to be healthy...to be confident...to be an Ironman...to be strong...to be me...to be...

Health Update


 All clear, disregard the "Police Notice". I really do not think the police care if I got the 'All clear'

All clear, that is a great topic for the day and in some ways a little troubling. 

My all clear comes from a successful nuclear stress test. In the past two years I have slowly or not so slowly put on fifty pounds. Yes... I can add weight quicker than the average bear. With a race on the schedule for November, I figured it might be time to train and try to lose weight.

But first, health check up. I have not felt the greatest lately. I can not point to one thing or another, I just have not felt good lately. I seem to have a variety of aches and pains; shoulder pain, neck pain, side lateral muscle spasms, plantar fasciitis, tired feeling, the list goes on and on.

Is this just a by-product of my weight gain and the world we live in?

Your guess is as good as mine. But I figured it was time to have a doctor help eliminate some things. So a stress test was ordered. Easy for me, I am over fifty, overweight and complain about aches and pains. Safe bet, stress test...

The early results are in and I am fine. No issues as of yet.

Which leads me to wonder, what the heck is wrong with me.

I am guessing that any number of people could come up with a wide variety of answers to that open ended question. Oh, let me count the ways.... I can hear the "What's wrong with Paul" comments now. For the sake of this blog post and my life, we will leave them off for now.

So what is wrong? I wish I knew.

Walking through a mine field




Have you ever walked through a mine field? Most of us would probably say "No, of course not!" I have watched enough movies and have enough common sense to know that walking through a mine field might not be a good or smart thing to do. 

The closest thing I have ever done in regards to walking through a real mine field was on a trip to El Salvador back in the early nineties. Believe me when I say that I had no intention of walking through a mine field, it just happened. El Salvador had just finished their civil war and the country was still not the safest place to be. 

My friend and interpreter for the trip took me to their families country home close to the ocean. It was there that we decided to do a like mountain biking. I love to bike, so it was a no brainer of sorts. The trails were single track and we were having fun. 

Well... let me back up. I should have known something was a little different when pistols were put in the bags and backpacks before the ride started. Well the riding was great, really beautiful and fun. A few of the trails had barb wire on one side and twenty or thirty foot drops on the other side. It made it challenging to say the least on paths that are rutted. Finally we got to some easier riding and we stopped for a break. The break was short and I was reminded to stay on the path we were on. Why? Mine fields.... 

Yes, the area that we were riding through had been mined.... Ok, that was a new one for me. I survived as they say, lived to tell about it and guess what, I enjoyed it! I felt like I was really living I guess...

Now, what does this story have to do with today and the fact that most of us will never walk through a mine field in our life time. Or will we?

I feel like I am walking through a mine field every freaking day! Can I stress the "every freaking day" more emphatically.... Everyone seems to try to find fault with what you say or do. I really wonder why. Why is that? There used to be the expression that somedays you cannot please anyone. 

How about this, I cannot please anyone any day! That is the fact jack! And I am ok with that, but the fact that people hang on every word out of mouth only for the sole purpose of finding fault or taking offense to what I say is really getting old.

I am so ready to retire or find something new to do. There has to be a Walmart that needs the stuff on the top of shelf put away, or a Disney street that needs to be swept. Deep breath.... People are really challenging aren't they. 

Peace out for this day, hopefully I will not step on any mines today

An IM Nightmare

Coming off the bike in IM Texas a few years ago


   Do you dream? I do some nights. Some dreams are the type of dreams you never want to end. Even if you somewhat wake up from the dream, you want to fall back asleep as soon as you can in hopes that it will pick back up from where it stopped.

   Last night was one of those nights that the dream was not one worth going back to. I say it was a nightmare, but that isn't really the whole truth.

   There was no scary monsters, even though I have been watching "Stranger Things" again while I am riding my bike indoors. I was not shot on the battlefield or anything other thing that might typically make me wake up and be thankful that it was only a dream.



So, what was the nightmare you might ask, your time is valuable! 

It was an Ironman triathlon nightmare and it was the first that I have had like it. I believe I was at Ironman Texas and I had just finished the swim portion of the race. I was in what they call the transition area along with my friend Marcus and that is where it started to go wrong. I asked if I could borrow some chamois cream to use and he said sure. Now if you know me, I overpack for every race and every transition bag! Ok first scary thing, no chamois cream! Marcus proceeds to loan me some and I head off to find a bathroom to put it on. [that is strange in itself] After finding the bathroom to change in, I begin to apply the cream and put some on the shorts that I will use for the bike. Next problem and scary thing.... The bike shorts are brand new! Surprise number two! New shorts with the tag still on them! And not just a tag that I can tear off, this pair of shorts had a tag that was attached with what looked like a nylon zip tie. [You never use new shorts on race day!]

