30 May 2008

drag days

well, it's friday. the problem with 4 day weeks is that you think it'll be easier, but actually it's a little harder to make it to friday. but we did it, pat yourselves on the back.

this weekend's tilt in wausau will be an interesting test of where i'm at. i went into the last one in the red in terms of what was in my legs. add the warm-up that will live in infamy and the fact that i tried to go out like i was in top race form or something and, well, dnf was the only realistic outcome. not this time. i may finish dead last, but i assure you my friends, i will finish. i love the course at wausau. i love it enough to be excited to ride it for 24 hours the first weekend in august. i'll register the team tonight...if i can come up with a suitable name. the teams ron and i have always been associated with have been named 'weak sauce.' maybe it's time for something new. or maybe what is old is new again.

here is to a good weekend. and seeing friends at 9-mile. and to my wife's birthday on sunday.

happy friday.

29 May 2008

same as it ever was.

there is a guy that sits by me in the office that has become so disillusioned with this place that he is quitting and moving to costa rica to 'live off the land.' i guess being passed over for promotion too many times will have that effect on a guy. he is currently trying to sell all his worldly possessions that will not be of use in the jungle and i hear him talking about it every morning. it's actually interesting to think about the process...he is trying to sell everything.

anyway, he is an interesting guy and i'll miss him (even though he is a little-um-out there). plus, he knows more about gas chromatography than i do and now i'll have to find a new person to bother when i have questions.

last night we got half the front woodwork stained. it went slower than i had thought...imagine that. then new dark stain is looking good, it will really add some new depth to the front of our house. rain the next few days means it will sit half done for a while. oh well.

btw: exterior lights are expensive. as part of this face lift, we thought new lights would really make the whole thing pop. however, you're lucky if you can find a light for less than $200...and we need 4. yeesh.

i'm so domesticated...

happy thursday.

28 May 2008

everybody here comes from somewhere

the group ride i was looking forward to last night was a no go. i rode to the meeting point and saw 3 or 4 riders milling about but it didn't seem real organized so i opted to roll through and do my own thing. i found some new roads south of verona that were tree lined with many punchy little climbs. the weather was great once i got warmed up, and it was a good training ride...i made my self try to ride fast.

tonight we stain the front porch woodwork. that sounds like so much more fun than stripping it...

happy wednesday.

27 May 2008

a break from my 3 day weekend.

whew...after 3 6-8 hour days working on deck and porch stripping and landscaping the front of the house, i'd like to say i'm ready to go back to work. but, since there is staining of said deck and porch yet to do, i wish i had another day to finish the work. i did no biking sunday/monday, but i feel like i've been put through the ringer. we'll call it core work.

tonight i'm going to brave the chilly temps and do the mad city velo group ride. when i was at my peak bike fitness (relative to being fast), i lived in marshfield and did the weekly shop rides there...it really helped my speed. i'm hoping this has the same effect.

time for work. happy tuesday.

25 May 2008

blue mounds.

perfect weather for a bike race. in the start line, the guy in front of me (a big..err...time trial specialist) dropped a bomb that was essentially in my face. the guy behind me thought that should be good motivation to beat him and it was.

i started off tentative, and held myself back at times because i'm still trying to relearn these racing sensations. i got past by my 30 second man but that was it through the race. the climb really made me feel my 11-23 i've always had and have been meaning to replace. 32:25...a full minute slower than 2 years ago. still work to be done.

then we stripped the deck. holy shit that sucks.

happy sunday.

23 May 2008

message in a bottle

apparently, not only do i look soft but i also need a tan.

another 1.5hrs last night on the 'p' loop. off today and the uphill time trial is tomorrow. it'll be interesting to see how i compare to a couple years ago when i did it last.

happy friday.

22 May 2008

i look soft.

the sun will shine

1:10 hard (well, tried to go hard anyway) at blackhawk last night. while i'm still frustrated with my current fitness, i am noticing incremental improvements as i continue to train. then, i went home, picked up robin and the yellow cannondale, and we rode for another 40 minutes at quarry ridge. r was shredding the single track for sure, and we ended the ride by riding through the water to get back to the car.

i think i'm finally in my summer routine...and it feels great.

happy thursday.

