Thursday, February 26, 2009

Moving fast,

Well, I am sleeping on the couch tonight. Damn cough and cold. I suppose it's ironic that the last two nights I have snored and coughed loud enough to keep a two week old baby awake all night. And her mother. So in order to restore some sanity to the night, I am on the couch. At least its comfy. I have had this damn thing for three weeks now. After a great run over the weekend this thing came back for round three. I have spoken to three of my peers who had the exact same thing occur; weekend workout after feeling better from the cold, it comes back.

Now its just stupid sinuses, some post nasal drip and the slight cough. Damn cough. I did get a workout in yesterday but Mistress put her foot down today. No training with the cough. Yes Mistress.

Both kids are doing well. Mae has a slight cough only when she cry's so she is going in for a check up tomorrow. It doesn't sound like a cold type so probably some asthma or allergy issue. Mo has a pre-season flag football game this weekend, so expect some photos of that soon. He will be a Steeler this year. Um, sort of hard to root for that team after the NFL version beat the Arizona Cardinals in the superbowl. But the coach is good and Mo looks to be in fine form.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple math with heart.

Who isn't up for a challenge? There are those who of course shy away from the opportunity to challenge them self. And who hasn't at some point doubted the choice they made to push their limits, to think that perhaps they are trying to reach too far.

In the end the only person who can set your goals is you. Sure educated folks like trainers and coaches have the technique to make your goals a reality but the inspiration, the impetus, the action all come from within. Whatever crafty devices and insane programs they develop if within you is not the heart to succeed, then you surely will not. It is not what you do for the one, two or three hours a day you do your training, its the twenty-one plus hours you must control your own reality that tests your heart the most.

And you will surely, surely fail. For a moment, a meal, a day, a week. These are blips compared to the years of disservice you did to your health. What is the gorging of a singular gluttonous meal in a week of healthy eating compared years of that same food on a daily basis? None physically. But emotionally and mentally it feels like a complete failure.

Take heart, reader. Rome was not built in a day and your goals will not be reached in such time either. But realize this, it took you years to become the deconditioned, out of shape person that finally, painfully took the first steps toward physical fitness. These can be reversed in months.

In mathematical terms, if your GOAL is the sum total, the equation is CONSISTENCY + INVESTMENT + SACRIFICE.

Consistency is the amount of days you exercise and practice proper nutrition. The closer to 100% you are the better. The investment is into coaching and education. Sure you can reach your goals without investing in professional services, but the investment almost guarantees faster results. Sacrifice is what it is. I have often said that with nutrition, if you just paused a second before putting something in your mouth, there will be a voice in your head that unconsciously tells you this is good or bad for you. If you listen to that voice you sacrifice short term pleasure for long term health. You will sacrifice sleep and time with your family and those alone can trump investments and consistency.

In the end its simple math. What are your goals worth and what are willing to do to reach them.

There's treasure everywhere.

Monday, February 23, 2009

bad timing

A few weeks ago I lamented my flu like symptoms. At least where I live, this thing has gotten pretty big. I started feeling better every day last week and strung together some good trianing days.

I went for a run Sunday afternoon and just a bit later starting feeling my sinuses swell again. Overnight I developed post nasal drip. Today I feel set back a week.

I think, hope, its a one day deal so no workout today. Rest and fluids is the plan. Back at it tomorrow.

There's treasure everywhere.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Fits and Starts

My life seems to be always in a premature state. I am much to impulsive. I wanted to be able to train again so badly, so I got my start date moved up by a couple months. Then I got a lung infection and then we our baby was born. Have no fear though I am still, Mr. Determined.

I write that as I stare at my $56 box of Girl Scout cookies on the desk across from me. Yup. I support the Girl Scouts. Too bad they don't sell protein cookies or carb gels but nevertheless. Have no fear, GS cookies have no hold on me. I will perhaps have a few Somoas over the weekend but the vast majority are for Mistress and my folks.

My nutrition is actually pretty good, even if my training is not as consistent as I ever want it. 85% of my intake would be considered great, its the 15% that gets me in trouble and keeps me at roughly the same weight. As strong as my willpower is 22 hours a day, I have a seriously lapse in judgment usually between 8p-10p at night.

As much as exercise is important for goals and just a healthy and productive life, nutrition really is about 75% of the plan to get there. All the exercise in the world doesn't matter if the total number of calories is incorrect. Its just sabotage to plow through a sleeve a cookies or handfuls of potato chips when its just indulgent, weak eating.

So as I begin, once again, to string progressively more advanced training sessions together on a consistent basis my nutrition is a minute to minute gut check. No pun intended.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A run in the books.

