May 31, 2007

Wizard of Oz Dress Rehearsal Photos

Anna and Tess have practiced since September for their first ballet production, the Wizard of Oz.

They've learned the 1st and 2nd position... They've learned to curtsy... They've learned lots of other ballet words that their Daddy doesn't understand.
They've become more flexible and more coordinated...
They've developed a lot of new friends...

And tomorrow, they get to be a poppy (Anna) and a snowflake (Tess) in front of about 1500 people.And Daddy gets to wonder once again how there can be such beauty in this world...

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

May 29, 2007

Altitude Schmaltitude

This weekend I decided to try training at altitude, because

and I live at

So I flew to Denver Saturday morning where Stronger picked me up. Now Denver is about 5200 feet, and I was completely expecting to pant like a rabid dog walking off the jet. I was feeling good about my still-calm breathing when we walked with my overweight bike box to her SUV, and then she told me we were going to be riding up to nearly 11000 feet.

Can I handle it? Oh, I can handle it... The pre-trip altitude-schmaltitude smack was about to be tested.

We drove straight to Vail village and within about 2 hours of stepping off the jet I was stepping into my P2SL. Now she claims to not be training for anything particular, but make no doubt about it - Stronger is trained and tough. She's Marine-like, as in always ready for a little battle. I think she was taking it easy on me for the up-part of this ride - and there was a lot of up. The first 14 miles were straight up, and my previous longest sustained climb was the 3 mile leg-killer at Cheaha Mountain. Vail laughed at Cheaha...

We made it to the peak and I snapped this Kodak moment of us with the Vail Summit sign in the background...
Yea, well, obviously I was feeling a bit hypoxic since our summit sign pic turned into a Freudian slip of a pic focused on our quivering quads...

The summit was about 10 degrees cooler than where we started and it was snowing. Yea, snow. On Memorial Day weekend... That's right - sea level is for sissies!

We headed back for the fun downhill, where I found a top speed of 43 mPH on the reasonably narrow tourist-bike laden path. Have I ever mentioned that I LOVE going down? Uhm, downhill that is...

We packed up the bikes and then headed a little further west to pick up a couple of kayaks. Now she offered to take me here:

but, since I had never stepped foot in a kayak she took it easy on me and took me here for my intro to whitewater... Just my speed!The following day brought a trail run on Grizzly Creek, a close tributary of the Colorado River, followed by a "reasonably flat" ride through the canyon. Sounded great! I think I assumed - evil laugh inserted - that since the ride was reasonably flat, the run would be likewise... Oh no... I quickly learned that running in this portion of Colorado implies running hills. There is no other way.

My Garmin didn't see through the tree canopy for this run, but here is the profile I later found for this trail. Here I started feeling the altitude, and I forced our run to become a run/hike. I think Stronger could have continued up indefinitely, but she was a good sport and made me at least half-way believe she was hurting a little too. When we had enough up, we ran briskly down and then biked through the canyon - my legs we so relieved the ride really was basically flat!.

The following morning I met up with Bold, David, Chris, and Stronger and we ran the Bolder Boulder 10k with 50,000 other runners. Yep, no typo there - 50,000! My wave started off at 7:04.30, with Bold 1 minute back and Stronger 2 minutes back.
This was the first non-tri 10k I've ever run, so I was a little unsure how to pace myself. Plus, it was in Colorado, which meant more hills! The first 3/4 of a mile was a fast downhill, and then it went up... and up... and up... Until shortly into the 5th mile when it started to descend again... A couple of brief uphills, and then course ended at the University of Colorado's Folsom Field football stadium.

I was in a wave with a predicted finish time of 46-47 minutes, and I was hoping to at least make that prediction. My first mile went by in 6:45, but then I hit the ups. The second mile dropped to 7:15, and each consecutive mile slowed slightly. When I hit the 4 mile mark in 30 minutes, I was doing the math on what I needed to run to make it under 48. Just under 9 minute miles - piece of cake! My fear of being passed by Bold and Stronger kept me pushing. Luckily the 5th and 6th mile downhills refreshed me, and I was able to slip past the finish in an unofficial 47:01. I love racing new distances because it's always a PR!

