Monday, January 31, 2011

Give to Get


Today is the prologue. A warm up. Dress rehearsal. Officially the RCVman No Beer February begins tomorrow, but since I have taken so much flak about there being but 28 days this month, I am starting a day early. Additionally I plan on keeping this test active until March 6, the first Sunday of that month, when we can get together again to analyze the results and, more importantly, quaff a Guinness or two. There was none to be found last night, still we persevered and did the best we could under the less than perfect conditions.

The new of you (?) might wonder why all this hubbub? Simply stated, this is a test. That is our way. We relentlessly search for that illusive combination of diet and exercise that will get us to where we want to be. For some of us, that means the post-event podium, for others it means exotic ports of call where we explore new trails and back-roads, for others still it means staying out of the doctors office. All good.

This test is the attempt to isolate a variable. Beer. Empty calories. Here is a chart of some 12 OZ numbers. This test to see if we can further skew the weight portion of the power to weight ratio. I will, simultaneously, continue my training regimen, adding intensity and distance to the bike/run/repeat protocol. The theory: Less weight, more speed. Something has to give - if something is going to be got. Or, will 500 (avg) calories per day equal one minute on the BAC15 TT course?

My last BAC15 time trail was now three weeks ago. I am ready for another go. And after Clay's monstrous 40 minute effort this morning, besting my time by over two minutes, I must take another shot at it. Clay, btw, is six years my senior and has undergone four heart procedures. He calmly reported before his TT that he needed to, on the orders from his cardiologist, keep his HR below 80%. And he still kicked my butt! Nice work pal.

Those are the parameters. Feb is here. Time for another round of testing. Man, I hope this doesn't work. Starting weight: 161. BAC15: 42:39. Go.

Pic: Our UW game day ritual now includes a pint or two prior to heading to the stadium. This was at Fado before the UCLA game. We won.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

YouTube Ten

Click to enlarge YouTube screen shots.

I was asked to assemble a list of what I feel are some good examples of CompuTrainer use from the currently available 137 RCVman YouTube videos for the RacerMate home page. They are pretty savvy to conclude that in the nine years since I first showed up on their doorstep armed with a Cannon GL-2 and an idea, that free advertising, promotion, information, entertainment, and video examples of the overall CompuTrainer experience was available at an inflation beating price. The library has now grown to include over 400 hours of film, the aforementioned 137 YouTube clips, 15 fully functional Real Course Videos, and very soon, an iPad app. So now the marketing department simply calls and says, "Send over some Hawaii clips of Julie Dibens," and faster than you can say Mahalo, there it is. Sweet, effective, colorful and economical.

Picking my favorites is like asking me to pick my ten favorite children*. Or my ten favorite girls, or movies, books, bands or beers. Kinda tough. But it was an assignment, not a request, or even one of our late night marketing ping-pong "how about this", sessions. So I sat down, hit the render button for another clip of Ironman France, and went to work. Did I say there are 137 of them?

Here are ten to start. Should keep you busy while we get in our Sunday LSD run. They are not in any order other than I feel they each tell a part of the bigger story with an element of travel, racing, training, adventure, and well, you know, the CompuTrainer Experience shown. Enjoy the Ride.

Indoor Power Multi-Rider Center in Reno, NV.
Aire Urban Performance Center in San Diego, CA:
Max Testa at Optimal Performance Center in Westlake village, CA:
Part Four of 2010 with RCVman:
CompuTrainer TV LIve in Kona 2010:
Branson 70.3:
One minute at the Nature Valley Grand Prix:
Highlights of the 2010 Amgen Tour of California:
2010 Oceanside 70.3:
Multi-Rider Info:

Yesterday was our local Healthy Living Expo put on by the CoC. As many expos as I attend I remain a touch non-plussed by this effort. It misses the idea, or the energy or the opportunity, or perhaps all of the above. It is like the feeling I get when I first walk into an Ironman Expo and see Ford there with all their shiny new SUVs, all with M-Dot bumper stickers. Same way when I walked in yesterday and spotted a Costco booth. Just something off kilter.

At least CompuTrainer was represented, as in the photo we see longtime VBAer FW, doing a demo of the TdF.

Have a wonderful Sunday folks, we meet tonight at the Harbour House at 5 to celebrate the end of a great training month and the start of another round of testing, this time the dreaded (but short) No Beer February.

Salute!

*I have no offspring in real life, this is metaphorical.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Two fast cats


Speed. Yeah baby! As athletes we all want it. As recreational runners, cyclists, or triathletes, we all wish we had more of it. It separates the contenders from the pretenders, pronto.

In the pictures above, we have two perfect examples. The fastest land animal, the cheetah, can hit speeds of 60 mph. Can she hold that long? No. Because she doesn't need to. To close the gap on that runt wildebeest, taking its last sip of water from the river less than 20 yards away, she needs to take it to max for about 10 seconds, pounce and then drag dinner back to her cubs and napping mate. That's it. No warm up, no cardio, no filling water bottles, no GU, Gatorade or gels.

One explosive blast of power, the work is over and dinner will soon be served.

This is do or die. There is no Safeway on the Serengeti. If you don't get to maximum speed as quick as possible, you eat dry grass and fire ants. And the cubs need protein.

In example two, we have the same phenomenon, this time with Olympic Champion sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica. The Lightening Bolt holds the world record for both the 100 and 200 meters. His time? 9.69 and 19.30 respectively. That is less than ten seconds for an Olympic Gold medal. Do you suspect that he got there by doing lots of low intensity jogging jammin' to Bob Marley on his iPod? He did not (the jogging part anyway).

He did tons of speed work. Gassers, hill repeats, sprints. He broke down each stride with detailed analysis and refined his movement to reflect the goal: Point A to Point B faster than any other human being.

Two examples of the value of explosive power. Is this important to our training? Yes, and across the board. The myriad benefits of explosive power transfers to any distance, and event, any sport. Chess is the only exception, maybe bowling, but those are not our current choices.

Consider explosive power: Stealing second, hitting the hole, fast break, sprint finish, your PB 5K. All explosive power. We can train for it. It hurts a little. But the rewards are huge….

….be they a Gold Medal or merely supper.

Friday, January 28, 2011

RCV: Trending up


Always interesting to get the quarterly report form the accounting department. We finished 2010 on a very strong note, trending up, solid. Here are the top ten RCV sellers from the fourth quarter of 2010:

1) IM Lake Placid
2) IM Canada
3) IM Hawaii
4) St. Croix 70.3
5) IM CDA
6) IM St. George
7) IM Wisconsin
8) IM Arizona
9) NYC Triathlon
10) IM Louisville

As an editorial footnote, as pleased as I remain over the success, and on-going demand for our products, I know that we have a long way to go before we can kick back and cruise to the finish line. There is effort yet to be extended, tweaks and options, races to film, improvements, enhancements and refinements. I can do my job better.

