Friday, December 31, 2010

Power Cycle & New Years Eve

I went to spin last night, not paying attention that Thursday night was Daves power cycle class.
Knowing that tidbit of information wouldn't have stopped me from going, but its nice to be aware of the masacre thats heading your way. For those of you who aren't members at the Ragsdale Y and who do enjoy spin, let me know when you'd like to go experience this Nazi man's spin class.

I sweated more than I have in probably over 6 months, and it was a ridiculously hard class but in the end it was well worth it. (well it better have been, I'm getting ready to get on the scale!)

Dave also really knows his stuff about nutrition, supplements, etc and it was nice to pick his brain about all of that after class.

I have been working on my new years resolution for 4 or 5 days already and I'm pleased with my decision not to wait until Saturday, or Monday or when ever....

I went ahead and got started in the days after Christmas and have done okay with eating so far. I don't plan on doing anything crazy tonight, we just have a few friends coming over and I'll be cooking some sort of baked chicken, maybe bbq, maybe Italian, not sure, along with mac and chz, and a steam fresh veggie of some sort.

The only unhealthy thing is I will be baking cookies tonight, but plan on taking most of those to my mom's family get together tomorrow afternoon.

Starting the new year off with a nice 25 mile bike ride with dad at a local shops Polar Bear ride and with the foretasted temps in the 50s it should be a great day to ride.

Have a Happy New Year!!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Weight Loss

Didn't go so good after the first day but I will be weighing in tomorrow and will provide an update.

Dang Tri Team Christmas party foiled my attempts on day 2 and i gained .8. At least I'd started with a .4 lost on day 1.

I haven't been to the gym this week, like has been busy, but that's the holidays.
The body needs rest sometimes anyway and today there was ice all over the place so there was a nice day off from work. We got a lot of cleaning done and are just about ready for the holidays.

We only have a half day at work tomorrow before a staff lunch and the rest of the day off!

Hope everyone is doing great!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Biggest Loser - Hill vs. Huff

So this isn't the first challenge I've started in the past few months, (don't go back and read, you'll just get down and out for me(d90x, chest workout, etc, etc, haha)

But here is a new one anyway. One of my co workers and I are fed up with gaining weight and needed a little motivation to not get even fatter over the holidays.

We weighed in on Monday, I will not disclose his weight unless he gives me his blessing. I will refer to it as X.

I weighed in at 224.6. My heaviest weight of the year and up 20 pounds from my wedding weight. 30 pounds from my summer 09 low.

A breif weight overview - i started really packing on the pounds toward the end of college and when i began working for ruby tuesday. At my heaviest I was probably close to 260, but the heaviest offical recorded weight I have was at the start of another weight loss challenge with a few friends in 2007. It was 253.

I lost weight in 07 to right down around 198 by working out 2-4 hours a day at the gym, weights, baseketball, hours on the elliptical and stationary bike. Weight was up and down for most of 08 and at the end I started gaining and was just over 226 in January 2009. I worked hard, ate well and got down to 195 that summer. It went back up to 215 by March of 2010 and I dropped 10 before the wedding and honeymoon. So since June I've manged to be such a gluton that I've gained 20 pounds and am ANGRY with myself.

Now I don't have the time to work out that much so I'm going to have to make good decisions eating and trying to workout (great time to start over the christmas holiday huh?)

I am glad we are doing this challenge. I have no desire to go back over 225. I know I can't just loose it all at once so I really hope to lose 6-10 pounds between December 13 and January 13 and then keep loosing .5-1 pound per week after that until I reach a goal weight that I can maintain.

No crazy fad diets, no 6 hour gym sessions, I want to make good decisions and feel proud about how I'm losing weight and the fitness that I'm regaining again.

I have some great goals fitness, personal and professional that I'm shooting for in 2011 and I'll start sharing those soon.

But today, after 1 day of the challenge I was down .4. (i know i shouldn't weigh every day but I have to be accountable somehow)

Here's to Day 2 of the HvsH Biggest Loser

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Knock...Knock

Is anyone there?
Its been forever since I've posted on this blog.

Hope everyones doing great.

Quick Update:
Things are going great for Tara & I.
I've been getting back into spinning and it makes me want to ride my bike so bad. So much so that I've pretty much decided that I had a lot more fun when I was ridding and running occasionally, so I'm probably not going to do any tri's that are not sprints or super sprints. I just don't enjoy swimming and would much rather be on my bike.

The Photography business has exploded over the past few months and its great!

I love the holidays and they're right around the corner.

Thats about all I've got right now. Like I said I hope everyones doing great!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Through the Lens

Its a busy weekend for me this weekend and a lot of it has to do with my passion.
www.HillEventPhotos.com is my website for my photography business and this weekend I have my partner doing photos for a 10K in Rural Hall, and I am doing family photos this morning and tomorrow afternoon. I will be editing and uploading photos this weekend from a few shoots in the past few weekends. It is really exciting how much my business has grown in just a year and at some point it would be amazing if it went from a passionate hobby into a full fledged venture.

Also have my Class Reunion tonight so that should be fun.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Ouch Again

I didn't really feel to sore from Wednesday nights workout until I hit the gym last night. and then as I was walking up the stair towards the track, I realized that my legs were indeed sore.
This morning I'm once again sore as hell, in that good way. I've put in a killer week in the gym and am certainly feeling it this morning.

I had a networking event to attend at school for a class that I'm in so I have now attended all three events that are required and I did actually enjoy 2 of them. I can go ahead and write that short paper this weekend and am very much on the way to being done with all the assignments for class! HOORRAAYY!

Due to the networking event I was late getting to the gym so the plan was to just run a mile and do W1D2 of the new chest workout. The mile run went well. Its the first full mile I've run w/o incoorporating walk breaks since I started running again and it went pretty well. It was a god warmup. Chest workout was as follows:
Box Pushups (start with one hand on the box/step, do a pushup, switch hands) 3 sets - 16 reps
Bench Press 2 sets - 15 reps at 75#
Incline Dumbbell Press - 2 sets, 1 @ 20 reps, 1 @ 15 reps. Done with 25# weights
Pushups - as many sets as needed to get to 50 pushups.

So, ouch again! But week 1 of the chest workout is done, I plan on doing a new workout routine every 6-8 weeks so this six weeks has gotten off to a great start. Tonight will be just cardio for around an hour and then one of the two days this weekend will be an off day.

My weight loss has went well every day this week until today where I gained some. I think its from the sodium from eating lunch at a Mexican restaurant yesterday. I showed amazing restraint and only had 15 chips with salsa(and thats my favorite part) and then had a chicken salad, but I believe the sodium content was pretty high. Guess I'll know more after tomorrow.

My 10 year class reunion is Saturday so it should be interesting to see everyone again.
If you've been to one or multiple class reunions, how did it go?

Until next ride...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

I found my mojo!

Don't get me wrong, this has been an amazing year. The best of my life, no doubt about it.
However I've been in a little slump since returning from our honeymoon. (I know I've promised some of you a wedding recap post, and I'm getting there, it was just so great that I feel like I would write a novel with every detail, so its coming, sometime before Christmas!)

We stayed very busy with going back to work, moving, my longest work weekend of the year, Tara going back to school(teaching), going to Virginia beach for a half marathon, a vacation weekend in Asheville, and much more. So although July, August, & September were filled with fun things I just haven't been into working out like I'm used too.

When I did get into the gym I just wasn't super motivated to workout hard, and that was pretty unusual. Since 07 I've really enjoyed working out, or biking or running, etc. Sometimes there was an event that I was working towards or just to enjoy the time in the gym. I felt like Austin Powers in The Spy who Shagged Me, I'd lost my mojo.

I'm happy to report that "I'm back baby" (read in Austin Powers Voice). Unfortunately it took some post wedding weight gain to really force my hand, I dug in my heels and started working out regularly and hard a week and a half ago.

I haven't felt this good about working out in a while, I'm just spending a lot of time in the weight room and doing calorie burning cardio. Lots of time on the elliptical machine and I will start mixing in some running again this week, and lots of time with the weights.

I have started a killer chest workout and that's 2 days a week. I plan on doing lower body 2 days a week and mixing in arms with some of the other stuff. I haven't quite figured out where to add in core workouts but I believe they will be on the chest days in between the chest workout. Speaking of that mens fitness killer workout I'm still sore from Day 1 Week 1, and I've got D2W1 coming up tomorrow. I hope I'm able to move when I wake up on Friday.

On another note I've changed my blog title, hopefully for good and I'll explain why I like it so much in another post.

Until next ride...

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Ouch

Today I woke up sore as hell. But its that good kind of sore, the kind you know you got from working your ass off in the gym last night.

I did 33 minutes on the elliptical and started a new chest workout from mens fitness, followed up by a mile of walking with Tara.

In all honesty, the chest workout didn't look that tough, but it sure turned out to be. I laughed at myself before I even got through the first exercise of the 3 in the Day 1 workout. This workout is two days per week, for 6 weeks.

