About This Blog

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

Saturday, February 28, 2009

North Winds, Blow!

From the weather desk:


Looking at the windmill in front of the house, every bit of that 20--30 MPH wind is blowing in from the north, right now. Time to go suit up and ride a bike into that for the next four hours. Woohoo.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Great day today:
  • It's Friday
  • One more (school) day until TAKS
  • I'm feeling good enough to go swim tonight
  • My teaching certificate is good until 2015, so it looks like I'll have a job for the foreseeable future
In order to swim tonight, though, I need to run out to D&J for a new pair of goggles. Swedes are great, but the strap tends to wear thin after a few months. Maybe I'll look into a bungee or something. Regardless, it's out to 410 & Blanco with me before it gets to be too late. See you at the pool or in the AM on the bike. Thanks for reading.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Type B

I am officially sick.

After a brief spell of feeling better, N--- shuttled me off to the Doc in the Box yesterday afternoon, mid-way through the first disc of season four of Battlestar Galactica. After hours of waiting, the verdict came back: Influenza, Type B.

Doc said that I should be on the down-side of this by now, since I've been feeling ill since Wednesday afternoon, but he prescribed the meds, anyway. A "quick" trip to the only local pharmacy still open after 6:00 PM on a Sunday got me what I needed, so it was back home for lasagna (yum!) and more Battlestar. When I finally cratered, N--- & I had just finished the first disc, and she made her way home. Mad props to N---, too: Drives all the way out from the other side of the universe, puts up with sick ol' me, takes me to the doctor, comes back, goes for a run, comes to get me, and still can sit through hours of sci-fi with me. Definitely says something of the perks of being an endurance athlete. No wonder I want to marry this gal.

So, here I am, at home, playing the pathetically sick boy. I managed a run up to the school to make copies & instructions for the sub and to grab the last stack of journals that I need to grade, meaning I will have plenty with which to occupy my time, just in case sleep doesn't overtake me. For now, it is time for a bit of breakfast. Wash thoroughly, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


You ever get the feeling that all the forces in the universe are working against you? While I don't think the gods are necessarily against me, I somehow think there is a conspiracy against me riding my bike outdoors. Seriously. Look at the facts:
  • After Longhorn, it was marathon season, so running took precedent.
  • Come December, the weather was an issue, making a soppy, wet mess of the roads.
  • January, I managed to build some decent base miles and regained my confidence, courtesy of some good MTB sessions (thanks, D---).
  • Now, February, swim season is over, and I get sick. Two days before the weekend's double-awesome area rides, including Freiheit. I am so <expletive> angry.
Here I sit, recovering from fever (hit a high of 101° yesterday!) and trying to find the strength to even hop on the trainer to get my legs spinning. Freiheit isn't until tomorrow, but I doubt I'll be able to make the century ride out of it that I had initially planned -- unless a minor miracle happens with my health. Eh, who knows.

On the up side, the TT bike has received a couple of upgrades: A new stem (thanks to a cleaning session where, during reinstallation of the old stem, I somehow stripped a bolt) and new wheels. Yup, I bit the bullet yesterday and ordered a set of race wheels, Hed 6/9 C2. They won't be in for a week or two, but that's fine by me. As I've not been out on the bike much at all lately, I doubt I could do them any justice.

I'm off to nap with the cat and sulk myself into feeling better. Thanks for coming to my pity party, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Houston Half

Got a postcard in the mail today with the official results from last month's Houston Half-marathon.
  • Chip time: 1:36:03
  • Gun time: 1:37:26
  • Pace: 7:20/mi
  • Place within division: 28/544
  • Place within gender: 231/3548
  • Place overall: 315/8333
Not too shabby, but imagine if I would have trained.

Swim season ended today at the regional meet. More on that another time. For now, I'm ready for some well-deserved and seriously-delayed rest. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


This is so cool:

Available at: http://www.ironmancda.com/cdaclock.html.

I really need to go to bed, but thanks for staying up with me. Thanks for reading, too.

Cool Pool

A little whining goes a long way.

Remember my ranting about the temperature of the pool at the gym? After a week of non-returned phone calls, I decided to call again, this time reaching a competent rep who fielded my complaint, asked some questions, and took down my number to call me back when she had an answer. She called the next day.

A compromise had been reached between corporate management (from whom the edict of an 88° pool temperature supposedly had originated) and the local management. It wasn't the 82° for which I was shooting, but, rather, a mediocre 85°. Tonight was my first night back at the gym to swim (N--- wasn't feeling well, and it would have been too late ([about this time] when I would have left UTSA to return the pass key to her, and her health is more important than my swim time), and I am ecstatic to report that the pool temperature was a cool, crisp 84° -- the same as at Chisolm Hall. Of course, the gym pool is but four feet deep, all the way across, but, for my Thursday night swim, it did just fine.

Tonight's workout was focused on bi-lateral breathing, a technique I preach to my swimmers, yet have had difficulty in putting into practice for myself. My arm turnover is improving (thanks, in large part, to increased work with Stretch Cordz a couple of times a day), so bi-lateral breathing has become somewhat easier. I'm still no Thorpedo, but my 500-yard splits were about 20 seconds faster tonight than in weeks past. Woohoo.

