Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Joe's Oat Patties

Image Source

Joe's Oat Patties

Okay, today I am going to go a little hippie on my readers.  I am going to tell you about a meatless patty.... WAIT WAIT!! DON'T LEAVE THAT QUICK!!  For all you non-health nuts and cupcake makers I promise you they are good.  I am no yoga, tree-hugging, all natural clothing, vegan, hemp clothing, dreadlock hair, etc type guy.  I like my leather shoes, cotton/rayon clothing, dairy products, showers, hunting and the occasional piece of dead animal flesh.

So I picked up a few of these oat patties at Whole Foods the other day to try out.  Bonnie is not a big meat eater so I figured she may like them.  Most of the meatless (cough horrible) patties I have tried tasted like cardboard.  Actually.. that is unfair to seriously unfair to cardboard which would taste must better than those other patties if you added some salt. These patties are different. These are SERIOUSLY good. 

The Curry Lentil and Island Jerk were awesome!  The BBQ and Taco flavored patties was good.  The Spicy Hot was good but too spicy and hot (and I love spicy and hot).  I have not tried the other flavors yet.  I really want to try the seafood flavored patties.

Making these patties is easy as heck.  Just dump the contents into a bowl.  Boil some chicken/beef broth (or just water if you are a hippie) and pour over the oats.  Then do NOTHING.  Don't stir. Don't look at them. Just walk away and do some yoga and recycling for 10 minutes.  When you get done with your downward dogs, heat up a pan with some oil.  Form the oats into patties.  Then place them into the pan for about 2-3 minutes on each side.  Cook until golden brown and delirious.  These are seriously Good Eats.

You can find these at Whole Foods Markets or online at Joe's Oat Patties.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Throwback Thursday - 1980’s Powder Blue Polyester Suit

 Throwback Thursday - 1980’s Powder Blue Polyester Suit

Looked cool in my Trans-Am

Okay, so you wanted embarrassing.  Here we go.  This one was randomly picked from the photo box.

This was taken at my mother’s wedding.   How about this 1980’s, powder blue, polyester suit?  I think it was the same suit I wore in this throwback.  Do you think the powder blue polyester suit will come back into style?  I will bet $100 it will.

Close Up

Next to me is my “girlfriend”.  We had just gotten done taking the white Trans-Am for a spin around the playground when this picture was taken.  We had Van Halen cranked up on the 8-track.  This was the cool David Lee Roth era, not the loser Sammy Hagar era.  (Side note:  Mr. Hagar has recently admitted to being abducted by aliens (see here).  He says they downloaded software into his brain.  Something tells me he had too many non-prescription drugs when he was younger.)

White On White

My stepdad is sporting the white pants, white shoes, white shirt, white tie, white jacket, etc (screams Miami Vice).  Did I mention he had a white 1980’s TransAm (damn that was a cool car).  Did I also mention he liked white?  With all that white you would think he would look like a dork but I think he looks pretty bad butt.  The shades make him look cool.  Funny those shades are coming back into style.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tough Mudder - Tampa, Florida

Tough Mudder - Tampa, Florida


Race Link

Screw the Half Ironman this sounds like more fun.  This race is described as "Screw the Half Ironman this sounds like more fun.  It is described as "Tough Mudder is not your average lame-ass mud run or spirit-crushing ‘endurance’ road race. It’s Ironman meets Burning Man, and it is coming to a location near you. Our 10-12 mile obstacle courses are designed by British Special Forces to test all around strength, stamina, mental grit, and camaraderie Tough Mudder is 3-4 times longer and MUCH TOUGHER than a typical mud run such as Warrior Dash.  Other mud runs like the Muddy Buddy series? Forget it – unless you want to run alongside your 60-year-old grandmother. Tough Mudder is a truly exceptional event for truly exceptional people. Fair weather runners should stay at home. (Source). "

