Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2009 Year in Review

This has been an amazing year. I have to set goals that seem too high to achieve in order for me to really push myself. I did that this year, and there were so many high's and lows.

The whole story actually started:
12/21/07 - signed up for the gym. I had read GO magazine a few times and was thinking about triathlon as something even I could accomplish.
12/28/07 - stopped smoking
1/??/08 - signed up for the Greenville Sprint triathlon with the goal of just being able to finish.
4/5/08 - totalled my car in an accident - sidelined training for 2 months
8/16/08 - Ran the Greenville Sprint triathlon - finished in 2:02:30 dead last in my division

I was hooked

9/9/08 - started the blog. Accountability and logging. Who starts a triathlon blog after only one race? An addict, that's who. A crazy addict.
9/22/08 - Ran the Ache Around the Lake race - First time running longer than a 5k this one was 5 miles.

It makes me sad to think about the example I was setting for my kids when Evil Genius was born. 235 lbs, pack-a-day smoker, worked 16 hours a day with no time for myself or my family, and no concept of what was really important. The mental, emotional, and physical shift that happened over the following 18 months was amazing even to me. I didn't think I could refocus that much. I didn't think I would enjoy it this much. I didn't think I could go from THIS:

In the hospital before EG was born may of 07

Composite from the Greenville Sprint triathlon in 08

And that pretty much brings us to 2009. I started my first marathon training plan in 08, and it carried through the new year. There were high's and lows. But I did set some goals for 09:

Let's start with the firsts from that post:
  • First half marathon 1/3 - Success! And I'm running the same race again this year on Saturday to kick off the 2010 race season!
  • First Full Marathon 2/14 - DNS thanks to the flu. Kelley ran it and rocked it.
  • First International distance tri 4/25 - Fail~ I scheduled it wrong. Ran one in June instead. And it ended up being just 6 days before my first marathon!
  • First Half Ironman 11/7 - Success! i'm still high from that one.
  • First 10k race 4/4 - Fail~ got scheduled out of that one. it was supposed to be the Cooper River Bridge run in Charleston. The 10k in the Oly Tri from June was my only 10k last year. I'm still looking forward to finding one to run in 2010.
Those fail's aren't really bad fails. Just scheduling conflicts from the original goals. I still ran my first marathon, first half ironman, first, half marathon, first 5k (not in a triathlon), and first 10k (in a triathlon). So I filled in the ENTIRE section of PR's in my left nav at the bottom.

Personal Goals:

  • I will turn 34 in july - Success!
  • Wifey will turn 38 in december (i'm not supposed to reveal that) - Success!
  • Bigun will turn 4 in June, and start 4 yr kindergarten in august - Success! She loved the kindergarten
  • EG will turn 2 in may. I might even be able to teach her to be less evil. Success! She's still Evil though.
  • We will move back to North Carolina - I've been saying this since I took this job in August of 2007, the office doesn't care where I live. But this year we really are going to make it happen. By now everything is secure and stable, I have enough work history to qualify for a mortgage, and the pieces are in place for everything to come together for a move. - Partial Success! I am in NC now, waiting on our houses to sell in SC before we can all move up here.
  • I will remain a non-smoker. One year is great, two is better. - Success! Whew, thanks for all of the accountability on that one.
  • I want to make some new friends just for the sake of having friends. no expectations, no "users" (people that only call when they want something), just hang out and enjoy what we have in common. Would you be my friend? - Success! I've reconnected with some fantastic old friends and made plenty of new ones here in NC. People from SC still turned out to be mostly assholes. But the move, new job, facebook and the blog have brought many new fantastic people into my life; I am so grateful.
  • "Iron up" my body. This means losing some weight (about 20 lbs), staying focused on muscle definintion and aerobic endurance and capabilities, and working on my heart. This makes nutrition & fuel just as important as excersice and training. It should get my BMI down to about 25 as a goal, even though I don't think BMI is a very effective health measuring stick. - Partial Success! I am able to work out 14 times a week now and it is awesome. I did not really achieve the weight loss (but there was some waist loss), and I'm still around 200 lbs.
  • Someone will freaking buy this house. OMG I hope this mountain house sells this year. I thought it was going to sell last year, and we still haven't had a single offer even after dropping the asking price by $35,000. that's leaving a ton of cash on the table. Epic Fail! We still have the house, it is rented now so at least it's not costing us much. But still I would love to be rid of it.
So the highs have to be the marathon and half ironman, and getting this awesome new job and moving to Raleigh NC. Oh, and the garden was a blast this year too. Quite fruitful, and lots of good times with the girls. And the PR's, my goodness the PR's. I never thought I could run a 26 minute 5k. I never thought I could finish the Greenville Sprint tri in the middle of the pack with a 1:31 time. wow. The lows were missing the Myrtle Beach marathon that Kelley ran by herself, not being able to find another 10k and still having the family in SC, and when our family dog died.