As many of you know, due to the demands, and delay of the Racer Mate One software release, all in-house labor is dedicated to get that product to market, meaning that new RCV releases have also been delayed. Much to the chagrin of folks racing IM Texas, Oceanside, Branson and several others filmed and ready for phase two RCV production. The good news is that we have partnered with two of the programmers from the RM1 project to assist with the tedious, time consuming and all together mind numbing task of matching and encoding the course elevation data to the video. These guys used to toil at a shop down the street from us called Microsoft.

So maybe, with a little luck and the all good karma we have earned, the next quarterly sales report I receive will list the top twenty sellers. Till then, as today we celebrate 1,001 RCVman posts, we remain.....enjoying the ride. Hope you are too.

Pic: Studio DVD closet: RCVs: Top shelf.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

As a TEAM




"Gentlemen, we have to play as a team. That is the only way. We are in this together, and we will fight as a unit, or die as a bunch of selfish individuals. Let's reestablish our resolve to protect each other, and by our combined and mutual support, create a force a hundred times greater than its individual parts. Look deep into the eyes of your teammates, they are just like you, affirm the commitment to watch their back, as they watch yours. There lads, lies the power of the group. Our tribe. The collective us. Our family. We will win as one or face defeat as one. But let no man think, from this moment forward that he is alone. We are one. And we will return home to those that depend on us, victorious and stronger than when we first took up this cause. If this is worth doing, and it is, if there is nobility and truth in this dream, and there is, and if there is beauty and enlightenment in our success, and there will be, we must stand united, side by side, arm in arm and unquestionably prepared to die today for this idea."

Why do we spend so much time in-fighting?
Why can't we ride this storm out as a team?
Why are we such selfish, greedy brats?
Where did we get so far off course?
When did money get bigger than God?
Will we self destruct?
Is there hope?


Pix: The Past: Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. The Present: Men get ready for battle at the Nature Valley Grand Prix. The Future: Kids in helmets, getting ready.

OK, I'm done now. Time for a chill-out ride.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Chilly Hilly 2011


OK, we are a month out. Feb. 27 is Chilly Hilly. Another year, another 33 cold miles. Kinda, sorta. This year, in conjunction with the Bainbridge Athletic Club and the BI Boys & Girls Club we are shaking things up a bit. (As you know I like that). It will be more than 2,800 feet of elevation gain, more than 6,000 riders and more than 36 consecutive years, it will be much more.

As Phase II of our annual Christmas Marathon ride we are staging three indoor training sessions as a ramp up to the big day. Spinning with the kids that plan on riding, their mentors at the club, parents, family, friends and our fearless and outgoing House of Mirth Gang. The latter will act as sponsors, chaperons and/or guides, however you want to label this big hearted, big lunged and big muscled community effort.

We'll meet for three Sundays at a morning time to be determined, but most likely 7 or 7:30, spin for an hour, get acquainted, get a little fitter and then charge out the door on Feb. 27, with goretex and gumption.

Sound like fun?

Here are a couple links to grease your chain:

Cascade Bicycle Club and official registrations info.
Squeaky Wheels Bicycle Club of BI.
A write up from last years event from the Kitsap Sun. Goes for some enjoyable reading, especially the comments from the anti-biker crowd (yes, there are still a few around).

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Start-ups




Ah, start-ups. Much like spending a long, frigid winter indoors on the trainer, the slightest scent of spring reminds us of new beginnings. New ops. Goals that will be continually chased. Fresh vegetables from the garden and repairs to infrastructure weathered over the years, in need of attention. I like starting new projects. And to be honest I wish I was better at finishing them, but hey, everyone has an Achilles heel. I'll work on that.

Running simultaneously with the on-going saga of my personal training, testing and racing, is the value and rewards accrued from assisting others in achieving their goals. I like that a lot too. It keeps me fresh and always looking at the big picture. It is also fun, another high priority item 'round here.

The big picture now contains two new projects that have been simmering on the back burner for a while. I have long maintained that to accomplish an objective one needs the rare combination of time, funding and inspiration. Normally I have two of three. Still do, but armed with an LOC, we are going to belly up to the felt table and roll the laughing bones one more time.

Start up One: Super insulated, small and efficient 800 sq. ft. out-building with primary initial use as assisted senior living unit. As the seniors in question have yet to approve of the plan (and they might not) I will leave it with the clue that they are related.

Start up Two: The Cyclevidz.com website is rocking 'n rollin along. Still under construction (or I would have linked it) the iPad app is in full on production mode and I have been rolling videos 24/7 for three weeks now to build the initial library. We are in negotiations with investors and have a handful of sponsors, partners and advertisers expressing varying degrees of interest. Very exciting stuff sure to make RCVman headlines often in the upcoming weeks.

The big picture synergy with these two makes it a full, yet efficient, schedule; Construction 50 feet from my kitchen while videos render like magic in the new studio. In between we spin at the BAC and run in the park.

Let's get it started. An early spring seems to have sprung and I like it.

Pic: Site prep has begun in the space where the new space will soon grow.

Monday, January 24, 2011

1,2,3,4


Today was the day in 1935 that the first can of beer was sold in the US. And it wasn't to me. Dang. I have, however, over the many years since 1967 when I quaffed my initial Coors, purchased probably more beer than milk. Which isn't a fair comparison because I quit drinking milk in 1971, but you get the idea. This becomes our lead story today as I have officially just seven days before we begin yet another test in the world famous RCVman labs. This time the dreaded no-beer February.

You will recall that our humble lab rat dropped a whopping 5 pounds as a result of December's no-bread diet (NBD). Further, after this mornings wild romp through the hills and dales of the BAC Studio Cycling Center, known affectionately as the House of Mirth to the enlightened among you, we checked in at 158, DOWN ANOTHER 5 FROM JANUARY 1. More, I can now all but guarantee that it is fat vice muscle, as validated by my run times, HR, and cycling time trials.

The RCVman is one happy camper. I wish there was a 70.3 somewhere close this weekend with an RD that owes me a comp! I am ready to rumble, Rock!

But wait, there's more. What if I can drop another 5 pounds of 3.2% fat I have been keeping in cold storage since High School? AND add some muscle (as speed) over 28 days? How fast could I then traverse the start and finish-line dots?

Can't wait to find out. And there is only one way:

Do it.

So we'll have a little get together somewhere Sunday night to launch the 28 day fast, hoist one last Guinness and then get back to work. Please RSVP via the comments function below if you would like to attend. Better act fast because seats are limited.

Our second story is the passing of one of the true legends of our industry, Mr. Jack LaLanne. Jack was 96, and pioneered two "ahead of their time" elements that contribute to good health, fitness and happiness, he said all you needed is regular exercise and a proper diet. If anyone out there is still convinced that you need money, power, property, cars, time, expensive equipment or anything else to in order to stay fit, you might be in denial.

