Saturday, April 30, 2011

'bout this time tomorrow

Couldn't stand it any longer. Here is my ride for tomorrow's Seattle Urban Time Trial shoot. (The hammy made it through a 90 minute spin this morning kinda OK----good enough)

For specs visit: Cervelo
To buy visit: Speedy Reedy
To see her in action. Visit us tomorrow, 'bout this time.


For those of you who have been following along (these many years) you know that the next few days represent (yet another) bifurcation of the path.
At we don't always ride the line connecting two dots. We'll leave that to the crows.

My left hamstring, the semimembranosus to be medically correct, is very, very tender. However, it has responded well to the RICE treatments on-going since Thursday evening. I am going to try to lead our Saturday 90 HIT spin session in the HoM as best I can. Clipped and secure, turning PERFECT circles should eliminate any hyper extension or lateral movement, the initial casual combination. I will use every ounce of attention (is awareness measured in Troy weight or avoirdupois*) in the management of this muscular-skeletal operation. That is this morning.

Assuming I pass that test, I will be heading into town (The Emerald City) to pick up the team kit and TT Cervelo at Speedy Reedy.

Tomorrow is the Seattle Urban Time Trial shoot. The crew is RG and Bob with your humble host in the saddle. This is a team effort on all fronts. Bob is also heading the web site development team. James out on the right coast has developed the iTunes/iPad app and Alex, hopefully, will be designing the Seattle UTT logo for the commemorative (limited edition) jerseys. Ed has shot some dynamic time lapse footage of Seattle, some of which we hope to use in the video intro.

So you see, it is a team effort. I hope to be able to orchestrate all this into something of value. There are some very talented folks assembled here. I wish I had a tenth of their skills, artistry and craftsmanship.

All I got is a strained semimembranosus and a vision.

We'll see what we can do with all that.

Stay tuned it could be a wild ride.

*To convert a Troy ounce into an apoth dekagram, multiply by 3.11035. Translates to 60 min @ 90 RPM in our control group testing. YAMMV.

Pix familiar to Bainbridge Islanders, from Rockaway Beach across the Sound of The Emerald City (with obligatory ferry in foreground). We launch at first light of the new day.

Friday, April 29, 2011

RICE and beans

At first it seemed a bit ironic. But after an evening of close scrutiny, it subsided into more a 'just another bump in the road' event.

Seeing the finish line of the month long low glycemic carb test, we were out doing our weekly speed session, 5X50s and 5X100s. A nice little 1.5 mile warm up opened the session and we were off. One nagging question has remained, lurking in the shadowed background of my subconscious: Is this LGI enough fuel to power high intensity workouts, reduce fat percentage without sacrificing muscle, and provide adequate and sustainable octane for endurance events?

This diet seriously restricts staples such as white rice, potatoes and refined, fortified or modified grains. Which takes us right to the rusty gate of irony: RICE.

With the exception of some Spanish rice I had in a rice and bean burrito while working in Salinas, this high glycemic food has been noticeably missing from my diet since the end of March. Until yesterday.

When on the last 50 meters of our cool down mile I decided to finish up with a final sprint to pick up the marking cones. I had seen the depression in the trail earlier and consciously avoided it. Not a pothole or rut, more of a soft spot where our recent rains had accumulated and created a small crater-like obstacle. Looking up while sprinting, I felt the left semimembranosus muscle hyper extend to compensate for the irregular surface. My knee instantly became unstable and I pulled up reaching behind to access the damage. You have seen this before, it is, ahem, the classic knee-jerk reaction. Ouch-a-roni.

Not overly painful but debilitating. Even walking was an irritant. I knew I had done it up good. The question was now: How good? Great video explaining all this here.

After bidding the gals good night, I went about the business of treatment. A quick assessment and immediate care is necessary due to the scheduled (read: important) events coming up, tomorrow's 90min spin, Saturday's pick up of the 10K Cervelo, Sunday's TT and LSD run, Monday's spin and 72 mile ride to Port Angeles. A grade 2 hamstring pull can throw a wet blanket on that fire of fun in a hurry.

I started with ice. Wrapped with neoprene. I sat with elevated leg at my desk tending to business and rested. I thought about the cause, the lead up, the ramifications, the rehab, the cost. And then I thought about the paradox.

Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation.

Want some beans with that?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


There is absolutely nothing I could add to this.

Except to say, thanks Jake.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Big Day of No

The day was done. There was a lot to it. Little parts, pieces of the puzzle, components. It was long and it was trying. It was interesting. But finally, it was over.

And I had a name for it. The Big Day of No.

I chortled a quick semi-sinister laugh and curled to fetal pulling the comforter with me in a single move. The Big Day of No. Now over.

On final tally, the no's were perfect, whitewashing the yea's 10-zip. The good guys got shutout.

Sponsorship of the new product? Not today.
Partnership and rev-share? No, thanks.
Product? Sorry.
Barter? Negative.
Extension on payment? No way.
Is the work complete? Not yet.
That seems a bit pricey, can we negotiate? Nope.
Are the test results positive? Um, not really.
Is that morally right? Negative cool.
Upload? Internal Server Error 500.

