Monday, June 30, 2008

Le Weekend

clip_image001I don’t have much to write but I somehow always find something.  Greg’s post just about wrecked my weekend – but luckily I didn’t read it until late on Sunday.  Sada had her 5th birthday on Saturday as well as her first birthday.  She’s turned out pretty darn well for a kid who started just a few GU packets over 5lbs.  The problem with having 2 little kids is that even though one of them had a birthday only 2 weeks ago – they all need a present no matter whose birthday it is.  Maybe kids are spoiled but I’d rather spoil my girls sometimes than hear the hours of crying about not getting a present (say ‘I didn’t get a present’ while whimpering, amongst tears and take nearly 30 seconds to say it and see if someone gives you something.  Adjacent is a picture of Sada when she was born.

Ian aka Huggy Bear finally started a blog.  Today we swam and I couldn’t even catch him while I wore zoomers – I’d hate to be his cancer, heck I’m glad I’m not training with him much right now.  It’s bad enough getting beat, but getting beat by a guy who doctors are trying to kill is not good for one’s psyche.  I’m just glad to have nearly a 1.5 hour head start at Vineman on him.  My wave starts around 6:4something and he goes off around 8:20am!

I’m on some killer antibiotics.  I can’t tell if they’re hurting my aerobic system or not, usually they put you down for a few days until they’re out of your system – but it doesn’t seem to be too bad.  I got in a good 90 min run @ 7:30 pace on Sat and 2 hour ride with about 2,000 feet of climbing yesterday. 

I saw a guy this morning on my ride into work and he was sporting a Hitler mustache and a gold chain and those sweaters eastern europeans wear.  I can’t really describe it any other way.  We used to have some neighbors with 8 kids from eastern Europe – not sure where they were from but they all had those sweaters.  He was on a bike. 

Here is Sada a few weeks ago.  She’s basically the most competitive 5 year old we know.  She competes to get out of the tub first, the car first, into her jammies first, whether or not she has the biggest fork, if she’s older, etc… I’ve apologized to Greta a lot for this. 

Mid June 08 003

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Some Pictures…

Here are some pictures I’ve taken over the past few weeks. 

T1 at the Sacramento Triathlon:

Mid June 08 025

The Lorpeedo and Sarah (yup, that’s right a 2nd place medal, whoo hoo)

Mid June 08 031

Here’s a picture our nanny took of another nanny who was reading a magazine, talking on her cell and sitting in the kids baby jogger.  With nannies, you get what you pay for.  This is obviously the discount nanny.


Piper fishing at high tide.


More fishing…


Car wash babe. 

Mid June 08 095

Beach babe.

Mid June 08 022

Silk Chinese Robes

After 3 runs where my HR won’t come much out of the 195-209 range, I figured I should see a doctor.  Mostly because 1) I don’t think it’s good to run for 90 mins like that 2) I’m probably sick 3) my resting HR yesterday was 130.  It’s taken me a month to figure this out – but I’ve only felt really bad recently.  It’s not salmonella but more likely Giardia which I probably got while racing in the UVAS triathlon.  I’m going to the doctor today at noon.  I’m sort of bummed because it’s a hard week but I can’t really train – though I had a decent 90 min run that was super easy and I ran 7:45 pace without trying. 
UPDATE: Got to the doc and he was no nonsense – he said we can do labs and wait for them to come back in a few days THEN treat you or we can treat you.  He said all of my symptoms sound like Giardia and that there have been a ton of cases reported in the city and even in Oakland.  He also said that there is a huge shortage of doctors (I had to call 8 of them yesterday to find one who would even see me) due to cost of living here as well as insurance.  No I’ve got some killer antibiotics which kill your training but can’t be worse than being sick for a month or running 12 miles with an HR over 190. 
I’d talk about the fires in California but it’s not very interesting now that it’s been covered and covered.  You can see smoke and it smells a bit here – even swimming yesterday AM I noticed it in the Belvedere Lagoon.  
I’m also registered and bought plan tickets to NH for the Timberman 70.3.  Since Ian aka Huggy Bear aka Chemo-sabe decided to get cancer, I had to find a different race other than Santa Barbara to do this year (it wouldn’t be the same without Huggy on the start line) – so why not a 70.3 near my hometown.  I’m interested to see how a California athlete can stack up against those New Englanders on a hot and humid August morning.  Also doing three 70.3 races in a row should ensure I have a good one and can quickly apply anything I learn in one to the next – so one out of three should be good for me.  I also used frequent flier miles to go, so it cost me $10 to get to Boston and back.  I’m sure the snacks will cost more. 
Below is basically how I live from day to day, as I lay in bed here’s what goes though my mind:

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Ups and Down of Almond Butter

Like Zima, almond butter is all the rage.  I tried it.  I liked it.  It went down.  It came up.  5 times. 

