Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Lake Royale Triathlon

I am looking forward to the Lake Royale sprint triathlon this Saturday. It is the final race in the Triangle Orthopaedic / FS Series. I basically missed a taper at Wilmington so adjusted things this week in order to feel fresher on race day. My cycling has become weaker here in the late season but the run is better on paper, so we'll see how that plays out. There is potential to ride home from the race site with a training buddy. And then...

WORLD BEER FEST!! Our annual pilgrimage to the Durham Athletic Park for 4 hours of unadulterated frothy beer consumption. We have recruited a strong group of fellow beer consumers to join us and we're all looking forward to it.

That will wrap up the tri season. We will most likely keep riding a couple times a week easy thru January, then get back into a more serious routine. I'm looking forward to focusing on just improving the run for a handful of months.

Monday, September 28, 2009

A strange correlation

I have been studying the Dow and some principle variable involved over the weekend. Here is a chart of the DJIA adjusted for inflation for the last several decades.

Here we can see my 2009 triathlon results. 0 = overall win, anything below that is a drop in 1 place.

It should be blindingly clear that the bull market of the 1960s topped out with my overall win at the Battle of Buckhorn Triathlon in June, 2009 (point 6).

Equally clearly, the famous stock market peak of 2007 DIRECTLY COINCIDES with my 3rd place at Lake Norman in August. The subsequent market crash is ALSO EQUALLY CLEARLY PREDICTED by my dismal performance at the Wilmington YMCA Triathlon in September, 2009 (point 9).

These are the facts, and these facts are INDISPUTABLE, since they have been published here on the internet.

I have one more triathlon left in 2009. It is this Saturday. If my analysis here is correct, a triathlon win this weekend should sustain a bull market rally through 2012. A loss predicts a stunning and swift downturn in the stock market. YOU SHOULD BASE ALL OF YOUR FUTURE STOCK MARKET DECISIONS ON THIS COMPLETELY REASONABLE AND LOGICAL ANALYSIS.

It is amazing how my one year of triathlon racing can predict 80 years of stock market inflation adjusted gains.


Friday, September 25, 2009

random weekend update

I've decided to capitalize on the popularity of teen angst fantasy vampire dramas along with my own penchant for dark humor. I'm going to write a book about a group of teenage vampire little people (called vabbits) from a boarding school that find a portal to another world called Smarmia. The young vabbits are mostly good but there is a lot of teenage angst and the occasional violent outburst towards a loved one or mortal enemy.

The main character is a lovable little guy called Eddie Fango who comes from a poor family but they all have huge fangs if you know what I mean. His love interest is Baby Bessa a rich vabbit with a heart of gold but the occasional character flaw leads her to flip flop love interests like a cheap date in Las Vegas or any woman of questionable morality you may or may not happen to know.

The foil is a dark vabbit from the bad side of town named Wolfie Bloodbane the Third. Wolfie is not really a bad guy but his circumstances give you pause for consideration. His father, Lord Vampiremort, was killed in a great battle for possession of the portal to Smarmia and no one is sure if he was really good or evil except for his wife who perished in a skysurfing accident (or did she).

The vabbits all live on animal blood except for two of them who are hippy stoner vabbits that live on cactus juice and bugs and one other one who loves to kill people at random thus ensuring that at least one lovable main character will die in a painful and dramatic fashion designed to bring tears to your eyes and then scribble your own alternative ending to the story.

Each book will be divided into ten chapters, and each chapter ending drive home the point that these characters are really nothing but rascally vabbits.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Flat as a pancake

Wilmington and Wrightsville are pretty flat, being coastal. This week I took it easy, got good sleep, rested up, and cut back on the beer. Today I was also completely flat. Felt like I did not have much glycogen in my system if you want to be detailed. Could not turn the pedals on the bike or the legs on the run. Probably finished top twenty when you count everyone. I was shooting for top five.

My sweet Bri took me down by a minute, and won overall as well. At least she refrained from slapping my butt and telling me to pick it up, Sally, or something along these lines.

I am a bit disappointed but having done a bunch of racing over the years, realize that sometimes despite your best intentions your body is just not in league with your mind. That is OK. That is racing. You come back and do it again another time.

We're going to enjoy the rest of the day here on the beach, meet up with some friends for dinner/drinks tonight, and then run our open water clinic tomorrow morning.

Tassie had a lot of fun meeting everyone at the race awards.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

upcoming races and events

We're hosting an open water swim clinic this Sunday morning down at Johnny Mercer Pier in Wrightsville Beach 8-11AM.

Our next Powerstroke clinic is on November 14 in Cary, NC.

