Sunday, October 26, 2008

I don't know....

I'm sitting here Sunday morning, hungover like a mofo, thinking about an argument that Kristen and I had last night-just about ALL night. Unfortunately, things come up, diferences in opinion happen, and people fight. That's a fact of life. Now, we're not a fighting couple. We have healthy disaggreements, but we're not one of those fight-all-night in public couples we've all seen.

Long story short, the fight centered around public vs. private educations. Obviously, being that we both come from different educational backgrounds (her's being public and mine being private), we both have differnt things to bring to the table. From our argument and it's fiercity, I'd say that we are both more than passionate about our beliefs and educational values. The problem arouse, however, when we were not able to see eye to eye on one simple subject. While we agreed almost exclusively on every front, one tiny aspect of the argument left us in argumentary purgatory for the remainder of the otherwise fun night.

So my question is this: When two people, both from different backgrounds, be they educational, cultural, economical or otherwise, fail to interperet each other's arguments for what they are, can they ever come to a cohesive middle ground? I may not be explaining all of the argument we had (mostly for the sake of keeping things totally objective here-I don't want to say that either of us were right or wrong), but I wonder about the bigger issue of people being able to see another's point of view. I'm not sure that people truly open their heads and wrap their minds around issues. My thoughts on this issue, perhaps, are influenced by the coming election. The argument has just made me think.

Unfortunately, I'm pretty upset about the argument we had-not because we disagree, but because we failed to act like the educated people we are. Instead, we allowed emotion to dictate too much of what came out of our mouths. I truly believe that we could come to a middle ground on this, but what we did was create a gap. I'm sure we'll fill it (now that we're both a bit more sober), but why did it take such a long and dramatic argument to do this?

So anyway, I needed to get this out. The beauty of this space is that it provides me an avenue in which to speak my mind and really not care what anyone else thinks. I enjoy comments, and love to hear other's points in counterpoints in response to my rambling. Thanks for contributing to my self-therapy! :)

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Friday, October 24, 2008

October's almost over!

It's amazing but October is almost over! It seems like Summer had just started and now we're stuck deep into fall. All the leaves here in New York have changed, the air has a disctinct chill, and the days continue to get shorter and shorter. With these changes come several other important changes to our lives. We get sleepy quickly-at least I do! We eat more-I'm sure everyone does! And our motivation to exercise slowly flickers out. It's not that we don't want to work out, we just have a difficult time finding the desire as the cold weather tells us to stay inside, bundle up, and enjoy more food!

I'm completely into the theory that our ancient ancestors are at fault for this winter weight gain. They must have put on several pounds as the winter approached, obviously providing them with the extra 'insulation' to endure the lower temps in the cave. What the hell dude?! I mean really? Why ya gotta go eatin' so much! Don't you know I have to keep off my weight for my next tri season! What's with this survival stuff? Didn't cavemen wanna have ripped abs too? Maybe if they would have shaved all their body hair off too they would have been able to not only swim and run faster, but perhaps even set a PR in getting away from those damned Sabertoothed Tigers!

All kidding aside, I'm not looking forward to putting on weight this winter. I usually fluctuate between 180lbs in the summer, to somewhere around 200-205lbs. in the winter. Every year I tell myself it won't happen, but sure as a swiss watch, my belly grows, my abs go, and my fat ass has to work even harder to get in shape come the new year. Well here and now I'm making a commitment to staying as lean and thin as possible in the offseason. If that means training a little extra to keep the pounds off, then so be it. However, I'm not giving up my beer and dessert! No way buddy, no freakin' way! I'll gain 5-10lbs., but no more! I promise!

Ok, so I'm at work now and I should probably devote my time to something better than blogging, so I'll sign off for now. Remember:

Push 'till ya puke...Always!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


My motivation is really at a low right now. I've been resting quite a bit since my last race, and it really makes me feel lazy. My training before American Zofingen was great. Everyday was train, work, train, work, train, see Kristen. I felt very efficient in everything I did and motivation was at a super high. Now, however, I feel like a fat, lazy sloth. I've been riding the bike-about an hour or so a day (with a hundred miler a few days ago), but I still feel useless. My weight is definately up, and I feel like crap.

