Friday, September 25, 2009

Stress........... Continued.....

So upon my arrival to depart and arrive back home, I didn't not see people really flipping out this go round but I did experience something of which I commented on in the last post. While checking in I was presented with another option of an earlier flight but for an upgrade fee of $50. I declined because I figured I could wait and read a book and have dinner.
After fully completely the check in process I found out my flight was actually OVERBOOKED! Crap, oh well I am going to the gate where the earlier flight departs since I have some extra time to see if they can move me. I grab a bite to eat and then approach the woman at the ticket counter, explain what my circumstance is and ask if I can move to the earlier flight permitting there are some seats available.
She says yes and that it will cost $50 in order to do so unless I was an elite card member. After some talking briefly I asked bluntly "is their anyway we can avoid this fee, just so I don't have to sit around and wait for a flight that's over booked by chance?....she waits a second and says " just wait till the flight is fully boarded, come back and we can get you in I think". Meantime people from my actually flight realized they were overbooked and the flight was delayed so they rush over to ask the woman the same questions I have but with some tone to it.
She explains their is a $50 fee and there may not be seats anyways. Needless to say I joked with her about working their and dealing with crazy people daily, we share a laugh and she tells me to go ahead and follow her onto the plane. Myself and one "elite" member board the plane. YESSSSS!!! Victory, i smooth talked my way to avoid a $50 fee and to also get home 2.5hrs earlier! The moral is being nice and cordial is a good thing, people think you need to walk over others to get what you want but not always! Remember to smile people!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stress, Frustration and screaming!

Anger sits curled up and ready to explode in some souls.

Recently, I had the privilege to witness some rather laughable yet ridiculous behavior while at an Airport as well as a rental car establishment. Apparently some people are under a lot of stress right now, which I can understand these days with the economy and the loss of jobs. There could be many factors in a "flip out" or just plain being rude but this was the worst I have seen in a series every since I began flying back when i was 4 or 5 years old.

Within the 1st 10 minutes after arriving to the airport, I am in line and see a woman just shaking her head while up at the counter. Reading her body language was pretty easy as she could not stand still and she was not happy. She arrived late to check in as well she didn't prepare to check her 80lb bag, "that she always used as a carry-on". The flight was boarding within the next 10 minutes and she was having a fit, yelling at the ticket agent, "i have been here for 10 minutes and you just can't get this figured out and now you are making me pay for a checked bag, get your supervisor".

If I ask for a supervisor in any occasion, I will be nearly about to commit a homicide. Maybe its just my personality but I seem to get things smoothed out by just being easy going and making chit chat with people and showing my appreciation that they are there to assist me, EVEN if i am not exactly happy. that's what works for me anyways<

I am nearly to the front of the line and the pressure of the people behind me sits in. As soon as someone even makes a motion to leave the check in people want to run each other over. Someone left a station, while these 2 nice women in front of me, wait to see if another woman is going to use it, some guy comes flying under the ropes and jumps past 3 of us and is shaking his head. We all just looked at each other thinking, "did that just happen?", some people have some nerve that's for sure. This guy obviously could not of cared about anyone else trying to make their flight, even though they had been in line 10 minutes longer than him.

The most comical thing about this guy was that I saw him sitting in first class while boarding my flight. Let's see, I was AN HOUR EARLY, and decided to walk a terminal over and have some breakfast, check out some magazines, listen to my IPOD and then they started boarding. Maybe it was his first class attitude, he is more important that everyone else apparently, sorry something just gets under my skin when people do not have have patience to respect other people.

I arrive at my destination, manage to walk to the wrong station to wait for the rental shuttle to pick me up but I politely ask a less than happy gentleman whom pulls up from Budget rental to drop someone off "sir is this not the place to catch the shuttle? I wasn't sure where to stand and I have been hanging out awhile now"...he thinks for a second and says, just hop on with me, I only pick up from the budget and drop off at the airport but we can let you slide this time. It was pretty simple, I was polite and he gave me a ride< class="blsp-spelling-error" id="SPELLING_ERROR_6">ckers, you are stupid" and of course she closed the door and drove away, hmm which method was better?
After arriving at the rental spot, I spoke with a woman and she got everything ready for me. While in line a woman basically stood besides me at the counter with an angry face, then she finally said " I have been waiting 15 minutes and watched 5 people get cars over me, I NEED TO GET OUT OF here I have an appointment in 90 minutes, you are not helping out, what are y'all doing back there??" Needless to say, they tried to calm her and she went outside, I cracked a joke, that it "always is an adventure working with people here i can see" they laughed and I said, "well I appreciate you guys being here, I am not going to jump down your throats". She then said, "i am giving you the first available car we have no extra charge"<<<<>

