Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Massage . . .

Once a year my Broker Dealer has a conference in San Diego. At this conference we are in meetings all day, but they are so enlightening and full of good information to help me and my team better serve our clients.

The other great thing is, it is in San Diego!

71 to 79 degrees all day low humidity, it is awesome and coming from Louisiana that is heaven! I still sweat as bad on my morning runs, but the breeze coming off the water and 72 degree weather, I couldn’t have been happier during my runs.

The reason for this post is a new friend Cara. I treat myself on trips such as this and get a sports massage. Today was an awesome experience! Cara races in triathlons. She also loves Exterra (s/p sorry Nissan) off road races, and runs races such as 5k, ½ marathons etc.

Why is this so unique? Why am I so excited about it? I have met and ridden with Heather Fuhr, Michelle Jones, Roch Frey, and talked with Farris Al-Sultan, these are the top pros in triathlon. I am excited because she was where I am and now she is where she wants to be . . . Maybe I lost you there.

She may not want me sharing everything, but she was once bigger than she wanted to be. She made a decision to change her body, her life and SHE DID IT! She looks awesome now. I am sure she was beautiful before, but I could tell she was happy with where she is today and is more beautiful for it.

I love seeing and hearing people success. I am not as excited about one thing in particular it is the culmination of many pieces of the puzzle that creates harmony and self confidence, TRUE self confidence in ones self. I am confident, but I am not self confident.

Sound weird? I am confident in many skills that I have in business. I am confident in my kindness. I am confident in other areas of my life, but I am not self confident. I don’t have close to the whole packaged product that I want, that I will one day have and seeing Cara’s success is so motivating.

You know, we have so many questions when we are fat and wonder so many things about being healthy. One of my biggest hurdles is my skin. Bear with me here. I am so fat that I have like 4 spare tires. I have a belly that hangs well over my belt line.

Here is the kicker. One of my biggest set backs that I use to dissalousion myself is what will happen when I lose all this weight? I will looks so ugly with all of this loose skin and yuck.

Isn’t that stupid!

Seeing Cara and seeing that it is a false concern helps me set that fear aside and focus on what is important to me, my health.

There is one bad part to this story. I don’t want anyone to think that all is perfect in the world of triathlon. If you have read my posts you know through my experiences in races there are some shallow people in this sport as there are in life, no different. The majority of folk in this sport are AWESOME! They are supportive, motivating, and kind. But you do have a few who don’t think we (fat people) belong out in their sport.

You see it in those trying to lobby for shorter cut off times in long distance races. I read a post in Triathlete Magazine (which I love) where an accomplished racer questioned those who race and, in his opinion shouldn’t be because of their size. I have heard comments. Mean ones, but you have to find it within yourself to shrug them off and stay focused.

Cara was talking to me about a few of her experiences with triathletes in San Diego. In case you don’t know, San Diego is the triathlon mecca of the world. Most of your pros train here and many of them move and live here. This is a great place for triathlon. Cara expressed her dislike for the attitude of the sport in San Diego. That saddens me.

I have friends in my club in Baton Rouge that are TOP NOTCH races. They finish number 1 or 2 in their age group at every race and could stomp the average joe racer into the ground, but they are kind and supportive. I am sure a couple of them questioned this 400 pound dude showing up at their meeting last year to join. I am sure there was talk, but through my dedication and their support I couldn’t be happier with they friends I have made in the club.

I think this sport is going to have to realize that there is a change in motion. The popularity of this sport is taking hold of the average person and in my case, not so average, but none the less it is a sport that is on the rise and becoming more popular every season.

If you are an advanced athlete that has a problem with those of much lesser skill and ability competing along side of you, or as I read in that same article the racer who questioned in his opinion, unqualified racers with his support of shortening the cutoff time, he also made a crass statement that went something like this . . . If you’re putting a cheeseburger in your special needs bag, then you might want to re-think doing an Ironman or other long distance triathlon.

What a prick. If only he knew how hard we had to work to just finish a race, to just SHOW UP, he might think differently, however with a comment like that . . . He probably wouldn’t.

