Thursday, December 31, 2009

Team OSB at American Triple T NC

The American Triple T is a 3 day, 4 race triathlon that adds up to an Ironman distance. HFP Racing has run a version of this in Ohio since 2002, and launched a version at White Lake NC for 2010.

You can race this as an individual or as a member of a 2-person team. If you go as a team, then the first two races (Friday sprint, Saturday morning Olympic) are done as individuals, and the next 2 (Saturday afternoon Olympic, Sunday Half) must be completed together. Your times are added together for the final score.

I mentioned to Bri that I was thinking about finding a teammate, to make it more interesting, generate some team spirit, and have team fun. She said she might be interested. I said, well, if you are interested, let's do it, since they have a coed division.

So we're going! Having Bri as a training partner for this will be great, and we should get into solid shape for USAT Nationals in September.

Now we need to figure out if we're going to be Team Gaal, Team One Step Beyond, or Team Tassie.

Have a safe and Happy New Year!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Terminator: Salvation review

This movie sucked. If it sucked any worse it would create a time-dilation vortex and suck both the future and the past into it, eradicating all existence. While I was watching I stabbed myself in the leg three times to convince myself I hadn't died and gone to hell. Don't see this movie unless you hate yourself and deserve to suffer.

Bri has been telling me to write a review, so there you go. I was sorely disappointed.

Anyway we had a nice time in Virginia. Bri posted some pictures which you can check out here.

Next up is New Years, and then we start riding outside in 30 degree weather. I mentioned running in one of the New Years Day 5k runs around here, but Bri pushed me out of the car into oncoming traffic, so I took that as a "No."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Avatar review - Spoiler alert

We went to see the movie Avatar last night, in 3D, no less. Read no more if you have not seen the movie and don't want the plot or storyline blown for you.


OK, so the movie is about an enlisted injured US Marine, Jake, who is drafted to go to a distant planet and mingle with the native alien people via an Avatar - a living breathing alien body engineered for his (brother's) specific use. Jake's twin brother was originally going to go but he got mugged and killed 1 week prior, so Jake is sent because they share the same genetic code. The alien people are about 12 feet tall, blue skinned, and have a distinctive American Indian, one with nature culture.

In short, the planet is being mined by Humans for some highly valued metal, and the biggest deposit of this metal sits directly under the local native alien village.

Or unwitting hero stumbles into the village after getting himself lost & meeting a fine Indian maiden. The village elders decide to accept him and teach him their ways. PS: Jake knows that in 3 months the humans are going to take by force the village if he can't convince the elders to leave. This is part of his mission!

Commence action scenes, beautiful scenery, bold and fun clean adventure. 3 months go by. JAKE NEVER MENTIONS THAT THE VILLAGE WILL BE RAZED. WTF? The villagers eventually accept him as one of "The People" and he sleeps with his fine maiden, aka the daughter of the chief.

Next day: Invasion! Jake says, "Oh yeah, I meant to tell you that the humans are going to invade and you should leave." Fair maiden feels betrayed. Villagers choose to fight bad American people. Village is razed, many innocents are killed. Chief dies. Bad juju.

Jake & team escape, he takes over a big red bird reminiscent of a Phoenix, and convinces the people to follow him and unite under one banner. The planet is actually a network living thing and eventually realizes it must fight the humans. Good people of the planet triumph after significant losses. Jake becomes one of The People forever.

That is a short summary. Now I will give you my cynical view.

Jake is in a wheelchair in his human body. He is essentially a nobody, a grunt, having lived in 'the shadow' of his brilliant brother. In his alien body he is strong, uninjured. He eventually realizes his alien life is better than his human life. He diabolically plots a method to a) win the beautiful chieftain daughter, b) eliminate all his rivals both human and alien, c) take over the entire alien world.

JAKE WINS! He is actually so evil, so clever, so ruthless and cunning that no one realizes he is the baddest of the bad. A wolf in sheep's clothing.

You get the point.

This report brought to you by

Sunday, December 20, 2009

holiday update

We had a nice weekend here in NC consisting of multiple holiday parties, cold sleeting rain, and capped it off with a great long run on the American Tobacco Trail today. A recap:

Tequila shots bestowed upon me at the FS Series Holiday party on Thursday night
Fun Secret Santa gifting at Nas' party
12.5 mile run Sunday morning while Bri covered 14.1 (I am slower than her if you haven't figured that out)

This week brings Christmas and some quality time with our family in Virginia. They have an Xbox, which I plan to comandeer in order to wipe out entire militias on one of them shoot-em-up games. We might also open presents.

