Friday, December 19, 2008

My Little boy


My son just turned 13 a few days ago and that sucks. He is at an age when he wants to be with his friends more and me less. I know I sound like a girl (mom) but it sucks that my boy is getting old.

For years Christmas was boring until we had Sammy and I got to live the excitement of Christmas through his eyes. I was a kid again, playing with cars, games and toys. It was fun again to talk about Santa and see his eyes light up on Christmas morning. Now that he is older it is turning boring again. I think it becomes boring when kids get to the age when they ask for video games and electronic stuff. Opening a video game is not like opening a bike or a big wheel. I do have a good surprise for him this year so I'm looking forward to making him (me) happy.

If you have small kids enjoy it now!


The picture is of my wife at the small town parade up the street.



Exercise/training update - NOTHING!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

What's Next?

I need to find a new job next. I think this one is coming to an end.

I walked down to the expo for the Atlanta Marathon yesterday. I had thought about running the 1/2 but I didn't want to fork out the money. I think I'm done for the year. I'm trying to get a feel for what I would like to do next year. I know I would like to do Ironman 70.3 Augusta , at least 1 marathon, and some sprints. I would really like to do a big open water swim if possible. I have it on my list to one day do the one in San Franciso that goes from Alcatraz Island. How cool!
I want to go bigger but I don't have the time or the money. If I win the lottery I'll be doing Ironman Cozumel.

I just watched this video on another blog http://imnotfittorun.blogspot.com/ and had to share it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thanksgiving


The best of all the holidays. My first meal will be tomorrow!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

What moves me?


Lately I have been just sitting back and doing nothing that you could call exercise. I have been doing some thinking as to what I like in sports. I have determined that I like watching the people who are mentally strong.

Sports like marathons, triathlons, distance swimming, ultra –anything is what is now catching my attention. When I read about people doing an Ironman race it’s always the people that struggle and overcome that make me want to sign up. I love to see people want to stop but keep going. They overcome and do more then most.

Overcome! A few weeks back I was flipping through the channels when I saw what I thought was the Olympic opening ceremonies. I flipped back just in time to see a man in a wheelchair hoisting himself and his chair up to light the Paralympic flame. I jumped up and ran to the other room so that I could record it. I watched as much I could until I had to leave. WOW!

That night my wife and I watched these folks swim, run, wheel, and just plain compete. They did a bunch of athlete profiles that my wife said depressed her. A co-worker said the same thing as I spoke to him the next day about the games. I think the opposite. I see mental strength beyond what most could imagine. I watched a person who can barley walk to the pool get in and swim like a fish. I watched a man frozen with ALS move gracefully in his boat on the water. You can almost see all they have overcome in life just to compete. I see the fire in their eyes and it makes me want to be better. Now I just need to get up and get going.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon

I finished the race in just under 4:50. Not what I was hoping for but at least I crossed the line. I ran the first half of the race in 2 hours so that should tell you how much I struggled on the 2nd half.

The ride up Friday night was just what you would expect. We left the house at about 4:30 on a rainy Friday in Atlanta. My butt was numb by the time we got to the hotel. I quickly checked in and headed to packet pickup. I was happy to get a shirt and hat in my packet and I seriously thought that I could just go home and people would never be the wiser.

Race morning was cold. I bundled up and headed out. By start time it was a little warmer but I was glad to have my mittens. As I waited for the start I put on my music and had to laugh when Vanilla Ice came on because all I could think of was a dancing gorilla. In a blog this past week someone danced to this dressed in a gorilla suit . It put my in a good frame of mind to start. I thank you.

The gun went off and I was off. It was a little crowded for the first mile or two and then I settled in to a comfortable pace. Things were going good. I planned on drinking water at ever station (about 2 miles) and eating a gu about every 45 minutes. I stopped to duck behind a tree at about mile 5 and lost a mitten. Darn! I tossed the other one in a pile of clothes others had discarded. If you ever want running gear just clean up after a marathon because people were getting rid of all kinds of shirts and such.

After another woods pit stop, I hit the halfway mark at about 2 hours and change. Between the walk at the start and my pit stops in the woods I figured I was right on pace. I was picking up time on ever mile and feeling good. My back was fine, my legs were good and the music that I picked out was perfect. The course was super also. In the early morning you could almost imagine the battle with the cannons and the fog rising off the fields. The hills were small and most of the run felt like you were running through the woods. Just NICE!

I crossed over mile 14 or 15 and my legs started cramping. I tried to keep running and I almost feel over because the cramp in my calf made me toes point down. I tried to stretch and started running again. I made it about another 100 yards and again almost feel over. I ran as far as I could and would then have to walk. I noticed something when I walked, I walk very slow. I could see others walking and they would pull away quickly. The mile marker signs seemed to be getting further and further apart. I ran as much as I could and finally got passed by a lady that had to be 80. That sucked so I tried to run more. I then got passed by the 4:30 pace runner and I ran with him for about a mile until my leg locked up. It sucked because my mind was still in this thing and I was not feeling real bad except the cramp. I started taking in Gatorade hoping it would help. Nope. I ran as much as possible until I got to 25 miles. At this point the some lady that was power walking passed me. I just could not let that happen I was determined to beat her and finish under 5 hours. I ran and walked and just stayed in front of this lady. It was like one of those Friday the 13th movies where the murder always keeps up. I hit the 26 mile marker and asked God to let me finish running. It was all downhill and I ran up to about 10 yard from the finish and I locked up. Some guy told me to suck it up so I did and hobbled to the end. I’m sure my picture will show the pain.

After the race they gave me my framed race number and took my picture. I thought that this would be a good one until I later realized ho much salt was one my face. It was caked on bad.

I have been sitting and eating ever sine the race ended and feel like I may be walking normal in a few more days. I’m proud that I finished but I could have done so much better. Maybe next year, maybe not!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Baby I was born to run!

I’ll be hitting the road with the family tomorrow as soon as the boy gets home from school. I’m having a hard time clearing my mind of all the negatives. I don’t remember ever thinking that I may not finish until this week. I always just thought that if things go bad I’ll just walk some. I’m not worried about the foot pain but my back is a game stopper. I hate to fail at anything and I know I’ll push it to the brink. I sure don’t want to look like a failure to my son.

I have completely changed the songs on the mp3 player for the race. I have everything from AC/DC to the Beach Boys. I pulled new and old songs, anything that mad me smile made the list.

I’ve been thing about what to do exercise wise come Monday. I want to keep up some kind of running and may go back to the Power 90X. I never gave it a fair shot because I was training for St. Anthony’s at the time. I’m also going to make a real attempt to lose some more weight.

Monday, November 3, 2008

I Feel Pretty!

I feel like a girl because I went out the weekend and got me a new running outfit for the big day. Nothing special but it’s at least running cloths. The shorts that I usually run in are heavy and just get heavier as the run gets further.

My running has been non-existent for the past 2 weeks because I'm just plain done, I'm burnt out. My mind and body just want to stop and take a break. It’s mostly my mind. I need something new and fresh to get me excited again. I peaked a few weeks ago with the running and I never recovered. When this is over I’ll take a week or so off and then start running without thinking about the time or distance again.

I don’t know what to expect for this weekend. I have been tossing around goals in my head and that has just made me miserable. So, I now have just 2 goals: finish and be able to go to work on Monday.

I still have not nailed down nutrition. The good news is that I can eat just about anything and I don’t feel sick. The bad news is that nothing seems to give me any kind of lift; I may just need to eat sooner and more often. That is what I’m planning for Saturday.

As I write this the nervousness that I have been feeling are starting to change to excitement. I think it was just me saying that I now have no time goals. I think that I forgot that I’m doing this for fun (and so I can brag to my older brother).


ATLANTA FALCONS FOOTBALL RULES!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

I just don't know

I think I have peaked 2 weeks too soon. Up until 2 weeks ago I was getting better and better every week and running with little pain. Since then I have had foot problems, hurt my back, and missed run after run. This past weekend my body felt good but the mind just didn't let me run the distance I wanted. I set out to run 10 miles and I was walking before I hit 3 miles. I completed a 5 mile run/walk and felt beaten. The good thing was that the body held up, I just could not shut my mind off.

Today was the first chance I had to run since this weekend and I wanted a good run. I didn't need a great run but I had to have a positive. I hit the parking desk because it was flat and gave me a good shot at a good run. I did 4 miles at a good pace and best of all I kept going when I wanted to stop. I'm on the right track to get the mind back before the big day. I think the body will be fine as long as I can stop thinking.

Random thoughts: Spirit of the Marathon was NOT a good movie. I was looking for some motivation and this was not it at all. My wife said I need to watch Run Fat Boy Run.

I got an email from the husband of my niece last week and I almost didn’t even open it because I thought it was junk mail and I never get mail from him. It turns out that he and a few others a walking to raise money for ALS. This is the disease that recently took the life of Kim, my sister in law. I’m sure the reason they choose the cause. I wish I could walk with them but it’s on the same day as the race. It pleases me that they are stepping up and I can’t wait to give. I will surely think of her and my dad on my run.

