Saturday, June 30, 2007

Not Faster, But Still Learning (Part 3)

**And now, back to our regularly scheduled race report**

As I said, I made a choice to take on an extra gel in the last 5 minutes of the bike, and I pushed the pace ever so slightly for the last 40 minutes on the road. I thought I could have a good run, and I knew I could make up time over last year's horrendous T2 time, and if Kona Shelley blew up on the run because she pushed the bike too hard (like THAT'S never happened) I had a shot to reel her back in.

So, I came in quick, racked my bike, ditched the helmet, changed my shoes, and ran out of transition carrying my hat and nutrition belt. T2 was 1:36, absolutely smokin' as compared to last year's "dinner and a movie" time of 3:54.

And the first mile was pretty good. My legs didn't feel all wonky and I focused on trying to maintain good turnover and decent form. I ran the first mile in about 8:30, doused myself with water and kept on.

But then . . . see . . . the thing about safety tabs is . . .

While SOME people just rip the safety tabs off all willy nilly, see, my safety tabs are kept in a secret government installation under a mountain and behind blast proof doors. Inside the mountain is a secure room -- think Mission Impossible secure -- where the safety tabs are behind a welded, titaniam cage and the key is behind emergency glass that you have to break with a hammer. If you do that, big men with short haircuts, sunglasses, and automatic weapons come to protect the safety tabs.

Anyhoo, by mile 3 it was getting fairly clear that the safety tabs were going to remain in place. Part of this is because I'm a wuss. I don't like pain, and when I get into a certain amount of it, my pre-greyhound brain starts telling me I'm not going to be able to finish. To this day, fear of not finishing governs a LOT of what I do on a racecourse. I need to work on that. And I will. After Ironman Wisconsin, Coach T and I are concentrating on 5k race training, which is all about pain and NO SAFETY TABS.

Added in the mix was that foot banging episode -- either that or some other type of foot issue -- which had me feeling as if my socks were bunched under the ball of my left foot or I was running on a marble. Running down hill on a marble -- yeah, that was great.

Added to that was my nutrition plan rebelling on me. I had been training consistently with NUUN and Perpetuem and e-gels, but something about the combination or the way I slammed that extra gel had my little puppy brain telling me that if I took one more swallow, I would get to see all that nutrition in my bloated stomach.

So, I did a half-marathon in the blistering heat just sucking on ice chips like a woman in labor. Although, let me be perfectly clear: I would rather do a half-marathon in the blistering heat than ever go through labor.

All the same, I kept an eye peeled in the event I saw the tell-tale red jerseys up ahead. If I had a chance to take them down, I was prepared to risk a safety tab or two. Eventually, when climbing the hill to the energy lab, I saw one, and it was clearly Triboomer. I kept an even pace, seeing that I was gaining on him. When I caught him, I asked after Kona Shelley's whereabouts (or is that where-a-boots), and he told me she was way off the front. So, I knew the goose was cooked. When I saw her on the turnaround, I conceded. There was no physical way to catcher, and then to put 5 minutes into her to make up for the wave start.

But I could stay with Triboomer . . . maybe. We traded the lead or ran together until we got to the last three miles, and then the foot issue and my non-nutrition state was starting to wear on me. I closed the safety tab vault and risked that he would put 5 minutes into me (to make up for our wave difference) in the last 5k. And he almost did. I shut it down in favor of being able to train this week, and because I'm a wuss, and finished just a few seconds in front of him in a total elapsed time of 6:34:26. Only negligibly faster (although with much less effort expended) than last year's time of 6:34:45.

The long and the short of it is I got caned by a multi-Ironman finisher (no surprise there), but I can beat a one-armed 46 year old Ironman who got docked with a two minute penalty.

So, I've got that going for me.

Which is good.

