Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Crit practice

Today the team held some practice racing. My few observations.

1. I am really bad at turning corners going fast. (I ended up in the grass twice)
2. I'm getting faster. In one of the practice races, I took off on a 3.5 lap solo breakaway. I ended up third.
3. I'm tired. Real practice with real riders = real fatigue.
4. Over the two hours, my corners got a little bit better. More practice needed.
5. Did I mention I was off the front in one of the races. It made my day.
6. I am a tall rider. Even when drafting, my whole head catches the breeze. It slows me down.
7. Practice races don't count for anything except practice. There aren't even bragging rights for winning(that I know of).

Monday, March 29, 2010


Now that the NCAA basketball tournament has pruned the field down to 4 teams, there isn't 8 hours of basketball a week that I can watch. Following the Duke game, Liz and I were left with a difficult decision of what to select from the Sunday evening TV lineup. The choices were slim. We ended up on PBS for the remainder of the night. We started with Men in kilts singing about Ireland. The crowd shots were amazing. Who knew there were people so into Irish music. Their were people so overjoyed that they expressed it by standing in their seats and twirling in circles. I would have to agree that it was more entertaining than Josh Groban or Andre Bocelli.

(Outlining that what they are doing is entertainment in the title? Questionable.)

This was followed by Nature. This is a program that I am very happy to watch. I was particularly pleased that it was about monkeys this week. I like the animal episodes above the location specific, end of world, or plant ones.


This was followed by a Masterpiece Classic starring none other than Sean Bean. I don't know who that is, but Liz seemed happy about it. I watched it, but I couldn't hear the dialogue so I was pretty lost. I believe it was about a British soldier (Sean Bean?) who was in India trying to save a girl. It was oddly gory for a PBS show. Many people were executed. My final thought is PBS may be the only channel that still has shows that require viewers to pay attention in order to know where the plot is going.

May I present Sean Bean and his weird coat (which he apparently wears in many different episodes)

Finally, I (Liz went to bed long ago) ended up with Life On Mars. My first thoughts were, "why is PBS going to run a show that was just canceled on ABC?" (Yes, it was that bad). Turns out that PBS was showing the original British version of Life on Mars. I guess ABC figured that if The Office was a hit, than any BBC series would be a hit stateside. Here is proof that this is bad logic. Sub-par BBC shows, I know since I've now see it, don't translate into suddenly great award winning ABC shows. CRAZY.

The nagging question is why didn't the channel ever get changed? I was on the bike (for what seemed like forever) and the remote was beyond my reach. I hate the rain.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I went for a nice long ride today with some people from the Purdue club. We rode for just under 3 hrs. It amazes me how far I've come since getting my bike. I used to think spending 3 hrs on the bike was crazy talk, but it turns out that it isn't.

I felt really good on the few hills. I think that this is real evidence of the training plan working. I wasn't exactly flying up them, but I felt strong. All in all a good day without much homework but lots of riding.

I had to change my tire this morning so that is the picture. It's a bit redundant but I didn't want to lug around the camera for three hours.

Classic upside down bike. Liz wasn't thrilled that I was working on it on the carpet. She didn't by my excuse that I wanted to see the end of How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not to much new

This week has been a hassle with the car. Liz and I always figure out solutions in the end, but there are times when 2 cars would make the machine run more smoothly. It turns out you can't bike in clinic clothes.

Liz and I have also started discussing our garden plans for the summer. So far we have agreed on having a garden, and planting beans, peppers, and some tomatoes. Beyond that we are having a heated debate about the presence of radishes, potatoes, egg plants, corn, and brussel sprouts. I'm making in sound more dramatic than it really is.

My training plan is going well. I made it through the first week. Today was another sustained sprint day. I did three 10 minute intervals. Oddly enough the intervals were not so bad, but the recovery ride home was tough. My legs gave what they had and were finished.

Here is a funny picture I saw today.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

One of These is Not Like the Others

Yesterday, I got up early to get my ride done and over with. It was still below 40 degrees so I bundled up and got out the door. It was chilly, but after about 20 minutes my legs started to thaw out and I was getting happier about being awake and outside.

