Wednesday, January 31, 2007

All this drinking, tsk tsk....

All of you should try living a clean, healthy, athletic-minded lifestyle like me, i.e. foregoing the booze. Yep, haven't had a drink yet today, and it's done wonders.

And Carolyn, Carolyn, don’t listen to these namby-pamby boy wonders advising you to “take it slow” and “don’t push yourself” and all that other claptrap. Life is not for the half-assed and timid. If you’re going to Montana to ski, and you insist on taking to the slopes rather than following my “ski bunny” methodology, well then, you should do it right, after taking advantage of the "private lesson" part of it. It’s just as easy to ski down a mountain as it is a wee hill. Here I am in my own extreme skiing adventure:


Nothing to it. And at least you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that if/when you go tumbling down the mountain, you’ll look damn fine doing it in your spiffy new ski attire.



And Max, what is this “old” garbage – at 25? If the lumbago ever stops acting up, I might just have to beat the crap out of you for making those kinds of incendiary and outlandish statements.

yes, i hope so....

and really... what have we gotten ourselves into everybody?!?!?

hmmm

Max, isn't apres ski supposed to be a bit more civilized?

and Chuck, always spoken like a true attorney! We've already made Tasha's head spin today with the legal jargon, maybe one victim a day is enough??? little did everyone know they were signing up to do a triathlon with 2 attorneys!!!

ring a bell....

Innocent until proven guilty!!!

i am just fooling around Chuck, come on......please dont come after me, i just became a citizen a year ago!! :(

Fabricating Evidence

I saw the date on the photo, but I am not confident it accurately reflects the date on which the photo was taken.

like i have nothing better to do....

Well maybe i dont, and maybe i do....

this picture was taken on october 15th, physical evidence right there in the bottom right corner, i thought out of all people...Chuck...you would catch that. It was a week away from my first marathon, i was weak and vulnerable, and felt old (25th birthday) so i had to take my mind of somehow.

that bottle worked :)

Skiing and Boozing ...

Initially, I should mention that I think Max did NOT get that photo off his old computer files. He probably had an idea for a cute post today and at 3:00 pm he pulled out a bottle of booze and started chugging with the camera timer set. not that there's anything wrong with that.

Re the ski trip, don't worry about going directly from Wilmot "Mountain" (rather, "ice hill") to the west. I skied Wilmot maybe 20 years ago for my first time and couldn't stay upright. I went to the bar with my older brother's girlfriend, who also couldn't stay upright (on SKIS people, on SKIS, get your minds out of the gutter!!).

Next time I went was Winter Park, CO and got a ski lesson from my brother-in-law. Agree with Ryan to get a real lesson, not family, but he had taught before and was really good at it. Did fine on greens first 2 days and then went to blues on day 3, so you don't need to really have any skill when you get there. I think stay green until you think it's boring then graduate if you can. Don't jump a color unless you think the lower color is too easy. With the better snow, better runs and better teachers, going west is actually easier skiing than here.

Hopefully, this won't be you ...

Yep....


Yeah it was that foggy, and this was just in WI, can you imagine how its going to be where you are heading.


dont worry, just take on of these with you.....


good advice!

thanks for all the advice from everyone!

i am definitely taking another private lesson. in fact, the entire first day we have a private instructor setup for me. the hubby said he wouldn't try to teach me because we know that wouldn't turn out well! we had one experience where i tried to give him a horseback riding lesson (i showed horses for years) and let's just say at the end of the day we decided that from now on if he was going to take a lesson he should go see my trainer rather than have me give him a lesson! oh and him trying to help me on the golf course isn't a grand idea either, so in the interest of enjoying the vacation and not asking to come home on separate planes, we have gotten me a private instructor!

snow shoeing sounds like fun! i'll have to try that out!

If I were to go skiing in Montana with limited experience...

What might I do if I were going skiing in Montana with very limited skiing experience? Well, since you ask, I might do the following:

- Take another private lesson (don't have the hubby teach you, unless you don't want to enjoy the trip)
- Try snowshoeing (it's fun, and one hell of a workout)
- Don't break any bones and don't come home on crutches or any other medically prescriped device
- Try using the hottub daily

hurricane season is early this year!!!

There is a big storm heading to Florida!
GO BEARS!!

no need to worry

i may be tumbling down the mountain and running into things and making a complete ass of myself, but no need to worry, i will look damn good while doing it! upon learning of this trip i thought...shopurtunity!!! so, i bought some cute ski pants, of course the new ski jacket (which might i add is quite practical and warm when i'm walking our dogs at 6am), and all the accessories! so, i may not be able to ski, but i'm going to look good trying!!!

Tips for Carolyn

Carolyn, unlike the boys, I'm here to help you out with some practical advice.

1. Go out and buy the most high-tech, snazzy ski garb you can find.
2. Put it on at home and practice strutting around, looking as cool as possible, kind of like Richard Pryor and Gene Wilder in that movie, whatever it was. “That’s right, we’re bad, uh huh…”
3. Get to ski resort, start talking (loudly) in public places about how you’re just coming off your latest extreme skiing trip in Chamonix, France, which was fine and all, but oh, Mont Blanc is simply becoming a tad predictable.

4. Go unpack, come downstairs and begin the “wounded pigeon” maneuver, i.e. start limping.
5. Spend rest of “ski” vacation wrapped up in a blanket in front of the obligatory ski lodge roaring fire, sipping hot chocolate, eating bonbons, and regaling a rapt audience with made-up stories about your past skiing adventures.

See, it’s all about the marketing. I mean, I’m sure you didn’t actually intend to SKI out there, did you? That would be so non-team oriented that the possibility didn’t even occur to me.

And Kevin, while I might play hockey against big burly macho guys, I would like to note that unlike the rest of you, I a) am of sturdy peasant stock, and b) have innate athletic prowess and am highly skilled in the sport I’ve taken on outside of swim-bike-run, thus lessening the chance of injury. Of course, now I’ve just jinxed myself. Damn.

And…."coulians"? Are we nestled next to our beloved thesaurus again? Or are you dating yet ANOTHER French astrophysicist? Don't you remember what happened last time? I'd think the annoyance of replacing all your stuff after Jacqueee knocked over the cigarette during her absinthe-fueled binge and caused her experimental particle collider to explode....well, I'd think that would give you pause.

you're kidding right?

please tell me you are kidding that you mistakenly ended up on the wrong run?!!! and also, is that picture real? is it really that foggy and snowy? well, at least this will be a comical vacation!!! mushing is looking really good right now!

montana

kevin, in regards to montana, well that would be my husband (the guy in the picture with me on the blog). as a wedding gift, his uncle gave us a trip out to whitefish, montana to do some skiing! really thoughtful gift and all, but the only problem is that i never skied before this past weekend! my husband thought i was kind of joking and that i had skied before as a kid, but then he realized that i hadn't and thought oh SH*T and thus why i ended up at wilmot on saturday. i'm banking on there being a lot of powder to soften my falls! oh and did i mention that the chair lifts at wilmot scared the crap out of me! the instructor then informed me that the chair lifts in montana would be a lot higher and i started rethinking what i'm doing going on this trip! the only saving grace might be that the place we are staying also has non-skiing sports that i could partake in if the skiing doesn't go as planned. among these sports is dog sled/mushing which i think might be rather amusing! i promise to come back with some pictures if i do that! and if all sports fail for me there is one thing that i know that i will be great at, apres ski! yes, i know that i have no problems sitting in a bar having cocktails!

yes, i am starting to realize that between this montana trip and this goofy triathlon thing i may be a little nuts, but you are not far behind me as you signed up to swim in freezing cold water with crazy sea lions and sharks and then subject yourself to the rest of the course including the sandladder!

Godspeed.....


Make sure you know where you are taking the lift to, we thought we were going to a not so bad trail but ended up on black diamond....due to the fog, we had no idea where we were going and when we asked one of the workers at the midway drop off, he told us that yeah its a blue circle or something like that.


NO....this was on top of that hill that we went up to, me and my brother were fine, but the girl who came with us wasnt, it was her first time skiing....wish i had the pics with me of her fall...she was ok though so dont worry, good thing snow is soft unless there is ice.

Almost Hump Day

Tasha - two words - ICE HOCKEY. Ring a bell? Yeah. You're coming down on poor Max for a simple game of B Ball and you're out there throwing elbows with large, out of shape boys. Tsk tsk. Check yourself before you wreck yourself. Word. And let's get it right, I ride the backs of live, large, pissed-off farm animals, not mecahnical ones. (Hey, you'd be pissed too if someone tied a rope around your coulians. Capiche?)

Carolyn - two words - YOU'RE NUTS. From Wilmot to Montana? Hmm. Well, at least when you fall there will be more snow and it will be softer. Steer clear of trees and large boulders. And stopping after you've fallen will take a little longer since you're on a mountain instead of a molehill. Literally. But enjoy the ride, or... uh... slide. WHO talked you into that one?

Workouts in slow mode as Dad duties reign. Will free up Thursday / Friday for some asskicking sessions.

