Friday, October 30, 2009

Today's list

Up (check)
Dressed in running stuff (check)
Bag with swim stuff into car (check)
Short bit of loosening exercise (check)
Drive to Canyon Meadows (check)
Run 40 minutes low zone 3 pace (check)
Get stuff, change (check) (remembered shorts!)
Swim 45 minutes  (check)
Shower, shave (check)
Drive home (check)
Clean up running cat spew (check)
Eat breakfast granola (check)
Drink ginormous coffee in Music City mug (check)
Start blog (check)

And all before 7:30 am!! 
I wish I could say it was snowing and -10 C, but it's not. It's actually nice out, but 
I was still out of the house at 5am!

The rest of the day is going to be spent trying to stay awake in an Enterprise Risk Management course.

The run started at the lights on Elbow near the pool, all the way down to the bottom of the road in Fish Creek, all the way back, then back down to Canyon Meadows Dr, and back to the pool. I felt kind of slow and a bit clunky, but gradually eased into a nice pace. Only nearly got run over once, even with wearing a reflective vest.

Swim was good; the pool was almost empty. Warm up, 3 x 400 at gradually increasing effort. First was 8:05, but that included a brief stop to get people swimming in a circle, then 7:55 then 7:50. I'm doing a lot more non-freestyle now. Most of that is backstroke, which I don't mind at all. But a bit of it is breast stroke. I can do the arm part ok, but my kick just sucks. That's better than before where all I did was warm up the water as I thrashed about. At least I'm consistent in all my strokes; my kick is feeble. That is official. Doing kick only with the board takes about 5 minutes per length, at least, and seems like much longer.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Post whimpering

Last you heard, I was getting a massage from a new therapist. No, she's been doing this for years, but I'd never met her before. She's good. She's very good. I had weird tingles and twitches all afternoon and evening. The next day there was actually soreness, in a good way. There's a spot just below my right knee, in that soft spot below the kneecap that is particularly sore, and she didn't even touch that. I really should have taken some time to elevate my legs.

Tuesday was sitting in an office chair for a full work day, for the first time in a while. XL macros of all things. I was really looking forward to my spin. We had a home made quasi-pizza that Linda has been working on. Start with a wrap. Add chicken, peppers, olives, cheese, salsa, shallots and I don't know what else, and broil it in the oven till the cheese melts. At least that's what I think happens. Some of the bits might be nuked first to make sure they're hot, and the plate might make two trips through the oven. Very yummy. Best eaten with a knife and fork.

It didn't seem like that much food, but I still waited about an hour and a half to get on the bike, and was only there 15 or 20 minutes. Easy spin was barely ok, but anything over 90 had me feeling kind of queasy. I figured the chances were good I'd spew if I kept on, so I bailed, temporarily.

Wednesday I was back to the FOMC pool. Like last year I'd park, having done some loosening up exercises at home, do a few more in the parking lot, then walk 5 minutes. I started with an easy run till I got to the bottom of the hill on the Nose Creek path, then opened up to a comfortable running pace. My legs felt springy, which hasn't happened often. I made it to the bridge just before the golf dome in what I think is 16 minutes, which is much faster than I remember being able to do this a year ago. Turned around and headed back, maintaining a good pace back up the hill, then did an easy jog back to the car, for 35 minutes total, not counting some warm up and cool down walking. Typically that would be a 45 minute run last year, and working harder.

I could easily have done that again, or at least that's how it felt. I like running along there. It's beside the Deerfoot, but the traffic is a nice hum, punctuated by the occasional screech of brakes. But what I really like hearing is the airport. I've lived either near airports, or near flight paths most of my life. Hearing airplanes reassures me that the world is carrying on. It's a dark path to run on so you sort of have to trust that there really is pavement. Some of the bike riders have really bright lights that screw up your night vision, which doesn't help seeing the path. I didn't see the guy that looks like the UFO at the end of Close Encounters.

After the run, and a shower, and chatting with my lifeguard buddy, I took the car over to the dealership for an oil change and to get a light fixed. This sort of thing used to be no big deal, but space under the hood in cars is so tight now there's nothing a layman can do. I think it needs a special tool to get in there, and small hands. Or another special tool. The disgusting part was waiting. There was a guy in there dying of the flu, hacking, coughing, sneezing, blowing his nose, snuffling, and all the while the TV is going on and on about how many people are getting sick or dying of H1N1 and that people should stay home, get the flu shots, wash their hands, and generally don't panic. I stayed as far away from sick boy as I could. People are waiting in half-day long lineups to get the flu shot here, and meanwhile that's another good place for getting infected. And what just kills me, in a metaphorical sort of way, is that H1N1 isn't any worse particularly than the regular flu, which kills hundreds every year. They keep talking about a pandemic, when the number of people killed so far can still be convenient measured in dozens. Compared to Spanish Flu, which is practically the definition of pandemic, H1N1 is a pussy. But the media has to have a story to flog.

Back to my workout stuff, which is the only reason you guys are reading. Got the spin workout done, 90 minutes good and solid. Lots of cadence stuff, some one leg (90 seconds!!! - didn't make it) and other fun stuff. My legs still felt good, except for the clunks when trying 90 seconds.

Then the core for 30 minutes. The workout sheet looked innocuous, but it was a killer. Wall sit, rows, lots of plank, held squat, pushups, obliques. Second set was messier, I'm glad nobody was watching, and equally glad I didn't try it last night.

I'm looking forward to 1.25 hours of yoga tonight. Especially the corpse pose at the end. That's my best one.

Monday, October 26, 2009

First massage in 2 months - I whimpered

The local high school is empty between 7 and 8 in the morning. That's because every frigging one of those kids is in the pool, and all of them are getting paid by the volume of water they splash out of the pool. I've had less choppy starts for tri races. Plus, I was sharing my lane with 4 other people. At least all but one of them could swim, and he, jerk that he is, could mostly keep up because he was wearing fins. 

For a while I didn't think I'd be a able to get in the drill and non freestyle laps, but it all worked out well for a 45 minute swim. No flip turn practice, the pool was just too full. There I am, at the end of the pool, nearly done, when the person asking to join the lane looks at me funny, and asked if I'd been on the trainer at Try-It on Sunday. It was Shirley, who had been a couple down from me. She recognized the mustache! 

