Monday, November 30, 2009


What is the price of success?

It is doing what is right, necessary or required in a job, relationship or career. And it is doing it with love, positive expectation, joy and gratitude. It is doing it with consistency, integrity, passion and resolve and commitment.

Let's examine this one specific component of our goal here, shall we?

As suggested, your individual goal is something uniquely personal. If I was to poll the regular members of our spinning group, triathlon club, or CompuTrainer users, I would most likely get at least a dozen different responses to this question. Polar extremes such as general fitness increases to training for an Ironman. Stress management and weight loss in between. Core strength. Speed enhancements. Endurance. Explosive power. Lowered cholesterol. On.

And on.

Today's specific area in question is not so much about the why, but the how. You know the why. And intrinsically you know the how. It's just that sometimes we forget.

You need the 3Ds to push closer towards your goal. Inch by inch. Meter by meter. Mile by mile, one pedal rotation after another, day by day.

Uno) YOU must be dedicated. Dos) YOU must be disciplined. Tres) YOU must have desire.

YOU have to pay the price. YOU must do the right thing. Often.

Like every day.

And after we have mastered that, it is every hour.

And after that......

You get the idea.

I will now give you the best advice I can possibly offer in the hopes of getting you to get what you want. The first step in mastering the 3Ds is to:

Quatro) SHOW UP.

Or sooner or later you will be paying the for the cost of failure.

You can cheer on the sidewalks of Kona, or pay the price to race there.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


The waiting is over. For the cup to return to its rightful owners, anyway.

We are going to have to wait a little longer to beat the Oregon schools, go to a bowl game, to win the Pac X again and get back to Pasadena, but it's a start.

The Huskies demolished the Cougars last night 30-0.

On a crispy gray November night in Seattle the Dawgs regained a little of the swagger that propelled them to National Championships (1991), Rose Bowl Victories (the most recent in 2000) and too many exhilarating college football moments to mention here on a Sunday morning when I have so much to do. But that might make a good project for later when the weather REALLY turns.

We had some fun Cup week with the usual Coug jokes, and I will admit that last night there were times I felt a touch of compassion for the hapless felines in crimson, but that didn't last long. We are trending upwards and I like what I see as far as their maturation as a team. We have some exciting young players and the next few years will create the opportunity for a wild ride back to the top.

Where we belong.

It is going to take a lot of hard work. It will come one game at a time. You gotta believe and ya gotta give it up for the greater good of the team. Sometimes ya gotta snarl, bark more and wag less.

The dark gloomy wait is over. The Apple Cup is back in Seattle.

Thankfully then, no more jokes until 2010.

OK, OK, one more:

What did the Cougar linebacker say to the bus driver on his way back to Pullman last night?

A transfer to Washington please.

Kathy came all the way from DC to watch the AC with birthday-boy RG.
Started in Pioneer Square with burritos and Modelo especial.
Where's the bus?
At Husky Stadium
In section 7, row 7. Lucky for us.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Black Friday

When Black Friday comes.

We got in our 90 minute HIT session yesterday without a hitch, prepping for the main event meal to follow. The skies have cleared up substantially this morning calling me for a run in the park, but as I was up till 2:30 last night, did the 60 HIT class this morning at 0530 and my stomach is feeling a touch, shall we say, over extended, I am going to pass, for now. Maybe a rally this afternoon before the matinee screening of The Road. Which, from what I have read so far this one is going to be a must see for Cormac McCarthy fans, you know, violent, bloody, bleak, stark and graphic. I am half way through Suttree at present and I will say that it is a tough read. But Cormac has such a gift for descriptive prose that it is impossible to put down, despite the setting, story and general stench in which the characters (and I mean characters) struggle to survive. A common CMaC theme.

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. It is Apple Cup (UW vs Washington State) week here in the GPNW (Great Pacific Northwest), and RG (Dad) and I were taking pot shots at the poor Cougars last night over spaghetti and tempranillo.

"Why did Wazzo put in Astroturf"?

"To keep the cheerleaders from grazing".

Here are a couple of interesting CT related links you might enjoy. The first from a new user, Tech-Tri documenting set up and use (including RCV Lake Placid), and a check in visit of our old buddy the DC Rainmaker. Both are excellent reading for the CT/RCV user.

Wait, today is Black Friday and I'm not asking you to buy anything? I must be getting soft.


