Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Burger Instead

Reprinted with permission from the purple section of USoA TODAY, March 31, 2011

You are thinking about going to the library this morning for research? Downloading a Googled PDF of a hundred pages? Scouring the white paper and abstracts again? One-click ordering (with Prime) that obscure manual from

Maybe you should go for a hamburger instead.

New research data suggests that people who read too much are in danger of entering an "over-reading" zone, similar to the recently documented "over-training syndrome" for athletes and people attempting to simply add some exercise to an otherwise sedentary lifestyle.

"Our case studies suggest that people who read too much, for scholastic as well as entertainment purposes, face a 12% higher chance of vision problems after the age of 80, than those who's (sic) last book read was in junior high", claims lead researcher Dr. Leonard T. Tool, "the general population needs to be aware of these important recent trends, and take the necessary precautions."

"People think that just because they were given a pair of eyes at birth that they can use them, unlimited, for life. They read newspapers, magazines, on-line, novels, textbooks, paperbacks, and now even on electronic portable devices. You can over-read the same way you can over-train. And we need to get the message out that there is danger in going the extra page, the same way as going the extra mile," continued Tool.

According to the latest data, 76% of the American population over the age of 80 needs corrective lenses, a figure that has remained constant since records began being recorded, 1948.

"We aren't saying DON'T READ, we are simply asking for a little moderation. Don't read too much, and don't run too far," finished Dr. Tool, "Personally I'd trade a tome like War and Peace, for the Cliff Notes, run for office instead of a marathon, and drive to the corner burger joint with 20/20 hindsight. Moderation is the key."

Funding for the study by The Kroc Foundation.

Satire by RCVman.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Truth in Training

What Is the 10000 Hour Rule? The 10000 Hour Rule is just that.

This is the idea that it takes approximately 10000 hours of deliberate practice to master a skill.
For instance, it would take 10 years of practicing 3 hours a day to become a master in your subject. It would take approximately 5 years of full-time employment to become proficient in your field. Simply work out how many hours you have already achieved and calculate how far you need to go. You should be aiming for 10000 hours.

Quick one this morning as I have the regular Wednesday massage in an hour and I would rather stick an ice pick in my eye than miss it. As you by now know, the RCVman site is 100% transparent. We pull no punches and routinely tread well out onto the thin ice. We do this for the advancement of the tiny portion of society that is interested (fascinated and passionate) about cycling, training, optimal health, fitness, racing, running, video, food, happiness, love and (last but certainly not least) how all of the above mix into our daily lives. My perfect day, as a result of this quest might look like this:

0400, Wake from deep REM
0430, Fresh papaya with french roast and Perrier (lime)
0530, HIT Spin in the MoM
0800, Blog entry
1000, Deep tissue massage
1100, Chiro adjustment
1200, Avacado, swiss cheese, tomato, green pepper on Pane d Oro seedy organic
1300, Video production
1500, Blackberry protein smoothie
1600, Recovery Run in park
1700, Lentil soup with 100% whole wheat tortillas
1800, Negra Modello, chilled to perfection
1900, Start fire, read, meditate
2000, Answer knock on door, dos mas Negras
2100, Bid adieu

Lots of links today. As truthfully 'fessed to above, as well as sharing in class this morning, I have been transitioning through a difficult time with the low glycemic change. My last two runs in the park have been particularly pathetic and accompanied by light headedness and total loss of octane. I mean there weren't even fumes! I am now glad that I got started early and still have till Friday before the actual 30 day test period begins. It has been interesting, we'll see what happens tonight.

The Wednesday links:

Joe Friel on the Paleo.
More on The Paleo Diet.
27 things your training partner won't tell you.
Diet secrets of the Tarahumara (in waffle form:)

There is truth in testing. At RCVman HQ we'll go the extra mile for it!

Pic: Great blog post from Matt Frazier's fabulous site on moderation.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


The following recipe is for training purposes only. DO NOT USE AS A PRE-RACE MEAL.

Stew uppa mix in large pot of:
Navy beans
Black beans
Pinto beans
Diced tomatoes
Diced green peppers
One yellow onion
Add paprika and black pepper
Dash (three drops) Tabasco Chipotle sauce
Simmer on medium heat till done (four hours)
Spread garlic hummus over warm 100% whole wheat tortilla
Add some mix
Wrap (not roll) and serve hot.

Please resist the temptation to add sour cream, cheddar cheese, avocado or hot sauce. It is unnecessary and defeats the purpose of providing a low glycemic, high protein yet simple, inexpensive and quick post workout meal. You may have either one Tecate or a medium sized glass of Sangria. The beverages, of course, are in direct proportion to the distance or intensity of your session. Please refer to the handy chart below when a guideline is necessary (usually weekends).
  • 5K Run 25:00 2/1
  • 10K Run 50:00 2/2
  • 13.1 Run 1:50:00 2/2
  • 26.2 Run 3.30:00 No limit
  • 10mi Bike 30:00 1/1
  • 25mi BIke 60:00 2/2
  • 56mi Bike 2:45:00 2/3
  • 112mi Bike 5:45:00 No limit
  • Sprint TRI 1:00 2/2
  • Oly TRI 2:20:00 2/2
  • 70.3 TRI 5:00 2/3
  • IM TRI 12:00:00 No limit

Lastly, please use extreme caution when entering the "No Limit" ratio zones. There have been numerous reports of this category being abused. Remember it is our goal to hit race day with an optimal power-to-weight ratio, making even a mild imbalance in this category (e.g. three badass burritos and four Negra Modellos with chips and salsa) potentially catastrophic.

The RCVman LGI Badass Burrito: You have been warned.

Pix: RG displays the TCS. In Norway they hire the Fire Department to assist those that do not heed this warning.

Monday, March 28, 2011

More on Food

Thrive in 30: 30 days to Optimal Health and Vitality with Brendan Brazier from Brendan Brazier on Vimeo.

The subject today is food. As you know, this subject is one of the two on which I am seriously interested. The other being exercise. You've heard them used in conjunction before, diet & exercise, and we talk about them a lot in this house. Because I think it is important. There is meaning here. We can do some good, be of service, discuss and experiment. Personally I find that challenge fascinating. So let's cut to the chase. How DO we perfect our diet to power our training? How does our choice of fuel affect our performance? Or is it something that is entirely a result of whom we choose as parents?

