Monday, February 28, 2011

Be a Better Biker



I chuckled at the alliteration. Be a better biker. Reminded me of picking a peck of pickled peppers. Or a woodchuck chucking wood. Still, I think the concept is a sound one, leading us to the natural next of the challenge, the how to.

To be a better biker one must bike. Sure you can be a decent rider going out only when the sun is shinning and all the chores have all been done. And that is OK, but if you want to get faster, ride longer, get to the top of the hill first or to the finish line before most of the others in your age standard, you are gong to have to do more. That is the way that our motors improve. More.

More attention to detail, more power output, more pedal rotations and more focus. Please notice I didn't say more miles or more minutes. (although they have a time and place.) If you want to be a better biker you are gong to have to tune your motor. That is what powers us through time and space. It is the dynamo from which our power to weight ratios emerge. As well as our eventual speed and our strength to climb. An advertising hook might even say, "It's the motor." That would not be a falsification.

For those of us that choose to live in the Northwest that means you need to ride in the cold, ride in the rain and ride when others are not. You need to ride indoors. Going nowhere physically, but everywhere mentally. Indoors you get to ride the TdF, Giro, Tour of California and at Kona, Lake Placid or Coeur d'Alene. You can ride with Crowie, Macca, Chrissy and Dibs. You can ride with the best of the best, and in so spinning, dramatically improve the performance of your engine.

Yesterday, we rode in the rain, wind, sleet, slush and snow. Some of us were out there for five hours, up, down, across and over. Till we got in 33 traditional miles with 2,500 ft of gain. There was effort rewarded, the proof of time well spent and the immense satisfaction of challenge accepted. Motion, movement, the purring of motors at work.

Are we better bikers today?

I believe so.

Pic: The camera captures the biker becoming better. Scott as mechanic, Mike as pilot and the RCVman as witness.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Was Chilly and Hilly

33 miles in the books. Another milestone passed today (now there should be no excuses NOT to ride outside after today's 'character builder'). Departure time was 0900 at a balmy 30 degrees. Winds gusting from whatever direction we rode. Always a headwind. It got worse. It rained a little, sleeted some, slushed a spell and then snowed. We pressed on, slugging it out thinking that if we rode long enough, we might hit Palm Springs. As my water remains unpumpable, I am off for a sauna and shower at the club. Congratulations to all who toughed it out today (nowhere near the 6K we drew last year) and special thanks to Steph and Sean for the camaraderie and inspiration.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's ALL YOU NEED


212° The Extra Degree, by Sam Parker and Mac Anderson. "At 211 degrees, water is hot. At 212 degrees, it boils. It's that extra degree that can power a locomotive…or take your life results far beyond your expectations. By taking ownership of this fundamental principle, focusing on a clearly-defined goal, maintaining an unstoppable attitude, committing to take action, and persevering, you'll see life-altering, positive results. The message of 212° The Extra Degree is clear: It's your life: You are responsible for your results. It's time to turn up the heat! "

1. Identify What it Takes to Be Really Fast
Following a peak performance, you will have a solid record of every detail it took to get there. What was your body weight when you were really fast? This is a super-useful piece of data. The lightest weight you can achieve is never the weight at which you are the fastest. How long was your taper? What were your final key workouts? Entire article at Active. com here.


So, what is the true work of man? Surely, the true work of man is to discover truth, God; it is to love and not to be caught in his own self-enclosing activities. In the very discovery of what is true there is love, and that love in man's relationship with man will create a different civilization, a new world. Read more at Jiddu-Krishnamurti.net

Spanner Films and Global Warming.


GREAT 90 minute session in the House of Mirth this morning, following on the wild romp through the Grand Forest last night. I am so honored and blessed to be able to accompany you all, however temporary, on this glorious adventure. Thank you.

Tomorrow is our local, annual 33 miler to kick off the cycling season. We know it has hills and its very title leaves little room for doubt as to the adjacent weather. Looks like it will be another Chilly Hilly.

I was looking for some research info and found these three little gems (above lifts) in my bookmark queue and thought they might add some expansion to our usual topics. (I was asked yesterday why all the attention to LOVE of late), and although I stumbled with a response on the spot, subsequently I came up with a clearer answer (so much for quick recall of specific fact, Alex). Reasons why I spend so much time on the subject of LOVE.

1) It is in my mission statement on the open page (last line).
2) I think it is important.
3) Everything else hinges on its success.
4) Or is impacted by its failure, loss or impurity.
5) It's all you need.
6) It is something good you can do to your neighbor when all else fails.
7) I happen to enjoy the feeling of being in it.
8) One of these days I might even figure out how to keep it, once found.
9) It is a vital link to passion, and without passion, I wouldn't be here.
10) It is good practice, this unconditional concept.

There is ten. There are a hundred more. Maybe a thousand. The Saturday mash-up sounds like this (c# minor please):

One degree from boiling is where we spin
So you log what it takes to feel this fast
then discover the truth in work and in love
While this blue orb assumes the heat of our technology
and tries to cool its core.
And we'll ride 33 tomorrow and think that maybe
John Lennon was right.

Pic: The triathlete on the right, Aaron Scheidies is blind. That white cord is not from ear buds. Humbling, no? Lake Stevens, WA 2010, an RCVman photo.

Friday, February 25, 2011

RacerMate One



Please watch this on YouTube (click logo at lower right or double click depending on your web browser) in full HD and 16:9 aspect ratio. I think it plays well. But I might be biased. Have a great weekend folks.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Omissions testing



The line made me stop to consider its relevance. It was true and I needed to absorb its significance. I marked the page with forefinger and closed the book along with my eyes. The ground truth was simple:

We are running out of time. Worse, we really don't know exactly how much of it we have remaining. Senor Marquez made this observation about the decade of his sixties, following with the sage advice to avoid mistakes because there is so precious little time remaining to overcome them.

My furrowed brow conveys concern. Action required. How to. Errors. Mistakes. The sometimes blurry line that separates valor from foolishness, the lack of fear from blatant stupidity, or child-like innocent play from immaturity. Errors of commission and errors of omission. Please grasp this, I heard whispered.

Staying with the thought as long as possible, repeatedly pulling back from more pleasurable fantasy indulgences, it finally blossomed as a challenge. True, time is important, yet how we use it even more so. I would much rather have five GREAT days, than ten so-so ones. Give me the pinnacle of ecstasy for an hour and you can keep your entire day of boredom. I want to touch the face of my lover and tremble with delight. In that process if I stumble and fall, it is not, nor will it ever be, from the lack of trying, for fear of failure, or the trepidation to trespass on taboo. Sorry, I don't care much for those rules.

From this time forward, my errors will be those of commission. If I love too much, I am sorry. If I sing to loudly, my apologies. If I seek victory where I have previously failed, you may call me crazy, a hopeless romantic or a lunatic. But try I must. Time is short and the excuse list is long. If it warrants doing, do it. Now.

