Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 291.12

Every so often I find it helpful to review. We have covered so much ground. Made so much progress (even though at times it seems like none.) I mentioned in class this morning that we compare to our former selves, NOT to others.

So today, after a rollicking Super Eight set of maximum blasts of 30 second explosive power, and as I am feeling particularly good (fit and healthy) and before another 2x20 set of 85% of FTP in the PowerBarn this evening, let's spend a few minutes looking in the rear-view mirror. Shall we?

Don Miguel Ruiz has authored many books. His wisdom comes from the Toltec tribe. Perhaps his most famous work, The Four Agreements, is his finest. It is as simple as it is pure. As important as timely. Here are the Four:

1) Be impeccable with your word.
2) Don't take anything personally.
3) Don't make assumptions.
4) Always do your best.

How this fits into my day?

When I said I was going to kill the Super Eights, I meant it. I needed to back up that talk with the walk.

When I got to number seven and found my gas tank to be almost empty, I didn't berate the fool that I am.

I DID assume that I could execute the protocol flawlessly. Once again, I was not 100% correct.

Despite all this (failing at the first three) I did the best I could.

Tonight I will remind myself and review these principles prior to the nightcap.

I will not assume that taking it personally will create a falsehood in the process of doing the best that I can.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Day 290.11

I am a passenger on a tour bus gawking out the window at the surrealistic view. We are on a narrow walk-way paved with stone. I am awed that the driver (it might be me) is able to guide the huge coach without disaster. We are on the private grounds of what seems to be old European money. It is a castle on a lake. Across the deep blue water are mountains of vibrant red clay. There are ancient dwellings built into the face of the rock and the sky and clouds contrast with crisp fierceness.

Suddenly we stop. I am outside trying to frame a shot of all this with my iPhone when an elderly woman appears. She has silver hair atop a serious, but kind, face.  She looks very fit, perhaps a mountaineer. She is holding a clipboard. I sense that there has been some mix up in scheduling. She isn't happy that we are there. 

As I re-frame my money-shot a motorcade of sports cars, all carrying Swiss pennants, comes racing past me on the twisty road. I get one or two shots between the cars and return to the bus.

The driver, as tour operator (is it me again?) has successfully negotiated a solution with the woman and is calling for the passengers to re-board the coach.

As I pass in front of him he says to me, 'nothing a few dollars can't fix', and smiles.

I am at once relieved and concerned.

I want this to be above board, not some cheesy back-roads midnight limo service to the red-light district.

We are on our way and I look out the window across the lake for a last peek of the million dollar view.

It is gone.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Day 289.10

I sent out a few resumes today. Talked with a couple of folks. Did some internet searches. There are jobs out there. Some even involve travel.

BUT, they all seem to leave me in the middle of the road. Way too techie, or well beneath my skill set.

I am middle America. Lost at sea. Without a paddle or a canteen. There is another word for it but I am trying my best to refrain from the vulgar.

I want to build something. Put hands to work. Cut, sand, nail, paint. I need a side project to get me untied from this horrifying computer tether. My ideal day (for now) looks like this:

Exercise (train)
Computer work (video)
Outside project (build)
More exercise (cross-train)
Computer push
Exercise (easy)
Follow up
Read, write
Sleep (with nice dreams)

I can grab healthy snacks and fit in commutes with this schedule. It suits me. There is precious little compensation however.

What would I think if all that came crashing down and ended up looking like this:


I don't know. What I DO know is that I need to generate some revenue. Re-stock the coffers. Fill some coffee cans with Bens and bury them in the forest. Buy a lot in Sequim so I can dig holes and place seedlings in them. Pay taxes again. Get square with the IRS. Fix my credit. Buy some medical insurance. Sound like middle of the middle in the USofA?

Maybe they won't ever call for an interview. Then I won't have to answer that question. In the meantime I have an exercise session at 1800.

Thank the Lord for that!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Day 288.9

I have said this before…

and probably will a few more times…

I would rather be a Husky in defeat…

than a Duck in victory.

That being said. Today was another tough one. Issues early on included dizziness, fatigue, navigational problems, acute light sensitivity. Did a load of laundry (workout kits, despite tech fabrics, pile up in a hurry), then sauntered down to Silverdale to schedule an install time for the A/V upgrade on the PowerBus. That will be Friday at 0900. At Car Toys. Sorry Best Buy but you had three chances to get my dough, and went o-for-three. You will not get a fourth chance BB. No no no.

Another graphic example of nonexistent customer service. Seriously, I held my American Express GOLD card above my head in the car stereo department for twenty minutes. Closest I came to assistance was a gal from the phone sector who winked with a "we going out?" grin.


Did some shopping on way home and stopped in to see my old pals at Poulsbo Running. They are sooooooooooooooooooo great. I told Brooke that I am in the hunt for steady employment (after giving her the condensed story) and she volunteered to contact our mutual friend out at Bangor MWR and put in a good word.


So we have a week till install. I will put up the racks, continue the outfitting (chairs, tent, BBQ next up) and have this puppy road-ready by this time next week. Now to attract some clients. Fishing to Neah Bay? Hiking Mt St Helens? A marathon, a football game, a concert?


