Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Life List

So I heard a radio show the other day talking about life lists and it got me thinking. My marathon and El Tour quests are the type of things people put on a life list. Herewith is my non exhaustive sure to be updated quick list of stuff I would like to do before I die in no particular order at all.

  1. Finish a Marathon
  2. Ride the full El Tour
  3. Invent a Multi Level Marketing scheme
  4. Recreate the recipe for Mongolian Beef from the Crispy Fry in Emeryville
  5. Drive from my house to the bottom of S. America
  6. Walk from my house to Mexico
  7. Invent a candle made of cheese (if only I could think of a name........)
  8. Own a car that a robot drives for me
  9. Attend a Dallas Cowboys Playoff game in Dallas
  10. Attend an NBA Final game 7
  11. Superbowl
  12. Final Four
  13. See every UA football game in person for 1 season
  14. Attend a UA football bowl game
  15. Write a book
  16. Master Spanish and pick up conversation in 1 other language
  17. Build a rainwater collection system for my house
  18. Travel (just a few = Australia, NZ, Japan, Vietnam, Lebanon, Israel, Greece, Turkey, Italy, St. Petersburg, Ireland, Scotland, Paris)
  19. Ride the bike up to the top of Mt. Lemon
  20. Buy a bespoke suit

Monday, August 27, 2007

Weekend Exercise 8/24 to 8/26

Friday I had a very good run. Just 3 miles so I tried to run under 30 minutes. (Garmin Data) I just barely finished in time but definetly felt good throughout and no lingering pain after.

Saturday was supposed to be a nice long 50 mile bike but we got rained out 7 miles in. The weather cleared later but I think we made the right call to bail (Garmin Data).

Sunday was scheduled for a 7 mile run but the day sort of got away from me and it was pretty hot so I wound up going at 8 PM under a big nearly full moon. It was fantastic (Garmin Data). I felt fine throughout and kept my HR right where I wanted it. I had to slow gradually as I progressed but it was the longest run I have done probably since the half marathon back in Dec. of 2005. The wife and the boy were very nice to bring me water at a couple of points along the way. I listened to a Bill Simmons podcast about football statistics and a This American Life '24 hours at the golden apple'. I liked both and am going to stick with my old policy of 3miles or less gets music on the ipod, 3 miles or more gets an audiobook or podcast. I could have gone further without any trouble and had my HR back under 100 in about 10 minutes. I feel good and am going to sign up for the marathon this week.

I know you are waiting with baited breath to know how my nipples fared. I used some product and they were fine, no issues at all.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Arizona Wildcats Basketball

One afternoon we were trying to recall which year we lost in the tournament to somebody and which guys played together on various teams etc. and I got inspired to put together as much data as I could find over the course of couple of days. It was surprisingly hard to find and the data is pretty spotty.

Blogger I guess doesn't let you upload files so I made a little Google group (link)

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

8/21/07 Run Till You Puke

Garmin Data

So I needed to get 3 miles in today but had only a limited window before Meet the Teacher night. Lacking the common sense area of the brain that my wife claims everyone else possesses, the plan I came up with was to run the same distance I normally would but just to do it really fast. I should also mention that I had lunch about 1.5 hours ago (Wendy's greasy burger/fries and Dr. Pepper), it was 90 degrees out and I was running on about 5 hours of sleep.

I ran the first mile a little under 8 minutes pace. This is substantially faster than the anemic 11 minutes per mile I usually do. My idea was to do the mile fast then walk like .2 to catch my breath and repeat. Felt great on the mile and the walk, starting back up on pace was tough and I couldn't maintain for very long at all before I felt like puking. I alternated running and walking and had to work very hard to not puke. I felt horrible all the rest of the way and all through the night. Running faster is not a good thing.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Tell me again, why do I have nipples?

Garmin Data

I have not run 5 miles in a very, very long time. I'm pretty happy with how I felt during and after this run. The retarded dog got loose and followed me for the first 1.5 miles so I had to turn around and chase him home and then pick up another mile out and mile back going the other direction. He walks in the middle of the street and is a bad training partner because I keep having to either chase him back home or out of the street so as not to get killed.