Shortly after the swim I went in for a massage. The local Safeway mall has a small clinic that does massage, chiropractic, and I think acupuncture. It's sort of hidden back there and I had no idea they'd been there for more than 10 years. I told Dana about my training, and to work me over pretty hard. Hams, calves, shoulders. She also added in my arms, and it turns out the sorest places were the forearm muscles that flex your hands back, and rotate your hands. Ouch. All of it was good, and I'll be going back. It's not quite as nice as getting it done at home, but we can't have everything.

Then into the new office to audit a course. I got the trick chair, the one that slowly sank down and down. It was only for a half day, and for tomorrow, I'll get a better one. Looking good so far.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Katie ups the ante on core

Today was a great brick session with Katie. I was on the bike two hours, since I started a bit early. Lots of cadence work, spinning our brains out and buns off. I wasn't feeling as smooth as usual. There was some weird muscle twitches going on, even after a long warmup, but they gradually went away. Wasn't happy with some of the really high spin rates though.

Last week the run herd left me in their dust. This week I managed to keep the slowest of them in sight, and was gradually catching up at the very end. By my standards this was a very fast run, with my heart rate in the high 140's for most of it, and edging up into the 150's towards the end. My breathing and legs were good. I managed to make it out to Angela's and back (about 5.4 K or so) in just over 30 minutes, with some easy run at the very end. Pretty damn good for for me. Katie, being part gazelle, got back to unlock the door, had a snack, set up the core stuff, and who knows what else, then came back to find me and make sure I hadn't keeled over into the river.  

For a while it felt like I was actually running, so I'm feeling pretty happy. Plus, it was a totally gorgeous day for a run along the river. Nice and crisp, though at first the head wind made me regret a bit not wearing a jacket. Coming back was with the wind and it felt just right. I saw several people out in shorts, but it's just a bit too cool for that, especially coming from a hot and sweaty spin class.

Then, with an evil grin, she got us started on the core workout. Very tough today. We did a mountain climbing thing, lots of plank, lots of pushups, some squats, and a variant of pushups that was just brutal. Nobody threw up, but I was beginning to regret the post run snack.

Weekly Summary
Swim 2.0 hrs
Bike 5.0 hrs
Run 1.66 hrs
Walk 2.16 hrs
Core 3.0 hrs
Total 13.75 hrs

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saturday musings (long)

Today is a rest day, for my body at least. I don't have to do anything more strenuous than putter about the house and go out for dinner with some buddies. I was up early to browse blogs and chat with some buddies by MSM. I've had lots of coffee, read the papers, watched the snow and I'm feeling thoughtful. It had been raining off and on last night, and just as I was going over to the 7-11 to get papers it started to snow. A few minutes later it was snowing really hard with those huge flakes. A couple hours later and there is several cm on the ground. It looks like this out our back door.

Calgary has some amazing sunrises and sunsets. Here's a recent sunrise. I like to watch them when I can. The quality of light is so amazing, and it will never again happen just quite that way again.

Some of you know that we don't watch television. I believe that too much TV turns your brain into tapicoa pudding. However, there are some TV shows that we like and we buy or rent DVD's. That way we can watch them without commercials. Lately we've watched the first season of True Blood, and are currently working our way through The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Other TV shows in our DVD library include, Stargate, Dead Like Me, Coupling, Foyle's War, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister (which I still think is one of the funniest programs ever aired) Class Act, Firefly, Planet Earth, and all of the Miss Marple's with Joan Hickson. I'd like to get Mythbusters because those are fun, and some of the shows about big or interesting stuff that Discovery Channel puts on.

I've been thinking about how what goes into our minds, or goes on in our minds, affects our bodies. Many of you have spoken of how mental attitude has influenced how well you did in a triathlon or other race, or during training. At one point while I was watching Kona a couple weeks ago, the camera was on Mirinda for a while as she ran past a male pro, and passed a female pro to get into second place. She passed them like she was just starting her race on top of a huge jolt of caffine. I was watching her stride and was thinking she should get that video and market it as a learn to run thing. She has amazing running form.

During my run on Friday I was thinking of that. How it looked like she was supported by wires with her legs moving under her. I could feel myself straighten up, my hips shifting forward a bit, my lean changing, and my running becoming easier. I'm still new to running, really, and can't help but compare it to the swimming. I like to think I have a very smooth swim stroke. I certainly swim faster than almost all the recreational swimmers in the pool, and I leave behind a lot less splash and froth. Yet when I was chatting to a life guard one day, we noted that one particular swimmer was probably burning twice as many calories per length than I do. The same is probably true for my run, only I'm the one burning more calories, and not just because I'm big. I'm probably an inefficient runner. Better than I was, and I'm still making progress, but still inefficient.

The only way to improve is to do it more while doing it better. It does no good to practice poor form. This gets back to the mental imagery. Visualizing good form is hard, and keeping it in mind is even harder. Just like we exercise our bodies to get stronger, I'm also trying to exercise my mind. Part of that is not dumping in too much crap from TV, and especially TV commercials. Part of this is trying to stay focussed during workouts: thinking about spinning smoothly, or running with a quick turnover, or maintaining good form in the pool.

In some ways keeping our minds on the task at hand, in the present moment is the hardest thing we can do. There are so many effing distractions! Family. Jobs. Friends. Workout goals, desires, fears. Characters from books or movies that come to visit. Pain. Girbils. Being bored, or tired, or frazzled. We are constantly bombarded with images, words, noise, vibrations, and smells. Even trying to filter them out takes a mental effort.

Remember the scene from The 5th Element, where Lelu walks out onto the ledge and sees the city? There are lots of days I feel like that, totally overwhelmed. It's almost a relief to get into a workout, where I can mostly control what's coming at me, and I only need to think of myself and my workout goals. I think there's something very honest and pure about physical effort. It's just you and the pool, or the bike, or the run distance. Getting into the groove can be so difficult, but so rewarding when it happens. Having your mind in tune with your body is a magical experience. It seems so easy then. You're running along, and it's like you're floating. Sort of like lucid dreaming, in some ways. You're trying to maintain a delicate balance, staying focused and aware yet not actually thinking about the specific mechanics of the motions. That hasn't happened to me for more than a few moments at a time, but I think that Mirinda was totally in that zone while I was watching. Probably in that zone for most of the run, actually. She did the 13th fastest time for the marathon at Kona. That doesn't happen by accident.