As I tried to ignore the raccoons partying on the back deck, the flash cards whizzed by like an internal combustion coping machine. Dealing with rejection cards:

1) Don't take it personally.
2) Get off the canvas, jasper.
3) Redefine perfection.
4) Use it (rejection) don't loose it.
5) Who wrote this program?
6) No rejection, no growth,
7) This is essential to success.
8) Options are dynamic and subject to change.
9) Persistence and patience pay premiums, pal.
10) Don't sweat the small stuff.

That was yesterday. The Big Day of No.

Today has been better already.

Pic: We taped Michelle's Yoga class this morning. Rock your head up and down in the affirmative. Ahhhhh, that's better.


Monday, April 25, 2011

Three Eggs and a Dish of Mushrooms

If you observe a really happy man you will find him building a boat, writing a symphony, educating his son, growing double dahlias in his garden. He will not be searching for happiness as if it were a collar gold button that has rolled under the cupboard in his bedroom. He will have become aware that he is happy in the course of living 24 crowed hours of the day.

W. Beran Wolfe.


1) Understand the Problem 2) Create a Plan 3) Stay Motivated

The above three steps are chronicled in the review. I like this. Think of how many issues can be thusly solved:

Not meeting your goals?
Too slow?
Broke, tired, bored?

ID, really understand what is at the root of the issue. Consistency, competing priorities, stress, lack of quality sleep, fear. Which is it?

If you always do what you have always done, you'll always get what you've always got. Further, if you're not happy with that, change it. Write a new script. Add some pizzaz to the character you are playing. Get disciplined. Show up. And try to have some fun. Whatever you do, DO NOT detract from others that are trying to create a better plan for themselves.

And stay motivated. Appreciate the nuance. The details. The subtleties. Work hard. Smile lots. Appreciate in others their path and their struggles. Be positive. Reward often and be strong. Have grace under pressure. Give. Respect.

If I could get half of that done upon completion of the 1830 class tonight, I will rest my weary head a happy man.

Pic: The problem was entertainment. The plan was an Easter Egg hunt. I stayed motivated by nibbling at the mushrooms while the family watched Junior forage. Well played. (That) problem solved. Next?

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

I was the first person on the first boat. Mission was to get into Seattle at first light and shoot the Seattle Urban Time Trial course with as little traffic and traffic light interference as possible. Nothing destroys a TT faster than coming to a complete stop to obey a red light. We were staged and ready at 6:15 and away we sped (the plural here represents the three of us: Me, my camera and my bike). Down a deserted 5th Ave under fairly decent defused light to QWest and Saefco Fields and then back up via 1s Ave, Pioneer Square to Broad St. and back to the start/finish. The First Ave route is a change due to the obnoxiousness of Alaskan Way street lights which feel the need to change colors every five seconds. It went well, the 28 minutes for the five miles is rendering. I think this one is a keeper, and it's only just the start. Once we add overhead cams, the car cam and capture high-rez stills for cutaways, not to mention putting a 10K Cervelo under me in a full JLRacing team kit, and I really like the prospects. REALLY.

As several people have been sending Easter greetings, I decided to share this little story with you all instead of only my running pals. Happy Easter.

I was on assignment working for the DoD in the Indian Ocean. The Chaplain on base was a pretty serious runner so we got along well. For his Catholic Easter Service he asked me if I could come up with something special. We decided that we would erect two giant canopies on the pier facing into the sunrise, and assemble the chairs and portable altar that would be framed by potted palm trees, silk banners and purple and white balloons. He thought that would be great and my crews went to work on Holy Saturday. Early the next morning I was on the pier taking care of last minute business (we had to run a 250' extension cord for the organist) when the servicemen and women and contractor personnel started to arrive. It was going to be SRO, so I called for some additional rolls to go along with the post service coffee and juice. It was still dark when the Chaplain and his entourage arrived and they were ecstatic over their stage. The skies started to lighten in the typical magical fashion unique to seven degrees South of the Equator as a hush fell over the overflowing congregation. The only sound was that of the fairy terns floating angelically overhead. No wind, no waves, not a sound. There were 500 people shoulder to shoulder and the stillness was complete as the sun peeked one eye over the horizon, sending a translucent glimmering gold ray into that part of the sky still dark, dotted with diamonds. And then another ray, and another until it looked as if we missed the date by a few months and the day was actually the Fourth of July instead of Easter. As the sun made it to half way and sunglasses we coming down, the Chaplain moved to the center of the altar, to address the crowd. We had rehearsed the EQ on the PA to perfection, so I knew this was going to be a powerful moment. I will never forget the chills and the joyous epiphany I felt when my friend the running Chaplain, exclaimed, with a strong voice filled with love, empathy and hope:

He is risen.

Pix: (T2B) You can grab shots like this when you are the first person aboard the 0520 ferry on Easter. The start/finish line of the Seattle UTT at 5th and Mercer. Special bike parking for the RCVman on the WSF Wenatchee. Thanks and Amen.

Friday, April 22, 2011


In celebration of Earth Day we have posted two videos. Vid numero uno is a 90 second highlight piece from the Sea Otter Classic Men's Cat 3&4 Criterium shot by, and produced by, your loyal (and obedient) host. Vid numero dos is 100 times more important, 1000 times more entertaining, and 1000000 times more urgent.

So please get the 90 seconds out of the way, and then pay attention to the message of the ten minute video.

Yet another lesson in humility. And empathy.

