Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Swim Bike Yoga, fun fun fun

It doesn't get any better than this. Another perfect summer day.

Swam, working on being smooth, with mixed success. 10 min warm up, 5 x 100 on 2 min, all of them 1:45 or faster, 10 min cool down, though most of it wasn't. Today I was working on trying to keep my body as straight as possible, especially my head when I'm breathing. Another guy was swimming just a hair slower than I do, so I got the pull buoy and drafted him for most of the "cool down".  Then into the dive tank for a half hour of core and flexibility, mainly working the hips.

Sitting in the hot tub for a few minutes I got talking to LS, who finished IMC just a few minutes before I did. I've often seen her swimming but we've never chatted before. Always nice to meet another Ironman. Now I realize who she is. Holy Crap!

Did I say today was a perfect day for biking? It just doesn't get any nicer. I headed out on 22X but went down the road to the Priddis Greens golf course and country club. A very ritzy, swanky, EXPENSIVE course, even by the standards of the local nose in the air country clubs. I wasn't in a rush so I stopped a few times along the way for photos. Mainly tried to spin nice and easy.

Some days the mountains are right there in your face on this ride. Other times they are coy and reclusive. Today was the latter, but even so, the view was great!

The view from 22X and 37 st, looking west.

The view SW from the hill where you first see where 22 meets 22X

The view from just after 22, looking west.

The entrance to the golf course. You can just see the mountains in the background. The smell of money is thick in the air.

Yoga this evening. Nice. Fell asleep during shavasana. Linda says I snored.

All in all a big day, 1 hr in the pool 50/50 cardio and core, 2 hrs on the bike, and 1.25 hrs yoga.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

To fb or not to fb -

that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The pricks and pangs of outrageous privacy invasions,
Or to take notice of a wave of "friends"
 And, by accepting, greet them. To fb, to share
 No more – and by share to say we end
 The heartache and the thousand natural shocks
That loneliness is heir to – ‘tis a consummation
Devoutly to be wished. To fb, to share
To greet, perchance to meet. Ay, there's the rub,
 For in that meeting of strangers what ill may come,
When we have signed that mortal software license,
 Must give us pause. There's the rape
Of data from so long a life.
For who would bear the delays and shortfalls of email,
Th’ bloggers errors,  missing a friends invitation,
The crashing hard drive, the internet's delay,
The insolence of Microsoft, and the spurns
That patient merit of unread email takes,
When he himself might his quietus make
With a few key stokes? Who would packet errors bear,
To send and read in a bad web browser,
But that the dread of something after fb,
 The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No data is erased, puzzles me lots
And makes me rather bear those ills we know
Than fly to others that we know not of?
 Thus prudence doth make cowards of me at least,
And thus the native hue of signing up
Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of restraining thought,
 And interactions of great pith and moment
With this regard their currents turn awry,
 And lose the name of action.—Soft you now!
Convince me I'm wrong, that fb is a boon unalloyed
And not a database of sins remembered.

With apologies to W Shakespeare

No fitness stuff so far, though I have ambitions about getting downstairs for some stretching and core work.

Monday, September 27, 2010

She massaged. I whimpered. Lots.

Sunday was a painful day, in a good way. My well beloved massage therapist that moved to Canmore, and if you live there and are very nice to me, I will give you her contact info, referred a therapist to her clients. Yesterday was the first massage from JL. My goodness. And. Holy Cow!

She worked me over good. I needed it. You know how many therapists slide their fingers along a muscle, and the pressure builds, and then releases as they slide past a trigger point? JL stops on the trigger point and hoooooooooollllllllllllllllds it there. She doesn't just work along the muscles, she also works across them as well. I hadn't thought there were any issues with my right shoulder, but she found lots of tender spots. In general my left side is tight as a guitar string, and the right considerably more relaxed. She worked me over for two whole hours. She'll be back next Sunday.

Today started with a nice swim. I had a lane to myself. Solid warmup, then 500 m timed, though I wasn't trying to be fast, just steady and smooth. I wanted to see where I was. 9:49. A few times I'd have the water feel, and would swoosh along. Then I'd lose it and thrash along for a while, then get it back again. Good cool down. Stretching in the pool. Then about a half hour of core work in the dive tank with a bit of deep water running. My legs aren't liking that much for some reason.

