Saturday, March 31, 2012

5/8 Craftsman

You will forgive me if sometimes on Saturdays I get a little carried away. It's just that 90 minutes of high octane endorphin flow slams my turbo charger to overdrive and it's hard to slow down from 90 miles an hour without a chute.

The daily metaphor was (again) of motors. Hot rods, hemis and horsepower. What it takes to get rubber in all four gears. And even more important the need to do it with economy. We need that spark. The initial fire to get going. Without it we're a museum piece, pretty, but collecting dust. I would much rather take it out caked with mud, a cracked windshield and stereo booming down the blacktop than ogle it up on jacks in some cozy garage. The spark.

Turn the key. Fire. Spark plugs. Gas and oxygen mixture, internal combustion, horsepower, drivetrain, inertia, momentum, speed. Go.

If your plugs get dirty they need to be replaced. In the good old days when Fords and Chevys were setting the pace, the tool was a 5/8 socket with 3/8 drive, and the folks at Sears, guaranteed their Craftsman brand for life. Somewhere around the early seventies an incredibly talented singer/guitarist named Lowell George formed a funkified blues/rock band and called them Little Feat. Lowell played the slide guitar and played it well. He used the Craftsman 5/8 to get THAT sound. A sound that to this day sends chills up my spine and feels like a 350 big block at idle. One of Lowell's contemporaries in the bluesy slide is Bonnie Riatt. Bonnie is to Lowell's 350 Chevy what a Fiat Topolino is to a Ferrari Testarossa. Fast, sleek, sexy with horsepower to spare.

That groove-zone sweet-spot we talk about all the time has its lineage from these two. When my motor is runnin' free, with clean plugs and topped off, this is what I hear. I hear the sound of the 5/8 Craftsman in the hands of masters.

I am working on the highlight video from our recently completed Madness in March (we just made it under the wire) CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Indoor Cycling Tournament @ The Bainbridge Athletic Club. I hope to have it done later this evening. Until then.....

Lowell George talks about the 5/8 Craftsman socket.

Bonnie covers SRV with her black one.

Little Feat plays Dixie Chicken with a Bonnie backup.

Buy yours here.

Pic: Please forgive as I took twenty minutes away from video editing to learn the opening lick to Fat Man in the Bathtub using my (still under warranty) 5/8 Craftsman.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Measuring Management

Precision, accuracy, repeatability. Just a few of the terms we sometimes casually toss about with regard to the qualities or features necessary to manage our measurements. I think it is safe to say that we have become a society obsessed with numbers. Data. Trends. Indices. Charts. Ratios. All generated by ones and zeros. For our purposes these indicate speed, power, distance, force, time or mass. Or some combination of them. As interested as I am in all this, the one component that endlessly fascinates me is found nowhere on this list. Precisely because it is so hard to measure. As summed by this timeless example, as inquiry: Why is it that the strongest, fastest, biggest and most talented don't always win?

Or, in the case of those who prescribe to the "winning isn't everything" approach, what other factors are, or should be, involved? And how, then, do we measure and manage them? I raise this question because I have a hunch that the measured and the not-measured are connected and the latter in very real terms can have a significant effect on the former. Somewhat like measuring day to determine the length of night. That what we find the hardest to measure can dramatically impact what we can measure easily.

Pushing past the surface measurements of sports performance is where all this is going. Framing the measurement to bring positive and constructive change is the goal. We want to get faster, how? We want to get stronger, how? We want to go longer, how? We want to see progress, rate improvement and chart increases. All good. All worthy of our time and energy and a noble, just cause. We can bring heart rate monitors, VO2 analyzers, lactate threshold testing devices, ergometers, power meters, cadence sensors, odometers, stopwatches, RPE, and a myriad of testing devices to the lab and still not collect all the right data. Or interrupt it correctly. Or use it most efficiently. Why?

Because we are not electric motors. Or robots or machines. Your engine was not made on an assembly line in Detroit, or Yokohama, Mexico City or Oslo. Because the missing component in the overall measurement of your unique performance potential is, to date, impossible to measure with any scientific degree of accuracy. In its most basic form, here is the question: How big a role in sports performance does your physiological equilibrium play? Or, does an athlete's Happiness Quotient affect performance? Or, what is mental toughness worth over 140 miles of Ironman racing?

Everything? Nothing? Some? Irrelevant? Absurd? Bingo?

Remember that this is coming from a Type A long course triathlete whose sole motivation for twenty years has been to compete at the World Championship level, yet whose guiding zen mantra along that route has also been, "I'd rather be happy than fast".

