Saturday, April 12, 2014

600

So my first volunteer experience turned out pretty good.  I had a touch of nerves at first, staring at the map hoping that it would tell me what to do, but came away with a good experience.  A few notes from the event:

-I need to drink coffee next time
-Teenage girls, who are forced to volunteer, are not great at following instructions
-No one looks happy while competing
-Keep note of the course closure times
-I put 105 miles on my car...

Throughout the bike portion of the race I did my job of making sure volunteers were in their spots and no cyclists needed help.  I gave all the volunteers my phone number and told them their duties: A. tell the runners where to go with a bright orange flag and B. Call me if anything happens.  I stopped a couple of times for stopped cyclists but was waved off both times.  One was for a woman with a broken clip and another just stopped to readjust.  A couple hours after the race start there were two cyclists left but I noticed something a bit off.  The police were leaving their posts.  The volunteers then left too..

That's not good.

I called the coordinator and they quickly got the police back out for the two remaining riders.  They were about a mile from the dismount.  One of the two was the cyclist with the broken clip.  She couldn't get up hills because her feet had no traction on the clips.  I offered to help or take her and her bike back but she declined.  This isn't surprising.  Regardless of circumstances she was set on finishing.

Arriving back at the YMCA I stood and watched the award ceremony, while waiting for the volunteer coordinator.  During the ceremony the swim captain came up and said something along the lines of "I wonder if that cyclist who got hit by the car is ok."  WHAT?!?  An 80+ year old cyclist got hit by someone blowing through a light.  The car clipped the back tire of the bike and he was fine, but due to his age was taken to the hospital for observation.  The same intersection had three teenage girls with my phone number (that doesn't sound creepy at all).  Not once did they contact me.  There were police there to apprehend the idiot driver though.  Score one for the good guys.

Regardless of someone getting struck on the course I was told I did a great job.  I didn't believe it but she followed it up saying she wanted me to captain again and said she wouldn't tell someone they did a good job if they didn't.  Signed up for the May 18th tri as bike captain again.

The Chasing Chicken triathlon had a the racers actually chasing a chicken..


Now 600.  It has nothing to do with bike captaining a race.  It's a countdown.

When I got back from the race my wife went and laid down because she wasn't feeling good.  This continued to Monday and I had to stay home from work.  A nasty stomach bug worked its way into our home.  I was bored Monday so I did random searches online.  I've mentioned this in the last couple years but I had this crazy plan to complete an Ironman by the time I was 30.   I made this "bucket list" type goal before I was even running.  Wouldn't you guess it but searching for November 29, 2015 told me I had 600 days till my 30th birthday!  Imagine the motivation and excitement that flowed through my veins?

The motivation flow ran dry pretty quick because I came down with the same stomach bug...

Today is 595 days and I'm getting focused.  That 140.6 will be completed.  I've got a long way to go but I'm going to start equipping myself, physically.  By that I mean getting better at swimming.  Still feeling like rubbish about my abilities.  I would sign up for one today if I had confidence in it but that'll come with practice and time.

On the social front, my family actually left our house last night to talk to other human beings!  GASP!  We made our way out to the mighty James river for an open water Richmond Triathlon Club "swim and social".  I was a spectator of the swimming and phew was the current going.  A good 7 to 10 people were swimming in place.  Call it an aquamill (don't call it that).  One of the Thursday trail running Dad's, Joe, came with his wife and kids.  While he was killing it on the swim we played frisbee, cleaned up boo boos, and I opened beer bottles for people without bottle openers (using the side of a picnic table).  After my sober foot was drenched with Sam Adams I had some good tri talk.  Heart rates, race plans, and much more.  It's downright therapeutic talking about endurance sports.  Aimee tuned this conversation out faster than I tune out camera specs.

In other news, I had my YMCA interview on Thursday.  Going for a part time member services position.  I felt like I did extremely well except one minor mistake... I'll elaborate on that in my next post.

Today I'm going to get some miles in on my Nikes.  Maybe 6 to 8.  HOF 13.1 in two weeks in Canton!

Have a great weekend everyone!

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Out and Back

This is going to be a short post.

I'm just excited to share about today's run.  It wasn't my fastest or longest but it brought back that feeling I haven't had in a while.

I felt like a runner again.

