Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Early AM

Unless I wake up 5AM I'm not getting any riding in for the next three days. Totally booked solid. This means four days of not riding Tues until Sat. I'm not exactly happy about this but there is nothing I can do about it. I could ride on Friday but a friend of mine is coming into town and I don't get to see them much. Its just four days so I don't know what I'm complaining about (as if anyone really cares anyway) but I was on track to make some serious progress, at least so I thought. Well, recovery does have some benefits I guess. I just got a project dropped on me, yeah its due Friday. Yeah, not enough time to do this right. I fucking hate not doing things right - its always a bad impression. I'm going to have to "invent" time which sucks to do because the invention of time is really the dereliction of things which normally are important.
*****It looks like its going to snow on Sunday - yes the first Ninigret pick up race. This forecast blows. It sucks. Doesn't make me happy. This should not make anyone in the bike racing community happy and in fact all aspiring bike racers should immediately frown and feel glum when reading the current forecast. Right now I'm lighting a candle and dedicating it to the weather gods so that the precip. will hold off until the PM. Right now its 70% of snow/sleet. Right now, this sucks.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Where Fun Comes To Die

Grad School is a means to an end. It is purely about obtaining a degree. This degree is simply a work permit which hopefully enables a person to get into a higher paying career which carries a greater workload. Said career should also carry more stress and responsibility. Career may be or may not be more stable than current career. I am just about sick of it right now so I'm writing a blog post about some things that annoy me. Just some things about grad school from my experience.
1. It is boring. Very boring. The boredom of the work you will be doing cannot be understated.
2. Unless you come from very privileged circumstances you will be broke. I mean broke too. Being bored and broke both suck.
3. Everyone is competitive. Just competitive for the sake of being competitive. There is no rhyme nor reason to this phenomenon nor is there any reward for succeeding in one of these competitions.
4. Competition occurs in many forums. Grades are an obvious point of contention. Another forum is where you went to undergrad or other jobs/careers you have held in the past which were somehow "better" and more distinguished than what you are doing now. The prior career phenomenon is widespread. Making sure that all of the people in your program understand that you are an expert in managing multiple responsibilities is another place for competition.
5. The only acceptable responses to the question "how are you?" is "busy," "crazy-busy," "ugh," "tired," or some other similar response. Even if you manage your time well and perhaps are not that "busy" you cannot let on. This is a rule which cannot be broken as your peers will then resent you and seek to sabotage. Your outward facade of self-sacrifice should not be taken to the extreme of dressing in sackcloth and ashes waiting for the library to open on Sunday morning. No, you must be more suave with this one to make sure that all understand how much you have sacrificed to be part of the program. A caution about this, always let others feel as if they have sacrificed much more than you. Everyone's own personal case is more onerous than your own. See #4.
6. Social life takes a hit. Its not just the time, time can be managed, its the stress of always having something due. Believe me, there is always something due. I've found I've been by myself a lot since starting this. Starts to get old after a while.
7. Grad School is where fun comes to die.
8. One must be extra humble at all times. This gets old quick but transgressions of this can be very unpleasant and not worth it.
9. I am one class short of being full time which means that I cannot race collegiate.
10. Get used to hearing how to do things better. Lots of fault finding sessions about our current institutions.
11. Grad school is joyless. Joyless.
12. Getting criticized gets old. So does the term feedback. WTF: criticism is criticism.
I'm about done now. There will be more on this topic next Sunday when I cannot write any more stuff for school.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

My 100th post

I rode this on Saturday with Dave - last minute but sometimes its the best way. It was cold but bearable. This AM I was looking at the profile on Google Earth and thinking to myself that this ride would be "oh..not that hilly - it looks a lot like western RI." How wrong I was.

This is the course for the Quabbin RR this year which is going to be one hell of a hard race. I'm not sure if its going to be a climbers race as there are so many downhills to catch them - I use them because I'll never be a climber. The climbss are too long to be pure power climbs though and there's a three to five mile up and down but mostly up effort to the finish. There are no mountains on this course - just lots of hills. Its all hills actually, up or down which means you spend nearly all of your time riding ascending.
So this took us about four hours.

I've got to get my race bike together. I hope to have it ready for Ninigret, if not - at least for next week March 8. It has to be done by then. So right now, I'm super enthusiastic about riding and racing and having a great time this year.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

According to the Chinese Lunar Calendar

Tomorrow is the start of spring. This is verified by Wikipedia and the translation given. It is also known as a cross-quarter day which is halfway between the equinox and the solstice. The ancient Irish Pagans also celebrated this festival as Imbloc - where they attempted to predict the weather. Supposedly this tradition got transferred to St. Brigits day in the UK and Groundhog Day in the US. All of this info is summarized from Wikipedia and is enhanced by the fact that I've been sitting in class tonight and then upon my arrival home - failing to satisfactorily research the topic that I must research because I'm tired, I'm distracted, I don't want to, and I am unconsciously procrastinating. Believe me, ancient Pagan festivals on Wikipedia are much more interesting than the work I have to do.

At time I'll do things spontaneously - solely because I can.
I'm not dead set on doing this but I figure if we leave at 2AM we can get there by 5:30.

Cadence Cup Prosepct Park Series
online registration closes
2/27/2009 5:00:00 PM ET

Thats right - did you see the date - February. OK - its a long drive to possibly get dropped for I have not put in a ton of training - but I might finish it. It would be fun anyway.

**wouldn't it suck to get lost driving down to that.

***it would suck even more to get there and not find a parking spot.

Registration for Grants Tomb opens the 13th.

I'll admit it publicly - right now I've got nothing going on except for work, school and the hope for a good bike racing season. I'm fine with this right now also - right now I have to focus on my priorities and training/racing helps me keep my priorities in focus. If this was my life forever than this would totally suck but for a short time period being entirely innundated isn't that bad. This won't last forever and hopefully pays dividends when I'm done. Without a focus I get distracted and become unconsciously self-destructive. Once I get out of this current phase - which will be about the end of April I'll have more focus and clarity on what else life has to offer. The world outside of my current shell does not exist. Vacations - do not exist. Whats an airplane - they don't exist in my world right now. Cars are used to drive to bike races - ONLY. The TV is used to play Eurosport bike races while I listen to bad music on the Ipod.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Fooling 'self

I don't think I'll change my old ways. I end up riding on the crappiest days while I don't do anything on the nice ones. Yesterday it was 25F and I decided to do a longer ride. I knew I had a cold but went anyway - I wasn't sick just had a bit of a cough. Today it is like in the mid 40s and I feel like total shit - no voice, coughing crap up, chills and all that. Sometimes I can ride through these things with no consequences while other times I can't.