30 June 2008

i forgot to mention

after dropping ron off on sunday, i was listening to 105.5 which i don't do much of lately and none other than the song 'steady as she goes' came on the radio. that is a little ironic considering a) that was my mantra for the race and b) the race was anything but steady.

file this addendum under dorky.

barn owl alarm clock

there was a barn owl outside our bedroom window last night. those things make some awful sounds. i wonder if that owl knew that we have two great horned owls that live in the neighborhood (one of the barn owl's biggest predators)? anyway, i'm tired this morning.

the race...man oh man. the course was very difficult, 12.5 mile lap with at least 900 vertical feet. my shoulder was fine...but my stomach was not. my prerace meal felt like it was just sitting in my gut. if i pedaled too hard, i would get the side stitch of all stiches. after lap 1, i pulled off the course and sat in my car while my stomach sent searing pain through my abdomen. i was sure i wouldn't be able to keep going. my hands and feet were cramping and i felt nauseous. it was crazy. after about 25 minutes, still feeling shitty, i pulled my shoes and helmet back on and went out to 'just ride a little bit more.' i suffered for another 3+ hours on the course pulling the plug after 37.5 miles.

the start:

end of lap 1:

i'm dissappointed to not have ridden the full 50 miles...but i can walk away with a moral victory knowing that i have at least a little mental strength to push through some adversity. i wish i could have ridden the last lap but there was no way.

anyway, monday. at least it's a short week.

happy monday.

27 June 2008

kitten power.

no riding last night. i decided to follow my old plan of a rest day 2 days out from an event, light riding the day before and then race day. we'll see.

i spent a good chunk of time getting my things together last night and also trying to rid myself of some seat post creaking i've been having. i still don't know why i have a thomson post, they are a pain in the ass relative to a 1 bolt seat post.

other than that, i'm just keeping in there. it's been a tough stretch for me the past week and it is starting to be noticed by my wife. it'll pass....sometime.

anyway, tomorrow's race is sure to be a death march for me...but i think that is what the doctor ordered in terms of building my bike fitness for 9-mile. my mantra will be like the rancoteur's song, "steady as she goes."

happy friday.

26 June 2008

strawberry fields

last night was time trials except instead of time trials we did a short track. i pretty much got worked over but in my defense i was sore and didn't feel well. actually, my '10 minute' post work nap almost turned into an hour nap which would have made me miss the event altogether. i rode as hard as i could muster...so it was a good workout. boy, i wish i was fast (well, like i used to be anyway). but, i would trade being fast for feeling good. i've got an appointment next week.

overall, life has generally got me down. work is really beginning to wear on me. i really don't take much fulfullment...same thing, every day...no outcomes (successful or otherwise). as mentioned, my reflux (or whatever it is) has been bad lately. on top of that, i'm not riding/racing like i should which is usually my 'when all else fails' outlet. at least i have a great wife, great friends and a dog that is moderately enjoyable.

anyway, enough of that.

happy thursday.

25 June 2008

bum shoulder

well, my shoulder got progressively more sore throughout the day/night. i had my live in ortho expert give me an exam and i have a strained rotator cuff. "it'll be fine in a couple of weeks." that'll be a long 50 miles on sunday...i'll pack an extra sierra nevada for afterward.

the mosquitoes are crazy right now. if the dog takes longer than 20 seconds you get swarmed.

boring lately around here.

happy wednesday.

24 June 2008

virtue is a patience

well, i must be getting faster. i've now crashed on two consecutive rides...and landed on the same shoulder both times. it's a little stiff this morning but not too bad. every year, as i get faster on a mtb i start to overtake my ability to ride trail. and then i crash.

oh well.

my leg still hurts as well but not enough to inhibit my riding ability. it looks like maybe i'll be a little banged up going into neilsville this weekend.

other than that, not much to report.

happy tuesday.

23 June 2008

moving on up.

betsy's wedding is in the books. i ate and drank way too much but i guess that means it was a good weekend. friday morning while out for my training ride i managed to crash at quarry ridge. i was trying to keep my arms from getting cut by the overgrown thorn bushes and hit a ridge and went down pretty hard. it was one of those falls where you are on the ground before you know what happened. i landed square on my collar bone but no pain there. i somehow banged my leg into the bike and that is what has been sore. so sore i was unable to run as planned on saturday or sunday. oh well.

back on the horse tonight.

i managed a few good pictures using robin's new camera. i must say i'm a better photographer with an slr than i am with a point and shoot. i doesn't hurt to take a kajillion photos...1 or 2 are bound to turn out!

that is all i know. well, all i can remember...my brain is still a little scrambled this morning.

happy monday.

