Thursday, July 25, 2013

Time is ticking...

It feels like history is repeating itself. It's two weeks to our company sales rally and the pressure is on to put on a world class event in record time. It's a project I just took over and just yesterday and today I've worked two back to back 13.5 hour days and I don't see an end in sight.

The only problem is I have an Ironman in 24 days and I'm injured.

Is it possible to pull off the impossible? To get ready for the rally, to train enough to maintain my fitness, host the rally and hope my injury heals so I can do Ironman Tremblant 4 days after the end of the sales rally?

It's definitely possible. Anythings possible. Is it probable. I don't know. It definitely sounds like something worth bragging about if I can do it.

It's amazing how lousy someone can start to feel after a couple weeks of low training volume after 8 weeks of great training volume. It's incredible how quickly your body can get soft. I really don't like this feeling. I look back and say, "what if? what if I didn't over-indulge during our anniversary 5 day vacation to Barbados? What if I didn't party to much during my recent trip to West Virginia? What if I would have had the time to focus on this earlier?. Lots of what ifs....

The reality is there is 24 days until IMMT and 17 days until our sales rally. That gives me 24 days recover from my injury and about 24 days to train and eat super healthy.

Today I took the plunge and went to see a Chiropractor who is an ART (Active Release Therapy) specialist and highly regarded. Last time I saw him was three years ago and he did a great job. I saw him today and was very sore as I walked across the street to his office. I really didn't know if what I have is curable or not.

I explained everything I was experiencing. He then did a lot of poking and turning me on my back, side, front, side, back, stand up, sit down, poke, poke, poke. He determined that he thinks it was a couple of small muscles that run to the pelvis. He gave the exact names and stuff but I zoned out and just looked at the picture and in my mind said "explain no more, I'm not listening, I realize you've honed in on something, now lets get going, lets' get it fixed. Pitter patter lets get atter".

He went to work, pushing and releasing, pushing and releasing. I was encouraged when he said I was really tight. That's a good sign that at least he noticed something.

After about 10 - 15 minutes of pushing and releasing he finished and asked me how I feel. Surprisingly it was much better than when I came in. A very positive sign. I told him I was doing an Ironman in 24 days and asked him if I'd be okay by then? His reaction was guarded, he didn't know. He wasn't totally sure that ART would work. Perhaps it was more, a stress fracture, or that it was so bad it would not heal properly. After he was done and I started to feel better near immediately, I got my optimism back.

I told him that if it was just muscle and not a stress fracture I could run through the pain. I'd turn on the endorphin machine and mask the pain and go into a special place in my mind. If it's a stress fracture I'd be hooped. The last thing I want to do is get a full on fracture.

Food wise I'm doing okay except for some snacking. I don't know why? Once you get started on Doritos or potato chips it's hard to stop. Even when I know they are empty calories that do nothing for you but increase your blood sugar and make you get fat.

Today I've been a pretty good boy, I'm fighting the urge. I feel so bloated and soft that it's actually motivating me to stay straight. One of the best and most helpful tools is using to log my food. It's shows me the calorie total and if I log before I go for those chips to see how much I have left to eat, or look at the amount of calories would be added if I ate those chips it's very helpful to help me logically thing about it and not do it.

I'm back to the challenge I've had for most of my time at Picaboo Yearbooks. I'm starting to work way to many hours. It starting to seem like one day is blending into the other and I know if I don't stop it I'm going to lose perspective. The laptop needs to get back into the lock box again.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

It's not looking good...

Today I got my glasses in the mail. I ordered some from . They are cheap. I've always wondered why glasses are so expensive. I typically pay the same for a pair of glasses that I can buy a 42" TV for. Next year I'll be able to get a 50" TV for the same price. I don't get it. They can sell a computer for less than a pair of glasses.

Until I found they sell cheap and I love it. I now order pairs all the time, just for the fun of it. I used to pay so much that I'd buy a pair and wear it for a year or three before getting a new pair. Now I'm buy all sorts of glasses. I'm even having fun and ordering glasses that I think will look terrible on me just for the fun of it.

Today I got my most ugly pair of glasses. I also got some prescription sunglasses for only $49.00. I've always wanted a pair of prescription sunglasses. These ones are Tom Cruise "Risky Business" style.

Training today was my first run in close to two weeks. I was hoping my pelvis was going to feel better. It didn't it hurt like hell and by the end of the run it's now even worse. I used to not feel it when I walked. Now I do. I've been doing research and it may be a stress fracture. I got some info from one of my twitter buddy's Jane and she described having the exact same problem.

I may have screwed it up so much that I'll feel it on the bike now. Hope not. If that's the case I can kiss doing IMMT away. If not, I can still bike and swim. Then show up knowing the run is going to be hard and a shuffle and hurt.

Food wise I got myself back on track today. Last night was my last night of beers for a while. All good things must come to an end.

Work wise there is lots going on and lots of stuff that is important and time sensitive. This injury is definitely going to help by giving me more hours in the day to get it all done.

Health wise I went to the cardiologist to get the results from the stress test. Good news is he doesn't think I have any issues and gave me a clean bill of health. He said I have a low heart rate, but that is normal for an athlete. He did mention that on my holster test there was times my heart rate got down to 32 bpm during sleep and that there was a blip during part of my sleep. It was alarming to me but he said not to worry it's common and nothing to worry about.

I also called an ART specialist I saw in 2010, the last time I had an injury. I'm travelling tomorrow so I scheduled a visit to see him on Thursday. I've come to the realization that I need a professional opinion and I'm not going to throw in the towel until I get one or more professional opinions

At this point I just want to be able to enjoy a pain fee run, like old times. I love running and this injury is a tough one to take.

Mod Run -  1:05:22 / 11.05 km

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Getting back on track...

Training wise I was doing so well, up until Barbados, West Virginia and a pelvis injury. It gave me a free pass to relax for a couple weeks, eat, drink and be merry and be merry. Way to many beers. When you have an Ironman personality there is no middle switch. The turn off is when you've totally exhausted yourself

All in all, the past two weeks have caused me to be tired and in need of sleep catch up, not to mention gaining about 3 lbs that have to come down. If I can get down 8 more pounds by IMMT it'll be a decent race weight.

Now it's back to hard core training, it started yesterday, with only 28 days to IMMT. It's also going to be a very busy and challenging three weeks at work preparing for our sales rally and focusing on a couple of major initiatives and still train.

I've definitely found that the past 8 weeks of training has been awesome for my mental state and my waistline, I dropped 12 lbs, well, now it's only 9 lbs. I needed it. It's amazing how much more clearer you think when you have the time to think. I can't tell you how many times I figured out solutions to problems or enhanced my creativity by training. Heck, on a 6 hour bike ride or 3 hour run what else is there to do. Maybe it's also the oxygen to the head that helps.

In a very strange way, the less time I spend behind the desk and the more time thinking during training, the more strategic I'm focused at work.

It is tough though balancing work and training though. If I just had to focus on strategy and training it would be easy. But work isn't all strategy, a big part is execution. The execution is in the now and requires immediate attention. Especially when you are in start up mode.

I've been thinking about figuring out a solution for this problem of combining work and Ironman training. So far my only solution is to do most all of my training before the work day begins. Then I can just motor through work without having to break until the day is done or it makes sense to lock up the laptop.

I've also realized that I need to change my training schedule. I follow a training plan that develops world class results. It's 11 sessions per week, 7 days per week and around 20 hours per week.

I'm getting old body-wise, I've come to that realization and I'm good with that. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still young of mind, maybe too young still, but I'm starting to feel my body breakdown and not recover quickly. This is a whole new experience for me. It's a time I need to learn to pull back and insert more recovery days and less mileage.

