Monday, August 31, 2009

A Little Lost

This is how I am feeling these days. I am not training for anything at the moment and I feel lost. To ride without purpose and to run without a plan seems just silly. I know one thing, if I don't start training for something soon, I will need to get new pants. Today I weighed 170 lbs and my race weight is around 160-162.

I am participating in a 10lbs in 10 weeks weight lose challenge through Twitter. So far I think I am down 1 lb in 2 weeks.
This weekend was a big Ironman weekend. Both IM Canada and IM Louisville were on Sunday. twitter was on fire with updates. Twitter has changed the way events are followed. Opening a new world to sports who do not or can't afford TV prices.
I found this on my phone, not sure who took it. Looks to be the Cherohala Challenge.

I am working on making race and personal challenge plans for next year. To start the year off , I have been looking into running a marathon and am not yet ready to make the commitment. I am close though. I have to convince myself to just finish and not worry about how fast. Then, I will run the Knoxville half for a PR. I hope to post sub 1:35. See again already setting time goals. I don't understand why I must put so much pressure on this old body to perform. I am 39 yrs old and deserve to relax.
Too bad I got my ass kicked here vs relaxing! Live and learn

I have to keep telling myself you lazy SOB you laid on the couch for 18yrs watching football drinking beer and eating pizza, quit kicking yourself in the ass for not being the fastest or the strongest climber or when you body tells you no more.

Next , I want to compete in the Rev3 Triathlon here in Knoxville. Real big deal to get such a large pro event in Knox Vegas. I am leaning toward the Olympic distance, this way I will be able to still enjoy the event and celebrate as others finish the 70.3
Training buddys, my first ever tri.

We were hoping to get a club discount for the event, but turns out the club doesn't have a 501c status or some shit like that. Isn't a group of triathletes who train together and suffer together enough to make a club. We all signed up on a club sign up sheet? How about it Revs can you cut a local CLUB from Knoxville a break?

So here it is the official/unofficial race calender for SlowRider 10' I am sure more will be added later. Smaller runs and of coarse the normal list of cycling events. This is just the abnormal race events.

This is what I looked like after my first ever 1/2 marathon. Pulled calf muscle, nipple burn form the shirt but proud as hell I ran with a WIN spirit. 1:43 result.

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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The perfect get anything bike

Check out this site, they are making some way cool bikes Sphere: Related Content

Monday, August 24, 2009

LiveStrong Philly

What a week! After a long hard week of work, I took Friday to drive to Philadelphia. The LiveStrong Challenge 2009

The team I was part of raised over $275,000 yes 197 team members. This is only the Philly ride, Team Fatty has a team at each ride this year. I believe the total so far is over 700k raised by our team. Our team alone raised close to 9% of the total take. Yes 197 individuals vs 6, 300 others.

It doesn't hurt when your leader kicks in some great giveaways.

It all started with Ray ray baking this double thick delicious cake for all of Team Fatty to carb up on Sat. afternoon. He carries a big knife in his car in case anyone is wondering.

The Team gathered but no Philly Jen so we waited. Then out of the elevator Elden shows up. He says a few words and he cuts the cake. It was quite evident Susan took care of this task in the past. His pieces were about 6" by 6". Luckily Ray Ray baked enough for 400 team members.

Yes, I had to get a pic with the man himself. I would like to make a note of something, Eldon claims to weigh around my weight. I am sorry when I stood next to him I was noticeably larger, well taller. This only means he carries his weight differently. It will make sense, just hold on

The morning of the ride, the team assembles at the 100mi corral. Eldon gets onto his soap box and begins to flex his thighs!!! Yes, I think in this picture he is calling himself the God of Thunder Thighs. Now you see where he carries his weight. The problem for me was that they are all muscle

The team was lead by no other than Philly Jen, she kept taking these funny pictures. I think she is a closet comedian. She swore no more open mouth pictures. Thanks for all you did!!!

Here you see Michael and me wondering how we would stay awake for the 12 hr drive home.

Something looks dunlaped over in this pic.

Here is E.G. I met him, but he won't remember. He was too busy talking to the Nissan booth girls! Oh E.G. you made a Buckeye Alum very sad.
He was one solid man, but I think this was his first cycling experience. I never saw him again.

