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.

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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.

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The Celebrating is over

The week after ironman for the AZTRICLUB is a week of celebration and excitement. The Wednesday after the race is tattoo day which I have already posted about and Thursday is horror movie and Hooters day, the final celebration party so to speak.

After Ironman Arizona John, The Machine, Hardcore and I went to see The Hills Have Eyes, terrible by the way. I was the last to arrive and The Machine was sitting closest to the aisle. As I came in to sit down he said to me, "Hey. Only Ironmen can sit in this row." A perfect dig I admit.

This time John bought my ticket and my concessions, thanks John, and The Machine and his wife, Wendy were already in the theater, front row. As I sat down, I asked if I could sit in this row and he got a big smile on his face. Dig returned six month later. Hardcore showed up a few minutes later telling me it was about time I was able to sit in the same row as him. We all got a laugh out of that since it was obviously unplanned and complemented my statement a few minutes earlier. We watched the movie Saw 3. Its okay, not a big fan of 'torture-gore' flicks but no other horror movies were playing at our theater.

Afterwards we all went to Hooters, the unofficial hangout of the club and a few more people joined us. We had a great time eating wings and drinking pitchers rehashing ironman stories. Heather who is also on the team and did Florida showed up as well and we were able to back up stories about the cold and the wind and the waves. Many toasts were made to our success.

Now the next day, it finally feels like its time to get back to work. Not the work of Ironman but the work of work. My desk is piled high with backlog and my garage is trashed. Lots of lists to check off before Monday.

Have no fear good readers, this Intrepid Age Grouper will continue to regale you with hardcore training and intermost fears, no time off for me. I have another Ironman in just five months, this time on my home turf. The Ironman first timers of AZTRICLUB start their 20 week plans in two weeks and already they have the verbosity of hubris but their doe eyed look betrays the same internal struggles we all went through so many weeks and years ago. I on the other hand think I have created enough base after training for two straight Ironman's that I can work on tweaking my training and maintaining bases while resting as much as possible until possibly New Years.

Oh do not mistake that I am taking off training through New Years. I think Mistress would go nuts and I may commit ritual suicide. I have some interesting things planned that would only be proper if laid them out here for all of you on CMS.

Charlie Mike (Continue the Mission)...

The Celebrating is over

The week after ironman for the AZTRICLUB is a week of celebration and excitement. The Wednesday after the race is tattoo day which I have already posted about and Thursday is horror movie and Hooters day, the final celebration party so to speak.

After Ironman Arizona John, The Machine, Hardcore and I went to see The Hills Have Eyes, terrible by the way. I was the last to arrive and The Machine was sitting closest to the aisle. As I came in to sit down he said to me, "Hey. Only Ironmen can sit in this row." A perfect dig I admit.

This time John bought my ticket and my concessions, thanks John, and The Machine and his wife, Wendy were already in the theater, front row. As I sat down, I asked if I could sit in this row and he got a big smile on his face. Dig returned six month later. Hardcore showed up a few minutes later telling me it was about time I was able to sit in the same row as him. We all got a laugh out of that since it was obviously unplanned and complemented my statement a few minutes earlier. We watched the movie Saw 3. Its okay, not a big fan of 'torture-gore' flicks but no other horror movies were playing at our theater.

Afterwards we all went to Hooters, the unofficial hangout of the club and a few more people joined us. We had a great time eating wings and drinking pitchers rehashing ironman stories. Heather who is also on the team and did Florida showed up as well and we were able to back up stories about the cold and the wind and the waves. Many toasts were made to our success.

Now the next day, it finally feels like its time to get back to work. Not the work of Ironman but the work of work. My desk is piled high with backlog and my garage is trashed. Lots of lists to check off before Monday.

Have no fear good readers, this Intrepid Age Grouper will continue to regale you with hardcore training and intermost fears, no time off for me. I have another Ironman in just five months, this time on my home turf. The Ironman first timers of AZTRICLUB start their 20 week plans in two weeks and already they have the verbosity of hubris but their doe eyed look betrays the same internal struggles we all went through so many weeks and years ago. I on the other hand think I have created enough base after training for two straight Ironman's that I can work on tweaking my training and maintaining bases while resting as much as possible until possibly New Years.

Oh do not mistake that I am taking off training through New Years. I think Mistress would go nuts and I may commit ritual suicide. I have some interesting things planned that would only be proper if laid them out here for all of you on CMS.

