Thursday, January 31, 2008

Getting back

It's been slow going since I started up the training regime last Friday. I just did a short swim on Friday. My times are a little slower but man did my arms completely feel dead afterwards. I swam 4 mornings before a short 2 day business trip this week made me take a forced break. Over those 4 swim sessions, I feel like I've lost all my swim endurance. It's just gone. I also feel that my form is off which has to do with my arms being total dead in the water.

I rode on Saturday with a nice group ride for just under 50 miles. I was able to keep up this time going up the big hills but didn't have any explosiveness to stay with the jumps as we crested the hill. I did hold my own and my legs weren't too bad. It seems I've lost the least on the bike but I've only ridden once. I'm going to head out today on my own and hopefully I can get a decent workout in because it will take at least 12 miles to get out of the city.

I've been running every day since Saturday. I ran right off the bike on Saturday for just a short 30 minutes and it was hard. I ran for an hour on Sunday which was difficult but not impossible. I've just maintained a slow pace for the last couple of days on the treadmill for 30 minutes. The run is coming back but I can tell it's not where it was. I need to find a hill that I can do repeats on in order to start doing my prep for the half-ironman and ultimately Canada.

I went to a tri-store in Virginia on the weekend to try on wetsuits. My body size makes it hard to fit a wetsuit. I've settled on a Blue Seventy but man I wish I was able to fit into a Nineteen because it just went on smoothly. Just overall not the right fit although it may had to do with them not having the correct size in stock. I had them order me a Blue Seventy but I'm thinking I might go with a different brand altogether. I'll just see how it fits when it gets here at the start of March.

The condo should finally close tomorrow...I think. It's definitely been a PROCESS. I'll be able to move in tomorrow without my stuff. The cheap movers I've used which afterall aren't so cheap have no idea when my stuff will be delivered. Oh least Amber is giving me a bed that's too big for their spare bedroom. I'll be able to sleep at the condo but won't have furniture. After all of the closing costs are factored in I'm getting the condo for $3K less than the price I offered. This is because of the bank paying for all closing costs and having the seller pay 2% of price towards closing as well.

I got the details on the amount of commission the realtors are taking from the sale. It's amazing. It really makes you want to become a realtor but I'm sure during these times it's really hard to get enough sales during the year. It definitely must be stressful.

Hopefully, soon I'll post condo pictures..

Thursday, January 24, 2008

No condo..yet.

It seems like the county had some issues with the condo building so I wasn't able to close on my condo today. It sucks but my movers still haven't told me when my stuff will arrive anyway. I think the movers I hired sold all my stuff in Mexico because I called for like 3 days straight with no response. I was finally able to talk to someone yesterday. My stuff hasn't left Oregon yet...doh!

Since I didn't close today, I had reschedule the cable installation and my electricity for the new closing date next Friday. It does mean I save 8 days worth of mortgage interest. Luckily my loan rate is still locked in although I think if it expired I'd be able to get a better deal.

I've been debating going swimming tomorrow 1 day earlier than the 3 weeks just to see how it goes. Of course I'm going all out this weekend with all 3 sports. I'm gonna suck wheel on the local 50 mile ride. It will be good to show the folks that I wasn't a complete poser. I was only riding with 75% lung capacity. It's cold here so I hope I can wear enough clothes to stay warm.

I bought some poor man's recovery drink (chocolate milk) since all my Endurox is still in storage. Although I think I have enough stored up calories that I probably won't need it. I'm gonna start a little diet come Saturday to help drop my weight back down.

I finished my taxes and I'm getting a refund. For some reason, I made the same amount of money as last year but paid less taxes without changing my deductions. Oregon robbed me as I'm only get $115 back from them. If I was a optimist, I would be happy with such a low refund. Well as everyone knows, I'm the worst of worst pessimists so I'm upset that I didn't get a bigger refund.

The fed refund will help pay for my bike. I also need to buy blinds for the condo. I'm hoping that they don't cost too much but all I know is I'm going for the simple professional installation.

So I found out that I have Mentor Graphics stock options expiring in 2 months. I was surprised that I let them last this long. I'm thinking they must be super high options as I'm usually pretty good about getting rid of them as soon as they are worth something. My bad luck is the stock is in the toilet and just got downgraded by JP Morgan today. Oh joy, I might just be eating those options as there is no way I would buy them with my cash for a later date. Along the stock bad luck, our 401k manager Charles Schwab is a complete idiot. I think only one fund made money last year. Awful and the funds even in good years always underperform the S&P. Pathetic...

Well I'm off to pick Elena up at school.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Last Weekend

This is the last weekend I have to sleep in. All this time off has made it seem weird to think about but not until September will I have a weekend where I can just get up and have coffee while relaxing. Every weekend is a key set of 2 days to put in some really decent miles both on the bike and run.