Happy Earth Day fellow cycling sojourners.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Seattle UTT Course is pleased to announce the official (but tentative) 2011 Seattle Urban Time Trial course. As you can see from the embedded MapMyRide map, this one will be fun. And challenging, and dangerous, and fast, and scenic. The RCVman has been selected as the initial pilot for the event series (pretty much because everyone else said "no way").

Start/Finish is at Seattle Center, Mercer and 5th. Down 5th to Safeco Field and around to Alaskan Way, all the way North along the waterfront to Broad (up the Broad hill) back to 5th and return to Mercer. 5.86 miles, 308 feet of elevation gain, one signature climb. Entertainment on the fly.

We are in the process of assembling the film crew for the event. Looks like we'll end up using six cameras. Two on the Cervelo, the "A" cam on the trail car, two overheads and a sidewalk static. We have two camera operators at present and need four more. It will be a Sunday morning in the next three weeks. Lunch, transportation and video credit is the deal. E-mail me or respond via the comments tab below if you are interested. You need no prior camera experience, we'll do a crash course at the pre-production set up on event day. Maybe I should pick another term besides 'crash-course', but you get the idea.

Sound like fun?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

UTT Update

The soon-to-be-famous Urban Time Trial project is rolling smoothly on both wheels. We now have the gear issues resolved, thanks to partners JLRacing and Speedy Reedy. Now it's on to the fun logistic stuff and assembling the camera crew for the shoot. I would like to get it done over the next few weeks, but that may be asking for a lot.

Since when do we ask for a little?

We have one sponsorship spot remaining. So if anyone has a relevant product or service whose logo would look (real) good on the jerseys and on all our advertising and promotional materials, including the all new web site and blog, please let me know asap.

All for now. Two more workouts and we'll call it a day.

Keep Movin'.

Photo is RCVman (the first UTT rider) shown modeling the ultra-cool JLRacing speedsuit. The head crop was intentional, and it's a mirror shot so please read backwards.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Ladies Video

Here is the first draft of the Sea Otter Classic Pro Women Stage Four Circuit Race video. It was a busy day today, power yoga with Michelle at 0530, beta UTT shoot in Seattle, a meet with JL Velo to get fitted for a speed suit, a stop by and visit with my old pals at Speedy Reedy, a chiro adjustment, a 5K with Stephanie, and a just finished bowl of bean soup (with Mimi's wonderful whole wheat bread). I think it is time for a glass of Malbec and start the mashup for tomorrow's set in the HoM, where we will introduce yet another variation on a theme by my friend Max. You will just have to wait to tomorrow afternoon to find out exactly what that means, or join is at zero-dark-thirty for the live presentation. Cool either way, as always.

Please make sure you navigate to the YouTube site to watch the video properly sized. You can click on the YT logo at the bottom of the thumbnail or simply, click here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Just beginning

The real work begins. Downloading nine hours of video shot over the last four days at the 21st Sea Otter Classic. From what I have seen so far, it is going to be worth every sore lumbar, hyper-extended elbow, lost credit card and overpriced burrito.

I am starting with the Pro Ladies Circuit race because as expected it is the cream of the crop. The shake process has another couple of hours and then I will start the Kung Fu. The interview with Olympic Medalist and Overall SOC Women's Champion Kristin Armstrong will be included. She is a very generous and outgoing interview despite the all the paparazzi clamor and demands on her time.

Which takes us to today's post-event theme. The 2011 SOC take-away.


Watching the Pros, Elites, Masters, U-23s and everybody else out there for four days was truly inspiring. It relights the flames. I stand in awe at the composure, talent and skill demonstrated. Courage, risk, the absolute thrill of the ride and required acumen to compete. It's not for everybody, but for those who go and do, it is everything. I am humbled by this.

I hope that some, maybe a tenth, of the images brought back will inspire the same in you. I will try my best to frame the inspiration and energy so that it stands the best chance of doing so.

I have also decided that I want to be around long enough to witness the breaking of the two hour marathon record. Much like Sir Roger Bannister and his four minute mile, today in Boston Geoffrey Mutai whittled it down to 2:02:o3. In comparison, my PR is 3:18 (on that same course). The winner of my AG went 2:40 today. Humble.

Here are a few closing links from SOC:

Tony DeBoom's Endurance Conspiracy organic T's, and,
ClubRideApparel. I love these two designer/manufacturers and their fine products.

Pix: Humble looks at the setting sun at Marina State Park. We are getting faster by doing.

Keep moving, the real work is just beginning.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

SOC wrap

Sunday. Sea Otter Classic. Just hopped off Tim's BMW after following the Pro Ladies Circuit Stage 4 Finals. They are still out there hammering away as I fire off a final post before screaming North up 101 to catch my flight out of Oakland. Can't wait to get home and look today's video. This is going to make one exciting video.

So I need to wrap and run. Here are a few pix from last night and this morning. Thanks for joining us the last four days, and special thanks to the folks at Sea Otter, the moto crew and all the athletes who who put on another fabulous show, for the 21st year running.

RCVman, out. See you tomorrow from Seattle.

