Friday, December 29, 2006

New Year Inspiration

If I try to do nothing else in this genre, I will try to leave people uplifted, enthused and inspired. It is not easy and honestly not every post is a gem. Lately it seems its been downright whining. But I will not be a Whining Little Bitch, I will not. Pity is a bad seed. BEGONE BAD SEED.

So here is some inspiration for your New Years weekend.

Each day you wake up you have a choice:
1. Celebrate what you can do.
2. Mourn what you can't do.

Far to often we lament on our failures or situations and not celebrate the fact that we are whole people; able to swim and bike and run and laugh and can have social interaction with others with full use of our bodies. Many good people can not say that. There are people out there right now, with far more money than you and much happier at their jobs and with their families that are suffering from incurable illnesses. Your problems are really not that bad in the long run.

So each day wake up with excitement and enthusiasm. I love the word enthusiasm because I can't say it with out feeling better. Celebrate what you can do and you will become perfect at it.

Become committed to something so badly that it becomes your mission to be great at it; whether that be becoming a better employee, boss, triathlete, husband or father. I think many of us think we are committed to something when in fact we are not, we are just going through the motions. When you become committed to a goal, which could be as simple as finishing a new distance race or as hard as changing your relationship with a family member, you will begin to live a life of prosperity instead of just enough.

Be excellent.

2007- The Year of 'Gotta Step It Up"

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Back in the deep seat

Well working until the bars close had one affect on me, my back is killing me. It was already tight but double digit straight hours of sitting on my ass in an office chair has left me decidedly worse for wear.

I should know better and walk around every hour to stretch out. For crying out loud I have a whole gym outside my door. Does anyone else find that their office chair has a vortex that warps time? I swear I can go four or five hours without even standing.

One of my partners is very ill so I am going to guess that my efforts last night did not go to total waste, all the time I carved out today will go to cover typing meeting notes for my partners tomorrow. Raising my hand ten years ago when asked, "Does anyone know how to type" has not increased my time management.

My boss and partner is a Luddite of sorts and don't think has ever used a computer. He has no e-mail address, pc on his desk, etc. A cell phone is his technology accelerator. The majority of his work is done on yellow pads. So I get the twenty pages of handwritten notes and asked to get them done as soon as possible which generally translates to a couple hours.

I don't mind much. I have a vital role to play and occasionally it involves the impossible being made possible. Which is why I am an asset to my partners. I am the McGuyver of my peer group.

Of course, knowing where the 'any' key is on the keyboard is crucial.

Here I am...still

I would love to tell you that I getting ready to go to the pool and have you think I am hardcore for getting up so early.

Truth be told, I haven't gone to sleep yet. I'm still at work and been up past the 24 hour mark and I still am not caught up on all my projects. So in this case I give up. I can get a couple hours of sleep then pound out another long day.

I got in a 1ok run, well I guess twelve hours ago, though I am still wearing the same running clothes. I did take my shoes off though.

The part that really sucks is not that I have been up for so long, it's that I used to be able to do this and recovered from it more quickly. Now its going to take me a few nights to get the zombie shake outta me.

Mistress saw this coming tonight, my potential all-nighter, and gave me her wifely speech. I appreciated it and yet we both knew once I am revved up its almost impossible to get me to sleep.

Gotta try though. Someone told me that rest is like the fourth discipline of triathlon Or the fifth. Oh hell I don't know, good night.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Year End Jitters

Last night was the first of what will probably be many nights that I bolt upright in bed at xero -three in a sweat worried about taxes along with month end and year end responsibilities at work. It happens every year and lasts strongly through mid January and lingers until my CPA tells me the good or bad news. How fun for me that my next Ironman is tax day. So if your stressing as well just be sure to look at my countdown clock and thats how much time you have to get your taxes done.

As a self employed person I have the luxury of paying my own taxes instead of it being drawn out of my check each pay period. There are certain advantages and disadvantages to that. I think if more people actually knew what came out of their check in taxes we would have a revolt in this country.

So this morning I was up at 3am and most likely will be at my desk working until 3am trying to satisfy my need to feel 'caught up'. As if that is something that actually happens for more than five minutes.

I will put in a run this afternoon to get some training accomplished but stress is putting enough endorphins through me right now.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Called on account of Phoenix? What?

Last Saturday I got up at zero-four, the first time since Ironman for training. In fact I got up later for Ironman, which makes me want to rethink all this early morning training stuff. Anyway I was I was running behind because I had to wait for my windows to de-ice because it had rained most of the previous day. I mentioned that during my 15 mile run post.

I was almost to the turn off on the freeway when I got a call from Glen, he says he is canceling the ride due to fog. Also that Andy had road around the corner from his house and almost rode into him the fog was so thick.


I told him it was okay where I was at...and then a second later I see the semi-truck 100 yards ahead jack knife on the freeway. I then was completely enveloped in a dark deep fog. Driving to the guys was an experience and a road I have driven, ridden and run dozens of times was now foreign to me. There is no way we could safety negotiate any obstacles in the road let alone blinded drivers. I could have a car headlight on my bike and it wouldn't make a difference.

When we finally hooked up I decided we should go eat and hit the local Denny's. It didn't clear up for several more hours and I didn't get the 3 hour ride in but it was still an experience and I got a free breakfast out of it.

Thanks Glen.

Christmas movie locations

Okay I was not the only one who sat through a ba-dozen Christmas movies the last four days. Did anyone else notice that 99.99% of them are based in New England, New York and the mid-west?

A Christmas Story (personal fav) is in Indiana ,
The Griswald's live in Chicago,
Home Alone is Chicago,
It's A wonderful life's Bedford Falls is fictionally in Upper New York state.
Snoppy, Charlie Brown and the gang live in Minnesota.
Miracle on 34th St is New York,
The Santa Clause is filmed in Toronto,
Elf is New York.

Yeah not much in they way of Christmas masterpieces being filmed on the West Coast, unless of course you throw Lethal Weapon in there. Or Die Hard. Okay don't kill me for mentioning Less Than Zero.

Maybe my whole hypothesis is shot. I think I just wasted a post.

Theme for 2007

Every year I create a new theme to focus on for the year. For example 2005 was 'The Year of Miracles', which actually should have been the 'Year Of Getting My Teeth Kicked In', but the start of 2006 had a lot of sowing from the reaping I did earlier. 2006 is 'The Year for Breakthrough'. At the top of my list (non-biz) was my relationship with my son, Ironman and the AzTriClub. In all three areas I broke through and my life was enriched.

2007 is going to be 'The Year of Gotta Step It Up'. Yeah it doesn't write out as well as it sounds.

It is nothing more that looking my personal struggles and determining to be successful at something. Have the courage to stand and be counted. Step Up whatever it is that you need to step up in order for you to accomplish something with excellence.

I am not saying that if your stepping up for your first Ironman that you have go sub-13. Stepping up is getting to the start. Gotta Step It Up means many things like; consistent training, focused effort, resolve in a relationship, communication with someone close to you. Step It Up is not letting your local rival beat you in your annual triathlon.

To me 'a means to this end' is perfect execution of training. Every training event needs to be done with a positive mental attitude, crisp movements and energy. Gotta Step It Up is having a great Ironman Arizona event this coming April. Stepping It Up is beating my close friend, training partner and race rival Hardcore Mike at IMAZ. Gotta Step It Up is then focusing on speed work for the half irons and Olympics I will be doing for the next several months.

If you have struggled with something in your life recently and after some introspection you realize that if you had just been a little more dedicated to the cause then something great could have happened, if you just had a theme to tie your life together for one year, then make 2007 your Year of Gotta Step It Up.

Where it takes you is up to you.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Boot Camp peak

There is a certain amount of confidence one gains when you get up and just decide to go run 15 miles. I hadn't run half that distance at any one time since Ironman. Thats pretty freaking cool! Wooh-Hooh!

Last night I called ironjenny. That woman is so freaking motivating. Every conversation we have is uplifting. She is a bell that rings true in my life and we have only known each other for such a short time. After getting off the phone with her I decided to run PF Changs full course and got up this morning to see what was there in the legs.

I have planned on volunteering at Chang's and got connected as a cyclist volunteer for the wheelchair division but apparently there is a pecking order and I am first on the waiting list. I really don't want to just stand around and then find out that I missed the opportunity to volunteer or do the race so I am covering both bets.

After my first five mile loop today (IMAZ course otherwise known as Tempe Town Lake) I shuck one of the three base layer shirts I have on under my running jacket and then my gloves. The sun was breaking, I was getting warmed up, it felt like the right then to do.

Wrong. It started to rain. Hard. Its the first time we have had measurable rain since early October. I'm talking Columbus Day people! What were you doing then? Thats right you can't remember but I know this, it hasn't rained here since then.

