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!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Back in town

Boy it's good to be back in Greenville. That was a long few days in the ATL. Quick recap:

Saturday's 9 miler was pretty good. I split it up into 3 parts thanks to some intestinal disturbances. Must have had too much fiber friday night. But times and endurance were both pretty good. I love the mental difference between "how am i going to make it 9 miles" from a few weeks ago, and "9 miles? i did 12 last weekend" from saturday. When you can convince yourself that the distance you have to run is completely doable, it changes your whole approach.

Monday I got up at 5:30 am to hit the road to Atlanta. Work put a lot of difficult things on me both days. But Monday night Coach Stu and I hit the pool for about an hour and a half. It felt sooooooo good to get back in the water. And he really helped with my form. I was putting out about twice as much effort as I really should. Especially going into some of the longer tri's next year that's going to be huge.

So I finally made it to my god-parents house about 9 pm for some dinner. It was great to visit with them, hadn't seen them in a few months. And then we watched the new "Get Smart" movie. It was pretty good, but not as funny as I expected. and it meant a really long day.

Kaolee smoked me out on our run tuesday morning. The park loop we ran was 1.14 miles, and by the end of the second lap I was gone. totally spent. done. And she wasn't even breathing that hard. There were some pretty good hills, and it was cold. My lungs weren't prepared for the cold and they were on fire. So how do you deal with the cold? I could have used another shirt and some gloves. But the lungs really took the worst hit. I guess that's just something you get used to, and I've been doing the inside thing for a while.

It was fantastic to meet up with another blogger and I really appreciated the help. Running outside in a foriegn town isn't always easy. But when a new friend pops up and offers to come along, it's best to take advantage of that. So thank you, Kaolee.

I got thrashed at the office again, and made it home about 7 pm last night. Then turned into a giant puddle of mush and slept in some this morning. Rescheduled a few things and I can recoup a little.

One other funny thing has started. Bigun has begun calling yogurt covered pretzels "Happy Cookies". How cute is that? So go get yourself some happy cookies. We had a great photo shoot with the fall colors over the weekend, so I'll put some pics up soon. And we're getting the baby certified as an Evil Genius. She's refusing to be contained any more by the high chair or her rear-facing car seat. So we had to get her into a bigger car seat while I was out of town. She had five teeth come in last week, and was fairly evil. She's also speaking much more clearly now (genius).

Friday I will have more EG stories and I can finally reveal what went inside of Wifey's ring. and maybe some pics. c ya!

Friday, November 7, 2008

In the doghouse now

Next friday the 14th is my 10th wedding anniversary. This has been haunting me for a while now. 10 years is a long time, a real milestone. And we lived together for 2 years before that, so it's really been 12 years of simple cohabitation. Wow. That seems like a really long time. But my folks have been married 38 years now, so 10 doesn't seem that long by comparrison.

Since we are still in a Bush economy (read: depression) we have to go cheap on the anniversary gifts this year. Now I'd love to get her a 10 stone ring or something nice, but instead we've chosen a cheaper alternative. We're going to get something engraved on the inside of the other one's wedding band. Now neither one of us wears our wedding bands anymore, I've gained too much weight for it to fit, she's lost too much weight. So it's completely symbolic. But I need your help coming up with something to put in there. Any suggestions? Here's what I've come up with so far:

  • 10 years? Feels like 20
  • I hope we have 10 more years together
  • Stop farting in bed

I think she's going to use the last one for my ring. Seriously, I've got nothing here. And only a few days to make it happen. She said I don't have to come up with something sappy, and I've still got nothing. Any ideas?

Next week is going to be nuts. My trip to Atlanta got pushed back from this week to Monday and Tuesday, so now my swim with Coach Stu is monday night, and the run with Girl On Top is tuesday morning. Then I'm headed back to Greenville tuesday after lunch. Wednesday I've got to be onsite at a client all day, then we already have a babysitter lined up for our anniversary dinner & the aforementioned ring display. Thursday she's dropping off the kids at her dad's in Raleigh, NC and Friday (our anniversary) she's heading up to Williamsburg, VA to do some Christmas shopping with friends for the weekend. Which means I get thursday - monday with no wife or kids (best anniversary present ever!), and I'm going to be out of pocket and unable to post for about a week.

