Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Real World Application of Triathlon Training

High volume with the addition of speed work, tempo work, and bricks are the core of most triathlon program. Personally, I also spend a good deal of time, especially during my first season setting up transition and running through the costume changes I need to make. Once I had the hang of it I integrated it into every brick workout that I do.

Yesterday I was able to use these skills in a less than typical manner for the average triathlete. As a member SWAT I maintain proficiency with pistol, shotgun, and the M4 assault rifle. Yesterday was my monthly training day and the afternoon portion of the training was with the M4. We did a standard qualification course shooting 50 rounds into a silhouette from a variety of distances and positions. I scored 100% as did over 3/4ths of my team mates.  

After this was completed we went on to another drill. For this drill we would be firing at a paper plate from fifty meters. A paper plate is usually used to practice keeping tight grouping or to simulate taking head shots. The distance adds even more difficulty to it. To add to the difficultly we were told that we would not be allowed to shoot until we returned from a 1/2 mile run, up a hilly gravel road and back. This is called a stress course. The purpose was to change our breathing and fatigue level similar to having to shoot when you are involved in a building entry or other line of duty incident. As some one who tracks escapees, it not improbable to have to take a shot after running through the woods after someone.

Everyone on the team became nervously anxious. This changes things. I drank the cool aid at first and was nervous too. I made a comment about I would be happy if I hit one. Then, just before the whistle sounded I thought about it. I need to run and then shoot; how is this any different from running my bike in and then sliding on shoes, visor, Garmin, and race number belt? With the exception of one involving a high power lethal weapon with a high capacity magazine they are basically the same. They both employee the use of fine motor skills while exhausted. With that realization I decided to just think of it like transition, focus and control my breathing.

I was in the last group to go. Prior to my group 48 others had shot and the high score was 12 out of 15. using my triathlon focus I shot a new high score of 14 out of 15. Making me happy to out shoot the hunters and the military vets in the group (who weren't as happy about it). These group have more experience than I, yet fundamental shooting and knowing how to manage stress turned out to be more valuable. Making it even better was the mocking the ensued. I never said a word about my score, the cadre pointed out to some of the more loud mouthed members of the team (you know those guys in every group) that they were out shot by the team medic!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Weeks 2, 3, 4, and 5 of fitness revisions.

I know I fell off a few months ago and its been worse over the month, with one post. It's been tough for the last few weeks but the lack of availability to blog is for the best (so it seems).

A month ago my job changed a little and I it has reduced my stress. New boss, less paperwork. With this change came a change of hours. I know work second shift two days a week- getting home so late has been annoying but I have time to swim in the mornings without having to get up extra early. On top of these work changes I now have been running my own martial arts studio. I have class two days a week in the afternoons, making two more late nights a week.

I am now on the go formally from 8 am until after 9 pm everyday. I am still spending Saturday mornings teaching karate for the non-profit. I spend Sundays, and the hour between bed and when I get home on Tuesdays and Thursdays doing freelance web design. I started with traditional html and css but have learned to do some very cool things in CSS. I have even now officially made money doing it. I got my first check in the mail. I also go duped out of a $500 job I did for someone else.

Staying so busy has led to mixed results with my diet, but I have hit EVERY workout- two per day with Sundays Off (and Thursdays soon)

Week 2 was a fail. I had the new boss, new work schedule and new stress that led me to living on fast food.

Week 3- Success. Good food choices all around.

Week 4 was another fail. This week was busy with PERT (SWAT) and we never pick anywhere healthy to eat when working,

Week 5 was by best success to date. Sunday morning I spent a few hour cooking and boxed lunches and snacks for the week. Eggbeaters for breakfast, boiled egg whites for am snack, grilled chicken and asparagus for lunch, and kale and steak for a pm snack.

In terms of fitness I have been following crossfit endurance strength and running training. In order to get my swim time improved I was advised to work on only 25m intervals. I have seen some improvement getting my 25m time to 24s now to hold that speed over 50m and then to hold it over 100m and so on. I have also increased my core strength, my bench press to 225, and my dead lift to 250.

I have been tracking various metrics with my body and have had interesting results. My weight has come down a few pounds since I started but is close to what it was at the end of the my tri season. Still need to lose about 20 pounds to my goal. On the other hand, I have lost about 2+ inches on my waist and about 2 percent body fat, and have more visible abs. To me these are interesting results.

As a last note I have a question for parents. My martial arts studio started out slow and has gotten worse. I went from two students to one student. The only student in my children's class is an autistic adult. This has lead to me paying the rent mostly out of my own pocket. I have been stepping up my marketing but am trying to get very focused. Parents: If I want to get ads to you about the classes we offer what is the best way?

Secondly: to get the kids to class I have to get parent's interested. What is the best "goal" to advertise- fitness, self defense, bully proofing, fun, discipline, character, or something else?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Week One of diet and fitness revisions

Paleo Eating: The first week was a week of questions. I now am unsure of the difference in paleo and primal. Avoiding grains did not seem too hard, but I have eaten my weight in almonds.  During the work week I cheated twice, one time I needed something to carry me through Karate class so I ate a handful of multi-grain cheerios and another time I ate some as a late-night snack. I tried to add more veggies in to the diet and  found a few I added may not be part of the Paleo scheme- green beans and snap peas. At the start of the week I was 3 pounds over my shame weight and by the end of the first day I dropped 7 pounds, presumably just shedding the junk in my system, the next day I dropped another two and then I dropped small increments the rest of the week. Due to things going on for the weekend, I took an 80-20 aproach to the diet and ate free for the weekend. By the end of the weekend I put 3 pounds back on.

Crossfit Endurance: This has been the most interesting. Tuesday I started with my first official CF strength workout. It was tough, but not too hard. I am weak, but not too weak. After the first workout (with a total of 45 dead lifts with 150lbs plus other stuff) I tried the endurance WOD- a run. FAIL. The program calls for putting 3 hours between workouts but I didn't have the time. I quickly understood the requirement. The next day I was so sore I could barely walk. I couldn't bear a swim so I just did the strength workout. The next morning I couldn't walk or lift my arms and doing pull ups as I normally do when I pass my closet was out of the question. I ended up doing the strength workout Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, Friday I couldn't move. I invite the new pain, pain from strength training. Saturday I rested and Sunday I got in my first endurance workout. I did a ten mile tt on the bike. I completed it in 23:22- A NEW PR!! I am very proud.

Life- My Kayak is sold and I am one step closer to my independence. I plan to start round two in the attic this week and am slowly but surely learning about running my own business, despite a hiccup  (or possibly two) last week.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

What's been up

Knowing I have 30 minutes at work and knowing that I have hours of work in the que that needs to be done I have decided to write a post because I am feeling withdrawn lately.
Over the last four months or so my posts went from content back to status checks and then dropped off. I have had a lot going on but I miss the encouragement of my peers and well as reading about other's life. This is a great way to have relationships for an introvert and I value them highly, more than some of you inspire me more than you will ever realize.

In May I started my 31 day freelance experiment. It has had decent results and led me have some "real work" and became a third job on top of my job at the prison and my Saturday morning job teaching karate for the non-profit at a rec center.

My web design freelancing has led to me updating some skills, but I am not where I want to be yet. I figured I would advertise some online and if I got enough bites to cover my cost of living I would just do this. It has not worked out quite that way. I got no referrals from online advertisement, in order to build word of mouth I offered a doctor friend of mine to build a site for free (pretty much free). It was something he had been shopping for anyway and I did not know it. This turned in to a chore as he didn't really know what he wanted and once we got going going he kept making revision after revision. He would sign off on a version as being good and as soon as I would make the changes he would change his mind and want something different. I have a contract I did not use with him since he is a friend, but it only allows for two revisions for most projects. Once we finally got it live he got a letter from another company's lawyer and as he did not trademark on his name, we had to redo a good bit of the site. Now its live again. I did this for the price of 2 hosting contracts and domain names before I thought it was going to be as complicated.

I also got a referral from a friend, they wanted a very basic store front site and a rush over a weekend, I completed the site and then got stiffed for $500 after dedicating over 20 hours over two days to it including logos, image editing, two revisions, and a bite more. The good new is there is a supposed referral from a different friend for an interior designer who wants a site. She has a budget between $250 and $300 so I should be able to do a simple site for her. I also realized web marketing is not how to get things done in my area and have started a targeted direct mail campaign to a some local businesses. I have abandoned the idea of living off this for the time being and any profits it nets I will put toward savings.

If you couldn't tell from a previous posts I am going through internal turmoil in terms of figuring out what I want to do. I put days and days of thought into not just finding a career I might enjoy, but following my dream business instead. A dream I can track on paper since at least 2004 is opening up my own martial arts school. I drew a very grand layout with my drafting board back then. It was my original intention when I move west (in NC) to live with my wife, but my agreement with the location did not pan out. I tried another option and realized I knew nothing about business and went back to work for the man.

