Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pictures of D.C. and Cherry Blossoms Part 1

Psssst. Hey, it's me. Blogger boy. Hey, wannabuysomeweed? I've got some gooooood shit bro. Only the cream of the crop for you. What's that? You want me to shut up and just post some damn photos already...
K. Cool. But next time, you know where to go. 

I don't know why I just typed that. Fuck it, don't matter. It's been a long day. I got a lot accomplished today, including two workouts so I've earned my right to decompress. Some of you readers may be unfamiliar/not live in metro D.C. (a fags playground), so I figured I'd post some photos of stuff I see on a daily basis....enjoy :)

 T.t.t.t.trippy. Trippy. Trippy. Trippy. Trippy. 
 Georgetown U as seen from the Key Bridge that connects Virginia to D.C. Take this on the way to work T/R. I live about 3 miles behind the towers. So I feel protected and shit from all the Middle Easterners constantly trying to invade our shores. 
 My FAVORITE cupcake shop ever. Hands down. This place is truly a gem and there are about 50 cupcakery's in D.C. so that's saying something. On this particular occasion the famous owner was present (she's a Food critic on TV) and they were giving away free ones. Thanks, twitter. 
 Too bad none of 'em are vegan. Oh well. Can't win 'em all. But you can certainly try 'em all ;). 
 The illustrious M and Wisconsin intersection. Quintessential Georgetown (see douchey). 
 A more common view...traffic. 
 Great salad place. Choose your own, ton of fresh/local/organic greens. You just feel so damn righteous afterward. I think the evil witch from Snow White was the previous owner. Back then, it was called Sour Red (apple). 
 Bike shop to the left. Running Co. to the right. Funny enough, I almost never frequent these two shops. The Running Co. has a competitive team, If I ever got fast enough I would consider joining. Like a hell of a lot faster. Like take the fucking metro faster. 
 The appetizer to the bridge. 'Key' bridge is short for the dude who wrote the Star Spangled Banner. Which...if you can't recite backwards, you're not really an American. And the Patriot Act means they know. Better kiss your ass goodbye. See you in Guantanamo. 
 A rare shot. Usually filled with walkers/tourists/bikers/nudists. Walking toward Arlington, VA from the D.C. side. The nudists here are invisible. 
 Peering to the left. The infamous Watergate hotel over the Potomac. Most people don't know this, but Nixon got in trouble regarding this place.  Something about breaking and entering?? Yep. Secret of the locals. 
 Whitehurst Freeway bypasses a lot of the bullshit traffic on M Street. Below is a nice outdoor area for people to walk and read and/or fornicate. I usually finish my 6-10 mile loop around there and wander around seeing if I can find any young teens to hit on. 
Dead body dump zone. Where the interns/CIA sell-outs/peace-lovers are put to rest. Roosevelt Island. Teddy would be so proud. 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Scope it Out 5-k Race Report

All signs pointed to a good race for me. Uninterrupted training. Lots of speed work. Weather cooled down. Got to the bathroom minutes before the start. God whispering in my sleep, "If you run it... records will faaalllll." I'd be lying to say I didn't think I was gonna PR. In fact I set my watch to have me go almost 25 seconds faster than my PR on Thanksgiving morning. Except my watch has a much easier time handling PR's than my body.

#fail.

I lined up only 15 feet behind the start out of respect for the fast guys in front. Not necessarily for the 9  min/mile peeps parked directly in front of me. Spent the first 100 yards trying my best not to steamroll the pricks who line up in front only to jog from the outset. Will never understand why people do this. I bet these are the same people who go to the grocery store once a month at a time when only one line is accessible. Or people who stand in line at Chipotle only to answer a phone call the moment they get to the front. Tools.

Anyway, I don't have many excuses....now time for some excuses. No. Seriously, this time it was on me. First mile I held myself back, hoping to negative split and get stronger throughout. Second mile I started to get a little tired but held onto the pace. By the time I started the third mile I was falling behind Mr. Pacer Dude (virtual partner on my Garmin). MPD was kicking my ass so instead of picking up the pace I yelled at him. COME ON MAN! I KNOW I'M RUNNING THE SAME PACE AS BEFORE! To which he replied -74 feet. Drat. So I changed the damn screen.

