Friday, July 29, 2011

I wish I was a messenger and all the news was good

Conversation from earlier today between the Annie and Jeff:

Annie:  "My 5mi run sucked this morning, I wish that Houston would have a cooler climate!"

Jeff:  "If you had just one wish, you'd wish for a cooler climate in Houston?  That is a stupid wish."

Annie:  "That is not stupid, your stupid, it is F^&*#%#G disgusting outside!!"

Jeff"  "I am saying if you have just one wish you should wish for something much better than that.  People are always screwing up these One Wish Scenarios and I think y'all need to put more thought into this stuff."

Annie:  "Whatever, Jeff. {could feel her eyes rolling even though we were on the cell phones} what would your one wish be?"

Jeff:  "To be the inventor of Teleportation.  See this is genius.  Most people would wish for the ability to Teleport.  In my opinion, that is cool but is also short sighted.  If I INVENT Teleportation then I am easily going to be able to Teleport, right?  BUT I will also reap the financial rewards of the invention.  So by wishing to be the inventor of Teleportation I am getting another cliche wish which is to be rich.  Two for the price of one!  And when the weather is shitty here we can just Teleport to San Diego or Alaska for your run. Trifecta!

Pretty sure Annie hung up someplace in the middle of this conversation so she may or may not of heard my very excellent wish.  Oh, I was stuck in traffic at the time too.

Mad points to whoever can tell me where the title of the post came from?

Have a great weekend!

Thanks for Reading,


Friday, July 22, 2011

Ironman Lake Placid Crew

Big Sunday for many of our Blogger buddies!  I am so nervous!

They will be rocking the full iron distance this Sunday at Ironman USA in the usually sleepy town of Lake Placid.

Last year a big group of us decided 2011 was going to be the year we all were going to complete the  full iron distance.  We selected our races and began training.  We cannot even begin to count the amount emails, tweets, phone calls, texts, FBs, kicks to the butts, and pats on the back that have been exchanged among the group.  Knowing the hard work, pain, and sacrifice of each member of our group makes this Sunday special.

With that being said I am more nervous for them this weekend then I was for myself during IMTX!

And in traditional blogger fashion they will have the eyes of the interwebz upon them.

Here is a list of who we should be tracking:

#918 Jon (SwiCycloRun) Leonard Campbell – @vrljc 
#312 Mandy Farrar (Caratunk Girl) – @caratunkgirl 
#2213 Bryan Payne (Training Payne) -- @tri_bry

#1709 Derek (Tri'ing 4 Iron)
#1147 Jason Rodriguez  (Tri Tech Blog)

To make it even easier to complete your stalker duties Kevin @Ironmanbythirty went ahead and created direct links from the IronmanLive site so we can all enjoy the one-click follow:

Of the group above every one but Bryan are first timers!   They have all put in the long, hard hours of training and will reap the rewards of those efforts on Sunday.  I'd like to wish them all good luck, but that is not needed since they are prepared.  Instead let's all hope for perfect weather and that they all have a wonderful day!

Go get 'em guys!


Friday, July 15, 2011

Things that Bother Me ...

I wrote the below list before this intro and must say I feel much better.  "Things that Bother Me .." may have to become a weekly feature on the Carrot.  Pretty sure I did a good job of equally offending a plethora of different groups of people.   Enjoy.

Things that Bother Me ...

  • Minivans - As an outside sales rep and an avid cyclist I spend a lot of time among other drivers.  This means I see a shitload of stupidity taking place on America's roads!  I would be willing to bet that over 2/3rds of the head shaking acts of idiocy witnessed is perpetrated by a distracted motorist in a minivan. And a minivan ran over and killed my pug puppy 13 years ago.  Suck it minivans.
  • Boston Globe Hack Brian McGrory for this asinine article stating that cyclists should not be allowed on Boston Streets.   Here is his email ( if you would like to let him know that he is indeed a douchebag!
  • Parents who think their children are gifted geniuses - In most of these occurrences the parents are barely functioning morons so, to be fair, the children might be advanced considering the shallow swamp of a gene-pool they originated from.  Most of these conversations start like this, "Little Jimmy is so gifted, he figured out how to walk up stairs already!"  And they end like this, "Yeah, Mommy of the Year, you might want to turn around because your future rocket scientist is eating cat shit in the back yard."
  • Cats - They just suck.  

