Archive for July, 2010

No Friggin Way

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , on July 30, 2010 by brianestover

Get to the house to look at it. The house went into foreclosure this morning with a trustee sale schedule for 30 days from now. I kid you not. Lock box keys got changed as did Realtors. The good news is I now have 30 days to think about it. I can probably knock off another $20k off the house. The bad news is I’m officially my realtor’s worst client. Ever.

Am I Crazy?

Posted in Random Stuff on July 29, 2010 by brianestover

No need to comment smart ass and that means you and maybe you over there as well. I’ve been house hunting in spurts for the last two years. The house I used to own is back on the market. They just dropped the price by ~$15k. It’s now about $12000 more then when I first bought it. Which was 1997 or 1998. I sold it for $51000 more then I bought it for five years later. Besides, who offers list price anymore?

Am I crazy for thinking about buying my old house again? It’ll be interesting to see my reactions as I go through the house. I could do all the things like update the kitchen, convert the back half of the house into a very large master suite with a huge walk through closet to the bathroom and update the main bathroom that I had planned on doing before I moved to Phoenix. I could do all that and still be in well under what I sold it for. The yard is big, the property is just over a quarter acre. I could put in my gardens and chicken coop. I already know where to stick the water cisterns to capture roof run off. When I get a dog or two in January there would be plenty of room to run around in the yard.

I was figuring out mortgage rates as well. My mortgage would be just over half of what I currently pay for rent. In fact my mortgage would actually be the almost the same as when I lived there. That’s with a 15 year mortgage vs the 5/1 ARM that I had. I could realistically pay it off in < 10 years. My big concerns are the amount of empty houses within a 1.5 mile radius of this house. In Tucson there are empty houses everywhere though.

The crash hasn't hit Tucson as bad as it has hit the Phoenix Valley, which is a top 10 area in the country for foreclosures. I realize that buying now means I'm sitting on a house for at least 10 years before making any serious money on it. The house next door, which was a complete wreck even when I lived next to it, had been foreclosed on and sold for $75,000 for almost 1800 Sq feet. The new owners gutted it and redid it. The neighborhood behind the house has some rental units but lots of older people and some new build in-fills. The neighborhood in front of the house has two of my best friends and their kids, and some other friends in it, plus only a few empty houses.

The best two things are no need to measure any new running loops. I already know how far they all are. If I go over to the KGB's to drink I can just walk home!

Running the numbers everything looks good. Running through the back of my mind are two conversations. The emotional side of me is saying it's probably not going to be a big deal but are you sure about this. I lived there in a different time in my life. The rational and financially prudent side of me is screaming look at the numbers it's almost too good to pass up, actually at that price it is too good for someone to pass up, even if you/they just made it a rental property down the road.

Training Seriously

Posted in Random Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , , , , on July 24, 2010 by brianestover

Yep, that’s right. I’m back full bore into serious training. Seriously training to get out of shape. Not one workout has been done since Vineman. Unless you count running a car length yesterday to get out of the way of the old lady backing up in the parking lot.

Guess what?

The world hasn’t ended. Although I’ve not seen any people or cars this morning in my neighborhood. Maybe I’m the last survivor and it really ended but I slept through it. If you are going to sleep through anything, sleeping through the terrified cries of millions of people is probably the way to do it.

I had every intention of going riding this morning. Even made my bottles up and pumped up my tires. But instead I took half a bar of Xanax about 8pm and went to bed 45 minutes later. Didn’t wake up until 9 this morning. How awesome is that! 12 full hours of glorious, wonderful, uninterrupted, enjoyable sleep. I’m debating heading back to bed for a nap right now. And I’ve only been up for 30 minutes. Awesome!

It’s not like I’ve been completely lazy during this time. Well actually it is. But it’s been enjoyable. My biggest accomplishment was mowing my grass yesterday evening. I had enough grass clippings to feed three different compost piles. Then I had to go put the grass in two of them and stir it in. If you don’t think that is a tough workout, go try it. It’ll humble the fittest, tiny arm triathlete.

Oh damn I just saw someone driving down my street. I guess at least one other person made it through the end of the world. Maybe I should go grocery shopping if I want to eat anything besides cereal today. Grocery shopping or a nap on the hammock? Hello hammock!

The Fat Lady Hums

Posted in Random Stuff, Triathlon with tags , , , , on July 20, 2010 by brianestover

So it’s done. Vineman 70.3 is over. Along with it goes my racing…..for now. If now is a few months or a few years or a few decades it’s all good. While triathlon will be and has been a big part of my life, sometimes the things you know best have to be let go. I can’t complain, it’s been a good second run. Starting back in 2001 or 2002 with duathlon then progressing back into triathlon in 2005 after eight years of not doing a tri.

