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Showing posts from December, 2008

Master man in 2009

No, that's not a weird tropical infection on my nose. Rather, it's confectionery sugar from the rim of my margarita glass; even 52-year-old men are forced to be silly now and again.

2009 is on the horizon. I am taking an assessment of myself and realized that never before have I felt such a toll on my body. My back is healing from the herniated disc at the L-5/S-1. Another portion of my back is in muscular pain from lifting luggage on this trip. I have arthritis in my right thumb near the joint. I was using my dad's snow blower yesterday morning when my feet flew out from under me, and I crashed hard.

Now I am also dealing with a rare case of sore-ass-itis.

Might as well tell you my right knee hasn't been good for years and is now in a bad state. Running in the cold of Wisconsin seems to negate some of the pain, but a rather loud clicking noise now echoes through the room when I climb stairs.

What's a master competitor to do?

Regroup, rebuild. Hold the light-fit…

Don't try this at home

If you're a heavy traveler, you may commiserate with me regarding what one needs for an extended journey and what are the minimums in apparel that will prove adequate.

Out latest trip encompassed Aruba, Los Angeles, and central Wisconsin over three weeks.

Try to pack for that one and keep it all inside one check on bag.

Well. I accomplished it, but ran a bit light on the running apparel.

Since I had only packed two pairs of running shorts, I attempted to gain extended use from the pair I started with in Aruba. Despite frequent rinsing, they became a bit stiff. On the day of our departure, I had sun dried them prior to leaving and, well, the photo at right tells the story.

The shorts stood up by themselves.

There's not much more to say about that, except that one wonders just what is emitted from the body that turns running shorts into a adobe-like consistency.

That's a question for another day.

From far south to the west...

We made a bit of a transition the past few days. After our daily island runs on Aruba - where on one occasion the shoreline of Venezuela was visible - we headed a bit northwest...all the way to PalosVerdes, California.

The runs here are picturesque and the landscape has changed to hills. This morning was a cold run in drizzling rain, but it was refreshing nonetheless. After 25 years of jogging, one learns that all forward motion is good. Each run offers a unique experience and the shift from flat and hot to hilly and wet was a valid transition.

Another birthday has passed and at 52 years old, it's all bonus time. My right knee isn't good, my back is touch-and-go and my energy level is low.

I'm not much for New Year's resolutions, but one is in order for master competitor this time around. It's time to get thin and fit and (somewhat) fast in 2009.

As each new season looms, it's always an awakening. For yet another year, I will live to run once again.

Strange planet

There are many sites on this great earth. I have traveled to the Bahamas, Greece, Spain and now Aruba in 2008. All of these destinations are unique.

What I find intriguing is the order and balance to life. The plants, animals (and on some occasions humans) co-exist in a complimentary state. There is a plan to that balance, something that randomness cannot explain. I am happy to be included in this place, this time in life.

We journeyed to Arikok National Park, on the northeast side of the island. The cacti abounded and reminded me of the cinnamon crispa desserts that I often enjoy at Taco Bell...I'm always looking for a relationship to food.

And, we shared the trails with many friends. Mountain goats scurried about and if you look closely, you'll note one of these creatures scanning the horizon from a perch high atop the rocks.

I feel privileged that the full-time inhabitants allowed me this special day to visit their domain.

The storm is over

Weather. It'sgreattowatchitchange. Fromstilltowindyto wet totranquil. Andthenthesunpredominatesagainandit'sthebeginning of a newcycle.

Arubahasofferedmanysuchchanges. Onecanwatchthestormserupt over the Caribbean Sea, move toshoreandthendissipate.

And on several occasions, we have found a greatgem at theculmination; a brilliantrainbow over the horizon.

For me, rainbowsrepresent a covenant. Itreminds me of theearth, whyitexistsandtheresponsibility we have tobegood stewards of the environment aroundus.

Once we useitup, it'sgone. I want tobecomebetter at preservingthe gift. Andtherainbowtells me it'smyresponsibilityto do justthat.

Proper attire

Life vacationing in Aruba can be stressful. A modern man has to know how to look good and fit into every situation, in a appealing yet informal manner.

So, I came upon this retro/postmodern combination for most of my uptown and beach outings. It features a Brooks Sports team racing singlet on the top, with blue and black accents that balance well against my 20+ year old swim trunks - mail ordered from The Finals circa 1985.

I suggest that the crisp lines and colors of the singlet bring the fuzzy, over washed look of the swim trunks to life.