  • FUN, FAIR, POSITIVE SOCCER -  First off soccer blows  but it blows even worse when the kids leagues do not keep score.  Everybody is a winner! Yeah!  Let's all go get ice cream now.  This teaches kids that mediocrity is acceptable - Bullshit!  You think the Chinese have fun, fair, positive soccer? If Ricky Bobby taught us anything it is that if you Ain't First, You're Last.  

  • People who think I am an asshole because when they ask me this question, "Can I ask you to do me a favor?"  and I reply with, "No" and then quickly walk away.  It is better to just ask and not give me a chance to get out of doing something I probably do not want to do ... just sayin.  Maybe you could learn something from my honesty.
  • The overuse of the phrase "Just Sayin ..."  
  • California - Just a failed social experiment that place turned out to be.
  • California Signs Law to Teach Gay History in Schools - Listen, I am all for gay marriage and gay rights.  That is not the problem.  What the problem is  - is that kids  have zero idea what the US Constitution or the Declaration of Independence means.  They have no idea what type of sacrifices were made by The Greatest Generation or by the Founding Fathers of our nation.  Gay history is going to be taught in Social Studies Class - my concern is what is it going to take the place of?  Should they ax the Civil War?  Maybe modify the length of the chapter on the Great Depression?  I am so sick of political correctness dictating what is taught in the classrooms.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers All-Pro Linebacker James Harrison - Lovely interview asshat!

  • People who still pay with checks - Okay dude, if you are reading this and are thinking, "I still pay with checks because ...."  Let me just stop your excuse making self right now.  Instead if commenting, log off the computer, get in your car (preferably not a minivan), drive to your bank, and get a freaking Debit Card.  Everybody standing behind you at the local grocery store from this point forward will forever be grateful.  Go.  Now.
  • The excruciatingly ridiculous amount of commercials on Versus during every broadcast of Le Tour de France.
  • France - This has nothing to do with Le Tour.   The Tour is so great that we tolerate the French each and every year during July.  The French have always just bothered me.  Surprised they haven't surrendered to Mark Cavendish yet?

  • Emotional Dudes - Get a hold of yourself Nancy.  Crying is for chicks and kids. Man-up and rub some dirt on it.  Time to be a little less Dawson Leary and a lot more John Wayne.   As a side note - Emotional dudes are probably the main reason California, France and Cats bother me.

If you have things that bother you that I missed please feel free to add them to the comments.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Twitter Killed the Blogger Star

-  It has been a few days since my last post which is very unlike me.  I have noticed over the last few months that I have gone from posting 4-5 times a week to as little as once a week.  Most people would probably think this is  because of life getting in the way or a crazy training schedule but that is not the case.  The main reason:  TWITTER (Follow me HERE).   The Twitter Killed the Blogger Star.  All thoughts and conversation are now relegated to 140 characters.  Everybody is doing it.

-  Oh, and to add to the daunting and confusing world of social media I am now on Google + and it is freaking awesome.  Google + is basically Facebook without all the ads and the ability to filter your updates to "circles" of followers.  The other night Jon (SwiCycloRun), Kevin (Ironman by Thirty), and Annie (we were in the same room on different computers) all went to the hangout room and video chatted - it was very cool.  Google + is going to revolutionize the way we communicate via Social Media.  If you cannot get on by clicking the Google + link then leave a comment or email me with your email address and I will send you an invite.  And then we can hangout and you too can meet this guy:

Big Ern
-  It has been a little over 7 weeks since Ironman Texas and I am finally back in the training zone.  I haven't talked about it much on the blog or Twitter but I was definitely going through some post-Ironman depression.  I just did not have the desire to swim, bike, or run.  It started out that I was beat up and really needed some rest but then it developed into a feeling of just not wanting to do anything training related. I was still getting in some short workouts but was very inconsistent.  Well, last Thursday I woke up and watched Le Tour de France and jumped on the trainer for the last hour.  I ended up hammering the entire time and it felt great.  Then I went for a swim and followed it up with a nice run and it just all clicked again - Viola! Weirdest thing.

