Monday, October 31, 2011

DD Dash Poster

This makes it as etched in stone as is gets, the official 2011 Dawg-Duck Dash poster in stunning 300dpi resolution. ONE DOLLAR gets you a bib number (safety pins included), two laps around beautiful Battle Point Park on Bainbridge Island, WA (a 35 minute ferry ride and 35 minute drive from the UW), a chance to win one of many special random-drawing prizes and then a tailgate party. You may WOOF or QUACK here. All this starts at noon. I am thinking that a fun thing would be for all competitors to bring a Dawg-Duck themed food item for the tailgate festivities. This to share with one of the other brightly colored (purple and gold or whatever ghastly combination of green and yellow is appropriate) participants. We'll see if we can be civilized for a 5K fun-run and a snack prior to kickoff, when all bets are off, and duck hunting season officially opens at Husky Stadium. UW holds the all-time series lead with 58 wins, 40 loses and 5 ties. Despite the fact that the Ducks haven't won a Rose Bowl since 1917, they did gave us Pre and Bowerman, for which we are grateful.

Scary Movies

Thematically in keeping with today's festivities, here are the RCVman Top Five ALL-TIME scary movies. Much like making a chase scene work (fast cuts) horror as a genera has things you expect, namely the unexpected. We like to be scared, and today is the day. My faves all share this cinematic tool, examples of which are contained in the linked trailers. Enjoy the suspense.

5) Psycho.

4) Alien.

3) The Thing (Carpenter).

2) The Shinning.

1) The Exorcist.

And to apologize, this morning in another flubbed attempt at dramatic improv, I forgot how to spell murder backwards and came up with REDROB. Must be trouble at the border. I also though it would be cleaver to just post this:

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

But decided against it at the last moment.

Lastly, in a non-scary story, please be advised of Saturday's first annual DAWG-DUCK DASH, a five kilometer run around Battle Point Park to celebrate the year's clash of Northwest college football titans and to protest ridiculous race entry fees (it was suggested after class this morning that we call it Occupy Battle Point.



1200 Saturday starting the the Duck Pond at BPP.

Entry Fee: $1.00

No age groups, no t-shirts, no official race photography, no hassles

One aid station, two laps, special awards, and a tailgate party.

Happy Halloween.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

The Sunday Wrap

Updates on the Saturday Three Things.

1) Another in a long line of examples of cause and effect, or as we say in class, 'it's all connected'. Researching the pathology involved with my inflamed left knee (no disease has yet been determined) the following came to light: The chronic heel fissures that have now spread to forefoot have triggered a change in my footstrike as to avoid direct sheer impact and subsequent pain. Treating this condition subconsciously I have began a fairly severe over-pronation. Guess what happened next? You bet, with added training stress, hill repeats and barefoot runs, all that change has manifested in knee pain. Heel, foot, ankle, calf, knee, lower back. All connected. How, you then ask am I treating this? NSAIDS, neoprene and slow, steady, flat and focused runs. This as treatment for root cause continues.

2) Here is a screen shot of the new template with some of the features shown. As well as the (I would love to say award winning here) video, you get Google Earth maps, elevation profile, B-Roll footage, sponsorship banners, and the constant encouragement and video motivation from yours truly. The latter in the training partner POV vice actual coaching methodology. You like?

3) RG only has basic cable so we were unable to watch the Dawgs/Cats game last night at his place. Returning home in a desparate attempt to see some of the game I stumbled upon this little gem: Front Row Sports and put up with their pathetic and relentless banner ads while watching a live feed on a tiny screen. But it was enough. I am very proud of the resiliency and character of my team. The could have folded the tent and gone home. But they fought back, played hard and on the shoulders of Chris Polk won a wild one, 42-31. OK so I predicted 45-30. Whack me on the knee.

All for today folks, going out to test the hinge. If you hear a scream from the general vicinity of Crystal Springs (shown in pic) you'll know what went down.

I guess to summarize, two of three ain't bad.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Today's Three Things

If you want to see the entire Baker Hill video, I re-loaded and re-posted it to Thursday's post. It runs 11:45. I tried a synch-up last night but the GPS transfer from the Garmin Edge 305 to the CT Course Creator mysteriously produced a significantly steeper slope. Investigation is under way. Meanwhile Bob has done yet another masterful job designing the dashboard template. I am currently testing some video/data/graphics combinations and should have something to show by this time tomorrow. That is, assuming (careful) that several things fall into their proper place. With apologies (again) to Dr. Suess, the things are:

Thing One: My tweaked left knee is starting to send more frequent (louder) SOS notices indicating imbalance and perhaps injury. It is not muscular. The pain is a pinpoint, inside, and stings like a bee when knee is hyper extended or bent. Deep knee bends or simply reaching down to pick up a dropped bottlecap will send 10,000 volts screaming to the fuse box. I was looking forward all afternoon to a recovery run and now at 1635 with the sun fighting the good fight with darkness and gloom, I am not sure running would be the wisest way to deal with Thing One.

