Thursday, October 29, 2009

Something worth chewing on for a bit

It is not the critic who counts, nor the man who points out how the strong man stumbled, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows great enthusiasms, great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
- Theodore Roosevelt

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1st Cyclocross Video

I got a little carried away with the text animations, but I'm just figuring out the software. Thanks to Charlie, the best brother-in-law/camera guy/off-screen commentator a guy could hope for.

Hope you enjoy the video!

2009 Boulevard Cup CX Race from Chris Smith on Vimeo.

Monday, October 26, 2009

trees, and the rest

We got some new trees planted on Friday, which I'm quite excited about. I enjoy a lot of aspects of living in a new house, but I hate getting back to the newer section of the subdivision and all the houses are taller than the trees. I had a nice sized Autumn Flame Maple planted in the front, and a Greenspire Linden planted in the back. I'm looking forward to seeing these guys leaf out in the spring. I've already hit them with root stimulator, so I hope to see great things this upcoming year.

I must be getting old to be talking about trees.

I've been training a fair amount for my next cross race. It'll be on one of the middle weekends in November, I'm just not sure when since Penny is having a CD release party for her CD, Reveal.

I've been focusing mainly on performing Tabata intervals, and seeing decent results. I've lost a few pounds, and hope to keep that trend going. I think the important thing is to work towards a goal (placing stronger in CX) than to try and just "lose weight". That's a boring should be a reward!

I've also found out that my dad's dad that I never met passed away before I had a chance to meet him. It's an odd situation for me. On one hand, that's a pretty close genetic tie, but on the other hand, I knew nothing about him until I read his obit. It's not that I'd want to start a relationship or anything of the sort, but it would be interesting to see what he was like. It's a lot to digest, and one of those unknowns I'll have to live with, although it isn't THAT big of a deal to me. I don't even really know what I would have said. I mean, how do you start that conversation?

I'd imagine my dad would have quite a bit of emotions to deal with. I can't even begin to wrap my head around being in his situation (thankfully). I guess we all just have to make do with what we have in front of us, live with no regrets, and take care of those around us.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Pics from my race

Here are some pics from Sunday. As you can see, I didn't really smile until the end. ;-)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pain and glory

I can't possibly do justice to describing Penny's race. She ran awesome, and narrowly missed beating the 2 hour mark. She finished at 2:00:42, placing 120th out of 528 runners in her class. I know she is disappointed at not beating 2 hours, but she was awfully close and set a personal record by some 6 minutes. That's like taking 30 seconds off of ever mile, pretty crazy. I honestly wasn't sure how she was going to do this race, because it was so cold, and we hit rain on the way up to the race. But when she was almost 20 seconds ahead of the 2:00 pacer at mile 7 when we saw her, I was very impressed. And I'm not easily impressed. Go Penny go! We are all very proud of her.

Now, I can more aptly describe the suffering that went into my cross race having firsthand knowledge. But I would be terribly in remiss if I didn't warmly thank my supporters and family that came out to see a fat old man suck wind around a grass track. My deepest thanks to Megan, Charlie, Marlee, Ryan, Himani, Penny, AB and little K-man. It really meant a lot to have you guys out there, and wish I could have hung out more and visited, but Sunday was a day for suffering.

So I rode around the course a bit, and only saw two dismount opportunities per 2 mile lap. First was a set of barriers, and then a set of stairs. What made them tricky was that the section where you would typically remount were off-camber, and your bike would be a lot higher than what you would normally practice with. So instead of futzing with a wild remount, I just switched the bike to my other side and remounted with the bike below me. Seemed to work well, at least until I become a cross pro.

So let's get on to the race. There were 55 guys in my class, probably the largest class of the day. We all lined up on a 400-yard section of pavement, and then the whistle blew. A mass sprint ensued, and at the end of the pavement you dove off into the grass. There were lots of power hills (short steep pitches), off-camber sections, and lots of playing around in the gullies. There were a few crashes, and I managed to stay clear of those. I had my heart rate monitor on, and it instantaneously exploded. I finally shut it off after about eight minutes, and it showed an average of 185, max 196. Which is about 8 beats higher than what it should be (220 - your age). Cool.

I just kept chugging along, although my seat post broke about 10 minutes into the race, causing the nose of my saddle to go sky ward. I had my nose down about one degree, but it was a solid ten degrees up plus it had fallen way out of position. Not only was it uncomfortable, but it forced by back into a way sharper "C" position than I was used to, so I'll be visiting the Chiro today. I tried to pound the saddle back into position, but it just didn't work.

All in all, I consider the race a success. I didn't take last place, and I learned a lot. Once I get some more training in, I'll anxious to do another, maybe in a month or so. I sure didn't enjoy the race while I was doing it, but once I was done, I had that notion that I could do better and I think I should go for it. I'll post some videos once I get them from Megan.

Friday, October 16, 2009

This is it!

15 hours from now, Penny will be starting her half marathon, trying to break the two hour barrier. I'm very excited for her, and really hope she breaks it. She's been working very hard towards it; she's tenacious, to say the least. Some of the neighbors and AB, K, and I are heading down there to cheer her on. I'm sure she'll be happy to see us, and she makes us very proud. Who would have thought she'd become a runner? I'm happy that she found something like that to do, and I know it gives her great joy and she embraces the suffering.