The mythical almond butter was great – probably not as great as Courtenay or Greg or Ben or Lieto would have you believe, but it was good.  I provided Greg with the analogy that ‘it was good, sort of like when you find $5 in the pocket of a pair of jeans’ and then we disagreed on whether it was $5 or $20- I still think it’s $5, maybe $10 at the most. 

almondbutterI applied it wrong though.  I eat bagels with butter.  That’s my pre-race meal, it’s good and I know that I can run sprints 10 mins later and it won’t come back.  Ben said that when ‘butter’ is in the name of a product you don’t need to use regular butter – but you really should.  So I had my double buttered bagel.  

It was also 95 degrees out.  So I figured I’d go for a run, a tempo run with about 30 mins of 6:45 pace.  It was also hot – as it was said best in Biloxi Blues – IT WAS AFRICA HOT.  The warm up was easy but not really necessary since it was, well, hot and warm. 

It was also the day that a group of large folks were training for some walking event.  I would say that if you have to train for a walking event – you probably need to get out more.  I digress….

So I ran in and out of the 300 large participants of this walking event at my prescribed tempo pace – sort of fun until the almond butter returned.  I stopped counting at 7 – I’d run a bit, getting in about 15 mins at first and then the rest was broken into run run run run run- whoops, stop, ick, run run run run run.  I think I get credit for 30 mins of moving time (my Garmin 201 stops automatically when your pace falls above a certain min/mile pace).

Don’t eat almond butter before a run in 95 degree heat.  As I ran my target HR was 175.  When I saw 203, I figured I should back down and kept running at 199. 

Friday, June 20, 2008

Klepto Migrates

Since you read this blog, you like read BenCollinsDotOrg’s blog (thanks C).  Many months ago Ben wrote about Klepto the Crow who stole Ben’s gel while he was doing a track workout.  It was funny. 

He forgot to blog about how recently he was doing another track workout here and had the same thing happen – his gel got lifted but this time it was either Klepto or the busload of special Olympians who were doing a track workout. 

bigburrito Last week Ben saw pretty much the largest burrito ever from Burritoville, a place where our super-nanny Erika takes our kids every week where 3 people can’t even finish 1 burrito.  The burrito was about the size of my thigh and about a foot long.  You could have tossed it on a day bed as a pillow roll and no one would have taken a 2nd look.  So Ben obsessed about that burrito for days because above all else in this world Ben loves food.  There is no way he could have chosen another profession because I don’t think he would be able to work amongst the 32 different meals he makes in a single morning.  He starts his day shuffling to the kitchen where he had a bowl (think about what 2 cups of All Bran looks like), puts half of a big tub of plain yogurt on top, followed by fruit (strawberries or blueberries are the usual) and then put milk on that.  That is breakfast #1.  I know a breakfast #2 follows it because I’ve got a mathematical gift that enables me to count dishes.  I think it’s funny until we’re out of All Bran, yogurt, fruit and milk on Tuesday after grocery shopping on Sunday.  I can tell he gets desperate when at 8:30pm he asks to use the car for a quick trip to Safeway. 

Sorry, I got lost there…

back to the burrito and Klepto:  so after having been consumed with getting his own pillow roll burrito – he convinces Erika to bring one home for home.  She does.  I saw it, he told me about it 2-3 more times about where and when he’s going to eat it.  You’d think it was a first date with the girl he’d marry. 

I thought nothing of it until I was at dinner last night with Greta having a great time (thanks Soda) and a super tasty salmon-seafood-paella + a perfectly chilled pinot gris.  Greta goes on to tell me that ‘I had that burrito that was in the fridge for lunch today’. 

I’m sure there were tears yesterday.  It could have BEEN MUCH WORSE.

It’s also possible that there were two burritos and that this story really wasn’t that good.  After all I did just write a whole post about Ben eating.  I like to think that Ben won’t read this, there was one burrito and he thinks that will all of the doors open at our home, Klepto followed him to Tiburon.