The email got me to thinking: When I started exercising it was for my health, then it was for a cause (Team in Training) and now it’s just for me. Just for me is not working. I know longer have a reason to run and I think that is what I’m missing. I don’t enjoy it anymore. It feels like a job and that is not right. My wife is going to kill me but I think I need to go back to Team in Training or find other ways to get me excited. I may look in to doing tris for ALS though this guys team:





If you have ever seen someone with ALS then you would know what a true effort he put in to finish.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I can't Wait!

I can't wait until this is over. I haven't enjoyed running for some time now and it's getting harder and harder to train. I just want some time off. I got my wish. This past weekend I was moving a stupid piece of exercise equipment that my wife bought and I hurt my back. I have been walking around like an old man and laying on a heating pad for days. Today is Wednesday and it finally does not hurt, it's just stiff. I'll give it until Saturday to heal. I think the break is good for the mind.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Don't Call it a Comeback!

Last Long run was this weekend. I have not had the best week or 2 running and my mind seemed to be talking me in to walking or even worst, putting off runs. I knew I had a 20 mile run planned on Saturday but I just did not want to run. I managed to drag myself out of bed and eat Saturday morning and then I looked outside. It was cold with drizzly rain and wind. That was all it took for me to give up. I crawled back in bed with my wife. When I woke later I could see that the weather turned pretty nice and I felt like a big loser. I just kept telling myself that my feet hurt and that I didn’t need to do the run.

Sunday morning rolled around and I once again got up and got some food in me. I looked outside to see a crappy day. This time I packed up the car and went to the park. I wanted to get 22 miles in but I had decided that I would take anything at this point. I ran and ran. My foot that has been bothering me for 2 weeks stopped hurting at about 10 miles and still feels good today. I tried to fuel myself but still don’t have it right. I just get slower and slower and if I stop to do anything (eat, drink, go the bathroom) it takes me all I have to get the legs moving again. In the end I went 20 miles. I left the park with mixed feelings, I wanted to go 22 but I did grind out 20. First 4.4 miles were at just under a 9 miute per mile pace and the last 4.4 miles were at a pace just under 11 minutes per mile. I'll take it.

I loved the new music I put on my MP3 player and one song is my new theme song. Here is a little blast from the past that kept me going.



HOW ABOUT THOSE FALCONS?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Good and Bad.

Last week was a bad week. I ran in pain and just hoped it would go away. After running in pain for 3 miles on Saturday I just stopped. I could not run another step. A 3 mile walk home had me thinking the worst. I was so close to my goal and now I can’t even run a step without pain. I just decided to call it a week and hope things would get better.

I was nervous to run yesterday but after a few steps I was smiling again. I felt just the usual soreness in my legs. I only ran for 40 minutes but it felt good. This weekend will be my last long run and I want to get it right. I hope to go over 20 miles. I have been on the lookout for a better place to run and I just can’t find it. My nutrition has also been a joke so I want to get something in place.

This weekend my mom turned 70 years young. At what age do you stop saying years old and start saying years young? As I get older these milestone years don’t seem so old. I guess that means I’m now officially an old timer. I got to see most of my brothers and sisters and that was really cool. I come from a family of 8 kids and 6 of us were at the party. My older brother Andy has started running and is doing well. Better then he knows really. He is past the part where your body yells at you to stop. He’s up to running 3+ miles a day and looking to go further.

My oldest brother has a fake leg that he was charging as he sat and visited. The leg actually had a computer that knows how mush to swing the leg as he walks based on something. What a rewarding job some people have, the person that made this leg changed a life. How cool!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Now I just have to run it!

I finally did it. I registered for my first marathon, The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon on November 8th. I also went out last night and got some new running shoes. My old shoes stink so bad that my son had to move my bag with the shoes to another room so that he could do his homework. I wanted to get the same shoes that I have now but they did not have them so I went to the next model. I hope they work out. I have also decided that my IPod is due for some new songs and I need to get rid of the ones that I just skip past. I went old school and found some LL Cool J, MC Hammer and old Prince. I’m just putting upbeat songs to see if I can pick up the pace a bit.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

20 miles!

It was not all good but not all bad either. 20 miles is further then I ever thought I would run. Now I know I can finish a marathon. I may be crawling but I will finish. I am a little concerned about the time that it took for me to complete the run. It was slow to start with and then got real slow. I don't want to say numbers but the last 5.1 miles was 9 minutes slower then the first. That is a big drop and my legs were getting a little shaky.

Great news: My wife found a job that she seems to like. It’s at a very small AM radio station. She will be doing sales and marketing but they also want her on the air. She is so excited. I can't tell you the pressure that this takes off of my shoulders. Money is tight. Maybe now I can sign up for the event I have been training for so long! I have also worn out my running shoes.

I'm on Jury Duty this week. This has got to be the worst process to pick peers that anyone could come up with. What is wrong with just having random folks as your jury? Why do they need to ask me ANY question other then do you know this man or anything about this case? Lawyers make everything way to complex and I truly feel they are the cause of a lot of what is wrong in the would today. I did get to go home a little early and passed a church that was doing a blood drive. I have not been able to give in a long time and I was so happy to pull in and give. What a great feeling. If you can, go give blood. It helped my father for so long and it saves lives every day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Yada Yada

I’m always looking for new places to run around my house and I think I found a good one. I live close to the Mall of Ga and for some time now I have been eyeing a trail that I can see from the road. This past weekend I decided to stop and take a quick look. It looks to be a good one and I’ll be sure to hit it real soon.

This weekend has me looking at an 18 mile run. If I feel go I’m going to stretch it in to 20. I’m both excited and nerves. I like the idea of running further but I struggled on the 15 mile run a couple of weeks back. I did make some mistakes on that run that I plan to fix. The biggest was not getting enough fuel. I ran out of the house mad at my wife and not thinking. I planed on hiding something to drink at about mile 7 and then stopping at my house at 10 but that did not happen. I have been trying to read more on what to eat and drink on the run and I can say that after many web searches and countless articles and posts I am more confused now then ever. HELP! Any suggestions would help. I don’t feel like I need to eat as much as some people but I do now thin I need something for anything more then 10 miles.

I have also been working on my speed. This past weekend I noticed that I sometimes run to upright. I really made sure that I had a slight lean when I ran this past weekend and the times were better. I was able to hold a 8:45 – 8:55 pace. That is not as fast as a lot of folks but I can live with it. Funny how one little adjustment can bring you back.

I excited for all the people I know doing a ½ Ironman this weekend. I wish it was me. GOOD LUCK to all and remember to have fun. Take pictures and get the race reports up quick.

I think I have used this video before but I like it:

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

15

With every new distance I hit I have always felt like I had something more to give, that I could have kept going. After the run this weekend I feel done. I ran between 15 and 16 miles and I feel discouraged. I had nothing left and my body hurt in new places. I know I didn't get enough to drink because I lost 8 pounds and had to change clothes after 10 miles because they were so heavy with sweat. I'll make sure to get more fluids in me for the next long run. The thing that really bothers me is that it beat me mentally. I kept running but I know question if I can make 26.2 and if I WANT to run again. I'll do like I always and just keep on keeping on until I have a good run and things will be good.

On a VERY positive note I did not have any problems with my nipples this weekend. I used a ton of body glide and that seemed to do the trick. I know this seems like a stupid thing to be worried about but they were killing me after the long runs.

UPDATE: I whine just too damn much. Sorry. I ran on Monday and I'll run again today. I'm going to start pushing the pace a little to see if I can get my speed a little faster. It sucks when you think that if I could just run 1 minute faster per mile I could save almost 1/2 hour in the race. I used to run faster, what happened?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Quick Update

Been sick for a week. Better now but have missed needed runs.

Ran yesterday and today at lunch.

Need a sports bra (or something) – my nipples are killing me!

Have a big run this weekend. It gets hard planning runs over 10 miles from home because I don’t want to do short loops and some roads I’m just not going to run on because of the traffic. I also have to start looking at fuel at this distance.

Turtles are great climbers!

I love videos and had to put this one up.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Still Going!

I'm still alive and moving. I have noticed something lately; as my long runs get further and further, I get slower. I don't mean I start out running one pace and it drops off, I mean I start out running slower. I figure by the time I run a marathon I will be walking the whole thing.

My son has been on a turtle kick now for the past couple of weeks and I have been refusing to get him another pet for me to take care. I guess fate stepped in and I happen to see one crossing the street as I was running this past weekend so we now have a tutle. I did have to run with a turtle in my hand for the last 3 or 4 miles but that is what fathers do, right?

I was reading a blog the other day about motivational videos and I forgot this one: I love AC/DC when I run.



And all of the Lance videos for Nike are great.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Double Digits

The plan has me hitting double digits for the first time this weekend. I know 10 miles is not much for a lot of folks out in the world but it is a big hurdle for me and will be my longest run to date. I do think I ran further at the in-laws house but I can't count that.

