Saturday, October 23, 2010

You've just...

gotta check out this blog! It's basically comprised of little words of wisdom from a 5 1/2 year old young man named Hayden. They're sometimes irreverent. Oftentimes off-color. And always, wildly hilarious. I've known Hayden for most of his little, brilliant life... and I know you'll love the little guy almost as much as I do!

Enjoy and...


Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lake Stevens 70.3 RR (Part III)

Ack! The final chapter! FINALLY. I had a meeting in Seattle week before last... which kinda sucked the life out of me to be honest. SO... here we go!

Race Day! 4:30 wake up... b/c I'm that anal. Does anyone else like to shower before a race? I do. Is that weird? I dunno... there's something about starting your day... and day where you're going to be covered in sweat and spit and goo and sports drink and urine and quite possibly.... poop... starting off completely clean. Yeah. Huh. ANYwho... so I showered, greased up with sunscreen and lubed bits n pieces then grabbed some grub. Colleen and Brian were up as well and there was that wonderful feeling of anticipation hovering over everything! SO cool.

Into transition... set stuff up... said "Hi" and chatted with Amanda, Matt, and Luke... wished them luck and headed down to the water.

Swim: 31:59

Is it bad to jump into the water feeling ambivalent? Probably. I don't know if that really describes how I was feeling. I just wasn't worked up about it. Then again... maybe I was. Maybe by saying that I was ambivalent... that gives me an excuse if I don't do well? It's a possibility right? Huh. The games our heads play.

Anywho... the gun goes off and I'm in the mix. Probably one of the roughest starts I've ever had. I think that b/c of the buoy line being visible... people struggle to remain on that line and fight for their position. Unfortunately... I threw some elbows to get out of the melee and cut to the inside of the buoy line. Once past the pack I cut back in and settle roughly 6 feet to the right of the line... still visible but not right on top of it. My swim was... fine. I think I need to learn how to swim hard in a race. I don't really know what's holding me back... but I have yet to really get after it in the swim. Then again... maybe that's the way to approach it... relaxed. My results aren't terrible... and I come out of the water ready for the bike... but it kind of irks me... I need to be under 30 min consistently... and I know that's well within my reach without killing myself. Out of the water feeling fine and making a point of smiling on exit.

T1: 1:33

I forced a smile out of the water after remembering my death-stare at Vineman.

Bike: 2:46:44

This is a great bike course. While its two loops... which isn't my favorite... the scenery is beautiful and its relatively challenging in terms of climbing. My plan was to cruise the first loop. Literally. I went without power, heart rate, speed, or time for that matter and just settled into a comfortable pace. I'm still blown away at the number of athletes that blatantly draft... particularly on a course like this where there really isn't any viable excuse to do so! I kid you not... I came upon fairly tight groups of 5 to 6 riders on four separate occasions. SO frustrating!!!! I was definitely "that guy" at least twice... you know the guy, the guy that's yelling because everyone else is a bunch of cheaters? Yeah. "You f****** CHEATS! What the F*** is WRONG with you people! Hope you're enjoying the rest you F****!" Yeah... that was me. I also had no problem asking the ref as he passed on his scooter if he had nailed them and handed out a wealth of penalties. Arg. So... after the first loop I picked up the pace but not drastically. I was pretty comfortable the entire time. Nutrition was fine
and for the first time... I think EVER... I didn't launch a bottle! YEAH!

Peeing is my issue guys. I have got to figure out how to effectively pee on the bike. I can't ever seem to relax enough to completely empty my bladder! As a result... I attempt to hold it for as long as I can and end up getting so cramped up that once I DO stop at the porta-john... it takes me 5 min... at a minimum to get it all out! SO frustrating. So there I was... about to begin the second loop... and having to stop and pee... all the while being passed by other riders! Came out of the can and got back after it. I picked up the pace significantly in the second loop... at least I think so... it's hard to tell without any data... but I definitely worked harder the second time around. Coming off the bike I was feeling a bit sluggish... tired... and I was determined to take that first mile of the run extremely easy to let my legs come around.

Looking at my results from '08 when I last did this race, I was surprised to find that my overall time was only two minutes slower this year. What surprised me about that was from what I remember... I SUFFERED during the bike in '08. I had nutrition problems, peeing issues (again), and just about killed myself in terms of effort. This year I cruised it. It felt easy. It's encouraging actually. I think that it can takes years to build your fitness... having a full year and a half between these two races made a difference... even if my training was spotty all during 2010. Good stuff.

