Saturday, November 29, 2008

Can you tell I have a new toy?

This clip gives me a new training idea ;)

The giving Spirit

In honor of the giving spirit of the holidays:

Friday, November 28, 2008

Indoor trainer theater

Ok so I discovered my new toy while on the indoor trainer. its the different networks and studios put together to offer free online TV and movies.

Sure you put up with a few commercials ( very few) but the media is great and it streams smoothly. No downloading to do.

I saw Gatica this morning on the trainer, and they have lots of other movies and shows available.

This is good because I have really used up my movie library last season.

So I figure by the end of this winter I'll be pretty familiar with it.

The stratedgy

OK so far due to travel I have not been pushing too hard on the training. I figured I still had healing to do and when travelling the training is not the best anyhow. So I used that time to just start getting my body used to workouts. Some running, cycling on stationary gym bikes and started core work. All of it base and not more than an hour. I also threw in other things like the elliptical or whatever was available in the Hotel gym where sometimes the treadmill was taken.

Now however I am back home for a few months ( I hope) and the collarbone "feels" better. So now I am planning on using December to slowly build Base again more time on the trainer and more time running. Still one workout a day 6 days a week. Also add work for core.

Can't yet do any swimming until I get clearance from the doc, who I will see this coming Teusday for a followup Xray to see if the bone has fused.

Hopefully all will be well. Then January the training will truly begin. Grrrrrrr

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

I am thankful to being Home

I am thankful for my health despite a Bad bike accident

Thankful to have a job in this market, thankful for working for a bank that did not get into the "subprime" craziness when it was the "thing to do"

Thankful to have great friends and a wonderful family

Happy Thanksgiving to All

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Goodbye Sao Paolo

Well tommorow I will be off to head home in the evening. I am quite glad be home again. Back to my life. But I have to say that my opinion of Sao paolo has changed much. I actually had fun this time, first time in 4 trips here. The crime seemed less obvious and the areas was better. There were even less stray dogs!

But probably it was that I had interacted more with the people here. Trying to learn the language was a great idea and turned out to be fun. The people here are great and it was nice to talk to them.

But now time to get back to my wife, dogs, cats and peeps back home. Time for loooong base runs and 3 hours on a indoor trainer trying to find things to watch. Can't Wait! for real!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Isso e Louco!

Bom dia,
One of the few benefits about travel for work is the opportunity to learn about different cultures and places. One of the best ways of doing this is to actually interact directly with the natives instead of hiding behind a guide or person to translate for you. Unfortunatly in many places where the language is so different from our own we have little choice.

I however was blessed to be born a Cuban, and as such was raised speaking Spanish. So when I travelled to Chile, for me it was an opportunity to get to practice my spanish further, and perhaps improve it a little, since I had most likely become a bit rusty in the land of "El Gringo".

Now here in Brazil, Portuguese is the main language..not Spanish. However, I have discoverred that both languages are fairly similar. In fact I can fairly easily read portuguese if not speak it. Also if people spoke to me slowly I could even understand them...mostly. Vice Versa as well. This was because the spelling and pronounciations were slightly different but the base was almost the same. For example I noticed that if a word would be spelled with a "ue" in spanish, it was spelled with an "O" in portuguese. An example is the word door in spanish "Puerta" is spelled "Porta" in portuguese.

These rules do not always apply, nor is it always that simple, but generally I have found the words are similar or even the same, simply pronounced differently. So I bought myself a English-Portuguese dictionary, and set out to learn by speaking to people around the office here when I have a chance. I found it helps to have silly phrases all set out Like my favorite to use that seems to get people giggling is "Isso e Louco!" ( Thats crazy!)

In fact that phrase proved to be a real ice breaker with the staff of folks that sit around me here in Sao Paolo. Since being here I am sitting in the middle of a cube farm surrounded by legal clerks and para legal secretary types. It seemed everyone stayed to themselves or on their own. Never saying hi or anything. I then found out from my local coworker who speaks excellent English, that they are shy because they are nervous about having to speak English and they cant, although they are trying to learn. So they simply avoid me.

So I said "well introduce me", because I wanted to learn to speak Portuguese and who better than people who do not and cannot speak to me otherwise. So He popped up and said something that was like "Hey everyone this is Javier and he asked me why no one speaks to him?, I said because they are shy" All of the sudden there was all of this chatter around me and one or two the women came up to him and said something like "I will kill you", but came over and introduced themselves and then laughed at themselves when they screwed up the "English" introduction. I then informed them I was trying to learn to speak portuguese, and showed them my cheat sheet that I had downloaded from the internet. The one thing I had written on top by hand was the translation "Isso e Louco" and they saw this and started to laugh, in fact this sheet made its rounds all over the floor. It was kind of funny. I had all of these people coming over to me asking for me to send them the link for this site.