As a result of all this measuring and managing, testing and training, working and resting, at long last it appeasers that one can have both.

My charts indicate.

Here is a wonderfully intellectual measurement intro by Margret Wheatley.

The KPI index.

Take this Happiness Index test (I scored below the UK average, fyi)

Sports Science on the subject.

The Endorphin Rush explained.

Some great power results from The Triathlon Coach explained and analyzed.

What factors may influence test results?

The following factors may have an impact on the results of a test (test reliability):

  • The ambient temperature, noise level and humidity
  • The amount of sleep the athlete had prior to testing
  • The athlete's emotional state
  • Medication the athlete may be taking
  • The time of day
  • The athlete's caffeine intake
  • The time since the athlete's last meal
  • The test environment - surface (track, grass, road, gym)
  • The athlete's prior test knowledge/experience
  • Accuracy of measurements (times, distances etc.)
  • Is the athlete actually applying maximum effort in maximal tests
  • Inappropriate warm up
  • People present
  • The personality, knowledge and skill of the tester
  • Athlete's clothing/shoes
  • Surface on which the test is conducted
  • Environmental conditions - wind, rain, etc

Thursday, March 29, 2012

London Calling

Some quick test footage of the Men's 44K Time Trial course. I am having some success (and some further challenge) in manipulating the GoPro Helmet Cam PAL MP4 file footage send by our fearless UK rider, Dion. He is re-sending part two so I can hopefully shake and render it out like parts one and three. It is a long and tedious process taking equal parts computer processing power and operator patience. But as I mentioned in the YouTube detail, if you can get to London, film this yourself and ride the course with better results, and for less than the projected retail DVD cost of $25, or £15.7, you have my sincere blessings, full support and total admiration.


Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hwy 49er

Here is a nice little promo video of Stage Four of the 2012 ToC. We will be starting in Sonora, two hours ahead of the 10:35 race start and shooting the course until the first major climb on Hwy 49 near Mocassin. We'll ride that juicy ten miles and then set sail for Bootjack where we will again saddle up and summit. This time we'll wait for the peloton to catch us (doesn't THAT sound nice!) film them passing and then short-cut, side-route to Crane Valley Rd where we'll pick them up again for some filming, then skedaddle to Clovis for the finish. Once that chore is complete we'll back-track and finish the day with another ride of the course in reverse. We'll head back to the expo festival, get media work done and then high-tail it South to Bakersfield for Thursday's Individual Time Trial.

One again here are the key dates.

Depart Seattle, Sunday, May 13.

Arrive San Jose, Monday, May 14.

Stage Four, Tour of California, San Jose to Livermore, Tuesday, May 15.

Stage Five, ToC, Sonora to Clovis, Wednesday, May 16.

Stage Six, ITT, Bakersfield, Thursday, May 17.

Bakersfield to Santa Barbara, Thursday after ITT.

SB, Fri, Sat & Sun.

SB to Sacramento Monday.

Depart Sacramento, Monday, May 21.

Ride Crater Lake at sunset, Monday.

Return Seattle, Tuesday May 22.

We have one spot remaining. If you are interested please contact me immediately. This one is gonna be (another) barn burner.

There's gold in them thar hills.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Could be Fun

At left is our initial interface template for the Olympics Men's Time Trial course. The video is rendering with Part One almost done. As it was shot with a helmet cam the smoothing process is exhausting, every frame (all 60 per second) have to be anaylzed and then corrected in order to eliminate unwanted camera movement. This being a must in my book. I am willing to sacrifice some resolution for the sake of decaffeinated video. Like any day of the week.

Here are some other Olympics Cycling related links:

The Olympics London 2012 site.

Fabian Cancellara rides the course under the radar.

Emma Pooley thinks it favors the strong.

Team USA cycling with their selection process and a couple of features on Taylor Phinney (video) and Tyler Farrar.

An interesting behind the scenes piece with Kathryn Bertine as she tries to grab a spot on the US team.

An in-depth look (along with an executive summary) of training with power.

Benefits of indoor training from USAT

I hope to have the video completed by the end of the week and ready for a test trial run sometime next week. The Men's TT in London is scheduled for August 1. Depending on the starting time (London is eight hours ahead of PST) we are shooting for the following scenario:

Run the course in CompuTrainer Multi-Rider showing video on big screen, data on computer screen, while watching the live broadcast from London of the very course we are riding. Could be fun.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Out

As we steamroll into the final week of March (!) it seems a good time for an update on some of the events we are working.