PS – the alternative title to this blog was ‘PUT HIM IN A BODY BAG’ but then I would have had to tie the Karate Kid to the story.  Courtenay would grown, blog about the stolen stuff, that Greg took and how Ben did something and there is a pumpkin muffin somewhere and poor Greta would have once again not been part of my post.  So I didn’t do that.

PSS – I had a great time with Greta last night – it was like a real date except she knows I’ll call her the next day. 

Thursday, June 19, 2008

You’ll Shoot Ur Eye Out

I’m posting for 4 reasons:

  1. Windows Live Writer has a new version.  I had to post since I opened it.  Auto hyper-linking!clap
  2. (Boxers I can see squeezing 36-48 hours out of them but a thong, that’s not refreshing.)handcuffs
  3. I wanted to prove to Sarah that it was not necessary to write the literary equivalent of a half-ironman in her blog.smile_wink
  4. I’ve always wanted to write a post about as long as Kelly does. thumbs_up

OOH – new one: Police arrest man running on trail in thong

3 Minute Oat Meal

There is no theme for this, be warned. I yearn to post a concise 1 paragraph daily blog, but I'm either busy or full of something I just have to get out (and it's not poop). 

There is a great blogger culmination today - either that or everyone I know blogs.  Ben is at our home, Greg is at our home with his almond butter.  Soda is watching our girls tonight because as capable as two well educated guys are, they simply may fall apart when faced with 2 very silly naked little girls who need to put their jammies on.  Lastly, I'll see Sarah tonight (possibly) at a concert I'm going with Greta for an unspecified artist (and not it's not NKOTB nor is it Motley Crue). 

Having two pro athletes in the house is mildly interesting but their occupation is none that I would choose - it's hard. Very hard.  Yesterday they grumbly awoke at 5am something to swim at the lagoon.  Then they came home and made oatmeal. 

This morning they slept in, I'm guessing until 8am or so.  I ran 8.25 miles about as fast as I've ever run it (in the past 12 years) and then came home where I had 15 mins to shower, change and head out for work. 

oldpeople Although they have sort of known each other for a few hours (not counting the blog reading) Ben and Greg are like and old married couple.  Last night we were all watching The Karate Kid and I asked who was swimming on Friday am, they both sort of look up at me like a pair of uninterested 14 year olds and state, oh we're swimming with Bob (who was an Olympic caliber swimmer back when the Karate Kid was in theaters and he just happens to own pretty much the nicest lap pool in the Bay Area). 

This morning as the couple are standing in the kitchen with their freshly styled bed heads, Ben looks to Greg and says 'are you making oatmeal?' with the same exact tone and look I would get from Greta asking if I would make the coffee. 

I honestly don't think real oatmeal can be made in 3 minutes, Ben says it can as per the box.  It's like 8.

I found it funny.  They also eat 1/2 cookies at a time. 

I am looking forward to trying almond butter which apparently has made Ben's list of things that are pro (hopefully he'll commit this list we've been assembling of things pro and so not pro to his site). 

Greg and Greta got to discuss Infinite Jest which I'm guessing was a thrill for Greta because I don't discuss books.  I could heard the groans coming from Incline Village.  I WILL read it, probably not before Jan 09 though.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Furuncle and Abe Lincoln

I really had nothing good to call this post - so I pulled out the term furuncle.  Apparently in the pre Tour de France medical check there has been 1 rider ever deemed unfit and it was because of a furuncle.  I'm a tour fanatic, so my posting in July will be sporadic as I'm torn between the final weeks of Vineman prep and watching the live coverage of the Tour.  Even the kids know they don't have a tv watching choice during those sacred weeks. 

cobrakai300dpi This past weekend was not a strong one for training - still not feeling 100% and I still think that I can 'just run tomorrow'.  I never do.  I'm retarded for even thinking I will. 

I did get out with Ben for probably our first and only ride together in the past year.  We did something around 3 hours - neither of us really know because we simply don't remember to charge or turn back on our Garmin toys.  It involved lots of Z2, some Z4 to catch Ben after he decided that my Z2 was WAY too slow and the rest in Z3.  Ben found that 100 something miles on the end of an Adamo seat, while wonderful for keeping your 'stuff' happy - the parts you do sit on end up in a sorry state for a few days. 

