Saturday, December 31, 2011

Still on the Roller Coaster

Damn you weight gain.
I worked out on my birdhtday. A hard 30 minutes of cardio and 45 minutes of lower body.

Then I destroyed the hard work with eating like a pig at the Mexican restaurant that night.

Yesterday I was up 2.6 pounds. I expected some of that to come back off after eating some better yesterday and bike riding for an hour and 20 minutes.

But then sometimes I can't predict how my body will react to workouts like cycling. Often I'll be up for a day and then down the next.

I can tell you that after not riding for five months that 16.5 miles kicked my ass. I ate lunch, showered, watched some tv with Tara and then took a 2.5 hour nap.

Today I was up .2.

Maybe we'll get things turned back in the right direction heading into 2012. If not, at least I still have a few days off work to move the needle.

Close the year out strong! That's the best way to set up a great 2012!

Happy New Years Eve!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

30! Where did the time go?

That's right, today I hit the big 3-0. And to tell you the truth it's hard to believe. I mean where did the time go. I feel like it was just a few years ago that I was graduating high school with all my friends and we were heading our separate ways to make new friends and begin exciting new lives.

I may do a look back at the last 12 years in an upcoming post (and when I say may, that usually means it won't happen). But I can tell you that the last 6 years have been awesome and I'm looking forward to the next 6 or 12 or even 30 (although according to some of my close friends, I probably won't make it that far. After all 30 must be the new 90. Thanks Aliceson!! :-))

I started a new chapter in my life just over six years ago, and although it was a short chapter during the first 6 months I developed friendships that I believe can last a lifetime.

5.5 years ago I met the most amazing person, who I'm not lucky to call my wife. 3 months into that chapter, we were head over heels in love and I had a surgery called UPPP and a tonsillectomy to try and cure sleep apnea so I could ditch my really cool darth vader mask I'd been sleeping with. Along with my parents, who get a huge shoutout in my book of life for being the best possible: parents, role-models, friends (subtract a few ornery teenage years), therapist, cycling partner, business planners, and more. Anyway aside from my parents, Tara came up to winston every day and spent time with me, brought me food, adjusted my pillow if I needed it and did it all with a smile and genuine care. I knew then that if she would have me that she was the person I wanted to spend the rest of my life with. We dated for 2 years before getting engaged, were engaged for a year and have been married for just a few days over a year and 6 months. I could sum up this chapter with, Derek meets Tara and lives happily ever after. But then, my book would be really short, but who doesn't like a short story with a happy ending?

I also would be amiss not to mention that not only is Tara an awesome person to have in my life, that her family is incredibly awesome as well. I know everyone has heard of the "in-law horror stories", because I've heard my fair share of them, but I'm so thankful that I don't have any to tell. Tara's parents are as awesome as you can get. Marrying into a second great family is an added bonus, and they've always made me feel right at home.

In the time since we've been together we've done so much that it would be impossible to list but as an overview, here are some places we've traveled too:
Charlottesville VA, twice (half marathon & later UVA basketball game)
Orlando, Florida (Disney marathon)
Asheville (great that Jason, her brother lives there)
The Beach, numerous times
Hawaii - one amazing honeymoon

 Chicago - last summer for a photo seminar, we spent the days before and after exploring

Atlanta - a few times
Los Angeles - most recently for a whirlwind, last minute weekend trip to see Dancing with the Stars

Concerts - there have been a ton of those: Brad Paisley, Carrie Underwood, Jason Aldean, (see a theme), Rascal Flats, Taylor Swift, and a ton more

Weddings: We've had the pleasure of seeing so many great friends get married

There have been so many other funny, cool, etc moments to list them all. Fun new year's party's, fourth of Julys (some harrowing experiences along with one particular funniest moment of my life post 4th of July), Christmases, Birthdays, and more.

So the last 6 years have blown by in a whirlwind and as the coaster on my desk says: "Life is a succession of moments, to live each one is to succeed." I've been a notorious "planner" in the past, something that can sometimes lead you to always be looking ahead, but taking the time to enjoy everything as it happens is, to me anyway, what life is all about.

So, as I grow older, I believe that my birthday wish will be for another great year filled with family, friends, and fun memories. If that happens, then the rest of my book of life is sure to be a best seller!

(if anyone out there is reading this and wants to publish my memories, because you think it will make us both rich, just let me know, I can start today!)

So, that's a tornadic trip through my last 6 years. And now it's onward into the 30's.
I'm going to start by finishing this cup of coffee, and then since I'm off work until next year (woohoo!) I'm going to the gym. And, because I'm old and have things to do after that the post office, dry cleaner and bank. Then I'll spend some time with my amazing wife.

Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

30/30 Update

Down 2 pounds since the 2 day Christmas feast!

My bike has been at my parents house for a while. My dad rode it a few times when his was in the shop for repairs and I haven't needed it, but I think its time to get back in the saddle. I'll be getting my bike back by next weekend, possibly this weekend.

Do I dare set a goal of one trainer session a week at night and then a ride on the weekends if the weather cooperates? I've got to think about it, but I very well may be laying down the gauntlet for myself starting soon.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thankful for amazing families

I'm sure I've said it on here before but I'm blessed with 2 amazing families. My family has always been there for me and Tara's parents are the best in-laws anyone could ask for.

We had two full days of events on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and we had such a good time.

I love being able to spend time with both sets of parents over Christmas and am so thankful that we have that ability.

Of course we both received wonderful gifts from everyone but the most special part of Christmas for us is getting to spend time with those we love.

I hope everyone had as beautiful of a Christmas as we did.

Monday, December 26, 2011

30 in 30

I've got a birthday coming up here in a few days and it will be my 30th. That seems crazy to me. The speed at which the last 12 years have went by, most notably the last 5 have been insane. I've had an amazing time since meeting Tara, but how has it been five years since we met?

So I am not waiting until the new year, or even my birthday to get started on one of my main goals for 2012.

I will loose 30 pounds by the end of my 30th year. My heaviest weight of the month was 231.2, so by December 29th, 2012, I will weight 201.2 or less.

I hope you'll accompany me on this journey.

I hope to have a full 2012 goals list up soon, but to start with you've got my number 1 goal in writing.

I gained a few pounds over the holidays and look forward to seeing those fall back off.
I took yesterday off from the gym but got back in there for a half an hour today. I took it easy b/c I've been so tired from the bronchitis, but think that I'll be back at 100% here in a few days.

What are your goals in 2012?

Friday, December 23, 2011


Yesterday I got up early again and was getting ready to head to the gym when I walked out of our bedroom and discovered our hot water heater was broken and leaking water everywhere. I got it turned off, called the emergency maintenance number for our apartment, and went to the gym anyway.

Last night was dinner with a friend and I had some amazing sushi. We saw MI:3. It was great to catch up with him but we probably could have skipped the movie and just talked more because the movie wasn't great.

That was Friday in a nut shell.

Slept in this morning (which is rare) and when I weighed today I was down 2 pounds!
Hell yeah!

I know some of it was due to the time I weighed (shut up!) and I'm okay with it, b/c I would have been down some anyway. Take that fat belly! It's game on and you're going to get flat!

Its Christmas eve eve, and I hope you have a wonderful holiday no matter what you're celebrating this year.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Success Is...

Success is something different to everyone of us, and can be different every day as well.

Today's success was an early morning workout. I am not a morning work out person. I'm stiff and sore when I wake up and I generally don't like waking up early enough to get in a workout anyway.

But today I knew I couldn't work out after work because I have a photography job from 5-8. So, morning was the only option.

My workout was boosted by the fact that I also lost .8 today. Things are looking good for 2012!

What will your success be today?

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ready for that scale!

I ate great today.
I worked out super hard.
I'm ready for that scale in the morning!

Disclaimer - if I gain, I won't be disappointed, I did eat a half a pizza yesterday and drink 4 (delicious) beers, and loose weight today. Plus I know that sometimes after a hard workout I retain water. Just the way it is folks.

However, I haven't been this excited to step on the scale in a long time.

My workout tonight was 30 minutes high intensity cardio and 30 minutes of hard / heavy upper body weights.
Cardio was 15 minutes all out on the elliptical, 10 stair master, 5 running intervals.

Doing some reading and hitting the hay early tonight.

In the right direction

The scales went in the right direction for a few days now. I lost everything I gained from last friday's splurge by yesterday and really expected to gain today.

I had a great breakfast and lunch but knew that I was having beer and pizza while playing poker with friends last night.

However I lost .6 today. That was a nice surprise but we'll see what tomorrow holds.
I was dreading weighing particularly b/c I didn't sleep well. Trixie had me up at 4 and 6:30 with an upset stomach, but she seems to be feeling better.

