A vision for my life - Because what we focus on expands

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

54 on my 40th

My 40th birthday was on 8/14, so I took up the Bfit Birthday Gold Challenge over the weekend. Swim the first number of your age, bike the combined number, and run the last number (10 miles if it ends in a 0 – good for me) within 24 hours.

Since we all know that endurance sports offer great metaphors for life, what did I learn by going 54 miles for my 40th birthday? I'll get to that in a minute. First, the workout.....

I had absolutely no desire to swim 4 miles straight through, so I kicked things off with a 2.4 mile pool swim on Friday night. Putting things in perspective, swimming 2.4 miles in the ironman was a blast. Surrounded by 2000 type A's all headed torward the same spot in the ocean.....helicopters overhead....huge crowds cheering for us.....

In comparison, swimming 2.4 miles in the pool was REALLY boring...and my nose and sinuses got stuffy from the pool water.

Screw the swimmers mile. I split the swim up into 2x2100, taking a couple of minutes in between to sip some water, plus an extra 25 at the end for 4225. Total time was 1:33 - about the same time as my IM swim.

The next morning I was up at 5, drank my usual pre-workout Boost +, and sipped on some coffee on the way to St. Augustine. A lot of the hammerheads are training for summer and fall IMs, including IM Lou, IM Moo, and Kona, and Al – one of the hammerheads training for IM Moo - graciously hosted a group workout for us at his waterfront condo.

We gathered at Al’s at 7, and jumped in the water for an open water swim at around 7:30. His condo is right on the inlet in St Augustine, so he planned the workout for us to be swimming as the tide was coming in, so we would have nice clean water to swim in. From the end of his dock to a sandbar and back was .8 of a mile, and the plan was for everyone to do two laps.

My nose and sinuses were still stuffy from the night before, and the warm salt water just made things worse, so I bagged it after one lap. I had no desire to keep putting my face back in the salt water, just to aggravate my sinuses more, so I waited on the dock with a couple others who didn’t go back for a 2nd lap. Swim time of 38 minutes.

T1 was in Al’s pool on the way back up to his condo :)

After a few minutes for everyone to change, we hit the bikes. After 20 miles, the group split, with those training for later races going for another 20 before turning around, and those tapering for upcoming races turning around with me to get in 40. The ride was pretty uneventful, other than a pretty good headwind on the way back.

Total ride time was 2:09

A few minutes to change and it was time to get our run on.

We started as a group at a pretty easy pace, which would have been easy to maintain in cooler weather; however, this is Florida and we started running at 11. After 3 miles or so the rest of the group turned back, and I was left with a couple more miles out before turning around. The good news – I got to run on the beach, my favorite running spot. The bad news – it was in the high 80’s low 90’s and steamy.

My slow pace quickly changed to a 4/1: run 4 minutes, walk one, which I kept up for the next 7 miles. Even that became challenging over the last couple of miles. But that’s the point, isn’t it? Why bother doing it if it’s easy?

Total time for the run was 1:50, a rather pedestrian pace, although that’s what I get for so doing so little training the past few weeks.

After finishing the run it was back into the pool for a quick dip to cool off and time to enjoy a couple of beers, burgers and brats that Al so thoughtfully provided for all. Lori and Elle came down to join us for our post workout festivities, which everyone thoroughly enjoyed.

One slight problem – since I only did one lap in the inlet that morning, I still had another .8 of a mile of swimming to do. Ugggghhhhhhh. For those of you that have been reading my blog, you already know my thoughts on swimming. Oh well…..thanks to Al and the rest of the hammerheads for the great workout, company, food and beer…..I’m headed back to the pool

Another 1425 yds in 33 minutes and I was done:

Swim 4 miles, bike 40 miles, run 10 miles, brag for the rest of…..Oops….wrong tag line…..I’ll, save that for IM CDA next June….

Total time: 6:41:56.

So what did I learn from this silly way of celebrating my birthday?


1. I’ve come a really long way when it comes to swimming. Two years ago I couldn’t swim 100 yds without stopping. The last few months I’ve swam once a week for 2000 yds or so at the absolute most. For me to swim 2.4 miles (4 total) with so little training is huge.

1a. Whether I swim 3-4k three times / week or swim 2k one time / week, my times are about the same. I'd have to swim 5-6 times per week to improve, and even then I'd probably only gain 10-15 minutes. I'll stick to focusing on biking an running.

2. I’m still are REALLY bad swimmer. Everything’s relative :)

3. Group rides are always better than riding solo. For the next few months I want to do a lot more group riding on the weekends instead of doing intervals on my own.

4. I can run 10 miles without too much of a problem on a whim.

5. Don’t run 10 miles on a whim in the middle of the day when it’s too f*&$ing hot out.

6. If I do run on a whim in the middle of the day when it’s too f*&$ing hot out, I’ll very quickly remember that I’m 40 and take a while to recover. I was completely wrecked after the run.

7. I hate swimming.

8. I finish what I start. Period. It would have been very easy to hang around Al’s and enjoy the good company, and good food, and really good beer, and bail on the rest of the swim, turning the gold challenge into the bronze or silver challenge by stretching things out over a few days or even a week. But that’s not what I committed to. Why bother doing it if it's easy.

9. My health and fitness are 100 times better than they were when I celebrated my 20th birthday.

10. I have some great friends who see fitness as a lifestyle, and not something they have to do on occasion.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Sunday, August 17, 2008

With age comes....

I know. You were expecting wisdom.

Well doing 4 miles of swimming, 40 miles of biking and 10 miles of running in Florida in August is most definitely not the smartest thing in the world.

My 40th birthday gold challenge is done, and so am I.

I'll post a report later (once I'm recovered).