But it isn't just a mind game. There's the physical part too. Building the skills to do it right, and the endurance to keep doing it right for hours on end. It looks so easy. Teaching your body how to deal with heat, humidity, wind and all the other factors that come at us during training and racing. It comes down to mental and physical toughness together. One alone is useless.

A couple years ago I was way overweight, and more than that, I was a softie. Triathlon, and my triathlon buddies, both in person and blog, have helped teach me to be much tougher and more disciplined about getting out and getting it done. It carries over into other parts of my life. I get started and get through it. A buddy of mine recently said they couldn't imagine doing an Ironman. That's the problem, he couldn't imagine it. He can imagine lots of other stuff and put that into action, so it isn't a failure. Ironman isn't a goal for him.

Somehow, it became a goal for many of the people that read this blog. Somehow, they imagined themselves doing an Ironman, then went and did the work to cross that finish line. Being involved in triathlon has taught me that imagining a goal is the first step to realizing it. As one of my favourite female characters says "First you see it. Then you be it." Anybody recognize the quote? Hint, the author is an award winning science fiction writer.

What's good about TV is that it can show us the best of people. Granted, the signal to noise ratio is miniscule, so small I generally don't bother. But it is there. The shows we watch generally have a positive outlook, with strong characters going about their business. It's all a story, but the characters generally get on with dealing with their world.

The internet is new and remarkable in that we can see an unvarnished look at humanity at both it's best and worst. It becomes easier for the winners to find each other, and gives us the tools to stay in touch. Hanging out with other winners is so much fun, and helps you over the tough times because they've been there too. It bugs me when someone tells me I'm doing great, when they have no idea what I'm going through. I was struggling through one tri and got a real lift when a guy who was 10 K ahead of me on the run slowed down for a sec and said, "hey, keep going, the finish line is sooner than you're thinking it is right now. You're doing fine, keep going." That meant the world to me at that moment.

So, to my blog buddies that have read down this far, thank you for reading. Thank you for commenting. Thank you for participating in races, and volunteering so others can race. Thank you for supporting other racers. Thank you for going about your life as best you know how in spite of all the exploding dogs and other crazy shit that happens. Thank you for writing about your life in your own blog; many of you are far more inspiring than you realize. Thank you for the emails.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Slow build is tough when max and min speeds are close together

Thursday evening was a nice night for a walk, and there are only so many of those left, so we did a nice 40 minutes around the neighbourhood. I didn't even have to wear a jacket.

Today was the first time I'd done a run then a swim. Started with a short spin to help wake up my legs, with a bit of stretching. Then out for a 35 minute run, starting easy and gradually building, with the last 5 min being nice and easy. The problem is that I can easily walk 6 Kph, or perhaps a little faster, but I can't run as fast as 10 Kph for any length of time. Without a Garmin it's difficult to know your pace. So I started easy, then picked the pace up to what I thought I could hold for 10 K, then for the last 10 minutes essentially ran as fast as my legs and lungs would let me. No idea what those paces actually worked out to. Sometimes the effort goes up, but the speed doesn't. I'm sure glad I only wore tights and a long sleeve tech shirt because the sun came out and it got nice during the run. Maybe 5C or so.

It worked out better than I thought it would. My legs felt good, with light feet throughout. I played with my forward lean a bit and tried to run relaxed. My heart rate got up to 155 yet I still wasn't gasping or panting. I maybe could have kept that pace up for a bit longer. By the 30 minute mark was 4.8 K, which is a 6:15 per K pace. That's the fastest I've ever run over that sort of distance. For the metrically challenged, that's a 10 minute mile. 

Then I drove to the pool and found myself in kid hell. There was a zillion little kids in the change room. How you parents keep from strangling the little monsters is beyond me. The pool was almost empty at first, but gradually filled up to where I ended up sharing the lane with a slow breast stroker. Since I knew I'd be doing some of that I didn't give her a hard time. 1600 m with much drill, and some flip turn practice took up an hour. Fist and catchup is fun, but the 123 pause took a bit of figuring out to get the breathing right. Plus doing breast stroke. I'm not good at it, but it sure gives my hams a workout; 50 m is enough to start them cramping. Not my fave stroke at all. 

Afterward I was surprised at how good my legs feel. The run on Wed left me a bit stiff, and I thought I'd over done it a bit. But they were good to go this morning, and after the swim felt great. I got that number, for the first time in a while. Not much change in it, but my waist is getting smaller. That's all good.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Two very different walks

Yesterday I was meeting a buddy for coffee in Britannia. Yes, it was a Starbucks. So my friend has deplorable taste in coffee. I had hot chocolate. It's on the way home from dropping Linda at work so I got there early. That's ok. I went for a walk around the neighbourhood.

Now, keep in mind a couple things. This is pre-dawn, and it's foggy out. Really foggy, again, which is really unusual for Calgary. This is also a seriously nice neighbourhood, developed in the late 50's as very upper middle class up to medium rich. This was when if money didn't bring taste, it brought the sense to rent it from someone. There are very few ugly houses here, and I have to say, a whole bunch that I'd like to live in. Even the newer, more architecturally modern homes are what I think of as very nice. It's also a small neighbourhood, fewer than 1000 residents, and an average household income well north of $120K.

I walked along Britannia Dr right from 49 ave all the way to Elbow Dr and snaked back through the streets, taking about 45 minutes. During the day there is a great view toward the west, but it was just a wall of fog. Some of the homes have landscaped night lighting to increase the visual interest. There's a few places where they're doing serious work and there is construction stuff to be aware of. 

After coffee I got home, and waited for it to finish clearing up. About noon I headed out for another walk to get warmed up for my run. I took 30 minutes, gradually building speed, and paying attention to my pace. Then as I passed the driveway I broke into an easy run and headed out on my 5 K route. I didn't quite get back to the house, maybe 100 m short of it by the prescribed 35 minutes. My average heart rate was 132. For the first 20 minutes it was typically between 125 and 130, then about the 20 minute mark it picked up to the mid 130's and briefly even higher, and never really came back down again. Up till then I'd been running easily and lightly, and then felt heavy.

Walked another 15 minutes to cool down, and stretched a bit. Later that evening we went to yoga class, which was full of good stuff for 1.25 hours. There was a shoulder stand where you tuck a bolster under your butt and roll back onto your shoulders, then bring your knees up, and extend your feet. Very relaxing, and very good for the legs, I think. I'll have to do this one more.

