Hughes Blog
Thoughts on Software Development, Project Management, Parenting, and Running.
Sunday, February 26, 2006
... as in miles. On the bike.

Yesterday, Saturday Morning, I was in Mumbai. As in India. With a bad case of Montezumas revenge. 1:40am I climbed on a Swissair A330 bound for Zurich. That was 9 hours unable to eat anything at all. Then 4 hours in Zurich, but feeling much better. In fact, there is a Burger King in the airport. BEEF!!! YES!!! Can you say Whopper with Cheese? Then I climbed onto an American Airlines 767 bound for Dallas. That was 11 more hours in the air. Total 24 hours if you are counting. Of course with the time zone changes it meant that it was only 3:30pm in Dallas. Still Saturday. Kind of makes for a long day. Oh yeah, 20 hours in coach. As in crammed into the worlds hardest and smallest seat. Thank god I'm home.

Right. So with that in mind, Terry calls me up this morning suggesting that we ride out to Farmersville then to McKinney and then home. Since I was numb anyway, and I could not think of any other activity dumber than that, I told him sure - meet me at noon.

For Valentines day my bride got me a 2.0 Liter Camelback Rogue. (Sheesh just went to My god they have a lot of products!) Anyway I have NEVER used one of these camelback units before. It is not something that I would have likely bought for myself. And of course, it goes without saying that one should not try on new equipment before a long ride. But what the heck, since I was already throwing caution to the wind - might as well go out in style. So I loaded the camelback with 2 liters of gatoraide. And I stuck two pints of water on the bike for good measure. At least I was not in danger of dehydration!

On my last ride out to Lucas my little bike computer rattled loose from the handlebars. So before Terry turned up I got it all screwed down and used some loctite on those suckers for good measure. The pickup is rather finicky and I was still having some problems with it by the time Terry turned up.

I finally got the computer working reliably about 8 miles into the ride. Unlike the Lucas ride, I got the stupid thing to report in American units! Final stats: Max speed: 34.3 MPH, Average speed: 17.2 MPH; 52.2 Miles (plus the 8 before I got the dumb thing working). 3hours and 2 minutes. The Polar also had 3:02 which is kind of remarkable considering I started the polar when I left the house (not 8 miles later) and I turned it off a couple of times along the way. Average HR was 152, Max 172.

We took Highway 78 out to Farmersville which was great. It has a nice wide shoulder. About halfway to Farmersville we hit a nice hill and I dropped into high gear and hammered it up 27 MPH. Then I just kept up my cadence and hammered along. A while later I looked back and Terry was no where to be found. Hmmm. Well I figured I'd wait for him at the 380 junction. I was trying to keep my speed around 18 to 19 MPH. It seemed like forever before we got to 380. Sheesh! Terry was only a couple minutes back.

I got behind Terry as we waited to cross 380. Terry said, "I'm going". Great I started to go and was looking down at my pedals. When I looked up Terry WAS NOT going. Acckkk. Over I went. I was OK. I picked up the bike. Terry asked are you ready. Yeah, I'm ready. Terry was about to go, when I noticed that the chain was off. Eh, Terry, not ready! There is nothing worse than a couple of washed up runners trying to pretend to be bikers.

Finally we made it across 380 and headed toward McKinney. I told Terry I got it up to 27 on one of the hills on 78. We were coming up to a nice downhill to Lake Lavon. Terry said, you can get it up to 30 right here. So I dropped into high gear again and sure enough. 30, 31, 32, 33, 34.3! And I think I still had one more gear to go.

We stopped in Princeton, where I slugged down a Red Bull (to go with the one I had before I left the house.) Terry had a Pepsi and courtesy of Marissa, we both enjoyed a Chocolate Hershey Energy Bar. Then it was on to McKinney which was nice. Then we headed south into the wind for the remaining third of the ride. That was brutal.

Finally back in Richardson, Terry peeled off with 60 miles on his computer. That was 56 for me. I peddled the long way home making sure to pick up four miles for sixty total - which is 23 more miles than I have ever rode before. Ever. A personal record.