I have posted all the 2009 OSB Newsletters on the newsletter page if you want to kill some time reading short training articles and athlete updates.

There is not a whole lot else going on. We're going to go see the Kill The Smurfs movie sometime soon, and I am going to buy some Edward the Vampire stuff for Bri, who is a driving force behind the Team Edward movement.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Worst morning runner ever

Today Bri was not able to run at any other time than early AM. We are going to the FS Series holiday party tonight at 6, and she is stuck in meetings from 10AM to 5PM at work. The pain of being in meetings for 7 hours aside, she can be a tough cookie when need be. I told her I would go with her for solidarity and safety.

I am the worst morning runner ever and this was the worst morning run in several years.

Last night I played in a local poker game until about 12:30. Right to bed when I got home. Alarm goes off at 6AM. I say to Bri, "Can we run at lunch?"

"No, I have meetings from 10 until 5, I have to go now."

I moan and groan but get out of bed. Stumble around looking for my clothes.

"Oh, you're going to go with me?" She says, with a twinkle in her eye.

"Yes, I told you I was going to go."

Out the door by 6:20. No coffee. No food. No water. Just the two of us and the open road.

Did I mention that it was 28 degrees?

Bri was able to include 2 x 10 minutes of tempo, while I limped along behind her and tried not to poop myself along the busiest road in Cary.

It was six ugly miles. Going to run 30 minutes later today and try and run fast for 15 of them.

Ug. Just thinking about it is ugly.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Heading into 2010

It has been a quiet few weeks here at OSB central, as many of our athletes take a well needed break from regular training plans and emails telling them to get out of bed and go work out. We are looking forward to 2010 as another great year both personally and athletically. Some highlights with our 2009 athletes:

- 5 first-time IMers
- 2 70.3 World Champ qualifiers
- 1 Boston Marathon qualifier
- 1 Hawaii Ironman finisher
- 3rd age group Duathlon Worlds
- Several NCTS and FS Series top 3 age group / masters overall

Bri has been fortunate to work with a small group of really motivated athletes and has had a lot of fun coaching them. It is nice watching her become more confident in her ability to coach people successfully.

We're going to run several Powerstroke clinics again throughout the season (every 2-3 months) and will be hosting our Winter training camp in late February (there is currently 1 open bedroom in the shared beach house) and another weekend training camp in Raleigh in August.

We signed back on as series coaching sponsor for the North Carolina Triathlon Series and will be racing / attending a number of these events throughout the season. There are 25 total racing days, which is a bunch, so you won't see us at all of them. I am planning to race 6 of them - Belews Lake, White Lake Sprint 2, Kure Beach, Stumpy Creek, Lake Norman, and Jordan Lake Sprint.

We've been selling a few Powerstroke DVDs each week since making them available for sale. I hope to keep this up indefinitely. There will be a couple of production upgrades to the material coming soon, but if you buy one now you're receiving the same content. Basically we have a chance to re-shoot the lecture in a professional studio with better lighting and equipment in January. It will be a prettier presentation.

My goals for 2010:
low 18 5k
Host 8 to 10 Powerstroke and open water clinics throughout the year
3 or 4 top 5 overall local sprint triathlon results
Low 2 hour olympic distance at St Anthonys Tri in April
Top 5 Triple T NC individual
Save money / pay off all debt except mortgage & car payment
Put together a 100 +/- page training manual I can give to new athletes as a guide and-or sell as a standalone book.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Unemployed? No problem!

If you're unemployed or fearing you're about to be, don't worry - Mama government is here to help you. Now you can be on unemployment for up to 99 weeks. Isn't that swell? You could take the time to clean the backyard, go on a staycation, or just stay up all night watching Nickelodeon. Who cares?

When I was a young man without much in the way of money, fame, good looks, friends, fame, money, family support, money, people that liked me, a useful degree, good looks, fame, or money, you know what I did when I got fired or layed-off from one of my non-unionized, uninsured, abusive-boss jobs?

I WENT OUT AND GOT ANOTHER ONE. WHATEVER JOB I COULD FIND. I have never been on unemployment, food stamps, handouts, or whatever. I did stay at my father's house for a year while down on my luck in my mid-20s (and was thankful to stay there for the time), but even then I worked two jobs to save up and get back on my feet. He paid me about $6 an hour for warehousing & deliveries, and my other jobs paid between 8 and 10 bucks per hour.

