Friday, November 30, 2012

Dress for Success

A couple of follow-ups to stories we have been following. 

First is a very quick response from Runners World on that disingenuous (at best) article that appeared earlier this week in the, once respected, Wall Street Journal. I am guessing that they have tired from decades of slime tracking and now feel obliged to test their model on other innocent demographics. Might as well call it the journal of fear. 

Second is a response to the article on Adderall abuse seemingly rampant in professional sports. I especially like the comment from one of the results that indicate the drug isn't used so much for improving performance on the field but in the clubs afterwards. Party on, gentlemen. 

Third today, a beautiful gray, rainy final Friday in November, is this valuable and informative video about an issue many (perhaps even most) of us have experienced at one time or another in our training, the old pain in the butt syndrome. I have had it since my flight last week from London to Seattle and it has kept me from running. For a solid week I have rested the inflamed piriformis and avoided the additional foot-strike trauma of running. I hope for recovery but every day I get to the bottom of the stairs with an ouch and a groan. Maybe tomorrow.

Lastly is this proferssional article about DVT, deep vein thrombosis. I am tending to think that anything that helps blood flow, circulation to aorta, speeds recovery and acts as an insurance policy for embolism at altitude (blood clots in the legs while seated on a Boeing 747) is a bargain for $40. In the color of your choice, naturally.  Video in case you missed it from Kona here.

We leave you with these thoughts today:

Run Happy,
Ride Organic,
Move your ass often,
Use the foam roller for massage therapy,
Dress for success.

Have a great Friday folks. 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Path of Mesolimbic Reward

To all men in my age group: Please carefully read this article from the WSJ. Upon completion of your read, please immediately curtail all training and racing as it could promote a sooner than expected departure from your life as you currently know it. 

In other words, go sit on the couch and watch TV, that way you'll live longer.

The RCVman comment of the day: Dear researchers: Thank you for your work. Now go away. I have a run scheduled for 1600. And that run so significantly increases my quality of life that even if I was to succumb to a myocardial infarction at mile 3, the smile upon my face would be there for all to see as I lay motionless for eternity in a cheap pine box. 

Sad fact is that a lot of people will use this as justification to not run. 

Don't be one of them. 

Late breaking news: As if all that mis-information wasn't enough. Try this one on for size. Seems pro sports has a drug problem. Much like semi-pro sports, much like college sports and much like amateur sports. Uppers enhance performance? 30 cups of coffee will "sharpen" your ability to reach maximum speed quicker? Whoa! Somebody alert the sprinters. I was told last night that Adderall is a mask for steroids. Pros can get a TUE (Therapeutic Use Exemption) legally (150 issued in MLB last year) and use that to cover serious steroid (illegal) use. 

Man's insipid march towards temporary ego gratification, fame and fortune continue. 

OK, so today we learned that it is not good to run to much and that drug use is WAY more prevalent than we ever thought in many sports. Spin:

Folks, please, can we simply get back to the business of good clean fun? Can we work hard and not worry about mega-millions and celebrity status? The cost of happiness?

Free. Today only. Have a cup of Italian roast and go run yourself a 5K. You will not die and you will not be arrested. The organic way to reward your mesolimbic pathway.

One last thought: Living without fear is a performance enhancing mantra. Try it and see. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

More notes to self

Notes to self today:

Pleasure and pain,
praise and blame,
fame and shame,
loss and gain, 
are all the same. 

Are you tired
because you think you are
or because you are?

Your limitations are all
self imposed. 
Free yourself.  

If under house arrest,
play the 'get out of jail free' card.

Center yourself, love and let go. Relax towards mastery. Breathe deep and succeed. Anything to make it interesting, and I do mean anything. Go bravely onward, smile more judge less. 

Monday, November 26, 2012

More on Lanzarote

I am thinking about a January camp. One week. 250 miles on the bike, with alternating runs and swims.   Good food, great value, right time. Bueller?

Sunday, November 25, 2012


A two minute sampler of the training opportunity awaiting YOU in the Canary Islands. Be sure to click on the video title to watch in 16:9 HD.

More on this later. Sooner than later, actually.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Missed again

Resistance versus cadence, again.

