Thursday, May 27, 2010
There is light at the end of the tunnel. NYC. This is where we are heading as a family this weekend. It is my oldest daughter's 13th birthday and we are heading to NYC to see the sights.
Now, it is just getting through the rest of the week and I will be golden.
Monday, May 24, 2010
Thursday: Ellie's Recital:
Goats on the Roof!
We are close to Warrior Land!
Upon unloaded our chariot we boarded the ships to Warrior Land.
We had to register for the Warrior Events
Warrior mill around before the battles begin.
Clans from all over the area came to participate.
The Man Dress Clan
The Grinch Clan
Clans from near and far came to take the challenge in the Mud Pit of Doom.
Nacho Libre' took on the challenge.
Warriors drudged through the mud
More obstacles on their way...
Warriors making out of the Mud Pit of Doom towards the Logs of Terrior
Another wave of Warriors pushing towards victory!
A Warrior Wench from the Hauf Brau' House Clan
D'An from the Feather Tribe
A Mud Warrior barreling through the Wall of Fire
A Broadway Warrior coming to the end of his journey
Caveman Tribe Warrior afraid of F-I-R-E!
Mud Pit of Doom taken it toll on Warrior Bob.
Warrior Bob with his Vest of Man Hair with Warriors from a neighboring tribe.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
I decided in the middle of the day as I sat at my desk in agony that track was out of the question. Running was not going to happen, spin was off the docket and swimming was already completed that morning.
I notified Stacey that I was going to skip the track and at that moment, all I knew I needed was a good night sleep.
This became increasing apparent as the day wore on. At one point, my legs and back were in such a place of contention with the rest of my body that I decided to read some emails standing up. After a few minutes, I actually fell asleep standing at the desk. Not good. Sleep was needed but it was too early in the day and too much work to be done.
After work, my eldest daughter had a choir event at the school. Due to the time of the event we decided to eat before heading over to watch. Upon arriving, the gymnasium was packed. Not a seat in the house which forced Sarah, Ellie and I to stand against the wall.
Since the back was acting up this did not sound as bad as it was. Sitting in the bleachers for over an hour was not too inviting to me so the leaning up against the wall had its advantages. Now, the choir sang a number of top 40 songs and then dove into Mrs. Reynold’s favorite show tunes. This was about the time I started to fade. By the middle of the first show tune, I was again, sleep standing. My eyes were closed, my head went limp and I leaned back against the padded wall and felt as if I was in REM sleep.
The only thing that woke me was the clapping of the crowd after the song. But, as soon as the next song started I drifted back to slumber town. This happened 4 more times until the choir was done and it was time to go. We, well Sarah, chatted with a few neighbors as I stood there like a Zombie just waiting to get home.
The choir was not the thing that put me to sleep, I believe it was the hour massage I had on Monday. I have so many issues that Michelle spent the full hour grinding and grinding away at tight muscles and scar tissue. This hour of flushing years of beating my body up took its toll on me.
Slept until 6:30AM on Tuesday. Waking up I felt great. Got 8.5 hours of uninterrupted sleep, had a good breakfast and was ready to face Wednesday.
I had three things planned for Wednesday outside of work. The first was weights. I headed to the gym at 11:45AM did my upper body circuit, stretched the hip flexors and did a 150 sit ups. Done.
Wednesday evening Sarah and I planned to ride Reality. The bike crowd was huge. There were more A riders and B riders than I had ever seen before. The nice weather had pulled everyone to these group rides. The ride was good. I can still tell that my legs are not back to normal nor is my fitness level from running Boston. I was running at threshold just pedaling through Cumming town center and I thought to myself that this is going to be a tough ride. It was tough but not unobtainable. I peeled off with a group of riders that I could hang with. The group I rode with made it back safely to the parking lot which is the sign of a good ride.
For one rider, Mike it was not so good. This leads to the third event. Susan L & Mike’s 20th wedding anniversary. A small group was invited to have pizza and beers with the celebratory couple after the rides. Mike had had an accident jockeying for position and went down. A few bumps, gashes and scraps but he will be able to ride again.
