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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

I Tried the Eliiptical...and I Liked It!!

So, since my season never really got started  this year due to many things, I would think it would be a safe assumption to think I gained a few pounds. So right now my main goal has been going to the gym and now I am trying to lose a few pounds and I am doing that by swimming and cardio. I am really not into the treadmill and my knees are getting a little sore so I have found a new approach to getting in my miles.

The elliptical!

I admit, I used to think the elliptical was for old guys with bad knees and I also thought that you could not get a good workout. I really thought it was silly and the whole arm thing was a waste of time. But then to be fair, I had never actually been on an elliptical machine.

So, with me being an old guy with bad knees, I decided to give it a try after doing some internet research. (Internet research is basically useless in my opinion, I mean for every positive article I could find, I could also find a negative article).

It was actually harder than I expected. I wanted to start with 2 miles or 20 minutes. I am guessing that 2 elliptical miles does not equal 2 running miles, but I know 20 minutes is 20 minutes! I did not worry to much about calories burned or HR, I just got on it went. The surprising thing to me is how tough it was to use the arms of the machine. It really gave them a workout so much that I did not use them most of the time. The impact on my knees was nothing, but I think there is some benefit to this machine. So I will continue to use the machine at least twice a week, I will be hitting the pool twice a week, and I will be running on Saturdays.  Plus, I am still hitting the weight room every other day.

So, that is my plan. It's something new, it's something I can look forward too!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

I Am Doing the Weight Room Wrong...

So, for the past few months, I have been hitting the weight room pretty consistently. I can really feel myself getting stronger than I was and it has been a good change of pace from the typical S/B/R that I have been doing for the last 8 years or so. It has been fun and I wish I could figure out a way to continue to lift on the same schedule and get all triathlon training, but who has that sort of time? So I plan to continue to got to the gym for the rest of the year, while working in some swimming, and maybe the elliptical machine to try and lose some pounds.

And, I will admit, the weight room has had its "eye opening" moments. Sometimes I think I am doing it all wrong and if I cared, it might even be intimidating. Let me list out the Top 10 things I am doing wrong at the weight room.
  1. I don't wear all black. Now I like to wear a sleeveless shirt when I lift to let the guns shine in the light, but it seems I should be wearing all black. Shorts, shoes, hoodie, headband or hat. I know black is supposed to make you look thinner, but I thought the whole point of going to the gym was to get swole!
  2. I am wearing the wrong headphones. I have been wearing my in ear buds, like the ones I use when I go running, but apparently that's not right. It seems that I should be rocking Beats by Dre headphones, wireless beats by Dre headphones when I lift. I gues it gives you that extra umpffttt when you need it.
  3. I don't have a duffle bag I carry. I am not sure what hey all have in the bag, but I don't have one. I just walk right in and get to work.
  4. I also don't carry around a shaker cup. You know the cup that people have to shake before they can drink out of it. Maybe they don't know about the water fountain right outside the door, maybe it is some super supplement that helps them recover faster, I don't know. But I think I need to get one pretty soon.
  5. I don't slam the bar down on the ground and grunt. Ok, I get this one, really I do. We all want people to think we are strong at the gym and what better way to let them know then to make a lot of noise and let the weights come crashing down? That way they have to look over at us in admiration or utter fear of our strength, but come on, is that necessary?
  6. I only use one machine at a time. I have seen many "bros" setting up multiple machines so they can really get that burn going. It's weird cause they do about 3 reps and move to the next one and repeat.
  7. I don't sue a mouthpiece. Yeah, I am not sure about this one at all.
  8. I have never taken a selfie while working out. Instagram is full of weight room selfies, and I dunno, maybe it's like taking a picture of your dinner on FB, but I think its odd to have someone film you or snap a picture.
  9. I re-rack my weights when I am done! Nothing is more frustrating than having to take off plates from some lunkhead that was using the machine before me. there are signs posted for a reason "bros" so take the time and re-rack them please.
  10. I work legs.
So do you have any weight room shenanigans going on at your gym? If so, let me know what you are doing wrong!  But, always remember this:

Friday, August 5, 2016


I have no idea who Hazel Hira Ozbek is, but as I was looking for a photo for this blog post, it struck me. It struck because I seem to always be waiting for something to start running again, or waiting for Monday to come around. It's always something, at least here recently. I am waiting for my knee to get better (that's probably legitimate), I am waiting for it to cool down, I am waiting for me to lose some weight first...excuse after excuse. And I have plenty more excuses!  I don't have the time to run like I did, I need the extra hour of sleep in the morning, I will start when school starts and the kids are up...

I do not know how many Mondays this summer I was supposed to start "my training". The latest one was supposed to be August 1, which was the golden date because it was the first day of the month and a Monday! But, it did not happen. Next Monday the kids start school, so everyone will be up and that should be a "good time" to start right? Mindset change.

All in all, I agree with Hazel, it should not matter what day I start, I just have to start. The doctor has cleared me with my knee (although, he said I should look at doing something else because it is a 44 year old knee) and I know it is going to be hot no matter when I start, unless I wait till late October. I realize it is going to be like starting over and I have to understand that it will not be like it was when I was training. My mindset can't be to get it all back in one day. Mindset Change

As of this morning, I weighed in at 205.7lbs. This is the most I have ever weighed in my life. Now I do think some of it is added muscle since I have been going to lift weights for the past two months while my knee was messed up, but still, 205?? This is another reason I need to get back to the pool and the roads. I know once I get into my groove, I should lose some weight. My first weight goal is to get under 200 lbs. My main number one goal is to get back in the 180s. Man, 25lbs sounds like a lot to lose doesn't it? I really don't feel like I eat a lot, I just eat the wrong things. Another mindset I have to change.

I think the draw to triathlon for me in the very beginning was the journey it would take to reach Ironman, it seemed so unobtainable to me. Will I ever get back to IM? I don't know, I would like to one day do a second IM, so maybe I am starting a journey to a second IM...

I started this post like 8 different times because I could not get this post to flow like I wanted it to until I found this quote. Thanks Hazel!

P.S. I Googled hazel and she is some kind of famous poet!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Mr. Brownstone

I have been a horrible blogger lately. Just haven't had the gumption to write about anything! (gumption is a Southern word which means motivation). Also when I am not blogging, it is probably a good bet that I am not training. The other day I heard a song on the radio and there is a line that describes me most mornings.

I get up around seven
Get outta bed around nine
And I don't worry about nothin' no
Cause worryin's a waste of my, time

The old line from the GNR classic Mr. Brownstone (and only that line applies here). I just have not been able to get up in the morning and get things done. So like any good triathlete, I end up punishing myself by going out to run in the 5 PM Memphis heat. Now if you have never been to Memphis in the summer, then let me explain to you that it gets hot! The heat index has been topping out well over 100 most days and the humidity is fierce! So needless to say my runs have been slow.

But, I am running.

Another thing I have been doing lately is hitting the weight room. Getting swole Baby! I really wanted to just get my knee stronger, so I really went to build back the muscle, but I hate doing legs, so I started adding some upper body. I also think it I can get my upper looking good, then my FAT GUT won;t look as bad!

Yeah, I have gained a few. I weighed the other day at 202.8 lbs. I did my IM at 183 lbs. That extra 20 lbs is what probably hurt my knee! I even have pants that don't fit right anymore! This is not good.

So, as I sit here eating Tootsie rolls (I know, but I love the flavored ones like lime, cherry and grape) I need to come up with a plan to drop weight and bring sexy back! And the best way I know to do that is to get back on a run streak and start eating sensibly again. I need to drink water and all that stuff also. SO let's get the started, it will not be so much of an Ironman journey anymore as much as a weight loss journey now.

180's, here I come!