Started Thursday with a 4 mile trail run.  It was the first time I've gone into a trail run voluntarily.  The last time, which I swore would be the last, was at my first 5k when half of it ended up being through the woods.  Thursday I met up with some local folk who I met on Facebook.  I'm used to running with other people and for the past few months I've been going at it solo.  Actually, every run in the entire month of March I completed on the treadmill.

The guys I ran with were there for their kid's tri practice.  That's right.  Kids tri practice.  There must have been at least 30 kids between the ages of 6 to 12ish taking part in strength drills.  I think 30 is the amount of triathletes in all of Canton.  We bobbed and weaved through a local park and our first two mile lap was around 9:30 a mile.  I wanted to quit at that point.  Many times I held back the "you guys go ahead!" comment I'm so used to saying.  The last tenth of a mile I fell back but I was able to hold my own.  I'll be going back at it next week.

Today's ten mile run was pre-planned a few days back.  I created the route to be on the bike course for tomorrow's Chasing Chicken Reverse Tri, the one I will be volunteering as bike captain.  My plan for the run was to check out the road and make sure there wasn't any debris or issues.  I woke up this morning (and once during the night thanks to my youngest wanting chocolate milk (which she did not get)) not feeling the best.  It's funny how when important things are planned things seem to get in the way.  I was also a good deal sore from Thursday's run (it's always two days after the work out when it hits you).  The illness subsided so I got my running clothes ready, which were half unclean.  I wasn't going to let anything else stop me from going out the door.  Once I put on my stinky clothes I couldn't find my water bottle sleeve or sunscreen.  I still wasn't going to let it stop me.  I put the bottle in my hand and took my pale skin out for a run.

1.4 miles in I stopped because my phone wasn't making any noise and I wanted to know when I hit each mile.  I couldn't figure it out so I kept going.  Most of the run was on a road with either no shoulder or an extremely narrow one.  The motor vehicle operators were courteous.  They would veer  away from the side of the road and I would follow that with a hand wave.  When Bryce and I started running together, a while back, he asked me why I wave to people.  My response was simple, "I wave to anyone who doesn't hit me".

This route had some hills:



I had an idea of the hills because I've driven the bike course a couple times, but it never matches the feeling of running.  I felt like I was keeping good pace though.  A while into the run I finally told myself that I was going to stop to see how far I had went.  It felt like I had gone a good distance but knew that I would overshoot how far I had gone, and follow up the overshooting with some good ole fashioned depression for having a long way to go.  I told myself I had only gone about 3 or 3.5 miles.  What I would see next was great.  5.1 miles!  Over halfway done!  I would fly above the clouds for the remaining 4.9 miles!

Just kidding.  The way back was good but it wasn't great.  I was hilled out and on the last one I stopped halfway up.  The pit stop lasted a good 5 seconds and I kept going.

Finishing the mileage was great though.  The confidence build cannot be measured.  Feels like I'm back.

Tomorrow is the tri.  I'm sure I will post about it.  It will be one of two posts:

1. The race went off well, I learned a lot about triathlons, showed the race director I was a worthy course captain, made some friends, and feel so excited that I can't wait to work another one!
2. Crash and burn

Enough optimism for now!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Race Report

I've got so much running and tri related material in this post to make up for all the past posts this year that had nothing to do with running or triathloning (sp?).

Hold on to your seat endurance racing fans!  This one's for you!

RACING TOPIC NUMBER 1!!!

The Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon!!  (I am in no way affiliated with the pro football hall of fame marathon.  I'm just excited for it.  They don't have any official bloggers.  Believe you me I would try to be one if I could)

I ran the now defunct Canton Marathon two years ago.  It was the inaugural event and excitement was on high!  Soon after race day, drama unfolded with the two sides of the race team.  Claims of stealing money, sponsors and entire cities weren't paid, and the future of races in the streets of Canton were put in jeopardy.

In 2013 the alleged money thieving side of the race duo started a half marathon/marathon that was slated for June, and after taking people's registration money, moved the date to October or November.  I didn't touch that event with a ten foot pole.

After the craziness over the past two years a new group came together to start a race.  This time they got the Pro Football Hall of Fame to sign on as the head sponsor.  It's a group of runners putting on a race for runners.  Here's a little visual comparison for the Canton Marathon and the Pro Football Hall of Fame Marathon:


THE SHIRTS

The graphic recreation of the shirt.  (ended up not having the sleeve designs)

The actual created shirt for the HOF Marathon
HOF Marathon for the win.

