Livejournal Catch-up

 Yep, life has got busy, busy.

The new job, which has required a lot of reading and investigation, but is going well. I''ve been learning about things like IPMI and re-visiting emerging standards like WS-MAN. The biggest uphill has been using Vista and Office 2007, everything seems to have changed, the annoying, frustrating and the display hogging office ribbon has seriously put me off doing any serious document and powerpoint work.

Meanwhile, my training is going well. Last night up in the pool at Pure Austin North, I had a swim session over 1.75-miles that I'd be delighted if I can replicate in a race. I've been doing escalating pyramid sessions over the last 8-weeks. The idea is to do an easy warm-up, I chose 16-lengths; then do 2,4,6,8,6,4,2 lengths at race pace. Take time including rests; repeat at next session and once you've improved on your total time and two consecutive sessions, move up length, 4,6,8,10,8,6,4 and so on. Last night I was up to my first 6,8,10,12,14,12,10,8,6 set, which is 86 lengths or about 1.34-miles in under 38-minutes.

Running, not so much. Not sure where I went wrong, but my running has dropped off both in distance and speed. I mostly put this down to the 3M half marathon melt-down, I've just lost the will to run long or hard for the time being. I did 8-miles from Pure Austin Monday night, and to be honest in was another depressing outing. I didn't bring any socks, and my shoes are getting old now, I've tried getting in touch with Bill Stone at RunTex to get a new pair made, but so far not looking good. I'll need to get in contact with Paul Carozza. After the Pure Austin run, not only was I tired, but I'd picked up 6-blisters, shoes went in the washer last night with some fabric softner!

Cycling I'm really enjoying. Apart from this week,  'çause of the rain and cold, I've putting cycling home from Round Rock on Wednesday afternoon and back on Thursday morning. The Jack and Adams Sunday rides have grown to be huge. After last weeks ride I talked to Jack and we are going to make some changes for this week. I've also been out and done Parmer to the end and back a couple of times, and had a good ride in the west country, while back in the UK. mojojoey has built an excellent lift that fits between my cycling shoe and cleat and is working really well. My climbing is definately stronger, and my hips are not nearly as stiff after the ride.

The big news is I've ordered a new, made to measure, titanium Tri bike from Guru, a Guru Merus in flame red. I'm not sure if the paint will be as shown in that picture, or more like this one. I hope the later. Bad news is I was supposed to pick-up the bike last Saturday, but apprently the top-tube got dinged in transport and has gone back to guru for re-finishing. I'm hoping to get it sometime next week, which would give me one w/e testing before the Lonestar triathlon w/e.

Then of course I had to head back to the UK to get a new visa to work at Dell. I'm the proud owner of an O1 visa. The whole trip was a bit disruptive, and having expected to be there for 10-days while waiting for my passport to be returned, I got it back after 2-days and came back 4-days early. While there I had the chance to hold a fairwell drink-up(British tradition) for former friends and colleagues of IBM UK. We had a massive turnout, much more than I'd expected. It was to see many former IBMers, current IBMers that I'd worked with, as well as a number of current IBMers I'd never personally met, but had some form of virtual contact with over the last 4-years.

In other news, after reading this LJ Post by lynnivere I've been off artificial sweetners and eliminated carbonated drinks of any kind, I have to say there seems to be some anecdotal evidence, my knees and hips are definately feeling better. However, this could be as a result of less running, or the shoe lift.

My race schedule is starting to look pretty time awesome. No word on the IM  Hawaii slot until April 15th, April 4th I'll be down in Galveston for the Sprint and Half Ironman distance races. April 11th I'll be doing the Protest Duathlon, the w/e after I'm thinking of doing the TX Iron endurance camp, April 21st is the first Pure Austin Splash and Dash; April 25th I'm thinking about doing the Texas Roundup 10k; May 2nd the Shiner Gasp ride; May 10th The Rookie Triathlon and May 17th Florida 70.3 Half Ironman. It was exhausting to type it, let alone race it ;-)

I'm going to write-up my UK trip seperately, but just so patriathlete doesn't think I've been slacking I thought I'd write up a few notes. While I have not been posting, I have been commenting as lynnivere , whereispaco  and trisport can attest ;-)
Ha ha! Glad to hear from you

You know, I'm always surprised to hear that people do still consume aspertame, something that has been reported as dangerous since the 80s. Sooner or later, it'll be banned, mark my words.

BTW- Congrats on the O1 Visa. That's like, being knighted.
I attest! :D

That aspartame post was interesting. I don't use it a ton, but I"m considering cutting out what I do use. That's some scary stuff!
I like that your social circle keeps has wideneding. It's so cool to watch you ripple out here & there, all over the world. =)
(Anonymous)
Congratulations Mark on your new job. We hope life is treating you well. Are you oming over for Windor this year?
Hannah and John (ex-Tri-Force)
Great to hear from you, yes training going reasonably well not withstanding the long understood knee problems. Would love to hear how you are both getting on, email address at top of livejournal in the graphic... although its the same one I've always had ;-)