2009 had a mud run, tons of free gear, a new road bike, and I pushed myself beyond any boundaries I could think of. This year made me a triathlete, with all of the confidence and scars that come with it. The numbers tell the first story:

Swim: 22.16 miles
Bike: 1139.4 miles
Run: 462.63 miles (including a 6 mile run today in 56:33 - last run of the year!)
Strength training: 41.63 hours
Yoga: 32.5 hours (including 30 minutes today - a double workout day)

I am really pleased with all of those. 462 miles isn't really that much for a guy who ran a marathon and a half ironman. I thought that would have been closer to 800. But topping 1000 miles on the bike is really cool.

I'll tell the rest of 2009 in pictures, they really do tell the rest of the story!

Finishing the Assault on the Carolinas 33 mile bike ride in March. It rained the whole time and it was the first time I actually pissed my pants while riding.

Bigun was scared to touch the fish we caught at the tybee island beach trip with my folks in april.

Starting the TOA sprint triathlon - this is a really cool shot. Kelley has some mad photo skills.

Finishing the TOA sprint triathlon in Raleigh. This one was my first tri of the year, and it was awesome.

A 6' wall at the mud run. We had to jump over too many of these.

After the Mud Run, me, Deb, Kelley, and my brother Michael

Bigun with a strawberry picked from the garden. They grow up so fast.

Finishing the Festival of Flowers triathlon, my first international (olympic) distance triathlon

With the Hatfield & McCoy actors at the marathon

Finishing the Marathon

Finishing the Greenville Sprint Triathlon - PR

Bigun finishing her first race with a medal after I PR'd with a 26:00 5k. Same day as tthe Greenville Sprint triathlon where I ran a 28:xx 5k. Kelley also PR'd with a 30:14 5k.

Finishing the Half Ironman Beach 2 Battleship 2009

Christmas 2009. EG in her princess dress up costume. Classic.

A Glaven Classic Graphic. The meat punch craze and his constant threats were one of the highlights of my blog year.

So what does 2010 look like? Wouldn't you like to know!!! For starters, I'm going to set goals based on times and performance, not dates. actually, we're starting off with a formal wedding in Charlotte tomorrow night. Then on Saturday I'm running a half marathon! Get your Rear N Gear again next year! Happy new year to you all. 2010 goals and RNG half marathon race report to come soon.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Meet Roberta

Wow what a Christmas we had. Check this out:

We tried to gather around the fireplace for a family portrait. Setup the timer, but the frame was a little off. At least we're all smiling.

This one we got the picture right, but Evil Genius was crying. Everyone else is all smiles though! We did the family tradition of opening one present on Christmas Eve, and everyone got a new pair of pajamas to sleep comfortably in that night. The girls also made cookies, and left some for Santa along with some milk to drink and carrots for the reindeer.

That is what the kids came down to Christmas morning. Santa really left them quite the loot! They must have been good this year, despite what we told him.

Bigun is very happy with the Jack-In-The-Box that santa brought her. and those slippers are adorable!

We went over to visit with my parents friday as well. Evil Genius got this pricess dress up set with a boa, fairy wand, tutu, and slippers that light up when she runs. She was running around saying that "Pricess Lena was here to save the day!" it. was.

Boy, that's a lot of Flynn's. On the left is Morgan with his girlfriend Natalie in front. Then Summer and Michael standing behind my Dad's Mom (86 yrs old and still kicking ass). I think Bigun has a really funny look on her face, and I kind of got cut out of the shot. The funny thing is that Kelley was next to me, and she got cut out of the shot even when my mom was taking the picture with our camera! too funny. Sometimes it's hard to shoot with the big lens I guess.

