Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Reality Check

Warning - unusually somber post. Today was supposed to be a normal day. A day in which I spent the vast majority of my time drafting patent applications. It didn't go like that. Instead, as I checked my email on my leash (others call them Blackberry) on my way from the parking garage, I saw a string of emails. Jason Coles, a buddy from law school, was killed in a skiing accident. It's not so much that Jason and I were friends as much as we were friendly to each other and have close friends in common. He married a woman from our law school class and together they recently had a baby. It brought home the fragile nature of things. And brought me to the reality that my tonight would be better spent with my loved ones.

Monday, December 17, 2007

La Sabrosa Mas Linda

My Sabrosa is raging forward. Hand-built and lug-a-licious. And so does my part selection. I've settled on virtually all the parts list - which is as follows. Frame - Sabrosa Hand-Built, lugged Chromoly, single speed specific Fork - Sabrosa Hand-Built, lugged Chromoly, non-suspension corrected Stem - Sabrosa Hand-Built, lugged Chromoly All painted Sabrosa orange with blue lug outlining and detail fill Headset - King 1 1/8 ahead, Silver Wheels - King Classic SS, Silver, Bonti Mustang 32h, DT 1.8 Straight Crankset - Bonti Race SS, 32T Brakeset - Avid SL linear pull, silver Cog - 22T Surly Chain - SRAM PC-1 Tires - Maxxis CrossMark 29er Seatpost - Thomson 27.2, silver Seat - Bonti Race Pedals - Crank Bros., either Candy C's or Acid 2's Handlebar - Salsa Flat, 31.8.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Put the knife down, and step away.

The fear described in the last post about Arizona shocked me back into obsessing about bikes again. Or maybe it was a call from JonBoy. Yeah, it was the call from JonBoy. He'd mitered up the main triangle and was asking me to make some final decisions. Decisions he wanted me to make because it is my bike. Which brings me to my point. I'd written several long-winded pieces about how I try to value my friends and other wandering thoughts. I chose to write this instead. I've got a stable of absolutely first rate bikes - custom titanium or carbon being the predominant theme. A stable I've spent years collecting. Jon is building a bike for me, by hand and without personal gain . He's spent hours on minor details that he could have easily left out. Without a doubt, this will be the bike I value most. It's tough to know how to thank Jon for something so overwhelming. "Thanks, Jon" just doesn't seem to even begin to express it. But I'll start with that, anyway. Thanks, Jon. It means a lot. PQRS (a nod to Jon), you can follow the progress at www.sabrosacycles.com

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Wherein I Completely Lose My Mind

The other day the IT guy here, who just so happens to be one of my more consistent racing buddies, stopped by. He told me about a second Ironman Arizona race. It's a 'second' race because the 'first' race is usually held in April and the second race is being held in November. From now on, the race will be held in November, but for this year only there will be two races. It satisfied the criteria I had been looking for in an Ironman race better than the Florida races had. It's late in the year, so I'll have plenty of time to kill myself at work in the first part of the year so that I can slow up and have a little more time to train. It's close to a major airport that is easily accessible from Salt Lake, so air fare won't be ridiculous. It's geographically close, so the travel time will be low. There was only one thing left - who was I going to race with. The IT flat told me no. I called Mahana and he said he and Kalei would talk about. They called me back to tell me that they - three of the four members of Racer's Cycle Service Tri Team (Karl Jarvis being the other) had already signed up. So, without really thinking of the ramifications, I signed up. I figured I've already done three 1/2 Iron distances and a number of shorter races. Put another way, I've done enough races that I don't consider myself a newbie anymore. Then it started to hit me. The panic that is the open water swim. I always panic, it's just a question of 1) how severely and 2) how long it takes before I can get it to a manageable level. I always freak out because I can't see where I'm going. Add to that any number of people kicking and hitting you. With all that going on, I often forget to breathe correctly, my form goes to crap, and I start feeling like I'm suffocating. Then I think about quitting. Then I think about labelling myself a quitter. Then I put my head back in the soup, find a sustainable pace, and start playing fractional mind games with myself with a diaglogue. E.g. - That second buoy looks like it's about 2/3 of the way around the course. I'm 1/2 way to it, so 1/3 of the way around the course. It's a two-lapper, so 1/6 of the way done. Crap. 1/6 of 1900 is about 325. I've only been 325 meters? Crap. I'd better site again. It doesn't look like I'm any closer. Crap. Is this ever going to end? Roll. Site. . . . ." A recurring theme I have while I'm repeating the above process includes wondering why I signed up for that stupid race anyway. I can only imagine what 1:20 of that is going to be like, and that's if I'm lucky. That could easily drag itself into 1:30 or even 1:40. Then there's the bike. That doesn't really concern me. In fact, this would be a great reason to start a collection of bib and non-bib style Assos shorts. I'll let you know how those work out for me. No number of new shoes or training equipment can get me excited about running a marathon. And let's face it, I don't actually plan on running a marathon, I plan on running until I hit the proverbial wall and then walking. Hopefully, I don't end up doing that leg of the triathlon Andy Bernard style. All of these things were distant enough, until I thought of something realistic. I love to eat. I need to lose weight. That has to start now, which means I need to up my motivation to lose weight now. Once I start training for Hawai'i, weight loss will slow to a crawl. I've got three months to lose weight. Which means I need to start now. I really felt like steak tonight, may with a pepper-cream sauce. I guess it'll be grilled chicken and veggies instead. What have I gotten myself into? Another concern has popped up. Can I still say that I do triathlons, I'm not a triathlete if I've taken on the whole meal deal? I sure hope so.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


For some reason, cyclocross just didn't have the appeal for me this year that is has in years past. Even a G-Whiz new cyclocross bike couldn't get me excited for my traditional late-fall suffer fest. DR and I got out several times on the mountain bike for extra-innings rides, which were fun. But then it got wet and I didn't get around to trading my MTBs for my CX bikes. Instead, I have turned to knives. Kitchen cutlery, actually. My perseverations have focused on everything to do with razor sharp edges. From Forschner to Shun to Wusthof to Henckels to Global and back to Shun. The round trip also picked up some sharpening implements along the way. I finally settled on primarily Henckels for my wife and general use because they take a reasonably sharp edge and hold the edge reasonably well. I also settled on Shun for me because, well, because AB said so. That's not the only reason - it's just that his advertising was most compelling. Much like his scientific approach to cooking makes sense to me, his geometry/Rockwell hardness argument also made sense. So, Shun Classics it is. Now to move on to another perseveration. Hopefully this one will take me back to something fitness related. Knives are good for cooking. Cooking is good for eating. Eating is good for gaining weight.