09 April 2008

Green Week

There exists an interesting dichotomy in the world of triathlon; most folks work so hard to live fit, nutritious and healthy lifestyles for our bodies, yet we neglect the land that enables us to have chiseled calves and stunning jaw lines (cue humor). We simply throw old products in the garbage, clean our greasy bikes in our yards and driveways, throw innertubes in the dumpster, etc. What can you do to live a more green life? Why should you?

Over the past couple years, I have had the pleasure of working with Pedro's, a bicycle maintenance company, in an effort to use environmentally safe degreasers, chain wax and cleaners. In addition to maintenance products, they provide every tool, kit and saddle bag imaginable with a new line of Eco-friendly fibers and plastics. There are so many bike and gear manufacturers who use toxic products in their fluids, and guess what happens to that cute little garden down the driveway from where you clean your bike with these fluids? That's right, mutant weeds and death galore. And let's not even imagine what will happen to that family of fuzzy, cuddly cute bunny rabbits...

In addition to Pedro's products, their site contains a wealth of knowledge and "green" tips. For example, what do you do with those old tires, innertubes and bike parts? See Pedro's for disposal tips! They are doing an amazing job of changing the cycling and active community's environmental habits and helping folks save a few bucks in the process. They are great people and I wish we could all be a little more like them. Thanks guys.

Go here: PEDRO'S. They have a great online shop with fun accessories such as bottle opener that I exclusively use for every beer in my home.

"Recycle, reduce, re-use, and close the loop..." (We had to watch these recycling videos in middle school and listen to these jingles that are permanently tattooed on my brain. Kudos sir marketing person, or whoever created that song. It worked.)

Also visit Chris Lieto's green website. He is quite the activist and sets a great example for how we can do more. Not only does he recycle like a champ, but he can give most thoroughbred horses a run for their money on his bicycle.

05 April 2008

Wile E. Coyote

The past couple days of recovering from my back injury have been going well. Today I was able to knock out a steady 10 mile run followed up by a nice 5,000m swim. So enough training talk, everyone does it, so I'll chat about something that happened to me yesterday...

I am on a jog, or it might be "yawg." I'm not sure if it's a soft "j" or not, when I look up the trail ahead of me roughly 100yds or so. I thought for a second that I had let out a "Beep beep," as I was staring directly at a coyote (or rather, he was staring at me). No, he wasn't toting an ACME anvil or TNT blasting kit, but he was looking at me like I had no business on his turf. I just so happen to see another one on the side of the trail. They are much bigger in real life. I always thought coyotes were little critters, roughly the size of a fox, but au contraire. I'm actually making a bigger deal of it than it actually was, but it at least was an interesting wildlife experience here in Florida. Now, you must be riveted to your ergonomic chairs as to what happened once we made eye contact!

Absolutely nothing. I wondered what they were doing playing in the heat of the day; they were wondering why I had no hair on my body and was exclusively running on my hind quarters.

This capped off my week of wildlife viewing as I was on my bicycle Thursday and happened to see a bald eagle. I didn't think they were indigenous to Florida, but sure enough, it was legit. They are huge. The white head was finished off by an impressive yellow beak. The tail feathers were also a beautiful stark white, which made this bird's flight impressive and effortless.

Until next time, this is Bear Grylls signing off. If you don't know who that is, google him and watch his show.

02 April 2008

Back in the saddle again

...not only was a great composition by iconic Aerosmith, but it accurately describes where I am in my training as of today.

Prior to today, well, Monday, I had done absolutely no physical activity for about eight days due to a back injury. Through a network of great friends, who consequently happen to be orthopedic surgeons, urologists, pathologists, physical therapists, and just about every "ist" you can imagine, it was determined that I tore some muscle in my lower back with some damage to some sensitive tissue around my L-4/L-5 area. Lots of Ph.D.'s and MD's said a lot of big words that I really didn't understand, but I liked the way they sounded to my ears, so I listened for a while, and determined all of it sounded good. I've been following their advice for therapy, and the pain is slowly but surely subsiding (another word I heard them use...not quite sure what it means, but it looks pretty). I just today am able to bend at the waist forward and achieve a 90 degree angle. I can't properly stretch my hamstrings yet, but I'm gaining more range of motion every day. Today I was able to knock out an 8 mile run followed by about 2100m in the water. Flipturns are still a bit iffy, as I have to modify my ninja stealthy flip by performing what can best be described as something you would see an arthritic, pregnant woman do. No offense, but it is fairly accurate, I think ;)

As Inigo Montoya said to Wesley after awakening from Miracle Max's miracle pill, "Lemme 'splain. No, there is too much. Lemme sum up..." If I am able to recover from this nuisance in a reasonable amount of time, then I will next compete in the 2012 Olympic Development race in Tuscaloosa, AL on 20 April. If not, then I will still go to Tusca-paloosa and spectate, as I've already purchased a non-refundable plane ticket; all the while continuing to prepare for St. Anthony's Triathlon on 27 April in St. Petersburg, FL.

Until next time, watch The Princess Bride, if you haven't already, to understand my humor in the above paragraph.