Monday, January 28, 2013

I'm Effortlessly Gross

Those of you that have followed the blog for some time will know that one of my conundrums in life and have posted on is snot rockets and when I should teach my girls this amazing skill.  I still haven't taught them, mostly because I like being married, and I haven't spent much time thinking about it. 

One of my super powers is that I can do some really annoying or disgusting things subconsciously. I click pens, pop my gum, crack my wrists (not knuckles but wrists) and a whole host of things that my other people have told me that I do but I don't realize that I'm doing it.

Today I was running on my local trail that goes in front of a restaurant.  This restaurant is located precisely so people can spend money on food and drinks and have a nice view of the Columbia river.  The multipurpose trail is the only thing between the civilized patrons and the river.

I tend to stare toward the restaurant was I run by because I like food and there are some windows in which I can see my reflection and I like to see what I look like when I run.

Today as I ran by looking hungry and trying to see if I look manly in my running tights, I caught my reflection as I launched a snot rocket.  I disgusted myself and I can only imagine how the people in the restaurant felt.

I effortlessly was gross.  Now I'm a bit paranoid because I wonder what other things I've learned to do from triathlon that is really gross.


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Buckle - Why Am I So Motivated By It?

If I finish the LeadmanTri 250 in under 11 hours I will get a shinny belt buckle.

For some reason this is providing a bunch of motivation for me right now.

Here is the coveted item:

Here is what I think I have to do to "Earn with guts" the buckle.

5K Swim (3.1 miles for those in USA) - 1:23:20
T1 - 4:00 Minutes
200K Bike (138 miles for...) - 8:07:59
T2 - 4 Minutes
20K Run (13.64 miles) - 1:46:51

Total Time - 10:59:03

So here is the pacing
Swim - 1:40
Bike - 18 MPH
Run:  7:50

Wow, it will take guts, luck and some work.

I waffle between thinking maybe, no, yes and I'll try, maybe not.

But I really want the buckle and I don't want to compete in rodeo which is really the only other way to get a cool buckle so I'm going to go for it!

Any ideas on going faster?  Help!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Difficult Conversation...but the Dream is Alive

Last night my wife and I tried teach my girls about Dr. Martin Luther Kind Jr. and what he was committed to.  I owe a lot to him and others who gave so much so that skin color would not be a separator of people.

Our family is made up of different skin colors and would not be possible without the his "Dream" and others that worked to bring more fairness and equality.  Both my girls were born in China and they even have different pigmentation but in heart we are a family.

The conversation was going well as we shared about his dream in which kids play together and we can be friends with everyone.  It was at this point that one of the girls asked, "What happened to him?"

A long pause as I waited for my wife to take it and she waited for me.

"Well honey, someone didn't like what Dr. King was saying so they killed him?"

So, it was a difficult conversation because a person died because he loved.  Yet as we continued to answer questions and share about Dr. King, his dream was well and alive in our family.

Similar conversation in your family?  Any suggestions?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


First thing first, I really like  I'm there nearly every day doing a bit of reading and occasionally posting.  I'm cbrave which is kind of stupid user name but I couldn't put in "Chuck the Brave" and I hope that people at least see that I'm brave when I take on challenging races.

So, why I'm sharing all this rambling is that I've noticed that people really want to find out how to make a breakthrough.  Swimming, biking or running is proving to be much harder to do and the person wants to know the secret to becoming fast.

I've often looked for the secret and I've posted quite a few times on breakthrough discoveries for me.  So here are my breakthrough moments.

1.  From swimming that was tiring to swimming that was easier.  The main key was to lower my hand in the glide phase.  I have drawn an amazing picture and included it below (I nearly failed art so have patience).  This "magically" pulled my hips up and made it easier to swim.

2.  No blisters - listened to the shoe sales person and bought a pair of shoes that were 1 size too big and then I wore them laced loose enough to slip on.  No more blisters, even with new shoes on long runs.

3.  Less pool smell - Shower (remember to keep your swim suit on) on the deck and then get in the steam sauna for 5 minutes after your swim.  Then shower as normal.  I find that I don't smell poolly as much.