Tomorrow we've got our second guest of the summer arriving (it's close to summer I think).  Greg will be here for a few days and while I expect little to no baby sitting action, I do hope to get a few points on my swim along with some POSITIVE feedback (Ben assures me that when there is some improvement he'll say something).  Which leads me to this complaint of swim coach feedback which Kelly has eluded to sharing some of the same thinking: there is too much to think about.  How can a poor swimmer improve when there is literally a dozen or so things to think about when swimming?  Here's what I've heard that I need to do and I simply don't have any strategy for prioritizing what exactly I need to do in order to be faster:

  1. Reach further - stay long
  2. Reach out - don't cross the body's centerline
  3. Keep your head down - feel the water on the back of your head.
  4. High elbows - not sure when but I know I'm supposed to have them.
  5. natural recovery arc - should be relaxed path
  6. Think Kayak - not a plastic bag in the water (or else you'll be called a sausage link in water .6 miles from home)
  7. Solid core (sort of relates to #5 I think)
  8. Suck stomach up
  9. tighen your rear end
  10. small kicks
  11. feet together
  12. rotate but not too far

You get my point - this is all I can remember.  Somewhere in there is a stroke and breathing.  I'm not even going into how I have to watch for manta rays and giant herring with teeth.  Lastly, you'll get made fun of is you finish last so you have to do 1-12 quickly. 

Riding a bike is pretty easy.  Get on, pedal, don't bounce, get a bike fit, ride hard.  Running is easier.  Run fast for 30-45 mins or run slower but longer. 

I told Ben that if he didn't write a post soon about prioritizing what I'm supposed to do in the water that I would post a video of his room. 

I told the girls that Greg had a pet pig because that's sort of how they put stuff together.  I also said he was tall and they wanted to know how tall the pig was.  I apologize now Greg. 

Lastly, I was pointed to a great new site.  It's called 'Every Thursday A Theme'.  Basically there is a theme for each week for you to focus on.  A good triathlete would think 'run with a purpose' or 'focus on pedaling in circles' - but it's better.  Here are some samples to consider for a week:

Stomp and clap the "We Will Rock You" beat
Buck your teeth way out
Constantly lick your front teeth
Windmill right arm while walking
Talk into your sleeve, like a Secret Service agent
Make your voice quiver with righteous indignation
When finished talking, add "Mmmm..." to the end of your statements
Feign Catholicism.
Fixate on Maine Coons.

Why you ask is there a Cobra Kai logo?  Well, I've seen the Karate Kid at least 4 times in the past week.  Piper yelled 'Bonzai' at me and gave me her best chubby armed karate chop.  I pity all future guys who ask her out.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Some things

When I met Greta and before we got married there were a few things we agreed upon which assured our lifetime of companionship.  A few of those things were:

  1. Never own and park and RV in our yard/driveway
  2. Never own a minivan.
  3. No clowns in the house.
  4. No MORE surprise parties (I swear she was kidding, until I threw one).
  5. No rolling jeans at the bottom into a nifty little cuff.

One of my personal promises was to never (and I'm not kidding) that no matter how hard any race ever hurt, it would not hurt me this bad. 

loren running (3)

My friend Tracy sent this (nicely named as me running, it's not).

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Movie Rentals and the Great Decline

And so on .... one of the 'hobbies' Greta and I have are watching movies or films as we call them.  Ever since our first Netflix delivery in 2004 (more precisely, 12/12/2003) - we've seen a lot of movies and I'd wager we've purchased even more.  Since I'm an analyst and anything worth doing is worth doing with charts - I'm showing you how triathlon (and likely kids) impacts the lives of those around you as scientifically correlated to DVD Movie Rental History!

(At this point Courtenay (a savage Lorpeedo blogging fan) rolls eyes, falls out of seat and groans.) 

The first chart below is what I'd say was a seasonal trend of our rental history from 2004-2008 by month.  What you see is not surprising a big spike in January and a higher volume in the 'cooler' months.  The summer obviously filled with NASCAR races, so no time for DVDs.  What you might be yelling at your screen right now is 'well what about that obvious spike in may'.  I turned my Netflix rental history into a pivot table and parsed out the movies by month - as you probably are thinking, it must be simply a solid month for films.  You're right.  I don't know about DVD releases, but it's possible that more movies are released in May or possibly April and likely another culprit (or maybe that's when the good movies are out). 


Films like Bob Roberts, Bloody Sunday, Meet the Fockers, Shopgirl Spanglish, and The Aquatic Life ... were all movies from our May rental history (not to mention, but I will, Sex Feet Under Season 5). 

Where's this decline you're now thinking?  Shouldn't there be a picture of Sada, Piper or Ben at this point in the post.  Nope. another chart.


