About This Blog

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

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Shuffling Along

The part couldn't have cost more than ten cents, but it cost me nearly $200 to replace.

My MP3 player, the most recent in the ones I've had the past five years, became officially useless (to me) earlier in the week when a cheap, clear plastic snapped. I was unable to repair the sleeve and, as a result, can no longer use the MP3 player at the gym or when running, the only two instances when the player was actually useful, save the flights to & from Philadelphia this past summer. I essentially knew what I wanted (Apple iPod), so I did my research on the various models, leading to a toss-up between the new & ultra-slick Nano and the sveltely simple, yet sexy, Shuffle.

In reality, I shouldn't have purchased one, but contemplation during & after a conversation I had with another tri person this morning (J---, new to the area from NO -- would you believe she's sponsored by BMC?! And she's only 20!), I decided to bite the bullet and trekked out to the Apple store.

J--- uses the Shuffle model, which she cited for simplicity & durability, both of which I'm keen on, but personally was leaning more towards the Nano due to its larger capacity & greater selection of accessories; speakers, in particular. See, the district bought me a new 'puter (iMac G5, which dropped in price this week after Mac World; oops), and I'm not supposed to keep any personal media on it, such as MP3s. So, by using an iPod and some fancy docking station, it'd all be cool. However, none of that will be necessary. I'll need only make a CD of the MP3s I wish to play, and iTunes will play them straight from the disc; no media will be transferred to the district's property. And it saved me $60 on the price of an iPod.

Yup, I wound up going with the 1Gb model Shuffle, in part because I wanted to feel like I was getting a deal (no discount on the 512kB model for educators), and also because I couldn't be out done by G-man and the twin 'pods he picked up over the break for his kids. By the time the Nike-branded arm band was thrown in, I was just south of $200. Apple stuff looks slick, but, damn, you pay for it.

My MRI was this morning...for the knee thing. It was essentially uneventful, hence its mentioning going way down here, but I hope to hear some good news come Tuesday afternoon. Naturally, I'll keep the one or two readers I pretend to be writing to here informed of what transpires, as well as how training for Gulfman draws nearer.

Training, in general, hasn't been going too well the past few days. I've been horribly depressed about the usual, and I guess I just can't move through the denial stage that I will most likely be alone for the rest of my life. But that's another post for another Blog another time. Right now, I need sleep. It's been a busy day with little intake in terms of nutrition. Tomorrow will be better. Woman Hollering Creek in the afternoon, so that's at least motivation to go out and kick some arse on the bike, since I won't be able to on Monday; teacher work day, but at least no kids. :)

Peace out and thanks for reading.//d

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Here, Chicky, Chicky, Chicky...

Cripes, where does the time go? I've been meaning to sit down in front of this flippin' machine and type this post out since Saturday but have not had the time until today, Tuesday. Here's a quick recap on how things are going:
  • Hit the pool hard almost daily last week
    • Lots drills with fins & paddles
    • Lots o'laps freestyle
    • New (Swedish) goggles are working out fantastically, and with minimal ring-around-the-eyeballs
    • 1500m time down to 33'16" on Sunday; 33'30" today -- more than a 3-minute improvement in <>
  • Weights are going great...almost back to my pre-crash chest press weight stack...which wasn't really all that impressive, but it's certainly better than the 35 pounds I was maxxing at a month ago
  • Laid off the bike over the weekend due to general tiredness/laziness (was up late both nights, including a date on Saturday!) and not wanting to peak too soon
  • Been running a fair amount, including:
    • 12-miles on Sunday morning with no pain in the knee
    • Track workout tonight with RGR; again, no pain in the knee
So, my knee has been cooperating, but I still went to see Doc Jacobs this after for his opinion. His opinion is that I might have a torn meniscus. To confirm, I'm scheduled for an MRI on Saturday morning, meaning no riding for me Saturday. Sunday's outing has the potential to be painful, simply because I didn't ride last weekend and everybody else did...on Skyline. Geez, I've been back riding now for close to six years and still haven't done that flippin' road. Then again, at a 23% grade in one spot, it might be good that I didn't. Ah, who I am kidding? It's all for fitness & training, so it has to be good. I'll tell you what else is good, too: sleep

Yes, as overrated as it generally is, last night's 8+ hours of shuteye did me lots of good...or, at least I felt like it did. Perhaps I'll go get some more just to be sure. Thanks for reading.//d

Friday, January 06, 2006

Coming Up Roses

At about 24 hours shy of being a full week into 2006, I have to say that the year is, thus far, off to a great start. True, I've no lady in my life, but I've found little else to complain about.