I remember reading about guys that you can do an Ironman on 6 - 10 hours of training. I'm not sure about that. Maybe 10 - 12 hours. I think it's time to get a new program set up with my coach, for Cozumel and go down to 7 sessions per week.

With less hours, more recovery, early morning workouts and a healthy diet and less partying, I'd probably be better off. My motto has always been "Live Yourself to Death", I even had a shirt made. I think if I keep this up with too hard core of training, partying and going to the extreme in all parts of my life it will turn out to be a "Live Yourself to an Early Death".

I say that but saying is a lot easier than doing. I doubt I can stop living life to the extreme, it just not me, never has been, I've tried to change, now I don't bother. You can't change a tigers stripes. I've just learnt to accept it and not try to be something your not.

I will say I've been pretty good over the last 2 months, other than the last 2 weeks where I ate and drank to much.

The key to get off the hamster wheel for me is to train. It helps balance my extreme personality. It displaces some of the energy and I'm a happier person. No matter how your day goes, if you train you've done some winning. It's a confidence builder.

The first day back training is the toughest. Then it gets easier. Motivation starts the process, habit keeps it going. Once you get into habit it's pretty easy unless you become burnt out and need recovery. If that happens diet and regular sleep still keeps you in the habit mode.

On a family level I just booked a trip to Cuba at the end of August. At this stage of my life memories are all that count and time keeps moving forward. Some of the best times have been when we go on vacation together. Even though Reid doesn't want to go, I know his personality, it's like Carl on the TV Show an "Idiot Abroad" who hates travel and they follow him around travelling. Alice and Alyssa say Reid and Carl would make a great team, it would be much more funny.

My take on it is that although he may not like it, he will appreciate it later. We went to Europe last year and he complained all day, on the hour, every hour about wanting to go home. He doesn't like elevators, so he walked all the stairs with his bags. He doesn't like sit down restaurants, he'd prefer a buffet and he's not into sight seeing. All he's into is complaining. Then 6 months later he's saying it wasn't to bad, he enjoyed it. That's what I mean, the memories will change. He just needs a kick start.

Alyssa on the other hand likes travel. Only issue with Alyssa is she's a super fussy eater and I mean super fussy. We go to restaurants and before we go in, she checks the menu and more often than not she rejects it and we are off to another. Mostly all she wants is Italian food, which means just pasta.

Between Reid's not wanting to travel and Alyssa's food fussiness it makes travel a little more challenging. But in the end I think it will make great memories. Something to laugh back about.

Although I said we wouldn't do a third world vacation, I'm doing it again. Cuba has been the best 3rd world vacation compared to Mexico and Dominican Republic. The people are nicer and don't gawk at the girls or hit on them when the men's backs are turned making them feel uncomfortable. They are respectable and the beaches are awesome white powdery sand. It's only going to be 5 days and there will be pasta for Alyssa and buffets and no elevators for Reid.

Training wise today was my best day on the bike in a long time. It was 33 C and windy out and although I had to kick my butt to get outside it was my fastest long ride. Like old times. I averaged 31kph for 120 km. I had power again. Just shows what recovery can do. Tomorrow will be my pelvis test.

I got an email from John Barclay and he says it's hip problems that prevented him from doing Ironmans. He has hip issues and says the symptoms I describe are exactly the same as his. I think the only difference between him and I is I'll run through the pain. I have that ability, it's part of my extreme personality.

Also we had a wicked storm last night it took down the tree in our front yard, some people are still without power since Friday and on the ride there was a lot of blown down trees, especially on #1 side road.

Lastly, I almost got clipped by a car yesterday. It happened so fast their was no time to get scared. There was two cars coming by in each direction and the guy in my lane decided that he wasn't going to wait until the other car drove by and then pull out to give me room. He zoomed by giving me 6, maybe 8 inches. After he drove by I just shook my head. He say that and put his hand out the window and started pointing like I was too far out and should have been closer to the edge of the road.

I replied with the middle finger and then put my hand out to show we have 3 feet. With that said I was probably only out 2 feet.

It's times like this that you start to fantasize that you catch him and haul him out of the car and beat on him. I used to get so angry when people would drive by and honk at me for now reason other than I'm a cyclist. Now I don't.

I thought to myself, what's in this guys brain. If he hit me, he could kill me. That would change his life forever. And why do it? All he had to do was be a decent driver. With that said, he was a Canadian redneck, driving a beat up car that looked like it was from the 80's and the paint sun-bleached.

Long Bike - 3:53:44 / 120 km / 31 kph avg

Thursday, July 18, 2013

West Virginian Inspiration...

It's been a while since my last post. Feels like I'm in confession, "father forgive me I have sinned".

The reason it's been a while is I've had no time to post. Travelled to West Virginia for the Boy Scouts 2013 National Jamboree. Normally I have time, or make time. This time I was too busy working and playing hard. It was a ton of fun.

First, let's start off with one of the highlights of my trip. Something I will never forget.

As I was flying to West Virginia I was doing the social media thing and tweeting I was coming to West Virginia. I get a tweet back from one of my twitter followers @fireryan33 that he was working at the Fire hall but would like to meet me when I arrived.

I didn't know who he was at the time other than he was a twitter follower.

The fact that I meet people off social media regularly and have even stayed at the homes of people I've only met on social media freaks most people and my family out. If I've heard "aren't you worried that they might be a serial killer" once, I've heard it all the time.

I'm a free spirit. I like going where most people fear to go. I like the free fall. I don't over think. In doing so I'd say I've met some of the greatest people on social media that have not only become friends but have become friends for life.

I tell people that I've met people off social media and have formed friendships that are as strong as friendships you make as a kid. With social media there is no heirs. I'm must Bryan and they are who they are. The only bond most of us have is Ironman or training of some sort. With that common interest and no end game, true lasting friendships are made.

I can go through the list of people I've met off social media and created life lasting relationships. I'm afraid to start listing names because I might miss some. Seriously. I don't want them to feel left out. But what I'd say is there is probably close to 20 people that I've met and are tight with. They could call me and I'd have their back in a heart beat.

The best story was when I went to Nashville and @sully1969 (David Sullivan) met me at my hotel for the first time, bringing gifts. Yes, we never met and he liked my blog and tweets so much he took time out of his day to met me and bring me gifts then we went out partying all night long. Best was when he ditched me. I was winding it up, it was late and I didn't want to stop. He said he was going to the bathroom and didn't return.

 It was classic. I never laughed so hard. I went into the bathroom looking for him after about 20 minutes of waiting for him, I was worried. I checked under the stalls and no Sully. I made it back to the bar, took a minute to absorb that I was "dumped", had a blank expression of disbelief saying to myself "how could I be dumped? Why'd he dump me? Was I that bad?" and then I just started laughing to myself on my chair. It was just so damn funny.

BTW, Sully and I are still great friends. I'd do anything for that guy. He just needed to get home because he wanted to make sure the first thing his son sees when he gets up in the morning is Sully's face. He's a great dad. He was worried he'd miss that. It was cool knowing someone cares that deeply about their kid and it was cool to be dumped. I never did get to thank him with a great meal. Next time.

I've also met so many other people, many have even travelled from around the world and stayed at my home. Jevon O'neil stayed at my house, he's a film director from England and even did a movie with Dennis Hopper. I stayed at Nina Jacks house in LA, she was first unit director of Mad Men and Breaking Bad. I didn't know her or her husband, they didn't know me, they just opened their doors. The list goes on and on and on....At this point Simon Cross and Matty O are wanting to read their names. Not going to happen. Those two guys are chumps.

