About This Blog

As time permits, in-depth musings on myriad subjects will be posted. Abbreviated adages will be announced via Twitter.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Jingle All the Way

Holy schneikes, what a day.

Two hours on the MTB at Mac, followed by weights & a swim at the gym, and run tonight with RTR. With the exception of the swim, the day totally rocked.

Yeah, my swim is in definite need of improvement, and I'm 99.9% positive it has to do with technique. Amazon says the TI DVDs will be here Friday, so maybe I can get some research done and start nailing what I'm doing wrong down before the new year. If not, a coach will be needed...stat.

Oh, the run!

Tonight was my first night out with RTR: Ralph & Tony's Running (Group). I first found out about them through H--- & L--- at a holiday party a few weeks ago. They got me added onto the email distribution list, which I glanced over the past few weeks, but when I saw the subject line of "Party"...well, how could I say no? (ignoring the fact I skipped out on RTR's official holiday party last Friday -- c'mon, I was beat!).

The run was well attended and covered a little over five miles, where we ran around in Santa hats, reindeer antlers, and jingling bells, looking at Christmas lights on houses in the hostesses neighborhood. Afterwards, it was a nice little social event in D---'s home. I made some new friends, as well as plans to run with them again before too long. Granted, they're an older crowd than most at RGR (and fewer single, attractive ladies), but they do seem more organized and a lot more fun...generally speaking. I guess I'll just play it by ear the next few weeks.

For now, though, I need sleep. The turkey from the party is starting to kick in and I've a long-ass ride slated for tomorrow: 85 miles on the TT bike at a modest effort. Hope I can keep from bonking this time.

Thanks for reading.//d

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas Vacation

The second day of the Christmas holidays is almost at an end. Lucky for me there are still six more to go, not counting weekends. :)

After taking the week after White Rock off, I am getting back into my training groove. A run on Saturday afternoon (due to a leaf raking exercise of near-epic proportions -- 7 hours!) kicked things off and with minimal knee pain, too. Just took it relatively easy, keeping the heart rate & pace both in check. Sunday's 65-mile excursion to Sattler was at a good, quasi-recovery pace, meaning I didn't need to take a rest day yesterday. So I didn't. Good thing, too, because it showed just how weak I am in the pool.

One thousand meters yesterday & today (each) showed my upper body is in need of some serious work. Plan to hit the weights in all seriousness tomorrow, in order to establish a twice-weekly routine to improve upper body strength. I also plan to move my T/R swim to evenings and investigate a swim-only coach in 2006. I've recently ordered (like, five mintutes ago) two Total Immersion DVDs, so we'll see how those work. Perhaps I can find the book of the same name and do some more reading. Heaven knows the weather hasn't been that great for much else...except mountain biking.

Yup, after nearly three months, I dusted off the Kona and headed out to McAllister Park this morning. Met B--- from the shop for an hour-long spin, where I tried desperately to get my groove back and succeeded in maybe one or two spots. I'm still spotty on corners, but I intend to head back tomorrow & Sunday (morning, before all the family stuff), as well as a few times next week, as a morning workout.

I'm feeling good about Gulfman, in spite of my weakness in swimming. There really is something about being in a competition that gets me going, so the results of that will help dictate the rest of my schedule for 2006...presuming budget is not an issue. That said, I'm off to do some more reading before retiring for the night. As always, thanks for reading my ramblings.//d

