Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Iron Christmas 70.3 Results

With all of the holiday non-sense out of the way, yesterday morning I had the brief chance to sit down and tabulate all of the results I received back. I now finaly have the chance to sit down and post it. With about fourteen entries, there were 6 finishers plus me. I have broken down the results by event and have them below. You can skip to the bottom for the overall to avoid my commentary.

With warm water and good weather on race day, when the horn sounded the racers entered the meat grinder. 42 minutes later Karen arrived at the shore victoriously with her next competitor arriving 12 minutes later giving her a nice head start out of T1. The remainder of the pack trickled in within the event cut off time.

By an act of God I had the fastest time on the bike, I didn't even realized I had gotten it done this fast until I added up all of my workouts. Mackenzie came out of the water with a 12 minute deficet but she rode so fast that she left melted pavement behind her and she was able to make it to T2 with a 10 minuted lead. Patrick's time although 6th was able to keep him in the front of the pack going into T2. Jason and Kate put up solid times moving up several positions.

Patrick put down the best time in the run, clearly sprinting the course and skipping all of the aid stations. Jason with the next best time, finished this portion of the race 40 minutes later. There were rumors within the triathlon community that he did the course by sprinting 400 meters, vomiting, and then sprinting the next 400 meters, only to vomit again.

This was an interesting race to watch as positions traded back and forth throughout the entire course. In the end the leader proved that all it takes is solid effort to gain inches on others with every step. And now that you have suffered through my humor here are the overall results....

Thank you to everyone who participated and to everyone who made an attempt. This has inspired me to run another one within the next few months that will be strictly made of relay teams. Mackenzie please email me at tucker_lr (@) yahoo (.)com with your full name and address so I can get your care package underway.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Weekend Wrap Up

This has been weekend for the books.

Saturday morning we woke up for our customary Christmas breakfast of Cinnamon Rolls. For days the weather has been calling for snow and CB has been anticipating it like a elementary schooler wanting a snow day. While we were eating breakfast I asked if there were any changes in the forecast. She began to call the weather man a few names as she was talking about how he is never right, I looked out the window to see the flakes start falling. To say she was excited is an understatement. It snowed all day, I think it was around 6 inches when the day was over, and Sunday we woke up to about 8 inches. For those of you from locals that get regular snow and 8 inches is the amount of snow you get while out running, that is not the case here. Snow shuts most things down as we MAY get a few dusting a year and it doesn't happen consistently every year. In fact, this is the first time since 1946 that our area has had snow on Christmas.

Shortly after the discovery of the snow we did out present opening. I gave CB three shirts from the GAP, a Coach purse, Coach cashmere scarf, and Coach Bag.

CB gave me a few things, most of which I did not request for Christmas but did mention at one time or another. I am like kid on Christmas, I can't wait to open gifts but we draw it out since it only happens once a year. The first thing I opened was my RoadID. I am happy to finally have one. CB (and her friends) think I run in some very sketchy places on my long run days. The next thing I opened was a Flipfold. I saw this on tv a while back and really wanted one. CB remembered and ordered it for me. Probably not practical for most people but it speaks to my obsessive compulsive/anal retentive nature. If you are not familiar with the Flipfold I have half a dozen pictures below (mostly because I think it is cool),

It is a three/four panel piece of plastic that you unfold on a flat surface. It folds towels, long and short sleeve shirts, and pants. I started with my prized Mangum track club shirt. You first lay it over the Flipfold.

After folding any excess fabric at the bottom over, you flip the first panel in, you then flip the other panel in, and then the bottom half of the middle panel up.

This leaves you with a perfectly folded, uniform sized shirt. CB laughed at me as I refolded all of my t-shirts. Using this they fit perfectly three across in my drawer. I'm sure you aren't curious but as proof again of my retentiveness the shirts are sorted left to right into logo shirts (timberland, north face, and music groups), membership tees (SWAT, etc.) and place t-shirts (dive sights, college, fire departments).

In CB's attempt to support my hobbies she also gave me a funny tri shirt. I sent her a few I liked and a few I though were funny from Cafe Press and she picked this one because "all the cool kids where shirts like this". Then I opened the huge present and we went to her parents. This is my second year going to her parents house for their Christmas activities. As a newlywed did anyone else ever feel out of place at their spouses families holiday traditions. Her family is much different than mine and that is not what is weird, I feel more like a third wheel at the house on holidays.

By the way the giant present was a fire pit for my deck. Now I have to figure out how to rearrange to fit it. Or I could consider how to landscape its own spot into my backyard.

It was a good day overall, and when we got home CB let me have a few minuted of quiet time to decompress from the family activities. I should also add that I thought our stockings were worth a laugh. They speak to our life styles. She gave me two pairs of bike socks, Hammer Gel, HEED, and sportbeans. She got gummy bears and sour patch kids.

