Monday, February 28, 2011

Expiriment on changing weather

It's pouring today in the Portland Oregon area.  I surprise.

All my warm, 'ug' weather clothes are muddy and in the laundry and so as I was packing my bag for my lunch run today, I just threw in shorts, t-shirt and socks.  All warm weather gear that can only be used if I run at the gym.

I hate running at the gym.  I hate running in pouring rain with cars spraying muck and leaves.  So this morning I made a choice of the lesser evil.   For those who are squeamish, don't read the next sentence.  I started to pack my dirty, stinky warm clothes but at the last minute decided that chance of the pouring stopping was next to nothing, so why bother.  So I just packed the gear for the gym.

Today at noon, in Portland Oregon, the sun will shine for 1 hour as I drive to the gym, run indoors, and then drive back to the office.  I will get soaked getting in and out of my car but the rest of the time will be perfect coldish day running weather.

I guess I'm just conducting an experiment to see if my super powers are in fact working.  Too bad I can't use them for my good.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fear of hawks and eagles

I have friends who aren't triathletes.  In fact, most of my friends aren't triathletes.  They are fly-fishermen.  Another expensive, obsessive hobby which wrecks homes and is known to make someone talk to themselves and twitch.

Well, Bill went to Alaska again and after telling me about catching so many fish that his rod just whimpered, he pulled out his phone to show me a video.  Watching someone land a fish on video is almost as good as watching people dance with the sound turned off.

Bill showed me this video he shot (while performing the demanding triathlon of driving a boat, fishing, and shooting video) of a bear...walking along...minding his own business...being attacked by a bald eagle.

(Life changing - fear increasing - footage of savage attack on innocent bear)

I was stunned, I didn't know that eagles ate anything other than fish, rabbits, and other little creatures.

My problem now is that during my lunch run, I often pass hawks, eagles, and Osprey.  I've never heard of them attacking a person, but if they attack bears, why not me?

The other problem is that the attack is from the back, I just hate the idea of being attacked from the back by a cowardly bird of prey.

I'm considering wearing my aero helmet for runs and also mounting those little mirrors onto my helmet or sunglasses so I'm better prepared for my eventual attack.

Any other suggestions?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

What does the spray off my shoes tell me

Rain and snow mix was back today during my lunch run.  It was pretty nice all morning and started to sleet as I changed into all the clothes in my running bag.  You think I’m exaggerating.  I tend to pack a bunch of stuff that I rarely use, including beanie, arm warmers, tights, vest, jacket, gloves, socks, long sleeve top and towel.

I put it all on and headed out.  I felt kind of tough.  Strange to feel tough in tights but if Robin could do it with his merry men, I guess I'm entitled to do it too.

My run takes me uphill after about 1/4 of a mile then by 1.5 miles I'm in the woods for a bit.  After that, I just kind of run through a neighborhood overlooking the Columbia river.  Today, due to snow and sleet, I couldn't see the river or planes so I looked down.

I noticed that with each step, a stream of water would shoot in front of me.  The deluge from my left shoe went straight ahead of me.  The water from my right arched to the center.  For some reason, this made me a bit paranoid. 

Shouldn't the water be going forward from both feet.  I started to try to change things to get the water to go straight with both feet but I could only get it to arc the other way.  I would have video taped the problem but that would mean that I would lose my GPS and most likely slow to a crawl and ruin my average speed (you understand) so I just kept running.

Do you think I should mention this next time I'm at the running store?  Should I hire a running coach that works in the rain?

Or maybe I should just start watching for cars, curbs and other runners who for some reason have symmetrical shoe spray.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

No projections

I don't share much in common with Punxsutawney Phil.  You know, the ground forecaster of spring.  In face, I have a fear of making projections.

This does occasionally get in the way at work, mostly when people need a projection of how much something will cost and I have no idea.  In those cases I usually hedge.

My triathlete friend Jaysun (yes spelled correctly) casually asked me this past week what my estimate for Vineman swim was.  Rather than answer his question, I decided that we should do math together.  Okay, I swim at 1:40 pace per 100 yards at the pool during long efforts, so how many yards is 2.4 miles.  Okay, now we both have our phones out and are doing math.

Okay, but that is without a wetsuit and I'm going straight.  How much faster will I be with a wetsuit and drafting a really fast whale?  But how much more will I swim using my typical swim tour style of navigation?

So in the end, we agreed that I could possibly swim between 1 hour and 1.5 hours.  Notice, we did math and I didn't answer the question.

I'm just hoping he doesn't ask about the run or bike.  I do like doing math but sooner or later he will catch on that I have a fear of committing to a number.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Perfect Power Food in three letters


I drive past about one PHO per mile on my commute.  I don't remember ever stopping on my way home, even thought I have been tempted.  I just know that I can't hid a meal of PHO from my wife.  I'm just not that good of slurper.

