Sunday, July 13, 2014

Walmart Cervelos

My last blog post I stated it was time for a change. I was overwhelmed by the number of people..friends, family and strangers alike who stated they knew exactly what I was going through and had gone through it themselves.  Everyone has struggles from time to time and it is how we deal with those struggles that write our legacy.  It's also important to remember no matter how alone you feel or how you think you are the only one that has faced a problem...you are not. In fact if you ask for help or simply discuss your plight ..you will be surprised someone close to you has faced the same issue.

OK..has anything changed in four weeks?  I still have stress with work and am struggling for that career balance. That has not changed and I need to work more on those issues.

However, I have signed up for some triathlons..even with my pathetic little training over the last year and a half.  My first is two weeks away..The Evergreen Sprint Triathlon. It has plenty of climbing..which I hate..and the swim is long for a sprint..and I have yet to actually fit into my wetsuits. Thus I should be totally not ready for the race. I also signed up for the My Way or the Tri Way Sprint triathlon in August.  However..I had some Delta air miles that were going to expire and so the family and I are heading out to Maine to do the Rev 3 Maine Olympic distance instead. Not only will I get to do the course that I love..more importantly I will get to hang out with friends I have not seen in a while..Like Jen and Angela..and the other Jen if she ever apologizes to me for rooting against the Badgers. I then have a race in September close to home, the Littlefoot Triathlon. And I am even considering doing an Xterra mountain bike race..the Desert's Edge Xterra.

Since I have signed up for these races with no possible way in hell of being ready for them..Jen Small has once again decided to to coach me through the ordeal.  As Jen summed up our special coaching/athlete relationship to another person..."I write Scott's schedules..he ignores them.. we laugh...".  Apparently she is taking this crap seriously though..My third day of training..in my custom off the couch fat ass to Olympic race..was a 20 mile bike and 3 mile run.  WTF..I don't do that in a month anymore.  This was my obligatory before pic.



Here is the after pic..After riding and then trying to run on legs that felt like rubber..so instead of a run/walk it was more of a walk/crawl.
Yeah..I'm still out of it in the above picture.  Today I was scheduled to do a run/swim. and this is what I looked like.
I may look like crap but getting back into a regimented schedule was awesome. I feel like I am accomplishing something.  I have lost about 7 pounds this week and my running is starting to improve from non-existent to a semi slow shuffle.

More important then my new fitness regimen is that I have reconnected with a lot of friends in the last two weeks and intend to reconnect with others in the next month. I found my way back to Kompetitive Edge and hung out with friends old and new.  Attended a number of parties over the Fourth weekend and had a blast. Also went to Irish Fest with the family and it was wonderful..Except for the part where I took my shirt off in public and my Six yer old..yelled..don't do that..covered her face with her hat..and told my wife to tell her when it was over. 

Actually looking at the picture I think she had a point. I may need a bit of a tan.  But my traps are looking damn good.


It is that social interaction that I have missed. Life is about memories and happiness and sharing experiences with family and friends it is not about your VO2 max..whether you ride a Custom Guru or a Walmart Cervelo..or even how many billable hours you get in.  It's making your friends and family laugh, being there when they need you and leaning on them when you have to.  And although I have learned this many times in my life..it is about sharing your feelings and emotions with your friends and those you love so they know how much you care about them...life is short..you don't want to wait one or two.or six years..to reach out.  Unfortunately that is what I have been doing.  Tomorrow is going to come whether you like it or not..and so is that next race..or next deadline. You have to make the most of today..and plan for tomorrow if you can. I just hope that my friends and family know that I am always here along with the rest of my family to help them through rough spots if need be.

I'm back on track and cannot thank my family and friends enough..as well as those that I don't even know who have reached out.  I also cannot recommend enough the From Fat to Finish Line Facebook page.  The members are unbelievably supportive of one another and many have a warped sense of humor. Kris, Nora, Gayle, Rik, Dena, Patty, Melissa, Michael, John, Phoenix.....and the list goes on and on of people I consider friends off that page.

Like all of us I have a long way to go..but I am rearranging my priorities.  It is more important letting a great friend have a laugh at your expense just to see them smile..Yes my nickname was Charlie Brown for obvious reasons..then it is to worry about how strangers perceive you.

Later Gators!

Oh..and to prove I am actually back in training..I learned the hard way that cutting your ass while shaving it, can in the long run end up wrecking a pair of khakis.  Yes..it is better you don't ask.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Time for a change.