Charlie Mike (Continue the Mission)...

Thursday, November 9, 2006

You can thank my wife aka Mistress for the photos

Ironman Florida- The Run

Unlike most triathlons I have done, exiting T2 was not a stiff backed, dead legs affair. The body felt good and loose and the thought that I had a whole marathon in front of me was not much of an issue.

I may be alone in this, but I have been much more anxious about stand alone marathons more so than the last leg of an ironman. Perhaps because its the one discipline I feel I have a long time base. Perhaps its because its the one discipline the triathlete can control everything.

My issues with vomiting did not abate during the first 6.5 mile loop and every half mile or so I pulled over to dry heave a few ounces of fluid. My goal at this time was to keep more in me than what was going out. I thought mile 3 was mile 4 so I popped four Clif Bloks. They went down fine and at the next few pull overs it did not appear to have come back up. However I felt that this was not going to be the best program for me, at least in the situation I was having, so I threw the bag away.

I now had to contemplate how to get calories in me for the next 22 miles. I tried the flat coke and that did not work; it tasted fine, my stomach was having no pains or needed to burp, I simply felt my intake needed to more constructive. I took chicken broth at one aid station and it tasted great. I could have done more of that during the race but elected to keep my life simple and rely on the broth if things spiraled down, like the weather or my legs.

I finally decided to go to gatorade, which in bike training caused me all kinds of stomach issues. Mostly because I drink to much of it. I decided to use an old trick of mine from running races where I diluted 3 ounces of gatorade in 3 ounces of water which started to work really well. To get more calories in me I took several orange slices and squeezed them over ice and then carried that with me several times between aid stations.

Going through the park the first time to the turnaround was a mostly quiet affair. There is a steady uphill for a half mile but I didn't really notice it. Once I turned around and by then worked myself through a half dozen aid stations I was feeling well enough to stay moving at a steady pace.

My plan for the run was to stay steady at 11 or 11:30 minute miles the whole way through the run. I pretty much stuck to that plan the entire time. My pace averages were mid 12's which really was my walking through aid stations and the vomiting I did on the first 10k. Had I thought harder about it I would have needed to run at a 10 minute pace to truly have 11:30 mile splits. Oh well.

Heading back to the half marathon point, the sun was setting and the life of an ironman shrinks to the few feet in front of you or the bright aid station light down the road. You can no longer see the faces of the people around you and cheer on individuals. You need to cheer on yourself. I congratulated myself for overcoming a potentially dificult vomiting problem early on and by keeping my steady pace I continuously passed people with good legs.

The weather was quite pleasant, the wind and temperature cooperating with the race. I never felt too hot or cold. I ran in my same clothing as the bike with the arm warmers still on. I ran my first half in 3 hours. Mistress, Mo and Michelle all saw me at the turn around and Mistress ran with me for a spell. I told her to expect the same for the next and that I didn't think I would be able to take Mo across the finish line with me since it was so long and he is over 40 pounds.

Heading back out for the second loop was a long case of deva vu. Lots of families living on the course did their part to cheer us on and I was able to recognize that more now that I was in control of my situation. I had mentioned in earlier posts before Ironman if I would get mad or blaze with that inner fire that would get me to the finish line. I thought about that on the second loop and I never felt like I needed to get mad. Things were going well. I knew I would finish.

I was so happy that I had no issues with my injuries over the last twelve months. No pain from my hamstring tear, no issues from my calf tear, not a twinge from my shin splint, stress fracture, ankle swelling or the latest challenge the runners knee developed in peak week.

I only walked the aid stations, (excluding pull overs for evacuations of one kind or another). It helped and I admit this freely that this race had the longest aid stations I have ever seen. There was one on the south side of the road heading out to the state park and one a few yards down on the other side of the road heading back into town. I would walk to the end of one station drinking my gatorade/water mix, then switch sides of the road and walk the next one getting oranges and ice. It would equal a total of about a minute of walking and then the rest of my split time divided between the long breaks waiting for the porta-john to open up when I needed it.

Running down the road for that last mile, I felt like I was floating on air. People were cheering me on, the lights from the hotels and businessess were a bright counterbalance to the darkness of running through the residentials and the state park. I passed 113 people on the marathon and cut 30 minutes off the last half. I big time negative split an Ironman marathon.

