December 31, 2007

a great weekend

What a great weekend! It started out with me doing my weekly weigh in on Sat morning. I weighed in @ 224!! I've lost 34 lbs. since Nov 13th. I'm at my racing weight from last year when I was at my fastest as a triathlete. I'm well on my way to my goal weight of 199!

Sat night I worked vehicle patrol, which is the best post at the prison. While on that post I was able to listen to the Patriots & Giants game on the radio. I'm not a big fan of either team but it was wonderful to be able to listen to the game that the Patriots went undefeated in the regular season. I was able to listen to history being made.

Sun morning I watched UFC 79 that my wife recorded on TiVo for me. The Chuck Lidell vs. Silva fight was the most hyped MMA fight in at least 6 years. It was an amazing fight. I'm so glad I was able to warch it.

Then Sun after church I picked up the bike I've had on lay away for 6 months. It's a gorgeous Raleigh Cadillac addition road bike. I'm so excited to take it on the first ride today.

On a side note even with all the hrs I'm working I haven't missed a single schedualed workout since my failed attempt at going Iron. Yup, that even includes swimming! Anyone who knows me knows that me swimming is a near miracle!Sorry this post is so short & impersonal. I'm working an average of 86 hrs a week & still keeping up with my training, so time has not been something I've had much of. Peace! I'm out!

December 27, 2007

Back to the daily grind

The training has been going well inspite of the incredible amounts of over time
I've been working. I swam a time trial today and it was the fastest swim TT
I've ever done. 1000 metes in 19;46. Still laughable I know but progress none
the less.

My family & I went to Nevada in mid Nov & then to Hobbs NM immediately after
that for some vacation & racing. Although we had a great time & we needed to get
away for a bit it was really bad timing. It set us back financially where we had
no room to be set back too. I'm paying the price now. I've worked a 12 hr shift
all but 3 days this month. If all things go well I'll only need to work 12 hr
shifts everyday until mid-late January. After that I'll only need to work about
70 hrs a week to support my family. That's still allot. But it's better than the
86 a week I'm working now. There's light at the end of the tunnel, but I must
admit it's been a heck of a struggle both physically & emotionally. For the most
part I'm ok with working allot. I really like my job & my wife has really helped by fixing all my meals, packing my gear & food for work, & is doing 100 percent of the house work. My only job
is bringing home the $, triathlon training, & spending as much
time w/ my children as I can. The only day I felt it was more than I could bear
was Christmas morning. Because I work nights & sleep days my wife decided to
take the kids & spend the night at her parents house to celebrate Christmas
there. I wasn't there to watch my children open their presents on Christmas.
That has me me down right depressed. Other than missing my children's Christmas I
am handling all the hours & the stress of our finances relatively well. I'm
constantly tired and often times cranky but I'm staying the course. I am trying
to keep in mind that God would only put me through this rough time if he knew I
was strong enough to get through it In a way I'm honored that he's putting this
test in front of me. If he had me go through my whole life without any stress that would make me wonder if he knew I was too weak to be tested. It's times like this when I feel like I am too weak to do what needs to be done that I lean on him. 3 more weeks of overtime is all I need to do to be caught up. At times that feels like such a short amount of time. At others I'm thinking to myself "how the heck am I going to get through this, I'm already SO tired."
If there are any Christians reading this I would be very grateful for prayers.
The power of faith & prayer is amazing!
Thanks peeps. I'm out.

December 20, 2007


For the first time in my life I'm losing weight in a healthy way. I'm not doing
a low carb diet. I'm not starving myself or losing tons of weight quickly. I'm
eating low fat proteins, lots of raw veggies, fruit, & a little bit of fat free
milk & whole grains. Most shockingly I'm utilizing portion control without going
over board & starving myself! I weighed in on Sunday at 233. 23 lbs lighter
than Nov 23rd. There's only been 2 other times I've gotten below 220 since
adulthood. On both of those occasions by the time I got to the point where I was
thin enough for abdominal muscles to be seen & I started to work the abs in
hopes of getting the elusive 6 pack, I'd start gaining the weight back. I'm not
certain I'll get to the point where I'll be that thin this time. But just in
case I've started to really hammer my abs. My coach has me working my core 2X a
week. On top of that I've also started doing a pretty fierce abb routine a
couple times a week on my own. I'm keeping my fingers crossed & my food intake
in check. I'd love to have a 6 pack-heck, even a 2 pack for once in my life.