The ride was great, we went out fast and hard. It started uphill and didn't stop. The 70 mi ride climbed 5,105 ft. The LAF messed this one up. I rode with the lead pack for about 25 miles. Fatty was in that pack, it seems living at 5,000 ft and riding up to 8,000ft give one super human strength at sea level. Oh those HUGE muscular thighs didn't hurt. Also in this group was College (Lance's Famous Friend) and Chris Carmichael former Olympian and Lance's coach. There calf's were the size of my thighs.
I new I was going to turn at the 70 mile cut, so no need to kill myself getting there. At mile 30 i began to have some calf cramps. This was very odd , I don't ever recall cramping before mi 85. I had taken my salts before the ride, since I was only doing the 70mi course, i didn't bring any with. I stopped at the 35 mi rest and saw the Pizza kitchen workers making PB & J's. They fed me the night before. At that stop there were 3 other riders. I am assuming split from the front group. I filled one bottle and hit headed out. I wish had the time to do the 100mi but work called. The next 35 miles were solo, as hard as my cramping legs, thighs and calf's would take me. The best part of the ride were by far the last 20 miles. This is were the 45 mi route joined. I was able to ride with many survivors. This by far was the best part. Each one gave me a little more energy to push on. I finished in 3:55

This little Devil was waiting at the top of one of the hills.
Also I would like to give a shout out to the Chick who dropped me on mile 30, Good luck in KONA. Yes, she qualified at the Rhode Island Half with a 4:43 or something. Her calfs were sculpted and she was strong. Just out on a training ride she said.
One more shout out to the guy that threw is chain on the hill at mile 29. That was a smooth landing. He was climbing a 18 percent grade and tried to drop to the bottom ring. In a split second, he was doing the TURTLE on the hill. He popped up hoping no one saw. Man he was Pissed. Sphere: Related Content

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Time To Cut The Cake

Here I am in Philly for the LiveStrong Challenge. 10.5 hr drive and I am pumped up for Team Fatty. Today at 3pm the team had a member who baked a huge Team Fatty cake. I will post a picture later. We waited for Philly Jen to come down to cut the cake and to everyone's surprise, Elden also came. He cut the team some big ass pieces and we all talked and met the fat Cyclist.
By the way he is not fat but he is still very sore from his spill in the Leadville 100. After I spoke to him, I introduced myself to Philly Jen, the teams captain. She told me that as they came into the parking lot, Elden saw my truck and took a picture for his blog. Why my truck you may be asking, well on the way here I stayed awake looking for others making the trek. I decided to go old school and paint my windows. So after a quick stop at Wal Mart, here is what the truck looked like.
Tomorrow morning will come fast, I am off to nap and then some pizza. With 2,000 or so riders taking off tomorrow, wish me luck that I do not end up like this guy.
By the way, Team fatty will be the front group in the ride. Is that cool or what!
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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Breaking Up With Baby

It has been a long time coming, it is time to break up with Baby!

This is going to be a very bad time in my life, I will need support from all my closest friends. I know that I will end up pushing the limits of friendship during these next few weeks. All I ask for is your patients and understanding. My moods will swing like a 17yr old girl, and I will be crabby just like Mr. crab
The relationship has just fizzled out, you know the candle is out of wax. Our timeline has run it's course. We have had out good times and bad, well not many bad times.
The rumors have been out there for some time about the effects baby has on my well being.
My life may never be as sweet, but who knows?

I am not talking about this kind of Baby, I am talking about artificial sweetener Splenda!

I am sorry baby, you are officially out of my life.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009


I realize many of you do not know anything about my daughter Olivia. I would like to take this time to introduce my daughter to you.
Olivia is 9 yrs old and a very talented and gifted young lady. Sound like what all dads would say, but this is true. She is patient, determined, creative and caring. She is a budding artist and doesn't know it. She has a talent for drawing and art. She also possesses a strong desire to jump horses and someday own her own horse.
Today is Olivia's day, not for prizes or gifts but another day of great news. News good enough to celebrate. You see, today, Olivia had an appointment with her Cardiologist.
Yes, that is right 9yrs old and she has had her very own Cardiologist for 6 yrs. At the age of 3 she went into congested heart failure and was diagnosed with dilated (congestive) cardiomyopathy.

Olivia has a rather large collection of American girl dolls and horses. She even had a birthday party at the American Girl store in Chicago.

Yes, that is the same thing the lady from beaches the movie had.
But today, Olivia got great news. You see last visit, her heart function slipped to 28. That is lower than we would like.

Today, her heart was measured at 32. Her left ventricle is borderline normal for size. We are pleased with today's results and Jennifer is very happy with our doctor here. We go back every 6 months for a cardioechogram.

First Communion with Aunt Carla and Uncle Mark.

Here is a picture from 3 yrs ago, first week in Knoxville, Tn
Looks like the zoo. Olivia and Cousin Alyssa are having fun

Olivia and grandpa Jim, Olivia has always had a love for little stuffed animals.