THE FINISHERS MEDAL

Canton Marathon medal.  I actually like it.  Heaviest medal I have (if that means anything to you)

Made with actual football material.  Not too shabby
We'll call this one a push

FINISHERS GIFT

Canton Marathon.......

HOF Marathon finishers gift

Pro Football Hall of Fame comes away with the win.

OK that was a comparison of race swag.  Pretty shallow, I know, but people pay good money to sign up for races (and not to win).  Give the people their money's worth, instead of allegedly stealing it from the general funds.  When I say allegedly stole I'm saying in the 10k + range.  

Another way this race is awesome is because I was given free race registration, since I was in the Army.  I had initially signed up for the full but switched over to the half (which they did for me about an hour after I emailed the request).  The HOF marathon is also getting entries faster than expected.  People recognize a good product...

Training update:  It hasn't gone great.  Moving here has been tough on my family and my oldest daughter is making life more difficult.  These are convenient excuses, I know, but today I did run almost six and a half miles and felt great (after swimming 400 meters).  It was the most motivation I've felt in a while.

RACING TOPIC NUMBER 2!!!!!

TRIATHLONS!  

I still haven't registered for one...BUT! I am volunteering for one.  The Chasing Chicken reverse triathlon at my YMCA (Reverse meaning you run first, then bike, then swim.  You don't do the race going backwards..).  My plan was to go for whatever position they wanted to put me in but that position was already taken on the site...  Instead I signed up to be the bike captain.  AKA I would be in charge of the volunteers on the bike path.  Pretty cool.  I've always talked about volunteering on a race crew but never took the leap.  

ADDED BONUS!  

After I signed up to be a bike captain I read that captain's get a free race entry for any of the remaining races in the year!  SCORE CITY!  I'm hoping that's true, and whatever I do on race day qualifies me, because I will volunteer a lot more if that's the case.  

RACING TOPIC NUMBER 3!!!!!!!!!!!  (Have you fallen off your seat yet?)

I volunteered to ride a bike for an hour at the Monument 10k race expo.  It will be with the Richmond Triathlon club.  They also want people to take part in 15 minute triathlons (5 minutes doing each leg).  If they need people after my hour of biking I may join in.

If you aren't from the greater Richmond area, the Monument 10k is an out and back 6 miles on Monument avenue.  Monument avenue is an old historic street with statues of Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, other confederate legends, and Arthur Ashe looking like he may hit a child with a tennis racket...

Proof

The race is huge.  Entries in the tens of thousands.

Volunteering for these events is really my foot in to the triathlon community.  I've been a member of the Richmond Tri Club since October and haven't done anything with it.  With my wife being out of town from the end of April till the end of May, I'm looking to volunteer in as many races as I can.  Also get in some extended cycling.  Possibly even go to the shore and run my legs off till I pass out on the beach.  

RACING! TOPIC! FOUR!!!!

My USA Triathlon membership card came in!  

You're darn right I covered up my membership number!  GET YOUR OWN!

Phew...

That was a lot of endurance racing material.

I hope you guys are held over for a while.  

It's a running blog, sure, but you can only say so much about running until your blog turns into a big advertisement for running stuff.

Speaking of advertising running stuff.  Read one of my old posts and consider sponsoring me!!

Just kidding......ish.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Travels with Brent

Welcome to the blog.  In this post you'll be whisked away to "the first state"!  That's right!  We're going to Delaware!

STOP!  DON'T LEAVE!  The post will not be that boring.  I promise.  Please.  Don't leave...

The trip has some back story involved so kick your feet up, get cozy in your snuggie, and travel with me back to 2005!

I was a year removed from high school and I owned life.  I was livin' with my mom, wasn't going to college, had hair down to my shoulders, and I was working at Hollywood Video.  I basically had life figured out.

