theZeph

namely, fit for a dog

Archive for the ‘getting old’ Category

22

with 8 comments

Unless you are a mathematician (or somewhat odd) you likely have not looked up a number on Wikipedia. I suppose I fall into the “somewhat odd” camp – my 8th grade geometry teacher would certainly agree I am no mathematician.

So just for fun I looked up the number twenty-two. Fascinating, I tell you.

For instance, did you know:

  • When cutting a circle with just six line segments, the maximum number of pieces that can be so created is 22, thus 22 is a central polygonal number (you don’t say)
  • Psalm 118 verse 22 contains all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet and is dead center of the Bible (for some reason I couldn’t bring myself to go through the effort to validate this one)
  • 22 is worn by Manchester United player, John O’Shea, the only player in club history to have played all 11 positions (this one is for you Mark)
  • The Titanic was traveling at a speed of 22 knots before it crashed into an iceberg (this is a somewhat dubious claim, but interesting nonetheless)
  • There are 22 stars in the Paramount Films logo (this one is legit – I counted)

So what, pray tell, does 22 have to do with this post?

Eggnog. That’s what.

Because my wife loves me (or wants to kill me – I am not sure) this past winter our refrigerator looked like this on most days:

theWife buys in bulk. The real glory of this is that I am the only one in the family who really likes eggnog. Consequently I set a new benchmark for myself. Between the drive home from Fall Moab in October and the end of February I consumed a LOT of eggnog. Yes, I said February. Eggnog makes great food storage.

22 quarts to be precise (this is legit – I counted). If you are keeping track at home, that equates to:

  • 792 grams of fat
  • 26,400 calories
  • 7.54 lbs of weight gain (assuming 3,500 calories equals an lb)

Just from the eggnog alone.

Which would be life sustaining, if that is all I consumed over the winter and hadn’t already established that I have some restraint issues when it comes to junk food.

When I started my eggnog binge back in October, I had just completed two long days of main-lined awesomeness riding with friends in Fruita. Prior to that I had completed the Leadville 100 in August and LOTOJA in September and was feeling pretty svelte (if I do say so myself).

The intervention came in February, when upon returning from a run I found a stranger in my house. I first noticed him when I walked by a bedroom mirror and caught a peripheral glimpse of him in his tights.

“Why would some dude sneak into our house in tights?” was my first thought.

“Oh sweet mercy!” was the realization.

The man in the mirror…was me.

After a pretty active year, surely you can understand how I mistook this for a stranger:

Now that I am 37, another problem I’m noticing (in addition to my sweet tooth) is that I can’t seem to keep the winter weight off.

Let’s just say this winter was an unpleasant wake up call. A real doozie.

With a planned death run across the Grand Canyon and back, RAWROD, 12 Hours of Mesa Verde, the Squaw Peak 50, Butte 100, and Park City Point 2 Point coming up over the next 5 months, I best be for doing some sit ups or getting some gastric bypass work done.

PS – I also don’t recommend going on a hair vacation and a health vacation at the same time. This winter I became Gene Frenkle.

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Written by eber

April 11, 2010 at 8:26 am

i have problems

with 10 comments

I like to eat food.

I mean I REALLY like to eat food.  But not all food.  For instance, theWife joined a veggie co-op last year and every other Thursday she comes home with this:

Veggies

Which doesn’t excite me all that much.  You see my body has a daily vegetable quota.  Once I reach the quota the next bite of vegetable usually makes me all gaggy and such.

No.  This is more like what I prefer theWife bring home from the co-op:

Junk Food

Oh sweet mercy.

[Sidebar: Dug I know you are seeing those Cosmic Brownies and think you have found your culprit.  I’m innocent.  Boo’ing is an impossible task for me…I consume the treats long before they make it to the door.]

Problem #1

Over the years I have developed a Pavlovian response to junk food.

It all started as a child.

Growing up we had The Third Drawer (my friends coined the phrase). The Third Drawer was the third drawer down on the left side of the stove in our kitchen and Mom kept it fully stocked with junk food…much to my (and my friends) liking.  In all my youth, I can never remember a time when the third drawer wasn’t brimming with artery clogging, waistline expanding yumminess.

Over the years, my fondness for treats has evolved into an addiction.  Literally.

Case in point, we ate dinner with Mark and Rachel a couple weeks back.  Rachel being famous for her skills whipped up a wicked cake of lemony deliciousness and combined it with chocolate pools of heaven.  Being the great hostess she is, she sent us home with a sizeable portion of what was left of the cake.  I ate two slices at dinner and then most of what she sent home.  Looking back I think I ate half of that cake.  HALF.  By myself.