That's a ton of miles on the car, fortunately gas here is down to $1.96 a gallon. So we can almost afford these road trips. I do love how the oil industry is reeling back on its heels now that demand for gas has dropped so badly they are lowering the price to encourage more road trips. I didn't expect it to get below $2 a gallon, but it sure is nice. The bad part is that when it was $5 a gallon the price of bread rose sharply. Gas went back down, but the price of bread (and everything else that has a transportation cost) did not go back down. at least not yet. Good thing I'm still getting food out of my garden.

I had a great ride on the bike wednesday, just going around the 'hood here. There are some really challenging hills, and I haven't pushed myself on the bike since the triathlon, so that ride was a good reminder of why I love the multi-sport lifestyle so much. BTW, while Wifey is in VA for 4 days, I will be only on the bike. We're a 1 car family (again, Bush economy), and our only car will be 2 states away. So feel free to come give me a ride somewhere. Anywhere.

Yesterday was really bad. I chose to obey a tv commercial and abandoned my 6 mile planned run in favor of taking the family for lunch at the Olive Garden. They do have some healthy things on the menu, but the theory behind that is still out of place with marathon training. I might make up the 6 miler today, tomorrow's long run is 9 miles. Then rest sunday, swim monday, run w/Kaolee tuesday, rest wednesday, and I will finally be able to post again next thursday.

So I will leave you for the week with a scanned wedding picture.

She totally credits her cooking for getting me fat. I guess that's what a good wife will do for ya. Then again with her cooking (and WeWa) for getting herself thin. Still, that's a cute pic. It's amazing how much people can change in 10 years.

Good luck to anyone racing tomorrow. I loved the B2B race report from Robyn. I'm hoping that will be me next year. Gotta sign up for that sucker once it becomes available.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kool and the Gang

Wow what an amazing couple of days. Barak won big last night which I am super happy about. It is getting irritating already hearing about the historic significance though. The media is acting like African-Americans are the only ones who should be excited about this. Forget about the environmentalists (like me), the economists, people who work, or are out of work, or have money, or don't have money, or are still generally alive. I guess we're only supposed to be mildly enthused to have a president that can speak in complete sentences. So try to maintain some composure. BO has the captivating and motivational qualites of Martin Luther King Jr, and the sheer genius and forward thinking of Bill Clinton. So after 8 years of war and having our faces rubbed in the dirt, I think the historical significance of his potential will stand true for everyone. You know some older people still have pictures of FDR or Kennedy hanging on the walls? I think our generation will be affected the same way over the next 8 years as he pulls us out out of this depression.

Also, I got word about a race I've been waiting for. So Wifey and I are signed up to run the Get Your Rear in Gear half marathon in Traveler's Rest, SC on Jan 3rd! According to the training plan, the week before the race we're supposed to cover 19 miles as a long run, and the week after we go 20. So race day is our short long run week, supposed to be 12 miles. Perfect time to slide in a half. I'm super excited. And I might have even talked my friend Deb into running it too. We're doing MB at her encouragement. so yay, new race to look forward too. There's going to be some hills, it's supposed to be a fun and challenging course. Come on up to g'ville and run it if you can!

Work has got me hella busy today, so that's it. More interesting stuff to come friday, though.

oh, but I should mention that my violently red South Carolina had 44% voting for Barak. We still gave the electoral votes to McCain, but I was really hoping more than 30% of my state would be open minded enough to vote for someone else. 1% of the vote also went Libertarian, which is cool.

And Wifey and I walked to the polling place, stood in line for an hour, then walked back. It was almost 3 miles round trip, so I'm calling that a workout. I'm still loving the yoga, did another 30 min session this morning. More cross training to come.

