About This Blog

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

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.