Thursday, June 21, 2012

One Party Is Unhinged (From the Daily Dish)

One Party Is Unhinged:
Or, rather, it is living in an alternative reality. 63 percent of Republicans in a new poll believe that Saddam Hussein had WMDs when we invaded in 2003, despite even George W. Bush's acknowledgment that he didn't. 64 percent also believe that Barack Obama was born in a foreign country, even though we have the long-form birth certificate from Hawaii. This alternate reality is sustained by a 24 hour propaganda network, and hermetically sealed off from any external intervention.
We are reaching a democratic crisis of some sorts. One major political party refuses to accept empirical truths. It has become a hall of ideological mirrors.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Marine Recruits for Father's Day

My sons Erik and Nick flanking my dad, Carl Brown.
The big day finally came yesterday. The boys are off to boot camp. Over a year ago, they decided to join the Marine Corps together. Their first act was to download the requirements they had to meet and then they surfed up a training plan.  The provided each other with mutual support (read taunts and cajoling) and achieved top marks across the board. We're all so proud of their determination to achieve this first major life goal.

A huge thanks to my dad for teaching me the value of hard work, perseverance and dreaming big, so I could do my best to pass it on.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

It takes focus

The Danger Of Distraction
If you want to maximize your abilities in any area, it takes focus.

Monday, June 04, 2012

Omaha Women's Triathlon - Sprint length

Laura, Me, and Molly. Omaha Women's Triathlon 2012
700 m swim - 12 mile bike - 3.1 mile run
8th overall

First in age group, but only because the overall winner came from my age group or I'd have been second. In fact, the top three women came from the age groups 35-39, 40-44, and 45-49.  The time breakouts are so informative...though I don't recall it, I must have taken a nap during the transitions.  The top three were a minute or less in all their transitions. So much room for improvement.

The Omaha Women's Triathlon 2012 had 200+ women from 11 different states come out and subject their bodies and minds to a swim-bike-run combo. Average age was 34, but there were all ages, shapes and sizes, and that's what I think is best about the triathlons. It's just such a more welcoming and supportive environment compared to bike racing.  After doing a couple of these things, I can see there are plenty of women willing to step out and give difficult athletic events a go, but some consideration will have to go into the nature of the experience.

Saturday, Molly, Laura and I took our bikes up to the venue and checked them into the transition area. Tri's are a marvel of logistics. They were guarded all night and no one enters or leaves with a bike without verifying it matches their race number. We then inspected the water weeds and the swim course followed by a partial drive of the bike course.

Sunday, we arrived at the venue at 6:30, arranged our transition points,which consists of laying out all your things so you can change quickly, then took a few photos and then started in three waves, each 3 minutes apart. Laura was in wave 1, I was in 2 and Molly in 3. Our super-swimmer Molly passed oodles of women to come out of the water 14th.  I was 124th out of the water. Nonetheless, the swim went infinitely better than two weeks ago. I was able to keep my wits about me even though I was in the middle of the wave. It turns out the frothing mass of bodies and water doesn't bother me as much as the temperature change. My muscles just went anaerobic and I got so cold. At that point, I paused, rolled over on my back and got my focus back. Breath and count strokes, breath and count strokes. Progress was good until I caught a wave right in the face and inhaled what felt like a gallon of water. Pause again. Resume. Finally got back into rhythm and the rest of the swim went pretty well.

I had some trouble with my helmet so the transition to the bike was slow, but once aboard I started making up time and ended up with the fastest bike leg overall. The transition to the run was relatively quick and I was 12th in that leg.  Both the bike and run courses had plenty of longish climbs.

I will tell you one other thing...tri tops and shorts make me feel like a stuffed sausage. From the photos, it appears my significantly increased amount of time in front of the computer is paying dividends in more ways than mere career advancement.  I've got 10 lbs to shed. I think that'll improve those bike and running legs.

Oh, and another thing....apparently it's dudes that trash porta-potties. I couldn't believe it...probably over 300 women at the venue once support and racers were counted and the porta-potties I sampled were not nasty. Not even one.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Water weeds & cobbles

So...I was unable to keep my mouth shut and got myself involved in the Omaha Women's Tri. Fortunately, it's just a sprint length, but with work keeping me from workouts for the last two weeks I'm feeling fresh, but not so fit. Oh well, I think it's going to be fun.  Sheclismas Molly and Laura will be participating as well and that's the best part.

The worst parts will be the overgrown water weeds and nasty looking brick section for the bikes.