Monday, August 28, 2006


I had a rude awakening today.

It has been coming on for a month or two now. I’ve known it and it more than likely is why I passed out at my race in Arkansas last week.

I have not been training. I have been pretending and lying to myself and in a way to you guys that read my blog.

I am sorry.

I am sorry to me and to you guys.

I have been eating horribly for the past couple months and only training here and there, but nothing to talk of. I have been on my bike very little and running even less and swimming not so much since Heatwave the OLY in Jackson Mississippi.

Up until then I was training hard for Memphis in May and Heatwave. I was logging my training and watching what I ate. Then I slowly fell off the wagon until I wasn’t doing anything for my health. No training and eating like a horse on a blubber diet.

I am mad at myself and a little disgusted.

I am 6’2” and as of today, when I got on the scale for the first time since May 23rd when I logged my weight and I weighed in at 378 pounds, today I weighed in at 401 pounds.

I weighed 421 pounds at my highest weight and 405 when I did my first triathlon in May of 2005.

I am right back there!


I knew I was doing badly.

I bought a food saver and put it into use tonight making my meals for the week at 1,440 calories a day with breakfast, lunch, dinner and a snack between each and after dinner so I am eating 6 smaller portions a day, again totaling 1,400 calories.

I am going to swim tomorrow at 5:30am and run 3 miles tomorrow evening.

Monday, September 4th I begin my Half Ironman training.

I am not happy with myself right now, but I will post September 10th and let you know where my weight is and hopefully I will show progress.

Keep me in your positive thoughts.


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Know When TO Say When . . .

Know when to say when . . .

I have been called many things in my short lifetime. Hard Headed has been amongst them.

Amanda and I pulled into Arkansas around 3:30AM Friday morning. I had been driving since 6:30AM Thursday for meetings with clients and then a retirement party in Lake Charles which was so much fun.

I didn’t sleep well and was up and slowly moving around 9:00AM. I worked on the computer and was up and around about 10:00AM.

The BRtri Club members that were racing this weekend in the ½ Ironman were swimming around 5:00PM. I joined them and swam about 500 meters. The water was a little warm, but not as bad as River Cities a couple weeks ago.

I began feeling a little yucky while eating dinner at Pizza Hut.

Saturday morning I woke and went to see the ½ Ironman and root on my club friends. It was HOT. I felt bad for those racing. I was a ball of sweat and I was only standing and watching.

Our club really did well in this race. Konaboy came in 5th overall with a sub 5 hour race which is awesome on this course. Rust Queen came in third overall female AND sub 5 hours pace too.

Vanilla was the stud of the weekend. He raced just minutes above a 5 hour ½ IM, I think it was like 5:07???? He came in 4th in his age group which is very competitive and THEN HE raced today in the Sprint Tri and came in 4th AGAIN!!!! Kudos brother!

About 2:30pm my friend Ashley suggested I head out and keep hydrated. I am not sure if she saw I was feeling a little yucky, but I was. I just hate not being there to support everyone in their finish. Most times I am one of the last to finish so I never get to cheer people in and I like to take advantage of that when I can.

I saw everyone but Big D and Michelle finish. Sorry guys.

As I tried to rest Saturday evening I found myself continuing to sweat. I made a little pasta and Amanda saw the sweat all over the cooking mat in front of the stove. I overlooked it and continued to drink my Gatorade.

I have a difficult time sleeping before a race, but last night was an exception. I didn’t sleep. I laid my head down at 10:00PM. I was up at 2:00AM and I think I was able to get in an hour sleep.

As I arrived to the race course I felt tired. I wasn’t in a good mood. I wasn’t talkative as I usually am. Amanda sat beside me on the boat ramp and made comment on my looking a little rough.

I have a suggestion for everyone.

If you are not ready to race for whatever reason, KNOW WHEN TO SAY WHEN.

This will be repeated a couple times in this post.

I saw Caroline Smith, a tri stud form Team Earthquake, and a hottie across the field of racers. She waved and I actually began to feel a bit better. As I tread out to the start in the water I cooled down and was ready to race.

The under 34 males went off first, my group went out 5 minutes after them in a wave start. I started off slow to get my new stroke that I have been working on down and about 200 meters in I began to pick it up.

