Monday, April 1, 2013

Rachel's New Digs and Watts Going On

We had a nice time in the studio on Friday. The work we did was just so-so but we enjoyed the time spent working on our skills. Nate and Rex were there on the far bench. They always have a good vibe around them which we appreciate.

I was pleasantly surprised when we walked back to the cold-shop to pick up our work from the week before. The colors of the pieces I'd done were so rich and deep. I don't typically get that sort of result using frit. Frit is small pieces of colored glass that you roll a gather of glass over to add color to the glass. Usually, it results in a more diluted color than what I achieved with the combination of frit I used on these pieces. It's not often that I walk out of the cold-shop with a smile on my face the way I did with these in hand.

We drove down to Rochester Friday night to spend some time with Rachel and Tony. Rachel just moved into some new digs a few doors down from where she'd been staying. She showed us around her new place including the view from the roof outside her room. I can see this being a nice place to hang out on a warm summer night, but go easy on the wine out there please...I don't see a railing. Ok...just doing my dad thing. She's got the entire top floor of the home to herself until she leaves for Long Island in late August.

We finished out the night at Osaka's sharing 4 sushi rolls among us. Good stuff!

Spring is finally making itself known in small glimpses. There can be no doubt that warmer weather isn't very far off. I got out on my blue Serotta road-bike Saturday afternoon for 49 miles and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I'd been out once earlier in the week testing the Quarq power meter I had installed a couple months ago but this was the first ride where I was really able to put it through its paces. It's such a great training tool. I set my Garmin Edge 705 to record data in 5 mile increments and focused on keeping my watts within a range I felt I could sustain without blowing up.

I had one of the better rides I've had in a while.

I typically train with a focus toward my overall average speed, trying to bring it home in something of a respectable number. Watts training is a little different. Rather than trying to achieve some desired average speed which all too often is negatively affected by a strong headwind, my focus is on the number of watts I'm producing. My average speed will take care of itself. And that's what happened. I brought it home at a speed I hadn't seen in nearly 6 years. I have to give a nod to my CompuTrainer, too, however. It's done a great job of pushing me to levels I don't seem to have the discipline to sustain on my own on the road.

Now that I'm training with watts I've been uploading my data to TrainingPeaks where I can analyze it later. I'm most intrigued by the peak power values I can achieve for specific lengths of time. I see this as being another motivator out there on my rides as I try and improve on my form.

Tammy was at work in the office Saturday night so I went over to Mom's to spend some time with her. I was going to stop at Cub or Rainbow on the way over and pick her up one of those sprouting spring flower arrangements but just as I was leaving I got the idea to give her the vases pictured above instead. She was happy with them. I spent the next hour chatting with Mom and Tim. It was nice.

About the time I was getting ready to head for home Mom asked if she should call Tammy to see if she was off work yet and if she wanted to come over for a glass of wine. Her timing was perfect. Tammy showed up a few minutes later and the three of us chatted away in her living room with our glasses of wine until after 11:00, way past her usual bedtime. We were in no hurry, you could tell she was enjoying our time together and didn't want the night to end. Who knows how many more visits like that we'll have together?

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