Smoke, Meat, and Power...

Yes, I know that I have chosen an odd title for a blog post that means nothing to anybody but me.  However, that's what my weekend consisted of this time around. 

After a 2 hour opera staging rehearsal on Saturday morning, I was scheduled to do a power test to check my training level progression.   I had a little lunch after rehearsal, then tinkered around the house waiting for it all to digest.

Once I was ready to go, I did my usual 45 minute warm-up on the road bike.  I timed it perfectly to arrive back at the house on minute 44 and ran downstairs to hop on the trainer that I had all set up for the test.  Doing it on the trainer removes all elements of wind, hills, etc...so I get consistent power levels for the test on the LeMond to compare to prior tests.  The legs were feeling pretty good coming off of the R&R week, but make no mistake - doing the power test requires focus and is a nice mind over matter exercise to complete properly.  Just as the test ended, my heart rate was pegged at 180 and I was more than ready for the 30 minute cool down spin.  I had not had this good of a test since way back at the beginning of January coming off a high altitude vacation at Vail where my legs were jumping on test number one.  If felt like I had done well and I was anxious to plug the data in and see if any progress had taken place since the last test.

Fortunately, my numbers did improve from the previous test and are now at their highest levels I have seen for 2014 (I'm still pretty average, so no worries there) and this requires a slight adjustment to my training zones which ups the ante going forward this season.

Sunday had me up early as I was scheduled to grill 2,400 kebabs for the Jewish Food Fair in Des Moines that my wife was co-chair of this year.  The weather was perfect with sunny skies and temperatures were reigned in with a nice range from the upper 60's to the low 70's all day.  I got the grill warmed up and started grilling the first batch of goodness at 10 AM to have ready for the crowd that would hit the 11 AM opening of the event.  Outside of a 20 minute break I took to eat a little plate of food, I went straight through until 4 PM on my feet knocking out the 2000+ kebabs.  This meant I sucked in a lot of smoke, got grease all over myself, and put in a good day of honest work.

After I did the first batch of kebabs by msyelf, there were two of us going at it non-stop with about 80-100 kebabs grilling at a time...


Roger and I surrounded by smoke and meat...


Alexa managed to capture me still smiling at about hour #4...


The finished product went in the aluminum pans and a "runner" would take them up and put in them in the warmers on the food line along with the other items (brisket, kebabs, Israeli salad, salmon spread, bagels, noodle Kugel, chicken liver, hummus, pita, Matzah ball soup, beer, wine, desserts, etc, ...)


I spent about an hour or so cleaning up the grill and leaving it better than I found it after the event was over before heading home.  I immediately headed to the shower to remove as much of the grease from my hair, face, and arms as possible (without resorting to Dawn dish soap for help).

Then I hopped on the bike to unwind and do my 2 hour Zone 2 weekend ride.  I was using the new training zone parameters from Saturday's power test, so the new Zone 2 was a bit more work than it has been in the past on the lower end.  Of course I was a bit tired from the day of standing on my feet and grilling, but I managed to push it along for the ride to Carlisle and back with a couple of loops on the blacktop of Summerset State Park keeping in mid to high Zone 2 most of the time.

I took another shower to take on the remaining grease that was mixed with my workout sweat, and decided not to make any dinner.  I wound down on the couch with Tara reviewing how the food fair event had gone.  She did such an amazing job the past year planning it, lining up the sponsors, organizing the volunteers, etc... and everyone was tickled that it went really, really well.

We had both eaten so much all day, that she just sipped on tea and I had a small bowl of cereal and yogurt to recover and relax before we literally passed out from exhaustion.

Opera Workshop Performance #1 this evening in Lekberg Hall at 7 PM, and #2 on Thursday (same place, same time).  Classes end on Friday, and we have a few faculty meetings early next week before it is officially summer break for me.  There is a huge list of "to do" items for me at home that have been put on hold, so I will be busy attacking those for a good month, if not more.

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