Coffee after with my buddy SKH. Then hanging out at home waiting for packages to arrive and job phone calls. The new iPhone bumper fits nice and makes it a bit easier to hang onto the phone. Oh, and I'm planning to ride with another buddy on Friday. Let me know if you want in. Easy ride.

It is a totally beautiful day out there. Summer weather. Seriously. +20 C (68 F) Right after the UPS gal came I was dressed and out there. Walked to warm up, then started with an easy easy run. And wow did it ever feel good! My legs relaxed and moved well. I think I've lost a bit of cardio fitness, but not much. Ran at varying speeds, going totally by feel, sometimes faster, sometimes slower. Walked to cool down. I was out for just over an hour. Stretched after, and even did some plank of my own free will, a whole minute's worth.

And just for my faithful blog readers, and because Neil took a bunch of photos of the east end of Fish Creek park, I took the iphone with me to take some photos and video of the west end of the park during my run. I'm going to find it tough to believe you have nicer scenery where you run. Enjoy.

This is where I start on the 37th St path, looking south.

This is the view from the very west end of the park, at the top of the hill, looking west.

This is near the top of the hill, looking south east. Just beyond the top of the far  hill there is more city.

I took a slight detour onto bridge two. This is looking downstream.

The path runs through mixed forest. Bear in mind this is within the City of Calgary.

Every now and then, you can see Fish Creek. The large mounds of gravel are from the floods of a few years ago, when the river changed its course in many places. In one place the river bed moved over 100 m.

More mixed forest, some nice evergreens. It smells so nice along here.

Some birch.

 Just as you leave the forest and come to the parking lot at the bottom of 24th St, you see these trees. The camera really doesn't do justice to the colour against the sky.

Video link if you want to go there directly or send it to your friends. Because, doesn't everyone want to see what Fish Creek Park looks like?

Oh, and the aero bars. Nobody mentioned a word about them. I guess I'll hang onto them for a while longer. Maybe all my local blog readers either have aero bars already, or are tall. Anybody have any interest in a satellite radio I found, still in the box?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Plummer's Road

Today was my first "real" ride after IMC. I've had a few, but they've been easy, in town, gentle, not far from home rides. For a while now I've seen and chatted with one of my neighbours in the cul-de-sac behind our house. He's been riding back and forth downtown for many years, and heading out for longer weekend rides. We've seen each other coming or going several times, and finally got ourselves organized to ride together today. Small world in that he also knows Chris and Jill.

Turns out neither of us had ridden out Plummer's road. Which isn't marked that way on the maps, but that's what the signs say. On this map it's the road heading west from the 22 marker in the middle of the map. We rode along it, turned left at the T, and went south, then west again to about where the bottom of the embiggen tool is.

Here's 3 photos of what that area looks like. It's a very pretty ride to get there, on really nice pavement.

The new pavement ends and battered old chip seal takes over. If we'd wanted to ride up the hill, at some point there would be a great view of the mountains. We'd been out for about 1.5 hrs at that point so we turned around. There's lots of nice roads in this area to explore, so I'll be trying that while I can.

Altogether it was just under 3 hours for about 70 K. We stopped for a snack where I took the photos. It started out a bit cool, and warmed up to the point where I was beginning to feel a bit hot in my jacket. My legs feel great afterward, and it turns out we rode about my regular pace for rides in that area. I think he's in a bit better shape than me, I had to work to keep up a few times.

Stretched after. Legs feel great! I feel great! It's so nice to be out on the bike again.

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win a set of aero bars, at the FREE posting. All you need to do is say why you ought to win them. So far, nobody has expressed an interest. Which means your odds of winning are excellent!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The first nice day in FOREVER!, not forgetting FREE

We have had very un-Calgary-like weather ever since we got home from Penticton. Normally Labour Day to almost Christmas is clear sunny days, with temps ranging from summertime warm to crisp. Not a surprise to see frost in the mornings, but it goes away soon. There might be a flurry or too, but that goes away soon too. Normally.