I haven't blogged in a while. I haven't done much of anything in a while.  May flew past and we are half way done with June. It seems like summer will be gone before I even know it is here. Exercise and nutrition for me have been way off..ok nonexistent.  To be honest I have been in a funk.. a funk that has lasted nearly a year and a half.    I have zero motivation..and when motivation does try to come back from the dead  my negative thoughts beat it back into submission.  Unfortunately it seems like I am in a terrible downward spiral.  I don't workout because I am stressed about work..or what may happen at work..or what may happen in the future.  Seriously. I can not plan anything more than a week in advance because I am convinced something terrible will happen..something bad at work will pop up....someone close to me will get sick  or die..I'll get injured....etc.  (These are all things that have occurred to me in the past) Thus I have not planned any races. Thus with no races planned I have not trained.  Or if I do start training I realize how much time I have wasted not training and eating poorly and become depressed about that. Yes..I am currently a mess.  My stress eating has taken over and I am averaging about 5 hours of sleep a night..and not good sleep. My weight has been fluctuating between 242 and 245..the heaviest I have ever been. Honestly I am finding it hard to get motivated to get out of bed on some days.

So I am batting 0 for 3 in the main health categories..Exercise, Nutrition and Stress Management.

I am wasting my time and life worrying about things that may or may not happen while at the same time becoming depressed over things I have not done.  Especially since I have a six year old daughter who continues to grow up..and I am missing out on things.  I haven't had a summer vacation in two years and I am not going to get those years back.  I had to cancel our trip to visit friends out east and tour D.C. last year.  This year my wife and daughter went to Disney World on a trip without me because of work conflicts. I can't even explain how much it hurt to have my daughter go to Disney World without me. So how do I fix this..

First, I need to try and stop worrying about things.. Much easier said then done. Especially since my mind wakes me up at 2 a.m. or 4 a.m. and won't let me get back to sleep. I can control what I can control and that is it.  I also must get proactive. And I have to plan things..if bad things happen they will happen either way.  However, I must convince myself I can't waste my life worrying and doing nothing.  I took Friday off to be with the family...Thursday night I couldn't sleep at all because I was worried about what would happen at work on Friday.  Friday I waited for a telephone call..and tonight I am dreading going in. Thus I am not going to sleep.

Second I need to set some goals and plans.  I have two free race entries to use up this year..so I am going to decide which races I want to do and sign up.  If I don't race then I have not lost anything..but at least I will have some goals.

Regular exercise should help my stress..and even if it does not at least my body will be healthier.  Although I have not been extremely religious my entire life..in fact I have questioned it numerous times in the last few years...I have found that going to mass on a regular basis..even a couple of times a week is soothing.  I have also found volunteering to be good for me. So I will look to see what I can do as far as volunteering for more races, at church and my daughters school and sports.

Right now I don't have a passion...Work is not my passion nor is my profession..in fact they are probably what is keeping me from finding my passion.  I used to love volleyball..played 4 nights a week..spent weekends at tournaments....however I have not played in about 4 years and have lost touch with all my friends who used to play.  Triathlon and biking do nothing for me right now..probably because I don't have a goal to train for or more likely because I do not have friends to train with at this point. I'm so out of shape I am embarrassed to ride with people who have asked me. So I guess I need to find my passion again..if I ever actually had one to begin with.

My nutrition has to change since it is literally killing me.  Again, I need to be proactive with this. Pack my lunch..make my breakfast and plan our dinners.  I know small changes are the way to go..but I think I have done so much damage that I really need to do something drastic.  Thus I am going to try and follow the six week plan in the Eat to Live book by Dr. Fuhrman,  It is a plant based nutrition format.  I love meat but I can do without it..I have in the past.  The problem is giving up dairy... I love cheese. 

So in short..the plan.

1.  Try not to stress about work  and do things outside of work that make me happy - volunteer, church, exercise etc.
2.  Exercise (set goals and draft training schedule to stick to)
3. Nutrition  (proactive - pack lunches - plan meals in advance)
4. Reconnect with family and friends..make them a priority.
5. Have faith..and enjoy the blessings I do have..like my wife and daughter.

I also need to take advantage of the resources available to me. I belong to a cycling club and tri club and have not had the motivation to attend any of their events this year. I also am active on a facebook page - From Fat To Finish Line that has a lot of wonderful people that are full of good advice and encouragement.