Let's narrow it down a touch. I will leave Monsanto, childhood obesity, high fructose corn syrup, In & Out Burger, Coca-Cola Co. and toxins and distractions out of this discussion, for now. Today it is on the good stuff. Eating good and working hard. Or as it was labeled yesterday, LOW glycemic and HIGH intensity. Adding further detail to the overview. What kind of food and what type of exercise. After all, one could use McNuggets and Mountain Dew as fuel and train for a marathon by walking to and from the mailbox. (Good luck)

We want to refine our practice, use our time wisely and see a return on investment. We also want to feel good, sleep well, laugh often and give the appearance of happiness and contentment. And that takes awareness, decoding the message sent from our bodies and paying attention to the cause and effect of fueling and motion.

It's not easy. What IS easy is to mindlessly gobble greasy, fat-filled fast foods while playing video games. Heck, there was a time in my life where the three most important things were college football on TV, ice cold beer and pepperoni pizza. Guess what happened?

Low glycemic carbohydrates and high intensity intervals. It will get you fit, fast, race ready and healthy. They will help you feel good and to dream in technicolor. Together they will take you down the aisle of success. Whatever that means for you. Today's poll showed 60% are in it for enhanced athletic performance and 40% for overall and optimal fitness. Can't go wrong either way: Diet & Exercise, Sports & Health.

Here are a few testimonies and anecdotes from others:

Brendan Brazier is a vegan triathlete and author. The link to his books and on-line training is above.

The Cafe Flora cookbook was the source of neighbor Pat's (along with Frankie pictured at left) wonderful veggie pate yesterday. Salute!

The China Study talks about the diseases of affluence.

Mark Sisson talks about, guess what?

Good Carbs, Bad Carbs, By Gary Taubes is the radical tome that got me started on the latest round of testing. And I am here to tell ya, folks, IT WORKS!

Tomorrow, my recipe for the best burritos you will ever savour. But ya gotta run a 5K first.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Outta Whack

A rainy Sunday video day. Managed to squeeze in a little 10K run between chores and squalls, and now it's the endo-week wind-down.

IN THIS incredible sequence we see a very talented kid take a Raleigh carbon road bike through a series of tests I wouldn't even try fully suspended (and sober). Total whack-out.

For the sprinters among you, here is a classic shot of Mark Cavendish, going full throttle at the finish and, opps, a little too much contact and in the blink of an eye, TdF carnage. Whacked.

A very artistic retro collage on Mr. Armstrong from 2009. The whack master at work.

Indoor CompuTrainer class from CTS. Training to whack.

Please remember, running fans, that our 31st annual tribute to the wonderful hills of Bainbridge Island will be celebrated two weeks from today. The full-on bandito version of the Toe Jam Hill Half Marathon will take place on May 10, starting at NOON. The rules are that we don't need no stinking rules. I was reminded of whacky entry fees the other day and how totally ridiculous most are. I paid $85 for a half only last week. Folks, I understand the hook with charities. I know road closure costs and I have bought enough T-Shirts and trophies in my career as an RD to outfit Boston for a decade, but enough is enough. When the cost of participation keeps us from running, or riding, or tri-ing, something is seriously outta whack.

The entry fee for Toe Jam 31 attempts to put the whack back in proper place. Foxtrot-Romeo-Echo-Echo.

Pic: Whacking the Mt. Washington Hill Climb is not for the faint of heart.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fun 101 Ride Update

The deals have been made. Bank of America, via Visa has graciously allowed me to reserve four rooms in four towns spanning almost 400 miles of Highway 101 in the Great Pacific Northwest. We have made the commitment and are in ramp-up mode, stage one. Trip is five days, May 2-6. We have five riders and one support vehicle. If you (or someone you know) would like to join us, here is how the finances shake out:


For five supported biking days including shared motel accommodations, around one of the most historic and stunning loops known to civilized man. Surely, I must be joking.

For once, I am not.

I have done this loop three times, but always on my (trusty) mountain bike, fully loaded and self contained, read: Heavy. Tent, bag, tools, clothes, food and miscellaneous gadgets all contribute to a sluggish ride. This time, we strip it down to carbon and muscle. Let the sag wagon haul the gear and we'll throw the bones to see who gets the couch. Warm showers, cold beers, hot tubs. 70 miles a day, dry clothes, my laptop, camera and maybe even a book. WOW.

After a google-fu it is apparent that the RCVman is being magically called back to this region to document the trip as there is currently very little video that adequately depicts the beauty of this ride. So I will do it.

I volunteer.

At $100 (plus food) I can't afford not to.

Pic depicts the Olympic Loop. Locals will take great joy in reading the dated text hailing Winslow as a "quaint village".

Friday, March 25, 2011

Silver Linning

Always a silver lining, eh? Despite the RacerMate1 software largess, necessitating total labor effort from the home office personnel normally assigned to RCV data merge, encryption and coding, the race season moves along. With or without us. Kinda like time, that way. The races, as time, do not stop and start at my convenience.

So it was a nice to get credentialed for the event billed as the largest bicycle festival in the world yesterday. That would of course be the Sea Otter Classic in Monterrey, CA. Just down the road a piece. They have added a gran fondo to their four day calendar of racing and that will be my main priority. Close second will be the Pro road race, the circuit race, the criterium, the mountain bike race and the stunts. Guess that would be close third, fourth and fifths, but you get the idea. Lot's to do and tons of great cycling action to shoot. Four days. Monterrey. Mountain of the Kings. OK, I'll go.

Day Two update: 0400, Dave's Killer Bread with marscapone (when I said yesterday that it was out the window I should have more accurately said down the hatch). I will waste no food. A particularly juicy 60 minute popcorn revival* in the HoM, subbing for Tony, and after a bowl of puffed Kamut with blueberries, peaches, soy protien and soy milk. Two cups of extra French roast joe. Interesting to note that weight this morning was at a twenty-five year low of 158. SOMETHIN'S HAPPENIN' HERE.

I am also going to invite one of our regular Saturday Spinners to join the fray as dietary consultant, as she is a RD, Pilates Instructor and very capable cyclist. That should keep it (somewhat) real.

Let us also keep in mind that the low glycemic test, despite all its initial signs of success, is but one part of the mix. I am after power to weight, not simply weight to weight. The power metric being the BAC15 CompuTrainer TT, and timed 1 mile runs beginning next week.

Pretty simple model: The less fat I drag around with me coupled with the added power I can generate in training, the faster I get to the race finish line, and hence the better I feel about the meaning of all this. It helps explain a lot.

And therein lies the silver lining.

*Popcorn is one song standing and one sitting, today pushing to max cadence on the two minute sits, as accompanied by the sounds of the British Invasion, and standing climbs of four-five minutes of more contemporary, yet classic, rockers. You know the stuff. The climbs finished with a ten second blast of explosive seated power. The Kinks meet OAR.