What have we had so far? Rain almost every day. Cloudy. Damp. Foggy even some days. Get this - our lawns are still green, and we still need to cut them. Normally the last cut is near the beginning of August. Then it's brown, because I don't water the lawn. Water costs money you know! And besides, water it, and the grass will grow, and then I have to cut it, and I certainly have things to do that are more fun than cutting grass.

Part of the last little while has been domesticating my iPhone and getting the wireless network working. That was a bit tricky. Now I need to figure out why some people's blogs crash the internet connection to the computer, but not to the iphone. In fact, I had one blog page that crashed on the computer, but loaded fine on the iPhone at almost exactly the same time. I don't know about that. It's probably a Safari plug in thing.

The iPhone apps so far are Evernote, Errands, Sudoku, and Urbanspoon. I'm still going through the list you guys shared with me. Thanks again!

Tuesday was a flurry of job related stuff that would bore all of you to tears. Wednesday was a bit more basement org stuff, and yoga in the evening. Some of the poses just kill me to do. She says, "hold this for a couple more breaths", and I start counting. About 12 or 16 breaths later she talks us out of the pose. No Sun Salutes with their plank and pushups yet, but I'm sure they'll come just as I'm sure the sun will rise tomorrow. Other poses I'm just getting relaxed into it, and she makes us stop.

I've been dying for a bike ride. My legs are still a bit creaky, especially the right quad from the inner top corner of my knee cap and up my leg. That's been bugging me for a while, and I'm beginning to think it's time to get it looked at more seriously. Rest, light activity, stretching, massage, and some icing have made no real change to it. Driving home today I had the revelation that that particular muscle is also used in controlling my foot as it operates the gas pedal.

Today being nice, sunny and about 15 C (59 F), and even though I've got a bit of a cold going, I had to get out. HAD TO! Just to see how my legs would feel after some easy spin. Went down James McKevit, up 22X and back 37 St in about 45 minutes nice and easy, plus stopping for a few minutes to take some photos, see below. 3 years ago I did this as the very first ride on Estela. It took almost exactly the same time, only then I was pushing practically all out. Today was easy; I'd be surprised if my heart rate got higher than mid zone 2.

On the way out I saw one of my biking neighbours coming in. When I got back he was doing some yard work. We've made tentative arrangements to ride on Saturday.

This is what I see as I'm coming back into Calgary on 37th Street, just south of 146 Ave. You get a great view of the city with some of it's vast sprawl. From here it takes maybe 5 to 10 minutes max to get home by bike.

Looking a bit more to the right you see endless subdivisions.

Looking to the left you see cows. This is all within city limits. If you were to walk past the cows to the top of the hill you'd get a stunning view of the mountains. Next nice day I'll take some shots of what I see when I'm riding west.

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win a set of aero bars, at the FREE posting. All you need to do is say why you ought to win them. So far, nobody has expressed an interest. Which means your odds of winning are excellent!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Swimming in the rain, and FREE

Today was the first real "workout" swim. Not that I was given a plan or anything. Not that I wanted a plan.  I took over the fast lane and had a nice warm up. Today I could really feel the water. The first few laps felt really smooth and strong. I was working on catch, and trying to coordinate the body roll with the arm stroke. More work is needed. Once I felt warmed up I did 5 x 100 on 2 min. The first one was 100 seconds even, and it didn't even feel like I was working that hard. All the rest were 106 or 107 seconds and it seemed like I was working a lot harder for these. Funny how that goes. Cooled down with some pull, for a total of 30 minutes.

I went into the dive tank for some deep water running, but my legs weren't really too happy about that so I stopped fairly quick.

The high point of the swim was chatting to Mr. Elegant about his day at IMC. He's really pleased, and given his time he should be!

The rest of the day was running errands and continuing the great basement cleanup project. I'm not sure if I'm getting a cold, or it's all the dust I've been breathing. I continue to be amazed at the things I find. The most unexpected item was one of those plastic thingies cab drivers used to have to process credit card slips. Remember, the actual paper and carbon slips? That we used to use for ALL credit card transactions? I have no idea at all why we have one.

