Friday, March 04, 2005

It's early....

I don't think I've been up this early every day since high school. Two things are a part of this.

1) A few weeks ago at church, my pastor EJ segued off into talking about sleep and ended up giving a challenge to get in a solid eight hours of sleep every night. I'd been waking up at 8:30-8:45 and rushing into work and it was just a crazy hustle every morning. I figured that if I got the sleep I needed to get it wouldn't be nearly as much of an issue.

2) We're busy starting a new company at work. Going in early lets me assess where things are going for the day before anyone else arrives in the office. It's a bit of a jumpstart. I don't have anyone underneath me yet, but that'll change very quickly and it's good to get into good habits.

3) Probably the most important reason I've been altering my sleep schedule is that once it warms up it'll give me time to schedule long runs/rides in in the morning and still be at work on time, or be able to leave work early this time of year and ride/run in the afternoon when it's warm.

I'm only a little over a week into the change in schedule, but so far it seems to be a good thing. I like being able to bug out of the office in the afternoon and not feel guilty. The only bad thing is that inevitably I get caught up in something at work and end up putting in nine and a half hours instead of eight, but it's a start-up. You do what you need to do.

This will be an interesting pre-training weekend. Saturday the aforementioned EJ (and his wife Jen) are having people up to their house in Castle Rock for a spaghetti dinner. Castle Rock is about 30 miles north, so my friend Russell and I might ride up their to get a nice long ride (for this time of season) in before eating spaghetti without any guilt.

Sunday, Russell has somehow convinced me to go out and run with a club that's obsessed with the Pike's Peak Marathon. Every week they get together and run something called 'the incline'. I love Russell like a brother, but I hardly have any base in. I'm sure I'll get used to the running pretty quick, but I don't see why this has to be the first training event of the year. Check these photos out...

fun, no? Maybe it should be written, Fun? No. In any case, I'll survive I'm sure, but calling what I end up doing 'running' up the Incline might be a bit of a misnomer, but maybe I'll be proved wrong.

After that, a nice casual ride with the cycling club I ride with here in town. The Sunday rides they lead out of Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs have been on hiatus in January and February and they're back this weekend. It'll be good to see people I haven't seen in a couple months and just do some easy spinning.

Hopefully it'll be a good weekend.

I'll try and work up some little reviews for the stuff Ang and I have watched at the house this week. Wed. night we watched TADPOLE and a wonderful but horrible documentary called STEVE. Yesterday evening we watched a low-key scifi flick called CODE 46. I'm not sure what we're going to tackle tonight.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

one more Hugh related note...

For some reason I was digging through my archives this morning and read a post that was a response to a question my friend Chris asked... it directly ties into what Hugh was mentioning...

Chris wrote...
Can the lure of the triathalon be explained to the non-initiate? 30 >years ago i would have taken you for a really old-school Catholic >looking for a lot of pain to "offer up." :-)

I wrote a long and lengthy response, but I finished with this quote from Mike Plant's Iron Will. Reading it today, I thought it really summed up what triathletes see in the sport.

"From the outside, it is easy to see the Ironman as an exercise in self-indulgent fanaticism. Frankly, considering the kind of dedication required of the triathletes who compete, it IS self-indulgent. And I suppose that swimming, cycling and running 140 miles in a single day could easily be considered fanatical. but it's not as simple as that. As I discovered in 1982, the race is more than just photographs and anecdotes. it's more than raw miles and times on a watch, and even more than wonderful athletes like Dave Scott and Scott Tinley pushing themselves beyond conventional limits of physical performance. The Ironman, in fact is about people who become heroes. it's about an impossible task proved to be possible year after year. it's about athletes, the fast ones and the slow ones alike, stripped of everything but the simple desire to take one step farther than they theymselves believe is possible. That they do this voluntarily, some of them on an annual basis, might sound crazy, but noble is what it really is. I guess that's what I like best about the Ironman: the nobility of the effort. I hope some of that comes across in this book. Hell, it's what this book is all about."

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Rebutting Hugh

Hugh Hewitt ( likes to tease. He likes to tease whether there's a reason to tease or not and if you end up on the wrong side of him the teasing can be beyond merciless.

Tonight, on his blog, he posted this comment...

If blogging makes you smart, how to explain Trigeekdreams and the desire to compete in the Wildflower Half-Ironman?

Why did I complete an Ironman? Part of me wanted to see if I could. I wanted to see if it was physically possible for me to do the long course. I wanted to do something that was above average... something that couldn't quite be related to. That's a FULL Ironman. Something that any mere mortal can do, but takes effort and perseverance above anything else.

