Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Here we go again?

Hey its a new decade, so lets do this thing... I stopped racing when my boys were of age to need/want me around. Well years have passed, and over the last coupe 3 of them I've been building up my form thru riding and running. I'm at a point that on paper it looks like I can jump back in. I raced off road at the end of last season and it brought back the desire to hurt again in a BIG way.  I've always wished to return, and I've always kept fit in the hopes that one  day... So I had a sit down with my long time personal manager LOL , and the boys, and we talked about the pros and cons. The con was interesting and it came from JR. He said "Dad, you will always be tired". FUNNY but very true he knows the plight of the endurance athlete well. The rest were PROS. So not to slight the "LTPM" (for the millions of followers I have, I'm talking about my lovely wife), her and I sat down and calendared all the running races she wants to do, as well as the races I'm looking to do. I wanted to see if the schedules would allow me to ride, and also run with her. I didn't want to blow off the opportunity to help her train for the longer races she wants to do. I also really enjoy the "us time" we spend while running. I know she does too, and I WON'T pass that up. On paper it ALL looks good, so now it's time to see if a team is an option. I've been asked to go to one teams meeting next week, and I'll more than likely go to see what they are about. I'm pretty excited. I've got a family behind me, and 2 plus years of building fitness to do it. It looks like it's going to happen. Without a doubt if the family didn't like the idea or if I saw that it wouldn't allow us to do the things we want to do together I would stay retired. So right now it looks like a season of mountain bike racing with a Gran Fondo thrown in to satisfy my Euro Trash roots. Like I said I'm VERY excited.
Allez!
Ray

Monday, December 28, 2009

snow and my new found distractions

Christmas is over. It can be a crazy emotional rollercoaster for some, and that can be a downer. But all in all it was nice. I love NOT being at work (duh?!) but Christmas day with nothing to do but watch TV drove me batty. I DID spend a cople hours earlier in the afternoon watching the 2009 Paris Roubaix DVD I got, which was sweet since I missed the days race on TV due to a family obligation. Who doesn't NEED  LenFer Du Nord archived for numerous plays while in the basement on the rollers?! COOL gift, that and my long time personal manager LOL as well as my youngest boy get excited when approaching the Forest of Arenburg. SWEET! I also got a IPOP nano, and a Nike +. So now I can listen to music (I never have) when running, and the Nike+ keeps track of the miles, pace, and calories(not necessary), all while I'm running thru the snow covered cold streets and trails listening to my favorite CDs. NICE.... THAT'S what those things are made for ;)  I still have to configure the Nike+ thing but I am digging the music when running. Funny, I never needed a distraction, but it is pretty cool.

Yesterday I rode with a group of BBVP, and XXX racing for a couple hours on windtrainers in a garage. Misery loves company LOL It was cool to get together with them, but I don't think(make that I wouldn't)consider riding on my own in the basement for that long. I guess that type of  insanity needs company! So I'm still digging the winter. The snow covered trail and road runs require additional strength and stamina to complete, but the results will be noticable as the winter continues. YES Virginia, there is a method to the madness :)
Allez!
Ray

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

WHAT I've been up to outside of 2 wheels and running shoes

I tend to focus strictly on the workouts and cycling so I thought I would change the channel. A couple weeks ago I turned the key in my cars ignition and it wouldn't start. Battery OK? yep. Mind you I just dropped about 500 dollars on new tires a couple weeks prior... So I had it towed to Saturn thinking a starter? Was a bit ticked because I didn't want to spend another couple hundred dollars right before the holiday. Got a call back from them telling me the timing chain needs to be replaced and possibly a cylinder head. They also told me they cant do the repair because they are closing their doors so it needs to be towed to a GM dealer. To top it off he mentioned the job would run 3 to 4 THOUSAND dollars. For a 2001 Saturn? FCUK THAT! So I am instantly without a car. My "long time personal manager" LOL has a reliable (new) car so it's OK for her. The day it happened the weather changed from mild to WINTER - Perfect timing to begin my daily 1 mile walk to the train. I don't mind the walk and it keeps me "adapted" to working out outdoors in the winter. LOL Not sure what to do but the car is in the driveway, and the roof rack has officially been removed. DOESN'T fit on her car. BOOOO!  On the plus side? No parking or gas expenses for the time being... I REALLY don't like situations that cut into my cycling money, considering the sports cost.

I went to confession for the first time in a few years Monday night. It was spiritually fulfilling to say the least. When I was young we had traditional private confessionals, now it's face to face. Nevertheless I'm GLAD I went. God we're all good? THANKS!!!!

So I've always been anti digital music because I feared it would lead to the demise of the local record store (and vinyl). Low and behold Record stores have become a rarity and the quality of high quality recordings played back on a good stereo system, have been replaced with instant gratification via downloads and played thru computers and ipods. That is FCUKED UP! The kids nowadays can't relate to a room with dim lights, good acoustics and the act of sitting in the sweet spot to enjoy an album (or CD). Luckily I've got a pretty decent setup for CDs, and the room I listen in still allows me to close my eyes and picture the band in front of me. Lets see you do that with yer PC... (I think that idiot from the monkees who invented MTV is ultimately at fault). Do yourself a favor when you see a stero hifi shop. Go in and ask them to demo something on their stero equipment. You will be blown away.Remember the memorex ads from years ago with the dude sitting in the chair getting blown away by some good quality stero equipment? Thats me LOL I still take my kids to a record store once a year to share the experience. But a couple days ago I borrowed my gals ipod and listened to it on the train, and during lunch while walking around downtown. I understand the lure of portable music but it shouldn't be at the expense of music as it SHOULD be enjoyed.

I built a guitar a number of years ago and it is in its 3rd version as fars as finishes go. I origonally made an Eddie Van Halen replica which was awesome, but the paint used caused some finish issues a couple years later and I decided to redo it. Then it was BRIEFLY purple(Prince inspired?) but the sanding job left the grain work looking bad. I did stain it a chocolate brown with the grain work blackened and it looked good, but a lack of adequate amounts of clear coats led to premature chipping. SO now I've begun sanding it down, and it looks battle worn almost in a cool way, but I'm going to redo it yey again. NO I do not have OCD I just want perfection LOL I'm thinking of painting it with Glow in the Dark paint. That would be cool. That, or redo the EVH Frankenstrat scheme considering Eddie is the guitar god. As a picture of Sammy with my shirt clearly illustrates



So that's whats been up outside of cycling, but as far as the riding goes, I got an indirect message from a guy I rode with last spring on what was one of the coldest days of winter and he reached out to do some more stuff this year. MAN, it was tough, make that impossible, last year to hook up with those guys (BBVP) but I'd love to get in with them this year. The few times I've talked to them they proved to be really nice guys and it would be such a GOOD thing for me to do. I'm REALLY hoping to get in with them this coming year...

SOOO in case I don't post something on Christmas Eve or day, I would like to wish all my long time followers and readers of this blog a very MERRY Christmas!




Ray

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

I'm going streaking!!

NO not streaking like THAT, I was talking to a friend and we decided to see how many days in a row we can workout. Looks like were getting a group of us into this. Should be interesting, hope the stakes are high, because this could get good. With one of them being my boss, I'l crawl around the block if I have to LOL
Of course Jan 1 is the kick off date.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Gran Fondo Madison style!

I'm in; signed up yesterday. It's probably going to be the biggest riding event I do next season and I'm THRILLED to have come across it. 100 miles, -challenging miles accordingto the web site centurioncycling.com The format for the ride/race is awesome, and I cant wait! Wonder if they put the Holy Hill area into this ride? Can ya tell I'm excited? "Euro TRASH"!!!!

Monday, December 14, 2009

a legitimate reason to not like cars

I have a 2000 Saturn, and a few weeks ago I reluctantly dropped about $500 into new tires. They were needed, and regardless of the fact that 500 could buy some good stuff for the bike like riding gear, or a pair of preemo shoes LOL I bought them. I say reluctantly because with the car paid off I did not want to start paying for big ticket repairs etc. The tires were woth it because on a trip out to McHenry recently I noticed how damn good it drives with those new tires. So Wednesday morning I went to go to the train station and I couldn't start it. THEN the frigid winter weather moved in. So I had the car towed to the soon to be no more saturn dealer to look at and repair. I figured I'd also get an oilchange and filter and tune up before they folded. This way I'd be all set for a while. What I was thinking was a couple hundred dollar repair, more money better used on some needed cycling gear.  So I get a call saying the engine needs major repair, timing chain etc, and they can't fix it because they are closing shop and its a BIG job. So now I have to get the car towed home, and I officially have no car, a situation that is no doubt going to cut into my cycling budget and then some.
stupid car....

Thursday, December 10, 2009

rollin rollin rollin...

Last night was bike night, I on the rollers and my "long time personal manager" LOL on the windtrainer. It's funny, in November it would have been like going to the dentist but now that were in December - bring it on. So this is her first year riding indoors on the windtrainer and shes riding because it's cross training for her until she can run again. I've been kind enough to watch on line episodes of desparate housewives while were working out, but I'm wondering how long I can go until shes required to watch Paris Roubaix, LeTour, and other Classic DVDs as part of the routine. don't want to scare her away, but.....

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

winter runs YAY!!