Lastly is this story on Soloflex, and its creator, the colorful Jerry Wilson. Jerry said all you need are three things: "Knowledge, desire, and the right equipment."

My one: No beer for 28 days.
Jack's two: Regular exercise and a proper diet.
Jerry's three: Knowledge, desire and the right gear.

What four: You.

Cheers.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

No sweat


I don't really want to over think this one so I'll just toss it out for your consideration and contemplation. A Sunday night executive summary, if you will.

Gentlemen: You are the Omega Man, tasked with keeping the species alive, 100 years old with your better days (far) behind you. What would be your thinking (hard wired, instinctive or other) when new potential mates are introduced into your "domain"? Awesome, borderline impossible, responsibility or piece of cake, sweatless, time to party?

Ladies: New studies indicate that the reason you sweat less than men, is that you have smaller frames, hence less body weight, and therefore a smaller amount of overall body water percentage. YOU ARE MORE EFFICIENT. We have to lug around all this fat and bone (much like our friend from the Galapagos) which takes more coolant to keep us from overheating. There is some evidence that testerone might play a part as well. Which spins us full circle.

I hate to admit, even after our tortoise-like year-to-date 10 mile LSD PR this afternoon, that given the above-mentioned task, I would sweat a little.

Then go to work.

Photo caption: This is not my true nature, but the clock is ticking, so can we ditch the 'friends first' thing and samba some?

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Free Choice




You look as good as you eat. Researchers at the University of Nottingham revealed in a recent study that eating vegetables makes you appear better looking to others. Despite the many advantages to eating fruits and vegetables, including living longer, being smarter, avoiding chemical exposure (with organic foods), and reducing the carbon footprint, vegetarianism is not a food plan for everyone. Now there may be another compelling reason to give up animal protein. Read entire article here.

Here is more from Vrg.org And since we're on the subject of protein, you know who started the rumor that vegetarian athletes don't get enough protein? USDA? The Cattleman's Association? The Beef Lobby? Ya think?

See, I am not making this up. With few exceptions, (I may be the best example of the concept not working), people, athletes included (!) appear to be healthier when fueling with a plant based diet. You know: The Glow. I have seen it on women on several occasions, but up to this point as a result of pregnancy, extended bouts of high intensity training, and youth. Now comes this fabulous news that further adds motivation to leave the animals in the wild and dig what's dug. Men are invited to this day-glow dance as well.

So add looking better to the list of benefits already established as beneficial with a no-meat diet:
Longevity, resistance to immune disorders, gastrointestinal efficiency, lower carbon footprint, increased brain activity, faster run splits….I could go on.

But you get the idea. It is but another way to stimulate positive change. Addition by subtraction. In our loyal test subject (RCVrhesusmonkey-man) we saw the results of 35 days without proceeded grains manifest in the loss of five pounds, which appears to be permanent after this mornings weigh in. Next up is the February no beer test. We'll see if the elimination of barley pop will have any effect on the organism being tested over the course of a weeny 28 days. (The reason I picked February for this test.) This with no other change to diet or training regimen. Maybe you should try some change in this area as well, think......

.... red meat, free range chicken, blue-fin tuna, spam, wings, livers, gizzards or brains. All the same. Animal parts.

Do some testing. See what happens. Might be the missing link.

After our monstrous 90 minute HIT session this morning, here is how I replenished the tank:

A delightful (and original) goulash of garbanzo beans, sweet peas, bok choy and tofu. One onion, three chipotle peppers. Saute the extra firm tofu with the onion in extra virgin olive oil while the beans, peas and bok choy are simmering in a soup pan. Combine with a dollop of red pepper hummus atop. Serve hot with a chilled glass of V8 garnished with celery.

Or, I guess you could have a Whopper with cheese. America is a lovely place, you are free to choose.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Measuring Breaths


Uh oh, I think I hear the term physical conditioning coming. Is this some kind of New Year’s resolution thing? I don’t do well with those. Well, those of us who have been to a Dr. in the last 10 years have already heard the speech, so I will dispense with it here. What I would like to focus on is how we can make better use of this age old form of alternate energy in the future. If one looks at a copy of an old Sears catalog from the late 1800’s, you will find all sorts of tools to multiply one’s ability to accomplish work. Some are simple and still in use today, the crowbar and the pulley being two such items. Others are a little more complex, such as the bicycle. In order for these to be useful to you, two things must be in place. First, you must understand how to use these tools in a manner for which they were designed, and their limitations. Secondly, you must possess or have access to these tools when they are needed.

Just a sample from Peak Oil Blues. Some very cool, thought, laughter and discussion inducing articles.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. George Carlin. (warning-the Carlin link contains enough irony to make you recite the seven words backwards)

Got a call from dear sister this morning. Seems her club is now offering TRX for an additional $100/month. She wanted a second opinion. All good, said the Doc, assuming you have the time and the dough.

Otherwise what you really need to do (what we all ready need to do) is to find that something that fills our sails and will keep us ever vigilant towards the attainment of our goals. It doesn't have to be faddish, the latest craze or not available in stores. It must contain three elements:

1) Resistance.
2) Cardio.
3) Range of motion.

It is a big plus if it also happens to add a social element and put you in a better emotional state. Being with like minded friends has a calming influence, as much as the release of endorphins. If you can match up as many of those elements into an activity that you find fun and motivating, please....

DO IT.

AND THEN DO IT AGAIN.

We run a flat 10K today at 1600 after last nights monstrous 7X400 hill repeats, and then the weekly 90 minute HIT ride in the House of Mirth tomorrow morning.

I am so glad I like to ride and run. Otherwise I might be in a boot-camp somewhere lifting kettlebells by bungie cords in a sauna (to hip-hop) for fees I don't have.

AND AGAIN (this time with feeling).

Photo: My old QR waiting patiently for the next ride. It's only January?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

EB @ CT



This just in...... Here is my piece on the interview we filmed Monday afternoon with Pro Triathlete Eric Bean. As I believe the video will attest, Eric is smart, talented, personable and eloquent. Four extremely good points to have on your resume. You can contact him at Fastforewardtriathlon.com or get additional information on the CompuTrainer line of products at RacerMateinc.com.

Some of EB's key points:

Draft at the hip, not the feet.
Play the hand you're dealt with a smile.
Kona bike starts at Hawi.
Take the run out slow.
Train above LT.
Don't do IM when training for IM.
Don't marathon when training for one.
Use CompuTrainer.
Huskies over Badgers.

A big CT BZ to Eric for taking the time to chat with us.

Your comments are always welcomed below.

Lactate on the fence


"But what is appropriate physiological training? It is not volume or else those who put in the most hours/miles would be the winners. It is not intensity or else those who pushed themselves the hardest would be the winners. It is not someone's favorite workout or else everyone would be copying the magic workout or training pace. It turns out that each individual has their own way of adapting and any smart training plan must recognize this. This is a fact of life. Each has to find his or her own way to the proper balance of the energy systems and peak conditioning on the day that counts, race day." Lactate.com

Even if you don't put quite the same emphasis on race day as do the authors of the above quotation, you must admit that they hint at the crux of the issue. The train called the big picture.
Old number 7. Roarin' down the tracks. Almost right on time. The training train.

