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!