Today was a 90 min spin, with lots of cadence work. It went by really quick, even though I wasn't feeling particularly secure on my bike. Everything was set up right, once I shoved a newspaper under one of the legs of my trainer. Why it rocked today and not the other day is beyond me. Even then it seemed like I was rocking back and forth a bit. Did a bit of a longer warm up than usual trying to get my spin dialed in; it wasn't as smooth as usual.

Then 45 minutes of core, with a new record of, (wait for it) 11 whole pushups! Yes I know, many of you could have someone sitting on your back and still crank out the pushups till the cows come home. But you go indulge yourself in sloth, gluttony, and indolence for 25 years like I did, and see how many push ups you can do when you come back.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

New core move that nearly ruptured me

Monday is swim day. I was thinking about going back up to FOMC so I could hit Costco on the way home, but it turns out that  Costco doesn't open till 11. That was a bit of a surprise.

The swim went well, about 2100 m in 45 minutes or so, PLUS, just for Julie, another 15 minutes of trying flip turns. At least I didn't drown, or back flush my brains out my nasal passages. Swim was all intervals. I'm feeling stronger and a bit smoother on the swim now, even though I'm not sure I'm going any faster. But it's early days, I'm sure it will come together.

The funny pool story has to do with the high school kids. There was a herd of them just standing in the change room door to the pool. Several successively louder 'excuses me's' had no effect. Then I said that all the cute girls out there are going to think you're a bunch of gay fan boys if you're standing so close to each other, rather than going out and socializing like normal human beings. There were some glares, but I was comfortably bigger than all of them and was looking grumpy, so they moved. And, by golly, the high school girls were a bunch of hotties this time. It made me regret not getting my eyes fixed. Since I can't hardly see squat without my glasses I just got into the pool and got started. I'm not sure what they were doing, but it involved lots of splashing and didn't look like swimming. I was much less grumpy after the swim.

That lasted till I went over to Costco just after lunch, and talk about geezer city! PLUS, they had moved stuff. Again.  The cheese was nowhere near where it used to be. I found it in an aisle of higgledy piggledy shopping carts and people. I pretended it was an Italian crowd and walked through it, not caring about the glares and grumbles. I was surprised when I stopped and a woman materialized right beside me, reaching for the same kind of cheese. She smiled, and murmured that it was nice there was at least one person who knew where they were going. I bulled my way back out again, hip checking a shopping cart that a geezer pushed in front of me because they weren't paying attention. The rest of the store was filled with people shambling along like half slaughtered oxen that I navigated around as best I could. I should count it as workout time.

I considered going to yoga to make up the missed class, and bailed. Going to bed early was a much more attractive option.

Today was a tough bike workout that turned out to be 90 minutes, PLUS the 6 minutes that Katie gypped me out of on Sunday. Lots of high speed spin. Trying to maintain at least 125 rpm for 90 seconds sure drives the heart rate up. Then, in addition to the one leg drill during the warm up, there was another round of it at the end of the workout! I didn't think I was going to make that one. I have to admit there were a few clunks going over the top.

Then a half hour of core, that except for one thing was all good. Did you ever try a pose, and know instantly you weren't going to make the suggested time? This was lying on my back and trying to lift my heels 6 inches off the mat and hold for a minute. Geez, I don't think those particular ab muscles have ever been asked to do anything, or at least not anything so strenuous. I barely lasted 30 seconds, then had to rest 30 seconds before trying again. Getting up after that one was hard. My mantra was "This is good for me. THIS IS GOOD FOR ME. THIS HAD FUCKING WELL BETTER BE GOOD FOR ME!"

And because I managed to use the usual starting words for a fun poetry meter called double dactyl, I thought I would include one for your amusement. Even if they aren't quite as much fun as limericks. 

Higgledy Piggledy
Joseph DiMaggio,
Jolted the ball but was
Jilted in bed.

Marilyn walked, but he
Laid her in rose bouquets
When she was dead.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Katie exhorted us

Today was the first of Katie's Sunday sessions. A bike, a run, some core, and cupcakes! Well, today was cookies. This will be a regular session for me till mid Dec or so.

The bike was really good. I was on for 6 minutes short of 2 hours. Nice warmup, then lots of stuff that blurred together in my mind now that I try to think about it. She's really good about explaining what we're all about to do, letting us know when things change, and when to stop. There was lots of encouragement, and some interesting drills. And NO one leg drill today!

While I was riding I was looking over some of the stuff in Try-It. There was a really nice bike jacket that was tempting me, but I need new cleats before I need a jacket. As usual, we had the windows all fogged up before the end of bike class.

About a dozen of us headed out to the Bow River path. After nearly getting run down in a cross walk by some asshole that doesn't believe in flashing lights, we headed west. I tell you, I need to work on my run. The group's warm up and ease into it pace was nearly at my top speed, and they quickly pulled away from me. I'm not unhappy though, my legs felt good and actually wanted to run a bit faster, and my breathing was good, but my heart rate was maxing out. It was a bit up during the bike workout but you don't notice so much there. It was cool, and kind of almost dank for Calgary. Hard to know what to wear. I was almost over dressed in tights and hoody, and one girl was in shorts and T shirt.

The core was easier than I expected. We did some oblique crunches, tricep dips, plank, wall sit, upright rows, and push ups. All the other core I've been doing lately must be having some influence on me. Either that or Katie didn't want to frighten anyone off the first day.

Weekly Summary
Swim 1.6 hr
Bike 5.3 hrs
Run 1.0 hrs
Walk 1.0  hrs
Core 2.0 hrs
Total 10.9 hrs
Missed a yoga class, and some swim core.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The weird MRC pool

This pool is almost wider than it is long, and it is 25 m long. But the bottom geometry is weird. The right hand side of the pool, viewed from the men's change room is shallow, and it gets deeper to the left. Well, the far end gets deeper too, and the left side gets much deeper than the right. So, 1/4 of the pool is quite shallow, and another 1/4 is medium deep, and the other half is quite deep.

And it's warm. At first I thought I'd got into the hot tub by accident. The geezers should swim there. I was on the verge of being too hot the entire swim. It didn't take much to warm up.

I was sleeping good this morning, so I passed up the normal swim at Canyon Meadows. Technically, I could have made it for the swim, then up to MRC for my class, but it would have been rush rush rush the whole way, and of course, that would be the day there'd be an accident, or slow traffic, or something. So I swam after my class, which was Financial Analysis and Opportunity Evaluation, if you must know. A bit of a snoozer, but the teacher speaks well, and keeps us moving.