I understand balance, flexibility and caution. I am big on preventative maintenance. Under certain circumstances I will even dip a toe into the water to test the temperature.

But I steadfastly refuse to error by the stagnant constriction of cannot.

Here is more of the passage:

"I'm trembling because of you." From then on I began to measure my life not in years but decades. The decade of my fifties had been decisive because I became aware that almost everyone was younger than I. The decade of my sixties was the most intense because of the suspicion that I no longer had time for mistakes. My seventies were frightening because of a certain possibility that the decade might be my last. Still, when I woke alive on the first morning of my nineties, in the happy bed of Delgandina, I was transfixed by the agreeable idea that life was not something that passes by like Heraclitus' ever-changing river but by a unique opportunity to turn over on the grill and keep broiling on the other side for another ninety years." Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Closing the little book, I placed it upon the nightstand then turned out the light, smiling to myself as darkness finally ended the day.

Pix: Mirinda Carefrae and Raynard Tissink on the Queen K in Kona last year. When you need your best there is little margin for error.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Directions


Directions. They are given. They are advertised. They are utilitarian. Sometimes they even come with a warning. The Ten Commandments of Training. The Ten Commandments of weight loss.

This post might be all of the above. I was reminded (again) yesterday that I can be (often) less than perfect. Way less. Without empathy, tact, sensitivity or diplomacy, even. Gosh, me?

Yes, you. And all because I feel very strongly on a subject near and dear to my heart? No.

Then what?

Because the manner in which you choose to demonstrate your understanding of the subject introduces additional irritation. In short, you have a tendency to shoot the messenger. And we are running out of volunteers. Not all roads lead to here.

Ah. My turn?

I have some core values, things that I believe in so strongly that I will fight to keep them. Freedom is one. Fairness is another. Balance a third. Truth hitting cleanup. So I plead guilty to yesterday's ruffling of feathers when one of these is (seemingly) questioned. It was simply MY TRUTH in defense. In no way did I attempt to call it universal. You are free to do as you wish.

And what we do is not for everybody. Matter of fact, it's only for very few. But we believe firmly in what what we do and why. This tiny group is united in common cause and we want the best for ourselves (and our best selves) so hopefully the same will result for others that might choose to join, experiment or imitate. We accept challenge. Gratefully.

The requirements are surprisingly simple: Show up, work hard, eat good, rest and recover, repeat. There are myriad details and directions within the directions. Managing stress, finding stasis, support, dedication. There are many lefts to take before the next right. It will challenge your sense of limit and expand your definition of pain. It is a monstrous task. You might fail. You can quit any time. You can create a volume of excuses and perfect their usage. You can deny. You can pretend. You can hide.

You can.

I won't. EVER. I have just made that public.

And as such, I also make public my apology for a knee-jerk reaction to an opinion that runs on a slight tangent to my approach. I am sure when the messenger is released from the ER he will recover. I will do better in the future. Better in filtering media. Better in responding, offering counterpoint. Better than I was this morning at Michelle's wonderful and contentment building 0530 Yoga. (I come seeking balance).

Better than all of that. Directions. Which way? Which Road. What Tao. Easy? Not today, thanks.

Pix: Balance between bamboo. Go left here and await further directions young man (Chilly Hilly turn at Battle Point Dr.).

Monday, February 21, 2011

Excuses



Excuses. Everywhere.

The mental side of training is equally important as the physical side. There will be pain. How you deal with it often determines if you win or if you don't. If winning isn't your cup of tea, please stop here and read no further, because what I am about to suggest my offend your sense of propriety.

We have, for many years been breeding losers. We even celebrate those being the Biggest. We find every conceivable excuse possible to somehow spin a loss into victory of sorts. They are excuses. They are soft and they are weak. They mirror our lazy society. The price of success is high. Work is mandatory. Most cannot or will not face the reality that they are not prepared to give the type of effort necessary to win. The curriculum is too hard, too long, too often, too fast and too demanding. You have to dig too deep and many times what you find there isn't gold or a degree. Easier to just go home and turn on the big screen. Watch some Scooby Do in High Def.

Folks, there is a reason the Marines are fanatical about being Marines (A Few Good Men). It is demanding, relentless and bonding. You don't let yourself down and you don't let your buddies beside you down. It is 110% all the time. That is your code. A standard of excellence.

You better get tough. Get outta that plastic illusion of comfort and convenience. Give what it takes. And it is going to take a lot. A lot often and often a lot more than what you are used to. We'll ramp it up, one day (sometimes twice a day) at a time, with proper rest and recovery. We'll give you the tools to succeed. We will attempt to change the way you look at the game. We'll try to change the way you look at those who play the game. We respect our enemy as he makes us better. We accept the challenge and the road. We respect ourselves. We give 110%. Still....

...we will lose.

But we will analyze the whys and develop strategies to better them, strengthen our weakness and live to fight another day.

That is what champions do. Be it the battlefield of war or sport or business.

So let's please dispel one more myth while we're at it shall we? There is no such thing as overtraining. Ask a Marine, or Kate Major (pictured at left in Boise last year) or Chrissy Wellington (pictured at right at Timberman 70.3). Train like a Marine or put in 25 hour weeks like Kate & Chrissy and you can use overtraining in a sentence, otherwise, it's a very weak excuse.

Here is an excellent example:

1. Purpose - They have a clear and definite purpose associated with the task that gives all of their efforts meaning.

2. Belief - Their belief in both themselves and a the value of the pilgrimage to their goal of attaining enlightenment keeps them putting one foot in front of the other

3. Meditation - The daily practice of meditation strengthens their inner selves to the degree that what their outer selves experience becomes irrelevant

4. Expectation - They simply expect this of themselves and their brothers and the expectation is so high that they don't doubt the possibility

5. Proof - As well as having an amazing belief system, these outstanding men have proof that what is expected can indeed be done. It has been on numerous occasions before and continues to be done even as they and their brothers are doing so.


And another one from a SEAL:

1. Your diet is optimum
2. You are eating enough protein (1 gram per pound of body weight)
3. You vary your intensity (don’t use ridiculous things like forced reps everyday)
4. You are eating enough overall calories
5. You are getting enough sleep (6-8 hours is optimum)

And lastly from an Age Group Triathlete.

The day that I am overtrained is the day I am ready to fight. Semper Fi.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Diet Soda, Beer update


Or you could drink diet soda. 61% more instances of vascular events when people drank one diet soda per day than those who drank, what? ANYTHING ELSE? Beer maybe? So it seems. Read entire article here. I think I have had, at most, two of these evil beverages over the last forty years, so I am out of these woods.

But back to beer. As the above photo attests, I was in the beer aisle this morning after class. Just checking it out to make sure it was still there and Safeway management hadn't done a re-set to expensive smart water drinks or something in my absence. They must be taking a beating on gross profits here at abstinence day 21.

