Sunday, December 31, 2006


There it is January 1st. Like hitting the reset button on your calendar. I don't feel much different. But it's '07, the year of the Ironman. Who knows what else this year will bring. Kids will turn 5 this year. Travel? Yes! Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves with predictions.

Now, for the stuff I think I know... In accordance with the Ironman training, and just general improvement. I'm fashioning new rules. A few are restatements of what I have long thought anyway.. Here goes.

  1. 25 is the new 15. The goal here is to make 25 miles a short ride. This will mean getting up earlier for my Tuesday / Thursday rides.
  2. Run at lunch.. It's either that or eat. Why not? It breaks up the day and every 30 minute run helps my frequency and overall miles without necessarily killing me. This is also the only way I'll see 4 or more runs per week.
  3. Stick with what worked last year on the swim. Consistency (3x per week) and drills. I never got fast, but if I can get out of the water after 2.4 feeling fresh, it's a win for me.
  4. Rollers and trainers don't move. Thus they are not subject to rule number one. The alternate wording to this rule is "30-60 minutes on the trainer or rollers is better than none".
  5. See previous blog entry for notes on "what is my goal?" in regards to my weight and eating. My confidence is so-so. But if I'm going to do it, then January 1 is the time.
  6. In the midst of all these "easy" to write down fitness related goals. I'd like to do this all more efficiently/effectively. So, I can make more time for friends and family.
  7. Here's one I should add to the list.. but I know better. "Go to bed earlier, and get more sleep."
At that, I'll cut this entry short.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


As you may have read, I've got an Ironman coming up in September. So, it's getting toward go time here. I'm looking at a 9.5 month journey. Ironman or bust. At minimum, if I'm gonna lose some weight it needs to be very soon. Secondly, it's time to ramp up some workout frequency, if nothing else. Third, thank goodness I finally got a gym membership. I can start hitting their pool bright and early. All I need is a local 5k to start a baseline (a.k.a run an LT test). Then I'm set.
More on the weight. This would be weight loss plan # 587 of 2006 (or maybe plan #1 of '07). I'm ramping up already, but I can see it's going to be a tough battle. Basic premise is I can't do the 1/2 way "don't deny yourself stuff" weight loss plans. I'm going to have to go whole hog on each item I eat. The questions before I eat will be:

  1. What is in this food?
  2. Why am I eating it?
  3. How much am I going to eat?
  4. Does it help me get to my goal?
  5. If I keep asking these questions will I forget about this table of free chocolates sitting behind me at work while everyone else is off the entire week? (OK, maybe I won't ask that every time).
At this point I'm not expecting miracles. I'm not giving up ice cream again. I'll just want some serious moderation on the frozen dairy treat, and zero to VERY LITTLE other "bad food". I'm gonna have to up the H2O intake somewhat. Then we'll go from there.

Last but not least, once in a blue friggin' moon I gotta hit a group ride. No? It's about time to pickup my bike roof rack from the LBS. Then I will be able to drive my bike somewhere so as I could ride it in alternate locations away from home.

See you next year.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

What a fun morning with the kids! One more day and I'm not on-call for work anymore.. Back to my normally scheduled workouts and mayhem. Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 16, 2006


One too many or one too few sake' (or saki) makes me reflect...

I have every reason to be grateful for the life I lead. Taking vacation to ride my bike. Spending time with my children on a daily basis. I'm grateful for a wonderful family. An understanding wife. I'm grateful for my good neighbors. I'm grateful for a good job that I enjoy. I'm grateful I've managed to make some wonderful friends in life (even online). Grateful for my brother and his family visiting from a far off land. Here is an open "thank you" for the life I have.

We miss you Dad.

Equipment Review -- Pearl Izumi Winter Cycling Getup

In celebration of me getting older, I decided to fork out some cash on winter cycling clothes. I've been doing it on the cheap for enough years (see blog entry from a few weeks back). So, here are the "results" after a week or so of riding this stuff outside.

I rode outside about 5 times in the new "getup". I rode in 18 degree weather, and plenty of 32-38 degree weather.

Without further ado, here is the new equipment list:

Pearl Izumi Gavia Jacket:

The number one thing about this Gavia jacket is it's warm but not bulky. I'm used to winter riding in clothes that act as resistance training against the wind. The jacket stretches to fit tightly. It doesn't bulk out or flap around at all. It has wind protection in the front and vents where you need them. Underneath, I have a standard cycling jersey and a long sleeve base layer for really cold days. The only thing I regret about this jacket is I didn't get one sooner. I have been eyeing up jackets like this for a few winters. Dang!