The past couple of weeks have been a challenge. My son went back to school and the gym at work is getting remodeled (can't shower) so I have had to run at home. I plan most morning to get up early and run but the Olympics have kept me up late so that never happens. That means I have to run after work and that just sucks. Sammy did ride his bike with me one day this week and that was nice.

Next week things will get back to normal and I can get down to business right before the runs start to get even longer. I never thought that I could run this much but I am and my legs let me know it ever day.

Did anyone watch the long distance swims? Those guys and girls are crazy.


I also turned 39 this past week and with it came the thoughts about age. When I was a kid I thought 40 was old. My dad was surely "older" then me at 39 right? I think I need a BIG race for next year, something to make me feel like a kid again!

Friday, August 15, 2008

I want to marry the Olympics!

That is how I must love the Olympics. Is it just me? Do you feel the emotions that each athlete goes through as they compete? Do you feel the rush of pride when that flag is raised and the anthem plays?

I find myself watching events that I don’t really care about with athletes that I’ve never heard of and I feel a connection. It’s the USA and that’s my team! When the US won the free relay the other night I was out of bed screaming at the TV and fist pumping as if that was my teammate finishing strong. I just love it!

USA

USA

USA

Monday, August 11, 2008

Personal Victory

This weekend had me looking at a 9 mile run on Saturday and a rest day on Sunday. The rest day was going to be no problem but 9 miles is as far as I have ever run in my life. I ran 8 miles last Saturday and had a few things I wanted to change this weekend. Friday afternoon my wife sends me an email asking if I wanted to go visit her parents down at the lake. I said that I did not want to go and we had a lot to do to get ready for Sammy to go back to school. She later called me and informed me that we were going to the lake. I don't know why she even gets input from me sometimes. All I could think about was how this was going to mess up my run. The lake was very hilly and I have failed badly trying to run those streets before.

I got on Mapmyrun.com and started mapping a run. I mapped a run that would take me to the far end of the neighborhhod and back that would be around 9.7 miles. I figured that I could run 9 of it and walk the rest as a cool down. Saturday morning comes and I have a hard time getting up and going. I can’t find any peanut butter for my usual meal and I end up eating a few cookies and drinking half a bottle of PowerAde. I walk out the door and run about a minute up to the first hill and my mind starts telling me to just go home. I stop, turn around and walk about 3 steps and then talk myself back in to running. I’ll just run for a while I say and off I go. Every hill sucked but I just lowered my head and ran. Because I was running out in the country on some small roads I did get some shade but I also “met” a few dogs. One blood hound actually bumped my legs before I even saw him. Most dogs just ran to the road and barked, I said "good boy" and "go home" and I kept on running.

Since I started running again and following this training plan my times have slowly gotten slower and slower. I can run further but slow. With the hills I figured that I would run for about 90 minutes and then I could walk the rest. I hit the halfway point faster then I expected and did not have to walk at all. I was not feeling great but I was not feeling bad. I was just running and that is what I did all the way back home. As I got closer and closer I kept checking my watch because I was way faster then I should be. I got back to the house in under 1:17 (under 8 minute miles). All I could figure was that I must have not been as far as I had thought so I kept on running. I ran loops up and down the street in front of my in-laws house. I figured I would just keep running until I ran for 90 minutes and that is what I did. On about my second loop I could see my son and wife come out of the house, they were coming to look for me. My wife thinks I’m going to drop dead.

I’m at work this morning and mapped the route again, it says 9.7miles! Add the additional 14 minutes and no telling how far I ran. I feel great today not because I ran further then I thought or faster then I expected but because I ran. I wanted to go back to bed but I just put my head down and ran.

How about those USA swimmers last night? I was screaming at the TV. I love the Olympics and get pumped when USA wins.

Friday, August 8, 2008

For your Enjoyment


I had my high school class reunion last weekend and had a blast. We have a Facebook type website set up that people have been posting on for about a month now. In a post about songs I told folks that I just heard Baby got Back (love the song) and got a response saying to look for another version. I finally looked it up today and I almost wet myself. Take a look at the video at : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ltjbnyvq_SI

Monday, August 4, 2008

Glory Days

I got up Saturday morning and went to the park for a run. It was packed by the time I came rolling in at 7:30am. I had an 8 mile run planned and hoped that I could make it that far because my legs were heavy from the runs earlier that week. I have been sticking to the training plan that I got from Wes and my legs are always sore. I made it through the first 4.4 miles without much pain and stopped to get some water and Gu at the car. I wish I would have packed a towel and fresh shirt because I was soaked with sweat. I really didn’t want to have to stop but I also realized that I need to start messing with food/water combos during the run. I thought I may want to get in the car and go home but I stayed on plan and got back to running. I didn’t have to play many mind games to keep me going because I was passing people the whole time and that kept my mind off the run. I hit 8 miles and still felt good, I could have maybe done a few more miles but I had places to be and the plan was for 8.

I stopped on the way home and got some ice and cold beer. I hurried home and packed my bag. The wife and I were heading downtown to go to my 20th high school reunion. We had planned on meeting some folks by the hotel pool and socialize until party time. After a couple of hours of standing around catching up and drinking too much my legs really started to hurt and I still had a whole night ahead of me. We headed to the room and got ready for the reunion. We ended up being about an hour late and I was not only feeling the pain in my legs but I realized that old me can’t drink as much as high school me.

We got to the reunion and I could see I was not the only one who couldn’t drink like I used to. I toughed it out and had a great time talking, dancing, and catching up with old friends. It’s amazing how no one changes. By the time I got to bed around 4 my legs were toast. We packed up the car the next morning and headed home where I laid around all day (good thing it was my off day). The best part is that I get to do it again next year because my wife is a year behind me.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mind Games

I got out the door at about 7:30AM Sunday morning to head to the park for a planed 6 mile run. I have learned that if I want to go for a run in the morning that I need to get all my stuff laid out the night before. If I don't I will try to talk myself in to not going. I wish I could have started a little earlier because I felt the heat with the first step out the door.

I get to the park and get moving. Right away my legs hurt and I have to start playing mind games. The first one is the one that everyone uses, I tell myself to run to the mile marker and then I can stop and stretch. As I get closer to the marker and start to feel a little better I tell myself to just get to the end of the loop (2.2 miles). I know that I can’t stop at the end of the loop because that is where my car is parked and I may head to the parking lot if I stop. I say just run a little beyond the end so you won't want to go to the car. I know that if I start another loop I will keep going. I have a thing about turnign around. I would rather run 2 mile forward then go ½ mile back.So now it is just make it to the half way point in the run (3 mile) At 3 miles I do stop and try to get my legs to loosen up. I walk for a 1/10th of a mile and I just feel worst then before I stopped. I start sweating bad and I can feel my legs start to cramp. So I get moving again.

As I continue to run I get to play the best mind game for me because a fast runner passes me going the other direction on the loop. Now this allows me to think “We passed at this mile marker and I will have to pass him again at that marker to be running at his pace”. Because the loop is 2.2 miles it takes me a little while to figure it out and then I question my math then add it again. By the time I figure it out I've run another mile. I do pass this guy again and we are running about the same pace. I know I'm not a fast runner and lately I've been even slower but I do keep up with some people that look to be moving quickly. They must stop and walk or I move faster then I think.

I get to 5 miles and start counting the markers and with ¼ mile to go I’m starting to struggle. I look back and can see some fast dude catching me and I play one more game, don’t let him catch me before I finish. It works! I hit six miles and start to walk. It felt good to finish and I had ½ mile walk to the car to get cooled down. I didn't get 10 steps and the fast dude passes me and says something like “come on, you’re almost at the end”. He had pulled the BIG mind game on me and smiled as he did it. I thought ya right, jackhole. Now, do I puss out and walk to the end or try to run to the finish? He ran way fast but I stuck right on the heels until the end. He kept going on for another lap and I turned towards the parking lot. I’m not happy that I let him make me run, I think I’m hurting more today from the last ½ mile then the first 6. Damn Pride!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random Stuff

Music on my IPod: Guns and Roses ALWAYS makes me run faster. They use a lot of cow bells in their songs and that makes me run fast.
Van Halen (OLD) songs have the best intros, U2 has the worst intros.
- I realized that my son didn’t know the band Van Halen was named for 2 members of the band. I feel like I’ve failed as a parent. Don’t we have a obligation to teach our young? He has a short time left until school starts and I’m going to put him on a heavy diet of old school rock.

I ran today for 30 minutes at lunch and my legs were heavy. I’m starting my 20 week plan a couple of weeks late so I have to get up to speed fast. I am enjoying it again!

I have my 20 year high school reunion coming up next week and I’m starting to get a little excited. They have started a Facebook type site and I’ve been reading about old friends and see how old and bald everyone has gotten. It’s kind of neat to see the pictures of my classmates and their families. I’m going to have a blast.

I’ve had another death in the family. Too many this year! It does make me take a look at my life every time. I have also got some crap going on at work that sucks. I need a new job close to home.