- Only 60 Days until REV3 Cedar Point!  I am more excited to hangout with all the cool bloggers and Trakkers peeps that are going to be there than I am to race.  It is almost like a little 70.3 and 140.6 is going on in the middle of a big old party!!!  If you want to join in the fun sign up by clicking here

-  Some depressing news to report:  Since it has been so freaking hot here in Houston I have moved two of my four weekly runs indoors to the dreaded Treadmill. I had only done one treadmill run in the last 10 months and that streak is now over.  And here is the depressing part (Except for everyone but Treadmill Diva EMZ) - I am enjoying it, like really enjoying it.  AND my speed has comeback big time.  I have been doing Wednesday morning track workouts (at 4:45am) and Monday evening speed intervals on the treadmill and the snap is back.  For those who did not know this, Ironman training made me a slow runner.  All those long slow miles just zapped the speed from my legs.  Not anymore, as I have been holding sub-5:15/mi paces on both the track and the treadmill.  This is a good place to be with my first ever stand alone marathon coming in early '12!

-  The Pittsburgh Pirates are 47-43 at the AllStar break and a mere one game out of the division lead.  I have watched or followed on the computer most of the games (as I do every year) and must say I have not had this much fun watching baseball in a long time (18 years to be exact).  They have 3 players in tonight's All-Star game and this is the first time since 1990 (21years) that they had 3 or more players in this game!  I might have to start a Pirates Blog because this is all I have been talking about for the last couple of months.  My friends and wife have to be sick of it by now but I don't care!!

-  Doing the Katy Flatlands Century Ride on Sunday.  It is supposed to be 100 degrees with a 100% humidity.  I did this last year and stopped at pretty much every aide station to hydrate.  I cannot wait to get to Sandusky, OH in September and see how my body reacts in 70 degree temps?  I might have to run in sweat pants and a sweat shirt as that might feel really cold!

Thanks or Reading,


Monday, July 4, 2011

Movies, Books, Interviews, and more ...

I used to do movie and book reviews all the time on the Carrot but as training increased these review opportunities decreased accordingly.  It has now been over six weeks since Ironman Texas and the time in training has been cut drastically.  Over this period I've been able to enjoy a couple of books and a bunch of movies and figured I'd revert back to the good ol' days!

But first, I was interviewed by a site called Tri For Time about how to effectively manage training into your day-to-day life.  Take a minute and check out the interview HERE.  Leave a comment and let the author know of your quick tips for making training work!

Book #1:  I'm Here to Win  by Chris "Macca" McCormack

I received this book a couple months ago and put it to the side as I was not really that interested in reading.  I have always thought Macca was one heck of an athlete and respected his abilities as one of the best triathletes in the world.  However, I always felt he was kinda of a douchebag.  His interviews and press conferences always came across as brash and selfish and have made him the black hat wearing villain of professional triathletes.  

I finally picked up the book and after a few pages didn't want to put it down.  The writing style was much like you get on this and many other endurance blogs - more stream of consciousness writing over structured foundation.  This style made me feel like it was a couple of guys sitting around a table with a pint of beer just telling some stories.   Very engaging.

The content of the book brought us back to when Macca was just getting started in triathlon.  It told us of some tragic losses in his life and gave us some insight into why he has the work ethic that he does.   It gives us a look inside of the professional and business side of Triathlon that I found extremely interesting.  And in traditional Macca fashion, he pulls no punches when discussing some other professional Triathletes, both good and bad.   And some of the information shared on training and racing are worth their weight in gold.

After fininshing  I'm Here to Win my personal feelings towards him have changed completely.  He is sort of like Mike Tyson - completely misunderstood!  BUT I still see him as the black hat villain, the only difference is I now know that this image is by his choice.

