About This Blog

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

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Can't Sleep

There are a number of possible reasons for why I cannot sleep tonight. One sounds no more plausible than the next, and there is precious little that I am willing to do in order to remedy this sleeplessness. A shot of NyQuil would be the easiest, but it is past midnight already, and I wanted to be up fairly early in order to run. Guess that won't happen.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Mid-week Update

Yesterday, I began my long-anticipated entry into grad school. According to the original plan (you know, the UTSA one), by this point, I would have been nearly half-way through my program. However, it would have required an ungodly amounts of both money and time (most of which of the latter would have been spent driving to & fro the 1604 campus; no thank you). While the TAMUK route may take a tad longer, so far (yeah, after a day-and-a-half), I'm enjoying it and look forward to seeing just how much can be done without ever actually setting foot inside of a classroom.

Elsewhere, tri training continues on somewhat of a predictable schedule:
  • Monday: rest
  • Tuesday: lift + run with Marzipan (AM) & ride (PM)
  • Wednesday: swim (AM) & track (PM)
  • Thursday: spin (AM) & lift (PM)
  • Friday: ride (AM) & swim (PM)
  • Saturday: brick @ Boerne Lake
  • Sunday: alternate weeks of (long) ride or run
When I'm not doing any of the above, I'll be parked in front of the computer, reading or doing something else school related. Of course, I still tend to the house stuff, too. Speaking of, I need to go ready the pesto for tonight's dinner. Hope you've no aversion to garlic.

Thanks for reading.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Ironman 2.0

Despite all the throwing about of my weight & words, I did it: I signed up for Ironman Texas.

And so did a lot of other people, apparently. Regardless, the journey to get there will be interesting, if not (more) challenging than it was for my first, for I am no longer single, a full-time swim coach, and enrolled in graduate school. All the same, I am optimistic about how things are going to go. Even though Derek will not be joining us, there is a local crew of close to a dozen of which I know (half of which live within a mile of me) who will be going. Best of all, N is on board.

Time to go tidy up a bit. Dinner with friends in a couple of hours, and I need to make myself look a tad more presentable than my present state.

Welcome to Ironman 2: WTF Was He Thinking?

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Terrance, THIS Is Stupid

I have a tendency to buy stupid . Even in high school, when I was given money to buy my own clothes, I tended to buy the most ludicrous, of-the-moment thing in the mall. Case-in-point: The "I've seen Elvis" shirt, immortalized in the panoramic senior class picture. Thank God Marzipan ripped my copy to shreds a few weeks back; too bad some nimrod had to go scan and post the thing on Facebook. But I digress.

Last night, the powers that be finally got around to announcing Ironman Texas. The full 140.6 event will take place on May 21, 2011, in the township of The Woodlands. Entry opens up tomorrow at noon; and Jason, Derek, and I are again debating registering. The catch, for me, again, is money. Now, Derek did rightly point out that logistics & such will be both cheaper and easier than that of last year's excursion to CdA. Registration fees, on the other hand, have gone up nearly $100 since signing up in 2008, which leads me back to my reason for writing.

Ironman is owned by a corporation, and is a brand name akin to Xerox or Coke; and, like any corporation, they want money. My money. What they give in trade is the opportunity to race on a hopefully well-planned, well-supported race course. This was the case for CdA, and I would expect no less for Ironman Texas; the eyes of the triathlon world will, instead, be upon Texas. In spite of the star treatment and being proclaimed "an Ironman!" by whatever his name is, I find myself having a hard time rationalizing that much money for that one race. I am closer than I have been in a while to paying off debt. N has a new car to pay for and still manages ample charitable donations and substantial savings. I feel I would not be pulling my fair share by registering for this race. True, I get "free" money for some of the workshops I'll be doing this summer, as well as money from the DATE grant for meeting targets for TAKS; but that is money that can be used to pay down debt. To pay for grad school. To save for a house. To do something more than swim and bike and run. I can do that here. For free. Besides, I am an Ironman, even if it is over my self-imposed 12-hour time frame.

Since starting this post, I ran into Jason & Rodney. Both have plans to register tomorrow at noon. According to Jason Matt & Andrea (neighbors to Jason) have plans to register too. All are expecting me to register as well. Truthfully, I want to, in spite of every indicator saying "no." while, physically, I should be in some of the best shape of my life, fiscally, I still have a long way to go---more than 140.6 miles, and step one of training is saying "no" to buying in to name brand like this. Let's see if I'm up for the challenge.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Rough Roads

The 2009-10 school year was a tough one. There was no one thing on which I can place blame for the toughness; but, since it didn't kill me, it has presumably made me stronger. If that's the case, I should be quite the strongman by summer's end, for the first few days of post-school have made me actually want to go back to work.