Over the summer I became a lot more active pursuing this goal. I have written my first business plan with the help of SCORE (Thanks P!) and sought rental space. Unfortunately, the resources are not together to get my own space and the people who for years said they would back me- backed out, despite pushing me for two years because how good the numbers look.

I still wanted to purse this goal so went on the prowl again for existing dance studios and gymnastic gym's to see if any would sublet. I found one that would. She was very interested in adding martial arts to create a mutually beneficial relationship, she already had children's dance, Zumba, and yoga. This seemed great despite some other things....

I attended her open house and had 10 kids sign up. I held the first class on 09/01/11 and had ONE of those kids show up, this gave me a total of three students including my little sister-in-law and developmentally disabled adult who showed up at the wrong time. I was running a promotion for August that if you signed up you got reduced tuition and no registration, I learned the benefit of a registration fee. My bet is if there was a registration fee, parents would either not sign up unless they were serious and would come if they paid.

I have ordered some cards, placed an ad in a school directory, and have done a few other marketing things. With my two paid students I have not yet to make enough for my rent but I am still hopeful for the remainder of the month.

In order to fund the dream, as well as raise enough money to devote myself to this full time, I started a fundraising effort. For the first phase I found everything in my attic I was willing to sell. I put books on Amazon and everything else on ebay. What didn't sell after two rounds on ebay went to a yard sale. The total gave me about $600, and once I get my kayak sold I will gross about $1,000 to $1,100. However, I have used some of that to pay for business overhead (marketing, Thesis theme, misc. office stuff). Now that I have some momentum I am going to go through the attic again next week and see if there is anything else I can part with. Once I am out of stuff I can sell (or that CB will let me sell, because if it were up to me i'd sell everything in the house) I have another fundraiser scheme. Also, anything I make from web design will go directly to my saving for this purpose.

Hopefully, if I will find the right marketing recipe for my budget and my numbers will take care of the rest. I have long felt that part of the inability to monetize in martial arts is to lack of advertisement and with an increase in budget I hope to take care of that.

Unfortunately with four jobs seven days a week, training and diet fell off. I had planned to take a free week after my last race but it turned to three weeks.

Over that time I have eaten more fast food than I can care to recall and put on 11 extra pounds. After reading a few article I decided to try 6 weeks on the paleo/primal kick and see if it renders any results. I have read about it several times over the past two years and always thought it was NUTS. However, I read a few articles in the past two weeks about the connection between those eating habit with heavy lifting for lean results. They intrigued me and I thought it to be worth a shot. I have been on it since Monday and realized that other than kicking out grains and trying to find non-processed meats, it isn't that different from the low carb diet I originally used to lose weight. Two days of clean eating left me feeling great and seven pounds of junk/water weight shed.

Feeling better got me back in the gym. I eluded a few weeks ago to trying a new training method for the off season. I started today what I meant to start three weeks ago- Crossfit Endurance. When they changed their format a few month back I started making a spreadsheet of all of the the workouts for the 12 week program. so that I could start it once I was ready. After putting hours and hours toward long rides and runs during my training season I am looking forward to using shorter, harder workouts. However, I do plan to work in periodic long workouts just to keep a base. If it makes me faster or have more power- great! If not, I will enjoy shorter workouts and it will keep me active.  SEEMS win-win.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Creative Help Needed

Again using this medium as a springboard for figuring out life-

I need help giving my newest clsss a names. At this time I am calling it RUN.JUMP.KICK.

The class is a children's fitness class with a karate base. Think boot camp meets Aerobic Kickboxing. Push ups, sit ups, and a lot of bag and pad work. No traditional lining up and punching from horse stance.

If someone supplies a name I like better there may be a prize.
Thank you everyone for the help.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sorting things out Volume I

“We’ve all been raised on television to believe that one day we’d all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars. But we won’t. And we’re slowly learning that fact. And we’re very, very pissed off.”
-Tyler Durden

Have you ever had so many things on your mind you didn't know where to start? Or so many topics you don't know which to write about?

Than is how I feel today. I was thinking about fitness, sorting life out, figuring out how to plan, making that plan, a product review, and more.

I could not decide where to start and I feel like I have many meaningful things to say and I know that if I take one road and not another I will forget. I remembered that I had seen a quote yesterday (above) and saved it in blogger. I decided to start I would go back the the saved post and just go from there.

 That quote is one of many from the movie Fight Club that resonates with me. I remember being raised with elementary teachers and my mom and other adults telling me I could be anything I want to be when I grow up. THAT SHIT IS A LIE!

There are several thing that never get said to young children or even older children.
1- You may pick a career you don't have the aptitude for.
2- You may pick a career you don't fully understand and once you pursue it and learn the ins and outs its a little harder to turn back and decide again.
3- You may pick a career that isn't suited for your personality.
4- Sometimes your life leads you down a road that prevent a career before you even know it.
5-You may pick a career that DOES work out with all of the above but by the time you are entering the "real world" we will have no idea about the economy so we don't know if that will be an option.

I will case study myself. Go figure. I remember when I was young I was aked by my mother what I wanted to be when I grew up. I remember standing in the hallway outside of my room in the house where we lived at the time and telling her either a preacher, or a fighter pilot, or a cowboy.

I had a love for jets as a kid so I was probably thinking about one of my many toys when I gave that answer. The truth that no one would have told me at that age is that that is a highly competitive field because they aren't that many jobs available. Next, to be competitive you have to have a lot of things going right for you and many of those skills are learned when young. Honestly it was about that time that I went off track. I speak about this particular job with good understanding as one of my two best friends from high school and my high school girl friend both did puruse this job for the Air Force, they both did ALL of the right things. In the end neither of them got it. Kera is a navigator and Nick is a pilot but of a KC-130 not a F-15 as he had dreamed. They both love what they do, but no one told them of the possible limitations when they were young. Of course as they got older they knew about the obstacles, but luckily it wasn't too late.

I think I answered preacher because my mom would like that answer. That one would work for most of my listed prereq's except that I really don't like people, CB says I have no emotions, and by the time I was older I had some interesting beliefs about organized religion. I am still religious, but don't agree with a lot of what I see or get told. This would probably be a problem for seminary.

Last in terms of being a cowboy my life had placed me in an urban area so training for that career wasn't an option.

I think its odd that I was never told these intricate details about career paths. I understand that at six decisions will change so it may not be worth getting into the details too deeply, but I think you see my point.

I grew up wanting to be a helicopter pilot from 3rd or 4th grade on. On my own I did the research, I knew I would need a college degree to fly for the military. I knew my estranged grandfather was an engineer and was successful so I figured that I would be one too. I even took two engineering classes in high school. At the time it seemed to make sense. When I was a senior in high school I started struggling with math; not because it was hard, but because I got bored too easily. It got worse in college, I was diagnosed with ADHD (I have since been told I do not have ADHD, but something else). I knew the military did not like to accept people taking vitamin r, as they called it, so I decided not be medicated. Without medication  the classes were too much so I changed my major to something with less math- Criminal Justice. I pursued this and did well in my classes, then the year before graduating I was told by a recruiter that because I had been diagnosed with asthma I could not join the military. This crashed everything down and I had to reevaluate.

This is an example of  how effect being whatever you want to be. I could even go on from there to what led me to my current career location.

Next week I turn 28 and I still have no idea where I want to be and what I want to do when I grow up. I guess the next few steps will be trying to decide where I want to be and how to get there.

Any suggestion for finding new directions?

The Winds of Change

This blog has gone through some changes over the last year . It started out as a place to for my to track my day to day battle with weight loss, to find support, and to have accountability.

After a few months it became my own personal beginner triathlete forum where I got support for racing and training. Over the last few months between my personal life and my training it has become sporadic posts with whats been up and monthly race reports.

I have been trying to make some changes in my life and career since May and the end of my "official" and planned season brings an increase in time to train the rest of my life. I enjoy my training. Exercise has always made me happy- before I was ever on the high school track team, before college summers spent running 10 milers, before now; I used to just go run when I was upset or overwhelmed. Today, my training in part still does that. When doing any other swim workout other than a long swim, I think about nothing but swimming. When I run my mind becomes cleared off all external stresses. When I am on long rides I often zone out and pray. The only problem with this is upon my return I am catapulted back into real life. Sometimes it feels like being slammed into a wall upon my return.

I have decided to put concentrated work into training the rest of my life. I am sure it is clear through some of my posts that I battle with depression from time to time, sometimes very deep. It is spawned by long term effects of events in my life. I am going to TRY to take charge of these things and make changes.