We also don't go out for PHO too much because I see it as a potential tipping point for my kids, literally.  I can see hot steaming bowls of noodlely beefy goodness being tipped over and not only being wasted but scalding all four of us in the process.

My wife and I were able to go on a quick dinner date last night.  We went for PHO.  It was amazing.

Now to make it triathlon related....

I believe PHO is a power/recovery/make you powerful food.

It has carbs, protein, a bunch of salt, and looks like an acronym.  What more could you want from a power food.

Sure, you can't easily put it in a bottle or bento box but pre/post race...perfect.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Things are slipping a bit

I traveled last week and this week has been filled with sick kids, wife and lots of meetings. 

I've been training, just not as much as I want.
I've been skipping blog updates because no one want to hear a whiner...well maybe all those tween girls and 'want to relate moms' who read those stupid vampire books...but you don't fit that club.

It also is snowing for the first time in months which really has been fun for driving.

I think I'm just a bit overwhelmed.  Much of my whelming is my own fault because I want to do so much.  There are two new local 70.3 events this year.  One is the Rev3Portland and the other is the Stumptown.  I already had too many choices and now I have more. 

Maybe I just need to drink my coffee.  Take a breath, run in the snow today and forget what I have missed, what I can't do, and what I am lucky to have. 

Maybe the tense feeling and stress will slip away...

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Indoor Spinning Day

I still get news from Garden Valley, a small town in the mountains of Idaho I used to live in.

There was an advertisement for an "Winter Blues Spinning Day".  I couldn't believe the small town I was from would have a day long event for cyclists to ride trainers together.  I went straight to the date and was disappointed that I couldn't make it.

Wow - how cool that a small town was doing something like this during the long snowy winter.

Then I read who was sponsoring the event "Fiber Freaks"  how cool is that!  I'm a fiber freak as evident by my Felt B2 purchase.  I want to join this group.

Good thing I didn't join the group or make a special trip - I would have been really really disapointed.

The day and club are all about making yarn, not about cycling.  I can't understand why someone would want to sit around all day making yarn from a bunch of sheep fluff, especially when they could spend a whole day riding a bike that doesn't go anywhere.

Wow...what a disappointment.

Would you have been fooled?

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Weddings won't be the same

For some reason I couldn't get a song out of my mind today.  I think it was my first brick of the year, nothing major just an hour on the bike followed by 30 minute run.  I had a lot to think about but instead I just kept singing the same phrase over and over in my mind.

She's a (repeat with a bit of mumbling between jaw clenched words)

Once in a while I throw in a "Shake it down, shakitdownnow..."

A couple questions.
1.  Is this connection between the Commodores and doing bricks for training permanent?
2.  Is it possible to learn more words?
3.  Is that really Lionel playing the saxophone in the pleather jacket?
4.  Does this song actually have an ending?
5.  Are there any other "brick" related songs that I can try to use to counter this one?
6.  Why in the world do people play this song at wedding receptions?

Thanks for your help and happy training.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Which is more attractive?

I apologize to those who are expecting me to model free triathlon clothing.  Two reasons, first I'm still not sponsored (Maybe too picky?) second, I don't want to loose either of my readers.

I drove yesterday to the a new facility my non-profit is building in Goldendale Washington.  The drive was interstate most of the way there but we drove a backway home which winds down into Lyle Washington. 

I've driven that road dozens of times now and every time, I want to ride up it on my bike.  Sure, I will ride down it too but the draw is to ride up.

At what point in a triathlete's life does riding up a hill seem more attractive than going down?  I just want to conquer that crazy hill. 

I'm working getting it on my calendar and will post once I do it. Maybe at that point I can tell you which is more attractive when biking - going up or down.

Which direction seems more attractive to you when you see an epic hilly road?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I have to wear that?

I know some people are able to really elevate their thinking during exercise.  They reflect on the finer things in life and focus their energy on greatness and beauty. 

I'm not one of those people.  I've had this invasive quandary that has been invading my mind while I work out.  It strikes me when running, in the midst of a swim set, and definitely on the bike.

Let me give even more background...  I'm cheap and like free stuff.  For that reason, I would like to be sponsored.  I'd like people to give me free stuff and for that privilege I would oblige by wearing an outfit with labels all over it. 

Now the invasive thought.  What if the free stuff came with only a few strings attached.  Those strings were fashioned into an outfit like this...that I had to wear at every race.
This is not me!  I have more slender hips.
 It really isn't that I'm that modest, it mostly has to do with me not wanting to look like a woman and have guys chasing me down.  I also don't want to scar little children for life or cause spectators regret. 

I'm also not sure what to do about tan lines.  

I just don't want to be that bikini toting, sports bra topped triathlete.

Is that too much to ask and still get free stuff?