Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Saturday, August 10, 2019

Running: It's a bunch of conversations in my head!

So I have been running on and off again, mostly off. I think my tally includes a whooping 8.41 miles in June, a major improvement in July to 20.59 miles and a total of 6.33 miles in August. It's not that I don't like to run anymore, cause I really do. It's just different now.

But why?

Well, I am about 25 lbs heavier than when I was training for triathlons and really running. I contribute the gain to June type totals and not running and to hitting the gym. I have gained a lot of muscle over the past months, it's not like I am a blob or anything, but it's tougher at 210 lbs vs. 185 lbs. This is not an indictment about my weight, honestly I am fine with my body, but I can tell it is just different.

I also have lost some of that mental toughness I had. Thats hard to admit actually, but I can decide to shift into walking status a lot easier than before. I always thought I would be ok being a "completer" rather than a "competitor" but I'm not. And it's actually weird because I have it grand plans of running, will go as far as to make plans for the run, but when it comes time to actually run, I phase myself out of it.

One cool thing is that my wife and my oldest boy have really gotten into running and recently completed their first half marathons (send sponsorships here!  Inside joke!) I really did enjoy encouraging them and seeing them reach their goals!  My oldest boy has signed up for his first marathon in December! I have even toyed with the idea of running the half with him, and while I love the idea, I don't love the idea of training.

This morning I went to Shelby Farms here in Memphis and ran the Chickasaw Trail. Shelby Farms is a great place to go on a Saturday morning and I always realize that when I am there and wonder why we don't use it more often! Anyways, the Chickasaw trail is approximately 3 miles through the park, and is usually packed with people running, walking pets or riding bikes. I was running with my wife, or at least I started running with her (she is much better running shape than I am) and she ran on up ahead of me. I knew this was going to happen and we planned to meet up later.

As I was running, I constantly had these conversations in my head about not stopping! Many times it was mainly convincing myself to continue till I got to that tree, or to that patch of shade. And then the conversations then go to starting running again, and then they go to what does and what doesn't hurt!

I don't really know the point of this rant other than I doubt I am the only one that does this. I am sure we all have those random conversations to get us through our runs. One day, I am sure I will just run and listen to my music, but until then, I will keep talking to myself!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Need, Want and Have To...

This week I started something I have never done before.  I have officially become a boot camper. That's right, Wednesday and Friday mornings, I drag my sleepy butt up at 4:30 AM so I can go torture myself at 5 AM.  Each day is a little different I have found. Wednesday is more like a traditional class type of setting, while Friday is more of stations that we rotate to and from.

The main thing that surprised me the most about boot camp was how sore I was afterwards. I am also liking the accountibilty aspect of this boot camp. The thing I hate the most is the stupid bands that go around your ankles and thighs, man do those suck. It has been a long time since I really worked legs too. All in all, its great, except for the 4:30 alarm.

If I am truly being honest though, I am enjoying waking up early, getting fit and still being done by 6:30 AM. And then, I get coffee!!

I still really like the weight room, and even had thoughts of hitting the weights after class, but I quickly found out that was not going to be happening! The hardest part is trying to fit in everything I want to do and everything I need to do and everything I have to do. Sometimes those lines can get pretty blurred if I let them. So sometimes I have to get up at 4:30 AM in order to get done what I want to do. I have to get to bed at a decent time because I need to be able to to get to work and do my job.  I want to be back in shape. I need my job to provide for my family. SO basically, I have to control what I can control...

It's all clear huh?

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!