I have been reading race reports from the latest Ironman finishers that I know and it just makes me want it! I want to push myself to those levels, to see what the body can do.

I’m tring to make this a little long so that I can get rid of the picture of my in my swimsuit off my page. I’m tired of see it and it starts to creep you out after a while. Forget i, I just took the picture down.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Running again!

I didn't run far but I pushed further when I wanted to stop.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Good to be Home


Had a great time and even got in some short runs.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

1 more day!

One more day of work and I'm on vacation and it can't come soon enough. It's been a tough couple of weeks. I'm looking forward to running on the beach and drinking a lot of cold beer. I'm also taking my bike with me so that I can ride on the flat streets of Florida.

Here I am modeling my new swimsuit that I just got and I think it will be a real head turner when I wear it on the bike.

Good luck to all who are racing this weekend. Post reports and pictures soon.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Run, Fat Boy, Run


OK --- Today I start!


How many times have you said today I start training? Well today is the day for me. I’m starting my running again in prep for a marathon. Running a marathon is something that has always been a LIFE goal. Something that just sits in the back of your mind saying someday I’m going to do that! After speaking with some folks and looking around for the perfect race I have decided that The Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon is the race for me. I was looking for a cheap, close, small, race in November that would not interfere with the holidays. This race more then fits the requirements and I have heard nothing but good things about it. I’m really starting to get excited and I now have a goal again.

Now the training starts. I have been looking around at the many, many plans out on the internet and would like any input as to what others have used. HELP! I’m looking for a plan for beginners that is easy to follow and that give me some off days or cross training days. This race is still a long way out and I want to keep on swimming and biking. I have my eye on a few sprints that I may mix in to keep up with the triathlons. After watching the Irongirl triathlon this past weekend I can feel the itch to do another tri. Those girls were awesome.


I’ll take any advice please.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Do-Over

I'm calling for a do-over for the past couple of weeks. I have not done much of anything and I need a do over. As long as I'm calling for a do-over for the past couple of weeks I'm going to ask for the whole season. So this brings this question up: If you could start your whole triathlon life over again what would you do differently. What do you know now that would change your approach or training?

Monday, June 23, 2008

Quick Trip Conspiracy


I wrote a while back about my dependence on the fountain drinks from QT (Quick Trip gas stations). I have been a regular for many, many years until my recent challenge to cut it out of my life. After I got through the shakes and the night sweats and I no longer have the desire for a drink. This morning I go to QT to get gas and try to pay at the pump and the pump tells me to see the cashier. I try again and get the same result so I go inside. The cashier tells me that it happens sometimes and to go pump and she will run it inside when I'm done. OK, I do this and come back in and she runs the card. She then looks at me as I’m about to leave and says why don’t you get a drink for all your troubles. I say no thank you and she pushes it again with “Are you sure”. No I'm no sure. I want the drink now. I look over at my old friend (the soda fountain) and run out of the store. I could be just imagining things but I think they want me back!

I got on old Pokey this weekend (pokey is my bike, not my wife) and went for a ride with 2 new friends. Richard and Brian from the mock tri were nice enough to let me slow them down on a 20 mile loop. The ride had a few hills and much less traffic then the 12 mile loop we did in the mock Tri. I had a good time and Brian even cleaned my bike for me after the ride. You can’t ask for more then that. I look forward to more rides with this group, they are good people.

Good luck to everyone doing Iron Girl this weekend. It is right up the street from my house so I may swing by and cheer for all the girls.

Monday, June 16, 2008

I Got That Feeling


I wanted to start out by saying that I enjoyed meeting everyone this weekend and thank you so much Brian for putting on the first event. I had a great time!

This weekend was a good one and just what I needed to get the juices flowing again. I got my stuff packed and headed out to the first PHAT B's Tri Club Triathlon. I was pumped because it was pretty close to the house and I was going to get to meet a few of the people that write the blogs I read everyday. I was more excited about hanging out after the mock triathlon then the event itself.

We started out swimming and it felt like swimming in the ocean but it was nice to get my feet wet and everyone swam well. I was impressed with how easy Kevin got though the choppy water. I can see that out of all of us he is the one that is the most excited about the whole Triathlon thing. I used to be that excited and meeting this group got the Tri juices pumping again. We then went in to a very long transition where I was able to go to my car and get my shoes and still be waiting on folks. Sarah pointed out that the boys were taking too long putting on their makeup!

I was glad we decided to stick together on the bike ride. We had all different speeds and I did not want anyone to get lost on the roads. We had to stop a few times for bike problems but the ride was good. I felt like I had a lot more to give on the bike then I thought I would after such a long break. It felt great to get on the open road and just ride and I started to get excited about triathlons again. I could see that a few of the group really wanted to get going but we stayed pretty close. Wes and Kevin went back out for another loop but I was good to just run.

The run was short and sweet; a nice flat 1 mile loop that I did twice.

My favorite part of the PHAT B's Tri Club Triathlon was just hanging out afterwards with some really good folks. Thanks everyone and I hope we can do it again.

Now, what race to do! I think the Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon is up next.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It’s Official



I have lost ALL fitness and my poor bike has not been ridden in some time. I have to lower my head in shame every time I walk down the hall and see her on the trainer just begging me to ride. I continue to try to run at lunch but the heat here in GA is making it very hard. It sucks to breath in hot air and then the heat just sucks all the energy right out of you. I’ve ran a few times in the parking deck witch is a lot cooler but even that is hot and boring. Yesterday I ran a trail that the office complex has that goes through some woods and around parking decks. It took everything I had to make the short loop. I think it’s only about 2 miles.

I have swum a few times with Sammy down at the neighborhood pool and I don’t know what to think. I feel like I’m swimming through the water nicely and with little effort but my lungs are completely gone. I can maybe swim a few hundred before I’m just beat and I can’t seem to swim straight anymore.

I just need to start making training plans with other folks to force me to get going again. First try at this will be this weekend when I’m planning on doing the first annual "Fat B(astards or itches)'s tri club" event. I’m kind of excited because I will get to hang out with the authors of the first blogs that I came across when researching triathlons. While looking up places to run in GA I put GA runs in my search bar and found a guy training for a marathon. I checked in on his training every day and from that site I started following Sarah and Wes and then a whole group of folks that I read every day. It will be nice to be able to finally meet them in person even though I will make a poor showing at the tri.

I’m still struggling with the QT drink addiction. I went and got a drink on Sunday. Just a little bit is OK right? I can drink socially right? I little taste is going to hurt anyone. Actually it my get me devoiced or fired if I can’t snap out of it soon. I’m a cranky old man when I don’t get my fix.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Another Day another run.


I’m dragging these days without me doing the Dew in the morning. It has been just too hot at lunch to run outside so I have gone back to running in the parking deck. I forgot how nice it is to run in the shade and on flat ground. I only ran 2 miles today because my knees where yelling stop and I had to get back to work.

I have discovered something while I was running today. I dance with my hands and it changes based on the type of music. I feel like a goof and wanted to know if I’m the only one. Do you find yourself moving to the beat while you run; do you dance or catch yourself playing air drums or guitar?

Today I ran for Molly.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I feel good!

Today I ran for Sue.

I’m tired but it’s the good tired. I went for a run at lunch today and really pushed my body when my mind said to stop. It’s the battle that I’m sure we all face; to keep going when your head is screaming stop.

I have an addiction that I’m once again fighting and it’s so hard. I crave it and it calls to me. I’m addicted to QT (Quick Trip) soda. Almost every day for at least 5 years I have stopped at QT and grabbed a 32 oz fountain soda. My usual mix is about 75% Diet Mountain Dew and 25% Code Red. I have tried to stop many times and it always pulls me back. Well I’m trying again! Yesterday was day 1 and I’m feeling it. I just don’t have the energy and my mind even seems a little slower. I have in the past had headaches when I tried to stop but this time it seems a little better. As far as addictions go I didn’t think this was that bad but I did just see this http://www.thatsfit.com/2006/10/09/want-a-quick-trip-to-diabetes-osteoporosis-tooth-decay-and-obe/ and I can always tell when I drink too much soda because my hands swell. So I’ going to cut it out (or way down) for good this time. I hope!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Another Day another training plan

I have decided that I need to help my wife with her eating plan by doing it also. She has me counting points and looking at labels. I have always been a eat better food and exercise kind of person but I go along with the plan. Recently I have started eating more small meals throughout the day and it works pretty well. The one big issue I have always had was the time I’m at home. At night and on the weekends I just eat and that does not help Stacie (my wife) at all. So I’m going to give the eating and counting thing a try. I started this morning by MEASURING my Raisin Bran. Yep, seemed crazy but I did it.

Stacie also wanted me to get up this morning and do a workout video with her. I have a hard time getting up in the morning so I put it all on her to get us going. I told her that she had to make me get out of bed. This was just mean because I knew she would not get up and sure enough when the alarm went off this morning and I nudged her she said she was tired. That was all I needed to re-set the alarm and go back to bed. I will start getting up before work but not today!