Amazingly with all that I have been through in the last two days, I feel pretty damn good too! And the Camelback worked well too!

Here is the GMAP which has it at 57.7.

And here is my HR profile courtesy of Polar, the greatest manufacturer of sporting equipment known to man kind.

Monday, February 20, 2006
Beating Jet Lag 101
Start with 2000 meters in the pool and then add 30 minutes on the bike. It was too cold and nasty for Terry and I to do our planned loop. So instead, early Saturday morning, I headed to the gym and hit the pool. For some reason I was thrashing around more than usual. I did 16x100 crawl and 400 back.

That had me bushwacked by the time I climbed on AA38 bound for Zurich. I did my best to sleep on that leg. Then I did my best to stay awake from Zurich to Mumbai. I hit Mumbai around 10pm where I high tailed it to the Hyatt and crashed for the night.

This morning I woke up early and did 40 minutes jogging on the treadmill. Then I had a great breakfast at the Hyatt before our drive to Pune. While I am exhausted, I don't feel that badly!

Fun with Security
Since I was wearing my running shoes, I refused to take them off for the metal detector at the airport. Well, they have this new sniffing machine that they shove you in if you're going to be stubborn. Its like a phone booth that blows puffs of air at you. Kind of like the glaucoma test on steroids. Sheesh.

Then they found my mustache scissors.

Them: You got scissors.

Me: Yeah, I thought small ones are OK.

Them: True, but we got to check.

So they ripped open my bag and searched the hell out of it.

I spent at least 25 minutes at security before they let me go. That's the last time I'll insist on wearing my shoes through the checkpoint!

Saturday, February 18, 2006
Holy Crap!
**** Warning Graphic Content ****

Its nice and quiet at 6am saturday at my house. The girls are sleeping. Its just me and the cat. I have the TV on and am tapping in my thoughts about getting out of Dodge.

That was scene, when I began to smell it. Fran had recently changed the cats diet. If it was going to have that kind of effect on the poor cat then we should reconsider that move. After a couple of minutes, you'd expect the odor to subside. But it was really bad. How the heck could I enjoy this cup of Kona? After a few more minutes and no relief, It occured to me that my worst fear may be realized. Had Cat missed the box altogether? I set off to investigate.

As I headed toward the utility room, home to Cat's facilities, I realized one of the girls was in their bathroom. The door was slightly open. I was horrified at what I found.

Reagan, striped from the waist down, was sitting in the middle of floor with a small piece of toilet tissue in her hand. She was surrounded by squirtage. It was all over the floor, and all over the wall behind the door. I am not sure how she managed that. Reagan was clearly distressed, but not crying. What a trooper, she was attempting to clean up the mess herself!

These are the defining moments in parenting. This is where you gotta strap on the gas mask, grab the Fantastic, suck it up and ignore all your god given instincts to run! I gotta tell you, I even ignored the fundamental male reaction to run to my wife, get her outta bed and make her deal with the mess! I am so proud of myself. ;-)

All hell breaking loose
Today (DALLAS): A mix of light rain and freezing rain. Some sleet may mix in. Temps nearly steady in the low 30s. Winds NNE at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of precip 40%.

Tomorrow (ZURICH): Snow showers

Monday (PUNE): A mainly sunny sky. Hot. High 96F. Winds light and variable.

Tuesday (PUNE): Abundant sunshine. Highs in the mid 90s and lows in the mid 50s.

Wednesday (PUNE): Sunshine. Highs in the mid 90s and lows in the upper 50s.

There is nothin' like an ice storm in Dallas. Usually you can just ride 'em out. However in my case I am supposed to get on an airplane today. That means a long treacherous ride to the airport. Then I have to hope that the dudes at DFW actually know how to run the de-icing equipment. And that assumes that they don't cancel my flight. American has already canceled nearly 100 flights.

If you are following the Olympics, you also know its snowing in Zurich too. So if I do manage to get out of Dallas alive, then I will be faced with landing in the middle of a blizzard. Great.

Then assuming I make it to Mumbai, the weather is highs in the mid 90s and sunny. Sheesh! Totally psycho!

