Sunday, April 23, 2006

After the race I was disappointed . . . Now I am grateful.

After the race I was disappointed . . . Now I am grateful.

There are many things I could write to you about concerning this race today. I beat some personal records; I have never felt better before a race. I finished 22 minutes under my goal time. I was beaten AGAIN by my friend Mike Pate, but after I took time to actually think about that disappointment of letting down my team of Brian (hope you feel better soon brother) and Vanilla, and just not being able to step it up mentally, I came to a real peace in my soul. That sounds a little deep. Insightful! Dramatic! It’s not. It’s really simple.

I am grateful. I am grateful to my friend Mike Pate. I am thankful to Bamaboy, and DonC. I am truly thankful to Konaboy, and Vanilla. I am thankful to God. I am grateful to all of my new friends who keep me motivated when I want to stop, lie down, and take a nap.

I am grateful to my new, but so awesome friends who I hope to become closer with, Brandy and John. I am grateful to Big D. I love that woman! I will tell more later! I am grateful to ALL of my BRtri club fiends and their family and their friends that push me along.

I am so grateful to m beautiful wife, Amanda. She questions me at times, but supports me unconditionally. My family and I could go on and on and individually point out so many of you who have made me truly grateful to participate in this wonderful sport we call triathlon.

The race, named Louisiana Tri and New Roads. 800m swim, but I think as do others it was a teeny bit longer, by maybe 200m. Then to an 18.5 mile bike and caped off with a little 5k.

I will take you through the night prior to the race since it is truly entertaining, then the race it ‘self.

Amanda and I are stuck in Atlanta GA. Sitting in a little sardine airplane, packed with people, crying babies, and one mother of a storm front on top of us. Our flight had been delayed for over an hour as we let the worst of the storm pass over. The worst of it, mind you.

Finally, cleared for take off, we head of into the wild blue . . . Scratch that, we head off into the clouded, thunder and lightning, raining black yonder. I have flown in just about every situation imaginable, Amanda however . . . Not so much. I felt really bad for the children, this flight was going to put a scar on them for life when it comes to flying.

The pilot seemed to want to hurry through the front as quickly as possible, until he hit a massive, I mean massive pocket and if it wasn’t bolted down, it went flying. Water bottles, magazines, baby bottle, glasses, it was nasty. This continued for another 20 minutes, not as bad as the first drop, but bad.
After while we headed north to get around it and we had a lot of clean air, but then was THE mother of the night. It wasn’t as bad as the first jolt, however the pilot had briefly turned off the fasten seatbelt sign. I think it was to let the many who were quite sick, go to the bathroom. However, I am sure that after one lady was sprawled out on the floor and one guy hit his head on the compartment above, he regretted that decision. The sign cam right back on.

Finally we land in Baton Rouge at around 1:30ish in the morning. We were supposed to land at 11:40ish. Amanda, well, let’s just say that she may not fly for a few weeks after that little voyage. We get our bags and off to the SUPER WAL-MART, MART, Mart, MART . . .


I was responsible to 3 boils for our club crawfish party we were having after the race. I was in Phoenix ALL week at a conference. Amanda and I had it all planned, she would go get the produce off of the list, I would get the spices and meats, READY . . . Closed.

I thought the SUPER meant 24 hour. I, was wrong.

We get home unpack and then I re-pack my dirty vehicle with table, and other crawfish gear, then my tri gear. I kiss my wife good-night and I am snoring before the pillow meets my head.


What in the world, went through my head. It was my alarm. Crap, I thought, I must have set it wrong, and I just got to sleep. I put o the glasses, and went to set my wake-up time correctly, for 5:10AM. I grab my clock, look for the button to set the alarm and I se that my clock says . . . 5:10AM.

Oh Boy. I jump in the shower. Load my bike, drive to SUPER Wal-Mart. It is a quarter to 6:00AM/. Wal-Mart opens at 6:00AM. I am thinking, be there, the door opens, you’re in and out! Not so. Let me tell you about Wal-Mart at 6:00AM. One word, BOXES. There were boxes everywhere. People! People everywhere, unloading boxes, everywhere! I would slither and for a guy my size it is quite difficult to “slither”, down one isle to be blocked at another. Cart, don’t even try it. I would leave my cart at the end of the isle, go get stuff and run it back. I had fun.