Next Saturday, the 26th is when I'll start working out again. I think I'll go swim for 20 minutes straight just to get a feel. Run to the workout place about 3 miles away and run back. Depending on weather, I'll hit the trainer for a hour with the bike or go for a 90 minute outside ride. Although, I think I need warmer clothes as it's clear today but only 20 degrees. Ouch!

Since I've had a lot of time on my hands, I restarted my Netflix subscription out here. I rented CSI:Season 2 since Amber and Joe only have a small TV. I had watched the first season about 6 months ago and figured I'd get back to it. It's amazing that they spun off CSI:Miami during the 2nd season. I thought it took longer than that for the show to be kicking butt in primetime. You would've thought with a complex show like it with no big stars that it would've took time to be a ratings juggernaut.

The Patriots are about to attempt to win 18 in a row. I wonder if there's a similar record for TV shows where they win the overall ratings for so many straight weeks in a row. It might not be possible with all the sports shows and stuff. Definitely curious since American Idol started up last week where they mostly show the crappy singers and not the good ones.

You have to think some of those folks are doing it on bets from their friends. I mean it's gotta be a big joke right? They can't possibly think they can sing and actually be angry after they don't make it. Amazing...of course I rarely watch any of the bad singers and DVR makes great work of these first shows. I can blast through listening to the good singers in about 30 minutes out of the entire 2 hour show.

Taxes are coming up as I think everyone gets their lovely W-2 soon. I got my bank's interest statement. I'll be using the online Turbo Tax like the last 2 years. Talk about convenient. I really do love the Internet capabilities. I don't even have to think much at all and voila my refund is sitting in my account a couple of weeks later.

I've put a deposit on a new 2008 P2C.

River City Bicycles is working on getting the bike. If things work out, I should be Oregon on business when the bike comes in. That way I can take it over to Michael Sylvester and get it fitted and then have it shipped to DC. I guess my tax refund will be going towards that and blinds for the new place.

The condo has huge 10 foot windows in the living area that face south. It will help with the heating bill in the winter but I need some blinds in order to keep down that A/C bill in the summer.

I'm gonna try and get pictures of the place for all to see. It's a nice place.


Sunday, January 13, 2008

Ugh...starting week 3

Okay, I haven't exercised for 3 straight weeks. This has been the longest layoff from activity since college back in 1993. It's been over 14 years of working out at least a couple times a week with at most a week here and there off for injuries or at most 2 weeks off for recovery of a hard race season on the bike.

It really points out how boring my life is when I'm not working out. I have all this free time and I have no idea what to do with it. I've been surfing the web and watching football but that's about it. It's even worse because I still haven't closed on the condo and therefore don't have my TV or DVD collection.

Its so bad I started having dreams about working out. Not dreams about kicking butt in races just simple dreams where I'm on the bike riding hard or running hard. I guess working out is an obsession with me just like eating chips are although I was able to kick that habit so far until after the Ironman. I can just taste those Doritos.

My stomach hasn't shrunk as I still feel hungry most of the time even though I'm trying to eat less but it's hard. I'm also probably eating more junk food now than I was before. I've resorted to eating chocolate and ice cream a few times. Ugh...I've still resisted the compelling urge to eat chips and walked right past them all in the store on Friday.

I go see the surgeon on Tuesday for my followup. I'll get another chest x-ray and he'll hear my lungs and stuff. I can breathe deep right now but every so often my chest hurts just a slight bit. Not sure why, I wonder if it will twinge like this forever.

Oops gotta get going to be a sloth the rest of the day...

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

East Coast Time

I have no idea if I'm ever gonna truly adapt to this time zone. I'm totally out of my element. I feel like Ohio State football player in a BCS championship. That game didn't even start until 8:30 eastern time and I was already dozing off. I made it through the first part of the first quarter when the Buckeyes looked dominant only to wake up the next morning and see they got routed. Amazing. I've been waking up at 5am still even though I can't go swimming or workout during lunch time.

I could try to sleep in and adjust my clock to wake up at 9am and therefore stay up to midnight to still get my 9 hours of sleep. Midnight is roughly when most of these big sporting events are finishing. Right now, I feel like a kid at school because I've pretty much put in a full day by 2pm. That's okay as the rest of the afternoon, I can make phone calls to Wilsonville and do things here and there. Being that work is just right there, I can do things at anytime. This is very convenient if I think of something after dinner, I can just give a whirl to see if it solves my problem. Very nice.

