IRONMAN Boulder 2014

IRONMAN Boulder 2014
IRONMAN Boulder 2014 - Photo Courtesy of Nils Nilsen @N2PhotoServices
former professional couch potato and dorito eater with no fitness background to 4 x IRONMAN triathlete. blogging so you can be inspired to be active in your life! there's no 'can't' - just think of when you will take that first step!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Ummmm...I'm numb "down there"...

This is the first time I've gone numb..."down there"...

It was the oddest of feelings... it's like when your foot falls asleep...

Do you get the point?!?

Maybe, this is my cue to add to my to do list "look for another bike seat to address numbness."

Other than that and my contact folding up on me, it was a great ride at Vision Quest!

And, I ran into my coach (Dan Litwora) on his way out and my way in. I sum up his plan for me in the pool..."You will run in the pool what you aren't swimming!"

Awesome conclusion to an otherwise stressful day!


Monday, November 28, 2011



after quite a few random drills that were probably laughable, I decided to say, "FUGGIT! JUST GO!"

so, that I did.

1x25 no stopping and only breathing to the left.


1x25 no stopping bilateral breathing...WAS OK WITH OCCASIONAL WATER SWALLOW!





Sunday, November 20, 2011

"Look how far you've come in a week!" ...a trained musician's perspective...

...that's comforting to hear especially because I almost cancelled this morning's swim lesson because I wasn't confident and my left shoulder hurts!

The lack of confidence comes from my frustration at the work I put in at the pool this week.

However, after I got the 'kudos' from Marcia this morning, it reminded me of the frustration that I had when I was training as a professional musician.

A lot of the time, you think you're not making progress. However, the time (EFFICIENT AND FOCUSED TIME) you're putting in provides several baby steps toward the goal in mind.

The baby steps only make your thinking more in tune with the task at hand and you begin to pick everything apart...often to the point of driving yourself crazy... So, as you think that you're not making progress, you probably have! It's just that you've become hyper aware and are continually fine tuning.

The analogy I often heard in conservatory was this... peeling the onion piece by piece, it is practically never-ending because there is a lot of surface area to address in each of those layers. There is always room for improvement and there is practically NO such thing as perfect!


That goal was this morning's lesson!

Nevermind the anxiety I had from being late because I timed my morning ride poorly.

Honestly, I thought that the fatigue on my legs from the ride (which involved 25 sets of strength and endurance intervals), the total 1.5 hours in the saddle, the sore shoulder, AND the 30 minute tardiness all were a recipe for disaster. Yet, I had that "throw your hands in the air" feeling that said to me, "What else can go wrong?!?"

This is often the point where we think less...or do less over-thinking...and we surprise ourselves. We hope/trust in the work we did and can only control so much.

So, there it was... a quick and efficient lesson where I seemed to surprise Marcia by the numerous 25 meter laps I accomplished with okay breathing.

We re-introduced catch up drills with the kick board to work on my bilateral breathing (aka WSB); the "bug" motion with my stroke so I didn't reach too far down into the pool; and a wing type motion when my arms are coming out of the water and re-approaching their entrance.

I'm hoping the "wing thing" will solve this soreness I've been having in my anterior shoulder. Otherwise, I'll beg for a break from the pool and/or recommended strengthening to address it.

I actually notice the soreness more so when lifting my arm up, particularly laterally, or when pushing myself up from laying down with that left arm... SO, not so much, if at all, during swimming!

Yeah...this randomness of a blog will now end because my train stop arrives. But, don't blame a guy for being efficient and logging all this geeky data out of his head...

Yes, I'm sending this to Coaches Dan Litwora and Marcia Cleveland for further analysis!

Thanks for reading and supporting me on my journey!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Kick from the hips...

Extracted from my note to my coach:
I was able to do the first full 25 meters with minimal panic and didn't have to stop.

I went into this swim thinking that I was going to consciously think of a minimal kick "within the box" and from the hips.

I think focusing on that helped me through the first 25.