I know my body needs it, but I feel like a fat piece of lazy crap whenever I take prolonged periods of rest. My entire attitude is effected when I don't get that sweet, daily dose of endorphins running through my veins. I truly LOVE to exercise and push my limits everyday. It's the best drug there is. I can definately understand the need for athletes like Brett Farve and Lance Armstrong to continue competing at an elite level into their late 30's.

There's nothing like being in top physical condition. It makes EVERYTHING easier! Work, dishes, cleaning-anything is easier when your resting heart rate is nice and low and your muscles and central nervous system are at their peak.

I find that during periods such as these, I'm a freakin' coffee junkie! I've been drinking enough coffee and energy drinks to kill a mule and I only feel more and more tired. It's truly a viscious cycle. I get up, I go down. I get up, I go down. I freakin' hate it! I just wanna get out there and push it! I wanna run hard through my favorite trails. I wanna climb some tough hills on my bike for hours. I even wanna swim! Who says that? I can't believe it but I even wanna SWIM!!!!

Ok, enough complaining. I'm gonna take a nap because I'm fat a lazy. Then I'll do some work, go meet with some more clients, eat fatty food, and watch Biggest Loser with Kristen, knowing that I'm only gonna be a few pounds away from being a star on that show!

Push 'till ya puke...Always. (even when your a lard ass like me right now!)

Monday, October 20, 2008

Ok, now I'm pissed

So this morning, I heard through the grape vine that someone said it 'served me right to get hit by a car last week because of where I was riding my bike.' What the hell!? I mean really, what the hell is wrong with people??? Are they really that dumb that they don't realize it doesn't serve ANYONE right to get hit by a car while cycling? I don't care if you're riding on a freakin' highway on the wrong side of the road, getting struck by a car while riding or running is the worst expierience any of us could have. I ask you, douchebag that said that, to hop on a bike (I have an extra because I'm sure you don't own one) and let me drive my car at you. I promise, I won't go anywhere over 20 miles an hour. Let's see if you don't sh*t your pants by the time I get 5 feet from you.

People like this idiot really piss me off. How dare you say something like that. So you're telling me that all the cyclists in all the major cities of the world should cease cycling and be a fat, out of shape, jackass like you? We should all put our bikes and health away, so that you can continue to pollute the environment and hog up the road with your big, unecessarry SUV? Oh, and since you have that big ass 'truck', have you been off roading anytime lately? Have you hauled anything in the recent past? My guess is that if you ever did bring that gas guzzling beast off of the nicely paved roads you usually drive, you'd be horrified at the very thought of any mud or dirt getting on your precious 'truck'. My advice to you would be to stop being such a winey little bitch, get off your fat ass, and get some exercise. Oh, and by the way, I could tell you where to go, but I'm sure you're already headed there.

I'm sorry for the rough tone of this post, but I'm more pissed now, at this moron than I was when I was hit and thought my bike was totalled. Seriously, to say something like that really takes a stupid person. I have no respect for anyone that feels that way. Just think a little before you say that so hard?

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Hundred Miles

So today was a hundred mile bike ride. We left in the cool air of daybreak, around 7am, and rode and rode and rode. Talk about some beautiful scenery! I always knew there were some nice parts out on the Eastern end of Long Island, but these were back roads I've never been down.

The day started off pretty cold. I was bundled pretty good, but as I have yet to purchase my 'winter biking wordrobe', I was left without gloves. I'm still a little banged up from the crash last week, so the cuts on my hand were singin' to me for about the first 40 or so miles. After that, though, it was smooth sailin'.

So all in all it was a great ride. I'll explain a bit more of it in a later post, but right now I'm off to take Lucki to get some good 'ole doggy food, and then I'm taking a nap and watching some trashy tv. So until next time...