With a monsterous power to weight ratio, you get to affix a number 1 sticker to your seat post. In this case, on Javier Gomez's Specialized S-Works at the Los Angeles Tri last October.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Day One Diary

March 24, 2011. Can't help myself. Day one. Low glycemic diet with high intensity training. Why wait till April to get started when we can hit the ground running today?

This mornings pre-stretch meal: Fat free vanilla yogurt with blueberries and two cups of french roast.

Michelle's fabulous sixty-minute power yoga class.

Post-stretch meal: Dave's Killer Bread with mascarcpone. Two more cups of French roast.

Good so far?

NO. Upon closer inspection (they call this further review in the NFL) it seems that the yogurt, although containing zero calories FROM FAT, contains 28g of sugar. Goodbye low GI, hey-there-howdy to hi. Additionally, that delightful Italian creme cheese, albeit a LOT lower in fat cals that other cheeses, spreads, or even peanut butter, bellies up with 80 fat cals, so it's out the window along with the yogurt.

And we are on our way. Ditch the sugar and lose the fat. Keep Dave's and the blueberries. Exchange one cuppa joe for more H2o.

Parts two and three are later today. Lunch will be a salad of whatever is left and needs consumption, followed by another trip to see Dr. Malik for a back-crack and then the main event, Toe Jam X3. Hill repeats on the slope that is aptly characterized by its name. Max of 20% over a quarter mile, thrice. Dinner will be lentil soup with tofu and a glass (or two) of some delicious Il Colectivo Malbec.

That will be day one. Weight this fine morning after sauna was 158.5.

Lastly, it has been documented that the changes initiated by the glycemic level of carbohydrates in the bloodstream as a result of the ebb or flow of insulin can have dramatic effects on the emotions, or mood swings as popular jargon terms it. Naturally I will monitor these closely as well. Please keep in mind, however, that I am not doing this to be a more stabilized, balanced and/or calmer person. I sit zazen for that.

I am doing this to race faster. I will gladly sacrifice (for now) being the nicest guy in the world for beating the snot out of those bastards in my age group next 70.3.


Fat free vanilla yogurt with 28 grams of sugar per serving. On the level.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood. I can't wait to get out and run at 4pm. Another rocking session in the HoM this morning, we are getting pretty good at the 3X20 min blocks. High intensity. Speed, seated climbing, standing climbs with surges and then increasing maximal efforts starting at ten seconds and adding five per set. Nice workout for a pre-dawn Wednesday.

I am about a month into my weekly massage, chiropractic treatments and I think it is paying off. The easiest area to measure being range of motion. A big plus here. And as I ran the 13.1 Sunday with little pain (other than the usual) I think the real payout will come towards the end of the season when the stresses are at their peak (and poker chips stacked highest). Funny how that works.

Your obedient and humble human lab rat is at it again. The next testing period will be April and consist of the following protocol: Low glycemic carbs and high intensity training. Why? December's "no bread" diet produced a net loss of four pounds. February's "no beer" regimen resulted in only two. I would really like to hit target race weight of 155 by May 1. That means some drastic measures are being called for and I like the info, research and results of many athletes that have tested this approach. So here we go. You will find updates here as they happen, including recipes and other pertinent details.

Granted there are some oddities involved. One, I am already vegetarian and already on a low carb diet. But, as we have seen, all carbohydrates are not created equal, allowing us the perfect opportunity for the test. Low GI foods on high-intensity days, with medium GIs as recovery foods and on LSD days. For the thirty days in April. I will keep you updated. My weight this morning after spin was 159. It is probably 165 by now after that delicious banana, honey and sunflower seed on Ezekiel toast I gobbled after the session.

Lastly, for your midweek entertainment (and moral consideration) please take a peek at this video. It is an animated short that is getting a lot of attention. And rightfully so. I was hooked and think it is superb.

Pic: The Smithsonian model, a shadow of former self.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tour de Dung II

The last day of Winter, 2011. Sequim, WA. Garage Racing and the Audi Cycling Team hosted the annual Tour de Dung II road race. It was my second attempt to get some live action in the lavender-lined banana-belt of Western Washington. The fist being a frigid, frozen fingered failure a month ago. This one was a little better. Hope ya like it.

We have set the date for the bandito running of the Toe Jam Half Marathon. It will be the unofficial 31st consecutive event. We simply refuse to let this glorious test of running verve, balance and power go. It is the old course starting and finishing at Bethany Lutheran Church on Finch Rd. Please mark your calendars for April 10th. Please also note the lax start time of NOON. Sharp. Those church go-ers among you can thank me after the event at the awards ceremony at the Treehouse Cafe, starting at 5pm. This is sharp also.

Everyone who has competed in one of the prior 30 runnings receives a complementary entry. Those who will be competing for the first time must use the discount code word: HAPPY on race day. There is no advance registration. That way we don't have to deal with the messy cash thing. This year's course will be again be marked and feature one aid station. We have already run out of T-shirts, medals and trophies. There will be no chip timing and no volunteers. No expo and no packet pickup. No shuttle busses and no cops at intersections. Just 13.1 miles of killer hills.

At least 33.3% of last years participants are expected to return. That would be me.

Hope to see ya there.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Back to Work

OK, you have raced, you have tested your methodologies, you have engaged with life, you have competed. You had some fun. You learned some lessons. The puny and the enormous. You rested some.

Welcome to the roller-coaster. Remember that our plan was to:

Build, peak, taper, race, recover.

After the weekends merriment, we are now, officially, in recover mode, so let's do it wisely. Resting heart rates still a bit higher than our average of last week? Any lingering soreness, inflammation or nagging hot-spots? And my arch-nemisis, how about our emotional status? If you do this long enough you will start to notice an emotional joy ride as well. The absolute endorphin driven euphoria of race day, and its counter, the post event blues. Please pay attention to what is happening here.

As our bodies heal from the trauma, let's allow our emotions a soft landing as well. Please be gentle. Give yourself some credit. If you have any range of motion remaining, reach around and give yourself a pat on the back. I don't care what your time was, your average speed, max HR or finish place, the simple doing was enough for an "atta boy" or a "way to go gal". This is respecting the journey. Ignore it, or think yourself above this law, will result in crashing and burning.

Let's take this important time to assess our performance, examine the output, learn the lessons of the day. Was there a little secret revealed to us, a piece of the puzzle (finally) put into place, a lightening bolt of understanding witnessed? Were we inspired by those around us? Were colors richer, sounds cleaner and focus finer? Did we run happy? Did we feel in the flow, with the chi current, in the groove, for even one moment? Did it change us? Makes no difference whether we traveled by foot, by bike, in the gym or in the water. We celebrated a portion of the path by doing.

