Saturday, December 16, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Up at 7:00 AM
Say hello to Bret and Jennifer at 7:35 AM
Running by 7:40 AM
About 5 miles in 45 minutes (not a great pace, but I'm improving)
In the pool by 9:00 AM
1 hour and 30 minutes and 2,200 meters later...
Praying for donations to come in 1:30 PM (just sent my second fundraising letter today)
Thankful to those who've given their financial support, and to my mentors and coaches who have helped me progress toward becoming a real deal triathlete.
Not done by a long shot - fundraising or training.
Overall very, very thankful.

The Cement Ship

The Cement Ship, with seagulls
Originally uploaded by I, Puzzled.
Last week while many of my teammates were running as relay teams in the White Rock Marathon in Dallas, I was visiting a very raining Northern California on a trip Deirdre and I took to attend my company holiday party.

In Rio Del Mar / Aptos, just a stones throw from our main office, sits the famous Cement Ship (the USS Palo Alto), permanently anchored and bearing the brunt of the Pacific. (Photo courtesy of Flickr)

I took in this view on my Saturday morning run. I learned a bit of the history of this ship, one of only three made during World War I.

"Cement ship" - kind of boggles the mind; I just had to share.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Americans are anything but cheap

This is the ultimate conclusion reached by John Stossel in a recent ABC News 20/20 feature entitled "Are Americans Cheap? Or Charitable?"

We Americans get a bad rap because the American government gives away less of a percentage of GDP than many other countries. However, according to the report, private charitable giving, even giving directed to overseas charities, more than makes up for the gap, and makes America the most charitable nation on Earth.

I learned in my college history classes that one of the defining characteristics of American society is our history of voluntary association. We associate in communities, churches and congregations, businesses, clubs, sports teams, fraternities and sororities, non-profits, and often community aid and other organizations with a charitable mission. And we pony up real money to support these organizations and to fund our own voluntary association and that of others.

For all of our collective faults as a country, we do have a lot to be proud of, and a real legacy of positive contribution to continue.

I guess this 20/20 piece reminded me why I give, and why I often find myself asking others to give as well. We have to ask. And when asked, we do, despite popular opinion to the contrary, respond.

Thanks to all you givers out there!

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving thanks

My favorite holiday, Thanksgiving.

Today, the Fort Worth Turkey Trot was run for the 25th year. I participated in the 10k event.

I beat my goal (modest, I think, for this point in my training) of finishing in under one hour. The official times are not yet posted, but I did something like 56 minutes.

This event supports the YMCA.

A very well run event.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING to all! We've a lot to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Fundraising update #2

It's easy to forget that the real work of this effort is to raise money for LLS. With all this training and working my body into shape, it feels like I'm making the world a better place and doing my part. But that's just half of this adventure. So watch out for my next appeal for donations and with the help of my right-brain better-half and some friends, maybe some new and creative fundraising ideas.

Oh yeah, and LLS offers several ways to supplement the effort with volunteer work and such.

My goal is to raise $3,000 by Christmas (yes, I'll accept donations in lieu of Christmas presents... gladly!!)

Finally, thank you to all those who have made generous donations already. You know who you are - heck, check out these rock stars on my campaign page!

Rock stars, all of you!

Sources of Inspiration

The North Texas Winter TNT Triathlon Team is a bunch of badasses. I like to joke that on Saturday morning runs that I have plenty of people to chase.

Well, a significant number of our team "upgraded" their regimen to train for the Half Ironman. That's the event which basically doubles the Olympic distance for which I'm training.

These people have to start their Saturday mornings 30 minuter earlier ; and I don't get to chase them anymore.

All good people and each an inspiration.

Bill Walsh: "positive but not evangelistic..."

"I'm positive but not evangelistic. I'm pragmatically doing everything my physicians recommend, and I'm working my way through it. I always felt I'll accept my fate as it unfolds."

Man, I love Bill Walsh. (I grew up a 49ers fan; an Ohio boy whose big sister had a crush on Joe Montana and through some osmosis led to my adopting that team from across the country. They called me 'Joe Montana' on my high-school football team in Indiana - they were being ironic.)

Coach Walsh just announced to the public this past week that he has leukemia.

And according to accounts in the press, he's handling this challenge like others in his professional life - with grace, determination and intelligence.

