Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A New Year

Do you have any New Years resolutions? I don't and probably will not, but I do have some goals for the year or at least some ideas on what I would like 09 to look like. First, I want to be happy, happy is more of a state of mind than it is anything you really do or say. You can always look for the bad the ugly and fear what "might" happen; but if you just try instead to look for the general good you may be surprised what you will find and how much happier you feel overall. So for 09 that is what I am going to try to do. Here is an example, if you turn on the news these days all you hear are negative stories about the economy, or how this politician or that Wall Street Executive is corrupt. Flip a few more channels and you find all the reality shows reminding us how dangerous the world really is, 48 hours to solve a murder, convenient store clerk killed for $10 heist etc. etc. Go to work and you can just feel the unrest in the environment about the job outlook. Most are worried they are going to lose their jobs, a lot of them realize they have spent too much and saved too little and no one wants to even look at their 401K to see how much they have lost this year alone. With news like that rammed down your throat daily it is hard to get happy about anything. But maybe it is time to put it in perspective and think differently. First I am healthy and fit, I still have my job, I am still paying my bills on time, I am still getting up and looking forward to working out with my Tri friends, I have plenty to eat every day. Today just happens to be gorgeous outside and I plan on getting in a good track workout. My swimming is improving everyday, gas prices have dropped substantially since last summer, my parents are healthy and doing well, Delane and I had a nice Christmas in Virginia. Hmmm seems when I focus on all the good things I feel much better about life in general. Maybe for 2009 I will watch the news a little less and stick to all the positive things that are truly happening around me instead. OK, there you have it, my New Years resolution... sort of!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Florida Ironman Race Report

I should probably start by saying my previous "long course" experiences were things I would rather not remember. About 1.5 years ago I decided I would try my first Ironman in Arizona. I got sick, felt terrible all day and finished the race but in a disappointing time. I later figured out that finishing your first Ironman is really all that matters. I followed that with an attempt a Louisville later that year and was diagnosed with Diverticulitis (Infection of the large intestine)two days before and dropped out of the race. Florida presented a mental and a physical challenge for me; my goal for IMFL was simple, race a solid, yet conservative race and learn as much as I can from it. More importantly though, make sure to enjoy the day and what it brings. Not everyone can do Ironmans, so I should consider myself lucky to have the time, ability and desire to tackle something like this. I also felt a responsibility to my friends, and training partners for supporting me, but most of all to my wife who has supported me 110% in this endeavor and picked up my slack in all the other areas. Delane, your the BEST!

IMFL started with the long drive down, roughly 12-13 hours for Delane and I. We arrived and stayed with Blake and Danna, Stephanie, and Blake's mother. Danna found accommodations that were outstanding, right on the beach, very nice place for a great price, thanks to her dad's business ties in the area. We all arrived safe and sound sometime that evening, got some needed rest and planned our early morning swim and registration. The swim was calm but a little chilly when you first got in. Like in my open water training swims, I just tucked in behind Tony for a nice swim out to the turn buoy and back. Everything felt great. We all headed out to get registered and spent the day organizing our stuff for the race, we also took a little bike ride. The following day we decided one last very short swim would be good, it was a little rougher but nothing to really talk about, I swam out to the second buoy and enjoyed the nice ride back in on the waves. I spent the rest of the day mostly with my feet up resting trying not to be nervous and finally checking in my bike and bags later that day. Later that night, Danna's dad came by as well as Tony's dad and two sisters. We had a lot of laughs and a good time. Just great people and a good time. Heading to bed I took a couple of Advil PM to help me try to get a little sleep, not sure how much it helped or how much I slept, but I felt fine the next morning.