Well, sports fans, it's way past time to call it a night. Tomorrow is what will likely be the last swim practice of the season. The regional meet is tomorrow night, and we are in a ridiculously tough region. That, plus the kids are tired. Real tired. Deseveredly so, too. They've put in a good, long season since Labor Day, and, with only two exceptions, all of them should be returning swimmers for next year. Hopefully, we can keep a better handle on eligibility this next year, but that's another topic for another time. For now, it's sleep-bye time. So sayeth the kitty.

Sleep well and enjoy sleeping in after tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading.

The Rudy Project Project

I have a thing for sunglasses and have for several years. When I applied for and received sponsorship from Rudy Project last year, I knew things could get expensive. Until recently, though, I've actually been able to keep a pretty good handle on things. Here's my side of the story.

There was, of course, the helmet N--- got me in 07 for Christmas, which started the snowball rolling. From there, I received a complimentary pair of Sportmask Performance glasses in the same color scheme as what Macca wore in Kona 07. This past summer, RP released the Exowind, a dual-lens system with rocking lines that rivaled the Tayo. I tried the Exowind and liked them but wound up returning to the Sportmask Performance, due to its virtually non-existent weight and superior field of vision. Last week, though, I pulled the trigger on a pair of black Exowinds, with the intent of going Frankenstein on my other pairs of Exowinds in order to create a unique pair of glasses: Black frames with red accents. It worked, too, and they were, indeed, a sweet-looking pair of shades:

However, there was the issue of cost. I'd a good chunk of change invested in the Exowinds, even with my discount, and I remained unconvinced that the extra 10g of weight over the Sportmask was insignificant. That, plus the pinching I experienced at Longhorn (and after only 4-1/2 hours) made me leery about sporting them for the duration of CdA come June. Last night's run with the Sportmask solidified the feeling that it was the ideal pair of sunglasses for triathlon, for me. So, the black Exowinds are on their way back to RP for return. I may contact RP support to inquire about returning the other two pair of Exowinds I own for some sort of store credit (RP has finally released a multilaser red lens for the Sportmask -- wahoo!), but I'll check into that another time. For now, it's time to head out for the pasta party before heading out to the pool to swim. Thanks for bearing with me and my sunglass fetish, and thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Ghosts Run

14-mile run tonight. Very casual pace. Very good soundtrack, too: Ghosts I-IV, by Nine Inch Nails. Strongly recommended, be it for running or just plain listening. ghosts.nin.com.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

The Sufferfest, Part 1

Hot diggity! The difference a few hours and a clean house can make is incredible!

After an afternoon of doing little more than watching Serenity and the bulk of the Firefly series, N--- had to make her way home, so I decided to hop on the trainer and try to get in a workout before she got home. She made it home before the workout ended, but what an awesome workout it was.

A few weeks ago, I read about this Podcast site called thesufferfest.com, which posts workouts geared towards indoor trainers, complete with video and audio. The latest workout caught my attention by title alone: "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now." While The Smiths did provide the opening & closing tracks, the workout was an interval type based on perceived effort, as opposed to a specific gear or cadence -- something that was right up my alley. I did pause a time or two to make a couple of minor tweaks to the arm rests on the B2, but after 10 or so minutes, I was totally in the zone and rolling for the duration of the video. If you own an iPod with video, or have a computer near where your trainer is set up, I highly recommend these videos, especially when they're as cheap as free.

Workout done, legs shot (but cleanly shaved after a shower), and swim practice a little more than six hours away tells me that it's time to get to bed. Methinks I will make a quick trip to the Quick Stop for some OJ, but then it's night-night time. Thanks for checking back on me, in consideration of the rough morning I had, and thanks for reading.

Breaking Point

This morning was near-perfect for a bike ride: Cloudy, cool, and a barely-noticeable breeze blowing from the south. The plan was to roll out from home around 8:20 and meet up with the group for a ride that would clock in just under 90 miles. Of course, that was the plan. Enter my fragile mental state at an early hour with a less-than-idyllicly clean house. Yeah, I lost it.

Something seized hold that frustrated me how there just never seemed to be enough time in the day or days in the week to do what needed to be done, compounded by the fact that I still had not finished last week's laundry and that this week's was already over-flowing. In what was probably not a terribly flattering manner, I proclaimed, "<expletive> it," and changed from cycling garb into the attire of a domestic do-gooder: sweats & a t-shirt. Several hours and a considerably cleaner house later, I now sit at the computer, ready to draft up this week's lesson plans. But first, I thought I'd write to you, dear readers, for it has been so long.

Much has happened as of late, including the district meet (we advanced; regionals are this upcoming Friday & Saturday [yes, on Valentine's Day, of all days]) and a rocket trip to Dallas for the baby shower for the forthcoming twins of D--- & K---. The latter was a lovely, albeit rushed, trip up north for the shower and a bit of face-time with dear friends. That they are about to welcome two children into the world makes me extremely happy, in a vicarious sense. Before I get too teary-eyed, I'm going to get those lesson plans done and then try to spend some quality time with N---.

I do hope your Sunday has gone better than mine and that you, too, have a clean house and content kitty cozied on your lap...providing you're not allergic to cats, that is. I'd hate for you to be sneezing your head off just in the means of fulfilling my prerequisites for Sunday afternoon bliss. Whatever four-legged fuzzball you have on your lap, thanks for reading.