Seriously though, the list is huge of guys I've meet on social media and then met in person. Ok, I'll try it. If I miss someone leave a comment and spank me.....Rodney Buike, John and Frances Proc, Paul Dietrich, Matty and Heather O, Simon Cross, Fireman Bob, Kevin Neumann, Adena,  Carlos and Fernanda,  Tammy Jensen, Mandy Farrar, John Klain, , Doru And Mihaela Sandor,  Lindy and Rueben,  Derek Rogers, , Iain from Devon,....okay I'm stopping, the list is too long....

Not yet in person but I feel like I know them, Johann Stemmet, Dave Parker, Bill Seedes, Scott Keopp, Jane Hargraft, Bill Bradley Austin Tanny, Derek Dean, Matt Pixa, Peter Takeda

These are people I'd go to the mat for. They could call me and I'd help in anyway I could.

Now add another guy to that list....Ryan Pennington....from West Virginia.

Back to the story....

I get this tweet that Ryan is from West Virginia and wants to hook up. It's going to be late, but I figure what the heck, he seems really interested in wanting meet me. So we set up a play date, at the bottom of the hill from the airport in the parking lot of a 7 - 11 store. It was around 10 pm. Ryan told me he'd be the guy in an ambulance.

So I get to the parking lot and he comes out of the truck and introduces himself. Before I left the airport I googled his name and saw that he was a firefighter. Other than that I knew nothing about him.

Ryan told me that he was a follower of my old blog and that inspired him to start blogging and it changed his life. He said he was really bummed when I shut it down and it was his daily read. He know all about my kids and Reid.

He went on to tell me that it inspired him to start blogging. That he's no English major and liked the style of how I write and started a firefighting blog and starting blogging. Turns out the blog became a hit and it now got over 150,000 hits per year, he has over 5500 twitter followers, he now writes for some firehouse magazines, he's developed courses on how to fight specific types of fires, like houses of hoarders that catch on fire, and is not travelling all over Canada and the U.S. putting on courses.

And he wanted to thank me because I motivated and inspired him. He couldn't thank me enough. I was touched. He also did a half marathon and wanting to get into shape to do a sprint triathlon. He's a good swimmer, teaches it.

It's moments like this that you don't know the effect you have on people. When I started blogging it was just to document my crazy life of training and partying and my journey from fat to fit. I could understand how I could inspire others to lose weight and get in shape. That makes sense and I've had people tell me that. But this was out of left field, this was not an Ironman, this was just a guy that liked my blog and started to do the same and it opened up a new life to him. He now even took his blog posts and turned it into books that he sells on Lulu. You can check out Ryan's stuff by clicking here.

So we had a good 20 or 30 min chat. He's a great guy. Had I decided not to met him, I wouldn't have got the chance to hear his story. I had no idea who Ryan was before that. I just thought he was an Ironman guy who wanted to say hi. It was touching to know I had such an impact and that he was part of my life and I didn't even know it. He was following my crazy adventures.

The next day I learnt from Samantha that I inspired her husband Josh to get into the Minneapolis state fair with their Dr Vegetable truck. He did what I did when I visited Walmart. He just got into his truck and drove there and showed up and magic happened. He got into a fair that is near impossible to get a spot in.

This week I got inspired too. I was at the Boy Scouts National Jamboree. We had created a book, "the Building of the Summit" and a booth. It's a 10 day event ending next Wednesday.

I used to be a Boy Scout for a year or two. I was a cub scout for a number of years. I wasn't the best scout. I was more of a fool around and have fun kind of guy, but I did enjoy it. I went camping once, in the 40 below weather. Then the other time they wouldn't let me come because they thought I'd be too disruptive. It was fun being a scout but no life changer.

Fast forward 30 years and I have a new appreciation for Scouting.

I've been surrounded by 40,000 plus Scouts and Scout leaders. I've started to experience the culture. I've started to meet many of them. We have scouts working our booth.

What I've found is the kids that are scouts are great kids. They are not your athletes or the most popular, in fact it's the contrary. But they are really good wholesome, honest kids.

The troop masters are the same. They give up their time to coach and mentor these young men. They are selfless.

The principals they are taught is also a foundational rock bed of strong morals. Moving forward if we ever need kids to work for us I'm going to contact the local scout troop. Even one of the kids working for us I may want to keep on after the show to work for us full time.

What's most interesting is that when I was a kid I did a career aptitude test. It said I would be good at doing one of two things. Printing Sales or Forest Ranger. My family thinks that makes sense. They could see me as a forest ranger. When I wear those sorts of hats I do look like one.

At the time I didn't pursue forest ranger because I didn't realize the scope of the job, like search and rescue and all that adventure stuff. Alice thinks I'd be good at that because I never give up and if someone was lost I'd find them. Instead I thought that all a forest ranger did was walk around camp sights and tell people to turn down their music and stop partying.

In hindsight I was thinking that whatever path I took I might have ended up at this Jamboree regardless.

Now I'm back it's time to get back on the straight and narrow. As you know I have no middle switch and I have way to much fun on the road. Early mornings, late nights, lots of beers and tons of laughs.

I got back home, got spanked from Alice for posting one of my video's on facebook and decided not to do Ironman Racine 70.3. I was going to go with Alice, we were going to visit Samantha and Josh at the fair they are working the Pickle truck at and meet the Duck Dynasty guys. Unfortunately Reid has driving classes Monday and Alice is worried he won't get up without her help. Plus I don't think she wanted to go on a 16 hour out and back driving trip.

So now it's back to the straight and narrow and Ironman training, after today.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Pinball and Beer my be the answer…

Yesterday was my long ride. I started early, it was going to be a warm day and I wanted to get it done as my parents were visiting from Winnipeg. I hadn’t seen them in three years, little drama behind it. It was time to put it behind me.

The ride was a good one, at least the first 60 km of what would be 180 km total. I was powering through those first 60 km over hills and was averaging 30.8 kph. Then it got warmer out and the wheels started to fall off, I was feeling a semi-bonk. Not eating anything other than a banana and 2 water bottles full of Gatorade didn’t help things.

There was a cool part of the ride where I caught up to and passed an old tractor on a country road. The guy riding the tractor was looking from side to side just taking in the Saturday without a care in the world. It was a timeless moment that could have been duplicated 50 years ago. Next highlight was watching a guy working along side his wife and I loved his shirt, “will work for golf and food”. I had to stop and take a photo.

After I stopped at a local country store to fill up with energy, I got some speed back. The one great thing about doing 112-mile ride is you can indulge. I indulged on more fully leaded Coke and Dr. Pepper and some grapefruit juice. All guilt free.

Long rides are awesome for thinking. Contrary to what you might think, I like doing them alone. The other secret I just realized this year was if you take the same route week after week the time goes by quicker. Because I have so many awesome road choices I used to make decisions on the fly and pick a different road. The result was what seemed to be a longer ride and the anxiety of trying to figure out if how to get the right amount of distance.

When I got home this is where the fun began. I hopped in the shower and had just pieces of a bar of soap and I needed to shave my legs, they were getting to wooly for being a triathlete.

It didn’t take long until the bar of soap no longer existed and now I was out of soap. First stop, get out of the shower-dripping wet and check the cabinet in the bathroom where Alice keeps the soap. Nope, no soap.

Next stop was walking through the kid’s rooms with a towel on dripping wet and looking in their bathrooms for soap. No, no soap and I didn’t want to look to close in fear that I might find something I don’t want to see. I’m also not into body wash.

