Friday, March 07, 2008

Back In The Game

Morning weigh-in: 165.5#, 10% BF
I think the pig might have left the python... Actually, the drop in weight is probably more like "suppression weight loss," though I made a conscious effort to stay hydrated yesterday.
Gym immediately after work, starting with a run (two un-timed but slow miles outdoors, maybe 20 minutes, in shorts & tee shirt, in daylight) and finishing with the alterna-workout. Saw Janna, wife of faithful reader Eric B, after the class she taught. At first I thought it was yoga because everyone went in with yoga mats, but apparently it was some ab workout. One hour of abs, better you than me... Also saw Vi, who took the class.
Dinner was leftover pot roast. I probably have one more day's worth of food in there, but I'm meeting Greg M for dinner at Porter's tonight after my ride.
That's The Name Of The Game: Yes I am back in the game, but the game is really called "spend money on the bike(s)," or rater maybe spend a lot of money but do it efficiently. Back when I was racing/training seriously, I'd have to replace the entire drivetrain at least twice a season (on the mountain bike), and I'd burn through tires in a matter of weeks. I was smart enough to keep a small inventory of spares, and had "preferred customer" accounts at several mail-order bike stores, discounts, free shipping upgrades etc.
A Conversation at a Race, maybe last year:
DON: Wow it's good to see you guys, where have you all been?
OTHER RACERS: We've been here the whole time, you're the one that left...
Riding with my friend Joe last weekend, I noticed him eating these sort of energy jellybeans. I'd tried them last year and liked some of them, but complained to him that I had trouble finding the flavor I liked at local stores (not everyone carries them). He was like "You can get them from I have the preferred membership; you could probably sign up for that, and with free shipping and the discounts that purchase alone would be worth it." You know, I used to know that.
Buying some components today, I want to get the bike ready for Moab, which is coming up faster than I realize.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Writer's Block Redux

Morning weigh-in: 169#, 10.5% BF
I got home yesterday and all the clocks were blinking, meaning that the power must have gone out at one point, and that made me worry about my pot roast: I suspected everything from slight undercooking to food poisoning. All was well (after yoga, which wasn't until later anyway), dinner was delicious and I am still alive. I washed it all down with another one of those Long Trail imperial stouts. A good hearty winter meal -- winter seems fairly over, but so what?
Tonight is an outdoor run, followed by an alterna-workout at the gym.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Can't You Hear The Alarm Bell Ringing In Your Heart?

Morning weigh-in: 169#, 7% BF (I was hoping for some "pig in a python" action, oh well)

Today is my brother's birthday. Happy Birthday, Kevin! It's also the anniversary of this lovely event.
Ran last night on the treadmill: 10 minutes, 1.23 miles, hit the 1 mile mark at 7:38. After that was a pretty good "standard workout," probably the last of those before I start transitioning into a more endurance-oriented regimen for the bulk of the season.

Dinner was Taco Hell, then came food shopping where I bought the ingredients for tonight's pot roast. This will be another one with a nod toward the old school root crops (parsnips, turnips), aiming for that pot au feu kind of vibe, and a really good if smaller cut of meat.

Can't You Hear The Tocsin In Your Heart? Couple of the younger guys at WB were busting on me for wanting to hear some Patti Smith on Monday night. Philistines, I'll show them... so I put on Horses on the way to work yesterday. Listening to "Gloria," there's a part where she sings:

I was at the stadium
There were twenty thousand girls called their names out to me
Marie and Ruth but to tell you the truth
I didn't hear them I didn't see
I let my eyes rise to the big tower clock
And I heard those bells chiming in my heart
Going ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong.
Ding dong ding dong ding dong ding dong...

And for some reason that reminded me of the French Revolution. Take it away, Tom. Just reading that again got me all fired up...

Ulysses: Today's ride in was accompanied by Led Zeppelin II. I was totally in the mood to crank "Whole Lotta Love" and hammer US22, but the roads were rainy and congested, and I came to a dead stop, one more nebish commuter in a traffic jam, just as we got to the guitar solo. Damn.

Alarum: I am behind the eight ball in terms of training. Late July seems far away but it's not really, and I really should have put in more miles on the bike by now. This weekend I will probably start getting myself together, and start biking in to work next week. (Back when gasoline was $1.00/gal, I calculated that bike commuting would only make sense economically -- ie the extra time spent would pay off in saved gas money -- when gasoline got up to $4.00/gal. I can and do bike commute for other, non-economic reasons like pleasure or fitness, but this summer I think we'll reach that payoff point.) If I already had the base miles in, I could move up to more intense workouts, but I guess I'll just have to continue climbing that ladder from the rung where I find myself. Tonight is yoga by the way, the more athletic class.

