About This Blog

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

Monday, October 27, 2008

Mon-day

Today sucked.

It was Monday, of course, but that wasn't the worst of it. No, when I arrived at school, my SmartBoard wasn't working, but that still wasn't the worst of it. Rather, after rebooting my machine, the SmartBoard started to work, but my flash drive (the one with all of my school data on it) quit working. As in, all of my data (attendance records, grade book, book checkout for CMC, and so on) is gone. Completely. I am most displeased.

I do hope your Monday was somewhat better than mine. If not, share in the fact that tomorrow is that much closer to Friday, which is that much closer to the Thanksgiving holidays. For that, I am most definitely thankful. Thank you for reading.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Best (SA) Hockey Game Ever

Through three teams and ten years, I've been a fan of San Antonio hockey. S--- has been there, too; it was not uncommon for us to bolt to the Coliseum after work to catch an evening game of either the Iguanas or the Dragons (and again the Iguanas), and, finally, the Rampage. San Antonio hockey has been good to me; it was mine & N---'s first date (a double with S--- & K---, too). Last night's bout with the Iowa Chops (formerly the Stars) failed to disappoint, either. It was, in my opinion, the best San Antonio hockey game ever. But what made it so great? For starters, N--- scored awesome seats on the flex pack tickets she got me/us for my birthday. Then, during the first period intermission, there was this:

video

Yup, S--- got to "dance for [his] dinner," winning a $50 gift card to Boston's Pizza, all for the low, low price of making a fool out of himself in front of the crowd at the AT&T Center and, now, you.

Hockey-wise, the Rampage won the game, 5-1, playing amazingly well. And, while I'm not known for being a fan of the fights at games, last night was an exception; SA & Iowa apparently had it in for each other, and S--- got some great shots using his Crackberry. Too bad we'll have to miss tonight's re-match, since N--- will be in the lab all afternoon. :-\

Fortunately, it's still early in the season, and we've nine tickets remaining in our flex packs. More to come as the season progresses. Hope to see you at a game. Thanks for reading.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Woohoo!

No, the title of this post does not mean I got to go to the Nine Inch Nails concert last night (although that would have been so awesome). Rather, I actually peeled myself out of bed this morning with enough time to go for a run. I decided the pace would be quick, so I set a target time to finish in less than 30 minutes. After a mile, I re-set my goal to closer to 28 minutes. Final finish time: 27:59.37. I so rock.

That's it for now. It's now time to get cleaned up and go teach some English. Thanks for reading.//dhs

Monday, October 20, 2008

(N)INcoming

As N--- & I left the Spurs game the other night, I thought I saw mentioning of Nine Inch Nails tickets for sale. When I last checked the tour schedule several months back, SA was not mentioned; Houston would be the closest they were to get, so I didn't pursue ticket inquiries any further. Stupid me: NIN will (again) play the AT&T Center this Thursday. Sadly, I will not make it.

It's just as well. Typically, come Thursday, I'm beat, anyway, and the last thing I'd want to go do is fight 20,000 people who know "Closer" and maybe one or two other songs just to see the band live...again. The image below was taken at the June 2006 show at Verizon, which was an incredible show. That, coupled with another show at the AT&T Center a couple of years prior, are enough to satiate my fondness for the band and its music. Of course, there have been three (THREE!) new albums since that June evening, but I know I'll live. Whether or not you make it to the show, thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

(De)Boom! Skirt Chaser 2k9

A quick blurb about the second run for the day:

The Skirt Chaser 5k was a total blast. The venue was a tad more crowded than last year and, initially, seemed smaller, both in size & locale. However, by the time the gun went off, there was quite the crowd of skirt-clad ladies and several dozen gents to give chase. N--- & I toed up in our respective classes and wound up bettering our time from last year by almost two minutes. My run time was 20'27", itself a new PR for the 5k distance; N--- & I were cheered as we crossed the line together, hand-in-hand, with the announcer commenting, "Hey, you caught yourself a skirt!" When it was all said & done, we found my folks and headed back to the car to find some grub (more grumbling on that another time, but I will say one would do well to avoid Applebee's in New Braunfels; flies buzzing in the restaurant paid better attention to our table than did the server or the manager).