In my truck by 6:35AM and I am off!

I get to the race site at 7:20AM. I check in. Once again, the only T-Shirt they have is a Large this time. Talk about motivation to lose weight, it is all of these XL and Large T-shirts I have in my tri shirt drawer!

I set up the transition site get Brandy to fix my AWESOME Garmin 305 and I begin to do the race in my head. In my head I was quite successful.

We get on the starting line for the swim. Mike and I are joking around and chatting. The gun goes off and both Mike and me . . . I am laughing out loud at this right now, we BOTH slip on the algae covered boat ramp and fall butt first onto the ramp, in the water.

The reason this is so funny to me is this. I realize there are folks there as spectators and fans that see Mike and I and think to themselves, initially, “What in the world are those fat guys doing out there?” So in my mind, what better way to solidify their lingering question than for BOTH of us to fall flat on our butts into the water at the SAME time!!!!

The swim was leisurely. I felt ok, but knew I needed to pick it up to pace Mike, he is a good swimmer, not by fat guy standards either. Problem was, every time I tried to pick up my pace I would get out of good swimming motion. I would actually slow down and get out of rhythm. I need to work more on my swim technique. I see the end and reach the same boat ramp I fell on. I was determined not to do this again. I didn’t.

As I entered the transition I saw Mike, he was heading out on the bike. He was going to be a good 4 or 5 minutes ahead of me by the time I got out on the bike. As I exited the transition I jumped on my bike and clipped into the pedal and cranked down one only to jerk the chain right off of the rear cogs. CRAP! I jumped off, linked in back on and off I went. I made a pact with myself to win this race on the bike. I wanted to catch Mike as we were coming in on the bike into transition and stay with him on the run. I was cranking on the bike. I was being passed by a few folk, but I was also passing folks too.

I saw Mike at the turn around and knew I was only about 3 miles behind at the most. I began to crank harder. I felt pretty good. My right calf, the one that always cramps, began to do so at about mile 14. I rode the rest of the bike with a cramp. I zoomed into the transition. As I entered and racked my bike, Mike was leaving the transition. I didn’t make up the time I wanted to. But I transitioned quickly for me and took off.

As you leave transition they have water and Gatorade there for you. I grabbed some and started up this ridiculous hill that was sick to have to do right after you jump off your bike. I cramped a little more, but shook it off. I could see Mike about 300 yards ahead, he stayed 300 yards ahead the first mile and a half.

If I had on complaint about this race, it was the lack of water stations. There was only one on the run course. I went through it watered up and began to crank it on the run. I was catching up. I think by the time we entered the park towards the end I was around 150 yards behind. Then the physical and mental drop of the ball happened.

As many of you read, I ran the CCC last weekend. You can read that post below. During this race I formed 3 massive blisters on my left foot, two on the sole and one on my heel. At this point they hadn’t been a problem. Now, they were. The largest blister opened up on my sole. It was hurting bad, but not so bad that I couldn’t keep the pace I was running. Then, the blister on my heel came wide open. This was the part where physically I was losing it. As we entered the park, I could still see I was gaining on Mike and then, my mental block.

This really sucked for me. Once we got into the park I thought we were really near the finish line. I could see Mike rounding the corner to what I thought was the finish. Here I let my mental focus go and began to slow down from the pain, thinking he was about to cross the finish.

Problem was, he was no where near the finish, but I didn’t know that. I began walking. Then I see Mike coming towards me. I am thinking he is coming to cheer me in, but he is across this little spillway. Then I realize, we have a ways to go!

Here is where my biggest disappointment of the day came. I tried and tried to make my legs go. They wouldn’t. Mike had one of his team mates who went back and ran with him to motivate him. I just tried to get my legs to move, but the pain in my left foot was too much. I gave up and I am disappointed in me for that.

Mile crossed about 4 or 5 minutes before me. One of the BRtri club members, a real nice guy I see at every race, but have yet to remember his name and I feel horrible for that since he has always been so awesome to me, he came back and ran the last ½ mile with me, then Big D and another BRtri’er came back too.

As I was dying, Big D asked if I wanted her t sing to me. I think I was a little rude, but I could only get out, “NO.” She laughed. Big D is such an awesome person. She is kind, motivating, and genuine. Those are hard traits to pack into one person, not to mention she is a kick butt triathlete! I finally crossed the finish and mike and I congratulated one another with high 5’s and hugs. I began drinking massive amounts of water and Gatorade that people were giving me. WHERE WAS THIS ON THE COURSE!