I am going to work on finding Cara a good club here in San Diego. I know they exist. This is too awesome of a sport for there not to be at minimum one club that is supportive of the average joe who wants to do triathlons.

If not, I will help her get one started!!!!!!!!!!!!

My point again for writing this post . . .

You can do it! Period. I know you can. It may take a long time, but just stay focused, when you stumble, who cares! Get back into it. We all stumble and if you have a run in with one of those triathletes that doesn’t respect what you are doing out here . . . Remember this . . .

Respect goes both ways and someone who would look down on you for your drive, they are the ones deprived of respect. If their only motivation in the sport is split times, and winning . . . Just remember respect goes both ways.

I know the best of the best in this sport. They have a desire to be the best and as a matter of fact they just happen to be the best, but they also have a love for this sport and its success. People such as that, they have my respect and you have my respect, even if you haven’t ran a mile yet, or even gotten up off of your couch yet, you still have my respect, but now you need to earn your respect within yourself, get out there and DO IT!

Have a great day, do something, walk, ride, swim, or mow the lawn, I believe in you!

Cara, thanks for an awesome massage and better conversation!

Peace Out!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Hot to Trot at T-Gator #3

Hot to Trot

The sun was hitting me in the face harder than a Saturday night demolition derby in South Georgia!

I am not a big fan of heat, but this was ridiculous. But, man I had some fun!

Kristi (aka, the RustQueen) Brian (aka Konaboy) and I loaded up and headed out around 4:40am. One thing I learned about this triathlon lifestyle is that if you’re not a morning person you will soon become one out of necessity. RustQueen was wearing sunglasses at 4:45am and though she didn’t need to, she informed me she was not a morning person.

We made it to Lake Charles just in time to check in, rack our bikes, and set up our transition.

OK, that is not quite accurate. We did have time to practice our penmanship one another.

At check in they had massive markers for us to write our race numbers on our bodies. I found a little humor in the size of these markers and offered to body mark Konaboy. First I made an honest mistake and began writing MY number on his arm! Not a good start. Then I fixed it with the MASSIVE marker and put HIS number on and he didn’t realize what I was doing until the 7 of 471 was on his elbow! Meaning I was writing the number so big that it stretched from his shoulder to the bottom of his elbow!

Rustquess was not privy to this transaction, so I offered to body mark her as well. What good friends we are, Kona, as all good friends would do in this situation, knowing that she was about to become an interstate billboard . . . DID and SAID NOTHING!!!!! HA! What are friends for?

There was a great man or woman who once said, “payback is hell.:

And it was. I ended up with my race number from my shoulder to my lower forearm! Woo Hoo! As the space shuttle was coming in from space they could have seen my race number on my WHOLE arm!!!!!

Swim was uneventful. Fast and smooth.

I felt great out of the water. Ran into the transition area and slipped off on to the bike course. My goal was to average 17mph on the bike. I had raced on this course earlier in the season and remembered the course being suitable for a personal record on the bike, but . . .

I have made so many friends that have been so motivational to me whether it is their cheers on the race course or their emails of motivation and advice. Today was unreal. On the bike I heard my name followed by encouragement by so many people and their cheers of encouragement makes the race so much better.
One f the funny ones was Cissy (s/p). She swam with us at Clay’s camp on the False river about two months ago. At the time she was not happy about swimming in open water. The next problem was on that day False River was rocky. Cissy did not have fun and I think she questioned her choice to swim that day. Fitbird and I swam with her that day. When she did swim without in trepidation she did great, but then she would panic a little, but overall I thought she did great that day for her first open water swim.

Today was here first open water triathlon. We gathered at the entrance of the water and she was in high spirits and ready to go! I worried about her being kicked and bumped out there, but she is a tough little firecracker and I knew her competitive side would kick in when the horn went off.

She started two groups ahead of me so on the bike course she was heading in as I was heading out. She looked strong and hollered out to me, “You did have to rescue me today!” I was really happy for her. She kicked butt.