The gang after class yesterday.
The table is set. Just add food.
Tech-Tri's cool CT set up in NY.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Twelve RCVs for Christmas

Rockin' Roger over at CompuTrainer HQ just announced the release of Real Course Video number 12; The New York City Triathlon. Just made my Thanksgiving a whole lot more fun. AND just in time to add to the pending RCV Christmas commercial (as now we have one RCV available for each of the 12 days thereof). Although I have yet to come up with a rhyme for Ironman Lake Placid, having tried a plethora of variants on swimmers, drummers, geese, golden rings, pear trees, and even turtledoves, I will keep after it as now the stage has been set and the heat is on.

Here is the go-to page for purchasing info. Additionally we have adjusted the discount pricing structure now offering a robust 35% off of retail with the purchase of any four RCVs. I recommend RCVs (loosley) corresponding with French hens, milking maidens, dancing ladies and piping pipers. (CdA, IMC, Wisconsin and NYC).

I guess you'll have to wait for the commercial. In the meantime however, here (in case you missed it back in early August) is the NYC promo piece. Seems like a long time ago that we were taking outdoor showers and singing about having hot fun in the summertime.

Please keep in mind that:

1) God gave us noses so that we might smell roses in December. And:
2) CompuTrainer gave you the NYC Triathlon so you might ride it in December.

Have a fine Thanksgiving VBA. I will try to get in a post sometime between spin and supper tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


A quick PSA.

On Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, we (Bainbridge Athletic Club) traditionally open our spin sessions to all. Family and friends are invited to share the love that only the House of Pain can provide. And this at no cost. No fees. Free.

Down side is that our 27 LeMond Revmasters will all be in use. If you (and yours) plan on attending the 90 minute suffer-fest PLEASE get there early. Class is from 8-9:30. And I will stretch my neck way out on the chopping block and say here and now that the set list will be the most eclectic farrago of melodies, genres, time signatures and musical dynamics ever assembled for this purpose.

I was supposed to have the addition (phase 93) completed by Thursday when our VIPs start to show. I won't. However, as those who have spent any time whatsoever in the cabin in the woods recognize, it is what it is. I can guarantee a fire in the stove, a huge cauldron of Moms spaghetti sauce, warm sourdough bread, lots of red wine (I am thinking tempranillo and malbec), music in the air (Afro-Celts, Modeski, Martin & Wood, Phish) and a spirit of gratitude.

That is the best I can do this year. You are welcome to join, participate and share in 'some of the above' or 'all of the above'.

If your individual logistics determine a 'none of the above answer', please have a wonderful, healthy and joyous Thanksgiving.

This has been an RCVman Public Service Announcement.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Only Once

My cheap, but new Aisics showed up Friday, so I took them for a test spin in the park. This between squalls. I am kinda lucky in that I can gauge the soggy gray skies and take off on a moments notice for a quick (relatively) afternoon 5K. The late autumnal light was stunningly showing off tree colors as shown here. I went back to the cabin to grab my camera and found some surprises under the pine trees on the return trip.

Got me to thinkin'. There are a lot of things I don't fully understand. And while this doesn't bother me most of the time, on my slow, peaceful, relaxing walk home, I wondered:

Why in the midst of all this magical splendor would God create poison mushrooms? What purpose do they serve? Did cows at one point use them to aid digestion? And I remembered an old saying, "All mushrooms are edible, some only once, however."

I am still scratchin' my noggin.

Going for another run as the battleship gray has turned to silver.

And welcome to RCVman post number 600. We have traveled far.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

More Core

Questions about The Core came up today. We work it a lot in our HIT sessions, and this morning I asked that we move our focus lower than ever to a place regarded as the hardest to specifically target in resistance training. The lowest of the low. The first stack of cans at the bottom of the shelf holding the top four of the six pack. You of course know that there are actually eight, but that doesn't have quite the same ring (unless you drink Guinness). I think we did pretty good with this fist time visualization., and I grant you that it is a tough one to master. But as we age and as our metabolism begins to slow, we have a decision to make (yet another decision): Let the process happen and accept that 90% of us in our age demographic have, pick your term, ponch, gut, jelly belly, beer belly, flabby abbys, spare tire, love handles, or my favorite denial spin, a thyroid problem. Or we can take charge of ourselves and DO SOMETHING.

The logical question after class this morning was: What exactly do we do?

Glad you asked.

Three things.

Thing Number One: Restrict our caloric intake and especially that of saturated fat.
Thing Number Two: Work the core through high intensity training.
Thing Number Three: Stretch, twist, target thru Pilates, Physio ball or dance.

