Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Bike Across Florida 09

This week starts the official (well, my official) 16-week train-up for the Bike Across Florida 2009, forever more referred to as BAF. Think of it as a 16-week bike focus. This does a couple of things for me:

1) Gives me a big event to look forward to and train for - a goal.

2) Allows me to lose weight with physical activity that won't hurt me due to the added weight I put on (what a vicious cycle that is!), like running.

3) Puts another cool feather in my physical achievement cap.

4) Acts as a springboard event for a potential Ironman in '10 !!!!

It's difficult to nail down, but it looks like this is an 11 hr event, max, that is a 171 miles long. Last years' event was 165 miles on a Garmin downloaded to Motionpeaks. So I'd say its a good possibility that the distance is accurate. At one point it was advertised as a 155 mile event. Any way you slice it, it will be a long day in the saddle.

So the intial plan will include a hotel stay on the East Coast, an early wake up call, an all day ride to the Gulf, and an almost 2 hr drive home from Crystal River. So far, a good group of fellows from Lazydays, my workplace, have agreed to train for this bad boy. John, our CEO, is built like Lance Armstrong and is a strong rider already. Mark (with a "k") is our Inventory Manager and will be strong in the flats as he's a hoss, like me. Markle is the young guy, and is really strong on the bike. New to cycling, the distance will be his challenge - managing fluids, calories - stuff like that. Marc - me - the Bigun - well, I've got some challenges myself, but it was my big mouth that suggested this whole thing to begin with!

Some wild-cards will include Chris and Lee - more salesmen at Lazydays who are kinda-sorta "in". They are hooked on Tri's but realize the added commitment to training for a big event like this and may not be able to put the time in. I'm not sure if my buddy Greg will step up, although he's expressed interest. I think I want him to do it more than he does. Tom did his first triathlon 2 weeks ago, and while I'm sure he'll be enthused, I'm not sure he'll have the distance in his legs. It would be cool if he does though! Jason just bought a bike and may give it a go, and Don, well, he seems to just keep on coming up with excuses but still wants to be kept in the loop. You all know that guy, right?

So we have 4 "highly probables" and another 6 that might jump in there. Mark has already volunteered his wife to drive the Suburban as a SAG vehicle, and while it's not required, it will be nice - and save us all the trip back over to the east coast. We might even get some spectators to see us finish...

Of course, any one else wanting to jump in is welcome, and I know sometimes these kinds of events are avoided 'cause you don't know anyone. If you ever had an inkling, you are welcome in our small pace-line.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Terrorists amongst us

Ok, this isn't a Tri-post. And, it's not a rant! Just a FYI to anyone still hanging on to my blog - my good friend of 25 years (Roger Carstens) actually has his own TV show! It's on network TV, no less - NBC - and it's on tonight - Monday. It's called "The Wanted" and it's about accused terrorist living safely in countries who don't care to prosecute them. I'm sure I butchered the description, but it promices to be exciting, factual and a bit controvercial, as these sort of programs tend to be.

I'm not sure of the political swing - here is a writeup from the media:


I'm excited, obviously, for my buddy, doing great things and being successful. Please watch the show if you're not out training tonight. And by all means, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Morton Plant Meese

Just a little update for YOU, the reader - this Morton Plant Meese is quite possibly the hardest sprint Tri I've ever done. Partially because I'm so far out of shape and mostly because of the extra 40 I have around my waist. This race takes the bike up 3 gnarly bridges in the Clearwater area - you know those climbers you see on the Tour De France? Yea, I'm not looking like any of them. Well, maybe two of them.

So I made the mistake of looking at the last time I did this race. The course was identical, and I'll bet it was just as hot in '07 as it was this year.

Swim: 12:03 vs 14:02 this year. Two minutes over 600 yards is 20 seconds per hundred. Yuck.

Bike: 37:04 vs 43:42 this year. That's 20.24 mph vs. 17.15 mph. Losing 3mph is pretty huge on a 12.5 mile course.

Run: 27:46 vs 39:41 this year. Add 12 minutes to 3.1 miles - oh yea, that's like 4 min per mile! I think I just threw up in my mouth a little. I walked the first .6 mile of this course - I was really feeling sick when I got off the bike. That Steak the night before was not a great idea, as great as it tasted.

So when you look at it that way, why, there's a ton of room for improvement. Next Tri on the schedule is the Sand Key Tri - the bike is a bit shorter, but still has the bridge work. Run is in the same place. It's about 8 weeks out- so I have 2 good training cycles to improve for it.