Mike stayed with me for a good while. I think he saw I was losing it mentally. These races take a lot out of you mentally as well. We walked about 100 yards and I began to fire hose puke. I am not sure how many times, but it was enough to put out a small forest fire, I think.

As I calmed down and caught my bearings, Mike and I chatted with a few folks and I sat down on a cooler. I know I look like crap after a race, but today I think I looked even worse than normal. What a sight for sore eyes.

After loading up my truck and saying goodbye to my friends, Brandy and John, I climbed nimbly into my truck and said my thanks to the Big Man upstairs and drove to the crawfish party.

I was dead tired, but excited to boil crawfish for everyone. We had the party at Clay’s family’s camp right there on the False river which was also where the swim of the race was.
Clay and his family are wonderful. They are always so welcoming to us when we come out to swim and today they turned their camp over to us as we had one heck of a festival.

We boiled and ate many a good crawfish. Drank beer and had fun with our group, while children fed dogs and adults fed their faces. Thank you Clay and thank your generous family for us as well.

I am thankful. Mike, Bama, DonC. Vanilla, Konaboy. I have races harder and faster than I thought I could, because you guys have helped me in creating this competition. While I know I am not much to compete against at 375 pounds, it is the idea of the competition and doing my best, then some, that has me indebted and grateful to you guys.

I am losing weight and having fun doing it.

Thank you to all those who support me through this blog, your emails and posts are so inspiring and helpful.

Until next time!

Friday, April 21, 2006



My IT Band was about to POP!

Longest Run since 1991!!!!!

Many of you may not be aware, but I was in the military for 4 years. I served in
Ft. Benning GA for 3 years and Camp Casey Korea for one year. I was with an elite unit for many of those years. I would never trade that experience for anything. The friends I made and the years I grew from that experience I am unable to put into words.

What I can put into words is the physical health I was in from 1987 to 1991. I entered The US Army Infantry Basic Training at about 235 lbs.

I was 17 and strong. I was a bad ass and wanted everyone to know it. I grew up in unique environments. I went to a different school every year of my life but two. I am better for it, I personally think. I had to prove myself at each institution of learning. By 3rd grade I just knew I was going to have to enter class, find out the toughest kid and be prepared to fight him and others because I was the outsider. Then in 7th and most of 8th grade I became the ultimate outsider.

I know some of you may disagree with my ideas on life, but that is ok and I welcome it. However, everyone should know, I hate racism and despise bigotry. I will call you on a black joke if you tell it to me, not if you’re saying it in a group, I don’t thin that is respectful of you. I have individuals of color who are family. However, I also respect anyone’s right to their own thoughts and ideas. I also have family that has extreme differing opinions about these topics from me and I love them for it. This is the USA.

With that being said, for 7th and most of 8th grade I attended Colton Jr. High in New Orleans LA. Colton is located o St. Claude Ave. past Elysian Fields. I was living with my Momma, Henrietta and my Papa, Edu. Colton was in the 9th ward. Most of you know now, because of Katrina, that the 9th Ward is the lower class area of New Orleans. I was one of 4 non-blacks in the school. There was a Jewish kid and two Hispanic kids, and me. At the time a blue eyed, sandy blonde haired kid. I fought EVERY day of school for the first few months. I was cut by knives, razor blades, and beaten up by groups of 5 and 6. I could fight and I could fight well. I have a large tolerance for pain and it came in handy at this time of my lie.

I know, you want to ask the same questions EVERYONE does when I talk about this. “Where were the teachers?”. They were teaching. These fights were between classes in the stair wells, or the bathrooms, until I stopped going into them for a while. After school was the worst. I knew if I had pissed someone off that day, there was going to be a gauntlet of boys outside that I had to get through to get home. Let’s say I was tough as nails with a 4 lb. chip on my shoulder.

Why am I telling this story on my tri blog site? Good question, because it tells you more about me and my experiences in life that have brought me to where I am right now as I type into this computer.

Some may say that if I was treated so horribly by so many black kids, why am I not angry or even prejudice against them? Because the second part of this story is so beautiful.