It's not that I didn't want to do some mountan biking out in Palos yesterday, but the temperatures made the ground just a bit below freezing and the snow would have been a bit soupy and the trails are probably too soft for riding. SOOO on came the running shoes and I got a good 8 mile run in on the canal trail loop. First long(er) run since returning from injury. Theres something about running on a snow covered trail that makes for a great run everytime.  You REALLY notice the red cardinals and blu bluejays when there jumping between snow covered trees. Earlier in the day I happened to cross paths with an old cycling friend I haven't seen in about 10 years or so. I was in a town I'm RARELY in, and when getting out of the car she runs right past me. VERY cool to see her again, wonder if shes on facebook LOL

Allez!
Ray

Monday, December 7, 2009

good to be back

I'm thrilled to be back in the training routine. Although it's pretty funny how November was extremely mild and December suddenly turned "winter" lol. With a week behind me, I can honestly say I'm off to a good start.  I was forced to take the month of November, but I'm positive the end result will be to my advantage. Athletes DON'T like to take time off (myself included), but with no rest there is the possibility of burnout and more importantly a reduction in gains when looking at the entire year. So I'm rested, I'm not injured, I'm motivated, and off to a good start. Last week was a workout every other day, this week I add an additional day, and by the end of December will be up to 5 to 6 days of training a week. Runs, and rollers during the week, and outdoors with a focus on building base milage on the weekends.

Friday, December 4, 2009

another slap in the face for Rock Racing

Looks like another year that the UCI denied Rock Racing's application for UCI Pro continental team status to race in Europe . BOOO!
Man those guys are "the ones you love to hate", or so it seems. In other Rock related news, PEZ cycling recently did an interview with Tyler Hamilton. It is a good read, and I'm thrilled to see him resurface. I can tell by feedback among friends that some things Tyler talks about can only be related too by those who have gone thru it. Allez Tyler!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

now HERE'S a motivating tune

Rob Halford(Judas Priest fame) has ALWAYS been one of my favorites. This tune is sure to send me down the right road as we begin the "year of the athlete 2010"
Resurrection
[Halford/Lachman/Baxter/Roy Z]

I'm digging deep inside my soul
To bring myself out of this God-damned hole
I rid the demons from my heart
And found the truth was with me from the start

Holy angel lift me from this burning hell
Resurrection make me whole
Son of Judas bring the saints to my revenge
Resurrection bring me home

I walked alone into a Fight
No longer standing in satanic light
I tried to look too far ahead
And saw the road go to my past instead

Holy angel lift me from this burning hell
Resurrection make me whole
Son of Judas bring the saints to my revenge
Resurrection bring me home

I've faced the things I've said and done
There is no bastard left to overcome
The peace of mind I thought was lost
Was right in front of me on paths I've crossed

Monday, November 30, 2009

say NO to the RADIO

Well, it looks like the Union Cycliste International is going to actually phase in the banning of race radio. You know what? I'm glad, I think if the UCI and other governing bodies didn't watch the sport of cycling it could get out of hand and go the route of TRON, Starwars or some crazy ass racing found on the channels of Japanese gameshows. Now about that Spinacci ruling, MAYBE that one should be reconsidered. Allez...
Ray

so it begins!

Since I began putting together training plans, I always started my year on December 1st. This started because the recommended miles for cycling for instance were always more than I could squeeze in for the year, and I gave myself a months head start to work thru the important base training and get an adequate amount of miles in my legs. Were talking the Lemond school of training where a decent amount of time is spent in the winter putting in LSD miles on the bike. I'm that old LOL. It's worked every time, so why change things. When the spring months arrive the quantity of miles is lower and the quality of the rides is taken to a "whole nother level" . I never have gotten the hours or miles as recommended but the level of exertion has proven to take its place nicely. FUNNY, now there are books, and plans for time crunched cyclists that teach you how to train the same way I have ALWAYS trained. I should have written a book...
So I've been down since injury (and other) for the month of November and then some. I feel rested and ready to begin base mile and routine workouts, as December looms. NOW it's time to consider the rollers if I cant get a decent run in to hone the aerobic system during December. Most of the workouts will be running, riding 2 times a week to keep the cycling muscles active and to stay comfortable sitting on a bike. Th beginning of the year is FUN!

Sunday, November 29, 2009

But officer it's not MY race

I had some friends put on a fun run out in Palos this weekend. I would have ran in it, but as we all know I fractured my foot out there about a month ago. So I was out there to support the cause, and while everyone was out running, low and behold the forest preserve police show up. The issue was even though the signs were cool, and everything was organized nicely, nobody bothered to get a permit. So while everyones out running, I'm dealing with the law, and trying to avoid getting our run shut down ,and my boss (the brainchild) a fine. A cool time nonetheless. I couldn't stay for the finish, but know my running mates from "Bad Idea" swept the top 3 of a 1/2 marathon cross country race. Inspiration got me out doors today and I finally got a run in after being hurt a month ago. Just in time for resurrecting the training as of December 1st.

Friday, November 27, 2009

my briliant Xmas shopping plan has a hiccup

It's funny,
I've been walking around thrilled to be finished Christmas shopping BEFORE thanksgiving. The thing I overlooked is a lot of places have great sales for those that venture to the malls etc to battle others for the good deals, So it comes down to getting everything done without a hassle of crowds or picked over items, or saving money by becoming part of the craziness during the regular holiday season? Juries out but it's pretty cool to be able to sit back and enjoy the rest of the festivities...

ho ho ho

Monday, November 23, 2009

Maybe there's hope for Steven Tyler

Not saying I'm condoning it, but I'm hearing Steven maybe partying again. It will be interesting to see what kind of music comes out of that Screamin Demon, maybe better than current day Aerosmith? Like I said I don't condone it but hmmm

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Special weekend post!!

Good morning to all my followers and those that check in at least once daily for an update. DON'T WORRY!, relax.... my "Long Time Personal manager" does not read the blog, and her Christmas surprise is not ruined. I just need to worry about the paparazzi spilling the news...

"stay thirsty my friends"

Saturday, November 21, 2009

"PINK, it's the color of passion..."

GREAT Aerosmith song, it's a shame that band stopped partying, and went down the road of mediocrity. NOT that I condone that type of behavior; but what once was, compared to what they became?! Joe Perry still ROCKS though... So the reason for the topic is Christmas shopping for my "long time personal manager" LOL I finished it last night, NO lines and an awesome awesome gift. She wanted warmer running pants, so I grabbed my $10 off coupon and headed to the local Sports store. Now I know the importance of good quality athletic wear and WHAT a difference it can make, especially in the winter. She likes pink, actually since forever, she has always supported the find a cure cause, too the point of being unwavered and completely dedicated to the cause. It's very inspiring. I also don't think she would ever think she NEEDED Under Armor gear, so one thing led to another and I proceeded to get one of literally everything I could find in pink UnderArmor gear. It was awesome! Funny thing is I was walking up to pay for it, and didn't even have pants that I was origonally going to get her, so I had to go back and find winter pants(UnderArmor of course) ;). She's completely set up, and it's all pink. The sticker shock sucked, but on how many occasions thru the years have I been able to justify purchases, JEEZ not that I own a big collection of high end stuff, but just about all cycling gear is $$$$$$, and she's TOTALLY worth it. So when her shin splint injury is gone, and she hits the cold roads, she will be totally set. An added bonus? No crazy shopping lines at all. NICE....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Will Mario be there?????

So the word on the street is the 2010 edition of the Giro Di'Italia may start in the US. That in and of itself is VERRRRRY cool, and just think how cool it would be to see Cipollini show up :) Not that Mario is a threat to the GC, but come on! Can you really think of anyone who is cooler than that dude? Not counting Laurent, and myself of course....

in the dark

NO not that Billy Squire song but that is a cool song :) I had a bit of fun playing guitar in the dark. When I built it up I put these glow in the dark fret markers on the neck and it makes finding my way across the neck easy when playing by the soft red glow of the amp. It is even cooler when I was breaking out into my Eddie VH noodling mindset and creating these cool sounds in the cover of darkness. Now I'm thinking "what if I built a new guitar and did the body in glow in the dark paint. That would be pretty cool... Happy Friday!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

As God intended

Well,
it's official. After a week's worth of trying, I've decided NOT to go down the medicinal road to handle stress. This past week has sucked BIG TIME. Quite honestly, I don't see how people can live on certain medications, and the kicker is I've been told by a person I trust in the health industry that I'd be floored to see how many people actually do. I guess it's not for everyone, actually it's not for me, and it's all about me ;)
I'm going to "GASP" wean myself off coffee as well and that's probably goingto be an a$$ kicker as much as stopping medicine. So it's time to buckle up and work at living holistically which I KNOW is the right choice for me. I can only hope the world around me is patient understanding and kind as I dig myself out. MAN, no coffee?? thats fcuked up!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

"Under Pressure" dum dum dum du du dum dum

Wasn't Queen a killer band?! YES we all experience stress, unfortunately some more than others. I'm cut from the can't let go, can't relax mindset, and sometimes it sucks. A long time ago in a... I found exercise as a release. Still works mind you but unfortunately for me I can't spend all my time riding or running or ... I'm also a perfectionist, add those 2 personality traits together and sometimes you get trouble. That and starbucks doesn't have a publicly funded rehab (or any rehab for that matter). So my job is VERY demanding and when you factor it all in, you get a very stressed out ME. So I go to the Dr to discuss, and am prescribed a med. Now I have a love hate relationship with medicine. I fought it for the longest time until a hereditary issue kicked my a$$ about 5 years ago ,and I was forced to succumb to the miracles of medicine. Trust me I tried EVERYTHING to avoid it but it led to a bad situation for me. NOTE- I'm "OK" now... So back to the Dr. and stress, I began taking something recently, and as it stands, am not feeling very good. Not too happy at the moment, and don't think this is going to work for me. YES I've only given it a few days but like I said, I don't like how I'm feeling. Sucks because going in I thought AHH relief and a laid back happy me awaits, and I welcomed the thought! So now the question remains, what the hell am I going to do?? (beside not taking the med). Dare I say it I've got to quit drinking coffee, and see how it goes. Now many of you long time readers LOL may be laughing at the thought of the coffee elimination as being a solution but like I said I'm REALLY stressed and need to figure this out. WARNING -if your thinking about a job in IT, don't do it! Join the peace corps, or something simpler. My head hurts....
THANK GOD for exercise!