This morning we slept in until 10am. I hoped to get up and go for a run but it was still dark and snowing on and off. if you remember me not knowing what to wear for my HM since it was going to be 30 degrees, I definitely know what to wear for snow. I gave solid thought to how do I keep my feet dry? I decided I would hit the treadmill instead but eh gym still was not open. In order to kill time I spent 45 minutes shoveling a path on the deck and clearing the driveway. Luckily, I bought a snow shovel last year "just in case". Around 2pm the gym changed its message to say it wasn't opening. I decide to hide out in the bed and see if the temps would raise. At 3 the sun came out a bit and the temp went up to 31. I decided to man up and go run outside. I dressed with tights, long sleeve tech tee, wind breaker, hat, and ear warmer. My street was clear, this was the benefit of living 3 blocks from the county hospital. I ran up and back to the hospital three time totaling about 1.75 miles. Although short, it is tough because the last quarter mile toward the hospital is nearly vertical. This is the same hill I use for hill workouts. Although slightly cold, as my first experience running in the snow it was enjoyable. It was pretty if nothing else.

Did you have a lazy post holiday Sunday?

Saturday, December 25, 2010



Christmas Eve was a very busy day here. I intended to post yesterday to remind everyone to return their results for the Iron Christmas Challenge. The day started with a 0700 trip to Lowe's to look at carpet and pick up contractor bags, drop off clothes at Goodwill, and pick up my Lil' SIL for help with a project at the house. When I got home we met with the painters, then me and SIL cleaned out the shed (after a year it was still full of the previous owners crap), and once the painters were done I went to take SIL home and unload some stuff into her parents shed. Once back cb and I straightened up the house and I went for an 8 miler. Once back it was time to shower go to the in laws for gifts and then to church. That was a jammed pack 12 hours.

With that, my apologies for not posting a reminder or even getting to the computer to reply to the emails. Thank you every one who participated in my challenge. I plan to post the results within a few days after everything slows down a bit. I am shooting for Monday, but it may be Tuesday.

As I finished getting ready for church I had my first Christmas present. I put on my dress clothes belt and found that it no longer fit. I had to use my sewing scissors to puncture a new hole- TWO INCHES from the last one.

Before the night was over, I we partook in my favorite holiday tradition. Growing up my families Christmas Eve was chaos on speed. With everything that had to be done like cleaning, present wrapping and church; we never had the time to sit and have dinner and always had some sort of appetizers after church. CB and I have continued this tradition and now after church we came home and get our wings, cheese sticks, potato skins, and more. Unlike my family who ran around and ate while we did other things, CB and sit in the living room with the dogs and watch the Polar Express.

When I originally planned this post, I was going to mention the challenge and ask for help guessing my "big present" from CB. It was so busy that I never intended to write about the above. However, I am still going to finish the post the way I intended, asking for a little help. Below is a picture of a gift that has been wrapped and under my tree for two weeks. Originally I thought it might be a Cycleops trainer, but CB did let it leak that it is from walmart. So if you have a guess at what it is, please share. (ironicly, since this post is a day after I planned, I know what it is now)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Iron Christmas 70.3- redemption

I apologize for the lateness of the hour, this post was intended for first thing in the morning. However things have not gone my way today and this day can be summed up in three words- busy, Busy, BUSY! If any of you read the Christmas list I posted in November, you may remember the #2 thing I wanted. Being that it is two days to Christmas I realized that the spare bedroom being cleaned, or painted, or carpeted was not going to come to fruition.

Last night I decided to at least get it cleaned out and painted. I put an add on craigslist and started cleaning it out. CB helped for a few minutes. I got to a stopping point and got ready for bed; by this time I had over 75 responses to my add ranging from $75 to $300. I thought the $300 was a bit nuts since I posted I was providing paint and tools and the room is small. I found a guy who owns a remodelling company and he had a good price. Aside from the price, I decided I wanted to go with him because I have a few other odd jobs in the house I want to get done over time and he can do them all, as opposed to hiring someone who only paints. I was going to do the carpet too, but I miscalculated the price and it will be more expensive than I budgeted. I haven't sold enough dog cookies yet.

I couldn't sleep with the room not cleaned yet so I got up for a little and cleaned more. There was a ton of sorting, moving, and more sorting to do. I went back to bed and woke up early to get started. I went to Home Depot for paint, Wal-Mart to get Cb's stocking stuffers, the post office to mail some stuff I sold on eBay, the bank to deposit dog treat money into my triathlon account, met with the painter guy for a walk through, and then the gym. Then I returned home to finish moving all of the boxes out of the room so he can come paint tomorrow.

