Thursday, July 26, 2012

Questions for Mirinda Carfrae

I'm coming up with a list of conversation starters in case I'm ever cruising down the marathon course at Kona alongside Mirinda Carfrae:

1) What gear do you ride in?  I like 22.
2) Don't you hate it when you un-clip on the wrong side?
3) Manchester United or Liverpool?
4) I never thought I'd wear a mankini but I think I'm rockin' it, amirite?
5) Ever read "Born to Run"?  You should probably work on that heel strike, sistah.
6) If we cross the finish line together, can I hold your hand?

Anyone have any better ideas?

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Remembering Life

I am feeling like a brazillion dollars today.  Two of my workouts got stormed out this week so I had a busy weekend scheduled.  Saturday I got out and had a great run.  I'm still only doing 16 minutes of 1 minute walking and 1 minute running but my legs are getting stronger and there's no more squinting with pain as I start up.  I was going to double up with a swim Saturday afternoon but we'd promised to take my daughter we would take her and her friends to the state fair to meet her boyfriend.  Now, I'd just as soon give him a wedgie as go out of my way for him and my daughter to hang out but I'm trying to be a supportive dad.  At least that's how I felt before I saw them hanging out and riding a ride together.  They both looked really happy and it made my weekend.

I forgot to mention that after my run Saturday I went and bought my new used bike from Andrea's husband.  It's a sweet Fuji that actually fits me.

I've always kind of snickered at people that named their bike's because it seemed like something people did to be part of the tri or cycling crowd.  Of course, I used to have a much meaner spirit than I've had lately.  Anyway, before I even bought this bike I was checking it out and Andrea's house and as if whispered in my ear from an ancient aborigine the name "Ponyboy" lodged itself in my brain.  I know it's not original and there are probably millions of bikes named this around the world but I shall call my bike Ponyboy and I will love it and hug it and it will always be mine.

Wouldn't it figure the part with my new bike would get corrupted.  Are you on the edges of your seats?!?

Today is my wife's birthday.  I still had to catch up on a swim and she always makes sure to run 2 miles on her birthday so we split up before heading out for my inaugural ride on Ponyboy.  My swim was the best I've ever had.  Only 300m but the 50m pool usually kicks my rear.  Today there were tons of nice people swimming and it was a beautiful day.  I was only supposed to do 200m but I felt so good I through in the other 100m.

Then it was time for our ride.

My wife has been letting me use her bike all this time so it was the first time we'd ridden together in years.  I put on my new chamois liner and instantly regretted Dick's Sporting Goods' lack of a plus-size section.  XL cycling shorts do not fit me at least not comfortably.  It was a battle to get them on and I spent most of the ride with ovaries but I'm going to make them work.  I was going to take a picture but I figured it'd be like seeing the corpse on CSI: fascinating but regrettable in the long run.

PEARL IZUMI Liner Short for Men - Black In Size: Extra Large

Those awesome shorts were a birthday present.  Yes, my taste is impeccable.

The wife and I took a 9 mile ride on our Legacy Trail and I think it was one of her best birthdays.  It was so much fun.  Just a couple of months ago I wouldn't have even tried it.  Today it was like taking a walk.

I have nothing else inspiring to say today.  I'm just going to leave you with this picture that made my day.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Go Figure, Happiness Happens

I've been having a great week.  Work has been pretty miserable but I've been ignoring that pretty well and it's always that way.  My training has been kicking ass.  Sunday my daughter ran with me for the first time.  We did 60/60 run/walk intervals and she dropped me on every interval.  But by the end I was keeping up better than I thought I could.  She broke me out of my fat-guy shuffle and today my run was an actual, honest-to-goodness jog.  I felt like an Olympian.

Today, we found out she made the high school volleyball team as a freshman.  I'm always proud of her but I'm beaming this evening.  Apparently she was really worried about her chances because when she found out she broke down.  I felt so bad for her and happy for her at the same time.  I can't wait for the season to begin.

Last Friday I had the oddest swim of my life.  It was cool and rainy but I really didn't want to screw up my schedule so I went and was the only swimmer there.  The lifeguards actually had to go out and get in the chairs just for me.  One of these guards must have felt badly for me because he proceeded to sing in falsetto through my entire swim.  I must have looked lonely and in need of serenading and to be honest it kind of made my day.  God bless you little lifeguard, God bless you.

Saturday I pick up my new used bike.  It's a rocking bike built for someone my height and I can't wait for my first ride.