Thing Two: I have a ton of work to do. Not to mention the fact that my property taxes are due today and I am woefully short of slush funds. Hence the work.

Thing Three: The Huskies and Arizona Wildcats match up tonight at 7:42 (TV calls those shots these days) and I feel like a little diversion of the sis-cum-bah variety. Me and RG have a good luck ritual going that works more often than not (we have no stats but if you like we can start at anytime), that calls for the first beer (must be Guinness) NOT to be opened until the Dawgs first score. Astute fans will cringe with the memory of 2008 when we went almost the entire season without a beer.

Those, then are today's three things. If the knee feels better and I run, the work gets done, the bills get paid and the Dawgs jump out to a big lead, I might have time to experiment. Any other combination will create a series of events too painful to discuss here and now.

Put it in the 'zone quick Huskies! (predict: 45-30 UW)

Pic of the day: Gary, Stuart and Tony hammer out the BAC15 TT this morning after our 90 minute ten breath test.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Not Available at

Two quick stories before I head over to the club to test the Baker Hill TT.

Yesterday as I prepped for the 0845 class, I mentioned to a gal setting up near the front of the room that the minute she committed to this as a long-term healthy lifestyle choice she would need a pair of cycling shoes. Not because I was concerned for her fashion needs, more because they afford better sole stability and efficiency on the upstroke. I guess I used some dramatic metaphors because when I finished what I felt was a thorough explanation she looked at me and said, "And a 'hi how are ya' might work here, too". Oh. OK. "Didn't mean to be rude, we are just running out of time and I wanted to let you know how important I think this is". To which she replied, "I have been training upstairs for FOUR MONTHS getting ready for your class, and here we are and you are telling me I need new shoes". Really? Yes. Wow. OK then. Let's do what we can today and worry about the shoes tomorrow, fair? Fair. Four months? Yes. GOOD TO SEE YOU AND WELCOME.

Story number two.

After class, and another round of conversation, apologies and bonding, we got set up for a CT TT. This one a ten miler with some nice rollers, challenging but not obnoxious. With hints of oak, raspberry and sweat. Our test subject had sent an E earlier saying she wasn't 100% but wanted to go anyway. I tried to dissuade. Unsuccessful, we got on with it. After a mile she looked at me, pale and profuse and asked if there was a bucket handy. Serious? I asked. A bucket NOW or a mop later, your call Jack. I pleaded early termination of the course. Another time when gut isn't about to spew. No way, get the bucket. OK. She hammered out a 2.0 ptw with plastic-lined waste basket at the ready. Which I almost used watching (I know the feeling).

Two stories. One of determination, one of courage.

I am off to test the BH TT and administer the BAC15 to John. Big 90 spin tomorrow and Sunday I hope to get in another 15 run with Bob if my knee stays put.

I wish I could get a box determination and a pound of courage at

Pix: Yasuyo before the bucket. ContourGPS cam-mount atop Bluey.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Baker Hill Video

A short sample of video shot with the new ContourGPS. I like the h.264, MPEG4 codec and the color rez. The camera's ability to deal with constantly changing lighting conditions, always a concern when we are out on the real roads of the world, is a touch slow, as seen. This complete course, all 4.5 miles of it, will be used on 11.11.11 for our indoor time trial day at the BAC.

As it appears that the weather has officially turned to fall, and the time to ride indoors is upon us, let's get our winter training started the right way with some testing. FREE until Monday is a 15 mile power-to-weight test at the BAC.

If you don't know where you are it is difficult to determine where you are going. These numbers don't lie. You can either produce wattage or you can't. The difference is in the doing.

We are doers.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Now for that massage

More on the Baker Hill project. As the screenshot (upper left) attests, the Contour GPS, captures some crisp video (H.264, MPEG4). I am having a heck of a time trying to locate and overlap an elevation skin, but the process continues, interrupted today by two spin classes and a massage session. YES! I will have some rendered vidio ready later tonight and it looks like we have a TT set for another shoot tomorrow.

I spent some serious time re-thinking the concept and came up with this (semi precious) gem:

I don't care about elite or professional athletes, they have their own coaches, trainers, mentors, partners, gurus, therapists, etc. Who I care about is the HUGE percentage of the population that either isn't doing ANYTHING or is doing a little of something and wants to do it better, more consistently and with more success, entertainment and motivation.

