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.


the gazelle said...

fantastic! I am so glad that we know each other & that I've been able to follow your many successes throughout the year.

And also, excited that I have a new 5K PR goal, now (since after my 28:xx 5K you declared that the 'time to beat').

I hope your 2010 is even better!

Lily on the Road said...

You've come a LONG WAY BABY!! Happy New Year to you and yours!!

May 2010 bring you all much health, happiness and laughter...

and yes, I'd be your friend, for sure!!!

Happy New Year CJ.

Missy said...

Love the tale in pictures. Thanks so much for sharing. It was really great to meet you this year too. I hope we cross paths again in 2010. REV3 Knoxville, Maybe???

My best to you and the fam. You should be very proud of your accomplishments.

Tyger Lily said...

What a stellar year my friend! *High five*

Here's to a kick a$$ new year. I too started my triathlon career similarly. I was a smoker, lost a lot of weight due to gallstones, decided to do tri's because "hey, that looks fun" and I'm completely addicted now! Non smoker "will never go back" now, going into third season of triathlon and lovin' every minute of it! Yeah!

Happy New year to you and your family!

Wes said...

I love it. We both started this journey at about the same point in our declining health. You've made such great strides and have so much to be proud of. Your kids will grow up seeing this can do type of attitude, and that's the greatest gift of all. I'm sure Evil Genius will take over the world long before I do :-)

GeorgiaSnail said...

Congrats CJ! What a great year. I look forward to seeing you in Tybee, keep up the good work!

Lisa said...

Happy New Year!

Alisa said...

What a great couple of years for you!

I'm excited to see what 2010 has in store for you and the family.

1:31 for a Sprint, that may be my new goal =)

healthy ashley said...

John, you are an inspiration!!!!

You did have a great year. I can't wait to watch you in 2010!

ps- I am uber jealous of Roberta!!

Mike Russell said...

John you had a great year. You look fantastic and 2010 will be your year!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

WOW, what a great post and journey, you've accomplished a lot, and you should definitely be proud. Amazing pics too! HAHA, the meat-punch meter, that was funny.

Ryan said...


I thought for sure getting "dry humped" by me would surely make the top 10.

Next time I guess I'll have to lube up :-0

Lisa from Lisa's Yarns said...

Holy. Cannasta. Those before/after pics are amazing. What a huge transformation!

I love all the pictures. You sure accomplished alot this year!

I definitely have some fitness-oriented goals on my '30 before 30' list. Can't wait to get going on them. Maybe I will add finishing a triathlon to the list. I am kind of nervous about the whole transition thing. But I figure if I ran a marathon, I can figure out the transition thing! :)

Amanda said...

Wooo, you've come so far and are still plugging full speed ahead! Congrats on your transformation, and for really making it a permanent change. Not many people do that. Can't wait to see how this year pans out!!

jokach said...

awesome, I enjoyed reading the entire story. The pictures added to the drama, congratulations on your accomplishments.

Badgergirl said...

Loved reading and seeing the story through pics! Looking forward to seeing what 2010 will bring you and your family!