I had planned to go running today at lunch but we have had a link go down between our 2 sites and that means I have to stay at my desk until we can get it resolved. It sucks because it has nothing to do with us and is a widespread problem. I can't do a thing to help Bellsouth fix the problem but It just does not look right if the link is down and I’m not at my desk working. So, no run.

After much consideration I have decided to put my focus in to this race: http://georgiaruns.blogspot.com/2008/05/mock-triathlon-my-house.html
It is getting bigger as the word spreads but I think I may be able to place in the top 10 if I can even finish. I'll register later today.

I saw my older brother Andy the last 2 days at the funeral. The more I talk to him the more I’m convinced that he could be swayed to do a triathlon and would love it. Get a bike and start running; I’ll see you in a month at the beach.

Link got resolved so I’m going for a run!

Monday, June 2, 2008

Good/Bad News

My x-sister-in-law passed away this weekend and I have mixed feeling. She has suffered these last years like no person I have ever seen. This disease is like being trapped in a living jail. She could not move or talk but her mind never left. I can’t even image the pain that this must have caused. I have never asked God to take someone until now, she suffered and I truly believe she is in a better place. I have seen people in my life slowly lose their mind and others slowly lose their body. Until now I never really knew witch was worst. I think losing your body is harder on you and losing your mind is harder on the family. No more gloom I just hate that my son has to go to another funeral.

Last night I went for a swim. I can see the neighborhood pool from my house and it was empty. It has been weeks since I really swam and it felt great to have the pool to myself. I don’t know how far I swam or for how long but it felt good and I think I’ll try to get down ever night. Tonight I swam for Ina – she’s afraid of the water.

I promise this is the last downer post.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Summertime

Today I ran for Tommy. It was a short run but Tommy is a short guy.

I used to love the summer. Lazy days at the pool. Something changed when I got married and had a kid. I just can't lay at the pool all day anymore. The problem is that my son loves to swim and begs me to take him so I think I'll talk my wife in to packing a cooler and heading down for a couple of hours this weekend. I'm kinda even feeling a little excited about it.

Have a great weekend and if you know of any good family fun things to do please let me know.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Because I Can

I think I have found a good reason to start training again. A fire inside. I am going to do because others can’t.

I have so many people in my life that cannot run, swim, or bike any distance. I have family members that are in wheelchairs, a brother with an artificial leg, and a few battling cancer. But today it hit me like a ton of bricks as I sat looking at my running shoes. I have an x-sister-in law that has Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. Even though she is no longer married to my brother I consider her a sister. She was married to him for at least 20 years (much more I’m sure) and I cannot think back to a time that I did not know her. I’m sad to say that I don’t see her much anymore but made the trip out to see her a few weeks back because she is not doing well. This disease has taken away all ability to move and she struggled to speak any words. To say even one word would take a great effort and she had to repeat herself because I could not understand. I’ve thought about her often since my visit, I wish I could do something.

I heard from my niece last night that they think she will pass soon and I thank God for that as does she. I know she is headed to a better place. As the thought of her raced through my mind today I realized that so many people would give anything to run, heck even walk. So many people would love to be able to stand up out of that wheel chair, or get out of that hospital bed and move under their own power. I can run! I’m healthy and I can run (sound like Forest Gump).

Do I (we) not owe it to the people who can’t to not waste the simple things in life? I have seen a lot of challenges out on the blog so here is another: Get up and run for someone who can't. Today I ran for Kim.

Sorry to be so gloomy.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Life goes on

OK. My mind is starting to get right. I just going to come out and say it: “I have Will Smith on the MP3 and I don’t care who knows it!” His songs make me run happy. In the last couple of days I have tested the waters to see just how far I’ve slipped in my fitness. I went for a short bike ride this weekend and swam last night. The bike seemed almost like starting over and the swim was just weak. But, I’m back!

The biggest job I have in life is being a good father to my son. When he was young it was easy, just keep him safe and healthy. As he has grown I have tried to be a good role model for him and I fear he has become too much like me in the wrong areas. How do you teach good habits without the bad? They watch so close and you don’t get to choose what they remember. Don’t get me wrong, this boy is great and very well adjusted. He just has some lazy habits and he got them from me. I have a habit of procrastinating before I start a chore and then I go all out until the job is done. When I work I work hard but it sometime takes a little bit to get going. My son takes a while to get going and then drags the job out forever. He’ll find any reason to stop and a 1 hour job takes all day for him to complete. We’ll be working on changing these habits this summer.

I just signed Sammy up for a kid’s tri that is next weekend. I struggled with the decision because I don’t want to force a sport on him and I sometimes feel like he would do anything to make me happy. I asked him if he wanted to race and had to feel him out to see if he was doing it for me. He did this race last year with a fever (just to make me happy) and told me he wanted to do it again to see how much better he could do this time. I was kind of hoping he would say that he didn’t want to do the race so that I could sign up for something.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Slowly coming back around

I wish I was a kid again. Summer is almost here for my boy and it takes me back to when I was 12 years old. Do you remember how excited you felt the last week of school? I loved the summer as a kid. I never wore shoes and lived at the pool. Life was good and easy.

Lately I’ve been in a funk and life seems to be dragging me down. I continue to run but have not biked in a while and have swam even less. Our neighborhood pool just opened and it’s right in my back yard so I have high hopes to start swimming again real soon. Biking is going to be hard because I don’t want to take too much time away from my family. I may have a guy that I met a few weeks back that will ride with me. I just like to get out and back early so that I can spend the day with the family and most bike groups start late and go long. It’s a hard balance to train and have a family. How do others do it?

I want to fit a few triathlons in but I just don’t see it happening. The close events fall on bad days and the others are just too far away. I’ll keep looking for the right tri event but have decided that I’m going to start training for a marathon. I thought about a half but that just doesn’t do it for me. So – what advice would you give me? Where do I start?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Blah!


I’m tired. My neck and back hurt. I have to cut the grass. I need to help my kid study for a test. Any excuse will do and I have used them ALL this week. I have done very little this week that is good for me and I feel like crap.

If I can’t get out of this funk soon I’m afraid that I will be back on the couch and back to my old life. HELP! What do you do when you just don’t want to exercise? What gets you pumped up and out the door?

Monday, May 12, 2008

10k on the 10th Virtual Club Run Race Report


10K on the 10th

This race rocks! I began the day by getting up in plenty of time to make it to the starting line; I ate my usual race breakfast of a bagel with peanut butter downed some Gatorade and hit the road. I drove to the park that my race was to be held and to my surprise it was empty. I thought for this big of a race that the parking lot would be crammed. I grabbed the tunes and hit the trail.

The park that I run at on the weekends is nice, real nice. It has a 2.2 mile paved route around a lake and through woods. You get just enough sun and shade and the hills are small. It also has each tenth of a mile marked in both directions. I also love to run here because you get to see the ducks, geese, and other wildlife. I never get tired of seeing a duck in the water with his butt in the air (always makes my laugh) and think it is real cool to see them fly in and land on the water. At the end of my run I saw some baby geese eating as the parents kept an eye on me. I’ve determined that if a goose does not move away as you run closer to it then you need to avoid that goose.

My mind continues to tell my body to stop running. It’s a constant battle that today my body won. I have to play little games to keep myself going. About halfway in to the run I spotted a lady with a pony tail running far in front of me. Now, for me a girl with a pony tail is it! I’m like a kitten chasing string. It was a good game to play for a while until I caught up close enough to see that it was NOT a pony tail and she had her pants pulled up to her armpits. I passed the lady and continued on to find the next game.

Nearing the end of the run I found some more motivation, it was a pony tail girl catching me! One part of the trail was open for about ½ mile and I could see that I had a girl that was running pretty good behind me. Now, I love to have people in front of me so that I can try to catch them but I hate to have people catch and pass me. I can handle the people that fly going by me but I dislike it when someone that is about my pace “beats me”. I picked it up a bit and never saw her again.

I ran the complete distance at a time of 54:54.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Dragin' Ass

I'm dragin' ass today and I hurt all over! I have only been bringing it for 3 days now and I hurt. I think I’m going to lose weight because my arms hurt too bad to lift any food to my mouth. I still can’t stand the instructor on the videos but I can see that after 90 days I will be in better shape.

I made the mistake of running at lunch Tuesday and then doing the power 90x thing when I got home. The run was great! I finally found a nice 4 mile route around my office building that has little traffic and good hills. I was happy that I could start using this as my everyday run and start working my more miles on the weekend. The problem started when I got home and determined that I was to do some workout called Plyometrics (Explosive jumping cardio routine proven to dramatically improve athletic performance). I tried to bring it and I failed. I made it halfway through when my knee could no longer take it.

Last night I brought it again for the Shoulder and Arm workout. It hurt but I got it done. I was hoping to run again today but I’m not feeling it and I want to be able to run the 10k on the 10th - . Tonight is yoga so I’m hoping it will help me get all these kinks out.

