Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

In the spirit of Halloween, I’m not working out today and I’m going to have my pumpkin ale and get my Teletubbie costume on. 


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Three Blocks of Three

I’m doing some different stuff this season to work on my weaknesses (swimming, biking and running fast).  The first 3 weeks of the season are just to get my legs and arms moving again which will be followed by 3 weeks of 50-70% swimming, 3 weeks of 50-70% of running and then 3 weeks of riding 50-70% of the time.  Then I’ll get into a regular routine with continued focus on the swim and run – my bike is the least of my worries and I should easily be able to do <2:30 56 mile efforts. 

October08 002I also started yoga but I fell over a few times – so I need to obviously work on a lot as far as sitting on the floor goes.  I’m certainly not starting my day with a lot of peace and tranquility as I whack my head into the door or struggle to sit all pretzeled up.  I have a new found respect for people who can put their heads up their keister without falling over all the while indicating a state of calmness without grimacing in pain.  I know in Seattle this comes easy to most especially those in local government. 

“The traffic is terrible” – it’s ok, we’ll do a study over the next 36 months… ‘the study found there IS a lot of traffic and we’re launching a study to determine solutions…..

STUDY: Solutions include: people should carpool and use mass transit and we should build bigger bridges but we’ll need a study to determine just how big.

Sorry about that….

Today I got out for a longer run –10.5 miles and ran a very steady pace of 8:11 for the entire run.  Nearly every mile was within a few seconds of that pace – so it was good to be consistent like that so early in the season.  Not bad since I also had a Guiness, Corona and 2 glasses of a decent Syrah Saturday night.

Tonight I’m headed up to Seattle for my first week back at Microsoft where I will catch up with Chris Tremonte and hopefully Mr. Ben Collins and my old coach Michael Covey.  I’ll even get in the pool for a master’s swim workout at 6am on Tuesday where I’ll be thrown in the ‘they could be swimming or having seizsures – it’s too tough to tell lane’.  I also hope to get out for some runs in one of the best parks for running: Bridal Trails with my friend Jilani. 

Last night coming home from dinner Sada proudly stated ‘at dinner I didn’t even pick my nose once’.  This means she might be ready to date in about 14 years.  Get ready fellas. 

Above is a picture of the road I’ve been riding on from Muir Beach to Stinson beach.  I stopped here to check email and figured I’d take a picture. 

Thursday, October 23, 2008

A 10k a Day

Today I ran a 10k.  I went out pretty easy and had to remind myself a few times that it was EARLY and that I needed to go slow.  I am not using a HR monitor – just a Garmin 201 and I’m just running for fun and by time.  Lately I’ve been running the loop around Ring Mountain which is UP or DOWN with very little flat.  Today I ran a pretty flat route and did a true 10k in 45 mins – which is a 7:15 pace.  I’ll be in the pool 2x next week and will be getting in about 12 hours a week of swim/bike/run – to get myself ready for some Thanksgiving Turkey and hopefully some pre-Thanksgiving Pumpkin Bread (please Greta?). 

In between all of that we’re working on getting Piper to accurately and regularly use the toilet for #2.  This sounds easy but it’s not.  She gets a bit worked up about the whole thing and turns herself into a pressure cooker.  This means she produces the biggest turds ever.  She threw down a ‘giant killer’ the other day and instead of grossing out the whole house – it caused the girls the celebrate and jump around at the massive-ness of her deed.  It was indeed worthy of celebration.  Yes, you just read a paragraph about my daughter horking out a poo the size of her leg.  To make matters worse, she was so excited that she did the whole thing on the toilet that she jumped down and kept jumping around leaving Mr. Hanky marks all over.  Hiiiiiiideeee Ho. 

Now to clear your mind of that – here’s a picture I took on my ride yesterday.  I’ll write about this ride because as great as the scenery was – it was the ugly sister of the Mt Tam ride I’ve been doing.  Man was it ugly. 


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

A Simple Trail Run

I got out for a short run at lunch today – up, over and around Ring Mountain.  I’ve done this run with Ben and Soda before – but have done it about 5 times in the past 2 weeks.  It’s 5 miles and you climb almost 600 feet and descend 600 feet.  There are a ton of different trails to take – so each and every run can be different – it keeps running fresh and like Greg mentioned today, trail running is sort of what got us into this whole mess we call Triathlon. 