I looked high and low, and then had an idea, how about dishwashing soap? So down stairs I went, found the Palmolive and took it up to the shower to finish. Fortunately I didn’t have to use it yesterday, I found another kernel of soap that got me through. Today was a different story, I had to use it. More on that later. Interesting experience.

The rest of the night was going for dinner with my parents, we started early, and I was fading from not eating during my run. Even though I’m off the beer, I had a couple beers over dinner. That started the process to have another 8 pints over the course of the night.

We hung out in the Pig & Whistle and for the first time in a long time played some pinball, then sat on the seats. As I was playing pinball I felt myself stretching just by the way you stand and move while playing. Then it was off to the stools, which are easy to relax on.

It was a fairly late night, wrapping up around 1 pm and off to bed. I had an interesting dream last night, I was running, and running without front pelvis pain. It felt great, it was a heavenly dream. Such that I thought it was real and then realized, damn, I’m dreaming. I’m still injured.

We woke up later today, around 10 pm and it was hot outside, about 95 F. I wasn’t looking forward to my run. Normally I like running in the heat but I was concerned I was too dehydrated to do my long run and I decided not to do a long run because of my injured pelvis area. In reality, I really didn’t want to run at all.

I pushed myself out the door and before I did I was thinking, “wouldn’t it be great if I didn’t have my pelvis problem”. Last run I did on Friday in San Francisco was the most painful of all. Getting started hurt, big time.

I did a trial start in the house and didn’t feel the same level of pain. I was hopefully it was going to that way when I got outside. It was. Even though I had discomfort it wasn’t the same level of pain. I was also shocked to see I was running much faster. My first 3 km where at a 5 min per km pace. I had to check my watch a few times thinking it was broken.

The heat wasn’t even bothering me, I didn’t feel myself start sweating until about halfway through. On the way out I saw this poor little tree on the sidewalk. It looked like it was in a planter and someone threw it down and there was just the potting soil and no holder. It looked like a little child lying on the side walk. As I ran by I thought that poor tree it’s going to die.

On the way back I stopped and picked it up off it’s side and stood it up, then moved it up a side of the hill and put it in the shade. My plan was to drive back for it and take it home and plant it in our yard. Still is, but I ran out of time and had to get to the airport. If it’s not there when I get back, I’m cool with it, I hope it’s because someone found it and took it and found it a good home. It was really strange it felt like it had a real human type spirit. Or it could have been the 10 pints of beer from last night still having an effect.

The entire run I felt discomfort but not pain and the discomfort was different, it was split on both side need the hip bones. I was reluctant to push it too hard but was excited to see if I could get home at a good average pace. I did. Even though I didn’t keep the heart rate under 140 bpm due to the night before and the 35 C heat, I decided that was okay, I’d use this as a speed tempo run. I ended up finishing with a 5:17 per km average. I was happy.

By the time I got home I was dripping wet and I mean dripping. Even my socks were wet in my shoes. I took the shoes off and you could see my foot prints of water on the hardwood and tile floors.

I was thinking to myself, “why did it feel better today? What caused it to shift so much from Friday to today? Will it continue to feel tolerable or is this a one time event?”

Even as I ran I tried to be as relaxed as possible.  I was wondering if this was caused by a hip problem which screwed up alignment or was it stress related? Was I running too tight? Or was it because I haven’t had enough carbs? Or was it the beer?

When I say was it the beer I’m serious about that. When I was at the best shape of my life and competing at a high age group level I drank beer all the time, to the point that people were amazed with how much beer I could drink and still put in a lot of training hours.

For years I’ve been thinking that beer is my secret weapon. My body responds to it. It does two things, it’s great recovery food full of carbs and the alcohol causes great relaxation. I can’t tell you how many times I couldn’t walk after a hard long run or an Ironman race and I’d have a trememdous amount of beer and in no time I’d be walking around like I hadn’t even trained or raced.

So I’m asking myself, “was the beer part of my recovery? The relaxation and the carbs and was the semi-stretching while playing pinball then sitting on the chairs relaxing also helpful. It was the only thing I’ve done different that I can think of.

I’m now really hopefull that I’ll have a better run this weekend racing at Racine 70.3. It won’t be fast, I’m not delutional, but I’d just like it to be respectable, anything under 2 hours.

As I write this I’m on a plane on my way to the Boy Scouts of America National Jamboree at Summit Bechtal Reserve in West Virginia. It is also the official opening of the Summit. It’s an amazing site, I can’t even express how big of a project this is, over $400 million dollars and it seems like it has the number one or number two of everything in the world – 100,000 sq ft skateboard park, BMX trax, Mountain biking trails, whitewater rafting, 4-Olympic sized pools, zip lines, shooting ranges (over 1300 stations) and 270 plus rock climbing walls. Over 40,000 scouts are going to be there over the next 10-days. I’m more impressed with the building of the Summit than I am about them putting a man on the moon. Seriously.

This will be the 3rd time I’ve been there in a month. Picaboo Yearbooks is one of the sponsors and we put together the Building of the Summit book, in record time, from beginning to print – 6 days – and it’s world class. I heard from our guys setting up the booth at some of the workers saw it and they figured if we had copies there we would have sold a 100 already. It’s an amazing book that tells and amazing tale. If you want to order one you can go to .

This is such a big deal that they think the President may show up for the opening. If you are ever out in Beckley West Virginia and they allow it, you NEED to tour this site, it is awe inspiring.

I’m only going to be there for a couple days and see the opening cermomies. My team will be there for the full 10 days. I’m more interested in trying out all the different events and pushing the kids out of the line to get on the zip lines. I definitely would like to try out the mountain biking, maybe do some laps in the pool. Not sure if I can, I may be stuck in our sponsored tent, but I really want to do some of the activities.

What do you call a lunch / dinner? Anyways that’s what I had with Alice before I left, a 3 pm dinner at Boston Pizza. I now have this awesome app and website I use for counting calories,   I’ve tried others this one is amazing, so easy to log and they have 50 million foods in it. I’m now making decisions of what I eat by looking at the app and typing in the food on my phone.

It’s helpful, I didn’t realize how many calories were in a hamburger at Boston Pizza, about 1000. I had a craving for a hamburger so instead I just ate the patty. I did have to have a beer to get the hair off the dog. After eating and having a beer I felt much better.

I weighed myself after I hydrated after my run. I like weighing after I train for the ego stroke, I know it’s going to be lighter and it makes me feel better when it’s less. Post workout I’m 191 lbs. I’m so much wanting to break that 190 lb barrier and get back to 185 lbs. If I set 185 lbs as my highest weight threshold I’m going to be a happy camper. My goal is to get it down to 179 lbs, that would be a rockstar weight and really help my racing speed. I’ve been there before, it would be great to get back there again and use 180 lbs and my highest weight threshold.

Last story. As I was getting on the plane I got a tweet from a guy in Charleston who follows me and my blog. He’s a fireman, he mentioned we should hook up. I’m up for it. I’ve met so many great people from blogging and tweeting. He’s going to meet me at the airport when I land.

Tempo Run 59:18 / 11.12 km / 5:17 per km pace. 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Running, Airports and a Feedbags…

Yesterday was one of those days, not enough time to train.

Meetings started early, I woke up early, was dressing my running gear and ready to go. It was on the wire in terms of would I finish in time or not? John thought it was cutting it too tight based on yesterday’s traffic. So I didn’t go, I postponed. It was a bit of a bummer I much prefer to get it out of the way before work. After work I’m more tired and less motivated.

Meeting started early and we had a break were I drove John to the airport and thought I’d be able to slip out for my run. Unfortunately John left his suitcase at the office and didn’t find out until we got close to the airport. Doh. The result was no time to run, it was going to have to be after work.