T2: 1:30... to the guy that literally screamed at me like a complete psychopath to dismount... sorry that I didn't slow down to a complete crawl 50 m before the dismount line... thanks for volunteering... but f*** you. :-)

Run: 1:41:37

Out onto the run course... forcing myself to go easy! This is TOUGH b/c out of transition there are a TON of people going nutso... so its really hard to reign it in. Got a really nice, "GO ROBBY!" from Amanda and headed out. Was NOT feeling it folks. Just kinda felt like dog poo... and yes... I had to pee... AGAIN! I had a hard time on the first loop of this course last time... and it certainly wasn't any different this time. Another 5 - 7 minute pee break at mile one and I was off.
Let's fast forward a bit. I was heading up the hill toward the turn around... not feeling terribly spry... and I glanced up the hill about 50 m... there he was... my "arch nemesis". You'd think that would be good news to me... but he was heading DOWN the hill! Here's what went through my head:

"Are you KIDDING ME? He's got 2 miles on me!!!! How is that possible?! Holy crap he's running well. GAWD... I hate that dude with his pretty hair and muscles, and attitudinal swagger. I want to punch him in the neck! Alright. I gotta get him. I just gotta"

I was so dejected and pissed that I didn't even look up and say "HI!" as he went down the hill and past me. I was kinda surprised at how visceral a reaction I had to that. Guess I really don't like the dude and it was a DEFINITE shot to my ego to watch him handing me my ass in a race... he's never beaten me before... and this time... it looked like a definitely possibility. ACK!

At the turn-around I hit the throttle and headed back into town. My legs were beginning to feel good and I was finally finding my stride. The heat was coming on but I was actually feeling quite good. Back through town... and ANOTHER potty break at mile 7! Literally... another 5-7 min of pee time! INFURIATING! Out of the potty and there was Brian... as usual... HUGE smile on his face.... "Hey SKINNY ROB!!!!! Go buddy! Lookin good! Get after it!"... love the effects of a good cheer can have on you! Around mile 8 I got passed by Tyler Stewart, who I got to meet at Vineman this year... she's a nice gal and an intense competitor. "Holy CRAP Tyler! You look great! Go get her!"... she was in second and it's always fun to try and get a giggle out of the pros as they blow by you... no giggle... but a "thanks" and "good job". Back through town again and I started to head up the hill toward the turn-around. I was beginning to feel the effort I was putting in... but to be honest... I was still pretty darn comfortable. I looked up the hill and guess WHAT? There he WAS! Not coming down the hill.... but shuffling UP it! I was going to pass him... with ease! I couldn't believe it! In my head I was like a little school girl! "He broke! HA! I got him!" I came up just behind his left shoulder and hung there for a second... then eased forward... turned my head to the right... "OH! Hey man! Lookin good!"... then hit the accelerator again! BAH ha HA! What IS it with this guy that brings out the asshole in me??? I'm NEVER like that. But BOY was it awesome to pass him on the run! The rest is pretty uneventful. The last two miles I threw down pretty hard but was never overly uncomfortable. I crossed the line not knowing exactly where I had ended up time-wise but hoped to be under 5 hours.

Final: 5:03:20

Overall I'm happy with the race. The biggest thing that bothers me is the peeing. I peed 3 different times on this course... which probably isn't bad in terms of hydration etc. What really chaps my hide is that if you do the math... being conservative... I spent, at the very least, 12 minutes PEEING! In reality that number is probably closer to 15 min. SERIOUSLY??? I have GOT to figure this out folks. If I had shaved 10 minutes off my time... know where that would have put me? From 13th in my AG... into 4th and within easy striking distance of the podium. That's where I'd like to be. Oh well... live and learn

Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.


Monday, September 13, 2010

Lake Stevens RR (Part II)

Ok! So check it out! Another post right on the heels of another! YeeHAW!

Saturday morning broke with an early-ish wake up followed by a quick n snappy bike/run to make sure the legs work ok and everything on the bike is firing properly. Col joined me and Brian had his weekly long run in preparation for the Portland Marathon in Oct. At this point... it still hadn't really dawned on me that I'd be racing the next day. I guess this is a tribute to my more relaxed attitude toward racing this year... kinda nice actually... although I'm not convinced that if you want to "go hard" that this is the way to approach it. After that, we showered up, threw Pip in the car and met Brian for a big, phat breakfast.

For the remainder of the day we got our transition bags packed, bikes set up, and just kind of layed around, feet up, water bottles in hand. It's funny... I felt SO sluggish for the rest of the day. I think you know you're getting ready to race when you feel like a fat, lazy slob the day before. Somehow... your body knows that the next day its on... so it almost forces you to relax. It's good to listen to your body... it just knows.

Late afternoon we threw our bikes on top of the car and headed out to the lake to check them in and get a quick swim in the lake. The weather couldn't have been better... tho there were mutterings about how HOT it was going to be on race day. It's a relatively short drive out to the lake and Col and I took the Mini... which also happened to have a sun roof. Word to the wise... if you're putting your bike up on the roof of your car... don't put your number on it till you've gotten to transition. As we're cruising along, I glance up at my bike and notice that there is a small tear in my number which is on my seat post... it gets bigger... and bigger... until finally, whoosh, there goes most of it!

