Monday, December 29, 2008

Ohhh yeah, new helmet!

My trusty old Giro Eclipse finally decided it had had enough of biking and announced its desicion to retire by spitting out the straps that attach it to my head.  It's been coming for some time, so I can't say I was too terribly surprised.  I have strategically inserted thumbtacks and industrial strength Velcro to keep things in place to last me for another couple of careful rides, and today went online and ordered a brand new one from Nashbar Bike.
I am excited as I was able to find the size I need (Small) in the exact color I was hoping for.  It is a fancy Giro Atmos with about a bazillion vents to keep my head cool during the hot Florida summers...  and winters and spring and fall, it's pretty well hot all the time here.
Here is the new beauty:
I'm so gonna be stylin!

Other than that, I am happy to report that it is day 2 of training, and I got in a fantastic swim workout this afternoon.  Tomorrow, bike in the morning and who knows, maybe run and/or gym in the afternoon!  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Training is ON

As you might remember, I signed up for the Olympic distance Miami Int'l Tri in Miami, FL (duh) on March, 15th, 2009.
Right now I'm a little puzzled as to why I did that, because in the past couple of years I've done the St. Anthony's (OL distance as well) at the end of April. I distinctly remember standing on the starting line thinking "this is a bad idea" for 3 reasons:
  1. too early in the season
  2. too long of a distance and
  3. I didn't train enough
I also remember really well thinking to myself "I'm never doing this sh!t again". So I will admit that I am somewhat baffled as to why I am here now, looking at training plans, for a race that is even earlier in the season and of the same distance as the race I was never going to do again. And I can't even blame this one on my workout buddies, because it was I that sent out the "this sounds like a blast, lets go do it" e-mail.
Now if my trusty tri-buddy Sue hadn't gone and immediately signed up I might still have had an out, so I guess she should take some of the blame.

For the past couple of weeks I've been in the "training starts tomorrow" mode, but the time has come. Today training starts, chest cold or no chest cold, hell or high water. Besides I read on Everymantri.com that it's perfectly fine to workout when you have a cold (NY Times article here) so I'm out of excuses. Drat.
It's official, training starts today with a bike ride. Even with all my bitching I'm strangely excited. I'm goal oriented so just working out now and then to stay in shape doesn't suit me, I need to have something hanging over my head. Public embarrasment is usually really motivating for me, so I try to train enough to make sure I'm not going to be dead last. Plus, this year I'd like to try to beat my time from last year (2:54 and change). I'm swimming better than ever now, bike is fine and if I can get it together on the run I think I can. So big goals for 2009, and having fun being the most important of all :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas recap

Wow.... the past couple of weeks have just flown by, as want is this time of year.
The holidays formally started when our friends Nick & Shonda stopped by to drop off their dog Haley for a few days of puppy-sitting whilst they drove on to spend a few days with family.  What a great dog - quite possibly the softest dog in the universe, a lab mix.  We want to keep her, but don't think we will get away with the doggie-napping.
For Christmas we had family and friends over, Cute Boy and Nick managed to cook up a delicious turducken and guests brought over dishes of yummy side dishes.  I don't think any of them can count as exactly healthy, but by some miracle I managed not to eat myself silly.
I have however gone slightly overboard in cookies, delicous beverages and other things like that....  but that all simply serves to inspire the New Years resolution all the more.

I went straight from the nasty sinus infection into a chest cold, so working out hasn't been happening much lately.  I ran once last week (which was great) but then spent the night coughing up a lung.  I think coughing is pretty well over now so I'm ready to ease back into it and plan to start with a nice bike ride tomorrow.  The weather has been awesome and we spent Christmas in shorts & t shirts :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

Buddy-sitting

Crazy times in the little house by the Blue Lake. I'm watching a puppy for a friend who had to go on a work trip, so this household at the moment is starting to resemble a traveling circus or zoo.
We currently feature:
  • one stable, lovely dog of the distinguished Mutt breed
  • one hyperactive puppy of Welsh Corgi bread (starring as the midget)
  • one severely insane cat who thinks he is Napoleon
  • one mildly insane cat who thinks the world is out to get him
On top of that throw a half sick fiance and a very stressful Lowe's window installation (that has been in the making since September) and sprinkle liberally with general holiday stress - so it's no wonder that nerves are a little frayed and tempers a little short.

I'm managing to see the funny side of things though, because if you take a step back and just watch, it's all really kind of hilarious.
Thankfully I have my swim workouts to keep me sane - I just love going and being challenged in the pool. I wish wish wish I could get the same motivation going for running, because now that I've pledged to do the OL tri in Miami in March, I REALLY need to quit being a slacker.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Well here we are.

Not so much a day at a time for this blog lately, more like a week at a time, and even that is a stretch. Plenty been going on though, no lack of action.
First my birthday was last week, I like having birthdays - took the day off and had a nice chilled day sleeping in, did some Christmas shopping and had a couple of very nice surprises from friends!
For the past couple of weeks I've been chowing down the antibiotics which hasn't been very fun as those didn't agree with me too well. But, now that it is all said and done my sinuses feel a TON better so I expect tomorrows swim workout to be a lot better than the past few ones have been.
I have officially committed to do the Miami tri on March 15th with my friends Sue and Sharon!
Should be fun, but that also means that I better get training, yikes.
Swimming is going well, biking I'll pick up quick, but the run remains my nemesis.
If anyone has good ideas on how to become a wicked fast runner in record time, by all means tell me!!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's all in my head

In my cheek to be exact.   For the past few weeks I've been battling something I thought was just a standard issue annoying cold and a bit of ear-ache to go with it.  I even got properly sick for a couple of days, where my face proceeded to poof up on the left side, hamster style.
Eventually I went to see the doctor, who diagnosed me with a maxillary sinus infection and prescribed drugs to deal with it.  And gently suggested maybe not waiting 6 weeks next time before stopping by.  I think this is the first proper sinus infection I have ever had since I'm not allergic to anything (knock on wood). 
The sinus still feels swollen but now the drugs are kicking my ass. Just hope they are working so that I can start feeling normal again soon!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

A letter to my cats

Dear cats.  I'm not sure if you read my blog, I doubt it.  But since you don't listen to me, I thought this was worth a try.  We need to clarify some rules and establish a code of conduct, so that all inhabitants of the little house by the blue lake may live peacefully.  If you have any comments or suggestions, please grow opposable thumbs and type them in the comment section. 
  1. All the animals should be friends, or at least tolerate each other.  iBite, no more assaulting Herman, seriously.
  2. Meals are served twice a day.  Period. Neither one of you can be trusted to free feed and both of you are on the chubby side.  Please note that increased meowing will not result in bonus food, so just quit it. 
  3. The dog is NOT a toy.  
  4. I am grateful for your litter box mastery, but please try to leave some of the litter in the box as you ferociously dig to cover the cat dung.  And a sub note to the dog here:  don't eat cat shit.  It's gross, I don't care how much protein is in there.
  5. My workout clothes are sacred.  Next cat caught sharpening claws on my technical fabrics is going for a swim.  
  6. My toes & feet are to be left alone.  Next cat to dart from underneath furniture and assault the toes might get stepped on.  Please focus attack instinct on the plethora of fake mice supplied.
That about covers it.  If you would consider living by those rules, that would be awesome. 
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lap flip lap flip lap flip lap