Well, that was my weekend. The rides and runs were memorable, the friends even moreso. Stronger was awesome for dragging me around for some amazing rides and runs. Maybe next time, I'll be able to keep up better climbing Vail. And maybe next time, we'll be ready for this:
Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

May 24, 2007

The Meeting

I was reminded tonight of the strength of anticipation.

You see, my kids' mom told me a couple of months ago that she had gotten engaged to J. My initial reaction I think was a mix of anger and shock - mostly I think because E and J had only known each other for at most 6 months prior to deciding to marry. 6 months when 4 young kids are involved just seemed hasty.

I had made a point of not asking the kids about J. He lives a few hours away, so they only see him every couple of weeks. They talked about him a little, revealing little bits of info that didn't exactly make me feel very secure that he was going to be permanently involved in their lives.

They told me he talks a lot about farting and has showed them a web site where you can download fart noises. I learned this after questioning my then 6 year old daughter when she used the word fart in conversation with my mother. Now I've nothing against the word fart or farting, but I'm of the opinion that the word is best left to conversations between teenage boys or adults acting like teenage boys (which I do, not infrequently).

The kids also told me J works with tools. Great! The roughly 1/3 of my multi-6 figure salary that I send to them is going to be supporting the guy that's swinging the hammer and smoking pot at the home renovation next door.

I had asked E about meeting J after they got engaged. We had a little trouble scheduling it, and finally tonight we met. They came to my house after I had put the kids to sleep, and we sat on the deck and all drank a beer and talked.

Now I had absolutely dreaded meeting J. I had him pictured wearing greased blue jeans with a black bowling shirt with his name engraved, a slicked back mullet, and a tattoo on his arm of a heart with an arrow through it. I was certain he was the picture in Webster beside the definition of redneck.

But guess what?

J seems like an alright guy. He doesn't swing a hammer - he sells industrial tools to commercial accounts for a multi-billion dollar company. He's roughly the same age as E and me (although he's already all gray - poor dude...), and he graduated from the same university.

He's easy to talk to, not physically intimidating at all (and no mullet, and no name engraved on his shirt...), and said explicitly that he is not an axe murderer or a child molester. He apparently has even gotten the FAA/TSA extensive security screen that's optional for people who fly a ton and passed that, so I guess he probably isn't on any sexual predator lists.

I didn't ask him about the farting infatuation...

I admit I still don't like another guy having such close access to my kids. But I also will admit that I think I'm going to get along with, and maybe even like, this particular guy.

Before they left after sitting around together for an hour and a half, I even managed to tell them I was genuinely happy for them.

And I was happy to get this meeting over with...

And I'm happy that the real reality isn't nearly as bad as the anticipated reality. At least not yet...

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

May 22, 2007

Adversity - the Florida Half Ironman Race Report

Well friends it's time to tell the tale. I wish the tale went a little differently, but then I wouldn't have learned nearly as much.

The story starts, as it always does, with the planning. There was a lot of planning to do for this trip. I have 4 kids that divide their time between 2 houses. I took Emma to Orlando with me for a birthday trip, the kids' mom took Tess to the beach for her birthday trip, and my sister kept Anna and Aidan at her house for the weekend. Ever tried packing for 4 kids with stuff from 2 different houses for 3 different trips in 3 separate places? All the while trying to pack your own stuff for your first destination triathlon? Yea, it ain't easy...

The first inkling I had of things going wrong was on the way to the airport when I realized I forgot my razor and clippers. I know, not that big a deal, but I was hoping to exude the mohawk vibes again. Turned out that was the first and most minor of all the turbulence.
Now I'm no saint. Far from it. But I never ever once have dropped the F bomb in the presence of my mom. You see, I took my mom to Disney with us so Emma would have a peep to hang with during the race. So we were sitting in the airplane waiting to take off on the connector to Atlanta when I realized it, and my first reaction was turning toward my mom and blurting "Oh f*^%*!!!"

My mom looked at me and asked what was wrong. I laughed. Couldn't believe it. I looked at the clock on my phone - nope, no time... My wheels were still sitting in my bedroom at home. My bike was safely loaded in my new bike box in the belly of the jet but my wheels - still waiting by my bed ready to be packed.

