Wednesday, June 30, 2004


i recently developed a staph infection on/in my left leg, just below the knee. at first it looked like just a small scratch that was healing, but it gradually got worse.

first it got a little red and swollen, but over a cople of days it got bigger, and ended up looking like a small purple volcano, surrounded by red angry skin, and my entire lower leg swelled up a bit.

i went to my doctor on monday, and he put me on antibiotics and told me to come back today. when i went in he decided it needed to be lanced. so he laid me out on the table and did it right there. ow.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

whimpering in fear

i went up to donner peak over the weekend to do some climbing, and to take a mountaineering class.

we took off early friday morning in order to have a full day, and were on the rock by 10:30.

the climbing up there is all granite slab stuff, and my slab skills are pretty much non-existant. add to that rock that heats up in the sun and you've got a nice set-up for scaring the crap out of yourself.

which is what i did.

i was up above the forth clip, trying to get over a slightly bulgy section in wall (i've circled it in the picture); the only feet were these horrible little nubbins and the hands were a couple of super-sharp little crimpers (the french word for crimpers is 'crispettes', which i think is a perfect description). i started to try to move up, and my feet lost their grip, so i bellyflopped on the rock, hoping desperately that the extra surface area would keep me from sliding back down the bulge, grating large portions of my tender skin off in the process.

as soon i was splayed out on the rock i could feel myself beginning to slide backwards, and i KNEW i was going to fall, and i knew i was going to leave a bunch of flesh up there as a nasty surprise for the next climber.

somehow i managed, in the midst of my hperventilating desperation, to get enough of a foot to flop myself, millimeter by millimeter, a little further up the wall, to a better hold.

not one of my more graceful climbs, and the tips of my fingers were worn almost through from being dragged across the rock so many times, which made the rest of the day kind of painful. wah.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004


i just ate a quart of fresh figs.

i need to remember not to buy two pint baskets at the same time, because i just eat them all in one sitting, and then i feel slightly guilty and very full.

i had a great weekend; sean came up for a visit, and we went for a ride in marin on saturday morning. despite the fact that it was cloudy and grey, and we had a headwind the entire way it was a blast. we've been talking about going for a ride together ever since he got his bike, but i was never together enough to make it happen.

until now.

on saturday evening we all -- sean, natalie, kj, and i, went to s and k's for a party to celebrate s's graduation and new job. they put on their typically lavish spread; a ton of food and oceans of wine.

k kept coming up to me with new bottles of this or that which he insisted i try. i paid the price for it on sunday, but at the time it was blast.

Friday, June 18, 2004


i have a bunch of gmail invites that i don't know who to give to.

let me know if you'd like one.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

data pr0n and pills

i just got the results back from some blood work my doctor had done, and everything looks really good except for my hematocrit, which is not too surprising given my diet.

measurement my numbers units normal
blood pressure 100/70   < 120/80
hemoglobin 13.4 g/dL 13.5 - 17.7
hematocrit 38.5 % 40.0 - 52.0
total cholesterol 138 mg/dL < 200
triglyceride 59 mg/dL < 150
hdl 56 mg/dL > 40
ldl 70 mg/dL < 130

it's a bit of a bummer though, because hematocrit levels affect athletic performance, and while it's not currently an issue for me, it might be in the future. so i've started taking iron supplements and a multi-vitamin to try to bring my level back up.

food is good

speaking of diet, i think that this is my favorite time of year, at least as it relates to food; it's fresh fruit and vegetable season, and i'm going a little nuts. peaches, melons, berries, cherries, apricots, peas, spinach, asparagus, zucchini, and my absolute favorite; fresh figs!

i have been gorging myself on all of it, mostly raw, but with the occasional stir-fry with plenty of fresh garlic and ginger, and it's making me pretty happy.

Monday, June 14, 2004

weekend fun

i had a great weekend; running, riding, chores, food, beer, toys, and a little bit of sunburn, read on for all the details. or not.

friday night natalie and i did our usual burgers, beer, and movie. we watched 'jackie brown', which i hadn't seen before. it's pretty good, but not as good as the book. (it's based on 'rum punch' by elmore leonard. he's one of the crew of south florida mystery/caper writers that includes carl hiaasen).

saturday morning i went for a run with the club, it was my first run since the marathon, and i only did 40 minutes, on coach's orders. i felt really good, and was sorry when it was done.

after i got back to the city i took off for a ride; heading down to the embarcadero, out through the presidio, down along the great highway and back over twin peaks. it was a gorgeous day, and the view coming over the top of portola was phenomenal.

