Friday, December 17, 2010

Crazy Cool Inspiration

Every once in a while, K will send me a news story that she thinks I'll find interesting.  She hit the jackpot with this one - Amputee Sets Out to Complete 8 'Ironman' Challenges in 8 Months.

Have you guys seen this story?  It is all about Jeff Glasbrenner of Little Rock, Arkansas, who set out to complete 8 Ironman Races in 8 months.  All of this in honor of the 30th anniversary of losing his leg at 8 years old in a farming accident.  You can read all about it at Jeff's site -

His 8th and final race was scheduled for December 15th - I don't know how he did yet...I just had to get this out there.  Amazing!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

A Birthday Celebration

Sunday, December 12th was my birthday.  If it weren't for the weather keeping me from doing an early long run, it would have been the best b-day ever.  Oh well...

I got some GREAT gifts from K and my family.  For starters, we should talk about the gift that arrived last night.  My mom and dad bought me the TRX Suspension Training Pro Pack!  I can not wait to redesign the workout area in the basement so that I can incorporate my new toy.  I really wanted a TRX, but since I have access to 5-6 of them at the gym, I couldn't justify the cost.  Now, though, I have no excuse not to have a strong core, better balance and fewer injuries.  Once it is all set up, I plan to write up a serious review, and like others that have done the P90x challenge, I aim to commit to a similar challenge and track my results.

Some other great gifts - gift card to Amazon (workout gear), gift card to Dick's Sporting Goods (workout gear), money from Grandma (workout gear), more money (workout gear), Jef Mallett's Trizophrenia (hysterical).  You see where I'm going with this?  I am trying to set it up to where there are seriously NO excuses.

Finally, the gift that meant the most to me...K gave me The Distance: A Triathlete's Journey.  I'm not going to say that it is the best amateur triathlon stories DVD I've ever watched, my vote still goes to 140.6: The Triathlete's Journey (a college film project by Wes Wheeler).  I like 140.6 better because it highlights three amateurs in their quest for Ironman Lake Placid.  I seriously burned up the DVD in training for IMLP 2010.  Back to The Distance...we haven't watched the full movie, but what was so meaningful to me is that when they were talking about only wanting to hear those four words, "You Are An Ironman," K teared up.  Yep.  I looked over, paused the movie and asked what was up.  Her reply, "I was right there.  I watched you cross that finish line.  I was right there and I didn't hear it.  I didn't hear him say, "Jeffrey Weir, You Are An Ironman."  I offered my condolences and said that it didn't matter if she heard it or not - it mattered that she was there and part of the journey.  So...

I suggested a solution.  I'll do an Ironman again in 2012 and she can make sure to listen intently.  We'll see how that goes.

46 days to ING Miami Marathon.  I am so not on track.  It may turn out to be ING Miami Half Marathon.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Delayed Onset Post-Ironman Depression Syndrome

Ironman Lake Placid was almost six months ago.  Since then, I have completed a few 5k, half-marathon and x-country races and training runs - setting personal bests at the Monson Half-Marathon, Hatfield Harvest 5k and Talking Turkey 6-mile X-Country.  A fairly successful triathlon off-season.  I've been doing all the running to get ready for the ING Miami Marathon on January 30, 2011.

However, after coming up somewhat gimpy on what was to be a 16-miler on 11/21, I haven't been feeling great.  Everything seems to hurt - well, more like ache.  Which reminds of the commercial that says, "depression hurts, but you don't have to."

Ipso ergo oreo - I am suffering from Post-Ironman Depression Syndrome (PIDS) - the delayed onset variety.  Or...maybe I am in stage four - Depression - of the injury cycle as articulated in "Good Grief" (Runner's World - September 2010).

Either way, I'm struggling.  I'm not totally detached, though.  I've been keeping up with you all - your ups and downs.  I hope that I am on my way back up.  I like being up.  It is a good feeling.  I have to remember that life is full of peaks, valleys and plateaus.

The valley I've been in really isn't that bad when looked at with some perspective.  But, it is real.  This week, I've worked to pull myself back out.  I ran on Wednesday and then again today.  Nothing crazy, just getting my blood pumping.  More importantly, though, I'm back to doing more core work.  This will give me a better shot at staying injury free, keep me looking good and help me in my triathlon performance. 

We'll see how this weekend goes...

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

R.I.C.E - How do you elevate a glute?

I've been doing so well lately.  Setting a half-mary PR on the 14th, maintaing my miles during the week, alternating between speed/tempo work and recovery runs - I've been doing all that I can to stay healthy.

Which is why I'm totally bummed out.  On Sunday's long run - goal was 16 miles with the last three at sub-8:15, nothing too extreme - I came up lame at mile 11.5.  Up until that point, I was having no problems at all.  No tightness, soreness - nothing.  Everything was good.  We were maintaining a pretty consistent 8:30/mile pace and really enjoying being outside.  And then...BAM.  Just like that.  I felt like I had been shot in the butt.  My left glute seized up and I felt like I couldn't take another step.

