Welcome to my MS CCSVI research fundraising blog. I am currently training for a double (ultra - 4.8 mile swim, 224 mile bike, 52.4 mile run) ironman in September of 2010 in an effort to fundraise for MS CCSVI research. You can check out my fundraiser site at http://www.microgiving.com/profile/chuck. I suggest clicking on the "About Me" tab as the MicroGiving.com templates were a little limiting so the profile page did not allow me to add all the content I wanted to add. MicroGiving.com does not keep any of the donations for administration/overhead fee. That means 100% of your donation goes directly to fund CCSVI MS research. For more information about CCSVI you can go to http://csvi-ms.net/en/content/ccsvi-huge-breakthrough-ms. Please help spread the word about my fundraising efforts. Thanks.


Thursday, October 7, 2010

I think I have a new favorite shoe :)

I received my first pair of Spira Odysseys today. I laced them up and gave them a short test drive (still recovering from the double iron tri so had to limit the miles). They were AWESOME. I am looking forward to logging some long and hard miles in them. I encourage you to take a look:

Spira's latest running shoe the Odyssey

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Check this out...

Take a look at this video... Paul was one of the competitors at the Virginia Double Iron Triathlon in which I participated... He is a very inspiring individual with a unique outlook on life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hhFmhmgWYLk

Thursday, September 30, 2010

MS CCSVI Fundraiser Update

I am proud to announce that the MS Fundraiser raised a little over $5600 (about 112% of the goal set at the start of the campaign). Many thanks to all those who contributed by means of donations, prayers, and helping to spread the word. Kind people like you inspire me and make this world a better place.

Thanks,
Chuck & Family

2010 Virginia Double Iron Race Report

Note: I included some photos of the race below the report...

Prior to heading to Virginia I tried to think about everything I would need for the race (lights for bike and run, wetsuit vs. speedsuit, helmet - aero or not, wheel choice, nutrition...). Without knowing the water temperature or weather I decided to pack the kitchen sink and hope that I was prepared for anything. I packed a full wetsuit, sleeveless wetsuit, speedsuit, road helmet, aero helmet, sleeveless jerseys, sleeved jerseys, tri shorts, tights... Basically anything I thought would be useful.

In an event like this you are required to bring your own support crew. My parents almost did not make it. My dad was hospitalized for a number of days leading up to the race due to a bleeding ulcer. He spent 3 of those days in the ICU and received 6 pints of blood. He was released from the hospital the Sunday prior to the race. I thought they would end up staying home at that point, but they really wanted to come. My mom made sure they had the doctor's consent and they were on their way. It meant so much to me to have them both there. As usual, Jess, Seth, Saige, and Zac were there to support me. Ann and Alex Bowman made the long drive from Tallahassee to be there for me and my family. My wife's grandparents and mother also came to Virginia; they did a great job cheering me on, but most importantly they helped entertain the little people during a large portion of the bike.

I arrived in Virginia 5 days prior to the race. My plan was to spend a few days getting used to the course, weather, and water temperature. The water was very warm - maybe 80 degrees. That made the wetsuit debate an easy one... speedsuit for me. Even if the water temp dropped to 77 or 78 degrees I preferred to not risk overheating in a wetsuit.

The next big decision was which helmet to wear - aero vs. road. I was leaning towards the road helmet due to it being lighter. 224 miles is a LONG way to go so I thought a lighter helmet would probably serve me better. However, if the weather was going to be cooler I would consider the aero helmet as it would help keep me warmer and be faster. The weather ended up being in the mid to upper 80s during the bike...road helmet, specifically my Rudy Project Kontact+ helmet. The Kontact+ is very light and has plenty of air flow, which keeps my head cool.
Which running shoe to wear was a no brainer. I have been running in Spira shoes for 4 years now and love them. I decided to go with the Spira Stingers. Yes, the racing flat. I have been doing most of my long runs in them and have not had any issues due to lack of cushion or stability.

Nutrition was easy for me. I have been practicing the same nutrition for months now. I am a big believer in practicing your nutrition as often as possible prior to the event. My nutrition plan consisted of First Endurance Pre-race, First Endurance Ultragen, First Endurance OptygenHP, First Endurance MultiV, Gatorade Pro, Carbo Pro, Thermolytes, PowerBar gels, uncrustables, cliff bars, and water. The addition of the uncrustables was new for this distance; the rest of my nutrition was broken in during my Ironman training last year

The morning of the event I woke up at 2:15 AM as I could not sleep. If you have read my blog before you know that the random early wake up is not new to me. I decided to begin the fueling process. I ate 2 servings of Cream of Rice cereal and drank 24 ounces of Gatorade Pro. While prepping my transition I ate 1/2 a cliff bar and drank 12 ounces of water. 30 minutes prior to the start of the event I drank First Endurance Pre-Race mixed with Gatorade Pro, Carbo Pro, and 1 Thermolyte tab. The First Endurance Pre-race really helped me to focus and provided a nice pick me up heading into the start of the race.

When I had about 15 minutes until the swim I started to get ready... I put on my speedsuit lubed around the seam lines to prevent chafing. I prepped the goggles with anti-fog spray and put on my cap. When I looked around, I noticed that everyone else was wearing wetsuits.... Hmm... At that point I was hoping I had made the right decision as I have found a speedsuit to be 5 sec slower than a wetsuit per 100 meters.

The whistle blew and we were off for the start of the swim. The swim was a 12 laps out and back course. My plan was to stop every 3rd lap for fluids and Sportslick lube as needed. I quickly settled into a pace and just relaxed. At the first turn around I had already opened up a pretty good lead. That was a good sign... There was one very shallow part on each loop that had people scraping their knuckles on the bottom. In order to keep swimming instead of walking during that stretch I needed to alter my swim stroke and pull wide. Overall things were relatively uneventful during the swim. I did manage to cut my elbow on a rock on lap 7, but it was not deep enough to require medical attention so I continued on. My goal for the swim was 2 hours... I ended up at 1 hour 58 minutes for the swim.

I stayed relaxed during T1. I hit the lockeroom and decided to shower before heading out on the bike. I used Sportslick to lube my tri shorts in hopes of not chafing and of preventing anything that its anti-fungal components were designed to prevent. I put on my sleeveless jersey, Desoto shorts, 2xU calf guards, and bike socks. Once I was dressed I headed out to my QR CD0.1 bike and put on my helmet and bike shoes. On the bike course I tried to relax and settle into a rhythm. All I kept thinking about was all the freakin U-turns - 90 of them. I had 2 loops, roughly 10 miles, completed by the time the next competitor entered the bike course. Being out on the course before the other competitors allowed me to get comfortable with the hills and the U-turns before I had to start worrying about the other riders.

It turns out I shouldn't have been so worried about all the U-turns. On one hand, I am not the best at U-turns and the result is a slower loop. The upside was huge though. With the course being short loops I was able to interact with everyone much more. This made the ride more enjoyable. The kids were cheering for me when I went by the transition tent. The other cyclists were even encouraging. Nik was great to ride with until he was pulled out for medical reasons. Paul and I had a good banter going. Chris was smiling the whole damn ride- don't even ask me how that was possible because I have no clue. Jaime was cracking me up. Ghislain was keeping me focused. Everyone there made such big impressions on me. I had fun cheering them on as well.

My goal for the bike was simple, stay under 15min 30 seconds per loop, 45 loops... In the early stages I ended up peeling off 13-14 min loops. I did my homework before the race and knew that the fastest cyclist usually would only go 15-16 minutes per loop on this course. After 56 miles I was still holding the pace and feeling comfortable. My competitors had all dropped off the pace. This left me with the decision to keep going at my current pace or to slow down knowing that the pace was much faster than I expected to hold. I decided I would just go with it and see what happened. At the 112 mile mark I checked the Garmin and I was at 5 hours and 19 minutes. This was much faster than I had anticipated, but I was still feeling good. I remember watching the Garmin and at 181 miles I said to myself that this is my longest ride ever, which happened to follow my longest open water swim ever. I knew I should be fatigued, but I was still feeling good. In fact, I actually picked up the pace from mile 120 -180. At about 185 miles I started to really feel the time in the saddle and had to re-lube a few times prior to completing the 224 miles. The other racers and the support crew were all very encouraging as I flew through the bike course. Jess, my mom, and Ann had a great system going to provide me food, fluids, and lube. When all was said and done I completed the 224 mile bike in 10 hours 51 minutes (a new course record, previous bike course record was 11 hours 39 minutes). The QR CD0.1 was very comfortable and handled well for all 90 U-turns. At this point in the race I was an hour ahead of where I thought I would be.