A surefire way to derail a new workout program is a lung infection bricked with a newborn baby. It had been ten days since I updated my training log with something of substance. Believe me, I was going crazy in a good way.

I possibly could have included some exertion, unfortunately there is not a spot in my online log to track 3 hours of yard work and citrus tree pruning, holding a baby in your left arm for two hours, (which I swear to god is as painful as doing 300 dumbbell arm curls), waking up and down stairs with said baby and whatever else I am supposed to have with me or lugging around a heavy car seat one handed with the baby in it and getting new bruises on the sides of my thigh.

All kidding aside, Mae has been a perfect baby for us. Mistress looked at me on her third day and said that on this night with Mo she was spending the first of many nights in the hospital with him. Not so with this one. She eats healthy, looks healthy, cries for food only and sleeps well. And Mo has been the best big brother we could have ever imagined. So far he has been nothing but helpful and courteous and loving to his sister. Not a hint of jealousy or acting out for attention.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Good all round.

Well who would have thought that writing a blog post would come in so handy. My newborn just soiled a diaper and Mistress asked me mocked me into changing it. "But honey...I'm writing a post." Funny enough, it worked.

I am feeling much better after a week of being very sick and 24 hours on antibiotics. The doc wasn't sure if I needed a Z-pac but with a newborn, better safe than sorry.

I have some more pictures of Mae, but first a comment about Mighty Mo. Today was his last session of Saturday football camps for ages 5-12. At the end of the practice the head coach huddled up the fifty remaining athletes from the eighty that started he went through the usual platitudes of how they well everyone progressed and their hard work will pay off for the session that starts next week.

The entire speech lasted five minutes, but he spent one minute praising Mo. Saying that not only was he the youngest player in the clinic but he show up for every practice. All five coaches agreed he was the most improved player and hardest working kid who giving 100% hustle for every drill, every practice. That was pretty cool.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Baby Mae

There is actually a very funny story regarding if I was technically in the room with baby Mae was born at 12:37 pm on February 12. I will leave that for later, though no woman I know IRL is going to let me forget it for now.

Mistress had a pitch perfect labor and delivery. The nurse staff was ecstatic at such an easy process. She dilated perfectly and in fact did not even know Mae had started to come out until a nurse was doing a visual and saw her head. A mad rush ensued to get a doctor in the room and two pushes later, 20 inch, 7 lb, 12 ounce girl started crying for her mommy.

Mother did not have a single tear or cut or issue. Mae came out perfectly with zero signs of medical issues. She passed all the tests perfectly, peed and had a BM within the first five minutes. She latched quickly and is well fed.

Of course more pictures to follow over the coming days.

What a week, what a week

I have been lucky enough to go over a year without getting sick. This week I have been pummeled with a 2x4. Mostly in my throat. Chest, head, those are okay. My throat feels like a hot poker is in it and supper tired. Oh well, whatcha gonna do?

The only thing I can do is rest which I have done a lot of and its affected my training. As in, no training. I learned a long time ago that its no use fighting the urge to train when sick. It just makes things go longer.

As I write this, Mistress is in labor. Our daughter and second child will be born today. There will be photos. Oh yes, there will be.

There's treasure everywhere.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Make this Valentines meal one to remember

Every Valentines Day it seems the same thing; a cycle of flowers, a teddy bear, dinner out, a movie, chocolate, jewelry, a gag gift. Repeat. Aside from the jewelry everything else is such a momentary event. Do you even remember what you gave to a loved one last year? Or what you recieved?

This Valentines Day keep the healthy lifestyle alive. Instead of a calorie heavy dinner out, create a picnic basket of healthy food and head to the park. An intimate meal for two. For ambiance bring your MP3 player and if you haven't done it yet buy a small external speaker like the Gigaware and play some nice background music. Classical and Orchestra are great but stick to stuff you know, Take a look at John Williams greatest hits 1969-1999. Every song is memorable and elicits story's from the past.

The water for your picnic comes bottled thanks to your first gift, a BPA-free Nalgene or SIGG bottle. Use a zero calorie seltzer or sparkling water. If you have both been good with your nutrition splurge on a Martinelli sparkling cider. A word of advice, carbonatedd drinks will seep through a Nalgene lid, not so with SIGG type containers. Trust me.

Start with an appetizer of hot soup and a small slice of french bread. It is eacy to find a tomato bisque that is full of flavor, healthy and warms the belly without the heavy cream found in restaurant fare. Bring the soup in a thermos and serve in a mug. If you have an outdoors side, pack your camping stove and warm it up on the spot.

