Wed, 30 Jun 2004

Pont de Suert

On Friday, 5 members of our team are going to el Pont de Suert (Lleida), for our first Olympic triathlon this season. We're all looking forward to this, as normally the competitions that involve travelling and going out of our usual Valencian triathlon circuit are the most exciting and the ones that are best remembered months later.

We'll leave as soon as we all leave our work places, travel for about 6h in a caravan packed with bikes and go straight to the camping nearest to the lake where we'll have to swim. We'll spend Saturday visiting the zone, which has a few Romanic churches and monuments. Being in the Pyrenees, I expect the area to be quite beautiful too.

On Sunday, at 9:30AM, we'll start the triathlon. I feel a bit uneasy about it because my training in the last weeks hasn't been as good as it could have been with the periostitis injury in my right leg and a general lack of motivation. I hope I'll do more or less ok in the swimming -wetsuits will be permitted, as the water will be quite cold- but cycling will probably be quite hellish, as it's in the middle of the mountains. What I fear most is the 10km run, after the hard bicycle. Until now, I had run acceptably well in the sprint distances, but now the conditions change: besides being double distance, we'll be running at about 11:30, with the Sun hitting us hard. I already have my arms burnt of our last byclicle training last Sunday, and I fear that I might get even worse burns this time, as we won't be able to use any Sun protection (well, we can try, but it'll be useless if we put on a wetsuit). We'll see how it goes...

Lovely heatwaves

It's not even July and TV news programs are only talking about the high temperatures in Spain. Some southern cities have already hit 50ºC, and I melt just thinking about it. Even worse, it seems Seville had massive blackouts which lasted all day, due to a very high demand caused by air conditioning. I definitely don't want to be in Seville in such situation.

I generally don't mind high temperatures. I will start ranting about the cold weather when Valencia is at 10 or 12ºC in winter, but heat I can handle pretty well. My Athlon, on the other hand, doesn't like heat at all, and just a few months after buying this box, I suffered a few sudden reboots. After removing the metal case, it got a lot better, but when summer comes it's not rare to experience a few reboots...

The other day, Barrapunto had a story about cooling your Athlon, with links to the Athlon Powersaving HOWTO and the athcool utility. I had no idea these things existed. As one may expect, athcool is packaged in Debian, so it was quite trivial to try it out. I'm still quite impressed by the result. With the powersaving mode on, the system temperature got reduced by 12 degrees or so, and now it's quite far from the dangerous "reboot" limit. I'm not experiencing any of the problems the docs talk about (distorted sound, lockups or performance hits). If you've got an Athlon box, I suggest you try this stuff, even if it's just to help your power bill next month.

Bedtime, at 27ºC :)