Swim was a warm up, then an 800 m ladder that ended up being half hard, half easy. 400 m pull, which I did without a pull buoy because I couldn't find them. I'm so short sighted I can't see anything in a pool anyway. So even if I did get lucky with Susi swimming in a clapped out suit, I'm not likely to notice. Then some cool down. No watch, but I'm guessing 45 minutes based on when I got in and out.

Since I got to class a bit early, I walked through MRC to figure out where the pool is. This place is a huge three dimensional maze. I can totally understand people getting lost in it. I was thinking it would make a great set for a shoot'em up movie or video game. Another day of course there tomorrow, when it's still supposed to be nice here. It will be a rest day for me anyway, then a morning spin/run/core session on Sunday. Deets later!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another bike and core day

For once I got on the bike PDQ after dropping Linda off. This was a 90 minute ride, with a ton of stuff in it. Warm up, one leg, ladders, steady pace, muscle focus, cool down. All was good. No music, no movie, just pedaling. Felt reasonably strong and heart rate mostly under control.

Then about 30 minutes core. Doing push ups with feet on the fitness ball is tough. I'm finding almost anything involving the fitness ball to be tough. I guess that means my soft and squishy core needs more work.

The sun burned off the fog about noon. Yes, fog. We don't get much of that here, a few days a year so it's something to note. It was sunny and warm so all the snow is melting now. The next couple days are supposed to be nice nice nice, and I'm in a two day course during the nicest days. Sigh.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Really snowy run

That's what I was out in for my run today. Lots of snow fell overnight, and more during the day. I don't want to talk about my drive downtown to drop Linda off. Or the drive home.

On the bike for an easy 20 min spin to warm up. I wanted to start getting moist, but not sweaty. It's not cold out, only minus 2 or 3 C, but I figured I'd be getting we enough from the snow, and being splashed. Ran 30 minutes, about 3.6 or 3.7 K according to mapmyrun, working to keep my heart rate under 130 and mostly succeeding. The footing wasn't that bad since the snow was still squoogy and slushy. Walked 10 minutes to get home, and then shoveled the driveway and sidewalk for 20 minutes. I'm darn well counting that as a workout, though I don't know if it should go down as a cardio or a core workout.

Kelly B is probably the only person interested in this next bit. Linda and I got invited by our financial advisor to dinner at La Chaumiere (which is a very, very swish high end French restaurant) by our financial advisor to hang out and listen to Eric Bushnell talk about the economic recovery. He's just a guy, kind of geeky looking actually, who's responsible for managing some mutual funds, to the tune of about $umpteen billion. We'd hoped to still get to yoga class after, but things were a bit late getting started, and he talked for longer than anticipated. Fascinating. Well worth missing a yoga class. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Carnage on the streets of Calgary, a rant.

It snowed last night and this morning. Big deal, only a few cm. But holy hannah! Several major roads and intersections were shut down. There were several dozen multi-vehicle collisions. It was slippery, yes, but I didn't think it was that bad. One pickup barged on past me, slipping and sliding along the way. I only hope he didn't hit anyone as he was trying to get stopped. These people need to learn to drive properly. That's the issue, they haven't, at least not past the level of 'push that pedal to go faster, that one to slow, and use this to steer.'

Rant on! Drivers school should actually be a school, with at least a week of full time instruction with practical tests driving a rear-steer car. Everybody goes through it, no exceptions. Every 5 years you go through a 1 day refresher and do a road test, and it should be tougher than it is now. Phased in starting with the oldest people, and working younger over a 5 year period. Failure means no license. Anybody that has any collision between their vehicle and anything else should have to go back to drivers school for a refresher and take the test again before they can drive again. Part of the course material should show ambulance and fire crews cutting a car open and cleaning out the bodies with a sponge.

Simulator technology is very good now. We should be doing some of that training in a simulator, and that training should scare the shit out of teenagers. I mean it. Put the video game designers onto it. I'd like to see kids coming out of the simulators with seatbelt bruises, ringing ears, and wet pants if they make a mistake. Teach them that driving is not a game. 

Cars should have an interlock that requires a valid drivers license to be inserted into it before the car can be started. The license itself has a chip that can be set to allow the car to start, or not, so the person can keep it for ID. Lending someone else your license is grounds for suspension yourself. This will cut down on the drunks on the road. 

There are no 'accidents'. All that carnage we see on the roads, all those people injured and killed in automobile collisions, hundreds of them a year in Alberta alone, all of them are preventable. I'd like to see for a while, all auto collisions treated like an airplane crash. The driver's name, address, photograph, and what they did wrong gets published in the local paper, because it's almost certainly the fault of one of the drivers. They should have to give talks to the driver classes to explain what they did wrong, preferably to classes that include their friends and children of their friends. We do this till collisions become as rare as airplane crashes.

Rather than just an anonymous cross at a collision site, how about a fairly large temporary sign, for 6 months or so. "Bill Blob of 123 Any St. Killed a mother and two kids, costing a total of $xxx for emergency response, medical treatment, and lost time, because he was DUI." 

I'd tell the insurance companies that if they can prove a driver was using a cell phone during an accident, they can deny all coverage to that driver, and in fact can sue them to recover the costs of coverage for the people the driver injured. For decades pilots have been communicating complex and detailed instructions while flying, so clearly talking and managing a vehicle are not, or should not be mutually exclusive activities. Maybe they can teach that in drivers school too.

Teach people to drive properly and share the road with bikes and pedestrians via making eye contact. Teach them how to drive to conditions. Teach them the skills to use good judgement when driving, and if they can't or won't learn, they don't drive.  Being in an automobile is just about the single most dangerous thing a North American can do and that is frightening and so preventable. Rant off, thank you for your attention.

In swimming news today, I got in a good 50 minute 2200m workout. Lots of 100 m intervals, with less and less rest time as things went along. Most of them were done in 115 seconds, until I got to the end where it stretched out to 120 seconds per. No swim core, though, the dive tank was very busy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

It's hard to do the cha-cha-cha when you're on the bike

Helllllloooooooooooooooooo!!!!!! (hello, hello, hello echos back) It's been awfully quiet in blogland. Too quiet. I expect things to burst forth any moment now. News of long weekend debauchery, massive eating, training plans temporarily abandoned, and who knows what else all? I burn with curiosity.