Today I decided to bring a $600 camera that I just got back from the repair shop on the run.  I was careful to not beef it.  The trail has some flats but is mostly up from 4% to areas of 30% where you can basically run up stairs.  It’s pretty exposed but as you can see below – it’s worth it for the views and I can’t think of a better place to remind me at how lucky I am to be able to run up this hill, to live in such an amazing place and to have a super duper killer awesome neato family to return to at the end of every run.

Here’s the view as you head up – about 15 mins into the run.

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At some points – the trail is not easy to discern from… well, the rocks. 

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Here is the view from one of the 2-3 peaks you traverse along the ridge.

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This is the fire road that seems to be all over the place though I’ve never seen the beginning or end of it.  If there is a fire I wouldn’t worry much because rocks and dirt are pretty much crappy for fires.

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Here is the view at the top – that is Sausalito ahead and Mt Tam on the right.

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and to the left – you can see San Quentin, the Richmond bridge, my neighborhood below and Oakland in the distance on the right.

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Here’s the elevation – pretty much a run up and then down to the trailhead and then over the mtn and back home again.










Here’s the whole 5 mile route.















As I came down the mountain I turned around and saw this interesting fortress of Dr. Evil being built into the hillside:

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When I return home – I was greeted by Piper who took the biggest poop I’ve ever seen in my life (I took a picture but won’t post it) – she was super proud and made me come look, I was proud and impressed and then had to clean it up. 

And this little beauty was awaiting my return – so I’m basically luck all around.


Friday, October 17, 2008

Barbie’s Aspen Beach Party: Why You Can’t Trust Women

So now that I’m almost working from home – I had to get office furniture.  They ship it with a lot of Styrofoam.  It was everywhere as I unpacked it all and since Piper was down for a nap I figured Sada could behave and NOT make a mess while I took a 5 min shower.

I come downstairs and she’s used the Styrofoam to make a couch for Barbie and Ken and decided that it was also snowing on them.  Below is the Barbie and Ken Aspen Beach Party.  With boys this would have been real people, real snow, real nakedness but with my girls it’s just Barbies.  Thank God for little girls. 

For those of you who had their suspicions about Ken, he’s clearly a lucky fellow.

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Why Barbie and Olivia Newton John Pretty Much are the Best Chicks Ever but Desiree Ficker is Pretty Close

Having 2 daughters, 3 sisters a wife, 2 moms (as a result of being married not a member of Warren Jeff’s freaky group), 2 female cats and a guinea pig named Elizabeth means I get a lot of girly stuff.  It’s bad enough I shave my legs, own more spandex than cotton and have a girl’s name (yes, the spelling is Loren but that doesn’t matter to most people) – but I’ve got all of those other things above that mean I’m pretty much able to use either restroom – I’m entitled to it I think. 

image This also means I get to watch a lot of musicals – which I’m usually responsible for buying – and there’s a lot of Barbie in my life.  In the last week we’ve watched An American in Paris, Singing in the Rain and Xanadu.  IF you knew ANYTHING about musicals, these 3 are awesome (my friend Tracy – another guy with a girl’s name – is now writing an email to me saying that is the gayest thing ever) and they have Gene Kelly (who is probably not related to Kelly but I’ll link to her anyhow).  The girls love the dancing and the music is classic – I mean who didn’t have a mom singing ‘good morning… good MAHNIN’ or at least in the case of Greta, the Orowheat Bread commercial used it. 

(At this point in the blog Ian who has 2 boys is thinking he’s got it pretty good but this same guy always seems to have Fergie on the radio – so there’s that).  PS – he’s beating the crapola out of his cancer so check out his blog and throw him some good thoughts). 

I also had the Xanadu soundtrack when I was in 3rd grade but didn’t see the movie until a week ago.  It’s pretty much a lot of bad roller skating, Olivia Newton John, killer music from ELO, the only crotch cam scene ever outside of adult film, and a lot of really weird 80’s stuff.  A lot.  But the girls love it and at this point I’ll take anything over the soundtrack from High School Musical 1 and 2. 