We all headed for the local pizza joint right next to Reality after the ride to celebrate. It was very low key which the happy couple wanted and with all of us caked with sweat and road grit, this pizza joint was perfect.
The time seemed to go by in a flash which is always a good sign that everyone enjoyed themselves. By 9:30PM Sarah and I and most of the party (we all get up way too early) were ready to head home.
Tuesday’s fatigue and soreness turned Wednesday into a great day and an awesome evening. This group of friends are all just a great group of people that both Sarah and I are fortunate to know.
One thing I did leave out and have to mention in passing. Thanks Ann Marie for not giving me too much grief on the ride. You are a true friend.
Thursday is here which means swim. As I laid in bed trying to sleep on Wednesday night, I said to myself that I was not going to swim in the morning. All the activity left me drained. Ironically, with the massage, the ride, weights and being out late, no sleep was allowed. I was awake all night tossing and turning. By 5AM, totally exhausted I thought I could stay in bed for another hour and try to sleep or get my behind up and grind through a swim workout.
I chose the latter.
Coach Mike’s Workout for Thursday:
4 X 100M I.M.
Substitute a drill for fly
2 X 450M on the 9’s
Descending every 100M
Last 50M push it.
22 X 100M
1-2 & 3 on the 1:55’s
4 on the 2:10’s
200M Cool down
We were supposed to do in and outs in the zero entry pool as well but the time got away and it was 7AM while we finished the 100’s.
As I left the gym I saw Carmen coming in from her track workout. She was looking mean and lean as she approached. Carmen has started back to her training and just like all of us that first initial week is brutal. The body does not want to move and the mind can’t make it. In a week or so she will be moving faster and faster as she progresses towards her next event.
The last couple of days have been busy. It wears on the body just like a race tears the body down. Injuries keep plaguing my progression and soon decisions will need to be made on my next steps towards Chicago training. I have two weeks to decide, but in the meantime, I need to stay active and kept my mind off of it. I am not one to sit idle and feel sorry for myself. I attack the problem with tenacity and continue to stretch, ice, stretch and rest the area until it is 100%.
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
We all make decisions on a daily basis that have an effect on ourselves, our families, our friends, our work, etc… The decisions we make either propel us forward in life or trip us up, but without decisions, we would be nowhere.
My wife, Sarah has a large decision to make. She has a very special invite to an event that will take her the next 137 days of total commitment from her and our family to get her to a place where she could triumph. This maybe a one in a lifetime opportunity but the decision has to be 100 percent hers. I cannot tell her she should, “do it”. All I can do for her is support her in her endeavor if her decision is to commit to it.
I made my own decision a few weeks back on an event that I believe that will propel me to another level, but there is no reason with the commitment we have for each other that she cannot attempt what has been laid out in front of her.
We are not getting any younger and you never know what tomorrow will bring, so grab the gusto when you can and run with it.
Friday, May 14, 2010
Yesterday was a momentous occasion. A few friends actually got together to share a few pints of liquid gold at a local watering hole.
Now, you are thinking, “what’s the big deal?” So, you went out and a beer with some friends. Well, I have to say that when I say, “momentous”, I do mean momentous.
You see, this group of friends and so called, gentlemen are elusive. To get all of us in the same room around the same table after work takes planning. It is not just a quick email or call saying, “Meet me for a drink.” This type of activity takes weeks of planning and re-planning to find one day out of the whole year where we can actually have a beer together.
On this particular date that was set, I counted over 25 emails from 7 individuals. The date changed 2 to 3 times and the time fluctuated until we settled on, May 13, 2010 at 5:45PM at Taco Mac. This date was set and put into our planners 2 weeks ago. Jeff, Jay, Bob, Lou, Todd and myself were, “go to go” while Tim could not make it due to travel.
However, as the weeks ended the 6 friends that were to meet at 5:45PM at Taco Mac became, four. Two friends could not make it leaving Bob, Jay, Todd and me to share in a few suds and catch up.
I have found it is best to over invite to a gathering with the anticipation that 20-30% of the invites will drop off for one reason or another.