The wind was awfully odd. On my out on the course the wind felt as though it was pushing against me. I was averaging around 14mph. I thought this would be ok since I would have the wind at my back on the way in to the transition site. At the turn around I put the big ring in and cranked it out!
However, this wind oddity began to worry me. The wind was pushing against me AGAIN??? We call this head wind. I had head wind BOTH ways????? How is that possible? What I found out after the race was that there was a hard cross wind.

I decided to push it as hard as I could. I averaged about 17ish on the way back and averaged a little over 15mph overall. The most important part of the bike was that I managed to drain my legs with a very hot run ahead.

Whipped into transition, racked my bike, put on my running gear and headed out, slowly and wearily.

It was H O T, hot! Heat and liquids don’t mix well for me. I am not sure yet if it is too much liquid intake on the bike, or too much Gatorade and not enough water? Not sure yet, but the last two races, which have both been extremely hot, I have puked on the run course. That may possibly be the problem, that it is just really hot. But today I ralphed three times, pure liquid, but charged head, one foot in front of the other.

About 300 yards form the finish Konaboy and RustQueen (and you didn’t think you’d get a nickname!!!!!!!!) were there waiting for me and cheering AND with a cold bottle of water! Mmmmmmmm!

I crossed the finish line as strong as I could then stood in the shade for a long time, regaining my bearings.

When I moved my bike the front tire was flat? My friend, John form Alexandria told me tha he was standing there when it happened. He said as I walked away to start my run the tire just went – POP, Pssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssst.

In our tri club there are many fingers being pointed at a “Bad Karma” person where when you train with that individual you have a bad training day with a flat, or wreck, or some other mishap. I think after my front tire experience, I am clear of that title. WOW, someone was looking out for me on this race to keep that tire safe until I racked it on transition!

After a while we loaded up and headed home.

I had such a great day and so much fun.

Until next time!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


I had a slackers weekend.

I have not been at the top of my game for the past three weeks. This is what happens to me when I don’t have a race in my immediate future and I am paying for that now.

July 23rd in my Olympic Triathlon in Louisville KY and I am not nearly prepared for it. I have a small 800m swim, 15mi bike and 5k run triathlon this coming weekend, but I am no where near ready for my OLY in two weeks.

Woo Hoo!

I missed my triathlon this past weekend due to a family reunion and I am not so happy about it. I am happy that I went to the family reunion and was able to meet some truly special family that I had not seen since I was a small boy. Don’t you love when people tell you stories of how they remember you as a small child, I do, even though at times I am a little afraid of what they might say!!!

I am frustrated that the tri and reunion was on the same day 300 miles apart. I was trying to go to the tri AND the reunion, however wiser heads (my wife) prevailed and helped me realize that would have been an impossible feat. Since this was important to family that I be there the decision between the two was not too difficult as to which one to attend.

This leaves me with the not training scenario for next weekend in Louisville.

I will be ok, I won’t look good and it will be an ugly finish but, I will finish. I think I will have a bunch of friends form Cincinnati coming down to see me race so that will give me added encouragement and motivation to do well, but I don’t think I will be breaking any records of my own there.

Why am I writing this on my blog? You might be asking that question. I am writing this because I received a wonderful piece of advice from a fellow tri club member while discussing my concern for lack of preparation for this race.

He said “Nothing you can do about what you haven’t done, there is only today, so what are you gong to do today?”

Therefore, TODAY I am going to run 3 miles and drink a lot of water. Then tomorrow I am going to pick up where my training schedule is and get back on track for the rest of the season . . . Remember that half Ironman I am doing in October. All of this training and racing is for that and I must be prepared for that.

1 ½ mile swim, 56 mile bike and a 13.1 mile run

I better be prepared for that.

I am looking forward to seeing my friends from NKU at the race in Louisville. The link is below for any information you might need. Email me if you want my cell phone so we can get together. I know Saturday night we are meeting at The Old Spaghetti Factory for dinner and anyone is welcomed, 5:30PM.

And the race info is below as well. I can’t wait to see all of you and I know you can’t wait to see me in SPANDEX!!!!!!!

Thanks to everyone!