Yesterday was a fairly easy day on the workout front with 30 minutes elliptical and 5 minutes of stairs.
Tonight should be an ass kicking weight routine.

Happy Tuesday!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Keep on keeping on

The scale and I did not have a good morning saturday. I wish I could blame the scale but I ate to much crap on Friday. Sweets in the morning, pizza at lunch, and chick fil a with slaw and fries for dinner.
I was up 1.6 pounds.

I did make it to the gym for 35 minutes of cardio and some weights, so it could have been worse.

Saturday I buckled down and had a solid day of eating and worked out hard.
1 hour on the elliptical machine and 30 minutes of intense weights. A full body kick ass workout.

Sunday morning I've dropped most of the weight that was gained, and as I write this (sunday night) I've had another solid day of eating and another hour on the elliptical trainer.

Its been a pretty great weekend with not a lot on the agenda, time to work out, time with Tara and time to do a little cleaning.

I'm looking forward to the coming week and of course spending time with my family on Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Friday's Weekly Weigh-In

Good, Bad & Ugly

The good is that I've worked out every day this week. And I've had some great workouts

The Bad is that I gained .8

The Ugly - see above

I did eat one bad meal, and lost .2 the next day. I know that my body reacts to working out by retaining water sometimes. I'm thinking that happens less as it gets used to working out but that will be figured out as we move forward and continue working out and eating better.

Make that two bad meals. Today for lunch it was our staff holiday outing. I had four pieces of sliced bread with olive oil and 2 slices of pizza. I was stuffed when we left.

But I did get a great 45 minute workout in tonight after the hour and a half yesterday.

I'm so close to turning a corner with these workouts and starting to loose some weight i can feel it. I think that I will probably need to track calories and that's a pain in the ass, but not as big of a pain as being overweight.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1st run in a month

I just did my first run in over a month. Seriously I haven't ran since the half marathon.
Didn't realize it'd been so long but i've been focused on other cario at the gym, for one b/c running is hard as hell, but for two (whatever, just go with it) it gets dark to damn early.

I wasn't planning on exercising tonight b/c I'm headed out in a bit to have dinner with my old crew in Winston, the VGP. Don't ask, its just us.

So I had a little time but not enough to make it to the gym. So I grabbed a flashlight in case I ran out of dusk, and headed out the door. The temperature was good and I didn't need the light.

2 miles in the books.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monday at the Gym - OUCH

I was supposed to have some friends over for dinner on Monday but one was sick and we decided to reschedule for the following week.

So, as going to the gym and losing weight are now my top priority until I can ingrain the proper healthy lifestyle habits, I decided to take the opportunity to work out. I took my ipad thinking I might do the elliptical and maybe some biking as well. Reading is easy on the ipad and I don't think it hinders my workout much, if any.

As I walked past the group exercise room I noticed the class hadn't started yet. I checked the schedule and the class "strength" was just getting ready to start at 5:30. I noticed there was another class starting at 6, so although I just lifted yesterday I thought how bad can a 30 minute class be? And it was being taught by Jessi, whom I've taken classes with before and really like.

So I jump into my first group X class in over a year ( I did a bunch of these before my wedding in June 2010)
After 10 minutes I've had my ass kicked, and since we got started at 5:35 but I'm thinking another 10 minutes we'll be stretching and cooling down and I'll head to the bike. As we neared 6 we showed no signs of slowing down and I remembered that the 6 oclock class is the spin class on Monday's and I was in a hour class.


Okay, I sucked it up, and pushed through, skipping a rep every now and again on the shoulder exercises b/c I honestly couldn't do them my shoulders were on fire (note to self - this means they need more regular work). Honestly from my lack of working out over the past two months until this week I enjoyed the stretching we did during cool down. I plan on doing more stretching, I've always neglected this part of my routine.

So, that was a hell of a success. I'll be doing all cardio tomorrow, and wednesday I hope to control my food choices as I eat out with friends at my favorite wing place. Back in the gym on Thursday, that's for sure. We'll see how the weigh in goes on Friday. I hope that it is lower than last weeks 229.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Shut the Fuck Up! - Yelling at myself

I'll explain the title in just a minute, bear with me.

If you haven't seen the movie Friends with Benefits, I highly recommend it. It is so funny.
There is one part where Woody Harelson, playing a hilarious gay man tells Justin Timberlake about his guidebook to life.

"Hey, everybody wants a short cut in life. My guide book is very simple.
You wanna lose weight? Stop eating, fatty!
You wanna make money? Work your ass off, lazy! You wanna be happy?
Find someone you like and never let them go."

That really kind of resonates doesn't it?

So let me ask this, mostly rhetorical question, because I'm 99% sure I know the answer.
Do you talk to yourself? Not out loud but the internal talk that I'm sure we all have. Sometimes positive, too often negative? Or just asking questions, when you're trying to figure things out?

If not, then I'm proclaiming you the crazy one and not me, because well this is my blog.

I'll lay this out there: I'm unhappy that I've gained 10 pounds in the past 2.5 months. Who does that???
So as I try to figure out what to do, I make one great decision. I took my ass back to the gym.

They gym is the place where I have moments of clarity. I wish I could tell you that I go to a park and meditate in all of natures beauty and that's where I find my inner peace, my clairty, but it's not. I find clarity with my trusty ipod nano, generation 2, black, that I've had with me since Christmas of 2006. I bought myself a Christmas present that year and it has been one of the best presents ever. It has been with me through 50 pounds of weight loss, then 20 pound gains, 30 pound loses, more gains and by got it will be on my hip during this next stand as I loose weight and keep it off. I love that ipod. Its dependable, predictable, and most of all fills my ears with my music. Hard rock, rap, country, gym music, Christmas music etc. So do I find clarity watching the sunset, yes sometimes when I have a camera or a loved one, but not the inner clarity that I find with loud music pumping through my ears and moving my whole body as I do ANY exercise but especially lifting weights.

I was bench pressing sunday, thinking about should I watch calories, or carbs? What is it going to take for me to get serious and loose weight? Will I be able to keep it off? I finished my set, sat up and as Jay - Z says on the black album, I thank god for granting me this moment of clarity. My inner voice got pissed off and promptly told me to shut the fuck up. Quit being wishy washy, losing weight isn't rocket science, quit freaking thinking about doing it or talking about doing it and take Woody's advice, stop eating fatty! (note - i know that doesn't mean STOP eating but eat correctly and proper portions, no lectures on eating disorders please).

And do you want to know what I did? In my internal conversation, I said okay. Done. Thank you.

Now usually I don't take kindly to being yelled at, but since I was yelling at me, (yes I hear the voices in my head, get over it) there wasn't much to do other than deny, make excuses and be unhappy or take the advice and make it happen.

I worked out several days last week and am so happy that I found my moment of clarity.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I've been really struggling with my weight lately, gaining back nearly 8 pounds in the past 2 months.
I finally have gotten a better hold on eating with portion control, etc during this past week.
Last Friday was very disappointing because I'd gained 2 pounds in that week along. Loosing weight sucks, but being over weight and unhappy sucks worse.

So over the weekend I was down .4, not huge, but the first time I'd managed to loose weight over a weekend in quite a while. Tuesday I was down a bit, Wednesday up over a pound and not really sure how, Thursday down over a pound and today I was down again.

Overall in the past week I have lost 2.4 pounds and am at 223.4.

I really don't like being above 220, but 225 is a weight that REALLY REALLY makes me unhappy.

I'm so happy with this weeks success, seeing a positive trend make it easier to stay heading in the right direction.

In other news, you need to buy an iPad 2 Raffle ticket, they are only $5 and they are for a great cause. And if you pick up one of those awesome calendars I've been telling you about for $20 (plus $4 for shipping and tax) you will get 7 tickets in the iPad 2 raffle.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Win an iPad for $5

Alright folks, we've upped the ante in my Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser.

You can purchase a ticket to win an iPad for $5.
Or you can purchase a calendar for $24 (after tax and shipping) and get 7 entries! 

Lets build a house!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Happy Monday

Well I didn't eat great this weekend but did end up doing a lot of walking with my 3 photo sessions that I had for Ardeur Photography.

I only gained .2 over the weekend and think that I have a good shot to do really good this week.

Friday my mom came down and helped me take care of some business and I got a lot done for work and my business.

Saturday we had a work event, then a photo session. Saturday night had a great time doing dinner with friends at 13 Bones.

Sunday started with a group meeting for marketing class, then 2 photo sessions before hanging out with a co-worker and a former co-worker getting to talk and watch some football.

So, where did the weekend go? Unless I'm forgetting something I don't have too much on the agenda for this upcoming weekend but its still early.

Hope you have a great week!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

I was supposed to post this on Friday because fellow blogger and I Ben, have decided to try to motivate each other in our weight loss journey.