Ok, ok, ok, back to the challenge. How many cookies did you eat? Equal to the weight of a killer whale? There may be a chance to redeem yourself. I originally intended to put together the $50 prize box out my own pocket. I planned for some gels, a bike tool, socks, and Fluid recovery drink. I have never been one for too much commercialism (it doesn't help that every time I've tried I have been shut down), but just for good measure I sent a few emails to see if I could find some sponsors for prizes. I was surprised and overwhelmed by the response. So here is your road to bake goodies redemption-

Although I have penalties like the USAT, unlike them I have bonuses. Everyone of the below links has a place on their web page for you to like them on the Facebook or follow them on the Twitter. Please help me support them for supporting me. For every follow or like you can remove 1 minute from your total time. Just leave a comment and update your spreadsheet. And if you still don't know what to get me for Christmas I left some hints with the links.

Fluid- I like chocolate

Everyday Endurance- I like the "The Chase" Tee

Gu- I like the sampler pack

Ryders Eyewear- think interchangeable

RoadID- just can't go wrong

Outside PR- because they rock!

I got in 20 miles on the stationary bike today I have 20 left and a seven mile run, how are you coming along?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Iron Christmas 70.3- The catch

Now that registration is closed and the race is underway it is time for my catch. This can't be straight forward, that would be too easy! Since I have never raced a WTC I am not familiar with their rules, however I have read the USAT rules over and over. Since they have penalties, so will I!

The penalty for this race is desserts. 3 cookies, 2 brownies, or one piece of cake/pie equals a one minute penalty. Starting 12:00am 12/20 until when the race is completed, tally up all of your holiday delights, enter how many penalties and calculate your penalty time accordingly. It will be added to your race time.

How is your progress going so far? Me, mine has been slow but steady. Monday I ran some intervals and walked for rest totaling two miles. Tuesday I biked 8 miles, ran 3.1, and biked another 8. This took the place of my normal terrible Tuesday. Wednesday morning is speed work for a few miles and I will follow it with my 1.2 mile swim.

Also, now that BDD is officially in I am going to need a sacrificial lamb. Since he won my last and only contest it would be a shame if you guys let him win again. If you see him out on the course bite the bullet and take him out (if you can catch him during his hammerfest)

Now back to your regular scheduled broadcast......

Yesterday I wrote about my need for extra income. While I was making my expenditures list I googled fundraising ideas. and came with a long list, many I could not do and a few I could. I gave serious thought about how to hold a virtual date auction. Legitimate, not the prostitution I was trying to use Adam for.

What I did decided on was considering my love of dogs,I will try to make a few dog treats and try to sell them. I figured at my work their is a staff member who has a great dane rescue, a poodle breeder, and a pet photographer. I should be able to peddle at least a few of these.

I pick a recipe and went to the store to pick up my secret ingredients. I spent $5 total, thought was good for low overhead.

I mixed the wet and dry ingredient separately and then mixed them together. These particular treats are flavored with natural peanut butter.

It made enough for two pans, so I wrapped up the second and put it in the fridge. I then rolled out the dough and cut them into seasonable gingerbread men.

I realized that I had never made any kind of treat that involved being rolled and cut. I had the hardest time picking them up to get to the cookie sheet.  After they baked, they looked better but a little rough.

 I rolled out and cut the 2nd batch. They were much easier to cut out than the first batch. I think it was because the dough was cold. While they baked I had a puppet show with my wife's pot holder. I don't know when it became stylish for gingerbread men to wear berets. I think he might be french. Hmm....

This batch looked much better and were thicker. I gave one to holly and one to sammy and they didn't even leave crumbs. The recipe ended up yielding 36 total and used half the ingredients. Doing the math that means I should be able to get 72 from all of the ingredients.

I decided to sell them 2 for $1 and trying to appeal to the holidays I put them in plastic bags and and tied them closed with ribbon. Cellophane would have been nicer but I was trying to go cheap. Doing the math again, if use the ingredients until empty I should gross $36 and net $31 after price of the ingredients. I feel like I should be charging more but am not sure I would have any response if I raise the price.

I took them to work yesterday to see how I could do. I sold a dozen off the bat to the poodle breeder. I then sold another two to one of my department's supervisors. She was really just buying them because she feels bad for me taking a pay cut to work there. One of my coworkers suggested I put them on ebay. I though that would be a good idea but I do not know how to make them stand out from the other 5,000 gourmet dog treats for sale.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Iron Christmas 70.3- Day 2 and a few other tidbits.

First Thin First- Today is the last day for you to declare your participation in my Iron Christmas Virtual 70.3. If you are interested see the directions from yesterday's post, since I have yet to figure out how to link a picture back to another post.

Also, let me just say thank you for the support of everyone who linked, FB'ed, Tweeted, etc. I am honestly shocked at the support and really excited. I originally was hoping that one person, maybe, would sign up and that is why I included the caveat of being allowed to compete even if you only complete 2 of the legs. With such a response I had to decide how I was going to handle the 2/3rders. Early yesterday I came up with my solution- If you are participating in the challenge and are skipping a leg due to weather, pool, fear of drowning, watching jaws too many times, etc then we will treat your time like a relay. Who is your relay partner for you missing leg? Most likely me. For any missing leg I am going to give you my time or the slowest time plus 5 minutes. Most likely it will be my time, cause well, I'm slow! BUT I'm not a Clydesdale anymore!!!!

