Sunday, September 20, 2015

Injuries...bad luck...I need a dog.

So I was going to write about my injuries and how they tend to keep me from training. Nothing too serious. A concussion in the swim here..a  separated shoulder on the mountain bike there..and walking into a tree limb causing more trauma to an already screwed up brain.

In fact, I was able to tweak my ankle last week playing basketball. Well not really playing. It was more two out of shape guys trying to come within 2 feet of the rim with the basketball. I was relying on my set shot and hook since the chance of me actually getting off the ground for a jump shot was nil.  However, something happened yesterday which takes precedence

I was cleaning my truck out. Something I do on an annual basis whether I need to or not.  Since I take my daughter to school in it everyday and she tends to finish breakfast in the back seat there tend to be some food leftovers in the vehiicle. Ok,,I may also eat in the truck from time to time and may also drop french fries, Dots, sour patch kids, get the point..don't judge.. 

The vehicle also doubles as my home away from it is loaded with clothes, gym bags, unmentionables...   I opened the back passenger door up and was shuttling things into the house. Obviously I left the door open since why would you close it every time.  And since it was college football Saturday I had to stop and watch five to ten minutes of football each time I took a load in. 

On one of the trips may have been 15 minutes in between loads...I open the door to my abode take two steps toward my truck and am looking at a furry vermin in the back seat eating some left over french toast sticks.  (I do not know for a fact if he was eating french toast sticks..but it was definitely an option for him.)

Knowing that Squirrels are one of nature's most vicious creatures..especially when confronted after a diet of dots and french toast sticks. (he may have had some Dots also) I immediately turned around and grabbed a lacrosse stick that was sitting in the hallway. (Doesn't everyone have lacrosse sticks sitting in their hallways.)  Being the analytical guy I am..I figured if I opened the door opposite the one that the squirrel got into..I could wave the lacrosse stick at him and he would vacate the vehicle by the door from whence he came.   So I opened the door and pushed the lacrosse stick at the little bastard.  He scurried a little bit and then just as I envisioned..he jumped out of the truck onto the gravel..and through the open door into my house.

What ensued next was about five minutes of me chasing the damn squirrel from room to room.  Luckily my new abode has an outside entrance in almost every room. (This is great for trying to get vermin out..but will be hell if I ever have to fend off an assault on the premises) I opened every door..and finally..after being taunted by the squirrel..He exited out the side door.

Now...The first thought that came to my mind..(after..I wonder if I have to fumigate the place) was..if I had a dog this would never have happened. The dog would have chased the squirrel out..or kept him from intruding in the first place.

I told this story to two of my friends later in the day. Both of the female persuasion. Somehow neither one of them  came to the same conclusion I did.  In fact there was talk of..possibly shutting the door when I formulated my plan..or even just completing my task instead of catching up on football in between trips out. Oh.. maybe your car should be cleaner. I think most guys will agree I need a dog.

I had previously mentioned to my daughter that I was thinking about getting a dog.  (What 7 year old is not going to back me up on such a plan?)  Her response will be the world's hungriest dog. (Apparently she did not believe I was capable of feeding the dog) I 'm going to blame her gender for her attention to detail and missing out on the big picture of cool would it be to have a dog.

Anyway..jacked up my achilles...feeling pretty good now though. Will try to start an actual training schedule tomorrow.  Badgers won..Packers play tonight.   I didn't get my dog.  Oh..signed up for a race in October. jsut a 10k..but I haven't actually competed in anything since last December..(I'm not counting the Spartan race)

Hope everyone had a good..relatively vermin free weekend.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Hey..It's me.

I almost forgot I had a blog.  I just reviewed my last post..something about getting my head out of my ass.  That was nearly ten months ago. Since then there have been a lot of changes. Unfortunately my diet has not been one of them.  My life has taken a few major turns and I am on a new journey.  I think I may want to blog a little here and there about it. Hopefully it will be humorous..inspirational..thought provoking.  Who am I kidding, I just hope it isn't pathetic.

