Monday, February 23, 2009

Progress Report--Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger.

Ahhhhhhh. Recovery week. The first three weeks of training from Coach Kris are in the books, and today the Training Peaks God e-mailed that I'm supposed to recover--no exercise, maybe get a massage, put my feet up.

Let it be written. Let it be done.

The Training Peaks God has something awful planned on Thursday, but I'm trying hard not to think about that today. I'm just going to glory in the late-sleeping, fully hydrated luxuriousness of no two-a-day workouts, and super easy training throughout the week . . .

With the exception of the workout that shall not be named on Thursday morning.

But that's not today.

In the last three weeks, Coach Kris had me switch out of post-marathon recovery and into three-sport training. The running has continued to be light, with only one quality workout per week. The swimming has mostly kicked my butt--awesome sets that really targeted my weakest discipline. And the cycling has gone from ez spinning up to a 50 mile ride this past Saturday. Coach took me safely from zero up to 13 hours of training this past week.

I've completed all the workouts with the exception of two that were scrubbed the day I did some VO2 Max testing. And I mostly hit the training goals and levels of effort prescribed by the Almighty Training Peaks. And it all happened during a very busy work season, including an all day court hearing with no break for lunch. So, I give myself somewhere between an B+ and an A-.

But while I'm giving out grades I have to single out two persons seen "on the road" in Houston for a special edition of "Tip of the Hat, Wag of the Finger."

Hall Of Fame

For this training cycle, my nomination to the Hall Of Fame goes out to Grampa Grocery Rider, seen yesterday at the HEB on I-45 and Rayford Road. I don't know his name, but this dude makes the hall of fame easily. Grampa walks with a cane and must be 70 years old if he's a day, but he rode his three-wheeled pedal cruiser to the grocery store and put his shopping in the back basket where the two American Flags were attached. (Meanwhile the parking lot was filled to capacity with SUVs driven by people who obviously need the extra horsepower to cart around their prodigious girth.) Gramps had a bike helmet for safety, but his kids need to get him some proper kit. He wore a red, windbreaker jacket with the word "STOP" stenciled on the back in black, magic marker. But he's in the game. Good on you, G-man. Tip 'o the Greyhound's chapeau.

Hall Of Shame

This training cycle, my nomination to the Hall Of Shame goes to the worst, post-race bling violation I have ever seen. It was one of those moments, out running one Sunday morning, when I did a double take and wondered, "Did I really just see what I think I just saw?"

I did.

There is much discussion about the written and unwritten rules for proper usage, time, place and manner for finisher's medals and other post-race bling. There are some things that are black and white (e.g., "Thou Shalt Not Wear A Finisher's Shirt For A Race In Which Thou Didst Not Participate Or In Which Thou Didst Not Finish Unless You Are Homeless And Said Shirt Was A Donation") and there are some that are shades of grey (e.g., "Do you wear your finisher's medal from the Disney Marathon in the park to exchange knowing glances from the other participants, or does that make you a git? Only the day of the race? What about the next day? Only if it's your first marathon? hmmmmm.") What I saw, however, falls outside the lines.

I was running in a swanky neighborhood, early on a Sunday morning, when I saw a portly man riding a mountain bike approaching me on the road. "Fine," I'm thinking. "At least the sedentary man is out moving, even if he is spinning a mountain bike on the streets around his neighborhood at 10 mph. Good for him. Don't be an elitest jerk."

But then I see that below his visored helmet, his facial hair and his double chins, he's wearing

A Finisher's Medal.

I kid you not. The elitest jerk in me wanted to blow a whistle and throw the flag for flagrant race bling violation.

He was wearing his post race bling--not a technical fabric finisher's shirt, but a finisher's medal, which has no training purpose.

Not after a race.

Not at the race site.

Not even at the post-race feed during which mandatory war stories and tales of daring do are customarily exhanged.

But wearing a finisher's medal. On Sunday morning. In the neighborhood. On a mountain bike, which was not being ridden on trails, but on a suburban street at 10 mph. This is the suburban equivalent of beginning every casual conversation with the words, "Hey, baby. Did I ever tell you that I did an Ironman? Wanna see my tattoo?"

Not that I would ever do such a thing. That would be wrong.

Wag of the finger.


Greyt Times said...

That is comical! I wish you had gotten a picture - you could have sent it to the FAIL blog!

Danielle in Iowa said...

At my running group's Christmas party, we all have full permission to wear all of our medals from the year. But that is the only acceptable post race time to wear one!

Although I did wear my marathon medal when I was Tonya Harding for Halloween - I was trying to create that Olympic vibe...

Kim said...

that is hilarious!!!! i would have choked him with it!

Fe-lady said...

You must have a brick coming up on Thursday...n'est pas?

Awww let the poor guy wear his medal.
Maybe to him it IS the equivalent of an IM tatoo-and maybe it's the first and only medal he has ever received!
I have worn finisher's medals to work for very different reasons-but yes, it was worn to begin a conversation.
Maybe he's lonely.
Next time ask him what it was for.
You may be surprised at his answer.

Fe-lady said...

and really- aren't tattoos for looking at and hoping that someone will ask what it's all about?

Lana said...

I'm with Greyt Times...why didn't you get a picture?!?! LOL. That may be the worst race bling violation I've ever heard of.

IronJenny said...

When did you start training with Coach Kris? I was in his wedding!!

Runner Leana said...

Oh, I have an entry for the Hall of Shame! At Disney World this year...about a week after the marathon I was waiting in line at Toy Story Mania. There was a guy behind me sporting his Goofy finishers medal...from 2008... Time to move on buddy!

Fe-lady said...

I was just thinking...that maybe he was wearing a medal that belonged to someone else and that someone is no longer he wears it as inspiration or as a reminder.
There's always a story. Maybe.

CoachLiz said...

Finisher Medal guy is too funny!