I did the last five miles getting wetter and colder but at the same time exhilarated that I was doing something I love to do and doing it well. I kept a very steady 10 minute pace the entire time and felt no need to walk.

Boot Camp concludes with a 3'30" ride and a 50" run tomorrow morning starting at 0500. It should be around freezing. (channeling Phoebe from Friends) I KNOW!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Is my spirit all wrong?

A bit of a non-sequiter from Boot Camp but I have been targeted by the Grinch it seems; either I am one or on the receiving end of one depending on the issue.

I believe in the spirit of giving. I truly believe that if you give you will receive back ten fold. I buy lunches for people, I buy gifts for people, I use unsolicited kindness. Just this month Mistress and I gave over 3,000 food items to a food drive. We sponsored an entire families Christmas with Christmas meals and gifts for their children and then bought gifts for another family's children. Not to mention all the other places our money goes to help others. We enjoy that and I feel a little embarrassed to mention it but it puts my rant in context.

In in my garage are several pieces of furniture Mistress replaced with the living room and family room furniture I bought her for Christmas. I called my pastor who runs the Dream Center and asked to donate it for one of the rooms. He gets his guy's to call me and they say it will be a week to get there so I take last Friday off work, then his contacts not only no show me they keep calling to tell me they will be there in another two hours, another hour, until finally I tell them I have to get out of the house before a dinner appointment. I call back Monday, frustrated, but they apologize, so I set up for a smaller window for yesterday and the same thing happens again, excuses this and that. I am frustrated that my generosity has cost me eight hours of time in my house waiting and three hours of work. I will have to give it to another organization because I just can't stand to have it sit in my garage for another week. I am loyal to my charities and it hurts me.

I went to the mall on Saturday, since I couldn't make it Friday waiting for the truck and I am assaulted by the waves of, "Support do this...we could really use your..." I have no problem telling people no, but sometimes they look at you like your dirt. Yet while in a line at the food court I give the teenager in front of me some money to cover his lunch.

Mistress, Mo and I were enjoying dinner the other night and the doorbell rings. I answer the door and its some girl and her sponsor going door to door selling something for school. To me readers, this is the lowest of the low, public schools whoring out kids because the district can't be fiscally responsible, after a few seconds into her spiel I politely say, "No thank you have a good night,". I thought she might cry. The sponsor wasn't very happy either. But I wasn't happy and I didn't let them see that.

Yesterday I get a call on the home phone. CID says its CHASE. so I answer. The caller asks for someone who doesn't live at the number so I tell her, "I'm sorry that person doesn't live here." Then I get clicked. Clicked. No "Excuse me." No "Have a good day". I got hung up on. Thats not right. I know how hard it is to work a phone bank and how rejecting that experience can be which is why I am so nice to those people on the phone, firm but pleasant, and to just be hung up on when I didn't even need to answer the phone is just rude. It just confirms for me that Chase has not improved their customer service model since the last time I heard issues about them.

I'm telling ya, people get so wrapped around the axle at Christmas, I guess I am too. This is one of my most favorite holidays and each year it seems more situations arise that test my spirit. Who knows really why a church can't pick up my furniture. I could have told these guys that their boss is my personal friend and spiritual mentor but I didn't do that. I give a lot of my resources to my charitable organizations year round and to be treated or looked at with contempt because I don't support their specific cause right now is absurd.

I don't mind being asked to support charities or causes. Heck I do it all year long for those that have had unfortunate accidents, are unable to do things for themselves, suffered a terrible tragedy, need a hot meal. I heavily support specific organizations. I am just one small person compared to the generosity of the American public which is so amazing and blessing to the world.

I just don't see why asking for their generosity has to be done with the wrong spirit.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Boot Camp Day 3

When I think of some of the happiest moments in my life, it usually involves sweat. Whether it was finishing Ironman, training with my pals in the Arizona summer, hell, clearing a building without being shot, blown up or falling over a trip wire, all included a great deal of sweat.

I knew on Monday that by today I would not look like I did or feel like I did when I toed the line in Florida. C'mon thats fantasy. But I fell in love again with the idea that days upon days of proper training I would bring that back. And in reality I shouldn't feel like that right now, I deserved a break after 500 days of goal setting.

We all know that if we ate better and trained a little bit more that we would start looking the way we want to. However we must acknowledge and dismiss the myth that running around the block a few times and doing some push ups and sit ups will not get us where we want to go. It simply is not true.

Excluding my fitness levels in the Infantry which worked for a different skill set, Ironman Day is the most fit I have been in my life, but it wasn't the best looking physically that I have ever been. When I was training for bodybuilding shows and had single digit bodyfat, I looked the best I have ever looked but felt my worst health wise the closer I got to the show.

Its this balance we have between wanting to look and feel the way we did in high school, (that old cliche') but then realizing that you probably weren't really in that great a shape then either, just a thinner version of yourself now. We can never please our inner self. Although there are some of us, maybe many we read this post how weigh less and look better than they did in high school or on their wedding day. I can claim both and I am still uncomfortable with myself.

While you read this today I am vacation. Vacation for me is not sitting on the beach and drinking silly concoctions through a straw or curling up with a good book, though both are fabulous activities, especially the reading. Vacation for me is pushing my physical limits, sweating out the inner turmoil that I have about my 'weakness' of mind and body. A self-conflagration. Ironman was a vacation. My week long backpacking trip in Yosemite last year was vacation.

Mistress and I went to an all-inclusive spa resort in Mexico a few years back; as part of this package all food and alcohol was free and we each had 90 minute massages every other day and facials and mani/ pedi's (I traded those in for other services BTW) on the others. Instead of drowning myself in rum at the pool for hours at a time, I was running and crawling through the jungle along pig trails burning off the filet mignon and champagne we had for dinner the night before. I found a challenging obstacle course and flung my body upon its wooden structures for hours at a time sometimes being pulled from the course by Mistress because I was late for dinner,arriving in a sweaty dress shirt and dirt stained khakis because I was already dressed for dinner and wanted to get in a few runs before I relaxed for the night.

Sweat for me is survival. Survival OF something and TILL something.
Its also a forge. Sweat is the cost the body pays for something special it creates.
Sweat for me is life.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

All the same

When your in boot camp, the instructors want you to have a common foe, them. In order to do that they do two things right away; they break you down physically through rigorous exercise and they make you look all alike, such as the buzz cut and the uniforms.

I hadn't done any body grooming since Ironman. I think we are all adult enough to realize that there is a preference to and not to shave body parts as a training mentality, regardless of the pro's and con's. I choose to do so for many reasons including vanity and rehabilitation. I also think we can be mature enough to understand that when it gets cold outside or we end relationships that involved a certain amount of immodesty, we humans cover our body with clothes and the vain need to shave legs or this or that take second place to comfort. It could also be laziness.

In an effort to bring focus back to my training I naired, trimmed and shaved all the usual areas I do during my triathlon season. The purpose is to remind myself that I do this as part of my preparation for Ironman. Diet, exercise and mental preparation all go into the mixture of my training. The grooming is more so the outward symbol that I am on the journey while looking at me physically may not attest to that. The tattoo on my leg is the status that I did something special but the grooming, shows that I still seek to maintain that level of fitness year round.

You don't need body grooming to be an Ironman. There is no height, weight, bodyfat, skin color, hair length requirements. I saw many people that looked in far worse shape than myself finish much faster than my time. And more power to them, I think that is great. But I want to look a certain way, I want to feel a certain way, I need to think a certain way and my therapists appreciate bare parts to rub and manipulate too. Mistress...she just likes looking at my legs.

Honing the blade

A knife is created for a purpose. That purpose can not be fulfilled if the blade is not kept sharp and well oiled. A dull blade is nothing more than a cumbersome and clumsy tool that feels uncomfortable when accomplishing a common task. Try raking a sharp blade through a piece of paper and then a dull blade. One cuts through easily, one pulls through. I feel I have let my blade dull and tarnish in just a few short weeks. But that is the way it is with such sharp edges. The finer the blade the more it must be worked.

Now comes the penitence for my laziness. Today is my second day of Boot Camp. My personal journey to resharpen my edge. To stroke the metal in me to the fine edge that took me through an ironman with relative ease and then create a whole new blade while I do it.

I had 500 days to create the knife and the hone the edge that took me through Ironman Florida. Today I have just over 100 days to sharpen the blade for Arizona. This blade will have the advantage being tempered through the fire of one ironman and will be harder and stronger than the one in the past. It will look different. It will feel different. It will cut deeper and last longer. Its the next step in the evolution.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Boot Camp

So I pretty much have the rest of the week off. I have some hard business work that needs to be done between now and New Years but I am on God's good grace as far as my time goes.

