The Funny Thing About Goals . . .So this year I've set a number of goals for myself, both professionally and personally. I do this every year. I write them down and occasionally I'll even review them to see what I wrote. (Note to self: Set another goal to review goals frequently) I've tried to convince Teri that we should follow the Morelli lead and have a weekend away in January somewhere nice where we can talk about our hopes, dreams and aspirations for the year. As of yet, we haven't done it. Although I think she's starting to come around. I mean who wouldn't want a weekend away with ME? Even if the main focus is goal setting, it would probably be in some romantic ocean side location . . . with dogs. I mean come on . . . ANYWAY . . .
This year I set a goal that reads:
By July 12th, 2010, I will have registered for, competed in and finished the Ocean Shores half-iron triathlon.
After doing the Seattle Rainman Indoor Triathlon yesterday, I don't know how I can possibly achieve that goal. I think honestly by July I COULD get myself in decent enough shape to run/walk a half marathon. I just don't know if I could do said half marathon AFTER swimming 1.2 Miles AND biking 56 miles. So the funny thing about goals is that they can be revised. So as of now, I'm revising my goal to read:
By July 12th, 2010, I will have registered for, competed in and finished the Ocean Shores Olympic distance triathlon.
I felt pretty good about my results in the indoor tri yesterday:
Swim: 15 minute pool swim, I set a goal to do 750 yards, I did 900.
Bike: 30 minute bike on a trainer, I set a goal to do 8.5 miles, I did 8.2. Although I didn't know our transition time would be part of the 30 minutes, so I really only rode for about 25 minutes . . . I think I could have easily done the additional 0.3 miles in 5 minutes.
Run: One 2.8 mile lap around Greenlake. My goal was to do this in 31 minutes. I think it was close to 33 or 34 minutes, but we were delayed by a minute plus by police action. So I'll call it 33 minutes.
Last week I ordered a book by Jeff Galloway on Running. I know I suck at Running . . . at least I do now . . . I used to be a fairly decent runner. I know two things about my running now if I want to improve. Getting the pounds off my frame will go a long ways. I need to increase my endurance. I know trying to push a 280 pound frame is going to wear down my legs a lot faster than a 220 pound frame or even a 250 pound frame. So I've got to start getting in the gym more frequently and REALLY starting to pay attention to what I eat and using the tools I have to get the pounds off.
Remembering Mr. KittySo last night was a hard night. We do have one thing to be thankful for though and that is the services of Dr. Shannon West-Wilke. Dr. West-Wilke is akin to a saint in my book. She has a mobile veterinary clinc, yes, she does house calls. So yesterday after playing phone tag a couple of times, Dr. WW said she could come by between 8 and 9PM. We made the arrangements.
I came home yesterday and checked on Mr. Kitty, hoping that he had improved even slightly. He hadn't. I fed the dogs and the other two cats knowing Teri would want to feed Kitty one last time. I did some busy work in the back yard and after Teri got home, I mowed the front and rear lawn. Neither of us spoke much about what was coming. But I made Teri a couple of lemon drops just the same. At about 7:30, we shut off the TV. I went upstairs and got the red blanket that Kitty has been sleeping on for the past few nights right by my side. I scooped him up and went back to my chair and just sat there with my cat. I got to say all the things I wanted to and he just purred the whole time. It was hard just sitting there with him knowing what was coming. But it was good and it was right too.
I realized last night that in the whole 10 - 11 years that I've "owned" my cat, that's all he ever really wanted. Just someone to sit there with him and pet him. Never really asking for anything else, just some occasional attention. And that's the great thing about pets. They give so much and ask for so little. And they don't even really realize they're giving YOU anything. And I guess for the most part, we don't realize it either. It's just a perfect symbiotic relationship. Two beings existing together, each getting and giving just what they need, but so much more all at the same time.
When I met Mr. Kitty in the pet shop off 38th Street in Tacoma, he was on loan from the humane society. He was in his little cage and Teri and I were in there for something else. What it was I couldn't quite remember. But my roommate, Brandon, had suggested to me a couple weeks before "Maybe we should get a kitten?". I don't think Mr. Kitty is quite what he had in mind. Kitty passed the wheelie test. (One of my requirements for cats is that when you put your hand above them, they sit up on their haunches and reach for you. It's a mark of intelligence really.) That was enough for me, I made the arrangements and he came home with me. (Oddly enough, Turkish, one of our other cats was found at the Chevy's on 38th as well, weird that two cats came from the same street) When I went down to the humane society to register him, they asked what his name was. I wasn't really fond of the name "Mr. Kitty" so I changed it to Bowser. Brandon and I tried everything to get him to recognize "Bowser" as his name, but in the end, "Mr. Kitty" it was. Fortunately Teri and I were dating by then, so I never had to explain to any potential dates "This is my cat, Mr. Kitty".