So, cream is applied, zip tie is removed and finally shorts are on and in walks some duds who are working the race. I asked them how much time did I have to get across the timing mat to start the bike course.... the answer.... two minutes! [next major problem for me, no watch to track time]

Like if things could not get any worse. The guys are like "dude you are not going to make it." I don't disagree, but I say something like "Me and this course have a history and I need to do it!" 

But the fact of the matter is.... two minutes... so I hustle out of the bathroom area and begin to walk [notice walk not run] back to where my bike is and I begin to wonder what the heck am I going to do.

At this point in my mind I am thinking about being the last person out there again. The last person stopping at aid stations and the last person to come off the bike and probably not make the next cutoff time, but I should do it no matter what. I should ride 112 miles on the bike and run/walk 26.2 miles because I have a history with this course....

And then bam.... that is the end of the dream!

Not sure what I did [well the truth is that it was a dream so I did not do a thing!]

But it did leave this thought stuck in my head, what the heck would I do if faced with the option again in my life [my real life, not dream world] ... what would I do?

You might not think that was a nightmare, but in my life... that was pretty damn scary. What would I do...

I guess we will have to find out next year in Texas in April [so this post will be continued]

Back on the bike later today to keep working


Peace out my friends

Paul


Ironman Arizona


It seems like it has been a year or two since I last wrote something on this blog...  A lot has been going on to say the least. Yes I could blame a lot on COVID, but that would be a big lie! I could say I have been busy, but that would be an excuse and not a good one. I just have had a lot of stuff going on.

As guessed by any one who might actually read this blog, the Texas Ironman race did not happen for April of 2021. I had transferred out of the race before they actually cancelled the race. Which means that I will be racing in the 2022 version of that race. It should be in the Woodlands and in April of 2022. I do believe they have scheduled a 2021 race for Texas in October, but currently I am not planning on being there for that race.

Why? I am planning on racing in Arizona towards the end of November 2021. Yes! I believe that race will actually happen.  187 days out and I actually believe I need all 187 days to train. 

So consider this a warning, weekly post will be taking place from now on. Actually twice a week... If you are bored, be prepared to entertained..... because here we go.....


Stay in peace this beautiful rainy day

Paul

For King and Country


For King and Country

I guess at one point in time that would have been a beautiful phrase to cry out. But... is it really?

As we watch the world change before our eyes, especially here in America, I wonder how much responsibility does the Crown have in our problems and actually the problems that have plagued our world.

I bring this up because we as a people have romanticized the Royals. Just look at the popular series on your television now and you will see how we love this class of people. I have to wonder why?

Why fantasize about a group of people that we will never be part of? Why make them out to be such noble people. I think we are all smart enough to know that they are just people. The old expression, they put their pants on the same as us would be true, but they actually have servants who put their pants on for them...

History has testified that a lot of Royals have had mental ailments. Not to hard to guess considering the inbreeding that took place over the years. They ruled countries solely by a birth right, not because they were educated or tactically intelligent, they just were born into the right family... No skill required.

I find it hard to believe there has not been a public outcry to ban shows about Royals! 

I wonder why as Americans do we find Royals so interesting? We fled the injustices of the Royals and others in Europe only to have that system in place here for a time. 

                              


So the question still begs to be asked, why do we think the Royals are special? Maybe because they have a special type of inbreeding, that makes them 'unique'. But why in the heck do we fantasize about them and we are not allowed to remember or have history tell the truth about other things. 

We have turned into a really special kind of stupid here. Mob rule scares us not to say anything about anything. So, injustices will prevail in this world, but that was nothing new. It is just sad that we cannot do better for our native land.

I wonder... and I need to get back on track...

For King and Country

How many wars, how many deaths, how many families and lives have been destroyed over the years for that phrase? 

Would you like to add them up? Could we even begin? Probably not, the far reaching effects of that phrase have probably brought about the deaths of millions, yet again, we think it is cool when a Royal has a new dress made! We are truly stupid!

