August 31, 2007

24 Hours of Triathlon

My initial plan was to go to the 24 hours of triathlon to serve as support crew.

Then, my arm was twisted into competing in the 8 hour of triathlon version.

I realized that IM MOO was the following weekend, so I changed to an 8 hour relay team to split the effort 3 ways.

But I discovered I would have to be in court the day after IM, so I had to cancel. I needed something more epic than an 8 hour relay, so I changed to the full 24 hour race as a solo.

And then I broke my foot, and I can't run until October.

So now I'm doing a sort of aquathon. For the 24 HOT and its 8 HOT sibling, you have to complete the 1st swim bike run in that order, and then you can do any discipline in any order for the duration of the 8 hours.

I'll do the swim, then bike, then walk the 1st run leg. After that, I'll swim and ride my bike for the duration of the 8 hours.

Should I swim for 3 hours and then bike for the remaining 3 1/2? Or should I swim bike swim bike swim bike in even proportions? Or should I do a couple of swims then a couple of bikes and alternate in that manner?

Each swim is 0.5 miles, and each bike is just under 10 miles.

Or maybe I should just swim the entire time...

Decisions Decisions...

August 27, 2007

Back in the Saddle

A week of basic inactivity has let my broken foot become essentially painfree again so I was back on the bike and at the pool today.

You know that saying - miss a day and no one notices, miss 2 or 3 days and only you notice, miss a week and everyone notices. Well, today, I think anyone could have noticed.

I trudged along on the computtrainer for a measly 30 minutes at 150W, then went to the gym and swam a couple thousand yards. When I jumped in the pool Matt asked me how far I was swimming, and I felt like a real wuss when I had to respond probably not very far. There was a time when I would have shot back 2 miles, or maybe even 2 1/2 miles. But today, not very far was all I could muster.

After the swim, I grabbed a couple of those dumbell foam floatie things and went to the deep water and aqua-ran for about 35 minutes until thunder struck and they shut down the pool. It was my first experience with aqua running, and I didn't feel like it did much. Maybe I need to aqua sprint, or at least aqua run for longer.

Then I went inside and rowed 5000 meters on the Concept 2, my new best friend. I had played around with it when I was doing Crossfit more regularly, but the last few weeks since I hurt my foot I've spent some serious QT with rowing across my imaginary endless lake.

Then I did a little lifting and core exercises and stretching, and then I finished off with 30 minutes of climbing stairs.

Total time 3 1/2 hours...

It's funny how when you can't do something you miss it more than you ever thought you would. I haven't run in more than a week now, and I can't run until October 1. That would give me only about 9 weeks to prepare for the Marathon of the Palm Beaches in December, where I had hoped to have a shot at a BQ time. I think I'll drop to the half marathon for that race, if I do it at all, and focus my sights on the Rock N Roll Arizona Marathon in mid January.

If my foot complies, that is...

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

August 23, 2007

the latest tag

TJ tagged me last week, so here goes:

Jobs I've Held: newspaper boy, hammock maker, shipping clerk, customer service manager, pizza deliverer, Kmart garden shop worker (for 1 day), telemarketer, door-to-door cleaning supply sales (for 1 day), collector, medical records clerk, iq test administerer, newspaper columnist, congressional campaign staffer, DC lobbyist, breast cancer genetics researcher, flight physician, emergency physician

Movies I Can Watch Over and Over:

Stripes, Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Caddyshack

Places I Have Lived:

Alabama, Washington DC, Michigan

Shows I Enjoy:

Dog the Bounty Hunter (ok, the secret is out...)

Vacation Spots:

47/50 US states, Caribbean, Switzerland... current favorite remains SanDestin...

Favorite Foods:
scallops, raw oysters with tobasco on saltine crackers, buffalo steak, beef strouganoff...

Websites I Visit Daily:,,,, and of course - google!

Body Parts I Have Injured:

Right knee, Broken left leg, 2 broken toes, 1 broken foot, broken nose, broken thumb...

Nicknames I've Been Called:


August 21, 2007

Muddy Buddy Recap

Sunday I did my first MuddyBuddy race in Boulder, and it was undoubtedly unlike anything I've ever done. If you get the chance to do a race in this series - do it. There is a carnival atmosphere, you get to play in the mud, it's a big race but without a competitive feel, and it's just a rockin' good time...

I hung with Stronger and fam...

I saw Bolder's playground, the Boulder Res...

I was entertained by 2 of the most adorable kids ever!

I crawled through a giant mud pit - twice!

