Thursday, December 18, 2008

Updates, Updates, Updates

Well, it's been awhile thanks to many things happening around the Koehler household.

Updates from my previous posts..

1. My stepmom is doing pretty good so far with her treatments. She had her 3rd round of chemo this week and the day after she has to get a shot to help offset some of the after effects. She can't taste anything that she eats or drinks any longer due to the chemo and the shot makes her have flu like symptoms on the Saturday after. She started losing her hair a couple weeks ago so she decided to shave it off rather than deal with the mental images of losing it. I don't blame her, I would do the same thing if it were me. Due to the cold weather and the time of year where it seems everyone has a cold or something she's not getting out much which i hate for her. I wish her and Dad could fly to Maui tomorrow to soak up the warm sun. This will be the first year in probably 18 years they havent gone to Maui for a month during the winter and I know it must be wreaking havoc on them. Please keep the prayers going for her so she can beat this thing.

2. Job in Louisville - well the company in Louisville offered me a full time gig but I had to turn it down. It was quite enough money and the thought of trying to sell our house and relocate in this market was pleasant. There hasnt been a house sold in our subdivision since July. The good news is that the company and I are still talking about a partnership. I may go to work for them on a contract basis and work from home here in IL. If things work out well and the economy rebounds, who knows, maybe we will end up in Louisville in the next couple years.

3. Halloween - I hated missing my kids halloween. I had so much fun taking them around our neighborhood last year. Jeanne took them around her mom's neighborhood this year but they didnt get as much candy. I will have to make it up to them next year and really hit the jackpot on the candy front

4. Jeanne's career - Jeanne still isn't sure of her future path. In the meantime she is going back to work full time at the UofI in her dept. It's a good job that pays decent and allows her to continue to take 2 classes per semester as well as get us good health insurance. She still has some DEEP soul searching to do to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up :-).

5. 1/2 marathon training - SUCKS...i havent even started yet and I can't figure out why. I have gained all of my weight back and now feel like complete dogshit. I can't seem to get motivated to eat clean and start working out again and I know I NEED to. I have really even become somewhat depressed about the state of shape I am in. I am going to find a good nutritionist after the first of the year to try and help me eat better and to quit eating out so much. I fear that if I dont get this in check soon I am putting my health and life in risk and I want to make sure to see my kids grow up.

Speaking of growing up. My former stepdad, Jim Frawley, passed away this week at the age of 69. He was married to my mom when I was 6 years old and they divorced when I was 17. He was a police officer who eventually became sheriff of our county while I was growing up and taught me a lot about life. Obviously he was a big part of my life during the impressionable years and did a great job of helping to raise me with the right morals. Even though I had only seen Jim a few times over the past 20 years, the news hit me a little harder than I thought it would. I went to the visitation last night and got to see my ex step brothers and sister which was glad to see. I wish it had been under different circumstances and we had a few moments to chat and catch up with each other. I am grateful to them for sharing their Dad with me for the 11 years. I hope he is looking down upon me and proud of what I have become of myself since he had a lot to do with it.

Unfortunately we lost another very important Jim in our lives recently as well. Jeanne's Uncle Jim passed away the Monday before Thanksgiving. He died suddenly while still sitting in his lay-z-boy chair with the TV on at the age of 64. Jim never married or have any kids so Jeanne, her brother and sister along with her cousins Keith, Bruce and Peggy were like his kids. We flew down to Tampa on Thanksgiving Day with Jeannes mom, brother and sister to attend the service and to also clean out Jim's house and belongings. Man was he a packrat. It tooks us a few days of cleaning out old papers, clothes, etc. and the dumpster was full when we got done. His passing makes me again thank God for everything I have been blessed with and how short life can be sometimes. The trip was enjoyable (so to speak) though since we don't get to hang out as an entire family often and the kids got to play at the beach with their dress clothes on after Jim's service which they thought was so cool of me to let them do. It was the first time for them on the beach and they loved getting the shells and picking up the crabs crawling around. We plan on going back this Spring under better circumstances to really enjoy the area.

It's Christmas time and I just recently finally got in the spirit. I am really looking forward to next week as the kids make this holiday more enjoyable each year. Merry Christmas to everyone reading this and may God bless you for the holidays as well as in the year 2009.

Monday, October 27, 2008

More Chaos

Well, things are still a changin....

My stepmom Sharon went through surgery with flying colors. The tumor was a little bigger than they anticipated and one of the 3 lymph nodes tested positive so they took out another 11 lymph nodes but thankfully all of those tested negative. They still want her to go through a round of chemo and radiation. She meets with the oncologist this week so figure out her chemo schedule and her radiation therapy will start in January. Due to the treatments, this will be the first year that i can remember that her and my Dad won't be going to Maui during the winter.

I met with a client on Friday expecting an offer from the company and ended up spending most of the day in meetings with them. During the last 20 minutes they started to talk about an offer but couldn't give me a formal offer yet. Monday was suppose to be the final offer but nothing yet. I have no idea what to expect from them so i will wait and see.

I have to miss my kids halloween this week which i am a little bummed out about. I have to fly to New York this Friday to meet with another client and won't get home until 9pm Friday night. I had a lot of fun with them last year but since Jeanne had to miss last year she will get to have the fun this time.

Jeanne has decided to change course a bit and switch to a E.D.D degree instead of a Ph.D. The EDD degree is more corporate based and I think she will enjoy it much more. She is also looking at going back to work full time at UofI since we may end up needing the additional income.

For those of you that see my Facebook page, you can see that I enjoyed Beijing more than I thought I would. The city was amazing and the great wall was incredible. The long 13 hour flight still sucked but at least it ended up being a good conference event. If you want to see more pictures please visit my picassa page...