As the months went by and the fights continued on, I never missed a day of school. I went back every morning expecting the worse and at times that was granted. After a while there were students that stood up for me. At first those that stood up for me would let the initial fight go on, but not let others jump in on me. That leveled the playing field and less people wanted to fight me one on one. Then before my 7th grade year ended I had a slew of friends that literally protected me and didn’t let anyone mess with me.

I wish I knew where they were now. I stayed in touch with several of my friends from Colton. Some actually worked where my Momma, Henrietta worked at Pat O’Briens, home of the Hurricane. But, as years drag on, I lost touch with the very special friends I had. I hope and pray they are ok and safe after Katrina.

All of that for this . . .

When I joined the service, I still had that 4 lb. chip on my shoulder. I was still the toughest guy on the block, so I thought. Then I ran into a few guys that changed my life and my idea of myself as being one bad mutha. They kicked my ass for months on end and broke me down into a little wuss and then built me up into a man. I will never forget Drill Sergeant Wolf, Simms, and Brinkly.

The other thing I learned form them, how to fly! I was one fast dude by the end of Basic. I was smoking the PT run with smooth 10 minute 2 miles. I was in the A group when it came to the morning runs around Harmony Church. I was at 198 lbs. and I could hump a 75 lb. ruck 20k like it was a Sunday stroll.

When I exited the service (ETS) in 1991 I was 205 and could still run like the wind. It only took me 15 years to get to where I am today, 371 lbs. I am praying it doesn’t take me 15 to get back to 204!

All of that for this . . .

This brings me to Saturday morning and the Crescent City Classic, CCC in New Orleans LA. This is a 10k around the CBD and out to City Park for the finish. I was not prepared and I knew it as I walked to the start. Even that morning I hadn’t done the things I knew I should have, stretch, fuel, poop, etc. I was late and I had no time.

We started a little late, but soon we were off. I was determined to pace myself and not get caught up on keeping up with the crowed. I lost that focus quickly. We were about one and a half miles into it and I was at 12:40 pace. For me that is flying! We turn onto Rampart and I begin to feel a little rub with my left shoe. There is not wind or breeze. It is just damp heat. That is never good for me.

My Momma, Henrietta was on Rampart wearing pink Easter Bunny ears! I saw her right after a water station, which was nice; it motivated me to keep focused. At about mile 3 I began to bonk. I had little energy and my IT band felt like it was going to pop on my left leg. There were a few folks cheering us on and they had hoses and sprinkler to cool us down.

At mile 4 I knew I had one of the largest blisters I have ever encountered on my left foot. I had to begin walking it was so painful. Funny thing was, it actually felt better to run than it was to walk. So, I ran! I had nothing in the tank. The greatest part of the race was when a 70 something year old man passed me speed walking. I knew I must have been an odd sight to those watching this run. Here is this guy, exerting every ounce of energy he has, sweating like a fire hydrant, running and everyone is passing him as they walk and chat it up. I would have liked to have seen that myself.

Once I saw City Park about mile 5 I knew I would finish, not in the 1:30:00 I wanted to, but I would finish. The last mile is kin of a blur. I began to hallucinate about ice cold beer, red beans and rice, a massage, maybe.

What actually transpired is the following:

I finished, saw my friend Devin, hobbled over to him and questioned myself as to whether I wanted to pass out of simply pass away. I chose to lean on the gate and contemplate the question. Luckily Devin drug me into the party area in Tad Gromley Stadium.

WOW! It was awesome. I was only able to grab 2 Gatorades and limp into the stands and watch, but what I saw was awesome.

Here is a city that is still 30 percent destroyed, 30 percent un-livable, 20 percent getting better, and 10 percent perfectly livable, BUT here were 30 thousand people celebrating together. I love my city. I pray hard that this storm season be easy on the coast and New Orleans, but we all know it probably won’t be.

Devin and I sucked down our Gatorades, caught the school bus back to the French Quarter and said our goodbyes. His wife Jenny did the 10k as well. She is 6 months pregnant and finished in 1:10 min!!!!!!!! Wow!!!!!!!!

I visited with m Momma for only a few seconds and drove home to Baton Rouge where Amanda performed surgery on my foot. She removed 3 blisters one that was deeper than any I have ever had and covered about 2 inches. That is a lot for a blister.