Col and I set things up as best we could then took a dip in the lake. The water was warm and gorgeous and... as usual... visibility was great. For those of you that don't know... you can actually follow the buoy cable throughout the entire race... no sighting required if you choose that line of approach... literally. My body felt good... you know... rested... relaxed... happy body. YAY!Looks like a rat spent some time gnawing on it! Pretty funny actually and I enjoyed rolling into transition with a very ghetto lookin number on my bike.

Colleen and Bryan have some friends that live right ON the lake approximately 1 mile from the swim start! Talk about PERFECT! They generously opened up their home, fed us dinner, and entertained us with stories of their water skiing prowess. Skiing for them is like triathlon for us... they beam when they talk about it! There's this whole huge competitive water skiing community that I had NO idea about... pretty neato.

Full belly. Final check on gear and bags. Warm shower and early bed! I had just a hint of nerves as I laid there. Lake Stevens is where I earned my slot to the world championships in '08 and despite my best efforts... I had expectations going in. In the back of my mind, I was convinced that I could PR this course... even tho my training has been spotty this year. PLUS... my arch nemesis was racing as well... and I really wanted to hand him his ass on the course! LOL!! I drifted off... relaxed and ready...

Stay tuned... race day is comin! Thanks for taking the time to read!


Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lake Stevens 70.3 RR (Part I)

FINALLY huh? The problem is, once I have a minute to myself... kiddos in bed, house clean, dishes and laundry done... all I want to do is sit and enjoy a temporary catatonic state. Then when I don't have my little loves... I find other things to do like house projects. Sigh. Kinda puts the kabosh on the creative writing skills.

This is going to have to be done in stages I think. There's just too much for my little brain to spew in one post... so here it comes!

I got up to Seattle around noon on Friday and hooked up with my IM CdA pals Colleen and Bryan and their dog Pip! They generously offered me a place to stay for both Friday and Saturday... for FREE! I lllllllOVE free! It had been over a year since I'd seen either of them and we simply picked up where we left off... really great folks! Isn't that true of triathlon people? Some of the easiest people in the WORLD to make lasting friendships with. Of course... they're also kind of a pain in the ass aren't they? "I can't eat that... I'm training... It's 8:00, I have to go to bed... Pass the salt, I've been crampy... What do you mean my bright white compression socks do go with this dress?". Uh huh. We are a rare and wonderful breed.

After hooking up with Colleen, a we grabbed a bite to eat, (a big, fat, awesome, dirty dirty delicious GYRO!) and headed over to the very swanky Everett Holiday Inn for packet pickup. This is a MANDATORY race briefing and you're not allowed to pickup your packet until you've gotten your, "I'm a Good Boy and Know the Rules" stamp. After that 1/2 hour of my life that I'll never get back, we grabbed our packets, perused the ironman store for overpriced stuff that we really don't need, and took off. We spent the rest of day doing last minute bike tune-ups and hanging out. While we were at Mrcrampys, we ran into Blake... who just happens to be coached by Liz as well! Blake has a big bald head... which is funny... and just a great attitude about him! For the last event of the day we went to the velodrome to catch some of the racing before heading home and hittin the rack early.

There's day one... I know... thrilling. Stay tuned for more and thanks for taking the time to read!


Me, Col, and Blake @ MrCrampys. Look at his MELON!

Me n Col... we're cool... just ask us.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Oh! I forgot!

I'm racing Lake Stevens this coming Sunday!

I didn't really forget... its just that I finally woke up this morning excited! Odd huh? There's usually a whole lot of anticipation going on the week before a race... but that hasn't been my experience this time around... I just haven't felt it. It's so bad that it wasn't until yesterday evening at 5:00 that I realized I should probably take my bike into LifeCycle to get a race tune! Luckily, Jeff at the shop has taken amazing care of me and my bike since the shop opened. I walked in... he threw it on the stand... tuned her up... cleaned her up... and passed her back! THANKS JEFF!

So I'm heading out late this afternoon to get a portion of the drive out of the way. I'll be staying somewhere in Portland and hopefully seeing a couple of friends for dinner. Quick n snappy run then hittin the hay. The plan is to drive up to Seattle Friday and hook up with Colleen and Bryan... a couple of friends from IM CdA. Col and I will pick up our packets and possibly drive the course... then chill for the rest of the day. Saturday we'll get our swim, bike, run in and then go check in our bikes etc. We'll be staying at one of Col's friends house.... which is literally right on the lake! Ought to be a great time and I'm really looking forward to racing on Sunday.

As far as expectations go? Again... I expect to have some fun. That's it. I'm just going to give what I'm able to this race and be grateful that I'm a participant.

That's all for now. Hopefully I'll update as things play out. Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Vineman 70.3 Race Report...

First of all... what the HELL is going on with all the comments on my blog from those residing in the Pacific Rim??? No seriously... that's just weird. They should at least do us the courtesy of posting in something other than kanji.

Alright... onto the "race". With the exception of my first triathlon ever... I've never approached a race like I approached this one... without expectation. Well, I shouldn't say that... I actually did take the time to sit down and write out an actual plan... but the goals were conservative AND I didn't necessarily expect to meet them... they were just there. It was a very weird experience for me... in a good way though. Somewhat validating.

