Monday, May 1, 2017

For the Week Ending 4/29

Shoulder update #57

The shoulder is healing nicely.

I think. I'm not sure...

I've never done this before.

This week was a down week in the schedule with the exception of a bike FTP test. This is always a big deal. The FTP test represents your ability to sustain the highest possible power output over 45 to 60 minutes. The test is generally completed on the trainer so the outside variables are controlled. If done correctly, by the end of the 20 minute test, you're legs should be ready to fall off and your stomach should be ready to relieve itself of it's contents.

In order to get through this ordeal I always order up Foo Fighters. For this test I pulled up Live from Hyde Park - 2006. Lots of angst right from the jump. The test is a solitary effort and feels weird to finish...there's no finish line, no audience response. Just Lance looking at me like, "well yeah, that get off the bike and scratch my belly."

As it turns out I gained 10 watts to my FTP.

Is that good? I don't know.

The 'burbs
We're moving. In our non-Ironman - post surgery - just enjoy training, year we decided that we actually do like being stressed (all the stress!) In other news, I'm every day drinking now. Just kidding. Not really. The move is bad for my work commute but it will be great for my get out on my bike commute. We're excited. Lance is getting a fenced yard. Look ma, we're suburbanites!

This Week in Cycling Cinema
Here a run down of the movies that I saved up, rented and watched during my long trainer rides over the winter and early spring.

Ratings out of 4 water bottles.

Jason Bourne - (2.5 water bottles)
Synopsis - It's been 10 years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) walked away from the agency that trained him to become a deadly weapon. Hoping to draw him out of the shadows, CIA director Robert Dewey assigns hacker and counterinsurgency expert Heather Lee to find him. Lee suspects that former operative Nicky Parsons is also looking for him. As she begins tracking the duo, Bourne finds himself back in action battling a sinister network that utilizes terror and technology to maintain unchecked power.

Liked it. Not great but even not great Bourne, is still good Bourne. I wanted a little more of a conclusion but I was fine with where they left it. Overall the pedalability was good - I could track both my planned workout and the story line without any confusion. Which is the hall mark of a cycling cinema movie.

Dr. Strange - (3.5 water bottles)
Synopsis - Dr. Stephen Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) life changes after a car accident robs him of the use of his hands. When traditional medicine fails him, he looks for healing, and hope, in a mysterious enclave. He quickly learns that the enclave is at the front line of a battle against unseen dark forces bent on destroying reality. Before long, Strange is forced to choose between his life of fortune and status or leave it all behind to defend the world as the most powerful sorcerer in existence.

Marvel meets Inception. Interesting choice in the current Marvel Universe (MU) but still solid Marvel. Good story telling. Heavy when needed with just the right amount of levity. Cumberbatch plays Strange very well...the whole way through his evolution. And I have to say that Dr. Strange sure is able to get to the front of the ER line with relative ease with no paper work or insurance required.

The Accountant - (half bottle)
Synopsis - Christian Wolff (Ben Affleck) is a mathematics savant...

I'll stop right there. I really wanted to like this movie. It's too easy and in vogue to crush the lesser Matt Damon (see?) but I still kinda like BA in certain roles. But this is not one of those roles. Bigger issue for Cycling Cinema...I really knew I was on my bike the whole time. There is this scene at the end where JK Simmons describes a movies worth of backstory. It stopped the movie (and my ride) cold. So much so that I didn't go back to finish my iTunes rental. For me, the ending and how the movie even got made, will remain a mystery.

Arrival - (2.5 water bottles)
Synopsis - Linguistics professor Louise Banks (Amy Adams) leads an elite team of investigators when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors. Hoping to unravel the mystery, she takes a chance that could threaten her life and quite possibly all of mankind.

I really want to give this 3 water bottles but I just have too many questions. And the movie is one big Shyamalan (spoiler alert!) - What?! Those weren't memories?! It kept my attention but was full of all the usual tropes.

Captain America - Civil War (4 water bottles)
Synopsis -  Political pressure mounts to install a system of accountability when the actions of the Avengers lead to collateral damage. The new status quo deeply divides members of the team. Captain America (Chris Evans) believes superheroes should remain free to defend humanity without government interference. Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) sharply disagrees and supports oversight. As the debate escalates into an all-out feud, Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Hawkeye (Jeremy Renner) must pick a side.

Movie sequels are notorious for getting progressively worse with each release. This Captain America trilogy is an extraordinary exception. Saw this in the theater last year and I think my second viewing was even better.

And finally the Triathlife would like to salute those that brought me into this world. Went back to Michigan to "surprise" the 'rents. They are too smart not to know something was a foot. Still a good time was had by all with visitors near and far. Love ya lots!

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