Sunday, June 14, 2015

On The Road Again.

June 14, 2015

Starting Over

Hello all.

It has been some time since my last post, I know.  So what have I been up to? Basically, I developed a drinking problem and then had to quit. I wasn't trying to emulate Rich Roll, it just kind of happened.

After Ironman Arizona, I suddenly had a lot of time to do some soul searching. I decided to rest completely to allow the plantar fasciitis in both of my feet to heal. It got pretty bad, the pain. To the point that I was walking like a little old man, every step like stepping on a nail. Suddenly not working out left my crazy OCD brain seeking some other kind of stimulus/distraction. Distraction from the infinite tape loop of mistakes and childhood horrors that endlessly repeat. Something I was able to "quiet" during training for the most part.

So I sat around, and I drank, and waited to heal.  .  .  and waited.  .  .  and drank some more. I kept the bottles to remind me of how far into it I went.

I thought about the race and got pissed off. I felt like after two years of training, my body had betrayed me.  I thought about my coach and how I had been training in the wrong heart rate zones for a year and a half.  Ultimately, I blamed myself for not pulling it all together in the end and trusting my instincts. At the same time, I was at a particularly low point in my career, spending far too much time unemployed and frankly, had lost faith in my ability to do the work I was used to and my ability to provide.  

So that is where I was, in that very dark place. I knew that with each passing day I was sinking more into the numbness of just not caring.  My first thought in the morning was drinking and within a very short period of time I was drinking 750 ml a day. That would be the large bottle. I knew what it was doing to me, I just didn't care. I needed the "break" from my own thoughts and the stress of being unemployed. In the middle of all this, I couldn't care less about triathlon. I stopped reading the magazines and unsubscribed from the many training and race announcement emails. I barely had any presence on Instagram and when I did post it was mostly about food. To be totally forward, I was pretty bummed that only two people checked on me. I gained all the weight I had lost back.

And then, I started to change my thinking. I started to think about my life long addiction to sugar. I began to think of the booze as just another form of sugar, which it is, and then I found out that sugar lowers the bodies cortisol levels. Or in other words, lowers your stress. For some reason, knowing this, armed me in a way. The understanding of the mechanism that drove me to drink, along with the avoidance, was very powerful. I had a moment of clarity as I was walking up the hill in the park to play with Orion. I realized that I had lost all that I had gained physically as I struggled to catch my breath. That I was being a complete hypocrite about eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle and that if I was going to turn things around, I had better get started. I also realized that I could not ever drink again. So I quit, and it was tough. Much tougher than I let on to Mariko. I had some serious withdrawal. I dealt with it with chocolate and a lot of grit teeth. No kidding. I realized my body would be craving the missing sugar from the booze so, whenever the craving hit me, I ate a candy bar or something else very sweet. I let my body get used to the change, then slowly tapered off the chocolate until finally I was eating 100% clean again. Nothing processed, all organic and plant based. It took weeks but I didn't rush it. I let my body and brain tell me when it was time to move forward. Not the voice of the addiction.

Then two things happened about the same time. Mariko asked me to workout with her and I just got completely sick of sitting around waiting to heal. I missed working out. I didn't miss the schedule, but I definitely missed the feeling afterwards.  My feet were still painful but much less. During the previous months I had done a lot of thinking about my training and realized that I made a couple of serious mistakes in not doing any strength training and specifically, working on the rear muscles of my legs. I think that my plantar fasciitis, among a few other things, was primarily caused from an imbalance in my leg muscles. I think I had developed the front of my legs far more than the rear, a mistake I won't make again.

It started again with a swim. The Boss, (Mariko for the new people) asked me to show her how to swim better. One workout was all it took. I don't think we even did more than 500 yards in the pool but afterwards I felt great. And I felt great all night after. Next was a run in Griffith Park. I went 1.5 miles on a pretty flat horse trail. My heart rate was redlining the entire 39 minutes. There was a bathroom break and at the top of a small 38 ft hill, I felt like I was going to pass out. But I kept going.