Pre-Race: I pulled into a balmy Guerneville Friday afternoon. It was odd coming to a race completely solo. It was just Sally and I. She's great company but there was a large contingent of triathletes from Tennessee that were staying at the same place... so there was never a dull moment and plenty of opportunity for hick jokes. There was also 2 couples from Texas that were freaking out about the size of the hills on the course. Pretty entertaining. I actually went to the welcome dinner and was treated to some overcooked pasta and vegetables. I did however get to sit down with Mirinda (drool... pitter pat) and chat for about an hour. I'm still trying to find one of them "fiber" bikes Rinny... I'll let ya know.

I'm just gonna fast-forward to race day so you don't fall asleep...

Race Morning:

Pre-Race: Oatmeal, bagel with peanut butter, banana, all set. I walked out the door and into the cool morning air down to T1 to set up my transition. My wave was set to go off at 0825... so, I had plenty of time and was completely relaxed and ready to go. I always love the atmosphere before races. There's this great mix of excitement and anxiety underlining everything... each person dealing with it in his or her own way... its just really interesting to see. I watched the pro's and a few other waves take off and then sauntered, (yes "sauntered"), over to don my wetsuit.

Swim: 31:08

I was in the 1st of two separate waves for my AG. For those of you that don't know... its a river swim... against the "current" on the way out... with it on the way in. So the idea was for me to go out hard initially and stay closer to the bank... minimizing the drag of the current.... then come back at the turn around more in the middle of the river using the current to my advantage. BAH! Whatever man! I just swam... and had a good time! It really did feel effortless. There was so brawl at the start and it was smooth sailing the entire time. I suppose I could have gone harder... actually, I know I could have... but... ehn... wasn't feelin it. The only interesting thing that happened was at the turn around.... people were actually standing up and WALKING a bit! Hilarious! I actually stood up and did a few duck dives to get out of the quagmire... but other than that it was an uneventful yet fun swim and I came out of the water feeling fresh. I do need to work on my "Water Exit Smile"... what the hell man? I look like I'm gonna kill someone!

T1: 2:34

Just call me Mr. Pokey-pants. I did have a nice conversation with a dude that was completely decked out from head to toe in KSwiss apparel. Seriously... not only was every item covering his person KSwiss... he also had 4 different KSwiss tattoos. Yeah. Overkill I think.

Bike: 2:44:23

In classic form... I launched my first bottle a mile into the ride. Yeah. WTF??? What IS it with me and loosing my nutrition. Here's the thing about having a relaxed attitude about my results tho... I giggled, (not like a little girl... more like a lumber jack), and just kept pedaling. If you've not done this race... I would HIGHLY recommend it just based off of the bike course alone! Seriously. It's technical, relatively hilly, and challenging but not overly so. 90% of it literally rolls through a BUNCH of different winery's! SO pretty! Anywho... the ride appeals to my bike skill set, (yes, I just used "skill set" in a sentence... ugh... someone punch me in the neck), in that I corner well and I have zero fear of fast downhill... which maybe isn't a good thing. I had a ball the entire ride! There were two unpleasant moments: 1) I had to pee so bad at one point that I thought I was going to burst. By the time I reached an aid station that didn't have a line for the porta potty's, I wasdesperate and cramped up! It took me 5 freaking min to relieve my overly full bladder... all the while I had an older lady pounding on the door of the john. Not helpful. 2) I had a huge moment of doubt. Let's face it, despite the outstanding training plan that Coach Liz has been working me through since Jan... I've been nothing but inconsistent. My training has suffered badly... a side-effect of the huge life changes. So I had a moment where I was like, "Wait... this ride... right here is the longest you've done all year... and then you're going to have to get off the bike and run.... the longest you've run all year! Ugh. I dunno Rob.". I'm serious. I had doubts. BUT... I just pushed it out of my mind for the moment... and figured whatever happened... simply happened. I rolled into T2 feeling remarkably good. I nailed my nutrition and was so conservative on the bike that I actually felt ready to run.

T2: 2:19

Yeah. I think I actually had to put effort into transitioning this slow. Actually... the initial entry into T2 was pretty narrow... and I got stuck behind old slow guy walking his bike. Ehn. Oh well.

Run: 1:39:27

Despite the pained look on my face in the picture at left...
I exited T2 feeling really good. I had one gel with me and a flask that was full of water with a heavy dose of Base salts. It was juuuuuuust beginning to heat up a bit and with the cramping problems I've had in the past I thought it a good idea to have the extra sodium. I felt great! I had told myself that I was going to force an overly conservative pace. I sorta did it... but you know how it goes when you feel that good. I yucked it up with people and just concentrated on having a good time. On the way out I saw Chris McCormack on his bike, "CHRIS! Run with me!"... he laughed... but didn't get off his bike to run... the bastard. Everything went along swimmingly until around mile 9 or 10... and I started hitting a wall. Hints of cramping and just reeeeeeeally low energy were affecting my pace severely. It occurred to me that maybe taking in more than one gel to this point would have been a good idea. The problem was... my stomach felt shloshy and I didn't think I could take anything in besides a bit of water at the aid stations and some of my salts... besides... I was almost done and figured I'd just get through it. I eventually did come around after drastically slowing my pace within miles 9 through 11... then I was able to suck it up, come around, and finish strong.