What had I done?  What had I not done properly to see that this wouldn't happen?  My emotional response was very unsettling, too.  I can counsel/coach others through injury and lay-offs, but, I couldn't wipe the disappointment and frustration from my face. 

After getting home and talking it out, I began to feel a little better.  I knew that I had to R.I.C.E.  But, I had/have no idea how to elevate a glute.  If anyone has some insight, I'd love to know.  In addition, I've taken to some serious stretching and foam rolling.  I've also been working hard at the Pigeon Pose.  This, like the foam roller, doesn't feel great while you're doing it, but, I swear, the feeling when you're back on your feet is total relief.

So, I'm taking a few days off.  I'm on a stretch/foam roll/pseudo yoga prescription until at least Thanksgiving morning.  I know that missing accruing some mileage my ever so slightly hinder my performance, it is nothing compared to what trying to run through an injury will do.

Wish me luck!  Also, if you have any pointers on how to remedy this strain, let me know.  And yes, I expect all the "pain in the ass" comments that you all will bring...

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Another PR - Monson Memorial Half Marathon

Sunday was another great running day in New England.  My buddy and I drove out to Monson, Mass., home of the Monson Memorial Classic.  The 15th running of this event saw 375 people show up for the day's races - 292 for the half marathon and 83 for the 5k.

The course was remarkably tough, with more than 2,200 feet of elevation gain - all within the first 7 miles.  We did well, though, both able to set half marathon PRs.  I did 1:45:59.  A check of my splits according to my Timex Global Trainer - yeah, I did mile 13 at 6:52 pace.

I am glad that this race fit into our ING Miami Marathon training schedule, but more importantly, I'm glad that we were able to help generate some funds for a few charities.  While this was my first running of this race, the Monson Memorial Classic road race was first run in 1996, shortly after the deaths of Kelly Waldron and Kathy Waldron Perry. These sisters died eight months apart from different types of cancer. Kathy suffered with melanoma, and Kelly had breast, bone, and liver cancer.  This race is in their memory.  This year, the race organizers decided to give the proceeds to The SHADE Foundation of America and to Griffin's Friends.

Setting  Helping raise money for worthy causes...Super Cool!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Repost - Justice Derailed

From  Justice derailed?: Wealthy money manager gets wrist slapped after almost killing cyclist

Please read this article. I know it is difficult to affect change in jurisdictricts you don't reside, but the more people that know about this, the better the chance that things may change.

I want to say that I can't believe that this is actually what is happening...the reality is, though, that it is and it continues to happen across the country. 

Wear your RoadID.  Tell your family/friends where you're going. safe out there.

Eating Right...

I don't think that I've ever addressed this in words - just in my subhead - but I really do strive, most of the time, to eat right.  This weekend was a mixed bag, but dinner last night was amazing. 
After finishing up a recovery run that was faster than it should have been, I hit up Whole Foods to do the weekly food shopping.  I know, we are members of a great co-op not two miles from the house, River Valley Market, but I was literally right in front of Whole Foods and they have more of the specific stuff we need.
Anyway, I picked up some wild-caught sockeye salmon - it looked amazing, expensive, but amazing - to go with the locally-grown, organic acorn squash and brussel sprouts that I bought at the Northampton Farmers Market.
I sliced the squash in half, coated it with a little coconut oil and placed them cut side down in a pan with water about an eighth of an inch deep.  They baked at 400 degrees for 40 minutes.  After that got started, I cut the ends off of the sprouts, threw em in a bowl, coated them with sea salt, pepper, a little garlic salt and some olive oil.  Shook them up real good and put them on a pan.  Slid the sprout in with the squash - for 30 minutes. 
While the sides were cooking, I heated my grill pan, seasoned the salmon and grilled them, skin side down for about 15 minutes.
When it was all said and done, we had a great, super healthy dinner - and clean up was a breeze.  I did, however, make the squash a little less healthy by mashing it with butter and cinnamon and sugar, but hey, what are you going to do...
Maybe I should start a recipes/menu page.  We do some interesting meals...would anyone be interested in that?  I mean, where else would you find out about cinnamon pear maple millet (an AWESOME hot breakfast)?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ramping Up The Mileage - I'm Gonna Run Famous

It's official, I'm racing ING Miami Marathon on January 30, 2011.  I've talked about it before, but only in the sense that I might be doing it.  Well, I booked the travel, the hotel and paid the entry fee last week.  I spent the end of last week pulling together the training plan - it looks brutal. 

I write my plans Monday through Sunday.  So, with the plan officially starting on Nov. 1 (Monday) - I started my training plan with a rest day!  How cool is that?  However, that was short lived.  By Sunday, I will have logged 41 miles.  I know that that seems like a lot to jump on the first week, but I was already up around 30-35 miles in my weekly mileage because I thought that Miami might happen.

