Thursday, January 28, 2010

a weak week.

Life sucks when your sick. Totally derailed my training for the marathon next month. Just zero energy. Of course its in January, one the busiest months of my industry. Good grief. I don't normally miss work but I showed up and then was sent home by my partner. Spent two days in bed feeling like I had been knifed in the belly.

That being said I am trying to stay positive....well actually, I haven't seen much this week to bolster my normally positive sunny disposition. That sort of sucks. I could look at this bright side, the stomach flu has been great for my weight loss plan. I did not default to my normal sick day food of diet Coke and peanut M&Ms. Small positive victory's.

Baby Mae is walking short distances now. Well she CAN walk short distances but she will still sit down and crawl. However she is at the point that she doesn't want to be in a lap anymore she wants to down. She is scouting out the house and the places that Mistress and I have not baby proofed. I have tried to get pictures of this but she is the most camera shy baby I know. (Pretty limited pool actually. I'm allergic to baby's).

Tomorrow is the last work day of the month, what a month. I am so behind. Between some fairly large projects earlier, half the family being gone and then sick, I have to bust ass tomorrow to get it all done. I really don't like that. I am the person that gets S done early and this rush to finish stuff sucks.

A weak week to say the least. But as the hopeful SOB that I am, I will find a way to finish all my work, get in my training and enjoy my life.

Its not enough to exist, I am going to live.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Joyous Homecoming

Mistress and Mae made it home safe and sound last night. Well not exactly sound. Their flight from Philly was canceled and had to wait three hours for another flight. At least when they go to Phoenix the airport was empty. We ended up waiting almost a half hour for the luggage to show, so Mae and Mo and the rest of us all got to hang out, crawl on the floor and walk around. Very fun.

Mistress did not get me any gifts. She figured if the right thing didn't pop out then saving money would be the great gift for me and she was right. I did get some of the Queens chocolate which she got at Windsor. Mo got a snow globe which he really liked, plus some chocolates.

The parents came over and Mae went nuts for them. She is walking much better though not on her own yet. Close. Her legs are so strong right now. I think it all just biomechanics. Her and Mighty Mo played like fulls this morning. Of course mommy and babys schedules are off so its the middle of the day and they are sound asleep. Mo is playing PS2 and I am watching a movie online. Waiting for Mae to wake up first so we can take her and let Mistress sleep some more.

Training is not were I wanted it while Mistress was gone but I can cope. Mostly treadmill stuff but whatever.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Times up on singlehood

Mighty Mo and I have survived almost two weeks without mommy around. I know that eventually people adjust to life without a spouse to help out, but damn. I really don't do much to keep the house up on a day to day basis, its just the roles that we have carved out for ourselves and our marriage. I don't cook, I don't do laundry, Mistress takes Mighty Mo to all his therapy's, appointments, practices, and school. I am folding it all in but of course Uncle Murphy through three or four work altering deadlines at me while she was gone. Eventually all this new stress built up in me and I have been running around on a short fuse all the time.

Oh, please do not think I have taken any aggression or frustration out on Mighty Mo. Kids a champ. And empathetic like no other. Lately, I have taken to apologizing to him at night for feeling like we are rushing around and I am releasing steam by cursing the clock. He forgives me every time. Scary how that kid understands people.

Which by the way, no matter how many times it happens, it still freaks me out a bit when people stop in their tracks in front of him and feel compelled to talk to him. It happened again this week at the store. We passed this person a couple times in the aisles and each time she looked at Mighty Mo in a quizzical way, like when she saw him she was trying to remember something. Sure enough, at another passing she stopped in front of him. He looked up at her like he was expecting it and she bent down. It never seems to fail that when this happens I am somehow about ten feet way from him. He could be holding my hand or laying under the cart the whole time and the first time I notice he is off to the side, someone is talking to him.

After a few minutes, she stands up, smiles very brightly, touches his shoulder and walks away. Never saw her again. Now you may think I am making this up, but this situation happens really often. Like the kids a Buddha or something.

Well at least I kept him alive until his mom and sister get back from their trip.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Splish Splash

No not a swim workout post. Hmm, when was the last time I was in a pool. Oh well.