Emily Guderjan has stated that she plans on running the 1/2 marathon with me in April here in Champaign. THERE...its been stated publicly, now you can't back out Em!! The worst part is that her skinny little ass will barely train for it and STILL end up beating me.

I received some sad news Saturday. My former boss Phillip Cooke (76 years old) passed away from a sudden heart attack in Chicago while riding on the "el". He and his life parter of 44+ years were going to a party when it happened. I feel really sad for his parter Daniel to have to go through that ordeal. It's horrible when it happens but even worse when it happens in a public place like on a subway train. Phillip was kind enough to hire me into the association management/event planning industry when i had no experience and this industry has treated me well over the past 12 years.

Finally..since I have lost some income it's time Jeanne and I got serious about our finances. We are going to look around to find a good financial advisor to help us figure out our future and pay off some debt. Wish us luck.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Things, they are a changin

Ok, I am out of my funk now.....

since we have rearranged the home office, things have been going crazy. I can't say much about my career right now but i have 3 things a brewin. Hopefully as soon as I return from China I can put some more clarity into my future. Now that I seem to have some things moving forward, Jeanne is going through her midlife career crisis. Her phD program is not going as well as she hoped. She's doing great in it but it's taking more time away from home and the kids than she realized so she's struggling with what to do next.

Some random thoughts and observances lately......

1. Mike and Cheri Boles posted on Facebook about the movie Fireproof which i had never heard of. After viewing the trailer, I had this sudden urge (so strong that i can't explain) it to go see this movie. I took an afternoon off a few days later and went to see the movie by myself. WOW, what a strong message for a movie. Luckily my marriage is very strong so i didn't have to relate to the plot but it made me realize that i don't put enough into my marriage and my life with God. If anyone reading this (anyone???) is married (happily or not) i strongly suggest going to see this movie. It's got a very strong christian theme to it and it's a low budget film with Kirk Cameron but i promise you if your marriage is struggling (and i know one of my friends who is REALLY struggling) please go see this movie. The message is very strong and believable.

2. i am leaving for Beijing China Thursday and for the first time I am nervous about my travels. I think mainly its the 13 hour flight from Ohare to Beijing. I don't like being cooped up for that long but i downloaded the first season of Burn Notice/Iron Man/the Big Lebowski and Forgetting Sarah Marshall as well as 2 books. I am sure Beijing will be amazing and i will take plenty of photos. I am helping host an event on the Great Wall of China next Thursday night which should be amazing. They are even letting us fly our conference sponsors flag on the wall for the evening. How cool will that be??

3. When you don't really have a portfolio or even a retirement account you really don't care what the stock market is doing.

4. I ran again for the first time Sunday. It felt great and painful all at the same time. I am planning on running a 1/2 marathon here in Champaign in April. Who's with me?? C'mon, let's do this together!!

5. My stepmom Sharon recently discovered that she has breast cancer. Luckily she caught it early and it having surgery and radiation therapy starting this week. Please say a few prayers for her and my Dad. I am not sure who's more freaked out about it; her or my Dad. Oh and btw, if you are female and reading this, do me a favor and give yourself a self exam or at least have your husband do one for you. (that means you Em!)

6. I LOVE Facebook. It's so great catching up with old friends. Even if you aren't talking to each other you at least get to see photos of their life and families.

7. Speaking of friends....Lately I have realized how fortunate I am to still be best friends with three guys from grade school and high school. I think sometimes I take them for granted since we've known each other for so long. Recently talking with new colleagues and newer friends it seems that most people don't stay in touch with people they went to high school with let alone grade school. Eric, Jim, Jon and I have known each other since 2nd grade and have gotten each other through good, bad and indifferent times but I love the fact that we still constantly talk to each other on the phone and it's nice to know that I could call any of them at any given moment and they would drop everything to help me out just like i would them.

8. Also, speaking of newer case he's actually reading this....Joel, we still owe you and your new bride a night out on the town. I promise I am not going to forget about it.

Monday, September 8, 2008

In a Funk

Ok, so I am in a funk right now and need to get out of it. My job is not steady right now; bordering on finished and I am not working out. I really haven't got back to working out regularly since the triathlon.

Jeanne and I rearranged the house over the past 2 weeks moving the kids to the same room with a new bunkbed which they love and moving my office to Paige's old room. We also rearranged our master bedroom and cleaned all three bedrooms and upstairs bathrooms. Hopefully we can start swinging some good Feng Shui toward my career and our finances.

We have some pretty hard decisions to make over the next few months if the worldwide gig falls through. Jeanne is talking about going back to teaching or finding another corporate job while she continues to get her PhD (at a slower pace of course). I can honestly say I have never been this unsure of my future and it stinks. Those of you that know me well know that I am somewhat of a control freak (ok, MORE than somewhat) and an endless planner. This career phase I am in right now is so out of my control that it's killing me. I have busted my a** for the past two years to increase sales for my client, been successful to the tune of raising their income by a little over 20% and now being tossed aside due to a change in their daily management that I have no control over. I have been doing a lot of praying and hope that God gives me some signs soon of what he has in store for my career future. In the meantime I HAVE to starting working out again. At least working out relieves SOME of the stress that I am under right now.

I know things will work out in the end and God will take care of me and my family and i just have to keep reminding myself of that. Keep us in your prayers and hey, if you know of any sales or event planning jobs out there that would possibly allow me to work remotely from home, let me know.

Until next time....