Turning into the Boardwalk hotel was a dream. 200 yards away from Ironman. I got a bit emotional. Going through the first set of arches the crowds cheered. I raised my arms with fingers pointed skyward and spun them around to get them to cheer louder. It worked and they erupted in noise.

Mike Rielly never said, "You.Are.An.Ironman." He had some other quip. It didn't matter. I crossed the line, busted the tape, and felt relief.

A handler immediately grabbed me and asked my state of health. I was fine. A mylar blanket was wrapped around me and I was pushed in front of screen and my picture taken. Someone wanted to take my timing chip but it was my personal one. In the span of 30 seconds I went from Ironman finisher to being pushed into a crowd of people standing around behind the finish line. I just wanted to get out of there. I had been alone on the swim, alone on the bike, alone on the run and now I was in the midst of thousands. It became overwhelming until Mistress and Mighty Mo showed up to hug and kiss me.

The pride on their faces was emotional for me. Mo was still yelling, "Go Daddy Go!" After a few minutes of conversation, our friend Michelle took Mo back to the room while Mistress and I collected my bike and belongings.

Leaving the transition area we ran into Robo-Stu and Kahuna also getting their bags. Mistress had brought a bottle of fine champagne with her and the three of us, who had become so close over the last week and in the months prior all stomached a few sips.

I went back to my room content and satisfied. Mistress kept hugging me saying, "You did it honey." I finally looked her in the eyes and told her, "No, WE did it honey."

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Big thanks to John, my training partner and web Kung-Fu master who after speaking with Mistress on the phone during the race and me afterwards wanted to know more about this drowning victim during the swim portion of Ironman Florida. After much scouring of the net with his filters running on high he was able to clip this.

Ironman Tri-athlete in Critical Condition
By Kate Eckman
Nov 5, 2006
11-4-06Officials say the 35-year-old white male was drowning during the
swimming portion of the race this morning, and several hours later
authorities were still trying to determine what caused the man to drown.Maj.
Dave Humphreys with Panama City Beach Police said, "During the swim,
apparently this individual became distressed. Some other tri-athletes, we
don't know who they are, apparently motioned for help. Two Navy divers were
able to get the man to shore and get an ambulance called, and the individual
was transported to the hospital."The 2.4 mile swim portion of the Ford
Ironman Florida began behind the Boardwalk Beach Resort in the Gulf of
Mexico.About 2,000 athletes from 32 countries and all 50 states are
competing in the Florida Ironman.

Ironman Florida-The Tattoo

Just got done with my tat. Its glorious.

Ironman Florida- The Bike

The transition area was pretty empty by the time I moved through it and there were a few people in front of me on the road which I easily overtook. I felt good being on the bike.

I had made some definite plans, first that I would not drink much or eat anything the first five miles. I had heard from friends that the first few moments on the IM bike course were crucial to maintaining a good stomach. If you drink too much water after already drinking much in the swim event it could cause cramping. Putting food in your stomach first thing on the bike after being horizontal and swimming could also invite gastro issues. My tongue however felt swollen from all the salt so I swished and spit a few ounces of water to clear the taste out and restore some balance.

The Ironman Florida bike course is a single loop course with the first and last 12 miles leading from and to the host hotel. There is very few spectators along this course which is too bad because there is plenty of room for cars to pull over and cheer their athlete on. However its really hard to plan for that when the majority of the hotels people are staying at are next to the expo which is barricaded so no one can leave.

The wind was right into my face as I rolled along the beach front parkway. I was averaging maybe 16 mph which at this point was not a concern since I was just warming up. I was spinning in a high cadence and figured the wind would lessen as I moved further inland.

The wind did not lessen as I moved inland but I continued to pass people at a good clip, mostly women. I don't say this to belittle women, more to apportion my long swim time to its proper place in the race. As I got to the bridge which represented miles 12 and 100 I moved over it effortlessly and passed several more people. Now I was passing several men.

The wind did not give up at all and I began cursing the air at my 16.5 mph speed. My HR was in the mid 140's (zone 2) and my cadence was between 85-95. For the sake of brevity I will just say I continued the same relative speed, HR and cadence for the first 50 miles of the IM course.

Along some of these long stretch's of good road, I would converse with cyclists as I passed them or they occassionally passed me. There was a half dozen of us during the first part of this course that continually leap frogged each other as we charged a patch of road or slowed down to put in some calories. It was not as tedious as I expected.