Just to see where I was, though, I went out on Halloween mid-morning to stretch the legs.  The first few miles were brutal - I was cold and it took me a while to warm up.  However, the miles started clicking off faster with each one.  Check out these splits.  This was a great way to start my marathon training.  I'm totally going to do this.  I will not let what happened to me at the ING Hartford Marathon in 2008 happen again. 

Sunday's Run Splits:
1 – 8:24
2 – 8:12
3 – 8:06
4 – 7:54
5 – 7:54
6 – 7:36
7 – 7:24
8 – 7:24
9 – 7:30
10 – 7:14
Average pace – 7:46 min/mi.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Waiting for Superman

Getting a little off topic here, but since all aspects of life are part of the multisport journey, I felt the need to share.  We went to see "Waiting for Superman" this weekend.  The documentary is an exploration of the current state of public education in the U.S. and how it is affecting our nation's children.  To say I was moved is an understatement.

As a product of the American public education system and a staunch supporter of public schools and public school teachers, this film was a real eye opener for me.  I thought we were doing okay.  I know that the education gap is growing, but I didn't realize to what extreme.  The statistics highlighted on the quality of public education across the country were shocking.

Now, I understand that certain aspects of the film were made to be polarizing, but what good documentary isn't.  It is done this way to make you think, make you reflect and make you consider what it is you do everyday for others.

For me, I don't think I do enough.  I used to volunteer as a tutor.  I don't anymore.  I was once a mentor, gave that up too.  I'm busy.  I work.  I train for triathlons, marathons, etc.  But after seeing this film, I wonder, should I be doing more.  The least I could do is share with others my thoughts on the film, drive traffic to the site and provide links to the action steps.  So there, one little thing - Take Action Now

Over the course of the next few days/weeks, I am really going to reflect on how I can do more.  I'll spend some time on my long runs training for the ING Miami Marathon thinking about how I can give back.  Hold me accountable.  Ask me about how I'm doing.  Go see the film and see if it doesn't move you like it did me.  More than anything, whether you agree with the film or not, getting people to talk about the issue of education will help.

Click here to see the trailer -

Monday, October 25, 2010

Business Travel and the Multisport Athlete

Alright, I'm back.  It seems like it has been a while...and it has.  Two weeks, to be exact, since my last post.  I have been traveling a lot lately and haven't been at a computer to really sit down and post.  Not only have I have been away from Reckless Abandon, I have also been away from training.

I have done a few runs here and there, but I haven't had the time to really dedicate to making myself better.  I've done just enough to maintain.  Which leads me to a question for you all, what do you do when life gets in the way and you are taken away from your routines?  I feel like I would be more apt to find the time to train if I had an actual event on the horizon, but what do you do when you don't?  I am opening this up to you all - give me some advice. Share your secrets and tips... Tell me what's what.

To get me motivated and focused, I'm thinking about an early in the year marathon - the ING Miami Marathon on January 30, 2011.  Have you done this race?  Any thoughts you can share?

And finally, what about your 2011 race calendar?  Have you already put together what you want to do next year?  Is your plan in place or are you still "recovering" from 2010?

Looking forward to hearing from you all!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Almost 13,000 Strong...

Competed in the marathon, half-marathon, 5K and marathon relay on Saturday in Hartford. The weather was perfect for running - cool to cold in the morning and cool at the finish.  Lots of folks were overdressed, in my opinion.  We did well in our t-shirts and shorts.  Hopefully I'll have a picture to post soon...obviously, though, the elites knew how to dress...
Start of the 2010 Hartford Marathon / Half Marathon
17 years old, the Hartford Marathon continues to grow and impress.  This year's field was more than 20 percent larger than last year - yet I couldn't tell.  In fact, I felt more supported and felt that there was more than enough "stuff" to go around - by "stuff" I mean gels, aid stations, post race bars/bananas, beer tickets and free hot dogs in the beer tent.  To make things even better, the race is also a certified-gold, Council for Responsible Sport race and Runner's World once ranked it on their list of the 10 Greenest Races

So, how'd we do?  AWESOME!  I went out to have fun - no pressure.  My goal was to get my buddy to sub-2:00 for his first half.  Well, we blew that up.  The training that he put in definitely set him up nicely.  We finished at 1:47:52 / 8:14 min/mile pace.  Even though my goal was for my buddy and this was just to be fun, this race did have some importance to me.  Only my second, open half-marathon, I just wanted to beat my previous time.  I know that I'm a different person now and that our "bummer" goal would beat my previous time, I am happy to report that 1:47:52 is almost a 16 minute PR.

