Thursday, December 20, 2012

Badger state bound.

I am preparing to leave for Wisconsin to be with my family for the holidays.  The last two weeks have been "challenging" to say the least.  The "Gout" reared its ugly head again first on one foot then the other and I think I am finally close to getting rid of all of the effects.  However, I was pretty much crippled for two and a half weeks.  And I was hit with the flu/head cold from hell that put me in bed for the better of four days..I think I am finally getting over that sickness also.  Just in time to get on a plane with no ventilation and I am guessing 100 other unhealthy people.

The good news is I have lost 8 pounds.  Some of this I will attribute to the sickness but most to the change in diet I have done the last week.  No soda (diet or regular), no red meat, no candy or sweets and nothing with high fructose corn syrup.  I have been basically eating chicken, vegetables, some fish and a whole lot of smoothies.  Especially smoothies laden with cherries and berries as well as yogurt, whey protein, milk or orange juice.  Why the dramatic shift in nutrition? Because the last bit of gout scared the heck out of me.  I do not want be crippled by these attacks every few months.  Further I definitely do not want any permanent damage or have to be on a pill for the rest of my life.

And the natural "cures" are pretty bad.  The first is drinking a ton of cherry juice.  Not bad..until you find out how much cherry juice cost..$9.00 for 32 ounces!! WTH!!  Well what are the cheaper favorite so far is drinking a 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda four times a day..yeah..the base properties of the baking soda actually reduce the acidity of the blood. is also like eating pure salt as far as sodium content.  And then there is....drinking apple cider vinegar. Yes it is as yummy as it sounds. 

Thus with the options open to me I have chosen the  "eat clean method".  Amazingly I am feeling good and do not feel hungry at all. Unfortunately it is no just diet but hydration, genetics and other factors that affect I will just do my best and hope for the best.

Now the test is..Wisconsin..and all its fabulous cheese, fried fish, casseroles, sausages, gnocchi, potato pancakes, kringles, Christmas goodies, cheap food and drinks..etc..etc...etc..   The deal I made with the coach is I get two free days in Wisconsin as far as eating...Since I will be gone for over a week that seemed like a fair deal.  The object is to come back to Colorado in no worse shape then when I left it.  Impossible you say?  Based on past performance I would agree..but I am actually going to pack my blender..yep smoothies for everyone.

And obviously everyone was extremely concerned as was I..when Brett Beielma left Wisconsin for Arkansas.  A move I am sure he will regret within the next two years.  Luckily the Emperor himself put everyone's fear and trepidation aside and  declared that he would come down from the Ivory towers and lead the Badgers to Rose Bowl Glory yet again..   Against the hated Stanford Cardinal..  I hate Stanford..their mascot is a freaking tree.

This is going to be my new motto for 2013

Not only has the Emperor promised a resounding win in the Rose Bowl but has hired the Coach to take the Badgers into the next decade of greatness...Gary Andersen

Yeah..I'm a little concerned too after watching that video. At least he spells his last name correctly with an "e".  Who is the Clay Matthews wannabe at :24?  his son?..if it is he needs to know that the flat bill clap may fly in Utah..(and at Kompetitieve Edge with Ryan)..but not with Badgers.  Do you think they had to borrow a suit for him? How about the tie?  There are 50 shops within two blocks of Camp Randall selling the correct Badger Red..where did he find that tie? Are there badgers on it? Did he get it on a street corner? It almost looked like the freakin red from the Stanford Cardinal..I HATE Stanford..their mascot is a freakin tree!

Have a Merry Christmas Everyone!!  I'll check in from the 262..

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Important Things

In writing this blog I was torn about whether to include anything in regard to the horrendous shooting that occurred in Connecticut.  It is extremely emotional and I did not want to offend those who were trying to avoid seeing another reference to it.  However, it is too important not to mention. 

