Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I retire!

OK, not from triathlon of course....but from Basketball. Basketball has been berry berry good to me but I have experienced it's ailments. Of course, last Sunday night I was asked by my neighbor buddy to fill in for a guy who was going to be missing in a tournament game, and I was to be the ringer. Oh contrair! First of all, my wife to be suggested I don't play, but oh no, stupid Johnny said oh, what's the harm in a good ol fashioned hoops game....so of course I couldn't say no and proceeded to go PLAY. And wouldn't you know but a Grade 3 high ankle sprain later, she said she told me so in a very gentle way....THEREFORE, I am here to announce my retirement from basketball to myself. Over. Done. The fork is stuck in me. And I'm pissed because I'm supposed to be training for trialthons, not in becoming John Stockton born again. But that's OK, no breaks, just a walking boot for a week, now an air cast for about 2 and 6 whole weeks with no running! Yikes! But biking...oh, it's on!

And now bigger things...it's been quite a stressful time of late as me and my girl are still awaiting word on our fate, as far as jobs and moving goes. It's been about 5 weeks since our staff firing and since then we have experienced a roller coaster of emotions, ranging from excitement to worry to whatever is meant to happen will happen, and so on. And it is fairly easy to tell yourself you should be one way and to relax and that whatever is happen is meant to happen but it really is much harder to really live that. I think this is a good learning experience though because I've learned that you really shouldn't put pressure on yourself or add worries to your relationship related to a job based on things that you really can't control. So this has been a long waiting period and I do believe something good will happen and we'll look back on this time and think, wow, why were we so worried, look at how terrific everything has happened since that time because of that! I think that's what we'll say then but whoa nellie, the unknown is exciting yet VERY nervewrecking! But I must say my dearest girl, Beez, has handled everything so well! Poor girl got thrown into the football coaches world of fire and has risen like the good attituded, flexible, and strong willed girl I knew she was. I am SOOO lucky to have a wonderful future wifey!!!! And I've also learned how much periods suck for girls...and that gatorade and salt tabs don't help get rid of her cramps! Sorry, I didn't know!

And time is coming for my Pops to either get the Redskins job or not! It's so funny to think that in like 2 days our whole world of occupation and where we live and everything else could...or could not be changed by 1 guys decision. I hope so badly that he gets the job that he desires so much but I must say, and this is what I was talking about earlier, that it is either meant to be or not meant to be and either way our lives will adjust and go on just as happily with other opportunities hopefully in store. I rememeber hwow torn I was coming to Baltimore or not from New Mexico and wondering if my life would change for the better or worse...and I think if you have confidence in yourself then you have to believe that the decisions you make are going to be the right ones...and I trust myself and I know the hard decision I have to make in the future will be the right decisions...because I trust myself. So all in all, this is a great time to reflect and learn how to cope with insecurity with a job but maintain perspective and know how great it is to share these experiences with someone I truly love...I think it has and will make us stronger! That, I know, is good!

Friday, January 25, 2008

The Beginning

As I look back on my past few posts, I realize how long ago it was since I've put my thoughts and goals and accomplishments out there for anyone to see. Ay carumba...but now, I hope to continue the same but future writing will be for, how do I put it...? Diary reasons...I know it sounds gay but I really would like to look back at what I'm doing now and remember what I did and how I felt and what I looked forward to and all that good stuff....so, not that anyone will really read this, but there really is no need to post a comment. And I'm hoping this will remain my little secret...hahaha! How about we start with mine and my wonderful fiances save the date picture, my favorite one possibly ever...OK, here it is!

Yes!!! So I sit here in my office ANXIOUSLY awaiting the opportunity to speak with our/the Ravens new Head Coach, John Harbaugh...and I'm sure I will be postponed until after the weekend and further prolong our anxiety as to where we will move to and live and work and play and...and...and...But as well, Poppa is still in the running, altough hanging on by a thread, to the possibility of becoming Head Coach of the Washington Redskins...but wait, yippee, the biggest news of the day.....Jana McCauley, sweet sister Jana, Jana Almighty, is due to become a 1st time Momma next September, WOW! Little sister, I can't beleive it! So even with all this craziness going on, it is so nice to forget about 'The Craziness' and realize it's all about the Family! Ah, what the heck, here's another one just for fun....