Uncharacteristically for Phoenix, we are getting quite a bit of rain this week. On the way home with the Mighty Mo we ran the water through the wheels so it created great big rooster tails. This took us many blocks out of the way. But it was fun. As we pulled onto our block we drove by our park and I noticed that the flood plain was already running high. So I stopped the car so we could watch a cascade come from the drain ditch into the park area.

Mighty Mo not used to seeing a flowing 'creek' in the city was very amused. We touched the rocks, we studied how the water jumped over obstacles. We got rained on. As we walked down to the water the water was pooling I remarked that we normally run through this area when we play but tonight it's filling up with water. He looks at me and smiles, "Daddy, lets run through the water."

Okay, freeze.

We are already standing in the rain. I just got done giving a very big presentation and my normally relaxed work wear was replaced today with slacks, dress shirt and dress shoes. How long did it take me to grab his hand and plow through calf deep water? About tens seconds less than it took you to read this paragraph.


Mighty Mo and I laughed our butts off running through the water as it swirled and splashed around us. We. Got. Soaked. It was great.

As we pulled into the garage, we stripped off our shoes and turned them upside down. It seemed as full glasses of water were coming from them. My slacks, a dirty, soaking mess. The dress shoes may not be saved but who cares. Moments like this, in this city are far to rare. Plus it may be one of those very strange things that six year old boys remember doing with their dads as they get older.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Shiny Things at work

While many find that driving today could not exist without TomTom, Nuvi or other dedicated automotive GPS system, I don't own one. Shock. However, on my last road trip of approximately 300 miles round trip, I was pleasantly surprised by what I do have.

First, I used my iPhone. I suppose any phone with an "I'm right here" map program is good, but I do like the map program that comes standard with the phone. The national park I was driving too, did not have a physical address, so I just plugged in the city, state and figured on using road signs for the rest. As I drove, the app showed me in Google map mode where I was on the road. Whenever I wanted to know how far I was from my destination I back up a page to reload the distance from my current location. Very cool.

Normally the iPhone app would lead me right to my destination, but I did not have a physical address. I did have GPS coordinates and my DeLorme PN-40 GPS. While playing around with it, I found I could plug in coordinates and give myself a driving route, rather than a foot based plotting. The latitude and longitude took me to the entrance of the park and then it beeped. Shocked the heck out of me. Then it beeped again. I will be using this feature more in the future.

I do believe that having a just for the are GPS would be a great peice of technology. Especially if you can search for businesses on it. Luckily I have an app called 'AroundMe' for my iPhone which helped with a tricky piece of business on this trip.

Normally for long trips, I pull out the portable DVD for Mighty Mo. He doesn't need it much but its a handy diversion. I loaned it out and got it back the morning of the trip uncharged which created the obvious problem of no movie distraction. On the way down this was not a problem for Mighty Mo he played with his Star Wars figures the entire time.

Coming back I decided to fix this problem and provide Mighty Mo with a working player. I know that Kinkos sells a converter from car power outlet to 120v plug. As I had the wall charger for the player if I could find a Kinkos and they had the unit, Mighty Mo would have a movie. The app took me right there. No way I would have found the store without it. And the converter makes a great new addition to the travel kit.

So, lets summarize. While car specific GPS systems are great, a smartphone system like the iPhone will work with little extra effort. Especially if you have a business searching app like the one I mentioned. There may be better, I don't know. AroundMe is free at the iTunes store. Next, if you have even an older GPS with updated road software, it is just as possible to drive yourself someplace as walk. Though be careful as your unit may not convert to driving and the directions you get will not take primary roads.

In this economy it is best to use what you have in a better way, rather than buy new stuff....yeah I don't believe that either, but it sounded good. As always you will get your monies worth out of the things your use.

It's not enough to exist. I am going to live.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Road Trip, Kartchner Caverns and the Commodores

With the house empty of females, Mighty Mo and I decided to road trip down south this weekend to Kartchner Caverns in Benson, AZ. Such a great story, two Cavers go down a sinkhole on the side of a mountain and find the greatest cave system in the state. They then decide to protect it for over a decade while exploring its massive depths. Rightly fearing that their find was becoming too public they negotiated a secret deal with the state park department and the legislature to fund turning it into the only fully wheelchair accessible cave system in the country opening in 1999.