Anyway, that's that, and I will leave you with this. I'll just say that the mind is only a tool, and that guy supposedly had (the outward trappings of) a powerful mind, but one look and you could tell he was all tool.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Morning weigh-in: 169.5#, 8.5% BF (WHAM! CRASH! POW! Tumble tumble...)
(Well tonight is the gym, and I'll be running beforehand so maybe I can get back into the game.)
Dinner last night was at Which Brew, Mug Club Night. I had an entire white pizza. Sigh.
I remember seeing a movie about "death and dying" or whatever in high school, where some young man had terminal cancer and was living in a medical hostel. His mom kept visiting him every day, until he put his foot down and told her not to treat him any differently than if he'd moved out under ordinary circumstances -- ie stop visiting him every day just because he was dying. I think Which Brew might be the young man, I'm the mother, and that weigh-in was the foot...
Yoga class last night before dinner, and I ran before work yesterday. No run this morning -- I forgot to set my alarm last night and overslept.
Crazy dream: I dreamed I was in maybe Freehold, in a ranch house in some rural/farming area (like maybe Mike Mike's old house, but on flatter land out by Tennent Road), hanging with a bunch of friends. They were nobody I know, completely made up faces but they were my high school buddies, and in fact we were all younger, a bunch of twentysomethings partying late on a Saturday night. We went outside and were about to pile into the car to go to the diner when I realized "Hey wait a minute, it's not Saturday night it's Tuesday morning!" Eyes popped open and I've been chasing myself ever since.
Not sure what I'll have for dinner tonight, but I think I'll cook a pot roast tomorrow.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Donny Neurosis Sez Fade To White

Morning weigh-in: 166#, 10% BF (A line has been drawn in the sand? Not likely but I'll take the win.)
Friday night was the towpath ride, followed by a visit to Which Brew and Porters (on foot, you know the drill). It was snowing, which made for an interesting ride: the snowflakes in my headlamp made it seem like Star Wars or something, until I got sick of not seeing and turned it off. The snow was coming down pretty heavy, and by the river the ground was covered; I thought there was a lot more on the ground because I encountered a lot of rolling resistance, but I think the ground itself was just soft from all the recent freeze/thaw cycles. Very strenuous workout. Walking downtown, I saw that this snowfall would be a bit of a disappointment: it just wasn't sticking, and by the time I walked home it was more like a light rain.
Saturday I got up early, but blew off my "selfish day," because it was "VMB day on the slopes" instead at Blue Mountain, where they got a bit more new snow than we did. Arrived 8:30, right on time to meet everybody else, and walked in the lodge only to realize I'd left my wallet home. D'oh! Back in the car, raced home, got it & raced back: I lost an hour, which hurt since I only wanted to be there for the morning session. Oh well, I was there and on the slopes... Did a few runs by myself, then ran into Rudy, who happens to be a ski instructor, and he gave me quite a few pointers especially in the moguls, my arch-nemesis:
Rudy: OK, do this, this, this, and especially this. Follow me.
Don: Right behind you, I'll just WHAM! CRASH! POW! Tumble tumble floop flap flop.
Rudy: Good, good! Now try [whole lotta advice of a much more rudimentary nature]. Like this, follow me.
Don: Right behind you, I'll just WHAM! CRASH! POW! Tumble tumble floop flap flop. Wow, that sure was a fun lesson, time to move over there where it's smooth.
Rudy: No way! We're sticking with it until you're confident in this stuff!
Don (but not out loud): Well I hope you brought food, cause we're gonna be here a while...
Poor Rudy! We had some serious fun, and I think I "got it" eventually, but it's not like I'm a tabula rasa: I have years of self-taught bad habits to overcome, on top of my recent years of not skiing.
After that we just did a few runs and called it a morning, then did the tailgating scene for a bit before we left, scoping out the hill and trying to guess where they might put in the proposed bicycling trails. The rest of the day was chores/errands, and in the evening I hoofed it back to WB.
Sunday morning was a continuation of the chores, car wash etc, then I did a ride with my friend Joe, who was back down in the area to finish moving stuff to his new house. We cruised & schmoozed, not exactly a fast pace (though faster than two weekends ago), and maybe 35 miles total. I had plans and was meeting people after the ride, so of course I got a flat about a mile from home, which took me from "pressed for time but essentially OK" to "late."
Last night was the Banff Mountain Film Festival, and instead of meeting my friends beforehand I called and arranged to meet them there. Doug & Lori, Eric and Janna, Kris and Eric, Brian & some speed-skater friends of his, pretty big crew and I saw others there I knew as well. (Shout-out to my lurkers: Hi Doug! Hi Eric! Check out my recent photos Eric, there's a good one of you.) Lotta good films, plus a few not-so-good which is par for the course, but there was one scene in a ski video with a contre-jour shot of a ramp: the sun peeked out from behind the snow, and they used the flareout to morph into a sudden fade to white. It went with the music and the action in a way that made my night. Don't know why but that was just plain badass.