Saturday, April 16, 2011


Saturday afternoon in the media center. The Grand Fondo ran a little long as I had to re-shoot a killer KOM section due to the unfortunate death of what appeared to be an adult female mosquito, dead solid center of my lens. Somewhere near the rest stop pictured above. My condolences.
So I missed lunch, had to settle for two Mojo Trail Mix bars and water. The event GF was terrific, a 94 mile loop through the Carmel Valley (center photo) under magnificent blue skies. I might even bring a slight sunburn home with me tomorrow night. Shot a little of the mountain bike event on return (below photo) and now must run up to the Best Buy in Salinas for more HD ammo. If I hustle I can get back in time to nap pool side before dinner.
One more day. Tomorrow morning is the final circuit race on the raceway. I will have time to shoot for a couple of hours before starting the trek Northward to complete the down and back four day event. It has been fun. Great video and stills, some new contacts, a potential partner or two, a couple of days off to recover, and a huge dose of vitamin D.

The females are the ones that suck blood, right?

Keep Movin'

Friday, April 15, 2011


Friday and I am quite sure everyone is dying to get out and ride somewhere. After following all these talented athletes for two days, I know I need a lap or two. Off-road, a crit, circuit, road, fixed, TT. WHATEVER.Lucked out on the road race this afternoon. All the motos were assigned to officials and I was a deep breath away from heading back to the expo village for some interviews, when the media van pulled up empty. A rarity. I asked the driver what we could do if no other members of the media needed assistance and she replied without hesitation, 'whatever you want.'
Hence she became RCVwoman for the afternoon. We caught the ladies Pro/1/2 and Greg, my main official moto guy cleared the road of team rigs, support and wheel cars and faster than you could utter 'what happened to Ft. Ord', we were ten meters behind the lead pack. And we stayed there until I ran out of tape an hour later. Sometimes it pays to be on the side of the law. (I have been told). Altogether it was,

Sweet stuff in a spectacular setting on a perfect day.

You'll have to wait for the video, but here are a few stills from the RR to keep you entertained before you wash your bike and get out there.

Keep Movin'.


More from the Sea Otter Classic. It's a beautiful Friday in Laguna Seca. The Cat 1 & 2 Road race is starting in twenty minutes, so this is what is becoming the norm, a fly-by post.

Exciting Dual Slalom action.

Team Mills at JLVelo have partnered with for the upcoming Urban Time Trial series.

These gals from Get Crackin are seriously interested in my health (and promoting pistachios).

A new indoor trainer from the UK called the Watt Bike.

Next post after road race, approx three hours or 54.4 miles, whichever comes first.

Keep Moving.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


The SOC News at 5.

The afternoon's events featured the Elite Mens & Women's circuit races and Dual Slalom.

I got a little carried away shooting the former and never made the latter. Tomorrow is another day, as Scarlett was fond of saying.

In the good old days when I could pack nonessential gear, I would be holed up in the motel cutting video for a midnight upload, but not this trip, sorry. You will have to trust me when I say that we got some quality video stuff out here today.

And with light winds and 70 degrees the forecast for the next three, you can count on some blue in the background. Suiting me just fine.

RCVman, out from Laguna Seca, Sea Otter Classic day 1. Hasta la vista.

Two shots each from the Elite Ladies and Pro Men. Fast Company, good times.


Sea Otter Classic Day One. Lot's going on, and as I refuse to pay for wifi in the Motel 6, my posts will be from the media center during a break in the action. Like lunch. Yesterday's chronopost ended with fanfare. A boring 90 minute drive South, dinner at a not-so-cheap Mexican joint across the street from the bag-o-fleas and a shower. Lights were out by 1000, and that was that. The highlight of the evening was the sharing the flight and RAC shuttle bus with Jamie Foxx and his family and earsdropping on the Marachi band warming up for a special event at the bean stop. The trumpet player was on fire. The cute waitress however was not.

Ladies are warming up for their crit and the Dual Slalom is about to start. Time to get back to work.

Today at SOC: Morning Seurat clouds between Salinas and Laguna Seca. The Cat 4 boys working the paceline on the crit course and a shot of the downhill run, kids, jumps, hills, air, dirt.

Keep moving, enjoy z ride, stay tuned.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Keep Moving

I always look forward to the game. The game today (joined in progress) is to get to my cheap motel in Salinas, California. Here is what has happened so far:

0300. Innocently indulging in another delicious sexual fantasy (more on this later).
0400. Fantus interruptus with sounding of marimba iPhone alarm.
0430. Coffee made, workout gear assembled, e-mail checked, last minute gear added to baggage.
0445. Wash dishes while mentally checking off items on travel and gear list.
0500. Grab coffee traveler, slam toast, last slice of cantaloupe, head out door.
0530-0630. HIT spin session in HoM (forgot to sync set list, arghhhhh).
0730. E-mail. Blog. Important site surf.
0803. Shuttle to Ferry Terminal. (it was three minutes late).
0845. Ferry to Seattle. Any comments on the Lou Kohl feature story in last week's Seattle Weekly?
1000. Sound Transit light rail to Sea-Tac. (SRO today).
1055. Skip through TSA with a smile. (what's with toner cartridges?).
1130. SWA Gate 12. President Obama's address to the huddled masses. NO TAX CUTS TO THE WEALTHY ON MY WATCH (see photo). Any comments?
1135. SWA announces delay of flight 1215 to Oakland.
1137. Going to take a nap and see if I can pick up where I left off at 0300.

Game on. Heading South. We'll keep ya in the loop. Latest marketing moto: KEEP MOVING. Comments?

