Tuesday, August 31, 2010


If you non-cross (slightly more normal) people ever hear me talk about Tabata night, let me explain what Tabatas are.

It is an specific exercise you can do on a bike or running. You can really do it at any type of sprint type activity, even swimming (if you like drowning, that is). It requires you to get warmed up, and then it lasts the longest 4 minutes you will ever know. 20 seconds full sprint, 10 seconds rest. 20 seconds sprint, 10 seconds rest. Repeat 6 more times. The idea is to get used to hitting the gas without giving yourself time to recover. My heart rate looks like a late-1998 IPO stock chart.

The idea is that once you do one set for a couple of weeks, then to add another set. Then maybe a few more weeks, then another set. 8 Tabata intervals, 5 mins rest, 8 Tabata intervals, 5 mins rest, 8 Tabata intervals, throw up, rest. Now you are ready to race.

I'm only on one set, but my vision blurred quite a bit after the 8th one. I may swerve during a race and hit a tree. Sadly, I won't be the first person to do that.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Ooooh buddy. I can feel it.

Started intervals last night, along with a hard ride on the way home Wednesday night. The legs are finally starting to wake up!

Speaking of waking up, I've watched this vid about 3 times now and my thighs are just sitting here twitching.

U.S. gran prix of cyclocross from Jim Fryer/BrakeThrough Media on Vimeo.

Here's a look inside the USGP series and why it and cyclocross are so damn cool! Includes interviews with some of the biggest names in the sport and they share with us, what makes cyclocross so special to them. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Another cyclist in the house!

Finally! We have AB riding his bike now, sans training wheels!

I had tried to get him going a few times just up and down our sidewalk, but that was like pulling nails to get him out there. Finally we decided to take him up to the school.

Saturday night we did just that and had him start out on the nice flat grassy fields. He took off the first time, and had a blast. He did really well, and never fell once. He went up and down the field a few times and then was a little tuckered out and wanted to play on the swingset, so that ended our training lesson for the night.

Sunday night came, and he wanted to ride again. Despite having just finished a triathlon, I went out there with him again, and we ended up having a nice crowd of neighbors to cheer him on. With the help of the Colonel, AB was riding in the street quite confidently as well. He was doing nicely until he rounded the cul-de-sac and stared down the storm drain and plowed straight into it, going over the bars. I was a very proud papa at that moment (it's a cyclist thing). He scraped up his knee pretty good, and we had some boo-hoo time, but 10 minutes later the Colonel had him back on his bike and AB did a great job. We were all impressed that he got back on it so quickly.

Last night he wanted to ride again (he rides more than I do now), and so we took him out. He was doing really nicely, going clear down the street. But then he would stop and look up the street at me and yell for help to get going again. I had him learn how to walk up a driveway and then point down the slope to get some help getting started. He mastered that technique in short order, and has no problems with curbs or anything. He is still a little wobbly, and needs to get a bit more control, but dang, he has came a long way in a very short time. I'm quite proud!

Monday, August 23, 2010

fair performance

Well, my 3rd triathlon attempt ended pretty well, with a sprint finish at the end between myself and my neighbor. I let him win, seeing as it was his first finish and all. ;-) Seriously though, I had no idea when we were going to hit the finish line as there was no banner, and you had to make about 2 S turns before you had a 5 yard final straight. Everyone who was there lamented about the lack of a true finish line and how un-spectator friendly it was.

That all being said, it was a decently ran race I guess. The more I think about it, the more I'm kind of down on it though. The turnaround point on the run was a orange cone and a lady sitting in the shade. I had to ask if that was the turnaround point or not, there was no signage. We were told that "we couldn't miss it" as we were getting our final notes before the swim.

Oh well. I swam crappy as usual, biked ok (didn't feel that strong), and ran pretty well. I'll take it. Especially for eating tacos and drinking beers the night before the race. I really didn't want to do this tri, as cross season was so close, but I signed up shortly after the letdown at Shawnee Mission Park. I'm glad I did, but even more glad to start serious bike training and put this multi-discipline stuff on the shelf for a long time.