So my first day in Orlando was divided between the Magic Kingdom and calling around trying to find a pair of wheels. IronGirlNyhus was awesome in trying to pimp her friend Andrew's wheels for me. Luckily, Andrew was a good sport about it when we met at dinner the next night. I finally did find a set of wheels to rent at the race expo (although they initially told me they were rented out but when i got on my knees and begged and cried a little bit (well, maybe I didn't actually cry and I guess my knees never touched the ground but if i needed to i was prepared...) the tech stripped the wheels off a rental bike that hadn't been rented yet), and I was set.

Well, kind of.

Saturday morning I met up with Laura, Nick, Tim, and Steve. We went for an illegal swim in the warm warm lake before being chased away by the pesky staff (no pre-race swims, no raceday warm-ups... what's up with that?). We then met up with Brent and went for a short ride.

While we were riding, my attention was focused on the wheels. I didn't really pay attention to anything else, and this would end up a another big mistake - read on...

During our ride we ran across the kids splash and dash race and got a healthy dose of inspiration...
Later Saturday Emma and I went back to Magic Kingdom and played with Mickey and friends until late afternoon. Then, I hurried back to our resort (Port Orleans Riverside - if you do this race, don't stay here. It's only 3 or 4 miles from the race headquarters but there is NO transportation to/from).

I hopped on my bike to ride over to transition and check my bike in when I realized there was no air in the rear tire. Hmph. Now one thing that had kind of concerned me about these wheels were they were tubeless and I had never been on tubeless tires. No idea how to change them. No extra tires. And I hadn't brought a pump because I've always just used someone else's in transition on raceday.

So I had about an hour and a half, a flat tire, and 3 1/2 miles to get my bike to transition before the 6pm cutoff. I checked with the bellboys and confirmed there were no Disney buses that would take me there. And the cabs would drop me off at the front gate of the race resort but I would then have a mile more to get to transition - I didn't like that either. So I tipped the bellboy an arm and a leg and he took me in one of the Disney vans to transition with an hour to go before closing. Whew...

After this I was frustrated enough to walk away with my tire still flat with plans to tackle it on race morning. And finally, it was off to dinner. Well, it wasn't quite that easy. From the wilderness campgrounds where the race was headquartered I had to take a ferry across the lake to the Magic Kingdom, then take a bus from there to my resort. Then I met up with Emma and my mom and we took a cab to Downtown Disney for dinner. 45 minutes late. I felt so bad when I called Laura to tell her we were going to be late and she said they wouldn't seat anyone until all 10 of us were there. I think I owe you guys a few beers in Zurich!

Finally, race morning. I woke at 0330 since I still had no idea how I was going to get from my resort to the race-site. I ate a bowl of fruit, yogurt, and a clif bar and then ventured out. I had no idea when I left the room at 415 that I wouldn't see Emma again until after the race...

When I walked to the front of the resort and saw a bus and a couple of dozen helmet-bearing triathlete-looking people boarding it, I thought my luck was starting to change. I jumped on, sat in the back, and started Chasing Cars on the ipod. Somehow a Disney bus can turn 3 1/2 miles into 30 minutes, so I repeated 4 or 5 times and then we arrived.

My first mission was to find a bike pump and inflate rear tire. Check. Now I had an hour and a half to kill before starting. I was in the 3rd race wave, starting behind the pro women, because of my Challenged Athlete Foundation involvement. So I laid on the beach for awhile,watched the sky turn from midnight blue to light grey, and then went to check my tires again about a half hour before racetime.

When I checked them, the tires seemed to be a little less than the 120psi I had inflated them to an hour prior, but I thought that was probably me just being overly-concerned and weary. So I called it good and went off for the swim.

It's a Beautiful Day from U2 blared into the morning sky as the air-horn blared signalling the start of my first half Ironman. Now it was real. I let the other 100 people in my wave run off the beach while I slowly meandered my way into the water. I was in no hurry... At this point I kept myself steady by constantly reminding myself that this was nothing but a training exercise.
Now I've heard it said a hundred times that the first part of the swim is like a washing machine, and now I can vouch for the accuracy of that analogy. Blue gray water became all white as arms and legs flailed. After a couple of hundred yards and no signs of clearing, I moved toward the outside and blue water where I remained for the duration of the 1.2 miles.