If I was able to take charge of my health and fitness I feel I should be able to take charge of this too. I am planning to begin using this blog as a medium for brainstorming and hopefully to get feedback from my fitness friends. I have no real friends here in my area as all I have done since moving here is go to work. My work tends toward being filled with people who want to have misery for their own company; I do not want to speak to them about many of these topics. I feel that having a Jedi council of the bloggers I have had some my longer relationships with will be of great help. I know that this direction will lose followers and also attract some negative feedback from those who do not understand what I have gone through or agree with the changes I want to make. I thank all of my true friends for the feedback in advance.

I realized that much of my personal turmoil stem from my career and the life style it forced. The truth is I hate working for with inmates and I loathe the criminal justice system. When I was in school all of the CSI shows  made everything look so sexy. Truth is it is not, and it a very small percentage of people who get the really cool jobs and I have come to the conclusion most of the people in these positions probably had some combination of upper middle class up bringing, a special skill, political or family connections, and good credit. Unlike TV ex-strippers and ex-cons do not get these jobs.

I have been reading many lifestyle and business blogs lately, many of them very extreme, and am going to try my hand at some of their concepts. It is my goal to be content with 90% of my life.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lake Logan International Distance Triathlon

This was a great weekend and a great race. CB an I had plans to stay at a favorite hotel near our old alma mater. It would have been about an hour past the race site, but we though it would be worth it to stay in our favorite room. However, the good rooms were booked (why stay in a riverside hotel in western NC if you can only get a room with a parking lot view?) so Thursday I had the epiphany and started looking for a cabin rental closer to the race. This was a little daunting since it is summer vacation season, but none the less I found one and at got it reserved at the last minute. Quaint two bedroom cabin for $129 a night right on a creek. Having the kitchen really made pre and post race dieting even easier.

This being my second oly in a row I am really starting to enjoy this distance. Short enough to hammer, but long enough to enjoy my time on the course. I say this as opposed to a sprint where when I finish it seems like I just started. Plus a short sprint has 4 times the prep time (travel, warm up, set up, etc.) on race weekend than I actually spend racing. Olympic distance seems to have a better return on the time investment. What is even better is that this race was a great benchmark. Not only was it my largest race to date, but it was a serious step up in competition. Interesting enough was that it was not the normal competition for this serious, since this was a qualifier for US Age Group National Championships it brought out a higher level of athlete- I didn't see a single mountain bike or cruiser on this race. There were even several members of US Pro Tri and some other pros. The race winner finished in 1:50 just five minutes faster than Andy Potts at the Philadelphia Triathlon.

My overall time was 2:42:02. This is a 4 minute 20 second improvement on my first race and I feel this was a more difficult course.

The Swim 35:33 Grade A
AG 16 of 21
This was a large improvement over last time. The wetsuit helps, but I also think the improvement in form, as well as the confidence building and sighting practice from open water swim class made a great deal of difference. I swam crawl the entire way with the exception of four misplaced frog kicks. Sighting was great. I was directly on line the entire time. This is the only time I have second thought about racing. It is during the swim I consider why I am doing this or consider quitting. In fact it is during the swim I think about a lot of things, such as my rescue squad, past role models, the rest of the race, swim class; I have a lot of time on my hands. I enjoyed this swim much more, but it was still tough.

Once you grabbed the dock and hoisted yourself out of the water it was a long run to transition and then it was an equal distance to my rack. I started off in a jog, got my wetsuit half off, goggles and cap off then by the time I was actually in transition I had to walk because I was still gassed from the swim. This was my first time taking a wetsuit off in a race. This is not easy, but I didn't have any real problems. Once you leave transition there was a 50 meter gravel road you had to run to get to the mount line so I elected to put my shoes on in transition adding a little more time. They had set up a grass lane after we left for the swim, I might not have done that had I known.
Bike 1:13:09 Grade A-
AG 16 of 21
This course was not the flat course they advertised. It wasn't awful, but I wouldn't call it flat, maybe rolling except for a few serious climbs. I kept a 22 mph average speed until mile 17 where I started to bonk. I got it back up to 20 mph until mile 24 where the last climb slowed me to an average speed of 19 mph for the bike leg. Although I was going faster than my last oly, I was passed like I was sitting still several times. I got chicked a few times too :).  As always the climbs were my strong point and this is where I passed. Even on the last climb that killed me I was still passing people. I was doing it while sitting and spinning and getting "eat shit and die" looks from the guys stand up mashing. Overall, I probably should have gone a little easier to save it for the run. This course also reminded me I want to change to a double from my triple.

In and out, except I left my bike shoes on coming in thinking about the gravel road.

Run 50:25 Grade A-
AG 13 of 21
I realized on my way out I forgot my Garmin. I decided at this point to push, but have fun. I probably would have pushed harder had I had it. In the first mile me and another guy were almost next to each other so we decided to embrace it and run next to each other. We encouraged each other and cheer for others. We were both cussing the lie of a flat run course. It was three miles uphill and then three mile back down. In fact according to map my ride it was about 500 feet of elevation gain over the 3 miles to the turn around. My new partner and I decided once we hit the turn around we would hit the gas- and we did. Taking our 8:45 pace to closer to 7:30. Shortly after the turn around I noticed two blister one on top and one underneath my left foot- I kept pushing. At mile 5 I got a cramp and had to slow down till it passed. Once it was gone I hit the gas again and took down two guys in my age group I saw. I tried to push as hard as I could until the end. Sadly it wasn't hard enough for a pukie.

Overall, I was 15 of 21 in my age group, 149 overall of the 400 finishers (oddly this event was sold out at over 700, supposedly over 900 athletes with relay members, I don't know what happened to all of them ???). I thought I would fare better given the level of competition at previous races, but I did not do as well as I had hoped. I am still HAPPY and had a GREAT time!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Down to the short rows.

Almost anyone raised in the rural south or a part of the south that was formerly rural knows this saying, however I am curious to know if the saying is known throughout other parts of the country.

It is hump day in the last week of my official tri season. This morning was another open water swim class and then a 3 mile recovery run. I had a short brake then some power work on the trainer for 4 minutes (tabata). Tomorrow will be my last official training day and then Saturday I will be racing at my region's USAT age group qualifier- Lake Logan International Distance Triathlon.

I have a funny feeling about this race. With nearly 1000 athletes it is my largest race to date. I feel under-trained and do not feel I will do as well as I would like. However, I am very relaxed and do not feel very competitive. I am looking forward to going out and enjoying the race and the weekend overall.

If I didn't feel under-trained maybe I would feel more competitive. For several weeks I have actually been leading the series field in points but was sadly dethroned this weekend. My series used the same formula as USAT for races and while I average about 7200 points on a sprint and 7500 on an oly, the guy who dethroned me is getting over 9000 a race on a sprint. He is much faster than me and clearly deserves top spot.

After this Saturday things will change. I am looking at changing my off season training. I will put a large amount of focus on my swim. I also am going to experiment with an unconventional training program and may resume terrible Tuesdays.

Except for one 5k the race calender is clear. I am looking at a few possible marathons and if possible may sneak in another tri from my series to see if I can up the points by getting a higher point race than my first one.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Open Water Masters Class

After two failed attempts to make this class I did it and I am glad. After waking up shortly after four, I grabbed my pre-packed swim bag and headed out the door. Then i turned around and went back in to grab my towel and the wetsuit still sitting on the floor. I made the hour trip south to a house on a dead end road in Huntersville, NC. I was early so I sat in the car until someone else got there. I had no idea where I was going. It was so dark i could not even see any water around.

Almost in concert the rest of my classmates arrived and I followed them down the side of the drive way to a dock behind the house. Turns out the house was directly on the lake. I introduced myself to the 6 women who were my classmates as the instructor arrived. Then I introduced to myself to the instructor and we talked about why I am there. I noticed no other wetsuits so I asked about the water temp as i pointed to mine and they laughed.

We laid out pull buoys and paddles, then jumped in the 91 degree lake (I checked).

First off the instructor gave us a safety briefing that she was going to stay to our left in the kayak and then she pointed across the lake and said. "See that dock with the green roof swim to it as your warm up". My sighting sucked but I kept up with the group.

Then she said now scull to the dock with the black roof.

Once there she began explaining to us proper form at the beginning of the stroke and about aggressive hand entry- while making us tread water. Now swim back across the lake to the house with the red boat and practice the entry.

At this point I was getting very tired. I got there just in time to hear swim down three docks to where we started. I missed what we were working on I was so far behind.

Once we were back to the dock we tread water for a moment. I honestly can't remember what she talked about. We grabbed pull buoys and worked on our pull going back across the lake.