Above is a chart of our DVD rental history by # of movies per month by year.  I started training in May of 2006 - below are the aggregate # of movies per year.  This chart, my wife would posit is exactly a correlation to how much fun I am.  A tremendous amount of fun in 2004 (we had 1 kid), a barrel full of monkeys fun in 2005 (we had another kid) and then THE GREAT DELCLINE - somewhere in 2006 we moved or started to - finally landing in March 2007.  Also in there is The Fountainhead which was all consuming for the 3-4 months it took me to read it. 


You could believe that or you could look at the QUALITY of films available in each year (maybe it's not the quality but the DVD choices we made).  I do think we're missing a bunch, but perhaps that was our overlapping blockbuster rentals I simply don't have.  Below are some of my favorite rentals (hoping that this post one-ups Greg's recent posts by a long-shot - or maybe they're complementary) by year. 


  • Six Feet Under Season 1 & 2
  • Dirty Pretty Things
  • Bob Roberts
  • Along Came Polly
  • Dinner for Five: Season 1
  • Journeys with George
  • The Stepford Wives (original)
  • Elf
  • Marathon Man
  • Saved!
  • Nip Tuck Season 1
  • Waiting for Guffman
  • Play Misty For Me


  • Sideways
  • Nip Tuck Season 1 & 2
  • The Manchurian Candidate
  • Spanglish
  • Miami Vice Season 1
  • Six Feet Under Season 4
  • Mondovino
  • Bad Santa
  • The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
  • Downfall


  • Broken Flowers
  • Roll Bounce
  • Six Feet Under Season 5
  • Shopgirl
  • Friends with Money
  • Miami Vice Season 1
  • 30 Days Season 1
  • Nip Tuck Season 3
  • Waiting…
  • Happy Endings
  • Wild Strawberries


  • Thank You For Smoking
  • Nip Tuck Season 4
  • Talledega Nights
  • Little Miss Sunshine
  • Disney Princess Stories: Vol. 2: Tales of Friendship

Lastly, is Netflix a good deal? - not really for us.  Based on the chart below (avg cost of a movie by year), you have to watch a lot of movies (on avg of 7.25 movies per month in order to keep the cost of a movie under $3).  In 2004 we avg. 6.25, 2005, 7.25, 2006 5.5 and so on.  What I didn't know is that for selected films/shows you CAN stream them to your PC via Netflix.  This COULD be more compelling but when you've got kids who watch the same movies over and over, Netflix is a tough sell.


I promise that tomorrow I'll post something funny or will talk about Salmonella or HOW I BEAT SODA ON OUR 1.2 MILE SWIM TODAY.  You'll also note how there really isn't any correlation to my training or racing volume, so you'll have to trust that there is a correlation to a busy life that has seen a degradation in movie watching priority and all of the other stuff I do.  The good news, is that we're slowing catching up on some DVD watching and that I AM fun and I can read books without pictures.  I like Greta lots and hope she thinks this whole post makes me cute as heck.

and so.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

I think I have salmonella....

Since Sunday I've had terrible stomach cramps - like someone kicked me in the diaphragm (hold on... this reminds me)

During the race on Sunday I'm swimming a pathetic pace and this guy who is swimming a nearly pathetic pace decided to swim into me, he moves off and then comes at me again and after a second, he decides to just swim over top of me.  I've never been annoyed by the occasional thump but that was it, I stopped turned sideways and put my foot into his ribs - I passed him and never saw him again.  I thought Kelly would approve of something like that.

I have been dealing with fits of nausea and even laid in bed Sunday night wondering if I went to work and had to throw up during the company meeting - would I make it to the restroom or should I just sit next to the trash?

Today I called Westie who was in the doctor's office with the same symptoms -exactly!  His doctor is giving him some blood tests and suspects salmonella

This might explain why my HR hit 200 on the run and went way north of that with very little effort. It was 176 avg for the race even though I sandbagged the run.

Just Say No and Poop Sandwiches

Guess which kid looks like they've been eating a poop sandwich (sans bread)?

June08early 157poop

We take A LOT of pictures, sometimes they don't come out so well, in this case I think the picture came out ok but I think someone was using drugs.

June08early 001smoke

I'd write something about triathlon or training or a great ride but since a picture is actually worth a thousand words (Soda you should have tried a photo essay for your final papers -sooooooooooo much faster), I've just given you about 2,200 words to read which is a lot for a day so warm and sunny here. 

Monday, June 9, 2008

San Jose International Triathlon

I’m not sure what to write about this race. It was the best of events and it was the worst of events.