Things actually started out pretty well. I finally received my IRS refund, which was promptly re-directed to credit card bills, putting me within a month of getting one card wiped out. Saturday morning, I was suited up and on my way to Boerne Lake for the Trisition workout, when the battery light on Buckbeak began to flash. The car was later dropped off at the local garage who had answers for me: As expected, the alternator was shot. A new one would be ordered (to the tune of $400, plus $200 in labor), plus another $100 or so to fix the engine coolant leak. Good thing I nearly had that credit card paid off.

Sunday was expected to be an eventful day. It, too, began awesomely enough with a 50-mile outing with D--- through the New Braunfels area. After that, it was off to drive a bus for the band's performance at graduation, which, apart from the lack of A/C for part of the trip, went fine. However, just as we pulled in to the Coliseum, N--- called; her grandmother in Ohio was found slumped over in her room at post-surgical rehabilitation facility and could not be stabilized. She was not expected to last the afternoon. Sadly, she did not.

N--- did some checking and airfare is just too outrageously expensive for me to go. Add onto that my still trying to get admitted to TAMUK for grad school, arranging for a house inspector, managing Marzipan, and getting my car fixed. Fortunately, N--- is at peace with this; her grandmother is no longer experiencing the physical discomforts of this world and is, rather, "with the Lord." A real concern is how her grandfather will adapt to life without his partner for the past half century. There is family close to him, but, if you think about it, say a little prayer for his well being.

I chatted with the mechanic about an hour ago, and the car was still having electrical issues, even with the new alternator installed. As expected, they're working on it. That, I suppose, is really all we can do to work on our own charging needs: to "work on it." Despite my impatience with wanting my car back (got to get N--- to Austin airport tomorrow morning for her flight out; Frontier had no available flights out of SA until Thursday), I realize that some things just cannot be rushed, especially if you want them fixed properly.

Again, say a prayer for the Joneses (N---'s mother's family) that smoother roads may lie ahead. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


The time is now 2:42 AM, Central.

A noise awoke me at 11:47 PM, and I was unable to go back to sleep. Since then, I've tinkered with my TT bike (made some saddle adjustments & perma-mounted a flats kit to the rear bottle cage), played with Marzipan, and trolled on Slowtwitch and sundry other websites. Nothing seems to be working on lulling me to sleep. Not even the sound of the rain, strumming its typical lullaby on the roof, is working tonight. Or, this morning, as it were. At least it's the weekend.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Because I Cannot Sleep...

...I, again, write here.

Hola, amigos. Yeah, it's been a long-<expletive> time since I've rapped at you. I'll not offer any excuses as to why, but I'm sure you can imagine. Besides, don't we all have more important things to do than to write down and/or read paragraph upon paragraph of someone's thoughts on life, the universe -- everything?

While it has been more than a thousand hours (obscure reference to a Cure song, which, interestingly enough, translates into 41.6 days; and that would, conveniently, round up to 42) since my last entry, there isn't really that much to report. The highlights:
  • N--- & I got a dog! Her name is Marzipan, and she is a great runner. Our first 5k is on May 22nd.
  • I competed in my first (and likely only) triathlon of the season in Kemah, TX. It was an awesome race, complete with a swim clinic by Andy Potts and a run clinic by Matt Reed. As expected, I sucked, but the swim was awesome: Ferry the competitors out 1500m into Galveston Bay, shove us overboard, and have us swim to shore to start the bike leg = Awesome!
  • N--- had knee surgery to remedy a piece of torn cartilage. She's on crutches for six weeks (three down, three to go), which has me rushing about, tending to her needs and keeping house, etc. This is nothing in comparison to everything N--- did for me/us last year in my lead-up to Ironman.
  • I registered for & dropped graduate courses at that school at 1604 & I10. The big reason for the drop was the lack of availability of promised grant money, as well as the general lack of not knowing WTF was going on between departments. Still awaiting word from TAMU Kingsville about acceptance into a program this summer.
  • I donated blood today for the first time in nearly three years. A "double" made me feel better and more alive than anything I've done in recent memory.
And that's about it for the goings on. Something worth mentioning, however, has been the debate over whether or not to participate in the rumored Ironman Texas.

See, I heard this rumor at the big race in Kemah that officials in The Woodlands (where the doomed Tri 101 Championships were to be held in 2008, but weren't) were cooperating with WTC to host a full IM race there in 2011 or 2012. Rumors were unofficially confirmed on Slowtwitch the week after, and, so, we tri geeks began speculation and planning what fun it would be to do such an event. I even had N---'s blessing to sign up & participate. However, in the near month that it's been since racing in Kemah, I've had some time to reflect on things, including rereading posts from last year regarding training and the lackluster feeling I had once I crossed the finish line in Coure d' Alene. Granted, things would likely be different (this is Texas, after all), but a tremendous amount of training and a fair amount of funding would need to go into the endeavor, and I just know if that's where I want to go. The only motivation I would have would be to break twelve (or eleven, if I were to actually get & stay serious) hours; but, even if I did, so what? The only guarantees I would have for the event is the loss of nearly $600, and an essentially unnecessary strain on my personal & professional lives. I am an Ironman, already. Even though my finishing time was not what I desired, I still crossed the finish line. Why would I need to do it again?

