December 24, 2010

The story of the candy cane

A candy maker in Indiana wanted to make a candy that would be a witness, so he made the Christmas Candy Cane. He incorporated several symbols for the birth, ministry, and death of Jesus Christ.

He began with a stick of pure white, hard candy. White to symbolize the Virgin Birth and the sinless nature of Jesus, and hard to symbolize the Solid Rock, the foundation of the church, and firmness of the promises of God.

The candymaker made the candy in the form of a "J" to represent the precious name of Jesus, who came to earth as our savior. It also represents the staff of the "Good Shepherd" with which He reaches down into the ditches of the world to lift out the fallen lambs who, like all sheep, have gone astray.

Thinking that the candy was somewhat plain, the candymaker stained it with red stripes. He used the tree small stripes to show the stripes of the scourging Jesus received by which we are healed. The large red stripe was for the blood shed by Jesus on the Cross so that we could have the promise of eternal life, if only we put our faith and trust in Him.

Unfortunately, the candy became known as a Candy Cane - a meaningless decoration seen at Christmas time. But the meaning is still there for those who "have eyes to see and ears to hear".

I pray that this symbol will again be used to witness to the Wonder of Jesus and His Great Love that came down at Christmas and remains the ultimate and dominant force in the universe today.

December 23, 2010

coffee thermos & comuting by bike

I commute to work on a bicycle & I love coffee. Not an easy combination. I could never find a coffee mug that could carry enough coffee & that would fit into my bike bottle holder. I used a coffee Thermos for a few years called a Bike Hothead Thermal Bottle IB-WB2 by Iberra. The company claimed this mug could carry 17 ounces of coffee, but it only carried about 8 ounces. It was poorly made. The plastic part that was designed to hold the coffee mug & bolt into the bike bottle holes broke the 1st week I used it. I tried to return the coffee mug & the company refused saying the problem wasn't their product, but improper use by me. Grrr. Thankfully I figured out if I took all the plastic parts off the Thermos it fit nicely into a regular bike bottle cage. I used it this way for awhile but recently it stopped pouring properly. Now the coffee explodes out of the top when I pour it & I end up wearing as much as I get in the cup. The only good thing I found about Ibera's Hothead Thermal bike bottle was it kept coffee hot for hours, but I always drink my coffee as soon as I get to work so that doesn't help me any.

I recently found another option I'm going to try. It's the Trek Soho Commuter Mug. It carries 20 ounces of coffee. All the reviews claim it's well made & durable. It fits into a bike bottle cage as long as the bike frame isn't small. The only complaint seems to be the coffee Thermos is top heavy. I'm going to order one. Once I get it I'll try it out & post my review here on my blog.

December 22, 2010

Enjoyment of the experience

The last two times I was training for an Iron I had become so focused on the ultimate goal of becoming an Ironman, training & dieting perfectly so that I could finish it in a fast time, that I never was able to enjoy the experience. This time it's different. Of course I'm disappointed I'm not hitting my weight goals I had set for myself earlier in the year, but this time I'm enjoying the training for Ironman. I'm having fun, & this time I'm not allowing the training to get in the way of my time with my family or God. What's the point of person accomplishments if it's getting in the way of the most important things in life? As long I put God & family as my number 1 priority I believe God will bless in the other less important aspects in life. And if for whatever reason He chooses to not allow me to be successful in my Iron distance endeavors, I will have kept my priorities straight, so I'll have no regrets.

December 18, 2010

ballet practice

I work the nights my daughter has ballet practice. Tonight I didn't go to work so I could watch her. She's 5 & is my pride & joy. I recorded this using my phone which is only able to record 20 seconds per video, it can't zoom, & the quality is poor, but you can still see how cute she is! On the other videos I recorded she was dancing in & out of clusters of girls so I wasn't able to get a very good video of her. This one was the best. She's so adorable!
I got the family van stuck in a snow drift on the side of road the other day. My daughter started panicking & said, "we're never going to get out!" I reassured her that we were going to get out & we'd be home in no time.
A bit later when we were still stuck she started crying & announced to everyone in the car, "We're never going to get out! I'll never be able to go to Disney World! And I'm never going to be able to do ballet again!" She started crying thinking of the things in her life she wanted to do & now wouldn't.
I wasn't able to help her through the situation like I should have. I tried to reassure her & tell her everything was fine, but I couldn't stop laughing. When she thought we were all goners her 1st thought was she'd never be able to go to Disney World. How sweet.

