So, in triathlon related news: a guy from my tri club offered to give me a front race wheel that he’s not using anymore. Great, right? Well, yes, potentially. Problem is, the wheel is a “Spinergy race-x” wheel. I did some research on the web and it seems that this wheel has several incidences of catastrophic failure, resulting in some pretty serious injuries. He said that he’s had it for a couple of years, and that he bought it used, so I’m not even sure exactly how old it is. Obviously he hasn’t had any problems with it, but I’m not sure I should risk it. I should have done some research before saying yes, I suppose. I don’t want to be an “Indian taker”, but I’m having some serious second thoughts, even though I would love to have a carbon race wheel, even if it was only for the front. I think I’m going to end up passing on it unless someone can give me a really compelling argument as to why I shouldn’t. On to my Olympic Observation/Rant of the day. Today’s top story at the Olympics: Michael Phelps isn’t really doing anything today. Just kind of hanging out. No word on what the rest of the US Men’s Olympic swim team thinks about it. It seems to be the case that any sport that requires a group of five or more talented female athletes to be involved at the same time seems to favor the US (softball, soccer, rowing eights, field hockey, basketball). It's as though any given country can find a single athlete or small group of athletes to do well enough in a sport to beat the US, but if the sport requires a larger group of talented female athletes, the US seems to always have the edge. I'm sure there's some sociopolitical statement there, but I'm not sure what it is. Cute story about the (GIANT) girl who won the gold in the discus: when she was a little girl, she idolized Mary Lou Retton and dreamed of becoming an Olympic gymnast like her. But she just kept getting taller and taller and bigger and bigger, and it was obvious very quickly that she was never going to be a gymnast. She eventually grew to be 6'4", but she found her way to the Olympics anyway and goes home with a gold medal just like Mary Lou. The men’s triathlon was surprisingly compelling for a multi-loop race. It’s a little jarring to see how poorly the Americans have done in the Olympic tris because we’ve been hearing about how great all of them are for so long. Kemper was really the only one who looked like he belonged there. Reed hung in for a while, but Shoemaker was off the back from the beginning. Each athlete’s transition area was roughly the size of my first apartment in NYC. I’m surprised that they didn’t each have a valet. I’m not sure what’s worse—crashing into the first hurdle and having your race over before it even starts, or having the lead and crashing on the 9th hurdle. Or carrying the hope of your nation on your shoulders going into the race and not being able to start due to injury. Lotsa pathos happenin’ at the hurdle track this year. A tabloid today reported that Phelps is either dating Amanda Beard or a British Supermodel. Way to get your story straight there, guys. B: ww English muffin w/swiss cheese L: Roast beef and parmesan sandwich on baguetter S: low-fat blueberry muffin. (I know, I know—there’s no such thing. Humor me.) D: Indian food.
Bike
  • 15m
  • 4.50 miles
  • -----
Run
  • 20m
  • 2.35 miles
  • 08m 31s /Mi
Strength
  • 45m
I think I join everyone else on this site when I express my disappointment that the women’s tri wasn’t televised. I’m the first to say that triathlon isn’t a great tv sport, but surely it makes for more compelling TV than a marathon (seventy five skinny women running down a road. Thrilling.) , which was shown in its entirety. And it got pre-empted by gymnastics? I get that it’s about ratings but Jebus, how many times do we need to watch the same four girls do the same four routines in the same four events? Anyone catch the interview between Chris Collinsworth and Alicia Sacramone? He said something to her like, “Don’t feel so bad. I had two chances to win the Super Bowl and I lost them both…”. Do you think she was thinking, “Yes, but you probably got paid more in the two years that you lost the Super Bowl than I will make in my entire gymnastics career, which is now over, by the way, so it’s not exactly comparing apples to apples, is it, Chris?” Because I sure was. Is anyone else enjoying those studio interviews between Bela Karolyi and Bob Costas as much as I am? When Karolyi goes on one of his endless paranoid rants, I half expect Bob to whip out a Taser. “That’s an interesting point of view Bela…” BZZZZZZZZT! “And now, let’s head back over to the event finals with Al, Tim and Elfie…” How many more times do you think the other members of the US men’s swim team will be asked by a reporter to talk about how great Michael Phelps is before one of them punches someone? In general, asking Olympic athletes to talk about other athletes doesn’t make for great tv. When they asked the American bronze medal winner of the mens 100m dash what he thought of Usain Bolt, the winner and world-record breaker, he said, “Dude can run.” Hmm. You think so, doctor? Pretty much all the female pole vaulters are smoking hot. And I’m not even saying that because they’re…y’know…pole vaulters (immature snicker). I’m saying that, empirically speaking, they just are. I don’t know what the correlation is between being a female pole vaulter and being hot, but clearly there is one. The shot putters? Not as much. B: YFG S: This weird Kashi bar-thing L: Tuna sandwich, lf blueberry muffin. D: Chicken, wild rice

