Monday, September 16, 2013


When I started this little corner of the interwebs back in September 2008 I had no idea I would still be running triathlons for this long, much less still be blogging about it. This is the 500th time I have posted to the ol' Smoke Trainer, so I thought I'd bring out some of the highlights in case you haven't been reading for the last five years.


The first post I wrote explained why I run and what the family history was like. It was funny and the first time I realized I might have a "writing style". It also exposed just how much I care about my health and why I need to stay healthy.

At that time I had done one sprint triathlon and that was it. I jumped straight into multisport, having not done a 5k  or swam a lap before that race. I bought my first bike just 2 weeks before the race. When I crossed that finish line I knew I had beaten my addiction and found a suitable replacement.
From the Greenville Sprint 2008

I swam without goggles, and needed a CamelBak to get through a 15 mile bike ride, refilling the bladder in TA before a 5k run.  It was a big deal. I only did one other race in 2008.

I also wrote this little gem in 2008, which was really a precursor to other funny stuff.  I mean, 6 miles was a long run? come on.

The Kids

I post a lot of pictures and stories about the kids, but this one has to be the most important. I have emailed this story to plenty of people and told it in person thousands of times. If you've never read it you really should. It's the story of how we got the kids, and it's actually a funny and cringe-worthy tale of infertility and healing.

In 2009 I did the most posts of any year, 142. I did my second triathlon, and finally started to make it less of a big deal to race. It became a habit, something that I could post about regularly and start to see some continual improvement on.  I ran my first marathon, first Olympic distance triathlon, and first half iron distance triathlon. It was a banner year all around


I've been reading some of those posts again, and I was pretty consistently funny back then. The first oly race report has been repeated called one of the funniest race reports ever. I think the funniest post happens to be meme for 10 things about me. I don't know where that humor came from, but man that one cracks me up.

Funny things just seem to happen to me, like getting passed by a guy who farted as soon as he passed me while running in a half ironman, or getting offered a hit from a joint 16 miles into my first marathon. Too funny. Now I get really excited when something funny happens to me.

2011 was the big year with Ironman Florida as the highlight. I still talk about that trip and race like it was yesterday. So much fun. I also set a TON of PR's in 2011, because I had the most room to grow. 12 races where I set PR's, and only 4 where I didn't. crazy. But every single one has a race report on here. I also did the "half marathon every month" challenge, which was a lot of fun. Sometimes they were just 13.1 mile runs and sometimes races, but the times ranged from 1:39 to 2:13. crazy times.

After IMFL I got really depressed with no big goal like that to look forward to again. That meant in 2012 I just threw together anything I could think of. 300 days of yoga?  Sure, sounds like fun. 27 races? yes please. I'd race anything since it was an off-ironman year and I had no real target. 4 marathons, both the spring and fall Grand Prix series, open water swims. I'd race anything I could get into. It ended up being a really fun year.

This year I needed to focus on multisport and dedicated training for my second ironman. Beach 2 Battleship is only a few weeks away now, and the training is going smooth.  PR's are pretty hard to come by these days, but I certainly feel stronger now.

Next year is going to be a blast too! Kelley and I are going to try the 3-star marathon maniac thing, doing full marathons on 4 consecutive weekends if we can get into them all.  Challenge USA is talking about putting on an iron distance race in the 3rd weekend of June next year, so I might try and get into that. Ironman Chattanooga sold out too quickly, and I didn't have the cash to get in anyway. But we are planning on going to spectate my friends, volunteer for  something, and the plan is to register for 2015. And since I'll be 40 then, it could mean that I'll be making a run for a kona spot or it could end up being my last ironman. Who knows.  So that's what you have to look forward to for the next 500 posts here.

Speaking of old stuff....

20 years difference of me. The weight loss is a typical thing that I talk about, but it's harder for me to describe how thin I was when I was younger. That first pic is Christmas of my senior year of high school. Yes, that also means that my 20th high school reunion is coming up next month, and I will not be attending. For girls it's ok to be that skinny, but for guys it left me weak and unstable. I tried everything to gain weight. No matter how hard I lifted weights or what I ate I could not gain a pound. Of course I didn't know anything about healthy eating or gainer's nutrition then either, but being that thin was really tough.

Fast forward 10 years and after Kelley and I got married my metabolism started to catch up. Around age 23 or 25 the weight really started to come on, and I started being able to lift heavier weights too. I embraced it, then let it take over and I ballooned up 100 lbs heavier than I was out of high school. For my height (6'1") that was considered overweight but not obese. And the weight loss story is well documented on here.  Kelley did the weight watchers thing, I lost some. I went vegetarian with calorie restrictions and lost the rest. Now I'm sitting around 180 lbs, and it is a happy medium. I can have muscle definition and a neck.

This week I got some pictures of me that my grandmother had kept, plus plenty of others like my dad's high school pictures and lots of shots of his dad. Really cool stuff in there, but here's a few more that you might get a kick out of.

Me with a beard when Evil Genius was a wee tot

Bigun and I working the garden when we lived in SC

Kelley and EG in really big hats

me with my brothers Morgan and Michael. I had long hair in college, it's pulled back there.


Alecia Taylor said...

I have some links to click on!

Alisa said...

Fun to look back on stuff.

Look at that photo of you from the 2000' have come a long long way buddy.

Even from that first sprint =). I have photos from my first sprint...haha on a mountain bike =).

Big Daddy Diesel said...

Amazing!! Nice job on losing the weight!