I was hanging out with some high school chums and we went over to their friend's apartment (which was amazing because I knew someone who knew someone who didn't live with their parents).  We were sitting there on the couch of his cozy one bedroom apartment, feeling all adult like, looking around at the tenant's drawrings taped up on the walls.  Sitting across from us was a quiet guy named Brent.  It took a while to get his name out because he had an accent where the end of his name vanished (we thought his name was Brin (which in hindsight makes me look like an idiot)).  He had followed love all the way to from Donaldsonville, Louisiana to Canton, Ohio.  The friend of a friend who let Brent live in his apartment (we'll call him Alex) did not know Brent.  Alex knew Brent's girlfriend.  Brent was a nice guy and for the next couple weeks I would hang out with my friends and Brent, minus Alex.

One night we went to get Brent and he was having a discussion with his roommate.  He was getting the boot.  I'm fairly certain that there was no good reason why he was being kicked out, or else I'd probably remember.  Brent's girlfriend also gave him the preemptive boot by letting him know that her parents would not allow him to live with them.  So now there's a guy thrown out to live on his own, half a country away from his homeland.  What do you do?

Without consulting my landlord (mom) I asked him to live with me.  We spent a lot of time together over the next few weeks and our friendship blossomed.

Fast forward to last Wednesday (I would need more blog posts to fill you in on the time in between).  Brent was to start a new job on March 17th in Canton, Ohio, and he was living with his dad and step mother (a year and a half ago he was brought from Ohio to his dad's, in Delaware).  He did not have a car so I was going to be driving him to Ohio on March 14th.  We were texting back and forth, about our upcoming adventures, and he let me know that his step mother told him, his sister, and his sister's fiancĂ© that not only are they not allowed to shower, they would have to clean themselves in the sink...

I don't know if I just have a hero complex but I that angered me a bit.  I consulted with my beautifully understanding wife and she was ok with us bumping the trip up a week.  Two days later I would be on my way to Delaware and then the heart of it all, Ohio!  ROAD TRIP!!

Friday at 4:30 p.m. came and I was on the road.  Straight up US interstate 95.  Travels were smooth until I hit Washington D.C. and Baltimore traffic.  I'm not a perfect man.  Never claim to be!  There is just something about traffic that brings out the worst in me.  I got through the traffic, without any arrest warrants filed, and arrived in Delaware.  Another minor beef about the first leg of the trip: $14.00 in tolls.  Four dollars of that came directly after crossing into Delaware.  NOT a great first impression.  Just sayin..

Since Delaware is about 20 ft in surface area, I soon arrived at Brent's dad's and boy was it awkward!  Brent's dad was fine.  He even thanked me for driving his son, which I appreciated.  It was more with his step mom..

Me: Hi, my name is Thomas *start to extend out hand for handshake*

SM: hi *arms crossed with a flick of the wrist as a wave*

We had a rough plan for time at his dad's: I would sleep a few hours then we'd hit the road.  I don't know if it was the red hot traffic blood flowing through my veins, seeing Brent for the first time in over a year, or the dangerously high levels of awkwardness and tension, but I didn't want to sleep.  We ride for Canton!

We got some unhealthy fast food for dinner and off we went through the back highways of Pennsylvania (not a single toll).  The two of us caught up, listened to some podcasts, stopped for gas and snacks, made obscure pop culture references (it's kind of our thing) and covered a lot of ground.

Side note: we drove through Harrisburg, PA.  If you don't remember, I almost interviewed for an Underwriter position in a service center in Harrisburg.  Leading up to the potential interview, Aimee and I took a virtual tour of the city online and didn't give us the warm and fuzzies.  The drive through was definitely confirmation that we made the right choice.

We were outside of Pittsburgh when I made the first rest stop.  I was able to get an hour of sleep then we were back on the road!  Kinda..  I couldn't drive too much longer without sleepiness taking control of me, so we stopped for another hour...  Once the sun came up I was feeling good.  It just so happened that it started coming up soon after hitting the Ohio border.  Just kidding.  It just got brighter when we hit Ohio.  The sun comes out about 10 times a year in Northeast Ohio.  I didn't notice this till I moved to Virginia, where I see is most days of the week.

The two of us finally got to Canton and our logical stop was Dennys.  The same Dennys I had frequented when I was the master of my own destiny was the welcome to Ohio I had been looking for.  We marveled at the flat screen TVs installed.  The future had hit Canton but some things never change.  For instance, a booth of drunk guys with neck tattoos getting up every 5 minutes to go outside and smoke (Ohio does not allow any indoor smoking in restaurants/bars/etc).  Ahh yes.  Home!