Was any of this worth the consistent and demanding time we have spent together in training? Yes? Good. We'll take two days off from running, and then…..

Back to work.

Saturday by bike. Sunday's elevation profile of 13.1 miles. Atta boy and way to go gal.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring has Sprung

A masterful performance this morning by Stephanie and Apryl. The Mercer Island Half was the 13.1 mile test under near perfect racing conditions. The rolling course, while certainly a challenge, is a kitty-kat compared to the beast of Toe Jam (coming up in just a few short weeks). My friends, there is a world of difference between 'hills' and 'rollers'. Today was a series of relentless rollers, which I find a nice compliment to my strengths, but not of the 'hill' category that we are accustomed to riding and running on our home turf. I believe that it is safe to say that the legend of Mercer Island has been found to be something more of a glorified campfire story.

Which does not diminish the gal's efforts one bit. You still have to run it. And today Stephanie:

Set a 1/2 PR @1:54:04 (UPDATE: Official time was 1:53:57)
Bettered her performance in Seattle and Poulsbo.
Took a 4th in AG.
Made a statement (and ran happy doing it).

I trust she is pleased. I am pleased for her as today represented five months of solid cross training and focused work. Today was payday. The bogey was to go sub-2. We had a solid training plan, a workable (if not brilliant) strategy and all the race ducks in a row. The only task left was the doin'. And do she done.

Apryl, meanwhile, coming off a broken leg and ACL overhaul only a year ago, having competed in a Cross-Fit tournament the day before and working until 11:30 last night (did I mention that the last time she ran with us was 6 weeks ago?), just trots out and runs a 1:45. Of course she is 28. Still. (Updated 3.28).

So way to go ladies. It was a great first day of Spring. I am very proud of you. Congratulations and we'll see you in the HoM in the morning to start the ramp-up to Toe Jam. Where we have REAL hills.

Spring has sprung.

The gals at sunrise, Apryl on the left and Stephanie. Three hours and 13.1 miles later we celebrate with pizza and beer at Vivaci. Steve has the Peroni. Salute!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Three quickies

Three quick shots from today's racing acting in Sequim. I picked these because they show some blue skies than any other reason. The Men Cat 1&2 head out of start area and into the neutral zone. Ladies 1&2 get the race brief on safety (there were several crashes today), and Men's Cat 3 on the home stretch.

So there was my day: 5K in the glorious morning light of Battle Point Park (our final tune up for tomorrow's half), drive 60 miles, shoot video for six hours, drive 60 miles.

I am ready for some lentil soup, a Red Stripe and whatever movie Netflix has sent me (as video renders). That was today.

Tomorrow we conquer the 13.1 world.

More on all of the above on a post to be loaded later.

Catch the full moon tonight 'fore ya cash in.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Kids of All Ages

"Set a kid riding and you set them on a winning course for life: You help defeat childhood obesity and attention deficit disorders. You give them a chance to progress and even excel in a sport. And you develop healthy habits that last a lifetime."

Entire article here.

I would have to search long and hard to find two words that go together better than Kids & Bikes. Here is a terrific promotion by the folks at Specialized to get kids off of X-Box and onto a saddle.

As many of you know we at RCVman HQ have a lengthy history in this area as well. Our annual Christmas Marathon Spin has provided bikes for 50 local kids over the four year history of the event. I wish that number was ten times its size, but it is a start.

Yesterday we delivered the beautiful jerseys donated for the Boys & Girls Club in conjunction with the spin, and the special classes for Chilly Hilly training. Thanks to the generosity of BAC members we were able to outfit several of the kids and staff with some very cool technical garmentry. (there is a new one for ya). Big thanks to everyone who participated in these programs.

Tomorrow it's off to Sequim for some exciting racing action (adults), and then Sunday is the Mercer Island Half Marathon.

The countdown to Spring is at three. Kids of all ages: Let's get out and play.

"Getting kids out riding bikes is probably the most important thing we can do. A child on a bike is independent and healthy, not just for the time being, but for life. But the best part is, they don't even realize it. They're just out there having fun."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Potato Saint

A bit of a mash-up today. Carbohydrates and St. Patrick's Day. I couldn't resist. The Irish in me must follow animal instinct in the relentless pursuit of passion. Much like we witnessed yesterday during Baba O'Riely (the satori of the moment amid the chaos of the complex), we can (with serious practice) stay resolute and focused as drama unfolds around us. The zen of the Irish, as I think Pete may have had in mind*. Strong, calm, in the flow, aware and at the same time spinning like a hungry cheetah in four wheel drive. There is power in balance.

Which, of course, takes us to the potato, that traditional Irish staple. Many will have one today or tonight. I might. I like 'em. BUT, upon further examination, we see the spud high (extremely high) on the glycemic index. Foods high on this list spike insulin levels. Which has a chain reaction in our cells that make it more difficult to utilize fat as fuel. The lower the glycemic rating of the foods or liquids that we consume, the better our systems will use the CHO for fuel. Often resulting in a leaner body mass, weight loss, optimized health and, yes, faster times in the St. Paddy's Dash. Abusers of foods high on the GI often spend more time on the couch than in the saddle. Most often.

We celebrated the day yesterday with a spirited 60 minute HIT spin. Got in the obligatory, U2, Van the Man, Rory Gallagher, Dropkick Murphy's, Enter the Haggis, Afro-Celts. It was fun. We burned some calories and now it's back to business as usual. Take a look at some of Gary Taubes' work and note the connection between our work (in athletic form), the way that we fuel our sessions, and the choice of foods we use for this task. Some interesting analysis should follow.
The potato? Not for everyday use and definitely NOT for use as fries. The patron Saint of Ireland might have said, "Today we are all Irish and we eat the potato and drink and smile and dance. Then tomorrow it's back to spinach and spinning and water."

Baba O'Riely meets the potato Saint.

From Slate:
So here is the answer: Fat accumulation in the human body is regulated fundamentally by the hormone insulin. If insulin levels increase, so does fat accumulation. If insulin levels decrease, fat is released from the fat cells and used for fuel. There's nothing controversial about this fact. You can find it in most biochemistry and endocrinology textbooks, like this one that the Library of Medicine makes available online. It's just considered irrelevant to the problem of obesity. And here's the catch: Insulin levels, for all intents and purposes, are controlled by the carbohydrates in the diet. The more refined and easily digestible those carbohydrates (the higher the glycemic index, as nutritionists would say), the more insulin will be secreted. And the sugars we consume—i.e., sucrose, the stuff we put in our coffee, as well as high-fructose corn syrup—will cause long-term increases in insulin production.

