Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to Build a Better Giant

Easy. Just add Karl Bordine, Chris DeMarchi, Antony Galvan, and Kirk Bausch. And maybe throw in former NetZero pro Michael Johnson. 2009 additions to the already dominant Amgen/Giant Masters team, as told to me today by Rich Meeker (visiting SB for Rob Lettieri's bday party).

What else is shaping up for 2009 SoCal racing? Seriously, I'm asking. CBR reports a beefed up Sho-Air team with Jamie Paolinetti and Jason Bausch. And a Rock Racing Masters team!?! Wow! Where will C-Walk go? I suppose I could wander two blocks over and ask...

Training Week -- 10/20 - 10/26

One word: Discouraging. I pulled or ripped some muscle just below my left calf (soleus?). It was already sore and like an idiot I pushed it too hard. One week to recover for the Half Marathon, which may end up being a long walk.

Mon: Run; 7 miles at ~7:30 pace.
Tue: 0
Wed: Run; 3 miles then ripped calf.
Thu: Ride; 1 hr, OSM, 18:20.
Fri: 0
Sat: Run; 1 mile easy
Sun: Ride; 2.5 hrs, Sunday Worlds (fast)

Totals: 3.5 hrs riding; 11 miles running

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Ehh, What's Up Doc?

I dug up these beauties today. Twist off the greens, wash off the dirt, put them in the fridge in an unsealed plastic bag and they should be good for 6 months or more.

But I wanted to use some now, so I made juice...

Ingredients (all from my garden):
- 6 Carrots
- 2 Tomatoes
- 2 sprigs Parsley
- 2 sprigs Cilantro
- 10 Swiss Chard leaves
- 1 ripe red Serrano pepper
- 1 marble-size red Onion
- dash of salt (not from garden)

Chilled over ice, it wasn't half bad ...despite how it looks!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Running... It's Just Like Riding a Bike Up Hill

At least that's what I've been told now by half a dozen people. Knowledgeable people, supposedly.

Hmmm, let's see...

During the first few minutes of a run, my feet feel as if I'm scampering barefoot across hot coals. No, not coals.... more like hot, spiny sea urchins. Soon it feels as if Rambo is thrusting his serrated knife up deep inside my shins ...metal on bone... then he twists it to scrape out the marrow.

Seems like my calves rip on most runs. Imagine a heavy-duty meat hook attached to a rope with a metal anvil at the other end. Now bury one of those hooks deep in each calf muscle, and run along while dragging the anvils behind you. It's sorta like that, only worse.

I'm also convinced that a gang of invisible evil elves run beside me smacking my kneecaps with invisible little hammers.

My side cramps feel like I just had an appendectomy--without anesthesia--only upon completion, the surgeon decides to tear open the incision, reach up into my abdomen, and stab each lung rhythmically with his own Rambo knife.

That's not the only abdominal discomfort either. I find that, when running, any morsels of food I've eaten in the previous 12 hours mysteriously bulk up to the size of a Jumbo Deluxe Combo Burrito. This mass hurtles down an express lane of my intestinal plumbing, and soon demands to exit the freeway. With each footstep, like a SWAT team pounding a battering ram against a tightly closed door, that burrito wants out.

And as if these problems weren't dire enough, when I do longer runs, my nipples feel like they've been sanded by a sheet of 60-grit sandpaper. They bleed sometimes.

But yeah, other than those things, running is just like riding a bike up hill.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


I'm probably the last to know, but I finally discovered Carlos' photos of the group rides on the sharp-looking bicicorsa web site. Looks like the site will grow to be a nice resource, but for now I'll bet all the hits are from SB folks looking at his pics of Sunday Worlds!

Training Week -- 10/13 - 10/19

Off-and-on sore knee. This running stuff has been more difficult than I expected, and my cycling fitness has really plunged. After the half marathon, I need to put some serious time in the saddle.

Mon: Ride; 1 hr, around Goleta
Tue: Run; 10 miles, C.O.-Farren Rd. & back, 8:10 avg. pace
Wed: Ride; 1 hr, around Goleta
Thu: Ride; 1 hr, OSM, 17:15 at max effort (~15% power drop since mid season)
Fri: 0
Sat: 0
Sun: Ride; 3.5 hrs, Worlds, felt better than I expected.

Totals: 6.5 hrs riding; 10 miles running

Training Week -- 10/6 - 10/12

Forgot to post this last week. Not surprising, since apparently I also forgot to train!