Mr. Kitty was for all intents and purposes an indoor cat. But, occasionally he'd sneak out and earn himself a trip to the vet. The odd thing about him was that when he was fighting, he NEVER used his claws. I could screw with that cat all day long and NEVER worry about losing an ounce of blood. (Don't even ask me about Nicholas, our OTHER cat) He ended up getting in a tussle or two with "Devo", Mike's Whippit Mix (Get it? Whippit? Devo? Never mind) and off to the vet we'd go to repair some puncture or another. (The thing with Whippits is they're lightning fast and in some cases can leap a 7 foot tall fence in a single bound) Eventually though, Devo and Mr. Kitty would become the best of friends. Mr. Kitty would lay by the back sliding glass door in the sun and Devo would saunter over, open the door for Mr. Kitty, let him out so he could go INSIDE and lay down. See? Symbiotic relationships abound. One tussle with a neighbor's cat landed him with FIV, the feline equivalent of HIV. For the most part he lived with that disease for many years without complications. Occasionally, his eye would weep and that was his "Kitty AIDS" acting up, we'd get him a shot and he'd be back to normal.
When Teri and I merged our families, Nicholas and Princess (the dog) came to live with us. Nicholas wasted no time in establishing the pecking order. Nick, Princess and Mr. Kitty. They all settled in quite nicely with each other. Then Teri and I were out to dinner at Chevy's one night and I made the mistake of saying "There's a cat by the car". I knew as soon as I said it, we would now be a three cat family. Turkish came home with us and now the three cats and one dog fought for the order again. Nick won out, followed by Princess and Mr. Kitty held his own to put Turkish on the bottom even without using claws to fight (much). One of Kitty's quirks is that in the middle of the night he'd start to howl. It'd be 2AM and you'd awaken to this awful howling cat. The first few tims it would happen, I'd jump up and see who was attacking my cat. But it was just Kitty being Kitty. He just wanted to know someone was there. So then it bacame yelling out "KITTY!" and he'd shut up.
After we moved into the new home, Teri started letting the cats out in the back yard and they became indoor/outodoor cats. I'll tell you one thing, there aren't too many "other" cats that venture into our yard anymore. With the band of brothers on patrol, the place was pretty locked down. After Princess passed on (Thank you again Dr. West-Wilke), the pecking order remained . . . for awhile. Then Taylor came along and somewhat usurped Kitty's spot. I'll say they at least SHARED the role of keeping Turkish on the bottom. You'd be surprised though how dogs and cats can get along. They all would chase each other around the house and have a grand ol' time. It's better than TV for entertainment, I'll say that! Recently our menagerie grew to include Dixie, the 6 year old Yellow Lab. So lately we've been a 3 cat and 2 dog family. The humans are definitely out numbered! But it's a good family.
Shortly after the first of the year, Kitty had an ingrown claw. I took him to the vet to have it taken care of. The vet pulled the claw out and I'm not sure who ended up more bloody in that battle, Kitty or the vet, but the vet DEFINITELY had some self-repairing to do after that. "Hmmm, I guess he DOES know how to use his claws after all" I thought on the way home that day. After a couple weeks, the paw wasn't getting a whole lot better and started to get worse. With his FIV, he just couldn't fight off the infection. Teri put him through two rounds of anti-biotics (she's nominated for saint-hood too. If anyone has ever tried to give a cat a pill, you know what I mean) and he'd get better for awhile and then not. The last couple of weeks have been tough. Watching my little buddy waste away, not eating, not drinking, but always there for the pets and purring. I was selfish, I know that now. I should have helped him along a lot sooner. But I'm thankful for the time we had and I know that wherever he is now, he's in a much better place and in no pain. Probably doing lots of wheelies for my grandparents. :-) Mr. Kitty was one of a kind. Certainly a good friend and companion to me for better than a decade. I just hope I gave him as good as I got. Stay warm Mr. Kitty, we miss you buddy. See you again someday eh?
For my 500th post, I'd like to thank . . .It's amazing to me that this is the 500th time I've posted something on this blog. After noticing last week that I was posting my 499th time, I've been reflecting on what should be my 500th blog post? Should I do a re-cap of the highlights of my 500 posts? Should I just post some dumb workout I've done? How about reflecting on life, the universe and everything? How about a little bit of all of it?
If you look to the right (if you're in an RSS reader, you probably won't see this) you'll see my archives go all the way back to August of 2005. 4 and a half years posting to some website. In that time, there have only been 4 months that I haven't posted anything. But at least one post every other month. I've always said I have a problem with consistency, but I guess this blog shoots that theory out the window. I can be consistent when I feel like it's worth it. And for some odd reason, I feel like this blog is worth it.