Pearl Izumi AmFIB Tight:

I went in looking for the jacket, and got carried away. This brings me to the pants. I'm normally fine with regular bike tights. When it's really cold, I need some extra wind stopper in the nether regions. As it turns out, the LBS had some wind stopper equipped pants. They keep my legs warmer than I think I really need them to, but I'm not hot in them. Warm legs does help the blood flow in the area I'm really concerned about. They provide more of an even protection than I was looking for. I really wanted super wind stopping power in the crotch, and regular leg protection. End result though, I'm plenty warm in these. I would wear them on the coldest of days without fear. I do wear regular bike shorts underneath. I have yet to get really rained on in cold weather, but these feel like they would hold up very well in such a situation (crossing fingers).

Pearl Izumi Cyclone Glove:

I would like to say I went three for three on the Pearl Izumi clothing. But, I think I made a mistake on this one. To no fault of the manufacturer, I just chose a glove that isn't as warm as I need it to be. It fits great. I just need something with a bit more weight to it. I wanted to get by with a thinner, more lightweight, but still warm glove. Well folks, here is no place to skimp on weight. I suspect these would be great gloves in 45 degree weather for me. So, I'll be sticking with my older, poofier gloves on cold days.

In addition to the great stuff from the manufacturer, I really have to give a thumbs up to the local LBS here. Wheel and Sprocket was very knowledgeable and helpful. Bike clothing online can be cheap, but I had excellent help from the LBS. I feel I couldn't have gotten that online without at least a few returns. (EDIT) I went out today in about 40 degrees F. I went meduim hard effort, enough to stay fairly warm. These gloves were perfect for that!

Last, but not least. If your out on your winter ride without a stack of Cliff bars, consider stopping by the local Great Harvest Bread Company for a little snack. MMMMMMmmmm.

Enough shilling for one day. For what it's worth, I am not sponsored by anyone. Nor did I receive money or goods for this review.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

RaNdOm NeWs FrOm ThE pAsT WeEk Or So..

First, I made it... I hit my birthday party without more than 2 spoonfuls of delicious frozen milk treat. And even since then Kopps has been gumming up their flavors with good for you things like nuts and turtles.. So, while I've had the stuff since.. I haven't been piling it on like I useta.. Mission accomplished.

Secondly, balance. It's been off kilter whilest I look for a brand new car. I found said car. And if I can give any advice to those looking for new cars out there.. Figure out what you want then just go get it.. Enough with all the Interent research/quotes/emails to dealers and such... And don't let them sell you the true-coat. Turns out I'm very happy with my new black civic sedan from David Hobbs. Shameless plug.. but there was no kickback for that link. Glad it's over.

I'm takin' the week off.. who's riding? I need something to slap me back into routine... Didn't I sign up for some Ironman or something like that next year? Someone remind me in April.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Keeping up the post count...

Bill did it. Veeg started it.. For fun I'm going to go through it.

01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain (down)
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said “I love you” and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise
14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game

16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa.
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby’s diaper
21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can

32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment

39. Had two hard drives for your computer (Are there people who DON'T do this?)
40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk.
42. Had amazing friends
43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country

44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe.
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer than you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger’s table and had a meal with them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your CDs
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day
60. Played touch football
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken

69. Toured an ancient site
70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played Dungeons & Dragons for more than 6 hours straight (though we didn't know what we were doing)
72. Gotten married
73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party

75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest
79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an “expert”.. No but I was SOOOOO close when someone hacked the UWM email system back in college.. Feet from the camera, didn't get asked.
83. Got flowers for no reason
85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Kissed on the first date

89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one/both of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently well enough to have a decent conversation
95. Performed in Rocky Horror
96. Raised children (in progress)
97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn’t stop when you knew someone was looking
103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an accident that you shouldn’t have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds (yes, but not all at one time)
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane (assuming MS Flight Sim doesn't count).
109. Touched a stingray
110. Broken someone’s heart

111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show
113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a facial part pierced other than your ears
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild

118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery
120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours

123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone’s mind about something you care deeply about

130. Gone back to school
131. Parasailed
132. Touched a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad
135. Selected one “important” author who you missed in school, and read

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language (I can't find the floppy it was on for my C64 though) :)
141. Thought to yourself that you’re living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn’t know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146. Dyed your hair
147. Been a DJ
148. Shaved your head
149. Caused a car accident (I'd guess I didn't actually cause it... I waved at them. 3 minutes later they crashed)
150. Saved someone’s life
151. Finished a marathon

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Short and Sweet

Back from whatever horrid germs were holding me back. Cutting out frozen dairy treat products thus far has been successful. And I'm back on the training plan to the tune of about 1 hour per day. Slow but sure. The ice cream cravings are nowhere near gone. Currently will power is up 7-zilch though.