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sometimes business just sucks

Well I spent the beginning in Murfreesboro TN to try and expand my business and start a new association management company. I arrived Monday afternoon at the Fairfield Inn in Smyrna TN. I can't say enough about this little Fairfield...always friendly service and clean rooms along with easy access to both Murfreesboro and Nashville. After checking into the hotel, I went back into Nashville to have dinner with Trey. It was great spending time with him and we had a great dinner at Neros in Green Hills. (try the Elk, it was like a great filet mignon) After we got done with dinner Trey talked me into going to the movie theaters next door to try and see Tropic Thunder. Luckily we arrived right when the movie was scheduled to start and walked right in. The movie gets off to a very weird and very funny start. Trey and I both looked at each other and said "What the hell?" at the same time before we realized that the actual movie started (without giving it away, once you see it you will know what I am talking about). The movie was weird and hilarious at the same time. Robert Downing Jr.'s character steals the show if you can figure out what he is saying most of the time. I dropped Trey back off at Vandy and said a sad goodbye since that may be the last time I see him for a LONG time since he's moving back to Louisiana soon.

Tuesday started off great with me finding a local accountant and climate controlled storage facility right away. Since I was ahead of schedule, I went to the local bike shop to see if they had any bike shoes on sale but alas no luck. I then swung by our friends Jeanne and Shaun's house and left a little trophy surprise present for them before picking up Melanie from State Farm for lunch. Unfortunately Matt wasn't able to join us AGAIN. Damn you Matt, if you don't like me just say so LOL. Mel and I had a great lunch at Logans and it was fun catching up with her. We can't wait for the time to come where we can move back to TN to be able to hang out with them and the Hepborns again.

I went back to the hotel to do a little work before one of my business partners arrived Tuesday afternoon. We met up and went to dinner where we caught up on old times and talked some business. My third business partner met up with us Wednesday morning where we met at the Crye Leike Commercial office thanks to a great commercial realtor Paul LaLiberte that has been so helpful throughout this long drawn out process. The three of us met all morning, broke to have a great lunch at Red Robin next door, and into the afternoon. Unfortunately as the afternoon meeting went on it became clear to me that this new business venture was not going to work out for me financially. If we were living in the area already and Jeanne was working full time I may have "gone for it" but at this point in my life I couldn't pull the trigger. Since I had a 6 1/2 hour drive home, we ended about 4pm with the thought to sleep on the information and get back to each other the next day.

I spoke with Jeanne quite a bit on the way home and the more we talked about it, the more clear it became that the money and timing was just too off. Over the next two days, my partners and I discussed more options but in the end I had to say no. The next day I found out that my two partners are going after the business without me. Even though it's a little odd feeling, I encouraged them to go after it if they could get into the bidding process this late. I wish them the best and hope that down the road I won't regret my decision. Sometimes business just sucks.

Friday, August 15, 2008

New bike!!!

I am SO excited to show off my new toy. Jeanne and I had made an agreement when i started training for my triathlon that I couldn't buy a new bike until i finished my first tri. As you all know (by the posting below), i finished that first triathlon and loved it. After getting back from Disney last weekend I started looking around the local bike shops, ebay and craigslist and came across a sale going on from the Javelin manufacturer in the Chicago area. Since the sale started in May I didn't figure they had any bikes left in my size but I called anyway. To my surprise and enjoyment, they had 1 bike left in my size still. So for a VERY low price (compared to other tri bikes), I now have a brand new tri bike. It arrived via FedEx yesterday and my local bike shops said they couldn't get it in to have it assembled and tuned up until next Wednesday. Of course, I couldn't wait THAT long so I put it together myself last night and will take it to my LBS next week to have a fitting and tuneup done.

I still need a name for her though, so if ANY of you reading this have a suggestion, please email it to me or post it in the comments area.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Disney World

So what does every athlete say after doing something for the 1st time when asked "what are you going to do next?" why of course, "Go to Disneyworld" and that's exactly what me and my family did. The day after my triathlon we headed to Indy for a park and fly to Orlando on Monday morning. Grandma drove over with us and we met up with Mimo to get ready for our trip. Monday morning couldn't come early enough and soon after waking we were on our flight to Orlando.

We took the Magical Express bus to our hotel the Yacht Club. The hotel was amazing and we were all greeted by Woody the Captain as we entered which the kids loved. We headed out right away to the Animal Kingdom. The kids loved the African Safari ride which we got to see an rare anteater, turtles and many other animals. After visiting some of the animals, we got to meet some of our favorite characters Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore. We stayed late at the park with Uncle Alec, Mimo and Daddy enjoying the Expedition Everest roller coaster which rocked!

The next day we started off early by hitting the pinnacle of the Disneyworld, the Magic Kingdom. JD was a little hesitant to ride any rides but after finally convincing him to ride the Buzz Lightyear ride he started to enjoy it, especially after Stitch was waiting to see him after his first ride. Paige was a trooper and rode every ride that she was able to. I think Grandma and Mimo enjoyed seeing the kids faces more than Jeanne and I did. It was so hot outside we decided to go back to the hotel and enjoy the amazing sandbottom swimming pool that also had a lazy river and water slides. We had been so busy that day that we decided to stay close to the hotel and went to the Boardwalk area for dinner at ESPN where Uncle Alec won a trivia contest and the kids got a baseball and football beach ball. After dinner, everyone except Alec and I went back to the hotel while he and I went to Jellyrolls, a dueling piano bar. We had a great time there coming up with some off the wall requests for the entertainers to play.