So, the four of us met at Taco Mac. Bob had been working on his Brewinversity diploma from Taco Mac and was 3 suds away from graduation. When completed Bob would have drunk 125 beers in almost a 4-year period just at Taco Mac. Running some rough numbers that is: 32 beers a year for a total of $960.00 in hard earned money to accomplish this feat.
During our time Bob, since he was the beer aficionado of Taco Mac order beers for us. Kona Fire Run Pale Ale, Hop Devil, Albeit and Hercules. We all drank and saluted Bob in his 125th beer which was the Hercules at 8.5% alcohol. We also raised one to Lou and Jeff in their absence.
We had a great time talking about the normal stuff guys talk about. Marathon’s, training, the next race, convincing Todd to run Chicago, our kids. Just the normal stuff.
After a quick bite to eat and finishing our beers we took off for home. Age does creep up on you especially when you arrive at a bar and leave a bar and the sun is still shining.
This is one event that we need to schedule more often. It is good to hang with good friends for a while with no worries of work or family life.
This morning was rough. Though the beers were limited the alcohol level left me a little foggy waking up. I had an appointment with Ann Marie to swim and do a short run. Tomorrow is AM’s first tri of the season down at the Peachtree City International.
We swam only 1000 meters and ran for 20 minutes. Though it was short, I did not mind it. The structure of only running 20 minutes kept me in check to build back slowly.
We finished the short burst workouts and stretched and talked for a while about almost the same things the men discussed last night. A little more about kids and family, but that is expected when you have a friend that has certain things in common.
Sarah and I are grateful to have friends that share the same common bounds of family, friends and competitiveness.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Due to my blood type and red blood cell count I am a much needed donor for the Red Cross. I give blood every opportunity I can to save lives.
Last year I made a mistake. I gave blood right in the middle of a peak week for Half Ironman training. I did not feel the effect of the donation until the U.S. 10K Challenge.
I went into the race with a prescribed time. Starting out I felt fresh but within 1.25 miles I feel apart. Legs gave out, heart rate was through the roof, I cramped and became delirious. I made it through the race but paid the price. It took me two weeks of being anemic to get back into the game.
Giving blood to a cause that may save a life and possibly the life of someone I know is important to me. But, during training, I reluctantly abstain from my civic duty.
After Boston, I received an email from the American Red Cross asking for a donation. The scheduled event was at our church so without hesitation I volunteered to be drained.
Yesterday was my day to give. When I arrived at the church Tonnet, the nurse asked me if I wanted to give a pint or the "Double Red". Of course, I had to ask about the Double Red. Tonnet advised me that they hook you up to a centrifuge the separates your red blood cells from your plasma. It is called the "Double Red" because the process takes two pints of red blood cells. You are replenished with your plasma and IV back into your body. This technique allows them to produce more high quality of blood for trauma patients. The process takes 40 minutes.
I asked Tonnet which one does the Red Cross need more? "Double Red", she said. I said to her, "I am in".
When it was my turn I was sent over to Shirley, another nurse, who was going to set me up for the drain. The process was painless except for a few things. The needle, of course. Shirley also advised me that my lips may tingle due to a depletion of calcium from the double drain and IV. During the drain, my lips tingled and it was hard to speak. Shirley gave me a hand full of Tums and within 1 minute I was back to normal. The last thing was that you start to shiver. The IV bag is room temperature or about 75-80 degrees. The cool liquid from the IV being pumped into your veins feels like someone has the air condition pointed right at you full blast.
Now, this may sound terrible, but in actuality it was painless. Besides, the way I look at it is I would rather be inconvenienced for 40 minutes to save a life and I prefer having my blood drained from me than being in a situation where I need it pumped into me.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
When you are passionate about events, issues, life, family and then things take a turn all you can do is obsess. This is what I have been doing over the last 2 weeks. My schedule, process and rebuilding has been halted due to the issues that have plagued me.
