Monday, April 23, 2007

What a Weekend

The weather gods finally smiled upon us and blessed us with some great weather. Sunny in the mid to upper 70s. I tried to make the most of it. I rowed on both Friday and Sunday. Friday I was in a double and Sunday I had my first row of the season in a single. Friday was a bit windier than I would have liked, but after bailing on my partner two weeks in a row for similar reasons, I didn't feel like I was in a position to say no. Rowing on a Friday evening is no mean feat to pull off. Mostly because that's when all the high school teams are getting their final practices in before their Saturday regattas. Chaos ensues. You have boats being put in the water (mostly 8s and 4s), boats being taken out of the water, long handled oars being swung around and carried up and down the hill leading to the docks and kids running everywhere. We managed to launch and headed upstream. For the first mile, its rowing through wake after wake from all the coaches launches. Once clear of that mess, it was pretty east rowing except for a few windy parts. We rowed up to Ryan's Dam, which is the old Occoquan dam that has been mostly been dismantled. Its a four mile row each way, so I felt like I got my moneys' worth. Sunday's row was better. I try to go as early in the morning as I can get my old bones out of bed. I did go a little later than usual because I wanted it to warm up a bit before I headed out. By the time I arrived at Sandy Run, all the singles were out save for three and two of those are only for lightweights. While I'm technically a lightweight (for men that's under 165 lbs), the lightweight singles are for those weighing less than 155 lbs. I was lucky to get the last non lightweight single. The water was flat, the temperature warm, but not hot, so it was a gorgeous day to be out on the water. I did the row to Ryans Dam again. My legs did feel a little rubbery by the end of the row, but a good feeling none the less.

On Saturday, Ann and I did our first bike ride of the year. We both bought new bikes about 2 years ago as just another means to get some exercise. We usually go ride on the W&OD Trail . It likes to bill itself as the skinniest park in existence. The bike trail is built on the old tracks (actually the tracks are long gone and replaced with asphalt making a nice smooth trail) of the W&OD Railroad and the trail stretches for 44 miles from Shirlington (not far from the Pentagon) to Purceville out in the Virginia horse country. We usually ride from a parking area just off Rt 28 north of Dulles Airport and ride to Leesburg and back. Its a 20 mile round trip and takes us about 50 min each way with a break at the Douglas Community Center. We don't actually go inside, but they have a playground out back and a sidewalk from the trail and most important, a bathroom. Riding with Ann is always an adventure. She knows she should exercise, but hates to do it. During our rides and when we stop at the community center, its a constant stream of comments on how she can't ride this far, or its too hot, too cold, too windy, too many people on the trail, her legs hurt or her butt hurts. Of course at the end of the ride she's proud she made the 20 miles and feels good about it. Hopefully we can make it a weekly event. We both rode with our VA Tech sweatshirts on and got a few "Go Hokies" from fellow riders. Speaking of which, it was nice to see the number of people who wore either maroon or orange on Friday in remembrance of the victims of VA Tech. A lot of people had also put ribbons on their mailboxes. I like to think that the students know we're thinking of them.

Miles rowed to date: 28.5
Miles Biked: 20

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