I am assuming that you understand by now the tangential fine print associated with these. Consider that two of the three will only yield at best a 66% success probability. If that isn't good enough for you, than you are going to have to add some dedicated and detailed work to the mix. You are going to need three of three. In some combination. Such as:

Lose the Krispy Kremes.
Climb out of the saddle longer.
Two days a week hanging crunches.

Replace peanut butter with grapefruit at breakfast.
Add resistance to your spin.
Pilates class twice a week.

Smaller portions.
Run stairs, or hill repeats once a week.
Brazilian dance.

And please folks, try to remember that this is a process. It will not happen overnight. Sometimes it won't happen in a year. Be patient. Enjoy the ride. Consider it a healthy life style choice. The core muscles, and for our purposes let's define the core as the superficial and deep abdominal muscles (transverse abdominus, rectus abdominus, internal obliques, external obliques, and quadratus lumborum) along with the superficial and deep muscles of the low back (multifidi, spinal erectors, etc.) all play a huge and vital role for core stabilization and strength, but are the hardest muscle groups to effectively target. Hard yes, impossible, no. We can rise to the occasion and meet the challenge. With grace and élan. Maybe even with a smile. So......

Let's start right now. Breathe, hold deep in you lower belly. Exhale and locate your lower abs, constrict them and hold. Feel an immediate improvement in your posture? Repeat.

Now log off and go run.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Cosi fan Tutti

Cosi fan Tutti.

Everybody is going it.

Doing exactly what you might ask coyly?

Riding a bike. Certo. The Italians have been doing it longer, with more flair (bravissimo) and in greater numbers a lot longer than we (gli americani) have been. They have also been riding in what an old friend of mine from the Dante Aligheri Society used to call Paradiso. Paradise. Like in Heaven. As in perfecto.

For those of you lucky enough to have ridden the Dolomites, Roma, Tuscano, Umbria, Le Marche, South of Naples or Sicily, you know of what I speak. There are many adjectives in both languages that add color to the terrain, my favorite being spectacalore. I think you can translate.

As we were warming up for another suffer fest in the HoP early this morning, my jersey (il gallo nero) started some conversation about past Italian cycling holidays, and of course, how much fun they were, and how expensive (molto caro). And then, of course, how much we would all like an encore.

Got me to thinkin'. Why not see if we can find a like-minded group in Italia that might want to engage in a reciprocal cycling adventure? Allora, twenty come here for a week to ride, we put them up, feed them, host them, entertain them, guide them, set up bikes to ride so their luggage fees and travel hassles are minimized, shuttle them, and in turn they do the same for us on their turf. In a perfect world, under this system the only out of pocket expenses would be air fare. Wow. Che bella.

So I am using the vast International powers of the RCVman blog to cast out the first net. Anybody out there in Italy want to play?

With all due respect to Amadeus, this could be great fun, an opera buffa of epic proportions.

Grazie tanti amici.

Photographia, alto a basso.: La strada a vicino de Genoa. La Serenissima, Venezia. Day before the Palio in Sienna and The Tiber from Castelo Sant'Angelo.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Garmin's Not Lost

I was tipped to this commercial by Garmin, the folks who get us the topo data for RCVs. It is over-the-top-cool. As a user of their products I am awed. As a filmaker I am humbled. As an athlete I am thankful. As a consumer I am happy their products are covered in my production budget. As RCVman I am honored to developing a new app as a result of their technology and innovation. Bugs on the grille. Flippin classic gingle writing.

Moments of Truth

Moments of Truth

There comes a time. Maybe you have been there. A defining moment in time that allows you to see who you are. How far you still have to go despite how far you have come. A test.

A test of your understanding.

A test of your wisdom.

A test of your limits.

A test of your love.

A test of your training, your physical capability, your engines state of readiness, the gas remaining in the tank, your resolve, your skill, your stamina, your presence. You. The real you, the big picture you. YOU.

Champions set this up as a strategic maneuver, much like a master chess player orchestrates a trap. Adventurers go in search of these magical moments. It is surely the allure of war. What grade is my courage? Under what conditions will I quit, run for cover or compromise? Precisely at what point will I surrender?

Can we create scenarios where we put this into a laboratory and scientifically observe the relationship between cause and effect?

Yes, yes, and heck yes we can. It's called high intensity training, and subsequently taking the effects of this regimen out into the testing grounds of real world racing.