after that natalie and i went and picked up some supplies to build an enclosure for one of her cats. (it's injured and on cage rest, so we decided to build it an enclosure in the loft in her kitchen, rather than keeping it in a crate).

i also got an ipaq (h3700) on craigslist. it was only $30.00, which is a steal, and it means i can now get SERIOUSLY obsessive about dietary and performance statistics, since the fitness software i've been using has a bunch of stuff that only works on handhelds.

we finished saturday out on the patio at zeitgeist, where kj was having a get together to celebrate the last few days of her vacation.

sunday i went for a ride with jeremy out in the marin headlands, it was another gorgeous day, and it felt great to be climbing hills again, but jesus my ass was sore from riding saturday! i can't wait until i toughen up a bit. i also forgot to put sunblock on, so now i have very distinct sunburn lines on my biceps. they hurt.

Friday, June 11, 2004

the numbers

when i joined the running club they gave me a whole bunch of flyers and coupons and stuff, and one of them was for free body-composition testing using something called the bod pod (sorry, this is the post of links to bad websites).

body composition testing is usually done by dunking the testee in a tank full of water, then comparing the amount of water they displace with their actual weight, and calculating the percentage of body fat.
the bod pod works the same way, except it measures air, instead of water, displacement, so there's none of the hassle of having to get wet.

it's a slightly disneyesque experience; the machines are designed to be usable by anyone (although i wasn't allowed to do it myself), so there is a recorded womans voice that tells you what to do, sort of like the ones they have at natural history musuems, the ones that tell you what you're looking at when you push a button in front of the exhibit.

you strip down to your skivvies, put on a swim cap, and step on a scale, then you get in the pod and sit down. the door -- which is the whole front of the thing -- is closed, and you're left sitting there, looking out through an acrylic window while the voice tells you not to move, and to breathe normally.

then there are some humming noises, and a weird sort of thumping i could feel ON my eardrums, and the voice tells you to open the door, and close it again, whereupon it goes through the whole be-still-breathe-normally-humming-thumping business again.
it does it a total of three times, then you get out, and while you're getting dressed it prints out your results.

mine are:

weight:126.0 lbs
fat:10.8 lbs
lean:115.2 lbs

which puts me at the bottom end of their "lean" category.


Sunday, June 06, 2004


so, i ran a marathon yesterday down in santa cruz. well, aptos if you want to get technical, which is just south-east of santa cruz.
natalie and i got up at 4:45 and drove down, i got us lost on the way, and got there at about 7:15. the race started at 8:00

it's a beautiful course that winds up through the redwoods for a little over twelve miles and 2500 vertical feet, then dips down to the turnaround, and comes back along the same route.
i felt really good going out; strong, relaxed, and pretty happy on the hills. there are two major climbs, from mile 5 to 6, and another from 11 to 12. the second hill is steep enough that i had to walk parts of it.

i was in ninth place at the turnaround, much to my surprise, and looking forward to 12+ miles of downhill back to the finish.

at about mile 16 it all fell apart; i hadn't done any training running downhill, and my legs just couldn't take it. i started cramping, and from mile 21 to the finish was pretty much a death march.

i got passed by a ton of people, and had to walk on some of the steeper downhill sections. even a caffeinated gu, which i had been counting on to get me through the last few miles, didn't help. it was ugly.

i caught up to natalie about half a mile from the finish (she was out for a run too) and limped into the finish at 3:55:08.

as painful as the last half of the race was, overall it was fun, and i still finished 35 minutes faster than my previous marathon, which was on pavement and had only a few hills, so it's nice to see that improvement.

after the race we went down to the beach so i could soak my legs in the ocean for a bit, and then we went to the boardwalk and rode roller coasters, which was a blast.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

first ride

i went of for my first real -- sorta -- ride on the new bike last night. i didn't go out for very long, mostly because i'm running a marathon on saturday, but also because my butt is not yet accustomed to the saddle, and i didn't want to be in TOO much pain today.
the bike is great; it's quick, and feels very responsive, and the shifting is precise and crisp.
one slightly problematic thing i noticed is that when i'm -- attempting -- to trackstand at lights, the front wheel bumps against my forward foot when i crank the handlebars around. it's not a big deal, but i did notice it.

while i was out i got a new bike gadget; it's called a topeak alien and it seems like it might be pretty cool.

i held back and didn't get the one with the removeable fork.

i am a model of consumer restraint.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

i got a bike

so, i broke down and bought a new bike instead of building one from parts.

it's a masi speciale premio, and it's last years model. i've had it since saturday and haven't taken it for a ride yet. it's kind of killing me.