Say it is so

Via Velonews:

I do have a cycling/triathlete hero who can average 15 mph on her bike on a good day. Why my hero? She donated one of her kidneys to a total stranger. She, my friends, is a hero. Maybe not a cycling hero, but certainly a hero who cycles.

I’ve got a pair of fraternity brothers who share a set of kidneys. There is overwhelming inspiration and good in the world. It just doesn’t always pay well or come with sponsorships.

Embrace and extend, y’all.


Jack’s got 17 lbs to lose; I’ve got 17 lbs to lose – it’s on.

I’d put my money on Jack though – 27K in 40 degree weather.

I, on the other hand, had pizza and ice cream.

We did pick up all the leaves in our yard, and quite a few that blew in from the neighbor’s yards. Anyone out there a landscape artist? I’d like to put something together in the yard (hedges and stuff, maybe a picket fence) that blows the leaves out of my yard into the woods behind the house. How cool would that be?

In any case, I didn’t run/bike/swim this weekend. Nope, just carried quite literally a ton of leaves into the woods and piled them up until they were over my head. I’m seriously thinking about heading out there with my sleeping bag this evening, just ’cause they’re still crunchy and fluffy. Melissa said she’d be worried about the fisher cat that’s allegedly stalking our neighborhood. Yep, Connecticut’s a wild place. Our first house featured a bald eagle that ate (I kid you not) two neighborhood cats.

Now all I need to do is to figure out how to get the ratzel-fratzel neighbors across the street to rake their yard. They’ve got lots of oaks; we don’t. There were more than a couple oak leaves in the pile.

Say it ain’t so…

Robert Heras’ popped positive for EPO in his last test in the Vuelta. He won a record fourth Vuelta a Espana in September.

I wouldn’t be especially bummed about this, except for the potential Lance fallout. Heras was a key player in the USPS juggernaut, and was supposedly tight with Armstrong prior to leaving to lead Liberty Seguros. Much like Tyler Hamilton…

Hamilton’s still appealing his positive test from late 2004; I’m starting to feel sympathetic for him again, by the by.

But what’s bugging me (am i buggin’ you? don’t mean ta bug ya. OK, Edge, play the blues!) is the whole proximity of this to Armstrong. Can you tell someone’s character by the company they keep? I hope not. But there’s the part of me that keeps wondering “Maybe LA figured it out. Maybe he was cheating for seven years, but managed to stay just far enough from the fire to avoid getting tagged…”

Again, I still want to believe in Armstrong. I want to believe…



It’s only been three days since New York, and already my mind’s wondering what’s next. Remarkably, the body’s much happier after NYC than after Mystic Places. Somehow, I made the right decision and laid off instead of breaking myself. Goodness, can I actually be learning something?

In any case, I’m riding high on putting the marathons behind me, and with them, the corpse of my “failure to follow-through” demon. So now, it’s all a matter of setting goals and knocking them down, right? None of this is “official”, of course, but here are some of the things I’m thinking about:

1. Weight. I’m still toting around a little extra lard. To paraphrase the W.K.Kellogg Corporation, “On Billy J you can pinch an inch”. 167 today, right where I’ve been for six months. About 17 lbs above where I ought to be as a 5’7″ type. SO, I’ve got some work to do. At a pound a week, which is a sustainable weight loss, I could hit fighting weight in about 4 months, or February. Sweet. Call that one a goal.

2. Navy Physical Readiness Test. Next one ought to be in … April. Plenty of time. Did the run in 10 minutes last time. No marathon to train for this time. Let’s try to smoke the next one – 100 situps, 75 pushups, and the mile and a half in 9:00. Ambitious? Sure. Within my grasp? Heck yeah, especially if I’m not toting around the equivalent of two gallons of milk. My PRT at the end of OCS met this goal. Sure, we’re almost a dozen years down the road, but I’ve got more than 13 weeks to train, and am starting the training in much better shape than I started OCS. This one is do-able. Not quite the low-hanging fruit of the weight goal, but it’s there.

3. Bluff Point trail race: Broke an hour last year, which still amazes me. I’d like to break an hour again this year; I think if I concentrate, I might be able to break 55 minutes for 7.2 miles. That’s 7:45’s or so, but I’ve completely re-defined the amount of “discomfort” I can subject myself to. 55 minutes – tall order. I’m kind of iffy on this one.

4. Terramuggus Tri series. I’d like to do at least 3 of the 4 races this year, and ideally all of them. I also think I can break an hour. The swim – my worst event, was never more than 12 minutes. Leaving 48 minutes to bike 12 miles and run a 5K. A 20 minute 5K is reasonable for a thirty-something guy no longer lugging around a beer gut. Leaving 28 minutes for the 12 mile bike. Hmm – that’s a 24 MPH average speed. This one may be out of my league – have to shave about 25% off of my best of last year… How ’bout 1:10?

5. New Haven 20K. Hmm, that’s just four 5K’s. So, how ’bout seeing if I can break 90 minutes? Again, a pipe dream, but why not dream big this far in advance?