The swim was remarkably easy. I made a point of going slower than I thought I needed to. I absolutely did not want a repeat of my embarrassing doggie paddle/backfloat 55 minute 1500 meter swim at the Music City Tri last fall. And I did it - all freestyle - without ever needing a break and without any problems. Swim time - 46:32

I exited the water and ran into transition and discovered -

a flat rear tire...

So I ran around the transition area until I saw a free pump and pumped the tire up to 120 again. I didn't know how to change a tubeless, and I wasn't going to piss time away trying to get a tech guy to help me at this point. I figured I must have a slow leak and at worst I would have to stop and reinflate periodically during the ride. I kept steady by constantly reminding myself that this was nothing but a training exercise.

After a painfully long transition (4:52) I rode off into the sunrise. The first 5 miles were great, and then I felt like I was riding through molasses. The pressure in my rear tire was already low. I resigned myself to a slow ride and moved to the right and started taking in the sights.

At 20 miles I was completely flat. I kept riding - hey, they weren't my wheels or my friends' wheels, so no big deal... Yea, I was riding slow... I made it a couple of miles to the first aid station where there luckily was a support truck. He reinflated me to 140 and I was off.

I had about 10 good miles this time before the pressure dropped. I felt great for those 10 though and was passing EVERY thing near me. This happened to also be the only hilly section of the course and I dominated the hills.

And then the pressure dropped again, and I started sight-seeing. I never saw another tech truck, but luckily the tire never completely flatted again. When I pulled into T2 I'm guessing I had about 60 psi left... Bike time - 3:04.59

Now other than the tire issues, I discovered another bike issue almost immediately after exiting T1. My fit was off. You see, when I put my bike together and rode on the day before the race, I was concentrating enough on the wheel feel that I didn't pay attention to the fit. But the first time I went aero on raceday I knew it was off. My seatpost was too high. I couldn't get in the aero position at all. Wouldn't work, not flexible enough in that position.

So for the entire 56 miles of basically flat riding I was upright. Not the best way to get a good bike time on this nearly pancake flat course...

Finally I hit T2. I've never been happier to get off my bike than I was in this race. I made a porta-john stop and then started the run. T2 - 2:36

The run surprised me because I had no idea that 70% of it was trail-running. Don't you think they should have mentioned that SOMEwhere in the race literature/course description? Not that it really is a huge deal, but come on - let us know what to expect...

2 or 3 miles into the run and my quads were screaming at me to stop. You see, my quads aren't use to the extra work they were getting on the bike thanks to my high seatpost issue. Luckily the run was flat as a pancake and my mind was able to tell the quads to shut up and do your job. And they did their job, but with more pain than I wanted.
Now on the 3 loop run I kept looking for my mom and Emma, but I couldn't find them. Perfect run course for spectators, but no Emma. After the first lap, no big deal. After the second lap I was a little disappointed. After the final lap and when I finally crossed the finish line (Run time - 1:56.16), I still hadn't seen my daughter.

At the pre-race dinner my mom had said that she wanted to make sure Emma saw her daddy racing since the last race she went to she didn't get to see me finish. So here I am having just finished my first half Ironman and the thing on my mind is not that I hurt or that I was proud or relieved it was has something happened to my daughter? Why isn't she here? Why didn't she see me racing? My mom made a point of saying that it was important to her for Emma to see me - where are they?

I collected my medal and finisher's swag and stumbled around for a few minutes at the finish line, hoping they would have heard my name and found me. Nope... I started the search...

I walked around for 20 or so painful minutes before finally seeing my beautiful daughter and her gramma, both safe and happy! My mom tried so hard but had no idea where she was supposed to be. She had been waiting at the entrance to T2 for hours and never saw me enter and then leave to start the run.

After the race I got cleaned up and then headed back to the Magic Kingdom. I turned in the rented wheels on the way, and they didn't notice any damage from being ridden flat (whew!!).
The next day we played at MGM, and then finally we were done with Orlando. We were sitting in the airport about to board our jet when I realized my house/car keys were still sitting in our hotel room. After confirming with the resort manager that they were there and could be sent overnight, I couldn't help but laugh at myself.