I was late again and just caught the directions. Use the pull buoy as a kick board and kick for thirty second, then place it between your legs and then pull 30 strokes without sighting, then repeat. I missed what the point was, but thought it was neat that until I got tired I was dead on without sighting. I also noticed that when kicking I got left behind, but when pulling I caught up and even passed part of the group.

Once back we put on paddles and then went across again, tread water, and returned. This was my first time with paddles and thought they are a little hard to use. I think they are more fatiguing than swimming without.

Once we took them off we swam out to the middle to practice our turning around the kayak. Then on to another dock. I stalled for a moment and she asked if  I needed help getting the paddles off, I said no I needed to catch my breath. She responded by whispering to me "don't worry there's only 8 more minutes"

During the next short swim she pulled the kayak up to me to watch my stoke. As she told me she was watching me I swallowed water and stopped- go figure! At the turn around she stopped me and said "you are doing just what I thought you were, you have perfect form above the water but once you get halfway through your stoke your elbow collapses backwards. You also do not have an end to your stroke. You need to keep pushing until you get to your hips, right now you are just taking your hand out of the water"

I worked on this on the last turn for the day, and when I got there she told me that it was perfect. I honestly could feel more power on the end and was keeping up with the group.

When we got out she told me I had a very powerful pull and that will be my strength.

Overall I really enjoyed this, it was a great workout, the instructor gave me good feedback, and it was really fun to swim with a group. There was not time for socializing but it was nice to be around others for once.

Lesson Learned: Strong pull but it can be better. I think that if it is good enough to gain on swimmers who were 100 yards ahead of me, that once I get a solid kick too I will be doing very well. This class also did a lot for my general comfort level plus sighting became instinctual. I can't wait to try it again next week!   

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Live Happy

Today I was going to write about my first open water masters swim class, however after my swim and run I was paged by the chief of my rescue team that an associate of the team had passed away yesterday evening so this changed my focus for the day.

We were not best friends, but he was a man I had a great deal of respect for.

He was placed in hospice yesterday and I made plan to go visit him Friday, but sadly I do not have the chance now.

It got me to thinking. He was not an old man at 50, I last saw him in October when he was in a class I was teaching, there were no visual health problems. We conducted a swim test and he did fine. We did some open water swimming and he had no problems.

Although I may wine, bitch, and celebrate when I write on this blog, but in really life I am generally stoic. I am not sad, I will not shed tears, but I will mourn respectfully with the belief when its your time, its just your time.

MOST IMPORTANTLY this has given me some inspiration for self reflection, I have thought about how my grandfather had a heart attack at 40.  This reminds me that life is finite. This reminder leaves two thoughts resonating. First and most important in general, live a life that leaves a legacy. Secondly but more directed toward my current situations, do things that make you happy. I feel that I have done a lot, but will continue to do more, in the first area though rescue, ems, law enforcement, swat, church and more. However, in 10 years if I have a similar turn of fate to my grandfather, then it would be a shame that I lived the last 15 years of my life unhappy.

I hope anyone who reads this today will take a moment of self reflection and then hug a loved one.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

From Beginner Triathlete

"Beer is a plant-based beverage that offers anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Marathoners who drank 1 to 1.5 liters of non-alcoholic beer per day for three weeks prior to a marathon and two weeks after the marathon experienced less post-race inflammation and fewer colds. Non-alcoholic beer offers a wise way to enjoy the natural high of exercise along with positive health benefits"

Monday, July 25, 2011

Big Week

In February I began talks with a coach to plan this season. I signed up for a 6 month training plan. During the 6 months I have had many a missed workouts because of work and other real lif issues. I have had the flue, had an injury, had surgery, raced two sprints, raced my first oly, dropped to three races from the schedule for different reasons, and learned a lot.

Today begin the last full week of training in 6 months. Next week is taper and then my last tri of the season. This week still holds hard workouts, but in typical fashion I will be making up yesterdays workout in addition today. I opted not to run 8 miles in a lightning storm. I am looking forward to a good week. That will make one swim, one long brick, one core workout, and one strength workout today. I plan to make every workout count this week!

 I am already thinking about what to do with my time and where to take my training. I know nothing about maintenance, but i would like to put special attention into my swim, and a little extra love on the bike, a marathon might be nice too.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Just Checking In

It has been almost a month since my last post, I am still out here.

I thought when having my surgery I would bounce right back and have some fun time off. In fact, the opposite happened and I had to take extra time off. I was out for a week, returned for one, day and was out 4 more days. Oddly, my doctor said I should have be fine. However, I was unable to eat anything solid for 11 days, and had pain so bad I was sent home from work for not having any focus. Once I had feeling in my face again, it felt like it was in a vise grip Very concerned, CB and I did some research and everything we read sounded just like nerve damage.

I went back to work last week and it was a rough week. I had to catch up on all the things that I was behind on. I still haven't finished.

Over the course of surgery recovery, my weight dropped to near 170. However last week since I had not been cleared to train yet, doc said not to get my core temp up, I spent my free time focused on two new business ventures (things are tough without help!) and CB was working late with a summer camp so we ate out everynight and my weight subsequently came back to 181 over a week.

Due to lack of training I did not race as schedule Saturday. I am glad because I swam for the first time yesterday and my jaw was killing me when I got out. Seems like the water pressure did a number on me. I think that would have made racing tough Saturday.

I now have 3 weeks to concentrate on my last race of the season- Lake Logan International Distance Triathlon. This is a qualifier for age group national championships.

Even though I spent many hours devoted to writing business plans, researching marketing, trying to put together a list of leads, etc. I was also thinking about fitness. I spent some time researchin swim workouts and am going to try to add some workouts from crossfit endurance to my training for a little boost. I also signed up for an open water masters class that runs through the summer on Wednesday mornings. I am looking forward to that. Hopefully that will at least get me accustomed to open water swimming and the extra workouts will get me faster :)

Last note- last night since my swim sucked. I went out for a 10 mile TT on the bike. I got it in 29:44 and 40% of the course was climbing. One more goal for the year checked off!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

True Recovery Day

After my surgery was scheduled for Tuesday, I was emailed my weekly schedule form my coach. It is time trial week. I have a time trial scheduled in every discipline. I was able to get in my swim TT in and two other normal workouts before surgery.

For the first time, i have been forced to take true recovery days. Often when I take a recovery day I still work, mow grass, or do an y number of activities. Even when I had the flu I tried to sneak in some workouts.

The last two days have been OFFICIAL recovery days. I have done nothing. I have laid in the bed, done web design, and slept. Oh, and taken my weight is Vicodin. I am sure that this break is good for my body in terms or training; i know the break is good for my body in terms of recovery from surgery, but it is killing my mind.

I am itching for two things- a cheese burger and a brick workout.

Does anyone else ever crave workouts when they are forced to rest?

Friday, June 24, 2011

Accountability 06/23/11

06/20 Morning weight: 184
06/21 Morning weight: 182
06/22 Morning weight: 179.9
06/23 Morning weight: 177

Goal: AM swim (again) and PM 40 mile ride.

Results: Overslept again. Once I woke up I reported to the pain cave and did about 55 push ups. After work I needed to finish mowing the backyard and get in my 40 mile ride. I weighted my options and given I knew I would not have much time to mow Saturday before CB's bday party I decided to mow for an hour first and then go ride. An hour turned into an hour and a half. This meant I would be returning from my ride about 10pm. Since I intended to get up for a 200m swim I decided I should do a short workout on the bike instead. On the trainer I did a 10 minute warm up, 3 x 3 minutes trying to work to threshold (without any way of telling), tabata sprints in a hard gear, tabata right leg only, tabata left leg only, then tabata sprinting in an easy gear. I followed that with a few sets of core work (I can't remember what now),  then 4 sets of 2 pull ups, 1 set of 3 pull ups (max), 1 set of 4 neutral grip pull ups, and last 3 back bridges for 15 seconds each. I cool down with stretching with a strap.

Diet: diet bar, grapes, steak, mushrooms, rice, water.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Accountability 06/22/11

06/20 Morning weight: 184
06/21 Mornign weight: 182
06/22 Morning weight: 179.9

Goal: AM Swim and AM Track workout

Results: Wednesday is my 2nd shift day so theoretically if I get up at 05:15 I can fit more in my day. My body didn't agree. I overslept again and got up with 20 minutes to get ready. Since I only had 20 minutes I went to teh pain cave and did 60 bicycle oblique crunches and 20 full body crunches.

I planned to get my speedwork for my lunch, but I had a lot of work to do so my lunch kept getting pushed back until before I knew it it was 8 Pm and time to get home. Since I had brought my running clothes to work I made a decision to stick to my challenge and get it in. I changed at work and once I got back in town instead of going home I went straight to the track.