19 June 2008

round yet pointy

so, i opted out of wednesday night time trials for another round of porch staining. a couple more hours and i'll have that baby done....then it's time for deck staining which will not be anymore fun.

this is my last day at work for the week. this is a good thing except i have some things i need to get done prior to leaving. oh well.

happy thursday.

18 June 2008

oh yea...

so, jerry schumacher (uw cross country) is leaving madison to become a coach for nike in oregon. and he is taking chris solinsky, matt tegenkamp, simon bairu, tim nelson and jonathan riley with him.

it's a good move for all of them, the facilities and support nike can give is great. but, it was cool to have such a talented group based in madison, and for that reason i'm just a little sad about it.

the real question: how will they cope without mickey's dairy bar?

drain you

yesterday, all employees at my company were eligible for a free chipotle burrito and i took full advantage. unfortunately, it rendered me with heartburn and i'm feeling it this morning. oh well...at least i didn't pay for it.

after a quick workout after work, i managed to stain another section of the front porch last night. that leaves 1 section to go and then the front will be done. it's looking good...

i heard a story on npr this morning about a guy who felt like he was a victim of gas prices. he was driving an excursion. he said it was his only choice with a family of 5 kids. although, the last time a checked, minivans seat 7 and most get low 20's (rather than the 8-10 he mentioned). anyway, dealerships won't give him anything for it now that he wants to trade out. boo hoo. i'm sick of hearing about these sob stories that are due to people made bad decisions. you made your bed. the excursion was ridiculous when gas was 2 dollars and now i'm supposed to feel sorry for him?

by the way, his family also has an expedition. i mean, come on!

happy wednesday.

17 June 2008

so numb, so fast.

wow, bad start to the morning. nothing like several people hovering around your desk before you even get to work.

1.5 hours last night on the rocket. the cool temps felt good, but i'm still feeling sluggish from what i think are allergies. good ride, no big whoop.

i watched the last 7 holes of the us open on espn classic last night. man, that was a great one. there are several sporting events i'd like to attend in my lifetime, the olympics being the tops (go chicago!), but the us open (golf) is right up there.

anyway, back to my shitty day (i've been here less than an hour).

happy tuesday.

16 June 2008

here we go.

well, it's another monday morning. my back is feeling the effects of 29 holes of golf. that's a weird number of holes, isn't it? well, we were pulled off the course twice due to thunderstorms and torrential rains (what's new?), and after the second play stoppage we pretty much had the course to ourselves and replayed a couple of holes to get loosened up. between that and playing the final 3 in darkness, i managed to break 100 (46 on the front) which is pretty good for me. more importantly, dad and i had a lot of fun on both days which is good, because we stunk it up on sunday in the tournament.

before golf on saturday i managed an hour and a half on the ss at quarry ridge. that is the first time i've ridden the sss (s-works single speed) on trail and i have to say i understand the appeal of riding a 1 geared mtb. i'm going to spend some time working on that bike in the next few weeks to get it uhh...quiet. it sounds like it is going to fall apart. but i felt like a kid again, like i was riding my old schwinn thrasher bmx bike (with the hot yellow mag wheels) through carson park when i was 10 years old.

it's a short week-friday is off of work for my sister in law's wedding in stevens point. so i guess that makes today tuesday. and the day just got a little better.

happy monday (tuesday?).

14 June 2008

change is scary.

lately, i've been contemplating my career and where i want to be in 10 years. when you don't have a singular passion, this thinking can become obtuse rather quickly. i really like the people close to me at my current position, but this can only keep someone around for so long. it's time to begin the search and that scares me a little.

but it is also very exciting.

there is another thing that has been eating at me lately. now that my knees feel good, and my fitness is coming back, i'm beginning to think again about my old nemesis the marathon. i've got a lot of ideas about what i did wrong the last time, and i would like to try again. i'm not sure when but i have transitioned from 'if.'

after i finish my coffee, i'm going to get the single speed out for a ride at quarry ridge. then it's yardwork followed by golf with dad at u-ridge. hopefully 30% chance of storms doesn't come to fruition.

happy saturday.