So I'm rebuilding. And it is going to take awhile. My feet still hurt but I don't care. My cardio is gone. To date I have run and swam several times, this evening, I even did a pretty tough yoga session. Far tougher than I was ready for and ended up in "child's pose" for a fair bit, sweat literally pouring off of me. Yoga is another thing I should have been doing the whole time. I'm not following any structured plan or working with a coach yet, (can't afford one anyways!) I'm just slowly building back up, listening to my body carefully and not pushing too hard. Eventually, I'd like to train and race a 70.3 half Ironman this year. But I'm not putting too much pressure on myself. I'm enjoying the randomness of working out with the wife and the adventures that entails. Orion, whom is now two, is enjoying us going to new places for her to smell and pee and poop at. I would like to race Lake Tahoe or Cozumel in 2016 but we will see what happens.

Somewhere, along the way, I lost myself the first time. I won't let it happen again. I'm back to my plain, unfiltered brain with the usual "loops" playing. Their not as bad for some reason. I can't even remember when I actually quit drinking. Seems like a few months now.
I'm not going to do a daily blog, it was too much the first time around. I'll keep you updated as I make some progress or feel like writing something worth sharing.

Until next time.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Day 653 - Road2DNF aka: Ironman Arizona 2014

November 22, 2014

Hello all.

Here is the race report for Ironman Arizona 2014. To give an accurate report I need to discuss the events leading up to the race as they are equally relevant and ultimately the deciding factor in my performance on November 16, 2014. If at any time it seems as though I am making excuses, remember this fact, it is ALL my responsibility. No one and nothing else's. This is only a record of what happened.

In the last three months of the prep for the race, I was pretty busy with work. As many of my readers know, my work involves a lot of hours and often 24 and 48 hour days are common. The period was the busiest I have been in years. Stress was very high, sleep was irregular and or non existent. As a result, I missed a lot of workouts. (Remember what I wrote in the first paragraph about responsibility?)  I missed weeks of workouts during the most crucial time. I was already injured and not running which was affecting my cardio but in my head, I kept hoping that I had built enough of a base that it could carry me through. Could I have pushed myself more to workout? Yes. Despite everything, no matter how tired or injured or stressed I was, I could have done more. It is as simple as that. Everyone says, consistency is key for Ironman training and I had lost my consistency months before.
The week before the race was busy and as usual without a lot of sleep as there were several things going on. On Tuesday, November 11, we took Orion to the dog park. She hadn't been since she was much younger and we wanted to see how she interacted with dogs she didn't know. She did great! Greeting and interacting with all the other dogs. She truly has the best personality I have ever seen in a dog. At one point, we approached a water fountain that was surrounded by a large pack of dogs. I looked down at Orion to see if she was stressed, then looked up just in time to see a large pit bull puppy leaping at me! 

There was no time to react and the pits claws/paws hit me right in my un-tensed gut. It doubled me over. The pit wasn't attacking me, it was being friendly, but damn it hurt! It actually tried to jump on me two other times, even nailing me in the frank and beans once. We left soon after but my left side was bothering me. The pits claws had penetrated pretty deep into my abdomen to tear the rectus muscle. It would remain a painful annoyance well into the race and still bugs me even as I write this more than a week later. We left on Thursday and had a nice drive to Arizona. The trailer hitch I installed late Wednesday night worked great with the new foldable bike rack.

The puppy was surprising well behaved. The hotel, the Candlewood Suites in Tempe was both clean and very affordable with a built in kitchenette so we were able to cook. It was also nice and quiet. I found it through my USA Triathlon Membership Benefits. $79 a night! I woke up Friday morning feeling like I had finally gotten some real sleep. After a breakfast of oatmeal with blueberries, we hoped in the car and went to packet pick up. The weather was beautiful and the forecast for race day was great. Mild temperatures in the mid to low 70's with very little winds from the desert. Several people had mentioned to me about how bad the water quality was in the lake. Here is a tip people: Don't do that! It doesn't help the person racing in any way and there is nothing that they can do about it! Seriously.  .  .
Packet pick up was a blur with me struggling to remember all the instructions I was given. After filling out the waivers, I was directed to the different tables to receive the swag, (an Ironman branded bike multi-tool, a small LED flashlight and an Ironman Arizona backpack.)