I started to think about breathing and other stuff and had a harder time not stopping once to quickly catch my breath for most of the subsequent 25 meter laps I attempted.

I was able to do 2 more, not back to back, 25 meter lengths...but they weren't super comfortable and required fight especially toward the end of each as I would begin to panic.

It's definitely difficult!!!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Ironman Wisconsin 2011 first timer (ironman period) added hope to my bucket this morning...

"...a year ago, I wasn't comfortable with 25 meters [in the pool] either..."

When I hear things like that, it definitely puts me at ease even though the battle getting there and day of will be chock full of challenges!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Post Swim Thoughts

Logged this in Training Peaks for my coach:

"Spent about 30 mins in the pool working on "figuring it out". Found that my breathing is more comfortable/easier on the right every 4 strokes. Also tried to think more of allowing hip/torso turn so I could breathe more easily from the side vs lifting my head out of the water. I was able to do 25 meters twice with some trial and error before between and after each successful one. I found that I was more successful when my kick was more violent/faster because I was moving faster. I tried to be aware of using my hips moreso than my knees."

It's all about baby steps, fight,.determination, patience etc. Gotta put in the work so the light at the end of the tunnel can begin showing its face. Otherwise, it'll stay tucked away.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Vision Quest Coaching Assessment, Field Test, Pool Session, & Intensity Barf Ride


so, shortly after the bank of america chicago marathon...probably wednesday, october 12, something caught up with me. i caught a bug that harassed me like crazy until probably this past monday when i felt semi-normal. it was a bad cold that turned into a sinus infection that turned into me having little to no hearing in one ear etc etc.

i hate getting sick...

nevertheless, i am feeling 'normal' once again! for those of you that know me in person, you know that this is nearly impossible because i tread the 'crazy' line VERY closely. actually, you'd probably agree that i am well beyond that line most of the time! ;)




my journey with vision quest coaching started last friday, october 21, 2011, at the tail end of my bug...

early that morning, i drove up to vision quest highland park (part of the trek store there) courtesy of dave noda's car. THANKS, DAVE!

i was to go through a bike assessment with THE robbie ventura. honestly, i had NO idea who he was. and, i say this with the MOST respect to robbie. the most i knew about celebrity cyclists was that there was lance and then the dopers. i think i heard from one person or another how he was some type of big wig that competed professionally and rode with lance armstrong.

well, i decided not to google stalk him so i wasn't ENTIRELY intimidated when i met him for this assessment. i'm glad i didn't.

i was already nervous because i had absolutely NO idea what i was getting myself into. for some reason, i thought i was going to be going balls out on the treadmill and bike trainer with tons of wires hooked up to me. and, of course i had to make it MORE awkward by asking him to agree to being videotaped and to videotape me using the flip cam that i brought along... (remember, i'm blogging and vlogging because i expect you all to keep me accountable! so, it's your fault too! ;) )

let me start by saying that he is probably one of the nicest guys with an extreme passion for VQ and is VERY excited to share his passion and experience with others so they can get their own glimpse at the type of glory he has experienced in his life as a professional athlete. i'd like to emphasize 'glimpse' because, let's face it, the majority of us are probably NOT in the running for a podium spot!

we simply are looking to prove to ourselves (and those childhood bullies) that we CAN accomplish what many folks believe to be "crazy".


i was that guy that decided to go from the couch & dorito eating to marathon training in 2007. in 2008, my mother saw me in brooklyn about 8 miles into the NYC marathon...i stopped briefly to give her, my aunt, uncle, and partner at the time a hug... apparently, after i continued on up the hill, she asked, "now, why do they do this?!?"

she's probably among the majority with that inquiry. and, we can help them out at the end of the day by summarizing it as this: "we do it cuz we can. and, we continue to challenge ourselves to prove to OURSELVES how much stronger we can become over time. OH, and we look more bada$$ while we are on those journeys as well!"


so, robbie took the time to explain what we were going to do during our time together (which ended up around 3 hours) and then we proceeded with the assessment. i thought of it as a test, though. but, they're just words, right?

i signed documents stating that i wouldn't dope, that i will not sue, and that i'm clear for this activity via my doctor.

he took my weight.

he used those awful fat calipers on me...then told me i was lean (WHEW!)

we then went to do some strength, stability, and flexibility tests.

strength and stability were a 9-10/10 overall according to him. i was quite proud of that.