About 2.7 miles in I mentally wanted to surge and physically did not. Mental side won. I peered at my watch to see that I was rapidly approaching 18 minutes and basically resigned myself to defeat. I tried to enjoy the last bit by striding out - no sprint. I was pretty disappointed when I finished. Here's a story about the race. 

Race results were posted on the spot and I found I had an IDENTICAL time to my race last time. Here's the top 25 overall. 18:36. I tried. I think I should be around 18:15 on a good day by now, but the reality is what is. What's confusing is a week before I ran a 10-k treadmill time in 38:15, so I'm quite confused why I performed so poorly. I think part of it has to do with my turnover. I need to get a faster cadence.

In my temporary state of pout, I went to Panera to replenish the sweat and consumed two bagels and a brownie. WoW! Back to the olden days it was. I think I was eating out of sadness so when I got home I kept my running shorts on, and went to the gym. And kicked my ass for an hour. Two sets of mini-bricks.

Granted I had a shit-ton of carbs in my system but next time...like I said on twitter #shouldajustrunfasterthefirsttime.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Busy, busy, busy body...

Posts have been slow! I know, I know. No excuses......now for some excuses...

1) I have a broken back. Apparently it's a VERY small fracture and 20-30% of the population has it. And I'm in that lucky group. Yay me :). I've visited the chiropractor a few more times and he's been working on my hip alignment and telling me to stop cracking my shoulder/neck since it's all related. We've also been doing some tough stretches to try and work out the kinks. So far so good. Am I healed? No. But I have noticed some minor progress so I'm gonna keep at it for a bit longer until I have conclusive results. Or don't. Either way, it's worth a shot.

2) I have a midterm due in 2 days. Kinda stressed about it. I was forced into picking a topic that I'm not too familiar with, but I'm getting it done. Anyway, gotta plug away at it little by little (I'm not a procrastinator) but it's detracting from my typical posting times.

3) Been training like a mad man as usual. Feeling pretty good at the moment. If the weather holds for tomorrow AM I'd like to PR on the 5-k. Should be able to, in fact, I'm looking to go around 18:15 but we'll see. Will do a race recap and will wear my HR monitor and GPS watch so you can peep the stats if ya want.

4) Saw BikeSnob (perhaps the best blogger alive) on Wednesday. Very odd day. Found out about it via Twitter only a couple hours before. It was held at a bookstore I always frequent so I figured I could make the trip. Dude. Is. Hilarious. Seriously one of the funniest people I've ever met. Speaking of meeting him, afterward I got his book (and had it personally signed for my Pops). I asked him to sign my X-Rays. How often do you think a 'celebrity' gets asked that question? I think I was a first. I'll post the pic although it didn't come out all that well. Sidenote: Doc is gonna be pretty pissed that 'Snob wrote all over the X-Ray I imagine. Speaking of pics, I was in a photo on his blog...>


As you can see, I'm tweeting the deets. While some girl two over from me is eye-raping me. The gall! Then again, not like I can blame her. And, for those of you who didn't know...DC is a weeeiiirrrd crowd.  Read his post about it here. Cool to see pics as I worked and live right near the shots he posted. http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com/2012/03/bsnyc-friday-fun-no-quiz-and-instead.html

5) Oh, P.S. I have a full-time job.

6) Also speaking of pics...I took a stroll to check out the Cherry Blossom's and took a bunch of photos. Pics coming to a post near you shortly..

So be patient, keep reading, and don't do anything I wouldn't do :).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Workin it out..

No workouts posting para tu this week. I forgot to write 'em down...but I gotta say this was a tough week. Especially for running. Probably put in 30 miles or so. Hope to do well in a 5-k race next Sunday. I'll try and remember to write 'em down this week, although I have a midterm and other errands to run. Including work projects that seem to be piling up these days...

One of the errands is that I'm getting lower back X-Rays per request of my visit with a chiropractor on Friday. About 7 years ago at SDSU, I got X-Rays after chronic back pain was at times, debilitating. They found I have a condition called (sic?) spondyolisthesis. Basically my vertebrae in my back don't line up like they're supposed to. Therefore, working out my lower back has always been problematic as any extension is really like an 'overextension'.