Prior to the race start, N--- & I met Nicole DeBoom, the company founder & race organizer. A pleasant & easily approachable woman, she listened to the concerns N--- & I had emailed to the company a month or two ago over the logo found on Skirt Sports' men's attire, letting us know our emails did not go unnoticed and that Skirt Sports was looking into alternatives. She liked the idea of the tag line, "Mom always told me to watch out for fast women." Remember, kiddos, you read that one here, first.

So, after 23.1 miles today, I find myself rather exhausted. That ten mile recovery run on tap for tomorrow may not be realized, but what is realized is that when one has a companion who not only runs but runs in a skirt, while being chased, and slows down for the chaser to catch her, life is pretty darned good. I've got mine, so go catch your own skirt. Thanks for reading.

Wish

Woohoo -- I made it the whole way of my 20-mile run this morning. Of course, I managed an 8:41 pace for the run, but I'll allot myself the excuse that I'm racing a 5k in a little over six hours' time. That, plus the fact there was a lot of climbing on the run, as evidenced by mapmytri.com's elevation profile:


I did stop about mile 17 to refill the Camelbak at a Shell station. While refilling, I encountered a woman stopping by for breakfast. She queried me on the distance I'd covered (despite the cloud cover, the humidity was extremely high, and I looked like I'd just swum Boerne Lake) and commented that she wished she could do that. I'm unclear on if she meant just run or run 17+ miles, as she was driving a rather large SUV and was no waif herself. Still, when she passed me a mile or two down the road, she rolled down her window and cheered. Even if this person never laces up a pair of shoes to run a 5k, 10k, or whatever distance race, that a chance encounter fostered good feelings (and good will) towards running gives me a warm fuzzy inside. As such, I wish her, and you, well.

Skirt Chaser 5k is tonight, and I've some house work to tend to before heading up to Austin with N--- and my parents (they want to go!). I'll pop back in tonight or tomorrow to let you know how it went. My time last year was 22'06", and that was after a 22-mile run. I'm not necessarily wishing to beat it, but I do hope I can.  Best wishes to you for a wonderful weekend, and thanks for reading.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Photo Finish

Remember that sprint for the finish at last weekend's Longhorn that I thought would make a good picture? It did. Yes, that's me in the back in the Bicycle Heaven kit.

Yeah, that's it for tonight. Long day at the office today, so not much to report, other than I rested and vegged in front of the tele tonight. Busy day on tap for tomorrow, with a 20-mile training run in the morning and the Skirt Chaser 5k in the evening. Providing I've some down time in between, it should make for a good day. I'm looking forward to it.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Weak End

It may have seemed like a good idea at the time, but it certainly wasn't.

Today's training schedule called for an 8-mile run at no particular pace. By the time I made it home from swim practice (parents of a couple of the kiddos were very late picking up their charges from the pool), I needed maximum effort to make it to the bed and collapse. I think I called N--- before I fell asleep and woke up an hour later when Coach called. We discussed the thief in our midst and planned Monday morning's practice before I let her go. Sleep refused to come to me, so I decided to get up and do those eight miles. Barely one mile into the course, I knew running tonight was a bad idea.

So, here I am, having barely accomplished half of tonight's planned run, tired, beaten. Thankfully, tomorrow is a rest day, so I intend to take advantage of it and rest, although stretching is not completely out of the picture. Saturday will be a double-header, with a planned 20-miler in the morning and the Skirt Chaser 5k that evening. Sunday will be a 10-mile recovery run, providing I can still feel my legs, let alone move them. Tune in to find out if I made it and to laugh at my suffering. Happy Friday, and thanks for reading.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Longhorn 70.3

It should go without saying that if, on the day of a race, you have to visit the medical tent before the start of the race, you're in for a rough day. Such was the case for me yesterday at the Ironman Longhorn 70.3 Triathlon, held in Austin.

Earlier in the year, I found myself without sufficient motivation to go out and do anything, so I decided to register for a race so late in the season that I would, in theory, remain constant with my training. It didn't work. What did work was signing up for one race after another, including Ironman Coeur d'Alene -- that was the real ticket. But back to the race at hand.

Despite the fact that Austin is less than an hour's drive from the house, N--- & I thought it best to stay the night in A-town, which wound up being a great dry run for how the morning of CdA should work, in terms of lodging, food, and so on. I was hoping D--- & K--- were going to be able to make it down, but D--- had the great misfortune of being selected for jury duty at the same time his company swamped him with a great deal of work. And I moan & groan about how busy I am.

