Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Running with the night, playing in the shadows.

Does anyone know how to get a coffee stain out of superfine merino wool? I did a dumb-ass maneuver with two cups of coffee and a screen door while we were in MT and managed to scald my bosom and possibly ruin a $55 t-shirt (I only paid $30). At least it was good coffee. While I'm on the subject, let me advocate wool t-shirts for a minute. It seems counter-intuitive, but the stuff is so fine and soft you would never know what the fiber was, and it wicks and dries and keeps you warm or cool depending on your needs. Miraculous.

I don't know how things are going where you are, but here the evenings are noticeably cooler and the days are noticeably shorter. These are the kind of details that cause you to feel desperate and fatalistic about the summer, and to start plotting about things like how exactly you are going to get exercise when the snow flies. Realistically, I know I have 2-3 months of biking left before I have to pack it in or buy a whole bunch of cold weather gear, but still: these are the feelings I have this time of year.

Wendell recently did a sprint triathlon and has reawakened my desire to do one, so it's going to be on my list for next year, which list is incidentally going to be called Things to Do in My 35th Year. I'm not sure what else is going to be on the list yet, but my birthday is only a few weeks away, so I'll have to figure it out soon. With a triathlon is on my list, there will be some corollary list items such as obtain a road bike, brush the hell up on my swimming, run longer distances, and maybe get a more cheerleaderish attitude when I'm working by myself. A funny thing about me is that I can get very WE CAN DO IT YES WE CAN when I'm doing physically challenging stuff with people, but in practice I mostly fly solo. Hm. Maybe I should work with other people more, and put that on my list too.

For today, however, I have a short and boring list that I should start attacking. Seeya.


  1. You might be interested to know that there are a few indoor triathlons in the cities. I do one sponsored by the U of MN in Feb that is not a distance goal triathlon. You just do 30 minutes of each activity AND you have 10 minutes between each event to change shoes/clothes/etc. It's a nice way to gauge where you're at triathlon-wise. Plus, you're training during the holidays which is nice and you can set your own distance goals. Just a thought!

  2. About coffee stains: You'll need to test it on an interior seam where it won't show first, but I've had really good luck with the following concoction: mix hydrogen peroxide and liquid dish soap in approximately a 2:1 mixture. Immediately apply to the stain and allow to soak in and dry (I use a squirt bottle to apply and scrub it gently with a toothbrush if it needs a little help). Rinse off and check stain. If it's not gone, try a second application. This works for me on many stains that are not removed by normal methods, even after they've been there for a while or baked in by the heat of the dryer. I use it on my wool carpets with great success. I've never had a problem with color removal, but I would imagine that the peroxide could leach color on the wrong fabrics, so I'd definitely test it first. The mixture needs to be fresh to work -- you need those peroxide bubbles -- so throw out what you don't use.

  3. (Yelling) Oxy-Clean is great on stains. Speaking of which, the chubby, hairy main I just referenced is getting his own reality show about being an infomercial personality.

  4. I just want to add my props to the fine thing that is merino thermal wear. That stuff is incredible (and amazingly stink-free, too!).

    So glad I wandered over here this morning. I love your idea of things to do in your 35th year. I'm thinking about what I want my athletic goals to be once I am back in Vancouver so now I have a place to come and be inspired. Too bad we don't live a little closer or we could become running partners.