Monday, September 21, 2009

Beer Mile

I have been very busy over this past weekend with SOME training, working at TrySports and also celebrating because.....of.....I don't know, just celebrating life. Sunday was my 4th Beer Mile competition in Charlotte and it just gets better and better. More people raced and more people came out to watch the spectacle this time. Why do runner's think this is a good idea? Who came up with this, I would assume some college kids back in the day had it pop in their head and even the adults when running with it. When I get more time I am going to update this post with some pictures and more questions concerning, drinking and the "beer mile"

Saturday, September 19, 2009

To Motorcycle or not to motorcycle

It was 2006 and I had the need to feel free, so I bought a pretty sweet Honda Shadow ACE deluxe jet black with lots of chrome, awesome. I miss it already! I bought it because one of my best friends at the time (Rob Dietz) convinced me it was time that we buy some motorcycles and cruise around. One week after he brought it up I stepped up and called him from the dealership "yo I just got a bike, yep, honda shadow and their is another one here that would be perfect for you!". He decided to pass on the bike as he got cold feet and I was stuck riding by myself all of the time.

Well it's about that time again, i have the urge to ride! Riding bicycles is cool and all, but it's a lot of work and people always try to kill me. I am thinking its time to hop on a hog and head to the mountains. The plan is to buy my buddies old Honda that has been sitting in his backyard for over 3 years and does not run, yes i said it. I intend to take it on as a project and turn it from a classic 1985 Honda VT500c and make it into one sweet "bobber" eventually.

What do you think, should I drop the bicycle for a non running motorcycle? YES! after much research I am fairly certain that I can get the bike running by my self. Put a few hundred $ into and eventually it could be pretty sweet and a head turner I think.

Sell a $2800 carbon road bike
Buy a $400 24 year old honda vt500... sounds good to me.

after worlds i am taking 2-3 weeks of down time and it would be the perfect time to "tinker" with the hog.

I just want to roll out and be free, do you blame me?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Steam Steam & more Steam

Today I had an interesting thought...Why not replace an easy workout in the pool and maybe some ab work with something completely new. Steam bath cycles, a little research got me here.
Previously I had tried the steam shower at the Baxter YMCA for a mere 2 minutes and it was pretty humid and very difficult to breath, but i was sweating buckets. I thought perhaps this has some great benefits that I have been missing out on. I would think from so much sweating that you would release lots of toxins which can't be a bad thing. Let's see what the web has to say about steam.

Between 1894 and 1986, at the
University of Munich’s Institute of Medical Balneology and Climatology a comprehensive series of comparative tests were conducted to determine the effects of the sauna, steam room and whirlpool bath. Studies showed that the steam room helped with Bronchial asthma, bronchitis, catarrh of the upper respiratory tract, coughs, hoarseness, expectoration, non-acute rheumatic complaints and restricted or painful movements of the joints. The steam room is also beneficial for people suffering from Sleeping disorders, poor skin circulation, dry, chapped skin, muscular tension, muscular weakness in the subcutaneous blood vessels, and sensitivity to sudden changes of temperature.
Another great advantage of the steam bath is in its highly beneficial effect on the skin. The moist heat stimulates the subcutaneous
blood flow and cleanses the skin intensively, opening the pores, removing dead skin and impurities and leaving the skin feeling soft, clean and smooth."

After reading up on this a bit, one key word stood out for me, asthma. I have had asthma since I have in 2nd grade and have had some fits with it at odd times. If this steam room can have a positive on my breathing that has troubled me for years why not give it a try? Blood circulation is also increased while using the steam room which influences recovery of the muscle quicker. Many people seem to use this after a workout to relax and just drain their pores. I on the other hand did some research and found where some people did "cycles" of the steam room and basically used this as a workout.