Wednesday started off with Breafast at Chef Mickeys in the Contemporary Resort. The buffett was great and the kids got to meet all of the stars of the show like Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto and Donald. After breakfast we headed to Epcot for some fun. The Nemo ride was great and we ran into Chip from Chip & Dale but most of the rest of the park was a bust for young kids so we called it a day again and went back to our hotel and enjoyed the pool again and some ice cream in the afternoon.

Thursday we went back to the Magic Kingdom and enjoyed the early morning hours for resort guests where Paige decided to morph into a kitty and JD tried to turn into his new favorite character Stitch before the park opened. We met up with Jeanne's family from Florida to hang out with them for the morning where we went to Mickey and Minnies house to meet the cute couple again. After enjoying some "It's a small world" again for the 3rd time, we all headed back to our hotel again so Danielle could enjoy playing in the sand with Paige while JD challenged Daddy to a mean game of PingPong. While Danielle went down for her nap, Mimo, Mommy, Paige and JD went to the kid's sandcastle club to enjoy some pottery painting before heading back to the Magic Kingdom again to enjoy some more rides (Pirates of the Carribean - JD's favorite/Thunder Mountain Roller Coaster - Paige's favorite) and enjoy the nighttime parade and fireworks from Main Street.

Friday was all about the Hollywood Studios where we got there early and enjoy the Little Mermaid and Disney's Playhouse shows and even got to meet our favorite stars from Toy Story including Buzz Lightyear and Woody before it started to pour down rain on us. Back at the hotel, everyone was getting tired and just wanted to go out for dinner except Paige and Daddy. We headed back to Hollywood Studios to enjoy our fastpasses for the new Toy Story ride which was very cool and then enjoyed the Hollywood Hotel House of Terror which ended up being Paige's favorite ride of the week.

Saturday ended our vacation and we loaded up in the Magic Express bus back to the airport to fly back to Indy. It was a great vacaction but we are all exhausted and still recovering. Time to start planning our next family vacation....

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I am a Triathlete!!!

Hey everyone, I finally did it. I am officially a triathlete as of this morning. I raced in the Champaign Park District MiniTriathlon and it was great. My journey went like this....


Ate powerbar at 6am, setup transition, forgot racebelt and had to run home to get it. Right before start of race at 7:30 ate powerbar gel and washed down with water

The first 200 yards of the race were in a lazy river which sucked. I couldn't find a rhythm swimming it and ended up doing dolphin dives and running in the water. This took up a lot of energy and i was tired already after coming out of the lazy river. After lazy river you had to run around the pool deck and jump in the lap pool for another 200 yards. I was out of rhythm and flustered after the lazy river but calmed myself down after the first 2 lengths. I found my stroke, slowed the heartrate down and even end up passing a couple people. The lap pool was over before i knew it. I was a little dizzy getting to my bike but focused on getting my socks and running shoes on (gotta love them Yankz). Ran bike to mount line, jumped on and off i went.

The first lap of the bike my legs were tight due to the lazy river run but they loosened up by the beginning of lap 2. On the uphill side of the course i kept around a 15-16mph pace and on the downside kept a 19-21mph pace. Overall the bike felt pretty good. I got passed by some fast people and I managed to pass a few people myself. I will be glad when i get a new bike and not ride the mountain bike anymore though. T2 was easy. Racked bike, took another quick drink and I was off since I already had my running shoes on.

I drank a little too much water during the tail end of the bike and my stomach was all wishy washy for the 1st 1/4 mile. My legs were feeling tight and I was getting tired. I ended up walking for about 15-30 seconds four times which I was not happy with. I don't think I really NEEDED to walk but my mind was telling me to and I listened to the little voices in my head instead of ignoring them. I need to concentrate on running more and playing the mental game with myself. I think this is just going to take time though since I have never been a strong runner. Jeanne, Paige and JD were waiting for me at the finish line and JD even ran across the finish line with me.

Since the race doesn't use a timing system, I kept time on my watch. Unfortunately since I was so nervous, I forgot to hit the lap button after swimming and didn't realize it until the 2nd bike lap that I just let it go so I am not sure of my time splits. My goal was to finish in 1 hour and my final time was 54:29 so I was happy with my time for my first "tri" at this sport.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Still Triing

Obviously I am not very good an keeping this updated but does it really matter since i am the only one reading it?

Life is completely "off the charts" right now with both my personal and professional life. I have still been training hard for my first tri which is THIS SATURDAY! All 3 disciplines are feeling pretty good. Running is still my weakness but that is just going to take time and I can see a HUGE difference from when i started a few months ago. My first run around our neighborhood took me around 24 minutes to run 1.5 miles and last night I ran very easy and had to even stop twice with Paige riding her bike next to me and we finished in 18 minutes so obviously it's getting better. I am still trying to find a new gym to belong to. Now it's between the UofI rec center or the YMCA. Both have their pros and cons and i have to make a decision this week.

I volunteered at the Evergreen triathlon 2 weekends ago and it was very inspiring. I was placed at the bike exit/entrance from the park to the country roads and got to watch everyone go out and back on their bikes in the pouring rain! The weather was horrible that morning with rain coming down in buckets but at least the air was somewhat cooler. I felt really bad for the athletes as they came back in from their 24 mile ride. Between the high winds and pouring rain, it had to be a very challenging race.

On the personal side of life....we are getting ready to go to Disneyworld for the first time with the kids this Sunday (the day after my first tri..what was I thinking?). I have been busy planning the trip along with getting some goodies like custom tshirts and other stuff to have at the parks. Paige and JD are so excited to get going and I know they have NO IDEA what they are about to see.