I really wanted to break it down into two divisions but don't have the prizes to support that. Speaking of prizes, I wanted to do a care package of 70.30, but thought being Christmas I decided I would do $50 and see what I could do after that. I am very excited to say that the prize has increased in value a little due to some sponsors and has now surpassed $140.6. We can call this an Ultra Prize!

If you thoroughly read the first post you remember I said there will be a catch. This will come tomorrow, so stay tuned.

Now- back to my regular scheduled programming.

I have an odd personality and I know this, I have a mix of conservative and liberal values in my own special blend. One of these has always been that I do not talk about money, sex, or religion with others. Those are personal and often able to offend others so I avoid them. With that in mind I am going to discuss one of those today........

As I wrote in my Sunday post, between my workouts Saturday I created a spreadsheet of my expected expenditures for the next triathlon season. Between doing this and watching Kona I got lost in time and forgot to go to the other workout.

I first created a list based off of essentials that I need for training and then a few things off my wishlist. I assigned each one of them a price. For some items this price is based on what my budget is, for other items it is retail price from an online source, and others are prices I get from the company direct with discounts.

I then prioritized my purchases. For instance I can't race or train without a bike, but I don't need anything else unless I am going to race. I want shoes, helmet, and pedals, but they are at the end because I have some of each I just want to upgrade or go tri specific. The last item is a weekend wheel rental from my LBS for whatever 70.3 I do. Nice to have, but not an essential.

Barring something horribly wrong happening and me taking good care of things some of these should last me a few years. It is easy to see how the price of things quickly add up. I did not calculate nutrition, gels, or bike maintenance and it is easily is over $4,000. As a civil servant it is a VERY significant portion of my net salary and it is over 3 times the yearly allowance CB gives me. Granted, not everything is a necessity but if I do want to check everything on the list off I am going to need some more financing.

Getting a job at McD's hasn't panned out yet because they keep telling me I am overqualified; plus with another job when would I train? So I am going to start thinking of some creative fundraising options.

Here are my top three ideas-
1- Pimp out Adam for his baby making abilities
2- Selling crack candy bars door to door like in elementary school
3- Taking protection fees from other bloggers like the mafia does to businesses.


Monday, December 20, 2010


The busier the week, the harder the race!

With 8 more pounds to go for my goal for the year, I am trying to keep my head straight and keep working. And, with this being the hardest time of the year with the combination of busy schedules and holiday treats it becomes harder every day. To keep my focus I have joined a few challenges included the Ford indoor triathlon challenge on The Daily Mile and a weight loss challenge on The Fat Cyclist. This morning a crazy idea came to me in the tub........WHY DON'T I HOST A CHALLENGE???

With one of the busiest times of year, why not make it busier by administering a challenge and joining in myself? That makes so much sense that I am going to ask my 100,000 closest blogging friends to join me, because you guys aren't busy enough anyways!!!!!

THE RULES!!!!!!!!!!
The challenge starts to 12:00 am whereever you are on 12/20/10 and all results are due to me by Midnight 12/24/10. Between these dates you must swim 1.2 miles, bike 56 miles, and run/walk 13.1 miles in any order and in as many segments as needed to make the distance. Once you join (or by end of Tuesday) I will provide the official spreadsheet for tallying your results. I don't care if the miles are outdoors, on trainers, treadmills, or via pacing around your dining room table (yeah, I do that)

If you don't have access to a pool, you don't run, or you don't have a bike, join anyways. If you compete two legs and you are the only person that signed up I'll give you the prizes just for your effort.

THE PRIZE!!!!!!!!!!
This is a surprise. The winner will receive a care package with a value ranging from $50 - $70.30 (depending how nice santa is to me). It will be a care package suited for an endurance king; with nutrition items, socks, maybe some gels, or tools, gift cards, or any Christmas presents I get and don't like (we call that regifting).

THE CATCH!!!!!!!!!!
Oh yes, there is a catch. If you have followed for some time then you know I am weird. So how could I have a challenge this simple? I wouldn't. There will be up to two mysterious sub-challenges announced later in the week. Nothing too crazy and nothing that will take any additional time to complete the challenge.

To Join the Challenge!!!!!!!!!!!
First, follow my blog. Second, leave a comment. Third, send me an email at Tucker_lr (at) yahoo. com so I can email you back the spreadsheet. As a bonus share with a friend by facebook, a link on your blog, or twitter.

You must join by the Midight 12/21/10.
I swear my worst best ideas come to me in the tub!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Weekend Warrior

Have you ever had a day that didn't go your way but still turned out well? I have had a weekend full of them.
Friday night I got home from work and after a few minutes of debreifing headed to the gym. After I got there I found a hand written sign that said "the Y is closing at 6 tonight". It was 6! Instead of scrapping the workout I decided to jog home, grab the garmin and a longsleeve shirt for a 3 mile road run.