HOWEVER, what we did notice while on the bike during the cycling assessment was that my left leg was doing about 25-50% MORE work than my left even after minor adjustments to my setup.

this is more than likely linked to the broken sesamoid that i have in my right foot and my hip/glute medius issues/tightness on that side as well...all from my running.

so, he prescribed single leg drills on the bike, single legged squats, and lateral band strengthening exercises.

easy, right? well...i gotta DO the exercises! ;)

HOPEFULLY, i'll nip this issue in the bud sooner than later!

he also wants me to get a grasp on swim technique and to get comfortable with doing laps and increase the cycling volume. for the former, remember, i can't swim. i'll provide more details on that when i share with you my pool experience that i had this past thursday. for the latter, i've been able to make a dent in that via a couple classes at VQ...i'll tell you more about those as well.

at the conclusion of my cycling assessment, we learned that my aerobic fitness...well...frankly...SUCKS right now. and, that makes sense because i've been MAYBE running once a week since the beginning of june while july and august were tainted with cigarettes as well. and, i was being good if i got to the gym about twice a week too.

(ok, i'm done beating myself into the ground.)

this final assessment was based on many numbers, which included my power output while pedaling and my blood sugar levels. (yes, he pricked my finger several times and it was sore for the rest of the day!)

here is some video from that assessment where robbie summarizes what we are going to be doing, calls me out for barely working out recently, and then me in action on the bike...



part of the end of my assessment involved a conversation on which program i would end up linking into and then which coach would work best for me. we narrowed it down to a coach in switzerland as well as one locally in chicago. after weighing the options and having a great conversation with each of them, i decided to move forward with a coach in chicago.

the reason for this selection was because i know how neurotic i can be. so, after a workout, i often wouldn't mind some immediate feedback based on how i felt. so, reaching out to my coach locally via phone would allow me to access this chicago coach without waking him up in the middle of the night like i would if i was attempting to reach my coach overseas. there is also the plus that i will have the opportunity to see him in person at some of the workouts so he can kick my a$$ in person as well!

his name is dan litwora (@cdanrun). here he is finishing the 2009 ironman world championships in kona:


my biggest fear of dan is just that...he's dan. he's accomplished. many of his athletes go to kona. and, here i am the one that can barely swim more than half the pool. but, he didn't outright refuse me. so, with him i proceed. i'm excited and nervous at the same time.

this morning, i received my training peaks coach request from him so this is becoming all the more real every second!


i was told to remember 'my number' coming out of my assessment. frankly, i forgot to ask and was reminded to remember that my number is 165. honestly, i don't entirely understand anything about this number other than i THINK it's my 'power' number.

so...i show up to VQ chicago on tuesday at the advisement of dave noda to see how i test against this number of 165 'in the field'. it was myself and a married couple doing the actual test. there were others there doing their own workouts and/or stretching... ALL of them, along with bryce who led the session, were my BIGGEST cheerleaders! i had BARELY met any of them. it was my FIRST class there. and they were SCREAMING at me to fight and push harder and harder!

