Monday, August 24, 2009

Paleo Man Rides Again

I'm back on the Paleo Diet. My eating has really fallen off the rails the past few months. It hasn't been helped by all the late work hours, but more than anything, I simply need to get off all the sugar and complex carbohydrates. I'm back up around the 190 pound mark, which is pretty tough to take, especially every morning as I try to squeeze into my pants.

For those not aware, a few years ago I started eating like Paleo Man. At the time I weighed about 195. I had recently had my ass handed to me on the Boulevard Road Race portion of the San Diego Omnium and knew a couple of things:

1. I couldn't expect to climb hills, even as a cat 5 if I was going to weigh in at 195.
2. There was lots of good buzz around the performance benefits of Joe Friel's Paleo Diet for Athletes book. I figured it was at least worth a shot.

After 3 months or so of eating like Paleo Man I was down to around 170 and was riding much stronger than ever. Getting your body running off the sort of food it was designed/evolved (which ever one works best for you) to run on can make a huge difference in your overall performance, particularly when working at an aerobic heart rate. For anyone considering trying this diet out, I strongly advise that you are not going to perform well for the first week or two as your body adjusts.

I kinda fell of the Paleo bandwagon about halfway through the 2007 racing season, when I allowed myself to get way over-trained. The sort of sugar urges I had at the time were insatiable and I saw the Paleo Diet fall by the way side. That was my first full year of racing and training. I didn't have a good handle on what sort of training load my body could take, or have any good sense for reading when I was becoming over-trained; so rather than going into the over-training valley only to the point I could recover from, I fell all the way to the bottom of the canyon and crashed in a fiery wreck. Now that I know myself a lot better, I'm not expecting to fall into the same whole again.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Bit by a Dog Yesterday

Yesterday as I walked down the hall of my building, some stupid chick's dog attacked me. It was pretty straight forward, I entered one of the exterior doors and started walking down one of the hallways. Before entering the complex, I offered to let her and her dog exit. They weren't trying to exit and were just standing there, so I started walking down the hall. As I passed the two of them I heard a bark, sensed the dog was going to do something, looked down at my arm and saw it hanging there with it's teeth in me.

A few thoughts on this:

1. Normally my reflexes are pretty quick, but in this case I didn't even flinch before the dog hit me. Probably because I'm so used to walking by dog owners in this complex and having their damned dogs start barking at me. When I walked by and heard the barking, I expected things to end there. In this case, not so lucky.
2. From now on whenever one of these dog owners in my complex has a dog that is clearly not under control and is barking at me I'm going to punt it into orbit.

It seems like things are going to be okay. I've got one puncture from where the dog's teeth went into my arm, and a few scratches. I went to the urgent care and got some antibiotics. My Tetanus shot from my over the bars crash at Ontario is still active, so I didn't need another one of them.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Randy Clark Passes - One Less Good Guy

Randy Clark passed away yesterday (8/9/2009).

I met Randy when he started working at B&L Bike and Sport, one of my favorite bike shops. When I first met him, it was around the time that I bought my Specialized E5 frame and had B&L build it up with Campy Record parts. My first impression was that he didn't really fit in at B&L. B&L is a bit of a hip, fast moving place. Randy was an older (59 this year) guy with frizzy hair and an unpolished look. When he offered to do my fitting, I was kinda thinking to myself, sure I'll let you, but I'm not sure I have a lot of confidence in what's about to happen. Randy proved to be the best guy I've ever met in the world of San Diego cycling.

For my fitting; I got on my bike, pedaled for a while on the trainer, Randy felt my back and hips as I spun, he made a few quick adjustments, and I left with the best bike fit I've ever had. I soon came to respect Randy as one of the most knowledgeable, honest, earnest, inspired, and enthusiastic people I've met. When I first got on my bike after my accident, I again had Randy do a fitting for me. He could see for himself first hand just how sad a state I was in, yet he came right out and asked me if I wanted to come out and ride with his Big City Velo team as they rode up the coast.

Big City Velo was a local San Diego cycling team that Randy put together and backed. He had some help from some local sponsors like Canari and Leader Bikes, but at the end of the day; Randy was the guy who made it all happen.

Less than a month ago I got an email that the San Diego velodrome was putting on a benefit race for Randy. That was when I first learned that he had cancer. It started only a few months ago when he had a melanoma removed from his nose. A couple months later he wasn't feeling well, went to the doctor and discovered that the cancer had spread to his liver. And a month or so later, he's gone.

I know that there aren't too many people who read this blog, which is kinda sad, not for me, but for Randy; because I don't see too many tributes out there to him right now. He's a guy who deserves to be recognized as one of the truly good people who made this world a better place. Randy was the sort of person there aren't near enough of on this planet. He will be missed big time.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Yes, I still ride a bike; kinda

For the past couple months, there hasn't been a lot of cycling to report on.

Partly due to lack of motivation, but mostly due to other priorities. The past 3 months or so I've been side-tracked with trying to go from 0 to 100 with Oracle's 11g version of ADF (Application Development Framework). ADF is one of the pillars of Oracle's Fusion architecture, so it's something that we're starting to develop some applications with at work.

ADF is Oracle's packaging of Java Server Pages (JSP) and Java Server Faces (JSF) into their integrated development environment, JDeveloper. For the non-technical folks, ADF is a framework for developing open-source web applications. As someone who has 10 or so years of solid software development experience in a JavaScript like scripting language (Pnuts) and a cursory knowledge of Java; I was expecting things to be pretty straight forward learning ADF. In reality it's turned out to be a lot more involved, ADF has kinda become a way of life for me.

It's not helping either that we don't have the largest workforce in our IT department these days. We have less resources than ever, but still the same amount of work to do. The bottom line in all of this is that each week I've been juggling my regular responsibilities for our manufacturing systems, developing an ADF application, and trying to learn ADF as I go. So, I almost have two jobs, an 8am to 4pm job doing my regular work, and a 5pm to 12am job doing ADF.

Not a lot of time left for cycling.

The good news is that I'm starting to become pretty proficient with ADF. My application is pretty much completed and ready for release on August 24th. Now I'll finally have some time for riding and getting back into feeling like a real human again.