On the way back to the airport for the second time we stopped by In-n and Out Burger. Even though I’ve been on the eating healthy kick, I just had a craving. I went for the hamburger and John and I shared the fries.

Unfortunately that’s all it takes to kick you off your game for the day, one unhealthy meal. After that I stopped on the way back to pick up some 40 calorie per cup healthy popcorn. Not so low in calories after 13 cups. Then I had a few chocolates that are in bowls around the office, typical Silicon Valley company stuff, free snacks and drinks lying around the office.

By the time I got back to the hotel I was tired. I ordered some room service. I figured I’ve been getting ragged on from my Ironman buddies about not eating enough calories and carbs, so I loaded up. Went for the salad, Linguine, bread and even had sorbet for dessert.

I definitely went over my calorie allowance, it was the bread and butter that did me in. It’s so hard to stop eating refined sugars. Actually it was the in-n and out burger that started the damage. The sugar high kept pushing me to eat throughout the afternoon and more than I wanted for dinner.

All that eating and 2-days of focused meetings tired me out and I fell asleep around 8 pm. No run. I figured that Friday was going to be a travel rest day so I’ll just swap the two days and give my pelvis another day to heal.

This morning I woke up early knowing I had to get my run in, I wasn’t looking forward to it. Not because I’m not motivated to run, I love running. I wasn’t looking forward to it because my pelvis area, specifically all the muscles hurt when I run. It’s the weirdest thing I’ve never had before.

Before I got outside to run I had to get there and I did it in stinky style. I wore the same shirt I did my speed bike workout in on Wednesday and it STUNK, big time. It was hard for me to take. It never fails I get into the elevator and it starts stopping at every floor and person after person start coming on. It's near squished and I stink to high heaven. I'm embarrassed and laughing to myself at the same time. It was the longest elevator ride of all time. It seemed it stopped at every floor from 6 down to the lobby, even the atrium. I'm sure some of the people must have been holding their breath. It was worse than a cab driver bad. 

My first step hurt so much I almost stopped. It felt worse than ever. I thought for a moment to stop. Then I thought, “it looks like rest is not going to cure this, in fact is seems that it’s seized up and gotten worse with rest, maybe I just need to keep training regardless to keep it loose”.

The other thoughts I had once I got running were “can you get cancer in that area? I wonder if it’s cancer? I can’t find anything on the Internet. I need to see a doctor. This half Ironman race I’m doing the weekend following is going to be interesting. Looks like I’ve went from competitor to finisher. Starting Picaboo Yearbooks has been tough, first I gained about 20 lbs and trained far less than normal and now I’m paying the price. Damn this hurts, when are those endorphins going to kick in to mask the pain”.

I was shuffling along for the first 10 minutes as part of my warm up. Today’s session was to be speed work. I did 4 x 100 meters to get warmed up more and my speed was a joke. It wasn’t speed, it was an injured guy trying to do speed work but it wasn’t even close.

I then started off with 4 x 400 and within 20 meters I was thinking to myself, “it feels like it’s getting worse, are you sure you should go hard, is it going to make it worse? Normally I’d throw caution to the wind and go for it, then injure myself more and say I won’t do that again and then the next time I’m in a similar circumstance I forget about my pledge “not to do that again” and do it all over. This time was different.

I decided to play it safe. I’d like to say it’s because I’ve become smarter but the reality is I did it because I realized I won’t get any benefit, I’m here to get to the start line of Ironman Mont Tremblant in one piece and to finish, no PB’s are going to be set. So I just jogged it out at the fastest pace I could go, a blistering 6 min per km. My sore pelvis wouldn’t let me go faster.

Strangest part of this injury is it doesn’t hurt when I walk or bike, only when I run, swim or sleep on my back.

This weeks training was successful, I got the training I needed to do in, other than swimming. This weekend will the next test I need to get a long bike in on Saturday and run Sunday morning because I’m on my way to the Boy Scouts National Jamboree Sunday evening. Then it’s a full day meeting when I get back and on my way to Racine for the half Ironman.

I spoke to Al this morning and he heard I was doing Racine 70.3, he knows I’m injured and asked, “why are you doing that”. I didn’t have a great answer other than I need it for prep for IMMT. However after thinking about it my Ironman wardrobe needs a refresh, so I guess I could say I’m going for the clothing.

Glad to be heading home. I’m writing this as I’m on the plane. I lucked out kinda. Most every flight I go on nowadays is full and even oversold. Today’s plane was full except for the middle seat between me and the other person. It was poor man’s first class.

The only problem was my window mate, she couldn’t sit still and couldn’t stop eating and drinking and going to the bathroom. She was quite nice, I said hello to her before we took off and had some small talk. I did notice a shopping bag with her but didn’t think much of it.

Turns out it was food and LOTS of it. She started with two scotches and then dug into what turned out to be a feedbag. First it was a sandwich in the plastic tray, I thought “okay, she picked up some food before boarding the plane” and thought no more.

Then I look over and she done that sandwich and she’s on to cookies. No big deal. Then I look over again and she’s into another sandwich and then pop and then a chocolate bar and then more scotch and then ask for the duty free menu and then order some food off the tray and then get up to go to the bathroom and then eat some more and then get her duty free stuff and then fifteen minutes later ask to see the duty free menu again and then ask to see a sample of one of the items and then after it’s delivered she buys it and then it’s the credit card over me and then she has more to drink and then another bathroom visit. She couldn’t sit still.

Now I look over and she’s asleep, I did check to see if she was breathing. Looks like she’s in a nice sugar coma. Been there.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

It hurts when I sleep...

This morning it was tough to get up and motivating myself to train, I was worried, all night I was tossing and turning, my pelvis was sore. It's the only injuring I've had that has hurt when I've been doing nothing buy lying still.

I pushed myself awake at 5:00 am and got ready in the dark, I'm sharing a room and I didn't want to wake John.

Today was a speed bike workout and I wasn't looking forward to it. I was going to have to do it on a lifecycle in a hotel. I've never done a speed work session that way.

Surprisingly it went better than expected. I did the intervals Simon Cross style and did my rpm's around 60. It was 2 x 12 minutes and 4 x 2 minutes. They are hard. At least I was able to multitask during it, I watched an hour long presentation from Ariana Huffington, something work related. When multitasking watching an hour presentation it's like adding an extra hour to the day. Today was a 25 hour day.

It's aways great to start your day with a workout under your belt. It sets a great tone and takes a weight off your mind by not having to think about still getting a workout in before bed.

The rest of the day was exec meetings, will be all day tomorrow and Friday as well. They are fairly intense and long. As each day goes by it's harder to find the time and energy to train. Tomorrow will be harder than today and Friday harder than Thursday.

I'm a little worried about my speed run tomorrow and how sore my pelvis will be. Time will tell.

Bike - 1:19 / 33 km

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Officially Injured...

So I took 5 days of training off and went on vacation. For the prior 3 weeks I had been dealing with a sore front pelvis. It feels like a hernia but there is nothing bulging out.

I've had it slightly for a day or two in the past, very mild and it would go away. This time it is not going away it's getting worse. It's more of a discomfort running than an all out pain. So long as I run I'm in a real discomfort, when I stop and then restart it hurts and if I'm lying down and try to raise my right from a prone position I'm in pain.

I was doing some reading and two things came up. Hip problems and a groin strain. The hip makes some sense to me. Since working from home I've been walking and pacing the house like a madman. In the process I noticed that my hip was giving me problems. I could run and train no problem but just walking was killing me.