HOLY SH*T, THAT WAS F^N AWESOME! i had such a HIGH after going through that TWICE!!

oh...ha! maybe, you'd like to know what my numbers were... they were 229 for the first one (which matters most apparently) and then 213 for the second. according to bryce, that's not too bad and shows a base of endurance. i thought it was bad because i was so far from 229 the second time around.

the assessment was similar to what i did with robbie but was a tad harder i think... maybe, it was because the power was determined this time and we were trying to figure it out during that assessment four days earlier.

nevertheless, that's how i did. and, my new number jumped from 165 to 218. dan will take that number and do what he will with it. i will also use it in my classes on the computrainer.

once i fully understand, i'll try my best to explain it to you at another time.


on thursday, i went to northside college prep for an 8pm pool workout. for me, this was REALLY nerve wracking to walk into because I went in KNOWING full well that I basically couldn't swim!

yet again, i was relieved to find some more vq athletes that were friendly and not judgmental of my rookie status. they had huge encouraging smiles on their faces and were nothing but encouraging!

melissa, the coach, was awesome.

she called me out basically saying that she couldn't see what i needed help with or if i could be helped at all if i didn't get off the bench and get in the pool and do something so she knew what type of mess she was dealing with.

i finally caved and got in.

i think i did some technique that i had learned from a class that i took months ago... i THINK it was torpedo... where i just moved my feet.

i got to half way through the pool to where i saw that i wouldn't be able to stand up if i stopped any further past the line and then walked slowly, fighting the water, back to the start of the lane.

she told me that i had a pretty decent kick.

insert *GASP* here!

SO...from this encouraging statement, i was suddenly less worried.

we spent time with the kickboard, with which i made friends quickly. in fact, we became best friends by the end of the evening. i worked on my kick first. then, she had me alternate using my arms so i could learn freestyle...

i did pretty well with the kickboard. however, once i moved away from the kickboard and tried to put it all together without it while she wasn't looking, she came back and noticed that i lost my good kick and stroke.


after i got those items down to a semi-medocre level, we put some fins on me. what was cool about these things was how fast they propelled me in the water without my arms! insert the arms, and i'm flying past mr. phelps at universe record pace!

ok...i'll calm down!

what i DID notice using fins, however, was how my left side was stronger! remember when i told you earlier how it was pointed out that my power on the bike was better/stronger on the left than the right?

well, i noticed myself slowly turning to the right when using the fins and..because i like to hypothesize...i attribute this to the right hip/glute weakness/imbalance issue. who knows! hopefully, dan, melissa, marcia et al will guide me on whether my assumption is legit!

in sum, and most importantly, i walked away that evening feeling MUCH better about my "can't swim" lie i've been telling apparently. i'm not THAT bad. but, i know i have A LOT of work to do in order to get where i need to be! diligence and hard work is a must here!


i got the okay to go to this 90 minute class taught by vq's dave noda. i don't entirely know what i was doing except that there was...

a warmup...

a part where i had to be at 18-22 mph

a part where i had to be at 13-15 mph

ending back at 18-22 mph

...there were recoveries peppered between the various sets that we did. each set included sudden 30 second climbs where we were to try to maintain our speed/cadence. only for one or two of the climbs were we told to try to go a tad faster.

it was all fine until about 70-80 minutes in, i SUDDENLY felt like puking! i didn't think i had worked THAT hard. so, was it my inability to realize my actual perceived exertion? or, was it the crossover between my body burning my breakfast to burning fat?

i didn't have any gatorade type fuel during this ride and was only having water here and there as my mouth dried out. the reason for no sports drink was because i was told to try going at least two hours without it for now in order to train my body to burn fat instead of relying on regularly feeding in calories.

now, i could have TOTALLY heard that wrong but i'm PRETTY sure that's what i was suppose to do. we'll see what i learn from the good 'ol coach dan on this one as well!


i had a great first 'official' week! lots learned! awesome people met! lots of confidence in the bank! i hope to continue this awesome momentum!


so, what'd y'all learn today during this reading? i'm crazy? i can't write? i have a lot to say? i'm random? i should probably send these out separately instead of one big chunk?


and, thanks for keeping me honest by checking in on me!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Week 1 - let's close out by puking!