Bike
  • 2h 05m
  • 36.00 miles
  • -----

Up to the GWB and back

Sport
  • Soccer
  • 45m
Long ride this morning--still just exhausted from late night Olympic-watching, but felt fine. After lunch, we went to a park and kicked the soccer ball around w/my son for a while. I just realized I've been slacking on my nutrition posting--I'll resume it tomorrow.

Bike
  • 30m
  • 8.95 miles
  • -----
Strength
  • 45m

Misc core, upper & lower body work

Today my wife (who's been running about 3 miles pretty consistently for the last few weeks) asked me to help her to find a 5k to run. So that's incredibly exciting. We went to get her new running shoes this afternoon, and to replace her malfunctioning nike+ unit. My only concern is that she ALWAYS runs with her iPod, so it'll be weird for her to run a race where she can't have it, and she might not like it. We'll see what happens. I'm resisting the urge to be too encouraging because I have a tendency to get annoying about it. Went to the gym for a little while during naptime.

I'm resting and watching the Olympics tonight. Go, Dara! Crap I learned about Michael Phelps yesterday: He has the torso of a person 6'8" tall, but the legs of someone who's only 6 feet tall. That's....fascinating. By contrast, Nastia Liukin has the legs of a person who's 8 feet tall, but somehow manages not to crack 5 feet. After a week of trying to comprehend the new gymnastics scoring, I'm really looking forward to track and field, where the first person to get from here to there is the winner. I'm watching Mens beach volleyball right now. It's not really that entertaining. Wonder why that is. The only thing entertaining about it is watching the two Swiss guys ignore each other even though they're on the same team. Supposedly, they went through the entire Athens games without ever speaking to each other, on the court or off.
Run
  • 30m
  • 3.20 miles
  • -----

Yep. I ran. On the treadmill, but at a decent pace after a 5-minute warmup. I held around a 9m/m pace for most of it, then went to about an 8:30 pace for the last couple of minutes. No pain. A good sign.

