Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Opps, I Did It Again...

I have a race in 4 days, a sprint triathlon and I am not trained for it. This is starting to become a habit for me and it's a bummer. Things were going well on the whole training aspect until we moved, then it broke up a little bit and now I am here with a nasty head cold that leaves me only wanting to go to bed. I am suppose to be jumping in a lake in an hour to get in an open water swim, but I am not sure that being sick and jumping into a 65 degree lake is the smartest thing to do!

So I know I am not trained for this race, but the odd thing is this. I still feel like I can go out and hit a 1:25 for the sprint. A 580 yard swim should be around 10-11 minutes, a 13 mile ride conservatively should be 45 minutes (that's based on my trainer rides) and a 3 mile run, even giving myself 30 minutes, this all equals a 1:25 minus transition times. IS that so far fetched??  I'm not sure honestly.

Like I have said, I have not done this distance in a really long time. It should be fun. Yes, It should be fun, and I am sure I am going to get smoked because there are always really fast people at this race, but I could careless (yeah, I know, it means I still care by caring less, blah, blah, blah) This race is about me (and my wife and my friends doing their first triathlon). SO whether I smoke it it sludge through it, I am gonna have fun.

***Side note*** I have found the perfect weight loss plan for me. It 's called "Not eating on the new white sofa" plan. Seriously, since we got the new couch (see previous post) we have rules about eating on it. And apparently I am too lazy to get up and stand in the kitchen to eat a snack vs. taking it back to the couch to eat that I choose not to eat anything at all! I am down to 191 lbs! (And it ain't from training either) Maybe all these experts are right about diet!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Let's Get Caught Up...

Every time that I try to commit to blogging more, it seems that commitment has the opposite effect to my blogging! All though, in my defense, I have had a lot going on and I am going to share today! Here are the top things going on m=in my life and why I have not blogged in awhile.

  1. We moved! My family moved to a new house in late April. We added a couple of bedrooms, a dining room, pantry and more space. We are loving it! It already feels like home to me, now if I can just get rid of all the boxes!
  2. We got a new King size bed and I am loving it! It is so comfortable. I can't wait to go to bed at night to sleep!
  3. We also got a new couch which is also very comfortable! See pics below.
  4. My son Jared was in a school play and my wife was the "play mom", so they were out of pocket practicing everyday for awhile, so it was just me and my two boys most evenings. The play was excellent and of course my son did a great job!
  5. Birthdays! In the past 2 weeks, my son Jared, my mom, my niece and my grandmother all had birthdays in April! Crazy huh?
  6. NBA Playoffs are on!  I love the Playoffs! I only wish my Grizzlies could get past the Warriors!
  7. Ceiling fans! I have been hanging ceiling fans in my house with the help of my new neighbor! I am not a handyman, so I have needed the extra knowledge to get this done.

So I have my first sprint triathlon in about 11 days from now. I am worried about how I will do. I have not been hitting my workouts like I should have and I have been blaming the move. Whether or not that is a legitimate excuse, it is what it is. I am still looking forward to the race and I know I will finish it, but after all is said and done, I am thankful to be able to race and I am going to have a great time!

The right way to use a couch

The Proper way to use a couch

Wednesday, April 15, 2015


I guess technically it is not a DNS (Did Not Start) if I never registered for it, but it is as it reads, I am out for Redman 2015. This was the race that I was going to go mano y mano against Brad D from Brad's Ironman Journey. Here is the back story:

Brad D did IM Texas, I did Redman 140.6. We compared times. Brad D claims IM Texas is harder cause it is IM branded. I claim they are both 140.6 and are no different. Texas is flat, Oklahoma is flat. We beat our chest, we each claim we are badder than the other and from that I issued a challenge to him to race me one on one at Redman 140.6 in 2015, which he accepted. The table was set, the trash talk started and we were having fun with it! This was all beginning in 2013. So fast forward to 2015...

As you might remember from reading this blog, a few weeks ago I went to the Orthopedic guy to get my shoulder and my wrists checked out. At the time I was actually more concerned about my should pain than my wrists. It turned out that there was a touch of tendinitis in my shoulder, nothing that a shot of cortisone couldn't sure, which it did. The wrists however were a different story.