My final two triathlons of the year:
September 19 - Wilmington YMCA Triathlon
October 3 - Lake Royale Triathlon

Fall and winter running races:
October 25 - March of Dimes 5k in RTP
November 26 - Turkey Trot 8k in Cary
December 12 - Jolly Elf Trail 5k, Bond Park, Cary
January 9 (2010) - Run for Young 5k, Raleigh
February 7 - Run for the Roses 5k, Raleigh
March 6 - Cary Distance Festival 5k, Cary

Notice a theme? They're all 5ks. :) I might jump in a half marathon somewhere but the goal is to drop the 5k time down to mid 17s by March 2010.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

partial employment in the recession era

I am thankful to current/past OSB athletes and local swimmers who have kept me in business over the last year. Without them I would officially be a statistic on a government chart.

I have been sending out resumes left and right (at least 50) since January for a variety of full-time and part-time contract positions in finance, education, health & fitness, and of course, technical writing.

Zero interviews later, I am still at square one. Bri and I have some financial goals together and part of those goals require that I earn my keep rather than just sit around the house and stay buff. At the moment we're not meeting those goals.

From a long-term perspective I am looking at teaching as something I could do for the next twenty or twenty five years, while maintaining the coaching business at its current level. Teachers are government employees with pensions (invested in Goldman Sachs, hopefully) and job security. I do enjoy educating people on stuff so actually enjoying the job to some extent isn't an issue.

Their is a curriculum for business and marketing in North Carolina middle and high schools that I think would be very interesting to teach.

Our local community college Wake Tech and NC State have a joint licensure only program that I can take to eventually become licensed to teach here in North Carolina.

The other alternative licensure program is much shorter, but requires you land a teaching job first, which is not easy at the moment.

The long term goal would be to balance the relative stability of a government education job with the flexibility / variability of personal triathlon coaching.

When times are flush again then I will get Bri to quit her most excellent job and take her on wild adventures through the forests, beaches and mountains every summer and winter.

If you are fully and gainfully employed at the moment, count your blessings.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

9-13-09 Weekend update

I had a good time this weekend despite my favorite lady off on her own adventures. On Saturday morning Tassie and I got up at the buttcrack of dawn to drive down to Wrightsville Beach for the Pier 2 Pier swim. Tassie decided it was too early and went back to bed, so it was up to me to do the two hour drive. I brought my surfboard just in case there were some waves worth catching.

The conditions were nice and I got off to a good start on the swim, held pace for about 1k, then pooped out and just enjoyed the ocean for the remainder. UNC W and a few kids from the Wolfpack were in the hizzzzzouusse and they are fast.

I had done San Shou (sparring) on Friday night for the first time and my arms were pretty tired from punching (attempting to punch, one could say) the 15 year olds from the Kung Fu center.

Not that I need an excuse to go slow. ;)

After the swim I picked up some breakfast, got a new rashguard, and then caught a few waves while they did the awards. I keep telling Bri we should buy a place on the beach, but she keeps telling me things like "how are you going to pay for it, smart guy?" to which I don't have a pithy answer just yet.

Maybe I can sell 10,000 Powerstroke DVDs.

Night time saw me head off to meet Jimmy, Alsyia's husband (Bri is hanging with Alysia this weekend), at Tyler's Tap Room for brews and conversation. He is a well-rounded guy and we had a good time.

Today I slept in, which I rarely get to do, puttered around the house in my slippers for a couple of hours, then road my mountain bike to downtown Raleigh to race in the Magnificent Mile. I was pleased to gut out a 5:25 which is totally jamming for me at this moment and bodes well for a return to sub-18 5ks during the winter.

Now I am going to finish work for the week, open a beer, and stare blankly at the wall until Bri gets home.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Economics 101 in the USA September 2009

Ultra rich: "We bought an island off the coast of the Bahamas and have moved 50% of our holdings overseas. We have no idea how much a gallon of milk costs as our servants do everything. We are unfazed and actually profiting off the current volatility in the market and the world. I frequently hunt the most dangerous game on my private reserve in Texas. " Top Wealthy .01% of the population hold 6% of all US wealth.

Upper upper class: "How shall I reallocate my assets now that our dividend payments on ultra conservative bonds and CDs has dropped 2 points? Can I keep my sweet Muffy Princess happy on two million in dividends per year? Should we rent out our family property in the Hamptons for a few weeks a year? Oh dear. I had to temporarily shutter one of our factories in China, but our personal wealth is secure. I am so glad Mumsy and Popsy had us put several hundred thousand dollars in precious metals three years ago." Next top 1% of population hold about 30% of all US wealth.

