Monday, December 31, 2012

Don't Let the Door Smack You on the Ass on the Way Out 2012 ...

So this will be the obligatory Blogger 2012 Recap Post.

Cool Things that Happened:
  • Brooks Running renewed my sponsorship in the Brooks ID program.
  • I became an Endurance Sports Coach and have started a company and am enjoying the hell out of it.
  • Had a visit to Texas from Jennie and Kevin for the Woodlands Marathon in March and we all had a great time. Even went to the Rodeo and Jason made the drive down to be a super-sherpa with Annie.
  • Dave and I took a long road trip (20hrs windshield time) to Lubbock, Texas for the BSLT70.3 and stopped at a half dozen amazing small-town Texas BBQ places.
  • Took a little drive out to Austin to visit IronBob Shuler and got in some riding over on Lance Armstrong's training grounds. Managed to stay PED free.
  • Took an awesome trip to Quebec for Ironman Mont-Tremblant with Dave, Jenn, Kevin, Jennie, Beth, Jon, Annie, and Mandy.
  • Got a new Cannondale Road Bike and feel back in love with Cycling.
  • Had an unforgettable trip to Memphis with Jim, Elizabeth, Dave, Jenn, Deanna and Annie.
  • Took a drive to Dallas and stayed with Karen and Jason for the Dallas Marathon and then watched three of my incredible athletes all PR on an extremely hot and humid day.
  • After being sick, Annie and I went to a nutritionist and have been following his eating plan and I am now 10lbs lighter then my Ironman Racing weight.
Not-So-Cool Things that Happened:
  • After the Woodlands Marathon I ended up in the medical tent with Hyponatremia and spent the remainder of the afternoon pissing blood.
  • At the end of March and the beginning of IMMT training I got the flu, bronchitis and a sinus infection. It took me down for about two weeks and really funked up training.
  • Three weeks before IMMT during mile 14 of a long run I collapsed in the parking lot of a Starbucks from Heat Exhaustion. I ended up in pretty bad shape and was actually lucky it was not Heat Stroke.
  • A week after IMMT my body was not feeling recovered and I had a low grade fever. A few days later I ended up in the ER and after hours of testing it was determined I was infected with the Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) and this lead to Mononucleosis
  • It took me about 6 weeks to be deemed EBV Free. And with my fitness level being decimated I gained a ton of weight. 
  • I decided to not race the Boston Marathon.
  • Due to being sick I became slow )-:

By the Numbers (Races):
  •  Seven total Races
  •  Five PRs
    • Bridgefest 5K
    • Lifetime Fitness 10K
    • The Woodlands Marathon
    • Kemah Olympic Tri
    • Ironman Mont-Tremblant
  • My First DNF
    • Buffalo Springs Lake Tri 70.3
  • My First Overall Win
    • Lifetime Fitness 10K
Overall it was an okay year racing. I was able to Boston Qualify with a 3:06 at the Woodlands Marathon but, despite a PR, I had a tough day at IMMT with a 12:00 Finish Time. Due to the health issues I had this year I feel that I under-performed to my potential which is why I am not super happy with 5 PRs in 7 races.

By the Numbers (Training):

  • Swim -139336.00 M - 52h 49m 21s 
  • Bike -  2843.55 Mi - 148h 01m 02s 
  • Run - 1024.48 Mi - 147h 19m 35s 
These training numbers are sad. Especially taken over the course of a full 12-months. But when I drill down and look at my logs they really are not too bad and here is why:

- 95% of the running miles were done in 8 months which is around 119 Miles/month. Thanks EPV. My highest month was 251mi.
- All of the Bike Miles were done in 7 months. Due to Marathon training in the winter I did not ride in Jan or Feb and then did not ride after getting sick in the Fall. Over 7 months this equals around 405 Miles/month. My highest volume month was 601mi.
- No excuses for not swimming. I just chose not to swim that much.

Most Controversial Post:

  • Calling Bullshit on CrossFit Endurance:  The Crossfitter do not like this one. It must be on some CFE Message board or website because this post was written in January and I am still getting emails and comments. In that time it has over 5500 unique visitors and only God knows how many page views. I've grown tired of replying so if you are feeling frisky grab the reigns and have at 'em.

So there you have it. The Dangle the Carrot 2012 Recap. I know I sound all doom and gloom about 2012  but after writing this I was reminded of all the very cool things that happened and it made all the time sick, on stretchers, or in ERs seem not all that bad.

Hope you all had a great 2012 and will have an even better 2013.

Thanks for Reading,


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Memphis, Marathoning, and Eating

The Fat Ass Capital of the World

This past weekend Annie and I were in Memphis so she could run in the St. Jude Memphis Marathon. It was Annie's "A" race for the year and a trip that had been planned many, many months ago. Joining us on the trip were our good friends Deanna, Elizabeth, Jim, Jenn, and Dave. Annie, Dave, Jenn, and Elizabeth were all running the race while Deanna, Jim, and me were the world's best sherpas/sign makers/cheerers/drunks/rib eaters.

Now this "report" is going to be broken into two sections:

Part One - The Race

Part Two - Memphis (Page Down)

Part One - The Race

Lets get to the race first and see some excellent action shots by an extremely talented photog (me).