I am also going to keep blogging - it seems like a good outlet for  me.  I was hesitant about putting this blog online since it is a fairly serious post but maybe it will kick start my new program.  I guess this post is more for me than anyone else.  I need to change now - I am missing time with my family and friends and have not "lived" for a while.  I need to put things back into proper perspective.  What is a nice house if you can't enjoy it..and stressing to the point you can't enjoy family and friends?   I'm sure a lot of you reading this have gone through similar times in your life and can relate.

First Triathlon

Local hike

Buena Vista
Hopefully my next post will be light-hearted.  A few things that were positive the last 6 weeks.. My daughter did her first triathlon of the season and did awesome. She is also doing great on her swim team. I got a brand new..used 2005 Mercury Mountaineer..since my Sorento was totaled out in a car accident.  My daughter and I both ended up in the emergency room..but nothing serious. We also got in a short weekend trip to Buena Vista.

Hopefully I will be posting int he near future with some positive stories.  Have a great week and I hope everyone is enjoying the start to their summers. Happy Trails!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Where's Zach?

Yes! It's time for another installment of ..only you.  If you are a facebook friend of mine you already know the story but it bears repeating.  A couple of weeks ago I actually went to the gym at lunch.  I knew there were going to be problems since the parking lot was full..which means...kids on break.  I went to the rec center with the lap pool and kids pool but decided to just run laps around the gym and do a pushup.. Which I did exceptionally well.  When I got back to the locker room it was crawling with pint sized vermin and their dads trying to keep track of them.  They of course were all at the rec center to use the urine filled kids pool. (this is just my guess).  I showered quickly..headed back to my locker trying to avoid getting within a foot of any of the pint size strep throat carriers .  I quickly donned my pants and shirt, put on my shoes and socks and then stood up and faced the locker to take my watch out of the top of shelf.  As I was adjusting my watch I felt something brushing against my leg.. I turned my head and didn't see anything.  I then looked down to see this red headed 2 year old standing behind me.  He was wearing a shirt and a smile and nothing else.  He was also peeing on the back of my pants.  I am guessing he was not doing this intentionally since he obviously had no idea how to direct the flow and he had his hands in the air.  He was just kind of letting it go wherever it wanted. It actually took me a few seconds to realize what was happening before I jumped out of the way and he continued peeing on the floor and locker.  I then heard a male voice from the lockers over one area yelling.. Mike..Mike..where's Zach..you are supposed to be watching him.  Yeah.. I know where Zach is.  Needless to say I took my pants and shoes off and wore shorts and running shoes back to the office. Probably should have showered again now that I think about it.

Oh yeah..I also took a picture of the newest sign at the rec center.  Remember the sign in the shower that said they wouldn't be providing soap for safety reason?  I think this one beats it.

So..am I to gather we are not supposed to use deodorant or sweat at the gym?  How PC can this country get?  How about requiring some people to use fragrances since their rancid body odor is capable of knocking a horse down?  Sorry enough of a rant.

So I have actually been training. Last week my daughter and I ran the stairs at red rocks and did some mountain biking which was fun. I was so proud of her.  She crashed her bike and started crying..while she was crying she picked up her bike, checked the tires and then checked the chain to make sure it was still on the bike.



The stair climbing at red rocks was completed with a real live hippie drum circle!. I felt like Eric Cartmen... Dirty hippies

This week I have gotten a couple of runs in and I did a nice 20 mile bike ride on Easter with my friend Doreen and found out that my quads are definitely not fit.  They were screaming at me every time we went up a hill..which was fairly frequently.
Me and Doreen..Yes..I forgot to shave for a couple of days

 Also, to protest all the riders that I run into that don't say on your left or acknowledge your existence (the vast majority in team kits) I have decided to road bike in my t-shirts and mountain biking shorts. (The real reason may be that I don't actually fit into any of my team kits at this point)  Oh..and an Easter miracle. I would say that a good 80 to 90 % of the riders we saw said hello or on your left.. A far cry from the usual 20%/  Yes I do keep track.

I also did some running...I hate running..especially since  really need to run with a hydration pack..but at least I look good. Yep..can you say Sierra Echo Xray Yankee?

Yes..I have neglected to shave my head for a couple of weeks.

And I did make a purchase.new Hoka One One shoes.  They are about the ugliest thing I have ever seen.  I have had them out for one run and although there is a massive amount of cushion the shoes are very light and you can still feel the trail below you.  I will reserve judgment on these until I get a few more miles in. However, so far so good.  I usually can make anything look good..but these shoes..it's going to be a challenge.

