Posted on May 27th, 2008 No comments
Much like many other days, I headed out on my bike at lunch. It was warmer than I expected, but I do work in “Hotlanta” just a few short feet from the Perimeter (what people in the ATL call a beltway). I headed down to Columns drive to stretch out the legs and burn off some of my memorial weight gain. While I was there I had a GREAT RIDE! I mean this was the triple X throw down of intervals I have wanted/needed. I really put myself in the hole an fought out like a badger to get out. I was racing OFM (Old Fat Me, sort of…). I was setting up intervals and racing my computer. I beat it once, the second time it beat my by 52 feet. The third, 2 feet… it got me by 2 feet, though I did make it harder and had to make a U turn that cost me a 68 foot lead. GRRR!! Anyway, 25 miles at lunch is like the good number.
On the way back through the park, on the gravel path, just spinning my legs out, I had what alcoholics refer to as a moment of clarity (well, not really, but that’s one of my favorite lines from Pulp Fiction and when I am in a good mood, I like to think of that). ANYWAY… the shade, the quiet, the honeysuckle smell, the whole thing was just perfect. It really made me one with my environment, my machine and myself… I guess reality had to come back sooner or later.
About 5 minutes later, I am sitting at an intersection, legally waiting for a green light when a siren goes off. It sounds like it’s in my helmet, I figure out quickly it’s in front of me turning left…. then another siren! WOWZA… that got my heart rate up! (I should look at my file to see if there was a jump. There was almost a problem in my bike shorts… that wouldn’t be good! I get a green light, roll away… things look fine, I clear the hill and realize the perimeter is all backed up…. no wait, its stopped! Then I can here the sirens again, they are coming back on me! Wow… there is the crash! Being the geek that I am looking for that ever popular candid shot that will propel me into fame and fortune I grabbed my trusty camera phone and like every facebook/myspace addict took photos! My phone crashed and rebooted 2 times, so I had to settle for this less than ideal set of photos, but the accident was right there. I was glad I was “a road away” and safe, and not caught in the soon to be lengthy traffic jam. I did dispatch my trusty co-worker to monitor the accident from the top floor of our building… he was on it.
Crazy … from peace and serenity to mayhem and chaos in a matter of minutes!
Posted on May 26th, 2008 No comments
Memorial Day Weekend
It’s been a crazy weekend already. We were all set to head to Mt Airy this weekend, but Max got Hand, Mouth and Foot disease, or something like that. I think it’s hoof, nose and snout disease, not really sure… Well, anyway, that changed our plans and we had to find stuff to do. I thought a bike ride on Saturday would be a good idea. Well, that fell apart when we realized it was way too muggy to have fun. Oh well… We decided to get new tires for the tandem and goof off a bit. Lucky we did that… we had some mechanical issues with the tandem. Got those fixed… ready to go on Sunday. Trying to find something to do later on in the evening, we saw a firehouse and stopped for a tour. We took a couple of photos, but the kids really loved it. Officer Willingham (An engineer that drives the big truck) gave us a lot of information and let the kids climb all over the place. They really had fun.
We get up on Sunday, weather is better, life is good, I ride to the trail head, the family meets me there … all is good until we start rolling. I ride the tandem into the ground. We tried to start on a hill, bigger than I realized and we “crashed”. It was a bit more than a glorified tip-over, but Sarah and I lost calf skin. We will likely both survive without amputation or any such thing. It was more of a pride thing, I think. We haven’t been riding the tandem much, the hill, the this, the that… it all added up. Nobody was seriously injured and we still rode the better part of about 20 miles. Derek’s track miles seem to have given him some added endurance. Good ride.
Knowing that 4-day weeks are typically 2 days longer than 5 day weeks in the work world, it’s almost troubling that the weekend is almost over. Derek is excited as camp starts this week so he will be on his crazy tour of the sites and activities of Georgia. Max is feeling better, as long as Shrek and/or Mickey Mouse Clubhouse are near by.
I could probably write more stuff, but I think Derek and I are going to see Speed Racer… which brings me to a couple of movie reviews…
- Indiana Jones – Good movie, enjoyed it.
- Employee of the Month – Not an award winner, but it wont leave you feeling like you wasted 2 hours of your life. We liked it.
Posted on May 23rd, 2008 No comments
Running…. little did we know that my birthday this year would get Derek started on his childhood athletic career. Wow… that kid can run! He has 2 modes… “just running around” and “The Warrior”. When he gets into Warrior mode, there isn’t anybody in the Sub Bantam class that can challenge him. There is nobody that can phase him either! He gets that patented “eye-on-the-prize/drive-to-the-line” look and it’s all over for his competitors. It’s truly incredible to see him run! Last weekend he won an 800m event by about 100m! He also got 4th in the 100 and 5th in the 1500. He’s really got endurance, not so much kick, but at the end of a long race, don’t try to come around him, he will kick like you wouldn’t believe! Good stuff there!
About 2 weeks ago, Sarah said “Ms. Sarah said we need to bring underwear and pants”. I was in fear. Derek didn’t really embrace underpants for quite some time. This caused significant stress in the home and lots of laundry. Well, so-far so-good! The last 2 days, Max came home from school with his original underpants on! He askes to go about ever 15-30 minutes and is getting quite good at it. I do believe that about 1/2 the time it is because he wants to wash his hands, one of his favorite pastimes.