Friday's weight was 223.6. It makes me shudder to really through that out there because I can't stand being over 220. I don't remember what I weighed last Friday but I think around the beginning of the week I was 223.8, but I can't confirm that. I did go over 225 mid week and battled back.

However, this was an unsuccessful week. My goal is to loose at least 1 pound per week. That isn't an unrealistic goal, so I know I'm not setting myself up for failure with it, so I need to get down to business and make it happen.

I'm having a great but busy weekend and can't write anymore b/c I need to head out the door for a group meeting for school.

Have a happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Habitat for Humanity Fundraiser

Did you know that it takes $65,000 to build a Habitat for Humanity house?

Now you can help build the next Habitat House.

Here are a few other facts from

  • Habitat is not a giveaway program. In addition to a down payment and monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (sweat equity) into building their Habitat house and the houses of others.
  • Habitat houses are sold to partner families at no profit and financed with affordable loans.
  • The homeowners’ monthly mortgage payments are used to build still more Habitat houses.
I have a good friend who works for Habitat and when she was telling me that they were gearing up to start fundraising to build another house, I racked my brain to figure out how I could help. 

My photography company employees a very talented nature photographer and I've taken many of his images and turned them into a 2012 calendar.

Here is a sample of the images.

The Calendars are $20 each and Ardéur Photography hopes to be able to make at least a $5,000 contribution to Habitat for Humanity Greater Greensboro.

Please consider purchasing a calendar and sharing the information to all your friends and family on a way that they can help and walk away with a beautiful calendar.

As each picture was a careful photograph, each calendar is a piece of art, and will be hand signed and numbered.

As an added bonus, on January 1st - one lucky person will win their choice of a Kindle Fire or a $200 Apple Gift Card. The winning Calendar number will be posted to the Ardéur Photography blog ( with the winning number.

Calendars are available at:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Busy Month and Back to Running

Its been a while since I've blogged anything so I may try a quick recap here and then expand in future posts.
September was busy, fun, and amazing.

The beginning of the month brought Labor Day weekend in which we had dinner with our close friends and a family picnic the next day.

Weekend 3 was the Bike MS: Tour to Tanglewood in which I worked the entire weekend. Along with shooting a beautiful wedding.

Weekend 4 - an impromptu trip to Los Angeles to see Dancing with the Stars live. (this is the part I should expand on in a later post)

Weekend 5 - into October with a trip to Asheville, NC for Tara's brothers wedding. We were both in the wedding and we had a great time.

 Me and my beautiful wife in front of the gorgeous car the bride rode up in. 

So, you might remember I'm running a half marathon on November 12th. And by the lack of posting you can probably figure out that I havne't been running, or if you couldn't you know now. I only ran 4 times the entire month of September. I got sick, and then I got BUSY!

So this week was the time to get back on it. I've still been trying to catch up on everything so Monday night was class, Tuesday I just went to the gym and reacquainted myself with the elliptical, and Wednesday night was all business for .

Last night was the night to run and with perfect weather what a run it was. In the morning I thought I'd probably run 2 miles after work but during the day I was feeling so good that I decided to jump back in with a 4 mile run. Ambitious, yes, completed, YES! I didn't time myself, but I'm sure it wasn't fast, but I don't care. I had a great run, and feel very confident about the remaining training time to get in 3 runs a week and just to enjoy myself at the Thunder Road Half Marathon!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Amazing Run

I don't have time for much of a post but I did want to share that I had an amazing run yesterday. I haven't run much in the past two weeks due to a cold then, I was just wiped out tired over the weekend but, I ran 2 miles yesterday and felt like I could have wnt 3, 4, 5 or 6 miles. I just felt great.

Running for the joy of running and exercising was great.

2 more miles this afternoon and then I won't have a chance to run again until next Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Busiest Week of the Year

Saw a good bible quote today, one that I need to remember this week.

Corinthians 10:13 God is faithful & he will not let u be tested beyond ur strength...

Thanks to @shawneyJ , olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson for posting. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

August Mileage Totals & Training Plan Decisions

I finished August with over 36 miles in my legs. That's the most miles I've run in a very long time. I need to look back and see what my highest ever month was.

The weeks broke down like this: (note the last week had a few september days in it is why the weekly totals don't match the month)

1 - 1.8
2 - 11.83
3 - 6.65
4 - 10.2
5 - 10.85

I've printed out 2 different plans from Runners World Smart Coach and I think I'm going to have to fuse them together. One is for goal running 11-16 miles a week and one is for like 6-9 miles a week. I'd prefer the one with more running, but honestly think that's biting off more than I can chew at this point. So that might be a good plan for me for a spring half with continued training through the winter but I don't want to put to much strain on my feet/legs/mental fortitude to start with. That's got to be my best strategy because I've often bitten off more than I can chew and the fall has some very busy weekends in it. I don't want to be feeling bad for missing runs. I'll show you what I come up with here soon.

Run Happy!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Under Armor's Marketing Goldmine

The Under Armor marketing guys took a page right out of Nike’s playbook last night. There hasn’t been this much conversation about uniforms since Oregon first started wearing their crazy ones.

Love them or hate them, last nights uniforms were different, and the talk of the NATION. They blew up on twitter. Everyone commented, college football players, sports writers, Lebron James, and more.

People wondered why they went with the strangest combination, but its all about marketing. Great job Maryland and Under Armor.

Love them or hate them, last nights uniforms were different, and the talk of the NATION. They blew up on twitter. Everyone commented, college football players, sports writers, Lebron James, and more.

People wondered why they went with the strangest combination, but its all about marketing. Great job Maryland and Under Armor.

In all seriousness, they have some combinations that don’t look crazy at all.

More Pics:

I wish that UVA was getting something crazy and different from Under Armor or Nike.
And remember that Nike gets full licensing rights to NFL Jerseys starting in April of 2012. Its going to be crazy to see what those designers and the teams come up with.

So, do you love them or hate them?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Running vs. A Cold

I developed a slight cold towards the end of last week but didn't want to be deterred in my running. I had really hoped to run each day of the long weekend with a "long" run of 4 miles sometime during the weekend.

I decided for 2.6 on Saturday, which was shortened to 2.3. I was wore out while running, my legs hurt, I just felt SLOW. Now feeling slow is not something unusual for me because I am a very slow runner but, I just didn't feel like I was moving. Maybe I shouldn't have chosen the hard and hilly 2 mile route, but I did.

After I got back and did a few things I ate lunch and that was all she wrote for me. I slept from 1-5. Luckily I felt good that night as we celebrated a friends new job with a great dining experience at The Melting Pot.

Sunday I got up and ran again, opting for the easier of the 2 mile routes. I was feeling good as I reached the turn around point and decided to make it a 3 mile run, but as I started up the hill (the turn around is at the bottom of a hill) my hamstrings told me to stick to the plan and turn my ass around. I obliged and completed the run. I felt better than Saturday but not great. Sunday brought a family picnic and it was so great to get so see and spend time with mom's side of the family. I wish I got to see everyone more often.

Monday was a complete and total rest day. I left the house for a quick trip to the store to pick up a few things but otherwise was a homebody. I did some website work, got some stuff done on my upcoming Habitat for Humanity fundraiser (more details soon!) and read 3 magazines.

Today its back to work and I feel a lot better, but still have a little head congestion so I'll probably rest again today before returning to training on Wednesday.

My friend John (I'm Johnny C) has a goal to beat his brother in an upcoming 13.1 and I'm stealing his tagline for that and using it for myself.

My Operation Domination will be posted about later this week but as a preview it involves the 13.1, and weight loss.

After a gluttonous weekend that saw me gain 2.4 pounds I now tip the scale on the wrong side of 220 again. I'm at 220.4. I have a more strict eating plan to follow along with the mental determination to loose weight for good.

Stay tuned for complete and total domination of my remaining 2012 goals.

How was your weekend?

Friday, September 2, 2011

Bring on the weekend!

Monday - nothing remarkable happened. I did pick up The Carter IV and its not a bad album but I'm not in love with it at this point. I really wish my marketing class was better. I'm learning from the book but the class seems to be a gigantic waste of time. I really love marketing and actually ordered a few books on it recently to keep plugging along with the marketing for Ardeur Photography. The best part of Monday was the post marketing class beers that is quickly becoming a tradition for Fabish, Gumar, Throckmorton and myself.

Tuesday - I thought about heading to the grasshoppers season finale but instead opted for an unscheduled evening. I ran 4.25 miles and Gonna Fly Now from the Rocky movies was one of the last songs I heard. I remembered back to playing that with the Brass Ensemble at UNCG and contacted the music library via an online chat feature and they had the CD. I drove over to UNCG and made a copy of that and a friends senior trumpet recital. Cool being able to reminiscence and listen to some stuff like that sometimes. Also picked up Jay-Z and Kayne's new album that night. At this point Watch the Throne is better than The Carter 4 to me. If you haven't figured out I have a super eclectic taste in music. Classical, Jazz, Rap, Pop, Rock, Country, you name it I probably like it. (sorry Metal fans, I just can't do that)

Wednesday -2 mile run and weights. Nothing exciting to report.

