Friday, August 29, 2008

An open letter to all angry Hillary supporters.


John McCain called his wife a
CUNT in public.

good luck with progressing that whole "woman in the presidency" dream you have. For now, you're going to have to go with someone who won't destroy your rights.

That is, if you Hillary -> McCain turncoats even exist. Personally, I think you're just republicans trying to act like democrats. Hey, Ann Coulter said it herself -- Hillary is more conservative than McCain.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

A mid year's resolution

In my apartment, there will always be an open(or half corked) bottle of red wine.

To my health.


Monday, August 25, 2008

Kingswood Off-Road Tri Race Report

So I pre-rode the bike course on Thursday, and decided afterwards that if I made it to T2 without bleeding, I'd be surprised.

Little long lake is clean & pristine, cool & scenic; flanked on either side by treed ridges. The half mile loop in the water was pretty enjoyable with the exception of the last couple hundred yards where the rising sun obscured the shore.

I had a pretty good swim, relying on my own ability to swim straight & negotiate buoys, and was out of the water 3rd. A friend of mine who does XTerra's told me to "swim like you stole something," and get the singletrack to yourself.

There was about a 1/5 mile trail run up a hill to T1. I left some junky flipflips on the shore to run up in.

Transitions for me were a total fiasco.

At T1, I decided I needed a jersey over the top of my standard tri top, I fought to pull on my full finger gloves onto my wet hands before I clipped my helmet straps, which didn't want to match up in my fingers. I was passed by 1 or 2 guys in all that fumbling.

The bike was fun, but torture. You start the first of 2 loops in some tight singletrack that had one uphill section that weaved through trees & rocks. A fun drop & a climb took you to a gravel road to connect with the other side of camp. The gravel road had a long steep hill that you went over before hitting a mowed field aka "prairie" loop. This wasn't very technically challenging with the exception of one really steep hill that I had to hike-a-bike, and the fact that it was teeth-chatteringly rough. A few more moderate climbs really made you work before a few switchbacks down a sidehill. The trail crossed the road and went back up a fairly large hill before going to faster, flowing singletrack reminiscent of Lebanon hills with fast ups & downs. Except the trail was mostly loose mulch instead of dirt, so I was white knuckled most of the time. A last hill crossed to another mulch section with some very tight & technical descents. One last steep hike-a-bike and back to the gravel road to finish off the first loop.

I was passed by 2 guys in the prairie, but other than that, I had the bike to myself. Which was good, because I took some nice spills, namely the bottom of the prairie switchbacks--they were very used up by the second lap, and my front tire flew out from underneath me on the last one. So I'm without skin on my left knee/shin. The second lap on the mulch was interesting too--I could tell people were really wiping out and doing lots of skid braking, making these ugly and front tire-catching ruts.

In T2, I couldn't get a bike shoe ratchet to release. I'm pretty sure I burnt up 3 minutes trying to pry that shoe off. I noticed that my knee was bleeding nicely. I'm not surprised!

The run was back out on the gravel road, to it's own single track -- super fun and challenging steep uphills. I literally walked up one section. More uphill to camp, and even more uphill along the top of one of the high ridges, a loop and then back through camp onto another piece of awesome singletrack that flowed really well for running--mostly downhill this time, so I was really moving. The last bit was back along the gravel road.

Just about everyone got a prize of some type--there was only ~35 entrants. The race director plans to make it into an XTerra next year--I will sign up whether it is or not....I had a great time despite the infancy of the trail, and the fact that it was REALLY difficult. The intention is to improve the condition and length of the trail for both bike and run.

Pulling my bike off my car at my apartment, I noticed my front tire was dead flat. Wonder when that happened.

Tire Pressure, ANWR, and Math

Are you laughing that Barack suggested that we keep our tires properly inflated?

According to the department of transportation, a 3.3% gain in mileage can be achieved by keeping your tires properly inflated. At $4.00/gallon, that's a $0.13/gallon savings.

“Silly! That benefit is as slim as it is easy to fill air in my tires,” you say.

Well, the McCano originally suggested we have a federal tax holiday on gas this summer. That would’ve cost the government $9 Billion dollars of lost revenue(which is pumped directly back into the economy to road construction companies), but would save you, $0.18/gallon at the pump.

So you can do something simple and get 2/3 of the effect. It’s like you get a tax cut!!!! (don’t tell the gas stations—they might pull down the FREE AIR signs and start charging.)