CONCLUSIONS. High-resistance interval training produces a major enhancement in endurance power of athletes in the competitive season. See entire article here.

This is the time of year that defines an athlete. Anyone can get excited about going for a ride on a sunny, 75-degree day in the spring or summer. It takes quite a bit more dedication to bundle up and head out the door on a cold Saturday or Sunday morning in November/December/January. And when the weather keeps you indoors, it requires a similar level of dedication to sequester yourself in some corner of your home, garage, or basement to ride the trainer. You don’t call people who train through the winter “enthusiasts” or “casual exercisers”. You’re a runner, a cyclist, a triathlete. You’re an athlete - Chris Carmichael. 

Sometimes it works, other times it don't.
But we keep trying. Trying to get to right. We make mistakes, errors of commission that perpetuate the adage about one steep back for two forward. There is a process and a time and a place. For everything. 
If we can persevere, hang in there and do what must be done along that path, we will, some day, one glorious afternoon, see ourselves where we want to be. 
I have found that it helps to be faithful to the present moment in that chase. To bring every tool in my kit for the delicate overhaul. Adjusting the mind-set to the present instead of reliving the pain of the past or fearing the challenge of the future. It is about now.
The challenge of the now. And we came for the challenge. We accept the load. It is not always fair. Certainly it isn't easy. The greater the challenge the greater the rewards. YOU WANT IT EASY?
I thought not. 
Let us embrace the reality of the hard. Life is hard. Success takes guts. One must work at it. Practice it. In a Sisysphusian like, relentless charge. Up the mountain. 
I am humbled by the fact that Felix Mendelssohn composed this stunning string symphony when he was 13. I tried this morning to juxtapose he at 13, a child prodigy, with my current plight to be my best at 60. 
I am not sure if I succeeded. It was clear in my mind. If he could compose a glorious concerto for strings before his fourteenth birthday, surely I could hammer out a set of intervals for 90 minutes. 
Sometimes it works. With fallen leaves atop cobblestones, we dig in for joyous indoor intervals.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Train Indoors

A staggering number.
52,000 cyclists were injured in the US in clashes with motor vehicles in 2010. That in addition to 618 deaths. 
This article takes a look at some of the ways we can can stay off that list.
With this RCVman addendum:


You may be the toughest kid on the block with off-the-charts physical and mental toughness. You may have firmly stamped on your brain the marketing mantra that suggests (wrongly) that there is no such thing as bad riding weather, you just don't have the right gear. Or you might be of the old school roadie crowd that rides outside dispute all conditions because it builds character. 

I have no problem with any of the above if that is what you want to do. If that is the way YOU roll, have fun.

On Wednesday I passed two cyclists (recognizing one) on a dark, rainy and windy late afternoon trip for supplies. They were struggling up a hill with two trucks slowed behind them. I pulled as far as I could to the right, putting two tires in the muddy ditch. My windshield was foggy with compromised visibility from the diagonal torrent. It was three in the afternoon but dark as sunset. You can draw your own conclusion as to the safety element. 

We had done a monster indoor hour set earlier that day. What were those two doing?

Having fun?
Getting tough?
Building character?
Being real men?


Train indoors when the conditions dictate.


At right: Michael and Junior after a great Thanksgiving meal test each other's powers of concentration. Indoors. 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy HoM Thanksgiving

I don't do this very often, but today seems appropriate. I am providing this morning's HoM 90 minute protocol. Here it is:

Commit to the now.
Whatever gets tossed your way.
Give your best,
in complete gratitude. 
(and mirth)


Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Malaga Video

Delivered, as promised.


The RCVman annual list of Thanksgiving Top Ten things for which to be grateful. 

10) Our good health
9) Our community, group, club
8) Our boundless freedom
7) The meaning of our mission
6) You, us, we, them
5) The opportunity at hand
4) Our building limerence
3) Our daily bread
2) This beautiful, glorious, rainy day
1) This breath

Downloading media from the trip. Looks even better on a nice sized screen with decent resolution. After that process I plan on cutting a sample vid and hope to have it up by tomorrow.

As hinted last week, we are launching a fabulous new training opportunity in conjunction with Andy in Malaga and Simon in Lanzarote. Intensive training camps. with HEAVY emphasis on cycling. You would be hard pressed to pick better spots for winter training plus the value is compounded as a result of off-season travel and the cost of living in both locals. Think big value with little cost. More on all THAT later.