This is a summary of my morning "puke" workout... Detail going back to last Friday will be posted by this afternoon... In the meantime, please help me summarize these stats because it looks like hieroglyphics to me! ;)

Thursday, October 20, 2011





Hopefully, in the next 10 minutes I will be able to hear out of my ear again! This sinus infection that had me sidelined for almost two weeks decided to leave a gift.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Friday, October 7, 2011

the chicago marathon is this sunday in case...

the chicago marathon is this sunday... in case you didn't know?? it's also known as #cm11 or @marathonchicago to many #runnerds.

many of my friends...yeah...those online/twitter friends...will be in town or are here already. so, i'm REALLY excited about that.

where are the mixed emotions?

this is the 1st year i haven't run chicago since 2007. am i jealous right at this VERY second. DUH! YEAH! of COURSE, i AM!

at the same time, though... i'm glad that i'm not because if i was, it would have meant my training (and whining to my coach during the process) in the this summer's awful heat! and, to be TOTALLY honest, my head still wasn't in a good place for training...

my coach called me mentally overtrained... the reality is that in 2007, i jumped in headfirst into running and barely came up for air. i let myself try to do that and it messed with my head immensely. i think i've found a good sense of stasis overall. however, i did find that i needed to sign up for a race (hence, this blog) in order to get back into my rhythm that i need!


the flip side is that i get to see a bunch of friends, motivate them, cheer them on, and celebrate with them! OH, AND i finally get to meet my coach, josh (aka @speedysasquatch). he's from NYC and i've never met him. yeah, it sounds weird... but, believe it or not, it's not all that uncommon! so, get over it! ;)

i also still have a key role this weekend by managing the start corrals of the race followed by hopefully witnessing the elite finish in person for the first time ever! ...and then i'll make my way down to mile 24 to cheer and then, hopefully, run at least 1 friend in. i'll be cheering with universal sole & nike while sporting my f^3 singlet and then hopefully @heathbar6 (aka heather w) will find and drag me in to push her a$$ to the finish line!


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

SMOKER?!? Consider this!

TIP: Remind yourself that a lot of smoking is about the deep breaths (like from yoga!) that we don't do enough of AND it's alone/escape time.

TRY THIS: Just take a walk...take it at a leisurely pace...take deep breaths...take the time to take everything in around you and acknowledge their existence!

HOW DO I KNOW? I'm almost a month in from being smoke free. I haven't even had Nicorette... I remind myself of my future goals and how smoking will effect the outcomes! And, I'm just breathing more freely!


Monday, October 3, 2011

yoga chair pose = FML

utkatasana...YUP...i googled it cuz i can NEVER remember it! ut-ka-ta-sa-na... i couldn't think about the last time i had been to yoga. maybe, that's why i could only think FML the entire time when we had to hold that pose for, what seemed to be, ten bajillion poses and their corresponding minutes!

nevertheless, it felt great and was nice to get a solid core and yoga session in during my last week at my downtown gym (xsport) before i move permanently to bally's in my new neighborhood. of course, i'll probably be spending most of my "gym time" while at vision quest, but...i dunno...i'm just telling you!

it's bittersweet... my best friend and i have been working out there together since it opened a couple years ago. BUT, no regrets! i learned a ton from him regarding dedication along with some awesome exercises. he helped build my confidence and push my limits. thanks, matt! =)

the start of daRevoluCHIN!

i did a quick google search for "darevoluchin nike blog" and it actually found this post about how i went from the couch to running in 2007:

don't want to click & read? no problem! i've copied & pasted it here:


The Start of daRevoluCHIN!

August 27, 2009

It started in February of 2007 on an icy Chicago day. The temperature was an aggressively mean negative twenty wind chill. In our loop condo, I suited up to go for a run in cotton socks, a cotton shirt, a cotton hoodie, sweat pants, long johns, the outer layer of a winter coat, a hat, huge mittens, a scarf, and shoes that weren’t meant for running.

Why would I do such a thing? Why didn’t I wait until Spring? Why would I subject myself to that?!?

The answer is simple…

Ever since 1998, I watched the Chicago Marathon and was always envious of the swarms of runners of all shapes and sizes. As I watched, I thought to myself, “I’m going to do that next year!” Now, keep in mind, I was thinking this while I was becoming more dehydrated from the coffee I was sipping after the previous night’s revelries. So, could I really do it? Could I actually stay in on Friday nights because of the following morning’s long run? Could this big kid, whose most active sport to date was starting tackle freshman year of high school, REALLY do it?