Bigun loved a wheelbarrow that she got. She wants to help me in the garden more next year.

EG Loved playing with this spinning LED light toy. I love the depth and focus in the picture too.

Finally, here's Roberta. You'll notice I'm holding her up with only 2 fingers. She's all carbon, Cannondale Synapse 6-c with Shimano 105 components. Weighs under 20 lbs, has a triple chainring with a BB-30 bottom bracket. Lightweight, stable, fast. I still have to find some pedals, and I want to get 2 pairs of the same type so I can put one pair on the mountain bike too and use the same shoes for both.

Roberta comes from When Harry Met Sally, when one of the old couples was describing how they ended up together. It's always been one of Kelley's favorite lines of the movie. And since Roberta was the other woman in their conversation, she will certainly be the other woman here too. I love this bike. it is nice and fast, and I can't wait to get out on the roads some.

You almost never see 3 chainrings on a road bike. But the bottom bracket is completely enclosed by the bottom of the frame, so it frees up enough space down there for the extra chainring. Originally, the bike that I had picked out in the store (on a 2009 model clearance sale) only had 2 chainrings. But it sold already before Kelley could get in there to buy it - after I bought the new car. Luckily, the store was able to call their supplier that still had 2 of the old models in stock. So Gusto Cycles was able to order it, 2 days later it was in the store for the same clearance price, then it was just waiting for me on Christmas morning. yea baby. Bring on those century rides.

I also got in a 10 mile long run on thursday morning. Felt great, went pretty fast (6.3 speed on the treadmill the whole time) and was just really consistent. I also got in a swim over lunch today just under half a mile. but those are the only 2 workouts around this holiday. That is pitiful.

Tonight I am really tired. Between the 4 hour drive back to raleigh yesterday, getting a late start, and nothing unpacked yet I'm just feeling a bit sleepy. And I have to be at work at 6:30 tomorrow morning for a deployment. ouch. today was incredibly long getting ready for the deployment.

On 12/28/07 I put the cigs down for the last time. So today is my 2 year smoke-free-aversary. I smoked a pack a day for over 15 years from age 14 to 32. I put down the cigs maybe 6 times before 12/28/07, with the longest smoke free stretch being about 18 months - when I went crazy with the bodybuilding/weightlifting and blew up from 165 to 225 lbs. The average "quit time" was about 6 weeks. So I'm really proud to have made it 2 years this time.

The cool part is that there's no end in sight. Yes, I still have nicotine cravings on a weekly basis. But they get weaker and weaker. Even when I started the blog in 2008 I had cravings daily. But this blog gives me accountability for my actions. And all of the triathlon training and racing keeps the demons at bay. Even last week I went friday-saturday-sunday with no workouts; and on Sunday I was completely foul to be around. Just in an ill mood. I wasn't looking forward to the drive back to raleigh, the kids and wife seemed to grate on every nerve... When Kelley asked me why I was so unpleasant that day, I realized it was the third day since my last workout and I was having a nicotine craving and headache. Since my swim today? no cravings. So if I've traded one addiction for another I can live with that. I can keep a regular workout schedule much easier than keeping up with the rising cost of smoking ($$, health, and mental costs).

So yay for 2 years! The "2009 year in review" post is up next. I hope your holiday was as good as mine was, I truly feel blessed and priviledged to be able to provide for my family like this.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Run out the cold

So tuesday I was flat on the couch, and wednesday i felt better but still ended up working from home. Thursday I went back into the office but was still struggling with this stupid thing a bit. Then friday I went to the office, and it started snowing right after lunch.

Now when SC gets a little bit of snow the people there freak out pretty bad. I had no expectations of what Raleigh would do with some of the white stuff. We got flurries for about 30 minutes, then later on after dark there was some freezing rain. nothing actually stuck to the ground here. Farther west (greensboro, charlotte) they did get quite an accumulation. And in the mountains, Boone got 18", and Asheville got about a foot. but we got nothing, really.