It is Apple Cup week. The Huskies are rollin' and the Coogs are reelin'. In this rivalry game none of that makes much difference. I state here with heavy emphasis that I do NOT like the Pac-12 game time decisions. They reek of money. TV revenue. We have played at 7:30PM on Saturdays, on Thursdays and now Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, at 12:30. Sacrilege!!!! College Football is about fall afternoons on Saturdays, not when some bozo network wonk decides is the best time slot to sandwich commercials around. Grrrrrrr.

Anyway Go Dawgs, and if I don't celebrate Thanksgiving with you tomorrow morning in the HoM, please have a wonderful Turkey Day. 

Pic: A tour bus reflects the clouds and logo at Mirador delRio. One spectacular spot!
Pic: Huskies 48 - Coogs 13

Saturday, November 17, 2012


Last Saturday in Lanzarote. I remember thinking that same thing five years ago and wondering if I would ever have the good fortune to return. I did and I did. This trip was so much different and different on so many levels. In 2007 I was, and more accurately, we were, still very much in research and development mode of the RCV product. I am fairly certain that I was an emotional wreck as well in dealing with the fallout of a failed relationship. Throw in a foreign country, lost luggage and rain on our race day parade, and my fondest memories are clouded with angst and consternation. This trip, it pleases me to say, was almost an exact opposite. With the exception of still being an emotional wreck, of course.

Having captured four complete stages, each with potential to be a terrific RCVmini (my latest brand concept) as I sit here and type early Saturday afternoon, I feel confident in both the success to date and chance for a record D2ROI. My latest video amalgam.

Days to Return on Investment. Meaning how fast a shoot will get produced, be purchased, used and promoted, and in turn, pay for its production cost, as measured in days. Any one of the four stages already in the can could look like this:

Cost of production: 5K.
Post: 1K
$6,000 divided by unit cost ($20) = 300.

Anticipating that we sell 300 on the first day of release that creates a D2ROI of 1.

Which would be real nice.

I am most confident that should we hit that bogey, I will get the green light to make another trip to Australia and orchestrate a similar scenario and hence prove the model a solid one. That is the goal.

This morning we swam the official IM course and then John and I hammered out a nice 30 out, negative split return hour run in the glorious Isola Canaris sunshine. I am greatly anticipating my return to a regular routine and the importance of getting back at it. If there is one thing that being on the road has taught, it is that consistency, as hard as it is when controllable, is even harder when duty comes calling.

As we discussed this morning over a traditional English breakfast on the beach, life can sometimes feel like we are suffering our way to wisdom.

That can help sometimes.

Friday, November 16, 2012


Quick stop at Jonniebakes in Teguise for an espresso and croissant before the stage 1 climb to Haria. Scattered clouds today with a chance of gusty winds. For the sake of our team, Simon, Fiona, John and Sarah, I am hoping that they are tail winds. Today will be a two cam test, one facing forward as riders POV and the second a tail cam facing the riders as the moto pace. Should provide some interesting results, assuming that I can navigate on the open roads safely. A few times yesterday we were holding up local traffic for stretched a touch longer than my standard level of comfort, or politeness, whichever was most applicable.

Three stages, three climbs scheduled today, and a run along the promenade at sunset. I have been capturing some time lapse sequences as well which will provide some dynamo contrast to the promo piece for TTC.

Simon and John have just arrived and its time to rock and roll. Adios.

Thursday, November 15, 2012


We have been getting in some spectacular rides here on Lanzarote in the Canary Islands. Yesterday four segments, we call then stages, and one long one this morning into, amid, and out of a series of rains squalls. What we did manage to capture is pretty good, despite what I continue to feel is overly heavy traffic. Maybe it's because when we are isolated it is heavenly and even one Range Rover or lorrie makes it feel like I-5 at rush hour. Simon and Fiona are my gracious hosts, along with John and Sarah. They are a foursome of strong riders who show exceptional poise on the hills and traversing the many roundabouts. We have another interview shoot scheduled at poolside in an hour so I must leave this expensive wi-fi spot and get back to work. As I left my external hard drive back at the apartmento all I have to show today is this shot from Malaga last week. Hope I haven't previously posted it. I will, however, post additional shots from this locale sometime tomorrow. Or the next day.