As I was reading about hips it dawned on me that if it is a hip problem it will through off my alignment and that could cause a front groin pull. Then I started to worry, what if it's a pelvic fracture?

I keep pushing down and no pain when I push. Very little pain when I walk. I have pain and discomfort when I swim and no pain on the bike. It's weird.

On my visit to the doctor yesterday I got him to give me a form to get my hip x-rayed. I think it might also require me to go for sports therapy. It's been about 2 years since I've had some sort of injury, which is not uncommon for weekend warriors who train lots of miles for Ironman.

Today's run was my first since holidays, about a week, and it was raining outside again. I did an hour and 40 minutes. I almost quit after the first 50 meters. I did stop. I asked myself if I should go back home or keep running. The back home sounded good, no training, makes for an easier day. But then I thought, "5 days rest didn't do it any good, what good will more rest do and you have an Ironman in 39 days and travelling a lot during those days and will be training less than normal, you can't afford not to run". So I ran.

I was going to take it easy and just do an hour, but why take it easy I did 1:41. I did cut it short by 4 minutes as I was scheduled to do 1:45.

When I got back home I was wet, during my run my shoes were so wet they felt like cement blocks and the water someone started all sorts of chaffing in the private areas (ouch) and my heart rate monitor strap chaffed my chest. I was a mess.

Food wise I wasn't able to eat until I got to the airport, I was in a semi-bonk and needed water right away when I got to the airport. Proud to say I'm back on my eating healthy kick, yesterday was my first day and I was successful. My airport lunch was a healthy salad and fruit and when I got to the hotel it was a nice steak dinner. I did have the potatoes and bread as I'm getting hassled by my tri buddies to eat more carbs.

I am in pain as I'm lying down writing this. I couldn't do a leg raise with my left leg without being in major pain. I've definitely got to get this checked out.

Training for Ironman is one thing, making it to the start line without injury is another.

Run 1:41 / 17.74 per km

Monday, July 8, 2013

Back on the saddle...Vacation's over...

First day back from my 4-day vacation of pigging out and drinking way to many beers. I definitely reversed the 7-day diet challenge. During that 7-days I lost 6.6 lbs, I'm sure I gained at least 3 of it back.

The biggest challenge is getting back into the training grove. I got back and there was just so much work to do. My first meeting was at 7 am and I had conference calls or appoints set all day. I'm away tomorrow until Friday and my plan was to try and do a min 4 hour long bike ride today.

This afternoon one of my appointments was with my doctor. I had to get a form signed saying I'm fit enough to attended the Boy Scouts of America national jamboree. I was looking forward to the visit because I wanted to ask him if I could get some other tests done.

I really feel my body is fit but not necessarily healthy. I asked him if he could test my cortisol levels, my thyroid and my testosterone. I also mentioned my hip and pelvis soreness and asked for an x-ray on my hip. He set up the tests but didn't think the cortisone would be of any value as he can't do anything. But to me it is, it would help explain a lot and I told the doctor my coach, an Ironman legend said I should get one, so I want one.

Actually the next 4-5 weeks is going to be a major challenge. I'm travelling most every week with only one or two days home. In that time I have to do a long bike ride and it's tough because there is usually a lot of work stuff I usually have to follow up on.

Today at 3:30 pm I decided I had to push myself out the door to train. I really didn't want to, I was a little concerned how much fitness I had lost. Yet I was also interested to see if the rest helped my strength.

It was a weird ride fitness wise, my legs felt strong but my first 30 km average speed was in the 26 kph. I was bummed. But I just kept riding. Mentally I felt great. The week off takes any training burnout off the table. My legs didn't look as strong as they did 5 days ago. They were starting to look like my legs of old. I knew it's going to take me 5 days of good eating to offset those 5 days of holiday eating and drinking. The eating must have been bad, I had heartburn on my ride, burping up that heart burn feeling. Definitely too much acid in the diet. Also had a lot of salt burning my eyes. No wonder I felt bloated, I was.

The weather was warm and humid and at one point even though I was scheduled to try and fit in a 4 hour ride I decided to go for 5 hours plus and possibly do a century ride. What I didn't anticipate was the rain. It started coming down and pouring. I was the worst I've ever ridden in but actually didn't mind the change of pace. It was warm rain, at first soft and the only concern I had was that my iPhone wasn't going to get damaged from the rain. I didn't anticipate the rain and didn't bring a plastic sandwich bag to put it in.

As the ride went on I got stronger. My legs even seemed to transform back to legs of 7 days ago. During most all of the ride my legs started to feel like my legs of old when I was in my best Kona shape. What I mean by that is I can ride effortlessly, I don't even realize or feel any stress on my legs.

It's like someone sitting and watching TV, you don't focus or feel your legs, you just focus on what your watching. Same thing on the bike when you are in shape. I so much got caught up into thoughts this ride that I didn't even realize were I was or if I had crossed a major road and if I did, I don't recall looking for traffic.

At times at the end the rain was bad. I had to take my glasses off for fogging. Then I'd go downhill and I couldn't see anything because my glasses are prescription and without them I'm blind. As I was riding downhill I was getting hard rain in my eyes and it hurt, and I couldn't see if there was any pot holes or problem areas on the road. To top it off my brakes were so wet as I was going downhill they hardly worked. Add all three of those issues and it was at times a scary and dangerous ride.

I stopped at my regular store stop for more liquids and a bran muffin. My biggest challenge to keep going, I was burning sunlight. Even though I have a flashing red safety light on the back of my jersey I don't have one on the front and as it gets dark the oncoming traffic doesn't see me. Also as it gets dark it becomes even more dangerous with wild life critters coming out of the woods and onto the road. Things like raccoons and skunks can be dangerous if you hit them. I actually had a deer run in front of me once.

All and all I made it back and end up doing 102 mile ride. There was hills at the end I was flying up. On the first lap of one hill I averaged 19 kph, on the second lap, near the end of my ride I was going up it at 23-25 kph and it was effortless. It just felt like old time riding, like I time travelled back 3 years.

Family wise Alyssa got stranded in downtown Toronto. The rain was so back it flooded Toronto and shut down the airport. Good thing she was working late or she would have got stuck on the go train. Some people are on the trains now, the trains are stopped on the tracks and there is water all around them. Some people are breaking windows and jumping for it and trying to swim to safety. It's a major deal. Alice found Alyssa a hotel and she's staying their tonight. Of course it wasn't a cheap hotel, I wasn't hear to book it. Upside is she's safe and sound.

Nice to get that first session after vacation off my back. Also great confidence builder to blast out 102 miles and it was fairly effortlessly.

Long bike 163 km / 5:40:48 / 28.7 kph avg

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Four days of near heaven….

I’ve got to say Barbados is our new favourite holiday destination, it just knocked out Hawaii out of the top spot. I’d move there for the winter if the bike riding were safe. It doesn’t look like it so the search is still on. I do want something in the Eastern Time zone, you get more done when you work in the east.

It was the first time we took a 4-day vacation and it was the first time we went without the kids. Not that that’s a good thing, we like having the kids around. Heck, why have kids if you don’t want to spend time with them.

Unfortunately Alyssa was working and Reid doesn’t want to go on vacations or go to restaurants unless they are buffet style. Normally I force him to go on a holiday but figured it’s a right of passage to be home alone at 16 years old for 4-days.

My plan was to turn off work for the entire 4-days, not even to open my email. Best intentions but were far from happening. I was spearheading a super important book for the Boy Scouts of America and the building of the Summit, there new adventure base and there was no way I could leave it without following up regularly, it was too important.

