Monday, March 31, 2008

Back to business

Well as many of you know, I did not make the final three of the current EVOTRI contest. Thank you for those of you who left me a comment or call. While I am of course a little bummed about that, it's really easy for me put it aside when an Ironman looms only two weeks away.

On Saturday morning I rode a little over 50 miles at 20.3 mph, 96 cadence and average HR of 142. Everything just seemed to click and man that would be so awesome to repeat that on race day and come in around 6 hours on the bike, which is my goal. It will come down to the wind on the course I am sure. I bricked with a 2 mile run with a 8:30 pace. Again felt good but pace and HR were well over my IM goals.

Sunday I swam with the team at Canyon lake for four laps. Thats about 2 miles and took 80 minutes. Four laps used to be IM distance, (1,000 per lap) however since they have refilled the lake I would say it is now short by a little over 100 per lap. I'll have to get my range finder on the buoys this week. My swims have improved a lot and instead of being left in the wake I actually stayed within 50- 75 yards of the guy in front of me the whole way. Another run brick followed and ran a very hilly 5 miles. In the past I would walk a least a portion of the hardest part, a 1.3 mile switchbacked road but this time did not.

I really needed this weekend to build my confidence after all the training I feel I have missed. Every day the race gets closer I seem to feel equally confident and uncertain about different parts of it. One day I feel great about my run and insecure about my swim. The next day vice versa and then also fret about the wind on the bike. Or the heat or the sun. Or my nutrition on the bike, or if I'll wear my cap or my visor, or how to pack my gels, use imodium or pepto when I haven't used either in training, and on and on.

It's Ironman season, bring it on.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Thank You Cards

Well its pretty much over now, the whole Evotri voting thing and thank god. Tonight is the final night of tabulations. I won't even ask anymore, there is far to much of that if you scroll down.

I am writing and posting this before knowing if I made the top 3 for the second slot available. Regardless of the outcome I want to say my thank you's to everyone for putting up with me through this. I think most of you got my thank you message after the first round and like it or not I will send some sort of closure letter in a few days with the outcome of this round.

If I don't make the team this weekend, I will not be going for the last spot if its a voting contest. Between the last month of vote garnering and an Ironman two weeks away I just can't bring myself to the fight. I will continue to be an advocate for the team in some capacity.
The above statement was written a few day ago in preparation for the end of the voting. What follows is my thoughts after reading a post today.

New Inclusion: I agree with Nancy's post about volunteering and working on the local level and understand her thoughts on this voting process. I want to recognize her for saying something that needs to said from the other side. It is not my personality to sell myself so strongly and because I consider her a close contact, we raced at Ironman Florida together, she got a copy of all my letters. I am sure she got dozens more from others. For as frustrated as she is with the whole solicitation process, I guarantee I was more uncomfortable having to write and send out the messages over the last month. I won't apologize for sending them, I believe in what I did. Had I known earlier I wouldn't have bothered her, of course in hind site I maybe should have known. But she has a good point and if I don't make the team, I have a plan for that too.

But now I'm late, I have to go lead a bunch of school kids on a bike and run. See I am volunteering my Friday afternoons to a school district teaching kids and their parents how to finish a triathlon next month. I said she was right.
Thank you everyone who has participated on my behalf.

Have Fun.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Down to the wire

This is it. The final hours of voting. If you are even a casual reader to this blog and have not done so yet please copy my web address and send an email to

One more vote can make the difference.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Endurance Sports are the new black

Jennifer Lopez, J-Lo, Diva extraordinaire, whatever you want to call her, she has told People magazine and by extension the entire world that she is going to do a triathlon towards the end of the year. I did a Google on the topic to see some more info, they all quote the same piece. I just love how its put into context, "...getting set to complete a triathlon." The term 'getting set' is do you say...Hollywood.

You can 'get set' to drive to the store. You can 'get set' for a party. You 'can get' set for dinner. People don't 'get set' for triathlons. People train their asses off for triathlons, of any distance.

Me? I say good for her. I got no problem with J-Lo or any other celebrity doing triathlons. The Malibu Triathlon (maybe J-Lo's event, my guess) has a history of celebrity racers.

I admit that a guilty pleasure is following Hollywood gossip. I am not a big J-Lo fan but I have never seen a photo of her exercising for fitness. Not saying she doesn't, but for a person followed by dozens of paparazzi dishing on her life every day, you would think seeing her pop out of a gym or working with a trainer for something other than dance moves would be out there somewhere. I hope she does a triathlon and hope she does well. I doubt she'd ever do one again.