Did my first swim workout since July yesterday.  It was both awesome and ass-kicking.  We have a small group that mainly consists of triathletes with an unusual taste for swimming.  Remarkably enough we are also all women, in my community the guys seem to focus on either running, biking or duathlons.   I guess this is another testimonial to the female multitasking abilities ;)

Coach welcomed me back and announced that the days of my open turns were over (I've been a little lax flipping).  He went on to declare that we were now entering a phase where the emphasis is on core muscles, allowing us to be better balanced in the water and generate movement from the core, thus saving our legs for biking/running.  He swears it will also make us faster on the bike and especially on the run.  That's all I needed -  it will make me run faster?  Count me in!!

Coach Scott Bay is absolutely great.  He doesn't hesitate to hop into the water and demonstrate when needed, and his coaching comes with huge focus on technique.  We all came into the group with different swim-issues, mine lovingly termed "rainbow hand" (it looked I was painting a nice rainbow on the sky, rather than coming out with a high elbow and defined entry.... and it was only on my right side!).   We do a good bit of drills, but always individual specific, as we might be working on different things.  We also do a lot of swimming slow, working on that perfect stroke.
Having done a little bit of regular masters swimming, the swimming slow part was what I had a hard time with in the beginning - but I can't argue with the results.  My stroke count has dropped a good bit, I'm faster and wayyyy smoother.

But, today I'm tired - tired in the way only swimming makes you tired. It's a good tired, one you earned with your whole body.  So now I'm going to have a cup of tea, kick back and chill out for a little bit :)  Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Winter is here. Motivation, somewhere over there. Way over.


Well well, it's that time again. The time of going to work in the dark and coming home in the dark. Getting up early to work out before work becomes just about impossible, and hot chocolate (and cold chocolate) become irresistible.
I'm going to allow myself to slack a little bit until January, do some biking and swimming and running, but mostly focus on going to the gym for strength and core. It seems to help me with everything else, and would prevent me from turning into a total and utter slob.
I need to keep the legs strong, since our first time trial race is in January. Which will also be my first TT ever, I'm excited about that one - I'm the only one on the team that has never done those before, so the goal is to just learn as much as possible and hopefully not embarrass myself. Fun times.
Then the first race of the season has been decided - Sue and I are going down to Miami for an OL distance tri on March 15th. I fear the water might be cold, but at least I have a wetsuit now so that should be ok. My big plan for the upcoming training is to focus on the run... I need a run coach. I need someone to hold me accountable and motivate me and tell me what to do. This weekend I'm going coach hunting, if anyone has good suggestions, drop me a line!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Blisters: pop 'em or leave 'em?

Running this past weekend I got myself a couple of annoying rub spots on my feet that quickly progressed into blisters. That was uncool, as this happened on the first leg of the race. My theory is it happened because we were running on the shoulders of roads & highways that slanted a little bit. I had 2 pairs of shoes, one old and trusty and the other one fairly new - but a brand/type I have run in many times before and never blistered. Quite a few of us got blisters or sore spots that did not really make running superbly enjoyable.
But, when a whole team totally depends on you (hee hee), you can't let a few little inconveniences like blisters get in the way.
So I popped them (using the handy safety pins they give you for the race number), got the blister-juice out and let them hang out and air-dry between running legs. When it was my turn to run, I taped them up with cloth bandages that extended a little bit outside the edges of the blister, dapped body-glide around it and off I went. Really was not painful at all, and now 2 days later they are both 99% healed up, no pain, no issue.

There were some interesting reactions though, as some people that witnessed the popping seemed to think my entire leg would become immediately infected and flat out fall off. I discovered that there are 2 very distinct schools of thought when it comes to blisters:

a) the "pop and go" crowd
b) the "no pop but use body weight in neosporin" crowd.

Next time I get 2 matching blisters like that again, I am going to do a controlled comparison study on my own feet, popping one and neospore the hell out of the other one, and see what happens. My money is on the dirty safety pin.

How do you guys deal with blisters?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Ragnar Relay: Run. Drive. Sleep? Repeat

As a part of a 12 person relay team (TWSKA*), Cute Boy and I ran our way across the state of Florida this past weekend, taking part in the Ragnar Relay. We started in Clearwater and ended in Daytona Beach 32 hrs later.
The whole event was an absolutely amazing experience. The adventure began in Daytona early Thursday night, where we loaded the gear into the 2 team vans and drove across and spent the night in a hotel not far from the start on Honeymoon Island.
Bright and early on a very humid Friday morning we arrived at the start line, checked in and got our race numbers and fancy technical long sleeve t shirts. I'm not gonna lie, the schwag is always important.
Ahead of us lay 193 miles of roads, trails, paths, highways, dirt and uncertainty. Then the start horn sounded and our first runner Lani was off. Each one of us ran 3 legs, ranging in miles from 3 to 9.5 and from easy to moderate to hard in difficulty.
I had the easy spot on the team, my legs were all between 3-4 miles; easy-moderate*-easy. That was very awesome, since I had an ear infection that had me in bed all of Wednesday, plus my running schedule has been way off because of work travels & training for the century ride in the Keys.
My first leg was through New Port Richey and was a little challenging to navigate. I was nervous because they had told us at the start that whilst there would be good signage on the course we couldn't rely on those as someone (sometimes even other teams trying to beat out a rival!) might remove them, turn them around or try to confuse the runners. It did actually happen, so one runner got lost.
I wrote down all the street names and distances and carried with me on a soggy piece of paper, and then my Garmy and I dutifully checked off each waypoint, turn and twist. It was stupid hot, and both Cute Boy and I ran around high noon. Temps were near record highs and the humidity out of control.
The 2nd leg was in the dark of night, I ran along state road 50 in a straight line for the 3.8 miles I needed to get done. Nearly a full moon and perfect temperatures, but I didn't really enjoy on-coming trucks going a million miles an hour. Then there was this dead, nasty, smelly, bloated, ripe opossum that I almost stepped on.
The final 3.2m leg took me straight into Alexander Springs state park, which was awesome. It was really muggy and I kept hoping it would rain a little so I could cool down, but instead it just got muggier with every step. Overall I was happy that I ran at or faster than my predicted pace for each leg, the last one even at a 9:40 pace, which is completely unheard of for me (I had some nice rollers and a good downhill that helped).