Happy Turkey Day! Hug your family.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

GO time!

I hereby annouce to those within readership of this post, I will consume no frozen diary treats for a trial period of not less than 18 days. If I get that far, I'll splurge for my birthday.

Ironman Wisconsin or bust.

Thank you for your support**. How'd that link get in there?

** Anyone catching JWM in an act of indescretion related to the subject matter of this post before the end of the aforementioned 18 days is hearby granted the right to shame me into tossing the creamy frozen diary product into the garbage. Worse yet, take a bite.. I'll toss it for sure. If you do so after the 18 days is up... Well, just don't.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Winter Biking in Wisconsin (and other northern spots)

I might not be the fastest tri-head on the pavement, but I can tell you how to have a good time over the winter. If you don't grab your bike on any or every given Saturday throughout the winter and regardless of weather, you're missing out. You can ride your trainer or rollers every other day of the week if you wish. Once in a while you need to unhook and get some fresh (even if freezing) air. Here's how I do it.
First, no excuses. "But it's too cold". I don't want to hear it. All sorts of folks ski, snowboard, run, climb mountains, and the like in weather way worse than you're already not going out in. We'll make a clothing list below. I consider it imperative that you keep at least 4 things warm. Head(ears), hands, feet, and what's under your shorts.
Second, winter riding is about being prepared. If you're not organized, it will take you three times as long to suit up as it will to actually ride. Prepare, and you'll be more likely to repeat the process next weekend.
Third, it's nice to keep your legs in shape with your bike stapled to the trainer, but there's no substitute for outdoors.

Let's make a shopping list. For your head:

  • Balaclava - If you're riding in the cold, I consider this a lightweight must have. It fits under your helmet just fine. Keeps those ears warm.
  • Shades. Something to protect your eyes when it's sleeting. Note, you probably want clear lenses too, because it's often dark in the winter months.
  • If you're hardcore and go out when there are negative numbers on the temp scales, try ski goggles.
  • I recommend a helmet in all months. Frozen pavement is hard.
For your feet:
  • Smart wool or your favorite warmest socks (maybe even 2 pair).
  • Is it wet/snowy/rainy ? Dry equals warm. Get some of those high zoot $50 boots to cover your shoes. Short on the extra fifty? Sandwich bags over your socks will do in a pinch.
  • Mountain bike shoes. If it's slippery or icky out, you don't want to be walking around in shoes that feel like ice skates in dry weather. Exception to this rule, I went out yesterday in 40 and rain/sleet. It wasn't slippery out, and my mountain bike shoes happen to hold significantly more water than the road shoes.
For your hands: I have three different glove configurations, depending on how cold it is.

  • Regular fingerless cycling gloves.
  • Add those one-size fits all, 99 cent, Walgreen's gloves under the cycling gloves.
  • If it's really, really cold I have some winter cycling gloves that don't look much different than those big puffy winter gloves that you wore as a kid. Only difference, the ones I had as a kid were neon green.
  • I have also been told good cross country ski gloves work great, but I found the cycling gloves cheaper than the ski gloves. I'm hear that's abnormal. Your mileage may vary.
For your nether regions:

  • Caveats, I'm not sure I have this one totally nailed down (based on experience). I have no clue if it's much different for women, I'm guessing not.
  • Layers is good. I often hear (in summer) you don't want to wear underwear or 2 pair of shorts, etc.. In winter, you want at least one cycling short layer and some good tights. I say "good tights", because I have a good pair and a cruddy pair. It's worth the extra 20-30 dollars to get some that don't ride down and have a draw string in them. The "goodness" factor may be more about material than anything. Let's just say the "not-good" ones can ride down your legs and get caught on your seat during an otherwise decent cyclo-cross dismount.
  • These two layers may not suffice. Think extra underwear (thermal). And/or windscreen type shorts that could go between the tights and the bike shorts.
The rest:

  • Once you have the four key parts covered, you just need a decent base layer and something to cover. Here are a few notes.
  • You can buy cycling specific winter gear. It's great, but you will pay for it.
  • As it gets colder, here's the order I add to my upper body. Bike jersey, athletic thermal underwear (long sleeve), jacket or vest. And on really cold or wet days, I'll toss a sweatshirt under the jacket.
  • I used to wear just bike shorts in anything pretty much over 50F (for sure over 60F). I have heard from folks smarter than I, that you need to keep your knees warm in weather like that to avoid injury. Those folks said, "something on your knee" for anything under 70F. Something would be either bike tights, or knee warmers.
  • As usual, watch for anything baggy that might catch on your bike (or a race spectator with a big fingered #1 glove).
  • Don't forget to stay hydrated, this might mean putting a camel back on your list so your water doesn't freeze.
  • Check the weather before you leave... If you leave covered for 20F and the temps drop significantly, it's more than annoying. It's dangerous.
  • Put any pager/cell/lifeline you might have in a sandwich bag. Dry cell is a happy cell.
End notes. Winter riding is one of those things some people never do and don't know what they are missing. I'm not saying you should go out riding 20mph on an inch of ice for your first winter ride. Just consider, folks have done much crazier things than ride in 20 degree weather. Some of my most memorable rides, are in a pile of snow. I may have only covered 4-6 miles on my mountain bike in a hour, but it counted tenfold toward my general bike-ed-ness. Just get out there, even if it's only long enough to shake that "stuck on the trainer" feeling.

Good luck. See you in the spring. For more reference, from way crazier folks than I, see

Monday, November 06, 2006

Nice Job Lance!

Lance Armstrong's first marathon came in under 3 hours. And he managned to beat Brenn Jones while doing it. I don't have a 3 hour marathon in me. I know this, because I see 21 minute 5k split after 21 minute 5k split in the results.

My new plan would have to include something like :

  1. Run a single 25 minute 5k
  2. Run a single 24 minute 5k
  3. Run a single 23 minute 5k
  4. Run a single 22 minute 5k
  5. Run a single 21 minute 5k
  6. Run a single 20 minute 5k
  7. Run 2 21 minute 5k's back to back.
  8. etc.
  9. Contemplate new steps to get to 3 hour marathon.
Point being, 3 hours might be easy for someone. But it's no joke.

Mind you, let's not be to quick and miss mentioning the winners of the NYC Marathon:

Top Women 2006 (Finish)
1. Jelena Prokopcuka (LAT) 2:25:05
2. Tatiana Hladyr (UKR) 2:26:05
3. Catherine Ndereba (KEN) 2:26:58

Top Men 2006 (Finish)
1. M. Gomes dos Santos (BRA) 2:09:58
2. Stephen Kiogora (KEN) 2:10:06
3. Paul Tergat (KEN) 2:10:10

And while you sit and attempt to fathom 26.2 miles in 2:10, like I can't. Remember the first 5k was in 15:40, and the 10k mark was at 31 minutes.. And, they keep going. Incredible.

Nice job to all who started, suffered, and finished the NYC Marathon!

Vows (a fall update)

Oh how quickly I rescind my recent vow. Let's recap from my last blog entry.

"But dang it, as sure as I type this blog I vow to race a minimum of ONE of these and show my face and get lapped, shelled, dropped, spit out the back at the 2nd turn.. Laughing all the way."

Here I am after two weeks of no working out whatsoever, 2/3 of my "possible" CX races are past. And I'm still hacking up 2/3rds of my lung. For the squeemish, I decided not to provide the "proof" photo of my green oozing eye. Suffice to say, Doc loaded me up with sufficient drugs to kill all bacteria known to man, and maybe a few extra. Sorry folks, no Cyclocross race report this year.

I will have to plan for 2007, take a month off after Ironman Wisconsin. Then utilize my wicked year long base building to leg up and "nearly keep up" with the beginner CX racers. Place your bets now!

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


It's cold. It's rainy. It's fast. It's drooling, white spot seeing, wheezing craziness.. Laughing all the way. It's what a triathlete needs post-season. Especially one stuck in the neverending quest of going longer.

A few rules...

  1. Try to keep up.
  2. Watch your tights on the dismount.
  3. Remount, best I can figure, is a jump in the air while your feet race your butt to the bike. Pray your feet win.
  4. 30, 40, or 50 minutes max queue, the X number of laps. If you still aren't getting asked if you're racing or not, you're doing pretty good.
  5. If you wear your HRM, it will think it was stolen.
  6. Head for beer/reward.

