Thursday, January 29, 2009

Two recent fashion stories

When it comes to fashion, I've become pretty comfortable around my Tri Team. Perhaps too comfortable. I wear Guitar Hero boxers on my bike rides and my stretchy shorts on the runs.

The gym is a different story. I don't want to draw attention to myself. I believe that whatever you wear makes a statement. For example, picture in your mind what kind of person would show up wearing a "Satan's Gym: No Pain No Gain" shirt. Now picture who might wear a shirt with cute Mickey Mouse logos on it. See the difference?

I have four Disney Tri Team workout shirts. I wear them frequently, and since I do have some other plain shirts any specific Disney shirt might get worn once every 2 weeks. (they are washed after every workout.) If you saw them side by side they are very easy to tell apart; there have different trim colors and designs but basically they are all white and all have the same logo of a Mickey swimming, biking and running. So if someone were to see me at the gym frequently, someone like Joe the Trainer for example, they might always see me wearing a white Disney Tri Team shirt. They're going to remember the logo, not the trim.

Here was my dilemma: did Joe the Trainer think I was wearing the same shirt 3 times a week? If he did, then I would want to explain that I have multiple shirts and wasn't being gross. If he didn't, then I didn't want to look like an idiot by bringing it up. So of course I went with the idiot option and told him "you realize of course I have many Tri Team shirts, not just one." He looked at me funny and claimed he never thought about it. I may look like an idiot, but at least I'm an idiot with good hygiene.

Story 2: I showed up to the gym after work and realized I hadn't packed ANY shirt. I knew I could use an extra (non-Disney) workout shirt so I walked over to the Mall 2 blocks away and bought a new cheap one. I picked out a solid green shirt; I never used to wear green, but ever since Coeur d'Alene I've been adding CDA green to my wardrobe.

I went back to the gym, put on the shirt and then put on my shorts - my solid CDA green shorts. I never checked to see which shorts I had with me. I looked like a giant pickle. The only thing worse than wearing a coordinated outfit at the gym is wearing a coordinated outfit that looks bad. I felt ridiculous. Fortunately, this was a non-Joe-The-Trainer day so at least I didn't have to explain myself to him.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tale of a Whale

I've had a giant inflatable whale in my condo for the past 6 months.

This is the whale that IronmAnnie brought to the Cali Half last year and to Ironman Coeur d'Alene back in June. She brought it over for my birthday in July and he's been wandering around the condo ever since. I don't have a lot of room in my bedroom, so he mostly hangs out behind the couch. I had some people come over for Christmas and I thought it was finally time to clean up the place and deflate him. But I couldn't do it. At first I felt that I needed to preserve the genuine Idaho Ironman air inside, but then I realized IronmAnnie probably deflated it before taking it on the plane. It's not like I'm throwing him away, I could blow him back up any time right?

But I can't. I just really like him and I think it would make me sad to see him shrivel up. I can just imagine him looking up at me as the last bit of air leaves his body, trying to understand why I would abandon him like that. So it looks like he'll be sticking around for a while. At least he matches my black couches.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Short life lesson

I had a group ride today, and one of us had a flat. Three of us, using three different CO2 cartridge valve thingees couldn't get the tire to inflate. I don't know if it was a bad valve on the tire or what, but the cartridges weren't doing the trick. I took my mini-hand pump off my bike and pshh-pshh-pshh-pshh-pshh; pumped up the tire with no problem.

Sometimes the simple solutions are the best

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The sock is in the mail

My Senior Vice President got me in big trouble.

Apparently, last year Mr. Pusateri participated in the "2008 Great Weight Loss Challenge". I have no idea what that it is, probably a company-internal diet program. Good for him. And I guess two weeks ago, the sponsors of the program sent out magnets to all of the participants via large inter-office envelopes.

I had to send some Ironman Arizona socks to IronmAnnie. (Story-within-a-story: when I went to Arizona this year, Annie asked me to pick up some socks for her to commemorate her IMAZ victory last year. I picked them up the first day, and then when I got back to my hotel I realized I hadn't packed any clean socks for myself. So I figured I would just use the new socks. I tore them out of their packaging but of course they didn't fit. I had to wash the socks I was wearing in the sink and use the blow dryer to dry them. For two extra days. And Annie basically wound up with a pair of slightly-used socks (I never got them on past my toes, so they're clean.))

Back to the main story: I had to send some Ironman Arizona socks to IronmAnnie. I grabbed an inter-office memo, threw the socks in and sent them off. Well, it turns out that the envelope I picked was an INCOMING envelope with Mr. Pusateri's magnet inside. So when Annie got her socks, there was an added message inside: "Great Weight Loss Challenge". She sent me a message (paraphrasing, of course):

"Are you trying to tell me something?"
"You saying I'm fat?"
"You think I need to lose weight?"