This race has it all (see here):
  • Running 12 miles
  • Electroshock Theropy (some have 10,000 volts)
  • Steeplechases
  • Mud pits filled with ice cubes
  • 15ft hall wall jumps into lakes
  • Underwater tunnels
  • Mud Crawls with barbwire overhead
  • Huge mountains of hay to climb
  • Spider web rope climbs
  • Huge monkey bars that are sometimes greased with butter
  • 4ft high flame runs
  • Rope river crossings
  • Wall climbs
  • Trenches filled with mud
  • Cargo net crawls
  • Bridge climbs
  • Swamp bog crossings (watch out for the alligators)
  • Tire Tunnels
  • Hay bail jumping
  • High pressure water jets
  • Telephone log carrying
"Think you can handle a tougher Tough Mudder? Try running it as a part of Team GORUCK, led by Special Operations members at any Tough Mudder event you sign up for. This elite team completes the course wearing weighted down GORUCK backpacks and always finds creative ways to make the race even tougher, because tougher = more fun.  However, since these Green Berets don’t want anyone slowing them down, you must first complete the GORUCK Challenge. To pass, you and your fellow Challenge takers all wear GORUCK backpacks stuffed with 20 lbs of bricks across a grueling trek ranging from 12-18 miles and lasting from 6-9 hours. " (Source)

I wonder if I can get Bonnie to do this race.  This may help "Question: Will there be showers after the race? Answer: All participants will have the opportunity to be hosed down by volunteer firemen after finishing the course." ;-)

Maybe I will grow back the MacGyver for the Mullet Challenge.  What do you think?

"What is the Tough Mullet Competition? We recognize that the toughest people aren’t always the fastest or most athletic. One way of celebrating this is the Tough Mullet Competition. Participants can either arrive with a mullet or take advantage of the free head shave. Those with the best mullets will be invited to take to the stage, and prizes will be awarded to the top five mullets." (Source).

This race sounds like it kicks butt!! Has anyone done one of these races? Does anyone want..?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Writer's Block

So life has slowed down a bit and I can come back to paying attention to my blog and training. But I have an issue...I have writers block.  For some reason I can no longer think of topics to write about.  This is where I need you my loyal readers (all 3 of you) to help out.  What to you want me to write about?  What do you want to know about me?  Should I call it quits or should I fight on and write more?  Does anyone actually read this?  Lets see..


Monday, March 21, 2011

Training Update and a Mini HIM

Last Weeks Training
 Monday        45 min swimming (Morning )
                      1hr Chest (Lunch)
Tuesday         1hr Back
Wednesday    1hr Swim
Thursday        1hr ABS
Friday            OFF
Saturday        62 miles cycling followed by a 13.1 mile run
Sunday          OFF

Mini HIM
On Saturday I nearly did a half ironman brick.  I was able to do everything but the swim portion.  I cycled about 62 mile and ran 13.1 miles.  The problem was I did it in the hills of Cleremont and in the middle of the FL heat.  Running in those hills is great training but brutal!  So what did I learn:
  1. Running after 62 miles cycling hurts to high heaven.  It's a pain you can not describe
  2. Crying was considered
  3. The pain goes away after 2 miles running
  4. The pain comes back after 8 miles running
  5. The pain comes back the next day
  6. Advil helps
  7. No matter how much you yell at your legs at some point they will not obey.
  8. Cleremont hills suck
  9. The reason the first portion of the run was nice because it was all down hill
  10. The hills never stopped going up on the last portion of the run
  11. Florida heat sucks
  12. I am moving to Alaska or Siberia.
  13. Doing a mini HIM by yourself sucks
  14. Cheering crowds help a ton
  15. I have NO interest in training for an full Ironman (don't quote me on that)
  16. I love my camelback (Ultimate Direction Wasp)  Buy on now.
  17. You drink A TON of water in Florida heat (128 ounces on the bike & 2 liters on the run)
  18. Sunscreen is a must
  19. Reapplying sunscreen is a must
  20. I love my cycling glasses for both running and cycling (Smith Pivlock V90)
  21. When a cyclist says it is 1 mile till the next water stop multiple that number by 5.
  22. When a running says it is 5.21 miles till the next water stop, you can be damn sure they know what they are talking about
  23. Many cyclists have egos.  When they show off by saying they have 7 more miles to ride, you can crush that ego by saying you have 13.1 miles to run.  Rock beats paper.  Run beats Bike
  24. GUs are great
  25. GUs suck
  26. All GUs taste the same after you have had  over 7 of them.
  27. That GU taste NEVER goes away
  28. A cold shower is a gift from God.
  29. The shower can never get cold enough
Strange Sights I Saw
  1. A man running in Florida heat in a dress polo shirt and long cargo pants
  2. A women running in Florida heat in black cotton capris, black cotton shirt and no water
  3. A women cycling in Florida heat in black cotton capris, black cotton shirt and a black winter vest jacket.
  4. Several pieces of discarded women's clothing  (Socks, shorts, shirt & underwear).  Strange?!
  5. At mile 6 of the running several Indians were having what appeared to be a rave.  Their music could be heard for about 2 miles.  They were all dressed up and had colored baby powder thrown on them with their face panted.  All they needed were some glow sticks and pacifiers.  They stated it was a celebration of spring but I don't buy it.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Throwback Thursday - Wrestlmania