Thursday - Caught up with a good friend and former intern at lunch. Left work early and went to Virginia to see my cousin Samantha play volleyball. It was fun getting to see her and even better that I got to hang out with a lot of other family members during her game. Her mom was there (and explained quite a bit of what was going on to me!) and another cousin and her kids who I adore were in from Iowa. I knew they'd be in town for our family Labor Day cookout but didn't know they'd be there last night. I hope to get to see all of my cousin's sporting events more often and am making an effort to pencil some dates into my calendar for that.

I have to check the training plan but its either a 4 or 5 mile run this weekend and I'll probably do another 2 this afternoon. I don't know if I'll go to the gym or just run and take it easy the rest of the afternoon. I've got some tv shows recorded I want to watch and need to clean up the house a little bit.

Its gonna be a great weekend with dinner at the Melting Pot with friends tomorrow night and a great cookout on Sunday. Top that off with Monday off and all of a sudden you have a nearly perfect weekend recipe.

Have a fabulous Labor Day Weekend & Run Happy!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Be Thankful Today - Tomorrow's Not Guarenteed

I'm so thankful that this is not the post it could have been.
I was on the phone with my mom last night and she said, that's strange your dad just got home, and its only 7:30. He usually doesn't get home from riding until between 8:30 and 9.

He picked up the phone as well (because that's how we roll, we all talk at once, its just simpler that way right?) to which I asked, how was your ride?

He proceeded to tell us that they never got to ride because of an accident. He was the first one to get to where ever his group meets at and he had just pumped up his front tire and was proceeding to get ready and pump up the back tire. He was standing next to the rear tire of his truck at that point and heard a very loud noise. He turned and looked and there was a truck careening right towards the tailgate are of his truck. he turned and tried to move but even though things seemed in slow motion they were moving fast.

We're so lucky that the truck hit his truck just a foot from where he was standing. He only got a few cuts (not deep) on the back of his leg form the grill of one of the other cars. His shorts pockets and jersey pockets (gym shorts still on at that point) were full of glass from the shattered windshield of the other vehicle.

What he says he thinks happened according to the police is that a car ran a stop sign and then had a collision with this other truck that sent it his way.

It could have been so much worse, just another few feet and he would have been hit, possibly killed. At this point we don't know what the verdict of his truck is, it is drivable. Or his bike, the wheel is warped and we're not sure of structural integrity of the frame right now.

How scary. I'm more than thankful that the lord wasn't ready to take my father. I have a great relationship with my parents and that's something else that I'm so grateful for. We talk almost daily, we spend a good deal of time together and I couldn't have better influences in my life than my mother and father.

Be thankful for what you have today. And let the people you love know it. Tomorrow's not guaranteed. Live your life with no regrets.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

13.1 Streak will continue!

My dad and I are lacing back up and heading to Charlotte in November for the Thunder Road Half Marathon. We have run at least a half marathon every year since 2008. I actually thought that we'd run another half in 2009 but I can't seem to figure out if thats true or not. Regardless, there was 13.1 miles covered in that Disney Marathon(updated - we had signed up for and planned on doing Rock and Roll VA Beach in 2009 but didn't train and weren't ready for it in 09 so we didn't go), and I didn't start to really enjoy running after the Charlottesville Half until late in the year in 2009, we had fun at the Victory Junction 5 miles and ran 2 good Halfs early in 2010. Injuries for dad and wedding activities for me limited the running after that but we still finished Rock and Roll VA Beach 2010.

I usually just use runners world's free training plan. I'm going to look at those today and pick one, it won't be one with crazy high mileage or anything but I'm really looking forward to it.

My Goals for Thunder Road are as follows:
1. Have Fun
2. Finish
3. Show up for it weighing 208 or below. After some more weight fluctuation over the weekend I was down 1.2 pounds today to 218.6. (side note, maybe I should have a few beers every night, it seems that's the key to weight loss, haha)

We started running distance events in 2008.
Charlottesville Half Marathon - 2008
Under Armor Baltimore Marathon
Victory Junction Half Marathon

Disney Marathon
Lots and Lots of Biking
Victory Junction 5 Mile

ING Atlanta Half Marathon - PR 2:23
Flying Pirate Half Marathon
Virginia Beach Half Marathon

Thunder Road Half Marathon

Now that I'm enjoying running I'm going to try to keep this streak alive as long as possible. Suggestions for 2012 Races?

Monday, August 29, 2011

Week in Review

Monday - If you didn't read the MBA decision post you should. That being said, class started Monday night and I was actually really looking forward to it because it was Marketing, and thats something I really enjoy.
The book for the class is pretty good except for the fact that the chapters are 30 pages. But we get to class and the professor is of a different nationality, and this is an all new experience for me. His English is fine but there are some very hard stops in his sentences, and not just at the end of them. It makes it pretty hard to follow along with, or it did last week anyway. Hopefully things will get easier. Otherwise I didn't really like his teaching style so as strange as it sounds I'm looking forward to the reading but not to the classes. Going to class is only 7.5% of our grade so I might have to skip out early some, who knows. We have 3 exams, no final, a group case and a group project that make up for the majority of our grade and we have a really strong 8 person group so I don't imagine that we'll have any problems with the group work.

Tuesday - I ate lunch at my desk so I could leave early and get home. I needed to get home early so I'd have time to run a few miles before I took off to Winston Salem for the VGP Fantasy Draft. It was the original three VGP members drafting, eating pizza and talking a little smack to each other. I always have such a good time with these guys but we don't hang out nearly enough. Hopefully we can get a sunday morning tee time lined up for September.

Wednesday- I finished a great book by Austin Carty. His blog is here and there is information on his book on his blog. I strongly encourage you to at least swing by his blog, but to consider getting the book. It was amazing. I've given my copy to my mom to read but think I'm going to pick up another copy to start rereading. Its a collection of stories that are so well written you won't want to put it down. I will be doing a more in depth review of the book and it's affect on me in the future.

After finishing that book I went for a run. 3.1 miles, the longest run I've had outside to this point. It went great for 2.5 miles and the last .6 was pretty tough, my legs were ready to be done.

Thursday - We had the VIBE party for Bike MS. VIBE's are people who commit to raising over $1000 and turning it in at least 3 weeks before the Bike MS Tour to Tanglewood. I helped load the truck and then was in charge of setting everything up for the Prize section at the party. As per the usual I am a whirling dervish of clean up and packing up when its time to go which if you ask my co-workes they'd probably tell you thats my most valuable asset. I had the truck packed and loaded with the help of two other volunteers in 10 minutes after the party was over so I could get home. I took my Carabbas home and it was great to be able to chill after a hot sweaty night with good food and Burn Notice and Suits (which is my favorite new show of the year)

Weekend: Friday - worked half day and went home to Pilot Mountain to spend time with my parents. I stayed up there to Saturday to do photos for Hill Events at the Tour de Gaps. Afterwards another fantasy football draft in Auction format (really, try it out, its cool) and then home. Ran 3.1 Saturday and 2 more Sunday morning before my Brother in Laws wedding shower. His wedding is like 5 weeks away. Wow, thats so close!

Total Miles: 10.2

I probably should do more posting in the week so I don't have a novel on Monday's, huh?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

MBA Decision - Should I Stay or Should I Go Now?

(I hope you're now humming or singing to yourself)

If you read this blog you'll know that I had am amazing, life and business changing experience in Chicago at the Jerry Ghionis workshop.

It was during or shortly after that workshop that I had to start making some real decisions about my future.

In all honesty, I signed up for the MBA just as much because I thought it might help me in the future as it would currently let me defer my student loans. That might be an ugly truth but it is what it is. I think of it as a win-win debt deferral program. How you may ask? Well you're in the right place to find out an answer to that.

I am taking student loans to go to school, that equals more debt. However I'm paying off debt that isn't student loans such as my car loan, a loan I took to help out during my divorce several years ago, etc. So it is essentialy trading old debt for new debt, with a lower interest rate. Not much of a win, but a win nonetheless. The other win comes from graduating the MBA program with the same amount of debt I had going in, but then I'll have a Masters Degree. Win-win, right?

Now, the why I might not return decision. Last semester was the toughest semester of school of my entire life. With Economics and Accounting I spent 2 nights a week in class for three hours and then usually 2 more nights a week with a study group, sometimes only 1 week night and a 4 hour session at Panera on the weekends.

