Friday, June 30, 2006

the evidence of wrong-doing

for FMC.

Ex-Friends Say Armstrong Admitted Drug Use
Teammate Andreu, Wife Cite 1996 Hospital-Room Conversation

from betsy andreu's deposition (which never was supposed to go public, btw):

have you ever used any performance-enhancing drugs? And Lance said yes. And the doctor asked, what were they? And Lance said, growth hormone, cortisone, EPO, steroids and testosterone.
one could argue that lance has been clean since then -- he's certainly been tested a gajillion times -- but getting caught in one lie certainly casts aspersions on anything else you say...

will there even be a Tour?

beloki, mancebo, sevilla, scarponi, ULLRICH and ~50 others -- all booted from the Tour as a result of Operation Puerto. the prologue is tomorrow. this morning, ullrich, sevilla and rudy pevenage were sitting in the team bus, on their way to a meet & greet, when they were informed of their suspensions. that's harsh way to start your day.

this is a bigger clusterfuck than the Festina scandal of '99. and one of the lovely ironies is that david millar's one of the few cyclists on form and still eligible to ride.

meanwhile, it looks like a lot of people might have been wrong about lance, myself included. a shame that this will reflect upon the Lance Armstrong Foundation.

the hamstring is still bad. much unhappiness this morning, but at least it's friday.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

the world has ended...

...or so ya'd think.

the hamstring i tweaked in saturday's race yesterday became a full-on hamstring pull. it's not lookin' good dearies.

and rather than approaching the set-back with admirable stoicism and reason, i'm pissed and frustrated and generally charm-less right now.

i've prescribed myself 5-7 days without running, perhaps without riding. i cannot not go to worlds. my parents, who unlike me have already made their travel arrangements, would kill me. (well, not really, but i'd feel horribly Disappointing. and they don't ask for much). plus, who knows if the fates would ever re-align to deliver me to this point.

fucking where's the jamesons. therein lies stoicism, if not reason.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

biological explanation for homosexuality?

promigeniture is an arcane notion now. the feudal tradition that passed all a family's wealth & holdings to the eldest son isn't so necessary now that the typical life expectancy is over 30. kids with an older brother or two now have more options than entering a monestary for lack of funds & worldly assets.

still, it's tough being the younger son because, according to a recent study, you might turn out gay.

Having several older brothers increases the likelihood of a man being gay, a finding researchers say adds weight to the idea that there is a biological basis for sexual orientation.
maybe this'll convince the christian coalition to quit breeding so fucking much.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006


dear Powers-That-Be,

enough with the rain & shitty grey sky. it can stop now.

i'm asking nicely.



another triumph, on a smaller scale

while most of the local multi-sport contingent flocked to the port penn TT, the tri’s in fairmount park or the Cove, i traveled to the NJ park where JZ and hen raced last weekend. i haven’t raced a du since april and need one or two more under my belt before worlds, so i opted for the 40-person du over the 150-person tri running concurrently.

as my and others' experiences can attest, in this area of NJ distances are approximate and course indicators optional. so the runs are a little longer/shorter than advertised, and ya might miss the lone, unattended cone that marks the run’s turn-around. at least you’ve got the stragglers from the triathlon to reel in, as they tipple around corners on their mountain bikes and trundle past the water tables with their children, grandchildren, great-great-aunt and pet ferrets in tow.

since the du was so small, i thought my only competition would come from M, who despite her piriformis issues averaged 23mph on a similar course last weekend. my plan was to be fast enough in the runs to sacrifice some on the bike, cos i was pretty sure i couldn’t peg 23 the whole way.

i felt awesome the first leg of the run – that kind of awesome that makes you want to cry cos it feels so good. i didn’t look at my watch and therefore didn’t begin to fret when 14min passed and we were still out on the “2mile” course. there were only a couple men in front of me, so i figured I was in a good place.

had a relatively unencumbered T1 and eased onto the bike course with nails’ The Collector – very appropriate as i began to pick off the tri stragglers, including one i nearly jammed into on a corner because the queen was now waxing pontific on paul’s divorce from the one-legged chick and i was trying to come to his defense for no good reason and why is that policeman hollering at me??