I just ran at comfortable pace. Near the end of the 1st mile I checked my pace and was faster than I thought. Not fast, just faster than I thought. I decided since I hadn't time trialed since October and the run was feeling good I'd go for it.

I ran mile 2 in 7:45 this included a stop for traffic. New PR! It makes me feel great when I PR on the road since it make me feel like I'd go even faster on a flat course. Mile 3 was slower than #1 but I was recovering.

When I was home I was feeling extra motivated so I went to the pull up bar. I haven't done any in over 3 months and my max was 1. I did 3 non-stop! I guess the increase general fitness, the weights, and the weightloss have paid off!

Saturday I got up for spin class and even convinced cb to go. It was hard for her but the instructor was very nice to her and singled her out for a round of applause for her 1st class. She also stuck around for yoga with me. It was the weirdest most hippie yoga class I have ever been to. It was even worse when cb giggled the whole way through!

I missed my PM workout because I started making a spreadsheet with my projected racing costs for next year. I also prioritized them. While I was doing this the Ford Ironman World Championship and I lost track of time. I thought it was neat that alexander does not wear an aero helmet and I learned Macca is a dick.

Due to the lure of the commercials I signed up @ daily mile and joined the indoor ironman challenge. I will be over halfway to 140.6 at the end of the day.

This motivated me to want to host something to keep my motivation for the hardest (or second hardest) week of the season. Here is my idea-


Monday through Friday to complete 70.3 miles at your own pace (broken down by discipline of course), in whatever intervals meet your schedule. The winner will receive a surpise gift from me valued close to $50. It could include recovery drinks, socks, and a few of my other favorite things.


Friday, December 17, 2010

Top Three Pet Peeves at the Gym

If you had met me years ago you would have met one of most optimistic people in the world, I could always find the silver lining to everything. In the last few years my outlook has soured, but even with this I have retained a love for diversity and therefore a great tolerance for others.

I have many pet peeves but I rarely say anything about them as I try to be tolerant of others. However, this week all the planets aligned and I was hit by all three of my gym pet peeves between Sunday and last night.

  1. THE CIRCLE JERK- This one happens fairly often, and can happen one of two ways. Either way it is just inconsiderate of others. CB works out in the cardio room at the Y, usually riding a bike. In that room the Circle Jerk is when Friend A is going to the gym so Friend B joins them. Friend B has no intention of working out, but if Friend A rides a bike, Friend B sits on the bike next to him. If Friend A is using the elliptical, Friend B is going to STAND on the machine next to him.

    In the weight lifting room it is a little different. Friend A and Friend B are hanging out or lifting together, I can never really tell. They walk to Station X, which happens to be the only one of its type in the gym, and load the bar with weights. Then they stand with one on friend on each side of the station and talk. After 10 minutes pass one of them will complete 1 set and they will again stand on each side and converse for another 10 minutes. This repeats until it is thoroughly annoying. If you walk up to ask if you can work in a set, they will not break conversation and will ignore your presence.
  2. THE DIRTY ASS- We are at the gym and just like any other physical activity sweat is expected. As sweat is expected so is a certain level of funk. It happens, I workout and I get funky too. This is different, this is just shameful and has happened to me twice this week. On Sunday I was getting my long run in on the treadmill since it was 14 degrees and sleeting outside. In came Gym Member X who smelled strongly of unclean house and baby powder. Apparently expecting to get funky she prepared by coming in baby fresh. Except, she now reeked of two smells and apparently her entire workout circuit involved the four machines surrounding my treadmill. Every time she moved the smell drafted and I choked.

    Last night, in came Gym Member Y who had the similar problem. Except he smelled of dirt. I do not mean that he smelled dirty. Some may understand what I mean, after many years working construction full and part time, not to mention digging holes at the rescue squad station in flip-flops and swim trunks (thanks Chief), I can recognize the smell of dirt itself. You could smell him from five feet away.This was only compounded while in the middle of my heaviest bench press set when he bent over me to get some weights that were racked on my bench. I choked and dropped the bar on myself.

    These people are the close cousin of the guy who bathes in after shave to lift weights.
  3. THE NAKED OLD GUY- This is classic and I saw two posts dedicated to his topic last Friday. This has not happened to me in a long time, but with the planets aligned this week it was bound to (actually I think all of the blogging summoned them out of winter hibernation). Monday morning I slipped to the locker room to relieve myself while resting between sets and it happened. While walking past the lockers to the door a random overweight grayed haired man, naked as the day he was born, standing captain morgan style on the bench attempted to engage me in conversation. He politely asked some question like "Dis you see the game last night, Panthers don't have much of season left now do they?" I had my headphones in and I pretended to not here him and kept walking.