Now about Katie Holmes NOT running the entire NYC marathon. That's something I'd like figured out.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Evo-Vote through Friday



Don't forget to vote for me to be a member of Team EvoTri. Copy my URL above or copy the red text here: and send an email to With your help I can become the 2nd of 3 members added to the team this year. My Round 1 application is HERE. My round 2 application is HERE.

Spread the word, grab people who come into your office. Please be my champion.


What Would A Triathlete Do?

Here is your opportunity to partake in my very first poll thanks to Poll Daddy.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Voting Extended One Week

I don't know if I should throw up or be excited. If this was a triathlon it'd be no contest- little bit of both. Voting is now open to all email accounts through March 28th, next Friday. You no longer have to go to the website or use the EVOTE button.

send emails to:
in the Subject line put:

Here is an opportunity to close the door on the voting. All of you know that I am an advocate for you, my friends. I now need you to be mine. All of you have at least five people that you know who will vote for me if you just ask them too. Go deep today. People want to believe in the goodness of others and have faith on days like Good Friday that what they do speaks to who they are.

Ask your friends, family and co-workers to vote for me today, this weekend and next week. Start grabbing people who come into your office and asking if they have voted, put the opportunity in front of them. Fire up the house computer before Easter dinner and have your visiting family do it from their online email accounts. Put your teenage sons and daughters to work with their friends.

One more week. Does someone have a bucket nearby?

Sidenote: Please do not vote multiple times from the same email address.

Breaking the law

So I got an email yesterday from Mistress after she caught up on my latest posts. She basically called me out for breaking the 6th Commandment of Tri-Geek Dreams, "Thou shall stop being a little bitch".

God love her. Not an ounce of mercy in her. This is the woman that made me undergo a Training Contract for my first Ironman, including bonuses and penalties. She scolded me this time out of love, the painful slapping kind rather than the gentle soft touching kind. But she is right. A stressful life is still better than being dead inside; especially when its our own goals, dreams and wants that stress us out.

She wants the fanatical, obsessive voice back on the blog and who am I to deny The Mistress. As much as she would enjoy me spending more time at home, she doesn't want me to slack on my training for Ironman and set myself up for failure. And neither do I. Its so close I can taste it.

So the whip has been cracked. The sting is pretty fresh. I think she used a race medal. Tri-Dummy may want to check the rules on that one since he is the self appointed Sherriff of Bling County.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Pregnant with Life

I know from speaking with mom's they say they that the pregnancy for the most part was amazing to be a part of but in the last uncomfortable month, they just wanted to be done with it. "When is this kid going to come out?"

I am starting to feel like, "Lets just get THIS over with," about so many things in life. Ironman in particular. I am not exhibiting any of the manic over the top emotions as I have for the last Ironmans but I am having trouble going to sleep. I am nervous eating more than usual. I am forgetting workouts that I have done. Since when do you forget about doing two hour rides? I read on Lana's blog that she had a great weekend of training; a St. Patty 10k and 3 hour ride. Thats about 80% of the training load I put into one workout lately. I can't wait for that to be regular training for a whole weekend.

I'd just like to make the evotri team and get over with the campaigns. (If you haven't voted for me yet- shame on you-scroll up). The closer to Ironman I get the less effort I can afford to put into something I think I would be a perfect fit for.

I have so many 'issues' at work that I just want to get past. I have taken over more responsibilities of which I have some experience and diplomacy at handling but its such an effort and each case requires urgent attention. It has become overwhelming at times. It used to be that a letter or two would suffice but now there's meetings, delays, continuances, additional information requests, blah, blah, blah. I feel like a jail house lawyer.

I am one of the many that have an ARM coming up this summer and need to re-fi. I still haven't done my taxes as a self employed person.

I just know that all this is within my capacity. Add the concussion, the flu, Mo's operation, some serious, serious stress from Mistress and I couldn't not have handled this load in my life for my first Ironman build. No way.

I know the race will soon be over, the voting will soon be over, these work issues will be resolved. There will be more races, hopefully more evotri, more cases to deal with at work but there is always and ebb and flow. Most of this flow will be gone in 30 days and I can ebb for a bit.

In all things Have Fun

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

A glimpse?

Mistress was asked to meet with an elderly woman at her work, she is an administrator at one of our clubs. The woman was confused and emotional. She had found that she had been billed by our company and had paperwork from us with her signature, but no recollection of ever being there. The manager was called over because he was the one who had initially worked with her. As it turns out this woman has alzheimer's and didn't remember a thing about him or what she had done. Of course the two felt extremely sorry for this poor woman and completely absolved her of all responsibility.The tears in her eyes when she left where different than the tears she had when arriving.