My team was awesome. I still can't believe that all 12 of us got along so great, especially considering that we were very cramped in our minivans and that we went for 32 hrs with hardly any sleep, and I was meeting some of them for the very first time!
The best thing about this race was definitely being a part of team TWSKA. We had runners of all abilities, 7-8 minute milers and all the way up to 11-12 minute milers, and everything in-between.

My friends Mikey and Adrianne and Morten and Tammy met us at the finish - and went with me, Cute Boy, Lara, Denise and to dinner. It was sooo nice to see them when we ran across the finish line and big thanks to Mikey*** for snapping the photos decorating this post.

*Twelve Wild Soles Kicking Asphalt

**no hills in Florida? Really? Well then we have very tilted roads in some places and something should be done about that.
*** Now if Mikey would ever get going with a website for his photography, I could at least link to him!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Burrito strikes back


Cute Boy and I did some work around the house today, including re-grouting the tile on the pool. It's been leaking a little and we are hoping that will fix it. Crawling on your hands an knees with epoxy grout and chasing with a sponge isn't exactly a fun job, so by the time we finally finished we decided to reward ourselves by going out for lunch. We went to this nice little Mexican joint that usually has totally reasonable lunch portions, but for some reason during the weekend they insist on serving up gargantuan chimichangas/burritos.
But man did it taste good. I ate almost the whole thing, and lived to regret it when I went out for a run. I waited until I was almost out of daylight to allow the chimi time to evacuate my stomach, but it didn't want to leave. I HAD to run, so off I went anyway. The constant bopping up and down angered the chimichanga greatly, to the point that it threatened to return to the surface and kick my ass. I backed off a little bit and managed to keep the thing down and made it home.

I'm not having dinner. And I pledge to start eating healthier, because right now I'm experiencing bloating, cramping, acid reflux, irregular heartbeat, partial kidney failure and low brain activity, all at once. All because of one, super-oversized chimichanga.
Curse you, tasty food.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Demotivated

Does working inherently suck or do I just happen to work at a place that makes it a mission to every so often suck the last remaining little bit of motivation to do a good job right out of the core of your very being?
I hope it is option #2, because I distinctly remember having held 3 seperate jobs that I really enjoyed. One of them I left because I was moving to Florida, the other one I left for the job I left for Florida, and the last one was a project that just came to a natural end.
I worked my little tail off at all 3, worked with great people (for the most part) and had great bosses. But I have had some crappy jobs too.

This time around I am working a job that I enjoy for the most part - part working with athletes and part working at social media, establishing a presence for my company on the great big internet. I do work with some really great people, but there are some serious shit-bags too. Watching the infighting amongst the "higher uppers" is really disheartening.
Every time I see 2 or more of our managers interact, I am reminded that I have 2 insane cats at home that hate each other. The similarities are astonishing.

So, today I work on my resume. With the hope that maybe there is a job out there for me that I can work hard at, be good at and challenged by. I like working - I like having a purpose and a goal and I'm willing to put in the effort to get there. BUT. I want to be appreciated and trusted by my superiors and respected by peers. I don't even know if that is possible in today's America, or if I have to move to Utopia for that. We'll see. Wish me luck.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Ironman Florida, the night before

Drove up today with Sue and Krystal, had an excellent time.  Krystal sang the whole way and after I handed her my camera a lot of random (but funny) documentation took place.  Think I will have to make a collage out of the trip.
Arrived in time to go greet my friend Cameron who is racing tomorrow and then it was off to the volunteer meeting.  Although the word meeting does not quite describe the clusterf*** taking place.
I had been instructed to show up for the out-of-towners briefing to get an identifying volunteer t-shirt and further instructions for the area I had been loosely assigned to.  I expected the finer details to cover the where, when and what of my volunteering duties.
No dice.
I finally found someone that could give me a bracelet so that I could at least make it into the area and from other volunteers I gathered that we should show up "around 7".  No volunteer t-shirt for me (sniff sniff) but instead I will wear my "Go Cameron" shirt.
Answers such as "well the race starts at 7" and "there may be a break for you if any of the other volunteers show up" didn't give me the warm fuzzies.  I can't help but feeling a little unloved and many of the other volunteers shared that.  It doesn't seem it would have taken that much to have a tad better organization in place, especially considering that this is the 10th year IMFL is held here in Panama City Beach.
And it sucks, because the athletes that have trained so long and hard for this event deserve enthusiastic and motivated volunteers, doing everything they can to make this experience the best it can be.
Either way, I'm going to show up and do my best to help the future Ironmen and women to have the best race day possible.  Hopefully the "management" uses the time between now and 7 am to get their shit together so that everyone will still manage to have a great time.  I will however think long and hard before offering up my time, money and energy to volunteer for this organization again.

Oh.  And for my own personal IM plans...  now that I decided to start school in January 2009, I have postponed IM plans until 2010.  Marathon plans however remain on the books (ughh!!). 

Ironman Florida, the night before

Drove up today with Sue and Krystal, had an excellent time.  Krystal sang the whole way and after I handed her my camera a lot of random (but funny) documentation took place.  Think I will have to make a collage out of the trip.
Arrived in time to go greet my friend Cameron who is racing tomorrow and then it was off to the volunteer meeting.  Although the word 'meeting' doesn't quite describe the clusterf*** taking place.  
I had been instructed to show up for the out-of-towners meeting to get an identifying volunteer t-shirt and further instructions for the area I had been loosely assigned.  I expected the finer details to cover the where, when and what of my volunteering duties.
No dice.  I finally found someone that could give me a bracelet so that I could at least make it into the area and from other volunteers I gathered that we should show up "around 7".  No volunteer t-shirt for me (sniff sniff) but instead I will wear my "Go Cameron" shirt.
Answers such as "well the race starts at 7" and "there may be a break for you if any of the other volunteers show up" didn't give me the warm fuzzies.
I can't help but feeling a little unloved and many of the other volunteers shared that sentiment.  It doesn't seem it would have taken that much to have a tad better organization in place, especially considering that this is the 10th year IMFL is held here in Panama City Beach.
And it sucks, because the athletes that have trained so long and hard for this event deserve enthusiastic and motivated volunteers, doing everything they can to make this experience the best it can be.
Either way, I'm going to show up and do my best to help the future Ironmen and women to have the best race day possible.  Hopefully the "management" uses the time between now and 7 am to get their shit together so that everyone will still manage to have a great time.  I will however think long and hard before offering up my time, money and energy to volunteer for this organization again. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Halloween: I hate it

Time to just come out and admit it: I'm the Grinch of Halloween.
I hate everything about this holiday, especially that it isn't a holiday.
I didn't grow up Halloweening (I was a poor, deprived Icelandic child - all we got were icicles and yellow snow), so I have no warm and fuzzy childhood memories to fall back on.
I don't like being scared and I hate being startled, and I'm pissed that my peaceful TV watching nights have been disrupted by flesh eating alien flicks.  I HATE horror movies, I still remember the last one I saw.  The Ring: nightmares for 5 years and counting.
I don't like dressing up, I don't like icky kids hitting me up for candy, I don't like pumpkin-anything. Because pumpkins don't have a flavor, they are the blandest food ever.  I'm fine with bland, I actually like it, but you people* kill the poor pumpkins with cinnamon and nutmeg until there is nothing left of the original pumpkin.   Full on pumpkin violation in the spirit of Halloween.  
I am fortunate enough to have signed up for volunteering at the Florida Ironman this weekend, so on Friday night I'll be making my way to Panama City Beach, clear and free of the pesky trick-or-treaters my neighborhood is bound to be plagued with.
Halloweeners, I bid you good night.  I say good night!

