Friday, August 31, 2007

Nature is cool

I sat down at my desk for lunch and noticed out the window there was a hawk sitting on the roof across the courtyard. Hey wait, is he holding something? Holy crap, he's eating something. Some poor bird or rat or something was just dismantled over there which I'm sure was fun for the landscapers down below who were getting the skin/fur/feathers rained down on them. Oh well... hope it was tasty fella.

A lot, but not much planned for the weekend. As expected, it looks like I'll be busy, but the only major event is my wife going skydiving tomorrow. She sent me for my 30th a few years back and has wanted to do it since. She talked a friend into going tomorrow. Should be fun. Otherwise it's a bunch of here and there stuff. I should be able to get a long ride and a long run in so that could be cool.

Enjoy the break folks.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Committed or Should be Committed?

This has been another insane week in the life of the tall guy who crashes a lot. I know I bring a lot of this shit on myself, but I still reserve the right to whine about it :)

Sunday I got up early and got out for a ride before the real nasty soupy weather set in. I got to swing by and laugh at the tri guys who were heading out for 15-18 miles in that slop. There was no way on earth I was signing up for that. After that the rest of the day was prep for the golf tournament and other chaos.

Monday shortly after my post I got a call that my wife had gotten called by the summer camp that the oldest jammed his finger playing hoops (let's hope he sucks less than the old man) and they thought he needed x-rays. So she runs off to get him, brings him to the ER, and while she's sitting there with him waiting, she gets a call from the daycare that the middle one is sick. She reminded them that I'm an hour away and said she was in the ER so we'd get there when we could. I went to relieve her at the ER, she got the other ones, and eventually we met at home. After some quick dinner I was commenting that I was still nervous about the tournament and felt like I needed more practice. My wife being the superhero she is tells me to get out of there and go hit the range. I asked if she wanted help getting them ready for bed and she just shooed me out... Yet another reminder that the whole I do thing was a good choice with her :) Hit the range and felt like a badass being the last one there hitting balls until it was almost dark. Fortunately I worked my shit out and sort of remembered what I was doing. Left there, went straight home, changed clothes, and headed out for a 5 mile run because I clearly hadn't done enough that day.

Tuesday's tournament was crazy and lots of fun. I had to be there at 6:30 to work sign in and set up. We headed out at 8. The group in front of mine was just stupid slow so it took us almost 6 hours and 45 minutes to play 18 (WTF?). Good news was that we put up a 2-under and finished tied for 6th. Unfortunately by the time I got back in, the other director was in a panic because most people were back and all the prizes were locked in my car. Got that worked out and finally left the clubhouse at 4. By then I was totally worn out, but we had to take the middle one to dinner for his b-day (his choice) so no rest yet. By the time we got home from there, I was ready for bed so no running.

Yesterday to repent for no training Tuesday, I got the great idea that I'd get up at 4:45, ride the trainer for 45 to an hour and then run at lunch. Somehow I actually got up and headed out to the garage, but I was in a total coma for the first 20 minutes or more. There was nothing stellar about the session, but I was out there so oh well. I also stuck to the plan and hit the Chalz Rivah for 4+ miles at lunch in the heat. You might think last night was another good night to just pack it in early and go to bed, but we had planned dinner with some friends last night so we headed there right after work and got home around 9:30. The good news is that I was so tired that I didn't have to watch the end of the freaking Sox game.

Believe it or not, we have NOTHING planned for the 3 days this weekend (unless you count an oil change for the car). Something tells me though that I'll find something to do...

Monday, August 27, 2007

Monday post

No clever titles today... I think I'm out of clever for the day.

Crazy busy weekend. RTB team meeting and training session Friday night so that made me feel like Saturday was Sunday. In the span of 5 hours at the gathering I ran about 12 miles, ate 1.5 servings of dinner, drank about 3 liters of water/gatorade, drank 2 beers and 1 mudslide concoction, and watched both the Pats and the Red Sox.

Saturday was a 5th b-day party for the middle one complete with gigantic bouncy moonwalk thing. I think I irritated my achilles jumping on it. Further proof that I'm getting old. I think my kids did about 2 hours in that thing. I was in it for a total of 10 minutes and I'm sore. The heat would have killed us if it weren't for the pool.

Yesterday was lots of general running around, but not before I actually went on a bike ride... and didn't crash. Amazing I know, but it's true. The SS did get sold yesterday too. The hooks are now bare waiting for the new rig and in that department I'll just say that hopefully very soon there will be news and pictures to back it up.

Company golf tournament tomorrow. Weather looks great and the course is swanky. I'll be happy when it's over since I helped organized and it's a lot of f'ing work. I went to the range yesterday to see if my hand would tolerate golf. It does, but the time off caused me to forget how to swing a club. This could be interesting.

Back to work. Maybe more later.