King and Country

I want to sue the governments of France and Germany for the past. My ancestors were forced from their homelands and sailed to start a new life here in America. Yet America didn't welcome them as equals did they? 

The world is not fair is it... But we are told we can't change the past, that is a Captain Obvious statement! So I guess we have to move forward....

King and Country, hopefully in my lifetime I will see the abolishment of the Royals and the stupidity that comes along with them.

Rant over for now



Paul 

A boat person from Alsace Lorraine, seeking funds from France and Germany....


 

Time Travel




Time travel? 

We have been watching a popular series that is based upon the idea that time travel is possible. 

So the question was bound to be asked, “If you could travel back in time, when or where would you go?”

Have you ever given any thought to that? I have joked and heard other people joke about being born in the wrong time. I know that it would have been cool to be a kid in Southern California in the early 60’s.  

Could you imagine the music scene back then? That would have been so cool! The music, the cars, the girls....

As a lover of history, would a visit to the time frame to see the ministry of Jesus? Would we rather be there for the Reformation in Germany? Or be there for some other particular major historical event in history?

So I ask, when you think about the ability to travel to a particular time in the history of our planet, when would you choose?

I think I decided for now, and maybe for strange reasons.

I think given the option, I would travel to  the 1940s. Why? I think it would be incredible to be part of an event that helped shaped the world and be part of something that was bigger than me. 

So where and when? I think I would like to drop into the final weeks of training for the troops that were going to land in France for D-Day. After visiting France in 2018 and the beaches at Normandy, it is clear to me that this strip of land is holy ground. 

Now the strange thing for some people to understand about why I want to go to that moment in time is that  I would like to die at that time. Yes, not to survive the landing, but to die on the beaches of Normandy. Think about it, you would be remembered forever. Not just being buried in a cemetery and having your name and date placed on a stone that maybe your family might come visit. But dying during a historic battle where people for generations to come will visit and remember the brave actions of those men and the important part they played in bringing freedom to a continent. 

That would be an incredible thing. You would have been part of something, be remembered for something, what more could you want... 

Not sure if I have flushed this idea out yet. I am sure that there could be arguments against that approach or line of thought, but hey, its my blog and for the moment, my opinion. 

Peace and comfort to you all

 

68 Days to go


Time marches on...

That is a fact, is it not?

It has now been two years since my dear mother left us here. This year will 14 years since my dad departed this life. I cannot believe that.

I realize that since I write for a small audience [if any] that my words will never really mean much. That is about how I feel life is right now, it doesn't mean much...

Am I wrong?


When I lost my father, I lost my best friend. He was always there for me it seemed. Though we didn't have that many serious conversations, until he got closer to dying, most of conversations are what typical friends talk about. The weather, cars, building something, etc... He was good for that, and of course for sitting down and enjoying a great meal. 

Once my mother passed, as I have said before, my connection to my father was gone. But with my mother, the person who brought me into this world was gone also. She cared for me when I was sick, she did everything a real mom is supposed to do. Boy do I miss her and my father. Other than talking to one of my sisters, I feel really alone now.

Life can really suck sometimes. Do you every think about or reflect on your life and wonder what does this all mean? What are we actually doing here? Why are we here? I realize that as I get older, I have wasted almost my entire life and I do not know what to do about that. 

Oh well as they say, we won't solve that problem with this post, so let's move on...

68 days to Ironman Texas

This past week was an ok week for training. No swim this past week or probably this week. The weather outside is cold and had been raining. So swim training went out the window.

I had a decent 10 mile run on the treadmill. Nothing to write home to mom about [I wish I could] but really nothing fantastic.

The bike was all indoor, nothing great. A couple of bike workouts and few simple rides in the virtual world of Zwift. 

It is interesting to feel some changes take place in your fitness. I feel like 10 miles is normal or could be a normal distance. My feet were a little sore, but nothing that was horrible. Last week I biked 3 hours, no issues there either. I believe my base fitness has improved over the yeas to allow those types of long workouts to happen. That is a bright spot for sure.

Well the hay won't get put in the barn by itself correct

Off into the real world


Peace and love this day


Paul


75 Days to go

Does this look familiar? It's in Scotland...

75 Days to go...

FB is good for all types of opinions isn't it? I mean you can [if you are clueless to the world] almost think that anything that is posted on FB is true. 

Yikes... I wonder what happened to our world. It seemed that in the blink of an eye we lost so much. I am not talking about a Presidential election or seats in Congress. I am talking about the total degradation of our society [our country]. It has happened.