Today's bike and core workout looked tough on paper. This is the first time in a while I've had to have the bike plan in front of me during the workout. Lots of different stuff. Warmup, with some one leg drill.  Cadence. Gear work. Climbing. Aerobic stuff. Cool down. I worked through each methodically, with loud tunes going. During the warm up and cool down I was trying to spin nice and smooth, and the same during the hardest gear work. Often my form slips back to mashing the gears, so I've been taking that in hand, so to speak, and trying to spin better under load. It's getting better.

It seems the hardest part of the workout is the cool down. The last bit of hard stuff left me totally wet, so once I mopped off and got some water I settled down to an easy spin and let the sweat evaporate. Meanwhile my butt wants off the saddle. It's very difficult for me, just sitting there doing easy spin, waiting for the clock to tick down to the finish time. I had only a few minutes to go when a great cha-cha-cha tune came on, and I'm trying to dance my feet out of the pedals. I clipped out on time with half the song to go, so I danced with myself for a couple minutes doing Electric Slide. 90 minutes on the bike, 2 minutes dancing.

After a snack I got into the core work. That was 45 minutes of oofness. Why is it I can wall sit for 60 seconds, and only for 45 using the fit ball? Why do my feet slide out from under me when using the ball? Yes I'm wearing shoes. Planked 3 x for a minute each, that's a first. I think it's going to be a long time before I do chinups again. The muscles around the inside of both elbows simply isn't up to it. They aren't just weak, I think they're still damaged.

Then Linda and I went out for a walk around the neighbourhood for 45 minutes. We took back some DVD's. (Australia [ack choke], Easy Virtue [surprisingly good, but then it's based on a Noel Coward play], and Weeds, which we enjoyed.) It's -6 C, and with the wind chill it's -12 C. I'm glad I was wearing a hat. The rest of the week is supposed to be cold, except for Saturday. That's predicted to be 19!!! And I'm stuck in a course all day. That's going to suck the big one if I could have gone out for a bike ride that day. I hope the weather guy is wrong and it snows. Humph. It's snowing now.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

A surprise long weekend

Thanksgiving always sneaks up on me. I never know when it is, so I scheduled a book club meeting for today, and while several people said they'd show up they must not have checked their calendars. Of course, they're having dinner with their families. 

I had planned to sneak in a swim before getting Linda from the airport. My bag was packed and everything. But this cold isn't 100% gone yet. While watching Ironman Kona yesterday I got a little chilled and decided if I could sleep instead, I would. And I did, mostly. Now that we're home again, and looking at the schedule for next week, I think that giving myself another rest day is a good idea. The ride and core for Monday looks tough.

Watching the Kona IM yesterday was a surprisingly interesting day even though IM isn't exactly a spectator friendly sport. The men's race was interesting right to the very end what with the lead changes, and Lieto's lead slowly dwindling. Chrissie biked and rode away with the female race. I'm in awe of how much male pro butt she kicked. But the real eye opener was Mirinda. In my short triathlon life I've never seen anyone that can run like her. She made it look easy and  natural. Wow.

Weekly Summary
Swim .5 hr
Bike 5.0 hrs
Run 1.0 hrs
Walk 1.0 hrs
Core 2.25 hrs
Total 9.75 hrs
Ended up missing a swim and 2 core workouts. Stupid colds.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

A snowy brick

Solid two hour trainer ride this morning. Long warmup with some one leg drill. Cadence pyramids. Progressive hill, going up a gear every minute, then back down. Standing up. Spin ups. More one leg drill and cadence. Standing. Some steady 90 rpm dialed into desired heart rate. One last set of one leg and cadence drill. Cool down. Covered in sweat.

Three minute transition to dry off and change, then out for 15 minute run. Calves feeling a bit tight. Walked 15 minutes to cool down and stretch out a bit. It's a cool day out there, maybe -5C, with light snow.

Then after some fooling around with plug ins I started watching Kona!! The leaders are just past the halfway point. It's a super race with the guys lead changing often. And Chrissie is a bit over 6 minutes ahead of the next woman, and only 11 or 12 minutes behind the lead guy, which is Chris Lieto at the moment. They're saying Chrissie is on track to set a new course record. This is really exciting! Calling Julie every now and then to give her updates as she's on the road.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Listening to Estela

I'm pretty well recovered from my cold. Started today with a short spin, mainly to get warmed up for the run. But I got sidetracked, and started listening to the bike and trainer. I made these assumptions:
  • All gear teeth and chain links are evenly worn
  • Lubricant and grit are evenly distributed on the chain and teeth
  • The trainer tire is evenly worn and perfectly circular
At first there was a bit of a whir whir noise, and I was thinking that if a motor were driving the pedals the chain and trainer noise should be a steady whir. About the 5 minute mark I started to even it out to actually produce a steady whir. It's not as good as the computrainer graph, but if you pay attention it's pretty good. I planted my butt more firmly in the saddle, lightened my feet, and concentrated on feet going round and round smoothly and evenly. I felt like I was growing out of the bike. I was pedaling a steady 90 rpm in an easy gear, heart rate between 100 and 105, just beginning to sweat. I was listening so hard and trying to stay smooth I forgot to look at my watch. I was already past the planned 20 minutes, and was totally into the 90 rpm groove. I decided to stay on the bike a few minutes longer, and do some spin ups to get the muscles doing something different. I basically spun up to as fast as my legs would go and stay smooth, then backed down again. As soon as my heart rate recovered I'd do it again. I did about 5 of these, then had a few minutes of nice easy spin to get ready for the run. 30 minutes all together.

Outside it's just cold enough to see your breath on the air. I decided to run as fast as I could, provided I kept my mouth shut. That's right, breathing only through my nose. I wasn't more than a few minutes on the way when I had to blow my nose really badly, and lets just say that got messy. About halfway through the run I had to do it again. It didn't seem so bad. Emphasis on seem. 

This puts an effective cap on how fast I run, and firmly keeps my heart rate down. My feet and legs felt good, and I tried to stay relaxed. I got all the way around to 287 which will mean nothing to anyone else, but is a benchmark for me. Toward the end was getting tough pushing into the wind, and my heart rate was finally getting up a bit. I was very happy to open my mouth at 20 min and 1 second. My heart rate ended up at 132 bpm. 