For my friends and family that read this:  Thank you.  I'm am a very lucky person to have such wonderful people in my life.  Some of them I've only met through this blog but I appreciate the thoughts they send my way.  I hope I get to meet them in person, and hopefully on course.

Sunday, July 8, 2012


This morning I got thinking about the 4th of July, again.  Sitting with my post-run Ovaltine my mind turned to freedom.  Americans are very blessed with the amount of freedom we have to live our daily lives.  However, I think somewhere along the line we've conflated 'freedom' with the Declaration of Independence's 'pursuit of happiness'.  Now, anything that gets in the way of what we consider our happiness is impinging our freedoms.  Our pursuit of happiness seems to give us the freedom to put common courtesy and decency towards other citizens in the back seat.  And that pursuit of happiness has become an end in itself; one long marathon to get happier and happier because Thomas Jefferson said it's what we deserved.

Fortunately, I'm just a nerd with pretty toes so my ruminations usually end there.

This week, though, those thoughts keep coming back to my personal journey.  I'm starting to realize what true freedom feels like.  I never realized it but I had built my own cell around myself.  I had gotten fat, lazy, sad, emotionally cut off, and bored.  I kept trying and used meds to help and I thought I was happy but now I know how trapped I was.  My wife would come bang her coffee cup on the bars every once in a while but I didn't listen.  

I think more than anything writing this blog was the key to my freedom.  It forced me to talk about things I've never even thought about and then when I told everyone my plans it gave me the push I needed to get out the door.

Now I hit the pool twice a week when a couple weeks ago I wouldn't even go because I didn't want to take my shirt off.  I'm riding my bike twice a week when before I was too embarrassed by my old, pedestrian bike to take it out on the trails.  I'm running twice a week when before I was too embarrassed to be seen run/walking.

Now that I've had a taste of what real freedom feels like, I'm never stepping back into that cell.  If you're feeling trapped in your life, don't be afraid to try the lock.  Take that first step or pedal or stroke.  There are a bunch of us out here and we're dying for more to join us.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Advice Needed

Yesterday I got stormed out of my swim.  I completed 150m of a 500m swim before they chased us out of the pool.  I decided that at my level of training, at least I got some swimming in and I'll just stick to my schedule and bike today.

I'm wondering what other people do if life gets in the way of their training.  Would you have added a swim today before or after the bike?  If I added a swim today, should I have just completed the 500m, started over?

Also, I'd like to add some strength training to my triathlon training but I'm not sure when.  Right now I'm training 6 days a week, one tri discipline each day (no bricks, yet).  I do most of my training in the evening but I love working out in the morning.  I just don't know what to do, how many days to add strength work and which days to do it on.  Should my day off from tri training be a complete day off or can I add plyometrics or strength training that day?  Keep in mind, I'm still new at tri training so I don't want to add so much that I jeopardize my regular workouts.

Any advice is welcome and I'd love to hear from people that are reading this.  Have a happy 4th!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Great week

This may have been the best week I've had in 10 years.  Okay, that's a lie, but it was a great, great week.  I hit every workout but one but I'm not complaining about taking a day off in this weather.  Yesterday it was 101F at 7PM.  I had been waiting all day to run and finally just canned it.
My best side.

The previous days bike ride in the heat gave my soul a wedgie and I didn't feel like doing much anyway.

Pictures taken Survivorman style.

It was only a 5 mile ride but I think it hit me harder than I realized.

I'm falling in love with swimming.  I had two 500m swims last week even throwing in some drills on the last swim of the week.

My runs get better every time.  The best side effect of starting this new life style is my wife and I get to run together.  Well, we get to share the arboretum trail at the same time.  If I'm lucky we pass each other at some point and that's always occasion for a quick high five.  We haven't gotten to run together for years and it's such a treat.

Today I got in my missed run; the best one yet and tomorrow I get to get back in the pool.  I'm having so much fun doing this I feel like an idiot.

In other news, we heard last week that the Rock 'n' Roll marathon series is doing a half here in Lexington.  Every runner I know is excited.  I got an IM from a dear friend I hardly see anymore.  She's started reading my blog and she sent me a message to tell me about the half-marathon and that she's going to train for it.  I'm thrilled to hear it and hope I get to train with her in the future.

That's all I got for today.  A disjointed mess but I've kind of settled into my routine and I'm in cruise mode.  I hope everyone's staying cool!