It was like a language explosion had happened. It turns out that alot of them were trying to learn English and so they were eager to try and use it but felt intimidated. So it helped that I looked like a fool trying to speak portuguese ( well they THINK its because of that ;) because they were now not so ashamed or fearfull of goofing themselves, since I beat them to it. Now, days after I still hear people in the distance saying in broken English "I am learning English" and its funny. My local coworker thinks it quite funny. Because nobody ever tries to speak to him or ask him questions, now all of the sudden everyone around here is All over this English language thing. I also have a large number of folks that try to speak with, and who are kind enough to show me the correct way to say something. Luiz my local coworker said that he has heard people saying that now they have a friend from America who they can talk to in English. Its funny. Its been fun I have to say, and its made this chore of working away from home a little more bearable.

Brazil day 3-4-5-6

I just worked. Ate. and managed an hour workout between that and sleep. Not much else.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Day 2- Brazil

5AM up and at em. I was up super early even for me. I had set the alarm for 6AM but I was already up at 4:30. At 5 Decided to take advantage and do an even earlier workout. Good thing. I did not reset my phone which I use as an alarm to the different time zone. If I had relied on it I would have been 3 hours late!

Anyhow this morning did:

45 minutes stationary bike, easy level2 with a 90 RPM average

2X 30 crunches, 30 Flutter Kicks, 30 V-crunch, 1 minute planks

After Work

Did a short workout:

5 minutes stretching
15 Minutes core
10 Minutes stretching

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The BB-t-BB Challenge! GRRRRRR

OK so to make the best of my time in prison....errr....Sao Paolo Brazil. I have decided this is teh absolutly BEST time to start working to get back in shape. In the past I had slowly started to do some runs and time on the trainer but due to travel and work stress and shortened time at home meaning less time to do all the chores and home related improvements. It has been hard. But now the situation has changes slightly.

1) the Bathroom remodel is Finished! So now I have little major renovations to make for another few months.

2) I am in Brazil with nothing to do except work, eat, sleep and attempt to watch TV. The TV part is where I think I can fit in a regular waorkout or 2. So with little distratctions once I leave work I can definitly put in an hour or 2 a day.

So As extra incentive I bet my wife that I would lose 5 lbs by the time I return from Brazil. If I do not make the weight, I have to do all the laundry for a week, AND I will clean teh bathrooms when I return (a task I find MOST unappealing).

Anyhow, to make this more inspiring and solid I have given this mission a name: The Brazil Back to Basics Blowout! AKA BB-t-BB

So to kick off the BB-t-BB I decided to go to the hotel gym. When I got there my immediat feeling was WOW! what a nice gym! It had a small pool, a separate weight room, and separate room with the treadmills and stationary bikes. The weight room seemed impressive, with I think 20 differet stations with a combo of freeweights and machines.

However, as with any other pseudo luxury hotel, thats where teh WOW factor ends at a distant look. I was going to use the treadmill for a 30 minute run, there were 5 treadmills. All of them were turned off. So I went to turn on teh first one, turned the on switch.....Nothing. Went to the next one again turned it on, Hey teh lights came on alright! But when I pushed the speed button nothing happenned. The treadmill was a few years old from teh looks of it and the buttons were worn down from years of pushing on it. So I pushed the button hard....Nothing. OK so now I went to the next one, going through the routine again and this time the thing worked. So out of 5 treadmills 2 do not work. As I looked closer at the other machines they all looked the same ... old and unmaintained.

That is what my definition of a Pseudo luxury hotel is. Its sort of like the original intent for the hotel was to be a super luxury hotel, so the physical structure of the hotel is modern and nice looking, but as you get closer you see the wear marks that result from lack of proper maintenance. Thats what the "Estanplaza Berrini" Hotel is like. Excellent intents...10 years ago. But lack of followup. Still an OK place to stay but so far do not expect too much from it. But thats OK so long as they keep the rooms clean, which it appears they do.

ANyhow I managed to have a great workout. Ran 30 minutes at a 10K pace, followed it with a 20 minute core workout.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One more time

Today I am off to Sao Paolo Brazil for two weeks. To be honest I hate it. Not just because I hate having to be away from home yet again. But Because whenever I go to Sao Paolo I feel like a prisoner. Crime is just sooo extensive there that it is strongly warned NOT to go out alone unless using a hotel or office taxi etc. Last time I was there there was a Curfew in effect due to riots going on.

So to make it a little more palatable I have set a goal for myself. Lose 5 of the 10 pounds I have gained since my injury, and to start back onto my training program. No excuses, there is little else I can do there other than go to the hotel gym.

Sunday, November 2, 2008


A motivational Video from NAS Sports

I think I'll go running now.


For a week at least, before having to pull up anchor again and head down to Sao Paolo, Brazil for a week. There is allot to do here and with only a week, its all compressed. That is the ultimate trouble with work travel, it truly does get in the way of everything related to life.

So though I would love to be down in NYC today to support the Race With Purpose NYC marathoners, I have to be here to help out Retno with all the stuff that has not been done when I was away in Chile, and will be away in Sao Paolo.

Anyhow its a great day for a run so maybe in honor of the NYC folks I'll take the dogs out for a run.