Still, the schools closed down at 1pm, I left the office early just to avoid having the highway turn into a parking lot; I still worked from home the rest of the afternoon. Some businesses closed, the whole place just started shutting down. This was a problem, but not as much of a problem as I was expecting.

See, thursday night I went to charlotte and back to meet kelley. Concord Mills, actually. She came back to Raleigh with me because Saturday was her birthday and we had plans made for friday night. Those plans ended up being cancelled. But we still went out for a nice dinner and did some shopping, etc. Still, saturday we were supposed to do christmas with my mom's side of the family in Greenville. With our plans being cancelled we can go back to Greenville saturday night? well, not with the snow west of us. Greensboro was shut down.

So saturday morning we could make it back down, right? 143 wrecks reported on I-85 around greensboro. If we go south then west to avoid that crap, it turns the 4 hour drive into 6 hours. then we miss christmas anyway. waiting to get around those conditions was also going to add the time, so we were just screwed. Then kelley's mom said it was ok to keep the kids for another night, so I ended up getting my wife all to myself for her entire birthday weekend! We finished the christmas shopping and just got to spend a lot of quality time together. You just don't get to do that very much after you have kids. It was fantastic!

She made it back to Greenville today and the girls were pissed that I wasn't with her. The holidays are here people!! Wednesday I'm heading home for christmas. you can count on that.

I'm still fighting with the snots. moving quite a lot of mass through the sinusoidal cavities. I feel ok, but not as much energy as I had last weekend. I have been downing massive amounts of POM Wonderful, and it's working very well. Still, I needed to get a run in today just to see how it felt. I did 3.5 miles slow. i mean slow with walking. but it felt sooooooooo goooooooddddd just to be out there again. and I've been eating everything in sight since the cold started going away. What's that "feed a cold, starve a fever" thing all about? I keep stuffing my face I'm going to be too heavy for the first of the year.

December is gone people! Brace yourself for 2010. I hope to get to post again this week, but in case I don't I hope you all have a great Christmas! be well.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


dang germ factories are at it again. Kelley and the girls came to Raleigh on saturday. Wes was also in Raleigh this weekend, so of course the girls got here about 15 minutes before wes calls wanting to hang out. hey, i could have gotten you sick too big guy. count your blessings.

It was so nice not to have to drive back to greenville on friday and come back to raleigh on sunday. on top of that, the girls are still here!! going back to g'town tomorrow. but i got a few more days with them.

my company christmas party was saturday; that's why the girls are in town. Kelley looked absolutly stunning. i had no pants, so i had to wear jeans. and we are just slack enough not to have taken any pictures. we also did not win any door prizes or anything interesting like that. i did however get fairly drunk.

about 8 pm we get a call from Mickey that Evil Genius is vomiting. so all day sunday she had to be curled up in daddy's lap. is there a safer place for a little girl who's under the weather than curled up with a blanket in daddy's lap?

also i had to blow off coffee with wes sunday morning, we took EG to an urgent care place. sorry bro, next time.

so i did my tri power workout monday before work, worked the full day, even got in some speedwork in the pool monday over lunch. afternoon throat started feeling sore, and by 9 pm i was under the table. fever, sinuses, restlessness, full body ache. you name it. so i only slept for a couple of hours last night. called in sick to the office today and spent the whole day curled up on the couch. the kids don't know what "daddy hurts" means, so they were jumping on me and throwing things at me most of the day. ah, it's good to have them in town. kelley was a dream. she got me pomegranate juice and soup and drugs. i usually don't get sick more than once a year, so i hope this is my only winter ick.

i hope you have enjoyed the drogging (drunk blogging) so far; cold meds are yea.

and if that wasn't random enough

friday i got to go swimming with bill. Bill is one of the owners of the company i work for. he had a swimming scholarship to UAB back in teh day, and did Ironman CdA 5 years ago. kelley really enjoyed talking with him at the holiday party. that dude is still fast. he did teach me how to do flip turns, so that was really cool. still, he did a mile in teh same time it took me to do 1000 m. and he fucked up my training log, apparently i've been swimming in a 25yd pool and recording the distances in meters. gaaaa!!! piss on it. gotta find a translator i guess.