This is a long time ago, 2004 Olivia is 4, James 5
Wooster, Ohio

Now look at here, last month she competed in her first Horse show. She brought home one first and two other ribbons. Look mom no hands. Dad is so proud, but we still can't buy a horse sorry Olivia.

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Monday, August 10, 2009


Many of you know I am headed to Philly in a couple of weeks to ride in the LiveStrong Challenge

but do you know what or who has motivated me to work so hard this year? This is the post of Elden Nelson "AKA FatCyclist" This is why I fight. I pray never to have to go through what the Nelson family has experienced. I pray someday cancer can be a forgotten word. I find it hard to believe so many people, even in the states, do not know what LiveStrong is or about. Please click on the link and find a new world of support. Maybe you will one day ride with me.

Susan Nelson
08.7.2009 1:05 pm
Yesterday was long. It started with a meeting at the funeral home, taking care of the business end of Susan’s funeral. Then I worked for a while on the program for the funeral itself. Then I took my boys to buy us suits.
And then, when I got home, there was a big chunk of the core team, hanging out at my house and ready to go for a ride. I have great friends.
Then I wrote Susan’s obituary for the local newspaper. As I did that, I realized a few things. First, that I had more to say about Susan than what I could fit in an obituary (especially since the newspaper charges me $3.50 per line). Second, that more people who care about Susan read my blog than are likely to get the Deseret News (a Utah-wide newspaper). And finally, I wanted to make sure that any of my readers who are able to make it to the funeral have the information they need to get there.
And if you’re not able to make it to the funeral, well, what I’m writing here will be pretty much the same thing, but with a lot fewer stutters and stammers.

Susan Ellen Nelson
Susan Ellen Nelson (born Reeve) passed away August 5, 2009, after a long and hard-fought battle with breast cancer. She finished her life at home, at peace, and with her family: her husband Elden, sons Nigel (15) and Brice (13) and twin daughters Katie and Carrie (7).
Susan was born September 15, 1966 in Columbus, Ohio, to Richard and V. Karen Reeve, the first of three children. Susan’s sisters are Celia Reeve and Christine Krueger.
We Meet and (Very Soon After) Marry

The best place for me to really start telling Susan’s story, though, is when we met. Specifically, we met April 27, 1988. My college roommate was engaged to one of Susan’s roommates, and I was along for the ride when he stopped by her apartment.
When I saw Susan, I was immediately stricken. In addition to her general hotness, she had eyes that conveyed her smile so perfectly. Plus, I really liked her dark red hair.
I was not the kind of person to ask girls out on dates without spending time getting courage up, but in this case I made an exception.
When I went to pick Susan up the next day, I did a double take — her hair color was now blaze-orange. Which I also liked, but was confused.
As it turns out, Susan was in cosmetology school at the time — she wanted to learn hair as a skill to put in her quiver for her love of stage makeup — and her hair would change style and color roughly twice a week through our courtship.
Our courtship, by the way, didn’t take long. We married on August 13, 1988 in the LDS Los Angeles Temple — about 3.5 months after we met.
After twenty one years (this Thursday) of a truly happy marriage, I can’t help but be amazed that I made such a good choice so quickly.
Before long, Susan went back to college, finishing her BA in Classical Civilizations at BYU. Here, I learned about Susan’s incredible gift of memorizing. For her upper-level Latin classes (yes, at one point Susan could speak Latin), Susan would memorize page after page of Latin and their English translations.
I would tease her about the practicality of learning Latin, but Susan wasn’t really in school for the language. She loved history and mythology, whether it be ancient Greek or modern JRR Tolkien (or, eventually, Buffy the Vampire Slayer) — if Susan became interested in something, she immersed herself in it and quickly became an expert.
Family First
While Susan loved history and mythology and stagecraft and art — and took to any and all of these quickly and naturally — once we started having children, she threw herself into being a mom with patience and energy. And I see many things I love about Susan in each of our four children:

Nigel has Susan’s patience and creativity. Like Susan, Nigel really never gets angry. They’re both calm in every circumstance. And like Susan, Nigel loves to draw, although he has taken this ability in new directions — on the computer — which Susan always loved to see. Like Susan, Nigel is happiest when he is creating something.

Brice has Susan’s love of reading and learning. As Susan lost the ability to get around, she and Brice spent more time together than anyone else in the family, reading out loud to each other for hours. Like Susan, Brice has the ability to bring text to life. When he reads aloud, everyone in the family gathers around. Like Susan, Brice is a perfectionist, and always turns in (much) better work than is required.

