Sunday, March 30, 2008

Walkin' in Texas

Last weekend I flew down to Austin and met Hannah for a short visit. I got in Friday night around 11:00, we went for a hike on Saturday at one of the state parks about 70 miles outside Austin, then I flew out early Sunday morning.

The hike was the mental refresher we both needed. It was strenuous enough that we got a little workout in, but mostly it was good because we had an uninterrupted day (~19 miles) with no real agenda other than walking.

Despite being on a route that follows a lake shore, we only saw the lake for a tiny bit -- mostly just trees and brush. We were a little uninspired by the scenery, so we didn't take many pictures.

Those pictures that we did take... ummm... I'll leave it up to you to judge their quality.

Derrr... What's that up in the sky? A bird? A plane? A plane-shaped bird?

No! It's Hannah doing her best superhero pose!

Seriously, those are the best of the bunch. I blame our new camera.

Well, at least one of them came out okay:

Monday, March 24, 2008

The highs and very, very low lows

On Friday, I spent an uncomfortable two and a half hours trying to get from the Newark Airport airtrain station to the actual terminal a half mile away. In a nutshell, the airtrain was down, the Port Authority employees didn't know what to do, about 300 increasingly frustrated people waited in various lines while we were moved up and down the stairs to shuttles that may or may not have actually existed. A bunch of people missed their flights -- I was lucky I showed up almost four hours early (purely by chance). Even then, I only arrived at my gate about 15 minutes before boarding.

More disappointing than the lack of a contingency plan by the Port Authority is the complete lack of human decency displayed by many of the people that were waiting. Lots of cursing, screaming, tantrums, etc. One woman behind me called the police.

At one point, a shuttle actually arrived, full of people trying to get to the train station from the airport -- most of whom were coming in from international flights. Since they didn't know where to go, and no one in authority was helping them out, these folks would accidentally get mixed up in the lines waiting to go to the terminals. They'd then realize their mistake, walk out of line, and try walking into the building so that they could get a train. People waiting would then start screaming obscenities at them for "cutting" the line. Welcome to America, where we're all jerks.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Swim technique

Video swim 3/11/09 (backdated to '08 to keep it off the front page of the blog)

Front view, "regular" stroke

Side view, "regular" stroke

Front view, straight-arm recovery

Side view, straight-arm recovery

Monday, March 10, 2008

Consistency trumps talent

Final results from the San Angelo Road Lizards Trail Series are up, and suprisingly, I came in third overall. That's really because two other guys that thoroughly trounced me in two of the three races didn't do the whole series (one missed the first race and one missed the last one).

But hey, whatever. I'll take it. It's just more reinforcement that conservative consistency is what gets me my results -- professionally, financially and athletically.

Of course, the dude that won overall is talented and consistent. Hannah remarked that she was surreptitiously checking him out at the second race and couldn't figure out why his leg muscles were so defined -- why was he flexing? Then she realized he wasn't flexing. You don't get that ripped with talent alone.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

No news is... ummm... not a good blog topic

Sorry. Nothing super significant to say. We have a new apartment in NJ. And a new house in Texas. We're a regular 21st century couple with the long distance commuting and the multiple residences (albeit one a rental).

We're taking a surprise trip to Austin over Easter weekend (Suprise Austin! Bet you didn't see that one coming!).

My race schedule may be shifting yet again. Basically, after the North Face race, it's looking like it's only going to be my super-secret event at the end of the summer, leading into my super-duper-secret plan for next year. Ohhh, the mystery.

With any luck, I'll have something more interesting to share in the coming days. In the meantime, check out Jill (Up In Alaska)'s blog. She finished the Iditarod Trail Invitational (350 miles through inner Alaska) the other day. Pretty freaking crazy (and cool!).