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


  1. Great blog. I so missed these. Have a great vacation.

  2. I'm glad your blog is back. I sure missed reading it!

    You and Alice a great vacation!!