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Thursday, October 16, 2008


What an interesting time to be alive. There's so much going on right now it's impossible to keep your mind idle for more than 2 milliseconds. I find that these days I'm constantly in a state of deep thought. I try to stick to the easy things, Kristen, training, my clients, trashy tv :), but no matter how hard I try, my thoughts drift back to the economy and the upcoming elections.

The future is never garaunteed, but at times like this it seems like wishful thinking. No one ever knows what going to happen tomorrow, and at this point I'm just hoping tomorrow will come. I've never invested in the market, and I don't know the first thing about it, but we will all be effected by what happens in the coming weeks no matter what. It's scary to think about. Life will be changing quite drastically.

Then there's the election. Both parties seem to have very valid points regarding the various, important issues this country will face. However, the thing that scares me most is the generous amount of bullsh*t that's out there. Even more so, the people that believe it! In my previous post, I wrote about ignorance. It's a dangerous thing. Especially when ignorance is spread-and it usually spreads like wildfire.

Being uneducated is a very dangerous thing. I don't believe that people realize the power they possess with the right to vote. Not to use a terribly overused cliche, but every vote really does count. No matter how insignificant you think you may or may not be, voting is powerful. Don't believe me? Think of this: People in this very country have DIED, literally, for the right to vote. Voting has been so important, that until recently (the last century), not everyone has had the right to vote. Needless to say, it means something.

So what I'm writing about today is the uncertainty facing us as a country and society. I'm scarred because today, as well as yesterday, and the days before, I've heard misinformed people inform others who are now misinformed as well. Agendas here, are being pushed in very scary ways. There no longer is a regard for the greater good, but rather the good for you and your own bunch. It's frightening to think that people think only about themselves and not their fellow countrymen and women. Maybe it's just not having the same life experience as others. Or maybe its not having the same opportunities to learn as others. Maybe it's the media and the ongoing slanted reporting they put out (I'm talking liberal and conservative here-we're all guilty). No matter, things need to change and get better. We need to make the individual sacrifices that will make life better for those around us who are not so fortunate. We need to really educate ourselves on the issues-REALLY educate ourselves, not just hear what we want to, but hear what we don't want to as well. We need to be more objective in what we see and hear. Allow for others to speak their mind. Make a REAL decision on what you feel in your heart-not on what others tell you. And never discount what ANYONE has to say. Take it in, think about it, and then make a decision. When you look at issues from different angels, suddenly they may take a different shape, therefore causing you to make a different decision.

Most importantly, THINK BEFORE YOU REACT! Think about what it is your voting about. Think about the future it will give to the children of this country. Think about those around you and not just yourself. Think, Think, Think. Thinking may not be the entire remedy, but I bet you it's a damn good start.

I could say that I really don't mean for this blog to have any political 'feeling' associated with it, but I wouldn't be telling the truth. The truth is that we really need to be aware of what's happening in this country. We need to change things and regain the respect that we've had before. We've all been given the freedom to think and choose as we see fit. Let's make the most of it in this coming election. Let's rediscover the reason we're all here. Let's bring it back to the "Land of the FREE, and the home of the brave." We can do it, but it's gonna require that we grab the bull by the horns and learn for ourselves, take into account all things, and make EDUCATED decisions. Let's get it done.

Push 'till ya puke...Always. (In everything you do!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

This world we livin' in...

It's crazy, this world we live in. It seems like I'm reminded of this fact daily. With the currrent state of things-the economic crisis, the coming elections, etc.-I find it increasingly difficult to be truly happy. Stress has become a big part of all our lives as none of us are immune from the things happening. I wish I could say that I wanted to move to a cabin in the woods to escape it all, but somehow I think the stressmonster would find me there too.

