Saturday, December 7, 2013

Time to start training again.

Oh it's holiday time.. That time of year when the food and alcohol flow and it gets cold outside.   The time of year when sweaters can cover up that roll hanging over your belt.  Not that this ever happens to me. last post I was espousing a plant based diet.  So what has happened in the last two months?  While, I stuck with it for the month of October. Actually ate vegetarian for 4 to 5 days a week with chicken or fish on the other days.  And I didn't feel hungry or deprived and the NSA did not put me on any lists for being a socialist bent on the destruction of the American way.  I actually felt good and lost about 7 pounds without trying.  Then the worst possible thing happened. I had my cholesterol test.  It came back and my numbers weren't good..they were great. My total cholesterol was under 150.  The only thing I really could improve on was raising my HDL a bit and lowering my LDL.  So what was wrong with these results?  Welcome to my mind where I now told myself..your numbers are great why don't you ease off on the new food plan..which I did..but instead of easing off I pretty much just threw the brakes on completely and did a reverse.  Yep...started eating out again and started eating meat and white carbs.  And I feel like crap. 

So how could I let myself do this?  A few reasons.  The first is that is is just plain easier to eat like crap than to plan out menus and buy fresh food all the time.  It's also easier to go out to lunch instead of packing it. 

Second, it is holiday time and thus my low level of self restraint and a cornucopia of tasty treats that appear out of nowhere equals dubious eating choices on my part.

Lastly I will blame my Wisconsin roots for jut having a genetic predisposition to really terrible food choices.  Seriously, I come form a state where the Center for Disease Control just had to put out a warning specifically for Wisconsinites not to eat raw meat.  Yep, it is the holidays and time for some good old fashioned Cannibal Sandwiches.. a Wisconsin tradition. Read about it here..CDC to Wisconsinites..stop eating cannibal sandwiches.  Seriously, what the hell kind of people have to be warned about eating raw meat?  The same people that lead the nation in brandy consumption (You always have a brandy old fashioned while eating a fish fry at the local supper club), binge drinking, and that have three times more taverns per capita than any other place in the United States.  (We already know about the beer, cheese and kringle consumption).  My inlaws were nice enough to deliver two kringles right to my door at Thanksgiving.

Thus I am sitting here at my usual winter weight of 237 instead of being ahead of the game.  Which was just in time for me to start my official training for my A race next year.  The big race is on August 3, 2014, just 8 months..or 32 weeks away.  

The first thing I noticed when I started training this week was my bad quad was not supporting my weight.  Actually I figured this out in Church.While kneeling my leg started to quiver.  I also found out that I have ZERO Hip flexibility..again while kneeling in Church..I couldn't get my back and legs to line up..I kept trying to push my butt forward but to no avail.  I can only guess wht the people behind me were thinking.  I worked on this the entire time during mass and ended up not being able to walk properly out to the parking lot.    And yes, I do go to Church..sometimes twice a week. As a side note, I think most triathletes must be non church goers since the races are almost always on Sunday mornings and my training partners always want to start early on Sundays. Luckily I am Catholic so have that Saturday evening option for attending mass. 

I was able to work out three times at lunch this week instead of going out to lunch.  On the first day I weight trained..ok..I bar trained..since I am so weak at this point I couldn't actually put "weight" on them.  The second day I was on the treadmill..holy heart rate spiked at 165..within 30 seconds...of me dropping my mp3 player and having to bend over to pick it up.  Seriously.  I just started out with walking and was so annoyed by the guy next to me due to the noises he was making that I took my yurbuds out of my ears and turned to ask what his problem was when I realized it was me that was making the wheezing noises.  I then went to leave the gym and saw my reflection in the mirror..which I usually stop to admire.  However, I have apparently not looked at myself from the side in a while..because my butt is huge!! Why hasn't somebody told me this?  Yes, I have been having issues with underwear and my pants and having an unusual amount of plumbers crack..but I never thought it was because my butt was big. 

So the eating binge is over, the training has begun again and a plan has been being formed.  I am guessing coach will want me doing strength training to get everything ship shape again before hitting the base training.   Oh, there was one good thing this week.  My shoulder issues (Separated while mountain biking and then reinjured in a car accident in October) did not seem to be giving me too many problems.  I still felt "something" but the pain and soreness were minimal.  We will see how it is when I begin swimming and lifting heavier weights.(ok..when I actually put weights on the bar) 

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and are enjoying this holiday season!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

WTF?? (Fat..what the fat?)

Warning...this blog entry is actually a bit educational in nature.  It is based on my own research as well as discussions with people I know and trust..namely, my doctor, my friend and ex coach Suzanne Atkinson, M.D., the drive thru guy at Dunkin Donuts and  others too numerous to mention.  I am not posting this blog as advice to is merely my opinion after doing my own research...and unfortuantley the conclusion I come to is not what I wanted.

So after my doctor advised me to become a vegetarian and forgo meat and cheese I started to do a little research regarding what exactly constitutes healthy eating.  I especially wanted to know what is "heart healthy" eating.  You would think that this would be an easy question to find an answer for..but it isn't.

My doctor had indicated that cutting out saturated fats and cholesterol was the answer to stopping my arteries from becoming as clogged as I-70 on Sunday nights during ski season.  This made sense since I had been hearing about low-fat diets for the last 20 years and how a heart healthy diet was one that limited fats in the diet.

However, do a google search for saturated fat and heart disease and the first 50 items will have articles about how saturated fat is not the enemy and there is no proof showing a correlation between saturated fat and heart disease.  Some of these articles are from physicians but a good number of the articles are by authors pushing a Paleo diet agenda..crossfit..or some similar diet or philosophy.  In fact, many of these authors have no issue with eating as much cheese and bacon as you want.   Well I know for a fact that the saturated fat is not your enemy theory is wrong.  The mere fact that I want it to be correct automatically makes the theory false.  So what is the answer?

Well there are a few things that everyone agrees on.   The first  is to avoid Trans fats.  Trans fats are most likely found in  products made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oil, like stick margarine, many commercially prepared baked goods, and deep-fried foods. Trans fats elevate harmful LDL cholesterol, depress beneficial HDL, and increase inflammation.  So..Trans fats should be avoided..good bye fried foods.

The second thing is to lose weight if you are carrying anything over and above what you should be.  A healthy BMI (Body Mass Index)  is 18.5 to 24.9.  Overweight is 25 to 29.9 and Obese is anything over 30.  At my current weight and height 6'1" 235 my BMI is 31.  Yes the Obese category..however the calculation does not take into account the extraordinary amount of muscle I carry as well the weight of my thick skull.  However, I know that to be healthy I need to start getting taller.  You can calculate your BMI here..BMI Calculator.