13 June 2008

i don't know if you know this but...

it has rained a little in these here parts. like...15 to 20 inches of rain in some parts. i mean, august was a huge rain month...then it was the winter of snow in mad-town (i like to say it was the winter of my discontent...even with all the skiing i could do), and now an all time record june...and we're only half way home. if i were more religious and not a scientist i'd say the apocalypse just may be upon us. but, in reality, we sure are in a weird weather pattern (la nina?).

my dad is heading to town this weekend for golf and more golf. that is, if we can find an open road for him to take. seems they've closed down the interstate at several spots. and, the hoenisch leer jet is being leased out at the moment...what to do?

what is with the nba? everyone seems astonished that the celtics made up a 20 point deficit with 6 minutes left in the 3rd period...doesn't that happen in just about every nba game? i watched some of it...but watching the nba for me is more about the high definition than the actual game. and why couldn't they shorten the season by a month or two?

anyway, it's friday and i'm happy about that. this week has been one of those weeks that sucks the life out of you and replaces it with a gray mushy foam like material. i plan on purging said material this weekend...and maybe it won't rain for once.

happy friday.

12 June 2008

if you happen to see...

time trials last night. the course was shortened/rerouted because of the large amounts of rain the past week or so. i rode to blackhawk as a warm up. my goal for this race was to go all out in the first 1/2 to 3/4 lap and then try to hang on/recover to try and mimic a real race start and work on my weakness. well, mission accomplished. the problem was that i really slowed down and pretty much limped in. oh well, hard work/crappy results now will hopefully yield good racing in early august.

after the race, i did a little extra riding and then found ron. "dude, you've got shit on your bike." i literally had shit on my bike...some dog pooped on the trail and i ran it over with my nobby nic. yikes. i had it in my treads and on my frame. great.

top chef finale last night...i thought that lisa was going to win...and if she had, i was going to boycott next season. now i don't have to.

more rain today starting in earnest when i'm done with work. this might be a good day for a rest day.

happy thursday.

11 June 2008

good night

after work i headed to the drving range to try and figure out how to hit driver. i'm figuring it out i think-until i play a real round that is. then, home to do a workout and after that i hung around the house thinking about how it was a good night to resume staining. i did mangage to do some weeding but that was it.

it was a perfect early summer evening to just mill about the yard...the type of night i thought of while enduring this past winter.

happy wednesday.

10 June 2008

end of an era

in 1999 robin and i bought our first set of goldfish. i distinctly remember naming them on new years eve...before we entered the year 2000. we've since restocked as the fish have slowly passed on to carp heaven, and for the last year or so we've been down to one lone fish. that fished died yesterday, thusly ending an era.

the toilet burial was sad...and even oliver paid his respects.

ok, so really he wanted to eat the poor fish...but he's just a dog doing what he does.

last night's ride felt really good. for the first time in a long time, i was able to put it in the big ring and hammer...and not feel like i was fatigued after 10 minutes. great sensations...maybe i will be in ok shape come the weak sauce run at 9-mile.

happy tuesday.

09 June 2008

a hot time in the old town tonight...

friday started with a bike ride that, at the furthest point from the house, had a rear puncture. oh well. the saddle bag that usually houses my tube, levers and co2 had been taken off because of a broken zipper. and i didn't grab any of it heading out the door. so, robin had to come and get me and my workout was cut short.

after grappling with traffic on friday, we made it to the show in time to see most of the national, modest mouse and of course, rem. modest mouse was more enjoyable in the large united center than they were at the orpheum, but i still say i like them more on their studio recordings then live. rem rocked the house and they played a lot of tunes from the archives as you can see in the set list. it almost had the feel of a farewell concert...but let's hope not because between the show and the recent album, they definitely still have it.

saturday we took a architecture boat tour...it was really fun. here is one of my favorites from robin:

the trump tower is coming along nicely:

anyway, the rest of the day was spent on michigan ave. pizza at due, top of the hancock, shopping (room and board is even better in person than in catalog). it was a great weekend away with my wife. a much needed departure from 'real life.'

thanks to ron and christy for watching our 65 pound menace to society (and for somehow exhausting him).

happy monday.

08 June 2008

great show.

1. Living Well's the Best Revenge
2. These Days
3. Begin The Begin
4. What's the Frequency, Kenneth?
5. Pilgrimage
6. Hollow Man
6. Animal
8. Man-Sized Wreath
9. Ignoreland
10. The Great Beyond
11. Accelerate
12. Houston
13. Electrolite
14. The One I Love
15. Final Straw
16. Find The River
17. Let Me In
18. Walk Unafraid
19. Orange Crush
20. Horse to Water
21. Bad Day
22. I'm Gonna DJ

23. Supernatural Superserious
24. Pretty Persuasion
25. Losing My Religion
26. Fall On Me (w/ Johnny Marr)
27. Man On The Moon

i went into it trying to remind myself that they won't go very deep in their discography. then they blew me away. it was a great show.

more later...