A funny thing happens as we move from childhood, to our teenage years, and into adulthood. I've felt, for the most part, that things have progressed quite nicely. More freedom, more responsibility, and new decisions are some of the great rights of passage into being considered an adult. We move through school, on to college or a profession, and then live our lives as we see fit. Fortunately we're given the right in this country to do almost as we want-"Keep your nose clean and you'll be fine in life" a client once told me. For the most part, I think he's right. However, things do happen. Things that are completely out of our control. Things that have no right to happen to us, but they still do and we have to deal with them. Now, I'm not going to give any example from my own life-I'm sure we all have enough to fill cyberspace tenfold-but I do know that the more I know the more I wish I didn't.

They say ignorance is bliss. Not so, say I. Bliss lives in knowledge. Bliss, as you may choose to define it, comes in any form you choose. Knowing what is right for us and choosing what makes us happy is exactly what creates bliss. My bliss is my family, my girlfriend, and pushing my limits each and every day. I enjoy the feeling of being out of my comfort zone, and I embrace it. It is here where I am most at home. I know that I have this urge and it is with this knowledge that I live in bliss every day. If I were ignorant to this and all things, I would never find what allows me to disconnect from the learning I wish I didn't know about.

This is difficult to follow, but I'll sum it up like this:

Ignorance is bullshit. There's no such thing. Unfortunately/Fortunately, we were given these big ol' brains, skills of communication, and the smarts to use what is around us to make our lives easier. These components of life are both blessings and traits of our downfall. We know full well what is around us. We know both the things we need and we don't need. It's what we choose that make us who we are-though the other stuff still remains elsewhere. We make our own bliss.


So I'm sorry that most of this probably doesn't make any sense. I've not edited this or even re-read it before posting. This is just what's in my head. I may not have done a good job communicating it, so don't hold that against me. Maybe one day soon I'll sit down and make this a bit more consice. Sorry, but hopefully you get what I'm trying to put down. I think the major theme is to enjoy life and make the most of it. Push the limits you have, and never be satisfied with your position. No matter what your station in life, make things happen daily. Don't sit back and relax. Don't be content. Do move forward. Do strive harder. Do what makes you and others around you happy. Live your life because you may not get another.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, October 13, 2008

American FREAKIN' Zofingen!!!!!

Wow! That's all I can say. What a race. There has to be something to these small, cultish races that just get me. A fantastic, beautiful course, great people, and a wonderful challenge...What else can you ask for?

I have to say that this was by far the toughest race I have ever done. The hills/moutains were something I have never done in training before. Living on Long Island is SUCH a disadvantage when it comes to this race. We have nothing that even comes close to the MOUNTAINS I saw yesterday.

The race started out easy enough with a nice little 5 mile trot through the woods. Easy enough right? Well, after 'dry humping' a car on Tuesday, my knee was throbbing. I knew it was going to be a long day when I came into transition and felt like I just wanted to go home. But I soldiored on, mounted the bike and headed out on the mountonous course.

I have to say that the bike felt too easy. I expected it to feel somewhat easy, as I was not pushing too much because of my injuries, but there was only really one time all day where I felt, 'damn, this is tough'. It was a nice course, consisting of three loops totaling more than 8,000 feet of climbing. However, the beautiful views more than made up for any discomfort I was feeling.

So after the 84 miles on the bike, in which I saw many interesting things (more on that later), it was on to three loops of the 5 mile trail run. The first loop felt like hell. I was cramping like crazy and my legs just couldn't handle the uphills. Now remember, I was not stuggling, my legs were not working. I do not think that I went anerobic the whole day, my body just got tired of moving for 8 plus hours. In a good way, each successive run was easier. I took my time on the first loop, a little faster on the second (although my split didn't show it), and then finally on the last it was pushing it a bit more. I managed to finish in about 8:45.

I have to say that I was pretty happy with the way things turned out. I was looking to go pretty easy for the day, and managed to do just that. Being driven off the road by a car and crashing pretty hard does leave you with a few sore spots. I definatley felt them. However, I managed to do the race, have a good time, and take in some pretty awesome sights during the journey. I was able to ride with some pretty cool dudes and have some kick ass conversations. I'm glad I decided to do the race, injuries and all, and can't wait for next year. Things will hopefully be different then!