,We headed back to the hotel where I sat trying to figure out the gear bags. In non Ironman triathlons, you set up your transition gear next to your bike. In the Ironman half and full's, you only rack your bike in transition. All other stuff is put into the gear bags they give you. I sat there scratching my big eggplant trying to figure it out. Finally I called a friend, who patiently walked me through each one. (Thank you Rhonda!) There were five bags with two being assigned for "Special Needs" and a "Morning Clothes" bag. The two remaining were the actual bike bag and the run bag.

Once I got the bags situated, it was late so I went to sleep.

The next day, Saturday November 15, 2014 I woke at about 9:30am thinking I would take my bike and gear bags to check in before meeting with my coach Chris Hauth at 11:00 am. He was in town to support several of his clients for the race. I realized, I wouldn't have time to do the bike before the meeting and instead headed to the Mission Suites hotel. My feet were particularly sore that morning and I was limping slightly. Chris arrived about the same time along with about six other clients. He detailed the course along with suggestions for attacking it. He also mentioned what and when we should eat. Afterwards, I asked him if he had any suggestions for me. He said, "Steady, stay steady the whole time." For the bike, he told me to go easy. He said if at any time I felt like I was going too easy on the course, then that was the right effort. I was worried about making the cutoff time but he said not to worry I would be fine.

I picked up the bike, run and bike gear bags and went back to the expo. I remembered reading that I should avoid walking around a lot the day before the race so after dropping it all off, we went back to the hotel to prepare an early dinner per Chris recommendation. The Boss made spaghetti with mild marinara and a salad that we ate around 4:30 pm.  Next I put on some temporary tattoos of my race number on each arm and my age on the back of my left calf. Then I made up four bottles of Skratch Labs and put them in the fridge. I was in bed by 7:00 pm.

The Race

The alarm went off at 4:30 pm. I was actually awake. I felt like I slept okay even though I woke up about five times to pee. I had a bowl of oatmeal with cinnamon and some frozen blueberries. I drank a light mix a Skratch Labs and water.
We grabbed the two special needs bags and the morning clothes bag which had my wetsuit,  goggles, ear plugs and swim cap in it and left. When we arrived at the expo area, I saw one of the vendors was already open and asked if he had neoprene booties as I heard the water was pretty cold and didn't want cold feet during the bike. He did and I bought a pair. I went to my bike to check the tire pressure and realized I had left all four of my water bottles at the hotel. Damn!!! I had some extra Skratch Labs packets in my bike special needs bag, so we went back to the vendor and bought two water bottles. I knew there was some Gatorade Endurance electrolyte drink on the course so I wasn't too worried about it. Not ideal compared to the Skratch Labs, but better than nothing. Also, I still had electrolyte pills and my normal Pure bars for fuel. I ended up with my hydration timing being off though as the Gatorade Endurance quantities were different than what I normally took in.
I rushed over to The Boss to hand her the tire pump and get a good luck kiss. I rushed off to get my wetsuit on and eat a Pure bar as it was 6:40am. I put my clothes in the Morning Clothes bag and turned it in. Then I went to turn in the Special Needs bags. Ends up, I had to rush out of transition to get to the truck that was taking the Special Needs bags. Fortunately, a volunteer saw me heading towards them and ran over to help. I went back to the swim start and realized I forgot my ear plugs. Damn! I went back to the Morning Clothes bag area and waited while they located the bag. Got em! Ran back to the swim start and realized I still had my flip flops on! Double Damn!!! Back to the Morning Clothes bag area. By the time I got back in the swim start queue, people were already getting into the water. Unlike the previous year, the athletes had to enter the Tempe Town Lake from the exit bleachers. I made my way to the bottom of the bleachers and jumped in. As soon as I did, my diaphragm hitched up like I had gotten into severely cold water. Thing is, the water was cold but not that cold. 68° is all. As a matter of fact, too warm to wear the booties I bought. I was a good distance from the start so I tried to relax and stretch out. Every time I put my face in the water though, I could not comfortably exhale. Coach had said to hold back when the swim started to let the chaos pass. I had just began making my way towards the start when the cannon went off.

