Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fat Tire shoe.  What did Hoka start?  Is cushion over kill the new fad?  Or does this succeed because we are weaker as a species?  What is making us so fragile?  

Friday, January 14, 2011

Felix Felicis...Noble Running

What could have been a terrible day ended up being one of the best.  Started with taking off on a Friday which doubles my work when I go back on Monday's.  This aside I guess I needed to catch up on some sleep as I slept through both alarms to get up for my appointment for testing with an Allergist.  I could have freaked out and skipped breakfast but chose to take a few minutes to heat some oatmeal to go.  For some reason the mixed dried fruit I add to it only managed to be pineapple and cherries which are my favorite. 

I had thirty minutes to get from The Woodlands to Kingwood which is not an easy task.  I decided I was just going to be late and had no one in front of me the entire drive.  Ended up being only a few minutes late.  After 80 skin pricks, a CT of my sinuses, and 56 shots, none of which hurt, two hours later I was on my way home with a Starbucks in hand. 

After a great lunch and installing my new suspension training system, it was time to head out for my long run.  We had a good turn out and after my Garmin located the Satellites it decide it was tired and didn't want to run.  So I decided on a free run and my mp3 stepped up and hit all my favorites I like to run to.  I only had to stop once for vehicular cross traffic and that was long enough for me to get out my cellphone to look at the time.  Still felt fresh and decided to go long.

Finished and went to get a table for the group and in a crowded restaurant it only took five minutes to get a table for ten.  An Irish coffee later and the group started to trickle in.  Just about everyone had a great run.  The Buddhist have a truth called the Noble Eightfold Path.  I believe it works and today was a shining example.  Here it is:
     1.  Right view  - It is what it is
     2.  Right intention  - late, just going to be late
     3.  Right Speech  -  when the PA was giving me my shot's I let her know it was not bothering me as much as her
     4.  Right Action  -  choosing not to get frustrated when technology failed
     5.  Right Livelihood  -  still working on this one
     6.  Right Effort  -  Running how I felt and holding back just a little
     7.  Right Mindfulness  -  Tuning out the world and feeling the good run with every stride
     8.  Right Concentration  -  Thinking of nothing but how much fun I was having and the meal to be shared afterwards.

That last part was for me.  I tend to remember it better after I read things a few times.


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Better with time...

     This past weekend I went to Austin with little to no motivation to race.  I ended up having my best one yet.  Only my second one so there's not much science behind that statement.  I took last week off with the exception of track where I ended up having a great workout.  Despite what my coach said I think being well rested mentally and more so physically had the most to do with it.  I needed to give myself a break.  Drove up to Austin Saturday, then stayed with my Sister and her kids.  Saturday was a rough night.  My niece was up sick all night so we were as well.  Sunday was great met up with my teammates, went to the expo to get the packet and drop off my bike.  Decided to lock the bike since we had to leave it overnight.  It was a great piece of mind. 
     Sunday night was great after touring the bike course my coach and her husband and I went and had wine in downtown Austin next to the restaurant we were having dinner at.  Dinner was awesome.  Highly recommend it.  Salmon was a perfect Med-Rare.  The food was so good that even though I was completely full I had to order dessert.
  After a cuisine induced coma I woke up refreshed and sick.  A mild fever and a sore throat, a possible gift from my niece or nephew, I was dreading the race.  I got my self together enough to make it to transition and set up shop.  A little before the race started I didn't feel up to it.  Confirmed with my coach that there was no fever and went to lay down.  Picked a nice spot on the bank of the lake and watched a few waves go.  I decided that no matter what I was doing the swim.  I could live with a DNF but not with a didn't start.  Found my coach after the pre-wave rain cause a delay reunited with Gena, Greg, Stue, and Michelle.  Was time to go and I was off. 
     The initail shock of the water temp caused me to second guess not using a wet suit, but after a minute of treading water I had warmed back up.  I started in the back of the pack but after a minute I said to myself, "what the hell am I doing back here, these guys are slow.  So I put my face down and went after it.  A minute later I tried to get into my rythim but the water was choppy, my HR was up, and I kept bumping into people.  A few time I needed to clear my head so I would stop for a second then go back after it.  The hardest part of the whole triathlon was getting out of the water.  The ramp was steep bodies were strewn all over the ramp like casualties from a failed beach landing.  I looked over at the guy next to me being drug out of the water as well, and when we made eye contact, he mouthed the words "What the F?"  I answered with, "I know right?"  I looked at my watch after successfully overcoming the course designed troop impairments and saw that I had knocked off several minutes already.  After the 1k run to my bike I got through T1 quickly, but messed up my plan and put the gloves on before getting on the bike.  Ride was great and the new pedals were solid and I lucked out on the positioning of them.  Ride was great, cute girl and I kept passing each other during the ride and I asked her if we should just pull over now and exchange numbers or keep dancing.  She laughed and we continued to pass and drop.  After the second climb on capital before we truned to head towards Caesar Chavez, I finally said you gorgeous but your starting to piss me off and dropped her.  I got into the dismount zone and one off my shoes fell off.  Grabbed it then a bottle fell off and a glove fell out of the bag.  Picked that up and got into T2.  T2 was perfect, except that I had to rinse my feet due to all the gravel at the entrance.  Mats would have been nice. 
  Started the run saying my mantra of "I'm not going to walk." It was a good run after my legs decided to stop fighting the urge of the left thigh and knee wanting to flex for a kick and the right trying to convince me we were still on the bike.  I had plenty of energy to get through it though.  Legs felt good, and was surprised by a little red-headed ball of energy with a huge smile that came up and started talking about a million miles an hour.  Not sure what she said but I answered with' "that's the last time I do anything a week before a race."  I saw Stew a few minutes after and was determined not to get passed by him.  I saw Gena again and remember her saying you only have one small bridge to get over.  The bridge was anything but small and the smell from the millions of bats that live under it was hard to overcome.  I finished strong and had a great time.  Everybody that went had a PR, some just had a great experience at their first time ever, or at a distance.  This one goes on the calendar for next year. 