I was feeling pretty good about 400 meters and turned it up a little more going 4 strokes to one breath. I cruised into the boat ramp and jogged into transition.

My Dad said he thought I had a great swim. I figure I came out of the water middle of the pack in my age group and my Dad said that I passed a few of the yellow swim caps from the below 34 racers. Woo Hoo!

I felt my first signs of dehydration or whatever it was as I entered transition. Just before I arrived at my bike I began to feel light headed. I took my time at transition and headed out on the bike.

Just out of transition about 500 yards there is a nice hill that you have no momentum and really your legs haven’t adjusted from the swim yet. I focused and climbed as hard as I could. It took everything I had to get up that hill. As I topped the summit of the hill I knew I was in trouble. My legs were done. Not even one mile into the bike and I was shot.

The good news is there was a down hill to a spillway and I cruised down it hitting 39mph! I passed more than 10 people going down it. I am telling you, that the day there is an ALL down hill triathlon I am winning that sucker!

The wind seemed to be behind us on the spillway since I was cruising at about 18mph which is very fast for me. We went across another spillway in the resort area and the road was pretty rough.

Then came a little bit of stress for me. I was sweating bullets and there were fairly decent hills all along the backside of the golf course there at the resort. I wanted to stop several times. I continued to remind myself that I had conquered hills much harder than these in Birmingham and more of them. It worked and I chugged along.

Then there was a sweet downhill on the back side of the golf course and I was flying again passing three of four folks.

Then I had a mental laps. As I was flying down this hill I saw bikes going to the left, a HARD left. I freaked out and slammed on the brakes slowing way down. There was also a small laps in the volunteer as well. He was talking to his friend and didn’t see or hear me coming down the hill until I had started slowing down. He yelled “GO straight through!”

Oh CRAP!!!!! I blew my speed thinking I had to turn. My bad, I should have known the course better. I saw the loop and turn on the map but, I just flubbed it.

After several more little hills it was back across the main spillway.

Remember the hill I almost reached 40mph on? Yeah, well, I now had to go up that hill.

I were not to excited. (The bad grammar is for my little sister Natalie)

I tried to push in a strong gear as far up as I could and then slowly shifted into easier gears as needed. I only had about 3 miles left to finish the bike.

Finally I hit the point on the hill where I had to stop and walk it up. I clipped out of my pedals and swung my foot over and began to walk up the hill.


I was a little dizzy at this point. It was hot but more it was so humid. I was actually leaving a sweat trail.

I decided to stop and take a swig of Gatorade.

“Big guy! Big Guy! Talk to me big guy!”

As I opened my eyes I saw a little man in a red T-shirt standing over me slapping me in the face.

I jumped up. I think I freaked him out a second time then. I leaned on the metal railing beside the highway. He was pouring water on me and then I head the sirens. The ambulance pulled up and the two EMT guys came over and started asking me questions to which I think I aced!!!!!!

I don’t know how long I was out but I had a nice cut on my knee and I had dirt all over my left arm. When I looked on the ground where I was passed out you could see my body marked in sweat!

Tonight my left elbow and shoulder are very sore and my knee is a little banged up, but for the most part only my pride was permanently scared.

They put me on the bumper of the ambulance and took my blood pressure and gave me an IV. About 15 minutes later they were ready to haul me back to transition. I didn’t want to go in an ambulance. I was persistent. They made me sign a waiver. I did.

I rode back in the truck of a really cool volunteer fireman with bike in tow. I was so embarrassed.

I was a little pissed when I got to transition and threw a little bit of a tantrum that really no one would have noticed. I continued to sweat like a horse and I was becoming really hot.

As soon as they opened transition for exiting I was out of there and didn’t care if I ever saw De Gray Lake again!

After a few hours of cramping and trying to drink enough fluids I have decided that I will be back next year.

When I did Buster Britton in 2005 it took me around three and a half hours to finish and I walked 90% of the hills. This past year at Buster Britton I finished almost an hour faster and walked only a small part of one hill.

Next year I will conquer the De Gray Lakes Sprint Triathlon!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Antz In My Pantz!

Sports Spectrum’s, River Cities Triathlon has been long touted to me as one of the best races in the south. That is a mighty claim considering I have raced in many a good triathlon here in the South.