Okay, I am going to make an admission here. I am a huge fan of National and State parks. I am. I was even a National Park Service Ranger/Historian for a short period of time. So any chance I get to visit our parks system I do. Of course it seems the ones closest are the ones most easily missed, and the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument was one such location.

On the way to Kartchner we pulled in so I could stamp my NP passport book. While looking around and having a decent time, Mighty Mo was surprised that many of the books on his shelf and at school were here. Then of his own accord he asked about the passport book and the stamps and stickers and asked for one of his own. Sniff, sniff, I was so proud of him when he stamped his first park into the book.

Kartchner Caverns is very impressive for a state park. It was certainly nicer than many of the National Parks I have been too. I was lucky in one regard. I was told emphatically to reserve tickets as soon as possible which was perfect as we were greeted with a sign that read, "All tours sold out."

As we approached the cave entrance with the group, Mighty Mo looked at me and said, "Daddy, my legs are scared." I took his hand and we entered the first of many pressure doors that keep the cave sealed. The next time I looked at him closely, we were into the first hall and his fear was replaced with awe.

The tour is between 90-120 minutes. While driving home I often wondered if it was a dream. Is it possible that my eyes held the wonders before them this very day? These are not rocks. To merely call it a geological formation is trite. It was beautiful. Amazing to see such wonder. And that two cavers and the Kartchner family took such great care of their find. True stewardship.

Mighty Mo could not have been happier with the trip. He loved the cave. He loved the 'exploring', seeing new things. He traveled very well. He clutched his new passport book all day and using the map and the picture of different parks in the book, I can tell there will be many more road trips to come.

Its not enough to exist. I am going to live.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Mighty Mo decided he did not want to do flag football anymore. Well that opinion changed after he had a great week of practice and a great game, offensively and defensively. In the meantime we looked at other fitness pursuits and were completely underwhelmed with the choices.

As it turns out, his teacher at school is a certified instructor in yoga for children and offers an after school class at his charter school. He jumped at the chance. Of course it helped that he got to take my yoga mat to school with him, and any chance he gets to get some of daddy's stuff is cool to him. I'm just glad I have a yoga mat for him to use.

This week he went to his first class and loved it. The minute I picked him up he said he had to show me what he learned when we got home. First we had to find a quiet space, which we did. Then we had to lay down and take five deep breaths. He tells me that this will, "Enter me". I tried to tell him he meant, "center me" but he said he would have to ask his teacher who was right. Nevertheless he did his very fast and then came over and made me do mine over again so I did exactly five and were very deep.

After this he showed me several different yoga poses, all geared to children but due to his newness they were all a bit distorted. The one that really pissed me off though was that he could touch his toes to his nose and I could not. Dang it. I'll have to work on that. Most of the moves were very basic takes on seated or floor poses and transitions. And then we finished with more Enter Breathing.

Okay, so I didn't expect my son to take to yoga as strongly as he did and I do hope he sticks with it. Aside from all the spiritual crap that is tied to it, I have no problem with yoga and have come around to it being a component to my own exercise lifestyle. I'd rather he and I (and Mistress even) do yoga together in a class than me stab my eyes out watching him play soccer or basketball for a couple seasons. At least it would teach him how to calm down quickly after being amped up playing with friends or family, help him stretch and become more limber and maybe help incorporate some different eating habits in a way that doesn't put that monkey on mom and dad.

It's not enough to exist. I am going to live.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

A plateau is not time to relax because its flat

The closer a person gets to their weight loss goal, the harder it becomes to reach it. You see this all the time. Lets say you want to lose 50 pounds and lose 40 pounds, yet obsess over the last 10 because those seem the hardest to come off. You consider the ten that won't come off more important than the forty that already has. Often times this is given over to reaching a plateau. The body does suffer plateaus, but it is only doing this because you have not changed what your doing. You have not created confusion, your body's physical plateau is only because you have created one mentally.

When you first started your weight loss program you were excited. You had vision, purpose and direction and this created tremendous energy inside of you that allowed you to drop significant weight and body fat very quickly. It allowed you to start or increase physical activity that you had not yet seen yourself do. This vision, this purpose, this direction to reach a new goal weight, is at that moment complete confusion for you. I know this is counter-intuitive but understand that when a body is at rest it stays at rest, much like Common Man Syndrome is a lazy and uninspired life. Movement to a lazy body (or mind) is not just confusion, its freaking chaos. Arms and legs moving, stress placed upon muscles, heart rate increasing, mental energy creating adrenaline. The body can't keep up and weight loss occurs. That is until two things occur. One is physical cessation, the other is mental compromise.