Race morning, got up early, got down some calories and headed to the race site. Not much to do, but sit around and wait. I hate this part! Getting my wetsuit on and taking some pics in the lobby of the hotel, Bri stops by to wish me luck " I think that was her". Sorry Bri, I was a little distracted at the time with everything. Head down to the swim start and Tony and I line up to the left and near the front. We had planned on swimming inside the buoys up until the turn. We saw people do this last year when we were down to watch and sign up for the race. This seemed like a good strategy then, so we figured we would try it out. BANG! Here we go, wow I forgot just how much of a washing machine this turns into. I had gotten used to the local races, getting bumped or slapped around a bit but nothing like this and it last about 3/4 of the first lap. I came in after the first lap and the announcer called my name and said "fast swim today" 31 minutes. Yikes, I am not a 1:02 swimmer, I went too hard, but to be honest it did not feel hard, but I backed off anyway, no need to blow my race in the swim. Second lap is much cleaner, just found two guys feet to sit on all the way around and ended up finishing the swim in 1:06. OK I will take that, good swim for me. I headed to T-1 and for some reason could not get my act together. I was joking about it later that day, saying I broke out my little hibachi grill and fired up some breakfast. To be honest I have no idea what I was doing in there for 8 and a half minutes. Out on the bike I go and my plan was on my handle bars (Quit laughing Nas!) on their were my heart rate zones and where I should be per mile. I was also using perceived effort. A head wind going out and I needed to keep it VERY easy to begin with, so that is what I did for about 5-10 miles. One of the marshals came by on his moped and we chatted for about 10 minutes. How you feeling? You cold? I was a little chilly but not bad. Settle in for a long 112 mile bike. People are pretty much passing me right and left in the first few miles then after that I settled into around a 20mph pace and just held that. Pretty uneventful after that, somewhat boring out there, spoke to a few people. Blake then rolled up and pinched me on the ass. Nice... that has to be Blake. Hmmmmm, I guess I am rolling along kinda slow if he caught me out of the swim? Oh well, I am sticking to my plan, Blake pulls ahead and I see him just a little ahead of me for the next 50+ miles. As we reached the half way point the wind changes in our favor and a lot of people were absolutely flying. I certainly picked up the pace but still stayed in my heart rate zones. Later on, back into the wind and down some nasty, bumpy roads. Mile 75 and the wind is at our back and it is time to run some people down. I cranked up a little wattage and started rolling. The last 30+ miles I had to have passed 200 or more people including Blake, who I returned the favor to by pinching him on the ass as I went by, he nearly jumped off his seat. NICE :) Gotcha! I was somewhat surprised, many of them looked very tired and the wind was at our back, guess they went out too hard. Turned the corner to head home the last 6 miles down Front Beach Street, our condo was right there and Delane, Danna and Blake's Mom were all right there cheering us on. VERY COOL! Back into the wind and just before that my Garmin GPS gave up on me, but Amie let me borrow hers for the run so it was fine since I figured mine would run out of battery on the bike. I rolled into T-2 with about a 5:20 bike split, not bad, 21 average, pretty comfortable, could have went harder, but I have a long way to run. My nutrition on the bike was flawless, I figured I should try to get somewhere around 1800 calories in on the bike and I believe I ended up with 1750. Into T-2 and Blake is right there with me, we sit by each other and change, I gave him some of my spray sunscreen and out we go. Blake just ahead, I stopped or slowed down to make sure my Garmin or as Amie calls it, "her little red devil" would sync up. Bingo, all synced, quick check at HR and everything is nice and low Zone 2. I look up and Blake is cranking along, A couple minutes for the Gramin to get our pace and I see Blake is running way too fast. I speed up to catch him and tell him to slow down. Blake, you are running 7:50 pace... Slow down. He said his Garmin would not sync, he slows, I passed him and tried to settle into what felt comfortable. My right foot was numb from the bike and stayed that way for 4-5 miles believe it or not. The first 5 miles just did not feel right, I kept thinking what is wrong, I got some nutrition and finally everything seemed to smooth out around mile 5-6. I am in the park and running to the turn around, something about this part of the run I just hated, don't ask me what it was, I just hated this part of the run for some reason. I am running better now, stopping every other aid station, just enough to get down nutrition. I alternated between gels I had on me and water or Gatorade. I saw Dave Larson somewhere on the first lap and I moved over to high five Dave (Go Dave! I know he is trying for a Kona slot and he sure deserves one!)Coming back I see Brett and Stephanie both looking strong as well. My run continues up and back into the crowds of cheering fans, always nice to hear those people calling out your name, it really does help. I see Tony's family and Delane and Danna also cheering as I go by. Feeling pretty good at the turn around now. One more lap and I am done. Stayed on my same plan, not really worried about pace, just checking out my hear rate every once in a while and trying to stay on my nutrition plan. Back into the scary park! What is the deal with this park? I just hate this damn road. Back out of the park and I am at about mile 19. Not far to go now, but too early for the coke. I had never hit the coke before in a race but Dave and others told me they swear by it, so I am going to give it a try but not until mile 22. My blood sugar spikes real easy and then I crash really bad. Mile 22 comes and I finally get on the coke. Yum, pretty tasty stuff. Amazing how good something different taste after eating gels all day. Mile 23, yes I will have two cups of cola please. Mile 24, oh yea another cup please. 2 miles to go, just don't cramp, I didn't feel like I was near a cramp but I had salt all over me and I cramped in the last mile at Timberman earlier this year. However, I have been taking some endurolytes and gatorade and it is not that hot so I think I am fine. Mile 25, Oh I am so done now, pick up the pace and finish strong. I have been running by everyone the last 5-6 miles, everyone is walking or running very slow, this is great, this is exactly what I wanted to do. I start thinking what my time could be and I think maybe 10:45, I will take that, however I get to the finish shoot and look at the clock to see 10:32, very nice! 10:32 and some change. I cross the line and felt great about my race. I knew I did what I came to do in Florida. Damn Ironman! Take that! Now where is the real food and the beer! Hugs and pictures all around. Tony finished just 8 minutes in front of me and we are both happy with our finish. Stephanie crosses a little later in 11:02 and Brett in 11:04 I think. Then we wait for our soon to be new Ironman Blake, who crosses in 11:28. The growling geckos did quite well out there today and everyone was happy with their results. I later hear from Denise that Dave crossed in 9:53 with a 9th place in age group and will need to hope for a roll down slot. We head back to sit in the hot tub, talk about our race and enjoy some cold beer and lasagna.