Here goes nothing, I set my intervals for 15 minutes and 4 minutes. Goal is to do 2 cycles of the steam shower followed up with a sauna nap for 10 minutes. Within 30 seconds in the sauna I am soaking wet, it is just ridiculously hot. Just relax and keep still. Time appears to be standing still after a few minutes. Not sure if it was just cranked up or what but 2 sets of people came in and left while i was still holding out. After 12 minutes I started to feel pretty odd and knew i needed to jump the gun and get out, so i stumbled to the exit. Skin blood shot red, dripping w/sweat and my hair feeling like its on fire, i walk to get some water.
Upon arriving back to the steam area, i decide i will jump in the sauna for 5 minutes first. it feels like room temperature in there, my lungs were on fire in the steam room. Steam room it is after a few minutes. I remember my leg shaking because i was ansty and i could feel and hear my heart racing while trying to man up and do at least 10 minutes of this torture. I felt as if I had done a speed workout honestly, it reminded me of duathlon nationals when it was 95 and i was trying to finish the 5k, i was having nightmares while still being awake. 6 minutes come on man, just relax, " is it better to breath short breaths or take long slow breaths, oh man i am starting to panic. 7 minutes, holy moly, i can't do this, just one more minute chris come on 7minutes and 30 seconds i am getting and disorientated, "it's time to leave". I literally fall through the door holding on to the handle just anxious to feel the cool air.
wow, so how did i feel, completely drained for one...that's a given i guess with the extreme sweating. i weighed my self before and after

-162 before
-162 after (is this possible?

For some reason I thought it would still be a good idea to attempt my last speed workout before duathlon worlds after this day. My rare shakeout 5:40am run, then this new detoxification death match at lunch time, now a difficult workout that i would need to bring my A game and focus for. Long story short, my workout consisted of:

2 miles at 10:30 pace

1000k @ 3:07

800m @ 2:12 or below...

I felt pretty miserable from my first mile on, i would call this a progressive speed workout since the pace gets faster but i felt like i was going the other way for sure. Strides was all over the place and choppy, Alana Hadley and her dad were out at the track running as well, she inspires me just to be happy that I get to run in general. It only got worse and i hit my 1st 2 goals with the last 3 a bit short. the last 800m was not even attempted, i knew when to quit. Looking back, i should have drank much more water as well as had an endurolyte which mark recommended, how can i be so stupid not to think about that.

All in all the steam room idea worked good, I think i may shoot for a different cycle early next week, with sauna and steam room. my muscles actually felt ok as a positive note, my one calf seemed to cramp a little but noting crazy, we will see how i feel tomorrow and the next day is the most important thing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Why do we have dreams? What do they mean?

These are 2 questions I pose, are dreams a reality? Some say they can see the future in their dreams or have deja vu later from a dream. Perhaps these are just thoughts in our heads as we lay down to rest and fall asleep.

Sometimes our dreams appear as a "sign" to us, as we awake it feels so real. It must mean something if I had such a vivid dream. Where do we go from there as we awake? Maybe you have frightening dream about your grandfather and feel the need to check on him. Perhaps you awake and have a dream about a relationship thats been on the fence or is in the past, just something you think you may need to say. Have you been here, I would imagine we all have in some sort of strange

Monday, September 14, 2009

Go USA? Sweet Team Gear and maybe a little misconception?

Saturday after arriving home from work, I see I have a box at the front entry way and I know what it is right away. It's my Team USA gear, I am so pumped to check it out and see what everything I ordered actually looked/fit like in person.

Tri-Zone hooked us up with some extra Team USA stuff that i didn't expect like (all with the logo "Team USA"; swim cap, water bottle, yanks, polo shirt, and dri-fit hat, along with some hammer products to boot. I was so pumped to check out my shirts, my new hoodie that i will be rockin' come fall/winter for sure. It surprised me at the quality of the shirts offered, i wondered why they were so expensive but I figured since they had a monopoly kind of they could jack the prices up like crazy on anything. The clothing feels silky smooth, even the polo's are moisture wicking shirts and they are comfortable.

  • Once I saw the uniform laying on my bed, it made me think back to 1996 when i saw Michael Johnson and Bob Kennedy ripping it up for Team USA in ATL. I chose the Navy and Silver option because it was so similar to the uniforms from that Olympiad. I thought after all of these years of training, good or bad, time restraints, ups and downs, I finally felt like I achieved something. It may not be the Olympics but its as close as I will get most likely, it's pretty cool.
Saturday morning I got a text from Cody that said his uniform was VERY tight AND basically uncomfortable. Luckily for me, I had some communication with the the guy who runs the show with all of the uniforms and he provided with some pertinent information. The uniform's run extremely small, so I opted for the next size up. Sunday was "Brick" workout day so after I knocked out a 5.7 mile run around the booty loop area, I ran into the house to throw on the new USA One Piece. Man this thing was TIGHT! I could barely get it over my quads(too manly I guess ha-ha) and had to inch it up bit by bit till I had it basically on. The zip on the back was basically impossible to do solo, so I had G$ zip it up real quick and I thought man this ride will be interesting.