Then I heard a really metallic twang. I was pretty sure I knew what it was so I stopped to inspect my wheels. Sure enough, one of my spokes had snapped. It amazes me how quickly a wheel will go out of true when a spoke breaks. Anyway, I coasted home and watch cycling on TV. It was the first spring classic race in Italy. The Milan San-Remo is 190 miles long. Ouch. Liz and I got my wheel fixed later that day and I got my "real" ride in later in the afternoon. (What homework?)

Today it is supposed to rain. I'm guessing I'll end up having to ride inside. At least there is basketball to watch.

The culprit.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Annoying Video

I'm not sure why that degree commercial played automatically when you came to my blog. What I do know is that the videos that play automatically at drives me batty. I think it is a control thing. I want to pick what I want to listen to, and I don't want Liz to know every time I refresh the homepage. She never believes that I'm doing homework with the Sportcenter theme blaring out of my computer while I frantically push the mute button.

Anyway, my apologies. The video has been changed to a hyper link

Yesterday's ride

Here are pictures from yesterday's ride. There were a whole bunch of really good photo opportunities so I took two sort of boring ones.

The longer Liz and I have lived here in West Lafayette the more and more of these we see. I remember when I first started biking that it would take a 3 hour round trip to get to the farm, but now you get get out and back well within 2 hours.

It amazes me overtime how huge these things are. I would like to think that this is a complete solution to our dependence on foreign oil, but I don't think it ever will go that far. For now, I just hope that it continues to bring money into Indiana.

Overall, my ride was very hard but good. I hit the wind (the windmills are here for a reason) on the way home and had to spend a considerable amount of time trying to shut down my mind so I wouldn't pay attention to how hard I was working just to go so slow.

And in NCAA news;

Boiler Up! Purdue looked pretty good... most of the time... in the second half. The only thing that matters is that final score though. We'll see how they do next round.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Interesting commercial

Kind of cool commercial. Liz and I agreed that instead of reattaching at the end he should have just grabbed the front wheel and continued on his way on one wheel.

Degree video here... without hyperlink. Sorry.

And it is almost like someone at degree saw this video on their break

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Spring Break Training

Since I don't have school, I have more time to make food. It's a good thing to since I've been super hungry the past few days. Liz will vouch for this. Yesterday resulted in a Lasagna dinner at 4:30pm followed by another Jimmy Johns dinner at 8:30pm, then a bag of popcorn at 9:45, a healthy dose of food guilt at 10:00, and a redemption orange at 11:00pm. Somewhere in there I had a 5 or 6 chips ahoy cookies (Thanks Elizabeth S.)

My training book warned that I might get more hungry because of the increase in activity, but I figured I would get hungry after I started training hard and not before I started the program. I've never been one to question what the stomach wants so I went ahead and made a big lunch full of carbs and protein to fuel my ride later today.

Here is a picture of lunch.

We have:
1 grilled cheese
2 pickles
1 apple sauce cup
1 can of potatoes (I threw on some olive oil later to give them some taste)
1 yogurt for dessert (not pictured)

I would like everyone to notice the genius features of the monkey plate. One are for ketchup and one ear for pickles. The face for the main course. It helps keep me organized, and thus it is my favorite plate.

Now if only Liz could get me to make dinner. har har har. Tonight is fish and coucous. I think. It depends on what is in the freezer and cabinets, and what Liz makes, with me helping of course.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Spring Break... Deep Thoughts

For the past 7 years (yikes!), I've made the same annual mistake. Each year, I dutifully tell myself that over spring break I will be productive and a "good" student. Then, without fail, I don't get much done. The problem is that I push back a lot of stuff to work on over these breaks. The end result is a lot of work that doesn't get done till the day or two before the end of the break. It's not the best system, but at least it's consistent. It's too late to change now since I'll be graduating in the next couple of years (yikes!)

Double "yikes" bonus

Spring Break

I dropped Liz off at work this morning and then came home and promptly fell asleep on the couch. Whoops. I woke up and freaked out because I had been planning on getting a variety of things done this morning and suddenly it was morning no more.

