Friday, February 15, 2008

What to read during Taper or a 14 hour flight....

By popular demand I am giving a list of reading mateials to help kill those long rest days, layovers, travel, or hours on the Spinner, When Troy has become too annoying.

Angels and Demons by Dan "I'm rich because of the Da Vinci Code" Brown.
It's a prequel to the Da Vinci code and personally I think it has a better plot, unfortunately no Albino Catholic Monk hitmen.

The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine by Elan Poppe
Poppe is an Israeli and pretty much finds the essence of the whole Arab-Israeli stems back to land and "land grabs"...including one major one in 1948 which displaced about 500,000 Arabs...Not a bad read, gets a little dry at times, pisses you off at times, and gets you to see why the Palestinians are so pissed off.

The Popol Vuh
An English Translation of the Religious Texts of the Quiche Maya. Seriously this book is full of shape shifting, talking animals, blood ,gore, ritual, coming back form the's a pretty cool read almost trippy at times. Gives you a different world view when you're done reading.

The Longest Night
Can't remember the author, but the basic is plot is one of Meyer Lansky's Hit men goes to occupied Holland in 1943 to help spring a train load of Jews from a concentration camp. The hitman is cynical as all hell. It's got action, suspense, comedy, it's a good read. Finished it in a weekend.

A Man's Place by John Tosh...I think
A text book for my Victorian England. it describe what the "social ideal" was for a middle class man in Victorian England. Pass the opium and Absinthe please.

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Better than the Musical. Dark, violent, the Phantom is a BADASS cross between the Joker, Pavarotti, David Copperfield and the Unibomber. Christine is Easy , and Raoul is a real prententious smuck. Also has a ghost from the Phantom's past in this thing called the Persian...and he's BADASS...the writing gets a little repetitive and some of the chapters don't make sense until you read a little more...It's a decent book, but it plays headgames with you. It's the 1890's version of a Bond Flick.

There are others but these are the books that came to the top of my head, mainly becaue I'll be reading Poppe and Tosh on the flight accross the Pacific, as I desperately try to cram my class work into a nice 14 hour flight. Figure that way there will be less for me to do in NZ and I can enjoy my Travel expereince instead of spending it hunched away in my hotel room writing about people who died over a hundred years ago....or how the stituation in the Mid-East is ticking me off. Free Gaza!.....Two State Solution!....Jerusalem as an International City!..oops let my politics show....

Last night I got in a 40 min. Run with Bjoern on the icy slick roads of New Britain....It was almost like the scene in Cool Runnings where the Jamaicans are learning how to run on ice. ( my home is till without internet so I can't upload the video clip.) It was my first physical activity since Monday and it felt good. Tonight I've got master's on tap, tomorrow hopefully an easy morning swim, followed by work, a short ride with Bjoern, and then packing The Bitch Stopmer for its voyage. My W-2 came into payroll Yesterday, which means I won't be able to pick it up until Tuesday, which means I'll hopefully file Tuesday Night and I'll have my tax rebate in on the Wednesday I'm in NZ. Hopefully some of that refund will be going to pay for a Kona Entry, other wise it will be going to Master Card. Well that's it for now.

Fire on Ice

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Proletariats of the World Unite...or It's Valentines day!

Ok, yes I stole the first title from Karl Marx, I had to write the 4th essay on The Communist Manifesto, in as many years because if you're a European History Major you get this little 30 page pamphlet (and 100 page introduction) slammed down you're throat more times than you care to read it. Now seriously, on paper Communism looks good, but that's just looks good on PAPER! So after my usual 3 page summary of what Marx and Engels were trying to say, fiscal analysis of 1840's Britain and Prussia, and political commentary of the times, I than gave a few case studies of why Communism has failed and at its core is the Utopian idea of a philosopher who just happended to know a little history and economics. ( Think China.There are sweatshops in China, communism was supposed to rid the world of sweatshops so why are there sweatshops in Communist China?) Ok rant on my homework asignment done.

For all of us wage slaves in the Capitalist World Today is Valentine's Day, or as most of us know it as the " Oh crap I've got to go spend a truckload of money on my significant other" day Now today is a day I'm glad I'm single, no girlfriend= no spending. So in a financial sense being a 22 year old spinster makes cents.......ok tacky financial humor done.