Between Saturday's results and the results from the last two weekends, I am really pleased that I have been able to maintain some speed - despite training more for the Ironman distance for much of the year.  Maybe I am a runner.  Thanks to all of you for your well wishes.  I hope you all had a great weekend of training and racing.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Were You Born To Be A Runner?

I, definitely, was not.  I was a big baby and a "husky" boy.  Yeah, that's right, my jeans were bought from the Husky section.  Growing up in South Texas that was okay because I was set to play football, God's game (at least to many down Texas way). 
I used my size to my advantage and instead of working toward slimming down, I hit the weight room and ate (mostly horribly) to pack on the pounds - I was to be an offensive lineman.  For the first few years of my organized football career, I played center.  Since I had the size and some speed (read quickness) though, by my sophomore year, I was moved to offensive tackle, protecting the quarterback's blind side.  It was fun and I'll never forget those Friday nights.
The Hartford Marathon / Half Marathon is tomorrow and I will be running the half with my running buddy.  The weather is supposed to be perfect and I'm really looking forward to having fun with this race - I'm not putting any pressure on myself tomorrow.  I'm just going to run.
While I may not have been born to be a runner, over time, I think I have become one.  I enjoy getting out on the rail trail and roads.  It is not my favorite thing to do always, but I do miss it when I can't get out - leading me to believe that I'm becoming a runner.
To everyone that is getting out this weekend to train or race - have fun.  Enjoy yourself...I will be.
Husky Jeans from Wrangler...bad memories...

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hatfield Harvest 5K

I did it!  I won my age group at the Hatfield Harvest 5K.  20:22 was my finishing time.  Came in 4th overall.  I still want the sub-20:00 5K, but setting a PR and winning my age group - pretty damned awesome.

For winning the age group, I received a Pumpkin Pie...and it was delish!

Here's the info from Cool Running - 4 - JEFFREY WEIR - 32 - 1/10 - M3039 - 20:22 - 6:34

And, there is a start-up company, husband and wife team, that is taking photos at local running events.  I don't know much about them, other than the fact that they come out to our local running events and take photos - making them available for free at their site.  Pretty cool...check em out - Locally Run.  This is a pic of me from the race.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Chasing a Dream

I spent the majority of my energy this year chasing down a dream - the Ironman.  I planned, trained, and prepared to the best of abilities and went out there and did it.  And it was good.  Not one to just sit idly by, I needed something else.  So I took on working with my buddy to get him to a sub-2:00 half-marathon (his first half BTW) in Hartford, October 9.  In the process/planning, I factored in a fall 5k (or two).

On Sunday, I slipped on the Newtons, and went out to do the Fall Fit 5k in Northampton, MA.  The race was put on by the Smith College Athletics and Recreation Department and the Northampton Education Foundation - who partnered together to raise money to support our local schools.  I'm always up for supporting education - who isn't really?  Plus, given the beautiful weather that we've been having in New Enland, I didn't have much choice. 

The bonus with this 5k was that it would give me the opportunity to chase down another dream, a sub-20:00 5k.  My PR is a 20:26.  I knew that I had a chance - a slim one given the type of training I've been doing this year - but a chance is a chance. 

It was a warm day here yesterday and with the race not starting until 1:00 p.m. ET, I knew that I would be warm.  I knew, too, that the course wasn't as flat as the course was in Hatfield when I PR'ed the first time.  But, I was going to go for it.

A few minutes before the start, we all got a nice thank you from the race organizers and a brief overview of the course (they weren't closing any roads and we'd be on our own on the sidewalks and shoulders).  Definitely not my favorite way to race.  I pushed my way up as close to the front as I could and waited for the gun.  Bam!  We were off. 

I set out at a pretty quick clip - around 6:40/6:45 - and did the uphill into downtown.  I found my groove and felt good.  I saw Coach Martha - who gave me some nice inspiration.  I focused on the people in front of me and did what I could to stay as close to the leaders as I could for the first mile.  By 1.594 mile (thanks Timex Global Trainer), we were about to round a few corners when I saw it - a long, slight incline.  It might as well have been Everest.  My legs were burning.  I focused as best as I could on turn-over and cadence.  I also tried to keep my breathing in check. 

I was doing everything I could to keep from being passed - when one, two, three, four people passed me.  I tried to not let it get to me.  I could hear some steady footfalls behind me when another friend, Lisa, passed me at 2.14 miles.  Staying on her hip, I used Lisa as motivation to keep up the pace.  The finish is down a very steep hill that bottoms out before a flat 500/800 yard stretch to the end.  Somewhere in there I passed Lisa back and sprinted to the finish.  I crossed the line and went into the finishers shoot - 20:51.  Not what I was hoping for, but definitely not disappointed.

My 20:51, a 6:43/mile pace, was good for 29th overall and 7th in the M30-39 age group.  To further put it into some perspective for me - the average finishing time for the top 50 was 19:16 - yeah, this field was stacked!