Jenn and Annie at the Expo.This was Jenn's first marathon and Annie's fifth.
Annie Pre-Race looking not nervous.

Beale Street lined with spectators waiting for the lead runners.

Elizabeth waving at us and holding strong with the 3:30 pace group.

The Throng of Humanity with the 4hr Pace Group!
Deanna displaying an inside joke - if your mind is in the gutter trying to figure out the joke you are in the right place.

Annie having fun!

Annie no longer having fun!
Jenn and Dave at the Halfway point.
Elizabeth still Rockin' it!

Elizabeth with a final kick for her 3:30 finish and BQ!
Dave grabbing his wife's hand at the finish line while the 1500 other women in the crowd look at their husbands in disgust. Thanks Dave. 
Annie sprinting in for her 5th marathon finish!

And this is where the race pictures end because ....

Annie stumbled into the medical tent. She decided that drinking fluids during the race was optional and ended up severely dehydrated. This led to her passing out for a brief second before she was brought back to life by the always awesome IV Drip! She was pretty out of it and really struggled during the last 10k of the race. But, despite the fact that she should have stopped running, she chose to soldier on and we are all proud of her for finishing.  And since Dave and I have spend ample time in medical tents it was hard for us to really say anything without sounding hypocritical.

Overall the St. Jude Memphis Marathon is an amazing race. It was beyond inspiring to she the children and families lining the course in support of the fine hospital that supports them. All the proceeds from the race go to St Jude's Hospital. If you are looking for a 2013 Marathon please consider this one as each dollar you spend goes to this deserving cause.  AND you'll get to spend a weekend in Memphis ....

Part Two - Memphis

The King says Hello

This was my first trip to Memphis and I can guarantee it will not be my last as I fell in love with this goofy place.

It could possibly be the most weird city I have ever visited. It makes Austin appear normal. Pretty much all the residents are crazy. Like screwed up in the head crazy but in an entertaining southern way.

If you stay in the city everything is within walking distance or a trolley ride. Beale Street is an absolute blast with live music galore and the food is beyond amazing. We saw ducks walk out of an elevator and into a fountain inside the Peabody Hotel and we were abducted by a horse and buggy...

Not this buggy, a much, much weirder buggy

And we saw this ...

My buddy Jim giving a thumbs up to the sideways smile!
We went to Graceland ...

Deanna and Annie in front of the entrance to hell.

Elvis's Jungle Room - Yep we paid $36 per ticket to see this.

Graceland really, really sucked. Maybe if I was a lot older or live in a trailer park it would have been cool (All you Elvis lovers feel free to send me hate email).

We ate at every restaurant in Memphis, or at least it felt like we did.

Memphis is known for it's food, especially the BBQ, and it lived up to this reputation and even surpassed expectations. Here is a smattering of the eateries we visited:

Rendezvous - We went here for dinner #2 on Saturday night. It is known for the back ally entrance way and amazing ribs. Neither disappointed as the ally was dark and the ribs were delicious.

Silky O'Sullivan's World Famous Pub - Dinner #1 was here on Saturday and I had a simple BBQ Burger and fries and they were excellent. We sat outside in a big courtyard and listen to a talented musician cover a bunch of 60's and 70's tunes on acoustic guitar. It was around this time when I could feel myself getting fatter.

Rum Boogie Cafe - Easily the best pulled pork BBQ sandwich I have ever had. So good that we ate here twice. The blues band on Sunday was great too.

Blue Plate Cafe - We had breakfast here during the marathon. The pecan waffles are freaking off the hook.

Blues City Cafe - Another self proclaimed World Famous BBQ joint. The ribs and sausage were good but I thought Rendezvous was better.

Gus's World Famous Fried Chicken - We had lunch here on Sunday figuring we needed to detox from all the BBQ. Wow, was this good. The building is a hole-in-the-wall which is the universal sign for delicious eats and Gus's was an absolute shit hole so this should tell you how good the fried chicken was!

Kooky Kanuck - Okay, this place was average. This was dinner #3 on Saturday night/Sunday morning and is also the place the butt-crack picture was taken. We got Poutine here. The lesson learned was never get Poutine anywhere but Quebec.

Wow. That was a lot of food.

Also in Memphis we got to meet long time blogger buddy James Ford (go check out his Race Report) and his awesome 3yo son Jesse. James lives in the Memphis suburbs (hence he is not crazy) and made the drive down to hang out and watch some football on Sunday. He also ran the marathon and set over an hour PR - Congrats James and it was great to meet you!

Sorry for crappy iPhone pic

Something amazing happened on this trip and after typing out all the restaurants above maybe it wasn't that amazing after all. When I left the house my weight was 146.6lbs, upon returning my weight was 158lbs. Yep, a little over 11lbs gained in a weekend. I am a bit embarrassed but also a bit proud. Nope, I am just proud. Dave figured out that we consumed over 18,000 calories on Saturday alone!

Okay, aside from Annie hanging out with volunteer medical personnel - this was just an incredibly fun weekend spent in an incredibly fun city with incredibly fun people.  Seriously consider doing the St Jude Memphis Marathon or better yet, talk one of your friends into doing it so you can hang out in downtown Memphis while they suffer on the course!

Hope to see ya again soon Memphis!

Thanks for Reading,