For the heartier fare, try boneless skinless chicken breasts. Cut and skewer them onto bamboo sticks. Keep the seasonings modest on the chicken, but a small container of mild buffalo wing sauce provides a nice touch for dipping.

Is a pinic a picnic without potato salad? Of course not. If you can't make a healthy version yourself, go ask mom. In lieu of that browse the deli section of your store and keep the portion size small. Stick to mustard versions over mayonnaise.

The third part of your main course served with the chicken and salad is a plate of finger food. Keep it simple and colorful, remember this is only for the two of you. Slice an apple, an orange colored pepper, strawberries and some celery. These provide some much needed crunch to the meal. Add some cheddar cheese and bited sized cuts from the french bread.

By Valentines Day, everyone has had at least a little bit of chocolate and it is expected this meal will do the same, but how do you make it memorable months down the road from all the other chocolate kisses, bars and such? Nutella. Use the remaining strawberries and bite sized bread for dipping in this messy but wonderfully tasting spread. Finish the meal with a thermos of hot tea. Again a camp stove adds memorizing flair and you can pour the tea into the Sigg or Nalgene bottle.

Some other tips to make your picnic momentus. Bring a nice throw blanket for ground cover or if your sitting at a bench it can be used as a wrap. Chemical handwarmers are a thoughtful gag gift that actually have a purpose. Instead of paper napkins buy your significant other a set of cloth napkins for years of use or buy a unique oversized bandanna at a local hiking/outdoor store that can be used for a hundred purposes in the years ahead; if you bought the water bottles and put hot tea in them, use the bandanna as a cozy as the metal bottle will get quite warm. If your partner did not own an MP3 player or an external speaker, then the final gift is when you had them the unit.

Health is not just about what you put into your body or how you exercise, it's also about having a healthy mind. Instead of a generic greeting card, practice a speech praising your significant other that lasts for at least three minutes, saying all the things you love and appreciate about them. Then look into their eyes, hold their hand and give it your best.

Its not difficult to have a healthy meal for Valentines Day. What is hard is making it one that a person will remember for years to come. Catch them off balance by eating outside rather than in and offer gifts and words that promote health that will last for years to come.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Standard Cycling Phrases

I don't often copy/paste but this is just to humorous and its the first time I have seen it. I got it from my buddy Danny and of course all the standard credit and adoration for the author.

---The meaning of common cycling statements---

"There's a small bump just ahead."
Translation: It's a six mile 8% grade that peaks at 14% at the top.
And I'm on a compact crank set. See you at the top.
"It's going to be a mellow ride 'cause it's Thanksgiving."
Translation: He actually said this as we pulled into the parking lot
and joined up with guys from Rock Racing and Toyota United for what was,
for me, a hellishly hard ride.
"You're riding pretty well, want to pick up the pace?"
Translation: I can't believe I've gone this slow just so your tired ass
can keep up. The first time someone passes us, I'm outta here and
I'll meet you back at the car.

"I'm out of shape"
Translation: I ride 400 miles a week and haven't missed a day since the Ford administration. I replace my 11-tooth cog more often than you wash your shorts. My body fat percentage is lower than your mortgage rate.

"I'm not into competition. I'm just riding to stay in shape"
Translation: I will attack until you collapse in the gutter, babbling and whimpering. I will win the line sprint if I have to force you into oncoming traffic. I will crest this hill first if I have to grab your seat post and spray energy drink in your eyes.

"I'm on my beater bike"
Translation: I had this baby custom-made in Tuscany using composites blessed by the Pope. I took it to a wind tunnel and it disappeared. It weighs less than a fart and costs more than a divorce

"It's not that hilly"
Translation: This climb lasts longer than a presidential campaign. Be careful on the steep sections or you'll fall over -- backward. You have a 39x23 low gear? Here's the name of my knee surgeon.

"This is a no-drop ride"
Translation: I'll need an article of your clothing for the search-and- rescue dogs.

"It's not that far"
Translation: Bring your passport


Translation: Check on your life insurance policy and leave a parting note to your loved ones.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Wonderful aches and pains

It is so nice to wake up and feel like I actually did something of physical substance the day before. The crick in the neck, the stiffness in the shoulders, give me that any day. Ya know, as long as I didn't get that way from just sleeping. That would be bad.

I thought maybe it was just a new insert in my boot last night but nope I woke up this morning with the same problem, in a different shoe. My right foot is terribly swollen and having a hard time being in whatever is on it. It doesn't hurt to walk on, isn't sore, just can't fit into dress shoe very comfortably. Thinking a bike or run is not going to go well today.