It gets more interesting.

Last December, Senator (& soon to be inmate) Ted Stevens, (R-AK) asked the Energy Information Administration (EIA) to tell him how much we could save by tapping into the estimated 18 Billion barrels of crude in Northern Alaska's Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge.(ANWR)

Their answer?

Additional oil production resulting from the opening of ANWR would be only a small portion of total world oil production, and would likely be offset in part by somewhat lower production outside the United States. The opening of ANWR is projected to have its largest oil price reduction impacts as follows: a reduction in low-sulfur, light crude oil prices of $0.41 per barrel (2006 dollars) in 2026 for the low oil resource case, $0.75 per barrel in 2025 for the mean oil resource case, and $1.44 per barrel in 2027 for the high oil resource case, relative to the reference case.

How much is $2.60/ barrel going to take out of a gallon at the pump???????????

According to this article,

Each $1 increase in the cost of a barrel of crude is equal to a 2 1/2-cent increase in the per-gallon price at the pump.

Wow!!! Drilling up Alaska will get us a whopping $0.07 per gallon savings.(rounded up)

BOTTOM LINE: Inflating your tires could save you TODAY almost twofold what ANWR would do for you in 2027.

By the way, the GOP should talk with its constituents before launching attacks like this……

GOP Veep shortlister Charlie Crist, California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger, NASCAR and even President Bush’s Highway Traffic Safety Department, have all discussed the merits of tire pressure.

On a sidenote--Anyone who’s ever raced a bicycle knows how much tire pressure affects efficiency. Running your tires at 90psi vs 120psi+ can make a HUGE difference. I know top agegroup Ironman triathletes who train at low pressure and race at high pressure—it makes them feel very fast on race day.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

White Bikinis....

....are a great choice.

Especially in the rain.

While competing for a gold medal.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Season's over

Well, for the standard races anyways.

This is the scene after my last race.
No worries, it was staged after the race in the parking lot.

Anyways, I'm pretty sure I've secured a top 5 age group finish in the points standings on the triathlon series this summer. Not quite the top 3 that I'd hoped for, but as I've told lots of people -- Damn...people are getting fast this year.

I have one off-road tri this weekend which should be pretty fun. I'm was out last night for the whopping 2nd time all summer on my mountain bike and had a frickin' blast despite my complete lack of skills. I went out to my favorite trail and rode relentlessly for 2 hours in the afternoon heat -- I used up an entire camelback.

I'm having drinks at my party room on Saturday. Let me know if you want to show and I'll send you the evite.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Michael Phelps Facts.

Michael eats silver medals as a pre-workout snack. And he doesn't chew.

Michael taught dolphins how to dolphin kick.

The new Speedo LZR suit is actually made with threads infused with the DNA of Michael Phelps.

Michael eats 12,000 calories a day and is RIPPED.

Michael can bake 30 minute brownies in 20 minutes.

Even if another swimmer could swim as fast as Michael, he wouldn't get in front of him in sheer fear of being sucked into his mouth like the intake of a jet engine.

Michael's sperm actually do the butterfly.

Michael actually sponsors Speedo, not the other way around.

Michael told George W. Bush that he was, in fact, not the decider.

Michael has gold plated gills behind his ears.

Michael is going to use his 9 gold medals to open the ninth gate to Atlantis.

Michael Phelps was born with a turbocharger in his trachea.

Michael Phelp's girlfriend is actually a Formula 1 twin hull speed boat.

Environmental scientists are now researching a new alternative energy by having Michael Phelps swim laps around a tidal generator. Unfortunately, it's not very green, because Michael Phelps actually consumes more calories than an SR-71 blackbird.

Scientists at NASA are currently attempting to determine the materials which compose Michael Phelps's balls in an attempt to create the strongest material on earth.

Michael actually pisses liquid excellence.

After the Olympics are over, Michael plans to continue humiliating the Chinese by freeing Tibet.

Michael plans to reduce his carbon footprint after Beijing by swimming back to Baltimore instead of flying. The waves created will actually cause rivers in China to flow backwards, fertilizing the rural rice paddies with nitrate rich waste.

IM no longer means "individual medley." It means "Invincible Michael"


Tell me these aren't the best sports photos you've seen all year.

Credit: CBC

By the way, Michael consumes about 8,000 calories a day. Nice abs, dude.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Uh, Mike?

Do me a favor and at least ACT like a 200m Butterfly is painful.

