Monday, June 25, 2007


So I've been feeding my mountain biking habit quite a bit this summer, and have been riding Theo Wirth quite a bit lately--mostly due to the fact that it's really close.

Theo is a tight windy course through trees--great for learning to handle a mtb bike. Since I've gotten back from scandinavia, the trees have grown out, hiding the trees a bit, and last week I smacked my left shoulder into a tree going at a moderate pace. This ripped the top layer of skin off even though it was underneath my shirt.

Yesterday I foolishly left my SPF "Vampire"-rated sunblock at home and got caught outside after the tri showing too much skin an sunburnt both shoulders, effectively sunburning the scabbed up wound.


Today I went mountainbiking at Wirth again, and did the same thing on the right shoulder. This hurt pretty bad, since I tore off sunburnt skin. Since I was wearing a white shirt, it stained through my shirt.

Anyone wanna see pictures of the gore?

Sunday, June 24, 2007


This Wilco song struck me hard when I first heard it, and I knew it was beautiful and would be close to me, but now I understand it.

"Either Way"__________________________________________________
Maybe you still love me
Maybe you don't
Either you will or you won't
Maybe you just need some time alone
I will try to understand
Everything has its plan
Either way
I'm gonna stay
Right for you

Maybe the sun will shine today
The clouds will roll away
Maybe I won't be so afraid
I will understand everything has its plan
Either way_____________________________________________________

After some talking this weekend, I told K that although I've gone through difficult times, I've always emerged a better person because of them. He told me that people usually let their regrets eat them alive or learn from them, and that I've already made a track record of learning from them.

I think these past few days have been watershed moments in my life--maybe even moreso than my trip experiences.

I might still be learning, but I'll be ok. Either way.

Waconia Tri


Despite a big lack of training due to my vacation, and a gastrocnemius cramp that had been lingering since a hard workout on Wednesday, staying out late the night before drinking beers at Brian's house, and a case of insomnia this past week, I had a pretty decent race.

Ok, I haven't been swimming that much, and I've only been open water swimming once this summer, so I did have some diffuculty sighting and swimming in a straight line. I finished the purported 1/2 mile in 16:00, faster than most in my age group, however it was definately longer than 1/2 mile.

I felt FAST. I was passing everyone! But I was in the last wave, and that's probably why. I did get passed by a couple in my age group, but I rode my race.
Average speed over ~20 miles: 21.7mph. This was a rolling course with a couple big hills. I'm not disappointed with my bike leg.

The 4 mile run was PAINFUL. About 1/4 mile from transition, we had to run up a huge hill. And really, there was very little flat on the run course altogether.

My personal record for running pace was done last year. It was a 3.1 mile (5km) course, and I ran 7:39min/mile. Here's what the elevation profile looked like:
(flat as hell, in other words)

My pace today was 7:42min/mile on this course.
This is Good!

I'm quite happy with my results given that I've ranked this a "C" race, so I should be in line to do well in the races I want to crush later this year. I've got 3 weeks of hard training to before the Heart of the Lakes, and I'm looking forward to mashing out some tough miles.

I placed 9/28 in my age group, and 60/296 men.

Funny Note: I was jousting with another guy in my age group in the last 200 meters. I thought I had him, but he closed a 10 meter gap at the last second and beat my by half a stride. We both finished in a total time of 1:45:02.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Clawing Myself Apart

I have come to the realization that I'm am OZ's Cowardly Lion.

I have the strength to do anything I want, but I've been too scared to take a risk.

I don't know who said it, but there lies a great deal of truth in this quote: "Falling in love is not for cowards."

As a child, I never understood that the articles that the Wizard gave the Lion, the Woodsman and the Scarecrow were only placebos. He tricked them into having faith in themselves.

I'm sick of being a coward. I'm ready to use my claws. I'm ready to take what I want. I'm ready to stop clawing myself.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

June 9th, 2007

The ninth of June, 2007, was probably one of the best days in my life.

The day before, I'd met a few people on a guided tour, and we all decided to rent a car for the next day and see the country. We decided to drive along the ring road along the south coast of Iceland. I watched this video the night before.

The next day, the four of us, Me, Alban, a guy from Paris, Pearl, a girl from Taipei, and Jamie, a girl from Maryland, (all about the same age) packed into a manual transmission Volkswagon Polo

I hopped into the driver's seat of our car at 8am, the odometer at 26km--this car had been used less than my bike just this afternoon. We left Reykjavik and found the ring road.