It was overcast and threatening to rain which was perfect because it stayed cool throughout the run. I had no problems with my lower legs after a couple of long stretching sessions during the day. I could easily have done more distance as I was not winded at all. I think I should pick up the pace on my 3 mile runs during the week because my fitness is pretty good right now and it will probably speed me up a little. I'm still not worried about time, just about completing the distances and I'm on pace for my modified version of Hal's Novice Marathon Training Plan. I need to find a way to show my workout plan online because I have running, swimming and biking goals all mixed in there. Next week's long run is 9 miles, that is a big jump from 5 and I may smooth out the mileage increase over the next couple of weeks

Anyway, the nipple thing. I have never had a nipple chafing issue until the tail end of this run. Stupid G$ mentioned this (nipguards) product a few days ago and I replied that I had never had that problem. I obviously should have kept my mouth shut. I'm going to experiment with different shirts, this one was drifit but not one I had run in before. Stupid vestigial organs.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Running With the Dog

Garmin Data

I have to run in the evenings now because it takes a good 30 minutes of stretching to get my lower legs to not hurt. I had to make dinner last night so I came up with the ingenious plan of doing a roasted vegetable pan in the oven and starting the charcoal for steaks right before I left so that when I returned the charcoal is ready to dump and the veggies need 20 more minutes. As I was leaving the dog started trotting along with me and wound up following me the entire run. He belongs to Tina's brother who is staying with us and is mostly mentally retarded (the dog not brother but....). Shady (the dog again, not the brother...do try to pay attention) has been an apartment dog nearly its whole life and living outdoors now is blowing his mind. He has even become a bit of a pack rat hunter which we totally need. I think he is an Aussie sheperad mix or something.

Anyway, we had a nice 2.5 mile run and he spent the first 1/2 running way ahead, side to side etc. The last mile or so he was beat and lagged way behind. I brought a plastic bag to scoop poop but when he finally decided to drop the load it was off in the desert and about 1/4 mile behind me so I didn't bother. We saw a pile of 4-5 big and dead packrats by the side of the road. I hope they were there as a warning to others.

This was one of the easiest runs I've had. I ran slowly and was barely out of breath. I hope to do 2 of these per week in very slowly increasing distances and a long run on the weekend opposite days of the bike workout. I think Hal would have me run 3 today and 5 this weekend to be on the novice marathon training pace.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Battlestar Galactica

I am going to defend this show and I'm not being ironic here. I'm not even being ironic about the irony. I legitimately think this is well written, nuanced and the right amount of cheesey.

First off I loved the original series when I was a kid. The spaceships, robots, pre-Top Gun fighter pilot bad-assnes all worked great for me then. I decided not to watch this because what you recall from your childhood can only be poisoned when brought out and examined. It is more pleasurable better to be nostalgic than accurate about what something was.

The basic rundown is that humans live on 12 colonies (a 13th 'Earth' is a legend that doesn't get referenced till the end of the first episode). Humans invent cylons to do work (you know pick cotton and sing spirituals etc.) and eventually the cylons decide that work sucks and so they go to war with the humans. We win or something and they go away for a while. The show starts when they come back but this time they have a few human shaped robots (I've seen 4 so far but I guess there are 12 total) and kill everyone on 12 planets. All except one battlestar (think space aircraft carrier) and a ragtag collection (can't you just hear Lorne Greene saying that?) of refugees who are the last 50K humans alive from the 12 planets.

Its about what you'd expect for a roster of characters. The Commander is Edwared J Olmos who is the grizzled old veteran and his XO who is the drunk grizzled old veteran. EJO looks alot like Tom Skerrit. EJO tricks everyone and says I know where that old 13th planet is. We are heading there now despite the fact that he hasn't got a clue. I hope that thread doesnt' get worn too thin.

Starbuck is the drinking, gambling super pilot with all the obvious insecurity and overcompensation issues you expect and interestingly a girl this time through. I thought that would be lame but its not. I'm interested to see if she does the playboy thing Faceman did in the original. She also has watched Top Gun.....ALOT. She does the chomp my gum in your face deal and sort of has Iceman's haircut. Plus the whole gender confusion I am thinking this whole show might be a kind of left handed Top Gun homage.

Apollo is the son of the commander they are estranged and he has to learn about leadership, blah blah blah.

Some people are cylons and all cylon women so far are SMOKIN HOT. I can't emphasize this enough. When those wacky robots sat down to make human clones, they did a GOOD JOB.

