Sunday, September 23, 2018

It's a Name I Earned...

It has been five years since I earned the right to call myself an Ironman, yet it seems like only yesterday.

In 2013, I did Redman Triathlon 140.6. Arguably the longest day of my life, but one of the most rewarding days. I still remember very distinct details about that day. I remember how nice the water felt due to it being so cold that morning. I remember a certain aid station on the run and the faces that were there, I remember the song playing as I crossed the finish line (Home by Phillip Phillips). I remember the high five I gave as I ran down the chute and I remember the one piece of pizza I ate ate after the race, followed by two IV bags.

I remember it all.

I remember it with pride and with regret. Regret because I am no longer where I was physically. That IM came at the right time for me and my family, with the way life has gone, I know that time of my life was the perfect time to train, I remember with pride as being a 43 year old first time Ironman. I remember the "what now" feeling I had the days after IM. I knew I had some healing to do, but I do regret not staying on that path because mentally, I will also be in IM shape. Funny how that works huh?

I also remember that every year around Sept 20th, I think it is time for me to get back to racing/ Maybe I won't compete anymore, maybe I will just complete??

Stay tuned and find out, because I am not even sure what the next chapter will be!

Sunday, September 2, 2018


So the other day was kind of a big day for me.  A day I have been waiting for at least a year to arrive...

The day I as able to stop taking blood thinners. I have been on Brilanta for a little over a year. I had to start taking it after I had three stents installed in June 2017. I had passed out while playing basketball and after a heart cath, I was found to have a 90% blockage and a 70% blockage. So they went in and fixed me, and then they piled me up with meds. Meds for cholesterol, meds for other stuff and the blood thinner. I was told I had to stay on the thinner for at least a year to help with the stents.

Now, I hated taking the blood thinner medication. It made me bruise really easily, in fact I often joked that if you looked at me to hard, then I'd probably bruise! The main reason I hated it was because any little nick, and I would bleed for at least 45 minutes. I hated it!  When I cut myself shaving, man, did I bleed.  Sometimes I would wake up and have blood on my pillow because of some little unknown cut that bled.  So I was really looking forward to that day when I gt the okay from my heart doc to stop taking them.

But, I have to say, it was a little bit weird not taking them anymore. Not like an addictive kind of thing, but a what is it going to be like not taking them kind of weird. So while I was looking forward to not taking them, I also had some concern as to what would it be like not taking them.

It's been almost two weeks off the Brilanta, and I can report that I feel no different off them than I did on them. Now I still have to take some aspirin, but I hear you should be doing that anyways. So the bruising has decreased a lot, and the bleeding is not near as bad as it was.

Long story short is that I am happy to have this behind me. I am feeling great!

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Maybe When I'm 47...

Sometimes I forget I am 46 years old (47 Sept 7th). I say this because in my mind, I am still in my early thirties and can still do early 30's type of stuff. I start to feel really good, really loose and then one wrong bend, and BOOM, Oh yeah, I'm 46.

This occurs pretty frequently unfortunately. Sometimes its a gentle reminder and other times is an old fashioned slap upside the back of my head.

Last Saturday I was in the gym lifting things up and putting them down (in your best Arnold voice) and on my workout was dead-lifts, which I hate. Now I have never worked out as a triathlete, because I ran and biked so much, that I never had the time. So I admit, my form may suck. I was dreading these dead-lifts and for that reason, I started very low weight. Almost embarrassingly low weight. After lift 3, I felt my back. Tweak city. So I immediately stopped and went home, hoping for the best. My back was sore for a few days but it was nothing I could not handle and it never keep me from doing what I wanted.

Fast forward to Thursday night. Volleyball night!  I am on a recreational non spiking volleyball team. We had a double header that night and I felt good playing, back was loose, no pain at all! Then I woke up Friday morning...

It continued to get worse and worse throughout the day until finally, all I wanted to do was lay down flat on the floor. This weekend has been filled with muscle relaxers, Bio-freeze, Epsom salt baths and Tylenol. I'd like to say I have learned my lesson, but I know myself, and I know I haven't.

Maybe when I'm 47.

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Is it Time...

I wonder if it is time to start this blog again? I mean, do people still read blogs now that Instagram and Snapchat are so popular? Time will tell I guess. I even thought about changing the title of this blog since I m no longer racing, however, I am still training. I have really gotten into being in the weight room lately.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Round 2 and Cardiac Rehab?

June 29th, I went back to the hospital for round 2 of my journey into #stentlife. It pretty much went just like the first one. I went in at 6 AM, got prepped, got my Xanax and was feeling pretty good. I wish I could tell you more about the procedure, but honestly, I do not remember much. I do know that the doc had to install two stents due to the length of the blockage.

