Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy Blogiversary

It's kind of hard to believe that I started this blog 4 years ago on New Years Eve 2005. A lot has happened over the past four years. Many race reports, many revelations, many trials and tribulations.

Many friendships have been made.....some have stayed....some have moved on.

In 2006 I competed in my first Ironman at Lake Placid. Along the way I raised money for the Susan G. Komen foundation and was introduced to Bolder in Boulder, Tri-Geek Kahuna and IronWil.

In 2007 I whipped out a fast Half Iron race and fought the physical and emotional battles of trying to run long. Somehow I managed to complete my first solo marathon. I trained for the first time in Boulder, CO and fell in love with the area.

In 2008 I went long again at Ironman Wisconsin (Mooooooo). I continued to learn more about who I am as a competitive triathlete and person. I lost a friend to ovarian cancer. Ran the Bolder Boulder 10k. My daughter graduated from high school and matured very well over a short period of time....very proud of her.

In 2009 I had my best racing year to date. Stellar performances at sprint, Olympic and half-iron distances allowed me to push the limits of my mind. "Push the Mind and the Body Will Follow" became my go to phrase. I also "Hardened the F' Up". I also competed in the American Triple-T. My son graduated from college....another "child" to be very proud of.

Over the course of four years many people have stopped by to say hi and read my occasional rambling. i just like to write and be creative. Hopefully someone understands the message I am trying to convey, laugh a little, learn something about me..triathlon..or life.

Here's to an exciting 2010.

Game On

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Sooner or later.....

"Sooner or later, we're all going to let somebody down. We're all going to screw up. But life is about how you come back from it, how you learn from it and how you use it to make yourself a better, stronger person."

For many reasons this quote struck a nerve today and I had to post it here.

Read the blog post about Bengal wide receiver Chris Henry.

I guess one reason I connected with this story is because my son Andrew is only 3 years younger than Chris Henry.

Friday, December 11, 2009

St. George Training Weekend - Friday

Some of you may be wondering why I'm writing from St. George.

St. George?

As in Utah?

And my response is, "Yes, St. George, Utah." Site of Ironman St. George on May 1, 2010.

Please flash back to this quick post back in March, here.

I expressed my nervousness on that day. Something that likes to sit in pit of your stomach. Well the someone I referred to in that post was Aimee.

Aimee is the one who signed up for Ironman St. George. She has several half-distance races under her belt and when this race was announced it just felt right for her to take the step up to the Full distance.

Aimee ran her first marathon in St. George back in 2003. We had a nice group from Cleveland doing the race and it was a great experience.

The IM training cycle began in November. Things are going well so far with the base training. We are putting the plan together ourselves and I like how things are progressing. We are working together on this pretty well.

So we looked at our calendar and decided to take some time off and travel out to St. George. Some early training on the course and see what this race is going to be like.

So we flew out today. It was a long travel day. The flight from Ohio departed at 6:45AM which means we had to be up at 4AM to get ready. My dad transported us to the airport with our bikes. This is a new thing for us since all of our races have been drivable. It was more convenient and actually cheaper for us to fly the bikes out with us.

We flew to St. Louis where we had a 3 hour layover. It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be as we read the paper, talked and ate some lunch. The final legs of our flying took us into Las Vegas...3.5 hours of flying. In Vegas we got a rental car and drove the 2 hours to St. George.

During our travels we had stops in all four time zones.....Vegas is Pacific and St. George is Mountain. It was confusing the keep our times straight.

After we checked into the hotel we drove the run course and headed to dinner. I'll save my review of the run course until I actually run it and will put my comments in a separate post.

We ate at a highly recommended local restaurant, Scaldoni's, and absolutely loved it. Our waiter, Dave, was awesome. He made some recommendations that were perfect. While Aimee and I were reviewing the course maps Dave made comment about seeing the maps. We started talking about the race which he is very involved with locally. Dave is an avid cyclist and is on the city's race committee.

He provided us with some brief insight regarding the course and made us feel very good about how the race is really being embraced by the city. Being able to talk with a local about the race was very nice.

So far the weather is not the best. Average temperatures in St. George for this time of the year ar 58 degrees. It's the mid 30's this weekend. Possible snow/rain for the weekend. We are going to do the best we can with the weather. We do have plan B.

Saturday we run the course and will drive the bike course. More information to follow.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

A Moment of Weakness

Everyone has a weakness. But it's really a matter of how strong is a person to admit/accept that weakness. Even more so how committed is one to correcting the weakness.

There are many weaknesses out there that usually fall into two categories: mental and physical.

I know I have mental weakness. I'm a procrastinator. I actually find myself doing my best work under an intense deadline and within a short period of time. I also procrastinate if I don't have a huge interest in the task. There may be other things that are more fun to work on or do.

I also think I've developed an ADD type of mental weakness. It's not the chemical imbalance ADD that is treated with Ritlin. No, I'm talking about the lack of focus that many people are now displaying because of technology. How many distractions do I encounter during a single day?