indoors? Already? WTF

After fracturing my foot a few weeks back, I had no other option but to rehab on a trainer. Usually I wouldn't even consider it till mid December but I can't run as usual during my off season. My long time personal manager LOL is pretty new to riding and finds the new trainer kinda exciting but I'm still a bit reluctant to ride it. I can tell I've been in a bad way because I was even entertaining the idea of finding a GASP! pool to do laps in. I did get out on the single speed "Merckxmobile" this past weekend so life doesn't completely suck. I also swung by CBike and was turned on to an incredible indoor trainer. TACKX makes it and it's unaffordable but damn to ride that thing is WAYYYY cool. Video footage was impressive, and it's got this motor for for different grades including flying DOWN a mountain WAY COOL!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

as God intended :)

well as I mentioned previously, I am injured. I was out on a 6 mile trail run and fractured my foot. Sucks... I was preparing for a winter marathon, and feeling good. I'l be CRAZY if I attempt the marathon in January but the vacation is still on. So I spent a week on crutches with a brace, proceeded to dump the crutches this week, and managed to get on the windtrainer for 30 minutes a couple days ago. Felt ok on the bike, but still notice the pain when walking. Running right now is out of the question, and yesterday I seen more runners out than I have in a long time. It was crazy, and made me want to get out there. I guess even though I btich about running, I will always do it for a LOT of reasons. Anyway I'm happy I could at least hit the windtrainer, but JEEZ riding the trainer in November is evil. (It's a long winter....) So like I said I may not be able to walk comfortably yet, but am able to ride (as God intended...)

Monday, November 2, 2009

Check my Brain!

NO not the Alice in Chains way cool tune :)
When I think of riding be it a road bike or mountain bike, I come from a roadies mentality. Simple light rigid and efficient. Thats the reason I've never raced any other kind of bike off road except a hardtail. All that has changed after doing some homework and realizing full suspension WILL outrun a hardtail.
I'm lucky enough to have a really nice friend who owns a shop, and I got lucky and am getting my hands on a full suspension ride with something known as brain technology for the suspension. Bottom line is you dial in a few pressure and weight settings and your set. The design is PERFECT for riders like me. The bike rides like a hardtail until a threshold is reached and then absorbs the impact acting as a full suspension. SWEEEEEET! Black and Blue, an upgraded groupo, wheels etc. Should be just what I need to enjoy some rides/races I hope to do next year. I'l probably never race on the road locally ever again, but already know mountain bike racing is doable and enjoyable, and in my sights to continue next season. Looking forward to it. And like I said its cool to have a great longtime friend who owns a shop :)

OK time for the off season - not my choice

Note to self, I will not volunteer to coach football again. I absolutely without question LOVE my little people but the time involved, the attitude a "football coach" is supposed to have, and my own skillset has proven to be something better left to a REAL football coach. I can't get past the yelling at little people thing. Anyway, I'm sure it won't even be an issue next year, and next time I will "just say no". It will also be nice for my summers to extend beyond August 1st. :) SO... the last 3 months have been a personal struggle for a variety of reasons including the toll my moms health issues took on my entire family. Started back in May, and as of last week we finally got good news as to her health. TRUST me we were all fearing the worst. It's probably been one of the toughest periods of my life. It opened up a whole can of worms as far as middle age and longevity existence you name it. Thank GOD she is OK.
Fast forward to present day, I was out running in the forest yesterday for what was supposed to be a 6 mile run. I rolled my ankle 3 miles out and now its fractured. UGH... It all happens for a reason I guess. Time for a little R and R...

Friday, October 2, 2009

denied...

Man, it was crazy to get myself there (Olympic decision) but I did. It was packed shoulder to shoulder. I was there at about 10:15 when the IOC on the big screen instructed the judges to vote Chicago was 4 Tokyo was 9 etc. About a minute or 2 later the same judge declare voting closed. He stated voting will now proceed to round 2 and Chicago will not be participating. DENIED....
Talking about a party stopper. I did manage to get a souvenier bandana showing I was THERE. LOL

no grander venue

Today they announce which city will host the 2016 olympic games. I've been excited and PRO Chicago ever since news broke that we have the opportunity to be the hot city. Been wearing my Chicago2016 bracelet for weeks now. CAN'T WAIT! to see who wins. I've got every intention of seeing it all go down live :) That will be way cool....

Thursday, October 1, 2009

good foundation and time for improvement

It's a blessing that I have a number of years of running experience. Right now my schedule calls for a time commitment coaching every night. I don't have the time to get in the training runs that are scheduled in the beginning of this latest training plan(doing the disney marathon in January). What I'm doing is use my existing aerobic base to my advantage and running a slightly longer run midweek as opposed to the shorter runs scheduled. It's carying me thru the first few wekks. Long runs on the weekends are still happening. I'm helping my long time personal manager prepare and run the marathon, and they are currently forced to find a cross training activity to take the place of some of their runs as well. SO I turned them on to a windtrainer for their bike. I'm confident that the newly found benefits of becoming a cyclist will improve their running. I'm excited to watch the improvement. BUSY times yes but if we are smart about how we train we will pull this off no problem :)

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It actually happened

Yesterday I came home and decided not to run. I was not up to it. I'm down....

damn that mirror

You don't always take the time to reflect how things are going. Usually were all too busy vibrating at the speed of light to take notice of the big picture. Lately, I've had to reflect way more than I want to, and unfortuanately I've been seeing too much negative, too many setbacks, too much pressure, too many things that are not the way I would like them to be. Sucks how life happens sometimes. The issue is, how do you get out of the rut/ruts that life drops you in? What do you do when what you've been doing doesn't work? How do you deal with the situations that cause pain, stress, discomfort, fear, and sadness? How do YOU spell relief? SUCKS when you get in the habit of not slowing down to evaluate and take inventory of how things are going, and what you can do or not do to make things better. Then you come to one of life's roadblocks. SUCKS how powerless we are, and how stressful it is when you can't let go. I want things different, I want things better, I want the work stresses, parental illness, agravations, frustrations, inadequacies, fears, failures, remorsefulness et al to GO AWAY! I know first hand how Tyler Hamilton struggled/struggles. I know life has it's ups and downs, and right now I'm down on a number of levels. If anything this will be a reminder of how it WAS, and it will get better, but some of it has to do with my choices, and attitude. This is not looking easy. My head hurts....

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

time for a change

This latest round of life has me seriously considering a change in my personal life. Based on what I've learned, it's not unique to me, but it IS a decision that I've been contemplating for quite some time. It's odd, but it seems as if life is making the decision for me. I have been on the fence over this for a long time...

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

because he's BAD!

Not sure how many of my long time followers of this blog (LOL) saw the opening of this years MTV music awards, but the tribute/medley to Michael Jackson was awesome. I had goosebumps watching Janet Jackson perform with her late brother on a giant screen behind her. God she must have been at a whole 'nother level to do that. It was great. Cheers to Janet, and there's absolutely no doubt - NOBODY can compare to what Michael Jackson gave to the music world. He was indeed the King of Pop...Jam ON!!!

Friday, September 11, 2009

SUCKS....

SUCKS, we had to rush my mom to the hospital last night. SUCKS that she has been afraid of doctors and medicine. SUCKS that I've been seeing her sick for the last few months. SUCKS that it is so scary to see and think about. SUCKS how it's upsetting my dad. SUCKS that I've been so scared and don't talk about it. SUCKS that I seen her in so much pain. SUCKS to think how afraid she is. SUCKS that I can't change anything. SUCKS that it's my mom. SUCKS that's it's taken such a negative toll on me. We did pull together last night,and were there for each other at the hospital and she's having surgery within a day, and I hope to God she finally gets better....

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Nine, Nine, Oh Nine

Not only is this an interesting date because of the sequence of numbers, 9/9/09, but a good time to change things up on a personal level. I've been contemplating a few new roads to travel down ,and this seems like the best time to do so , so without divulging my plans to all you long time paparazzi to run to the tabloids with, (LOL) lLet me just say, I am starting anew on a few different personal areas of my life. Some to start immediately, some to find my way into. Change of seasons change of reasons...

Monday, September 7, 2009

take the highway its faster...

It's pretty amazing, and likely a sign of the times. My cousin, and wife just had a baby. First thing I did when I heard she was in labor, TEXT my cousin good luck. My mom called us back later, she had her baby. As of this morning,I've seen and expressed well wishes to grandparents, and welcomed the baby in with well wishes and comments to thhe proud parents. I've also seen a collection of newborn photos as the morning has progressed. Right now it's 9am. A lot of family has done the same. ALL thru a social contact site. I work in technology, and at times it still amazes me when you notice things like the lines of INSTANT communication are out there and more imprtantly the preffered method of communication. Sign of the times, and like I said, my parents were calling me on their home phone, because thats how it was/is for them to keep in touch.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting dirty...

Man I gotta tell you, racing again was fun! It's definitely on the agenda for next season. Train on the road, kill in the woods!