My nutrition on the bike was to alternate 24 ounces of Gatorade Pro, Carbo Pro, and Thermolyte with 24 ounces of water. Every 45 min I was either eating a mini-Cliff bar, 1/2 of an uncrustable, or a PowerBar gel. At hour 4 and 10 of the bike I added First Endurance Pre-race to the Gatorade mix to help me stay focused on the race. As you may have seen on Jeff and Ann's facebook page, a bit of Pepto made it into one of my uncrustables somewhere during that bike as well.

T2 had a little drama. On one end of the loop, I was told I was finished when I reached the other end. My Garmin numbers agreed. However, after reaching the other end of the loop and my last lap of the bike I was told I had one more to go. There were a number of people who were timing me during the bike as they were very surprised at my speed and consistency. They all came to my side and had the timer review the splits and it turned out that Garmin and the original count was right. They had one loop at 27+ min as they missed one of my splits... Awesome to know that people had my back because there was no way I wanted to get back on the bike and do an extra loop.

The run had many highs and lows. I started the run feeling good. I ran some early loops of the run course with my kids and Jess. It was a lot of fun to have them run with me. I cannot tell you how excited the kids were to be able to run with me. I managed to peel off 20 miles in 2 hours 40 minutes. I was feeling pretty good until my stomach started to get tight and I stopped absorbing fluids. I started to walk a little which turned into a lot. Ann Bowman race/walked some loops with me and helped me to work out the abdominal tightness. By that time I am afraid that the damage was done. My knees and ankles managed to swell, bruise, and were very painful. My Achilles started to really ache. At that point I started keeping tabs on the other racers in an effort to run on an as needed basis to try to minimize any injuries that might arise as a result of pushing through the pain. It was at this point that I realized how blessed I was to have the support crew I did. Seth, Saige, Zac, and Alex all ran with me throughout the night. They would sleep for a bit and then wake up raring to go. Their happy moods were contagious. Jess and Ann also continued taking turns running/walking with me. That run could have been a mental beat down. It ended up being full of precious memories. Seth even told me his favorite part of vacation was running with me during the race.

25 hours and 6 minutes after starting the race I managed to cross the finish line. The finish was very cool as the family was able to cross the line with me. The race exceeded my expectations. All the competitors were wonderful. Their determination was inspiring. The feeling of community between the racers, their support crews, the volunteers, and spectators is something that I have not experienced at any other race. When you enter a race the like Virginia Double Iron Triathlon you are not there to win, you are there to finish. That really changes the event as everybody is there to support each other and creates an atmosphere unlike any other race I have been privileged to participate in.


Exiting the water after the swim...



Getting sunscreen before heading out on the bike...



Getting ready to head out on the 224 mile bike...



One of the bike turn arounds with a beautiful view overlooking the lake... Check out all the tents on either side of the road for the support crews and athletes.



Me on my new CD0.1 bike...



My support area and some of my crew...



Some of the support tents... Each athlete had their own table with their specific nutrition and misc items.



Me and the race director, Steve Kirby, after I finished the race. Note the long sleeves and jackets. It got pretty darn cold overnight...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

We are now home... Our house sitters are so nice. They had a banner and cake ready to congratulate us on our race finish. The bad news is that my internet is down so only texting for updates. I promise a race report once I have internet access.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

I just got out of the ER. I became very faint, got a severe headache, and started throwing up repeatedly. All the tests came back favorably. The doctor said he believes I am still recovering from the race. He gave me some prescriptions... We are cutting our vacation short and heading back to Tally once I am ready.
My body still is not right. I've had bad heartburn 2 nights and an upset stomach another since the race. No fun :(

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

One of my bruised/swollen ankles...
Sorry for not publishing a race report yet, but I do not have access to a computer.... I will say that a had nightmares about the run for 3 nights. I will publish a race report in a few days.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The bike was awesome. I split 10 hours 51 minutes. Crazy considering that I had 90 U turns. That was a new bike course record by 48 minutes.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

My bloody elbow from a shallow rocky swim. Cut it on a rock.
The volunteers and other racers were wonderful and supportive. My support crew (family and Bowmans) were great. I had multiple people tell me how impressed they were with my crew. I can honestly say I probably would not have finished the race if Jessica, Ann, Alex, Seth, Saige, Zac, my mom, and my dad were not there to encourage, walk, and run with me during those rough patching in the double marathon.
Ouch! The race is over... I have been awake for 34 hours and counting now. The swim went well... 1 hour 58 minutes in a speedsuit. I missed the swm course record by 1 min which was set by a person a fees years back in a wetsuit.... Oh well...

Our race neighbor

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Chuck and Ghis after they were both finished. They went 1 And 2.

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French guy we helped

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Enjoying being done

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Chuck is finished! He won

Chuck is finished! He won the race!

Doesn't his crew look dedicated?

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The sun is up. He

The sun is up. He is first but not yet done.

So crazy cold tonight. All

So crazy cold tonight. All of the kids have had a turn to run/walk with dad. He is still moving out there.

Chuck has now completed 34.26

Chuck has now completed 34.26 Miles of the run.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Chuck is finished with just

Chuck is finished with just over 20 Miles done on the run.

CHUCK IS FINISHED WITH THE

CHUCK IS FINISHED WITH THE BIKE! He is running his first lap with Seth.

Not sure if this will be able to be read but what it mostly shows is that Chuck is still rockin the bike.

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Thank you so much for

Thank you so much for all of the donations and prayers. It means so much to us.

He will be over 200

He will be over 200 Miles next pass on the bike. Five and a half laps left.

He is about 171 miles

He is about 171 miles so far into the bike. His pace is within 30 Secs from when he started so holding steady

Charlie wants to know why the guy on the bike wont share his treats

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FWD:

jess h/o pb&j

Chuck's dad healthy and out of the hospital watching his boy!

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Over 145 Miles done. Looking

Over 145 Miles done. Looking good and steady. I went home and took a short nap and ate. I bet chuck would be jealous if he knew.

Holding steady. He is over

Holding steady. He is over the 100 Mile mark

The sign on chucks transition tent

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85 Miles done on the

85 Miles done on the bike. He is holding a steady pace and looks great so far.

Saige's picture to cheer for her dad.

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My granparents here to help.

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He is done with abt

He is done with abt 66 Miles on the bike now.

My mom n chucks mom helping at his race

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Chuck's name in first place still. he is 1/5 Through the bike now.

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Seths note to his dad

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Chuck was first out of

Chuck was first out of the water by a decent bit.
Part of the athelete check-in included a drug test. It is the first race I have participated in which required one. Pretty cool to know that all parties racing are clean.
All the pre-race stuff was pretty cool. The participants were very friendly and the race director was very nice. My support crew has agreed to assist a French gentleman who flew over for the race.
I woke at 2:15 AM and could not sleep so I decided to wake up and begin fueling for the day. Maybe after a little food I will be ready for a nap.
I also decided to give up the aero helmet. Another sacrific of speed in hopes of increasing my odds on finishing. I really like the strategic planning required for these ultra races.
The water is too warm for me to wear a wetsuit. Others will wear them, but not me. I am hoping the time I sacrific by giving up the wetsuit pays off during the rest of the race.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Rode and ran the race course today. More hills and curves than I pictured. I do not know why, but I thought the run would be flat. I was not allowed to swim at the race site, but did swim at the house. The water was about 84 degrees. I plan to check the water temp at the race site tomorrow.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

I wanted to give an extra plug to Spira Footwear. I ran every training run (long or short...even the 40 miler) in their Stinger racing flats. I plan to run the full 52.4 miles during the race in the Stinger racing flats. They are wonderful shoes and I can honestly say I have yet to have any foot issues due to lack of cushion or support. I even used them for my trail running...
Thanks to Steve, Stephanie, and Lauren for encouraging me.
Thanks to my sponsors for supporting me (Spira Footwear, First Endurance, Quintana Roo, Higher Ground Bicycles).
Thank you to Dr. Thompson and Dr. Van Tassell for seeing me and treating my knee and hip. Thank you to the Gulf Winds Triathlon Club for allowing my wife and me speak at their monthly meeting about the fundraiser.
Thanks to Randy for being understanding and flexible with my commuting and lunch time swims. Thanks to my fellow FSU co-workers who have supported me.
Thanks to all the athletes who swam, rode, and ran with me. Thanks to Kim from the Morcom aquatic center For operating such a wonderful facility. Thanks to Jeff, Grady, Jamey, Frank, and Shannon for riding with me. Thanks to all the Forest Meadows runners. Thanks to Ted for swimming with me.
Thank you to Ann Bowman for her massage skills to help me recover from my bike accidents this summer.
Thank you to Revolutions Triathlon Coaching (www.revtricoaching.com) for hosting the swim clinic last month and for donating 100% of the money raised to my fundraiser.
The people who donated to my fundraiser (www.microgiving.com/profile/chuck) helped to motivate me. Thanks you to Seeley and Will for writing the Democrat articles. Thank you to the Killearn HOA for publishing an article in the neighborhood newsletter.
My wife and kids have been my primary supporters. They ran with me, encouraged me, and put up with me during times of good and bad.
Seeley wrote an article for the Tallahassee Democrat about how essential a support crew is for triathletes. I can honestly say that I would not be prepared or participating in the race without a good support team. I will explain more in my next text post....
Today I woke up early to get in a 2 hour trainer ride and 8 mile run before getting in the car to begin the long journey to the race. So far the ride has been long... We are roughly 5.5 hours in with 7.5 hours to go. We are driving as far as we can today in hopes of making tomorrow's drive tolerable.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Today was my last pool swim of the season.... I got up at 4:30 this morning to get in one last long course swim. I managed to swim 4000 meters within an hour. The best part is that I was on cruise control the whole time and felt like I had plenty of energy left when I was done. My next swim will be at the lake in Virginia.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

7 days to go...