After this powerful moment, Mistress had to get out and go for a walk. She called me. She is resigned that this scenario will be replayed in our future many times. I already have a history of this behavior during my amnesia and memory issues after my accident. My mom had to cope with me every morning and throughout the day, for months, asking who she was, where I was, what I was doing. I think it helped her to cope with her own parents eventual dementia and alzheimer's issues. Gee, not only have I put myself in this position with my head injuries but its genetic too. Great for me.

It sad to think my wife believes I will forget her in our old age and is resigned to that. A lesser wife would do the math and bail out. My most recent episodes of 'sleep-driving' after my umpteenth concussion last fall only portents the future I may or not have. The optimism is that every neurological expert we have seen since then stresses that exercise and new experiences create new brain patterns and keeps the mind sharp. So I get to train till I puke. I get to read to the wee hours of the morning with very little fuss. Each practice completed or chapter read may add quality to the years I have left with my beautiful wife.

Thats pretty good advice to just about anyone.

Sidenote: After writing this I went through the archives to hyperlink a 'sleep driving' post because its a term I made up to describe some of the post concussion behavior I had last fall and maybe wouldn't be understood by some people. Turns out, I never wrote one. I certainly had dozens of email exchanges and phone calls with people regarding it but I never described it. Its worthy its own post for another day.

Update: Thanks Amber. Here is the Sleep Driving post.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

From nothing, something

Had a great century ride over the weekend, letting me know that if the weather is good on race day I should go sub-6 hours on the bike. The next day while out running in the desert, I had to make a quick ditch to the side of the dirt road to avoid a vehicle and torqued my knee. It ended my run early and I have been rehabbing it since. I think I just hyper-extended something behind the knee as nothing towards the front is painful. I have no doubt it will be 100% in a few days.

I don't think I have made a right move yet in this second member EvoTri vote process, but as always I am optimistic. I have been thinking about what I'd say if I'm one of the three EvoTri contestants getting called Saturday. I have had literally a couple dozen ideas I have mulled over but nothing is completely new and nothing has really stuck.

I already work with school aged kids in a triathlon clinic, they graduate by doing a local kids tri. I co-founded a large triathlon team that is non-profit and create new triathletes each year. My occupation speaks for itself if you know what it is. It also runs the largest food drive in Phoenix during Christmas, feeding 50,000 people. Its built new gyms in churches and halfway houses and rehabilitation centers all over the west coast. Because when someone is in their deepest despair, hit the absolute rock bottom only two things can bring them back to society, God and exercising discipline over the mind and body.

This is just who I am. A Fitness Evangelist. I am always preaching health. I am always encouraging exercise. Bringing people to a better relationship with God and their body.

But. But I was talking to a Soul Brutha last night on the way home. A friend who has shared some of my funnest moments in triathlon. A true friend. At the end of the call we provided each other no more clarity on my "Big Idea", but later on while contemplating our talk I kept mulling over some of his words and it finally came to me.

I now have my "Big Idea". My concept for how to increase participation in triathlon and/or exercise and spotlight the team and it's sponsors. It could be awesome and completely new in the entire world of triathlon. One way or the other, we all find out this weekend.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Holiday M-Dot: St. Patricks Day 08

As I finally upload this, it truly is "Top O' The Morning"

Happy St. Patty's everyone and hope that all the training you do tonight out on the roads is safe and with fair weather.

Don't ro

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Making the Team: 2008 Endeavor

Thanks for reading! If you think I should be the next fully-sponsored member of Team Evotri, please write down the URL of this web site and have it ready for voting when you click the EVOTE button below. Thank you!

To vote: Click the EVote links provided or compose an email to and put Common Man Syndrome in the subject.

When I look at the sport of endurance racing I see a need for stewardship. It seems every professional sport is plagued with drug scandals; EPO, blood doping, steroids, the list goes on. Yet while cheaters in baseball and football are treated with kids gloves from their organizations and with ambivalence from their fans; all professional endurance athletes are unfairly typecast by one rotten apple. One baseball player caught cheating is scolded but loses no prestige or income; with one cheating endurance athlete entire cycling teams are cut from races, entire teams lose medals. It is because of this that I believe marketing and sponsorships will edge away from elite athletes and begin targeting and creating age group teams. I believe EvoTri is at the tip of the spear in this regard by providing a team and a forum for age groupers to train and race like the pro's. It is only through united fronts, like EvoTri, that voices become loud enough to affect an entire community. And the endurance community needs someone to be that loud voice right now.

What EvoTri sponsors are looking for is consistency and inspiration. Start a blog they say? I have been a blogger for over three years, helping create the triathlon blogesphere this team is seeking to tap into. In that time I have written almost 1,400 posts dedicated to not just my passions, but motivated others and been an inspiration to others. I have been a steady voice for people struggling with their health and who they think they are as a person, and if I can do it, anyone can.