During my one day in Ohio I was able to see friends and family.  My time was bitter sweet knowing my wife and girls were at home.  My wife probably would have switched places with me if she could (not knowing what I was typing she LITERALLY just said "I can't wait for my sister to get hereeeee")  I was fairly certain that my mom didn't even want me there without her granddaughters...  That is definitely a joke because she hugged me so hard I'm sure something inside me came loose.  She also sent me home with a roast, a Mountain Dew energy drink, multiple bottles of water, a jar of Mids spaghetti sauce, a package of spaghetti, a bag of Gold'n Krisp potato chips (for my wife), and a chunk of cheese (also a big shout out to my in-laws for giving me work books and stickers to bring home to the girls).

Between Delaware and Ohio I asked Brent about how it felt when he had gone back home.  He said the feeling is weird and indescribable and that fits.  It's not a bad weird.  It's just weird..  The world you left continues on without you.

Ok well maybe that road trip wasn't as exciting as I promised...  Watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles if you want a real road trip.

Thanks for reading.

Oh wait!  This is an active/running/triathlon themed(ish) blog...  I brought my bike home!  Wooo!

Ok.  Thanks again for reading!  My next post will be about my plans when my wife and girls are away from me for three weeks.  Or it'll be about being content.  I don't know.  Maybe it'll be about both or about none of those topics.

You'll have to wait and see won't you!?!




Thursday, February 27, 2014

Confessions of a Frustrated Father

My friend, and training partner, Bryce has a story that sums up parenting pretty well.  One day, after raising a child for a few years, he approaches his parents:

I figured you guys out!  You had no idea what you were doing!

I've shared this story with many people, because it's true.  There is no right way to parent.

The past month has been rough, in my parenting realm.  The phrase I use to describe Savannah (my oldest) the most is "She is fiercely independent".  It doesn't take being around her too long before you recognize it.

I used this same phrase in an email that I sent the YMCA yesterday.

Savannah has not had much exposure to swimming pools, or non bathwater water.  She's also my daughter, which is already a genetic hit against being a good swimmer.  With that in mind we signed her up for swim lessons.  She started on the first Tuesday of February.

The first class separated the pikes from the polliwogs.  Literally.  That's what they're called.  The test was jumping into the pool.  When it came to Savannah's turn she did not jump.  She did get in the water though.  She now has a label: pike.  That was the only time she got in the pool for the entire first half hour class.  Following class she asked the teacher "can we do what I want now?"  When we quickly hushed her she had a good sized toddler freak out.  Aimee vowed to not go to another lesson.  People say things like that in high emotion situations.  We had some work to do...

Before the next class, we went to the gym early and I worked with her on getting into the pool.  One side of the pool is 2 to 3 ft.  After 15 to 20 minutes of prodding she walked down the ramp to get in the water.  She loved it.  She was jumping up and down and laughing hysterically.  Life was good.  We had three solid weeks of great pre class swimming, and attentive and excited learning in class.  When the teacher asked for volunteers, and sometimes when she didn't, she yelled "ME ME MEEEE!!!"  When it came to the exercises she didn't do the best in the class.  She made up for it with spunk and tenacity.  Then came the last week of class.  Two days ago...

Tuesday morning I received an email from the YMCA alerting me of changes to that night's class.  There would be a special guest instructor, to show the existing teachers some new "tricks".  She came with 30+ years of experience!!!  What could go wrong?

Class started good enough.  Jumping kangaroo game.  Kicking exercises with the paddle board (Savannah takes in some water and coughs a bunch but she recovers).  Then come the "magic thumbs".  It's Savannah's turn and the teacher takes her out for some paddling/kicking exercises.  Savannah has a little floating mechanism the size of a half loaf of bread and the teacher just holds her by her "magic thumbs".  Here's when it turned; the magic thumbs disappear!!  So does Savannah.  Wearing Tony Soprano cement shoes, Savannah goes under.  Sitting there watching her eyes OVERFLOW with fear.  Nerves hit me.  The teacher grabs her and gets her back to the edge of the pool.  Savannah sits on her turtle and is crying and shaking but she continues with the exercises when it comes back to her turn.  This time each trip in the water is filled with screams and shock.  I go up behind her and put my arms around her, just to let her know we are here and she is safe.  Anytime she looks back I have a smile on my face...