Baltar is the human scientist that had the secret code to everything in the the whole universe that he just sort of handed to the Cylon sex clone they sent to woo him. Because of his weakness for hot girls that want to nibble on him, billions of people die when the robots turn off the defense computers. Not that I am defending him but seriously the blond girl is yummy, you would consider it in his position.

As per standard science fiction, there are nearly no black people in space and not alot of brown really either.

I like the music, during space battle scenes they keep lots of quiet moments without background music...get it...space is quiet? When the music does come up its a kind of sparse, Asian martial sounding drum that definitely sets a tense mood.

There is the little geeky stuff like how the fighters fly and maneuver which seems alot more plausible than the old show.

Apollo from the old series makes an appearance. I guess you can't live on residuals forever.

I love the use of 'frak'. My hat is off to whoever came up with just making up a word so that people can cuss on tv.

And in the end (not the end really I've only seen 4 episodes) its a story about a journey. Those are the best kind I think and specifically the Odyessy journey home construct.

Its a cheesy show but not as cheesy as it should be. I don't recommend you watch it but I will, and I like it.

A Series of Near Misses 8.11.07

We decided to ride the Amado to Arivaca (link) road in place of the mountain for a change. I grabbed my Dad's truck (the inside of which always smells like ketchup, I don't think he eats ketchup per se but all his vehicles smell like ketchup...strange) picked up Collier, Dan, the bikes and gas and we were on the road before 6. Arrive in Amado (which appears to be 100% deserted like an apocalyptic dream) and park across from the (they claim) world famous Longhorn Grill. Unloading the bikes we find a bulge in Collier's back tire. Immediately after (coincidence? I think not) a car of Jehovah's witnesses screech to a stop in front of us and they make the 15 year old kid in the tie offer us 'maybe something to read later'. After a quick agnostic roundhouse kick they left.

With all the practice we have had in the last few bike rides, the tube is swapped out in short order. Leaving it fully inflated we go off to gear up but then suddenly hear what must be a gunshot. Obviously the JWs are back and they are pissed. After I got Collier to quit crying (ok not really but I think he was crying on the inside) we figured out that the tire had popped and the echo off the buildings was responsible for scaring the bejeezus out of me.

More tire work.


Change tubes and tires.


Watching creepy people driving by with bass boats and (I'm assuming) dark motives along with a few Border Patrol vehicles we eventually just gave up and decided to go for breakfast at the Longhorn Grill. In front of the Longhorn Grill was a prison transport bus with a broken something that forced the guards to get out and scratch their heads. The restaurant was closed so we declared the entire adventure a bust. I am sure that the ride and breakfast were near misses in that we would surely have died along the way. I am making a movie about the prison bus.

We would have required a hot female to make a solid group of 4. Think American Flyers meets Speed. One guy is the disgraced champion kicked out of cycling not for using illegal drugs but actually having robotic legs replace his own. Cut to the evil scientist (probably Christian Bale cause cycling is pretty Euro and he has sinister teeth) making him the faustian deal in the past, you can tell its the past cause the light is sort of washed out and everyone has funny haircuts. He will sacrifice himself at some point to get redemption, maybe just lose the legs all together. During the closing credits maybe he becomes world champ wheelchair racer as Peter Cetera (like a knight in shining armor....) plays in the background.

One guy is the wise cracking former track star (ie black and because this is Hollywood sure to not get the girl and die...sorry Collier) who as a punishment for his practical joke (something involve icy hot and jockstraps or spiking an oppoents water cooler with Viagra maybe) is assigned to the cycling team of misfits and ne'er do wells. He will be the first to die when we first learn how B-A-D (and we'll thrown in racist to make him reeaaaalllly B-A-D) Christina Bale in fact is.

The hero is the guy with all the potential but no killer instinct who can never win the big one. We know several things about him: 1) he will talk like Keanu Reeves 2) he will get the girl in the end (hmm...that sounds bad) and 3) he will very obviously save the day by riding his bicycle in some way that is impossible (maybe backward at 30 mph or something?). Cut to him trying the impossible thing in the past (que lighting and funny hair) and failing and Michael Caine as his cycling coach (who is probably Christian Bale's dad) saying something profound and cliche along the lines of 'winners don't ride backwards, winners win who don't lose to losers who ride backwards" or some other nonsense.

