Wednesday, December 31, 2008

One Tough Broad

You may or maynot realize just how tough Wifey is. She eats pieces of shit like you for breakfast (she eats shit for breakfast?). No, but really her diet is mostly nails and old tires. it's weight watchers approved! This girl is so tough when she does pushups, her body doesn't raise up, she pushes the earth down. She's so tough she doesn't have to open doors, they actively try to get out of her way.

All jokes aside, it's really amazing the pain threshold she can take sometimes. and this is not of my doing. For instance, she went into labor with Evil Genius and drove herself to the hospital. What? The hospital is 20 minutes away, contractions were 15 minutes apart and she drove herself to the hospital after being in labor for 5 hours already. EG came 4 weeks early so we thought it was brackston/hicks and she was going to be sent home. oops. So this is one tough broad we're talking about here.

But this one even makes me wonder. Monday she was trying to clean up some (first mistake, the kids always destroy a clean room like it's a new challenge) and walked into one of their toys, a wooden sliding board. The same one that Morgan decorated for Christmas. But this time she broke the 4th toe on her left foot. It turned blue pretty quickly, and swelled up pretty good. She did not go see a doctor (or even the chiropractor), but she did stop cleaning. She did not put ice on it even after I suggested it. She did call around some to figure out what to do. There's not much you can do for a broken toe. Ice it, elevate the leg, and stay off the foot for a couple of days. Add a cotton ball and tape it to the next toe for stability. Supposedly, it heals quickly but you just have to let it heal. but there's nothing else you can do.

And now for the amazing part: She hasn't missed a beat. She's also fighting a cold this week and feels pretty drab. Still chasing those kids around. Still cooking every night. I mean she hasn't let a single ball drop. She's even still planning to run the half marathon on saturday? WHAT? Can you run a half marathon with a broken toe? I have no idea. But the truth is that we can't get her entry fee back, and she's going to be really happy having my folks keep the kids friday night. So if she takes 5 steps into the race and goes back to the car it's no loss. But it's the only half we have planned before our full mary next year, so she says she's going to try and run the whole thing! DUDE! that's an iron woman if I've ever seen one. So do you think she can do it? not should she do it, but can she do it?

I have another pain related question for you, gentle interwebbers. Wifey's mom has become inspired to start walking every day. She just got new running shoes to combat some foot pain and it hasn't gone away. But the pain is on the top of her right foot, sort of towards the inside. With new shoes not helping it any, I can't figure out what the source of the pain is, or how to treat it. Any ideas? She's only walking, not jogging or running. So I don't think it's impact related. I'm stumped. And I should be pretty good at figuring out pain by now.

My 19 mile treadmill run Sunday took some time to show the repercussions. But it's wednesday morning, I did some yoga today, and I'm finally starting to feel ok again. I had muscle soreness which was expected, but the left shin pain and right knee pain took until yesterday to appear. I also think they went away overnight. And I can highly recommend a product! Bengay Pain Patches. I picked up a box last night, and one patch totally took care of the knee thing. It's very flexible, and stayed put all night long. very cool.

So I'm glad to be feeling good again after a few tough days. I mean, my tough days are nothing like Wifey's tough days. Even Evil Genius rolled herself over one of Bigun's large balls, and split her bottom lip wide open from faceplanting on the hardwoods. Poor thing, bless her heart. But everyone seems to be ok now.

I should also mention Wifey comes by her pain tolerance honestly. Her step-father walked into the living room one day, told Wifey and her sister that he was having a heart attack and going to the hospital, and for them to find their mother and meet him there. Now that's a tough dude, to drive himself to the hospital while having his first heart attack. Don't mention the safety issues behind that. He's had 2 other heart attacks since then and did not drive himself to the hospital, and is actually pretty healthy today.

Oh, and since it's new years eve, have a great holiday tomorrow! I was assigned a task many weeks ago that I still have not completed, and could use help from any fellow Greenvillians reading today. My task was to find a New Year's Eve party that Wifey could wear a dress to. So something kinda fancy. I haven't found anything yet. So I'm running out of time. I also haven't found a babysitter. So this carolina boy might just be in the doghouse tonight.

I LOVE New Year's day. Moreso than new year's eve, the day is the thing. I'll post some thoughts on new year's tomorrow. I'm actually going to work all day tomorrow and friday, even though the office is mostly closed. I missed too much time last week thanks to all of that holiday travel. And my freakin laptop crashed. The one I work from. A few viruses found me, and the removal of said viruses broke too much of my coding software. So I had to format and reinstall everything. Took all day wednesday, friday, and saturday, and a good chunck of monday. I'm still trying to get a few things back. But this is when it's good to be an IT guy. Physician, heal thyself. And tomorrow I can sit here and write code while the football games are on the tv. I might even drink a beer or two?

Look for the Clemson/Nebraska bowl game tomorrow at 1 eastern. Clemson is only about a 45 minute drive from the house, so it's the local favorite college and I'm a big fan of their football program. So Go Tigers tomorrow!

Monday, December 29, 2008

19 Down

We should start from the very beginning, it's a very good place to start. We had 6 different Christmas celebrations with this huge family thing. Tuesday saw me running the girls to charlotte to drop them off with her dad (1) then I met them the next day in Biscoe NC (2) which is sort of in the dead center of the state. That was all of Wifey's dad's side of the family. Charlotte's about a 2 hour drive for us, and Biscoe is about 3.5 hours. so that's 11 hours in the car so far, round trip. We got back home with kids at about 1 am christmas eve, and quickly got them in the bed. Santa came overnight (3) and Bigun got her first bike. Evil Genius got a dollhouse. The bike is the same brand (Javis) as my racing bike, and was on sale at the bike store christmas eve while Wifey was out of town. Wifey and Bigun were both surprised that Santa brought a bike!

And just as the kids were starting to really play with the new toys, we had to pack them up to have breakfast with my folks (4). Luckily, they are here in Greenville. My folks always go overboard on Christmas stuff for the girls. You can't blame my mom, though. After having 3 sons, now she has 2 grand-daughters to get girly stuff for. Christmas night found us at Wifey's mom's place (5) about 1.5 hours from Greenville in a really really small town in the middle of SC. We had to come back here on friday. so that totalled the car time up to 14 hours. Saturday was the final Christmas with all of my mom's side of the family (6) at my parent's house. My dad is an only child, so mom get's the whole family together with all of her sisters (and brother) and all of their kids. it was a big old time. the kids were worn out by the time it was all over. we all slept really well. I haven't pulled the pics off of the camera yet, but i'll post some later this week.

Wifey finally got to clean up some yesterday, so when Bigun woke up this morning, she came in crying that all of her new toys were gone. Why would santa take them back, daddy? just breaks your heart. And proves that we should never clean the house again.


Long Run

So sunday (yesterday) Wifey's mom & stepdad & our neice came up to keep the kids while we ran for the first time since tuesday.

19 miles

on the treadmill

yep, i thought i was going to die too.

the gym is only open from 12 - 6 on sundays (stupid blue laws) so we were there from 12 - 5 getting the run and accompanying travel/shower/recovery time. it was raining pretty good, and pretty cold too. so I didn't want to try running that far outside in those conditions. And it was the final week of the NFL that I didn't want to miss. At my gym, they have big TV's for all the cardio people to share, and small tv's on the individual machines. The small tv's don't get fox or espn2, that sucks. But the big TV had the Panther's game on Fox. I was 18.4 miles in when Casey kicked that game winning field goal with :01 left. That was so exciting I didn't even realize I was 18.4 miles into the run. And I got to watch the entire Patriots/Bills game on CBS. it wasn't nearly as exciting, but did keep me going through the entire run.

With Wifey's mom watching the kids, we both went in there together. She got started about 10 mins before I did. I don't think she had quite enough hydration, so she still had 1/2 mile left when I finished. Here's my splits:

Miles * Calories * Time
5 * 780 * 52:15
5 * 760 * 54:43
5 * 764 * 54:20
4 * 600 * 46:36

19 * 2904 * 207:26 ** 3:27:26

Now an actual 10 minute pace would have been 190 minutes instead of 207, but I think that pace will still break 5 hours over the marathon. I felt strong the whole way, no knee pain, no leg pain, and I stayed hydrated. I drank 5 20 oz bottles of liquid (2 gatorade, 3 water), 1 gel, some PowerShots, 2 granola bars. it added up to about 700 calories, which is where I wanted to be. that's 200 calories per hour. I still didn't have to pee when I was done, so maybe I could have used another bottle of water. But it's amazing how much better you feel during a long run when you actually follow a hydration and nutrition plan.

We've only got 2 more long runs before the marathon, 20 and 22 miles. I mean long like over 15 miles. Next saturday Jan 3 is the Traveler's Rest Half Marathon race, and that counts as our "long run" next weekend. I still can't believe that 2009 is here.



It was December 28, 2007 when I stopped smoking. So yesterday was one year exactly since I put down the cigs. I couldn't have kept it up without my training replacement addiction. Running keeps the demons at bay, and I really thought I was going to start again last week. The holiday's make it tough to get all the work done, get some training in, keep the family happy, and over the entire year I have yet to WANT to start smoking again like I did last week. Boy, that was tough. But crossing the one year line is a really big deal for me. I've only made it past the one year mark once before. I really got into heavy weightlifting and we were trying to have a baby.

