Monthly Archives: July 2014

Back in 2005, I registered for the Spudman Olympic distance triathlon in Burley, ID.

I had a used Trek hybrid bike, and I swam very infrequently, but somebody at Fidelity had sold me on the idea of trying it (“It’s a downriver swim!”) so I signed up.

However, long before the event, I moved to Phoenix, and the whole thing went away.

But now I’ve swum some 180,000 yards in the last nine months, and I have a nice bike that I’ve ridden a few thousand miles, and I’m going to Burley this afternoon.

spudmanI don’t think that the logo has changed at all in the intervening years, except for the date and the color : )

I’m working from home today, while waiting on Fed-Ex to deliver my new Synergy Adrenaline wetsuit (my current wetsuit is about torn to bits) and every so often grabbing something and throwing it in the car. It’s a three hour drive to Burley, and we’re staying with Team Fast Lane at a house in Declo, about fourteen minutes away. Got to get to Burley tonight to set up T1 (the swim-to-bike transition) although I’ll set up T2 (bike-to-run) tomorrow morning; that’s much simpler, and it’s also very close to the start of the swim.

I am no longer on the hook to do the full at Ironman Lake Tahoe; I have paid my money and made the transfer to the half (which means that I paid money to lose a lot of money – the half cost less than half as much as the full, but there was no refund, and there was a change fee). The idea of doing the full woke me up many nights; losing sleep is not a good triathlon training strategy, and finally I just caved in. I still have notions of doing a full, possibly next year – ask me after – and if – I finish the Lake Tahoe half.

Earlier this week, my friend Dr Janet, the exercise physiology professor, pronounced me “overtrained”. So I haven’t done ANYTHING this week except swimming for forty minutes. That’s sort of a crazy taper; I have no idea what tomorrow will be like. For all I know, I won’t be able to move. Or who knows? Maybe I’ll be super-strong and fast and finish the race feeling great. We’ll see : )

There are many things in my life that are uncomfortable right now. But it would be nice to have a good race. That won’t straighten out my worries about my job or my kids or my health, but it would be nice : )


I…am back in the office.

In addition to the normal “back in the office” stresses, I have the additional issues of having been gone since Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth (24 June), and coming back in to a brand-new project about which I understand nothing. <SGT_SHULTZ> NOTHING! </SGT_SHULTZ>

Fortunately, my WorkMates were ready with an inflatable stress reliever.

inflatable_hammerThey waited until I had reached the breaking point, and then pulled out this little gem (they had it pre-inflated and waiting for me) so that I could hammer on the laptop and monitor and keyboard and mouse and even any paper copies of documentation that I might have laying around the cubicle. And I have to admit that it helped!…at least briefly, to get my stress level back down to the point that I could think again about domains, and domain groups,  and domain security policies, and security groups, and security group types, and inherent permissions, and  security segments, and segment-based security groups, and segment-based security group assignments to domain policies, and assignable customer roles, and role-based security, and…and…and BAM! BAM BAM BAM! BAM! BAM!

I need to get one of these to take home. Next time Lucy poops on the carpet…BAM! BAM BAM! BAM!


Well, we’ve been here in San Jose del Cabo, in Baja California Sur, for three weeks now, and I am tired.

Here I am, in Bahia de Santa Maria, on the boat between dives in the Corridor:

santa maria

We’ve been diving every few days since we got here, and I’ve been working my training schedule around that (or, more accurately, Ethel has been scheduling the diving around my training schedule). But now we’re in the last week here, and we had one day each left that we’d pay for dives, so I gave my last day to Ethel so that she could have two days of diving. Ethel is a more avid diver than I am; to me, after a while, it’s just more fish, and I’m pretty darn tired from training.

And from the heat, and from the humidity. The southern tip of Baja California is a desert drier than Phoenix ever imagined, but we’ve had some rain while here, and there’s something about the winds that causes this coast to be very humid in the summer months. My runs have been sweatfests; even in the gym, which is “air conditioned”, I’ve been leaving puddles under the spinning bikes and treadmills. So I’m pretty tired after three weeks of that, and when I get this tired, I don’t have much enthusiasm for anything, so it’s best if Ethel goes and enjoys the dives and leaves me here with a paperback and a bottle of Pinafiel.