Saturday Kyle and I went out for a road ride. he's the main instigator on the company's tu/th mountain bike lunchtime rides, so i didn't feel too bad when he out-climbed me on teh hills. it was supposed tobe a 60 mile ride, but the 38 degree weather cut us down to only 20 miles. fucking cold! geez that was nasty. i'm still trying to talk him into buying a road bike.

I had an addition suggested to the Holiday Gift Guide by a few people. Anyone used the Garmin ForeRunner 310 XT yet? it seems dreamy. a few months ago (too hopped up on cold meds to find the post) i mentioned taking the forerunner 205 into the pool and was quickly told that was a bad idea. this 310 is waterproof for swimming (depth of 50 m), will track your transition times and bike/run splits. oh yea baby. that's the stuff dreams are made of.

kelley called about the new bike i want, but the bike shop told her it was already sold. damn!! I was ready to call them. 58 cm red/white cannondale Synapse 5-c please. load 'er up. guess i will have to keep looking. i need to find a Specialized dealer in Raleigh.

I was finally able to buy the bike because I got a car. finally. it's the exact same car that i had before the wreck. apr 5 2008 i drove 4.5 hours from a friends wedding, made it 2 blocks from my house when a redneck t-boned by car and it was totalled. gone. haven't had a car since. it was a 1997 toyota avalon xl, silver, tan leather interior, 123k miles, sunroof.

monday kelley bought me a 1997 toyota avalon xls, silver, tan leather interior, 123k miles, sunroof. The only difference is the xls model is a little bigger (and more expensive), and it has the gold lettering on the back and the old car had the silver lettering. i preferred the silver. but we paid cash and have enough left over for a bike.

is it wrong that i'm more excited about the bike than i am the car? is it wrong to spend more on a bike than a car? ok i can't do that. but i'm glad that the stupid car thing is done so i can get on with a new bike purchse. where's my pom juice? i think the cold meds are about to put me down. goodnight.fgds hfdfds dsatrd5

Monday, December 7, 2009

Holiday Gift Guide

You know there's still time to send me presents. There's always time to send me presents. That's why I thought I would put the wish list out there with plenty of shipping time before Christmas. Either Raleigh or Greenville address will be fine.

What makes a Training Smoker happy this holiday season? not much really. Actually, I have a lot to be thankful for. My fantastic new job, a great family, plenty of people who love and support me and all my crazy racing ambitions. But we're talking about material desires here people!

Cannondale Synapse Carbon 5 Compact

Image stolen from the site that the bike name links to
Oh yea baby. This is the new pimped out ride. It's not quite mine yet. But my local bike shop in Greenville (Gusto Cycles) has a 2009 model with Shimano Ultegra components currently on sale for almost a grand off of regular price. If I didn't have to buy a car first it would be mine now. I already told the guys in the bike shop I would buy it before the end of the year if they still had it. Full carbon frame and fork, a high performance wheelset, and 3 more gears in the cassette than Jenny has. I picked it up in the store with only 1 finger. This is light and fast. I have dreams about riding it. Sometimes I have dreams about it riding me. wait, that might be too much information.

I'll need to put some new pedals on her, and come up with a new name. These pedals would be nice. Jenny's pedals only allow me to clip in from one side, and I've learned my lesson. Get pedals that allow you to clip in from either side, it has to be much easier.

I've already picked up some new Giordana road bike shoes. It's going to be so nice to have shoes that actually fit. The Pearl Izumi shoes I've got now are too wide at the heel. They fit, but the outside of my foot starts hurting after a few minutes. The Giordana's are nice. can't find a pic online though.

There's tons and tons of other bike stuff. Cool jersey's, nice shorts, the list could get very long. There's really no end to the list of bike stuff. Swimming is next.

XTerra Vortex 3 sleeveless wetsuit

Again, pic taken from
This one is already on the way thanks to Coach Katie. Got the shipping notification, but it's still in transit. I'm very excited. After starting to lay out the 2010 tri season I might end up doing a bunch of open water swims. So this is going to come in very handy. Now if only I was a better swimmer....