21 May 2008

more of the same.

rode 1:20 last night with 5x up old sauk pass hill. i must say, it is really frustrating seeing all my friends and biking acquaintances riding so strong right now...not that i'm not happy for them. but, when you are behind in your fitness, it is hard to remember that the season is long and i have plenty of time to get into the flow. i saw ron on the last rep and he gave me a lesson in what it means to be race ready...

i have a ton of work to do today and all i can think about is how it would be really great to go for a nice long ride this morning and then following it up with 18 holes at u-ridge. hmmm. my latest gear fetish is a callaway x460 driver...i found one that is half price with free shipping. stupid expensive grad school.

happy wednesday.

20 May 2008

robin yount is a bobblehead

last night we decided to go to the driving range. well, it was raining so we elected to play mini-golf instead. it was an exhausting round, but i prevailed, and then we went to get some ice cream. who did we run into? andy north...the 2 time us open champ who also happens to be a madison resident (i think he actually was born in thorp of all places). anyway, that is about as celebrity as it gets around here. now if he could just give me a few lessons...

anyway, recovery day yesterday. i planted grass, cleaned up the bike, and that was about it. i thought when school was done i'd have a lot of 'down' time, but i have found ample ways to fill that time. sort of like a gold fish growing to fit its surroundings.

so it goes.

happy tuesday.

19 May 2008

yowsa

well, i've done 1/2 a mountain bike race. it started out with a 45 minute 'warm-up' with ron. i had my head down trying to keep up with him...i guess his was down too. we missed our turn to the race venue, ended up too long and having to drill it back to make the start time. i was shelled before the race even started.

so the race starts and i struggled a little to get myself into the pedals. i was geared wrong and before i knew it, i was spit out the back of the field after about a minute of racing. from there, i just tried to ride my own race. i started picking off a few racers, and i was happy with how i rode the single track. then, i just lost focus. i was hitting my pedals on stumps and i saved myself from going down 3 times in a 1 minute span. it occurred to me that if i kept going, i just might hurt myself...so i did what would have been unthinkable 4 years ago. i bagged the race. i feel like a big quitter, but it was the right decision. i still rode hard for 1:45 (including the afore mentioned 'warm up,' and it was a good training week. and hell, i've only been training for 2 weeks...so this should get better.

i should have done the sport race this weekend, and i shouldn't have ridden 2.5 hours on saturday...but hindsite is 20/20. it should be better at wausau, two more weeks of consistant training should allow me to at least finish the comp race.

last weeks training totals: 10 hours (4.5 on the mountain bike).

i'm going to take today off, ride tuesday through thursday, take friday off and go into saturday's time trial fresh and ready (novel).

happy monday.

18 May 2008

race morning.

first time back in the fray. 1:30 race time. here is to having fun and not blowing up too early.

yesterday was a good day. a mix of riding, yardwork, and lounging around. the brewers were on fox (HD) which monopolized 3 hours of my day. too bad they lost.

1 more cup of coffee and then it's time to load the car. wish me luck.

happy sunday.

17 May 2008

grades.

Biotechnology Operations: A
Molecular Technologies II: A

sweet.

this weekend next year i'll be graduating. weird.

happy saturday.

16 May 2008

tipping point.

i have a cycle at work. wait for work (big project). spend a lot of time preparing. start said project after many delays by the client. have rug pulled out from under me (either the project goes away or people are shifted somewhere else). start cycle over.

it's the nature of working in a contract organization. and it is getting old. i don't feel a lot of loyalty to my corporation...it is a step behind in terms of compensation and benefit packages. but the people i work with are what keep me here. at some point that won't be enough. i feel bad about it, and i think there are some things i could do to improve it, but i've been beaten down enough where i question if it is worth it.

sorry, it's been one of those...mornings.

i got the bike dialed in last night and ready to go. i'll be doing a test flight tonight with the goal of eliminating that last creak i've been hearing. i'm nervous for the race this weekend. not nervous in a way i used to be, just nervous about the fact that, while i haven't forgotten that mtb races hurt, i have forgotten just how much.

happy friday.