I was at least 800 yards away! I started to Tarzan swim to move forward and try to get my breathing under control but it was tiring me out enough that I couldn't settle in and relax. I kept stopping to tread water to catch my breath in between alternating doing the back stroke and Tarzan crawl. I kept thinking, if I didn't get my breathing under control, I was screwed and would have a very short day. All the people flashed through my mind who I knew where expecting me to have a strong swim. Everyone except the slowest were disappearing in the distance. Finally, a kayak came near and I grabbed the nose.

I waited there for a full minute to catch my breath and get my breathing under control. That's what it took! All the sudden, I was fine and took off, by then I had wasted twenty minutes with my slow crawl. I was able to relax into it and sped along passing everyone I came upon. There were lots of swimmers around me so I thought I was doing okay on time. (I hadn't really looked at the watch though.) As I swam, I noticed the water was really nice. Everyone had said it was so dirty and nasty. Maybe it looked that way but it sure didn't smell or taste nasty. I passed under the far bridge and noticed there were bird nests under it. I wondered if they were Finches. I felt so good, I began changing up my breathing pattern. Instead of doing 3 to 1 breathing, I started to do 4 to 1 and even 5 to 1 like the drills coach had me doing. I knew I wasn't at the rear so I wasn't worried. There was one lady who was pacing me, each time I stuck my head up to site and look around I would see her. I would say something encouraging to her as she looked concerned. I passed the last bridge and turned towards the exit bleachers. She paused to look. "We're almost there!", I said. "Can you believe it?" she replied. "Let's finish this!", I responded. I got to the bleachers where the volunteers told me to put my butt up on the first rung. Nope! Back into the water I fell. Arms refused to work. Okay dammit, PUSH! Up I went. The volunteers were great, helping me up and saying encouraging things. They guided me to the wetsuit strippers who, through experience knew to hold onto us as we were guided on what to do. "Down on your butt!" "Open your mouth, bite down!" (To hold my watch while they pulled off the suit.) Off went the suit with me only a little worried they were going to tear it, and up they helped me. Someone put a foil blanket around me as I jogged into the changing tent. I was thinking as I jogged along that I felt good. I shouted out my number to the volunteers and they started looking for my bike bag. As soon as I got into the tent another volunteer started asking if I was okay. Apparently, I looked cold. They handed me my bike bag and I quickly dried off, lubed up the undercarriage and put on my clothes. I say quickly but later my transition was almost twenty-one minutes! Didn't feel like that. I ran out of the tent and into transition.

Only unlike the above photo, there was about four bikes. Uh oh! I grabbed the bike and headed out. The Boss was at the exit filming.

 Apparently, it's a fashion faux pas to wear compression sleeves while biking. I don't care. My legs feel better during the long rides.

Heading out on Rio Saldano Parkway the weather felt good. I waited until well past the Mount area then ate and drank. As I do in training, I ate half a Pure bar every half hour. (190 calories per bar.) I drank Skratch Labs mix each fifteen minutes. (160 calories an hour.) Until I ran out that is. At the first aid station, I grabbed a Gatorade Endurance and a water. After the first two hours, I was out of the Skratch Labs so I switched to the Gatorade Endurance, drinking a quarter bottle each fifteen minutes or so. (80 calories an hour.) I was worried my stomach would get upset not being used to the Gatorade but I didn't have any issues. Desert air is dryer than people realize and I was monitoring my hydration level carefully drinking water every now and then as well. I did notice that the lines from my wetsuit on my arm didn't go away for several hours though. I sent the days leading up to the race hydrating so I was surprised.