Good luck to everyone racing this weekend. Remember to enjoy yourself.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

BRING IT!



My caring wife bought these DVDs some time back for her. Yeah right! She has been bugging me to do this Power 90X for at least 5 months now because she wants me to get some exercise. The running, biking, and swimming that I do is not getting the results that she wants. I'm getting skinny but she wants a buff stud. She is funny, why can't she just come out and say that she wants me to look like the guys on those infomercials? So I have now started to "bring it" as the guy on the video keeps repeating. I didn't get 3 minutes in to the video and I was already tired of his voice. He just kept talking about how to "bring it" and all I could say was let’s go, stop talking and let's get working.

I started the first video last night and think it will be a good addition to the training. I'm a little sore this morning from all the push-ups that he had me doing and I discovered that I can't do any pull ups yet. But, in 90 days I will be a ripped machine!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Kickin' Back



After much thought I've decided that Triathlons are not for me. Just kidding! This sport sucks you in because you know that you can always do a little better. I'm looking forward to the next event and many more down the road.

It's been over a week since the race and I'm ready to start back. I wanted so badly to train this weekend and had some really good options but I needed some family time. So this weekend I trained by drinking beer, eating junk, and sleeping late.

Races I’m thinking about:

Chickamauga Battlefield Marathon - Lifelong goal is to finish a marathon
The Tugaloo Triathlon
The Siege on Fort Yargo – This is a team event that some co-workers want me to do with them.
Peachtree City Sprint Triathlon

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

What Now?

It's been a few days and I can almost walk normal again. I have been asked by a few folks the big question: What's Next? I have no idea. I'm looking at a marathon in November but that is too far away so I'm opening it up for advise. What should I do next? Keep it close to home (GA) and cheap other then that I'm open. I have 1 vote for drink beer and eat Doritos.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I'm Still Alive



Sorry but these are random thoughts and my spelling and grammar sucks. Don’t think less of me. I’ll proof read later. I’ll post pictures soon.


Saturday night we had out TNT pasta party that was pretty cool. We walked up this hall with TNT coaches and mentors cheering and it really gets you going. I could have started the race right then. We ate and listened to some speakers. Dave Scott spoke was pretty good but the highlight for me was a gentleman from the New York chapter that had done his first event WHILE battling cancer. He was now back to do St. Anthony’s and in remission. He was a real uplift.

I got in to bed early that night. I think all the events of the previous days had finally caught up with me and I slept great. Once again I woke up just before the alarm and wake up call. I had to go down the street to get body marked and set up my transition area. I walked out the front door to see what look like a parade of people walking by hotel. It was quite a site to see so many people so early in the morning. I got marked and set up quickly and went back to the room. This was the nice part about being so close. I was able to get something to eat (a beagle with peanut butter) and go back to bed.

After a short nap I woke up and had my wife put sunscreen on me. Of course my numbers smeared. The day before I had put the sunscreen on Sammy before he got number and it smeared, today I was no better putting it on after being numbered. You can’t win. I then grabbed the wetsuit and headed over to the swim start.

SWIM

My group was next to last so I had to wait. I watched few groups go off and then put the wetsuit and cap on. I was so nervous that I thought I was going to get sick. Then they called our group and I was able to calm down. We moved down to the water before long heard the start gun. I made my way in and started to swim. Some people don’t like swimming with so many folks but it takes my mind off the event when you have to fight for a spot to swim. The waves made it much harder to swim then back in the lake and you don’t even think about the saltwater taste. That sucks. I felt like I was getting pulled off course the whole way and had people swimming on top of me until the bitter end but I made it. I felt real good except for my back. I found myself twisting in the waves to try to stay on course and see the markers. I think I could have knocked off a few minutes if I would have sighted better and trusted my sighting. With people going every direction it made me look and adjust too often. It was a good lesson learned because it made me slower and it hurt my back. I climbed out of the water and in to T1.

T1

Slow. I walked most of the way until I saw a few TNT guys from Georgia. I know I can’t beat everyone but I don’t want to be last either. Grabbed a beagle and peanut butter snack, took a drink, put on my gear, and me and Pokey were off.

BIKE

We were told that the course was flat and for the most part it was. The hills were so slight that you had to look hard to determine if you were going uphill, downhill, or on flat ground. I was feeling good on the bike and passed a lot of people and had very few pass me. I was in the aero bars for most of the race and felt no pain until the last couple of miles when the padding in my tri shorts just was no longer enough. I had never ridded longer then 20 miles and not in my tri shorts. My manly area felt the extra miles and less padding. The bike finish was on cobblestones and I almost bit it. I was pretty happy with the ride and could have been much faster if I could ever master drinking while I ride. I slow down to a craw when I need to get a drink.

T2
I walked until I saw a TNT guy that I was trying to catch on the bike starting to put on his running gear. I quickly put on my shoes, race belt (best investment), and hat and took off. I beat him out and that felt good. I just had to stay in front.

RUN/WALK/CRAW
Within the first ¼ mile my back was killing me. I was running so slowly but I was still passing more people then passed me. I felt like I had been running forever and mile marker 1 almost broke me. Each marker and water station seemed to take longer to reach and by marker 3 I had started walking. It was neat to see all the people out cheering it does help but my back was getting bad and I had started cramping in other areas. After a while I spotted a familial face, Sarah . She had a good pace going I wished I could have ran longer with her but my legs were killing me and I had to try to stride them out. She was a good uplift when I needed it. Thanks Sarah! Post more. AI tried to just keep going and before I knew it I could see the finish. I stopped to put on the shirt that I had carried for the entire run. It is one of those shirts that has a muscular body printed on it. It belonged to my dad and my family would recognize it right away. I thought it would be a fine tribute to the man that did so much for me and the reason I trained with TNT. I floated across the finish line felt a great weight lifted. I finished.

THE AFTER – THE BEST PART
After I finished my wife and son were right there with hugs and kisses. I love those two! We all walked back to the TNT Georgia tent that was right on the corner before the finish. As a team we cheered for the next couple of hours and runner after runner finished. We cheered for everyone and cheered very loudly. It was such a great feeling to see a person almost lifted with energy and we cheered. Many people who were walking found the energy to run and finish strong. I felt more joy in watching others finish then I did when I finished. TNT is a great group and the Georgia chapter is full of some special folks that know what it’s really all about. GO TEAM!


TIMES:
17th – Male TNT (3rd on my team)
2292th – Overall
OVERALL TIME - 3:02:57
SWIM - 30:28
2:02 - pace
T1 - 4:11
BIKE –1:19:23
18.8mph
T2- 3:09
RUN - 1:05:48
10:36 per mile

Meek and Mighty


Sorry but these are random thoughts and my spelling and grammar sucks. Don’t think less of me.

We woke up Friday morning and headed out the door about 4:30am for the long trip to down to the race. About 30 minutes in to the trip I realized that I forgot the tickets I need to get in to some of the TNT parties. So, it’s now 5:30am and we are on our way. Nothing like adding an hour to a long car trip to get things moving in the right direction. I was hoping that my wife, Stacie and son, Sammy would sleep most of the way to St. Petersburg so that we could make some good time. I soon realized that this was not going to happen. We were about 2-3 hours down the road when everyone got hungry so we STOPED and ate. Growing up we never stopped on a trip unless it was to get gas so this got me all goofed up. We had a few more stops along the way but we finally pulled in to the hotel at about 2PM.

This hotel was nice and right in the middle of everything. We could and did walk to all events and the expo was right out the front door. We got unpacked and walked over to get all checked in with the event. Back to the hotel for a short nap and then liner (not lunch, not diner). Later Sammy and I went over his checklist for his race on Saturday. The room never seemed to be the right temperature for my wife so I was up and down a few times during the night. No problem because it’s not like I have to have my son over to body making and transition setup at 6am! My internal clock has been great for the past couple of years and I woke up right before the alarm went off. I then stood and waited for the wake up call to come so that my wife did not have to get up.

Sammy and I got down and setup and I realized that I screwed the boy. I TOLD him that he could wear his running shoes down to transition and then realized that he had nothing to wear back to the hotel after we set up. His mother had to take him back. Sorry Stacie! After he got setup I had to meet the Georgia TNT team at 7 for an open water swim. The water temperature was great and it was very clear. I could see the bottom the entire swim. We only swam out a few buoys and back and then did a practice start and swam a few more buoys. It was nice how clear the water was but it was a lot choppier then expected.

After the swim I had to run back to the room, drop off my wetsuit and then get over to see my son start the swim. I ran about a mile total in no shocks and old running shoes and got the only blisters of the weekend.

The Meek and Mighty was very cool. The 15+ group was finishing the swim when I arrived and I got to see wish Sammy good luck before he took off with the 13 year olds. He turns 13 on December 17th so he gets screwed in triathlon but what are you going to do.
I sat next to a lady complaining about it the day before and had her daughter in tears because she would have to compete in the older group. Sorry to go off here but it made me mad. The mom told the girl that she did not have to race and some other crap that will just have this girl falling short for the rest off her life. When the mom got up to go complain to some race official I spoke to the girl and told her that she could indeed make the distance and that it was all about finishing, putting in the effort and not to worry. She was only running another ½ mile and she had put in the training. Come on parents; push your kids to try a little harder.