Wed looks to be sunny and warm! Who's willing to play hooky from work and go for a bike ride with me?

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win a set of aero bars, at the FREE posting. All you need to do is say why you ought to win them.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

test video, but don't forget the FREE offer

This is a momentous occasion. The second video shot on my iphone today at the zoo, and the first uploaded to YouTube.
Or, you could go see it on YouTube. It looks much nicer on YouTube.

Don't forget to comment for your chance to win a set of aero bars, at the FREE posting.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Free, to a good home

Yes, you read that right, FREE!! It's my first give--a-way. I got this as a prize at my second half IM, so several years ago now. I was the very last person to cross the line, except the line wasn't even there anymore, just a guy with a stop watch. You can read about it here.

Here's the prize. It's a set of carbon fibre aero bars, retail value about $220.
They aren't going to work for me. You can see from the ruler that they're quite short. On me the armrest is only slightly aft of my wrist bones, so I suspect these would be a good fit for someone with short arms. So how do you win this prize? Leave a comment telling me why you should win. Making me laugh is a good plan. So is clear logical reasoning showing how the bars will make you so much faster you'll pick up all sorts of prizes at races, which you will generously share with me. Begging might work, if you're really good. No need to facebook friend me, or twitter anything, or even add yourself as a follower to my blog if you aren't already. Though feel free to do those things if you want.

Here's the kicker though. If you're the winner you have to drop by to pick it up. I suppose I could meet you at some mutually convenient location, in Calgary, and give it to you then. But in that case you won't get any milk and cookies. It need not be instantly, so if you're planning a trip to Calgary, or have friends here willing to be your intermediary, I can cope with that. Unless you're cute and therefore I'd be missing out on a hug. :-( For my American readers, this gives you a good reason to pick a race in or near Calgary this summer. There is no shortage to choose from. So, lets see. Today is Sept 17. I'll give people till Sunday Sept 26 to comment. I guess if you comment before I look at my blog on the 27th, that would be ok too. I'll choose a winner based on my own arbitrary set of criteria, and announce him or her on the 27. That gives you something to look forward to on a Monday.

The great basement library tidy up is going well. Here's the proof:

Compare that to the photo in yesterday's blog. The neat thing about tidying up is that you find all kinds of stuff. Stuff you'd forgotten you had. Stuff you wonder when or how you came to own. So far there is a big bag going to the Sally Ann, several bags of garbage, and our big blue recycling in on wheels is nearly full. Most of it is paper or cardboard. I somehow don't think there is much of a market for old Macworld magazines from the early 90's.

No fitness today, unless you count a zillion trips up and down the stairs, toting books and all sorts of other crap up and down. And we had pizza for supper. So there.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The garage smells of the sea, the library smells like dust

I have no idea why the garage smells so strongly like seawater. Sure, it's been raining cats and dogs here, but that's fresh. There is a distinct sea salty smell just in the garage. Nice. Better than gas, or garbage. It reminded me of our vacations in Nova Scotia, and spending time on the beach. All those years I thought I wasn't a beach person because I sunburned too easily. But beaches are about more than lying down in the sun. I think I need another vacation to the seaside.

I know exactly why the library smells like dust. Books. Tri stuff. stuff stuff out the ying yang. Here's the tidy part of the library.

Yes, I'm serious, that's the tidy part. My task over the next little while is get more shelving up and try to bring some order to this chaos. We have a serious book problem. We both like to read, though for some strange reason I haven't had much time over the last little while. What's more, we like to re-read some books, or parts of books, which is why we buy and keep them around. We'll get a piece of a conversation or a scene in our minds, and will want to re-read the bits around it. Can't satisfy that itch using a library. Plus it supports authors.

The resolution on the iphone screen is amazing. I'm not sure I'd want to read a whole book on it, but I think I'd be willing to give it a go, especially if I was commuting on public transit. If I'm sitting at home I'm pretty sure I'd rather hold the actual book. The iPad though, could be tempting. I had one go at setting up the wireless network again, with inconclusive results. I think the network is there, but I don't think any data is actually being transmitted. I think my old base station might not be compatible with my current Mac.