As we turned north onto South McClintock Drive, I noticed the wind for the first time. Supposedly, it was not going to be too windy so I didn't think to much about it. Coach had told me to go easy and focus on feel not heart rate. Every time I found myself pushing a bit, I slowed down. But my gut was telling me that I was too slow. Not wanting to second guess coach, I kept going with an easy effort. When I turned onto Beeline Highway, I felt the full extent of the headwind. I have heard since it was up to 25mph. I met a twelve time Ironman finisher after the race who said, in the seven times he had raced Ironman Arizona, this was the worst winds he had experienced on the course. Great! All I know is it made for more work. But as I was trying to go easy into this crazy wind, I was slow. People were passing me regularly and I kept thinking, this can't be right. The turn around point is at the top of a very long gradual hill. Once I turned, I had the wind at my back and was absolutely flying back to town. I thought the speed would help me make up lost time. After the first loop, I checked my watch and saw I took three hours to get back to the first aid station. Holy crap! I realized I was in trouble. There was no way Chris could have known what would happen out there so I couldn't imagine he would want me to keep going at the same pace. So I sped up during the second loop. My knees and feet were beginning to ache. I noticed that I don't pedal consistently. I pedal for awhile, then pause and coast for awhile. I wondered if I always do this as I'm not sure. The coasting let me catch my breath though. The effort during the second loop, burnt me out for the third.
I felt like I completed the second loop faster but on the way out, I was alone for much of it. People passing on the return side started calling out to me saying encouraging things. Uh oh! I knew I was in big trouble. As I went up the big incline, my legs were just not there and I was thinking that if I somehow made the cutoff, I would have to dig pretty deep to finish the run. I was seeing people on the side of the road being attended to by race staff. I asked one lady who had stopped and was just staring into the distance if she was okay. She said "Yeah, I'm just really dizzy." She had a half filled water bottle on her bike. A volunteer was running towards her from an intersection. I handed the volunteer a single serving packet of Skratch Labs as I passed. As I approached the turn around, I noticed that there were only a couple people and some vans. As I approached I got a sinking feeling. The race staff member held up his hand and said, "I'm sorry. You didn't make the cutoff." I turned to see several others riding up and the looks on there faces. To my right, a lady was crying and being consoled by another. I asked the volunteer how much I missed it by, he told me, "You missed it by a minute." "One minute?!" I asked. He nodded. Another volunteer was already at my ankle removing the timing chip. A third approached and said I could give him the bike, they would take it back to transition.  I got into the van waiting near by. The mood was somber to say the least. Someone in the back was sobbing. The lady sitting next to my said, "Okay, who's got the tequila?!"
They dropped us off ironically, right next to the finish line. We were still in our bike shoes and kits so it drew some attention. I could hear people whispering things like, "Look, they still have their cycling clothes on." and other related things.  Sigh.


4682 yards
1:55:32 Time
1,391 Calories Burned


95.8 miles
7:15:31 Time
3,091 Calories Burned

I found The Boss outside transition. I was having a little trouble walking by then and was limping considerably. It's rough to be a spectator. They have to concentrate on each person coming in and not look away. If they don't hear anything, they worry. It's rough. I told her what happened. I'll never forget dreading the look of disappointment I imagined she would have when she finally saw me. I was wrong though, she was only concerned. I had a pretty good attitude. I knew what happened and who's fault it was. Mine.
It's simple, I missed too many workouts in the last three months. I had too many days without sleep and too much stress. It wasn't the winds, it wasn't the advice, it wasn't the nutrition, the pit bull or anything other than the fact that I didn't put enough into it ultimately. Not running hurt my training significantly, but it was only one element.