NOTHING LIKE THE FEAR OF BEING PENNILESS AND ON THE STREET ON YOUR OWN TO GET SOME PEOPLE INTO THE WORKFORCE. Go to any mall, fast food joint, restaurant, call center, or other places that don't require much in the way of technical skill. Think you can find a job? I bet you a million dollars there is a job in your town you could walk into tomorrow! Want to take me up on the bet? Send your gold equivalent to my house and I'll hold onto it while you look for work! Ha! Fooled you! I will take your gold and run away!

Ha! Fooled you again! I wouldn't do that because it would be unethical!

I realize it might be unbecoming for a former exec or technical expert of a now defunct start-up to work at Burger King or Road House as a prep cook, but my man, since you blew all your income on high priced dance clubs, vacation condos, and Ferraris when life was good, whose fault is this when you get down to it?

Do you feel demeaned, marginalized, or embarrassed to be a college-educated 40-50 year old, working next to 18-year old stoner kids who think foreign policy is something you can catch a venereal disease from? Does it bother you when they laugh at the old guy? Are you too good for this sort of thing?

Tales of your exploits sailing to the Galapagos Islands to poach baby seals are not going to put food on your table.

Are you going to have to downsize your life? Is that dream of owning your own home, and a vacation home, and one for your mistress over? It sure is!


Wake up to the new world my friends. Want to hold out for that super-duper executive position you're highly qualified for? Go for it! I'll see you in the Soup Kitchen line!

My sympathy is running dry. Get a job. Get any job. Ideally a high paying government job (they can pay more, since they can also make the money, and the rules, and then change them, and then take your stuff, and then change the rules again). Make a new job for yourself. Do something besides sit around and think you deserve better than this.

You don't deserve anything but what you make or do for yourself.

Stop the insanity! Our expected Federal deficit next year is 1.2 trillion. $98 billion of that is going to unemployment extensions.

A trillion dollars is 1,000 billion. A billion dollars is 1,000 million.

That is 1,200,000 million. Or 1.2 million million dollars.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Broken pensions

Here is an interesting article about the New Jersey State employee's pension system. It is totally busted, state and local governments haven't been contributing, and the average payout is $60,000 a year. 1 in 3 pensioners move out of the state when they retire (because taxes are onerous...because of the pensions...?).

Brutal. Imagine you're now 40-something, having banked on a comfortable pension when you retire, ie not banking your salary to a retirement account, and voila, the carpet is going to be ripped out from under you.

Save your dough.

Monday, December 7, 2009

2010 race plans (again)

Jan-Feb: random running races
March 21 - Wrightsville Beach or Tobacco Trail half-marathon
March 27 - Smithfield Sprint Triathlon (Virginia)
April 17 - Belews Lake Triathlon
April 18 - Triangle Ortho Centennial Sprint Triathlon
April 25 - St Anthonys Olympic Triathlon
May 9 - White Lake Sprint 2
May 22 or 23 - Low Country 2.4 mile swim (Charleston)
June 6 - Breezy Point Triathlon
June 27 - Kure Beach Double Sprint Triathlon
July 11-16 - Erie Canal Bike Tour
July 18 - John T Carey Ocean City Master Swim
August 7 - Stumpy Creek International
August 22 - Lake Norman Sprint
September 25 - USAT Nationals
October 2 - Jordan Lake sprint
October 8-10: Triple T North Carolina

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Running in the cold rain

I was going to get a 10 mile run in today, rain or shine, squall or sun. The weather wound up being in the low 50s and drizzly, which is not too bad. Steffen met me and we trudged out a 10 miler in Umstead. There were only a handful of other intrepid souls in the park.

Tomorrow I'll meet an OSB athlete for 9 more miles, then get an easy ride in the afternoon.

I'm pretty motivated for 2010 racing if you haven't picked up on that, and am going to do the NC Triple T as my season finale next year. The Triple T is a weekend of racing - 4 races that add up to the Ironman distance. Sprint on Friday, 2 international distance races on Saturday, and a half-Iron distance on Sunday.

The plan will be to stick to mostly sprint style training & 1 long ride per week through July, then bang out 2 months of dedicated long course training in August and September.

Our summer vacation next year is going to be the Erie Canal Bike Tour the week of July 11-18.

Don't forget about the Florida Winter training camp in late February.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

OSB athlete in the news

Check out this article on Karen Crews, who recently raced in the Beach 2 Battleship Iron distance triathlon. It has been a pleasure working with Karen over the past couple of years.

I am leaning towards the October Triple T in NC as a season finale in 2010.