Time slows here. Adios.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Sancho Lennon

Let the alliteration begin. Monday in Madrid. For what seems like forever I have been getting up (well) before the sun. This out of necessity. There are classes to lead, logistics to manage and rides to be shot. You don't get shit done by sleeping till 10. Early birds of prey know this. There are worms to be had. This morning was, by all accounts, a rest day. My body was in need of recovery almost as much as my central processing unit. The return 500K trip from Malaga to Madrid last night was a real test. The tiny Renault Clio received one FM signal, a classical station. The last few clicks to Sergovia at teeth rattling volume, saved the day, with a fantastic flamenco flair.

After a series of REM traumatic events during the sleel process (I woke once after reading the Nightmare News headlines proclaiming: Seattle man dies in Madrid hotel of heart attack) the sun came through the curtains way too aggressively and way too early, despite the cotton/rayon cloth mix drawn tight. I rolled over, seizing the moment in a rare display of apathy. All I had to do today was pay for internet (hate that), send Andy's jacket back and hang. Finally, a day to call my own. I could sit by the pool and read all day if I so choose.

This dirtbag excuse for a hotel, of course, had no pool. They are barely competent enough to fit beds in these tiny rooms. After missing the free breakfast and sending the aforementioned electronic media (yesterdays news) I set out for Guadalajara. A few items from early correspondence bothered me for the first few Ks, but I soon began to enjoy, once again, the feeling of being out and on the road. And while not of Cervantes proportion, I heard a familiar refrain, "Oh that magic feeling - nowhere to go". I discovered a tiny town called Torija, whose sole claim to fame is a very well restored 14th century fortress and tower. There is nothing else in the village. Not even a place to buy a cafe solo. I looked, I tried. Nada.

Deciding to dine domestic, I navigated the series of roundabouts (they work ONCE you know where you want to go) and found a HUGE supermercato inside an EVEN HUGHER mall. One rustic loaf of bread, a small round of Gouda, a jar of artichoke hearts and a bottle of local Tempranillo, and I was on the way home, if I may bestow such an important moniker upon this temporary rent-a-tent. OK, so in case you are wondering, it is $64 a night. Compare that with Rome or Renton. Also in case you are wondering further, my boss loves it when I complain about the cheapness of my on-the-road-digs. And eating in.

(note to boss: After watching yesterdays footage you are lucky I am not drinking a hundred euro bottle at a wrap party!)

Last night in Madrid. Off tomorrow to hook up with Simon and crew in Lanzarote for five days of on-location cycling shooting at the TTC Tri Camp. Should be fun, hot and windy.

Also, for the record, I have officially gone five days without a workout.

Fitness forgotten?

Rest and recovery.

Listen: I am hearing more Beatles:

But I'll come back again someday,
and when I do you'd better hide all the girls
cause I'm gonna break their hearts all round the world
yes I gonna break em too,
show ya what a loving man can do
but till then
I'll cry instead.

Melancholy in Madrid.

Buenas noches amigos.

Monday, November 12, 2012


THAT was harrowing. Let's recap for the record, shall we?

It is 0345 Thursday morning I am in the midst of a tension filled anxiety dream watching Mark Allen talk about human sexuality as he smokes a camel filter on a stationary bike. I recognize that on many levels many things are wrong with this so I immediately change the REM channel to find myself in a barn with a leaky roof and insulation hanging everywhere. I am thinking, 'you can fix this, it's not so bad, just get started' when the sound of the house phone rather rudely shakes me back to a semi-waking state with an abrupt digital tone of seriousness. I have cotton mouth and barely answer a weak mumble of greeting. It is RG. He says he is on the way. I look at my Ironman Timex special Kona edition, lick my lips and say OK, not having the nerve to say you're a half hour early. I could have convinced MA to quit and had had the insulation repaired in that time.

We drive to the 0445 boat, re-routed because of road construction. I drag my camera bag briskly and sit near the front of the MV Wenatchee. It is going to be another close one with a tiny margin for error. The ferry lurches towards Seattle and I practice some deep breaths and check e-mail.