The third thing that most of my research indicates is that the low fat diet should be thrown out.  It seems to be agreed that we should take in more polyunsaturated (Foods high in polyunsaturated fat include a number of vegetable oils, including soybean oil, corn oil and safflower oil, as well as fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring and trout.  Other sources include some nuts and seeds such as walnuts and sunflower seeds) and monounsaturated fats (olive oil, avocados and peanut butter).  The debate is still whether saturated fats should be minimized or not.

So what about saturated fat.  I went through numerous articles, blogs, studies etc..and I found this article to be the most helpful in trying to sort everything out.  Fats and Cholesterol - Harvard Health  Click on the link and take a is well worth your while. In fact the Harvard Health Publications Website was filled with interesting and very well written and researched articles.

The article actually reviews the new claims that saturated fat is not bad for your heart health and comes with this conclusion.:

...some of the media and blog coverage of these studies would have you believe that scientists had given a green light to eating bacon, butter, and cheese. But that’s an oversimplified and erroneous interpretation. Read the study and subsequent studies more closely, and the message is more nuanced: Cutting back on saturated fat can be good for health if people replace saturated fat with good fats, especially, polyunsaturated fats. (16,25)  Eating good fats in place of saturated fat lowers the “bad” LDL cholesterol, and it improves the ratio of total cholesterol to “good” HDL cholesterol, lowering the risk of heart disease. Eating good fats in place of saturated fat can also help prevent insulin resistance, a precursor to diabetes. (26) Cutting back on saturated fat will likely have no benefit, however, if people replace saturated fat with refined carbohydrates—white bread, white rice, mashed potatoes, sugary drinks, and the like. Eating refined carbs in place of saturated fat does lower “bad” LDL cholesterol—but it also lowers the “good” HDL cholesterol and increases triglycerides. The net effect is as bad for the heart as eating too much saturated fat—and perhaps even worse for people who have insulin resistance because they are overweight or inactive.

In short, according to the article saturated is bad and should be cut out of the diet..but it needs to be replaced with good fats or carbs.  Replacing it with "bad" carbs might be worse than the saturated fat itself. I was actually amazed that eating simple carbs seem to have just a bad an affect on the heart as saturated fats.  I knew that simple carbs were bad for your health..but honestly thought the heart was one thing that was not affected.  According to the same article.

One problem with a generic lower fat diet is that it prompts most people to stop eating fats that are good for the heart along with those that are bad for it. Another problem is that when people cut back on fat, they often switch to foods full of easily digested carbohydrates—white bread, white rice, potatoes, sugary drinks, and the like—or to fat-free products that replace healthful fats with sugar and refined carbohydrates. The body digests these carbohydrates very quickly, causing blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. Over time, eating lots of “fast carbs” can raise the risk of heart disease and diabetes as much as—or more than—eating too much saturated fat. (16-18) That’s why it’s important to replace foods high in bad fats with foods high in good fats—not with refined carbohydrates.

In my opinion some of the people who are starting to believe that saturated fat is ok for you may be looking at individual cases where people have gone on a paleo type diet where the person is eating more saturated fat but has basically gotten rid of all the "fast carbs" thus showing a possible health benefit as far as cholesterol and heart health are concerned.  If the person was to also cut out the saturated fat they may show even better gains in health. 

So..what does this mean to me?  I will be cutting back on the saturated fats as well as the "fast carbs".  Why wouldn't I?  Much like Pascal's wager wouldn't it be better to cut out the saturated fats as well as the carbs instead of risking that the saturated fats may be ok?  (Yes I put a link in for the uneducated lot of

Also..for those of you who still argue that eating bacon and pastrami in large doses is is another article condemning processed meats. New study links L-carnitien in red meat to heart disease    "In the bigger picture, we do have pretty damning evidence about the harms of eating a particular type of meat. “Processed red meats—bacon, sausage, salami, deli meats—are associated with much higher risk of heart disease,” Dr. Mozaffarian says."

Lastly..I can only look to my friend Cliff and his experiment with veganism to show that cutting both the simple carbs and unsaturated fats help with controlling heart disease. He also cut out the "fast carbs".  Cliff is much like me..same height..weight..from Wisconsin..although he definitely is not as good looking. Here is his experiment in his own words:

"Personal story with personal information that is worth sharing. I have been doing the reverse of the Morgan Sperlock documentary - "Super Size Me".
I started with a cardiac risk of 8.01 with 3 being high risk. My triglycerides were over 600 even being on the strongest dose of trilipix for 3 years. Taking a beta blocker to slow my heart rate to prevent PVCs while getting exercise mainly from volleyball once a week and maybe work around the house. My resting heart rate was 83 and my BP was 134/89 (even on a beta blocker). Blood sugar was 20% high and my cholesterol was not a number that could be calculated. I was pre diabetic and seriously felt awful.
5 weeks on an almost exclusive vegan diet and here are the results:
Lost 12 pounds without starving - actually ate rather good. Found out there are a lot of foods I wouldn't try before that I actually like. Triglycerides are below 100, blood sugar normal, heart rate is at 56 and BP is at 108/64. Work out 3 times a week and still play volleyball once a week and my cardiac risk is at 1.9 or average.  You say you would rather die than give up your steak and beer? I say you just might if you don't. Don't care? Ask your friends and family if they do."

Now I don't think I can ever become a vegan or even a vegetarian but it is becoming more and more clear to me that to be healthy I have to eat more fruits and vegetables..cut out the saturated fats..add in some good fats..get plenty of protein and most importantly cut out all of the quick processed carbs we have become accustomed to...and which I love.   Hopefully this post gets some people doing their own research and finding out what works for them.  Honestly I wish the best diet was a chili cheese dog on a pretzel bun with tots and a large coke..but apparently that is about the worst thing I could have.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Happy New Year!!

Yes..I have decided to start the New Year as of today.  Why not?  I can't wait to get rid of 2013 so might as well do it a few months early.  And what better day then my birthday!!  Another year older but none the wiser.  And all you federal employees can thank me now for the government giving you the day off to help me celebrate. We will just refer to anything after October 1 as 2014 FB.

The last straw for ending 2013 early was when I went to pay for lunch last week and the bill showed a senior discount for me.  Ok..I know I look older when I wear my glasses and let my hair grow..but seriously?  So one of my resolutions is to not let my hair grow out more than three days without shaving it. And you know you are getting old when you can no longer play video games...not because I don't understand them..but I am physically unable to play.  For some reason I decided to play HALO this weekend. I haven't played in over a year.  First of all I had to change out of my contacts into my glasses so I could see.  Then my wrist and thumb started to hurt.  I finally had to quit when I got violently ill from the movement in the game..yep..after ten minutes I was in the bathroom with my head in the toilet.  Which brings me to my second resolution for the year...Spend less time on the bathroom floor.  I was also concerned the other night when I got out of bed to get a drink of water and saw a picture of my grandfather hanging on the wall..I was wondering where my wife even found it when I realized it was a mirror...WTH!  Resolution 3..get rid of the mirrors in the house.  OK..I'm just kidding about this..I still have a great looking butt..I'd never get rid of the mirrors.  Maybe I will just lower them a bit.