Ranking:  8.5/10 Carrots

Book #2:  Born to Run  by Christopher McDougal

I do realize that I am the 2nd to last person in the endurance community to read this book (Kevin @Ironman by Thirty will be the last).  Here is the description by Amazon:
Full of incredible characters, amazing athletic achievements, cutting-edge science, and, most of all, pure inspiration, Born to Run is an epic adventure that began with one simple question: Why does my foot hurt? In search of an answer, Christopher McDougall sets off to find a tribe of the world’s greatest distance runners and learn their secrets, and in the process shows us that everything we thought we knew about running is wrong.
This first thing that jumped out to me is that Christopher McDougal is an excellent writer and amazing storyteller.  I had been avoiding this book because of the barefoot running "fad" that has been popping up among the running world over the last couple of years.  This book is responsible for the boom.  Sometimes I prefer to take an ignorance is bliss approach to things in the endurance community and the barefoot running debate was #1 on my list of things to remain un-knowledgeable about!  And I am completely aware I used the term "fad" to describe barefoot running.  We can have the argument on whether it was used in the correct context 2-3 years from now!

Anyway, I absolutely loved the book.  I was expecting a sermon on the minimalist approach to running and that was actually just a small undertone to what turned out to be a remarkable story with compelling and likable characters.  McDougal strings together a story of his injury history with out beloved sport  by becoming intertwined with some of the world's best ultramarathon runners.  He regal's us with tells of the Leadville 100 and ends with a race among an ancient tribe, the Tarahumara Indians, who are considered the greatest distance running tribe of all time.

McDougal asks the question of how this ancient tribe can run through the brutal terrain of the Copper Canyons of Mexico day-after-day in rubber sandals and limited nutrition and not become injured?  He takes us to scientists, professional runners, and coaches to try and answer this question.  However, what I really liked is that McDougal did not let the science overtake the story he was trying to tell.   This book could have got extremely technical but it stayed focused on the characters, which kept me reading.

FWIW, I ordered a new pair of running shoes the same day I finished this book and they were not Vibram Five Fingers!  Ha!

Ranking:  9/10 Carrots

Movie #1:  Super 8

Last Sunday Annie and I were finished with training and it was too hot to hang in the outdoors so we headed to the movie theater.  She didn't want to see an action flick and I was opposed to anything that would make chicks cry.  So Super 8 it was.  Here is the IMDB description:
After witnessing a mysterious train crash, a group of friends in the summer of 1979 begin noticing strange happenings going around in their small town, and begin to investigate into the creepy phenomenon.
 I will make this review short and to the point - Super 8 was fantastic!  Acting, directing, cinematography, production, story ... it was all just top notch.  The best way to describe it is to say it is a combination of The Goonies, Cloverfield, and ET.   It probably won't win any awards but it was a very enjoyable day at the movies and I highly recommend seeing it at the theater.

Ranking:  9.5/10

Movie #2:  Transformers 3:  Dark of the Moon

On Thursday night I went with a few friends to see the new Transformers Flick.  It was in 3D and I had high expectations that it was going to be as cool as Avatar.

The story starts out with an Autobots shuttle crashing on the moon in the early 1960's.  NASA was aware of the crash and thus the story takes off from here.  It takes us back to JFK, and him and his administration pushing for man to walk on the moon.  However, once we land Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin have a much different agenda then what the American public knows - explore the crashed spaceship!  Of course this leads to a major find and then a major cover-up and then to present day and thus our story begins ...

The 3rd Transformers brings back all the cast of character from the first two movies and recycles some of the same humor and relationship dynamics that seem to be the norm in most sequels.  The only notable missing character was  Sam Witwicky's girlfriend played by Megan Fox, who is smoking hot.  However, the actress they got to replace her, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, is even hotter!  

Okay, as seems to be the norm with Transformers movies the storyline was thin and, IMO, stupid.  As not to be a Spoiler, I will not go into more detail on the story . The acting was good and quite a few funny one liners kept the mode light.  The last hour of the movie was action-packed and once again pushed the limits in terms of special effects.  

However, with a running time of 157 minutes I found myself looking at my watch and wondering when this was going to be over on more than one occasion.  Oh, and the 3D was lazy when compared to Avatar.  A bar has been set and no other 3D move has yet been able to attain that level since.  My take on Transformers 3 is  if you have a few hours to kill and have already seen Super 8 then go see it.  If not, wait for it on Netflix.

Ranking:  6/10

I hope everyone is having a most excellent 4th of July Weekend!

Thanks for Reading,