I did start my training program today. I did two long sprints. It turns out that roast beef and tortilla chips are a recipe for disaster. My stomach was extremely unhappy during the second sprint.

Now I'm off to go see a client and get some real work done. No picture today. It wasn't worth it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thank goodness the days are getting longer

More light! More light. Push back the setting sun.

I'm able to get rides in now even if I start at 5:30pm. This is great except for the fact that I've lost a fairly good reason to not bike. For some reason it's not real safe to bike at night... even when inside.

Here is a picture from the same spot I took a picture from awhile ago. There is much less snow.

Here is the free range apartment complex cat named Claude. He was chasing the dry leaves that were blowing in the wind. Yeah, he's a dumb cat.

And Penny really doesn't like him or the fact that I was taking his picture.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

A nice day

I got out for a a 36 mile ride today. I wasn't really planning on going that far, but it was so nice outside. There were a lot of other riders outside which is always nice to see. I ran into the same group of 20 riders from the Wabash Cycling Club three times. I think they were going for a really long ride, so they were going really slow. I felt bad that I kept sprinting past them, but they probably didn't even care. I postponed the start of the my new training a week. I want the peak results to coincide with my summer races.

I forgot the camera on today's ride so there isn't a picture. Whoops.

Now back to my homework. I'm reading about all the paper work that I am required by law to keep for all of my therapy sessions. I can sum it up quickly. 1) Keep record of everything. 2) Understand that despite your best efforts you are still breaking some rule or law and could be sued.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Trying some new stuff

Next week I'm going to try to start a more focused and regular training routine. I'm really nervous about it. First, I know that I often come home and sit down on the couch and don't get on my bike when I should hop on right away. The training comes out of a book that Liz got me for my birthday and is geared towards athletes who don't have 15 hours a week to train. The down side of the program (or upside) is that when you are training it is very high intensity which doesn't always feel so good. I'm excited to see if i can stick with it and if it improves my ability to race better this summer.

Last night I used my brand new cycling mat. I was all I would wish for out of a big mat. I was not slippery, it was quiet, and it was large enough that I didn't have to worry about sweat accidentally getting on the carpet. Liz let me move the couch over towards the door to make room for it. I tried my Christmas dvd again. I made it farther this time than last. If I could have grunted out another 16 minutes, I would have gotten through it. Next time though I think I'll get it. My only grip with the dvd workout is that the people in the video clearly aren't trying as hard as they should be. After each sprint they sit back and smile and chat with each other. I on the other hand am worrying Liz while making weird throat nosies during each rest time. Yes, it's really that hard, but I still really like it. It will fit well with the new training program.

I don't have any pictures right now because I'm at school. My first client canceled, so I'm wasting time before my second client. Oddly enough, the one that needs to be coming to see me the most is the one who often misses the session, and the one who really is about ready to go off on his own keeps coming like a Swiss clockwork. Talk about a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's My Birthday!

Thanks to everyone who called, texted, or otherwise wished me well today. It was a good day filled with work. I rode my bike to school which always makes me happy. I'm not sure why it just does. The funny thing is that I can't even claim to do it in the name of being environmentally friendly because I usually make a special trip back to school later to pick up my books and computer. By riding my bike, I'm actually make a larger carbon footprint. I don't mind though because I like doing it that much.

I did a few things out of the ordinary to celebrate my birthday at work. First, I took a secret nap in the lab for 30 minutes after lunch. hmmmm.. the joy of secret naps. I can hear people working in the hallway, and they don't even know that there is a grad student just a few feet away reclining in a lazy boy. Second, I left work early and went for an extra long bike ride. My treat to me. I saw a bunch of other riders, but I was glad to be solo today. I knew that I was in a bit of a spot when I noticed a leaf rolling down the road in the same direction as I was going and as fast as I was moving. As expected, when I turned around there was a wicked head wind. It's ok though, spring is upon us (at least in Indiana)!

My post ride birthday picture. I make a rookie mistake and did not straighten my jersey. tisk tisk