Friday, August 22, 2008

General Update

Things are settling back to normal after a turbulent couple of weeks. We had a death in the family which threw a wrench into the routines for a bit.

Dylan is now 2 years old. His actual birthday was the 18th, but we're having his parties (one for RI friends and one for family in CT) this weekend. And speaking of Dylan, he's now been with us longer than he's been without us. As you'll recall we got him the day before his first birthday last year. We're now just 3 days shy of the anniversary of "wheels down" at Logan airport, the day we celebrate as "gotch ya day". For Alexandra that day is October 9.

Alexandra has completed her time at Club Sprouts, a pre-school like program which has served as valuable bridge for her. Coincidentally the center itself looks to be closing. You see, I told Leanna with what they charge clearly we were the ones keeping it in business!! :-) Next it is on the formal pre-school. I'm hopeful this will work out. Education in the United States in general I have serious doubts about, but I think we're okay for the next year or so.

I'm starting a part-time job next week (and training and working my full-time job and most of all being a daddy), and yes I have no clue how I'll manage. The big loser will be my sleep and thus my short-term memory function (it has been noticably compromised at times. A little alarming but I'm fairly confident it is not a long term thing). However facts are facts; I'm looking to go to Hawaii next year and I just don't make enough working in higher ed to pay for that trip. Not a big deal, I enjoy the type of work I'll be doing (actually more than I enjoy my current job), and it pays really well so I don't need to put in too many hours. No Pat, I'm not going to be a male prostitute.

Well time to shower and start another day.

Thank you for stopping by,

Joel

PS: Emily, if you want to slide me a pair of tickets to the big island, or maybe just a voucher for bike transport, I won't complain. I'd gladly take the NASCAR approach to training and racing for the next year throwing names and logos on every item of clothing I've got.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Back in the groove

Today marked the first workout since Lake Placid where I felt "normal" again. My paces are still off, but that's not a concern. The big improvement was in my energy levels, which are back up. I wasn't draggin' ass during the workout. Instead I put in a nice, not spectacular, 50 minutes on the trainer and 28:08 running. A slight amount of power work was thrown in on the bike. I feel fine now. Don't get me wrong though, I still hope the kids sleep in tomorrow.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Are you watching the Olympics?

Okay if you've followed this blog for a while you've probably guessed that I've always been a fan of Olympic sport. I've talked about the special meaning it has for me to finish Ironman Lake Placid on the speed skating oval in Lake Placid, because that is the same oval where, in 1980, Eric Heiden skated to 5 gold medals.
I'll admit even though I'm hardcore when it comes to this, the last decade or so has really tested my commitment. The summer games especially had become sooo commercial and it seemed the only event that mattered was the men's 100m sprint final. And of course PED (performance enhancing drug) scandals have now tarnished those already less than satisfactory experiences.
Well then I watched the opening ceremonies from Beijing on Friday. Wow. I also realized that I'm hearing nothing about track, almost nothing about basketball, and tons about swimming. Michael Phelps, not LeBron James or Kobe Bryant owns the airwaves. NBC is doing a much better job in the coverage as well. Well execpt for Al Trauwig on gymnastics. Apparently he didn't get the memo that when you're calling an event that really occurred earlier you don't give away the ending. "And then it all went wrong for the American. Watch her vault. Everything seems fine and then it all comes apart on the landing." Thanks Al, can I watch it myself?

I'm back and glued to my TV.

(and while the "story" that everyone is sticking to claims that President Bush was discussing the developments in Georgia with Vladimir Putin, I still think he was taking a food order for the row. "Hey, what's a guy gotta do to get a hotdog around here?" And of course later on, "Who directed this show? Johnny Mo? Doesn't sound Chinese to me? Did he play for the Angels?")

Here mama...

Dylan's had a rough weekend. It started Friday while we were out on the deck. Dylan was playing on his scooter when suddenly he runs towards his mommy with his hand out stretched. "Here mama. Here mama." Next I hear Leanna scream and lurch to her left. Dylan had brought her a live Carpenter Bee. Yes it had stung his hand. While we watched him like hawks for the next hour, there were no issues other than his hand swelling up like a little pork chop. Saturday morning everything was back to normal, well except for his cold...

