Monday, May 27, 2013

Quote of the Day.

"And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free. And I won't forget the men who died, who gave that right to me." -Lee Greenwood

Saturday, May 18, 2013

The trash can incident.

One of my garbage cans broke. I found it split down the side. I am blaming it on raccoons since I think they try to knock the cans over and hop on them to get to the feast (at least from a raccoon perspective) inside. The net of this incident was that I needed to buy a new can.

I didn't think that buying a can would be an issue but was more concerned with how to throw out a garbage can. People were recommending to leave a note on it, to put it in the back of the car and find a dumpster to dump it in or to just tip our garbage men to take it away. The problem is that we are the first stop for our garbage men in the morning and that means that they often are at our house before 5am so talking to them (or tipping them) would be a challenge. Our garbage men are good and take almost everything in the almost 20 years we've lived in this house.

While thinking of my approach on broken can disposal, I went to the local Lowe's where they had quite a selection of new cans. I chose a nice wheeled can that had a rather solid cover (to frustrate those pesky critters to the point where they'll go somewhere else for midnight snacks). I got two of the larger cans to minimize the schlepping. I've had an issue in the past where we've "lost" the top of the cans so I got some spray paint and painted our address on the cans.

The other morning I needed to go to work early so was leaving the house about quarter to five and heard the garbage truck. I grabbed the broken can and walked down to the street to give it to them. I said good morning and they said that there was a problem with the new cans. They were too big per the guys. They said that the town passed a law a while back that said the maximum size can be 32 gallons. Our old cans were bigger than that but they said they were grandfathered in so they kept taking the garbage. They said that they wouldn't take the garbage in the new 45 gallon cans. I mentioned that facts like this would have been nice to know BEFORE I brought new cans and asked why would the store sell cans that couldn't be used? They, of course, couldn't answer that. They did take the broken can.

I mentioned before that these guys have been great over the years. I checked the town code and it does say 32 gallons or 50 lbs. max. I can't return the cans because my address is spray painted in them. I can understand the rationale if some people loaded up these cans to the brim they could be extremely heavy and that isn't really fair to the guys who have to lift them.  I'm not blaming the guys. I'm blaming mysef a little but I'm more upset at the store for not simply putting a sign up with the regulations.

Now I have 2 new cans that I can't use, have to buy 2 new ones and do this all again. $80 down the drain. An expensive lesson. I'm sure I won't be the only one learning this lesson though.

Do you throw out new unusable garbage cans?

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Not doing and doing stuff.

I took off Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday from work this week. I did not go away. I did not have a race-cation. I did not go looking at colleges for my daughter. I took off simply to help improve my mindset. I tried to avoid work as much as possible and I set some lofty goals to sleep in, do as much or as little as I felt, and to think about my personal goals for this year and beyond related to weight loss plans and racing. I think I met those goals. Of course, every time I put on the TV it appeared that "Office Space" was on and that kept me thinking of work.

The good news about this effort is that I came to some conclusions. Most of the conclusions have to do with desire and focus. I can still have a successful year but I need to prioritize and get to work. I've decided not to cancel on IMAZ. I have a couple of other training events that will act as checkpoints to see if I'm progressing. I remembered that this stuff should be fun. We get to do it - we don't have to.

I've decided to start the C25K as "Couch" is a good description of my running fitness at this time. My fitness level will change. It will improve. I still have the chance to do great stuff or at least damn good.

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Chris Christie and another fat guy.

News reported last week that Gov. Chris Christie had lap band surgery last February. Dr. George Fielding of the NYU Langone Medical Center did the surgery. Since the operation it was reported that the governor has lost about 40 pounds. He has not said how much he weighed when the surgery was performed but estimates were that he was somewhere between 300 and 350 pounds.

The picture on the left was from when the he was on the Letterman show recently. I haven't seen any post surgery pictures of Gov. Christie but when I look at pictures of him from before his surgery I see someone who I consider fat. I'm sure that everyone has a different gage as to what is fat versus what is not fat but I rationalize it as someone who is much fatter than I am (at least through my eyes).

Objectively, though, I am in the same weight range as Gov. Christie. I don't think I'm as fat as he is but I guess I am. I'm not proud of this but facts are facts.

I haven't been training as much as I did in the past for a whole bunch of reasons. Am I getting fatter since I'm training less or am I training less because I'm gaining weight? I don't know. There will come a point in my life where I will not be able to train the volume that I have in the past. That point may in fact be now.

Before this news came out, I made an appointment and saw Dr. Fielding to talk about weight loss and weight loss surgery options. He is very persuasive and lays out a very well thought out rationale. One of his points is that you rarely see fat old people. Why? Because they all die before they can get old. I also know a lot of people that have successfully lost weight after a heart attack or stroke or something like that. The choice is to lose it now and avoid that potentially life ending event or not. My weight is high enough to qualify for the surgery.

I haven't decided what to do yet.

I did realize some things though. The bariatric folks are into meal replacement drinks and gave me a list of those that they recommend as healthy (you would be amazed how they differ nutritionally). I'm trying them to see if I can tolerate them by starting to have them for breakfast and will continue down the list for taste and other stuff.

Gov. Christie said that he is now working with a personal trainer 4x a week. I looked at what is preventing me from training (I know what to do) and found it is all about priority. I seem to find things (normally not significant things) that I do instead of training. There are ways to solve that problem.

I'll try this and watch what I eat. Maybe then I'll be less of a fat guy. I need to. It will be either one way or another.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Wind and cold or sausages?

I haven't been following a structured training plan in a while. This fact does not bode well for my 2013 race calendar but I need it that now for my sanity and future. The net of this is that I am not training more than I am training but when I train my primary goal is to have fun rather than increase fitness or test or to generally embrace "the suck" or (you get the idea).

This morning I decided to ride with the TNT group out east. They had 3 routes on the docket: a 25 miler, a 42 miler, and a 73 miler. The team is gearing up for a century ride on June 1, just a few weeks away, and I expect to be joining them. My training is not where it needs to be but I believe I can fake it through a century. A better way to say that, though, is that I've faked a century before, survived, and didn't pay too high of a recovery price. At least that's how I remember it.

The weather yesterday was beautiful here. The high temperature was about 70 degrees and it was a perfect day. Unfortunately, the ride was today. I woke up and it was 39 degrees and the wind was whipping. My daughter's track team was volunteering at the local marathon/half marathon so I needed to leave the house anyway to drop her off.  The cool weather was good for the runners but I decided to not mess with the cycling gods. I knew if I wore tights, it would get warm, so I wore shorts. I did wear a windbreaker but didn't bring full finger winter gloves.

When I met the people for the ride it seems like some of them were dressing for Shackelton's Antarctic expedition. People were looking for reasons to bail and I knew if one person bailed, there would be a stampede to the diner. I started whispering the work "sausages" while people were pumping up their tires. The wind seemed it was howling. The sky was getting darker. I decided to do the 42 miler route and see what the weather looked like and how I felt. The groups left.

We pushed the pace a little harder that was comfortable for me. I really can't complain since for a lot of the ride I was setting the pace. I kept asking, dare I say begging, for the group to drop me so I could bail and turn around to head back to the cars. They wouldn't. I said I would pay for the sausages. They still wouldn't. Dayum.

At the end of the ride it was still windy. It was still cold but probably was now high 40s. Nobody got sausages. They chose wind and cold over sausages! I think the world stopped rotating there a moment.

Maybe I am embracing the suck. Just a little.

PS: Maybe I wasn't as focused on sausages as I recall though. Think I can sell sausages for dinner tonight at home?