The changes in my life..without trying to be overly dramatic..have changing. During the process I have lost contact with people that I thought were lifetime friends. I've questioned my values and my decisions.  I have pretty much lost my identity.  However, through the process I have relied on people who I know have my best interest at heart..both old and new friends. I am rediscovering myself and hopefully will be a better person.  I have made changes that I never in a thousand years thought I would have the courage to do.  Again, I relied on my friends and family to support me..and allow me to come to the best decision for me and my daughter. I also reconnected with family members I had fallen away from.  So, there have been some blessings in the last few months.

I cannot express how important it is to have one or two people who believe in you and your actions..but at the same time are willing to tell you straight up when you are screwing up. I will never be able to express to them my gratitude for being in my corner although I will try.

This is a new chapter in my life and it is scary to say the least. I'm going to try and discover what Scott wants and needs.  And more importantly how I can be the best father to my daughter.  I'm hoping to have new adventures and meet new friends. I also hope to solidify friendships I have formed the last few months and be able to express my gratitude to those I leaned on.

I was able to have some memorable times the last ten months. My family came to Colorado for a wedding. It was the first time we have been together in a long time.


 I got to hang out with relatives from Denmark as they explored Colorado

I mountain biked in Crested of the coolest towns I have ever been to.

I attended a wedding and was able to show off my awesome dancing skills.  Seriously..I was able to pull out the lawnmower and cabbage. (All pictures and or videos of the foregoing were confiscated and destroyed)

And I spent a lot of time reconnecting with people I had lost touch with. ( I also learned what chap stick, moisturizer and ear hair waxing are all about...but that's a whole post in itself..its such a strange new world)

All right..enough with the emotional crap.  How about a synopsis of my training, racing and nutrition the last 10 months.  Well I guess the word is going to be..pathetic.  Wow..didn't take long for the blog to digress.  Ok. I have lost 17 pounds since the beginning of the year..I'm at 225 right now.  And I did do one race.  The Spartan race at Fort Carson.  I had the awesome idea to do this as a team with my buddies from work.

Well, this was stupid from the get go.First of all..everyone there..except possibly the three of us..looked like living advertisements for crossfit.  I knew we were woefully under trained for the race when we had problems getting to the starting line.  You had to crawl over a 4 foot wall to get to the starting line.  Yep..pathetic was the word.  It just went down hill from there.  It was hot as hell shade..on an army base. We actually ran into 3 rattle snakes on the course.  Crawling under 30 yards of barbed wire was ridiculous.  And I jacked up my leg on the second obstacle which caused a bit of discomfort.

But luckily the Spartan God's were on our side..and brought in a lightning and wind storm that closed the last 7 obstacles or so..  thus we were able to finish the course on our own and without the assistance of a medic. I think I would like to do another in the future. I definitely would need to do some more core and weight training.

Actually the worst injury of the day occurred at the pub of my stalwart cohorts was squeezing a lemon into his water when the juice got into his eye..he cried like a little girl for about 5 minutes and I started choking on my food I was laughing so hard. The waitresses saw the crying and gagging and yet somehow ignored us. It was actually kind of sad.

If there is an interest I'll continue the blog..hell I'll do it even if there isn't.  Being a Wisconsin native I am going to live the next chapter of my life by our state motto.  Forward.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Hey..Got my head out of my ass!!

I relayed the details of my latest triathlon to one of my trusted advisers and friends.  I waited in anticipation for any sage wisdom or possibly some sympathy for my DNF.  What I received instead was an obvious observation. "You're an Idiot" Not something I could really argue with.

I had flown out to Palm Springs to do the HITS Championship.  I had signed up with my friend Angela Lee to do the 70.3.  Jen Roe was going to do the Sprint.  I had actually put time into training..not a lot of time..but time.  I had not lost weight though, which I knew was going to hurt me if the weather was hot. However, the race was in December and thus it should be cooler.  (Hmm Palm Springs is in the middle of a desert...I'm an Idiot)  My first indication that Palm Springs may not be that cool is the fact that the terminal does not have a freaking roof.  Apparently it rains once a year.