Hope you are all doing well..the next blog post I am going to do a gear review on the coolest thing I have seen in years..and which I think may have saved my life..or at least my important parts. Important to me anyway.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Now where did I put that?

So..what is the secret to being healthy and fit?  Cardio fitness? Strength? Discipline? Great nutritional plan?  The answer is..none of the above.  The true secret is organization!  And unfortunately for me that is one of my major weaknesses.  No matter how hard I try or what I do to get organized I end up becoming even more unorganized.

 For example..a training log is supposed to help you plan and log your exercises. Mine doesn't. Not because of the system I use..but because I use multiple systems and forget what I have put in each one.  Currently I am using Beginner Triathlete, Final Surge, Garmin Connect, a paper calendar, my ipad calendar and sometimes my phone for my training log. To track my nutrition I use Spark People, My fitness pal, a hand written food journal and beginner triathlete.  Why do I use so many?  Because I have a problem!! I see one and I think.. that works great..then I see another and think..that works better and use that until I decide the first one was the best.  What ends up happening is I don't know what I am using and then don't log at all.  I should be seeing a therapist..or going to AA (applications anonymous)

What is worse is that this skill of being unorganized persists through all aspects of my life.  Perfect example..my wife and daughter left for a 3 day trip to Wisconsin...When they left the house was in immaculate condition.  The pictures below are 36 hours after their departure.








That is just some of the damage I did.  Now granted..in the first pic I had just gotten done installing the moulding in the room. The stuff on the floor is oatmeal.  I knocked over a glass ball filled with candle "oil".  All a rag did was spread it around further, so a suggestion on facebook lead me to spreading oatmeal on the floor.  It actually worked for the most part. And the house was picked up before the wife got home..although it took a good 5 hours.

The oatmeal and oil is not bad considering last year at this time my wife left the house and this happened.



 In the third and fourth pictures above you can see the room where I keep my workout stuff..along with 2 or 3 of my gym bags.  Yes. I thought it was a good idea to have one for running and one for swimming and another for emergencies.  What ends up happening is I forget which one I have placed my mp3 player in..or lock ..or sunglasses..or even shoes. I have ended up at the pool to swim without goggles..at the park to ride my bike without shoes and the gym without shorts.  So much for organization.  The only thing that saves me at work is I have two people who are paid to keep me organized.

If I am lucky to make it to a ride I have somehow forgotten my water bottles or tire pump.  Once I had packed the car with every possible thing I needed and driven about 15 minutes toward the rendezvous when I realized my bike was not on top of the car.   Yes, I realize there may be some memory issues involved here along with the organizational problems.

My nutrition also suffers from my terrible organizational skills. I plan on making lunch and eating healthy and 1. either don't pack the lunch the night before..2. forget the lunch in the fridge..or 3. bring a salad and forget the dressing.
 
Luckily for my daughter she has my wife's organizational skills.  She gets up in the morning, gets dressed, makes herself breakfast most mornings and reminds me what I need to do and if there is anything special I need to take to school for her.   Honestly it is scary that my life and fitness level would be so much better if I acted like my six year old daughter.  Today it was..Dad..we need to get out on the bikes, the triathlon is in two months.  But I don't want to go outside..the basketball game is on...

I am afraid that I am going to have to get over this organizational hurdle or just give up the ship..provided I haven't already misplaced it. It seems like the more I try to get organized the more unorganized I become.   So I guess I need to just make a list for the week and make sure everything gets done..now should I do the list on my ipad calendar..my phone task list..the weekly calendar or the daily?  Screw it...

I made one interesting observation dealing with gear this week. In my last post I told everyone I joined a facebook group From Fat to Finish Line.  In that group I asked what shoe everyone liked for running,  The overwhelming majority picked Brooks.  What was really interesting was that Newtons was one of the least favored shoes.  Now this group is almost all runners and most of them beginners but a few are veteran race runners.  If I asked the same question of my triathlon friends I think the vast majority would say Newtons were their go to shoe?  So why is that? Does Newton do that much more advertising directed toward triathletes?  Or does the Newton price tag keep every day runners away, where triathletes who are used to paying a large amount for their gear are less likely to shy away from the cost?  Things that make you go hmmmm.

And a shout out to my friend Kelli who as I type this is completing Ironman Cabo..her first!  And John who competed in his first triathlon as a member of a relay..Way to go John..although you cannot get the title triathlete until you finish a swim leg...rules is rules.

Lastly...Go Badgers!




I honestly don't take sports all that seriously but anyone rooting against them is dead to me.  You know who you are.