Off the boat and the race is uphill to Rail-Link. I have credit card ready and make the swipe and grab in one motion. I hear the train below and hoist my bag in a stair-sprint. I miss the train by five seconds. Five. At 0500 they run every 15 minutes so now my margin has evaporated. I sit and self-console. It is something I am getting proficient at.

The next train shows up and I sit in a seat that looks and feels like it was designed from the post-Fascist school of anti-comfort. We make every stop along the route but no one gets off and no one gets on. I consider the crossover disaster waiting to explode when rage meets alcohol and semi-automatic weapons.

I do a race walk to American Airlines. The plane boards in ten minutes. The self check in does not ask me if I am checking a bag so I hail the agent that cheerfully directed me to the machine five precious minutes prior. He tries. Nada. He attempts to find a rep but they are all busy, I make sure he is watching as I dramatically point my Timex towards my red eyeballs. Reluctantly we get an agent to do a quick bag ticket and I look to make sure it has MADRID on it before doing a ten yard down and out towards TSA.

The usual nightmare. I am wearing a new pair of jeans. They are cut lower than my taste but they are somewhat stylish (for me) and were half off at Goodwill. The pockets are too low and my iPhone feels like it is bouncing between lower cheek and upper hamstring. I miss my 501s. This concerns me as I start to pull stuff out and put it in the bins. I am a bin abuser. Cameras, laptop, shoes, belt, jacket, credit cards, I used five, sometimes six bins. They hate me.

I am half dressed, shoe laces undone, belt in hand, pants dangerously drooping, jacket over the left shoulder and carry on Timbuck2 over my right. I have had nothing to eat but a half cup of half-zapped coffee. Gate 8 is almost in sight and I can see that there are about six people still in line.

I have a window seat next to a Enterprise secretary whose husband deployed to Afghanistan on Wednesday and a cabaret choreographer from Long Island who was in Seattle for a funeral. I say hello, smile to remove any lingering anxiety and let the back of my head hit the seatback. I settle into The Social Animal by David Brooks. I am hooked and study closely several chapters. I write a few notes on the paper napkin, a ritual begun a little over a year ago when profundities poured like port wine, "of all the blessings that come with being alive, love is the most awesome of all", I remembered as being one.

We land at JFK on a snow lined runway. I keep flashing to my stupidity in going to see Denzel in Flight three hours before leaving Reno for Sea-Tac Sunday night. Now tail-cam shows us landing in a spectacular silhouette of 737 and neon. I have three hours to kill and burn the first one walking back and forth in the terminal trying to find the Iberia gate. Ended up taking the Air-Rail to T7 and sat down to have a cheese panini and espresso. I heard the PA crackle and call several names, one of which could have been my own. I looked at my watch and we are boarding. Having zero self control as I passed hurriedly to the gate I stopped and asked the young girl for a small pistachio gelato. I remember fumbling with cash, credit cards, boarding pass and other important documents as I paid for the treat. I got to the counter and fumbled again as the agent needed my passport and bag claim check. A thousand thoughts filled my brain as the gelato kept if just above an ice cream headache. Finally, after a computer scan, the obligatory chin scratch and another page view, he looked at me and said, 'you can board'. I licked the last bit of sugar cone and smiled. Gracias.

Another seven hours in the air. More book. More on THAT later. The Spaniard next to me went quickly to sleep. I had enough leg room to semi recline. I was served two altogether horrible vegetarian meals. Scribbling more notes on cocktail napkin, my eyes swelled. That ONE thought of her had not gone, but lived on deliciously and determinedly in my brain, as it very well could forever. I needed sleep.

None came. The position could not be found. I read on with rapture and excitement as Mr Brooks talked of love, sex, touch, the soul, meaning, mission and metaphor with the flair of a poet. My watch said midnight as by back screamed for mercy. We landed in Madrid, Barajas at 0730 local time. I was dingy, but felt that old double shot of endorphin flow as we walked towards customs, passport control and baggage claim. When invited I addressed the passport agent with a proper sounding buenas dais, and he barely looked up as he stamped my passport with an authoritative gesture. Finding the baggage carosel I tried more deep breathing and silent stretching while waiting. I am quite sure I looked like one of the guys from The Hangover.