I was fortunate enough to be able to meet lots of people through this latest run and even make some very good friends. From Olympic medalists, to neo pros, to IM winners, to your typical Ager. I’ve met people from around the world, have gotten home stays with complete strangers and put complete strangers, some more strange then others, up for the night or three.

I’m sure not going to miss feeling like this after the end of a race. I’m not sure what I’m going to miss about ending my racing career for now. I am looking forward to not having to go work out or worry about if I stay up late how will this impact the next day. It’s also nice knowing that should I want to race again, even with the reduced workout schedule I’ve been on, I’ve still got some horsepower to fall back on.

Racing has always been something I just did. Show up race morning, flip the switch on then do the race. Finish the race and flip it off. I can’t really say it’s been about beating others or winning the race, but more about racing smart and doing the best I could that day. You make your own luck for the most part and I’ve been pretty lucky when it comes to racing. Control what you can control and worry not about the rest.

So that’s it for now for racing. Maybe I’ll toe the line again someday and maybe not.

Unbelievable

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , on July 16, 2010 by brianestover

Try to use my miles to fly to Sydney Australia in December to hang out with my sister who lives dwon under. Not one seat seat available on US Airways between Phoenix and Sydney. In all of December in any class. WTF? In January the same thing. Unf*cking believable. What good are all my miles if I can’t f*cking use them? What a crock of shit.

Whoops!

Posted in Random Stuff with tags , , , on July 15, 2010 by brianestover

I’m chatting with my Mom. Typically when she calls I always think my Granddad died unless it’s on the weekend. Morbid but true. While I’m chatting with Mom I grab the 3 wood out of the golf bag. Finding myself in the yard I start chipping a tennis ball against the back wall of the yard. Kind of a one quarter to half swing while holding the phone to my ear with my shoulder thing. My grass is sort of high so it acts as a nice tee. I finally hang up with Mom, drop the phone, tee up a tennis ball up somewhat high, and take a full swing. I think it might have been ok….if I hadn’t added a bit of an upward arc heading toward the ball.

I don’t know what the hell I was thinking when I did this. The f*cking tennis rockets off the club face, easily clears my five and a half foot tall wall, cleanly clears the neighbor’s 50+ foot tall tree in the yard behind me and disappears from sight still climbing. My first thought is oh shit. Second thought is WOW! did you see that ball take off and clear the tree! My third thought is whoops, that wasn’t supposed to happen. My next thought is I’ve just broke someone’s window, dented their car, or killed the old lady out walking. It’s rather obvious my best bet is to put the 3 wood back into the bag, grab my phone and mosey into the house before anyone figures I launched the tennis ball that just killed their dog. Poor fido.

A Bit of a Shift

Posted in Stuff with tags , , , , on July 14, 2010 by brianestover

I worked with my boss today. It’s great to get a gut check on how I’m doing, where I can improve, how I stack up against everyone else in the country etc. Not to toot my own horn but I stack up well except in one department. For the last six quarters, I’ve worked in the most competitive region in the country and the highest growth district in the country. I even helped fuel lot of that growth, a higher then fair share at times. For the past 6 months the district has ranked #1 nationally. Now though I’m near the bottom of the highest totem pole in the country. Not a bad place to be mind you but it sucks being ranked near the bottom out of 10. Granted, I’m ranked in the top 20% regionally and even higher nationally but man, I feel like an anchor on a high riding, fast boat. Last year I rarely ever dropped out of the top three in the district. This year I’m not even in the top 5. Being somewhat competitive it’s pretty tough professionally. If I was anywhere else in the country I’d be a rock star. Here I’m nothing but a top tiered anchor. If I was anywhere else in the country I’d be THE rock star.

What makes it worse is my boss did a little experiment. I run an $800k+ sales territory, but I do it all in my head. Everything. Ask me anything, anytime about my territory and I can tell you. This has been a little bit of an issue between us. He seems worried that “if you die, I’ve got nothing to give to whomever I would have to hire to replace you” Yes, he actually told me that, almost brought a tear to my eye. I thought I was saving the environment by not using paper unnecessarily. Instead I’m causing him heartburn and should I die, whoever steps into my territory would be looking at nothing to help get them oriented. I have to give my boss credit though, because he gets me fired up. I like working with him, which seems unusual in my industry. When I ask him where I suck and what I can do to be better and more effective he gives it to me. Straight and hardly any sugar coating.