My work has us post bid every 6 months for days off, shift, & post. 6 months ago
was the first time in my 12 year career that I was able to get the tower. We
bidded on our posts again this week & low & behold I was able to get my sweet
tower again! Oh how I love this tower. I do up there what I'm unable to do even
at home. I sit there drinking coffee, & watch my peaceful surroundings. I don't
have to get up to vacuum, take out the trash, or change diapers. I just kick
back watching the surroundings. That's been my job for the last 6 months & now
will be my post for the next 6 too. Ah, the peaceful tranquility of seniority.
I'm #26 on the seniority list of 300 employees now. & 5 of the officers ahead of
me are eligible for retirement in the next 6 months. It's possible that since
the posts we man are based off of seniority I may be able to continue working
the tower until I retire. 8 years 10 months & counting. Life is sweet!

My Mom took my Mother-in-law, my wife, I, & my daughter to see the Nut Cracker this
weekend. That was one of the best times I've ever had! Not only because it was only
my 2nd day not working a 12 hour shift the entire month of Dec (my other day
off being the 9th for the Polar Bear tri). But because my 27 month old daughter
is completely fascinated with any kind of dancing. She'll sit through an entire
episode of Dancing w/ the stars. She runs around for hours throwing her hands in
the air & spinning in circles pretending she's dancing. I was a little worried
that she'd get bored & start misbehaving. But from start to finish she was
completely focused on the performance on stage. She'd see something she liked &
start clapping & yelling yeah, oh, & even an occasional awe! Most of the time it
was when everyone else decided to clap too. But there were quite a few times
when she she was the only one applauding. She didn't notice or didn't care if
she was the only one clapping. She was just a bundle joy the entire performance. I thought it was the cutest thing I'd ever seen in my life. I must admit there
was a few times when my eyes filled with tears seeing how happy she was. Being a
parent is by far the best thing that has ever happened to me. I never knew any
one thing could bring me this much joy. Ah, life is good.

December 15, 2007

Got tagged & weekly weight

I got tagged by Michael Lovato. Pretty cool! I have to write 5 interesting
things about myself. When I read that I figured it would be no problem. I've
realized since trying to write this that I'm really lame! Can one of my
interesting things be I'm really boring? Lets see....

1) I played a season as the left side offensive tackle on a semi-pro football
team called the Albuquerque Assassins. I weighed 250 lbs at the start of the
season, but my coach said I needed to put on weight. So I bulked up to 270 in
about 2.5 weeks. Gaining weight is as easy for me as breathing is for most.

2) I've worked at the NM State Penitentiary since I was 19. Ok. Not that
exciting, like I said, I'm kind of lame. Well, I was on the SWAT team for 5 years
& had responded to multiple riots throughout NM. My team & I were the only ones
entering when all instincts were screaming to everyone to run out! You know I found out then that humans have a pack instinct, & when it kicks in it's very hard to ignore. A little better I guess.
Ok, how about I've almost been stabbed 2 times while on duty. Not just "I saw a dude with a shank 2 times." I mean in an active fight w/ an inmate
trying to stick me. I haven't gotten shanked yet knock on wood.

3) I married up. You ever see those couples where you think "what the heck is
she doing w/ him?" That's my wife w/ me. When on our honey moon we toured some
really old Indian ruins in Mexico. At that time I was almost 300 lbs The tour
guide kept having to wait on me because I was so out of shape. My wife was
zipping all over the place. She never once complained or commented on me being
only 27 & unable to walk at sea level. She's the only person I've ever met who
could be explained as truly not worldly. She doesn't care about looks or money.
Good thing or I'd still be looking for Ms Right;)

4)I rode my bike from Santa Fe to Hobbs NM. 340 miles. I know, not all that
exciting. But that is my problem here. I'm really unexciting! I had no idea this
tag would be harder than a physics pop quiz! LOL.