I will spend the week recovering from that and mentally preparing myself for my triathlon this coming weekend where I will again be racing against my friend Michael Pate. Mike beat me in our first of 5 races a couple weekends ago by 3 minutes. I have to redeem myself this weekend.

Thank you to everyone for your support. I will be 210 lbs. one day and your support will be a piece of the puzzle that gets me there.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Fat Boy 5k!

“Time, is on my side, say again!” I believe it was the Rolling Stones that sang those lyrics, however that song was not written for this guy!!!!

I pride myself on being organized. Amanda and my team at work might tell you differently, but I am very organized in a Christopher kind of way.

This morning, the morning of the Fat Boy 5k, I was not organized. I woke with plenty of time to shower (a pre-race ritual of mine) snack on a banana, read a little on the addict-a-net and then begin a slow peaceful drive a couple miles away from my home to the site of the Fat Boy 5k.

Let me say that this race is not properly labeled. When one hears Fat boy and 5k in the title of a run/race, one would think this may be a race or run geared towards . . . What was that you were thinking? Kenyan long distance runners that log sub 5 minute miles at the Boston Marathon? Oh? No? Ah! You were thinking along the same lines as I was.

Fat Boy 5k a race that gives fat people (ME) a chance to showcase our abilities.

Not so much.

I went on the official site for the race and found that the Clydesdale and Ultra Clydesdale were no bigger than 260 lbs. Are you kidding me! Two Sixty!??? Not that I am bragging since this is nothing to brag about, but 260 is incredibly small potatoes when we are talking close to 400 lbs here. I think next year they should consider a couple higher divisions in their Clydesdale. I think 261-320 and 321-360 and 361 and higher.

Enough of my personal idiosyncrasies.

After a very short drive I pull into the sub-division where the race was held. I noticed quite a few cars. I thought to myself, these people like to be early with a capitol E. I was 30 minutes early, but by the looks of it, these folks had been here for a long time.

It was a cool morning, I was happy. I walked into the field area where the registration was held. I thought to myself, self there aren’t very many people here. I walked up to the registration table. Stood there. The two ladies were mulling around, shuffling papers when finally one of them looked at me. She grinned, and then went back to mulling and shuffling. I had no idea what was going on here? However, slowly it began to sink in.

Many cars, not so many people. Not so many people registering. The registration ladies ignoring me. It became all too clear.

“Mam?” I tenderly asked. She looked at me, this time as though I were being a nuisance. “Has the race begun?” She looked at me as though I were an alien, “Yes.” She responded very matter of factly. At this point I was embarrassed to even stand there. I was close to walking away when a tall, running looking gentleman walked up with headphones on and told me the race was sold out sorry and I could come back next year. I informed him I pre-registered. “Great!” he said and I was given my race number and he said the race started 20 minutes ago. The lady handed me an XL T-Shirt and apologized for not having my size. Again, this race is called FAT BOY 5k.

I ran back to my truck, threw my extras, keys, wallet, glasses etc. into the car and ran back to the start. The same tall, running guy told me I could cut across this street to catch up with the group. I was having none of that. This Fat Boy came to RUN!!!!

My goal as has been for this season, to run sub 15 minute miles.

And I was off!!!!!

I was surprised at some of the hills in this sub-division, killer, at least for me they were. I was chugging along about a half mile into the race and the first runners were coming in. I rooted them on, they were moving. I made the second turn and it was like a cattle drive coming right at me. I was on the far right of the street, but people were actually brave enough to run right at me. I am a BIG dude! It was as if people didn’t see me? So I widened myself even more and dropped my head a little as if I wasn’t looking forward.

At the half-way point I was surprised at my time. I actually thought I had a chance to catch a small group of people walking. Since it was a triathlon I had decided to push really hard on this race. About 2 ½ miles into the race I was moving, for me, but then I hit a small brick wall. Not a literal wall, not a Gloria Wall, but a mind and body wall. Then I missed a turn somehow and ran into the driveway of a house. I stopped, looked around, and began running back.

I ran into two guys that were out for a leisurely run and they directed me to the correct route, thanks guys!

I crossed the finish line and happily hit the stop button on my Garmin and was pleasantly surprised with 14:24 minute miles!!!! Woo Hoo! I also ran 3.69 miles instead of the 3.1 mile 5k course.

I had a great time and can’t wait for my 10k race, the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans next Saturday. I am a little scared of the 10k, but if I feel like I did today, I will be just fine!!!