This morning we tested a little of this. I mentioned that the only difference between two of our senior spinners and Lance and Levi or World Class Triathletes like Craig Alexander and Chris Lieto, was that the warriors mentioned lastly have developed through discipline, dedication and desire THE ABILITY TO WITHSTAND PHYSICAL DIS-COMFORT LONGER.

Simple as that.

They have tested their resolve, dialed up the suffering, refined their skills through repetition, gone fast and gone hard. Lots. Often. Without compromise. In any condition. NO MATTER WHAT.


There are no lies in the moment of truth. Crowie overtakes Chris on the Queen K with less than 10K to go.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Seven and Counting


A) Repetition is refinement.

B) Practice makes perfect.

C) Perfect practice makes perfect.

D) The longer you go, the better you get.

E) Longevity is the goal, survival the game.

Which is true?

I have been experiencing an odd new twist to the routine. Something comparatively exciting and urgent. Also something I don't 100% understand. Yet.

It goes as follows: I really look forward to working out. And even more so to going hard while I work out. Precisely, going to max in the morning spin session, and then slightly below that intensity level later in the day running. This, five days a week with a long run or ride and then one recovery day.

It feels very much natural. I feel great. Please be advised that I say this as a triathlete who has often logged 18 hour weeks of training. Yes my left side ilioipsosas still occasionally moans for massage, but overall, I think what is happening is this: I have reached another plateau. It is time to add to the stress load, up the ante, attack.

Further, the reason I feel so good about all this is, that I utterly enjoy the feeling of my body firing on all cylinders as it performs. We have paid the price of admission and now it is time to enjoy the show. Endless hours of saddle time have provided a stable and solid foundation, trillions of pedal rotations have refined and balanced the stroke, thousands of hill repeats have strengthened the core and performance muscles, hundreds of sprints have adjusted the carburetion and intake to exacting standards, and continued commitment to additional improvement has supplied a high octane like fuel that keeps the next session an event to eagerly anticipate instead of apathetically dread.

At what time of the day do we get to do this? Let it all go and cut it loose? Focus on nothing but the attainment of our physical best? Breathe hard and deep, take the heart rate towards its apex, feel our muscles respond to ever raising stimulus? Create an internal chemistry that sometimes feels illegal. FIRE ON ALL CYLINDERS?

If you answered: all of the above, I'll see you in the morning.

Junior hits seven. And counting.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mad Men

Tonight is the CompuTrainer presentation at Poulsbo Running. I have everything packed and ready (I trust) and sit hoping that the skies remain blue long enough for me to get in a quick 5K before the stage lights come on. I am very much looking forward to the evening, as there aren't too many subjects I prefer to talk about more, demonstrate, show videos of, answer questions on behalf of or share tales of the road about, than my long and sometimes dramatic relationship with the company known as RacerMate.

I find it most empowering to be my own brand. Somewhat like last night as I sat mesmerized by a scene in Mad Men (Season II, Disc 1) when Don Draper had to tell the CEO from Mohawk Air that Sterling Coo was dropping them (because that back-stabbing megalomaniac SOB Duck, and his toady Pete were pitching American), and the client said, "You told me way back when that more than Sterling Cooper, I was getting Don Draper". So it's kinda like when you buy a CompuTrainer, you get RCVman (minus the booze, smokes and baggage of course).

In a very real way, I can honestly say that I love what I do, and do what I love.

But I don't sleep on a bed made of money.

And that doesn't matter.

For now.

Here are this weeks roundup of CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Centers as Googled. Check 'em out, from:

Fredrick, MD
Reno, NV
Toronto, ON, CAN
San Diego, CA
Potomac Falls, VA
Jacksonville, FL

And lastly is a YouTube link to a off-road bike race (Bierkebeiner ?) in Norway that attracts 17,000 riders. We got a call from the RD yesterday about filming a RCV for them. Ya sure, you betcha we got the RCVman ready to go.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Free Pizza

Nothing in the civilized world like free pizza.