THE FLEXER- This is not a pet peeve but every time I see it I laugh and shake my head. It is always a guy between age 16 and 25 and mid way through his workout, just like clock work, he is going to take a break and find a mirror to flex and revel in his muscles. It gets worse when they start rubbing and touching. I have even seen guys in sweatshirts do it. I could understand this is in a Power lifting type gym, but this is a YMCA; and how come I never see women flexing at themselves?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Terrible Tuesday......and a few thank yous

As it is Tuesday, it is time to think of a diabolical workout for the day. Actually, I really like last weeks workouts because it worked perfect with the time allotted so I am going to keep it. However, this week I will flip it around and put the longer workload last. I originally thought of a time trial to work in, but I forgot how so I'm letting it ride.

Terrible Tuesday Workout
Tabata- Row, Bike, Run
24 min pyramid- Row, Bike, Run

Kanye West has a line in a song where he metaphorically compares admiration to flowers. He goes on to talk about sending real flowers to funerals and how it is too late for the deceased to still enjoy them. He then comes to a good point by stating that you should share metaphoric flowers (admiration) with others while they are around to "smell" them.

I think that this is very true and I myself never take the time to properly let people know what I think of them (positively).  I know that from time to time I comment on others blogs when they have had off days to let them know that their talent, even on an off day, is something I admire and wish for myself, However, I never really come right out and say things directly. Before I move forward with this post I want to mention just a few people who I admire- CB for always putting up with me and the trauma I bring with me into our marriage, Patrick M. for his entrepreneurial, punk rock spirit that motivates me to want to take some of the ideas I have played around with for years and follow my dreams, Patrick (Responsibility 199) for his great attitude as he tries to make some of the changes I want to make, Andrew for his prayers, Miss Zippy and BBD for their technical support, and so many others I can not name for general encouragement.

Yesterday someone else had a post that spoke to me, and that person has been on my mind since. Funny how I start a blog for my own records and to one day be able to be of support to someone else and in turn found a great support system. 

If you recently have started following my blog you know I am looking to switch careers. If you have been following for longer you know that I out right hate my job and have probably seen me dedicate posts to it and have seen me use terms like "retarded monkeys" ( I tried to find my old post in order to put that in context but I couldn't). There are three things that have the most likely hood to depress me and the strongest one is my work. Yesterday was a bad day and I went into a melt down when I got home. I decided I was mentally drained and thought I would put off my workout and lay on the couch for a while. After almost an hour of mellowing out, Mandy's post about the excuse demons kept playing through my mind.

I was not going to let the demons win, in fact, exercise will increase endorphins and help me get over my day. My homemade workout planned called for 30 minutes running and 30 minutes cycling in zone 2 or 3. For some reason I was not able to bear the slow miles. It was boring me, maybe it was because my brain was racing or because I hate working out inside and prefer to see nature and terrain changes. So I mixed in random intervals, tabatas, reverse tabatas, and played around on the bike trying to increase resistance but keep the wattage (this actually makes me want one of those ibike things, but maybe I should get a bike first).

So to that end, a special thanks to that weird girl from Caratunk who runs in the snow.  You never know how even a recycled post might be exactly what someone needs.

This morning beating the demons paid off. I ended up skipping my workout because my hamstrings were killing me and despite the skipped workout my morning weigh-in yielded a 193 pound me. That is my third day at or under 195 and only 7 pounds to go for the year! :D

I challenge anyone who reads this today to send some "flowers" to someone before the day ends!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

When bad is good

With the holidays always comes temptation, and I have fallen prey to it this week. This week I have cheated a lot! However, instead of being hard on myself I took a look back at the rest of this year.

Wednesday I had two hand fulls of M&Ms and two of popcorn plus 3 cookies, Thursday I had 1 hand full each of M&M's and popcorn plus 5 cookies (spaced out over the day), and Friday I had 2 cookies and a breaded chicken sand which. The rest of those days were filled with fruit, vegetables, and lean protein.

Two or months ago on a given day I might have eaten three meal of fast food and filled the hours in between with eating more than all of the food above together. I would still like to improve my diet by eating less processed foods, but overall I think I am doing better. my efforts at moderation are much better. In fact, I can't think of the last time I even had fast food. 

Still doing a good bit of thinking and planning about life and my next year, but i can rest assured that as I sit around pondering this weekend I won't be doing it with a box of swiss rolls!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Up for Discussion...........Give me your thoughts.

I was hoping to dedicate my post today to the Fluid Recovery Drink Review but as I was reading the blogs on my reader I stumbled over one I thought was worth discussion.

Everyman Tri had a post today about making qualifiers for Ironman races or changing times to make it for faster athletes. You can read the whole post HERE.

I posted my response on the blog, but here it is for you:

It seems to me that having to qualify for an ironman series event would make it seem more elite. Isn't that the purpose of Kona, not the rest of the races? Didn't the $1000 preferred triathlete program anger people when they launched it due to being elitist?

On another note, as a fat kid speed is something I lack, however endurance generally is not. If I can train myself to the level of being able to complete a 140.6 race should I not have the chance to race? If I only have a 1986 fixed gear bike and if I would rather put my money into the registration and travel for a race as opposed $3,000 road bike, should that not be my prerogative- so long as I can meet the cut off?