Katie and Carrie: I don’t know if identical twins usually have identical talents, but both Katie and Carrie — in addition to looking very much like Susan’s pictures from when she was a little girl — are artistic whirlwinds. Like Susan, they love to draw and paint and sculpt and paper-piece and anything else that lets them create with their hands. The day Susan introduced them to the fundamentals of jewelry making was a watershed moment for them of Keppleresque proportions. But Katie and Carrie have different art emphases — Katie loves to draw, Carrie likes to make things — and watching and helping the girls develop their different talents was one of Susan’s greatest pleasures.
Susan has left me with four smart, kind, and creative children. This is almost certainly her greatest legacy.

Arts and Crafts and a Novel
Susan was a talented artist, entering her Freshman year of college as a scholarship art student. Her interests in art varied and grew, from pen and ink to paper piecing to sophisticated scrapbooking projects. Susan published several scrapbooking articles in magazines, and even had a monthly column in one.
In the past five years or so, Susan’s interest in art moved to jewelry making. In particular, Susan loved twisting, shaping, and melting silver wire into beautiful and complex bracelets and necklaces. Even as cancer took her ability to walk away, Susan remained positive — from her easy chair, she could still wield her acetylene torch.
As she was forced to spend more time seated, Susan had the idea to write a young adult-oriented novel. While many would think this was just too daunting a task, Susan simply got to work, outlining, writing, and editing her first novel. Chemo and radiation and the cancer itself would often make it difficult for her to write, but she continued, encouraged by the fact that teenage girls from around the neighborhood demanded that she keep writing so they could see what happens next.
Susan’s novel is within a few pages of completion. Susan told me what happens in the end, and I may do my best to finish it for her and see if I can honor her by bringing it to publication.

For a more detailed telling of Susan’s battle with cancer, you may want to read a recent post, Fighting Like Susan. The brief version is that Susan fought cancer for more than five years. She endured a mastectomy — and moving shortly afterward with twin toddlers in tow. She endured chemo. She endured a hip replacement. She endured radiation multiple times, and more chemo.
And when there was nothing left we could do, Susan endured — for months and years longer than anyone expected — assault after assault by cancer on her body: bones, lungs, and brain.
And throughout, she remained herself: creative, focused, and kind.
And also — very importantly — she was brave.
In an act of constant courage, Susan agreed to let me tell her story, as it happened. Because of this, thousands of people, all around the world, were inspired to take up her fight against cancer.
And I mean “thousands” very literally. More than 500 people — people she never met in real life — joined her namesake LiveStrong Challenge team, raising money to fight cancer. And those 500 people — along with many, many others, have raised well above half a million dollars in the past half year.
When I ask myself, “What could be the purpose — the point — of Susan having cancer?” I think that Susan proved something essential: sometimes we have to make our own purpose from the circumstances we’ve been given.
And if you consider that people have emailed me saying that, inspired by Susan’s story, they have decided to join the fight against cancer, or they have quit smoking, or they have decided to be brave and get a mammogram — well, that’s a powerful purpose.
The money we have raised in her name will help in the fight against cancer, but Susan’s legacy goes way beyond that. It is, in fact, immeasurable.
Funeral and Donations
Funeral services will be held Monday, August 10, 2009 at 10:00 a.m., with a gathering at 9:00 a.m. at the LDS Chapel located at 890 N. Main St, Alpine, UT 84004 (Official address is different, but this address will get you to the right spot).
In lieu of flowers, please donate via Paypal or send donations to Elden Nelson, 407 Quincy Ct., Alpine, UT 84004. Donations will be used for the Nelson children’s education funds.
PS: One of the most touching tributes I’ve seen on the web is the Twin Six home page. And so maybe you can imagine how I felt this morning, when, on a ride to the top of the Alpine Loop, I saw this at the summit:

As well as this, at the “half-mile to the top, start going fast if you can” marker:

And there was another, at the finish line for the toll-booth sprint (Dug beat me by a bike length by the way).
Whoever did this, thank you.
PPS: To the more than 2000 of you who have left comments and sent email since I left the short post about Susan dying, thank you. I haven’t read all your comments yet; I tend to dip in and read until I’m too choked up to continue. I will get through them, and I appreciate everyone reaching out the way you have.

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Haunted Hike

Friday I decided Justin, my 6 yr old, and I would go hiking and camping on Sat. The weather looked shaky at best, with 2" of heavy rain forecasted after 12 midnight. I wasn't sure if I wanted to make this adventure, but Justin sure was.

He was very excited about the hike. We first had to decide what he would eat for dinner. Amazingly he choose a Noodle and Chicken freeze dried meal I had been saving. I wasn't sure he would eat it once it as cooked, so I packed some bagels and a peanut butter sandwich for backup.