The workout was a ladder of 400, 800, 2x1200, 800, 400 at a 7:30 pace (10k). The first two went well. Durign the 400m I had to slow myself down. The first 1200 sucked because i could not hold the pace, the second 1200 was worse. I took a minute rest before the 800. The first half was good but I slowed dramatically. For the last 400 I started steady and sped up every 100m; I made a point to not check pace until I hit the finish line. At that point it was 6:23. 400's good- longer intervals still need work. 6 weeks to the next olympic distance race.

Diet: eggs, banana, grapes, hummus, carrots, lettuce, cucumber, grilled chicken, peanut butter, fluid recovery drink. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Accountability 06/21/11

Goal: AM Swim, PM brick

Reality: I overslept through the alarm clock. Actually, I don't think it went off, but CB says it did. With oversleeping there was no swim, but with my quest for a morning workout I completed 55 push ups. After work I came hope and completed a brick. It sucked. I wanted to quit and my legs had no turnover. I averaged 10:30 miles- slowest in over a year- but I completed the workout.

Diet: Breakfast bar, grapes, carrots, hummus, banana, salad, grilled chicken, Fluid Muscle Recovery Drink.

Setbacks: 2 diet Mt. Dew and 1 Diet Dr. Pepper.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Accountability Check 06-20

Goal: AM fat burning workout, Upper body weights, speed work swim.

Results: I was struggling with sleep so I did not get up as early as I would have liked. However, I stuck with my plan and did 20 minutes on the trainer. I did a warm up, followed by 10x 30 second on my third toughest gear, then some one foot spinning, and a cool down. At lunch I completed upper body weight per my training plan, plus day 2 of the 100 push up challenge, and 6 x 20 ab exercises. My last workout of the day from the training plan was a swim with 100m warm up, 200m, 3 x 400m, 200m, 100m cool. The plan was do it as soon as I got home from work, I was exhausted so I made myself a deal. I set a schedule. 5:40-6:00 sit in quiet and eat a snack, 6:00 vacuum and then take dogs out, 6:15 read, 6:30 make salad for dinner and change into swim trunks, 6:45 head to pool. I really wanted to skip this was workout, as of late I have not looked forward to swimming in general and even less to speed work. I think this has something to do with struggling at it so much. I promised myself I would not skip it. It has been two weeks since I have been in the pool and my lungs are hurting from allergies so I decided I would swim it with fins. This should be a confidence booster and since I am getting in extra workouts I will return one morning and get it in without the fins.

Diet: With the exception of a diet bar and a small bowl of cheerios as an afternoon snack everything else I ate was whole foods. The diet bar was because today is grocery day so we were low on lunch foods and the cheerios were because I felt like I was bonking and needed some carbs for the swim. The other foods of my day included grilled chicken, romaine lettuce, spinach, green peppers, red peppers, cucumber, green grapes, and a quarter of my first ever pear (not sure I like it)

Now I will go mow grass for 15 minutes (to split it up before the weekend), shower and be IN bed by 9pm.

Today's missions are accomplished- Tomorrow I intent to unpussify the mission!

Gut Check Time

My Couch, Oversleeping, Oreos, Fried Chicken, Coke, McDonald's, Wendy's, Dairy Queen Blizzards, Mountain Dew, Doritos, Pizza, and Corn Dogs- These are the thing my Bachelor life was made of. These are the thing that got me a solid start on the road to being 300 pounds by 30.

I started last week exhausted because I spent the weekend pulling 20 hour shifts in my office, glued to the computer, drawing up website layouts for a project I have been hired (for free) to do. I returned to work tired. Slightly before the end of the day I was victim to some foul career sabotage. This sent me to a place similar to the mental exhaustion I have at the end of a work week, but on the first day. I shut down. I checked out. My mind reverted. It reverted back to bachelor life. After a year, apparently it is still my default behaviour. I filled my time at work and off work with different combinations of the my bachelor life. Despite slipping in a 16 mile run and two short brick workouts I arrived at the end of the week four pounds heavier and with the highest weight I have had in some months- 184.4 lbs. My goal has been to break the plateau of 180 and hit my next mile marker 175. This would put me 10 pounds from my goal- but I AM FAILING.

I hope my mental week off was enough, because it is time for my figurative as well as literal gut check. I am recommitting myself to accountability. I am three weeks out from my next race, but the race is not the concern. If I perform poorly it is my fault. I am committed this week to getting things back together. I am challenging myself this week to cleansing my diet- I will stick to primarily whole foods. I am challenging myself to getting up for morning workouts- regardless of how short. I am challenging myself to hitting every workout on my training schedule. I am challenging myself to do the research and figure out what help I need to start getting quality sleep again. I am challenging myself to remain accountable by posting my daily success and failure for all to read.

Anymore Challenges?

Monday, June 13, 2011

When annoyance turns into a learning experience

When I began this blog last year I wrote several posts about my background. I wrote about how prior to starting to train in multi-sport the only "sport" I had been successful at was martial arts and how I have a natural ability to pick up techniques. I also wrote about how it is still a love of mine and I would like to continue my training and maybe compete again given the chance.

Last January I began teaching a children's karate class at a for disadvantaged kids at a near-by community center. The organization it is through started with the purpose of providing karate and cheer to children who may not be able to afford it. I use the income from teaching this class to pay for multi-sport expenses.

Last semester I had a child in my yellow belt class who routinely did his own thing, barely paid attention, and over exaggerated every technique to a ridiculous point. I was at a race for belt testing and the instructor who conducted the tests for me passed him to green belt.

My green belt class is my favorite class, they have high energy, they pick up things fast, and we have a lot of fun. I was already thinking about how having him in that class may change how the class ran. I decided that I would sit the class down and without pointing him out talk about focus and how starting this year there would be penalties for not being focused or doing your own thing.

I started the class and as we did warm-ups the kid acted like he couldn't do push up or sit up. He just laid there not trying. We then reviewed basic kicks and he kept falling down (he been doing these for a year, nothing new) so I told him some things to do at home to make it better. Later in the class we were doing sparring drills and I would demonstrate the drill and they would take turns doing the drill on the bag I was holding. When it was his turn he walked up and did something completely different. I then stopped him and was giving step by step directions for the drill. Half way through my instructions he would stop listening and do his own thing. I sent him to the back of the line when he stopped listening, it had been my intention to make him do push ups for not listening, but I wasn't ready to do this yet.

After the class, I discussed with his mom about what i told him to do to help his kicks. She then told me that was probably because of his Aspergers. I nodded my head and said ok, with a calm face. In my head I blew up, thinking to myself WTF!!!!!! WHY HAS THIS KID BEEN IN MY CLASS FOR 6 MONTHS AND YOU HAVE NEVER TOLD ME THIS!!!!!! I have been thinking it was ADD, laziness, and/or poor home training. Now I need to readjust because punishing him with push ups just doesn't seem fair to me.

I plan to take my lunch hour today to research Aspergers and Autism and see if there is a way for me to adjust my teaching methods. This completely blindsided me, but I think it is a good opportunity to learn and grow as an instructor.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Race Report: Kerr Lake International Distance Triathlon

Usually when I write these I follow my day from beginning to end. This race report is a little different. I am starting with my overall thoughts, because for this race that is the most important part to me.

This is my longest race to date. My goal was to finish in under 3 hours, but I really wanted to be done in under 2:45. I finished in 2:46:22. I am VERY HAPPY with this. In fact, my REAL time may have been better as the RD was yelling at us when we got out of the lake that one of the buoys had drifted and we had probably swam even further. I think two of the buoys drifted, but more on that below. Also adding time included the pouring rain and stopping for extra fluids.

This race was a conquest. Simply completing was the goal. I could not be more happy. After I cooled down, I stretched and had a snack, then I checked the tentative results and was disappointed because I was 6 of 7 in my AG. This is when I decided to head back to camp to take everything down and pack up. CB was already starving and soaking wet from standing in the rain for several hours. After I got home I saw that the tentative results were only showing those who had finished at that time. I was actually 6 of 10 in my AG. This made me feel better.

I had been worried about my fitness compared to my peers going into this race. I had a hypothesis I based off of the first 10k I ran and I was hoping it would not be proven. When I ran my first 10k I had ran several 5k's  and just a month earlier had an AG 2nd place at one. I did not plan to place at a 10k, but thought I would hold my own. I ran it and ran HARD. I got back to be the next to last non-walker to finish. I was happy having completed it, but learned that everyone runs 5k's- children, grandmothers in wheel chairs, pregnant women pushing double strollers, etc. To run a 10k fast took a SIGNIFICANT jump in fitness and not everyone is ready to make that jump so those who do make a more serious field of competition. I was afraid this would be similar.

I was scared this would be the same, but i don't think it was. Despite so many of my competitors sporting their mdot tattoos, wearing their 70.3 race shirts, and racing in Ironman tri suits, I still finished 68th overall and less than 30 minutes behind the average time for the top 10 men. I know what needs improvement. I take this race as a MAJOR VICTORY.