The overprotective parent in me wants to pick her up and leave.

The strong male figure in me wants to sit there and assure my wife that everything is going to be OK.

The realist in me realizes that Savannah isn't great at swimming and this was bound to happen.

The anarchist in me wants to kick a foam turtle into the instructors 30+ years of experience face or show a different magic finger.  (Pray for me)

I just hide it behind a never ending smile that never takes away her fear.  It's the best option.

Class is over and her normal teacher, Michele, comes up and apologizes to Savannah for not being there and congratulated her on jumping in the pool twice.  She shows each child the same amount of attention in the pool but hasn't spoke with the parents much.  I wasn't sure about her at first but this spoke VOLUMES about her character.  To be honest with you, even writing about it now evokes emotions in me.  Savannah won't remember the exchange but I won't soon forget.

I wrote an email about my fiercely independent daughter to the director of the swimming program (replying to the Tuesday morning email).  My email is to commend Michele for being an amazing instructor, and more importantly, person.  I mention the series of events (minus kicking turtles or magic fingers) to the director but don't pass blame onto the teacher.  This was her first time with Savannah.  If she had been with her from the start she may not have let go.

I talked to Savannah tonight before class, "Are you excited for your last swim lesson?  You're going to have your old teacher back!"  Her reply "I want my last teacher to be my last swim lesson" (later Tuesday night Savannah told her Aunt, on FaceTime, "I don't like magic thumbs").  We went early, like normal, to get some pool time with Savannah.  She comes in the water but doesn't act too excited.  She doesn't want me to hold her on her back and she won't blow bubbles.

Class starts and Savannah gets in to do the kangaroo game.  That's it.  She doesn't go back in the entire class.  Completely reverted back to day 1.  The trust built was gone.  Gobbled up by fear.  I keep the smile on.  The smile is always there...

She gets a completion certificate but the teacher's recommendation is back to pike level.  In the locker room I talk to her about fear and she says "where is fear? I don't see it".

Good lord I love her so much.

Time to rebuild.

Thanks for reading...

P.S.  There is no right way to parent, but there sure are wrong ways.  Some of these ways include being on your phone, playing games, during the entire half hour swim lesson while your kid makes strides in the pool.  Also, when your daughter is waiving to you and saying "Hi daddy", put DOWN your phone.  Your email can wait.  Acknowledge your child's existence.  It's a half hour kids swimming class.  That smile on their face will change your life more than clearing the spam out of your inbox.

I have been holding that in for the entire month.  Thank you for allowing me to vent...


Friday, February 21, 2014

Two Steps Forward. Three Steps Back.

Myself, and the city of Richmond, have been on a roller coaster ride as of late.

For example, last week I had to work from home because we had almost six inches of snow (snow shuts this city down for DAYS).  The last couple days it's been in the 60s..

Leading up to the Richmond Snowpocalypse I was working out everyday.  I became a member of the USA Triathlon Organization.  I was scouting out races (even a half ironman).  I continued with my "waking up at 430 and working out" thing.  This week I worked out once.  Tonight I ate a large amount of pizza...

What a difference a snowstorm makes...

Side note, my one trip to the gym was eventful.  While I was running on the treadmill a gentleman walked by singing the Kansas classic "Carry On Wayward Son".  Aimee was walking on the treadmill next to me and finished first.  A couple minutes after heading to the locker room, the Kansas cover band lead singer (Maybe the band is called Noise and Confusion) walked up to the neighboring treadmill.  The following is most of an actual conversation, or as much as my brain is allowing me to remember...

Kansas: Dude!  How long did you do?  About 20 minutes?

Me: Ran about 25 to 30 minutes

Kansas: No wonder you have bulging calfs!  How many wives do you have with those!?

Me: Ha, just one.  I'm good with one.

Kansas: I see you don't have your wedding ring either!

Me (mild interruption): Yeah, I lost it on vacation

Kansas (regaining his lead role in the conversation): How does that saying go?  Familiarity breeds contempt?  My wife had me destroy my ring!

After some random pleasantries like "thanks" and "have a good one" we went on with our lives.  I will be changed forever...

ANYWAY!