Yesterday's weigh-in showed that a simple beer to wine swap out will not yield earth-shattering weight loss results, as I was up two from the start of the test. (Editors note: This of you who know me will appreciate this as good news). The cut back from running for four days due to the throat soreness didn't help either. So far it is a wash and I cant wait to hoist another Guinness on March 6. You are invited, stay tuned for time and place.

The fallout from yesterday is complete. An hour in the sauna, crackling fire, some of my hearty four bean goulash and a glass of Malbec, followed by ten hours in the rack, was enough to power us through an hour session with the Boys & Girls Club. With a 5K in the park scheduled before pizza at five.

So we're back at it, none the worse for wear and outfitted with more amazing tales to tell.

Over a dark frosty one in two weeks. And please rest assured there will be no diet soda meanwhile. Cheers.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dear Lord

The dates have been changed to protect the innocent.

The howling wind woke me at four. It wasn't difficult as I had been listening to the trees dance since around midnight. My humble cabin in the woods is built around two massive fir trees and when the wind gusts, the noble ones shake, bump, grind, rock and rumba the cabin with what I can only interrupt as glee. They seem to enjoy the dance and most of the time I don't mind being a partner. Except when I need sleep. Then I have been know to shout, "Don't make me get the chainsaw. You two could be firewood by this time tomorrow if you don't knock that shit off RIGHT NOW."

Ah, the wonders of nature. Usually as soon as the dance stops the rain starts. Cooling down the dancers after a feverish mambo, no doubt.

So I was up. RGs Suzuki was outside, cameras were locked and loaded, Garmin charged, coffee awaiting. I intentionally overdressed, anticipating the cold. Cotton turtle neck, fleece pull over, down vest, scarf, my official Navy pilots jacket, terrorist mask, two pairs of gloves, goretex pants, wool socks and boots. I looked at the thermometer as I left at 0800. 38 degrees. Dear Lord.

I waited as long as possible for the sun to clear the top of the trees, even stopping at brother Michael's to borrow a helmet with full face mask. He, still in bathrobe, just said, good luck, dude.

It is only 40 miles from the cabin to the Dungeness State Park, where the pace line practice was to begin. I had 90 minutes to get there, get set up and follow the team for some juicy video.

I knew I was in trouble by the time I got to the highway. The winds were still gusting to twenty, deep shadows lined long stretches of the road and I was thinking how nice it would be to feel my fingers again. The video, I thought, was to me what the gold of the Klondike must have been to Jack London. I wondered what the boss would think when I turned in an expense report for a 10,000 dollar emergency frostbite operation.

"You lost two fingers? Doesn't that expensive camera I bought work with the OTHER ones?"

I can make all this stop, I cried, bringing my focus back to the painful present, all I have to do is simply open up the throttle over that patch of ice right there and turn the bars tight right. Done and gone. Over. Heaven, at last.

I hope, maybe. Oh no, what if Hell is this ride for eternity and that is what I get for my sometimes less than saintly behavior? Alright, too harsh a side-effect, just bite the bullet and press on.

But I see the sign that laughingly says, Sequim 19 miles, and now my eyes are watering and my heart rate is 439. I have to stop and thaw. I look at watch and see that I can still make the start time but I will have to hustle. Hustle means wind chill and I am not sure my suddenly shaky stomach will stabilize sufficiently to allow the effort. I have no cell numbers for the guys, We ran out of morphine six years ago and the sun is still an hour away from creating any additional warmth. My breath looks like an escapee from a Chinese steam bath. I am sure I have been this cold before, but I can't remember when, or why.

I re-saddle the Suzuki S-40 and de-ice the face mask. The margin for error is now zero. A measly 10 miles to go, fifteen minutes to go it in.

I feel better. For about thirty seconds and then it all piles back on like kids in a dog pile. I have to stop again and put my hands around the exhaust pipes. When I pull my hands up one of my gloves has caught fire. (insert your expected response here). I put it out on my pants and singe a ten inch hole in them. (go ahead I can take it). Once that drama has passed I pull back onto the Highway and try to create a workable tactic. Five miles out and I am going to be late. Probably with frostbite and maybe on fire. It'll go for a good story.

I head into the parking lot at 10:37. Lotsa SUVs with bike racks, no bikes and no bikers. I was seven minutes late and they were gone. I had no advance intel of the course but I cruised where I thought they might ride for twenty minutes before I headed back to 101 for coffee and a pancake or two. What I really needed was a hug and wondered if there might be a app for that.

I walk into the Sunrise Cafe and sit at the counter. I wrap my hands around the mug of steaming Boyd's and order two whole-wheat blueberry pancakes. I check e-mails, one from CarRentals.com and the other from Zappos. The touch pad is difficult with fingers that feel the size of King Kong's so I look for something analog.

I look at the menu again, thinking that I might need some browns to go with the cakes and see this at the top of the menu:

"Dear Lord, thank You for giving me this day, because I sure loused up the one you gave me yesterday."

Like I said the dates have been changed to protect the innocent. Amen and amen.

No pictures today. Ice on lens. Back tomorrow for the dramatic conclusion.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Show Me


In between video downloading and renders, prep for tomorrow's Bikesale.com team shoot up in Sequim and the continuing infrastructure build challenge of the new iPhone/iPad app, I have little time to get today's post in. I am so very glad that last night was an "early out" and I was able to get in an pre-dawn spin with Tony this morning. It is ALWAYS good to mix it up, change the routine and wear the other Italian racing shoe.

It was a good workout (I always enjoy sprinting), proving, hopefully, that I (and we) are over the little hiccup that a scratchy throat and a runny nose offered as warning. I will try an easy 5K in the park tonight to ensure recovery and renew (with vigor) the serious work again on Sunday. Tomorrow, as mentioned, we are filming some pace-line work up in Sequim. Looks like the weather will cooperate. Stills and maybe some video on Monday.

The media captured yesterday looks very good, so now all I have to do is create a script, add some (serious) pizzaz and Kung-Fu it together. In some circles this is known as Walking the Cake. Not here.

I got in some research reading yesterday to and from town, and came away with a couple of highlighted items to transfer to the hard drive. In no particular order, they are:

"The simplest and most well known tool to building mental toughness is killer training sessions. Most of the legendary coaches and athletes in triathlon are famed for favoring tortuous workouts." Torbjorn Sinballe writing in Inside Triathlon. (March issue not yet on-sale).

"The old man looked mildly outraged and fell into high-gear Greek with his son. The son was apologetic. 'Pardon me, but my father says that it is a lie that Americans have everything. You have no sheep, no goats, no trees, no olive oil, no vines, no wine, not even chickens. He asks, What kind of life is that? He says, no wonder you don't sing or dance or recite poetry very often." Robert Fulghum, from What on Earth Have I Done?

"Video is the killer app. Don't write me. Tell me. Show me." Wired magazine Jan. 2011, Film School.