Boot Camp.

Beginning today and through Friday I am going to pound my body into submission. I will ATTACK my physical being with miles of ironman training and functional exercise. I will forge the white hot blade of IRON that when tempered will set my back strong for the 140.6 miles I will travel on April 15, 2007. One a day, two a day, three a day workouts. Bricks. Tricks. I will fit it all in.

Recovery was necessary after Ironman Florida. Having a terrible chest cold and then throwing my back out was just plain mean. I have grown weak in mind and body. I felt sorry for my condition. I began to alibi. I feel another week of this lethargy and I will succumb to Common Man Syndrome and derail my 2007 season. My training season starts today!

Begone Bad Seeds. I will no longer dwell on what tasty morsel will have the pleasure of passing my lips for a late night snack. This is training mode. Training I understand. Food is for fuel not entertainment. Food is the energy that will get me to the top the hill, the energy that will repair by battered form after a strenuous session. Food is not for comfort.

My body will become an economy of motion, not wasting or spilling a drop of its precious energy. By Friday my body, living off the success of Ironman, will remember how tight the spring can be coiled.

Mentally I will rededicate myself to my physical goals while I beat the whining and sniveling out of me. These first few days will not be easy. In fact they will be damn hard. I do not envy the battle of wills that will occur tomorrow morning when I feel the pain in my body from todays efforts.

I was in incredible shape just six weeks ago. Inside me I am still that man, covered with a layer that I now find repulsive, not just of fat of the body but of the mind. Yes I am not happy with myself because I equated recovery and illness and injury with normalcy. In truth I have only lost two weeks. Who would begrudge me two weeks, after my first ironman and during Christmas? I do.

So. Boot Camp. For those that have been to boot camp you understand the transformation that will occur. I will be the trainee and the DI for this one week exercise. I have been both in a professional sense. I will be more after.

But for now, this is me. Mann, Comm's. 1 each. Waterproof. Self Contained. Bean Feed. Water cooled.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Hug your kids

Mistress just got a phone call from our good friend. A mutual family friend of ours lost her 4 month old son to SIDS last night. She has a five year old boy and a three year old boy right now. She lost twins 7 days after they were born six and a half year ago. Mistress was there for every day of that at the hospital.

Five kids born and now only two survive. From the report the parents are not even in shock yet. They were talking and laughing at jokes through the day. Their families live in Washington and the storms have locked them down till early next week. Mistress is pretty sure the father will be okay with time but her and our friends are worried about the mother. The death of twins was hard on her. A third is...well hug your kids tonight.

I have told Mo a few times to give Mommy a hug since she looks worn down after the call. When we were alone in the bathroom, Mo says, "I got's to give mommy a hug. I am mommy's star angel."

I am sure Mo will be sleeping in our bed tonight.

I see the Village near the Bright Shining City on a Hill

Its the tenth anniversary of It Takes A Village by Senator Rodham. All things considered, (eight years of republican leadership) her theory has taken hold in society. Thanks to the self help pap dished out there to the public; You are not responsible for anything you do is just the beginning. There should be no more Wal-Marts, only government grocery stores all selling the same thing, especially gov-ment cheese. There should be no more shopping malls, only clothing distribution centers. Prohibitive tarrifs will demand that you can only drive a generic American car or be forced into mass transportation. Unless of course your in power then you get whatever you want.

No longer parents will You raise your children unless its in private institutions. Why You are not qualified. It takes a public village you know. Once you have done your job bringing a new civilian into the world and each of You parents get your six weeks of paid leave, Your child will raised by government appointed and educated teachers in state / government sponsored all day daycare. That way your prejudiced and biased way of living will not be fostered onto a blank slate. your government will know exactly what Your child needs.

President Reagan in his farewell address quoted from another man a passage in the bible from Jesus regarding a Bright city, referring that the city was bathed in light from God's blessing and if they fell from God's path (in a reference to the old testament) they would lose his light. Behind this message is the clear concept of capitalism, stick-to-it-ness, love your neighbor and follow a godly path. Even if you don't follow Christ you still can follow the path. Instead of being led by your God, your led by your heart. Your heart tells you what is right and wrong all the time, guilt, sweating through a difficult decision, these are all clarion calls to Doing The Right Thing.

Not all people follow these precepts. There is great darkness in this world. Seek to banish your own darkness by being a rugged individual. It doesn't take a village to raise a child, it takes a city of empowerment. Think before you act. Act boldly. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. Give. Celebrate.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

I'm Ironman

Mo just loves telling people he is a power ranger. He is not past dinosaurs except that now he is sometimes a dinosaur power ranger. But like all people who witness an Ironman, the Mighty Mo has also come away touched in his soul.

The other day while driving around we came upon a cyclist. Mo looked at him out the window and whispered under his breath, "Go, Daddy, Go" very softly. Thats what he says when he sees me race. When I asked him to say it louder, he became very animated and started talking about how daddy has a big bike like that, but he has a little bike and that he likes daddy's bike. Aagain the video and audio are slightly off like the last few. Mistress was using the video option on a digital camera for the first time so the angle is 90 degree's off, but nevertheless, its fun to hear.

Mo Updates

Have some good Mo stuff to post today. As he would say...Cheers!

Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Gear Review: Guyot Design Firefly lamp.

Yeah you can steal this

I want to give you all a tip for a great Christmas present for the outdoor lover in your life or to recapture a bit of your own past. This product came out a few months ago and I have bought one for myself and all my fishing/ camping partners for Christmas.

Everyone has the plastic wide mouthed nalogene bottle. The firefly lamp by Guyot design replaces the plastic lid with an ingenious LED lamp that transforms just a water bottle to a very capable and functional light source.

The lamp is set into a waterproof casing inside the lid and the lid is attached to the bottle by a cord locked onto the bottle neck.

Using a simple orange button you can turn on or turn off the lamp. By holding the button down you can dim the light source to fit your illumination desires. I have used this as a community lamp out at the lake when we would all sit around after sunset drinking beer and swapping stories. I have also used this as a reading light on my nightstand at its lowest dimming and Mistress appreciated not having such a glare on her.

Perhaps an unintended consequence but a beautiful effect is that the white LED puts out a glow that is based on the color of your nalogene bottle. I prefer my bright yellow bottle over my others but now looking at these screen shots I might try to find myself a blue bottle. It really does look like you have firefly's in a bottle however with this lamp water does not affect the brilliance of the light output as opposed to if you used real firefly's.

Its a great talk piece. For those loved ones that still get outside for camping this lamp makes not only a great camp light but a great tent light as well. Hang it from the top of the tent and you can read or do whatever you need to do. If you keep it on the ground the familiar size and shape of the nalogene bottle makes for a quick find in the middle of the night. During the day you can clip it to the outside of your pack and drink from the bottle and have the light available right away if you get to camp late.

For those of us that don't get out as often as we like but still love the camping mentality, putting this out makes you feel a little bit closer to the outdoors, even if your outdoors is your backyard.

$20 at REI, Google it or perhaps your local big outdoor retailer. Bottle generally not included.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Clyde in the box...

It is always interesting to look in the mirror when your on the back side of the training cycle looking up with glee at the training ahead.

I weigh less than I did last year. Fitter, faster, leaner. Blah. While I am a new convert to the sanctity of the taper and recover period, watching my silhouette change is soooo not right.

I trust the experts that say periods like this usually bring about a new level of fitness for the coming year. I trusted them in my taper for IM and I will trust them in this.

I have done enough damage to my normally frugal diet lately that I have not much apprehension regarding the Christmas food that is fast approaching my offices and homes. Now that the switch is flipped and I am charging ahead with training all those indulgences will be tempered with focus and purpose.

There will still be obstacles ahead but a life with purpose includes sacrifice and sometimes passing the pie.

Monday, December 11, 2006

Version 2.5

Today I am healthy enough to OFFICIALLY begin training for Ironman Arizona. No more congestion. Very little pain in my back. Only 125 day's left till the race.

When I started training for Ironman Arizona 2006, which I did not do since I was already committed to Florida and by the time I thought about it was sold out, I was all out with my training partners who were doing AZ, we started in October 2005.

I took very little time off after my IMAZ 2006 peak and dived right into IMFL 2006 training. It was pretty much 500+ days of training for Florida. Now after ostensibly 40 days off of vigorous physical activity I will ramp up for Ironman number two.

I will start my first day back the same way I have started almost all my first training days since my car accident twenty years ago. I will go for a walk. Going for a walk is a reminder that at one point in my life I couldn't walk, I didn't know how to walk. Its to remind me that I need to pace myself and be humble compared to the goals before me.

A walk today reminds me that I still have to be careful slipping into a quality program rather than blast off and crush my body in an all out attack on its senses. Plenty of time for that in the upcoming weeks.

