Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Pulling the Trigger

I know there are those of you among us who have been waiting to see this beautiful sight again...

And now you only have to wait two weeks until you see it again. I'm not promising the same kind of blazing run time for myself (because I'm a bit slowed by all the marathon training). But here's your chance to check out a triathlon if you've never been to one. Sunday Morning @ 7 am, September 24th. It will probably take about 2 hours to watch the whole thing, so you can still make it to various sunday morning locations.

Hope to see you there...

Friday, August 25, 2006

Goat Hope

Who can't get excited about stem-cell research now? It works on goats dude. If it works for them, there might be hope for the arthritic among us.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Nothing like it. Getting a Flat. It always happens at the best times too. For instance, it's a busy week at work. I've got 3 submittals that I'm working on for Monday that need to be finalized (It's wednesday the week before, currently). I'm trying to catch back up on the marathon training, so I run 13 after work yesterday. Great run, great weather, and peaceful time.

I decided during my run that it was time to get back on the bike as well. So I got up early this morning and began my work commute. It's roughly a 16 mile ride, and at about mile 15, I was getting geared up for a solid day at work, when BAM!, I'm riding on my rims with a slight piece of rubber between the rim and the road. Love it...

Now I should have had another tube and a CO2 cartridge with me, but I didn't. Hence, I enacted the age old training brick called "walking it in." There's nothing like a mile walk through Winchester, KY with bike shoes on. Oh kentucky, is it really that friendly? How does a guy walk a mile through town and nobody says "Hey bud, can I give a you a quick ride since you're walking with your bike on one wheel and obviously are having some issues?" Thanks KY, Thanks a lot. Maybe I should just start asking people, but I figure since I stop, other people should too.

In KY's defense, a very nice couple stopped and asked if I was ok while I was running 13 during a hot saturday afternoon a month or two ago. So not everybody's bad, but the early AM crowd: no soup for you...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Response to Floyd and Cycling

So here's the deal: everybody wants to crucify Floyd Landis and call him a cheater. There are two things that make this different from one of the Big 3 in the states. 1) The fact that I love cycling, not just watching cycling, and 2) The reality of cycling and running.

Let's tackle #1 first: there's a difference in the love of a sport and the appreciation of an accomplishment for someone who still performs the sport. A 45 year old guy in san francisco who loves the giants, but performs no more physical activity than walking half a mile to the stadium is consumed by Barry Bonds alleged (but obvious) use of performance enhancing substances because his sporting existence is wrapped up in a very passive experience. Let's compare that to your average cyclist who is going 2-3 times a week for 50-150 miles per week. They love cycling because they get out and enjoy nature, because it releases beta-endorphines into their system and because they enjoy the social aspects of going through training with other people. Ostensibly, they love the sport (doing it) and not love the player (idol-worship) and said player's accomplishments.

Now for #2: This works in concert with the second half of point #1. If you don't know (and I understand this doesn't make it any better, but) Santa Claus isn't real, and neither are the easter bunny or the tooth fairy. Let me break it down. These guys are riding about 100 miles a day during le Tour de France. 6 days a week just grinding, and let's not forget conquering two mountain ranges in the course of 23 days. Every single one of these guys is a freak and most (if not all) are doping. Lance doped. Ask yourself if you would believe if an italian won the tour 7 times in a row. You know you'd think he was cheating too. You believe it because he's American and you want it to be true.

Until the UCI (Unione Cycling Internationale) actually steps up and tests everybody all the time, OR just say everybody can dope (I kind of like this one because it's all honest), then everything is illegitimate. There's no way of knowing when the UCI controls release of test results and all kinds of publicity; that is knowing whether somebody is clean or if it's just a better decision to let dirty guys compete. When we hold professional sport out as anything other than a business, we kid ourselves. The teams are sponsored because the sponsor wants brand recognition. Perfect example: all of the sprinters going for the green jersey. Robbie McEwen doesn't care about winning overall in the greatest test of endurance; he simply wants to keep the sponsor (Davitamon-Lotto) happy and get the branded jersey on tv all over Europe for a day.