OK, my filabuster aside here is how the day went:

Pre-Race: Our campsite had the nosiest frogs I have ever hear. CB and I struggled to sleep because of how loud they were. At 04:50 thunder and lightning started. At 05:30 it began to monsoon. I finally fell asleep and was awoken by the alarm at 06:00. The rain had stopped, I got up, had two homemade whole wheat pancakes with peanut butter and honey, then I drove to the race site to drop my bike and claim a good spot on the rack. I returned to shower, dress, and get CB. The hot water was not working so I brushed my teeth, washed my face, dressed and got CB.

Got back over there with 30 minutes until transition closed. I had a little more work to do than usual since I usually rig some of my stuff before I leave home (or the hotel). I set up, had a half banana and a gel. Then went to the water to warm up. I swam a bit and it was glorious. the water temperature was beautiful. The water was dark but had enough visibility to see just in in front of your hand when it is fully extended. I got out soaking wet, hugged CB (she was SO mad), and hung out by the starting corral.

Swim- 41:39
Grade C
I will admit upfront that this is the hardest endurance thing I have done to date! THIS KILLED ME! I can do 1500 meters in a pool in 30 minutes (sometimes more, sometimes less). Wanting to avoid the meat grinder for my first open water swim I placed myself in the back right and slowly entered the water to let the heard thin. This was not the best as I ended up behind the guys who intended to swim breast stroke the entire way. It was hard to get past them. Once passed them I started into my groove. Unfortunately, I could not see the buoys and would swim breast stroke myself every time I needed to look for them. I also would get startled every time someone would run into me and swim breast stroke for a few and then transition back. Honestly, I swam over 50% of this race in breast stroke. Once I would get back to front crawl I was actually more relaxed, but I could feel me legs falling underneath me.  At the halfway buoy lightning, thunder, pouring rain, and slight chop started. This continued to the end. The buoy at the first turn was off according to the race director, but when i made the final turn I noticed that I was not in line with the buoys leading to the swim finish. I think this one was off too. My garmin had a distance closer to 1.1. miles. I got out of the water and ran for tranistion, uphill a few hundred meters. I put my garmin on my wrist and my hear rate was 170.

I gave myself a pity C for this leg, similiar to when someone is failing a class but the teacher passes them because they tried hard and were active in class.

T1- 1:10
Grade- A-
Long for me, but good considering. I drank a quarter of a bottle of nuun, put my helmet on, drank another quarter, and left. Due to the rain I did not flying squirrel onto the bike, or so the kick-push mount. I simply ran out pulled to the side and got on. I was annoyed  by the people who STOPPED at the mount line to mount. If you stop AT the mount line I am standing behind you waiting to pass the line so I can mount.

Bike- My HR was still 170 and I needed to ride the first half under 144. I concentrated on spinning to get it down. I also already felt hungry. I wanted to save my 360 calories for the last 20 minutes so I grabbed my emergency gu pack and had a quick snack. By mile 3, I was spinning slow, being passed, and my heart rate was still at 165. It wasn't coming down. There was a pack of about 30 riders who went out in front of me and they were breaking away. At this point I made a decision- FUCK IT- Go get 'em! I worked up momentum, hit the big ring and started taking them down. Shortly after I started my attack there was a spot on the road where someone had spray painted GO FAST!!!- I loved it. By mile 10 there were only three left in front of me, and there were times I was going over 30 mph. I was taking in HEED every ten minutes as planned, but with the inreased exertion level only had a few sips left. Then the clouds parted and the sun shined down on the asphalt in front of where it read H20 ahead! PERFECTION. I missed the first one, but got the second one. First hand off ever! in the last half I slowed down but I maintained my speed at or over my planned average of 18.3. The last few miles contained a long, low grade climb that killed my speed. I had my fuels as planned and felt good. I had an average speed of over 20 mph. This is faster than any sprint I have ridden and twice as long. A for effort, a minus for not following my plan.

T2- 45 seconds
Grade- A
My shoes had puddles in them, it made me laugh.

Run- 49:46
Grade- B
This was an out and back, two loop course. I liked it because I knew what was coming at every point. They had water, heed, and ice. Ice was great for pouring down my suit. The rest was great too. My planned pace was 7:30. Off the bat I was running at 08:30 and struggling and I had to pee BAD. I planned to just be comfortable for the first half and push the last half.  The second half came and I was still struggling. I was keeping good form, arms pumping and standing up straight but it was labored. I was concentrating hard. I kept yelling at myself saying "this is a race, not a training run- PUSH! PUSH! PUSH" In the last mile I decided that every time my garmin pace alarm sounded, I would run fast for 10 strides. This worked to improve my average speed. At one point I ended up running next to another guy and he yelled at me for it, so I took off again. I dug deep for a final 50 meter charge.  It was slow, but I think that my fast bike split MORE than made up for it (by my math)

Post-race: I grabbed a water and went to float int he lake. Had half a bagel and was disappointed, this race advertised for the best post race food in the series. WHAT A LIE!

Post-post-race: We stopped for cheese steaks when we were done. Delicious. We got home and Cb made pizza for dinner. I ate half and felt like a bottomless pit.

I had a good time, a great race, a fun learning experience, and plan to use it all for improvement. Sights are now set on August.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Back to duty

Back from the race, unpacked, and the bike is sorta clean. No really, it was ridiculous how dirty it got from one race. Covered in sand and I am not even sure where the sand came from, plus it was covered in grease too. Grease in places that did not make sense, like the top tube and crank arms.

I will have a full race report Tuesday. I am now heading to bed (despite it only being 8 PM here) because I have to be at work at 0430 tomorrow. I get to play at the range with new assault rifles. YAY for blowing shit up with NATO 5.56 projectiles!

Today is the 365 day of existence of my blog. To celebrate I am going to host a contest and giveaway. I am going to be giving away a selection of home work out gear, to enter I want you to send me pictures of you home work space. More details to come, but as always with me- there will be twists.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


I am excited and I can't sit still, so I'm blogging. Thank you everyone for the kind words and support.

Fyi- I brought whole wheat with pb and honey, plus a banana for breakfast. A gel for before the race. I have heed calories and 360 calories in hammer gel in flasks with a few drops of water. I also have a bottle of nuun , but more on that later. I also have two montana huckleberry gels in a flask for the run.

A few hiccups on the ride here, but <b> no worries</b>. I realized I forgot to put a cage my bike so my aerobottle is it! My plan was to take nuun as soon as I got on the bike and then use that bottle to refill. I will now stop and drink BEFORE I leave t1. I also got here and found my pump (not bike pump) didn't fit my air mattress. I've had it for 4 years and never used it. I went back into town and got a pump, I needed to get some dinner anyhow. Got back in and hunted the race site. I wanted to find my rack and scout the buoys. My rack is the second into transition from the swim. Score. Buoys were not up yet, but I did see it was a 200m run up a large pine straw hill to transition. I may leave my flip-flops out at the end. I really wanted to see how far 1500 would be- oh well.

My coach emailed me to remind me this is just a dress rehearsal for the usat championship qualifier in august.

I have fire lit, cb is making fun of me for blogging, time for smores, uno and sleep.

Can't wait for tomorrow!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


Packed and waiting to leave for Kerr Lake.

Packing for an overnight race has proven interesting the last two times. This time is even worse. Normally for a weekend, its bike, race bag, and a bag of clothes/toiletries between us. Since I don't like taking my wheel off before a race it limits space even more than a bike in general.

For this race I have all my camp stuff in an action packer, plus regular pillows (instead of my normal stuff sack w/ clothes), plus linens in another bag (I'm bringing an air mattress since I'm not backpacking why rough it), then it becomes a question of how to fit everything. I don't like anything hard near my bike and I don't want to get anything girly on it (or cb doesn't want bike grease on her bags). I put everything in with great care, but it never fails I bumped my pedals and dropped my chain.

Had a great swim yesterday. 1000m plus a few extra w/ fins. The guard said the temp was 86+. My wet suit hasn't got here yet, but the race director posted the water was 82 this morning. Don't need the wet suit but so much for 2 days shipping.

Off to the race!
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My new non-fitness related venture

For the third period in two years I have found myself playing with web design in my spare time. This time probably a little more in depth than the last two. I have been playing around with open source design software, searching for tutorials, getting deeper into coding, doing spec work and going through blogs and articles about freelancing.

While doing this I stumbled over a blog about how to become a freelancer in 31 days. I read over the site and started some notes in a notebook. I then decided I would treat it as an experiment and see where following the program gets me. As an experiment I decided to share my results of each step, much like a scientist with his findings.