This "not breathing hard" stuff at the wall after tying the Olympic record makes it look a little too easy.

Hint: Give everyone a dose of reality and gasp for air with a purple face, vomit, and hallucinate. That's what everyone else does at the end of a 200 fly.

I'm gonna cry

Give me a second here.


I'm living vicariously through Michael Phelps.


Since I really didn't have anything going on yesterday, I met up with my friend Mark(who crashed last year) for a semi-easy bike ride. Burnt out from racing, I figured it'd be nice to have a nice ride with friends and enjoy a good day. Hey, I had nothing better going on.

Another friend, MC is training for an Ironman, and we were going to ride with him for a while, get some coffee and let him go off for a while as we relax, and ride back with him. 60 miles, maybe....

Well, we met up in EP at a local pro triathlete's house, only to find that M left his helmet & shoes at home. So he borrowed both and we headed on our bikes to his place. On the way M got a flat, but he rode it 6 miles to his house. We took a nice loop out to the lake, stopped in Wayzata ffor that coffee. Then all of us headed west of along the lake towards St. Boni, and back. By the time we made it back into town, we had gone about 80 miles.

Hey....MC only has another hour.....lets make it 100! Uh....OK....can we get some gatorade?

A few miles past the gas station, my legs were talking to me. We swung by the uptown lakes, and back out to EP. My legs blew up a few miles away from my car, but I held out.

We finished just short of 100, 6hours 11minutes including the coffee & gatorade breaks.

Fuel Required:
1 medium iced coffee
1 strawberry odwalla
2 lemon lime gatorades
32 oz water
1 powerbar gel
1 large peanut butter cup blizzard (afterwards)

Show me a car that can get that kinda mileage.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Olympics

I'm lovin' it.

Well, cycling and swimming has been on, so go figure.

Anyways, WTF are we doing in China? They have like the worst human rights record on the planet, they have recently been proven to be funding and helping the Sudanese Government exterminate the Darfurese people, they displaced some 2,000,00 people to build the olympic village, and they suppress the freedom on information in their country.

The air is smokier than smoke, for crying out loud!

Here's what I say.

The Olympics are not for politics. They are for the athletes who have been pursuing the pinnacle of achievement for 4 years or more. It is not their choice where they compete.

I do believe that the direct exposure of other cultures to the Chinese people will have a positive effect. Hopefully they will realize how badly they're being fucked over by the few at the top. (I kinda feel the same way about our country some times--help us, Scandinavia!)

That being said--enjoy those cool buildings. I predict that they, as they did in The Devil in the White city, crumble. Beijing has no use for them. A few people will get rich, but people who built them will be out of a job. The cars will again run.


A brush with Olympians

A few weeks ago, the Lifetime Triathlon was held in Minneapolis. The Lifetime attracts some of the biggest names in the sport from around the world as it has a monster payout. ~2500 other athletes join them.

I was out of town for the Timberman, but a few days later, some notable folks showed up at my weekly Wednesday ride.

From Left to Right:
Simon Whitfield
2000 Triathlon Olympic Gold medalist
2008 Lifetime Triathlon Winner
2008 Olympic Triathlon Team Member-
Paul Tichelaar
2008 Canada Triathlon Team Member- Canada
25 years old
Relatively Awesome
Colin Jenkins
2008 Canada Triathlon Team Member- Canada
25 years old

It was an easy, friendly ride -- a serious departure from the usual kinda-wanna-puke hammerpalooza, but Paul did take off for a bit at a rate that may have been easy-moderate for his talent, but put a few chasers, including me, into the red zone.

I spoke with Simon for a bit, and he talked about how much he loved training in the area, and how awesome the architecture in the city is. But, I imagine they say that kinda stuff everywhere they go. They were definitely treated like rockstars around here. 60+ people showed up to ride that night.

They were all hanging out for the week in the cities, training for the next race on their tour ending in Beijing.

Turtleman and Beyond

Turtleman was my last standard tri of the year and the last MM race I'm doing for the season. When I got there, I noticed that there was TONS of bike racks, and most of them were already full.

I set up next to 2 ladies on mountain bikes, and got ready. The lot wasn't sweeped, so I used my bare feet to sweep away the dirt. I wasn't feeling really motivated. This was to be an "A" race, and my goal was to average over 24mph on the bike. Having trained little this week for a few reasons--book club, shin splints, and the general need to do laundry.