Charlie Mike...(continue the mission)

Saturday, December 9, 2006

Half time

Now that was a freaking wedding. I am going to guess a good $60,000 shindig. The vegetables were a bit over salted, well they were rubbed in the stuff but the filet mignon's were off the hook and the salmon was great.

I suppose any wedding with ten bridesmaids makes for a long ceremony but the outdoor location was beautiful and weather perfect. There was some traffic issues so we were right on the time button but they delayed a few minutes recognizing the issue. As we sat down some friends remarked that they saw someone running along the side of the road with their iPod on and they swore it was me running to the wedding, (I live 30 miles away).

Mistress and I tag teamed the booze. I got my two double grey goose vodka, splash of cran during the cocktail hour and then she got the wine and champagne during the dinner and party. She had a better time than me.

Sunday is NFL day and I got my dad and I tickets for the Seahawk / Cardinals game for his Christmas gift. We are sitting in the coaches seats on the 30 yard line. Good tickets. We are going early because The Machines son is competing in the state final "Punt, Pass, Kick" contest in the morning then doing a little something at the halftime show. Plus we are both big Seattle football fans. If he wins they fly them to a NFL play off game for a regional final. Between his morning contest and the afternoon game I am taking the old man to Cabela's for a run around the massive store or over to Luke AFB for a trip to the PX. I haven't been there for years and it's been a while for him as well. Then back to the stadium for a bit of tailgating with The Machine and his family.

Go Hawks!

Slow and Somber

Did a Ride in Silence 10 mile cycle event this morning. Its is for awareness and hopefully activation of legislation for cyclists killed by motor vehicles. About 300 riders of all ages and ability came together. Several AZTRICLUB members met at a central location and rode there together.

The ride was from one LBS to another. Since my house was only a mile from the finishing location we all rode to my place and Mistress made breakfast and coffee for the nine of us from the team. While she selflessly worked away we talked and watched IMAZ 2006 on my DVR. Mighty Mo was very generous walking around and giving everyone a piece of his Christmas chocolates.

Later today Mistress and I are going to a big celebrity wedding in trendy north Scottsdale. I thought we could skate out a little early so I could pick up my tickets to the Seahawk / Cardinal NFL game tomorrow but Mistress has informed me that this is a very formal affair and this ain't your typical buffet style reception. Not that I want to turn down good grub but I don't want to be in a stuffy reception till the wee hours.

However she did finish by saying that the open bar is all top shelf liqueurs and that the beers are all import.

Friday, December 8, 2006

A great website

I was talking with a friend who asked if I was a member of His buddy here in town created it.

I had never heard of it. Boy what a cool site, I became a member right away, its free. Chances are you too are already listed on it too. It is an athlete search engine that collects all your races and times on one page. Then any person that has been in three races with you and also an athlinks member gets listed as a 'rival' so you can see who they are. You can also list people as your friends. I was amazed to see Nancy right on the front page of the website and she helped me with some newbie stuff and became my first 'friend' on the site. Thanks Nancy.

Its a snap to enroll with the only complication (perhaps) is if you have a very common name and need to sort through hundreds of the same name to find all your races listed. Names also have ages and hometowns listed so its not that bad. But my name was listed eight times and I have a unique name. In fact for Ironman Florida, I was listed as FL as my hometown.

Please check this out.

A different Christmas Poem

This came from a friend. I have seen several of these over the years and this one touched me as a nice update.

The embers glowed softly, and in their dim light,
I gazed round the room and I cherished the sight.
My wife was asleep, her head on my chest,
My daughter beside me, angelic in rest.
Outside the snow fell, a blanket of white,
Transforming the yard to a winter delight.
The sparkling lights in the tree I believe,
Completed the magic that was Christmas Eve.
My eyelids were heavy, my breathing was deep,
Secure and surrounded by love I would sleep.
In perfect contentment, or so it would seem,
So I slumbered, perhaps I started to dream.

The sound wasn't loud, and it wasn't too near,
But I opened my eyes when it tickled my ear.
Perhaps just a cough, I didn't quite know, Then the
sure sound of footsteps outside in the snow.
My soul gave a tremble, I struggled to hear,
And I crept to the door just to see who was near.
Standing out in the cold and the dark of the night,
A lone figure stood, his face weary and tight.

A soldier, I puzzled, some twenty years old,
Perhaps a Marine, huddled here in the cold.
Alone in the dark, he looked up and smiled,
Standing watch over me, and my wife and my child.
"What are you doing?" I asked without fear,
"Come in this moment, it's freezing out here!
Put down your pack, brush the snow from your sleeve,
You should be at home on a cold Christmas Eve!"

For barely a moment I saw his eyes shift,
Away from the cold and the snow blown in drifts..
To the window that danced with a warm fire's light
Then he sighed and he said "Its really all right,
I'm out here by choice. I'm here every night."

"It's my duty to stand at the front of the line,
That separates you from the darkest of times.
No one had to ask or beg or implore me,
I'm proud to stand here like my fathers before me.
My Gramps died at ' Pearl on a day in December,"
Then he sighed, "That's a Christmas 'Gram always remembers."
My dad stood his watch in the jungles of ' Nam ',
And now it is my turn and so, here I am.
I've not seen my own son in more than a while,
But my wife sends me pictures, he's sure got her smile.

Then he bent and he carefully pulled from his bag,
The red, white, and blue... an American flag.
I can live through the cold and the being alone,
Away from my family, my house and my home.
I can stand at my post through the rain and the sleet,
I can sleep in a foxhole with little to eat.
I can carry the weight of killing another,
Or lay down my life with my sister and brother..
Who stand at the front against any and all,
To ensure for all time that this flag will not fall."

"So go back inside," he said, "harbor no fright,
Your family is waiting and I'll be all right."
"But isn't there something I can do, at the least,
"Give you money," I asked, "or prepare you a feast?
It seems all too little for all that you've done,
For being away from your wife and your son."
Then his eye welled a tear that held no regret,
"Just tell us you love us, and never forget.
To fight for our rights back at home while we're gone,
To stand your own watch, no matter how long.
For when we come home, either standing or dead,
To know you remember we fought and we bled.
Is payment enough, and with that we will trust,
That we mattered to you as you mattered to us."

LCDR Jeff Giles, SC


Thursday, December 7, 2006

Party's and Foul's

Tonight is the first of many Christmas parties I will be attending the next few weeks. This one is actually at a partners house which is a catered event for the employees. Its usually a nice affair, every once and awhile an employee gets a little to soused and hits on someone's wife thinking they are another employee. A good employee going down the wrong path will be led into a back bedroom and given the prosperity talk if they follow the right path.

Saturday is a celebrity wedding in Scottsdale. It will undoubtedly be a formal affair with lots of money being thrown into it, though none into my pocket. I'll make sure to go back to the open bar and filet mignon aperitifs often.

The back is getting better but more focused over my right back pocket. I am still planning on the ride of silence on Saturday morning. All the AZTRICLUB members are riding to the start then riding with the group to the finish. It ends just a mile from my house so Mistress and I invited all the team mates back to our house for breakfast before they ride home themselves.

I think this ride will be the deciding point in my training for the rest of the year. Ramp up or shut it down completely.

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Ride in Silence

This weekend I and hopefully hundreds of others are participating in a ride of silence for cyclists who have been killed by motorist in the Valley.

I don't know if I will actually have to be silent for the symbolic ten mile ride but I am sure it will be a somber procession.

A local triathlete and his wife were struck by an uninsured motorist who is also an illegal alien last month and he is in miserable condition. Compound fracture to his leg, shattered arm, broken pelvis in five places, broken neck (non-paralyzing), broken ribs, ruptured kidney, torn vena cava. He was induced into a coma for a week. They finally pulled his breathing tube after a few weeks. He is still in ICU. His wife suffered some injury as she hit the car instead of vice versa.

Terribly sad situation. This is a couple who have done much for triathlon in the valley and have competed in 13 Ironman's together, including several Kona trips.

So mortality has been on my mind lately. I met with a friend today to update my life insurance and my start a disability insurance plan. I would hate to be in situation where an injury caused financial hardship to my family. And the fact is with all the 'issues' us mortals have with mortality, the fact is the chances of being disabled are higher than dying at a young age.

When I mentor young employees on what to do with their money once they start getting commas on their paycheck, I always stress health insurance or at the very least major medical. I think of all the issues I have had with my head; closed head injury, open head injury, a dozen concussions, subdural hematoma's, amnesia, I have been pig headed that last several years in not heeding my own advice to protect myself and my family from unforeseen circumstances.