The race is in just over 7 days away...

My dad should be moving to a regular hospital room and out of the ICU. It looks like he has stopped bleeding and is stable. The doctor said he will be there for a few more days so they can monitor him and see if they can pump him with meds via IV to help expedite the healing process. Right now he is determined to go to VA for the race...

My dog is doing much better. He is eating now... :) It looks like we are out of the woods now.

My workouts have been going well. Tuesday I swam 2800 yards, rode 2.5 hours, and ran 5.25 miles. Wednesday I did a 1.5 hour ride and 9 mile run averaging 7:25/mile. Today I did 1.5 hours on the bike taking the watts up to 290 and ran 3.5 miles with a few 2 min efforts averaging 6:00/mile.

Tomorrow morning I plan to swim 4000-5000 meters in the morning and spend some time packing in the afternoon.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Updates...

My dad is scheduled for a CT tomorrow. The doctors believe he might have damaged other organs once they saw the size and depth of his ulcer. That would not be good.

The vet said that my dog has a brain tumor. Right now he is on meds to help calm his stomach. At this point we are watching him closely to see if his quality of life improves or gets worse.

It almost seems pointless to update about my workouts at this point. I am still doing them, but I am mentally lost in thought around all the things going on right now. I am scheduled with Dr. Thompson tomorrow morning for my knee and hip pain. It has been getting progressively worse over the past few days. I have my final appointment with Dr. Van Tassell before leaving on Thursday afternoon.

Bad, Bad, Bad, Bad

It seems like things go from bad to worse sometimes... My dad is in the ICU with an ulcer that will not quit bleeding. As of an hour ago he already had 6 pints of blood. My mom called and said that she was not sure if they would make it to the race. I told her not to worry about it and that I would figure things out. That would leave me short 2 support people. I should know more tomorrow...

One of my dogs is at the vet right now. We did not think he would make it through the night last night. The vet is currently running tests to figure out what is going on with him. He has not eaten in days and have been throwing up all over. He is old and has had health issues lately... 2 years ago I had one of my dogs pass away while traveling to a race. I am hoping that it is not going to happen again.

Monday, September 6, 2010

This is a test text 2 blog posting. If all goes well my support team at the race will be able to text updates directly to my blog. As long as there is cell reception there should be updates...

9/6 - Long swim

Today I swam 6000 meters. I felt good... The first 2.4 miles ended up taking 54 minutes. I wore the speedsuit for the first 1800 meters. It is amazing how much more flexible a speedsuit is compared to both a full and sleeveless wetsuit. The down side is that both the full and sleeveless wetsuits were roughly 10 seconds per 100 faster than swimming without a wetsuit. The speedsuit is roughly 5 seconds per 100 faster than without it. I am not sure what the water temperature will be at my race, but here is what I am thinking right now:

72-74 degrees = full wetsuit
74-76 degrees = sleeveless wetsuit
> 76 degrees = speedsuit

I plan to take all three suits with me so I can make a decision there.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

9/5 - Almost home...

In 12 days I will be over 1/2 way done with the race... This week has been a good week. I did not swim as much as I wanted to, but I did get in a 123 mile ride yesterday and managed to still feel good afterwards. In fact, I ended up running 8 miles yesterday evening.

This morning I volunteered at the kids YTS triathlon. All 3 of my kids participated and had a good time. It was soooooo much fun watching all the kids and adults do the tri this morning.

I ran 18.4 miles after I got home from the race and unpacked all the bikes (started the run at noon so it was hot...). 7.5 was at ultra distance pace (8:00/mile pace including a couple walk breaks...). I was feeling good at that point to I picked up the pace to IM pace and ran the next 7.5 miles at 7:04 pace. After that I ran 3.4 miles with my wife. I intended to do 20 miles, but ended up rubbing my left heel a little raw. It is a good thing it happened today as it reminded me to add blister band-aids to my list of things to bring to the race.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

16 days and counting...

I swam 4000 meters during the lunch hour. The swim did not feel very good...

After work I rode the training for 1 ht 15 min varying the watts between 200 and 230. Off the bike I ran 9.1 miles at 7:28 average pace (basically IM pace). All and all an easier aerobic day.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

8/30 & 8/31 - 17 days until race day....

The goal from this point on is to stay healthy, stay safe, and start planning.

I swam 2500 meters straight yesterday. It felt good. I have my pace nailed right now.

Today after work I rode the trainer for 2 hours and ran 4.5 miles. The ride went well. The main set was 30 min at 250 watts, 5min @ 200 watts, 8x(3min @ 275 watts, 3min @ 200 watts). The run was a nice easy aerobic run averaging 7:30/mile.

All and all things are feeling good at this point. (knock on wood).

Sunday, August 29, 2010

8/29 - 2 weeks, 5 days until the race

Only 2 weeks and 5 days until the race. I cannot tell you how ready I am to finally race and take a long needed month off of any serious training.

Today I ran 30 miles of trails. It was fun :). I only had to run 7 miles solo today. Lauren ran 19+ miles with me. The wife and kids ran 3.5 miles with me.

Lauren asked me if I would consider adventure racing... I think the seed has been planted :).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

8/28 - Trainer, trainer, and more trainer

I was so tired last night that I decided to sleep in... Boy did I sleep (10+ hours). I woke up too late to ride outside today so I sucked it up and hit the trainer for 140 miles (I know, I know...nobody should ever ride the trainer for 140 miles). I rode some before and after riding the Computrainer IM Louisville course. It was a really good ride. I ended up with a PR on the course by close to 10 minutes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

8/27 - The race is ON AGAIN!!!

Lots to update... First and foremost, the RACE IS ON AGAIN. The race director contacted me and let me know that we will be having the September race. I cannot tell you how relieved I am. I really did not want to extend me training another 3 weeks.

Right now I am tired. I was falling asleep while watching a movie with the family. I am going to head to bed shortly as I do not think that I can stay awake too much longer.

I attempted to swim yesterday during lunch, but my heart was not into it so I called it at 3000 yards. I tried swimming with the lunch bunch in hopes that swimming with people would motivate me, but it didn't :(. After work I was feeling better and did a 2 hour trainer ride followed by a 7 mile run. The trainer ride was good. I varied the watts between 200 and 280. As my body recovers from the accidents I am getting more power back. The run was really good too. I did the first 3 miles as 5min EZ, 5min hard, 5min EZ, 5min hard and the last 4 miles at IM pace. The two 5min hard efforts were 5:50 and 6:05 per mile pace. The EZ and IM pace averaged between 7:00-7:30/mile. It feels good to be doing some power and speed work again. All those crazy long workouts had me more focused on surviving vs. power/speed.

Today I swam 6000. There really is not much to report. It was a day where I did what I had to in order to complete the distance. On the up side, my sleeveless wetsuit arrived. I am looking forward to trying it out in the near future.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

8/25 - The roller coaster continues

My A/C was fixed this morning. I am very grateful as it was hot in the house... I cannot imagine how bad it would have been if it did not get fixed in the morning.

Today I rode the trainer for an hour and ran 8.5 miles off the bike. The run felt great. The past two days had my hopes up as it had been a while since I felt like I could really run.

Now for the low point... I received a call from the race director for the Virginia double asking me if I could switch to the October race. He had 10 people drop from the September race and has yet to receive a commitment from 2 others. My heart skipped a beat as he was telling this to me. I already have the time approved off of work in September. I have money already locked into my house rental and miscilaneous expenses. I just started to cut down the miles in preparation for tapering for the race. I was in a good place mentally too...

I was eating dinner when he called and my appettite immediately went out the window. In fact, I am sick to my stomach right now. Words cannot express the disappointment I am feeling.

Jess and I both have family who already made plans for September. I am not sure if I could logistically pull off doing the October race.

