Calorie Burn

It turns out that I burned more calories than I thought or didn't consume as many calories as I thought. Either way, I lost weight while on the trip.

One of the more interesting observations while on the trip came last night in O'Hare Airport. I took K down the terminal to get something to eat. Within 50 feet of each other was a McDonald's, a juice bar with beets and vegetables in the display case and a Starbuck's. The McDonald's restaurant had possibly 30 people waiting in line while the juice bar and Starbuck's each had a couple. Not a couple of dozen, just TWO PEOPLE. Totally amazing to me that given that there was a healthy alternative, people chose the Mickey D. I guess not totally amazing as I saw a lot of large people this past week.

Equally amazing was the $72 million pulled in by the Simpsons movie. These two events say quite a lot about our society but I'm not ready to absorb or understand what that is right now.

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A Week in Chicago

  I just got back from Chicago attending the ISI World Recreational Team Ice Skating Championships for K. She came back with two first-place medals and one second. She did really well and was so calm about all of the events. She showed no pressure before each event. I wish I could learn to play it that cool.

I took my stretchy bands as I thought that may have been my only workout option. Come to find out I had plenty of options. First the hotel had an agreement with Bally Fitness as they didn't have any kind of weight room or exercise facility. It opened at 5:30 am and had everything I needed except a track and a pool. By the second or third day I found out that the skaters and their families were able to gain access to the natatorium across from the rink (see above image). It was nice and clean and nobody was using it except for a family of four in the non-lap lane area. One of the youngsters threw up in the pool just as I was leaving.

Although I didn't get much running in, I got a ton of walking done by checking out the Navy Pier, Millennium Park, South Lakeshore Blvd and a few other hot spots. Besides the cycling at Bally's I got a couple of hours worth on some rental bikes for pedaling down the lakefront. I also did a few hours of footbagging to get a little better with that (more on that later). So calorie-burn-wise I did pretty good. I endulged on some calorie-rich food and drink but heck, it was a vacation too. I had to try out the Giordano's deep dish pizza. Man, I could live on that two or three times a week. I'll get serious on the diet starting tomorrow with one month left to go until the Austin Tri (Olympic).

I'll try to link to some photos in the next couple of days. In the meantime I have to say that the people of Chicago were fabulous! They were courteous, sincerely warm and very helpful. The city was clean and it was amazing how much landscaping with flowers were everywhere, even down by the river. It had been 22 years since I'd been to Chicago and so much changed. I wasn't looking forward to going but I have to say I had a great time and wasn't at all disappointed.

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Time Trial Tuesday - July 2007

I almost forgot about the Run-Far time trial tonight. Work piled up and I had a video to download and edit and just happened to glance at the calendar. It hasn't been a normal summer here in Austin and we weren't even close to our normal 100-degree temperature for this time of year. In fact, it was another day of rain that started this morning during my swim. The rain cooled everything off for the day and it never had time to get too steamy. The rain did make for some heavy humidity though.

The unofficial time was 22:29 for a new PR by about 18 seconds. I wanted a little better time but the bottom bracket may need to be looked at. It was grinding the whole ride. No telling whether it slowed anything down or not. It may just need some lube.

I was wondering why my shoulder and knee were creaking and remembered that I hadn't taken any glucosamine in over a month so I'm back to taking that daily. I'm also back to NUUN for hot weather workouts and Accelerade after all workouts. So far just these three products, along with rest and eating regularly have had me ready for the next workout refreshed and no headaches or body aches to speak of.

I still need more time to digest the Tour every day.

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Perfect Practice

Practice does not make perfect. Only perfect practice makes perfect. --Vince Lombardi

Yesterday, I listened to the Endurance Planet episode titled, Breakaway Friday - The Swim and dated, Friday, July 6, 2007. A great comparison was made during the program between running strides and swimming strokes. The commentator also discussed the number of strokes for triathletes compared to true swimmers. As I had a swim workout focusing on technique I decided to scrap the drills and spend the entire workout on counting strokes. Repeating thousands of strokes the wrong way reinforces the muscle memory to keep doing it the wrong way. Drill, drill, drill and more drills until the muscle memory changes. Then build endurance. Yes Vince, you were correct, only perfect practice makes perfect.

I started at 20 strokes per 25 yards at the beginning of the morning and by the end of the workout, the number got down to 14. I kept changing the form and the amount of rotation until the number came down.

Yesterday, I began the Build I phase of the training. Less weights and more cardio. Here's the breakdown.

The Tour has been exciting so far with some great sprints for the finish. Yesterday's spill with 2KM to go looked pretty bad and Tomas Vaitkus (Discovery Channel) ended up breaking his thumb in five places. Through the VeloNews live coverage and the Tour's page and Versus' television coverage in the morning and a replay at night, I feel like I'm not missing much. In fact, there's so much information, I can't get through it all.

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Tour de France Days

The Tour is finally here. After spending the last 12 months reading about drugs and problems with the sport, it's great to see some riding again. Full coverage on the Versus channel with morning and evening programming. Hincapie just finished the TT in second place so a nice start for the Discovery team.

Personally, this was a recovery week as well as a transition week. The left knee and the right shoulder both had some recovery and soreness to work out. Light running and swimming with more cycling made sense. Next week I'll drop the second weights workout for legs and start injecting more cardio workouts into the week. I liked how the 3-4 running days made my legs feel with recovery days between so I'll keep that but on recovery days do some elliptical. Cycling miles will jump, with swimming still concentrating on the drills.

My brother flew in from North Carolina so we found a couple of hours between rain storms to ride some veloway miles. He was on Salsa Verde (tri bike), me on Salsa Roja (single speed commuter). Salsa Verde was so fast that I had to get out of the seat and really pedal to keep up at times, but it made for a great workout.

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Frankenbike #22

I was looking forward to Saturday's Frankenbike swap meet as I really needed a rear derailleur. When I got there, most everyone was already set up with their treasure chests spilling over with good loot. My coworker was on his way and had me looking for pedals. Score! A semi-used pair of Look pedals and get this. The guy had some slightly used SIDI shoes with cleats in his size in the FREE Box. I picked up a brand new very light saddle from the free box and made my way across the patio. Score! Branded cycling shirts for $5 a piece. I picked up two for myself and gave the brewery cycling jersey to my coworker. I then scanned all the tables for rear derailleurs. I came back to where I bought the jerseys and the guy had a Shimano 105 on the table. "How much," I said. "Five dollars," he said. No friggin way! I could not get the five-dollar bill out of my wallet fast enough. Bought new, it would've cost me $67.99.

That's the thing about Frankenbike. Nobody's out to make a fortune. We all piece together our bikes and what's worth $5 to me is worth $50 to the next guy. I sold my Bianchi frame for $3 to get another beer. Hopefully, the guy will take it and make a sweet bike from it. That's what it's all about. People wandered past the booths and found one nice bike part they couldn't live without. They then went and built an entire bike around that one part. Now that I have the tri-bike and the single speed all finished, I need to go find a single part at Frankenbike and build a hot, fast road bike around it.

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