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Jacksonville, FL, United States
In Life as well as in running the secret is Pace.

Friday, January 31, 2014

The great "in-of-doors"

So as I set of in my quest to become a bike racer..  I quickly realized that I needed to do something to help me quantify, qualify, entertain, and edutain me while pedaling indoors this winter…
I hear you…  I really do…  and I know that I live in Florida and should simply get outside and ride…  but…  I do have a real job and it is dark a lot in winter even in sunny Florida. 
I had heard about the Sufferfest (more on that in a separate post) videos and a google search for the videos led me to
I thought…  hey this looks like it might be intersting…  and a pretty cheap way to train using power and heartrate.
I checked out the steps:
and got started.
I'd like to begin by saying that I'm no DCRainmaker J
And he has done a pretty in depth review…
and here:
this is just an overview of how this worked for me.
The ingredients…
Easy enough to put together
1. Trusty MacBook
2.  ANT+ Usb Stick (recieves data from other devices)
I actually had one of these laying around from one of my dozen or so dead Garmin devices I've collected over the last 10 years.
 3.  Speed cadence sensor
 4.  HRM Strap – yep I had this too…
5.  And of course a trainer:
So I installed the software and paired my devices:
Which took all of 5 minutes….
I learned after a workout or two that my favorite configuration while riding was music via iTunes
Throw in a bike race on YouTube…  with the volume at halfway on each…  so Phil, Paul, or Sean Kelly or whomever was talking over Blink 182…  but that works for me.
All the while my workout data is displayed atop the video on the bottom of the screen.
The pain cave
Baby I'm a blur
So once you are finished…  your workout is automagically uploaded to…  and one can geek over their data as much as one wants… and then download (see the buttonJ)
A nice .tcx file that can then be uploaded to…  just drag and drop baby!
Where you can geek out some more…
Well…   that's pretty much it…  I invested about $30 for a speed/cadence sensor…  used some other stuff I had laying around…  signed up for ($10/month) and I now have a system where I am challenged, measured, documented and entertained…  and since I ride the trainer 5-7x per week during the winter…  I think that it's a pretty good deal.
And for just a few dollars more…  I got my cute little training partner set up too
After doing a couple of rides…  she decided that we should do this:
I'll write about that next time.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Former Athlete

I was talking to a friend of mine in the gym last week…  Let's just call him Byron.
Byron was telling me about his boss…  whom he described as a former athlete.  Byron went on to say that one of the reasons he works out so hard right now (he is 28 and could hold his own in a college football practice I'm sure) is that he wants to be like his boss one day…  older and able to relax and just do a little here and there to say in shape.
I just looked at him…  and said "Dude…  I hope that is never me"
He looked at me as if I had suddenly sprouted an extra nose or something….
I continued…  "I want to train hard and compete for as long as I can.  I love it now more so than I did 20 years ago.  My body does not recover nearly so well but I have the time, my kids are grown, and I have the focus…  I'm just battling age and physical limitations but I have no intentions to let up"
At this point our conversation drifted elsewhere, but I think that I got him to thinking….  And I have this suspicion that it will be a long time before anyone calls Byron a "Former athlete"

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2014 Goals

"Where was I going? I puzzled and wondered about it til I actually enjoyed the puzzlement and wondering."
Carl Sandburg, 1878 - 1967

1. Write daily... I'm not looking to knock out the great American novel... just to put down some thoughts. it's my life... why not record the happenings... my thoughts... I might even gain a greater understanding of who I am.

2. weight in the 170s by 1 April - stay there

3. Become a runner again.... the Jax Marathon would be a nice year end goal... but that depends a bit on my cycling... and on mobility and balance

4. Regular work on mobility, strength, and balance... as one approaches 50... I think that this is paramount to being able to continue to pursue my passions

5. Traverse the Pyrenees in Southern France -

6. 5:55 wake-up every day - get up and get with it

7. cat 5 road race and TT Championships... my aim is to win

8. Golf goal - break 90

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

The waiting is the hardest part

my legs are sore…  and they have been for a couple of days…  Deep achy sore..
and I hate that really…
I want to ride…  ride hard…  do a recovery ride…  build base…. do squats and leg presses…
and I want to do them all the time.
I'm 46 and I want to get better…  stronger…  faster… and as soon as possible please…  I'm not getting any younger
I'm motivated to put in the work… and even more work… but….
effin recovery man….  it is required…  
maybe I jut need some of those poofy leg things
or maybe I just need to be patient…  or maybe I should hire a coach
I know…  just a little spin in to loosen up the old legs
I'm off to Guana

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Monday Mantra

 it's funny...  how often someone will stop mien the hallway at work and ask me about my running...  

yes...  I'm that guy in my office building...  the one who heads out into a thunderstorm to run...  or in the oppressive heat of August...

and often they will confess to me...  completely out of the blue  "man, I need to start running again but I'm just so busy right now"

I just smile and encourage them to come out running with me sometime...  But I often think the following:

Friday, January 10, 2014

So I'm shopping on eBay for cycling shorts...

and quite a few of the direct offerings from Asia have this type of picture


  now that picture is just ridiculous...

and some idiot is going to buy those shorts and wear them that way
and in so doing...  look like a monkey

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Across France in June

The following is a bit of motivation and plan that I put together for some friends that are planning to do cycling challenge to ride across France via the Pyrenean mountain passes this summer.  we have varying levels of fitness but a common goal six months hence 