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The D word

1) When you are exercising your insulin is blunted. Meaning, that when you are exercising and you consume a high glycemic food, you do not get a strong insulin response and hence you do not get a sugar crash. Your body is very smart and it clearly understands that when you are exercising you want to use the food or drink you consume to fuel your muscles. If insulin kicked in, the food or fuel you consumed would not get to the working muscle.

Very interesting observations from Robert Kunz MS at the First Endurance site. Please take a read at the above linked article on the myths of carbohdryates and endurance. Fascinating stuff.

As many of you are aware, I am smack dab in the middle of another test, this time the relationship of low glycemic foods and high intensity multi-sport training. We are officially in Day 15, and the results to date are equally as interesting. We actually have been testing the CHO insulin factor with this protocol, even anticipating the effects on glycogen stores come race days. By this I mean testing convention. The thinking was this: If I train using LGI CHO (from vegetable sources) how will that effect my race day fuel? Further, can I achieve a healthy w/kg ratio on such a diet and "counter" with HGI simple CHO on race day when I need a higher octane mixture?

Sunday's TJ 31 1/2 Marathon provided some juicy data. I haven't had rice, potatoes, white bread, fries (of any size), processed cereals, soda or Peanut M&Ms since the start of the test. Training has remained constant and consistent, with the exception that we have added intensity to almost every workout, except recovery runs. On Sunday, I ate a huge breakfast (eggs, legumes, cantelope) five hours prior to race start. Two hours prior I had a bagel and continued hydration. I started popping Honey Stingers at mile 4, gulped some Gatorade and two more stingers at 8, and nursed her in. WITH THIS TO REPORT:

The last four miles were strong, smooth and efficient. I hit the line feeling great, taking almost nine minutes of my time from a year ago on the same course, and three off my time from 2006.

My weight is down ten pounds from a year ago, and I could noticeably feel the lightness in the last 5K. Power to weight ratio keeps improving with the HIT sessions so it appears that we are getting positive results from the LGI diet and HIT training regimen.

All of which leads me to believe that we got something here. After the race we celebrated with pizza, beer and mango pie (the most amazing thing since the invention of the pneumatic tire), so I am fairly confident that the test period will be extended through May as a result of my constant craving to balance good and bad.

I leave for the Sea Otter Classic tomorrow for four days on the road and you know how hard it is for me to stay out of Denny's when I travel. They're always open and always cheap. A deadly combination for this type of test.

I will do my best.

In the RCVman laboratory. Gatorade, Clifbar and Honey Stingers will get ya through an event. Denny's otoh.......

Monday, April 11, 2011

Awards (Country Music and TJ)

Answers to last weeks Country Music Challenge:

Gord Bamford, This Old Hat
Neil Young, Are you Ready for the Country
Pure Prairie League, Two Lane Highway
The Outlaws, There Goes another Love Song
Charlie Daniels Band, Devil Went Down to Georgia
Waylon Jennings, Loving Her was Easier
Allman Brothers, Jessica
Miranda Lambert, Kerosene
Diamond Rio, It's All in your Head
Marshall Tucker Band, Searching for a Rainbow
Atlanta Rhythm Section, So Into You
Eagles, Good Day in Hell
Janis Joplin, Me & Bobby McGee
Jack Ingram, Keep on Keepin' on
Lucinda Williams, I Lost it
Steve Earle, All my Life
Poco, Good Feeling to Know
Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Standin' on the Rock
Justin Townes Earle, Halfway to Jackson
La Grange, ZZ Top

By popular demand we will do it again, soon. Git yer requests in early (or it's up to me).



The TJ 31 Awards (envelope please)

Best overall performance, male or female, young or old:
STEPHANIE HUEY ROHL. Going sub two hours on this course is phenomenal (Pulling up quick archival results from 2006 shows the winner in Ms Rohl's AG at 2:05:56 for comparison). As a result of her graceful traverse of the 13.1 miles, she receives a $200 gift certificate at Living Well Chiropractic so see what the heck is going on around the starboard-side greater trochanter.

Best performance by a TJ first timer: KERRY COMBS. Responding to our extensive word of mouth advertising campaign and learning about the event a matter of hours prior to start, Kerry simply shows up and hammers out a snappy 2:11. Not bad for a Hospitalist. Kerry got a Greek Pizza as award.

The first annual Honest Abe Award: BOB POWERS. We call this a minimalist race for a reason. Bob went off course, adding a couple of extra hills (all he needed) but ending up a little short on total mileage, so he simply uses his Garmin GPS to guide him through an extra loop to finish at 13.3 miles. The judges, in their wisdom and benevolence, voted 7-1 to nullify a disqualification and award Bob a hard-earned AG award and second place overall, 1:51:25. We will, however have to add an asterisk by his time from this point forward.

Walker of the Day award goes to LAURA HEGARTY. Our first ever non-runner needs to walk away with something besides sore feet! We saw her at the start and that was it, so her time and distance will remain in question until her next visit to the HoM.

Blood & Guts Award: ERIC BRIAN JOHNSON (ej), for his courageous (some might say curious) attempt at running this monstrous course on virtually zero training. As he found, surfing in SOCAL doesn't add lot of cardio to the mix. Bonus points to EJ for just showing up, as it was rumored that several people who passed him along the course heard an endless loop cry of, "I could be home watching the Masters".

