Tuesday, June 30, 2009

weekly update

One of the changes we go through as we get older is that it takes longer to recover from hard athletic efforts. It is Thursday and I'm still not 100% from the Philly tri. It also takes longer if you're not in killer shape...so perhaps that has been the extra day. Anyway, enjoyed some easy-steady riding yesterday with a gaggle of local girls, and had a nice run tonight with my baby Bri.

Yesterday I did a tri training tutorial interview with Todd Spain / Delta Triathlon at a local video production company. Todd is working on a series of educational triathlon clips that will be hosted on the website at www.deltatriathlon.com. It was a good time and like I told Todd, I did my best not to curse or make misogynistic comments. Here are a couple action pics.

Look how serious I can be:

Or a little less serious:

I think I stepped in poop!:

The EMT class is going well, and I am looking forward to figuring out where I might start up with some volunteer EMS or fire crew work in the late fall. Most places require 30+ hours per month to be an active volunteer, so it's no walk in the park and you have to get all your certifications if you do the fireman thing. We will see where that takes me down the road.

We decided to stay local for the 4th of July weekend, had a couple of friendly offers to hang out with people out of town, but between the travel last week, work I need to catch up on (it has picked up a bit recently), and Shana and Scott's wedding next weekend (my sis in law and future bro in law), we go nowhere and we like it.

That is all for now.

Don't forget about the upcoming camps and clinics we are offering.

Monday, June 29, 2009


We drove up to Philly so Bri could have a great race and I could get a couple beers at the Manayunk Brewery and a cheesesteak with an old college buddy.

Bri did great with a 9th overall, 3rd amateur performance, and I was also there with a good swim-bike-run to mile 4.5 then die which landed me 4th AG and 54th overall. I did beat Bri too which is good, but dang she is getting closer and closer to taking me down for the count.

It was nice to swim in the Schukyll River and see Rocky.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


We are here in Philly for the 5th annual Philly Triathlon tomorrow morning. We're staying with an old old buddy from FSU and the Jersey shore. Doug is the fella that got me to Ocean City in 1991 to start working for the beach patrol during college summers. We're in Manayunk which is sort of an old city suburb. Just had a nice breakfast at the Manayunk diner, soon Bri and I are off to pick up our packets with a bike ride down Kelly / West River drive, which takes us along the Schukyll river.

As for the race, I am feeling good but have no goals other than to go as hard as I can for 2hours or so. The swim is in the river and the bike is a 2 lap moderately hilly course, while the run is flat and along the river.

Last night we went to the Ugly Moose for dinner and then talked finance/politics into the late hours.

Monday, June 22, 2009

open water clinic and running clinic - upcoming

We have two more clinics coming up the weekend of July 18-19:

A comprehensive running clinic on Saturday, July 18, from 7AM-11AM somewhere in Cary, North Carolina. Cost is $55 and includes brunch and a run film analysis. Maximum of 30 athletes. We'll be joined by Without Limits Running coach Tom Clifford of Wilmington, NC.

An open water swim clinic on Sunday, July 19, from 815AM to 1115AM at the Ebenezer Church Recreation Area at Jordan Lake in Chatham County (outside Cary/Apex) in North Carolina. Cost is $50 and includes drinks / snacks. Maximum 25 athletes.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


We had another good group for the Powerstroke clinic yesterday at TAC. Afterwards we had an early dinner with some friends, then hit the sack before 10pm. I slept like a log last night and got up feeling refreshed this AM. Jumped on the bike for what was meant to be a 2 hour ride but it turned into 3 hours. I am getting fit, like it or not!

Ordered a new license plate for our Xterra; NC has a commemorative Buddy Pelletier plate and I put "YARR" as our custom word. "YARR" is short for "Yarrrr, I'm a pirate!"