So, interesting things I saw on the bike:
1) A couple of bloodthirsty dogs, ready to take my legs off if I was not moving as fast as I was
2) My buddy (just met him that day on the bike-riding for about 20 mins together), John, slumped over a guard rail on the last loop of the bike totally bonking his ass off (I gave him a couple of gels, but don't know if he managed to finish)
3)A car parking directly behind me as I stopped to take a piss on the side of the road-I don't know what they thought I was doing as they pulled up, but I'm sure they figured it out when they saw my 'man' hangin' out of my bike shorts :)
4)Plenty of dead animals. This had to be the worst of all. Not only are they dead, but they give off that 'death' smell. I hate when I'm breathing hard and get a good wiff of that stuff. YUCK!

So all in all, I have to say that it was a great race and a great day. I feel pretty acomplished, and definately pumped for next year's race. Let's hope that next year I don't decide to have a horrible crash the week of the race!

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Race Weekend

So it's finally here! American Zofiningen is tomorrow!!!!! Time to let all the training do the talking.

We went up last week to do some recon work and scout out the run and bike courses of the race. All I can say is that this is gonna be a hell of a race. There are virtually no flat sections on this racecourse. There are some amazing climbs and some sweet, fast decents. All in all should be a long, painful, but accomplish filled day!

The one regret I have going into the race is my bike crash earlier this week. I was really looking forward to racing hard this weekend, and am very concerned that I'll be in pain for most of the day. The crash was this past Tuesday and I have only gotten stiffer and sorer (is that a word?) since. My hand and shoulder are the biggest sources of discomfort, but my knee gave me a little bit of trouble in the last couple runs I've done. I'm gonna soldier through the race, but I'm sure it won't be as fast or fun as it would have been had I not been injured in the crash.

Stay tuned as I will have a full race report coming Sunday night/Monday morning! (Depending on how beat up I am!)

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Friday, October 10, 2008

One of the best things to ever happen to me...

So in reflection, my bike crash was probably the best thing to happen to me on two wheels since...well, ever! Sure I'm banged up, sore, and missing some flesh, but the lesson learned is worth all of that and more. Having never crashed, I used to take a lot of chances out on the road. I had the 'this could never happen to me' outlook, and figured it really never could. Well, I took chances, rode where I probably shouldn't have, and I got tagged for it. Luckily no one was hurt badly, I learned a lesson, and hopefully the driver of the car learned one as well. And...the very next day I went to the bike shop and got one of those oh-so-flashy day-glow bright yellowish green bike jerseys. Sweet Ass!


I need to rant about something that really bothers me here in this space. With the upcoming election and economic crises, we're all on edge a bit. Who really knows where our country is headed, and to be honest this couldn't be a much scarier time. With that said, I'm sick of people forcing their political opinions on me. Look, regardless of your values, beliefs, and morals, we all have the right to vote for who we feel will do the best job. For goodness sake, that's what this country is founded on! Freedom of thought, religion, decision, and whatever else you can think of is why we're all here! Sure we've had our hiccups (don't get me started on slavery and equal rights for ALL men AND WOMEN!), but we must not forget the very basis and foundation of our great country.

With all that said, I truly HATE it when people try to force their political beliefs on me. Who are you to tell me who I should or shouldn't vote for. Am I not an inteligent human being, capapble of making my own decision? Obviously I put my shoes on the correct feet so I must have some level of smarts! Democrat or Republican, you're still a person, and that's the most important part. Sure we're all conservative on some things and liberal on others-that's the beauty of our system. We can all come together, theoretically, and make a decision based on the majority. We decide for ourselves and are allowed to voice that opinion in the form of a simple vote.