Total Time: 4:59:52

Overall I'm very pleased with this race. Considering the gaps in my training, life stress and whatnot, I did exactly what my body was prepared to do... no more, no less. Coming into the race with a relaxed attitude and no pressure was a breath of fresh air for me. It was also pretty validating. The reality is that I can enter a race, relax, and be confident that I can still put together something to be proud of. This is a long life we live... and I have more than enough time to "go hard"... when the timing is there. For now, I'm just tickled to be able to participate. I am blessed.

Thank you for taking the time to read. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.


Saturday, July 10, 2010


are a bitch to get rid of! Aren't they? Seriously.

The family I grew up in, particularly, has always had a problem with expectations... or maybe its every family... who knows. Anywho... when I was a kid, we would continually let ourselves down b/c we would have certain expectations about the way things "should be"... or the way someone "should" react or the way someone "should" understand our point of view because its so flippin clear in our heads! As a result, we spent a lot of time being sooooo disappointed and sad that our expectations were never met. Sick right? I can remember as a kid... I was probably 7? 8 ish? My parents had planned a trip to Hawaii for the family. Believe it or not... I had a pretty vivid imagination as a kid... yeah... I know... weird. I didn't know anything about Hawaii but I assumed it was a beautiful, wild, relatively uninhabited paradise. Key word here is "wild". I literally thought we would spear fish, eat coconut, and wear grass skirts.... maybe kill a wild pig for funsies. That was my expectation... which was developed simply out of my imagination right? I mean... I didn't open the Encyclopedia Britanica (that's a book... with pages that you turn... and words) and get a real picture of what it might be like.... I just made some assumptions and RAN with it! AWESOME right? So on the flight over, the pilot comes over the intercom and announces that on our right we'll just be passing over the big island. I politely, (I was such a good boy), asked the passengers next to me if I could lean over and get a peek... here's what happened in my head:

"Buildings? WHAT? There's got to be a mistake! That's not the way Hawaii is supposed to be! I don't even want to go now. This is stupid. Stupid buildings and cars and people and McDonalds. Stupiddummydumbdumbpoopcrudgoodfornothingnofun Hawaii. Sssssstyewwwwwpid."

I literally welled up I was so disappointed. Okay... we all know it doesn't take much to make me cry.... I'm kind of a pansy.... but you get my point. I was totally shattered! Instead of looking out the window of the plane and being THRILLED at the possibilities of what adventures lay ahead... I was completely let down. Now... don't worry... little Robby had a great time in Hawaii. Although I think it's telling that the above scenario is my most vivid memory of that trip, (read... Rob is a complete nut-job).

What's my POINT! I am having a HARD time letting go of my expectations for this race coming up next week! Even having all the facts in front of me... I keep setting pacing goals and split times. I thought, maybe if I wrote about this, it'd sink in. SO! Here are my expectations for Vineman 70.3:
  • Show up.
  • Toe the line.
  • Swim
  • Bike
  • Run
  • Smile
  • Laugh
  • Finish
  • Smile some more
That's it. That's all. Uh. That's it? That's all? Yes. That's my story and I'm stickin to it. Period.

Thanks for taking the time to read... and helping me process this stuff. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.


Wednesday, July 7, 2010


air! Yeah. Can you imagine what's goin through this guys head??? Probably not, "This is SO cool!"

It's interesting... I've taken a big break from writing... I suppose it's because I haven't felt I have anything particularly clever or insightful to say. Things are constantly swirling around in my head, (which, believe me, is annoying), but the thought of making them semi-sort-of coherent, and typing has been repulsive to me. I'm not promising anything remotely brilliant here... but it feels good to write a bit.

Training continues. I've been pretty consistent through the entire year but there's been a big shift in my thinking regarding triathlon. I'll be honest here... it's kind of a pain in the ass isn't it? I mean really. Think about it. Think about all the time you spend planning training, packing for training, scheduling training, fretting about training, resting for training, executing training, recovering from training... maybe racing... on and on and on. It's pretty consuming. I've also noticed that it's isolating for me. I enjoy time on my own... I really do... that Rob guy in my head can be pretty fun... but at least in Eugene... I've found it really difficult to meld my schedule with anyone else's. Or maybe it's just me. Maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to go to the effort of seeking people out to train with. I know there's a bunch of triathletes here in this town... but the idea of having to coordinate schedules... which means even MORE planning... makes me want to hurl. Yeah. Lazy I suppose.

