August 9, 2012

Olympic Diver Heckling

My friend Mike recently joined Facebook and has been posting like a madman, apparently to make up for lost time. I posted this link to Deadspin on my Timeline the other day, and Mike suggested I intertwine that clip with part of the high-dive scene from the '80s epic coming-of-age movie, Back to School.

So naturally, I did.

Oh, by the way--I haven't made a blog entry in more than two years. Just thought I'd acknowledge that. And for the record, I did finish the 2010 Desert Sprint Triathlon. And did it again in 2011 and 2012.

April 28, 2010

There is no Tri: The Bike: MORE Equipment Malfunctions?

OK, so I survived the swim and eventually made it back to the transition area, found my stuff and took a load off. I was pretty freakin' tired from my near-death experience in the water and I was in no hurry to jump on my bike.

I sat down, dumped some water on my feet to get the sand off and put my shoes, socks and helmet on. You'd think this would only take a couple minutes, but from the time I exited the water until the time I mounted my bike, more than 7 minutes had passed. My goal was a 4-minute transition, but at the moment I didn't give a f*ck.

So anyway, the bike course was really simple and really flat. It was a 14-mile rectangle with cones blocking off the right lane and police officers at intersections for traffic control. I'm no elite athlete by any stretch of the imagination (believe me, I've tried to imagine it, and it's just not possible), but this made me feel pretty special, so I gave every cop a little nod every time I passed one of them. Naturally, none of them acknowledged me because they probably signed up to catch bad guys and go on high-speed pursuits, not get up at the crack of dawn to tell cars to stop while a bunch of crazy asses rode through.

Not sure if I mentioned this before, but I ended up riding my Trek mountain bike for this triathlon. I had been using a friend's lighter and faster Marin hybrid for the past 7 months but had to give it back about a week before the Desert Tri. Luckily, I found some inexpensive road slicks that would fit my Trek, which would make the bike lighter and more efficient than the standard MTB knobby tires, but I hadn't been riding this bike for quite a while and wasn't sure how it would perform.

Thankfully, my amazing physical condition (ok, maybe it was the tweaks I made to try to get the geometry as close to the Marin as possible) allowed me to have a pretty decent ride. I passed quite a few people on mountain bikes and even a few road bikers, and I only got passed by one other mountain biker (who was passing the crap out of everyone, amazingly enough).

The bike stage would have been much better if I hadn't realized about 10 miles in that it felt like my knees kept getting higher and higher as I pedaled. At one point I peeked down at my seat post and realized my seat was slowly sliding down, making it harder to pedal and putting stress on muscles I wasn't expecting to use on the bike! After weighing my options and starting to feel like one of those grown men you see in the San Fernando Valley practically kneeing themselves in the chin because they're actually riding a kid's bike (you know what I'm talking about, L.A. friends!), I decided to pull over and make a quick seat adjustment.

Now I have no idea how long I was stopped -- it could have been 30 seconds or 3 minutes -- but there's no doubt having to slow down, stop, get off the bike, raise the seat, make sure it was centered, tighten it way more than I probably should have (to avoid a repeat performance), getting back on the bike and back up to speed cost me several minutes. But it's not like this was the difference between 1st place and 323rd place, so I wasn't too concerned.

And I actually felt pretty good over the last mile of the ride and wondered if I wasn't pushing myself hard enough (last thing I wanted to do was finish the race and actually feel good, with energy to spare). 

But then something happened that bitch-slapped me back to reality. I reached down and grabbed my water bottle, too a swig and went to put the bottle back in the cage. But I completely missed, and the bottle bounced behind me, gone forever. Now putting your water bottle back into the cage isn't something that takes a ton of strength or agility. It's literally a foot below below me, always in the same place. But I missed. This is when I realized I was more fatigued than I thought I was two minutes earlier, and now instead of wondering if I was going to have too much left in the proverbial tank at the finish, I started to question if I was even going to finish....

Next time: The Run: Make. It. Stop.

April 15, 2010

Ice of the Tiger

I was a late bloomer when it came to hockey. I didn't really get into it until I was in college, where I had a roommate from San Jose who was pumped about the inaugural season of the San Jose Sharks and got me all excited too. I was about 24 when I started playing ice hockey, and it was frustrating to watch the 18-year-old punks skate circles around me because they had been on skates since the age of 2.

So it was pretty awesome to find out we were living 2 miles from one of the few ice rinks in Los Angeles County (I swear it wasn't a factor when deciding to buy our house. Really). But this was no coincidence -- this was a sign from the hockey gods that Dash's destiny was to be a hockey player*. He's in his second "semester" of ice skating/hockey classes at the rink, and they recently help a skating competition for all the students to strut their stuff.

* If you've read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, you know this to be true, as Dash's birthday is in January.

April 11, 2010

Mr. Ball, Meet Mr. Wood

Where: Dodger Stadium
When: Saturday, April 3, 2010
Who: Angels vs. Dodgers, final Spring Training game

We went to Doyer Stadium to check out the final game in the 2010 Spring Training Freeway Series (Angels won, 6-4). I took this photo of Angels 3B Brandon Wood making a sweet catch on a foul pop up. It's pretty much my favorite sports photo I've ever taken.

April 8, 2010

The Apollo space program is back!(?)

After a 38-year hiatus, we revived the Apollo space program with the help of some Stomp Rockets.