The doctor took x-rays and did some other tests and determined that I have moderate arthritis in my wrists. The keyword is moderate to me. Moderate is worse than some arthritis but is not as bad as severe arthritis. He wrote a script for some meds and then asked to come back in a few weeks. On my next visit, he suggested that I do Cortisone shots in my wrists, but warned me that once we start these shots, I was guaranteed to need to continue them until I was prepared to do surgery, which I am not.

So this leads me to my opening statement and title. Right now, I can not imagine being on a bike for 6 hours with my wrists the way they are. I know I could stay in aero the whole time, but that is not the way I am. My grip strength has diminished a lot already, and the thought of trying to hold on to handlebars for a race, including the months of training does seem to be in my favor. I thought this through and talked it over with my wife and came to the conclusion that an IM is not in my future this year in 2015. I am not totally shutting the door on another IM, but right now it ain;t happening. So I did what I had to do...

I called Brad D on the phone and let him know that I was not going to be able to race. This was a call I was dreading to make, but knew I had too. I started the challenge and I needed to end it. Brad understood completely since it was an injury issue and not because I was wussing out, and for that I am thankful.

Right now, I am good for rides under an hour, anything after that really starts bothering my hands, so it looks like a summer of sprint races. I still love the sport and I am not ready to give it up. So I will compete. I will swim hard, run hard and make it through the bike. It has been three years since I did a sprint race and I am looking forward to it.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

My Toes Cramp In The Pool!!!

This is one of life's mysteries for me. I hate getting a toe or foot cramp while swimming. It usually happens about 800 yards into a swim. I feel the toes tightening up, then its the arch of my foot. Usually it is only one foot at a time. I can ease the tightness somewhat whenever I get to the wall and push off, but it never subsides. I also tend to get toe/foot cramps at night in bed, and the only way I know to get rid of them is to stand up. Which is not practical when I am already in bed and it's 1:30 AM. So why do you get cramps in your toes while swimming? Let's turn to Google...

First thing you should know is my search parameter was this: Why do toes cramp while swimming. Results, 2,020,000 results. So I guess I am not the only one with this issue! Here are the following answers I got:

  • I am not stretching enough. "swimmer" says I should stretch out all my muscles and not just the ones that are stretching every night.
  • Blonde tornado says it is because I am dehydrated
  • Others say to eat bananas (typical cramping answer)
  • Jim T says it is because the water is cold and the blood gets pushed away from the extremities.
  • The rest are more of the same

I really don't know why it happens, but it can kill a workout. I can be cruising along at 800 yards into a 1200 yard swim (remember, sprint tri training plan) and BOOM, toe cramp with 4 laps left! You can push through it, but it ain't fun.

I think I finally found an answer on that totally makes sense to me. It is the most common complaints from triathletes, which proves that I am one!  Wahooo!!!

Anatomy of a kick

“Cramp occurs when a muscle is fatigued and overused, when a swimmer is dehydrated and has a electrolyte deficit or if the muscle is tight from a previous session,” said Butler.
“The plantar fascia is a fibrous, connective tissue which surrounds the muscles in the sole of foot.
“It’s stretches from the toes to the heel and works closely with the main calf muscles in the back of the lower leg – the gastrocnemius, soleus and the tibalis posterior.
“These are the main muscles involved in pointing the foot and toes during streamlining and kicking. Cramp in any of them will be felt in the back of the lower leg or the sole of the foot.”


“The first thing to remember is to stay hydrated, not just with water but with electrolytes, and to eat the right things to help your body before and after training,” added Butler.
“Secondly, stretching is vital for maintaining flexibility in your muscles and should be included in your warm-up and warm-down for pool and land-based sessions.”