Thursday, June 28, 2007


Dateline: Houston, Texas. June 28, 2007. International Triathlete of Mystery, Trigreyhound, today announced his intention to participate in Ironman Coeur d'Alene in 2008. In a prepared statement, his representatives said that, having received the full backing of his Ironteam Family, who insist upon spending summer vacation in the Pacific Northwest or possibly Vancouver, B.C. after the race, he had no alternative but to put aside plans for possible Ironman retirement and satisfy his many adoring fans, as well as the tourism and visitors bureau of Coeur d'Alene, Idaho by agreeing to appear and participate. He is humbled to be counted among a throng of worthy bloggers and to receive the attention of the gathered bloggy peep cheering section.
(Spin Filter Translation: Having discussed things with the Iron Widow (and having extended several promises for the off-season and how to better balance Ironman training next year), and after promising to use the race to raise vast sums of money to fight multiple sclerosis, it is now safe to announce that I signed up for the race without losing the privilege of sleeping in my own bed.)
Believe me people, hitting the "submit" button is an act of faith. I don't know if my first Ironman will be a success, or how I will feel about doing another. But "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Not Faster, But Still Learning (Part 2)

A part of my brain noticed that I had really banged my foot getting out of the swim, but that part of the brain was muted by all the noise and chaos of the transition area. I knew that if I had any chance of catching Kona Shelley (who obviously passed me in the swim despite my head start), I would need some free speed -- i.e., quicker transitions. I had actually planned out a method for bringing this about, and it seemed to work. Last year's T1 was 3:42. This year, even with a little delay getting the wetsuit off my ankles, the time was 2:42. So, even with an easier swim, about half of the time I lost over last year was gained back in the transition.

One thing that BSLT is known for is the climb out of transition onto the bike course--over 7%. It's not that long, but it gets your attention--to the tune of a 155 heart rate, the highest of the day.

My plan for the bike was to do the opposite of Wildflower. No standing and hammering hills. Save the matches, even if I have a half-a-book leftover at the finish. Why? Because I knew that there was no way I would put time into Kona Shelley on the bike. Moreover, if I had any chance of catching Kona Shelley, I would need my matches and my legs for the run.

So, after topping the first climb (and after dropping and returning to retrieve bits and pieces of my nutrition due to fumbly fingers), I tried to settle in to a high zone 2/low zone 3 heartrate and ignore both my speed and my elapsed time.

In doing so, I had a super fun time on the bike, cruising the flats, rocketing down the descents, spinning the climbs, and (unlike last year) never finding myself in difficulty.

The course is a series of out and backs, and I knew I would see Shelley along the way. I took the opportunity to evaluate her lead (which increased every time I saw her) and to try and get into her head. Every time we passed I'd come out of the Aero bars and point at her, calling her last name and assuring her that I was coming to get her. The last time I did so, I provoked a response:


Such a violent word, hate. I'm a lover not a fighter.

Anyhow, after climbing out of the last canyon and taking some more nutrition, it was decision time. I felt great, perhaps too good. So the choice was whether to expend a match in picking up the pace the last ten miles back to transition. It was flat and fun, so I chose to do so, never redlining it, but reaching a nice steady state pace that pulled back about 6 -10 cyclists on the course.

Last year's time was 3:19:07, and I was struggling in the last 15 miles. This year's time: 3:17:21--not appreciably different, but with much less effort expended (in part because the wind was less). Average heartrate: only 131 for an average speed of 17 mph notwithstanding the hills and velocity robbing pavement conditions. I could easily have kept going another couple of hours, and dropping a half mile an hour, I felt the Ironman distance was easily acheivalbe without destroying myself.

In retrospect, however, this expenditure of a match, plus the decision to take extra, unplanned nutrition just before T2 was probably a mistake . . . as you will see.

(to be continued . . . .)

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not Faster, But Still Learning (Part 1)