We took them to Six Flags in Louisville a few weeks ago and met our friends Shaun, Jeanne, Jarrod and Nathan from Tennessee and spent a couple days at the waterpark and riding the rides. We had such a fun time hanging out with the Hepborns and the kids were great. Paige and JD couldnt believe how cool the rides were and loved riding the kids rides. They even rode their first roller coaster. IF they thought Six Flags was great, I can't wait to see their faces at Disneyworld.

On the professional side of life....I don't usually post much about my business here but things have been crazy lately. One of my client's day-to-day operations is going out to bid with an RFP process and my company is one of the companies that is vying after the business. This process has been a long, drawn out process that has been in the works for almost a year. I am supposed to get the RFP around August 4th (while I am at Disney). My business partner and I have been working on some of our arrangments lately and will be getting together in August to respond to the the RFP. I hope we have a very good shot at getting this business. I know that we will do a great job in managing this client for many years to come and look forward to setting up the business back in Tennessee.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Still Going

Hey everyone (anyone?),

I havent been very good at keeping this updated but my training is going well right now. The swimming in getting better each time and the biking and running are coming along. The race is only a couple weeks away and I am starting to get excited and nervous. It's been hot lately making the running harder for me since I am such a fair weather runner. I had my triathlon training class today with a timed 1 mile after warming up and did the mile in 9:10 which is pretty fast for me and we immediately went to the pool afterward to work on swimming drills.

I used a kickboard today and realized my legs do not know how to kick while swimming so that gives me something more to work on before and after the race.

Speaking of after the race, i have to find a new place to workout. Last week i went at worked out at my gym and had a good workout and the place was busy. On Tuesday, i pulled into the parking lot and my gym had closed and the windows were covered up. It seems that they weren't paying their landlord and were evicted after racking up $31k in back rent. I can't say i am surprise since the membership was only $10/month or if you agreed to pay for a full year the fee was only $75. I definitely got my $75 dollars worth out of my membership and I will miss the gym since the equipment was nice, parking was easy and it was never "packed" when i was there in the morning. I also have a membership at the UofI rec center but parking around there just sucks most of the time and costs about $.75 at the meter each time. Since I will need a swimming pool though, it's pretty much UofI or the YMCA. I am not sure which i will choose yet. UofI is $10/month cheaper before the parking fiasco and fees but has much nice facilities while the Y is closer to home and no parking problems making it easier to get in and out faster.

Also, we only have a couple weeks until our Disneyworld trip. We recently upgraded to the Yacht Club resort and it looks great and has a great pool/beach area to relax at each afternoon.
I am getting just as excited as the kids and the event planner in me has already laid out our itinerary for each day and the exact routes we will take at each park.

Until next posting....

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Swimming Problem Identified (Maybe)

So i started my group triathlon training this week and i am the only male in the class with 8 other ladies. It's a good group though since it seems most of us are in the same class fitness wise with running and swimming. Biking is definitely my strongest leg and the first ride with the group was a little too slow for me but i don't mind that since at least i have other people to work out with and I can make up the speed times on my own bike workouts.

Today was our first swim session and our coach watched me swim to help tell me what i am doing wrong. She said my form looked really good so it must be my cardio or breathing. So i concentrated on my breathing for the next couple laps and realized I have NO BREATHING PATTERN!! No wonder i am getting out of breath. I was breathing at just random intervals and NOT breathing out enough underwater. I am going to do some swimming this weekend and concentrate on breathing out hard underwater and breathing in every 2 strokes. Our coach seems to think that may help me a lot. I hope so!

I also found out that the swim for our tri is very weird. We are swimming the lazy river of our pool first (200 yards) and then have to get out, run over to the lap pool and swim 4 laps (200 yards) before running to the bike transition. Should be interesting...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

WOW its been a while

Well, its been a while since i posted here. Sorry to all of you that aren't reading this, LMAO. Tri training has been going well even with all of my traveling. Since my last post, I have traveled to Vancouver, Bellingham WA and Seattle. All three cities were amazing but Vancouver is still my favorite city i have ever traveled to. Business has been going pretty good but the stress level of the next step with my company has started to take its toll on my mental clarity so thank god i have this triathlon training to help me blow off the steam and release some of the stress of dealing with situations that are WAY beyond my control.

As for the training....

Swimming - I have slowly gotten better with this and even have leapt up to 100 yards without stopping. I still have a long way to go but i just found out that my first tri is 200 yards in the lazy river, get out of the water, run to the pool, jump in and then swim 200 yards in the lap pool. THAT should be interesting. But hey, at least I only have to go 200 yards at a time, right? right? anyone there?

Biking - This is where I should be able to make up some time during the race. I have been getting stronger on the bike averaging around 16 mph lately for 30 minutes. The race is only 6 miles so I should be able to finish strong on this leg.

Running - Running has gotten stronger as well. I can go a mile without walking now which is a big improvement from 5 weeks ago. The only problem i have right now is after walking the hilly streets of Seattle, my shinsplints are hurting and during my tri training run this morning, i had a hitch in my knee. Hopefully that was just a fluke situation.

All in all, i am really enjoying my training and don't "dread" any of the training at this point. I am getting excited for my race in 6 weeks and I only have limited travel until the race so I can focus on my training a little more. Also, I officially joined WeightWatchers online to try and drop around 50 pounds. I know I am working out enough but my diet wasn't good still so hopefully WW will help me correct that part. Jeanne had a lot of success with it and has kept the weight off for a few years now so i hope I can become the 2nd WW success story in our family.

On the family front....I love summer!!! I love being outside with my family, having the kids playing in the sprinklers and slipnslide. Heck I even joined them on the slipnslide last week and we convinced mommy to do it as well. Jeanne is enjoying her summer off from school which is great because THATS why we moved back here.

