Monday, September 29, 2008

Some Interesting Reading

OK, so some other person on Hernando's blog roll posted this. I think it is an interesting hypothesis:

Also, I read a great book over the weekend:
The White Mary, by Kira Salak

I found the book to be engrossing from page 2 all the way to the end.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Simplifying Part 1

The theme of my life for the next year is Simplifying. I'll have more updates along these lines as the next months progress. But, here are some things we're doing and some things I'm thinking about as part of the Simplification Strategy. Of course, when you get done reading this rambling post, you'll wish I'd applied the theme to my writing!

1. Clutter reduction
Neither cyclistrick nor I is a huge pack rat, so that is a good thing. However, our culture seems to encourage clutter ("Maybe I'll need this someday - I'll keep it.") I've always been pretty good about keeping the clothes clutter down. But, books are another story. Well, I'm happy to report that we purged 61 books from our stacks at home. Our criteria was "If I don't desire to read it again, and I don't need it for reference, pitch it!". Now, we're moving on to the bike stuff. We were going to sell a bunch of stuff, but in the interest of de-cluttering our free time (who has time to post all the stuff to Craigslist or Ebay?), we will be donating one entire bike and a whole shop's worth of parts & accessories in the near future. Suggestions for worthy organizations are welcome.

2. Dietary simplification
Cyclistrick wrote a good post on where we've been going with this line of thinking, so I won't repeat. However, don't be surprised if after some of the other simplification stuff happens we end up with some chickens and lots of produce in our back yard.

3. Freecycling
I've been intrigued with the idea of limiting the amount of "new" things I buy. I think I am going to try hitting consignment shops next time I need an item of clothing. The same goes for furniture stuffs. It might be good to try this concept out for bike stuffs too, though some things really need to be "new" (tires, chains, etc.) This idea isn't really well fleshed out. I'm just going to try the concept next time I need something.

4. Training simplification
Here is an interesting link to an article on one of the training topics I've been considering of late:

Another topic is moving to more "minimal" running shoes. I'd been giving this some thought for a while feeling like I was much faster running in my "street" tennies than in my running shoes, legs not feeling comfortable with the heel strike, and getting numerous blisters from bulky trail runners. Well, I'm happy to report that I ran 3 miles on pavement the other day in Kangaroos with no ill effects. Yeah, my muscles are a little sore, but that is to be expected. No blisters, no tightness in my lower legs, and I was a bit faster. I will give the theory another try on a trail run/walk next weekend.

So, on the topics of hydration and running footwear - my thoughts revolve around getting back to what the body was designed to do - without all the modern amenities we've cooked up in recent years. Sure, it's good to protect your foot from shards of glass, but other than that, is all the padding really needed? Could it in fact be hurting our biomechanics?

Yes, it's good to drink when you are thirsty. But, should we be force-feeding ourselves sodium solution while exercising? I'm willing to be convinced either way. But, there is an elegant simplicity in our thirst mechanism and just listening to it.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Going easy requires much discipline, Chatterbox-san!

It's that time of year when we try to transition our brains from "Fast! Fast!" all the time to something a bit more measured. However, as I discovered yesterday, going easy also requires a lot of discipline! I was attempting to do a low-intensity, high-cadence workout. And, gosh darnit, there were times on relatively flat ground where I was going 10.9 mph. It was all I could do to swallow my pride and continue at a snail's pace. But, I must remind myself that this is what my body needs to repair and de-stress from the long season. Yep, it's the time of year to turn off the cyclo-computer and enjoy the view, have fun, and lose the hammer mentality (and forget about racing Harriet from Building E to work).

Monday, September 8, 2008

A little of this, a little of that....

Wow, I've been so busy working and not-so-busy cycling, that I'm a little behind in bloggy-land.

I took last week off for some rest and did goofy things like swimming and yoga and walking to work. This week, I'm easing myself back on the bike. I've had this nagging hip problem in the 2nd half of the season (likely related to the tailbone problem) and I've been doing some specific exercises to help strengthen and rehab things a bit. Adding some walking in the mix also seems to be helping.


I helped Velogirl coach one of her skills clinics on Saturday. We had a great group of women and it was a hoot. It would be nice if the weather man could arrange more moderate temperatures for the upcoming clinics. I lost track of the number of bottles of water consumed, but it was a LOT!

Master's Natz

The Rickster and I made a brief appearance at Master's Natz on Saturday night. After he fed me and I did some stretching and bathing, we headed down to Hellyer where we had to park about 1/2 mile from the track - not your typical Saturday night there. I located the keg while he was coming back from the parking area. I claimed a cup for him and one for me and parked on the bleachers. We saw a few people we knew, but definitely not everyone we were expecting. We watched the W30-34,35-39 points race, various match sprints and the M30-39 points race. At that point, I was totally fried, so it was time to go home. We had a crazy walk in pitch black to find our car again.


Yesterday I had an early morning hike with my fried Melissa to avoid the heat and then spent most of the rest of the day laying on the couch watching football - tis the season!