Early 90s
So back in the 90's the Hulkster took me under his wing and taught me everything I knew about wrestling.  Back in high school I was throwing guys out of the ring and hitting them with steel chairs.  Needless to say my high school wrestling career did not last long.

In this picture I was about 130lbs, 5'11 and only about 7% body fat.  I was a little man back then.  Now, I am in my 30s and I am in the best shape of my life.  I would have NEVER thought I would (or could do) what I am doing now back then. Now I am much stronger and better looking!  :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Bicycle Tires – Puncturing The Myths - BikeRadar

I saw this article and thought you guys would find it interesting.

-Mr Half TRIing

SOURCE: Bike Radar

Bicycle tires – puncturing the myths

By James Huang, tech editor, in Boulder, USA

Tucked inside a small industrial complex in Nastola, Finland is the nondescript grey building that's the base of independent third-party tire testers Wheel Energy.  Using a battery of purpose-built machines, founders Petri Hankiola, Veijo Pulkkanen and Marko Savolainen are addressing some of the common questions surrounding bicycle tires. They're coming up with some interesting answers that no longer have to rely on word of mouth, tradition or intuition for their veracity. 

Take these conclusions for example:

Puncture-resistant belts work but they're not created equal: Nylon, aramid and other belts placed under the tread do help ward off flats but there are benefits and trade-offs to the various materials. Tougher ones like aramid are durable and highly cut- and puncture-resistant but their stiff nature sucks up a lot of energy, contributing to rolling resistance. More flexible ones like nylon aren't as bulletproof but offer a better compromise if you still want to retain good performance.

Wider tires roll faster than narrower ones: Riders have argued for years that narrower tires – especially on the road – roll faster and are more efficient than wider ones when in fact, the opposite is true. According to Wheel Energy, the key to reducing rolling resistance is minimizing the energy lost to casing deformation, not minimizing how much tread is in contact with the ground. All other factors being equal, wider casings exhibit less 'bulge' as a percentage of their cross-section and also have a shorter section of deflected sidewall.

How big a difference are we talking about here? For an equivalent make and model of tire, Wheel Energy claim the 25mm-wide size will have five percent lower rolling resistance on average – the supposed average limit of human detection – than the more common 23mm one. However, 23mm and narrower tires do still have the advantage when it comes to aerodynamics, and to a lesser extent weight. If you're selecting a tire for drag strip time trials, narrow is the way to go, but if you want a better handling tire for road racing and crits, go wider – particularly for rough road surfaces.

Inner tubes matter: Think there's no point in that expensive lightweight tube? Think again if you're trying to go faster. According to Wheel Energy's data, latex tubes roll 10 percent faster than common 0.6mm-thick butyl tubes, though today's ultra-thin butyl models come admirably close.

Larger diameter wheels roll faster than smaller ones: Yep, it's now been confirmed in the lab – 29er mountain bikes roll faster than 26ers. Wheel Energy say the effect here is similar to that of tire width, in that larger-diameter tires exhibit less casing deflection and thus less energy loss. In the case of 29ers, there's the additional factor of the 29in wheels' lower angle of attack for anything other than a perfectly smooth ground surface.
The longer effective lever requires less energy to overcome whatever tire bulge exists at the contact patch so more forward momentum is maintained. In addition, Wheel Energy's analyses of tire contact patch have confirmed that 29in tires don't have a bigger footprint than otherwise identical 26in ones. While the total area is the same, the shape of the patch is longer and narrower on 29ers, though.

