Thursday, May 23, 2013

Unreported Side Effects

Every job has some aspect that no one ever thought to tell you about.  When secretaries first started training on typewriters, someone forgot to mention repetitive stress syndrome.  No one warned the microwave popcorn factory workers about "popcorn lung".

I knew I'd get bike tan lines.  I didn't expect them to be on my hands.

My fore-fingers are a different shade than my pinkie fingers.  A tan line runs the line of my knuckles.  And it's only May.  

Consider yourself warned about what happens when you ride around with your hands like this.


Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Haute Cuisine

I frequently get asked about my training and race (meaning when actually in motion) nutrition.  Here it is.

A Moveable Feast

Since this is a picture of a 50lb. bag of granulated, unflavored maltodextrin (the highly processed sugar of corn) milled at a plant in Iowa, you can understand why my answer is often met with a combination of bewilderment and disbelief.

I take a certain mass of odor-less, taste-less, pure-carbohydrate white power, mix it in a certain volume of water to a certain dilution, and drink a certain volume of the diluted mix every 20 minutes while moving.  It doesn't even taste sweet.

My tolerance to Iocane powder is inconceivable!  [Sorry, had to.]

When sold as Carbo-Pro in triathlon stores, two pounds costs $30-40.  I bought this 50 lbs. bag for $100 and it lasted me 3 years.  Because it doesn't really have most of the normal properties of sugar until mixed with water, bugs don't even notice it.  [With these facts in hand, it shouldn't really surprise you that maltodextrin is the #1 sugar additive to cereals.  Cheap, caloric, easy to store, tastes like whatever you add to it.]

For those who think that I can eat whatever I want because I am "always working out,"  3-5 meals per week consist of 24-72 oz of this - a tasteless, clear liquid only slightly more viscous than water - and water.  Not quite 3-Michelin-Star dining.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Swim Practice Might Be Early If...

it both starts and ends before the parking meters require payment.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

These Colors Don't Run

Last Tuesday was the last training session for the Couch-to-5K program I was coaching.  We finished the eight weeks off with a bang and celebrated with a hearty cheer of victory.  The picture was too good not to share, despite the blacked out faces my contract requires.

Go us!

The 5K race to which the group has been building was on Saturday, The Color Run: Austin.  The race's premise is based on the Hindu religious festival of Holi, although all that remains in the Americanized, non-religious version is people throwing colored powders onto participants and into their faces as they complete a 5K course.

Everyone to whom I described the race that would run 5K for time had the same response: "the last thing I want while running a race is to have someone throw colored dust at me."  Everyone to whom I described the race that has never run a 5k had the same response: "cool."  My group was very excited.

It was actually cold in the morning before the start, 48 degrees when I left the house, so I led them in a short warm-up before they joined the tremendous number of racers.

Everyone wears a white shirt and passes through four powder color stations - yellow, blue, pink, and orange - in addition to crossing paths with roaming race officials carrying insecticide sprayers full of liquid paint in turquoise, green, and other vivid colors.

I rode around the course on my bike, taking pictures and trying to stay up-wind from the paint powder.  You can see how far the pink plume spread.

Some people go on their merry way, albeit while wearing a tutu, and are decorated with whatever colors come their way.

Others embrace a basting. 

Still others may have emerald hair for a few days.

There is color and color-lovers everywhere.  I told my group that it was by far the most colorful pre-race area I had ever seen.  Most triathlons are just a sea of black, white, red, and blue, with the occasional pink highlight.  Not many tutus in triathlon either, which is a shame.

Again, these are all pictures of people I did not train.  Those I cannot share, but I finally can share my employer.  Disney.  I was contracted by (familiar to triathletes as the IM race registration website, but they have a whole different section for training athletes) to train local Disney employees.  So I guess all of the color at their goal race makes sense, right?

I thought I successfully avoided any major coloring incidents.  Then I blew my nose when I got home and it was blue and orange.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Move Like U Stole It

Someone has written an album of music for me.  For me alone.  How do I know?  I never like entire albums and I listened to it straight through four, nearly five, times during my long ride on Sunday.  The last time I did anything like that was with Adele's 21 back in the summer of 2011. 

ZZ Ward's Til The Casket Drops is rhythmically upbeat without being pop-y, saccharine, or intentionally motivational, and heavy without being sad, or equally bad for music to run to: slow.  I would say her voice and music are the love child of Adele and Marc Broussard (the blackest voice you have ever heard coming from a white man).  

I recommend Put the Gun Down, Til The Casket Drops, Move Like U Stole It, 365 Days, Blue Eyes Blind, Cryin Wolf, Last Love Song....or you know, the rest of the album.

And in a side note, I would say ZZ herself is...

the love child of Anna Kendrick...

and Tea Leoni.

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