Monday, August 25, 2008

Sneak Attack of the Century!!

Some good, fun training has been in the works since the bottle incident. Against my better judgment when I woke up Sunday, I figured I wanted to go test how my progress was coming along; especially in the swim/run segments. So I loaded up the truck and went to Rip van Winkle. Well, it pretty much rained the whole race, and I’ll spare you the blow by blow details. Save for the constant thought in the back of your mind that Lake Peigneur could drain AGAIN and take you with it, and the absolutely abysmal standards that Iberia parish holds their roads to, this was a pretty cool race. As someone said after we finished, “Have you ever had so many different, distinct smells pass through your nose on a run course?” And my answer would definitely have to be no. The worst one was by far someone cooking a breakfast worthy of a rainy morning; eggs, bacon, pancakes, etc. I was about 1.2 seconds away from stopping in and getting some grub. Anyway, the rough weather and festival of nasal delights were mere side notes. You have got to see this place. The gardens are beautiful, and actually being allowed to run through the nursery was really cool. As for the swim, the lake water stayed put, and I got the surprise I was hoping for. 1st out of the water, and as BSoignier put it, the sneak attack of the century. Ms. Claire has been punching me in the teeth Chinese gymnast coach-style for master’s swim class. It was cool to see the brutal hours of wheezing and getting crushed in the pool pay off. The bike, well, it was ok. The Bumble-B2, as my sister calls it, still needs some tweaking to make it sick fast, but we are getting there. The run was where it needs to be for my favorite race of the year (Cajunman), and the most important race left on the calendar (IM Florida).
All that long-winded banter is my introduction to choice. Before this weekend, I always thought that I would never make any big gains in racing, or get in the ballpark of my potential without moving to a place like California or Boulder. In short, making a pilgrimage to one of the triathlon Mecca’s would give me that breakthrough that I have been searching for. But after racing, and coming out of the water, I realized that all I need is right here. Sure, it’s hot as hell here, and flat as it gets. But before I put the final judgment that my hometown and training base holds me back, I need to take a real look in the mirror to see if that handsome devil staring back at me is the one holding me back. I thought that I “knew” how to swim, and knew how run. That was until I realized I didn’t know anything. I made that choice to put my season in Claire’s hands. Win or lose, it was the first time in a long time that I had to trust someone else to get me where I wanted to be. With the running, I called my old buddy JT, and used some Yoda-like knowledge of the great KSP. They gave me a little unbiased insight to my ability, where I was lacking, and what was needed to go up a level. It was a hard choice for me to ask for help. It was an even tougher choice to accept what they had to say, and adjust with full faith in their answers for my future training. I was pretty stoked when I got home Sunday and saw the results of my recent choices. I’m looking for even more good stuff in 2 weeks.

Thanks for reading….

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Dark Knight files

How is life? I’m happier than, well, see the picture. I’m as happy as a pig in a golf course pond. This was taken at The Farm golf course. I thought it was funny and ironic. A pig in The Farm’s pond. D Foreman was quick to inform me when I told him this story that feral pigs are commonplace around here. I told him I thought they were all in captivity. Obviously I’m not a hunter.
Training is about the same as life. Everything is good, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time in the day to fit it all in. That pesky work day gets in the way of all the training(Just joking, boss) On a bike related note; I had a friend come to me the other day to ask a favor. He wanted me to write up a piece kinda like I did about Jonathan Falgout’s wreck, and how we all need to patiently share the road. I heard the request, and have been pondering a story/write-up in my head. In the mean time, I used my Batman crime fighting skills to live it. It all went down like this:
Terry Butts called and said that he had one of his athlete’s in from Florida, and wondered if he could tag along with me on my after work bike ride. I said cool, and off we went for a little spin around Scott/upper Lafayette. The traffic was a bit heavy, but what do you expect for 5:30 on a workday? Well, I brag to this guy about how awesome this “Hidden Hills” road is, and how it’s pretty much the only hilly section around here. We get on the road, and he is about 10 seconds back from me. All of a sudden, I see a dark green Grand Cherokee coming toward me. Out from the passenger window comes a hand with a full coke bottle. I shook my head at the guy like “don’t even think about it”. He doesn’t throw it, and I kinda had a sigh of relief. About 15 seconds later, I hear “Owww! What the hell?!!!” I look back and the kid had thrown the bottle at my riding buddy and hit him on the arm. I turned around to check on him, and see if we needed to call someone or if anything was broken. He said he was cool, and just needed a second to gather himself. For some reason, I start riding the way that the Grand Cherokee went. I knew that I had seen that car before, and I thought maybe I would see it parked in a driveway. No sooner had the thought crossed my mind, here was the car again coming back at me. We were both in the turn, so they were going slow. For a split second, I thought about talking smack and getting them to stop. 4 versus 1 is really never a good idea, plus I really can’t fight all that well. I leave that to the guys on the UFC. Another bottle flew out, and smacked me in the chest. Using my bat vision, I snagged the license number, and called the cops. After what seemed like the world’s longest 911 call with someone who was telling me I wasn’t on the road that I was on, regardless of what the sign I was staring at said, we waited for the cops. They showed up, took our statements, and I got down to the box “I want to press charges” or “I don’t wish to press charges”. I thought about all the cyclists that ride around Lafayette, and how just because no one was injured this time was no excuse to let it go. So I checked that box to press charges. The cops were really cool, and even laughed when I asked them if I could get the address connected to the car’s license plate, so I could return their bottle to them, or when I asked if they could just taser the kids and we could call it even. The cops thanked us for calling, but were real honest that there’s not a good chance anything would happen. No sooner had we parted ways, than one of the cops chased us down, and asked which kid had thrown the bottles. I told him which one hit me, and which one hit the other guy. He said thanks for the info, because they caught the kids.
Apparently, the kids wilted under the strong arm of the law and confessed to doing the crime, and got the cuffs. Now, understand that I’m not bragging cause I ratted on some kids. I’m talking about this cause chances are if you read this, you ride, or you have loved ones that ride. Every time I leave out on my bike, my parents’ and ENM worry about my safety. Same with you and yours when they go for their ride. Maybe if this story gets around, and cyclists’ realize that the cops are there to help keep us safe on the road. Maybe these kids’ get some heat, and the next time some punks think it might be funny to throw something at a cyclist, they’ll remember the story of “those guys that got like 4,000 hours of community service for doing that”, and won’t do it. Better than writing that story for my buddy, I took the time to take some action for the cycling community. The pen may be mightier than the sword, but just about everyone respects the law, or at least the taser.