For example, when you train for a running race and then finish that race, it is often necessary to have a recovery period commensurate to the distance of the event. Is it no surprise that when you run everyday for several months, then take two weeks off, that you will have lost the momentum you had with your pace and distance? Our body gets accustomed to rest far easier than exercise.

It's the same with weight loss. If you're dropping pounds and inches by caloric restriction and after losing most of your goal weight, cheat or cross your personal intake line more often than in the beginning, you will slow if not reverse your progress. In your mind you are thinking, I have come so far, I am almost there, I deserve a bit of a victory and this item will provide that. This is physical cessation of caloric restriction and a bit of mental compromise.

The other half of this weight loss issue is the mental part. When your on the other end of losing a lot of weight, and lets use 50 pounds again because its easy to imagine, it is easy to rally yourself around such a big obtainable goal. Weighing +50 pounds over your goal weight, is sickening, frightening, maybe also painful but certainly uncomfortable. When this person drops, say 40 pounds with 1o left, their whole paradigm has changed. Along losing forty pounds, you could have lost as much as forty inches of skin circumference measurements. That goes a very long way towards changing someones perspective.

Regardless of this positive change in perspective, if the body is not continuously confused or challenged, it will revert to rest. If your mind has bought into its own bullshit and equivocated losing 40 pounds as good enough, you will never get the last 1o off. You will never reach your goal.

So for those of you that have already given up your News Years resolution, (remember you had that resolution weight loss goal two weeks ago?) its never too late to start again. If your well on your way or almost at the end, realize that regardless of how focused your are, your body just wants to sit down. Your mind just wants to rest. And will trick you into believing your done or where you want to be, when really you are not.

When you reach a plateau, either through a trick of nature, or physical cessation or exercise or mental lapses causes you to take focus off your goal, remember you have the ability, immediately, to create the energy necessary to get past it. So do it.

Its not enough to exist. I am going to live.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Mistress and Mae are soaring above the earth on the way to Europe for ten days. How the hell did those two get the adventure and Mo and I get the couch? I'm wondering that too, to be quite honest with you. Nothing nefarious I assure you, its a wedding reception on some cozy 400 year old farm cum bed & breakfast after a few days of recovery in London from the flight.

I think part of (okay a great deal of) the trepidation from Mistress is that the Tough Guy Challenge is this month in the UK and I really, really, want to do this race. I'd be tempted to pull a lost passport plan to stick around a few more days. Please take a moment and watch some of the slideshow from the website link. You will be horrified or tabbing over to Orbitz for flight info. Sometimes I just leave the slideshow up on my desktop. Sigh, why can't more races have you run fire, over live electric fences and diving through sub-freezing water obstacles.

Any regards, the couch. Do you think for a moment that Mighty Mo and I are going to be on the couch for the next couple weeks. HA. In fact we have quite a few fun little activities planned in the evenings, especially considering I can't cook. I did stock up on Lean Cuisines, Mac & Cheese (The Cheesiest), Lunchables, Peanut Butter and bread. We'll be fine. I could always try to brown some ground beef and have tacos. Most likely we will be eating out to more nutritious and delicious fare and get some movies and video gaming involved. Movies on a school night. Love it.

This weekend is a buddy buddy road trip. Yup. Queue 80's movie montage of us driving down the road with crazy tunes playing, eating Happy Meals over the hood of the car, chasing each other around funny immovable objects, changing clothes 15 times cause we can.

Well, there is a road trip but not really any of the other stuff. For one, I can't remember the last time I had any kind of burger or fries from McDonalds. Really, that's gross. But we have a great road trip planned and will blog about that in a day or so.