Well, it seemed like I really couldn’t at the time. That scene actually repeated itself for about eight years before I took action. Perhaps, it was because I was finally done with school and settled into a regular working schedule. Nevertheless, I finally just went for it.

I was tired of being a professional couch potato that starved for several brands of chips. Those types of bicep curls didn’t necessarily cut it if you want to be in shape!

So, I just did it…

My goal was to get from our downtown home to the Starbucks in Old Town three miles away using the Chicago lakefront path. I braved the icy, desolate, and dark route trudging along while thinking to myself, “What the HELL am I doing?!?” and “Why does this SUCK so bad?!?”

But, I made it! When I walked into that Starbucks, my glasses fogged up and my face started to sweat profusely. I distinctly remember a gentleman looking at me and he asked, “Are you really sweating after coming in from out there?” I answered with pride and out of breath, “Yeah…I…just…ran…” I have no idea what he said or what happened next except that I had a hot chocolate in my hand and was shortly on the train back home.

How would I possibly do this again? Well, I did a few times. But, I started to feel like I may quit because it was so hard to go three miles especially in all that clothing. It was getting VERY cumbersome and I just didn’t want to deal with it. So, what was going to keep me going?


I went to a well-known Chicago running store’s fun run one evening. I felt REALLY awkward because I was SUCH a rookie! I was embarrassed to ask questions. I even hid and pretended I was shopping even though I was there to participate in the run. I hoped to find others running the same “pace.” But, what was that “pace?” I only knew it to be slow and hoped others would speak up or maybe ask ME what I was going to run. I think a couple gentleladies actually did speak up and then I quickly latched on.

From that point, I had a couple new friends. I remember one of them being Jillian. We kept each other going week to week at the fun run until we, unfortunately, lost touch somehow. But, I did find out more about the store’s racing team that was for all levels. And, I must say, after I joined that group, my running experiences multiplied to levels I NEVER thought possible. And, I soon found myself in a training program for that year’s Chicago Marathon (2007)!

Because of that team, I was able to get into Nike’s Northside/Southside Challenge for the Marathon. There were about 50 on the Northside and 50 on the Southside. It was a friendly rivalry and the team with the most Nike+ miles and fastest average pace on race day won a donation to a charity (Boys and Girls Club for the Northside team and the Chicago White Sox charities for the Southside team).

I ended up the team captain for the Southside. No, we didn’t win—sorry White Sox charities! Nevertheless, through that role, I got to meet runners of all shapes, sizes, experience, elite, non-elite, etc. I found myself in a naturally motivating capacity using a googlegroup to send email blasts to my team to hype them up for events, on the stage at Niketown and on the news. Isn’t this type of role reserved for some type of famous and fast runner? Or, at least somebody with lots of running experience and not in his or her first year of running? Apparently not and, I wasn’t complaining. I actually felt very lucky and fortunate.

Can I get myself out the door to get my run in solo? I’ll admit to you, as long as you promise not to tell, that the answer is usually no. I enjoy the new friends that have come out of my Nike Northside/Southside experience. That’s why I have done my best to keep as many of them from that time, along with new ones we’ve picked up along the way, together as a core group. It’s purely selfish too because the group is my motivation to get out and do my run. They keep me accountable even if there isn’t somebody running my exact pace that day. We meet and end in the same spot and cheer each other on no matter what. It’s funny that I basically play the role of motivating others in order to keep myself motivated and accountable but we all seem to benefit and I now have the closest and best-est friends ever!

I’ve continued to run because of those friends. I am VERY lucky to have them in my life and enjoy every moment I get to spend with them. And, what’s even better is that the group continues to grow as I share my story and encourage newbies to start their own story.

Even though I’ve done three marathons, including New York and Chicago back in 2008, I honestly could probably do without the actual running part of these friendships. However, if it comes with the territory, I’m all for it. I’ll run to keep this network alive!

