Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Most Excellent Run....I never ran.

This morning Aimee and I joined our friends at A Most Excellent Run. Since I am still in recovery I grabbed my camera and made sure to grab some pictures of the event. Our friends have a special needs child who has benefited from the Achievement Centers for Children. So it was an honor to join the group this year and help push Michael for the 10k run. Aimee ran and pushed...I didn't.

But watching the magic as it happens was just as good as taking the steps behind his stroller.

This picture defined the day for me.

Helping Hands

Need I say anything more?

Here are more pictures from the morning.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Back in the Saddle

My down time needs to end. My motivation needs to be lifted. My body needs to be challenged.

This week was a major breakthrough for my recovery.

On Sunday I went with Aimee to the Maumee Bay Tri/Du. Snakebite had a great showing with 12 people competing. The team did great and placed very well in overall and age group standings.

I was cheering and taking pictures of my friends. Here is a public link to my pictures.

I was running to different spots to get pictures and my knee felt pretty good with all the action.

On Tuesday I had a good swim session at the Y and that afternoon I got back to Coca Crossfit. I did the entire WOD, at a reduced weight, and didn't have any side effects.

Wednesday was another PT session. I warmed up on the elliptical machine before doing some floor exercises. Then it was on to the....drum roll please.....TREADMILL. I was going to run.

We started with some walking and I let Cyndi control the speed. We did two intervals of two minutes. I had no pain in the meniscus and just a little over the top of the knee cap. We think it's still a little swollen and just getting irritated. But overall it was a great return to running.

I finished Wednesday night off with a 40 minute spin on the rollers. I put the rollers on the back porch and stayed at home to do a good skills session. Even in the good weather a trainer session still has great benefits.

With two days of moderate workouts I was fried this morning and slept in. Tonight was another crossfit WOD and hopefully I'll swim Friday morning.

This little jump start is just what I needed. I had been feeling flat and my sleep was irregular. I'm convinced that regular exercise helps you sleep better. There were several days in the prior weeks where I was having a hard time getting to sleep or waking in the middle of the night. This week my sleep has been much better.

So I'm looking forward to continuing my training. Race schedule will be determined in the next few weeks.

Game On

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Big Fun in Kansas

Work took me west this past week. I was in the middle of the country where I could say, "Toto, I don't think we are in Ohio anymore" because I was in Kansas. And I don't care what they say about Texas, they like things big in Kansas.

Big Skateboard
I passed this guy on the highway. Maybe they were delivering it to the Jolly Green Giant.

Big Tires
Yes those are tires. Only two of them on that flatbed. Each is the height of the truck cab.

Big Tire Plant

And this is where they were going well as I. I had some work to do at this tire plant. The big tires on the flatbeds were probably going in for repairs. These tires cost so much they repair them instead of buy new ones. The plant has two large x-ray machines to find the damage. How big are the x-ray rooms? Two floors. These stacks of tires are waiting to get shipped out. You might be able to see that one stack of four tires is as high as a trailer.

Big Sunset
I caught this sunset from my hotel parking lot.

Big Hot Air Balloon
After dinner Wednesday night I saw some hot air balloons in the sky. One had an odd shape to it so I chased it down. You can see the basket under the balloon and the flame heating the air.

I followed the balloon to where they would touch down. I wonder if they knew the people living in the house.

That is one heck of a big Jack-in-the-Box balloon.

I thought that getting away from Ohio and working with my customer would keep my mind off triathlon training/racing. I had no such luck. Last weekend was the K-Swiss Ironman 70.3 Kansas in Lawrence, KS. As I was driving to my customer on Monday I saw cars with tri bikes on top going the opposite direction. Grrrrr.

Then I learn that the Topeka Tinman Triathlon is this coming weekend. If I was healthy that would have been a great double weekend to surround my work week.

Oh well. Back at home then it's the Maumee Bay Tri/Du on Sunday. I'll be cheering on my SBR teammates and other Cleveland athletes.

Game On.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Robins Nest Pictures

I took a series of photos of the robins nest outside one of the bedroom windows. It was interesting watching the lives of the baby birds and their parents.

You can find all of the pictures on my Facebook page. The public link is here so everyone can see the pictures.

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Girls With Sole - LULA 5k

My friend Liz is the executive director, founder and head mentor for her organization, Girls With Sole (GWS). I try to support her any way I can because what she is doing means so much to some deserving girls. There are also many great groups, companies and individuals who have partnered with GWS. Many I know including Coach Angela, Grunt Girl Racing (Aimee is a Grunt Girl), Coca Crossfit (Killer Kate), and Hoban Pest Control (Tina is a dear friend of ours) to name a few.

With my knee still recovering I reached out to Liz and asked how I could help. I offered to be the lead bike for the 5k run. She took me up on the offer and I was set to go. Aimee signed up for the race along with many of our friends.

