Healthy Living

Don’t give up on your 2011 goals just yet!

January 30th, 2011 at 2:18 pm by under Healthy Living

If you’ve been in a gym lately, you’ve noticed the year started out with the “Resolution Crowd” and is now beginning to thin out.  Don’t be a statistic!!!!  It takes time to develop a habit, and let’s face it, you didn’t gain weight over night, so you shouldn’t expect it to come off super fast either (unless you are on the biggest loser). 

If you are finding that you are struggling to keep your resolution (which needs to be renamed as “goal”) then evaluate what are the obstacles?  Why did you set this goal for yourself in the first place?  Are you going at it alone, or do you have a social network that is there to help? 

By evaluating what is working and adjusting what isn’t, you’ll be more successful in whatever your goals.

Work hard, and don’t give up on your goals just yet!!!


Avoid Looking Like a Rookie Cyclist

November 17th, 2010 at 12:44 pm by under Healthy Living

With the holiday season nearly here, I thought I would include a few tips to help you avoid looking like the geeky new guy on the next group ride, even if it’s going to be a while before the weather warms up.  These tips may help you formulate a solid Christmas “wish” list to mail to Santa and avoid public ridicule.

1.  No Pro Kits–Do you ride for Team Radio Shack or Astana???  Probably not, and not too many things scream rookie like wearing these overpriced kits.  Support your local bike shop, or maybe match with the kit with your current road machine or favorite beer.  Sleeves are a must, this isn’t a triathlon.  If you absolutely must have a Pro Kit, go old-school.  In fact you’ll probably earn some extra cool points.

2.  Make sure your cycling clothes are the right size.  This sport is about aerodynamics, and Lycra and spandex are just part of it.  Be comfortable in your attire and remember it is supposed to fit tightly.  Baggy shorts and jerseys simply don’t cut it.  For more comfort, some like bib shorts which have suspender type straps.  But, unlike suspenders, these are supposed to go UNDER your jersey or top.  Huge rookie mistake and you should you opt for this fashion statement, prepare yourself for hours of ridicule and jokes at your expense on future rides.

This is not cool!!!

3.  Practice clipping in and out of your pedals before the group ride! If you are new to “clipping in” (this is where the cycling shoe actually has a piece that snaps into the pedal) definitely practice before you fall in front of your peers.  Hey, we have all fallen and scratched up our new road speed machine while learning how to do it.  It happens, just make sure that it doesn’t happen when everyone else is around.  When coming to a stop in a group ride it can be really embarrassing just falling over because you didn’t/couldn’t clip out.

4.  Avoid “Dork Marks”! These are the marks you get on your calf muscles (usually on your right leg) from a greasy chain or chain ring.  They leave perfect marks and this will be a give-a-way of your inexperience!  To prevent this, perform regular maintenance and clean your bike.  Wipe down the chain and then apply a light coating of lube.  If you still end up getting dork marks around your peers, treat it like a bugger hanging out your nose–wipe it off casually and don’t draw attention to it!

5.  Ditch the plastic ring and reflectors! When most bikes are purchased, there is a little plastic ring between the rear wheel and the cassette (these are your gears).  You’ll need a specialized tool to remove your cassette, so maybe just ask the wrench (mechanic) at the bike shop to remove it for you.  Now for the reflectors–I know you’re asking yourself, “Ryan, don’t those reflectors make us visible to traffic?”  They sure do, but why are you riding at a time of low light?  Riding in conditions of low visibility is a bad idea and very dangerous!  If you must ride at night, then you’ll also need a headlight, tail light and reflective clothing.  If this is you, just remember to remove these items when going on your group ride.

This list could go on and on, but that is a great starting point!  A great helmet, some gloves, sunglasses, and a couple water bottles and you are ready to go!  I’ll be looking for you out on the group rides, and if you are violating any of the above points, I’ll kindly point you to this blog….after a few jokes.  Ride safe!!