For now


2.4 miles pool 1:33:26
.8 miles open water 36:23
.8 miles pool (after biking and running) 33:06

Swim time: 2:42:55


40 miles 2:09:12


10 miles 1:49:49

Total time: 6:41:56

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Bfit Birthday Challenge

Now that 40's arrived, it's time to take my fitness out for a spin (pun intended), and take on the bfit birthday challenge:

4 mile swim
40 mile bike
10 mile run

So as not to be completely miserable, the first 2.4 miles of swimming is going to be in the pool tonight. The other 1.6 is the ocean tomorrow, followed by the 40 mile ride and 10 mile run

Gotta love being in better shape now than when I was 1/2 this age :)

Stay tuned....

Live with purpose...Enjoy the adventure....

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Connecting the dots

You can only connect the dots looking backwards:

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dealing with Taper Madness

I saw this post on beginnertriathlete.com. It's one of the best posts I've read:

Right now you've all entered the taper. Perhaps you've been at this a few months, perhaps you've been at this a few years. For some of you this is your first IM, for others, a long-overdue welcome back to a race that few can match.

You've been following your schedule to the letter. You've been piling on the mileage, piling up the laundry, and getting a set of tan lines that will take until next year to erase. Long rides were followed by long runs, which both were preceded by long swims, all of which were followed by recovery naps that were longer than you slept for any given night during college.

You ran in the snow.
You rode in the rain.
You ran in the heat.
You ran in the cold.

You went out when others stayed home.
You rode the trainer when others pulled the covers over their heads.

You have survived the Darwinian progression that is an Ironman summer, and now the hardest days are behind you. Like a climber in the Tour de France coming over the summit of the penultimate climb on an alpine stage, you've already covered so much ground...there's just one more climb to go. You shift up, you take a drink, you zip up the jersey; the descent lies before you...and it will be a fast one.

Time that used to be filled with never-ending work will now be filling with silent muscles, taking their final, well-earned rest. While this taper is something your body desperately needs, your mind cast off to the background for so very long, will start to speak to you.

It won't be pretty.

It will bring up thoughts of doubt, pain, hunger, thirst, failure, and loss. It will give you reasons why you aren't ready. It will try and make one last stand to stop you, because your brain doesn't know what the body already does. Your body knows the truth:

You are ready.

Your brain won't believe it. It will use the taper to convince you that this is foolish - that there is too much that can go wrong.

You are ready.

Finishing an Ironman is never an accident. It's the result of dedication, focus, hard work, and belief that all the long runs in January, long rides in April, and long swims every damn weekend will be worth it. It comes from getting on the bike, day in, day out. It comes from long, solo runs. From that first long run where you wondered, "How will I ever be ready?" to the last long run where you smiled to yourself with one mile to go...knowing that you'd found the answer.

It is worth it. Now that you're at the taper, you know it will be worth it. The workload becomes less. The body winds up and prepares, and you just need to quiet your worried mind. Not easy, but you can do it.

You are ready.

You will walk into the water with 2000 other wide-open sets of eyes. You will look upon the sea of humanity, and know that you belong. You'll feel the chill of the water crawl into your wetsuit, and shiver like everyone else, but smile because the day you have waited for so VERY long is finally here.

You will tear up in your goggles. Everyone does.

The helicopters will roar overhead.
The splashing will surround you.

You'll stop thinking about Ironman, because you're now racing one.

The swim will be long - it's long for everyone, but you'll make it. You'll watch as the shoreline grows and grows, and soon you'll hear the end. You'll come up the beach and head for the wetsuit strippers. Three people will get that sucker off before you know what happening, then you’ll head for the bike.

The voices, the cowbells, and the curb-to-curb chalk giving you a hero's sendoff can't wipe the smile off your face.

You'll settle down to your race. The crowds will spread out on the road. You'll soon be on your bike, eating your food on your schedule, controlling your Ironman.

You'll start to feel that morning sun turn to afternoon sun. It's warmer now. Maybe it's hot. Maybe you're not feeling so good now. You'll keep riding. You'll keep drinking. You'll keep moving. After all, this is just a long training day with valet parking and catering, right?

You'll put on your game face, fighting the urge to feel down as you ride for what seems like hours. You reach special needs, fuel up, and head out.

By now it'll be hot. You'll be tired. Doubts will fight for your focus. Everyone struggles here. You've been on that bike for a few hours, and stopping would be nice, but you won't - not here. Not today.

You'll grind the false flats to the climb. You'll know you're almost there. You'll fight for every inch of road. The crowd will come back to you here. Let their energy push you. Let them see your eyes. Smile when they cheer for you - your body will get just that little bit lighter.


You'll plunge down the road, swooping from corner to corner, chaining together the turns, tucking on the straights, letting your legs recover for the run to come - soon! You'll roll back - you'll see people running out. You'll think to yourself, "Wasn't I just here?" The noise
will grow. The chalk dust will hang in the air - you're back, with only 26.2 miles to go. You'll relax a little bit, knowing that even if you get a flat tire or something breaks here, you can run the damn bike into T2.

You'll roll into transition. 100 volunteers will fight for your bike. You'll give it up and not look back. You'll have your bag handed to you, and into the tent you'll go. You'll change. You'll load up your pockets, and open the door to the last long run of your Ironman summer - the one that counts.

You'll take that first step of a thousand...and you'll smile. You'll know that the bike won't let you down now - the race is down to your own two feet. The same crowd that cheered for you in the shadows of the morning will cheer for you in the brilliant sunshine of a summer Sunday. High-five people on the way out. Smile. Enjoy it. This is what you've worked for all year long.

That first mile will feel great. So will the second. By mile 3, you probably won't feel so good.

That's okay. You knew it couldn't all be that easy. You'll settle down just like you did on the bike, and get down to your pace. You'll see the leaders coming back the other way. Some will look great - some won't. You might feel great, you might not. No matter how you feel, don't panic - this is the part of the day where whatever you're feeling, you can be sure it won't last.

You'll keep moving. You'll keep drinking. You'll keep eating. Maybe you'll be right on plan - maybe you won't. If you're ahead of schedule, don't worry - believe. If you're behind, don't panic - roll with it. Everyone comes up with a brilliant race plan for Ironman, and then everyone has to deal with the reality that planning for something like Ironman is like trying to land a man on the moon. By remote control. Blindfolded.