So this weekend if your riding, ride for a few moments in memory of a fallen cyclist. While your juggling your holiday stuff, check in with your auto insurance carrier to see if you're covered for uninsured motorists in both car and bike injury (some do), and look into a Christmas gift for your family that revolves around you protecting them if something happens and you can't provide your normal income.

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

NY bans Trans Fat

Oh I wish I could post my old journals online. I know I have an entry from ten years ago bemoaning that fact that some day fat would be taxed or fast food would be banned or restricted on a wide scale. New York proved my point.

You may think this is a good thing. When you read the article there are even things I agree with. I for one would like to have nutritional content displayed for my edifice, it makes tracking it in TrainingPeaks easier.

This is exactly why however, that I opposed smoking bans. See you folks out there may not like smoking or cigarette smoke so you voted against it but now that your favorite fries and secret pizza dough recipes might be forever changed whose crying now? I for one.

Look. Yes there are terrible things you can put in your body that are harmful to your health. Why do you think people go vegan for a while after witnessesing a cow being slaughtered. Who wants to see the additives and perservatives that keep their favorite desert the same consistancy for four hours sitting on the table?

But the sad fact is that trans-fats will not kill you. No they will not. Eating to much will kill you. Not being able to flip the switch in your mind that says "you can stop now". Lack of exercise will kill you. Millions of people have had worse diets than you and lived long lives.

Be prepared for the fat tax. And the tax man will cometh.

Be prepared for your favorite guilty pleasure foods to coast more and taste differently.

Where is my sandwich board. I need to find a curb.


I don't talk about work much online, the nuts and bolts that is. Don't really want to, I do that enough IRL. But I was dreading a meeting today and I rehearsed my spiel all last night and today and I really thought for some reason I was going to get clobbered. It was all for nothing.

However I was not lost on this guilt that I have. Fear or failure. Afraid that I have or had let my partners down. It makes you think about business mortality. We are not a self pity group of individuals. We liken ourselves more to a high powered NFL coaching team. Want to see pressure? Try watching an NFL coach on the sidelines this weekend. It is not uncommon for us to have our moments of weakness, our day of genuflection. We get about five minutes to do that before we either get a foot up our ass or hardcore grilling.

Really if you think about it, the times of your best success, (at least in my case) have been when I was applied the most pressure. No one likes being told what to do but the fact is many times its doing those things you don't want to do, but must do because your told, that are the best for your career.

I live in a high pressured world. I am not happy with a lot of things in my life but most successful people are not satisfied on a regular basis. Hunger can keep you focused and sharp. I think my fear was that I had lost my timing and screwing things up on the rest of the team that depends on me.

Maybe I have. Maybe I did. But the meeting rekindled what fire I had in me for work.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Drama Queen?

After my lamenting of my poor training and health week, I was unaware the worst was to come. On Saturday morning while fixing some Christmas displays in the yard, I felt like someone knifed me in the back.

I stood up and let the spasm pass. That took about five minutes. Then I figured I would just tie off the one wire I was working on and go ice. Just as I was finishing, it felt like I got shot in the back.

As I stared at the sky and remarked at how cool the rocks felt on my back, I realized I did not voluntarily lie down. It took me twenty agonizing minutes to shuffle into the house, take two pain killers, grab an ice bag and lay down. I pretty much stayed there for the next ten hours. And all the next day.

This morning I drove over to The Machines office for a twenty minute massage, electrical stimulation (e-stem) and some adjusting. Not everything adjusted.

The week is not starting strong for the Intrepid Age Grouper.

This is not the first time my back has gone out but the first time in a long time. I actually think the triathlon training and especially the running has protected my body and with my recovery period post-Ironman I was not giving my body the minimum conditioning it needed to stave off a relapse.


Friday, December 1, 2006


This has been a long week. I have done zero training. WAIT. I take that back. I ran 100 yards of a planned five mile run.

Let's see I puked my guts up one night, spent one full day in bed, then spent the last five days battling a head cold. My eyes itch, my throats scratched and my nose is runny. I discovered that last week the average was 84 degrees and this week it was 59 degrees which means that this Intrepid Age Grouper froze his clima-cooled ass off.

I really need this week to be done. Over. Finite'.

Pity party of one-right here.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

How dare you sir!

I am ashamed at all you men who have your Christmas shopping done already. For crying out loud I haven't even finished my list!

And for those of you who stayed up late on Thanksgiving for a midnight store opening or woke up before 0500 for a super sale...for shame. Unless it was for your own personal gratification like the new X-box or to buy yourself a 50" LCD Flat screen for 30% off and spend that savings on a kick ass surround sound to go with it.

This is the problem with letting your spouses watch Oprah. Going out for ten hours of shopping getting it all done in one day...What are you guys thinking. Where is the making love ones ask you five times if you've finished your list? For God's sake man, Mistress just called and asked me to sit down and write my list out tonight for the second time. And then where is the pride in getting that exasperated look from your wife when you tell her you lost the list...again?

Let me tell you a story. I had five great friends I grew up with. Every December 23rd we met at noon at the local mall that had a great bar. We had lunch. We had several drinks. Then we put all our names in a hat and drew one name. We then did all the Christmas shopping for that person as a team. Then we went back to the bar. We did a whole bunch of shots of brown liqueur and pulled a second name. The shopping for this person went a little bit faster. Then, yup you guessed it back to the bar for more drinks and shots. Then the third name was pulled and so on until we got to the last name.

By now this gaggle of drunk men had a good dozen drinks in them and no patience. Where the first person pulled everyone around the mall getting gifts the last guy basically went into one store and everyone gave him suggestions on what to get people-

"Hey Comm, how 'bout this glass unicorn butter dish?"
"Perfect for mom. Throw it here."

"HeyMann, does your dad wear shirts?"
"I think so, do they have large?"
"No. They have medium and XL and only in purple."
"Get one of each."

The point is, I have a hard time with enlightened men who have their Christmas shopping done in one day and done before at least December 15th.

And if you have already told someone Merry Christmas before December 1st and you can pee standing up. For Shame. Much to early. Much to early. Women you get a pass on this one. Hell you get a pass for this whole post. But men...oh don't get me started.

Now don't get me wrong. I love Christmas. I don't celebrate Valentines Day or Halloween or Mothers Day and most other BS holidays but I always keep a few Christmas gifts around just in case. About ten years ago I went to an After-Christmas sale at Safeway and bought a couple dozen pairs of those argyle musical/ blinking light Christmas socks. I wrapped them up and put them under the tree every year so right away it looks like there is lots of presents there. And then if someone comes over and gives me a gift, and I didn't get one for them, I go right to that tree and give them a pair of argyle socks that light up and play "Here comes Santa Claus" when they rub their legs together.

I still have some left if you come over.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Phone it in

The high today is 59 degrees. I considered calling my partner and telling him it was too cold to drive into work today. I mean, its mostly sunny out which means that even though its sunny there are clouds that shadow the light for several minutes. But its cold. I mean c'mon 59 degrees is the high?

And all over the news its showing snow here and there. Makes me think there is snow here and now. I heard my brutha' Bolder got like two feet of snow. My tele-commute today was to be tantamount to solidarity for my bumming buddy. But no, I actually bundles up in two shirts, a sweatshirt and a down jacket, put on my gortex boots in case it got colder than 59 degrees at 5pm and trudged out to the car.

I opened the front door and the blast of cold air that flew into the room took my breath away. At least it was just normal pressure equalization and there wasn't any actual wind out there. I am sure it would have been cold. My car had a little bit of dew on it. I wasn't to upset about that except that my coffee cup left a ring on the roof when I put it there to open the door. Now I have to go get my car washed again. Do you know how long it takes those guy's to hand wash my car? Twenty minutes. And I am supposed to tip for that kind of time? Yes. But I get more Vanilla scenty smells put in my upholstery so I got that going for me which is nice.

I dropped Mo off at school and all the kids were in one classroom being read a story instead of running around outside. True. True. Can't have the little whippers catching death of cold. I mean at 0730 it was probably 50 degrees.

To make matters worse my palette is all jacked up thanks to this head cold. When everything tastes like nothing I personally head straight for the chocolate. The bigger the bar the better, nothing fancy and no added nuts or peanut butter or nugget. When sick I can survive on nothing but big thick bars of Hersey's chocolate and diet coke for weeks. Thank god I am only sick for days.

I suppose tonight when I head home I will have to compete with those idiot drivers who don't know how to drive in the cold. C'mon. You don't have to brake every time you see black ice on the road. It is only 59 degrees, I'm pretty sure its just water. Maybe someone dumped out their drink waiting to merge lanes.

And speed up will ya. All you snow birds from Ottawa who think 55 mph is actually 55 kph. Yes every driver in Arizona has a loaded weapon in the car, this is the 'Wild West' after all, but no one wants to roll down their window and actually shoot you during this cold spell. I mean think about it. Rolling down the window lets the warm air out. We're just getting used to driving without a/c on, now you expect us to let the heat out just so we can brandish a firearm so you finally merge over or speed up?