05 June 2008

slip sliding

time trials last night were ok. i rode there to warm up (i was sopping wet when i arrived from the humidity). the course was fun but a little greesy from the recent wet weather. i tried to keep it steady and i was off the bike a little more than i would have prefered, but it was a good night and i'm glad to be back at the weekly tt's.

other than that, not much else to say for once this week. top chef disappointed me a little bit last night with lisa making it to the final 3. she sucks.

happy thursday (my friday).

04 June 2008

when you wake up feeling old

last night i attended a networking reception that was sponsored by the alumni association for the masters program i'm in. in light of the fact that i had had 'one of those days,' i decided to throw caution (and intelligence) out the window and have a beer. that yellow drink really tears me up and i'm feeling the after effects as i write this.

the reception was good. i met people from the different graduating classes and then enjoyed the presentation that was given by clive svendson about stem cells and applications to treat lou gehrig's disease.

this was a three hour event, and i only had time to watch the brewers rip off their 5th straight game against randy johnson when i got home. things are looking up even though mike cameron strikes out twice per game. hey ned, please put jj in the 2 hole...please!

anyway, yesterday was one of those days in that i felt great, i felt like i was doing good work, and i felt happy about the current state of the union only to have my mood chipped away throughout the day. i'm a talented scientist. i'm developing skills to be a good manager in science. i'm getting an esteemed degree within a field that uw is a leader in. and yet, sometimes it seems like opening a coffee shop is the way to go. later this morning i will partake in a new initiative here at work known as the 'stay interview.' this is where one is supposed to air all the unpleasantries now rather than during an exit interview. can anyone say death spiral? i've got 40 minutes to decide what i'll talk about that will never be addressed or will be addressed through a shoulder shrug and the statement 'we can't do much about corperate directives.'

time trials tonight. in normal wednesday fashion it's supposed to rain. i ain't afraid of no water.

happy wednesday.

03 June 2008

gimme (tax) shelter

we met with some financial guys at thrivent last night regarding a life insurance policy that robin has had since she was a little girl. it was purchased between 1981and 1984 which means it will be a very powerful tax shelter if/when we are ever phased out of contributing to roths or we ever decide to save more than our max contributions. not an issue for the next few years with the tuition we are paying for...but good to know.

we also discussed long term care insurance...not for us, but for our parents. i need to start talking to my mom and dad about it, and you should too. a current policy purchased in your 50's costs around $2000/year. if purchased in your 60's, $3000-$5000 per year and in your 70's...well, forget about it. considering that right now, a month in a nursing home costs $7k+ for one person...it would be well worth it and will reduce the burden on the family and prevent the loss of other accumulated wealth/disruption of any financial legacy for the family.

anyway, these are things that people don't like to talk about..mostly because they are the opposite of fun. but they are necessary, especially as the cost of health care increases.

no riding last night. i felt great which reinforces the idea that i should have ridden harder. i unpacked the car and played with my new golf club until i heard rumbles of thunder.

gm is closing it's plant in janesville. while it sucks for the 2600 employees, it is another sign that the increased cost of fuel is what will ultimately save us from ourselves. people aren't buying the big suv's anymore...and opting for smaller more fuel efficient models. and...it means my 1998 honda civic getting 35 mpg with a roof rack is increasing in value as i write this. espcially considering it's only got 85,000 miles.

i've gone way too long. i guess i have a lot on my mind this morning.

happy tuesday.

02 June 2008

got the fearin', power steering

and speaking of jam crew...

just missing steve and sammy.

you've got to run to win

well, wausau is in the books. man, i love that place. seriously, if i could get a job in wausau, i think i would move there. nine-mile alone would make it worth while, but add in all the water, rib moutain, proximity to family, etc and it would be ideal for us.

anyway, the race course was even more difficult than normal with a lot of uphill stuff (600 ft/lap according to mike's gps). the start was fast and, once again, i got spit out the back after about 10 minutes of racing. i was able to regroup and began working my way back through. as always, the race is: bash your brains out on the double track, enter single track ahead of group you've been chasing, catch next group on the single track, bash your brains out on the double track, and repeat for 2hours. while i'm not running on all cylinders yet, i managed to close the gap to the leaders a little and showed some real progress towards getting back to race shape. this race gives me the confidence that i won't hold our 24 hour team up in august. and, my old school 'little' wheels with 'tubes' inflated to 45 psi helped me avoid the carnage that is sharp rocks at 9-mile. while i'm beginning to see the merits of 29-inch wheels, i was pretty content to be running the epic with 26-ers on this course...

it was a great weekend...the old jam crew posse was out in full force, and it was good to see some faces that i haven't seen for many many months.

happy monday.