So what is next? Already singed up for the inaugural Cozumel Ironman 2009. I have some renewed confidence and will be ready to train again after a little R&R

See you out soon!

Monday, June 23, 2008

No post for a while?

I have not posted anything in my blog for quite sometime. I really have nothing much to say, but thought I would make an attempt to update things for the year. Last time I wrote I was getting ready for Myrtle Beach Marathon. My goal was to improve my Ironman run and running overall by training for a marathon.In addition, I wanted to qualify for Boston. Some eight months later, I know the marathon training helped me a lot, but it did not help much on marathon day. During the last few weeks of training for the marathon I was putting in some good weekly miles, roughly 50 to 55 per week as well as hitting the bike on the weekends with about 100-150 miles. In addition, speed work on the track to build my ability to hold a faster per mile split. During this time, I developed some problems with my achilles (Both feet) that still bother me some today, but is very manageable after a lot of icing, stretching and backing off some millage after the marathon. During my Myrtle beach marathon, I started on goal pace to run a 3:15 or so marathon, but about half way through I felt my achilles start to hurt, so I decided today would not be the day for Boston and ended up running about 3:32. My first marathon completed, at least outside of Ironman that is. I was just hoping the effort I had put in focusing on my run would pay off down the road in my other Tri races. Marathon is definitely different from Ironman and in some respects harder and other respects much easier. Now we are about mid-way through the local Tri season and after 3 races in NCTS I can see it having some payoff. I was close my first two races to a podium in NCTS and last week got a second place at Trilatta with a nice 20.02 5k run on a moderately hilly trail run. This weekend we did an 80 mile ride mostly on the Duke 1/2 course and averaged 20mph, where I did a lot of pulling, afterwards I ran a nice 5 miler at a decent pace of about 7:50, maybe faster (Just ran as I felt) and felt pretty comfortable. So I think the marathon training is starting to show some payoff. The true test will be my upcoming Timberman 70.3 in August and my Florida Ironman in November. I have a few more local Tris as well but there are all either Sprints or International distance, so it is a little hard to judge longer runs with exception of a training run. I probably enjoy running more than the other disciplines and it is probably what I do best, so all that helps motivate me to get better. However, I think my approach to my marathon training might have some good payoff in long course racing as well. At least most things I read says that training for a marathon in the winter can really help out the Ironman run down the road. I guess we will see my results soon enough. One interesting note, at least to me, was how I did most of my marathon training. I could of easily just got a marathon training session off the web and followed it for 16 or so weeks but I instead decided to modify it based on my knowledge of coaching myself over the past 4 years and my stronger desire to be a better Ironman runner than marathoner. The key element that I changed was I focused entirely on running multiple days straight, this is a LOT harder than it sounds. Day after day running really wears on the legs but I believe it "might" actually be more beneficial for Ironman running since the key to a good Ironman Marathon is not speed but being able to run on tired legs "pretty fast". For my first 8 weeks of training, I would run 5 consecutive days a week Monday through Friday and bike Saturday and Sunday. I started with 10 miles for 3-4 days and 5 miles for 1-2 days. Essentially I tried to build where I could do 10 miles for 5 days straight week after week. The reality is the continued day in day out running builds some pretty deep fatigue into the legs and periodically I had no choice but to run 5 instead. Everything I did was at my AET pace which a the time was about an 8:05 pace with my HR average at 144 or less. By the end of this training I had gotten more efficient and now my AET is 7:50 on the same course with the same 144 average HR. Very good stuff to see happen for Ironman and overall endurance capability. So bottom line, and the lesson learned, not rocket science! Go run, run often, run easy, equals payoff in many ways down the road. Fingers crossed ;)