I was contantly entertained. I could only do so much for my speed, the wind was hard to move through and I knew the course would eventually put us into a tailwind, so I just tried to stay smooth. I played a game reeling in people in front of me which kept me highly motivated.

I passed a team mate from AzTriClub at mile 21 and Ellie was there too. So we talked for a moment before I continued on. I asked my team mate what her swim time was and she said 1:30-ish, so I felt good that I had made up almost 20 minutes on the bike so quickly. At a porta-let around mile 32, I asked a couple guys their swim times and they said in the 1:20's.

The special needs bags were at mile 49 but I didn't think I needed anything so I blew by it. Just past it was a right turn and finally out of the wind. There was a gas station on the corner and some cyclists had actually stopped there to talk to family that was on the course. It looked like their support teams had gotten them food from inside or coffee but I could have cared less.

My speed immediately jumped to 22 mph and I was hauling ass. By mile 70 I was feeling good but this is were the race really started for me. I can only guess that I was exereting to much effort because I started to get nauseous and eventually pulled over to dry heave. For the rest of the bike (42 miles) I leaned over the handle bars or quickly pulled over every 5 or so miles to dry heave three or four times and then take off again.

I should side note here that I am very susceptible to dehydration. I went into a coma after getting heat stroke several years ago. Since then my body can go into heat exhaustion and dehydration very quickly. I can only guess that the weather in Florida leading up to and during the race had made my body primed for problems and like my heat injuries in the past, I don't see them coming. So when I mention that I am throwing up or dry heaving during the rest of Ironman, my stomach and GI were great. I was only evacuating a few ounces of fluid per episode and I attribute all the episodes to exertion. In the run segment I will talk about how I overcame it.

There were several miles of rural road. At one point while going through some woods there was a series of gunshots and shotgun blasts. Interesting noises to hear in an Ironman and I confess I picked up my pace.

About a mile after crossing the bridge again at mile 100 I came across a woman flagging down cyclists yelling she had bike problems. I had thinking if I could have helped that swimmer out of the water and for some reason this womans distress was a sign to realign my warped karma. So I stopped. She didn't know how to change the flat she had on her front tire. So I took ten minutes and helped her out. She must have been there for a while because she was so grateful. While not moving forward for that period of time I think it actually helped me stretch my legs out and was a good thing for me. Mentally I know I performed a selfless act in the middle of the biggest event I have ever competed in and hoped "Loving your neighbor" would pay back ten-fold over the next few hours.

With only 11 miles to go, I really felt good. I repassed several people that I passed earlier in the race gone by me while on the side of the road. I started to high cadence through the hotel areas to get my legs ready for the run. For where I was on the course, I considered my good fortune. I felt reasonably well. I had certainly felt worse after shorter rides, let alone a tough ocean swim before it. I felt really blessed to be where I was doing what I was doing.

I saw Mistress, Mighty Mo and our friend Michelle at the bike return and ran over to see them for a moment. I then grabbed my special needs bag and ran to the nearest garbage to dry heave again.
I passed 213 people on the bike. My legs felt good. My back felt good. I made quick work of changing into my running gear and another quick trip to the the porta-john. I knew I had some obstacles in front of me, specifically 26.2 miles of them. What would the weather do when the sun went down? Would the wind pick up like it had the last two nights? Would the temperature plumment? Could I get my body back under my control and stop vomiting?

I thought about all those questions and more as I ran out of T2 and down the road that inexorably led to a finishers shoot and the title of Ironman...

Tuesday, November 7, 2006

Ironman Florida- The Swim

The cannon went off and I walked into the water. The 2,200 of us on shore watched the pro's go out ten minutes earlier and saw that you could walk the first 100 yards of the course. Apparently the tide due to winds, pushed a lot of sand up towards shore. You could not have walked that far out two days previous. As you can see in the picture, people are walking then swimming then walking again.

I seeded myself towards the back and to the outside. The first loop was tough for the first out due to the sheer number of bodies. It was not the washing machine I expected it to be, but did get my far share of body blows. What really surprised me is how much zigzag was going on with people.

As I had experienced in my practice swims the cross over between lanes was very choppy. The waves were not really bad at this point but there were some trouble sighting the buoy due to the swells. Coming back to shore was also a fight with the sea. The beauty of the ocean swim in such clear water is that you could see the bottom of the ocean from 400 yards off shore. So much like a swimming pool you had something to look at and see your progress as you moved over the occassional jellyfish or school of small pompano.