* a general term used by foreigners such as me when describing Americans or American customs. Very snooty, yes.  Expect to see more of it.  

Monday, October 27, 2008

Flood warning

Sometimes Accuweather is spot on.
I have this little Firefox extension on my browser that gives me the 411 on the local weather. I work in a building void of windows so I need something that helps me knowing what is going on outside since my activities are usually weather dependent.
My mini weather station has this "severe weather warning" feature which I usually completely ignore as it is not very helpful. The severe weather we have here usually comes with a few days (if not weeks) of advance warnings and a name, in alphabetical order.
Today's severe weather menu warned about floods, mostly around the Melbourne area (about 2 hrs from me) - but as it turns out, I had a mini-flood in my own back yard!

With both Cute Boy and me being gone and with it being dry and windy, the level of our pool had dipped pretty low. Something clearly needed to be done, so I got the garden hose and turned it on. Stuffed the appropriate end in the pool and promptly forgot all about it. A few hours later (I refuse to discuss exactly how many) I'm sitting on the couch alone, with my deep thoughts. The current one had me wondering why the new cat smells so much like fish when I have never even fed him fish and the other cat eats the same and doesn't smell like fish at all... and then all off a sudden I remember the hose.  Crap. 
I now have a very full and very cold swimming pool.  And then there are some very busy (and pissed off) ants in my back yard frantically relocating to higher ground.
I also have a feeling that my next water bill will be more than sixteen smackers.
It's good to be home.

Home sweet home, time to clean

Got home late last night. Had planned to be in around 5, but then Delta was looking for people willing to bump their flight in return for flight vouchers.  The gate agent paged for "Passengers with flexible travel schedule" so I jumped up and got in line.  A few moments later I stood with a new boarding pass (first class!) and 400 Delta dollars in my pocket.
I said good bye to my travel partner Morten, got a book and then made my way to the new gate. A couple of hours later we boarded and took a scenic tour of the Atlanta taxiways before returning to the gate.  The right engine didn't want to start up.  I was certain that we would have to stay in Atlanta so I called a friend to see if his couch was available - which is was - so I was prepared for everything.  Thankfully the Delta mechanics fixed the broken valve quickly so I made it home.
Today I have done a whole lot of absolutely nothing, and it's been awesome.  Bit of laundry, bit of cleaning, bit of scrubbing the pool, grocery shopping.  But mostly nothing at all.
And now it's time for some yummy tilapia with spinah - proper food for the first time in a week, I'm excited!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Wrappin it up

Last day in Eloy.  It's a little less hectic now that many of the FS competitors have packed up and gone home, and most of the headdowners are still in bed nursing a hang over.   So the dropzone is quiet and we are just hanging out on the porch, enjoying the perfect temperature and the dryness.
And I love it.  The dry air suits me.  Every time I travel out west now I get more convinced that this is where I should be.  Now that Cute Boy is seriously falling in love with ground launching, I think he might be up for considering divorcing Florida and moving to the left side.
I just need to get school done and then get a move on.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Dry and dusty at the USPA Nationals

We arrived here in Eloy, AZ last Saturday - me and 2 of my good coworkers.  Armed with a camera and an hour-long session in editing, we set about publishing a news show from the 2008 Skydiving Nationals.   The first event was 4-way with guest competitors from as far as Russia and France!  4-way is sort of a big deal, so we were immediately thrown into the deep end of the pool, sink or swim.  We published several sort news clips and a couple of full on news shows, topped off with a Late Nite show too. 
The best part is that none of us had any previous experience in editing or shooting video, let alone any knowledge about what it took to film, edit and publish one. 
What we did have was a healthy dose of undying optimism along with a generous helping of "wing-it".
And we did it. We battled spotty internet connection, hectic schedules, technical difficulties and 18-20 hr days.   We had a blast.  We did it.  If you want to check it out, you can see it here.
Today we are taking the afternoon off.  We are going to actually have dinner more substantial than popcorn and we are going to be in bed by 8:30.
Needless to say, training is nonexcistent at the moment. That Ragnar Relay and the November time trials will be interesting :/

Friday, October 17, 2008

A coke and a smile

At last it's Friday which means I can have a some of my beloved beverage!  A few years back, after realizing I was somewhat out of control when it came to coke consumption (not just me, the entire Icelandic nation is a bunch of coca-holics), I decided to cut out soda during the week. To me soda = coke, no substitutes accepted.  Under the new abstinence law,  I would be allowed coke on weekends only, in moderation (NB weekends start at noon on Friday).
First few weeks were a little rough, but then I adjusted. At the same time Coca Cola headquarters in Atlanta initiated a round of layoffs, but I am sure that was just a coincidence. Levels of moderation may vary, sometimes I'm really moderate, sometimes less so. 
I'm proud of how I have stuck to this little policy of mine and very rarely cheated.  I do make exemptions when I travel and for my birthday, and if I'm sick (esp if it's stomach related).  And now it's Friday, so I'm off to the store to pick up some of those cute little coke cans.

And maybe I'll run later, the foot seems to be easing up on the "don't step on me" policy a little.  An easy run will probably help.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

BOOOM goes the ankle

Went for a run earlier, when it dawned on me that I hadn't been out running for over a week, and I'm supposed to be in serious training for the Ragnar Relay. Oooops (lame excuses are plentiful but I won't bore you with the details).
But now I might actually have a real excuse for not running - as I twisted my ankle like a pro about an hour ago. I was peacefully jogging up the road, still sort of warming up, about 10 minutes into it. Feeling pleased with me and my pace, going pretty strong for a slacker.
It's twilight, and I was thinking I should have brought along the new shiny runner reflective vest I just got, as I prepare to cross the road. There is some traffic up ahead so I decide to scoot behind a couple of cars, but keep a close eye on the 4-way stop intersection at the same time, to avoid being run over by one of the many geriatric drivers in the hood.
Turns out I should have been looking where I was going, as the next thing you know I trip into a stupid hole, my foot is pointed south and I'm stumbling like a drunk donkey. Of course every time I take a spill (or a near spill) I spring up like nothing happened with the "I'm fine, I'm fine, nothing to see here, scoot scoot away" attitude.
Except this time, the springing didn't go so well as the left ankle wasn't on board with the plan. It didn't want to move and it didn't care that I looked stupid in the middle of the road. I managed to hobble over to the side and after a little bit the throbbing went down. Remarkably enough it felt ok, so I gently finished the run, since I was already sort of halfway out.