So as of today everything starts fresh and anew.  Ms. Jen Small has sent me my first off-season training plan. Talk about baby steps.  Day 1..Try to find some shorts and a tri top that still fit you and put them on.  (This was actually harder than I thought)..but I suppose I better get going if I want to complete Ironman Boulder in August of 2014.  (Apparently Ms. Small does not believe in cramming for races...she wants me training more than 3 months beforehand...hell cramming got me through college and law school).  Yesterday was my first run in a long time...the pic below pretty much sums it up.

I took more time finding my running shoes and figuring out which shorts I looked best in (Obviously I still need mirrors) than my entire run took. But day of training in the books. So I came home and decided to write down all of the aches and pains I had from the strenuous workout..let's see..both feet hurt..possibly gout or dehydration related..knee hurt a bit..probably because I have lost all of the muscle mass in my bad quad by not lifting weights. (I'm pretty sure the knee issue has no connection at all to the amount of weight they are supporting).  I also had a dent on the top of my head...I finally figured out I had rested my sunglasses on the top of my head and the nose piece had made an indentation in my forehead.  If you have a fat might be a little overweight.  I did some calculations and based on the aches, pains, memory loss, clogged arteries, grey hair, my weight, and newly established habit of wagging my finger and yelling..You Damn kids!! at 30 year olds... I figured I'm probably closer to 60 than my chronological age of 46,  I was pretty depressed..until I realized that I forgot to factor in the multiplier for my family genetics...46 in chronological years is like 70 in my family I am doing pretty good at actually looking and feeling like I am 60.  Woo hoo!

So in honor of my birthday and starting the New Year on October 1,  Kompetitive Edge has rolled out it's Athlete applications for next year.  They are doing some new programs with a couple of tiers of sponsorship.  I would recommend that if you have any interest at all to fill out the simple application and send it in.  Here is the link:   Kompetitive Edge Application  .  KE actually made a position just for me next year. I was going to be the official taste tester of all of the new nutrition products. However, when they found out that I hate anything even related to coffee I was told I couldn't have the job. Apparently triathletes in general love mocha this and coffee that I and I just couldn't relate.

Next post will be my 2014 race schedule, complete list of resolutions and my starting point for the year 2014 FB. Oh..I can't wait.  Happy Trails!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Dehydration + Sugar = not a fun evening.

WARNING! This is a graphic post.  You may want to just read something of some real value instead.  If you saw the movie Bridesmaids and were offended or disgusted by the bride maid's fitting scene you should turn back now.  You have been warned.

It has been said that for some people to change..really change...they have to hit rock bottom.  For some that is the first floor..others the basement..and still others haven't reached bottom until they have dug a hole so deep that they hit a granite slab.

This is the story of a journey to the bottom..the names have been changed or omitted to protect what little integrity the main character has left.

It was 11:30 p.m. on Saturday night. Instead of being home in bed he was laying on a bathroom floor at Denver Public Hospital.  His face was on the tile trying to extract any coolness to help him with the sweats that had overcome him and drenched his shirt and head.  Unfortunately he had been laying like this for five minutes and there was no amount of comfort to be found.   He lay staring under the locked door...trying not to think about the manner of virus and bacteria that was lurking on the floor.  There was nothing exceptional to stare at but every so often a bit of cool air would waft in.  He tried not to move at all..not even blink or breathe for fear that the slightest movement would again set his body into involuntary convulsions which would require him to try and sit up and simultaneously put his head in the trash receptacle.  Something he had done numerous times this evening already..with mixed success. Trying to sit and put your head into a three and a half foot tall container was..well impossible...your aim was going to be off in one direction or the other.   The incessant pounding on the door by the security guard was getting tiresome...and when that went away there was his wife on speaker phone..the phone was on the floor out of his reach..everything is out of your reach when you are afraid to move.  She was  threatening to leave him...and when that subsided there was the moaning of the stabbing victim in the hall outside the door.  The day had started out he was just hoping for a swift end..and cursing the man who created 1 ply toilet paper. 

Like many addicts he had started the day saying he was in control. And like many addicts he had an excuse for getting off the wagon, ignoring the consequences.  His reason was logical enough.  He had been told earlier that month he had to give up a number of things he loved with all his life..most notably meat and cheese.  If he was forced to give those "vices" up..then there was no reason why he could not replace them with another.  Some people call it Coke.  Others pop or soda. No, he wasn't addicted to alcohol or drugs or cigarettes..but sugar.  Something a person should be able to stop no problem.  In the past sugar had caused him problems.  Big problems.  He had found out years earlier that coupled with his ability to become dehydrated at any temperature over 55 degrees, the Sugar..especially the high fructose variety, would cause him unbelievable abdominal pain, cramping...and you guessed it.. the trots.  To the point where during volleyball tournaments he would dehydrate and try to replenish himself with Gatorade..basically liquid High Fructose corn syrup, and end up sick on the bathroom floor or porta potty for hours.  In short, in some people, when the body becomes so dehydrated that the blood starts to thicken, the body's defense mechanism kicks in.  The body begins to make sure the blood is circulated in the most vital areas such as the heart...and begins to shut down unessential services..such as the intestines.  Simple carbohydrates such as sugar then just flow through the GI tract.  Thus, instead of helping to hydrate the body, the sugary drinks such as Gatorade can make the situation much much worse.  So much so, he had ended up in the hospital a few times with saline bags attached to him.  But that was years ago. He had learned to control the situation and to even change the brands of electrolyte replacement to those which contained Sucrose or Dextrose.  They were sugars but they did not screw up his GI system like the High Fructose variety. Heck, he even could race half and full ironman distances..dehydrate and still not have GI issues when he used the electrolyte replacement drinks with the correct types of sugar.

But Saturday was not a day filled with tournaments or training. Sure he was feeling a little dehydrated and had been hitting the hard stuff for a couple of days and completely neglected drinking water.  Friday night he had gone to see a movie and got the Big Coke..not the diet..but the real thing.  Saturday, was hot outside and instead of replenishing with water there was Coke...hey..he couldn't eat cheeseburgers or the calories from the sugar were actually much less..and they didn't clog arteries.  Then came Saturday afternoon and the Badger's game. Again..Coke with all it's glorious taste.  And then Saturday night and dinner with friends.  In an effort to look more grown up he ordered some alcoholic drinks..but ordered them.."Fruity"  which is code for sugar.  Not to mention the sugar in the alcohol itself.  By 10:45 Saturday night he had ingested two fruity drinks and a Whiskey Sour.  (He got the  whiskey sour when he just gave up and ordered an old man's drink.  He had been watching twelve year old girls getting into the bars all evening and couldn't believe it.  At one point he actually looked at the ID of one girl  that the bouncer had to see the girl's age.  The fact the 12 year old was 25 was devastating.)  There is no better combination then being dehydrated, and then drinking caffeine and alcohol. 