WHEN THE HELL WILL SPRING GET HERE?! THIS WEATHER BLOWS!

two days in a row...

well, i actually got my lazy ass out of bed again this morning to go to the gym for some strength training! two days in a row, i'm actually thinking that maybe i'm headed in the direction of actually training for this and coming out of hibernation a little early this winter!

in regards to the ankle, when it is feeling better i would do some stability exercises for it as that usually helps and helps prevent further injuries. if you have one of those bosu balls or have one at your gym, that helps a lot with stability for your ankle and stuff if you do 1 legged work. good luck and i hope that your ankle feels better!

along the lines of random injuries and sports that are not included in the run-bike-swim, i'm headed out to montana next week to ski and i'm asking everyone to please say a little prayer that i come back in one piece! you see, i skied for the first time in my life this past weekend at wilmot and let's just say it didn't go very well and i have the bruises to show for it! those little 3 and 4 year olds on the bunny hill were skiing circles around me! talk about embarassing, there i am with an instructor taking a private lesson because i was too embarassed to sign up for ski school with the little kids and i was falling left and right on the bunny hill! oh and for a good laugh, i even fell on totally flat ground while just standing there on my skis! so, i'm off to montana a week from today with my husband. he is a great skier and me, not so much. we are having a ski filled weekend and all i'm hoping is to come home in one piece! so, if anyone has any tips or suggestions for accomplishing my goal, then please share!

T-minus.....

Love the new countdown clock.....now i have something to do at work! :)

though its kinda scary how fast time is moving, and the dreaded swim approaches!

I wont do any more of those stupid activities, i will be safe with swim-bike-run, you cant really roll an ankle while swiming, or biking, or running, no way.....those sports go in one direction and one direction only which is FORWARD to VICTORY!!!

Sorry Tasha and everyone else, i didnt mean to let the team down, IT WONT HAPPEN AGAIN!!!

What's luck got to do with it?

Max, Max, Max. Sigh. What have we learned from this little lesson? It is that when one is a finely honed athlete such as ourselves, whose team is depending on us, we do NOT risk getting injured OFF THE CLOCK!!! I shake my head in dismay at all of you, quite frankly. Swim-bike-run people, swim-bike-run. That’s all we should be doing. None of this “basketball with friends” hooey. See where that got you? And now what are the rest of us supposed to do, without you swimming in the Bay ahead of us, breaking up the ice floes, punching sharks, letting us draft? Maybe think about someone other than yourself once in a while, hmm? And that goes for the rest of you too! Annette with the surfing, Heather with the parasailing, Kevin with the mechanical bull riding, Chuck with the Greco-Roman wrestling……..get with the program, folks! Sheesh.

On another note, it’s 10AM and no scintillating new writeup from Ryan on his Morning Workout Day II, dammit. Waiting, waiting………(tapping fingers impatiently)

Unlucky.....

Yeah....so i rolled my ankle monday while playing basketball with some friends, i guess that kind of cross training is out of the question now. The ankle is not horrible, i can walk fine and even jump on the leg but i need to get it fixed so i can start training for the sand ladder, and kicking sharks in the eye as a last resort.

Been RICEing since monday evening, any other suggestions on making this go away as fast as possible.

Thanks a lot TEAM!!!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Conversations at the gym

Colleen: Does this new bathing suit make me look like a sausage casing?
Tasha: Umm, no, you’d have to have some body fat for that to happen. Besides, I believe the term “sausage casing” is trademarked so that it can only apply to wetsuit appearance.
Colleen: I don’t have that problem in wetsuits.
Tasha: Bitch.
Colleen: (evil laugh)
Tasha: (gingerly dipping one toe in swimming pool) AYEEEEEE! AAyyy…c….cc...ccccc...co..co..col.......eeeeeeee…….eeeeeeeee (whimpering helplessly). Oh my GOD, WHAT is their problem, did someone forget to pay the heating bill?? Are they insane?? I think my toe is frozen! Chilblains! Gout is setting in! That water must be 54 degrees – I didn’t promise them homegrown cabbages from my garden this summer as payment just so that I could suffer through THIS kind of mistreatment! Where’s my lawyer?! Chu-huck, oh YOO HOO…..Chu...hu….
Colleen: (interrupting) The water is 82 degrees.

(silence)

Tasha: (stony, mutinous look) That’s impossible. Look, it’s practically icing over.
Colleen: No, really, the thermometer is over there, see? (jumps merrily in and swims off)
Tasha: Shit. I am so screwed.

my attempt at preparing for the sandladder!

so, this morning i force myself to get up bright and early and workout because i have come to realize that unless i workout in the AM before work, i'm not going to get a workout in because of how late i've been getting home lately. i walk outside and prepare myself for the walk to the gym (3 blocks) and then i turn around and walk right back inside because it was so damn cold! got the keys to the car and pulled the ultimate lazy ass move and drove the 3 blocks to the gym. hey, at least i got there! decided instead of running or something else, i would attempt the stair machine, the one with the rotating stairs, and thus begin my training for the lovely sandladder. well, let's just say i have a long way to go! that thing was hard and i was huffing and puffing and dripping with sweat! all throughout the workout all i could think is, "what in the hell did i get myself into? and i wonder if there is a way around the sandladder on the race course?" i have come to the realization that i have a long way to go to master this sandladder thing and i have a feeling that stairmaster might be my new best friend/worst enemy!

The PG-ish version

Many captions come to mind for that picture, Chuck, particularly in response to the "There's nothing we won't do for you" bit. Unfortunately, the only ones I can state without betraying my ladylike sensibilities are along the lines of:

(presuming said lawyer is the one on the bottom): Taking it in the...."patootie"...for you, at just $350 an hour.
(presuming said lawyer on top): Reaming that lowly bastard for you, so you don't have to.


Chuck, how long has said competitor lawyer been insane? We do have a psychologist on our team - perhaps a referral would be in order?

2 Doofi ...

... I think that's the plural of doofus. Remember boys, people only make fun of lawyers til they need one. I now add you both to the blocked caller list.

Pick Me, Pick Me!!

I know the answer to this question:

"Hey, what do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of Lake Michigan...?"

A good start? Except, this doesn't apply to Chuck, even though he's a lawyer, he's the moderator of our blog, so I have to be nice.

I'm Guessing...

The lawyer is the one "driving the bus" in this scenario...

Hey, what do you call 1,000 lawyers at the bottom of Lake Michigan...?

Morning Workouts - Day 1

I got home last night around 8:00, feeling lazy and not wanting to ride or run, so I came up with an ingenious idea, do some strength training, go to bed at a decent time, and get up early to ride on the trainer. The strength training part was no problem, the going to bed at a decent time, wasn't as easy. I aimed for 10:00, which I know is impossible, but I made it to bed around 10:30ish. So, I kind of gain consciousness and think, I've been sleeping forever, I must have overslept, lift my head, and nope, it's 4:58, 17 minutes to sleep. Alarm goes off, clumsily reach for phone, hit snooze, fall back asleep. Repeat process several times. Finally look at time, crap, it's 5:44, I don't want to get up. Run through options, can I even fit in a workout, how long will it take me to get up and hop on bike, should I just get up and go to work early and leave early (like that would happen). Finally drag my lazy self out of bed, get ready, put on my heart rate strap (btw-the straps are meant to be washed periodically, like probably every month, mine's never been washed since last purchasing last summer - it smells like it), now I'm looking for my watch, where the hell is it. Can't find it anywhere, it's underneath my computer bag. The display is all messed up, the bag must have been pushing some of the buttons. Finally realize that maybe I should press all four at once, it works, it comes back to life. The date says 1/29, the time is 9:50 pm, apparently it must have frozen up sometime last night, probably around 9:50 pm. Finally, I hop on the trainer, ride for 30 minutes. Once I got about 5 minutes into it, it wasn't so bad, I was semi-awake and once I got done, I felt better. Maybe I'll decide to punish myself the same way tomorrow morning.

What the hell is he thinking ?!?!

no joke, this is an exact photo and caption from the website of an opposing counsel ...



There's nothing we won't do for you

Monday, January 29, 2007

It's All About Endurance

There are events that we do not speak of the will require some training - at least on my part - in order to survive out trip to SF. To that end, I did some endurance training of a different kind Saturday night and went to the infamous Cobra Lounge on Ashland at Fulton. I endured many drinks (I do not drink beer) and remained standing and did not get ill. If that' s not endurance I don't know what is. I also endured a safe ride home and the 9 hours in a warm bed to sleep it off. So while Tasha was doing some training, I was doing my own kind as well.

Personally, I think she's tougher.

Or insane.

You decide.

Don't forget your hoodies, that water is cold !!

“Well, That’s One Idiot Down….”

- quote by someone who shall remain unnamed as the first Frozen Bogey finisher came running past us

So, though my workouts have been sporadic these last 2 weeks at best, I figured hey, there’s nothing like a long run in sub-zero blustery, frigid weather along the lakefront to get one back on track, right? Unlike some of the less heartier (read = highly intelligent and evolved) people who took a gander at the 20 below wind chill and said “uhhh……not” – I was not deterred. No sirree. A plan is a plan. No backing out now. Wind, bah, I scoff at your paltry wind! I……..holy shit, are they kidding me? I step out of Robyn’s building, where we’ve just signed in for the race, and a gust of bitter wind assails me and literally takes my breath away. How can I run if I can’t breathe? Minor details, I tell myself. Except that I haven’t even made it to the starting line, and my hands are already quite painfully frozen. (Thanks, Colleen, for the extra glove liners via Bridget!)

