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.