After seeing some of the grand race reports from Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs Lake and Ironman Couer d'Alene, I feel a little blogger block. As compared to some of the others that were doing their first halves or completing Iron distance races, nothing very exciting or literary happened to me during the race. Last year was my first HIM, this year I've done three already. Last year I did not know if I could finish, this year I knew I could finish, but that puts on the pressure to see how much faster one can go. But unlike some, I have a hard time taking off the safety tabs.
So, I guess that's a long way of saying that I didn't take many risks on race day, and consequently did not reap many rewards -- at least in terms of times and PRs and such. The experience, however, was very rewarding and will pay dividends at Ironman Wisconsin.
One goal that I really wanted to achieve was regaining some confidence in the water. I wanted to have a comfortable swim and finish feeling like I could have gone further. On that account I succeeded. The new wetsuit was awesome and comfortable. I floated like a cork. I did my new open water sighting that I have been practicing, and swam easily and without pause.
At points I was obstructed by some other swimmers, but I just don't have the chutzpah to try and sprint around folks yet. I wound up swimming relatively straight but way wide for a variety of reasons. First, I preferred to find open water on the outside rather than squeeze by on the inside around the few swimmers slower than me. Second, I am REALLY self-concious about obstructing the wave that starts behind me. I'll give them their props by giving them clear water near the bouys to swim through. Finally, I am still having issues from my neck injury. When I've gone about 1500 meters, the strength deficit on my right side resurfaces and I start to swim like Johnny-Wrong-Way if I don't sight frequently.
So, the time: 44:33. That is slower than last year by a bit (42:52), and I'm not pleased with that at all; however, I put forward almost no effort getting through the swim. This was by design--hoping for a good run, which is my relative strength. My average heart rate was only 133 BPM and the max was only 140 BPM. Moreover, it was about 6 minutes faster than the first HIM this year and MUST be light years faster than Wildflower--a number that I still have not looked at.
Based on my masters class performance, I'm probably a slightly better swimmer than my results would show. I just don't take the safety tabs off when there are no lane lines or walls to hold to when I am tired. I just need to work on my muscular endurance and my confidence, and I know I will go faster.
But not for Ironman Wisconsin. That lollygag pace gets me out of the water with plenty of time left before the swim cutoff and with plenty in the tank for a long bike and long run. I'll be taking no risks in the water during the big dance.
One new experience: I actually decided to try "finding some feet" for the first time in a swim. When I made the last turn towards the swim exit, there were some other, slightly faster swimmers in the water, and I latched onto some feet and followed them as best I could for awhile. THIS is a skill worth practicing.
The most significant thing about the swim happened after I stopped stroking and stood to exit the water.
WHACK! Boney metatarsal on left foot strikes submerged rock with considerable force. I was too hopped up on endorphins to notice at the time, but this would prove to be significant later in the day.
(. . . to be continued)

Sunday, June 24, 2007


As I suspected, she had more game than me and won fair and square. (Although a girl looking suspiciously like her gave me the forearm shimmy and kneed me in the groin when the ladies in her wave gapped up to my wave.) A full race report will follow after my court appearance on Tuesday morning. Gotta be prepared for the client and all.
I had a nice comfortable swim for a change and a fun bike. But, suffice it to say that by the time of the run, it would have taken my best stuff to even get close, and I did not have my best stuff on the shelf. (Frankly, I'm not fit enough to beat someone like her . . . yet.)
So, watch the blogosphere, and you will soon see Trigreyhound bedecked in maple leaf garb singing "O Canada." Ugly American, I am not. And I pay my bets.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

I See Thin People

The average body mass index of Lubbock, Texas had dropped dramatically this weekend. For, this is the weekend that the abnormally thin, freakin' fast, Ironskull triathlete crowd comes to town for Ironman 70.3, Buffalo Springs Lake Triathlon.

Oh, and I'm here to along with many fellow bloggers like Kona Shelley and Triboomer.

Sers'ly, if you've never been to an Ironman branded race with Kona slots on the line, you don't know what it's like. This is not your local sprint or Oly or even half. Everywhere you look is a muscled up, lean body on a six foot frame wearing a wetsuit or toting a space shuttle bike and a pointy helment. You see things like this:

and this:

and this:

and this:

Oh, and this:


and this:
(She's kind of a big deal. So I'm told. )

We saw Andrea Fisher all rocked up with her long, broad shouldered swimmer chick physique. I am telling you, a woman like that could break a little hobbit like me in half. I don't care who you are, that's just hawt.

Last year, I did my second ever triathlon here and was COMPLETELY intimidated. This year, now that I know I can do the distance, I have the utmost respect for the course, but I just resign myself to the fact that those rock stars are doing a different race than I am. I mean, yeah, I'll be on the same course with Andrea Fischer, Desiree Ficker, Natasha Badmann, Tim DeBoom and Simon Lessing, . . . . you get the picture. I'm not doing the same race that they are.