I feel a responsibility to be a model for triathlon and I think I represent our sport well. I have written of tremendous success and awful failures. I try to relate how hard and how satisfying triathlon can be to non-triathletes. I believe it is only through steadfast examples of writing down dreams and overcoming adversities that people make sense of what they want to accomplish in life and only then do they begin to envision who they could potentially be. Isn't that the cornerstone of EvoTri's mission statement?

I am not a athlete of noticeable regard or talent. I have no discernible strength or speed or balance. What I have is tremendous willpower and Heart. I am self deprecating and have a dry sense of humor, but take life seriously and love people. If you have the inclination, this is my story.

I am a warrior for this sport. With all my heart I want to increase the number of people involved in triathlon. I will be an asset to EvoTri and the sponsors because I have the same mission they have, to grow this sport. We can create a marketing legacy and show that age groupers are a worthwhile investment.


Thursday, March 13, 2008

Another Go Round

Well folks, I've decided to tryout for EvoTri's next team member spot. I want to believe it was so close last time. Charlie sure seems like a swell guy and fitting right in. I hope I get to be his team mate. Starting on Saturday you will be able to vote for me again and tell your friends and family to do likewise.

BTW Charlie has started his own blog, TriCajun, how fitting. Load him into your subscriptions. I feel like he is going to do really well online.

I will upload my EvoTri entry late Friday or early Saturday as I have a 100+ mike ride planned for 6:30am. No rest for Ironmen. The good news is it will be about 80*. Neener Neener.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Its all in my head...

Something has stuck in my head since I watched the American Gladiator tryouts last month. Am I an athlete? or perhaps more apt, Am I athletic?

I have an appropriate athletic build, although three years later I still look more like a weight lifter than endurance freak. I don't however have the fundamental background in athletics. Spending most of my life in the gym really isn't athletic, general exercise is a lifestyle trait that everyone should have. Not everyone is an athlete though. I haven't played football or baseball or team sports since my car accident twenty years ago, so there goes the team component. I am not fast or have great balance or superior coordination. I am mediocre riding up hills and have one speed in the water. Generally speaking my form is more laughable than laudable.

But I think to myself, c'mon, I've done Ironman's and marathons and century rides and can swim miles at a time. I've done bodybuilding competitions and powerlifting contests. I spent a lot of time on obstacle courses and confidence courses in the military not to mention all the other running, hiking and rock climbing I have done. Thats athletic isn't it?

I think what might make me an athlete more than any other discernible trait is my determination. I have always said that I am more like a tank than anything else. Just point me in the right direction and I will eventually get there. Yeah I might throw a few treads and bounce off a few trees and show up a lot more worse than the wear. But I am determined to finish something. That might be more important that talent or speed or strength.

I have met a lot of people full of speed or skill or some other tremendous talent and yet they take it all for granted and blow up their life, wasting their gift. I guess because every normal step today is more credit than any doctor gave me when I was in recovery, I look at what I can do as a blessing.

So I may not be able to dodge the dodgeballs or dunk or go 3 for 5 against a good pitcher or throw a tight spiral or do 25 pull ups, or run a 4.8 forty or swim a 1:25 hundred or average a seven minute mile or hit a golf ball straight or bowl over 200 or do a back flip off a diving board. But how many people can say they have finished a marathon or Ironman or carried a 110 pound rucksack for miles and days on end?

So I guess that I while I don't feel athletic when I see athletes, I certainly am one. Its just that instead of having the proto-typical athletes body I have the athletes mindset.

Charlie Mike (Continue the Mission)

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Nuggets of correction

I went to an OW swim session last night with my swim coach's training group. Many of these people are nowhere near training at the IM level, or completed an IM. Most are just acclimatizing to their base training at this point, looking forward to sprints and Oly's and getting used to OW swimming. That being said I was not the fastest person there, nor did I put on any airs though I did get some comments on my M-Dot tattoo.

I only knew of myself doing more than 30 minutes of swimming and didn't want to finish as the last one in the water. I was heading down to the cove from the parking lot as he gathered his people to him for a quick talk, when he flagged me down to join them. I am glad that I did.

He went over some basic OW swimming techniques and philosophies; practical application stuff applicable to any level. In the Q&A, he demonstrated just basic stroke technique in a wet suit and how it feels different that without one. To me it looked so much better than my own stroke, and he was just doing it conversationally.