A 50 yard jog out of the water, a 100 yard jog across the beach and another 100 yard jog through the waves had me back into the swim lane. The second loop was much more choppy going out. I noticed the wind had blown a buoy out of line so I cut between it and sighted the next one. This put me on the inside of the course for a bit.

I was a third of the way through the cross over when I saw a boat coming towards me. A man was in the bow yelling at someone in the water. I assumed he saw someone cut the buoy or perform a dangerous act like fist punch another triathlete. A few strokes later I came to two swimmers in the water helping steady a man who was unconscious and face up in the water. I thought about helping but the boat was already there and with the two in the water I would be a hinderence. There are conflicting reports I heard from Carol that he died on the shore. She thought it was me and was very concerned.

The swells during the cross over reached three feet. There were moments where I distinctly remember having one arm and both feet out of the water while my head and body were in it. Lots of moments where my feet were kicking without resistance because they were airborne. Swallowed a lot of water here but still was mentally just plugging along, like the tugboat that I am.

The return to shore was tough for me. The current kept trying to pull me back and when I got off course I felt like I was swimming along the shore more than to it. Just another screwed up swim in this aspect. The last 200 yards was two strokes forward, one push back by the water and felt like I was going nowhere.

I think this is accurate for my situation because I have worked very hard at my pull under the water. I have a technically clean stroke but my pull through the water is weak. A stronger swimmer probably never noticed this back current.

Coming out the water was such a relief. I knew the swim was my limiter and to finish this leg beat every demon I have carried for the last several months. I can finish an iron swim in time. There is much room for improvement but lots of time for that.

Tri-hubby (Mr. Tri-Mama) was a stripper and when I ran to him to pull my suit he was filming me. I realized he wasn't going to do anything and he was yelling, "Girls. Girls. Girls." So I yelled, "Where's the pretty girls" and four of them began to pull my wetsuit off of me. Little did I know that Mistress and Mo along with our friend Michelle were less than a yard from me yelling for my attention.

The water was warm compared to the air temp and as I ran through a breeze way to transition a very hard and cold wind greeted me. The changing tent looked more like a triage center in Bagdad than an elite compound. Most of the men had already been through so I had lots of support to dress me and collect my things.

I was dissappointed with the sunscreen people. Why at every race do these people need to be the most uninspired and lackadaisical volunteers? Talk about common man. I had to prompt my teenager to liberally apply the spray over my head and backside.

A quick trip to the porta-let, just in case, grabbed the Valdora and got an ear and eyefull from the family on the way out of T1.

My plan was to be on the road when two hours hit. I was only five minutes behind that. All things considered I was very happy with this time as I did not over exert myself on the swim. I didn't push it or get beat up.

With one discipline down and looking at a cold and windy 112 miles ahead of me, I exited transition with hope. Little did I know I would be giving as well as recieving...

Ironman Florida-Race Morning

My room was 601. You can surmise that it was the first room from the elevators. Hotels in PCB are set up so that the doors are all in open breeze-ways to pressurize the buildings from hurricanes. Think a big wind tunnel. All night long for several nights I heard the howl of the wind blowing through the openings of the hotel around the elevator area. It would sneak through my door jamb and make the bathroom cold.

My entire goal the afternoon before the race was to stay off my feet. Interesting exercise concept. Who would have thought my last act of training for an ironman would be to see how long I could stay on a couch? It was all in Gods hands now and no fretting on my part would change the outcome the following day. I was blessed enough to get several phone calls from friends and family and when asked I felt, I could only answer, "At peace with everything."

I feel asleep around 9 pm and woke up at 1:30 a.m. I grabbed a banana and used the bathroom then just laid there listening to the wind and the snoring of the Mighty Mo, my three year old muse.

We were all told to not expect our special needs bags back but as I looked out the window down into the pool I saw the wind ripples across the water. I watched the pam fronds pushed this way and that high up in their trees. I felt that the marathon would be a very cold endeavor, so I packed my expensive running tights in the run special needs bag and prayed it was a smart idea or I would get them back.

You quickly realize just how much money you throw away at these races in clothing or nutrition choices.