You will be happy to know that fitness has not been abandoned. Wed just about lunch time there was a brief window of partial sunshine. I managed to get out for a half hour bike ride, easy spin around the neighbourhood. I should have worn a jacket; it was pretty cool. My legs liked it.

Then yoga in the evening. Fiona is starting to work on us a bit harder now. A lot harder. Back into my totally [sarcasm]favourite[/sarcasm] pose, downward dog. Then a variant of a held squat that had my quads burning. I think I fell asleep during corpse pose at the end.

Tomorrow is supposed to be nice, partly cloudy and a high of 7 C (45 F) I'll wear a jacket for sure.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Swimming to an iphone 4

Back in the pool on Monday. Swam a really nice warmup. There had been a girl swimming a really slow, really wide side stroke in my "fast" lane, and after a couple laps she moved over. Yay! Common sense is not dead.

Warmed up thinking about catch, and elbows up, and head down. Keeping tabs on how my body was feeling. Good. Happy to be in the water. Did 5 x 100 on 2 minutes. These were all done in about minute and 43 or 44 seconds, which I'm pretty pleased with. Cool down. A little over a half hour total.

Did some core work and stretching in the dive tank, and a short deep water run, very easy. My legs didn't know quite what to think of that. Soaked in the hot tub, and boy is it nice!

Then over to Market Mall to join the line for an iPhone 4. I got there about 8 and there were already 30 people ahead of me. More joined the line. A while later the Apple people got us organized, figuring out who wanted what and matching the line to the number of phones in stock. Not many today, there was only 6 people in the line behind me when they finished that.

So now I have one. Set up my home wi-fi network again, but I'm not totally sure the phone recognizes it or is getting web pages through it. It's been fun setting things up, and figuring out how it works. Linda is going to laugh when she realizes what ring tone I'm using for her. And I did my very first video, using Amelia the Cat as a reluctant subject.

I've been trolling through the many, many, MANY apps out there. Holy crap are there ever a lot of them, and most of them seem to be on the wrong side of useful. Any advice on which ones are working for you iphone users out there? And no, this was not written on the iPhone. I'm still training my thumbs how to type. It's funny, my eyes have no idea where any of the letters on the keyboard are because my fingers know. I very rarely actually look at a keyboard.

Low key today, short walk, and a massage.

So please, iPhone users, tell me which apps you love, which you hated, and most of all, the game you wish you had never loaded because you can't stop playing it.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The pro photos that I paid for (prepare yourselves)

There was some internal discussion about buying the photos from IMC. The camera loves some people, for example, my mom's husband Sam. I've never seen a bad photo of him. I once got him as he was getting out of a vehicle after a long day on the job, as he was shifting his cap to settle it better. He looks a little startled, but otherwise perfectly poised, and posed. No model could have looked as natural or comfortable.

Unlike me. The camera hates me. As some people have astutely commented, I often look like a cardboard cutout. With a wine glass in one hand. I've never really been happy with the photos taken by various photographers at various races. Jase did well, but it's a measure of his talent that the shots turned out as well as they did. Plus Cath is in a couple of shots so nobody is looking at me anyway. No, the problem isn't them or their equipment. It's the subject.

So when I was looking at the thumbnails of my IMC photos I was really of two minds if I should buy them or not. In the end, I figured there likely wasn't going to be another opportunity to get better photos of me doing an Ironman, and shelled out.

I've put one up in the title but I don't like how the spacing has turned out. I'll probably be playing with that for a bit. Maybe I'll go to a different template. Therefore, with no further ado, here are the best of the race photos. With commentary. I hope you've got a stiff drink to hand.

Here's the swim start. I can see my cap in there near the left, about 10 people back. You can't tell? What, are you blind?

Here's me coming out the water, in the thick of the herd. The green stripe on my cheek is to remind the people at the eyeglasses table to shout at us to get our glasses. As if I need reminding. 

On the bike, still ahead of some people, for a little while. This is on the road going to Osoyoos, not sure exactly where.

Going up Richters Pass. You get a beautiful view of the valley off to the right. So far it's been a perfect day for a bike ride.