Monday, August 31, 2009

5+ years

Yesterday was a personal milestone. I raced for the first time in 5 years. A LOT has changed since I stopped racing, some good, some bad. When I stopped racing the last thing I thought was I'd be able to do this again, but low and behold I lined up for a mountain bike race REALLY uptight! I'd always been uptight before a race, so the old adage of the more often you race, the less stressed it is. NOT for me... I was smart enough to get a good nights sleep Friday, and Saturday found myself staring at the ceiling at 3:30 in the morning about to bail on the whole thing. I lay there reminding myself I have done next to no workouts of any kind over the last month, and knew I have all but lost the conditioning I had at the end of my summer (End of July) My weeks have been filled with coaching responsibilities 5 days a week and a ride on the weekend. I think I rode the mountain bike about 5 or 6 times in the last year, and still didn't think I was anywhere near being as comfortable on the bike as I should be when racing. I had psyched myself out, but realistically speaking, was honest in my apraisal of my overall fitness, but had to accept where I'm at and "just show up". So Saturday I got a ride in, came home, and did the traditonal bike cleaning. I'm convinced racers clean their bikes as a way to deal with pre-race nerves. The bike was clean but the nerves remained... When I got to the race, I began to see people in the cycling community that I haven't seen in quite a while and everyone was very cordial and supportive. The family came with as well because it was a chance to see dad race a bike again after all this time. So... I had concerns, but after a sign of the cross and a sincere prayer found myself at the start line with the biggest group of the day( of course). AND WERE OFF! I know from past experiences how demanding and hurting a bike race is so there was no surprises there, only lactic dust to be blown off my muscles. I put a heart rate monitor on the bike the night before to help me gauge my effort for the event, and managed to ride the whole event pretty close to where I think I could hang. It was a great race, it was a tough race. I can't tell you how greatful I was for the support from family and friends. Funny how you could be hammering thru a course and pick out your kids encouragement in the distance. I took 8th place in my race(and 41st out of all sport categories). I was caught off guard and humbled by the results. I thank God for my gift of riding ability, and it never ceases to amaze me what I can do from an athletic perspective. The days leading up to the race, one of my boys asked me why I entered the sport class since I don't race anymore, and reminded me there is a citizen race for non racers. I mentioned I wanted to get the miles out of the entry fee,and challenge myself,nevertheless they thought I was crazy. It was very cool how impressed they were with my performance, and to hear a teenager tell you they were bragging about my race to their friends?! PRICELESS!. Like I said I was humbled by my results. Now to raise the cash for a sweet 29er and jump back into the racing world next year - in the dirt. HMMMM
ALLEZ!!

MAN has it been....

This past week has been a tough one. I am continuosly stressed at work, pulled in too many directions, finding it hard to prioritize based on too many projects, too little of help and am feeling completely burnt out. I'm also feeling the toll of no time to work out, forget riding, I'm talking not even running. A family health scare has me really upset as well. All in all it's a recipe for personal disaster. I recognize the fact, and am trying my damnest to regroup, but it's proving to be pretty difficult. I have options but not sure of anything at the moment. UGHHH

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rain Rain go away...

Rainy days, especially a number of them in a row are a drag. I signed up for a local mountain bike race this weekend and here comes the rainy days. No excuses, but the tires I have have been tested in wet conditions and suck. I've been trying to get one day a week on the trails to get comfortable on my MTB. I haven't ridden it in quite a while, so I had to reaquaint. Unfortunately Since the 1st week of August I've had other commitments occupying my time, some I'm not happy about at all.... With little time on my hands, I've noticed an understandable loss of speed, endurance etc. NOT that I'm anything to worry about in a race since I haven't raced in about 5 or so years, but my life as it is right now has reduced me to a weekend warrior. Hasn't helped my frame of mind at ALL. Nevertheless I hope the trails dry out a bit by Sunday, and I look forward to at least getting in a days worth of racing. Jus't dont look for me to be high in the rankings :) Like I said I hate rainy days, and it brings out the humdrums. But maybe it's times like this that I can come up with a better plan to rearrange to my advantage...

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Cornball Happenings analyzed

I realized what one of issues is (just one LOL). I love the sport of BMX. I grew up when the sport literally exploded, and not only had a cool ride, but spent a LOT of time perfecting my aerial acrobatics. The issue is I still wax poetic about that time, and when I get on a BMX bike in the right/wrong circumstances (depending on how you look at it) I jump right back into fearless full tilt boogie mode. About 5 years ago it happened at a BMX race track. Took one of the kids there to try racing. I brought a cruiser, and during warmups crashed so hard I had to have my jaw wired and arm casted. Fast forward to this past weekend. I was on the same type of BMX bike, and never thought twice about letting it all hang out. Racing mini bikes down the street no problem. Aerial kick outs, no handers no problem. CRASH. Based clearly on my lack of control,I think I need to finally stay off BMX bikes, and "Walk away tall"...

Monday, August 24, 2009

cornball happenings

Sucks... Saturday in what was a corball accident I fell off a BMX bike and landed on my face. WTF?! I'm embarrased and pi$$ed all at the same time. Nothing like walking around with roadrash on your face... It was a freak stupid thing but I guess that's why they call them accidents. Like I said even though I'm trying my best to take it in stride, I'm definitly embarrased. Don't feel like repeating the story over and over at work, I've got to stop crashing on BMX bikes. Somebody should remind me of my age. Bike is fine LOL. Sometimes and this was a sometimes I do stupid things. Like I said, SUCKS...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

NOT on Wednesday!!

I've scheduled Wednesday as the one day during the week I have to myself - read (ride or run). Yesterday with clouds looming and the threat of rain for late in the day, I did whatever I could to get out. I managed to squeeze in about 45 minutes of trail riding and then the rains started. So much for my new adventures off road. Not fair that it rained on MY day LOL. The cool thing that occured yesterday was taking one of the kids to work with me. Theres nothing better for your ego than hearing how cool of a job you have coming from a little person. I thouroughly enjoyed their company for the day. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

WOW I'm now the proud owner of...

a kid in highschool! Is this a milestone? I remember MY first day of highschool. I don't think I felt as young as I think my kid is... That sentence DOES make sense. Can't wait to hear how things went!! Other than that I'm overwhelmed and confused, lost, etc LOL
I wonder if benny still exists?

Monday, August 17, 2009

athletes and medicine

I can speak from experience when I say, as an athlete, I think we may be the hardest type of individuals to convince of the need to be on medications. We feel it is a sign of weakness, or of not being able to win in the fight to make ourselves better. We also typically tend to be very intune with our bodies and notice such things as side effects or differences in our bodies much moreso than the typical person. I learned this the hard way a number of years ago, but thank God have bounced back and my health improved thanks to the marvels of modern day medicine. I now find myself faced with another medicine taking decision dilemma. I've been on the fence rearding the outcome for quite a while but have said or typed little to nothing regarding the situation. It's funny, I no longer race at the competitive level I once did, and to be honest, I don't see the opportunity to race that way anytime soon for number of reasons. I also can only find the time to train on my own when time permits. Regardless, I still concern myself with the possibility that taking a new medicine may hinder my training performance, not racing results but fitness levels. I can honestly say I take pride in my personal quest to get in shape, and am proud of all the work I've done to get where I'm at in my 40s... It's a bit crazy but it's true and it's NOT an easy decision for me to make. We sometimes fall into a trap of defining who we are by how fast or how far we can go, and again, for some like me, not against others but against ones self. SOOOO, it's time for some deep personal reflection - maybe I should go for a run or ride to clear my head...

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Hey YOU!!



A phrase taken from the opening song on Chickenfoot's new CD. Sammy where the FCU%$K have you been?! I seen them live this past week and all I can say is the band Hagar put together makes it clear why Sammy fronted the MIGHTY Van Halen, and why I have been a really big Hagar fan since first listening to the album Standing Hampton when it was a new album. The band was excellent. Totally dug the entire show. New CD is one of the first new releases I have kept in constant rotation since Velvet Revolver's debut. Satriani on guitar gives the songs a lot of opportunity to showcase some great tone and licks, and Chad Smith on drums has to be seen live to enjoy. It's like your watching Will Smith on drums manerisms and all. Sammy, welcome back dude!

Monday, August 10, 2009

"suddenly you wake up in a sickened panic"

Lyrics from a GREAT song by one of my favorite bands - REM... I woke up about an hour ago in a "sickened panic". I have to go back to work tomorrow (after a wonderful week off), and the number of things I have to do started running thru my mind.I'm completely overwhelmed, and have no idea how I'm going to get thru this. Needless to say I'm up in the middle of the night stressed out. THAT SUCKS! Right now I don't see how I'm going to be able to jump on the stuff that needs to be addressed, and then there is all the emails and "stuff" that I will be hit with because I was out last week. No wonder I have been short tempered, and frustrated for the last 2 days. In the back of my mind I knew this was coming, and of course the flood gates of being overwhelmed had to let loose at 2 in the flippin morning :( NOT good. The bad thing is I'm not the only one here who is going back to work with concerns and that REALLY SUCKS! Yes I'm greatful to have a job, but the stresses it causes REALLY makes me wish I could walk away and do something else. JEEZ I wish it were that easy. So here I sit with another edition of work related insomnia. What to do? :(

Sunday, August 9, 2009

1000

I had made a goal in the beginning of the year to get 1000 miles on the bike this summer. This past week for all practical purposes was the end of my summer as far as vacation time and evening fee time is concerned. coaching football will now take up a majority of my evenings, so after work rides will be pretty much out of the question. No complaints just a fact... So this morning with about 950 miles in my legs I set out to reach my goal. Windy and temps supposed to be about 97 which is probably the hottest day of the year. Mission accomplished :) I decided to put together the hilliest route I could to make it worth while and as epic as I could - something about that last big one had to be special. In one resoect I'm bummed that summer went by so quickly, but on the other hand I did ride (and run) myself into some pretty decent shape. For those of you that race, 1000 miles is not that big of a deal, and as a matter of fact it is recommended that you get that many miles in the small ring before hammering thru summer(old school training). For me it was indeed a big deal, and that magic number seems to be the point where I feel the snap back in the legs. I'm feelin pretty good today, thanks to 2 wheels and plent of open road.
Allez....