the jamming incident pulled me out of my somnolence (you wouldn’t think someone could daydream in just 12 miles couldya) and i realised i was going about 18. not 23. i threw a bit of a wobbler then, trying to figure out when M would catch me and what kind of cushion the 2nd run would give me, but i cannot do simple arithmetic on paper, with a calculator, much less in my head when i cannot carry a 1 to save my life.

the queen knocked insistently; i took a deep breath, unpacked my shoulders from around my ears and just relaxed. i didn’t average 23, but i didn’t get caught either.

i could have dogged the second run, pushing only when M got close, but it is so hard to connect perceived effort with real pace and there are so many unknowns on the course; so i just let my legs go, and when i spotted M after the turnaround i went a little faster. i closed in on the du guy ahead of me and probably could have caught him, but an unseemly dash to the line to beat someone who’s not even your sex seems like battling for 37th place in a field sprint. (erm, read: i didn’t know then that he was 2nd place.)

final results: 1st F, 3rd overall.
huzzah, baby.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Thursday, June 22, 2006

what're the odds

reading through some old buddyhead gossip -- i am that starved for good prose -- re-encounter this pic and realise the guy i met on the flight back from vegas was travis fucking keller. like your shirt. is that a website? my ass. aaron's tech guy, right. disingenuous prick.

fool me once, shame on ... shame on you. Fool me ... you can't get fooled again.
or something like that.

tryst in the woodsen

i confess to a terrible weakness for athletes, usu of the male variety. watching strong, nimble graceful bodies in motion makes me weak in the knees. and if there's joy involved? -if you really love what you do? i'm an absolute puddle of want.

thorpe's free, ronaldinho's dribbling, phelps's fly, armstrong's climbing, coughlan's dolphining, mcewen's sprint -- droolingly inspiring. these people were made to swim, play and ride, and when they do, their essence shines right there in front of you because they absolutely love what they do. who can resist?

late yesterday afternoon, as i ran down the cart path on my way to repeats on loj hill, i cursorily waved at another trail soul running down 9ft road. one of fisch's XC/track guys, i thought. cute. fluid. nicely-proportioned, and fit without the grotesque emaciation that some runners take on.

how the heck this lovely young man ended up running next to me i cannot say. i was on my way to hill repeats. but when i run i am a different person. i am light, spirited and articulate. vivacious, even, because i am happy. not the cranky, type-a bitch my coworkers know and tiptoe around.

this scrumptious Morsel accompanied me to the bottom of the hill i intended to run up & down for the next 24min. another good thing about athletes is that they don't seem to mind if sweat's dripping off your wristbones, your nose is running and you probably don't smell like a flower. Morsel informs me he's working as an environmental biologist at a water research facility i've ridden by eighty-million times. o be still my beating heart. he too is a cornellian ... and, get this, we have THE SAME WATCH.

i grin stupidly at him and scratch my belly because i've got THE worst case of poison ivy i've ever had. that'll teach me to hurriedly shit in the woods right before a race.

Morsel is also eighteen years younger than me. christ on a stick.

certainly makes the time pass faster.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

sprint tri report

so maybe I just expand upon JZ's thundergust report:

Henry and I went to New Jersey Saturday for the Thundergust Tri/Du
and i went to middletown for wayne's marathon sports sprint tri.

arrrrgh 430 a.m. is EARLY
oh yesitis, bra. 4 poops before 8am. a banner day.

Got there with time to spare
rode for 20min, ran for 15, swam for 10. what i love about racing is the peace that comes (sometimes, if you've got your shit tidied) right before, the feeling that you've done all you can to prepare, there's nothing left to plan or anticipate, it's just pure being-in-the-moment. and simple.

"You will swim in the water, then you will bike on the road, next run in the woods."
0.25mi swim
though a bit weedy, the water in noxontown pond is relatively clear and does not smell of sewage. i start at the front of my wave because i am feeling confident. i bash into a couple women at the turnaround, but i fortunately do not encounter the sea monster of a weedy pile with which my friend franny had to contend. said it stopped him dead in the water and he thought he'd never wrassle free.

when i emerge from the water, i have no idea who's in front and who's behind me. this is the beauty of racing tri's (or at least racing them w/o a clew). the strongest women swam in my wave, though, so if i can catch all of them on the bike and run, i have a pretty good shot at winning overall.