So that is really cool! Beating down an addiction is certainly one of the most difficult things I've ever tried to do.


New Video

Michael put a new video up on YouTube. I saw it sunday and he's now off of the babysitting list. Basically, they take one of Bigun's baby dolls and work it over mafia style. Here's a link:

You can search YouTube for "Baby Doll Gets WORKED" if the link doesn't work. My abs were sore from laughing so hard. You have been warned.


Boy, I think that's it for now. Hope all of you had as good of a holiday as we did. I'll put some pics up soon of the christmas stuff. Today I'm sitting a lot. My legs are really sore. I can't walk downstairs normally, I'm having to turn around and walk down backwards. crazy. so sore! and i've got a ton of work to catch up on. Have fun this week, it's about time to start losing those holiday pounds.....

Monday, December 22, 2008

The weekend that wasn't

Or at least wasn't anything special to report on. Wifey wimped out on our run saturday. Her mom was watching the kids, so we decided to run together outside rather than go to the gym. I planned the same 13 mile route that I ran last saturday, only we agreed to slow down, monitor the pace a little better, and for me not to run away from her.

Now she did her 18 miles last saturday on the treadmill. I still don't know how. But it was determined that she is not an outside runner. at all. So while she absolutely kicks my tail when running without going anywhere, she prefers walking outside. Actually, the first hill threw off her breathing pattern, and we slowed to walk to reestablish the pattern. and then almost never made it back to a jog. I guess I run with blinders on. I watch the traffic, sure, but I know the landmarks well enough not to be distracted by them. And wifey, as it turns out, likes to stare down the landscapes and discuss the businesses and such.

So our 13 mile route was supposed to be two loops to refill hydration in between. During one of the loops, we circle the high school twice to make the milage even out.

We made it one loop, 5.4 miles, in an hour and 16 minutes. that's pretty slow for a walking pace. I'm not trying to say anything negative here. She had a side stitch that would ramp up every time we tried to pick up the pace. That got pretty limiting. It was also raining. If it wasn't raining, it would have at least been a fun morning outside.

So we went to Atlanta, the holiday party was fine. The food was great, we got to converse with the other drunkards I work with. I had about 6 or 7 glasses of Scotch, and got me a nice little buzz going for the first time in too long. Everyone at the office was amazed at my gravitas for taking on the upcoming b2b half next year, and even more amazed that I got Stu to swim the thing too. His wife is a part owner of the company, and she is taking out more life insurance for him now. Oh, and more people than I thought were expecting me to show up with the mustache and mutton chops still intact. We did have a pretty good laugh about that.

Turns out I was too hungover sunday afternoon for my hopeful bike ride. So I got in a gym workout instead. 4 miles on the elliptical and some weights, about an hour total.

This week I've got to slam those hours out. The holiday travels are going to be crazy, all over freakin south and north carolina. So I've got to bill 5 days worth of work into the 2.5 days i will actually be able to work this week. It's going to be nuts!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Off to holiday

It's a bright saturday morning here in Greenville, SC. It is currently 59 deg outside and sunny, although there was fog here earlier that is slowly wearing off. It's supposed to get into the high 60's today, and I'm about to have a really cool weekend.

I've actually got Wifey talked into running outside this morning. Her folks are here to keep the kids for the weekend. We're going to run 13 miles in about an hour using the same route I used last weekend.

Then it's off to Atlanta for the AAI Holiday party. Should be a good time. They are putting us up at a really fancy hotel. Us and one other guy from Floriday are the only ones coming from out of town. We've got 4 guys in New Orleans, one in Texas, and 4 other guys in Floriday that bailed. slackers. i'm looking forward to drinking heavily and talking shit with Coach Stu about swimming.

Coach Stu is going to be swimming the B2B Half on a relay team with Sarah! How AWESOME is that? toeing the starting line for my first half iron with one of my closest friends is going to be amazing. And since he's only doing the swim, and he's also a semi-pro photographer, he's going to bring his shiny new super expensive Nikon c300 and snap pics of me and sarah for the rest of the time.

I call him Coach Stu because he's my coach. But he makes a living as a web designer for the same company I work for. He's been coaching swimming, basketball, and baseball off and on for the last 20 years. And he's been getting paid to take pictures for longer than that. Stu's a really interesting cat, and if you get the chance to hang out with him around atlanta, tell him I said Hi.

So tomorrow we get to drive back from Atlanta hopefully not too hungover, and Mendy and I are meeting up with some other friends of hers for a bike ride around Donaldson center, a local small airport here. I've never ridden donaldson, but it's really flat and has one long road that is the most popular bike route in town. It's basically a big cirlcle. we're staring down a 1.5 hr ride.

So that's going to be a fun weekend, right? whoot! see you monday. I'll have some party pics to post, and stats from the run & ride.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Feeling Better

My go-live deadline got pushed back to Jan 5 by the client, so there's a lot of pressure off of my back right now. That's a huge relief. And the Christmas concert with Bigun was SOOOOOO CUTE! it instantly put me in a better mood. We all got dressed up for it, and took a family picture before leaving.

Then went to the concert. They put it on like a play with some of the older kids singing first, then bringing in the 3 year olds. Here's one of Bigun in the dead center staring at me and clapping:

Man, that's a lot of kids. I can't believe that many kids were that well behaved for that long. of course we got video of the whole thing too. And we were fighting the Evil Genius to get up there. She wanted to sing with the other kids.

I iced the knee yesterday and did some yoga this morning. Supposed to run 8 miles today. The knee feels better, but not completely healed. I might do more yoga over lunch and get the 8 in tomorrow. And I'm going to ice it more today too. And I'm having some very specific shin pain too. It's just a spot about the width of my finger on the inside of the shin bone. A little too specific to be shin splints, but I'm thinking some more rolling will help.

Also, I remembered that these knee/leg pains started creeping up when I ran out of Calcium supplements last week. I have also been meaining to give the old Glucosamine another try. I already take a multi-vitamin and Vitamin C every day. So I think that's going to take care of it. I still need some new kicks, but couldn't make it to the store yesterday. I'll get out there soon.

Tomorrow is Wifey's birthday! Some of her family is coming into town, it's going to be a blast. She's older than I am so I can't mention her new age. I have learned something in 10 years of marriage. The family is going to keep the kids while we go to Atlanta saturday for the company holiday party saturday night. It's at some hotel, and the company got us a room for the night. So that's going to be a blast. I'm already not looking forward to the hangover sunday morning. nothing like a 2.5 hour drive when you should be sleeping off the scotch. But last year's party was a blast and we had Evil Genius with us. This year with no kids, we should be in rare form. Oh, and we're supposed to run 13 miles before driving down there on saturday. Whew!

So thanks for letting me vent yesterday. It's better than venting with Coors Light (or is it?) One thing that I really hate to see is when your stress reliever becomes stressful. I got that way with golf when I owned the business. When business was small and slow, I could play once a week. I got to be decent, I could go out to any course and shoot in the mid 80's. Then business picked up, and I needed to play golf as my stress outlet. No golf = no relief. Just like how now no running = no nicotine relief = really crabby John. But then I started stressing about how I hadn't been able to play golf for 3 weeks in a row. Not playing had become a source of stress. Once I realized that and mentally made the change to not place the expectation on myself, golf went from a stress source to nothing. And I felt better. When work pressures build, we all mentally displace that stress onto something personal, like snapping at the wife for putting too much salt in the soup or something stupid like that. I'm fairly self perspective, so I will blame a lack of running for why I feel so stressed at work. It's the same personality pattern that makes me try to blame myself for everything, and I have a hard time believing it could be someone else's fault even when it really is. That also means I have a hard time standing up for myself even when I know I'm right and someone else is wrong, like accepting blame for a car wreck that was not my fault. but that's another story for another day.

So don't let your stress reliever become a source of stress! Now I only play golf a couple of times a year if I'm lucky. And I can manage my time still to get in my workouts. I'm going to bike/stretch/yoga/elliptical for as much as I can until the knee/shin feels better. And maybe only run for the long runs over the weekend. RICE and some new shoes I think will help too. Christmas is next week? Then on Jan 3 we're both running our first half marathon. That's only 3 saturday's from now. So that's the most immediate target. Thanks, c ya!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Oh BPD, I Loathe You