I felt good going into it – rested, recovered and ready to race (the 3 Rs). I heard it was pretty darn flat and fast with 1 hill. With that in mind my goal was to improve on my previous race swim time, hit the bike in 1 hour or less and run the 10k in sub-40.

The swim started good, I started at the front and then I went too hard, got whacked, kicked and too darn excited. I slowed up, gathered it in (I swear I was near full panic and not catching my breath – always fun in the water) and swam. I simply don’t push it. I focused on ‘thinking kayak’ as Ben would say, my reach and swimming straight. I did those things but just not very quickly. Overall rating 1.5 stars for this swim. Giving myself 1 star for just showing up.

Exiting the water I was ready for a fast T1 and to get out on the bike. As always my transitions go pretty quickly and I was out on the course. Overall rating 3.5 stars for T1. I still need to get my wetsuit off faster and I struggled with the arms- they’re getting harder to get off each time I wear it!

I left my Garmin Edge 305 at home, so I just raced by HR (just knowing my speed helps with motivation) – with a plan on rolling up from 162-up to my race pace of about 176. That worked great – though one guy passed me and I had to get to 176 a bit sooner because I HATE BEING PASSED (on the bike). I held pace and just wove in and out of the crowd in front of me like a possessed granny at a needle point convention. I rode everywhere from the breakdown lane to the oncoming traffic lane (hoping for none of the officials were behind me). I rode a solid hill and felt good – taking about 2 dozen folks down in a ½ mile or less. I got passed by one other guy who I let go during a mid-race ‘bad patch’ with a total of 2 guys getting me in 25 miles. Towards the end I saw a guy nail a kid on a scooter (the kid was playing in the road with no supervision) – not pretty and with 2 kids of my own, I was slightly distracted by the sight of it. The last few miles were bumpy but I got through them about 2.75 mins off my goal. Overall rating 3.5 stars for this bike. I felt good, pushed myself and rode a good hill. The ‘bad patch’ and loss of motivation towards the ends were misses. Plus I could have taken in 6 oz more of water.

I leapt off my steed with great finesse (note: I strive to 1) get cheers 2) get some sort of ‘wow’ factor out of the folks at the line) and I got a few ‘wows’ out of folks as I hit the line going about 12mph. I even caught a guy going into T2. Overall rating 4 stars for T1. I could have got my shoes on faster. I probably passed 6-10 folks just running into my rack.

The run started rough. My glutes were so cramped that I couldn’t run, I hobbled, it hurt. It took about 2 mins of hobbling before they relaxed and I could run. Then I felt great. I was easily running sub 7 for mile one (by sub I mean 6:56) and was increasing speed over the next half mile to hit my goal of 40mins. My HR shot to 185 which was about right – by the time I hit mile 2 my HR had hit 199 and with every little increase in tempo I tried it spiked into the 200s with a max of 226. I ran at 205 for a bit and then by mile 4 it didn’t feel good and I began to think about having to work on Monday and having a family that needed me NOT in a hospital – so I pulled back and shuffled in for the final 2 miles having to give up my goal but it’s a race and my finish time is not what matters most at the end of the day. Overall rating 3 stars for this run. The legs felt great one the cramps subsided and I was on it for a good race, it’s getting there but I think I probably got behind on hydration and maybe a gel. So close. Again, 1 star for showing up.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is Good?

May08late 012 That's what Piper says sometimes if you're eating something that looks tasty to her.  Then if you say yes, there's a good chance that you'll have a few chubby little fingers grabbing a taste of whatever you're eating.  If it's got frosting on it - forget it, you're not getting another bite. 

Here's today's post: things that are good!

Moving to CA and not knowing more than 1 person (my CEO), it was an adventure.  Greta had never lived outside of Washington, the girls had never lived far from at least one set of grandparents, I had worked for a very stable company for 12 years and had a good career that I really enjoyed, we had a beautiful brand new Mc Mansion home and it was good.  But instead we took a chance. 

It hasn't been incredibly easy leaving good friends, our jobs and everything we knew behind with NO IDEA of what to expect, except for high prices (our house is 2x what it was in WA and we had hydropower generated electricity which is dirt cheap). 

Forget the speed bumps we've hit (having to unexpectedly move because our landlord decided his business partner's wife was ripe for the taking - which meant divorce and the selling of all assets) it's good. 

We've got some incredible and good friends, it's sunny and warm, our kids can't help but smile and we've got an orange and lemon/lime tree (we thought it was a lime tree with really sour limes). 