***Rewind: I was diagnosed with a blockage in my arteries. I had a 90% and a 70% blockage that was found after I passed out playing basketball***

The only surprising thing to me was that I later found out that all three stents are placed in the same artery, which kinda freaked me out a bit to be honest. I really have no idea if that is good or bad for me, but I have given up on researching this on the internet. There is some scary stuff there on the web.

So here I am 12 days later and I am feeling really good. I am not restricted from doing anything I want right now. I am , however, suppose to go to cardiac rehab tomorrow, and I am not sure about it.

I do not know anyone that has ever gone to cardiac rehab and have no idea what it requires. I have talk to the nurse and she said that is a way to ensure my heart is strong. The goal is to get me where I can exercise for 50 minutes at a time.  It is 3 times a week for 12 weeks!!! The first session's goal is to get my heart rate up 20 beats per minute over my resting heart rate. So basically get my heart rate up to 80.

I have already been back to the gym and been lifting weights again. I did 45 minutes this morning. I am really having mixed emotions about this cardio rehab, but I am going to go to the first session and just see what it is all about. I do not expect much out of this though. I will let you know what happens.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Basketball Saved my Life...

A couple of Thursdays ago, I was playing in a basketball game at our church. It's a rec league of old guys trying to "relive the glory days" as my wife puts it. The game was going on and I really wasn't "reliving" anything, except that I felt off. In the 2nd half of the game, I was really feeling winded, so I took myself out of the game and sat on the bench. The dizziness then hit me and the next thing I know I am waking up staring up at my team. I had passed out on the bench.

I was convinced to go to the ER by a guy on our team who is a paramedic and had a teammate drive me home so my wife could take me to the ER. Once there, I was run through a ton of tests, was told I was in AFIB and had a heart rate of 170! After a few hours and some medication, my heart rate converted back to a normal rhythm at just the right time before they admitted me. An Appointment was made with a cardiologist for Tuesday.

At the cardio doc, I was again run through a bunch of tests and it was decided I should do a stress test. So that wasn't as hard or as scary as I had thought in my mind and really did not think much of it. So after that, was the ultrasound of the heart. I left feeling pretty good.

Wednesday, while at work I receive a call asking me to come back tot he doctor's office because there were some "abnormalities" in my stress test results. They lady on the phone could not go further in the explanation, which is not good for a guys heart!

So the doctor states that there may be a blockage in my heart somewhere and suggested we do a heart cath procedure, where they run a catheter up my groin to my heart and poke around or something. The Dr. did say there was a chance that the test produce a "false-positive" but they would not know until they got in there. So we scheduled it form 5/25/17.

***First of all, I thought this was truly a false/positive. There was no way I could have blocked arteries! I am active, I eat fairly good, I am not overweight...this has to be a mistake.***

Fast forward to 5/25. I will not go into the prep of the procedure (but there is a story about a turkey sammich I will share at some point). I am on the table, awake and talking to the doctor as he is looking around my heart. He stops and states that I have two blockages! one is 90% blocked and the other is 70% blocked.


I had a stent placed in the 90% blocked artery and will have another one in a couple of weeks. The procedure was painless and seems to be working. I do feel better and I am actually looking forward to getting the second one done.

I am just stunned though. As active as I am, or thought I was, and as whatever I though I was, blocked arteries was the last thing on my mind. The DR did say my cholesterol is out of whack and I will work on it, but if I had not passed out in that basketball game, then I would have never known about my issues. In a weird way, basketball saved my life!

Friday, March 24, 2017

It's Been a Good Run . . .

Off and on, off and on, off and on...that is exactly how I would explain my desire to race again. Mentally and I am on. Physically I am off. Rarely does it seem like the two are on the same page. I am gaining weight, I am feeling dull, and I am lazy. I don't like feeling this way. I can talk the good game, but right now there is no action behind any of my talk. I need to get back out and exercise. I want to train, but train to be healthy, not to PR.

This has been going on for awhile now. To long actually, which actually led me to an epiphany last night. And after thinking about it for awhile and then making a decision on it, I was at peace.

I am officially retiring from Triathlons.

Sounds weird to say that, and I am not saying I will never do another race, but it is very freeing. My workouts were beginning to be something I was not looking forward too, and if I did do them, then they were forced, and I was dreading them.  So therefore, it's over.

It has been a good run. Dating back to 2008 when I did my first indoor triathlon and got hooked. Back then, the goals were simple, just finish and see if I could do it. The indoor led to an Olympic race, where I thought I was going to drown. That led to an immediate drop back to the sprint races, which I did for a few years until I got the bug to go long. The bug led to a half marathon, and the half marathon led to a 70.3 race. IM Branson 70.3 which was a total bust. That led to a rematch with IM Branson and Nash Vegas 70.3. All this led to a marathon or two, which eventually ended with Ironman 140.6.

