September 26, 2003

Lance Armstrong's Book "Every Second Counts" to be Released October 7

Dave Aiello wrote, "This morning, I pre-ordered a copy of Lance Armstrong's new book,
Every Second Counts
, from The book is going to be available on Tuesday, October 7."

"I absolutely loved Lance Armstong's first book,
It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
, and I believe that this book has made a real difference in my life:"

  • It gave me insight into what made Lance Armstrong the most dominant athletic champion of my generation.
  • It inspired me to be aggressive in the face of the uncertainties in my life, which certainly pale in comparison to those that Armstrong has faced.
  • Finally, it has helped me to support my friends and family members who have experienced cancer, and to better understand their struggles.

"I'm strongly recommending Every Second Counts, in spite of the fact that I have only read the first chapter of it. (You can read Chapter 1 yourself on This chapter artfully summarizes most of the key points of It's Not About the Bike for those people who haven't read it, while bringing others up to date, at least to the time period preceding this year's Tour de France. If the first chapter is indicative of the entertainment value of the entire book, we will not be disappointed."

"There are a couple of other reasons why I think Every Second Counts will be a big hit. One of them is Sally Jenkins, Lance Armstrong's co-author on both books. Sally Jenkins is to Lance Armstrong's books what teammates like Roberto Heras, Manuel Beltran, and George Hincapie are to his cycling-- Armstrong would not be the great champion that he is without the contributions of these people. I don't think Sally Jenkins has ever contributed to a book that isn't well written and interesting."

"Another reason this book will be worth reading is that Lance Armstrong has demonstrated that he knows what it takes to repeat great performances. A man with five Tour de France wins has to be able to deconstruct previous performances, figure out what worked and what didn't, listen to his advisors, make a new plan, and execute it."

"In an interview with, Lance Armstong talked about the new book and how the publisher added a new chapter after the book was completed, to address the latest events in his life:"

We got lucky because the book was actually printed and in the warehouse and then the Tour happened. The lead time on books is amazing; they're done printing in July for an October release. So the publisher realized that this year's Tour was so exciting that it's gotta be in the book. So they went back and looked at how many new pages they could cram in there before the binding bends. It turned out to be 15 more pages and they could re-bind it. I mean, the book was done! But now we have a final chapter and the afterward, and we have another ending, which is a whole new chapter that includes the Tour and all the great stories about Luz Ardiden and the reaction from the team after that... it's good.

"It's hard to believe that the additional 15 pages will not also touch on Lance's pending divorce from his wife, Kristin Armstrong. I'm hoping that if he does discuss the divorce, he deals with it in the same forthright manner that he has used with other difficulties in his life."

"These are a few of the reasons why I'll be reading Every Second Counts as soon as I can get my hands on it. I'm very confident that I'll enjoy it, and if I don't, I'll be back to say why."

April 16, 2003

Lance and Kristin Armstrong Working at Marriage Reconcilliation

Good news for Lance Armstrong fans: The Associated Press reports that Lance and Kristin Armstrong are working at reconciling their differences and the family expects to be present during Lance Armstrong's defense of the Tour de France championship. This is wonderful news. In a quote attributed to a forthcoming article in Outside Magazine, Kristin said:

We've had six homes, three languages, two countries, one cancer comeback, three children, four Tour de France wins and one rise to celebrity. You're not supposed to cram such a huge amount of events into such a small period of time.

Anyone who's read Lance's book
It's Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
knows exactly what Kristin is talking about. They also know how much Lance's wife and family mean to him.

At CTDATA, we don't think about Lance Armstrong as a Tour de France champion, or as a marketable commodity. He is an inspiration for anyone who has to overcome large odds to achieve goals and be the person that they want to be. As such, we hope that he and Kristin work out the issues between them. That would revalidate them as the role models that we think they are.

March 7, 2003

OLN Proposes Tour de France Prologue in NYC

Yesterday, The Associated Press reported that New York City has been proposed as the site of the Prologue of The Tour de France. The proposal was made by Outdoor Life Network, the television network with U.S. broadcast rights for the Tour. According to the article:

Under the plan, the cycling race would start in New York and continue to Philadelphia and Washington, D.C., before going to France. Englehart said Tour officials have expressed interest in the idea.

An OLN executive was also quoted as saying that the proposal cannot be implemented before 2008 because the organizers are already committed to prologue starts and basic routing through 2007.