I'm back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Holy Macaroni and Cheese

What is the date today? April 26th? Yikes...what the? Where did all the time go since my previous post in what, December? Since my last post, there's so much to write about that I couldn't possibly write about it all so here's a quick capsule of those moments leading up to the latest Ironman conquer, IMAZ on April 15th! So on December 29th, I used up life #7 (crap, only 2 left) as I was clipped by a pick up truck on a training ride in my aerobic base building phase for IMAZ. I survived with no breaks, no tears, a JACKED up elbow and a destroyed bicycle. And I was supposed to go on a 1st date that night with the a girl who is now my girlfriend and she thought I stood her up because I was in the hospital most of the night and was taken home on morhine so....wow, and she still hung around. I love my girfriend!!! And then New Years came, then my 33rd B-day, then trips to LA, Denver, El-Paso, Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Lake Havasu, Princeton, and DC. Raced in 2 Olympic Distance Tri's in March and boom, IMAZ was upon Big Purple.
Training was very difficult with east coast weather and work travels and being out of commision for 3 weeks after the accident and bike-less for 2 months as fitting for a new one took longer than anticipated but motivation was constantly high and the body was receptive to catch up training loads and stresses. I think experience matters! I knew I was getting in good form when I raced in Lake Havasu in hot weather and for the 1st time finished an Oly Tri in under 2 and a half hours and didn't even close to cramping. I was feeling ready.

IM Arizona was next. I was nervous. After last summers IMCDA I was REALLY nervous. But it was healthy nervous and I had a completely new nutrition plan and pacing strategy. So sitting there treading water in Tempe Town Lake was funner than I thought. It felt so good and looking up at the packed bridge of spectators I was loving life. A few minutes before the race I felt myself hanging onto a canoe...OOPS!...in the very front and middle of the mass start. I said, "Oh Crap". Needless to say I was swam over, under, through, by, up, down...etc. Wow, what a rush, but I finished in 1:20:00. OK, not bad and an 11 minute transition, OK whatever, I was enjoying the day so far and in not to much of a hurry for a killer ride no rider could've anticipated....dare I say, WIND! Fortunately, it was an un-adventurous ride, I started easy and actually got a little faster as the day wore on. At mile 60 I knew I was in no risk of stomach pain and the legs felt GREAT! At mile 80, after about 9 salt tabs I felt like the bike race had just begun. I was feeling SO good and passing better swimmers than me constantly. The wind was brutal but I was able to maintain aerobar position the entire 112 miles which helped, lots. Finished the bike in 6:20:00, which isn't great but considering the wind, I was actually really excited! A 13:00 T2 later I was running and knew I was gonna make it! My legs were still very good and the temperature was nice! On loop 1, Zeiger passed me and 55 seconds behind, the eventual womens champ Gollnick passed me, that was pretty exciting. 4:59:38 later, the marathon was done and no cramps the whole race!!! YES! IMAZ was conquered in 13:10:00, 2 hours and 11 minutes faster than IM CDA '06! Iron Benny and Nytro were there along with my girlfriend, Mom, Dad, sister, bro-in-law, and cousins, aunts, and uncles like I couldn't believe! What a great day with the family and what an inspiration the were! Wow, it's almost May already? SOrry, gotta run, IM CDA is less than 8 weeks away!!!!!

Friday, December 08, 2006

What happened to fall?

It seems like whenever December rolls around that late summer kind of turns into early winter and I'm left wondering what happened to October and November. Maybe that's what happens when you start getting 'old'...or it could possibly be my crazy job where every day is long and the same and life goes by to fast. And as nobody knows, I happened to sign up for Ironman Arizona and decided my training start date would be December 3rd...well, I'm in my first week of aerobic training and back at it! Yippee! If the next 2 months fly by like the last two, race season will back in a flash...I guess there are positives. However, I saw the movie "Click" and it was excellent and the story was excellent...basically saying don't live your life in fast forward because the rewind button doesn't work. Nice movie I thought and I think that will be my New years Resolution. Thanks blog land for helping clarify a good New years resolution. And I might for the first time in mmy life have a triathlon training partner, I met her yesterday at work and she is a pro and will dominate me but I'm all for it. Like they say, if you're not the lead dog the view never changes...I guess in bicycle land that could be a good thing so I'm looking forward to it! OK, I'm back, I forgot to post this last night so here I am the next morning and I think I have nothing else to say...maybe because it's 6:45am. Until next time.....

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I know you're out there, somewhere out there...

