July 30, 2008

My little man

Late picks of our vacation back in June

Back in June my family & I went to a lake in Colorado for vacation. It was a
magical trip. My daughter rode a horse & she also caught her 1st fish. Truly she
caught it herself. My brother in law bought her a pink Disney princess fishing
pole. She was practicing throwing it out & reeling it in. On the 4th or 5th time
reeling it in her pole bobbed up & down. I grabbed the camera & he Uncle Tom
helped her reel in the fish. When the fish got pulled on the deck she was pretty
excited & seemed happy about it. The fish was flopping around the deck which she
also thought was pretty neat. But then the fish touched her leg....& it was
over. She started to cry. Once it touched her it a second time she completely
freaked out. She threw her hands up in the air & said "Daddy! Daddy! Hold me!" As soon
as I picked her up she was fine & was interested in watching the fish again. She
even asked if she could touch it once. As long as I was holding her she felt
safe. I love knowing my daughter finds such strength & safety from my presence. I love being a Dad. I love being a Dad to my 2 babies. They are perfect children, they must get it from their Mother. Because I also have a perfect wife. I find infinate joy from being thier superman.

These are the pictures of my daugher on that trip. The post above are some
pictures of my little man.

July 29, 2008

new ride & my upcoming race

I got my new bike. It rides smooth & fast. It handles great. With my race wheels it weighs 19.5 pounds! Very light. I'm thinking of naming it the Falcon after the Millenium Falcon in Star Wars. What do you guys think? LOL. Am I a nerd or what? I can't wait to ride it in the 5430 half Iron Aug 10th.

Speaking of the 5430. I haven't raced since May. So although I'm 27 pounds lighter now @ 200 pounds than I was at my previous lightest half Iron race, my confidence is somewhat low. Low confidence is very uncommon for me. The only other time I had a low confidence level was before the Silverman. I knew before the Silverman it was going to be a struggle to finish by the cut off times. But there's no reason now to not be pumped up. I'm only weighing 200 pounds for goodness sakes! I changed my registration to Clydesdale for the 5430. I'm usually very competitive in any race as a Clyd when I was 225. I'm thinking a top 3 is possible. But still I'm not feeling it. I'm not sure if my confidence is low because I'm 12 pounds heavier now than I was in May. Or perhaps it's due in part to my Dad passing away & my Mom's recent heart attack. But whatever the reason, I'm more nervous about this Half Iron on Aug 10th than I have been about any race in at least a couple years. I'm just going to keep reminding myself that although I'm heavier now than I was in May I'll still be 27 pounds lighter than I was in any Half I've done. I'll be racing on a bike that is really fast & light! Wish me luck. & I'll try not to puke before the start of the race;)

July 21, 2008

Mom update, weight, & triathlon

Most important news 1st. The Heart Hospital found no damage to the muscle or structure of my Moms heart. She has no major blockage. They told her her heart attack is probably due to stress, blood pressure, & cholesterol. She has another appointment on the 31st.

I want to thank everyone for their prayers & well wishes. I'm not sure how I would have made it through all this without all of your support. It seemed like every time I started to feel overwhelmed I'd receive another email or comment. Thank you so much.

I went for a 2 hr bike on Sat followed by a 45 minute run. I felt very slow. It probably has mostly to do with my weight, partly to do with stress. I'm back up to 205 pounds. That's about 16 pounds heavier than I was in May. Most of my weight gain has to do with the stress of losing my Dad, my Moms heart attack, & getting out of my training routine. Today I'm back in my schedule of working, working out, sleeping, & healthy eating. I was hoping to do the 5430 half Iron August 10th weighing in the low 190's. That won't happen now. I'm at 205 with only 3 weeks until the 5430. If I'm truly dedicated to eating healthy & still giving my body enough calories to handle the upcoming hard training I'll be able to lose a little over 2 pounds a week. So I assume I'll be around 195-199 for the half. Ironman Arizona is around 3.5 months after the 5430. 3.5 months is plenty of time to get to & maintain my goal weight of 190. If all goes well & I stay on track this time I'll be back to my goal racing weight of 190 by mid Sept. Just in time for the Enchanted Circle Century. I must say though, I still have dreams of a grand light weight of 180 by IMAZ. We'll see.