Oh, and check out Super Mom's page for funny pics of the kids and party if you're interested.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

To be young and invinceable

Having 3 boys is certainly going to give me my share of gray hairs at some point (no I'm not that old yet) and my wife may not survive the pre-teen and teen years with them. I think I should just start a tab at the ER now because I'm sure I'll need it. I look at all 3 of them some days and you'd think I beat the poor kids. Bruises all over their shins, scraped knees and elbows, the occassional scrape on the chin... it's like they just came out of battle. In a strange way though, it makes me happy. The odds of bruising yourself or scraping a knee are pretty low sitting in front of the TV so it must mean they're doing something. The oldest took another bike spill last night... silly type of thing that boys do when they convince themselves they are better at something than they are. Sure, I can buzz the mailbox with one hand on the handlebars on uneven grass and then bang a turn... yah, until said mailbox grabs the bars on you. Ah well... out came the bandaids and ice pack and we were good. For better or worse, and even if you don't believe it, I've learned more about my limits so I'm less likely to have the reckless type of injuries at my age. Sure, knowingly entering into dangerous situations can be more hazardous, but at least I understand when there's a risk. It's just funny to watch the learning experience and seeing which incidents they store away to feed future self-restraint and which ones are blown off, only to be repeated with the same results. Wait, I think that defines them as insane... oh well, happens to the best of us.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cross Training

With bonus shout out to the alma mater...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Wait, did he say healed or healing?

So I know the answer, but I can at least pretend he went with healed :) Report from the surgeon was very good today. He was overwhelmed by the mobility I had back in my hand at 4 weeks post-op and said that I can leave the brace off unless I feel like I need to protect it. I've been directed to go with 2 more weeks of "light use" and then I'm free to go nuts. I'm thinking that light use means road biking instead of mountain biking so I'll see you on the roads :)

Today was chaos at work and the rest of the week is not looking promising. Let's hope I can keep getting workouts in among all the days of getting up at 4:30 and getting beaten on all day. Is it bad when it's not even 9 and you're thinking of crawling in bed? G'night...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Character building

I posted up to the gang looking for someone to do 8-12 miles at 7-8 minute pace this morning. I left it pretty wide hoping to find some company. Well somehow me and the one guy who responded translated that into 12 miles at 7 minute pace. Not the extreme I would have chosen first, but these things happen. At one point we had the option to cut it to about 10.5 or go the long way. I gave him the choice and he chose the long way and said "It'll be a character building run." I wanted to throw him into the woods. RTB better feel like a cake walk this year...

Friday, August 17, 2007

Almost huge bike for sale

I'm pulling the trigger on the SS in anxious anticipation of the new cross bike. Here's my post from the MRC board. Post me a message here if you're interested:

The garage is out of hooks and space for more so I have to unload one...

61cm Bianchi San Jose single-speed cross/commuter bike
All specs here
For those thinking "Rich's bikes are huge", this is a pretty small big bike (tt actual is only 58.5)

Rear wheel, crankset, BB, and brakes are stock. Stem, handlebars, brake levers, front wheel, seatpost, and saddle have all been modified from original.
You will get a choice of tires (cross or commuter) and front wheel (Mavic Aksium or Mavic 32 spoke).
Keep it single-speed or pick up a new rear wheel/hub and you've got a fixie.

$325 or b/o.

Stock photo

Spoiled or Lucky?

Over the past couple of years, the oldest 2 had gotten bikes for birthdays or Xmas or whenever it was. One was purchased at Walmart and one at Target so we're not talking anything special here. Why go and blow a ton of money on the first bike they get that they will a) definitely grow out of quickly, and b) probably crash and generally beat on a lot? As of this summer, neither could ride without training wheels yet and for that matter, weren't all that stable with them. We partially felt guilty for not working with them more and partially were frustrated because both seemed unwilling to work on it. Still we persisted and kept working with them more. At one point, I made the promise to them both that when they learned to ride without the training wheels and showed me that they really wanted to be out riding their bikes, that I would take them to the shop and they could pick out a new "big kid" bike. Well as I noted, the older one is out there about every night now so last night he collected:

On one hand, I'm disgusted to have spent so much on a mountain bike for a 6 year old. On the other hand he loves it, seems to genuinely appreciate that we bought it for him, and seems to comprehend how much it was and therefore that he has to take care of it. It certainly helps him that I'm a sucker for a shiny new bike and I'm completely enamored by the fact that every single night he's asking if he can go out after dinner and ride his bike. Remember those days kids... when it was all about just being able to go out after dinner and tear up and down the street (and across the yard, and the neighbors yard, and over curbs, and...) because it's fun? He may have gotten spoiled, but who cares.