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Tag... What I'm it Again?

A few weeks back there was an email that got passed around that had you answer 5-7 questions about yourself and then forward that on to some other friends. So I guess you could say this was something similar when I read on Alicia Lion's Blog that I got tagged to list 5 things maybe someone did not know about me. Since I have not been good about keeping my blog up to date, maybe because of the xmas season or writer's block or just plain lazy. Yes, that is it, just plain lazy! So I decided, I would give it a go. This is probably pretty boring stuff but at least I have a new post for the 3 people who read my blog :)

1. Many Many moons ago I lived overseas in Scotland, Holy Loch Scotland to be exact. I was in the U.S Navy at the time and stationed there to work on Submarines. I lived in an upstairs flat that I rented from a German woman. I traded my alcohol rations as part of my rent to be able to afford to live there... She liked her wine lucky for me! This is also where I started running for the first time on a regular bases. I lived 3 miles from work and had no car, so it was either walk or run. Before long I was running both to and from work, but VERY slow!

2. I fell out of the car when I was 4 years old going over 60 miles an hours down the highway. Just a crazy accident that no one really remembers how it happened. Most say I was playing with the door handle and it opened and out I went. This is long before there were child restraints etc. I did not break any bones remarkably, but did spend over 2 weeks in the hospital with road rash from head to toe. Far worse than ANY roadie ever experienced, I can promise you that. My reward for surviving that was a ride with the local fire department on the fire truck. VERY VERY cool for a kid who wanted to grow up and be a fireman... like most any kid I guess, still got the PIC.

3. A few years ago I was working at Sprint, out in Wake Forest. Some of you may remember the bomb scare where someone placed a pipe bomb in the building. They found out later this same person had placed a pipe bomb at two other locations down on the University of North Carolina campus. NO! It was not ME! The guy who placed the devices and is currently wearing an orange suit, literally sat right across from me and when I cam in LATE that morning the device had already been found and there was police tape around my cubicle for the following week and YES I was interviewed by the FBI. Yikes!

4. I have always wanted to learn to play an instrument, so a few years ago I picked up a guitar and was doing pretty well for a while. That is until I caught the Triathlon bug. However, this year my 2008 New Year's resolution is to peel out a few hours to start up again. Should be Fun! At least for me :)Don't look for me on American Idol or anything!