Finally, breakthrough seem to happen after a bunch of training and racing.  Asking for help brings some and making mistakes bring others.

I hope anyone who is reading and looking for a magic training bullet will maybe focus less on finding the magic cure and spend a bit more time training and enjoying our sport.  The breakthroughs I enjoy the most are realizing that I've just done something that I could never do before and I was so busy enjoying the swim/bike/run that I didn't notice it.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Didn't Miss Training Today

I was supposed to train today but I didn't.  It would have required me to get out of bed and run in the cold and ride a bit on the trainer but instead I stayed in bed and waited to hear my little girl's dolly and wish her "Happy Gotcha Day".

Three years ago we were in China and our family became complete.

It still amazes me how naturally our family of three became four.  A little over a year before we had been in China adopting our first daughter and now we were back, with new fears but also really excited.  Three years is a long time but our fears fadded quickly as we met this amazing girl with a very happy and healthy heart.

So today, I didn't run or ride, I didn't go to work and I avoided daily business.   We spent the day as a family and it was great.  Donuts during breakfast and then a mad scramble to get all our winter stuff out and then we went to the mountains and played in the snow.

The girls snowshoed for the first time, we taboganed and we laughed alot.  It was a magical day of feeling very very lucky.

A nice family supper and a few more stories and snuggles and a deep contentment and joy that is hard to capture in words.

So no, I didn't train today but I didn't miss it.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Danger of Teaching Them to Read and Write

My 5 year old is reading and writing.  Two things about that scare me.  First, she is spelling words the same way I do.  This is great for my ego since she is proving that words should be spell foneticaly.  This is bad for my ego since I am discovering that I spell like a 5 year old and it is cute for her but not so much for me.

Second, she is writing things that potentially make me look bad.

Yesterday's paper had a bunch of words but the first was "DAM" and the second was "CAT"

Now, as a person that has owned a cat, I could easily see that that phrase could be common enough for the kids to want to write it down.  But we don't own a cat and I try not to swear.  I now am wondering what my wife says when I'm not around.  I think her teachers assume we have a cat and that I need to watch my mouth.

My other fear is that my daughter starts to tell people about my races.  That she somehow mis-respresents things. 

So, just to make things clear.

1.  I don't swim a zig zag and bump into people.
2.  I don't try to take the wrong bike out of transition.
3.  I didn't leave my helmet on going into the run.
4.  I didn't walk the whole race.
5.  I didn't cry like a baby at the finish line.

Well, I hope that clears things up.  Let me know if you have any suggestions or ideas to protect my reputation.

Monday, January 7, 2013

My Pain Cave now is a Pain Corner

My family hasn't ventured into the basement much.  We did set up some of the kids stuff but the main thing down there is a bunch of boxes, scattered tools, washer and dryer and what I considered my domain, my Pain Cave. 

Yes, the plan was to use the space for more than me, but yesterday the space was transformed from "me" to "ours". 

Girls now have carpet, play house, basketball hoop and a bunch of stuff they can throw around.

My wife has an area for crafts and sewing.  I also have her bike on the trainer for the winter.

So I have a coner, I guess that is more than most men have.  And I really don't mind.  Last night I finshed up an hour on the trainer and was heading upstairs and it was good to see my familiy's stuff.  To realize that I have my life and they have theirs and somehow we are making it all work togheter.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Accepting The Pain

I'm currently finishing up Chris McCormack's book "I'm Here to Win".  I've had it for a while and quit reading it because I didn't relate that much to the dueling and tactics he was talking about.  Yet I picked it up and started reading again and liked what he said about pain.

He knew pain would show up and when it came, he greated it like an old friend and kept going.

I like triathlon but the start of a race is my time of acceptance.  I know that at some point I will suffer and I accept it. 

My race for 2013 will be LeadmanTri 250.  I'm not worried about the race based on how hard it may be, I just know that I want to race faster than I've done in the past and I know that it will be painful.

I know I can do IM distance being undertrained and if I go slow enough, I can avoid a lot of pain, but I don't want to go slow.  That means training that hurts and racing that hurts more.

I accept.  I look forward to quite a few meetings with pain this year, and will treat the relationship with respect and determination.