Saturday, August 8, 2009

just pulled off a great family getaway

I never spent a vacation with my entire extended family, and this past week we did just that. With 3 different families it could have gone either way. The way it went was in the direction of wonderful. Precursor -I don't talk about it much, instead it unfortunately "ate away" at me for the better part of the summer, but my mom has been sick and I was terribly worried about her health. Thank God her and my dad, my brother and his wife and kids and my circus all got together in a summer home in Michigan for a brief trip. It was great, I have zero complaints. I probably had one too many burgers, and steaks, but "when in rome"... I hope everyone had enjoyed the time together as much as I did, and it really seems like that was indeed the case. I think I mastered the art of golf cart driving as well. I was going to bring the bike to get some miles in but decided it wasn't necessary, and landed up getting a good 7 mile run in with my brother instead. His marathon training is really paying off, and it shows in the quality of his workouts. It's too bad he can't touch me on the hills ;) The only bummer was I brought my scope up there (after I cleaned off the dust from it laying dormant for far too long) but the full moon washed out what could have been some nice dark skies. Not a big deal, and if anything reminded me that my interest in Astronomy has been neglected for too long. I think it's time to rekindle the interst and reaquaint the boys to a fun hobby. I'm really greatful that we were all together for this trip. It was tricky to plan, and all things considered, THANK GOD we were able to pull it off and have it turn out so nice. To all my regular long time readers, be sure to call your moms, dads, brothers and sisters and tell them you love them today. The todays go by quickly...

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

going out with a bang

well not necessarily a "BANG", but this week is my final full week of vacation. It is also the first week of football, which means I will be on the field coaching almost every night of the week. I had a goal to get in 1000 miles on the bike this summer, and going into this week I was at about 750. I took advantage of my time off by getting in some good rides. It's been great being able to get a good 50 miler in almost every day :) I even turned yesterday into a big workout day by running a 10 miler with my long time personal manager AFTER getting a hilly route in on the bike. EPIC! All my laundry this week has been workout clothes LOL. Feelin good....
I also finished the chocolate strat, and I have to say it came out GREAT. I'm extremely pleased with my work. I can honestly say that my trial and error thru the years has finally got me to the point of really knowing how to not only finish a guitar body quite nicely, but equally important is the fact I have honed my skills at the all important art of guitar setup and adjustment.


So last night I had the THRILL of playing with "the boy", it was EXCELLENT. He reaffirmed the fact he can really play well, and he makes everything look way easier than it is. When we found a song I could play along to, (Aerosmiths Mama Kin) it sounded great. I am thrilled that we did that. It sounded really good, and I've been really hoping this would happen. Hopefully it's just the beginning of the dual guitar attack of "Ray squared".
So a lot of cool things have been going on this week, and the timing of it all is pretty good. Forget about tomorrow, go for it today...

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Truss rod adjustments

So many of my regular readers (LOL) who play guitar have asked how to adjust the relief on a guitar neck. Since I am at that stage in my current guitar building project I thought it would be a good idea to provide some instruction...

Checking Relief

Check your necks relief- Here is a simply way to check the relief in the neck if one doesn't have a straightedge handy... the instrument strung to pitch fret a string on the 1st fret and where the neck meets the body.

Checking Relief
By fretting a string on 2 points we can then use the fretted string as a type of straightedge and get a visual as to how much relief is in the neck.

Measuring the gap between top of fret and bottom of string gives us an indication of how much relief is in the neck.

Now observe the space between the fretted string and the point of greatest relief...usually the 6th or 7th fret depending on the length of the neck. This gap can be measured with a feeler gauge if need be (you can place a capo on the first fret to free up one hand). If there is no gap, this is an indication that the neck is either dead flat or in a backward bow.
If the gap is substantial the truss rod may need to be tightened to reduce excess relief.

Determining the ideal relief The ideal relief for your instruments neck will depend on string gauge, playing style and the instrument itself. Light pickers, jazz musicians and the like may find .004/.006 gives the neck a very fast feel. The necks stiffness and willingness to flex can sometimes interfere with our desires though.
Those who have a moderate to heavy strum, like flappy extra light gauge strings, have a rounder f/b radius etc. may come to realize more relief (say .008-.012) may be necessary so that the strings can avoid buzzing.

Friday, July 31, 2009

metal gods defined....

yes I am...

As many of my regular readers (LOL) know, I've been rebuilding a guitar recently. With one ofthe boys being a rather accomplished guitarist, I thought it would be a great idea to rebuild it with him. I decided to do one part a day with him so he wasn't overwhelmed and it didn't get boring with an all day event and too much information. At first he was a bit aprehensive because let's face it, when your a teenager you ALWAYS have something better to do then to spend time with your dad. NOTE to teens everywhere - get over that reasoning and spend time with your dad -he will appreciate it way more than you understand... So each day we've had our 15 minute class, and as it's progressed I've noticed more and more interest in doing it with me :) Just the other day while we were working, something came up about guitar builders (Luthiers) and he told me I AM a luthier... Funny, even though I took a building class a couple years ago and know how to set up electric guitars and all the details that go along with it, I never considered myself (until he mentioned it) a guitar builder. so personal discovery thanks to my boy - YES I AM....

The guitar is coming along beautifully and I plan on finishing it this weekend. Just in time for vacation :)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I finished the tour!

Well with my eyes... This past year we FINALLY took the plunge and ordered cable TV. Funny story, back in the 90s we would subscribe to cable TV in late June, watch the
Tour de France coverage, and cancel the service in the fall. Crazy... So this year the coverage on the Versus network was plentiful. One thing led to another and I managed to watch a majority of EVERY stage. Before it started, I picked Andy Schleck as my favorite to win. Not far off... Great racing this year. Even though I may not be the biggest Armstrong fan, there is no doubt that his comeback to the sport, and ultimate 3rd place podium finish are nothing short of incredible.He even rode diplomatically on the team never being the agressor if Contador was part of the equation. And Contador? ALLEZ Alberto! When he flexed his muscle ONLY Andy Schleck could respond. Great racing!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

whatever it takes. 50 good ones!

I did NOT want to go to work yesterday. I was off Monday which basically delayed the "Monday blues" by one day. So while having breakfast I decided to ride to and from work on the single speed road bike. I have to admit it did make a difference, and on the way home the frazzled stress level I was feeling melted away as the ride continued. So since this week is a somewhat busy one, I decided to make the ride time worth while. I added another 20 miles by heading out toward the Palos area. I actually decided to hit the horse trails for a few miles. Climbing the up and down sections of loose rock, dirt and gravel on a single speed road bike made for a way cool ride. Thank God for "coping with life thru riding"
Allez!

Priest! Priest! Priest! Priest!

I don't listen to much "metal" music anymore. However, Sunday night I went with jr. to see the one band I will always love regardless how soft my musical tastes become - JUDAS PRIEST 3rd row. I've never been disappointed by this band. From the minute they take the stage and Halford appears I'm thrown back into a time long ago when it was all about leather and loud music. TRUE I have very little patience for the steroetypical metal head ESPECIALLY in a beer drunken concert frenzy environment. But seeing Rob command the stage always delivers, and I wouldn't miss it for anything. They did a 30th anniversary British Steel tour, and it seemed like an odd anniversary year to promote an album but the cool thing about that is they played some great tunes off that album that I never seen played live before. It KICKED! Jr dug it as well. As an added bonus we finally seen Whitesnake, and seeing David Coverdale was excellent. That guy is definitly rock and roll royalty. GREAT show. Hope jr dug it as much as I did. ESPECIALLY the fact that I shared my passion for a band with him that has been ongoing for the last 30 years or so! I'm big into stuff like that - memories last forever!!

Defend the Faith!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

beautiful chocolate strat ingredients

It's coming out beautifully! The guitar I'm rebuilding's finish (so far) is a work of art. I've took the time to carefully look it over after each clear coat application and there is nothing wrong with it anywhere. It's time to let the nitrocellulose cure for about a week, then comes final sanding and buffing. The most important ingredient has been PATIENCE. You can't rush a work of art... The color is a brownish chocolate with blackened grain and subtle hints of purple. It's unique, and it's great looking. I've taken a couple pictures but they don't do the guitar justice so I will wait until the finished product before I share it with all you regular readers (LOL)I'm going to set it up with a Seymour Duncan Custom-Custom pickup. It closely resembles the tone of the mighty Van Halen's 5150, and some 10s for strings. The strings will be a change from the typical extra lights I've used, but my guess is will provide a slightly beefier tone with more sustain. PATIENCE...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

WTF? - baby riders

I must be old or the riders of the modern day tour are too young and spoiled. Yesterday I tuned into the tour coverage only to see the peloton rolling along at a pace that I could have kept up with. All because they were not allowed to use race radios. F'n babies.... So the teams had to send domestiques back to the team cars for on the road strategy, and the lead groups had to look at the motorbike with the chalkboard to see the gap. NEWSFLASH - That's how it was done before, and it made for great racing. Rominger, Fignon, Chiappuci, Museuww, Pantani, Bugno...Didn't need anything more than a chalkboard, and amphetimines LOL. I turned the coverage off in my own form of protest. I'm not saying that the radios don't help the race situations nowadays, but come on....
On a separate note, yesterday was the first time I found myself out on a run by myself in a while. I've been helping my long time personal manager train for some of her goal races, and also been accompanied by one of the little guys on his bike for most of my runs. Yesterday I was all alone and found it a bit weird! I did turn it into a really good tempo run in which my legs felt good at a quick pace.
Allez!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Getting dirty - the kids do it differently nowadays

This past weekend for the first time in a long time I went off roading. I decided to hit the mountain bike trails I used to frequent. Turns out a LOT of it has been redone, and or closed off. Granted I did have a good time, much more so toward the end of my ride when I finally was starting to feel a bit of the off road handling coming back. I diddn't realize how much I missed it, how long it's been since I did it, and how much "bike english" it takes to be good at it. I had it but temporarily lost it... Nice to have options...