A question. If you could take one of your kids or a buddy/BFF and road trip from your house for the weekend, just based on the money you can spend right now, what would you want to do?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

My first long run back

Nothing makes a person work harder than having a goal. Signing up for a marathon five weeks out with almost zero base is not normal. Some would have me exchange sane for normal. So be it.
I have been using a treadmill at home, running about an hour or more, getting between five and six and half miles a few times a week. Of course I have been doing a lot of hiking so I have been externally on my feet. But I have not done a specific run workout into the seven mile distance since my taper for Ironman Arizona, April 2008. Of course I was injuried on the bike and never got to the run.
Today I ran 10.5 miles with an average pace of 9:30 per mile. After the first seven miles, my actually running pace dropped into the low to mid 8's, but have to add the intersections along my route. The last three miles was done at a pace about 90 seconds faster than the first seven. I love that.
In full disclosure, I was planning a 11-12 minute pace for the entire run which is why my pace was slower in the beginning. As I kept going, mile after mile, I felt stronger and as I would look at my Polar I would see my pace dropping with no extra precieved effort.
I truly do believe that running at a significantly slower pace with minders, I will be able to finish the Lost Dutchman marathon. Slowly, but nevertheless, I think I can succeed.
It's not enough to exist. I am going to live.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Signed Up, Good God

I signed up for the Lost Dutchman marathon. Its on Valentines day, about six weeks from today. I have been putting up trial balloons with friends and family for a couple months on this as even I was not sure what I wanted to do for 2010. As many would tell you, more than half I talked too, doing a marathon as my first race back from the injury I sustained is dumb, stupid, idiotic, selfish, and on and on and on.

And this is probably all true. But I will be honest about this and 80% of you reading this will not understand this at all. I am an A-Type personality. I am an all-go, no-quit, full speed, adrenaline junkie, competitive nature, must win, on the edge animal.

That being said it has led to some Epic Fails. God knows I have failed spectacularly. This blog is replete with a history of my attempts at truly awesome events. But I have also had some truly awesome successes. Some spectacularly amazing adventures in my life that I would never have had the chance or courage to do if I had not been this person. On balance I think my life has benefited more from this than not. It got me walking again, it got me thinking again. It got me through 10 years of military service. It got me a wife way outside my league. It helped me start a successful company in a state far removed from my comfort zone. It has got me through Ironmans and marathons and 1,000 of hours of training. It got me from being told by a half dozen different medical experts, "Never workout again", to signing up for Lost Dutchman.

This last injury and recovery has very much taught me how to listen to my body. How to go for it without losing control. And even though at my core I am the person I was pre April 2008,,I have a fully fleshed out plan to stay in bounds and control myself. I know even if that doesn't work, I can stop. I don't have to finish this race. I don't have to finish any race ever again.

I will be running with at least two other people from my team and they will be my outside monitors and pacers. I will run at a very comfortable pace and just do the best I can. If they tell me I am done, I am done.

But really enough of the selling. I am doing a marathon next month! How freaking awesome is that.

Its not enough to exist. I am going to live.

Monday, January 4, 2010


I had very little time over my vacation to sit, meditate, reflect, envision, plan, act, on business for 2010. This is uncharacteristic of me as I usually spend consider time in contemplation for the year ahead. Instead I found myself swirling around ideas, touching them, them walking away. Jotting a note for an event then misplacing it. In those rare moments that I could sit and write in silence, it was all historical notes and documenting adventures, nothing that looked ahead.

As it stands I have made some notes on my activities for 2010. I don't have dates, I barely have tentative agreements and buy in. But the good news is that I am being proactive to events rather than reactive. Meaning, in complete honesty, I would not have done a rim-2-river-2-rim, had it not been a paid for company event. Its something I have always wanted to do, I just would have waited till this year to accomplish. It all worked out but I was rushed.

By now most people know I am back on the market for adventures and fitness pursuits and I'm getting in all sorts of offers for events. There are just some things I have to say "no" too, regardless of how fun it would be. I am going to dictate my events this year. I may jump into something but it will be my decision based on my current recovery and the potential damage I may do my recovery.

Mistress and I are back to good with training plans. She may not trust me to always do the right thing, I still don't trust myself 100%, but she at least knows I am doing my best to do good and not reach beyond my limits. She more than trusts that I will put family events and priorities above training plans. That might be the biggest issue of trust between any endurance athlete and spouse, the time factor between selfish pursuits and family.

I am going to sit down as soon as possible to start actually taking these swirling ideas and putting dates and commitments to paper and creating action plans to see me through. Of course these will be posted on here.

Its not enough to exist, I am going to live.