Here is the Glycemic Index.

Some info on raw foods and vegetarian athletes.

More from Gary Taubes:
The same is likely to be true for those who swear they lost their excess pounds and kept them off by taking up regular exercise. Rare is the individual who begins running or swimming or doing aerobics regularly with the goal of losing weight and then doesn’t make any concomitant changes in what he or she eats. Rather beer and soda consumption will be reduced; sweet consumption will be reduced, and easily digested starches and high-glycemic index carbs are likely to be replaced by green vegetables and carbohydrates with a lower glycemic index. So here’s the lesson, the moral of this story: before we assume that low-carbohydrate diets are just one tool in the dietary arsenal against overweight and obesity, and before we assume that everyone is different and that some of us lose weight and keep it off because we eat less fat (and more carbohydrates) and some because we cut carbs (and so eat maybe more fat), we should make an effort to understand the concept of controlling variables and look to see which variables are really changing and by how much. Because it’s quite possible that the only meaningful way to lose fat is to change the regulation of the fat tissue, and the science of fat metabolism strongly implies that the best way to do that, if not the only meaningful way, is by reducing the amount of carbohydrates consumed and/or improving the quality of those carbs we do consume.

More on the potato and cancer fighting foods.

*Sally, take my hand
We'll travel south cross land
Put out the fire and don't look past my shoulder
The exodus is here
The happy ones are near
Let's get together before we get much older

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


We're four days from the first day of Spring. To say I am ready would be an understatement of colossal proportions. We're we really in Mexico just four months ago?

Things change. Flowers return to life and skies lighten. Hope springs eternal. We will get outside and play very, very soon.

I am making some changes to the long neglected kitchen in the cabin. To be honest EVERYTHING in the cabin is long neglected, but we have to start somewhere. The plan is to maximize what limited and diffused sunlight we actually get into something productive. For growing things. Things to eat. The indoor greenhouse/outdoor hot box is under construction as seen in the photo. Work will continue between video renders and fartleks in the park until I can shop in my own produce department. I will keep you informed should we have a bumper crop or need additional motivational camaraderie. Heck, maybe one day we can finish up a run with a salad that can't get any more organic or local.

After another terrific massage and spinal adjustment I stopped by Bainbridge Gardens for some gardening inspiration. I was awed to note that they are celebrating 53 years of service to our community. Our prayers are with the Huori family and all our Japanese friends.

Lastly today, to everyone participating in Sunday's Mercer Island Half we wish you much success and the obtainment of your goals. I have already obtained mine and will be running to set a new PR in the happy division.

To say that I am ready would be yet another understatement.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Rock Stars

Because it was asked of me, and because I had the audacity to offer my favorite Beatles song of all time (Dear Prudence) we now face the conundrum of having to select similar sizings to the other behemoths of Rock. 'Cause really we don't spin to, say, the invertebrates or marsupials of rock, do we?

No we don't (unless they uncorked ONE KILLER TUNE). Then we might. So, following is the RCVman ONE favorite tune from a handful of artists you might recognize. (Note: Most of these tunes are in HoM rotation).

Stones: Gimme Shelter.
Kinks: Tired of Waiting
Dead: Pick ONE? Are you kidding? How about 100? Alright, one. Stella Blue.
Led Zep: Gallows Pole.
Clapton: Layla
Allman Bros: Whipping Post
The Band: When I Paint my Masterpiece.
Neil Young: Down by the River.
Jimi: Little Wing.
Phish: David Bowie.
David Bowie: Suffragette City
Chicago: Make Me Smile
Little Feat: Fatman in the Bathtub
Santana: Black Magic Woman
The Dan: Hummmmm, another toughie. Kid Charlemagne
Steve Earle: Transcendental Blues
U2: One
Beach Boys: Don't Worry Baby
Zevon: G, L & M.
Temps: Ball of Confusion
Heart: Magic Man
Bonnie Raitt: Three Time Loser
Gabriel: In Your Eyes
The Who: Baba O'Rielly
The Boss: Rosalita
Aretha: Freeway of Love
Boston: Peace of Mind
Eagles: Life in the FL
The Knack: Duh

Now you know. Slap on the cans (or button your buds) turn it up and go till she's on E. Or beyond.

Oh, see the fire is sweeping'
our very street today
burns like a red coal carpet
mad bull has lost its way.

Oh, children.

Front Page of the LA Times on October 4, 2010. The day after the LA Triathlon. Rock Stars.

Monday, March 14, 2011


“I discovered that what's really important for a creator isn't what we vaguely define as inspiration or even what it is we want to say, recall, regret, or rebel against. No, what's important is the way we say it. Art is all about craftsmanship. Others can interpret craftsmanship as style if they wish. Style is what unites memory or recollection, ideology, sentiment, nostalgia, presentiment, to the way we express all that. It's not what we say but how we say it that matters.”

We open with this spicy quote from Federico Fellini this rainy Monday. On the subject of art and craftsmanship. Two subjects over which I obsess. There are others, but they aren't peeking over my shoulder at this moment in time as much as this pair. And please allow me to humbly confess that I do not consider myself neither artist nor craftsman. There are moments, but the body of sustained quality is something still shimmering on the horizon as goal. Success in the how, not merely the what.

I am convinced that what matters more here, hides deeper and more elusive even than form versus function, is in the attempt. In our practice. Trying to get better. Searching passionately for the tools, skills, discipline, inspiration, eyes, ears, heart and soul of the artist. A relentless pursuit of the form, detail, texture, feel, utility and stamina of the craftsman. Simply doing.

The road. The journey. The Tao. My life. The effort in the attempt. Our practice.

Practice can be art. We should all be apprentices learning the secrets of our chosen trade. In this model spinning is no different than racing. The craft of the personal best is polished atop the workbench of the dojo. Where repetition is required, detail rehearsed. Until the mundane shifts shape to the magical. And with time this alchemical transformation occurs. So we need a spoonful of patience with our practice.

Here focus and frequency become, eventually, art forms unto themselves and craftsmanship the manifestation of precise passion.

Sometimes I think that I don't have the time or money or patience or talent to do it right, to make it art, to be a craftsman.

And I remember that what really, really matters is that I try, and I that I keep a vigilant practice. That's what I wanted to say. (And I'll practice on how I say it).

There is art in that, maybe not of 8 1/2 levels, but art.

There is some craftsmanship too, maybe not by Smithsonian standards, but a start.

Saturday I want to be the Fellini of cycle films in Sequim and Sunday I want to be the Picasso of the Mercer Island Half Marathon.

That leaves five days to practice. Gotta go.