Finally on the bike and I can start to enjoy this race...and enjoy I did
16mi bike
typically, i start the bike leg sloooow. i like to dick around with my shoe straps and eat and drink. i pretend i'm having tea with the queen. we talk about ringo starr and the nails concert on friday (the queen is a big fan).

the most powerful voodoo there is...a single verse from a really bad pop song!
or, in this case dave grohl's sick percussion from You Know What You Are. this is SO much better than The Littlest Worm or Red River Valley. the chick who passed me while the queen and i deconstructed March of the Pigs must have been a little dismayed a half-mile later when i blew by her at 22mph.

[i am not nearly as hotsy-totsy as i think i am, though, because blair, who started 4min behind me and then had to SWIM (add another minute) makes up that deficit in 16 miles.]

"there's your target!" BillyV hollered to me, pointing to blair as he exited T2 25yds ahead. i didn't know then that BV had a six-pack riding on me besting blair. that's the last time he'll make that mistake.

So now I am out there back on the trails....alone....but not on continually loop I am blasted by "Don't cha' wish your girlfriend was hot like me!"
3mi trail run
mad drums in my head still. a spectator tells me there's one woman ahead of me, but i figure there must be some mistake, that that woman's from an earlier wave, cos i just rode hard and i know my competition. AND jocelyn's not here.

eschewing my normal MO, i go out fast.

with a long fluid stride, blair hardly looks like he's working, and when i pass him i can't even hear him breathing over the Drums. the woods are lovely, dark and deep, offering relief from the oppressive sun beating on the fields. i'm feeling pretty gnar-gnar, kinda close to puking, but my legs seem disconnected from my gut and they're going with the drums.

at 2 miles i close in on the lone woman. it's robin, and she must have had an incredible swim & ride. "I thought you were going to pass me in the woods," she burbles as i pitch by her with a friendly – i hope – grunt because i am incapable of putting words together. she doesn't stage a comeback, and so i finish first female and 13th overall, 1:30 faster than last year -- largely due to running sub-6min miles.

i was wasted after this 70min race. i cannot even imagine racing IM.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Friday, June 16, 2006

sunday sunday SUNDAY!!

this weekend brings a grudge match between me and J at the middletown tri on sunday, which promises to be hot and sticky. last year J came out of the water a minute-thirty ahead, but i took that time back on the bike and passed her heading out of T2 to win by a minute. so she's hungry and i'm totally freaked out.

this year wayne's taken the elite women out of the age group waves and stuck us with the guys ages 18 to 34. i'm aquatically challenged enough on my own without negotiating a crowd of frothy, pumped men. eeek. i cannot even write about this anymore cos my bowels are d
issolving with NervousPoops.

but at least i'll have tunes, thanks to the iCarta : an ipod dock for the bathroom.

nails in holmdel tonight but from a seat because AFAIK there's no pit. also have a ticket for jones beach on saturday night, but seeing the show and racing is a logistical challenge (even without factoring in sleep) and i kinda gotta race i think. my window for good workouts before worlds is getting smaller and smaller and smaller and i got nothing to say...

[mmm, maybe i can do both after all.]

Thursday, June 15, 2006

the frail & the wretched

last night's set list, at the tweeter, in camden:

Somewhat Damaged
You Know What You Are
Terrible Lie
March of the Pigs
The Frail
The Wretched
Gave Up
Help Me I'm In Hell
La Mer
Into the Void
Dead Souls
Get Down Make Love
Down In It
The Hand that Feeds
Head Like a Hole

i love the pit. it's like an endurance race in a teenytiny tweeter space. get set at 5pm; leave @ 11pm with the last sparking shafts of HLAH, while strictly regulating your food/fluid intake so you need neither faint nor pee in those 6 hours.

i was so dehydrated after the show i pissed brown. and when i swam this morning my calves convulsed w/wracking spasms if i came off a flipturn with any force. but it was well worth it. nails shows are so cathartic: i leave them a much kinder & gentler person.