You put together 2-6 people and I will haul them wherever they want to go. This puppy will sleep 4 comfortably, six when the weather is nice and we have a campsite. If no sleepover, she'll take half a dozen anywhere at a remarkably good price. This, in spite of the lingering greed of the oil barons. We did some modeling Thursday, how is this?

Saturday: Depart from BI ferry terminal. Cyclists ride, supported, the 75 miles to Dungeness Rec Area Campground in Sequim. Dinner, campfire, accommodations.
Sunday: Ride, supported, from Sequim to Hurricane Ridge and back, 50 miles. Cruise back to BI ferry. Home by 6pm.

All that for $110/pp.


Photo: Pioneers of the Fun 101 bike trip about to leave Forks for another great day of Olympic cycling. l-r Ace, RCVman, 8T. An RG photo.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Day 287.8. Woof and Cheers!


There is lots of good stuff to celebrate.

We should be happy our community isn't dealing with an ebola crisis, for one.

That we have no visible barbarians at the gate, for another.

That we have shelter, a wardrobe, fresh fruit and clean water.

That we have brothers and sisters that care.

That we have the freedom to choose what we do, how we do it and with whom.

That people aren't getting tossed in the slammer because they light up.

That love is not gender specific.

That you have a job. A 401K and something in the bank called savings.


I wish I was chilling some IPAs in preparation to watch the contest via a live feed on my MacBook, but…..

I feel like shit. Today's 90 minute session kicked my butt in a totally new way. I went into AF at the 67 minute mark and ever since have been dealing with dizziness and hypotension.

So I am going to take another nap and see how that helps.

We have about an hour and a half before the start. I should be ready.

Lucky I am merely a fan and not trying to contain Mariotta.

I will leave that for the Dawg D. I made my prediction yesterday and stand by it.

38-37 Huskies.


Friday, October 17, 2014

Day 286.7

Out of the blue and into the black.

Friday's have been my 'off-day' for quite a while now. The one day out of seven where I curtail all training in the hopes that a mere 24 hours will somehow miraculously heal all wounds. In the good-old-days this worked well for me. Recovering from a M-F double session routine to prepare for the LSD of the weekend. I think it still does. But for different reasons.

Now I need it for a break. A buffer between those two-a-days and the demands of the weekend. Almost everything in my life has been turned upside down. There remains zero stability, nary a comfort zone and nothing resembling status quo. I am on a mission of living in the present moment. Everything has evolved, changed or been recycled.

This is on the one hand thrilling and on the other terrifying. The terrible twos in a grudge-match of eternal proportions. My heart related issues have caused a series of reactive events that could be labeled catastrophic. I have lost my house, its equity, my savings, my job. I am broke. I am working my way back from surgery and a two year bout with some mysterious, and as yet undiagnosed, heart ailment. It was suggested to me the other day that the retail value of the treatment and procedures I have undergone in the last 18 months would fetch over 400K on today's medical market.

And still I run at 50%. No wonder they always ask if I live alone. I am one breath away from stroking out. SOMEBODY should know. That 911 thing.

Friday in the RV. A downscale of proportion. I like it. I am content and happy, just finishing off a plate of rice and sardines. I am drinking cheap beer. It tastes like happy days in High School on the beach. I keep telling myself that it will be OK.

And it will. Say it again. IT WILL.

I will do the best I can. Something has got to shake. I will find a place to park the Blue Whale. I will get a job. I don't care if it is a holiday temp for I will find somebody who wants simple pleasures and joy. The pacer will work. The sun will shine in my backyard someday.

Out of the grey and into the gold.

Huskies 38, Ducks 37, would be a great way to start.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Day 285.6

A little better but far from perfect.

The down bags, ceramic heater and gas furnace dialed up the comfort factor significantly.

After yesterday's two sessions I felt fairly good. Had to gulp one of the prescribed pain killers at bedtime, and today I felt OK, although I have the odd sensation that 'something's not quite right' constantly buffering my on-going desire to feel normal again. The voice I am hearing is the same one that has been singing for a while now: There is something else involved.

And of course the song, as the singer, are 100% correct. There IS something else involved.

We simply do not know at this time what it is. So it remains idiopathic. Other. The 64 thousand dollar question. Mystery of mysteries.

Tactic: Time. Let it heal. Find some calm. Drink plenty of water, eat as good as you can afford and schedule in proper rest and recovery time. My workouts are interestingly decent. They are not overwhelmingly powerful, but they are consistent. Further, I am still here. Which should be good news for those of you betting the over on the streak!

It dawned on me today that our age group really isn't training to get stronger or faster - we aren't necessarily riding and running for more power - as we are making a noble stand in the defense of what we have. To not lose any more. To stand our hard-earned ground and never surrender. To fight the good fight against the omnipresent and relentless reality we call Time. (I almost called it the enemy, whew!).

So we do things a little differently. We warm up more, use our experience in place of raw power, warm down longer, stretch more, stop making the same stupid mistakes and apply a whole new mind-set to this miraculous circumstance we call training.

I don't need perfection today, just another step in its direction.