Being more of a training partner than a coach, you might say. There are plenty of coaches out there with enough alphabet soup after their names than ten large cans of Campbell's. I have no desire to partake of that broth. I like to mix it up on the fly. After all I am training too. We can do this together: You wanna lose ten pounds (or twenty kilos) and I wanna go eleven hours in Penticton and then SUB-eleven in Kona. There is a lot of common ground we can cover. One mile at a time.

A 4.5 mile Baker Hill Time Trial suddenly seems altruistic. Now for that massage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Ride as One

You are hearing it here first. Again. And yes, I am picking the winners before they win. This pick is a little easier than college football yet twice as important. Follow me:

On 11.11.11 we will host a one day indoor cycling event at the Bainbridge Athletic Club to raise some dough to buy bikes for deserving kids. Again. It seems there is never a shortage of kids needing bikes and with family budgets these days getting stretched to absolute limits, we will support some Kingston Kids and get them set up with new rides. Thus in conjunction with the local YMCA and Alive Space, we will uncork this magnum opus:

I will film and create a CompuTrainer custom course featuring our signature Bainbridge (Chilly Hilly) climb, Baker Hill. It will start in Walt's parking lot, climb up and over BH, continue along Crystal Springs (pictured above) and finish at The Tree House. One loop. One hill. One day. One cause. One-One-One-One-One-One.

On 11.11.11, and all day long we will send off four riders at a time watching and riding the course with automatic load change reflecting the suffering required to master this monster. It will set you back $11 per ride and you can tackle her as many times as you have legs or lungs for. All proceeds go to buying bikes for the kids. I will also round up some cool prizes for best times, random drawings, etc. Should be fun.

Whaddya think vast blogging audience (VBA)?

That is the good news. The better news is that I need some volunteers to help me film the initial ride. And we need to do it SOON. Like Thursday. Sun and merely a 10% chance of rain that day. I am subbing for Shea in spin class from 0845-0945 so I am thinking noonish. One hour tops is all the riding I need of you. My crack local RCV crew will do the rest, anybody game?

Mark it down. 11.11.11. The day we ride as One.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Suffer Large

"There isn't any method or formula, you learn to love by loving." Aldous Huxley.

"If you judge people you have no time to love them." Mother Teresa.

"There is no remedy for love, but to love more." Henry David Thorerau.

"And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom." Anais Nin

"Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage." Ibid

Per our discussion, or more accurately my soliloquy, this morning, a theme emerged, much as the bud referenced by Ms Nin above, blossomed. Started out with the usual warm up, a gentle reminder of the need for preparation, we rapidly switched gears to the first challenge of the week with a mind-body interlace. The theme/thought/interlace was this:

Your ability to embrace suffering is proportional to your ability to love and receive joy.

The Kings of Leon were cranking Crawl. My lungs were burning and my lower left side from hip to knee was engulfed in the flames of yesterdays run, fanned and fueled by and the present moments output. There was suffering.

And then it was over. Four minutes and six seconds of suffering. And now some three hours later, I bask in the post-effort glow of high-intensity endorphin flow and advanced metabolic function. In other words, that suffering has enabled this love. That low has created this high. That effort, this reward, that work, this result.

I was reminded of the validity of this yesterday as I tried to hang with Bob on the last six miles of our fifteen. Coming off the weakness and relapse recovery of last week, it had been a long time since I hammered a 15. At 10 I wanted to call it a day, cite knee fluid, the virus, the need to take to slow. But I wanted a report card. I wanted some new and accurate data. I wanted to look in the mirror, the tidal basin of my soul, and see what or who reflected back.

One foot-strike after another. Keep your focus, make it efficient. Let it go, relax and stay present. Embrace the suffering BECAUSE IN PENTICTON THIS PAIN WILL BE MAGNIFIED A THOUSAND PERCENT. Better get used to it Alice, HTFU lambchop.

And a funny thing happened. It wasn't pain or suffering anymore. It was simply something I had to do, part of the plan, an integral component, practice, me being me. I saw the calm water in the tidal basin reflect back a smiling facade transcendent and triumphant. The passage of time had allowed a proving ground of will, understanding, cause and effect. Suddenly I became aware of my speed, I was flying, second wind engaged, no pain, no suffering, no fear. And then it was over. Two hours and ten minutes. Warm up, advance, suffer, endure, transcend, finish, grow.

Our ability to embrace suffering is directly proportional to our ability to love and receive joy.

We must have dialed up the hurt factor this morning 'cause all I hear now is Paul Simon singing' "Life. I love you, feeling groovy."

Have a joyous day my friends. You earned it.

Above quotes from a marvelous little work by Arthur Jeon titled, Sex, Love and Dharma.