1) We have moved the date of Toe Jam 32, our unofficial running of the classic old half marathon course on Bainbridge Island, from April 7 to April 15. Taxing, but true. Event will start and finish at Bethany Lutheran Church parking. See course at left. Gun sounds at 0800. As in the past when we run it, it's for fun and not for profit, meaning this year's entry fees are again FREE. Here is the course profile and directions from Map My Run.

2) The dates of our Tour of California trip are: Depart Seattle Sunday, May 13 (Mother's Day) drive to San Jose. Follow ToC from San Jose to Livermore on Tuesday, riding best sections pre&post peloton. Wednesday is Sonora to Clovis, same modus operandi, Thursday is TT in Bakersfield. Thursday night I am at El Capitan State Park on 101 about 20 miles North of Santa Barbara for three days while attending the wedding of my nephew. Monday we hook up in Sacramento for the return trip which will include a ride somewhere in Northern California or Eastern Oregon, or both. Start: May 13 - Finish May 21.

3) We are starting a Training with Power class in the HoM. Protocols are: Complete a 20 minute ftp test. Twice a week do 2X20 at 85% of your ftp. Simple, pure, easy to accommodate and designed by the lab coats as best bang for your power buck.

4) The highly anticipated Championship match in our CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Indoor Cycling Tourney, delayed due to mechanical failure last Friday night has officially been rescheduled for the Friday, March 30 @ 1800.

5) I am working semi-feverishly on the Olympics Men's Time Trial video. See top photo of route. We hope to have all the components together and ready for a beta test next week. Anyone wanting to do a trial run on the very course that will determent the fastest TT'ers in the world come this years London venue, simply needs to let me know. I will saddle alongside and see what we got. Or wish we had.

All for today. Questions, comments, advice, correspondence always welcomed. Have a great final week of March.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

P, L & U

My comment on the Nick Lowe song, performed by Elvis Costello, Peace, Love and Understanding this morning created some instant backlash. There is debate. I keep forgetting it's an election year and there are some pissed-off people out there. Ooopps, sorry. There are opinions and there are facts. All of those get a little blurred sometimes. Sometimes a lot of times. During the tune's rousing chorus build, the 'Sweet Harmony', part, I blurted, as commentary, that what I thought Nick and El (Nick was El's producer at the time of the recording in 1977) are saying is that peace, love and understanding, being the polar extremes of the capitalist model, (as there is more profit from war, hatred, violence, dealing in arms, security, oil, laws and regulations trying to police a free market gone totally corrupt, and a dumb and numb America) are labeled as somehow silly. Or subversive, or OMG SOCIALISTIC!!!!!

That is my commentary on the song. That is my feeling as to what Nick & Elvis are saying. That is the beauty of music, we get to add our personal ideals, fears, biases, emotions, experiences and spin all that off into something, perhaps, of value. Like commentary. We can have an exchange. We can be civilized. It doesn't have to be war and it doesn't have to be either 'with us or against us'. The systems we currently employ, political, social and economic, are not perfect. They are flawed. Are they better than others? Sure. Do they need work? Absolutely. Can I question them without fear of imprisonment, ridicule or scorn? Apparently not. Should we not evolve and grow and learn from our costly, deadly and disastrous mistakes? Not too many disasters have come from too much peace, love or compassion. But good leaders are rare with lemmings everywhere. A song that pushes you towards greater awareness is a true work of art. Beautiful, in truth and lasting. Last line: I don't have any problems with the capitalist model once greed, corruption and exploitation are removed. Perhaps I should have said that. Or taken the Colbert approach. Maybe.

Those are my views. I mean no harm. It is social commentary. I sincerely apologize if in the name of freedom I have offended anyone who champions a different take. The ideals to which I can stand behind 100% and fight to the death are few. So we ask again:

What's so funny about Peace, Love and Understanding?

As I walk through

This wicked world

Searching for light in the darkness of insanity.

I ask myself

Is all hope lost?

Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,

Just makes me want to say:

What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh

What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

As I walked on

Through troubled times

My spirit gets so downhearted sometimes

So where are the strong

And who are the trusted?

And where is the harmony?

Sweet harmony.

And each time I feel like this inside,

Just makes me want to say:

What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding? Ohhhh

What's so funny 'bout peace love & understanding?

What`s so funny about peace, love and understanding?

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Jimi thing

Hannibal Barca Leadership Lessons

Although Hannibal was only at an age of 25 when he led his first and last military campaign, he successfully did so, despite having soldiers up to twice his age. How did he do it? Here are my thoughts:

1. Leadership by Example

Hannibal Barca would become the model for future leaders to follow. He was a man who led by example. He would sleep among his soldiers and would not wear anything that made him distinct above his soldiers. He would lead the armies into battle and be the last to leave the battlefield.