I can't really think of anything triathlon related to throw in today because weather and class work has sort of restricted me to a desk for the past two days. I feel like I'm going to gain 300 pounds if I don't stop eating and start working out ASAP, that's what the weekend's for right?
Also, I managed to get Decals for my bike, unfortunately they are too large for me to put names on TBS. I will try to find smaller ones other wise I will have my arms sharpied up.
Well that's all for now.

Bourgeoisie Capitalists Unite!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Well if I can't hold myself to a taper, mother nature's going to do it for me.

That's right Mother Nature is making up for "spoiling" us all winter, by giving us more snow in the this week than she has dished out all winter ( an old school Nor'Easter is predicted for Sunday into Monday, but I'll believe it when I have to drive through it.). Now I could react in one of two ways
The first: Go on my usual 5 year old-esque temper tantrum of how much I hate the white stuff and as soon as I'm financially secure with degree in hand I'm moving to California, Hawaii, Florida...insert local where 40 degress is considered an artic cold front here. And gripe that mother nature is wrecking my well orcastrated training plans...again.

The Second: Take it as a warning from the fates to take it easy, give the trainer a little love, cut my yardage in the pool and not work my legs on long runs, which I would be sure to do if the weather was ...well more conducive to distance training.

So I'm going to take option B this time around. It is two weeks before an legs do need rest..granted I would have like to have done one more longer ride but I'll suck it up with the 75 miler...I'll go easy on the first loop and then hammer it home on loop 2 and save what I can for the marathon. As for the improving my mood, I'm going to pop in some Jimmy Buffet, Crank my space heater up, put on a flowery shirt and dream Kona...
if only I could find my long lost shaker of salt....

Alright that's enough of that.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Taper has begun....

Last night officially began my taper, I got in only 3000 yards in the pool last night with Miss Karas, granted a majority of it was kicking. As described earlier mother nature threw a wrench in the works of me getting a long ride in so it turned into a 90 min. trainer session on Sunday. This week I'm planning on 2 or 3 45-60 min. Trainer sessions, and 2 to 3 runs of no longer than 15 miles. If the weather is actually good on Saturday, and that is a big if according to Scott ( takes it up the ) Hanney, I will break out the road bike and try to get a real ride in, but as always it depends on the weather.
I'm partially afraid of the gear I'm wearing in NZ. I'm wearing my HEAT livery which is Louis Garneau and I'm sponsored by Zoot, my GU/Zoot gear isn't scheduled to arrive until Easter so I'm hoping this will not be a "breach of sponsor ship." but my only other alternative is to wear my speedo my HEAT livery is getting the green light for its only apperance of the 2008 tri season ( unless we get HEAT Head Sweats, then that will get worn every race.) granted I'm using my WetZoot and eating Gu so that should cover me right? ( thought of an answer to Shot Blocks....Gu-bers)
I've also began thinking about life post Ironman, first priority goes back to classwork and financial well-being, then the summer race schedule. Eagleman, the Patriot, and Nutmeg State are definiately on the calendar...I have decided that this summer will be devoted to keeping myself Ironman ready, the more long stuff I can do over the Summer the better preped I will be for a possible Kona shot or another Crack at an early season IM next year. Right now I'm on track with my goal to be able to throw down for a half at a moment's notice.

Well on tap for tonight, class, a possible pool workout, unless it really starts getting bad, then my trainer and an hour of spining will be my evening.

Well those are my ramblings for now.


Monday, February 11, 2008

This Week's poll: Planes, Trains and Automobiles.

Well, the last poll put up got alot of results, aparently 71% of my readers want me hairless...on that note I will be shaving my arms and legs for this affair but no one's messing with the new doo!

This weeks poll expresses the options of how to get to JFK Airport.
Now my Dad works a double shift on Saturday and my Mom has said no to driving into the city on a Saturday, to an airport she has no clue how to get to. Car services are ludicrisly expensive so I have put my Fordham Education of the NYC Transit system to work here here are my options:

A. My buddy Adam drives me to New Haven's Union Station. I Take the Amtrak out of New Haven to Penn Station, then take the Long Island RailRoad to Jamaica Center, then from the the Air Train to my terminal. Total Cost $45 not including excess baggage fee to check my bike case. the other slight draw back is I wouldn't arrive at JFK about a half hour before my flight, leaving not a lot of time to check in my baggage and get through security.