Tomorrow night at the Poulsbo Running, the West Sound Triathlon Club is hosting their November meeting at six. RCVman will be the guest speaker. He will be talking about (mostly) how the CompuTrainer can make you a better cyclist, a more powerful rider and a stronger athlete. He will also be showing a few short videos, demonstrating the use of the CT and spin scan, supervising test rides, promoting the Real Course Videos, giving away DVD copies of Northwest Triathlon 2003: Tips, CompuTrainer RCV headbands, informational brochures, and offering a 10% discount for individual purchases and 29% for group buys. His speech should be short, concise, factual, motivational, didactic and filled with the humor, irony and drama that only 20 years on the triathlon trail can provide. And if all that isn't enough..... pizza will be served.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Leo & Junior

I was up in the tree house this afternoon converting some vintage analog video to digital when I spied a book on the shelf that had all but forgotten. As the video was evolving from standard to high definition, I thumbed thru the chapters and found several relevant quotes and passages. The book is "How to Think Like Leonardo DaVinci" by Michael J. Gelb. Here is one passage that I think appropriate as we have been working on our personal power profiles since Kona.


The following questions are drawn from different people's "top ten". These questions are powerful catalysts to personal growth and fulfillment. Copy them in your notebook for contemplation.

* When am I most naturally myself? What people, places or activities allow me to feel most fully myself?
* What is one thing I would stop doing, or start doing or so differently, starting today that would most improve the quality of my life?
* What is my greatest talent?
* How can I get paid for doing what I love?
* Who are my most inspiring role models?
* How can I best be of service to others?
* What is my hearts deepest desire?
* How am I perceived by: my closest friend, my worst enemy, my boss, my children, my co-workers, etc.?
* What are the blessings in my life?
* What legacy would I like too leave?

Video done. Time to edit and burn. Today is Junior's birthday and we will watch the video shot on this day (in standard definition) from seven years ago.

This is a blessing in my life.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Faster, Better, Stronger

As many of your already know (because I talk about incessantly), I have the distinct pleasure and opportunity to interview Dr. Massimo (Max) Testa next week in LA as part our opening of a new CompuTrainer Multi-Rider facility.

I ordered a copy of Dr. Eric Heiden's book, "Faster, Better, Stronger" co-authored with Max, and have been scanning passages during coffee breaks, video render breaks and my own version of fast-food dinners. I am also heavy into the paint phase of the studio remodel, so I have had a few "paint-dry ops' to read as well.

This is a great read and a exercise manual of monumental proportions. Maybe even more than the information flow, a constant, is the tone of the work, as it is glaringly obvious that these two experts in their respective fields, LOVE WHAT THEY DO.

And that, dear readers, comes shinin' through like the summer sun on a shimmerin' sea. Here are a couple of quick excerpts, and the link to the site.

"I used to think about the cellular adaptations while training--how my mitochondria were adapting, what fuel stores I was using, how the actin and myosin were making my muscles contract. This made me feel empowered and part of the process."

"A big factor that leads to the symptoms of overtraining is monotony. I'm Italian and I couldn't eat Lasagna everyday."

You will enjoy this ride. Subtitle is "10 Proven Secrets to a Healthier Body in 12 Weeks"

Hey now.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

We're Outta Time

Time is what keeps everything from happening at once. So we spread it out into more manageable 24 hour chunks. Those chunks become blocks and the blocks quickly build things. That is why we call then the building blocks of a solid foundation. Days, weeks, years. These things take time. The days sometimes pass slowly but the years fly by. Some of us have been working on our base fitness for a long time. When that happens we need to dial (not sun dial) it up adding speed, distance or power to the equation. Find a cross training activity that we enjoy, one that will augment our routine. If you are not already swimming, dive in. Not running, lace 'em up. Not cycling indoors or out? OK I know you are. How about yoga, kettle-bells, backpacking, cross country skiing or taking the mountain bike up a hill or two. All cross training is good. For the mind and spirit as well as the motor.

Next year we are branching out a touch heading into year three of the RCV saga. With eleven Ironman courses currently available for you to add to your shopping cart, we think it a good marketing move to give the roadies and non-triathletes something cool to watch as they ride. We have had some great conversations with potential partners and the Boss asked if I would produce a tentative shoot schedule for 2010 so that we have something to work from and start to solidify dates and times and places. That time thingy again.

So I started to list the events that we already have commits from and those that look like we will. I also had three events that in which I wanted to compete so that needed to get tossed into the mix as well. The time machine.

This may be the year that I film and race on the same day, 'cause they're just aren't enough days in the summer to fit in all this fun. And yes, as you have long suspected, I consider my work fun. I also look at my fun as work, so there ya go. The proverbial win/win.

Here then is the totally unofficial and unauthorized 2010 RCV Shoot Schedule for your consideration and subsequent approval.

