21 February 2009

Train, Part three, and more narrative. For Dwayne and my mom.

Wow, it is now Saturday. This week went by fast.

For a start, the training I actually accomplished:

Monday, I swam 300 meters in eight minutes, thirty-two seconds. Not bad, considering that a) I am in terrible shape and b) am still working on my form. Also swam about four hundred more yards* in bits. I did not run/walk the two miles because I was feeling some pain in my right leg (I have had a minor shin splint since last year because I was favouring my left leg after the ankle sprain of Doom). Got tape for that, no pain for the rest of the week.

I do not remember what I did Tuesday, but it was not much because I had an exam on Wednesday. I did briefly hit the gym on Wednesday but I do not remember what I did.

Thursday I did six miles on a stationary bike in about twenty-eight minutes, and then I did two miles on the tread mill in less than thirty. While watching M*A*S*H. Also lifted. Today (Friday), Amber and I walked about three miles on the Barton Creek Greenbelt.

In short, I did not at all follow my training plan and I know damn good and well that I still cannot run for two and a half minutes. So, next week I will be repeating this week's schedule. I will also start making an effort to eat more often in smaller portions and also make damn sure I'm under two thousand calories every day, because I've stopped losing weight and I find that problematic since I have about a month to get to the size at which my wedding dress shall be made. I might be able to talk Mom into waiting until the second week of April.

So, the crankset. Holy crap. I wish I had taken pictures. I had to buy two new tools for this endeavour: a crank wrench and a bottom bracket tool. Once my new Shimano Hollowtech with its fifty-three tooth (as opposed to my forty-two tooth) large chainring came in, I was in something of a lather to get it on my bike. Remember, for the purposes of this narrative, that I live out in the sticks, approximately an hour from Bicycle Sport Shop in Austin, where I have bought the vast majority of my gear. And that I had already been there for new pedals and shoes.

In order to remove the cranks from a bicycle, you have to unscrew these little caps on the non-pedal end with an eight millemeter allen wrench. Fabulous. With the help of my trusty pedal wrench for some extra torque, I did that. Then I started to pull on the crank. It did not move.

Well, it turns up that you're meant to use this thing called a crank wrench which screws into the space you just opened up by removing the caps from the crank, and then you turn this other part of the wrench which is internally threaded and it pops the crank arm off. Allegedly.

I, of course, did not have a crank wrench. Fortunately for me, Amber and I were going to Austin the day after I got my crankset in, and so I bought one while at REI. Fabulous. We came home, and the next day, I incredibly easily removed the cranks from my bicycle.

No, actually, that is what happens in the instructional video. I actually pulled and pushed and swore at my crank wrench and went back inside about sixty times to look at the internet video AGAIN so that I would not destroy my bicycle. And then I got desperate. And then I hauled Amber into it.

Amber is very patient, by the way.

So, we went outside and I got Amber to hold onto the crank on the other side of my bike so nothing could move, and I wrapped a t-shirt around the handle of the crank wrench. And then I got my hammer. After a few minutes of beating on it, we got the crank to pop off. It was really, really on there. I think the other side came off pretty easily (comparatively) using the same technique.

It was at that point that I noticed something else problematic to installing the new crankset.


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* Yes, I know that I am sort of mixing yards and meters. The pool is twenty-five yards long. However, I am swimming three hundred meters because 300 meters == 328 yards, so I just swim an extra length of the pool.

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