Now keep in mind that Annie is getting married later this year and all psycho brides think they need to lose weight anyway. But they don't want to be told that. Even if you didn't know you were telling them.

I blame Pusateri.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Can we talk?

I'm not sure, but I don't think Joe The Trainer likes me. Sometimes I'll look around and see other clients with their trainers and they'll be.... chatting. They'll be sitting on a machine, possibly talking about exercise but not necessarily. The point is that no actual exercise is taking place.

Joe The Trainer never chats with me. There isn't time; we never stop moving. If I want to say something, I have about 15-20 seconds when we're moving between machines. When we move between floors, I get 45 seconds. If I want to have a longer discussion, I have 3 minutes while I'm on the Stairmaster. I can speak, or save my breath. The choice is mine. But chatting? No way. He won't allow it.

Actually, this is one of the reasons why I think he's a great trainer. I see how other people move around and what we do in one hour would take them 90 minutes or 2 hours. Trainers are expensive, and a good one won't let you waste 10 minutes chatting about your weekend. And yes, after the workout I can talk with him all I want. But by then I usually just want to get the hell outta there.

I think some day I'll put on a fake moustache and glasses, go to the gym in disguise and spy on Joe The Trainer when he's with another client. I bet they go into the Yoga room and play Guitar Hero for an hour.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Hellooooooo, Newman

I started running again on a regular basis. Ow.

My first run Wednesday was supposed to be 5.5 miles with a big hill in the middle, but a nice leisurely pace. Unfortunately we got a bit over-eager and went out a little too fast. That hurt. On Thursday, we were supposed to a flat 4 miles, at a nice leisurely pace. Unfortunately, I got a bit over-eager and went out a little too fast. That hurt even more. The cool part of the evening was that while we were stretching in the lobby before the run, Wayne Knight walked by. No idea what he was doing in the building, but he didn't join us. To answer Jill's question, I wouldn't call him "skinny" but he definitely smaller than he was in his Seinfeld days.

The Wednesday and Thursday running groups essentially pull from the same pool of people and there is a lot of overlap, but there is definitely a different vibe to them. The Wednesday group tends to be cyclist-oriented, while Thursday is more runner-oriented. What's the biggest difference between the two? Cyclists wear tight, clinging clothing; runners wear loose, flowing clothing. And I found out the hard way that it is apparently a fashion faux-pas to show up on Thursdays wearing spandex. Run-Leader-Leah brought this to my attention by announcing to the group "so, Wedgie's showing up with the Tri shorts!" Ironically, she was explaining to the new people that we would have several distances and paces, so everyone would feel comfortable. Yeah, I felt real comfortable with everyone turning towards me to look at me bum.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Hats off to Steve

Remember Steve?

Well he knew about my struggles trying to replace my discontinued shoes (none of the stores or online sites had them in my size.) He sent me to, of all places, "" and lo-and-behold they had my shoes! In my odd size! I placed an order, convinced that when the shoes arrived they would be the "new-and-improved" models. But nope, they came, Asics GEL-Kayano 14. The exact shoes I did Ironman in. In fact, you probably can't even tell which is the old shoe and which is the new:

Thank you Mr. Steve.

Monday, January 05, 2009

New Year's Workouts

So 2009 is off to a shaky start.

I figured I would be smart and force myself to do a bike ride new years day. I went to a New Years Eve party with the specific plan of getting a ride home and leaving my car there overnight. That would force me to ride about 15 miles the next day to pick it up. Not a long ride, but at least it would get me started. I also made a conscious effort not to over-indulge on snacks at the party, to start my diet a day early.

Here's the problem: if you cut back on your food intake, you need to cut back on your alcohol intake. I did not. I was fine at the party, but the next morning I was... um... "drafting in the porcelain transition zone". It was awful. Thought. I. Would. Die. To make matters worse, my "abs" (don't have any yet) were still sore from the last session with Joe The Trainer, so it hurt extra every time I hurled. I never got dressed New Years Day, never left the house, didn't get my car until the following day.

I did join a group ride on Sunday in Griffith Park. Robert had given me a pair of awesome Guitar Hero Tri Shorts so I wore them for the ride. (OK, so technically they're just plain shorts but still cool.) It was pretty cold when we started the ride so I was bundled up in many layers and it may have produced one of my Worst Tri Photo Evar:

Click on the photo to see a list of just some of the problems with the photo.