5) I have no idea what to put here..... How about for #5 I put: I teach my daughter horrible things. Like last weekend my wife told my daughter she had
to pick up her toys. She started crying, so I whispered in her ear what to say to
my wife. My gorgeous daughter turned to my wife w/ tear streaked cheeks &
proclaimed "But I'm only 2". She has been saying that to my wife at
least a couple times a day since. Hehehe. I taught her that;) I think its cute
now, but I know darn well I'll regret it when she starts using it on me. Until
then I've been laughing until I cry every time I hear her say it. Which doesn't
help I'm sure. For some reason she gets encouraged by her Daddy.

I tag Stacie B
JB from EPT
GI Jane
Deputy Dawg
Southern triathlete
Weekly weight or tape
Now Mondays are my weigh in days. Last Monday I didn't post my weeight because I'd gained 1.5 lbs. I was up to 235 lbs. It really frustrated me because I hadn't cheated all week. So I decided to check my measurements in hopes that the tape would show an improvement ebven if the scale didn't. I'm writing the #'s as I write this so I'll be as suprised or disapointed as all of you.
Measurment sight/Last measurement/This measurment
Quads /31.5/ 30.5. A loss of 1 inch!
Hips 49.5/ 46.5 A LOSS 3 FULL INCHES!!!!
stomach 46.5/ 44 Loss of 2.5 inches
Chest 43.75/ 42.5 Lost .75
Arms 16.75/ 16.5 Lost .25
Total inches Lost: Hooly crap! I've lost 7.5 inches in a month!!!!!!!
Happy days baby!!!!!!!!!!!! Wooohoooo!!!!!!!!! I'm doing a nerdy dance right now. Sure glad you peeps can't see because i'm really bad at it!!!!!!!!

December 12, 2007

A cover up tattoo

When I was 18 I decided to get a tattoo. I didn't know exactly what i wanted so I browsed a book at a tattoo parlor until I picked one basically at random. There was no reason at all to go with that particular tattoo. It was Dizzy the devil. Dizzy was a cartoon character who was a baby devil but did good deeds. Once I became a Christian I began to hate that tattoo. This weekend I decided to cover it up with a cross. I felt it symbolic of the progression of my faith & change for the better once I accepted Christ. Here it is:

December 09, 2007

Heart rate training by article by Mark Allen

Most of my triathlon buddies already know how/why to train by heart rate, but I'm finding allot of people on the WW message boards that this article will help. This article won't fit on the WW message board so I figured I'd post it here so they could read it easily. If your triathlete you may just want to skip down to my post race report.

