Saturday, November 24, 2012

Off Season Rambling

My last race was the Chicago Marathon, wayyyy back in early October. Thought I'd just drop a few lines as to what I've been up to for the past 6 weeks or so.

I was ready for the race season to be done. I wasn't necessarily feeling beat up or mentally crispy - just happy with how the whole year had gone. Felt like I had a great season with really strong results. Definitely felt like I was ready for some rebuilding and a well deserved break. It can mentally wear on you a bit to operate in that constant state of fatigue that hard training requires.

I also had developed this niggle in my right foot about 3 weeks prior to Chicago. With a bit of conservation, I held it together - but it was also time to really get a handle on it. Those kinds of things are generally a warning sign that the body needs some rest and rehab.

So what have I been up to for the past few weeks? Well, for the most part - just taking it easy on a number of fronts. No real structure to my training right now. Just playing around with some different workouts in each sport (swim, bike & run) to get a feel for what might work for those 'go-to' workouts.

Scaled back the running, and still was struggling a bit with the foot. Self-diagnosed a little plantar fasciitis towards the heel coupled with a slight strain of my achilles (insertion). Feel like now with some taping and backing off on the running, things are starting to heal. btw - the KT Tape is pretty rockin' stuff and there are a ton of great videos out there on how to tape for just about any injury.

Also doing a lot of training in the swim and bike. Did this great swim workout today. 3000yds total, mostly skills work with the Finis snorkel and fulcrums. Also a 5x200 set of just swimming at pace. Lots of kicking. Trying to really work the technical weakness in the pool.

Then did a 32mi road bike ride with 4x7min at threshold (w/5mins in between). Felt really good to put in such a solid day. Feeling good and tired right now - and also like I've made up for the Thanksgiving feasting :-)

Did a REALLY great ride earlier in the week. Rode over to Lookout Mt. and up and over. Then across through this road I've never been on (a bit grungy and unpaved in spots), and down Hwy 74 back to Bear Creek park and home. 36mi and over 2500ft of climbing.

Also raced a 5K 'turkey trot' put on by Paige's team. That was 2 days after flying back from my 2 week India / China trip - so I wasn't sure what was in the tank. Ended up taking first with 21:10 - not my best work time-wise, but respectable. I wasn't planning on 'racing', but one of Paige's team-mates had gone off the front and I guess that even with age, I'm still like a dog chasing cars. At some point that's going to fade away, so I better enjoy it while I can :-)

Hmmm... yeah, writing this all down, sounds like a lot of training - but the vacation part is really not feeling like I 'have' to do a workout if I don't feel like it. The truth is that I *love* to be out there doing these things - it's more the structure of training that I need the break from.

So other than all that - I'm really just spending lots of time with my family and friends. Not worrying as much about sticking to the strict diet. Sleeping in when I can't motivate to get up at 4:45AM and head to the pool for masters. It's freakin' sweet!

That's about it. Sorry if this post is a bit meaningless and rambling. Just wanted to make a journal entry to myself if nothing else - to remember this time when I'm the middle of training next year. Something to look forward to.

I promise the next post will be more interesting :-)

Friday, November 9, 2012

Another Country I've Now Run In - India

So I went running for the first time in Chennai, India the other day. It was a trip.

I've run a lot in China as I'm over there about once every 3 months. And running in China can be a bit hairy with the chaotic traffic. If running in the city was a video game, New York would be like level 1 or 2. Running in China would be level 6.

Running in India would be level 11. You know that level where you battle the Volcano Lava Monster with nothing but a battle axe while monkeys through balls of fire at you from the cliff sides. Yeah. It's like that.

Not only does the traffic drive on the 'British' side of the road (kind of messes with your trajectory estimation skills), but vehicles don't slow when they almost collide like in China. In fact, they generally speed up. It's like the driver of the car / moped / motorcycle / bike / Tuk-Tuk (3 wheel vehicle) perceives that there is a chance they are about to collide and their response is, "Screw it" - and they speed up to go all in.

Like China, traffic is like being at the business end of a particle accelerator. Only instead of quarks and leptons (which I think have no mass), you are dodging stuff that has quite a bit of heft in addition to moving in  completely random directions at a variety of ever changing speeds. If I recall, existing at the quantum level you would see particles popping in and out of dimensional existence too. I swear that at least once a moped appeared where none existed just a moment before. At least that's what it seemed like. Toss in some stray dogs, roosters and cows.... yes.. in the city.. and it will test your peripheral vision skills to the max.

And there are monkeys too. You heard me. And although they aren't throwing flaming lava balls at you, having one screech in your ear from a fence while you run by can upchuck your concentration - especially if you're not expecting to see a monkey. The first time I looked over and saw this little simian bastard staring at me - it freaked me out. Up until now, the only time I've seen one is at the zoo.. behind some glass.  All I could think of when I first saw one was that old Pink Panther scene. I don't know why.

Anyway. Here's some video of the traffic scene here - from the safety of my car. The video doesn't do it justice. And keep in mind, this street is a major road with barriers to keep everyone in line a bit.

Don't get me wrong. I love adventure - and I'm glad I did it. But for the rest of my trip, I think I'll stick to the hotel treadmill. To the best of my knowledge, nobody ever got whacked running on a treadmill.

Or got assaulted by a monkey.


Having a great time with my colleagues out here though. I absolutely cherish the opportunity to travel and learn as much as I get to in my job.  Here's some pictures from today...

Our new office
Should be moving in about a month or so

Views from the terrace (i.e. roof) of our office overlooking the city of Chennai

Ocean is out just at the horizon (about 4km away)

Potluck - everyone brought a dish.
Home cooked goodness. Man, it doesn't get better than this!!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hitler finds out the results of his MRI

There are a bunch of different parodies on this clip, but this is for those of you that have ever been injured.

WARNING: Although the audio is in German, the sub-titles in this parody contain a lot of instances of the 'F' word. Hide the kids and those easily offended.