#1 - Pylo Pushups (the one where you go down slow and explode up and clap)- 6 sets w/ 6-8 reps. I did 6 sets of 6 reps, and apparently I don't land softly on my hands because I started bleeding from my right thumbnail after 2 sets, but it wasn't too bad so I finished it.

#2 - Dumbbell Bench Press - 5 sets w/ 10-12 reps. Using 40# dumbbells I did the 5 sets with 10 reps. The first set was really tough because my chest was tight, thankfully it loosened up a bit.

I decided to throw in dumbbell curls between the press, so I did 4 sets of 6-8 reps of curls.

#3 - Elevated Feet Push ups - 4 sets w/ 10 reps. I did 4 sets w/ 8 reps and by the 8th rep on each set I was struggling mightily. I'm actually pretty shocked I didn't fall on my face on the very last rep.

I also decided to add some triceps work between those push ups so I did triceps pull downs on a cable machine.

I was in the gym for about an hour and a half and although tired when I left, I felt good.

Tonight I have a networking event and then class afterwork so there won't be any workout, but tomorrow night I am doing cardio and legwork.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Great Workout Tonight

Today started off tough but thankfully got better, due in part to a great workout tonight.
I didn't sleep well last night, that led to being tired all day today but I still had a plan to work out before the triad tri team board meeting.

It turned out to be a really great workout.
30 minutes on the elliptical
Upper body weight workout
2 mile run

I've had 2 really good workouts this week, both Monday and today were similar except Monday I just ran 1 mile. Yesterday Tara and I walked Trixie for 1.2 miles and then I put in 10 minutes on the apartment gyms elliptical machine(which sounds like it is going to fall apart)

I had a nice lowfat bowl of soup at Panera during our TTT board meeting, the feista chicken or whatever its called was pretty tasty.

I haven't decided about tomorrows workout yet but hopefully I'll feel as good after that as I do tonight.

Hopefully I'll see some improvement on the scale tomorrow, its been slow going so far, I still hope to loose some weight before the new year.

Until Next Ride....

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Blah

I am really not good at this dieting thing right now.
I know that I shouldn't eat certain things, but am not making the decisions not to eat them.
I need to do some soul searching and really get serious about losing weight. I know its tougher this week because of how tired I am from the crazy work weekend, but I need to get back on track anyway. Tara and I are both off to a poor start to our weight loss competition. She's trying to lose 10 pounds and I want to lose 20. I'll post an update on how thats going next week, probably bad, since we'll be out of town to see the Braves play this weekend. If any of you have the motivation ferry locked up please send her my way.

On a different note, the Braves have won three in a row and if we can win a few against the Phils this weekend we should get into the playoffs!

|>|>|>|>|>|>|> (Tomahawk Chop!)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Survived

It has now come and gone. The busiest weekend for the development staff at the MS Society.
We work almost around the clock and with the help of over 1600 amazing cyclist and over 500 total volunteers we had an awesome Bike MS: Tour to Tanglewood again this year.

And to top it all off the weather was almost perfect the entire weekend. Just a few people got rained on Sunday, but compared to the 70% chance of heavy rain forecasted the entire day it was an awesome weekend.

I'm starting to feel like a person again, the weekend just drains me like nothing else.
It starts on Thursday, with a full day of pick ups and truck loading. Friday we got to Tanglewood around 9 am and worked non stop with the volunteers etc until 5pm when early check in started, then we worked with that until 9. Saturday we report at 4 am and we left the park a little after 8pm, and Sunday is the short day with only working 5am-2pm. If my maths right thats a 37 hours in 3 days, whew!

On Sunday I had a 3 hour nap, then dinner, then an hour nap, then went to bed. Last night after another full day of unloading and returning things I went to bed at 10, and now am starting to feel a bit recovered. Its a good thing b/c I'm working today then will be in class for 3 hours tonight. Tomorrow night is a Triad Tri Team board meeting and Thursday night, is clear for being lazy!

Taking Friday off to chill and get some R&R during the day and leaving for Atlanta when Tara gets off. My parents got us braves tickets for Saturday for her birthday and the game got moved up from 7pm to 4pm so we're just going down Friday night. We've still got our fingers crossed that they can hang on and squeak into the playoffs but its not going to be easy.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend and the weather where you are is as beautiful as what I'm looking at out the window right now. Make it a great week.

Until next ride...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Busy

I know I haven't posted anything in forever and believe me its not because there isn't anything going on! Its the other, there is a ton going on and if I wasn't done with my checklist for today at work I wouldn't be writing this.

Life is crazy busy but good.

Married life is great.
Photography business is growing!
School is good!

I am not one to wish life away but I am looking forward to Sunday afternoon at 5pm. My works biggest event is this weekend so I'll be working regular hours tomorrow and then 9am-9pm Friday, 4am-9pm Saturday, and 5am-5pm Sunday.

It looks like great weather and all 1600 cyclist should have a great time.

Speaking of time...that's about all of it I've got right now. Hope everyone has a great rest of the week and weekend.

Until next ride...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

D90X - Slow Going

Time for an update on D90X. I don't really need the X on there since I'm not doing anything extreme at the moment but I'll leave it nonetheless.

Day 10 - x-2.4 (no change from day 9)
Day 11 - x-2.6

I'm hanging out with the guys tonight and we're going to bonefish (one of our buddies works at outback so we get a 25% discount at Outback, Bonefish, or Carrabas) then we're going to see the Expendables. Although I'll try to eat a reasonable dinner, but it can be hard not to have something tasty at dinner or popcorn at the movie. We'll see what happens. I hope to get in a bike ride or two this weekend. I miss my roubaix time.

I can't wait to see the movie. I'm a huge Stallone fan, always have been.

I'm sure that I'm not the only one who thinks so but the movie title is pretty clever.
From Frist Blood Part II:
Co Bao: Why did they pick you? Because you like to fight?
Rambo: I'm expendable.
Co Bao: What mean expendable?
Rambo: It's like someone invites you to a party and you don't show up. It doesn't really matter.

That reminds me that we should all enjoy life to the fullest. I have been in a job that consumed all of time before and thankfully I'm not now. Even if I was still in that job, days off would be real days off. To live life, spend time with those you care about and love, and really be in the moment.

Looking forward to "date night" tomorrow with my new bride. She starts back to school for "real" (with students) next Wednesday and I know she'll be working hard. School teachers don't get nearly the pay or respect they deserve so those of us that know and love them should offer encouragement and a helping hand when ever we can.

Until next ride...

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Still Here: Week in review

So I've been absent for the past week for good reason.
A quick run down would look something like this:

  • Tuesday night - got the keys, cleaned the new apartment, vacuum, etc
    Wed - starting moving 7:30-11 in the boiling heat, errands, wed night my parents came and helped with moving stuff and getting new apartment started setting up
  • Thur- move all day, paid alex and a friend to move the big stuff but I definitely made the most trips with all kinds of stuff. Thursday night Tara's parents came down to help us set up and bring all of the gifts from our wedding and wedding showers
  • Friday - morning clean old apartment, Mt. Airy that night to get ready for yard sale sat
  • Saturday - yard sale at Tara's parents - we made over $400 so it was worth it. Sat night, put more stuff away and chill
  • Sunday - picture hanging and finally everything was pretty much in place, Sunday night the annual VGP fantasy draft
  • Monday - back to work, nap, grocery shopping
That brings us to today. I somehow managed to still loose some weight over all that but I probably shouldn't have. I guess I sweated enough and got enough workouts with the hundreds of trips up and down the stairs at 2 apartments to keep the awful food from a huge weight gain.
I can't really remember but I know I was down 2ish pounds, put back on a pound and yesterday would have been day 8. I seriously would have liked to just start over with yesterday as day 1, but that'd be cheating and you live with the decisions you make, right?

As a reminder X = my starting weight.

Day 8: x-2.2
Day 9: x-2.4 - I really hope that after a decent workout of walking 2 miles and some quick upper body weights that I keep the losing trend going into tomorrow.

Our workouts for tomorrow include 30 minutes on the elliptical and 8-12 strength training exercises. I'll work on that plan tomorrow.

Coming up:
My personal development online photography class starts tomorrow, my MBA class starts next tuesday(on my favorite TV night!!!, right now its white collar then covert affairs, but NCIS will be back soon)
Thursday night is Guys night. We've got dinner and the Expendables on top. CAN'T WAIT!!! STALLONE ROCKS!!

Hope to have dad and my triathlon bike sold tomorrow. I've talked to a guy about it, so maybe that will work out and we can upgrade some of our photography equipment.

Lastly, if you know anyone in NC that needs a wedding photographer, I'm doing a few more weddings for free if they fit into my schedule. I want to build my portfolio so its free, no strings attached.