The girls also love Barbie.  Barbie is just not a doll, she’s a fairy princess, a folk rocker, a student, and pretty much anything Mattel can imagine and package into 30 pages or a DVD.  Last night I had to read 2 Barbie books because you’re supposed to read to your kids and they hate Triathlete Magazine and they won’t sit still to listen to Johan Brunyeel’s “We Might as Well Win” (which is ok not great). 

Actually they don’t hate Triathlete Magazine but they start asking about who people are and did they win and then they always ask ‘did you win daddy’ and I have to say ‘not really, 5th was pretty close overall and 2nd in my age group but no…. I didn’t win’. 

So as I was saying….  we were reading Barbie and Barbie is really more like a movie star who plays other characters and she usually knows someone who is magical and can fly.  Last night alone in 30 pages the following happened:

  • Barbie found a baby polar bear and kept it
  • She caused her whole kingdom (really her parent’s) to turn to stone
  • She MADE a magic wand
  • She found out her sister was really a flying horse under a magic spell
  • She killed an evil wizard
  • She un-did the spell and her sister was this hot blond thing fully dressed despite the fact she was a winged horse seconds ago – go figure.
  • A handsome prince rode by and did something – I swear there’s a glut of these lazy guys in every kindgom, just out ‘happening to ride by’ – or maybe that’s their job since so much actually depends upon them happening to come along.  They’re like fairyland patrol cars, except on horseback.

The girls didn’t bat an eyelash or ask a single question – like “Dad is it really likely that Alana could really descend from the castle using a hair ribbon she happened to have that was about 300 ft long?” 

So there. 

Here is how Desiree did at Kona.  I think she felt bad.  I hope she has a better 2009 season!






















My friend Rhae Shaw always does well:


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

FOR SALE: HED V04 TT Bike w/Dura Ace and Shimano PRO Wheels

I’m selling this rare and killer TT bike- fully built w/Dura Ace.  The bike includes the HED V04 Frame, fork, seatpost and HED aerobars.  This bike is a size “Large” and should fit any rider who is 5’10” to 6’ tall (57cm).  The bike has a Dura Ace brake set (using the HED aero levers), Dura Ace 175mm Crank with a 53 big ring (I’ve got 55 if you want it), DA chain, ISM Adamo saddle  and Dura Ace front/rear derailleurs.

Bike: retails for $1,495.00

Bars: retails for $640.00

Dura Ace Group: retails for $1,395.00

My price: $1,800 no wheels, $2,800 w/Shimano PRO Wheels shown below.











I can include the Pro Disc and 4 Spoke front wheel for $1,000 – or $2,800 for the whole thing including the wheels.

Shimano - PRO Carbon Disc Wheel

Shimano - Pro 4Ray Wheel








email me or leave a comment if you’re interested. 


Sunday, October 12, 2008

A few good hills

Despite feeling terrible – I got out for a short ride with Soda, Westie and Rich Steele.  We did a quick loop from Tiburon to Muir Beach, up highway 1 to Stinson and up and over Mt. Tam.  Once again I’m grateful for the new Power Tap I’ve got to help me measure out my wattage.  The goal for the next 8 weeks is to ride 210-250w and no more than 270 on the hills (a bit tougher but doable).  There used to be a lot of times where I’d climb a hill, push over the top at a HR level and then onto the downhill or flats – but with power as soon as the pavement changes grade – so does wattage and I’m constantly having to pedal a lot more than I used to in order to maintain the appropriate wattage. 

Yesterday I was not feeling great but since my cold wasn’t in my chest and because I needed to burn some calories – I still rode.  It was a perfect day – cool but not a since cloud in sight and I don’t recall seeing more than a dozen cars in about 2 hours.

Below is the elevation chart.  Had I also charted the complaints from the group it would look similar. 












I avg. 234w on the ride which felt pretty good.  I’ll be excited for the days when my coach says to push 300-350 on the climbs – but am happy to build strength over the next few weeks.  You can see the climbs and HOW WE STOPPED TO WAIT FOR THE 2 VERTICALLY CHALLENGE ATHELETEs like 4 times.  But it’s early season and I wasn’t too high strung for once to care.  I could definitely stand to get my Lean1 program going again to help with the climbing. 