Mud Mud Everywhere!

But the race did come at a price - my maybe stress-fractured foot that I decided to race on anyway wasn't able to be walked on when I woke yesterday morning. So, I'm on crutches for a stint and out of running for a few weeks. Despite probably making the injury a little worse, I'd do it again in a heartbeat given the chance.
I owe an extra special thanks to my super muddybuddy for running a lot faster than I did and keeping us reasonably competitive. You're the best C!
Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

August 16, 2007


It's Muddy Buddy week!

Today I leave for Colorado for some high altitude racing muddybuddy style. For anyone not in the know, muddybuddy is a nationwide series of races that have teams of two biking, running, and completing obstacles over the muddiest course the designers can create.

It's wet and gooey and sticky and slippery and slimy and dirty AND it's racing! Woohoo!!!!

My muddybuddy has used her high fashion superfly designin' skills to create us a sure-to-win costume so we can snag the $500 prize for the costume contest judged by no other than Ryan of Bachelorette fame. No costume hints from me, but lets just say the judges will be going nuts over us...
In other news, my stress fracture in my foot maybe isn't a true fracture after all. It's starting to feel much better with just ibuprofen and occasional icing - and rest. This week I've been doing a lot of swimming and rowing to replace the biking and running that the foot issue is keeping me from. I'll give it a good test on Sunday and see how it holds up - cross your fingers for me! If it bothers me then I'll likely be out of running for a few weeks to let it really heal... :(
Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

August 13, 2007


Saturday I took Emma for her first shooting adventure. She had been asking to shoot a "real gun" for a few months, and I kept promising her I would someday. Well, someday finally got here so we took my guns and went to our friend P's farm to target shoot.

Now I'm not a gun guy by any means, but I used to try to be when I was a teenager. My parents gave me a shotgun and a .22 rifle when I was a kid, and the guns have stayed at their house in their safe ever since.

The .22 is perfect for a kid's first shooting experience. There is no kick; and it's small and lightweight.

Emma had never been around a gun being fired, so she was unsure at first. She wanted me to shoot first, so I did. She got scared and said she didn't want to shoot. After a couple of minutes of talking, she and I realized it was the sound - even though it was no louder than a cabinet door slamming - that she was afraid of. So we put on her headphones and she was golden!

For the next 2 hours she shot up paper plate after paper plate with 2 different rifles. She was beaming with pride, and so was her daddy.

You know, it isn't always the specifics of the what that you teach them, it's just that you teach them. New things... New experiences... New sights... That you show them how to live...

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

August 10, 2007


sometimes they ask what
if but my answer
might not be
that but

sometimes I play games
dangerous games
pushing edges
of insanity
just to

sometimes I succeed
triumphant atop
pinnacles. bold.
looking back
at how far
I've come.

but sometime I won't.
the edge will prove
strong - fatally
strong. Yet
still I will

August 7, 2007

David Andretta, 1976-2007

[David's birthday is soon - April 6! Please consider a birthday gift to the David F. Andretta Explorer Fund. This scholarship will be awarded annually to a Georgetown University undergraduate student seeking to explore the world through an academic research project. See for more details.]

The first time I met David I was interviewing him for a resident physician position at our hospital. He told me that when he finished his med school classes the next month he was going to Australia to play for a few months.

Honestly, it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I thought it was a bit out of line for him to be asking for a job while boasting about his upcoming several-month vacation. And I think I was a little jealous too... But overall, we liked and were impressed by David, so he got the job.

David has worked with us for just over 2 years in the ER. And I must say he's more than a little different than anyone I've ever known.

David easily is one of the smartest people I've ever met. So smart in fact that his speech rarely can keep up with his mind. He will ask me a question and, in the process of asking, answer his own question in 3 different ways while unknowingly actually cite the sources that he at some point read to formulate the answers.

Sometimes David had trouble communicating with patients. Its hard to take the superior mind and bring it down to the conversation level of most of my patients. His speech was quick and free of southern drawl; a rarity among the lazy words most commonly spoken in Alabama.

David had a zest for life that few can match. He had travelled the world so extensively that he could mesmerize you with stories about his travels. He married his longtime girlfriend Melissa, who works for IcelandAir, last September. He climbed regularly - mountains, boulders, walls. He was passionate about climbing, and more than once he had promised to get me on a wall and show me the ropes.

David and Melissa were travelling in Africa this week when he decided to climb Table Mountain in South Africa. Melissa waited at the top while David ascended.

But he never made it.