Sorry. Back to the race. Sammy had a good swim. He looks real sleek in the water and is a better swimmer then me. He had a good bike and run and finished strong. I don’t know who was grinning bigger, me or him. I love that boy!

Now that his race was over I felt a lot more relaxed. I realized that most of the pressure I felt about this whole weekend had nothing to do with the race on Sunday.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Big Day

It’s here! I leave in the early morning to go down to Florida to run this race. Thanks for all the help and support. I’m scared but excited. I'll try to post a report and hopefully pictures on Tuesday.

What do you use to get PUMPED for an event?

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A Good Reminder


Team in Training has what are called Honored Heroes. They are people that have cancer or are in remission. They are a reminder of why we train and more importantly raise money. Last night at swim practice we had a visit from 2 of our Honored Heroes. One gentleman has stage 4 non Hodgkin’s leukemia. For the folks who don't know, stage 4 is the last stage. The man is dying and his thankful words and upbeat look on life made me forget all about the race and put things back in to perspective. I joined TNT for many reasons but I think I lost sight of the bigger picture. The second Honored hero also spoke and told us how the research that TNT has sponsored has allowed him to life a better life. He was given only a few years to live and he is now in remission. He lives with cancer but he continues to live. He is a very good triathlete and has done quite a few Ironman races including Hawaii. He jumped in the pool and swam with the team. He rocks and just flew thought the water.

I'm NOW ready for this weekend because no matter what happens I (we) already complete the goal by raising money for the cause. The race is just the icing on the cake! Life is good!


Here is a picture of Sammy on my bike Pokey. GO TEAM!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Feeling IT

Less then a week away and I'm feeling it. I'm scared and excited. This race that has been the focus of my life for what seems like a lifetime is this Sunday. I’ve been involved in sports for most of my life and I can’t remember feeling this nervous this far out. I'm getting to the point where I just want to get it over with so I can move on with my life. I’ll try to calm down and enjoy the weekend but right now I just want to finish.

It’s been a while since I posted and all is well as far as swimming, biking, and running. I continue to get in some good runs at lunch (usually about 4 miles) and it helps to break up the day.

Saturday was a team session that was 77 miles away. I needed to go but backed out because of the rain when I woke up. I felt really guilty because I don’t get enough time on the bike. I was afraid that I would get sick or fall and get hurt and miss the race. One teammate did have a pretty bad fall and will miss the event he has trained for months. I feel bad for him and hope he can get back in the saddle soon. Saturday afternoon was perfect weather and I needed to ride a little so me and the boy (my son Sammy) went for a short ride around the neighborhood. I didn’t even put on my bike shoes. After a couple of laps Sammy went inside and I headed out of the neighborhood for a few more miles. I rode the route that I did at the beginning of the year. It was only a few miles but I did it so much easier and faster. It felt good.

Sunday was an open water swim. It was cold but felt good as soon as my arms and face went numb. After the swim I ran went on a 4 mile run with a few teammates. It’s so much easier running with people. I hope I can find a few to talk to at St. Anthony’s.


This week is going to be a taper week and I plan to not even come close to pushing any kind of exercise. My body feels good and I can just do harm at this point.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

My New Love- Don't tell the wife.

Last night was our third date. I just feel so young when I’m with my new love. Ever since the day I first swam with my new wetsuit I just knew she was the one for me. I LOVE MY WETSUIT AND I DON’T CARE WHO KNOWS IT!

Last night was our last continuous swim and I knew that I wanted to get more time in the wetsuit. The entire team crammed in to one lane for the start. The pool is set up for long course and the lanes are a little wider then normal in this pool put it was crowded. The first lap I was swimming over people and making my way through the pack. After about 200 meters I found the poor soul that I was going to draft off. I stayed right on his feet for quite a long time. I could see that he had me and at least 3 others behind me that he was pulling through the water. After a while I felt like I could pick up the pace so I passed him and swam by myself for a while. I just feel like a different person swimming in the wetsuit. I get so much out of each stroke. After a few hundred meters I caught a fast swimmer and got in behind him for the rest of the swim. He set a great pace and I felt like I could swim for hours. I ended up swimming 2000+ meters and felt great doing it. I LOVE THE WETSUIT!

After I finished I got out and watched the rest of the team finish. Swimmer after swimmer climbed out of the pool with great big smiles. A few of the slower teammates had a lot more swimming to do and it was so great to see how the team cheered and encouraged them to finish.


The last swimmer had the entire team waiting and pushing her to swim further then she thought she could ever swim.

She wrote the following email this morning to the team:
I wanted to take this opportunity to thank each and everyone of you
that stayed on deck and cheered me on as I swam, and swam and swam to
finish "The Big Swim". Oh how I dreaded even showing up last night,
because I knew that I would be the last one out of the water and all
of my teammates would be standing there WATCHING me. I have always
been intimidated by this team, because you are all such good swimmers
and I took my first ever swim strokes in February. As I walked
across the deck to swim my last round, I was crying in my goggles and
I told Beth to tell everyone to go home! She said no, they are your
teammates and they want to be here to see you finish. As I swam all
those lanes with Heather and Jaimie at my side I had A LOT of time to
think about how far I had come. I thought about Michael and Nanci
and how when I took my first strokes at a weekend clinic, Nanci was
swimming along side me in the other lane and Michael was on deck with
a huge smile and clapping. I know his mother is going to be a great
guardian angel for this team! I also thought about all the coaches
and mentors and how they must have needed a stiff drink while trying
to get me to this point.

I really want to tell you, I am glad you stayed and WATCHED me,
because, as I heard the screams, cheers and Beth saying "Come on
Rachel, you got this" it honestly gave me the strength to finish
something I thought I could never do! I now know that with the
wonderful support from my teammates and a little ride under the wings
of our guardian angel Betty, I will do okay at Wildflower!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

My Good Run

I was about 2 miles in to my run yesterday when I realized that something was missing. My music! I sometimes run with and sometimes without my MP3 player. When I run at work it is usually with the tunes in my ear. The weather was so nice and with all the flowers blooming I just took in the view and kept moving. I continue to try new routes and it’s nice to see new things.

Today was another great weather day. I was ready to run and this time remembered my mp3 player. Running at lunch has turned in to a nice midday escape. As I stomped along the route a song came on that always reminds me of my dad. At times I can almost feel him running with me and I run with ease for the whole time the song plays. I have 2 songs on bring on this feeling and they seem to always come on when I’m feeling low. Today I just stopped and walked while the song played. I enjoyed my moment with dad.

Sometime back I was sent a like to a video: The last lecture of Randy Pausch . It’s worth the time to look it up and watch. It’s very moving and last night I watched a special about this man and his story. It’s got me thinking.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Almost Here

The transition clinic was canceled due to the weather. But Sunday was a nice day and I went for a bike ride with the team. I getting better overall but the smallest of hills still takes every bit of energy out of me. At least I kept up with the other riders.

It’s Tuesday and that means I MUST complain about how poorly I swam last night. It’s getting old so here it is: I came, I swam, and I finished (real slow). It is just a few more weeks until St. Anthony’s and it is all I’m thinking about. On one hand I can’t wait and on the other I am scared to death.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Game Time


It’s April and that means the race is this month. In my mind I have always had plenty of time. Time to train, time to get the bike worked on, and time to get the last of the gear I need. Time’s up! I’m starting to feel the butterflies in my stomach and that’s good. I always do better when I’m a little scared. The truth is I’m more excited then scared and can’t wait for race weekend.

We are going to be practicing transitions tomorrow morning for our group training. I have a real hard time walking in bike shoes and have not determined how I’ll handle that in transition. I planned on dropping the bike (Pokey) off at the shop to get a tune up tomorrow after our training but just realized that I would not be able to ride on Sunday. Sunday is suppose to be a great day here in Georgia and I NEED time on the bike. Looks like it will have to be dropped it off next week.

Good news! I have a check in my pocket that will finish my Team in Training fundraising. I feel so good to get that off my and my wife’s plate. Thank you to all that contributed and a big thank you to my loving wife Stacie. I can now focus on the next couple of weeks and really enjoy the whole experience. When I first heard of Team in Training I know it was a perfect fit and it has been what I needed in my life. The stories that I have heard and the people I have met have made me a better person.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Wonder Boy

April is here and that means the race is this month. Most days my son calls me when he gets home from school to ask me to play basketball (his big love) with him when I get home. My answer is always the same “do your homework and then you need to train". This 12 year old boy is doing the Meek and Mighty triathlon the same weekend then I'm racing and I'm starting to worry about his ability to finish. Last night I got home and he had decided he was going to train. He got on the bike trainer and then hit the treadmill. I hate to say it but he did not look good at all. Up until now I was just worried about the swim, I had seen him fly on the bike and run for days on the treadmill. I started to wonder if this boy was in trouble or just having an off day.