I have been finalizing the ensemble with a $6 pair of blue flip flops, procured at Target.

Over the years, master competitor has been chastised for his jeans and t-shirt cadre and the Aruba experience has allowed me to branch out and liberate the wild flower I truly am.

Let's hope the bloom doesn't come off the rose too soon.

Journey on.

Just 4 minutes a day?

I'll be traveling the next three weeks and en route to Aruba I noted the contraption above in one of the airline travel magazines.

This is the ROM 4-minute cross trainer. It costs $14,615.

The ROM claims to get you where you need to be - ripped and ready for more - in only 4 minutes a day.

I can't quite grasp if you put the ROM on, or climb into it, but nonetheless that's a nice piece of change for anyone to consider.

Here's what the ROM's website states:

"The third problem are so called experts (personal trainers, doctors, etc.) when asked for their opinion about our 4 minute ROM machine, they will not even bother to inform themselves, read anything about it or try it out before giving their negative opinion or even ridiculing our ROM. Most of these "experts" are so closed minded that they cannot even be educated as to the logical insights that are embodied in the very intelligent ROM design and function."

So, instead of ridiculing the machine, I wi…

Good for what ails you...

A master competitor of any ilk knows that sooner or later, pain will come your way.

I had the bad disc/back/left leg ailment all this year and once that subsided, my lame right knee started flaring up once again.

And while I'm whining, I might as well tell you about the arthritic thumb joint in my right hand.

Ouch. Ouch ouch ouch.

So it goes. And if you're anything like me, you're eternally hunting for the cure. I've done the DMSO thing and at one point in the late '80's was actually mixing powdered aspirin into the DMSO. You don't know what DMSO is? Good, let's keep it that way.

At this point I'm working with some pretty cool stuff called Traumeel. It's not cheap, about $40 for a big tube from the local health food store. This is a healing balm that is unlike the Ben-Gay type rubs. It's not about a heat producing mask for the pain; rather, it's a substance that goes in deep and seems to aleviate the hurt in a different way.

One interne…

Very fast rubber

Please...don't skip over this posting before you read it. I realize the picture of a tire isn't the most exciting image you'll find on this blog, but it may lead to a ton of excitement in your life.

At left is the very fast and high pressure Ritchey Tom Slick mountain bike tire. The Ritchey is 26-inch, which means it fits mountain bike rims. And, it comes in a 1-inch wide version, the thinnest tire you can get for a mountain bike. It inflates to 100 pounds-per-square-in (psi) making it one of the highest pressure tires for a mountain bike rim on the market.

Where am I going with all of this? Many of you may have an older mountain bike sitting in the garage or shed, a bike that hasn't seen the light of day for years. You really don't have a use for it, so you just don't ride it...but wait!

That old mountain bike can become a rip-fast commuter bike with one simple conversion. Add a pair of Ritchey slicks, pump 'em up, and you'll be rolling fast and hard…

Take the lane...

I wouldn't suggest coasting through an intersection as demonstrated by the dude at left...but posturing with an assertive riding style has been an asset to my daily bicycle commuting.

Let's back up about 23 years. I first started to ride road bicycles with a guy named Mark Harris. Mark was a wild flower, owned a small bike shop, and was an eternal part time student. But what Harris could do best was ride a bike. Fast, hard and with authority.

Mark would take me through the streets of Greensboro, North Carolina. And, he taught me well. We'd always ride hard and make sure automobiles knew our intention. We'd point to indicate a move into the lane, make eye contact, and then dart into the opening. Instead of cowering near the curb, we'd demonstrate our ability and surge just ahead of the car next to us, to assure that motorists knew we were part of the traffic flow.

Much of that riding style is still with me today. I am not a casual commuter, but rather one who …

Admire, but don't idolize

The shot to the right is Bob Hannah, one of the all time motocross racing greats, at the Unadilla, New York United States Grand Prix. I'm guessing this was 1989 but if anyone knows otherwise please drop me a note.

I was capturing thoughts during my morning run (what else is new?) about my somewhat thick body, slow pace and aching right knee. A bit of a pity party, but at the same time, I'm glad to be outdoors and moving again since my back has healed.

I was also pondering my career as a journalist and marketer in motorcycle racing. Though now many years past, the sport offered access to some great racers. Of that select few, I could call only a very few friends. It was surely not Hannah; he was all business and had little time for chatter. At least, as far as Bob was concerned about my place in the world.

But on this crisp Florida morning, it was not of consequence. I have realized that none of us need to look up to others in any way that demeans or minimizes our own effor…