That’s how daRevoluCHIN started and I look forward to bringing more newbies in—locally and virtually!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

I just setup my TIVO to record the...

I just setup my TIVO to record the Ironman World Championships & Ironman Wisconsin whenever they air next... There are SEVERAL years of the world championships that I'll soon have in my queue! I'm curious to know what the Wisconsin coverage is like!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Bank of America Chicago Marathon Dry Run...


Next week, I'm charged with the task of ensuring that the seeded start corrals run of cake!

TODAY, I'm up at 4:30am to meet up with a gang from Chicago Events Management to go flyer cars in the Pilsen and Chinatown neighborhoods.

The flyers say something like this...


I'm looking forward to breakfast afterwards and then continuing my sleep from where I left off after that.

YUP...I'm half asleep as I write this while waiting for the red line! AND, my heart feels like it's going to jump out of my chest from the 5 hour energy I just downed!


Post ride...


Can you see my snot and can you tell that my body temperature is about 50 degrees COLDER than before?!?

Gotta love a headwind on the second half! :)

Pre ride...


About to go on a quick 1 hr ride before my massage tonight. This is how I look before. WHAT could I possibly look like after?!? ;)

polldaddy poll=5549502

[polldaddy poll=5549502]

Friday, September 30, 2011

i have quite a few topics in my...

i have quite a few topics in my head that i'll post here soon! maybe, if it works out, ya'll can give me your input on what you'd like me to blog about first!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

unnecessary stress that fuels my workouts!

So, I received this "refurbished" cable modem yesterday. Comcast came to do the installation this morning.

What caused me to be two hours late to work and a $15 cab ride?

A modem that is supposedly 'refurbished'.

When they attempted to activate it, they said it belonged to another owner in Colorado so they couldn't activate it, nor could they remove it from the other account without their permission.

How do I contact this person?

I suppose this begins the saga of trying to reach Amazon who fulfilled the order and then they have to track down the seller.

So much for trying to save on the monthly lease charge by purchasing my own modem! It also looks like the one that Comcast provided in the interim is a dead one. Of course, it dies about 3 minutes after the technician walks out of my apartment.

Great morning?!? NOT! SO! MUCH!

I'll use my anger & tiredness and hit the volleyball extra hard at my first session (for beginners) tonight!

I suppose I'm probably cranky from my legs being sore from last night's leg strengthening session as well. It's been a while! We all know that tomorrow WILL be worst!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

BE! CAREFUL! spectating an ironman COULD inspire you!

[caption id="" align="alignright" width="180" caption="Image by robbyb via Flickr"]Finish Line Support[/caption]

on sunday, i spectated ironman wisconsin from about 8:30am until 8:45pm. i knew there were quite a few chicagoans (many #runnerds) that i knew racing. in particular, i wanted to be there to support my best friend matt's girlfriend! (she ROCKED by the way!!!)

the day before, when i would wake up from not being able to sleep the night before, and DURING the race, i often thought about this video that i watched within the past year. i think it was shared with my running buddies and i at some point before our friend danny conquered the same race just a year ago. i can't help but laugh EVERY time i watch this!


that's my first random thought that i wanted to share here...i promise that this will be a random blog. it will go off onto random tangents. it may not make sense a lot of the time. i'm not the best of writers. however, i simply want to share what's in my head because many of you out there seem to be intrigued, are looking for some motivation, or you're purely looking for something to laugh at and possibly create a parody blog. for the latter, PLEASE DO SO and let me know that you created it because it would be fun to hear somebody's interpretation!!!

tonight at the gym, i thought about this blog that's been sitting here gathering dust. should i actually use it? should i start sharing my stories again like i have in the past? will i keep up with it?

the fact is that i have stuff in my head that i want to currently share and i don't want to feel bad for not sharing it later on. so, i'm going to go for it. and, i'll do my best to keep it updated.