Oh, and now he's all set for cross season too :)

Thursday, August 16, 2007


I think I'm in withdrawal from bike racing. It's actually a combination of frustration and fear. Frustration because my hand feels good, but after the year I've had I just know that if I push it before I get the ok from the surgeon that I'll do something to it and be done for another 2 months. Fear because I look at the race results and see that the guys I will be racing in cross are flying right now. At one point I thought I'd be able to hold my own in open B races this year. Now I'm going to hope I don't get pulled from the C's. Fear also because I'm on the verge of dumping a bunch of money into a bike that I don't want to become a pretty ornament for the ceiling of my garage. Follow up is Monday. We'll see what he says.

Yesterday was an off day from running, but I rode the trainer for 40 minutes last night. The first ten minutes, my cadence was around 82 and it felt like 100. By the end I was comfortable at 92 so that made me feel a little better. Planning to ride Saturday morning but I don't know how much yet. I might try to find a long gradual hill to do some repeats, but I may be better off just getting some saddle time.

Oh, and I'm still in limbo/hell at work. Where the f did everyone go?

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Stuck waiting

Nearly everything I'm doing at work is held up by someone else right now... waiting on tech support, waiting on the apps guy, waiting for IT... I'm an impatient person. There's a reason I do primarily individual sports... then I can only blame myself. Argh.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Like father, like son

The oldest had his first "at speed" bike crash tonight. When he was learning to ride, he was very very timid and was terribly afraid of falling down. The day he learned to ride it was like a switch turned on and he just got it. He then instantly turned into Robbie Kneival in the span of about 2 days and is tearing around trying to make hairpin turns without slowing down at all. Tonight I could see he was getting a little ahead of himself, but I just let him go and reminded him to slow up before trying to turn. He started racing his brother who was running and had once incident where he carried too much speed into a 180 and rode up a high grass curb (we don't have real curbs out here in the sticks) and almost launched himself. Next time he was flying again and was determined that he was going to make it so he leaned it a bit too far and caught the dirt/mud right at the base of the same grass section and slid out. Few scrapes on the knee and elbow, but he took it VERY well. The biggest change I've seen in him recently is that he's gone from the screaming meltdown at the first sight of blood to more of the rub some dirt on it mentality. He went down hard and took it well... I know at one point while I was cleaning him up he even said "Man, that was sick!" The summer camp has a skateboard camp going on this week so "Sick!" is his new word :)

Time for bed....

Jam packed weekend

Phew... nice to be at work to catch my breath :) We had a busy one this weekend, but most of it was pretty good stuff. Saturday I got sucked in by the MA govt's reprieve on sales tax and ordered most of the parts for the cross bike and then went and bought all the subfloor material for the basement finishing project (the new house project that will never end). I had to buy 90 2'x2' panels which meant I had to rent the Home Depot cargo van to get it home which meant I had to bust my ass to unload it since I had a time limit to get it back. Fortunately, I put the boys to work and got more evidence that the middle one has some work ethic. The big one walked off the job when his aunt stopped by, but the other one kept plugging away. He was paid accordingly and the older one was told he was paid less since he walked out early. Amazingly, I didn't get the "That's not fair" routine. Maybe he's figuring out what fair means finally :)

Mid afternoon I actually got to ride my bike. I finally said F it and I was going to find a way to make it work with the splint. Turns out that it's not completely in the way and I think I can make a minor alteration to make it work well. It was just a short and easy ride, but it was riding. I also threw in about a 2.5 mile run afterwards to make up for taking Thursday and Friday off.

After the workout, the family headed to the Hudson Hot Air Balloon Festival. They started this up last year as a fundraiser and it was a pretty good time. Watching the process of setting those bad boys up was pretty cool and I got to try and explain the science of it to the boys... ok, before I go on trying to act smart, heating up air ain't all that complex, but it's still magic to them :) We all took off from that a little early and then me and the older two went to catch the Simpsons movie. I thought it was well done and there were more than enough references that I was roaring about that the kids didn't get.

Yesterday I got out for 9.5 with the tri guys (yes it was supposed to be 11) and didn't drop dead so that's a good sign. We had a couple miles of nonsense in the middle of it, but otherwise it was pretty slow and easy. I felt it, but no more than you'd expect from running the furthest you have in almost a year. Later in the day was my Gram's 80th b-day party. If I counted correctly, 13 of her 15 kids (4 are stepkids) were there so it was quite the event. 2 of them are from way out of state and one of my uncles I hadn't seen in about 5 years so it was great to have the whole clan there. My grandfather (I think he's 81 now) even had enough beers to take an at bat in the wiffle ball game so that was great fun. I lobbed him a meatball and he got a grounder out of it :) Oh, and I got taken way deep by my cousin who's like 12, but we won't talk about that.

