We make holes in teeth!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Hill 875

At the end of the day yesterday I reread my blog entry and it struck me how scattered and superficial it seemed. Scattered is understandable, since Monday is often a gibberish amalgamation of thoughts. Yet it almost read like a Post article where the point is little more than to throw out as many items in the hopes that you'll buy the paper again tomorrow. I guess this has something to do with my being tired on Monday morning or maybe it signifies a lack of ability to focus. I'll try not to let it happen too much.

I used the word amalgamation up there when I could have said collection instead. Sometimes I wonder if my vocabulary is dwindling but then I remind myself that words are meant to convey thoughts to the reader and not to make me feel like I'm a Smarty Pants (tm). I'm not sure amalgamation conveys any meaning that collection doesn't. Is there art in writing? Without question. But this blog isn't an artistic venture so much as it's a fucking blog about a guy who likes to ride his bike. To that end, I eschew the big words with the exception of eschew. I chew. Is chew? Alan Chu?

This has been in the back of my mind since I saw a link in a blog which determines the reading skill needed to understand your blog. The blog that linked it was remedial-3rd grade as was mine. He also tested a blog we both read which is a scientific-based bike blog and it came up the same. In all probability every blog would rate the same. I imagine the New York Times would as well. But I wasn't interested enough to link to a Times piece, not that the Times is a particularly intellectual newspaper or anything. But I bet they don't end sentences with the expression "or anything" or, for that matter, dangling participles. Such a barbarian attitude is unheard of.

Is there a point in using words that readers may or may not easily understand just so you can feel good about knowing big words? Or does it make more sense to always cut it down to the most straightforward language for the sake of communication? The answer seems obvious but at the same time don't we then negate words as an art form if we use them as efficiently as possible to convey thoughts only?

I have no point.

It's Tuesday morning and my legs are pounded out like a slab of meat that has been hammered for a solid hour. Today was the 4th day of the block and now I'm off until Saturday morning. After my first full week of this 4 day full-on period I think this is a good setup for me. I had no issue waking up this morning. Knowing I have a 3 day break following this block makes it mentally easier.

I did 3 sets of 20 minutes at threshold again today which adds up to 7 hours of pretty goddamn high quality work. Stick that sentence in your Vocabulator and see what it says. Anyway, the first set was OK and after the first 5 minutes I was in a groove enough to get through. The second set was tougher and at the halfway point my legs weren't thrilled. But I find the 10-15 minute mark is the real critical time in these 20 minute sets. You can always tack on the last 5 minutes and get through it. After that it was 1 more set until Saturday. If I had another day to tack on it would have been mentally taxing. But while the 3rd set was tough, with 10 to go I was feeling good, cranking out a slightly higher 92 rpm cadence than usual. With the end in sight I was able to pound it home.

So my legs are wasted but I'm totally coherent. On the train in I was able to digest 9 pages of the environment book which is way more than usual. For reference the pages are huge and footnoted. So I'm constantly flipping from the text to the footnotes to read. There are almost 2700 footnotes in this thing. That's why it takes so damn long to read 10 pages. Today was a really interesting piece about pesticides and how un-harmful they are to you. As a reference, you're more likely to get cancer from lettuce than the most common man-made pesticide.

On the trainer I watched a Military Channel show about Hill 875 in Vietnam. The absurd fact at the end: After a 4 day bloodbath and finally taking the hill, they just abandoned it.

By tonight, I suspect I'm going to be sleepwalking through life.

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  • At 11:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Sounds like you are throwing down pretty hard. Good stuff.

    Questions: How long is your rest interval? What gearing for work/rest? You mentioned 92 rpm as slightly high- is 90 rpm your target cadence?

    Keep eating that fruit.


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