Pix: More from the Seattle Bike Expo. The new CompuTrainer stand color, an artsy crimson. Even Cowgirls get the Reds. Renovo craftsmanship detail.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

How Appropriate

Just back from another exquisite experience. No sex, no drugs, no nirvana, no satori. Just a honest days effort. Trying to pay attention.

We started early this morning in the HoM with an emphatic and innovative twist on power and intensity. We tweaked the protocols a touch and spun away with a magnificent high intensity spin. Despite my prolix it was agreed that the session pretty much rocked. Which is all I seek in this quest.

Later that same day after a circuitous bus ride through Seattle and Ballard, then a three mile walk, we ended up at the Seattle Bike Expo. Always fun, always an adventure and always a reminder or where we are. I ran into the former B.I. Mayor, a fledgling randonneur, and she seemed genuinely excited to know that there is an opportunity in her community to train, test, work and grow starting as early as Monday at 0530. At a mysterious and scary sounding place known as the HoM.

I am genuinely excited as well.

Three quick shots from the Expo.
The CompuTrainer booth is rocking the new software.
JL Racing shows off one of their beautiful jerseys.
On the way home I spied a drained Fat Tire Ale.

How appropriate.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Bring It!

Hot on the trail of more fun and racing adventure this weekend. It will all start tomorrow (assuming I can get the roof tarped today) with our now traditional 90 min HIT spin in the HoM (I will do another acronym post soon) at 0730 and finish at the Seattle Bike Expo in the afternoon. Great blog Bikehugger covers the expo and a plethora of biking related topics.

Here is the expo video that will indoctrinate expo attendees at the CompuTrainer booth (417) to the all new RacerMate One software. As you can see from the screen shot motion graphic samples, there are a lot of new and exciting features, options and user choices to get you fit and fast.

And not a nano-second too soon as we agreed last night to shoot the March 19 Tour de Dung #2 up in Sequim. This as a result of a very successful series of negotiations with the guys at Garage Billiards and the Audi Cycling Team. More to follow.

Training elsewhere across the planet we see the Ultracyklist in action on his very coo Velotron, currently with an amassed 258 points in the CompuTrainer Race League, and an exciting video clip from the CTS Friday CompuTrainer race night.

As a final PSA note, tomorrow we begin daylight savings time. Please do not ask me why because I might go all cynical on you (I was reminded at Yoga yesterday that I have a propensity to engage in this type of bombastic rhetoric). Ouch! Take that you bad downward facing dog! The follow-on good news being that the first official day of Spring is a week later, March 20, the day we have circled to test our training at the Mercer Island Half.

Things are heating up. I believe our winter training programs have been time well spent. The outdoor riding, running and racing is upon us.


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Saints & Sinners

Saints need sinners.

So sagely suggested scholar Alan Watts. He also said that work should be play, spontaneous, not driven by external forces.

Some juicy extremes. Saints and sinners, work and play.

Can we look a little closer? Because that is not this.

This is this. This is what is here and now. It may be saintly or it may be sin. But whatever it is (cadence, hills, form, efficiency, effort, torque, horsepower) give it all the focus, attention and presence you can. The biggest mistake we can make is thinking of how much fun the downhill is gonna be once we get to the top of the climb. Make each uphill pedal rotation as saintly as you can. To not do this is, of course, sinful. That is that.

Work. I admit I am lucky*. I do what I like. Better, I love what I do. I make movies about people in motion, having fun, working (playing). Trying to get better. Going hard. Seeking a synergy of mind and body that will allow the achievement of their goals, be them a race, the completion of a century, Ironman or marathon, or weight loss, muscle enhancement or stress management through fitness and exercise. This is that. When that is this it is truly one of life's little benedictions. This being this.

Yes I am biased. I like to race. I like to go hard. I like pushing limits. I have no desire for moderation. I like to test myself, my methods and ability to manage change. To me that is play.

Otherwise it would be work. Yuk. Why would I want that? That would be so that. I want this.

To sum: When you train, do it like the devil. Go like hell. When you sit zazen or hold a Yoga pose (thank you Michele) longer than last time, do it like a saint. This is this and that is that. The only difference between work and play is your perception of it. Work can be play. Sometimes play needs a little work.

That is this. Always.

*Actually it has nothing to do with luck, but that is another post.

Pic: Is the big jump behind for saints and the other for sinners? Is the lead rider working and the stoker playing? Lillihammer, Norway. A lucky RCVman photo.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Fun 101 Update Challenge

Third time is a charm. Finally got the protocols properly detailed on the 4+2 drills and launched another test this morning in the HoM. Called it the FAB 4 due to the recurring Beatles tunes used as the two minute rest periods. We still need to work on the four minute intensity bouts but we're getting better and I think this will be a nice change for a spell. It will probably get us out of the sixties to boot. Maybe. I kinda like these two minute ditties.
On another note (as referenced this morning) we do these power drills indoors to add to our steady-state, sweet-spot acumen for the CompuTrainer BAC Time Trials, and then take it outside come robins, rainbows and Rainier. Train in, test in, ride out. Therein lies the payout.

And speaking out outdoor payouts, we now have officially one car filled with intrepid riders for the 2011 Fun 101 Tour (aka Bernie's Grand Adventure). Above is (like you missed it?) the web version of the poster which will get plastered around town beginning tomorrow. It has pretty much been determined that Wednesday's ride from Forks to the beautiful lodge at Lake Quinault will be a "race leg'. It is the shortest ride of the five days at a mere 64 miles (102K) and as the Lodge is by far the most charming of the tour accommodations (nowhere did we say luxury), we wanna get there early and sit at fireside and quaff frosty draughts. Then sleep in.

The challenge has been thusly extended to the civilized cycling world. In the ramp up to the grand adventure, now a little over seven weeks away, we will continue to work hard in the HoM in preparation. About,

Eight Days a Week.

Pix: Fun 101 poster and screen shot from this mornings set list, The Fab Four. Help.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I was gently reminded this morning of a glaring omission to yesterdays recap of February's 'no beer' test. Seems I forgot to add the inclusion of Yoga to the results summary. And so I sit in child's pose, corrected. Although I am not entirely convinced that two weeks (four sessions) are the main contributor to the weight loss, this practice always illustrates to me the beauty of balance. Or more precisely, the importance of the extremes. You know the ones:


For every high intensity, max out, grind your teeth or scream hill repeat, we need the opposite calm, restorative, healing, still and quiet refresh. The morning sun knows this and gladly gives way to the moon after a day of light. Opposites. Extremes. Poles. A one or a zero. Apex and antapex, altitude and azimuth. Winning doesn't taste as sweet without first losing a little.