I'm generally pissed off at the world today. So my Bipolar Posting Disorder (BPD) is creeping back in. Well there has to be an upside to that. But here's what's bringing me down today:
  • It has rained for 12 out of the last 10 days here. The organic gardener in me loves this much rain, and I wish I had my beds better prepared for it. So I'm pissed at the yard for not being finished yet.
  • Actually, out of the last 17 days, it has rained for 15 of them. This is why Seattle has such a high suicide rate? I can believe it. One of the sunny days was last saturday when I got the 13 mile run in. More on that later. All this rain, no time on the bike, no easy time outside at all (we don't have a covered porch or any way to sit outside and listen to the rain in this house) is slowly sucking my soul away. I love anything "outside", so no "outside time" doesn't make this John a happy fella.
  • I hate deadlines. You might be able to tell, but I'm really a laid back guy. I work hard, and get everything done right. But putting pressure on your time creates stress and makes things go much worse. Mentally, it's a whole different perspective. I mean I'm really, really laid back. I've been known to tell people: "fuck it, dude. it's only cancer. you come, you go, whatever. let's go play golf." And that kind of attitude has worked for me so far. But now I'm so sick of deadlines and time pressure and being forced to work on the weekends that I'm going to throw something heavy in the general direction of the office. Not having the time to complete anything ANYTHING is really starting to get under my skin.
  • I hate software testing. I know it's a necessary process, but there's nothing like spending 2 weeks having other people find your mistakes. I test the software to make sure that the objectives are met, I didn't misspell something in the code, text a appears in the database and on the web site where it's supposed to, that kind of thing. Then the software testers get it and find 25 other ways to break the same thing. Better the testers break it than the customers, but try convincing yourself that letting a team of other people point out your flaws directly to your boss is a good thing. You can't do it.
  • Did I mention the steady, depressing rain?
  • I'm sick of having one day to complete a three day task. Then on day two, you get another three day task dumped on you. Then on day three (when task 1 and task 2 are nowhere close to complete) here comes another three day task and they all have to be done tomorrow before it goes in front of the client. I was actually told a few weeks ago that I needed to have something done by the following monday. I responsded that it would not be done before february. Expectations, anyone?
  • I want to finish something! anything. Multiple spreadsheets with different task lists where everyone is expecting the entire list to be finished. Can I just finish one list please!
  • Sorry for dumping all of the work crap in here. I guess the pressure is starting to get to me. Truly, I don't believe in pressure. I define stress as a manifestation of fear. And fears are meant to be conquered. So if you can conquer your fears the stress will dissapear. Therefore, I don't feel the pressure even though other people are actively trying to create it on me. That makes you question your competency and how the office folks in Atlanta view this little coder 2.5 hours north up I-85. And THAT will stress you more than the actual pressure they are trying to create.
  • Not only are the pressure and deadlines affecting my psyche, they are creating an environment that is not good for health and family. I've been missing workouts, getting them in when i'm really too worn down to make it effective, stress eating..... and missing family time. I work at home so I can spend more time with the kids. Now I have to work the same 8 (or 12) hours a day that you do, I just do it from home. So I go upstairs for dinner and get to play with the kids until bedtime. Then crash with the wife and watch some tv or whatever relaxing we get to do. Eating dinner with the family and then going back downstairs to write more code defeats this purpose. Leaving the kids with grandma for one night (saturday night) so I can drive back home (1.5 hours) to work a full day on a sunday over thanksgiving weekend really really defeats this purpose. and then that deadline got pushed back anyway.

I really appreciate all of the advice from the last post about my knee pain. I've never considered Advil the enemy, I thought it was more of a necessary aid like running socks. I've always taken it before running, well always since I started the marathon training plan back in October. One of the benefits of working from home is a flexible schedule. So I usually get some things done in the morning, then go workout about 10:30 or 11 am. yesterday, my workout was a 4 mile run. I hit the gym about 8:30 pm. So I was mostly pissed, having a huge nicotine craving that started about 2:30, and ready for a good run to make everything feel better. Running makes the stress go away, right? that's how we keep ourselves healthy?

It was not a good run. I really wanted to post today that I ran without advil, and everything was fine, no knee pain and my form was great. But I can't do it. The knee pain kicked in about 3 steps into the run, and didn't let up. I had to stop and walk twice. during only 4 miles! Only 3 weeks ago I ran 12.2 miles without walking. So this is not cool. And it's not an aerobic capacity thing. it's a pain thing.

The source: I'm trying to narrow it down.

  • Since I'm pissed at the world, is the world getting pissed right back at me?
  • I weighed in before the run at 202. oh boy, that's not cool. Stress eating/weight gain. I'm frustrated with my nutrition right now. I've run out of interesting healthy things to eat. The week after thanksgiving I was weighing in at 196. 6 lbs makes a huge difference on knee pain.
  • The extra weight puts extra pressure on the impact points. This could be it.
  • It's been more than a few months since I went to see my chiropractor. I miss him.
  • The marathon training plan is 539 miles, I started with new shoes. We're over halfway through now, and I do well to get 300 miles from a pair of shoes. They say when you get a new pain, blame the shoes and buy a new pair. this knee thing is definitley new and definitely pain.

So now I'm in uncharted territory. I have no idea what to do about this. Here's what I'm thinking, and I'm COUNTING on you to tell me what's right or wrong here.

  • New shoes? I haven't been tracking my milage on these shoes as I am just that lazy. I am going to take Marcy's advice and keep my next pair of shoes in the box and write the miles on the box as I use them. I hate shoes (stop laughing Gazelle) that wear out this fast.
  • Watch the diet? Wait and see if getting back under 200 will help the pain? I've been eating pretty bad lately thanks to outside influences. Non-healthy pizzas, even (gasp!) der ultimate evil McDonalds once for only the second time this year. I was sweating McD's grease out on the treadmill last night. I was disgusted and that's hard to do.
  • Make a chiro appointment. the toughest part about this is getting the time away from the desk to get out there. And paying for it.
  • I hate HATE hate HATE hate HATE western medical doctors. Need proof? I will always choose the organic alternative. But I might need some kind of a bone scan or MRI. Both knees? that's weird. My left shin is showing some pain, and I've had shin splint problems through the whole plan. Maybe a stress fracture? Heavy runners like me have more impact problems than you thin folks. And you have to fuel up so much for the long runs that it's not easy to lose significant weight during a marathon training plan.
  • Stop skipping workouts. I think this might be a biggie. With work pressures, the cross training days have become web coding days. Yoga time has become coding time. So only running, and missing some runs thanks to the work pressure is taking its toll. I think this may be the biggest culprit.
  • More stretching. See yoga note above. I was the most comfortable running when I was the most flexible.
  • RICE? I haven't been icing the knees, but I do keep them elevated while at my desk downstairs. And I'm always at my desk. So maybe adding some ice during the day, before & after workouts, or whenever will help. i've got the rest and elevation. What do you do about compression?

Please add anything else you can think of to this list. THIS is frustrating. Everything is frustrating.

And because BPD must have an upside, this one is short but really cool. Bigun's kindergarten class is putting on their Christmas show at the church today. A bunch of 3, 4, and 5 year olds on stage singing carols has got to be one of the cutest things you've ever seen. I'll be sure and get some pics. It's Bigun's first time performing on stage and she's super excited. We already picked up some flowers to give her after the show.

I hope your day is at least better than mine!

Monday, December 15, 2008

What a Weekend

It was a busy and fun weekend here around the Flynn house. Wifey's dad came down from Raleigh to visit, and brought our niece from Rock Hill as well. It's fantastic to have in-laws that you get along well with. They kept the kids occupied while we got to go do stuff.

Saturday I got in the long run. It was supposed to be 18 miles. I took Wes's advice and used a route that MapMyRun said was 6.1 miles, so I could loop through it 3 times and fill up the CamelBak between laps. It is a cool route. I grew up here in Greenville. The route is basically one road and a small kick out loop. The 6 mile part even avoids any major intersections so there's no traffic problems, and it's one of the few roads in Greenville with sidewalks the whole way so it gets a lot of runners. The route starts at a grocery store which is a common starting place for group bike rides too. It goes down where I went to elementary school first. And now that the leaves are gone, I can see through a wooded lot to the backyard of the house I grew up in (1978 - 1992) and the backside of that house. I've driven past that house a few times since we moved out, but it's been a really, really long time since I've seen the backside of the house and the backyard. That was really cool. Then the route makes it's one turn and goes down to Eastside High School (class of '93), loops back up to E. North St and back to the grocery store.

Now MapMyRun said that route was 6.1 miles. So I strategically place the car on the side of the parking lot where I thought it would be closer to 6. Then I ran the first lap and the Garmin said it was only 5.4 miles? What's up with that? The 5.4 mile split time was ok, but I didn't record the time. I figured the second lap I would loop around by the high school twice and that should give me enough milage to make up for the dissapearing half mile.

That's what I did, but the second lap had considerably more pain. I rembered then that I had missed my Advil dosage before the long run started. That always leads to a more painful run than I had imagined. Boy it caught up to me on saturday. By the time I made it back up E North st towards the car, I was having some hip pain (not as bad as I've seen before) and some pretty bad knee pain. I would have been fine if I had remebered the Advil, I think. But that meant the end of lap 2 was the end of the run. The garmin said 13.01 miles, 2:27:55 time. not too bad.

With no football on tv, it felt great to get back outside. It is a different approach than having a place to store all the water bottles and nutrition, and a nearby bathroom. The preparation you have to do for an outside long run is really daunting. I'm going to have to come up with a checklist that I can reuse. If you have a long run checklist, please email it to me. That would be a big help.

Wifey was a little under the weather saturday. So after I got back, we did some christmas shopping without the kids. Then sunday, she got her 18 in on the treadmill. She also let her nutrition slack off a bit and paid the price towards the end. Looks like she needs a checklist too.

This part of the training plan is great, we're finally on the downhill side of it towards the marathon. 20 long runs on the plan (a 20 week plan) and we've got 11 done, 9 to go. But now they are getting long enough to not have back to back increases anymore. Last week was 17 miles, this week 18. Now it starts to stagger. 13 next saturday before the office christmas party, then 19 the next week after christmas stuff. Then our TR half marathon race the following saturday, followed by 20 the week after that. It is so going to help with recovery time. The long runs don't get any shorter than 13 until taper, but this alternating week thing is fantastic.