Results are still out there, somewhere in the ether. Hopefully we'll see them soon.

BIG THANKS to everyone who came out and cheered for me. It was really nice to have a well-sized contingency on hand to cheer us on. At this stage in my athletic life, it's not so much that the cheering makes me dig deep and press harder, but it gives me something to quiet down the "just walk a few steps" voice in my head, and to keep my pace steady. Fast and steady wins the race.

Update: Here is how I did. I'm pretty pleased with the performance, especially when I felt at least 1 mph slower on the bike than I averaged.
My place/Total sprint participants: 204/396
My place/Age group participants: 22/39
Swim time: 16:00 (30/39, I could easily whack 5 minutes off this time with some technique)
T1 time: 3:27 (17/39) Could trim some time here with some tri shoes and learning how to flying mount
Bike time: 40:07 (17/39) 17.6 mph, I could easily buy some speed here with an aero kit, probably about 2-3 minutes easy
T2 time: 1:22 (10/39) Some sockless shoes are in order I think, but an ok transition considering I took a few seconds to finish off my bike bottle
Run: 28:58 (22/39) I did pretty good here. I think my pace was a 9:40 mile, which I'd like to get down eventually. Lots of other areas to improve first.
Overall time was 1:29:52, which my first tri was at 1:53:58. Considering the swim was longer in that one, I was still ~15-16 minutes faster. I'll take it.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

100 ideas

I had about 99 ideas for blog topics today, mostly dealing with my frustration with the general stupidity of western society. But I think I'll choose a better path today, and offer this quote that struck me as both fair and true.

"Success is proportional to our abilities to self-correct."

The quote comes from a triathlete website and a particular article on food consumption and the emotional components of eating. But this quote is applicable far more broadly than our eating habits. If you want to read further, feel free. It's a good article. http://www.slowtwitch.com/Opinion/My_relationship_with_food_1446.html

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

First day

AB started Kindergarten today. I was pretty blase about it until I was standing on the neighbor's driveway talking to her, while all the kids buzzed about this morning. I remarked to her that "this is one of those moments that I know will soon become a distant memory".

I don't get too misty-eyed about AB and K getting older, but as time keeps marching on to its ever-steady beat, it makes me want to hold on just a little longer to my boys. One day soon, K will be off to school, AB will be off to middle-school, then high school, then college. They'll both be out of the house living their own lives and Penny and I will look at each other wondering where our little rambunctious boys went. I know in my head that day is a long ways away, but I also know out of my short parental experience thus so far, that life has a way of slipping through your grasp, especially when you try and hold on too tightly.

If there is any reward this life has to offer, it is the sheer pleasure of watching these two once-upon-a-time infants grow up, changing our worlds and seeing how the world changes them.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

nos es caecus ut sors

..."we are blind to fortune".

At least that is what I intended to say in Latin.

As I was driving into work I was thinking about why is it second nature to to take things for granted? I was sitting there driving to a air conditioned job, that pays me well, in a nice car, with a nice house, kids, wife, etc etc. Everyone around me is healthy, and have little if no reason for complaint. Yet how often do we savor our good fortune?

Why is it that people who come close to dying often realize how precious life is, while the people with the full faculties to enjoy life often worry about the inane and unimportant things?

We don't notice a lack of pain or discomfort, and only once we are having to endure an especially difficult burden or sickness do we remember how things were once effortless. Even in a more milder sense, how often when we a "suffering" through a bad head cold do we just wish to be able to breathe through our nose or taste our food?

I certainly have more blessings than anyone should have, but I think it would be both wise and rewarding if we all should pause more often to remember what we have set before us.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Dear family...

I am applying for a job as a bartender at McMurdo Station, Antartica. This is good bye. The heat is just too much and I don't see why any sane person would live anywhere that has heat indexes over 100 for 14+ days straight. I tried to run last night (and did), but the heat index was 103* at 9:45pm. That is not normal and I didn't sign up for this.

As soon as I pack my bags and bartending bibles I'll be on my way. I'll pour you a drink should you be in the neighborhood.



Thursday, August 5, 2010