Six:fifteen a.m.: weaather's supposed to be good today, highs in the 60s. Right now, dawn has broken and the first real light of day is gathering in the east's salmon-bellied sky. I'm waking up, waiting for the house to warm and my tea water to heat and even as I'm feeling still not quite functional, I'm looking forward to getting on the bike and on the road.... Today's mission: long, slow, and high. Still slightly too wet for good mountain biking up even in Denver's foothills, some trails OK and other's too muddy and fragile. No use messing up good singletrack when there's plenty of road around.
So it's back to the skinny tires today. Probably start out from my house in Lakewood (5660 feet), climb up to Evergreen (at about 7600 feet,) then head up toward Squaw and Juniper Pass, letting road conditions and snow melt determine how far I go. I'm anxious to begin getting some miles and time in at altitude; less than three months to the Leadville Silver Rush, a 50 mile mountain bike race at an average altitude of almost 11,000 feet... so time to get the lungs a'pumpin'!
More later, after ride. Have an excellent day, where ever you are
Wow. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has released a new "Food Pyramid" based on two AMAZING FACTS: 1) daily excercise helps keep us healthy, and 2) everybody is different.
And I am not being cynical when I point this out; in fact I'm really happy that a U.S. government agency is finally recognizing... that you can't just concentrate on nutrition and eating habits to stay healthy, without also considering the other side of the equation: Excercise.
And in fairness, most diet books and media coverage about nutrition have traditionally given excercise too little attention as well when talking about nutrition; it hasn't been just the feds who came up short in this regard.
In addition to looking at excercise as a component of a healthy lifestyle, the MyPyramid web site is interactive, so that when you go to it you can enter some simple data about your own exercise lifestyle and instantly get back a pretty darned good set of guidelines on what you might want to be eating.
Sure, there'll be people critisizing this or that aspect of the whole deal for one reason or another (or one special interest of their own) but, by and large, folks, you have to give USDA credit for a very positive step on this one.
Take a look at it; it's well worth the time.
I always enjoyed this photo which was taken several years ago in the middle of a long high desert mountain bike ride near Fruita, Colorado's Book Cliffs. It was mid-morning on one of the first beautiful warm days of spring, with new grass just beginning to poke through the ground. I look at it and can even now feel the sun upon my skin and the smell of the soil, earth and new life.
I'm finished. I wouldn't call it a full-fledged bonk, but whatever, it sure isn't working. I wind down with easy spinning for another 15 minutes and call it finished.
And so it goes with training; two or three steps forward, and one back; or so it sometimes seems. Overall I know I'm making progress; I can feel it when I ride. But, man, oh man, I thing I have to continually learn is that age does seem to affect recovery; it just flat takes longer than when you are younger.
Oh, well; enough whining. I'm off to take my lunch break at the health club; do some upper body, core, work; but not too hard, and, yes, I'm gonna give them legs a rest today (but not too much.)
When in a desert of brown,
a splash of RED stops the eye
and arrests the soul
WEEK [formerly in the Web's Global Encyclopedia, now defunct]
Next to the day, the week is the most important calendric unit in our life. And yet, there is no astronomical significance to the week. Nothing cosmic happens in the heavens in seven days.* How, then, did the week come to assume such importance?
The first thing to understand is that a week is not necessarily seven days. In pre-literate societies weeks of 4 to 10 days were observed; those weeks were typically the interval from one market day to the next. Four to 10 days gave farmers enough time to accumulate and transport goods to sell. (The one week that was almost always avoided was the 7-day week -- it was considered unlucky!) The 7-day week was introduced in Rome (where ides, nones, and calends were the vogue) in the first century A.D. by Persian astrology fanatics, not by Christians or Jews. The idea was that there would be a day for the five known planets, plus the sun and the moon, making seven; this was an ancient West Asian idea. However, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman empire in the time of Constantine (c. 325 A.D.), the familiar Hebrew-Christian week of 7 days, beginning on Sunday, became conflated with the pagan week and took its place in the Julian calendar. Thereafter, it seemed to Christians that the week Rome now observed was seamless with the 7-day week of the Bible -- even though its pagan roots were obvious in the names of the days: Saturn's day, Sun's day, Moon's day. The other days take their equally pagan names in English from a detour into Norse mythology: Tiw's day, Woden's day, Thor's day, and Fria's day.
The amazing thing is that today the 7-day week, which is widely viewed as being Judeo-Christian, even Bible-based, holds sway for civil purposes over the entire world, including countries where Judaism and Christianity are anathema. Chinese, Arabs, Indians, Africans, Japanese, and a hundred others sit down at the U.N. to the tune of a 7-day week, in perfect peace (at least calendrically!). So dear is this succession of 7 days that when the calendar changed from Julian to Gregorian the week was preserved, though not the days of the month: in 1752, in England, Sept. 14 followed Sept. 2 -- but Thursday followed Wednesday, as always. Eleven days disappeared from the calendar -- but not from the week!
Arrived home early last evening from our five days of our desert; tired, happy, dirty, smelly and fully alive. Today, has been, of course, a real "re-entry" day, back at work staring uncomprehendingly at whomever came into my office with the latest "crisis" or office scuttlebutt, wondering what on earth they were talking about or were so incensed about.
As one of my two buddies who was in Canyonlands with me when we entered back into daylight savings time, "Hey, the ravens and the kangaroo mice don't even seem to particularly notice; they're still going to work at the same time."
And the biking was spectacular: Slickrock Trail, Porcupine Rim, two days on the 80 miles of the White Rim Trail, and one follow-up play day out on the semi-desserted slickrock of Bartlett Wash; then the 5 hour ride back to Denver. Three days of great weather and two days of "winds from Hell" on White Rim. It's all good.