Sunday, February 12, 2012

My left wrist, and 11 again

Finally, a good night's sleep! After a slow start I headed downstairs. I wasn't too sure what would happen. I'm liking this about not having a plan. Because I was feeling a little creaky I started with some stretches and some core. Including the dreaded plank. 1:15, I was astonished!

Then onto my bike. I had lots of water and some snacks this time. After an easy warmup and some spin ups, I started in with 15 minutes at endurance pace to see what my legs would think. So far so good, so I upped it to about 75% of FTP, and settled in. Nothing on the computer, no tunes. Just me and my feet. Every 15 minutes I stood, gradually making the standing sessions longer, and then as soon as I sat down and got back into my gear, I spun it up, making each session faster. The second last one I topped out at 140 rpm and 300 watts. Then I'd get back in the groove again. Snacking. Drinking. Thinking about form. Daydreaming about riding out 22X on a beautiful day.

It turned out to be a super ride. I was on the bike 2.5 hours, and of that, 1.5 hrs was at 75%, nice and steady. Breathing easy, for most of it I could breath through my nostrils and get just enough air. Heart rate was pretty stable, very slowly rising from mid 120's to low 130's. Sweaty. Cooled down and stretched after. Happy! The only thing that hurt was my left wrist. I had to keep shaking it out. But this is typical for my long rides. I think since I broke my right elbow, I've been putting more weight on my left side.

My buddy with the broken wrist is now interested in speed laces, for obvious reasons. I've no idea the brand. I buy them whenever I get a new pair of shoes. They look like this:

It looks like you hold the lace ends and tug the circular holder to snug up the laces, but that's not it at all. What you do is thread the laces through the eye holes however you like and slide the end of the laces into the holder and out the other side. Then you slide in the locking wedge. The trick is to have the laces so the shoe is loose on your foot, but just snug enough so you don't run yourself out of them. It usually takes me several tries to get them adjusted right, but it's worth the trouble. As long as you own the shoes you never have to think about laces. Slide your feet in and you're done. The application to triathlon is obvious, but even if you only run, it's still good. It's easy to tie laces too tight and that's not good for your feet.

I got tagged by aka Alice of Hefferblog fame with the 11 things thing. You can see my previous blog on this topic here, if you should be so minded. But since this is my second time I'm going to do things a little differently. I'm assuming you've seen this elsewhere and know the deal. The only tagging I'm going to do this time is to say that if you think I should have tagged you last time and didn't because of my unfair and arbitrary method of choosing taggee's, you can consider yourself tagged, but you have to answer the question "why Keith should have tagged me" with 11 different reasons. I am confident I don't have to go looking for responses.

11 Random things. Different things than last time. (I checked.)

  1. I just finished the Coyote series by Alan Steele. The first two books were on my iPad, and I was flipping the pages pretty fast. Easy read. I think I'm getting used to this ebook thing. Certainly the buying is painless, if you can find it at all.
  2. I am still getting used to wearing a watch again. Linda got me a nice one for Christmas. For years I've only worn a watch for workouts. Most of the time, without looking around, I'll know the time to within a few minutes either way. I wear it on my right wrist, so it doesn't bug my mouse hand. No, I'm not left handed, I write (if you call it that) with my right hand. My office roomie is left handed, but mouses with her right hand. Pervert.
  3. My sense of humour is very unusual and gets me into trouble sometimes. I hate to explain why I think something is funny. 
  4. I find it very difficult to get new things sometimes. My 83 Honda Accord went over 340,000 K before the strut holding the front started to rust away so badly I was told the car was unsafe to drive, and was essentially uninsurable.  Even going to pick your part involved more money than what the car was worth, technically. I mourned the day I dropped it at the scrapyard. That car never failed me, not once. It started after a skiing weekend, after being out in colder than -40 C all weekend. It was one of two cars to start. It took an hour to warm up enough to get the doors open. I'd had to crawl in through the hatch. Only one other car started, and it took us hours to jumper all the other cars. As long as something is still working for me, I go with it. 
  5. Related to #4, the oldest possession I have that is in daily use is an interlocking key chain. The car key is on one side. The other side has the house key, the key to my bike U lock, and a key that we think would open the garage door that was replaced by a new one about a year ago. It was one of the last things I bought before I moved from Ontario to Calgary.
  6. I like washing dishes by hand; it is a very soothing activity.
  7. Contrary to popular belief, the most boring part of driving across Canada is not the prairies. I've done this several times and I know. The prairies are easy driving. The huge sky, the wide open spaces are exhilarating. Just don't try to get gas on the West side of Regina, heading west. Northern Ontario is effing brutal. It's twisty turny highway at only 80 Kph, and there is nothing to see but rocks, trees, and water. Yes, those things can be beautiful but it gets very old after 1850 K (1150 miles). I sincerely believe that Northern Ontario is why airplanes were invented.
  8. We don't have any of the stemless wine glasses, but I'd like to try them to see if they really do make a difference to the taste of the wine. Try them at someone else's expense, mind you, I'm not going to buy them. If someone here has such glasses, I can supply the wine.
  9. One of the women at the office was astonished to discover that a guy could find a woman attractive when she was really sweaty, hair in a pony tail or bun, in workout gear. Trooper got the inspiration for the song "You're just a three dressed up as a nine" from somewhere. I went to coffee, at work, with one fitness buddy, and I almost didn't recognize her.
  10. Since early 1983 I have not lost a gross out contest. When people find out I used to work in a Waste Water Treatment Plant, they back off. Little did they know that most days I could have worn a suit to work. Most days you could have eaten off the floor. The tunnels and buildings are actually fairly cheerful because all the pipes are painted different colours to indicate what's in them. Only two buildings smelled even remotely bad, and I loved taking high school girls through them on tour. One lost her lunch in Headworks, and I'm not talking about a lunch kit. She was just lucky the Barminuters had long since been taken out. Even now, I can taste the smell...
  11. The books on the shelf above the computer include:
    1. The QPB Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins
    2. Oxford Canadian dictionary
    3. Strunk and White The Elements of Style (probably the single most useful book extant for writers)
    4. The Elements of Grammar
    5. The Elements of Technical Writing
    6. The Difficulty of Living on Other Planets by Dennis Lee. This is my favourite book of poetry. (The Academic Odyssey of Wendell Grebe makes me laugh every time.)
    7. The articles of incorporation for Cartmell Consulting Ltd.