Friday, July 10, 2009

lesson in life when rebuilding the guitar

I'm in the process of refinishing my homemade strat. For those readers new to the site (LOL) it used to be a Van Halen 5150 replica but the paint used began cracking under the clearcoat resulting in a less than perfect guitar. I have read elsewhere on the net that this is a common occurence using the paint recommended. I then stripped it down, and decided to stain it purple. The problem was I was impatient and somewhat ignorant to the process. I wanted it done NOW and rushed thru it. The bottom line is the finished guitar sucked. I decided to strip it down and rebuild a 3rd time, but this time is different. I've been practicing patience, and taking my time. I find that I want instant gratification, and I am making a conscious effort to take my time. Every time I start telling myself I NEED to get a step done before I'm off to do something(rushing thru ssomething) I stop myself. I do the other tasks(non guitar related) and come back to the instrument when I have time and no deadlines or pressures. The result is proving MORE than worthwhile. It's actually coming out beautifuly. The cool part of the color is while stripping all the old finish off, I began to get a vision of how it could turn out with the color in the wood, and the stains etc I considered. Nobody I talked to seen the beauty of my vision except for my minds eye. It is now becoming that vision. I can now understand artistic vision from having experienced it first hand. I do the same when building up bikes.... So I'm just about to start clear coating it, and I am COMPLETELY satisfied with the color, and the wood preparation I did is top notch. It is literally perfect. I am thrilled at the results so far. Lesson learned for life in general, and I'm about to have the guitar I had hoped I could build.
Rock on....

Sunday, July 5, 2009

OK THANKS

Even though I don't race anymore, I still try to get in the best shape I can with the time I have to train. So each year I try to get at least 2 organized rides in. The one of interest is the annual 4th of July 100k. It's pretty much in the middle of the summer, and where I'm at at this time of the year is probably about as good as it gets for me. So I've been typically going at this ride as a test of my legs, and historically trying to come close to 3 hours. It's funny, because going out to this ride had me excited along the same lines as pre race jitters. Anyway, night before I actually found myself doing all the prerace rituals. Pack the car up with helmet, gloves, jels, ride mixed bottles getting my ride kit out so I would be ready. Bike cleaned, tires filled. The hole deal. FUNNY... So I showed up, signed up, met up with a few old friends and decided to start out the ride with them to do a bit more catching up. Then it was off we go. About a mile into the ride, as it began to rain, we were joined by a dozen or so teammates mostly from a local 5 team or the host group. I took a pull at the front, and that was the last I seen of my friends. I pacelined with this group for a a couple miles, and after pulling up a decent hill I pulled off. I was then reprimanded by what I assume was one of their group leaders. I was told to keep the effort consistent, NOT the speed of the paceline when on climbs. I simply replied in my somewhat ticked and smart assed reply OH, OK THANKS, and proceeded to drift toward the back of the group, I bided my time until I could take off on my own which was a short time later at the quick to arrive rest stop. I kept going after a quick bottle refill break. I then proceeded to ride this event as I intended, as a test of my fitness. I rode like a rider possesed. It was like one of those epic break away stages, where the rider takes off on a solo break all the way to the finish. (It's enjoyable to live out a fantasy like this :) ) I was that rider, in pouring rain and wind the whole ride, I was inspired. I was digging deep like I used to when racing. It was great, it took focus, group after group rider after rider, mile after mile. Attacking the hills with no regard for a consistent effort, other than head down and breaking away mode. The beauty of it all, when I arrived at the finish my elapsed time was 2:59:59. I proceeded to average 21.04mph for the event. I won my stage, I came in with a time, and an average that I didn't believe I was capable of anymore. I earned my ride. 3 hours of no concern with the worrys, and frustrations of life - more so nowadays than I want deal with. It was me, the bike and the road to my own victory finish.
allez!!

Friday, July 3, 2009

crazy for the mouse

It's funny, even though I have mentioned a number of times that I'm going to minimize my time running, something always has me lacing up my shoes. This time around it's a good one. My long time personal manager is the ULTIMATE Disneyworld fan. So she finds out about a marathon they do in January, asks me to help her prepare, and the next thing I know we're both signed up to do it. It will be her first. An epic event in the most magical place on earth. So here we go again :) Other running news, I ran 13 miles with my brother this morning. He's prearing for Chicago in the fall, and I've been wanting to get out with him. Not sure if he had "pre-RAY" jitters, or he's in some really good running shape. At any rate the first few miles were surprisingly quick for an L.S.D. run, but it turned out to be a good run. I get a kick out of him. He picked me up in a warm up suit, and proceeded to run the entire time with it on, jacket and all WTF?! We REALLY DO bring out the best in each other. Tomorrow is the first day of Le'Tour, which almost makes it a religious holiday. A good day to do the annual 4th of July metric century. Let's see what kind of legs I have this year.My hip has been slightly irritated today- maybe from my fall on it last week... At any rate, I'm hoping to see some friends I have been meaning to catch up with. Hopefully I will. I think 100k will be good for the unacceptable amount of stress due to family illnesses and other sad things I've been having a somewhat difficult time dealing with.
God if your listening, could You please give me a break? AMEN

Allez...

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

jjiiitttterrrry

Damn, I HATE the wigged out feeling I sometimes get from starbucks coffee. I'm strrung out right now. GRRRR So I wonder if I should make July 1st a date to quit drinkin it? Is that even possible? I would save the money from the coffee and buy the painkillers I will no doubt NEED when my head starts freakin because there is a lack of caffeine...

the thickness of a dime

It's amazing to some but a simple fact to those who spent years on a bike. I've recently had to replace a seatpost on my bike, it's one of those things(along with setting up new shoes) that I dread. The reason MANY of you LOL may be wondering? I can tell if the height or saddle position is off/wrong. Sure I take the necessary steps and measure the existing height etc, but muscle memory in my legs can tell if it's not exact. That in and of itself can drive you crazy. Thats why you see me on the side of the road making adjustments more times than I care to admit when on a new bike. SOOO, yesterday after a couple roadside stops, I felt like I may have dialed the position in. I went home and later pulled out a tape measure that had been marked in years past with a spot that was right on. Low and behold what I adjusted the seat to on the side of the road, was EXACT to the measurement on the tape measure. The adjustment was no more than the thickness of a dime. Merckx would be proud LOL

Monday, June 29, 2009

dietary observations and the quest for youth

I've made mention here to (all my regular readers) LOL every now and again about foods eaten and diet concerns. So what I've done is made a point of focusing on fruits, vegetables, no red meat and limited if any fried poultry for a week. I then followed that up with a few days of your typical summer time barbecue, comfort food, fried, and red meat meals. The results are in.
I did indeed feel much better when eating the somewhat strict diet of fruits vegetables, some poultry, salads, NO red meat, no fried foods.
I felt lousy coming off a 3 or 4 day of typical eating. SOOO since I've proven to myself what makes me feel better, I am now going to go down that road. As an added bonus I dropped a couple pounds while on the GOOD diet. The kind of cool thing is my mom has recently had to completly change her diet after being diagnosed with Diabetes. It is not an easy transition for her, but I think it would be cool to do something along those line in her honor. The end results will be beneficial...

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday morning reflections and lessons in life

All week I could not wait for yesterday afternoon. We held a graduation party, and jr and his band was playing. I LOVE watching them play, and did all I could to help set them up without being the overzealous parent LOL It was LOUD and it rocked. I often say that he and his long time partner (the drummer) are like the Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley of the band. It's going to take a very special someone to step into the additional musician roles of their band. I'm so proud of him... I've noticed on a few occasions recently that he has made some very kind comments and observations about us(his parents) and the things we do for him, as well as suggest to him. Just when you thought all teens are idiots, LOL I'm proved wrong.As if their has been some recent divine teenage intervention :) Another interesting thing about the party, it wasn't anything close to any kind of bash, but I did have a certain level of discomfort with those around me enjoying the brews. I'm not about that anymore, and still find it a bit uncomfortable at times. I've also been reminded that I REALLY have to watch meds. I was prescribed a chill pill a while back, and EVERY time I wind up taking one I DON'T like the after effects. I find the pure approach to living is best for me. My Doc may not always agree, but nobody knows me like me. I still need to continue to work on a more relaxed approach to living. In time I guess. Lastly, I decided to strip the guitar and completely redo it. I learned in retrospect that I fell short by being impatient. I rushed it, and when all was said and done the results were less than satisfactory. There is a lesson there that coincides with a shortcomiong I need to work on. So this morning I disassembled it and will be stripping it down to bare wood and starting again. It will have a different color altogether. I've been entertaining burning the wood grain and clear coating, or clearcoting the bare wood. Whatever I decide, I plan on not rushing the process. This in and of itself is a practice that I need to carry thru lifes daily decisions and actions. A valuable lesson at that. I'm looking forward to the growth in this process, and what I envision to be a great looking guitar I am happy with :)

Thursday, June 25, 2009

what a ride....