Huge huge huge time investment. My photography business was going well and I had weddings lined up but I was always so tired that putting on the game face for the wedding, which I truly love doing, was harder than it should have been and the day after left me feeling like I'd just run a marathon, with no time to recover before the race started again.

The time invested into school was soul crushing. Less time with my amazing wife, less time doing what I'm truly passionate about, less time to work out, just plain ole less time.

The Verdict - part 1
I decided to drop down to part time status, which for evening MBA's is only one class for this semester and possibly next semester to see how I felt about finishing the degree.

The Verdict - part 2
I discovered that I could finish within the allotted 5 years (max time you can be in the program without an extension from some board ) by taking 1 class at a time for the next 3 years. That my friends is doable. I do enjoy the learning and although my dreams involve being a full time photographer I can use these classes to push me further ahead in the business side of photography. So my fellow friends in the MBA program can laugh and poke fun but as they head back to class on Thursday nights I'll be hitting the gym, spending time behind the lens, working on new marketing initiatives, planning a beautiful weekend with my more beautiful wife, and sometimes, just unplugging from it all to watch tv, or read a good book (foreshadowing - I just finished an amazing book which you'll be hearing more about soon!)

I will get my MBA, but on my terms.

And with that there is a huge decision gorilla off my back

-Lastly - no suggestions on the blog name, really? I'm going to have to rename this baby all on my own?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Click the link

Check out this blog by Colleen over at IRONDIVA

Its pretty crazy but also very interesting

Monday, August 22, 2011

Week in Review

If you've seen my last post you know that last week was busy but I got off to a good start with running 3 miles on Monday.

I didn't make it to the gym again until Friday and it was clearly one of those days when I should have stayed at home. Do you ever feel like you should rest, but if you haven't worked out much recently that you're just being lazy and not really needed the rest? I have a hard time reading my body vs. mind correctly sometimes, am I being lazy b/c I want to lay on the couch or do I really need the rest.

Friday I got in the gym and did a 10 minute stair climber warm up, then I headed to the treadmill for what I'd planned being a 2 mile run. My legs hurt from the start, I just didn't feel like being on the treadmill. I pulled the towel from over the display at six and a half minutes, and when the clock hit seven minutes I pressed stop and got off. I tried to make myself do some weights, but I picked up the dumbbells did four curls and put them back down and promptly waked out of the gym. It wasn't my day to be working out.

Saturday I had to be up at 5:45 to go work the bike MS training ride but I did go for a run. As soon as I got home from the ride, without even going inside, wearing my old running shoes, and a cotton shirt I ran a 1 mile out and 1 mile back route and put in two miles. I was freaking dripping with sweat (since I started at 1pm) but my legs felt so much more fresh. It was nice.

Sunday I did 30 minutes on the elliptical whilst reading Marketing Management and then ran just over a mile.
Oh yeah I did watch this again yesterday.
Talk about an unabashed action movie. Just what the doctor ordered up for a lunch time treat. 103 minutes of action, with a hint of moral story thrown in there for fun, but mostly just bloody, non stop action.

Total running for the week = 6.65. It was down from last week but the second most miles I've run this year so I can't complain too much.

Goals for this week is at least 8 miles broken into 3 or 4 runs. I won't be running tonight because my class starts. Other goals is to drop at least 1.4 pounds and get below 217. I had an up and down weekend with weight and thankfully ended up only gaining .2 pounds. Current weight is 218.2, when I drop below 217 it will be my lowest weight since February or March and then I'm trying to crack below 215 by early September and below or close to 210 by October. Goal 1 is 205. Goal 2 is 195. Goal 3 is 185.

Lastly, I haven't seen one of these in a while, but after some research and talking with a friend I will probably let you know where my next one will be later this week.

Sunday, August 21, 2011


 What a boring blog post title. I went to to look for something better, but didn't find anything worth using.

Last week was a very busy one and I’ve wasn't able to make make it to the gym as much as I'd like.
At this writing (Friday morning) I've only been once, on Monday, but it was a solid workout. I did my 5 minute warmup on the stairclimber and then ran 3 miles in 34 minutes. A good weight routine afterwards and I was beat.

Tuesday I was all over the darn place, I didn't stop moving until 9. Work was crazy busy, I went by The Wedding Galleria to drop off stuff, by Songbirds to pick up a dress for my model, went and visited a Congressman's office on behalf of the National MS Society with a group, then back to work. When I got off work it was off to meet the model and give her the dress, back to Bella to set up my new display (picture coming soon) with my fabulous parents help, and then head downtown to meet our model and do our walking Bridal themed photo shoot (pictures for that coming soon as well). We wrapped up around 8:30 and headed home. I was going to cook for everyone but was just too exhausted so we picked up Japanese and we all ate around 9. Tara had her grad school orientation that night and starts classes next week as well.

Wednesday was a good busy day. Meeting, then lunch with Barbra, work, a 2 hour coffee break with one of my great friends Allan, and then I worked until 7 since I'd snuck off for a few hours during the work day. Since it was actually closer to 7:30 when I got home I didn't go to the gym then either. Tara had to run a few errands so I didn't cook fur us until after 8:45, but while she was gone I unplugged for a while and read 3 magazines.

Thursday- busy, the theme right. Work has been a beast but thankfully I had half a day off. To update my contract at bella, pick up and return the borrowed wedding dress and then a great bridal portrait shoot at the Loft at Union Square. Becca was beautiful and I can't wait for Brain to see her on September 17th!

Friday - finally slowing down. Whew - Heading to the gym tonight, probably only running 2 miles and weights.

This weekend I have a training ride to work on Saturday and some R&R time that evening.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Hold on, do I REALLY like running?

Last Monday I ran 5.5 songs, 2 miles. It wasn't too bad.
Tuesday I ran 2 miles.Again, not too bad, the songs were shorter so when I uncovered the display I still have a quarter mile to go.
Friday I ran 2.25 miles. Felt good, weights went well too.
Saturday I ran for a total of 37:30 minutes and it was 3.58 miles. Thanks to Tara for wanting to stay an extra ten minutes I had my longest run of the year. I'm not sure but I think I'm beginning to like running again.
Sunday I was napping when Tara got ready to go the the gym, but later in the afternoon I went outside and ran 2 miles. Almost decided out there to run another mile, glad I didn't though, my calves and right achilles were sore by the end.
Last Week = 11.83 Miles

You know what happens when I start to enjoy running don't you? I start tinkering with the idea or running a race. Stay tuned to see what type of decision I might make. (NOTE - it will NOT be a full marathon if I decide anything)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

One day I just started running

So I'd been working out on again off again since February when I was doing pretty good.
March & April pretty much killed the workouts with the two hardest classes I've ever taken simultaneously.
May rolled around and I think I was recovering from burnout, the mental and physical kind that comes from hard work and a good amount of stress.
June - now we're talking, I decide to get back on the bike. May have even written a post on this blog about being back in the saddle again. Except, while I was enjoying riding by myself and slower I went all in and tried to latch back onto the group I used to ride with. I rode with them two tuesday's and a row and it was obvious that they'd been riding all year and I was coming back after a year off the bike. To say I ate their dust the whole ride would be an understatement. I busted my ass and clawed back on to the group until about 15 miles in to each ride, at which point they would stop at the turns (this is customary for this ride, not just for my slow ass) and I would pull up as soon as I could.

So, then the Chicago trip happened and I actually worked out in the gym 3 days during that trip plus the ton of walking didn't hurt anything, but I did eat to much. Damn you amazing Chicago food.

So I get back to NC and have to start working out again.

Did I want to bike, nope, it was HOT, over 95 almost every afternoon, and I didn't want to ride in that HURT LOCKER. Did I want to run, nope, looks like my interest in running had returned to a dislike.
Overtime starting in 2007 my thoughts on running have went like this
hate, dislike, sort of like, enjoy, dislike, dislike, hate, dislike, start to like, enjoy, stop running, dislike

To tell you the truth I wasn't really interested in any workouts, I just wanted to work on my business at first but found a weight routine in a magazine that I thought was hard but obtainable, so I went. 30 minutes on the elliptical and roughly 30 minutes of a full body weight routine. I did that for about 4 weeks, maybe 5.

My shoes were getting pretty worn out so I went to the great local running store and started from scratch and got some new shoes.

Then 2 weeks ago, I hopped on the treadmill to run five minutes, but I was close to half a mile so I decided to finish the half of a mile. Two days later I decided to run again and the first minute went fast, then I didn't think the next 30 second's would ever go by, so I covered the display with my towel and ran for 4 songs. Figuring at a 3 minute average I'd do a mile, but it actually averaged about 4 minutes so I ran for 17 minutes and close to a mile and a half I guess.

Stay tuned for what happens next...

(really, no one with any suggestions on a blog name?)