He is the genius.

He added: "If we continue with the ongoing treatment, the future could look very bright."

We're all pulling for you Bill.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

'60 minutes' reporter Ed Bradley died today of leukemia

Ed Bradley was a total bad ass. I come from a "60 minutes" home. Both my parents watched it every Sunday. Both happen to be Mr. Bradley's age, both born in 1941.

Here's the tribute to Ed Bradley from CBS News.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Jameson 5k @ Southwestern University

Hats off to the event organizers of the Jameson 5k. For all you SU grads or Texas residents, this is a well run event (pun intended). Next year, it will run on November 3rd.

And the results for 2006? Here you go.

Scroll down a bit to #80 and you'll find yours truly.

In the world of endurance sports competition in support of worthwhile causes, I am most certainly a neophyte. This was a truly humbling experience. I can't wait to do my next event!

Friday, November 03, 2006


I love the fall season. The change in weather. Pulling out those comfortable winter clothes.

Fall brings in the Homecoming season too, and I like that.

Deirdre and I are off to Southwestern University for our Homecoming. My college fraternity is celebrating 120 years on campus which will make it an even more special weekend.

To support a good cause and to keep up with my training, I'll be participating in the Jameson 5k run which supports a scholarship fund named for the late Jaysn Jameson.

Thanks again to all of you who have, plan to, and will offer your support!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Triathletes among us

Since beginning this adventure of training and fundraising for TNT, I've been pleasantly surprised by the number of triathletes that I know.

Not surprising, experienced triathletes readily share their experiences and provide some mentorship to novices like me.

My boss is a triathlete.

My best man is a triathlete. Bryan completed his first Olympic distance triathlon in September.

Our great friends Amy and Jeremiah are triathletes.

Customers, industry peers, and friends of friends... and many also who have had the idea and are waiting for work to calm down or for a better time to train and compete.

I entered into this adventure very naive about just the number of people already doing this! And it's absolutely fantastic to meet friends along the way who can offer support and encouragement.

For instance, Deirdre and I stayed with Amy and Jeremiah this weekend, and I was able to get in a training run (plus a ton of ideas and offers of help) while away from home, only because they pulled me out of bed and out onto their neighborhood trail.

If one is measured by the company one keeps, I'm doing as well as I've ever done :-)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Away for the weekend. Will training continue?

I'll be driving to Georgetown, Texas for the wedding of a good friend from college. I'll also miss our Saturday group training which is by far my most rigorous work-out of the week. Lately it's been a 40 minute + run followed by an hour in the pool. This week the Team is holding a Nutrition Clinic in between those workouts.

Will I find a place to train while on the road? Check in Monday to see how the self-discipline of Team Goodman holds up over the weekend!

Cheers all!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Spin Class

The weather turns dark.
The Team goes indoors.
Spin Class.
Oh my goodness.
Now, THAT is a workout.

For those note un-initiated to Spin Class: It's basically one hour on a stationary bike in a room full of other sweaty people on stationary bikes doing exercises that may just violate Article III for the Geneva Convention while listening to Dance/Classic Rock/House/Hip-hop music.

Every Tuesday from now until April or until the daylight hours come back around...

I love Spin Class! (And I'm trying to really mean that...)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Fundraising begins

Saturday was Day 1 of my fundraising appeal.

My big sister and my best man stepped up first! Thank you! Thank you!

Former Dell colleagues and fraternity brothers added support too. Thank you! Thank you!

A great start the fundraising effort with over $200 raised since Saturday.

Special needs.

As a swimmer in training, I've learned that I have special needs. Our team coaches have joined forces to offer some personalized approaches to training.
  • Special need #1: My legs don't offer any propulsion during my freestyle stroke. Probably because I have this scissor-style convulsive kick that's in reality a far cry from the gentle flutter that I'm attempting. My lower half has a mind of it's own (yes... Insert joke here.)
  • Special need #2: My lower half sinks when I leave it motionless.
  • Special need #3: When I do move my legs, something akin to a paddle boat fighting an onboard engine set to reverse takes place. My arms are working AGAINST my legs.
So legs are out. Don't need 'em! Save them for the run and the bike say my coaches.

Works for me.