I wrote my first put option contract this week. When you sell a put contract you're agreeing to buy 100 shares of a stock at the designated strike price. The premium you collect is your payment for taking on the risk that you'll have to buy the stock at X price when the contract matures; the downside is that the stock price is actually X minus whatever. For example, you write (sell) a put contract of DOW $14 strike price in July at $30.00. You collect $30 bucks (premium). On the 3rd Friday in July if DOW is trading above $14 you keep the premium of $30 and the contract expires worthless - no obligation to buy. If DOW is trading below $14 you're obligated to buy 100 shares from whoever bought your contract. So your break even in this scenario is $13.70 on DOW. The risk is your opportunity cost to commit funds to the purchase and the possible spread between your strike price and the actual price on expiration.

I held off on put contracts because they are not as intuitive as a covered call option, where you buy 100 shares and then write/sell a call at a strike price that may be in the money, at the money, or out of the money.

My training stats for this week:
Swim: 2 hours
Bike: 6.5 hours
Run: 3.5 hours
strength: some pushups/situps, no Kung Fu this week.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Upcoming events

We are hosting a Powerstroke® Triathlon Swim Clinic this Saturday from 11AM to 5PM at the Triangle Aquatic Center in Cary. If you have been looking for some quality swim technique instruction, video taping, underwater analysis, and information on both swim training strategy and triathlon training strategy, you should sign up. It is $99 and everyone gets a DVD of the swim analysis mailed post-clinic. Lunch is included.

Also coming up at the Triangle Aquatic Center:
The Splash n Dash Series first race on June 21
The Triathlon Lecture Development Series first lecture is June 21 10-1130 with Coach Vicky Yeingst
I am lecturing on bike training August 8.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Battle at Buckhorn report

The Wilson Times ran a story on the race here.

I saw the first annual Battle at Buckhorn triathlon listed on FS Series website and decided to give it a whirl. My new mode of racing is that if it's within an hour drive I'll consider it if I don't have a party or bar to go to the night before. Even then it's still a possibility. So I drove down with OSB athlete / swimmer Cindy Marks and we got there just before 7AM. Picked up my stuff and ready to go. The arms and legs felt a bit tired - I did Kung Fu the night before and had 2 hard rides during the week. But you don't want to hear me complain.

The swim was in Buckhorn Reservoir, the town of Wilson's drinking supply. Nice lake. A bit on the warm side so no wetsuits. I Powerstroked(R) my way to first place within a few minutes, then kept the pace up to build a lead as much as possible. As a first year event it had just over 100 athletes, but there were several that are solid athletes and you never know who is going to have a good day.

The 17 mile bike was challenging with several sharp climbs and a lot of rollers. I pushed as well I could and came in with a two minute or so lead on #2. The run felt good and I was able to hold and even 6:30 pace throughout without feeling too terrible. It was hot but the combination of slimming down a bit (I am back under 160, down from 176 over Christmas, yikes) and consistent tempo runs is helping. The run course is an out and back loop course so I could see where my competition was. Richard Armstrong and John Worden were both gaining on the run but I had enough to hold them off.

Finished in 1:17.47 and won the prestigious Battle at Buckhorn Belt Buckle. Yeeehaaawww!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Trading stats

I am still at it with the trading of the stocks and bonds thingies. Believe it or not I have not wiped out all of our equity. The government will do that for us. Harr harr. But seriously folks, I'll be here all decade. On the advice of Rob Skaggs I switched my IRA to interactiverbrokers.com, which has turned out to be great. They have fast execution and the trades are closer to $1 each than the $7 I was paying at Scottrade. It is a one screen interface rather than a three-step process, which lets you get in/out more quickly. Since my last post a couple months ago:

lost a fair bit of profit by holding a 3x ETF with no stop orders in. Went away from computer for a day, came back...SOL.
Have made almost of that back since then with more diligence on the preset orders.

With IB I am less concerned about setting a stop loss that is equivalent to my purchase price or just under, it is $2 instead of $14 each time. I can also keep the screen up and move the stop every few minutes if it goes black in order to guarantee (virtually) a profit on a higher percentage of trades. In other words, if you are buying something for short term, you can set a stop order very close to your purchase price, if it hits that, small loss, otherwise an observed gain till you stop out or decide to cash in.