All of the fund raising I have been doing has been centered around doing the double in September. I cannot even imagine what I could/would say or do if I could not make the October race work with my job or my support people.

The race director is supposed to call me back Friday and let me know if the race is cancelled. I will provide an update once I know for sure one way or another.

8/24 - highs and lows

Yesterday started out well. I swam 4000 meters at lunch and it felt good. I had some pretty good times too. It has been a while since I have swam fast as I have been more focused on getting the distance in rather than my pace.

After work I rode the computrainer for 3 hours varying my watts between 200 and 275 watts. I would guess that my average watts to be around 240. It was the first time in a while that I took my watts above 250... Again, felt good. I proceeded to get off the bike and go for a 4.5 mile run. Out of the gate I peeled off a sub-7 mile. I then backed off the pace a little for the next half mile and decided to pick it up again (this time I was under 6:30 pace). It was dark and I was approaching some sidewalk that is know to be a little rough so I backed down some to find my footing. Once I cleared this section of sidewalk I decided to pick it up again (6:00/mile this time). I ran the last mile easy as a cool down. The total run averaged 7:03/mile which is crazy good for me right now. All of my runs since the first bike accident back in June have been very controlled as I have been fighting knee and hip issues. I usually end up averaging well above 7:30/mile and rarely ever saw below a 7:00/mile pace.

Now for the low... I finished the workout after 10:00 PM only to get home and find out that my A/C was blowing hot air. Instead of eating, stretching, washing up and going to bed I now had to try to troubleshoot my A/C issues. Needless to say, I was not successful and had to call an HVAC specialist. Just what I needed, another expense. I am hoping that I do not need to replace the darn thing.

Monday, August 23, 2010

8/23 - Donation Update, stories, and worries

The fund raising has been going well. As of this post the total stands at $3300! That is 66% of the fund raising goal.

Several people shared stories of their loved ones who were healthy, athletic, and living a wonderful life prior to being diagnosed with MS. The MS slowly impacted their lives until they eventually were not able to participate in the activities they loved like running, roller blading, skiing, swimming, and cycling. Everyday tasks like mowing the lawn, gardening, walking the dog, cooking a meal... all became too difficult for them. Some of them ended up in a wheelchair and even became bed ridden. Sadly, some of them even passed away from the MS.

Approximately 400,000 Americans have MS, and every week about 200 people are diagnosed. World-wide, MS affects about 2.5 million people.

Hearing these stories make me appreciate all the little things in life that most people take for granted. I was driving to work today watching people riding each others bumpers, talking on cell phones, riding bikes, running, walking... I kept wondering whether they really appreciated the fact that they CAN drive, they CAN run, they CAN walk, they CAN hold and talk on a cell phone, they CAN ride a bike... you get the picture. I know that I used to take it for granted. Every donation whether it is $5 or $200 warms my heart.

Sunday morning I had intended to run 42 miles, but was not able to make the full distance. During the run I felt good for 28 miles. I ran another 6 miles and hit a point where I physically was not able to continue. My hydration was good. My nutrition was good. My leg muscles just did not want to cooperate. At that point I asked the wife and kids to meet me to help me continue towards my goal. I rested for 20 minutes while they got ready and drove to the trailhead where I was waiting. With their encouragement I struggled for the next 2.5 miles. Every stride was painful and required my total concentration. Jogging was no longer an option after the 2.5 miles. Walking was my only option at that point. At a minimum I had to walk .5 miles to get back to the car. Usually when I reach a point where I cannot continue it is due to dehydration. Sunday it was a muscle failure. I have never experienced muscle failure before and I can honestly say that it was very scary. Once we reached the car I was done. My legs we like lead weights. I had to quit and failed to reach my intended goal.

Those who know me know that since I started triathlon training 6 years ago I have always reached my goals. It is hard for me to admit the following, but I feel that I really need to share some of the struggles that have been plaguing me about the race....

The idea of putting together a 4.8 mile swim, 224 mile bike, and 52.4 mile run scares me. I know I can make the swim. I am pretty sure I can make the bike. The run is a totally different story. If the swim and the bike goes as planned I will be running from 9 PM until I finish the 52.4 miles. I will be on my feet for hours on end during the hours that most will be sleeping. They say the course is dark and we will need to have head lamps or flashlights so we can see where we are going (Good thing I am not scared of the dark!). I have yet to ever go 52.4 miles during semi-normal hours let alone after the swim and bike and during those crazy hours. I made 40 miles once and that was very painful. I made 37 miles on Sunday and felt like I could not take another step. I have tried mixing jogging and walking and the result was extending my time till exhaustion, but only long enough to make 40 miles which is still a far cry from 52.4 miles.

I am in the best shape of my life. I have taken my body to new limits both physically and mentally while training for this event. Looking back on my training so far, I do not feel that I could have done anything differently to prepare myself for the race. It really comes down to how I feel during the two day event. Will my mind be strong enough to take me to new limits? Will my body physically be able to push beyond the pain that has stopped my workouts early on countless occasions during my training? Will my body be able to absorb sufficient fluids and nutrition to fuel me for the 24 or more hours I will be racing? Will I be healthy on race morning? Will the weather cooperate? How long will it take for me to chafe or blister? There are so many factors that will come into play during the race...

I know that this experience has taught me a lot no matter what happens. I now appreciate life more than ever. My eyes have been opened and my heart filled. Thank you to all who have supported my fund raising efforts, who have shared their stories, and who have support my training. Without you I would not be the person I am today and for that I will be forever thankful. God bless.

8/23 - Finally.

I was so tired last night. I was actually falling asleep after dinner. I ended up getting close to 8 hours of sleep. :) I cannot even tell you the last time I actually slept for 8 hours. Right now I am so sunburned that I am probably skipping the lunch time swim and making today a complete day off. As I consider the weeks leading up to the race I am considering the following weekend workouts:

8/27 - 6000 meter swim
8/28 - 140 mile bike
8/29 - 30 mile run

9/3 - 6000 meter swim
9/4 - 100 mile bike
9/5 - 20 mile run

9/10 - 4000 meter swim
9/11 - 60 mile bike
9/12 - 8 mile run


I want to make sure I get plenty of rest and recovery going into the race. During the weekdays I will limit my total riding to no more than 5 hours and running to no more than 20 miles. Roughly 3 1/2 weeks left until race day...

Sunday, August 22, 2010

8/22 - Runs, Swim Clinic, and general comments

This morning I woke at 2:30 AM. I made sure to eat breakfast again as I felt so good yesterday. I started my run at 4:00 AM at Forest Meadows. The general rule is that you should wait at least 2 hours after eating before running, but I run slow enough on my long runs to digest solid food... I felt great until mile 28. Once I hit mile 28 everything starting coming apart. My legs got stiff and every stride was an effort.

I ran miles 12.5-23 with Shannon and Frank. Frank asked me how I can ride 180 miles one day and still be able to run well the next day. I told him that nutrition is a big part of it (pre, during, and post workout). It is one of the areas that most people overlook. I would be happy to share my nutrition with people if they feel like contacting me at chuck@revtricoaching.com.

All that said, I did make 37 miles. This was my "BIGGEST" weekend. From here things start to taper off. The race is less than 4 weeks away...

After the run I spent 3 hours in the sun at the Swim Clinic hosted by Revolutions Triathlon Coaching (www.revtricoaching.com). The clinic raised $400 for the MS Fundraiser. I am very burned (red) right now... It was a LONG day.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

8/21 - Part II

I am not sure what got into me today, but I made all 180 miles on the bike and felt good the whole way (even during the 90+ degree heat). I did get up extra early to make sure I actually ate a real breakfast this morning... That could have been it...

I also wanted to say thanks to Frank and Shannon for riding 80 of the miles with me.

8/21 - early start

I am officially nuts. It is 1:45 AM and I just finished my breakfast. Today is planned to be my longest ride (weather permitting). I am hoping for a clear sky, a clear head, and that my body cooperates. The effort is definitely there :).

For those who read my blog and have donated, I thank you. For those who read it and have not, please consider making a donation. For all who read the blog, please reach out to the rest of you friends/family/social circles and help spread the word.

Donation site: http://www.microgiving.com/profile/chuck

For what it is worth, I tried swimming yesterday after seeing the doctor (needed to get a couple cortisone shots) and was rained out 800 meters into the swim.

Friday, August 20, 2010

8/18-8/19 Updates

Wednesday - PM - 21 mile ride followed by a 9.1 mile run + a core body workout.
Thursday - Lunch - 2100 meters EZ - PM - 32 mile ride followed by a 8.25 mile run.