So sorry for the rant, but I had to get this off my chest. Don't be the one to force what you think on another person. Sure it's fine to share your opinion if asked to, but simply provide information. I garauntee you, whomever you're talking to will appreciate it, and in the end, you may convince them to see your points more than if you're force-feeding them.

More importantly than anything I just wrote: GO OUT AND VOTE!!!!

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

She's gonna live!!!!

As I know all of you have been on the edge of your seat regarding the condition of my bike (insert cheesy applause/laughter here), here's a quick update as to what she's going through:

The good people (Fred, Darren, and Brian) down at Carl Hart Bicycles - my new favorite shop - have given me the green light to start riding the bike again. After a thorough inspection, they've deemed nothing to be wrong with the structural integrity of the frame. All that was needed was some truing of the wheels and rear derauliur (sp?) adjustment and away I went!

Amazingly, there were no scratches/scrapes on any part of the frame of the bike. It seems that my body took most, if not all, of the impact from the crash. I'm psyched at this as I will definately heal, the bike, and not to mention my wallet, would not have!

Now you may think I'm being materialistic with this and I should be happy that I made it out of this ordeal alive. Well, you're absolutely frickin' right I'm being materialistic! As soon as I could wiggle my hands and little pinky toe, my first thought was for my bike! Actually, come to think of it, I think I was probably thinking of my bike more than my own safety as I crashed. I remember thinking, 'protect the bike...protect the bike...' I know, I'm sick, but hey, these damn carbon bikes ain't cheap!

All in all several good things came about as a result of this crash. I'm safe, sore as hell, but I'm safe. The bike looks and feels fine (I did a forty mile ride today to a)make sure the bike was ok, and b)get back up on the horse) And finally, I hope the dumbass that was driving the car learned that she doesn't own the damned road and to be more careful-there are lives at steak here...LITERALLY!

Thanks for reading.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another thought on my crash...

After some more reflection on what happened to me this evening, I've come to two conclusions. First, I'm very concerned about the level of attention drivers pay the road. It seems (in the last two weeks) that things have gotten worse and worse on the road. Sure I've been riding a lot more in those two weeks than just about all of the summer, but I'm still shocked at the level of road rage and ignorance displayed by drivers here on Long Island. It really is true that they hate anyone taking up the road with anything other than a gas guzzling, environment killing SUV.

I just don't get it. As cyclists, we really don't take up all that much room-those of us that are respectful, that is. Of course there are some jackasses out there on bikes, hogging up the road, and making drivers hate us. Listen guys, we appreciate that you feel the need to demonstrate our rights as bikers on the road, but no matter how you cut it, cars will always win.

There just aren't enough of us out here. Either that or people driving on the roads just have no conscience. They could care less if they run us down. As far as their concerned, we don't deserve to share the road with their big bad trucks and cars.

On the second note, I realized I'm definately not invincible. I think because of the fact I had never crashed, I pushed and pushed the limits as if there were none. I really didn't have any idea what it was like to feel the pavement strip your flesh away. Luckily, I got that education tonight and lived to tell the story. My bike however...well that may just be collateral damage.

So that's it. Driver's out here are nuts, and I need to be more careful. Unfortunately the likelyhood of me changing any drivers' opinion is about nil, so I'll work on me. Thank the Lord I'm still here to do that.

Push 'till ya puke (safely)...Always.

Bike Crash

Just got into my first gnarly bike crash. I've been riding for a couple of years and had some close calls, but this was the first. Let's just say I hope it doesn't happen often. To make a long story short, a car failed to yeild right of way, clipped my rear wheel, and I was sent flying off my bike and onto the sidewalk at 35 mph....not to mention the fact that my neck and head stopped me as they struck a signpost. Good times!

Luckily, all this was witnessed by one of Port Jeff's finest, and emergency personel were on the scene immediately. Now the worst part about this wreck was not the ambulance ride; not the bad cuts and bruises; but the fact that this was only the second day I was riding my new bike...

