Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Call me Crazy

I happen to have a job where I telecommute from home almost all the time, drop into the office when it's prudent to make those face-to-face connections and rarely have to travel. So am I crazy to enjoying the times I actually do get to board on a plane and fly around the country?

Nah, not crazy if you ask me. More like mildly blessed. I enjoy traveling whether it's for work or pleasure. This morning I'm heading back to Denver for a quick one night stay. While there I'll be meeting with the folks at Jabber and working on getting this acquisition integrated. Little trips like this are fun, and in an odd way, it reinforces with me how important my family is to me. Yeah, sappy teary eye stuff, but being away does make coming back all the more fun. At least for now when all the kids are under 6 years old and they're stoked to see their dad walk in the door.

This will be a fun little trip. I'm going to hit up a bike shop run by Ron Kiefel (yes, from the old pro 7-11 team in the 80's) and then have the pleasure of being able to walk over to the Denver flagship REI store from my hotel. Man, business travel is really hard.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Going to me find something to do!

I'm going to be in Denver next week for 1 evening...anybody have suggestions on what I can do on a Wednesday night?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I saw this on another blog and had to share. It's an amazing story. It hit me on several different levels because as a kid I did a lot of work with cutting firewood and playing with tools. Reader be warned, the link will contain some medically graphic pictures:

Dad, you're a retired doc...enjoy!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sticking to the Plan

Over the past couple of years I've climbed Highway 9 out of Saratoga enough to almost have the route burned to memory. In fact, I probably could draw it out on a napkin and have my representation be pretty close to what you'd find on Google maps.

Yesterday before my ride I was reviewing my old powermeter data. Specifically I was looking at my efforts over 20 minutes, i.e. my 20 minute max. I take pride in the fact that I can hold a pretty big number of watts for 20 minutes; however, this doesn't really help much on climbs considering I weigh 200 pounds. The watts/kilo calculation puts me out of the range of being a super-strong climber.

The first thing I noted around my max 20 minutes efforts were the fact that none of them were on Highway 9. I swear this had to be wrong because I knew for a fact that this climb had been the source of some painful rides in the past. Time to right this wrong and get on the climb to clock in a hard effort.

But before heading out the door I decided to look at my data from my best ride up the climb. It showed that my effort up the climb was around 40 watts below my threshold. Upon further inspection it was easy to see that I hit the bottom portion of the climb (up to around Redwood Gulch) pretty hard and then my watts consistently drifted downward. Hmm, interesting...

I decided to put a brain cell or two to use before heading out. If I could manage to not go too hard in the beginning of the climb I should have a better shot of besting my record. I decided that I my upper limit was 400 watts and the lower limit was 350. This lower limit was going to hurt especially after passing Redwood Gulch.

On the ride over from my house I got the anticipation butterflies. I hadn't tried to put this much thought into how to tackle a climb...ever. I didn't know how I would respond but I was excited to see.

I started out and it actually was difficult for me to temper back the watts. I wanted to hit the climb hard but I had to remind myself to stick with the plan and ease back a bit. This proved to be immediately beneficial because there are a few areas below Saratoga Springs where I always see my watts drop off. This time it didn't happen...I felt like I was managing my effort and it was showing me some immediate benefits.

As I approached Redwood Gulch I clicked through my computer display to see some other relevant numbers. My HR as high, but in my usual range for hard efforts. Cadence looked really good (I really, really like my compact crank). And now for the most average watts for the climb. 369!


369. It wasn't a mistake. Immediately I knew that I would either blow up pretty big in a few minutes or that I would need to increase my faith in the plans I had laid before the climb. Being brought up in a religious household and still being religious I decided to have a little faith.

Faith must be a strong thing. Over the course of the next 3 remaining miles I had 2 side aches show up that really, really hurt. I don't think I've ever had two on a climb. One, yes, but that doesn't happen too often. But this was new territory, so I had to have faith.

The summit was getting closer and I pulled up the timer on the computer. It seemed like my plan was working! I was going to beat my previous best. I crossed my "finish line" and had shaved, let me rephrase that, CRUSHED, my old record by one minute and nine seconds!

It ended up that my average watts for the entire climb was 368. I only lost 1 watt of power over the last 3 miles and put out my highest averages over the last five minutes of the climb. Talk about ramping it up at the end...

It's pretty cool to see that you can approach a climb armed with some data and execute a plan to climb a hill with new success. Not sure if I like getting the double-barrel side aches, but maybe if I keep up these kind of efforts these will be a thing of the past.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Gone Hairy

It's official...the race season for me is over. The calendar for September filled up faster than a bunch of Republicans looking to hop on the next big thing. And as the leaves turn golden colors, so do other things become a priority.

I'm looking forward to helping Logan with learning the game of volleyball this fall and her league. Since this is new to me, will a bunch of 7-9 year olds play volleyball any better than when they play soccer and run around in a big clump?!? This is yet to be seen but I'll let you know.

Also happy to retire the Wahl/razor combo for 2008. The legs are going to hibernate for the winter behind some hair. I'm sure there will be some new vein surprises in 2009 when they get shorn again.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Twitter and the Touchdown

It's been over a week that I've gone without receiving updates from Twitter. I decided to go cold-turkey and shut it down since I kept receiving updates from people that I didn't really care about. Sure, the problems lies with me and my pattern of following too many meaningless tweets; I guess I need to re-evaluate where I see this service being of value to me going forward. I do think it's useful but for the right purposes. I was seeing my iPhone battery draining due to all the traffic, however, Apple does plan to drop a new firmware upgrade for the phone tomorrow that should help with battery life (fingers are definitely crossed for this patch).

Football season is here and Taylor knows it. She follows the tradition of her older siblings with the classic touchdown pose while sleeping. Nice to know that the kidlets all have the same DNA. Lisa and I celebrate when we see the pose. It usually means we're golden for the next couple of hours and Taylor will be out solid.

Friday, September 5, 2008

2 Nights in a Row

I'm hoping this is a sign of things to come (and continue for that fact). Taylor has slept through the night for the past two evenings. Both times for at least 8 hours. I would have been just as refreshed as she had it not been for some a case of the 4am foot cramps. Damn those are irritating!