Anyway, factors coalesced at the right moment to see a chiro. 1)I have a race coming up. 2)My back is not really healing. 3) I found a deal through DC Tri website. 4) The guy is also an expert in ART therapy, something that has piqued my interest for awhile now. 5) My sister is always on my case about it as she swears by it.

He examined me thoroughly for about 45 minutes. I was impressed, the guy seems to know his stuff. He noticed some alignment issues with my hips and shoulders. Some extreme tightness in my piriformis. And also, he said my feet are not absorbing impact as they should be. In short, lots of shit is wrong.

Good news, all things that he can manipulate/tweak to get me to pain free. I'm putting my faith in his work and remaining optimistic. Will keep you posted on X-Ray results and treatment. I still may race in mid-April (triathlon) but I'm not prepared to register if I still can't run off the bike.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Bummed...

Unless this is your first time reading this blog (in which case - WELCOME TO HELL please take a number!) you know I've been training consistently for triathlon for about 9 months now. About a year ago, while on vacation in Mehico, I had a revelation. I'm fat. Or overweight to say the least. I was getting injured as much as Greg Oden. Basketball was becoming impossible. My surgically repaired knee irritated me walking up the stairs. I needed to make a change.

Around that time my buddy (also injured) offered a spot to race for him in the Washington D.C. Triathlon. I was unfamiliar with tri-world, didn't have a bike, and hardly swam. I'm in I said. Also around this time I watched the movie "Yes Man" with Jim Carrey. And I thought, "Fuck it, ya know what, I'm gonna start saying yes to everything too (sidenote: swearing to yourself gives you major street cred in my book)." Additional sidenote: saying yes to everything can get you in maaaajjjor trouble...so use discretion. I meant like all-you-can-eat buffets, not like hookers - yesh. But yes to everything to help transform my body from pudgy frat boy into a machine that girls salivate over (and gay dudes obvi). I saw a sign for a (sic) biathlon on campus and registered impulsively. I won by beating out maybe 10 other people including one midget (he counts as one), but it felt good.

When in Mexico I exercised daily, and instead of focusing on weights per usual, I focused on cardio. And now I know why they say it's the best way to lose weight. Cuz it is.

Anyway, at that point almost precisely a year ago, I turned into a fledgling endurance athlete. I raced the DC Triathlon on a fixie and came in 2nd for First-time racers. All the hoopla, the washboard bodies, the individual competition, and the camaraderie post-race hooked me. Also, I thought, "Damn, I could be good at this shit if I actually trained (once again, swearing to gain more self-esteem)." So starting last June, I started training and never looked back.

This year, my first full season in tri, I'm looking to podium in my age group. I know a few people who can and will beat me, and others who may have made big gains in the off-season. Nevertheless, I only prepare and am responsible for myself, and barring this nagging back injury, there's no doubt I am faster. And also, no doubt that I will podium in my age group in races this year.

That said, I'm taking my annual summer trip with Pops and Dylan to China this time in August. We'll be gone the last weekend or so of July (much more on this coming to a post near you) and almost 3 weeks in August. So I had to plan my race schedule accordingly.

Most peeps I know were looking to peak in July/August, but for me, I need to be fully ready in May/June. Today, I got some awful news, they're canceling this years DC Tri. Damn. Reeealllly sucks. I finished a few seconds behind the runner-up last year (at a different race in Luray), and was hoping to finish potentially top 3 OVERALL (in the sprint). It would also be a great test of my improvement on the same course, since I can't compete in the other events I did last year per my traveling conflicts.

Shot. Down.

About a month ago, another race I was looking to potentially crush and finish top-5 was canceled in Delaware. 0 for 2.

While I'm confident Philly will be a great venue and a solid race, I'm well aware that the best of the best will be competing there. No hair off my chin, but it's not exactly the best place to...well...place. I like having the competition, but I wanted a race or two to build my confidence heading into it. And, in all honesty, I think it's nice to have a balance between showing up to the big races, and kicking ass in the smaller ones. What? My ego needs a lil' stroking (and the thing about my ego is it's located on my cock).