Making about 6 roundtrip trades per week at the moment.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Steely Dan in town

Steely Dan is in town for a concert tomorrow night, but Bri is not all that interested in going (and we are trying to save some dough). I started working in my Dad's warehouse during the summers when I was 13, and a surfer/stoner guy named Casey who ran the shipping was way into Steely Dan. I'll always remember him talking about how great they were. And then disappearing for a 2 hour break.

Their music is fantastic.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Jordan Lake swim

The swim this morning came off without any major issues, which I was happy about.  Teaming up with FS Series was the best thing we could have done, as they have got the system down pat.  So thanks to:

Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla - Cary

FS Series

New York Bagels and Deli - Cary

Triangle Paddler club

Volunteers and racers from the TAC-OSB Masters Swimming group

Everyone who showed up to swim!

All in all we had 125 registered athletes.  Patrick Woodruff, former UNC swimmer and a TAC-OSB masters swimmer, was the overall winner in just under 21 minutes.  Kim Rice, training for an English Channel crossing in 2010, was the female winner in 23 minutes.  

Our only problem was one woman who was a first-timer, who showed up late (after the start), and then sidestroked or backstroked the entire course.  We kept a kayak or surfboard with her to ensure she made it.

You can find the results here.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Organizing an open water swim race

Tomorrow's first annual Jordan Lake Open Water Challenge has 114 pre-registered athletes, which is a great turnout. I just went through the entry sheet and saw that 55% of these swimmers are first-time open water competitors, which is also great. We're going to do our best to provide a well organized race. One Step Beyond is partnered with FS Series for these three races. The first race was run in conjunction with a triathlon they were hosting, so everything was already set up. For this one, I have been in charge of most things-

Our checklist of things to do this week included:

make sure the ambulance crew will be there
confirm with the Coast Guard Auxiliary
confirm with Jordan Lake Superintendent
Get the swim caps
Pick up the t-shirts
confirm lifeguards from TAC
Pick up bagels for food
Run packet pickup

Tomorrow I'll be running around organizing things and hosting a short pre-race swim clinic.

Today Bri and I had a good 10 mile run in Umstead Park and then a short bike ride, tomorrow I'll hope to get a ride in.

My old friend Collis, a buddy for 20 years, is coming into town today for the swim and to hang out for a couple days with us. I would rate Collis a top contender but he let me know he hasn't been in the water since April, so now he is my main safety concern. :)

Friday, June 5, 2009

HP customer service

Holy mackeral, trying to get through the stonewall of customer service is like banging your head against a brick wall.

I ordered Bri a HP Mini 1000 PC for her birthday/anniversary present. This is a tiny portable computer that is also fully functional. Ours arrived on May 29 and we excitedly opened up the box. Then we turned the computer on, and waited..and waited...and tried to get things running....but to summarize it in technogeek terms, the computer sucked. I even went so far as to purchase a 2gig RAM card to upgrade from the 1G factory card, to no avail. Some sort of hardware issue.

We decided to return it, so I called HP customer tech support and explained how I would like to return it after giving all my info. She then put me into the tech service downward spiral. Let's try this...just one more minute...if you'd let me try this...if you would just right-click on the yellow box....but there's no yellow box lady jesus christ my blood pressure you witch....just one more minute sir...if you would let me try this sir...my eyes are bleeding you evil evil &%@$%...

My patience wore out after 20 minutes and I tried to badger this nice Filipino/Hong Kongian, overseas person into just connecting me to the return department. No go, she was a stone. So I hung up and googled "HP laptop return," which I should have done in the first place. They have a page buried on their site with a 21 day return policy, no questions. Assholes.

So I packed it up and shipped it off, having already spent several hours trying to debug it myself. Norton Antivirus was installed btw so it would not be a virus issue.