Special thanks to first time Race Director, ROSEVILLE GEORGE, who, once the cones and water station(s) were set up, instantly went home to watch the above mentioned sports programming on TV, and who, God Bless Him, called later that day to ask how things went.

A good time was had by all. The 2012 Toe Jam Half Marathon Numero 32 tentative date is either April 15th or the 29th. MARK IT DOWN 31ers!

Congratulations and thanks.

Race Day Pix: (top2bot) Stephanie thinking she could have gone harder up Ft. Ward Hill. Kerry sprints to the finish cone. Bob making sure he went the required distance (in 1:51:25*). RG in front of the award winners in the podium-lot

TJ 31. That's a wrap.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

TJ 31 Results

A quick recap and official results of today's Toe Jam 31 Half Marathon. We DOUBLED participation numbers from last year. Whoa!!!!! More, the overall male and female champions pulled of rare repeats, besting their respective times in the process!


Seriously, it was the 31st consecutive running of the 13.1 miles formerly known as the hardest half anywhere. We do it 'unofficially' simply to keep the streak alive. I mean, really, name me something else that has run for thirty-one consecutive years. That is good enough for us, although it was mentioned at the post race awards ceremony that if any more people show up for pizza and beer we might have to charge an entry fee.

GADZOOKS! (interesting etymology here)

Toe Jam 31 OFFICIAL results:

RCVman 1:41:12 (-9 from TJ30)
Bob Porter: 1:51:12 (off course but legal-more on this later)
Stephanie Huey Rohl: 1:59:02 (PR on this course)
Kerry Combs: 2:11:43 (Courageous effort from the Dr.)
EJ: 2:34:12 (was in California for spring break)
Laura (our only walker and overall walk champion)

There is the quick recap. We all agreed that a good time was run by all. More commentary (if you dare) tomorrow.

Pix: Just prior to the gun. l2r. Kerry, Laura. Bob, RD RG, Stephanie and EJ. A RCVman iPhone HD photo. Stephanie expressing her delight in finishing with a sub-2 PR on the course they still curse, the Toe Jam. Bravo all!!!!!

Tall Stack

Race-Day Plan: Your marathon day eating plan has two phases. Pre-race eating and fueling during your race. Get up early on race morning and eat a light meal of low GI foods. Do not fast. You will need to “top off your tank” and replenish liver glycogen stores before your race. The addition of some fats along with some low GI foods will also help keep your blood glucose stable. An example would be two pieces of whole grain toast with butter and a banana. Avoid high GI foods on race morning because it can cause your blood glucose to fall and you will end up using a very high percentage of liver glucose for energy early in the race. If that happens you will pay the price at mile 20. During your race it is time to eat high GI foods. The high GI foods quickly release energy and give you a fast energy boost. Good high GI foods that are convenient foods on the run are energy bars, energy gels and sports drinks.

I finally found this bit of documentation from to support my current testing theories on nutritional strategies for race-day fueling. The above quoted article comes as close as any I found to detail the pre-race meal. Most articles want to weasel word their way out by saying something like, "have some carbohydrates with water and coffee if that is your routine". Yuk. Like saying, run some every other day and be sure to wear the proper attire. Yuk squared. So here finally, is something we can sink our teeth into (!) Today's fuel for the Toe Jam Half Marathon, (with a casual noon start, I had the luxury of eating at 7am), consisted of:

A four egg vegetable & legume omelet with a big slice of cantelope, three cups of coffee, and water. I plan on having a bagel an hour prior to start with more water. HGI carbs will then take over on the hilly course in the form of Honey Stingers, one espresso GU and an electrolyte replacement beverage of a 'to be determined' flavor and dilution. The goal is to go sub whatever I did last year (1:50), unless it is just Stephanie and I and then I will pace her with a 2:00 target. Either way, a terrific training day in preparation for the next two big events, The Rhody Run (5.22) and North Olympic Discovery Marathon (6.5).

There is the nutritional strategy. It is now 9:45. Time to get started marking the course. I wonder what a tall stack of pancakes would do?

Times, details, photos, and recap later today.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Oi! Oi! Oi!

I was presented with this beautiful poem before class this morning. I tucked it into my bag and went about the business at hand. Ninety high intensity minutes later we were done. Sipping a cup of joe afterwards I reached for it and read:

By Portia Nelson

I walk down the street. There is a deep hole the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost…I am helpless, it isn't my fault. It takes forever to find a way out.


I walk down the same street,
there is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe I am in the same place. But it isn't my fault. It still takes time to get out.

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see it there. I still fall in…It's a habit. My eyes are open. I know where I am. It is my fault. I get out immediately.

I walk down the same street. There is a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.


I walk down another street.

That other street is called awareness. Leave the easy path to the weak. We will climb mountains and run hills, the path of challenge, of change, of growth and of meaning. That road is the goal. Move towards the light, one footstrike or pedal rotation at a time. Embrace the process. Keep your butt out of that deep hole in the sidewalk. Such an appropriate metaphor (on so many levels).

Thank you Paula for the kind words and reminder. We'll get there.

Pix: Kate and Macca running down that other street in Kona last October. Oi!

Friday, April 8, 2011

All You Need is Love

There is an old runners adage suggesting if you cannot have a conversation while running (especially long) you are running too fast. In recent years heart rate monitors have converted this to more science than lore. When the monitor starts beeping, slow down. When it starts beeping at the low range, shut up and speed up. In our group there is a talker and a non-talker. Please notice that I didn't say talker and listener. One of these days I will set a record for words per mile. I even talk to myself when I train solo. I am quite sure there exists a good number of people (and several dogs) who consider this peculiar. So be it.

