Tuesday, March 31, 2009
My greatest disappointment came a while back when I bought a chocolate old-fashioned doughnut and rammed it into my face with gluttonous intent, only to find it dry and bland. How do you fuck up an old-fashioned doughnut? Hy-Vee and King Soopers make delicious OFDs, full of greasy chewy crunchy sugary goodness, but the world's biggest coffee retailer can't manage the feat? Or figure out how to buy pastries from someone who can?
Monday, March 30, 2009
Hours this week: 3
Hours this year: 151.5
Miles skated this week: 0
Miles this year: Skates 594, Bike 583
Sunday, March 29, 2009
Saturday, March 28, 2009
I don't know why I dislike this phrase. Maybe because nobody ever says, "Second off," or "third off."
Friday, March 27, 2009
Also, I love Albi the Racist Dragon. Har!
Thursday, March 26, 2009
Now, as it happens, my world record attempt probably will raise money for charity, just like most races. The Boston Marathon, for example, raises money for several charities, including Habitat for Humanity and the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. But if I said I was training for the Boston Marathon, nobody would ask if I was doing it as a fundraiser, would they?
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
My knee is not badly injured. I barely notice it during my daily routine, and during most skating workouts it's more annoying than genuinely painful or debilitating. Sometimes I feel like a wuss for breaking training for something that seems so minor. But I've been an endurance athlete for most of my life, and I have to trust my instinct when it tells me that, in its current condition, my knee can't handle four more months of vigorous training, including long skates of up to 10 hours.
I hate being injured. I hate not knowing how much time my knee will need to heal, and how it will affect my world record attempt. I hate missing out on the sense of accomplishment and progress that regular workouts bring. My body has become accustomed to massive quantities of exercise, and without my fix of physical exertion, I get headaches and tinnitus from unrelieved stress. And when I'm feeling depressed and adrift, I eat junk food to make myself feel better, a tactic that works wonderfully for as long as 8 seconds.
I'm trying not to get too down about this, because in the universe of possible problems this is a small one to have. I'm thinking positively about solutions. I'm trying to learn a lesson about letting go of attachment to silly achievements. I'm trying.
*I don’t mind that there are ads on Facebook, as long as Facebook remains free. But I hate the particular ads on Facebook -- it’s one of the most popular sites on the internet, and the best advertisers they can get are cheesy dating sites and “get your stimulus check” scams? It’s like watching the ads on daytime cable TV. Pretty soon FB will be running ads for shady personal-injury law firms.
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Weighed in at 151 this morning, down 1 pound from two weeks ago, and no change from last week.
Monday, March 23, 2009
How would we like it if America’s national teams played in jerseys that said “EEUU” or something unintelligible (to us) in Arabic or Korean lettering? The only national team I know of that ignores the Roman alphabet is Russia’s hockey team, which follows the tradition of the Soviet Union’s terrifying “CCCP” jerseys by rendering its nation’s name in Cyrillic calligraphy. Is it any coincidence that the resulting jersey is super-sweet?
*Oddly enough, it seems that Japanese baseball teams, playing each other in Japanese baseball leagues, use English names and Roman lettering on their uniforms.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Today: Rode my bike to the gym for leg strength, core strength, balance, and stretching. Time 1:30.
I get occasional twinges in my left knee, but if I stay in low gears on the bike it feels fine. I picked up a patellar ligament strap -- according to the reading I've done, this eliminates pain for some people. I wore it while riding my bike today but it's hard to tell if it's doing any good.
Unfortunately, it now feels like I've slightly strained a muscle in my right quad. I'm going to take this next week even easier then this week -- no leg strength, just easy bike commuting and stretching and balance exercises along with core exercises and maybe some yoga. I've been thinking a lot about what this all means for my record attempt and I'm hoping to post something about that in the next few days.
Hours this week: 5
Hours this year: 148.5
Miles skated this week: 6
Miles this year: Skates 594, Bike 536
WHAT I HATE TODAY: Your daily dose of negative energy (At Least It's Right Twice A Day Edition, Part the Fourth)
This photo taken at 3:37. As far as you know.
Saturday, March 21, 2009
Friday, March 20, 2009
Or maybe basketball itself should copy the pools and start counting 20 points for field goals, 10 points for free throws, and 30 points for long-range field goals. How thrilling it will be when Connecticut beats Gonzaga 770-680 in the title game, with Stanley Robinson scoring 350 points for the Huskies!
I think I’ll start a March Madness pool that scores 17.718 points in the first round, 35.436 points in the second round, 53.154 points in the third round… stop me when this becomes hilarious…
WIHT BONUS! I’m learning to play Bridge, which suffers from the same problem: 30 points for tricks in Spades and Hearts, 20 points for tricks in Clubs and Diamonds, 40 points or 30 points for No Trump tricks, bonuses of 700 or 500 points… divide out the 10, dammit!
Thursday, March 19, 2009
This is too obvious to bother typing out, but anybody trying to lose weight by saving 0.3 calories per breath mint has a long row to hoe. A long and very stupid row.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Monday, March 16, 2009
I’m going to take it easy and recover this week. I’m ahead of last year in terms of both distance and speed, and there’s no reason to risk an injury that could set me back weeks.
Calories: 1250 (250 cal/hr)
Fluid: 2600 ml (520 ml/hr), took 1 potty break
Weight: lost 1 pound, which is fine
Hours this week: 16.25
Hours this year: 143.5
Miles skated this week: 121
Miles this year: Skates 586, Bike 502
Today: What workout? Monday is my day off, except when it’s not.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Friend: "Yeah... that sounds funny."