Our neuromuscular high-cadence spinning provides a valuable mind-body connection to allow, with time and practice, the addition of torque in the form of power to the pedals. Once this speed concept is mastered, adding the musculature of resistance (or gears) creates a complex and dynamic combination, riding inside or out. It's the opposite nature of these two that meet in the middle to forge the alchemy of power. Fast AND strong.

Equals powerful. As a result of the focus and practice of the extremes. Yoga provides this. The yin to our yang, the inner to our outer and the calm to our tempest. The Samurai knew this. The Ninja knew. The Yogis knew. Lance, Macca, Chrissy, The Tarahumara know.

Or, as ABC could have scripted it, 'Yoga allows us the thrill of victory by tasting the agony of defeat.'

Stretch well, breathe deep, relax, let go. We'll go hard tomorrow, guaranteed.

Pix: Sunset in Hawaii is OK by me, as is a December full moon over the Olympics.

Monday, March 7, 2011


Not a moment too soon. Spring is thirteen days off. YESSSS. Sunshine, warmth, the garden, local produce, commuting by bike, no more hauling firewood in the dark and damp, races, BEER!

Alright, because I recognize that so much is riding on this analysis, here are the February 'no beer' test numbers. We started February at 163 lbs, and between 9-11% body fat. Resting HR has been steady at 44. My second CompuTrainer TT showed a 5.5% increase in speed. All my credit cards show zero balance and I might even be able to pay both property tax installments at once. Gas is at 3.70/gal and Guinness is on-sale at Safeway for $1.74/can. And results?

Five more in the loss column. This morning (after class) we were at 158. Bad news if you like beer. Since we started this one-man testing protocol in December (no bread) we have now dropped a total of ten pounds, and increased P2K (power to kilogram) almost 6%. That is the good news. How it plays out in the racing arena will soon be discovered. And I am suspecting good news there as well. Like in Mercer Island in two weeks for a half-mary. One more ramp week and we start the taper.

Some variables during this long, sometimes painful self-abnegation period include; The switch to red wine, inclusion of twice weekly chiropractic adjustments, massage and the vigilant ramp up in run training, including strength, speed and distance. The switch to wine and addition of meditation has kept the stress demons at bay, and Lord knows I get plenty of creative challenge, thereby completing the BIG THREE triad of working mind, body and spirit through diet, exercise and stress management. Everything else is a bonus.

The balance of this combination feels great. I think it was a worthwhile test and I am ready to get outside and mix it up. The sun is shinning and the skies are blue. I wanna bike hard and run fast with you.

Then we can have a beer.

Pix: Kelly Williamson wins Branson 70.3, demonstating what a high P2K ratio can do. Cheers, Kelly, great work.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just Run

Ten things that crept into my mind as I ran 13.1 miles this morning:

1) Why did I bring sunglasses and not a fleece stocking cap?
2) Why didn't I stash a water bottle at the half-way point?
3) Why do these people have to drive so fast?
4) Did I really need that last glass of Cline Zinfandel last night?
5) Will it ever be warm enough to run in a singlet again?
6) If you think that you are ready for a fast Half-Ironman, you are delusional.
7) There is virtue in vigilance, just keep running.
8) What if everything we know is wrong?
9) The gym sign said, "Seven days without exercise makes one weak".
10) Pizza and Guinness is gonna taste GREAT tonight.

Next time I'll bring the ipod, easier to listen to someone else philosophize.

Pic: No one to run with today except for my bunny wabbit.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

A Pair of Dimes

Invited to attend and film Junior's rehearsal recital yesterday, I was again reminded of how we can become slaves to habit. You know, the same stuff over and over and over. And not always because it's best. It's simply habitual.

Nobody wants to be fat. But we chronically move limbs from plate to palate without thinking. Nobody dreams of dying from lung cancer, but I witnessed many folks in doorways and portals puffing away in Seattle on Wednesday. You know when 'they' say that one glass of red wine a day is healthful? Well, by this calculation, I might be the healthiest person in the Evergreen State. One last topic: Politics. Oil, defense contracts, lobbyists, pork, slime, big pharma, the military/industrial, fear, church/state, entitlements, subsidies, the very law under which we cower. All in need of major reform. Change. More of it, lot's of it and keep it comin'. Otherwise the chronic, habitual, addictive, stagnant and ignorant become 'normal'. It's the 'Cosi fan Tutti' defense. How can it be slimy when everybody is doing it?

Sound familiar? Are we already there? Have we dummied down as far as this stink hole will allow?

So we talk about the paradigm of change. The radical need to escape the quo of status. Somehow and in some way. Big change now. Of what can we assume immediate ownership? In that radical category are two:

Your thoughts, and in turn,
Your actions.

That's an awfully short list. Very here and right freaking now.

Should be easy. I will think differently and behave differently, acting the part I script for my leading (perfect, saintly, heroic and fearless) character. Here is what that looked like over the last 24 hours:

I filmed Junior's recital and came away inspired by the innocence of youth. THERE IS HOPE. Dime one.

Developed an all new (and exciting) 90 minute spin protocol that upped the work load and augmented the recovery period. I loaded up the iPhone with 30 three-minute songs and we rode HARD to one, using the BIG FOUR drills (speed, leg strength, core strength, explosive power), and then rested for the entirely of the next song. The results were interesting. It was hard. It was hard to spin easy and recover for three minutes instead of our usual ten seconds. Was there value? Yes. Did it accomplish what I intended? Not quite. Will we do it again? Yes. Dime two.

Change the paradigm and you change the story, change the story and you stand a chance of changing the results. A pair of dimes for some change. Ready or not, here we go. Teach the kids to sing and then spin for all your worth. Twenty cents is a good start.

Pix: Three grades at Wilkes School sing for a grateful (albeit related) audience. Ole in Lillehammer demos the CT as we watch off road footage shot less than a day earlier. Thoughts and actions in play.

Friday, March 4, 2011

More balance

We spend a LOT of time training. That's the good news. The better (or happier) news comes when we see an empirical reward for our efforts. That can be in the form of a faster CompuTrainer Time Trial, a snappy 5K in the local benefit, or losing ten pounds as prescribed by your PCP. Time well spent. Cause and effect. Response to the dosage. Improvement, gain, reward. And continued motivation to persevere.

All good. The bad news can creep up like a shadow if we lose awareness or vigilance. Too much of a good thing can be just as harmful as not enough. We hang the label called balance around the neck of this critical concept. As a PSA, here is a reminder of the formula:

Work. Work hard. Work REAL hard. Relax, Recover. Repeat.