Herein lies one of my problems.  I can’t say no when offered junk food.  I can’t stop myself from finding and consuming junk food.  I know where every junk food stash is at the office.  I can never stop with just one.  I usually will eat junk food until I am sick.  I even eat when it doesn’t sound good.  I can’t stop myself.

Admittedly, my “habit” is a running punchline at the office.  That’s not good right?

Problem #2

I am getting older.

I was blessed with good genes.  My parents are thin.  I grew up thin – so thin, in fact, my friends would  ask me to pull up my shirt and suck in to show the rib cage in all it’s glory.  They used to call me Alien.  Nice, huh?

These days when I pull up the shirt and suck in…it looks the same as when I don’t suck in.  Bulbous.

Age and junk food began to collide around 2001.  That was the year we bought 19 boxes of girl scout cookies from a nice lady at work.  One month later I was complaining to theWife that all of the girl scout cookies were gone.  She said of all 19 BOXES she had only eaten one sleeve of thin mints.  Houston, we had a problem.

So what I am about to type is not based in vanity, more to illustrate the point.

When I met theWife in college, I was spending 4-5 days a week out climbing the crags around St. George, consequently I was in pretty good shape.  The first time theWife saw me with my shirt off her comment was “look at your body.”

Today? She calls me Shrek.

I think she has a fair argument for bait and switch.

Problem #3

Further, emphasizing the problem are the guys in the neighborhood.  All great guys to be sure, but all also are incredibly fit and much faster than me on a bike.

Sam is the Wunderkind.  It appears Mark has affixed anvils where his calves should be.  Rick looks like he just came off the Pro Tour.  Erik is almost always shirtless in 60 degrees.  JDub and I started in about the same place a year ago and now I can’t catch him up a climb.  Even Dug – the elder statesman – in an off year, is no slouch on the bike.

Eating junk food like I do makes it nigh impossible to match pedal strokes with these dudes.

Problem #4

With all the riding I did this year in prep for Leadville and LOTOJA I actually lost weight…20lbs.  That’s great right?  Correction, that WAS great.  Only, one month after LOTOJA I have put 10 lbs back on.  ONE MONTH.

What’s worse is I look like I have added 30 lbs.

Last weekend I put on the jersey and shorts to go out and ride some dirt for a few hours and this is what I saw in the mirror:

Fat Guy in a Kit

I’ve got rolls and ripples popping up all over the place.

That’s it.  I resolve to not gain weight this winter.

Problem #5

So I started with some ab workouts.  It was hot that morning, so I had my shirt off.  I was laying on my back crunching and twisting when I heard it.

It sounded like a fart.  Funny, didn’t smell like one. Come to think of it…didn’t come from the traditional location either.  Slightly perplexed I continued with my routine.

When it happened again I was horrified. I had pinpointed the source.  It was a back flab fart.

What on the great green earth is a back flab fart you ask?

Well my friends, a back flab fart occurs when you eat too damn much junk food, don’t exercise enough, take off your shirt and do ab workouts on a yoga mat.  Combining blub rolls and sweat on a non-absorbant surface traps pockets of air that rupture as you roll about…thus creating the back flab fart.

To quote Kramer:

Look away, I’m hideous.

Written by eber

October 30, 2009 at 6:40 am

that about sums it up

with 14 comments

So get a load of this:

LOTOJA Hanger

Hmm…a hanger?  What’s so special about that?

I “raced” LOTOJA this past weekend and after suffering much, much, MUCH longer than I had planned, this hanger  awaited me at the finish line.  You see this year instead of race medals or bottles of Ibuprofen, the LOTOJA race committee opted to go with a recycled bicycle parts hanger as the medal.

Nice, huh?

Do you remember the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie’s dad gets the shipment that “must be Italian”?

More importantly do you remember Ralphie’s mom’s reaction to the contents?  It’s classic.

Well, when all the finishers lined up to receive their hanger, each had essentially the same response as Ralphie’s mom’s:

“What is it?”

“It’s a hanger.”

“But, what IS it?”

Ah well, after the tragedy that was my second attempt at LOTOJA it was fitting that in addition to my deflated ego I also brought home…a hanger.

Continuing with the Christmas Story theme I imagine when I show friends and relatives the hardware I picked up from the race the conversation will go something like this:

Friend or Relative: “Hey Eric what is that?”

Me: “Don’t bother me now. Can’t you see that I’m busy?”

Friend or Relative: “Yeah, but what IS that?”

Me: “Well, it’s a major award.”

Friend or Relative: “A major award? Shucks I wouldn’t a knowed that, it looks like a hanger.”