"..and in them I became aware that the invincible power that has moved the world is unrequited, not happy, love." Gabriel Garcia Marquez, from Memories of My Melancholy Whores. (Banned in Iran)

"Think Outside the Bike" RCVman scribbling possible themes for the RM1 commercial spot, now well under way, in full production mode. (cake walking)

Shall we try to mash all this up?

Be tough. Go hard.
Sing, dance, inspire.
Show me the way
to the power of Love
but tune the motor first.

I'm glad it's Friday.

Pix: Part of the Discovery trail from Sequim to Port Angeles. You can walk your bike up if you want to. Screen shot of the new iPhone app. The Queen K at her finest. No walking, cake or otherwise.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bad dog


Bad dog. No.

I was a bad dog today. Woke up late with a zin-ache, skipped workout due to commute into town, had TWO doughnuts, and now have missed evening workout because of darkness. Bad, bad dog.

Daily tally: Calories in (estimate) 2744, calories out: 13.

I will probably wake up in the morning looking like John Candy. And although the sore throat seemed to be a harbinger of down time to come, two days of mega C dosing (and no intense runs) appears to have dispersed that riot before it turned ugly. Maybe I was simply seeking solace in the comfort of the sweets. Or perhaps we teetered on the brink of over-training and my metabolism was screaming for some simple sugar (and a day off)! Maybe both.

The take-away we logged was this: When ramping up, and feeling super good, almost bullet proof, there is danger at your door. When you wish like heck that there was a race upcoming somewhere SOON, stop. Take a day. Cut some intensity. Get a massage. Go for a hike. You are in the danger zone. Heed these warnings. Things are not as they appear. You have temporarily peaked and cannot sustain this intensity without proper rest and a period of time to allow cellular growth. (hint: Doughnuts do not assist in this process).

The good news is that you have earned this. You worked hard to get here. There are marked improvements. You enjoy the new view and the new you. You are becoming a big dog (wagging more, barking less).

So take a day or two when necessary and balance out the track. It'll be a heck of a lot easier to get back with one day off instead of three weeks due to a virus.

Good dog.

Pic: Roger at CompuTrainer demonstrates some of the many new features of the RacerMate One software bundle. We talked for two hours and I will build a promo video from that dialogue. Wait until I tell you what the new software is going to allow for use with Real Course Videos. It'll make ya howl at the moon and crave glazers!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

To OZ


I am off to OZ in the morning. OZ being "code" for CompuTrainer HQ in Seattle. Seems that we are getting VERY close to launching the new RacerMate One software and the boss, lead programmer and sales department all want to provide their take on the plethora of new functions so that the launch video appropriately represents the upgrade. On no uncertain terms. The representation, in 16:9 HD Dolby 3.1 being My job. My experience with affairs of this nature usually translates to two things:

Make it look good and show the logo large and often.

But not this time. This is too important and too big to ho-hum. I fully plan on unleashing all the video dawgs at my command in order to create some immediate and positive love-buzz. You, and everyone who wants to get faster on the bike (would that be all of us?) need to see and appreciate all that these new tools, graphics and options will do. Here is my initial thought on how to phrase that: Voice: Now that you have made the decision to get fitter faster, and to bike better, don't you want a product that will simultaneously make it more fun, more entertaining and more POWER PRODUCING?

You do. Heck, I do. We all do.

Alright, there is a start. I will capture as much tech-talk as I can stand from the guys tomorrow and get started. Deadline is the Seattle Bike Show on March 12 & 13. Three weeks. Ouch. Wish the old RCVman luck.

In other news, longtime VBA'er le won the NAME THOSE TUNES competition with an astounding 19 of 21 correct answers, only slipping on Someday We'll be Together and Lotta Love. Way to go le!!!!! I started to do another compilation this afternoon but got bogged down with the tedium, so until I get another five free hours, that will be that.

Lastly please put May 2-6 on your calendar as we have dedicated those dates to a self supported ride around the Olympic Peninsula on Highway 101. The RCVman has done this three times and now invites all his friends to accompany this year. You don't have to be fast, just happy.

All for tonight. Great session again this morning, recovery is key gang. Spring can't be far off.

Pic: Advance screen shot of the new Multi-Rider graphics. Is that SaraConner in the lead?

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Good Luck

video

Now that the yearly milestone of Saint Valentine's Day has passed and we find ourselves winging towards President's Day 24 hours at a time, let's finish the effort we began just yesterday morning. That effort being the celebration of the joyous (and raucous) musical accompaniment to our super high intensity spin session. You will recall (as a result of muscular fatigue or migraine headaches), that it was a mashup spanning style and genera, from the immensely lush story-telling skills of Sinatra to the caterwaul grind of Led Zeppelin. And almost everything in between that even mentioned the word love. Such was the set, of which I remain particularly proud.

Additionally, I challenged the VBA yesterday to a 'name those tunes' contest, even mixing one poignant line from each tune to create the first ever RCVman lyrical set mashup. It was interesting. Not to be outdone by sloth alone, I added yet another component to the event, that being an audio companion to the selected lines. And lastly, using open media uniquely available to me alone, I mixed in some moving images to complete the farrago. A pink farrago as they say in Vegas.

And there you have it. All 21 songs from yesterdays set, one line from each, and some snazzy training and racing video just to keep the energy at its absolute peak.

For all of two minutes.

Without additional exposition then, the challenge du jour:

NAME THOSE TUNES.

Contributor coming closest wins an all expenses paid cycling trip to Indianola with the RCVman himself in August of 2011. Void where prohibited, must be 21 or older to enter, one per household and proof of Citizenship required if submitting from Arizona.

Good luck and good night.

THIS JUST IN


THIS JUST IN

An official announcement from The RCVman headquarters near Seattle, WA this morning confirms what experts have been discussing for weeks.

Today has been declared an off-day. There will be no work. No work-outs, no hassles, no fires to put out, no negotiations, no stress, no headaches, no flaring of tempers, no rolling of eyes and no second, third or fourth guessing. Of anything. For any reason and under any circumstance.

Please, world, (the memo continues),

Take the day off. Relax. Take some deep breaths. Listen to Woflgang Amadeus. Have a cup of Chai tea with honey. Go sit in the sauna. Read some Tom Robbins or Barbara Kingsolver. Tell someone that you truly love that you truly love them. Give the dog a bath. Light a scented candle. Sit quiet and listen to your breaths. Be nice to that delusional romantic that thinks you walk on water. Eat a peach.

The announcement also included several cautionary activities, items and people to avoid at all costs, among them:

HIT sessions of any nature
Important business calls or e-mails
Facebook
Detailed analysis of property tax
Comparison of this months power bill with same time a year ago
Filling gas tank
Starbucks
Listening to any politician try to explain anything
Sharp objects
Drugs, alcohol, tobacco or porn
Fox news
Assault rifles and IEDs
Michael Bay movies
Sarah Palin

It is hoped that one day of total rest and recovery will be sufficient time to return the global population to normality. RCVman HQ also noted that asking 6 billion people to relax, chill and downshift is a enormous and daunting chore.