As we broke and made way to the water, I focused on one thing he told us about effort in OW, "You don't control your breathing by your stroke, you control it by your hips." As I worked myself out there and began my 3 loops of .4 miles each, I really reacted to that statement. Often I try to smooth myself out by going Distance Per Stroke, reaching farther away like trying to grab an apple from a tree, not shortening my stroke. This time I focused on rocking my hips and it all seemed to be so much easier to breath and move.

No one is too good to not learn a lesson, God knows I know that. I could have blocked out a very basic newbie orientation to OW and concentrated on what I wanted to work on out there, I am glad I did not.

In the end I did the half iron distance swim pretty relaxed and in 45 minutes, rolling my hips and bi-lateral breathing the whole time. My swim line was straight along the ten buoy square course. The exact pace and feeling I want for IMAZ next month. No I was not the fastest out there and never will be. But I hit an important marker in my triathlon career last night and feels good.

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Spinning Wheel

I still find it absolutely amazing and a testimony to my determination or call it my heart, that I finished the bike portion at last years Ironman Arizona under the cut off time. As sick as I was, as bad as those conditions were, I don't know how I did it. Thank God someone with common sense pulled me from the race in T2 and took me to medical.

I have run the numbers in my head many times. I had a viral infection in my lungs and ultimately I should not have raced that day. Between waking up and when I went to bed I drank 2.5 gallons (+20 lbs) of liquid and took in four liters of IV (+9 lbs) and yet I still went to bed 23 pounds lighter. Fuzzy math says I lost close to 52 pounds in less than a day. And I still wanted to head out for the marathon. I never said I was smart, just determined.

At this point in training for Arizona 2008, there is not much left to do. When I go into race day healthy and 100% rested I have no doubt that I can swim the distance and run the distance. Biking....thats something I have been thinking about a lot lately. Can I bike 112 miles? Well of course. But I can do it with the output I need to have a good race and finish proudly. That's the question I will only be able to answer on race day.

Of all the different places to put pressure on myself for a good race, it comes down to being competent on the bike, the one component I feel I have not invested as much time into as the others lately. Oh I can blame the concussion last fall. I can blame the flu several weeks back. I can blame Mo for all his health issues the last two weekends. I can blame a crappy trainer that ate my tires every time I got on it. But blaming others doesn't solve problems. On some long ride days I felt it was too cold. I equivocated elevation changes and RPE for distance. I choice pack mentality over doing what is right. And maybe that is the lesson I am learning and the one I wish to impart today.

If you train alone, don't cheat your time or your effort because your just accountable to yourself. If you train with a team don't get sucked into going with the flow because you want to get out of the weather or go eat or they are not going as far as you. You can't bluff yourself out on the race course. No matter how many alibi's or how many issues you come up with, in the end at Ironman, its you against the clock against yourself. Good race, bad race, all anyone wants to do is finish the damn thing.

I'm pretty confident that, if healthy I will finish Arizona and have fun doing it. I still have my goals from last year I want to meet. I suppose the pressure I put on myself for a good bike is because I want to do well in all my events and its the longest and potentially the hardest part of the course. But I have another two weeks to train hard and then a couple weeks of taper and then I get to see what I am made of all over again.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


We are all back home now. Mo is tired and been asleep since before we even pulled up. Mistress and he have both been taking a nap. After all the hospital food, she demanded steaks and salad for dinner. Like all returns from the hospital, I bought a bottle of champagne.

You would think I am happy and yet somehow I am a bit hollow inside. Melancholy. The last few weeks have been extremely hard on the whole family; each with our own personal, emotional, intellectual and physical struggles. As we were driving home I wished we could all just go away somewhere for a few days and hide. Disneyland. Mexico. Someplace. Anyplace.

Last night after a full day of being at the hospital I came home falling asleep at the wheel. I wanted nothing more than to have a beer, watch a little tv and hit the sack early. Instead I rode my trainer for four hours and celebrated my sticktoitiveness with a salad. I splurged and used light ranch instead of my usual vinaigrette.

The best I can do in all this is try to put Mo back on some sort of routine and get him ready for school again in a couple of days, he still needs some time to recover. I'll get a massage for Mistress to work the kinks out from lousy chairs, cramped quarters and poor posture. As for myself...I skipped an 18 mile run today. A rare day off before ironman. I also bought a book. I will find something better once they have returned to normal and all this is once again just another trip to the hospital for Mo and not the latest testament to a son with severe challenges to his health.

Thank you all of you who gave us calls and emails wishing a speedy recovery. They obviously did the trick.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Mo Update

Mo is steadily improving under hospital care. He will remain here through mid-day Sunday at least. Which means so will Mistress. She rarely leaves his side when he's in the hospital.