Don't get me wrong... I really love this sport. LOVE it. I also think that for a 40 year old guy, I have the potential to be pretty decent at it. I just think I'm evolving a bit. Not quite as obsessive. Maybe a bit more relaxed regarding results and schedules. A lot of this is out of necessity... new life direction and adjusting to a different flow of things. Whatever it is, it's happening, and I have to roll with it. Here's what I WILL say about this shift and new life direction: I haven't felt this calm or peaceful or relaxed or happy in a veeeeeeeeeery long time... even before I started triathlon 4 years ago. Like everyone, I have moments of sadness, despair, anxiety, and anger... but they're short-lived. I've always talked about "breathing"... something I adopted as my own from a dear college friend... but I finally, FINALLY feel like I actually am! I'm actually breathing. Whew.

Despite Coach Liz's best effort, I don't feel particularly ready for either of my upcoming races, Vineman 70.3, or Lake Stevens 70.3. That's b/c of me... not her. I can't imagine doing this triathlon thing without Liz's expertise. I don't feel race ready... but that's just the way it is. This is a big ego check for me... which is always good. Basically... I've had to throw all my expectations, based off of past performance, completely out the window. I'm just not as fit as I've been in the past. So... the goal for both of these races is to have fun. People do that all the time right? Have fun? Race for fun? Enjoy being out there among these happy fit people? Yep. Happens all the time... and I'm joinin in!

More soon... and in the meantime... thank you for reading. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.


Sunday, June 20, 2010


I'm still around... and guess what? I'm "racing"! Who woulda thunk it? Number six hundred and something on the wait list and KaPLOW! I'm in! Giddy up.

More to follow... as I actually have something triathlon-related to write about now! Hope you all join me as the journey unfolds...


Thursday, March 11, 2010


in case you're wondering... see the guy in the picture? The guy that's getting hit in the head with the bat? THAT is exactly how I've been feeling... like that guy.

It goes without saying that all of the important testing that was to be done didn't happen. Nor has there been ANY semblance of training done since... wait for it... WEDNESDAY BEFORE LAST! Seriously. Some might argue that this illness was brought on by a two day visit from my boss. Where I had to wear a suit. And a smile. And synergize optimal baseline customer demographics while executing flawlessly. I'm not sure about all that... but I do know that both Lila and I got nailed by this little bug! Lila got it SO bad that I had to take her to the doctor and witness my poor little darling get 2 HUGE shots of antibiotics in both legs followed by a 10 day course of oral antibiotics! Just as Lila missed an entire week of school... I missed a week and a half of training. Now THAT is sick! In the past I've made the mistake of training when not completely healthy... only to pay for it in the long run. With all the additional "life stress"... I, along with Coach Liz decided to stay on my butt, rest, eat, and get healthy. Here it is, Sunday, and I finally feel like I can get some training in this week! SO... I'm back on track starting tomorrow.

Spring is officially here! It's so nice to get a break from the rain here in Eugene... however temporary... and enjoy a little sun. Having this time off over the last week and a half has given me a bit of time to reflect on training and racing. It has made me take a hard look at this season
and what my expectations are... or rather should be. From the beginning, in this sport, I've sought to go hard and compete at a high level. I've had a degree of success... but I wonder at the cost. While training and racing has enriched my life to a degree that I never expected... I wonder what I've sacrificed during the process. Has focusing on training and racing taken away from other aspects of my life... my family... my friends... my work? This sport can be a selfish sonofabitch. But then again, I suppose anything that you're truly passionate about can be. Where is that line? There isn't an answer. Or maybe there is. At the end of the day, when you're lying bed and reflecting... checking each box... you're never, EVER, going to get 100% of it right if you're truly honest with yourself. You'll always fall short of your own... or someone else's, expectations in one or more areas. Is this a failure? Not necessarily... but it is human. Oftentimes the absolute best you can do is to be aware of your shortcomings and... simply try again the next day. Just keep coming back. I guess that's where I've landed. There are times when I will fail miserably... and there are times, little moments, where the successes I have will be measured not necessarily by accomplishment... but by the peace that washes over me when I know , without hesitation, that I tried to the best of my ability.

Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.


Sunday, February 28, 2010

I Have Nothin...

profound to say. Which is just fine! Geesh... I can get a bit long-winded and philosophical sometimes... right? Am I right? Uh. huh. I know... it can also be a quite nauseating.

So I just finished a Cer-AZY week! Here's a brief synopsis: I drove around the state like a maniac, worked my skinny, chicken-shit bastard ass off, and trained. Yesh. I told you it would be brief.

Base training continues and I'm feeling more and more fit as the days pass and my legs are coming around nicely. I'd kind of forgotten what it was like to go out and run hills for an hour... and smile about it. SO great to be back. I've got quite a ways to go before being "race ready"... but that will come... and I'm not even sure what that means exactly... at least for this season. I'm operating in some unknown territory in my personal life... so we'll just have to see what happens. I'm pretty confident that if anything... I might not be my fastest this year... but I sure do plan on having a ball! I just dropped the $$$ for Boise 70.3 and Lake Stevens 70.3. Giddyup.