We finally got to Birmingham about 11 last night, took a taxi home, and I shattered a window to break into my house. My friend Mike brought over my spare car that he'd been using for the last few weeks, and the saga was finally over.

I learned a lot from this trip. Most of all, I think I learned that I can't be everything and do everything all of the time. Between the kids, and work, and training and racing, I stay too busy. I don't sleep enough. This trip was the first trip I ever have made with my kid(s) that I wished I had a significant other with me. My mom is great, but she was just along for the ride. I needed someone there that had as much invested in the experience as me. Someone to help with a checks and balances system and help fill the gaps that I left. This trip was a big reality check for me. I can't do everything.

So that's the tale of my first triathlon travel adventure. Zurich is in 4 weeks - I hope to tell a much rosier tale after that race!

Final time - 5:55.15 (136/271 M30-34, 932/2048 overall)

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

May 20, 2007

Florida 70.3 Race Report

In order of priority:

Emma and I are having a blast playing with Mickey and friends...

I finished the race under 6 hours. There were issues...

More to come...

May 16, 2007

New Journeys

Well, the time has finally come to put up or shut up.

Later today I will fly to Disney for a few days with Mickey and the Florida Half Ironman on Sunday. I will finally get to see what it's like to play this triathlon game on the national stage.

When I was first challenged to my first sprint tri last summer, I had no idea that I would embrace this sport like I have.

Triathlon has given me a focus outside of work and family, a focus that has been lacking for many years as evidenced by my various dabblings in everything from racing cars to political sport. Triathlon has taught me that my limits aren't really limits but rather are excuses for me not to do something. If I want something bad enough, and it is physically possible, then I can do it. It may take me a few months or years to figure out the right formula, learn the right technique, but I can do it. I will do it.

Triathlon has given my body bulges of muscle in new places - my quads, my upper back, my calves. It's given me a resting hr that hovers around 50. It's let me eat more ice cream... ;)

I was never really an athlete when I was growing up. Yea, I was athletic. But competitive athletics were not encouraged by my family. I played a little football but I had too many casts on various body parts to play consistently. I ran a little but had no role models and had no idea how to properly run or train. I played golf a little but, again, I had no role models to teach me.

But triathlon has taken me from athletic to athlete. While Crossfit introduced me to fitness, triathlon has taken me to the next level. I hadn't done pull-ups in a few months before last week when I easily pulled a set of 20. There are veins bulging on my arms that I've never before seen. I can go outside right this second and run 15 miles and actually be able to walk tomorrow morning. That to me is amazing... I feel like an athlete, like a competitor.

I doubt I ever will win a triathlon, and probably will never even be competitive in my age group. But that's not the point in triathlon. The point is getting yourself ready to go the distance. It's the journey, not the destination. And I think this journey is pretty damn sweet.

The journey.

So for this particular journey to Disney, I'll be taking Emma and my mom. Emma turns 7 on the 23rd so she gets a birthday Disney trip, and my mom is coming to play and help Emma cheer during the race. My mom is the best! Friday we'll play in the Disney parks, then Saturday will be split between race prep and probably another park. Sunday will be devoted to the race, and Monday will be spent playing in the parks until we leave Monday evening.

It's looking like the tri-blogger community will be well represented for this race. 6 or 7 of us are planning to get together Saturday for bike rides and dinner.
I can't wait to meet IronGirlNyhus and Tri Nick, 2 of the Gear West team that also will be travelling to Zurich for IM Switzerland next month.

In other news, I've added another race to my schedule. I'm heading to Colorado Memorial Day weekend for a couple days of cycling and then Bolder's namesake race, the Bolder Boulder. This will be the first 10k running race I've ever done, and I must admit, I'm more than a bit nervous about the elevation changes and the altitude. Boulder looks like it is about 5500 feet, and I live at - oh, about 700 feet. Yikes!!!

But no matter how much I suck at the race, I'm looking forward to meeting him and her, and other bloggers making there way to Boulder to run with 50,000 of their closest friends.

The next 2 weeks is going to R O C K!!

Until next time, thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

May 14, 2007

Weekend Recap, and My First Ironman Swim

This weekend left me exhausted, sunburned, and proud...