Pix: The final few steps on Alii Dr., Kona, Hawaii. Miles to smiles.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A name for THAT, too

In the world of competitive sports, there are names for just about everything. What happened last night to my Huskies is what is widely known as a good old fashioned butt kickin'. As administered by the Stanford Cardinal. It was swift, thorough and painful. We were embarrassed on National TV and this morning our rear ends (not to mention wide-outs and tight ends) are still a little raw. The sting is still here. One word singularly and succinctly sums it up: Ouch.

So where do we go from here? Toss in the towel, give up, surrender, pretend that it wasn't as bad as it looked, or?

Or, perhaps, use it as a gauge, accept the reality of the here and now, isolate the weak link(s), re-commit to improvement, let it go and get on with the business at hand. You know, learning from mistakes, moving forward, enduring.

With all due respect, and a LOT is due to Stanford, here is the take away: When it seems like you don't own a pot to piss in nor a window to throw it out of, or you feel like you are stripped to the bone of energy, fight and motivation, keep going. Simple: Just keep going. Move out of the current place of despair, away from hopelessness and towards the light, one step at a time. It will get better. IF YOU WANT IT TO AND IF YOU ALLOW IT.

Ah, so finally we bridge the football to triathlon metaphor. I have done both. I have had my fanny kicked on the field more than once. It smarts. I have also been so absolutely emptied and devastated on the long course that curling up fetal and sobbing for mercy seemed the only way out. But it isn't. There are options. Solid ones, practical ones, effective ones. But they require a few vows. Such as:

I promise to train with focus, dedication and consistency.

I promise to rest and recover properly.

I promise to eat right.

I promise to stay balanced, flexible and compassionate.

I promise to stay in the present moment. Not obsess over the past or worry about the future.

I vow to do what ever it takes to reach my (our) goals.

I vow to be totally prepared come race (game) day.

I vow to give my best on that day.

I vow to play (race) with joy, presence and gratitude.

And, lastly (and perhaps most importantly):

I promise to take the lessons learned from game day (race day) into my next training session (practice) to better myself in all necessary ways, to return to the field (course) as scheduled and IMPROVE.

Do this my darling Dawgs (athletes) and you will become champions.

And that stinging sensation on your caboose will fade from memory, replaced by something a little more respectable. Make that a LOT more respectable.

One last fact: Every champion in any sport has had their butt kicked prior to being crowned. It is part of the process. A BIG part. The facts is that some people never get up, get over or get on. There is a name for them too.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

T minus Three

Don't have much to say, or time to say it in. T minus 3 for the big game kick-off. This video from Sark's site pretty much sums it up. Several folks asked this morning (before, during and after class) about my predicted SCORE for today. I answered that IF the Dawgs go hard, play loose, have fun, do their jobs, and play fearless, FOR FOUR QUARTERS, I don't care about the score. If they do all that I don't care if they get beat 110-2. If your do your best in preparation and then play with gusto, bravado and energy, 9 outta 10 will result in Ws. This will be one of those BIG Ws. So for the sake of adherence to the honesty in clairvoyance act of 1922, I see it this way through my purple and gold tinted shades: UW 42 Stanford 36. Big snarly WOOF!

Similarly, here is this mornings set list collected from a sampling of FB friends last night. You heard them both first, here.

Franklin's Tower Grateful Dead

Rain Dance From Good Homes

Times Like These Foo Fighters

Bare Trees Fleetwood Mac

Live Wire AC/DC

Anatomic Afro Celt Sound System

Back to Light Asura Life²

Roll On Down The Hwy Bachman-Turner Overdrive

In The Car Barenaked Ladies

God Only Knows The Beach Boys

Dear Prudence Beatles

Let's Have A Party Chris Isaak

The Road To Hell Chris Rea

Nadine Chuck Berry

Sweet Hitch-Hiker Creedence Clearwater Revival

What Would You Say Dave Matthews Band

One of These Nights Eagles

Monterey Eric Burdon & The Animals

Sugar Magnolia Grateful Dead

There You Go Heart

Only Wanna Be With You Hootie & The Blowfish

Walking on a Thin Line Huey Lewis and The News

Move Over Janis Joplin

Are You Down Lucinda Williams

Love and Memories O.A.R.

Foam Phish

Top Yourself The Raconteurs

Mama Couldn't Be Persuaded Warren Zevon

Thanks for all the tune suggestions, great execution in the HoM for the full 90, and lastly LET'S GO CLIMB THAT MOUNTAIN LADS.

