Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Coming Together

I said before, this year's goal is a picture of myself at the Chequamegon Fat Tire 40, thinner, faster, and fitter. I'm not sure if I said that picture included a new bike or not.

Well, a cheq cashed to the Fat tire folks.

My weight has had a slight, steady, even, negative slope.

I sent my prepay check to Prairie Peddler for one of those Swift frames.

And aside from this on-call week, I've been pounding the pavement pretty good. Last week marked about 8.5 hours of running or riding. It felt very reasonable.

I'm working hard at work. Sleeping good at sleep. And it's coming together. I hate to post success so early in the year. It's a journey. I'm happy just to be heading in the right direction. Feet, balance and focus don't fail me now!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I'm Not Going to Podcast

I was out for a slowish, longish, short run (10km) on Sunday. Out there on the trail, I had quite a few brilliant ideas for blog postings. This may come as a big shock to regular readers, but it is true. Waves of in bound subscriptions to my FREE bl0g might have caused who knows what kind of massive flapping in the route tables of the Internet.

Alas, we will not be subjected to such writing. My brilliance only endures the run. Once I return home, there is other work to be done.

It occurs to me I could start a podcast where I run and say my ideas. But that is being and has been done. No one needs a windy, heavy breathing, eleven minute mile "podcast" added to the already good selection.

There you have it. I'm not going to do it. Now what the heck were those ideas?

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I Got Brand New Shoes, Now I Run Like Someone Else

OK, I don't run that much different than I did two days ago. I just felt a need to play on a semi obscure Van Halen lyric.

It's worth noting that two days ago, I was having trouble running four miles without needing to hire a masseuse afterward (or at least wanting one). Yet today I cranked up Operation Mindcrime and ran a few miles (7.12 according to gmap-pedometer) in my brand new shoes.

Now here's the thing. I blame the new shoes. I started out slightly to very tight. A few miles in, I was relaxing slightly, but I figured the whole run would be a bit of a chore. Yet the last two or a bit more miles, I felt very strong. Maybe those last couple tunes really had me going. Maybe it was seeing two Cafe Hollander team riders out braving the night on their bikes. Those last couple miles of my first longer run, I usually just want to be home. But not today. Today I felt strong. I wanted more.

Here is where I recall back to the last time I ran early season, wanted more, and took it. I spent much time recouping the injury after that. This time, I headed home and replenished the carbs. I'll be out there next time getting more.

Just in case you're a running newbie or happened to forget (again, like me), new shoes rule.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Recovery (v2)


Work but a little extra
and the run starts late.

Run but a little too far
and the shins go tight.

Stretch the shins but a little too long
and the beer does not get drunk.

Drink but a little extra beer
and the bike does not get ridden.

Push but a little to far on the bike
and the dishes don't get done.

Recovery from one thing needs the next thing
When to jump is the key.

Take Sunday to reflect on a week well filled with work, play and fitness
But not too long, it all starts again tomorrow.


Oh that hill.
Oh that last hill.
Oh that last hill of the ride.
Oh that last hill of the ride on which I hadn't had breakfast.

I stood up.
I stood up my legs drained.
I stood up my legs drained of the calories which sat in them from the night before.
I stood up my legs drained of the calories which sat in them from the night before, yet I crawled.

I still felt the night before.
I still felt the night before where good conversation.
I still felt the night before where good conversation and a beer.
I still felt the night before where good conversation and a beer and some more.

Up at the top.
Up at the top the sun shined on me.
Up at the top the sun shined on me spent of old.
Up at the top the sun shined on me spent of old, now new.

I will do.
I will do what I say.
I will do what I say when I plan ahead.
I will do what I say when I plan ahead and succeed.

I did it.


It's going to be a good year.


(warning self indulgent "status" post)

The last few days have been well needed, devil may care, jwm style.

Friday night I went "out" to sample various beers. More, in fact, than I had sampled in quiet a number of years (normally that number approaches zero). I stayed up a few extra hours past bedtime enjoying my hard earned, pain free state.

Oh but wait, there is a Saturday morning ride that I told myself I would do. At some point, I was certain I would not go. Yet, I awoke with enough time to be there. I racked my bike and grabbed my stuff. I left the kids with breakfast, Qubo, and their Mom. (and before this becomes anti-TV, they did shut it off on their own. She wrote/drew a book, and he played with cars).

Fast forward to actually riding. This was supposed to be an easy ride. Fear not, I will not let anyone get behind me. Uphills were pronounced (read difficult for my 1st day out butt). I more or less hung on, minus a hill or two.