Thoughts on NYC

First, I’ve got to admit I love going to New York. The energy is intoxicating. I’m not the best traveled person around, but having been to at least Paris and Amsterdam outside the US, I’m pretty sure that New York is, indeed, the center of the Universe. It’s got a history as long and colorful as, say, Boston, but, unlike great historic cities, New York continues to evolve, paving over the past in favor of the future. Amazing.

OK – here’s the scoop: Continue reading Thoughts on NYC

NYC’est Fini

Finished the NY Marathon. Will write more tonight, but wanted to say “Thanks” to all, and give a couple of thoughts:

1. Absolutely a great race if you’re interested in either adding it to your palmares, or interested in just doing one. The course is great, the spectators are amazing, and the race is pretty well supported.

2. It is official – running a second marathon two weeks after your first is a dumb, dumb idea. I completely ran out of gas about mile 18, and walked the majority of the last eight. Partially to avoid excessive pain on Monday, partially because I just couldn’t summon up the will to make my legs turn over at a running pace.

3. In sport that is available to “the rest of us”, NYC deserves a really special place. Coming off of the Queensboro bridge onto Manhattan was amazing – thousands of people waiting at the bottom feels like coming into an Olympic stadium. Then the turn onto First Ave – incredible. Runners and screaming spectators quite literally as far as the eye can see; a swarming mass stretching all the way to the Harlem river. Wow. That was good for an extra two miles out of exhausted legs.

4. I can now say that I recall Central Park in fall. The race promoters must be in on the whole global warming conspiracy – the leaves were golden and releasing as the race entered the park, the sunlight was phenomenal. If not for the pain, I would mark that down as the best 2.5 miles of my running career.

For those keeping score, I came in at slightly over 5 hours. Was on pace for about 4:15 until I completely fell apart at mile 18; the extra 45 minutes are from walking 5 of the last 8 miles.

As I mentioned, I’d recommend the race. Due to the sheer volume of runners, though, I wouldn’t plan on setting a PR at this race.

Jumping on the train soon. Actually looking forward to it, which kind of surprises me. Read Jake a book about the Brooklyn Bridge and John Roebling – starting the brainwashing about engineers early.

Best wishes to everyone else racing this weekend!


Yesterday? 1/2 mile in 30 minutes. Think I’m taking this taper thing a little too literally.

‘Cept it was in the pool.

Yeah, back on standard time, back to hitting the YMCA at night. The upside is that this year, they’ve added another hour to the evening lap swim, so there were like two other guys in the pool when I started.

So, I took it easy – 5x breast, two sets of 5x free, and a cooldown of 5x breast. Never really breathed hard.

But it felt good to be back into the water. My arms were kind of confused – “Hey, what gives? We don’t get used continuously …” I could really, really feel the neglected triceps, delts, and lats, and even my core was starting to complain near the end (Note to self – this is why you do pushups and situps). But it felt good. Taking back to the water this year looks to be an easier transition than last year.

As far as NYC goes?

Frankly, I think the anticipation to this race is worse than the anticipation for Mystic Places. There’s none of the “Hey, I’m going to be a marathoner” to look forward to, and on top of the general soreness of the race, it’s 3 hours back to the house once I limp down to Grand Central. Bleh. But, I should be able to see some folks I haven’t seen in a while, which will be nice.

After this? I start working on Christian – he’s going to start the NYC road runners’ beginning running program next week, and I’m gonna do it with him. Begin with easy walking, works up to 5 miles in about 2 months. Should be fun. I also start counting calories next week – down to 160 by Christmas?


Saturday was an unexpectedly nice day. The forecast called for rain, but, for once, it erred on the side of water, and was beautiful and sunny. Baby was going down for a nap, wife had loaded up the car with stuff for Goodwill, and she says “Hey, why don’t you go drop this off, and stop and run at Bluff Point on your way home.”

Dude, I was on that like stink on poop.

Quick kiss for my soulmate and into the car before she could come to her senses, and I was on the way to drop off our stuff.

One of the downsides of both Missy and I dropping decent poundage over the last year is that we’re both rapidly running out of clothes that fit. One of the upsides is that there’s good stuff at the thrift store. Now, I’m just hoping that someone out there is getting fat.

The run at the point? Absolutely everything it could be. Perfect temperature, legs felt good, lungs felt good. Really no gripes at all. The Nano was firing on all eight, a little Lyle Lovett, little Jamie Cullum, and an unexpected treat in “Sowing the Seeds of Love” from Tears for Fear.

Tell you what – having the Marathon over = huge load off of my psyche. Running’s fun again. Monkey is playing happily in the trees of my brain again, instead of jumping up and down on my back and flinging feces. The buzzard’s no longer perched on the doghouse. AND, Frazz rocked this sunday:

The song lyrics are as follows:

The Midwest’s climate poignantly
describes in sweet analogy
the pace and temporality
the seasons and our lives reflect.

I like this part especially –
the chilly breath of urgency
in sync with the cacophony
the pigments in the leaves project

We’re warned against complacency
while reassured emphatically
that aging isn’t entropy:
It’s how we reach our fiery peak.

That blinding blowout brilliantly
asserts a truth we need to see.
So pity, then, the retiree
who moved where autumn doesn’t speak.

heh, heh – he said “entropy”. Thermodynamics rocks, y’all.