Y is for “You are …”

Posted in Happy Thoughts Library on August 15, 2011 by eeodim

You are an athlete.  You are a role model for your kids.  You are physically strong.  You are mentally strong.  You are racing for a great cause.  You are almost there.  You are not afraid of pain.  You are a muthaf’in ninja.  You are not going to quit.  You are done doubting yourself.  You are blessed.  You are going to catch that person in front of you.  You are able to relax tomorrow.  You are inspiring others.  You are going to owe Wifey for everything she’s put up with.

“Evan Odim … You are an Ironman!”

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“The Turn-Around is Right Around the Corner!!!!”

Posted in Races on August 15, 2011 by eeodim

This past Saturday one of my boys, Paco, raced in his first ever triathlon. You may remember Paco – he had a guest post back in March which highlighted his first ever 5k road race. He’s on somewhat of a mission in 2011 as he’s taken this fitness thing to another level. Below he recounts his race at the TriRock New York – Harriman Sprint Triathlon

My day started at 5:30am on Saturday, waking up at the lovely American Value Inn on Rt. 32 (in order to be closer to the race site, I booked a motel nearby). Once again, I realize what a lovely/patient/supportive wife I have as she actually agreed to stay at this place – the motel was right out of a movie, the kind of place where escaped convicts hide, bad drug deals go down (usually involving crystal meth), or psychopaths hide as they plot their next killing spree. I ate half a bagel, put my tri tats on and headed out. Of course, thanks to goggle maps, we got completely lost, thus negating the whole point of staying near the race course. I’m literally having a melt-down in the car as race time was only 30 minutes away at this point but thanks to my Marion (again), I calm down and we make it to the race with roughly 15 minutes to spare. Fortunately, I see Robbie at the lot and the stand-up guy that he is, he immediately helps me set up my transition space. We then go to the water to warm up (a lovely 76 degrees) and catch up with KO – it felt good having some buddies around for my first tri adventure.

The Swim
To say that I was nervous would be a major understatement. I was trying to calm myself down but I could feel the adrenaline coursing through my veins. Robbie and I were both in the first wave and decided to hang in the back and on the inside (swim was clockwise in and out). Once the whistle blew, we walked slowly into the water and stayed on our feet until the water was chest high and then began our stroke. What would result for me was one terrifying ordeal – remember the movie “Open Water” about the 2 divers who were left behind? Yup, that would sum up my swim. I was fine until I started breathing way too hard and could feel my HR picking up and from then on, I could not get into a rhythm. I’d get on my back to rest and when I would swim, I totally threw out the window all the freestyle training that I had learned over the past month. Instead, I was doing a Frankenstein stroke creation that was part freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke, crawl, treading, running man, moonwalk and the cabbage patch. I was asked many times by the lifeguards on boats if I wanted to get pulled out (a few swimmers were getting pulled out at that point) and each time I yelled “Don’t pull me out!!! Don’t freaking pull me out!!!” My game plan was to either get through it or just drown. Eventually, a life guard stayed near me as I implemented this new stroke that I created and eventually made it on to the shore, well behind most swimmers. I get to the shore and I’m very disoriented, with both of my legs shaking. I can see the race volunteers yelling directions at me but I can’t hear them…all I can think of is getting on my bike and taking a “short cut” into the transition. Meanwhile, I’m also mumbling incoherently and zig zagging (according to my wife) as I do this. Of course, given that I was so disoriented and my singular focus was getting on my bike, I managed not to step on to the pad that records my time. Well, that would end my “official” race but at the time, I just kept going as I was determined to get on my bike.

T1/Bike

Surprisingly, it was generally smooth (for a newbie). I sat down, got my suit off, put on my bike gear, and got out of there. I was told by a friend who did a half IM in Harriman that it was one of the hardest races she had ever done….and she won her age group! I had heard that the bike was very hilly and all the hype did not “disappoint.” What followed was a very hilly 15 miles that made Harlem Hill look like a very short speed bump. And because my legs were still shaking from the swim, I could not clip into my left pedal! By some divine intervention, I managed to clip in and avoid falling down. Around mile 7, I was contemplating stopping because my legs were still shaking and felt like they were on fire. But then suddenly, 2 deer jumped in front of me and instead of crossing the road, ran forward!! For the next 30-60 seconds, I was literally drafting behind these 2 animals!!! It was one of the most surreal experiences ever, like I was in the middle of an acid trip. Eventually, my 2 fellow riders jumped into the woods and I was on my own again. I tried to keep my cadence high but it was impossible on the hills. After grueling 70ish minutes, I finished the ride and pulled into T2.
Biking side note – Marion told me that she was terrified while I disappeared on the bike because of my condition after the swim. And the fact that she had no cell reception made her even more panicky because no one would be able to reach her if something happened to me. She told me that as she waited vigilantly for me, the thought of killing JW also crossed her mind for getting her husband into this tri madness!! Haha – don’t worry JW because since I made it, she was once again happy that you got me into this!!