Clearly, a few modifications to the plan are in order. This is good in a way, because I wouldn’t want to veer too much from my TRotoK Training Plan, lest I risk overtraining and the subsequent need for much sitting in hot tubs, cozy heating pads, therapeutically resting on the couch snuggled under a blanket with hot cocoa, massage therapy administered by some of the many dark-haired, rugged hockey players who have undoubtedly turned to masseusery as a sideline business………

Oh, sorry, my mind wandered there for a minute. Anyway, I guess I don’t want to overtrain. But I’ve studied the map, and running to the first aid station at least will provide a semblance of a workout, so I set off determinedly in that direction, being careful to not spill from the cup of hot chocolate that I’m clutching. The potential horror of that slows my usual pace a bit, but after about 20 minutes, I’ve gone the .6 of a mile or so and promptly go to warm up in the aid station “tent,” aka someone’s car with the heat blasting. This is where the tough part begins, because we all know the pitfalls and travails that come with volunteering/spectating. After all, the fear of getting a deadly blood clot from sitting for hours on end is real, and so I do some stretching while peering out at the crazy fools actually running the Frozen Bogey. Well, peering at those I can actually see, because the wind has picked up, it’s snowing, and we seem to be in the midst of what the forecasters would call “squalls.” The spigot for the water jug has frozen, the Accelerade is slurpee consistency, the camera batteries have died. In other words, “fun”!

To those of our Alcatraz group who had the good common sense that God gave them to play the "bunion" excuse in order to stay in their warm, cozy, comfy beds, I salute you, and I do believe that next time I’ll be right there with you. Hmm, that didn’t come out quite right. Well, you know what I mean. I think. Umm, so anyway, how ‘bout them Blackhawks?

Saturday, January 27, 2007

BBBrrrrrrr

Sounds like a theme for this years racing is forming. Welcome to the year of the cold races, maybe I should already invest in one of those neoprene swim caps… I wonder if anyone would notice if I showed up with one on for the frozen bogey…

Anyway, I’m off to go and find more layers to run in tomorrow… think maybe if I wera enough layers I could get someone else to just roll me along, would that be cheating?

I think maybe those surf lessons aren’t going to come in very handy within the next couple of months :)

Friday, January 26, 2007

Yes, we're all insane...

....but I consider that part of our charm. Using the standard definition of "charm" here, i.e. "total whackjobs doing crazy shit just for the fun of it."

Chuck, love the pic of Jack - he definitely has the right idea there.

About The Deal, I have 2 points to make:

1) Kevin is hereby nominated as Dad of the Year, nay Decade. If anyone would like to try to trump him on this, bring it on. I think it'll be tough.

2) Is there anyone out there in InternetLand who would like about, say, 50 boxes of assorted Girl Scout Coookies? Preference going to a shelter, old folks' home, food pantry, etc.? I'm totally serious. Email me.

HOO-RAY FOR FRIDAY !!!!!


Tasha and Kevin Seal the Deal...

No, no, not like THAT.

Here's how it'll go down. Tasha will wear only a skimpy bathing suit of her choice under her wetsuit for the swim only. Clothing choice after the swim is up to her and what she can get away with in transition.

Kevin will wear only the Borat style V swim suit under his wetsuit and likewise, may change into something else in transition into the bike leg.

In addition, Tasha has agreed to purchase $200 worth of girlscout cookies from Kevin's daughter, Emily (the things we do for our kids...).

Stay tuned post race for complete coverage and pictures.... God help us all.

Youtube

This has nothing to do with triathlon, San Francisco, etc., though I have a disturbing vision of Kevin and Max performing this in a duo. This video made me laugh out loud.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

testing.....

Wouldnt this Frozen bogey half marathon be a good place to test out that water heater that you wanted to bring to San Fran?!?!?!?

or not.....what the hell do i know

So that Ironman thingy....are you like training for that one ? its kinda long isnt it?!?!??!

but.......

…..that doesn’t mean I’m going to take the bait and wear lingerie (!) under my wetsuit. Sweetie, that is SO not practical. My nice stuff will get ruined, and the cheap stuff (shudder), well, it probably doesn’t look that great under the best of circumstances, i.e. after lots of booze, fuzzy lighting, blindfolds, etc., so I can’t quite imagine the look during a race. Given how frightening this might be, indeed, people might wind up staring at my feet. My stockingless feet, no less.

And for all you skeptics and naysayers out there, I would like to note that YES I am training! For a change! It’s a little alarming that my friends keep asking me “so what’s your plan for this? And that Ironman thing, are you training for that? That’s a long race, you need to be working out you know.” Oh ye of little faith. I have no doubt whatsoever that my plan, The Thighmaster Route to Kona, will pull me through just fine.

Speaking of training, our friend Robyn has put together a half-marathon race, The Frozen Bogey, to be run this weekend along the lakefront. Sunday, to be exact. When it’s going to hit 1 below. Did I mention the race is along the lake, with its legendary winds? So my question is, who’s bringing the bus tokens?

Thanks.....

...Kev, and everyone else for the support. He was indeed a true and loyal friend…..would that everyone is so lucky as to have a Hudson in their lives at some point…

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

A Moment of Silence, Please...

Hey. We all like to have fun and take shots at our friends, but when serious things happen, we rally together.

Tasha lost her dog Hudson today and they were tight, so let's send her our thoughts and prayers, ok? He was quite the friend. God speed, Hudson.


Hudson 6/17/1993 – 1/24/2007

Indecent Proposal

Tasha -

I wll pay $250 CASH if you wear something comperable to "Tami's" outfit under your wetsuit, and nothing else. I will let you off the hook in that it doesn't have to be a thong, you know, 'cause I'm a good guy, but it does have to have the stockings and belt. You can cut the stockings off at the ankles for your feet. (Besides, whose looking at your feet?)Chuck can draw up the contract.

Put up, or...

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Eye schmeye

Carolyn, forget the eye thing. Oh, it would probably work, but aiming for such a small target might be a bit of a stretch. I've always heard that the NOSE is the way to go - punch that sucker in the nose and he'll go off crying, swimming home to mama.

Or, you could try my plan. Now that my dear friend Kevin has let the cat out of the bag, so to speak, I might as well share. Since the good scientists at Fermilab wouldn't let me use their Hadron Collider to complete my warm fusion propulsion accelerator that would enable me to get through the water quickly and thus lessen the probability of shark issues, I went to Plan B, Operation Skimpy Attire.

I've determined that if I wear the skimpiest of bathing suits underneath my wetsuit (and of course will not be putting said wetsuit on over said bathing suit until the last possible minute), one that is not the least bit triathlon appropriate, then by my calculations I should be surrounded by a little ring of female-attention-starved male triathletes during the swim, and any shark trying to get to me will have to go through them first. Given that these guys have been training for months and are now faced with the specter of a female who actually understands such madness, who gets equally giddy over shiny new tri toys, whose idea of fun is a 40-mile bike ride out in the country, and who's crazy enough to be planning to jump into frigid Lake Michigan on May 1st......well, I'm thinking my plan might have a shot. You might want to think about it too - I'm sure your hubby wouldn't mind - your health and sanity are what matter here.

I should note that unlike Kevin's friend Tami, I do NOT plan to wear lingerie during my swim. How silly. We all know that saltwater wreaks havoc on silk and lace.

And Chuck, by the way......how come you didn't mention that the dreaded sandladder is TWO MILES LONG???

swim checklist

so, that article was supposed to reassure me that if a shark happens to chomp on my head and then on my side, if i remember to poke the shark in the eye, i will be ok?! so, now the things running through my head are going to be a mixture of the following:
  1. you can do this, focus on the task at hand and swimming and you will forget about everything else
  2. remember to poke sharks in the eyes
  3. hakuna mattata
  4. remember to poke sharks in the eyes
  5. watch out for crazy sea lions that like to bite swimmers legs
  6. remember to poke sharks in the eyes
  7. watch out for sharks that chomp on people's heads
  8. remember to poke sharks in the eyes
  9. curse Chuck continously for convincing me to do this
  10. remember to poke sharks in the eyes

the above will be like a broken record running through my head during the swim. when i get to the shore i will either be the happiest person because i have completed this and hopefully gotten over some of my fear or i will be a raving lunatic! ha-ha! if you see me muttering to myself while on the ferry, you will know that it will be a combination of the above checklist for my swim that i am merely going over in my head!

i'm off to flip through the yellowpages and find a good shrink!

Carolyn, you should find this reassuring

Yet more evidence of half-assed pansy-wuss sharks that can't get the job done. I mean really - swallow someone's head and the guy walks away whistling, with nary a care in the world? Sharks just aren't what they used to be, that's for sure.

--------

SYDNEY, Australia - A diver escaped a 10-foot shark's attack by poking the animal in its eye after it had already chomped on his head once and was preparing for another bite, witnesses and officials said Tuesday.

Eric Nerhus, 41, was flown to a hospital with serious injuries to his head, body and left arm after the attack Tuesday off Cape Howe, about 250 miles south of Sydney.

The shark grabbed Nerhus by the head, crushing his face mask and breaking his nose, said Dennis Luobikis, a fellow diver who witnessed the attack.

"He was actually bitten by the head down — the shark swallowed his head," Luobikis said.