I was asked last night, innocently enough, how April's "Low glycemic - High intensity" diet was progressing. As we plodded along in the windy park, slugging out a sub race pace 10K, I began a verbose, circumlocutious response.

I could have left it at, I don't know, or too early to tell, but that is only good for about ten feet of tale time, so I took advantage of the distance to explore the circumstance with a (perhaps over) zealous and ambiguous narrative.

There are variables galore. I think I need to isolate a few in order to properly answer your (innocent) question.

Such as, is what I think I heard in response from the non-talker.

Such as: The diet by itself isn't that radical a departure form my norm so that any results are going to be subtle. I have been meatless for twenty years, off milk since 1974 and avoid saturated fat, HFCS*, sugar, and junk like I avoid political correctness. As it is playing out, the major change is the elimination of white bread, refined flour, processed cereals and grains, white rice and potatoes.

I think I detected a hummmm from the non-talker.

Sensing interest, I continued. (I would have continued even without the sensing). The robust addition of fruits and vegetables has created a new energy mix that I can definitely feel, because they are now dominant instead of merely supportive. Beans, legumes, green leafy veggies are all common, as are vitamin rich and calorie dense reds, yellows and deep greens. It's cooking with colors.


I still eat bread, but only whole grain, dark, organic and crusty. I haven't used butter since Carter was in office. Kamut has replaced Cheerios and quinoa rice. Yams are my new potatoes. Snacks are celery, apples, oranges and carrots. Lots of berries and nuts. I like nuts.

Of course.

And water. TONS more water, excuse me, hogsheads more.


A hogshead is 63 gallons. Concurrently I have cut back on coffee, adding Oolong tea in the afternoon, an herb known to have inflammation healing properties. Together creating a low glycemic insulin regulating mix of nutrients, branch chain amino acids, proteins, complex carbohydrate and necessary fats. I think this fuel mixture is lean enough, the real question is one of octane. Is there enough to get me through the rigours of this exercise program?


Well, so far-so good. You have been along for most of the runs, you know the demands of these wonderful hills, you know what the gas gauge does when we stomp on it for speed repeats. You sit in on the HoM spin sessions. You know the load. They have been constants on my schedule for almost a quarter of a century. To quote Lennon, I Feel Fine. A couple of endurance tests are coming right up, so they will be excellent proving grounds for all this. I think it can be done.

Nothing you can do that can't be done.


Lennon. All you need is Love.

Ah, yes. EXACTLY. That is another part. Stress management. I am sleeping well, recovering fast and healing stronger. Perhaps as a result of Yoga. Maybe the weekly massage. Maybe I am in less pain because of the regular chiropractic visits. All these variables. All of them good ones. Endorphins, dopamine, malbec.


So all this taken together, the diet, the training, the massage, the quality rest and recovery time, the manipulation of the structural foundation, high-intensity maximal HR intervals, quiet meditative time in front of the fire, hogsheads of water, extra-firm tofu and a profound feeling of gratitude, makes it hard to isolate the primary factor to answer your question. Which was again?

I forgot, but we're done with the workout.

OK. Thanks, Nice work. Talk to you later.

Of that I am convinced. Bye.

Pix: The slate is cleaned of March to make way for April's run times. Neighbor Paul showing off his new Specialized 29er purchased on E-Bay for a song (Nothing you can sing that can't be sung).

*high fructose corn syrup

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fire and Water

Some updates on this fine (albeit wet) Thursday. The first update on day 10 of the low glycemic-high intensity test. All I can say is "so far-so good". I was down to 158lbs after this morning's relaxing Yoga session with Michelle. Who, btw, will be hosting a video capture the weak after Sea Otter. We are shooting for April 19 for the shooting. I tweaked me right hammy on Monday (stretching, of all things) and nursed it through THREE sessions yesterday, the usual 0530 romp (for details see yesterdays post), a 5K recovery run in the park (weather: what the hail?), and another 60 min spin class at 1830. I was glad to hit the shower and heat up a bad-ass burrito after all that. And this morning the hammy was fine and RHR below normal. I can feel a BMI shift. Additionally, I am sleeping deeply and feeling a higher energy vibration. It's like life is concurrently brighter, more vivid, simple, more (somehow) sacred, complete, full. (It could be spring). So, so far-so good.

The great water debate moves into extra innings. Some circles say 1/2 your body weight in ounces per day, and others say actual weight in ounces. Here is an outline and formula. Bottom line, either way, you need to drink more (water).

For the country fans among you (and it seems that there are more than a few) the Miranda Lambert song I spun yesterday, "Kerosene" , has a rather incendiary video available for your viewing pleasure. As cautioned above, you might want to have a glass of water handy.

Start time for Sunday's 31st ANNUAL Toe Jam Half Marathon is noon. We'll use the green and yellow cones for course markings at turns and have one water station (passed twice) at the turn to Ft. Ward. Other than that you are on your own. So far we have both male and female champions returning from last year. They hydrate well.

Here is the link to The Sea Otter Classic that I will be attending next week. Stay tuned for daily updates from Monterrey. Beautiful blue salty water waves and tons of bike action.