The only photo of me on the run. I like to say I'm focussed. Others, less charitable, might say I'm looking dazed.

Crossing the finish line! Only those who have been there know how good it feels, can understand the wash of emotions. Happiness that it's done. Pride in the achievement. Sadness that it's done.

The formal finisher photo. Even I have to admit the look in my eyes is just a bit scary.

It's been a couple of weeks now. One toenail has gone black. The toe that had the blister that never popped just had the skin shift around and form a ridge that any dinosaur would be proud of. The hams are feeling better, though my left leg is still a bit stiff. Left shoulder is a bit creaky. 

All things considered I came out of this very well. There are a bunch of people who didn't finish at all, including some pros. Not that that makes me better than them. It just means there is an element of luck in these things. Luck about not getting pummeled too badly in the swim, or having mechanical problems or flats on the bike, or being struck with biological issues for whatever reason no matter how carefully you plan. But the most important element by far is your own level of mental and physical fitness and toughness. Without that you aren't finishing no matter how lucky you are. Katie's coaching and the day in and out practice is why I finished.

I like to think I know my limits and "raced" within them. The swim was a little bit faster than I expected, but it was really important to me that I got out of the water feeling good and ready to bike, so I didn't push hard. That means I paced myself carefully, not minding that 888 people passed me on the bike. That means I came within 4 minutes of negative splitting my "run" because I started easy at a pace I hoped I could maintain for the whole distance.  (There is a great xl that gives all sorts of calculations about the time and place data, email me if you want a copy, or look for it on slow twitch.) The final result is that I didn't go deep into the well to pull out every last bit of everything there is, just to make it to the finish line. Into it a bit, yes, but not deep. Which is why I'm feeling so good now. I've gone and done workouts with my legs feeling worse than they do now, but I'm enjoying the rest.

Now is a time to take stock and think about where to go from here. While I'm not going to be doing another Ironman any time soon, if at all, I am continuing with triathlon. I want to get faster, yes, much faster, compared to my cohorts. And, I want to see a photo of me running that has both my feet off the ground. I can but dream.

Friday, September 10, 2010


I have been taking it easy lately. Wed night was the first yoga class of the season. Fiona started us off easy, lots of gentle stretches that felt really good. Though she did sneak Tree in there. Right leg as almost good, things were a bit wobbly with the left. Nearly went to sleep in corpse pose.

After the swim on Tues, even though it was pretty short and gentle, I was feeling a bit tired and creaky. The intent was to swim on Friday, but here it is, almost over, and I'm not going swimming. But I have napped! I'm very happy about that.

Recovery is going well, I think. I don't feel bad at all. My left leg is a bit creaky, one of the left toenails has gone black, and I'm sleeping like a rock. But I'm still feeling a bit, I don't know, depleted?

Not sure what the weekend will bring. Perhaps more napping, though I'm thinking I've had two weeks of almost complete slug-itude, so it's time to get moving again. Maybe after just another cookie, and one more nap. yesssszzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Back in the swim

But only the swim. And an easy swim at that. Well, except for the short walks. But nothing else. Well, eating cookies and other good recovery nutrition. Oh, let's not forget the stretching in the hot tub. That was good.

Only swam 20 minutes, just to stretch out my arms, try to retain the feel of the water. Thinking lots about the catch because it wasn't working worth beans. But that's ok, the first one back is always the worst one. Even did a little bit of drill.

The important part of the swim was chatting with my buddy Deb. She did IMC last year, and we've shared several races. One of these days I'll be able to keep up with her. Also chatted with the guy sharing the lane. I noticed he picked up the pace considerably once I joined him.

Met up with Neil last night. Funny that two guys living in South Calgary meet via a guy neither of us have met that happens to live in New Jersey. Thanks Tom! Lots of fun to chat with him. Neil that is, though if Tom dropped by I'd buy him a beer at one of the local microbreweries. Even if he (Neil) didn't blog the photo he took of the two hotties in front of me in the line at Tim Hortons, using the excuse it was a photo of me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Cleaning and buying adventures

First, the failed buying adventure. Aside from finisher swag, one of the things I figured out during the run was that I was going to stop dithering and buy an iPhone 4. And the finisher swag, aside from the semi-ugly T shirt, is very nice. So this morning I trundled up to Market Mall (and this was after breakfast, and an hour of working from home) to buy one. I figured since the initial rush was over it ought to be no problem. If you figured that too, you would be wrong too.