The shark, believed to be a great white, came back for a second bite, clenching its jaws around Nerhus' torso and leaving deep lacerations in his side, said Luobikis.

Nerhus wrestled free of the shark's jaws, and later told rescue workers he had poked the shark in the eye, an unidentified worker from the Snowy Hydro Rescue Helicopter service told local media.

Nerhus was pulled from the water by his 25-year-old son and rushed to a hospital, suffering blood loss and shock.

"Eric is a tough boy. He's super fit," said Luobikis. "But I would say that would test anyone's resolve, being a fish lunch."

Shark attacks are relatively common in Australian waters, home to some of the world's deadliest sea life. Scientists say there are an average of 15 shark attacks a year in Australia — one of the highest rates in the world — and just over 1 per year are fatal.

Swim and Songs

I have been in touch with a member of the Golden Gate Tri Club about getting our groups together for some sort of social activity during that weekend and possibly joining some of its members for a Saturday swim ... if anyone's interested in that.

I am all over Carolyn's idea of singing songs in her head during the swim. Have done it many times. My personal favorites are Hakuna Matata from The Lion King and Fly Me to the Moon by The Chairman, the second one mostly because it reminds me of Jack singing it. Yes, he's 4 and he knows all of the words, maybe the cutest thing ever

The Legend of Hairy Steve

I had heard about this urban legend for a while... but never would I have ever really truly believed it unless I had seen it with my own eyes.*

Then last night... there he was. Hairy Steve.

I had heard that this guy haunts the swim lap lane on the end of the pool, gives everyone a hard time, and swims not unlike a oversized frog with a bad twitch. To boot, and just to paint a picture, he "wears" a God-given sweater, the likes of which I have never seen. Someone gave him a name. Hairy Steve. I can see why.

And thus, my challenge last night was to share a lane with Hairy Steve, or AquaSquatch as I now affectionately call him. Now mind you, I don't have a thing against people whose swim stroke isn't perfect, or against large men who the The Man upstairs has generously added a extra layer of body hair, as I am not one of the prettiest and smoothest guys you've ever seen either. But these things add to the color of the person who doesn't seem to be able to be polite, or to share, especially when we're talking about something as rediculous as a swim lane - for 1/2 hour.

I tried, but after 15 minutes, I quit.

I got scratched or kicked every time I passed him in the opposite direction. Passing in the same direction was tough since he swims very slow and kicks out way wide. So rather than start a war over territorial waters, I played Switzerland and bailed on taking a stand. He was there first, and thus retained the right to be unwilling to make accomodations and be arrogant about it on purpose. But next time I will get there a little earlier, and claim the lane first, and thus my rules (the ones for fair play and being courteous) will be in effect.

So beware, AquaSquatch.

Next time, we play nice.

Or else.

* OK, that's exaggerated.

Adendum: Thanks Heather, but "smartassery" is Tasha's word. Taking full credit for that would incur her wrath and God knows I don't need THAT. Lest she order me another pink horn for my bike, or worse...

two bay swims?!

wait a minute, a saturday swim in the bay?! who thought of this one?! chuck, i will be right there with you onshore unless somone shoves me into the bay on saturday for a swim in addition to the shove off the ferry for the race!

i really like the idea of being so focused at the task at hand that you forget about everything else theory! i will try this theory for the race and hope to overcome my fear. maybe this will be the trick that works. one trick i was told once was to sing songs in my head during the swim and i would forget about everything else except the song and getting to the finish line. well, in case anyone else is going to try this theory, it didn't really work. so, on to the next trick!

oh and i jumped in the pool this weekend without even doing my usual 5 minute routine to get in!! progress!!!

"You Ain't So Bad"

In an homage to Rocky Balboa, the man, the legend (and the fact that I am going to see the movie this Thursday, just for fun, since it probably sucks) I say to all sharks out there the immortal words delivered from one Mr. Balboa to one Clubber Lang: "you ain't so bad." Can't even finish the job cutting someone in half. Jeez. What wusses ...
And I am with Heather on the whole just jump in and swim thing. I am leaning toward skipping the Saturday Bay swim. What's that gonna do? Show you how cold or choppy it is, when it may be completely different chop or current the next day? Serious likelihood of freaking someone out. I won't mention any names but let's just say that it starts with "c" and ends in "n" and has an "aroly" in the middle. Me, I may be hanging at the Boudin on the pier all nice and warm, with a coffee and a clam chowder in the sourdough bread bowl.

cross training

phew, after 4 days out of town, the blog has grown and grown. I must compliment Kevin on my new favorite word - smartassery. I was ready to fight, but then you said I weigh 105. Now, that is hilarious. Anyway, inspired by Annette's week at surf school, I took a windsurfing crash (ha!) course. I did crash, but only into the water, so it was fine. Dudes, wind surfing is fun! And a full body workout to boot. To gloat for just 1 second, imagine the scene - upper 70s, sunny, good breeze, just off Key Biscayne in Miami...twas glorious. I recommend. It was also helpful in debunking my fears a wee bit. I wasn't out in the middle of the ocean or anything, but I was definitely not hovering near the beach either. I realized that I was so focused on the task at hand (getting back on that damn board) that I hadn't really thought at all abt any sea life or ingesting too much salt water or whatever. I have a feeling that once we get there, get in the water, and have to go, we'll be paying far too much attention to getting to the other side to think too much abt the scary stuff. This is what I'm telling myself and no one shall present any evidence to the contrary!

The Route

After Annette's post, I did some looking to try to figure out elevations/route/etc. If you don't want to know, then don't read. If you do, read on.

This is our bike course for our race, the Escape from the Rock. You can see it shows no elevations. This is the bike/run course for the similar Escape from Alcatraz, with elevations, bike route is in blue, run is in red. You need to click on that link and then click on "course map" on the left menu to get the map. It's tough to read, but if you go to the printable pdf, it's readable there. The main difference b/w these races is that Alcatraz has an 18 mile single-loop bike route, while our race has a 2 loops of approx. 6.5 miles each. Aside from the drop to Baker beach on the run, our run is very similar to a single loop on our bike route, so basically we'll do 3 loops over the same course, 2 on the bike and then 1 on the run. This loop is very similar to the red run route in the Escape from Alcatraz, so that map above is where you can see the topography of our loop.

At the bottom the page that has the topography, there are some other good aerials of the other race course. Here is the aerial of the sandladder climb from Baker Beach, which is the same in both races.

The mystery and intrigue continues

Maybe I’m just being too particular, but what happened to the scale and elevation on the course maps.

I guess I’m being saved the embarrassment of having to admit that I have no-idea what the elevation means, but I sure like pretty pictures…

Oh, how fashion has changed
(http://www.lakesregionofmaine.gen.me.us/sebago_anthro/swimsuits/msmf_2_swim.html )

Ok, I’m going back to my Buffed Beautiful and Bitchin’ workout…

Today the stair climber tomorrow the world.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Tasha, Really? Oh My Virgin Eyes!


Tasha,

All is well and good in my camp, never fear. I just meant this morning's post would be the starting point for things to come for this week. As it is Monday, I just 'aint feelin' it. Just have faith that I will be kicking ass by this Friday.

Since we are on the subject of bathing suits, My good friend Tami tells me that the model suit she is wearing here (see right) , identitcal to the one you propose to swim in, does not keep her very warm in those types of temperatures. I offer this only as a friend and fear for your health, if not the ability for the guys swimming around you to maintian focus. I know you are bootilicious and all, but for goodness sake, we guys don't need any more drag than we can afford.

(Tami's assets have been
covered here to keep this PG rated).


Me on the other hand... with my peasant stock mediocre looks and an estheician on speed dial, I doubt any of the chicas will be checkin' me out for long, so no harm in wearing my tribute to my slavik brother-in-arms, Borat.

Another brilliant idea

But first, some housekeeping. Ryan, I’d make fun of you for your delicate nature and propensity towards injury, but then someone might point out that I hurt my back last summer merely bending down to water the tomato plants. So, no fun-poking here; heal up!

Re Kevin’s latest, if that’s an indication of the level of smartassery to come, well, I fear for the future of our blog as it degenerates into something staid and serious and chock full o’ workout recaps. Faithful readers, I’ll do my best to rail against this sorry fate.

Speaking of faithful readers, here’s my idea: it occurs to me that since our fan base can’t leave comments, we (meaning I) are potentially missing out on all sorts of things, including calls from agents frantic to book this kind of never-seen-before talent, contact from people who want to shower us (me) with shiny things and trips to St. Lucia, accolades from heads of state, invitations to tea with the Queen, our (my) profile on trading cards, offers to appear on Hollywood Squares, mentions in crossword puzzles, marriage proposals galore, and so on. Oh, and I’m sure there are even potential 2-for-1 pizza coupons for my compatriots, perhaps even discounted rates from counselors eager to get their hands on the anal-retentive mind that is Ryan Perrone. Well, and of course this’ll hopefully make it easier for Kevin’s Kazakh groupies to find him. I think they’ve heard the rumors as to what swimsuit style Kev will be sporting, and are all in a tizzy. Who wouldn’t be?



Sexytime!







