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.

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.