Heading into Sunday’s race I was a little apprehensive since I had been training in San Diego for the last week in 76 degree weather. I don’t mean 76 here in Louisiana, I mean little to no humidity California 76. It was awesome. However, it left me wondering how I would acclimate to our Louisiana 97 degree, 80% humidity weather.

Macaroni Grill. Such a good place to enjoy a pre-race carbo loading dinner, unless . . .

Bear, Angel and their twins, two people I have already forgotten their names, sorry. Laurie (s/p), Derrick, Matt and myself all sat for dinner. We are all members of and we were sharing time together before the race. As we were sat we realized there would be little to no communication between us during dinner. We were sat in the kitchen.

I don’t mean “in” the kitchen, but more . . . Hmmm? How do I relay this picture?

Ok, picture our table of 8. Now picture a small thoroughfare walkway loaded with people grabbing plates of food, loading them onto large trays and hollering “RUNNER!”. I almost jumped up a couple times thinking, Hey, I’m a runner!

Then just past the long stainless table loaded with rush hour dinner plates and managers calling for runners, were the chefs in a slightly messy cooking area. This may have been the most exciting meal I have eaten. It was busy!

Our server was super cool and took very good care of us. At some point she asked if we were celebrating anything special. Someone at the table with an unusual sense of humor quickly responded that we were celebrating Bear’s acceptance as a United States Citizen.

Now Bear was born just that, he is from down home Louisiana, but she took it hook line and sinker. She offered to bring a nice cake for him at the end of dinner, we assured her he would appreciate that AND even more, he would be honored if you would have him stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance which he had to do when he received his American Citizenship.

OK, so none of that has much to do with triathlon, except I think it shows there is more to racing and training in the triathlon family you join. We enjoy one another’s company.

At the hotel I am all packed, I have checked my list three times so I know I have everything, I have loaded the truck. I am ready to get a good night sleep.

Not going to happen. You may be able to see a thread in my race reports. I never sleep well the night before a race. I wake up on the hour every hour until I am supposed to get up. I am going to fix that.

Matt and I ride to the race site together. It takes a while to get in the park since there is only one road in and there are 1300 participants and probably another 100 volunteers and 500 cheerleaders!

We unload, set our transition and warm up in the water. Wow, the water was warm. My friend Mike Pate whom I refer to quite often, called me the day before to give me a couple pointers for this particular race. He said the water would be warm, but this, this was hot.

I was well hydrated. I began two days earlier pounding water and Gatorade.

The swim was actually ok. It seemed more in the neighborhood of 900 to 1000m, but who’s counting! I held a nice strong pace throughout the swim and again, I passed several folk.

Coming out of the water this time was a unique experience. I have been sprinting out of the water the past 7 or 8 races. OK, sprinting for me. However, coming out of this warm water, I began to sprint, but my legs almost gave out on me. It was a little scary for a second. I continued to run, but cautiously.

Transition sucked, both of them. I just lollygagged around trying to catch my breath.

As most of you know my goal this season is to average 15mph on the bike. Last season I averaged 12.9mph. I heard through the grape vine (do you think of those California raisins when you hear that phrase?) that this was a really fast bike course. Needless to say I was excited about this, until I actually began the bike.

About 5 miles into the bike I was trucking, average was about 16mph. Then.

Mike Pate warned me. The hills. Poop! I was averaging 7 and 8 mph up a few of these hills. Now, I kicked it up to 32 mph on one down hill, but the hills kicked my hiney! On a couple of hills I had to psyche myself out. I don’t recommend everyone try this tactic, but it worked for me.

As I was halfway up one of the larger hills, I wanted to stop and get off my bike and rest. My legs were jelly, my butt was sore, my feet were hot. I were not happy!! (I used bad grammar there on purpose as opposed to all the times I use bad grammar unknowingly!) So, I motivated myself by yelling, out loud at myself.

It went something like this. “Come on you fata$$! You will not stop! COME ON! COME ON!!!!!!!!!” Repeat as needed.

Luckily most people were passing me so quickly they didn’t have a chance to enjoy the crazy fat guy yelling at himself on the bike course.