Saturday morning Emma and Anna had their last soccer games of the spring. Emma, in typical fashion, scored 3 goals for her team. Anna, likewise in typical fashion, told the coach she wanted to play on the bench instead of on the field. Too cute... I forgot my a hat and sunscreen so my nearly bald head was an ultraviolet magnet that has had me on the verge of screaming with each shower the last 2 days.

After soccer and an early mother's day lunch with my mom and sister, I went to the Y to swim. Now I'm not following any training plan, and I basically just try to get 3 sessions a week of each tri discipline plus 1 or 2 hours of stretching and strength. I knew I was going to swim, but I didn't have any set plan for the session. So I just started swimming. And kept swimming. And swimming... For an hour and twenty-eight minutes until I hit 2.4 miles!! I swam the Ironman swim!!

After that, I was exhausted for the day and went home and napped before work Saturday night.

Sunday morning I travelled a couple hours north to pick up a bike travel case that I had bought off ebay. I spent a few minutes talking to the guy selling it to me. He had bought it to travel to tris, but then stopped racing when his 6th kid was born! Says he just lost the last bit of time he had to do any training when the 6th one came. Wow! And I thought 4 was alot...

After I got home I hurried out on the bike into the 90 + degree afternoon. I had wanted to get 80 + miles, but the heat and the hills and not much sleep were too much for me. I ended up with 60 miles and 4300 feet of elevation gain in about 3 hours and 15 minutes. I went for a quick 4 mile transition run in 31 minutes, then rushed home to shower and get back to work for the night.

Here is the Garmin graph from the ride:

I'm more than a little happy that this weekend's race, the Florida Half Ironman, won't have nearly that much elevation change!

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

May 11, 2007

Newton Running Shoes - a Review

After the 15 miles on the treadmill Wednesday, I was going to run outside today no matter how hot. 90+ for my noon mile repeats on the soccer fields... I don't know which is harder, the treadmill or the heat, but I sure had more fun outside.

Anna and Aidan played on the playground outside the field while I ran, and every few minutes Anna would run my opposite direction to steal a daddy kiss. That girl...

So the last few weeks I've put about a 100 miles on the new Newton running shoes, and let me tell you - these things rock! They are different than any shoes I've ever tried in that they force you to run in a more anatomically correct way.

I've read their website a few times and looked over the information that came with the shoe, and I still don't understand how it works. Actuators, membranes, Sir Isaac Newton, reactions creating propulsion... It all sounds pretty damn complicated to me.

But it works. OMG it works. Before trying these, I thought I consistently landed on my forefoot. Oh no. Now I know what it feels like to really strike with your forefoot, and let me tell you - it feels great!

I honestly feel like I'm running like I would if I were barefoot. No heel strikes - it's basically impossible to strike with your heel first in these shoes. And my knees already notice the difference and are thanking me with pain-free runs over all surfaces so far.

I noticed another advantage to the shoes. I tend to have too much lateral motion in my legs, as opposed to strict anterior/posterior motion, while running. I'm hypothesizing that this issue is what has tended to give me recurrent iliotibial band problems. Well, for some reason with the Newtons and striking in the forefoot, I'm running with almost no lateral movement.

I don't know if these things will make me any faster or not. I feel like they will, like they already have. I do feel confident that I am running in a more anatomically correct way thanks to the Newtons, and I'm hopeful this will help avoid some recurrent nagging injuries that have plagued me in the past.

Newton running shoes - they don't pay me, but I still recommend them.

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

May 10, 2007


A 15 mile run...
Treadmill or Ninety degrees?
Boredom is defined.

May 7, 2007

Hills, More Hills, and Mohawks

Another training week of IM Switzerland deposits has come and gone, and a quick check of the calendar tells me there are only 48 days until racetime! Aaaaaggghhhhhhh!!

Where have all those months gone??

This weekend I had a couple of key training sessions, not to mention a ton of fun doing them. Saturday I had a hills session on the bike. Big gear, 100% of time in the saddle, stroking going up and coasting going down. Can you say - BURN!!! It's 2 days later and I can still feel the burn from that one.