Friday, October 21, 2011


Today: One of those days. Woke at midnight with the chills. Woke at 0200 sweating like in Bikram class. Woke at 0300, lost and lonely, delirious from fear of failure dreams. Woke at 0330 needing to pee. Woke at 0400 because that is the time I normally wake. Woke at 0500 because I was exhausted from all the waking. Woke at 0545 because it was do or die for yoga and I said I would be there. Woke at 0745 because of PTW testing appointments.

Felt like dirt all day. I know you are thinking that dirt doesn't feel, and that is right, I couldn't feel ANYTHING but pain. As first Dianne and then Bob hammered out the 15mile BAC power-to-weight course, I slid into the sauna (praying that no one was there so I could get horizontal), and tried to come to grips with the dirt.

Once back in the friendly confines of the studio, the dirtiness has started to subside and now, almost five, I feel quasi-human again. Human enough to post anyway. There will be no dancing tonight!

That will change tomorrow, however, as after the Huskies/Stanford game, I will be dancing in the street, all due respect to Martha and the Vandellas.
This is the big one folks. My dashing young Dawgs are back, out of the pound and hungry for red meat. We have waited (not so patiently at times) for this game. Stanford is good. Borderline great. Luck has been on their side. The history of this series is legendary. I will drop some names here: Sixkiller, Plunkett, Elway, Brunell, Gebhart, Kaufman, C. Williams, Marques Tui (he of 300/200 fame). I could go on, but I will spare you (because this is supposed to be a triathlon training and racing blog), and cut to the chase.

The Huskies are gong to win tomorrow, despite being 21 point road underdogs. Because of these four factors (which you can also coincidently use in your training and racing):

1) They have nothing to lose because everyone in the western Hemisphere expects them to get slaughtered.
2) They are young, talented, fast, coachable, and (now) FEARLESS.
3) They will find out tomorrow the absolute exhilarating sensation of doing what others tell you you cannot.
4) They have confidence and now they have the necessary experience to be BOLD.

All this could not have come at a better time. Our destiny awaits. Sometimes ya gotta eat a little dirt to taste the sweetness of victory.

Pix from the iPhone vault: Last Saturday at the Clink where The Apple Cup will be played come November 26 (opening night of Cougar season). RCVman masquerading as a Sounders fan, hot Tuscan bean soup tastes so much better beneath a classic 40's track bike, Bob KILLS his ptw test this morning in the HoM.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Everything is connected. Everything. There is no escape. No avoidance. Your lumbar is connected to your piriformis like the wise words of an old friend are connected to your psyche and soul. Or the way the night sky is connected to a thinning sunset over the Pacific. If we are awake and aware, they fit. If not, it can get wildly chaotic, stressful, seemingly out of control.

Three independent (?) ideas came at me yesterday from three completely different directions. They just showed up at my front door like nomadic gypsies looking for respite, a fireside chat and a bowl of soup.

I invited them in, built a fire and they told me their stories.

The first is from somebody you know. He was one of a modern group of visionaries that have fundamentally changed the way we work, study, communicate and learn. He died while I was in Hawaii.

"I read a study that measured the efficiency of locomotion for

various species on the planet. The condor used the least energy to

move a kilometer. Humans came in with a rather unimpressive showing

about a third of the way down the list. ... then someone at

Scientific American had the insight to test the efficiency of

locomotion for a man on a bicycle, [who] blew the condor away.

That's what a computer is to me... the most remarkable tool that

we've ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our


--Steve Jobs, in a 1990 interview

My second guest is a surgeon and author. With eloquence, compassion and skill he told us of his understanding of the value of coaching. His words resonated in my heart, stirring emotions and deep empathy as I watched honey dissipate into steaming tea. His name is Atul Gawande and the complete transcription is here, compliments of The New Yorker. Here is an excerpt:

"The sort of coaching that fosters effective innovation and judgment, not merely the replication of technique, may not be so easy to cultivate. Yet modern society increasingly depends on ordinary people taking responsibility for doing extraordinary things: operating inside people’s bodies, teaching eighth graders algebraic concepts that Euclid would have struggled with, building a highway through a mountain, constructing a wireless computer network across a state, running a factory, reducing a city’s crime rate. In the absence of guidance, how many people can do such complex tasks at the level we require? With a diploma, a few will achieve sustained mastery; with a good coach, many could. We treat guidance for professionals as a luxury—you can guess what gets cut first when school-district budgets are slashed. But coaching may prove essential to the success of modern society."

