Thursday, January 31, 2008

Day training.

I'm still recovering from my illness. Each day I'm feeling a little better, but I'm not going back to my training routine until every symptom is 100% gone. I am really looking forward to tying the knot on top of my asics and setting out on a run to an unknown destination. I've become accustomed to setting aside an hour or two a day to be free of all the stresses of life; that wonderful time where I can fall into the rhythm of my breath and pit-pat of my sneakers and just let my mind wander. If you are a runner, I need not say more...

Now, as I wait to be sure I am completely recovered from the attack of this bug I have to find a different way to attack the stresses of life. I have not thought about a specific way of dealing with stress without training, it just sort of happened. And I've found myself keeping busy well into the evening with my studies.....and I feel rejuvenated in my academic pursuits. You know, I'm a treehugger (a.k.a environmentalist), and, like triathlon, this lifestyle has it's difficulties. Believe it or not folks, being a treehugger isn't all Bush-bashing and tofu-eating!

I have to say that although losing 2 weeks of training sucks, I am glad that I have been able to rekindle the fire that I have for environmental and social justice issues. So, if you live in Ohio and you are a treehugger too, you can go here to show support for renewable energy in Ohio, which is virtually as fulfilling as hugging (or even kissing) a tree. If you are unsure about renewable energy being a good choice for us, or would like to read a bit about the benefits of "green" energy go here or here.

You might recall the urban farm project I worked on last semester? I'll be giving a presentation to some of the active urban farmers in town in order to 1) stimulate interest and 2) continue brainstorming with folks who are knowledgeable about growing food in the city and getting that food to market. We are still putting together a working model, but the big question is, "where's the capital going to come from?"

Are you a Bioneer?? We've started planning for the Cleveland conference in 2008. More details to come on this as they are worked out.

I suppose if I'm not dreaming about a full carbon TT bike decked out in dura-ace.....or Kona, I might as well dream about wind turbines, local food, and a positive future!!!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

I think I'm gonna make it.....

My friends, I am just getting over one of the worst illnesses I have ever suffered through. I originally thought it was the flu, I couldn't even get out of bed for the first day my fever was so high. I couldn't work for 3 1/2 days and am still recovering on day 7. Now, it seems something more like a sinus infection I'm fighting off. Who knows how long it will be before I resume training. At this rate, another week probably. It's funny, when I'm well the one thing I look foreward to is training.....but when I was sick, the things I felt the worst about getting behind on were academics and work. Maybe my priorities aren't as backwards as I thought ;-)

Saturday, January 19, 2008

It makes me do things like grind my teeth.....

I first noticed it a little bit on Sunday after my run whilst using the Roman Chair. Then, nothing for two days, until I felt it again about an hour after my morning spin on the trainer. Then, I noticed it more and more. After a swim. Walking around campus. During my core workout. Then I noticed something important...

swelling on the posterior portion of my knee....

...and a lingering stiffness. Not sore. No pain. A little swollen and stiff.

So, when I realized that I might have a little problem I decided to forgo my trainer session and run yesterday, and opted for a rest day.....

.....until 7:00 hit and I NEEDED to get a workout in, so I hit the pool for 2500 yards, which I believe is my longest swim workout since I began swimming last fall. Yes, I had to relieve a 'lil stress. I went through with my trainer session this morning, have been icing all afternoon and into this evening....

......and now I've got to wait and see how the knee feels tomorrow. I'd just take a big rest (and I may have to), but I'm just about ready for a half-mary PR on March 2nd...and I'm about ready to start my build for the TOSRV.

Besides RICE, what else does someone do who is a bit stressed out about a swollen knee? Finally register for Steelhead. And the TOSRV. And purchase my USAT membership. And spend some time trying to put together a race schedule with all of my "B" and "C" races. And start bike shopping. If anything can get your mind off of a tweaky knee, it is planning out your racing season,

and this.......
*of course I can't afford that bike.....but it is way prettier than my stiff, swollen knee.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Do you wanna ride to the mall??