How you react to the changes in your plan will dictate your day. Don't waste energy worrying about things - just do what you have to when you have to, and keep moving. Keep eating. Keep drinking. Just don't sit down - don't EVER sit down.

You'll make it to the halfway point. You'll load up on special needs. Some of what you packed will look good, some won't. Eat what looks good, toss the rest. Keep moving. Start looking for people you know. Cheer for people you don't. You're headed in - they're not. They want to be
where you are, just like you wanted to be when you saw all those fast people headed into town. Share some energy - you'll get it right back.

Run if you can.
Walk if you have to.
Just keep moving.

The miles will drag on. The brilliant sunshine will yawn. You'll be coming up to those aid stations fully alive with people, music, and chicken soup. TAKE THE SOUP. Keep moving.

You'll soon only have a few miles to go. You'll start to believe that you're going to make it. You'll start to imagine how good it's going to feel when you get there. Let those feelings drive you on. When your legs just don't want to move anymore, think about what it's going to be like when someone catches you…and puts a medal over your head... all you have to do is get there.

You'll start to hear the people in town. People you can't see in the twilight will cheer for you. They'll call out your name. Smile and thank them. They were there when you left on the bike, and when you came back, and when you left on the run, and now when you've come back.

You'll enter town. You'll start to realize that the day is almost over. You'll be exhausted, wiped out, barely able to run a 10-minute mile (if you're lucky), but you'll ask yourself, "Where did the whole day go?" You'll be standing on the edge of two feelings - the desire to finally stop, and the desire to take these last moments and make them last as long as possible.

You'll hit mile 25. Your Ironman will have 1.2 miles - just 2KM left in it.

You'll run. You'll find your legs. You'll fly. You won't know how, but you will run. The lights will grow brighter, brighter, and brighter. Soon you'll be able to hear the music again. This time, it'll be for keeps.

Soon they'll see you. Soon, everyone will see you. You'll run towards the lights, between the fences, and into the night sun made just for you.

They'll say your name.
You'll keep running.
Nothing will hurt.

The moment will be yours - for one moment, the entire world will be looking at you and only you.

You'll break the tape at the finish line, 140.6 miles after starting your journey. The flash will go off.

You'll stop. You'll finally stop. Your legs will wobble their last, and suddenly...be capable of nothing more.

Someone will catch you.
You'll lean into them.

It will suddenly hit you.


You are ready.

You are ready.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Public Service Announcement

Since I'm not updating my blog very often these days, subscribe at http://reader.google.com, so you'll instantly know the next time I add any witty and enthralling entries....

Live with purpose....enjoy the adventure....

Monday, May 19, 2008

1st Tri of the New Year

Significantly different from last year, which started off with a 70.3, this years first race was a sprint.

Doing a sprint after an ironman is like doing a 5k after a marathon. You know it's going to hurt, and otherwise don't really give it too much thought.

True to the spirit of the sprint, I went hard and just held on.

I had one of my better swims, and for the first time didn't look up to see myself 50 yds off course. I came out of the water in 9:19, which is about right for me, even if it is ridiculously slow in comparison.

The bike was a 10.5 mile out and back loop, with the wind blowing straight at us for the first part. I kept my heart rate right at the edge of zone 5, not wanting to go too hard and having a complete melt down on the run. The return trip was fun with the wind at our backs - it's nice being able to go 24-25 without too much effort.

After a quick transition, I started at a reasonable pace on the run, planning on a slight negative split. Since I haven't been running much lately, I didn't want to go too overboard. With a 1/4 mile to go I was running at a pretty fast pace - at least for me - just under 8 minute miles, when someone from my age group passed me.

OK - the race is on :)

I stayed right on his heels until a couple hundred yard to go. He was a faster runner than me, so I had one chance to beat him to the line - mentally.

I sprinted out in front of him as hard as I could go, at a pace I could only keep up for a little bit, and it was just enough - I heard a sigh of resignation behind me - I held that pace just long enough to give me a gap, and crossed the line a few second ahead of him.

I don't have the athletic talent to be competitive in my age group, especially at shorter races, so I'll enjoy the little victories instead.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

How Oprah Ruined the Marathon??

I've recently seen a couple of articles about how slower people are ruining the marathon. There's constant whining on slowtwitch.com about the back of the pack ironman finishers.

The issue people are attempting to make of slower people ruining the marathon is actually pretty simple: Many people derive a lot of their significance from racing in endurance sports.

I’m generalizing here…..

Those complaining about the slower folks feel much less significant about themselves when the walkers at the end of the marathon or triathlon cross the finish line, because they’re forced to face the fact that anyone can do it.

It’s not the exclusive, elite athlete only, life achievement they made it out to be. They’re forced to face the fact that it really doesn’t take a lifetime of dedication – only a few months of consistently following a plan.

They can no longer brag to anyone who will listen about the immense amount of dedication it took, or the endless hours of running 8 days a week, or what an elite club they just joined, since the non-athletic, non-running, not-in-shape person who followed a canned, off-the-shelf training plan just finished the same race they did, especially when they had a coach, personal trainer, nutritionist, and the finest shoes, bike and racing gear.

They’re suddenly afraid that people won’t respect their accomplishment as much because a walker at the back accomplished the same thing they did: finished the race.

As a gross generalization, they’re looking at completing a marathon or ironman to externally provide a source of feeling special or significant, since they’re lacking it internally. As soon as they realize that someone with no athletic backround can finish the marathon they trained years for, with about 20 weeks of training, bye bye feeling significant about what they just accomplished.

Put simply, they lost their feeling of being special when they discovered that anyone can do what they just did.

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure

Thursday, April 17, 2008

T-Shirt Etiquette

I recently saw this, and want to do my part to help pass the word. Enjoy.