And OMG I am swamped with other shiz to do! I know it's a full moon, but dang i'm ready to get some of this little stuff knocked off the to-do list. Does your to-do list fill up with a full moon? Mail this, fax that, print these pics for my aunt, go to the computer store for a new usb keyboard, gaaaaaaa the list doubles every day and nothing gets done. e.v.e.r. I even overslept this morning. that doesn't help. Git 'r' done!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nice and Clean

(to be sung like a B.B. King song)

The 'stache is gone! Baby the 'stache is gone!

It feels good to be clean again. I'm sure I'll have a pic soon, couldn't get one this morning. But last night I did get to hang out with Morgan some and fix his PC, we did have a good laugh. And then I shaved the face clean. The sideburns had to go too. Sometimes, I'll have longish sideburns, but today they just felt dirty.

The mustache actually made me FEEL like a pervert. It affected my psyche in strange and twisted ways. I was craving tank tops and chewing tobacco. I wanted to put a hatchet in my belt and go ask the school down the road if they needed any substitute teachers. I was searching for an El Camino. I mean, that's just not right.

Do you guys skype? it's the main way I communicate with the office in atlanta and the clients that are all over the country. It's such an easy way to video call people, it's just like having a face to face conversation. Too cool. Yesterday, I had my boss and a few others on a skype call in the conference room at the office, and I actually saw how hard they were laughing. The boss was doubled over slapping the table. In the CR, they use an overhead projector as the computer monitor, so there was my smiling mug with 'stache on an 8' screen feeding them some of the lines from your comments. Needless to say, the goal was accomplished.

How could I (eye) yes I forget about Gay Porn Star?!? Something about that mustache had me channelling gay porn stars from 30 years ago. Gaaaa~!

The best laughs came from Marcy and Viper, so they are the contest winners. The prize is the last two Slow Runner CD's. I will mail them if you want to provide a shipping address, or I'll email you a link to download the MP3's. Of course, Slow Runner has a few songs up on their MySpace page if you want to check them out. Yes, I'm shamelessly promoting my brother's band again. Mermaids and Shiv had a limited distribution, but the album before those (No Dissasemble) had a large scale nationwide release by a major record label. You can buy their stuff on iTunes, there's a Slow Runner channel on Pandora, and the whole thing is kind of a big deal. I'm just a little proud.

I liked Sarah's comment too, it made me laugh, but the office folks not so much, so she get's the mp3's too. I'm surprised nobody threw in on the movie names. The first block came from Office Space - Diedrich Bader's character. The next few about Mister Zero were from When Harry Met Sally. Those were pretty obvious. The "who wants to go for a mustache ride" quote is from Super Troopers, a small time cop flick from Broken Lizard. It's one of the funniest things to watch if you're not sober. I love me some movies, and am always dropping obscure quotes into normal conversation. Wifey scares me sometimes with her obscure movie knowledge.

My software was actually installed at the first client's office yesterday, and they actually liked it! Whoot! Needless to say, that was a HUGE deadline that had me coding and testing until midnight too often this week. That's why I still have no fitness news to report.

I do need some assitance from the Greenville folks, though. I'm supposed to run 18 miles for the long run on saturday, and there is no college football this weekend. That makes the treadmill deadly boring. So I need a route. I've got a 9 mile route that I could run twice, but I'd rather find a loop to run once. Although the 9 mile route would let me refill the Camelback halfway through. hmmm. So I'm not sure what to do there. I'm also not sure that I can run 18 miles on saturday when I haven't run since last saturday's 17 mile long run. Just some cross training and Yoga. Wifey has to do it too. And her dad's coming into town for a visit this weekend. So it's going to be fun.

So have a great weekend! Evil Genius has been into some seriously evil stuff lately. Yesterday she threw popcorn on the floor, then yanked my sweater off of my back and drug it through the popcorn. Pure evil. She is, however, underweight. At 19 months old she only weighs just over 17 lbs. The ped is getting really concerned, and it's starting to bother me too. So without introducing Evil to true evil (McDonald's) how can we pack some pounds on that kid? How do you get your kids to eat? She's a grazer, so she's always stuffing something into her mouth. Typically, she'll throw her dinner on the floor, then get Bigun distracted and go eat Bigun's plate. Then later come back to eat her original dinner off of the floor. And she's still underweight. I'm running out of ideas here. And yes, we're just that lazy.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Caption Contest

Yea, I'm doing the drywall down at the new McDonald's
Watchout for your cornhole, dude.
Two chicks at the same time. I reckon if I had a million bucks I could make that happen
Don't F*ck with Mister Zero
Mister Zero knew you were getting a divorce before you did? Mister Zero knew.
Who wants to go for a mustache ride?

Monday night I decided to shave the beard. With all the running this year, it seems to be in the way more and harder to maintain. While I normally stay covered throughout the winter, I decided to cut back this year just for fun. Then Wifey talked me into this silly mustache for a few days. This is only a joke, Morgan and I are going to have a good laugh about it whenever I can get over to his house to fix his computer, then it's gone. In the meantime, we are having a good laugh about it. Some folks from the office want me to keep it until the company holiday party in a few weeks, but I'm not sure I can hold out that long. In the meantime, I think it's pretty funny.

Most of the time, a mustache makes a guy look like a pedophile. But you can't tell him that unless you preface it with "no offense, but" because then you won't get your ass kicked. But with the magic of "no offense" you are kind of safe. I dare you, find someone who is not a cop but still has a mustache, and tell him "no offense, but that mustache really makes you look like a pedophile". That guy will want to kick your ass, but is contractually obligated not to thanks to the No Offense Code. It's kind of like the Bro Code.

So I need a better caption for that picture. All I can come up with is the movie quotes listed below the pic. I have no idea what the prize will be, but I'll pick the best caption you come up with and send you something. There is also a second place prize for the first person to name all three movies that those quotes came from. The first two movies should be obvious, but the mustache ride thing is a little more obscure. But I have to go back to the office people with something better than just those movie quotes to see if I can stretch out the laughs for another day or two. Here's another one, just in case you need more inspiration:

Strangers have the best candy

Anything? This guy drives a dirty work van with no windows like the janitor from Scrubs. He lost a strange battle with fried cheese last year. gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme!

I promise the prizes will be cool. I'll come up with something decent. Maybe even an autographed print of one of these pics!

Monday, December 8, 2008

A Decent 17

Boy 17 miles is a long dang way. We both made it, though. here are my splits:

Miles Calories Time (mins)
5 750 54
4.5 670 50
4 620 43
3.5 520 38
17 2560 185 (3 hrs 5 mins)

Looks like a fun way to spend a saturday, huh? I followed this with some dinner, lots of medication and 12 solid hours of sleep. Me and the kids all slept in until about 10:30 sunday morning. Wifey was the early bird.

Of course then last night I got like no sleep at all. So I'm running on fumes today. and getting crushed at work.

I'm pretty pleased with those split times. I'd rather see closer to 170 minutes, a 10 min/mile pace. But I can live with 185. That pace will still break 5 hours in the marathon.

More fun and games later. Congrats to everyone who ran a race this weekend. anyone heard David's time yet at kiawah?

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holidays are here

Well, the holiday decorations are up. It's great to see the house come alive during the christmas season. And I've got it in pictures! This one is the whole fam around the tree. This was at 10:30 am, so you can tell which side of the family is dressed :) and that lopsided Charlie Brown star just cracks me up.

The girls with the stockings -- our fireplace is downstairs for santa's visit, so we hung the stockings on the hall tree this year. I think there's something humorous there. Plus those poses make them look like rap stars. Don't call it a comeback, they been there for years, rockin the peers and puttin suckers in fears. watchin the tears come down like a monsoon, listen to the bass go boom! (mama said knock you out?)

Morgan came by to help out, and his employment prospects are looking up! He's got a second interview this week for a great accounting job. Here he has just helped Bigun decorate her sliding board with colored lights. She gives it the big thumbs up! If you haven't seen Morgan's YouTube video contribution to the crumbling standards of american cluture you should give it a watch. Dippin and Cussin is a riot! He made it with Michael in Charleston.

Then Evil Genius decided to put on a strip show during dinner. I still can't figure out how the veg got on her chest with her arms tied up like that. But you have to admit it's a creative way to get out of eating your vegetables. And it's both evil (no veg) and genius. Bwahahaha.....


I've been leaving home to workout extremely late this week. like 8:30 pm after getting the younguns to bed. but wednesday I got in a fantastic weightlifting session. I am so sore for the first time in months! It was a really, really bad day at work. I had a huge, uncontrollable nicotine craving start about 2 pm. by 4:30 I was hitting the scotch trying to make it through the workday. Then after dinner, bathtime for the girls, and getting them down for the night I made it to the gym. About halfway through the weightlifting, the craving went away and I was able to act like a human again.

Last night was also late. I made it to the gym about 9 pm, and ran 7 miles on the treadmill. Just took it easy, walked whenever I felt like it. but it did work a lot of the lactic acid out of the muscles from the weightlifting. So it was a good run. But I like to be in bed by about 10 pm, not getting home from the gym at 10:45 like last night. ouch.

Weightlifting isn't as important (I don't think) until I really get back into tri training mode next year. But it sure felt good to take out some agression after a really bad day at the office. And I really wanted to get some ab work in to start trying to bring out the 6 pack again. I've been keeping it well insulated in the fridge for to many years now. And I guessed with my steadily declining waistline it should be making a return appearance this summer.

