Friday, November 27, 2009

lots of new news!

Big recaps coming soon....marriage, house, dealing with plumbers and real estate agents...whoa

lots of fun stuff to write about.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Good Life Gravel Adventure Recap

About a week ago Rafal and I embarked on our first endurance race of the year by touring some unpaved country roads surrounding Lincoln, NE. It was a perfect day for the race. Cool temps early in the morning that rose to maybe 80 degrees in the afternoon. For those of you who think that riding around Nebraska means riding the great plains with no are mistaken. This ride was one hilly mutha! the tough part about these hills was their spacing because you lost all momentum from the descent before climbing the next rolling hill. The race started out with 40-some riders at about 615 in the morning and included checkpoints at mile 40, 65, 81, and 106 before finishing back in Lincoln for mile 142. I was doing well the first 60 miles before leg cramps set in and thought, "oh shit, not good" so, i walked the bike for a minute or two, stretched out, and took it easy while increasing the fluid and electrolyte intake. One thing i learned on this race was to push as much fluid and food as possible because you burn tons of calories while spinning and climbing the rollers.

another thing i learned is that i should have brought my ipod or something to pass the time. mile after mile of gravel gets kinda boring and all you have is time to think about all sorts of things. the wedding, work, bikes, where you've been, what you wanna do, getting a house, the fam, friends, all types of stuff. Eventually you run out of things to think about and you just stare at the road and try to find the smoothest line to take your bike through. finding a good line seemed to always be the task at hand. you could be pt-cruising and then run your bike through some soupy gravel which drops your momentum and cadence...then you just hafta work your legs back up to it.

One of the toughest segments of the race was the last 35 mile leg. typically the wind blows out of the south and we would have had a great tailwind to push us home. instead, we had a wall of wind to welcome us back to lincoln. luckily there were some strong riders from kansas to ride with that decreased the workload. these fellas were strong and kept a quick pace, especially their leader, Warren, a 50-year-old former Marine who still looks like one. I hope to have this guy's endurance and biking proficiency when I'm his age. We knew things were gonna be ok when we hit the flat Mo-Pac trail for the final two miles to victory lane. the feeling of completing something that i thought would be a stretch was great. im wondering if i can do another 60 miles on top of that....the Dirty Kanza 200 is next May...we'll see. for the time being, i'll stick with shorter rides out to Platte for some sweet bacon

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Summer Time!

Finally! The garden is producing a summer bumper crop of tomatoes! These 'maters will be enjoyed after this Saturday's tri at Manawa. Mmmmm tomato with pesto sandwiches and BLTs. Tasty!
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Thursday, August 06, 2009

Milwaukee Tour

A few weeks ago Jamie and I took a road trip to visit some friends in Milwaukee. At first, eight or nine hours in a car is not the most fun. However, splitting the drive in half with a quick overnighter visit with my brother in good ol' Waterloo made the drive not too bad. Seeing the Iowa countryside full of windmills was pretty cool to see as well. Perhaps our state representative, Lee Terry, could do some actual work and take a roadtrip to Iowa and see how other states are developing their renewable energy resources.

Jamie and I arrived in Waukesha around noon and meet up with her friends from university, Ashley and Chris. Chris is up in Wisconson doing some work for the National Weather Service and coincidentally my work is developing the software the NWS will use. Chris and his weather collegues are also huge fans of a weather guy I work with daily, Earl Barker. We hung out and chatted up before picking up another university friend, Maggie, on the way to the Lake Front Brewery tour. Mmmmm beer! Cold beer hit the spot after the long car ride. Learning how beer is made was pretty cool too. From what the locals have said, the brewery guides are typically funny and inject humor into their tours. Our tour guide wasn't that entertaining. Since the guides are volunteers, receive beer for their services, and we were towards the tail end of the evening, he had been enjoying the product samples a little too much. So yea, you learn about beer making, sample some beer, and then go eat. We enjoyed the beer and went to a fish fry next door where we saw bunches of tourists taking pictures of their food. It was like these guys had never seen food before. Never wanting to not partake in the action, I grabbed my camera and began taking pictures of other people taking pictures of the food. I dont know, perhaps they have never seen fried fish in their lives because and needed proof for friends back home. Or, perhaps they are the type of folks who document every part of their vacation as a means of torturing their friends or kids with a vacation slideshow replay that mimics stop motion animation. Some of my friends and coworkers have done this to me and i sometimes want to gouge my eyeballs out. I dont need to see you and your kid in 13 different poses as he tries to roll over or while you try to feed him. ugh!