The ears look good, surgical areas are coming along and hydration is up. Still very little food. A couple hundred calories of apple juice and gatorade. Still it's more than he's had in 8 days.

thanks for letting me prattle.

Mo Phine

I gotta give the boy credit. It took a mom, a grandma and two large nurses to hold him down and put that IV in. Where was dad? Dad was pacing in the hallway squeezing a stress ball for ten minutes while his son screamed like a banshee behind the curtain.

This photo is after the morphine was put into his system. He was pretty punchy and had Mistress and grandma dabbing tears of joy and laughter at his nonsensical comments and the return of his long lost sense of humor.

Mighty Mo is in pretty serious shape. He has lost ten pounds or 20% of his body weight. As I mentioned in earlier posts he has been throwing up fresh blood since the surgery a week ago, most recently at the decision point of going to the ER. He has taken in less than 50 calories in the last eight days. He was drinking water during the week but not surprised when the doctor said he was in a seriously dehydrated condition. The picture doesn't show it but he skin was very yellow. His throat is still a bit green from the surgery and lab results are being done to see what his blood and cultures looked like. Mistress was finally glad to speak with a doctor that didn't make her feel like an idiot. I guess today with the way he was acting we felt a turn had been made. Probably a turn to manic madness and not the general well being we were expecting.

Mighty Mo has been admitted for the next day at least. Mistress is staying the night with him and I am at home. I have a rather.....uncomfortable relationship with hospitals, as you might imagine and it drives me absolutely batty being in one either as the patient or the parent/spouse. I will go back in the morning and do what I can.

I have been reading Mo and Mistress the emails that come in, he takes some comfort in them, Mistress more so. I am reminded that this is one of those times, yet again, when people are amazed at how sick Mo is when all they see is how happy he is and how he immediately pulls people towards him. When he just a baby and we were dealing with all his issues, we thought it was us, that we were bad parents. That we willed or wanted all these 'auto-immune', colitis symptoms to be true, when visually he had so much gravitas. But once the visual acuity tests were done and the true testing commenced, we were validated. That and the one foot thick medical file he has at his primary doctors office.

Mo is the pride and joy of my life. He is stronger than me. When I see his condition on a daily and hourly basis and feel sorry for him, it is him that lifts me up. Those that have been around him often or met him once, remember him long afterwards. He pulls people to him like none other I have seen. He is a true light in this world. Today morphine made him normal. Soon enough the energy will be his alone again.

Friday, March 7, 2008


Mo woke up from a nap screaming and vomiting blood. It was not pretty. We are sitting in the waiting area in the ER to get him admitted. Us parents are calm and its almost like going to a relatives house instead of emergancy room. We have been here a lot. Looks like thats going to continue....

Mo No Go

We have pushed past the roughest parts and Mo is starting to come around, so no hospital as it stands. The coughing is gone, the sniffer is working, the ears are getting better. Still not eating after 8 days but he will crack on that soon enough. He says his throat hurts whenever he tries to eat, but at this point based on his activity level, this could be a manipulative 4 year old ploy to get attention. Who knows?

So no more, "You gotta eat," or "Do you want to eat this?" We are priming the house for a food rich environment. A beautiful smelling pizza for dinner tonight will flood the home with flavorful scents to grumble the belly. We are going to have a quarter of it with very little sauce and toppings so if he does eat his stomach won't be destroyed. Desert will be fudge brownies. Again if he does eat it will be a very small amount. Boxes of apple juice are already placed around the house for access and whatever snacking is being done is done right in front of him without offering a bite.

This sucks that he is in rough shape. Thankfully the amount of water he has consumed has not deteriorated him any more than he is. He is much smaller now having lost by our estimation about ten pounds or 20% of his body weight. The baby fat and chunk he got from all the drugs has for the most part been erased. His shoulders and waist and noticeably slimmer. The chubby, cherub face is still there, just waiting for the smile to return.

But... every now and then, you get what seems to be sincere moaning and a cry fest of not feeling well and true physical distress. Without food or any pain medication this is expected. I'd expect it from me. I am sure the weakness from no food and the ear infections and whatever physical recovery he still has from his operations is not helping his normally cheerful mood.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


Mistress stayed home with Mo today 'cause he has been having such a rough go of it, especially mornings. He did take some meds today, that makes 3 of 10 he's taken since the operation.

Yesterday when he flipped out and threw up (bloody), just at the insistence he take some med's Mistress called for an appointment today. She called me while leaving the the doctors office. He has lost 12% of his body weight, 6 pounds total and he has a double ear infection.

The next 24 hours are critical. He needs to eat something, take all his med's, and drink 40 oz of water or most likely he will be admitted after the tomorrow consult. I suppose he should have gone in today, but we have hope it will turn around, plus it's and extra 24 hours to prevent another grand of bills as he will most likely be in for a couple days.