While Riding the on the booty loop I figured some guys would try to "challenge" me simply because I was riding with my USA uniform on, I know it would cross my mind. But thankfully no one ever tried to roll me up and I kept the pace consistent, but with the uniform being so tight, it made me feel like a million bucks out there. This made me think about what people perceived me as ? Was I some poser who had a need to show off my uniform? Negative, I just needed to see how it would be with riding and running, plain and simple. On this trip around the booty loop, I noticed that people would certainly stare a bit longer as you passed by. I knew it was because of the uniform obviously, but I just had thoughts on what people might have been thinking.

To those who are the casual runner or cyclist if some guy comes flying by in a USA uniform with his name all over it, I guess you would think, "oh who is this guy, wow maybe he competed at Olympics/worlds or something?" Then for those experienced multi-sport athletes, might of thought, "who does this d-bag think he is? is the uniform required for riding the booty loop?" ha-ha I don't know, I thought it was interesting to read people's faces as I went by and passed by them 3-4-5-6 times while riding.

While finishing up my final 2 loops, I was making a right hand turn onto Queens Rd while some cards were turning into my lane as well. Cars always yield to bikers because we are to be treated like vehicles and we have the right away. Well for the first time I actually was brushed by some guy in a yellow Subaru. He didn't yield and then instead of choosing the far lane, he came right into my lane and basically pinned me right to the curb, I grabbed the car for balance and then he zoomed off. What the hell are some people thinking??? That would have been a horrible way to end my season.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Run for the Money? this is for my runners out there

Today I was wondering something about people who only race $ races. I guess the more "elite" you get the less you race because you are saving your self for a bigger goal race down the road. On that same note, isn't it all about having fun?
I could not imagine running maybe 3-4 races an entire year and being happy. Waking up early or running late in the night doing track workouts and long tempo's by your self for no apparent reason. Maybe those more elite athletes are afraid to go out and not do as expected everytime so they don't want to disgrace their name perhaps.
Just observing, it seems that a lot of the faster athletes have a 1-2 month span where they are on fire and then they either get hurt or they are "fried" from all of the work. I have a tendency to actually not run hard enough with my runs, perhaps limiting my ability and my race times but on that note I am never "injured" and never HAVE to take time off. I just keep in my normal state with maybe a fartlek or tempo type run once a week or maybe not.
Is pushing your self for gratification and $, worth missing out on a sport that you love a couple months out of the year because you injure your self? I wonder what percpective other people have on this subject. Some friends of mine race every weekend whether its a triathlon, duathlon or a road race because they just love the environment. Running is fun and if I am not running with people or chatting after runs then its just not the same. After races some people choose to run a cool down solo and keep to them selves, not sure if this is because they think they are too good or possibly they just aren't socially capable to be around a group of people.

So, do you race only for $ or do you race for fun and commraderie? I enjoy meeting new people as often as I can, so i tend to race more than perhaps i should but its fun. Recently I won a bottle of wine in a fancy wooden box at the Greek fest 5k for being 5th place, I can say I was very disappointed with my showing. This would make me think about hiding in the shadows until I am certainly in tip top shape, so I can see that point of view.

Why do you race, why would you race and how often do you race?

My first day of Blogging

So today is my first attempt at a blog entry, what to write about?

Well I am at work so I don't have ample enough time to really put much together as far as my thoughts. I am just excited to get home after work, maybe ride my bike for a bit before heading out to the Greek festival for the first time ever with Kent and G$ to meet up with my family.

This reminds me of when I used to have a beef with Greeks, it's pretty funny actually. I played organized soccer for 13 years and always considered myself a soccer player first and foremost. Growing up in rec leagues, we always played the Greek Orthodox church teams whom were usually pretty talented. Well one game my grandparents decided to come out and video tape with there new 100lb video camera ha-ha. Well they zoomed in when I had the ball once and I let the ball get a bit too far ahead of me to say the least and this kid comes up and creams the ball.
The ball connects perfectly in the middle of my face and I go flying back. I basically did a back flip onto my neck, as my sports goggles fling off of my face! My uncle thought it was awesome to go over that portion of the video in slow motion about 20 times later that day, it looked pretty painful. So for awhile I had some beef with a greek kid who punked me in front of my family and friends, but we are cool now. If I could get my hands on the video you would enjoy it, it's classic.