The original intent of my blog was simply a place to collect my thoughts, maybe record a workout or two and keep track of my weight. It was also meant to be somewhat private. A few close friends would know it was there, but for the most part, it would be something I kept to myself. I found that was quickly not going to happen. When I started receiving comments and web traffic from all over the world (not consistently, but frequently) I realized it was no longer a private situation. I'd like to think that I didn't change my posting habits as a result, but that would be lying to myself and you. I no longer put my deepest, most intimate thoughts here, I keep those locked away for only a chosen few, but I do express myself pretty freely here and let you see the good and the bad.
For example, you've gotten to see my weight in all it's undulating and fluctuating glory. From my high of 356 pounds last year to my low of 275 pounds fairly recently. I've blogged about having weight loss surgery and the mental and physical implications of that. I've talked about triumphs and defeats in my business. About my joys and sometimes my dis-satisfaction in my personal life. My workouts have been detailed in excruciating detail at times, giving you charts, maps, distances and reps. I've shared my immediate and some of my long term goals. And through it all, people from all over the place have been nothing but encouraging. OK, there have been a few detractors, I won't lie. For the most part, I've kept every comment ever posted, good or bad. With one exception, comment spam (I'm tired of WoW power leveling what ever that is and UGG BOOTS!). The comment spam has unfortunately lead me to disable comments on my blog. So I'll miss your kind words of encouragement. But now with my blog getting pushed out to Facebook, my friends will have the opportunity to comment there.
So for my 500th blog post, I'd like to thank the Internet and the wonderful community of friends it's helped to create and the friendships it's helped to further. I can still remember wayyyyyy back in 1994 or so sending my very first e-mail to Scott at WSU. It was the first e-mail I had ever sent outside of Boeing and our little network. On a VT20 terminal emulator with phosphorous orange type that I'm sure gave me radiation poisoning. Coming from that world of sending purely text based e-mail to today and the amazing amount of ways we have to stay in touch with friends old and new, just staggers my mind. And to think, it's really only a 15 year old journey now. Imagine what we'll see in 2020 or 2030! Maybe by then you'll be reading my 5,000th post?
Thanks everyone, so far it's been an amazing ride! I can't wait to see what's next!
Sometimes I Surprise Even Myself
This morning, I headed back to the YMCA after a three week furlough. I've had the nasty flu/cold stuff going around and while I still have a slight cough, was tired of not working out. So after the 42 mile ride on Sunday I figured it was time to get back for the Triathlon class.
I hit the pool at 5:20 this morning, didn't sleep a wink the night before so I was early. Started out with a 400 yard warm up, followed by 150 yards of drills and another 150 yards of kicking. At that point someone said "Today are time trials right?" Wha!? (The t was left off the previous word for dramatic effect) Oh right, every first Tuesday of the month are time trials. A 1,000 yard swim followed by a 5 mile bike and finishing with a 2 mile run. Lovely. No sleep, wearing cargo shorts in the pool and we're doing time trials.
At least our 1,000 yards was really a 10 X 100 set with :10 between each 100. Unfortunately the guys in my lane dubbed me the "fast" guy and so I got to start first. Nothing keeps you motivated like 3 skinny guys pressing you, but I held my own. The 1st 100 was a 1:26 . . . Only 30 seconds off my fastest ever. HA! That seemed a lot funnier in my head. Sorry for the early morning swimming humor. I finished the set in 16:36. No where near WR time, but extrapolating that to my tri, I think I should easily be under my goal of an hour for 1.2 miles.
Next up was the bike. We're on the LeMond Revmasters in the spin room with the Pilot computer, so I'm not sure how accurate they are, but I completed my 5.0 miles in about 16:46 . . . Or avg 17.89 MPH, so could be pretty close?
Now, my FAAAAAAAVORITE sport. Running. Not. I do enjoy it, but would much rather be in the pool or on the bike. But here's where I surprised myself. In my previous post
I estimated that I'd do about a 12:00 mile pace over a 5K distance. Putting my time for a 1/2 marathon at 2:52 and I figured if I could come CLOSE to 3:00 on the run, I'd consider that a victory. However this morning, we did a 2 mile time trial on the track (No treadmill SS!!) and I knocked it out in 19:29!!! I just started at a pace I figured I could do for the whole 12 laps (1/6 of a mile track) and kept plodding along. When Bob called out my time at the finish, I was like "Wha!?" (See how dramatic that is?) and some quick calculations in my head put that at a 9:45 pace! SUB 10 minute miles! Wowsers! There may be hope for me after all! Now plugging THAT into the running calculator at Runners World and they have my 1/2 Marathon time at 2:22, a full 30 minutes faster. Sweet!
GOTTA get some more lbs off though. I'm not going to get much faster at this weight. But I'm psyched for now!