Any leader who wishes to gain the respect and trust of his followers has Hannibal to learn from. Whatever task you wish to lead your followers in to do, make sure that you’re not just saying it, but doing it, and doing it better than everyone. That is the essence of leadership by example.

2. Big vision and imagination

Hannibal Barca had a big vision of conquering Rome. That was during the height of the power of the Roman Empire. Despite his young age, his big vision capture the hearts and minds of his followers, and most of them willingly followed him across the sea despite the seemingly overwhelming odds.

As a leader, having the big vision and learning to articulate it is important. People don’t just follow a man, they follow a vision as well. Is your vision for your organization big enough to capture the hearts of men?

3. Wisdom and cunning

Above all, Hannibal displayed extraordinary wisdom and cunning in dealing with superior armies and numbers. Although his was a force of mercenaries, he would defeat the elite, disciplined armies of Rome time and time again. His military tactics are still studied today by many scholars.

As leaders, we must learn to use what we have in our hands to double and triple its productivity. Whether it is people, equipment or any form of resources, you can use it to its best when you employ wisdom and cunning in your decisions, yielding results that are beyond expectation.

I made the correlation this morning between a musician experimenting with her music and an athlete risking failure in the pursuit of personal best. Check this commentary out regarding the mashup of music and mayhem. And this one about the hazards of the safety net. And this one about taking risks.

And of the choices available to us every day in selecting the path with heart (value, challenge, growth, truth) or the road well traveled (safe, understood, calm, staid).

I think we are given the DNA to do what we feel is in our best character. But that isn't always absolute. I MUCH prefer the dangerous approach. I will risk. I want glory. I will sacrifice and I will bleed to get to the top of the mountain (first). To stay in the warm and safe comfort zone of my tiny bubble of calm, might as well be a jail sentence. Life without parole. YUK.

I want my training, like this morning, and my racing, to be in the relentless pursuit of my best. Records. Achievements and victories. I am not afraid of crashing along that path. I have crashed before, and will again. It is worth it. I want my training to be a Jimi thing. A melodic and moving piano concerto in C#major. So far out there that sometimes only dogs can hear the vibe. A Stratocaster riff for absolute mad-men. A tribal beat that resonates deep inside stirring motivations previously thought extinct. New grooves, new melodies, new risks. Every song, every day.

You can keep your three-cord folk tales. You can keep your safety nets. You can keep your mediocrity. You can keep your middle-of-the-road. You can keep your pillows, couches, pills and crutches.

You are free to choose. And for lot's of folks that is fine. I am OK with it. I simply feel that only a person who risks is truly free. And that freedom means the world to me.

Piano concerto for time trialist's in C#major. A contemporary Jimi thing.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Quick post of the video from last night's quarter-final match in the CompuTrainer Multi-Rider Madness in March Indoor cycling tournament. ((And please remember that you can click on the vid title at upper left to watch in the HD YouTube format)) Team Q, Tony & Laura, are the number one seed in the winners bracket and went head to head with Team Yo, Jeff sitting in for Garry. Jeff put up a 300 average watt ride while his partner, Yasuyo almost tossed cookies fending off the flu. Thirty-two seconds was the margin.

I have 2.2 tons of work to get through before the 1700 bottom bracket match in which I will have the privilege of subbing for John and riding with Stephanie against the heavily favored and RED HOT Team AR of Vince and Gretchen.

Will be fun. Regardless of outcome. Team AR will know that they had been in a battle and they will respect our efforts. What more can you ask?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

The Vernal Spring

In celebration, we did one of my favorite drills this morning, The Vernal Spring. There are only six of them. Wrapped around decreasing steady state seated grooves. One 10/10/10 max effort, seated, standing and counter seated, with biggest gears. Just one every ten minutes. Josh hit 900 watts once and I was very pleased with my 650 five times. It is a wonderful way to welcome the onset of more challenge and the thrill of taking what we have worked so hard to earn indoors, out. I do feel the like a stallion whose bit has been chomped to pieces.

But there are more lessons. We need patience. It may be the first day of spring but the season will be a long one. Seven months. With some of that Irish luck we worked on the other day the year will end on Alii Dr. in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. Motivation, dedication, endurance, inspiration, creativity and lots more hard work will win the day. Spring us upward and soften the fall. Because there will be falls. We will stumble. We will open spinning eyes to see the world from a horizontal perspective, flat on face. There will be blood. It will hurt and we will want to quit. We will question our motives. We will consider the cost. We will error.

With that as open (!) here is a mash-up of items that endlessly intrigue me.