Like I said, not disappointed, just not as good as I had hoped.  I still have a return to the Hatfield Harvest 5k to look forward to next week.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Allergy to Exercise?

Not so much… Earlier this month, I wrote about how my running partner had a close call with anaphylaxis while we were out on a run.  Never having had an allergic reaction to peanuts or peanut butter before, he was stumped.  He needed to get allergy tested, but because he took a Benadryl, he had to wait for it to leave his system. 

Fast forward to yesterday when he got the diagnosis – he has exercise-induced anaphylaxis.  At first I thought that maybe he said he was allergic to exercise, but he quickly cleared that up for me by scheduling a run with me for later today.  And, we're still on for this Sunday's Fall Fit 5K and the Hartford Half Marathon on October 9th.

So, what does this mean moving forward?  He has to run with an Epipen, he should always run with a partner or in a very public place and we all need to know how to give him the injection.  Also, no more peanuts two hours before exercise.  Should be easy, right?  My requirement and my future gift (I don’t think he follows my blog) is to give him a RoadID.  I wear one and definitely think he should too!

Have you guys ever heard of this?  His doc says it is super common.  The interweb resources I looked at said different.  For more information and to learn more, you can read up on it at eMedicine and

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A Mini on my Timex Global Trainer

Well, I've had my Timex Global Trainer now for a few weeks. So far, I think I really like it.  It was super easy to set-up and is super easy to use.  The TGT gives me all the data that I need and the included software, integrated into Training Peaks, is pretty slick.  I still haven't put it through the gauntlet to write a complete review - that will come - but I did want to get this out there since I referenced it a while back.

On the track, it does a fantastic job of helping me keep pace of laps and splits.  Out on a long run, just turn on the auto-lap feature and bam!, you've got average pace and total distance, etc.

It isn't all roses, though.  I can't, for the life of me, figure out why it take so danged long to find satellites.  My running partner wears the Garmin Forerunner 110 and his watch finds satellites about 2-3 minutes before my TGT.  Hmmm...

Anyone else out there use the TGT?  What are your thoughts?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Finding My Own Way

8 days. It has been 8 days since my last post. While I've done a few workouts, I really haven't felt motivated or committed to getting anything done.

I looked for inspiration online. I looked for it in my magazines - Triathlete, Inside Tri, Runners World, Men's Health, Texas Highways (dude, I'm a Texan and BBQ can be inspirational) - damn, how many subscriptions can one guy have. I feel like I’ve been searching everywhere for motivation/inspiration and have come up empty.

Until I finally decided to look within myself. I had to travel for business Tuesday/Wednesday, which gave me ample time to reflect and take stock of the first three quarters of the year. It has been a great year. From staying healthy during flu season (yes, this is a success) to staying to committed to my training plan (thanks Martha), and from finishing my first Ironman to getting promoted at work, there is no reason I should/can feel bad about where I’m at right now.

This introspection gave me some insight that may help me find my own way through this. It is all about reminding me that it is okay to not be on all the time – that it is okay to have down days, even if they are strung together. What I figured out…and I probably do this every few months…is that I am in a good place – better than almost any other time in my life – and that my bad day (yes, even really bad days) are still probably better than my best good days when I was “having the time of my life.”

So, today at lunch I went to the gym and did a hour – of a bunch of different stuff. I was just trying to keep moving the whole time. I warmed up with a mile on the treadmill and then spent about 10 minutes on the rowing machine. From there, I walked some kettle bells downstairs to the TRX lab and just beat myself up. Skull crushers, hamstring curls, lunges, squats, I was a sweaty mess and I loved it. I feel like it was just what I needed to get out of this funk.

I’ve got a long run scheduled this weekend and I can’t wait. I think it will be good to get out and push myself. I’m also really looking forward to putting together an “outseason” plan. I know, I know…I should just be and do and not follow a plan, but I’m honestly afraid that if I do that, I’ll balloon and let myself go…

Thoughts, comments, motivating sayings…I’m all ears.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Triathlon Goes Mainstream

Last night, after dinner, I sat down to catch up with a show on the DVR. I normally forward through the commercial breaks, but I needed a water (gotta stay hydrated, right?). So, I muted the set and went to the kitchen. Imagine my surprise when I returned to the couch to see a triathlon. Confused, I hit rewind and unmuted the TV.

I love it! Triathlon is becoming so "commonplace" that a company is using it in a commercial. I know that Amica is a major sponsor of triathlon - Amica 19.7 Triathlon Series - but to have triathlon make it into a national commercial spot...awesome.

Is this a first? Does anyone know of other mainstream brands embracing triathlon to this extent? I'd love to know...

Below is what I saw... Click here if the video doesn't appear.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Anaphylaxis and Running - Not to be Combined

Since finishing Ironman Lake Placid, I have been "training" a friend to help him get to the finish line of his first half marathon at the ING Hartford Marathon weekend.  The goal is to get him to a sub-2:00 finish. 