Yesterday I picked up a new Specialized Tarmac, my first real road bike. I put about 80 miles on it between yesterday and today and wanted to get a few more miles in before my last client of the day. Anyway, as you can guess, things did really go to plan.

All in all, I'm a little shaken and a little beat up. Now that I'm ok, I just really want my poor bike to be as well. This being my first true carbon ride, I'm a little worried about cracks. She'll go into the shop tomorrow to get inspected and hopefully pieced back together. She's just too young to go!!! :-(

Well that's all for now, I'll keep the updates going on condition of my bike. Wish her well!!!

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

There are hills and there are mountains...

There are hills and there are mountains. I'll start with the obvious, and then work my way into a sweet metaphor. Ok, so yesterday was 'race course preview day' for a couple training friends and I. A week from today we tackle the American Zofingen long course duathlon in New Paltz, NY. From everything I've heard, both from the website and from people who have raced and trained in that area, this is a kick ass race. Full of great climbs on the bike and technical trails on the run. All in all, a great way to spend a sufffering Sunday.

So we traveled up to New Paltz yesterday to get a feel for the course. Now, I really haven't done much racing and/or training outside of Long Island in my short career in endurance sports, so I'm not sure what to expect as we make the 2hr and change ride up. WOW! That's really all I can say! As we came into town and over to our race site, the only thing I could think as I drove up the massive 'hills' (more like mountains!) was, "Holy sh*t, I'm gonna ride my bike for 84 miles on this?!? What have I gotten myself into?"

The temperature was pretty cool as we pulled into the parkinglot at the trailhead of the run-probably about 42 degrees. Of course I brought the shortest pair of running shorts I own, as well just a t-shirt, so saying I was chilled is an understatement. Anyway, ran one loop of the 5 mile run course. During the race, we will run this loop 4 times total, once before the bike and 3 times after. It was beautiful to say the least. plenty of singletrack, wonderful sights, and just overall peacefullness. While running the only thing I could think was that I never wanted to leave that place. Unbelievable.

So after getting 'lost' for a bit on the trail (and compiling more like 7 miles rather than five-all the while taking in some gorgeous views) we got back to the lot and got the bike stuff ready. Ok, back to the hills and mountains thing. I learned yesterday that Long Island is absolutely FLAT AS A PANCAKE! Yeah there are some pimples we call hills, but nothing at all like New Paltz. These are frickin' mountains! We talking climbs that go on for miles and miles. I love it!!!! It's so amazing to get to the top of a climb, your quads burning, lungs screaming, sweat pouring down your nose, and see the wonderful view from the top. All that work getting to the top to be rewarded by the view...that's really all I needed. Simple. Gorgeous. What more could you ask for?

All in all we did one loop of each course. On race day it will one loop of the run, three of the bike (84 mi), and then another three loops of the run (15 mi). I'm scared but pumped at the same time.

On another note, I'm definately using my new Specialized Tarmac road bike for the race. Riding my tri bike was a little scary on the decents. I'm sure it's a little faster, but I just don't have the control I'd like to at 50mph. I think it's important to finish the race with clean shorts and in one piece.

Now back to the metaphor. On the bike yesterday I had a lot of time to think about hills and mountains and life. The obvious would be that hills and moutains represent obstacles in our lives. Hills being the small, easy to overcome problems that arise-Mountains being the large, seemingly impossible problems. But I think there's something deeper here. For this race, I've trained in the hills. Sure I've busted my ass, sweating and grunting my way up in the beginning, only to conquer what I onced feard (the hills that is). The mountains have given me a new purpose and a new drive. I'm not intimidated by them, just calmly interested in their pursuit. The hairs on the back of my neck are up, my senses are hightened, and I'm ready for the fight. The mountains look to me now like the hills once did-scary, painful, and almost undoable. But I've conquered the hills. They've beat me down, but each time I've come back for more. I continue to show up, each time knowing full well what I'm in for-but I'm still there. Mountains will become hills one day, and I'll be standing at the top.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.