Until next ride...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Cake and Keys

Last night I baked a cake for our apartment complex staff. They have been great for the past 2 years and really worked with us to help get into a 2 bedroom in the same complex. When I dropped it off I asked if I could get the keys to our new appartment this afternoon if it was ready so we could start moving earlier than 9 am tomorrow. To my surprise they went ahead and gave me the keys today. That works out great, we can go over tonight and see if anything needs to be cleaned up, and go ahead and put the shelf lining, etc in.

Our new place just got new carpet yesterday and it was painted last week so it should be just like new. I'm excited to be moving into our 2 bedroom but hate moving so I'll be glad when we get it all done. The good news is that Tara and I are moving all the small stuff we can tomorrow and then we're paying Alex and one of his friends to do the heavy lifting. I'm not at all interested in straining my back this time around. That'd put a real kink into d90x.

Speaking of d90x
Day 1 = X
Day 2 = X-1.4

I figured that I'd be down pretty good with getting a lot of the water weight out due to the sodium intake on Sunday. Yesterday I did great with eating and exercise. One day down, 89 days and 18.6 pounds to go.

Until next ride...

Monday, August 9, 2010

Shut Up & Sweat - d90x, step up 3, the losers and more

I know...I know. I am supposed to still be catching up with the wedding, honeymoon, etc and I promise to do that. But those will be longer posts and I haven't had, okay, made the time to do that. I've got to get the wedding pictures up on Picasa, and write about how wonderful the day was(because it was so perfect it'll take time to walk down that memory lane)

So for now, you get a post about getting back into the groove. I went to my first group exercise class since the honeymoon last Thursday and was sore as hell on Friday. Today I started what we can jokingly call d90x, thats right, Derek's 90 day exercise plan. I did the athletic conditioning class at the Y and then walked 1.6 miles with Tara. Those classes are killer, I can't wait to be going full out like so many of the others in there. There was one other guy in the class tonight but he quit about 30 minutes into the 45 minute class. Its no joke, Takeela works the hell out of you.

We can call todays starting weight X, and I will report what x-pounds we are at until I feel like less of a fatty and want to talk about what I actually weigh. Which should be in 12 pounds. I will say that x-20 the goal for the d90x is about .2 pounds a day.

So D1=X

I feel confident that I will be at a lower weight tomorrow because I ate way to much on Sunday (and friday) like the buttery, salty popcorn at the movies, etc. Couple that with the fact that I had around 1700 calories today and I better see some negative movement in the morning or my scale might get the office space treatment.
I knew I needed to do great with nutrition today because since we're moving wed/thur and everything's packed up it was going to be a Chick fil a night. Tuesday will probably be subway, and not sure about Wednesday yet. Looking forward to cooking again.

Other:
A few movie reviews:
  • Step Up 3 is awesome(saw it in 2d, not 3d). If you like dancing, and I'm really starting to this was great. More of the America's next best dance troupe, than dancing with the stars or the first step up movie(which I've seen about 50 times thanks to my beautiful wife), but still this movie is very entertaining. The romance lines are pretty predictable, but the dancing is amazing.
  • The Losers: maybe this would have been better had the A team not come out this year too, but it wasn't. Lets just say that if A team was a 10, then the losers would be hard pressed to get higher than a 6. Entertaining enough, lots of killing, but I didn't love it. Bored with nothing else to watch, it beats the tar out of a preseason NFL game but I was hoping for more.
Until next ride...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Racing & Events

I am an admitted "event" enthusiast. I love doing the running, cycling, tri events. There is a great sense of accomplishment involved with training for, and finishing an event. You give it your all, or all you have that day, try to have a great time, and cross the finish line with your head held high.

However, early this summer, I had an epiphany (thanks to T-Pain, and a great album, I didn't have to use spell check to get that right!) I did WAY to much this spring. I mean I really over did it, and that taught me some valuable lessons.

If you look back to my 2010 Event Calender(on the right side of the page) you can see how busy I was, but just to reiterate starting in mid march it was something like:
Work an Event (my job is a Event Fund-raising Planner for the MS Society (in a nut shell))
1/2 Marathon (travel to Atlanta)
Easter
Work Event
1/2 Marathon (travel to OBX)
Work Event
1st Triathlon (travel to White Lake)

Wow! Stop the presses, really, did I do that. Have something to do every weekend. Well yes sir I did. And to top it off my wife didn't get to travel with my parents and I to any of the events. Please don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I had a really good time with my parents, and my dad did the 2 1/2 marathons with me. It was good, but it was also too much. It was also my first semester in an MBA program(part time), and I implemented two other new events for the MS Society in early Feb. and early March.

By the time that tri was over I didn't want to do anything but rest. I was burnt out, and just wanted to hang out. The middle part of my calender for the year had the 3 mountain madness cycling ride (of which we chose to do the short distance) and the biggest event all year for me, our wedding. But after that, I had a metric century (62 mile ride) scheduled for the weekend I got back from our honeymoon. That was the first event to go. Other events at that point were: 1st weekend in Sept - 1/2 Marathon in VA Beach, 2nd weekend in Sept - Tri in DC, 4th weekend in Sept work all weekend at our Bike MS event, October 1/2 Marathon, November 1/2 Ironman at Beach to Battleship.

The first thing to go was the bike ride, and then I really started doing some soul searching. What are my reasons behind the events, do I need to do all of these. Do I want to be traveling so much and just being busy, and being back in school for semester two of the MBA. I thought long and hard about the training that would have to be done, every sat and Sunday morning would practically have to be spent doing a longer run or ride to get ready for the two tri's.

In June I really enjoyed just exercising and spending time at the gym. Group exercise classes were a great way to burn calories and improve body tone, but I had to make some decision.

After soul searching, weighing the pros and cons, and discussing things with my support crew(wife, mom, dad and friends) I decided that most of those things were going to have to go. I was able to transfer the tri in DC to someone else. I asked for my 50% refund for the half ironman, and that made me feel so at peace.

We will still go to VA Beach and do the 1/2 Marathon, but due to some injuries for my dad, we may jsut be walking it. Thats fine with me, I don't like to train to run long distances in the Summer anyway. I kind of take a summer running hibernation. I stop my outdoor running (and most all running for that part) sometime in May and pick back up in October or November. Easier to run in the winter than bike.

I think that part of my love (somewhat of an event obsession for a while) for events was I was also trying to prove something. Prove it to myself, and others around me. Trying to prove I could, trying to prove I was strong enough, good enough? I'm not quite sure what I was trying to prove, or if I even really was but I think that might have been part of it. I'm in a great place in my life, where I know I don't have to prove anything. I just need to keep being me and living life and enjoying every step of the way. Some of the decisions to lighten the load and dump events were: I want to play softball with my friends, I want to be able to golf on a Sunday morning, I want to sleep in with my wife, I want to enjoy lazy days by the pool, I want to grow my photography business, I want to be able to not do anything for a whole weekend and not feel tied to a training plan. Ride if I want. Watch riding on tv if I'd rather.

I thought Beach to Battleship was a big goal of mine, but it turns out that just finishing the tri was what I really wanted to know I could do and I did that at white lake in May. Beach to Battleship has a cool name and good appeal, but I don't have the desire at this point to go out and exercise 3 sports for 6-8 hours. Thats a long time in the "saddle" and right now, and possibly never, its just not something I want to do. I wish all my friends who are going to have great success and a tailwind the whole way!

I'll be focusing on having fun, exercising with Tara, my MBA classes, and continuing to get my photography business off the ground.

There's the story why I dropped the subtitle for now. One might come back in the future, but I'm not heading 2 Beach 2 Battleship, and I couldn't be happier!

For everyone out there striving to get to that next finish line, just make sure you are enjoying every step of the way there or you're not living it up to the fullest, and as long as you make it to the start line, you can hold your head high and know that you've put in time, effort, blood, sweat and maybe even tears to get there. Go out and have the best race you can!

Until Next Ride....

Monday, July 26, 2010

You look like an idiot - a skinny jean fashion rant

I know I said my next post would be wedding related, but I had to throw in something instead.

I stumbled across this really funny site a while back called You Park Like an Asshole.

I should probably title this post, "you look like an asshole" or an idiot, or whatever. Because I think I'll either be updating this post or just posting short little rants about people that look like idiots.

Today's culprits. The skinny jean. On a GUY. Ladies I'm perfectly fine with your jean of choice for your UGG wearing or when ever else. But on a guy.

Really?

When did a guy put those things on and think, man thats a good style. My legs are smaller than normal, and I can look freakishly small, like I might need something to eat.

Not only are the idea of the "skinny" jeans stupid, but to wear them while skateboarding. How exactly are you going to do an olie, a melon, hell, even push off and get some speed going(note to reader: I have no experience on a skateboard that doesn't involve sitting down when I was 6 but I really like Tony Hawk).