So are there any races this weekend? Good luck if you've got one. I've got a 17 mile long run planned for saturday. I don't know if there will be (or if there will ever be) enough football on tv to run 17 miles on the treadmill. Gotta figure that one out today.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

2009 is almost here

Yep. 2009 is almost here. one more month to go. I'm lining up my schedule now. wanted to put these out there so you can tell me if I'm crazy or not. This is only a starting point, i'm sure the gaps will fill in with smaller 5k's or something.

1/3 - half marathon in Travelers Rest - real near the house

2/14 – myrtle beach marathon - Our first marathon ever

4/4 - cooper river bridge run 10k - This is in Charleston, SC on the coast. My middle brother lives there, and he wants me to run this one with him. It's a real destination race. You should consider it if you've never done it. The bridge is amazing, and there's going to be 50,000 people running this thing!

4/25 – Langley Pond international distance tri – I really want to get an international distance tri done in the spring, this one’s in aiken, which is about an hour and a half drive southeast from me. Also, the course looks appropriate for my first Oly. Boy it's going to be great to get back into tri season again!

5/3 – Lake Murray sprint – near Wifey's mom’s place at the lake. This is sort of in the middle of South Carolina, at a large and fairly warm lake.

6/27 – maybe a triathlon here in Greenville running as a team with stu from the office swimming, I do the bike and Wifey does the run part

7/12 – Raleigh Sprint tri goes near Wifey's dad's house - one other note: My birthday is 7/7, and Wifey has a sister whose birthday is 7/12 (but she's way older than me). So it might not be the best time to go to her dad's house to blow off my birthday and crash her sister's. This one might get dropped.

8/16 – Greenville Sprint tri – this is the one I did 2008 and you should do it with me 2009

11/7 – Beach 2 Battleship half iron - The big boy. My first half. 70.3 miles of sweat, sand, and sheer determination. I have no dreams of turning iron one day. Just trying to avoid the Iron Lung. So I think I'm going to get a 70.3 tattoo on my right calf if I can finish this bad boy.

So I'm staring down a half mary, full mary, 10k, 3 sprint tri's, 1 oly, and the b2b half iron. Did I mention this is only my second year racing? 3 tri's in SC, 2 in NC. Everything is fairly flat. Only the Greenville sprint is listed as a moderate course. nothing too difficult. And 3 running only races. I still have to come up with a century or half century bike ride for the summer or fall. But I think I'm going to join the local cycling club the Greenville Spinners in the spring. And maybe the Greenville Track Club. Supposedly there is a Greenville Triathlon club too, but I can't find anything about it. If they are that disorganized, I'll just stick with the Spinners and GTC.

Setup Events is the largest and most organized triathlon organization here in south carolina, north carolina and virginia. You will not find a better group of race leaders. They just announced the 2009 schedule December 1st, so I was finally able to get a plan together. I'm sure I'll throw in some more running races, I really want to do the Ache Around the Lake again. But seriously, if you want to come down south for a race, check the setup events calendar. They are the best.


And since I have to throw in something girlish to break up this manly, testosterone filled charade, something really cool happened last night!

I tried on my "skinny" jeans, and they fit like a glove! Who does that the week after thanksgiving? What kind of man seriously has a pile of skinny jeans lying around? How did he eat that much cake and then get into the skinny jeans? All valid questions. the answers: nobody smart, a very gay man, and it must have been the running that did it. But the belt has been holding on at the smallest notch for like a week now, so I thought I would give the skinny jeans another shot. I'm still filled with surprise. 3 of the 5 pairs fit well. They will be a little more comfy in another week or two, I'm sure. But I'm still quite happy.

Also, we got our christmas tree last night. The girls are ecstatic. They are ready to decorate the bottom 3 feet this morning. My youngest brother Morgan is coming over, and I'm sure I'll have some pics to share soon. It's going to be bad ass christmas tree decorating in action. Working from home has its benefits sometimes. This kind of makes the social depravation worth it.

Monday, December 1, 2008


Oh shiz it happened

Payment Status: Completed
Registration type: Individual
Registrant: John Flynn
Event: Beach2Battleship Half 2009
Event Category: Age Group

Yep, I signed up.

Today is the first day of online registration for this bad boy from setup events. I am actually going to freaking do a half iron? has the event details. This page here has the registration and their standard stuff.

So who's with me? any other takers on this bad boy? it's november 7th 2009, very late in the season. But that gives me enough time for me to prepare.


Holy crap, i might be crazy. I can't believe I just did that! wow.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Nice Holiday weekend

So all I did all weekend was sit around and stuff myself with turkey, dressing and pecan pie.



So I started thursday out with a 7 mile run. It went pretty smooth, took 72 minutes and burned 1000 calories. Then I was ready go hang with the fam for a while. My folks are here in town so we made it over there with girls in tow about 12:45. They started eating about 12:30. I had 3 plates, including a gigantious dessert plate. Turkey, ham, dressing, mac & cheese, some salad and some veg. And cake(s), ah the cakes. multiple cakes. it was fantastic.

You know how nobody else in the entire world knows how to cook better than your grandmother? I swear, now that my mom is a grandmother she has really stepped it up a notch. But here's the kicker:

Before leaving, I had to TIGHTEN my belt up a notch. Hey, I came prepared. I even still have some "buffet" pants in the closet, you know with the hidden elastic in the waistband? Turkey day is when you need those kind of pants. Gives you some room for sudden growth. But alas, my buffet pants are too large now and they just fall off. So the jeans that are also too big now get the belt. And guys wear the same belt, notched in the same hole every day, and it rarely changes. I bought this particular belt back in july, and it fit in the 3rd hole up from the smallest.

And AFTER THANKSGIVING DINNER I had to push it up to the smallest notch in the belt just to keep my pants up. Take that, waistline! Flynn 1, Holiday Fat 0.

It was pretty cool hanging with my whole mom's side of the family. Only 1 cousin was missing, and his wife is pregnant so they went to see her family that day. maybe 20 of us were there, including one cousin who lives in Washington, DC. She doesn't make it back to Greenville very much, so that was great.

Friday we got up and hoofed it down to Wifey's mom's place. It's a couple of hours away, they live on Lake Murray in Prosperity, SC, kind of in the middle of the state. If you are old like me and can remember the 1992 Bush/Clinton campaign when Bill Clinton was first elected, the bush's heavily used a street sign that said <-- Clinton Prosperity --> that sign was referencing Clinton, SC and Prosperity SC. they are about 20 miles apart. We were in Prosperity. It is very flat there.

So I got in a 24 mile bike ride in 1 hour, 36 minutes. I also got to use the Garmin watch for the first time. That made it a whole different ballgame. In bike mode, it told me the speed and tracked the distance I covered. it's a Forerunner 205 that Wifey's dad is getting us for christmas, and I had to try it out once first. I got up to a top speed of 31.5 mph at one point. I'd say I averaged around 16/17 mph. That's the longest I've ever gone on the bike, distance wise. So now I'm really looking forward to the spring when I get back into Tri mode and can log some serious hours on the bike.

When I got in from the ride, I had some Recoverite and grabbed a shower. Then got to have a big chunk of their thanksgiving leftovers. We didn't get any leftovers here, so I had to take advantage. Then I hit the snacks, powdered doughnuts, cupcakes, and happy cookies (yogurt covered pretzels -- Bigun calls them happy cookies). Then I had a fantastic country dinner that they made. I think she's stepped up her game some too since becoming a grandmother. So I freakin ATE. and yet the belt stayed at that smallest notch!

Saturday it rained across the entire east coast. I had an 11 mile run planned, but ended up laying on the couch and watching football all day. But it was a great day to lay around, drink coffee and watch football. Good games, and 30 degrees and raining outside all day long. We ended up leaving the girls in Prosperity and coming back to Greenville sat night. Saturday was also Wifey's mom's birthday.

Now I love and am very close with all of my in-laws. Especially her mom's side of the family. But sometimes they ain't right in the head. Example: I told mom that we were sitting down to eat with my folks at 1 pm on turkey day. Now she knows it's a 2 hour drive from our house to hers. And she said "so, do you want to eat with us about 2? does that give you enough time?" I laughed. She's a product of the south carolina public school system. When I pointed out the flaw in her logic, she agreed that we could just drive down the next day. Happy Birthday!

We came back without kids for a couple of reasons. I've had to work all day today (Sunday). That's what I get for trying to take friday off, I guess. But I've got a big install coming up Thursday and have to finish coding the software. Tough deadline. Wifey wanted to clean the house thoroughly. the kind of cleaning you can't do with kids present to immediately destroy it.

I also still had an 11 mile run to make up today. I made the fatal error of not taking any Advil before going to the gym. So I made it 7 miles in and had to quit. Some strange hamstring pain, knee and ankle pain, even some foot pain all in the right leg. The left leg just had some shin pain and ankle pain. Still enough to make me stop short. Which is not something I like to do. So do you think I might be overtraining if I have to take advil before every run? I'm following the plan pretty close to the letter. Most weeks I've been taking an extra rest day. This was wed rest, thurs 7 miles, fri 24 mile bike, sat rest, sun 7 miles, mon rest. Really a recovery week for a marathon training plan.

And the belt is still on the smallest notch. Maybe santa claus needs to bring me a new belt? I hope your thanksgiving was a fantastic as mine!