I did this cyclocross thing last year.. Much to my amusement. And have/had high hopes of hitting it again.. All the regular excuses pop up.. Birthday's, anniversary's, work, etc etc.. But dang it, as sure as I type this blog I vow to race a minimum of ONE of these and show my face and get lapped, shelled, dropped, spit out the back at the 2nd turn.. Laughing all the way.

If you too are a triathlete and haven't been exposed to the wreckless sillyness of CX.. Drag your bike out there.. or at least go watch (take a camera).. but beware my experience. One year I watched, I said "NO WAY!". The following year I was out there getting lapped like a dog, laughing all the way.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Marathons are for fast runners.

Marathons are only for fast people.. Everyone else should just donate their entry fee to a good cause and call it a day. And real bikers must ride bikes that have more than one gear, and the ability to coast.
I grow weary of the hate speech in articles like these. They only exist to get hits (and here I am providing links). I'm here to say, "If you want to run a slow marathon. Go for it!" If you want to ride a bike, or a fixed gear bike, DO IT! Whatever turns your crank, gets your attention and gets you movin. GO! Buy a dog and walk it. Run your first 5k. Do a hand stand. Claw you way to your first 16 hour 59 minute Ironman finish time. Let the nay-sayers be left behind, content in their misery.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sigh of Relief

It was a tough day out there at Ironman Wisconsin yesterday. Windy, low 60's temperature, and raining. That didn't stop me from fretting about signup this morning. The past five years, I've watched, read about, and followed countless triathletes who've found themselves toeing the line at Ironman Wisconsin. Now, I'm as ready as I'll ever be.
The Iroman journey has started a bit stressfully though.. First, find out when signup is. Be home. From there, it's much like trying to get tickets to a U2 concert online.. Only there are only 2000 tickets, and they are much more non-transferrable. Rumor is "the show" sold out in 75 minutes. In between the kids first day of pre-K and a doctor's appointment for my wife, I managed to throw down almost 500 dollaros on the opportunity to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a marathon on the same day.
Once registration was confirmed, I sighed in relief. Now all I have to do is kick back and relax... Sometime between now and then, I'll put in the training miles which will hopefully bring me across the finish line. See ya there!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This Is It.

After a pause in blogging.. Here I am. Sorry to the vast sea of fans that religiously read my blog.

The goal was to finish Racine my way, whatever that meant. This year I did that. I had a "good" race. While my swim was not fast, I managed to get out of the water feeling well and ready to go on the bike. I cut 10+ minutes off the bike. And for the second time in 4 tries, I "ran" the entire run (minus aid stations).
Fast forward to September.... This coming weekend is the 5th Ironman Wisconsin . Since 2002 (when I volunteered), I have had this race "on my radar". I wanted to go in with some idea what I'm in for. So, I decided to do the Racine 1/2 until "I got it right". That did not mean "fast" or "winning" or anything.. But, I think I have some idea what time I have to train and what I can put into Ironman training. See paragraph one. Send me a link to this post in one year! That said, I'll be on come Monday morning clicking the submit button. The start of one wild ride.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Taper time...

Get some sleep. Don't train too much. Stay focused on race day. Got all your stuff? Where's your checklist? Bike ready? Why am I so jittery? Salt tablets or no? What are my goals? What's the weather going to be like? Last year was a record high. Just relax, and race!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

All loaded up..

This is it.. Tomorrow is my pre-race checkup. I've got the car all loaded and I head to Racine to do one final long bike / run. And this time it's on the course. I had planned this much earlier in the year, but life is life. And racin' is racin'. Anywho, I'm hoping this goes off well so I can sit back on race day and soak up the "au jus" that is competition. After tomorrow, it's a few decent swims (hopefully), and slowly backing down to taper.. Last week I managed 11:36 in training time. That is not much for many, but I'm certain it's my all time long week. So, what's written is written and now the waiting begins.

See you in the papers.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006


40 minutes into my two hour run this morning, a bird attacked me. Attacked is loosely used to mean, it was attempting to land on my head. Then it proceeded to freak out when I wasn't it's nest. The remaining 80 minutes of my run were uneasy when other birds were in sight. Next time my foul friend, I'll be ready for you. I needed a Hitchcock music theme in my mp3 player.