1-lb bag of Skittles (read: pure sugary sweetness) and bottomless cup of strong Ass Coffee enabling me to function after 3 hours of sleep.


i love NIN.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

have another cup ... of Ass Coffee

good news:

Coffee Protects Alcohol Drinkers From Liver Disease

Drinking coffee protects alcohol drinkers from developing liver disease, says a new study carried out at the Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, California, USA. According to the researchers, one cup of coffee per day lowered the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver for alcohol drinkers by 22%.
i'm covered 88% so far this morning.

bra-vo bra-sil.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

meters & yards

not enough sleep.
not enough caffeine.

not enough time.

arrived on deck this morning to find redesigned pool: lane lanes now running perpendicular so we're swimming meters, not yards. my body's too accustomed to 15 strokes per lap; asking it to throw in 2-3 additional strokes totally throws me off my freestyle and i cannot do fly to save my life. we also lost our backstroke flags, so i yaw between the lane lines and then crumple into the wall.

whomever said "change is good" never had to confront it at 5am with insufficient sleep, caffeine & coordination.

brasilbrasil vs. croatia today. and nails in DC.
you're going to get what you deserve.

Monday, June 12, 2006

of face-painting, 5Ks and dalmations

saturday morning, we wrapped up the spring Girls on the Run season with a 5K. gorgeous weather prompted a ton of day-of registrations, so we ended up with ~300 participants, despite the fact that the efforts of the marketing director (yrs truly) were truly paltry the last 2 weeks.

H, a girl i coached last fall, instantly cleaved to me when she discovered me at the Running Buddies table, reminding me (not unpleasantly) how much time and energy some of these girls require. but the very fact that she returned for a second season is a hopeful sign: maybe she'll be okay and NOT end up in the nuthouse like her mom.

the last girl rolled in at a little over an hour, and i was talking with fisch and the steeplechaser's wife about triathlon when L appeared at my side, all breathless and ebullient.

-- finn omigod, can you do me the biggest favor in the world pretty please.
i looked around, but H wasn't in sight.
-- does it have something to do with H? -- i said guardedly.
-- no, nothing like that. there're like 20 girls lined up for the face-painter. can you help her out? all you need to do is paint stars and hearts. PLEASE??
-- stars and hearts; that's all?
-- yes.
-- okay. i can do stars and hearts.

L towed me to the face-painting table.

-- girls, here's another artist. now you can make 2 lines.
L bustled girls into a second queue, then left.

-- hi -- i barked at the first girl, trying to come off as confident and avuncular -- what would you like painted on your cheek?
-- i want a dalmation.

fucking L owes me Big Time. for the next hour and a half, i painted puppydogs, rainbows, butterflies and cherries on cheeks, hands and forearms. i even did a couple WWJD's and fishes without uttering any snide remarks. H wanted black & red snakes with flames, and because i've a soft spot for her, she got all that without have to wait in line for each like the Face-painter Nazi advocated.

Face-painter Nazi did not get the fact that i saved her ass by showing up when i did, cos she never would have gotten through all those kids on her own. sure, i was a little unpolished when i first started and sure i almost painted her sleeve a couple times stabbing for the paint and sure my roses didn't look as nice as hers did. my most egregious sin? contamination. midway though another american flag, i heard her big combustible sigh. i shrank. cold disdain blew off her in waves.

-- could you PLEASE not get COLORS in the WHITE PAINT.
-- listen bitch, i've got one ratty paintbrush, a soggy paper towel and a cup of dirty water. what the fuck do you want from me?!?

but i did not say that out loud because of the small children. i merely gnashed my teeth and tried to appear apologetic while she emitted another snorty sigh and daubed out the white tub.

dalmation requests aside, the kids were great because for the most part they were just thrilled with whatever they got, be it unsymmetrical butterfly, emaciated horse or weak dalmation/bathroom tile cross-breed. and they did great on the run: so many big smiles. it was refreshing to spectate, for once, and view a race through different eyes.