Monday, August 15, 2011


Wow, its really been since June since I had anything to say on my blog?
I guess to better state it, its been since June since I've taken the initiative (I really need to learn to spell that work correctly on the first try, I have never done it) to write anything.

So my summer has been amazing, and I wish that it wasn't coming to a close. I rather like the fact that Tara gets the summers off so if I run home for lunch I get to see her.

We had a great trip to Chicago in late June / early July. I attended a workshop by Master photographer Jerry Ghionis ( and it was life and business changing. Tara and I had some time to explore Chicago as well and we really loved it there.

We saw a Cubs game on the Sunday we left, drove to Louisville and spent the night. We stayed in Louisville so we could go to the Louisville Slugger Museum on monday before finishing our trip home. The whole trip was great.

I've got some crazy big plans that I have to start saving right now for.
Summer 2012 - Honeymoon part III - in LA
Summer 2013 - Honeymoon part IV - in Europe
Summer 2014 - Honeymoon part V - tropical adventure - Cabo, Hawaii again, who knows.

And then, we might start talking the crazy scary B word.

In other awesome news I've re-branded my photography company to Ardéur Photography and couldn't be more excited about that.

Tara got into graduate school and will be starting, one week from today. I'm so happy for her and proud of her. She's such a great teacher I know she'll do great at this as well.

I'm trying to figure out what path I want to take with my MBA. I will be meeting with my adviser in 2 weeks to discuss getting an early extension granted so I can take one class at a time to finish the degree. We'll see if that's possible. I can't do a full time job, run a full time photography business and go to school full time. One class at a time will work much better for me.

There's a start to the updates. Next post I'll talk about getting back started running and how I'm enjoying it. I think I've finally turned a corner with having fun on the run.

Lastly, this blog needs a new title. I'm open for suggestions so please let me know what you think.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Esquire Review

I love magazines. I have a tendancy to get more than I have time to read sometimes, but I enjoy the articles, the short storys, etc.

I regularly read:
Mens Health
Popular Photogarphy
Digital Photo Pro
Mens Fitness
I get Bloomberg Business Week b/c I'm enrolled in grad school, its "free"...haha

I used to get Runners World and Triathlete as well but had to let some go.

I picked up a copy of Esquire the other day because Bradley Cooper was the covery story and I wanted to read more about him. I started with that article, and thats something I usually don't do. I usually start by flipping through reading some of the other general interest stories.

I'll have to say that I really didn't enjoy this magazine. I wasn't a huge fan of the writing style or the content. Not much useful in there for me, but everyone's got their own interest I suppose. I'll happily stick with MH, MF, and GQ for my mens magazines.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

I'm BACK in the Saddle again!

After nearly a year without doing much riding I've finally climbed back on and am having a blast.
I've ridden the past 4 days, and have gotten over 150 miles in so far this month. I know its not a ton, but all things considering, I'm feeling good.

Tuesday night was my first ride back with the B group that I rode with so much 2 years ago and just a bit at the beginning of last summer. One of the guys said when we got there that he had a hilly route planned out, unless someone didn't want to do it.

Shit! Did I want to ride a hilly route in my first ride back with the gang, no, but did I say anything, heck no, bring on the pain. Or some of you might know HTFU.

Off we went, and my goal was to hang at least 10 miles with the group, I honestly didn't know if I'd be able to stay with them any longer or even that long, b/c I didn't want to slow their ride down tremendously. They usually stop and regroup at turns, but I told them if I was way way back to not worry about it, because we were on roads I was somewhat used to.

Okay, that wasn't entirely true, I know the area pretty well but we rode some roads I'd never been on before and I know that it was probably the hilliest route that I've ever rode with these guys and I've done 30+ rides with them. I put parts of the route in map my ride and one of the hills we went on near the rock quarry had a section of >10% grade.

I was with the group pretty solid until a bit after 10 miles and I ended up getting dropped on the climbs about 5 or 6 times, but I didn't get spit out far enough that they didn't wait. I rolled up to the turns at most a minute after the middle of the pack and finished the ride with everyone. It was a great 28 miles and they joked, but its true, that rides like that will whip you into shape fast. I'm glad my legs responded to the challenge.

Wednesday night I was going to do around 10 easy, but the route turned out to be close to 14 and I was feeling good so I pushed a little bit.

I made up for that tonight, I wanted to keep my average under 15 to recover. I was shooting for somewhere in the 13ish range and accomplished my goal, and ended up with a 14.2 average for 15 miles.

I'm taking tomorrow off and then riding the a training ride Saturday. The loacl bike MS event has 10 shop sponsored training rides throughout the summer, and granted I have to work 2 of them ( I try to ride those too), I like to go out and support the shops and get a marked route, with a few hundred folks and a supported rest stop for free.

My legs have come around quicker than I thought they would and I'm excited to be riding again.

Until next ride, stay loco!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Run, Run, Ride!

I went home to Pilot Mountain this weekend because I did the photos for the 3 Mountain Madness ride. I've ridden the ride several times, doing the 75 mile route and 2 of the 3 mountains in my best riding year of 09. I love this ride, its my hometown ride, the mountains are hard ( I've ridden all 3 just not in the same day) and overall its just a great ride. Wonderful support and volunteers, etc. Anyway, their normal photo company couldn't do it this year and I'd asked about it before so my team and I took the photos for the ride. (If you're curious to see them go HERE ).

Anyway I went home Friday afternoon and after a great meal at a local restaurant with my parents my dad and I went for a 1.5 mile run on Main Street around 10pm. I'm starting to like running at night, its cooler, its different and its fun.

Saturday we got up and did the photos. I was at mile 17 and everyone was by there by 9:40 so I headed home to chill with mom and start processing the photos. Dad was on Hanging rock taking photos of folks there.

When he got home, we went for another run. From their house, we ran a quick out and back for another 1.25 miles. Its much hiller than main street but we had a good time. After that we grabbed lunch and I got ready to go to a friends wedding with my wife.

Sunday morning Dad came to Greensboro this time and we headed to Hagan Stone park to ride a 40ish mile ride with a stop at Homeland Creamery for homemade Ice Cream. The ride ended up being 43 miles, we had a blast and rode pretty solid too. Unfortunately the Creamery doesn't open until 1 on Sunday's so no ice cream for us today.

That'll probably be the most miles I put in for a week on the bike for a while, because I have quite a few business things I'll be taking care of before my trip to Chicago at the end of the month. But, then again, I'm going to try to squeeze in the miles when I can.

This week:
Bike - 81 miles
Run - 3.75

I hope everyone had a great weekend and this week is awesome for you.
Stay Loco!

Friday, June 3, 2011


I've been LUCKY in contest lately.
I'm going to post about my most recent win today, and then another great win in a few days. (Sorry Ben, I totally didn't ever post about winning your great contest!)

Kristen at Inspired by Dooce had a review of Ryders Eyeware on her blog last week and in addition to the review she had a contest to win a pair of sunglasses. I entered in every way that she outlined you could for a total of 3 entries and I found out yesterday that she selected my name from the bag of names (check out her blog and you'll see its true)

I really like the Defcon's but need to check out the others before I send Kristen a list with a few types I'd be more than happy to have.

Thank you to Kristen & Ryders for the great contest. Please click on their links and check out those pages. A great blog and a great company.

Stay Loco!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Back on the wagon!!

I'm baaaaacckk! In the mood to exercise.
After the beat down school laid on my exercising this spring, and having no desire to do anything for a few weeks afterwards, other than take photos, edit, etc, I had a great 29 mile bike ride on Monday with my dad. I haven't been able to ride again this week but I hope to this afternoon. It won't be but a 10-15 mile ride due to the heat, but I can't wait to get out there.

Pretty good pics taken with dad's i phone while riding huh?
Speaking of my dad, here's his picture taken with my blackberry.

The last night, I decided that since I wasn't able to bike or go to the gym (wife was out with the girls, and since we're in a guest suite apartment while our AC is broken we don't have the crate for the dog) I'd go for a run after dinner. I went out and ran a mile at 10 last night. And you know what, I kind of liked it. I might run again tonight, and who knows, maybe some more this weekend.

 Now here's a question. I started shaving my legs around 4 years ago and think they look good that way, but damn its a hassle ( not complaining, I know you ladies do it all the time), last summer, I didn't shave that often but did before riding, but I haven't shaved in about six months and its pretty nice not to deal with it.

There are pro's and con's to both, shaving looks better and is cooler, not shaving is much easier and less time consuming.

So - should I shave these things?

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Broken AC - and a lifesaver

As much as I want to own a house (we aren't sure we'll be staying in our current location for more than a few more years, due to wanting to move back "home" about an hour from here so when we have kids they'll be close to their grandparents and we'll have support) there are some damn good benefits to living in an apartment.