I was still standing there after everyone else had retrieved their bags and were well on their ways. Non aqui. My bag was MIA. I remembered the computer snafu in Seattle. I remembered my credit cards in my shoes as they disappeared into a black hole X-Ray machine, I remembered packing the two new Contour cams in my carry-on so that this exact circumstance would not equal disaster. I sauntered over to the customer service desk, held out my baggage ticket and with a sad but compassionate smile I said, non aqui.  We filed the requisite claim, and I provided them with a copy of the hotel reservation so when my bag did make it to Madrid, they could expedite it right over. Gracias

Down the stairs, up the escalator and off to the right hid the rent a car desk where a cute gal watched my approach as I again fumbled with those damn too low pockets for my Amex and drivers license. Buenas dais, come usted? Panic followed as after the third complete and thorough inventory of all available merchandise that I had somehow fumbled my drivers license away. It was nowhere to be found. Was it the gelato fumble? The TSA fumble? Maybe on the seat of one of the flights fumble? After further review I said gracias and turned to walk away. A cab to the hotel, a nap in a bed with clean sheets, and reconoiter. Draw up a Plan B. I wasn't going to get far in Spain without a DL.

Three steps is all it took. There was something there. I did a full on Fred Astaire 180 and marched back to Eva, smiling like The Artist. She was smiling too. Very ceremoniously I reached to my left shoe, untied it, brought it to the counter top and turned it upside down. A shake out.

I was laughing hard as she muttered some Spanish form of Dio Mio and quickly grabbed the paperwork again and headed me a pen. I asked her where the Holiday Inn Express was and she pointed to what I took for North and said not far.

Starting up my manual Renault I had two signs to follow. M-40 and Zaragoza. How hard can that be?

By the time I navigated through a series of roundabouts, alternating my now compromised attention from a hand drawn map to a thousand speeding sub-economy class cars to the Hotel, I was ready for sleep.

We have no reservation for you sir. You might try one of our other hotels. Can you do that for me? Yes, you have a room at the Express on Avenida de Aragon near Centro Comercial Plenilunio. Just take A2 towards Zaragoza to M21 Salida 2B. And be sure to use the service road. OK, thanks.

I finally find it. No early check in. The Wi-Fi that was advertised as free is 5 euros a day, and no, my reservation does not include those crepes the other guests are currently enjoying. No, we have not heard from the airlines about your bag and when ready would you like a smoking or non-smoking room?

I am seeing Jack in Five Easy Pieces, thinking once again about rage, mescal and a nickel plated Smith and Wesson. I remembered we talked about Hunter Thompson the other night. I hear Lawyers, Guns and Money blaring inside my brain. Mark Allen flicks his smoke away like Bogey.

I smile.

No fumar, por favor. No fumar.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Brockway 267

Quick sample of the work we did over the weekend in Tahoe. I am out at oh-dark-thirty in the morning. The boys in the home office are working the codes. We are as officially off and running on Phase II as you can get. Can I get an AMEN??

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fear vs Respect

    •    Fear is toxic.
    •    Respect is nurturing.
    •    Fear destroys self-confidence. Respect builds it.
    •    Fear is life-threatening. Respect is life-enhancing.
    •    Fear is forced. Respect is earned.
    •    Fear is learned. Respect is earned.   

In a moment of clarity this morning as Clo hammered out another FTP test (at 98% of max HR on tired legs and in the attempt to manage myriad distraction), where Rob very workmanlike did a set of 2x20s and Yasuyo made a triumphant return testing a 70% of FTP set, this thought hit center stage with curtains drawn and spotlights on:

I am thrilled to be in a place and time where we have:
Intelligent marijuana laws;
Fairness in same-sex relationships;
A female Governor;
A black President.

Hurray for us!!!!!! We have (temporarily, belatedly or presumably) stepped outside of the fear box. I can hear the alcoholic, straight, misogynistic, racist, bigots holler already: Fagot, hippie, weakling, hypocrite.

Let 'em holler.

Fear will be responsible for 47% of votes today.
Respect will win the day.

Any deep introspective examination will suffice. Take five minutes. Take an hour. Take the rest of the day. Look, listen, act.

Put your heart into action, vote.