My right knee felt great for about a week before it started bothering me again the past few days. I am scheduled to see Dr. Thompson today to talk about my knee and my hip. I have been seeing Dr. Van Tassell twice a week to treat my various aches and pains. He has been working on my ITB, hamstrings, hips, and left arch. I can honestly say I believe it is helped as the pain is less intense and less frequent.

Seeley has been working on an article for the local paper about the fundraising effort. I believe it will be published within the next couple of days.

An old college buddy of mine has been helping to spread the word about my efforts and it has resulted in additional denotations. It is nice to know there are supportive people out there. Thanks!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

8/17 Meetings, Donations, and Workouts

Yesterday was the monthly Gulf Winds Tri Club meeting. My wife and I attended and talked to the tri club about the fundraiser. Jess shared information about MS, her mom, and CCSVI. I spoke about the Ultra Tri and the swim clinic that Revolutions Triathlon Coaching is hosting to help raise money for the fundraiser. We really appreciate Jeff and Ann Bowman donating their time at the swim clinic to help raise money.

The donations are still coming in. We are getting very close to 50% of our goal. In case anyone if curious about who has donated you can find the list of donors on the donation site (http://www.microgiving.com/profile/chuck).

My motivation was back today. I was no longer tired physically or tired of all the long training. I believe this change came about due to the support given by the tri club at the meeting and the 3 additional donors today. It always motivates me to hear words of encouragement or see people support the fundraising efforts.

Today I swam 7000 meters in the morning and did a brick consisting of a 56 mile bike and 3.4 mile run in the PM. It felt awesome. I would have kept going, but it was late and I need to make sure I am respecting my need for sleep.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

8/15 Update

I ran 35 miles today... I hit Forest Meadows (trails) at 5:00 AM this morning. Today was a lot of fun as I was able to run with people :). It has been a while since I last ran out there early in the morning. I ran into a lot of people I had not seen in a while. When you run for just under 5 hours you see lots of different people :). I debated trying to hit 40 miles, but decided against it due to the weather warming up. I will have to make it a point to start earlier if I want to get in 40.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

8/14 Update

The past two days have been very educational. I tried swimming with the wetsuit yesterday and took it off 1600 meters into the swim. I took it off because it was too hot and my shoulders were getting tired. I continued my swim and ended at 4000 meters. The good thing about the swim was that I felt good and could have kept going. I just ordered a sleeveless wetsuit as there is no way that I want to use a full suit for 4.8 miles. I cannot even imagine how tired my shoulders would be after that... I am also looking into the QR speed sleeves to compliment the sleeveless wetsuit.

Today was a rough day. I started my ride around 4:00 AM and felt good for about 4 hours. Once I hit mile 83 I knew I was in trouble as my mouth started to salivate uncontrolably which has been my warning sign for dehydration in the past. It was another 11 miles until a gas station. Things got really ugly for a bit. I ended up stopping for 5 minutes at the gas station to cool my body off and take in some fluids.

After I arrived at home I checked my bike over and was frustrated as my front break was rubbing my wheel. I am not sure what is up with my front brake, but it does not release all the way after braking. After further inspecting my bike I found that the front derailer needs to be dialed in as it rubs the chain in the 2 smallest cogs. The plan is to take it to Higher Ground later today to get it dialed in.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

8/12 - PM

I had intended to ride/run tonight, but I am tired... I am going to listen to my body and take today off. Tomorrow I will take the wetsuit to the pool and see how it feels to do a moderately long swim in it.

The weekend will be a mid distance weekend of 80-100 miles of cycling and 25-30 miles of running (at least compared to what I have been doing).

8/12 - So tired...

I am tired today... Very tired... I tried to swim at lunch, but did not have the drive/motivation to do much (1200 meters). The good news (always need to find something good) is that is was supposed to be an easy stretch out swim... Tomorrow I am debating wearing my wetsuit during the swim to see how my shoulders feel. I have not been doing much wetsuit swiming over the last couple of years.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

8/11 Workouts & More

Today I went back to Dr. Van Tassell so he could continue to help me with my hip pain. The hips always feel much better after my appointments. I ended up riding 42 miles and running 8.5 miles after work today.

The fundraiser swim clinic was announced to the tri club today. Registration is going well so far. There have also been a handful of additional donations today. In fact, we surpassed the $2000 mark :). I spent some time tonight working on some print outs that Jess is planning to post at the gym and various other places around town. I also plan to send some out via snail mail...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

8/10 Workouts

My hips have really been hurting the past two days so I was a little worried about how the workouts would go today. I am happy to report that they felt better the more I worked out. I ended up swimming 4000 meters during lunch and after the kids were put to bed I rode the trainer for an hour and ran 4.3 miles.

8/10 - Fundraiser Update

I took two big gambles today for the fundraiser... I posted a thread on slowtwitch.com looking for advice on what people found to be effective in their fundraising efforts. This is a gamble as slowtwitch can be kind or brutal at times. I am hoping people are kind as my post was well intended and not meant to stir up any trouble.

The second thing I tried was creating a fundraising brochure that I plan to distribute via mail and use to stuff packets at an upcoming race.

Monday, August 9, 2010

8/9 - Update

A few more donations came in today (currently at 37% - $1839.57). I am very thankful for all the people who have been kind enough to make contributions and/or spread the word.

I was very tired today after the long weekend (13 hours of cycling and running). I ended up working out just over 27 hours for the week. I actually slept 7.5 hours last night. That is 2 more hours than I normally get... The plan for this week is to keep things low key and allow the body to recover. I am planning on picking up the miles over the weekend and hitting it hard next week. There are less than 6 weeks left until the race. :)

I swam at the Myers Park pool today over lunch (only 1700 yards). It was great seeing everybody. A number of the lunch hour swim crew offered me words of encouragement. I cannot thank them enough as I really needed a pick me up today.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

8/8 Update and 8/2 - 8/8 Week Summary

Today was rough... I woke at 3:15 AM with the intent of doing a short 5 mile spin to warm my legs up and heading out for a long run. I did the 5 miles on the bike as planned and made 16.6 miles of running before I had to stop for a bit to massage my hips and left arch. Once I finished the massage I did some stretching and taped before heading back out. The 2nd part of the run was 15.15 miles putting the total at 31.75 miles for the day.

The weekly totals are as follows:

Swim - 11000 meters
Bike - 297.5 miles
Run - 62.75 miles
Core - 2 Core workouts

This week had a key long swim of 6900 meters and a brick workout consisting of 160 mile ride/5 mile run.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

8/7 - Update

Today started early. I was up at 2:30 AM and riding by 4:00 AM. I ran into tummy issues 2 hours in, but that subsided after a couple pepto tabs. It ended up being a good workout. I rode 160 miles averaging 21 mph and ran 5 miles off the bike at roughly 7:40/mile pace. That was the first time I have run off of a long bike and it felt much better than I expected it to...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Fundraiser Update

The fundraising is going well. The current amount raised is $1613.48. Revolutions Triathlon Coaching is currently working on the logistics for a swim clinic in which 100% of the participant fees will be donated to the MS Fundraiser.

8/6 - Update

Yesterday was another good training day. I rode 43.5 miles in the morning on the way to work and ran another 4.35 miles once I arrived at work. After work I rode another 27.5 miles and ran 10.9 miles. The totals for the day were 71 miles of cycling and 15.25 miles of running.

Today I just did a 800 meter EZ swim. The weekly totals are as follows (Mon - Fri):

Swim - 11000 meters
Bike - 132.5 miles
Run - 26 miles
Core - 2 Core workouts

I am hoping to get in another shorter swim, a long bike, and a mid distance run this weekend.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

8/4 - Quick Update

This morning I decided to do a swim to make sure I got it in considering I missed the swim yesterday. I *thought* I made 7000 meters, but after adding things up I only went 6900 meters. It was one of those moments where you get all excited because you reached a milestone only to realize you screwed up and miscounted. All that said, I am still excited that I made the 6900 as that is my longest swim so far. I did a 1500, 3000, 2x500, 2x600, 200 CD in 1 hour 48 minutes.

This afternoon I am seeing the chiropractor again....

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

8/3 Update

Yesterday was a swim only day. I ended up swimming 3300 meters.

Today I rode 48.5 miles to work and ran 3.75 off the bike. My intent was to swim during lunch, but ended up going to the eye doctor. My left eye is red and very irritated. He ended up prescribing an eye drop antibiotic. After work I rode 13 miles and ran another 7 miles. After the run I did a core routine... All and all a good day.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

8/1 Update

Yesterday and today were long days... The kids had an outdoor swim meet both days that lasted from 8:00 AM - 1:00 PM. It was HOT... All 3 kids ended up getting best times during multiple events so it was well worth it. I should also mention that they had fun too. :)

Saturday I rode for 19 miles and attempted a 16-20 mile run, but it was not in the cards. It started to pour on me about 6 miles into the run. I was still 2.3 miles from home... It was coming down hard, thunder was booming, and lightning flashing. At that point I figured I would just run home and hit the treadmill. At 7 miles there was a loud crack and all the street and house lights went out. I still had 1.3 miles to go and no lights other than the occasionally car or flash of lightning. Now my thoughts went to just getting home without twisting an ankle while running in the darkness... I did make it home safe, but without power at the house my run had to end at 8.3 miles.