There was a sign at the front of the store saying they're selling them so fast they were out of stock. The nice guy at the front was telling people the next shipment would be available Tuesday morning. He suggesting starting the line up at 6am, for a store opening of 10 am. NOT! Gee, do I spend that time lined up, hoping to get one, since he said they come in about a dozen at a time, or do I go to work and put in some billable time? Duh. The other choice was to buy it online, pay full freaking price, and find someone to sell an air and data package for yet more $$$$, with no rebate off the purchase price, AND I have to get a new phone number. Since I'm in the mood, NOT!

The Telus store just around the corner gets even fewer, and he had the same advice. So I went home bereft and unfulfilled. Sigh.

Cleaning came next. Estela was filthy, covered with road grime, sticky from the honey and OJ that oozed from one of my drink bottles, which got on my hands, which then got lots of places. So I spent a while cleaning her thoroughly. This was a very peaceful and restful activity. I chatted with some neighbours at the same time. She's all ready to go for the next ride, which is more than I can say for me. We went for a short walk around the block, a mere 3 K or so, and my legs were a bit tired at the end.

We've had our current microwave for 20 years or so, and it wasn't new to us. We got it for storing a friend's stuff while he traveled around the world accumulating insurance claims. I was acting as his agent, paying his bills, moving money around, talking to insurance agents. I got to know the one insurance agent quite well. This is the kind of microwave where you push in a button to pop open the door. That button has had a crack in it since forever but worked fine till the other day. Then I had to fuss with it to open the door. Then had to do it again. It's been getting harder and harder to get the button in, and we decided we were done with it. Both of us could just picture having friends over, needing to nuke something, and being unable to open the door. This exact thing happened at work while I was in Penticton, and I missed out on the chance to join a bunch of engineers and other technical people, with real and improvised tools from the lab, trying to get into the microwave. They didn't.

So off we went to Trail Appliances in the old Costco store. They've got lots of upscale stuff, but went pretty quick to the right place for counter top microwaves. We wanted a basic one. It took longer to round up a sales guy than it did to pick out what we wanted. Turns out he runs marathons, and wanted to chat about Ironman Canada, since I was wearing the finisher jacket. (It was cold and raining out, give me a break!) In the end we were in the store 20 minutes, and another 10 waiting for our turn to pick up the box from the warehouse door. This one has about twice the zap of the old one, a cup of coffee taking 1 minute to heat up, rather than the 2 of the old one.

We'll be good and take the old one to the electronic recycling place. But what I want to do is line the inside with a couple layers of garbage bag, put it on it's back, and totally fill it with water so that door just barely closes. Then get a long extension cord. A really really long extension cord, like several hundred metres worth. Put the microwave in the middle of a big empty place and turn it on high. Eventually the water will heat up. Since there is very little space for steam to go it will start to pressurize the microwave and the pressure will build. Although the temperature is above 100C the water is not boiling because it will be at higher than local atmospheric pressure. Eventually, even though this is a very heavy microwave, built on a metal frame (it's really old, remember) the internal pressure will exceed the structural strength of the microwave enclosure. It will start to rupture somewhere, which will allow the water pressure to drop. All the latent energy will go into converting that superheated liquid water into a cloud of steam, very quickly, and very, very violently. A cubic foot of water, (which is about the interior size of the microwave) will convert into 1700 cubic feet of steam. Now you see why I want a really long extension cord. And something big and thick to hide behind. There is probably a youtube video of someone doing exactly this, but I'm to lazy to look, and besides, watching a video wouldn't be nearly as much fun as doing it.

Speaking of videos, we started season 2 of True Blood last night. I drank wine and ate cheese and crackers. Tonight will be more episodes, with beer, I think. I won't indulge myself like this too much, but it's sure nice to be having a break from training.

Oh, and I found my race photos here.