That question, I suppose, is where I will leave off. Disintegration is winding down (haven't listened to the album in its entirety in a long while; and, yes, I've missed it), and sleep feels to be coming upon me. Perhaps tonight's rest may bring some insight to the question which I now ponder regarding the rumored IM TX.

Thanks for continuing to read.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Down & Out

It is nearly four o'clock in the morning. The alarm will be sounding soon, but I have been awake for nearly three hours. Insomnia, my old nemesis, has come back for a visit, and, while I would be pleased if it would leave, I would be more pleased if this fracking cough/sickness that has had me down the past week would make like a tree and leaf me alone.

Heading into last week's Austin Marathon, I was feeling fine. I'd no time to run that week, due in large part to prep for the Regional Swim Meet, but I felt pretty groovy, nonetheless. The same could not be said for N---. The poor lass came down with a cold three days away from the big event for which she had been training since September. Me, being the sympathetic husband, made her run anyway. Happy Valentine's Day and everything, huh?

N--- finished her first marathon, though far off from the time she sought. Finishing it at all, though, as sick as she was, was nothing short of awesome; my wife is tough. Me, I too finished, though nowhere near my target time. On the upside, I'll not have to worry about travel arrangements & such to Boston this year. Because of my lack of training, my body was severely worn down and I caught whatever it was that N--- had. Since, I've been coughing, hacking, and unable to sleep in the same bed as the now-healthy N---, as I don't want to keep her awake or re-infect her.

After several days, I opted to go to a doc-in-the-box last night (getting a regular appointment with my work schedule is near-impossible) and got a prescription for a steroid to dry up my sinuses (what the doctor says is causing my cough). The medication appears to be working in that my sinuses feel better, and I am coughing less. However, I began tossing & turning some four hours after sleepy-bye time and, rather than risk waking N--- or -- heaven forbid! -- the cat, I got up and have been biding my time since. Emails have been sent, some research papers have been graded (I ran out of pencil lead, of all things, and could not continue; oh, the luck), and I've pored through most of the new issue of 'Triathlete.' All that was left was to write to you, dear reader, and share my pathetic ponderings.

Now that all of that has been done, I can maybe catch an hour or two's sleep before N--- rises to hit her bicycle training. Depending on how I feel, I may join her in the garage for a bit (yesterday's trainer session was not productive [refer to previous comments regarding illness, feeling sorry for one's self, etc.]), if for nothing else than to watch awesomeness personified.

That's the news, folks, and I am out of here. Thanks for reading.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Hello, World.

I've not published anything here in nearly three months. Not for lack of things to say, but I have had two things in ample supply as of late: Jack and <expletive> -- and Jack left town. With swim season almost in the bag (Regionals are this weekend; State, two weeks after that), I hope to have a bit more free time for things, including, but not limited to, being a full-time teacher again, triathlon, graduate school, and "other."

"Other" will include quite a bit, some public information and some not. What can be public will, quite obviously, be made so, but something that has been tugging at the back of my mind the past several months is getting involved with larger issues. Two, in particular, are Yield to Life (seeing cyclists and other road users as human beings and not just something inhibiting driving the maximum possible speed permissible) and Pick Up the Phone (suicide prevention). The former should be obvious, given that I ride my bike (not as much as, say, a year ago, but, again, the aforementioned ending of swim season within the next few weeks should remedy that), while the latter, too, is linked to cycling. See, I lost a friend to suicide, almost a year ago.

M--- lost his wife through the most seemingly unfathomable ways: A bee sting. Fast-forward 15 months, and M--- seemed to be getting along well with his life, cycling on a spiffy, new bicycle, going out with friends to honky tonks & such. Everything seemed normal. It wasn't.

For several weeks in early 2009, M--- was on my mind. I kept wanting to call him but never did. On Good Friday, I learned I never would get the chance; M--- had taken his own life.

Details were never revealed, but what would they have mattered? A friend, a person, was gone, and I had done nothing to keep it from happening.

Please, no comments about how it wasn't my fault, etc. Rather, if you know of someone who needs you, don't be afraid to pick up the phone; or write; or drop by for a visit. Social networks may still be somewhat the rage, but Facebook will never take the place of face time. For me, I'm in need of some sleep time, so I'm heading to bed. As always, thanks for reading.