Monday, April 27, 2009


I have been uncharacteristically uninspired the last couple of weeks. I think I wrote more when I was injured and further away from the endurance world than I have lately. It reminds me of a line in the movie Wayne's World. Wayne says, "I once thought I had mono for an entire year. Turns out I was just really bored."

Well I am not really bored, far from it, just incredibly busy. Having a new born and dealing with this economy and being a person who is sought after as a problem solver and my day never ends. Since Mae was born I have started waking up at 0430 instead of 0530 so I can still attempt a run and mediation before doing a list of house chores for Mistress before we all leave for the day by 0730. Then, after twelve or thirteen hours, I get home and try to be a father and husband for a few moments and then if I didn't workout, motivate myself for a trainer ride and prep for the next day.

Training and nutrition have suffered. The training more so. It used to be that I couldn't workout. Now that I can, I can't because the baby takes so much more responsibility. It doesn't help that I really have no training goal. I am not racing till 2010 and that ultimately is a good thing. I am hydrating as much as I can but my urine color is up and down. My nutrition is not bad, I could ease up on some of the impulsive eating but the flat out fact is that lack of training at the level I am accustomed to is taking its toll.

Every day is a new day and I have the choice to be more and do more or live life in reverse. Who wants to do that? I don't want, like or appreciate living a life that is a lie, that is not good enough. Like telling myself I don't have the time/energy/desire to do something that is beneficial and healthy for me when I really know I do. It is not enough that I have had a second, third, forth or even more chances to have a good life. So what if it meets your expectations, it may not meet mine.

There's treasure everywhere....but a person still needs to go and look for it.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What kind of course?

There is a rumor that on Luke Air Force Base there is a military obstacle course and/or confidence course. For those that have never seen these courses, imagine a military version of Ninja Warrior or The Eliminator from last seasons American Gladiator.

I grabbed my dad, a retired Army Colonel, and headed over there to do a recon. As he handed our credentials to the gate guard this was following conversation.

Guard: "Thank you for your ID, Sir. You're an Army Colonel?"
Dad: "Yeah and my son here is a former Army infantry officer. We are looking for a confidence course or obstacle course and my son heard there was one here on base. Can you tell us how to get there?"
Guard: "Obstacle course? Obstacle course. Sir, this here is an Air Force Base we don't have an obstacle course. We have a golf course! That's the only course I know of Sir"
(Both laugh hysterically)

So no, there is not a confidence course or obstacle course on Luke AFB. Though as we drove to the Base Exchange I remarked that the closest thing I found to such was the playground equipment at the local elementary school.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

from fun to fit and back

I have run farther in the last 24 hours that I have in the last two weeks. So I sit here with that beautiful sensation of lactated muscles, tender knees and tired smile.

No long suffer fests, depending on your idea of suffering. I have no race goal or schedule so my training does not have to stick to time/distance work. I get in a couple short workouts a day (fitness snacks) under an hour each.

Without the necessity of four hour rides or two hour runs, I can do some (short) interval work and train in a way completely different than ironman training.

Of course nothing goes as planned and I retore my right rib last week. Almost to the damn day a year ago I tore it the first time. Life really is nothing more than manging pain and by seeking it out I learn something new about me. Course I still haven't learned to listen to it.

Working out is fun again. Fitness can bring a lot of hardwork, sacrifice and it becomes tedious. I'm still trying to stay in that fun zone. but I miss that hardwork zone.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I Yoged, I Yoga'd. iYoga... get the point. I went through my very first yoga class ever.

Yoga has confused me. First was the different types. Then the stereotypes. Then the mysticism/spiritual/religious aspect of it. Don't misunderstand. I have known Yogi's. I have trained with Yogi's on deep breathing techniques. I understand the underlying principles of mind clearing and finding center. It was just the 'extra' crap that gets tossed in that kept me away.

And the fact that runners and weightlifters are notoriously antithetical to flexibility.

I honestly think I was less nervous before my ironmans than before this class today. Seriously. I went to work in workout clothes, knowing that if I had to change I would bail. I forced myself to stay at work until the mid morning class so I wouldn't run away and chicken out. I so wanted to find a reason to not participate.

The instructor had invited me, so this wasn't a blind show up. She was outstandingly patient with me and helped get me set up. I told her I was very nervous. As the small class filled in, I took the back of the room.

The breathing for me was automatic. All I needed to focus on was moves and not making an ass of myself. One hour later, I think I represented myself well. And I actually really enjoyed the class. I was not the worst person in the room and I surprised myself with some of the moves I was able to hold.

The class is progressing so I don't think I can judge if it was beneficial as a workout like the stereotypes project. Also, I am not flexible enough to be hitting all the areas of muscle tension. I think as time goes on it will become a more strenuous program.

I will try to keep at it. I have nothing to lose. The true lesson for me was to go beyond my comfort zone and try something new.

There's treasure everywhere.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Roughing it

A regular occurrence at my house is I will come home, grab Mo and head out back to see if I can start a fire. Not a simple: newspaper, lighter fluid, matches, type. More the matches and lighters are forbidden and I have to use things I find in the backyard. On Friday with strong winds, Mistress was betting against me but I started a fire in about ten seconds.

My Godfather is my longest and most prolific camping partner. He is doing an overnight in Sequoia National with his best friend Gordy this past weekend. Gordy is also a long time camping/fishing partner of mine.

I had the camping Jones and due to the fire I started so did Mo. So we camped out in the backyard Saturday night. I set up the tent, we put our sleeping bags in it, decided we would roast marshmallows and that the dog is really a cheetah and we didn't want him to eat us at night.

Mistress put a time limit on Mo. She figured he would be back in his bed by 2am. I refused to believe. As we sat around the fire, eating chicken kabobs, I lit my alcohol stove and made Mountain House, mac & cheese, which was well received. Then Mo and I zipped ourselves in the tent and I read some stories from the Book of Virtue by Bill Bennet and asleep we went.

At 1:30am it was 45 degrees and Mo woke up freezing. I asked if he wanted to go in and he looked at me like I was crazy. So I went inside and grabbed a thick fleece blanket and a beanie for his head and we slept until sunrise.

He continued to play in the tent long into the afternoon on Sunday and then as we took the tent down and cleaned up our area I taught him how to Leave No Trace, including cleaning the fire pit.

He went to bed early on Sunday, in his own bed. Happy, warm and wiped out. Camping sure is hard.

There's treasure everywhere.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Rearing the ugly head.

As much as I try to take care of myself, hitting a road block is unavoidable in my recovery. Between several stressful projects at work, trying to string together the right nutrition and hydration plan all day long and with a baby at home, my body has to break down at some point.

Why not today?

Last Friday I reached a level of frustration at work that prompted excusing myself from physically harming someone. That's serious stress. On Saturday, I was the event director for our company fitness challenge. Like last year the adrenaline and excitement, coupled with my own body's remembrance of competition caused some adrenal surges that harmed my kidneys. The tale was in the tea colored urine.

On Monday, I confess I ran much to hard for my good and felt great. I followed up before bed with a killer paced trainer ride. Tuesday stuck to my plan.

For the last few days my nutrition and hydration have been off. Meetings, appointments, issues that pushed me away from what I needed to do for me. Wednesday I completely fell off my wagon sitting at my desk within arms reach of all the nutritious food I packed for lunch and gallons of water. It went untouched for hours.

My first trip to the rest room, very late in the day, was not a positive sign.

I get it. I screwed up. Sorry.

Back on track.