On why you should stop trying to harness your brain, and instead help your brain get out of its harness

"The question becomes, what happens if you hit the wall? Because we've all got experience with this. You're working on a creative problem, and then all of a sudden that feeling of progress disappears ... What you should do then — when you hit the wall — is get away from your desk. Step away from the office. Take a long walk. Daydream. Find some way to relax. Get those alpha waves. Alpha waves are a signal in the brain that's closely correlated with states of relaxation. And what scientists have found is that when people are relaxed, they're much more likely to have those big 'A ha!' moments, those moments of insight where these seemingly impossible problems get solved. So when you hit the wall, the best thing you can do is probably take a very long, warm shower. The answer will only arrive once you stop looking for it."

How creativity works from NPR.

George Lois video. He, the original Mad Man (much to his chagrin).

George Lois' new book reviewed and discussed.

Cool video on the mojo of Motivation.

More on George Lois.

The vernal Spring. Day one, drill one. It's a new beginning all over again. Get up, get out, get on.

Monday, March 19, 2012

March 19. We can make it, Spring is just 48 hours away! Skies of blue, the warmth of the sun, tiny balls of rabbit fur scurrying to the brush. A re-birthing. Renascence. A fresh start, a new beginning, growth. Change.

Having spent my first 20 years in Los Angeles, I always thought shorts and a T to be standard issue. Even in the harshest of the LA winters a hoodie is considered foul weather gear. I well remember our first winter in Central Washington, snow, frozen pipes, chains, thermal underwear, chopping wood. It was great. I loved it then, as I still love now the distinct changing of the seasons. It can be challenging. There is work involved. It can get messy. There are days that I wish the rains would cease and the skies would brighten. I sup with Vitamin D these days, try my best to keep a cord of dry wood ready. Fleece and a trusty waterproof jacket is my fashion statement. Gone from Surfer Joe to Paul Bunyon over four decades.

And we now spend the majority of our time training indoors. Of my thirteen sessions last week, eleven were indoors. The reasons are many. Economics, logistics, safety, value, time constraints, the list goes on.

And please do not misconstrue. I love the outdoors. I simply prefer the suffering of high intensity indoor training to the risk and misery of riding in the tenebrous torrent of a winter's day.

I had an interesting thought last week that might start a ad campaign of sorts. My Mad Men moment. It started with the axiom of not being concerned about the things that are out of our control when we race. Our competition, the conditions of the roads, the weather. That to be successful in any event we must rise above those extrinsic factors and focus instead on the things that we control; our thoughts, the present moment, what we are, or are not, doing to execute as best we can. Our perceived levels of happiness, gratitude and awareness.

As I was processing all this, the irony dawned that we actually CAN control the weather. And I became the face of the Man Who Could Control the Weather. Kinda like the Marlboro Man without the cancer.

Fact is that we can control the weather. We can live in sunny Southern California (sharing the road with 3.7 million others) or we can live where it rains, is dark in the winter and reminds us of the natural cycles in nature.

The Man Who Could Control the Weather trains indoors.

Addendum: Looks like I forgot to link the Saturday night video for the home viewing entertainment of the vast RCVman audience. That being said, here ya go: Live from the House O'Mirth.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A MiM Twofer

Twofer the price of one. Last night's indoor racing action from the world famous House of Mirth. I must leave it at that today as the rains, slush and now snow (yes we can finally say that is once snowed on St. Paddy's on Bainbridge Island), has created a rather ugly implosion in the media room, one that I must now don coveralls, buckle tool belt, gather visqueen and go repair.

Happy St. Patrick's Day to all my pals today, Irish or not. Erin go braugh.

May your glass be ever full. May the roof over your head always be strong. And may you be in heaven a half-hour before the devil knows your dead.

Suppose I'll take a twofer.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Put Me on the Highway

"The world is always changing. Every day it's changing. Everything in life is changing. We have to look inside ourselves to find what stays the same, such as loyalty, our shared history and love for each other. In them, the truth of the past lives on."

“When I knew I couldn't suffer another moment of pain, and tears fell on my bloody bindings, my mother spoke softly into my ear, encouraging me to go one more hour, one more day, one more week, reminding me of the rewards I would have if I carried on a little longer. In this way, she taught me how to endure--not just the physical trials of footbinding and childbearing but the more tortuous pain of the heart, mind, and soul. She was also pointing out my defects and teaching me how to use them to my benefit. In our country, we call this type of mother love teng ai. My son has told me that in men's writing it is composed of two characters. The first means pain; the second means love. That is a mother's love.”