Until next time, get up, do something, anything to improve your health.

Much love!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Victory Is Mine . . . Sorta.

First I would like to congratulate UCLA on their win over my LSU Tigers. LSU just couldn’t pull it through to go to the National Championship, however they are a champion in my book for going at it the way they did. Remember all you Tiger haters, most of our squad are freshmen and sophomores. Keep hope alive!

This morning was like every race morning. I woke tired and edgy. I had been in Lake Charles for a few days working and the hotel I stayed in they decided to venture away from a traditional sleeping mattresses and provide its guest with 57 springs wrapped in fabric. I think masochist would have truly appreciated the experience, me, not so much.

I had my very best friend in the world with me at this race. Brent has just moved to Baton Rouge from Cincinnati to work with me. He is considering triathlon racing. He seemed to be excited to see his first triathlon up close and personal.

Amanda and Brent followed me to the race site and I checked in quickly since it was 7:20am and the race start was 8:00am. The topic of conversation with everyone was the water temperature. I knew it was nice, I had jumped in on Friday morning and then it was brisk, but no where near Meat Pie last October. Go to that post if you wanna talk about cold!

Mike Pate found me and we chatted up a bit as I checked in and set up my transition site. As some of you may know, today was the first of the pink Speedo challenge for us. This challenge, for those of you new to the blog, is a best of 5 race challenge. Lowest times win each race. The winner gets the winners trophy, but more than that, the winner gets to watch the non-winner race the last race of the year in a pink Speedo for the swim, a pink tutu with said pink Speedo, and platinum blonde wig, which can be worn in a ponytail for the bike and run. We are not saying that Individuals who wear pink Speedos are losers, or that Ballerinas’ are not winners, or that Platinum blondes are to be made fun of, however Mike or me in the outfit is hilarious and if anything we will do a disservice to those mentioned.

I was concerned about this race. It didn’t help that I had set a goal of finishing the race in 1:30:00 and when I asked Mike what his goal was he said, very nonchalantly, I better finish under 1:30. I have never beaten or finished under my goal time. The one time I thought I had made my goal was at Meat Pie, but after all was said and done, I didn’t by about 4 minutes.

We all went to the swim entrance. Mike is a better swimmer than I am. Sadly, the swim is my best sport out of the three. We started in the second heat. As we got going, Mike and I were neck and neck, literally. I kept feeling this guy nailing me in the side as I swam, I breathe on my left and see my buddy Mike. He wanted to swim zig zags so I stopped, let him go by and started up again.

Mike finished about 2 minutes ahead of me. He came out right behind my friend Robert, or Butters as he is known in our Rugby circle. I had to wait a few seconds to get out, I thought there was a wall or something in the water because there was a guy pulling people up and out of the water. It turns out I could have gotten out on my own.

Amanda and Brent were telling us at lunch that it is amazing to see Mike and I in the water going along and many people who stop and tread water or start swimming on their backs while we just chug on through. Not that I want to others to tread water, I want everyone to be successful, but it is nice to hear I am doing a good job.

I run into transition, Mike is almost finished and ready to go on the bike. I give him a holler, “Yea MIKE PATE!”, and I begin drying my feet and putting on my cycling gear. I couldn’t get my new LSU purple under armor on so easily, Mike helped me pull it down as he left transition. He got on the road about 4 minutes ahead of me. I have got to work on faster transitions. I don’t know if it’s mental or what, but I have got to work on being faster there. I want to see the times for the race. I think they kept transition times. I think I lost the race to Mike in the transitions.

I had decided this race to leave it all out there on the bike. Mike is a much better cyclist than I am. I decided that in order to be in a position to catch him on the run, I would need to be within 5 minutes when the run began. I did leave it all out on the bike. I averaged 19-21 mph on the way out on the bike. Most of you that ride with me know, I can keep 16-17 mph for about 45 min then it’s over.