From the time I woke up Monday morning and during the entire ride back to Burbank from Arizona, The Boss and I discussed what happened. About an hour into the five and a half hour drive, we had determined that I would race Ironman Lake Tahoe in 2016. I would take time to heal the plantar fasciitus and get into exceptional shape for all the climbing. Lake Tahoe is the toughest in the world according to the Ironman race program. What a great way to finish my first. We also discussed doing Ironman Cozumel as a back up. I could think of worse things then going to a beautiful tropical island in Mexico to race Ironman!

The worst thing about it, is that all the nay sayers get to gloat and say, "See! We knew you couldn't do it!" To that I say.  .  .  this time.

This is a set back. That is all. When I started this journey, I knew I wouldn't change a lifetime of not following through programming overnight. In the big scheme of things, I've come pretty far. I just haven't gotten there yet. It's kind of like my wife's theory why I haven't lost the rest of the weight. She believes that I have a psychological block that I won't lose any more because I will lose "myself." Or a subconscious part of who I am. Maybe it's a fear that after everything I went through as a child, the last "safety blanket" I have wrapped around me will be lost. The last piece of who I am only to be replaced by the unknown. And maybe that unknown factor scares me. When you carry some of the scar tissue like I do, you kind of feel like somewhere inside, you are keeping the monsters and nightmares at bay. The idea of losing yourself means losing those protective walls that hold whatever horrors just out of reach of your conscious. Facing them with no protective filter of any kind seems too much to ask.
Whenever I talk to people about addiction, I say "Quitting smoking or drinking or Vicoden, etc is easy. Learning to face life without it is the hard part." It is as simple as that. Maybe it's time I strip away my last safety net and embrace the person I can be and not the person I fear I would become.

Here are my totals for each of the activities from February 7, 2013 until November 16, 2014.


136.68 miles

107:39:54 time (h:m:s)

73,250 calories


3,364.23 miles

254:33:26 time (h:m:s)

135,414 calories


551.02 miles
134:55:14 time (h:m:s)

101,508 calories

Total miles: 4051.93
Total time:  20.7 days or 497 hours, 8 minutes and 34 seconds.
Total calories burned: 310, 172

All in all, it was a good experience. I learned a lot and won't make the same mistakes again. So this isn't the end of my journey, this is only the beginning. Thanks for reading.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Day 645 - Ironman Arizona, the Night Before!


Well, it's the night before the big race. I feel good. I'm still injured and will just have to deal with it later. 

I met with my coach Chris Hauth and was told to basically relax and maintain a steady effort. 

I'm a little anxious but not too bad. As a matter of fact, I'm feeling pretty relaxed. 

I think I will go to sleep so I'm ready for the 4:30 am alarm. Until tomorrow my friends.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Day 637 - Big Update As The Day Draws Nigh!

October 21, 2014                               237lbs                    9 days until the race.

Hello everyone!

I don't know if anybody is still reading this as I have really been bad about posting lately. I think this is the longest I went without a post since I started the blog. So what happened?

Well I was pretty down about the plantar fasciitis but was able to get past the depression and motivation killing apathy that set in. Right about that time, I got sucked into this terrible situation where I was working seven days a week with several 24 and 48 hour days in there, but I was so broke I had a negative balance in my bank account. I was struggling with my work as I even had a friend give me the worst insult you can say to an artist. (That my work wasn't clean.) Well, the excess work combined with being awake for days on end and worrying about money took its toll. During this time I missed more workouts than I can count. Weeks. Every time someone would tell me "You have put in the work." for the race, I would feel like a complete fraud. Still do. My feet are still no better and ache constantly. It was not a very hopeful situation and I didn't want to continuously whine about my problems so I stayed away from the blog. I didn't have time to post anyhow.