Me: "I guess you had to be there."
Why do I bother trying to explain other people's funnies? It's utterly futile.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Friday, March 13, 2009
WHAT I HATE TODAY: Your daily dose of negative energy (At Least It’s Right Twice A Day Edition, Part the Third)
This photo taken at 6:38, as far as you know.
The north face of the clock can’t even be right twice a day!
Thursday, March 12, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Monday, March 9, 2009
Sunday, March 8, 2009
Mon ami Philippe Coussy, chasseur de records mondiaux d'endurance à roller, today posted a long skate of 54.5 miles in 3:40:47 (14.8 mph), HR 72%. Bravo, Philippe!
Hours this week: 15.5
Hours this year: 127.25
Miles skated this week: 112
Miles this year: Skates 465, Bike 463
Saturday, March 7, 2009
Today: It was a bit chilly, so I put on the Rad 100s and skated 18 miles in 1:17:25 (14.0 mph), HR 73%, temp 39. Then I rode my bike to the gym for leg strength and core strength. Time 3:15.
The sticker actually came off more easily than it looks in the photo, but only with a few maddening minutes of careful peeling and fingernail-picking. What kind of dumbfuckery is this? Are saucepan manufacturers unaware that proper use of a saucepan involves heating from the bottom, and that an flammable object glued to said bottom might hinder the saucepan’s usefulness? Was there no other way to convey the vital information printed on the sticker?
Friday, March 6, 2009
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Wednesday, March 4, 2009
Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Today I hate horror movies that, instead of going to all the hard work of creating an atmosphere of genuine suspense and creepiness, rely on the lazy technique of showing something semi-scary and then jolting the viewer with a piercing shriek on the soundtrack. This happens in too many bad horror movies to name (and a few good ones, like The Ring) but it came to mind last night as I was watching a trailer for The Haunting in Connecticut, which looks like a garden-variety haunted house movie. Watch the trailer and ask yourself: is what you’re seeing actually scary, or just startling? Admittedly, Haunting does look like it has some creepy scenes -- they’re the ones that are still scary with the sound off. This is part of my general gripe that music and sound design get wielded like a sledgehammer in too many movies. The Blair Witch Project was one of the best horror movies I’ve ever seen, and it only used natural sound.
On a related note, why don’t the people in haunted house movies just move? If you moved into a house and found that the walls were leaking deadly gases, you would move, wouldn’t you? But when movie characters move into a house built on an ancient Indian burial ground and filled with malevolent spirits bent on dragging them into Hell… meh, let's stick it out, we don't want to lose our down payment, after all...
I got an comment on my blog today from mon ami Philippe Coussy, winner of last year's 24-hour solo events at Le Mans and Montreal, and holder of the (unofficial) world record for 24 hours with drafting (~356 miles). He wished me luck with my world record attempt and said that, this September in France, he also will be making an attempt on the 24-hour time trial WR.
This is exciting news. Philippe is a very strong ultradistance skater and a worthy adversary in my quest to become the world's best 24-hour skater. I will be making my WR attempt in July or August, and now my goal has to be not only to break Mauro Guenci's record, but to put the record out of the reach of M. Coussy. I e-mailed Philippe to wish him luck, and I'm looking forward to following his training progress on his blog. What fantastic motivation for me!
Monday, March 2, 2009
I'm a little worried about my left knee, specifically the tissue that connects the bottom of the kneecap to the lower leg bone (the patellar ligament). I strained that ligament during last year's 24-hour race in Montreal. It hurt during yesterday's long skate -- not very much, but enough to make me wonder if it will become a problem. It ached a little today so I've been applying ice and taking ibuprofen.
While I’m at it, why the shortage of sports teams named after mythical creatures of any species? I can think of these offhand: NY Giants, SF Giants, Tennessee Titans, LA Angels, NJ Devils, Washington Wizards… and that’s it. Did we really need for the NBA’s newest team to take the bo-ring name Bobcats, or for the transplanted Sonics to take the idiotic singular name Thunder, when there are names available like the Cyclops, the Centaurs, the Griffins, the Ghosts, the Phantoms, and the Monsters? Women’s teams could be the Medusas (really the Gorgons, I guess), the Furies, or the Sirens. C’mon, marketing departments of major league sports franchises -- how about some creativity?
Sunday, March 1, 2009
For some reason this reminds me of something very sad I saw once at Wash Park: a tiny dog, maybe a Chihuahua, that had somehow lost both of its hind legs and had been fitted with a sort of harness on wheels. The poor little guy was churning his front legs like crazy, but the wheels didn't turn very well, and his tongue was hanging out as he exerted himself to make very slow progress. Meanwhile, his owner -- a chubby lady who probably spends a week in bed if she gets a hangnail -- was walking about 100 feet ahead of her dog, and kept hectoring him in an impatient tone: "Come on, Zippy! Catch up! C'mon, now!" Hey, let's lop off one of your legs and see how fast you get around.
For some reason this reminds me of a conversation I had the other day at a housewarming party, in which both Chihuahuas and dogfighting were mentioned separately. It occurred to me that Chihuahua dogfighting would be The Awesome. By which I mean that it would be a cruel and inhumane practice that any sensible and decent person should condemn. I'm just saying that if someone invited me to a Chihuahua dogfight, I would have to pause a moment before saying, "Obviously not."
BONUS WIHT! Today I also hate the word "Chihuahua," which I could not type correctly in this post.
Hours this week: 14.5
Hours this year: 111.75
Miles skated this week: 100
Miles this year: Skates 353, Bike 407