Sunday, August 29, 2010
Ok, I apologize now for this taking a whole week, but this whole past week has been a blur. I'm going to write this in 3 parts as not to make this the longest blog in history.
Tamz and I arrive to a very crowded parking lot and get through the gates to the event. The plans for this year were similar to last year; rider check-in, dinner, opening ceremonies and entertainment. I went to rider check in and Tamz took a seat to wait. The line for A-D looked short so I was hopeful that it wouldn't take long; I was way wrong. This line wrapped all around the building that they were running check in out of.
Last year was the inaugural event and there were over 2,000 riders; this year over 4,000. As with any major event there are growing pains. This check in process is just one of those pains. It took well over an hour to just to check in and get my rider credentials. Not well organized at all. If they continue to multiply this event each year they're going to have to organize things better. I'd give the check in process a "C."
Tamz met up with several of my other riding friends in one of the food tents. One of the things that they do right is the food. There is plenty and it's good quality food for athletes. No fried foods to be found; grilled and baked only. Now, some of the sauces might have been less than stellar, but they had plenty of vegetables and lean protein. I'd give the food an "A."
We wandered around the expo with friends and missed all of the opening ceremony speakers. One of note was Chris Spielman, ex-Ohio State/NFL football player, who lost his wife to breast cancer on November 19, 2009. Tamz and I were sorry not to hear Chris speak as he's a staple in the community of Columbus. They always bring out the mayor, governor and other people related to the organization of the event.
The last part of the evening was entertainment; Augustana and Counting Crows. A pretty good line up for an up and coming event that is all sponsored by donations. We listed to Counting Crows for a few minutes, but it was nearing 9 PM and I needed to be up before 5 on Saturday morning. Most of you will relate that the night before an event isn't usually the best nights sleep.
I'll leave this post for now and get into the Saturday ride tomorrow or the next day.
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Right now I can't even put into words my frustration, but I'll try; here goes.
Last September I was at my lowest weight in my adult life; 255. I'm currently 290'ish. The holidays were rough and I put on a few pounds and didn't think much about it knowing that I always get back on track after January 1st. Shortly after the Jan 1 I started dropping some weight, but not much.
About the beginning of February I started training for my half-marathon and the weight-loss stopped. I was reinforced by my running friends that this was normal; I would even possibly put on some weight due to the training. Of course I put on about 5-7 pounds, but assumed it would drop off after the half; it didn't. Some laziness on my part after the half added a few more pounds, but I righted that ship after a couple weeks and started running and biking. I even added a couple days of light strength training on yoga nights. Still adding a few pounds at this point. During this whole time I've been MOSTLY in control of my eating and still working out, but progressively growing more exhausted and frustrated.
I've tried trimming calories, adding calories, more sleep, adding recovery days, all for naught. My fatigue has gotten to the point where I no longer even do anything in the afternoon but come home and crash. I used to LOVE to workout after work, but no longer. Next to nothing used to keep me off my bike, but no longer.
Last week I decided something has to be amiss and scheduled an appointment with my doctor. During the weekend I was playing the Spark trivia game and one of the questions dealt with Hypothyroidism. After answering I read the brief blurb about the disease. EUREKA! I thought; all of my symptoms pointed to this issue. So I did a little research and felt like a weight had been lifted because I was really starting to feel hopeless (yes, depression is a side effect/symptom) about the whole situation. On Tuesday I say the doc and gave him my symptoms and we both came to the same thought. He ordered a blood draw that they did right in the office. I left thinking "hopefully soon I'll get back to my normal, hard-charging self." Today the results were in; everything in the normal ranges. WTF!
So, now I'm back to square one. I made an appointment with the ACTUAL doctor (saw his PA) for next Thursday afternoon. Could it be depression? Sure. But, why the weight gain while watching? If I was fluxing between 10 pounds it wouldn't be such an issue, but this is 40 POUNDS.
So this is why the status for today is "more frustrated than EVER!"
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Here's more information about my recent write up.
For the second year in a row I'm participating in Pelotonia; a grassroots bike tour with one goal: to end cancer.
