Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Problem Fixed

The biggest problem with Ironman Training is time away from family. When I'm on my long bike rides and dwelling in the monotony of swimming, all I'm thinking about is what I'm not doing - which is being with my daughter and my wife.

The other major problem I have is finding time to swim. It's not that I hate swimming, it's just so freaking inconvenient to everything!

Yesterday, my awesome wife fixed both problems. We got a membership to a local pool where my girls can hang out and I can watch them in-between strokes. We tested it out last night after my ride and it was awesome - everyone had a great time. The ride also went well. Although not many people were there I think I finally figured out that I just need to eat more.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Random Readings and Views

Don't be braggin' about being in the big ring!

“What’s the good of making a living if you can’t live?” - say's the person who commutes by horse!

“An Act Relative to Bicycles”

Chattanoogan's are starting to pedal to work!

Good Training Weekend

The past weekend could be viewed as a failure by some, or as a great accomplishment. I'm taking the later view. On Friday, we met up with some friends for some carbo-loading and I missed the trail running seminar (where I later found out my buddy won a free pair of trail running shoes - good for him!). I then checked in with a local triathlon buddy Chad that is also competing in Ironman Louisville and he is racking up some major miles on me, with 3 50+mile rides a week, and average6-7,000 meters in the pool! Interestingly enough - he wasn't really running any???

I was going to wake up around 5:00 and tackle Lookout Mountain, then Raccoon Mountain, and then knock-out a half-marathon. However, the alarm didn't go off and I soon found myself struggling to make it in-time to the half-marathon. I knew I was in-trouble, when no one was passing me up the mountain. Either 1) I'm late (high probability), or 2) I'm climbing the wrong mountain (low probability).

Raccoon Mountain turned into one heck of a climb and I ended up being 20 minutes late to the start. The hardest part of the climb (aside from there being no switchbacks) was the fact that I was carrying 7 lbs of food, running shoes, and my lock) much to the chagrin of my back. I locked up my bike when I got there, pinned my number on, threw down some fig newtons and off I was. Interestingly enough, there was another unlucky chap who was just starting. I passed him about a mile into the run, after a couple of miles in I started thinking about what my friend Chad (sub-12 hour Ironman - first time) had told me about not running too much and building your cycling legs.

So I ran back a couple of miles, hoped on my bike, and off I was to tackle the mountains on my bike. The run actually felt great. The trail was very nice, not too technical, and had some good scenery. It was good training. The second leg of the bike was another story. My legs were screaming like a little girl watching a scary movie, my knees were aching, my back felt like it was going to break in half any second. My small little 7 lb pack, felt like a solid 20 lbs at this point. I repeatedly called my wife, to tell her I wasn't going to complete the 1/2 marathon, but I was secretly hoping she was on her way. Fortunately for my training, she was still at the house. So I powered on and the finish was great. According to, I had about 3,000 ft of climbing and about 50+miles. On Monday, I did some great cross-training (read: wake boarding) with my friend Bill, who is one of the best guy's I know.

On a separate note, the times for 3 State, 3 Mountain were finally posted. I'm really happy I did this race, considering most people didn't even start or quit due to the conditions. I'm being serious as there were only about 1,300 finishers out of 2,500 who registered - and that is counting the people who cut the century short and rode the bus back, or just did the metric!!!

I love this disclosure: "Note: These results are not exact. They are the best we could figure out. This is not a race so exact accuracy is not a high priority."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Mountain Biker attacked by a Mountain Lion

After the last boring post, I have an inspirational post.

This lady get's attacked by a mountain lion - she prays and the she fights back.

You have to watch the audio/slideshow - but fair warning - it is not for the faint of heart.

Workout Update

After the century my knees have been suffering from some tendinitis so I took off on a road trip for the weekend to see family and friends, without worry about damaging my workout schedule. Yesterday, it paid off as I had a great run in, a great swim, and a great bike ride. Today I'll hopefully get in a long bike ride.

Boring post, but an update nevertheless. It's also time to break out into some serious distance, as I have less than 100 days until the IRONMAN!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Mother's Day Weekend

Well this was my wife's first Mother's Day so I definitely wanted to make it a hit. I know any bloke could think of a nice dinner out, flowers and chocolate, but Ada (my daughter) and I wanted to do something different...something from the heart.

Ada proposed that if it was a hit, she would get the credit, and if it was a failure I would take the responsibility. I was too impressed with her keen insight of the risk/reward relationship to argue. And for those of you know wondering if my daughter already has me twisted around her finger - the answer is yes.

But this really was all Ada's idea. She told me that all mom does during the day is hold up a black thing to her face and it makes a funny clicking sound and sometimes it flashes (read: camera). So I picked out some camera accessories, revealed it to my wife on Friday, and told her to get ready to use it the next day.
We then met up with some friends and did some light hiking around Foster Falls and watched some rock climbers. It was a great experience. My daughter found nature so relaxing that she actually went to sleep, while hiking, a skill I know she got from me!
This week, I'm going to take it fairly slow as my knees are still recovering a bit. Yesterday I ran and today I think I'm going to do some swimming and maybe some cycling.
I hope everyone is enjoying this great weather!

