Thursday, May 25, 2006
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I want to put on a triathlon for ONLY fat people . . .
I realize it must be one heck of a job to be a race director for a triathlon, especially the size of the one I did today.
Let’s begin anew . . . I don’t want to discourage anyone who reads this post away from this sport and lifestyle by the following rant. Please read, because I have some great stuff in this one too.
Overall, I loved my day today. I think this was a great race venue and a heck of a lot of fun. I would recommend this Olympic Triathlon to ANYONE who is considering taking on the challenge. The first thing that just made my day . . . THEY HAD A 4XL SHIRT FOR ME!!!!!!!!! Are you kidding me!!!??? I have a stack of race t-shirts stacked away to wear one day when I am skinny. But I have NONE to wear currently, until now! I am so happy. I might wear it for a month, straight!
My family and I swung by the race site the day before ad met up with Vanilla and his family and we set up the tents and chatted a while. Had lunch and I began my ritual of getting ready for the race; packing the bag, lube the chain, talk to myself about the day to come, all that good stuff. I was going to take a quick nap and head downtown to see my Sister and then eat dinner with some friends.
I did none of that.
I woke form my nap at about 9:30pm, looked around at the unfamiliar place called a hotel room, which I forgot I was there and then turned off the TV and went back to sleep. Sorry friends and family.
The alarm went off at 4:15am and I was up and ready, not really. I heated up some omega oat waffles in the microwave, and jumped in the shower. Loaded up and I was off.
I forgot to mention. I fell asleep on the toilet and woke up 45 minutes later with numb buttocks (es), TMI I know, but it had to be told.
I wanted to arrive at the race site about 5:45am and actually arrived about 6:30 am. Unloaded and went to transition to set up.
It was like a sea of bikes. Grace, my lil sis said it looked like a junkyard. After I thought about is for a while, she was right.
Then I waited. And waited. And waited. And waited. And . . . You get the point.
Here is rant #1 of 2.
I am fat, I am not a Clydesdale, but a fatsdale. However I see, and I love it, a few folk out there giving it their all and they are more than Clydesdale or Athena. Crap I am 2 Clydesdales.
Here is what I don’t understand. I have done like 13 or 14 triathlons and a couple duathlons. The people who finish with me or just a head of me are usually bigger folk. Now, to their credit they usually aren’t biggun’s like me, but as my beautiful wife so affectionately puts it (and I hate it) fluffy.
For the Sprint tri’s I get a little peeved when this happens, but today I was absolutely fired up! This was an individual start with Pros first, RELAY second, age groupers third and Clydesdale’s and Athena’s LAST.
DID YOU NOTICE R-E-L-A-Y SECOND???????!!!!!!!!! These guys only do one of the three sports, either the swimming, biking, or running, THEY DON’T EVEN DO THE WHOLE THING!!!!!!!!!!!
Now I am speaking on this from a purely safety and insurance platform. Also there is the personal, I felt like I was gonna die today part of it too.
Why would you send the slowest people out last? I can understand sending the Pros out first, common sense, but why send out the biggest people, let me rephrase since I have a couple friends who are Clydesdales who kick everyone’s tail, but why put the group that has some of the folks who will be slow last to start.
What happens as the day goes on? The sun comes out, it gets hot and people, ok not people, I, ME almost die!!!! OK, not really, but go with the effect here.
Also, the people who work the water stations, I have more on THAT in rant #2, are volunteers. Why would you want these poor people out there SO LONG giving some fat ass (I AM SO SORRY TO CURSE< BUT I AM PISSED) like me water when the sun is beating down and they would much rather be doing something else with their time?
Why would a race director who pays a boat load in insurance to run these events want to risk having someone out on the course so long? I know there are ½ Ironman and Ironman races where people are out ALL day, but why make it worse when you can make it better and smarter?
OK, rant #1 is done.
I get in line and I am OFF for my swim. I felt great today in the water. Some guy on the run, as he passed me, told me he was trying to pace me, but he couldn’t keep up. That really made me feel good. The swim was uneventful, but FUN!!!