One other thing. The pic in my last post about the babies with the blue/green background and little round things are pics of people. Petri dish people. But when you do IVF they give you a pic of the eggs that have been injected with sperm and grown. It takes 3 days for the fertilized embryos to grow into something viable. The cells divide and the human growth process starts. 2 of those human embryos have 8 cells and the other one only has 6, it hadn't divided that day. That's when they are implanted back into the woman, and if one or more can attach to the uterine lining they call it a pregnancy. So what's the youngest pic you've got of your kids? half hanging out of the birth canal? try 8 cells old. I don't want to spark a religion/abortion/life begins when debate, I just thought that pic was really cool and nobody commented about it so it warranted more explanation. Some folks here in the bible belt (not us) actually take the 'life begins at conception' topic so far as to time the baby's age from conception, which is usually a guess. We knew exactly. That's weird, when the wife is 7 months pregnant they say the baby is 7 months old. they have a 1st birthday party 3 months after the baby is born. seems very strange to me, but I don't like to judge what other people believe. I just thought the pic of an 8 celled human is really cool.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Where do babies come from?

a.k.a. Why I'm surrounded by girls
a.k.a. Lemonade

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Even if those lemons are in your grapes.

This is the one lemon we got from our Meyer Lemon tree this year. We grow it in a container, and last night we cut it up into lemonade. It was made with water, sunshine, and love.

I have no real fitness news to report today, and being the day before thanksgiving I would rather report on what I am thankful for most. My girls. They both have summertime birthdays, Ella (Bigun) is 3 now, and Lena (Evil Genius) is 1. This. is. their. story.

It took over 5 years for us to have Bigun. We tried for about a year and a half the old fashioned way, that's knows as "the fun part". Then we got things checked out by the doctor's. One of wifey's cousins was also trying to get pregnant then, her kid is 8 now. They were also worried about infertility because it was taking so long.

Turns out Wifey was fine, but I was exhibiting male pattern infertility a.k.a. shooting blanks. My first thought was "I wish I had known that in college?" but now it was just time to deal with it. And the dang health insurance company said we had to wait a year before they would let us do anything about it. So we waited. by their measure, a normal sperm count is 80 million. I was only putting out about 520,000. not good. The doc said I needed to stop smoking and get more exercise. I did, and that's when I went all weightlifting crazy and put on tons of lean muscle mass. And it did get my count up to 5 million.

The urologist said I needed a double vericocele removal, which is a cluster of vericose veins that sits above the testicle. They heat up the swimmers, essentially boiling them alive before they ever leave the holding tank. Looks like a probable cause, right? To me, nothing says "summertime" like having your ballsack sliced open. So he did the surgery, and the count then rose to 10 million. A nice change, but still not enough to get pregnant naturally. But it did get us up to trying some infertility treatments.

The cheap one is artificial insemination, the turkey baster method. It didn't work, and they said after another semen analysis that it would never work. So we had to step up to In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), or making test tube babies. Yowza. It's expensive, dangerous, and has a very low sucess rate. But it was the only choice we had left.

Now it takes a long time for the brain to produce sperm (and yes, it's actually a brain process). So everything takes a year. We started 1.5 years behind. The waiting year for the insurance was when I stopped smoking and started weightlifting. That got us to 2.5. Then we did the surgery, and the doc said we had to wait another year to see the results. So we're up to 3.5. By the time we got to IVF, it was over 4 years.

Then it didn't work. They got 3 fertilized embryos, implanted all 3 and none of them attached properly to start growing. In the follow up appointment, we just about lost it. The place closes down every summer to clean the equipment. Our first attempt was in the spring. So he told us to come back in the fall when they reopened and we could try again. He also told us we were too fat to have kids. So we needed to lose 30 lbs over the summer too. He called it the "Fit and Fertility" study. Needless to say, we were a little offended. They made us feel like cattle, just herding us through the process. It threw me off mentally so bad that I started smoking again. And stopped weightlifting. The count went back to 5 million.

But we did it. We went on South Beach and lost 35 lbs over the summer. Came back in september/october and tried IVF again. This time, we got 2 embryos, and they BOTH attached. Here's the little suckers now:

Now of course we don't know which one of these guys turned into Bigun. All we knew at this point was that two embryos had attached, so we were having twins! but one of the twins was growing about a week behind the other one. About 10 weeks into the pregnancy, we lost the twin. It's apparently a fairly common thing called a disappearing twin. But it was still really dissapointing.

The pregnancy was fairly uneventful. IVF is never easy, and Wifey has a blood thing that makes her stay on blood thinners while she is pregnant. So it was a minimum of 2 shots a day from 8 weeks before the pregnancy to 6 weeks after giving birth. I had to give her the shots. She felt like a pincushion, I felt like a drug dealer. But Bigun was born healthy, and that's all that really mattered.

Then I met my chiropractor. I've mentioned him before, and how much I love him and still owe him money. He works with a lot of athletes for a lot of problems. But my guy is a Master Upper Cervical Chiropractor, which is waaaay different than a regular back cracker. It's the difference between a family physician and a brain surgeon. He's cured 4 different types of cancer (inoperable, just enjoy your last few months types of cancer). He's cured MS, autism, regrown internal organs that were surgically removed, even cured diabetes and made people not have to wear glasses anymore. All by decompressing the brain stem by properly aligning the top 2 bones of the neck. And I had him talked into running a triathlon this fall, but he backed out at the last minute. So I got to make fun of him some.

Now at this point, Bigun is about 4 months old, I was still self employed, and his office was a client. The IVF doctors said "come on back when you want another try". It has taken over 5 years, over $40,000, and countless tears and prayers just to get here. FOUR MD's told me I would never be able to father children without medical assistance. And Steve casually says "Sure, I can fix that".

yea right.

I didn't believe him for a second. I went under care to fix a chronic sinus problem, migraine headaches, and gerd/heartburn. But infertility? sure, he can fix that. HA Sure, it would be nice, but I had no expectations. He said he's fixed female based infertility in as little as one adjustment. But with guys, it takes 6 - 12 months for the brain to tell nuts to make the batter and get it ready for babymaking. He came up with a one year treatment plan, and I signed up.

11 months into the plan Wifey was pregnant again. With no doctor assistance. It was a complete surprise. We got us a freebie. I wanted to go on Maury and get a DNA test. Bigun was only 15 months old, and she had just stopped nursing 3 months prior. And here comes our Evil Genius.

So I've done some public speaking about this, and I like to start the speech by saying that Dr C got my wife pregnant. It gets a big laugh. But no shit, he did something that western medicine could not do: fix the problem. MD's rarely fix the problem. Pills or shots never fix the problem. They only treat the symptoms. Those IVF docs wanted me to come back and spend another $16,000 to try in-vitro again. and again. and again. and again. $2000 of chiro treatments later and I will NEVER have to see those people again.

So I put Wifey under care. Her pregnancy was pain free. no more sciatica pain, or swollen feet, or morning sickness. She actually felt comfortable throughout the entire pregnancy. amazing.

Also amazing is that she was pregnant or nursing for all but 3 months of a 4 year period from oct 2004 - june 2008. and she didn't kill anyone. and we're still married. Wifey likes the wine. and she didn't really get to take advantage of the 3 months she had because we thought we would wait another year before trying IVF again. ha!

So when they come up to me and ask "Daddy, where do babies come from?" I'm going to tell them that first you have to go to a special doctor and pay him about $16,000. then make something else up from there.

So that's my amazin baby story. if i never have to jack it into a plastic cup again that will be just fine. And after EG was born, I sold the business to a partner and took the job I have now with this company in Atlanta. Just so I could stay home and be near the kids. Wifey's a sahm, so we all four just hang out at home all day every day. And then we started running.

Have a great Thanksgiving! We'll be in town some and out of town some. I really like to reply to the comments, so if you don't mind me responding be sure to put your email address in the comment if it isn't exposed by blogger. My email reply signature has the phone number, and since we never leave the house I love getting phone calls from anybody (except the office or clients, they want me to work). I'm also on skype if you have a webcam. So enjoy the holiday and I'll talk to you soon!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bring the Pain

Friday was a great rest day. Oh, glorious rest days. Saturday I was not so lucky. The long run this week was 15 miles.

Wifey did her 15 miles first. She called on the way back home asking me to dig a hole 6 feet long by 6 feet deep. She wanted a little wiggle room down there. But she took a full dose of Recoverite after the run. So about an hour after she got back she felt pretty good.

Then I went out for my 15 miles. That's a really long way to run! I did it at the gym, on a treadmill, during a couple of football games. I had to split it up into blocks to reset the counters. I started with a warmup for 3 minutes, then stretched out really well. The first block was 6 miles, 950 calories, in 57 minutes. Then the second block was 5 miles in about 50 mins, 777 calories. So that's 11 miles. The last block was 4 miles, 54 mins, 500 calories.

Ohio State creamed Michigan. By the time the second game came on I was delirious. I think I watched Notre Dame & Syracuse.

But the cool part was I went 12.2 miles WITHOUT having to slow down to a walk. Of course, there was nothing left in the tank after that for the final 2.8 miles. It was basically delerium and counting at that point. But I was amazed at how the aerobic endurance held out. I was originally going to do three 5 mile blocks. But the end of the first one felt so good I stretched it to 6. Then after a quick counter reset, the next 5 mile block felt really good too. I could tell I had just run 11 miles, mind you. But there was still more gas left. And when I was staring down 4 instead of 5 miles in the final block, it made a huge mental difference.