Heart rate training by Mark Allen

Working Your Heart The secret of training smart

How hard do I have to workout? How far do I have to go? I workout 2 hours every other day of the week and I still can't lose those last 10 pounds. Why do I keep getting injured when I try to run? These are all questions and comments people make about their training that seems to have no simple solution.
I want to give you that solution. It's called a heart rate monitor. Whether your goal is to win a race or just live a long healthy life, using a heart rate monitor is the single most valuable tool you can have in your training arsenal of equipment. And using one in the way I am going to describe will not only help you shed those last few pounds, but will enable you to do it without either killing yourself in training or starving yourself at the dinner table.
I came from a swimming background, which in the 70's and 80's when I competed was a sport that lived by the No Pain, No Gain motto. My coach would give us workouts that were designed to push us to our limit every single day. I would go home dead, sleep as much as I could, then come back the next day for another round of punishing interval sets.
It was all I knew. So when I entered the sport of triathlons in the early 1980's, my mentality was to go as hard as I could at some point in every single workout. And to gauge how fast that might have to be, I looked at how fast the best triathletes were running at the end of the short distance races. Guys like Dave Scott, Scott Tinley and Scott Molina were able to hold close to 5 minute miles for their 10ks after swimming and biking!
So that's what I did. Every run, even the slow ones, for at least one mile, I would try to get close to 5 minute pace. And it worked...sort of. I had some good races the first year or two, but I also suffered from minor injuries and was always feeling one run away from being too burned out to want to continue with my training.
Then came the heart rate monitor. A man named Phil Maffetone, who had done a lot of research with the monitors, contacted me. Phil said that I was doing too much anaerobic training, too much speed work, too many high end/high heart rate sessions. I was forcing my body into a chemistry that only burns carbohydrates for fuel by elevating my heart rate so high each time I went out and ran.
So he told me to go to the track, strap on the heart rate monitor, and keep my heart rate below 155 beats per minute. Maffetone told me below this number that my body would be able to take in enough oxygen to burn fat as the main source of fuel for my muscle to move. I was going to develop my aerobic/fat burning system. What I discovered was a shock.
To keep my heart rate below 155 beats/minute, I had to slow my pace down to an 8:15 mile. That's three minutes/mile SLOWER than I had been trying to hit in every single workout I did! My body just couldn't utilize fat for fuel.
So for the next four months I did exclusively aerobic training keeping my heart rate at or below my maximum aerobic heart rate, using the monitor every single workout. And at the end of that period, my pace at the same heart rate of 155 beats/minute had improved by over a minute. And after nearly a year of doing mostly aerobic training, which by the way was much more comfortable and less taxing than the anaerobic style that I was used to, my pace at 155 beats/minute had improved to a blistering 5:20 mile.
That means that I was now able to burn fat for fuel efficiently enough to hold a pace that a year before was redlining my effort at a maximum heart rate of about 190. I had become an aerobic machine! On top of the speed benefit at lower heart rates, I was no longer feeling like I was ready for an injury the next run I went on, and I was feeling fresh after my workouts instead of being totally exhausted from them.
So let's figure out what heart rate will give you this kind of benefit and improvement. There is a formula that will determine your Maximum Aerobic Heart Rate, which is the maximum heart rate you can go and still burn fat as the main source of energy in your muscles. It is the heart rate that will enable you to recover day to day from your training. It's the maximum heart rate that will help you burn those last few pounds of fat. It is the heart that will build the size of your internal engine so that you have more power to give when you do want to maximize your heart rate in a race situation.
Here is the formula:
Take 180Subtract your ageNow we need to adjust this number based on your current level of fitness. Make the following correction as it applies to you:
· If you do no working out subtract another 10 beats
· If you workout 1-2 times a week subtract 5 beats
· If you workout 3-4 times a week leave the number as it is.
· If you workout 5 or more times as week and have done so for a year or more, then add an additional 5 beats to that number.
If you are about 60 years old or older OR if you are about 20 years old or younger, add an additional 5 beats to the corrected number you now have.
You now have your maximum aerobic heart rate, which again is the maximum heart rate that you can workout at and still burn mostly fat for fuel. Now go out and do ALL of your cardiovascular training at or below this heart rate and see how your pace improves. After just a few weeks you should start to see a dramatic improvement in the speed you can go at these lower heart rates.
Over time, however, you will get the maximum benefit possible from doing just aerobic training. At that point, after several months of seeing you pace get faster at your maximum aerobic heart rate, you will begin to slow down. This is the sign that if you want to continue to improve on your speed, it is time to go back to the high end interval anaerobic training one or two days/week. So you will have to go back to the NO Pain, NO Gain credo once again. But this time, your body will be able to handle it. Keep at the intervals and you will see your pace improve once again for a period. But just like the aerobic training, there is a limit to the benefit you will receive from anaerobic/carbohydrate training. At that point, you will see your speed start to slow down again. And that is the signal that it is time to switch back to a strict diet of aerobic/fat burning training.
Keep your interval sessions to around15-30 minutes of hard high heart rate effort total. This means that if you are going to the track to do intervals do about 5k worth of speed during the entire workout. Less than that and the physiological effect is not as great. More than that and you just can't maintain a high enough effort during the workout to maximize our benefit. You want to push your interval making each one a higher level of intensity and effort than the previous one. If you reach a point where you cannot maintain your form any longer, back off the effort or even call it a day. That is all your body has to give.
This is what I did to keep improving for nearly 15 years as a triathlete. It is also the training the Lance Armstrong's coach put him on to recover from his cancer treatment when they saw that he could not handle the high end training anymore. And although it was contrary to what most cyclists do to prepare for the grueling Tour de France, it was what enabled him to capture the title there for the first time in 1999.

2007 Polar Bear race report

Saturday I completed the Polar Bear Triathlon held at White Sands Missile range outside of Las Cruces NM. This was the fourth year in a row I'd done this race. The Polar Bear is the first race of the 2008 South West Challenge series & has the awards ceremony for the 2007 South West Challenge series afterwards. Consequently there is usually a somewhat large showing of people. Usually between 200-300 triathletes.