One not to be taken lightly.

Upon news of the announcement the Dow gained seven points and Beethoven rolled over.

Two things you may do: Ride your bike slowly in the desert. Go to the museum, and/or enjoy public art. Out till tomorrow.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Mashing Sam and Zep


Happy Valentine's Day. In retrospect having Frankie Blue Eyes, Michael Bouble, Elvis, Goo Goo Dolls, Dave Crowder, k.d. lang, Bruce Cockburn, Izzy, Hootie, Turtles, Journey and Jackson on this mornings set list was kinda OK. Or maybe it was the fact that we were mostly distracted by the workout itself and only heard the occasional schmaltz through a fuzztone endorphin filter. Dunno. Regardless, it was fun and reciprocal as in exchange for the 30 minute massage raffle, I got a bag of chocolate chip cookies that I am seriously enjoying with my coffee this very instant. So congratulations Mimi and thank you Stephanie.

Those of you who have spent time in the HoM know my feelings on rock 'n roll. I like it. You also know that my favorite Beatles song is Dear Prudence. To bring these three seemingly unrelated items together (Studio Cycling, Rock 'n Roll and Valentines Day), one must do a little stretching. Which I also like. So here goes (please bear with me): All you need to know about:

1) Studio cycling: Show up often, go hard, rest, repeat.
2) Rock 'n Roll:
The sun is up
The sky is blue
It's beautiful
And so are you.
3) Valentines Day: See 1 & 2.

Lastly, and I've always wanted to do this, here is a one line lyrical mashup of the 21 songs that comprised today's set. I will let the tunesmiths speak for themselves.

Baby, won't you help me understand
And this moment keeps slipping away
Where trouble melts like a lemon drop
Maybe a great magnet pulls all souls towards truth
My story is much too sad to be told
The whole world can feel it
Yea you bleed just to know you're alive
I'm such a baby 'cause the Dolphins make my cry
The love I'm sending ain't making it through to your heart
Ask her if she'll marry me in some old fashion way
Nothin' wrong with bein' in love with someone
Unless it was champagne with you
You know we always had each other baby, I guess that wasn't enough
Some will win, some will lose, some are born to sing the blues
When you're with me baby the skies will be blue
Just to kiss your sweet, sweet lips and hold you so tight
You know I need relating not solitude
I try to shut my eyes but I can't get her outta my sight
With sweet love and devotion, touching my emotions
I just might turn to smoke but I feel fine
Shake for me girl, I wanna be your back door man.

Name all 21 and win a cookie! Some hints are above. It was pointed out to me after class that the possibility exists that "Whole Lotta Love" is not really about romance in the "Cupid draw back your bow", sense. With appropriate apologies to Sam Cooke,

the point is conceded.

Have a great day.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Passion Intervals


"Men live by intervals of reason under the sovereignty of humor and passion."
— Thomas Browne

Imagine you are out running on a wet, windy, cold Sunday morning, said Dr. Timothy Noakes, an exercise physiologist at the University of Cape Town. “The conscious brain says, ‘You know that coffee shop on the corner. That’s where you really should be.’” And suddenly, you feel tired, it’s time to stop. There is some fatigue in muscle, I’m not suggesting muscles don’t get fatigued,” Dr. Noakes said. “I’m suggesting that the brain can make the muscles work harder if it wanted to.”

The above quote by Thomas Browne got me to thinking. I guess I'm easy that way. Don't take much. The sovereignty of humor and passion. Laugh and love with maximum intensity, recover, consider the fallout, repeat. Or, work hard, think, relax, laugh, love. However you want to structure your intervals, recognize their value and focus on the easy efforts as much as the hard ones. Give as much, or more, to what is easy, so that intensity is not a problem when the hammer gets dropped.

Here is the clincher: The next quote from Dr. Noakes, author of Lore of Running, suggests that all the limiters and all the sabotage and all the disappointment comes from our uncanny ability to talk ourselves into or out of, optimum performance. What we have been guessing all these years, finally has some medical validity and scientific support.

It's all upstairs. The NY Times article (while rambling a bit before the home stretch) says, again from Dr. Noakes, that you can think yourself into a better race, just as easily as you can think yourself out of one. Or a better spin session, or hard interval, or time trial, or whatever.

We knew this all along didn't we? Kinda, sorta, maybe?

Yes, we did. Now let's put it into play. We'll start tomorrow at 0530, usual place. Get some rest. And don't try to think of an excuse.

Pic: A staggeringly beautiful madrona cliff side on Crystal Springs, site of the start and finish of our 12 miler today. Trained with a very talented junior this morning, and watched Tony M. kill his TT yesterday in 44:44. Life means challenge, no?

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Ray on Life



"Love. Fall in love and stay in love. Write only what you love, and love what you write. The key word is love. You have to get up in the morning and write something you love, something to live for." Ray Bradbury, on the key to success.

I start each day with this thought foremost in mind. Mr. Bradbury, being a most prolific writer, uses the written word here to illustrate his point. A point with which I can relate. Although the comparisons begin and end here (I readily admit I am nowhere near Mr. B's status) we can use his sagacity as a point of departure. The key word remains the same: Love. I sincerely love what I do. I love making my little video representations of healthy people performing active, energetic, challenging athletic rituals. Riding bikes mostly. I like to think that somewhere, somehow, somebody might get motivated or inspirited enough by them to hop on and go for a spin as a result. Inside or out, I don't care. It's the movement and intensity that counts. The passion with which you ride. The relative joy. You have to get up in the morning and do something you love.

And do it again. Only the next time better, smoother, harder, with more focus, longer, with more newbies, in different places, at different times of day, week, month.

Something to live for. Passion. I talk about this a lot. Because I think it is important. You have to let the lemmings follow each other off the cliff. Hopefully some of them will figure out (before it's to late) that high fructose corn syrup, processed wheat, animal fat and diet soda (coupled with X-Box marathons) will deteriorate their health to the level of needing drugs for life support. Pills. Meds. Big Pharma and Montesano very much appreciate your continued cooperation. We have a health care industry that doesn't care about food, and a food industry that doesn't care about health. It is up to us folks.

That is one of the main reasons why I like (love) what I do, because my voice is so small amid this super-sized cacophony of capitalistic greed and insidious disregard for the well being of the proletariat. I, underdog. Call me David. That something wicked Mr. Bradbury discussed, has arrived. They want to control us (451), and not just a little. They want it all. Your money, your (lack of) health, your fear and your anxiety. There is big profit in your death and your disease.

Message to the PTB: You will NOT get it from me. I refuse to play your sick game. Ply your trade elsewhere.

I will take care of myself. I will create my own good health and fitness. I will eat well, local, organic and plant based. I will manage my environmental stress (start with the remote). I will continue to lovingly, passionately and aggressively push my growth agenda, and that of my community. I will laugh and I will sing (in the relative vicinity of C), and I will assist like minded others when they call, saddle up or log-in.