What’s up with Halloween???

November 8th, 2010 at 10:03 pm by under Healthy Living

Don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween!  Dressing up, decorating the house and handing out treats to the neighborhood kids that come by.  What I don’t get is that in Terre Haute it is two days long????  Huh?  I thought October 31st was Halloween?  I haven’t lived here too long, but this two day celebration is a bit much. 

Indiana ranks as one of the top states in childhood obesity above the Mason Dixon and is still pretty high up there when the southern states are included.  So why do we promote two days of candy?  If someone could help with that rationale that would be great!  Halloween is October 31st and that’s when kids should go out and get their fix.  Otherwise, why stop at a two day adventure? How about making it a “Halloweek”!  Now that sounds like a good time.

Running in Nashville

April 26th, 2010 at 6:27 am by under Healthy Living
A few months ago a couple of my college buddies emailed me and asked about running the Nashville Rock’n Roll 1/2 marathon with them. This wouldn’t really work having just raced a half-iron distance race the weekend before, but I didn’t want to miss the opportunity to be an athletic supporter!!! Those who can’t race-support!
The original idea was that my wife was going to run, but the race was sold out by the time she went to register. She wasn’t too heart broken because the entry for the 1/2 was around $145!

Stuart and Kenan (brothers) did a great job and it was great to see them and their family again!

Me with my homies at the finish line.  And it looks like Kenan may have finally found a steady girl…Brooke, good luck with him!

I did want to add some tips:  Dress In Layers!!!  Man, there were so many people that were over dressed while they were running, and Emily and I had to help one lady when she collapsed at the 12 mile mark.  If you are comfortable (temp. wise) before the race starts, you are probably wearing too many clothes.  Dress in something that you can take off, like a long sleeved shirt or light jacket.  Then when you start getting warm, take it off, tie it around your waist or hand it to a friend on the course.  Another great idea, is to wear an old shirt or something that you can “throw” away.  Once the race starts, take the shirt and toss it (make sure you have something underneath :o ) and you’ll be good.  These “throw” away shirts are then collected and usually donated.

The weather for the half was actually pretty perfect, but probably around the 2.5 hour mark, it started to storm. We headed back to the hotel for some rest, and Allie wanted me to build her a fort to keep her safe!
She hates thunder and lightening!

And look who Emily and I ran into….Last week we were at his house, now we’re partying with him in Nashville! Next time I’ll be in Nashville, it will be with my dad for the Country Music Festival!!! Yeeeee Haaaaw!

It was great seeing everyone again, and I miss my college buds! Tia, take care of Stuart, and Brooke….nice to see ya check’n up Kenan!

My recovery is going great and I’m looking forward to the next build getting ready for the Rev3 event in Quassy!


“Laissez Les Bon Temps Roulez”- New Orleans 70.3 Report

April 22nd, 2010 at 8:40 am by under Healthy Living

“Let The Good Times Roll !!!”

That what is says on the back of the finisher medals from the Ironman New Orleans 70.3. This is the break down of the adventure as we (myself, wife, and father-in-law) set out from Indiana to Cajun Country!
The car was all loaded and ready to go, so after work away we went on our 787 mile trip. The speed machine has a nice home in the Ford Flex along with the gear, bags, and still plenty of leg room.
First stop….
Here’s the scoop….I went to college about one hundred miles from Graceland and never went. My wife on the other hand-went a few months after she turned 16. So on the way down we made our pilgrimage to see the King’s house.

This is the wall just outside his house that is filled with thoughts, wishes, and lots of “I love you’s“…I simply wrote “Long live the king!”

The famous musical gates.

Wife Emily & her dad Mike

I thought this plane was super cool!!
I’m taken care of business…
We made it to New Orleans super late or early on Friday, and caught some shut eye. Then headed off to packet pickup and to get shuffled around like cattle. We had to sit through a “mandatory” athlete briefing which took FOREVER!!! Pretty much the same info as all the other races, and if anything was different, it was listed on the website, in the packet info…so if you screwed something up it was because you didn’t pay attention! But before you could start your packet pickup, you HAD to go to this briefing and get your hand stamped–lame o!!

