Monthly Archives: February 2007

Ba-bye Jannie! Say it aint so, George…

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Jan Ullrich ist kaput. Der Kaiser ist ein pensionist.

My German may be spotty, but the man who would beat Lance next time is no more.
Love Patrick O’Grady’s take. (As a mater of fact O’Grady’s liberal take on a lot of things is fun reading.) O’Grady actually makes Jan seem like a fun guy to hang out with, but then there’s that whole did-he-cheat question.

I’m guessing Jannie doesn’t really want to know what’s in those Spanish blood bags.

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Meanwhile in California, the hard luck continues to stalk George Hincapie, America’s lone hard man and budding real estate developer. After crashing out (above) of his beloved Paris-Roubaix last year, George crashed early in stage 6 of the Vuelta de California on Saturday. He climbed back on the bike, drove the chase to hunt down Stuart O’Grady’s break and then got an X-ray. Like Bart Wellens at the cross worlds, Georgie finished the race with broken wrist and his spring classics season is over before it even began.

These hard men are something else. I’d still be crying by the roadside!

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Slow starting (aka lame-o)

I’ve been slow to get back on the bike this winter. I raced cyclocross until early January, about the same time I hurt myself playing a pickup game with Ellie‘s soccer team. I got real busy at work in late January. It also got real cold (at least for Norfolk). Then I went to a weeklong work-related seminar in mid-Febraury without a bike.

Now I’ve got to get riding again. I did an hour on the trainer last Sunday. Rode to work four days last week plus 21 miles on Wednesday. Still come Saturday I had little motivation to go out in the morning with temps in the low 30s and worse wind chill. Finally got my butt out around 2:30 in the afternoon when the temp climbed over 40 and the northwesterly wind eased a bit. I spun downtown to warmup and then rode out to the airport. I felt great. I went out to Ocean View and, despite riding into the teeth of the wind, went all the way out Willoughby Spit. I think I saw Liz heading east on OV Ave. Back to Granby, Little Creek, Hampton, Colley and home, I got in 35 great miles.

Still this morning, I just couldn’t get out again. I kept eyeing the weather radar, which showed rain all around if not in Norfolk. And then it started. Now I’m sitting here with a beer, having even neglected to climb up on the hated trainer.

Meant to go watch the Snowball Crit, the first training race of the year for the local roadies, but the rain kept me home. I just need to figure out what I’m doing this spring. I know come fall and early winter, I’m doing mountain bike races, Ironcross and then cyclocross. But this spring I could go several routes. I could finally make a real effort to move out of Cat 5 by doing more than two road races, I could do some more offroad triathlons leading up to June’s Xterra Richmond, which I’ve managed to finish without drowning the past few years, or I could just continue the half-ass, unplanned randomness that has constituted my past few springs.

Whatever I do, it’s going to be a slow spring.

Check out this spin

You got to wait for it.

I’ll probably never do that, but I want a fixie.

Illin’

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Praise and sympathy. Ellie deserves both this week. Her science project on whether kids remember words in black or color better won first place in the fourth grade!

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One of the kids in Ellie’s class remarked to me and another parent at the science fair that Ellie “wins everything.” It does seem that way. We’re very proud of her.

However the poor girl also has come down with the flu. Apparently it’s been running around her school. She started feeling poorly Tuesday evening and has been home since. Michele did run her to the doctor Thursday. They prescribed Tamiflu (which has a $50 co-pay for us! ouch). Then we took her by the school to present her project to the judges. She threw up promptly after finishing. Poor thing.

This flu seems particularly virulent, so I hope the girls and Michele and I can avoid it, but I have my doubts. It’s funny how the power of suggestion can make you think you’re feeling nauseous.

Home again, home again

Wow, was that ever a week. Got a lot of ideas crammed into my brain down south in St. Pete at the Poynter Institute for Media Studies. It’s supposed to make me a better editor and boss and I suppose it will, if it sticks and the day-to-day doesn’t swamp me. Met a lot of good people and shared a lot of ideas. For something that I genuinely think will reenergize me, I wonder why I’ve been so exhausted the past two days. Maybe it’s a touch of the St. Pete crud everybody seemed to come down with or maybe my brain just needed some downtime.

I only managed to run one other day while there. Michele flew in Tuesday. She and I went out to dinner and basically had each other to ourselves for the first time since I can’t remember when. Twas mighty nice. Had a wonderful dinner at a fancy tapas place called Ceviche on Tuesday, courtesy of a recommendation from Butch Ward, the Poynter faculty and former Inky editor who led our group.

On Wednesday, we hit the Salvador Dali Museum, which got more mind-blowing the longer you spent looking at the paintings. The symbolism almost requires too much thought. That night we hit a Thai/sushi joint, where I enjoyed a rocking green curry. Around the corner was this cool bar called The Independent, which offered up microbrews and assorted European imports on draft, including a fine Chimay Triple I quaffed after dinner. She left Thursday and I focused on wrapping up the seminar.

I finally crossed my own doorstep about midnight Friday and fell thankfully into my own bed. Naturally, Audrey woke me with a huge grin about 6:30am Saturday, but I could forgive. It was so nice to see her and soon both Millie and Ellie. Thanks Mom, Carol and Bob for taking care of them so Michele could get out of Dodge.

Down South in St. Pete

Flew to St. Petersburg, Fla., yesterday for an assigning editor seminar at the Poynter Institute of Media Studies. Should be challenging. The weather is nice, 60s, after the recent 20s and 30s in Norfolk.

Went for a run early this AM, 25 minutes along the pretty waterfront. St. Pete protected its waterfront unlike much of Hampton Roads. The leg is feeling much better. Still not running with a lot of speed, but not feeling anywhere near as awkward or uncomfortable as I was.

Saw a few locals out running. They were all wearing tights, hats and jacketsin the 50-something weather! Wimps.

As I was running back toward the hotel in the light rain, I heard and saw a big splash in the basin. I saw a pelican nearby and figured another pelican had just dove for fish, but a moment later I saw the distinctive dorsal fin and slick body of a dolphin. It was feeding on a group of small fish not 10 meters from where I was running. Very cool.

Ellie rocks!

My girl threw down at today’s swim meet at Huntersville Rec in Norfolk. She lopped huge chunks of time off her previous bests in two strokes and surprised a bunch of other swimmers today with one outstanding swim. Check out her write-up on Ellie’s blog for the scoop.