Wednesday, April 28, 2010


"The rebuttal to this actually takes an entire book to convey, but it first involves helping people understand that everything about talent is a process. There’s the genetic piece, and then there’s the ability piece... From a distance, it looks like they [high achievers] have got something almost super-human about them. But when you look up close, at the moment-to-moment lives they lead, the sacrifices they make, the extraordinary resources they have around them, their abilities actually do make logical sense. If it’s documented closely enough, you can actually see how they went from mediocre to good, from good to great, from great to extraordinary...

In consumer culture, we are constantly conditioned to gratify our impulses immediately: buy, eat, watch, click— now. High achievers transcend these impulses... Small accomplishments along the way provide more than enough satisfaction to continue."
-David Shenk, author of The Genious in All of Us

The NY Times Freakonomics Blog had an interview with David Shenk about his book, The Genious in All of Us. In the book, Mr. Shank explains that "intelligence" and "talent" are much less genetically determined than most of us would like to believe. Rather, thousands of hours of practice are behind most geniuses' greatness.

I thought some of his points were particularly applicable to triathletes as too often new entrants into the sport look for the "quick fix" when in reality improvement comes over time. There is no way to instantly drop 30sec off your 100yd times in the pool or 1min off your mile pace in a 10km. However, long term, focused, consistent training will ultimately lead to substantial improvements. The key is to stay focused to the long term goal and not expect instant gratification.

Monday, April 26, 2010


S: 27,200 yds
B: 10h 9min
R: 4h 43min

Total: 22h 1min

Things are looking up. The leg is feeling better and the bike position is almost where it needs to be. I'm still going to physical therapy but hopefully it will just be a precautionary measure from here on out.

As for the bike, it would be nice to take a whole day to try various options in order to find the best fit but unfortunately I just dont have that kind of time. That and I'm kind of limited to the updates I can make (ie I can change out stems but not aerobar extensions) so any "big" changes have to be made at the shop which introduces even more time into the process. If all goes well, though, I should have everything finalized by the weekend, just in time for a couple of long rides.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy Friday

It's a busy Friday with TWSOTA and the QOTD rolled into one. Thanks LaShawn!

This Week's Sign of the Apocalypse:
6'3" tall Olympic 400m Gold Medalist LaShawn Merritt tests positive for an anabolic steroid and claims he unknowingly consumed it in an "over-the-counter male enhancement product", the Washington Post reports.

"To know that I've tested positive as a result of product that I used for personal reasons is extremely difficult to wrap my hands around," Merritt said in a statement released by his lawyer. "I hope my sponsors, family, friends and the sport itself will forgive me for making such a foolish, immature and egotistical mistake. Any penalty that I may receive for my action will not overshadow the embarrassment and humiliation that I feel inside."

That last sentence is golden. But the real question here is, why does a tall, black guy need "natural male enhancement"??? My advice to Mr. Merritt: Pick a different excuse!!!

Monday, April 19, 2010


S: 26,200 yds
B: 11h 26min
R: 4h 7min

Total: 22h 27min

Well after a week of running in the pool, the leg is feeling better. I ran 20 minutes this morning and felt "fine" (as fine as you can feel for a Monday morning...) so I'll plan on slowly increasing the distance the rest of the week in hopes that the pain will have vanished for good. As for the cause, I'm leaning towards the Bontrager cycling shoes I started using last winter. They are a bit on the wide side and while that was fine during the winter when I wore wool socks for a majority of my rides, it caused extra strain on my tendon once I switched to more normal thin socks. This, coupled with increase in duration and intensity of riding, was most likely the main culprit of the strain.

In other news, I finally took my new Orbea Ordu out on the road last weekend. It was, of course, tons of fun but I still need to make a couple of adjustments so I'm holding off posting pics until then. In the meantime here is a generic Ordu with the correct color scheme but wrong wheels, aerobars, and seat.