Today was Wednesday and I try to swim before work. I have been looking for a good time to take Sammy to the pool to see how he swims. I know he is pretty good but he’ll have to swim 200 yards and that is not easy for a kid. 5:45AM came and the alarm went off, I wanted to go back to sleep but I had told Sammy the night before that we were going swimming. We made our way to the pool and after getting the boy set up with a swim cap and giving him a few pointers we started to swim. I took off and made my way to the far end of the pool and was shocked to see Sammy right on my feet. He looked good gliding through the water. The Wonder boy was back! He has a nice stroke and I'm sure he'll be able to make the swim with ease. I don't need him to break any records but I want him to have fun and it’s hard to have fun when you’re sucking in water. I think I can relax knowing that he’ll at least finish and do it without killing himself.

Lunch came and it was nice outside. I put on the running shoes and went for a run out on the streets. I took a new route that keep me off a busy road for a bit longer then my run last week. I ended up running somewhere between 3 and 4 miles. The legs feel good again and I’m starting to think beyond the tri at the end of this month. Can I do a marathon?

Monday, March 31, 2008

Open Water Swim

I could not wait for this past weekend. The team was going to do our first open water swim and that meant I could use my new friend the wetsuit again. I got to the lake and wiggled in to the wetsuit. It’s tight but I think it fits me just right. I saw a girl on the team who had a suit that was just too big and that’s going to make it hard on her to swim. I hope they get it swapped out for her before the race. It took a while for the entire team to get in to the suits and get down to the waters edge to start this swim. I knew the water would be cold but I was shocked when a stepped in the lake. It was so cold and I just wanted to get out and go run or better yet go home. After a few seconds I could no longer feel my feet and I had not even gotten in past my knees.

The goal of today was not a long swim but to just get us used to open water (not being able to follow a lane line or bump in to a wall). They had a few people in canoes and kayaks out helping as we made our way deeper in to the lake. I put my head down and started to swim and immediately rose back up. My face was tingling and I was having a hard time catching my breath. I looked around and could see that everyone was having the same problems. People that I have seen swim a long way with little effort in the pool were struggling after 10 yards. My goggles fogged up right away and I could no longer see anything, below or above the water. I cleared the goggles and tried to calm down. I spotted the first swim buoy and started swimming. I could only get a few strokes between breaths and never seemed to get in good rhythm but I kept going until I finished. I stumbled out of the water a little dizzy and back on to shore. We then made our way up to the parking lot and changed in to some running clothes. It felt good to be dry and warm.

I went for a 4 mile run that felt great. Running with a group is much better then running alone. I can go much further and faster with a group then by myself. If I can latch on to someone in the race that bikes and runs a little faster then me I think I will finish much stronger.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Feeling Good

This week has been a good one so far. Monday was a good swim with the team. Tuesday I went out and tested if I was over my sickness with a short 2 ½ mile run and lunch. I still coughed up more mucus then normal but it felt good to be able to breathe again. I begin Wednesday with a swim before work witch is a small miracle. I HATE getting up early but it getting close to race time and I don’t have many more opportunities to swim before the big day. After work I planned on going to get my oil changed before I went to a teammate’s fundraiser. When I got to the shop at 6PM they told me that they could not get it done today so I went to plan B.

Plan B was group run that a local running store puts on every Wednesday night. I have been told that many TNT (Team in Training) marathon team members participate in and as a Bonus – it was right next to the fundraising event. I was a little discouraged when most folks said they were running way more then I wanted to run and they ALL looked like serious runners. I ended up running 4 miles through some great neighborhoods and along a golf course. It makes the time go by a lot faster when you have something to look at as you run. I can’t say that I could have gone on running forever but I felt pretty good at the end and I finished just in time to make it to the fundraiser. I am starting to feel real good about this event.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes


I woke up yesterday and felt good, well not good but not bad. I made the decision that I was going to have a good day and get back in the swing of things. At lunch I had to go to a few stores to exchange my tri swimsuit. The suit was just too tight and that is not an area that you want to be too tight. I managed to find a suit that I liked even better and it fit well. I had to pay a little more and that sucked, but it’s done. I have heard women complain about the price of swimsuits for years and for the first time I can feel your pain. I then had to go to another store to return the old suit and pick up 2 new tubes for my bike and something called Body Glide that was to help me in the wetsuit. When I went to ride this weekend I discovered that I had a flat and my replacement tube was the wrong size. I see this as a good thing because I get the change to fix it before race day.

Monday night is always swim night with the team. I was excited because tonight I would get to swim in my wetsuit for the first time. After some coaching on where to apply the Body Glide and how to put on the suit without ripping it I was zipped in and set. Holy cow this thing is tight. I jumped in the pool and could feel the difference right away as lifted me to the surface. I did a few practice laps and felt great. I love the feel of swimming in the wetsuit and it looks cool.

The coaches pulled all the lane ropes out and put in a few buoys so that we could get a feel for what the race would be like. The team swam in a pack (arms and legs everywhere) and after a few minutes I discovered that some swimmers were doing things to make the swim “interesting”. It seems that some members from last years team were among us and asked to distract us by getting in our way, grabbing our feet, bumping us, splashing us, and anything else they could think of to make it hard. They also did something that I think is real smart, they moved the buoys as we swam so that you needed to sight where you were swimming, not just swim the same spot. We did a continuous swim for 20 minutes and I felt great! I have a few more weeks to get set and I’m starting to get excited again. This sport rocks!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Sick and Tired

For the past 11 days I have been struggling to rid myself of this illness. I’m still coughing something up from the bottom of my chest and it has brought my training to a stand still. I went for a short run of 2 ½ miles last week and a short WALK on Saturday. I’ll get back in the water tonight and get this illness behind me. I'm excited because tonight will be my first time swimming in a wetsuit. I have to make these next few weeks’ good ones.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Should I stay or Should I go?

I still have a little cough but I’m feeling better then I have in some time. Today I planned to go for at least a 2 – 3 mile run at lunch and then try to get in some time on the bike trainer when I get home tonight. The plan changed when I decided that I needed to go shopping for a Triathlon suit. I’ll get in a brick (bike and run) tonight at home.

Up until today I have done all of my swimming in a big baggy swimsuit and would be happy to keep it that way but I foresee a problem. I will have to wear something under the wetsuit. If I wet with my current suit it would bunch up and I think it would look like I was wearing a diaper under the wetsuit. I wet to REI and tried on a couple of the few suits they had and ended up walking out with nothing. They did not have the size I really needed and I was having a hard time paying $55 for a suit (especially if it was not the right fit). I’ve said it before but I’ll say it again “this sport is expensive”. I do cheaper then most but it adds up.

Now I didn’t run and I didn’t get a suit. I wasted my lunch hour. I knew I should have stayed and went for a run. At least I coughed up the last of my chest cold at REI! Is it wrong that I’m starting to think that work is getting in the way of me training?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Out Sick

It doesn’t happen a lot but last week I got infected with some kind of bug and it knocked me out. I was in bed from Friday afternoon until Monday afternoon and I’m still not 100% today. It all started on Thursday with me telling a co-worker that he was sickly and that “I never get sick.” It's nearly a week later and I have not done any form of training. I'll try to start back tomorrow.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Pushing Myself

Wednesday morning I somehow dragged myself out of bed and made it to the pool. This time change has been killing me. The pool was more crowed then usual but I found an open lane and started swimming. I usually like to do sets of 100s but have wanted to do longer sets so that I can get really tired and practice working through it. Today I decided to just keep swimming and that is what I did. Because I have been trying not to think when I exercise I lost count of the laps right off the bat. I was in a good grove after about 25 minutes and felt like I could do more when I noticed more people getting in the pool. The pool I swim in the morning has 6 lanes, 3 have lane ropes and 3 are just open. I was in an open lane witch is ok if the other people in the open lane don't make too many waves. Back to the folks getting in the pool: 2 older folks with some kind of water weights and 2 young girls in bikinis that could not swim very well. Usually I like to see young girls in bikinis but not today. I decided to go home because I had to get the family up and moving anyway. Oh well, I feel better every swim about the distance, I'll make the swim part of the triathlon.

I planned on running at lunch on Wednesday but got out to my car and had a flat tire that I had to deal with so that ate up my lunch hour. Thursday lunch hour rolls around and I decided to get out of the parking deck and hit the street. A coworker told me about a couple of routes, one route is 2 miles (an up and back) and the other route is a 3 or 4 mile. I thought I would just do the 2 miles because I was unsure of the route but I felt good and need to start pushing myself harder. I got somewhat lost and took my made my own route. I mapped the route when I got back to the office and it ended up being between 4 1/2 miles and 5 miles. I also did the run; including the time it took me to walk through the parking deck in about 45 minutes. Not fast but not to slow either. FEELING GOOD!