If you didn't figure it out from the last post... Coach Liz and I will be working together again... starting tomorrow. As a welcome back... I have 3 tests this week. Not math... swim, bike, run. I have a love/hate relationship with these tests. I like having the data that they produce so that my training can be better tailored... but I don't particularly enjoy throwing up during or immediately after them. Eh. All in the name of self-improvement right?

Anywho.... I'll keep ya posted on how things go. Thanks for taking the time to read. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.

<---- notice the Ecstatic European Tourist face after my first OUTDOOR ride of the season!


Monday, February 22, 2010


and it feeeeeels so goooooood! Yeah. She is Liz. She is my coach. Period. That pretty much sums it up.


Saturday, February 13, 2010

I Felt Like...

a triathlete this week! For the first time in a LONG time! Not a very GOOD triathlete... but a triathlete none-the-less! YAY! See the guy on the left? That's happy Rob. Happy Rob did the following this week:
  1. Parented his kids with all the love and patience he could muster.
  2. Laughed.
  3. Managed the household, (i.e., cooked, cleaned, washed, folded, and put away stuff)
  4. Played.
  5. Did his "job" in the professional world to the best of his abilities thus bringing home the bacon.
  6. Smiled.
  7. Disciplined when necessary.
  8. Spoke with friends.
  9. Rested when he could.
  10. Trained: (swim: 2 hrs, bike: 4 hrs, run: 2 hrs, strength: 1 hr)
I just tooted my own horn! (hee hee... "tooted"). The thing is... I'm entering a new, different, and very challenging chapter of my life. I honestly have questioned whether or not I would be able to continue in triathlon... seriously... I just didn't know. After coming through this week... handling all my bizniz... handling it well... AND training... I've got my confidence back! I might not be able to train exactly as I'd like... but I'll tell ya what... I'm going to train to the best of my ability... and compete in the same manner.

I feel like I can actually breathe again. I'm aware of the ebb and the flow... I'm aware that there are more "downs" to come... but you know what? It's gonna be okay. Actually... it's gonna be good. Really good.

Thank you for taking the time to read. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.


Sunday, February 7, 2010


In SH 21-6, the Army Ranger Handbook, it states that when reacting to a near ambush, (within hand grenade range):

"Soldiers in the kills zone return fire immediately, without order or signal, assume prone position, throw concussion or fragmentation and smoke grenades. Immediately after the explosion of the concussion or fragmentation grenades, soldiers in the kill zone return fire and assault through the ambush using fire and movement."

You might giggle a little bit at this... the language isn't exactly poetic... but what do you expect? Its Army doctrine! So what's my point?

There's no hesitation. There's only action. Sometimes we get stuck. I'm stuck right now. We wait, postpone... or hesitate, waiting for things to come together perfectly. We hope with all of our being for everything to pan out exactly as we wish. In the meantime... our lives stagnate b/c we're on hold. The thing is, there's a limited amount of time that we can wait before we realize, "Hold ON! I'm not living." It was recently pointed out to me by a very dear and close friend that oftentimes, the moment you stop waiting, hoping, hesitating... the moment that you launch yourself back into living your life... everything begins to fall into place. I don't know exactly why that is. Maybe its b/c you've put so much time and energy into hoping and praying and waiting... that it takes away from any effort to make something happen. That's not living. That's not what makes us happy and fulfilled... whole. I'd rather not hesitate anymore... I'd rather commit.

May: Eugene Half Marathon
June: Ironman 70.3 Boise
July: Deschutes Dash (Oly)
August: Ironman 70.3 Lake Stevens
Sept: Something
Oct: Something again.

There's a start huh?

Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole. Thank you for taking the time to read.


Tuesday, January 26, 2010

She's Growing...

UP! Lila is maturing every minute right before my eyes! A fact that both thrills and saddens me at the exact same time!

Lila is turning 10 years old in a few days. She has been begging to have her ears pierced for roughly 4 years. We've held her off to this point... not because of some moral standard or belief that we hold... not because we think that girls that get their ears pierced at a younger age are somehow "trashy"... simply because Lila... ummm... how do I put this nicely... uhhhh... Lila is messy. Yes. Messy... we'll go with that. Despite her angelic appearance and unmatched beauty, Miss Lila is more apt to find a mud puddle and start rolling around in it than she is to brush her teeth without being prodded. I'm serious. Its not that she enjoys being filthy (or maybe it is)... its just that she's got better things to do with her time than wash her face. Lila is the girl that finishes her breakfast at the counter... grabs her backpack and heads out the door full tilt... without noticing or caring about the immense glob of oatmeal hanging from her chin. Uh huh. I'm serious. Don't get me wrong... I actually LOVE this aspect of her! I mean really... there ARE more important things to do than wipe oatmeal off your chin... who cares right? You can just eat it later. Apparently she did NOT inherit the gene from me that says, "Everyone is looking at you... pointing... and laughing b/c your shirt is wrinkly.". While this is charming and endearing in my Lila... it can also be annoying. I mean seriously... do I REALLY have to tell you that wiping your butt isn't optional? Seriously? Ugh.

