Saturday, October 30, 2004

the DM blues

i have a cold. it's not a bad one, but it's definitely a cold. i had a scratchy throat for about a week, and then yesterday i woke up with a full-blown, snot-dripping cold.

i'm not good at being sick, i can't stay in bed unless i'm physically unable to move around, and i usually just pretend there's nothing wrong with me.

this morning, as i was getting ready to go running i figured i might as well have some cough syrup, just to clear up my lungs and whatnot, so i took a swig, and headed out.

now, the last time i can remember taking cough syrup was in the early nineties; i drank a whole bottle and then spent a good portion of the night lying underneath one of those blue plastic tarps on someone's doorstep.

i made it through the run, but MAN it was weird; my perceptions were all screwed up, my head felt slow and echo-y, and i felt like i was going to barf, although i wasn't nauseas. ugh.

Thursday, October 28, 2004


it's been pretty rainy here for the past two weeks, which is kind of unusual for this time of year. it's been a bit of a bummer, because i don't have my winter bike built yet, but there is at least one bright side: as i was driving home yesterday i saw green grass poking through the brown. it made me smile

Monday, October 25, 2004

the relay

i ran in the relay this weekend: 12 people, 2 vans, 199 miles. i was runner 10, which meant that i ran legs 10, 22, and 34. one of our runners got sick at the last minute, and another one got injured during the race, so the remaining 4 of us in our van each picked up an extra leg as well. the table below has a synopsis of each of my legs, with links to maps and stuff if you're interested.
legratingdistanceascentstart timepacetotal time
10vh8.914003:58 p.m.08:2301:14:38
22e4.23202:23 a.m.07:4600:32:37
24m5.92803:26 a.m.08:0600:47:47
34vh6.264010:37 a.m.07:4900:48:26
  25.22640 08:0503:23:48

trying to look tough right before the last 2 (uphill) miles of my race.

we finished in 27:58:25, 93rd out of 250 teams.

i was initially pretty worried about how being sleep deprived (i got a total of 2 hours sleep over the course of the race) would affect my mood and performance, but it turned out not to be nearly as big an issue as i thought it would be. aside from some slightly delerious conversations with myself during the early-morning legs i felt ok.

the weather SUCKED for the first 24 hours or so. coming over the top of the big hill on my first leg it was foggy, with driving rain and wind. visibility was about 30 feet, and the dirt road i was on had turned into ankle-deep mud punctuated with cow crap. it was never that bad again, but it stayed wet and gloomy for the rest of the race. predictably, the sun came out about an hour after we crossed the finish line.

the whole thing was a blast, WAY more fun than i thought it was going to be, and i'm really glad i did it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

yuppie scum

if there was any doubt as to my complete descent into yuppiedom let it
now be laid to rest for all time. i've hired a housekeeper to do all
the cleaning tasks i won't.

her name is mayte, and she's been twice so far. it took her two visits
of three hours each to do the kind of comprehensive cleaning that a
couple years of neglect on my part required.

now she comes once a month, and does things like mop the floors and
clean the bathroom sink. i'm somewhat conflicted about it; on one hand
i feel a little guilty about asking someone to clean up my mess, and
on the other hand, i don't clean up my mess unless there is some sort
of extreme provocation, so stuff just gets out of control.

in other news, i rode up mt. tamalpais for the first time on sunday.
it's a gorgeous ride, and the views are truly unbelievable. it was an
unusually clear day, and i could see for tens of miles in all
directions. i could see well past the farallon islands, which i think
is a first for me.

when i got back natalie and i went to dinner at some friends' house.
they are both foodies, and one of them is a wine maker, and their
dinner parties are always fabulous. we ate out in their garden, and
when it got dark we tried to shine a light on the rats that were
running back and forth in the ivy, chasing after the pieces of bread
we threw for them

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

montebello redux

i climbed montebello road again today, and took it a little easier than i did on monday. i stayed in the saddle the whole time, tried to relax, and didn't push too much. it took me a little longer than it did on monday (44:56 vs. 41:56) but i didn't feel like i was in immanent danger of explosive pulmonary failure either.

i found a page that has a whole bunch of geeky details about the climb if you're interested. (if you're not, the basics are: 5.3 miles long, ab out 2000 vertical feet, average grade of 6.9%, max grade 16%).

i've set a sort of soft goal of knocking 10% off of the time i got today before the end of the year. it seems do-able.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004


on saturday i went for an easy 2-hour run across the golden gate bridge, then along the marina, and up over fort mason to pier 39. it was a prefect day for running, cool and overcast, and it felt great to be taking it easy.

sunday morning natalie and i made pancakes and did the crossword, which we hadn't done in a long time, and then i went for a ride around the city. i only did about 20 miles, but i mixed some hills into the route, and felt like i got a decent workout.

sunday afternoon i tore my old centurian ironman down to the frame in preparation for building a winter bike. i've been collecting used parts from craigslist and ebay, and now have a complete bike, albeit in a bunch of pieces. i'm sort of torn between building it myself, and having a shop build it. i'd learn a lot, and have a lot of fun, if i built it myself, but there's no guarantee i'd have a working bike at the end of the process, so for now i'm just waffling.

yesterday (monday) i went for a bike ride at work. i found a hill which i think is going to keep me occupied for a while. it's 5 miles long, and climbs about 2000 feet, it's the first real hill i've climbed since i got the bike, and i have a feeling i'm going to be spending a lot of time on it.

this is a screenshot of the data from my heart-rate monitor on yesterdays ride (click the picture for more detail). the squiggly red line at the top is my heart rate, the green line in the middle is altitude, and the squiggly black line at the bottom is speed.

if there was a line for how hard my lungs were working it would be off the chart at about 30 minutes. things got easier after that.