That's all for now. Thanks for the prayers & support. You all have no idea how much it has meant to me. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

July 17, 2008

prayers please

My step Dad used to send me a lot of emails. Usually 5-10 a day. It was how we kept in contact. Sometimes the emails were personal. A lot of them were things he found on the Internet. Some jokes, some political emails (we had the exact same political views), or an interesting video (we had the same sense of humor too). Now that he's gone I keep going to my computer to
check my email, & it's empty. It's the first time I've ever had that happen. My
Dad has always sent me emails. He was retired & the computer was where he spent most of his time. I miss him. I suspect I'll always miss him. Perhaps not as badly as now, but not having him here makes me feel like there's an empty place in my life. I know I'll see him again because we are both Christians, both believers in Christ. But the lack of having him here right here has left a definite void. He was one of my biggest supporters.

As lonely as I am without him here it is much much worse on my Mom. He was the only person to ever fully accept my Mom for who she is. Her good & bad. My Mom is a determined person. She has a single minded determination like none I've ever seen. That makes her capable of accomplishing anything. But for some reason it also at times can make others uncomfortable. She often feels isolated & alone. My Dad was the only one who encouraged her and supported her through any & all of her"projects". Everyone else, myself included has had a tendency to tell her to slow down, to try & make her keep focused on other things in life. To not get so engulfed in that one new project she has partaken. Now that my Dad is gone I see she needs to be supported by those she loves. I should of seen it before. But better late than never I suppose.

My Mom told me the other day her true North is gone & her compass is ascue.
I don't know what to tell her. Her biggest- her only true supporter in her life
is gone. She's alone in a house where they have built memories together. But now it's only her.

My Mom has never handled emotional situations well. If anyone threw a project her way she'd complete it faster & better than anyone else in the world could. But when it comes to things of an emotional level, she just bottles them up.

It's been a hard couple years for my Mom. 2 years ago she lost her sister to cancer. She was 1 of her only 2 friends. Last week she lost her other best friend, my Dad. Earlier this year her other sister was diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer. All this was too much for my Mom to handle. She had a heart attack last night. Then she had another small one this morning after she found out her Mom fell & is now in a wheel chair. My Mom's doctor prescribed some nitroglycerine pills to my Mom & told her if she has more chest pains to take 1 pill every 5 minutes. If after 15 minutes she is still having chest pains to call 911. She has an appointment at the Heart Hospital of New Mexico on Friday. If there are any Christians reading this, prayers are desperately needed. I couldn't handle losing both my Mom & Dad. Especially so close together.

July 15, 2008

triathlon sayings & quotes

One of my favorite sayings I heard from pro-MMA fighter & current UFC light weight world champion Forrest Griffen. When I'm tired while training or racing I recite this to myself & it motivates me to fight through the fatigue or pain.

"The juice is worth the squeeze."
-Forrest Griffen

Some of my other favorite triathlon related sayings are:

You can have all the heart in the world, but it doesn't mean anything unless you've got the legs.
Lance Armstrong.

Fat is not fat, it is time. Each Kilogram (2.2 pounds) adds about 1.25 percent to a bike riders time on a climb. On a typical 8 mile climb that works out to just over a second per additional ounce. A full 60 seconds faster up that 8 mile hill is the equivalent of 3.25 pounds.
-The book "Lance Armstrong's war"

Skinny isn't a body type, it's a tactical necessity.

July 07, 2008

Heavens a better place

Thursday night I got a call while I was at work. My Dad was in the hospital. I don't have the strength right now to go into details. But Friday July 4th he died shortly after 10 pm. Heavens a much better place now with him in it. I'll miss him horribly, but I will see him again when God's ready to take me home to him too. I wrote this & will read it Thursday at his funeral.

Bob was a great man. Bob taught me more than any other man ever could have. He took me under his wing & took on the impossible task of teaching me patience with those I loved & taught unconditional love. He came into my life in my darkest years. By my late teens I'd become adept at judging each person on a daily basis. I'd learned to turn my back on anyone if I felt threatened. No matter how close they had been to me. Bob started to teach me to love unconditionally. He taught me by example. He taught by loving my Mom & I no matter what kind of hard-hearted self defense mechanisms I employed. He'd feel some kind of emotional door slam shut & he'd simply wait for me to show up, to trust, & love. Time & time again I shut doors on him, & even my own Mom. I've gone many times as far as not calling or seeing Bob or my Mom for months on end. Each time I hurt them both deeply. One day I'd just show up again, & each time he'd let me into his heart & his home. He'd never ask why, he'd never tell me not to again, he never even judged me. He knew I was broken inside. He had no reason at all to keep opening himself up to such a broken person. But he did. I was slow in learning the lessons he knew were important for me to be happy with myself. It was a slow & painful process for him & I both, but eventually I started to learn to trust in people enough to love unconditionally, not just when it as safe for me to do so.