When I was about 12 years old, my neighbor that lived across the street (who was the ripe old age of 14) asked me if I wanted to ride my bike with him to the mall. I told him there was no way I would be allowed, and with 14 years worth of wisdom he responded, "Me either. We don't need to tell our mom where we're going. She'll never know." So off we went.

I can't recall if I was riding my diamondback or my GT, but it was certainly a BMX. The instigator, known here as big kidd, had a BMX as well. Who didn't have a BMX in 1988, c'mon?? I don't recall having any money, but I do know the round trip was somewhere around 10 or 15 miles. We had to be back by dark.

Off we rode, towards the park (at least that's what our parents thought)....when in actuality, we were headed to the friendliest mall of all. It was a long ride there and man.....there were so many cars to navigate around once we got close. I was overwhelmed with the volume and speed of the traffic. Big kidd was older and bigger than I was and I had a hella tough time keeping up. He didn't seem too concerned about waiting for me, so I just hammered down on those little platform peddles as best I could and tried not to fall too far off his wheel. I sure as hell didn't want to get dropped (or as I called it at that time get left in the dust).

When we got to the mall we didn't have much time to hang out, so we went to the music store (where I more than likely browsed the Public Enemy, Ghetto Boys, and 2 Live Crew selection) and then we hit Toys R Us to scope the Nintendo games. Yes, the Nintendo entertainment system....with 2 buttons and 4 directional arrows on the controller. The controller was square; not exactly the ergonomical designs of today. Neither of us bought anything. We had no money, or no job. We were 12 and 14 and we peddled ourselves all the way to the mall, which was way better than a new CD or video game.

The ride home was rough. I was tired. Very tired. As a matter of fact, I was falling off of big kidd's wheel and as we cut across an empty field on our BMX's I bonked....hard. The grass was too much for me to handle, so I stuck to the sidewalk for the rest of the ride and continued on grimmacing with every pedal stroke. The sun was setting. I was nervous about riding waaayyyy on the other side of town at dusk when my parents thought I was at the park. As if that wasn't enough, big kidd didn't wait for my tired ass because we had to be home by dark......and it was pretty much dark. But I kept peddling.......and since my folks don't read this blog (as far as I know) they still don't know that I rode my bike to the mall with big kidd (as far as I know).

So, as I lie here in a big puddle of achy legs with eyes that can barely stay open I'm blaming big kidd for planting the almighty seed of adventure. Adventure on two human powered wheels that I can't get enough of still today....beyond thirty (just barely ;-) It is big kidd's fault that my legs have taken me a few thousand adventurous miles over the last couple years. It is big kidd's fault that I am riding in the TOSRV. And, it is big kidd's fault that I spend all of my spare change on winter cycling tights and chamois butt'r.

I took advantage of the sunny afternoon and took Amaterasu out for a little spin. It's the multi-hour excursions with her I enjoy best. Temps in the upper 30's. Sun shining. Booties covering my shoes and jacket zipped up to my hairy chin. Nearly 3 hours of spinning, a couple thousand feet of climbing, and a good nights rest.......all because big kidd had to tap into my spirit of adventure at the ripe old age of 12 and pose the question, "Do you realize how far we could ride our bikes?"

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Spring again??!!??

This morning whilst sipping on my morning coffee, I flipped through my Patagonia Heart of Winter 2008 Catalog and anticipated the 60 degree afternoon staying dry (and windy) in order that I could donn some shorts and take Amaterasu for a spin. It looks like the rain is holding off, for now, and that if I quit blogging and hurry up an finish up some work I can squeeze a ride in this afternoon. In shorts. On January 8. In Northeast Ohio.

Even though this is a perfect opportunity to mention climate change, I won't ;-) We did have some warm spells last winter, but I don't think any of them took us to 60 degrees.

As for the Buckeyes, they were outplayed. They needed to establish the run and control the clock, and they didn't.......Which was better than last year, when they didn't even show up. Now, all of my hopes are lying on the shoulders of the Cavaliers (at least until baseball season).

