Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Slacker

I've done nothing since Sunday. Well, I shoveled snow, and drove over to Jersey to see my kids but other than that I've pretty much been sitting around eating. At least my weight on Tuesday was the same as last Tuesday and not higher.

Oh, I did make a meditation bench for J and started another for me. I'll get some pictures up when they are both complete.

I'm going to go for a swim today, but need to wait for the aqua fit ladies to clear out. I had such high hopes for working out and getting things done this week. But it's only Wednesday! Still plenty of time to procrastinate on other stay-cation projects.

Some time later......

I got the swim in and worked some more on the meditation benches. My head is all stuffy and my sinuses irritated from the pool today. Very heavy on the chemicals it was.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Christmas Eve

Merry Christmas everyone! (Like there are so many people reading this :) )

Went for a chilly and hilly 30 mile bike ride today. Went out Conshohocken Sate Rd to the Schuylkill Trail, turned around near Valley Forge and road back. There are some nice hills along that route but I sure don't like the traffic. One spot the speed limit is 30 MPH, I wass doing 32 and getting passed. What is wrong with people? They had to drive in excess of the speed limit and cross a double yellow to pass a cyclist who was riding down the hill over 30 MPH. Still, I like the up hills and the down hills. I need to venture out on new routes. I'm getting a bit bored with the SRT, but it is convenient.

So, I decided to drop some weight. I am at 164.4 (12/21) and want to get to 150 by the time I start the 20 week IM plan. Don't think I've been that light since my 20's. I'll have to see how my body reacts and how I feel. Most height/weight charts want me well below that; one has 139 -151. I'd be a skeleton at 139!

I've got to lose 1.3 lbs a week. With my wife's awesome cooking and baking that's going to be a challenge.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tick Tock

I'm sitting here at work counting the minutes until I'm out of here for 10 days. Woo hoo!! It's very slow and I'm getting a few things out of the way so I can have a clear conscious over the break.

Going to run today when I get home and do a bike ride tomorrow. That's the plan anyway; we'll see how the weather holds out. Supposed to be very windy today.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Consistently inconsistent

Yesterday I was going to do a bike ride. Had planned to bring my bike to work and ride for an hour at lunch. On Monday I got call from my dentist reminding me that Tuesday at noon was my semi annual cleaning and check up. So much for a lunchtime ride. Figured I'd ride the trainer at home... but I HATE riding the trainer. I really need to get over it. It is a necessary training tool for the winter months. I just have to figure out how to get over the mental resistance. It's not too bad if I set up in the living room and put on the TV, but that disrupts the entire household. I have the fan going, and the noise from the trainer. so I have to turn the TV up real loud, and that is just to much to ask J & the kids to deal with. Throw in some Christmas stuff I needed to do and I did not ride the trainer last night. Again. I blew off two trainer rides last week. I know it's the holiday season, and the off season, and I start a new training plan the first week of January, but I cannot let my base go to shit.

Ok, onward and upward!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Today

Yeah, so today is the day. Yup, The day. I thought it would be last July, or October. Those came and went and then I thought it might be January, or early March. Nope. It's today. Today I start blogging regularly with a focus on my build towards IronMan Lake Placid, July 24 2011.

I thought it would be cool to blog about my experiences leading up to IronMan for a full year, from July 2010 when we volunteered and I signed up, until July 2011 when I cross the finish line. When I didn't start that I thought it would be cool to start on my 50th birthday since the idea of IronMan was born of me contemplating turning 50. When that didn't happen I figured I'd wait until the first of the year and blog every day in 2011 until I become and IronMan. I also considered waiting until the official start of my 20 week training program in March. I'm not big on starting things on January 1st. That's too easy and way overdone (in two weeks the gym will be crowded with the resolutioners, God bless them).

Then today it hit me. Today is the day. I don't need a milestone or a jumping off point. Just go! So, here I go, today.



Workouts today were a 5 mile run at lunch and a swim after work. I feel like I haven't been in the pool in ages and I felt it in the water. I managed to get in 1600 yards though and felt good about that:

WU
2x200

MS
2x500
25 easy
25 hard
50 easy
50 hard
75 easy
75 hard
100 easy
100 hard

CD
200

I'll edit this later with the times since I don't have my watch in front of me.

The run was good but chilly. It's pretty cold around here with temps in the 30's and wind chill in the 20's. I was maybe a bit overdressed but I'd rather be hot than cold.