A bunch of us bloggers decided to meet at special needs drop off at 5:10 a.m. When the elevator door opened Bolder and Roman were in it. We walked a 150 yards down to the spot and immediately found Tri-Daddy, Kahuna, Robo-Stu, Tri-Mama and Taconite Man who videotaped the week constantly.

We all tried did our last minute transition things and tried to meet up on the beach but it was not to be. Tri-Daddy and I spent the morning together just like we had spent as much time a possible together during the previous days. I tried to find Mistress and Mo at 6:30 a.m. but I couldn't in the crowd. It was hard not being able to say one final word of appreciation to them. Tri-Daddy's wife and daugther filled in nicely giving me a hug words of encouragement. He and I finally parted five minutes before the race started.

Its hard not to be affected by a 2,000+ mass swim start. The energy. The music. Mike Rielly in the background. I was alone but not afraid. In the sand starting with my family and going through all the bloggers that stood somewhere on the beach with me and at their computers, I said a specific thank you prayer and drew a cross in the sand with my toe.

Then the cannon went off...

Monday, November 6, 2006

Ironman Florida 2006- weather

This really did need to be its own seperate post. Eveyone will mention this aspect of the race in their recap.

The two days leading up to the race had a big cold front moving through. I think its safe to assume when you think Florida beaches you do not think freezing temperatures. Thats essentially what we got. 24 hours before the swim start the wind chill was 37 degrees. The water was rough, with large swells. The high for the day was 55 degrees.

The worst of it was the wind. The bane of all triathletes.

The winds were sustained 10-20 miles per hour with gusts of up to 30 mph. Of course I took that from the weather channel down there in PCB but I guarantee you they did not have wind gauges where it blew the worst.

PCB for all intents and purposes of Ironman Florida is a long strip of beach with very tall hotels stacked next to each other. When the wind is moving fast it gets channelled between these buildings and picks up momentum. Whether this is the causeway between the elevator and the hotel rooms or between hotels and parking structures, the wind howls and it pushes hard. It created huge swells on race day and crushed projected bike times for the first 50 miles. More on that later.

The object lesson is to be over prepared for your race weather. Bring the tights, bring the arm warmers, bring the cycling jackets for your race. Bring cold weather clothing to wear while your there. Mistress had to buy a coat after she left the house for the airport because it was so cold.

I mentioned in my logistics post about buying on impulse at the expo. If I hadn't bought the arm warmers when I saw them and forced them on a friend to do likewise, it would have been a much worse race for me. I tried going to Wal-Mart for some 'under armor' type clothing. Sold out. The sweat pants and top I bought for $10 for my dry bag was a big bonus and helped before and after the race.

On race day the weather improved considerably as the day wore on but until the afternoon it played a significant part of everyones race.

I spoke with a few pro triathletes the day after the race and they mentioned they had not seen an iron swim with worse conditions in a dozen races. The turn was 1000 meters out in the ocean and without the land to shield some of the wind, the swells got to at least three feet, maybe much more. I felt like I was four wheeling; take a breath, get slapped down into the water. I distinctly recal having one arm and both feet out of the water while my body was still inside the swell. It made sighting buoys hard but not impossible. You really had to time your breath or get a mouth full of water.

The first 50 miles of the bike course had a 20 mph wind straight into your face. I was not the only frustrated triathlete out there, watching their speed sit two or three mph lower than their projection.

By mid afternoon the wind died down and the temperature increased and it really was perfect running weather. Had the whole day been as benign, I think everyone would have had a faster time by perhaps a half hour or more. I know I would have.

Ironman Florida 2006- Logistics

Panama City Beach (PCB) airport is about 30 minutes from the The Boardwalk Hotel, the host hotel for the race. If you ever decide to do this race seriously consider staying there, it is fabulous. I stayed next door at Top Of The Gulf, an adequate residence on the ocean shore and a short five minute walk door to door. There are several apartments and hotels within a half mile distance from the host hotel.

PCB is a tourist town and an older one at that. Its no Disney World. The rooms are not Vegas level, but you're not there to gamble, you're there to race.

Everything is so centralized that it feels like an athletes village. While there you could not help but stumble into or walk past someone with shaved legs or a previous ironman race shirt or the much coveted silver triathlete bracelet.

The host hotel is actually two seperate buildings, the resort which must be twenty floors and then the convention center which held the transition area outside and host all the dinners inside. It also had the most convenient breakfast brunch.