It's not volume, although volume plays a part.
It's not intensity, although intensity plays a part.
There is no magic formula.

It is about, and I will raise both volume and intensity to make it dramatic, the PROPER BALANCE OF ENERGY SYSTEMS to ensure peak conditioning.

We came a little closer this morning as individuals and as a group in our relentless quest of this magic formula. We rose, as roosters (and Marines) slept silently, to make the 0530 HIT spin session in the HoM. Bob tackled the 15 miles of the CompuTrainer course as the LaMond platoon went about their business. Frequent visits to Max and a rollicking soundtrack produced some pretty quick lactic accumulations. We dealt with that. An hour later, after Bob turned in an outstanding 42.17 (2.6) effort, we wound it down, stretched and headed for the showers. On the way I thought I heard someone shout 'colors' as a cock crowed thrice.

After many (many) years of training I have come to accept that the perfect balance of this energy system means beginning every day with a workout. A hard one. Past the point of lactic acid accumulation. Adding consistency to this regimen dramatically increases the systems ability to use lactate as friend, not foe. Let's make the hard efforts hard, and the easy, recovery ones, easy.

On your off days, please sleep in and recover like a Pro.

When it's comforting to know that the Marines are out there on the fence and the hens are happy.

Photo: Clo on her way to setting a new HoM Womens record, 44:17 (2.6). I will have the video piece featuring Eric Bean up tomorrow. By six, because it's a rest day.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Feet Music

Fun Theory.

Wonderbar concept from our friends at VW. It is amazing how much we are drawn to the alternative. The subliminal value of pleasing the soul. How hard is it to add some art, style, tone, texture, joy, or color to what we do everyday?

We talk about this periodically in class. We talk about tweaking our attitudes to convert the view of hard work as dull, dreary and monotonous into something more like play. The fun of high efficiency, miles of smiles, endorphins, dopamine and adrenaline in a high octane mix of major league mojo. That the goal is the road, and if we are bent and determined to traversing this sometimes rocky, sometimes frozen surface into a transformation of muscle and movement, then we might as well learn to embrace the process. To run happy and spin like we're just around the corner from Heaven's Gate.

Fun theory. I am a very lucky guy. As I sit at my desk, I am looking again at video shot at the Triathlon World Championships in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii this past October. Yesterday, after a rocking 60 minute HIT set in the HoM (featuring Melanie's incredible cult hit "Lay Down" and a killer TT by Cynthia) I had the pleasure of conducting a follow up interview with Eric Bean. Eric is professional triathlete visiting Seattle to apply for residency at the University of Washington Medical Center. He is a smart guy, a super fast athlete and a successful coach. When it comes to fun theory, he fits it into his busy schedule by relentless focus on what works.

Practice, study, hard work, recovery, planning, dedication, devotion, service.

Fun theory. Up till now only Liberace, Jerry Lee and Little Richard played the 88's with their feet, now we all can. Ya just gotta tweak your attitude an octave or two, tickle the ivory.

I'll have the video of the Eric session up tomorrow, assuming I can quit tap dancing on my Korg keyboard long enough to actually cut the piece.

Top: Eric Bean talks about mitochondria at CompuTrainer HQ. Below, The Killer, Jerry Lee Lewis, finds high C with a Tony Llama.

Monday, January 17, 2011

King of the Hills



"All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence." Martin Luther King, Jr.

I am fairly confident that Dr. King was not in reference to indoor cycling with this comment, but I am. And with a generous amount of gratitude and appreciation. The labor that we perform, as we did this morning before the slightest hint of daybreak, has value in its:

1) Dignity and importance, and
2) Need to be undertaken with painstaking excellence.

For if we change a part of the whole, in this case humanity, we have indeed changed the whole. That is our part. Our goal. Our mission. To change us so that we may in turn change the whole. In our practice, that means attention to detail, core integrity, expansion, growth and gratitude. It is the real life metaphor of adding another gear.

We get a little stronger every time we assemble with these values at the forefront of our focus.

It's like doing a 15 mile indoor TT, at first there are doubts, then there is acknowledgement of the reality of what was once a perception (THAT is what 250 watts feels like?), and then there is the commitment to improve, to do whatever is necessary to achieve our objectives, be they race times, run distances, cholesterol control or simply enhancing one's quality of life.

That labor WILL uplift humanity. Further, I believe that it has dignity and importance.

It may be a struggle to get up some mornings at 0430 to make it to class, but please recognize that as the easy part. It's the painstaking excellence that we all need work on.

We'll try it again Wednesday.

Congratulations to Cynthia who, with apparent ease, rode a 45:37 this morning to earn a 2.8 p/Kg ratio. She has now been assigned the 7x400 hill repeats on Thursday night as reward. Those are so hard to perform with dignity. But we will try.

Our best. After all there is a lot at stake.

Pix: A windy, blustery winter night of hill repeats. Old school chalk on the street records the data, and Stephanie transfers to her log book. There was pain in that effort. Thank you Dr. King.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gritty Truth Part II

You knew that the space in this town wasn't big enough for the two of us.

After seeing a matinee opening week screening of the classic Western True Grit, this go-around by Joel & Ethan Cohen, executively produced by Steven Spielberg (and scored by Carter Burwell), I decided to share with you, dear VBA, the RCVman TOP FIVE WESTERNS OF ALL TIME. Not the usual run-on RCVman Top 100, for a welcomed change I am sure. After all we have a ten miler scheduled.

Having addressed that, here is my list. Read 'em and weep sod busters.

5) Soldier Blue. Maybe the first R rating in this genre. I still cry.
4) Tombstone. One of Val Kilmer's finest cinematic moments.
3) The Unforgiven. Clint, Gene. Nuff.
2) The Magnificent Seven. Fires on all cylinders, always and often.
1) 3:10 to Yuma. The remake. Crowe, Bale. Charlie Prince. The best of the west. I don't care if you are a .45 head or not, this is one fine movie, sunup to sundown.

Is the True Grit remake better than the original Duke version? Not fair. Totally different movies. Each works on opposite ends of the same dusty street. Both great, both truly gritty.

There is something heroically stirring about biting the reins with a six-shooter in either hand, outnumbered and alone.

The RCVman Honorable Mention, Wild West Category:

10) Once Upon a Time in the West. Sergio. Henry. The look.
9) Wild Bunch. Bang, boom and blood.
8) Little Big Man. Sprawling and snake-eyed.
7) Dances with Wolves. Familiar story well told.
6) High Plains Drifter. What were they thinking?