Despite all the negative stuff, I kept feeling like things would improve somehow. I will say it was a pretty low point. Then out of nowhere, things got better.  All the sudden some money came in and we could breathe again. Then the impossible happened and I was able to get my aero wheels! And then after that, I got my RŌKA Maverick Pro wetsuit! (Thanks again RŌKA! See you at Ironman Village!) Just today, I got my aero helmet from Triathlon Lab. How all this happened I believe is a direct testament to the laws of attraction.  .  .  And I took out a loan!

My weight stabilized and during the worse stress, my OCD kicked into high gear and I had a pizza obsession for several days. Followed by a Coca Cola binge! One of the worse things you can drink, (Diet Coke is the worst!) and frankly, one of the hardest things for me to let go of. I have quit smoking, drinking, Vicodin and fast food but giving up Coke is the single most difficult challenge so far. I can go months without it but then, BAM!, I must have it!
Yet even with all this, I did not gain all the weight back. I'm hovering around 235 lbs. on average.
Now onto some positive things that happened in the last few weeks. I rode my first 112 miles a few Saturdays ago. It was incredible. Coach's workout description was 100 miles of steady effort and fun. For some reason, it rang true with me and I went into the ride from the standpoint of really enjoying myself.  And that is exactly what I did! I stayed in Z2 the majority of the ride and completed the 112 miles in 8:05:40. This gave me hope! In my head, since I will be racing in z3, I should be farther ahead on time. There was a chance. Even with the wacky feet. Hope is a beautiful and powerful thing. It can power the world.

I also completed a three hour trail run that had The Puppy and I running/hiking along the very top of the highest peaks in Griffith Park.  .  .  Twice! From Los Felis to the Griffith Observatory. Three hours of running and hiking on only a Camebak of water and a single Pure bar. (We never intended to go so far and then figured we could refuel at the Griffith Observatory's snack bar only to arrive and find it closed. Doh!)

Onto what I'm doing to be a better person. Empathy is what I am currently working on most as part of my personal growth. I find increasing my empathy for others really helps me to not judge so much or get angry for stupid reasons. (Road rage?) I'm also working on not thinking of woman as objects. You can read into that however you like.

So am I ready? Nope. But I will do my best leaving everything out there. It is easy to think of all the missed workouts and poor diet choices and think, "if I only would have" but it is now too late for looking back. I was pretty stressed about the whole thing. Mostly about letting down the few supporters that have stuck with this roller coaster ride. Then the wife put things in perspective for me. She said, "So what if you don't finish. What will happen? You need to go out there and have fun with it. Embrace the experience and thrive. That will bring your greatest happiness." Something clicked in my head and I immediately relaxed. So as I write this, I have good and less than good days. But I am actively trying to remind myself to have fun.

Lastly, I am opening up the GoFundMe campaign again to try to off set some of the expenses. If you like what I do and want to help, please donate. Thank you!!!

Until next time my friends.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Day 602- The Agony of De Feet.

October 2, 2014                 235 lbs

Hi all.

It has been a couple weeks since my last post. Where to start? .  .  . Well my feet are worse. Even with the orthotics and wearing the night boots on both feet. A lot of stress behind not being able to run. I had hoped the trail running would help but where it irritated the plantar fasciitis less, I was still limping after the long runs at Griffith Park. Then it started to hurt while I biked.

 In speaking to Coach, we decided that I only have one choice and that is to minimize my running as much as possible.

I have six weeks left and don't know what else to do. I'm hiking when I can. As it stands, I am clocking in at close to the bike cutoff time and who knows how fast I can limp the marathon. Dammit, I didn't train for more than a year and a half, just to have injury derail it all. I'm still doing the race. What will happen will happen.

As a result of the plantar fasciitis getting worse and having to sleep with the night boot splints on, I haven't had a good nights sleep in weeks. This helped a really nasty bout of depression set in which triggered a bunch of OCD behavior and ultimately, a few pizza binges.

Stress from work, stress from stalled weight loss. It has been a low point for certain. Here is a nice quote to remember from Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

"The lowest ebb is the turn of the tide."