Over the course of the last few years, I feel like I have developed a pretty solid understanding of what it takes to get to and through various events.  I have trained and competed in a variety of races and distances.  I know what works and what doesn't for me.  I am not qualified to do anything but coach myself...and I'm not even that good at that - which is why I enlist Coach Martha's help.

That all said, I want to help my buddy get there and I will run the race with him.  I took the plan that I wrote for myself, shared it and we are working through it together.  It has been going pretty well.  The speed and tempo work has been fun.  We've struggled on a few of our longer runs.  On Sunday, we were supposed to head out for a 14-miler.  It wasn't supposed to be anything crazy, but it also wasn't supposed to be a long slow run.  We made it a little more than three miles before disaster struck.

Running together is always a little back and forth - we don't always have to be in lock-step.  We are always right on each other's six most of the time if not side-by-side.  Around 3.14 miles (thanks, Timex Global Trainer), I felt alone.  I looked over my shoulder and he wasn't there.  My buddy was 30 yards back, hunched over and he looked like he was calling the dinosaurs.  I slowed to a walk, turned around and started meandering back - you've got to give folks their space, right?  Anyway, I get closer and he raised up - "damn...what's wrong?  you okay?"

He looked at me and then went back down.  Finally, he was able to get some words out, "My throat feels like it's closing and I have a real tightness in my chest."  I panic.  Then, regained some composure.  I did a mini check on his vitals and kept him talking.  His lip started swelling, then his eye.  I remembered that before we left, he was eating a peanut butter sandwich and thought, anaphylaxis.  I was concerned.  He drank some water and then some of my HEED.  We started walking back to his house.  I kept one eye on him and the other on the passing cars - just in case I needed to throw myself in front of one so that we could call 911.  We finally made it home and while we called his doctor his wife went to get an antihistamine. 

I'm not sure if it was the drug or just time, but he started showing signs of recovery after we got back to his house.  The swelling went down and he no longer felt tightness in his chest.  His doctor came by that afternoon (I later found out that they are good family friends) and pretty much cleared him.  Thank you!

In hindsight, I know that I should have stopped the first car I saw after getting back to his side.  I know that we should have taken him to the emergency room immediately.  Thankfully it all worked out, but I know it could have been worse and that we were very lucky.  I'm using this experience as my "get out of jail free" card.  I know that I may not get another close call and the next time...well, you know.

So, do you have any crazy training stories?  Callers, the lines are now open...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Patrick's Rant & a Youth Movement

Over at The Road, Patrick posted a really great rant about the excessive number of products that are introduced to market everyday that allow people to cheat good health by just slipping on some "slimming garment" or taking a magic pill.

I totally agree.  I didn't get to where I am today (still not where I want to be) by just kicking back.  No, I worked (sometimes really, really hard, sometimes not), made a number of sacrifices and spent thousands of dollars on equipment, entry fees, etc. (this I did by choice, you don't have to spend lots of money to get fit, I know).  I've made it my mission to be fit and healthy - not just for me, but for my family.  I want to set a good example for those around me.  I just wish I would've started earlier... 

Like Hunter Lussi.  He is 16, has completed 33 triathlons (including 3 of the 140.6 distance), written a book, "America, Get Off the Couch," launched his own fitness program and lobbied Congress to have Labor Day named America's Tri for Health Day. 

Amazing!  Seriously amazing.  Read about him at Runner's World -

Hunter is an inspiration. I hope that his efforts pay off and we can do something about the childhood obesity epidemic.  Imagine what could happen if kids started getting fit - do you think it could rub off on parents/adults?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

See you in 12 hours, 23 minutes, and 43 seconds.

A really nice thing just bike fitter, Carl at New England Bicycle Consulting just emailed me and asked if he could do a little write up of me on his blog.

Check it out - pretty cool stuff.  Maybe I should write up a piece on my Trek...cause she is beautiful!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

My Ironman Race Report

I'm fulfilling all kinds of promises this week.  Finally, after more than a month, I have posted my Ironman Lake Placid race report.  Read it here...  Please know, however, that since I've had so much time to think about it, it is not a brief report.  I wax on for a while, so make sure you have some time to devote to reading about my experience ;).  Seriously, I hope that you enjoy it.

Oh yeah, and Teta, check out my finish line photo that I included at the end.  Do I get bonus points for "letting" the photographer catch me floating across the finish line?

Enjoy all!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Honoring a Promise

As multisport athletes, the time we spend out of the house can never be recovered.  While I can't justly say that it is "lost" time, because we are out there working toward significant goals, healthier lifestyles, etc., I can say that when you're in a one athlete house, certain sacrifices are made. 