Thursday, April 15, 2010


“The hardest thing in the world to understand is the Income Tax.” -Albert Einstein

"The avoidance of taxes is the only intellectual pursuit that still carries any reward." -John Maynard Keynes

“We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket trying to lift himself up by its handle.” -Winston Churchill

Monday, April 12, 2010


S: 31,300 yds
B: 8h 50min
R: 3h 28min

Total: 20h 32min

Sadly, the huge caveat there is although there is 3h 28min listed under the "run" column, I actually only ran 1h10. The rest was in the form of the eye stabbing procedure also known as aqua jogging. Coincidentally, I also didn't actually do any quality running.

The problem, it appears, is tibialis anterior tendonitis although I'm still unaware of the precipitating factor. Regardless, hopefully a couple of weeks off running and on PT will allow it to heal.

As a result, it looks like New Orleans 70.3 isnt going to happen. While I probably could finish the race, 13 miles in my racing flats over less than optimal New Orleans roads would not be good for the injury. If this were Clearwater, I'd be there. However because this is the first race of the season I thought it'd be a good idea not to totally destroy the tendon and instead hope for a quicker recovery.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


I wouldnt call myself a huge golf fan but I do enjoy watching the last round of the Masters. So after getting home from the pool, I turned it on around 5:15 at which time the last group of Lee Westwood and Phil Michelson were finishing up the 15th hole. Phil had been playing brilliantly and was up by three strokes while some guy named Tiger Woods was in the penultimate group but had fallen to five strokes back, all but out of it. The last few holes proceeded without much drama and Mr. Michelson won a well deserved third Green Jacket.

What struck me most, though, were the post round interviews. Messrs. Woods and Westwood were both asked a similar question, essentially, "You didnt win but other than that were you pleased with your performance?"

Although Mr. Woods has had a "busy" last few months during which he probably hadnt practiced much whereas Mr. Westwood has been playing very well lately, their answers seemed a bit backwards:

"I entered this event. And I only enter events to win." -Tiger Woods

"I finished third, third, second in the last few major championships. I can't be too disappointed. I'm getting closer." -Lee Westwood

But then again, maybe thats why Tiger is Tiger and why Lee Westwood hasn't won a major?

Friday, April 9, 2010

Happy Friday!

So according to the date on the form, this is actually ancient in internet terms but nevertheless, it is quite simply hilarious. I'm not sure what DETENTION entails at Redmond Junior High School but I'm sure it was not enough of a disincentive to prevent Mr. Duncan performing a flawless Michael Scott imitation. Enjoy!

*H/T RR for the pic.


"His program is very, very hard, if not harder than I’ve ever done before. He certainly keeps me very accountable and he takes no crap." -Olympic Gold Medalist Simon Whitfield on Coach Paulo.

Paulo certainly doesn't need the adoration but it was nonetheless a nice article in The Star.

Monday, April 5, 2010


S: 25,400 yds
B: 10h 45min
R: 3h 56min

Total: 21h 22min

It was the second wacky week in a row but that is to be expected when you have to fly across the country and back. Needless to say, its nice to be back home, especially now that the temperature is finally warming up!

Aside from the travel, there was some bad news as I had some leg pain which started at the beginning of the week and was bad enough to warrant a trip to see Dr. Krichev immediately upon my arrival back in Huntsville. I was having some soreness in my lower left leg so I wanted to see him right away as I was worried about it being the always dreaded SF. Luckily though, his diagnosis was a strain and/or tendinitis and therefore relegated to soft tissue. Unfortunately I'm still baffled by the cause but hopefully ice, NSAIDS, stretching, and a decrease in running training load will spur recovery and have me ready to go for New Orleans 70.3 in just under 2 weeks.

Finally, this is nothing new but it was confirmed twice in four days that cycling, even in nice weather, still sucks.

Case #1: On Thursday I finished up my ride at the Cross Country Park to get a free chocolate bunny and one my friends asked if something was wrong. I replied "no" at first but then realized that I had just been on my bike for 2.5h and still had a 5 mile ride home. So yeah, that can easily manifest itself into some bad vibes.

Case #2: Then, on Sunday, Paulo picked up something similar on gchat, noting, "so I see the 10+h of cycling since Thursday made you slightly grumpy." Now there is a coach that knows his athletes!