In the running and triathlon community the wearing of race T-Shirts has become a sign of accomplishment and fashion. Choosing just the right T-Shirt for that special occasion can be a daunting and difficult task. The following guidelines have been compiled (in fun) to help the responsible T-shirt wearer avoid potential embarrassment and/or elevate their status.

A shirt cannot be worn unless the wearer has participated in the event. (crew, significant others and volunteers are exempt)

Any race, less than a marathon distance, shouldn't be worn to an ultra event. It simply doesn't represent a high cool factor and sends a red flag regarding your rookiness. If you set a PR at Pikes Peak Marathon, definitely wear that shirt whenever possible.

When returning to a race in which you previously finished, then wear the shirt from the first year you completed the race. Don't short change yourself by wearing the shirt from the year before. It doesn't adequately display the feat of accomplishment or the consummate veteran status that you are due.

Never wear a race shirt from the race you are about to run. It displays a lack of running integrity and might put the mojo on you.

Wearing a T-shirt of the race, while currently running said race, is discouraged. It's like being at work and constantly announcing "I'm at work". Besides, you wont have the correct post race shirt then.

Never wear a shirt from a run that you did not finish. To wear it is to say I finished it.

A DNF'er may wear a race shirt if... the letters DNF are boldly written on the shirt in question.

During a race the wearing of shirt from a previously completed year is acceptable. Wear the oldest T-shirt you have (see guideline #3). This is probably a good practice because you now have no excuse to drop out since you've done it before.

Runners should buy all crew members and, as appropriate, significant others (they let you run the race in the first place) T-shirts which can be worn without regard to running the race. (see guide #1)

Volunteers have full T-shirt rights and all privileges pertaining thereto.

No souvenir shirts therefore friends or anyone else not associated with the race may not wear a race shirt. If mom thinks that the Leadville shirt is lovely, tell he to send in her application early for next year so she can earn her own.

Wear the race shirt of your last race at the current race pre race briefing. The more recent the race the better. This is a good conversation starter. However avoid the tendency to explain how that it was a training run for this, and this is just a training run for the next, etc. It just sounds like your rationalizing mediocre performances. Sometimes it's best to live in the here and now. ("I've never been more prepared for a race! this is the big one!)

It must be clean (dried blood stains are okay)

If you've finished Hardrock 100 then wear it as often as possible, since the race is so damn hard.

Never wear a T-shirt that vastly out classes the event you're running (exception: see guideline #14) Example: Never wear a Western States 100 T-shirt at, say, Cool Canyon. Too many roadies will feel put down. It's okay to wear a WS100 or Leadville or Wasatch T-shirt at ultrarunner cult events such as Gibson Ranch or Jim Skophammer 24. It's probably not okay to wear your Trans-America footrace T-Shirt to your local around-the-lake Fat Ass 50k unless you want to psyche out the competition.

A corollary: never wear a blatantly prestigious T-shirt downtown. People will just think you have a big head, which you do.

If you don't know what things like DNF, WS100 or Crew are then you shouldn't wear any race shirt until you know what they mean.

T-shirts must be used sensitively. Worn responsibly, they can help expand one's consciousness and immerse you in a great conversation with your ultra brethren. Worn stupidly, they can cause blisters, vacant stares, sprained ankles, and cause social anxiety.

NOTE: Publicly these guidelines will be denied and possibly ridiculed by ultra runners, but privately and when discussed confidentially, they sing a different tune.

Friday, April 11, 2008

In a strange twist of fate....

.....I finished and posted my dreamboard just last week. One of the things I put on it was a round at the masters, something I've wanted to do for at least 20 years.

Tickets to the masters are one of the most difficult in all of sports, if not the most difficult.

And late Wednesday afternoon I received a call from a friend of mine telling me that his client cancelled at the last minute and asking me if I wanted to go.

Hmmmm....let me think about it for a minute.......

So, I got to spend yesterday at







WOW.....I've never seen anything like it.

There's not so much as a blade of grass out of place. There's a calmness and a beauty about Augusta National that is impossible to put into words, much less capture on TV or in a picture

Proof that what we focus on expands

Live with Purpose...Enjoy the Adventure

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A rather unique commencement speach

Other than the fact I'm back in the pool a couple of days a week, there's not too much interesting in my world of triathlon these days; so, here's a hysterical commencement address given by Neal Boortz. You'll either love it or hate it, but I guarantee you'll have a reaction to it, which is a good thing. It's long, so grab a cup of whatever it is you like to drink, pull up a chair, and enjoy:

Commencement Address (Tex A&M)

Neal Boortz is a Texan, a lawyer, a Texas AGGIE (Texas A&M), and now a nationally syndicated talk show host from Atlanta. His commencement address to the graduates of this years A&M class is far different from what either the students or the faculty expected. His views are thought provoking. It would have been particularly entertaining to have witnessed the faculty's reaction.

"I am honored by the invitation to address you on this August occasion. It's about time. Be warned, however, that I am not here to impress you; you'll have enough smoke blown up your bloomers today. And you can bet your tassels I'm not here to impress the faculty and administration. You may not like much of what I have to say, and that's fine. You will remember it though. Especially after about 10 years out there in the real world. This, it goes without saying, does not apply to those of you who will seek your careers and your fortunes as government employees.

This gowned gaggle behind me is your faculty. You've heard the old saying that those who can - do. Those who can't - teach. That sounds deliciously insensitive. But there is often raw truth in insensitivity, just as you often find feel-good falsehoods and lies in compassion. Say good-bye to your faculty because now you are getting ready to go out there and do. These folks behind me are going to stay right here and teach.

By the way, just because you are leaving this place with a diploma doesn't mean the learning is over. When an FAA flight examiner handed me my private pilot's license many years ago, he said, 'Here, this is your ticket to learn.' The same can be said for your diploma. Believe me, the learning has just begun.