If you watched the Ironman yesteday – you’ll see that Macca dropepd out.  He had a cable break – something that has never happened to him and a picture from the finish line last night from Macca’s agent Scott Fairchild.  Like Ian, I too have put my name into the 2009 Hawaii Ironman lottery.  No idea if it will happen but if Ian and I were to both get it – it would be pretty amazing for both of us to be there with our families. 

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Thursday, October 9, 2008

The 2009 Season Begins…

It started on Monday – 7:30am as I rode into work for what is to be my last full week in the office in SF before I start working from home and soon working for Microsoft (I’ll be a Sr. Business Analyst) on 10/27.  Here’s how the week has started:

  1. Rode 20 miles into work and 20 home – I was tired, it’s only Monday.
  2. Run AM: whoops, didn’t sleep well (thanks a ton current job!) and didn’t run, stretched good instead for 20 mins.
  3. Rode same as Monday – except my butt hurts after a month off the bike.  It’s probably because I’m about 7lbs heavier. 
  4. Talked everyone I knew into doing Oceanside 70.3 and to register early.  I didn’t and it’s sold out and they don’t do a waitlist.  Dumb dumb dumb.
    1. Plan B: New Orleans 70.3 – same weekend, longer drive but fewer hills!

DSC02338 I’m also now using Greg’s Power Tap, formerly Courtenay’s Power Tap.  It’s hard.  For the past 2 seasons we’ve (coach and I) have used my HR equivalent of power zones – but now I’ve got both.  I basically ride too hard up hills (350w) and too easy on the flats (190w) – so now I’ve got to ride for the next few weeks (8) in my Z2 on the flats (210-250w) and a max of Z3 on the hills (250-270w).  I’m not entirely sure how to start the thing so it records each workout – so for now I could only download 2 workouts from Monday.  I rode home and into work about 6 mins faster than I did during the season – so power training is definitely the way to ensure you’re doing the work! 

I’ve also always wondered what power equates to in terms of MPH – so here are some tidbits (I’m 175, my bike is about 18lbs with the heavier wheelset and I carry a backpack with about 10lbs of food, clothing and laptop):

avg W for flat, cruising along on flat pavement at 20.5-21.5mph: 225w

avg W for flat cruising along on flat pavement at 17mph in headwind: 275w

avg W for flat cruising along on bumpy pavement at 19.5mph: 235w

avg W for bridging up to the guy who passed you on the hill because you were staying in your power zone of 270w on the climb but couldn’t stand to see him dangling off the front about 50m from you: 368w for 1 min.

avg W for dropping 2 guys who weren’t climbing very quickly but would run stop signs and get ahead of you: 468w for 2 mins

avg W to catch a bus so you could get it’s draft and not missing morning meeting in 7 minutes: 972w for 15 seconds.

Note: above is a picture I found on my camera that Sada took (she took about 50).  This is her Barbie Mariposa and her sister in the background.  Piper’s head looks like a picture – it looks weird.  Barbie’s head got ripped off – so I shoved it on there and now she’s got sort of no neck.  Piper’s head and neck are fine.

Here is a deal from Nutrition 53 that I get to pass along:

Below is the inspirational thought of the day:


Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Finally – it pays to ride a bike

The federal Bicycle Commuter Benefit suddenly became a reality last week as part of the $850 billion bailout bill signed by the President on Friday. The "Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008" contains language (scroll to p. 205) that will amend the U.S. Tax Code to permit employers to reimburse employees, tax free, for "reasonable" expenses related to bike commutes, including bike and equipment purchases, repairs, and storage if the bicycle is used as a "substantial part" of the commuter's trip to work for the month. The benefit option will go into effect for tax year 2009 (so start saving those receipts come January). Thanks to Oregon Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Senator Ron Wyden for their years of work on this initiative (though, as it happens, neither Blumenauer nor Wyden voted in favor of the massive bailout bill!).

Turns out I won’t be able to take too much of a tax break for that disc wheel I got or the $3,500 new Ridley Dean TT bike.  It’s capped at $20 a month x number of ‘qualified’ commuting months, which for me is every month.  I’m looking forward to that $240 write off! 

If you read the whole bill it’s 451 pages but if I tried writing my term papers with as fat a margin as Congress writes their bills, I’d have easily kicked out 200 page term papers. 


Check out my favorite nutrition company – the Lean1 is the greatest stuff for getting a few lbs shed!