Be careful out there.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Making Virtual More Like Reality Everyday

I'm not sure I want my computer virtual desktop to look more like my real desktop. Could be it would digitally reveal too much about me. That can't be good. That said, I was bumping around and found this BumpTop desktop prototype. Go check out the video. Neato stuff. That is all.

Monday, June 19, 2006

The Price of Freedom

Mini bike pump $18. Two extra Cartridges $7. One spare tube $5. Old patch kit and tire levers, written off already. Fixing a flat 20 miles out, and continuing away from home... Priceless.
Today, I picked up a messenger bag which is too cool for me. But it will be more than capable as a vessel to carry my work supplies to and from work. Next up, more commuting on the bike. Less gas, starting in the morning. More on this later.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Out for a movie...

After a rather extensive effort to take the kids to see "Cars", we came home empty handed. We showed up 15 minutes prior to 1:00 PM showtime only to be next in line when they found out it was sold out. So, off to the Fox Bay Cinema Grill for the 1:45 show. We arrive there in time to learn they had a power outage in the theater, next show 4:15 PM.. All that driving and nothing to show for it.
Home for the kids nap time, will try again a different day. My system might go into shock if I saw a real live movie in a theater anyway.

A wonderful carry-out dinner from Buca's. Sure, I over indulged slightly, but Father's days are finite.

About 7:40 PM I lament over my lack of movie viewing for the day. Seconds to spare, my wife mentions "Inconvenient Truth" plays at 8:00 PM local and says "Off you go!" Sure, it's a lecture. Yes, many will not want to hear it. But, please go see it and make up your own mind. If nothing else, I get to bike to work more.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

MACC Fund Trek 100 Ride

Saturday was the MACC Fund Trek 100. What a beautiful day. 100 kilometers (63 miles) on the fixed gear went great. Only in the last 5-8 miles did my legs get a bit heavy.. (100 miles would have been bit of a stretch). Downhills are much worse than up. There was one "not so cool" uphill near the end, but really it was hardly worth mentioning (just the worst one of the day). I passed droves of riders that were taking it easy on early uphills (rollers). I was suprised that I saw no other fixed wheels, but I heard rumors of a few fixed gears on the 37 miler.. Could be I just didn't notice.. In that same vein, I got tons of stares/kudos/props/whatnot from folks noting the fixed gear bike (little did they know, it's not much harder than a "normal" bike). Fun was had by me and all.
Of course, I made the most of each and every aid station. Tons of great food. Of note was the Culver's frozen custard, Famous Dave's bread pudding w/ praline/pecan sauce, and Starbuck's.
The weather could not have been much better. Perhaps if it had been hotter, then I maybe wouldn't have forgotten sunscreen. Doh!
Volunteers on this ride were second to none. It is tough stuff hearing some of the kids stories. They are amazing. Greg Lemond was there, reportedly Tim Deboom and Bob Roll too, but I didn't see Tim or Bob. All around I give this ride and charity a huge thumbs up.

And a grand "Thank You!" to all those who sponsored me on the ride. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

Pool closed..

For me it's nothing like an outbreak of something at the pool. It's just standard "end of sememster" closing. Let's gve the folks who run the place a chance to catch their breath. For that matter, it's very affordable compared to any gym membership I've seen. I'll take my week off. Maybe I can ride and run some extra. Swimming as of today is in a good spot. I hope a week off can do me some good on it.
It's time to start ramping up the training for Racine. I hope those close to me can bear with me here.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Can I Please Just Ride My Bicycle?

According to this article , there is a $56 dollar fine for "operating a bicycle without a license" in Milwaukee. Now then, let's travel to the City of Milwaukee Bicycle License Application Page , " If you live in the City of Milwaukee and you want to register your bicycle, please go to your nearest library or police station and ask for a Bicycle License tag." That, to me, reads as if a bicycle license is a nice thing you can get if you so desire. I dug a bit further to the FAQ section.. There we find Section 102 2 of the Milwaukee Code of Ordinances which states:

"102 2. License Required. It shall be unlawful for any resident of the city to operate or use a bicycle, operated alone or in part by muscular power, upon any of the streets, alleys or public highways of the city without first obtaining from the city a license therefor, and unless said bicycle is properly registered and a license sticker is affixed to the frame of such bicycle."

Now I'm clear as mud here. It appears one only needs to have a license IF one lives in the City of Milwaukee. To add to that, if you try to actually activate your license you will get a message "Note: This bicycle license registration is only for City of Milwaukee residents. If you are not a City of Milwaukee resident, please do not fill this form out." Very clear, non-milwaukee residents just don't need one. Right?