Monday, May 12, 2008

3 State 3 Mountain Redux

Last weekend I participated in my first century - 3 state 3 mountain. As the name implies, it covers 3 states (Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama) and 3 mountains (Suck Creek, Lookout Mountain, and Sand Mountain) and as such riders have close to 10,000 ft of elevation change.

Last year, I uncharacteristically didn't start due to the inclement weather. I had planned to stick it out but was scarred off by my bike-t0-work friends. This year, the weather was actually worse, but I told my wife I was going to at least start. The race was delayed due to thunderstorms and lightening.

The start was very weird, no gun, no horn, no anything. I'm a perennial optimist, but I have to be honest, the first 25 miles were miserable. Several ambulances passed me, and I was fortunate to be riding on my bike and not in their. I would later hear of some horrific stories from hypothermia to a seat-post being surgically removed from a guy's leg. I could barely see in the rain, we were all going at a snail pace, and none of my riding buddies were doing it, so I was riding by myself. My wife wanted constant updates, so I called her after the first mountain and just admitted that I was miserable and was seriously thinking about just turning back and hanging out with her and my newborn. She encouraged me to find a group and persevere.After figuring out that by the time I would get home, she would need to leave for a baby shower she was going to, I made up in my mind I was going to finish, no matter what. I then met-up with my brother-in-law's friend and rode with him and his friends. The next 30 miles were gorgeous passing several rivers and climbing Sand Mountain. The road was rough and met several flat tires. I later heard that one co-rider would have 8 flat tires by the end of the race!

Lookout Mountain was gorgeous as well. By this time the sun was blazing hot. Towards the top I was in the minority by actually riding my bike and not walking up. Again, I was a horrific wreck where a woman could not go any further up, she didn't have the leg strength to push down a pedal, and as such fell on her left side, head first. It was reported later that she got a concussion.

Once I topped Lookout, I was ready to see my girls, so I took off, and blazed to the finish line, while the group I was with was making full use of the SAG. The finish was great, with fellow riders hanging out drinking Cola and beer. The pizza was a little late, but I was just happy to have completed my first century.

Before I started I got a ton of advice from bring the strongest pain medication you can find, to forget the stops ride fast, to make full use of the sags and enjoy it. The only advice I ended up taking was the latter, which was from a friend who is always in-better shape than me. I think this ended up helping me finish so strong. At the end, I really felt like I could have ran a marathon, but my wife and I had dinner plans with friends.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Ghetto Marketing for a Good Cause

So most of you know that I haven't owned a car in almost 3 years now, and am now a bona fide cycling activist. A couple of months ago, my friend Tim challenged me to create a business that was related to this passion but also made a difference in a tangible way.

After much thought and a lot of research I had some t-shirts made up with a fat polar bear riding a bike that say's Burn Fat not Ice Caps. I then decided to give 10% of all sales to an organization called Bikes to Rwanda, which as the name implies, gives Rwandans bikes.My first approach was to wholesale them off to local bike shops. However, the recession has hit them particularly hard and it couldn't be worked out. They were however very enthusiastic about the idea, and wanted me to succeed, so they told me to try to get into the 3 State 3 Mountain Expo.

Through my friend Phil, the Outdoor Chattanooga Aficionado, I got hooked up, and actually got a booth there. My wife was a tremendous help throughout the whole process and even designed a poster for me.

The expo was quite the adventure. I still had to work Friday, so my dad maned the booth and when I got there around 5:00, much to my dismay he didn't have any sales. However, over the next couple of hours I was entertained to the fullest, with the vast majority of people very excited about the idea of advocating cycling as transportation and helping out a good cause. Let me back up a bit. I described the people as entertaining because when people heard about the project I got responses from: That t-shirt is "FU*#@&G AWESOME! I have to have one" to "What is an ice cap?"

Anyway, I sold some t-shirts for a great cause and hopefully in a couple of weeks I'll be blogging about the fat check I just sent to help out Rwandans. The biggest drawback I had was that people just don't carry cash around anymore. To which, yours truly is definitely guilty of. Therefore, I created a paypal link for anyone wanting a t-shirt.

My current inventory is 3 large blue and 2 large green american apparel shirts:2 medium and 1 small light blue women's rugged hype shirt and 3 medium and 3 large mens rugged hype shirts with worn in look on edges.So that is why this post is labeled ghetto marketing. Because to me you can't get anymore ghetto than posting a paypal button on your blog. But, it's for a good cause and I'll swallow a humility pill and hit "publish post"

Bike 2 Work

Don’t Forget…

This Friday BIKE2WORK 2008

Bike2Work is the First Friday of each month.

Ride Your Bike & Join Us for Free Breakfast at our location on the

Walnut Street Square - South End of the Walnut Street Bridge.

7:00-8:30 am!