Speaking of Tony Hawk, I'm pretty sure him and his "boys" aren't out shredding in skinny jeans so you probably shouldn't be either. If I were a skateboarder I'd be even madder b/c you'd be making me look stupid too. So if you are a skateboarder and you see someone in skinny jeans, you could punch them right off the board, but you should probably first tell them how stupid the look so they know why you're about to beat their ass.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

3 Mountain Madness - Last Bike Ride for a while

The 3 Mountain Madness is one of my favorite rides because it takes place in my hometown of Pilot Mountain. More specifically it starts in Pilot Mountain. This was the 4th year I've ridden the ride.

There are 3 main route options, 41, 75, & 95 miles. The great thing about the longer distances is that you don't have to ride the 3 mountains if you don't want, since they are just up and back.

I usually ride this one with my dad and last year we rode the 75 mile route and did the first 2 mountains, skipping the 3rd and hardest of the 3.

This year we opted for the shorter 41 mile route. We did this for a variety of reasons. Neither of us had ridden as much this year, dad due to an injury, and myself due to more time training in swimming and running for the triathlon in May.

The 41 mile ride was just enough for us, it was another hot ride, but it always is, when you ride in the first weekend of June and you're doing a ton of hills you aren't going fast so the heat can really beat down on you.

41 Mile Route


The Leg Crushing 75 Mile Route


We enjoyed the ride this year and will be back next year for one of the routes.

This was also my last ride on the bike for over a month and a half. I have never been one who worried about crashing while biking because I'm very cautious. However with the wedding and a 10 day trip to Hawaii coming at the end of June I didn't want to take any unnecessary chances of getting hurt before the wedding. I spent the rest of June doing some really fun group exercise classes at the Y and with that and cardio/weightlifting I was able to drop another 6 pounds before the wedding.

Next blog I'll talk about my decissions about my racing schedule for the rest of the year, then after that the wedding. I hope everyone has a great weekend.

Until next ride...

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I'm Baaaccckkkk

Well hello there. Its been over 2 months since my last post and I will promise upfront not to catch up with one 20 page blog post.

Lets see, whats happened in the last 2 months:
Rode the short route at 3 Mountain Madness - had a great ride but that was the last time I've been on my bike(until tomorrow)

I started working out in the gym only during june because I had this event coming up and for the first time in my life I was worried about being on the bike.

The event of the year was my wedding on June 26th

We were in Hawaii for 10 days after that.

Last week was my first week back to work(after 23 days off!)

So I guess you could say I've stayed busy, but had a damn good time doing it.

My next few posts are going to go a little further into detail about my decisions regarding triathlons and events.

I'll run down the Wedding and how much fun that was.

Try to cram 10 days of fun about Hawaii in a posts.

Then maybe if I don't fall off the blogging wagon again, I'll be caught up to current events.

Until next ride,

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Saturdays Ride

While my ride Saturday was nothing like what my friend Ben aka Becoming Timberman went through in his epic triathlon, it was still a tough ride.

I rode with TOSR(the other Saturday ride) and after I decided that I was going to do a longer ride Saturday i was actually hoping that they would do the Caraway Mountain Ride. I haven't done to much hill work this year and thought it would be a good idea to get some in. I really thought I'd be fine for that ride.

I guess my first mistake was wanting to go ride a 50 mile ride with a mountain in it. My second mistake may have been getting out of bed Saturday. Where did all that wind come from? Its never a promising sign when the five day forecast says WINDY on it, but that didn't stop me from getting up and getting excited to go out for a ride.

I led us out of the church parking lot and then pulled into my place in the pack. That would be the last time I pulled the whole day! Honestly I knew from about mile 5 that I wasn't going to be one of the stronger riders on the day. To start with my legs were a little sore from the new weight lifting routine, I rode the soreness out but I just never felt strong the entire day. I managed to ride mid pack right until we hit the 1.4 mile climb at Caraway. Its not terrible steep it just goes up for a nice long way. I rode up the climb in next to last position and caught another rider right at the summit. Thankfully there was a store stop at the bottom of the mountain.

After fueling up with an oatmeal cream pie and a Gatorade we were off again. I think the next five "rolling" miles were worse than the mountain and actually rode at the back or off the back of the group for a while. We stopped to regroup at some stop signs and at some point after mile 35 I was back about mid pack. One of our riders got a bee in his Jersey and he stopped to get it out so I stopped and helped him ride back to the back 1/2 of the split group(not like I was superman but helping out never hurts, its good to build the good bike karma up).

The group is a B group and our average is usually around 17 for the rides, but with the brutal wind(gusts of 25-30mph) and the hills we ended with a 15.8 average. I really thought that was pretty damn good for the conditions and the way I felt. And the way I felt when I finished that ride is the way I felt for the rest of the day, and most of Sunday too. I can't really remember another ride taking the toll on me the way that one did. I usually take a nap Saturday afternoon after riding and I didn't get that in so that might have something to do with it but last year I rode 3 mountain madness, hurt pain and agony and a century ride and didn't feel that beat down. I thought I did pretty good with eating/drinking so maybe it was just the combination of everything catching up to me and a hard ride that really took its tool. My next scheduled ride is Friday this week and I'm going to get in about 20-25 solo miles. Its going to be a busy weekend, but not with training.

Saturday I'm golfing with my 2 best friends in the morning and making sure I get the nap this time before my bachelor party Saturday night.

Sunday my tri team is having an open water swim clinic, pic nic and 5K. I will be eating and taking photos for everyone else. I don't know how I'd feel about trying to swim or run on Sunday after a late night Saturday.

Until Next Ride...

The Mirror

I am in what I like to call the wedding training phase of my year right now. My wedding is only 45 days away and I'm getting very excited. I'm so lucky to be marrying the most wonderful girl in the world. I can't imagine anyone more loving and caring than Tara. I'm also lucky that her family is amazing too. I've heard horrer stories about the "in-laws", but I love my future in laws. Bring on the wedding (and not to mention 10 days in Hawaii!!)

I would like to drop a bit of weight before the wedding just for peace of mind, but honestly its not a necessity. Although I haven't lost much weight in 2010 I believe that my body has changed for the better. My stomach has is my main problem area and although I don't have firm measurements to back up my thoughts and peoples comments, it seems that my stomach has gotten smaller this year.

I know that I've put in a lot of time working out and I can positively say that I am in the best athletic shape of my life. Its nice to hear my fiancee, my parents and others say that I look like I've lost weight because I have but I've also gained some muscle this year. I saw a quote recently on a friends facebook page and it really resonated with me.

"Define yourself by what you see in the mirror not what you see out your window."

It was kind of funny timing because a few days before I was looking in the mirror and thought to myself, that while I still have work to do, I am actually happy with my body right now.

Happiness shouldn't be measured in perfection, it should be measured on accomplishments and when accomplishments are met new goals can be set. So while I'm far from making it to the cover of Men's Health I am happy with where I'm at and that makes it easier to set new goals and have renewed intensity to working out. I know that with the training I'm doing for cycling, swimming, and running, along with the weight training that I'm on the right track with my workouts. I just need to ensure that my diet stays good 7 days a week not four or five.

I am proud of the fact that I lost nearly over 50 pounds in 2007 and that I've kept all but about 5 pounds of that off. I was really unhappy at over 250 pounds and managing a restaurant and I worked hard to change careers and then my body. I've had that kind of success along with all the athletic achievements so I know its possible to stay dedicated and meet my future goals.

My next post will detail my ride from this past weekend where me and the roubaix rambled at the back of the pack for much of the day. Some days you've got it some days you don't I guess.

Until next ride....dream big & work hard!

Friday, May 7, 2010

How to increase your group ride average in 10 miles or less

If you're like me you have a group or maybe a few groups that you enjoy riding with. I ride with a B group here and we usually average ~17. The group rides on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday with super original names.

Tuesday is(was) -The Tuesday Night Grandover Ride(we now start at a park thanks to the resort not wanting cyclist liability in their parking lot)

Thursday - Roaming Ride

Saturday - That Other Saturday Ride (since the Saturday Ride was already taken upon its inception)

These rides have the same core group of people that ride them and we pick up and loose people depending on whats going on. Some move to faster rides, some of us have other training going on at times.

I haven't ridden with any of the groups in about 3 weeks due to work and triathlon training. The tri training really paid off because I turned in a solid performance at the White Lake sprint (see previous blog post) but I was ready to get back in the saddle for a group ride last night.

The group split a few times into 2 groups with 5 or 6 guys putting the hammer down and the rest of us cruising along at around a 16-17 average, but we'd regroup every 3 or 4 miles at a stop sign/light/etc and then take off again. At about mile 20 of the ride there was a bolt of lighting that was closer than you want and the thunder started rumbling. Ian put together a great route for us yesterday so the way back in was gently rolling, no hard climbs and when the lightning started crashing it was like everyone had a fresh set of legs.

Personally I'd struggled a little bit n the first 2/3 of the ride, not a lot of time in the saddle plus a killer weight routine that I overdid on Wednesday left we a little sore and sluggish. By the time it started storming thankfully I was loosened up and went from the back of the group to near the front and helped set the pace the rest of the way in. We must've average 19-20 for the last 10 miles with everyone really putting the hammer down and a nice paceline going back into town. I had a 17.5 aveage when we finished, which was up almost a mph faster than what I had at mile 20.