I cam out of the water and began getting suited up for the bike. I was exhausted for some reason. I am never tired out of the water, but today was a different story. I walked to the mount area and almost fell over. I took a moment, cleared my head, looked around at all of the people and realized, there is no way I can clip in and fall over with this many people watching. I took another deep breath and cleared my head again, clipped in and . . . DIDN’T FALL! Wo Hoo!
The bike course. Very uneventful again, but very windy at some points. The other thing that was actually funny to me on the course was when I was chugging up ONE of these hills and the wind was head on, I thought back to the MIM website description of the course. They have it listed as flat. I chuckled and realized how we all think of things geographically. In Louisiana, this was hilly!!!!!!!!!!!
My max speed was 34mph. My min speed was 8.
I came in on the bike, walked slowly to my rack. I will tell you that that was the longest walk. The sun was blazing, I was dead tired and I think I chose to quit about three times before I made it to my rack, but my body wouldn’t listen, stupid body!
As I exited the transition I saw Vanilla (Charles), oh how I envied him, he was done, ready to relax, have a beer, and eat some BBQ. I spurted out something like, “I’m never doing this race again!” He looked at me confused. I didn’t mean it, well, I did at the time, but this was a great race and I will do it again, especially if they take my suggestions and tinker with a few things.
I walked. It was all I could do to walk. My hip hurt, my legs were cramping, did I mention it was blistering hot? After mile 3 I decided to quit again. And I did.
I said that I had enough of this crap and I quit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I was talking to myself, cursing, spitting, gnashing of my teeth, I was DONE! All I had to do was walk back to the finish line!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I really did quit, but I had to get back?
As I passed the 4 mile mark I was so excited because I knew there was one of those GREAT water stations there. The previous ones were my savior and this one was the most needed one yet!
I make the turn and see the . . . The . . .
There is no one there, wait I see the truck is still there, but where did the people go? There are three more people behind me, I thought to myself, then right back to me selfishly, WHERE ARE THE WATER PEOPLE!!!!! MY SAVIORS!!!!!!
I get up to the station and there IS A GUY THERE!!!!! Oh thank goodness!
He is sitting on the back of his truck, not happy to be there and not moving an inch. I say hello, he nods. He is then talking on a hand held radio about how many people are left and how much longer does he have to wait. I am looking for water.
I see lots of Gatorade, no water. My stomach could not handle anymore Gatorade. I look back at him, he’s not looking at me. I look in one of the two coolers, nothing, I look in the other, nothing, I grab a Gatorade, throw it back and that was the second most disgusting this I have ever had in my mouth. Number one was spoiled milk. HOT, I mean H-O-T HOT Gatorade.
I took some down and spit out what I couldn’t get down. I looked back at the guy again, he is busy. I walk off cursing, AGAIN! It was a theme today.
I get to about mile 5 and a poor guy pulls up beside me in a truck and asks if I am ok. Now, I have had no water in blistering heat and I am two steps from passing out. I ask him, are you a race person, he says yes, I UNLOAD ON THE POOR GUY. He kindly says he will go get me some water. He does. HOT BOTTLED WATER! But it was better than nothing. I thanked him over and over since I felt bad for unloading on him.
Rant #2, complete.
I made it to mile 5 and the water station was again unmanned, but they left me a nice big cooler, bucket of COLD water. I tell you, I almost dove in it, but I wouldn’t have fit and I might have drowned, so I just poured cup after cup after cup on me. AHHHHHHHH!
The last mile.
My poor sister and Mom Daudet. This is the second time she has seen my wrath at a race. I am so irritable and today was even worse. They waited in that heat at mile 5 to walk me in. What did I do? Yelled at them to go to the finish line! I felt bad. I get so deflated when someone walks me in. it is a personal stupid thing, I need to work on that.
I CROSS THE FINISH LINE, even though I quit a few miles back. After 6.2 miles in the heat and sun, the pavement throwing the heat in my face, I walked right into the lake. Clothes, shoes, everything, right into the lake.
It was the best feeling. Cold, wavy, oh I was in my little piece of heaven.