But before I get into all of the observations and facts that tend to prove the hypothesis that I am an idiot..let's rewind a bit and look at what I did right. Based on my past performances I know that I tend to possibly sweat a little more than other people.  Thus we scientifically figured out exactly how much I did sweat.  I tend to sweat between 48 ounces (low HR and temps) to 72 ounces (high HR and temps) per hour.  So roughly 1.4 to 2 liters per hour.  I then had my sweat tested which showed that I lose approximately 1180 mg of sweat per liter.    It means I lose between 1652 and 2360 mg of sodium per hour.  Now..the 1.4 liters of fluid and 1180 mg of sodium are high numbers but don't look that high..until I look at the total loss over the span of a race. So over an 8 hour time span I could actually lose 16 liters of fluid and 18,880 mg of sodium.  So now that I actually look at these numbers..I possibly could be an idiot for racing a the desert.

In the positive column..I did receive advice from my friend and nutritionist Dina who works for fuel4mance in Denver.  I also received advice from Allen Lim, Ph.D. founder of Skratch.  He suggested that I use their hyper hydration drink mix which has about 1700 mg of sodium per serving.  His crew put on a seminar at Kompetitie Edge where they taught us how to make portable food for the bike.  Angela actually made the rice/pbj.  I cannot recommend these portables enough.. The white rice and protein are perfect to eat..very light tasting..easy to eat on the bike..and perfect quick digesting calories.  The hyper hydration should only be used by guys like me that have serious sweat and sodium problems.  I was warned it was going to taste horrible..but the sodium was actually very subtle.  (However this is coming from a guy who adds salt to mcdonalds fries and take this advice with a grain of salt..or 1700)

Getting sodium test done as Dina looks on

Allen Lim

Anyway..I thought I had my nutrition at least under control.  So I packed my crap up and headed to the desert.  Angela Lee picked me up at the airport and we drove to the Hits HQ to help put packets together.  And to be fair to Angela..She totally kept up her end of the bargain as far as any Asian stereotypes regarding driving.

Packing for the race

Outside the gated communities.

Inside the gated fact right outside my bedroom

My bike..Angela's car

I don't know what I expected from the Palm Springs area..but basically it is a desert wasteland with a few meth houses and wandering mad max nomads surrounding the most beautiful gated communities and golf courses.  After only 12 hours there I was really hoping that the geriatrics driving their faux BMW and Mercedes golf carts down the streets would actually be hunted down by roving bands and tied to the hoods of desert dune buggies..Or that at the very least we hit one or two with the mini cooper we were driving. Unfortunately none of this happened.

Angela and I spent the evening gossiping and doing girl talk. The next day we were joined by her stud muffin Dave and Jen flew in that following evening.  The night before the race the kitchen was a mess with with rice patties, Skratch drink mix, cliff blocks, foggle, goggles, Gu Gels and Hoo Ha Ride Glide. DO NOT get those last two items mixed up..I'm not telling you that I know this from personal experience..but it does not end well on either end if you do mix them up.   I learned many things that night preparing for race day...but the most important one was that Angela truly loves me. She didn't even blink an eye when I asked her to shave my shoulders since I was sure that the hair that had migrated from my head to my back would slow me down while I was in aero positon.  And even lied to me and said that the hair was white from the sun and not grey.  I'd kill for her now. And it is possible I may have already.

Angela cutting up the fantastic rice/pbj cakes she made
Not a gel

Race morning Dave, Angela and myself went down to the race site and suited up for battle. Dave and Angela actually looked like triathletes..I of course looked like a moving billboard for the Badgers..both in content and girth.

Getting ready for the swim..yay

We went down to the swim start and with 650 of our closest friends we waited for the starting bell..and off we swam..or some of us did.  The water was so shallow on the first leg that a lot of people actually walked.  I can tell you that it is not very comfortable swimming ..finding your pace and then ramming not a person who is stopped and standing in the water in front of you.  What is even less comfortable is getting to the deep part of the lake, finally getting your rhythm and running into someone head first.  I know this first hand.  Someone had crossed the buoy line and swam into the oncoming swimmers..lucky for me I was the one who found him.  I honestly thought I had broken my nose...which honestly would not have been all bad..and stopped in the water for 30 seconds thinking there would be blood everywhere..but there wasn't. I immediately had a headache but finished the swim leg..a little slower than I was hoping..but I was done.   I then ran (walked) to T1 and hurriedly (nonchalantly) changed into my bike stuff. Dave was gone but Angela's bike was still there. Since Hits provides stools at T1 I took full advantage and sat down and made breakfast before heading out on the bike. My head was still hurting.