Now, I realize that most of you consider yourselves Liberals. In fact, you are probably very proud of your liberal views. You care so much. You feel so much. You want to help so much. After all you're a compassionate and caring person, aren't you now? Well, isn't that just so extraordinarily special. Now, at this age, is as good a time as any to be a liberal; as good a time as any to know absolutely everything. You have plenty of time, starting tomorrow, for the
truth to set in.

Over the next few years, as you begin to feel the cold breath of reality down your neck, things are going to start changing pretty fast... including your own assessment of just how much you really know.
So here are the first assignments for your initial class in reality: Pay
attention to the news, read newspapers, and listen to the words and phrases that proud Liberals use to promote their causes. Then, compare the words of the left to the words and phrases you hear from those evil, heartless, greedy conservatives. From the Left you will hear "I feel." From the Right you will hear "I think." From the Liberals you will hear references to groups -- The Blacks, the Poor, The Rich, The Disadvantaged, The Less Fortunate. From the Right you will hear references to individuals. On the Left you hear talk of group rights; on the Right, individual rights.

That about sums it up, really: Liberals feel. Liberals care. They are pack animals whose identity is tied up in group dynamics. Conservatives and Libertarians think -- and, setting aside the theocracy crowd, their identity is centered on the individual. Liberals feel that their favored groups have enforceable rights to the property and services of productive individuals. Conservatives and Libertarians, I among them I might add, think that individuals have the right to protect their lives and their property from the plunder of the masses.

In college you developed a group mentality, but if you look closely at your diplomas you will see that they have your individual names on them. Not the name of your school mascot, or of your fraternity or sorority, but you name. Your group identity is going away. Your recognition and appreciation of your individual identity starts now. If, by the time you reach the age of 30, you do not consider yourself to be a libertarian or a conservative, rush right back here as quickly as you can and apply for a faculty position. These people will welcome you with open arms. They will welcome you, that is, so long as you haven't developed an individual identity. Once again you will have to be willing to sign on to the group mentality you embraced during the past four years.

Something is going to happen soon that is going to really open your eyes. You're going to actually get a full time job! You're also going to get a lifelong work partner. This partner isn't going to help you do your job. This partner is just going to sit back and wait for payday. This partner doesn't want to share in your effort, but in your earnings. Your new lifelong partner is actually an agent; an agent representing a strange and diverse group of people; an agent for every teenager with an illegitimate child; an agent for a research scientist who wanted to make some cash answering the age-old question of why monkeys grind their teeth. An agent for some poor demented hippie who considers herself to be a meaningful and talented artist, but who just can't manage to sell any of her artwork on the open market.

Your new partner is an agent for every person with limited, if any, job skills, but who wanted a job at City Hall. An agent for tin-horn dictators in fancy military uniforms grasping for American foreign aid. An agent for multi-million- dollar companies who want someone else to pay for their overseas advertising. An agent for everybody who wants to use the unimaginable power of this agent's for their personal enrichment and benefit.

That agent is our wonderful, caring, compassionate, oppressive government. Believe me, you will be awed by the unimaginable power this agent has. Power that you do not have A power that no individual has, or will have. This agent has the legal power to use force, deadly force to accomplish its goals.

You have no choice here. Your new friend is just going to walk up to you, introduce itself rather gruffly, hand you a few forms to fill out, and move right on in. Say hello to your own personal one ton gorilla. It will sleep anywhere it wants to. Now, let me tell you, this agent is not cheap. As you become successful it will seize about 40% of everything you earn. And no, I'm sorry, there just isn't any way you can fire this agent of plunder, and you can't decrease its share of your income. That power rests with him, not you. So, here I am saying negative things to you about government. Well, be clear on this: It is not wrong to distrust government. It is not wrong to fear government. In certain cases it is not even wrong to despise government for government is inherently evil. Yes ... a necessary evil, but dangerous nonetheless ... somewhat like a drug. Just as a drug that in the proper dosage can save your life, an overdose of government can be fatal.

Now let's address a few things that have been crammed into your minds at this university. There are some ideas you need to expunge as soon as possible. These ideas may work well in academic environment, but they fail miserably out there in the real world. First is that favorite buzz word of the media, government and academia: Diversity! You have been taught that the real value of any group of people - be it a social group, an employee group, a management group, whatever - is based on diversity. This is a favored liberal ideal because diversity is based not on an individual's abilities or character, but on a person's identity and status as a member of a group. Yes, it's that liberal group identity thing again.

Within the great diversity movement group identification - be it racial, gender based, or some other minority status - means more than the individual's integrity, character or other qualifications. Brace yourself. You are about to move from this academic atmosphere where diversity rules, to a workplace and a culture where individual achievement and excellence actually count. No matter what your professors have taught you over the last four years, you are about to learn that diversity is absolutely no replacement for excellence, ability, and individual hard work. From this day on every single time you hear the word "diversity" you can rest assured that there is someone close by who is determined to rob you of every vestige of individuality you possess.

We also need to address this thing you seem to have about "rights." We have witnessed an obscene explosion of so-called "rights" in the last few decades, usually emanating from college campuses. You know the mantra: You have the right to a job. The right to a place to live. The right to a living wage. The right to health care. The right to an education. You probably even have your own pet right - the right to a Beemer for instance, or the right to have someone else provide for that child you plan on downloading in a year or so. Forget it. Forget those rights! I'll tell you what your rights are! You have a right to live free, and to the results of 60% -75% of your labor. I'll also tell you have no right to any portion of the life or labor of another.

You may, for instance, think that you have a right to health care. After all, Hillary said so, didn't she? But you cannot receive healthcare unless some doctor or health practitioner surrenders some of his time - his life - to you. He may be willing to do this for compensation, but that's his choice. You have no "right" to his time or property. You have no right to his or any other person's life or to any portion thereof. You may also think you have some "right" to a job; a job with a living wage, whatever that is. Do you mean to tell me that you have a right to force your services on another person, and then the right to demand that this person compensate you with their money? Sorry, forget it. I am sure you would scream if some urban outdoorsmen (that would be "homeless person" for those of you who don't want to give these less fortunate people a romantic and adventurous title) came to you and demanded his job and your money.