My friend Lane was trying to say hello to me, but I was having none of it at that moment, but after a while I said hello and met some other folks from BT.
Dwight, Janet, and Robin all helped bring my stuff back to the truck, he sat and chatted up and I ate some of Dwight’s famous chicken and potato salad.
Grace and I came back to my hotel where I have been cramping and puking for about 3 hours. I figured I would write this to get my mind off of it.
It was a great race and I will do it again. Thanks to everyone for your words of support and kindness.
Posted by Christopher, Amanda, and Babies at 6:32 PM
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Fear . . . Not sure how I feel about it right now
As I sit in my roach motel of a room ere in Millington Ten. I am scared to death at what lay ahead of me tomorrow. Memphis In May Triathlon, and Olympic sized tri; 1.5k swim, 40k bike, and 10k run.
I went to the race site this morning with my Mom Daudet and My Dad Jerry. We parked, located where we would put the tent shelters and went to registration. As we were walking there we saw Vanilla and his family form BRtri. I hope when I have children one day I can make racing a family event s they do. We chatted a bit and off I went to register.
It was about 10:00am and already the humidity and heat were kicking in. I would be finishing the bike about this time tomorrow, I thought to myself. Whew.
I picked up my race kit and t-shirt. Walked around a bit and headed back to the truck. I began to panic a little. This will be the longest race by far that I have done. I am actually in a state of panic!
My lower back has been hurting now for about two weeks and getting worse in the bed at this motel. I am worried about the humidity; I don’t do so well with humidity. Heat is ok, humidity, not so much.
I am sitting in my air-conditioned motel room and my mind is going a million miles an hour. What if . . . What if?
When I am done with this tangent I will lay on the bed and visualize the race and see myself finishing with a smile.
I am so happy that so many of my family are here.
Until tomorrow . . . Happy thoughts!
Posted by Christopher, Amanda, and Babies at 3:04 PM
Sunday, May 14, 2006
Wednesday, May 10, 2006
(This is not my Grandma, but she is "representing"!!!!)
Oh Happy Days!!!!!!
I was young, between 7 and 12, riding on a hot Trailways bus full of strangers who snored and smoked as I traveled from Memphis Tennessee, where I lived during the school years as a child, to Winona Mississippi.
This was always the most exciting time of each year for me.
My childhood memories are sketchy at best and non-existent mostly. However, there is one person and one piece of my life that is seared into my soul and my heart.
Tama Boyce Lee.
My Grandma, the single most special person in my life. You see, I knew this would be soul searching when I set out on this quest to understand m relationship with food, I am beginning to cry as I am writing this since my love for my Grandma is immeasurable and I miss her so much even though it has been over 17 years since her death.
Two! Three! Oh man! I would become so excited to go see Grandma. “How many weeks can I go?” I would ask my Dad, “Two, three weeks?” The answer never mattered, just the fact that I was going was enough.
Unconditional love to me is rare and when tested . . . It becomes not so “unconditional”. But, let me tell you about testing! I was the master tester. I was an adventurous little boy, afraid of nothing and getting into everything.
Her poor home. It was my battle ground. Many a cowboy and Indian battle was fought there with vengeance! The SAP tree in her front yard sent many an outfit to the garbage and the creek on the other side of the tennis courts beside her home, well let’s say I know every turn as do the many shoes that were sacrificed to that dirty ditch.
I could go on and on about the joy that I felt when I was with my Grandma. Her absence . . . Here I go with the tears again. Her absence in my life . . . It is large. I will probably share more in later rambling about her, however onto the reason . . .
When I would talk to Grandma on the phone before coming down to Winona, she would ask me, “Baby, what do you want to eat when you’re here?” Oh man!!!!!! She could cook! AND I COULD EAT!!! I would ask for fried chicken, that steak that has the bone in the middle that looks like a T, mashed potatoes, butter beans with mayonnaise on the side, like my Uncle Bill likes them, corn casserole, biscuits, corn bread, oh her cornbread! Pie, apple pie, peach pie, oh, meringue!!!!! Forget the apple and peach, I want lemon or coconut! Don’t forget root beer!