Then, when I got home I discovered I'd been running with a huge booger stored in my moustashe for the world to see. I'm talking mega huge here, but fortunately I didn't meet any of my neighbours. No wonder my left nostril wasn't getting much air. It's a wonder I could see.

Then onto the core session I didn't do on Tuesday. Some of these are getting better, and I can feel myself getting stronger. This new strength is already showing up on the run, and in day to day activities like walking and going up stairs.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Winter is making itself right at home

Another grey day, with periodic snow.

Last night I dragged myself to yoga, during a snow flurry. I knew that Linda would ask if I'd gone to yoga, and that she wouldn't believe me. She suspects I'm a slacker. Sure enough, F is taking attendance. She said that Linda had mentioned she wouldn't be there this week, but that I should be. And that she would check in with F the following week. I was thinking with the crappy weather I might be the only one there, and could get a custom course in yoga form, but no, everybody is a bunch of keeners or something.

Yoga was actually fun. We've worked through all the different bits of a sun salute, and we put all the pieces together. Plus a neat twisting stretch where you put your left elbow on the outside of your right knee. 1.25 hours.

Slept like crap last night, but I'm not sure why. Still, I was eager to get on the bike this morning and get this sludge I call blood moving. I put on Aliens and got started. Good warm up, then lots of one leg drill and 90, 100, 110 rpm cadence pyramids. Mostly work, very little easy spin. 90 minutes. I felt good and solid, but tired enough after that I bailed on the core. I always find that tougher than the cardio, and I'm still recovering from the cold.

Tomorrow I'm supposed to swim and do a short run. I think I'll do the core work instead of the swim. My throat isn't quite itself yet. Lets see how I feel in the morning.

This evening I was shaking pills out into my hand. Vit C, daily multivitamin, Vitamin D, Ecanicia or however that's spelled. One of them looked a bit bigger than normal, but I didn't pay much attention, till it came time to put it in my mouth. I came *that* close to swallowing the little plug of dessicant.

Who will be watching the internet feed at Kona on Sat?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Everybody at Coop thinks I'm a pervert now

But it's not my fault! Really! How ELSE am I supposed to react when I transition from the fruit and veg section into the bread section, and there is a HUGE sign advertising muffin tops. That would be worth a smile. BUT, there was this couple standing there, looking at the display, and showing off jumbo sized muffin tops of their own. THEN I imagined that some evil genius had invented some diabolical machine for trimming the muffin tops off people and selling them as a pastry. Shades of Soylent Green. These people sure could have used such a trimming. Anyways, it was all I could do not to break into a belly laugh and point. But I did end up with an odd expression on my face for a while, and the geezers were giving me a funny look.

Perhaps one of the reasons I'm having such strange thought processes is that the place where thinking normally takes place is under pressure from backed up bodily fluids normally dribbled out the nasal passages. Yes, I've got a cold. Beats me how you can get a cold when you don't go out much. It was probably at the pool, but there was hardly anyone there, and I'm really careful about touching stuff. You'd think with all the cleansers they splash around the place would be sterile, but no.

Monday I swam. 300 m warmup with some drill. Then 4x100m, 6x50, 8x25. Cool down 300 m. All of these were done on a totally perfect interval. How do coaches know this stuff? It was just enough to let me catch my breath and go again. Well, maybe the times for the 25 m ones were a little long. Just over 30 min swimming, and about 20 min core.

Remember those pics from last year, the ones of my teeth? The final followup check happened. The x-rays all look good, and the dentist says things have healed up as well as could be expected for a guy my age. As long as I'm careful about eating, and don't land on my face again, the teeth should be good. Afterward I managed to have coffee with a buddy I used to work with.

At first I thought it was just a case of post-swim sniffles. Then by mid-afternoon I realized I felt like crap. I had a headache and my eyeballs were itchy. Tuesday was worse. Even just thinking about putting on workout gear tired me out. I didn't do anything much more ambitious than an afternoon nap.

Today was a bit better. Hit the spin trainer for 60 min of moderate effort, mixing up one leg and cadence drill, after a long warmup and before a medium cool down. Then out for a 20 minute run, nice and easy. I got lucky and timed it to happen between snow flurries. There's been at least three flurries go through today, and it's not even 5pm yet. So far it's all melting as it hits the ground, but it's snowing hard enough to affect visibility. In between bits of bright sunshine. That's Calgary for you.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

First real trainer ride

I drove home from the airport on Saturday through a snowstorm. Yes, big fat fluffy flakes all over. This only lasted a short while as the front blew in, but it made for a bit of a miserable day outside. Fortunately, I was inside struggling with nothing more difficult than getting a trainer tire on my bike. It had been folded flat for so long it took a bit of doing.

After that there was no excuse. I climbed on and worked through a solid 2 hour workout. Lots of one leg work, with no clunking at the top till the very very end with my left leg. Some cadence work that got my back fat jiggling. Yes, sadly enough, there still is some, though it doesn't start jiggling till about 140 rpm, and it used to start about 110 rpm. The only reason I'm putting so much detail here is that it's a bit of a benchmark for the coming season. I'm sure these numbers are boring for everybody but me and my coach.

Let's see:
20 m warmup
20 m one leg drill (5 x 1 m each, with 1 min easy between)
5 easy
10 mini time trial big chainring, 3rd biggest cog 80-83 rpm heart rate 130 bpm
5 easy
15 seconds hard, 45 seconds easy at 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150, and max rpm.
easy 3 minutes, then one gear easier
30 seconds hard, 90 seconds easy at 90, 100, 110, 120, 130, 140, 150 rpm
easy 6 minutes.
mini time trial 10 minutes, small chainring, mid cog, 85-90 rpm heart rate 120-125.
cool down 20 min

Woke up to about a cm of snow on the ground, and more coming down periodically. Today was only 30 minutes core. Pity installing software doesn't count as a workout.

Weekly Summary
Swim 1.25 hr
Bike 8.66 hrs
Run 1.0 hrs
Walk 1.0 hrs
Core 3.5 hrs
Total 15.4 hrs

Friday, October 2, 2009


I don't think any of you guessed what that means here. Some of you, and you know who you are, are probably getting all excited thinking it's something at least semi-shocking, something grown-ups do but don't talk about. Pfft! It stands for Dust Bunny Suppression Duty. I like to give the dust bunnies a sporting chance, to let them get a bit bigger, before chasing them with the horrible vacu-sucker. Plus, I like the sound they make when you catch a really big one. Linda thinks my waiting for them to get big, and dust bunny season to open, is just another word for being lazy. I was surprised this dust bunny spawning ground didn't have any,

but there were a couple medium sized ones under the bed.