Parents of children say things like, "What kind of message does it send to the kids?" The message it sends to me is you need to teach your kid that he can respect somebody without respecting everything they do. I would also say that you can educate your children about the kinds of athletes they should respect. I think most of us (including myself) are upset with Floyd (even though he could very well likely keep his TDF victory) because we like him and thought he was the real thing (which he could be, it's just not likely). Essentially what I'm saying is teach your kids to be smart, and tell them the truth. I grew up like this and I still enjoy my life without having fantasies all over the place in my head.

Finally, you can still admire what these guys are doing. The amount of power they put out for the duration they do is absolutely jaw-dropping. These guys really are good, and it's something special to watch. Peace

San Diego athletes have it easy...

Before any of you SoCal peeps start getting all bent out of shape, let me explain. I went to watch james of Xterra dominance fame ( at the Snow Valley off-road triathlon in the San Bernadino Mountains. I'd already run twice on my vacation. A quick 1.5 miles in the ATL airport on layover and a hilly 3 miler in Valencia the next morning. After a day off and a day on the beach, I was fired up about triathlon. I ran some killer hills and trails for about a 7 mile run in the La Jolla Cove area. Great day right? I hadn't had quite enough, so I went for an easy one to take some pictures the next day. I ran up the hills for some panoramic views, and then down to the south side of the cove, hoping to run around the point, and meet up with my friends....

So I found a small park that I thought led down to the beach ( a bit further south than I was hoping for, but it would work) when wham- I run into a fence. "Crap, no go I guess." But then it became apparent that attached to fence was a glorious piece of rope which allowed would be explorers to rappel down the rock face to the dry kelp and small rock shore which gives under the feet about 4 inches every step. I got down and began to jog again, feeling just a little bit like MacGyver, and thus, very good. I took about 10 steps and to my left I see a beautiful young hawaian woman jogging barefoot in a bikini. She looked at me waved and smiled, and I dumbfoundedly waved back (how'd she get out here?). Before I had time to ask, my would-be girlfriend dove head-first into the pacific and begin swimming out to sea. I figured she was probably a bit young for me (running on a monday afternoon) and continued on. I ran around some smaller inlets and came to a real problem: 25-ft drop-off. Not totally sheer, but only a few small, wet hand and footholds. I began considering my options. 1) Climb down carefully, continue running next 1-2 miles, and hope not to run into any more of this. Not a bad option... 2) Turn back around and run all the way back across that terrible kelp bed. Not a chance... 3) Trespass into one of the three backyards behind me and hope I don't get arrested. Mind you these are NICE houses, probably with security systems. slightly illegal, but should work in a pinch.

I decided quickly that I'd give option 1 a shot. I began to find my first foothold and what I though was rock was hardened soil-it broke off beneath my foot. Deaths usually aren't fun on vacation so I re-evaluated my options and chose option 3. I chose the most friendly-looking backyard and went for it. Through the back yard to the sideyard gate was fine, through the first sideyard gate and BAM! another gate. Oh crap! Through the second gate and BAM! work van with worker in van staring me right in the face. As I shut the fence door, I noticed a 10-digit code pad for a security system and determined the last two miles would not be the same as the first 2. It was time to hammer, bob-and-weave, do anything to avoid the imminent arrest for trespassing in my future. I heard somebody yelling as I got about 100 yards away from the house, and (I think a phantom) car behind me for the next mile. Every time I heard it, I sped up and turned. I made it back to the beach out of breath, with the top of my foot bleeding (tore up at off-road triathlon, for some reason can't upload picture right now, I'll try later. Ask me to send it and I'll e-mail it out to you if you'd like), and happy to get a little relaxing beach time in with the boys before leaving Sunny and Beautiful San Diego for the North.

My point being this San Diegoanites: You live in one of the most beautiful places in the world (I know real estate is insane, but) you better appreciate it. Or team sam is coming for ya.