Chuck, aka Captain Stubing and the erstwhile man-in-charge of this seemingly doomed voyage, what do you say? Perhaps some links so that the adoring masses can get in touch with our merry horde? I would imagine that by now, the pressure of being unable to contact us is causing many people to reach their boiling point. And we all know what happens then……



(random picture of cooling tower which has nothing to do with nuclear power plant meltdowns though they always portray it that way on the news)

The dangers of working in an office

So early last week, I'm transferring some files from a computer at my client onto a USB device and as I'm squatting down and reaching behind the computer, I feel a painful sensation in my lower back. Sure enough, it hurt when I stood up too. I did attempt one run last week, without it getting any worse. I spent most days trying to find the perfect sitting position so I could sit pain free. I didn't go to a doctor b/c my girlfriend is in med school and she's good at fixing stuff like that. As she's diagnosing my lower back problem over the weekend, she proceeds to say "ouch", as in that must really hurt. What did she find out, my sacrum (tailbone) was bent slightly sideways and my pelvis was shifted (left side higher than right side). Absolutely amazing, all that comes from reaching behind a computer. Good news, the pain is less now, but I'm opting out of the frozen bogey half marathon this weekend, I'll do the half, but as a training run, not a race (read: SLOW).

Monday's (YAWN) Post

For a number of reason's today's post will not provide much reading entertainment. But it can be viewed as a measuring stick for the level of smartassery that is to come. And so I must.

The 7500 calorie a day White Castle Training Plan has run me into a brick wall, also commonly known as "Food Coma". Not much getting done, so I will have to bail on this idea. The folks at Mountain Dew were understanding and will remain in touch as there new line of sports drinks (secretly code named: Holy Shit! How Much Sugar is in That?!) develops.

Training on Saturday consisted of a short but brutal 45 minute run. Dad role yesterday and this morning, kept me busy so back into the gym tonight and 2-a-days for Tuesday and Wednesday as I work on flushing the "toxins" out of my system. Half marathon coming up Sunday in preps for. Shouldn't be a problem to at least finish. Talks with the folks at Burger King have me hopeful that we'll be back on track again soon.

Thank you Ryan, dear, for caring. Yes, my crack pipe has been fixed and is working again without any problems.

New Workout

Here's the Vera DeMilo Workout, will likely be a great help with the sandladder.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Congratulations!

Kev! I am SO happy to see that you managed to get a weekend pass from the group home. Good for you, kiddo! But, I thought you had already earned your way up to a YELLOW wristband rather than the white one. Tsk tsk, have we been up to a bit of mischief lately? Sigh, one step forward, two steps back ……

And, after taking a closer look at Carolyn’s recent post on shark fear, noticed this comment: “on my honeymoon while snorkeling saw a shark, shoved my husband towards it and went swimming the other direction to save myself.”

Hmm. Somehow, I never thought I’d actually be the most normal person in a group, yet here that happy day is…..

Friday, January 19, 2007

Yippeeeee!


Thanks Tash! Hey! Here's the bell I ordered for you!

Already ordered mine....

I went with this one, thought it was only fair that people should get fair warning as to what they'll be dealing with out on the course.



You know.....me, riding a bike loaded down with horns, bells, streamers, a loaf of sourdough bread, etc....

And Kevin, I got you this one, to match the pink on the rental bike I ordered for you:



It's called the "Honker Horn" - but I'm sure it won't attract too many geese......or sea lions........

bike bell

nice idea Carolyn, let's go with the Dora model

new bike accessory

looking at the photos recently posted, in particular little Jack's photo, i really think we should all get horns like that on our bikes! i just think it would be hysterical to see a bunch of triathletes training or racing with horns on their bike and instead of yelling out "on your left" just giving a little toot on the horn! or maybe one of those bells that are on kiddie tricycles?! i really think this should be added to the must bring list for alcatraz!

Chuck Sacrifices His own Child....?! Damn You, Man!

I care not how cute he is or how shiny his horn. He is but a lamb to the slaughter, and I will humbly serve him up as my offering to the Gods of triathlon.

As it is written, so shall it be done.

(Does Juli know about this...?)

hot tubs and the like as swim training ...

Ryan says: "for some reason I don't think spending 15 minutes in a hot tub per day on vacation counts as swim training."

I beg to differ. When Jack, pictured below, was "training" for the 4-yr-old triathlon, one day after bath time I was getting his brother dressed while Jack was still playing in the bath and I heard what sounded like water splashing ALL OVER the bathroom, so I went in and, wouldn't ya know it, water WAS splashing ALL OVER the bathroom as Jack was in the bath flailing with a combination of forward crawl and butterfly. He got a "Jack, what are you doing!?!" He said "twaining for my twi-a-tha-wahn, daddy"

2nd tier competition ...

It's on !!!

Team Chuck Unite

Sorry Ryan. He's just cuter.

Friday Report

First off, thank you Chuck for helping poor little me (6'2 - 200 lbs) taunt Heather (5'6 or so and maybe 105 lbs dripping wet). I wasn't quite up for the task, but your assistance is quite appreciated.

OK so there was a real workout involved as I summoned the courage to hit the gym last night. I am not one of these gazelle-like triathletes, like Ryan, who is "slim" and fast. I lift weights and i completely throw out the thought that muscle mass will weight you down. God built this body for one thing, to endure punishment. I need all the stength I can come up with to do that. No, I do not cross the finish line first, but I cross, which at certain distances is accomplishment enough.
So, that being said, I hit the weights hard for about an hour. Then a 45 minute run on the track (I freakin' hate the dreadmill - and thank you, Jesus, for the iPod), followed by a refreshing 30 minute lap session in the pool. These are my off season workouts. I will hit the bike later on as if I do so now, my thighs will never fit into my pants in June.

The N.O. Explode I am taking has creatine in it, and I'm retaining water like a Bull Elephant Seal (no, they are not found in the bay) which sucks. But this is life, and sacrifices must be made. (So help me Tasha if you make a crack about water retention.)

As life will sometimes imitate art, I totally overslept this morning and missed my run. I was supposed to get up at 5, and instead poked my sweepy wittle head out from under the covers at almost 8. CRAP.

Welcome to the real world..

Chuck, that's sports betting for you. If I bet with you on a favorite football team who is a 4 touchdown favorite, and they only win by 3, then yes, I lose. That's life. Perhaps we need the oddsmakers, whoever they may be, to set up a handicapping system. Maybe other people would want to get in on this, with all proceeds going to charity of course b/c gambling is not legal...

Now Tasha, remember to check your list twice whilst packing for San Francisco, you'd hate to forget something, especially anything which I may remember to pack...

CHUCK'S RESPONSE - ADMINISTRATOR'S EDIT KEY
I see your point, but you can bet that the team that won by a touchdown is not buying steak for the "winner" who lost the game. That's why (at least outside of Pete Rose, Boston College, Northwestern, etc. betting scandals) participants aren't supposed to be the bettors. I do like the idea of others getting in on the action, Team Chuck and Team Ryan, a la Team Aniston and Team Jolie supporters, t-shirts and all.

Ryan, Challenge accepted

I'm up for a friendly duel (getting a handicap). Since you're prob gonna have better swim and overall time, can do either one.

EDIT: since posting the above, I've had second thoughts. Let's say we have a 26 minute handicap and I finish 25 minutes behind Ryan, then I win a steak. That kinda seems weird, to finish 25 min behind someone and have them lose the bet, though he was a huge amount faster than me. Maybe not a great idea.

Kevin says ...

"... wave to some fellow racers, probably Heather, since she'll be behind me (most of the way at least)."

Them's fightin' words.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Being Ryan Perrone, Part Deux

Damn those cretins and their mockery of me. Their jealousy is astonishing. Well, not really, look at them and then look at me. You see my point. To throw them off my trail, lest they try to imitate me, I tried to appease them by attempting to capture the horror of a so-called “training plan” of someone of their ilk (read: non-serious athletes). Had to steal Tasha’s plan because I had no idea where to start – by tripling her numbers and removing some extraneous elements (just WTF is a “Thighmaster”?), I think I fooled them into thinking I’m just a “regular guy” (sniffing distastefully). Adding the laissez-faire notion of “vacation” and the rather proletariat pastime known as a hot tub was a spot of sheer brilliance on my part. Little do they know I’d sooner put my Garmin in a meat grinder than participate in either of those activities. Shudder. The very thought of sitting in hot burbling water that countless others have lounged in as well…….not to mention the precious seconds that would take away from my daily 643 laps in the pool. Pure folly.

But I don’t know how long I can keep up with the charade. The pressure is wearing on me, with these people trying to bring me down, distracting me from the precise beauty of each and every one of the 5,642 workouts I have programmed into my spreadsheet. They have me so rattled that today (gulp), yes today I…well….there’s no good way to put it. Today I “pigged out” on three extra green beans at dinner, and then I got drawn into watching 7 minutes of Grey’s Anatomy on the tv at the gym. Oh, the horror. Normally, of course, I keep my head determinedly turned away at a precise 65 degree angle so that I’m not subjected to the drivel of that “idiot box” that some people seem to enjoy. I don’t know what happened today. I’m losing it. Focus, Ryan, focus. Clearly it may be necessary for me to start my own blog: ‘Forsooth, this water is exactly 54.3 degrees with an ambient wind gradient of 78 knots.com’. It may be my only hope. Once more unto the breach, dear friends. Courage.