Ok, goof off time over. Stupid work.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

So much for easing into things

I have said all year that in August I'd turn back into a runner for a while so that RTB didn't suck ass. I sort of assumed when I said that that I'd be in some sort of shape when August started. Well that ended up not being the case so much. Despite my unexplainable 5:16 mile last month, I have run very little this summer and it hit me this week that I've got about 5 weeks until the race. So in preparation, I've run the past 4 days. Hey, once a week at best to 4 straight days can't be that hard huh? Let's just say tomorrow will be a needed off-day. Oh, did I mention I'm planning to run 11 on Sunday with the tri guys? Yah... I think it's been a year since I ran that far... and these guys train year round for ironmans... should be a party.

So far, so good

When the surgeon sent me to OT after last Thursday's stitch removal, they basically just made a splint and gave me a couple pages of stretches to do with my hand and wrist to get the range of motion back. They didn't do a full eval of how I was doing because it had been only about 30 minutes since I got the cast off. They did however book me for twice a week therapy for the next couple weeks as a follow up. My goal was for them to basically kick me out after the first or second appointment because I didn't need to be there. Well I almost did it... I've been a cooperative enough patient (read: guy who leaves his splint off all day and sits in an office so he can do his stretches all day long) that they've already cut me back to once a week and even that may turn into just a couple checkups. There's a couple things that I still need to work on, but overall the girl was impressed that it's come so far already. The big downer is that she said typically with this type of injury and repair, it's 6 weeks post-surgery before the bone is "healed" and 8 weeks before you're unrestricted. The start of cross season is going to get f'd up a little if I decide to listen to them so we'll see. I gotta get the pedaling legs back going anyways so I shouldn't be worrying about racing yet.

Not a whole lot else going on I guess. Work is nuts. Home is about what you expect with 3 kids. We did do a bedroom swap with the boys so the oldest had his own room and the littlest has now taken this opportunity to decide he's going to get out of bed about 100 times a night. In his other room he'd go in for bed, we might hear from him once, and then we saw him in the morning. Something about the swap (maybe it's that the new room is where he's always gone to play instead of sleep) has made him parade out of the room as many times as he can get away with and then last night he came out 3 times during the night. He goes back pretty easily without throwing too much of a fit, but it's only a matter of time before he comes back. He's obviously screwing with us.

Back on bikes... I got word yesterday that I may only be 2-3 weeks away from getting the cross frame. Ordering the rest of the parts this weekend so I can stick it to the state and save my whopping 5% (on top of the sweet club discount of course). The timing will be perfect since nothing will give you more incentive to go out and ride than a pretty new custom bike :)

Someone turn off the heat or at least crank the dehumidifier...

Thursday, August 02, 2007

10 Finger Typing... sort of

So the stitches came out today and the big post-op cast came off. It was quickly replaced with a fancy molded thermoplastic model which is far warmer since it's not breathable at all. The good news is though that I can take it off and actually have to to do hand exercises. I figure a bit of typing is a good enough exercise to get the fingers working so here ya go...

I don't have xray pictures of the screws yet, but I do have to say it's pretty cool. 2 screws in one side of the bone and one in from the other side. It turns out he wanted to do a plate, but the fracture was so long that it would have been most of the length of my hand and would have needed to be removed later. The screws only meant that I had to wait extra time to start using it, but oh well. Here's a lovely picture of what's left of the entry wound:

Yes that's my son's Batman place mat as a backdrop :)

On top of doing a fine job of putting the bone back together, looks like whoever pulled the suture straw in the OR that day did a nice job too. It was kinda creepy when the cast came off. I stared at my finger and tried to get it to bend at the bottom knuckle and it just wasn't going to have any of the that. Amazing how quickly everything stiffens up and you lose all muscle control.

My plan had been to get back out running tonight or on the trainer. Unfortunately I forgot that my wife had soccer playoffs tonight so by the time I got the boys in bed and remembered that it's about 87 in the house (no A/C), I figured it'll have to be one more day. I'll be indoors initially on the bike, but will try to get out soon. I think the new splint will allow it and I hope to shed that in two weeks.

Hmmm... what else is going on... New car is great. Basically doubled my gas mileage, lowered my payments by $100, and got something shiny all at once... woo hoo! A smaller car for me just made sense because I was sucking up so much gas and 9 out of 10 days, it was just me in the car. Waiting for the Q-clips for the Yakima roof rack to come via UPS and then the car will be race ready. Now if only I was :( Oh well... that'll come back soon.

Middle one had to have day surgery Monday. Nothing major, but it was general anesthesia, stitches, etc so it was kind of a big deal. I just wish I was 5 again... about 5 hours after he came out of surgery he was bored and wanted to go play. Within about 48 hours, he was running around and we were trying to slow him down so he didn't pop a stitch or something. I guess I shouldn't complain since I felt better pretty quick too, but he'll be fully healed in about half the time I will.

Ok, I think enough of the typing exercise for tonight especially since now I'm just rambling. Have a great weekend everyone.