Final thoughts on the Olympics: I know it’s not apples and apples, and I’m certainly not comparing China to Nazi Germany, but we kept hearing over and over again about how these games were critical to China to show themselves to the world as a new superpower, and especially that it was considered vitally important to the Chinese that they win as many gold medals as possible to demonstrate…what exactly I’m not sure. But it was hard to hear that and not think of Hitler’s 1936 Berlin games, which he viewed as a means to demonstrate the superiority of the Aryan race and their way of life. It’s kinda nice to have a natural Olympic rival again, like we used to have with the Soviet Union. If Rocky 4 came out today, Ivan Drago would be Chinese. And Sylvester Stallone would be way to old for anyone take him seriously as a boxer anymore, so of course, no one in their right mind would make a movie like that now….oh, wait….. I think all the Americans screaming about the Chinese gymnasts now know what all those French people felt like who were screaming for all those years about how Lance Armstrong just HAD to be doping, because, well…just LOOK at him. At the end of the day, as Lt. Caffee says in A Few Good Men, “It doesn’t matter what I think. It only matters what I can prove.” And, not for nothing, but the 12-year old Chinese girls WON. I’m not saying that it’s ok if they were allowed to compete when they were ineligible, but I didn’t hear much of an outcry until they started winning gold medals. I guess they can unplug Dim Daggett, Elfie Schlagel, Ato Bolden, and Cynthia Potter and put them in their crates until 2012. Seriously, what do they do between Olympics? I can picture Cynthia Potter (he expert commentator for diving) sitting in the park, watching the leaves falling off the trees into the pond and talking to herself. “That one just didn’t have the tight rotation that you’d expect to see in a maple leaf. And way too many ripples on the entry—I wouldn’t give it more than a 7.5. We’ll see if that opens the door for the Poplar to take command of this competition…” I kinda want Michael Phelps to just totally fall off the wagon now. Quit swimming, accept a couple of ridiculous movie roles, start showing up in VIP rooms with Paris Hilton, get photographed by the paparazzi on Diddy’s yacht in St. Barths with a bottle of Cristal in each hand, surrounded by eight topless girls each wearing one of his medals. I mean, he’s earned it, hasn’t he? It must be weird for Misty May and Kerry Walsh to go back to wearing clothes on a regular basis. By the way, did you see the interview with Bob Costas after they won the gold? Somehow, they were all the same size, sitting behind the desk. I don’t know about you, but I think that is a feat of CGI technical brilliance that far outweighs the fireworks in the opening ceremonies. I’m sad that it’s over, actually. As always, I thought the coverage was focused too much on the stuff Americans do well (swimming, sprints, gymnastics) and I didn’t see as much of the other sports and other countries’ top athletes as I’d like to have seen, but I can’t remember enjoying another Olympics more. I’m looking forward to 2012 already—I might actually get a chance to see some of them in person if I play my cards right. That would be cool, no? B: Kashi cereal S: Granola bar L: Tuna sandwich
Sport
  • Walking
  • 3h 00m
I wouldn't ordinarily list walking as workout, but considering that I walked about 5 miles today, most of it with a 45-lb kid on my shoulders, I think I'm entitled. NYC, which is becoming an increasingly bike-friendly city, btw, has sponsored this Summer Streets program for the last few weekends. Basically, they close a street from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park to vehicular traffic and open it up to cyclists, rollerbladers, and walkers. My son and I walked home after having breakfast with my dad from 19th street. Total was about 5 miles, including the walk over the Brooklyn Bridge. It was really cool to see all the bikes on the street with no cars. NYC also recently started to increase the number of protected bike lanes (there's one on Broadway now), and the number of bike racks. They recently put in these funny racks that are "location specific". There's one shaped like a giant dollar sign near Wall Street, one shaped like a pinup girl at Times Square, etc. Here are pictures: http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2008/08/19/new-bike-racks-courtesy-of-david-byrne/ They're not permanent, unfortunately, just for the summer, but there's definitely a movement afoot to increase bike racks, indoor bike storage, and to encourage companies to allow employees to bring their bikes into office buildings. We've got a long way to go before we're Amsterdam, but it's nice to see. B: Oatmeal, and a few bites of my son's French Toast which was the best ever. L: PB&J D: Pizza