We'll see how it goes tomorrow, but it's already clear that it's best if I just stick to riding or swimming, this running business is clearly very dangerous ;)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

RED kitchen

Yet another weekend gone by at warp speed. 
Yesterday Cute Boy and I tagged along with some friends and did the Bakery Ride at the Mt Dora Bike Festival.  Great time, and the halfway stop at the Yalaha bakery is awesome.  I had a piece of pastry aptly named "fat mans misery", very tasty.  And probably 8000 calories or so, that fit nicely in the palm of my hand.
Today it's been home improvement day, big time.  We repaired the kitchen ceiling and then painted the kitchen red. The boy got to pick the color for this project, I wanted something sage-green-ish, but he insists that color induces vomiting and there is already too much effing green around.  Total BS, but I backed off, in accordance with the "lose the battle, win the war" theory.

On the cat front, not much progress.  iBite still hates Herman, Herman still pretty indifferent. If left alone, I think they would fight to the bitter death, or at least to bitter baldness, as fur tends to fly whenever they make contact.  iBite has spent quite a bit of time in the Isolation Chamber (guest bedroom) lately, so that Herman can spend some time with us, adjusting to indoor life.  He's a big fan of the couch and thinks the cardboard cat scratcher things are the best things since sliced bread. He's now on flee/heartworm/tick medicine, so hopefully tick on his neck will be the last one he has to deal with. And hopefully it dies too, ticks are horrid little monsters.

And so goes life in the little house by the blue lake.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Chicken Basket....

My favorite workout of the week is usually the Wednesday group ride. Spans anywhere from 20-30 miles, usually in the company of good friends that push me to do better on the bike.
Lately, it has rained on Wednesday afternoons, which doesn't make for good cycling at all.
Yesterday I REALLY wanted to bike, having all this pent up energy that tends to build up in your system when you spend a couple of days reading about your homeland going bankrupt. Full on down the tubes: friends and family faced with loss of savings, jobs, life as you know it.
And then it rained. Running wasn't an option as I'm still in somewhat sucky running shape and knew I would hack up a lung or two before I could tire myself out enough. So I opted for a spinning class, which turned out to be a great idea.
Called a few of my friends, we all met up at the Y, dragging our newest cyclist girl Adrianne along. We promised her good times and a good workout. And boy oh boy, Evelyn the spinning instructor delivered.... an hour later we emerged on wobbly feet, with Adrianne having barely enough breath left to threaten death and dismemberment to all of us for having conned her into class. But I know she loved it, especially after we made her do some core workouts on top of it.
Turns out it was a good thing we worked Adi to the bone, thus providing sleep aid. Later in the night she got the sad news that a family member had passed away. Please send some good vibes her way, she'll need a lot of those over the next few days.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Pantyhose from hell

Back from a great trip to California. Went to Chicks Rock, a skydiving event at Lake Elsinore. Really had a good time hanging out with cool ladies from around the world. Also got a good bit of work done, met up with some of the sponsored athletes and instructors I work with to talk about renewals of contracts, status of current on-goings and stuff like that.
Travel back and forth was uneventful, for the most part. My DVT leg did swell up a little on the way back, but less than normal. I was good about getting up, staying hydrated and wiggle my toes - plus made sure to get enough rest and keep the leg up. Seemed to make a world of difference.

I have also invested in a $109 pair of tights for future travels called Skins. They are essentially a tight spandex batman looking pants, designed to compress and keep blood from pooling in my legs. I will get to use it on a trip in about 2 weeks when I head out to Arizona for the US skydiving nationals and am strangely excited about that.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Brand new Y!

Yay, the DeLand YMCA has been a crummy little place to work out since I first got here.  But no longer, they just opened up the new addition and we are now working out in a well lit, clean and bright room.  We even have windows, and there are fresh, new machines. 
Even the staff stands taller, smiles brighter and is more helpful than ever.  Full on Stepford Y, in a sense.
I'm silly excited about this and plan to be a frequent visitor over the winter, as I build up my thunder thighs needed for time trials.  And maybe do some other workouts too.

My only complaint is the pool.  They did make a handful of improvements there too, but it's still pretty useless for swimming.  It's still only 25 yds, and they still only do 2 lap lanes, and they still have the stupid water slides protruding nicely into the deep end of the lap lanes, ready to slice your arm off.
No love for swimmers, so I guess I'll keep visiting pools in neighboring towns when it's swim time.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cute Boy signs up for Ragnar Relay

One of the guys on my relay team had to bail out, due to a bum knee.   Sucks for him (and of course we hope he recovers quickly), but that means that my very own Cute Boy can now come on board! 
I'm really pleased with that for 2 reasons, one official reason and the other one is unofficial - as in secret - so don't tell the boy.

Reason #1:  This will give us another thing to do together, which will be fun. And, it will be our first race together, with a bunch of our other buddies, which will be way fun too.

Reason #2: Running will totally wreck his biking.   Muuwahhahhaha.  He's gotten way too fast on the bike lately, and all he can think about is bike bike bike.  I have to work entirely way too hard to keep up with him, and there is no end in sight, the rat bastard keeps on getting faster. 

If this works well, I will have to find him a marathon and sign him up for it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cat wars

I'm not sure what to do now. iBite (cat #1) is used to be an only cat and for most of the time thinks he's at least half dog. Then OC Herman (cat #2) started hanging around and little by little elevated himself from "stray" status to "pet" status.

Herman is sweet and loving and wants to be petted all the time.  The "touchy-feely" type.
iBite is a little ornery and accepts petting in small doses, on his terms.  The "strong & silent" type.

Both love to play, so I thought once they got to know each other, they'd be perfect playmates and could hang out doing their cat things all day long.
I was wrong. They don't want to play. They want to kill.  Every time they see each other, they make scary noises, ears peel back and fangs are bared. Both of them are strong and healthy so I worry that if they make contact I'll have 2 dead cats on my hands.
Quite frankly I'm not ready for that, having just invested 250 of my hard earned dollars getting OC Herman compliant with city codes (comes with him aquiring pet status, up until then it was just going to be a cheap neuter).

So, I need advice from all you cat experts out there. How do I introduce the two of them without having to vacuum fur for a week or have to sell my car for vet expenses?
I've heard anything from "throw the pair in the bathroom for a day and let them fight it out" to "supervised visits spaced out over 3 months" to "it will never happen, you'll just have to buy another house for cat #2".

Help!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh Sara Palin, now you've done it!!!!

I'm no fan of Sarah Palin, the woman grates on my nerves. And now she's gone and gravely insulted the entire Icelandic nation, including Icelanders living abroad.
Palin is at the moment in New York to meet up with foreign leaders. I guess that is to serve as a crash course in Foreign Politics (FP 101?), which we all know is another one of Palin's strong suits (after all, she can see Russia from her house). During an interview with Charles Gibson of ABC News, she mentioned that she had yet to meet a leader of another nation.