Of course the way to end a fun evening was with one more Coke.  By 10:55 the night had taken a dubious turn.  Somehow his pants had shrunk three sizes and the pressure on his waist was immense.  Time to take the immodium.  He looked at the package and knew it was not a good sign..It was generic...Everyone knows generic immodium does not work!!  He silently damned his inlaws for instilling in his wife the belief that generics worked as well as name brand..(and that expiration dates on food were just " suggestions"  Seriously..2004 on French Dressing is not ok).  He walked into the bar bathroom and found the one stall to be some passed out guy. Well. not quite passed out..but not quite completely with it. WTH? was not that big of a was only a 25 minute drive home.  Of course 2 minutes after getting into the truck it became an emergency situation and of course at 11 p.m. there was nothing open.  When thoughts start going through your mind like..I could double park and there is a tree...things are not good.  At that point the only beacon of any hope was the sign for Denver Public Hospital.  He drove in and his wife said she would take care of the car..more irritated then concerned.  There were 8 cops at the ambulance only doors as well as a victim laying  in the hall way. As he ran up to the door..ok not really know that situation where you have not decided to go "all in" and make that last dash but are moving at as quick a pace as you dare (You runners know what I mean) and was stopped by a security guard who insisted that he could not go in and use the bathroom.  Being doubled over and insisting the bathroom would be used either outside or inside..the guard started to that point he made his last ditch run. Seeing the international symbol for relief just inside the doors he scooted past the guard and locked himself in the bathroom.  Thirty minutes later he was laying on the floor promising anyone who would listen that he would drink a gallon of water everyday and never drink soda or fruity drinks again if the pain would stop and he even had a shred a self respect when he left. (Which he did not).

The security guard..who was pounding on the door..finally went away..  He probably thought better of the situation and wanted no part of it...probably thinking it was just some derelict drunk locked in the bathroom.  His wife finally stopped threatening to leave and have him take a cab home if he could drag his butt outside within the next 10 minutes.  He said he would try..but told her that he couldn't promise anything considering the security and the state he was leaving the facilities.  He was able to finally straighten up (put his clothes half way on and stand 3/4 of the way up)  and assess the situation with the only possible positive outcome to be able to get out of the hospital without security stopping him...which he did.  Again partly because they saw him and wanted no part of the train wreck or to go anywhere near him.  On the way home he just laid on the floor of the truck counting breaths until finally in the garage..crawled into the house and showered..threw out his clothes and fell asleep..kind of. 

It will be interesting to see if this really was "rock bottom" for this guy as far as the hydration and sugar is concerned.  I'm guessing it was.  But I have been wrong before.  I mean many times can a person do the same stupidity before changing?

Happy trails everyone...and be sure to always buy named brand immodium!!  Your socks could depend on it.  Just sayin.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Could 2013 get any better??

Well yes it can!  Obviously the one thing we all hope for when we check voicemail is a message from our doctor to make an appointment to come see him.  And that is exactly the message I got.  So I immediately made an appointment the next day.  I had not seen my doctor in about three months so I figured he was just jonesing to see me..I me who wouldn't be?

When I called to make the appointment the receptionist knew the sound of my voice and said..Scott what are we seeing you for..did you crash your bike again?  I told her that I had a message and I had no idea why I was coming in. 

So I get to the doctor's office, go to the exam room and the nurse says I'm looking much better than the last time I saw her..and tells me that the doctor wants to see me about my heart exam I had three months ago.  Cool, we had gone over it and the echo had shown my heart was strong like bull.  Well apparently I also had tests done on my arteries.  She gave me the print out to review before the doctor came in.. I read it and it actually looked pretty good..I am 60 with the arteries of a 45 year old.  Sweet..Until it dawned on me that I am actually 45 with the arteries of a 60 year old.  Wth!!

When the doc came in I did not ask him why it took three months to tell me about the results. (This is the same doctor who had me go in for an MRI to make sure I didn't have an aneurism...and a year later at my physical took out the report and said..oh..they found something..well..apparently it must have been from an old car accident or something..I mean you are still here after a year.  I had to admit it was sound reasoning)

Even though my cholesterol is the best it has been in years the plaque is building. My bad cholesterol was the only thing that was a tiny bit above where it should be. Apparently I have two things to diet and my wonderful genetics. Yes not only do I have the wonderful hairline and child bearing hips..I also have blood that is as thick as molasses.  I was pretty bummed but nothing could prepare me for what the doctor said next.  "Have you ever considered becoming a vegetarian?"  Really did I just hear this?  And not only a vegetarian but one who does not eat cheese.  Well yes doc..I consider becoming a vegetarian a lot..about as much as I consider giving Roseanne Barr a sponge bath.

So in continuation of my last blog's theme of "change"  I now have to seriously change up my diet.  The genetics just cannot be toyed with any longer.  Yes, I will no longer be going through 5 pounds of cheese in a week..nor stopping at Sonic for the 50 cent happy hour corn dogs.  And apparently sunnyside up eggs are now out of the picture since there will be no yolks in my future.  Yes basically I can eat fruits, vegetables, chicken (but not the good fried kind) and fish.  Doctor wants red meat and pork out of the picture for a while.

Well I have made it through the first week and am none the worse for the wear..although I am running out of things to eat.  Sunday I will actually put together a menu for the week.

And for those of you wondering.  I did make it through the first week without T.V.  I watched the Badgers on my ipad and hooked the ipad to the T.V.  The Packers were on Fox. Further, I have found that the shows on regular television are so mind numbingly terrible that I am not watching T.V. at all. Seriously..last night there was a game show where a guy guessed that there were 22 ounces in a pound. I guess I am supposed to know who the host of the show was but I have no idea and could care less.  This show was followed by a show where celebrities play pictionary and drink..Who the hell watches this crap?? (Ok I know you do Keely) The only show I was every remotely interested in with celebrities was celebrity death match..and unfortunately that was fictitious.

Oh,  and you know how everyone was praying for rain during the wild fires?? Well apparently God must have comcast for funneling those prayers since much like my emails there was a delay in receiving them and he answered them all at once.  In a state that averages 16 inches of rain a year there were a number of areas that received 10 to 13 inches in two days.  Since the sewage infrastructure in Colorado consists of digging ditches to large holes and no such thing as actual sewers this posed quite the problem when all of the ditches and holes overfilled.  And of course my basement..that I just redid two months ago..also flooded. Although I  don't think there is any damage which we will need to replace.   Oh and since nothing in this state knows how to deal with moisture..the three days of 100% humidity caused all of the rubber on my steering wheel to start coming off on my hands and falling into my lap.  I would get to work and my hands would be completely black and the front of my khakis would be covered in rubber.  Today was the first day the sun has been out in a dried up and now the surface of the steering wheel is as solid as it was.  (I know there is some scientific explanation for this..but I have no idea what it is.