I was on a good rhythm of going to the gym and the snow storm shut down the YMCA for 2 days.  That's right, 2 days (even Dunkin Donuts was closed).  Now every morning I wake up at the first alarm of 4:20.  Then again at 4:30.  Then again at 6:00 (after I've shut off the pre 5 am alarms).  This is an every day occurrence.  How do you get your tired self to NOT go back to sleep?  I feel like Dr. Jekyl and Mr. Hyde without any of the brains and many more trans fats.

The wife and I took a Dave Ramsey Financial Peace University class last year and have been slacking as of late.  This week we put together a complete budget and it took a lot of the wind out of my race sail.  To the point where doing a big race seems completely out of the question.  Maybe this year will be a quieter one.

Still looking for gainful employment...


Sunday, February 9, 2014

YMCA

I'm sitting at my computer on a Sunday morning at 10 am.  I should be in "get myself and my family ready for church" mode but I'm sitting in front of a computer screen.  My two daughters have noses running like the river Nile and my wife is in full on hibernation mode.  When boredom strikes, I blog!

I signed our family up for a YMCA membership.  The gym is a mile down the road and is equipped with two gymnasiums, multiple fitness areas, and 2 pools.  Oh yeah.  2 pools!  I've been going 5 - 6 days a week for the past three weeks, even waking up most mornings at 4:30 to get a swim lane.  That feeling of being healthy is creeping back.  Savannah has even started swim lessons.  I need an entire blog post to talk about that though...

POOL!

The misses and I have also gotten back into logging all of our food on My Fitness Pal.  Staying within a certain amount of calories transforms the way you eat.  You decide that instead of starving yourself you're going to find healthier foods, and eat much more of them.  We've even purchased quinoa.  It's been sitting in our cabinet for two weeks but hey, we bought it!

The gym has also reminded me of how much I sweat.  Over the past couple weeks I'll wear a hoodie while I'm working out.  Friday afternoon I was there with the misses and it was disgusting.  I think I even heard murmurs from someone else about the amount of perspiration.  Something along the lines of "is that the machine or him?"  The reason I say "I think" I heard murmurs was because why would a stair master machine be spewing out liquids?  Maybe I imagined it all..

Anyway, yesterday I went to do a sprint tri workout, sans hoodie.  I thought this would minimize the sweat but man was I wrong.  The hoodie was actually trapping the sweat so it couldn't get out and gross out all the middle aged women on ellipticals.  As the sweat was beading on all parts of my body I got a little self conscious.

***GROSS SENTENCE WARNING.  DO NOT READ THE NEXT FEW SENTENCES IF YOU BECOME QUEAZY EASILY (say queazy easily ten times fast)***

I was looking for dry parts of my AW running shirt and I had no luck.  Not sure why I did it but the next thing I did was wring out my shirt.  Sweat drenched my shorts (and I wonder why people don't read my blog...)  I'm really looking forward to having an actual bike in April when I bring it back.

Right now I'm signed up for the Hall of Fame marathon in Canton but I'm really not feeling it.  Now that I've got so much cross training at my disposal running alone doesn't get me out the door.  Perhaps the Akron marathon isn't as lost in my mind as I'd like it to be.  Maybe not having my running crew is draining me of any running enjoyment.  The most I've done in one session is 8 miles.  I think I could still complete the marathon if I became disciplined with running the miles.  My final decision will be made by the end of the month.  I'd hate to waste a free race entry but I'd also like to enjoy what I'm doing.  If anything, a free race entry is making it easier to not run.  The thought of requesting a race change, to the half, has also crossed my mind.  Hmmmm.

There are some sprint tris on my radar.  My goal is to do a few open water races to build up confidence.  Maybe even do an Olympic.  I'm going through races trying to find the open water swims that have the least amount of turns.  A point to point swim would be best.  That's the fear creeping back in.  The Richmond Tri Club has open water swim training coming up in the next few months and I'm going to join in.  The distance isn't worrying me.  It's the depth.  One day I need to just jump into the deep end and tread water as long as I can.  I feel kinda silly being 28 years old and I can't stay afloat without swimming.

In April my wife, and the girls, are going to Ohio for a month.  I'll join them for the first week and then be in VA for three weeks.  By myself.  I can already feel the boredom setting in.  Maybe I'll get ripped.  Maybe I'll go for a hike.  Maybe I'll just eat spaghetti-os straight out of a can and scroll through Facebook till my brain hurts.  Maybe I'll blog!! (maybe not..)