Bob was such a loving, kind, & honorable man. He lived every moment & made every decision based on a deep sense of right & wrong. He never lied to anyone as long as I knew him. That would be impossible for anyone else. But it was true with him. He never lied. In the late 90's Bob started telling me he was proud of me. When he started telling me this I was so stunned. It meant so very much to me because if he said it, he meant it. His expectations were very high. He expected me to be a trustworthy and honest man. He expected me to love the people that God put into my life for me to love. He demanded I make each decision in life based off of what was right. The best thing he taught me was to love. The next was a great set of morals & scruples. The one thing he told me over & over again was "good men finish last, but it's worth it".

I owe him so much. Without him in my life I wouldn't have been able to have courted Cindy. She would never have fallen in love with the man I was before Bob healed my heart. I wouldn't have her or the gorgeous children that we have now. Without Bob I wouldn't have been able to rebuild my relationship with my Mom. He reached a hardened unreachable young man. He gradually chipped away my hard exterior. Because of him I can love. It's been a blessing to have been loved by him. I love Bob unconditionally. When Jesus is ready to take me home, I will be so excited to see him again. But until then I will do my best to live my life as an example to the people around me just as Bob did for me.

July 04, 2008

This Sat July 5th is the Grady Williams Freedom Days Triathlon in Farmington NM. This race is an infamous Olympic distance race which is done in an odd order. It's a swim, run, bike. The run is a cross country dirt run through somewhat treacherous & very hilly terrain. The course is not marked well. Instead of putting up signs or tape on the trees marking which trails to run on it is marked by chalk on the run trail. So if a person isn't in the lead pack there's a very good chance the chalk will have been ran over enough to be non-existent. A huge number of triathletes complain about getting lost on this course every year. It wouldn't be that bad if it was an out & back course, but it's a point to point 10 K run. Consequently if you lose the trail your supposed to be running on you will have to wander around out in the wilderness until you find civilization. At the half way point on the run there is a 5 gallon jug of water on a table. There are cups on the table also, but no one there at the aid station to fill them or hand them out. The water & cups are dropped off the day before the race, so the cups are still in the sleeves & the water is very hot from sitting out in the sun the entire day before hand in the sweltering summer heat. The only way to get a cup of hot water is to stop in the middle of your race, pull out a cup from the sleeve, & wait until the X number of people in line in front of you has filled their cup up because there are no volunteers on the run course at all. None on run course or at the only aid station on the run.

If you are the last one on the run & get hurt I don't know how anyone would know because, like I said, there are no volunteers on the course. T-2, the bike start is 10 K away from T-1 which is the swim end & the run start That is if a person gets to T-2 without getting lost, hurt, or killed in the wilderness. From what I'm told the bike course is an extremely hilly out & back 40 K. At the turn around you'll find volunteers handing out cups of water. This water is cold as apposed to the hot water found on the run. But like I said, it's handed out in cups. How is a cyclist supposed to carry enough water for the 2nd half of a 40K bike in a single 8 oz cup?

You may ask why I'm doing this race if it is ran so poorly? Well, since I know about the lack of hydration/support on the run & bike I'll have a bottle to run with, and 3 bike bottles fully stocked on my bike. I'm hoping preparation will give me an edge on my competition, so I'll be more likely to place well. Additionally only 50-70 people race this course every year, which is another opportunity for me to place well in the very fast & competitive 30-34 AG.

No, I'm not so egotistic to go through all that just to get a Top 3 medal in the 30-34 age group. The reason I'm going through all this is I'm competing in the South West Challenge series. The SW Challenge Series is the oldest, & biggest Multisport series in the world. It's a competition where athletes compete in 28 triathlons & duathlons throughout Texas & New Mexico. For every 1st place in your division you place in a South West Series race you get 10 points. 9 points for 2nd place, 8 points for 3rd, 7 points for 4th, etc. The series takes the point totals for an athletes top 8 races. In 2006 I took 2nd place in the Clydesdale open division, last year I took 1st. This is my first year competing in the 30-34 age group. The 30-34 has some super fast athletes. The Grady Williams will be a great way to earn higher points than I could in a normal sized well supported race.