Monday, August 30, 2010

Training for fun?

     Last week I faced every endurance athlete's biggest fear, well second to injury. Burn out. When I first got into Triathlons, it was for fun.  Then my competitive nature took over and I started to train myself into the ground. This caught up to me last week and I had to say "when."  It started Saturday when I got up to run and said I don't feel like running that far.  So I didn't.  Then I went to the open water swim, even though I didn't feel like swimming.  I thought, maybe if I get ready and get out there I'll change my mind.  The closest I got was sitting on the bank with my feet in the water.

     Sunday morning came around and I had a 36 mile ride in Montgomery.  I started out with the group and got in a nice long warm-up.  I got to the first Hill and decided to charge for a few miles.  After a bit I started wondering, when was the last time that I finished a ride and didn't go home and have to take a nap because I had exhausted myself.  So I backed off realizing that I'm racing this week and got out of aero.  I just started to enjoy the clean air and the scenery. It was a great morning, cool and quiet.  The result was that I had one of my better rides in a long time. My heart rate was lower and cadence was higher.  I was able to relax and settle in to the beat coming from my ipod.

     It's been a long time since I've had fun on a ride. Looking forward to more in the future. I started this with the intention of qualifying to race in Kona 2014. I can live with that not happening.  Maybe 2020 or even better, it will happen when it happens.  I was dreading the Austin Tri this weekend, but I think my different outlook has changed that.  Happy Swim, Bike, Run.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Rejection - Don't get mad, get traveling...

So here it is once again.  I didn't get into the Chevron Houston Half because I chose to play by the rules and not register for the full with the intention of switching to the half like so many did, but I understand that though the odds were better, it wasn't by much.  C'est le vie!  So what do we do with our new found rejection?  Boycott, as some of my despondent co-runners are suggesting? 

For me the answer is to hit the road.  If Houston doesn't want us (see numbers three and four below,) then there are several others that do.  Austin and Dallas would love to have us and have a if you want to run for a cause there is one in Waco as well.  I think the Houston Race committee has forgotten themselves with the lottery draw.  Here is a couple of questions I would like the directors to ask themselves:
1)  If the participant is not willing to get up and get online at five am to register, how dedicated are they?
2)  Check your ego.  Is Houston doing the lottery because it's a Major, e.g. Chicago, New York, Berlin, London, and Boston. 
3)  Or is it that they are able to do this because there are 5.7 million people in the greater Houston area.  If you take a 10% estimate of active people gets you 570,000 with 10% being endurance athletes you get 57,000 interested in doing the event.  With a race cap of 22,000 you have one entry per 2.59 people.  Not including those from other areas.
4)  Why didn't they raise the participant cap more?  Money, logistics, or are they planning on creating such a demand that they can raise the fee's? 