15 May 2008

so misunderstood

over an hour and a half on the mountain bike last night...some of it with ron. i stopped my watch when i met up with him and never started it again. first time at blackhawk this year and it's in pretty good shape. add that to my weekly list of rides...time trials start the first wednesday in june. fun.

there is a guy here at work that has a sweet grey mustache. i call him porn stash (not to his face). i have no point with this other than sometimes i crack myself up. now, most of the people around me refer to him as such. i know, not a very good managment style.

i feel like crap today. i need to see a doctor about my reflux issues. maybe i'll call today. probably not.

happy thursday.

14 May 2008

steady now.

another 1:20 last night. just trying to keep it consistant. i'm riding tonight with ron at blackhawk, tomorrow i'm going to swap out the disc brake pads on the mountain bike(probably a simple task for most but i've never done it before). if i'm able to move through that quickly then i'll spin out the legs...otherwise not. friday, more mtb. saturday, long road ride. sunday is race day.

next week i'm still doing the alp blu'ez tt. i wasn't going to but greg talked me into it. this year, i've decided no aerobars. my two favorite climbing positions aren't possible with the bars on the bike, which hurts when the last couple miles are uphill.

i forgot to put my hair goo in this morning. puffy hair for me today.

that is all i've got.

happy wednesday.

13 May 2008

kid, you've paid your dues

i heard on the radio this morning that gas was $1.50/gallon at the start of the bush administration. while it would be easy to blame the current regime's ties to the oil industry, i won't. i will say that there is a silver lining to the ever expanding cost of gas per gallon...and that is that people are finally starting to utilize mass transit. you can preach sustainability and ecological impact until you are blue in the face, but until you place the cross hairs on america's pocket books, people will continue to buy and drive gas guzzling suvs and minivans and use them to drive to and fro regardless of how much space they really need.

admittedly, we have looked at suv's as a next car. i'm reconsidering...not because of the price of gas to my wallet, but because of what the over consumption will ultimately cost the planet.

1:45 of human powered joy last night. i even dropped a guy at quarry ridge who tried to latch onto my wheel. i haven't done that in a couple of years... i went to bed exhausted and as i drifted to sleep i remembered i hadn't registered for this week's tilt in lake geneva. now i am.

and with that, it is time to work.

happy tuesday.

12 May 2008

the weekend that was.

saturday started with a ride on the mtb (you read correctly) followed by a trip to northern illinois for the wedding of adam and krista. it was a nice ceremony (the best part was the perfect timing of the recessional music-i am a dj). i wasn't going to drink anything, but upon ordering robin a glass of wine i spied a bottle of fat tire calling my name...and 2 fat tires equals a long sunday for this guy.

sunday started on a somber note with robin receiving a phone call regarding the med flight crash outside of lacrosse saturday night. the crew were killed which was comprised of her colleagues. it is a blow to the madison medical community for sure, the doctor that died was the medical director for the madison fire department and the nurse was also a faculty member at the technical school, with a group of students set to take finals in a week or two.

anyway, we did some shopping for robin's birthday present. she is a lucky young lady, there is now a nikkon d60 with her name on it. but, she can't use it until june 1st...we'll see how that goes.

and now it's monday again. damn.

oh yea, this week has officially been labelled a training camp week. it will culminate with a big ride on saturday and...drum roll...the wors race at lake geneva. the big ride on saturday is to ensure that i will not be fast on sunday. time to kick it up a notch i figure, and there is no way to get faster without riding fast.

happy monday.

09 May 2008

dirty cups.

1:41 minutes of ride time last night. the loop i rode i remembered being 1:15...i guess that is what happens when you don't ride your loops for a year or so. the weather was perfect, warm enough for short sleeves and shorts but cool enough that you are cold after the ride...i love that.

i was going to get my mountain bike set up last night but opted for quality time with my lovely wife instead. one of these days i'll get around to it so i can actually start riding on the trails.

time to work. happy friday.