The girl has ALOT of curves and VERY tight fitting clothes that will be quickly ripped and indecent. I'll be casting Rosario Dawson and Scarlett Johansen in these roles for no real reason other than this is my movie and I respect their work.....or something. Despite being 5'1 and 105 lbs. she will at some point kick the snot out of a couple of 300 lb Samoan guys.

Billy Bob Thornton will reprise his creepy mechanic role from the movie U-Turn as the grease monkey sidekick who fixes up the bikes to go insanely fast or make eggs or whatever.

There are several chase scenes through the mountains, possibly jumping off of things and something along the lines of a Deadman's Curve that no one has ever made it past. The hero will have to eventually catch the bus, climb on, get dragged, jump in and finally save the girl. The bus will obviously blow up at some point and he'll escape with her riding on his handlebars (thats the movie poster btw) to safety.

This is a pretty good movie but it will need some karate/ninja to make it perfect.

8-9-07 Ride to Collosal Cave (almost)

We got off to a super late start due to it being retardedly early when we ride and the near certainty that one of us will oversleep on any given day. Once we got going we set a decent pace and things were going well until we got past Camino Loma Alta and started through the ups and downs of the washes. I was riding close behind Dan when we saw a thick track of sand across the low spot in the road. Dan took what looked like the least difficult track and immediatley sank about 6" into the muck. Now we have several problems. First Dan has to try and get out of his pedals (the basket kind but still holding him tight to the bike), second I have to stop so as not to crush him and third I have to get out of my pedals. I'm not 100% sure how it worked out but Dan fell into relatively soft sand and I avoided crushing him or breaking any of my own limbs. We decided that was plenty for the day and turned back about 3/4 of a mile short of the goal.

I remembered that JB was headed off for the first day of school so I really pushed hard to go fast and make it back in time to see him off. Collier stuck with me most of the way and then blew a tire at the base of the bad hill coming out of the riverbed. Same spot that got Dan the week before.

If not for tires, I see no reason we can't do the full 109 mile Tour de Tucson in November.

Garmin Data

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Wrestling and NASCAR Suck

I stretched about 6 times through the day including the 'dog' and 'tree' stretches I found on a Yoga for Runners website. It made a world of difference and my calves never did tighten up. If finished the 3 miles running a bit over a 10 minute pace and kept my heart rate below 160 almost the whole way. I was getting worried that a long term running goal might not be possible but now I'm thinking the last outing was a fluke.

The downside to my run was the Sports Guy podcasts. I loaded 2 of them plus a This American Life just for good measure. Sports Guy #1 was Bill interviewing a NASCAR guy who drives the 33 car (this is only relevant because it was Larry Bird's number) as a job interview to become the drive Bill would follow. Appearantly the doofus being inteviewed didn't realize that the whole thing was a goof driven by that fact that he was from Indiana and drove a car with Larry Bird's number. He didn't deliver on any of the softwball jokes TSG threw him and just sounded dumber and dumber the more they talked. He continually referred to himself in the 1rst person plural ('we' love driving for the team, 'we' have alot of nicknames etc.). Everything about NASCAR sucks and I don't mind having that idea reaffirmed over and over. I hit skip about 2 minutes into it. Podcast #2 was TSG interviewing a guy that writes a wrestling magazine about the Chris Benoit guy that killed his family and himself. This could not have been worse. #1 wrestling is not a sport, its fake. I know everyone knows this but I think secretly some people don't KNOW it or something. How can they talk about who are 'good' wrestlers and not even in the contrived good guy/bad guy sense but in the skilled/succesfull sense? Am I missing somethign or isn't it all scripted? Damn you Sports Guy, Damn You.

I ended up on a This American Life leaning about how hard it is in the world of art to be an artist. To illustrate this point we listened to the story of a balloon animal creator guy who was no longer being taken seriously by his peer group for having 'sold out'. There was lots of isolated stereo sound of balloons squeaking and ponderous silences as we were left to contemplate the tragedy that is a tortured soul balloon clown.

Garmin Data

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Bike Old Spanish Trail 8.1.07

Took a slower pace today because I have been feeling a little rundown and I want to pick up my running over the next couple of days. D had a tire pop again, he never should have spit on that llanteria brujo guy. The poor guy has probably spent $150 on tires/tubes.

Garmin Data