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

White Rock & Roll

I know, it's been a near eternity since making a post, but there has just been too #(%* much going on this #(%* holiday season to find the time to sit down & write. To be included in this year's festivities was my weekend excursion to Dallas for the White Rock Half-Marathon. Dreading the traffic in Austin, and not wanting to take the 281 bypass, I arranged for a sub for half the day and made my escape at one o'clock. With the cruise control set somewhere in the 90s, I was on the tollway in Dallas by six; Austin added a near-negligible fifteen minutes to the commute. My sister no longer lives in Big D, so I arranged to stay with my friend, D---, and his wife, K---. Come to think of it, even when Miss Muffet was in Dallas, I preferred to stay with D--- & K---. Their accommodations are more inviting and they don't always have the TV on. That they ride, too (D--- is an IM finisher, too; Coeur d'Alene, 2005), which is just bonus. Saturday was jam-packed with making up this week's midterm for class (habit forced my eyes open at 5:30, and it was too cold to run, to say nothing of the fact that I don't know their neighborhood too well), hitting the expo for packet pickup (Active.com registered me twice -- and charged me twice, too!), then a spin around the lake by bike before swimming (outside) and dinner. Saturday night was mercifully uneventful; D--- & K--- went to a party whilst I chilled at their casa, reading my new book, The Devil's Teeth. More on the book another time. It's time to run. Sunday morning was chilly, but not as cold as the initial forecast called for; 40°. Dressing for the whole event, I made my way to the AA Center (um, that's American Airlines, not the other AA) for the 8:00 AM start. By then, the sun was up...and so was the temperature. By mile 6, I was sweating a good deal, but lucked out by spotting (rather, being spotted by) D--- & K--- on the sidelines. I shed my hat & vest and moved on, making (what I felt was) decent time. I crossed the finish with a time of 1:44:31, 29 seconds less than my goal of 1:45:00, which is good. What wasn't good was the fact that my S625X reported a distance of 14.1 miles, one mile over the stated 13.1 miles. D--- is supposed to check on the distance for me. The other non-good thing was that my left knee was again bothering me. It hurt like hell the rest of Sunday & all day Monday, but was much better by Tuesday. I've an appointment with the doctor tomorrow (Thursday) to try & find out what's going on, but, like my buddy, B--- -- who is also training for an IM (got his eye on Kona), it might just be a case of tendonitis, best cured by improved form. Good thing D--- in Dallas is a running coach. Maybe I can bug him for some tips...a payback for the biking advice I gave him last year (for all the good that it did; he was already a good rider when we met, but we did train a fair amount together, in spite of the distance between SA-town & Big D). Right, then. I think I've rambled enough. Time to grab some dinner and ready tomorrow's lessons. Two more days until the holidays, and then it's time to get serious about training. Hope the weather holds out. Thanks for reading.//d

Monday, December 05, 2005


D--- came out for a ride this past weekend; first time I'd seen or talked with him since September. His wife had apparently had some "medical issues," to put it mildly...really mildly.

The cancer that threatened her life five years ago decided to come back and come back with a vengeance. Within a few days of becoming aware of her condition, she was under the knife and on chemo to bring it under control. In spite of it being the second attack, and a major fuck-up by the doctor on her medication, it looks as though L--- just might make it...again. She was due for a scan this week or the next.

And so it got me to thinking about not only just how fortunate many of us are (that's a "duh" kind of thought any old day), but also how strong people affected by this mishaps are. When I first met L--- several months back, I knew of her delicate condition (a previous brain surgery had left her unable to drive, due to worsened vision) and what she has survived, but there she was, smiling and being cordial to some Lycra-clad stranger who would kidnap her husband for a few hours a few times every week. She is apparently well back on her way to being that same person.

Likewise, D--- was his ever-pleasant self, in spite of his own weakened condition (2-1/2 months off the bike will do that to a person), but still trucking along, smiling, and doing what he could to help push the pack along at a brisk pace...and into the wind, at that. It just helped reaffirm my belief in the ability and capacity of us all to do great things to help one another. Yeah, things can be tough from time-to-time, but even though Thanksgiving is now near two weeks past, there is still so much to be thankful for.

So we then enter the holiday season, a season of hope, with hopes of varying degrees for that which we hold nearest & dearest to our hearts. Whatever it is you hope for, I hope it comes to pass. Thanks for reading and keep on believing.//d

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Party Season

Holy schneikes, am I tired.

No post yesterday because yoga was just that relaxing. By the time I made it home, I was ready for bed, so off I went to a very welcome, very warm, very cozy bed. So cozy, in fact, I completely ignored my alarm this morning and skipped the swim before work. I made good after work, though, clicking off 1200 meters in time that was nearly four minutes faster than my time from Tuesday (or where I was at 1.2km on Tuesday; I did 1500m in that workout but lacked the time before the run this evening).

The run, thankfully, was a non-track workout type run: a quick 5k through Hollywood Park with a growing group of great people, all with the energy to pound out a few miles in cold darkness. So far, no other tri geeks in the group, but that might change when the weather does; some are still hibernating.

During the run, I got to talking with someone about the holiday season that is now upon us, like it or not. Along with that comes the obligatory holiday parties, social events I used to loathe, given my former co-worker's liking for liquor that was comp'd from the company. Those same rocket scientists had the curiosity to ask why there was seldom any money for raises or bonuses. But I digress.

I began tallying up just how many parties I'll be attending this season and was shocked. I have three this weekend (four, if you count my nephew's one year birthday party), one the following weekend (iffy on that one, given it's the same weekend as White Rock), and three the following week, including the open house I'm planning the afternoon of the 18th. Guess that last one means I'll actually need to do some cleaning around here.

So, the training schedule will be a bit laxed this weekend. Swim drills tomorrow before W---'s party, probably a 12 - 15 mile run run on Saturday, and a hard bike on Sunday as punishment for getting into the holiday spirit so soon. Eh, I'll have two weeks to do nothing but train in another two weeks, so if I can just stay somewhat on track before then, I should be able to pull through okay. Wish me luck.