This has been one hell of a week as far as personal events and emotional rollercoasters. Tuesday when I got home from a very emotional funeral, I went out for a ride. I wanted to get out to clear my head, and in remembrance. It was hot. "Hells bus stop" HOT, with temps in the mid 90s and the heat index probably near or above 100 degrees. So they say it's not if but when and today was when. About a 1/3 of the way into my ride I crashed. Tore up the elbow, knee, ankle hurt, and later found a bruised hip. It wasn't going to turn me back, and the bike was absolutely fine. I was frazzled over the incident more than anything (at the time). I finally got out to the biggest climb of the day, and got my heart rate up to 191. I don't remember the last time it hit that number. The thing that sucks is upon finishing the climb I began to get quite dizzy, and immediately pulled off under a shaded tree to regroup. This happened to me once last year on a similarly hot day. SUCKS... Not sure if was the high temps, or the combination of a medicine I take and the hot temps, or the fact I'm not as young as I used to be. Nonetheless it bugs me that this happened. I'm sure a number of my regular readers LOL are saying "DUH!" right now considering I was riding in extreme weather, but it still bugs me. That was definitley a hellish ride that showed my tenacity and preserverance, but had too many problems to group into one event. What a ride...

thanks

I ALWAYS take off my families birthdays. I want to be there on their special day, and do something with them that makes it special. Wednesday was another of those occasions. We made plans to go to a theme park, and when he awoke and we told him, the first words out of his mouth were "I don't want to go". Typical for a teen right? RIGHT... BUT the day turned out to be fun. He enjoyed himself (as we all did) It was HOT so we spent most of the time on water rides and at the water park. The best part of the whole day was him thankiong me for treating him like royalty. I wasn't expecting that, and it was wonderful to see his appreciation. Sometimes things catch you off guard, and this was one of them. I'm grateful I was able to be there for him, and grateful he apreciated it.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

reflections of a father

Today was/is Father's day. I spent the morning on the bike out for a road ride. Of course I went out and did my favorite climbs that I always do when I get some extra riding time. I also stopped by the Mary sanctuary, which is somewhat of a ongoing tradition, and offered a prayer of thanks, remembrance, and hope. I've been very grateful lately for the family I have. Grateful for my father, and mother. Grateful for my kids, grateful for my wife. I shed a tear of happiness, sorrow, and hope. I returned home and ran 6 miles with my "long time personal manager". I was grateful to be there for her. So... YES I did get some cool stuff today. Particularly, the Paris-Roubaix Coffee table book, and another called Ascent - a book about the legendary climbs of the tour. Reflecting on how the day went reminded me of a few things. Cycling is and has always been an important part of my life. I absolutely love the sport. It's provided so much to me, and it continues to be one of the positive driving forces in my life. Looking back, I'm grateful I had the opportunity and good fortune to have had such a successful racing career. Those years were wonderful. I entertained the notion of returning to racing this year, but realized early on in the year that me being a father continues to come first. THAT was the reason I stopped racing when I did, when the boys were of age to need me around for THEIR activities, and today it's still the right decision. I'm grateful that I can still ride well. I still have the legs, and when I'm lucky enough to put together a few weeks that allow me to get some miles in, it still is evident that I "have it"(at least in my little world). I'm grateful I have a passion that I can both enjoy, and be good at. I tell people to always look for that one thing in life such as this and never let it go. Those of us that find "it" are lucky. Today (Father's day) I'm grateful to be surrounded by the love of my family. The best way for me to give back, is to continue to try to be the best father to my kids that I can. Mistakes, shortcomings and all. The love that I have for them is unmatched. I wouldn't trade being their father for anything and as my life has shown, EVEN cycling...
Allez!

Friday, June 19, 2009

bummer cycling news

With tonights bout of insomnia, I happened to come across two unfortunate cycling related stories that are real a bummer.
First and most unfortunate is Laurent Fignon is battling cancer, and it doesn't sound good. He is one of my long time favorites, and I may be the only American who was bummed when Lemond beat him by 8 seconds. He has recently been quouted as saying he is blaming drug use during racing for his illness... May God watch over him in this battle, and may he find good health once more.
The other news is Tyler Hamilton has been given an 8 year ban for testosterone use, which closes the door on his cycling career. He has said he will be focussing his time on family and spreading the word on the fight against depression. Such a shame. I like that guy, and am greatful to have met him at the end of last season. Memories of The Tour stage he rode with broken shoulder will always be one of the most inspirational.
This weekend I ride for both of them!

sadness

My mom called late in the afternoon crying hysterically. She told me my Aunt and Uncle were killed by an Amtrack train. It was painful hearing how emotionally beside herself she was on the phone. When I had hung up, every part of me was shaking in fear. I thank GOD that my mom and dad are alive. I always do... I KNOW it's selfish, but thank God the news wasn't worse (not that it could be). Thank God (with all the recent health scares lately) that it wasn't worse. I'm sad, and feel very bad for those that lost these loved ones. It's strange. My mom has made it a point over the last couple months of getting close to them again. Almost as if by Gods plan. I also felt the presence of something tragic over the last number of weeks, and I blamed it on the health scare we just went thru. The most ironic part of the story is driving down the highway yesterday afternoon I had been passed by a good number of Joliet police cars. It was a strange scene, and I was wondering why they were out that way. My aunt and uncle lived in Joliet, and these police cars were more than likely dispatched to the accident scene. EERY to say the least. The both of them had health problems and my aunt's health seemed to be deteriorating recently with a disease that was causing her to go blind. SAD....

Monday, June 15, 2009

anything?

I have a fortune from a fortune cookie that I saved for some reason. It says
"You can undertake and complete anything". I've been reminded that this is true, and am taking that into strong consideration. I need to remove some self limiting blocks and move forward. I'm sure the limits we set on ourselves are limits we create, and I need to open my mind, and remove the blocks I find. Anything? YES Anything...

just ran back from Madison, BOY are my legs tired LOL


What a great event. As I mentioned in a few earlier posts,I was a bit daunted by this race, but it was AWESOME! Myself and 9 other people (including my boss LOL) did a relay race from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago. Started at 9am on Friday June 12th and we finished in Chicago. What a great, great experience. Our team did indeed talk smack and made sure everyone knew who we were Team "BAD IDEA",but it everything but a bad idea. YES you saw the van as we honked thru the state ringing the cowbell and yelling out the windows. Even though we were the loud ones, we were also the ones who would, and did, give you water and words of encouragement the whole time, not only to our team members, but to every runner we encountered as we journeyed thru the race. CRAZY-lack of sleep (maybe an hour or 2 total), living out of a 15 person van for 30 hours. No arguments, great synergy among everybody in the vehicle. It was split up 5 per van, so I spent time with 4 others. Ran in the heat, rain, sleet, cold, day, night EVERY which way. It was a great way to feel alive. I loved it. There were tough times for sure, and looking around on the 2nd day as daylight broke, and the heavy rains started, the participants looked cooked (most of us anyway) but the madness continued... My gameplan worked really well. The first leg was a bit rough, and ironically happened to be my shortest leg. However the 2nd leg I flew. It was my finest hour. The funny (not so much at the time) was, as I finished what I knew was a very good run, the other van's runner was nowhere to be found and EVERYONE within shouting distance heard me YELLING for the team. "BAD IDEA"! I would be lying if I said I wasn't pi$$ed at the time. Minutes later a sleepy eyed runner emerged from the other team van and hit the road with running tail between her legs. It was the last time we would encounter a transition screw up such as this, and everybody stepped up. It got a bit stressful on the final legs as lack of sleep turned all of us stupid. We got REALLY turned around when we were getting to the transition area for one of our runners who was hurt and VERY questionable due to an unfortunate injury on her first leg which wreaked havoc on her Iliotolobial band due to reletless hills. She dug deep, and finished all of the legs she had to do. We pulled up JUST as she was entering the finish of her leg and the next runner took off without incident, WHEW! That was the craziest moments of our race. As the race went on, we all dug deep, and I'm sure each and every one of us learned something about ourselves this weekend. It's epic events such as this that makes you feel ALIVE. I certainly did. Thirty hours of pureness allows a lot of time for reflection... So, Yes, my prep leading up to it was smartly planned, and worked out well. One of the things that I was reminded of was to use my gift's from God, and use them to the best of my ability in thanks. With so many things to sidetrack us in life it's sometimes easy to get a bit lost, and not remember that VERY important philosophy...

203 miles 29 hours 51 minutes, and an experience that I'm sure changed my life and everyone else who competed - at least a little bit...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Crazy

By this time tomorrow I will be joining up with a team of 10 runners to complete a relay race from Madison Wisconsin to Chicago. I would be lying if I said I didn't have butterflies in my stomach. I've ran long runs of 8 or more a number of times over the last month etc, but this is going to be something I have no idea what to expect, so I'm TRYING to take the attitude of enjoy the adventure! I always think I should be doing more, and I also got in some good rides to add to the training. I do feel unprepared for some reason. Mostly because I've been lax in preparation compared to other races. I have a total of about 23 miles to do in the course of a day and a half, and will be living out of a van with 4 other people including my boss CRAZY. I already have a headache LOL
I hope it goes well :)

Monday, June 8, 2009

from the fence

I had time off from work at the end of last week. I almost loathe getting back in the routine after even a brief amount of downtime. The problem is it was too much downtime. I feel like I wasted the days off, and it's partly, if not all my own fault. YES, it was time to remove myself from the routines, but the routine of removing myself regardless of how good of an idea it was, turned out to be something that didn't work. I sit here now thinking how many things I should have accomplished. Learned a lesson. This AM I saw a remembrance for a woman who worked at the local bux. She passed away over the weekend, Only in her 20s... I'm still shaken over the sad, sad news. All the times I seen her on my trip to "the buck", never knowing of her sad, sad road. I hope she is resting happily in Heaven. I HATE the curent feelings inside.....

Monday, June 1, 2009

As of June 1st...

I talk about my diet every now and again and recently decided to make a change. SOOO effective today June 1st, I am making some serious changes. It's NOT that I have the worst eating habits around, but everytime I eat what I consider a comfort food meal (giant burrito, quarter pounder, beef and sausage combo etc) I regret it. In my head nothing sounds better when looking at the menu, but the bloated heavy feeling afterward sucks. I've never complained or felt bad after eating any combination of fruit or vegetable, so I'm going down that road. I don't know if I want to call it a switch to vegetarian, but it will be an avoidance of red meat, and I should even walk away from fried stuff. That one will be hard.... I'm sure the benefits will prove to be worthwhile, and as time passes it will be easier to choose (hard when I'm hungry and or stressed) So here goes. Time to hand out the couple of free burrito coupons I have in my wallet LOL Benny is out of here as well...