Here's another couple of Olympic observations. I love listening to the women in my office ooh and ahh over the male gymnasts. Lest we forget, ladies, their bulging deltoids and ungodly flexibility notwithstanding, most of these boys are about 5’3”. Any of them came up to you in a bar, you’d probably pat them on the head and tell them to run home and finish their Geography homework. The Hungarian weightlifter dislocating his arm is definitely joining the pantheon of shockingly horrible sports injuries, right up there with Busst and Malarchuk. (Go on, Google ‘Malarchuk Injury’ and watch what happens. I dare you…) Cheryl Haworth, the American weightlifter is 5’9, 300lbs. She can squat 600 lbs, do splits in both directions, and has a 30” vertical jump. Eep. I’d like to see an MTV Celebrity Deathmatch between Cheryl Haworth and the entire women’s gymnastic team. You have to admit, that would be entertaining as he11. Can we all please stop with the righteous outrage over the allegations of cheating by the Chinese Olympic team? At least wait until Marion Jones is out of prison. Ok, I recognize that Olympic mascots always ALWAYS suck. But these Chinese Mascots? What are they? And why so many? Was it that difficult to come up with a Chinese Olympic mascot? Look, here's what you do: 1: Draw cartoon of cute chubby panda. 2: Stamp olympic rings on cute chubby panda's belly. Voila. Olympic mascot. There. Was that so hard? You can overthink this stuff, you know. Someone on one of the threads made the point that, as impressive as Phelps/Coughlin's achievements are, it's a little unfair that they get to cash in on so many medals by essentially doing variations of the same thing. I mean, javelin throwers get one event, right? It's not like, "Ok, now we're going to do the javelin throw but with a slightly heavier javelin". "Ok, now we're going to do it but with a slightly longer running start" "Ok, this time, you have to use your other hand.." and all of a sudden, the javelin throwers are collecting six and seven medals. Al Oerter only won 4 medals, but he got them by winning the discus throw in four straight Olympic games, from 1956 to 1968, breaking his own Olympic record each time. Is Phelps going to be breaking records and winning gold medals eight years from now?

Swim
  • 45m
  • 2450.00 yards
  • -----

Swam a few 100's in 46 seconds, just for fun.

Ok, not really.

The Olympics have turned me into a zombie. I will somehow muster the energy to swim tonight, but it won’t be easy, since I’m freakin exhausted. Fortunately for me, little Alicia Sacramone did me a favor and fell of the beam at the beginning of her routine, which saved me the trouble of having to stay up through the conclusion of the team gymnastics competition. I’m sure she’ll shake that right off. No way that sticks with her for the rest of her life. I mean, I’m sure she’ll have plenty of other chances to succeed with the fortunes of her teammates and the hopes of an entire nation on her shoulders… Some other sleep-deprived Olympic thoughts: Why is Kerri Walsh wearing a watch during the beach volleyball matches? Is she going somewhere? I’m all for eye candy, but really, would it cost the US womens’ Olympic beach volleyball team the gold medal if they pulled their suits just a tiny bit out of their butt? Likewise, would Michael Phelps pursuit of history be derailed somehow if he pulled his friggin waistband up a half an inch? A little decorum, people. Just sayin’. Shawn Johnson. Kinda cute. I know, I know—she’s only 16. That’s as far as I’ll go, I promise. She’s also in pretty amazing shape. Ok, now I’m done. Seriously. I’ll go back to my favorite line from the TdF: “There is nothing that the French love more than the heroic individual effort that ultimately fails.” It’s fascinating to see how many times that plays out here. Just watch how many French swimmers go out way to fast, lead the race at the first turn, then fade to last place. I swear I’ve seen it two or three times already. There is a dignity, an honor, even in failure in their culture that doesn’t exist in ours. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or not, but it’s interesting to watch. Here’s another example: who is the greatest hero in French history? Joan of Arc. So there you go. “When the Chinese world-record breaking hurdler Liu Xiang was in fourth grade, he was examined by a representative from the Chinese Sports Federation who noticed his large feet and long Achilles tendons and determined that he had the potential to be an Olympic champion”. Somewhere in that passage is the reason why China is the fastest growing economy in the world, I’m just not sure exactly where it is. Has anyone else noticed the robotic “two-handed high-fives” that are exchanged by the Chinese teams after every point or gymnastics routine? It’s as though they watched film of American athletes and said, “look at that thing they do on the sidelines. We must also do this.” So, when the US men's Olympic field hockey team is trying to pick up girls in the Olympic Village, and the girls ask them, "So, what sport do you play?" what do you think they tell them? Because there's no way in he11 that they tell them the truth.

jmk-brooklyn's Training Log


 August 2008 
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
      1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
31      
 
Time
Distance
  • January's totals
  • December's totals
  • 2012 totals
  • 2011 totals