There was some exciting news.  I got  a new bike.  A Gary Fisher HiFi Pro full suspension 29er. not only did I get the bike but I got it for under $1,000.00.  Sweet. I love craigslist and desperate sellers. 

I also want to say congrats to my friend Jen who completed her first 140.6 in just over 12 hours..Way to go Jen!!  You can read about her exploits here.  Jen's blog

That's enough for now.  Oh I also signed up for Ironman Boulder.  So I have until the beginning of next August to get back in Ironman shape.   

Get your bets in early.  Some of the most active bets are the over/under on porta potty stops at 5.  Over/under on finishing time at 16:59:58 and what will take me out of the race  Bike crash 40 to 1; dehydration 5 to 2; and forgetting my running shoes at 6 to 1.

Happy Trails everyone.

Monday, September 2, 2013

End of Summer

Where do I begin?'s already September..the kid is already in school and the majority of my friends have either raced their "A" races or will be doing so in the next month. The Badgers started out there season with a 45-0 victory and my daughter is already addicted to college football. And just a side note..I have no idea what parents complain about as far as getting their kids ready for school.  My kindergartner gets up in the mornings..gets dressed..does her hair and then wakes me up.  What's the big deal?   

August was a mixed bag for me.  I was supposed to spend the last two weeks in Maine and Connecticut racing and vacationing but unfortunately work got in the way.  After the horrific year I was having I was really looking forward to getting out of town..and more importantly seeing a number of friends I have not seen in a year and meeting up with new friends.

That did not happen.  So I tried to make the best of it.  I followed Angela as she did her first ever Olympic distance race at Rev 3 Maine.  She managed to fight off the sharks in the Atlantic as well as  do the run in a tutu to complete the distance.

My friend Keely, who shares my same twisted sense of humor,  completed her first 70.3 distance race, also doing it at Rev 3 Maine.

Jen and her husband Casey competed in the halfrev relay and took 2nd.  Jen's bike split was insanely fast.  Not bad considering just last year Casey and I were talking at the finish line and he was telling me how he would never be caught dead in spandex.  (At the time I could see why..Now after a year and a miraculous transformation from a couch potato to a true athlete I worry that he believes he looks "too" good in spandex)
I also had friends and teammates from Kompetitive Edge compete in Ironman Canada. I followed them on Ironmanlive. (OK I checked in..seriously I love my friends dearly but I am not going to stare at a screen for 12 hours unless it is college football..and those of my friends and acquaintances who get all amped up and actually do watch 12 hours of "coverage" on their computers.... I got nothing..seriously..that borders on sad.  With that being said I happened to time it just right to watch the Small family come across the line at Rev3..and that was pretty awesome).  Anyway.. I followed Christy who was racing although she had trained little due to a knee injury.. and Jen S. (not Jen many Jen's are there??..this is Colorado Jen I am talking about) who was racing to beat the clock.  Christy made it through 127.5 miles on her bum knee but said it was her most rewarding Ironman.  And Jen finished 10th in her age group with a time of  just a little over 11 hours and 14 minutes.

I read the race blogs of the athletes and was intrigued by what each person took from their race and experience. I think I was most impressed by Keely since she was just so dang happy to finish and loved the experience. I couldn't be more proud of her.  BTW..Rev 3 is awesome..they make the last finisher feel like one of the first across the line..and they also have an athlete stay with the back of the packers to make sure they have  support the entire way and that athlete actually finishes last at every race.

The long and the short of it is that all my friends have reasons for competing and training. Reasons that make them happy. I realized that since my training has been limited so has my happiness.   Our best family vacations have revolved around races the last few years..most recently races my wife has been running.  Plus, I have realized that the majority of my good friends are either those I have met through the sport or those that have supported me.  The long and the short of it is that I have to make room for the sport in my life.  As some of you know it is hard to do when you have a family and full time job..but even with that being said the sport can bring families together if done right.  My daughter loves doing triathlons and just exercising in general.  We will support her in whatever sport she chooses..(Although I am a firm believer that kids should belong to team sports first and need to be raising little self important d-bags right from the get go.  I'm sorry... is my bias showing through).  My wife is also really enjoying the sport.

The events of this year and most recently this August have helped me to realize I must prioritize things in my life. In order to do that I need to make changes.  Changes that are occurring as we speak.  Directv has already felt my wrath and there will no longer be television in the household outside of an antenna and possibly netflix.  (Yep I feel like a freaking dirty hippie without the t.v.  and where am I going to get fair and balanced reporting now that I no longer have Fox News Network..I'm being serious people)  I also cut Verizon out of my life last week..oh the changes...I'm looking at you Centurylink.  The family has decided to prioritize health and happiness over some of our creature comforts.  Things that in the long run really add to unhappiness.  I'll update you as more changes take effect.

As part of the changes in attitude and instead of continuing to be bummed about missing my friends out East the family took a day trip up to Wyoming to check out Cheyenne and Curt Gowdy State Park on Sunday.  We had a blast hiking and checking out trails.  Curt Gowdy State Park is only about 2 hours from Denver and has some awesome mountain biking trails and has incorporated some bike "play" areas into the trail design.

The trip to Wyoming was great..although when we got to the Welcome Center I was having second thoughts.  The Center itself is beautiful with a ton of information and exhibits.  However, the people using the Center were a bit scary..looking and acting.  My daughter wanted to know why everyone was playing cowboy with their hats and boots on.  And apparently daisy duke shorts are perfectly acceptable..on anyone.... of any size.... or gender.  Yep..nuff said.   The staff was "Cowboy" nice.  The woman at the desk told my daughter in a  a very gruff voice.see me after you are done looking at the exhibits..I'm what did we do.  When we came back to the desk after looking at dinosaur bones she gave my daughter a brown stuffed horse...and then said goodbye in a tone with an undercurrent of ..thanks for stopping get the hell out of here.

However, the Wyoming peeps have to have a little Wisconsin heritage to them based on the restaurant we ate at. We stopped at Sanford's Pub and Grill and I was delighted to see that even under the chicken portion of the menu they had a sandwich named the "angioplasty".  I ordered up a monte cristo and could not even finish it. (Ok..I could have finished it and you all know that..I chose "not" to finish it..until breakfast this morning) The kid's meal came with a gummy worm in the applesauce and I ordered a hurricane which was pretty much just a mason jar filled with alcohol.  As we were leaving at about 8:30 p.m. families were still coming in with their toddlers and elementary school kids..reminded me of Northern Wisconsin..except for all of the boots and cowboy hats. In the truck on the drive home I was thinking about how I could drive the 90 minutes each way to watch football games there on Saturdays and Sundays..I mean..I don't have directv anymore..and the prices were super cheap..not to mention they had a t.v. in the bathroom stall.  Come on Golden..take a hint and get a decent eating establishment like this instead of another freaking Mexican or Thai restaurant. is honestly a good thing that his place is in Wyoming.