Couple of quotes I lifted from last night's (rare) indulgence in movie-land. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. Not an epic film (disjointed, frustratingly complex, issues with spatio-temporal-linguistics, pacing), BUT, it had a handful of INCREDIBLY POWERFUL SCENES. The magic movie moments that make the boredom, tedium and the mundane worth enduring. Kinda like training. You, much like the two girls bonded and bound to lifelong devotion, endure the often boring, the sometimes tedious and the mostly mundane to…….

… ready for the lights, camera and action. The incredibly powerful scene in your life, in your day, in your race that fills your soul with validation and your heart with joy. Then (and only then) does all the training, all the suffering, all the pain make sense. Here is another quote from the same movie:

"Only through pain will you find beauty. Only through suffering will you find peace."

Meaning, of course, that the next time (this afternoon?) that we head out the door for our swim, bike or run, if that session, as it should, is going to contain a anaerobic component, we must find a way to encourage ourselves to endure that zone one minute longer, one lap more or one meter faster. Embrace this. Sign a pact with it. Take a vow. Get to know it (the real you) a little better every time you train. The Eagles, or Etta James, might persuade you to 'Take it to the limit one more time'.

Here are a couple of interestingly related links; The first is on a technique called TAP, Taking Away Pain.

Also is a great swim video featuring Scott Neyedli whom I have had the pleasure of interviewing several times.

Here is an animated coaching video of Mr. Smooth in the pool stroking with what appear to be a flawless and powerful groove. If I created a vid of my stroke I am sure it would be called Mr. Barge.

And here is a cool instructional bike fit video from our friends at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine using the ComuTrainer as fitting tool.

That's about all we have time for today folks. The rains have temporarily blown out to sea leaving beautiful blue skies under which I am heading out and under for a snappy little 10K.

It will be snappy because I will consider the above lifted quotations as I measure and manage each foot strike along the path of my run. Yes, I do find solace in metaphor.

Meaning (from the TAP article) that to be successful, I must:

1) Define the pain.

2) Control or manage it.

3) Determine IF elimination or reduction will help or hinder.

4) Observe related stressors.

Finally on this gorgeous Friday before St. Paddy's, we have a double-dip tonight in the House of Mirth, TWO exciting winners-bracket matches. I am looking foreword to another live demonstration of our understanding of……

…..all of the above. (Put me the highway and show me the sign.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Rain, Germs and Your Health

It is raining. It has rained. Bucketfulls.

There is a virus circulating. It has circulated. Debilitating.

We are racing. We have raced. Both exhilarating and draining.

If ever there was a time and a place to augment this 'thing', it is now, it is here and the thing is how we deal with the circumstance.

The three facts listed above combine to give us yet another opportunity to put our knowledge into play and convert it to wisdom.

We all know that riding in the cold, dark, windy, rainy winter in the Pacific Northwest is flirting with disaster. I don't care how many lights, reflectors, bright colors or glow sticks you have on your bike, you are no match for a teen-aged texter behind the wheel of a two ton SUV in the dark. Riding in the rain is a character builder, you say? OK, at your wake I will say, "He had character" to your grieving family. Ride and train inside wise one. The summer will soon be here.

We all know that we need to wash our hands and cough into our arm. We need to eat right, stay hydrated and get plenty of sleep. The latter despite the cruel joke played on us every year by the 1% looking to increase productivity at the expense of our health. When a strain makes the rounds it usually does so with a touch of vigor. I will get a flu shot the day we officially surrender to Big Pharma, BUT they will have to catch me, tie me down and heavily sedate before I will allow the .gov stick a needle in my arm. So? So I eat as pre-hab, as clean as I can afford. Drink lots of water FROM MY WELL, and get as much sleep as duty decides. If one of those insidious bugs catches me in a weak, recovering moment, oh, well. I will also do my best not to give it to you like I give you free advice. (insert laughter here)

Coach Grandma used to say that you can train IF the cold, virus, bug or congestion is above your neck. If it is centered in your head, keep on keeping on. You might want to throttle back your intensity some, but aerobic work is fine. If it is in your chest or GI, take some time off. Let it run its course. You are well aware of CG's sayings there, too. The one's about chicken soup, vitamin C and an afghan by fireside.

Bottom line is to use your resting heart rate as a barometer. If you know what your RHR is, even a 5 bpm increase could indicate that you are, 1) Not recovered from your prior workout, or 2) Fighting an infection. Or both. Do the wise thing. Listen to what your body is saying.

It is speaking. It has spoken. Relentlessly.

It is changing. It has changed. Miraculously.

It is adapting. It has adapted. Knowledge to wisdom.