Then maybe one day I can write a sentence with as much impact, eloquence and meaning as Ray.

The good news is that I won't have to quit my day job to do it.

Excerpt from Fahrenheit 451:

Guy Montag was a fireman whose job it was to start fires... The system was simple. Everyone understood it. Books were for burning ... along with the houses in which they were hidden. Guy Montag enjoyed his job. He had been a fireman for ten years, and he had never questioned the pleasure of the midnight runs nor the joy of watching pages consumed by flames... never questioned anything until he met a seventeen-year-old girl who told him of a past when people were not afraid. Then he met a professor who told him of a future in which people could think... and Guy Montag suddenly realized what he had to do!

Pic: Oskar Werner as Guy Montag in Francios Truffant's 1966 spin on F451.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Who ya gonna call?


One more Multi-Rider Center from Naperville. IL that was omitted yesterday. Cool gig. Endure It Club.

Had the very special treat this morning of my fist massage in over a year. Truly, an experience I can wholeheartedly recommend. My therapists in the past have all been selected by one criteria: The ability to go deep. As in tissue. Some of my favorites were so strong, talented and experienced in helping others in my muscular-demographic (Type A trigeek wackos) that I had to keep constantly reminding myself on the table that all this torture would have a pay out in performance. That one fine day I would be happy at the finish line as a result of the current pain of full body weight on a enbow gorged deep into my left glute. I can remember thinking, try to relax wouldya.

Right.

I have also stumbled away from hour sessions on the verge of emotional breakdown. The release of "muscle memory" from torn, irritated, overused or under appreciated musculature will do that. My therapist today told me that some people laugh, some cry and others have no reaction whatsoever. When I told her I am in the "empathy" camp, she seemed pleased. She was much gentler (softer) than prior therapists but had outstanding navigation skills. She went right to the shoulder crunching, nailed the neck inflexibility and the fun was in full swing by the time she got to the piriformis.

Ooh, what is THIS? A little obstruction?

A muffled, yeah.

And this? Your ITB is as tight as a drum.

I am familiar with the comparison, yes.

Goodness, can you feel how all this tightness is pulling on your lower back muscles?

Deep breath, I can.

Does this hurt?

YEOWWWWWWW. (no, not at all)

And so went our 48 minutes together. Me face down, trying to relax, breathing through mouth because histamines had already completely clogged nasal passageways, and "The Girl from Tonasket" gently cruising to every inflamed trigger point on my left side and sweetly inquiring to the adjacent pain response.

Hurt any here?

Yes.

How much?

A lot.

How about over here?

That's a ten, yeah.

What about when I do THIS?

Owwwwwwwwh, could you please hand me my cell phone, it's in the right rear pocket of my Levis on the chair.

Why?

I think I should call my lawyer.

Seriously though. It was a great hour and my follow up with Dr. M equally productive. We will do a two day "indoc" session next week and see if we can reverse (or slow down) some of the vertebrae degeneration found from the X-Rays.

For those of you that have been following for a while, you have heard me mention HIT on a few occasions. I knew there was a reason I immediately responded to Dr. M's approach, and this might have something to do with it.

Great training week gang. Tomorrow is 90 minutes of HIT in the HoM. Sunday is an hour with the Kids and a 12 miler. (no typo)

Maybe I should call my shrink instead.

Pix from Thursday in town. WSF Tacoma with Olympics in back and a hanging fixie from Pike Place Brewery. (I was just looking).

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Perception and Reality


Seems as how we are in the middle of our BAC CompuTrainer TT program (where the RCVman will make his third attempt to break 40 minutes in a few hours), we thought another quick swing around the globe to show what other facilities are doing with the CT Multi-Rider systems would be fun.

First up our friends at d3multisport in Boulder, CO featuring Mike and Simon's immeasurable coaching skills. Photo of their very cool set-up at far right.

Then a quick look at how Lance's coach, Chris Carmichael at CTS uses the CTs in their group sessions (also incorporating a concept we are trying to replicate and perhaps even improve upon).

Then eastward to West Chester, PA for a look at the Velosouplesse shop. Photo above left is Brandon, Kyle and Mike about to go head-to-head from their swanky speed shop.

And finally to Peak to Peak Training in Denver.

It is interesting to note the difference in our RPE intervals and how they transfer to the exacting sciences of the CompuTrainer Time Trial demands. As both student and representative (Ergo Ambassador) , I fell they nicely connect the "dots of power adaptation", towards the individual discovery and eventual answer to the obvious query:

Is my perception reality?

Much the same way, it is hoped, that all indoor training will yield great improvements outdoors once the snow melts, the sky turns from gray to blue and somebody hollers "go".

Until then, dear friends, enjoy the (indoor) ride(s).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Partner Up



As the PSA of the day, please remember that you can click on the video title (Partner Up) and watch on the RCVman YouTube site in full HD with the correct aspect ratio of 16:9. Or you can go to the side bar on the left, find RCVman YouTube and click on the latest post, which in this case is Partner Up. I have yet to solve the cropping issue with the blog, so that is something that I will look into when I get back from the dentist. Assuming I can still feel my face and have motor function capabilities.

Bravo Zulu to Kathy G who hammered out a 55 minute performance on the BAC15 this morning after class. There is some frosty-ness on the roads today, but that shouldn't stop us from the usual Wednesday 5K recovery run in the park at 4. I need an easy one after three hard efforts in a row.

Oh, yeah, and just in case you missed it, there was a Hitchcockian moment in the video where the RCVman appears to be struggling with the requested wattage. I suppose to hammer that point I could have used black and white. Scary.

Great day to all. Run happy.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

RCI Air



Artists make art. Students learn. Athletes compete. They listen closely.

In ceaseless radial procession, we are relentlessly bombarded with random cosmic input. RCI. Myriad objects, some formed as thoughts, enter our reception zones. It is my responsibility to arrange, manage, file, interrupt, judge and subsequently put them into play. In total they become my collective thoughts….

Which trigger my actions….

Which shapes my persona.

Eventually, with grace and élan or a clumsy stumbling, I become me and we become us. As a result of this random (but sometimes structured), cosmic input. Aristotle was pilot even then. I fly my flaws like a flummoxed frequent flyer. Both sad and true. Still I look through the plexiglass portal seeking upgrade.

Why are you here? To teach me something? To show me something? To whisper a secret softly in my ear? I know it's a federal offense to tamper with the smoke detector, let's move along.

To inspire, motivate or support? To lead, follow or make the hole? To love? To find lift?

Why use the broad stroke of crimson, when a single gold dab will do? What is the message? How will I know? Is there any? What's the ETA?

How will French literature get me to 401K, algebra to joy and enlightenment or catechism closer to a better BMI? It's a painting of a pipe. It tastes like blue. More turbulence with choppy air.

Who really cares if I do a half-ironman in less than five hours, swim 2,000 meters before sunrise or bench 3 bills?