When I got to the race sight at 5:30 am I was amazed at how windy it was. There were gusts that had to be around 40 miles an hour. My first thought took me by surprise. I was quietly hoping they'd cancel the race due to the severe wind. I'm usually a race fanatic completing at least 10 triathlons, a couple duathlons, a half marry,a century, a few 5 & 10 K's each year. But I didn't want to race that morning at all. I don't know why for sure, perhaps it's because I've gained enough weight that I knew I'd have a poor performance & I was dreading seeing such negative results. Perhaps it's because emotionally I have not yet recovered from my Silverman debacle. Or maybe it's because I would of been humiliated by how much I'd jiggle inside my tri suit. I'm not sure, I just know I realized I was burned out on racing and thought it would of been a great idea to not race. If the race was canceled I could have visited with my fellow triathletes, & to me that kind of morning sounded like fun! Now it does need to be said I felt burned out on racing, not training. I still have a fierce Passion for training.

By 7 am the wind died down, the sun came out, & the temperature was at a comfortable range. No chance at all for a cancellation. So I begrudgingly set up my tri gear next to where I had placed my bike in the transition area. Once it was time for the race to start I heard my Uncle Travis say "better keep the transition area clear or I may end up falling on somebody". He's relatively new to triathlon & isn't yet proficient at doing a running mount onto his bike. He crashes occasionally taking down animals and small children with him:)

This race was a reverse triathlon consisting of a 7 Kilometer run, 30 kilometer bike, & 400 meter swim. Since the run was first it was a mass start. I started in the middle of the pack knowing that the weight I have put on was going to slow me down allot. Starting directly in front of me was Skoshi, one of my favorite people of all time. She's the sweetest person I've met in as long as I can remember. She's 5 foot tall if she's wearing platform shoes and barely 100 lbs. 15 seconds into the race Mark Mico runs up behind me & goosed me. People can get great reactions from a man who's been working in prison for 12 years. Skoshi came close to having to give a 230 lb triathlete hop a ride onto her back:)

That ended up being one of the top 3 worst runs of my life. I averaged around a 8:45 min mile. When I got on the bike I was pretty disgusted with my performance up to that point. The first half of the bike was slightly downhill and Clydes usually haul butt down hill. But I did not that day. At the half way point I started drinking some Amp energy drink for a little bit of a boost. I'd never tried this before in training or racing. But I didn't care if I had a worse race at that point. slow is slow. I suppose there are varying degrees of slow. But I'm not going to debate the specifics of slow here. I figured it couldn't get much worse.

I'm not sure if being passed to many times motivated me or if the energy drink worked REALLY well! But the 2nd half of the race was one of the best experiences I've ever had on a bike. Fat Boy got up & MOVED! About 10 Kilometers from T-2 I passed a 16 year old kid named John. John got really fast recently. He told me he's been running every morning & has lost almost 20 lbs. I was impressed to say the least. John had never beaten me on a run before. He did that day. He beat me badly too!His bike is probably his weakest event & once I passed him that first time it was a war the rest of the ride. I'd pass him, then he'd pass me a few seconds later. Apparently his weakest sport isn't very weak any longer. That boy laid a smack down. Once I got into the pool I had the best swim of my entire life. I passed John & my Uncle Travis around the mid point of the pool. 75 yards from the end I got a massive cramp in my left calf but kept paddling through the pain. Road Rash was watching me & told me I looked like a question mark in the water from that point on. Must of been a big question. LOL.

Not sure how, but I finished 2nd place Clydesdale 39 & under with a time of 1:49. That's only the 2nd time I've ever finished top 3 at the Polar Bear before. But that has allot to do with the big guns like Arnold Ciniceros and Felix Hinoso not toeing the line that morning. regardless of my placing I'm glad I bit the bullet & raced even though I only felt like spectating. That race revamped my love for racing. I'm exited about racing again.

After the Polar Bears awards ceremony I went to another awards ceremony for the 2007 South West Challenge mulisport series. The challenge series is made up of 28 races throughout New Mexico & West Texas. A person has to complete a minimum of 8 races to qualify for the series. They take a persons best 8 races to score the season. I was awarded the 1st place trophy for the Clydesdale 39 & under division.

All in all it was a great day. Best part of the day was being able to hang out with my friends & team mates after the race. A person can look the rest of their life & never find more supportive & caring people than you'll find at a triathlon.