5.One of my life's dreams / goals is to sail around the world. I know, sounds kind of crazy, but many people do it and no you do not have to be rich or anything. Just a lot of planning. My wife and I met sailing and we have planned and worked towards this for over 10 years now while still maintaining our normal lives. I can see that it is a real possibility in the next few years. However, I have some Tri goals I need to finish first.

Ok, Alicia that is about all I can muster right now, I hope that works and I am not sure who to tag since I believe most everyone I know or may read this blog has already been tagged at some point. But since I know Alicia will read this... When am I going to see you out on the bike again? I know you are riding somewhere? :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Winter Marathon Focus and 2008 Race Season

I decided to do my first open marathon this winter in Feb at Myrtle Beach. I have never run a full marathon, just an Ironman, and from what I understand, they are very different. I felt it would be good to use the Fall and Winter to focus on my running. So far things are going pretty well, my long runs are up to about 17 miles to date and I am running some good paces and low heart rates that I hope will help me reach my goal of a 3:20 or better marathon, that would qualify me for Boston and would be a good way to start off 2008. I am running 5 days a week and cycling on the weekends, the cycling provides a nice break to the running but also helps me maintain my cycling gains I made last year. Swimming is mixed in 2-3 times a week but consist of very easy drills and bilateral breathing sessions. I found a good way to do this was to start with the bouy and paddles. This allows me to forget about my legs and focus on exactly what is going on with my arms, my head placement, the catch and the pull and how all this relates to breathing on my weak side. So far I keep getting better on my weak side but still need a lot of improvement to ingrain this into my neuromuscular system. My plan is to continue to do this for the next 8-10 weeks and slowly start transitioning the bilateral breathing into regular swimming without bouy and paddles. I am hoping this will just improve my stroke a little more and make me even more efficient in the water. In Early 2008, I plan on joining a masters swim class that I will do 1-2 times per week. Again, this would be new for me and I hope to learn from other more experienced swimmers and to get pushed in the masters swim sessions for fitness. Back to running, I have been watching some videos sent to me from some Tri friends and I have found some minor things that are also making me a more efficient runner by giving me better overall form. Things like arm swing and a flatter foot landing. It is amazing how each year you can get more and more detailed about form and keep making little gains here and there. The average person would have no idea you are doing anything different, but for anyone serious about getting better or who has run for a while they know exactly what I am talking about. Those little gains add up to BIG gains over time.

My race schedule for 2008 is also almost complete, it will go something like this and I will post it shortly.

Myrtle Beach Marathon in Feb

(I currently have 5 NCTS races selected but will add a 6th one shortly)

1. White Lake Sprint - 5/4 (B)

2. Over The Mountain (International) - 5/31 (B)

3. Triangle Sprint - 7/13 (A)

4. Timberman 1/2 IM - 8/17 (AA)

5. Wilmington Sprint - 9/20 (B)

6. Pinehurst International - 10/4 (B)

7. IM Florida - 11/1 (AAA)

That should setup a good race season for 2008, I will post back on how things are shaping up closer to marathon day. Until then enjoy "Turkey Day"! And make sure to get in a short run so you do not feel so bad about all the desert you are going to eat! :)

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Finishing up the year and setting new goals

For some of us, it has been a long season of racing. We are now nearing the end of the season with some headed to Kona after a great year and maybe others completing their first season of Tri. For me, it has been a difficult year in some ways but good in others. I started my 3rd year of Tri with a goal of completing two full distance Iron Man races. Arizona was my first attempt back in April and although I finished the race, I simply did not feel well at all and I was not happy with my result. So I went back to work, determined to do better in the second half of the season, targeting the Inaugural Louisville Iron Man race. How did it go... even worse! I came down with an infection in my large intestine and could not even start. Since I had focused only on the "long course" this year, it was hard to think or want to do any remaining local races. So I decided to take my lumps, figure out what I did well and where I need to go from here.
Here is what I did well in 2007:

1. I put in a LOT of training, looking back at my log, I logged more miles running, biking and swimming than I ever have.