New Orleans 70.3 April 18 Nawlins Film
Galveston 70.3 April 25 Galveston, TX Film
Wildflower LC May 1 Lake San Antonio, CA Race

IM St. George May 1 ST. GEORGE, UT Film
Tour of California May 16-23 CA Film

USAC Road Race June 6 Westchester, PA Film

Boise 70.3 June 12 Boise, ID Race

Pacific Crest June 26 Bend, OR Race

USAC Masters TT July 4 Louisville, KY Both*

Boulder GFondo JULY Boulder, CO Film*

Antwerp 70.3 July 25 Antwerp, Belgium Film

Madison GFondo AUGUST Madison, WI Film*

Mammoth Lakes GF SEPTEMBER Mammoth Lakes, CA Film*

Kona OCTOBER 9 Kona, HI Film

Did I miss any?

* Will require an additional trip for pre-event shoot (2 RCVs).
Need to decide on Wildflower or STG asap (May 1).

Whoa, we're outta time. (I had better go for a run).

The out and back starts at Sea-Tac.
Cafe in Nice, nice.
Train station near Roth, Germany. There will ve NO PICKING OF THE NOSE!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Blob

Ran into an old friend at the grocery store this afternoon. I was on my way back from shopping for Junior who will be eight on Saturday. Got him some cool physics, mechanical and electrical building kits after nixing the idea of a Chinese made Stratocaster. I did get to play an ultra cool cedar top twelve string that almost made my finger picking sound decent.

So I pull into the Albertson's thinkin' I'll forage for some grub and run into Greg and his Mom. I think his Mom is close to 100. She sees OK, but the hearing is a touch light. She wore thick tortoise rim glasses under her blue-grey hair. She was adorable and Greg led her lovingly by her left elbow. During the introduction Greg went into my bio, a narrative simultaneously flattering and humbling.

Kevin runs marathons, teaches studio cycling, makes triathlon videos, and writes a great blog too.

Very nice to meet you.

Greg and I exchanged notes, he on his environmental film project and flying (he is a pilot) and me on the GoPro camera that I will grip to the landing struts of a helicopter for overheads at the next Ironman.

Chat over we said our good-byes as they walked towards the express checkout and I towards the deli for some egg salad.

I heard her say, "He doesn't look old enough to have written The Blob."

Movie Poster: Yes, that's Steve (from 1958).

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Seven Seas

We talked a little about Dr. David Coppel's concepts of training the mind along with the body. His 7 C's of successful sports performance, with some juicy quotes after:

"You have to pay the price. You will find that everything in life exacts a price, and you will have to decide whether the price is worth the prize". Sam Nunn

“If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough.”
Mario Andretti

"Concentration is the secret of strength”. Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Kindness in words creates confidence. Kindness in thinking creates profoundness. Kindness in giving creates love". Lao Tzu

"The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it". Edward R. Murrow

Repeating successful patterns. KML

"A competent and self-confident person is incapable of jealousy in anything. Jealousy is invariably a symptom of neurotic insecurity". Robert A. Heinlein

If we could sail upon these seven seas, we could visit many an exotic port o' call. Heck, six of seven will get you to Kona.

Pix: The Ironman awards podium as seen from the last row of VIP seats. The fastest ten women in the world. See Chrissie's times on the screen. Yikes.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Ducks and Horses

Another busy Monday. Novembers are real good for aligning the ducks so that they waddle in a nice row come April and May. It's kinda like base training or ramping up your power profile. Sure is a good use of time when it's miserable outside and your A race is now, suddenly, a mere seven months away.

Here are a couple of cool Monday links. First one is just about anything you could ever want in a cycling site and the second is yet another hilarious look at ourselves compliments of The Onion.

Per the Spinning work-out topic du jour this morning, I will have additional comments on kicking your butts tomorrow. Guaranteed.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


Your lucky day amigos y amigas, two posts on a single Sunday. (Some luck, eh?) Just got back from a trail run listening to Born to Run, compliments of VBAer EJ. I have one word for this experience:


Eating Richly

More food. We need more food to feed the ever growing demands. We are by many standards of measurement at the tipping point, a critical mass of our planets ability to feed its population. We continue to produce more people than we can efficiently and effectively feed. Thomas Malthus noted this a long while ago. As did the industrial-agricultural complex. At no time in the history of our planet has this dichotomy been more evident and important.