So there's the secret, all you have to do is add flashes of lightening plus loud thunder to really escalate the group ride pace.

We dogged the storm and all made it back safe and dry. Needless to say I skipped the 10 minute run that I was scheduled for after the bike because after being out so close to a storm I didn't want to play roulette with Mother Nature.

I hope everyone has some nice plans for the weekend. I'll be riding with That other Saturday ride Saturday and maybe sneaking in a run early on mothers day before heading home to celebrate the day with my mom.

Until next ride...

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

1st Triathlon Race Report

Well I made it. I am officially a TRIATHLETE!
It really feels great to achieve a 3 year goal.

Disclaimer (added after the following was written) Prepare for a Super Long Race Report. I could have broken it into 3 or more pieces but the writing just wouldn't stop, so, here it is!

Saturday -
Drove down to Clinton, where we(mom, dad & I) were staying and just hung out for a few hours. Watched the Braves win which was great since they'd lost 9 of 10 going into the Houston series.

Left a little after 6 to drive the 25 miles down to White Lake for the packet pickup and pre race meeting. The pre race meeting was not mandatory but I was glad that I attended just to hear some of the items they reviewed. It had a calming effect. I picked up my t-shirt bought a few that were on sale, got my numbers, bright green swim cap and then we headed back to Clinton to eat dinner. Ruby Tuesdays, Chicken Parmesan and a salad bar. Back to the room, get all the numbers on where they should be and pump up the tires for Sunday. I never know how I'm going to sleep before an event, sometimes great, sometimes a little tossing and turning but I always manage to sleep enough to be ready.

Sunday -
5:15 and the alarm sounds. I don't know why I wanted it set quite so early, we didn't have to be on the road until 6:15-6:30 but I did. The snooze feature got used a few times and then it was up and attem! Mom wanted to know when I became such a morning person and thats really a great question, but it just sort of happened in the past year or so. I was joking around about recording the tour de France where you can hear the spectators ringing their cow bells and shouting "allez, allez, allez, allez...." for a new alarm sound so I was quite relaxed for the early morning.

We had an uneventful drive down to White Lake and went ahead and paid $10 to park .1 mile form the site, instead of parking 1 mile away for free. Mom and Dad both have some (different) foot problems right now so a long hike wouldn't be ideal.

We got right into the Transition area where I went about setting everything up. I'd reviewed my transitions in my head about 15 times the day before and even set it up in the room Saturday to make sure everything was in a place that made sense to me.

Next was chip pickup and body marking. Those are some mighty big sharpies they use on you for body marking. After having 663 put on my arms and legs with a big "N" on my calf(for novice) it couldn't have been later than 7:30. Mom and Dad staked out a bench near the water and I went to the porta pottie line a few times, back by transition to make sure everything was still in order and then finally just sat down with them and waited.

The bouy's looked an awful long way away, and after the first wave went off at 8 am they seemed even further. Although the first guy out of the water was out in 10:30, I swear it felt like an hour. I started to get more nervous about the swim. I wasn't nervous about the in water start or my goggles coming off, or getting kicked, it was just the distance and doing something that I've never done before. My Heart Rate went up 25 bpm in the 10 minutes after the race start. I went ahead and finshed putting my wetsuit on around 8:20 and got in the water with about 20 minutes until my start time.

I met a few guys while waiting for the race to start and I wish I could remember their names, I hope their races went great. One guy it was also his first, the other it was his second.

SWIM
Once the race started it was time to go. Pretty much all the thoughts about starting slow, when to sight, etc left my mind. I think I did okay with the start, I just started. I made it to the first bouy and was relieved, the next one was the turn. After the first bouy I alternated from being on my back (and doing a back/breast stroke) to flipping over and swimming freestyle. I think I started smiling(briefly) once I made it to the half way mark. The next bouy after that was the 2nd and final turn and from there it was just back to the pier and out of the water. I kept alternating from swimming freestyle and swimming on my back, because I was just laboring on the freestyle. The best part is that I knew I was going to make it. I've known all along that if I could get out of the water, baring any major problems that I could finish the race. I got happier as I got closer to the pier and once I got out of the water I was pretty ecstatic. My HR was 164 as I climbed out of the water and started jogging down the pier. As you can see I looked pretty tired just coming out of the water but really started to feel better on the bike. I took my time(aka had a long transition) in TI it was almost 5 minutes but I wanted to calm down and really be prepared for the rest of the race.



BIKE
As soon as I got started on the bike I was feeling good. My dad and I share a tri bike(that we've only ever used for time trials at Lowes Motor Speedway before now) and thanks to that I've got a really sweet ride for the bike portion. Its a custom Guru that he's put great wheels on. I love cycling so being on a 2 loop, flat, 7 mile bike course was perfect for me. I didn't go all out and redline on the bike because I knew I was going to have to run still but I rode very well on the bike course, finishing 6th out of 26 in the Novice division. I was so happy to be biking it was like having a tail wind the whole time! (note there wasn't a tail wind the whole time but the wind wasn't bad either)

Run
Really, I'm only a 5K from being a triathlete? Thats what went through my mind in T2. I saw my parents as I was heading out for the run(its awesome to have your own photographer out there, thanks dad!) It had been humid from the time we got up at 5:15 but the weather gods were with me for most of the day with overcast skys. The sun came out during the run and it really heated things up. I rememberd the race info saying the first aid station for the run was at the 1/2 mile point and I thought I got there a little fast. After that aid station I swear I didn't think I was ever going to see the 1 mile marker. It is the longest mile I've ever run, I wasn't in any pain I just wanted to see the marker. Turns out the aid station was at 1/4 mile not 1/2 so there was further to go to the maker. The run went pretty well, it was slower than my normal 5K time but I still felt that 32 minutes wasn't bad considering this was the first time that I've done one of these.

FINISH!!!!

I am really overjoyed at finishing this race.


I have an amazing support crew that I want to thank. Mom & Dad for always believing in me. Tara, my beautiful fiancee who couldn't be there due to one of our wedding showers, but she's always stood by me as well. When we first started dating I was taken aback at how supportive she was for the things I wanted to do, weather it was my major at school, or running a marathon, just like my parents she's always believed that I could be successful. The rest of my family are amazing as is my "new" family that I'll officially be a part of on June 26th. My coach, Suzanne Duncan has been a tremendous help this year. She's prepared me for this triathlon and we've got some more work to do to get ready for the Nations Tri (Olympic distance) and then the big one, Beach 2 Battleship Half Ironman, but I know that if I listen she'll have me ready for those as well.

Setup Events also did a great job with executing the race. They were organized and professional as always, doing a Set Up event is truly a pleasure. Thanks to all the volunteers who were at the race and anyone else who had a part in making it happen.

I didn't stick around the finish area to long because I was really hoping to make it back to Greensboro and then to Mt. Airy to surprise Tara at our wedding shower. I'd told her that I wouldn't be there but if it was possibly to make it I was going to.
Traffic wasn't bad and we made pretty good time, ~3 hours back to Greensboro. I took a super fast shower, put on nice clothes and hoped in the car for another hour of driving. I made it to the shower with about 40 minutes left of the time and Tara was happily surprised to see that i made it. Her mom did a great job of organizing a great wedding shower and we are so blessed that we have so many people who wish us well. We received an astounding number of gifts that will make married life get off to a great start.

Sunday May 2nd was just a great day. Thanks for reading.

Times:
Swim - 23:42
T1 - 4:29
Bike - 44:47
T2 - 1:48
Run - 32:27
Total - 1:47:11!

Until Next Ride....

Friday, April 30, 2010

T Minus 1 Day!

Its just around the corner. We are at T minus (what does the T stand for) 1 day before the White Lake Sprint Triathlon.

As mentioned numerous times, this will be my first open water swim triathlon and I've been training for it all year. I'm getting really excited. Heck, I am really excited. I've had nervous energy all day. I'm so eager to get started and can't wait to haul myself up the ladder onto the pier at the end of the swim. I know without a doubt that if I can get out of the water that I'll be able to finish. And with all of the swimming I've done since January I am pretty confidant (with the help of my trusty Xterra Vortex 3 wetsuit) that I will be just fine in the water.

Although I ate to much today I will behave tomorrow and get fueled up with proper nutrition for Sundays race. We had our spring intern going away celebration this afternoon and there were some delicious appetizers involved in that.

Tomorrow my parents are meeting me here at 12:30 and we'll hit the road. I am glad that we don't have to leave too early because I don't have everything packed yet. I have had a busy week with school, it was the last week of my classes for my first semester in the Masters program. Although my class was online I did an 11 page paper this week and just finished the final exam a few hours ago. What a way to celebrate the start of summer break, with a Tri! We are staying at a Hotel that's about a 1/2 an hour outside of White Lake. We'll get checked in and lounge around for a bit. I will go ahead and do a practice layout of all my gear for the transition area and then think myself through the 2 transitions.