The kids are growing up! Derek is graduating from 1st grade, Max is graduating from um…. Early Pre-Shool 1? Not really sure how significant a step that is, but he is talking a lot… sentences like “Actually, that is daddy’s snake” and “Mommy, I pooped in the poddy!” I’d trade a sentence or two for sleeping easier? eh… he’s getting there too!
Posted on May 22nd, 2008 No comments
I did really well for a long time, focusing on my fitness, health and weight loss. Then I started racing again. This isn’t something that should surprise anybody, it’s what I do in the summer, but the thing is, I got “wrapped up in racing” again. It’s a natural thing, but it isn’t really where I wanted to be. I have to keep my “eye on the prize”. My primary goal is to get in shape. I love racing my bicycle, but right now, it is not the focus. Racing is a tool to help/assist me in my fitness and weight loss (a pretty good one at that). I was getting myself worked up about 2nd and 3rd place finishes. I won a race and was very happy, but I was starting to focus my rides on “training” rather than weight loss or long term enjoyment. Throw in a bunch of new stress at work (good work stress, not drama or anything) and you have a recipe for burnout. Having said all that, I think I caught it. I realized i was getting too serious about 1 day a week and not serious about continued weight loss. Last night, my focus was a bit diminished at the track, I still had fun and I rode really hard. I had a great time. That’s a good thing.
There were a lot of other factors in all of this, like weather, bicycle mechanical issues, work, etc… but I think I am back in gear and thinking right. Work has gotten crazy. We released a new version of our software and it has been “exciting” for all involved. Normally we have some breaks in the action to goof of and relax. Not so much, lately. In the door…. work… lunch…. work… Checking email late at night, following up on stuff, problems that I have to solve or defer to an overworked R&D team that won’t have time to look at anything for a while… This is “crunch time” in the support world. The good news is, when I get pressured like this, my work output goes up! That just means I can put “Works well under pressure” on my resume. Employers dig that…
Ah well, after a few weeks of diminished mileage, I am trying to get back to the 120-180 mile a week range and see the pounds leave. I am down 38.5 pounds now. I expect to win our Biggest Loser competition and the word on the street is people are gunning for me in Biggest Loser II. They think I am done, I don’t have any more to lose. Silly people!
One final completely unrelated note: Living in Atlanta, it’s typically dark in the morning but light much longer in the evening. We have reached the point where I get to drive to work in the daylight. I like that. I hope to RIDE to work tomorrow. Sort of a “Biggest Loser Victory Lap”
Posted on May 8th, 2008 No comments
Before I go any further, I have to say I recognize that this is not the Olympics, this is not the grand prix of the americas or anything significant. It does, however, represent a big moment in my life. I have worked hard for over 4 months to improve my fitness and am proud of how far I have come. I am just as proud of running a 5k as I am of this…. but I have to say….
I WON A BIKE RACE! You can see my results here. The 5 lap scratch – My legs told me “you are no good”. I dunno what happened. I also did the Madison, which I was far out-gunned but I love the madison. 4th is last, but hey, I did it! The points race, I “upgraded” myself and to an Expert and raced the 50 lap points race. I was one of about 10 finishers. I was proud of that too… but the Snowball. It started TERRIBLE! I mean, I couldn’t get going. I was thinking “this is going to suck”. Well, about 1/2 way through, I got chuffed with a fella and unleashed my anger. I caught the 2 riders off the front, cherry picking the early points and was back in the game. (Snowball, you get 1 lap for the 1st lap, 2 for the second, 3 for the third… up to 15 for the 15th lap). Well, the snowball is a great race to have a bad start, if you can get back in. When I caught these two guys, they were playing games with each other. I was like… um… this isnt gonna work. I just gassed it super hard for about 4 laps. I picked up points on 7, 8, 9, 10… and got caught by these 2 guys. They grabbed points on 11 and 12, I think…. They started playing games and let the old dog back in the race! I have been doing way to much endurance type racing and my sprint isn’t what I want it to be, so I decided to just DRILL it again. With 3 laps to go, I go on a solo mission… got 13…. sweet, got 14… and then Sean, from No Brakes starts coming. He is about 19 feet tall and weighs 87 pounds, oddly skinny. We must have looked like Laurel and Hardy coming to the line! On the line… he grabbed the 15 point prize. I didn’t know who got what, but when I checked the results… That is my first bike race win since 2005? Feels good! Good night of racing!
Posted on May 6th, 2008 1 comment
For my birthday, my parents gave me a Garmin Edge 305 bike computer. It’s a pretty geeky toy, but well… if the shoe fits, right? The computer has so many features it has taken me quite some time to get my arms around the whole thing. As a matter of fact, I think I have only really put a “dent” in the feature list at this point. Well, anyway… today I figured out how to “race myself”. Well, in this case, we will call me “Virtual Me” since ultimately, I am a pound or 2 lighter than I used to be…. so I am now Mini-Me… and Maxi-Me sounds like…. eh… nevermind!
Anyway, you can set up a “Course” based on a past ride. You start at your door and rock the house! It has a little dude racing you. You can watch your progress, see how far you are ahead, it will show you hills that are coming up … it’s REALLY FREEKIN COOL! It also pushed me harder than I have gone before. Next trip in won’t be as easy to kick my arse… wait, is that possible?
To put it all in perspective, today’s ride was 10 minutes faster than my last. Over 24 miles, that’s about 2 mph faster than Friday! (I did have my bag and didn’t have the power of 2 ninja’s in my back pocket on Friday, but I didn’t just coast to work.
It’s like my own little house of pain with a video game on my stem! Very Very Very cool! I think this will help me in my quest to fight global insanity!