Think of me warmly and fondly tonight my good friends. Its a 52 degrees right now. I guess we won't even reach our high. I will probably have to turn on my heater and actually sleep under a blanket. I refuse to put on house slippers to fight the cold tile.

If my toilet seat is cold tonight, all hells going to break loose...

Come in from the cold

I have had the pleasure of staying in loose communication with a fellow blogger who had to stop posting for some quite boring reasons but reason enough to stop doing something he enjoyed for the sake of his family security.

This blogger who wishes to maintain a sense of anonymity from his previous creation is an original Triathlete Alliance member. Please stop by and subscribe to his new web log.

You may remember who he was from his first post but if not you will in the coming weeks. The names are different, the situations are different. But the honesty and hopefully the silly, stuck in meeting cell phone self portraits will continue.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Whoosy, fuzzy...

I guess if spend enough time behind enemy lines you eventually get caught. After living in a germ infested house for a month and being germ phobic for the two weeks prior to Ironman I was bound to get my due. I have a bit of a head cold now. The weather took a big turn for the colder the last 48 hours and think the food poisoning just primed the pump for a cold. Normally I would think that the vomiting was a part of the illness but you don't start a head cold with five hours of puking your guts up.

The raspy voice from vomiting has been replaced by the one caused by post nasal drip. Oh well. This happens. Its all above my shoulders right now so I am still going to go out for my run this afternoon. The goal is a short and simple five miles though if this glorious body begins to bust up I can Bug-Out at three miles.

Mistress and Mighty Mo are doing much better for those that have inquired. Mo is now able to give himself his own breathing treatments which is such a relief for us. Most of the time he holds the mask to his face but lately will allow us to strap it around his head so he has two hands free for toys and such.

Mistress is feeling better each day though my plan to give her last Sunday off to herself went up in flames and she became a bit grumpy. Its understandable. She and Mo have spent a lot of time together on the couch and she needs to 'ME' time. In a fair and equitable turn I told her she could shop for and buy a new living room set this weekend to complement the new leather couch set she bought two weeks ago for the family room. Its also an early Christmas present.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Carb Complex

I was to dismiss this column based on its heading as more carbohydrate pap except that the study is from Tim Noakes, the professor emeritus of running and endurance philosophy. He wrote the tome Lore of Running and twenty five years ago wrote a paper and then ran a subsequent trial on what he called Hyponatraemia.

Published without authorization from

Fitness Training: Got Carbs?
A new twist on the carbohydrate conundrum.
Text by Owen Anderson, PH.D. Illustration by Josh Cochran
Illustration: Floating on carbs

Thanks to recent research revealing the true power of glycogen, or carbohydrates stored in muscle tissue, the question is no longer whether to eat carbs, but how much to take in for your level of activity. Too much and your body converts the excess to fat. Too little and you won't have enough fuel for endurance sports.

Over the past two years, researchers at the University of Cape Town have determined that glycogen acts as a helpful communicator between your muscles and your brain. When you start to exercise, it sends signals to your cerebral cortex, telling it how long and how intensely you should work out. Based on this info, the brain then sets your pace.

This process was first observed during a 2004 study in which researchers determined that cyclists set the intensities of their one-hour rides within the first 120 seconds of their efforts—before any fatigue had set in or significant glycogen stores had been burned. The established intensities, scientists discovered, were directly proportionate to the amount of glycogen stored in the cyclists' legs prior to working out. "Additionally, we found that lower glycogen concentrations cause the brain to increase sensations of fatigue dramatically," says Tim Noakes, a professor at the Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine at the University of Cape Town.

The lesson here is simple: To perform at your best during long hikes, rides, and runs, you have to keep your glycogen levels high by eating enough carbs ahead of time. For the Weekend Warrior it's as easy as upping fruit and bread intake before a big outing. But for the Daily Grinder, who trains for an hour or more each day, it gets complicated: Research tells us that, to stimulate your muscles to adapt and use oxygen more effectively, you occasionally want glycogen levels to bottom out. To get the correct amount of fuel at the optimal time, stick to these strategies.


Fuel up. If you work out nearly every day for an hour or more, it's likely that you're not getting enough carbs to boost your glycogen depots and improve your performance. As a rule, hardworking athletes should get 70 percent of their calories from carbs, taking in four grams of carbs per pound (half kilogram) of body weight a day. That's 640 grams of carbs for a 160-pound (73-kilogram) athlete. But you can't just stuff down 42 slices of wheat bread in one sitting. Glycogen is finicky and best stored in the 30-minute window immediately following your workout. During this period, consume 25 percent of your daily carb intake. Having trouble with the math? Visit the USDA site (, plug in your current diet, and let the calculator do the work for you.

Empty the tanks. To properly diminish your glycogen levels, incorporate longer-than-usual workouts into your program. If, for example, you ordinarily work out for about an hour each day, strive for one 90-to-120-minute session a week.


Fuel up. If you save your hour-long workouts for the weekend, your carb-intake strategy is a bit more complex. Like the Daily Grinder, you'll want to get about 70 percent of your total calories from carbs, but from Monday to Thursday your daily carb intake should be limited to between two grams per pound of body weight (if you rarely work out) and three grams per pound (if you work out for 30 minutes on most weekdays). On Friday stock up for weekend pursuits by eating the same four-grams-per-pound feed bag as the Daily Grinder. Ditto on Saturday. By Sunday, however, you should scale back your total carb consumption to midweek levels in anticipation of the more sedentary workweek. A note of caution: Your weekend pursuits may leave you ravenously hungry on Sunday evening. Fill up on good carbs—whole grains, fruits, and vegetables—not empty calories.

Empty the tanks. You're already depleting your glycogen levels with semiregular activity and lower carb consumption during the week.


Mistress asked if we could order out for dinner Saturday. I chose lasagna from a pizza joint in our usual rotation. I woke up around 11:30 thinking that I really needed to burp. I had drank a diet coke while lying down on the couch and thought if I sat up it would work itself out.

I sat at the computer for thirty minutes and then puked my guts up. Yup. Food poisoning. For the next five hours, every 45 minutes had me bolting up outta bed and making a run for the lav. to wrack my body with vomiting.

Vomiting for me when I'm sick like this is a scary deal because for some reason I am a violently active one. I have been known to pass out from lack of oxygen during these bouts of evacuation.

On top of putting my body through the rack with that I was starting to feel the full effect of paintball and man was I sore. I didn't realize how many hits I had taken and all the speed work I was doing on the field.

I spent all day Sunday in bed trying to sleep but mostly flipping between the Band of Brothers marathon on HBO and Gone With Then Wind on TBS.

I feel much better today though my body is still sore from all the 'activity' it went through Saturday and into Sunday morning. Mostly my throat is raw from the vomiting.

Oh well these things happen. No training today.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

cross training weekend

Friday at 10am John, Hardcore, The Machine and I met for a run/swim workout. We put out a full invite to the team but it was just the us Four Horsemen that showed up. We started with a run up Superstitution Mountain to a familiar bench about 2 miles up the hill. We made good time. The Machine said he wanted to go farther and we ended up going another even steeper two miles to a huge rock jutting straight up out of the side of the mountain. In all it 90 minutes of technical trail running.

It appears we are going to continue doing trail run/ hikes as a substitute to the open swims which we cancel this time of year.

Speaking of which we then drove up the canyon to the lake and planned on short swim along the beach and then a BBQ. The Machine was putting on his wetsuit and the zipper broke. John and I were already in our suits but I said, "No suit for you, no suit for me." This guilted John into stripping down too. In all we swam a very cold 300 yards, nothing big but the 'Polar Bear' mentality was very cool and it unified us one more time.

Pre-swim I fired up my camp stove and boiled up a large can of chicken soup so when we got out we had something hot to drink while we waited for the burgers to grill up. Hardcore Mike took care of the grilling since my expertise stops at camp food. The four of us plus Hardcores ten year old son spent the rest of the afternoon listening to the radio, drinking some beer and hanging out as a memorial to closing down the 'pool' for the next three months.

Today, Saturday, the four of us again came together though this time with several of the Machines son's friends for a day of paintballing way south in the Valley. What a blast. All of us got great shots on each other and general enjoyed the great weather and outdoor comraderie.

Oh, and it does feel good shooting a ten year old with a paintball.

Its important to spend time with your team in ways that are not simply triathlon related.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Me thankful?

Well I have lamented far too many times about my issues with forced holidays but I do really love to celebrate Thanksgiving not to be confused with TakeGiveMe. Its not supposed to be about getting or receiving or buying a wasted trinket, its about thanking and giving to others.