Since my number was 700-something, I got to wait while nearly 700 people started before me.

Swim: 23:23. 1:26/100yd I took about 10 steps into the lake, where my legs sunk almost knee deep into mud. I then decided to begin swimming the the ~1.5ft deep water. The water was black--it completely cut out the sun only a few inches down. It was difficult to get a feel for pace, since I didn't really have anyone to swim against. On the way back, the swim exit on the east bank was difficult to see as the morning sun made for some dark shadows.

T1: Clusterfuck. 1:33 Biking was allowed in the transition! Effing Ridiculous! I got my bike and rode off into the steep uphill immediately at the transition exit, except I couldn't clip in my right foot. It took a long time to actually get it clipped in, so I sacrificed some speed here.

Bike: 23.6mph I tied my best bike effort. It was my intention here to go 24+, but I just couldn't do it. The course was pretty flat, and had LOTS of turns, and most of them were fast. There was also cones out to apparently protect bikers from traffic, but they did more to obstruct me on a busy course.

T2: I almost ran a guy over coming into my rack. He wasn't paying attention to what was going on. No biking in transition please.

Run: 7:25/mile Most people told me this was a pancake flat run, but they live in a parallel universe. There was a couple long inclines. About 300meters out of T2, I felt my calf tense up, and almost seize. This really kills your confidence when you want to run fast, since I didn't want to walk 5 miles. About 2 miles in, I did feel a rhythm setting in, but it didn't last long. I have found that I'm a pretty good runner when it comes to hills, and I did pass tons of people that I was jousting with on that hill, but overall, I felt slow. It hurt. The finish line came up alot faster than I thought it would.

Age Group 4/37 (just missed podium)
Overall 78/79x

Now, the floor in my room is covered in dirty clothes. My bikes are filthy. My car is full of crap and clutter. My desk looks like a paper bomb went off at tit. It's all a perfect metaphor for my future triathlon & other sports goals--complete disarray.

I've felt quite burnt out during my last couple races, and I don't feel like I'm becoming as fit as I want to be. I will surely compete next year, but to what extent I don't know.....maybe a 1/2 ironman, a road race here, a mountain bike race there.....

Mountain Climbing.


One last kiss.

I finally got the "I want my shit back" call today after almost 2 weeks of no returned calls from Dr. Jenny

I knew the score, and I've already started moving on.

She told me that she's been too busy with work, and I know that is true, but only partially. She said that this was her first day off in 3 weeks, but it takes 2 minutes to make a phone call....even if you work a 16 hour day.

I'm obviously disappointed about this, but I did have a couple months of great times, and experienced that great phase of discovery and obsession/enamorment over a new girl. I've felt it a few times, and the thrill is second to nothing in life as far as I'm concerned. Except for the act of expressing that thrill with that person I suppose.

Unfortunately, this was a relationship that I knew in the back of my head wouldn't work. After date 3, she nearly crashed her BMW while driving with way too much alcohol in her. In recent time she's talked about going to rehab for her problem. She also was a complete spendthrift, a grown woman living off her mother's credit card and home. This is also not a component of a sustainable relationship. You'd think $200,000+ of school debt might change one's spending habits.

What makes me feel least savory about this was that I really took care of her. And she really needed someone to take care of her. I took her to nice places, I bought some nice things for her, and I took care of her and held her close when she was vulnerable. I made her laugh, and I made her feel the same way about me that I felt about her.


She just left a few minutes ago, and I held out my hand to shake. She gave me a peck instead.

I followed out the door, and in the hallway I told her, "If it's truly your time commitment...and things improve in the me."

Without hesitation-- "A, you're an awesome person, but it's just not working." Her voice crackled.

I rubbed off her lip gloss.

My adventure continues........

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Brewhouse 08

Determined not to make another Bode-esque appearance at yet another race, I took a nice early spot on the couch at an old friend's house in Duluth, and got an early start this morning. I mooched breakfast from their kitchen and slipped out the door.

This was to be another "B" race. I just finished peak week, and I'm nursing a calf injury I got on Tuesday while running. (how I can shred my gastrocnemius 0.8 miles into a run is beyond my understanding--also beyond my understanding is why I ran another 3 miles on it) I'd only signed up for Brewhouse to meet the maximum amount of scoring races in the Midwest Multisport series, and Brewhouse was my 5th. I could've done either of the Pigmans, but I'm abstaining from Iowa.