Thursday of last week I noticed that our place was not as cool as normal and I let the office know on Friday. The maintenance man added freon to the unit and it was cooling properly again. However Saturday afternoon it started acting up again and I went back to the office on Sunday.

Turns out there's a leak with the freon and it couldn't be fixed or worked on until today. However, the guest apartment you can rent at our complex was rented but they put us in their model, which is furnished, w/o a tv or internet connection though. We stayed there Sunday night and all day yesterday. I am quite happy with them for bending over backwards to help us out b/c the ac unit isn't working at all right now and during the day yesterday it was 88 in our apartment (went by to pick up a few more things), and this morning it had cooled down to 83.6. I would have had to rent a room somewhere if they hadn't helped us out.

I heard from them a bit ago and a piece has been ordered, the air handler(maybe, any one know anything about HVAC?) has been ordered and won't be in for a few days. We're going to be in the guest suite apartment (with a TV!) for the next few nights.

I know that if I was a homeowner it might have been fixed by now but I'd be out a TON of money. Currently its only costing me to put our dog in doggy day care for today and the next few days.

I owe the apartment office lady a nice six pack. She's a lifesaver. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Lance ?

Its hard to question your hero's in life isn't it?

This stems from a conversation with a good friend last night. We are both Lance fans, our fondest memories of the Tour de France come from his domination of the field in the late 90's and early 2000's.

He's done AMAZING things for the cancer community.
And he's never failed a drug test.

However the more information that comes out the harder it becomes to believe that maybe he didn't use performance enhancing drugs. To this point, I still choose to believe that he didn't. But I sometimes wonder if I believe that because that's what I want to believe or thats what I really believe.

I do know that if George Hincapie ever comes out and says, Lance and I doped together, just like everyone else. Then, without a shadow of a doubt I'll believe it to be true.

The thing is I don't know if I care if its true at this point. There are so many reasons (and yes, rationalization is an ugly thing sometimes... I digress). Its pretty much come out now that everyone at the top of the sport was use PED's, so if he was so what, right?

Another reason that I don't care is that cycling wasn't doing enough to stop it. Thats the exact same way I feel about the steriods in baseball. MLB didn't do hardly anything to stop it, they just rode the Homerun era wave out of the strike shortened season and were happy. Then when they got in trouble in the public eye they tried to backtrack and make it all better.

Lastly and mainly, in my opinion Lance Armstrong has done more in a charitable way by starting Livestrong than any other celebrity, clean or otherwise, and millions of people have been touched by the work that they do.

Bill Simmons wrote an interesting article for Bicycling a few months ago about how he feels about it, and there are countless other articles stating various points but I think this is one of those times when everyone has to make their own decisions about how they feel about the situation. Livestrong has meant a lot to me in my battle to overcome obesity after my divorce not all that long ago. So right now I believe lance, because I want to believe.

But more than anything, now I want clean cycling. I want everyone to be on a level playing field, based on god given talent and hard work. I want the victor to know they were clean and rejoice in those celebrations. I love cycling and I don't want to hear about the drugs, I want to watch the races, see the classics. Look at the riders faces as they agonize over cobblestones and up mountains I can only dream of. I want to see the elation in their faces after a breakaway win or out kicking the bunch. Cycling is a team sport where you ride for the strongest man, or sometimes the luckiest. Weather it be Chris Horner in the ATOC this year or Jani Brackaviz in the Tour of Georgia in 07.

I have no idea if I said what I wanted to say or just rambled on for the last 15 minutes.

So, what do you think, how do you feel. Do you care?

Until next ride stay loco

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Three Thing Thursday's

It's been a while, I know, no need to lecture me.

1. Worked the MS Dinner of Champions tonight and it was great. Mack Brown the U of Texas football coach was the honoree and he did a great job. Funny and inspiring all at the same time.

2. Plans for the holiday weekend include:
relaxing and having fun - possibly including a dip in the pool (see #3)
editing and processing all the photos I have to do (finish 3 weddings, a heart ball, a convention, and maybe something else)
resuming a diet and exercise program including at least an hour on my bike, who I've neglected horribly and it's not happy about it!

3. Here in NC summer has arrived and it pushed spring out so quickly I didn't even get to say goodbye.

Until next ride keep it loco!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A Borrowed Blog Post

Go read this post, I think its pretty spot on. Sometimes we just don't notice things.

I thought about posting something that women might not notice, but at this point, I don't have anything bad to say. Maybe I'm too tired to come up with a witty, smart ass thing to say, or maybe it's because on my wifes first day of spring break ( from teaching) she spent quite a bit of the day cleaning and catching us up on house work (she's awesome!), or maybe I'm too damn tired from school and can't wait until finals are over (next week 2 finals and I'm done for the summer)

Anyway, be like Kristen and just accept that sometimes (maybe even more often than not) we just aren't going to notice the changes at first. However, I will point out that if you move something to see if your guy notices, he very well may and not say anything about it because it doesn't bother/effect/apply to him. Move something of his and he's much more likely to notice. :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Getting Close to another goal

Its been about 10 days since I posted and I'm not going to run down the whole set of days.
I will say that I bounced right around between 212 and 213 for a while but broke on through down into the 11's yesterday and lost another .6 today.

My Starting Weight of the diet was 227.2
My current weight is 211.2
Total Lost - 16 pounds.

I'm ready to loose another 1.4 pounds get get under goal number 3.

I'm getting closer and closer to goal #4 which is a big one for me right now for many reasons. 1, its that much closer to being back under 200 pounds. And 2, it is my wedding weight and I feel great about that.

I started semi tracking my weight loss last fall and to see the improvements made sine February 13th are really great. The weight loss doesn't happen as rapidly, especially during the 3rd phase when almost all foods are added back in, such as whole grain bread and pasta. After the third cycle I'll move back onto the first cycle and repeat things until I get to my goal weight and then there are cheat meals on the weekends. (Tara and I did already have a cheat meal last weekend, we had Mexican and it was great!)

Weight Chart Since the Fall:
My parents and wife are also doing great with weight loss. The whole family is rocking! 
Hope everyone's having a great week.

Monday, March 21, 2011

What a busy week!

Day 29
Weight 214.4

Day 30

Day 31

Day 32

Day 33

Day 34
Starting Weight 213.8
Current Weight 212.4
Total Lost 14.8

So I'm writing this at almost midnight and I'm interested to see what tomorrow holds. Today was the first day of phase 3 which re incoorporates some bread/pasta etc but mostly calls for the whole wheat varaites. I grabbed a sub from Jimmy Johns today because it was fast and I didn't have most time, that was on white bread.

This week is another busy one.
Today I had engagment photos this morning, busy day at work, class tonight, a fantasy baseball draft (i know, i know, but I didn't schedule it)

Tomorrow, busy day at work, american heart association go red for women photo shoot, study group

Wednesday - pick up shirts and pepsi for the walk, other wise a day to go over everything and make sure itsdone

Thursday doesn't seem too crazy yet, class that night

Friday - load truck for zoo, set up tables and chairs, and a wedding to shoot that night

Saturday - zoo walk and meeting with a wedding planner to hopefully get Derek Hill Photography added to her vendor list

Sunday - STUDY!! Accounting exam is on monday.
Wish me luck!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 28 - 17 Day Diet

Starting Weight 214.4
Current Weight 213.8
Total Lost 13.4

Back to my lowest of the year!

Its monday and I've got to go back to school tonight. Having spring break was perfect and probably just what I needed to rest/recover/clean/etc, so I'm not going to beat myself up to bad for not getting any extra school work done. I am now a little more behind the 8 ball to get on track and start working on my term paper.

Have a GREAT week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Updates & a GOOOAAALLLL!!

I'm writing this just before midnight on Sunday and I just realized that I hadn't posted anything since Wednesday. Wow, its been a great weekend with lots of family time and basketball watching.

Wednesday Night I attended a photography seminar that was AMAZING! If you ever get a chance to hear Sandy Puc or Jerry Ghionis and you love photography you have to go. It was the best money I've ever spent on photography. 

I went home to have dinner with my parents and an uncle from out of town on Friday night and we had a great time talking and watching some basketball.

Saturday my wife, her dad, brother and brothers fiancee were all at the ACC tourny and I did a lot of photo editing and uploading, while watching basketball of course. My mother in law and I went and looked at some furniture and then everyone went to dinner.

Today I dog sat and watched basketball. Tonight after the selection show I finished up Ellen's bridal portraits, I can't wait to share some of them after her wedding and have been catching up on other stuff as well.

I'm sure more has went on since Wednesday but that's probably it in a nut shell.