December 06, 2007

Not this time

Last week was a week full of challenges for me. Both of my kids got a horrible
case of the stomach flue. My son had it the worse. Although I had experienced my
daughter having the stomach flue when she was only a few months old it didn't
make it any less scary with my son. He's only 4 months old & to watch him be
that sick was very distressing. Both my little ones ended up pulling through it
and are up to their old ways already. Thank God.

I got exited Saturday because I'd lost enough weight that none of my jeans fit.
My wife made a big deal out of taking me to Sears for a couple pair of skinny
jeans. What a great wife I have. She said all the right things to really make me
feel good about myself. When we got there we started searching for a pair that
would fit me, after about ten minutes we realized Sears didn't sell any jeans
that large. We went to 2 other stores at the mall looking for a pair large
enough to fit me. No luck. I'm still to big to shop for clothes in a normal
person store. Normally things like that upset me allot & when something bothers me I turn to food for comfort. I'm not going to lie, I was ready to start shoveling down some serious

When I got home there was a package in the mail for me. I assumed it was going
to be my weight watchers book on eating out. To my surprise when I opened it up
it was a 3rd place trophy for the Silverman Iron distance triathlon. In case
anyone is not up to speed on the happenings of Cody-the-Clydesdale, I DNF'd that
race a couple weeks ago. That trophy sat there in my hands mocking me, my weight
problems, & all that I wanted so badly to be. Oh how badly I want to be an
Ironman. I've been a triathlete for 4.5 years & that entire time I trained for
one reason. To finish 140.6 miles in under 17 hrs. To hear "Cody Hanson, you are
an Ironman." To be able to get the M-dot tattooed on the back of my calf. All
that I desired was sitting in my hands in a painful reminder that I had failed.
There were only 3 people in the Clyd division at the Silverman. If I could of only finished the bike by the cutoff time I would of truly earned
that trophy. It was a beautiful trophy. I rarely get mad. It's always been
pretty hard to get me upset. Sitting there with my dream trophy in my hands that
I failed to earn & having to wear a pair of sweat pants because Santa Fe doesn't
sell jeans large enough for me was more than enough to push me over board. I got
2 boxes of brownie mix out & started making me a huge pan of feel good!
A couple of minutes before the brownies were ready I turned on the TV. I found
that the Ironman World championships was on. It had been on long enough that I
saw who the top 10 males & females were. I saw an idol of mine had made it into
the top 10. Michael Lovato. Most of my buddies don't know why I'm such a big fan
of his. A few years ago I was watching the Ironman Championships & saw that
there was a pro triathlete (Lovato) who was expected to finish top 5. Lovato got
severe intestinal problems on the bike & ended up finishing somewhere around 13 hrs & in 298th place. But dang it he finished! Almost every top tier pro
triathlete I'd seen to that point had quit when he/she was not going to finish
the race near where they expected. I understand why they do this. It would be
better to get off the course & DNF than risk ruining the next season due to
injury. But Lovato finished, risking injury, he simply refused to take the easy
route out. He continued on even when almost every other athlete in his position
would of stopped, he never quit! His fortitude brought him back into the money.
Often times God takes care of me even when I do not deserve it. I experienced a
couple of things that day that were painful & incredibly humiliating to me. My
family watched me search in vain to find any jeans that would fit & I now own a
trophy to remind me of one of the most painful failures of my life. When I was
ready to call it quits God put one of the only things in front of me that could
of pulled me out of my own self misery. I watched more & more athletes cross that finish line & I decided I was NOT going to DNF again! And part of my
plan had to be to lose this last 34 lbs. I turned off the oven, got out my
bike, rode to the correctional academy gym & hit a great 1hr chest & back
workout with the free weights, then I rode my bike across town to the pool & had
an incredible 40 minute swim. Went to the cardio room upstairs & did 3 sets of
10 minutes rowing to 10 minutes running, repeat. Then I rode to the Santa Fe
high school & ran up & down the entire stadium twice which took another 45
minutes. By then it was dark & rode I back home. Total time on bike round trip
was 2:10 minutes. I completed a total workout of 5hrs 5 minutes.

I want to become an Ironman now more than ever. Not only to prove to myself that I can can do it but also to show my children by example that as long as they continue to try, learn from their mistakes, & don't except failure they can overcome any obstacle.