lots of what you will read will include random reflections that i've been meaning to share about previous races i've completed; how my day is effecting my nutrition; how my day is going to effect or not effect my training for the evening; how my training in the morning is killing me during the day or actually giving me a kick in my step; random details about my training; updates on what i'm doing for the F^3 Lake Half Marathon as co-race director; etc; etc; etc...

i can't keep it a secret very long once i post it here...

but, there is some HUGE news for me...

my first physical therapist (mike!) that healed my chondromalacia way back in 2007 when i first started running posted something on facebook about thinking about signing up for ironman wisconsin and whether anybody wanted to join him. this was on monday. the DAY AFTER the ironman this year. this is also known as a very irrational place, i'm sure, for many spectators who are even remotely related to ANY of the sports involved (swimming, cycling, & running) and would consider registering!

of course, i chimed in hours later because i'm not on social media as much as i would like to be nowadays. nevertheless, i responded in jest saying something like, "if you teach me to swim and ride with me AND registration is still open, i'll run with you and i'll register!"

THEN, i checked the website and saw that registration was STILL open. so, i IMMEDIATELY went back to the comments that i just posted and added comments to the effect of, "PLEASE DON'T TEACH ME TO SWIM! PLEASE DON'T RIDE WITH ME! REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN!!!" this happened to be close to my lunch hour and his clinic happens to be half a block from my office. so, i walked on over when i didn't get an immediate response (C'MON, MIKE!) and had a little chat with him.

he recommended i ease into it and not go all in...

i walked out...

i sat in front of the new starbucks on michigan ave...

many thoughts were flying threw my head as the likelihood that the race would sell-out within minutes added pressure...

2011 has been a funk in general for me after i completed the rock n roll arizona marathon in january. this was the BEST experience of my life even though it wasn't my best time. more details on this in a separate post.

so, i always knew that i had to sign up for a race in order to keep my a$$ training and getting out the door. it was like my days as a musician when i had to plan on taking an audition in order to practice.

i signed up for a 10k that went from the united center to us cellular (april?) and the magellan half marathon (mid-may). for both, my training was less than stellar. and, you could ask my coach about how whiny i was while training (or barely training) for those two races.

the last "race" i did was as part of team rat tail in the ragnar chicago relay at the beginning of june. i've probably run a total of about four times since then... and, we are now at september 15th.

did i miss training for the bank of america chicago marathon this year--the first that i had not trained for since 2007? kinda...not ESPECIALLY NO with the chicago summer heat that we had!

the reality is that there was a tad more to it so it worked out well that i had to focus on myself for a bit.

the end of june was when i ended my relationship of 9.5 years with my partner.

SO, it was definitely a time of transition...

i was couch surfing until i found my new home... i started smoking because it kept me company... i settled into my new place... and, i've been adjusting to being in my new home alone. sounds pretty sad... but, it all had to happen.

what YOU need to know is that my last cigarette was last thursday. what YOU need to know is that i made a commitment to myself to get back on track and get focused.

so, that's where the completion of the long questionnaire for ironman wisconsin came into play on monday afternoon at about 2:07pm. going through my head as my heart was beating really fast and my hands were shaking a bit were thoughts of how i can barely swim and i how i hope that it errors out at submission because it sold out while i was filling everything out.

i hit submit.

my credit card was charged.

i got the confirmation email.

i'm still in shock.

yup! you heard it here!

i am not terribly excited about training in lake michigan. before i even think about that, i should probably focus on making it to the middle of the pool without stopping. i'm not TOO terribly worried about the bike (although, i need to learn how to change a tire!) and i've done seven marathons, so i know what that feels like already. right this VERY second, i'm just thinking about getting out of the water in under 2:20!

tonight's workout with my best friend and his pep talk (because he may or may not be training too!) were a great reason to further turn over this new leaf and snap out of it.

i usually don't like folks to know my plans because if i fail, only i will know. but, this journey i WANT to share with you all. i'm hoping that i can be inspired by your comments and maybe i can inspire you in one way or another as well.