Today I turned 32, and it's been pretty great so far. I'm kind of a numbers guy, and 32 is an important one for me. It's a power of 2, which is a big deal for us computer nerds. It was also my basketball jersey number - I was 14 years old when I began wearing that number, I don't think I could have imagined ever actually being that old! It is also exactly 2x16, and since I received my driver's license on my 16th birthday it means that today - and for today only - I have been driving for exactly one half of my life. I warned you I was a numbers geek, right?
I started the day with a bike ride from Fletcher Cove - another absolutely gorgeous day in Southern California, 75 degrees and sunshiny! I rode by myself up the coast to Oceanside pier, which is where my odometer hit 16 miles - I turned around so the round trip would end up being 32. My legs were a little sore from yesterday's ride, but I had enough in them to drop a "B" level roadie who decided to latch onto my wheel in Carlsbad. I toyed around with him a while - went just hard enough that I knew he was red lining, but not hard enough to drop him. After I knew he was good and fried, I put the hammer down and opened up a gap. I rocketed up one of the moderate climbs on the south end of cbad, and when I looked back he had cracked on the hill and was never seen again. It was good to be in the saddle today, there's no place I'd rather be.
I finished the ride and took the half mile drive up the hill to the Solana Beach Boys and Girls Club to begin the swimming portion of my birthday workout. On the agenda: 32x 100 yards. I decided to do them on a 2:00 interval - which would make it easy to count, and I knew I would be done after 64 minutes. I normally swim in a 50 meter pool, this one is 25 yards long - it actually made a big difference. It turns out that with the extra kicking off the wall, 2:00 is pretty darn easy. I was hitting the wall at 1:35, and getting 25 seconds rest - which is an eternity. But I continued because it wasn't supposed to be a tough swim, plus being on even interval made it so easy to keep track of. It was nice and relaxing - I even struck up a conversation with the woman swimming in the next lane. Yes, she was crazy hot - abs of steel. Somewhere along the line I looked at my watch and saw I was at 24 minutes - which meant this was my 12th 100yd set. I started thinking about what I was doing when I was 12 years old - it was kind of fun to try to remember. I did that the rest of the way through - kind of reflecting on the milestones in my life and the ages where they occurred.
- 13 - I made the basketball team. This was my exit from "everybody wins" community leagues and into competitive sports. Basketball would be my life from that day on.
- 14 - my first real date, with Cindy. We watched Kevin Costner in "Robin Hood".
- 16 - We all got our driver's licenses. How we are still alive is a mystery.
- 17 - Dated a cheerleader who was much more than a cheerleader. My free-throw percentage fell dramatically that season, as she was always standing right in front of me while on the stripe. My friends thought she was crazy, but I didn't notice - I think I have a "type".
- 18 - Graduated from high school and moved away from home. I was sad on the last day of school because I would never see those people again. Funny how important that stuff seems when you're young. I quit playing basketball competitively - thinking of it still makes my eyes water.
- 20 - I pledged Triangle along with my soul brother Kevin. His wedding is in Austin TX in about 6 weeks - can't wait to see him again. Many of my closest friends are from the Dinger house in Terre Haute - I'm so proud to be a part of that organization.
- 21 - Had the typical 21st birthday night of over drinking. Made my first trip to Vegas - lost my belt at the Crazy Horse.
- 22 - Graduated from Rose-Hulman, which is to date the most difficult task I've ever accomplished. Posing with my father for the "legacy photo" was unexpectedly fantastic.
- 23 - Hard living in Chicago - had the time of my life! Briefly long-distance-dated a friend from home whom I had been interested in for years. This was my first real heartbreak.
- 27 - Received my graduate degree in Computer Science. I hated every f'ing minute of that curriculum - this might be where I learned the meaning of "endurance".
- 28 - Moved to San Diego. Once again briefly dated same friend from home long distance, after 5 years of pining for her. Distance and my disinterest in "Sex and the City" doomed us. She's still one of my closest friends.
- 29 - I re-discovered cycling, and later triathlon. I've been smiling ever since.
- 31 - The year of Ironman. A good year, with some rough edges. Some really high highs, and a few very low lows - but it all worked out.
Anyway, I was swimming my 100's at the 1:35 pace until I pinched a muscle in my shoulder around number 27. I swam a 1:45 and was in pain - thought about quitting since this workout wasn't all that important. But quitting just didn't work for me - I'm an endurance athlete, so I worked through it. 2 more at 1:40 pace and the pain finally went away. I smoked number 32, 1:23.
Then it was off to the showers to trade my speedo for running shorts - a 3.2 mile run. It was surprisingly hot out there, the sun beat down more like a summer day than the dead of winter. I didn't bring my metronome, but I did focus on my running form - especially my cadence. I think it worked OK, I felt good and went pretty fast.
My "32" workout was pretty fun - I think I'll do it again next year. Now it's off for a nap, I've got a dinner and a party to get to tonight...