Sunday, March 28, 2010

Heard at my house

"No Dylan. Stop touching daddy's toothbrush and wash your hands."

I know what he gets on his hands, especially when in the bathroom. Time for a new toothbrush.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Unexpected byproduct of parenthood

I never thought parenthood would have precisely the effect on me that it has. Sure I knew it would be life changing, but I never imagined it would be responsible for me sitting here watching "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution" and getting really upset. The state of school "hot lunch" is beyond appalling. Alexandra doesn't eat it. Alexandra doesn't want to eat it. That makes me very happy. Other kids do eat it and want to eat it, and that upsets me. People just don't know, they don't understand. A few weeks back I was in CVS picking up some scripts for Leanna and a very obese person sat on (by "on" I mean on top of because she couldn't sit "in", between the armrests) the chair. I turned and my haw dropped. She couldn't have been more than 12. It really upsets me. Before being a parent I would have been disgusted. Now I just want to help make it better.

I'm so proud of my kids because they seem to be getting the message. Dylan likes his sweets a bit too much, but they love fruit. They insist on yogurt. They love raw carrots. They eat fish and don't really like fries. They avoid "brown" food. Color is great. More Strawberries and Blueberries!! They love running and playing outside. Alexandra keeps asking me when she will be old enough to run with me. We already run together at the track.

Today I got one of the best things I've ever read in my whole life. It was on Alexandra's report card: "Alexandra has blossomed into a lovely young lady and a confident learner...Alexandra has become a wonderful multiage role model!"

Saturday, March 20, 2010

I have seen the enemy...

...and yes he really is me (us).

A week down at my new job, and time to reflect. There are a lot of different, odd, annoying things but in the final assessment the only true issues are those I'm creating myself. I need to deprogram myself; stop driving...driving...driving. Relax, everything will be fine.

It did suck missing a few training days this week, but slowly I'm seeing the potential for a routine. I was so busy focusing on the fact that my new building wasn't in the greatest area for running (though a great bike path is nearby), I missed the fact that I can actually bring my bike to work and ride at lunch again. I haven't done that since I worked at APC, and really missed it. And my building has treadmills (seldom used by the look of my co-workers!), and stationary bikes, and showers.

It's also taking a bit of time to get used to being "disconnected." I don't have access to Twitter, Facebook, even my Gmail account while at work, not even on my bank issued Blackberry. It's all Citizens, all the time. **side note: me thinks this Blackberry will spend quite a bit of time in the off position!** I haven't been this disconnected in a few years. Know what I noticed? I noticed that I didn't have to think about work, not even for a second from the moment I stepped out of the building yesterday afternoon. Sweet! People think of higher ed as relaxed, and while that may be true, Brown has this unfortunate "second city" mentality. They want so dearly to do what Harvard, Yale, Princeton, or MIT do that they miss what is truly special about Brown. Up on college hill there really are some very smart, good people too. The result is they try to do as much or more than their peers with far fewer resources. It shows in the faces of the people who try to succeed even when the deck is stacked against them.

But I digress. I got out for a "training" session today. Training is in quotes because it definitely did not fit the QT2 protocol, unless of course this was a mock race week. But there are times where I love, no need the mock race. Yes it means I'm probably training my anaerobic system more than I should and my aerobic system less, but you know there's nothing like it for mood control. 90 minutes going hard on the bike followed by some max effort running is one of the best ways I know to quell that "smelling blood wanting to rip your head off" sensation!

Random notes:
  • I'm entered in two races this year: Mooseman (June) and Pumpkinman (September), both 1/2 Ironman distance.
  • I'll probably race the Wrentham Duathlon in April.
  • I still need a pool but have a few prospects.
  • My daughter is indeed 6 today.
  • I'll be 44 in 3 days. :-0
  • I weigh 155lbs now. Strength and health are good.
  • My Facebook friends now include people from St. Edmunds, kids and Dads! I got an invite from Isaac Harper and honestly wasn't sure who that was. Now if he had identified himself as "Mr. Harper"... :-) After all, all the Dads were "Mr."
  • Related note, it's weird being called "Mr. Kehm". That's my dad people!
  • Alexandra got roller skates for her birthday. "Skateaway" is now playing in my head.
  • Somewhere along the line I passed another bonding milestone with Dylan. He really is "my best little buddy."
  • Leanna is doing more and more each day. While she doesn't always seem to notice this, I do and it makes me happy. Long journey left, but already miles under her belt.

Friday, March 12, 2010

I'm feelin' it

I've managed to get the bike on the road outdoors twice now(v. short rides, 18 miles each). The first time was perfect weather, not wind and the surprise of surprises was how good I felt. The power was there. The handling was there. It was the most comfortable I've been on an early season road ride. And the pace was something equal to what I was putting up in June of last year. Actually it seemed too good to be true.

Today I road again to validate that feeling. It was windy and noticeably cooler. Despite having a max speed 4mph slower than the first ride, I finished the loop 4sec faster with an avg HR 3 bpm slower. I also followed this up with 6 miles of 7:07/mile running 3 bpm below my Z1 top (also late May pace).