Oh really Sara, oh really? Not true, you wench. Not true at all.

But, then again, maybe it wasn't memorable to you, because you and the Icelandic President, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, talked about use geothermal energy and earth-friendly ways.
Since the topic didn't involve hunting, war, drilling for oil or hockey, I guess you just couldn't muster up enough interest to really pay attention. So you forgot.

Hrrmmmpppfff.

Open windows!!!

Fall IS here!  Last night I met with my buddies that I'm doing the Ragnar Relay with.  I got maps of the legs I'll be running and Michelle, the team captain, had done up a spreadsheet showing when each runner will be on the course, based on prediced times.  My first run is around 3 in the afternoon (6+ miles), then again at 4 AM (3.4 miles) and the last one at 10:30 AM (3.7 miles).   This will be a 24 hr suckage, give or take a few minutes.  But, oddly enough I'm really looking forward to it!  I'm completely undertrained but I'm sure I can squeeze out the miles needed.

When I got home, the evening air was just amazing - I turned off the AC and opened the windows, and then proceeded to sleep like a baby.  Cute Boy has been reading a book that promises to make him a faster cyclist, and that book says that your body recovers better when it's cold/cool than when it's hot/warm.   Maybe there is something to that!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Be still, my beating heart. Or at least stay in zone 3-5!

Went for a jog again with my new Garmin Forerunner. This time I even remembered my heart rate monitor (HRM), and jogged off. I was pretty proud of myself for being out there pounding the pavement, as I had just won a mighty victory in the ongoing battle with the couch monster.
Anyway, so I set out for the 2 mile sort-of-tempo-run (just sort of, because I'm not really ready for a whole lot of running yet, starting slow). I happily bound off, trying to remember all my Chi running tricks and am feeling good. Fluid, smooth, I think there were a couple of minutes where I actually looked like a runner.
Glance down at the monitor, 148 - sweet. Keep going, there is a slight uphill, going getting a little harder, now about 8 minutes into it. Glance down. 238. HOLY CRAP. Come to a screeching halt, hold my breath (I don't know why) and watch the heart rate drop to 140 almost instantly. Phweff.
Jog off again slowly, life is good, I'm feeling awesome, pick it up a little, glance down. 259. Jesus H. Christ in a Chicken Basket. I consider stopping to call myself an ambulance, but instead just turn it on and thunder home. I believe I hit an 8 minute mile momentarily which I'm going to claim as a PR for this route. Heart rate on door step: 0. Great. Now I'm dead.

Once I got inside, I noticed a brown stain on my shirt. I rip it off and notice a big brown stain on my chest! Turns out that my Garmin heart rate strap doesn't have an o-ring sealing around the battery!! Florida running is nothing if not sweaty, so I have flat out gone and flooded the insides of the HRM with my very own brand of saline solution. Nice. No wonder the HRM is going insane. Guess I'll be calling Garmin tomorrow to discuss a replacement strap. I hope they will be nice!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

60 miler!

Cute Boy, Mikey and I rolled out shortly after 8 to meet Pam and Cindi for a long ride. The initial plan was for a 40 miler or so, but when we arrived at the DZ Cindi suggested that we would make it 60. Which at the time, sounded like a great idea, so we all said "yeah, lets do it!".
It turned out to be a great ride, even if we got rained on (several times) - scenery was beautiful and the weather near perfect.
This was my first ride on my brand new Reynolds wheels and fancy Dura Ace cassette, a little weird at first but I soon learned to love both!

Tomorrow I will be tired.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The deed is done

At last, OC Hermann is free of his pesky balls.  After several failed attempts at coordinating the schedules of the Vet and the Pet, we finally managed to get both in the same spot at the same time. Herman has been getting to know the insides of the house and is finally pretty comfortable with hanging out and taking his breakfast/dinner inside, so he was lured in with a tempting dish of cat food.
Much to his displeasure, as soon as he was in, the food was whisked away and a sedative injection served instead.  Within minutes he was off to la-la-land and then Dr. Cheryl dressed him in a very nice blue outfit with a matching hat.  The cat restraining device is designed to keep the cat arsenal (teeth and claws) in check during procedures.
A few short moments later, Herman had been relieved of his burden (and Cheryl confirmed that he did indeed have very big kitty-balls) and then got shots and vaccines as needed.  Hermie is now resting and recouperating, too drugged up to really hold much of a grudge.
We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Ode to Facebook

Oh Facebook.  Let me  count the ways I love thee.  
You let me keep in touch with friends and family from far away.  You reconnect me with school mates, scout mates, work mates and all kinds of random people from the past.
You let me brag about my accomplishments and share experiences,  probably in more detail than anyone ever cared to know.  You let me peacefully ignore bad TV whilst I focus on your soft blue pages. 
I adore thee so much that I even made peace with your new look. It did make you pretty but a little hard to understand.  In an Eastern European way, if you know what I mean.

Thanks, Facebook.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Sorry Ike, my alarm didn't go off"

I have been trying to visit the CNN website on a regular basis, in my attempt to try to keep up with whats going on in the world. I figured CNN to be relatively reliable, but some of their hurricane coverage recently has me questioning that.
Today they have on their front (online) page a story about a couple in Texas that didn't manage to evacuate for hurricane Ike in time because they overslept. Yep, you read that right. Overslept.

"GALVESTON, Texas (CNN) -- Paul and Kathi Norton overslept as Hurricane Ike closed in on their coastal Texas home, so they decided to tough it out because their evacuation route was already flooded."


I'm glad that they made it out ok and of course hope clean up efforts go well. As soon as practical, I would suggest that both of them report to one of those sleeping clinics for a checkup, because those sleeping habits should be studied.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cookies and flippin cream!


Home alone since Cute Boy is out of town for work, came up unexpected. I had planned a nice Tilapia dinner with yummy fruit salsa but since it was just me, I got lazy and just did the fish. Pretty much immediately after dinner I was hit with this massive "get me something sweet NOW or bad things will happen" urge.
I had nothing. I'm trying to not keep sugary stuff around in a weak attempt to lean up and stay healthy. This was not good. For some reason I ripped open the freezer door, thinking I might raid one of those breakfast Eggo's that Cute Boy likes - and that's when I saw that the Häagen-Dazs fairy had come for a visit and left me my very own pint of delicous Cookies & Cream!!
Miracle. It's the only explanation. I don't buy ice cream (for reasons outlined above) and the only frozen treats Cute Boy gets are Mango things. Yucky, slimy mango sorbets, I won't go near them. Thanks again Häagen-Dazs fairy, and feel free to stop by every now and then. Just don't make a habit out of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My own island!