When we're out on that ride, run, swim, any combination of the two, we oftentimes leave our significant others behind to shoulder the burden of dinners/lunches, finances, cleaning.  While we do our best to do our share...and I know that we all do, it isn't always "good enough."

Where am I going with this?

You see, I trained and competed in Ironman Lake Placid this year, you all know this by now.  That was a huge committment on my end and many sacrifices had to be made.  One of those was spending time at home, just being with my wife and helping out around the house.

So, during the early stages of training, I went to my wife and made a promise (previously referenced).  I said, "you help me get through this, try your best not to harp on my not being around when you need me and be the best danged cheerleader you can be and I promise that when it is over, I will take some time off to be with you and help you accomplish your goals.  Which is why, to start honoring that promise, I took a few days off from work and made it a long, four-day weekend - just me and my wife at home. 

Great!  Sounds amazing, right?  Yes!  It was the best four days of doing nothing and everything all at the same time.  No, we didn't go away.  We didn't lounge by a pool or a lake or the shore.  We stayed home and tried to dig out from the last few months of insanity.  We cleaned, we organized and we enjoyed.  We even ate ice cream...whenever we wanted (which was a few times a day!).

We even made time to run.  Which leads me to this brag...the wife has decided to do the Hartford Half Marathon in October!  Woo hoo!  I'm stoked.  She has been working hard at running/jogging/walking over the past few weeks and Saturday, she did seven miles!  I was very impressed.  I can't wait to see her face when she crosses that finish line.

As for me, I met up with my running buddy on Saturday and we grinded out a ten miler.  The weather was great and we had a nice run. 

And finally...I just got in the Timex Global Trainer...hopefully it will be up and running soon!  More to come...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

POSTED - Race History & Results

I just created a new tab - allowing me to make a home for my race history and results. Click on the tab above or click here -


One step closer to an archived race report page...

A Celebratory Weekend

First, to all of you out there that started and finished Timberman - congrats!  I've already read a few race reports where people PR'ed, did better than they expected and just had an overall great time.  Specifically, check out the great reports posted by Caratunk Girl and Teta...  Awesome!

Second, I was absent from the blogosphere for a few days because I was down on Long Island for a party.  It wasn't just any party, mind you.  This was a family/friends "welcoming" party for my niece.  We had so much fun.  At just over two months old, she is pretty cute and changing every day.  I'm biased, as I am her Godfather. Awesome!

I did make some time to do a tempo run on Sunday before the festivities.  I wasn't sure how I would perform, especially given my last outing.  But, thanks to some good advice and support from you all, I forgot about that valley, slipped on my Newtons, strapped on the HR monitor and off I went.

I started out at a pretty good clip - without a GPS, I wasn't sure of the pace...just knew that it was solid.  I did notice the heaviness of the air, though.  Man, was it humid.  I pressed on - heading to the park for a loop around the lake.  Knowing the route, I kept my pace pretty quick.

I had heard that there was a 10k in the park earlier that morning, but there was absolutely no sign of it but the chalk markers to keep folks on the course.  (So, to the race organizer and clean up crew - thanks! Leaving it like you found it allows us to keep racing in parks/neighborhoods/towns across the country). 

This is a really long post to say that I finished up feeling great.  3.51 miles (thanks mapmyrun) in 27:20 - a 7:47 pace.  Not too bad.  Could've been worse. 

To anyone waiting on my Ironman Lake Placid report and/or an archive of my previous tri experiences (I'm catching up since I'm so new), please be patient.  I'll get it done.  Promise!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Suffering - Peaks and Valleys

Peaks and valleys.  We all experience them - in sport, at work, in relationships - life, in general, can be described as a series of peaks and valleys.  I know, too, that how you respond to those peaks and valleys is what determines your overall level of satisfaction/happiness.

But, I can't help but be down about my "long" run last night.  After a great run earlier in the week, followed up by a pretty good day at the track on Wednesday, I was totally not expecting an eight mile run to be my death march.  I just couldn't seem to get it right.  From the jump, my HR was completely out of control, nothing I did could get it to come down.  My legs felt heavy and I was even struggling to maintain good posture.

When it was over, we took a look at the distance and time and realized, though, that even with a walk break at the turn-around of the out-and-back, we still were able to maintain a 9:00 pace.  Not bad, but I know I can do better.  Plus, it frickin' hurt like hell and I didn't enjoy it. 

So I leave you with a favorite quote of mine, one that I will be repeating over and again this weekend as a sort of reminder...

"To succeed, you must first improve, to improve, you must first practice, to practice, you must first learn, to learn, you must first fail." - Wesley Woo

The peak and valley I experienced this week are no where near this pretty...

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Speed Work and the Running Journey?

So, on my drive into the office this morning, it dawned on me that for the next few weeks/months, I should rename my home on the interweb My Running Journey.  You see, I made a promise that, post Ironman Lake Placid, I would take some time off from serious triathlon training and spend more time at home.  That promise doesn't prevent me from training totally, I just won't be spending hours in the saddle or in the pool.