Anyways, the weekend weather was perfect! Sunny, 80 degrees, and no humidity. Days like this are the summer norm in Wisconsin. It's too bad Milwaukee summers last about two months. The rest of the time is spent preparing for the cold and defrosting from the cold. The trip highlight was a visit to watch the Brewers with some tailgating mixed in at the Miller Park parking lot. We arrived early and were on hand to watch a Milwaukee college classic played out at the small ballfield outside the stadium: med students vs. dental students. The med students pulled out a narrow victory and that left Maggie in the dumps a bit.
The closest tailgating experience that matches the scale of what we enjoyed would be an Iowa State football game...Open containers, friendly folks, grillin, lawn games, and some bevs. We enjoyed some grilled veggies purchased from a local farmer's market and headed to the game. Like many things, beer made the event even better.
The ballgame was a great time...I was prepared to be hassled by security for bringing in sunflower seeds when reaching the turnstyle. Nope. Miller Park's liberal security policy allows just about any outside food sans alcohol. Wow! This policy sure beats Rosenblatt's SS-style-security at a CWS or Royal's game. The view from our seats made for great people watching and great baseball watching. Earl is a big Brewers fans, so he provided me a ticket for his seats near the 3rd base line. For about two innings I broke away from our group to see his seats and also took this chance to meet up with a buddy who I meet in Antarctica, Dan. It was fun to catch up while watching the crowd boo Manny Ramirez. Dan's trip was big two or so years traveling out of a backpack, this guy went everywhere you could go in South America. We also got a great view of the sausage races.

The Brewers won and while walking out we noticed all these sweet ballpark themed statues you could take your picture with. Never wanting to bypass a photo opportunity, we snapped some fotos of ourselves with the sausages and in this giant glove you could sit in. For those who dont know me, I can be a bit sarcastic...but when I told this woman that it would be five dollars to take her picture with the giant baseball glove, I received an unexpected "F-You and your F'in five dollars!" We all kind of looked at each other and were like, whoa, tranquilo lady, tranquilo. So after the ballgame we enjoyed some more drinks and headed back to Ashley and Chris' place. Everybody was pretty worn out from the game and I went into my normal late-night veggative state where I fall asleep whenever and whereever.

Awaking on Sunday I felt unexpectedly rested and ready for a long ride home...we passed the time talking about the weekend that was and listening to The Godfather. I'd say Milwaukee is worth another visit and like to head up there again. Cheers!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Where Did Summer Go?

Lots of things going on these days....In the next few days i'll be describing epic tales of
  • Milwaukee
  • Tri-Tri-Triathlons
  • Ragbrai

Some the upcoming events include...

  • Branched Oak Lake Triathlon (Maybe)
  • Good Life Gravel Adventure
  • Black Squirell Triathlon
  • Omaha Half Marathon with a twist

Thursday, June 04, 2009

back from yosemite!

it's been about two weeks since the yosemite trip...

big news. jamie and i got engaged in front of the beautiful yosemite falls. i asked, she was like, "are you serious?" with a smile and a tear in the corner of her eye...she said yes....phew.

more info to come. also, b-hoff was one of the lucky 31% in california to pass the bar. great job, brian!

Monday, May 11, 2009

back from estes park...

did a quick tour of estes park, colorado this weekend.

Things we saw...
  • rocky mountain national park
  • the stanley
  • elk
  • inebriated coworkers
  • a cool wedding at a beautiful chapel

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Back from Paris!

Just got back from Paris last much to see in just one week!

Good times...
Good food
good drinks....

more to come later...


Sunday, February 15, 2009

Three Sport Adventure!

Completing and competing a triathlon has been a long term goal of mine. Well, now's the time. This should be a fun and different type of challenge. I'm excited to compete with myself to do my best at this type of event. You never know how good you can be at something until you give it your best shot. With that being said, a few guys and I have started a triathlon-trio and are aiming for a May 31st competition.

Swim, bike, and run. I'm ok at running and pretty good at biking. Swimming...err that's gonna take some work. My cumulative swimming experience has been the swimming merit badge I earned at Boy Scout camp 15 years ago and being able to tread water. I'm attending the Maverick Masters swimming program in order to improve at this sport. The Masters swim program offers organized workouts to adult swimmers with the goal of improving fitness through swimming. The training assistance these coaches provide will help out the triathlon-trio. I attended three times my first week and have realized how much of a workout this swimming thing is. Yaowza!

I arrived on Monday and gave the coach the quick rundown of my limited experience. The warm up began with a 200 meter freestyle, pull, and kick. The workout began with eight-200 meter freestyle with a focus of breathing technique and head placement. Head down and replace your nose with your ear as you breath. The workout was tough for a beginner.

I have to say the whole experience of this Masters program is a bit humbling. Yea, you think you are an ok athlete...until you try a sport that you never have done before and get to watch Nana glides past you while you are trying to catch your breath in the corner of pool.

Short term goals is the name of the game here.

The short term goal that I set on my first day of swimming was to make it down to the end of the pool, while breathing properly, without stopping. By the third day of swimming I'm able to do that. Down and back is the next goal.

More triathlon goals and updates to come.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Happy New Year!

It's a new year that's full of new opportunities!
wow, it's been a while since the last entry and so i thought i'd add an entry. there are some big things coming down the line this year and it should be a great time.
Some potential destinations that i've been thinking about include:
  • Pacific Northwest to visit some buddies i met a few years ago
  • Estes Park  with Jamie for a wedding and a bit of hiking
  • Milwaukee with Jamie to visit some of her friends, enjoy a brewery tour, and watch the Brewers play a game or two
  • Yosemite to visit Hoffman, climb Half Dome, and see the waterfalls
  • NYC to see the US Open
  • New Zealand, Austrailia, and Asia...this is a stretch, but it'd be a blast!
There are some other things going down...more info on those as they develop