When I’m in Mexico, I drink Pinafiel and Be soft drinks. Beats trying to find decaf iced tea at the Mega, and the Wal-Mart down here doesn’t carry the Clear brand. When you sweat as much as I’ve been sweating, you have to put SOMETHING in, and, of course, I don’t drink the water ; )

Training has been going poorly. Most of my swimming has been in the surf and swells, so it feels like doing laps in a washing machine for two hours. And the outdoor runs have been on hills, in this heat and humidity and desert sun, leaving me with no energy for the rest of the day – even though the washing-machine swims have been coming in the afternoons after the longer runs. Cycling hasn’t been much fun, either on the spinner bike at Cabo Fitness or on the StarTrac bike here at the condo gym.

I realized after two weeks that I missed Park City, and Salt Lake, and my condo with the little brook and the aspens, and my car. I didn’t miss Lucy, though. And, even though I scheduled this vacation many months ago, I don’t like taking three weeks and two days off when I still don’t feel competent at my job.  But it’s been a very difficult year (Ethel details this in ) and a vacation, even a tiring one, was probably a good idea.

One thing that Ethel doesn’t mention in her year-in-review is that within a few months of all this craziness happening last summer, I picked up the gauntlet of training for a half Ironman, which turned into a full before long. I now wish that I hadn’t done that, as it has turned into a stressor rather than a stress reliever. But the thing about gauntlets is that it is very hard to put them back down after one has picked them up; NOT putting them back down, actually, is the whole point, right?

So now it’ 8:30 AM, Ethel is in Cabo for her day of diving, and I have to put on my shorts and go out there and waddle for four miles on hills in heat and humidity in the desert sun. My gumption tank is empty. I have no enthusiasm at all. And that’s not how I like to live my life.

I picked the wrong -Man type of triathlon. I should not have attempted an IronMan. I should have chosen a PuttyMan.

silly-putty-packageSilly Putty is soft and infinitely malleable. It cannot hold its form – any stress at all causes it to deform. It has no true, defined shape, so it’s always OUT of shape. Nobody thinks of Silly Putty when they think of “hard” or “strong” or “persistent”.

And Silly Putty, if pressed against an image, will retain a mirror impression of that image – but only briefly, and any application of stress wlll distort the retained image completely out of recognition.

I suppose that one aspect of doing something like this (i.e. training for a distance event) is the attempt to get a different perspective on one’s self – to find out one’s “inner nature”. i’m finding out that my “inner nature” is Silly Putty. I’m much more Silly Putty than I am Iron.

My training continues, if we can call it “training”. I’m doing (mostly) the volume, but I’m getting slower as my training volume increases – this is backwards. In my experience, as my training volumes increase, I tend to slowly get faster; as my friend Mr Jim says, “jes mo’ miles”. Then, usually, after some period of time, I suddenly “turn a corner” and I am bounding where before I was trudging.

in this case, my trudging is turning into sludging; I’m getting slower the more work that i do. I am not used to getting into WORSE shape as a result of increased training; even when I’ve had to spend months in the Valley of Fatigue, I’ve felt a building confidence in my building of a training base. I’ve felt like I was improving in fitness. But that’s not the case this time.

And, while I have “sort of” decided not to do the full at Tahoe, I haven’t yet turned in the paperwork for that, and I still seem to be aiming my training at attempting the full; I think I’m still waiting for a miracle to happen, such that I “turn the corner” and suddenly feel like I’m in better shape than I was, so that I feel confident in attempting the full. But right now I don’t even want to do SpudMan in two weeks; I don’t see any point in it.

This morning’s 16 miles turned into 8.5 – after I hit 8 miles, suddenly I didn’t feel like finishing. After last week’s “hard” 18.5 hours of training, I wasn’t sure what I should do this week. Now I know. I should go to bed.

The problem with looking for a PuttyMan event is that nobody would put one on, because nobody is interested in competing, because there’s no competition. Putty just sorta sits there. And, right now, that’s what I’m planning on doing. Just sitting here. Like a lump of Silly Putt.