But, I had already committed to running the ING Hartford Half Marathon with my running buddy in October.  It will be his first half and I signed on to pace him to a solid first-time half finish.  (Shhh...we're also thinking of a guys weekend in December to do the Rock-n-Roll Half in Las Vegas). 

All of this leads me to my first round of speedwork since my hard taper before IMLP.  I set out to just get it done - see how it feels to run fast - without really a planned workout.  I did a mile warm up, a few pick-ups and then got down to business.  This is what I had "planned" (we're triathletes, even without a plan there is a plan): at least 12 X 400 on at least 1:50 (7:20/mile pace).

I did 13 X 400 on an average 1:47 (7:08/mile pace).  Not too bad for my first time back at it.  I was inspired somewhat by the other 3-4 multisport athletes out doing speedwork.  I love it when I'm not the only one alternating directions on the track - makes me stand out less.

I will get back to my 1:35 400s, I know it.  It will just take me some time.  I still feel like my recovery from stronger efforts is taking me longer than it used to.  For those Ironman vets out there, have any tips on what I can do to speed up my recovery time?  I probably should go to see Michele at Florence Yoga.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I Love Eggs

I opened my Google Reader this morning to find an article about a massive egg recall.  Read:

Sparked by the fact that hundreds of consumers had become sickened from eating suspect eggs, the CDC recalled more than 200 million eggs thought to be contaminated with salmonella poisoning.

As an athlete and someone that believes that protein is a HUGE component to a healthy diet, and because I think they are an amazing food (omelettes, anyone?), I eat a lot of eggs and find this news disconcerting.  In reading up on the recall, not only am I not in an affected area, I don't buy mass produced eggs.  I feel pretty safe.

I am thankful for my co-op, River Valley Market, and for the locally farmed eggs that they sell.  The eggs I get taste better (okay, maybe it is pyschosomatic), are said to be healthier and support local agriculture.  Are they "cleaner" and free from risk of contamination?  Maybe not.  Does eating them make me feel better?  Absolutely.

So, as I continue my training and bring back my post-workout egg and cheese on toast, I will, for sure, be cracking local, organically raised, free range chicken eggs.

Think about it.

Photo sourced from

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

23 days and counting...up!

It has been 23 days since I finished Ironman Lake Placid (more to come on that later, as I'll add in some past race history to further chronicle my multisport journey).  While I have gone out on some other runs prior to today (read two or three), I haven't really felt like I was making my way back on the horse.
Seriously...when you look at this face in the mirror at 5:15 a.m., you don't feel inspired.

Well, regardless of how tired I looked, I still was up and ready to run.  I carefully put on my injinji toe socks (anyone that wears these knows that they must be put on carefully), slipped on my Newton Gravity running shoes, put on my Garmin FR60 and RoadID and out the door I went.

I wasn't sure of what I was in for today, I just knew that I wanted to run.  Since it was really my first day back, my plan was to take it easy - keep it in mid-Z2 the entire run.  It was pretty humid and I could feel my HR ticking up faster than I had hoped, so I did my best to just find my groove.

I did an out-and-back on the Norwottuck Rail Trail which isn't far from my house.  I don't have a GPS (want one) and I haven't put the foot pod back on because I'm still running with my Yankz!, so I was just running for time.  I picked a spot a little less than 20 minutes from home and made it my turnaround.  I negative split on the way back which made my HR spike somewhat, but still in Z2.  I ended the run feeling pretty good.

Well, imagine my surprise when I mapped my run and calculated the distance/pace/etc.  For a pseudo first day back, I'm feeling better than good.  Here are the stats: 4.5 miles in 36:36, which I calculate to be a 8:08/mile pace.

I felt so good that on my way into the office I called my buddy and scheduled in some speed work tomorrow.  Wish me luck!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Reckless Abandon - The Launch

Dear Friends, Family and Fellow Triathletes,

Welcome to Reckless Abandon - My Multisport Journey.  What is to follow, hopefully, will be some observations and thoughts about my experiences - in life, in sport, at work - anything and everything may be fair game. 

This is an opportunity for me to chronicle my life from the jolly fat guy to the somewhat fit triathlete.  I have come a long way, I know.  I know, too, that I still have a long way yet to go.  As I work to get to where I'm going, I hope to share my views on my training, my gear, the people that I encounter, etc.  I am open to suggested topics, too.

My journey would never have been possible without the love and support of my beautiful wife, Always Becoming, my friend and coach, Martha at Dynamic Training, and all of the countless articles and blog posts that I have read over the years (far too many to link to here).  I do have to give credit to Kovas at Midwest Multisport Life for encouraging me to share my story and my thoughts. 

Thanks, in advance, for your support and for reading.  Maybe we can have fun with this thing!

Race on,