Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I rarely cook swine. Well, except bacon! But otherwise swine is a rarity in my house. Cooking it is and adventure. I have no idea what I'm doing! Tonight I butterflied some pork chops. Put inside some chopped jalapenos, garlic, and bleu cheese. Bake for 30-45 minutes. The yams don't make a good complement to this though.

Got out for some junk miles. I pushed pretty hard at times. I'm able to get into some oxygen debt and hold a threshold power level without too much lung fire or coughing. Should be back on track next day or two.

Can't Ride, Maintain!

My shock leaks air. It started out losing pressure over a week or so. Then down to every ride needed air. Here lately I've been getting about an hour of good use before the sag got way too deep.

I was hoping to finish out the spring season on it. The bike is due for replacement. Since serious riding is still a non-start with my worsening cough... it's a good time for an air sleeve service. It's a simple process. >HERE< are some pics.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Cough! Caugh! Akkkkpoo! Cough! Cough! Pffffttt!

Those are some of the noises created on today's ride. The caughing got bad and I recieved many odd looks. Not surprising. I sounded like an emphysema patient riding in full kit. I probably could have done with an oxygen bottle and cannula. Do they make one small enough to fit in a jersey pocket?

The ride was nothing spectacular. Just some Z2-3 stuff. Wanted to go harder, but, anytime I need lung power... well... the coughing begins. Then the snot rockets. Oh, mercy the snot rockets. Some of those required two breaths! Yes, a double breath snot-rocket. Thank goodness for that patch of terry cloth on the gloves.

I'm trying this again tomorrow...

Friday, March 27, 2009

Easing Back In

Finally feel like a human being again. This flu was a beastly one. But a defeated one.

How do I come back from this? A week off the bike was NOT part of the plan... I'm easing back into things with a nice L2 ride this evening. I know my lungs aren't clear. Sometimes they respond by clearing; optimism springs in my heart.

I am eagerly anticipating the prospect of getting wheels underneath me. Hoping to reintroduce atleast some intensity this weekend...and some volume, too.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sick: Day 4

Essential tools for getting through the sickness. Today is day 4 spent mostly in bed. My fever broke last night. I'm still running a low-grade (99F or so) fever. That's controllable by a dosage of asprin, so it's not so bad. Nothing like the 101-ish fever of the last few days. I hope to get to work tomorrow. I'm getting cabin fever bbbaaaddd.

Saturday, March 21, 2009


I saw it coming. Wednesday I walked down the hall at my office to fetch a cup of coffee. I peeked into the first office; she was blowing her nose. The next office; he was sneezing. The next office; he was caughing. And the last office... out sick.

At the time I felt fine. Thursday's ride seemed harder than I expected, but I attributed that to fatigue. OH No... Went down hard on Friday. Chills, shivers, sweats, sore throat.

Dis Blows!

Thursday, March 19, 2009


Long shadows. And long threshold intervals at the upped power target. They hurted. Power drifted off pretty bad on the last one. Training fatigue has set in deep. Ahh.. tomorrow is a recovery day! I think I'll commute into work in the morning and make that an active recovery type ride.

Threshold intervals are tough. Physiologically, you can do them -theoretically- infinately long. But you can't do them painlessly. It becomes a battle of wits... listen to the legs screaming, or not? Each time digging a little deeper to dust off the interval. Eventually the legs win. Always.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Shuffle the Deck

As dreary as last week was, this week has been beautiful. I've put the weather to full use. It. Has. Been. Greeeaatt!

A recent performance test reset my power levels higher. That's because the results were good! (more on that another day...) The results mean my workouts are significantly harder now. I'm having to re-establish my base around the higher FTP wattage.

Today, 10-minutes into a tempo ride... I realized I hadn't eaten enough. I quickly downed everything in the back-pocket-buffet. That amounted to a grand total of 6 Clif Shot Blocks. About 25-minutes into the ride... I realized I hadn't drank enough water today and was cramping like a mofo. Ouch. I pounded through after a short recovery and slamming some more sport drink.

The uppped wattage is challangeing but fun. I like the overreach.

Unfortunately, some pounds have attached themselves and taken home around my waist! They must go. I'm having to cut calories. Hence, todays near-bonk-experience. Yup, I'm upping the intensity while simultaneously cutting calories. This will be tricky.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sights Along The Way

Only a Boston Terrier would end up on the roof, vigorously defending his territory while simultaneously frightened to death!