I posted yesterday asking for tips on how to journal my work. Blogging came back as the answer. I took Mandy's tip and went with wordpress. I hated the dashboard and couldn't figure it out so I came back to blogger. I spent last night setting things up and writing my posts through the end of the week (can't work while I'm out of town to race). I looked ahead to next week's assignments and saw that several days are spent working on a wordpress portfolio, so today I worked on wordpress and got familiar. It seems some my issues were my theme. Personally, I find blogger more user friendly, but Wordpress more professional looking.

So before my wife even knows what I am up to, I unveil to you, my friends, The Freelance Experiment- Freelance or Failure.

I can't get the page tabs to change order, but the one entitled "The Experiment" explains the background some.

Since I am using open source web design programs, open source graphic design software, open source vector software and open source blogging, I enabled comments on wordpress so i could incorporate other's tweaks. It has the ability to be an open source business.

Note: this is not the project I was asking about mentoring for. That will hopefully come later.

Nervous Excitement, Peter Organics Winner

Nervous excitement, that is what I have today. It has been brewing all week. I am sure it will build further tomorrow. I really should take the day off work just to be focused. I know that sounds odd or like I have poor work ethic, but honestly when I get excited before a race I can't focus at work. Being at home lets me work out in the yard and get my mind off things. Being here in the office lets me obsess about details.

Wait, why am I excited? Three weeks ago I decided to change my race schedule to try to find more Sunday races in my series. This lets me work my part time and be able to afford some of my races. This Sunday, with only three weeks of thought going into it I have my first Olympic!

This will be my longest race to date. This will also be my first open water swim in a race.

Can you see why I might have nervous excitement. This is a big weekend for me. The upside is that it is not just general nervousness, but excitement.

The swim will be my biggest challenge. I have only done one open water swim, it was 4x100 and is sucked. That swim should be warmer as that swim was about 68 degrees and I was in a tri suit. My Sponsors at Synergy Sport have given me a great deal on a new wetsuit. I look forward to getting it today or tomorrow. It has a 5mm front and a 2 or 3mm back. This should help the shock of cold water as well as some extra buoyancy. The downside is that as I wrote the temp. above, I realized I should check the current temp. of the lake I will be swimming in. Yesterday's temp. was 86. Not only is that above, the cut off for awards, this is above the cut off for swimming with a wetsuit at all. Hopefully it will drop by then or my new suit will be moot and I will wish I had ordered a skinsuit instead (I almost did).

The next big question then becomes nutrition. During my long brick last week I combined gel every 45 minutes (I think) and water every 10. I will do this again. However, we decided to camp at the race site, it is a state park, so I am not sure how to do breakfast. I usually have toast, except I have no electric at the campsite and no toaster. After reading Jeff's race report and Mandy's race plan I am considering some sort of substitute like Ensure, paired with a sandwich. I am also considering taking something like an uncrustable on the bike, just in case I need a little extra.

Funny story- I wanted to stay at the same campground as the race site. I had to reserve a campsite and was scouring over all the course and park maps trying to figure out where would be closest to the race. After an hour of this, it hit me- screw closest to the race, at 0dark:30 I want to be closest to the shower!

Clearly, I have some directed nervousness at this point, I want it to get to race day so I can get it done, I want to be able say I've done it, move on to training for the USAT qualifier and have more confidence in my ability to do a 70.3 once I have this down. I have been discussing possibly doing REV3 in South Carolina with Cb, but it's a question of how to afford it. We are still working out the details for REDMAN as that will be an ORDEAL.

In the end, wet suit in transit, registered for race, campsite reserved, tonight after my workotu and working on my new project I will go into the attic to grab the tent and stuff.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

More Thinking.........

I am once again reaching out to my peers for a suggestion. I am about to embark on a new project/experiment. It is completely non-fitness and dieting related.

I have been working on this project for the last two days and want to document and share my results. As it doesn't seem to fit here I don't want to use this space to document it.

Everything keeps coming back to starting another blog, but i want to avoid that as I have this one already, plus my other one I update once every 6 months (it was intended for once a week, hows that working for me?).

I searched around facebook thinking they might have a blog type feature and didn't find one. Any suggestions on how to do such a task via any venue?

Sadly, this experiment is creative in nature so i feel sheepish asking for brainstorming help as it seems paradoxical. How am I going to succeed on a creative project when i am not creative enough to figure out how to document it?

After thought: If I decide to go with a blog I then consider if i stay with blogger for this one or do i mix it up and move over to wordpress, just for the experience?

Out with the old, In with the new



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dirty Words

Today I had planned a post about my weekend and how I did sprints with a lawn mower this weekend, how I ran 15 miles and it SUCKED ASS, and how I swam outside for the first time this year and it was great.

However, as I scrolled down my reader a post popped out at me before all the others and I read it. LB wrote a post entitled Gray. It describes how she is feeling right now, she wrote that she wanted to share because these types of feeling aren't talked about enough. Depression is a dirty word. Her post inspired me to share. I want to make sure that she knows she is not alone. I thought about doing something similar after a post of Bryan Payne wrote after he returned from Kona last fall. I am going to go into some TMI details, but I am going to leave it all out here. I figure I will be judged by some, but I would rather take that gamble in order to support someone else.

If you read this blog often, and I figure of the 77 followers about 5 actually do (but again that's ok because this is for me), it is clear without me saying anything i go through ups and downs. Sometimes i drop off for a week. Sometimes I say I am in a funk and can't get motivated. These are often times I am going through something similar to depression.

I don't like to admit it because to me it is a dirty word. I have had coworkers call me bi-polar before but i don't feel that's what it is. I took multiple psychology classes in school and do a a bit more than light reading on the subject trying to self diagnose. If there was anything i would admit that is wrong with me I would call it a mood disorder. I would never call it depression because that is a dirty word.

The VERY few people who know both me and my family will tell you I am the most grounded person in my family. Many joke that unless you knew better you would have no idea I came from them. I am the first person to finish college (second to try), first  person to go to grad school, and the first person to have a career (not just a job). There is little known about my family history since it has been a little dysfunctional and for the most part I can only track our tree to my maternal grandmother. This grandmother has alcohol abuse and mental health issues. Of her children, one of my uncles has sever mental illness (schizophrenia, I believe) and has been institutionalized several times, another uncle has chronic depression, and my mother has substance abuse and depression problems. My oldest sister is bi-bolar and has drug addiction problems.

Since I was younger I have always strived to be NORMAL. That's all I want. I wanted to go to college, have a career, have ONE marriage with 2.3 kids, and be sane. For that reason admitting when I am depressed is hard. I hold  most emotions in and then shutdown completely when I get overloaded. A week or so ago i had a few days that after work all I wanted to do was go to sleep. Cb will tell me i am depressed, but I will argue with her, because as she knows i will never admit that. It's a dirty work to me.

To a degree I know what my triggers are. Mainly they are work, money, and marriage. YOU ALL KNOW I hate my job. I feel no sense of fulfilment. I dread going to work and having to wait on convicted murders who think they are entitled and are the center of my world. The only thing I enjoy is my SWAT work. I enjoy much of the training, but dislike the others on the team. I don't fit it. They are all mountain men with toughman complexes and I am not. As I have written before I hate money, or the lack there of, I hate struggling to pay bills, and eat, and have some sense of reward from going to the job i hate. Marriage is also tough. That sounds bad, but i am being honest. We have been together for almost 10 years, but only married and living together for 2 years.We are still getting used to each other's habits. I am anal retentive about clutter, she was raised by a hippie. I put money into fixing things in the house, she buys purses. I don't do dishes until the sink is full, she can't be in the kitchen unless the sink is empty. WE both get stressed out by money and our current economy makes it even worse with daily rumors of pay cuts and lay off. I think this part is no different than other newly weds, but it is just that- new.

Solutions to the problems would be better than treatment to me. If I could do anything in the world for a job I would work for myself. I tried to start up a back country guide service once but I realized I know trails and gear but not business. I also enjoy web design and have started building a freelance business for a little fun and money. I will reach out to my first potentioal clients this week. I am targeting small, local businesses. It has been a dream for a long time to teach karate for a living, I even have some ideas for creating a niche. I just have no financing at this time to start these endeavors. If had to work a nine to five I think the best fit for me would be a college professor or if i could go back to school i would try being a nurse. As far as the money is concerned having a job with better pay or being an err to a fortune my help. If both of those were solved i think not having work or money stress would probably make things easier on the marriage front. I also realize a stress free world is impossible- its life you just have to deal.