Remember, I would go and stay with her for two or three weeks. One would think that my beautiful grandma would prepare my requests throughout the week or weeks, NOOOOOOO! Woo Hoo! I would get off of the bus, we would go home and there it was! Everything I requested over the phone, and more!
I would sit at the dinner table eating all of this wonderful homemade food, while staring across the kitchen at the pies on her counter. The smells, oh the beautiful aroma of her cooking would just float around her whole house.
There is no doubt in my mind that my Grandma spent DAYS preparing this feast for me. And she was in her 70’s when doing this for me, meaning, she was no spring chicken, but she could sure fry some chicken!
All of this for me.
I was special to her. I know I was special to my Momma, my Dad, my Mom, my Papa Edu, but I was really special to Grandma. Or at least she made sure I felt as though I was the MOST special thing in her life.
I was her little baby and she was my life.
That alone is my most special memory of, me and food. I agree it wasn’t a productive one and may be a big key to my difficulties with food today and I am realizing a bit of that as I write. I will explore this realization more, but it truly was one of my happiest experiences with food.
To my Grandma,
I know you’re in Heaven. I know you look over me. I know you are crying with me right now.
I love you so dearly and I miss you so much. I wish you could hold me just one more time. Rub my belly or kiss my head. I never knew there would be such a void in my life when you went away. When you were alive, I hope you knew how much I loved you.
Look after my friend Carlie up there and know I am the man I am today because of your love and belief in me.
Posted by Christopher, Amanda, and Babies at 5:19 PM
Monday, May 08, 2006
If it’s Broke, Duct Tape it . . .
Men are awesome and I say that on a purely plutonic level. We are so predictable and even more, when we find something that works, we use it . . . For everything.
That was why I became so excited after reading Triathlete Magazines’ article on keeping your skin safe before, during, and after a race or training.
As many of you who follow my blog, I was the proud recipient of three vicious blisters on my left foot compliments of the Crescent City Classic 10k a few weeks past. They were and have been so nasty and very painful. I would blame my loss to my friend Mike Pate on the blisters at our last race, but that would not be the truth, he just beat me, period.
As I am reading this article in Triathlete Magazine while in the home Library, I laugh out loud. Amanda sticks her head in the Library and asks what was so funny. I told her that this article suggests using Duct Tape on your blisters during a race or training to prevent them from becoming worse. A man had to have come up with this remedy. Only a man, if I am wrong, I apologize in advance.
I flushed the toilet and left the bath . . . Library, then . . .
I began to plot and prod my foot for the best way to Duct Tape myself to a pain-less race for the Crawfishman Tri, a 1,200 swim, 20m bike, and 4 mi run, my longest race to date. Brent, my best friend and I, we watch Myth Busters every once and a while, we decided to try and bust this myth. Brent put tape on his hand, put it under water, began to rub vigorously and it held up. Myth – plausible.
I awoke at 4:45am. Took my pre-race shower, slapped on the body glide, loaded up the bike and headed off to the Crawfishman!
Prior to my departure I strategically placed my Duct Tape, one long ways on the ridge of my foot to cover the big momma of the blisters, one across the front padding of my foot to cover the second blister, and the last across my Achilles Tendon area and I was off to see, will our Myth be Confirmed. I sure hoped so!
I assumed the race site would be somewhere about, 55 minutes away. It was about and hour and a half. I arrived at 7:03am. Rushed to the check-in. Racked my bike. Set up my transition. RAN to the swim start.
I forgot that I had my money clip and vehicle keyless entry shoved under my tri shorts. The race start was literally in seconds. I saw a fellow tri-club and friends’ wife at the swim start. She was kind enough to hold my items for me.
I hit the water and maybe 30 seconds after I did, the race director started the race, and I was off!
I felt great during the swim, slow, but great. I was passing no one, but no one was passing me until the end when the second group leaders passed by.
I am becoming more proficient at my transitions. This is a simple part of the race that you can really improve by simply preparing better. Preparing better with your gear, but also be more prepared in your mind. It takes nothing physical to do better.
