Here we are. It's been 1406 days (for the calendarly challenged, that's 3 years 10 months, 6 days) since I started this blog. It's been fun. That averages out to an update every day and a half or not quite.
Some people have difficulty in keeping a blog going. Not mentioning any names, or pointing any fingers. For some the problem is time, as in they are too busy with real life to have any time to write about it. Some find they don't have anything to say after a while. I have neither of those problems. My blogs usually write themselves while I'm doing the workout. Or I'll come home from an adventure and it just pours out of me. That's the source of the best rants. Believe it or not, those really do write themselves, and take very little editing.
Plus I type really fast, so even a long blog doesn't take that long to do. I've always been grateful my mom suggested I take typing in high school. Most useful course I ever took. Even if the line she used was "it will be full of girls". It was, and I ended up sitting next to my buddy Jamie because the teacher insisted we sit in alphabetic order. We were such geeks that part of the class was business math, and we were comparing the number of keystrokes needed on our rival calculators for the various equations. Mine was an HP-21, and his was a TI something or other. I've been a fan of RPN ever since.
I used to train people how to use various kinds of software, but really, what they needed to do was learn how to type. Most companies would find their biggest bang for each training dollar would be to send people to a typing course. It actively hurts me to watch some people "typing". Watching someone log in at the beginning of a training session told me everything I needed to know about how my day was going to go.
Come to think of it, it probably actively hurts some people to watch me running or swimming so slowly. I never thought of that.
I had no idea when I started this that it would get this far, but I did know I was making a permanent change in my life. I was tired of being overweight and turning into a pudge. I think I peaked out at 280 pounds or so. The lightest I've been was probably just before Ironman when the fancy-pants scale said I was 218. I'm probably mid 220's now. (he said hopefully.) I don't fuss much about the actual number, it's more about how my clothes fit, and how the flub around my waist feels.
The contest that is now closed was for suggestions. There were 4 people making 5 suggestions. I'm gratified and a little surprised that none of the suggestions were anatomically improbable or impossible. I guess GQH is on vacation, or else the niceness of reading a Canadian blog has got to him. Oh, I didn't say the call for suggestions was a contest? Like I say, I do things just a bit different.
One of the suggestions was 1000 things we don't know about Keith. That would for sure kill my readership. I'm simply not that interesting. She also suggested or 10x10x10 of something. I did something like that earlier this year, swimming 10x10x100m on 2 minutes, or at least that's how it started out. I got 7 K before it hurt enough to make me quit. So I won't be doing that one.
Here's what the fire permit was intended for. Can you see the 1000 spelled out in candles? It was hard to place the candles between the bits of very yummy fruit. Yum Bakery, at the Calgary Farmer's Market, if you were wondering. Happy bloggy-versary!
Let's talk a bit more about the blog. The most read post, by a wide magin is "Stock on road", at 543 views, with the next being "IMC followup with photos" at 143 views, and IMC Done! at 130. That puzzled me for a very long time. I mean it's a nice enough post, amusing some readers, with the LooseMoose calling me the cow whisperer. And it mentions poop, which is of great concern to many of my readers, especially right before a race. But nearly 4 times more popular than a post with photos (and not even the pro photos) of me during the peak of my athletic prowress doing Ironman? Granted I'm not cute or photogenic like some bloggers, but still. Then one day I looked at the search phrases people were using to find my blog and all was revealed.
Topics I have ranted on include: geezers, politicians, shoppers, cash clerks, people inconsiderate about sharing swim lanes, the road, or bike paths, Calgary Parking Authority, doors and how people behave in them, car insurance, overpaid CEO's (are any underpaid?), abusive cops, abusive religious sects, health care, drivers, and many more. I'm such a curmudgeon that it doesn't take much to set me off.
You can see all my rants in the labels section on the left, underneath my blogroll. Of course, you need to be reading my actual blog, not the pale imitation that google reader shows. I am particularly fond of my rant on health care and drivers.
My blog isn't just about my adventures trying to get back into shape. Sometimes I blither on about something that is on my mind. These are labeled thoughts, and I particularly like The Floating Elephant Rule. It has provided wise advice for many situations. My current office roomie is much taken with the rule.
My inner shark visits every now and then. Some people get bored swimming laps, but this has never happened to me. My Ironman coach, Katie F (of the tireless energy and enthusiasm) lives in terror of boring other people. For one swim session she apologized out the ying yang, and practically cringed when she told me the swim plan was to swim for an hour without stopping. She thought it was the worst thing she was doing to me throughout the whole training plan. Not! She was dumfounded when I told her the first time I looked at my watch during the swim was 1:12, and I swam till 1:15 just to have an even time ending. My inner shark is sometimes company on swims. He has a very interesting outlook on life. My favourite blog post about my inner shark is his vacation, though this one comes close.