Always wanted to have my own island.
Figured I'd start small and begin with a kitchen island to make up for lack of counter space. I wanted one with butcher block on top since I have big plans for chopping. Turns out new ones run approximately an arm and a leg, so I have been keeping an eye out for a "pre-owned" one on Craigslist for the past couple of months. Hit the jackpot this weekend, negotiated price and pickup, and then sent Cute Boy and Ron Burgundy (his truck) to fetch it. Simon would have been too small.
It's completely precious, exactly like the one in the picture.

"Le Gourmand Butcher Block table on brass rollers. Butcher block top is 2-1/4" thick. Table has these accessories: 7 slot knife block, stainless steel bowl with butcher block cover, wire basket, single drawer, removable lower shelf, brass lockable casters. This movable kitchen island is perfect for kitchens that need additional counter and storage space or for kitchens where two chefs want to work together."

Two chefs cooking together..... now that fits very nicely into my ideas of island lifestyle. Especially the kitchen island one. They are probably sold separately though - at least I didn't see them anywhere in or on my island.

Next on the list is a pot rack. On on.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Forerunner 305: mine mine mine!


Weekend over!
Cute Boy and I spent the weekend working on the house and the yard. Trimming, cutting, pruning, planting - lots of hard work, but the backyard jungle is now finally getting under control. We have started to ease into the fall, even if both spring and fall are somewhat lacking in seasonless Florida. Still about a month left of the oppressive heat, but I can already feel the promises of coolness in the morning air, just begging for an early morning run.
I'm a little excited about running again, mostly because this morning I threw caution to the wind and ordered myself a little running buddy from Amazon.com. A Garmin Forerunner 305, with a GPS to map out my distance & pace both running and on the bike and even has a virtual training buddy to keep me on track. It also has a heart rate monitor, although that function will likely scare the crap out of me when I see the numbers shoot up.
The best thing is that it speaks Mac fluently, so I can download/upload workouts and workout programs on my little Apple.

Now I just wait with baited breath for the little buddy to arrive, until then I'll have to figure out something else for running motivation :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Whistleblowers

There has been a serious security breach here in the little house by the Blue Lake. OC Herman, who was set to be de-balled this morning, did not show up for his early morning breakfast (aka capture). He's normally meowing away and demanding to be fed as I get ready to leave for work. I even fed him a very small dinner last night, to make sure he'd be by early in the morning.

How could this happen one must ask. How??!

I can't share all the details as the suspect is still on the loose. Our detectives have some good leads, and it saddens me to say that circumstancial evidence has led us to believe that this was an inside job. Herman got the word. The warning. And he listened.
Somehow, this cat (who doesn't even own a watch), knew there was a 5 hr snipping window, from 7-12. To be on the safe side, he didn't show up until friggin 2 o'clock.
Interestingly enough, it was Cute Boy who "discovered" that Herman was back. Observant readers will note that Cute Boy still has his balls and no plans to change that configuration. If anything, he's more pro-balls than Sarah Palin is pro-life, and that's taking it pretty far. I'll leave you to come to your on conclusions on this one.

Anyway Hermie, this ballsy stunt bought you one last week of fertility. I hope you make the most of it. Because next Friday, or sooner, them dingle-dangles are coming off.
Snip snip!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Snip snip, goes the vet

It's time. Friday is the hour. OC Herman has hopefully sowed all the wild oats he ever wanted to because the wild-oat-makers are about to be lopped off. He has a hot date with Cheryl the Vet to be serviced like a car at a dealership; feline leukemia, feline aids, the ever popular rabies and then a few more abbrevations that I have forgotten what stand for.
After the tune-up, I'd like to keep Herman inside for a little bit to make sure he's ok and doesn't get into any brawls with other cats. He's been for a visit a few times and is still a little skittish. They usually last half an hour or so before Hermie insists on going outside again, but we have gradually been working on extending the time.
During those visits our other cat (iBite) goes to cat-jail in the bedrom, as he has proven to be a little bastard and anything but a gracious host.
I'm excited about getting to witness the operation and just hope that Herman isn't going to hate me for the rest of his life. Cute Boy wants nothing to do with any of it, probably fearing he'll suffer the same fate. But I wouldn't do that....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hannah, Ike, Josephine and other pesky pests

According to weather.com we are nearing the peak of the Atlantic tropical season. Peak or no peak, wouldn't you say that three named storms (Hannah, Ike and Josephine), holding hands spanning from Africa to America is a bit much?? I think so.
My yard thinks so too, I'm fighting a losing battle with weeds in the lawn, scale on the Sago palms and algae in the pool. This weekend I am declaring a war on the above mentioned pests. The weeds will follow in the footsteps of French royalty and be beheaded by Cute Boy and the lawnmower.
The Sago palms have signed up for experimental Flea and Tick treatment, rumored to be very effective in removing the pesky little scale insects. There are other ways, but evidently this one is particularly gratifying as you can see the little bastards curl up and die right before your very eyes. It's really only fair, as they are doing their very best to make my precious Sagos curl up and die too.
The pool.... now that will be a big one. Cute Boy and I need to take the filter apart and clean it. It's a dirty job but it will make it so much easier to keep the pool sparkly and fresh. After filter has been cleaned, I'm off to the pool store to get supplies for the chemical-algae-warfare that will take begin Saturday afternoon and continue well into the night.
This is naturally all assuming that Hannah will either retire in Haiti or Cuba or at least downgrade herself into a very little mini-storm. Failing that, I might just have to curl up on the couch (but not die), watch movies and read books!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Home in time for hurricanes


Cute Boy (under the white parachute in the picture) and I returned from Colorado after being gone for a week or so. Doesn't seem like we missed much here in FL, just another few days of rain from Hurricane Gustavo. Hurricane Hannah is another one that might come for a visit in the next few days although right now it looks like she is headed more towards Georgia/South Carolina. No matter where she goes, we will get more RAIN - torrential downpour style rain. If this keeps up, Floridians will start growing gills!

Colorado was awesome as always. I would really really really like to live out that way one day and get back into hiking and maybe skiing or snowboarding! Cute Boy isn't a big fan of the idea because his allergies act up out there, but he hasn't completely ruled against it :)
It's great to be back home though and this time I get to stay for more than a few days. The past few weeks have been hectic. I need badly to get back into some sort of a workout routine, and start training for the upcoming running relay and some bike races that I'd like to do. Looking at the forecast, I think I'll be doing some inside workouts until the roads dry out again....