As I do every day, I thank God for his forgiveness of my sins and for giving me the life that I have. Through the ups and downs he has been there to teach me the lessons I needed in order to be the man that I am today.

I am thankful for my beautiful wife and my amazing son. My wife has taught me so much about love and selflessness. No one ever gave us a chance to succeed and yet here we stand today over a decade later, richer, healthier, thinner, happier and with longer hair than the year we met. I would not be the man I am today with you.

No person in my life has personified the amazing beauty of an angel like my son. Oh he's not an 'angel' as in the perfectly behaved child, but though his eyes and smile shine the light of Christ and everyone he touches in life leaves a better person. The gravity of his personality from the day he was born drew people to him in a way that defeated even the stodgiest of men. Every day he teaches me the wonderment of being a child that I have forgotten.

I am thankful for understanding parents who gave up a comfortable life in Montana for a comfortable life in Arizona just to help in caring for Mo and his issues. I am thankful that my wife has created a loving relationship with my mother and that my mother sees my wife as a daughter.

I am thankful for a thriving company that I helped create that affords me the life that I live and the money to buy Shiny Things on impulse. I am thankful that through the systems I developed, hundreds of thousands of people in the Valley of the Sun have come closer to reaching their desired fitness goals if not blowing them away.

I am thankful for the mentors and coaches that I leaned on this year. The pastors, the chiropractors, the massage therapists and he sports shrinks that allowed this tired body to reach pinnacle fitness and complete an Ironman.

I am thankful for my sponsors. Okolo at Nepsa. Polar Heart rate monitors. Valdora. Mistress. All of those expire at the end of this year but what a year its been. A huge Thanks to Kevin at Tribe Multisport whom has become a valued friend, mentor and confidant. His entrance in my life was destined by God and moved me in such a way that changed my life and my family's life forever. No trip to Phoenix is complete without seeking him out.

I am thankful for the best group of training partners and friends a man could ask for. I think of the times this summer when as the only one training for Ironman, I drove to the bike course to ride two hours before the scheduled ride only to find you guys there waiting for me because, "no one rides alone".

I am thankful that I had the courage to create this blog. To put my hopes, fears, dreams and failures as well as my successes on the web to be debated, second-guessed, inspiring and thoughtful has been a blessing in my life. Through this medium I finished an Ironman and along the way made some tremendous friends, some I consider as close as family.

I am thankful for the soldiers, sailors and airmen that defend the line between freedom and oppression. Humble men and woman are suffering in far away and uncomfortable places so that I can enjoy all the things I am thankful for today. I was there in the worst of it once myself and know the thoughts you have. You are not alone. You are never alone. The thoughts and prayers of grateful people all over the world think of your sacrifices right now. In the years ahead the things you do today will define this country and this planet. Stand proud.

I am thankful that 384 years ago Plymouth Colonists gave praise to God for the bountiful harvest that was produced after years of drought and that the this traditional day of prayer and feasting is our oldest celebrated holiday.

Back to that again, huh.

Mo is not sick, though his system is running itself out. We are still getting used to the fact that he has a hyper reactive immune system rather than a depressed one. And that once the immune system is on hyper alert and it conquers the virus or bacteria it attacks his intestines and colon. The doctor thinks his system is still revved up against the illness he had at the end of last month and is no struggling against another.

The plan for now is to up all the nebulizer doses he takes to 4 of one type and 2 of another. Preferably this is 24/7 treatment. This is nothing new to Mistress and I since we already do two nebulizer treatments a day with him currently and for a year and a half every four hours, seven days a week he was given this exact same treatment.

6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm, 10pm, 2am, 6am, 10am, 2pm, 6pm,10pm, 2am and on and on and on. Oh thats the times he got his doses. Its like the code from Lost, we can't seem to get away from the numbers.

But other than that he is officially not sick, which is the coolest thing. And we have a script in case things go sideways fast over the long weekend. Mistress is feeling better as well. We think she will be full speed by Monday. Finally.

Have a great weekend all.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

My big fat fingers

I go and post about a race on Thanksgiving and now I am not doing it. Ah Crap.

Mistress has not recovered very well from the bronchitis she caught in Florida earlier this month and has been going to bed very early to get all the rest she can. I want her to get uninterrupted sleep. That leaves me to take care of Mo for bed, clean up the house a bit, chill a bit, close down the house and then take care of Mo during the night for his stuff which is around 11pm and then 3pm.

Not that big a deal if your like Mistress who can fall asleep standing up. Not so much for someone like me that takes at least an hour to knock out once I am upright for more than a few steps. So a 5 minute procedure with Mo equals a 6 minute lack of sleep for Mistress and at least 60 minutes for me.

I stay up till 11 for Mo, then fall asleep around midnight. Wake up around 2:30 then fall asleep around 3:30. We get up between 5:30 and 6:00. I'm pretty tired myself.

Mistress has to work for a few hours on Thanksgiving morning to get some numbers done and to race means she is taking Mo with her. Add one hour to her day because everyone wants to play and be around Mo and that distracts Mistress. Not cool. As it is, we decided to not do any cooking at our house for Thanksgiving and instead will be going to out for a nice dinner so she doesn't foolishly squander her energy.

Mo has a doctor appointment on Wednesday. Its part monthly routine for his myriad issues and part to deal with some possible cold symptoms we want checked out before the big holiday weekend.

How's that...some people go and get their car service before a big trip. Others make sure all their dry cleaning is picked up for a party weekend. Us? We take our kid in for medical check ups because its hell to get a script written over a holiday weekend when your kid invariably gets sick.

Continue the Mission.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Doping allegations at Kona.

Pass the Purell

Mistress didn't make it to the get together last night, she slept the afternoon away and didn't seem much better by the time we got back. Back to the doctors today or tomorrow. As soon as she can get in. I know this sounds redundant, redundant, but this is sort of the life that we live. Mistress has always had allergies and asthma and it can be hard for her to recover from illness, which primes her for another illness to occur.

We started to up doses on the Mighty Mo so that we could build up his immunity but this morning he woke up to head cold symptoms. Based on his panel of doctors and the history he has with them, it should just be a call in for meds.

I have my last triathlon of the year on Thursday. I may not have had the busiest triathlon year as far as total races but I may be in the running for the longest season; it started on March 18 and ends on November 23.

Friday the AzTriClub officially closes down Canyon Lake for open swims. We are going to go to the actual beach area and swim along the shore as a safety precaution for hypothermia. Not very far but enough to call it good. Then we will bask in the sun and drink beer and I will fire up my camp stove for some big bowls of soup or something like that. Maybe get a bonfire going.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What's wrong?

Not a cloud in the sky and 88 degrees. It is Thanksgiving this week right? Think I 'll go work on my tan.


Life takes weird and unusual twists and I keep using a word...surreal to explain how I feel in one word.

Mistress has good days and bad and this weekend have been bad. While feeling a tad better she sounds worse and is more tired. Lots of coughing and sinus issues. I have had to be more involved in the doings of a Mighty Mo and he has been used to his mother doing some of these things. It's been three weeks now and all three of us are getting a bit tired of each other.

She's tired of being tired and coughing and not being socialable. Mo's tired of me not putting up with his 3.5 year old behavior and I am tired of both of them. Oh there is no division in this family, far be it, but yesterday I did a physical and mental check out for a couple hours to obstenibly run some errands but to also just be alone.

I am a very light sleeper and between the dog barking downstairs and Mistress coughing upstairs, I didn't fall alseep until 3am. I woke to a Mo staring at me from the side of the bed, in one of those, "Jesus, you scared me Mo" moments.

This afternoon is a tri-team BBQ, which should be fun. We hope Mistress will be able to go. She wants the companionship of the other ladies there. If not the Mo and I will head there and let her sleep.

Off now to fight the Wal-Mart crowd for Thanksgiving Day shopping.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Like. So Ready.

I realize now my equilibrium dictates a minimum of ten hours of training a week. With all the extra time I have spent at home the last two weeks, I think Mistress and Mo are ready for me to be out of the house a little longer than I have been as well.

Its actually been a bit odd spending so much time with them on the weekends. Not that I don't mind, I love being with the family. I just get that itch to do or have done some sort of physical activity that day and look longingly at the cyclists going down the road or the runner chugging down the block.

My body physically feels fine and the run earlier this week was a good judge of that. But my internal clock is still off. Staying up till midnight each night unable to sleep and then being woken up at 5:30 am and just exhausted. A couple of solid nine hour sleeps would do me some good. Maybe.