5. 1 miles
42:49
8:24 avg

When I got back to the fitness center at work I smelled BO. Bad BO. I thought it was me and kept sniffing and checking. I thought maybe it was my gloves or my skull cap since they get sweaty but don't get washed much. Nope. They smelled fine. It was almost as if it was the rugs or something but they had just been cleaned a few weeks ago. I stretched a bit and went to get showered and changed. When I got back to my locker after the shower I found out what smelled so bad. Well, who smelled so bad actually. There was a guy I'd not seen before in the locker room and he reeked to high heaven. Damn dude! He was wearing a very dingy and sweaty plain white undershirt and he put on his overcoat and left. No shower, no change of clothes, no nothing. Ewwwwww!! No wonder he's so stinky. Hope he doesn't make regular visits. I'd take the Axe body spray kid from last summer over this guy. Ooo Fa!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Back From the Brink

Just when it looked like I had disappeared from 52 Projects for good, something reached out and smacked me upside my creativity. My beloved discovered a new photo technique called ttv, or Through the Viewfinder. You can read about Jane's side of the story on 52 Projects.

The technique involves taking a picture through the view finder of a second camera. It works best with a Kodak Duaflex and they are selling like hotcakes on eBay. The trick is to block out extraneous light between the lenses. To accomplish this one must use a Contraption. That's right, a Contraption with a capital C because that is the proper name for this tool. They come in all shapes and sizes and making one (or more) has captured my imagination. So has shooting pictures through one.


Here's what the camera sees



Here's what the picture looks like




I found a template on the web but it didn't quite turn out like the pictures. First off, the template wasn't to scale but it didn't really indicate that. The guy has re-done it and this time, has noted that it is not to scale.






Anyway, I got really excited when I saw the template. We went out and bought foam board and I went to town. Unfortunately the foam board is a bit too thick and doesn't cut well with a razor knife. Then I taped the hell out of the thing and it looked really ghetto.




Undaunted, the next day we went out and got some heavy black card stock, I printed out the updated template, and I made a much nicer one. This one even has adjustable height. This comes in handy as you play with focus and zoom and macro and all that photographer stuff.





I have gotten so jazzed about this that I bought my own Duaflex on eBay and plan on experimenting with different materials and designs for making Contraptions. I am visualizing PCV.

So, here is some of what I've seen Through the Viewfinder........


My work space:


Under a bridge



Pipes in an alley




Other worldly



My muse





After tossing the ball




The hands that brought this all to you




A bench. I really like the ground level view



She walked away





Some things to note:

All images taken this way are reversed. There is debate in the ttv community whether or not one should flip the images. I think some look cool backwards, others look better flipped

The image is not always square in the frame so some post processing is necessary to straighten them out, unless you like them a bit crooked. Sometimes I do.

There is a lot of black around the images. The ones above have all been cropped but here's one that's not cropped, rotated or mirrored. Note the backwards writing.


Saturday, October 16, 2010

The Mistress

I bought a new bike a couple of months ago. My wife dubbed her The Mistress



















Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Flying and Frying

After weeks of absence I've done double duty for 52 Projects. This past week I knocked two things off my "Things I want to do someday" list; riding in a hot air balloon...





And eating fried Oreos. I ate fried Oreos, fried Snickers, and fried Twinkies. More on that decadence later.



Here's the deal with the hot air balloon; several months ago I stumbled across a most interesting adventure opportunity, a Bicycle Balloon race. Balloons take off with a bike strapped to the outside and a cyclist in the basket. The pilot flies a certain distance, lands the balloon, and the cyclist must race back to the starting area. The team with the shortest elapsed time wins $600.

This was all part of the New Jersey Balloon Festival at the Warren County Framers Fair. Although my team didn't win (winning times was 38 minutes, our time was 57 minutes) I had an awesome time. Being up in the balloon was like floating through the air. It was quiet and peaceful, except when the burner kicked in. Wow! That was hot and loud.

It was fascinating to see the whole process. The balloon and basket get pulled off the truck


The balloon gets rolled out

A fan fills the balloon with air to get it slightly inflated



Then the burners kick in to fill it with hot air



The balloon needs to be held open to allow all the air to get in. I got to help




Did I mentioned these things are pretty damn big?



Bike gets strapped on



Cyclist climbs in


And away we go!!