Mistress is very uncomfortable. Lots of pressure but no baby. We thought maybe last night but nothing once again. Maybe today. I suppose those are aches and pains too. haha

Wednesday, February 4, 2009


My godfather is in town this week visiting my parents. I can honestly say my godfather is one of my best friends. We have backpacked together for weeks at a time, we have fished all over the world. We call each other often and shoot the breeze.

He and The Colonel (dad) went to their favorite store Cabelas and it is right next to my new club so I met them there when I was done with some work. Since he was not here for Christmas/NYE like normal he told me upon arrival that he would be buying me a Christmas present and one for Mo. He had already showered Mistress with gifts.

I immediately put away the basket and grabbed a cart. Haha. Actually all I got was some all black 'off road' croc sandals. They have a thicker tread, a thicker toe cap and a modified ankle loop with some velcro to adjust. I am not the biggest croc fan but at Canyon Lake there are some swim entry points that flip flops and sandals just don't cut it. They actually came in handy with The Colonel knocked a vaccum cleaner over and it landed on my foot. Had I only been in socks it would have been quite painful. The toe cap saved me.

He bought Mo his first fishing pole, a Shakepere brand Spiderman model with a casting trainer that looks like a heavy Swedish Fish. It even lights up when you set the line to cast. At dinner he showed him how to do exactly that. I was there too, fear not, but as a retired elementary school principal who teaches kids outdoor activies at a year round camp in the Sierra Nevadas, he did it much faster. He remarked later that Mo picked it up much faster than kids twice his age and he wouldn't just say that. And man he was casting far, a couple went 60-70 feet.

Still no baby, though Mistress is having some serious contractions today. We all hope it is very, very soon.

I spoke with my doctors in Seattle and they are quite pleased with my progress after one month. My plan now is to make it through the first couple weeks after the deliever as best I can then after on a Friday after a full week of working and training, get another big blood/urine test done.

To quote my good friend Tri-Boomer because it is so apt today....

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Over but not done?

Today was supposed to be the day that baby Mae announced her presence to the world. Technically it still may happen but Mistress was told at her appointment this morning that they will not induce her. The pregnancy is going very well and I suppose in this instance they want the baby to stay in as long a possible. After the appointment she went to get a special massage from a friend to help relax her and push some of the building fluids around. So this pregnancy is not done yet.

I got a call today from Mighty Mo's doctor who did the sigmoidoscopy last week. The biopsy came back negative for colitis. Negative. Not there. No presence. Gone. Zero. Nada. HALLELUJAH. This is a condition that we were told was lifelong. The doctor is surprised and happy. So are we.

Tomorrow will be the first day since the day he was born that he will take no prescription medication. He will have to take an over the counter liquid to lubricate his bowels but we don't need a script for it. For now, it is OVER.

Its been 5 years and 10 months that I have prayed daily for this happen. I have often said and written that, "If someone can hold onto a dream for five years it will become a reality, but most people can't hold onto a dream for five minutes." This is an affirmation of something powerful.

You can dismiss me all you want, but those that have met Mo know, they have seen that he has a light that other people do not have. He has a gravity that pulls people towards him in a way that I have seen only one other person have and he used that power for selfish, narcissistic reasons. Mo so far has only used it for good. People he has never met, touch him like a Buddha in restaurants. People come buy and whisper kindness in his ear. We have walked by big tough guys full of bravado and importance, completely light up and interact with him when he gets close. Its infectious. Now with a clean bill of health I wonder how he will amaze me next.

Monday, February 2, 2009


I am drawn to stories of survival. I am in awe of almost all. of it Perhaps because I have survived so much myself. The author in many of these stories speak about how their perspective changed afterward in regard to what they were so passionate about before; they spend more time with their family, they found God, their behavior changed.

I will raise my hand say, "That ain't me." Since I have been able to train again, I have found that my drive to compete is still just as strong. My life is still as involved in the sport. of endurance. I am unchanged. Perhaps that is an issue that will need to be addressed before I can race again.

I have been pushed to the edge of sanity and reality and mortality more times than I can count. I am not invincible or protected, maybe a bit lucky. I believe that all these have given me an indomitable spirit that simple doesn't care what it overcomes, it simply craves.

I crave stress and struggle, challenge and hope. I have a need to hit goals that I create for myself. To not do accomplish such gives me great pain. There are so few people I know that will suffer more than I in the pursuit of success. I wish I had the God given genetics to be a star in my sport but alas I was a middle-of-the-packer now not even participant.

Life gives you the same amount of time to be good or be great. If you don't have balance then you have regrets. I put as much effort in my training as my work, my family, my friends and myself. I pour myself into it all, creating impact. Its the same before and after a life changing event.

There's treasure everywhere.