I've also just came off the hardest month training I've ever been through. I've had a 1 week taper/recovery week. So I'll be going into this race well rested and in top fitness.

This week, the week before the Grady Williams has been a recovery week. A recovery week following the hardest month of triathlon training I've ever been through. So I ought to be well rested & in top form. On a side note I'll have to race this race on my road bike because my tri bike is in the shop. I'm trading in my old tri bike for a Cannondale Ironman Slice Six13. See July 3rd's post for the info on my new ride.

So, barring getting lost or dying of dehydration I'll give you a post race report as soon as I can. Thanks for tuning. I'm out.

July 03, 2008

my new ride

My new frame is in. I'm getting the components from my old bike put onto my new frame. Below is the link to the frame I'm getting, the one I'll have will have lower end components on it. But this is my baby! I'm going to wait until I train on it awhile & do one race before I name it. The next race I'll be scheduled for after I pick up my new ride is the 5430 half Iron. So my poor bike will be raced in a 70.3 with no name:(

Here's the link http://www.cannondale.com/bikes/07/cusa/road/ironman/model-7RM1S.html

July 02, 2008

my best mechanic

The rear derailers not working!!!
My little mechanic is seeing what he can do about it
As good as new Dad!!!

July 01, 2008

Foot strike

I found this, thought some may find it usefull.

There has been a lot of discussion in the USAT coaches site this week on people with toe problems when they run. The following post by George Dallam is very well written. Take 1 minute and read what he has to say. A number of us don’t think about how we run. Was anyone taught how to run or did we just start running? We were taught to swim and ride a bike but no one said this is how you run. Now is the time to work on your running form and determine what works best for you. My philosophy is that everyone is different in which method works for them, be it Romanov, Chi running, Bobby McGee……. How many of you complain about not getting faster but don’t do anything regarding form to make any changes?

Although one person mentioned the idea of a change in general running mechanics as a solution to this problem I’d like to elaborate a little. By definition a person who is “pronating” is in fact landing on the rearward part of the heel well forward of the center of mass and using the pronation to distribute force across the foot and arches prior to re-supinating prior to “toe-off”. In so doing a rearward braking force is applied to the foot and body in general and the foot naturally slides forward as a result. Larger shoes may further exacerbate this condition by allowing easier movement forward and not properly controlling the mechanics of the foot.

Although it is painful for some with long standing beliefs about running mechanics to acknowledge, even the available science (beyond what many coaches have observed for many decades) is rapidly moving to support the shift in paradigm from a conventional heel-toe model of running technique to the more natural ball of foot strike under the center of mass method developed through barefoot running, pose mechanics and or the mechanical aspects of chi running. I say this is more natural because these basic mechanics will emerge quite quickly when running without shoes over non-forgiving surfaces, even in the worst overstriders. In the emerging model one does not apply a braking force or push from the ground – rather the foot is lifted quickly after brief contact at the ball and gravity propels the body forward. Such mechanics do not require pronation and supination as ground forces are absorbed and returned to the musculature to propel the body forward rather than primarily into the skeletal system and soft tissues to be dispersed. In this approach he foot does not slide as braking forces are not applied upon ground contact. Of course those who are familiar have seen Nicholas Romanov demonstrate this by running fast on ice without slipping. This approach dissipates the destructive forces applied to the toes, the fascia, the arches and onwards up the kinetic chain as well. Of course the bodies basic structural integrity is still very important as many posters mentioned. For a convincing review of the physics please see Nicholas Romanov and Graham Fletcher’s recent article in the Journal of Sport Biomechanics.
http://www.informaw orld.com/ smpp/content~ content=a7816206 79~db=all
The editors comments in the beginners of the issue are worth reading as well as he acknowledges the paradigm shift in this area.

I will also take a moment to remind that “All dogs can learn new tricks” so try experimenting with how you run sans shoes and then examine the Pose or Chi running approaches if you want to learn more.

George Dallam (a previously slow legged 120$ per pair air maxed legatropterus gigantus seen in recent decades running faster through the western mountains in a 20$ pair of aqua-floppers after the manner of the lighter weight poseatoptrois elegantis)

George Dallam