And in the off-beat and weird (yet absorbing, fun and entertaining) category, Top Five go to:

5) Westworld. The robot cowboy, yeah!
4) The White Buffalo. Bronson and you-know-who.
3) Blazing Saddles. Funniest movie since Young Frank.
2) Deadwood. Any episode, any season. WOW.
1) Zachariah. The first electric western. Smith, Wesson and the James Gang.

OK, so did I like TG? Yes. Saddle up and go see it, pardners.

Off to run.

Photo: There was a guy who used to come around once a year with his pony (pictured underneath the RCVboy), and shoot the kids (with his Hassleblad 3x5 not a Colt .45) to sell B&Ws to Mom & Pop. I think this was about 1960. Not sure I was a bad guy quite yet.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Humble BTO



Got humble?

Lost my standing as the fastest TT'er at the BAC this morning. Paul smoked the 15 miles in 39:37 averaging 259 watts to best my time by almost three minutes. His 2.9 power to Kg ratio also bested mine by .03. I should be drowning my sorrows with copious amounts of barley pop, right?

Wrong.

Paul now knows, as do those that have TT'ed before him, that there is work left to be done. Drills, sessions, rides, maximal efforts, recoveries. That this is just the start. We go about our training routines armed with additional numbers with which to assist in the never-ending battle. Eat better, train smarter, recover cleaner. I am happy to have played a part in his fitness enhancement and cycling improvements. Taking training out of the realm of the RPE and into the sometimes scary world of training with power, can be humbling. And sometimes the truth hurts a little. As I am fond of saying, and to quote BTO, Ya'll ain't seen nothing' yet.

To illustrate this, please refer to the above pictures of World Champions Julie Dibens and Tim O'Donnell. Anything immediately strike you as 'interesting'?

That they might include a little play in their work? Folks, these are world-class athletes, training at home on their CompuTrainers, the same tool and set up Paul used this morning. They, as many that have gone before THEM, recognize the need for balance. Go hard (real hard) recover, repeat.

During the recovery phase you can play fetch with your dog (Julie) or hammer out a few tasty BTO licks on faux-Fender (Tim). Photo credits: Tim Carlson at Slowtwitch.com

All fine by me. Just make sure that when it's time to go, that you do.

Or you might get used to the taste of humble pie.

Friday, January 14, 2011

About to POP?



Cave Houses I dig.

"Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.” Dr. Seuess.

“Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open.” Alexander Graham Bell

The reappearance of a pattern is often a sign that we have come full circle and we are close to a new level of mastery. Daily Om

Plenty of groovy links today. Here was my free-form association thinking thread to get to here:

Housing. Big issue. More foreclosures this year than last. We need to look to the alternative. My power bill was double what it was this time last year, and I was without power for four of the 31 days due to lines being downed as a result of snowstorms, and in Mexico with everything OFF for another eight. That means I used zero juice for 12 of the 31, 38% of the time and the bill still doubled????? Shocking.

Secondly, as I watched The Unforgiven for the tenth time last night, I had to LOL at the Gene Hackman character (Little Bill) whose sub-plot "skill" as a carpenter was played up perfect. The scene where he is talking to the biographer about his gunslinging (yet law-abiding) former days while the jail roof is leaking into several buckets is hysterical. Even to those of us with leaky roofs.

As I have been without running water since Thanksgiving (don't ask) someone wisecracked that I should change my handle to Cave-man. As much as they meant it as a friendly trash-talk, semi-slam (after all we are civilized) I took it more as a compliment. Leading to the cave dwelling link. Two additional items on this and I'll let you go, 1) If I could figure out a way to get off the grid with the same trade-outs as with water, it would be done in less than a heart-beat, and, 2) I like the combination of ideas here, alternative housing, doors opening, full circles, smiles of acceptance and gratitude.

Is something about to POP?

A closed large-mouth door outside Rome. Hilltop Monastery in France. The Caveman is OPEN to alternative points of view.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Long Run



From Bike Tech Review: "Mitochondria are the energy factories of working muscle cells. Basically, the higher the mitochondrial density a muscle cell has the more power it can generate over time. Mitochondrial markers do not appear to increase under low intensity conditions very quickly. They appear to only increase when the rate of energy demand over time in an individual muscle fiber outstrips the cellular mitochondrion’s ability to provide it. The maximum stimulus for mitochondrial development as a whole appears to exist at the edge of aerobic power production or 20MP (as suggested by Dudley, 1982 and subsequently Terjung, 1995). When you ride hard enough for long enough such that the muscle fiber overload is nearly maximized, it appears that the biochemical environment is primed for mitochondrial growth – and this is a good thing. Lower powered efforts predominantly only use muscle fiber profiles which have already mostly adapted to this stimulus in prior training. These muscle fiber-profiles are already equipped and respond much slower since as a whole, the biochemical stimulus for mitochondrial growth is minimal – one just isn’t going hard enough to be very productive."

Aging (American and Canadian English) is the accumulation of changes in an organism or object over time.

I am going to summarize all of the above for you, not because I have vast experience as a translator, but because your time is precious and we need to put the message of the translations into immediate effect. Like yesterday.

Mitochiondria are cells in your muscles that respond favorably to hard work. The Lab Coats think they may even be responsible for slowing (or reversing) the aging process. In order to stimulate them you must make it hurt. Applies to both running and cycling. Capiche?

I know, it's a love/hate thing. Because going to MAX is painful.

Which is today's apropos segue into the RCVman metaphor for the day. (Brought to you by Taco Bell):

Much as Ralph Waldo Emerson opined: "Do what you are afraid to do," 'round here we say:

LOVE WHAT YOU HATE.


Go hard, often. recover, repeat. Learn to embrace the pain. You will thank me in the long run (because you will still be running).

Pix: The high road to Mt. Shasta. Eagle Harbor, gateway to the seven seas. Mitochondria don't care if you hike, bike, or paddle.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Bread




You know by now that I tweaked my left ankle hauling water. Not a bad tweak, but enough to keep me off running. And I do NOT want to head into the late winter ramp-up hobbling, so it is getting some TLC until recovery is complete. It was a dark night, the path was muddy, five gallons of water is heavy, and, pop….

At four, left Cynthia and Stephanie at Crystal Springs to get in their speed session and headed to the bakery. You all know, or should know by now that I did a 35 day no-bread test back in December. Net was minus five pounds. We then instituted the CompuTrainer TT series to determine if that loss would affect performance. That and the Tanita scale for BMI testing. Long detailed scientific analysis of combined data indicates that it did not. You may breathe now.

All this means I am back on bread again. Good bread. And I found it at the new bakery, Pane d' Amore at Lynwood Center. I mentioned my test to the two gals in the delightful Euro style bakery last week and they were not impressed. I guess it might be like waltzing into a library to announce that you have sworn off books. But last night the tone changed, they seemed to remember me as "the no-bread bike-guy", which is OK, all things considered. We got to talking and I am inquiring about the ingredients, where the loaves are baked, usual stuff, when Alex (shown above on the right) leads me over to their grains department to display some of the other products from the Finn River Farm in Sequim, where the grain is milled. We are chatting and she casually says, oh yeah, the farmer up there (Sequim) mills the grain on a stationary bike. (shown above)

He what?