The bike was the most challenging on any bike course that I had raced in, in the state of Louisiana. It wasn’t really bad, but it had a couple hills for us. I actually didn’t mind however, and I am looking forward to seeing the splits. Last year my average bike pace was right at 11.7 mph. This year my goal was to average over 15 mph. I am doing this so far. I am happy about that.
I passed like 3 people and was passed by probably 50!!!!! I have to figure out this bike thing, the last three races, I have crushed the last few miles of each race. I get this boost of energy. I start hammering? I wonder if it is just the excitement of being finished?
I roll into the transition area, feeling pretty good.
I actually amazed myself. I walked out of transition, drank two cups of water, and once I hit the road, I began running. Again, let me clarify, my running is like a slow persons walking. But, I was doing MY running. I began and I never stopped.
I would pass through a water station and keep going. I have no idea what was going on with me? There was a little drizzling rain, but nothing too bad. The run course had its share of hills as well. I would run past a racer heading back in and a few would walk the hills. It was difficult, but I never stopped. I felt like Forrest Gump, I was just RUNNING!
My goal for today’s race was 3:15:00. My last race at LATri, which was 800, swim, 18 mi bike, and 3.1 mi run, I finished in 02:38:00 something or other. So I figured, 400 m more on the swim, 10 minutes, 2 miles more on the bike, 8 minutes, 1 mile more on the run 15 minutes. That is 43 minutes total. So I figured 3:10:00 would be good, but I knew I would do 03:15:00, I chose to beat 03:15:00.
As I crossed the finish line to cheers of volunteers, I glanced at the time clock. 02:54:ish.
I beat my goal, but more than that, this course was much more challenging than LA TRI and this race time was a mere, 17 minutes longer!!!!!!
Bottom Line . . . I am very happy about my race today.
I met Tri-It-Cajun-Style and her husband from Beginner Triathlete website. She was awesome! She helped me to my car, since I was stumbling around a bit.
I finally make it to my vehicle and realize that the keyless entry that was returned to me by my friend’s wife, it was no longer shoved in my tri shorts. It fell out!!!! After stumbling around some more looking for it along my path, I found it and began to load the truck.
Then I remember.
THE DUCT TAPE!!!!!
As I shove my left shoe off, I see a tiny bit of blood on my sock at the Achilles tendon. I began to de-bunk the Blister Myth. Then I noticed this was a NEW blister just above the other. The Duct tape on my heel was still in place.
The true test however was to come. As my sock slid down and off my foot, nothing! Nothing! I gently pulled off the tape and to my astonishment, the skin was hardly wet. No blood, no re-opening, nothing.
Duct Tape on Blisters to prevent your blisters form getting worse during a triathlon . . . Confirmed!
My next race, Memphis in May. May 21st. My family will be there. I am so excited.
Today was my longest race to date, however Memphis in May, MIM as I call it, will be my first Olympic Triathlon. I am scared, but excited after today.
Thanks to all for your support. You rock! But more than that, you help to keep me motivated.
Posted by Christopher, Amanda, and Babies at 6:33 PM
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Training and Then again, Not . . .
I have had an incredible time training since my last race (LA Tri) and I am not sure why. My body was beaten up in that race.
Let’s recap the abuse:
I re-opened two blisters from the CCC 10k the week prior. Now these weren’t your typical little blisters.
a. Blister #1. Located on the insole of my left foot. Nearly one inch in diameter and strategically positioned to cause deep discomfort with each step taken.
b. Blister #2, code named, One Big Muther!!!! Over one inch in diameter and possibly the deepest blister I have seen ever in my lifetime. Located on my outer sole of the left foot.
c. Last, Blister #3. The icky sticky, tricky pesky blister. Located on the heel of my left foot, where the shoe rubs and makes delightful friction tunes of melodies gone by.
I also . . . This is so disgusting. I have obtained and little cyst on my inner right leg, closer to my buttocks. UMMMMMMMMMMMM!!!! Who’s ready for dinner! It is not inflamed yet and at the time of this race was only a nuisance as it is now a bother.