I'm Sorry Chuck...

I mispoke, I meant to mention that included the handicap! What shall we wager, steak dinner? I need this as incentive to get in the pool again. For some reason I don't spending 15 minutes in a hot tub per day on vacation counts as swim training...

Point, Counter Point

Uh, yeah, Chuck, Mr. Swimmer Guy. All well and good.

Me? I'm thinkin'... hmmm. Sand ladder. Looks tough. But heck, if I get tired... I just stop, park my fat ass on one of those beauties, work on my tan, wave to some fellow racers, probably Heather, since she'll be behind me (most of the way at least), and then when I'm nice and rested, carry on.

Now, during the swim, hmmm. I get tired... oh, ok... I'll just pull over and... stop.... and...go hypothermic....and.....sink....like.... Leo.... in.... Titanic.

Uh, no.

So lets recap:
Sand ladder: Tough.
Swim: Holy Shit!

BTW: I swam with wild dolphins and they are totally cool and not interested in you in the least.

And hey, Dan Quayle, you don't spell Dolphin with an e. Nice job.

Yeah Yeah Yeah




Ok Yeah, dolphins are super cute, and there are no sharks in the bay area, but this thing ---->
IS....after about a 6 or 7 mile run (depends on what website you get your info from)...i suggest www.envirosports.com

What do we do about this? its not a shark so you cant kill it and not a dolphine so you cant pet it away!!!!

I am freaking out man!!!!!

To add to that.......

I will second what Kevin said, but add that if The Great and Mighty Research Guru (aka me, Tasha the Triathlon Goddess, who apparently has so many gifts I could pass them around like cheap party favors) can't find evidence of anyone anywhere even spotting the barest glimpse of a shark in SF Bay............then they are not in the Bay. Period.

Now dolphins, maybe. But how cute and friendly are they?



So it has been spoken, so it shall be done.

Deep Breaths.....

Carolyn, dear Carolyn...

We jest. In fact, with the exception of Ryan or Heather's (yawn) posts, this whole thing is really just a bunch of B.S. and fun. The picture Chuck posted today of the Great White is a well documented hoax, and you are about as likely to encounter a shark in those waters as you are to be hit by a bus tomorrow on the way to work (God forbid), probably less even.

Fear not dearest Teammate.

Sadly, the chances of completely freezing your ass off are still quite high.

I know, I'm crazy, but I need a favor from you all!

I know that I started the original posting about the sharks and crazy sea lions, but I now have a favor to ask of all of you as it seems my neurosis is getting much worse.

My fear of sharks is real (on my honeymoon while snorkeling saw a shark, shoved my husband towards it and went swimming the other direction to save myself) and something that seems to be getting progressively worse everytime I read this blog and read the posts about sharks whether it is gigantic sharks being released into the water or whatever. So, if I am actually going to get into this water on race day and not have a complete panic attack, I think I must stop reading these posts. As a result, I have one request...if there is information in shark posts that is important to training or something other than shark information...could someone please inform me or possibly put it in another post? Or in the alternative, possibly someone could suggest someway I could get over this fear? I know, you people probably are thinking, who brought the crazy girl, but I really don't want to be known as the girl who bailed because she has an insane fear of sharks or the girl who had a panic attack upon being shoved off the ferry (by either Ryan or Chuck) at Alcatraz Island!

Thank you and I apologize for my craziness, but maybe someday I will not be a raving lunatic when it comes to sharks (my husband is hoping this day comes sooner rather than later)!

Sincerely your crazy fellow triathlete,
Carolyn

Website of an accomplished Alcatraz swimmer

Here is the website of Pedro, who's done the swim a few hundred times. Seems he's something of a race director or at least involved with various organized Alcatraz swims and races, including a fantastic-looking 3.25 mile Swim Around the Rock out-and-back. He has a video too on Alcatraz swim techniques if anyone's interested. Here's his website.

Ryan says: "I'm still going to crush Chuck on the swim"

uh, yeah.

[picturing Ryan showing up for dinner Sunday night after the race and approaching the table, as the time/space continuum freezes and the room goes to deadly silent while everyone else in the room freezes kinda like time froze in the movies The Matrix or Dark City, or perhaps an old E.F. Hutton commercial, while Ryan points at me over the silence and yells "dude, I just crushed you" while our table stares at him for 3 seconds, then everything else unfreezes and people continue their conversations and we turn away and finish our conversations we were having as if nothing occurred]

Hoping you all get the picture I'm conveying. anyway, I'll race you in the water if I get a heavy handicap.

Tasha, Tasha, Tasha...

You make me out to be waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more anal and waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay more motivated than I am. I don't do mornings, anyone who knows me knows that I hate getting up early, so the few workouts I do usually consist of either a 3 mile run or some quick strength training. I proudly biked 20 minutes last night, ran about 3.25 miles (at a blistering 11:48 pace - but did keep HR in check) and stretched for ~ 8 minutes. Haven't run more than 4 miles since the beginning of December, don't think I'll be doing the half-marathon distance for the Frozen Bogey, more like the half-half. A very interesting finding last night when I updated the settings on my scale (and accidentally changed one that won't go back), I somehow managed to drop 9% body fat and add 14 pounds of muscle in the last few weeks, all by adding a year to my life and dropping my supposed activity level (the accidental adjustment). Keep in mind I've done less than 5 hours of actual working out in that span. The appropriate being Ryan Perrone summary would include the above, two illnesses in the last month, and a ski vacation. Doesn't matter though, I'm still going to crush Chuck on the swim!!

Being Ryan Perrone

This shark and cold water obsession must stop. Clearly these “athletes” with whom I’ll be traveling do not understand the seriousness of these types of endeavors, nor do they understand the purpose of a blog, which is obviously to bring important information to the masses. I suppose it is up to me to show these benighted souls the way, through my superior blogging talent. Lead by example, Ryan. Show, don’t tell.

Training for Alcatraz, Day 101

Woke up at precisely 4:52:06, 3 seconds earlier than yesterday, thus meeting/exceeding key performance indicators in the “sleep quadrant” of my spreadsheet, as I shave off valuable seconds. Urinated 4.0 oz of liquid. Quick analysis showed blood lipid chemistry to be adequate; perhaps adding one more spoon of wheat germ to morning protein shake will lower cholesterol level one point. Try this.

Critical future success factor: drainage of all unnecessary bodily fluids, must carry around only what is necessary for optimal performance in race. Girlfriend must travel with me.

Today’s workout: run exactly 9.3 miles at 7:34:02 pace. Route plotted out in excruciating detail with Garmin GPS. After uploading yesterday’s workout results to computer, noticed that run distance was off by .000004 mile. Recalibrated Garmin to correct this egregious error. Still shook up by incident.

After doing daily VO2max and lactate threshold tests, will then go for brief 323 mile bike ride. Inflated wheels last night as per formula in Master Spreadsheet, to precisely 101 PSI, which will yield the perfect tire pressure this morning when calculated using temperature gradient, wind effect, latitude and longitude. As swim in SF Bay is statistically projected to be 53.2 degrees next June 24, post-bike ride today I will go sit in specially constructed half-barrel filled with 62 degree water for 13.2 minutes. Will then fulfill nutrition plan via consumption of 2 dry chicken breasts and glass of Tang.

Have noticed that my traveling companions are again posting factually inaccurate information and things that they are apparently just making up, in addition to lighthearted and smartass commentary. Totally missing point of blog. Must go set them straight with my superior wisdom. People want cold, hard facts, not banter ad nauseum. There are newspapers for that sort of thing. I shake my head, wearily.

People, how many times do I have to tell you? There are no shark attacks in the San Francisco Bay or anywhere near the Golden Gate Bridge

Okay, Miz Scarlett.....

Maybe this will help motivate you to get your ass out of bed in the morning - here are some excerpts from the website that Annette oh-so-helpfully provided us the link for:

"Some believe that white sharks only attack people by mistake, and they don’t bother to eat them when they find out how lean they are. And yes, that would be true even right after Thanksgiving—keeping in mind that here “lean” means in comparison to whales."

Hopefully we can all manage to be svelte-looking relative to the whale population, though some of us might have to back off on the sliders a wee bit. Maybe bring it down to one case a day, not two?

And there's more:

"One is the second largest sevengill we’ve ever exhibited, a female measuring 8-feet, 7-inches long and weighs 247 pounds. The only larger sevengill was a 9-foot, 10 inch female that was with us for four years in the early 1990s until she was returned to the wild...Sevengill sharks have been found in waters from 3 feet to 2,700 feet deep off the Pacific Coast, in the Southern Hemisphere and from British Columbia to Southern California....Also called cowsharks, sevengills were abundant in San Francisco Bay until overfishing depleted their numbers over the past 25 years."

Note how they said DEPLETED, not eradicated. And those are some big mofo sharks.

How you feelin' now about getting up tomorrow morning?

And So it Begins... or Not. Yet.

Serious Training.

IT

IS

HERE.

OK, 5 am wake up call. I rise and quickly dash to the kitchen where my gym bag has been prepacked from the night before. I am prepared for the weight room, cardio via treadmill and a 1/2 hour swim. Yes. I am ready.