Yesterday I went through series of questions, X-rays and diagnosis with the specialist. The specialist had me walk down the hall to examine my posture, gait and stride. Everything looked fine in this area. We discussed my training regimen. We talked about mileage and speed. He wanted to make sure that I did not ramp up the distance too fast. Check, everything was good there. Then came the shoes, for my arch and foot the Asics Nimbus is the best running shoe for me. Double check. I have been wearing Nimbus for the last 6 years. Stretching was next on the list. I showed him what I do and again, everything was fine. Stretch training was mentioned, I told him 3-4 times a week alternating legs and upper body. The program I designed for strength building was inline as well. The X-rays came back fine. Not spurs, fractures or tumors visible.
Conclusion, I am a tippy toe walker, which I knew. The specialist had to chalk this one up to bad genes. It is just one of those things that happen. All I can do is repair my issues and move on.
I mentioned that I am not a person to jump to the doctor when I get any kind of ache and pain. But, since I have not experienced this type of injury I wanted to make sure that I was doing the “right things” to insure a healthy recovery and to prevent this from happening again.
Over the next 3 weeks, I need to continue to ice, stretch, build up running slow and get deep tissue massages. I have never had a massage before, nor in my mind, I never needed one, until now. After 3 weeks, I have a follow-up visit to make sure I am progressing forward.
Looks like the bass boat is on hold for now. Time to get busy in repairing and rebuilding.
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I never considered myself, ever a lazy person, but since I am anxious, I guess I fit the bill.
In life, my life and my family’s life “idle” does not compute. We are constantly on the move. Events, commitments, chores, projects and athletics use up our time. For me to be idle is for me to be dead. Even sitting on the chesterfield for a brief moment to rest from one activity to the next my rest is disturbed by thoughts of things that need to be accomplished. Within seconds of settling in to be idle I am up and moving again.
My time and my family’s time to sit and relax is Friday nights with pizza, beer and a movie, other than that I am on the move.
This goes for my training life as well. I like structure in training. Knowing when, where and how I am going to attack my next training session pumps me up and gets me stoked for the challenge.
With “Post”, training in the air not only with me but also with Sarah there is a sense of anxiety that has crept into my psyche that has a temporary hold on me. Sarah has just finished her challenge of a 70.3 event. She is thrilled with her accomplishment as I share in her enjoyment of conquering her quest. Through all Sarah has been through, she has persevered. This is a trait of hers that I adore. She is not a quitter, but a fighter. The differences between us are that she is contempt and enjoys the downtime after her victory. Me, I cannot stand it. I am ready for the next challenge and want to start it right now. Her ability to “relax” after a grueling challenge is another part of her I love. This I cannot understand. In her own way, she helps me “try” to control the constant movement I need.
Right now, after my goal of running the Boston Marathon and the downtime I am to take, I see my friends getting stronger on the bike and run. There is no jealously or resentment protruding. All I want is the ability to be a part of their progress and seeing them move forward.
With the sideline issues experienced right now, that cannot happen.
The body has spoken and curbed me from perpetual motion with my feet. I can still move forward at a snail’s pace, which is out of my element.
So to say I am anxious, is a true statement. To say since I am anxious that I am lazy is other true statement.
I try to put training and moving forward out of my mind, but the grey matter between my ears does not comprehend this type of thinking. There needs to be a constant balance in the tiny universe I exist in and without the Ying and the Yang, I am lost.
Are my goals fading away? Will I ever be able to pursue the goal that I have set for myself for 2010? Should I buy a bass boat, fishing supplies and a beer cooler and forget this whole training and pushing the body to the brink stuff? Fresh fish and Budweiser in the can is appealing...?
This afternoon will help me clarify it. This afternoon will allow me to focus on the next chapter of my athletic life. The “afternoon” will determine my path of my perpetual existence.
I need the challenge in my life of pushing myself to the edge of the envelope. To see what I am capable physically and mentally. I have been down this path before when the body told me what I was destined for. I did not believe it then and I will not believe it now.
But, I need clarification and assistance to put myself back on the train tracks which I have been derailed from over the last 45 days.
Idle and lazy are not in my vocabulary. The “afternoon” will have an impact on me but it will not set me in anyone of these two categories.
