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.