the next morning, though, i was back at it. ran 20min, then rode 40, then hopped into the 5K that kicks off the eye-talian festival. in a repeat of 2 weeks ago, VC was untouchable, running a 17:26, 1st F and 2nd overall. i was 2nd F, 9th overall, with a 18:54. after the 1st two miles, i started to feel big-time lactic burn... but in my arms, not my legs. i swim 10,000yds a week and i get sore from *face-painting.* how totally totally gay.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

not playing in the World Cup?? might as well drink.

have fantasies of dominating the pitch like ronaldinho, only to be haunted & taunted by your athletic inadequacies? then join your compeers in a binge drinking session. a recent british study of men's health & masculinity concludes that rowdy, drunken behavior of football fans is an attempt to assuage their feelings of inadequacy.

the study insinuates that young men who don't play soccer or other contact sports may seek that "tough guy" feeling by downing a six-pack or two during the game, while good sportsmen said that they were able to resist pressure to drink or drink excessively.

i guess that makes me an inadequate, bad sport.

OTOH, i had another butterfly moment today. "forget the kick," my coach said, "and just let your legs drag behind. the kick will come naturally, when you lead with your chest." eureka! my timing clicked and i got on top of the pull instead of flailing to catch up with it. when it's on, fly is very very good, when it's off, it's awful. it also occasions comments from this, from passionate designer-boy wallace: "that's it! i'm gonna start lifting. i'm sick of you walking around here with guns bigger than mine are."

FWIW, my ass is bigger too.

speaking of guns, nails in town next week for 4 shows: DC, camden, holmdel & jones beach. there is so much life to live.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

frame by frame

every so often i get moony about bike racing. multi-sport is fun, but i miss the strategery of cycling, the flyers and breakaways, the set-up and sphincter-clenching lead-up to the sprint.

then i see shit like this and me and my epidermis feel a whole lot more content. owee.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

same shit, different country

a narrow, quaint street in Besalu, not far from Banyoles, which hosted the rowing events for the '92 olympics. was admiring the cathedral when i hear the distinctive sound of two cats going at it. it's my first day in spain and i'm being greeted by the same shit i've got at home: squalling cats.

but this squall's a long one and T, L and i walk around the corner to investigate. the confrontation's taking place in a flat on the 3rd floor, which i guess is the 2nd if you're a spaniard. apparently freaked out by the noise and fighting, a third cat darts out the french doors and leaps atop the wrought iron rail enclosing the flat's balcony. it wobbles there, contemplating the leap across the street to a quieter, safer spot.

-- i don't think they're fighting, T posited. i think they're makin' luuuuuuuuuv.

if that's love, i want no part of it, and neither does the wobbly cat. i'm rooting for it to attempt the jump. maybe it won't make it and maybe there will be one less cat in the world. i edge closer with my camera.

the love inside is painful and LONG. wobbly cat gives up on the jump and settles into a precarious crouch on the 2-inch thick rail. i'm not going to get it in motion, so i settle for a shot of the cat from below. the shutter clicks and i take a step to rejoin T and L when something strikes my forearm. something warm, hard and a bit tacky. i stare at the nugget on the ground and sniff my arm to confirm. there are no little kids chucking stuff from windows, and the inside cats have not overturned the litter box. there's no explanation other than the fact i've just been shit on by the cat on the railing.

apparently my reputation runs far and wide.

Monday, June 05, 2006

UCI report exonerates Armstrong

last week Dutch investigators released a 132-page report which "exonerates Lance Armstrong completely with respect to alleged use of doping in the 1999 Tour de France."


the report also mentioned "possible legal and ethical violations" committed by the World Anti-Doping Agency, noting WADA "behaved in ways that are completely inconsistent with the rules and regulations of international anti-doping control testing."

word to the french: get over your fucking selves. americans can ride bikes.

in other news, i am jet-lagged and cranky. my body, still on spain time, says it's time for happy hour. grrrr.

some pix in my flickr account. my digicam battery expired in front of gaudi's saggy family.

(FMC, i bought a FCB football jersey in barcelona. don't hate me.)