September 28, 2007

Almond Extract

If you like almonds but have no teeth, then read closely and BEWARE!

Do not, I repeat - DO NOT - swallow the almonds whole. I understand, this seems like a reasonable option for the tooth-challenged person to indulge in his, or her, favorite nut and acquire the benefits of said nuts. But, and it's a big but -

I recently discovered, in the way that only the staff in your local emergency department can discover, that almonds swallowed whole aren't digested by the body. AT ALL.

So, the health conscious toothless person who likes to indulge on a few dozen, or perhaps more likely several hundred almonds, may be in for a big surprise.

Ah, what kind of surprise, you ask? Because I know you want to know...

First of all, a few hundred whole almonds have a hard time making their way through the twists and turns of the GI system, potentially causing a rather severe constipation.

Second, to remove said constipation, it may require the administration of an enema, or two or three.

Third, when that enema is done in the local ER where toothless person might have to present for his constipation-induced abdominal pain without telling the ER staff about his recent almond-fetish, the ER staff might be a little shocked when not one - not two - but several hundreds of whole almonds are expelled from toothless person after enema administration.

Enough said.

September 24, 2007


It grows slowly
This seed,

Burdened upon me
By debauchery
and dreams of purpose.
Red clay and dry days
Punish me
Starve me
Beat me
Until I break free
The earth and the world
Sees me,
a young sapling.
Roots grow deep,
Leaves become many
I am mighty and strong
But not as strong as the
Storm winds and Snow
That pummels me and
Fights to keep me from
My Dreams.
I fall.
But like all else
This too will pass,
Storms move on,
winter colds turn warm.
And I, I will
Grow again, Rising
More sturdy with
Deeper roots knowing
That I have walked this road,
I have felt the winds and hard times,
And I have survived.
And I will survive,
Become the mighty oak.
And that dream, whichever dream,
Will be mine with persistence
And patience
And courage
And strength.

It grows slowly
This seed.

September 9, 2007

Missing Monona

My first thought when I woke this morning was I should be getting out of the water in Lake Monona right now.

But a lady who has filed a half dozen or more other lawsuits in the last 10 years was suing me for malpractice and I was supposed to be in court tomorrow at 9 am.

At least that was the plan until Thursday about 530 when I got a call from my attorney to tell me that the trial prep meeting the next morning would now be a mediation session in which we try to reach a settlement.

By 430 the next afternoon there was a settlement, and I had been dropped completely from the case. No court.

Unfortunately, race packets had to be picked up in Madison no later than Friday afternoon at 4pm. What - no day before the race packet pick-up? Nope, not for North American Ironman events...

True, I have a healing foot, and it probably wouldn't have been a great idea to run a marathon on it. But I would have done it. After all, I have about 700 hours of training and more than a 1000 dollar entry fee (through, thus the price-hike) committed to this race.

Instead I woke at 830 this morning, lounged, played with the kids, packed in preparation for moving to the new house, and then painted.

I much rather would have been pushing my limits for 12 or 13 hours...

Oh well, there's always another race...

Unfortunately, there's always another crazy lady to file irresponsible lawsuits too...

September 3, 2007

24 HOT Race Report

I should start by declaring that I love this race. The concept of completing as many swim/bike/run segments as you can or desire to in a fixed amount of time offers something for all triathletes.

If you want to race to win, you have your choice of 8 or 24 hour races. 24 hours of racing easily gives you more distance than any IM contest, and maybe close to a double iron contest. Or you could just be participating as part of your routine training, and you can go whatever distance you want and then just stop. If you need practice with transitions, what better place than a sprint triathlon repeated 5 or 6 times over the course of 8 hours? If you just want some sweet schwag, could it get better than a tech tee AND a pair of $155 running shoes? I think not...

So I arrived in Denver about 7 Friday night and was greeted by a hailstorm with lightning that necessitated a 30 minute sit-and-wait in the jet on the tarmac. Finally they freed us and I found Stronger and we found a carb-loading meal at Macaroni Grill. Lasagna - yummy!! I assembled my bike and organized my gear and made it to sleep shortly after midnight.

545 am arrived and I seriously did not want to get out of bed. After starting to feel guilty about no-showing for the 615 meetup with Bold, I finally got up and made the 5 minute trip to registration, only about 10 minutes late. We picked up our packets and Newtons, then started to assemble our transition area.

Then Stronger's bike pump ate my valve. Seriously. Ya know the piece of the presta valve that you loosen to inflate the tire? Well I loosened it, then started inflating. Nothing was happening so I unhooked the pump from the valve and the little screw on thing was gone. MIA. Not in the pump, not on the ground, not on the valve. Gone.

Luckily I had another tube, of course. So I changed the tube out and inflated, then went to hear the last 30 seconds of the mandatory meeting. I returned and - an effing flat tire. The new one. I removed it and found a huge hole in the brand new tube. So I used my last spare tube and changed it out for the 2nd time before the race even started. Thankfully I would have no more tire issues during the race.

We all assembled about a 100 yards from the water, and then it started. Bold and I walked to the water as if we were going for a mid January swim in 35 degree water. I think Stronger was already at the 2nd buoy before our feet were wet. Hey, we had 8 hours to finish this thing - no rush, right?

The swim was horribly marked and people were swimming opposite directions in the same line. Powerboats and jetskis were everywhere up to about 50 yards from the swim course. I would swim about 3 or 4 strokes, then pause to pull the seaweed off my head and goggles. Ugh... As I was getting out of the water after that 1st swim, I hit my (broken) foot on a boulder in the water and was left to hobble to the transition close to tears. It hurt.

But the bike got me feeling better. It was flat and fast with only 2 or 3 turns including the turnaround. It wasn't well marked and anyone who so desired could probably have cheated without anyone knowing. Of course I didn't. But I'm just saying, it wouldn't have been difficult to.

Now even up to race morning, I wasn't sure about my strategy. I was planning on walking the run, because I'm not supposed to run until October 1. But it's hard to walk when everyone around you is running. So... I ran. Jogged actually - slowly. As in about 9 or 10 minute pace slowly. As in so slow that it was hurting me mentally probably much more than it would have hurt my foot physically. But it felt good and I had little or no pain, so I kept running for 4 loops of the 2.6 mile course.

And then I biked a couple more times, and then I caught back up with Stronger and Bold who had just finished a couple of swim legs. At that point I had no more desire to swim, especially when I heard about Bold's head-on collision with another swimmer. Uhm, no thanks...

It was then that I changed my role from racer to supporter and cheerleader. I rode along with Stronger for a few more rides, ran a loop with her, made a little lunch for us, and watched her suffer for her final mile (of 3) swimming.

Finally 8 hours arrived, and I was done. Spent. We kicked back in the shade and waited on the awards. And waited... And waited... The awards finally started 3 hours after the race ended. How about a chic named Mader tied a dude for the most laps completed? I totally should have swapped to the duathlon, because I would have cashed in for 1st place in that division.

All in all, this race was a blast. Next year, I'm thinking a relay team for the whole 24 hours... Any takers?

Thanks for reading My Daily Spin...