It does appear that there's a history here. Please tell me the Milwaukee Police are better than drumming up "bicycle license" tickets to make quotas and scare cyclists from riding their bikes in a bike friendly city.

Critical mass groups do seem to have their share of these kinds of stories surrounding their non-events. I have not been to one of these rides. But is it their legend or their actions that are getting them in trouble?

I would like to see cyclists and motorists get along. That means both groups knowing the rules and abiding by them. Is that all that much to ask for?

Saturday, April 29, 2006

No one needs to save me....

See Friday's post. Here's to better days after 2.3 hours on the bike and no pages from work, I'm off and running again. Phew. Hope it keeps up.

A good lesson..

Just because you and your friends can't read it, doesn't mean your friendly neighborhood FBI can't read it. I often hear about "encrypted" things as if that's some magic word that means those things can't be read by any. Well here is one example of a guy for whom that assumption didn't work out so well. That article has a few days on it, but it stuck in my head enough to show up in my view.

Friday, April 28, 2006

Ouch.. It was going so well.

So far, my triathlon season started off with a bang. I bought an 18 week 1/2 Iron plan from Rich Strauss and was off and rocking. A minor break for a trip to Disney World , then I was off and running. I felt great. Hit all my workouts. A few were 5 minutes short, and a few were 5 minutes long. All in all, a couple of banner weeks. Waiting for the crash (it was going too well)... Here it is.. On-call week, mind you not all that bad work-wise. But a few ill-timed pages put my off 2/3rds of my swims. I've put in less then 1/2 the hours I'm supposed to have for the week. And my diet want's to compensate... I hate to sound doom and gloom, but I want to log what is hopefully a low point. Here's to better times. If you don't hear from me by Tuesday, bring a bike over and throw me onto it and push me out the door. It's just one week, right?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Back on track.

No pics today. I did do what seems like an easy week. I did not miss workouts. I managed to swim, bike and run each three times. Throat is not soar. Life is good. Tomorrow I head of to St. Paul for work. So, I'll immediately be changing my purchased training plan to "run short and often" until thursday. Short and sweet, catch y'all on the flip side.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Can't stay clean...

Dang, how long ago was it that I posted a pic of a potentially sore throat? Well, I'm not officially ill again. But I feel it back there. This time I'm going headlong into it. I ran on the treadmill while watching "Law and Order: SVU". TV might be more or less predictable, but at least it gives me something to watch while I'm not feeling well enough to run outdoors. I'm going to cut this short as I don't need to post another dark pic of my throat. And, I suppose the best thing is sleep.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

What it's all about...

Certainly, there are those weeks where one must just get out at the end. Stress builds. Committments pile up. This is why I do triathlon. This is why I swim, bike, and run. But there is nothing like a good 2-3 hour "just for the heck" of it outdoor bike ride to enjoy the outdoors. Tempuratures were in the 20's. It was bright and sunny, but plenty of wind was out there to keep me humble. Of course I rode the fixed gear bike on this wonderful winter day. I have completely forgotten what it's like to not be able to coast on my bicycle. I don't even give it a thought now.
Here is a picture of my ride near the end of the workout. Note the crashing waves in the back and a bit of snow on the ground. This is after about 30 miles and a couple hours. Nothing like the fresh air. Sure, I had to thaw for a while once I got home. But, I wasn't reduced to anything unhealthly.
Shortly after I took this picture, I succssfully avoided my favorite coffee shop (Alterra on the Lake). I new it would be hard to get back on the bike and in the 25 degree weather after a cup o' joe. Ahh well then, time for a decent nap. Until next time.... Posted by Picasa

Friday, February 17, 2006

Brrrrr.. -1

When the numbers go negative, then we know it's getting cold. I still hold some hope that I can get out this weekend and horse around on the mountain bike for a couple hours. Otherwise, I'll have to add to my training numbers by riding rollers and running on the treadmill some more.. Rather an indoor brick perhaps would be appropriate. Totals thus far are 5 hours 19 minutes. That turns out to be 3250 meters swimming, 30 miles of biking, and 10.3 miles running.. Seems like not that much, but it's good to get going again. I think this year I need to make consistency and frequency happen.. Hopefully the rest will fall into place.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Price of Dedication