School started back up on Wednesday (Tuesday, technically, but the kids didn't come back until mid-week), and a three-day work week is seldom a bad thing. To improve things even more, they're finally starting to catch on to prepositions, their pre-TAKS results weren't quite as horrid as initially thought, and my new iMac G5 arrived this morning. Once I get the necessary software to support the teaching & extra curricular stuff (Mac Office & Adobe CS -- the latter for yearbook, which I appear to be moving into the sponsor instead of technical consultant), I'll be able to stop lugging my laptop around with me, making the trip to & fro work that much more enjoyable...and potentially more possible to do by bike. Perhaps after Gulfman.

Speaking of Gulfman, training has been going awesomely well, and it's all thanks to self-monitoring of my form: knee problems while running seem to have subsided (still going to see an orthopedic surgeon on Tuesday) and my swim times are down significantly -- I've shaved nearly 1 minute off my initial 200m benchmark! Granted, I'm still no Josh Davis or Ian Thorpe, but I am slowly clawing my way towards improved endurance in the wet. Well before April, I hope to take a few private lessons with the fine folks who run the Master's program in SA (I've a little rant about costs involved with triathlon, but, as the hour is late, I'll save that for some other time), to tweak things, but the Becoming a Faster Swimmer DVD and Total Immersion book are proving beneficial, in spite of my initial reactions to the DVD.

Tomorrow is Saturday, and I'm still not 100% on what my primary activity will be. According to my self-made training schedule, I'm supposed to ride & run, but the weather is again turning chilly, which means I don't want to be out on a road ride, freezing my butt off for umpteen miles. In consideration of last week's stellar performances on two wheels, I'll likely skip the ride and go for a nice, long run...in part, to test my knee, and in another part, to avoid cold-ass bike rides and the long-ass distances to go to do said cold-ass bike rides. Sheesh...looks like I'm getting a little testy. It's definitely past my bedtime, so I'll go ahead and shut this thing down in order to get myself shut down for some quality shut eye.

As always, thanks for reading...presuming anyone actually is. With no comments posted to date to previous posts, it's kind of hard to tell. Still, without anyone really to talk to who is remotely interested in the goings on of my life, triathlon or otherwise, I'm pleased to have this medium to bore the snot out of you, the reader. Tschuss.//d

Monday, January 02, 2006

Four Months

Holy crap, it's 2006.

With today being the second, I have four calendar months remaining until I dive into Galveston Bay to take part in my first half-iron event, the Gulfman. It is at this point I have to ask myself if I am ready. The answer: sort of.

My swim is still weak, but it's not due to arm strength. Granted, my shoulder still aches when trying to do chest presses and/or certain yoga poses, but my reduced swim times can be highly attributed to a lack of form & proper technique. Go figure, with my never having had any formal swim training, save the few group sessions I went to at UIW last year. While no one-on-one training was to be had, having a knowledgeable eye watching my goofs was beneficial. Guess I'll have to see if S--- will be hosting those again this year and if I can still sneak in. Providing I can make it through 1800 meters of the fluid fun that is the swim, I am fairly confident the bike & run will go well. My long distance runs are still averaging in the 7'45" range, which I feel is respectable. If I've not already said it, I'm not looking to place at Gulfman; rather, have a good time and get an idea of where I am entering the season and just how much work is ahead of me before my "A" level races later in the season. It will also (hopefully) give me a better idea of what the multisport athlete needs to do in the off season in order to be prepared for such an intense effort so early in the season.

Back to the bike.

If the past two weekends' endeavors are any indication of performance, I should be able to post an incredible bike time. Last Saturday was on similar terrain, though with a more intense wind...and I dropped everyone but a lone SPW (shameless parasitic wheelsucker). A look back at the data from my HRM shows that it was possible for me to squeak out even a bit more juice yielding a better bike time. If I'm able to score some sweet wheels for Gulfman...

Running is going swell. No significant knee worries to speak of, but I do have an appointment with my orthopedic doctor on the 10th to make for certain. That will be the determining factor on if I register for the Austin marathon, but, regardless of the outcome at the doctor's, I feel confident I can still post a respectable run time. After 85 hilly miles into the wind yesterday, I cranked out a little over four miles with good feelings in my legs. All that was lacking was a gel before I started the run. Too bad I'm out. What's worse, there's only one place in town that carries Honeystinger, and they're on the opposite side of town of where I am. Typical, but I'll be going by there on my way to run tomorrow night. Hope I've time to make a pit stop.

Speaking of tomorrow, it's the end of the Christmas holidays, and I need to return to the real world and begin working again. To complicate things, it's TAKS season. The good part is that the writing test is in late February, so my training should be impacted only minimally. Here's to hoping the weather holds...to a certain degree, no pun intended. A few more good freezes would be nice (to help curb potential bug problems in the spring & summer), but weather like yesterday's (blue skies &amp;amp; 75°) is sure nice.

Time to wind this entry down and begin winding myself down for the night. True, it's relatively early, but I get back on schedule tomorrow, which means a 5:00 AM wakeup call in order to be in the pool by 6:00. Here's to a great 2006, year & season. Thanks for reading.//d