As we left for the country, I thought myself......"This is fucking, fucking, fucking crazy. I don't know these people at all. Iceland is sparsely inhabitied outside it's capital, and I've got a few granola bars and a raincoat in my daypack. This is a recipe for disaster."

My fears became overwhelming jubilance as the scenery started to unfold. This country is magical, you can feel it in the air and it's more than visually apparent, and I was racing into it full speed ahead.

This was one of the best feelings I've ever had in my life.

The feeling was mutual with my friends. Alban couldn't stop saying "this is just crazy" I think he meant amazing, or breathtaking, or unbelieveable...but it was crazy too.

We passed through a few small towns here & there, stopping at Vik for some snacks & water, and at another town called Kirkjubæjarklaustur for gas & food. I had to turn around since I passed the town--hey it was small--and nearly ran the car off the road(kindofa long story) and nearly gave Alban a heart attack. The gas station had a little restaurant within it, and it had plenty of rural folk socializing--not far off from what you'd see in rural North Dakota, really. I had a piece of blueberry & something??berry pie. It was some of the best pie I've ever had.

Aside from those stops, we really didn't stop at all on our way towards our two goals: Jökulsárlón and Skaftafell National Park. We knew that it would still be light out past 11pm, so we intended on making wayside sightseeing stops on the way back

We passed Skaftafell and made it to Jökulsárlón around 3pm. Here we are:

I don't think I need to describe how satisfied I was with our trip to this point. It was very bright despite being overcast. I went back into the car and got my sunglasses right after that. We took a tour of this glacial lagoon in a little boat, and left for Skaftafell.

Skaftafell is known for it's great hiking trails and it's multitude of waterfalls. We hiked to an altitude about 600 feet to find Svartifoss, one of Icelands most well known waterfalls.

Here I am enjoying the scenery(photo: Pearl)

Here we are leaving Skaftafell with the view I was enjoying above(photo: Pearl)

We stopped at many waysides along the way, and although the scenery was the same on the way back, it didn't matter a whole lot. It was still overpowering.

We stopped in Vik again to get some food, although I don't think I had anything.

As we neared Reykjavik, we were getting tired after a long day. It was 11:30pm--and we cranked up the Icelandic radiostation, which had mostly talk on earlier in the day. They were now playing a mixture of icelandic & international music.

As midnight struck, they played Pearl Jam's cover of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away."

When we rolled into the parking lot of the hostel, there was just over 800km on the odometer.

I learned that day about the payoff of calculated risks, and I slept with great contentment.

Damn Fool

Bush on Stem cells:
" I have made my position very clear on that issue. I believe that the use of federal monies that end up destroying life is not -- is not positive, is not good."

Yeah? Then why have you thrown half a trillion dollars (that's $500,000,000,000) into a war?

You, sir, are an idiot.

You should've studied while you were in school, George.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Swords to Plowshares

Swords to Plowshares

This was taken at Munkholmen, a small island in the middle of Trondheimfjord with over 1000 years of history. Nowadays, it's a great place to picnic and get a panoramic view of the city & mountains.

During my time in Norway, I spent plenty of time sightseeing and touring museums and the like, and the Nazi takeover & occupation during WWII was brought up many times.

Several times, I found myself becoming nauseous and filled with rage to see the lingering effects of fascism--particularly during the 3 hours I spent at the Norges Hjemmefront Museum (Norwegian Resistance Museum) in Olso. Trondheim was lucky--many small towns such as Kristiansund were levelled in attempt to kill the Norwegian royalty, and the survivors spent a winter in caves.

I was fortunate to see these kids playing on this Nazi gun early on the trip; it really comforted me to remember seeing this and become reminded that in today's world, this device designed to end human life has now become a harmless child's toy.

This is the kind of world I want.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


I was just at the grocery store, and the cashier asked me a question.

+And I automatically said "excuse me". In Norwegian.


He replied in English.


This place is unbelieveable. Yesterday was probably the best full day of my trip.

Thursday, June 7, 2007


I just got here this afternoon. The views are spectacular.

Tomorrow I´m going on an 8 hour tour into the countryside.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Send me to Hell!!

If heaven is nothing like Norway in the summer.