There is no joy in writing this and not sure how to end it. But its not an end, its a situation that is normal for us, Mo has conditions that make him medically different than other kids. You'd normally never know it though.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


I've been able to work from home the last two days to care for Mo and boy has he needed it. Since the operation Friday he's only eaten a couple hundred calories. Its starting to show around his belly. He understands about hydration and thankfully been drinking well, just nothing with substance.

He is complaining that his other ear hurts now. This is what happens when you have no immune system, after a surgery you can get sick easy and his developed a double ear infection. He is supposed to start on the anti-biotic liquid again today but the pain meds he took have made him think all of them will hurt and sting so he has refused everything. I didn't force the issue during the day but when Mistress got home she got a bit more insistant. He started hyperventalating and throwing up again, still with the blood in it. Needless to say it looks like another doctor appointment Wednesday for shots. He is not a big fan of that either. Nor am I for that matter, the co-pays are killing me.

Luckily I have maintained some sanity with training. Right now I'm upstairs on the trainer for 2.5 hours (god bless blackberry phones). Last night swam over a mile in cold open water, but open water nevertheless.

Ultimately Mo will be fine but this has certainly been a trying time for us all. A bright light today is that his four headed dragon toy came today. The gift he chose before the operation.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Race #3 2008: Ragnar Relay

Ragnar is nothing like I expected and exactly like I thought it was going to be. The Ragnar Relay is a 190 mile relay event with teams of twelve runners. The teams are split into two vehicles, mostly white 15 passenger vans and while one team of six runs their legs the others are free to do as they wish. And vice versa. The distances, called 'Legs', vary from 3 miles to over 7 miles and each runner does three of these legs. There are runners who do three difficult Legs and runners who have three very easy Legs. Which in the end is good for those that have chronic injuries or just not very good runners but want to contribute.

I have chosen a harder segment of run legs and become Runner #1. In my van, which turned out to be a top of the line Denali, are two others I know very well, one whom I know and two I have never met. The perfect combination for a group.

The teams are started based on run projections and overall finish time and due to an error on our part, we get a first wave start of 0900. Myself and about a half dozen other runners take off and charge over five miles to the first transition. I had a good run averaging about 7:30 per mile and coming in third, six minutes behind the first runner and about six minutes ahead of the person behind me.

The second leg, I ran at 8:30 pm and was listed as the hardest of my set at 7.5 miles and 500 feet of climbing over 2 miles of the course. Because it was late, I had rider with me. Some teams, like ours, elected to have another team mate ride along at night providing more light and some sense of security. We also found that when the runner finished their leg and then provided a bike escort for the next person, it loosened the legs up. My legs took a mile to find themselves after being cramped up in a car for so long but I clipped off 8:30 miles up some very tough climbs.

The third leg run around 0530 was my worst. I was tired. I was cramped and cold and hungry. I hadn't slept barely or if all in over 25 hours. I started my watch early to get my HR going and somehow started it as well, so no idea really of my time. I had switched shoes and my foot pod gave me absurd paces. Lastly my stomach seceded from my internal organs and I had to evacuate like no ones business. Only problem is that bathrooms are only at the start and finish of the legs. Mine happen to be just shy of six miles. That is a long time to run like that. But I did.

When I wasn't running, I was driving during the day and trying to be helpful at night. There is a constant routine of waiting at a transition to the runners to exchange a wrist strap, then drive ahead a few miles. Pull over, cheer on your team mate and assess any needs then drive to the next transition area. Occasionally the other team will come around on the course to find you but mostly you meet at Major Exchanges when the last runner of one vehicle passes off the first runner of the next vehicle. It was never boring that is for sure.

I saw many friends that I had no idea were in the same race. I drove up on Momo and her friend Krista volunteering at a checkpoint. She has quite a funny story to tell of her set up there and it was good to see a kind friend once again. Just before I saw them we saw five wild horses grazing in the desert just off a desert road portion of the course.

The finish line was a mosh pit of absolutely horrible bands and some pretty damn good beer. As the first group of runners we were done about five hours before the second group of our team finished so we had a long lunch and followed them along on the course for several Legs. Then went to the finish line to repack the bags and all run across together.

There were hundreds of pictures taken by Claudia, who traveled with us and look forward to seeing and posting what she took.

This report is sort of a mishmash of stuff, which sums up Ragnar pretty well. It has a start and a finish and the course is laid out perfectly. Everything else goes way to fast or way to slow and always on less sleep than any other way you would ever want to do a race.

Maybe that is why it is so much fun.