This is what it looks like after I get up, suit up, and get the dog out for a walk. This is actually near the end of the walk, when it's starting to lighten up. It's always curious to me that there aren't more folks out at this hour. I realize it's cold at 5:oo am in Wisconsin. But certainly folks are reading the papers and cooking breakfast by now, right? It strikes me how quiet it can be at these hours.. It's true, there are other dog walkers. And even if there are breakfast cookers and paper readers, how would I know this from the sidewalk. Ahh well, not long after this, I'm grabbing my swim bag and heading for the pool. This year I swim until I learn to do so.. I can't give up on my stroke this year. It's coming around and just needs a little more care and attention. Then, I just can't forget about it.. We're almost there. Hang on... Posted by Picasa

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Back in Action

After a week completely off due to illness, I had a week of swimming only. And "swimming" meant very short workouts monday, wednesday, and friday. Finally, I hopped on the bike today. It was snowing here. Much of the day we were blanketed with big, fluffy snow flakes. The snowy weather was blamed mostly on the lake effect. With the Olympics and all the great motivating commercials on, it was impossible to skip the biking today.. It's good to be back.
I rode on "the rollers" while watching the Olympics. This was a bit of a brave thing for me. I'm new on rollers. I have a hard enough time staying on them without trying to watch ski jumping. But, I managed quite a personal success. Not only could I stay on the rollers with the TV on, I actually watched some of the Olympics. In additition, I managed my first "roller" related unplanned dismounts. No real damage was incurred. I'd guess one would not want to do that very often for best rim life.
Among other events, I saw the 15k skate skiing today. That looked like great fun. Maybe I can give that a shot in a winter or two..
Mantras of the day: Sleep is good.. Watch your intake.. I definately feel the tide going in the proper direction for the first time since I started getting sick.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

'Ello Milwaukee

Meet my Milwaukee Bicycle Co. "The Orange One". This is a pic of just the headbadge. Undoubtedly, you will see more later. But I have to keep you wanting more. I can say this is my first fixed gear, and I don't know what I have been doing all these years without one. What could I have been thinking? I love that bike. The other day, I went out on it for about 2 hours. It is no longer any big deal to do so. It doesn't bother me that I can't coast. And even in the final minutes of my ride (when I somehow started freezing after being fine for the first 100 minutes), it was cool. The "no coast" requirement is still a feature in my book. If you like biking and don't have a fixed gear..... Well, as Ferris once said, "if you have the means, I highly recommend it." Or something to that effect. While I'm on it, I ain't shilling for the "Milwaukee Bicycle Co." folks. Alterra neither (more on that later). Posted by Picasa

Monday, February 06, 2006

Strep this on?

Do I have any cavaties? Was I at the dentist's office or just got ahold of a mini-mouth cam? Turns out my wife has strep. This is a pic of my mouth from the phone cam. I don't see any disease in this picture. On the other hand, if my throat gets much more sore, I'll be making a call to Dr. S.
This is all important to life as I know it. My resolutions this year include: training more consistently, losing weight, sleeping more, etc.. Most of which sums up to having more energy and being generally happier (for me). The bad news is, I can pick any one or two of these items and do them to the max. As long as everything is moving along smoothly, most of the things I do encourage the others to fall in line. As soon as work, family, life, or illness (mostly illness, brought on by excess work and/or not enough sleep) needs a bit more, the balance shifts. From there, it's not hard for all of these to fall out of line. This usually causes some seemingly extensive recovery period. Mind you, recovery is the right thing to do before going back into heavy workouts.
Long story long, I'm in one of those lulls. And mentally, it's tough to be there this early in the season. I write this as a reminder to keep my eye on the line and get sleep before it gets out of hand. On top of all this, it's Febuary in Wisconsin. I will ride out the storm. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Shadow of Myself

Went out to walk the dog today. New camera phone is handy, but the pics show up a bit bright. If the camera phone proves fun, I may have to start carrying around a real camera. Luke, the dog, is a real trooper. He just loves to be out running around, seeing other dogs, and generally enjoying himself. Here he is wondering what the heck a camera phone is, and why I'm trying to get all artsy with my shadow on a 1 megapixel camera. Smart dog. Posted by Picasa

Just What the World Needs

Another blogger. Well here I am. If you're out there listening, then hoo-ray. I hope to learn a little something of myself and perhaps others at this new venture. Mostly, I want to get to taking a few more pictures out in the world. Perhaps, I'd even comment on them. In the mean time, let's see if I can't lose a little weight, train for a triathlon or two, and keep work and family afloat. Cheers.