Ride inside. Eat right. Drink often. Sleep deep. Race hard.

Graphic: Just three of the many reasons to use the CompuTrainer: Rain, germs and your health.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

In & Out

Here is a wonderful piece from about training with power. It features a video interview with the amazing Andy Potts. Andy is widely recognized as the Pro Triathlete who annually logs the greatest number of indoor training hours. I suppose it isn't necessary to tell you what specific tool he uses for all those hours. I would like to mention one point. This is how Andy makes his living. He has a wife and kids. This is his job. If he falls short in training, being prepared for the on-the-job challenge, he fails. In our sport, there is a huge financial up-side and minimum wage on the other. For the Pro triathlete, this is the one area he or she can actually control. The readiness, the work, the rest and recovery and the preparedness.

Take a quick view of this piece and you'll hear Andy expound upon several of the key training points that we use every day in our spin classes and with our CompuTraining. I especially related to his description of the work to rest ratio, and being ready to race. As in YOU JUST KNOW!

Here is a rather 'corporate' piece from Outside Magazine on Lindsey Corbin, including some interesting comments on her training regimen.

Additional note: We have ONE SPOT left for our mini Tour of California. Here are key dates (with mileage): Depart Seattle, Sunday, May 13, Mother's Day, to San Jose (842). Monday: Camp & Ride. Tuesday: Follow ToC and ride, SJ to Livermore (115). Wednesday: Sonoma to Clovis (130). Thursday: Bakersfield TT. Thursday night drive to Santa Barbara (150). Friday morning ride SB. Friday night and Saturday I am attending my nephews wedding in SB. Bernie is driving to Sacramento to visit with his son. Monday morning, May 21 I will get to Sac and meet up for the drive home (792). Eight days, some great California spring riding, camping, following the Tour, all as guided by 8T and the RCV.

If all of that sounds like your kinda fun, please respond asap to reserve the final seat for this grand adventure. We split gas, food, camp fees and beer.

Our investment in all this indoor training should yield a sweet return.

Pix: Both Bernie (and Stephanie, Chris and Clo) pictured at top in the HoM, and World Champion Andy Potts, pictured below in his Pain Cave, recognize the value of indoor training and the best tools for the job.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Duped again

We have been down this road before. It's deja vu all over again. The latest "news" suggests that not just red, but ALL meat is bad for you. Bad as it applies to:


We have once again been collectively duped by the meat lobby and Madison Avenue. They won a billion dollar round and have been selling us lies for over a century. They won. They are rich and famous. We are the losers. We have heart disease, obesity and empty pockets.

Here are some examples of what they think of us:
Go meat.
Singing pigs.
Le big mac.
Burger King.
How meat stays looking fresh at Safeway.
The reason all Wal-Marts smell bad.
They shoot horses, too.
Have you ever wondered what a 'nugget' is?

The power of
suggestion is a powerful thing. Almost child's play when the product is enriching people, tastes good and in some cases is fast and cheap.

The longer we stay
in denial, the more money they bank and the harder it becomes for us to enact radical paradigm change. I had a wise friend tell me once that the only people who lobby for the benefits of eating meat are the ones selling it.

Please don't sell yourself short. Start today. Taper down, back off, re-assess. You could even go, ahem, cold turkey.

Somebody PLEASE give me some ammo. Fire a opening salvo. Start the fire fight. Try to sell me something positive about eating animals.

Duped again.

MiM Cubed

Madness in March Cubed

Monday, March 12, 2012

Godzilla V Rodan

That hour we lost yesterday is laughing at me now. Made a presentation pitch to a highly respected local research center this morning. This after our run-of-the-mill 60 minutes in the HoM. This after a sleepless night spent putting the finishing touches on the presentation. It goes backwards in time as if I was auditioning for the role of old (or young) Ben Button himself. Now I am gassed, starting to hear that inner-ear high pitch that always signals danger.


I am attempting to rally with a pot of Italian roast but I can tell that only a solid round of ZZZZZZZs will really do the deed.

All this would be OK if I was heading to the couch for some Netflixing, but instead I am heading to the HoM for the Monday night MiM match between Teams Two and Ten, a pairing of gigantic proportions, some calling this one bigger than Godzilla versus Rodan! That is big! (and please, should you watch the video, note the sound, especially the high pitch, it's awesome!)

We are in file transfer of the video shot in London yesterday of the Olympic TT course (Mens) and I am anxious to take a quick look later tonight. I am rendering a short vid on the weekend's action and also hope to have that up later tonight. I think I have the perfect solution to close the deal with the aforementioned client. It will take some work, but I think we can pull it off and make everybody happy.

