Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The October

The Good

Check this shit out:Yup. That's the weather for the next 10 days here in Houston, and it's been like this the past 10 days, and most likely will be like this for the foreseeable future (if foreseeable future means until December). Weather like this makes training easy. Here's a scene from "Rob's Ironman Training Adventures." (working title, open to suggestions).

(Our hero returns home from an 8-ish hour work day, his energy level is low, his feet are dragging and his back is stooped as he walks through the door and up the stairs to his room.)

"Man that was a looooooong day" He thinks to himself, "Do I really want to train today? 2-3 hours of isolation and punishment sound a bit much..."

(Opens the curtains and the sunshine blinds the screen for a second before revealing a Utopian world of cloudless skies and smiling faces, music pipes in from a passing car "It's a beautiful morning" by the Rascals, odd because it is actually evening, but just go with it. Our hero's face brightens)


It's kind of like that right now.

The Bad

The changing weather is also a sign of the changing seasons. Houston has seasons? Kind of... Here's a quick rundown of Houston's seasons and corresponding months.

Mid-February to Late May - Awesome

Late May to Late September - Hell, also Hurricane

Late September to Mid December - Awesome

Mid December to Mid February - Slightly less Awesome

But, I digress. With the changing seasons the days get shorter and the sun sets a little bit earlier every day. This is bad for two reasons, number one training in the dark is obviously less than ideal, number two Houston drivers do not drive better at night. I've got lights for my bike, and a reflective vest to run in, but these are not helpful when posted signs are completely ignored.

And, I'm not talking about the stupid "Share the Road" or "Bikes are Vehicles Too" signs which only infuriate Houston drivers more by informing them they may encounter a biker in their frantic race against nobody to get to wherever they are headed. So they are primed when they pass me. Nope, not those signs, I'm talking about the important ones. The signs that say "Stop" or "Yield" or "No Turns", in all the fancy shapes they come in. I'm half convinced Houston motorists cannot read, or at least don't know the meanings of these words. So I'm here to help with a handy guide to street signs.

STOP - these signs are everywhere it seems, totally getting between you and your all you can eat fajita buffet (I'd be in a hurry too if that's where I was going, totally understandable). But, they're also important. They are red with white lettering telling you what to do. Can't read? This guide won't be much help to you then, but the clever road sign makers have you covered, they are also octagon shaped, and they're the only signs out there shaped this way. So if you come across a red Octagon stop moving. Don't know what an Octagon is? It's got 8 sides and looks like a pointy circle.

Yield - This one is like a Stop sign, but not. So I can see where the confusion lies. Plus, the word "yield" you probably don't use in everyday conversation. Argggh what does it mean? Well I'll tell you what it means. It means be cautious because you're about to enter another roadway, and you don't have the right of way. Outrageous isn't it? That you wouldn't have the right of way, but it's true. So your ass needs to be sure no one is in the lane you're entering before you enter it. Don't blindly drive straight through the ting at speed, because as long as you're going the same speed as the other traffic you'll be ok, or if they hit you it's their fault, or because I'm on a god damned bike! I still have the right of way, Toyota Camry! Your half ass apologies at the red light that you barely made don't make up for the fact that you almost hit me going 45 mph in your car. Can't read? that doesn't surprise me because you are an idiot, it's an upside down triangle with a word that starts with the letter Y (the chromosome you lacked by the way). Don't know what a triangle is? Get off of the road. Mentally retarded people know what triangles are, all of them do. So next time you're blowing through that yield sign merging from Memorial to Waugh just take a teensy weensy peek in the direction of oncoming traffic and then try to resist the urge to hit whatever you may see with your car. Idiot.

NO TURNS - This one is more of a bother for me when I'm running than anything else. And really these sometimes don't even have words (just like your favorite books). Just a pictograph of what you can't do, turn left. So don't do it, and don't look pissed at me when you do and have to stop short because I'm running through that intersection and you're dumb. Sorry to embarrass you by stopping and pointing at the sign that forbids what you are in the middle of doing, actually no I am not.

With that guide you should be on your way to better driving, for more guides to better driving look for the bestsellers "Stop at Red lights", "Turn Signals; Their purpose and how-to guide" and "There's a completely wide open left lane on this road, who knew?"

The October

October is here, and the training has stepped up accordingly. A little over a month until the competition, and I really wish it was sooner. 10 months of serious training have me ready to go, so let's get this thing over with already.

Miles I've covered so far:

Swimming: 95.35

Biking: 2361.41

Running: 553.41