If anything, I will start to search for a good deal on a slightly used Ranger Bass Boat.
One last thing.
I returned to Master’s Swimming this morning. I have to say it was nice to be back. Coach Mike welcomed me along with all my fellow swimmers since I am forced to swim only.
I was knocked down a peg by Brian this morning telling me I had to start from scratch in the far lanes. Jokingly of course. I knew that I had to start lower in the ranks since I have not swum over 3000M’s since April 1st.
Coach Mike’s Workout:
Repeat 3 times
18 X 50 Descending ever 3.
:55, :51, :47
8 X 150M with the last 25M race pace
3 X 350M with every 4th length race pace
On the 7’s.
200M Cool Down
I swam with Jeff, Chris and Rebecca. I enjoyed swimming with my friends and enjoyed the workout.
Monday, May 10, 2010
This weekend was B-U-S-Y. Sarah left for her first Half Iron Distance triathlon on Friday with Wren and Courtney. My sister, my niece and my parents are came into town. My sister, Nicole was the featured artist at the Dunwoody Art Festival. My parents came to help out where needed at the festival.
The girls and their cousin folded right into each other and hung out most of the weekend. With Sarah gone and a household of guest it was my job to cook, clean and make sure the homestead continued to function.
The blur of weekend was over before I knew it but during this time since Friday night a lot went on:
Grace had cheerleading try-outs until 10:30PM on Friday.
My buddy, Bob had an art show in Roswell.
My sister, Nicole was at her art show all weekend.
My wife, Sarah completed her very first 70.3 distance triathlon along with her close friends, Courtney and Wren. We are very proud of her and Courtney & Wren for their accomplishment!
My friends, Michelle, Carmen and Sami participated in 70.3 events in Panama City & Knoxville.
My daughter Grace was confirmed in the Methodist Church on Sunday.
Ellie and Camille opened a lemonade stand and raked in over $13!
And me? Well, no running, no swimming and no biking. I held the home together, did yard work, went to my sister's art show, Grace's confirmation and was there for Sarah on her arrival back home on Saturday night.
This week will be focusing on healing, strengthing and trying to maintain my fitness level. I have a appointment on Tuesday with a specialist to get me on the right road to recovery. I know this detour is not permenant and it was the effect of miles of running, but it does wear on your mind to think you may not be able to do what you enjoy eventhough it is not true.
This is why I am taking aggressive moves to combat this on get back on the main highway back to my top form.
In the meantime, the pool is my oasis. I may even come back to Master's this week just to swim with my old swimming buddies. Hope they will have me back.
Friday, May 7, 2010
The nagging issues with the tendons have spoke up and told me to slow down. Miles of running have taken their toll.
I could, but won't, sit on my behind and feel sorry for myself. That is not in my nature. I am a "suck it up and deal with it" type of individual.
When I get knocked down I figure away out to not get knocked down again. We all get up, that is what we do, but to say, "I am not getting knocked down again" is what a few would say. One of them is me.
I have revamped the training and what I have substituted for running over the next 10 days is, swimming, swimming, swimming and a few moderate bikes.
This will allow the fitness to be maintained and allow the injuries to heal.
Today, I was up at 4:25AM. I was to meet my friend, Ann Marie at the pool for her scheduled workout. I told Ann Marie last week that I would be her "Friday Beech" and swim and then run her tempo run with her. I had to break that promise which irritated me to no end. I don't like backing off of a promise, but with run, the thing I enjoy most, out of the picture I had to be a "Friday Half Beech" to her.
The workout was very cut and dry: 10 X 300M descending. Ann Marie was in lane 4 while I took lane 3. There were plenty of swimmers in the pool this morning but we were on a mission.
The workout went good. We descended at our own paces, AM descending from 6:17 to 5:59 while I went from 4:49 to 4:31. After the swim AM headed out to run her 60 minute tempo run which again pained to not to run.
I headed off to the homestead. My wife, Sarah was leaving for her very first Half Ironman at White Lake, NC today. Her race is tomorrow and she was trekking the 7 hour trip to the race sight with good friends and training partners, Courtney and Wren. This is a maiden voyage for the trio and I wanted to be there to see them off on their journey.