Like a good boy, I conformed and thought about asking all kinds of silly questions to make them pay for wasting my time, but I behaved myself and smiled, nodded, and even fake laughed at a few of the stupid jokes. Hey man, I’m here to race, not to listen to tales of when your Body Glide failed–serves you right, you should have been using TriSlide anyway!

After I got all checked in, and thank you Ironman for herding me through your gift shop—when I said that I didn’t need anything I meant it, and didn’t need to be herded through all the Mdot merchandise–again, I was there to race. Anyway, Mike took Emily and I to the World War II Museum. Talk about cool!! If anyone is ever in New Orleans, I highly recommend going, and if you do, spend the extra dollars to see the movie–WOW!!

Big planes!!
The three of us headed out to the transition area, and I went for a ride to loosen up my legs, go through the gears, visualize, and honestly–to look super cool in my duds. I had a local news station following me around a bit, but didn’t get to see the video-hope the tv didn’t add 10 pounds :)
After check in, it was off to Bourbon Street and the French Quarter–talk about a party!
Oh yeah!! Parrot Heads all the way. Speaking of, we’re going to the Buffet concert on Emily’s birthday. “Fins to the left. Fins to the right.”
Race morning! I didn’t sleep much, because I am always afraid that I’m not going to hear the alarm, so I looked at the clock about every 45 mins- super annoying! Ate a super light breakfast and drank some EFS to get me started.
This is about an hour before the start of the race.

Here’s a great shot of the swim start-not my wave, I was in the second to last group! Fun swimming through everyone :)

Me coming out of the water. It’s hard to tell because they sent us off in waves by age-group, and my group had two waves, but I’m pretty sure I was the first one out of the water in my wave (there wasn’t anyone else around on the racks). Also, the race directors skipped a wave, and I don’t think they accounted for it. This added 4mins to my swim time and overall time which totally blows!!! This would not happen in a  Rev3 event!!  They run so much smoother!

The bike has always been one of my strong suits. Seriously, look at those giant thighs and butt-it’s like a 454 Big Block engine! Thank you Rudy Project for the great helmet and Gray Goat Sports for setting me up wonderfully! Yeah, that’s the “goat” on my arm. All3Sports also hooked me up with the Speedfil, which came in handy out there.

I had a pretty good bike, but held back some so I didn’t blow up for the run. I ended up a 2:34 for the 56mile ride.

Off to the run…this has been my Achilles heel for most of my races. I started off great and the first 5K was at about a 7:20-30 pace. Then, a super pain just below my right calf happened.

I tried sucking up the pain, but was afraid I was going to tear something, so I backed off. The final 5K I figured, “If it’s going to tear, it would have done it by now.” So I picked the pace back up to around 7:20 and finished strong. Over all, the run was a 1:49 for the 13.1. Thank you so much Trakkers for allowing me to be apart of such an awesome team and Saucony for the kit and Fastwitch 4. The shoe was great, light, and was perfect for the course. If there had been any rocks, off road type running, or had been any longer, I would have needed a shoe with a little more to it like the Tangent 4
Seriously, if you haven’t checked out First Endurance and their products you should! For the race I had:
  • 30mins before swim-1serving of EFS w/ 1serving Pre-Race
  • 2servings of EFS every hour on the bike (one bottle) w/ 1oz of EFS liquid shot every 30mins.
  • @ the 2hour mark on the bike, I added 1serving of Pre-Race to the EFS for a pick me up
  • Every 20 mins on the run I had a sip of 4oz of EFS liquid shot diluted with just a little water.

Biggest bonus–never felt out of energy, never cramped!