Anyways, I was able to get a good spot in transition. This was pretty important, because it is very tight in that transition. The rows are congested, and they are close together. The run lane was also tight.

Swim: On the run into the water, I felt myself almost kicking my timing chip off, so i stopped to slip it under my wetsuit. Once I got going, it felt pretty fast! Coming back into the sun was difficult, and the first turn had me disoriented about which way to go. I eventually figured it out, and had lots of open water. I thought I was the first guy out of the water, but it turns out I let a few guys escape out in front of me....but they were pretty fast.

T1: 1:59 struggled with my helmet straps, almost choking myself. fast otherwise.

Bike: 22.4mph avg. Par. I pushed pretty hard, and even jousted with some of the women's leaders and reeled in a few off the elite wave. There was one very hairy turn where some of the short course runners slipped into the bike lane, right in front of me! WTF? I was narrowly able to pass on one side without being railroaded into pylons.

Perhaps the turd in the punchbowl of this race is the road. It's horrible. Cracked, uneven, patched....whatever could possibly make it rough, it was there, jostling my undercarriage and slowing me down. A co-worker jokingly asked me if I put a suspension fork on my Cervelo, and in hindsight, it might not have been such a bad idea. The road made it extremely difficult to hold speed and it really provided for a mental block. On a smooth road I could have easily broken 23. Seriously--even DKT didn't break 27mph.

Speaking of that guy, I was nearing the finish of the bike when I passed a guy on the bike with a unitard that said Thompson, riding on a Litespeed with Zipps. I thought this was DKT having an off day, but upon passing him later on, I realized it was a different Thompson.

T2: 2:13 Decent dismount. The setup of transition made you run all the way to the end of the racks and back, which was annoying and made it easy for some people to cheat, which my friend J witnessed. I'm going to just go with blisters on my next race and leave my socks in the transition bag.

Run: 7:14/mile. I felt very slow out of T2, and my legs felt totally worthless, and in pain. I began to wonder if I pushed it too hard on the bike. Then I sucked it up when I saw DKT limping along going the other way to win the race. Now he looked like he was in pain.

The run course goes up, up, up, up, up, up, down, down, up, and then steeply down. Then you have to turn around and do that backwards. Aside from this being the most painful run I've done all season, I liked the course. You could see a patrol car flashing from the finish line with about downhill mile to go, which was pretty inspiring.

I think some of the "volunteers" on the run course were misfit youth doing community service. I will say that they were dedicated to what they were doing, and very encouraging.

I'll take 7:14's given the pain I was in. 165HR felt way tougher than the 174 I was sustaining at HOLT. I'll run faster next week.

5/20 ag

Overall, the race was well done. The direction was good(the guy who puts the race on is a Duluth rockstar of sorts), the lake was pleasant & clean, the run course was challenging. They also gave away a TON of shit. More than most races I go to. But I won't go back until they fix the road. butt still hurts.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Hard Swim Practice

The anatomy of my last swim practice during peak week. I've got a great outdoor pool at my gym, so this is where you'll see me practicing on warm summer afternoons.

5 minute warmup/stretch

3 times:
50 drill (fist, 8 kicks per side, catchup)
50 crawl

These are my 3 favorite crawl stroke drills. I'll write an article on this one of these days.

100 easy

10x150 (100 moderate pace/50hard pace)

100 easy

3x200 lungbuster
(1st 50 3 strokes/breath, 2nd 50 5 strokes per breath, 3rd 50 7 strokes/breath, 4th 50 9 strokes/breath)

The lungbuster set is one of my favorite workout from the days of wayback. I usually breathe every 4 strokes, so this set challenges me to bilateral breathe. (breathing on alternate sides)
It also has a few other functions:
1) it takes you to the redline quickly. If you're already a fit athlete, you'll probably start to feel it around the second breath on the 7's. You have about 85 meters left at that point.
2) it teaches you to use your air wisely. You'll be exhaling while purple in the face with 3 strokes to go....sounds counterintuitive but you want a lungfull of fresh air.
3) it takes you anaerobic and leaves you there for quite some time. by the last 25 meters, I feel the pain dissolve because I'm so lightheaded. Very weird feeling, but you're teaching your muscles to work completely without oxygen to metabolize.

2x50 all out sprint
2x25 frogstroke, no breath.


strut past girls tanning (you like that? I thought so. wink)

total: ~3000 meters