The people who have been telling you about all the rights you have are simply exercising one of theirs - the right to be imbeciles. Their being imbeciles didn't cost anyone else either property or time. It's their right, and they exercise it brilliantly.

By the way, did you catch my use of the phrase "less fortunate" a bit ago when I was talking about the urban outdoorsmen? That phrase is a favorite of the Left. Think about it, and you'll understand why.

To imply that one person is homeless, destitute, dirty, drunk, spaced out on drugs, unemployable, and generally miserable because he is "less fortunate" is to imply that a successful person - one with a job, a home and a future - is in that position because he or she was "fortunate." The dictionary says that fortunate means "having derived good from an unexpected place." There is nothing unexpected about deriving good from hard work. There is also nothing unexpected about deriving misery from choosing drugs, alcohol, and the street.

If the Liberal Left can create the common perception that success and failure are simple matters of "fortune" or "luck," then it is easy to promote and justify their various income redistribution schemes. After all, we are just evening out the odds a little bit. This "success equals luck" idea the liberals like to push is seen everywhere. Former Democratic presidential candidate Richard Gephardt refers to high-achievers as "people who have won life's lottery." He wants you to believe they are making the big bucks because they are lucky. It's not luck, my friends. It's choice. One of the greatest lessons I ever learned was in a book by Og Mandino , entitled "The Greatest Secret in the World." The lesson? Very simple: "Use wisely your power of choice."

That bum sitting on a heating grate, smelling like a wharf rat? He's there by choice. He is there because of the sum total of the choices he has made in his life.. This truism is absolutely the hardest thing for some people to accept, especially those who consider themselves to be victims of something or other - victims of discrimination, bad luck, the system, capitalism, whatever. After all, nobody really wants to accept the blame for his or her position in life. Not when it is so much easier to point and say, "Look! He did this to me!" than it is to look into a mirror and say, "You S. O. B.! You did this to me!" The key to accepting responsibility for your life is to accept the fact that your choices, every one of them, are leading you inexorably to either success or failure, however you define those terms. Some of the choices are obvious: Whether or not to stay in school Whether or not to get pregnant. Whether or not to hit the bottle. Whether or not to keep this job you hate until you get another better-paying job. Whether or not to save some of your money, or saddle yourself with huge payments for that new car.

Some of the choices are seemingly insignificant: Whom to go to the movies with. Whose car to ride home in. Whether to watch the tube tonight, or read a book on investing. But, and you can be sure of this, each choice counts. Each choice is a building block - some large, some small. But each one is a part of the structure of your life. If you make the right choices, or if you make more right choices than wrong ones, something absolutely terrible may happen to you. Something unthinkable. You, my friend, could become one of the hated, the evil, the ugly, the feared, the filthy, the successful, the rich. The rich basically serve two purposes in this country. First, they provide the investments, the investment capital, and the brains for the formation of new businesses. Businesses that hire people. Businesses that send millions of paychecks home each week to the un-rich.

Second, the rich are a wonderful object of ridicule, distrust, and hatred. Few things are more valuable to a politician than the envy most Americans feel for the evil rich. Envy is a powerful emotion. Even more powerful than the emotional minefield that surrounded Bill Clinton when he reviewed his last batch of White House interns. Politicians use envy to get votes and power. And they keep that power by promising the envious that the envied will be punished: "The rich will pay their fair share of taxes if I have anything to do with it. The truth is that the top 10% of income earners in this country pays almost 50% of all income taxes collected. I shudder to think what these job producers would be paying if our tax system were any more "fair."

You have heard, no doubt, that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer. Interestingly enough, our government's own numbers show that many of the poor actually get richer, and that quite a few of the rich actually get poorer. But for the rich who do actually get richer, and the poor who remain poor ... there's an explanation -- a reason. The rich, you see, keep doing the things that make them rich; while the poor keep doing the things that make them poor. Speaking of the poor, during your adult life you are going to hear an endless string of politicians bemoaning the plight of the poor. So, you need to know that under our government's definition of "poor" you can have a $5 million net worth, a $300,000 home and a new $90,000 Mercedes, all completely paid for. You can also have a maid, cook, and valet, and $ million in your checking account, and you can still be officially defined by our government as "living in poverty." Now there's something you haven't seen on the evening news.

How does the government pull this one off? Very simple, really. To determine whether or not some poor soul is "living in poverty," the government measures one thing -- just one thing. Income. It doesn't matter one bit how much you have, how much you own, how many cars you drive or how big they are, whether or not your pool is heated, whether you winter in Aspen and spend the summers in the Bahamas, or how much is in your savings account. It only matters how much income you claim in that particular year. This means that if you take a one-year leave of absence from your high-paying job and decide to live off the money in your savings and checking accounts while you write the next great American novel, the government says you are 'living in poverty." This isn't exactly what you had in mind when you heard these gloomy statistics, is it? Do you need more convincing? Try this. The government's own statistics show that people who are said to be "living in poverty" spend more than $1.50 for each dollar of income they claim. Something is a bit fishy here. Just remember all this the next time Charles Gibson tells you about some hideous new
poverty statistics.

Why has the government concocted this phony poverty scam? Because the government needs an excuse to row and to expand its social welfare programs, which translates into an expansion of its power. If the government can convince you, in all your compassion, that the number of "poor" is increasing, it will have all the excuse it needs to sway an electorate suffering from the advanced stages of Obsessive-Compulsive Compassion Disorder.

I'm about to be stoned by the faculty here. They've already changed their minds about that honorary degree I was going t o get. That's OK, though. I still have my PhD. in Insensitivity from the Neal Boortz Institute for Insensitivity Training. I learned that, in short, sensitivity sucks. It's a trap. Think about it - the truth knows no sensitivity. Life can be insensitive. Wallow too much in sensitivity and you'll be unable to deal with life, or the truth So, get over it. Now, before the dean has me shackled and hauled off, I have a few random thoughts.