I've labeled some posts as favorites. This could happen for any number of reasons. They are a bit of a mixed bag. One of the things I thought of ways to bring together all the funny posts, but humour is so transient. I've had some comments that a blog or a comment amused them, and that makes my day. But I don't quite feel like going out and hunting them down. I'll leave that for you guys, if you want.
Favourite title is Slapped across the face with a banana peel in Black Diamond
For the longest time I had wanted to make wine. Then I started at Skystone Engineering in 2002. A week after that I met Susi, with neither of us realizing what an important occasion that is. We are coming up on 10 years of friendship. Time passes so quick. It turns out that about half the people at Skystone made wine. It was very easy to get into the groove. I've now made 55 wine kits since mid 2002. There have been a couple that were meh, barely drinkable. Most have been quite good to very good, with various friends brightening up when they see I've brought them wine. Some have been so good I don't want to share. Brunello. Super Tuscan. mmmmmm.
There are something on the order of 400 full bottles in the basement right now, spread over about 24 different kinds. It's nice to have choice. One of the most fun occasions I ever had involving wine was when Linda was on vacation visiting her family. The house was at the worst of it's renovation phase. My dear friend Jackie and her friend Nancy asked to stay, and even knowing the situation, still wanted to stay. Now, the whole upstairs is under construction with the exception of our bedroom, which had the only functioning bathroom. The downstairs was piled high with stuff, and we had to shuffle stuff around to get space for them to sleep. That's where our dining room table was, with the computer on it. We ended up watching The Lion in Winter, and several other movies on the computer, with chairs pulled up. We ended up going through a bunch of wine, sitting in the dark watching movies, talking, half snapped, and we had a great time!
Over 999 blog posts I've learned that blogging and training for an ironman are surprisingly alike. It takes discipline, and you have to build the habit. Some days it goes easy, and some days it's tough sledding. A little encouragement goes a long way. Some days you start even when you don't want to, and it turns out ok. Some days you just set the baseline for low performance. And some days, you know better than to even start. It's just better not. Like this morning. My swim bag was packed, but I slept instead.
Over 999 blog posts I've learned that people I don't know in other cities can become friends as we share the same experiences. Well, not the childbirth thing that three of my blog buddies did essentially at the same time. Thought I don't know if the one in Chicago actually reads my blog, she's pretty busy. It's funny reading about people in other places. Like places where there is a beach, and they rarely go. Like places even windier than Calgary, or even colder with more snow. Like places where they get freaked out by temperatures much below 0C (32 F) and can't conceive of anyone running in that. Places where the scenery is at least as good as here, and maybe better. Places unnaturally hot and humid. People do their workouts in all of that.
It's great reading about other people's experiences with training and races. Sometimes now I can see the train wreck coming. Sometimes I've made careful notes to self. Sometimes I've celebrated, and sometimes I've nearly cried. I've been horrified a few times, and have provided my share of horror. Susi is NEVER going to forget those photos of my teeth, and neither are some other people. Don't click that link if you're the least queemish, have a thing about dentistry, or are eating. I'm not kidding. Though the dentist's 9 year old daughter was fascinated. It's likely going to be the only time in my life I have a chatty kid in my lap helping her dad as he does dentistry.
Over 999 blog posts I've learned so much I didn't know. About the poop fairy, and an exploding dog. That someone I know would willing run 125 K, in the dark, up a bunch of mountains, out in the boonies with bears and cougars and who knows what all else. I still think a 125 K bike ride on a paved road is a respectable distance. That someone nearly 80 years old can do an ironman. That ordinary people can accomplish extraordinary things, if only they put their minds and hearts into it. That you don't have to be a fast uber-athlete to do ironman, you just have to be determined. Very, very, determined. That your mind can drive you further than you or your body believe possible. That shit happens and you need to carry on, that sometimes the smart thing is to stop, and where the line between them really is. Gaining an appreciation for bike porn. That it gets very, very dark on that road beside Skaha Lake on the way back to Penticton. That one of the advantages of being a slow runner is all the girls that pass you. That a bike is a great way to appreciate the countryside. That 180 K on a bike isn't as far as you think it is, though 42.2 K running is still an effing long way.
As for the other suggestion, if I'm going to make a 1000 cookies, you can darn well come and pick them up. And share. I'll open some wine. You know who you are.
So there's 1000 blog posts. I have no idea how many other bloggers reach 1000. The only one I know of for sure is Steve in a Speedo. Here's looking forward to the next 100, and hope all of you enjoy the ride as much as I do.