There is good news though. The soccer gods have canceled Marissa and Logan's games that were scheduled for today. That's excellent - as I would have had to miss those games.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Workout Notes
Last Thursday (the 9th) - 60 Minutes Easy Distance from the club at noon. HR - 164 average, 179 Max. 7 miles according to Gmaps.

Friday too much work.

Saturday too damn cold and windy. Took Marissa to her soccer game which was brutal - must have been 35 degrees with 30 mph wind. After that, I was spent.

Sunday - Also cold and windy, but Terry called me up and suggested that we do some intervals on the bike. There is a locally famous loop down the road that is 1.3K according to Gmaps. Lance used to race the Tuesday Crits here and wrote about it in "It's not about the bike."

On Tuesday nights there was a series of criteriums held on an old loop around those empty Richardson fields.

Anyway, Terry and I did 10x2:00min on, 2:00min off around these same empty fields. HR Ave 153, Max 182. I was hammering on the 182. Meanwhile Terry was cruising easy in my wake! Too Funny.

The loop is five miles down the road from home and squarely between Terry and my house. On my way home, I pulled up to the stoplight at Shilo and Renner. Uh oh - Feet, feet, right out except, wind coming strong from right. Bam. Fell over to the left. In front of everyone else waiting at the light looking at the idiot on the bike. How embarrassing.

Terry and I are gonna tentatively do a loop down to White Rock and back on Saturday. That's fifty miles from Terry's house, should that will be damn close to 100K from my house! That ought to be just what I need before I climb into my coach class center seat for a 9 hour ride to Zurich. Sheesh!

Monday - 60 minutes running easy distance at Sting. HR 155 ave, 171 max.

Today - 2000 meters in the pool! I started with last Tuesdays workout, 300 meters to start in five flat. But then I kicked it up a notch, with 13x100 (1:00 rest). Then 400 back. Total time 52 minutes.

Friday, February 10, 2006
Off to India
I had delayed the inevitable for as long as possible. A week from tomorrow I am off to India. Our team has a significant offshore development center in Pune. The leaders, of which I am one, take turns heading over there to lead. I weaseled out of my turn last fall by pointing out the leaders of more critical projects might want to go instead. Next week I am launching a new project, so off I go.

In conjunction with the new project, I am introducing Agile Scrum Development techniques. I can see already that some of the team get it. And some don't.

Anyway, its a long freaking trip. Dallas to Zurich (9 hours); Zurich to Mumbai (11 hours). Then a 3 hour drive which starts through the nastiest slums you can imagine in Mumbai, then through the mountains to Pune.


Thursday, February 09, 2006
Workout Notes
60 Minutes on the Lemond Trainer yesterday. 16.5 Miles. HR: 135 Ave, 150 Max.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Workout Notes
Yesterday evening it was nice and crisp, probably low 40s. Everyone at Sting was dressed like it was 10 below zero. Except me. I did an hour run in singlet and shorts. Got a lot of weird looks. The keeper for the 95 White team joined me when I told her I was not cold. She had forgotten to bring a jacket, but clearly saw that a couple of laps would warm her up! HR: Ave-151, Max 170.

Today I hit the pool. I decided to change things up a bit. Somehow the Tri Bug is biting me. There is an event on March 11th in Athens Texas. Here are last year's results. This event has a 300 meter swim. So in the spirit of that, I decided to start today's workout with a 300 meter trial which I completed in five flat. I followed that up with 11x100 crawl with a minute rest and then 300 back. That's 1700 meters total (a mile plus) in 45 minutes. Certainly a big improvement over my previous workouts in the pool.

Correction: That was 11x100 - otherwise it woulda only been 1600 meters - 9 short of a mile. :-P

Sunday, February 05, 2006
67 Minutes on the bike
The workout machine ground to a halt on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Thursday I felt like I needed a rest after the four days before. Friday, work consipired against me getting in some work. And Saturday was spent at the soccer pitch.