Pretty much the same with the me and the elite age groupers. They are still as intimidating, but they're going to do their thing and I'm going to do mine. I'm racing me and father time. Father time will eventually catch me, but he'll be clutching his chest and wheezing when he does.

So in preparation for race day, Triboomer, Kona Shelley and I went out to the course for a little warmup swim.

We followed this with a prep bike and run checkup.

I am pleased to report , in a completely unbiased endorsement, that my new 2XU wetsuit, which I purchased with my own jack, is BEEEEYOUUUUUTIMOUS. It is understandably a little tight across the Trigreyhound's massive chest and latimus dorsai, but it's like swimming with a freaking life jacket on. Uber-bouyant. Much better than my crappy old wetsuit. Really helps the confidence and relaxation in the water. I am go for launch to have my most comfortable swim ever, whether or not it is what one would call fast.

After a bit of a swim and a bit of a bike we checked out the run course:

(Uhm, that's me up the road there a bit, droppin' the hammer on Kona Gurl)

The run has some of the wicked hills that dive in and out of the canyon at miles four, five, eight and nine.
(Well, isn't that special)

In the heat of the Texas sun after 3+ hours of work in the water and on the bike, these are truly special.

After the prep work, we went to eat and I got what I thought would be a little bowl of red beans and rice and a baked potato. What I received was enough carbohydrate energy to power the Eastern Seaboard in the form of a potato the size of Rush Limbaugh's head. These potatos have obviously been doping. Trigreyhound just hopes he is not the subject of a random drug test tomorrow.

(Rush is smaller than this potato)

As I was sitting there looking at the excessive food, I was reminded what makes the U.S. great. I spied two native Lubbockians, probably husband and wife, each at least 300 pounds, waiting for a table at the IHOP and passing a cigarette back and forth. Ah, . . . **sniff** . . . that's America. Sharing the love.

Finally, in a side note for the betting public, my Canadian challenger's wave has been moved. Instead of starting 20 minutes ahead of me, she starts five minutes behind. This means we will have more immediate feedback on who is "winning" the challenge she laid down to the dawg. She will undoubtedly pass and drop me in the swim, I will perhaps see her on the out-and-backs on the bike, and I will then have to catch her and put 5 minutes back into her on the run.

Can I do this? I have my doubts given the predicted heat tomorrow. But then, that's why they hold the races.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Roll Call

OK, it is time to put up or shaddup. Some of the original Iron Blogger crew was all drunk and talking about Ironman CdA in '08, and the time to sign up is coming this Monday.

I don't even know whether I'll survive my first or want to do a second, but I need to know, if I sign up for this one, am I alone or surrounded by the Band of Brothers (and Sisters). Frankly, there are other races I'd rather do, and Mrs. Greyhound is not hip on Idaho, so if not this race, then what? Tell me true and tell me quick. Monday is coming.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Road and the End

I SHALL foot it
Down the roadway in the dusk,
Where shapes of hunger wander
And the fugitives of pain go by.

I shall foot it
In the silence of the morning,
See the night slur into dawn,
Hear the slow great winds arise
Where tall trees flank the way
And shoulder toward the sky.

The broken boulders by the road
Shall not commemorate my ruin.
Regret shall be the gravel under foot.
I shall watch for
Slim birds swift of wing
That go where wind and ranks of thunder
Drive the wild processionals of rain.
The dust of the traveled road
Shall touch my hands and face.

--Carl Sandberg

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Sponge Dog Square Pants

So, if you take a proper recovery week, you actually absorb your training. Wow. Who knew?

I am no longer exhausted. I have soaked up the training like a sponge. Compare:

Last year's marathon PR pace was right at about 9 min. miles at a heartrate between 145 and 150 BPM most of the time.

This Morning: after a moderate hour on the bike in zone 2 I ran 30 minutes at a pace that started at 9 min. miles and increased to 8 min. miles with a heartrate of 130-135 BPM.

One minute per mile faster, 10 to 15 BPM easier.