Fear IS toxic.

Tomorrow morning at 0530 I will have the distinct privilege of leading the first spin class at the Bainbridge Athletic Club on our new Keiser M3 spin bikes. TALK ABOUT CHANGE!! These steel puppies have built-in power function. That means you will now have data to motivate instead of my grating attempts to coerce you into more effort. Won't THAT be fun??

Maybe. There is a learning curve. We will spend a good deal of time tomorrow going over the functionality and nuance of the new bikes and getting accommodated to the every day use of power. The data is not as accurate as the CompuTrainer, but in the year I have been using them at Avalara, they have proven themselves to be very consistent. And THAT is huge. You might say that they have earned my respect.

And respect is nurturing. Which will get my vote everytime.

Pic: Melissa helps replace fear with respect in the HoM.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sub 32 FREE Pizza

Very successful shoot yesterday in and around Tahoe. If there is a better, more pristine and scenic location to ride (in early November) please advise. Although the volume of traffic was a little more than anticipated and we encountered a 20 minute delay for the ongoing road construction project five miles south of Truckee, the primary directive was accomplished. I even managed a sneak preview at Midnight before the central governor demanded four hours of sleep prior to the 0430 alarm for the Monday HoM spin.
Which of course rocked, because when I am tired, I find high intensity to be a particularly valuable antidote. Deeply and subliminally my thinking is that I am practicing for the last hour of an Ironman. With all systems running on the fumes. Out of gas. A flat tire with no spare. The proverbial paddless creek. Anyone who has done an IM knows about this. It is a feeling like no other. You are toast and the butter is gone. Your hopes, dreams, goals and desires are an hour of intense suffering away with one of two options available.

You do.
You do not do.

So we practice this. Isolate the emotion. Get used to it. Make it habit. When things are at their worst, it is time for my best. When I am at absolute zero, the time is ripe for a ten. All it takes is all you got. 

This really casts a new light on how we train. Pushing past. Getting there. Giving more. Preparing mentally for the challenge sure to come should you decide to closely examine your core beliefs about what you are capable of doing. 

You do.
You do not do.

You act.
You stagnate.

You risk.
You fail.

You repeat.
You hide. 

You focus.
You fade. 

All under stress. On a mission. Fatigue becomes nothing more than a six letter F-word. We can practice this monumental transcendence. 

IN the can we now we have the 11.43 miles from Truckee to Kings Beach via Brockway Summit, Hwy 267, 7,179 feet at  summit. Took 32 minutes at an average speed of 21.3 with 1,120 feet of gain. A 8% descent to the lake. A challenge suitable for this spectacular area.

And coming soon to an indoor training facility near you. Anyone who can ride in less than 32 minutes gets a pizza!!!!

Big thanks to Dave and the Sacramento Tri Club who came out to ride, and who assisted me re-carbo-load with $150 worth of pizza after. 

Saturday, November 3, 2012


Got it done. Excellent workout this November morning. Ninety challenging minutes (that passed rather quickly) followed by a 2 x 20 session. I am in full on scramble mode. Off to Sea-Tac for the flight to Reno. Tomorrow is the final shoot of the Lake Tahoe IM course project. Looks like we have amassed a couple dozen riders for the 40 mile jaunt. Weather is supposed to hold at mid-sixties and clear, and from what recon tells me there will be some snow on the shoulders. Let us get this thing done!!!

A similar refrain I was singing last night watching my suddenly blue-collar Huskies hold on and nab a rare road win. As we used to say about the rat race, even if you win, you're still a rat, winning ugly is still a win. Thank you very much. I might even get to watch a little of the much ballyhooed Oregon/SC game upon landing in RNO.

My thoughts on the NYC marathon? I have deep empathy for the denizens of the boroughs. They got hit hard. I am not entirely sure that frustration should be directed at people that have paid, and sometimes dearly, to run through those same stressed streets. Ones entry fee pays for that water and condensed sugar available along the route as well as course closures, traffic control and security. Why the constriction? Let em run. If I was moping up my place after a storm and there was a run scheduled well in advance, I think I would go volunteer and do something for others so that maybe simple good karma might allow somebody to do likewise for me in time of need. I AM NOT GONNA WHINE ABOUT IT. And yes I realize that the city has limited resources and priorities are in place, but please, BE RESPONSIBLE FOR YOURSELF AND BE A PART OF THE SOLUTION.

