Monday, April 26, 2010


Jem is fond of saying, "Manage expectations, not results."  Well, I'm trying to manage my expectations ahead of this weekend.  Before the race has even started, IM St. George has been considered one of the toughest courses on the Ironman schedule.  The combination of the hilly bike course and even hillier run course have it looking to be a real challenge.  The weather is now looking to play its part. 

As if the 112 miles of hills weren't bad enough, the forecast is calling for wind.  And rain.  The rain doesn't bother me as much as the direction of the wind, which is forecast to be a northerly wind.  Since the course is a loop, if the wind stays constant we'll inevitably face a headwind for part of the time and a tail wind for part of the time.  A southerly wind would push us up the canyon and then slow our descent back down the other side.  I wouldn't mind that.  Since I have gravity on my side on the descent, it doesn't affect me too much.  A northerly wind on the other hand would compound my gravitational challenge on the climb since I'd be fighting both gravity and the wind.  A tail wind on the descent would be little consolation since I'm not very confident riding at speeds of over 40 mph in the middle of a bunch of tri-geeks in their bend-over bars.  

The only bit of comfort is that I've seen that wind.  Dave and I finished the ride and ran afterward.  My legs came back and I'm confident I could finish.  But, the wind is realistically going to add nearly two hours to my overall time.  When I was already hoping for something in the mid-fourteen hour range, the wind puts me uncomfortably close to the DNF line.  One flat and I could be pushing the cutoff.  So, I'm trying to manage my expectations by bracing myself for 16+ hours of pretty much flat out, constant suffering.  I've said it before, but only half-heartedly:  I'm just hoping to finish at this point.

Monday, March 29, 2010


Saturday's trip to St. George reminded me a lot of my trip last year to RAWROD.  Except my riding companion didn't leave me for dead.  And it didn't hail on me.  Nor did I run out of water.  Okay, the only things that reminded me of RAWROD '09 were the unrelenting wind during the ride and my swollen baboon butt after the ride.  You're welcome for that image, by the way. 

It was also a day of huge mental-attitude swings.  During the climb up the canyon of the first loop, not only did I consider pulling the plug on the the ride after the first loop, I seriously considered pulling the plug on the entire race.  I didn't know whether the wind would still be a head wind once we reached Veyo.  If the wind stayed a hind wind after Veyo, there would be no chance of doing the bike leg in anything close to the time I'd need to even make the cutoff. 

Fortunately, the wind pushed us from Veyo back to Snow Canyon.  I had no intention of doing the second loop, but Dave wouldn't be denied.  So, we ground it out.  And it was more of the same - a pretty stiff headwind up to Veyo and then a decent tailwind back to Snow Canyon.  We ended up getting in just over 116 miles on the day. 

We got back to Jon's house just before dark, changed into our running kit, and ground out one length of the run.  In the dark.  The first uphill mile on Diagonal was a death march.  I was discouraged again.

After we climbed up to the top of the bluff, I found my legs on the middle section and settled in to a decent rhythm for the rest of the run.  By the end of the day, I was confident I would be able to finish in May.  It was an epic day that I was glad to get over.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Home Stretch

I can't wait for May 2.  That will be the day that Ironman St. George is behind me.  It's a race that I want to have done, not that I'm looking forward to doing.  The only upside to having trained for a really hard Ironman over the winter is that I'll be starting the mountain biking season with a lot of fitness.  The challenge will be staying away from the barbeque without the motivation of a really hard race hanging over me and keeping me in line.  I'm hoping the mix of a fresh set of King SS Hubs, some decent weather, some good trail conditions and reliable riding buddies will be just the thing to keep me from being a couch-bound pork-a-holic.  Here's to hoping.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Culinary Thursdays