Until next time (which i promise will be sooner)......

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Feeling good SLOWLY

It's been a good weekend. Rode the stationary bike on Friday due to 35mph sustained winds. The ride felt good but I wish I would have pushed a little harder. Jeanne got home from MN on Friday night so Saturday I was finally able to get back in the pool. The swimming has me a little concerned. I still can't go over 50meters without stopping. I am going to try and put in some extra time in the pool this week since there were a couple of moments in the pool where i felt like I was finally gliding through the water without as much resistance. It was HOT and sunny on Sunday so we broke out the new slip and slide for the kids. They were having so much fun with it that I got my suit on and joined them in a few slides. I will have to put some pictures up of it because I would slide so fast that at the end of the slide I would hit the inflated part and then flip over onto the grass. The kids and I convinced mommy to give it a try too and she looked like a natural on a couple of the slides and really "bit it" on one of the slides.

After going out to eat and not eating very healthy, the weather cooled down that I decided to go for a short run at 8pm. It was a fairly hard and slow run for me due to the bad meal and heat but i felt good that I at least got out and did it since I REALLY had to convince myself to get up off my butt and do it.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Run today

With the wind about 25-30mph today I decided to go to the gym and run on the treadmill (wussy, I know, I am a fairweather runner). I knew I only had about 20-25 minutes to run today so i thought I would kick it up again. I started out fast at a 8:30mpm pace for the first 3 minutes and it felt good but i knew i would pay for it later if i didnt slow down so i went back down to a 10mpm pace and just kept going. I love days when it feels good to run. Usually i have to stop and walk after 4 or 5 minutes but today I went 12 minutes before walking for 2 and then running for 4 more minutes. Overall was under a 10mpm pace which i havent done for a couple years WHOHOO!! Eating a little cleaner and staying hydrated makes such a difference!

Newly Modified Mountain Bike

Yesterday I finally had the chance to take my newly remodeled mountain bike out for real bike training for the triathlon. I added new slicks to the bike as well as a cateye computer and bottle cage. It's amazing out much different the bike is now. It glided smoothly along the pavement and made me actually believe i would enjoy the bike part of the tri now since i was dreading it with the old knobby tires on the bike. I rode out on the country road north of my house and kept a pretty good pace of 21mph for the first 3 miles. Turned around at the 3 mile marker and realized a few things...

1. I had forgotten my helmet (DUMB rookie move)
2. I had the wind at my back for the first 3 miles
3. I haven't been drinking enough water

The ride back home was HARD. I had partially bonked because i havent been drinking enough water and i was now riding directly into a 10-15 mph wind. I was determined not to stop pedaling though so I played with the gears to keep my cadence going and my legs were burning when i finally got home. My average speed on the way back was probably 10-12mph so my overall average for the ride was just over 14mph. I need to get better at that and really adjust my water intake. Still if felt great to get out and ride rather than being stuck on a trainer.

As the summer is here, i am getting more and more excited for the tri in August. Also, I joined up with a weightloss challenge on and working hard on my diet so i dont let my team down. my goal is a loss of 10 pounds in June.

Until next time...

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


I have to take a break talking about training to talk about Vancouver. I am currently up in Canada to attend a board meeting. I got to Vancouver yesterday afternoon and I was worried that my high expectations of this place wouldn't live up to the first time i visited here.

I was here in 2004 for an ACCEDI conference and traveled with Matt Pack, Becky Lee and Tracy Sherman and we had a blast at the conference and I won an award at that conference so I thought my memories may had made Vancouver better than it actually was...BUT...this place is so amazing. The views are incredible, the downtown is great with many restaurants and shops and there is so much to do outside for recreation and sightseeing. I can't say enough about this place, it should be on everyone's "must visit" locations at least once in their lives. I am traveling down to Bellingham , WA tomorrow for the rest of the week for the board meeting and am very excited to see that town as well. I have read many things about it and it sounds incredible as well.

BTW...I am still training up here. I swam today in the hotel pool and will be running the streets of Vancouver tomorrow.

Still training

I have had some heavy traveling lately with the NRA (restaurant NRA, not guns) in Chicago and now I am in Vancouver, Canada so the training has been a little sporadic. The hotel conditions in Chicago were atrocious so I didn't really get to train much there which was fine since I was on my feet all day long for 4 days working a trade show booth. Being on my feet, along with my dress shoes hurting so bad made my ankles, calves and knees hurt so bad that I had to take a few days off even when i got back home.

I finally got to run in the past week and the first run felt great even though my time wasn't great and the bike still feels strong. I got new slick tires and a computer for my mountain bike so I finally get to ride a real bike instead of the stationary bike at my gym. As i stated before, swimming still sucks. My second run after Chicago was Sunday afternoon at 5pm and it was a STRUGGLE to finish but the good news was that my time was only 30 seconds slower than my previous run that felt great so that was actually encouraging to me that it could feel THAT bad and still be a decent time.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Swimming Sucks

As some of you know, in high school I was a lifeguard for 4 years at a local lake and swimming pool and lived in the water all summer long. You would think that i would know how to swim right? WRONG! The one thing that I am learning quickly is that the swimming I learned to do to become (and stay) a lifeguard is nothing compared to trying and swimming lap after lap.

Technique is so crucial to make yourself bouyant and effortless when it comes to swimming distances and my technique must just SUCK. I feel like a drowning whale most of the time. I know part of it is just my being out of shape and over time I will get better from the cardio standpoint but i think i am going to try and find a swimming coach to help me work on my technique a little. Even though my technique sucks and it's a beeotch to swim more than 50 yards without taking a little rest, I still love being in the water and i feel pretty comfortable in the water.