Packet pick up doesn't start until 6 pm and lasts until 8pm due to the Half Ironman distance race that is Saturday. I want to get there around 6:30, have some time to check everything out and attend the pre race meeting at 7:30.

Once thats all taken care of and I feel comfortable with the site we'll be eating dinner, then back to the hotel to finish inspecting anything that didn't get looked at before.

Sunday: Early alarm 5-5:15. Everyone will have to be up and ready to roll by 6. Arrive 6:30. Check in, get timing chip, body marking, etc. Rack the bike, lay out transition stuff and get in the line for the potties for the 2nd or 3rd time!

I'll get some help with the wetsuit around 7:15-7:30 and do a little swim warm up before waiting for the start. The first wave starts at 8, wave 2 goes off at 8:02 and then at 8:06 I will be in wave 3. Wave 4 doesn't start for 5 more minutes so I think I'll have about 8-9 minutes before there are people trying to swim on top of me. Maybe they will go around b/c I don't really want to get kicked in the face or pushed down in the water but cest la vie. I've had practice with bumping, banging, etc at our Triad Tri Teams open water swim clinic.

One of the blogs I follow Fat Cyclist is doing his first Triathlon and its IronMan St. George this weekend. Good Luck Fatty!

I have 2 goals for this triathlon. #1 and most important to Finish & have fun. #2 is to have fun and race hard. This finish line is 3 years in the making and I can't wait to see it.


.5 Mile Swim
14 mile bike
3.1 mile run
= Triathlete!

Until next ride...

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Flying Pirate Half Marathon Weekend & Report

I've been wanting to write this for a week now, but sometimes life just gets in the way. There's been a lot going on and yesterday my final event of the season took place. Walk MS: Triad was held at 4th of July Park in Kernersville and we had great weather, a fantastic turnout and all in all an amazing event. Its great to see so many people rally behind a cause. I hope that everyone has a cause in their lives that they can do something for. Volunteering, Walking, Cycling, donating to a friend, there's so much that can be done and each and every little thing helps in the quest for a cure, for MS in this case or for the so many other worthy causes out there. Thanks to everyone out there who makes a difference in some way or another.

Onto the race report from last weekend. (Warning: it gets kind of wordy)
To give a little background, my dad and I were running this half marathon a month after our last one, the ING GA Half. We set a PR there and after that thought we might be able to shave another few minutes of the finish time at the Outer Banks.

Shortly after the ING dad's Plantar fasciitiss started acting up and he was having some real pain. We weren't able to complete our last long run before this because of the pain. He met with his doctor and got a cortisone shot and we were both hoping that he'd be okay to run when race day rolled around. Although I'd been able to continue training while he hadn't I really enjoy getting to run/ride the events we choose with him. We have a great time seeing new sights, conversing, suffering, etc.
He told me the week before the race that if it was bad and he had to start walking that he wanted me to go on and run to get the training in and have a chance at a PR. I reluctantly agreed.

My beautiful fiancee wasn't able to go on with us due to other obligations but Mom, Dad and I left Greensboro for the Outer Banks friday right around 5pm. After a quick stop for dinner we were making good time and getting close to our destination. Apparently somewhere on the long, straight and very dark stretches of HWY64 we started making too good on our time and my speed had inched up a little to high. We soon got that problem corrected thanks to the super bright neon blue lights of the young highway patrolman. Amazing how quickly they can give you a ticket with the computer and printer in their cars. After that it was just over a half an hour and we were at the beach! (I've certainly used the cruise control much more since that, I don't speed a lot and I was just to engrossed in a good conversation with mom(we can talk for HOURS) while dad was napping in the back, and got busted)

Saturday was a nice day at the beach, highs were around 70 with a little wind. We went to the race expo, picked up everything including an awesome t-shirt and grabbed lunch at a cool restaurant with an outdoor patio with views of the ocean. The rest of the day was spent relaxing and hanging out. Not too much foot pain for dad and I walked around on the beach some, did a little shopping and really enjoyed a great day.

We parked at the start Sunday morning and grabbed a shuttle to the start. The forecast was for cooler weather and the possible showers from earlier in the week were all but non existent in the forecast today. Low of 50 high of 59, perfect day for a run.

There was a huge contrast in this race and ING. Here there were around 1400 of us, as opposed to the 12000 in Georgia. I really like both so its fun just to appreciate the difference. My goals today were to enjoy the race and just have a good time.

Gun goes off and we're off.
Mile 1 - 10:23 - Heart rate seems higher than it should for most of the first mile. Just need to chill and enjoy things. Maybe strated a bit to fast but we weren't flying.
Mile 2 - 10:25 - Pretty consistent.
Mile 3 - 10:59 - Still wasn't feeling great. Thought this might just be a long day. HR was still a bit on the high side for what I'd like to see. Decided that after 3 miles I'd run the rest of the way with my dad, no matter if that meant walking or not.
Mile 4 - 12:14 - Walked the water stop and until dad had time to use the porta john and run back up to me. He encouraged me to run ahead as his foot wasn't feeling great b/c he didn't want me to sacrifice a PR. I told him today wasn't the day for a PR, I didn't feel my best and I just wanted to have fun and hang out w/ him.

Mile 5 - 11:20 - Yep, we're still running. After checking on how his foot felt, he said, well it hurts to run, but it also hurts when I walk so I might as well keep running. Damn. Toughest Guy (and maybe most stubborn too) I know.
Mile 6 - 11:11 - just plugging along. I failed to mention the amazing few started around mile 4. The bay, the huge houses over looking the bay. There are some FANTASTIC running trails in Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills.
Mile 7 - 12:38 - Walked another water stop. I know that we're coming up on the wright brothers memorial soon.
Mile 8 - 12:08 - Just running and enjoying the race. Over halfway done now!
Mile 9 - 13:24 - There's a first for everything when running I suppose. We stopped and snapped a few pictures in front of the Wright Brothers Memorial. Actually stopped twice b/c the first time I wasn't thinking and we did it into the sun, glad dad remembered that we broke a cardinal rule of photo taking and stopped on the other side as well. A big thanks to the nice runner who stopped to take a picture of both of us.

Mile 10 - 12:07 - Still running
Mile 11 - 12:59 - walked through another water stop and quick pit stop. We are in the woods now. Yeah, in the woods, didn't know they had trails at the beach, but we are there. And will be until the end.
Mile 12 - 12:06 - Hills? At the beach, I guess so, and funny enough since we train on the hills we passed several people who were walking there. Kind of makes me like hills.
Mile 13 - 12:20 - shit thats a big hill, short but big. Got to say hi to my max(or pretty darn close to it HR of 177) and started thinking, not so sure I really like hills, but we're still running.

Mile 13.1 - 1:11. FINISH!

(Things get kind of distorted when taken on a Blackberry Storm while running)

Total Time 2:35:30. So it wasn't our fastest half but it was fun. I snapped several pictures with my phone while running and we took some other too. To see all the photos from the weekend go to:
My PICASA Album




The sights were great, the weather was gerat and it was another fantastic weekend with mom and dad.

I hope everyone has a great week. Thanks for reading.

Until next ride...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Swimming - Am I really starting to enjoy it?

I will be posting the Race Report from the flying pirate half marathon, hopefully tomorrow.

However, today I wanted to take a second and reflect on my weakest of the three disciplines. I started a 2 month long swim clinic about 16 weeks ago. Looking back at the first few entries in my workout log with those biweekly swim workouts it is amazing that I can actually tell you that I am starting to enjoy the swim workouts. Don't call the mental institution just yet, its still not what I love to do, give me my bike any day, but it is much more enjoyable that just a few short months ago.

#1:Swimming is much harder than cycling or running but I picked up a lot of great tips and swam farther tonight that I’ve swam in a day before. I’m pretty incredibly sore in my shoulder blades post workout.

#2:Swam a total of 850m. Felt much less sore after workout than on Sunday. Left shoulder still kind of sore but now know stretch to help that.

I failed to include in the journals how wiped out I felt after leaving the pool, or the fact that I had no idea how you were supposed to get that swim cap on your head. Just ask my parents who I usually called while driving home how tired I sounded.

My previous swimming experience included, swim lessons when I was in elementary school, and since then I've played in the pool on vacations and at my apartments but I don't guess you really call that swimming. So I didn't have to learn to swim in the sense of I will drown if the water is deep, but I did have to learn how to get my body from one end of the pool to the other(and that was a hell of a feat when the clinic's started).

Suzanne asked me how I was doing during the first clinic and all I could say was I missed my bike, but I kept going and have started to enjoy the swimming because its so interesting with improvements, set backs etc. My analytical mind tries to absorb all the information and process how it feels, when I think I'm doing the stroke right, or wrong and just figure out how to improve.