I get dressed in comfy - I can wear this from the car to the locker room - clothes. Make my concoction of Pineapple juice, N.O.-Xplode, 20 grams of Whey Protein, Xyience growth booster, pack it into a sports bottle and... oh wait, I forgot my favorite hat.

Back to the bedroom.

Damn, the bed looks really comfy.

Maybe just 5 minutes.

(2 hours pass)

7 am.

SHIT.

OK, serious training starts tomorrow.

Really.

Eeeek! ! !

So I’m in San Jose this week for work and I thought about going to see how far Alcatraz really is from San Francisco. I think last time I saw it I thought – that’s not that far, but then last time I saw it I wasn’t thinking about swimming the distance.
It doesn’t look like I’ll have the time to go and see the bay, however I think I’ve got my mind full of nightmares, what with Chucks breaching shark video clip, and the news about the aquarium adding another to the free-sharky numbers…
http://www.montereybayaquarium.org/whiteshark/
I don’t think seeing it will give me much relief, though, now I’m thinking twice about it… where exactly is the sand ladder?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

SmartyPants checkin' in

Ok, I'm apparently susceptible to the 'call-out' method employed by some as a means of passive-aggressive confrontation. I would like to point out (Kevin) that the blog began on 1/8 and your first post did not appear until 1/15. hmph. Besides, I've been busy trying on wetsuits, posing for cameras and such important things (as Tasha would say, "toss toss" - for you boys, that's the sound of my hair being phoofed for the camera). But fear not, I'm here. I know you were afraid. I'll sign off as SP (smartypants)...

Outdated, my ass

Hmph. While I would have loved to read YOUR hefty tome on kinetic energy transfer, as the UPS guy was carting in the hundreds of boxes in which you packed it, it started raining and alas, all those White Castle slider-by-the-case boxes promptly disintegrated. Left quite a mess, little scraps of paper flying about, an empty can of Mountain Dew here and there, spent typewriter ribbon..........though I did catch one glimpse of some of your brilliant writing on a wayward page, something about "all work and no play makes....."??

And it's nice to see you've finally decided to take your friend Galina's advice and follow an appropriate training/nutrition plan. Why, she was just quoted in the paper again the other day, about winter swimmers: "Another 'walrus', 72-year-old Galina Voshinsky, told CNN that the secret to her successful polar swim could be found in her diet. 'You've got to have a lot of fat, like a real walrus,' she said. 'And after a swim, I've got a big appetite.'" Sounds like you're on the right track there!



Kevin and his friends......





Btw, Chuck will be far too busy being my wingman to worry about your fretful liability/legal issues...

Training Plans

Yes, Tasha. Thanks. I would love to read that. As of right now I have based my training plan around the new information out from the sports science team at White Castle. It seems my plan to incorporate White Castle hamburgers and Mountain Dew soft drinks into my training is proceeding flawlessly. In fact, I got my newly revised traning plan just last night - it comes free with every case of "sliders" you order.

Yes, my waist and ass are growing exponentially as a result, and there is this acne thing to deal with now... But hell, I feel like a million bucks!

Prehistoric DNA and thermo energy transfers? Are you still pushing "THAT" outdated idea, again? Have you not read up on my latest published work titled, Kinetic Heat Creation and the Power of Self Actualization"? Get with it woman, our key to staying warm is all in our heads. Really, are you not keeping up with your reading?

And FYI - under no circumstances will I be held laible if anyone on this trip sees me naked. Chuck, can we get something legal together in writing that will cover me on that?

Heating things up...

Quoting Kevin: "...unless by complete 'accident' or drunken misadventure..."

Hmm. (weighty pause, as everyone starts looking around, whistling nonchalantly, etc.)

Dare I say it, that's not exactly setting the bar too high, now is it......


And Kevin, what is this "training" you speak of? I assume you're also incorporating the Thighmaster, like I am? If you'd like, I can email you a copy of my training plan: "My Thighmaster and Me: the Road to Kona." Oh, no need to thank me. :-) Happy to help.

Carolyn, good call on the global warming idea.....if I combine the Nessie Propulsor with some simple thermonuclear equations.......(wanders off, mulling just how many therms it would take to get the Bay water to 81 degrees.....)

Hey look, an actual post re working out

Today I hit the weights for the first time in over a month. Reason for the delay - I am 95% sure that I had a broken hand which did not allow me to grip much of anything. I avoided weights bc I could not hold bar or the handles on any machines and also couldn't put any weight on it for some core stuff (lifting the kids hurt like hell, but you can't really avoid that). I took a spill during that snowstorm we had a while ago and landed full body weight on one hand. Hurt like hell for a couple of weeks and I just thought it was a bad bruise bc it seemed to be getting better. Still had some painkillers from the neck and they were, as Borat says, "very niiiiiiiiiice." Well, now swelling is down and it is all better except for one very specific small point near the heel of the hand by the wrist that has some bad pain to the touch. Since I actually broke a finger last spring, I know it feels the same. Anyway, without restricted motion (it hurt, but I could move it) and without deformity, I did not see a doc. At this point it seems that's what it was but 4 weeks later it's probably untreatable/set at this point, so whatever. Didn't want to get "how are you?" emails esp when I was more annoyed (at my clumsiness on the ice) than hurt so never mentioned it here, and also did not want to be "that guy" who mentions an injury throughout the course of training on a "woe is me" campaign. Anyway, it now seems to be ok, though you never knew about it in the first place, so the story starts and ends right here.

This morning, I went to the Lifetime to do the weights and stairmaster. Tough day, 30 min hard resistance on stairmaster, 120 floors or so on this guy, which I have named Robin, in honor of the uphill climb from the Presidio to Robin Williams' house during the race

I'm here, just don't really know what to say in regards to Shrinkage!

Kevin-
No need to worry, I'm here, just not really posting on the shrinkage topic...don't even know where to begin to comment on that, so I figured I would just leave that all alone! I promise, I will start to participate a bit more though so everyone feels as though this is a complete blog!

I do have some good news...I am making progress on getting into the water faster in the morning for my swims! Yesterday it only took me 3 minutes! I think that might be a record for me, however the pool was 81 degrees yesterday morning. So, unless we find a way to warm the bay up to 81 degrees (global warming?), I think I still may need the shove/kick in the rear to get in the water!

Maybe I missed the final emails on this, but what was the final determination on the bike rental information? Also, for those of you who have flown with your bikes, how much of a pain is it? And along those lines, is there a bike shop out there that would put the bike back together for you or is anyone skilled in this area? Yes, I am fully willing to admit that I am clueless when it comes to my bike, however I'm planning on getting better at this!

Round 1 goes to Chuck

I concede.

Since no one on this trip, unless by complete accident or drunken misadventure, will see that part of me, there can be no compare and contrast, and so all is well. Chuck, I defer to your omincience on such subjects. Please accept my apology.

Thank you Tasha, for that stirring rendition of my dating life where I acutally spend (waste?) time with someone with an apparent IQ of less than 100. You know me all too well.

And hey, where the hell are Carolyn, Annette and Heather? Heather especially, being all Ms. Smartypants at the last meeting I saw her at. Let's go girls, it aint a complete blog experience unless we all pull our weight.

Tomorrow's post from me: actual training stuff! Yes, I'm training! Who knew?!

Bringin' us down ...

Ryan, there is no place on this blog for logical fact-based thought.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Some people are awfully preoccupied with shrinkage...

I think I'd rather spend my time worrying about the 9.5 miles of running which will be involved in this race, no easy feat, esp. with the sand ladder. Unless you plan on going commando underneath the wetsuit, you should have nothing to worry about, and be plenty warm by the end of the race. Now, there's the whole separate issue of how your body distributes blood when exercising so that you deliver oxygen to key muscles, but I'm sure Chuck and Kevin will discuss that ad nauseum some other day...

Point-Counterpoint

1. Chuck wins this one - setting the stage for excuses to be pulled out of one's ass later on is key.

Kevin: "Shrinkage, baby. Cold Water Effect. You know how that goes."
Tawnae: "Umm, but like, we're in Arizona? The sea is like, half an hour away? An hour?"
Kevin: "Did you see that SWIMMING POOL not more than ten feet away?? Good god, and it's barely heated. You KNOW how I get around cold water! Can we try to be a little more sensitive here??"
Tawnae: "Giggle!" (hair flip) "Okay, Schmoopie, whatever you, like, say? Then can we go to the ocean after I finish painting my nails?" (toss toss) "Cause I need to work on my tan, and the ocean, that's like totally different from the sea, right? Like they're on different coasts and one's warm?"

(Kevin's head explodes.)


2. Yeah, we're pretty much screwed on this one.

Btw, Chuck, apropos of nothing, just wanted to mention that I've noticed how especially witty and charming you've been lately. Yes sirree. And it's clear to see where your three adorable children inherited their good looks. And brains! And athletic talent! Sigh, would that we all were such bundles of perfection as you.

Dearest Kevin...

1. I think you have it all reversed. You say that this "condition" is not something you want women to know about, but it seems to me that a strapping single lad like yourself (from the waist up at least) would want this condition to be well-known so that you are not scrambling to explain it like George Costanza. Or, it may be a handy excuse to use as "uh, hon, I ... uh ... just took a cold shower" even if, in fact, you had not.