08 May 2008

irony.

in classic 'us' form, we had to go eat at ovations last night because we had a gift certificate that expired...last night. the meal was ok, but not great. the atmosphere was nice, but i'm glad we didn't have to pay full price. anyway, as we were walking back to the car in the ramp, i heard the distinguishable noise of moon boots clomping through the ramp. it was a guy wearing patent leather hot shorts, a t-shirt that was pretty small, and moon boots. then he got in his camry and left. weird considering what i thought to be a random beastie boys lyric blog title i used yesterday.

i got out for a nice 1:15 after work. i'm easing back into this training thing for sure, but it felt good to get out. i still haven't cleaned up my mountain bike. i'm a slacker.

the brewers are in a free fall right now. it's almost like they have been unable to shake the kick in the junk that losing gallardo was. plus, the houston and florida offenses are no match for the brewers staff. they need to add someone to that pitching rotation and fast...and i don't mean jeff weaver although he could help.

our dog is medicated and may have to wear a giant cone. as if he wasn't dopey enough to start with. antibiotics for an infected cyst on his back and anti-inflammatories for a bum toe. what a wuss. he probably stubbed it when he was stealing our socks. or maybe it was when he was shaking the couch pillows?

happy thursday.

07 May 2008

what's up with the boots on your feet?

man it's nice to not think about school when i get home. although, i guess i was thinking about it a little. i got an AB on the paper i've been working on so much the last several weeks and was really hoping for an A. i think that just may keep me from an A for the semester. oh well, AB's get degrees.

anyway, i yanked the bushes out of the front yard and then spent some time wrenching robin's bike. it's about ready, which means now i might acutally have to get my bike up an running.

i need to refocus my training. i'm already getting pressure to do wors #2 in lake geneva. i know, the best way to get into race shape is to race. a ride at the kettles on a wors day sounds equally as appealing. we'll see i guess.

when i got to work yesterday, there was a box full of goodies waiting for me. crank brothers pedals and socks, and a bunch of schwalbe tires. sweet...one of the best parts of cycling is the gear. it's also one of the worst parts if you don't get really good deals, so a big thanks to our sponsors for that.

time to pull the plug...i'm rambling.

happy wednesday.

06 May 2008

smells like up dog.

talk about 1 extreme to another. yesterday was one of the best days of the year for me, a nice ride in the morning and 18 holes in the afternoon with perfect weather. i feel the stress melting away, and now (maybe) i'll be able to focus more on work.

tonight i need to clean the mountain bike and get it 'ridable' again. i haven't touched it since the hater...yikes. i may also try to yank some dead bushes as well.

that's it.

happy tuesday.

05 May 2008

sipping coffee

well, i made it. i think i did a pretty good job presenting and the group did better than i thought it might. my poster wasn't the greatest, but we were pressed for time and got away without too many questions. and now...we're on summer break.

yesterday, i got out for a nice ride...one of my favorite loops, and saw hundreds of motorcycles. 2 hours with some climbing...not bad. i feel out of shape, but i also feel like i should be able to get it back in a month or so. hopefully anyway. after that, the family went on a hike, did some shopping and then i finally cleaned the yard up...or should i say, dandelion central. the weed and feed doesn't seem to be working this year...

i'm off today...and i've got a busy schedule planned. ride this morning and then a tee time at u ridge this afternoon for a nice 18 holes with the other two andys in my graduate program. should be fun...assuming i don't hit a 120. ah, it'll still be fun regardless.

so, thanks for reading the past month. i know i've been like a broken record. the next 4 months will be mostly talk of bikes, golf, yardwork, weddings, and other summer stuff.

happy monday.

01 May 2008

crisis averted

last night, i was putting the finishing-finishing touches on the group paper when i thought it might be a good idea to add page numbers. well, the paper jumped another 15 pages when i did so...although i still could only see 42 of them. it wasn't a big problem, somehow a bunch of spaces got inserted into the footer and screwed up the entire format of the paper. a quick fix, but i almost had a meltdown thinking i had just f'd up the paper after so much work.

so, the end is near. most likely, the next time i post i'll be on summer break.

happy thursday.