Yeah, he rides a special bike that mills the grain for this bread.

You're joking?

No, really.

Is there a web site?

She looks at the label.

Right here: FinnRiver.com

Wait you forgot your bread.

(more to follow)

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Memphis, Tennessee


Around here we have a saying. We actually have several, but for the sake of this post, we will limit it to one. Editorial digression you might astutely conclude. Today's saying, with its subsequent commentary, follows -- after this brief word from our sponsors. (bike candy)

(Sounds of a traffic jam)
BIG RADIO VOICE: "Gas is $3.25 a gallon. December of 2010 witnessed your gross weight balloon to an unacceptable and unhealthy peak. You feel sluggish, constantly tired, anxious and irritable. IS THIS YOU?"

DOCTORS VOICE "Your body was designed for movement. Lack of exercise and a diet high in saturated fats and processed carbohydrates contribute to a dangerous condition that could trigger the on-set of diabetes, heart disease, stroke and sexual dysfunction."

(traffic noise subtly cross fades from traffic to strings and birds)
BIG RADIO VOICE: "And now the good news you have been waiting for, the solution. A high-tech, low-cost answer to all of the above. Burn calories instead of carbon, lose weight, feel great and put a big smile on your face-and hers."

DOCTOR: "Here is a prescription for a new bike. Use it once a day, inside or out, for six months, and be sure to use CompuTrainer Real Course Videos when you train indoors. Good Luck."
(Sounds of a high intensity spin class fade out with up tempo boogie instrumental refrain)

Welcome back. The Tuesday Truth, then. Live from Tennessee.

IT'S ALL CONNECTED.

Air, water, the aforementioned birds singing, the price of gas and the insidious capitalistic model that perpetrates the exploitation and flow of a greedy corporate agenda, Whoopers with cheese, adolescent obesity, Oregon's foolish choice of athletic footwear on National TV, the new Cannondale Slice I am negotiating, and yes, even the price of tea in China. Maybe even BECAUSE of the price of tea in China. My sore ankle to your TT output. Our food choices, their starvation. Six degrees of separation from Alaska to Arizona. Weak minds, corrupt politicians, polluted rivers, cooked bacon.

IT'S ALL CONNECTED.

Here are some examples. This exquisite dot news design from the savvy folks at Slate.
Our friends the telomerase are back in the news. Seems opposites attract, as these enzymic critters are stimulated by and foster an important life enhancing and DNA restoring chore as a result of two extremes: Hard maximal efforts and meditation. Connected by the interval?
Another dot is connected by this pro roadie who is documenting (via his blog) his testing and training with the CompuTrainer.
The last dot is an iPhone app we are developing in conjunction with this cool app, the EZ-Trainer.

It's all connected. From your local DNA to Memphis, Tennessee.

Chuck Berry, The Faces and Johnny Rivers all knew it. Long distance information.

BIG RADIO VOICE: "Why wait? Get started today." (Sign on the dotted line?)

Memphis fades, leaving the reader to mathematically calculate the dots it takes to connect Rod Stewart to Phil Knight.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Love is all you need?




A few submissions for your review and critical analysis. Think of this as a three song EP.

First one is on love. Seems that when one is head over heels one feel less pain than when simply level headed and well heeled. Or something to that effect. Who am I to disagree? I have done many similar experiments and concur with the findings as reported HERE.

Second, HERE, is a tasty morsel from Slate on the paradox of buying food, also doubling as an addendum to yesterdays post on Michael Pollan. I also have a suggestion to those that buy cheap food because it is all they can afford: Before every burger take your heart rate to Big Max.

Lastly today, because we have now launched (to critical acclaim) our new in-class CompuTrainer TT testing (where this morning we witnessed a stunning 15 mile performance by Stephanie), is a comparison of what others are doing using this powerful tool in a supportive training environment. From EFC in Ohio.

So let's review today's lessons: Love lessens pain. Eating well lessens risk of disease. Testing and training elevate performance and fitness.

Risking then, potential plagiarism and probable scorn, I humbly submit the Monday Mashup:

With regular time trailing and eating the best local, organic and healthy food you can afford, love is all you need.

Words by Lennon, McCartney and RCVman.

Hey, I hang in a fast crowd. (but John, please stop looking at me that way)

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Our Daily Bread


Perhaps the biggest little book ever.

Michael Pollan's epic mini tome, FOOD RULES.

Pollan expertly and gregariously gives us Sixty-Four of them to assist in the decision making process. From number Two: Don't eat anything that your great-grandmother wouldn't recognize as food, to number Sixty-Four: Break the Rules once in a while.

I like that one. Let's take a closer look at its sagacity:

"Obsessing over food rules is bad for your happiness, and probably bad for your health, too. Our experience over the past few decades suggests that dieting and worrying too much about nutrition has made us no healthier or slimmer; cultivating a relaxed attitude towards food is important. There will be special occasions where you will want to throw these rules out the window. All will not be lost. What matters is not the special occasion but the everyday practice. the default habits that govern your eating on a typical day. "All things in moderation" it is often said. But we should never forget the wise addendum, sometimes attributed to Oscar Wilde: "Including moderation."

Bon appetite.

Photo of The RCVman breaking the rules (a la Wilde) on Christmas. The Amedeo Modigliani portrait above the shadow of the eater as a hungry man, seems to be wanting a slice of Kim's wonderful home baked sourdough.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Experience Economy






Made the pilgrimage into town yesterday to visit the boys in the home office. As was expected they were all busy processing orders, chatting with new customers, painstakingly working through the new software. Sometimes, working in my home office on merely one of the many components that comprise this huge, intricate puzzle, I lose sight of the big picture. Heck, sometimes it's easy to lose this vision when you are merely separated by an office or two from the CFO. You know, the big picture as measured by the counting of beans.

My visit was refreshing. Everybody is in good spirits and morale high. Product is going out the door. And despite the frustrations over 'my brand' playing second fiddle to the new software release, now just a few short weeks away, I remain excited about the future. Sincerely. And not simply because it provides me with bread for the table, but more because it is cool, fun and rewarding. Those things are important to me. And the new software will dramatically enhance the end user experience. It hurts a little now, but like climbing a monster hill, it will (eventually) end.

This feeling was matched perfectly starting with a chapter I read sailing home on the ferry.

"As a human construct with human foibles, it is inevitable that the practice of business will also include the experience of suffering. However, while other political, religious and arts institutions see the need for suffering, valuing it as a price for transformation to a new level of human experience, business organizations still regard suffering through that adolescent perspective of avoidance and immaturity."1

And finishing with, "Business in many ways provides the antidote to suffering, so it naturally tends to devalue that which it seeks to profitably eliminate."