I am the super absorbant training machine.


Sunday, June 17, 2007


My next little race is right around the corner, and I've GOT to swim better if I want to avoid starting the swim 15 minutes in the hole to the Iron Maiden of the Great White North. She will outsplit me on the bike and swim, at Ironman Buffalo Springs Lake 70.3 and I've got NO chance unless I minimize the damage and then hope she folds on the run.

So I did what any self-respecting age-grouper with more finance than talent does: I bought new triathlon toys.

I got this sweet new 2XU wetsuit and some uber-geeky Aquasphere goggles. The neoprene is at least twice as thick as my crappy old wetsuit, and what's more it actually fits without all the wrinkles and extra rubber. The bouyancy and hydrodynamics must be incredible. This is going to help.

Of course I wouldn't know for sure. I won't get a chance to try it out until I get to Lubbock. I know, I know. Don't try anything knew on race day. But honestly. Could my swim suck any worse?

No matter what happens, I'll at least look like a superhero.

Well, . . . except for the goggles. Not so superheroish,

They look totally dorky, but I can see everything. It's really incredible, and Taconite Boy reports that they are key to feeling more comfortable in the open water.

I tried them out at the pool today with Curly Su, and she was at least not so embarassed by my appearance to pretend that she didn't know me.

That is the big news of the weekend. Team Greyhound was graced with Curly Su's presence in a visit that was all too short. We were rained out of our epic brick, but I don't think she was disappointed to get off the hook. As for me, any rainy afternoon you can sit around with Curly Su is a good way to spend one's time. In fact, it's hard to beat. Mrs. Greyhound and I got to take her to dinner and twice eat outside as the heat moderated a bit. We did a little biking, we did a little running, we did a little swimming, and I did a little older-brothering, hopefully not to the point of annoying her.

Today, we shared a lane while the Masters group was ripping it up in the rest of the pool. 3000 yards of mixed pulling and swimming later, a good time was had by all. She left after dinner, and we miss her already.

I know, I know, Bolder. No pictures means it didn't happen. But the thought of suggesting bringing a camera to the pool to take a picture of a smokin' hot triathlete chick who is not your spouse?????? In groups is one thing, but alone . . . . . ?

Uhm. . . . no. Not gonna happen. After all, I want her to come back.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007


OK, that was different. I don't feel particularly sleek right now, but I'm pretty sure I was the oggle-ee this morning instead of an Oggle-er.

I drove into the city after the masters workout, parked like I always do, grabbed my gym bag and brief case like I always do, and headed for the elevator like I always do. I was on my way to the gym across the street from my office to shower and change into my Clark Kent disguise.

It's not as if I was wearing a Speedo and running around without a shirt and flexing my abs. I had on a pair of "Jammers," an MS150 T-shirt, and some flip flops.

So, the elevator door opens and three women are inside--two older than my mom, but one about 10 years younger than me.

In my peripheral vision, I saw her look at my face . . . . then I saw her eyes drop . . .

and stop.

Suddenly, Greyhound . . . especially . . . uhm . . . "greyhound" . . . felt a bit conspicuous, notwithstanding the Nike swimsuit.

She may very well have just thought I looked ridiculous given my lack of business attire, . . . but I'm pretty sure I was oggled. She was checking me out.

I am not used to this.


Tuesday, June 12, 2007


Daniel Komen runs fastest mile ever on American soil: 3:48.28.

Stick around to watch him from the back stretch around the final turn and kicking for home. You won't believe it.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Well, That's Another Fine Mess You've Gotten Us Into

"Your eyes are bigger than your stomach." So I was often told in the buffet line as a small child with a mound of food on my plate--food that I seldom finished.
"You've bitten off more than you can chew." So I have often been told since then in a variety of situations. Choking on those bites was not uncommon.
"Well, that's another fine mess you've gotten us into." So said the practical, Oliver Hardy side of my brain to the childlike Stan Laurel on the other side. Apparently only Stan was present when I joined the confederacy of dunces who all signed up for Ironman Wisconsin last summer. Oliver is horrified and predicts certain doom.