We drove up to Cades Cove to check in with the rangers. On the way up a baby black bear cub ran in front of out truck. It looked very cute, Justin was amazed. I felt like Grizzly Adams. We had decided to stay the night at back country campsite #12. or those of you who know the park, it is about 2 miles up Gregory ridge trail, off of Parsons Branch Rd.

As we arrived at the trail head, another couple were sitting in their car looking at the map. They were wondering if they should attempt the hike up and down to Gregory bald. It was about 2pm and they would be pushing the limit on light. The Bald is about 6 miles and 2,700 ft of climbing.

All four of us started out together, shortly Justin's legs couldn't keep up. We had a much shorter hike and there were way too many bugs and animals to see on the way. He was amazed to see so many Daddy Long Legged spiders.

The hike is really nice, it follows a small creek the whole way. The only issue was this small creek, after as much rain as we have had, has grown to a fast moving violent creek. On the hike, we have to cross the creek three times on a small one person tree limb. As we approached the first crossing I realized, even though it was warm, If Justin fell into the stream it would be bad. I attempted to catch up to him but before I knew it, he was rushing across the bridge. I raced behind him and we crossed without incident. For the next two crossings, I was sure to have a hold of him. Sorry Mommy, I know I should have been closer.

After the first bridge the hike goes uphill and away from the stream for a bit. Then when you closer to the camp, you drop back down to the stream for the 2nd and 3rd crossing. We made it to camp around 3:30.

The weather looked like rain. I decided, I needed to get camp set up asap. Just as I finished with the tent, rain began. I was pissed, it wasn't supposed to rain until midnight. We got in the tent, Justin playing DS and me relaxing. The rain lasted about an hour and it was hard. I kept thinking about the couple who were on their way to the bald. I don't think they had any rain gear.

After the rain, we played at camp. Justin wanted to go swimming in the stream, and dad used good judgement and said no! All I could think about was a cracked open skull and me carrying him for two miles out of the woods. The water was just moving too fast. Justin was determined to have a fire. Even with all my Grizzly Adams skills, I could not get soaking wet wood to burn. We spent about an hour playing with the fire. We then decided to go on a small hike up the ridge and around the camp. Some of the 1st generation trees we saw were amazing. Very few 1st gen left. Up until this part of the hike, the trees are 2nd generation. When we got back to camp e cooked dinner and Justin loved his chicken and noodles. I had some nuts and a peanut butter sandwich. Just then, the rain started again.

This time it lasted only about 30 mins. I was beginning to get bummed about the weather. After the rain, I set up my eagles Nest hammock and Justin and I laid back and relaxed. The sounds of the GSMNP are amazing. He snuggled up next to me and we just listened. The thing about being alone in the woods with bears, is that you never ever seem to relax. I found it hard to lay back and rest my eyes. This is whey the next time go hiking, we will go with a group.

After our rest, the couple who we started out with, stopped by to say hello. They had made it to the bald and said it was beautiful. I had been there 2 yrs ago with James my 11 yr old.

Once they left, Justin and I made a little snack. He finished his noodles and I had some trail mix. Then Justin looks at me and asks if we can go home. Understand, it is about 8:15 and dusk. I look at his eyes and make the call. Lets go! To be honest, I was over the rain and the evening called for more of the same. So dad packed up cam in about 12 mins. I think my triathlon transitions have helped me make more efficient moves.
Justin with his firefly lantern and me with one led pen light I use to search around in my pack at night, head down the trail. We have about 45 min hike to the truck, so I know it will be pitch black when we are finished. With the cloud cover I mean Pitch BLACK!
All I can say, after about 45 feet, Justin stops and yells snake! I flash the ground with my light and sure enough, snake. The next 15 mins, Justin thought every root was a snake. I kept positive and kept pushing the pace. The GSMNP at night can be very scary when you are alone. Guess what, we were VERY alone. We were almost back to the trail head when up in front of us was a large black object. My heart was in my throat! By this time, it was black and out little light and lantern were not hardly enough light. I had my whistle in my hand ready to blow. The dark object was just standing there. I inched forward to get some more light on it, and that's when it happened. I realized it was a large puddle that had formed during the rains. Justin and I were about at jogging pace now. We began up the last incline and I thought I heard a noise behind us. I turned and shined the light backwards, nothing there. This however was enough of an event to put us into full rush. About 30 secs later, we could see the trail head and truck and all was well. We slowed down the pace a little and were all smiles after we got into the truck. We decided the reason we came down was to go and get some ice cream. So we did, and it was just too late to go back up and camp.

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