I would live to here the thoughts of others on this post.

Fluid Recovery Drink Review!!

After my Terrible Tuesday workout I was looking forward to coming home and having a muscle recovery drink. A few weeks ago I went looking for a new recovery drink. I like the Ovaltine that I use but as I am  preparing  to start longer races and longer training sessions I feel I am going to need more nutrient that will aid in recovery. I found Fluid Recovery Drink and compared it with Ovaltine and two other major recovery drinks. I liked what I saw so I contacted them for samples, they obliged and I documented my first few attempt so that I could share them with you.

What the company has to say about the product: Fluid replenishes muscle energy levels, repairs damaged muscle tissue and aids in building new lean muscle, helps manage inflammation, reducing aches, pains and muscle soreness, provides electrolytes to replace those lost in sweat, and supports a stressed immune system. It does this through the synergy of healthy all natural ingredients, in specific ratio to each other and through the timing of using Fluid in the "Recovery Window", immediately after exercise. The company claims the product is 100% natural as well as gluten and lactose free.

Take 1: I was provided three samples and my first try was with Berry Treasure. The directions on the back of the package said to add to 8 to 16 ounces of water and shake in a bottle. I typically have my recovery drink with 8 ounces of drink in a glass. I tried it this way and found that this flavor is entirely too strong to use in only 8 ounces of water. I expected the liquid to match the color of the pack since it is a berry drink but it did not and I though it tasted very chemical. I found that I am not a fan of this flavor.

Take 2: My second try was with the Tropical Escape flavor. This time I tried it with 16 ounces of water in a my water bottle. I prepared it before I went out for my run my shaking the bottle to mix as the directions state. I was surprised by how much it foamed. I placed it in the fridge before I left and when I returned I was relieved to see the foam was gone. As opposed to the Berry Treasure, I really like this flavor. It still has a hint of a chemical after taste, but no different than my lemon-lime Nuun. I topped the bottle off and the after taste was gone.

Take 3: In the case of these samples, I apparently tried the best, last. This third attempt was with the Chocolate Wave flavor. The directions note you can also add this to milk if you so choose. This is what I did. I mixed this in a glass with 8 ounces of milk just like when I prepared my previous recovery drink. I thought this flavor was great! I had no after taste or other problems making it. I really like this one!

What I have to say about it: Like I said earlier, I compared it to my current recovery drink and two other popular drinks. I liked the macronutrient levels of Fluid. For someone who is trying to lose weight I feel that it has what I need for recovery but doesn't have so much that I worry about too many carbs. It has more carbs than ovaltine, but with the increase in protein I am willing to overlook it. Overall, I am happy with the macronutrients.

Overall, if you are looking for a recovery drink I definitely recommend Fluid. Visit their website at http://www.livefluid.com/ .

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Terrible Tuesday...back again

As I wrote last week I am dedicating my Tuesdays this month to a workout based on my favorite high school football coaches. The plan during this workout is a variety of exercises for 2 hours while concentrating more on power than on speed. There are three main goals for the workout- activate fat stores, build power, build mental toughness to hard work. I will complete the workout solely on perceived exertion.

As with any goals their is a reason behind each. First, as my goal weight for the year is 186 and this morning my weight was 197 I want to burn some fat to help get closer by the end of the month. Secondly, During the past race season I focused a lot on building speed, I think I should also work to build power to assist in this and there is no time like the present. Last, I complete a lot of long slow workouts and one of the purposes is to build mental toughness to the time it takes to race a long course. I also did a solid amount of short, but hard workouts. These are very good for building speed but do not due much for toughness. Today, we will do both!

The workout for today is as follows:

Warm up-jog to gym
Row- 24 min. pyramid-  4, 2 off, 5 on, 2 off, 6 on, 2 off, 5 on, 2 off, 4 on
Treadmill- 24 minute pyramid @ 12% incline and a good pace
Stationary bike- 24 minute pyramid at level 7 or higher
10 lateral burpees ( 3min)
Row for distance( 12min)
10 lateral (3min)
Stationary bike- 8min w/ tabata @ Level 5 ( 8 rounds of 20 seconds on 10 seconds rest)
Treadmill- 8min w/ tabata @ 12% incline @ maximal pace
Row- 8min w/ tabata
Cool Down- Walk home in the cold

Total- 24+24+24+3+12+3+8+8+8= 1 hour 54 minutes + 6 minutes for transition and water refills.

This week I will remember a water bottle and towel. I will keep a hard pace focusing on sustained power over speed, but make sure it is something I can sustain for the time of the workout. I will also start my stopwatch and end the workout at 2 hours; I also know where the halfway point should leave me and will adjust the middle rowing if transition and water put me behind schedule.

Now to think of next weeks devious workout, if you have any good workout or drills to suggest please send them my way.