aka Alice's questions.

  1. Who was the last person you randomly ran into at a race or during a long run? At my very first half Ironman I met Kelly R, and she practically dragged me through the last half of the run. Ever since then we've played a little game about who notices the other first at various events. So far she's winning.
  2. What was the last embarrassing thing you did? Most recently? I've been pretty good lately. Though if my office roomie wasn't really nice, I could be in trouble for reading an article about the fitness of older athletes that had a pic of Dana Torres in a bikini. (Those abs, and all the rest, OMG!) A moderately rigourous reading of the harassment policy could find that as intimidating or sexist or something. 
  3. Do you wear underwear when you run? why or why not?. No, just the shorts or tights I'm running in. Cotton underwear during sweaty workouts is a really really bad idea.
  4. Where is the strangest place you've ended up having to pee during a long run, ride, or race.  The strangest place it was discussed was during IMC while waiting for our turn at two porta potties. A couple of us had to really go, and we seriously discussed using the huge trash bag, but eventually decided that would be tough on the volunteers. One of the girls didn't care and was looking for a helping hand to get on top of the framework when her turn came. Other than that, nothing more strange than random road sides, with or without a bush. 
  5. Which color porta potty do you prefer? If I need a porta potty, it's colour is the last thing on my mind.
  6. What was the last random object you saw on your last run? A geezer. As I was going past Safeway while Running for Sherry, a geezer didn't see me and just drove out of the parking lot. I saw him coming and was able to avoid being run down. I laughed though, because part of his coat was outside the door. There was lady coming in that waited, she had given me a smile, jerked her thumb at the geezer and shrugged her shoulders. I gave her a nice wave.
  7. What was the most random object you've ever seen on a long run? There was one ride going south from 22X at Bragg Creek down towards Millarville, where I saw a ton of those bungee cord ends. But just the hook end, the cord itself was frayed through. I probably saw a half dozen of them at least, different sizes and styles. I couldn't help but think that I might start running into whatever had been tied down with those bungee cords.
  8. What is your favorite breakfast? At home it's granola with several different kinds of nuts and fruits (which reminds me of a complicated joke involving Greenwich Village in an old Spider Robinson short story). In a restaurant it's just about anything that the Galaxy Diner makes. Yum!
  9. The Voice or American Idol? Huh?
  10. What was the last TV show you watched? The last TV show I watched, on TV with commercials and all, was Northern Exposure. Since then, we've rented numerous TV shows on DVD. I'm working through BSG while spinning, and either Boardwalk Empire, or The Borgias when I can sit and pay attention.
  11. What are you doing tomorrow? Tomorrow being Monday, I'll start with a swim, then head in for my second last day on this contract. I don't anticipate a fast paced day, if you know what I mean.


  1. Glad you got a great bike (spin?) session in! I will pretend that you should have tagged me, if nothing else so I can tell you why I think you should.

    About the speed do they sell you just the circular thing, or the laces as well? By your description, sounds like it's just the circular thing, but I'm pretty dense, so I'll just ask you. :)

  2. It's the laces and circular thingie. The laces even come in different colours. Last I looked they were about 4 or 5 dollars. Gords Running Store on Centre and about 8th (same little mall as the Starbucks at the top of the hill) has them.

  3. LOL - thanks for the new 22 things. Those are such fun. And of course I appreciate the headworks taste that is now in my mouth.

  4. Right in my neighbourhood! Excellent, I'll go check them out. Btw, heard they have a shoe sale going on. Gonna check em this week.

  5. Glad you liked them. Nothing like a good meme.

  6. Hi Keith! Nice to meet you and thanks for stopping by my blog to leave a comment. I appreciate them all.
    I have to admit as well that I absolutely LOVE washing the dishes by hand too! I feed just about everything that comes into our back yard, so I find it very relaxing to watch birds, squirrels, deer, turkeys, whatever in my yard while I wash dishes.


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