The guys at work here are starting to really enjoy doing these races as well. I think we'll have me and 4 others from work here participating in Sand Key. Makes it fun, although I haven't been real sociable after the past two races. When you are out of shape, even these sprints smoke you good for the rest of the day.

Maybe by Sand Key I'll be able to get into my XL Sugoi shorts and top that I got to test out. I hope so... I feel kinda bad, and I see them still sitting there with the tags on, calling me - "Bigun.....Bigun.... lose weight!!!!"

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

a rambling rag -

No, not a new job.

Just a regime change at work. The beast is gone. It's a long time coming. Sales is a hard thing. The stars have to align, it seems, to make a good sale these days. Find the right RV. Get the right price. Hope the customer doesn't have a trade that they owe money on. Hope they have a good credit score. Scratch that - excellent credit score. Hope that the bank is feeling like lending that day. And then, after all that, hope the RV makes it though the shop and on to the delivery site with nothing broken and on time for the delivery. Oh, and through all that....hope the customer doesn't get cold feet or find a different RV somewhere else.

The mechanics of the sale are brutal sometimes. To have to then, on top of all that, deal with an absolute tyrant who is completely engaged in his own agenda which has nothing to do with selling coaches or helping a salesperson sell a coach - the process just became infinitely harder.

So he's gone now. Retired. Or so they say. Whatever, good riddance to the guy. Him and Michael Jackson. Good grief; as long as I'm ranting - this country sure has a short memory. Michael Jackson - they guy who held his baby over a balcony (for publicity - what an ass)? The guy who bribed some kids parents ($20,000,000...that's 20 million dollars, folks) to make that whole "molestation" thingy go away? The freak show guy who is absolutely unrecognizable if you took a picture of him a week ago and one 20 years ago and put them side by side? Yes. He could sing and dance, but there are kids and their parents in the neighborhood surrounding Never Never Land who are sleeping a lot easier tonight, now that he's gone.

So the new boss at work, in my opinion, is a good guy. I trust him. The very cool thing about him is that he's a student of leadership. He reads about management and leadership and sales - and constantly tries to improve himself and his understanding of how people tick. In the sales world - particularly the sales of cars and RVs, since that's all I know, management and leadership development is a rarity....at the peril of the salesperson.

Now if people would just get to buying again. Another rant: Biden. What an ass. I'm sorry, but to have him say that no one thought the economy was THAT bad and that no one could foresee the ill effects of throwing trillions at corporate America is just so asinine. Ok everyone, get in step here...and follow along...Obama is great, yea! He's the best, yea! No matter what, no matter how stupid or wrong, we'll all still love him in the morning, yea! There were plenty of people who thought is was the wrong idea - he just didn't listen. I saw a poll the other day - yes a lovely poll - less than 50% of Americans thought the country was heading in the right direction. Under 40% thought the economy was improving. Obama's approval rating, on the same page - over 60%. I just don't get it. Please, please, please - don't try to explain it to me either. Thanks.

Was it just me, or did anyone else read how the FBI interrogated Saddam Hussein before his neck stretching (just trying to be PC here), and it was revealed that he let on to having WMD's because he was afraid of Iran and needed them to believe he had them. Um. Hello! Everyone! Ok, I can see it coming - "that's just fabricated to make us (the people of the US) try and believe that we were justified into war with Iraq"... Yea, and N. Korea doesn't REALLY have nukes, or a viable long range missile, so we should ignore those little bastards, and we're never really gonna find Bin Laden so why keep messing around in Afghanistan... Taliban - Schmaliban?

I'm not in love with the guy - he's not my "personal hero", and I'm not awestruck with him like the insane 60% of Americans still hypnotized by Obama, but I'm convinced that the real history of Bush's administration is not yet fully written. He's taken it between the eyes...he's taking one for the team - until all the intelligence get cleared, if it ever does, he's the fall guy for the war, the economy, the unfavorable world view of Americans, the shortcomings of the city of New Orleans and the State of Louisiana, etc, etc. But just like that FBI report, things will eventually come out, and we won't be reading silly comments about Bush being the worst president in American history anymore.

I know, ya'll don't read my blog for my uneducated political ramblings-on. Sorry guys and gals.

I got a nice little sprint tri coming up on Sunday. The Morton Plant Mease Tri, here in Clearwater, FL. I'm sticking to my plan of starting out slow and finishing even slower. Hopefully I can stomach a beer or two this time around...

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The draft

I did the unthinkable yesterday - I participated in a draft festivle. I met John and Mark out at Flatwoods after work and tried to hang. Really, I did!

But I couldn't; not without sucking on some back wheel. I feel so guilty!