Till next time, swim on friends!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Tri Training

As soon as we got back from Nashville I knew it was time to get serious about triathlon training. I found a great website ( with some great training plans as well as forums that are very active and supportive. Its been 2 weeks of training and I am loving it. I love the fact that I am doing more than "just running". My running has already improved to a 2:30 jog/1:00 walk and being on the stationary bike feels great. The swimming was always the hard part and I am still struggling with that.

It's full speed ahead and hopefully the weight will start falling off. My first tri is going to be here in Champaign August 2nd with the park district mini-tri. I will keep up my training log here and on throughout the entire process.

Rock on folks!

Nashville 5k finished

Jeanne and I went down to Nashville for some business and to run the I Run for the Party Cinco de Mayo 5k. We had a great time driving around looking at all of the changes that have taken place in Murfreesboro since we moved away in 2006. The new mall in Murfreesboro and the new area in Smyrna are amazing. We also got to visit with all of our friends, having lunch with Mel (sans Matt :-( unfortunately), and spending Friday night with Michael and Dawn made us really miss the area.

Saturday morning we drove around the area looking at new construction houses just for shits and giggles. The housing market is still amazingly affordable and we look forward to our eventual return to the area after Jeanne is done with her Ph.D. Finally at 3pm we headed toward Nashville and music row for our 5k. It was pretty busy when we arrived and we just hung out waiting for the race to start at 5:00. I had forgotten my wireless headphone transmitter and realized it with a small panic attack right before the race but my AMAZING wife had an extra pair of earbuds that I was able to use and ended up being my lifesaver.

The race went off just after 5:00pm and the weather was amazing. The sun was out shining brightly and the temperature was perfect around 70 degrees. This would end up being the high point of the day. We lined up mid-pack for the race and shortly after the starting line, jeanne left me in the dust. I made the mistake of trying to keep up with the pack and ended up running too quick of a pace and for too long. I wanted to stay with a 1:30 jog/1:00 walk pace throughout and ended up running hard for 5 minutes straight to keep up with the pack. By the time we hit 1.5 miles we came back around to pass by our van. My legs were hurting from being out of shape and I was miserable. The only thing that kept me from stopping and getting in the van was the good music i had picked out and was enjoying on my ipod. Around the 2 mile area my legs started feeling better and i was doing around a 1 min jog/1 min walk but the walk was hurting my legs more than the jog but my lungs were just not going to allow me to continue jogging nonstop. At the 2 1/2 mile marker we came upon a pretty big hill and my music had ended (due to a miscalculation on time) The hill was a beeotch and I was cussing Jeanne's name pretty bad in my head for dragging my fat ass here for this race. I ended up pushing through and finished around 40 min. Not very good but better than my training times had been and i felt pretty good after it was over. I kept reminding myself that I had just started to workout and deserved the slow time and it would only get better.

We will be back there next year and I plan to blow my time away.

Monday, April 28, 2008

No More Mr. Fat Man

Ok, I have had enough of all of this weight I have on my body so i am getting serious about losing it. My overall goal is to lose 50 pounds. I weigh 210 right now so that would get me to 160. I think 160 would look healthy on me. So how am i going to do it? Slowly!!

I started running this week and jogged/walked 1.5 miles in 20:45. That's not too bad considering how out of shape I am in. Jeanne and I are going to run a 5K this weekend in Nashville and I signed up for a short triathlon on August 2nd, 2 days before leaving for Disney with the kids.

The running is always the hardest part for me so I am going to concentrate on that to start and then incorporate swimming into it in a couple weeks. Biking has always been something I loved so I will work that into it along the way. I also signed up for a triathlon class with the Champaign Park District that starts in June so that should help as well.

All Clear

Well I had another ultrasound and doctor visit and everything has checked out fine. He wasn't worried about it, gave me a new antibiotic and sent me on my way. It's been 2 months now and even though I have some pain now and then, I am not worried about it and hopefully the lump will go away over time. So now it's time to start getting skinny again!!!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Not over yet

I went to see the urologist last Friday (Feb. 1st). It was a crappy day outside with a lot of snow and evidently the doctor didnt think many people would actually make it into the office. I arrived for my 8:30 appt. and was told that the dr. had just called and he was 15 minutes from arriving and asked for us to wait for him. At 10:15, he finally walked into my room. ( In all fairness though, the guy next door passed out in the hall after talking to the dr. about a vasectomy so that delayed my dr. even more) We talked about my symptoms and my history and then just like usual, i had to drop my pants to have some stranger start grabbing and pinching my privates. I feel like I should start charging a fee for this, kind of like a new carnival game. Pay $1 to squeeze my nuts, if nothing happens you win but if something DOES happen, then I win :-).

After examining me, he tells me that he wants another ultrasound done. With all of the swelling I have, he doesn't trust the first ultrasound. He explains with excessive swelling, sometimes you get a false negative reading for cancer. So now I have to go back on Feb. 15th for another ultrasound at a new location. I wonder if this ultrasound tech will be some 25 year old girl as well? I will have to make sure she pays her $1 first.

I called Jeanne when I was done and she was worried because I was calm about it. She asked me if I was worried and I said no. She then told me that I could not remain calm about it because that scared her even more. I am the one who obsessives over everything while she stays in denial. We both laughed about that. What am I going to do with my feelings? Of course I am worried about it, but I can't let it consume my life for 2 weeks. I am going to continue to think of it the same way as I did at first. If it's cancer, let's yank (no pun intended) the damn thing out and attack. For now, I am mentally ready for anything, let's see how I am mentally February 15th.