Speaking of suffering, just a short 26 hours after she finishes her race, I'll be starting my cyclocross race at Wyandotte County Park in the Boulevard Cup. I seem to be attracting quite a crowd to come follow me. I know a few of my friends said they would try and make it, which blows my mind. I didn't realize I was so attractive in lycra.
So here is to a weekend of suffering Smith's. And to think we paid money to do this!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Two jokes...

A Republican in a wheelchair entered a restaurant one afternoon and asked the waitress for a cup of coffee. The Republican looked across the restaurant and asked, 'Is that Jesus sitting over there?' The waitress nodded 'yes,' so the Republican requested that she give Jesus a cup of coffee, on him.

The next patron to come in was a Libertarian with a hunched back. He shuffled over to a booth, painfully sat down, and asked the waitress for a cup of hot tea. He also glanced across the restaurant and asked, 'Is that Jesus over there?' The waitress nodded, so the Libertarian asked her to give Jesus a cup of hot tea, 'My treat.'

The third patron to come into the restaurant was a Democrat on crutches. He hobbled over to a booth, sat down and hollered, 'Hey there, honey! How's about getting' me a cold glass of Miller Light?' He, too, looked across the restaurant and asked, 'Is that God's boy over there?' The waitress once more nodded, so the Democrat directed her to give Jesus a cold glass of beer. 'On my bill,' he said.

As Jesus got up to leave, he passed by the Republican, touched him and said, 'For your kindness, you are healed.' The Republican felt the strength come back into his legs, got up, and danced a jig out the door.

Jesus also passed by the Libertarian, touched him and said, 'For your kindness, you are healed.' The Libertarian felt his back straightening up, and he raised his hands, praised the Lord and did a series of back flips out the door.

Then Jesus walked towards the Democrat. The Democrat jumped up and yelled, 'Don't touch me ... I'm collecting disability.'


A man kills a deer and takes it home to cook for dinner. Both he and his wife decide that they won’t tell the kids what kind of meat it is, but will give them a clue and let them guess. The kids were eager to know what the meat was on their plates, so they begged their dad for the clue.

Well, he said, 'It's what mommy calls me sometimes’. The little girl screams to her brother 'Don't eat it, it's an asshole..

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

In the clear

I think we're all over our respective sicknesses, except K has some dire-rear and diaper rash. Poor guy. That's just awful. At least it goes away quickly.

My eyes are very tired today. Some days I think I need a job that doesn't entail sitting at a desk and staring at a computer screen.

Anyway, tired is what we are going to be this weekend. P has her half marathon on Saturday, and I have my cyclocross race on Sunday. P has trained for hers. I have not. Well, a little. But I really have no idea what I am doing and my thoughts come back to the race every 5 minutes. My dear sister has agreed to come out and be my moral support for the race, so I think that should help me out in non-measurable ways. Immensely. I'm hoping to get at least two more sessions on the bike, one of which being technical training, but our days are swamped.

AB got in trouble yesterday for playing Star Wars at school yesterday with one of his buddies. They were dueling with pretend lightsabers and then accosted this poor girl and pretended to chop her head off. She then proceeded to cry. I had a bevy of reactions to the re-telling of this story, ranging from laughter, to rolling my eyes, to wondering if my kid is going to grow up and torture cats. Not that there is anything wrong with that. Well, okay, maybe that isn't okay. Certain feral cats in my neighborhood are not off-limits.

It's funny as I type these blogs, I imagine what all my family members are thinking to themselves as they read it. I'm sure my mom and sis aren't too pleased about the cat comment, but I think they would understand given my history with feline dander.

Anyway, I'm going way off topic. Time to boost my meds, I suppose.

I've been watching Fringe, Season 1, and I have to say it is awesome. One of my favorite shows in a long time. It's kind of like X-files + Alias + CSI. Very cool. The acting is superb and the plots are a lot of fun. It is kind of gory for a network show, but usually it's a quick glance and nothing really wrenching.

Okay, enough for now. Talk at you all later.

Friday, October 9, 2009

back on track

Well, the sickness has been going around our house. Fortunately it's just been a common cold and wasn't H1N1. Looking forward to the weekend and hopefully getting to feel better.

Lovely weather we're having, eh?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Back to mostly normal

Well that little experiment didn't work to well. I tried to forward to here, and inadvertently black holed the background .jpg. So I had to undo what I did earlier, and then figured I'd go ahead and put a new background up. Hope you like it. It's the entrance to some singletrack somewhere, and it sure looks inviting.

I don't have a whole lot today. We'll see if anything shakes itself loose in my brain after a little coffee.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Oooweeeeee it stinks in here

Pretty much blew up the blog. Should be back up and running shortly while I shop for a better look. Sorry for the mess. C

Friday, October 2, 2009

Good thing I didn't type this yesterday

I probably would have used foul language since I was so dumbfounded about the fact that Ken Lewis of BofA was getting a $53M retirement package. He had been at BofA's helm for 8 years. (See CNN article for more details). He trashed BofA's stock, and architected a poorly conceived merger with Merrill Lynch.

The guy pretty much fleeced the company, and is now walking away smelling like a rose. Meanwhile 35,000 employees were laid off. Nice.

Penny and I discussed this last night, but I'm still upset. Capitalism started off as a good idea, but has turned into greedy excess. Work hard, make money. Somehow that's changed.

Now it's slash your way to the top, and collect an exorbitant amount of money from each company you run. Do it a few times, and then call it good. Robert Nardelli, anyone?