Sometimes in my race reports, you might notice that I kind of kick ass in the swim. Meaning it's the only event in triathlon that I don't normally finish in last place at, or at least place higher in the age group in the swim than in cycling or running. Still, I would love some help and would like to know your favorite swim book or dvd or training helper/plan.

Image from, follow the link
I think I want to try the Total Immersion plan. It looks really strong, focuses on core strength (which you know I love). And there's also a DVD called Freestyle Made Easy about the TI process. I like the idea of having a video to go with it; form is so important in swimming. I know effective swimming is not about how strong you are, it's about how efficient you are in the water. I think the book & dvd will really help me. And now that I get to swim 3x a week I can actually put the technique into practice.

Other swim stuff would have to include swim suits and goggles, and I've already got a few of those. But really, can you have too many? I have recently found on facebook and fallen in love. However, you should be warned. The side effects of regular swimming include lower bodyfat %, 6 pack abs, increased cardio capacity, and strong shoulders and tricepts. I am willing to accept these risks if you are willing to find me something from SwimOutlet.

For running, I'm going to turn to a list from a web site with Gift Ideas for Runners. Google gift ideas for runners and you will find tons of these. Reflective shirts/jackets, heart rate monitors, running tights, technical shirts, the list goes on. My Garmin doesn't have a heart rate monitor, so the Forerunner 405 is always on the list. But I love the 205 I run with now. I don't use lightweight running gloves, and I'm wondering if you guys use and like them. I do so much on the treadmill I'm not sure if they are a real necessity or not.

Strength training

You know I'm a nerd. I love books and read all the time. But I only read non-fiction books about whatever I am currently obsessing about. Past obsessions have included financial security, real estate, carpentry, weight loss & nutrition, and personal growth. Now Kelley busts my chops "if you buy one more dang triathlon book...." well yes there are more.

Image from Amazon
It is arguably the most popular triathlon book of all time. Dang it, I want to give it a read. The Triathlete's Training Bible is one of the most well known tri training books out there. And when I click on the link for the TI swimming dvd, it has this book bundled with the TI book and dvd for the "Buy All 3" thing. yes please.

Here's another one:

Image from Amazon

I might just be succombing to the marketing on this one. You know I love my Tri Power workouts. But I've been doing the same format for over a year now. And I've been hearing a ton of marketing about this book and the rest of the Core Performance series. Any of you guys tried it yet? I really want to check it out. The Endurance flavor of Core Performance seems particularly useful. I'm still chasing the elusive goal of 6 pack abs, and it takes a combination of nutrition and core excercise. The closest I have come since college came from the Men's Health Abs Diet book, a 6 week workout and diet plan based on powerfoods. I might be willing to trade that one for this one if somebody wants to swap.


Really? Is there something non-fitness on my wish list this year? Not really. Like I said, obsession.

I need a car. I haven't had a car for almost 2 years. Now that I don't work from home anymore I have to drive to an office every day. Bike commuting isn't possible. I don't like that I have to buy a car, but I just have to dang well get one. I have not ever made a car payment, and I hope I never have to. I have been borrowing cars from relatives while saving, and it's almost time to get one. I just hope the bike I want doesn't sell before I can find a stupid car that I can afford.

A new GPS would be nice too. The old one we have has 4 yr old maps and the battery won't hold much of a charge. It's about useless. I have never lived in Raleigh before and really don't know my way around. And the new GPS's have some cool features. So that would be really handy.

Winning a contest. joyRuN took my ass pic to heart and put me in the contest. I am not currently winning this contest, so you can vote for me on this post about the contest. I love free shit so I would highly encourage you to vote for me. After all, none of the other pics really add up. ok, i have to admit I liked the girl with the abs. But you should vote for me anyway.

By far, the biggest thing on my holiday wish list is my wife and kids. It's tough not coming home to them every day. I am ready for the house in Greenville to sell so we can get a house here and finish moving. It's been 2 months of only seeing them on the weekends and it sucks! I hate driving back to SC every friday, and sucking 4 hours out of every sunday to drive back to raleigh. I hate that the kids will wake up from their naps on sunday afternoon and find me gone. Bigun today figured out how to use Kelley's cell phone and called me just to tell me how much she was missing me today and why wasn't I coming back home after work today? But I don't want to wait until friday to see you daddy. ZOMG, it's breaking my heart. To go from working from home where we all are in the house all day every day for the last 2 years.... to only seeing them for a day and a half every week is hard on me, and on them. The holiday miracle would be for someone to buy that house in December. nobody buys houses in december, it's always a dead month.