We had a couple Baton Rouge Tri members there, two in particular would be my Platinum Challenge teammates Brian the Brianna, Konaboy, Nipps and the other, Charles THE Vanilla ice baby. Brian is an animal. He and I chatted for a few seconds before we hit the water. I asked him if he would take this race. The great thing about Brian is his humility and sense of humbleness. He is learning from the smak talkers of our club, MTB and Vanilla how to talk his share of smak, but his true nature is his humility. His response to my question was a shrug of the shoulders and a little bit of a “I don’t know man, uh . . .: I cut him off. “Good for you, humility, you be humble, I’ll tell it like it is.” You’re gonna smoke this race. Last week in Toledo Bend (see last post) I think he could have won that race. He won this one. He was smoking!!!!!!!!

But the surprise for me was, I saw Brian and very soon after I saw Charles on the bike. He was cruising! I was amazed at how close he was to the front since he started the swim in the second group with me which was 3 minutes behind the first group. I don’t know where he ended up on the overall, but it had to be top 10, easy. I gave both of them a shout out on my way out on the bike.

At the turn around I found out why I was going so fast on the way out. I was now riding against a head wind. It wasn’t too bad, but enough to piss you off, it happens. I tried to maintain at a minimum 15 mph. I think when all is said and done I may have averaged 17-18 mph overall on the bike.

I cruised into transition and mike was leaving. CRAP! I hadn’t caught up like I wanted to. Did I mention I need to work on my transitions? Yeah, I do, a lot. I get out of transition. I felt spent. I was afraid I used up my legs. Brian and Charles were done and yelling at me to pick it up! They were telling me to go get Mike Pate. I caught my breath and started running. I was having a problem keeping my legs moving, so I started sprint running. I would pick a spot ahead to start and to rest, I would run hard for that distance, then walk hard and repeat this over and over.

I was so pissed at myself. I wear a Garmin Forerunner 301. It straps on my wrist with a Velcro strap. My wrists are kinda big so it doesn’t go on real well. I know this, but I still decided to slap hands with my friend Butters as he was coming back in on the run. My Garmin went flying off my wrist. “SH@T!!” as I ran back bent over, picked it up and started running again. Guess what?! My friend Devin from the BR tri club, we slapped hands too. Garmin, it goes flying, AGAIN! Same thing, run back, pick it up, start running again. What was it the President said once? “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me . . . You won’t fool me again.” Or something comparable. Well, not this guy!!!!! A third, yes a third time, this gentleman I see at almost every race puts is hand up to give me five and . . . I do it. You know what happens. Dumb A@@!

I see Mike on the run, he was about 500 yards past the turn around, so I figured I was about ¼ mile behind him. I felt like I was gaining on him, but my legs were also cramping. I picked up my run a little harder on the way back. I would look at my Garmin and I was under 15 minute miles, which again for me is great, but would it be enough?

As I made a turn downhill on the last ½ mile I saw Mikes red shirt ahead, I was gaining on him, but not nearly fast enough. I see Amanda and Brent. “How far ahead is he?” Amanda tells me I can catch him. I pick it up hard and I actually start feeling good. I ask myself why I couldn’t do this 10 minutes ago. I can see the finish and I know I have lost.

I begin to get pissed, but then I see the time on the finish clock. 01:19:54. Are you kidding me!!!! I begin to get excited and pissed at the same time. I cross somewhere around 01:20:50 or something?????

Don’t misunderstand me. I am happy for Mike. He is my friend and I am so happy to see him do well. I am also happy that we push each other like we do. I don’t think I would have pushed this hard were it not for Mike.

I am and was more pissed at me. When I came into the finish I realized that I had a lot left in the tank and that I didn’t leave it all out there on the race course. I am not saying I would have beaten Mike. I am saying I didn’t push myself hard enough.

I am thrilled with my finish time. I am thrilled that only about 4 to 5 people passed me on the bike and that I had the experience of passing 4 or 5 people. It was a good day.

The first triathlon of the season. It was a victory. I will return again. I will continue to succeed in this goal of weight loss.

After the race Amanda, Brent, Mike and I chowed down on some Cajun food at Steamboat bills and had a good time. It is good to have friends.

The sad part was. My Cousin Michael had driven all the way from Houston to see me race and he didn’t find us and I didn’t have my phone. We missed him.

Michael, it meant so much to me that you drove all the way from Houston to see me race. I am so sorry we couldn’t hook up. By the way, you need to sign up for Iron Star ½ Ironman in Conroe TX on the 29th of October.

To my blog friends. Get up, get out and walk, jog, ride, swim, or whatever, just be active and make good decisions (which I don’t) with your food intake.

You can do it!!!!!!!