Let em run. Quit whining. You're new Yorkers fer chrissakes.

We ran an Ironman World Championship six weeks after 911. Baseball was played during both World Wars. Help each other. Get outside yourself. Give.

A tough one to be sure. I believe my sentiment is neither insensitive nor inappropriate. Could have been a magnificent  uniter  with a growth opportunity the size of Manhattan. But fear and politics prevailed. Again.

Some say it was the right call. Maybe.

Some say it would have been a accident waiting to happen. Perhaps.

Some say digression is the better part of valor. Agreed.

Some say fools rush in where wise men never go. Indeed.

It was up to you New York, and although I am three thousand miles away, I am not sure we got it done.

Friday, November 2, 2012


"It's a mess ain't it Sheriff?"

I am never 100% sure that my opinion is necessary. In the larger picture, me wasting your time with my point of view, keeps you from doing research on your own to form opinion. It would be like me running your race. The issue gamut spans from simple sharing of experience to outright biased and bombastic preaching. I again apologize for the latter but will likely continue with the former. I try to limit subject mater to things I am familiar with but often step blindly into the trap of the fictional. Sometimes it is objective, but the vast majority of the time it all too easily slides towards the subjective, the gray, the 'could go either way' route. Or, as we saw yesterday, it hides somewhere in the details like a toothpick in a wood pile. I feel creatively weak when I cherry-pick easy topics. You all know that exercise is good and sloth is bad. You all know that a good diet will significantly reduce your dependency on drugs, Big Pharma and the .gov for balance. You all know that managing stress in a non-toxic manner is better than some combination of booze, drugs, meds, porn, poker or joining the local fight club.

Conversely, when I decide to two-step outside the comfort zone of the conventional and tackle a subject like an undersized linebacker, it gets scary in a hurry. Am I qualified? Am I an expert? Do I hold any bias? Do I have a new and unique perspective? Or, as some suggest, is it all simply entertainment and distraction anyway, so who really cares?

By now I am sure that you have already voted. Is it necessary for me to say again that I feel the incumbent to be the best man for the job? The San Francisco Giants won the World Series, do you need me to tell you that they were the first Pro team to extend me draft interest in 1968? Briefly, what this means is, a local scout follows your play and when he sees something in you that could possibly one day resemble a major leaguer, you get a card with which you fill out personal info and drop it in the mail-box special delivery to the home office where it qualifies you for inclusion to the team's scouting dbase. We used to call this getting to first base. After a particularly good game when I was a sophomore I got one of those coveted cards first hand from the local Giants scout. Dropped it the next day in the blue box on the corner of Manchester and Famouth.

So who cares? What does this have to do with opinion and editorial?

Because that was a big day in my life. As was yesterday. And although not nearly as exciting as live coverage from Brooklyn on HSandy, or the latest, last-ditch spin from Mitt on whatever he thinks you want to hear. Further, one of the main goals of this blog is to motivate, inform and inspire (if only me) therefore I try to find something big in the seemingly mundane. One of those pesky details that separate the ordinary from the outstanding. Maybe it's me, but this happens all the time. I am, as they say, easily amused.

Yesterday this piece from the Seattle Weekly was that for me. Got me to thinking. Challenged my preconceptions. Addressed issues in a way that I found both brilliant and courageous. It even managed to cross the batle-line from music and humor to politics and the future of civilization. In a word, WOW. That I am still wow-able is important to me.

Therefore to whatever small degree, that is the compelling point of debate. That is why I write. Maybe my opinions are valid, maybe not. I will take that chance and work everyday to find ways to improve. I'll keep my eyes and ears open. I will share my experience. I will try to frame all of that in an entertaining and colorful way. I will occasionally step outside of the batters box to try something new. I will fail often. Heck, if I succeed only four times of ten I could make the Blog Hall of Fame. And maybe then the Giants would call again.

I'll keep trying. Trying to make sense of this mess. Today's mess means another big day in my life, or as Ed Tom Bell replied back to Deputy Wendell in No Country for Old Men, "If it ain't it'll due till the mess gets here."