Back From Hopital

Everything went pretty well at the hospital. Thankfully Mo stayed asleep the whole time while we were waiting and only cried during the needle parts. He's pretty compliant with requests but he has been stuck by a lot of needles and mostly does not like them.

He haf been refusing his med's from the Friday surgery, they taste horrible and sting his throat. He puts up a tremendous fuss and crying and shaking when we try to get him to take them. It makes him very tired later and the crying affects his voice. The doctors say he is healing well though. He got an anti-biotic shot, one in both legs, to get that back on track and good too as he has another ear infection or the same one that the last nine week round of anti-biotics failed to take care of.

I am home from work for the next two days taking care of the little guy. Mistress is going to shorten her hours. As attentive a father as I want to be, I can be just as helpless and frustrated and ill tempered as sick Mo who won't take a terrible taking liquid medicine.

Back in hospital

Mo's back in the ER. Second one of the day. Had to tranfer for the right drugs. Throws up blood still, breath is fetid with infection, little fever and emotional. He dosen't want to take his medicine for recovery because it tastes nasty and burns his throat. Thus the trip before it got to late. Plus Mistress has now hit the Mommy Concern level which trumps all other tests.

Didn't Happen Part 2

Didn't Happen Part 2

After re-reading my post about not making the EvoTri team yesterday, I realize its pretty abrupt. That happens when I write a post after being up for 30 hours straight confined to a SUV for all of it except for 18 miles of running, little food, no sleep and using my blackberry to text it together during spotty cell coverage on the side of a freeway.

I want to make it clear that I am disappointed in not making the team this round for a lot of reasons; one of them because I put a lot of effort and work into it and I feel I personally crossed some boundaries asking people to vote for me. I was outside my comfort zone, but I understand this was a hard fought contest and that is the name of the game. I certainly want to be on this team. I am determined to continue my campaign with however a bit more concern over my personal racing goals, like say an Ironman five weeks away.

I think almost exclusively we see and equate sponsored teams with the likes Tri-Dubai, or U.S. Postal or Discovery. The vast majority of sponsorships we can recognize are for teams that have the marketing plan, and its a good one, that we need to equip the best athletes with the best gear and have them win and place not only continuously but specifically at world championship level. I really get behind the EvoTri idea because they realize that more people buy from word of mouth than from Triathlete magazine.

No matter how much an article touts a item or brand, and how much you want it without even seeing it, if someone you know has tried it and they say, "It sucks." You sour and it becomes 'want' number 27 instead of number 1 or 2. And chances are you won't buy it.

Today is a sports world of EPO, blood doping and steroids, elite athletes as a group are losing their credibility. Some unfairly to be sure. Age Group marketing is going to morph and EvoTri is on the cusp of it, leading the way. Inclusion not elitism will dominate the marketing scheme over the next several years and if EvoTri fails, the whole thing might fail. Thats why I want to be on this team. I don't want it to fail, but flourish.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

didn't happen

Good job Charles for your hard work. Well folks we gave it a good shot. A heartfelt and sincere thanks to all the "millions...and millions" of fans of the Common Man Syndrome blog and what I bring to the table.

Theres absolutely no regrets, certainly some disappointment in not making the team. There is two more spots but I am up in the air over whether I will apply. Not because of anything else than my Ironman is about 40 days away and this last contest took a lot of energy and sleep from me. I don't think I can be true to myself and my goals if the next apllication process is as long or intensive. I am a right fit for the team but my commitment to my race must be my priority.

before it's "fake"

well it's 1a.m. The EvoTri website is not updated, so it probably wasn't a landslide for the winner.

As I slump here bleary eyed amidst a 190 mile race trying to find a balance between asleep / awake and comfortable i felt it urgently important to to say something of the kindness of others while the outcome is still unknown.

I'd like to thank the sponsors for allowing this team to exist. I believe EvoTri will be a force of effort amongst a see of pretenders
vying for the eyes of age groupers just terying to bring it all together.

I'd like to that the existing members for the contest that has just concluded. It seemed to go on forever but I appreciate the dillegence put into making it a success. Thousands of people who have never heard of triathlon have now heard EvoTri. Mission accomplished.

I have been truly blessed to witness the sea of support I have recieved from this voting process and need to confess in the strongest langauge possible my utmost appreciation and humility.

I never thought so many years ago that a guy struggling to write a releavant blog about a sport could produce such an outpouring of support. It's become cliche' to say I am humbled by this, specifically by you. You the Common Man or Woman who believed I can be an asset to a group of sponsors.

In a few short hours a winner will be announced. I will admit if I don't make it I will be very dissappointed. But I am the eternal optimist and awinner because of all of you regardless.