Friday, October 30, 2009

Autumn/Winter CSA

Summer is sadly well past and along with the change of seasons came the end of the Doe Run Farm Summer CSA. It stands to reckon, then, that the plethora of fresh, tasty, local fruits and veggies would cease as well. In the words of Lee Corso, "Not so fast!" This year, in addition to the Summer CSA, I signed up for the Autumn/Winter version as well. At 8 weeks instead of 12, it is a bit shorter but the price per week remains the same. And as you can see from below, there is no shortage in quantity or quality of goodies per week!

Below are the contents from my week 3 box which I picked up last night. So far this season my favorite item has been the bell peppers. It is amazing how much more flavor they have than those I typically buy at Publix. This week, as you can see, they were all green but the last couple of weeks I've received some red and yellow ones as well.

Overview:


And close-ups:





Sunday, October 25, 2009

Oct19-25

S: 23,700yds
B: 9h 34min
R: 5h 15min

Total: 21h 3min

Whoomp, there it is. Looking forward to the beatdown in less than three weeks!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

TEBOW on Attitude

"We were just fighting tooth and nail with everything we had to make that last play, make that last stop. At the end of the game, we were doing everything we could to win that game... We were not going to be stopped. We were going to get in field-goal range to put Sturgis in a position to make that. That was his attitude on that play. That was our coaches' attitude in believing in us." -Tim Tebow describing his mindset when the Gators got the ball in the forth quarter tied at 20 with Arkansas.

Whether its football, triathlon, or ping-pong, the first step towards success is believing in yourself and knowing you can succeed.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Oct12-18

S: 28,800yds
B: 10h 10min
R: 5h 34min

Total: 23h 19min

So yeah... this weekend it got reallly cold here and it reminded me why triathlon season is during the summer. Biking when it is 48F and overcast with 15-25mph winds is just NOT fun at all. Neither is finishing a 3h ride on the trainer. While the weather in Clearwater for the 70.3 World Championships has been awesome since its inception in 2006, the second weekend of November is just too late to have it, IMHO. Couldnt it be moved to a week or even two after Kona?

OK, enough of the complaining. Just a couple more solid weeks then its taper time!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Oct5-11

S: 28,100 yds
B: 7h 32min
R: 4h 17min

Total: 19h 13min

Happy (belated) Columbus Day! In celebration of the Spanish conquistador's discovery of the "New World" the Federal Government decided its employees should stay home. So rather than going to the office I worked out three times, napped, and watched the Dolphins beat down the Jets.

Training last week was mediocre but was highlighted by the Monte Sano 15k on Saturday morning. Here in town there were overcast skies and the temp was in the low 60s on the morning of the race but up on the mountain at the race site it was more like high 50s. Additionally, being up on the mountain in the morning with the high humidity made it feel like we were running through the clouds. Fine by me, as cool and humid are ideal conditions as far as I'm concerned. By the time the gun went off, I was ready to go, just to be able to warm up some!

I wanted a decent time so I took off from the gun and was all alone after the first 400m. Not much changed from there out as I maintained a solid but comfortable pace the rest of the way, finishing in 51:30 and winning by a few minutes. It would've been nice to have more of a race but I felt great and was pleased with my time so I cant really complain.

Full results here.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Weekend Update

There are a plethora of exciting events this weekend both locally and nationally, beginning Saturday morning here in Huntsville with the Monte Sano 15k. As long as it doesnt rain too much, I'm hoping to have a pretty good race. The course isnt the fastest but hopefully I can at least beat my time from last year if not notch a new PR. 400s on the track in my new Puma flats felt great on Wednesday evening, so we'll see how it goes.

After that, the aforementioned impending rain storms should make for a perfect football viewing Saturday. The fun kicks off with Auburn at Arkansas at 11 Central followed by Alabama at Mississippi at 2:30C. Auburn-Arkansas should look like a basketball game while Alabama-Ole Miss has the potential to be a great game if Jevan Snead can remember how to play quarterback. I like Auburn in the early game but am looking for a Houston Nutt upset special in the afternoon.

While those games are being contested, there will also be a little triathlon out in Hawaii that I'll likely follow online. Its Ironman Hawaii, and if you're into that kind of thing (Ironmans, that is) then its kind of a big deal. I like Craig A and Chrissie W for the men's and women's titles, respectively and will be pulling for Timex teammates Jackie A, Mike L, Tim H, THE SERGIO and Cindi B to kick some ass out there.

The big event, though, kicks off a bit after 7CDT over in Baton Rouge as #1 ranked Florida visits #4 (over)ranked LSU. As if the #1-#4 matchup at night in Baton Rouge between the two teams that have won the last 3 national titles wasnt enough, there is this other tiny side story. Florida's quarterback, Tim Tebow, (maybe you've heard of him?) got a concussion in Florida's last game and his status is still up in the air. The decision regarding whether or not Tebow can play will be up to University of Florida physicians. The more intriging question, however, is whether or not Tebow should play. For an utterly thorough analysis, check out Dan Shanoff's TimTeblog which in addition to original insight, contains links to just about everything written about the subject. Personally I think John Brantley, Florida's back QB out of Trinity Catholic HS in Ocala, FL, will start and play OK, keeping the game close until the forth quarter. At that time, Tebow pull a Willis Reed and enter the game, lead the Gators on a winning TD drive, and add to his already ridiculous legacy.

Finally, Sunday morning will be the Chicago Marathon where there is a chance we'll see a new WR. LetsRun has their typical thorough preview and there will be live commentary on the Science of Sport as well. I think Sammy W will win but will be off the WR due to poor pacing. Pacing is where Geb excels and a main reason why he is current record holder. I'll also be hoping local standout Emily H can break 2:50. DO IT!

So there you go... enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Incentives and asymmetric information

So rather than harping on the many problems with the health care system, here is one company that has found a solution. While the rest of the country has seen health care costs spiraling out of control, Safeway has kept their costs flat for the last five years. The catch? Incentives, of course! Safeway gives discounts, in the form of lower premiums, to non smokers, those who have a BMI lower than 30, and those who meet other "healthy" guidelines. Full story here.

Why does this work? Economists will tell you one of the problems with the health care system is that of asymmetric information similar to the problem facing potential buyers of used cars. The issue is that one side (the insured) has all the information while the other side (the insurance company) has none (or very little). Therefore, in the case of health insurance, the insurance company must assume everyone is at a baseline, "average" level in order to mitigate risk and because it has no way of telling if one person has a better chance of costing more than another. What Safeway has done, on the other hand, has given its insurance company additional information about the people it is insuring. This allows those that are healthier, and therefore lower risk, to be charged less while those who are higher risk are charged more.

Naturally, the counter argument to this is that this is essentially a tax on those who are deemed "unhealthy". However, this is where the incentives kick in... they are determined by indicators that individuals have control over. Want to smoke? Fine, but you'll have to pay more for that privilege. Want to eat junk all day? Thats OK, too, Safeway's CEO will tell you, but you'll have to pay the price.

Free markets work effeciently only when both parties are privy to the same amount of information. Additionally, healthier people are cheaper to insure. Combining these principles, as Safeway has done, leads to cheaper, equally effective, health care.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Sept28-Oct4

S: 18,100 yds
B: 8h 27min
R: 4h 14min

Total: 17h 27min

Slightly lighter volume this week thanks to the day off (shocking, I know!) early in the week. By the end of the week though things were back in full swing as the final push for Clearwater begins. Unfortunately, as usual this corresponds with football season which may require some creative scheduling in order to get in both football viewing along with training but thats just the way it goes...