This morning the family took a nice bike ride at Waterton Canyon.  The sun was blazing hot and for some reason I was sweating grease.  Getting outside and enjoying the exercise and nature was wonderful even though it was hotter than a monkey's butt.   (My daughter actually reprimanded me for my use of the phrase "  ______er than a monkey's butt" which I am fond of using.   She stated.."Dad..a Monkey's butt is not hot or cold or is just a monkey's butt".  After a lengthy discussion she did agree that monkey's themselves were funny but that the "butt" was not so on its own)  My wife did have a few choice words about having to take my car..which does not have air conditioning..and in which I tend to leave food and clothes for an extended period of time.  Apparently my daughter and I have become accustomed to odor.. 

My wife and I are contemplating a tri in October in Western Colorado. An off road for me and a road tri for my wife.  We will discuss it and if we believe it is a priority we will make it happen..along with the necessary training.

I just want to say good luck to Jen Small who will be racing her first Full Rev (Full Iron distance) race next weekend.  Kill it Jen..I'll be watching on my little computer screen..since I don't have t.v. anymore.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

The DIY Edition

Well I wish I could tell you that I have been busy training and thus have neglected my blog..but that would be a lie.  The fact is that I have been very busy..just not training.

My Dad found his way out to Colorado the last week of July. This was actually very exciting since he had not been out to our house for a number of years. What was even more exciting was that he planned on remodeling our bedroom bathroom.

My Dad got into town bringing his truck full of tools.  The first thing he did was replace our hot water heater which had gone out a week previoulsy. (Luckily it went out on a Thursday morning and we were out of town Friday through my wife and I did not put up with too much of a stench from each other)

While installing the hot water heater we came across an awesome new fittings called the Shark Bite.  Wow..are these things cool..and expensive.  The fittings do not need to be soldered together..just push the pipe in and when you hear a click it is done.  Works with copper, PVC or PEX.  For anyone like me that hates plumbing these fittings make everything very easy.  Of course my Dad had to show off his skills and still solder most of the fittings together..but at least I got to use the shark bite fittings on one connection.

The next day our bathroom was already being demolished.  Interestingly enough..we found that we had a window in our bathroom.  Yep..the previous owners had not only walled off the window from the inside..but had buried the window about two feet below grade on the outside.  I'm thinking that this might be where my basement water issue may be emanating from.

Digging our new found window out.

And what is behind wall number 1?
  Well the easy solution was of course to go buy a glass block window and install it.  Except for the fact that you can't buy a glass block window in can buy glass block..but no one had a clue as to where to get a glass block window. (or cheese curds..or a decent fish fry..or decent baked goods..or "red" chili..but I digress)  In Wisconsin you would walk into Menards and grab one off the shelf..of course there are no Menards in Colorado either.  So we decided to try and make the window ourselves.  Much to our surprise building the window was a piece of cake. Instead of having to use mortar between the glassblocks there are now just small plastic spacers that you silicone into place and boom..its done.

Damn that looks good
So for the last two weeks my Dad has been working on the bathroom and I have been bringing him lunch and helping out when I can.  By helping I mean holding the tools while he works.  The same thing I have been doing for 40 years.  The only difference is that he doesn't yell at me when I bring the wrong tool..I think he has figured that after 40 years I am a lost cause.

cement time
Me helping by holding up the sink
Tile cutting..I was allowed to do some of this myself
Dad had to leave yesterday morning and the bathroom is not quite finished..but what is done looks great. He promised to be back in a month and we will hold him to that. Below are the before and after pictures.


There is a window behind this wall

picture does not do the room justice..still need to paint

Although my dad worked most of the time while he was here we did visit my Uncle and Aunt in Grand Lake. While there they showed us around town and around the lake. I forgot how gorgeous Grand Lake was..and we even saw a couple of moose.  We also found a bar run by a guy who was born in Wisconsin that had fish for us on Friday.  Interesting fact about my Dad..He will not eat meat on Fridays..ever.  And he is not Catholic..thus every Friday we had to try and find a fish fry of some sort.  Last Friday I was going to give up when my Dad saw a Mexican restaurant in Golden that said best seafood in town.  I tried to warn him that it was a Mexican restaurant and "Best Seafood" in Golden was a very low standard.  Let's just say he will be glad to be back in Wisconsin next Friday.

The visit to Grand Lake included a ride in the amphicar..which to say the least was very cool..right from the pavement and into the water.

As my uncle said..this is not a car for introverts. People were running to the docks to take pictures. 
The Lake Patrol..we were waiting to be boarded..but they just yelled that this was the first car they ever saw drive into the lake and keep on going

Driving a more conventional boat triathlon updates. Although I must say that it has been a very enjoyable last couple of weeks getting to hang out with my dad and work on a project..just like when I was growing up working at the family business.  I have always marveled at my father's abilities and workmanship. Honestly, the sense of accomplishment and being able to see a transformation take place and that you are adding value to something are feelings that I just do not get with my profession.  My dad told me that he loved what he did and never regretted getting up and going to work.  I wish I could say the same..I guess a lot of us wish we could say the same.

Since this is the DIY blog post I would be remiss if I didn't mention the debut of Angela and Jen's new show on the DIY network..Logheads. It debuts Thursday August 22 at 10 p.m. on the DIY network.  Angela and Jen have spent months filming the show and getting it ready for production..the least you can do is spend an hour watching (They had to travel to Kentucky to film the show..just sayin..)

I do have one big announcement..I am getting rid of Directv and going to an antenna and netflix. (Of course I am waiting until after August 22 to do this) The only thing I dread is that football season is coming up which means I will need to go to sports bars to watch the Packers and the Badgers. (Which means any money I am saving by not having Directv will be spent on nachos and drinks)  I was debating about whether to cut the t.v. or not..when my dad turned me on to this show he now watches called Baggage hosted by Jerry Springer.  After watching four or five nights of this I realized that civilization is crumbling..but I really do not need to watch it happen on T.V.  lol. 

Happy Trails everyone!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Yay!! A Race report!!

Finally a race report. But not for me.  My wife did the Steamboat Lake Sprint triathlon on Sunday and did a fantastic job. We showed up Sunday morning and were told we had to park on the road outside of the state park where the race was being held  Not a big issue except there were 350 other athletes who had to park along the same road..the walk to transition turned out to be about a mile including a nice trek up a dirt hill. Kristine counted this as her warm up.