Me: “It IS a hanger, you nincompoop, but it’s a major AWARD. I WON IT.”

Friend or Relative: “Damn hell, you say you WON it?”

Me: “Yeah. Leg power, you see.  Leg power.”

Dear LOTOJA finisher award picker: Maybe a stockinged leg lamp from Italy would a good idea for a finisher medal next year.  I’m just saying.

I don’t mean to be a sourpuss and normally I don’t care what the finisher medal looks like.  I mean it is after all, just a finisher medal…it’s not like I podiumed.  But, I wasn’t the only one a bit perplexed by the goods.  This was my favorite question from a another flummoxed finisher who picked up his hanger just before me:

“Does it come with a jacket or something?”

At any rate, the hanger perfectly sums up my latest attempt at LOTOJA.  Just about everything that could go wrong, did go wrong:

  • For the second start in a row I dropped a perfectly good train to go pee about 10 miles before Preston (you’d think I would have learned from the first time)
  • For the second start in a row I blew myself up trying to catch back onto that train
  • I mucked with my front derailleur the day before the race and wouldn’t you know it – I screwed it up royally trying to fix it.  Rather than drive the extra 5 miles to Revolution I drove it down the hill to Canyon.  I really like to buy my bikes from Canyon (they usually give me great deals), but I have yet to have one of their mechanics actually make my bike any better than it was before I brought it in.  Consequently, I couldn’t shift down into my small ring on the way up Strawberry. Ugh.
  • When the support wagon pulled up I asked if they had any lube (to quiet my uber squeaky pulleys).  The nice old lady said “sure I’ll get you some”.  She handed me a patch kit.  “No, no –  I said do you have any lube.”  She came back and handed me ANOTHER patch kit – this one just had different packaging.  I politely said thanks and went on my squeaky pulley way.
  • I just can’t seem to figure out that blasted climb up Strawberry.  Each year I feel like I am packing a gnu on my back up that thing.  It may be the thrashing I give my legs trying to hook back on to trains before Preston, but I don’t know.  I hate that climb.
  • I missed my support crew at two aid stations.  Not one, but TWO.  Give them a little credit – the traffic was terrible.  I had already used my emergency CarboRocket at the top of Strawberry so this was a huge blow.  I tried to choke down aid station Gatorade instead.  Consequently, I had a massive gut ache between Afton and Alpine.
  • What sucked worse than not having any CR, was missing the chance to see theWife’s smiling face at the aid stations.  Even though I was a horses ass in Montpelier she still makes me feel so much better when I see her at an aid station. (thanks for the support Cic)
  • The feet, oh the FEET!  I don’t know what was going on, but from the bottom of Salt to the finish my feet hurt like the dickens. I rode the last 80 miles with all of my buckles and velcro undone.
  • After letting Rob J and Erik R pull for the bulk of the last 20 miles (Rob J pulled for a ridiculous amount of time from Afton on in – thanks Rob) I sprinted for the “win” at the finish.  I know…nice move jackass.  I wouldn’t have done it.  In fact I told myself at the 4K, 3K, 2K, and 1K marks to let one of those guys have it for doing all of the work – then two idiots who hadn’t pulled a second from Afton came from behind and jumped for the line.  I wasn’t about to let them take the “win”.  I beat them both by a couple bike lengths.

So all in all, it was not a fun day at LOTOJA.  On Saturday I was sure I wasn’t doing it again.  Today…a little less sure.

Some of the positives I took from the day included:

  • Feeling really strong up Geneva and Salt.  Didn’t get passed and in turn passed a bunch of people.
  • Felt strong on the sprint to the finish.  Although the two yahoos I beat to the line may have been slouches for all I know.  Their race etiquette certainly was slouch-like. It did feel good to blast down the lane just inside the barriers to beat them.

It was really good to be there with friends and kudos to Sam, Rick, Mark, Erik, Jamie, Whitney, JJ, Steve, Brad R, Dave R plus a slew of other friends who went out and made it happen.  An especially BIG kudos goes out to J Dub who rode that thing into the dark on a recently broken hand.

Maybe next year.

Then again, maybe not.

Written by eber

September 15, 2009 at 6:18 am

remember two things

with 26 comments

So you know how sometimes you’re doing a thing and then you do a bunch of other things after you did the first thing and then you kind of forgot that you did the first thing?

That happened to me yesterday.

I went for a really great ride up Big Cottonwood Canyon (that was the thing).

Then I met the family halfway down the canyon for pancakes and eggs around the campfire (a great family tradition I married into).  After that we went looking for fireworks and food to celebrate the nation’s birth  (those were the other things).