Specific muscle stretches

Try these stretches for the individual muscles on the calf and foot – hold each stretch for two minutes in 10, 20 or 30 second intervals.
  1. Gastrocnemius stretch – stand with one leg in front of the other and lean against a wall. Bend your front leg and keep your back leg straight with your heel on the floor until you feel the muscle stretch in the back of the lower leg between your heel and knee.
  2. Soleus stretch – stand with one leg in front of the other and lean against a wall. Bend both knees and transfer your weight to your back leg, ensuring you keep the heel of your back leg on the floor. You should feel the muscle stretch in the back of the lower leg.
  3. Plantar Fascia stretch – stand with one leg in front of the other with the toes of your front foot on or up against a raised platform (such as a step or a wall). Bend both knees until you feel the stretch in the sole of your front foot.
  4. Alternative plantar fascia relief – roll your foot over a golf or hockey ball. If you find this too painful, try it in warm water to help the muscles relax more.
So maybe, just maybe, that chocolate milk and Snickers bar I had before I swam wasn't the right fuel for me. Hmmmm.

Anyways, let me hear your thoughts on how to deal with them and more importantly how to not have this as an issue!

Monday, March 23, 2015

Rain Rain go away...

So after posting about how I was back and training hard, I got a little case of strep throat, which sort of stopped me for a few days. I am a firm believer in resting and letting the meds work rather than try and push through the illness, which in my experience only makes it worse. So I laid off for a few days while I healed. And I am ok with that!

My goal date was to get back to it on Sunday. Last week was a recovery week anyways, so I do not feel like I missed a whole lot by taking a few days off, which was really only Wednesday through Saturday. By Sunday though, I was ready to get back to the plan. My plan called for a 2.7 mile run (I love this sprint triathlon plan). The only issue was that it was raining on Sunday.

I had no desire to go to the gym to run on the treadmill, I wanted to run outside. So after church, and before lunch, I threw on my rain jacket and some shorts and my white, no sun seeing for months legs went out and ran.

Now, nothing makes me feel more like an athlete training than training in conditions that most people would not train in. I did see cars driving by as I ran, and I like to think they were saying to themselves, "dude is a beast!" or something to that fact. In reality they were probably thinking more along the lines of "idiot, it's raining" or its even possible they could not have cared less that I was running. But I cared dangit!

I loved it. I actually love running in the rain, when it is warmer. It was 55 degrees on Sunday, so that made it not quite as fun as I would have liked, but  fun nonetheless. But the important thing to me was just getting out there and doing it anyways. The important thing to me was that I did not let the weather act as my excuse. I very easily could have decided to take a nap on the couch, but I am not where I want to be.

So rain, rain, stay if you want, it won't bother me!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

And Finally... JFORD is back

There has been a lot going on in the Ford World these past few weeks. We have sold our house and bought another one and are just waiting for all the papers to be signed and things inspected, appraised and everything else that goes into selling/buying a house. we will have a lot of junk to pack up, but hopefully this will be our chance to get rid of it, no need to carry it to a new house, only to crowd up that attic as well.

But, this is not a house moving blog, this is a triathlon blog, so let me tell what has been going on there.

I will say this, my last training plan was for 140.6, and I am loving the training plan for a sprint race. I had almost forgot how much fun this was! I love waking up and knowing I have a 600 yard swim ahead of me! That leaves me plenty of time to also get a 2-3 mile run before work! My longest ride has been 15 miles!  I love being able to train, and train hard and still be in bed by 10:30 PM!

The best thing is that I am on a solid 10 day streak of hitting all my workouts! Imagine that!

I think this is probably the smartest thing I could do, use this sprint as a way to build my base and then transition into the full distance afterwards. I know it would not be wise to jump into a 10 mile run that first week. It would probably frustrate me and make want to throw in the towel. So this has been a perfect way for me to ease back into the triathlon world.

It even has me thinking about course goals again. I know my Achilles heel is the run, but it is a 3 mile run, so I should be able to kill it. The weather has gotten nicer, which means saying bye-bye to the treadmill, and I am even seeing a few pounds drop off (Thankfully the Girl Scouts will be done selling cookies soon too!) All in all, I am satisfied with where I am right now, but I am looking to get faster.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

I am going Old School...