The best part was the book turned out awesome. To put this in perspective, I flew to West Virginia last Sunday, met with the editor, photo editor (both I’d never worked with or known before and got them through an online ad) and graphic designer. The challenge was to create a coffee table stylebook from inception to get to the printer in less than 7-days.

I can’t tell you how massive this Boy Scout Bethel Summit Reserve project is. Words and pictures can’t describe the scope of it, although we came close. I’m more impressed with what was done in the last 36 months from nothing.

With $400 million of personal donations from 17 donors they created something is beyond believe. The project should have taken at least 6 years and they are officially opening July 15th. I’ll be there to see 40,000 scouts and scout leaders will experience it. They also say over 100,000 visitors will be going through the site over a 10 day period.

This project has been only the first that has become a personal passion of mine. I wanted to make sure this book is world-class and gives back to those who gave so much.

I owe Alice and I another vacation. For once I’d love to just turn it off. It may have to be another impromptu vacation. Maybe end of summer. It would be great to bring the kids. Maybe a cheap Griswold vacation to Cuba or Mexico after IMMT?

Training and weight wise I think I just reversed the last 7 hard weeks of training and the last 7 days of perfect eating I think I gained those 6 lbs back and more. I ate, drank and was merry. I need to check myself into the Betty Ford clinic and go on America’s biggest loser. I tried to keep track of what I ate the first day or two then gave up, it hurt to much seeing 4000 plus calories and no exercise. I’m proud to say there was not one dinner I ate without a dessert and ice cream. I’m glad I was only gone for 4-days, Monday is a new day, no use crying about going off the rails hard.

I definitely have the Ironman Gene. I do everything to the extreme. 

Overall I got to say we had a great time, other than the work distractions. I did go in the water and spend time swimming with Alice. That’s normally Reid’s job. By the last day I was actually relaxed and told Alice “this floating in the water and doing nothing I’m getting used to”.

I was also able to do a lot of work on the plane, finishing a very important doc on the way down and cleaning out my 488 emails on the way back. I’m all caught up and ready for a fresh Monday and getting back on the work, training and eating right trail and it’s not going to be easy I’m on the road for the next 4 weeks.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

We made it...

You're never on vacation until you get there and the bigger the vacation the bigger the anxiety that all will go right and you'll actually end up on vacation. Any sort of problem could arise, you could sleep in, your car could stall on the way to the airport, forget your passport, North Korea could bomb the U.S. and the list of potential vacation blocker problems goes on and on. 

To me, I just wanted to get to Barbados. Wanted to be in the hotel and make it real. Then kick back. Which is what did happen, thankfully. Everything went according to plan. We got up early, stuff was packed, didn't forget anything and got on the plane and the plane landed. 

The only last bit of work I had to do was on the plane. I've been working on a strategy doc for a while and I needed to finish it. I had a lot of hours into it and a lot more hours thinking about it. Now I had to put it all on paper and I needed to do it before the plane landed. That gave me 5 hours and I knew it was going to be tight. 

I don't mind working on a plane, actually I enjoy it, it makes the time fly by. This was going to be a win-win. Work on the plane, time fly by, work done and we arrive in Barbados, then it's vacation time. 

It kind of went that way, although with some anxiety. I had my traditional aisle seat, I tend to go to the washroom a lot. We were one row behind first class, extra leg room, winning. The minute they let the electronics be used I was off, it was like a race. I already had everything in my head well through out and the order I wanted to present it. It was a mini Jerry McGuire create my vision flight moment, stuff I thought we need to do in the near future. 

The time pressure made me somewhat irritable. The guy in front of me put his seat back and hit my computer. WTF DUDE???? Don't you know you should be more considerate. I don't care how much ore you paid. Ok, he's allowed to move his chair back. My computer did get broken. But it could have. Lets' move on" I said in my head. 

Alice had to get out to go to the washroom, no problem the first time. But then another time, and another? I thought girls can hold it in. Then the guy at the window seat had to go to the restroom.  The lady serving food and drink was taking way to long. Then the coffee and drink go over my computer to Alice and the window seating guy and I have to close the laptop so that nothing can spill on it. Cutting precious seconds from the limited amount of time I had available. All inconvenience's that got me irritated. Don't they know I have a time pressure situation here? I had a deadline and that deadline was "prepare for landing and please turn off all electronics". 

The upside was I got it done, right as they wanted us to close electronics. It was so tight I didn't even have time to proof read it one final time. It turned out being 16 pages of pretty good crap. As the plane landed I looked at Alice and said "I'm free, this is awesome, I'm done. Just send it by email when I get to the hotel and I'm good to go". I then mentioned "the 5 hr flight seemed so short to me, how about you?" She didn't see it the same way, I think when she said she watched two documentaries. then  I realized it must have been a long flight.

First thing we noticed about Barbados was the weather was great and the people super friendly and speak like us, no real accents. They had one of the people from our resort meet us with their little sign and our name. Then she took us to the front of the customs lines and to the bags. Then connected us with the vacations agent, who then got us the driver. First class stuff, loved it. 

Only thing I asked to pass on was the vacations person who wanted to meet with us tomorrow at 9:30 am at our hotel to meet and greet and tell us what we should do while here. I asked if we could pass on that one, I don't want no deadlines. I just want to hang out on the beach and let life figure itself out. 

Other than them driving on the other side of the road it's just like home. The driving on the other side of the road freaked me out a bit even as a passenger. There is NO way I'd rent a car to drive on the left. I'd be in an accident immediately. I find it tough enough to drive on the right side of the road. I told Alice that we have to be super super careful we don't get hit by a car going the wrong way. Not just during regular hours but especially during those "go out an party hours". Years ago I had a customer who died looking the wrong way and getting hit by a car in Australia. I could easily see how that could happen. 

Had a great conversation with the driver, learnt about Barbados and got to the hotel. It's a smaller boutique hotel, 78 rooms, first class service. We didn't even check in normally, they had us sit down, brought us some cold face towels, asked us what we would like to drink and introduced us to our butler. Then the butler took us to our room and went from one end to the other showing us where everything was. It was almost uncomfortable. 

It's also weird when they are calling you Mr and Mrs Payne and talking to you like your older people. In my head I'm still a mature 17 year old and just trying to hold it all together without laughing or being rude. 

Our butlers a nice guy and as he's showing us our room and I'm thinking in my head, "cool, are we done yet? I just want to get on the lounger and hang on the beach" Instead he's showing us how to turn on light, where the temperature controls are, how to look under the bed if we drop something, where to find the toilet paper roll when you need it and all sorts of other stuff I zone out on. I just kept smiling and nodding my head and saying things like "nice, great, perfect, thanks". The only thing I really wanted to know what how to turn the TV channel from the constant playing of "about this hotel" station. 

As he's done I'm not sure if I'm supposed to tip him or not. That's the worst part of going to a new place, understanding the tipping structure. For guys, we don't care about location or amenities we just want to know how much to tip. Not to be generous, but more to not feel like your getting ripped off and some sort of rhubarb.

The place is great. Worth every penny. We are 25 yards from opening our doors until we are in the ocean. 

After they got us settled they brought us a bottle of champagne and we were good to go. Next thing we were sitting outside of our deck and in front of us were some real nice people from Scotland. We talked they learnt we were on our 25th wedding anniversary an then she gave us some awesome advice, "make sure you let all the restaurants know it's your 25th and you'll get the best seats". I loved it. Done. As a matter of fact Alice and I are now going to use that line ALWAYS, even when we got to a McDonald's 3 months from now. 

It gets dark at 6:30 pm, so we had about 2 hours of sunlight. We then went for a great dinner on the ocean. We mentioned it was our 25th and they brought a special desert with it spelled out in chocolate. I love this 25h anniversary thing, I'm going to get a lot of mileage out of it for years and years to come. 