B. Adam drives my butt to New Haven, I hop on my Old Friend the Metro North Rail Road and get into Grand Central. From there I grab a cab for the $45 flat fare. There are a lot of pros to this one. The first is I can take as much luggage as I can carry on the Metro North, I remember the Summer I spent working at Fordham, taking on a backpack, duffle, and two green garbage bags full of clothes, cookware, and foodstuffs. The second is I can catch an earlier train and be in the City at 9:15 AM catch a cab and be at JFK at least an hour before I'm set to leave for the Left Coast. the only draw back is getting stuck in NYC Traffic...which if I leave early enough won't be a problem.

C. Throw all my crap on my back and ride my bike into JFK. This was a ludacrious suggestion by my boss. There are several drawbacks including , my bad aim with an uzi while pedaling through Jamaica Queens. (think the Chris Rock NYC Bike Tour.)

D. Bribing either Angry or Adam to drive my deadbeat ass to JFK. ...Guys we go way back and been through a whole heap together.......I'll pay gas and coffee!

Personally I like plan B!

the Globe Trotter

Did I mention that I REALLY hate winter!!!

What was supposed to be Bob-o's mini tour de Connecticut Weekend , turned into a Saturday long Run and a bored to tears 90 min. Trainer session. Why? Mother Nature took a look at the calendar and decided to drop some of the white stuff.

Snowy Saturday!
Saturday wasn't too bad snow was stiking to the grass surfaces but the asphalt was more or less just wet. so I decided to get my last long run before the IM in. ( I would have gotten onto the bike except there were some sulshy spots, especially at the bottom of hills.) I did two of my 8 mile loops. with a 2 min. bathroom break in between. The 16 mile oddessey took about 2:35, not my fastest effort but with soaking wet and freezing cold feet I'll take it. I figured the loop would help me prepare for the two loop marathon, afterall nothing is worse than running to the top of murderous hill and then coming to the realization you have to do it twice. I figured I'd run my usual deadly back half up Boundline Rd. ( I had orginally thought of running into Southington but decided not to risk life and limb on 322.) I finished my run with the most poetic stream of explatives as I ended up running through a slushy puddle infront of my drive way, pushing my already cold feet closer to frostbite. But 16 miles in a snow storm isn't bad. After my post run shower I went a got a hair cut for the first time in 4 months, I never knew how much I tookfor granted not having to pull my bangs out of my face to see.

Sunday Sweaty Sunday!
I woke up late on Sunday Morning, only to look out the window and see snow blowing around. After mumbling " I f**king Hate winter !" under my breath, I ate a "not heathly for you" breakfast. Only to look out and see the weather was came the decision: To ride or to Trainer? In a very insurance type way I weighed the options:
Ride outside:
Won't sweat like a Turkish Weightlifter in the middle of summer.
Will actually have a change of scenery.
Get to work on handling skills.
Narrow, and slick roadways
Killer Cross winds
I'll Freeze my ass off.
Having way the options in a calculated risk managerment style I decided that it would be a reasonable execution of opportunity to use the trainer that I had at my disposal.
So I popped in the coming of age early 80's film "Breaking Away" featuring a Young Daniel Stern amd Dennis Quaid. also the fact that it has Dennis Christopher playing a wise cracking "wantabe Italian" Cyclist. So I sprinted during most of the bike race scenes getting in a nice
3x30 min. in the big ring rear ring 15 with 5 min. Small Rig rear ring 15 recovery.
I decided that 90 min., 3 water bottles, and the fact my cycling jersey was drenched in at least a gallon of sweat, that I wasn't going to go any futher. ( Using the Paul and Roch Method the distance you do on the trainer is double what you do on the road. So by their "fuzzy math" my 90 min. trainer ride equates to 3 hours on road. )
I came up showered and got ready to go to a Late Mass, ( having slept through the regualr one I go to.) Only to find a mini blizzard was going on outside....I called Angry to speak of this development interupting him on his date with a potential "baby mama"...I mean... having dinner with a friend, to whom he was "faking an engagement" to get her into the CT Bridal Expo. Seriously I think I'm going to have to try that. My plans of "refreshing my sprit." thwarted I gave The Bitch Stomper a good scrubbing, removing sand, salt and sweat accumilated by a month's worth of cold weather rides and trainer workouts. I plan on going to the hobby shop and getting some dry transfer decals for my bike, otherwise I'll be reduced to dollar store stickers, for my fundraising promise.

Well that's all for the weekend up date.

The Terror of the Tundra