Today I attended the swim meet and had a coaching swim session in the afternoon. It was a long hot tiring day in the sun... This evening I rode for 12 miles and ran off the bike for 12.45 miles. The runs felt pretty good this week.

Friday, July 30, 2010

7/30 Update

Today I swam 4000 meters during the lunch hour and just finished a 56 mile ride. Right now I am stretching and sipping on my Ultragen. Tomorrow the kids have a swim meet all morning and part of the afternoon. My plan is to ride some tomorrow evening and try to run 16-20 miles depending on how my hip feels. So far it has been feeling good (knock on wood).

Sunday is going to be a rest day with a little swimming before, during, and maybe after the 2 swim instruction sessions Sunday afternoon. I am hoping we do not get rained out...

Thursday, July 29, 2010

7/29 Updates

It has been a crazy day... This morning my wife's sister's husband's father died when he was struck by a vehicle while riding his bike. My heart and prayers go out to his family. His accident really hits home for me as I had such an awful crash back in 2008 (concussion, broken wrist, separated shoulder, and plenty of road rash) and 2 cycling accidents over the past 2 months myself. I know I have been lucky and come out of my accidents in decent shape, but how many times can a person have an accident before it is more serious. As much as I enjoy the sport I really do not know that it is worth the risk of being on the roads with drivers who do not pay attention... I really wish Tallahassee had better trails for riding.

On the fundraiser front, the Tallahassee Democrat published an article about the fundraiser and that has already helped increase the total money raised to $1473.40. I have received feedback from people who read the article and who have made donations. Their stories touch me and their words encourage me.

I also had my appointment with Dr. Van Tassell today. He adjusted me a little and did some therapy that seemed to help my hip and knee. I am definitely planning on seeing him again next Wednesday. :)

Yesterday was a very light day. All I did was a core routine.

Today was an awesome workout day. I was able to get in 75 miles on the bike and 16 miles on the run. The last 8 miles of the run was at 7:15 pace. That is much better than the 8:15/mile that I was running earlier in the week. The Democrat article, emails with words of encouragement, and seeing the donations coming in really inspires me. It seems like I had new energy/drive knowing that people are behind me supporting my efforts.

Thank you to all who have donated and all who have emailed me. Your words and donations provide the motivation necessary for me to complete the training in preparation for the race. I can promise you that the donors and their comments are in my thoughts during my workouts. Those thoughts keep me focused and committed to my training.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

7/27 Workouts

This morning I was out the door very early. Too early... I rode the back roads to work (50.5 miles) and ran 5 miles off the bike. It was a very interesting ride. My battery died around 38 miles so I was riding without a headlight the rest of the way to work. I am very thankful that it was a clear night/morning and an almost full moon. I am planning on buying a backup headlight before riding to work again.

During the lunch hour I swam 3200 meters.

After work I rode an easy 4 miles to warm up my legs and ran another 5 miles. The good news is that I am running again and the times are coming down with each run.

Monday, July 26, 2010

7/26 Workouts & Fund Raising update

Today I was up at 4:00 AM and out the door by 4:55 AM for my workout. This morning I rode 42 miles to work and jogged 2.65 miles off the bike. The run was slow, but it was running. :)

I swam 3200 meters over the lunch hour. I did a 3000 meter swim with 200 meters EZ for cool down.

After work I did a 20 min (about 6 miles) spin followed by a 3.4 mile run. Again, it was slow... My target race pace for the 52.4 mile run is 8:00-9:00/mile. I was definitely in that range for both runs today. My plan is to continue to build miles in these smaller slower workouts in hopes that my hip will continue to feel better.

The Democrat is supposed to have an article on the MS fundraiser this week. I am not sure what day, but I was told it will be in there. I am hopeful that there will be some generous people out there who will read the article and decide to make a donation.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

7/19-7/25 Week Summary

Swim: 14,436 yards
Cycling: 321 miles
Run: 15.5 miles
Elliptical: 7.5 miles
Core Workouts: 2

Highlights were a 6500 meter swim on Friday and a 167 miles of cycling on Saturday. The bike accident on Monday really impacted my running this week. I plan to try running short runs this week to see how the hip feels.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

7/24 - PM Ride

I just finished the PM ride (31.5 miles). That makes 167 miles for the day. In two weeks I will target 180 or more miles.

7/24 AM Long Ride

I hip felt good this morning. I ended up getting out of the house an hour later than I had planned. The total distance was 135.5 miles. The total time was 6 hours 20 minutes. Here is the breakdown:

Break down:
41 miles in 2:00 ~ 20.5 mph
30 miles in 1:18 ~ 23 mph
40 miles in 1:48 ~ 22.22 mph
24.5 miles in 1:14 ~ 19.9 mph

Total:
135.5 miles in 6:20 ~ 21.4 mph

I felt great. I was tempted to keep riding, but thought it better to head indoors since it was already past noon. My current plan is to eat, hydrate, rest and ride more tonight.

Friday, July 23, 2010

7/23 - Long Swim and Hip Update

Today I swam 6500 meters (1000 WU, 300, 250, 200, 150, 100, 1500, 3x600, 200 CD).

I went to the doctor and had x-rays taken of my hips. Everything looked good (thankfully). I also called and scheduled an appointment with the chiropractor for next Thursday.

I just finished a massage from Ann Bowman and feel great (definitely recommend contacting her if you have any aches, pains, or tightness). I feel so good I am tempted to go out running right now. She has provided me with new hope that I will be running again soon.

Tomorrow is a long ride...

Thursday, July 22, 2010

7/22 - Rest day & fundraiser update

Today was mostly a rest day. I did do a core workout, but my hips were hurting most of the day. I did end up using Kenisio tape to tape up my right hip. I have to say that it really helps when taped properly. I have to give a big shout out to Jerry Latimer from TOSPT http://www.tospt.com/jerryLatimer for introducing me to Kenisio tape when treating me leading up to Kona last year. I am looking forward to seeing how it feels over the next day or two.

The fundraiser has slowed a bit, but hope is on the horizon. The Tallahassee Democrat contacted me and said they wanted to run an article on the MS Fundraiser effort.

Chris Brown from Quintana Roo Bikes hooked me up with a posting on their blog:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Quintana-Roo-Tri/257199613601

Chris is a great guy and uber cyclist. He split 57 min for his Chattanooga Waterfront Triathlon bike split. His split crushed the professional bike splits at that race...

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

7/21 Workouts and venting

My cycling and swimming are continuing to feel good, but my running is a different story. The bike accident on Monday really left my hips messed up. I really wish people would realize how dangerous a vehicle can be and pay more attention while driving. There really is no excuse for a driver to make a left hand turn without looking at the oncoming traffic. The driver who pulled in front of me really did not have an excuse not to see me. There was nothing obstructing his view. It was daylight. I had bright blinking lights flashing on the front of the bike. I had on a colorful jersey. All I can do is try to stay positive and hope that my hips heal and that I can find a way not to lose the run fitness I have worked hard to gain over the many months I have spent training for the Ultra Tri.

Today I rode 61 miles before work, swam 4000 meters during lunch, and ran 9 miles. The run was slow and ended up being pretty painful the last mile (hips...). I had planned on running long (40+ mile) this weekend, but that is not looking too promising right now. I am going to skip running for the next couple days and try again this weekend.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fundraiser Update

The total amount raised so far is $813.48. I am hopeful that more people will consider helping me raise money for MS CCSVI research by going to http://www.microgiving.com/profile/chuck and making a donation. Thanks!

7/20 PM

I was not able to swim at lunch today b/c my 11:00 meeting ended up running until 12:30. I ended up with a flat rear tire this morning during the 48 mile ride. The ride was a little slower than normal. I am betting that it was caused by the flat (more rolling resistance).

I did run today. The first 2.5 miles were rough (hips hurt). After that I loosened up and ran another 5 miles (7.5 total). It was HOT (started around 5:30 PM).

7/20 - Update

The run did not happen yesterday. My hip hurt too much :(. On the up side, I was able to swim 2700 meters during lunch yesterday. The hip hurt to push off the walls, but it was tolerable. I was also able to ride 48 miles this morning. The plan is to attempt to run again this evening...

Monday, July 19, 2010

7/19 - Wrecked again!!!