It's not too late to get signed up for Bernie's Grand Adventure, aka Fun 101, our 365 mile ride around the Olympic Peninsula. May 2-6. Five days, motel accommodations and SAG. Cost is $100 plus food. A serious bargain. We'll carry your H20 for you.

Here is a link to the Ft. Warden State Park in Port Townsend. . On May 21, Sat, we'll ride up and camp in the park. Next morning is the XXXII Rhody Run. After the run we'll ride back to BI. I have one camp spot reserved. You can do it too. Don't forget to bring two water bottles.

Further down the road of spring and summer fun is the North Olympic Discovery Marathon, June 5. Full or Half. This year, because I have the time due to the CT RM1 delay, I am planning on the full, either as an official pacer or as an unofficial rabbit. We have been ramping towards both the Rhody Run and NODM in training so, I might as well get out there and test our hydration strategies at speed. Tonight is a 10K at marathon race pace. For those keeping score, Stephanie is on target to knock 35 minutes off her time of last year. Dedication, perseverance, a solid game plan and attention to detail will get those results. And we like hitting our goals, don't we?

If I can hit May 22 at 155 pounds, it will be water well spent.

(I can't get that song out of my head).

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Cowboy Heros

We tried this once before and it was kinda fun. Theme from today HoM spin session was "My Hero's have always been Cowboys". You can guess what happened from there. We went country. YeHaw. Sixty minutes of high intensity country mind you, not your grandaddy's Hank, Johnny or Porter Waggoner. It was fun and I feel like I've been dragged through the dusty streets of Laredo by a heard a Longhorns.

Following is one line from the twenty tunes of the set. Attached is a mashup of a line, usually the same. Use the two to name those country songs. I seriously doubt that anybody will get them all, including our reigning champion LE. There is some fairly obscure stuff here.

Winner gets rice, beans and beer at Casa Rojas. Giddyup pardners.

It keeps us warm in the cold wind, cool in the hot sun,
I was talking to the Preacher, said God was on my side,
Soon it will be time to go I don't wanna leave I guess you know,
I just heard a voice whisper in my ear,
Fire on the mountain run boys run, the devil's in the house of the rising sun,
She ain't ashamed to be a woman or afraid to be a friend,
I'm givin' up on love, cause love's given up on me,
We never walked on the moon, Elvis ain't dead,
I say to hell with that pot of gold,
Something's always missing till you share it with someone else,
She can keep you loaded feeding you whiskey and wine,
Then somewhere near Salinas,
Funny how the truth sounds so cliche,
Money can't replace it no memory can erase it,
I'd have to be crazy to think someone could ever love a nobody like me,
Yes I got that old time feelin' burning deep inside my soul,
Better get back to the country, that's where we all come from,
You got that other man don't know what you need from me,
They got a lotta nice girls down there, ha.

Fade into sunset.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Dot confidence and dot fun

Two dots we will attempt to connect today are:
dot confidence and dot fun.

As they apply to athletic performance. I have used this allegory in past and find it helpful. Stay with me.

Once upon a time there was a mighty warrior who lived in the deep jungle of the Amazon. He was the hunter/gatherer for his village as well as its chief protector. He had a beautiful wife and two young children. He was strong, fleet of foot, powerful and wise. He was admired and respected by all the villagers. One day while he was hunting, he came across a sleek black pantheress. Their eyes locked. A thousand images flashed through his head as they stood frozen, less than ten feet apart. He thought about his wife, his children, the villagers, what would happen to them if he was gone, his responsibilities to them and the course of action he must immediately take to avoid catastrophe. He also sensed that the big cat was thinking similar thoughts, and knew intuitively that she was nursing, and therefore, capable of super feline blasts of phenomenal power. A fight to the death would only orphan the loser's offspring. Knowing the jungle's bounty would provide food in other forms the warrior wisely chose flight instead of the fight. But in the few seconds it took to process this data the cat had instinctively charged to protect her cubs. And the race was on.

He was running for his life. The hunter, now the hunted, at maximum speed. He had but one choice: Get to the cliff and dive before the big black cat could catch him. The distance was only fifty feet but the cat was closing, fast. There was total absence of fear when he planted both feet and leapt. His trust was that The Great Spirit would provide an opening in the rock filled river far below.

It did.

Moral of the story: (remembering the dot fun) Obviously our warrior hero had confidence. He also had great wisdom. His decision allowed the circle of life to proceed. He would re-group, rest and take his recent lessons back into the jungle another day. With even greater confidence and respect.

And fun? When we compete in events today, in races or merely in high spirited training sessions we are not running for our lives. There are no wild beasts chasing us. We are not hunted. There is relatively little danger.

Why then do we do it?

To feel alive. To be challenged. To find our highest selves. To re-create the heroic. For meaning. And for fun.

If you aren't dong this for the sheer fun, excitement and adrenaline flow, you might as well go jump off a cliff.

Confidence in yourself (trusting your plan and your training) will enable you to achieve your goals, manifest as fun. Should you not achieve the goal? You still had fun. It's the journey, the adventure, the story that counts. Our races are not life and death. They are about having fun.

And yes, the Warrior and the Pantheress became allies and lived happily ever after (until the white man came in and bulldozed the jungle to build a shopping mall).

Pix: Panther suggesting flight. Mural at the King K in Kona. Confidence and fun = power.