So feel free to send me anything on the list. it's all up for grabs. Maybe at least I've given you some ideas for your own gift list or what to buy for your special someone. Remember, Eddie Reece (USA Swim team coach) said "burnout only happens when you quit going faster" and he said "the journey is where the fun is". So I hope you enjoy the holidays and the people you buy gifts for. Now get out there and run!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Too good

Today was too good not to post about it. I slept good last night, and woke up refreshed this morning, but stressed. I left work yesterday with mush brain from not being able to figure out how to fix this one error I was getting in my code, and that was bothering me early.

So I did some yoga. I do the 30 minute tv show Namaste Yoga on FitTV, just have a bunch TiVo'd. Still, it left me feeling calm and centered, and ready to attack the day and that software problem. Lurve me some yoga!

Got into the office by 8 and had that error solved by 8:45. I could have spent hours last night not fixing it with the mush brain; sometimes walking away and picking up your troubles another time really is the best way to find the answers. Thanks for the clear head Yoga!

Got 40 laps (1000 meters) in the pool over lunch. The normal company mountain bike ride on thursday's got postponed until tomorrow thanks to a conference call. But the pool was good to me today. I felt strong and slick in the water.

Of course, that will be even better after what I bought last night. Coach Katie is incredible. She is a real superwoman of an ironman. She worked out a deal with XTerra wetsuits to get special pricing for her athletes. As I was telling Kelley about this, she reminded me that I still had some christmas cash left over from last year. What's better than found cash? Turning it into a Vortex 3 Sleeveless wetsuit baby. Yea!!! I'll put some pics up when it comes in. But getting a $300 wetsuit for $99? wow, that's a steal. I've been paying about $50 each time I needed to rent a wetsuit, so this will come in real handy. Big thanks to Malone Coaching for working out that deal. It's good to be one of Katie's athletes.

She has also been handed the reigns to take over as director for the Assault on Mt Mitchell and Assault on Mt Marion bike rides this year!! Like she didn't have enough to do already. I'm telling you, superwoman!

After the lunch swim today I was ready to focus on some code, and it just came pouring out of my fingers. You ever have one of those days where everything just works? The job seems easy and fun? That was today. Very cool.

After work, it was time for the Thursday long run. I guessed 8 miles would be good enough for today, and it was smooth. Did the first 4 miles at 6.5 speed and didn't even get out of breath! I was amazed how easy it felt. Covered those first 4 in 37:20. Refilled the water bottle, and did the next mile @ 6.5, then 2 miles @ 6.6, and the last mile @ 6.7 for a negative split of 36:20 for the last 4 miles. I did finally get the heart rate up a bit towards the end. Still, this time last year I a 6.5 speed would only last about 1 mile before I thought my lungs would explode. and now I was barely sweating? That is amazing to me.

Winter training is all about building a base and forcing the body to adapt to new stimulus. These winter workouts don't have to be hard, but they do have to establish the pattern. I've had 2 runs, 2 swims, and a bike ride in the last 3 days. 8 workouts total since tuesday, plus the tri-power workout monday morning and tomorrow morning, and the mountian bike ride tomorrow too. I think multi-day workouts are a safe way to increase the milage and force adaptation (read: weight loss or at least fat loss) to a more constant schedule. If you are supposed to run 6 miles tomorrow, run 3 before work and 3 after work. You will be able to run those miles faster than if you ran 6 straight, and the goal is to be able to run more miles faster right? Just food for thought.

Then the strangest thing happened. I got a phone call from a guy at the old job in Atlanta. Just to say thanks for something I fixed for them last night. I didn't know if the fix I put in place actually worked, so I was glad it was a success. We've been trying to fix this particular problem for about 9 months now. But actual gratitude? I never got that when I was actually an employee there. Amazing.

And speaking of too good, joyRuN is giving away a popener and some popcorn. I think she has a thing for my ass, she was asking around today to put up ass shots. And since you know I'll do anything for free stuff, I must oblige. Even if the pic below will qualify me for posting on People of Walmart.