Confederacy of Dunces
The Confederacy Of Dunces

Oliver's voice was in my ears as I was finishing a 4.5 hour ride yesterday with a heat index over 100 degrees. Nevertheless I ignored Oliver and road past my start point to tack on miles for the last 45 minutes of the ride.

Oliver almost shouted when I got off the bike and grabbed my running shoes and hobbled for my 30 minute runoff. Nevertheless I ignored Oliver and ran----well, run might be a bit of an exaggeration. It was very ugly and very very slow.

Oliver was less persistent this morning on my long run, but he poked me in the shoulder when I ran through the unrelenting humidity drenched in sweat. Running past a swank hotel, the outside speakers were playing . . . . "Sleigh Ride." 100 degree heat index and I hear Christmas music on my run.


Oliver is barking more and more often now, because the countdown clock is in double digits. This is getting real, and I wonder if I'm going to make it. Two months ago, before the MS150 or Wildflower, 4.5 hours in zone 2 was no big deal. Now? Very big deal. I am slower, I feel weaker and I take longer to recover. It could well be the heat. There really is nothing like the suffocating heat and humidity that is "normal" Houston weather this time of year. The sucky conditions will be great training for the typical race day conditions.

But it still sucks.

It could be I'm overtrained from pushing back my recovery week for scheduling purposes. It could be I am chronically overtrained to the point that I need to take a month off--a month I do not have. 40 year old hobbits generally have only one peak per season in their furry feet. Have I peaked? Was the break after Wildflower simply not enough? Would any break be enough?

Thank goodness a recovery week starts tomorrow, and I intend to recover like crazy, but still. Are my eyes bigger than my stomach? Have I bitten off more than I can chew? Is Oliver right?

Stan, with his childlike faith, will continue to show up for every workout. Stan believes. Oliver . . . . not so much.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Seen in Houston:

80 Degrees and 80% humidity before sunrise. Aaaaaack.

From afar--someone on a mountain bike or townie that I swear was wearing an aero helmet. (OK, that might have been some kind of Freudian hallucination, but I that's what it looked like.)

In the locker room--man drying body hair--yes, including THAT body hair--with blow dryer.


These are experience that Bolder never has to undergo in Triathlon Mecca on the front range.

Take my home town . . . . please.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

My Secret Weapon

You all probably know by now that I was blogging here, minding my own business, when some brazen Iron Gawdess of the North starts hurling smack at me about Ironman 70.3, Buffalo Springs Lake. I suppose, from her point of view, there is valor in picking on someone who swims at least 10 minutes slower than she does and bikes at least 20 minutes slower she does, and whose PR is 12 minutes slower than hers, but I don't see it. To me, it's sort of like the 101st Airborne Division v. Canada (all of it; screaming eagles win). Or better yet, USA v. Canada in competitive eating. Not much of a contest. We rock at stuffing our faces and military conquest.

Second.To.None. Scoreboard.

I hold out only one hope of bettering Canada's Finest. Iron Canucky has been known to hammer the bike just a leeeeeetle bit. Canadians who commit similar pacing errors and then attempt to run in the full, Texas sun have been known to spontaneously combust.

(One, random Canadian participant in last year's race)

In short, I am hoping to use the temperature, and the fact that I train on the surface of the sun (i.e., Houston) to my advantage. Canadians, after all, are accustomed to much colder climes. I found this on the internet (so it must be true).

Canadian Temperature Conversion Chart
50 Fahrenheit (10 C)

New Yorkers try to turn on the heat.

Canadians plant gardens.

40 Fahrenheit (4.4 C)

Californians shiver uncontrollably

Canadians Sunbathe.

35 Fahrenheit (1.6 C)

Italian Cars won't start

Canadians drive with the windows down

32 Fahrenheit (0 C)

Distilled water freezes

Canadian water gets thicker.

0 Fahrenheit (-17.9 C)

New York City landlords finally turn on the heat.

Canadians have the last cookout of the season.

-40 Fahrenheit (-40 C)

Hollywood disintegrates.

Canadians rent some videos.

-60 Fahrenheit (-51 C)

Mt. St. Helen's freezes.

Canadian Girl Guides sell cookies door-to-door.