The experiment was based upon actually writing goals down, breaking them down to the little steps and then executing them. I’m more of a look at the historic data, think about the current climate and this is what I promise you and it’s above the goals the company wants me to hit. No worries, I’ve got everything in my head. Funny thing is I don’t coach like that, I plan everything out. Go figure. I’m more of a concept guy then details anyway so it seemed to work. But now, faced with evidence that writing down goals and all the steps and everything you need to do works (duh), I’m being challenged (how dare he) to kick it up a notch. To regain my spot at the top. Probably a good thing because we got spiffy new computers that kick ass and don’t crash when you run two or more spreadsheets.

So here it goes bossman. I will deliver you 110% to goal for my first line and 113.75% for my second line for Q3. And yes I did figure all that out in my head, but for you, I’ll send you a spreadsheet so you can see I’m almost as smart as I sound. I also promise to commit to writing things down both big and little, sending you a business plan for this year (finally) and putting things in order in case I get killed while riding my bike. I also promise to mail in my expense reports at least 1x per month starting in August…probably.

Indifference

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , on July 13, 2010 by brianestover

It’s the week of Vineman 70.3. Sarah asked me the other day if I was excited about racing. The answer is no. I’m neither excited nor am I dreading it. I do like using neither and nor in sentences though. Indifferent would be the best way to describe it. Could care less how the race goes. Actually I don’t want to bonk. That just makes a long morning longer. Lately though I’ve been indifferent to training. In fact, I’m looking at Vineman as the end of my racing, at least for a bit. At least through the rest of July and August. Maybe the rest of this year, maybe for a few years. There are other things in life that I’ve been engaging in lately that I enjoy that aren’t related to endurance sports. The will to train 2-3 times a day for 14+ hours per week just isn’t there right now.

Besides it’s hot. And I’m no fan of the heat. My gym, here in Tucson sucks ass. It smells a little bit and it’s kept at 80F. I used to belong to LTF in Tempe. It was like going from a country club to a slum. I can’t wait for my contract to be up so I can bail.

In the future, should I race anymore, I think I’m going to schedule July and August as my off season. Then I’ll start working on everything in September again. That gives me plenty of time, if I don’t become a couch potato, to get into decent shape for the late September through early November races.

For the rest of this year, I’m pretty comfortable with not racing anymore. If I should choose to race, since I’ll still workout, not train mind you which is a whole different way of approaching fitness, I should have some horsepower left to do sprints and olympic distance tris. But mainly sprints. 1 hour and done.

If it wasn’t for Jeff talking crap about how much he is going to beat me by at Vineman, and the fact I’m splitting hotel and rental car cost with him, I have a airline ticket and I’ve already dropped my bike off at Trisports.com so they can drive it out to the race, I would stay home. Probably. This registering for a July race 8-12 months in advance really sucks. Who the hell knows how I’ll be feeling in July when I had to register in December because the damn race was almost sold out already. I think next year I’m sticking to non-WTC races where I can register 2-3 months in advance.

So this could be it for racing for a short or long bit. It’s been somewhat of a bumpy road getting to this point but here I am.

Albatross Removed….Finally

Posted in Triathlon with tags , , , , , , on July 5, 2010 by brianestover

After 15 or so Tucson Triathlon Series races, after seven or eight 2nd and 3rd place finishes, after leading the entire field off the bike no less then six times, yes at least six times, pathetic but true, after getting run down no less then six times, even more pathetic and more true, finally, after all these years, I finally won a Tucson Tri Series race. First overall. Finally.

I never really counted on winning one of these things. There are just too many guys around my level. It takes a solid race from start to finish to win one of these, well, and someone not going faster. To give you an idea of how competitive this series can be, the first two guys in the series are separated by :04. The top three of us are separated by :42. That’s after 2 races and close to 2 hours of racing. For you power people my numbers from the race: AP 253/NP 258.

It’s a fitting end for the racing flats that have been with me for most of those 2nd and 3rd place finishes. But now it’s time to retire these faithful shoes. After carrying me to the fastest run time of the day, it was pretty evident to me, that their time had come. My shoes were broken. Hard as a rock under my feet with little to no cushioning left in them. Goodbye ghetto lacing system.

Since it was July 4th, it was also time to watch fireworks. Into the Tucson Mountains Sarah and I hiked. We headed up to one of the best spots anywhere in Tucson to watch fireworks. I could tell you where, but then I’d have to kill you. From the edge of a ridge we ate watermelon and watched fireworks from at least five different displays. Not a shabby way to end the day.