So I'm biking and swimming when I can. Not the most positive post I know. Still need to secure lodging when money is better and figure out what to do with the puppy. To bring or not to bring. Until next time my friends.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Day 583 - Biking On Water, Trails, Blisters and Strava Grand Fondo.

September 13, 2014              231.4 lbs

Were to begin. I started trail running per coaches suggestion and love it. I wish I began a month earlier. Doesn't hurt my feet as much. The plantar fasciitis is getting better.  .  .  slowly.

 I managed to get the Gran Fondo achievement on Strava because I rode 130 km or 80 miles in one ride.

 I have been really strict with the workouts, especially watching my heart rate.

 On my long ride last Saturday, I rode to Seal Beach, (during the 80 miler) and on the way back, the trail had flooded because of the tide coming in! I ended up being on the San Gabriel River Trail much longer after dark than normal. There was a beautiful moon and it was really peaceful out there. Quiet with perfect weather.

I have been trail running or walk/hiking as much as I can for all my run workouts. It is going great.

 Except on my second outing, I got a massive blister on the back of each heel!

 I did some more hill repeats that unfortunately had me limping the next day as I did them on the sidewalk instead of the trails due to time limitations.

 I got in a few swim workouts as well. Starting to feel comfortable in the pool again. Still feel the difference between open water and the pool.

 During one ride I passed this radar sign with no one behind me. Just as I snapped the picture, the speed changed to this!

 A friend of mine apparently has family who make night splints for plantar fashiitis and other orthotics. He sent me two night boots, some orthotic insoles and another soft splint. I had no idea stabilizing my foot could help so much with the pain. I also had no idea my foot was moving so much in the night. Enough to irritate the P.F..

  I was having some issues with my eating. Feeling stressed, I was always hungry and making sure to keep my stomach full always. Still eating really clean, but I started to gain weight again. Got up to 237 lbs!

So I embraced the idea that I need to just be a little hungry all the time. Something I have issues with for various reasons stemming from my childhood. Within two days, I lost five pounds. It is not easy but it is doable. I should be clear in that I am not starving myself. Just getting used to working with less. I have a couple months now until race day, I have to lose more.

 Definitely, something new to get used to. Trying to teach my body to use fat as the primary fuel source.

That's it for now, I'm exhausted and heading to sleep. Until tomorrow my friends.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Day 573 - A Step In A New Direction!

September 3, 2014            234.6 lbs

Hi all.

The doctor in San Diego got back to me and offered to do a phone consultation basically for $120. I think I will do it as soon as I get paid. My coach also responded to a message I sent telling him of recent events. I told him about the treatments I have been doing so far.

"We both know the answer is no running.  But we also know that it will compromise a lot.  Some tips:  stay off pavement.  Trails for long runs?  Treadmill during week?  Support in shoes is proper?  Meaning that it allows your arch to be supported?"

Already on the orthotics, plus a friend, after reading the last post, revealed that his family sells orthotic devices including night splints and offered to send some. Yaaayyyyyy!!! Thanks Jay!

I love the idea of doing trail running. I never considered it as my weight to power ratio is still very low. I figured I would redzone too fast so why bother. Well coach pointed out that:

"You hike up the hills and run on the flats." He also pointed out that my heart wont know the difference.

Today, I had a brick with a whopper of a swim followed by an active recovery bike. Here is the swim:

400 warm up
16x25 - 4xwith 10 sec rest -8x with 5 sec rest - 4x10 sec rest
8x100 steady with 10 sec. rest
6x400 broken: this means after a 200, rest for exactly 10 seconds, then swim the second 200.  Rest 45 sec. between each 400

My breathing was a little clunky and I didn't really find the rhythm until the last 800 yards.  I also noticed the strong distinction between pool swimming and open water swimming.

Here is the ride:

Active recovery bike, 45 minutes.

After the workout, I ate at Sun Cafe and had some excellent raw key lime pie!!! Tasty and healthy.


A lot happening tomorrow. Until tomorrow my friends.