I've improved by leaps and bounds thanks to that swim clinic and then joining a masters swimming group that I swim with during lunch on Mondays & Wednesdays. Thankfully if I go in early or stay late my job allows me to take a little extra lunch time those 2 days so I can drive, swim, shower and get back to work.

There have been workouts when I've swam over 2000 yards now, but mostly its between 1500-2000 during masters and those include all sorts of various drills.

Tonight's swim workout prescribed by my coach(www.SuzanneDuncan.com) who rocks was:
200 w/u
4/50 side kick drill
3x300 (30 sec rest between)
4x25 slow choice cool down

Even thought I've been swimming more I've only swam 300 non stop once up to this point so being able to complete the workout made me feel great! With my first triathlon coming up on May 2nd this workout (along with the open water swim clinic from April 3rd) made me feel good about being able to complete the swim.

White Lake Sprint Tri I is a 750 lake swim, 14 mile bike and 3.1 mile run. I know that I should be okay to finish as long as I can get out of the water. I'm really hoping to enjoy the swim, and then see what I can do on the bike and with the run.

Completing a Triathlon has been a goal of mine for over 3 years. While I've been fascinated with them longer than that it was when I decided that it was time to change my life and that I didn't want to be the 250+ pound fat guy anymore that I first decided I really really wanted to be able to do a triathlon and call my self a triathlete! I saw an add for Beach 2 Battleship that year and I've wanted to do that ever since, that is why it is the final goal of my 2010 gauntlet.

But before i get there I've got to cross a few other finish lines(White Lake Sprint & Nations Tri Olympic Distance) to build towards the Battleship finish line. When I cross the finish line on Sunday may 2nd I will be so elated that I've achieved another dream and so thankful that I've got my wonderful fiancee, family and friends supporting me to DREAM BIG!

Thanks for reading.
Until Next Ride...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Flying Pirate Half Marathon




Its nearly the weekend and this one's going to be another busy one.
I will be running the inaugural Flying Pirate Half Marathon with my dad on Sunday.
It is pretty much the 1st half of the OBX Marathon course.

I added this race to the schedule this winter for a few reasons. A nice weekend trip to the beach in April sounded great. It was between walks and gosh, I needed something to do, right? And taking part in an inaugural event is something I hadn't done before(not counting Climb MS b/c I created and organized that).

I'm still glad to be going, because it will be a fun race that I don't have any time goals on. I'm just going to enjoy this one. My big goal of the next few weeks is White Lake Sprint Triathlon, its my first out door triathlon and something that I've really wanted to accomplish for over 3 years now. White Lake is also a stepping stone towards my main goal for 2010, the Beach to Battleship Half.

I do think that at this point its safe to say when I sit down and start looking at my 2011 schedule this fall/winter that I won't plan a gauntlet of events to take on, especially 3 that involve at least 3 hours of driving in as many months.

Starting with the third week in March the weekends have been: Half Marathon, Walk MS(work), Easter, Walk MS(work), Half Marathon(this weekend), Walk MS (work), White Lake!!!

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love doing these events, the ones I get to participate in and the ones I am the coordinator for. I just think that next year I'll cut back on the "big" events and use a little weekend non travel time for the training I enjoy so much. Being able to get out for a long ride is great, and running is getting better too. The sense of accomplishment from finish a big goal is incredible and I look forward to it every time.

I've already told you my main goal race for 2010, but its not the biggest event or the biggest personal goal, that is my wedding. I'm getting married to the greatest girl I've ever met on June 26th. And apparently planning weddings take time. Its going to be beautiful and I can't wait, but its kept Tara from being able to go to the beach with me, mom and dad this weekend, so I'll miss her but in just over 70 days we'll be married and lounging on a beach in Hawaii!

Tara & I at Easter. Almost 1 year after we got engaged on Easter 2009

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

I Won!!! Easter Weekend 5K PR & Age Group 1st Place

Easter Weekend:

Friday: Running

Saturday: Eggstravaganza 5K (volunteer & run), Belews Lake Open Water Swim Clinic (first time swimming in a lake and trying out my wetsuit)

Sunday: Easter!

What a great Easter weekend. On Saturday I was volunteering for a local 5K that my tri team puts on and also running in it. I had run a little over 8 miles on Friday and I was planning on trying to go out and run pretty good. I’ve done more run training this year with the half marathons than I ever have before, and my coach has had me doing some speed work lately. (Don’t get me wrong, speed work for me is still very slow to good runners, but its helping me out a lot). My previous PR(personal record) for the 5K was 29:01 set in August of 2008 at Terry’s Challenge duathlon, it was a 5K run followed by a 40K bike ride. I was hoping to run something in the 28’s but wasn’t entirely sure if that would be possible so I just thought I’d go out and roll the dice. My plan was to run hard and see what happened. I didn’t look at my watch once the entire run, I just hit the lap button at the mile markers and kept on running.

The course at Bur Mil finishes uphill so as I was running up the last tenth of a mile when I saw the clock my first thought was, is that right? I pushed it all the way to the finish line and after I checked my watch the clock was right. I finished in 25:59! I couldn’t believe it, I had no idea I could run that fast. My mile splits slowed down but I’m still ecstatic with that time. The splits were roughly, 7:45/8:30/9:15. Wow! I’m pretty sure I’ve never gone out and run any mile under 8 minutes even if I was trying to sprint a mile and although my heart rate was pretty maxed out I felt pretty good. After the turn around and getting back close to mile 2 my hammy’s and quads were getting a bit sore but I felt like I was having a decent race and I wasn’t about to slow down to accommodate them.
I actually won my age group at this race. I’ve never done that at a run before! I was 1st out of 2! The awards at the Egg 5K are all chocolate and it was some good, hard earned chocolate.



Thanks to the Triad Tri Team
for putting on another great race, and it benefited a local MS team (Team Erica).

Later Saturday afternoon, the previously mentioned awesome Triad Tri Team in conjunction with Set Up Events, hosted the first of 2 open water swim clinics. It was at Belews lake and I’m so glad that they do events like this. Since this is my first year in triathlon I’ve never done any open water swimming and although I’ve been swimming 2 times a week in the pool since January I was a bit nervous about getting out in the lake. It didn’t help that it was 62 degrees. But I had a good time at the swim clinic as well. John Dewey from Off n Running talked about open water swimming and then it was time to suit up and get in the water. It really wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined with the wetsuit on. I wasn’t freezing cold, I’m telling you the wetsuit made a huge difference. (A big thanks to Pamela Harper for helping me with wetsuit zipping, and doing photos that day, and to Mark Scheerer for coming and hanging out, it made the 30 minutes pre swim fly by, he needed some OWS practice too!) There were 3 stations at the clinic, starting, buoy navigation, and sighting. They were all helpful and getting to swim the entire 150-200 meter course at the end was great. I started off to fast and need to really focus on getting into a good rhythm at the start of White Lake.



Easter Sunday was very nice, but nowhere near as eventful as last year. I became a very lucky guy last Easter when I proposed to Tara and she said yes. Our wedding is something like 80 days away and with it awaits a 10 day Honeymoon in Hawaii. Can’t wait!

We went to church and to lunch with Tara’s Parents & got to visit my parents for dinner. We had to get back at a fairly early time b/c Tara’s spring break was over and she needed to get ready for school. It is always nice to get to spend time with our parents. We are both very blessed to have such wonderful families. It’s hard to put it into words how great they are.

Flying Pirate Half Marathon is next Sunday the 18th and my first outdoor triathlon is coming up soon, May 2nd at Whitelake!

I believe I’ve written about enough.
Until next ride…

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Share the Road - Tuesday Night Brick

I keep meaning to write up about Easter weekend but that'll just have to come at a later date(hopefully not to late b/c it was a great weekend!)

I had a brick workout tonight, which is one discipline followed right after another.
Tonight was biking, then running.

I rode with my usual Tuesday night group, and we'd only been on the road for about 3 miles when a car that had just passed us hurled a can of soda at us. Luckily it landed well in front of the first rider, but it was pretty damn mean. Think about if it had hit Andy, then several of us would have went down right on top of him.

There are a lot of people who just don't like cyclist on the road, and sometimes I understand. Cyclist shouldn't impede a cars passing, they shouldn't ride 2, 3 and 4 wide, thats not safe. But my group was riding single file, on the right had side of the road not bothering anyone and ignorant people have to do dumb crap like that. It just doesn't make sense to me.

Much later in my ride a car about hit me that was trying to make it through an intersection before the light changed to red. I was only a mile from home at that point, and I was just like, seriously? Getting to their destination is worth potentially really hurting someone? We could all be more careful while we're out there, not just for cyclist but for other motorist, pedestrians and even other drivers. Share the Road Please.

Anyway, the bike ride wasn't my best. I just didn't feel like I had a lot of power in my legs. Not sure if I was just tired, if it was some allergies issues, or not enough fuel, whatever the case, I was with the back half of the group tonight. I can't say it was a totally bad ride because we still average 17mph and thats not to shabby, but it was something that really had to be worked for today.