Anyway, presently, I'm very upset. DC Triathlon was my 'A' race. Chicken Tender, thought top - 5 was aiming too low for my goal earlier this year. I wanted to compare my performance with last year. But it ain't gonna happen. And I'll miss racing in the city.

Soooo....I'm pissed. And have been training sooo hard for months now. Won't be in good enough shape for Nation's. So probably will skip that one (it's too close to my traveling). The other two are keystone races and Olympic distance.

It may seem petty to be so uproarious about a race cancelation, but when you train day in and day out and dream of finishing down the chute, you know how it feels to have that taken from you. Tough day for me.

#depressed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Week's Workouts

Today was a rest day. I needed it, haven't had one in a month or so. Walked around the Tidal Basin to shake the legs out, but after two ' fuck this shouldn't be this difficult' workouts in a row, I think my body was sending me a signal.

This week, the weather looks great, and I will try and make the most of it on my bike. As per usual, the current sport I hate = running (I alternate hating one of the 3 sports about once a month). It's increasingly looking like a liability for me. I know my biking has improved. Hard to know by how much precisely until I race again. But it's certainly better. Swimming will be better than last season. Found an invaluable online tool that continues to make my swimming more efficient. Running - I'm just not enjoying, nor am I making solid gains. I don't like how I feel during/after when I see my times/splits...I'm racing a 5-k in two weeks, if I'm not a bit faster than I was during the Turkey Trot (18:36), then I'm not training properly. Plain and simple. Have to wait and see...back is still a bit tender. Will have to be very careful this season it looks like.

Monday: Swim. 300m w/u. 1x800m. 100 kick. 1x800. 100 kick. 2x400. 100 kick. 2x200. 300 c/d.

Tuesday: Arms/legs lift. (30 min TT spin. 2 mile run.) Repeat. Hard effort. Back felt okay, but was indoors spinning and not in aero.

Wednesday: A.M. Swim. 300y w/u. 5x200y fast w/100 active recovery after each. 100 kick. 5x200 fast w/ 100 active recovery after each. 100 kick. 300y c/d.
P.M. 10 mile slow run.

Thursday: Back and legs lift w/ some abs. 25 min. heavy gear with 5 min. easy spin recovery. Repeat. 1x20 min heavy gear. 5min easy spin.

Friday: 300y, w/u. 10x100 leaving at 1:30, 100 kick, 10x100, 100 kick. 10x50. 100 kick. 3x100. 300 c/d.

Saturday: Legs/Shoulders/Chest lift. 9 mile run. Today and yesterday just didn't have much energy. Hoping a day off does me some good. We'll see on Monday...

Sunday: Off.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Not sure how I feel about these: Many other bloggers do them weekly (or weakly), and I'm not one to lube the chain so to speak...but talking about me is one of my specialities - don't you concur? (I'm watching Catch Me if You Can as I type this - always remember that scene). Which reminds me I actually do like Leo DiCaprio. But if Gatsby turns out to be as awful as J. Edgar Hoover, I'm losing hope. C'mon Leo, we deserve better. P.S. here's a column I wrote that was published earlier this week..

http://www.theeagleonline.com/opinion/story/peddling-for-respect-and-courtesy/

1) I give my crust of pizza to special people who join me...

2) If they don't accept, I dip them in Coke. The crust, not the person. But that's not a bad idea.

3) I talk in my sleep. Mostly about food. Or sex....just kidding Mom #awkward.

4) I use hash tags (#) in texts too. #prettymuchworksanywhere

5) If there's chocolate in the house, it doesn't stay long. #breakfast

6) I follow too many blogs to count. Probably over 30.

7) I generally catch a 'second wind' around 10:30PM. Bed time between 12 and 1.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

110%



You know that saying, "I always give 110%!" If not, watch ESPN tonight for ten minutes and in all likelihood some athlete will say, "Everyday, gotta give 110%". Well I got some words for you - Fuck that. It's impossible to give 110% just like it's impossible to lick your own ears (unless maybe you have unattached ones or you happen to be one of those Jewish dudes in KISS).