    So much of what we once believed or held to be true is gone. Wiped out in what appears is seconds. Freedom of speech, something that was once sacred is gone. We have become a generation/people who believe we are entitled to something. We think that big or bigger government will solve everything. How did we get so bamboozled? But in truth, we know that it didn't happen in seconds, it happened over the last 40 or 50 years. Little by little we have been led down a path like a cow into the pen to have its ticket punched...

I watched some WWII color footage yesterday on fighting in the pacific. I wondered what those young men who sacrificed so much for us would think of this country. What have we become... It is so sad to think that we might as well not be Americans any longer...

Back on track, 75 days to go, training continues

I spent the last 9 days in Cancun at the Royal Resorts. They have a beautiful lap pool there. So I got to spend some time working on my swim stroke and feeling more confident about my swim. It worked, I got a long swim in and I really felt good after the swim. So, with that said, I have plenty of time to continue the swim odyssey.

Not much running has taken place this past week. That will start back up now that I am home. The run will improve if I ever lose weight.

The bike.... I got in a 3 hour bike ride on Saturday. It actually seemed like I got stronger on the second half of the ride. That is a good thing. That is how I want my race to go. Ease into the ride and then slowly pick up power. So that was an encouraging ride for sure.

Back to the start of this post, the world of IM and FB are colliding with all the so called experts weighing in on this race in Texas actually taking place. Some are confident it will take place, others are laughing at the idea of it actually happening. I guess the only thing that matters to me is getting a hotel room or not. At this point, no hotel room will be booked. I have little hope that this race will actually take place. Arizona in November is more realistic, but who is to say....

Oh well, time to get to it, have a great week

Peace, love and chicken grease

P




 

81 Days to go

 


81 days to the big day.....

Unfortunately I do not have much confidence in this race taking place.

The good and the bad.... but no ugly!

Good; plenty of time to hone my skill sets, develop a better swim stroke, feel more comfortable on long bike ride, and with time....maybe I can drop some weight which will help me on the run but really overall.

Bad; plenty of time to loss focus, as in get distracted! I do that rather easily. 

The key will be to find and hit small measurable goals that will help me stay focused.

well I am in Cancun

So peace out my family 

89 Days to go

The Highlands of Scotland

 89 Days to go to Ironman Texas...

     This is my Monday recap of last week and general rambling thoughts about the prior week and what is ahead.

    Scotland is on my mind! I guess because of my wife and I have started watching Outlander on Netflix... The scenery is so beautiful there. We were fortunate enough to spend a week in Scotland in 2018 and we spent a couple of days doing day trips out into the Highlands of Scotland. It is truly a beautiful and somewhat mystical place. It is definitely a place that I could move to in a heartbeat. There is something about it that is hard to describe. So peaceful.... 

     I wonder why we do what we do. [a more challenging subject for another day] We all know we have a 'limited' time on this earth, yet we are so willing to just live where we are from or live somewhere because that is what we are used to. 


   I feel so disappointed about so many things in life and this topic is one of them. Why live where you do? Job, family, what is your reason. If I had a choice or my dream location, there are two places at this point in my life that I would like to live. Both of those places brought something to me that I have never felt here in the States. One is the Highlands of Scotland and the other is the Alsace Lorraine area of France/Germany. 

    The area of Alsace sparked something inside of that made me feel like I belonged. I haven't felt that before in my life. Maybe now that my parents are both dead I am searching for a connection, not sure. But there in the country side of that area and small towns of the region, I felt at home. More at home there than anyplace that I have ever lived. If there is such a thing of 'being connected to a land' that was it for me. 

Oh well, back to reality and back to life in a subdivision.... and back to IM training

     It was a good week. Slow progress in the pool. I am learning that I need to continue to focus on my movements in the water, such as shoulder rotation, hand entry, and the pull, yet I still need to develop a kick that actually works. Drills and I guess more drills and not junk mileage will be key.

    The bike was great this week. My long bike on the trainer was 35 miles, and I have to be proud of the power output for that distance. The key will be building distance and maintaining that level of power for longer distances.

   My long run was 8 miles, nothing fantastic, treadmill work, which is a little of a cheat for me because of my run/walk time splits. The walk on the treadmill can/is a whole lot faster than if I was outside.


Looking forward to spending more time in the pool this week.


Peace out

Paul