For the last several weeks, I've given Cindy the night off and taken the girls on culinary adventures. One week we cook, the next we go out to try something new. It'll continue and I want to document the goings-on from time to time. So here's the run down. This week - La Carreta, American Fork. We had anticuchos in the chicken variety (chicken kabobs on fries), bistec a la carreta, and ceviche mixto. The anticuchos and the bistec were utterly forgettable, but the ceviche was good. Last week - knife skills: slicing. We also made poisson en papillote and smoothies with their slicing skills. No cuts. Three weeks ago - Maria Bonita, Orem. We had the choriqueso and the molcajete. Tasty grease bombs both. Nono was all over the cheese, Lissy the peppers in all of it, and Lili just took it all in. Four weeks ago - Heat and time. We talked about heat and time. The girls made their meals start to finish, with hamburgers and fries. They really were proud of themselves. Five weeks ago - Rooster, Provo. We talked about the five flavors and various textures before we got there, then the same as we ate a little of almost everything. The loep choeng was my personal favorite. Andy gave the girls a tour of the kitchen. Six weeks ago - reading a recipe, mise en place. The girls read a shrimp recipe, helped me set up the mise en place, and then I steamed shrimp and rice. A good start.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I figured out today the thing that separates those who do triathlons versus those who are triathletes. It's mental training. Hear me out. Triathletes, true triathletes, truly believe they need to train themselves mentally. I think that's why you see so many of them moving along at 12 mph in their bendover bars. I also think that's why so many of them train alone. Wearing stupid kit. Without music or any other type of distraction not available to them on race day- they're training themselves mentally. I on the other hand see the mental aspect of a training and a triathlon more like a fuel tank - if I burn through it in training, I'll have nothing left come race day. So I mountain bike even during training periods. I ride my road bike because it's more comfortable. I ride with people because it sucks less. And I listen to music. Because making an activity suck more than it needs to just doesn't make sense to me. That's why I can never really be a triathlete. That and my love of all things food related.

Monday, January 25, 2010


I like mascots that have something to do with an area, be it animals or people. I hate Lone Peak's mascot - the knights. The Morgan Trojans. Really? On the other hand, some of my favorites from around here - the Jordan Beet Diggers and the Bingham Miners. Even as overplayed as the cowboy is as a mascot in small town Utah, at least it's relevant. Oregon has some good ones too - the Tillamook Cheesemakers and the Astoria Fightin' Fishermen. But Idaho takes the cake. Orofino, Idaho is the home of the Idaho State Mental Hospital. And the high school mascot? I present to you the Orofino Maniac:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

One of Us is Confused

Something definitely out of the ordinary went down on the bus a few days ago. DR and I caught the same bus back to the UC from downtown. At the court house, a group of teenage girls boarded the bus. They took seats two rows behind Dan and I and immediately set to chatting. Loudly. In a different language. I didn't understand a single word. Not one. As a bit of background, I spent twenty two months in Argentina. I studied the language every single day, blowing through the standard study guides in a matter of weeks. So I purchased grammar books in the native language and made it a point to learn at least five new words a day. This will come as no surprise to those of you who know me - you know I tend to be borderline OCD and definitely take things to the extreme. So, since I couldn't understand a word of what the teenage girls behind me were shouting about, I assumed it wasn't Spanish. I can usually follow the gist of a conversation in Portuguese or Italian. Nothing. French? Too guttural. After the girls got off the bus, I asked Dan if he could tell what they were speaking. It wasn't Italian, Dan speaks Italian and he couldn't understand a word of it either. As we were discussing what it might have been, the young woman in front of Dan interrupted - "It was clearly Spanish. Not Mexican, but South American - definitely Argentina or Chile." "I'm not so sure about that," I answered, "I learned Spanish in Argentin -" "I have family from Argentina," she interrupted. "They were definitely Argentine." Stunned, I sat and puzzled over what just happened. Was she Argentine? Why didn't she say she was from Argentina or Argentine, or that she knows the language? Why that she has family from there? She made her statements so forcefully. As DR and I got off the bus, it was clear to me that one two things had happened. Either I completely forgot how to speak Spanish over the span of thirty minutes, or that girl was full of shit. Que se yo?

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Remarkable of '09

Favorite Ride - Tibble Fork, Labor Day with DR Favorite Movie - Inglorious Basterds Favorite Race - Spa-Francorchamps Favorite Meal - FCC Fall Harvest Favorite New Original Recipe - Chilled Corn Chowder Favorite New Restaurant Dish - Thai Basil Pork, Rooster DNB (Provo) Favorite Game - BYU vs. Oregon State Funniest Thing - 30 Rock, Season 3, St. Valentine's Day