9/18/06: Well, Jorge has survived
the PHD Triathlon Challenge. Thanks to everyone
who wrote in support and to all those who
donated. We raised over $1200 for pediatric
AIDS research! Here are some pictures and
Jorge's final times:
row: Arriving at Zuma Beach, 5:30am. The
chaotic Transition Area where everyone sets
up their gear. Bottom row: Diving into the
open ocean swim. Jorge's trusty $100 e-bay
bike (he ran as part of Team Dreamworks).
Sprinting stumbling across
the finish line.
mile bike ride
is running a sprint Triathlon on Sept. 17
in support of pediatric AIDS research. Support
the cause and make a donation!
learn more about the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric
AIDS Foundation, click
Triathlon Challenge FAQ
is Jorge in really good shape or something??
a guy who works with robots and draws
comics, Jorge is in pretty good shape.
In fact, just the other day he actually
took the stairs to his 3rd-floor
office instead of taking the elevator,
and he didn't stop to rest on the
so why is he doing this?
bring hope to children and families
affected by AIDS worldwide. Mostly,
if he dies trying to finish the race,
who will draw the comics??
not, dear reader. Should his physical
body fail at race day, a crack team
of neuroscientists stands ready to transplant
his brain to a neuro-prosthetic machine
designed by Jorge himself, which will
allow him to remote-control a robot
arm to draw the comic strips. Sure,
he'll be trapped in a glass jar, exploited
for his mental capacity, forced to come
up with interesting ideas forever, but
how is that any different than grad
can I donate?
on the link above to go to the donation
page. Even $5 can make a difference!
was brutal. I felt absolutely drained coming out of the water.
I kicked and was kicked by the throng of swimmers. Even though
I had practiced open ocean swimming, and it was a calm day,
I was swimming on pure survival instinct. Still, when I got
out and saw I had done the swim in less than 20 minutes, I
decided to go for an overall time of 2 hours. When I first
signed up, my goal was to live through it with some dignity
left. After a few weeks of training, 2:30 hours seemed possible.
But now (it must have been the adrenaline) I decided to push
myself. In a daze, I dried off and transitioned to the bike.
I passed a few people along the way, but then the front runners
of the sets behind me started to blow by. When the 57 year-olds
started passing me (everyone had to write their age on their
left calf), I decided to push through the pain of a left leg
cramp and try to make the ride in an hour. Honestly, the thought
of everyone who donated and wrote in support kept me pushing
myself. On the running portion, I ran as fast as my body would
let me, and decided to sprint the last mile. It was incredibly
inspirational to see all of the challenged athletes competing
(people in wheelchairs, double leg amputees, etc), but in
the last 100 meters, two of them were blocking
the whole lane. Should I blow past them and look like
a jerk? Should I slow down and applaud them with the rest
of the cheering crowd? What was the right triathlon etiquette
here?? Overall, it was crazy but exhilirating. Thanks again
to everyone who supported the challenge!
it, only a few days to go. Sorry for not posting any more
updates. I figured a) nobody is really reading this, and b)
writing out my workouts probably doesn't make for interesting
reading. Still, rest assured, I didn't fall off the wagon
and kept up the workouts: moderate running/swimming twice
a week, big bike/run/swim workout on Sundays. Did a ~85% test
run of the whole thing a few Sundays back, and survived, so
there is a possibility I'll live through this. Gotta say,
it's interesting being "in shape". I definitely have more
energy throughout the day for, uh... sitting around and drawing
comics. Speaking of Zen lessons, one thing you do learn training
for this is that "every man runs their own race". It sounds
like an important life lesson, but mostly it keeps my ego
intact when 60 year-olds blow past me on the bike or swimming.
biked 18 miles in sweltering Pasadena heat. Tuesday: swim
3/4 mile and run 2 mile run. Friday: fast .5 mile swim and
semi-sprint 2 mile run. It's been interesting, this whole
"being in shape" business. I feel I'm learning a
lot about about patience. Whereas before when I started to
exercise the only thing going through my mind would be "STOPSTOPSTOP
STOP", now it's easier to tell myself, "you are
going to feel this discomfort for the next 90 minutes, and
that's ok". It's almost like your body becomes this machine
that your brain can operate from a distance. One dissapointment:
being cardio-vascularly fit doesn't really help you look more
buff. Nobody knows you're in shape except you!
Starting to slack a little
on training. I have a good excuse this week: had my wisdom
teeth pulled out. The grossest part is the food getting stuck
in the holes. Yechh. Swam a mile at the Caltech pool today.
The pool is swamped these days, with temperatures hitting
the mid 90's. I always get the lane next to the ex-olympic
swimmer, and maybe it's just my male self, but I always think
they're trying to compete with me.
momentum is starting to wear off a little, as work has been
picking up. A friend declared herself my official "trainer",
which is good. I spend a lot of daydreaming time wondering
what I'm going to eat on race day. Here's my plan: usual ceral
bowl in the morning, hard-boiled egg and a banana 30 minutes
before the race, drink a yogurt smoothie and maybe a cliff
bar during the bike ride, with watered down gatorade for thirst-quenching.
to the Rose Bowl and did a few laps. This old guy with a super
fancy bike, logo-covered biking shirt and padded lycra pants
kept doing loops around me. A post-doc friend and competitive
cyclist explains to me that professional athletes ramp up
their training so they max out at race day. Meaning, you don't
want to train too hard too soon. Of course, this just says
to me "hey, you can procrastinate on the training!"
the beach today with other people training for this thing,
and tried some ocean swimming. Despite the image of the shirtless
California surf dude, the water is *freezing*. Had to shell
out more for a wetsuit. Swimming in the ocean is scary: you
can't see the bottom so you have no sense of direction or
motion, waves toss you around, Jaws theme music goes through
your head. Swam for about ten minutes, biked maybe ten miles
and ran 2. Came home, stuffed myself with food, and passed
out for the rest of the afternoon.
a sweet road bike on E-bay: $100! What a deal! A friend pointed
me to the auction. It's a vintage Nishiki from the early 80's.
A classic from what I'm told. Bright red with silver trimmings.
The last five minutes of the auction I kept hitting reload
on my browser to make sure nobody outbid me. Of course, I
took it to the bike shop to get it spruced up, and the bill
was more than the cost of the bike.
out of the gate motivated on this training business. Did a
quarter-mile swim followed by a 2 mile run this week. This
makes me think maybe I won't die on race day. Later that week,
ran 4 miles. Running is my weakest event. It takes every ounce
of my will not to just stop. I still say there's a reason
man invented the wheel.
up for the triathlon. Recipe for motivation: large vat of
procrastination, with some early middle-age crisis and curiosity
sprinkled in. The charity aspect seals the deal (kids with