December 17, 2010

Hot triathlon training in Santa Fe New Mexico!!

I'm scheduled for my first 3 hour brick in the morning. It's supposed to be a 2.5 hour bike followed by a 35 minute run with some pick ups inserted. We got a large snow storm today & currently have a foot of snow on the ground so I can pretty much guarantee that won't be happening.

The beautiful thing about New Mexico is that the snow melts so quickly here. It's quite possible that the roads will be clear enough to ride on later in the day on Saturday, even with a foot of snow on the ground right now, & more expected for the next 8 hours. So I plan on switching my 2 weekend workouts, the brick scheduled for the morning with the following days long run.

If there's one thing I'd to say about Santa Fe, it's an endurance athletes dream come true. In the winter very few days of training will ever be interrupted by snow. When it does snow it melts very quickly. It never gets very hot during the summer months. It's 7'000 feet elevation (highest capital city in the world, the Japanese Olympic swim team trains here at the Geneva Chaves Community center part of every year because of the altitude) so someone who trains here can KILL a race at sea level! It has miles & miles of gorgeous paved country roads to explore on a bicycle. There are a ton of hilly & mountainous courses to choose from. It has a great city triathlon every year called, ironically enough, the Santa Fe triathlon. & being able to ride to Albuquerque via highway 14 is one of the prettiest rides I've ever done, I then take the Rail Runner back to Santa Fe. The Rail Runner is one of my favorite benefits. I could go on, there's a lot more. But I think you get the point.

My speed & endurance is continuing to improve. Particularly my running, which surprises me because I'm so over weight right now. All endurance athletes know light is fast! But apparently heavy can be somewhat fast too- thank goodness for that! I'm fairly certain I won't be making my goal of 200 pounds by the Memorial Hermann 70.3 in April. But that's ok, I can't hit my goal weight & speed at every race right?

December 11, 2010

El Nino Iron training baby!

This winter has been very warm so far. I'm told from a buddy it has to do with the El Ninó weather system. Today it was in the high 50's & I did a brick in a short sleeve tee-shirt in the middle of December!!! Apparently I picked the perfect winter to get back into Ironman training!! Hopefully this warmer than normal weather conditions will continue through the entire winter.

I'm in the middle of my 4th week back to triathlon training after 3 months completely off. I'm amazed how quickly my speed & endurance is returning! The human body is truly an amazing thing! I just wish my weight was responding as well. I'm up to 226 pounds now. Not a good thing for a 5'11" triathlete. I've finished multiple 70.3's in 6 hours at this weight, but at 200 pounds I average a 5 hour 30 minute 70.3. Truth be know I've never competed in an Ironman weighing less that 237. I'm not sure what it is about the longer distance triathlons that makes me hold on to my excess weight, but it does seem to work that way. The lowest I've been able to get my weight when training for Ironman is 237, the lowest for 70.3 is 204. When I train for sprint distance triathlons I'm easily able to keep my weight at an average of 192! Makes no sense to me because I train so much more & burn so many more calories training for ultra endurance tri's.

Week 2 of mission one-nine-zero (goal of 200 pounds by April 2011 for the Memorial Hermann 70.3, 190 pounds by November 2011 for IMAZ) is not going well. I've gained 5 pounds this week.

I'm 2 days into a semi-Paleo diet in which I only eat veggies, fruit, lean meats, & small amounts of nuts. No grains (because it's mostly processed), sugar, dairy, or beans. This diet also wants me to cut out coffee, but that aint happening!!! I'll let you know how it goes.

Thanks for tuning in.

December 06, 2010

Rion drinking from water fountain

Today at my daughters ballet practice my son Rion drank from a water fountain. He's at the stage that it's hilarious watch.

Cody's dramatic results from a car crash

My son & I were playing cars today, & when the car hit my hand I held my hand up with my index finger pulled down to make it look like I had a finger missing. He tried to do the same thing as me. The results were hilarious!