Still not much on the schedule team wise this weekend. I am assisting a Polar retail seminar Saturday morning and then taking Mighty Mo to his Intro to Sports program at the rec. center. Dad and I are putting up my Christmas lights later that day and BBQ'ing some short ribs. Sunday afternoon is a pre-Ironman Arizona training party at Andy's. That should be fun.

I am already cutting back on the portions and the extravagant eating and going back to the base foods that got me through Florida. I would really like to drop some more weight for Arizona and come in below 180 pounds. Thats about 15 pounds right now, which is four more than I weighed at Florida. Its doable, and all nutrition on my part.

I spent some time yesterday cleaning up my sidebar and updating all the links. If I missed yours I apologize. Just shoot me an e-mail and I will put you back in.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Well whatya ya know....

149 days till Ironman Arizona.
If you like, nay love the audition segments for American Idol with all the whack jobs who think they have a shot at stardom...

...check this out.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

"It's starting to look a lot like....


Well not hardly here in Phoenix, it was 80* today. But I did wear a thin warm up jacket to work this morning when it was only 60*.

After listening to yesterday's ranting and raving on talk radio and my apparent penchant for 80's glam rock in my iTunes, I was pleasantly surprised to find when I drove home, that the local adult contemporary channel has gone to its annual Christmas format already.

That means 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, straight through January 2, nothing but Christmas music.

I actually love Christmas music. Its my favorite of all music. God knows there is lot of crap in the genre but hours of enjoyable and memorable music. I think of White Christmas by Bing Crosby, Hark the Hearld Angels Sing by Amy Grant, Blue Christmas by Elvis, Its Starting to look a lot like Christmas by Johnny Mathis, I'll be home for Christmas by just about anyone who sings it...ah my heart overflows.

What is your favorite Christmas Song? Which one would be a must on your personal playlist for holiday music. Be it from a childhood memory, a senitmental standpoint, a favorite holiday movie, something you can sing or know the words too.

Lets here it.

French Anti Doping Lab 2: Floyd Landis 1 equals tie

Sometimes you have to feel sorry for the French. Actually I'm kidding. The lab that tested Floyd Landis stating that he is positive in two samples from last years TdF, now says they have an 'administrative error'.

Thats French for "We got caught doctoring our results."

I want to root for the World Anti Doping Agency (WADA) in their fight against cheating professional athletes. I really do. However WADA, thanks to the French, lose every shread of credibility they gain by...what's that French word...oh yes, 'surrendering', by surrendering any moral high ground they gain with gross incompetence and rampant accusations in the face of over overwhelming contra-evidence. I think specifically of Lance Armstrong the most tested cyclist in the world with a perfect record and yet according to this same French doping lab, the biggest doper of them all.

Its sad really. I predict next year Floyd will be 'administerly' exonerated, amid great a flury of commotion but still not given back his title. And America will once again take to the time honored tradition of bashing the French.

Like that ever stops.

No longer the Youth Gone Wild

I am tired of hearing about this and that on talk radio so I flipped on iTunes. Normally I would educate myself with podcasts but instead rolled through my actual music. What a concept. Except my music seems stuck.

Take for instance the band Skid Row, aptly led by Sabastan Bach, who has a true 5 octave range. In his 1989 ode he sang about the Youth Gone Wild. I am afraid I was never a Youth Gone Wild. I listened to the song then. I like the song then. I listen to the song today. I like the song today.

I guess I never felt the hopelessness of youth. In 1989 I was in the Army, still hiding a tremendous head injury and trying to find myself when I barely knew myself. Thats the beauty of the infantry, there is no cognitive thinking needed, just do what your told and do it fast and do it right and you don't do push ups and can go to sleep. I have a longer post on my head injury which occured twenty years last week but..we'll see.

Back to the hopelessness of youth. I never got it. I always had purpose. If not to Continue the Mission I was given by my chain of command , it was to the higher calling of duty, honor, country and educating myself. I was a 'skull full of mush' looking to solidify.

When Fight Club came out with Brad Pitt and Ed Norton, I didn't get it. What was the whole ruckus about? It took me a long time to conceptualize the feeling of helplessness and sense of entrapment people think they have. Thats sort of the paradoxial crux of the story. The author lived in Portland at the time.

I lived up in Seattle during the grunge movement. I was a bit too young to have a life similiar to the movie Singles but I was very much in the mix. Oh the stories I could tell of parties and people I met there. But thats again...another post. But even in all that 'grunge' that Kurt Cobain emoted so famously and all the people my age copied...I never got it.

I was the guy saying, "Dude, lay off the smack. Put on some real clothes, no one takes you seriously with the long hair and flannel. Ditch the Doc Martens and aspire to more than working the mid day shift at the coffee shop. "

Maybe I never got 'it' because I got my memory back on movies starring people like Cary Grant, Mryna Loy, Jimmy Stewart and Katherine Hepburn. Movies in the 40's and 50's had guys that were cool. They were in charge with women who were in charge. They had witty reparte'.

I wanted to be cool. I wanted witty reparte'.

I guess I wanted to be a Youth Gone Wild, but didn't want the baggage. But the music is catchy so I listen to it and its tied to my formative years. But also catchy was the dialogue between Cary Grant and Shirley Temple in Bachelor and the Bobby Soxer. And I guess I would rather have myself learning more from movies in the 40's than music in the 80's.

A stress relief and a stressor

I went for great 5 miler yesterday, ran it in just under 42 minutes.

When I got back to the car I had ten missed calls in the last ten minutes.

Back Story: Mistress developed a bad case of asthma and larangitis at Ironman Florida, (those there will remember) and came down with broncitiis after flying home. She went on antibotics and still felt pretty bad all through the week and on Monday felt worse. She threw up for a few hours that night. Yesterday she went to see a doctor about that and while there passed out. I suppose if your going to go down, go down in a doctors office hallway with four nurses standing next to you.

The messages were from the doctors office and my biz partner trying to fill me in on the issue. I flew down to office to take her to the ER for an IV and to get the testing the doctor wanted done anyway.

I was really hungry after my fast run but had no food on me. I thought about the Seinfeld episode when Elaines boyfriend was in the ER and she showed up eating JuJu Bee's. He harped on her for thinking about her stomach instead of dropping everything to be with him. I declined the drive thru.

After four hours in the ER, all the tests came back 'fanstastic' and inconclusive for her problems except that the drugs she took for the broncitis did have that side effect. They drugged her up with more morphine and nauseaous medication and sent her home.

She is still at home today and resting better. Still coughing but its the right color and just the lungs clearing themselves out.

Got the Valdora back today and heading out for a ride today along the IMAZ course. Back on track for the training.

Still no fix to the archives but working on it. I would like to thank Okolo for all his help.

Okolo created my blog header and also hosts websites, mine included. His link is in my sidebar under Nepsa. If you like your blog title and want to eliminate the aspect of it and also protect your creation, I highly recommend domain rights.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Hi Ho Hi Ho + A new shiny thing

Its not really work to me but today I get back into the training. I am waiting for some documents to arrive to complete my project at work and it looks like its still going to be an hour, so I am moving my run up my schedule. Nothing long just 5 miles.

I call it, "Kicking the dust off," when I get back into the run program.

The Valdora was delivered from TriBike Transport yesterday so I pick up my iron tested ride today. Hoorah for that.

Still having issues with the archiving but trying to do some fancy footwork around that problem while I wait for support to finally pan out.

Still can't stop spending money from my Florida trip. I wish it was for something M-Dot'ish but alas not to be. Long story short- my 6gb mini got soaked by salt water. So I bought the special edition Candy apple red 8gb nano. My third ipod in two years, all by my fault, but I have only bought two. Really people in this situation get the warranty...but thats for another post.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Snarky t-shirts for all ages

You Ran 26.2 miles. WOW!
I only run that after I swim 2.4 miles and bike 112

My favorite as illustrated months ago by Flatman but I could not find on the website says, "You've run a marathon. How Cute. 140.6"

Go to trimyapparel for dozens more options.

I am working on my missing archives. Hope to have it resolved soon.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Last workout

After all the hard work getting to Ironman, the night before is almost the hardest workout, sitting on the couch and keeping the feet up. There is so much to do with packing, the expo and being with friends, I wanted to move around. It took a Mighty Mo, with his sidekick Dan Bear, to finally keep my down. Not that I minded. This is my perfered lounging position with my son.

 Posted by Picasa

Move over Sports Illustrated Swim Suit edition

A few days before Ironman, Mighty Mo and I joined Tri-Mama, Taconite Boy and the Tribe on the Gulf for a little relaxation. The adults talked and the kids played in the surf. The Soapinator and Mighty Mo became fast friends and they played a lot together. He likes older girls, she is eight, he is three, the May-July romance was in full effect.

Mo likes the speedo look over board shorts. I think he likes to imitate Faris Al Sultan.

 Posted by Picasa