Its weird just thinking about people on the west coast not even going home from work when I pretty much feel like going to bed, 8pm. Although on the flip side, it's pretty quiet at 5am when I wake up. Overall, this will be good for the Ironman competition this summer. I will be able to go to bed early and feel like I've slept in even though I'll be getting at 5am. My countdown on my Google home page will read 7 months by the time I can start training again. That's scary to think about as that's practically nothing. I know I can do a half because I've swam the distance already. I believe I can keep slowly getting longer in the pool. The key is to be prepared to swim twice that and that's gonna take all of those 7 months. I would hope by the half Ironman in May I'll be close to completing the full Ironman swim distance in the pool. I'm keeping my fingers crossed..

Sunday, January 6, 2008

16 cm

That's how long the tube was inside my chest. They pulled it out yesterday. OMG!! It's crazy but all of the soreness and pain went away once it was out. My CT scan came back normal so all things are good so far except I'm unable to fly or train for 2-3 weeks. I'll probably wait three whole weeks to make sure the hole is healed completely since I just don't train...I train.

All the hard work this late fall and winter for keeping my base good has been lost. It totally sucks especially all the work in the pool. I was getting there and now this setback. Ugh...just really disappointing. I also have to start my running from scratch and need to push thru the miles and hope for no injuries along the way. I had really gotten comfortable that 90 minute 7:30 pace level. It was gonna make those tempo runs coming up good.

So here's the story, it seems as told my doctor and confirmed by a couple of my friends via wikipedia that your lungs have these little air pockets on the outside of them called "blems". Sometimes one of those air pockets burst and can cause a pin hole in your lung. This over time will heal but can cause your lung to collapse. Mine was at 30% and getting worse as the day went on before the emergency room. I'm lucky I went to the doctor when I did because I heard from a forum post that some people have waited and waited until it was completely collapsed then had to have surgery to repair it. I just need a simple incision and 16 cm long tube inserted to fix mine.

Of course, I'm a little worried because the percentage for it to happen again is 25% and if it happens a 2nd time the percentages go up to 75%. Crazy... I'm hoping I never have it happen again but I need to make sure the pin hole is fully healed and the lung is healthy before starting to train again.

The clock is ticking with less than 8 months til the Ironman...ugh!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

70% collapsed lung

I'm in the hospital right now. I got admitted yesterday after getting x-rays. They had to put a tube in my chest cavity in order to allow the lung to re-inflate. They were surprised at my ability to function with that lung.

Overall, I won't be able to train for 3 weeks. It sucks because of all the base I've been working on will be lost because that is combined with my sad collapsed lung training.

I'll write more later after I get out of the hospital in a couple of days.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

What a different year it's going to be? This hopefully will be the most change I've dealt with in a long time. I moved just a couple of weeks ago and I'm in the middle of training for the Ironman. Not only will I experience new workouts but I'll be doing them in a completely different area. I'm hoping this will make me mentally tough and ready for the Canada course.

I'm in the process of buying a 2 bedroom condo. After searching and looking at a bunch of apartments, it turned out that rent was going to be just as expensive as a mortgage on a condo including condo fees and property tax. It's crazy so luckily I had the down payment so I decided to buy rather than rent. I made an offer on a real nice condo. It's about 3 miles away from Elena's house but it's still near a Metro station(the major mode of public transportation in the DC area) and a mall. This will help its resale value I'm hoping when we move in 5 or so years.

Buying a house/condo is a pain in the ass though. It seemed a lot different in 2000 when Amber and I bought the house in Portland. Luckily, the realtor I got is understanding and quite helpful. Of course since it's the holidays everyone is on vacation so getting the offer signed has taken longer than normal. I've also been dealing with Bank of America because of their cool mortgage loans. This has required numerous calls to them and at least I got the paperwork so I can complete that process.

The closing costs are killers though as they suck money from you that you would normally put towards the house. Luckily if things go well because of the current "buyers market" the seller is going to help with these costs. All in all it's still a pain. I can't have it finished soon enough because of the movers.

Ahh the movers. I think they cheated me as they called and said my shipment was just over 4000 lbs. I just couldn't believe all my stuff weighed that much. I was figuring it would under their absolute minimum of 3000 lbs. Crap so that's gonna cost me even more but at least I got the first month of storage free and they didn't have to come to my house for an estimate. I guess next time I'll make time for an estimate and just go with a super big mover.

I have to tell them though that they will be carrying my stuff up 3 flights of stairs rather than using an elevator. This should be interesting as the movers when they got to my place didn't even count stairs or anything although over the phone they wanted to know the exact number of stairs. I think I'm gonna be a little vague about the stairs when I call back to get my delivery scheduled. The other strange thing which appears to be the case for all moving companies is on delivery they need to be paid in cash or US Postal money order. Talk about lame. I guess they don't have any leverage on you if you got your stuff and you try to stiff them. I'll feel like a gangsta if I get cash. Maybe I can get the bank to give me $500 bills so it won't look like i have a big stack leaving the bank. Who knows...I guess I'll need to figure that out soon.