Here are some other things that are just good:

  • I've been married to the greatest girl for over 10 years.  She even likes me.
  • My kids are strong, healthy and smart (cute too, but that will only cause problems for me in about 10 years)
  • My family is healthy.
  • We have jobs
  • Our kids have a nanny who loves them and works hard to keep them learning, active and using good manners.
  • Sada is starting swim lessons in 2 weeks.
  • Greta has tennis lessons every week.
  • My friend Ian is killing me in the swim and battling cancer like a champ - though we'll see how things go when he's off the dope. 
  • I really do like swimming, it's just so HARD!
  • Ben gave me new goggles and I'm excited for his race on Sunday.  He's a special athlete (not the kind who rides an abbreviated school bus but the kind that can throw down 400 watts and smile at you).
  • People actually still write to and call me.
  • My parents are celebrating their 40th anniversary in 2 weeks at our home.
  • Soda is back in town to train with (oh yeah, she owes me SO MUCH BABYSITTING)
  • One of my cars is under warranty.
  • On occasion, there is more money in the bank than what I owe (sort of).
  • Sada is turning 5 and Piper is hopefully going to make it to 3 with all of the teeth left in her head this month.
  • I have 2 more discs left to watch of Miami Vice season 3 and all of Season 4
  • Dates with Greta are the best. 
  • For ever week I train, my HR goes down 1 beat while my output improves.
  • There is a Starbucks 1 block from my office.
  • My beanie hat is my favoritest hat to wear. 
  • Sada likes to sprint on her bike and Katie has agreed to train her in 12 years.
  • I ride a boat to work every day. 
  • I wear shorts and a t-shirt nearly 7 days a week. 
  • I'm not allergic to peanut butter (but my dad is)
  • I lost 3% body fat in the past few weeks, more if I hadn't lost 12 bottles of wine to my weak will.
  • My helmet matches my racing kit.
  • I have yellow sneakers and not a single person has tried to beat me up for that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Ticket Please

I was out the other day getting in 4 intervals of 5 mins in Z4.  As many of you know, this is sometimes a quick visit to the pain cave, or at least you get close.  So my coach had me ride out to the Marin Headlands with a warm up and then out for some slightly up hill efforts.  There are no houses, no services and usually no people (including ones in cars).  As I got ready for my third effort I set out, hit my target pace and climbed the grade around 12-14mph.  About halfway into the interval I pass a smallish intersection with a stop sign - because I was in the middle of nowhere, I didn't because you don't stop in the middle of an interval - it's like stopping a sneeze, you really just shouldn't.  As I pass the sign apparently the park police took note and fired up the sirens in hot pursuit.  As I stated before, I was in the middle of an interval and since I didn't stop for the stop sign in the middle of nowhere (not an excuse, just a fact) I certainly wasn't going to stop for the park ranger with his siren on until I was done (probably not the best idea).  I just kept going pretending my iPod was too loud to hear (it's not like you can listen to Motely Crue live on 2, it's got to be on 11) him and pushed up the hill.  When I was done and after he had made it clear that I was going to be run off the road if I didn't stop - I stopped.  He then used the mr. microphone to tell me to move up to the next road where it was safer, so I rode up ahead and pulled over again.

080603-rfk-injured-then_standardBoth officers approached me as I was still recovering from the effort - my HR still in the 160s.  For their safety, they had their hands on their sidearms as they got close enough and asked why I didn't stop at the stop sign, I said 'I was in the middle of an interval'.  Wrong thing to say. 

He asked for my driver's license and when I said that on my bike didn't carry it but provided them with all of my information. They responded and gave me a ticket.  He then spent the next 5 mins explaining to me how a federal warrant could be issued for me if I didn't pay it. blah blah blah.  I put my iPod headphones back in and waited for him to stop. 

By this point, there were a dozen cars stopped to see the reason why his lights were flashing and what was causing such a stir on the side of the road.  A number of drivers actually shouted support told the officer that there were bigger issues to deal with (apparently my red, white and blue ZteaM kit looked harmless to them). 

The officer finally gave me my copy and said I was free to go, 15 mins later. 

I was annoyed by my silliness and for not simply being issued a warning. 

Oh yeah, it was $100.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Final Stretch

It's barely June and I'm already writing about the end of the season.  Either the season is short, it's long and I'm looking forward to sleeping past 5:05am or I'm just a long-term thinker (hint: it's the last one, the first one and the one in the middle).  I was going to write about my training or muffins but know that I'll lose readers with those two very compelling topics.  So I'm going to write about this:  stuff I love and hate about triathlon.