Compliment that with a diet rich with fruits and vegetables, start to wean yourself from primary carbs to primary protein, no processed grains, no artificials, no synthetics, no GMOs, and lots of water.

Manage stress. (massage, meditation, more sleep, green tea, walks in nature, Mozart, touch, sauna).

And you're on to something. Something big. Something important. Crucial. YOU. New and improved. Official size and weight. Optimized. Turbo-charged. Green.

Following is an excellent article (excerpt) from Bicycling magazine about one way to dramatically improve your power on the bike. I especially appreciate the authors final paragraph nod, bolded below, to those "unplugged". We'll soon give it a try in the HoM.

Find Your T-Max 
1. Determine Your Peak Power Output. Using a power-measuring device from PowerTap, Polar, SRM or CompuTrainer, begin riding at 100 watts. Increase power by 30 watts every minute until you reach exhaustion. Laursen deemed test subjects fully exhausted when they could not keep their cadence above 60 rpm. You can use that benchmark, but let's be honest, you'll know when you're done. The number of watts you produce just before collapsing is your peak power output, or PPO.

2. Find Your T-Max. Rest for a day or two. Again using a power meter, ride at your PPO until you can no longer sustain that level of output. The amount of time you can hold your PPO is your T-Max. For most of us, that's between four and six minutes.

3. Calculate Your Ultimate Interval. Multiply your T-Max time by 0.6. This is the work phase of your interval. Double the work phase to set your recovery time between efforts.

4. Try It Out. The original study prescribed eight hard efforts. But if you'd rather avoid losing your lunch, start with two or three intervals. Do two sessions a week, with at least two days of rest or other easy riding between. Add one interval to each set every week until you achieve five or six intervals per workout. Build up to eight if you can.

If You Can't Measure Power Though the results likely won't be as dramatic as with a power-based T-Max Interval, Laursen says unplugged cyclists can reap some of the benefits by performing 2:30-minute intervals at 95 to 100 percent of max heart rate (the point at which you cannot speak), followed by recovery to 60 percent of max, or until you can speak in full sentences. Do two to six sets twice a week, with at least two days of spinning or rest between.

Pix: My visit to the dentist Wednesday allowed a walk through the always entertaining Pike Place Market. The metaphor is an apt one: Balance with good food (blood oranges) and rest (on the dentist's chair waiting for jaw to numb) and then get back out there and GO HARD.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Return of Fun 101 Bike Tour

OK, folks it's that time of year. Thoughts start to wander to the out-of-doors and all that entails in the GPNW. Like riding. And running. And, well, we'll discuss swimming in a few months. But for today, here is the big news:

Here are the basics: (Monday) May 2 - (Friday) May 6.
Total miles: 365
Avg day miles: 72
Day 1: Bainbridge Island to Port Angeles (76) Super 8 Motel
Day 2: PA to Forks (67) Forks Inn
Day 3: Forks to Lake Quinault Lodge (64)
Day 4: LQL to Shelton: (89) Shelton Inn.
Day 5: Shelton to Bainbridge (66)

The beautiful thing about this trip, other than it being in our backyard, the magnificence of the scenery and the ease to conduct, is the cost. Even with the "luxury" of a soft, warm and cozy bed every night, a SAG vehicle at your beck and call, and 365 miles of pretty decent middle-of-the-week roads, total cost, per person, will be less than $400. The only 'issue' is that we call it self supported, meaning that there is no support team other than ourselves. Each participant must take a day of driving the support rig as part of the team effort. You can split it up and do two halves if you like but this way we get to ride, ride lots and ride lots pretty dang economically.

Which of course saves money for beer.

To date we have two riders and one vehicle (which I understand went into the shop this morning). So if you are interested, please let us know via the 'post a comment' feature below and away we go. I have done this ride three times and I can't wait to get back out there. It is flat out a blast.

Oh, and I am required to say by the rules of advertising 101 that you must hurry because space is limited. There.

Pix: From my Fun 101 Adventure tour days. "Sure I'll carry your spare parts". The fireplace at the Lake Quinault Lodge. Hurricane Ridge.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Integration of Practice

Integrating Life and Practice

Doing this is an art form. We practice lots. Relentlessly. Yoga, spinning, running, breathing. We know that the more focus we can bring to the practice, the greater the value. I was reminded of this concept several times throughout the day yesterday, even suspecting that somewhere, somehow somebody would surely share an insiders 'wink'. YOU KNOW.

Water. Got it flowin' again after 90 days without. I was amazed at how much I use (waste). I had been brushing teeth (those that remain) with less than a cup, but yesterday, with the mere turn of a lever, the cold, clear water rushed from nozzle to drain as if over the floodgates at Chief Joe Dam. I shut it off with alarm. Same with shaving. No need to stink up the joint with water waste numbers from the commode. I walked away thinking that hauling 5 gallons at a time from our community well less than 200 yards from my door for three months, probably saved some of this precious liquid. Maybe there is a pilot whale, blue-fin tuna or steelhead out there still swimming because of this lesson of conservation practice. I hope.

Drumming. Drummers are odd. We all know that. Try to separate your arms and legs in doing different things with each. Drummers practice separation to integrate upon demand. They isolate snare (time), bass (beat), tom-tom (color) cymbal (meter) crash (accent) and floor-tom (texture) to create a feel. A feel with which others can relate. Via accompanying instruments, voice or dance. I watched a doc (Modern Drummer 2005) on drumming last night, and ogled at the skills and talents of Ian Pace, JoJo Mayer, Keith Carlock, Jason Bittner, to name a few. The doc is available on Netflix, Integration of practice. Be it a paradiddle grove or a triplet flam.

After our morning spin, fixing the water, cruising a 5K at sunset, cooking dinner with a working sink and watching the video I headed upstairs ready for some rest. I reopened my current read, Living Deeply, The Art and Science of Transformation in Everyday Life, published by the Institute of Noetic Sciences, and picked up where I left off, page 136.

Integrating Life and Practice.

The first factor is the desire to change and the conviction that practice will result in your transformation. The second factor is effort. The third factor is vigilance. Add concentration, the consistent integrity of consciousness. Next is right understanding, an accurate understanding of reality. The author Pa Auk Sayadaw a Burmese Buddhist monk, then summarizes, "once you have even a couple of these qualities you are sure to progress on the path. You will be able to shift short-term gains into long-term benefits in life." He finishes the chapter with this, "No matter what practice or tradition you engage in, you can make a conscious choice to use these tools to make your life and transformative journey one and the same - because of course, they are!

Big wink.

Photo is of the calm, cool water of the North shore of Lake Tahoe.