It was time for a break, we were weary having kept our attention at max for every word and turn of phrase. But we were all eager for more, this one of these rare and magic moments that define. I put another maple branch on the embers as my final guest set his emptied bowl of chicken soup on the makeshift table. He described a healthy person as:

"An ideal scenario would be never having to take a single drug and never getting sick. An ideal scenario would be waking up in the morning full of energy and vitality, content, and feeling absolutely great. You go throughout your day with energy, a bounce in your step a smile on your face. You don't feel stressed, anxious or or depressed: you don't feel tired, you have no headaches or pain in your body: you are not overweight and don't get colds, flus or sickness. You don't get diseases, you have no pain, you're not ravenous with your appetite, you eat what you want and you are never that hungry. You don't deprive yourself of the foods you enjoy. You go to sleep at night and you sleep soundly and peacefully and get a wonderful whole night's sleep. Your sexual desires are healthy and strong, and you're capable of both giving and receiving sexual pleasure. Your skin, your hair and your nails look healthy and radiant. You have strength and tone on your muscles. Your body is fluid, graceful and flexible. Your are firm, strong, vibrant and feel great!"

Kevin Trudeau, Natural Cures "They" don't want you to know about.

We finished. I was full in every way important. I also felt somehow more connected, like maybe I had a part to play in all of this, like someone, somewhere might receive some small value from my tiny voice.

Bicycles and computers, surgeons and coaches, good health and optimal vitality all creating an ideal scenario.

It's all connected.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


If, as Marshall McLuhan suggests, the medium is the message, the House of Mirth must be close to hog heaven. The translation being that at long last we are up and running with a full head of steam. This week, and as long as necessary, we are conducting our annual Power to Weight ratio testing. It is pretty straightforward and easy to preform.

Here is what I do: Set up the CompuTrainer with a 15 mile custom course, appropriately labeled as "moderate" in degree of difficulty terms, wire up your bike (or if you cannot afford one, one that will be appointed to you), display the graphics and data on the big screen, dial up some mojo tuneage, highball the fans, and hit the start button.

Here is what you do: Ride the course. The CT's load generator makes constant changes to the resistance loads creating a challenging and effective measurement of your current level of physical fitness. Upon completion of the 15 miles all data is crunched and a brain numbing set of algorithms extrapolates your PTW ratio.

What we do then: Set out to improve the ratio over time. Or, more of the same. We will refine our dietary habits, manage our stressors more effectively, become more diligent in our workout sessions, find a higher level of balance and, almost miraculously, delay the onset of the aging process. Oh, and we do that as we laugh, smile and sing, too.

Or, you can guzzle energy drinks all day as this hysterical video illustrates. There are drawbacks to this approach, however as illustrated here by the No Meat Athlete.

For your continual entertainment on the inspirational trail, please take a listen to this podcast from Competitor Radio, hosted by my pals Bob Babbitt and Paul Huddle as they interview the phenomenal Chrissie Wellington after her fourth Ironman win two weeks ago in Hawaii.

If ANY of this sounds like something of value to you (as it should) simply respond via the Post a Comment tab below and schedule a PTW test. Your initial test is FREE!!!!!

Lastly today, while the 15 mile PTW test is about an hour, Bernie, shown above did his in 55:46 yesterday, please do not worry about taking longer than that. Even if it takes TWO WEEKS, I will be there with you from start to finish. Matter of fact, and in keeping with today's rather animated HoM theme, please in this, or any other regard, dear VBA:


Pix: The infamous HoM. Bernie kills the 15 miler, adding a HUGE .2% to his PTW since Feb. Atta boy BB!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Hard Work

I am so glad it's almost over. This nasty sore throat and congestion bug I have been wrestling with since the flight back from Kona. Seven lost days. Misery and gloom. Feeling vitality and energy as distant dreams, long gone, lost and forgotten. To quote popular vernacular, this sucks. But after another handful of echinacea, half a orchard's worth of vitamin C and a cup of steaming Gypsy Cold Care Herbal Tea, I think the corner has been turned.

As a result, I now have the opportunity to put into play one of my favorite axioms, that of not trying to get it all back in one session. The 'it' being the point on the physical fitness timeline immediately prior to the capture of the infamous infidel illness. One step back, two steps forward. Have a little faith in me, brother. Take it slow, bro.

I will take another full day to further recover, starting back up tomorrow. Interestingly enough, this down time has also allowed my tweaky left MCL to heal as well. Connected? Chicken and egg? Circumstance and coincidence? Hummmmm.

Taking advantage of the time spent indoors typing instead of out running or riding, a few items of interest have surfaced. First is the reality of my sloppy time management. There is so much to be done, and although I feel like I am always busy, that effort does not always produce results. Hence the idea that,

Working hard is good. But getting things done is better.

I have had the opportunity the last few days to examine this and guess what I found? I have habitually chosen Face Book over brick laying, Husky Football Blog over roof repair and over video editing. If I could manage just these three, limit them to reasonable terms and get after the three in need, it would mean hard work AND things getting done. Better.