After deciding to take an unstructured month, I recorded my thoughts and posted them on my Plans page, but I have been thinking about subing in CrossFit Endurance workouts when the mood strikes me. Hopefully, after the workout tonight I will post a review of Fluid Muscle Recovery Drink.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Holiday Weight, Cold Running, and Decisions

This time of year is very busy for everyone and I my life has been no exception this week. On top of work has been holiday shopping, holiday get togethers, annual and semi annuals doctors appointments, and a million other things. Last night we stayed up till 1 AM decorating the inside of the house for the holidays after we got home from a holiday party. And as a Christmas present to ourselves we entered the 21st century with the purchase of our first flat screen TV.  It leaves our old big A. tube tv for me to use in the spare bedroom when on the trainer, should it ever be cleaned out.

 For some reason blogger isn't letting me add captions, after an hour of frustration I give up. So... the 1st shot is of CB's nativity scene and my menorah. The second is our new TV with my nutcrackers. One is from my first year in law enforcement and the other is from my time studying in England.

During all this busyness I know that weight management is a big concern for many of us. Personally, from my post race weight on Thanksgiving day to my morning weigh-in on black friday I had a 9 pound gain. It is ok though! I was able to work it back off and somewhere near the midle of last week I finally broke through my next weight loss benchmark. I do not celebrate these until I am at or under the weight for three consecutive days and it finally arrived. My reward for this benchmark is a Yankees Jersey, but since all of my clothes are running too big these day I decided to pick up a new pair of work pants and two sweaters instead. With my end goal for the year being 186, I still have 13 pounds to go and I am hopeful. I have joining the Fat Cyclist's 10 pound challenge to try and keep my motivated.

With this effort to hit my goal and to train for next years triathlon season I have maintained my training. Today I had what I think may be my coldest run ever. If not it is a close second to last years New Years Eve race. The weather was 34 degrees with an 8 mph breeze. Since I kept on the treadmill until June last year I am never sure how to dress for cold. That's why I asked how to dress for my last race. Given the weather the "what to wear" application at www.runnersworld .com said winter hat (toboggan/beanie), long sleeve tech shirt, tights, jacket, gloves and sun glasses. I did not have all of these so I made some concessions. I no longer have a winter hat suited for running so I wore my Brook's nightlife hat with an ear warmer over it, a Under Armor heat gear turtleneck, a long sleeve race tee, tights, shorts, and sunglasses. I didn't wear gloves because my hands always get hot, I could have worn them after all. I also noted again that I need to buy a jacket or vest, and a new fleece hat. After reading the comments from Adam's review on a pair of tights, I realized how others think about guys in tights and about wearing shorts over them. Well, I got to do what I got to do.

In my last post I asked for suggestions on how to proceed with training. Today I made my decision, I am going to just stick to no goals for this month. In order to keep structure, I am going to write my own training plan just to have something to check days off on the fridge. I am am going to keep my two a week strength training going, my Sunday long run, and Wednesday speed work. I will also add a group fitness class and hopefully Saturday yoga. I will shoot for at least an hour of cardio everyday, plus my LSD Sunday and Terrible Tuesday. Wednesday I began regulating my workouts using the heart rate monitor again, and this is my plan for the rest of the month. After my reading this summer on training zones I began with a workout in zone 2. A run in this zone gave me an average pace of 15 minute miles and required walking breaks on all hills to stay in the zone. After this, I kept the majority of my workouts in zone 3. From my reading you shouldn't use this zone, should either be harder or easier. This zone gives me 10:30 miles, still slower than my normal training paces. I find it odd how much slower I run when using this method, when I am doing pace based training I must be staying in zone 5 most of the time if I had to wager.

Another decision I have been toying with for a month and a half is to go back to school. My mind is not in the right place any more for my work. After over 4 years, I can no longer tolerate having to work with a caseload of 80 inmates who feel my life should revolve around them and unfortunately my tactical duties do not pull me out of the office enough to help me cope. CB and I have discussed it and a career change is in order and going back to school will be necessary. My options for what to do vary greatly. I am applying to the local community college to take the prerequisites for a nursing program. This would mean taking biology and chemistry and then applying to a nursing program in the fall. Secondly, I am applying for a Ph.D. in Sociology at NC State University. Ideally, I would get a doctorate in criminology but there is no program in this state, but this program has a crime and deviance concentration. One of my favorite professors from undergrad got her doctorate there. This would mean a move, but I could keep working for the state while doing this. Thirdly, and mostly for shits and giggles I am applying to a college in Utah for an Associates in Aviation Science. They have a program worked out with my local airport and I would be able to use federal financial aid to pay for flight time. Having a commercial pilot's licence could lead to good jobs in this area flying for NASCAR race teams.

Lastly, my week in number.....

Strength- 1:30 minutes
Stationary Spin Bike- 60.7 mile
Run-17.4 miles
Concept 2 Rower- 40 minutes
Hike- 2.5 miles