Before the race began, I did my now-usual stretching routine, and, in the process, managed to lodge a tiny splinter in the palm of my hand. The nails on N---'s fingers were not long enough to get it out, so I had to make the aforementioned trip to the medical tent for a pair of tweezers.  They were without that handy tool, but they did give me a hypodermic needle with which I was able to prick enough of the skin off and dislodge the offending hunk of whatever it was. Minor medical emergency aside, here's how the race went down:

1.2-mile Swim | 34:31
Mine was the fifth wave to go out, originally slated for a 7:41 AM start time. That didn't happen, as a number of athletes & others were delayed by the shuttle service from the Travis County Expo to the race start. Having been slowed down by getting to race starts before, I can't b&m too much, but delaying the start by 20 minutes? Grrr...

At race start, the water registered at 77.5 degrees, making it just barely cool enough for a wetsuit. My wetsuit, though, was lying in my closet, recovering from a mending job of a fingernail tear; breaking in the new Vortex2 will have to wait until open water swims start in the new year. Despite the "cooler" water temperature, I'm glad I left the wetsuit, for I found that while swimming, when I wasn't getting kicked or slapped in the head by my fellow competitors, the feel of the water was pleasantly reminiscent of Canyon Lake and the summers spent playing in the lake until all hours of the day. I felt truly relaxed and focused in the water, which helped set me up for a good bike. So good, in fact, that I was able to sprint up the ramp into T1 and onto the bike while those who finished in front of me were still fumbling to get out of their wetsuits.

56-mile Bike | 2:41:43
A good TT bike will set the owner back several thousand dollars. Those dollars represent quite possibly years in the design process, coupled with countless hours spent in a windtunnel to find-tune every facet of the bicycle for maximum velocity. Why, then, are the number stickers for the bicycle so <expletive> big? Looking at these things makes me think that every aerodynamic advantage designed into the bicycle gets negated by the sticker. Wait, where was I? Oh, yes, the bike leg.

Mounting out of T1 was slick, and the first 20 miles ticked by nearly effortlessly. Then I began to realize the painful truth: I had to pee. Because it was beginning to adversely affect my mental state (I literally felt faint at one point), I did something around mile 32 I'd never done in a race: I stopped & peed. On the side of a road. How redneckish of me. It probably cost me two minutes in up flat time, but the time it saved over the remaining 24 miles of the bike leg was incalculable. It didn't do much to regain my 22.3 average speed for the first hour (the wind was tough, despite the super sweet Zipp 606 wheelset M--- hooked me up with); the remaining time saw me wind up with a 20.8 average, which was respectable, but off the pace for which I was shooting. Next time, I suppose.

13.1-mile Run | 1:50:51
I suck at trail running. For this course, it certainly didn't play to my advantage, as the course was nearly a 50-50 split, with the toughest sections being off road. One section, in particular, was a hill affectionately referred to as "Quadzilla." We got to run it twice. Joy!

Fortunately, the entire run course was staffed by mondo-enthusiastic volunteers, including a group at the base of Quadzilla in superhero costumes, ranging from Batman to Superman to Buzz Lightyear. On the second round, Batman gave me a knuckle pump and said, "Good job," to which I replied, "Thanks, Batman."

"Thanks, Batman"? Did I really just say that? Good thing there was a little less than two miles left in the run; I was surely losing my mind.

Running into the finish chute, I had a good sprint to the finish with the guy in front of me, but he nipped me at the line. However, it felt good to finish with such a rush. I think it would have made a good picture.

Finished: 5:11:50
The Ironman Longhorn 70.3 was the toughest Half course I've raced, but I am thankful for that, for it offered me the opportunity to really push myself, both physically and mentally, while, at the same time, setting a new PR. Will I do the course again next year? Not likely, as continuing training in the early part of swim season is proving too difficult. I need to get this sort of thing out of my system by summer's end...or, at least before morning practices start. Then again, if D--- is up for it next year, I could be easily coerced.

Speaking of, I need to wrap up this long-winded post of mine and head to bed, for morning practice is just a few hours away. To those of you who helped to get me to the starting line and across the finishing line, you have my most heartfelt thanks & gratitude, especially to my personal cheering squad: N---, Mom, & Dad.

My season will wrap up with the SkirtChaser 5k this weekend and the San Antonio Rock-n-Roll Marathon on November 16.  Then, it's nothing but training for CdA. I can't wait, and I'll bet you can't, either. Read all about it here. Thanks for reading.