But when the fuel tank gets empty, you know it. I had 2 20 oz bottles of gatorade and a granola bar consumed during the run. But it wasn't quite enough. I think a gel thrown in there might have done the trick. I ran the first 1.2 miles of the last block without any problem, then started walking. And after that point, I couldn't run more than a half mile straight. The IT band got tight, hip pain, knee pain, ankle pain, some shin pain. But I kept my form straight so the shin pain wasn't that bad. But I made it through. And (get this) I did the run in a sleeveless, sweat wicking shirt with band-aids over the nips. So no chafing here. BUT I did have salt crystals form on my arms. Rubbing down the arms kind of felt like there was sand like I had just been to the beach? And they were visible, white crystals on my right arm. Wow, that's a lot of sweat. I'm not sure weather to be proud or grossed out.

And here's the real difference. Wifey was able to cook dinner, and felt pretty good once she ate enough to recover. I only mixed one scoop of the Recoverite with water, a full dose of it is 2 scoops. That'll teach me to read directions. I'm still (monday morning) fighting tons of lactic acid in the legs, and some basic hip pain. I need to do some yoga today and I think it will work out the last few kinks. But 2 scoops of Recoverite leads to no leg pain after the run, 1 scoop still leaves you hurting. That's some great recovery powder.

Needless to say, I was useless the rest of the weekend. Did some holiday prep, a little leaf blowing, etc. But mostly I just tried to stand as little as possible.

One other strong suggestion: pot roast. Wifey made a pot roast a few days ago in the slow cooker that had the whole house smelling great when it was in the 30's outside. Saturday we cooked up som basmati rice and heated up leftover pot roast. That combination of carbs and protein and a hot meal was fantastic after the long run. We each had a bowl, I loaded mine up with Texas Pete. Oh yea.

I'm so excited about thanksgiving! Just being able to take thursday and friday off of work is going to be fantastic. Of course, I'm slamming 5 days worth of billable hours into only 3 days, so it's going to be a crazy 3 days. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Photo Tag

Tha rundown:

1. Pick the 4th folder on your computer
2. Pick the 4th Picture
3. Explain the picture
4. Tag 4 more peeps.

OK, this is kind of a cool one. We organize the pics by year, so 2005 was the fourth folder. 2005 is when Bigun was born, so I was playing with this pic. This picture is a 5 generation pic, so it was #4 in that folder. The back row is my mother and my grandmother. The front row is my great-grandmother we called Mama G. She is the one who purchased the beachhouse at Tybee Island if I've ever told you that story. Her mother (My great-great-grandmother is next to her, her name is Ella Lenora. That's who we named Ella (our oldest child) after. And she's holding yours truly as a mere babe. It's also one of the only pics we have of Ella Lenora without a baseball cap. She was an OG (organic gardener) back before they were called organic gardeners. They just didn't have pesticides and fertililzers readily available back then. She passed away about a year and a half after this was taken. Mama G passed when I was a junior in high school, we were really close. And my mother and grandmother are still with us.

We have a copy of this picture hanging in Bigun's room so that she will know where her name came from. That's why I have it scanned and on the computer. I'm tagging everyone, because I think it's incredibly interesting to see other people's pics and hear why they are cool.

And apparently you have a tough time imagining how I can cover more than 10 miles on the treadmill. Well, tomorrow's long run is 15 miles, and it will be done on the treadmill. How is this possible you may ask? FOOTBALL. College football is a way of life here in the deep south. It's more important than your neices birthday party. Wifey does her long runs early in the morning on saturday's, so I've got the kids. If I try to watch football at home it is only met with constant demands from Wifey and the girls to do something else. Which is completely out of the question. I'm hungry. I have to poo. That's what halftime is for. So if I can watch one game uninterrupted during a long run AND get my long run knocked out, then it's killing two birds with one stone. And after running 15 miles, nobody expects me to leave the recliner except to get more Advil. So I get to watch more football and fend off the fam with a long stick. Except when I fall asleep on the chair and Bigun crawls up and falls asleep on my chest. Or EGB (Evil Genius Baby) throws toys at me to get me to wake up.

After such a manly description of football, I have to admit the same holds true for soap operas. Wednesday work caught up to me, and I got no cross training workout. boo. But I did bill 9 hours. yea. So yesterday I did a great 6 miler. On the treadmill. While watching Days of Our Lives. I hoped they were going to catch the murderer, and I didn't want to miss it. They got him. It was great. And now it's ok if you call me by a woman's name. Just know that I prefer Gloria or Alice. I don't know why.

But the cool thing about the 6 miles was that I never had to slow down to a walk. I did a 3 min warmup, then stopped to stretch. I reset the treadmill numbers, and did 6 miles in 58 minutes burning 970 calories. And the speed stayed between 6.1 and 6.3 the entire time, except for the last 1/4 mile when I pushed it to 6.5! That's never happened before. Most of the time, I can go 3 or 4 miles without walking. Sometimes I can make it 5. But this is really cool.

Sometimes I get down on myself for thinking that is really cool. Some friends are trying to break a 4 hour marathon. But to get a little perspective, think back. It was only 11 months ago that I was smoking a pack a day and couldn't walk up a flight of stairs. So to go from one flight of stairs to 6 miles straight I think is pretty good progress. 18 months ago I was almost 40 lbs heavier than I am now. I still owned my own business, and worked an average of 14 hours a day, 6 days a week. That's 9 am to 11 pm every day. 28 days out of every month. The only movement was walking out to main st for a high fat lunch. I had no clue about nutrition or excercise. I didn't have time to care.

But I had a client who was a big cyclist. He did the Assault on Mt Mitchell last year, which is a 112 mile ride climbing 6000 feet in elevation to the top of the highest mtn peak on the eastern coast. I then found out that a lot of my clients (mostly architects and engineers) were really into cycling, and I found Go magazine, a local triathlon mag about races in the upstate. I thought it was cool, but not something I could actually do.

Then 2007 happened, and my whole perspective changed. I won't go into the details here, it's too private. But by January of 2008 I was not smoking, I was losing weight, and I was signed up for my first tri. So to go from that to 6 miles without walking is freakin huge. I lurve it, and I am so grateful that I've been able to change my perspective completely. And next thursday I know what I'm going to say I'm thankful for. That they caught that murderer on Days. That was a tough case to crack!@

So wish me luck for the 15 miles on the treadmill tomorrow. I've got Michigan/Ohio State (go buckeyes) and NC State/UNC games at noon to get me through it. And for the record, I like Texas Tech over Oklahoma tomorrow at 8 pm. The kids will be in bed then. Love ya mean it, have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Everything needs work

Apparently my idea of freedom includes pounding my legs into dust. Having the weekend to myself was in.cred.i.ble! Everything a husband could hope for. I also realized I am completely useless without the wife keeping everything on track.

Friday ended up being a good work day, with solid code writing until about 11:00 pm. 'cause that's how us wifeless people roll. We party like that. But it was a great rest day after the 6 miler on thursday, and I really needed to get that project finished off.

Saturday I had a friend come over and hang out for a while and we worked on his web site some and watched football. I made it out really later than I had hoped, and the gym closed when I was only 11 miles into my 14 mile run. So I just cut it short. 11 miles is still quite a long way. And the machine said I burned about 1700 calories, so I thought I did ok. I felt pretty good, maybe a little shin pain but not much. And the ankle pain was the worst of it. My shoes have an arch support insert, and the one for the left shoe worked its way loose and out. How strange is that? I never thought those things would just wiggle loose and end up on the floor behind the treadmill. I can't remember the times, but I kept the treadmill at about a 6.1 - 6.3 speed the whole time. And I only had to slow down and walk 4 times. So all in all, that was a great workout cut 3 miles short.

Needless to say, the next day I was just a little sore. Not as bad as I really expected, but not what you would call "spring time fresh". So it's a great time to climb up a mountain, right?

The bike ride on sunday was awesome! Wow, that was cool. I mean I had pretty high expectations, and it was way better than that. I haven't been on a long bike ride since training for the triathlon, so I was really looking forward to it. Of course, this is also where the wife would have come in handy.

Now this ride came across the email from one of the Yahoo groups I am in. I saw the date/time, and thought I can do that. It was only 18 miles, most of the group rides on that list are 30 - 60 miles, so I thought I can do that. And the launching pad was only a couple of miles from my house, so I said I will do that. Now I've never been on a group ride before, so I had no idea what I was in for. AND the fact that we were climbing a mountain and that might be difficult somehow escaped me. So I told Ken, the ride leader, that I was in and he agreed to hang back with this newbie, slow down and help me out. That came in handy.

The route was 9.2 miles out and back, 18.4 miles total. About 4 miles of the route was climbing 1000 ft in elevation. This didn't seem too bad on paper.

So I rolled up as the underdressed beginner. Everyone else was in nice biking clothes (read: tight stuff), and I was in jeans, a t-shirt, and old running shoes that have been relegated to cross-training. We had 9 people going on the ride, with some nice $3000+ Specialized bikes and I pulled the $500 Jevis out of the car. I don't have any cold weather bike gear or clipless pedals & bike shoes yet. So I tucked my right pants leg into my sock and we rolled out of there. Oddly enough I got a few "that works for you?" comments, but nobody was pointing and laughing. Bike people are really nice! And I knew that at some point in time, every one of those guys also went out on their first group ride, so I didn't feel too bad.