* You need to register to vote, unless you are on welfare. If you are living off the efforts of others, please do us the favor of sitting down and shutting up until you are on your own again.

* When you do vote, your votes for the House and the Senate are more important than your vote for president. The House controls the purse strings, so concentrate your awareness there.

* Liars cannot be trusted, even when the liar is the president of the country. If someone can't deal honestly with you, send them packing.

* Don't bow to the temptation to use the government as an instrument of plunder. If it is wrong for you to take money from someone else who earned it -- to take their money by force for your own needs -- then it is certainly just as wrong for you to demand that the government step forward and do this dirty work for you.

* Don't look in other people's pockets. You have no business there. What they earn is theirs. What you earn is yours Keep it that way. Nobody owes you anything, except to respect your privacy and your rights, and leave you the hell alone.

* Speaking of earning, the revered 40-hour workweek is for losers Forty hours should be considered the minimum, not the maximum. You don't see highly successful people clocking out of the office every afternoon at five. The losers are the ones caught up in that afternoon rush hour. The winners drive home in the dark.

* Free speech is meant to protect unpopular speech. Popular speech, by definition, needs no protection.

* Finally (and aren't you glad to hear that word), as Og Mandino wrote,
"1. Proclaim your rarity. Each of you is a rare and unique human being.
2. Use wisely your power of choice.
3. Go the extra mile ... drive home in the dark.

Oh, and put off buying a television set as long as you can. Now, if you have any idea at all what's good for you, you will get the hell out of here and never come back.

Class dismissed"

Tuesday, March 25, 2008


First, Elle is doing fantastic. At her last doctors visit, she weighed a bit over 6 lbs, meaning she gained over 2 lbs in her 1st month. Not bad considering she wasn't even supposed to be here yet :)

Having her, I've dealt with doctors more in the last couple of months more than I have in my entire life. While I have the utmost respect for doctors, and think they do what they do because they really care about people, they confirmed my belief that the medical community knows lot's about death and disease and virtually nothing about actual health and vitality. I saw more obese people than I could possibly believe - most of whom were the nurses. A little hypocritical, or at best ironic, don't you think?

In fairness, they were nice as could be and took good care of Lori and Elle, but you're in the health field - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE learn how to be healthy.


The latest brilliant idea from medicine? Let's give babies a hepatitis b shot AT BIRTH.


The CDC states that it's so kids will be protected later in life. That's interesting, since both of the manufacturers state in the drug inserts that they don't know how long the injections are effective for. Neither the CDC nor the manufacturers know the long term effect, since no long term studies have been done.

My daughter is not your personal *&^%ing guinea pig.

Why do they continue injecting things that human services would take your kids away from you for, if you were to feed it to them? Have you ever looked at the ingredients in these injections? Aluminum (linked to Alzheimer’s), formaldehyde (last time I checked USED TO EMBALM DEAD PEOPLE), genetically altered DNA......Would you swallow a bottle of formaldehyde and aluminum? Me either....So instead you're going to inject it directly into the bloodstream?

It's common knowledge in the medical community, although not generally shared with the public, that germs and bacteria ARE NOT the cause of disease. For germs and bacteria to be the cause, EVERY person exposed to a certain germ or bacteria would need to contract the disease, which simply does not happen.




When the flu is going around your office, every person in the office is exposed to the bacteria. Does everyone get the flu? Although germs and bacteria play a part in disease, they





It takes a compromised immune system for disease to occur.

30 injections of massively toxic substances over the 1st couple years of a newborn's life, to "protect" them against germs and bacteria that are scientifically proven to AT BEST be a PART of disease, although PROVEN NOT TO BE THE CAUSE? When a newborn's immune system is just starting to develop?

I'm supposed to believe that circumventing every one of the bodies natural defenses by injecting massively toxic substances directly into the bloodstream will do nothing to compromise an immune system that's just starting to develop?



Cancer, heart disease, autism, diabetes, obesity, ADHD...all consistently increasing in both children and adults. While the government and medical community continue to suggest there's no link between injecting all of these toxic substances and the increase in so many long term diseases, to my knowledge not one study has been done to determine the potential long term effects. To my knowledge no humans have ever been raised in a lab. To my knowledge, not one study has been done comparing the long term health and vitality of those who receive the vaccinations, versus someone whose immune system was free to develop free of all of those poisons.

I'm realistic...vaccinations have massively reduced and eliminated a lot of diseases that used to kill and injure people. As a Rotarian, I'm thrilled to be a part of wiping out polio in the world.

But I also realize that we don't live in the same conditions of filth and dirty drinking water that breeds the bacteria that "cause", strike that - play a part in so many of the diseases they now vaccinate against.

I realize that the pharmaceutical companies are in the business of making money (over $300 billion a year), but could they please stop doing it at the cost of our health?


I'd love to hear your views and opinions

Live with passion...Enjoy the Adventure

From 0 to Ironman and back to 0

Ok - not quite back to 0, although sometimes it feels like it. For the first time in months, I was able to get back onto some sort of routine last week. Getting back in the pool and back on my bike were very humbling experiences, to say the least.

Saturday's swim was actually a bit better than I expected. Although VERY slow, I was able to swim more than a 100m at a time, which is vastly better than my expectations.

Sundays 2 hour ride was a nice change of pace, enjoying a relatively easy spin in fantastic spring weather. My condolences to those of you still stuck on trainers. You're more than welcome to live vicariously for a bit :)

Live with purpose...Enjoy the adventure...

Monday, February 11, 2008

New Year - New LT Test

Since I've been working out off and on for the last few weeks, yesterday's Winter Beach run seemed like the perfect opportunity to re-test my LT, and reset my hr zones.

For breakfast, I had some Hi Octane Pancakes, recipe courtesy of D3 Multisport. Yummy.