This input is coming at us faster and faster. We should be getting better at processing it, but we get stuck on inconsequential cliche and often only hear the voice booming with most volume. We pledge allegiance to the status quo. We follow and obey. Distraction is now an art form. A very profitable one. Follow your fingers to the weapons of mass distraction.

Artists then paint as commissioned. Students learn only enough to succeed and athletes compete solely as entertainment. Better learn some navigation skills.

Seemingly random neurons swirl with little heed for innuendo, screaming ideal's sonnets grown radical. Who's air space are we in?

Art for art. Learning for knowledge. The joy of movement. Relax deeply. Thou shalt not go gentle into that good night.

Compete for the art of knowing. Today. There is still time. Listen closely. Here comes another. Be courageous: smile. Have some mini-pretzels and a diet coke.

Time, money, and love:

Time, money, and love -- three great ideas running our lives. Of these three, only love is real. I believe we do everything for reasons of love, avoidance of love, or neurotic displacement of love. Time is not as real as it looks and feels. The time of physics is a quantity within equations. Human time is different. The past may appear distant or close in time depending on how we feel. Time may move slowly or quickly. Look within, you'll see this is true. Money is a symbolic displacement for love and time. Money is the most powerful force of our civilization; people give up freedom, love, and time for money. If you focus too much on money, you risk no time for the love in your life -- friends, children, and good works. Too little money and your spouse may leave you. With enough money "everybody loves you" -- for your money. "Time saving machinery" is now so effective that we could get ten hours of work done in two hours. It should be heaven on earth by now. But heaven never comes, and keeps waiting for better and faster technology. With every increase in machine/computing power we invent new tasks and expectations. The carrot keeps receding into the horizon. Now, it's nonstop working and shopping seven days a week, twenty-four hours a day. Forget the Sabbath -- only God gets to rest on the seventh day.

Pic: Final boarding call for the RCI non-stop flight to me. Please make sure seat belt is low and tight.

Monday, February 7, 2011

A-HA (Neil & Gene)


1. Embrace humility. Sometimes you'll fail. And while failure is overrated (having known them both intimately, you're fairly certain that success is much better), you know you can still learn something from every experience. It's always good to keep it real.

2. An artist makes art. As lovely and exciting as everything else can be, never forget to focus on the source. A painter paints; a musician makes music; a writer writes. Wander from the source at your own peril.

3. When you ask for adventure, you don't always know what you'll get. That's how adventure works. You could choose the safe route and avoid the risk of disappointment, but a good adventurer would never do that.

Three from Chris Guillebeau, of the Art of Non-Conformity. I like his stuff.

Sometimes things come at us in odd ways. The lightening bolt of inspiration most always is subliminal, and usually is without the booming thunderous counterpart. It is subtle. I used to do PR for a national radio host (late night, new age and very cool) who was fond of saying, "here we are again at another a-ha moment". That would get listeners attention as everyone knew that things were about to head towards resolve, some big questions would get discussed and answers were at hand (after the commercial). It didn't always happen but it made for great talk radio. Engaging is the term that comes to mind. Thought provoking, important, topical and timely are a few others. Tasty, too.

I heard a keyboard solo coming from a orange VW yesterday. I immediately recognized the solo but not the song. But I DID remember the feeling I used to get whenever I heard it played as an AM hit in Los Angeles (most likely KFWB - Channel 98). It was 1964. I was 12 and this song always touched an emotional cord that felt like 20,000 volts running up and down my spine.

If you play the two versions of "It Hurts to be in Love", Neil Sedaka's and Gene Pitney's they are hard to tell apart. Researching this last night I found out the reason. Money again. RCV Victor withheld the Sedaka release because it was recorded out of their 'allowed area', and so the author, Howard Greenfield and his partner Helen Miller, simply took the orchestration across the street and replaced Sedaka's vocal rendition with Mr. Pitney's. Thereby creating perhaps the first vinyl mashup of a 45 to make it to number 7 on the national charts. Did that sound like Casey Kasem?

The song also made my daily a-ha moment on a gray and drizzling Sunday. I am not sure everyone in class this morning got those same 20,000 volts from the scratchy, peaking, distorted and mono recording, but like they say, if the thunder don't getcha the lightening bolt will. I like to keep it fresh, even if the original versions were first payed on AM radio over 48 years ago.

I also like Mr. Guillebeau's three topics of the day (above).

Photo: "I Get Around" went gold for the Beach Boys in 1964, same year that "It Hurts to be in Love" peaked at number 7. In case you weren't around then, this is what 45s looked like (except that those selling less than 500,000 copies were black). PS. The Beatles had six of the top ten.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Best


"What we have is based upon moment-to-moment choices of what we do. In each of those moments, we choose. We either take a risk and move toward what we want, or we play it safe and choose comfort. Most of the people, most of the time, choose comfort. In the end, people either have excuses or experiences; reasons or results; buts or brilliance. They either have what they wanted or they have a detailed list of all the rational reasons why not." ~ Anonymous

"When the archer misses the mark, he turns and looks for the fault within himself. Failure to hit the bull's eye is never the fault of the target. To improve your aim -- improve yourself." -Gilbert Arland

"It's not about how fast you run, it's how long you run fast." Anon.


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others." Anon.


I like these a lot.

It is another Sunday. Super Sunday. Forget the Bowl. Another opportunity for us to shine, to do our best, to spend some rare quality time working on (pick one) the magic of motion, the marvel of the mind, the miracle of mindfulness. You (we) can ride, run, spin, surf, skate or ski. We can read, write, draw, paint, strum or slam. We can pray, meditate, observe, connect, rejoice, chant, or tithe. Better yet, we can do a combination of all three, or as we are fond of saying, roll the Big Three; Mind, Body and Spirit.

With sincere support and solid structure we might even evoke our best. The best we can do, be today. Dedicated, consistent practice is what makes it happen.

Seeking best. A daily PR.

I struggle with this a lot. Trying to relay this message. It is my job to find it. To coax it out of you. To remind you that you already have it, and need nothing more than to call upon it when necessary. I can look you square in the eye and say "give me your best (maximum or highest)" right now and watch what happens. Actual results vary more than hair color or IQ. Everyone responds differently. To some it is painful, to others scary, to others yet, unheard of, impossible. After all, what our society wants to avoid is hard work. Madison Avenue and the PTB like comfort and convenience. They like easy street. Why work for something when you can just as easily buy it. Take a pill, no need to (pick one) eat right, exercise more, think outside the box or manage stress. THEY LIKE YOU TO BE STRESSED. You buy product in this scenario (chocolate, tobacco, wine coolers, therapy, gym memberships, KFC).

Seek best. Think maximum. Think all out. If you can find it once, somewhere (and we'll try again tomorrow morning at 0530) it becomes a lot easier to find it in other areas. Your work, your family, your finances, your future. Dare I suggest that you might even change the way you view them, and see your health and your happiness as the best two.

The best of the best.

So think super today, 'cause that is what you are. Even if you're not a meat packer or steel worker.