When I found out about the shootings on Friday I was at my desk and saw the report on the internet.  I actually teared up and started crying.  I had just dropped my 5 year old at school a couple hours earlier and had such empathy for the parents in Connecticut that my emotions took over.  I then called our good friends in Connecticut.  I knew her kids were in another district miles from Newtown but I just had to make sure everything was fine with them. My friend was at her kid's school when she answered and you could hear the emotion in her voice.  But at least we knew her family was ok.    After making the call I had to fight every urge to run out of my office and go pick up my daughter. The rest of Friday and today have been very emotional.  My wife was also deeply affected..even more so than me.  Not only do we have a five year old but we have gone through the shock and horror of having a loved one taken by the act of another.  We relived the emotions that we went through when we found out my brother had been killed by a drunk driver and the sheer helplessness and despair.  I know I will be shedding more tears over the victims, probably a lot more but hopefully I can do something to either honor them or make this world a better place for the survivors.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those affected by the shooting..the families, students, siblings, first responders and all of those who were deeply affected, even if they were thousands of miles away.

What does the event have to do with a blog that is purportedly about triathlon? Nothing..and everything.  The event once again put into perspective what is important in life and how precious our time with our loved ones is.  Triathlon training, especially for longer distances, is a very time intensive endeavor and often times a solo endeavor.   Decisions have to be made as to how to spend one's limited time.  Having a full time job and family further cuts into that training time or family time. 

The last two weeks I have felt a bit guilty about not doing my long training on Saturday.  The first week I went to a Christmas play with my wife, daughter and her friends for her birthday..the second week I attended Disney on Ice with my daughter and wife.  The events of Friday just reinforced that I made the right decisions.  My time and memories with my family and friends far outweigh  my training.  I am never going to be a top age grouper or heck..maybe not even a consistent middle of the pack guy. In the overall scheme of things..triathlon and training aren't that important.

However, I do enjoy triathlon training, especially when I can do it with friends.  I much rather go against the wisdom of coaches and sages who say not to do group workouts if they are fundamentally different then your workout and instead train on your own..but the camaraderie is what I enjoy.  The fun and memories are more important to me than my individual success.  Don't get me wrong..I have goals this year that I will share with everyone come January..but those goals are personal and tailored to what is importnat to me.

On Wednesday Kompetitive Edge released their list of sponsored athletes for the 2013 season.  The team is limited and they sponsor some of the best athletes in the country.  I am lucky enough to know some of these people personally.  I started scrolling down the list looking for people I knew...Oh..he's good..she is fantastic..and she is relentless..and this one was an olympic medalist and this guy is a slow fat some screw up KE put my name on the list.  I have waited three days and the list has not been revised or rescinded so now legally they have to sponsor me. (At least that is what I am going to tell them).

Honestly I was very excited on Wednesday when I saw my name.  I did actually check the list multiple time to make sure I had not misread it.  Needless to say I was pretty happy.

However the events of Friday hit me so hard that I thought about calling Ryan at Kompetitive Edge to tell him that I did not want the spot.  I thought about my big race plans and the fact that it would take away from family time and my loved ones and thus I would not be able to put the effort in that is necessary to meet my goals  and make my family and sponsors proud.

I mentioned this to my wife waiting for the nod of approval and instead she quickly smacked me outside the head.  She reminded me how much happier I am when I am fit as well as how much happier she is.  She also reminded me that we have a daughter that  when asked what she wants to do mostly says..swimming..or a bike ride ..or run because of the example we are setting.  She mentioned the great places we have gone as a family to do triathlons and the people we have met.  All valid points. Thus I am proud to say I will be on the Kompetitive Edge team this year.  I will find that balance between family and training..but honestly I will tend to lean toward the family side. I do see some early morning training in the future..which I dread.  My family and friends are what are important to me..but it turns out that for the most part triathlon is part of that family experience and not a detractor.

I want to thank Jared and Ryan at Kompetitive Edge for giving me a chance to be on an elite team.  Jared and Ryan are the heart and soul of Kompetitie Edge and it shows that they not only care about elite athletes but the everyday athletes that most of us are.  If you ever need anything swim, bike or run related be sure to contact them.  Further, the advice they can supply you with is priceless.

So take care everyone.  Hug your loved ones a little tighter this holiday season and decide what is really important in your life and make it a priority everyday.  Lastly please keep the victims and their families in your prayers and thoughts..and honor them by being the best human being you can be towards others.  Try to bring a smile to someone everyday. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Whatever happened to that 30 day thing?

Oh...that 30 day thing where I was going to track everything..umm yeah.  I think those 30 days have passed.  Let's see. The first couple of weeks were no where near perfect..but pretty good. I tracked my eating for the most part and stayed on schedule training wise. I would probably even give myself a B grade.  And this is where we should end the discussion of the 30 days...however..I won't.