MIMO UPDATE: Mimo pulled through everything and is in a great nursing home now. Seems she was literally starving to death at her first nursing home. She is very alert and is getting better and stronger everyday.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Great news interrupted

As happy as I was for the news that "the lump" isn't going to be cancer, my joy was quickly doused when my mom called to tell me that my mimo's body was shutting down. Thank god for Jeanne's attitude and her mom's help, I got in my car and drove to Louisville, KY Thursday night. When I got to the emergency room, she was semi conscious. Mom arrived shortly after I did and after mom arrived Mimo snapped out of it and became very conscious and stayed that way for about an hour.

During her consciousness, Mimo started telling stories to us in the room and told me that I need to write a book about them. One of the two stories she told me about were about her going to Hawaii (pronounced How y ya, after I got scolded for correcting her, LOL) and going to a luau where the men were carrying bibles. The second story was about the origin of her name Toyce. She told us about some cherokee indian neighbors of her parents (who were also part Cherokee). Toyce was a indian princess name but the couple didn't have a girl so Papa and Mimo Traynor named their daughter Toyce to honor the tradition.

I was glad I was able to spend the time with her. She talked about how special I was, how special Jeanne was and how blessed we were for Paige coming into our life from answered prayers and JD coming right after. I don't know how much longer she will hold on, but at least I had my chance to hear the stories and say goodbye in my own way.

great news

Great news!! no cancer. "the lump" ended up being chronic epididymitis. For now, I just have to stay on my antibiotics until I meet with the Urologists on Feb. 1st. My doctor told me that they will probably put me on an antibiotic for 3 months to try and clear the swelling and infection. I am going to cross my fingers and hope it gets better

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Life Interrupted Part III

I had an ultrasound this morning at Carle Clinic. Overall the hospital was great. I found a parking space right away, the lady at the information desk was very helpful, and check in was easy at the radiology desk. I was whisked back to get out of my pants and underwear but at least they allowed me to keep my shirt on. Some comfort huh? So there I was, walking down the hall in my transparent gown with my long sleeve tshirt, socks and shoes on. I get to the waiting area and go to sit down. I would imagine that the lady sitting across from me got a good "peek" at the franks and beans because I couldn't sit correctly. Luckily enough, I only had to wait for about 3 minutes when my technician comes to get me.

Just what I wanted to see...A 20-25 year old blonde girl escorting me back to the room where her AND another 25-30 year old brunette are going to be doing the ultrasound together. It appears that I am going to be a training model.
Some people pay pretty good money for the kind of treatment I was about to undergo but all I could think of was my future rather than some strangers hands on my privates with no chance of a happy ending. To be fair though, they were both very professional and made me feel very at ease (which isn't easy to do when you are lying on the table with your balls exposed to the world and some girl waving some gooey wand over them)

Of course, they couldn't say anything about what they saw during the exam (which I understand BUT I hate) Why can't they just tell you something there or have you wait for the diagnosis right in the hospital before you go home? So now it's a wait and see game until my follow up appointment on Thursday morning at 9:15am. I think I am going to join Jeanne and go into the denial train of thought until my appointment. If anyone is seeing this at this point, say a prayer for the results. I will need all the prayers I can get.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Life Interrupted Part II

Got into the Dr. right away this morning and she confirmed the news. Urine test looked ok but the lump is not something to dismiss. She has me scheduled for an ultrasound tomorrow (Tues) to get a closer look and then an appt. with her on Thursday for the results. I am beginning to expect the worst. I told my parents about it and my Dad seemed especially concerned. He doesn't show his feelings often so in a way it was nice to see that side of him. Mom is taking it in stride. With her recent stress problems, I hesitated to even tell her about it but since she is a nurse, I knew she could handle it and look at it from a medical side. Jeanne is taking the "ignoring the problem" view. She is definitely concerned, but I don't blame her for not wanting to think about it after we watched her dad die of cancer at a young age.

Myself, I am pretty scared. I know I am catching whatever is going on early so even if it is the "C" word, I am confident I can beat it. After all, I already have
a loving wife and two great kids (with no chance of having any more) so who really needs both testicles right? Besides, like Lance Armstrong joked "I can become more aerodynamic" in my running.

Life Interrupted

The day after my birthday, we took the kids to Chuck E. Cheese and had a great time together. The kids were great and JD even won over 200 tickets at one of the games (how?, i don't know either). After getting home, I got to watch my Packers beat the Seahawks to advance to the NFC Championship game.

Then.....Saturday night I started having some pain in my right testicle again. I had thought that pain was gone in December after 2 rounds of antibiotics. I did a self exam and this time there is a lump the size of a grape. I think I may have lost my breath at the time. I immediately had Jeanne examine it and she confirmed it. Nervousness sets in waiting for Monday to contact the doctors office

BTW, sometimes I hate the internet when it comes to the medical field. I did extensive research on lumps in testicles and everything comes up with the worst news everywhere I looked. Oh well, we'll see what the Dr. says Monday

A crazy weekend

I celebrated my birthday on Friday by going out to Agatuccis in Peoria, IL with Jeanne and Eric & Lisa Spires. The pizza was as good as I had remembered and with the low carb diet I have been on, it tasted even better.

After pizza, Jeanne and I went to see the movie Juno. The movie was great. We loved the lead character and the job Ellen Page did with her. Since we are adoptive parents, we truly enjoyed her attitude throughout the movie. After the movie, we met up with Eric and Lisa at a local bar after they got out of the Jerry Seinfeld show. It was great spending time with them and I really enjoyed my birthday.