... and yes, he was barking at every passerby. I wonder how he got up there?

I've been waiting for a year since this place was finished to time it right for a good photo op. Today was that day! Houston has some wonderful examples of Developers Gone Wild (TM). This is a great one:

If you can't read the sign... it says "Inside the Loop, Within Reach". What it doesn't say is that it's within reach of the TRAIN 5-feet from your bedroom window!!! Oh, the passed out hobo at the bus stop adds a nice touch too. This can be yours for a mere $320k! But hurry, it's only been on the market for a year!

Maybe the TRAIN has something to do with it?! Nawww...

Too bad it wasn't on the other track...

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Gumbo Weather

Houston is experience it's third consecutive day of gumbo weather. Gumbo weather is a description for cold, rainy, dreary. A good homemade gumbo can really warm you up inside. Not just physically, but emotionally too. The Cajun way isn't to simply taste your food, you should feel it too. It's the ultimate comfort food.

It all starts with some vegetables...

And a roux...

A long simmer...

Some taste testing...

And some good eating...

There as many ways to make gumbo as there are Cajuns. Many different styles. Around New Orleans, they put tomatoes. Others put okra. In the southern part of LA they put seafood. For me it's chicken & sausage. More details of how I make my gumbo >HERE<.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Waco Postponed = Gumbo

Texass has been in a drought for months. Camping has been difficult because you can't build a fire. Burn bans are everywhere. Now the other extreme has hit. Rain.

This weekend was supposed to be the Waco race. The venue's been hit with over 6-inches of rain in the last two days. Typically, races are rain-or-shine but apparently this one was too much.

I hate to admit this, but I'm kinda glad. I was on the fence about even going. I love riding at Cameron Park, but I'm not sure I'd have much fun racing it. A mud race would have been fun though. I like rooting in the mud. Brings many fond memories of being a kid to light.

The net result: It's cold. It's rainy. I've got some time. I'm making gumbo tonight!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Courtesy of the NWS

Yikes! Hoping to catch some dirt time at lunch tomorrow.

Tonight was simple, short tempo ride after I tended to my plants. Oh, there was some core exercises on the physioball, too.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Spring Planting

Today was a recovery day. Though I didn't ride the couch this evening. Instead I planted some things.

Let's see... there tomatoes both cherry and regular. Bell peppers, jalapenos, onions, and egg plant. In pots I've got sweet basil, sage, thyme, and cilantro. I have a knack of killing off cilantro, but I try each year. Maybe this will be THE year of cilantro!

Grow already!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Bush Park Levee

Today's agenda... 5 hours of endurance-level riding. I opted for the Bush/Addicks Reservoir Levee ride. One of my favorite in-town routes because it contains some gravel.

The wind played a cruel trick today. It was blowing from the SW when I was westbound, and shifted to the SE when I was eastbound! It always seems like you're going into a headwind, but I checked the hourly observations. Sure enough I timed it perfectly!

I came up a short on time goal, but only because I rode it faster than the last couple of times.

Sometimes it feels like the Addicks Levee goes on forever.

As I turned north toward Clay road I was joined by some vultures. They followed me for a pretty good way. Were they waiting for dinner? HA!

He brought some his friends too. They got really close to me. For a moment I was worried one would...err... leave his mark on me. I can't imagine vulture poop is too pleasant given their diet.

A good recovery drink topped it all off. (Great segue, huh? Bird poop to recovery drink...)

With the time change, I didn't get to my planting. But that's OK, I've got an extra hour to work on that tomorrow! Happy Timechange Everybody!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring. Cleaning and Renewal

The cleaning bucket go much use this weekend.

Sand and grit due for removal. Haven't cleaned the bike since going to Terlingua.

The result was a clean bike! The MR2 got washed too.

And I renewed the chainrings on the Stumpy...

Off with the old...

The old rings didn't look bad, but the 32T skipped like a schoolgirl. I renewed the 44T too, as it can't be too far behind. Very disconcerting when you go to put the power down and your feet flail out from under you!

More springtime activites onboard for tomorrow. After a long training ride, I've got some spring planting to do.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Sad Times / Happy Times

Sad...Never trust a leaking tire and always carry a toob.

Happy...Daylight savings time is this weekend!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

As much as I dislike the big cities...

... this looks like fun. Is that Rusty (the horse) pulling the carriage at the start? RUSTY!!