Large transnational corporations like Monsanto, DuPont and others have been investing into biotechnology in such a way that patents have been taken out on indigenous plants which have been used for generations by the local people, without their knowledge or consent. More here:

This is so pathologically sick at a level so disgusting and so potentially catastrophic that I have to wonder if the slogan for the coming massive third world uprising will be the ultimate irony: Eat the Rich. I am going to leave this topic for a while with this thought/fact: US led corporations exploiting the poor (and the poor planet) by these sinister practices is plain and simple greed, profiteering in a bulling method of gross and myopic meanness. And as we all know: Mean People Suck.

I am investigating something I should have done years ago, buying shares in local organic farming. This is one way I can feel a little better about the global impact of my local action. I wish (I really wish) I had more southern exposure so I could grow something other than 100 foot cedar trees and mushrooms, but that is the fact of my forested abode. It is hard to grow tomatoes in the cool shade of a Northwest summer. Here is the model:

Lastly, to pair diet with exercise, however covertly, here is an interview with Dr. David Coppel, a noted sports performance psychologist, whom I am going to see tomorrow night at REI in Seattle. His seven Cs of sports performance are:


Eat locally produced organic veggies and put the seven C's into play and we might just one day be strong enough to take on these totalitarian agro bastards and hence, keep them from becoming the plait du jour of the starving masses. Malthusian indeed.

Pix: Same cup, different contents.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Wag more

Mans best friends are master resters. Able to sleep, stretch and be available for explosive blasts of speed and power at a moments notice, dogs instinctively understand that if that cat is going to be treed today (or if that tire is going to be chased) some serious couch time is required.

Likewise our training hard is hard. Resting adequately is harder because it's soooo passive. I wish we could see into our cellular structure and watch the white corpuscles help re-build muscle fiber and protein molecules stack themselves in proper sequence. In 3-D Blue Ray. Maybe then we would find recovery a little easier to manage. Take a nap on the front porch in the afternoon with one eye open.

It is so much easier to over train, go back too soon and suddenly find ourselves with nagging injuries or constantly runny noses. Oh, and the downside of over-training? Craving sweets, constant dehydration and irritability? Worth it?

Sometimes. There is a time and a place for over-distance training. A lot of it is mental. Once you've done a century ride, 100 miles suddenly loses its ability to intimidate. If you have done an Ironman, you must still respect the distance, but you are no longer awed by those capable of 140.6. Although I am still in awe of those who can do it in less than none hours.

The idea here is to make sure that you have a solid rest and recovery strategy that mirrors your training intensity and duration. Conventional wisdom suggests that we alternate hard sessions with longer, yet slower ones, and alternating disciplines via cross training so as not to continually tax the same muscle groups. And ramp it up slowly.

That is a truck load of information. Throw all that in a blender along with your personal and professional responsibilities and you barely have time for any fun. And fun, my dear friends, is important.

Let's find ways to make the mundane more enjoyable. Can we tweak our attitudes to see a 5K run more as a celebration than drudgery? Can 1,000 meters in the pool be more like play than penance? Our long rides not win-at-all-cost races? And my personal favorite: Can we make an hour of high intensity indoor cycling the highlight of the day instead of something that feels court ordered or doctor advised?

Can we really convert the way we look at exercise and training and make it more fun instead of more work? More play as compared to say, an hour of overtime in the cubicle?

I hope we can. Is there any harm in trying? I wonder sometimes what would happen if we, the collective we, decided one Saturday morning in the fall that, truly, we should wag more and bark less.

Dubs 1 is the mascot of the University of Washington Huskies. They need some serious waggin (amid some barks) against the UCLA Bruins today in the Rose Bowl. Go Dawgs!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Now and I know not Why

People get sick.

Children die.

Wars rage.

Crazy people fly jets into buildings.

Philosophers try to make sense of it all.

Religions attempt to comfort.

Poets lament.

Lovers leave.

Nothing lasts.

Not even forever.

This, too, shall pass.


Life cuts itself short, as in life is short. As in nothing lasts. That is our nature. Life is suffering is the first noble truth. The second is that once we accept this, it gets a whole heck of a lot easier. Why this is, I haven't a clue.

But I am not going to waste the precious and limited time (short by any standard) we have here together by trying to figure this out. I am ignorantly blissful in my agnostic dedication and focus on the now. If I can do this with sufficient passion, consistency and pureness, everything else will take care of itself. This I believe. I will make my choices of free will with as much wisdom and love as I can manage, recognizing the mind-numbing, soul challenging hypocrisy simultaneously running rampant and raging globally out-of-control. Truly required to stay sane (and get by) in this modern world.