Yesterday morning rescuers retrieved his body from a ridge after he apparently had fallen to his death.

I'll miss you David... Happy travels, my friend.

Read more about David here, or about the fall and rescue attempt here.

From Melissa, 8-12-07: We keep telling "Dave" stories and thinking about David's zest for life and unique way of living. I would like for others to do the same and was hoping you might be able to post a few photos of our trip on your site. The first was taken as we drove along the Blyde River Canyon the day after we arrived in South Africa. The one with the rainbow was taken on the evening of August 3 as we were hiking down from Lion's Head mountain where the sun was setting.

Up until his death, David was truly happy and I want others to know that and remember him not only for the way he died, but lived. We had been in South Africa for over a week and had been on a safari that can only be described as magical. From spotting all Big 5 to loving every minute of a four day hiking safari where we had extremely close encounters with a rhino, elephants and even two lions, we felt truly blessed and just had the biggest smiles on our faces. We had been in Cape Town for a few days and the day before his death, David was able to fufill a long time dream of cage diving with the Great White sharks off the coast of Gansbaai. He was truly living and loving life.

August 5, 2007

The Longest Ride

I needed a longish ride this weekend, and I didn't feel like riding the same local roads that I always travel.

You see, this post was supposed to be a Steelhead Half Ironman race report. But noone but me to take care of the kids on Friday made it impossible to be on Lake Michigan to pick up my race packet by Friday evening.

S0, I decided early in the week to drive to Madison and ride the IM MOO bike course. Then, I discovered that a required court appearance the morning after IM MOO was going to make me a DNS, so there was really no need to do a recon ride on a course I wasn't racing.

I needed SOMEWHERE - ANYWHERE - not local to ride!

After a Friday night spent researching possible rides, I left at 6am Saturday for northwest Georgia to ride the Chattooga Century 125 mile course (the actual organized ride is next weekend, but I needed a ride this weekend! So, anyone in the southeast looking for a fun ride Aug 11, check this one out!). Yep, you read that right - a century that offers a 125 mile option (which turned out to be 128.5 mile option - which turned into a 130 mile ride for me when you consider my -oops- missed turn).

I rarely am awake for sunrise, so I was in awe as I drove east and watched the sun creep over the horizon.

It took me just over 2 hours to reach Chattooga High School, then I parked the truck and got the gear ready.

Less than 3 miles into the ride I learned that the cue sheet wasn't accurate when I missed a turn and had to double back for nearly a mile. But, there were arrows pointing the right direction at EVERY turn, making this an easy to follow ride.

There was a nice mix of long flat stretches mixed in with some rolling hills and a (torturous) climb up Lookout Mountain.

The dogs weren't bad until about mile 75; but from then on I was rather occupied with trying to get an early start to sprinting away from the various chasing dogs. Why is it that dogs on country roads feel the need to chase me? Ever hear of leashes? Or chains? Makes me want to put a pocket .22 in my bento box for such an occasion... The only thing I saw more of than chasing dogs was confederate flags... EVERY.WHERE.

When I finally made it back to the truck I had logged 130 miles, easily my longest ride ever. I started on a transition run but a cramping stomach cut that to just 10 minutes, and then I headed home.
Today, a 5 mile run (at noon in 95 degrees with way-too-high humidity) and 3000 yard straight swim. Yep, it's all starting to come back together. And 24 hours of triathlon is less than a month away!

Thanks for joining me for My Daily Spin.

August 3, 2007

Out of Ironman Wisconsin?

Sometimes life throws you a wild pitch that hits you when you least expect it.

I found out earlier this week I have to be in court for a medical case (that's been dragging along now for 4 years) that I'm personally involved in but hasn't really personally affected me.

September 10 at 9am.

I called the attourney.

He confirmed.

There's absolutely no way around it, and I have to appear.

Ironman Wisconsin starts September 9 at 0700.

It will take me about 12 hours to finish, putting me at 1900.

The last flight out of Madison that will put me in Birmingham by 0900 September 10 leaves at 1921.

It takes 12 hours 41 minutes per Google Map to drive from Madison to Birmingham.

Prior to court, I would need to shower and have on court clothes.

Cutting it close...

I think I'm out of Ironman Wisconsin.

I think I may be changing my 8 hours of triathlon entry to the full 24 hours of triathlon on September 1-2.

It's a wild pitch, and it hit me square in the shoulder. But it's not going to knock me out... Not going to put me out of the game. I'll still get on base... I'll still get another turn at bat.

I'll still win this game... Just not this time.