I rode the course to get familiar with the turns and helped the race crew get the corners ready and mark some potentially hazardous holes. When I made it back to the event area I chatted with some friends and listened to Liz give her pre-race speech.

The awards were hand painted by one of the girls in the GWS program. Below is Liz with one of the age group winners with her custom award.

At the beginning of each GWS session Liz has the girls say the program creed to remember why they are there. One of the program girls recited the creed.

We're Girls With Sole and we're on the move
We're strong and proud you can't stop our groove
We know who we are and who we want to be
We sail through life with resiliency
At Girls With Sole we set goals and believe
If we keep lacing up - we will always achieve.

Then one of the girls also sang a song that meant a lot to her. She followed that up with a wonderful National Anthem.

Everyone made their way to the start line for a nice 5k through the lakeside streets of Rocky River. One of our young Snakebite racers was in the crowd. Josh is a little fireball of a runner. He is 14 and running sub 18 for a 5k. I figured he would be top ten at this race. As I was leading the front runners I was constantly looking back to make sure I wasn't too far ahead or too close to the runners. Each time I looked back I could see Josh in fourth place.

I took the leader into the finish area and watched the runners stream in while chatting with and cheering for friends. Sure enough Josh finished fourth overall and won his age group.

But my day wasn't over. One of the race crew asked me to lead the 1 mile walk. With the incoming runners it would be too hard to have a car on the street. So with the ringing of the bell the one mile walk started. I had been joking with two guys about going slow enough for the walkers. They said I would probably tip over. But I didn't have to worry about that.

After I made the first turn I looked back and there was a little girl running after me. She couldn't have been more than 6 years old. I saw her mom and little brother not far behind her so I stayed with her the entire time. I kept her close to the curb providing a rolling barrier as she continued to run.

We made it to the turn around and now she was with the runners of the 5k. I watched as she weaved her way in and out of the runners much older than her. I kept encouraging her and stayed close to this precious little runner. I told her that she didn't have much more to go. The final straight away starts with a right hand turn the goes uphill immediately. Some of the 5k runners were walking and I thought the maybe she would also...but she didn't. She powered up that hill and kept on going to the finish.

As we entered the parking lot she had another 100 yards to go. All of a sudden I saw this little body rocket past me. She saw the finish line and took of like it was the START of the mile. I yelled for her to keep going. Her mom and little brother passed by 30 seconds later and I told her she finished great.

I went back to the event site and started talking with as many friends as I could find. So many of my running, cycling and tri friends were there. It was good to catch up and get some nice sweaty hugs.

I was talking with a friend when I noticed a little body hovering behind his legs. I finally looked down and saw my little runner girl starting to walk away. Her mom said, "He sees you." She turned around....I bent down to her level.......she looked at me and said....."Thank You."

I told her welcome and said what an awesome job she did. She ran the entire mile. She never complained. She never wavered. I honestly think she was smiling the entire time.

I pray that this little girl continues to run, play, grow, compete into the strong woman she can be. This is the essence of Girls With Sole. And this day quite possibly has set in motion a long fulfilling life. I know it has made my life more fulfilling because of this little runner girl.

Game On.

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Recovery is 90% Mental

....the other 10% is in your head.

Recovering from an injury is hard for any athlete. Not being able to do what you love. Not being able to spend time with friends. Wondering when you will be at full strength again in order to start training hard for races undetermined because of the recovery cycle.

Rest and rehab. That's about all I can do. With the incisions I can't get into the pool. I can't run. I'm slowly getting back onto the bike with my max effort being 40 minutes so far.

Tri season is starting without me this weekend at Deer Creek Triathlon.

I can't run in a local 5k benefiting Girls With Sole.

I missed the 14 Hills Death Ride last weekend with my Snakebite teammates.

I am fortunate though that Aimee has been very supportive and makes sure I am cautious about what I do. Unfortunately I snapped at her today not meaning to...bad hubby.

I think it's part of the "seclusion" from doing what I want. Today was a perfect day to ride the bike or run in the park, but alas I didn't....couldn't.

I have been getting my workout fix in with Crossfit. Being able to go up to Coca Crossfit has helped me keep my balance. If I feel I can't do the workout of the day (WOD) I hang out and socialize or provide support to the people pushing through the workout.

If I do workout, it's upper body stuff like shoulder presses, push-ups, chin-ups or other miscellaneous exercises. But the most beneficial aspect of going to the "box" is the community. Unlike running or cycling we all stay at one spot for the workout so we encourage each other, learn from each other and build friendships....not that we don't do the same thing with running/cycling.

I miss my tri buddies a lot and can't wait to get back into the pool/lake or on the bike with them. But the crossfitters at Coca have provided some great mental support lately. They ask about my knee and keep my fire stoked as I watch them complete their WOD and reach new levels of fitness. It's a community very similar to triathlon. We are all at different levels but we all enjoy it very much.

So as the weather gets better...I get better..and soon I will be able to enjoy the nice weather outside on my bike...swimming in the lake....running on the trails.

Game On.