Cancer has struck our family from every direction; breast, brain, colon, lung, etc; doing this ISN'T an option in my book. Like many of you, I'm sure, we've lost too many loved ones to cancer. Last year was the inaugural event for Pelotonia, but you never would have known it. Every aspect about the ride was top notch. Last years big draw was 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong; which has had his own issues with cancer. There aren't enough words for me to describe the feeling that I had when finishing the ride; 102 miles later. It was quite emotional to have completed such an event, but to have raised money that ALL went to cancer research.
Fast forward to this year and there was nothing that was keeping me from doing Pelotonia again. This year there is no "celebrity" to draw riders, but there are already 1,100 more riders registered than last year. It's not about having a celebrity draw; it's about challenging life's spirit and putting an end to cancer. Last year I challenged myself by riding 102 miles; marking my first century ride. This year I couldn't 'settle' to ride just 102, so I opted for the 2-day, 180-mile option. This has put me out riding Saturdays and Sundays to train for this event. Nothing worth bragging about is easy and this is no exception. It doesn't matter if you're pushing it to finally walk a mile or doing an ultra-marathon; it all takes work.
I have to send a special thanks out to my family for all of their love and support. From the prayers my mom sends out when she knows I'll be riding hours all alone to my wife (TAMZTIME) doing my household chores so that I can be out training. I maybe doing the riding alone, but I'm always fully supported.
Now we're on to what I was ecstatic about last week; Featured Rider of the Week! I was contacted by a blog writer for Pelotonia. He'd heard my story and wanted to feature me for an article. We set a time and did the interview by phone this past Thursday. I gave a BIG plug for Sparkpeople, but much like my TV interview it was omitted. Sorry Chris, I tried to spread the Spark! Most of you know my story from here, but I'll enclose the link to the article below.
I'm no one special, but I've had success through trial and error. Isn't that what life is all about?
Link to article: www.pelotonia.org/ride/blog.jsp "Alexander the Great, July 20th"
Link to my rider page for more information: www.pelotonia.org/ride/riders_profil
Monday, June 28, 2010
Many of you asked so, here it is.
Iím on vacation this week and wanted to try something new; hot yoga. Iíve been practicing yoga with the same yogi for just over 2 years and I wanted to practice with someone different. Hot yoga is something that Iíve been wanting to try, but time constraints have kept me from trying it.
I emailed a yogi who offered a class on Sunday morning, so I thought why not. I was able to drop into the class for $15. I arrived not sure what to expect, but whatís life without a little adventure. My usual class is atypical for what most people think of yoga; laughing and talking; not chanting and OMís. I quickly learned that this class would be much the same.
This class was a hot flow type yoga; not Bikram yoga. Bikram is a specific set of poses done in sequence; this was vinyasa (flowing from one pose to the next; almost aerobic) which is what the style that I usually practice, but not heated.
When I arrived the studio was dim with incense burning and some soft music on the stereo. I also noticed the 2 portable heaters which were glowing heating the room to near 115* Fahrenheit; funny since it was almost 95 outside with 90% humidity. The class was packed and a lady actually left due to this issue.
We settled in and the music changed to more of a ďchantingĒ style, but only long enough to center our breathing and forget the outside world for 1.5 hours. Soon the music changed again to some slower music from the 70ís, 80ís & 90ís; not my typical yoga, but a great change of pace. It was also HOT! I brought a hand towel with me to wipe sweat off me, but I quickly learned that this wouldnít work for long. I had to borrow 2 towels from the studio and saturated all three very quickly. Since youíre so warm I noticed how easily it was to move into positions. Iím also noticing it today by how sore my muscles are. Overall it was a great experience and I look forward to finding time in the future again to take another hot yoga class.
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Laughter -- An interior convulsion, producing a distortion of the features and accompanied by inarticulate noises. It is infectious and, though intermittent, incurable.
My Take: LAUGH! Especially if it's at yourself or your situation. Sometimes you think your situation is bad, but look around and you'll realize how your situation may not be that bad as others.
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