Do you remember your first triathlon? Do you remember the first time into the water, the first bump, the first transition and so on? I do. I remember almost every little detail about my first real triathlon. (I say real triathlon because I do not count my indoor tri in the same manner as I do outdoor ones.)

I remember it because it was simply horrifying!

This was my 1st triathlon and I honestly thought I was either going to quit because the swim was killing me or that I was going to get pulled by the lifeguards before the first 200 yards! The water was so cold it literally took my breathe away. I knew there was no way I was going to finish that swim and I was not even sure if I wanted too! I swam a speedy 2:16 pace. I remember feeling dizzy coming out of the water and wondering how I was going to ride my mtn bike with slicks when everything was spinning! I remember taking 10 minutes in transitions! And I remember my first Olympic time of 3:44:03.That triathlon was none other than the Memphis in May Triathlon at Orgill Park on May 18, 2008. You can read my race report here if you'd like.

Now you may be asking yourself, why is he talking about this again? Because the Memphis in May Triathlon is going back to Orgill Park! The last few tears, the race has been held at Tunica, in an ideal venue. I set my PR in this new venue (2:47:58), and I loved this venue. So let be clear on this next statement. I DO NOT LOVE ORGILL PARK.

I have nothing but bad memories of that place. So when I got the email saying that MIM Tri was going back to Orgill, I was alittle excited and a little freaked out. (MIM lost the venue in Tunica when the host hotel closed, so the race was in question of even happening) I mean I am thrilled that the MIM tri is happening, but I am not looking forward to Orgill, because of the above paragraphs. So will 5 years of triathlons make a difference?

You bet it will. After a few minutes of thinking about this race, I am attacking it. I am going back to Orgill to make it mine. While I am only doing the sprint this year, I am going to after it like it stole my girl scout cookies! (Tag-alongs please) I have my training plan set, my race fee paid and the best part is I know a bunch of first timers that are going to be there,  which always ups my game!  (Vanity at its best right?)

So with this race going back old school, I thought I'd leave you with some old school music. Enjoy and your welcome!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Oh, the Possibilities...

I am sad to say that I have already ran more this month than I did in January. 8.25 miles is all I have logged this month and I am beating January. But here is the thing that I have not felt in a long, long time. I am starting to...

I can honestly say that it has been awhile since I enjoyed it, but I guess a year off is the right amount of time to miss something!  Go figure! The hardest part for me has been taking it slow and building back. In my mind, I am still in Ironman shape (did I mention I was an Ironman? never mind) and I should be able to go out and knock out 10 miles no problem, but that is so not the case! My runs are short right now. As a matter of fact, my longest run this year has been 2.5 miles! This has all been part of my master plan though. I plan on using February to try and build some sort of base. I doubt I go over 4.5 miles in total distance. In March, I will add some biking and swimming and hopefully by May, I will be ready for my first sprint race in 3 years! (which I am really excited about doing). After this sprint in May, it is "GO TIME", time to focus on Redman 140.6. IM #2!!!