Back to blogger life...oh it feels so good. Since it is the last day of September (WOW) I think it would be good of me to comment on the beauty of the Indian Summer out east. The humidity has disappeared and the cool breeze has flowed in. Not that I'm excite dby any means about winter as the season on deck, but it's nice to know even Baltimore, Md has 4 seasons. And there are so many trees out here that in a few weeks it will be a fall wonderland with the colors of the leaves changing and the temps in the mid 60's. This could be the second best time of the year...first of course being when the cold finally goes away and you can sense summer on the horizon. So my racing and training has ceased since August 1st due to workload and, well, I'm only a part time racer. It actually is nice because it keeps me from over doing it which I would definitely be prone to do. Therefore, I have gotten into some yoga and back to the weight room trying to get some strength back after a long spring and summer of racing and training. I get to the pool for about 1,500 to 2,000 yards of swimming about twice a week but purely for fun and the bicycle, ah the bicycle, my new best friend...except the other day when I was riding Steeplechase country in the farmlands of Maryland (steeplechase country is was it's called, pure non-stop hills is what it is) and I got stuck in my big ring for some reason the rest of way so I big geared it for the next hour or so and decided at that point food sounded good...so that was that.

(Here's a picture of my summer trip to Jackson, Wyoming where i found this AWESOME country road that went to the most beautiful nowhere ever...and a 5 1/2 mile climb at 10%. Sweet Nectar!)

“I learned to fight. I worked and studied it.If I got beat up or did something sloppy in the gym, I’d go home and work on it until I got it right. Man, it was hard work…I didn’t want to be just good. I wanted to be the best!”

“I did my homework. I went home and practiced punches in the mirror. I dedicated myself to being the best!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

...keeps going, and going, and going...

Well, this tells the story, do I even need to write anything? And thanks to Iron Benny for this awe inspiring photo of me at my best...NOT! OK, so T2 might have been a little slow but really I was just soaking in the wonderful scenery of a transition tent filled with ugly, beat down, and sweaty men. It was beautiful...anyways, and so once the medic put my shoes on for me and tied them I was off. And I KNEW I would finish! Had a nice, quick chat with pops and baby bro and that was that, a journey that felt like heaven and hell all at once. I took off and actually got about 6 miles in before the quads starting blowing up again and once they blew, I KNEW I would not get them back the rest of the race, they were destroyed, and yes Iron Benny, I was wrecked. From mile 6 through 14, me and some awesome 62 year old man leapfrogged each other until he caught his second wind and was gone...I almost got on my knees and bowed, "I'm not worthy". I hit mile 14 and saw Pops, my bro, Iron Benny and Nytro and couldn't believe the quad agony I was in although I tried to play it off so none would worry, but again, my legs were D.E.S.T.R.O.Y.E.D. But, my knees, ankles, hips, etc. were good, even the calves were good, but the quads, for heavens sake, the quads...it was about 10 days post race before I felt normal again.

OK, mile 14 I came to a walk with the crew, chatted with Dad for a little bit (I think he was worried) and regained some composure. I hit the special needs station and grabbed some food and was off again. I was running but my pace was really like walking...in football terms, we refer to what I was doing as "The lineman shuffle". And the worst part of the race was about to happen...in the distance I was gaining on someone, slowly but surely, and as I caught him I almost decided to throw myself right off the cliff into Lake Coeur D'Alene...this guy was running/walking with a cane he must have just picked up at the Special Needs stop! Wow do I suck I thought to myself!? It took me until mile 15 to pass a dude with a cane? A CAne? A CANE? So I grinded out mile 16-22 passing some people throwing up on the blacktop, one guy taking a nap in the shade by the aid station, someone walking backwards, and me with sandwich bags filled with ice stuffed under my shorts on my quads...I saw the 62 year old doing that and I thought, "ah, experience". By now it was getting dark and my goal finish time had passed but I pressed on...I was starting to experience stomach pain again and so at mile 22 I decided I had eaten and drank all I possibly could and the quads weren't coming back and so I would run the last 4 miles as fast as I could not stopping at any aid station and crossing the line with some dignity and something to be proud of...I did and as I came out of the neighborhood and turned left down main street I could hear the announcer proclaiming the finishers as Ironman and see the lights of the finish line and I thought, "c'mon, only 2/10 of a mile left", and flew (ha) to the finish line crossing hearing, "congratulations John, you are an Ironman". Yippee! It was 10:15 at night and I had finished a day I will never forget...actually it wasn't over yet because I spent over an hour in the medical tent receiving 3 bags of IV and having 6 blankets on me because they said the reason I was shaking was because I was cold. Cold? It was 100 degrees all day and I didn't feel cold that's for sure but they were right, I was cold somehow!? And that was that, poof, over and done with. But laying there in the medical tent, I honestly thought to myself, "I'm doing this again next year and this time I'm getting the best of you Course Ironman Coeur D'Alene, you won this time sucker but not next year". Big Purple Out!