My wife, her friends and a few of my other friends, Michelle, Richard, Donna, Carmen and Sami are all venturing out to participate in Half Ironman Distances this weekend at White Lake, REV3 and Gulf Coast.
With the number of triathlons I have participated in I do miss the action of competing but I am more excited for Sarah and my friends in living their dreams over the next 72 hours.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
Putting together a training plan has been simple this go around. Whatever I feel like doing, I do for the next month. Run? Sure! Swim? Sure! Bike?...Bike??? Well, not so sure. 7 months out of the saddle was left me in the beginner's stages of riding again. This was evident last Wednesday as I was dropped and then dropped again. But you know, I had other priorities at the time and my goal was to "best" my 2009 marathon time and I did that. So, the bike will come, when I feel like riding.
Last night I told Sarah that I am going to swim at JC in the morning. This brought a heavy sigh, since JC's swim starts at 5AM. That means getting up at 4:30AM to get over there. I could have swam alone later, but that is no fun. I am in post season training for the time being at I just dread thinking about solo swimming.
I hit the pool and same with Jannie. I even did her workout. She wanted to focus on the main set of 1500 meters. I said, lets hit 3 X 500's and decend on them. She was game so after the warm up we started in. I let her lead on the first 500. We hit the wall at 8:23. Jannie said she was concerned on her races that she goes out too fast and dies half way through the swim. I asked her if the 8:23 was a controlled pace and she said yes. She was trying to start out slow and increase. I gave her a pointer. I said on the next 500, hit the first 75 meters hard, then settle in. After 250 meters hit another 75 meters hard then settle in again. I lead out and finished the 500 in 7:40 and Jannie came in at 8:15. I told her that type of swim technique will train her for the race. Everyone goes out fast but the smart ones learn to settle into a race pace and keep moving forward. We hit the last 500 the same way, I came in at 7:41 and Jannie was 8:19.
After a few sets of 100's I got out. I headed upstairs to run the dreadmill. The only reason I ran on the wheel of doom was to hold a constant flat surface. Flat surfaces are more forgiving on the Achilles while they heel.
I started out my the "stretching" area in the back of the gym. After 1.5 miles, "Sweaty, Spandex Dude" came to stretch. He was decked out in his black marble bag (like a Speedo Boxer Suit), tight, red Spandex shirt and yellow Spandex 80's head band. He proceeded to lay on the floor right in front of me and stetched his legs WIDE open. Now, there is some very worng with this picture and I did not want to continue to look at that snap shot.
I hopped off the Mill of Torture and headed over to the "other side" of the gym where there were more rows of "Walking Paths to Know Where". I settled in between two elder women, cranked the speed to 7.6 MPH and finished my 4 miler with no Spandex Dudes in sight.
If it wasn't for the Spandex Dude and a snap shot of all his glory, it would have been a good morning.
Hitting weight at lunch as well. Changing up the weight program and instead of doing lighter weight with more reps, I am following Runner's World suggesting and doing heavier weight at less reps. The leg workout yesterday went quicker and I learned I need to up the weight. The legs were not as fried as they should have been from this workout. Will attempt the same process on the upper body today.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Saturday was spent stream cleaning every carpet in our home from top to bottom. This process took 7 hours and I had planned to move to the cars but ran out of solution.
Sunday was a nice day so I was outside. After church I started on tearing up the front yard around the pear tree. The tree over the last 6 years has grown from a sapling to a giant tree. With the grass being Bermuda the shade had killed off all the grass within a 10 foot radius all around the tree.
The day was spent: killing the rest of the grass, tearing down the brick flower bed that surrounded the tree and lugging the bricks in the back yard, putting edging down and hauling 30 bags of bark mulch from Lowes to cover the area. After that I headed to the back to spread pine straw. Another 9 hour day working in and around the home and I am not even close to being done.
I find it interesting that I can run 20 miles or bike 100 miles and never feel as sore as doing 1 day of yard work.