I see us in this picture six months from now…  a time and a place that we will savor in our old age.
I want for all of us to have reached this zenith under our own power…  and not in a van.
Is it going to be easy?   No
Could we do it today?  No
Can we do it?  Yes…  only if we are committed
So how do we get ready?  I like your enthusiasm but…
First of all let's define ready…
Being able to ride a bike in mountainous terrain for 5 hours a day for 6 straight days
In other words as difficult of a bike ride as we have ever done in a single day in our lives six days in a row? Like riding the Beach Blvd bridge for 5 hours non-stop (hey that sounds like fun! J) every day for a week
Are you getting scared yet?  Good.
Hopefully you are asking yourself this question:
Okay asshole how do we get there?  How do I get started?  What do I do?  How much?  When?
Well it just so happens that I have a plan! (surprised?)
Month 1:
Month 2:
Month 3:
basically we will be going from 3.5 hours per week to start to almost 6 hours per week by March….  And "up" from there…
and I mean up as in hills and saddle time…. By may we should be logging 12+ hours of saddle time a week
We should plan a weekend trip to Mt Dora…
May 15 weekend should be our practice run…  a group from Jax is Heading up to Dahlonega to do the 6 big climbs in the Smokies…   
Let's go ride bikes in beautiful places!

Monday, January 6, 2014

I ran

not like this…

or like this…

like this

and while it was awesome…  just my two feet pointed down the road… and I had speed…  and fitness…  in my body if I wanted to use them… there were a couple of warning lights

my right leg… or more specifically psoas, sartoruis, hip area…  was voicing it's disapproval from early on…

I think that I kind of understand what's going on though…  not that I have a fix mind you…  I just have some level of understanding.

so let's begin by rewinding a bit… the run came at the end of a decent cycling week…  11ish hours and immediately after 1:45 on the bike trainer.  so I think that my hips were tight from the beginning…  and tight hips leads to discomfort (pain) 

so note to self…  it's okay to ride before running but whatever I do or don't do…  just try and start each run after some hip opening exercises.

that said….  I'm happy to call myself a runner

Friday, January 3, 2014


The numbers
Swim: an hour or so total
Bike: 240 hours ~4000 miles
Run:  1850 miles ( zero in December)
the first year I remember that I did not capture a Goals List
oh, I had goals  just the Same but without a list it's a bit harder to reflect.
what went well?
1.  I think I was a better dad in 2013….  might be my best year yet…  not the easiest… Parenting is hard…  really hard…   and not just hard to do…  hard to know if you are even on the right track.  
oh I do love the parents of second graders who think they have it all figured out…. I simply smile and nod…  they will see one day
these days with an 18 year old…  and a 20 year old I find myself listening more, asking more questions, and giving gentle advice….  a tectonic shift from the "drill sergeant dad" i once was…
2.  Career is going okay too… I count myself very lucky…  I have a job that is rewarding, coworkers and a staff that I really like and enjoy interacting with, yet my job does not control my life.  win-win
3.  I am also oh so fortunate to be married to the sweetest woman on the planet…. peace, love, and harmony at home….  the richest blessing anyone could ask for
4.  RATS was once again a tremendous journey…  both the training for and the trip/race…  memories and lessons to hold dear for a lifetime…  yet after 3 trips the desire to run through the desert has left me.  I sucked at being an ultrarunner this year…  yet I finished in the top 5 overall in the only two 5ks I did…  maybe I should think about that…
5.  I have made some new friends… after RATS my running quite literally fell apart…  Cycling is what I wanted to concentrate on for a while and to that end Judi and I started riding with one of the cycling groups here in town…  in the past few months I have met a bunch of people and am really having a blast riding 2-3 times a week with these guys…

we have started this off on a positive note…  good.
The one thing that will forever define 2013 is the loss of my mother…
I've lost aunts and uncles, grandparents, and cousins…  even a couple of friends along the way… but never anyone so close….  And really who could be closer?
I've seen other lose their parents and while I have felt for them…  in the back of my mind I've always thought…  "well..  it's the natural order of things…  they knew it was going to happen…  they should really just get over it"  and there you have it friends…  in the back of my mind I'm an asshole
Nine months on…  and I still tear up at a memory…  a "I'm going to ask my mom about" this that or the other thought that I have…
I would write some more and try and wrap this up on a positive note but I don't really have anything else to say about 2013…  so let's just do a picture show
Lots o stairmilling
Breast Cancer Marathon in memory of an old friend
Running in the rain with Jimmy
Self-supported midnight Marathon
Another great week with our RATS Family
 Key West with my youngest
Group Ride to Amelia on Labor Day
Muddy Cyclocross
Bike crash on the Guana Ride
Late Friday afternoon solo ride

Thursday, January 2, 2014

New Year’s Day

Drink up Quick the group ride starts in 7 hours
Despite the fact that we stayed out pretty late by our standards we did get up and get at it early on New Years day.
The plan was to meet up with the lodge group and ride 40 or so…  
We did meet up with the group but it was a pretty small and kinda quick moving bunch…  a little more ambitious that we wanted to be.
we decided to just let them go and do our own thing…
Don't spill it

Our own thing was basically riding from Jax Beach through Nocatee…. stopping for hot chocolate…  then riding back into a chilly headwind.  It rained on us pretty much the entire way but we had dressed pretty well for it and really once you get out there in the elements and start moving you basically just take the elements as a given in the equation and soldier on.

Just to illustrate that we are not all work and no play…  after the ride we came home, got thawed out and dried out then ate bacon, eggs and toast, split a bottle of champagne and took a nap.
great way to start off the year.