On the way back we stopped at a convenience store. I wanted to get some beers for tomorrow's lounging on the beach. I wasn't so motivated to buy my own based on the $7 per beer they charge on the beach, but rather they serve them in a plastic glass. Yuk. I want my beer in real glass. Plus I'm considerate, I don't want the waitress to get sore feet or pull a muscle walking back and forth from her station to my lounge chair on the beach all day long tomorrow. I'm a giver that way. 

I did notice the only one slight difference from Barbados to North America. And it was ever so slight. They sell steering wheel covers in convenience stores. Interesting. I wouldn't even know how to figure out my size even if I wanted one. 

Instead my plan was to get enough beers that could comfortably sit in my bathroom sink with ice surrounding them. My estimation was 18. 

When we got back to the room we had another bottle of champagne and chocolate covered strawberries waiting for us. I was like, wow, this is cool, does the champagne ever stop here? Then I saw it had a card and was from Howard wishing us a happy 25th. I had mixed feelings, on one hand I thought "awe that's nice of Howard", on the other I thought "damn, looks like they don't have an all you can drink champagne policy". 

Day one ended with some food, drink and more calories consumed in one day than I had eaten in the 3 prior. It was like torture putting all that food I ate into my food diary and seeing the final number top 4000.

With that said.....Life is still good...

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Expect the unexpected...

This morning I woke up tired. My flight was delayed and I didn't get home until 2 am. The night before my flight was delayed and I got to bed at 1 am. In both cases I had meetings set up at 7 am.

Needless to say I woke up tired, which is not good, I'm someone that needs my beauty sleep and unless there is a beer in my hand I don't want to be up too much past midnight.

Tomorrow's the start of our 25th Anniversary Barbados vacation and it's like cramming for an exam, I'm trying to get all the important work stuff off my plate. I'm committed to NOT do any work on this vacation, it will be a first. To add to my busy day and because I want to look my best for our anniversary vacation I even made time to get a hair cut. (The pic of me on the plane in this post is pre-haircut)

Alice doesn't care if I work or not, she's never complained about it. But this time I care. This is more of a personal challenge for me. If I work while on vacation, it's not a vacation. It's essentially just another work day from a beach location.

In my mind if I can force myself not to work, it will add to the experience and make it special.

By 3 pm today I was beat, physically and mentally. I had a choice. Sit down and finish a strategy doc I'm working on which will take about 4 hours, or, go out for a bike ride and try to clear my head. Then do the strategy doc when I get home.

I opted for the ride.

It wasn't an easy choice to go for a ride. I was tired and could have talked myself out of it with my pelvis injuring and telling myself this week is vacation and recovery time. Instead I just put on my cycling gear, filled the water bottles and headed out. The key is to think about it as little as possible, just do it. Just get started.

As I got started I didn't know how far I was going to go. I didn't know if this would be an hour ride or a 4 hour ride. I did notice that I felt strong on the bike. I was riding fast and it felt effortless. My legs finally had some strength, that day off made a difference. The also looked like legs of old, the shape and some of my old muscles were coming back. I almost swerved into traffic a couple times looking at them to make sure I wasn't seeing things and they are in fact getting back to normal and looking like legs of old.

I start my ride going up a series of hills. It is slow riding and it brings the average speed way down early in the ride. After the first 15 minutes I'm usually as low as 22 kph and then I work as hard as I can for the rest of the ride to bring it up to a respectable time.

Today I brought it up way earlier than normal. That motivated me to go further even though my hip was a little sore. I definitely determined that my pelvis soreness is do to my hip and some misalignment. I'm not a doctor but "I did stay at an Holiday Inn Express last night"

Instead of stopping at one hour I decided to do the 4 hour ride. I was eating up the road and riding up the hills effortlessly. The last time I felt that strong was at IMLP in 2010 when I qualified for Kona. It's a great feeling flying with little perceived effort. Even the heart rate was up this ride. I did get a break every once in a while when my phone would ring and I'd stop to answer it. The one call from National Car rental wanting to do a survey on my last rental visit I could have done without. I told them I was too busy.

It's amazing how my last ride I had to call a friend and have Alice pick me up to my next ride is a home run and probably the best training ride I've had in a year or two. The best part was as I continued to ride I got more energy and the fuzziness of my mind started to clear.

Exercise is an amazingly powerful drug. It took me from a cloudy, hazy free fall to a sharp mind and no after effects of travel. Training does that. You want to cure jet lag right away? It's proven that exercising will do that. I came back from the ride a completely new person.

I also came back from the ride as close to a bonk state as you can get without bonking. Which is awesome. I pushed myself so hard that my legs were thrashed after the ride. It was one of my best workouts and the kind you want to have before a vacation.

It gives you a positive experience to dwell on while I'm on the beach, I can tell myself "I'm back baby. I thought I lost it. I didn't. It's still there in those legs. Er, my beers getting low. Where's the butler? Oh there he is, he's on his way. Now where was I? Yes, what a great workout I had before this vacation. I deserve more beer".

Tonight's going to be a late one. I have work to do and I want to get it done. Although I do have 5 hrs on the plane I could use too. Just saying. Working on the plane does make time fly.

I checked in online and I saw I could upgrade to first class for $700 for the two of us. I was going to do it. I was envisioning us getting first class cocktail service. I asked Alice if she wanted to upgrade. She said "no, that's crazy money to pay for a 5 hr flight, our seats our fine". I asked again, I was cool with doing it. She again said "no, do you know what $700 can buy of real stuff?" I agreed and got me off the hook for feeling bad for not upgrading us. Instead I found some awesome seats in row 12.

She was right about the money. There is no way I could  have eaten or drank $700 worth of stuff. If I really focused and kept the flight attendant busy I could probably get about $150 - $200 back in food and drink, with Alice's help we might be able to get $300 total. If I was flying with my brother Bob I would have upgraded and we would have come out ahead. I digress. But why force myself to over eat and drink on a plane? I've made huge gains in losing weight, I've worked hard, it's hurt and I don't want to go over board and set the dial back in the wrong direction. I need to be choosey about when I want to hold them and when I want to fold them.

On my ride I was thinking, what if the plane crashes? Or I get eaten by a shark? I need to tell my kids I love them before I leave.

When Reid got home tonight I told him I wanted to talk to him. He came into the room all serious and listening intensely.

I started with "you know me and mom are going away, you're going to be home alone, this is the first time you've been home all on your own. I want to tell you something before I leave". He looked at me like he knew I had something that was important for me to say, I think he thought I was going to give him the rules. Instead of talking rules, which I don't really care about, if he burns down the house we have insurance.

Instead I said, "if something happens to me or mom, like our plane crashes or I get eaten by a shark", at this point he stops listening intensely, blows me off and starts walking away. I continue " Wait. Wait, don't walk away. This is important. I just want to tell you I love you, and we are good. I don't want you thinking we have any issues. I'm proud of you, we are good. I don't want you to dwell on the past if we are not here. I want you to live your life with full freedom and always know, we are good".

Then I asked him to come over to the sofa to give me a high five and as I lounged. I gave him a high five. I told him "I'd give you a hug, but here's a high five instead, my legs are a little thrashed from today's ride, but the high five means the same thing as a hug in this case, got it?" He high fives, said "yup, I get it" and couldn't get back to his room fast enough.

Next up is Alyssa when she gets home. I gotta give her the same speech too. I'll probably hug her and give her a kiss. You have to deal with daughters different than sons.

Mod Bike - 122 km / 4 hrs / 30.9 kph avg