Tread pattern matters, even on the road: The importance of tread pattern is no surprise to the off-road world but common wisdom says it's a non-factor on the road, where slick treads are assumed to deliver the greatest surface contact with the ground and thus, the best grip. However, asphalt is far from a perfect – or even consistent – material. Certain tread designs can provide a measureable mechanical adhesion to the ground.

Higher thread counts aren't always better: According to Wheel Energy, higher thread count casings are generally lighter and suppler than tires with lower thread counts since they absorb less rubber during the vulcanization process (non-vulcanized tires such as most high-end tubulars exhibit their own characteristics). However, they also suffer from decreased puncture resistance since the individual cords are thinner and easier to cut.

Wheel Energy claim medium-count casings (around 60tpi) may offer the best all-round performance for everyday use. As compared to 120tpi casings, they can actually roll faster and are much more resistant to cuts while often carrying just a slight weight penalty. If cut resistance is highest on your list of priorities, 30tpi tires are apparently the way to go but you can also expect them to be heavy and slow rolling.

How they do it
Wheel Energy's constantly evolving collection of testing machines are no miracles of design innovation or elegance but the fact that they exist at all is noteworthy in that, as far as we're aware, it's the only independent test facility of its type in the world. There are dedicated stations for rolling resistance, crown and sidewall puncture resistance, friction and contact patch characterization, with additional apparatuses being designed and built as necessary. 

Each machine is fully custom designed, built with computer controlled hydraulic loading and fitted with industrial load cells for precise and accurate measurements. Rolling resistance tests are conducted on large-diameter drums with various types of surface treatments, friction tests are done with a wide range of ground types (asphalt, concrete, etc) and puncture tests can be performed using interchangeable tip sizes and radii. Conditions are kept constant throughout to foster repeatability.

Why it matters
Tire development can be a notoriously black art and with development cycles reportedly taking around a full calendar year for a single model, it's easy to lose an entire model year if something goes awry. And once a mold is cut, it's more or less a done deal whether or not the tire is actually any good. That's why companies such as Specialized, Trek and Vittoria (and whoever else is willing to pay) now commission Wheel Energy to provide valuable data to aid the process. 

Specialized are especially open about how Wheel Energy's information has improved their range – and exposed the flaws. By Specialized's own admission, the company had been falling behind in recent years in the tire market – where, ironically enough, they first got their start in the industry back in the late Seventies. In particular, they say tests on their previous-generation S-Works Mondo road flagship showed a whopping 25 percent more rolling resistance than most of its competition.  Ouch.

That's supposedly all changed now. Thanks to data from Wheel Energy, Specialized tire product manager Wolf vorm Walde claims the Mondo's replacement, the Turbo, is on-par with the rest of the high-end road tire market in terms of rolling resistance. Among the changes are reduced rubber around the shoulder of the tread and reduced rubber thickness in the casing, both of which help minimize the amount of energy lost in casing deformation as the tire rolls down the road.

In the case of Specialized's revamped Roubaix clinchers, it was also found that sidewall puncture resistance could be improved without hampering rolling resistance by simply increasing the casing ply overlap in that area. Based on our initial test rides on a pair of pre-production samples, we'd say that data has been put to good use as they feel notably lively for tires that aren't necessarily intended for racing. In fact, they're perhaps even better than Specialized's previous-generation Mondos, though we need to put more testing time in before drawing any firm conclusions.

If other Wheel Energy clients can make similar improvements in efficiency, both in terms of tire development and performance, then ultimately we all stand to gain in terms of the quality of tires on the market as well as the pace at which they improve – not bad for a nondescript little grey building in the middle of the woods in Finland.

Monday, March 7, 2011


All of last week I was sick.  I got the flu that is going around the area.  I suffered through several days of high fevers and misery.

Needless to say I had to miss the Tour De Cure which I have been training for and looking forward to for the past 6 months.  There has been zero training since the flu kicked my butt.  I starting to go stir crazy!!