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

SUPER Conductor

It's funny how I still learn new things about myself. For the first time I read a book BEFORE I went to see a movie. It was Terminator Salvation. I picked up the book at the Atlanta airport earlier this month while waiting for a flight. I finished it in about a week, and yesterday went to see the movie. The thing I found remarkable was I remember everythig I read, and I felt like I saw the movie twice. Not sure if I liked knowing about the movie beforehand though. The most amazing and cool part of the whole story, is how amazing the mind is. I know DUH, but sometimes an event like this is a good reminder of how powerful and comprehensible the brain is. Even mine LOL It made me realize that learning new things and comprehending them is easier than I can tell myself it would be. That DAMN Mitote needs to stay quiet.
I took advantage of a nice long (4 day) holiday weekend, and got some good rides and runs in. Weight is currently down below 170 and aside from a stomach issue today, I'm feeling good. Back on track.... :)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

keep moving!

I'm liking the fact that I've managed to take advantage of some warm weather and the fact I've been able to both run and ride. Yesterday I got an 8 mile run in. YES it's out of necessity because of this crazy 200 mile relay I'm doing with a group of runners, but I do like to run SHHHH!!!!
Today I rode to work and it will be in the 80s on my ride home. The beauty of todays ride is I get some exercise/training/riding time in as part of the commute, and when I get home I'm ready for the family.
It seems like getting back on track is well on it's way. Easy to get sidetracked, but willing to do what it takes. :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Tyler retires?!

BOOO!!!
I just heard and then read that Tyler Hamilton retired from racing recently. It turns out he was tested and a banned substance was found as a result of using a homeopathic antidepressant. I'm sure he wasn't looking for a performance advantage. That's a shame. I was thrilled to see him last summer at a local race, and luckily grabbed a picture with him right before the race start. The worst part of the story is he was taking antidepressants to address personal problems, and the meds were affecting his performance so he switched to an over the counter remedy... Depression sucks, and it is such a personally monumental issue to deal with. I'm sure he's doing what's best for him, and can honestly sympathize with the hurdles athletes face when it comes to these decisions. BEST of LUCK Tyler. You ROCK!

out to lunch

YES, life can get busy, and recently it is, but I still feel sidetracked. I think I miss daily workouts! I mentioned a few changes need to occur, and one of my responsibilities wrapped up yesterday, I'm taking care of another one today. I THINK I can get myself back on track sooner than later....

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

skynet musings

I have a particular fondness for the Terminator story. Not the Arnold Schwartzenager movie, although it's been a long time since I seen it, and it would probably be fun to watch again all these years later... I'm talking about the modern day version. It started with the TV series Sarah Connor Chronicles. The show had it's ups and downs but the underlying story is what interests me. Man's loss of control of technology,and the kaos that results. I have a love hate relationship with technology. It's been my livelyhood (for lack of a better term) for my entire pre- and adult life. It's due to that fact I've seen how comically poor judgement is among people when it comes to it's implemenation, and lack of understanding and control. I HONESTLY don't believe we have a handle on it's advances yet we continue to develop, and push forward at a remarkable yet ignorant pace. As a side note, I've seen a movie a long time ago called Running Man, and there were futuristic scenes in that movie that were laughable back then, but as many years passed, some of the storylines became believable and real. HOPE that is not the case with this storyline...


Machines(BACK to Humans)

Monday, May 11, 2009

I stay away....

Mentioned this briefly a while ago, and in looking at my latest entries finfd it to be true. When I am sidetracked in life, I tend to not post anything. That's been the case for the better part of a week. Hardly any workouts, or anything to improve my life on a personal level has happened since April 30th!! I'm talking on a personal level. I've been sidetracked, WASTING time/days, and not taking an active participation in life. A habit I am not particularly fond of. No need to go into great detail but since looking back on recent days, it's clear I need to switch around a few things to get back on track. I found it doesn't take much to derail me...

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Cinco DeMayo F L AYY! style

so what to do when flying solo in Florida on Cinco Demayo?
Lunch Fried pickles and a fried green tomato sandwich,
cut out of that "W" word and
Drive STRAIGHT to Clearwater beach, hang out and be sure to jump in the ocean water and get a taste of the salt.
Follow that up with a visit to what turned out to be the hippest Mexican bar and grill I can find; Sen'or Loco's;incude a good mexican dish, some people watching and enjoy a bit of live music.
NOTE
This all would have been funner with my long time personal manager along. She's a blast at things like this...
Olah!

Cool, a half marathon

This past weekend, a very nearby town ran a 1/2 marathon. It was WAY too close to miss. So a bit over 2 weeks ago I signed up, and got a small number of runs in to get my legs ready the best I could. I DID have about 3 months of good quality runs in the bag from early to mid winter, and it helped. I was recently talking to someone about feeling like you lose your conditioning when having a BUSY no workout week now and again, but realistically I don't think you lose everything if you lead a somewhat active lifestyle. So I planned it out with 2 weeks of running, and did it in 1:49. I paced myself perfectly. The weather was great. I did what I thought I could under ideal conditions. This once again reminds me that if/when I am consistent I can still pull off better than the average results.Wonder what I could have done if I trained for it??

warning BLUE ahead...

not the blue the net is infamous for...
I have a hard time watching my kids grow up. They start out needing and wanting you, and it fades. Much more than I want (I'm learning) Over the last week or so there have been more and more activities leading up to one of my kids graduation. I see the slideshows of when he was young, and fast forward to current day, and to be honest my eyes well up with tears... I have no idea how I'm going to get thru these years. I've become someone he is embarrased to be by when his friends are around, including at school and sport activities. GOD that hurts, but it must be a part of growing up. My parents tell me I was like that, and I OWE THEM A HUGE APOLOGY if that's true. If your a kid and reading this, DON'T shun your parents, love them back the way they love you!!
The other untimely event, is I lisened to a voicemail my younger kid left me last week, and the young kidness of a voice is changing. I'm losing the baby as well to age. My days of walking him to the school door, and all the other magic that they provide me will be fading as well. Like I said tears in the eyes... I love them both MORE than they can comprehend...

Thursday, April 30, 2009

perfect NO, better YES


I was a bit disappointed in the results when I completely redid my guitars body. FWIW I still am... However the interesting thing is I think it sounds better this time around.I built it with a modified design and it is evident. It looks a bit more homegrown than I would like, but it DOES have a unique character (kinda like me :) ) So for the first time all my readers LOL can now feast your eyes on the DEEEPEST Purple strat...



Maybe now I have the incentive to really learn to play better, and justify a new store bought axe...

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

recovery, the color purple, and ZZZZs

Well maybe it's age, but more than likely its because of limited training time recently. Nevertheless, I picked up a product I used in the past by Endurox for post exercise recovery. It's worked in the past and I'm sure it will help with my evil master plans for the summer. I've needed to come up with something that will provide quick recovery for a long distance relay race I'm doing in June, and this should work some magic, and make me feel young again LOL.
The new version of my guitar is starting to grow on me. At first I wasn't thrilled with the outcome, but I'm starting to appreciate it's one off uniqueness. That, and the tone I'm dialing in out of that new DiMarzio pick up is sounding good/great. Gonna have to take a picture of that left handed piece of art... Prince (and Eric) would be proud. LOL
Last but not least
I've been having problems with getting a good nights sleep over the last month or so, and found that even though a pill might knock me out, it messes with me the next day more than I want. So I need to come up with an alternative plan. Eliminating that 2nd cup of coffee? Cutting off eating 2 hours before bed? Not sure.....

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

forget the swine flu...

UGH! yesterday I had the worst run I've experienced in AGES. I felt like I was carrying sandbags, my legs were heavy, it was like gravity had been turned UP! It was only a 3 miler, and I actually walked a bit WTF?! I guess Friday's double ride, and Saturdays long run caused a bit of staleness... That and the fact that I'm up 5 pounds above where I want to be. That sucks too. As if I'm overeating to compensate for something. My dietary habits have been bad lately, that and the free time to work out is nowhere to be seen. Add those 2 together and you get me in my current condition. SUCKS! TIME to change/keep a careful eye on my diet... The other troubling thing is I've been having sleep problems lately, maybe caused by eating later in the evening, or maybe its something else?! Either way, I'm in a bit of a funk...

Monday, April 27, 2009

what I've learned recently

I've been rebuildig my guitar over the last month or so, and learned some things about myself in the process...
1) I'm impatient. It was driving me bonkers not being able to work on the guitar whenever "I" wanted to. My most recent reminder of this was over this past weekend. I had the option of prep sanding and continuing to clear coat the body or work with what was done and finish it. I decided to finish it. I would much rather have it done than hangiong over my head and making me wait.
2) I am focused and determined. Sunday morning I woke up early with the mindset that I was going to FINISH the guitar that day. Started around 8 am and aside from the occasional meal and small break to tend to some family things, I worked all day on the guitar. I DID finish it. By 7:30pm I had the newly rebuilt Purple guitar plugged into the amp.
3) New guitar, same guitarist LOL I really should take lessons. A new color, and new pickup doesn't give me new technique.... The life lesson with this one was no matter how you look, or what you change on the "OUTSIDE"; you are still the same until you change things on the "INSIDE".

other than that 2 nights of nightmares, and last nights SUCKED. Really bugged me, no comment on the details but lesson learned there as well. More so than any other...
Ran 11 miles this past Saturday in anticipation of this coming weekends half marathon LOL