I know why local organic food is expensive. I know why gas is $2.85/gal. I know why our Health Care system is corrupt. I know why we are in Afghanistan. I know why my roof leaks. And they all irritate me no end.

I don't know why kids die, healthy people get cancer, and nothing lasts.

I irritates me no end that I don't know. But I have faith that I don't need to.

Not now anyway.

Bronzed kids play in St. George, UT.
Her Royal Majesty in back of the frosh pond on UW campus.
One red pepper roasts. Why not ten?

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


Perhaps just as important, bear in mind that exercise has benefits beyond weight reduction. In the study of obese people who took up exercise, most became notably healthier, increasing their aerobic capacity, decreasing their blood pressure and resting heart rates, and, the authors write, achieving “an acute exercise-induced increase in positive mood,” leading the authors to conclude that, “significant and meaningful health benefits can be achieved even in the presence of lower than expected exercise-induced weight loss.”

In, ahem, tandem with yesterdays starter course, here is an excellent article from the NY Times on a very thorough testing protocol analyzing the relationship of (our usuals) diet and exercise. One of the myths exposed is that of the "afterburn" where we once took great pride in knowing that we were doing good not only in the moment, but for the future as well***. Also of interest is the conclusion that the scientists took away, that of balance, with the age old cliche of "calories in-calories out" the standard.

I especially like the side benefit of "acute exercise-induced increase in positive mood." Sounds like endorphin flow to me.

So eat well and exercise often my friends. And if you are looking to lose some weight, balance out your intake and output. Here, less is more.

The CompuTrainer Performance Improvement Guarantee (PIG) piglet sits atop the CT handlebar control unit as a reminder. And a fit couple on the tandem on Mt. Baker.

***Let's look at this a little closer shall we? What do you see from the testing? Is there something a little "odd" here? Hummmmm.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Food, inc.

I was almost afraid to add it to my Netflix queue, but I did it anyway. Food, Inc. will be in my mailbox this afternoon, and I will dutifully pop it in the DVD player, take a chair in front of the big screen and carefully lay the wool blanket over me, careful to use each inch from nose to big toe. I already know what this is going to be thematically. I will be preaching to the choir, on a buss-man's holiday. I will again attempt validation on what I already hold to be true, if not self evident, by letting someone else tell the story. Maybe they can tell it better than me, which shouldn't be too difficult a task considering how many times, an how miserably, I have failed at this in the past. One would think that the question, "Why don't you eat meat?", would be easy to answer, taking less than a minute and/or 100 words. It isn't. It is like asking someone to describe God, or define quality. You can make friends just as easily as lose them by asking a definition of love.

So tonight I get another POV. Another spin. The writers and director will talk about greed, profit, propaganda, inhumane treatment, totalitarian agriculture, emerging markets, poverty, famine, pork bellies, Soylent Green, politics, capitalism, religion, health, e-coli bacteria, obesity, McDonald's, rice, vegetables, methane, the buffalo, The Bible, Henry VIII, soy beans, super-foods, Omega-3s, blue-fin tuna, dogs, cumin, carbon footprints, fossil fuels, legumes and evolution. And maybe even Darryl Hannah if we're lucky.
Geese, with all of that I could come up with a plot on something!

But this is about food. And I can't wait to watch. After all, it's pretty important stuff. And doubly important if used more for fuel than fun.

I have been vegetarian for almost 20 years now. It all started with one book, Diet for a New America by John Robbins. He the son of Mr. Robbins of 31 Flavors fame. Another interesting perspective. I have many reasons why I choose this route consciously. Amongst them are many spiritual reasons, several socioeconomic ones, eight or nine moral ones, five philosophical, three political (or anti-political), two physical and one health related.

The last few days have provided a plethora of relevant material on this theme. Here is one for the "Must Love Dogs" crowd, followed by two from the fuel for athletes category. Moral of these two in combination would be "Don't eat your best friend and don't fatten up over the winter."

It's still your choice.

Over the course of the last twenty years I have made hundreds of bad choices.

This one, my dear friends, isn't one of them.

Pix (from the RCV road)

My favorite fast food dive from Madison, WI, La Bamba. Bigger than your head, Fred.
La Boucherie in Nice, France, Lance.
One of the many painted rocks in Port Macquarrie, Australia. Says it all, Paul.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Sarah on Kona RCV

Quick video of UK triathlete Sarah Yates, training (and training hard) for Clearwater 70.3 Championships.