2. I got more efficient! I am a faster at all three sports while maintaining a lower heart rate.

3. I was able to train consistently all year long and utilized my recovery interval better, thus building more quality into my training sessions.

4. I never quit, I always got back on the horse!

Where do I need improvement and what can and should I work on?

1. I need to watch how hard I push towards the edge of overtraining. We all suffer from our strong desire to perform but I might have pushed a little too far and thus put undue stress on my body causing some of my medical issues.

2. I need to do more races ( short and intermediate), I need this so I can better judge where I am in my training and have a "win", "a mental boost", if you will during the season.

3. I need some winter measurements to see how my training is progressing. Last year I had only completed 3 1/2 distance races and I was moving to the full distance by April, so I focused hard on volume and pure endurance to get the distances I needed. This year I need to not only continue this "core" building but also do some additional testing either through training or through racing to determine where my fitness is and when to move to muscular endurance work and speed work thus setting up my race season at the top of my fitness.

What are my goals for 2008 and what is the plan for reaching them.

I have 3 goals to date:

1. Run the Myrtle Beach Marathon in Feb in 3:20 or less.

2. Shoot for top 10 or better finishes in all races next year.

3. Race Iron Man Florida well!

I will reach the first goal by doing a run focus through the fall and winter to prepare myself. That training started this week.

Goal number 2 is very doable. The tougher races like White lake and Timberman will bring national talent so it will be a good test to see how I can stack up. The shorter local races I have and can podium. I need to select the right races and prepare accordingly with good training and good taper.

Goal 3 should finish 2008 off the right way. Simply running an IM is tough, running one well is even tougher and something I really need to do to get my confidence back for that distance. That will be my AAA race of the season and one I will prepare the most for.

I am probably early to the game with all of this, most of you are still looking for a little down time to rest some injuries and get some much needed rest. For me, that was done over the past few weeks and I am ready to get back training again.

See you all out there riding, running, and swimming soon!

Saturday, August 4, 2007

Are you a Doctor?