The pain of no gain, or,

Only through pain is there gain.

Transformation has a cost. How much are you willing to pay?

Where work is theatre and every business a stage.

I like it.

1, The Experience Economy. B. Joesph Pine & James H. Gilmore.


Pix: Screen shot of the new start up page. Please notice the middle and top row option. Hey now. I can wait. The Nature Valley Grand Prix road show. Demo of the CompuTrainer as a metaphor for the value of suffering. Every ride's a stage, a chance for you to be a star.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Lottery?


FADE UP FROM BLACK. INTERIOR. AFTERNOON.

Overhead establishing shot of two men talking in a coffee shop. They sit opposite each other and exemplify both perfect posture and attentive interest. By their costumes we assume that they are coaches at a university somewhere, perhaps in the Southwest. Students pass in the background, talking, laughing, carrying books, looking up sporadically from their cell phones. The school colors appear to be plaid and paisley.

One of the men removes his cap, runs his fingers through his jet black hair, and replaces the cap at a casual angle, adjusting it with both hands.

MAN WITH CAP.
All right then, how is this? The world is basically a forced labor camp
from which the workers-perfectly innocent-are led forth by lottery, a
few each day, to be executed. I don't think that this is the way that I
see it. I think that it is the way that it is. Are there alternate views? Of
course. Will any of them stand close scrutiny? No.

MAN WITHOUT CAP
You are always free to change your mind and select a different future or
a different past.

CAP
Wasn't it Blake that said, 'To change one's life one must do three
things: Start immediately, do it flamboyantly and that there are no
exceptions?'

NO CAP
Or, Woody Allen: 'More than any other time in human history, man
faces a crossroads. One path leads to despair and utter
hopelessness, and the other to total extinction. Let us pray that we
have the wisdom to choose correctly.'

CAP
Ah, yes, but it's no good running a pig farm badly for thirty years while
saying, "Really I was meant to be a ballet dancer". By that time pigs
will be your style.

NO CAP
Tis a funny thing about life; if you refuse to accept anything but the
best, you will very often get it.

CAP
But, O, how bitter a thing it is to look into happiness through another
man's eyes.

NO CAP
Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is
demonstrating that you know it.

CAP
Should we be heading out?

NO CAP
You ready?

CAP
Now or never.

NO CAP
Do or die.

CAP
Let's go.

NO CAP
Rock 'n Roll.

Both men take a last swig of their coffee and rise. A path is magically opened in the coffee shop as they head towards the door. They are smiling and nodding affirmations to the students as they walk. At the door NO CAP opens and holds the door for CAP to exit.

NO CAP
Lottery, huh?

VOICE OVER.
Sometimes the difference between high definition video of the road and the real road, is somewhat obscured.

ROLL CREDITS.
With generous appreciation, respect and gratitude to: Cormac McCarthy, William Shakespeare, John-Roger & Peter McWiliams, Richard Bach, Daniel Gilbert and Pete Egoscue.

FADE TO BLACK.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

OK, It's Up to Us



OK.

Quick hitting Thursdays. That's what we call 'em. In today's succinct, yet chatoyant episode, we view a polar extreme of sorts. Or, pardon the lift Sergio and Clint; The good, the bad and some really ugly.
Fugly even.

Two video links: The Onion News Network. If we could't laugh at ourselves, what fun would it be?

Peak oil: Some serious stuff that only politicians on the payroll could spin as nonexistent.

I was reminded yet again yesterday, first in the morning during our 60 minute plus, HIT spin session (as Heart provided the accompaniment) that we got to keep our love alive, and then again in the evening's twilight as we ran a blustery 5K, that good, bad, ugly, beautiful, fast, slow, high and low are all the same.

If we make solid, positive, loving and attentive decisions with every foot strike or pedal rotation, whatever happens will be…….

Pix: The park where we spend a lot of time pondering the big questions as we run little laps. We train with focus and intensity in January so that when it's time to saddle up in August, as Joanna Zeiger at the Lake Stevens 70.3 colorfully demonstrates, we are ready. Good, bad or ugly is up to us.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Experience


The Experience.

That's what it's all about.

Not the money.

Or the glory.

Or the babes.

It is about the experience. Our journey. The road. The sometimes painful, but always relevant, pot-hole laced two-lane highway. And the saga of how we got here.

Masters create the experience for us. At the movies, we get to watch beautiful people perform superhuman feats under extreme duress (usually being chased by some form of evil). Musicians, artists, architects, engineers, software designers, developers, chefs, guides, monks, strippers, travel agencies. All create the experience.

We create our own as well. I have proven countless times that the less perfect my training regimen, the more drama (in the form of pain) will appear somewhere near mile 20. Intertwined is an element of cause and effect. If I eat nothing but crap I pretty much know I will feel like shit. (sorry).

Does the actress work, rehearse and study her character in order to retire comfortably with a robust 401K?

Does a surgeon perfect his operating skills to lower his golf handicap?

Does a middle-of-the-pack age grouper train 15 hours a week in order to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated?

Does a mother of three run five miles a day to send her youngest to Harvard?

No, sometimes, but more often than not no, and no.

Why then do we do what we do?

For the experience. Go to a concert, a movie, a nice dinner, an exotic cruise, a bike ride, to school, the library, a coffee shop, the beach, France. Sing in a band, build a solar powered water heater, make love in the pool, play catch, teach the old dog to fly a kite. Train for a triathlon, learn a new skill, help others, paint the den, plant a garden, start a blog.

Experience, the.

I was thinking the other day about an answer Jake Locker gave as pivotal in his decision to return to the University of Washington and play football his senior year. He turned down a million bucks to lead the Huskies to an exciting and dramatic season, one filled with irony, explosive energy, agony, doubt, fear, yet ultimately, three crucial wins down the stretch and a huge victory over Nebraska in the Holiday Bowl. Major WOW factor number 10, thanks.

It was the experience of doing where Jake found in his heart of hearts, meaning, the goal. To experience the experience. To risk. To be there. To feel the defeats as real as the victories. To persevere. To inspire those around him. To lead. To finish.

To finish what he started five years ago.

Jake's Huskies finished the 2010 season at 7-6. The first winning season at the UW since 2002 and their first bowl appearance since the 2001 Rose Bowl. It was a wild and wonderful ride. I enjoyed every minute of it, and I am just a fan. Imagine the experience of the kids.

And imagine the experience they will have next year.

Something for Chris Polk to consider.

Pix: Huskies take the foggy field against UCLA. What that must have felt like for the seniors. Junior in an eye-popping Christmas moment. We're all sophomores in this school.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Those That Are

One of our regular features is the periodic scouting review of what others in the real world are doing as we stay huddled indoors by the fire. The 'others' are defined as those involved in some form of athletic training, and more specific, those that are using the training products from CompuTrainer. That narrows it down. After all, you are either in serious training, or not.