The bike was very scenic..if you like sand..and wandering desert nomads. But it was flat. I stayed with my hydration plan and hammered for the first 15 miles.  I then saw Jen working the first aid station and stopped to say hi..and also eat and drink.  About 5 minutes later Angela came flying I got back on my bike to stay with her.  I almost immediately felt very bad.  My head hurt..I couldn't keep up and then I had to pull over because I was nauseous.  I kept going on the bike but slower and slower. and then I was on the ground. I have no idea how.  I took a few minutes got back on the bike and made it back to T1.  I was done.  I felt so bad I found the EMTs and they wanted to take me to the hospital. They thought I may have had a concussion during the swim. I just wanted to lay down.  So after checking me out and having me sign waivers the EMT people took me to a palm tree and laid my carcass down.  I had jokingly told Jen that since I had no family in Palm Springs that she was responsible for me.  I can only imagine what she thought when she got my text.

My view form the prone position.waiting for the others to finish

I laid under the tree for an hour or two.  Jen showed up and I called her Judy. Dave crossed the finish line and I called him Steve. I think I thought I was in Santa Monica for the Rose Bowl at one point.  Angela finished and did awesome. She got 1st in her division. Jen actually got 2nd in her division for the sprint the next day.  Dave set a PR for himself.  So team Abekat Anarchy did represent.

Looking dazed even before the race

Angela finishing

However, even without the swim mishap I don't know if I could have finished the run strong..or at all. I was completely feeling dehydrated by the end of the day.

So I am taking my wise sage's advice to "get my head out of my ass" and give up triathlons. At least the long ones.  I am going to focus completely on diet and weight loss and doing sprints. Possibly some olympics.  Maybe someday I will revisit the long course but only if I have a new body.

I had a blast with two of my best but seldom seen friends. I also met a new friend in Dave. So it was a good much as I can remember anyway.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Race Report - Rev 3 Maine!!

About a month ago I completed my favorite race with some of my favorite people. I did the olympic distance Rev 3 Maine at Old Orchard Beach.  It is the first triathlon that I have competed in for a long time. I use the word "competed" very loosely.

The plan to do the race was very last minute. The family had some vouchers from Delta that needed to be used up and one of the only places we could head to out of Colorado was Maine. It gave me a chance to sign up for the Rev 3 race and most importantly I could see some of my friends for the first time in 2 years. (the last time I did Rev 3 Maine). Jen Small ( lived in Maine and Jen (  and Angela ( were going to fly in for the race. I would also be able to hang out with Casey and Marc and meet some of my friends from facebook in person..JDP and Michelle.

My training had been haphazard at best. Further, the girls I was racing with..Jen and Angela..had not been training at all. Their job had taken up all of the spring and summer. So we decided to do the race together.  A novel idea, especially for a triathlon. Somehow the thought of doing an olympic distance tri on no training seemed to be an ok idea.

Obviously the first thing one should do a couple of days before a race is to use all sorts of muscle groups that haven't been used in years.  So Angela and I attended Jen Small's bikes and biceps or ..weights..or something...class. All I know was by the end of class I could not move..and came close to losing my dinner from the night before. In honor of Angela and me being there Jen made the class a team event where we were doing spinning, burpees, squats push ups.. etc.  My team won..but only because my friend JDP pulled the entire weight of the team.

JDP, Angela and Michelle..After photo..obviously

Jen, Angela, Me, Michelle and JDP

My turn on the bike - no distractions

After our little workout we decided that it may be prudent to do a trial swim.  Not really to work on our strokes..but to see of we could actually fit into our wetsuits. I had never actually worn my blue seventy wetsuit before. In theory it should fit. However, I knew there were going to be issues when I was having trouble getting it over my ankles.  I thus grabbed a can of trislide..basically the equivalent of Pam cooing spray...and lubricated my entire body with it.  Yes, I am sure that mental picture has stimulated a number of you..probably your gag reflexes.   With the help of some friends we were able to get the wetsuits on.  No one looks good in a one..and Jen's actually had ORCA written on it.. no comment is needed.. lol.

The crew..trying to get our wetsuits on.

Apparently dancing

All right I lied..somehow Angela always looks good in wetsuit..I don't know how or why but somehow she does.