But before that, there are a couple of races I am thinking of doing and some I will do. Seems like every year I make a list of races I am doing, then life gets in my way and I only hit about half or less of them, so this year, this is my races that are on my radar list. So here they are and some quick thoughts on why I want to do them:
  • Los Locos Duathlon- (April 12) This is a good race to gauge where I am at. It's a 2 mile run, 15 mile bike, 2mile run. It is in April though, which is a drawback for me, seems early, much preferred when it was in Sept.
  • Rebelman Sprint Triathlon- (April 12) This is a nice little sprint at Ole Miss. The only thing I do not like about it is that it is a pool swim, plus it is on the same day as the Los Locos Duathlon, so choices will have to be made. A 480 yd swim, 13 mile bike and a 3.1 mile run might be a good refresher for me.
  • Memphis in May Sprint Triathlon (May 2015)- This is a race I am looking forward to because I know so many people that race. Even some of my friends are planning n the sprint to be their first triathlon, so I definitely want to be there. My wife always races this one as well, so it could be our first triathlon together!
  • The Harbortown 5K- (June 5) I did this race one time when I first moved to Memphis and loved running through the area. I really want to run this with my wife, just because it is something we can run together.
  • Navy Nautical 10 Miler- (June 7) Never ran this before. I have learned that 10 nautical miles is closer to 11 miles for some reason. They have cool medals and would definitely be something new for me. I know I need to work on my running.
  • Dragonfly Triathlon- (June 13) I hate this triathlon! It has a trail run on it and it is usually hot as fire! However, I have not raced this in about 4 years, so maybe it might be worth re-looking at. 1/2 mile swim, 18 mile bike, 4 mile run.
  • Mighty Mite Triathlon- (July 18) Another sprint triathlon in Arkansas. Last year both my wife and I signed up for it and then realized we could not make it due to family obligations (bad planning). This is a point to point race, and is a pretty fun race. 600 yd swim, 13 mile bike, 3.1 mile run.
  • Elvis Presley 5K- (Aug 15) How have I lived in Memphis for 14 years and only ran this once?? Last year my bride and I ran it and had a great time. We agreed to make it an annual race for us to run!
  • Redman Full- (Sept 26) Everything listed above should have something to do with this race. This is my A number one race, with the main goal of beating 15:53 first and then on beating Brad D.
  • Ragnar Relay- (Oct 26-28)- This is just straight up fun. The old team that I did it with in 2013 is back together and we are adding a good friend of mine to run. This will be a great end of the year race.
So again, I am not saying this is my race schedule, but these are the ones I am interested in running. If I hit them all, then that would be a lot of races for 2015. I am just happy I am actually looking at races again and even thinking about a schedule. I have to remember to build slowly and take care of myself, which I am doing, along with a 30 day ab challenge!!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

3 for 1

I know it has been awhile since I have posted and for that I say sorry to the 3 or 4 of you that still read. I have been busy. So that is why you get a treat today. You get 3 topics for one post!  JACKPOT!!!  So let's get going!

  1. I have to mention that last Sunday my bride and I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary! (and we got to watch the Superbowl) We did get to have a nice evening out on Saturday and will hopefully celebrate later this month even more. I am truly blessed to have spent the past 24 years with this woman (18 in marriage and dated for 6) She is everything to me!  I love you babe!
  2. The Superbowl. I only have two words for this game. LOVED. IT.  Yes, I thought the Seachokes were going to win, and probably should have won, but what can you say, the Pats made a wicked good play! The game was a great one, but the halftime show and commercials were horrible in my opinion. The Halftime show was just silly and boring. I wanted more Lenny Kravitz, and since when did Missy Elliot become relevant again? I mean, it is pretty sad when the most talked about thing in the halftime show is the dancing sharks. The commercials were about the most depressing and lame as any Superbowl ever. Come on advertisers, use those millions of dollars and give us some of the good stuff, not about dead kids and cars driving around "living the dream"  C'mon Man!
  3. So the past few weeks I have been having some issues with my shoulder and my wrists have been bothering me for a long time, so I figured it was time to go get them checked out. I was really afraid my rotator cuff was unhappy and that it would be a serious injury because I was having trouble lifting my arm and I did not want to train for anything if I knew I was going to be out with shoulder surgery! So reluctantly I made an appointment with an ortho doctor and got it checked out. It turns out to be a good news/bad news type of visit.
    1. Good news- It is not a rotator cuff issue at all, just some tendinitis in the shoulder. I got a cortisone shot in the shoulder, and with a few days off, and some shoulder exercises, I should be able to get it back to where it was.  Huge relief!  Huge!
    2. Bad News- the wrists. It seems I have moderate arthritis in my wrists already, which he said was rare for someone my age. It can be managed, but it sounds like it can only get worse. I will be getting shots in my wrists in the future and hopefully managing it with medication. So that news could have been worse, and it is kind of a bummer, but I can handle it.
So there are three hot topics in one post. Now my goal is to get back to working on my 10 minute plank, and to run the majority of February, and then in march, start riding and swimming, building that base until Redman 2015 training starts sometime in May!