I wish those that got in the best of PR's but I have a feeling the Club tents are going to be a little empty this year as there are several races within a four hour drive that knowing the bitterness of our rejection  are willing to throw open their cities hotels at discounted prices and the promise of a better race.  Though we would love to run in our own back yard it is not to be.  Houston in a long line of half-assed attempts has made their choice (see professional sports teams.)  Now we must make ours.  So get online and pull out those credit card/ reward cards and find some running love.

Texas Half Marathon Dallas, TX, Saturday 1/28/11 - $50
Miracle Match, Waco, Sunday 1/30/11 - $75
3M Austin Half Marathon, Sunday 1/30/11 - $65

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Rivercities 2010, aka Triathlon number 1

     When I started this crazy thing I had a pretty big misconception.  I thought it would be a lot easier than it is.  Funny how swimming, biking, and running can seem nice and relaxing apart.  Put them together and you have a beast of mythic proportion.  Well the Hydra chewed my ass up today.  I knew the swim would be difficult and there would be contact but I had know idea why so much emphasis is put on the swim.  It's true that no triathlon has ever been won in the swim, but I'm pretty confident that several have been lost.  After being swum over several times I decided to get out of the shipping lanes and breath stroked it until I got my composure back and then when it was time I put my head down and went after it.

     T1 was smooth, except  I ripped the number on my race belt so I had to take it off and stuff it in my shirt.  I was surprised to see people sitting down to put on their shoes, and toweling off.
     Bike was ok except for the idiot that kept passing me then slowing down, I passed him on a climb and burnt off on the down hill.  I only got chick'd once and the girl smoked me so I was ok with it.  I held back to make sure that there was something left in the tank for the run, but was able to do a lot of passing on the climbs.  No flats or dropped chains this time.
     T2 went well except for having to re-pin my bib on my race-belt.   I got in and out pretty quickly, so quickly that I forgot to pull my quick lace's taut.
     The run went well, I kept moving, and never gave up even though my body was asking me to.  I ran through the finish on the beach and strait into the water about shin deep and dropped.  I thought a half mile swim and an 18 mile bike followed by a 5k run wouldn't be that difficult but then again your going flat out the entire time.  All in all I had a great time with good friends and look forward to the next.  Lessons learned and mental notes taken.  Post race conversation with Dave Scott was an added bonus.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

March Playlist - Indie Jams

Chantal Kreviazuk- In this life
The Red Thread- Wax Museum,
Ambulance LTD - Sugar Pill, Ophelia, Anecdote, New English, Heavy Lifting
Remy Zero - Prophecy
Blitzen Trapper - Furr, Black River Killer, Gold for Bread, War on Machines
The Arcade Fire - Rebellion, Neighborhood #1
Ben Kweller - I need you Back
The Beta Band - Human Being, Quiet, Dry the Rain, B+A, Inner Meet Me, Hard to be you, Push it Out, The House Song
The 88 - Hard to be you
Bjork - Isobel
The Black Angels - The First Vietnamese War, Black Grease
Bloc Party - Helicopter, Positive Tension, This Modern Love, Banquet
Blondie Vs. The Doors - Rapture Riders
The Bravery - Believe, This is Not the End, Time Won't Let Me Go
Gomez - Little Pieces, Airstream Driver, Sunset Gates
Broken Social Scene - Stars and Sons, Pacific Theme, Cause = Time
Cary Brothers - Blue Eyes
Coldplay - Don't Panic, Politik, Warning Sign
Cornelius - Drop
Cracker - This is Cracker Soul, I See the Light, Low, Get of This, Sweet Potato, Euro-Trash Girl, Shake Some Action
Damen Rice - Coconut Skin, The Rat Within the Grain,
Death Cab For Cutie - Soul Meets Body, Summer Skin, Crooked Teeth
The Disco Biscuits - M.E.M.P.H.I.S., Jamillia
Muse - Time is Running Out, Supermassive Black Hole, Hysteria
David Gray - Fugitive
Ryan Adams - Hysteria, Hallelujah; New York, New York; Firecracker, Answering Bell
Will be adding Portugal The Man very soon...