It's not that I'm against the effort (licking your ears would earn you tons of street cred in certain circles). I have days where I exercise to fatigue and probably max close to 90%. Shit most days I'd be happy to break 85% (effort) and I know damn well I push myself harder than 110% of y'all out there. See, it doesn't make any fckin sense. You just sound like an idiot. So this needs to stop. Now.

Speaking of idiotic ramblings, Rush Limbaugh ladies and gentlemen. Okay, okay, moving on.

I closed my Bank of America account after 4 years last week. Yay me. I've been against 'big banks' for awhile now cuz they're meaney heads and their interest rates rival the aero advantage of a carbon seat post vs. aluminum. So now I changed to a local credit union and am getting 3.5% return. Not too shabby in this economy, for virtually no risk. Plus all ATM's are free, so I can go anywhere now when I need cash for strippers or to bribe cops.

#win.

But because I use 110% of my brain, my brain cells were likely functioning over capacity, as I encountered a few problems shortly after changing my account. It was a fairly impulsive move on my part. If I won't do it now, I'll never do it, said the +10% of my brain (clearly on fumes). So at lunch I closed the account. I didn't think that two days later was pay day or that I just mailed a check to the city government for parking my car without paying a toll. I have rules. Never pay to park. Never pay to pee. It's just the way it should be.

My landlord was also unimpressed when I told her, "Ohhhhh....heeyyyyyyyy, ya, ummm, I changed my bank account and therefore my checks will bounce, so...." Words of advice: saying the words 'check will bounce' to 'landlord' is generally a mistake. Needless to say, she will get her (er..my) money today.

Which reminds me of one final tidbit of note: I have turned down 4 job offers in the past 6 months....sucks for them too cuz I put on my resume that I always give 110%.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Last Week's Workouts

Monday: Swim. 300m w/u. 1x800, 100 kick, 1x800, 100 kick, 300m c/d.
Bike: Arlington Hills Ride approximately 18 miles total.

Tuesday: Arms/Legs Lift. 10 min. w/u run. 10k in 38:45 (very hard effort). 10 min c/d.

Wednesday: A.M. Swim. 300y w/u. ladder - 1x25, 1x50, 1x75, 1x100, 1x125, 1x150, 1x125, 1x100, 1x75, 1x50, 1x25, 100 kick, 100 hard 100 recovery (x5), 100 kick, 1x400, 2x200, 100 kick, 300 c/d. 3600y total. P.M. Legs lift and Back.

Thursday: 31 Mile ride - MacArthur Flats and Oaklyn Hills. 5-k run/shuffle. First time run off the bike. Was painful. Very slowly mostly a shuffle.  Bleh, lotta work to do.

Friday: A.M. swim. 300y w/u. 15x100 leaving at 1:30 (seen lots of improvements here in my splits). 200 kick. 5x200 leaving at 3:00, 200 kick, 3x100, 100 kick, 400 c/d. 4000y total. P.M. Shoulders/Chest/Legs lift.

Saturday: 10 min warm up run. 6x1 mile at 5-k race pace. Tough effort. 7 minute cool down.

Sunday: 1 hour spin class. 30 minute stair master.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Fun Facts Friday

Before I begin...Happy 64th B-day Pops!!!! Hope you get my card today/tomorrow...

1) Each time someone asks me if I'm Republican because I don't support Obama, an adorable puppy dies.

2) I get more fiber in the AM (on days I eat breakfast) than most people do all day (Cracklin Oat Bran/Fig Newtons/Oatmeal).

3) As much as I love eating vegetarian (and even vegan) I still love eating sandwiches.

4) But I never miss steak, prime rib, chicken, turkey, etc.

5) I think I'm the only semi-competitive runner who actually likes Nike.

6) I love bright colors. Orange is maybe my favorite.

7) The fact that I telework most days is fcking AWESOME!

8) I spend between 4-8 hours in bookstores/libraries each week.

9) I have about 10 magazines I read consistently. (Rolling Stone, Z Magazine, US/Star, The Nation, Triathlon, Inside Triathlon, Runner's World, Bicycling, Reason, Some U.K. Triathlon one, Running Fitness, and others).

10) I love texting but I hate that my fingers always press the wrong letter on my iPhone.

11) I need to learn how to cook tofu.

12) I exercise between 15-20 hours per week (but you knew that).