Can't deny it anymore. Staying healthy in February made a big difference. So have those periodic very hard first mile T-runs. Last year I had some issues using all of my potential. Legs would blow (or seemed to, maybe it was my head) before I pushed my heart to the top. I jokingly referred to this as bouts of "vaginitis." The miles have cured that.

Looking forward to race season.

Sandy Point: March 12
Sandy Point: March 8

Sunday, March 07, 2010

You do the math...

Today I ran the same loop I did Feb. 19th. A couple things have changed in my life since then: I'm getting ready to start a new job, and Leanna's surgery is in the rear-view mirror. In short today I was faster at a lower effort.

(the splits were taken at the same points. today I did not leave the timer on for the warm-down.)

Feb. 19th: http://connect.garmin.com/splits/25060377
Mar. 7th: http://connect.garmin.com/splits/26333682

Feels good. (the warm weather was nice too!)

Friday, March 05, 2010

Good to be home (and other randomness)

Under other circumstances, that could have been a very nice little getaway to Boston. The hotel was reasonable, if very standard. But hell, you only sleep in the room anyway and it was big and comfortable. There were a ton of places to eat right there. And we were right on the green line, so an easy hit into town if we wanted.

The kids are at dinner with Grandma and Grandpa, two people who stepped up really well for us, and Leanna is safely tucked away in the bedroom. I'm obviously here typing away. I'm taking this opportunity to de-stress a little and knock down some (a lot actually) Cabernet. I didn't sleep. Not well anyway. Instead I read a vampire book and looked every bit the part by this morning. Forget someone assaulting me as I ran back to the room late at night. I likely scared the sh-t out of most people. I don't think of myself as the least bit scary or intimidating, but then I looked in the mirror this morning!

The procedure went really well and we have real reason to be hopeful. I love our surgeon. She is confident, bordering on cocky. And you know what? When you've got something like this to be done that's EXACTLY the person you want. I don't want some schmuck telling me how everything has risk and anything can happen even if the odds are long. I want the "my sh-t doesn't stink I'll call you and tell you how great I was when I break scrub" person every time. And she liked metaphors (as do I): "The fibroid was massive. Like the size of a Whopper. And I got the whole thing. It was easy." Confident and easy to understand; a good combination.

Final random thought here: I was in CVS getting Leanna's prescriptions filled and I stuck my arm into one of those "blood and pulse" machines while I waited. Suddenly I had visions of "Dawn of the Dead". The damn thing grabbed hold of me and didn't let go for minutes. Holy cr-p people, you can let the air out a little faster! No wonder it has warnings all over it about bruising and the potential to maim small children. Anyway I tested out at 109/60 and 48bpm to go with my 157lb body weight. It does make me wonder what my pulse is while I sleep. I might wear the monitor overnight tonight to see what it records.

**PS: The phrase of the week was: this (insert activity here) was NOT in the wedding vows!**

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Moving forward

I always feel faster in the dark. I know it's because of the limited range of vision makes objects seem to move from the limit of my sight to the foreground that much faster. Still it's cool. I ran last night; just a one mile effort up Longwood Ave from Brookline Ave to Harvard St. I felt a little guilty because I told Leanna I wouldn't go back to the hotel on foot, but there were no cabs, there was plenty of light, and it was sooo close. Even going uphill carrying my book and in street clothes I made it in 7 minutes. That's been my "workout" the last couple of days: repeats up and down Longwood from BIDMC to the Courtyard Marriott in Brookline. And I'm feeling good.

A strange thing happened yesterday after the surgery, my habits changed. It was subtle, I didn't really notice until today, but I stopped eating comfort food. Today for lunch instead of going to the Longwood Galleria Foodcourt (*yuck*), I did my repeat to Harvard St, right to Trader Joes. And I had this overwhelming desire to buy...fruit! Apples and bananas. And no hamburgers for lunch, but sushi instead! And okay I picked up a bottle of red wine to drink in the room... :-)

Leanna has been amazing through this. She's really tough and doesn't give herself credit for such. She's been mostly refusing her pain meds. I tried to tell her there were no bonus points if you toughed it out, but she wasn't buying it. Today I gave her my 2009 IMLP Finisher medal because she deserves it after all she's been through. Because she's not a triathlete the gesture doesn't have quite the significance to her that is does to me, but others will get it and I want everyone to know just what she's made of.

So what's the great revelation I had? My body is getting me (and itself) ready to race for real again, that's what is happening. My diet is cleaning up and my focus is returning. I think I've dropped a pound or 2 already. I may not race a ton this year, but I think I'll represent pretty well. Hopefully I'll get into the races I want (I think I'll be entering when I get home this weekend, Mooseman and Pumpkinman). And God willing, my family will be with me at those races.

Monday, March 01, 2010

Putting these skills to work

Not all of the skills you develop training and racing Ironman are just for use in Ironman. Many are life skills; patience, calm, live in the moment but keep an eye on the prize. I have not entered any races yet this year because I can't see past this Wednesday. I'm accompanying Leanna to Boston while she undergoes a surgical procedure. It should be "routine" but nonetheless it will be the longest few hours of my life. This has been a really long road.

God willing I'll be entering races soon, but for now I need to focus on this moment.