About This Blog

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

Friday, December 26, 2008

Why Can't I Ride My Bike?

The winter break was supposed to allow me time to get caught up on training, long bike rides, in particular. However, such has not been the case when it comes to cycling, for every day that I have scheduled a long ride (Saturday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and, now, today), it has been wet. Not the hard rain that can actually be kind of fun to ride in, but just the wet, sloppy stuff that is apparently commonplace in cities the likes of Seattle. Bloody weather.

Tuesday's botched ride was supplemented with a nearly 3-hour ride on the trainer (boy, was that fun & exciting!), while Wednesday's was a spin class, preceded by a 2km swim, so all is not completely lost. Today, though...eh...I guess I'll just wait & see what transpires. Cross your fingers for better weather during the break. Thanks, and thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Happy Christmas

Just returned from the track with N---. Yesterday was her day to hammer out 2x1-mile splits; today was mine. Both days were beautiful, with a hint of winter in the air, but not so nippy so as to mandate winterish apparel.

As N--- & I get ready to open gifts to & from one another, I wanted to wish you all a joyous time of year, regardless of religious affiliations or lack thereof. Peace be with you, and thanks for reading.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Training Wheel

The winter break is finally here...been here, actually, as Friday was the first, official day. However, I've had (and have, tomorrow) swim practice, albeit at not such an ungodly hour, so the day's have been anything but uneventful. Come the end of the week, I was finally over my sickness and ready to resume training. Cue the monkey wrenches.

Plan for Saturday: Ride to swim practice. Ride from JAC to Comal Elementary for the SAW ride, ride home with 70+ miles on the C-dale. Reality: Misty rain <expletive> that completely shot ride potential; I did not want to take another spill in that kind of weather, like I did during the last break. So, I took it easy riding home, earning myself the honor of changing a flat on the side of Pat Booker, at about the half-way point. It looked to be a piece of a broken beer bottle that had lodged itself in my tire, not fully penetrating the tire itself, but applying enough pressure to puncture the tube. Dang it.

Right, so I made it home, went to the post office to take care of my passport (CdA is so close to Canada, it'd be really nice to visit), then off to meet N---, K---, and T--- for lunch at CPK (don't you just love my heave use of initials & acronyms?), before jetting over to Bike Heaven for trainer parts. The new skewer for my aged, yet functional, Tacx Cylclesport Swing made it in a couple of days ago, and I went ahead and ordered a flip-flop (fixed + free hub) wheel for the commuter so I could throw a 10-speed cassette back on the old Mavic wheel for use with the trainer. The commuter is temporarily out of commission (flip-flop wheel should be in by Wednesday, I hope), but my trainer rig is now completely ready to go, trainer-specific tire & all. Thank you to all who helped me get it ready; you should know who you are.

That said, it is now bed time. One more day of swim practice this week and then it's truly holiday time...to the extent that I will not have to interact with the kids. I still have oodles of papers to grade, plus a quiz to write, but everything in due time. Hopefully, I'll be able to find the time before all is due.

Yeah, gonna go before the cheese starts rising above waist level. Stay warm where you are on the trainer, treadmill, or whatever gear you're using to keep moving through the holidays. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Go See This Film

Last night was the San Antonio premiere of an independent documentary regarding the world's addiction to oil:

There were several amazing things about the experience of seeing this film last night. There were some revelations about the oil/gas/automotive conglomerates currently attempting to (and in some cases succeeding in) pulling the wool over American's eyes with our purchasing choices, but one cool, unexpected thing was that the director, Josh Tickell, was in attendance for a Q&A session afterwards. Additionally, it was revealed that San Antonio was a test market for this film.

Austin, yeah (where, surprisingly, the film was met with more objection that last night's debut), Portland, sure, but San Antonio? That's progression. Let's keep the trend going, eh?

Fuel is slated to run its test phase through December 18th but could be held over if enough people go see it. Do the world -- yes, the world -- a favor and go see it. Whether or not you agree with everything that the film has to say is irrelevant, but it is imperative that we agree with the core message: Our dependency on oil, foreign and domestic, must end. This film goes several steps further than to simply point out the obvious; how we can begin to end this dependency is provided to a culture grown accustomed to have the world spoon-fed to us.