2. Remember that as administrator you need to be nice to me. I have the ability - no joke - to modify the text of any of your posts. I can amend text in various outrageous ways and still have it seem to be your post including, but not limited to, saying things such as (a) "I am only doing this race to see Max in lycra" or (b) "I am going to ride my bike faster than Ryan, he's a complete wuss." Consider yourself warned.

Dearest Chuck...

God bless your lovely wife.

You see, no matter what comes out of the cold shower or cold lake, cold anything... she loves you none the less, or rather, is stuck with you. I'm guessing it's the former since you're a stand up guy.

I think, therefore, it goes without saying, that a married guy talking about how small his dork is going to become in the cold is a pretty harmless thing since, in theory at least, there is only one woman in the world who really knows the truth to this.

However, being single, there is still the illusion we single guys like to portray... akin to neanderthal like behavior where the one with the biggest, uh, club if you will, attracts the cave ladies. And let's not pretend that this isn't some giggly topic of conversation at some point when the girls grab cocktails from time to time and discuss thier latest dating escapdes.

OK, SO.... point in short. Let's not talk out what really happens to the male body when cold water is applied. At least not broadcast it on the internet. Some of us are still neanderthals.

Thank you kindly.

Your pal,

Kevin

Dr. Heather or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Waves

So, I wonder if we will have a nice calm day at sea or whether we will be bodysurfing waves like these screaming like Slim Pickens riding the bomb in Dr. Strangelove. If you don't know the clip, check out the first 30 seconds of this.

Definitions of Shrinkage

Urban Dictionary definition of shrinkage

1. What happens to a man's penis in cold water. Often a result of cold showers, swimming pools, or the ocean. Very embarrassing.
e.g. Man, that pool could make a porn star look like a 9 year old.
usage: Damn my girlfriend dumped me when she saw me get out of the shower -- apparently she doesn't understand that shrinkage really CAN make a penis 1 inch long.

2. What happens to your pecker in cold water. From a Seinfeld episode.
e.g. "Lorena, I don't really have a needle dick. I just got out of the pool!"
"Here, let me cut it off with these nail scissors,"

3. When the male sex organ gets smaller due to cold temperature
usage: Give him a break, it's just shrinkage!

4. When a penis shrinks due to being exposed to cold weather. The pensis can become very small in comparison to normal, room temperature size. Highly unpleasent sight for an male.
usage: I got in from the cold, went to the toilet, and when I unzipped I saw the shrinkage on my penis.

5. A phrase in inventory control that accounts for employee and customer theft.
usage: The reason stuff costs so much in convenience stores is shrinkage.
(seemingly inapplicable)

6. When the male penis get really small and shrinks in size because that dumbass is walkin in the freezing temperature, freezing his ass off. He should at least wear some layers if thats gonna happen everytime hes fuckin cold. No bitch wants to go near a fuckin penis thats had shrinkage!!!
e.g. Patrick should wear some damn pants if his penis is gonna get that small uz ain't nobody sleepin with that thing tonight!!

Are ya kidding?

Damn it, Tasha, that's cheating... and give the portable cold fusion reactor thing a rest. The world isn't ready. Do what I'm doing and just pretend they're serving stuffed cabbages on the other side.
World record - here I come.

Thoughts inside my head....part II

"Notes: strike deal with Kevin for drafting privileges in return for silence re Nessie Mitochondrial Power Extraction Propulsor, which at this point is offering the quickest route to shore according to my back-of-the-envelope calculations. May also use Chuck and his Chernobyl-sized bottle of anti-shrinkage pills to distract airport security from my six bottles of stashed fine Ukrainian plum horilka (aka moonshine), 2 of which are necessary for Propulsor. Rest for drinking. Might share one bottle with others? Crazy talk. Getting soft."

"Why do people think I swear? I don’t swear. I am nothing if not totally ladylike and demure at all times."

"Check on hockey teammates to make sure convulsions of laughter at above comment did not break any ribs. Dammit. Not my fault people get in my ladylike ass’s way."

Uh, yeah....

As I will be wearing a tight wet suit, it will only be *warm* INSIDE my suit. Thus not affecting any other racers. Besides, with all the fluids you drink before a race, who hasn't peed themselves during a freakin mile swim? (Chuck, this is another rhetorical question.) I think however, it WOULD be smart to swim near Tasha, since, unless she has a hangover from the Ukie glug she'll likley pack with her or make on the spot at the hotel, she'll be swearing or otherwise wisecracking enough in the water to help those around her confirm they are still concious even in the freezing temps. (Note to self). She also knows where Nessie lives. Somehow I see her using that to her advantage. No, don't ask me how I know. I just know.

Thoughts inside my head....

"Stay away from Kevin during the swim. Can be distinguished by the radius of warm water around him."

"Perhaps also stay away from Chuck, who seems to have pondered and theoretically mastered the art of swimming with one's feet higher than one's head. Chuck's subsequent drowning is likely to attract sharks and other oceanic predators."

Huh?

Thank you, teammate Chuck, for your thoughful consideration to my ponderings. Albeit:

1. That was a RHETORICAL question, and

2. Negative shrinkage? *One* should see a doctor. I think they make pills or pumps for that.

Keeping Warm

Kevin suggests peeing in wetsuit to keep warm. 2 problems with this idea: (1) unless you are swimming with your feet higher than your head, this warmth will not reach your upper body, (2) tough to pee when you have such shrinkage to make you inverted.

Thoughts inside my head...

"If i drink enough tea before the start of the swim and pee my wetsuit as needed to provide warmth, will it help me post a decent swim time? Hmmm..."

Monday, January 15, 2007

J'Accuse!

A-ha! No WONDER Mr. Ryan "Oh it's not that cold you wimps" Perrone isn't concerned about the self-proclaimed "balmy Bay water", as he's so eloquently put it. He's been PRACTICING! Toughening up! The truth is finally revealed:


Tsk. Such perfidy leaves me speechless.




More damning evidence.




And finally, partying with his new friends. Oh, the humanity.....

Ingrates they have become.....

Kevin, dammit, there you go, ruining the surprise. I was thisclose to getting my dear old friend Eva Mendez (oh, I didn't tell you about that time we met in Costa Rica and bonded instantly? Oops, my bad) to act as lifeguard for the Escape race, but now she thinks you're just mocking her, and she's changed her mind. Sigh, so close........

And Chuck, Chuck.....I too finally watched that great white/seal video. Notes to self:

1) Chuck is on OTHER paintball team, for scaring the crap out of all of us
2) Paint *someone else's* wetsuit brown, to resemble a sea lion. Perhaps glue a sleeve shut so that they are also slow and awkward in the water. Having an unsuspecting person fill the "wounded pigeon" role is key.
3) Chuck, when did you say you're flying into SF again? I'd be more than happy to get our hotel rooms, make sure they're next to each other. Nope, I have no idea why there are strategically placed buckets of chum around your room, ready for you to "accidentally" stumble into the day of the race. Odd.

Max.....what's this you mumble about no picture-taking during your own wetsuit shenanigans?? Ve haf vays........(evil laugh)

Et Tu Brute?

Damn it! That's the last time I share my Eva Mendez fantasy with Tasha. Thanks. Thanks a lot, pal.

Oh yeah, Much better...

Now that I have seen Chuck's post of the massive White Shark jumping out of and well above the surface of the water, I have to say I am feeling much better about this whole thing. Phew! Thanks Chuck! Nerves are gone!

What the hell have I gone and done?

There is always that person who is late to the party. Every party. So this is where I enter.

I am physched to be making this trip with a bunch that will make this one of those experiences that you remeber for life and then somewhere off in the future you remind each other of some funny little thing that happend, a little inside joke that no one else will get, or a drunken moment caught on film, the butt of all jokes on the trip and the smiling bane of your existence forever.

What has me scared shitless at moments is that in the midst of this awesome trip is that I have to jump into freezing waters, the murky home of things larger than me - and I ain't small, with teeth, and swim for my life against the tide to get to the other side. The rest of the race is really all good. The swim is what has me concerned. But... nothing ventured, nothing gained. I stand on the threshold of this experience like a first time parachuter. Holy shit I'm gonna do this... here I goooooooooooo.......! Have I mentioned I'm a complete pussy about cold water and that normally I don't even begin to race until mid-July becasue of it? No? Well, now you know.

Shrinkage is an understatement.

.....

Oh how i wish i was there for all the wetsuit tryout spectacular fun!!!

Its a good thing i will be doing this alone and no pictures will be taken :)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

And then there were 7......

We forgot to mention a rather unfortunate side effect of our wetsuit trying-on excursion. Due to a neoprene cap that was way way way too tight, well, Annette unfortunately lost her mind.


"I've completely lost my mind!"




Sad. After all, a mind is a terrible thing to waste. Or not to have a mind is being very wasteful. How true that is.

Wetsuit madness.....



"Umm...you're joking, right?"





"Does this make my butt look big?"




Hmm...what's wrong with this picture?



Victory! Kind of......



Apparently wetsuits inspire deep thoughts....





Annette, sadist, laughing maniacally.








"Yeah, I know. You're thinking I look like 7 of 9. Me too."







"As if putting this shit on isn't exhausting enough, then they expect me to swim??"




"I feel pretty, oh so pretty.....!"




"Do these booties make my feet look fat?"







"Tasha SWORE there are no fish bigger than this in the Bay!"