Actually, I think I have a decent rear end. It's one of the benefits of all this running! Still, Marcy would be proud.

I hope your tomorrow and weekend is as good as my thursday was! Time for Oregon vs Oregon St. Go Ducks!!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

November Totals

So it's December 2nd already. ya know what I've been up to?

Had a fantastic thanksgiving, but got absolutely ZERO pictures. dang. Still, it was great to hang with the big fam for a day. I actually got 4 (yes four) whole days in SC with my wife and kids. I'm still amazed. It was the first time in about 8 years that I haven't been stressed over some work thing, or had to go back into the office friday and/or saturday after thanksgiving.

I also did not accomplish anything at all over the holiday. Just played with the kids, and had a date with Kelley - we had a nice dinner and saw New Moon (and it was awesome, I felt like a teenage girl) while my mom was babysitting. I had some hopes of things to do, like repair the grape trellis's in the backyard. But I chose to play with the kids the whole time instead. It was wonderful.

I also got in a 5 mile run on saturday. Felt good and strong. I'm ready to ramp up the running a bit. I know increased mileage no more than 10% per week. but dang, it's getting good.

Screw Charlotte, NC. Normally the drive between Greenville and Raleigh is less than 4 hours. Wednesday night driving back it took me 6. Sunday headed G to R it took 7! The majority of the extra time was spent crawling through Charlotte. I got to see it at 7 mph on sunday. that's only 14 miles in 2 hours. I can run faster than that (at least @ tybee island in Feb) people! come on. Why does Charlotte have to bite down so bad?

Monday was mostly a recovery day. It's been a long stressful week on the job, we've got deadlines all week. Still, I did my tri power workout before work.

Tuesday was another story. Incredibly long and stressful day. But I did yoga before work so I felt centered and focused all day. Went to the pool for 800 meters of speedwork over lunch. It really gave me a great mental break to power through the long afternoon. Then I hit the bike for 20 miles after work.

Today's been fun too. Did my Tri Power workout before work, and got in speedwork on the treadmill (3 miles worth of 0.3 mile intervals with increasing speeds) over lunch today. The plan was to get in a long swim (1 mile at least) after work, but I saw lightning as I was driving to the gym. So I decided 5 workouts in 2 days was enough. But tomorrow is another day.

So what happened in November?

Well, there was my first half iron distance triathlon, and the ensuing recovery. The numbers:

Swim: 7800 m, 4.875 miles, 7 swims (1 race 1.2 miles)
Bike: 106 miles, 3 rides (1 race 56 rides)
Run: 32.1 miles, 6 runs (1 race 13.1 miles)
Strength: 90 minutes, 6 workouts
Yoga: 2 hr 30 min, 5 sessions

Factor in the race recovery (1.5 weeks), thanksgiving holiday turkey & such, and that batchelor party in Charlotte and that's a lot of time away from the gym. Swimming rocks. I'm so glad to have a gym with a pool now. Getting 7 swims in last month is more than I expected.

The bike is another story. 3 rides? I'm sure there was more than that, and I left it off of the log. My log spreadsheet gets neglected sometimes when things get too busy. 106 miles is still not bad, but over half of that was during the B2B. 32 miles of running is pretty good under the circumstances. It's been actual running too, not elliptical miles while nursing a hip problem. It feels so incredibly good to get back into interval runs, tempo runs, and long runs again.

Strength training on my new plan (still the Tri Power workouts) is supposed to be 3 times a week, and yoga is twice a week all before work. 6 Tri Power's and 5 yoga's is pretty slack. Should be closer to 12 Tri Power's and 8 yoga's. Still, holidays.... race recovery... I'll take it with excuses.

I'm not dead

It feels odd to only post once a week, but between the new job and workout schedule and heading back to Greenville every weekend it's all I've been able to crank out. However, I still have the following posts planned before the end of the year:

New Ride - Car
New Ride - Bike
New Ride - Wetsuit
Holiday Gift Guide - What makes a Training Smoker happy
2009 year in review
2010 preview & next year's mostly full race schedule

Have a great weekend!