Weight Updates:

Day 24
Start - 216
End 215.4

Day 25
Start 218.4
End 215.2

Day 26
Start 215.2
End 213.8

Day 27
Start 213.8
End 214.4
Total Lost - 12.8

I think that I probably gained water weight yesterday but we'll have to wait and see. I also didn't eat the right breakfast (as in too little food) and I've been hungry all day b/c of that. I'm headed for goal #3 and can't wait to get there!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

17 Day Diet - Day 23

Its seems odd seeing day 23 in the post about a 17 day diet, but if you've been reading you know there are cycles of 17 days that you go through.

Day 6 of Phase 2 (23rd day)
Starting Weight - 217
Current Weight  - 216
Total Lost - 11.2

After a few days of slight gains or staying the same it was nice to see a good drop this morning on the scale.
I'm not just a pound away from hitting goal #2.

I've been back in the gym quite a bit lately and its been nice to get back in the goove. Last night I did weights and some cycling (while reading econ - life of an MBA student, I have to multi task sometimes). The night before was just about a2 hour workout. 1 hour of spin, walked a mile while waiting on my wife to get there from her PTA meeting and then we ran for 30 minutes.

Monday, March 7, 2011


I'm going to just do a quick run down of updates and will focus on getting back on a more regular blogging schedule this week.

Phase 2 - Day 2 - 216.4 (down 1 pound!!)
Day 3 - 216.8
Day 4 - 217
Day 5 - 217

I didn't eat enough fruit over the weekend and paid for it by being very hungry at times Saturday and Sunday night. I snacked on sliced chicken but may have had to much sodium. I haven't deviated from the plan too badly but will really focus on getting back into the groove of drinking enough water today.

Although I haven't lost any weight in 3 days I expect that to change tomorrow and I'm still excited that I've lost over 10 pounds!

Tonight I plan on taking a spin class from 6-7 and then running with Tara for a half an hour afterwards. I'm going to make the most out of being able to workout during spring break. Well not Wednesday night because I'm attending a seminar for wedding photographers.

Have a great week!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

1st Phase Completed onto Phase 2!!

Quick Post to get caught up. The weight is still coming off, but as with any weight loss you always wish it was faster.

Day 16
Starting Weight 218.4
Current Weight 217.8
Total Lost - 9.4

Day 17
Starting Weight 217.8
Current Weight 217.8
Total Lost - 9.4

Extremely happy with not gaining weight after day 17. I had a meeting with a committee at Pizza Hut, and I had a large salad and some un-za. Thats what I called raking off the cheese and veggies from the bread. Try it sometime and you'll be so surprised how little food there is on a piece of pizza that isn't bread.
Day 1 Phase 2 (Day 18)
Starting Weight 217.8
Current Weight 217.4
Total Lost 9.8

Tuesday I ended up working from home some b/c our network at work was down and I was able to sneak out for a quick bike ride. I'll post about it later, but its a 6 mile loop I'm using as a time trial fitness test loop.
I guess I did okay for the first time, I expect to be faster next month.

Wednesday I ran 2 miles in the gym.

Monday, February 28, 2011

Like Riding a Bicycle?

Whats like riding a bicycle you might be asking yourself, well riding a bicycle is like riding a bicycle.

If you can use that metaphor to mean anything that you ahven't done in a while that comes back to you when you start then the act of riding a bike should count as well, right?

Anyway, I got Cyclone (if cars can have names bikes certainly can too) out yesterday, got the tires all pumped up (those do not have their own names), put on my new computer(okay so I bought it last fall, but if you've been reading you'll notice the lack of cycling posts since then) and got out on a PERFECT North Carolina Day.
Its hard to believe that its still February here with 75 degree sunny weather yesterday.

I rode my standby 15 mile loop and it went great. I didn't set, not attempt to set any sort of speed records, I just wanted to get out for the first of many (okay so I've ridden two other times this  year) rides. I wish that every day would be like yesterday, it was absolutely amazing.

Much to my surprise, I hadn't forgotten how to ride, my feet still clipped in with ease, my legs turned and proved to be the only pistons my V2 cycle needed. The Roubaix still handles and rides like a dream, the only discomfort was, as is always the case when you first start riding again its a pain in the ass. Literally, not figurativly, gonna have to log some miles to get used to being in the saddle.

Diet Related Information:
Day 15:
Starting Weight 218.4
Current Weight 218.4
Total Lost 8.8

I've already lost over half of a pro bike.
Its funny to think people are always looking for new lighter pedals, shoes, bottles, etc for their cycling, when the easiest way to cut weight it to trim down the engine. If you don't believe me grab an extra 20-50 pounds and do anything, run, walk, garden, vacuum, cycle and tell me it isn't harder. (apologies to any super fit person who is at their perfect body weight reading this, you may feel free to continue to spend thousands of dollars reducing a few grams at a time on your bike)

A Great Contest for a Great Cause!!
Lastly, my friend and fellow blogger Ben from Becoming Timberman (which should probably be Becoming Cedar Point or something b/c he rocked Timberman last year) is having an amzing raffle to help his fundraising efforts for Team Fight - The Ulman Cancer Fund for Young Adults.

Check out his blog here: Becoming Timberman
Check out the raffle HERE: (you can win over $650 in prizes including a $200 dollar apple gift card for a $10 donation, enter NOW!!)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

2 Weeks Down!

Yesterday was a beautiful day. I was able to get to the gym and play some basketball, then walk a mile with my wife. Had a great salad for lunch and then got ready for a photo gig for the Iredell County Heart Ball last night.

Had dinner at golden coral afterwards and had grilled chicken tenders, coleslaw, green beans and a salad for dinner, with no bread. The coleslaw was supposed to be carrots but they were out of carrots and about four other things (that I didn't want) but I'd never heard a list of we're out of......., like that at cracker barrel.

Starring Weight 218.6
Current Weight 218.4
Total Lost - 8.8

Tonight I'll be eating out again at a great local restaurant in my hometown. We're heading "home" to celebrate my Mother in Laws birthday. The only think I'm going to miss eating at 13 bones is the bread, its sooooo good. When I get to my weight goal and can have cheat days on the weekend, I'll go back and have some of the bread.

In other workout news I ran 2 miles (okay, ran and walked, sue me) Friday night and worked out again yesterday. I hope to get out for a 10-15 mile bike ride today but it depends on how much time I have before we have to leave.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 12 & 13 Recap - 17 Day Diet

Day 12 was a little disappointing because I gained .2 and was back right on the nose at 220, but I had a feeling I wouldn't stay there for long. On the days I'd gained I'd lost a decent amount the next day. That proved to be true today when after day 13 I lost 1.4 pounds.

I'm really pleased with my choice to try the 17 day diet. The principals are easy to understand, and having a plan to follow when seeing good results makes things easier to stay on. It is quite a bit different with the carb reduction in phase 1, but more vegetables are added in the next 17 days, and after that whole grains are back in moderation. Bread, pasta, rice, etc. But I must say I'm especially looking forward to the fourth cycle when the cheat meals are available on the weekends. I know I won't be cheating too badly because I still have a long way to go, but for now I'm celebrating some great successes in the first 13 days!

I'd also like to make mention that both of my parents are also on this diet, one day behind me, it was actually their idea to try it after they knew of a few others who'd been so successful. They are both doing great as well!

Day 12
Starting Weight 219.8
Current Weight 220
Total Lost - 7.2

Day 13
Starting Weight 220
Current Weight 218.6
Total Lost - 8.6

Thursday, February 24, 2011


I set several incremental goals for my weight loss and the first one containted the most weight. I wanted to loose 7 pounds to meet goal number one because that would put me under 220. The rest of my goals are in 5 pound increments.

When I weighed this morning I got my wish and lost .6 and that puts me just under 220.

I've been able to do really well eating this week but haven't worked out at all. I've met with Study groups Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday for 3 hours and had class Monday for 3 hours. That's too much school! I left the study group last night before it was over because I had just had enough for the day. I'll be studying some today at lunch and leaving work an hour early to finish reviewing any last minute stuff. Tonight is the Macro Econ final and regardless of the outcome, I'm just ready to take it and get it over with at this point.

Day 11 Recap
Starting Weight - 220.4
Current Weight - 219.8
Total Lost - 7.4

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Day 9 & 10 Recap - 17 Day Diet

This one will b short and sweet.
Life is very very busy this week with school.
Study groups on Sunday, Tuesday, & Wednesday. Accounting class was Monday night and our Macro Econ final is Thursday.

I have been very good about following the diet as far as what I can and can not eat, there have been a few days when I've eaten less than I was supposed to due to how busy things are. All in all I'm very proud of myself, I've almost hit my first goal of 220 or less!

Day 9
Starting Weight - 220.6
Current Weight - 220.8
Total Lost - 6.4

Day 10
Starting Weight - 220.8
Current Weight - 220.4
Total Lost - 6.8