We went to the transition area and Krisitne put her bike on the rack.  Of course a triathlon is not complete without a siting of one of the numerous douche baguses.  Fortunately we got to see one up close..right across from Krsitine. The DB basically was taking up three spaces..laying out his towel and gear to cover as much space as possible.  I moved Kristine's bike over and the back tire hovered over his gear...Are you going to leave the bike there the DB asked? Well good morning to you also..and yes..the bike will remain there since there are other people that need to get on this rack.  And I outweigh you by 100 pounds and will break you in two just for fun if you touch the bike (I thought and did not say). Luckily the rest of the rack mates were super cool and even gave us an underwear show.

Well it definitely looked like underwear

Anyway Kristine set up her stuff and was excited to get started. (I had forgotten (on purpose) to show her the course profile with the hills on the bike course and the hills and single track on the run course..)

The swim was 800 meters and her first in the open water with a wetsuit.  Like most first time open water swimmers my wife was not looking forward to entering the water without the safety of the black lines painted on the pool bottom.  And of course the wetsuit added to the anxiety.  I wrote about her first effort in trying to get into a wetsuit. An effort that did not end well for her or for me.  Like most first timers she thought the wetsuit was super constricting especially on the arms..which adds to the anxiety.  She did a few swims at the gravel pond and Bear Creek and had similar issues with the arms and feeling constricted.  Thus we decided to order her a sleeveless wetsuit.  We of course went to Kompetitive Edge and ordered a Blue Seventy sleeveless.

A quick review on the Blue Seventy suits.  I love them.   My first wetsuit was an Xterra which was wonderful. It fit well..was long enough and seemed to be very flexible.  It was also very inexpensive. However, the Xterras rip..almost every time you put one on or take it off you put another hole in the suit.  I switched to a Tyr Hurricane 3 last year which got rave reviews.  I hated it.  It seemed to run small and it was definitely shorter.  Apparently the elite triathletes like the shorter suits..I did not.  The thing just did not fit..although you could tell it was built much better than the Xterra.  This year I bought a Blue-Seventy Reaction.  I love it. It is built extremely well and fit like my Xterra..pretty much the best of both worlds. 

Kristine was in the last wave and was concerned that she was going to be the absolute last person out of the water.  The lake was gorgeous and calm.

Getting out of the water.
Much to K's surprise she was out of the water in 17:00 which was about 4 to 5 minutes faster than she thought. She was also not the last out of the water and passed a few people on the swim. She made a quick transition and was off on the bike.

While she was gone on the bike I bothered the other spectators. I found one woman alone and found out that she was separated and thinking about divorce.  I then found out she lived about a mile from my office. is my card.  Unfortunately I got a little too much of her life that she hadn't worked in 20 years and really didn't think she should have to..and that she had to down size from a Hummer... I told her that she seemed to be doing amazingly well for what she had been through and moved on.

While Kristine was out on the bike 5 time Ironman Champion Heather Gollnick came in to transition. I think this woman knows how to run.

She ended up winning the women's overall.

Kristine came back from the bike and actually had a smile on her face. Considering the fact that the course was very hilly and that the run had to go up the same hill she had just come down I was relieved she wasn't screaming obscenities at me.

After she left I perched on the shore and looked across the lake at the trail that the runners had to return on. 

K across the way coming back

Running the single track
Kristine crossed the finish line and ended up taking second place in the Athena Divsion!!  Athena is greek for "Woman with boobs and hips".

Overall the race was great. However there was room for improvement.  First of all I forgot my hat so my head was completely sunburned.  Second I did not hydrate nearly enough while spectating.  Also my race day nutrition was sorely lacking in protein. I relied almost exclusively on this

Luckily I did buy the family size bag so had enough for the whole race.  I should have taken all of the pretzels out and replaced with beef jerky..but overall the m&ms were pretty good..especially the shortbread cookies.

Monday I actually exercised myself..doing a little mountain biking in Steamboat.  If you get the chance you have to mountain bike..there are tons of trails for all levels of difficulty.  Here is a link to some of the trails...Steamboat Bike trails.  And here is a link to the Bike Guide which contains descriptions and maps of the numerous trail systems.  I decided to do the Emerald Mountain Trail System. It was fantastic..even for a fat ass like me.  I am definitely planning on doing an entire day of riding up there at some point..maybe a weekend.

My Wisconsin shirt so I know where I was born and my name on my bike so I don't forget

Trail overlooking Steamboat

I know everyone is asking..did you get hurt.  Honestly..I thought I separated my other shoulder.. I was coming down a very steep incline getting a lot of speed when the trail went from double track to single. I was flying and at the last moment I thought..hell I better walk this.  So I stopped my bike and I tried to get my leg over the seat. Unfortunately I have the flexibility of a mighty oak . I started to feel my groin start to stretch in places where it shouldn't and somehow while I was doing this I got an excruciating pain in my much so I actually fell to the ground.  As I was laying there holding my shoulder I tried to come up with a story to tell everyone..unfortunately the pain was so bad I couldn't think straight..and when I saw my wife I told her the truth.  She has taken my mountain bike away from me.

We spent the rest of the day tubing.  I actually got some good "before" pictures of were really fat..before you got really really fat!  I was also supposed to destroy the below video.

 Don't worry ..we found her about 1/2 mile downstream and she was just fine.

Lastly I want to give a big shout out to my friends Doug and Greg who did Ironman Racine 70.3 on Sunday.  Apparently the swim in Lake Michigan was more than a challenge..but both of the guys Pr'd the course and both going under 6 hours.  And anyone in southeastern Wisconsin looking for a Triathlon Club check out Strive in Racine. 

OH..and one last shout out to Jen of From fat to finish line who did her first triathlon.  Way to go!

Jen with her medal

Happy Trails everyone.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Another good week? Almost..

This week there were a lot of positives.  We will gloss over Monday since it was crap.

Tuesday turned out pretty good. My wife and I met with Dina from  Fuel4mance to discuss nutrition. I like Dina..but I don't think she quite understands me yet..she has a hard time deciphering whether I am being serious or not. I wanted to tell her to meet at McDonald's but didn't want to scare her Tokyo Joes was the place.  The meeting was very productive and also served as marital therapy.  My wife and I  discussed each of our hurdles in the nutrition battle and apparently the biggest hurdle for each of each other.  Part of the problem is that we do not like any of the same things.  For example..vegetables. I do not care for them but my wife loves them. Even the ones we do agree on..we really don't.  I love me some canned green beans sitting in that salt juice..water..whatever it is.  My wife actually likes fresh green beans.  I could eat the same thing over and over everyday..while my wife wants variety.  Unfortunately the stuff we do agree on is the crap food.  Pizza..mashed potatoes..etc.  We don't even like our food prepared the same.  I think luke warm is plenty hot for any food while my wife somehow enjoys food that will sear the inside of your mouth.  Mini raviolis are perfectly acceptable out of the can at room temperature and spam is fine just slicing it up and wiping the gel off....just sayin.  Also, if one of us was feeling like crap food we would tend to convince the other to eat it as opposed to fighting about it.