Monday, August 07, 2006


OK, wow, I thought I'd wait until I was fully recovered from my Ironman Coeur D'Alene bike disaster to recap the rest of the race and it is now August 5th and I am fully healed.....just kidding, it was shear blogger laziness why I have not posted. Not that anyone cares but my personal blog diary needs to know...OK, let's go back to that scary place in Idaho...

OK, so the swim was fun, I was jacked and on pace to my goal...however it was only 8:30 in the morning and little did I know what I was in for. I didn't know because what happened had never happened to me in my life. So off I went at a good pace, not to rookie fast and excited but solid, maybe 20 mph average over the first hour. The first bike portion had a minor hill or two within the first 16 miles and went 8 miles out along the Lake and returned back through town before going out into the boonies. BEAUTIFUL! The first hour went well however at about this point, right about where the first substantial climb was, I started to get some stomach pains, not from hunger or gas or anything, just pain but of course it would go away, right? So I kept battling and I crushed the first climb and the second as well, which was shorter but steeper. No biggy except my stomach was getting worse. I switched from my gatorade mix to water and eliminated gels and tried some real food like half a banana and some raisins I brought. Maybe it was to much sugar....nope! Needless to say around the 35 mile mark I was becoming worried, by mile 40 my pace slowed DRASTICALLY and I was having trouble breathing correctly and there was no comfortable position, aero or upright I could find. I was now getting pased left and right and was in dire straits. I knew at mile 50 there was an aid station and I suffered horribly the next 10 miles trying to make it there. I was so pissed because I had trained so long and hard to feel good and I actually had great legs going but low and behold, stomach issues. So at mile 50 I dumped my bike in the weeds and self gagged myself to get myself to throw up, and I succeeded but it took about 20 straight minutes of throwing up to feel better. But, rookie mistake #2, I jumped back on my bike dehydrated and sped off not even thinking of getting a few water or gatorade bottles to get me through to the next aid station 17 miles away. And all I had left was 1/2 a warm gatorade bottle. Doy!!! The next 17 miles sealed my fate for the rest of the race. Stick a fork in me, I was done. But I looked on the bright side and determined it would only be another 8 or 9 or 10 more hours of suffering. And I told myself the next time a woman tells me I'll never know pain like a woman does giving birth, I'll say BULL!*@$, I gave birth right then and there in the weeds in boonieland Idaho. So there were positives here...Anyway, it started to get REAL hot, 100 degrees out on the flats in Washington State and I started cramping badly. But really, as much pain as I was in and as worried as I was of the upcoming run, this is what I wanted and this was the challenge I need. I am a huge fan of self torture and this was the ultimate. I wish I could explain why I had such a HUGE stomach pain but I can't so what I'm saying, if anyone is ever going to try this for the first time, is to expect the unexpected and don't get mad. Crazy stuff happens no matter how much you try to train or prepare for it. OK, ya, my T2 time was 33 minutes...I enjoyed a cold beer, some ball park franks, and tossed a frisbee around.....OK, really, I spent about 10 minutes with ice rags on my quads and calves, about 10 minutes changing, about 10 minutes with the medic stretching me out and 3 minutes wondering how in the hell I'm gonna run a marathon. Hahahaha. I was on my way to the finish line and my great bud Iron Benny was there to tell me, "hey, you still got 8 and a half hours until midnight." I figured that would probably be enough time to finish 26 so off I went.

I'll talk about the run next blog, but just so everyone knows who thinks this is only pain and misery, it isn't. It's physically exhausting but one of the most rewarding and greatest learning experience of my life. To push yourself beyond your supposed limit and learn that your body can do so much more than your mind will let on is a great feeling of accomplishment. And I learned so much about my body I never knew. Also, 3 days after the race I signed up for it again because, well, this is the part that always gets me.....I can beat my time. I don't only want to beat it, I want to crush it. So I'll see everyone in Coeur D'Alene in '07 racing with my bud Iron Benny! Run to come!!!