When I arrived back into transition I was a little disappointed. My bike average on my Garmin was 14:9 mph. Oh so close!!!!!

Here is an additional thread you may be picking up on. As I put on my running shoes, sweat cap, and glasses I decided I didn’t want to finish the race. It is funny how my feet continued to move forward even when my brain was screaming “Stop”!

I was sick. I was not feeling well, but I was not quitting. After a couple jet propulsion-ed pukes I began to feel better, but my legs were shot. One thing that made the run bearable was the shade. Basically the entire run was shaded, minus maybe ½ mile total out of the 3.1. There was an interesting trail run that actually got me going. That is, until it went up a hill and I was back to being a little hot and not so happy.

The most exciting part of the day happened here, on the trail part of the run.

I run with a sports bottle that I fill at each water station. I shove it into my spandex in the back. I accidentally dropped it on the hill part of the trail. Now, when you are exhausted and doing everything you can to make yourself go forward, the last this you want to do is, turn around walk down hill and pick up your water bottle that slid half way down the hill.

I almost left it.

I turn, wobble down this wet and slightly muddy red clay path. It is a little slippery. I reach for my bottle, almost fall over and miss it!!! Argh! I take a breath, focus, and go for it again, got it! So I don’t knock it out of my own hand again, I immediately shove it down my pants.

About a half mile further I begin to notice that my butt is on fire. It feels as though someone is running behind me and sticking me with safety pins! I look. Nope, no one is sticking me with safety pins. OUCH!!! I reach back pull out my water bottle and it is covered with ants!!!

At this point, I begin to laugh! As I am shoving my hands down the back of my pants and through the front of them, attempting to run out all of the ants. I hit my water bottle on a tree as I run by. Oh, yeah, by the way, I am doing all of this as I am running!

I began to laugh harder thinking about the people who would later that day be talking about the fat guy in the purple spandex who on the bike course was cursing himself out and then a person in that same conversation says, “yeah! I saw him on the run course, he was laughing and violently shoving his hands down his pants!!!”

Then there was the last mile.

There is something about that last mile. Whether it is a 10k, 5k, or 2 miler, that last mile is so awesome. All the pain, the mental stress I put on myself, all of it, gone for that one mile. Timbeaux’s wife approached me with about ½ mile to go and introduced herself. I tried my best to hear her say her name but all I heard was “Go Chris! Hi I amTibroo mite yoo aee os okf !!!!!!!!” I was a wreck. She was awesome to go with me towards the finish.

I found out later that their son and daughter did the kids triathlon the day before and did very well in it. By the way, Timbeaux, your wife is beautiful!

My new friend Mitzi from Alexandria was also there with . . . I’m gonna be wrong here, Lori???? Mitzi had a cup of something cold and I reached for it, she warned me it was beer. HA! I said she warned me . . . She announced to me that it was beer and I think, I am not sure, but I think I was prepared to tackle her for it if she didn’t give it to me! She did and it was so cold.

As I made the turn into the finish line I heard the announcer say my name over the loudspeaker. Such a great feeling. Then I saw another person with a cup, he was standing about 50 yards from the finish. I was so hot, I reached for his cup. He mumbles something like, “It’s not water . . . It’s a deer.” I grab it and it is another ice cold beer.

Yeah, I was almost drunk before I crossed the finish! Just kidding.

I was so happy to finish this race. It was an awesome race course, but one you were happy to be done with.

Is it the best race in the South?

So far I have to say yes for a combination of reasons.

1. The SWAG! The race packets are too awesome! We received a race bag, not some knock off cheap tri bag, but a really nice race bag. 2 shirts both awesome, a hat, and sunglasses, again, not some cheap glasses, nice ones. I wore mine during the run.

2. The volunteers. There were many and there were water stations all over the run course. Awesome.

3. The race course was pretty nice. I loved the run course and the shade. The water is a little warm. Maybe they could airlift an iceberg in the night before and drop it there? Maybe I’ll write the race director?

4. The after race event and medal was very nice.

Heatwave in Jackson Mississippi is still my favorite race course, but I have to say RC is now my favorite overall race venue.

I had a blast and can’t wait to do it again!

Thanks to all of my friends and club members, you guys rock!