-100 Fahrenheit (-73 C)

Santa Claus abandons the North Pole

Canadians pull down their earflaps.

-173 Fahrenheit (-114 C)

Ethyl alcohol freezes.

Canadians get frustrated when they can't thaw the keg.

-459.4 Fahrenheit (-273 C)

Absolute zero; all atomic motion stops.

Canadians start saying "cold, eh? "

-500 Fahrenheit (-295 C)

Hell freezes over.

The Leafs win the Cup

Of course the corollary to cold is heat. This is my own conversion chart:

Texas Temperature Conversion Chart

60 Farenheit (15 C)

Canadians begin to perspire.

Texans grab a sweater and a touk

70 Farenheit (21 C)

Canadians run the AC full blast

Texans turn off the furnace for the season

80 Farenheit (27 C)

Canadians declare a national health emergency and shuttle whole cities into socialist air conditioning shelters, for which one need only wait six weeks under the National Air Conditioning Administration.

Texans allow small children, the elderly and the infirm to have electric fans.

85 Farenheit (30 C)

Canadians swim only at night with 44 SPF suncreen and pine for the days when hockey will again be played on the lake.

Texans wonder whether it is warm enough to open the pool

90 Farenheit (32 C)

Canadians break out the eggs, their funny round bacon, and fry breakfast on the sidewalk

Texans break out the short sleaves

100 Farenheit (38 C)

Canadians have melted into a sweaty, beer-laden puddle, leaving behind only a mullet and a flannel undergarments

Texans perspire and wear wide brimmed hats

212 Farenheit (100 C)

Canadian water boils

Texas hot tub temperature

10,000 Farenheit (5537 C) (Sun's surface temperature)

Canadians incinerate

Texans remark, "Dang, Bubbah. It's gonna be a hot one today."

It matters not that Canada has been hotter than Lubbock these past two weeks. This is my only hope. You gotta have hope, right?

Monday, June 04, 2007

Song of the Open Road

Texas Sunrise
AFOOT and light-hearted, I take to the open road,
Healthy, free, the world before me,
The long brown path before me, leading wherever I choose.

Hay Meadow
Henceforth I ask not good-fortune—I myself am good fortune;
Henceforth I whimper no more, postpone no more, need nothing,
Strong and content, I travel the open road.

Seuss Flowers
The earth—that is sufficient;
I do not want the constellations any nearer;
I know they are very well where they are;
I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass (1900)

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Athlete Within

I've got some downtime right now on my business trip to Austin. Although Austin is triathlon central for the Lone Star State, every trip I make to Austin seems to be star crossed. Above all else I need to practice my open water swimming, but this is the second trip in a row that Barton Springs has been closed due to flooding. And I havent' seen Desiree Ficker running at Town Lake. Rats!

So, I'll take this opportunity to do something even more important than swim training. I will introduce you to a new friend that you really ought to meet.

You will recall the miracle of the couch cushions last week that allowed me to exceed my MS150 fundraising goal. I mentioned that within 3 minutes of putting up my plea for help, a person I had never met hit the fundraising link and put me over the top. After I blogged about that, they mystery person contacted me--and you need to meet her too.

Her name is Crazy Jane, and she is one of those wonderful transformation stories that you will find if you hang around the MS150 or triathlon. In her words, Crazy Jane has changed from "someone who almost failed physical education in high school, always sedentary, could sit on my ass for 8 hours and just read, 100 lbs overweight to someone who goes to the gym often, obsessively cycles, has a heart rate monitor, did her first MS150 and now training for triathlons. I have a bike tan now." She has discovered the athlete within her, and she likes it.

She introduced me to her blog, and she is a wonderful writer; but, she was reluctant to put the blog out there because she is not (yet) some experienced tri-studette who gobbles up Iron Distance events.

But, you know, I'd much rather read the journey of someone who is becoming something new and wonderful than a self-absorved Iron Athlete who has (or thinks he has) already arrived. I know that you feel the same way. So, (with her permission) I am encouraging you to go visit Crazy Jane, put her in your favorites or your bloglines or your google reader subscription, and give her some comment love. You will enjoy her journey.