Thursday, February 20, 2014

Catching up!

The weather around Atlanta has been horrendous this winter.  Two ice storms and colder than normal conditions overall have kept me off of my bike and inside the house since Ironman Florida in November.
Max during the first snow storm "It's not cold"
Max again at home in the snow
The second ice/snowstorm brought with it a power outage that lasted about 10 hours.

Georgia Power Outage Map from February 12th at 10am EST.
To pass the time between November and Mid-February I've been catching up on my household chores.   My full training schedule last year preempted a lot of things that I should have been doing.  I've been painting the house, replacing the rubber ends on about a dozen door-stops that my brother-in-law's dog ate two years ago, replacing the smoke detectors just because they were old, and fixing up the yard including having thirty-five trees removed.  The list goes on and on.  Fortunately we removed the trees before the ice storms hit us when one of them would have likely fallen on the house.   The plan is to be all done by spring so Susan and I can have a fun filled summer.

Gray is the new...something
Tree removal is like ballet or Cirque du Soleil - with chairsaws
It has been three and a half months since I finished Ironman Florida.  During that time I haven’t done any exercise.  I'm not kidding.  That’s none, nada, zilch!  I needed to recharge my brain after my battle with the hives, which is still ongoing but manageable, a bit of an upset with my local cycling club where we lost and then regained our successful race team, and the burden of a full year of training and racing in 2013.

Now, almost 12 pounds heavier, I’m back on the wagon.  I’m eating better and exercising.  My head is clearer, my chores are done, well most of them, and I’m ready to select some races for 2014.  I’ve already discussed with Susan that I plan to race in Chattanooga in 2016.  I know 2016 that’s a long way off but I want to be in the next age-group to be competitive.  I still want to go to Kona.

I found out that after my first run in 14 weeks that my Nike shoes, which I have only raced in, give me a blister on my right foot.  They have never felt as comfortable as my Asics Cumulus running shoes but the Asics' are about 2-oz heavier per shoe.  So, while traveling for work to Oklahoma City, OK for a week I decided to bring only two pairs of shoes, a pair of dress shoes and my ill-fitting Nikes.

I ran for an hour and as I did I could feel the blister forming on my arch.  After my run I thought I'd try something that I'm pretty sure I'd read about somewhere.  I bought a tube of Aquaphor (it looks and feels just like Vaseline) and a pair of cheap knee high stockings.  The bootie type stockings had a thick seam that I'm sure would be uncomfortable.  I put a healthy glob of Aquaphor on my arch and covered it with the stocking and then my sock.

I've run twice wearing this preventive measure and the blister hasn't gotten any worse.

The stocking is just barely above my sock
Just my sock and stocking
The blister
Aquaphor and $0.33 pair of stockings from Walmart
Since I'm travelling and I don't want to buy another pair of running shoes when I have 3 more pairs at home I think that this is a good short term solution.  It will allow me to continue running and burning fat. I've got 12 lbs to lose.

On the bike club side of the house my tenure as club secretary was over as of mid-January after 2 years.  That has freed me up to do other things.  It would appear that I haven't been writing but nothing could be further from the truth.  In March of last year I took on the Communications Committee responsibilities for the Lake Spivey Civic Association.  After 11 months I was finally able to resurrect the association's newsletter - The Anchor.  I filled it with 12 pages of articles of interest to me and hopefully some of my neighbors.  The plan is to produce a new issue each quarter.

Please read it and let me know what you think!  Here's a link.

I had to also include this picture of Max taken in December with two balls in his mouth.  His nose is pushed up so far that he can hardly breathe and snorts like a pig as he waits for a third ball to be thrown across the yard.
Thanks for reading.