Thursday I had a big core workout with my coach. She wanted to see just how badly I did core stuff. I am grateful she didn't stand there covering her eyes. I guess that's what being a pro is all about; she's probably seen much worse. I hope. She fixed a few things, and we've tweaked some of the routines. I simply can't do the oblique crunch thing because I can't sit up far enough. So we changed it to starting from sitting up instead of lying down. I got shown a bunch of stuff, all very cool. She showed me one of the pics they have in the gym, some young guy with a six or eight pack at least, and said that's what I'll look like. Yeah, in my dreams. No, not even then, if I'm dreaming, it's not about *my* abs.

Then I got lazy. It was cold out, about 10 C and I just couldn't summon the energy to ride outside. I was already cold, and it was going to be a very cold ride. So I hit the trainer for about 45 minutes, finding a gear where I can pedal 85-90 rpm at 125 bpm heart rate. Did some one leg drill, and can do it much longer than I could in the spring, WITHOUT that annoying 'clunk' at the top of the stroke!! Yay me!

Today was a swim, a sort of decreasing pyramid, 500 m, 400, 300, 200, 100, with increasing effort and decreasing rest times. Oddly enough, this does not particularly add up to faster times per 100m. Or at least I don't think so. I lost count a couple of times, so I maybe did some extra. What with warm up and cool down, this was about 45 minutes. Then the dive tank for 20 minutes for core and deep water running. I left when the formal class started. They had lane ropes strung up, and people in neat lines. That was much too much organization for me.

A little bit later I did about 20 minutes of easy spin on the bike to warm up my legs. I haven't been running much lately, and want to make sure I start easy. From there I ran around the block, about 3.1 K in 19:30, nice and easy and relaxed. Tried to concentrate on my posture, and think about running with light feet with a good turnover. No heart rate monitor. I wanted to go by how my legs felt, not an arbitrary number. It was a great day for a run, sunny and a bit cool. Just after my run it started clouding over, and the forecast is calling for snow tonight.

I got tagged by Julie, who had been tagged by Leana. Julie won a prize for answering the questions. I'm not sure what I get. If anything. Some of these may need to be annotated. That will be afterword. It's up to you to match up the annotation with the question. I'm much too lazy to number them as footnotes.

1. Where is your cell phone? Pocket
2. Your hair? Blonde
3. Your mother? Alive.
4. Your father? Dead.
5. Your favourite food? Peanut Butter
6. Your dream last night? Weird
7. Your favourite drink? Wine
8. Your dream/goal? Finishing.
9. What room are you in? Den.
10. Your hobby? Cookies.
11. Your fear? Eye damage.
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Retired
13. Where were you last night? Home
14. Something you aren't? Old
15. Muffins? Yes
16. Wish list item? Ordu
17. Where did you grow up? Haven't.
18. Last thing you did? DBSD
19. What are you wearing? Clothes
20. Your TV? Plasma
21. Your pets? Amelia
22. Your friends? Some.
23. Your life? Enjoyable.
24. Your mood? Hungry
25. Missing someone? No
26. Vehicle? Accord
27. Something you're not wearing? Hat.
28. Your favourite store? MEC
29. Your favourite color? Plaid.
30. When was the last time you laughed? Today.
31. Last time you cried? Sebastian.
32. Your best friend? Linda.
33. One place that I go over and over? Bathroom.
34. One person who emails me regularly? Susi
35. Favourite place to eat? Computer

Not really sure why I carry it around, since hardly anyone calls me. What I have, what there is of it, is actually sort of a dirty blonde, when it's not drenched with sweat or pool water. Peanut butter and honey sandwich. You don't really want to know about my dreams, trust me. Most of them are at least R rated, and Linda says they are extremely strange. I'd be afraid to discuss them with a dream interpreter because I'm not likely to make it out of their office, which is why I'm interested in dream interpretation. Going by volume, it's probably water, then Orange Juice, but that's two words. Red wine, especially old world. I don't dare put a time goal on it. Double mint chocolate chip cookies with nuts. To Linda's despair, I take my cookie QA duties very seriously, needing to sample the batter before it goes in the oven, and after of course. I am very squeamish about damage to my eyes. I could never put in contacts, and just reading about the LASIK surgery had me whimpering and cringing. Everybody says I need to get out more. That would be a top of the line Orbea tri-bike. I suppose I could settle for a P4, they're kind of nice too. It's not actually a TV, since it's not hooked to a cable box. All we do on it is watch DVD's. Sometimes we watch TV shows in DVD, which is the only civilized way of doing it, to avoid the commercials. The latest shows we like are True Blood, and the Sarah Conner Chronicles. I'm a knowing lots of people a bit kind of person, rather than a few good friends. I am astonished that some people have known their friends since kindergarten. If you were smelling what Linda is making for supper tonight, you'd be hungry too. We're having G&G over, since it's G's birthday a few days ago; they're a couple we've known just about the longest. There are a zillion things I'm not wearing, and I'm not gonna list them here. It was a tough choice between MEC, Apple Store, Indigo, and Lazy Loaf and Kettle. The real favourite store doesn't exist anymore, but a friend used to own a bookstore called Blue Castle Books. It was mostly romance stuff, but there was a devilish section that might have been called 'books the owner knows she will sell to certain named people'. She could go through a book catalogue, and know she could sell x many copies of some particular book, and could name those people, and rely on the first of us who bought to tell the others via gloating. A very particular orange and black plaid. Nobody reading this will know what I mean by saying the 'one true seneschal plaid'. If you do know, look me up and say hi. If I have to, I'll take a photo. But you'll have to ask really nice. You don't want to know what made me laugh. I have a very strange sense of humour. It's a toss up between eating in front of the computer or in my favourite reading chair. I almost always eat breakfast in front of the computer, reading blogs. I've learned to be careful timing my bites, having lost one keyboard, and having to clean the monitor a couple of times. Granola, with walnuts, pecans, almonds, hazelnuts, banana, cranraisins, and maybe chocolate chips, if you must know. Bernard Callebeaut!!! Sometimes with yogurt instead of milk.