Finished the race with a 4:59–just sneaking in under the 5hour mark. Thank you again, Saucony, Trakkers, Gray Goat Sports, Kestrel Bicycles, All 3 Sports, Morris Trucking, Rudy Project, First Endurance, TriSwim, ProMotion Wetsuits, and of course my family for all of your support!

Spring riding

March 7th, 2010 at 4:47 pm by under Healthy Living

For most of us we might have been riding our bikes indoors on the trainer.  If you haven’t been on your trainer, hopefully you’ve been to a spin class or two over the winter to keep your fitness up.  If you haven’t…don’t worry you’ll be fine.  As we get ready to head out doors, keep in mind that your bike handling skills may need a little refresher-so be careful!  Also, there is a great deal of sand on the road, so slow down before the corners and be cautious so you don’t wipe out. 


Different Perspectives

September 30th, 2009 at 4:02 pm by under Healthy Living

chicago triathlonI was checking out some pics and came across this one from the Chicago Triathlon this year. (Shout out-thanks Glom for the host housing a mile off the course!!!) I thought it was pretty cool, because if you look at the two athletes in the pic, it really shows how cool and unique the sport of triathlon is. In the foreground, you have a lady racing her race, and in the background, you have me racing mine. We are both going at our paces-I’m hammering it down, and I’m sure she’s giving it hers too. This race started in waves, with the first one going off really early and the last one going out about 3 hours later, maybe even 4-super huge race! I think they had 4,300 people in the Olympic distance race and I came in around 200 something. Anyway, there aren’t too many sports in the world that age-group, elites, pros, and the first-timer can all be competing on the same course at the same time. What a great sport! Can you imagine if football or basketball was like this? Ouch!

I often hear people comment on how crazy triathletes are, and I think we’re just crazy about life! Go out and get yours today, like the lady in the picture. It’s your life…live it.


Poor Performance

August 16th, 2009 at 8:24 pm by under Healthy Living
Sometimes you just have to read the signs.

Sometimes you just have to read the signs.

If you compete long enough as an athlete, you will have a race that will produce less than desirable results.  Poor performances happen, but there are signs along the way that can predict the outcomes if you pay attention.  Nutrition, environmental factors, mood changes, and training plans can all be evaluated to determine if you are on the right track.  If you do have a poor performance, learn from it, and determine what factors lead to it.  This can also be applied to life in general–work, relationships, presentations, etc.  It hurts when you have a poor performance, but it is important to learn from it, and move on.  Don’t dwell on it, you will have better perfromances ahead!

Get out of your comfort zone

June 25th, 2009 at 11:10 am by under Healthy Living

img_3198If you’re like most active people, you stay within a certain effort when you train.  This can be running, swimming, biking, walking, elliptical…whatever.  That effort becomes extremely comfortable for you and you can maintain it for a large amount of time.  Most would call this your aerobic training zone.  But, the human body is an amazing machine and it will, over time, adapt to those levels.  This adaptation makes the benefits and improvements that you once saw in training or weight loss minimal.   This low-end effort is great for fat burning, but for added benefits, try mixing in some high intensity efforts.  These bursts only need to be 20-30 seconds long.  Try 4-6 of them within a “normal” workout.  This will tax other systems in your body and you will boost your fat burning!  Once or twice a week is all you need to mix things up.  Afterall, variety is the spice of life.

Words From A World Champion

June 2nd, 2009 at 8:37 pm by under Healthy Living

This last weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting Xterra World Champion Jamie Whitmore.  She is an incredible person with a can-do attitude and a story to tell.  I found myself thinking of her words as I ran tonight, in the thunderstorm.  She talked about enjoying your training, racing, and thinking about how good it feels to swim/bike/run.  See, Jamie, former World Champion has been fighting for her life.  Her story is both heartfelt and inspirational.  She can no longer swim, run, or ride a bike.  She walks with a limp, but carries a smile.   She is battling cancer, and now has to have a  kidney moved to a different location in her body.  If you have time, please visit: and read her story.  She truly is a fighter!!!