I might have pulled something. On an uphill I came unclipped, and probably did some goofy looking save. Today, I've got my ankle talking to me.

Bagels and coffee with the boys after. I have a new goal for Chequamegon (if I get in). Something about passing someone and staying in front of them without the aid of air pump in the spokes and such.

Long story short, beautiful day with good company.

Today, I think I'll practice the Yoga position, "relaxing Dad".

Thursday, March 12, 2009

An Apology to the Reader

I'll make this quick, as I have some riding to do.

At the time of the last post, I was stuck inside for an overabundant amount of time.
Deprived of regular workouts for two (2) entire days.
I was starting to hallucinate of summer and open trails.
I can see this future me oh so clearly.

In such a scenario, my normal 15+ year old 26er bike would suffice. Alas, I was stuck in a dreamy state of lust for material thing. I am sorry, this demonstration is not what people need right now.

(OK. I still want the bike, but I have grounded back to a much more patient state.)

Time to go for one more round of "make myself look like I want to look while I ride this summer". (i.e. ride the rollers and get fit)

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Chronicling My Descent into Madness

Sometimes I get over focused on the wrong thing. Nevermind last Sunday's "This American Life" on our world situation. Or our Treasury Secretary on Planet Money. I'm listening intently to what indicators I can.

Yet, the air has warmed ever so slightly. Sure it is raining cats and dogs. The trails may not be ride-able for months. I'm already dreaming of a future. And even hoping for a new chance at this future.

I have never bought a frame online. I know many folks are perfectly happy to say "I need a 56", not even knowing the units for 56.

I'm certain I can list a number of ways I have been fitted, and purchased a bike successfully. Many of which would be scoffed at, but turned out fine.

  • "yeah I can stand over it, what else is there?"
  • Take a 5-10 minute ride. Do not to get anywhere near anything resembling a bump or dirt. Was I going to trail ride that later successfully?
  • "this one's 1/2 price". That's a good fit!
  • I've very confidently listened to a trusted LBS employees who said, "no, you need a 60" (and they were right). (and they later fit me on the frame after I put all the parts on it)
  • The tri bike "trainer ride fit included with bike".

After all this, I'm contemplating getting something on-line based on 10-30 different quoted measurements. It has become an interesting exercise to see if I can psych myself out or not. After a week of "which tool should I use to draw this" (you'd think a computer guy could find a blueprint tool easily). I nearly resorted to pencil and paper. Luckily, some of the locals went to NAHBS and let me know about Bike Forest's tool to punch in frame geometry and see what ya get.

So, using the following:
  • Frame specs from the Singular Swift L and XL sizes.
  • A more or less straight side shot of my current mountain bike.
  • Gimp
  • An unhealthy amount of, I'm going to get this done and I don't care if an LBS in my state is going to start stocking them.
I more or less used this procedure:
  1. Take a photo of my bike.. and tons of measurements.
  2. Throw out 99% of the measurements and realize that if I just make the seat height right, I can try to line up the seat and BB in different layers and see the diff.
  3. Plug the L frame specs into the online BikeCAD tool. Turn that into a layer in GIMP.
  4. Plug the XL frame specs into the online BikeCAD tool. Turn that into a layer in GIMP.
  5. Save your work!

** Disclaimer - I did my best to use the right specs for the frames. I don't represent the manufacturer. It could all be so wrong that it's not funny.

What I might have learned:
  • I'm not sure I trust this picture. But if it's right. It surprises me how little the difference between L, and XL is.
  • I could probably use the extra 50mm in the seat tube.
  • Are (current) my bars too low?
  • Hrmph. Does it line up if I draw a midge on the Singular?
Enough of this. Time to turn on the brain clearing device and do some core.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Vacation Day

Woke up to snow I had no idea was coming.
Fed the boy and walked him to school.
Dropped past the neighbor's house for a quick chat.
Did the dishes.

Took my daughter to meet Grandma for lunch.
Got to get the full workup at the dentist's office.
Grabbed a pizza for the boy on the way home.
Leftovers for me (soup, pasta).

Sliver of ice cream.
Watched "Medium" with my wife.
Played a computer game.
Wrote a blog entry.

Then crashed hard in bed.
Will be up early for a run.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

The Danger of Balaclavas

I didn't think it was that cold out. That is until I got home and couldn't pull my balaclava off. 20 miles of "road riding". I can't wait until it warms up a bit.

It can be done.