Friday, August 29, 2008

Still loving CO, but now oh so tired

The Canopy Piloting Nationals are over at last. It's been some long and hot days by the pond (I've been judging) and by now I'm sunburnt, bug-bitten and ready for some rest! I really like it out here though and even suggested moving but Cute Boy won't hear of it. His allergies act up badly out there and then he always says "you haven't tried the winters here, they are so horrible, you wouldn't like them".
We'll see about that one, we are already planning some trial runs out here to try out this horrible winter and see what I think ;)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Lovely Colorado

I used to think Colorado was full of happy Birkenstock clad hippies, but the more time I spend here the better I realize that they have their own very special brand of Hillbillies. Or crackers. Or whatever you want to call them.
"Them people" couldn't care less about nature, they don't know the way to the REI Flagship store (honestly!) and eat everything fried. In general, they would be right at home on the infield at the NASCAR race track in Daytona Beach.
So, I propose swapping. I will move to Colorado and to balance things out, a handful of them move to Florida. I will need a job too, preferrably one that comes with some REI perks. I don't have a pair of Birkenstocks, but hopefully my Crocs and FitFlops will get me in with the cool kids.

And now, after writing and pondering all this, I all of a sudden gained a better understanding of my friend Lara. She may be the only living specimen of the rare species known as a "deeply intellectual introspective and altrusic redneck"; who wants nothing more than peace on earth and fuel cells for everyone. She lived in and loved both Colorado AND Florida.

Miracles of modern travel: Part deux

Yesterdays travel plans didn't go according to plan. After spending long hours in terminal, long hours in airplane at gate, long hours riding around the airport (without ever attempting flight) I went home.
Between shit weather in Atlanta, then shit weather in Daytona and finally airplane malfunctions, we never got off the ground. But, less than 12 hrs later, I'm back shortly after 5 AM- not really bright eyed nor bushytailed - but ready to give it another go.

When I left the house I was rewarded for my early morning prowling by the most amazing starry sky, crescent moon and the mystic, earthy, early Florida morning fragrances. Beautiful enough for me to pause for a minute or two taking it all in, even if I was a tad late for the airport (about 3 minutes again).
It reminded me of how much I really do love the early morning and its quiet stillness, before the day rushes to a start. Sort of an invite from night-time Florida to lace up the running shoes or put on a swimsuit and get in a few miles/yards before the oppressive heat sets in.
It's a good thing I like mornings, because come next year I will be seeing a lot of early morning workouts preparing for Ironman!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Miracles of modern travel

At the airport again.  Arrived squeeling in on 2 tires because I was a little bit late (not McNenney-late though), but for me to be 3 minutes late for a flight is excruciating.
Ran to the check-in counter, Shiny Moo in tow, only to find out that my flight to Atlanta has suffered a massive existential crisis and ceased to exist.  I am
now on the 12:40 flight.  Which I find comic, seeing that I didn't even arrive at the airport until 2:30.
For the time being, we sit here and wait for Atlanta to open back up and then once I make it there it will be very interesting to see what happens to my connection to Denver.

Ohhh boarding.  Better hurry.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Need more zzzz's, need more miles

Sunday night already - this weekend whizzed by at illegal speeds.
It was the weekend of the "Welcome Home Hannah & Joe" party, hosted by super-organizer Sandy. Lara flew into town from Virginia so Cute Boy and I picked her up at the airport and then joined Sandy and Ian for some tasty sushi.
Saturday morning I was kicked out of bed well before crack of dawn to take Cute Boy to the airport and once I got home Lara insisted that we would go out for a run. I haven't exactly been on it with my training lately, but to be a good sport I agreed to do half an hour. Sort of in the spirit of "how hard can it be, I'll be fine". By mistake I got us going on the 4 mile loop, when a 2-3 mile one would have been a lot less miserable.
For the first time in a week the friggin sun shows up and proceeds to beat down on us, to the tune of 90+ degrees F. The humidity could not be measured by conventional methods and will only be described as indescribable. After 3 miles or so, we wordlessly agreed that it was best to stop the Babe-watch style "slo-mo running" and walk it in from there. Slowly.

That Ragnar Relay is going to kick my ass, and so will the Windemere Marathon. Why do I keep letting Lara talk me into signing up for running crap?
I curse my slack-ass-ness, pledge to  a) get a training schedule and   b) stick to it.   

Honest. Promise.
I will now go straight to bed to allow my withering hams and quads to recover.
Tomorrow is travel - Colorado, here I come!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Selling a bike

Saw "selling my bike" ad on a another blog and just had to share.
Because this ad so very well could have been written by either my friend Aubrey or Isaiah, I can just hear it coming out of either one of their mouths.

In case that link expires (oh, the horror) I have pasted the contents below (in the manliest font I could find):

BIKE FOR SALE

What kind of bike? I don't know, I'm not a bike scientist. What I am though is a manly guy looking to sell his bike. This bike is made out of metal and kick ass spokes. The back reflector was taken off, but if you think that deters me from riding at night, you're way wrong. I practiced ninja training in Japan's mount Fuji for 5 years and the first rule they teach about ninja biking is that back reflectors let the enemy know where you are. Not having a rear reflector is like saying "FUCK YOU CAR, JUST TRY AND FIND ME".

The bike says Giant on the side because it's referring to my junk, but rest assured even if you have tiny junk that Giant advertisement is going to remain right where it is. I bought this bike for 300 dollars from a retired mercenary that fought in both World War 1 and World War 2 and had his right arm bitten off by a shark in the Phillipines while stationed there as a shark handler. When he sold it to me I had to arm wrestle him for the honor to buy it. I broke his arm in 7 places when I did. He was so impressed with me he offered me to be his son but I thought that was sissy shit so I said no way.

The bike has some rusted screws, but that just shows how much of a bad ass you are. Everyone knows rusted screws on a bike means that you probably drove it underwater and that's bad ass in itself. Those screws can be replaced with shiny new ones, but if you're going to go to that trouble why not just punch yourself in the balls since you're probably a dickless lizard who doesn't like to look intimidating.

The bike is for men because the seat is flat or some shit and not shaped like a dildo. If you like flat seated bikes you're going to love this thing because it doesn't try to penetrate your ass or anything.
I've topped out at 75 miles per hour on this uphill but if you're just a regular man you'll probably top it out at 10 miles per hour. This thing is listed as a street bike which is man-code for bike tank. The bike has 7 speeds in total:

Gear 1 - Sissy Gear
Gear 2 - Less Sissy Gear
Gear 3 - Least Sissy Gear
Gear 4 - Boy Gear
Gear 5 - Pre-teen Boy Gear
Gear 6 - Manly Gear
Gear 7 - Big Muscles Gear

I only like gear 6 and 7 to be honest.

Additionally, this tool of all immense men comes with a gigantic lock to keep it secure. The lock is the size of a bull's testicles and tells people you don't fuck around with locking up your bike tank. It tells would-be-thieves "Hey asshole, touch this bike and I'll appear from the bushes ready to club you with a two-by-four".

Bike is for 150 OBO (and don't give me no panzy prices)

Movin' in!

Well, the time has come to say good bye to my friends at TypePad. I have loved hosting my blog there for a number of years, but following in the footsteps of a good friend I am now moving to a free blog in an attempt to save my hard-earned dollars (so I can spend them on gas instead?!).

So, welcome to my humble abode on the web - and let the blogging begin!