So I get to use this cool floaty thing that props my legs and keeps them level with the water while I swim laps. This is a training tool only.

By April's race day, I'll have worked through my special needs sufficient to complete 1500 M.

Count on it.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Video: (Can ) Father-son bond of Dick and Rick Hoyt

In case you're ever in need of some inspiration...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Buying shoes.

If you talk to Deirdre, my wonderful wife, she'll tell you not to mention "buying shoes" to me, especially if the shoes are from Nine West and are black.... I don't understand women's shoes and have gone to such degrees of self-torture as to track all shoe waste I mean "purchases" separately so I can report back to her at month end, but I digress....

With my newfound knowledge on the topic of proper shoe fit (see previous post), I was actually excited to go buy new running shoes. After all, I could not begin my traithlon training in earnest with my two-year old Adidas which were a full size too small! Hello shin splints & plantar fasciitis! Not to mention, this shoe purchase was for me and for a PRACTICAL purpose and not yet another pair of black closed-toe pumps, but I digress....

(I love my wife very much, really, she feeds me well and just brought me snack of sliced apples).

Since the Big Feet Store, who opend my eyes to the basics of proper foot care, don't stock many shoes for normal feet like me, I chose Luke's Locker in Fort Worth to go find my perfect pair of running shoes. Coach Tom negotiated a 10% discount for TNT participants.

I entered the store on a Saturday afternoon to find a bustling store of what appeared to be a very helpful and attentive staff. I scanned the room and noticed seemingly experienced runners trying on new shoes. Good sign.

(Let me shift to the present tense to better tell this story...)

A younger teenage employee approaches me and offers help. I accept and give him the advice that I received at the Big Feet Store after my computerized foot scan and proper foot sizing. Size 12. Medium support.

He brings me a few pair of his recommend shoes. I try them on.

He proceeds to "verify" my proper fit, by... GASP, sticking his thumb above my big toe!!

"Noooo! That's not how you do it," I exclaim. "The toe position is secondary to the positioning of the widest part of your foot to the widest part of the shoe." Haven't you had your eyes opened like I have, is what I'm thinking to myself.

He had not been so enlighted.

I try to enlighten him and teach him everything I learned about proper shoe fit, about how 85% of Americans are wearing the wrong shoe size.

He looks at me like a crazy person. I begin to feel like a crazy person.

So, rather than worry about converting this lost soul, I get back to the task at hand. This store has a trendmill on the "showroom floor" so I take my top choices for a quick jog and find the perfect fit in a pair of Asics GT-2110s.

Shoes have model #'s and even model years, didn't you know?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

85% of us are wearing the wrong shoe size.

Startling statistic isn’t it?

To support the neophytes of endurance sports training (like me), our TNT coaches and team captains organize various clinics. The first of this training season was a “shoe clinic.”

Now, I’m thinking going into this, "sure, I’ll learn about running shoes." Which I did. I did not expect my world to be turn upside down. I found out that I’ve been living in complete ignorance about foot health, and operating in complete darkness when it comes to buying the right shoes for my feet. So you know, I’ve been wearing a size 11 shoe, without fail, since high-school.

The clinic was held a the Big Feet Store in Fort Worth. This is no ordinary shoe store, the specialize guessed it, plus size shoes, and the proprietors gave us a very good educational session. Among the tips they shared:

  1. Medical statistics show that 85% of America is wearing the WRONG SIZE!
  2. Most people’s feet, left to right, are different sizes (pretty freaky)
  3. You want to be sure the widest part of the foot is in the widest part of the shoe; that little “press the thumb” trick to figure out were your big toe sits in relation to the end of the shoe is wrong, wrong, wrong.

Other key points were:
  • You should have your feet properly measured and assessed every time you purchase a shoe
  • Each different vendor (i.e. Rockport, Bally, New Balance, etc.) designs their lasts to meet a certain shape of foot.
The good people of the Big Feet Store gave me proper foot analysis with the old-fashioned measurement tools as well as a computerized analysis based on standing on a pressure pad; that told me I’m prone to plantar faciitis. This is the condition which slowed my favorite basketball player, Tim Duncan of the San Antonio Spurs, during the 2005/06 season. Pretty cool.

So what’s my shoe size?


A full size bigger than what I’ve been wearing (and occasionally running in) for years.