Some people just do not watch while they are driving. I was a quarter mile from work when a truck made a left hand turn in front of me. I was heading downhill 30+ mph... He had to cross an island that separated the two sides of the road to turn into his work place. I sat up when I saw him approach the turn and started to slow. He proceeded to cross the street at a snails pace and blocked both lanes. There was no way that I was going to be able to stop in time so I had to either hit him or go down. I chose the latter and went down on my elbow and hip. It was one of those split second decisions where you have to pick the best of two bad situations. My hip has a fist side scrape with plenty of missing skin and my elbow has a scrape the size of a half dollar.

I was 42 miles into my ride when it happened so I decided to ride to the pool (about .25 mile away) to get bandages. The lifeguard hooked me up and I continued on to work where I cleaned up. Definitely not the way to start your hardest training week. :( I am still planning to swim at lunch so the chlorine can help disinfect the wounds. My evening run may not happen... It really depends how sore I get between now and then. Right now the hip is sore and swelling up some. What really sucks is that I just finished healing from the last accident. On the bright side, it could have easily been worse.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

7/12-7/18 Week Summary

Swim: 13,014 yards
Cycling: 250 miles
Run: 31.65 miles
Core Workouts: 2

All and all a light week... The highlight was the 6000 meter swim workout on Tuesday. My runs are feeling better and better as the knee gets better. Next week is currently planned to be one of my largest weeks ever...

The fundraising effort is going well (the current total is $713.48). A special thanks to all who have donated or helped spread the word. It is very much appreciated.

Sick Day

Just after I fall asleep, I wake up to a kid throwing up. It is going to be a long lazy day today (2 hours sleep and my daughter sick). I am hoping that it is not a stomach flu and that it was something she ate. Jessica dodged a bullet this time :).

7/17 PM Workout

I just finished my evening workout. I ended up doing a brick consisting of a 90 min trainer ride (WU, 5x15min as (5min @ 200 watts, 5min @ 225 watts, 5min @ 250 watts), 5min EZ) and a 15.4 mile run. It is amazing how much better I felt tonight. I ended up hydrating well over the course of the day and taking a 30 min power nap... I am sure the combination of the two had something to do with the change in my energy levels.

My runs are feeling better and better these days (knock on wood). :)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

7/17 AM Attempt at a workout

I started a trainer ride with the intent to go 4-5 hours and called it at 55 minutes. I was not with it mentally and did not have power in my legs. I am going to call it for the morning and try again later. It might be time to take a rest day today and possibly tomorrow. I was hoping to get in a run since I only have 16.25 miles in this week. If I run it will be on the treadmill. :(

Friday, July 16, 2010

7/16 PM Workout

I just finished my evening ride. I waited until I put the kids to bed before starting my trainer ride. I went 44 miles as WU, 2x45min as (40 min @ 230 watts with 5 min EZ), 20 min @ 250 watts, 5 min EZ CD.

7/16 AM Workout

I rode 25 min in the trainer to loosen my legs and then went out for a 8.25 mile run this morning. I tried loosing my shoe laces to see if that was contributing to my recent foot pain. That seemed to help... I believe my feet to be swelling over the course of the run and that the pain starts when the shoe tightens.

On a side note, I believe my IM run pace has slowed by 15-20 sec per mile with all this long slow training I have had to do. It has not been easy watching my speed slow and power dimenish in order to train for this race.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

7/15 Workouts

I was up at 4:00 AM and rode 53 miles to work this morning. I swam 3300 meters during lunch. The swim was 3x1000 with a 300 CD. I ended up going 13:53 on the 3rd 1000 meter pulling with paddles. The intent was to run today after work, but we ended up with a huge storm. I think we ended up with 12-14 inches of rain over the course of 30-45 minutes. It was really coming down...

WHAT MOTIVATES ME

Yesterday a friend asked me how I stay motivated during an 11 month training season. Honestly, it is not easy. July and August are always the hardest months for me. It is always so hot and humid… It seems like you do not need to exert much effort to feel spent. You sweat just by walking outdoors. It is depressing to see your times slow down as the weather heats up. If you are not careful you get caught up in the numbers and start to think your fitness is declining. A lot of training and racing triathlons is mental. Your body can do way more than you think it can. When training and racing for IM races or Ultras you often find yourself thinking negative thoughts and wanting to give up or quit the workout early.

Training for the Ultra tri has been exceptionally hard during the past month. When you have a 5-6 hour run or a 7-8 hour ride in Florida there is not a good time to do it. If you run in the evening you are dealing with 80-100% humidity and 80+ degree temperatures. If you run in the early AM hours you have 90-100% humidity and mid to upper 70s for the temperatures. Doing the workout in the evening or early AM hours also takes a toll on the body as you are doing the workout in the dark and when your internal clock says you should be sleeping… If you chose to sleep a normal schedule and start your run around 7:00 AM you end up running in 80% humidity and temperatures end up in the 90s before you can complete the workout.

On to what keeps me going… My family has been wonderful. When my workouts cross into “normal” people hours (when the family is awake) they will run with me, get me water bottles, cheer me on, or encourage me to keep going when I am ready to give up. I have some friends who will do part of my long ride with me or on occasion do part of my long run with me. I have a swimming partner for some of my swim workouts. I am constantly thinking about the fundraising effort and how people with MS do not have a choice to quit or to make the pain stop. I keep thinking that my suffering is a choice, that my pain is temporary and that I can choose not to do the race or choose to quit a workout early. All of that is what keeps me motivated…

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

7/14 PM Workout

I ran 8 miles after work and did a quick core strength workout. The run actually felt pretty good. I expected it to feel bad after the long run this past Sunday.

More CCSVI and MS Info

An Italian doctor has been getting dramatic results with a new type of treatment for Multiple Sclerosis, or MS, which affects up to 2.5 million people worldwide. In an initial study, Dr. Paolo Zamboni took 65 patients with relapsing-remitting MS, performed a simple operation to unblock restricted bloodflow out of the brain - and two years after the surgery, 73% of the patients had no symptoms. Dr. Zamboni's thinking could turn the current understanding of MS on its head, and offer many sufferers a complete cure.

Multiple sclerosis, or MS, has long been regarded as a life sentence of debilitating nerve degeneration. More common in females, the disease affects an estimated 2.5 million people around the world, causing physical and mental disabilities that can gradually destroy a patient's quality of life.

It's generally accepted that there's no cure for MS, only treatments that mitigate the symptoms - but a new way of looking at the disease has opened the door to a simple treatment that is causing radical improvements in a small sample of sufferers.

Italian Dr. Paolo Zamboni has put forward the idea that many types of MS are actually caused by a blockage of the pathways that remove excess iron from the brain - and by simply clearing out a couple of major veins to reopen the blood flow, the root cause of the disease can be eliminated.

Dr. Zamboni's revelations came as part of a very personal mission - to cure his wife as she began a downward spiral after diagnosis. Reading everything he could on the subject, Dr. Zamboni found a number of century-old sources citing excess iron as a possible cause of MS. It happened to dovetail with some research he had been doing previously on how a buildup of iron can damage blood vessels in the legs - could it be that a buildup of iron was somehow damaging blood vessels in the brain?

He immediately took to the ultrasound machine to see if the idea had any merit - and made a staggering discovery. More than 90% of people with MS have some sort of malformation or blockage in the veins that drain blood from the brain. Including, as it turned out, his wife.

He formed a hypothesis on how this could lead to MS: iron builds up in the brain, blocking and damaging these crucial blood vessels. As the vessels rupture, they allow both the iron itself, and immune cells from the bloodstream, to cross the blood-brain barrier into the cerebro-spinal fluid. Once the immune cells have direct access to the immune system, they begin to attack the myelin sheathing of the cerebral nerves - Multiple Sclerosis develops.

He named the problem Chronic Cerebro-Spinal Venous Insufficiency, or CCSVI.

Zamboni immediately scheduled his wife for a simple operation to unblock the veins - a catheter was threaded up through blood vessels in the groin area, all the way up to the effected area, and then a small balloon was inflated to clear out the blockage. It's a standard and relatively risk-free operation - and the results were immediate. In the three years since the surgery, Dr. Zamboni's wife has not had an attack.

Widening out his study, Dr. Zamboni then tried the same operation on a group of 65 MS-sufferers, identifying blood drainage blockages in the brain and unblocking them - and more than 73% of the patients are completely free of the symptoms of MS, two years after the operation.

In some cases, a balloon is not enough to fully open the vein channel, which collapses either as soon as the balloon is removed, or sometime later. In these cases, a metal stent can easily be used, which remains in place holding the vein open permanently.

Dr. Zamboni's lucky find is yet to be accepted by the medical community, which is traditionally slow to accept revolutionary ideas. Still, most agree that while further study needs to be undertaken before this is looked upon as a cure for MS, the results thus far have been very positive.