The shock on my system from that Ironman rewired my brain. I don't know how, but I would suffer bouts of clinical depression that would render me incapable of concentrating or for that matter functioning. I was on anti-depressants that really helped, but the shock to my system from the amount of energy that you consume triggered something in my brain and I didn't need the anti-depressants.

Maybe it was a physiological change, maybe it was just a self-esteem thing... knowing that you've done 'the undoable'.

But is it a matter of intelligence or the lack thereof?

I don't know that it is.

I love triathlon because I like throwing all of the events together. I don't like running for the sake of running. And while I love cycling and it will always be my first choice among sports, just going and doing a 100 or 200 mile is interesting, but it doesn't completely hold my interest. But pushing your body and seeing what you can do amongst three sports in a day? It's a bit like going to the buffet and loading up on favorites.

I think Triathlon aided me in day to day life not only because it showed what I was capable of, but it trained me in delayed gratification and how to work towards a goal. You CAN'T train for 1 day and go and complete an Ironman. brick by daily brick, one piece of training gets laid on top of another.

I remember when I first told my parents I was going to do an Ironman, my Dad looked at me and said "You're going to drown!"

His comment wasn't the most heartening thing anyone's ever told to me.
But hearing that comment allowed me to store it away and drive me on the day to day tasks even more.

Anyway, I wanted to defend Tri-Geek Kahuna. Doing a half-ironman is an admirable thing and Hugh should give the Kahuna some credit for not coming out and saying he was going to do a full or something even more radical like a double-Ironman right out of the gate. In Hugh's book In But Not Of he makes the point that we should be physically active but that we shouldn't go to far into major things because our time was better spent in other places. I don't know that I completely agree with him on this point, but one could argue that Tri-Geek IS doing this Triathlon thing in moderation BY doing a half-ironman.

I leave with these quotes from a triathlon trainer named Gordo ( about Ironman races...

Ironman is all about "will". The will to sign up for the race. The will to do the training. The will to continue when your body asks, and your mind begs you to slow down. They say that getting to the line is half the battle, but on a bad day, the only way you are going to finish is for insanity to triumph over reason. There aren't many opportunities in life where you can push mentally and physically right to the edge. Success is never guaranteed and nasty pitfalls await the reckless. I love it.

Everyone who finishes an Ironman has a special knowledge. Knowledge of their core self. Some folks don't like what they find out. Most love it. If you approach the event with respect, and race for the right reasons, I don't think it is possible to have a "bad" race. Even on the worst day, there's no place I would rather be.

You have to be doing Ironman for yourself. Racing for your husband, your mother or your mates is helpful, but you have to want to finish - badly. The reason is that there will be many moments in training and during race day when you will want to quit. By not quitting you will learn a lot about yourself. You will become stronger, you will change. There aren't many things in life that give us the opportunity to test our inner strength. IM is one of those things.

Back in the saddle again...

Rockin' to and fro
Back in the saddle again
I go my way
Back in the saddle again

I'm back in the saddle again
Out where a friend is a friend
Where the longhorn cattle feed
On the lowly gypsum weed
Back in the saddle again

The off season is winding up. Two Sundays ago when I went out for a ride with one of the local bike shops, things hurt bad. Yesterday, with the third ride of the year, things aren't hurting so much anymore. So far, mileage for the season is around 58 miles with two 16 mile rides and one 26 mile ride (Gold Camp on Saturday). It feels good to have multiple rides in before March... and once again, if I lived in Minnesota I wouldn't be riding right now.

Yesterday I got out of work stressed out and angry. I had gone in early hoping to get off so that I could go for a ride before Ang and I headed off to church, but with an afternoon meeting that kept me in the office later than I wanted to and grouchy coworkers I didn't have time or the mood for a regular ride. In any case, I got home, told Ang that I'd see her at church, and packed what I needed so that I could ride downtown. It's not warm here right now, but it's warm enough to ride, and ride I did. Though going through a tunnel under I-25 I made my first biff on the mountain bike. Apparently, the lack of sun kept most of the tunnel underneath the freeway frozen. Riding across it, all of a sudden I felt my wheels slip out from under me and CRASH! I got up, started walking and my feet gave way, crashing my head into the concrete. WHAM! The pain wasn't so bad, but soaking my bike shorts in a cold, icy, slush wasn't what I wanted before I rode 15 miles with admittedly still winter wind. Tuckus Frozenicus I say.

The trails were still a mess, riding like sand on a beach in some places, but it's riding and it's riding in March. I need to clean my cleats up though, all of the sand and mud caked up my clips and made it hard to click in and click out. I might see if I can get a ride in this afternoon, but I should really get a run in and figure out if I'm going to be in good enough form to race a 5K on the 12th.

Anyway, back to work.