A birds eye view




We had to fly outside a 3 mile radius then find a place to land. As you can probably see from the pictures, my camera wasn't behaving too well and it was very hazy out so I didn't get too many good aerial shots.

Once we landed I hauled ass back to the fairgrounds. I didn't know the roads that well and ended up taking a longer route than I needed to and added a mile to the bike leg. Still, that would have only cut our time by4 minutes or so. Winners or not I had a fantastic time and would do it again. It would be nice if it wasn't an hour and a half away :)


The whole day was a ton of fun. Jane, the kids, and her parents came and we got to enjoy some family time at the fair, including eating the aforementioned fried treats. I've seen fried sweet things on the boardwalk at the shore and at other fairs but never took the plunge. I'm glad I did because they were sinfully delicious, especially the fried Snickers. Wow. I rationalized it as a post race recovery jolt of calories and protein (hey, Snickers have peanuts). I have no idea what other people used as an excuse. I know we have other pictures to post of those treats, but I'll treat you to some of our family fun.



Sunday, August 1, 2010

Bless me Blogger for I have sinned

It's been a month and a half since my last 52 Projects post. It's not that I haven't been doing stuff, I just haven't been focused on posting about them. Here's one thing I did;

As some of you know I am a triathlete. I swim, bike, and run, one right after the other for hours on end. Sounds like a blast, right? Such a good time! My main focus is Ironman Lake Placid next July but I do have some other races planned. One race is coming up in mid September; it's a half iron distance race called Savageman. Sounds pretty rough and apparently it is. It is in the mountains of western Maryland and the bike course is very hilly. I've been working really hard on my training and think I'm going to do well. In fact, I have my sights sets on a podium finish for my age group (that means 1st, 2nd, or 3rd). It's a pretty aggressive goal but based on previous year's finish times I think it's doable.




Another great thing about this race is that it's a charity fundraiser for The Joanna Nicolay Melanoma Foundation. I am not required to raise any money beyo0nd my entry fee but have decided to set up a fund raising page and set a goal to raise $1000. That's sort of where 52 Projects comes in. This is something I've never done but this time I felt like giving it a shot. I even set up a Facebook event and invited all my FB friends to support me. I think most of them thought I was inviting them to the actual race, but I'm really just inviting them to donate money. I am also extending that invitation to anyone reading this. It's easy to do, you can remain anonymous, and it's 100% tax deductible. Search your heart, then if you're so moved just surf on over to this link and make your donation.

Thanks!!!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I'm in!!

I have officially registered for Ironman Lake Placid. Jane and I drove up for the race this past weekend to volunteer and so I could register on site for next year. It was a uniquely rewarding experience adn I am aalready in rcae mode for next year. I intended to blog more about my training and my experiences on the road to becoming an Ironman!

I'm still here

It's been quite a while since I've posted, but you knew that. I have been derelict in my duties as a member of the 52 Projects gang. I beg your forgiveness. I will pick up this week where I left off.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Who's Your Daddy?

Happy Father's Day to me! I got presents! A bicycle repair stand and a set of bike tools. Woo Hoo!!!!



So, for 52 Projects I gave my bike the once over!!!

Ok, not just for 52 Projects. I've wanted to break down, clean & lube my bike for quite some time but didn't have the proper tools. Now I do!!!!!!!



I set up the stand and clamped my bike in




I took off the chain and soaked it in degreaser



I pulled both cranks and cleaned them up real well.


I then pulled the bottom bracket. Bottom bracket was a pain in the ass, and in the hand. Also, the camera ran out of batteries so I have no pics of the BB out but here's one of it still in with the crank off, and one of my hand after the wrench slipped. That bottom bracket was in there tight!





Then I pulled the cassette and cleaned it


And I pulled the rear axle and cleaned and regreased the bearings. Again no pic other than the "after" once I got it reassembled. I have to remember to take more pictures but it's hard to stop when I'm on a roll, plus my hands were just a tad greasy.



Here's a cool shot of the bottom bracket and drive side crank after they were reinstalled


Here's one of the cassette and rear derailleur




Here's my baby all back together and ready to ride



Here's a run down of all the work;

Pull, clean, lube, reinstall chain
Pull & clean both cranks
Pull & clean bottom bracket
Pull & clean cassette
Remove dork disc
Clean & re grease rear axle
Replace brake pads
Tighten spokes