Then Saturday afternoon I swam in the lake to practice sighting. I only swam for about 10 minutes before I became paranoid of all the boats speeding past nearby. I hate the underwater sound of a boat engine - from the moment you hear it until it sounds like it is right on you happens so fast, I thought a couple times I was certainly about to be propeller turbulence. So I cut the swim short. But I was rather satisfied with my sighting and direction for the short time I worked on it.

During my bike ride Saturday I met another biker Brock who lives full-time at Willow Point at the lake. He recommended to me a nearby trail if ever I have my mountain bike with me. Well, no mountain bike this weekend; but, I figured if it was good for a mountain bike, it probably is good for running shoes!

So Sunday I set off to find this trail and it turned out to be incredible. Up and down hills on old fire road with a few creek crossings and noone - no one - else on the trail for the 10 miles I travelled. Sweet! For any locals that might be reading you can find this gem by turning off Hwy 63 onto Willow Point Cutoff Rd (about halfway between US280 and Kowaliga Marina), and then the trail is a half mile on your left and marked by several boulders at the trail head. I highly recommend it.

Little man Aidan and I got mohawks over the weekend. We snapped some pics to document it, but mine will be shaved off before I go back to work tonight - I don't think a mohawk is considered a physicianly cut... But Aidan gets to keep his for awhile - lucky guy...

May 3, 2007

Warning - potentially offensive

There are few scenarios I see in the ER which I find truly disgusting. I'm talking lose your lunch disgusting. Let me tell you about the worst one.

Now let this be your warning - if you are easily offended, or if your kids are reading this with you, don't read below this paragraph. Seriously.

Ok, so you've got a tough stomach? No, then come back Monday and read my next post - it will be gentler. Promise.

Now if you still are reading, don't say I didn't warn you.

The subject of this post is lost rectal foreign bodies that present to the ER.

Yea, I warned you...

So a few days ago a very nice, nice and sweet, middle age guy comes to see me.
"Sir, how can I help you tonight?"
"Doc, this is the most embarrassing thing I've ever done..."

Uhm, yea. I hope so.

He continued to tell me that he had been pleasuring himself with a jar of hair gel. No, not typos there. A jar of hair gel.

Ok, I think I missed that chapter in my 10th grade Teenage Sexuality textbook. Thank God.

So I take as much of a history as I can trying to put myself in the right mindset to examine this guy's problematic area. Finally, I pull one of my nurse's in the room so that my battle-story can be validated if need be, and I get to work.

First I probed enough to get an idea of the shape and size and location of this thing. Now hair gel containers come in many different sizes, and luckily this one was reasonably short. Short, but FAT. Way fat. As in the size of the big tub of Vaseline fat.

So, being the nice guy I am, I knock him out with a couple of potent injections, and I get busy trying to pull it out.

First with one finger. Uhm, not going to happen. 2 fingers. Nope. My right hand. Still can't get it. Both hands.

Now let's pause here for just a second and think about this guys. Both hands. All 10 fingers, up to about 2 inches on the wrist side of where your fingers connect with your hands. Feeling a little queasy right about now? Yea, me too.

I work at it for 15 or 20 minutes before realizing that I'm not delivering this baby myself. It had gotten stuck by the rectal vacuum phenomenon just above the curve of the tailbone.

So, after a couple of phone calls, he went off to the operating room for surgery.

Now this wasn't the first time I've dealt with rectal foreign bodies, and more times than not they end up in the OR. Over the years, I've extracted from the rectum cans of shaving cream, medicine bottles, packets of crack, vibrators, a razor blade and even a (dead) hamster.

So, 2 requests. Guys, ladies - don't do this to yourself. And if you for some ghastly reason decide that you need to experience this sensation, tie a string on it. Please. Pretty please... Your local ER doc will be much appreciative...

Thanks for reading My Daily Spin.

May 1, 2007

Birthday Party!

Yesterday we celebrated the 4th anniversary of Anna's birthday! I took cupcakes and party goodies to her school for her school birthday party, and then she had all afternoon and evening alone with daddy (a rarity for her to have time away from her 3 siblings).
We played on the playground, where she serenaded the other kids repeatedly as you can see from the video.
Then we went to DQ for blizzards and went home to open presents.