Naturally, support groups for MS sufferers are buzzing with the news that a simple operation could free patients from what they have always been told would be a lifelong affliction, and further studies are being undertaken by researchers around the world hoping to confirm the link between CCSVI and MS, and open the door for the treatment to become available for sufferers worldwide.

It's certainly a very exciting find for MS sufferers, as it represents a possible complete cure, as opposed to an ongoing treatment of symptoms. We wish Dr. Zamboni and the various teams looking further into this issue the best of luck.

7/14 AM Workout

I rode 52 miles before work this morning... It took about an hour for my legs to come around. I have to keep reminding myself to be patient as I am training for a long race and going too hard at any point can mean the difference between finishing or not finishing.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fundraising update

The fundraising is not happening quite as I expected it to... So far the total raised is $210. I am hopeful that the word will get out and that some generous souls will find it in the heart to make a donation or at least help spread the word.

I am also looking to put together a swim clinic with the proceeds going to the fundraising effort.

6/13 workouts

Rode 52 miles in the AM and swam 6000 meters at lunch. The swim consisted of a 4000 meter straight swim followed by a 2000 straight.

Monday, July 12, 2010

7/12 Workout

I swam 2600 meters at lunch today. Today was basically a rest day from the long run yesterday. The left foot was a little sore this morning... I am hoping that it gets better before my next run on Wednesday.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

7/5-7/11 Week Summary

Swim: 10,608 yards
Cycling: 179 miles
Run: 60.5 miles
Core Workouts: 2

All and all a pretty light week until today.... The week was topped off with a 40 mile run today. 40 miles is now my longest single run and 60.5 miles is now the most miles I have ever run in a week.

7/11 Workout

I ended up taking yesterday off so I could get some work done around the house. I woke up at 2:50 AM and was out the door by 4:00 AM for my long run. I ran 40 miles and actually felt pretty good. I changed things up a bit and walked a little after each mile to mimic walking at each turn around at the race. The 40 miles included the short walk breaks... Total time (walk and run) was 5:51. The best part is that I felt like I could have kept going at that pace... Now all I need to do is figure out how to do it after a 4.8 mile swim and 224 mile bike.

Friday, July 9, 2010

6/9 Workouts

I planned to ride 120 miles and run 10-20 miles today, but that was not in the cards. I rode the trainer for 45 miles and ended up blowing a tire. I decided to head out on the run instead of change the tire and continue the ride. I felt great during the early miles of the run, but ended up sweating too much and was not able to hydrate adequately. I ended up with 8.5 miles of running. The current plan is to do an easy spin tomorrow and get up early on Sunday to beat the heat and get in a long run. Going long in Florida during the summer months is not easy...

Thursday, July 8, 2010

FINALLY - FUNDRAISER SITE IS ONLINE

We finally worked out all the logistics for the MS fundraiser site (http://recipients.microgiving.com/profile/chuck). If you decide to check it out I suggest clicking on the "About Me" tab. The MicroGiving.com fundraiser template is limiting so it is not quite what I was picturing, but they were the only fundraiser site that did not have overhead/administration fees. That means 100% of the donations go directly to fund the CCSVI MS research (http://csvi-ms.net/en/content/ccsvi-huge-breakthrough-ms). I ask that you help spread the word about my fundraising efforts. Thanks.

6/8 PM Workout

6.75 mile run. My knee is finally feeling better (knock on wood). I was able to run the whole 6.75 miles without needing to stop and stretch...

6/8 - AM and Lunch workouts

I rode 52 miles to work today and swam 3200 meters at lunch. Tentatively planning to run when I get home from work. It really depends on how I am feeling and how hot it is... I really do not want to run on the treadmill again.

6/7 - PM Run

I ran 5.25 miles this evening (treadmill run). It was nice not to have to deal with the heat. :)

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

6/7 - Lunch Swim

3000 meter straight swim. Nothing special, just trying to figure out how to entertain myself during a long continuous swim.

6/7 - AM Ride

I had a hard time falling asleep last night so I planned on skipping the ride this morning, but ended up waking up at 4:00 AM without the alarm so I decided I would ride into work. The ride ended up being 51 miles and actually felt pretty good. I am sure the lack of sleep will catch up with me...

7/6 - PM Bike

I rode 31 miles in the trainer after work... WU + 4x15min as (10 min @ 225 watts, 5 min @ 250 watts) + CD

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

7/6 - Lunch Swim

3500 meters. 1500 WU followed by 4x(3x100 @ 1:30, 200 @ 3:45 as active recovery). Ted was there today so I had a swimming partner.

I wanted to congratulate Jeff Bowman, my coaching partner, for winning the 2010 Freedom Springs Triathlon yesterday.

7/6 Update

On July 4th I participated in a football game and strained my left hip flexor. Yesterday it hurt pretty bad as it would get stiff if I stopped moving. Today it seems to be better. This week is planned as a recovery week so all I did yesterday was my core routine. Today I am planning on swimming during lunch and getting in a light ride after work. I can tell that my body was ready for rest as I slept 8 hours the past couple of nights which is rare for me.

Monday, July 5, 2010

6/28 - 7/4 Week Summary

Swim: 15,776 yards
Cycling: 296.40 miles
Run: 36.80 miles
Core Workouts: 2

All together a very solid week. The two key workouts for the week were the 6000 meter swim workout on Friday and the 154.4 mile ride on Saturday. If all goes well I will try the 6000 meter swim, a 175 mile ride, and 40 mile run the weekend of July 23-25.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

7/4 - Long run - Kind of

I finally ran out of gas. I knew it was bound to happen and today was that day. I started the run feeling pretty good. 7 miles into the run I had thoughts of maybe making 40 miles today. I thought how awesome it would be to hit all my goal distances in the same weekend (6000 meter swim, 150-175 miles bike, and 40 mile run)... Well, I ran into some friends for miles 7-12 and ended up running harder than I intended. That stretch took more out of me than I thought as once I reached mile 18 things got rough. I was OK mentally, but the energy was low. Looking back on the run I KNOW I was dehydrated. I did weigh myself before starting the run and was 5 lbs light before even starting. I lost another 5 lbs during the run.

On the upside, I did make 20 miles and my knee felt better today than in the past. I might just need to suck it up and try to do a run/walk on the treadmill to get to the magic 40 mile mark. The Florida weather just is not conducive to that distance right now.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

7/3 Long Ride

154.4 miles... I do not know where to begin. I woke at 3:00 AM (not on purpose, just happened). Rode 41.29 miles @ 19.4 avg and met up with Grady and Jamey for 113.1 miles of hills @ 21.2 avg. Over the course of the ride I had so many ups and downs. There were times when my feet hurt, knees hurt, tush hurt, shoulders hurt, neck hurt...

I could go 20 miles feeling awful and then hit a patch where I felt like I was floating effortlessly. Miles 125-148 felt best and just happened to be the portion of the ride with the most hills. Miles 148-154.4 were the worst. I am definitely not planning on riding that pace during the race as there is NO way I can hold 21.2 for 224 miles.

Friday, July 2, 2010

7/2 Long Swim

I made my goal of 6000 meters... Here is what I did:
3x600 @ 9:15
3x500 @ 7:45
3x400 @ 6:15
3x300 @ 4:45
3x200 @ 3:00
Total workout time 1 hr 35 minutes.

That is my longest swim since college and caps off the most swim yards I have done in a week since college as well (15766 yards).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

7/1 Brick workout

I did a brick after work today (48 mile bike/8.4 mile run). The bike was in the trainer (warm-up, 2x25min @ 250 watts with 5 min after each, 55min @ 230 watts, CD). The run was in the rain (2x4.15 mile run with .05 mile walk after each). All and all a good workout. I am looking forward to the challenge of long workouts during the next 3 days (tomorrow = long swim, Sat = long bike, Sun = long run).

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

6/30 Workouts

I was up again at 4:00 AM... I rode 45.5 miles to work and ran 4.2 miles off the bike. For the run I ran 2 miles & walked .1 times 2. I am trying to reprogram my body to do the run/walk thing as I KNOW I cannot run the full 52.4 without walking some. My long runs taught me that I get too stiff between mile 25 and 29 if I do not walk a little. I would hate to have my knees getting stiff with 25 miles to go... OUCH.

I swam again at lunch (3200 yards --- yes, short course). It was fun as I got to swim with some of my buds at the Myers Park pool.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

6/29 Lunch swim

Felt good in the water today. I swam 3000 meters straight (yes, it was boring... but necessary).

6/29 AM Workout

Back to the old schedule of getting up early and commuting to work. I rode 44.5 miles this morning followed by a 4.2 mile run.