And THE STICK arrived on monday. Wow, rolling your legs out really helps. That is a really super cool thing. Thanks Marcy and Wes for reccomending!

Monday, November 3, 2008


Thanks for all of the helpful comments on the last post. I'm going to be a lot more careful about my cross training workouts from now on. And maybe try some active rest like a slow bike ride for 20 minutes on my normal monday & friday rest days.

Tomorrow I'm going to be in Atlanta swimming with Stu, which is going to be awesome. We work for the same company, and I didn't know until I was training for the Greenville Sprint tri earlier this year that he is a former swim, baseball, and basketball coach. So I can't freaking wait to get into the pool with him. I haven't had a swim in months, and even then I think I was doing it wrong. So it will be nice to take my new pumped lungs into the pool. Then wednesday morning I'm running with Kaolee which will be fantastic. Early morning should be cool and we're running through a park so it should be a lot of fun.

So as bad as last thursday's 5 miler was (it got cut to 3?), Saturday's 12 miler was incredible by comparrison. The key I think was stretching. I did some more research on shin splints and how they can affect the ankles. Most shin splint problems can be fixed with stretching, massage, and more stretching, turns out. So I ordered The Stick and tried some yoga sat morning.

I had never tried yoga before. I love it! Wifey thinks I should add that to the Reasons I'm Gay list, but I don't see why. I'm a fast guy. I drive fast, talk fast (for a southerner), work fast and type about 100 words per minute. So the last time I tried something slow (Tai Chi) I felt like frankenstein walking around is slow motion and hated it. But yoga is a different story. Get a pose and hold it while breathing is a very centering thing. I just tried some videos that TiVo found, and Netflix had to watch on demand. but it felt sooooo good and relaxing.

Then I did a long stretching session at the gym. The good football games (or bad if you're a Georgia fan) were on during my run time so I went to the treadmill to watch. I knew I would have to split the run up into segments to let the machine reset, but this got really cool. I did the first segment as a 2 mile warmup basically in 22 minutes.

Then I stretched on the treadmill, including a few moves from the yoga.

The next block was 5 miles. I walked the first .2 miles to get the blood flowing right again and check the legs. No serious shin splints or ankle problems yet, and the yoga really had my right IT band feeling good. So I bumped the speed up to between 6.1 and 6.3, and did not have to slow down to walk again until the 5 miles was up. What? that's never happened before. I did the run in 47:48, which is faster than my Ache Around the Lake time. HOLY SHIT! That just happend, and I can't believe it. I said I would walk at 2 miles, then nah, maybe i can make it to 5k distance without stopping. Well, then maybe i guess i can make it 4 miles. Hey this feels pretty good so maybe i'll be able to make it to 5. Then I did make it to 5. Wow. I was shocked. That's a 9:33 pace! Wow. I've never gone that distance that fast before. Calorie count was 777, which I found disturbingly cool.

Then I stretched.

The second 5 mile block was a little slower. I did have to slow down to a walk three times during the five miles, but it was still pretty cool. I did it in 53 minutes and change, burned 740 calories. So overall that last block went pretty good.

Then I stretched.

So the total stats are 12 miles in 123 minutes. Funny how these numbers keep lining up. About 1600 calories. pace is just over 10 min/mile. The shin splints didn't bother me a bit. The ankles felt ok, and the IT band didn't act up at all. No hip pain, it was a pretty smooth run when it's all put together like that. And now i'm hooked on stretching. I didn't realize how inflexible I had become.

Hey, Wes is on the hero list now. I was tracking him all the way through IMFL on saturday. Contrats, bud. Way to go!

Congrats as well to everyone else who raced over the weekend. I'm still on the fence over the 5k next weekend, if i can pony up for the entry fees and still cover the bills. sheesh. But somebody tell me how the Beach 2 Battleship race went. I really want to run the half ironman distance there next year, but I want some feedback on the course.