Upon returning home I learned two things I feel are VERY important to share with you all:

The First Thing

Always, ALWAYS remember after a bike ride (no matter how many things you’ve done in between) that you attached your bike to the roof rack BEFORE you drive into the garage.  Otherwise THIS could happen to you:

Crumpled Bike

Uh huh.

It’s like reading the end of Old Yeller all over again.

My legs went weak when I first saw the destruction.

Five minutes later I found myself sitting awkwardly on the running board of the car.  Apparently in my fragile state I opted to sit pinned between the door and the seat rather than just collapsing back into the driver’s seat.  Traumatic episodes tend to have that effect.

The Second Thing

After you futilely attempt to use your bike as a battering ram and your wife asks “what was THAT?”   I recommend you DON’T respond with:

“That was my f*cking bike.”

Especially NOT when the kids are still in the car.

Commit these two simple lessons to memory and you will find bliss.

Here endeth the lesson.

Written by eber

July 5, 2009 at 7:52 am

bcs

with 2 comments

A bunch of us got together yesterday to celebrate Elden’s birthday.  What better way to do that than a group ride in the Wasatch.

Here is the group at the top of the first climb:

Top of Alpine Loop

Thanks KK for the photo.  You should be collecting royalties.

What I didn’t know about this group is that not all of them planned to subject themselves to Elden’s Gauntlet of Pain.  As we rolled out only 7 of us headed down Cascade Springs for the brutal 2nd climb.  I should have seen the writing on the wall early as the group consisted of Kenny, Brad, Mark, Adam, Elden, one other guy I didn’t know (but couldn’t ever catch him to ask his name) and me.

As we started the climb back out of the bottom Mark asked if a particularly steep section of the climb was the extreme mile.

To which Elden responded “no, this is the moderate mile.”

To which Adam added “yeah, moderate like Ahmadinejad.”

Eventually we hit the “extreme mile” and Elden wasn’t kidding.  It felt like I was climbing the Widowmaker.

I had held the wheels of the group until this point in the climb, then it all fell apart.  Then it was clear one of these kids was not like the others.  I came around the next bend…and they were gone.  It was only like 2 minutes before that I was right behind them.

I realized I was in for lonely suffering.

Throughout the next mile I kept thinking “this climb is BCS.”

What’s BCS you ask?

Well, I have a friend whose mom is not really all there (if you know what I mean).  Anyhow, one day their family was on a road trip through the Arizona desert and most of the family was commenting on the beautiful scenery.   When they asked their mom what she thought she replied: “nah, that’s BCS.”

Puzzled, my friend asked:

“Umm, Mom?  What’s BCS?”

Her mom replied matter of factly “butt cheeks spread. You know…it’s ugly.”

Indeed.

I feel the same way about the climb out of Cascade Springs.

Written by eber

June 20, 2009 at 12:48 pm

funny how fings change

with 7 comments

Ahh…Sunday, blessed Sunday.

Sure the whole day-of-rest thing is great and all, but for theWife and I Sundays used to be all about the  Starland Vocal Band.  Okay not really the band, but the song.  Okay not really the song, but the lyrics.  Okay not really the lyrics, but the putting of the lyrics into practice.  That’s right…Afternoon Delight.

So theWife and I had a pretty sweet thing going.  Every Sunday.  Like clockwork.  Skyrockets in flight.

Then it all happened so quickly.  Check that…IT didn’t happen so quickly, but “it” happened so quickly.

You know, “it” being the moment we heard “the Noise”.  At the MOST inopportune time theWife says “did you hear THAT?”

In fact, I DID hear “that”.  Suddenly our  expressions and…[ahem] postures were much different than they were just moments before.

Looking around…we saw nothing.  Maybe just the house creaking.  Right, that’s what it was…shifting foundation.

“Wait…did you leave the door open?”

“Nope.”

“If not you, then WHO?”

Turns out…it wasn’t the house settling.

Do you remember the Independent George episode on Seinfeld?  You getting my drift?  WORLD’S COLLIDING!

Our Afternoon Delight world had collided with No More Napping world.

So I walk into theFirst Born’s bedroom, where he is sitting on his bed.  His face white as a sheet.  Unable to look me in the eyes.

“Hey buddy! Whatcha doin?”

“Nuffin.”

“How was your nap?”

“I saw you and mommy doin funny fings.”

[chirp, chirp]

I had no words.

What do you SAY?  What could you POSSIBLY say?  He was THREE YEARS OLD.

Well, needless to say we have had to find other reasons to like Sunday afternoons.

Chutes & Ladders anyone?

Written by eber

April 9, 2009 at 12:32 pm