During the race I re-aggravated my left calf and the constant cramping feeling is back after many weeks of its joyful absence. It is so annoying to sit there stretching it ALL DAY LONG. But, that is all that gives it relief.
After the race I upchucked about 6 times and my stomach hasn’t been the same since.
My running shoe, after the race, looked like the site of a murder scene. The entire shoe was bloody form the blisters, then turned creators of the deep and beyond in my shoe.
Since then I have been sitting around thinking of ways to get around training. I have created every possible opportunity NOT TO TRAIN.
Did you know, I cleaned my house last week? YES! Shut up! I know!!!!!!!!
The means I will go to in order not to train is intense. I considered watching a girly TV show with my wife the other day, in stead of running. I know, this is extreme. I may need, INTERVENTION!
Tonight I will train.
Or read War and Peace again.
Posted by Christopher, Amanda, and Babies at 2:08 PM
I am spending a few weeks digging into my young life. Trying to find some click to my relationship with food. Then I will spend time looking at my teen life and young adult life.
Some may think I am crazy putting this all out on a blog for the world to see. I say it is the only way I can be honest with myself. That may seem weird to say, but I tend to sugar coat things in life and let mishaps slide off my shoulder, it takes a lot to upset me. I tend to look at the good in everything and not at the hurtful or indifferent issues in life.
I don't want to put up a battered child, feel sorry for me monologue. I want no one else to be hurt by my writings, but I need to be honest about my past so I can fix the future. I won't do that by keeping a journal or diary of thoughts. I will when I am held accountable by my writings and knowing that those who know me and have known me in my life can discern reality versus my perception.
It is going to be difficult to put all of this out there.
Everyone has had bad experiences in their lives.
I don't want this to be a pity party and I especially don't want to hurt my family, Momma and Dad, when it comes to my revelations and mental digging into my past, but at the same time I want to be honest FOR myself.
My Momma, who is a brilliant woman and has the kindest, sweetest heart, says to me on a regular basis that the past is the past. She says I have to stop dwelling on all of the bad things that happened to me in my life. I agree. However, this is not dwelling. What you will read over the few months is interpreting my past, trying to understand my past.
My past is a blur to me. I remember little of my childhood and less of my teen-hood. This is a problem for me.
I have friends who hold dear memories of their child hood experiences and friends and family. I wish I had those, but I am not bitter, I am not dwelling and I won’t be dwelling in the upcoming posts. I will be digging. I will be telling my story. I want to correlate my relationship with food in a way that I might realize why I am the way I am.
Here is a quote from a dear friend of mine. I think it is important for all of us to realize that we each have our on vices. Mine is food and compulsion. Someone else’s crutch may be alcohol. Another’s may be confidence and self worth. Here is how my friend put it. For me, food has never been a problem issue. But, there is no man who doesn't have some issue, whether he realizes it or admits it or not, that is comparable for them what the food issue is for you. What's one man's food issue, is another man's obsession with gaining people's approval, or another man's struggle with relationship intimacy, or yet another man's drive toward defining himself through monetary success.
I want everyone to understand before I begin this process, that I am not pointing fingers at anyone else for my issues. I am the only one who “allowed” them to happen and I feel I am the only one who can recreate this relationship with food.
Many of you are probably much stronger than I am with your vices. You may have been a smoker, as I was 12 years ago, and stopped cold turkey, as I did. You may have had issues with your appearance that you simply fixed. I am happy and so proud of you for that.
I think I need this investigation. My mind is a knowledge sponge. I have to know the ins and outs of everything.
I am not satisfied with something until I know how it works, what makes it tick. I think that is why I disassembled all of my Christmas presents as a child.
The problem there too was that I didn’t know how to put them back together after I figured out how they worked. Funny.
I am going to figure out what makes me tick when it comes to food. I am going to put it back together.
Thanks everyone for your comments and thoughts on my blog.
Enjoy the ride. You can judge me, my family, and my thoughts if you want, but remember, we all have our issues.
Posted by Christopher, Amanda, and Babies at 1:32 PM