I had to get sick and stare into the fire with a runaway nose to figure this out? So let us do this dear VBA, today let us look at what we do with our most precious gift, that of our time together, and see how we might refine, streamline or improve. Take working hard to getting things done.

One more hour of sleep tonight will get our 0530 spin session done tomorrow. And I promise I will not ask of your or I to get it all back at once. Working hard is good. Let's get it done.

Pic is of the beta test last night of the new Contour GPS helmet cam. The road beckons, as goal.

Monday, October 17, 2011

October Calendar (video)

Here is a short video introduction to what it is that we do in the CT MRC @ BAC. Is that enough acronymial mumbo-jumbo for you? Stands for CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Center at the Bainbridge Athletic Club. And October is here, now and we're under way. If you are as excited about this incredible new indoor training opportunity as we are, see today's earlier post and drop us a note via the 'Post a Comment' tab listing the day and time that you would like to test. I am available during normal club hours with this weeks exceptions:

Spin Class: Wed 0530-0630 & 1830-1930
Saturday: 0730-0900 & noon-15:30 (Huskies vs Stanford)
Sunday: 0700-0900 (Long, steady run)

Other than that I am at your beck and call. Go ahead and beck. Or call. Or comment.

Smiley Face Here

Todd from TTBike fit has done some very nice things with a combination of technologies I find fascinating. The individual things are:

1) The human body in motion

2) The bicycle

3) A camera

4) The web

Put a (hopefully motivated) person on a bike, film her riding in competition and use the power of the web to analyze, inform, educate and improve. Wow.

Here are several sample of his work from the TTlab in Rhode Island.

Slow motion camera (at 300fps) of Pros in Kona.

CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Studio

More of the studio.

As i mentioned this morning in class, we can learn from others and in the case of the Rini Carfrae slo-mo, you can really see how important a good fit is.

Also this morning we talked about the CompuTrianer Multi-Rider Center at the BAC and this weeks PTW (power to weight) testing. I took some comments after class and want to share them with you.

Q: What EXACTLY is a power-to-weight test?

A: We use the CompuTrainer ergometer to measure your output (in watts) to determine how much power you create on a given course. Your individual data (height, weight, age, gender) is pre-set providing half of the data. As you ride the course your ability to push through the distance and grade change gives us the reaming data to determine your PTW. Our test course this month is a 15 mile 'moderate' course.

Q: Why is this important?

A: Because it takes the subjectivity out of the equation. When we ride in spin class it is ALL RPE, Rate of Perceived Exertion. Heavy emphasis on perceived. With a CompuTrainer all data is objective, just numbers, science. You are what you do and there is no hiding. We then use this data to create training packages designed to improve the ratio, ending in you weighing less, with a refined BMI, riding faster and enjoying the benefits of each.

Q: What if I don't have a good road bike?

A: Not a problem, we have three bikes available that will fit 90% of the people. Just call to schedule an appointment and we'll get you set up.

Q: What if I don't race, why is speed important?

A: Because of the myriad non-race applications. Speed is another way of expressing fitness. If you are fast, most likely you're fit. Or, you need to be fit to be fast. One becomes the other. Moreover, we use many of the same formulas to obtain both, high intensity intervals, hill repeats, sprints, diet and recovery strategies all play a big part in the success of being both fit and fast.

Q: How much does it cost?

A: The initial PTW 15 mile test is free. We want you to see and feel, first hand, what the testing is like so you will become comfortable with the process. And then take the next steps to reaching your personal best.

Q: How do I sign up?

A: See the 'Post a Comment' tab below? Click it. A dialogue box will appear. Type in the box the day and time you would like to PTW test. Press the return button. I will be instantly notified and will respond to your comment immediately. Additionally, you can call the BAC at 206.842.5661, or me (RCVman) at 206.842.1099 or 360.674.8128.

Q: What days and hours are available?

A: M,W & F: 9-9. Tues & Thursday: 7-9, S&S: 10-5

Q: Is it really THAT easy?

A: Yes. The actual test is the hard part. (Insert smiley face here.)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Time Trial Testing

We begin Time Trial Testing this week. I have created a fun little 15 mile CompuTrainer 3D course that allows us to gauge our current level of fitness. It is important as we begin our winter training regimen to have accurate data on where we stand (or sit) right now. Here are a few links to get the pump primed, a beautiful graph on what type of power-to-weight numbers everybody from the Pros to untrained newbies attain, a thorough look from PowerBar at what it takes to increase your PTW, and a serious discourse on why all this is important from

We will be conducting PTW testing all week at the CompuTrianer Multi-Rider Center in the Bainbridge Athletic Club. This valuable function is free to members and will give you a hands-on sample of the extraordinary functionality of the CT. Once your PTW ratio is established, we go about our normal training protocols and return to the same course 30-45 days later, re-test and guage improvement, a terrific way to stay motivated, focused and on the right path.