Here is a list of races I have done:

BRC Indoor Triathlon 2x
Memphis in May Olympic 6x
Dragonfly Sprint 3x
MightyMite Sprint 4x
Los Locos Duathlon 2x
Rebelman Sprint
CATS Sprint Triathlon
Showman SharpShooter Triathlon 3x
Germantown Half Marathon 2x
Ironman Branson 70.3 2x
St Jude Marathon 2x
Nash Vegas Half Triathlon
Redman Full Triathlon 140.6
Ragnar Relay (Chattanooga to Nashville) 2x
St Jude Half Marathon
Memphis in May Sprint

With training totals as I can best estimate:

Swim- 1, 221 miles
Bike- 7,693 miles
Run- 3,304 miles

So what's next you ask? Am I going to sit around and get fatter and always talk about the glory days?

Well, maybe.

Right now, I am really want to get in the weight room and see what I can do. Might be another cruise in my future. So the blog will still be around, but it won't just be triathlon related anymore, so keep coming back when ya can!!!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

4 Years Ago...

This morning when I looked at FaceBook, I had one of those memory post pop up. Usually they are something with the kids and I remember how young they were, I show my wife and its over. This one hit me though. Hit me as in, has it really been 4 years?

It doesn't seem like it was 4 years ago! It was just so weird you know? And what is really weird is that my training plan for a sprint started this week, so who knows?? Maybe a 2nd IM in the next year or so????

Friday, January 6, 2017

Guess Who's Back....Back again...

I can't believe it has two months since my last blog post, but honestly, there has not been a lot to blog about (triathlon speaking). I have been really trying to lose some weight without working out for the last couple of months. I really wanted to see if I could drop to under 200 without killing myself by swimming, biking or running. I figured that if I can drop the weight on diet alone, then by the time the new year comes around, my eating habits will be better and more of a "routine" and everything will work that much better. So I am down to right at 200 and feeling pretty good.

This January I did not make out a race schedule like normal. I guess I am just over it, or I am tired of life getting in the way and them looking back at all the races I missed. So no schedule, but I do have a plan, or some races I want to do for fun. They involve a couple of sprints and a mini sprint race that should be a lot of fun, and then based on how those go, I think I want to look at maybe a 70.3 towards the end of the season.

So in January, I bought the following items: new jammers, new clear goggles and new running shoes! I have found that I really do miss training for something, so it has been good to get back in the water and swim. I have not got to use the new kicks yet, but I will. I stayed with Brooks Adrenaline shoes, my go to shoe it seems. My plan is to really use January as a base building month, which will include some of the elliptical, some swimming, little biking and weights. I feel like I am starting over, like a 500 yard swim is epic and a mile run is huge!  I guess 3 years off after doing IM will do that to you!

Funny story- I was in the gym locker room lacing up my Hokas and an older gentlemen asked me if I was starting a run plan for the New Year (I'm a resoluter now I guess) I told him that "Yeah I was going to get back to running again", then he started to give me all these tips on running. I finally saw a break in him speaking and told him that I used to run a lot when I was training for Ironman. That stopped him and he said, "you did Ironman?" I said, "Yes Sir at the end of 2013" and he just walked off.

So I guess I can say I am back to training and racing and looking forward to it. I got my new gear and I am ready to see what 2017 brings!!!  Hope you all have a great year and a lot of PR's!!!

Friday, October 28, 2016

I've Been Contemplating...

So it's been awhile since I posted and there is no other reason than the fact that I have been contemplating. Thoughtfully, with continued attention about me. About my sore knees and my gut. I have been looking at it with continued attention about how I am not happy with where I am, but yet I am also looking at how I have not tried to change anything.

Sometimes, I am a lot of talk, and I stand on past accomplishments.

The main question I get weekly is what race am I training for now? And lately, my answer has been, I'm not. The "want to" is there, but the body is having a tough time getting going. It may be the extra 20lbs I have gained that is causing the knees to hurt and crack when I get up, but it's not fun.

So I am not making out a 2017 race schedule except for one race. A sprint triathlon in May. If I will get in shape for that and if I feel right, then I still have the "want to" to go long one more time and maybe I can find a late season race, but it will depend on the May race. I have come to realize that the older I get, the faster I used to be.
So I have 7 months to train for a sprint triathlon! I want to look good as a 45 year old male, so I will be doing a picture of me now and then another one in May, and I promise I will post!
P.S. Check me out on Snapchat: ironman1553