On Friday we had the Glow run with the kids. By Friday I could hardly move from the workout the day before..I was in serious pain and shoving alleve down my throat.  My thighs were so sore that I had trouble standing up from the toilet.

The Glow run was fun..but more of a workout than I envisioned. I ran with Jen's son..who decided to sprint most of the way.  My daughter hung ut with Jen Small and her daughter..and somehow picked up the art of photo bombing.
My daughter with Jen Small and her daughter

Where could she have learned this from?
After the glow run we went out to eat. Luckily Jen Small was with us to keep us from deviating from our nutrition plans. 

Let's see what looks healthy?

Well we can't go wrong if we order what Jen is having.

 Basically we ordered one of every type of sea creature..deep fried.

The day of the race quickly came upon us. Like I said.. Angela, Jen and I decided to do the race together. Which was interesting. I was the best swimmer, Angela the best biker and Jen the best runner.  Further, this was Jen's fist olympic distance race. I would never suggest doing an olympic distance on no training..but that is what we did.  We were going to be slow..but we were going to have fun.

In transition area before the race. 

At the swim start I changed my assigned wave. Instead of being in the men's Clydesdale wave I put myself in the women's athena wave. The Rev 3 people even changed my swim cap color so I wouldn't feel out of place with the rest of the girls.  The athena wave seemed fitting for me since I like to hang out with the girls anyway.  By starting in this wave Angela, Jen and I swam the entire course together. Jen struggled at times with her stoke and endurance, so Angela and I would swim side stroke coaxing her along the way.  Jen was actually very comfortable in the water..and if she would have stopped talking during the swim we could have shaved 25 minutes off our time..Just kidding Jen!!!  We would have only shaved 15 minutes off.

Marc Jen and me before the race

We were the last swimmers in..thus the kayaks pretty much gave us an escort.  As we approached land Jen cramped up. She started getting concerned (whining) about her calves cramping and not being able to walk or finish the race. Angela gave her words of encouragement..and so did I.  I think my words were..stop whining and get out of the water..I am going to count to 5!

Giving Jen words of encouragement.

Once we were out of the water everything was smooth sailing.  We had all gotten through the swim and any sharks in the area obviously decided I was too big to try and eat.   Since our bikes were the only three left in transition it was easy to find them.

Jen..just happy to have made it out of the swim alive

The ride was nice and fairly flat. Even though we were last we had plenty of company on the roads since the 70.3 mile race was using the same course as we were.  Obviously our pace was not too fast since I actually took pictures on  However, at one point Angela and I were actually moving pretty good..and we were drafting off of each other.. a no no.  As I tucked in behind her I heard the sound of a motorcycle and when i looked was the referee holding up a yellow card.  Seriously! I am in dead last..and getting a penalty for drafting?  When I checked the race results later on I noticed there was no penalty assessment. My guess is that they saw the O for olympic on my calf and realized how slow I was and did not want to add insult to injury.

Once done with the bike we donned our running gear and headed out for our 10k run.  Jen and I sang songs ranging from the Violent Femmes to John Bon Jovi.  I hate John Bon Jovi..but I played along.  I even did my "ice bucket" challenge at one of the aid stations as Angela filmed it.

Lacing up the running shoes - wow those legs look kind of good.

Heading out on the run course.
The day had actually gotten fairly hot and believe it or not I was having hydration issues. So I actually had to start using salt pills and was downing about 16 ounces of water at every stop.  It dawned on me that if I would have been really pushing this race I would have had some serious issues. I had gone through 70 ounces of water on the bike and was still dehydrated.

After run/walking the course we came to the finish line and went over it together.

Three amigos..finished

Marc who had another good race

My wife and apparently my dog who supported me through my training and non training

J. Small took second in the aqua bike
I can honestly say that even though I did a minimal amount of training this was the most fun I have had racing ever. The fact I did the entire course with Angela and Jen was wonderful.  I have never laughed or talked so much.  It was so much fun..that Angela and Jen convinced me to race in Palm Springs on December 9.  Angela and I are doing the half..which means I will actually need to train..and watch my nutrition.  There is no faking a 70.3 race.

Me and my lucky CU Buffs shirt in stop Palm Springs

Happy Trails everyone!