I think Dina was having a problem just trying to find foods that were healthy and we both agreed on.  Dina put together a calorie target for us along with targets for the macronutrients (protein, fat and carbs).  The Dina plan plays down carbs quite a bit allowing for larger percentages of protein and fats.  I got my calorie limit and thought it was per meal..not the day.  We are also going to track our calories online.  I requested that we do this just to understand our calorie intakes.  So far all we have been doing is tracking and trying to stay in line with the calorie guidelines.and it seems to be working. This week I am down from 238 to 231.  I think the sheer embarrassment of actually having to log.."snack..large slush, two corn dogs and large tater tots"...has made me much more cognizant of what I am eating. I know that I also eat out of stress..I frequently go out to lunch on work days just to keep from strangling the staff.  After speaking with Dina I now understand that strangling the staff would not only provide me with exercise but would keep me from eating unneeded calories. (Dina actually suggested lunch time workouts).

Saturday I worked the Kompetiive Edge tent at the Boulder Peak Triathlon.  Despite the heat it was actually a good time. I met some new people..other athletes and some of the reps.  And of course I met two guys wearing Bucky Badger shirts as well as another woman who swam at Wisconsin on scholarship.  Go Bucky!  Yes..we are everywhere.

The Newton rep I met tried to convince me to come back to their shoes after my one year hiatus.


I promised I would try the new line..which it just happens is being rolled out at Kompetitive Edge on Thursday evening.
 If you are interested in Newtons, KE on Thursday will be the place to demo a pair and have your questions answered by the professionals.

Today was also quite fun and productive. My daughter and I started the day with swimming. We showed up at the rec center and the lady behind the desk told us that there was no swimming until noon.  I asked if the schedule was wrong since I had checked it online and it said that lap swimming was from 10 to 12.  She looked at me incredulously and said lap swimming was open and then looked at my 5 year old and she lap swimming?  My daughter without skipping a beat said..I have a triathlon to train for.  It's my third race and second triathlon.  I just looked at the woman and with all seriousness I said. She's 5 years old..of course she swims laps! Do you think she goes to the pool to play? ..she has to get better to get that scholarship to Wisconsin. The lady just rolled her eyes and let us in to swim.  My daughter picked up her abekat anarchy back pack..put it on, put her blue seventy goggles on her head and followed me to the pool.  I had to do everything to keep from laughing.

My daughter has been taking lessons from a friend of ours and I was amazed at the improvement in her freestyle.  I asked her to swim 25 yards for me and she asked if I wanted her to breathe every four strokes or every three. (I breathe every two).  She then swam the 25 yards and then another 75 yards of back stroke.  (LOL..Is my daughter going to swim laps?)  We need to work on her endurance since after the first 25 yards of freestyle she is a little out of breath and form on the return 25.  She then told me she needed to get a kick board to practice kicking. jumped out of the pool and returned with a board for me and her.  I usually don't do kicking drills since I don't use my legs. I am not flexible..I kick from my knees and not my hips and I actually will go backwards using a kick board. However, to make my daughter happy I kicked 25 yards with her.  At the end of the length she looks at me and says..You are kicking wrong. You need to do it with straight legs. You are kicking from your knees.  Really?  We then did a few more lengths and she says... Ok. I need to use fins..jumps out of the pool and gets her fins to use.  She then proceeds to swim freestyle to the end of the pool and back faster than I did when I started swimming two years ago.  wth?  And I never use training gear n the pool...for two first coach Suzanne Atkinson from Steel City Endurance convinced me to swim train using the Total Immersion method..which doesn't use a lot of swim tools. (And by the way..TI worked awesome for me)  and two..I look like a total idiot using the gear.  However, my daughter looked like a pro. 

Much to my wife's chagrin I decided to go mountain biking this afternoon. I made sure my phone was fully charged so when I crashed I would be able to watch a couple of episodes of Archer on my new Netflix account while I waited for help to arrive.  I went up South Table mountain..but by a different route then when we hiked it last week.  It was a little bit of a climb to the top but nothing bad.  Once on top there are actually some nice wide paths that are fairly flat. The trails would be great for beginners or old men like me.  They would also be nice for running.  Miraculously I didn't crash the bike once.

Trail up the side

Nice gravel trails
Some of the single track

View of Denver from the top
Once I was done with the ride I took my daughter to the park to play where we witnessed humanity at its finest. First, we saw a pizza delivery guy pull into the parking lot and walk up hill to this family which was seated at a picnic table about 300 yards from where the guy had to park.  The pizza guy delivered the pizza and as he passed us he told us that the family had given him a $1 tip.  LOL.  It was incredible to me that someone did not go down to the parking lot to meet the pizza guy and then gave him $1.00 for his efforts. Wth?

Then, as I was watching my daughter play I struck up a conversation with two parents (I am using this term loosely)  Cletus and Bobbie Sue were scratching themselves (Seriously) and trying to find a lighter for their smokes. I asked them what grade their kids were in.  They said the one my daughter was playing with was in second grade. I told them my daughter was starting kindergarten (Yes I did this with pride since my daughter was two inches taller) They is tall..Is her father tall?  WTF!! Really dude? I informed him that I was the father and even though I am obviously of advanced age I was able to properly raise my daughter.  They then changed the subject and started telling me how wonderful Waldo books are since they could give them to their kids and they could leave them alone for hours.  My guess is that I could give the Waldo books to these two parents and leave them alone for hours.

I decided it was best to leave the park and we went to Papa Murphys to pick up a Chicken Delite pizza.  Wow..I thought it was wrong ordering it ..but in print it even looks worse.  Much to my chagrin the pizza with the sun dried tomatoes, veggies and chicken with garlic sauce was actually very tasty.  But I digress.  I park the car and am letting my daughter out of the passenger side when another care parks right next to us.  I hear the daughter saying to the mother. I can't go in,,I'm not wearing pants.  The mother says..your shirt is long enough..just don't bend over.  Really?  Of course the two of them are going in to Papa Murphys.  And the daughter is probably 16 or 17 wearing a long shirt that goes down to mid thigh.  How are you not wearing pants?!?!  And how did you drive someplace with your mother without pants??? And how did your mother just act like this was an everyday occurrence?  Obviously she was within the guidelines of  "No shirt, No Shoes, No Service"  But aren't pants a given?

Needless to say I was glad to get home and enjoy some pizza with my wife and daughter.  I was even more overjoyed to hear my daughter yell to me while I was downstairs...Hurry up Dad..Bob Roll is on!  It's nice to have normal.

Happy Trails.