Today was kind of a slow day. I was not feeling that great most of the day. Finally, late in the day, I decided to get the bike down and go for a ride. I pulled the bike down and discovered that the front tire was flat. Drats. Reagan and I made a quick run to the bike store and I picked up a couple of tubes, and a magnetic pickup which fits on the aero spokes that I have on my ride. I quickly changed the tube and adjusted the new pickup and voila, the bike was ready.

It was 5:30, so I figured that I could squeeze in an hour ride at least. The computer had it in 67 minutes and 31K (19.2 Miles), with a max speed of 43KPH. The Polar had my Ave HR at 148 and Max HR at 169. GMapsPedometer had it at 18.8 Miles.

Spring Prep
Next weekend will kick off the spring soccer season in North Texas. So this weekend was the last chance at season preparations. For the girls this meant Soccer Tournaments! For mom and dad that meant a Saturday with 6 matches!

Marissa's Team (BTW check out the new team photo) played in the Winterfest Tournament in Dallas. They played to a zero-zero draw in their first game against Texas Lightning, a team that plays in Arlington Texas in a similar division as our girls. The second game was against another Texans Team, West Red. They play in Division 3, which is considered a stronger league than the on we play in. That said we had previously played them to a zero-zero draw earlier this year. The girls were fired up and it showed. They went up 1-0, then Marissa added an Insurance Goal! That was Marissa's first goal of the year. She was pumped up. The girls won 2-0. However, they got clobbered in their last game, playing Southwest 95 Gold - a Division 1 team.

Logistically, Fran hauled Marissa down for her first game, which was at 9:30. Then I got Logan and Reagan in their uniforms and hauled them down to watch Marissa's first game. Then I took Logan and Reagan up the Sting Complex for their three games. All of the Superblue Academy Teams came together at Sting for a Friendly Tournament. Tarrant County has a 99 squad and our team is the only other 99 Squad. We we played two games with 90 minutes rest between them between the two teams. Then right after the second game, the girls played against the 98 team, Logan's old team who she played with for a year and a half.

Our 99 squad demolished the Tarrant team in both games. Logan had a couple of shots on goal, but none that went in the net. Reagan, amazingly played all three games. Before the third game coach Dave told me he was concerned about Reagan playing against the 98's. I told him if she did not play it was fine with me. But he put her in and she did fine. She has no fear. The 98's killed the 99's. At first the 99's were competitive. They matched the first two scores, but then fatigue set in.

I was totally spent after all of that. And I didn't even play!

Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Gimme some Mud Bugs!
Julia finally turned up in Dallas again! She dragged Wayne and Steve down here from Beantown and we all headed to Aw Shucks, one of the great spots in Dallas. Its been a while since I had been down there. I am happy to report its the same fantastic spot as always.

Anyway Wayne wanted some buffalo wings, but for crying out loud, its a freaking oyster bar and seafood joint! So he settled for some Catfish and some fried oysters. Steve went for a plate of Hot Spiced Shrimp. Julia and I ordered up a plate of Bugs.

The Oysters were huge and delicious. Unreal. Shrimp and Catfish also great. I had to train Steve on how to eat a Bug (Suck Head, Eat Tail). Wayne was not having anything to do with that!

Then Julia looks at me and sez, "do you like Raw Oysters?" Wayne was like, "I don't do Raw." Steve was silent.

"Hell Yeah"! So we split a Dozen Half Shells. Yum. Yum.

And of course all washed down with some Dos XX Lager on Tap and excellent conversation.


Workout Notes
Monday - 60 minutes running Easy Distance at Sting Ave HR 150

Tuesday - 1500 Meters in the pool. 100 Crawl, 22x 50 Crawl, 300 Back. (Joe pointed out that one might count tiles to verify the length of the pool. Indeed, the pool is 25 meters. )

Wednesday - 60 minutes on the Stationary Bike (Lemond Trainer). 134 Ave HR. 17 miles. Spinning between 100 and 120.

All views expressed in this post and on this blog are my own. None of my comments should be construed to represent the views of others including and not limited to: BMC Software Inc., Corel Corporation, Dun and Bradstreet and AC Nielsen. Copyright Chris Hughes 2004-2012