At least not until we got into the ride. I stayed at the back of the pack to draft a little while it was flat, and I still noticed I was breathing heavier than anyone else. People would ask me questions about the marathon or smoking and I would respond by exhaling. Not exactly intellectually stimulating conversation. But I was having too much fun to care.

We hit the climbing parts to get up Paris Mountain, and the hills got long and fairly steep. I was surprised how long the hills were. Most of the hills weren't as steep as what's around the house here, but they were certainly longer. I did get off and push the bike up one stretch called "The Wall", a 15% grade for a couple hundred feet. I might have been able to make it up the wall, but there would have been nothing left to get up the rest of the mountain. So I wanted to leave a little in the tank. Margaret did the same thing, and she's completed the Assault on Mt Mitchell before and is an incredibly experienced rider. So I followed her lead.

Once we got to the top, it was amazing. It was a really clear day, we could see all the way over downtown Greenville, through the Eastside, the Furman University campus. I told people that I had just bought the bike in august, it was my first road bike, and turns out none of those guys had attempted to climb Paris Mountain until they had been cycling for 2 or 3 years. So apparently I did something incredibly difficult and there is no way a newbie as newbie as me should have been able to do that.

It took us about an hour and a half to get up the moutain, and about 20 minutes to get back. We finished with a big climb going up to the parking lot where we started that just about did me in. But when it was all said and done, I tossed the bike into the trunk of my grandmother's car, and rolled out of there happy and with jello legs. Everybody was so nice, it was really an amazing ride. Thanks, Ken! He's doing this ride every sunday if you're in the area. It was great, but I'm really going to have to think hard before doing it again. Make sure I'm better prepared next time.

I finished the day with several Advil, a protien bar, 2 bowls of cereal and 7 taco's. Morgan ended up coming over to the house to hang out for a while and watch football. Then I crashed.

Saturday night I fell asleep at 10 pm, and woke up at 10 am. Wow, 12 hours was solidly needed and had me rested and ready for the ride. Sunday I also went to bed about 10:30 after some work. I had worked the legs so hard it was really uncomfortable even laying down in bed. Yesterday (Monday) I was onsite for work all day, and my ass was killing me. It's still pretty sore today. That's the rough part of a desk job I guess. So after my 29 mile weekend, Wifey and the girls were waiting for me at home when I got back from the college. I was glad to see them safely back at home, and they were glad to be home.

Their trip marked the first time Wifey was able to make the 4 1/2 hour drive each way without having to stop and change diapers or placate a screaming kidlet! Amazing! That's going to make the Christmas travel a whole lot easier.

So now every possible mode of transportation needs to get some work done. The van (our only family car) needs to get some tire work done. I have to take the bike into the shop, the rear wheel is "out of true" whatever that means. It wobbles a little bit and the brakes rub unevenly. Even the running shoes lost the arch insert. My riding lawmower and push mower neither one will start. So it looks like I will be staying at home for a while. I borrowed my grandmother's car while the van was out of town and it's the only thing running right now. But the thought of pulling up to a bunch of actual bike people in my grandmother's borrowed car with my cheap bike in the trunk and a bungie cord holding everything down, then sporting a naieve grin and "hey let's go climb that mountain" optimism makes me chuckle every time I think about it.

That's when Wifey would have come in handy. Now she claims there's no way she would have let me leave the house like that. The bike fits in nicely in the back of the van, no bungie cords. She also would not have let me show up without some bike appropriate attire. Or so she claims. Tucking my jeans into my sock is another fallacy she wouldn't have let me get away with. But bike people are so nice that they didn't laugh and point or anything. This made me laugh so hard I farted last night when I was telling Wifey about the ride.

Ah, more fun to come. Today is a 3 mile recovery run, tomorrow some cross training. I think I'll hit the weights, havn't done that in a while.

Friday, November 14, 2008

10 Years

Well, today's the day. 10 years ago it was a rainy saturday in Newberry SC where we got married. Is the first decadet the toughest? I know we've had our share of ups and downs.

So the rings: As an anniversary gift this year we each had something engraved on the other's ring. I went with "through thick and thin" inside of her ring. 10 years ago I weighed in at 140 lbs (60 lbs lighter than I am today) and since she lost 80 lbs in the last year it's been a flip flop. First I was thin, and she was thick (at least in her mind), then we switched roles. But we have also been through thick and thin times financially and emotionally as well. We've had savings and been unemployed. We've been really close and had plenty of times where I couldn't stand the sight of her. And I'm sure all of those patterns will repeat themselves at other times in the next 10 years.

She put "Bad ass husband since 11-14-98" on the inside of my ring. My brother Morgan and I started this thing a few years ago when we were building a deck on a rental property. If you're going to do something, do it like a bad-ass. So we did bad ass deck building. Then it spread to bad ass construction, bad ass landscaping, and eventually devolved into bad ass babysitting and bad ass floor mopping, etc. So take anything that you have to do today, and do it bad ass. That's Flynn style. When I ran my first triathlon in August, Wifey made a plaque for me that now hangs on my office wall declaring me a Bad Ass Triathlete. So being a bad ass husband is awesome. and if you want bad ass home repairs to come cut your grass, I'll send Morgan. He's cheap and needs the work.

I am currently bathing in batchelor bliss. Wifey took the girls thursday up to her dad's in Raleigh, and left out this morning to head up to VA. Men love to be in control no matter what they tell you in bed. After marriage and kids, we have to give up so much control of our time it is really depressing. We go from doing what we want to do whenever we want to do it, to waiting on the wife to finish putting makup on, to OMG we can't leave the house without 20 minutes of packing and we have to be back here by 7:45 to start the bedtime routine and then we can't leave again or do anything that will make enough noise to wake one of them. I can't even choose when I stop working for the day anymore. I tend to stop when she throws one of the babies towards me screaming "this is the one i'm going to murder if you don't put down the laptop and take her right now". So to have four days to make all the choices, control my own time, work, play, eat, sleep on my schedule, and actually accomplish what I want to do without having to sweat what someone else wants me to do is GLORIOUS. Oh it's fantastic. By far the best anniversary gift a husband can get. I know after a week or two I would really miss the girls and be ready for their return. But today is fantastic.

Just like last night. I worked until I finished the task I was working on. Then went to the gym for a 6 mile run on the treadmill. It was a great run, took about an hour and 6 minutes, and burned about 900 calories. Right across the parking lot from the gym is a Little Ceasar's pizza place. So I picked up a cheese pizza, came home and ate the whole thing. I know that immediately cancels out my 900 calorie workout. But it was 9 pm when I got home and started eating. I didn't have to be home at 8 to get the babies to bed. I didn't have to feed Wifey, she didn't have to feed me. I didn't have to eat when anyone else was hungry. Glorious.

Also last night I tried some new stuff. I bought some Heed and Recoverite online, and it came in the other day. The Heed was kind of tough to choke down. I normally use Gatorade but hate the sugar. I dilute half gatorade and half water into 2 20 oz bottles for the long runs to cut the intensity some, and that works great. But one scoop of Heed in a 20 oz water bottle was really tough. It was chalky and the flavor (lemon-lime) was horrible. The recoverite was fantstic though. It went down easy and the flavor was very good. It's a recovery drink with the optimal 3:1 carbs to protein ratio and tons of micronutrients like glucosamine. So it has everything you need right after a good run. Very cool. Give it a try.

So last weekend we had a really good photo shoot to get pics of the girls in the fall colors. We only hit 2 locations, a neighbor's yard with a really cool tree, and the church where Bigun goes to kindergarten has a neat bridge and open play area.

First, a couple from the backyard. These are just so cute!

For this one, she said "Mommy, you have to take a picture of my sad face". and then progressivly made more sad faces until we got this one. How could anybody say no to those eyes? That is sooooooo cute. No babies were actually sad during the taking of these pictures.

Finally here's the both of them under the cool tree near the house.

And Wifey got in there for some photo fun

This is me and the girls at the church. They had fun playing in all of those leaves.

They really had a good time playing in all of those leaves. I love how they carpet the ground this time of year.
And here's me and the girls on the bridge. For a church parking lot, it's a neat place and we had a great time. Plus it let's you non-southerners see just how green Greenville is. We don't restrict the trees to just church parking lots. The whole town is like this. Everything is very clean and there are plenty of trees everywhere. It's gardening zone 7b, so nearly everything to sub-tropical will grow here. And if you google earth it, you'll see more trees than anything else. But we still have a population over 1,000,000 people.

So for the weekend I have to get in a 14 mile long run tomorrow morning. Wifey is going to have a lot of fun running 14, then going shopping with her friends. I'm planning on getting hot wings and watching football.

Sunday I think I will try my first group ride on the bike! It's a group that starts near my house and rides up Paris Mountain (which is not really a mountain). But part of this route was used during the U.S. Cycling Championships when they were here a few months ago. It's an 18.2 mile out and back, and is expected to take about 2 hours. I'm really getting excited about this. If you are in the area Sunday at 2 pm meet us out there. It's going to be so cool! It's called the Paris Mt Sunday Ride, and they are going to do it every sunday apparently.

So now I'm going to write some bad ass code, and work on a bad ass website or two. Have a great weekend!