Two weeks ago I was out on my long Sunday run, planning on running 15-18 miles I started getting some pain in my lower abdomen. So thinking this was a side stitch or something minor I managed to deal with the pain until about mile 13. For the next four days the pain became something that could be best described as mild cramping or tightness in my lower mostly right abdomen. I went through the next few days trying to think of all the typical possibilities one might have like a virus, constipation, heart burn, etc. Over the next 4 days the problem at times got worse. As far as working out that became very difficult, I was very tired and my Heart rate was 15-20 beats higher than it should be. The following day I went to the Doctor, my doc was out on vacation so I saw someone else. He was at a loss and said you might have caught a simple virus or something and I suspect it will clear within a week. So I decide not to do anything but rest. Saturday, after resting for two days, I went out to ride with my normal group and things were even worse, I struggled all day and decided to cut it short at about 55 miles. When I got home I felt like I had been hit by a truck or something. Sunday I got on the computer and started researching all my symptoms again. What I found out was there are about a million things that could be wrong. At this point I was getting emailed from some of my training partners asking... What is the problem? Alisha lions having difficulty with determining a food allergy problem encouraged me to educate myself on everything I could via the Internet and to try and determine the problem by not only talking to the Doctor but cutting out things in my diet that may cause issues. Bottom line collect as much information as you can and try to eliminate as many things as you can. Abdominal pain is one of the toughest things for Doctors to diagnose. Alisha said ... You have to stay on these Doctors and don't let them tell you nothing is wrong. At this point I was down to roughly 4 weeks before my next Ironman race. I was supposed to be hitting everything hard one last time before starting my taper. I was getting very depressed thinking my race may be over unless I can figure this thing out quick. A few more days go by and no improvement, in fact it got worse. I call my regular Doctor and we talk about my blood work etc. nothing there to say anything is wrong either. He gives similar advice... to just rest a couple more days but to call mid week if the problem persist. The next day another good friend tells me not to worry, Nas explained, you already have your fitness, just figure this stomach thing out and you will have 3 weeks left which is a lifetime to do your final prep. She had experienced a similar "life hurdle" last year after being hit by a truck only two months before Lake Placid IM. This helped me regain perspective and I hit the research again. Determined to figure this out, I made another appointment with the Doctor. I wanted to provide him as much info as possible this time around. I decided the best way for me to do this was to force myself to go run. This may sound sort of crazy but when I run I am very in tune with my body and can feel anything that is not right. I can gain just a pound or two and I know it, any little problem I can instantly determine where it is and generally correct it. I pushed myself to run 4 miles at an 8 minute pace, normally that would be a walk in the park. I was spent at the end with my heart rate anaerobic like I was sprinting. I determined exactly where the pain was in my abdomen and proceeded to the doctor that afternoon. Luckily my Doctor is a pretty smart guy and actually "listens" to his patients. He asked me to explain everything from the very beginning, I did and added all the research I had done as well as all the things I had already tried; focusing on the abdomen pain and my elevated heart rate. I told him I thought I had some sort of GI infection. He ask a few more questions, did some examinations to make sure he knew exactly where the pain came from and then diagnosed me with diverticulosis. (Infection in the large intestine) Many people have small pouches in their colons that bulge outward through weak spots, like an inner tube that pokes through weak places in a tire. Each pouch is called a diverticulum. Pouches (plural) are called diverticula. The condition of having diverticula is called diverticulosis. About 10 percent of Americans over the age of 40 have diverticulosis. The condition becomes more common as people age. About half of all people over the age of 60 have diverticulosis. Sometimes these pockets get infected and if not treated can become quite serious. Lucky for me, I caught it early on. My doctor prescribed some antibiotics (Avelox) on Thursday and said I should feel much better on Saturday. He gave me strict instructions to call him on Saturday if I was not getting better. Friday came and I felt twice as bad , so I looked up and found the antibiotics I was taking and found it "can" have some nasty little side effects for some people but nothing too serious, so this was probably the extra bad feeling I was getting now. Saturday came and almost like magic I started feeling much better. Not great, but much better than before. I knew (hoped) at this point the antibiotics were working and the diagnosis was probably correct. I decided it best not to do anything strenuous and just rested all day. I wanted to make sure I got this thing nailed early on without any relapse. Sunday came and I felt even better, so I went out for an easy 25 mile bike ride. All went pretty well, but I felt real weak, like I had been sick :-0. At this point I have 3 weeks before Ironman Louisvlle and my plan is to slowly build my volume and effort through this week hopefully ending the week on Sat/Sun with normal workouts where I feel strong again. Provided that goes well I will then figure out some sort of 2 week taper. I was off sick with no exercise for approx 11 days. Wow did that suck, just another one of those "life hurdles" that you have no control over. I am back training now and started feeling much better, not nearly 100% but hopefully by the end of the week I will be back at 100%. One last thing I noticed when I started feeling better. It was a big change and I only realized then, just how tired and bad I was really feeling. I guess we get used to a certain amount of pain and tired feelings due to our training and thus our thoughts about what is "normal" is much different than non athletes. The next time the Doctor ask me if I am tired, I think I am just going to say YES, because I probably am, but just do not really know I am. Weird!

Lessons learned:

Have a good doctor (I do!) One that listens to you. Research your symptoms on your own via the internet when something like this comes up. As a triathlete you know much more about your body than your doctor does. If you think something is VERY wrong (like I did) it most likely is. Looking back on it, I knew almost instinctively that something was different and wrong. If he is a good Doctor, he will gladly embrace you doing this and recognize your efforts. My doctor said... "Jerry if all my patients did their homework like you did, my job would be pretty easy." Be persistent, but respectful, Doctors are smart and know a lot, but don't be scared to question EVERYTHING they recommend to you. Make them educate you on the diagnoses and how they arrived at this conclusion as well as all the possible options you have for treatment. Again, if they are any good at all, they will appreciate this feedback and the desire for education. Too many Doctors these days are in too much of a hurry and treat people like a number. If you find your doctor doing this, find a new Doctor ASAP, BEFORE you have a problem.

Thanks Alisha and Nas for keeping me focused and headed in the right direction.