Lebron was the NBA's player of the week last week. The Cavaliers won 3 straight. Their defense looks like it may have reappeared, but their backcourt is still a big mess, particularly on the offensive end of the court. Boobie has been the only guard to show any consistency, but h0w much can you rely on him, in his 2nd year in the league, to be a one man backcourt?? This year, with Detroit playing so well and dem Celtics looking nearly unbeatable (which they aren't), it is going to be a long, tough series of games in the Eastern Conference playoffs.....and the Cavs won't make it through without a deep and consistent backcourt. Funny thing is they seem to have the talent, they just can't find a rhythm (or the rotation) to make it work. Maybe Danny Ferry needs to shake things up a bit and make a trade??

Monday, January 07, 2008

Go Buckeyes!!!!!

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Iowa and The NBA

I will make no attempt to connect the hawkeye state to pro basketball.

But, I will say that I'm cool with O'bama doing well in Iowa. However, I am a bit worried about Mr. Huckabee. Not worried that I think he's a better candidate than O'bama, or Clinton, or Edwards, or my favorite GOP candidate McCain....but worried about, well....let's just say Mr. Huckabee is not my favorite candidate. But it is just Iowa. I digress.

Last night, whilst pounding out a few miles on the dreadmill I watched Lebron James take over the game in the 4th quarter against Atlanta (yeah, Atlanta with the 4th best record in the East) and I smiled realizing that he is well on his way to becoming one of the best to ever play. Now that he's added a nice mid-range jumper over the off season as well as improved his free throw shooting he's becoming more and more dominant, especially towards the end of games.

AK-Rowdy!!!!!! (had to get the hometown shout out in there)

The cavaliers will come around. They'll be playing good ball by playoff time... and they'll need to be, because of that team in green.

Not Boston again!!!! Uh boy. First Florida Boston twice??

The Celtics better keep it up because there's a team up here on Lake Erie that is ready to come out of it's shell. Shit, the playoffs don't start until April.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

2008 (rhymes with great) A.K.A. another new beginning

This holiday season has been a crazy one. I saw the Black Keys play the Akron Civic Theatre just before Christmas, thought it would be a good idea to stay up all night drinking beer, and then woke the next morning with a cold. The day after Christmas was the worst of it....I could barely breathe and was just downright tired. I recovered just in time to celebrate my uncles 50th birthday a few days after Christmas where I proceeded to drink what is typically my monthly intake of beer in about 7 hours (wouldn't you think I would have learned my lesson after the Black Keys show? NO.) The good news is that I'm pretty well recovered from my cold and from all the drinking and now I'm ready to move into 2008....and I'm ready to start thinking about training for a nice long racing season. After finding that my early season half-iron, The Little Smokies Tri, had been canceled I began to look for another HIM to replace it....but instead I am beginning to think I will do the TOSRV instead.

Despite the head colds and alcohol I managed to train a bit over the holidays. I got to spend some wonderful time with family and friends. I got to spend a few days without thinking about deadlines and training goals. I am refreshed. I ran The Great New Years Eve Race on.....New Years Eve (of all days), bettering my time from last year by nearly a minute. Then, it was time to raise a glass of champagne at the witching hour to toast a year of goodness. Most folks wish for prosperity in the coming year. So do I. Only I do not wish for material wealth, but rather richness of life. What do I want for all of us in 2008?

New Beginnings.
The beginnings that reside somewhere in your solar plexus
Until you release them by living them.
Like your first day of school. Or your first day of college. Or your first time performing in front of a large crowd. Or if your not like me and got "all kinds of game," like an important first date.
New January 1, 2008.

Waiting like a blank piece of paper for the writing.
A clean canvas for the color.
A spotless life for the living.

I started off the first day of 2008 with a trail run accompanied by Sage Doggie Dogg as the snow fell:

I hope that 2008 holds many good things for all of us. Smiles. Hugs. Accomplishments. You know, the good things. It's what we make of it.......