March 3, 2003

Johan Bruyneel Says Separation Won't Affect Lance Armstrong's Training

On Thursday, Reuters reported that Johan Buyneel said that Lance Armstrong's training will not be effected by trial separation from his wife, Kristin. Bruyneel is the director sportif of the U.S. Postal Service Cycling Team.

One of the questions that this article provokes is, how would Bruyneel's comments have been different if the Armstrong's separation wasn't public? Bruyneel said that Lance Armstrong "is training harder than ever and is extremely motivated. This winter he has trained like never before because he knows that every year he is starting from scratch again." This is the approach Armstrong took last year, isn't it?

Undoubtedly, cycling fans who do not like Armstrong are already bored by the predictability of his training and his team's comments. But, no one will really know what Armstrong's mental state is until they see him on the road in a serious race.

Update: In April, Lance and Kristin Armstrong announced that they were working at reconciliation.

February 24, 2003

Lance Armstrong and Wife Announce Their Separation

Julie Aiello pointed out that Lance and Kristen Armstrong announced their separation in a major article in the Austin American-Statesman on Saturday. According to the article:

The two separated in late January and have been living apart since. Lance Armstrong has been staying at another house, a family retreat, that he owns southwest of Austin.... Last weekend, {The Lance Armstrong Foundation} raised about $500,000 at its Live to Ride Gala in Austin. But Kristin Armstrong was out of town and did not attend, the first public clue of their separation.

For six years, the sporting world has watched Lance Armstrong's recovery and rise to the top of cycling, accompanied by his rise to the top of sports marketing. His autobiography was a best seller, and he was last year's Sportsman of the Year, as chosen by Sports Illustrated. His relationship with Kristin and their growing family has been a key part of the story.

The American-Statesman article also includes a carefully worded statement from the couple. points to this story, although the other major cycling sites are remarkably quiet about it.

Update: In April, Lance and Kristin Armstrong announced that they were working at reconciliation.

February 19, 2003

Orioles Pitcher's Death Tentatively Linked to Use of Ephedra

The Baltimore Sun reports that Broward County medical examiner Dr. Joshua Perper has tentatively linked the death of Orioles pitcher Steve Bechler to use of an over-the-counter weight loss product containing ephedra. Ephedra contains the stimulant ephedrine, a substance banned by the International Olympic Committee, the National Football League, and other sports organizing bodies. The article says:

Major League Baseball did attempt to include ephedra and ephedrine on a list of banned substances during the labor negotiations that led to the sport's new steroid-testing policy, but met with resistance from the Major League Baseball Players Association.

The last time baseball's drug policy came under public scrutiny was when Mark McGuire broke Roger Maris' single season home run record. At that point, the issue was McGuire's use of androstenedione, a performance-enhancing drug that he has subsequently denounced. "Andro" is a product that can lower the level of HDL in the blood and increase the risk of heart attack, if taken in large amounts.

Of course, the controversy over McGuire's use of andro was muted by the fact that he was chasing a record, and also that the risks of using it were not understood by the public. Now that an American professional athlete has died in a manner that indicates that a stimulant may have contributed significantly, sports drug policies will come under increased scruitiny. It's about time.

November 14, 2002

Cycling Season Ending on Two Sad Notes

Dave Aiello wrote, "When I got back from my vacation yesterday, I read two stories about road cycling that made me upset and put some of the problems I have been worrying about in perspective."

"Last Sunday, Javier Otxoa rode in his last professional cycling race. He is retiring from the sport as a result of injuries he sustained in a cycling accident nearly two years ago. That accident left him in a coma for two months, and killed his brother Ricardo who was riding with him."

"Javier Otxoa has made a spectaular recovery to get back to this level of fitness, and all cycling fans should give thanks for that. But, it's hard not to compare his improbable recovery to that of Lance Armstrong. Seeing Otxoa lose his battle for full recovery is upsetting, and leaves me wondering what might have been."

"And in even sadder news, cycling physiology pioneer Dr. Ed Burke was laid to rest this week in Colorado Springs after sustaining a massive heart attack while on a group ride with friends. Burke was a prolific author on the subject of training for cycling and other aerobic sports, and will be remembered with Chris Carmichael for their revolutionary improvements in training techniques."

"When highly trained athletes like these leave the stage as a result of such terrible accidents, it scares me more than I can describe. How can 'weekend warriors' like me ever feel that they are doing enough to mitigate the risk of a sudden death or permanent injury?"