Got my MRI today. They put these headphones on, darken the room, and start playing friggin' Josh Groban and tell me "don't fall asleep or you'll move around and ruin the images." I'd have an easier time staying awake with an IV of morphine than with John Groanin' in my ears. Jeez, the guy's like musical Vicodin. I don't know how people listen to that. Finally, I decided I preferred to listen to the clanking of the machine. Wife's away, and got home too late to set the trainer up and everything, but I did do a ton of walking around today, so it wasn't a total loss. B: YFG L: pastrami sandwich D: ww pasta pomodoro with chicken
Bike
  • 30m
  • 8.25 miles
  • -----

On the elliptical with lots of hills

Strength
  • 1h 00m

upper/lower body circuit

I'm having a cocktail right now. It's a little Johnny Walker on the rocks. And if you have to ask, "which variety of Johnny Walker?" well, you just don't know me very well.... If, like me, you're a fan of snarky holier-than thou humor, and you also like bikes, you might wanna give this a look: http://bikesnobnyc.blogspot.com Some of the references might not mean anything if you're not from NYC, but it's pretty damn funny. I went to a new ortho today, one who was reccomended by Socks, and (other than the fact that she kept me waiting in her waiting room for over an hour...) she was really good. A different approach than my last guy. I'm going to get an MRI tomorrow, and then we'll have a treatment plan for my calves based on an actual understanding of what's going on in there, instead of speculation. What a concept. She also told me that, although they won't say so on the label, it's perfectly safe and within the acceptable dosage to take up to four advil per dose if needed. That's good to know, although I think if I ever hurt bad enough to need four advil, I'll just step go right to vicodin. My wife is out of town visiting friends this weekend, so, other than chasing my kid around, it might be training-free. B: YFG L: Bialy S: Clif bar D: Salad, organic sweet & sour chicken w/brown rice

Poor Lolo. Hard not to feel for her. She said something like, “Since I won’t be able to inspire kids as an Olympic champion, maybe I can inspire them by getting up off the ground and coming back from this disappointment.” So close. You just know that “Hey, I think I’m gonna win” had crossed her mind just before she hit that hurdle. I’m not usually a fan of the “family reaction shot”, but that, too, was gut-wrenching tv. Not too many other sports can you go from first to last so abruptly in the middle of a race. I’m really happy for little Shawn. I know it must get really old telling everyone how happy you are to have won yet another silver medal and how it doesn’t matter that you didn’t win a gold medal, you’re just honored to have had the opportunity and blah blah blah…. (What? I’m happy for her. Shut up.) Every time Usain Bolt runs, there are 500 NFL and NCAA football scouts watching tv going, “How the he11 did we miss that guy?” 6’4”, 200+lbs with that kind of speed? Imagine being a 5’9” defensive back and trying to defend that? Nice display of sportsmanship between Team USA and Team China in baseball. Team USA knocks down two of China’s catchers (one was borderline, the other was clearly a dirty play, I thought), and China responds by hitting a US batter in the head with a pitch. That should pretty much put the kibosh on any talk by the IOC of reinstating baseball. Trampoline. Olympic sport. I don’t even have a joke here. I saw two minutes of it last night, and the announcer was going, “tremendous height on that last layout twisting double back!” And I’m thinking, well, duh—she’s on a friggin TRAMPOLINE!!!! Trampoline, for me, joins that list of “Sports that you can use to get into the Olympics if you’re not good enough to get in doing a legitimate sport.” Others on that list are: ice dancing (vs figure skating), synchronized diving (vs diving), rhythmic gymnastics (vs gymnastics), and skeleton (vs luge, except that at least with skeleton, you have to be completely insane as well). B: YFG S: Weird Kashi roll thing L: Mongolian bbq w/chicken breast, shrimp, vegetables
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.

jmk-brooklyn's Training Log


 August 2008 
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Time
Distance
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