This year the beach run started and finished in Neptune Beach, a fact I wish I had noticed before parking in Jax beach, where they held it the prior year.

I thought I had given myself plenty of extra time to pick up my number and chip. Imagine my surprise when 15 minutes before the race I found out I was in the wrong place. Oops.

I drive the few minutes north to Neptune beach, stressing the whole time of course, and seemingly taking forever to find a parking spot. Fortunately the race start was delayed by a few minutes, and I ended up with more than enough time.

I signed up for the 5-mile option, perfect for a LT test. I went easy for the first 10 minutes, using it as a warmup, with some 30 second accelerations to get my hr up before starting the test.

I hit the lap button after 10 minutes and started running....let the "fun" begin. As usual, I completely overestimated the pace I thought I could keep for the next 30 minutes, going out at ~7:20. I was able to keep up that pace for a while, although saw it start slipping.....

I hit the lap butting 10 minutes in, so I'd have my average HR over the last 20 minutes of the run. I watched as my hr kept climbing, and my pace kept slipping. The last miles SUCKED.

I was oh so happy to cross the finish line and end the pain, looking up to see 40:something. My average HR for the last 20 minutes was 186. I'll discount that slightly, since we all have a tendency to go harder in a race than on our own, so will base all my new zones on a running LT of 183 and biking lt of 173, slightly up from the last time I did the test.

The winter beach run may be the best value of the year too. For $20 you can do either a 5 or 10 mile run, you get a REALLY comfortable technical running shirt, and the best part.....


Thanks to ......1st Place Sports for putting on another great event. Next up, the Gate River Run on March 8.

Live with purpose....enjoy the adventure

Friday, February 8, 2008

Need a challenge on your birthday?

I've got just the thing for you:

The B-Fit Birthday Challenge.

Take your age and:

1) Swim the number of miles in the first number 2) Run the number of miles in the second number 3) Bike the number of miles in the combined number

So a 45-year-old athlete would:
1) Swim 4 miles
2) Run 5 miles
3) Bike 45 miles

The Challenge is a simple one. If you choose to accept the Challenge you must....

Bronze: Do all three (swim/bike/run) during the week of your Birthday.
Silver: Do all three (swim/bike/run) in the three days before, after, or during your Birthday.
Gold: Do all three (swim/bike/run) in 24-hours to celebrate your B-Day!

Important Note: Since “0” Birthdays like 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and so on are important milestones the "0" in your birthday represents a 10. This means that on those “0” Birthdays you get to celebrate this big milestone by running ten miles.

Since I'm turning 40 this August, I'll have the pleasure of swimming 4 miles, biking 40 miles, and running 10 miles. What kind of an ironman athlete would I be if I did anything other than the gold challenge?

Who else is up to the challenge? See the website for more details:


Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Monday, February 4, 2008

A new way of getting my ass kicked....

Pilates....aka 20 different ways to do crunches and ensure I cannot situp without assistance....

Although I haven't been blogging nearly as much, I am finally back to working out somewhat consistently. I got in a great 8 mile beach run on Saturday, and a 2 hour ride on Sunday, all while putting the finishing touches on Elle's room.

This weekend we finished painting, so the room was all set for her furniture to arrive today :) Pictures to follow.

The gate river run is on March 8 and is coming quickly. I did a bit of easier base building over the last 4 weeks to get going again, and over the next 4 weeks I plan to add some intervals and tempo runs.

It'll be interesting to see if I can set a PR at that distance, relying mainly on the base I built over the last couple of years. Two years ago I put up a pretty decent time (at least for me) while training for my first marathon. This time around, I'm only running a couple of days a week, and am cycling x 2, hitting pilates x 1 and lifting weights x1.

At the moment I'm much more focused on overall health and fitness than training for any particular events (although you'd never know it from my nutrition lately).

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

Friday, January 25, 2008

Spirit of the Marathon

I caught the sold-out premier of the Spirit of the Marathon last night, and I thought the movie did and outstanding job of capturing exactly what it promised: the spirit of the marathon.

If you weren't able to see the movie last night, there's another showing on February 21.

Spending a lot of time around other marathoners and ironman finishers over the last couple of years, my perception shifted a bit, and I seemed to have forgotten just how special finishing a marathon is, much less an ironman. The movie reminded me....

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure.....

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Did you miss me?

I'm back.....

After a much deserved and much needed break from all things triathlon, it's at long last time to get going again. I've been going pretty much non-stop from the time I started training for my first marathon back in January 2005.

Although my intention was to take a few weeks off right after IM Florida, I ended up doing a couple of 1/2 marathons, so never really took a break. Then, it happened....

A few days before Xmas I went on a group ride on a cold, wet, rainy day. After that ride my body decided it was time to rest, whether I wanted to or not. I got a wicked sinus infection, and managed to spend Xmas morning at an urgent care facility picking up some antibiotics. It was the first time in at least three years I've had so much as a cold.

Fortunately Lori was a good sport, and we did have a great Xmas even if I wasn't 100%. One of the reasons I love her.

Speaking of Lori, both she and the baby are doing great. Thanks for all of the votes for a name. Our short list was down to Lily and Lauren, so naturally we had been calling her "L". A couple of days ago the perfect name came to us: Elle.

We're both very excited for Elle's arrival, and her room will be ready ahead of schedule :)

As far as training goes, I got back onto a schedule last week, gearing up for the Gate River Run, a VERY popular 15k her in Jacksonville. This year should be particularly fun finishing inside the stadium formerly known as Alltel, with the finish shown on the jumbotron.

Swimming is out for the time being in favor of weights. So between now and the race on March 8, it's weights 2x per week, an hour or so aerobic ride on the trainer with Coach Troy, a ~2 hour group ride, a midweek tempo run, and a weekend long run building up to 9 miles.

It definitely feels great to be back on a schedule.

A belated happy new years to everyone

Live with purpose....Enjoy the adventure....

U2 in 3D