I have two natural treatments for illness and stress: sleep and exercise. These both work with this as well. The only problem is sleep makes me not think about what's wrong, but it doesn't change things. Exercise makes everything easier to deal with, increased endorphins I guess. However, sometimes 10 hours at work gets me to a low where I don't want to exercise. That becomes a problem. From a non-homeopathic standpoint I have never tried to medication because this would require admitting that I am depressed. I just can't do it. When I was younger my mom sent me to a psychologist for different reason, I enjoyed having someone to talk to. He eventually told me i was normal and that my family was jacked up. When it gets bad i like talking to a psychologist. For some reason talking to someone who is not related to my problems always feels good. I enjoy just getting things off my chest sometimes. 

 There it is- my TMI. It may be dribble to some but I hope for others they can see that they are not alone.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Peter Rabbit Organics Review and Giveaway

Quick note: I was glad to read on BDD's blog this morning that the comment issue was not just my having issues. I have read some great posts this week that I could not comment on, I wish I had the time to go back and comment on them all.

A few months back I was my "local" REI and I was standing in line next to the snack section when a product caught my eye. Next to the snack bars were these funny little pouches with a rabbit and fruit on them. I picked one up and took a look. REI had them labelled as fruit snacks and in my mind I thought, as far as fruit snacks go what would be better- pureed, organic fruit or molded, processed fruit snacks. The answer was obvious to me. I was intrigued so I gave it some thought when I got home and deiced to contact the company via thier website to see if they would provide me a sample instead of me driving an hour back to REI.

Here is what the website says about the product:
"We make delicious, organic fruit snacks and veggie blends. Our fruit snacks are loved by all ages, and our veggie blends are gulped down by hungry little ones. We use the squeezy pouches to make eating healthy food easy and fun....

When we started Peter Rabbit Organics we made 3 promises: that everything we make would always be 100% organic, 100% healthy (no added sugar, no added salt and nothing artificial) and always taste 100% delicious."

At the end of April I got an unexpected package with several pouches and a chance to do a giveaway. Here are my thoughts and yes, FCC, the samples were provided free of charge but the thought are still my own:

The company provided me with 6 pouches, each a different flavor. They included Apple and Grape; Strawberry and Banana; Mango, Banana, and Orange; Carrot, Squash, and Apple; Sweet Potato, Corn and Apple, and lastly Pea, Spinach and Apple.

Initial Thought
These are some interesting flavor combinations. Some of them will be amazing, some of them scare me. I took a look at the back of the packages.  Since I need to continue to add more fruits and veggies in my diet and expand the fruits and veggies I will try them. I think having these around will be nice. When the package came I was getting ready to walk out the door for a run, I looked forward to tying one as a post workout snack.

Strawberry and Banana- A+
This is the first one I tried. It is delicious. The consistency of the snack is thicker than juice, but thinner than gels. You can basically drink it down, but it does have a few small fruit pieces in it.

 Mango, Banana, and Orange- A
This was another post workout snack. When I was out of town for training. I thought taking these prepacked snacks would a safe snack to take out in the woods for the two days we would be out. I honestly don't remember anything about this flavor, that is a good thing. That means I had no quarrels with it.

Sweet Potato, Corn and Apple- A+
Honestly, This one scared me a bit. i know I need to try new things but I don't like sweet potato and although i brought it to work to try I couldn't do it. I did however, get my coworker, Ms.B to try it. She was apprehensive at first, but I talked her into it and showed her the website. She said the consistency was similar to baby food, but she continued to eat it. A few minutes later she came back in my office mad- she was mad it was gone, she said it was good and she wasn't ready to be done yet. She then went and told another one of out coworkers about the product. That's a win.

Pea, Spinach and Apple- F-
I opened this one with an open mind since the last three had been great. It let me down. I took the first taste and was not impressed. i tried it again just to see and it was not good. I took it home and shared it with CB, she agreed.

Apple and Grape- A+
This one was great, hands down, no questions asked, and all the other cliches.

Carrot, Squash, and Apple- A
I carried this one for three days, but since I am not sure what squash tastes like I was hesitant. I then deciding to have another female guest taste tester. I got my coworker 'Becca to try it. She heard the combination and told me "be glad I like you". I handed it to her and she made a hesitant face, like a child getting a shot, as she took the first taste. She immediately perked up took a second shot and said "that's actually not bad, you can taste the squash.., it tastes like a different flavor apple sauce". She turned back to her computer and put it up to her lips again. That is also a win.

I like these! The ones I like are great, good afternoon snack, post workout snack, or on the go food. On top of everything else it is organic and there are no preservatives. WIN, WIN! The only bad side is that at my Local REI are $2 a piece. I think that is a little steep, but maybe as the product grows the price will come down.

-------------------NOW THE FUN PART-------------------

Inside the package was a letter offering to give 12 pouches to a follower if i wanted to do a giveaway. How cool is that?

If you want one dozen fruit and vegetable delights from Peter Rabit Organics you need to leave a comment for each or any of the following by the end of Tuesday 05/31/11-

1. Follow me (mandatory)
2.Tell me the most interesting fruit and vegetable combination you have ever had (optional).
3. Share with your followers. (optional)
4. Tweet something about this giveaway with @superfatlete in it (optional and one per day).
5. Generate some leads for freelance web design. (optional)
6. Find me a new job. (optional)
7. Solve the North Carolina state budget issues.(optional)

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I been doing some thinking and am not sure how implement my ideas...

Does anyone know of any businesses or consultants that specialize in helping entrepreneurs implement business concepts?

OR if you have ever searched for one what would be the best search engine key words; I have tried several with no luck.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011


Three days in a row, I am making an effort!

Yesterday's 30 mile ride/5 mile run brick was a partial fail. We had very odd weather yesterday, at 5:30 When I got home we were under both a thunderstorm and tornado watch. Despite that it was bright outside, oddly bright, except you couldn't see the sun. There was a thin layer of light grey clouds as far as the eye could see. It was thin enough that the sun was still piercing through. Despite it being 100 degrees, I had every intention of riding outside until I heard about the watch on the radio. I got dressed, tweeted, and debated. i finally decided that if I got 15 mile from the house and there was a tornado, it wouldn't be good. I set up the trainer and popped in a disk of the Big Bang Theory to watch for a 2 hours spin.

After an hour I started thinking about how much i hate the trainer without doing a guided workout like spinervals, and about the church dinner I was missing. I usually do not attend the church dinners as it is always the old people from the church and the food is always horrible and they run out. Of all the ones to go to the May dinner is the best because it is the done by the old men's sunday school. When the women's groups do the dinners it is covered dish, not good, and not enough. When the men do the dinner it's catered by a local chicken and bbq joint. I was miserable on the trainer and starving despite my first gel. I decided to call the hour on the trainer a bonus workout and do the workout today since I am working 2nd shift. I had a good time at the dinner; I played volleyball, dodge ball,and football with the kids. They like me because i will play with them.

I was up all night thinking about race strategy for my first olympic, because of this I overslept by an hour this morning. Despite that, i still got up and got my workout in, but I only left myself 15 minutes to drink my FLUID recovery drink, shower, dress, and feed the dogs.

This workout is my longest brick ever. It didn't kick my ass, but it was no walk in the park. I was looking at it as a good dress rehearsal for my race next weekend. Similar distance and similar weather. I wrote three key goals on and index card and put it in my bento box. One of these was to do the bike in Zone 2 for the first half and zone 3 for the second (source). I was using last winter's HR zones as I have not retested. I put a note on the fridge that I need to reassess. Giving these zones the goal was to stay under 144 for the first half and above 144 for the second half. My other goal on the bike was to drink 4 ounces of Heed every 10 minutes (source). Last night I got out a measuring cup and marked my aerobottle at 2oz intervals.

The bike went smooth and was very enjoyable, I rode comfortably for the first 15 miles and watched my HR for the second. I found it hard to keep my HR up at times. There were descents that no matter how hard I pedalled in my biggest gears, my HR continued to drop. It would go all the way to zone 1 over a matter of seconds. Not sure how to remedy this or if this needs a remedy.

After the bike I made a decent transition. I wore bibs to ride so I changed in the foyer and headed back out. My goal on this leg was advice from Andy Potts in one of the same pages as above. I gave myself three minutes to find my rhythm and then closed my mouth and tried to breathe through my nose. If I couldn't do it, I was going too fast. Considering i was running at near my 5k pace, i new it was too fast. At that moment is felt good, but i needed to remember to pace myself. After a mile I got to a good rhythm and the effects of the bike were gone. Even with my rhythm, hills still floored me- dropping me to a 10 minute pace. In the end I averaged an 08:45 pace and my coach had called for 9:03- I am happy.

Today's workout is 6 x 1:00 for speed. I may put this off until tomorrow AM in order to clean up the house. I still have a bike and clothes in the foyer, heed and gel wrapper in the kitchen, didn't make the bed, and I am hoping I make it home before CB tonight.

Any olympic distance race strategies to share?