Mon: 0
Tue: 0
Wed: 0
Thu: Ride; 1.5 hr, OSM/PC at lunch, ~17:00 at max effort (sheesh!)
Fri: 0
Sat: 0
Sun: Run; 4 miles, w/Gina at 8:00 pace

Totals: 1.5 hr riding; 4 miles running

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lake Los Carneros Cross Country

I gotta say, watching a running race is a whole lot more pleasant than running in a running race! My sore knee was all the excuse I needed to skip this morning's 5-mile XC race at Lake Los Carneros, but since it was only two blocks from my house, I had to go watch ...and take pictures.

Eric Forte and Carl Legleiter quickly jumped into the lead. These boys are very fast. Eric is a former bike racer who has turned his focus to running. Carl, on the other hand, just started cycling this year and by his own admission, is already fully hooked. He's still adapting his legs to turning circles but can already crack the 16:00 mark up Old San Marcos. Too bad he's leaving town in December, otherwise I'd make a strong effort to bring him fully over to the dark side (i.e., bike racing).

These are the gentlemen who I aspire to keep up with someday... Terry Howell, Fred Mellon, and Travis Bower. They're my age +/- a couple years, but they tick off ~5:30 miles when doing races in the 5K to 10K range. Yowza!

Ricky Ho, getting faster and faster. On the few occasions where I was near him at the end of a race, he blew me away with his final surge and sprint. The dude has some major anaerobic capacity!

Travis gets a second picture because he was my daughter's Freshman year math teacher ...and he was so good that she actually enjoyed Math! Will she follow in her parents' math-nerdy footsteps?

Drea McLarty... one of the fastest women runners in town, and also getting into cycling! She writes an eloquent blog.

Mariann (aka Tommy) was a close 2nd, until taking a wrong turn.

Steve Miley and a harem of strong runners (Desa Mandarino, Romy Suzuki, and Gae Triplett).

And back to the leaders... Eric opened a gap in the first 3 miles, but Carl closed it down and passed him on the final lap. Eric dug deep to stay close (see below) and then tried to use his awesome bike-racer sprint at the end, but ultimately came up a few meters short.

All in all, a beautiful fall day for running ...or just taking pictures.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Not Slackers

They're just so cute sometimes that I hate to smash them.

Friday, October 10, 2008

House Remodel -- First Step

I debated with myself about whether to blog about our journey through the house remodel. It seems like it might get a bit too personal. But then again, I really wish I could read about or see a start-to-finish discussion from somebody else, with all their lessons learned, tough decisions, and which contractors were good and which ones weren't. And the cost. Nobody wants to talk about how much their remodel cost. It's like a taboo subject or something. Well, dammit, we'd all be a lot better off if we shared this stuff! So I decided I'll blog about our journey, unless Mrs. objects. You, the reader, are free to ignore remodel-related posts or you can follow along. You certainly are invited to share any ideas and experiences of your own.

Our first step was hiring an architect. He's pretty experienced with Goleta tract-house remodels, and we get along well with him so far. He's $100 per hour, and I'm figuring we'll end up paying him somewhere between $5K and $10K. In addition to generating the drawings and plans, he'll be responsible for getting approval from the Architectural Review Board and the necessary building permits.

This is our current floor plan, and what he has to work with:

We want to redo the kitchen (new cabinets, counter tops, appliances, floor, and ceiling. We will add a guest bedroom and bathroom in the front, but we also want to keep a separate living room, so he'll need to push forward. Miscellaneous other things: all new windows, wood floor throughout the house (except a couple bedrooms), raised ceilings in family, dining, and living rooms, refurbished fireplace, and new roof and photo-voltaic solar panels.

What a Loser

This guy.

Sanctioned by USADA.

Yeah, I confirmed that this is the right guy by checking the results of the race where he was caught, the Vuelta a la Independencia Nacional.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Are you...

...foregoing the leather interior and postponing that winter ski trip to Aspen?

...brown-bagging a PB&J and brewing your own cuppa joe?

...patching your tubes?

Are you battening down the hatches in preparation for a bumpy ride?

Do you believe we're on the cusp of another Great Depression?

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Training Week -- 9/29 - 10/5

Sigh... I'm depressed. I blathered on about the importance of running (or doing some other weight-bearing, natural activity) as a complement to so much cycling. The point being that an only-cycling exercise regime can lead to low bone density and unbalanced muscle groups. I still believe that. But dammit if I didn't go an re-injure my right knee by pushing too hard when I knew I shouldn't.

Mon: 0
Tue: Ride; 1 hr, Lunchtime group
Wed: Run; 9 miles, 8:00 pace, All around UCSB and back
Thu: Run; 5 miles, 8:15 pace, xmas-tree farm
Fri: 0
Sat: 0
Sun: Run; 5 miles, Avocado Run (17:12) + w/u & cool down

Totals: 1 hr riding; 19 miles running