  • Work e-mail where people are expecting immediate answers.
  • Personal e-mail that I check way too often.
  • Instant messaging.
  • Cell phone calls.
  • Text messages.
  • Blog posts - writing and reading.
  • Youtube videos
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Weblinks that lead to more weblinks
  • Television
  • Radio

Yeah.....the good old USA has become the United States of ADD.

I've been getting better about my mental focus. I go off-line with my e-mail and only update it 2 or 3 times a day. I shut down the personal instant stays active. I'm writing down a to do list. It's time to get my head in the game.

It's hard to believe an Ironman triathlete would have any physical weaknesses. It all depends upon how you look at it and what forces the revelation. For me it was a 5k+ at the beginning of October.

What is a 5k+? It was a Crossfit Cleveland event recommended by a couple of our friends.

The workout was to do the following:

Run 500 meters
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 squats

Repeat 10 times.

The numbers don't look to intimidating until you look at the finals stats.

Run 5k....5000 meters
50 pull-ups
100 push-ups
150 squats.

I did okay. Finished in just over 37 minutes. The pull-ups and push-ups are what killed me.

I am not the strongest in the upper body. I really don't like to lift weights. I've tried to follow a lifting routine several times only to fall of it completely out of boredom or the better weather of spring. I hate to spend a workout indoors lifting weights when I could instead be outside running or riding.

Anyways, my upper body was pretty shot by the end of the 5k+. My legs were fine. My chest and biceps were screaming. I completed everything in just over 37 minutes....about 10 minutes after the first finisher.....and about 20 seconds ahead of Aimee. Aimee paced herself much better than I and was able to do the upper body exercises better than I since she teaches Body Sculpting two times a week.

Yeah....Aimee did great.

We did the 5k+ on Saturday morning. I was fine for the rest of the week, but starting Monday DOMS showed up. You know who DOMS is.

Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness.

The only problem with this is that I was not experiencing muscle soreness. It down right f*ck!n' hurt!

I was messed up for a week.

I couldn't straighten my arms because the biceps were tight.
I was having a hard time reaching back to put on my jacket.
I had to bend over in the shower to wash my hair.
I was rolling out of bed because I couldn't push myself up.
I borrowed my neighbors tractor to cut the grass because I couldn't pull start my own lawnmower. Even then I had a hard time steering and the bumps in the yard made my pectoral muscles bounce up and down......ooooo that hurts.

I will never forget what that felt like. I never want to feel that again.

So what do I do to after I recovered from my 5k+?

I joined Crossfit Cleveland.

I needed these workouts.

I wanted these workouts.

As I approach my 43rd birthday I do need to incorporate strength training into my workouts. I also know this will improve my overall fitness. My core will be stronger and my endurance will improve.

I've been hitting the workouts twice a week and am also trying to do one at home on the weekend.

I can tell it's helping. My push-ups and pull-ups are coming along. Aimee is noticing some changes also.

So yeah......find a weakness and do something about it. It will make you a better person.

Friday, December 04, 2009

Friday Fun, for techies

No not Trekkies. Those guys are weird.

Techies. Information Technology Professionals. Geeks.

This is for Christi and any other IT person who reads my blog.

How many Software Engineers, programmers, does it take to change a light bulb?

....wait for it......

None. It's a hardware problem.

Ba dum dum.

Besides, you would want it done right.

Oh snap.

Thanks folks. I'll be making regular appearances on this blog. Come back for more abuse.

I'm crackin' myself up.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Out of Control

That is essentially how I have felt over the past several months. My posts have been weak....if you want to describe it as that.

I mean...nothing for the month of November?!?!?!? Holy lack of motivation Batman!

I stood in the bathroom the other day and the sight inspired me.

Hey now people....keep it clean. This is a family type blog. It's not like I was taking a wiz or standing in front of the mirror naked....but I have been told.....


Actually I was staring at this.....

Yeah....laundry. And you can ignore my pink bathrobe hanging on the wall.

But I looked at the pile of clothes spilling out of the hamper onto the floor and realized.....
"Yep, that's what my life has been like the past several months."

And I blame work. In this economy I can't complain. I have a job I enjoy and every once in a while it gets super crazy...but I do love a challenge.

My last official race was the DoubleMussel at the end of July. My season was essentially over and that is when a huuuuggggeeeee project at work started to get very active. At times I felt overwhelmed and ready to toss in the towel because everything was piling up and spilling over.....kind of like laundry needing to be washed.

I didn't even want to read my favorite blogs. I would try to catch up in spurts but some of you I am seriously behind. Tri-Diesel: 30 behind. Mel's 2nd chances: 56 posts unread. T-Bone's reports: 27 posts including his Ironman Kona reports. Jess's journey: 56.

So what does one do when faced with what appears to be an insurmountable task.

You sort it out.

It's doesn't look as bad now. Work on each item individually and eventually all the laundry is done.

Mid November the HUGE project started to taper off. There are still some loose ends to tie up but I am able to work on other projects, think about blogging again and start updating everyone on my training.

Aimee was a grounding point during all of this.....just like she always is.

Big things are happening for 2010.