Friday, August 08, 2008

My Diet

If you've been reading this blog you've seen reference to my weight. It's not just the long training hours that have brought it down (I'm 154 now). I'm pretty sure my dietary choices are helping.

I did not set out to lose weight. Rather I started out wanted to know that my kids were eating well, and that they were eating the same things we were eating, not "special meals" because they wanted to be picky. Knock on wood, it is working.

Here are the basics:
Breakfast every morning. A good breakfast with ample protein. Try to get in 500 calories. Eggs, maybe waffles (jam not syrup on them), yogurt w/ground flaxseed added, fruit. A bagel w/cream cheese once or twice a week.
Snack at mid-morning. Apple and Banana or yogurt.
Lunch based on left-overs from previous night's dinner. When I was deep in training I would also have a salad (mixed greens or baby spinach) with nuts, dried cranberries, and a raspberry dressing.
Snack mid-afternoon, usually a yogurt if I didn't eat it earlier.
One helping at dinner. We use 9" plates (it really does make a difference). Typically lean meat or fish or something based on whole wheat pasta.

I've been keeping bread and milk consumption down pretty low. No sugar in my coffee (try using honey, it's really good). No cream. No artificial sweeteners either. They're killers...literally. I also don't snack on sports drinks. They are used exclusively just before, during, and just after workouts.

Oh yes, and beer (or wine, one or two reasonable glasses), natural tortilla chips or Ben and Jerry's Karmel Sutra (v. small scoop maybe once or twice a week) after the kids go to sleep!

I think it's a matter of what I'm not eating, not what I am eating because clearly I still have some vices in there, especially after dinner. I think the timing/frequency is also important. My body knows that there is always more food coming so it doesn't go into survival mode and try to store every calorie I eat, as would happen on some sort of deprivation diet.

Must...work...out...

Gettin' a little stir crazy. In fact Dylan brought me my running shoes this morning. His way of saying "Get the hell out the door Dadda. You're makin' us nuts."

I've been swimming 3 times, running once, and walking once. This weekend I'm back on the bike.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Fat'n Happy Time

Okay not so fat and getting a little antsy to start working out again. I've recovered from Lake Placid and have got to spend a little more time focused on work and the family. Time to put work back up on the shelf again and get back in shape! :-)
I've re-upped for Lake Placid again next year. I've also booked my lodging. The family is coming with me. You're hearing it here now: I'm going to qualify for Hawaii. In retrospect I think I subconsciously sabotaged my chances this year because I had serious doubts about being able to afford the trip. Sure I have those concerns for next year as well, but I've also got a year to figure it out.
Racing has become more of a job and less of a hobby. While I do it far less than I used to, there are now logistics, budgets, etc... oh yes and more than a little training. When it all comes together like it did in LP, though, it really is satisfying. It's way more satisfying than my job, even when my job is going well, and that's a point which I think few employers understand. I recently talked to a CEO of a small company over coffee and he said he thought work should slot in 2nd after family: sorry dude, too high. If I was told that I would lose my job if I went to Lake Placid or Hawaii for a week for a race, I'd be looking for a new job. I wish I could explain the empowerment I feel in the rest of my life following a good race. When I composed my race report after 2003 I remember thinking that while I don't believe the race, my first Ironman, changed me, it was this incredible affirmation of who I was or at least who I thought I was. Emotionally I was a train wreck going into that race. I remember sulking in the rain (it rained non-stop that June) while I trained. I remember crying on runs, "what if I can't do it? What if all those things I tell myself (about being special, talented, etc...) are bullshit?" I was sure if I didn't finish I'd be broken.

I struggled mightily during the race.

I finished.

5 years later my life is soooo different, but it all started during the Ironman in Lake Placid. From the moment I knew I was going to finish the clouds in my mind and on my soul lifted and I knew the meaning of life, my life anyway.
One thing:
Okay, I guess that's two things!