The resort hotel held the expo literally outside its front doors. Athletes that stayed there were treated very nicely on race day by the fact that the finish line was thirty feet from the front door.

As in all ironman expo's I have seen, there is the merchandise tent and then the wetsuit, bike and run supply tent which also houses the bike mechanic area.

I must stress this to anyone who goes to an Ironman expo, if you like it and it fits or is the right it right away. If you wait and come back later it will be sold out. Don't feel like you are jinxing yourself by buying a jersey or logo'd jacket before you finish, you will be disappointed that you didn't get what you wanted because you waited. Besides, the 'Finishers' gear is not that impressive and you can buy most of it online anyway.

Also if your going to buy a cap, buy the visor not the dri-fit style ball cap. You will get a dri-fit ball cap in your finisher bag along with a finisher t-shirt. Save your money for other swag.

By the way, I am a swag whore. I've had smaller two week paychecks than the bill I rang up the first time through the expo tent. But I learned my lesson at the Arizona expo the last two years. Buy before its gone.

There is a Walmart a few miles from the host hotel. I thought it was important to get supply's right away since there would be a lot of people looking for bottled water and peanut butter. Bolder and I went there on Tuesday night and the selves were already looking barren for typical triathlete foods.

Race day travel is a logistical nightmare for your support team if you stay within a half mile of the host hotel. Both sides of the street are barricaded off so if your family and friends have any idea of traveling the bike course to cheer you on, be prepared to move your vehicle a good distance away before race day or there not going anywhere.

Prologue-Ironman Florida 2006

My goal is to collect all my text blogs sent during my stay in Panama City and all the race summary posts in one large cache once its all written and exposed, linked in my sidebar .

I think I have said so much already about the fellowship I encountered with fellow bloggers and how wonderful that whole part of the experience was. Ironman Florida was definitely a more rich experience for the camaraderie I had before the race even begun.

After all the race reports are written I will begin to post the photos that were taken before, during and after the race. There are hundreds to sort through.

Sunday, November 5, 2006

Time is winding down for our 2006 blogger convention. Time was spent poolside today in celebration by all, even the Mighty Mo. Yes lots of video

Feel pretty good. Legs tight & cant feel 1 toe. Surreal stuff happened out there. So much stuff so little i can put into text. Thank u 4 comments

Friday, November 3, 2006

finally @ peace.its been given over to God. I will give my all & pray the lesson's on this journey equal a succesful day for all. I am blessed.

Wow. A endurance workout that has me on the couch the rest of the day.

Today i saw my 1st christmas commercial of the season. Sick.

Just talked with spenser smith. We wished each other a good race. Told him im rooting for him. Yeah it was pretty cool.

Still cold but getting better. Just dropped off bags & bike. Praying 4 the hundredth time i didnt forget anything. Still no sign of 'Murphy'

Thursday, November 2, 2006

A serious cold front is casting doubts on a comfortable race condition w/ many, though not i. I think it will blow over friday.

Paula newbe frazier is the new president of ironman. WTC name changing to north america sports.

@ the dinner. Nancy is now here. Mike lavato is a riot interviewing heather fuhr & lothar leder.

Been watching lots of news, for the weather. The news chicks here dont get Boob or nose jobs. They're kinda plain

Could the official swag bag be more gay. A chick 4 blade razor, dove skin lotion w/ bronzer & a coupon for tampons.'as if'

Final workout. 15 mile ride w/ kahuna & jenny. This course can be super fast. Carb dinner tonight. Mistress & mo on the way.

I have spent an obscene amount of $ on swag. I,ve had smaller pay checks. Pictures when i get back.

Had dinner w/ kahuma, robo, tri mama, soapinator, tri daddy & family, tri boomer & wife & bold. Great fun.

Another ocean swim. Went great. Swam w/ kahuna, robo, tri mama, & new best friend jenny a friend of mama's.

Wednesday, November 1, 2006

Is there americans in this race? Spoke w/ 1 amer., 1 irish, 2 brit, & 1 million canadians.

Swim was great. Clear. Can see 30 ft. Down. Two jelly fish, huge, & one guy saw a shark. Water is floaty & fast.

Found shelley & elly @ registration. Bold & i rocked the swag & expo.

Had b-fast w/ tri daddy. Now going for a swim w/ bolder. not sure you should swim immediately after eggs & gravy. But o what the hell.