First, the bad news: Stuff I hate (or at least strongly dislike):

  1. Bad days and related: bad races.  Too much effort and time is put into this to have a bad day.  Not doing your best sort of fits in here.
  2. Missed sleep.  Let's just expand it to not having a normal life.  I could stay up, but I'd pay for it.
  3. Missing workouts.  The guilt kills me. 
  4. The Pain Cave or the Hurt Locker.  Going into either of these isn't fun, it's fun after but not fun during. 
  5. A disorganized race (also in this category, a disorganized transition area).  Not a fan of being forced into a rack, because the guys who figure out how many people can fit into a rack clearly have never actually raced before.  12 bikes - no, 8 bikes yes. 
  6. People on aerobars going 14mph.  You see them out there. 
  7. Not listening to the obvious; your legs can't move, your back is killing you, there's a race in 3 days - 'I really COULD do that interval session I think'.  Dumb.  I do it too much.  I'm getting better.
  8. Obsessing. 
  9. The Flat tire.  It's not too frequent, but when it does, it's never on the day you'd rather not ride, it doesn't happen on sunny days, it doesn't happen in your driveway.
  10. Missing out.  I have a lot of great wine to drink - probably to great excess, we've got tons of movies and books to enjoy, there are lots of sunny afternoons I could play with my girls, lie in the sun, do yard work, wash the car (hold on, I'm going down the wrong path....), working more or talking to everyone.  I give a lot of that up, as do everyone I know through no fault of their own.  It's the hardest part of the sport. 
  11. Guilt.  Wine, beer, cake, cookies, sleeping late, too much Xbox, not stretching, not drinking enough water, not eating 4 more grams of protein (because I SHOULD HAVE) or riding a dirty bike.
  12. Rest days.  Let's just get on with it.
  13. Blisters.
  14. Fear. Fear of blisters is bad too.

Now the good news - stuff I love (about triathlon):

  1. Good days, a good race or getting through a challenging workout you really didn't want to do. So simple sometimes, but often so hard.
  2. Feeling good.  Most days I wake up and just feel good and pretty healthy. Like today, I got up at 5:05, ran 11+ miles and then rode to work and will ride 35k home with some intervals.  I couldn't do that 2 years ago if I had 4 hours. 
  3. Being an example.  Somehow I've tricked a few people into this sport, I know my daughter likes to rider her bike with me - heck, she'll even sprint for the line - it doesn't matter where that line is, she'll just start sprinting.  It's great to be a role model, even if those people are only 4 years old. 
  4. Learning.  One of the best parts of triathlon is what you learn.  You learn a new recovery stretch, a tweak in your swim stroke, a way to get your wetsuit of 3 seconds faster or that a sub 1:25 half marathon isn't impossible. 
  5. Sleeping (or more specifically, a really good night's sleep).  95% of the time, when I get in bed, I'm cooked - a nice cool room, the perfect amount of blankets and some nicely starched sheets.  Heaven.
  6. Ice cold water and sometimes after I've had that water, a nice cold brew (cider or beer will do).  I've usually earned it, so no guilt.
  7. Pizza with Greta and the girls.  No guilt ever.  It's our family favorite since 1997.
  8. A perfect day.  70 something degrees, sunny, no breeze and maybe even a hint of jasmine in the air. 
  9. A good playlist on my iPOD.  Nothing can ruin a good interval like a bad song or worse, a collection of bad songs. 
  10. New training clothes or equipment.  A new bike kit, helmet, new shoes.  Tasty.
  11. The sound of a disc wheel.   Since I rarely hear them come from behind, I just hear mine.  When it's going fast it sounds like a train.
  12. Passing people.  It's fun.  When you have a 50th percentile swim or worse and a 95th percentile bike (or better), you pass a lot. 
  13. Getting faster.  It's proof that everything is working. 
  14. Finishing.  I'm done, nothing more to do and I can go home to my family. 

Here's something dumb I've done:

I signed (wait listed) up for another 70.3.  Here's the schedule:

June 8 - San Jose International, Olympic

July 20 - Vineman 70.3

Aug 17 - Timberman 70.3 (wait listed)

Aug 24 - Santa Barbara Long Course (tentative)

Sept 7 - Big Kahuna Half Ironman

Sept 8 - off season