December 04, 2010

Project one-nine-zero day 4

Now that I'm training for Iron distance triathlons again I am experiencing one of the benefits of ultra endurance training: the most amazing sleep anyone could imagine! I'd forgotten how easily I fell asleep while endurance training. I'd forgotten how deep I sleep, not waking at all during the night, & waking feeling absolutely rested & revitalized! I'm really enjoying myself. Iron distance triathlon training rocks! I'm glad I have a supportive wife who not only "allows" my long training days, but encourages it. I'm a lucky man.

Mission one-nine-zero day 4
weight: 221.4
goal weight: 190
weight loss needed: 31.4 in 17.5 weeks
Calories eaten today: 3,520
Calories burned today: 970
Net calories today: 2,550

I have to say I'm a bit upset with the Ironman corporation. They no longer have Clyd & Athena divisions at their 70.3 & Ironman races. The 2 70.3's & Ironmans I'm scheduled for next year may be my last WTC race for awhile. They're more expensive ($600 for an Ironman slot), they're harder to get into, & they have gotten way to uppity for my tastes.

The beginning of mission one-nine-zero: day 1-3

I'm really wanting to break my 70.3 PR or 5 hours 30 minutes in April at The Memorial Hermann 70.3. To break the 5.5 hour mark I need to train hard- never a problem with me- & get my weight down below 200- all too often this is a big problem for me! So I am now starting mission one-nine-zero! My goal is to be 190 pounds by April 10th 2011. 3.5 weeks ago I was 235 pounds, I am currently 222 pounds To get to 190 by April 10th I need to drop another 32 pounds in 18 weeks. That's an average of 1.77 pounds a week. Very attainable- in theory at least.....

I've realized through trial & error my body is NOT happy being at or below 190. Anytime I get at or below 190 I then end up packing on a whole bunch of weight. It's as if my body has a self defense mechanism that kicks in anytime I drop that low. So after the Memorial Hermann 70.3 I'll allow myself to get back up 200 pounds, & then I'll drop back down to 190 just before Ironman Arizona in Novermber.

From here on out I'll be posting my current weight, Pounds needed to lose & the # of weeks to do it in, calories burned, & calories eaten here on my blog:

Week 1 of 18
At the beggining of week 18 I need to lose 39.4 more pounds.

Day 1
Weight: 229.4
Weight lost: 0 pounds
weight loss to goal: 39.4
Calories eaten: 2,488
Calories burned: 1,148
Net calories: 1,340

Day 2
Weight: 224
Weight lost: 4.6 pounds
weight loss to goal: 34 pounds
Calories eaten: 2,869
Calories burned: 888
Net calories: 1981

Day 3: Dec 3rd
Weight 222
Weight lost 7.4 pounds
weight loss to goal: 32 pounds
Ate- 3,291
Burned- 1,711 (30.7 mile zone 2 bike followed by a 31 minute zone 2 run with six 20 minute sprints with 40 seconds rest intervals)
Net calories- 1,580

While reading the bible last week I found this:

"I run in the path of your commands, for you have set my heart free."
Psalm 119:32 

I have found a lot of encouragement in it. My life is so much better & rewarding when I turn to Christ in all things. Anytime I start getting caught up in life & forget to turn to Him for strength & encouragement things get much more difficult. My finances tend to get out of control, I lose my patience much quicker, & I find myself struggling with my triathlon training & racing. I find peace & strength in Him, when I turn to Christ it makes my heart feel free & light.

December 01, 2010

Bunches of indoor miles!

Today I got 2 flats while riding my bike on rollers. It's hard to tell by the picture, but this is the hole I wore in my indoor bike tire. I wore out an indoor cycling tire! It takes A LOT of indoor miles to wear out an indoor bike tire!

The first year I bought my indoor trainer was 2007 & I was training for my first Ironman. Not only was I training an average of 19.5 hours a week, but I was also putting in 70-80 hours a week at work. I missed my wife so bad during my peak training that year. The first day I had my indoor trainer I rode on it for 3 hours while watching a movie, & my wife sat next to me & held my hand during the whole bike ride. She sat there next to me for 3 hours with sweat rolling down my arm onto hers. It was gross for her I'm sure, but all we cared about was we were there together. I have the perfect triathlon wife!!!

I'm back up to 229 pounds. Man am I upset. It took me forever to get down below 200, but less than a quarter of the time to get back up to almost 230. Uhg!

I'm back to logging all my food & exercise on I don't know what I'd do without that diet tool!