Anywho. Lila has proven over the last couple of years that our requests for her to wash her hair, brush her teeth, wipe her butt... have not fallen on deaf ears. As a result, we agreed that it was time, on the advent of her 10th birthday, for her to enter the world of the "big girl", and have her ears pierced. We hustled over to the mall and the brightly lit, glowing neon paradise of girly bobbles and chotchkeys called Claire's. I swear to GOD... I could feel the testosterone draining from my body every second I spent in that place. I wanted to take her to the local piercing shop, High Priestess Piercing, but as it turns out... its slightly more expensive, like 3 times as much! But dangit! It would have really been cool to have the huge dude with metal ALL over his face and body covered in elaborate art, pierce my daughter's ears. This as opposed to the perky 21 year old who was obviously feeling the previous night's debauchery. So... Lila stepped up... closed her eyes... and got it done! You could see the pride and excitement in her eyes as she entered what she marked as a new stage in her life... and I couldn't have been more proud. Her friend Stella was there for the ride and was a great comfort and support... friends are important... they really are.

Here's what all this made me reflect on: Its a common thing to hear from parents. "Where has the time gone?" We look at our sons and daughters one moment as tiny little precious babies... and the next... they're grown up. We talk about how BUSY we are! Our busy lives... and the constant challenge of balancing daily life with simply paying attention to what's going on
around you... the important things. The problem is... you can't just stop ALL the time... there really are important things to do... things that have to get done... things that make us feel better about ourselves as people, parents, partners, friends. So then we start talking about balance. How do we balance all those things? You know what? Give me a freakin break ok?! We do our best at any given moment right? Sometimes we make poor choices... but others? Other times... we hit it out of the f'ing park! Right? Am I right? Its a pendulum people... it swings big to one side at one time... and then just as big to the other. Sometimes it swings small... sometimes not at all. My point is... if you're truly trying... and you're leading with your heart... people, your kids, your friends, your family, your partner... they'll see that... and they'll love you for it... and damnit! Sometimes that is just good enough! Perfection is an elusive sonofabitch.

Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole. Thank you for taking the time to read.

Proper selection of which stud was key!

Nervous... but ready!

Here comes the stick! Stella is holding her hand for support! SO cute!

THERE! All done... BEAUTIFUL! (thank you Stella for the crossed eyes!)

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Begin Again...

Ok... I just had to put this picture first b/c he's so freakin handsome. That's Tom. Yeah. He's mah boy.

Anyway! YAY! No really... YAY! Last week was my first week back in the gym on a consistent basis. I've been in and out over the last 6 months but not on a terribly regular basis. You know what I've missed? The purposefulness or the whole thing... THAT is what I've missed. Wandering in to the gym... going through the motions... trying to be fit and healthy... really doesn't do it for me. I'm driven by goals... they keep me accountable, interested... so having a tentative racing schedule for 2010, (which is probably the BEST numbered year EVER... I mean look at it! Its just cool. And its even), really keeps me focused. I like that!

So basically I spent the last week re-introducing myself to the whole concept of swim, bike, run, core, strength. Guess what? I'm SORE! LOL! I love it! I ran 3 times, "biked" twice, swam once, and lifted 4 times. All in all it was a good week of base training while flawlessly executing my parental duties to include emotional nurturing! YAY me! I stayed exactly where I needed to be... slow and patient... and I'm ready to get into the next week. I've also started putting a little effort into finding people to train with. Last year... I trained with Erich a couple of times... maybe. That's it. Mostly... people annoy me during training... "Please shut the "f" up and do the work!". Erich didn't annoy me b/c he was too busy kicking my ass... which, believe it or not... isn't AS annoying as it may sound. Anywho, so I'm going to try training with some roadies on the bike this winter... gag. Open-mind... keeping an open mind!

It's going to be interesting for me to work without a coach for a bit. I'm not sure how that's going to go. Conceptually... building your own base after you've done it a couple of times should be pretty straight forward. Then again... I am Rob... and Rob likes to complicate things sometimes. Rob gets carried away. Rob needs to be reigned in... calmed down... reassured. Basically, Rob can be an insecure whiney little bitch on occasion... but Rob loves Rob anyway. Coach Liz also loves Rob... and knows what Rob needs. SO... the internal
debate with myselfness continues... coach myself through base training... or no? Hmmmm... gimme your thoughts people!

I took the kidoodles and Aggie up to the snow the other day for some sledding! SO much FUN! Here's some pics!
Aggie was in heaven! She is the best dog in the WORLD!

Tom went up n down about 4 million times! He's an animal!

Jack was a freakin maniac! No fear in that one... kinda freaked me out.

Mm hm. My Lila!

That's it for the moment... feels good to write. Thank you for taking the time to read. Hope you're all happy, healthy, and whole.