This is for those that are.

First is from my old buddy Gordo Byrn. We first met way back in 1999 in Hawaii when he was just getting started with all this Ironman stuff. It was amazing to watch his progress over the years and witness his spectacular 2004, third overall 8:29 at Ironman Canada. His writing is crisp and introspective, covering triathlon's many training topics much like Matt Taibbi covers politics for RS. Here is his link, Gordo World, and a quick snippet from his Nutrition 201 op-ed.

#6 - Patience
A few winters ago, I spent a lot of time on my CompuTrainer watching IMH videos. I noticed something about the elite female athletes. Their individual body composition changed significantly through the 90s. Specifically, have a look at Paula, Lori and Joanna over a series of years. These ladies race(d) very lean, but they did not always have the look that we perceive. What's my point? My point is that the body responds gradually to both training stress and effective nutrition. It takes years to get an elite body. Trying to rush your body will result in illness, injury or a decline in performance. In fact, if you experience injuries that heal slowly, frequent mood swings or a rapid loss of weight and power, you should have an expert review your nutrition.

Endurance Corner, all things TRI.
Good link to a talented female vegan doc. Some yummy recipes also.
Readers talk about RCVs at IAMTRI. I think they like it.
Video of the CTS CT set up. Cool.
Video of CTS Boulder set up. Cool.
Video of Robbie Ventura's Vision Quest set up. Kids on mountain bikes. Rock.
Video of Mike Ricci's CT set up at the U of Colorado. Nice.

The embeded video is from Roy Galvin's CompuTrainer Race League. Seriously folks, we need more of this type of indoor activity, and less of, say, Fox News.



The BAC 15 mile course has been designed and built. RCVman is taking it for a test spin in a few minutes to ensure its 'appropriateness' for the first ride in tomorrow's class. Looks like Bernie gets the honors.

UPDATE: Bernie will be chasing a rather unspectacular 42:36 time by the RCVman. 220.3 avg watts and an anemic 2.6 watts to Kg. Sometimes I hate numbers.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Webster on the Run


It happened somewhere around mile two. We were sidestepping patches of black ice running into a blinding winter sun. At below freezing the going was slow, but being it the first long, steady run of 2011, it was feeling good. Challenging, but good.

There has got to be a word for it, I thought aloud.

Word for what, replied my intrepid running mate.

A word that contains all the elements of success.

Victory?

No, that is not what I mean, that is an outcome, albeit a pleasant one, but I am thinking more of a word that encompasses all the training, hard work, dedication, commitment, sacrifice, effort and vision that we go through to get to where we are going, or trying to go.

Or wanting to go.

It also needs to address the issue of gratitude.

In what way?

In the way that we need to be thankful and pleased that we have made it to here, this very moment, this mile, at this very point on our journey towards fitness, good health, contentment, and understanding. Even if there isn't a reward other than merely doing what our bodies know to be beneficial.

It's that tenth place thing again, right?

Yes, partialy so. The word implies that although we are pleased with finishing tenth, after an entire year of hard work and focused training, that we now have our sights on seventh place.

A past to future continuum? Progress.

Exactly. It also contains the ingredients necessary to accomplish the new objective.

Like running in the cold?

That and motivation, discipline, presence, mental toughness, gumption, the acumen involved with proper rest and recovery…

And good dietary habits.

And stress management.

And speed work.

And hill repeats.

And enjoying the ride.

Yes. All that.

In one word.

Yes, and not hyphenated or Latin.

I don't think that word exists in the English language.

Then we need to invent it.

Miles pass under the crackling of ice and the groan of piriformi now soft with Holiday neglect. It has been thirty days since our last long run, and that was a race.

Yes, time to start the New Year with a fresh head of steam and a mantra that sums up all that this is and all that this means.

It's going to be a long word. Kinda like this painful run.

Indeed.

I got it.

Chronogratimoerganomic. Chrono for the time spent in training, past and to come, grati meaning with the appropriate gratitude in the knowledge that we are able to do this (and recognize the value) mo for the mojo and motivation necessary to fight the good fight, ergo meaning the work ethic we bring to the show, and anatomical being the combination of connected elements, parts and associated and requisite ligaments, tendons and attitudes.

Chrono-gratimo-erganomic. n. pl. -nomicies. adj. -nomical. The ability to enjoy the training process without added emphasis or importance on the outcome. Found predominantly in Kenyan and Japanese athletes and considered rare in the United States.

I like it.

Me too.

Watch out for that ice.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011: Clean Slate



1.1.11

Great 90 min HIT session this morning. Before we got started with our spin, we did another Tanita BMI test. Just for some metrics. An indication of where we might be. And I use this weasel-wording (might be) instead of the objective and accurate (are) for a good reason. This method of collecting BMI, and more particularly, body fat %, is wildly inaccurate. Like +/- 3%. In my research I found that one of the leading causes of data inaccuracy is overly calloused heels. Hummmm. I will cite another example of how this is not the "best" way to charge down the path of good heath: I have been tested for BMI three times. Listed below are the results.

You tell me which of the three is where I should be "most fit":

November, 2008, Panama City Beach, FL
Weight: 171.8 (clothed)
% Body Fat: 8.8%

November, 2010, Bainbridge Island, WA
Weight: 168.1 (workout kit)
% Body Fat: 9.2%

January 1, 2011, Bainbridge Island, WA
Weight: 163.8 (workout kit)
% Body Fat: 10.2

Interesting, no? Did I really lose muscle mass as primary source during the 30 day no bread diet? That is what the first to last data suggests.

All this leads us to the conclusion that points to another type of testing as necessary. After all I am most interested in getting faster, in the application of muscle and mass to create force (to turn the pedals with more power). Knowing that I need to follow a hard ride with a quick run, the combination vital to this end is known as power to weight ratio.

And that takes us directly to the next test. The power test. We measure power in watts. One accepted protocol calls for a 60 minute test in a controlled environment to determine CP, controlled power. The number of watts you can generate in 60 minutes.

Let's put the goal in other words: If I can raise my CP 10% while losing ten pounds I could care less what my percentage of body fat is.

Let the testing begin.

Starting Monday, I will have my CompuTrainer available in the HoM for this testing. I will create a special course of approximately 15 miles that we should all be able to complete in 60 minutes. You bring in your bike (or you can use one of mine) do the test and we'll save the power data. Them we'll go about our HIT spinning (and cross training, stretching and recovering) for a quarter and repeat the test, same course, same person, but same results? NOYL (not on your life). You need to reserve a date for this because we can only accommodate one person per class, or three a week. We'll kick off the program Monday booking times for a Wednesday start. I will do the course as well at home so we have a starting benchmark.

Photos: The 2010 running slate is wiped clean, making way for more miles in 2011.