So..the second half of November kicks in and my in-laws arrive from out of town...Although they tell me to keep training I do like to spend time with them and thus miss some of my training to hang with them. Even though I missed training, we were able to use some of that time to get my daughter's room turned into a pretty purple princess pad complete with painted clouds that look like horses..castles and Bucky Badger. (When I say we..I mean that I helped put together the IKEA furniture while they worked on everything else).

I love my in-laws but there are two things I hate about their visits (actually three if you count their addiction to t.v. shows I absolutely hate..really we need to watch NCIS a sixth time today..OH Christ..I was kidding..please don't turn on the Mentalist!!!)  I am gong to great rid of freaking CBS the next time they visit.   

Anyway, my father-in-law must have baked goods around the house at all times.  He needs to drink coffee and have a baked good after every stinking meal.  Fortunately for him he has self control and can have one cookie..Unfortunately for me when there are packages of 30 chocolate chip cookies just sitting on the counter bad things happen.  Second, my father-in-law will only eat hamburgers when he goes out to eat.  He will from time to time eat a cheeseburger..but only American cheese..thus trying to find a healthy restaurant that serves good burgers is kind of hard to do..especially in Golden Colorado..where the choices are Mexican, Chinese, Thai and Mexican.  We don't even ask anymore..just head for the nearest bar with a good burger. Although I was quite proud of him when he did try some Chinese food a couple of years ago at the Panda Express in the mall.  (Small steps people).  This excursion of his into the tasty world of food court Southeast Asian cuisine did not make up for the embarrassment of when we visited Brazil as a family and he requested ketchup and American cheese for the steak we were eating at lunch...  Anyway..the diet took a bit of a hit since I also do love a good burger.

The next week was Thanksgiving..another hit to the weekend daughter's birthday party complete with sleepover..and firm Christmas and nutrition out the window again.  The weekend following..wife had knee surgery.. and Disney on ice the following day.  There are also all the holiday goodies that have shown up at the office and home.  Oh yeah..those last 2.5 weeks were awesome.  The topper was the gout attack I got last Tuesday which has hobbled me for more than a week.  The gout attack was a huge surprise..until I calculated in my head that I had eaten basically a full cow and a half in the previous couple of weeks..

And of course there was the trip to Golden Corral about two weeks ago. Ironically the Golden Corral is right near Kompetitive Edge..the triathlon store I get everything from to become a leaner, faster, stronger athlete.  I had to pick up something form KE and my coworkers rode along with me..then one of them said..let's go to Golden Corral..Yeah..bad idea from the get go.  My relatives in Wisconsin love the Golden Corral..All you can eat for 8 bucks and leave your dignity at the door. 

Much like a Walmart..any normal person walking into a Golden Corral feels damn good about themselves and their station in life. Heck I felt undernourished compared to the other patrons and felt like I needed to eat.  And somehow when you are out at an all-you-can eat place your common sense seems to shut off.  In most instances when I have eaten enough food to actually cause me to have breathing problems I will stop..Oh..but not at Golden Corral..maybe it was the fact that 25% of the people there had oxygen bottles with them and I felt if I did stop breathing help was very close by....but the shortness of breath just meant that I should change to the dessert table.  And one would think that people with the dress and personal hygiene of the homeless waving pork chops under the chocolate fountain would be a deterrent to eating..but somehow all I could think of was..meat plus chocolate equals a celebration for the taste buds.  However...I did not try it..I wish I could say I had self control but it was mostly because my right arm had actually gone numb and was hanging useless by my side.

So..we are going to forget the last few weeks..except for the good memories....mostly of princesses. As far as training the good news is that I have added a considerable amount of weight to my lifts.  Kind of an ego thing but it is nice to be able to hang with some of the big dogs again..(ok..medium dogs).  And don't even ask how many salads, vegetables and smoothies I have had in the last body has no idea what is hitting it. I went shopping and was putting weird colored weeds in my cart..and chicken.

There is something about excruciating pain that can make one change their eating habits.  And no..there are no trips to Golden Corral scheduled withn the next 10 months.

I hope everyone is having a terrific holiday season.