It's the weekend. Rather than go see some fabrication of fantastically fake people doing unbelievable things on the big screen, head over to the Bijou Theater @ Crossroads Mall and get yourself a healthy dose of reality (and a spinach Alfredo pizza -- those things are awesome!). Films like Fuel don't come along every day, and their arrival, let alone stay, in a town like San Antonio is even less frequent. Let's start changing that. Then we can move on to changing our fuel, changing our world.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

A Wasted Week

The week started out good: Good ride Sunday morning at a good pace in fantastic weather. Stretched on Monday. Swam on Tuesday (all 3200 meters, too, also at a good pace). Wednesday, it hit me. Hard.

Let's rewind a bit, just to have full perspective.

I teach high school. Yeah, not the most sanitary of environments. The past few years have been spent building up my immune system to pretty high standards -- successfully so, too. Friday night, I dove into the Schertz Pool as part of the Polar Bear Splash fund raiser...without my wet suit. Yup, just me in a square-cut suit and a pair of goggles. The water temperature was a crisp 43°, while the air was a cool 47°.

Sleep was not hard to come by Friday or Saturday night, but, come Sunday, I could not sleep worth a darned. Same for Monday. And Tuesday. Finally, Wednesday morning, my body had had all that it could take and shut itself down. No getting out of bed for practice; barely making it up and through the day for work. Once home, I fed, took some cold medicine after talking & coaching for wellness by N--- (what a gal), read, and was asleep by 8:00. Practice this morning was rough, but manageable. Same with the school day. And, here we are.

The purpose of this post was more or less to just have a place in which to whine. Yes, CdA is still 6+ months out, and I'm still feeling strong after a good finish at the marathon last month, but...that was last month. This week has just felt...wasted. I feel weighed down by the demands of work (swimming on its own is a full time job, to say nothing with teaching six English classes a day), in that I have virtually no free time. I literally wake up and go straight to work. If I'm lucky, I have about 30 minutes after swim practice at home before I have to head to the school. Typically, I'm there until 4:30 or later (twice this week, it was after 5:30 before I left), before heading home to maybe eat something before it's time to grade papers or read from one of the two novels my two different levels are covering; fortunately, I've read them both so it's mostly review. By then, it's after dark, and, after feeding the cat, I don't feel like doing much else except trying to get some sleep for the day begins all over again in less than ten hours. Being sick on top of all that isn't helping matters much, either.


Time to wrap this thing up before I go off on another rant. I really do like my job, what I do, working with kids, trying to make a difference. Catch me again when I'm a lot less groggy. I'll do my best to be Mr. Sunshine. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Terrible 2s

Most people look to the end of their work day as a good time. For me, that, too, is typically the case. However, for whatever reason, today just plain sucked as soon as I locked up the bike in the garage.

After hurrying inside to change clothes and get going back out the door, I was met with challenge #1: Making a left-hand turn. Traffic, you see, backs up over a quarter of a mile, thanks to this most wonderful construction project on the Parkway, so I stupidly turned right and headed to 78. The challenge continued, due to even greater traffic congestion (all trying to turn left) onto 3009. In order to make it to the usual inspection house, I wound up taking the circuitous route, only to find out the joint quits doing inspections at 5:00. That was challenge #2: Finding a place that would inspect my car as late as it was (5:30). Mission accomplished, and just down the road, too. Once the car was again legal, it was a little further down the road to the folks' house to pick up chili making supplies for the post-Polar Bear shindig at my place this Friday.

I tried to time my arrival at the gym to avoid any aquatics classes, but I was unsuccessful, just as I was unsuccessful at getting to speak with a manager at the gym (raised my rates by $3/mo -- something I do not believe the are permitted to do, as I was a member of a gym absorbed by this golden conglomerate from abroad, and Texas state law is supposed to protect that sort of thing). Finally, after an hour, I got my lane and go going, but leaky goggles (methinks the string on my Swedes needs to be replaced) kept me from getting going well; I was also really tired and unfocused.

So, here I am, at home. Chili fixins are in the kitchen, ready for me to throw them all together, as are six packs of cornbread. After jumping in a freezing-cold pool Friday night, I know I'll be ready for it.

I'm beat, so I'm going to bed. My bad day pales in comparison to the garden variety day of many, especially those overseas, so, with that in mind, I ask you to keep those less fortunate than either or both of us in mind as you find yourself in a meditative state. Thanks, and thanks for reading.