Photo: Nick getting ready for the Kona 70.3 at Optimal Fitness Center. He will do fine.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

New Translation













The new translation seems to be as follows: The highs are hard and the lows are lazy. Keep it that way. Make sure that the zenith is max with the nadir at min. Work to failure, recover completely. And then repeat. Do not wallow in the middle. Do not fall prey to the "all things in moderation" cliche, because it doesn't work in this application (as well as many others.) Go hard, go real hard, go to full throttle. PUT THE HAMMER DOWN. Then relax.

And gratefully rest and recover.

Use whatever tools you have at your disposal to monitor this miraculous biological adaption process and marvel at it's wonder. Tools include: Heart rate monitor, RPE, power tap, stress tests, listening to your body. Enjoy the ride. Encourage yourself and those within your sphere of influence to do likewise. This is a process.

It is all relative.

A couch potato simply needs to get off the Ikea hide-a-bed and elevate his heart rate. YOU, on the other hand, need to find and perfect your MAP, maximal aerobic power quotient. Or, in the case of the current round of training and testing at our home court, the BAC HoM, we need to work consistently at building power in order to up our existing power-to-weight ratios. The translation is from high-intensity intervals to steady state power output, AKA sweet spot enhancement. We measure all this by doing the CT time trial. This doesn't need to be all Greek.

Chris turned in a masterful 42:09 this morning (224.6, 2.6) on the BAC15 CompuTrainer course. He now has a measured, established delta with which to use as a data point to gauge the success of his current and future training. A small tweak here, eliminating something there, adding ONE MORE power blast, can have dramatic effects on his overall score.

And that translates into success, reward, motivation, inspiration and a deep commitment to the validity of doing what we do. Translation:

Keep up the good work. Everybody. Always.

Tomorrow we do it for an hour with the Boys & Girls Club from 7:30-0830 as a ramp up for Chilly Hilly.

Univeti a noi. (You are all welcome to join us).

Pix: CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Center at The Factory in Westlake Village, CA. Old tug boat hull on Crystal Springs, WA. Pictoral translation: When I feel like the latter it's time for the former.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Warming Up


Another sizzling CompuTrainer class this morning at The Factory. Today with Scott at the wheel. Following are my weak excuses for not participating in the session:

1) I was shooting stills and video.
2) I am a superlight traveler this trip and only brought one kit, which I thoroughly stunk up yesterday.
3) I was up till midnight working on the Boxed Set DVD numbers.
4) Skipped breakfast.
5) Elevated HR and low biorhythms.
6) Totally wussed out.

Regardless, we captured enough media for the demo that will soon be making the rounds to attract sponsors, advertisers and partners. I have one more meeting with Kari and it's off to Bob Hope Airport in lovely and warm Burbank for the long slow flight home, where, it seems, Seattle is warmer than Phoenix today. So we got that going for us.

See ya'll in the HoM tomorrow morning at 0730. Please dress appropriately as I will again attempt to prove that today's excuse number six was a one time deal.

You've been warmed.

Couple of iPhone stills from this mornings CT class at The Factory.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Whew!





Dear VBA,

It was a long day. I need to sleep. Kari kicked our collective butts at the 0600 CompuTrainer class. We met and laid the foundations for the DVD series. I drove to LA to visit my family. Sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic for 90 minutes on the return. It is now 8:30 and I missed my nap. We do it again tomorrow starting at 0530 and I fly back to Seattle at 5.

I like it like that.

Pix (T2B)
The class gets ready in the Multi-Rider room in The Factory.
Kari at the helm.
Brother Chris, Pat and Joe on the site of the remodel.
One sister, one niece, two great-nieces and one great-nephew.


I am blessed. Off for sleep.

Sincerely,

R

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Book Dancing



"You are likely to fall into the impatience trap when you underestimate how long a job will take to complete. Unanticipated problems are common when working on just about anything, unless you are prepared to deal with them, you can become frustrated and angry when you encounter them. These emotions can, of course deplete your gumption supply."

From JJ Gibbs' fantastic mini-tome "Dancing with your Books: The Zen way of studying". I have given this book to more people than any other, save one. I think it helps, I KNOW it helped me. It is going out the door again this morning, towards a teenager who is at the crossroads. A sophomore, already frustrated and thinking that he has amassed enough knowledge to give it a go. This powerful little book, hopefully, will give him another tool with which to forge onward. It is about HOW to study, not what, or why, or where. The brass tacks of staying focused when the mind tries to convince the body that more immediate fun might be had elsewhere. You know that feeling? Hope it works.

Great class this morning. I guess I pretty much made the commitment for another 30 years of this. And that is OK. Susan rocked her BACTT in 52 + change, avg 112 watts. In class we talked a little about attention to detail. About the need for consistency and about the need for gratitude along the way (cause 30 years is a long time). We talked about getting better, stronger, fitter and happier. The Reverend Al Green summed it up nicely in Love and Happiness.

Let's keep after it folks and not fall into the gumption trap of impatience. Let's use love and happiness today to create speed and power tomorrow.

Whaddya say?

I am off to LA for three days. Will report as often as possible, be back for Saturday's 90 minutes. In the meantime please add another gear.

Whoa! In lifting the jgeg above this priceless book is available (used) from 42 sellers for 0.01 cents at Amazon.com. First five to respond get it for a penny (plus S&H).

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Door




A few updates on this stunningly crispy blue first of Feb.

NBF: No Beer February. Day one. Gene Wilder said it best here as Dr. Frederick Frankenstein: Let me out. Let me out of here. Get me the hell out of here. What's the matter with you people? I was joking! Don't you know a joke when you hear one? HA-HA-HA-HA. Jesus Christ, get me out of here! Open this goddamn door or I'll kick your rotten heads in! Mommy!

BAC15 TT: I am giving it another go this afternoon, with hopefully enough time to then recover for our 7x400 hill repeats at 1600. I will best my current PR of 42:39, only question is by how much?

NEW SITE: Frustrating morning dealing with customer service reps trying to get the bandwidth, capacity limits and shopping cart features set up. Big bonus points and favors to be named later for any web site IT folks out there looking to barter for some tech help.

LA: Heading down tomorrow afternoon to visit with Scott at the new (deep breath) K-Swiss-Cannondale-CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Optimum Performance Center in Westlake Village. It is mostly a recon trip but I plan on documenting the visit so who knows what media output will follow. You know where to find that info (as the news breaks).

B&G Spins: Sunday we start the BAC-Boys & Girls Club Chilly Hilly spins. Each of the next three Sundays, from 0730-0830 we'll get the kids and their families, staff members and the volunteering mentor-sponsor-guides from our HoM gang a little more fit for the big event on Feb. 28. It will be interesting to watch this unfold, as kids and indoor cycling is a tough mix. Worse, I have NO IDEA of an appropriate set list. This will be a challenge.

But, no matter how I scream, no matter how loud I beg you, do not……….open……this…..door.