Testing times this week are Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10-6, Tuesday and Thursday, 6am-9pm, Saturday and Sunday, 1-6. Members may sign up at the front desk, respond vie e-mail to me or call 206.842.1099.

Start your winter training the right way. Get it done.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


Here is the short piece we shot in Kona last week featuring Michael Folan of Infinit Nutrition. I think you will quickly see the importance of what he and his company have developed. I especially like the custom nutrition angle, check them out here.

Today, already, is NCAA College Football week seven. My Huskies are 4-1 and rolling. You have heard me speak glowingly of them and today versus Colorado will be no exception. I am late due to this morning's 90 spin and blueberry pancakes as reward. So today's prediction is 42-21 Dawgs.

Have a great evening.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Remember the FUN

I have been following a story out of Kona last week about a guy who, both allegedly and later admittedly, cut the course and then boasted about his finish time. Obviously this is troubling on any number of fronts. The tri-geek peanut gallery is up in arms over a guy cheating on the hallowed proving grounds of the Triathlon World Championships. Shoot first and ask questions later, burn 'em at the stake and git a rope kinda stuff. And while I personally feel his actions reprehensible, unsportsman-like and totally uncool, I also feel there is another side of the story we might fail to appreciate.

You have heard me comment on many an occasion of the costs involved with our wonderful sport, most recently demonstrated by my $702 entry to 2012 Ironman Canada. That is going to be an expensive day in Penticton, as upon KQ (Kona Qualify) one must pay that entry on the spot. Let's do some quick math:

IMC entry fee: $702

Travel expense to/from (five days): $1000

Gear: $750 (does not include new bike)

Kona entry fee: $750

Kona travel expense: $1500 (I have a few perks)

Misc: $500

TOTAL: $4,450

And while that amount may seem trifling to the average IM participant who boasts income of $150K+ (taken from WTC polls), it is a lot to this (self-employed) age grouper.

Here is my take: I want my money's worth in both experience, challenge and competition. I insist that if I am laying down that amount of cabbage that the race be fair, on a level field, and with adequate security and safeguards against somebody beating my slow arse because they ran a shorter distance. If that person was to take MY podium spot I would call my cousin Vito in Sicily, pronto.

Above and beyond these two minor examples of money and fair play is what I call the big picture. The big picture is this: If you are not a Pro triathlete racing for prize money or sponsorship, THIS IS SUPPOSED TO BE FUN. First and foremost. Yes, there is competition, hard work, expense, commitment, anguish, sacrifice and ego, but fun is the heart of the matter, the goal and the reason. Winning (especially at all costs) is a false god. Winning is NOT the only thing, matter of fact it is NOTHING.

I cannot think of a more perfect example with which to illustrate one of my favorite messages than the recent Kona incident. Once again:

I would rather run a clean race, do my best, give all and finish second, than

win doing anything other.

Remember the fun.

Pix: Alaska Air fun-loving tail logo. The gods of Kona frown on cheaters. Simon (left) and Phil draw up my training plan for 2012 on a cocktail napkin at Jacki Rey's Ohana Grill. Fun stuff.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


A month late and a thousand dollars over budget. The pizza oven? The new septic system? The roof repair? Brakes on the Exploder? launch? My training plan for 2012?

None of the above, OR all of the above, depending on one's perspective. But in this case we're referencing the grand opening of the CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Center in the Bainbridge Athletic Club. There has been delays, for which I assume 100% responsibility. Some unavoidable, others, in hindsight, avoidable with a combination of time, energy, talent and a solid line of credit. Bottom line is that while juggling the pins, I dropped a few and that equates to time. And the delay.

But this morning with great intention and anticipation, we gathered the first test group and saddled up, eager for action, hot for the game.

I thought that after two full days of testing I had the (somewhat dated) software sufficiently hacked and adding two additional bikes would be a cake walk.

Not to be. Frustrated, I dismissed the teams and went straight to the troubleshooting protocols. An hour later, a phone call to tech support and a review of the owners manual got us back in the fast lane.

All meaning that NOW (was that emphatic enough?) we are ready to rock.

Stay tuned. We will be taking all this over to the site shortly as well. Where our motto (with all due respect to The Eagles) is: Everything, all the time.

Life in the fast lane. Ug huh.

This morning in the HoM: Team One (front row) Bernie and Clo. Back row: Steph and Chris. How we doing so far?