September 27, 2002

Google News Sports Coverage Seems Skewed Toward Sports Popular in USA

Dave Aiello wrote, "I've been looking at Google News rather closely since the announcement of its production release earlier this week. One thing I've noticed is that Google News' Sports section is not as internationally diverse as its regular news coverage."

"Right now, professional road cycling is focused on the Vuelta a Espana (Tour of Spain), that is ending in Madrid this weekend. The stage race has been on for three weeks, it's very close at the moment, and there is a large niche audience for this event. Yet, coverage of it can't be found on Google News Sports."

"The omission could be due to the fact that their software isn't looking at sites like CyclingNews and VeloNews. I also wonder if they're looking at mainstream European sports news sites like Eurosport."

August 27, 2002

NY Times Columnist Criticizes President Bush for Exercising

New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd wrote a column today criticizing President Bush for devoting some of his time to fitness. Her view is that The President should spend more time trying to track down Osama bin Laden and less on maintaining his health:

I don't know enough about what the president is up to on Iraq. But I know too much about what the president is up to on a run.... So the bad news is: we haven't caught Osama. The good news is: W.'s times have improved.

Dowd is the kind of ultra-partisan who probably mentioned President Clinton's fondness for jogging favorably in one of her columns early in his presidency. But, Bush's greater devotion to the same sport is an opportunity to take cheap rhetorical shots at him.

The only non-critical reason to mention this column is that it points out that President Bush has given an exclusive interview to RunnersWorld Magazine, and that issue will be on the newsstands on September 9.

August 26, 2002

Cameron Barrett Finds Reason for His Weightloss Problems

Dave Aiello wrote, "I don't think I mentioned this on earlier in August, but I have been following comments that Cameron Barrett has made on about his effort to lose weight by increasing his level of exercise and modify his diet. He asked for and received a lot of feedback, including a suggestion from me that he consider getting a heart rate monitor."

"Now, Cam reports that a doctor has determined that he has hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid. This has the effect of slowing one's metabolism down and counteracting the impact that exercise ought to have on one's weight. It's been interesting to follow this discovery process, if only because it indicates that sometimes exercise and diet isn't enough, and there are legitimate reasons to see a doctor if you are working hard and not seeing the fitness results that you can reasonably expect."

August 14, 2002

Boston Marathon Runner's Death Linked to Sodium Imbalance

Julie Aiello pointed out a front page article from yesterday's Boston Globe that says the Massachusetts state medical examiner ruled that a runner in the Boston Marathon died as a result of hyponatremic encephalopathy, a condition where the brain swells due to a cellualr sodium imbalance. The runner, Cynthia Lucero, is only the second participant to die in the 106-year history of the Boston Marathon. According to the article:

Although people seldom die from hyponatremic encephalopathy, health-threatening sodium deficiencies are more common among athletes than doctors once believed. {A researcher in the field} cites one study, for example, that tracked 18,000 marathoners and found that among those seeking medical care after the race, 9 percent suffered from the condition. Deaths are sufficiently rare that specialists can recount them individually.

This is an amazing article, particularly for people who like to participate in difficult sports activities such as long distance running, triathlons, and long distance cycling. Most people who do this are worried about bonking, becoming dehydrated, or developing an electrolyte imbalance. According to this article, athletes should also be worried about taking on too much liquid volume, and possibly the wrong kinds of fluid replacement drinks as well.

What is the Sports and Exercise Section of

CTDATA believes that regular exercise is vital to the well being of everyone. We also feel that the average knowledge worker sits at his or her desk too much, thereby increasing the risk of the diseases of sedentary life.

The Sports and Exercise section of is the place where we plan to discuss the sporting events and physical training. Based on the interests of our current employees, articles will be focused on sports like:

  • Running
  • Cycling and mountain biking
  • Biathlon and triathlon
  • Ice hockey

August 12, 2002

Scott, George, and Dave Complete "Bridgeton Zoo Ride"

Dave Aiello wrote, "On Saturday, Scott Kuykendall, George Kuykendall, and I participated in the Bridgeton Zoo Ride, a 50 mile tour of parts of Salem County, NJ. The ride was organized by The South Jersey Wheelmen, a cycling club. For George and me, this is the first time that we have completed an organized ride of 50 miles."

"I want to give you the impression that we do this sort of thing all the time, and 3 or 4 hours in the saddle is no big deal. But, the fact is that we don't often have time to ride 50 miles or more unless we plan it way in advance. We are not professional cyclists, we aren't about to ride in next year's Tour de France, so this is a milestone for us."