Upper class: "We had to sell one of our vacation homes at a small loss, but better that then continue to eat the mortgage payment. Our other two homes are just fine since we inherited them debt free several years ago. My $600,000 salary is safe as we are partial owners in the business, but maybe it's time to spend a little less and put more away for a rainy day. Our portfolio lost 20% over the last two years, but it's not the end of the world." Next top 4% hold about 25% of all US wealth.

Upper middle class: "We are not quite as comfy as we used to be. My salary has been frozen and our stock portfolio is down 30%. This jumbo mortgage is about to reset and our primary home is underwater. My wife is concerned she will have to go back to work as an accountant teacher psychologist lawyer nurse but I would rather she stay home with our three children. I hope I don't lose my job because then we would be screwed. My father is about to move into our guest room since his retirement account was blown away and the union had to settle the pension dispute at 60% of what he was supposed to get." Next top 10% hold about 15% of all US wealth.

The top 15% wealthy own about 75% of all US wealth. If you need to ask, you're not in this category.

Middle class: "My house is underwater and I am not sure if it is worth it to pay the mortgage. My brother and his wife just got divorced, he had to move back in with my parents. I lost my job in tech retail health finance whatever and had to take a part time job at Starbucks to help pay the bills until I can find a full-time position in my field. Thank God for Starbucks, did you know they will give health care to part timers? My wife found a job as a teacher nurse secretary but we had to put our youngest in day care. We also had to pull the oldest out of his private Catholic school, he wasn't happy but he understands, we're not able to save anything for retirement or college tuition. We have a bit saved for a rainy day but it has been raining for a while. I hope neither of us gets ill." Next 15% own about 20% of all US wealth.

Lower middle class: "We lost the house last year, I guess we really couldn't afford it anyway, damn real estate agent was a liar, and have been living in a one-bedroom apartment since then. We have no savings left and there is a lot of tension in the house. My attempt to go into business with my friend brother relative didn't work out and am back at work at the factory garage restaurant but it is not full-time and there are no benefits. The wife picked up part time work but we are taking on credit card debt to pay bills and I don't know how long we can keep it together."
Next 30% own about 15% of all US wealth.

Lower class: "We are dead broke, declared bankruptcy, my spouse left me, I am having substance abuse problems, lost my job a while ago, stopped looking for work last month, and my buddy is going to kick me out of his house next week. I am going to stay at the shelter and see if they can help me find a job, but it doesn't look good. I am socially alienated." Bottom 40% of the population own close to 0% of all US wealth.

Don't worry though, the recession is over! Everything will be fine! Economists everywhere are saying it, so it must be true. Or not.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Bri posted a nice update about our weekend with my family so you can read her stuff to cover that. I enjoyed the 5k on Sunday morning; it was humid but not scorching at 7AM. Splits were 6:15, 6:25, 6:30 and then a klick into the finish. I crossed the line 8th or 9th, but my bib number somehow got reversed or left out, and so I didn't get a top ten overall award.

We debated having me run up to the young race director and cause a big scene (YOU MESSED UP THE AWARDS MY WHOLE DAY IS RUINED YOU WHIPPERSNAPPER YOU WAAAHHH), perhaps knocking over a high school runner to take MY PLAQUE IT'S MINE YOU CAN'T HAVE IT I WON IT GIVE IT TO ME LOSER!!! that I duly deserved, but decided against this in order to go have a nice quiet breakfast.

Tassie was happy to see us when we got home so that is nice.

The Wrightsville Beach Pier 2 Pier swim is this Saturday morning, followed by the Magnificent Mile on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Labor day weekend

We have another fun weekend of fun stuff for the sake of awesome fun-ness this weekend. Off to Miami/Hollywood to spend some time with my Dad, step-mom, sis, bro in law, and niece to celebrate my father's 75th birthday. He is sharp as a tack, tough as nails, and will take my money without remorse in a poker game.

We rented a studio on the beach in Hollywood, so will enjoy morning ocean swims and runs along the 2.5 mile pedestrian walk along the beach. Hollywood Beach is a nice place to hang out for a weekend.

On Sunday morning at 7AM at Birch State Park, Ft Lauderdale, I found a 5k where I will attempt to outrun the slim and wily Brianne "I own you" Gaal. It will be terribly hot and humid but that is OK since I am also terribly hot and humid on Sunday mornings. The race is put on by the Greater Fort Lauderdale Road Runners club. Afterwards we'll go for a dip at the beach then get a nice breakfast. Join us if you're in the area.

We will get home on Monday and probably get a bike ride in, then watch the Seminoles take on the Hurricanes to kick off Monday night football season.

A few weeks ago I did some interview format questions regarding triathlon training for Delta Triathlon - the videos are making their way to the video page on Delta Tri now.