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Holiday Gift Guide

Posted Dec 07 2009 12:00am
You know there's still time to send me presents. There's always time to send me presents. That's why I thought I would put the wish list out there with plenty of shipping time before Christmas. Either Raleigh or Greenville address will be fine.

What makes a Training Smoker happy this holiday season? not much really. Actually, I have a lot to be thankful for. My fantastic new job, a great family, plenty of people who love and support me and all my crazy racing ambitions. But we're talking about material desires here people!

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 Compact

Image stolen from the site that the bike name links to
Oh yea baby. This is the new pimped out ride. It's not quite mine yet. But my local bike shop in Greenville (Gusto Cycles) has a 2009 model with Shimano Ultegra components currently on sale for almost a grand off of regular price. If I didn't have to buy a car first it would be mine now. I already told the guys in the bike shop I would buy it before the end of the year if they still had it. Full carbon frame and fork, a high performance wheelset, and 3 more gears in the cassette than Jenny has. I picked it up in the store with only 1 finger. This is light and fast. I have dreams about riding it. Sometimes I have dreams about it riding me. wait, that might be too much information.

I'll need to put some new pedals on her, and come up with a new name. These pedals would be nice. Jenny's pedals only allow me to clip in from one side, and I've learned my lesson. Get pedals that allow you to clip in from either side, it has to be much easier.

I've already picked up some new Giordana road bike shoes. It's going to be so nice to have shoes that actually fit. The Pearl Izumi shoes I've got now are too wide at the heel. They fit, but the outside of my foot starts hurting after a few minutes. The Giordana's are nice. can't find a pic online though.

There's tons and tons of other bike stuff. Cool jersey's, nice shorts, the list could get very long. There's really no end to the list of bike stuff. Swimming is next.

XTerra Vortex 3 sleeveless wetsuit

Again, pic taken from
This one is already on the way thanks to Coach Katie. Got the shipping notification, but it's still in transit. I'm very excited. After starting to lay out the 2010 tri season I might end up doing a bunch of open water swims. So this is going to come in very handy. Now if only I was a better swimmer....

Sometimes in my race reports, you might notice that I kind of kick ass in the swim. Meaning it's the only event in triathlon that I don't normally finish in last place at, or at least place higher in the age group in the swim than in cycling or running. Still, I would love some help and would like to know your favorite swim book or dvd or training helper/plan.

Image from, follow the link
I think I want to try the Total Immersion plan. It looks really strong, focuses on core strength (which you know I love). And there's also a DVD called Freestyle Made Easy about the TI process. I like the idea of having a video to go with it; form is so important in swimming. I know effective swimming is not about how strong you are, it's about how efficient you are in the water. I think the book & dvd will really help me. And now that I get to swim 3x a week I can actually put the technique into practice.

Other swim stuff would have to include swim suits and goggles, and I've already got a few of those. But really, can you have too many? I have recently found on facebook and fallen in love. However, you should be warned. The side effects of regular swimming include lower bodyfat %, 6 pack abs, increased cardio capacity, and strong shoulders and tricepts. I am willing to accept these risks if you are willing to find me something from SwimOutlet.

For running, I'm going to turn to a list from a web site with Gift Ideas for Runners. Google gift ideas for runners and you will find tons of these. Reflective shirts/jackets, heart rate monitors, running tights, technical shirts, the list goes on. My Garmin doesn't have a heart rate monitor, so the Forerunner 405 is always on the list. But I love the 205 I run with now. I don't use lightweight running gloves, and I'm wondering if you guys use and like them. I do so much on the treadmill I'm not sure if they are a real necessity or not.

Strength training

You know I'm a nerd. I love books and read all the time. But I only read non-fiction books about whatever I am currently obsessing about. Past obsessions have included financial security, real estate, carpentry, weight loss & nutrition, and personal growth. Now Kelley busts my chops "if you buy one more dang triathlon book...." well yes there are more.

Image from Amazon
It is arguably the most popular triathlon book of all time. Dang it, I want to give it a read. The Triathlete's Training Bible is one of the most well known tri training books out there. And when I click on the link for the TI swimming dvd, it has this book bundled with the TI book and dvd for the "Buy All 3" thing. yes please.

Here's another one:

Image from Amazon

I might just be succombing to the marketing on this one. You know I love my Tri Power workouts. But I've been doing the same format for over a year now. And I've been hearing a ton of marketing about this book and the rest of the Core Performance series. Any of you guys tried it yet? I really want to check it out. The Endurance flavor of Core Performance seems particularly useful. I'm still chasing the elusive goal of 6 pack abs, and it takes a combination of nutrition and core excercise. The closest I have come since college came from the Men's Health Abs Diet book, a 6 week workout and diet plan based on powerfoods. I might be willing to trade that one for this one if somebody wants to swap.


Really? Is there something non-fitness on my wish list this year? Not really. Like I said, obsession.

I need a car. I haven't had a car for almost 2 years. Now that I don't work from home anymore I have to drive to an office every day. Bike commuting isn't possible. I don't like that I have to buy a car, but I just have to dang well get one. I have not ever made a car payment, and I hope I never have to. I have been borrowing cars from relatives while saving, and it's almost time to get one. I just hope the bike I want doesn't sell before I can find a stupid car that I can afford.

A new GPS would be nice too. The old one we have has 4 yr old maps and the battery won't hold much of a charge. It's about useless. I have never lived in Raleigh before and really don't know my way around. And the new GPS's have some cool features. So that would be really handy.

Winning a contest. joyRuN took my ass pic to heart and put me in the contest. I am not currently winning this contest, so you can vote for me on this post about the contest. I love free shit so I would highly encourage you to vote for me. After all, none of the other pics really add up. ok, i have to admit I liked the girl with the abs. But you should vote for me anyway.

By far, the biggest thing on my holiday wish list is my wife and kids. It's tough not coming home to them every day. I am ready for the house in Greenville to sell so we can get a house here and finish moving. It's been 2 months of only seeing them on the weekends and it sucks! I hate driving back to SC every friday, and sucking 4 hours out of every sunday to drive back to raleigh. I hate that the kids will wake up from their naps on sunday afternoon and find me gone. Bigun today figured out how to use Kelley's cell phone and called me just to tell me how much she was missing me today and why wasn't I coming back home after work today? But I don't want to wait until friday to see you daddy. ZOMG, it's breaking my heart. To go from working from home where we all are in the house all day every day for the last 2 years.... to only seeing them for a day and a half every week is hard on me, and on them. The holiday miracle would be for someone to buy that house in December. nobody buys houses in december, it's always a dead month.

So feel free to send me anything on the list. it's all up for grabs. Maybe at least I've given you some ideas for your own gift list or what to buy for your special someone. Remember, Eddie Reece (USA Swim team coach) said "burnout only happens when you quit going faster" and he said "the journey is where the fun is". So I hope you enjoy the holidays and the people you buy gifts for. Now get out there and run!
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