Guess I just lost my nap.

Pix: In the cool and swanky lobby with tropical fish. The Federal building behind the birch. Some swim, some fly.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Springs Break

Video from last nights action in the HoM. We got to experiment with the handicap format a little more. Team One (Bob & Diane) in the back row, were 19 combined watt underdogs to Team Seven (Tony & Laura). We guestimated that to be worth 60 seconds and allowed T1 a one minute head start. Bob won his second overall of the tournament BUT the combo-output of Team Quick (the team formerly known as Team Seven) was too big an obstacle, despite Diane's furious charge up the final 5% hill and sprint to the finish. Total team-time differential was a puny 30 seconds.

We are back at it this afternoon, with even more variables. It seems that Mimi has come down with the flu and is unable to ride. We are at the point in the tournament where further delays are catastrophic. so I am subbing for her. I will ride at EXACTLY her FTP plus 20 (160) to perfectly match the two teams (195 ftp to 195) and therefore, hopeful, create some interesting racing. I might even wear a wig, who knows.

Great 90 minutes in the same room this morning. I had another opportunity to expand (expound) on a few topics that intrigue me endlessly:

The nature of fatigue, and

how we deal with it.

I think we learned a little something this morning, I know I did.

Trusting the education continues through the afternoon.

When is spring break anyway?

Friday, March 9, 2012

Random Cosmic Input

I love it when interesting new items find their way into my tiny spectrum of awareness. Jerry Garcia did an interview with Rolling Stone about a hundred years ago in which he spoke of 'tuning in' to random cosmic input as artistic inspiration. My interpretation of this was that he used the sights, sounds, sensations, colors and synergies of the natural world to form his music; his voice and message. The combination of groove and tone, frequency and vibration, texture and color present in every note he ever played, be them from the twang of his banjo, the slide of his steel pedal, or the trill of his Stratocaster. His wah-wah pedal always made me feel like I was diving in clear, tepid water among tropical fish. How can sounds do that? How can colors affect our moods? Why is four o'clock green?

These combinations, circumstances and unique growth opportunities pop up at an alarming rate if one tunes to their frequency. Indeed, RCIs (random comic input) are relentlessly bombarding our perceptions every minute of every day. The sparrow sings, the wind whistles, dogs bark and brussels sprout. Toss human-kinds ability to communicate and manipulate complex technologies into the mix and the odds of chaos are exponentially enhanced. Given all these variables, it isn't hard to see why we sometimes dummy down and default to a few rigid and limited combinations. Sampling but a few of the infinite number available on the menu we call life.

It is not surprising when we hear the call of the evil doughnut. When the sexy voice of the Pinot whispers our name or the allure of Dollar Bill suggests gross accumulation. There are sometimes too many choices. There is no dearth of cheap crap to buy. Instant gratification is a powerful emotion. Just send $19.95 (plus tax, shipping & handling, service charge and preparation fees) and you can have it today!!! Feel better?


You have been had. Again. Are you, as I, tired of all this? How did you feel yesterday when you put gas into your car? When you bought local, organic, asparagus at the Safeway? When you paid your power bill, insurance and mortgage? OMG, what if you happen to be on medication? Remember when dinner and a movie was considered a cheap date? All these atrocities (operating cleverly under the guise of the free-market capitalist model) have associated connotations, feelings, emotions and RCIs. We can play the blame game, connect the dots in the futile attempt to find the bastards responsible, or start to make alternative choices for ourselves and recalibrate our realities. Take charge of the one thing that we truly own, outright.

Us. You and me. Our thoughts and our bodies and our actions. We can use the input of the cosmos to make better choices for our health, our readiness, our management of stress, and our overall perception of happiness. Despite inflation, greed, corruption and the cost of self medication. If you hang out with positive people the chances are good that one of them will drop an interesting bit of tid for your consideration. If you listen close enough to what is being discussed, the odds increase that you might consider your current view somewhat myopic. If you work past your previous limits the chances of success increase. If you get outside your comfort zone far enough you might see that you were stick in the Twilight Zone. Return control of your own!

We are thus tasked with the constant challenge of reality recalibration. Does yesterday exist? Can we stave off the aging process simply by hearing freedom in the crashing surf? What synergies best perpetuate joy?

Please allow me to add three RCI specials to the menu in today's blue-plate calibration.

What you eat becomes what you are.

What you think becomes what you are.

What you do becomes what you are.

Eat plant based, low inflammatory, natural, non-processed foods.

Think positive thoughts, affirm truth, beauty, love.

Train your ass off.