Right after I got in from the bike, I threw on my running shoes and a different shirt and headed out for a run. I ran 2 miles and it was a different feeling. Getting used to running of the bike(like everything else I'm learning) is going to take some practice. I made the 2 miles and the pace was only about a minute slower than my long run pace so I wasn't to disappointed in that.

I'm really glad that I did both, it was a great workout and one that really kicked my ass. I could have easily not done the brick, just calling it a day after the ride, but I want to feel good in my first Triathlon and its less than 4 weeks away. White Lake Sprint I will be here before I know it!

I'll try to get that weekend post up in the next few days.

Until next ride,

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Week in Review: Walk MS NC ZOO

I believe this post will just be a week in review.

I'll start with the biggest item on the agenda for the week and that was my first walk of the season. I coordinate 3 walks for the MS Society and the first one takes place on the last Saturday in March at the NC Zoo. What a great location for a walk. I love the Zoo! The walk went extremely well. It was very smooth and I am very pleased with how great it went. I have a great committee that helps put on these walks, it wouldn't be nearly as good without them. Thank you to everyone who worked on making this event a success. I took some pictures during walk set up on Friday, I might post some of those in the next few days.

Training:
Monday was a nice day off.
Tuesday I was scheduled to get back to it but was still feeling tired so I took Trixie on a nice mile and a half walk and got a lot of things done at home. Laundry from the weekend half marathon trip, etc.
Wednesday - Masters swim class went pretty good but I had some elbow soreness from the pulling activities. The swim coach has some suggestions on how to slightly change my pull and that should help the problem.
Thursday - Great day for workouts. I rode around 28 miles with my coach (www.suzanneduncan.com) during a late lunch & after work I rode another 20 with a group in Greensboro. It was good to get some solid miles on the bike.
Friday - off (homework)
Saturday - off (work & case study due)
Sunday - This was the rough day for training. I had a scheduled 7 mile run but was lacking the motivation to even get to the gym. I thought that once I got there that things would be easier, because they usually are. Not today. It was a mental struggle to get going and stay going. I ended up running 4 miles at a really slow pace, and then called it a day.

I'm looking forward to getting this week going tomorrow. Here comes a good week of training, work and school.

Until Next Ride...

Monday, March 22, 2010

ING Georgia Half Marathon Race Report



Picture at the Expo. We almost ran the time that was on the clock. Not sure what that clock time represented.



We ran right by our hotel around mile 11(it was only about .75 from the start / finish walking right down luckie street, but we had 2 miles to go). It was great to see Mom and she was able to snap a few pictures.

Had a great run Sunday in the ING Georgia Half Marathon. Dad & I set our Half PR and it was so much fun to be out there. It was a great weekend with mom and dad in Atlanta, the only thing that could’ve been better is if Tara had been able to go. She was taking the GRE.

Due to a very long line at the porta john before the start we were at the very back of the pack with maybe 200 runners behind us when we started so we passed thousands of people today, espically running on the hills, it was great. I finished 6899 out of 10481. We were way towards the back of starting corrals (M) anyway so it was fine that we got in line right around the end of the line, because we got up there around 7:03 and had to walk another quarter to half mile to get across the start line (7:13). I couldn’t get over the number of people we were running past.

I had thought about a few things prior to the run, but wasn’t sure if I should try a pacing strategy. I thought maybe try to start with 2:15 and then drop back. Thought about starting with 2:30 pace group and pulling ahead, but decided to just watch the HR and run whatever felt good. So that’s what we did. Pushed it a little more in the past few miles but even with HR near 170 I didn’t feel like I couldn’t make it at any point. (good thing we decided not to try to start with a pace group thanks to pottie line anyway). Between mile 5 and 6 I thought was a very easy mile. I couldn’t believe that we’d already covered another mile. It felt like we shouldn’t have yet but I was pleased.

Water/Gatorade at almost all the aid stations besides the first one. GU at mile 3, 7 rocktane, 10 w/ caffeine. Good plan. Never felt like I was running low on fuel, just running good.

The first time I thought about PRing on the course was at mile 10 since the night before I kind of knew how much time we’d need to run the last 5K and we got to 10 in under the time I thought we’d need to get to 2:25ish so I was pretty happy then. I wasn’t watching the clock or anything but it feels really good to get a PR. Haven’t really done that in a while! Felt like a rockstar the rest of the day! I think one of the best things about it was that we just ran and had a good time and we weren't worried about a certain pace or anything.

There was light rain for part of the course, temps in the 50’s, it was pleasant. We had about .75 mile walk to our starting corral, so we ended up running 13.1 miles and walking 2-3.

1- 11:03 136avg/149max
2 – 10:39 149/156
3 – 12:00 145/154
4 – 11:27 151/162
5 – 11:11 146/152
6 – 11:21 147/156
7 – 13:46 137/154
8 – 10:20 145/151
9 – 10:26 148/160
10 – 10:31 157/167
11 – 10:06 158/170
12 – 9:55 164/172
13.1 – 10:53 167/173

Total: 2:23:42

Previous PR was our first half in Charlottesville in 08 it was 2:26:51.

The mile where it was almost 14 minutes I walked a few moments to let dad catch up from stopping at the “Happy Can” (isn’t that the best name for a porta john company) With over 12000 people out there I didn’t want to get to separated from him and be on my own, what fun would that be? Anyway, we really did well today, felt great. My knees are a bit sore now, and my left big toe feels like it could pop but other than that I’m good and very very happy with the run.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

100 Days!

If you've looked at my 2010 Calender(on the right side of the page if you haven't) you'll know that I've scheduled myself a pretty busy year of events. The culmination of the events for the year is the Half Ironman at Beach 2 Battleship but thats not the biggest event on the calender for the year.

I'm getting married! The dates June 26th and I can't wait. Our ceremony is going to be at Tara's Church in Mt. Airy and the reception will be at the Rosa Lee Manor in Pilot Mountain. Its going to be beautiful, fun, exciting & more! And now(thanks to a reminder from Tara yesterday) its only 100 days away.

I proposed on Easter of last year and when we set the date it was around 400 days, but time's really flown by, Easter 2010 is in 2 weeks, April 12th the day we got engaged is 3 weeks away and the weddings only 100 days away. Wow. It seems like each year goes by faster and faster but for now it doesn't really matter because soon as the time flies I'll be married to the greatest girl ever.



In Tri Training news, today is an off day from training. With the half marathon 2 days away(this time Sunday morning I'll have already been running for an hour and a half) its time to get some rest and prepare for the race. Its also nice that today is an off day from athletic training because it sure isn't for school. I've got 4 articles to read, 4 blackboard posts to do and a shot(3-4) case study to do before Friday at 6pm when we head to Atlanta.

Tuesday's workout was a quick 50 minute small chain ring, high cadence bike ride and it went well.

The St. Patrick's Day workout was broken into 2 segments. Masters swim at lunch and I swam 2000 yrd in about an hour and 15 minutes(i'm getting more comfortable in the pool but slightly more nervous about open water swimming at May 2nd draws near) and then after work and a committee meeting I ran 4 miles. Suzanne instructed to run easy and keep my heart rate in zone 1 and I was pretty successful with that.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ready or Not....& I think I'm ready!



The ING Georgia Half Marathon is only five days away now. So ready or not here it comes. Unlike a few running events in the past I really feel well trained and like I'm ready to go out and have a fun enjoyable race. After the 8 miler dad and I ran a few weeks ago I felt pretty good and I still feel good about the run. I wish Tara was going to be able to go to Atlanta with us but she's got to take the GRE Saturday so wish her luck!

We're leaving Friday afternoon and will spend Saturday in Atlanta, going to the race expo, and doing something fun before turning in early to get ready to run on Sunday! I'll let you know next week how it goes.

In other training news last weekend was great! Amazing weather and some great workouts (along with a few games of live ACC tourney action and lots of basketball on TV and spending time w/ TT what could be better).

Saturday morning I got up early and went for a 6.4 mile run. I was scheduled to run 6 but there was a more logical turn around at 3.2 so I just did that. When I got back home I grabbed a quick bite and had a GU rocktane, then grabbed all my biking stuff and loaded up the bike. I met the ride "The Other Saturday Ride" at the villages at North Elm and we set out for a 39 mile ride. For an early season ride, I really rode great. It was awesome to get back out on the bike and be in the mix with some old training partners. We ended up averaging 16.5 which is pretty darn good, spring or not! I also think I started using some of what I've learned from my coach about good nutrition on the bike. I had a pack of Clif shotblocks during the 1st half of the ride, and a GU during the second half. It really worked b/c I finished the ride feeling GREAT! I haven't finished a ride feeling that strong in a long time. Good lesson learned and I think it'll prove to be worth its weight in gold as this year and future years go by.

Until Next Ride...