF LIFE.  It made no sense to me when I was in my 20s.  Now that he's gone, it's just more evidence he was a genius... so, let me try and screw it up while applying it to me 'n Jefe.

Stage 1
Young guns, falling in love with girls and bikes.  Dude, I pooled all my shekels and I'm pulling the trigger on a Gios with Campy Super Record. 

Stage 2
Young families, and we reconnect the friendship and epic endurance mancations.  Dude, have you heard of the 24 hours of Moab?... let's do it!

Stage 3
The sprocket of life showing some serious wear.  Hey, is there a bathroom on the route?

Jefe, aka Dr. Sumsion, was one of the first cats to get a road bike in the college days.  I think it was to help his ski racing.  He had this cool Italian rig.  I had a Cannondale touring bike, because surely 3 rings in front must be better than 2!  All I knew then, or know now, is that he's always on the forefront of what's cool... proof:  he's been begging me for 10+ years to do a gravel race.

We lost touch after college, but somehow reconnected.  It was over the 24 hours of Moab.  We grabbed PViddy and McKay and trotted out to see what we could do.  I'd never had so much fun suffering through cramps, dark and snow.  So began my re-entry to racing and the world of heinously hard endurance events.

These days, he pops down to SoCal a couple of time a year and if I'm lucky he carves out time to go for a ride... usually spending the night at my place and hitting TMWC.  The rest of the time I'm longing for, and occasionally pulling off, the amazing riding in Park City.

What came first, the friendship or the bike?  Who cares!

166.4
0/0
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WELL, THAT SURE DIDN'T WORK

TODD BROWN patriotic

WELL, THAT SURE DIDN'T WORK

I WAS SUPPOSED TO TAKE IT EASY SATURDAY.  And I did, on the bike.  But, it was Family Weekend and the team wanted to do the old hike.

I was never winded.

Barely broke a sweat.

5 miles later my legs were wrecked.  They were still wrecked today when I went for an easy lunch spin.

Why?

1.  Off the bike I don't wear shoes, ever.  I'm a flipflop kinda guy.  Sand got in my shoes and ground the balls of my feet raw.

2.  I walk a lot on the sandy beach.  That is not the same as over rocky, uneven terrain.  I've got shin splints.

3.  I didn't to any recovery stretching or rolling because it wasn't a strenuous.  Rookie move... ain't I too old for that?

Life Lessons:

1.  Shoulda just hiked in my Rainbows, but it also wouldn't kill me to wear shoes occasionally.

2.  Nor would it kill me to go back to hiking the many trails nearby.

3.  Always do the stretching and rolling... always.

It was worth it to spend time with these two, and think back 19 years.

166.6 (food and family, a lethal combo)
20/60
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