Sunny May Saturday

Before the Lad rose, I did 90 minutes on the trainer in the basement. Hadn't been down there in the early morning in several weeks. Maybe months? I know, I wasn't going to get lung cancer in that short time, but riding in the radon zone just seemed unsavory. They finished the mitigation project earlier this week—the crawl space is covered in plastic and fans pull what comes out of the ground out of the house. I finally set up a trainer down there today. It was great to do an early morning trainer ride with daylight streaming in the windows. That reminded me of what makes January the cruelest month for the triathlete doing an early season IM—rising when it's darkness, riding surrounded by darkness, darkness and cold all around.

After the ride and breakfast we went on a 4.6-mile roundtrip walk with a nice long stop at the farmers' market. We picked up the main ingredients for dinner: grassfed sirloin; spinach; and some purple potatoes. After lunch and some reading time, we were off to the bike path along the Columbia River. We busted The Lad's wheels out of their winter hibernation and I ran directly in front of him as he graciously insisted I set the pace. We went four miles one way, then back. It was good and easy in the sunshine. There were quite a few sailboats on the river, and people playing along the shore, and not hordes but a considerable scattering of walkers, bladders, bikers, scooterers and runners to be found. (This isn't Santa Monica, or even our own Eastbank Esplanade, on the Willamette downtown, where I'm sure it was hopping today.)

As I say, the run was very comfortable, between eight and nine minutes per mile pace—until the last mile, when we cranked it up. The Lad likes to finish strong, and he pulled out in front. I chased. I couldn't catch him, but gave it a hell of an effort, doing the last mile around 5:45. It wasn't easy but you now what? It wasn't that hard. I could have gone faster. That was cool. I've never had that kind of fitness, to be able to run a full mile well under six minutes after going seven miles. I wish I had a 10K coming up—maybe that goal of breaking 40 minutes isn't so crazy anymore?

Dinner was great. We made a potato salad, substituting low-fat yogurt for the mayo. We sauted the spinach as we always do in olive oil with garlic and drizzled it with lemon juice, that's all, nothing more to it; and we grilled the steak. People, if you eat beef, you've got to go grassfed. It's better for the bovine (OK, they're doomed anyway, but it's still better along the way), better for the planet, better for your own health (omega-3s) and has wonderful, complex beefy flavor that makes the industrially produced grain-fed stuff seem weird and synthetic.

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