T2/Run
T2 was also fairly smooth (this is all relative as I’m sure you IM-to-be vets are like Flash Gordon in transition) and incident free. It’s crazy but the run was the part I was looking forward to – given all the running I have been doing since January, this was my chance to “relax” and gather myself. The run was on a trail with a big hill and gentle up and downs the rest of the way. I’ve never run on a trail before so navigating loose rocks and branches was challenging. Eventually, I started waiting for the turn-around on the run, hoping that it would be right around this bend, or the next one, or the one after….and it never appeared! And just when I felt like I was done, I heard the sweetest sentence ever from an incoming runner. Like the voice of God, this runner yelled to me “The turn-around is right around the corner!!!!” This was the final motivation that I needed to kick into gear and eventually, as I approached the finish line, I see Marion cheering me on (my #1 fan throughout this journey!) and then I heard the announcer blare my name out as I finally finish the race. I immediately collapse into a chair as KO and Robbie engulf me with high fives and words of encouragement. By this point, Robbie had checked the ambulance a few times already to make sure that I wasn’t in it so he was psyched to see me cross the line. KO put a bottle of water in one hand while Robbie handed me a Gatorade in the other and I’m literally double fisting hydration – not quite the way I used to double fist beers in college but I couldn’t be happier.

Conclusion
• Because of my horrendous swim and inability to walk over the timing “pad,” I had no official record of my time. But because I saw a pic of me crossing the finish line and somehow actually managed to time my bike and run, I know that it took me over 2 hrs and 30 minutes. This slow turtle pace had one culprit and that was the swim. I’m disappointed that I was as slow as molasses but I’m happy that I managed to gut it out and not yield to that one voice in my head that told me to quit.
• I learned that I need some more work in the pool. But more importantly, I realized that once I started to panic, I should have broken up the swim into intervals, not unlike what I do on long runs. Once I got panicky, I was overwhelmed by the remaining distance. What I should have done was broken up the swim – for example, tell myself to swim to the next buoy, rest, and repeat. I also stopped doing the freestyle stroke and that was a mistake – I need to trust what I’ve learned.
• Tri athletes are very competitive and type-A BUT they are also the most supportive group of people I have ever met. Throughout the bike and run, I can’t count how many times other competitors yelled encouraging things to me: “Keep going brother!!!” – “Looking good” – and my favorite “The turn-around is right around the corner!!!!” Even people who were struggling still managed to flash me a thumbs up! It’s easy to get caught up in your own thing in these races so it really was remarkable to me that others would break their mental concentration just to cheer along a struggling newbie.
• Immediately after the race, I kept thinking that this was my last race. As I write this, I’ve already checked the race calendar several times for new events. For a guy who couldn’t contemplate even running a mile this January, I realize that this was just a first step in my new “adventure.” I’m not sure where it will go and I know I have a lot of work to do, but I also know that the journey didn’t end when I crossed the finish line at Harriman on Saturday.

TriRock New York – Harriman Race Report [Guest Post]

Posted in Races on August 15, 2011 by eeodim

A year and a half ago I’m not entirely sure I knew what a triathlon was.   Maybe, but I’m not 100% sure.  Fast forward to today and all of a sudden I have a huge selection of friends who are racing week in and week out.  Case in point, a couple days ago three friends of mine raced TriRock New York – a sprint distance tri in Harriman New York.  After been away from the sport for many years, my buddy, Robbie, recounts his experience here:

I’ll say this much – I had no plans to come out of retirement.

My career as an endurance athlete began and ended about a decade ago, beginning with one drink too many, as so many foolish adventures of mine have (such as playing tennis mixed doubles in the streets of Reykjavik at four in the morning during a blizzard).

I bet the guys that I could run a marathon and held myself to it, having never run more than ten minutes.

I spent a year training, motivated by the simple terror of the event, and somehow pushed myself across the finish line of the Big Sur Marathon.  I subsequently ran a bunch of half marathons, and started training for triathlons with my wife (if only to be able to spend time with her) as she was keen on the sport.  Her desire to train for multisport events in Brooklyn became dramatically muted, however, when within a six month span she was knocked off her bike (shattered wrist, screws and a titanium plate) and hit by a car (guy ran through a red at a crosswalk in front of our apartment, broken foot).

I did one triathlon as a result, in Minneapolis, roughly eight years ago, put my bike in storage and forgot about it.

Withrow

Or at least, tried to forget about it until Withrow, with his unmatched ability to provoke people to follow him into battle, called me out and more or less announced he expected me to join him in competing in the 2012 NYC Ironman race.

To contextualize this, I’m a 41 year old guy originally from Canada with a wife and two kids and a fairly demanding job and a left shoulder that is as tempermental as a mid-80’s Italian motorcycle.  I rang in 2011 tipping the scales at a solid 205 pounds, which I argue I certainly wore well but doesn’t exactly qualify as my fighting weight.  I can swim but I’m slow, I can ride a bike but I’m slow, and I can run.  Slowly.

The only caveat is that I get a lot slower when it’s warm outside, which to a guy who spent a few winters in Winnipeg, would be from March until mid-December.

But Withrow kept after me.  He was sure I could do it.  I’d have fun.

It would be a huge and satisfying challenge.

And so when registration opened up for the Ironman, I sat at my computer at work, and dutifully (but slowly) started working my way through the entry forms.  Given how slow my computer was, and the viscous nature of our firewalls, I was virtually certain I would not be able to complete the online application in time to actually get a spot.  I took my time, explaining in the provided text boxes that I was terribly out of shape, suspected I was a high risk of sinking to the bottom of the Hudson, and requested the time limit be extended in my case to 20 hours so I could fit a nap between the bike and run.

Incredibly, my application made it though.

When they prompted me for my credit card number, to my horror I realized what I had done.

I’ll skip the subsequent  frank conversation my wife had with me about the implications of decision on her, and our girls, and our marriage for another time, but we had one.  Or two.

One positive trait about me is that while I’m impulsive, I also panic easily, and so out of respect for the event, I immediately began training.

I ate well, I ran home from work every day, I pulled my bike out of storage (literally) and did shaky laps of the park, and with the blessing of my physiotherapist on the shoulder front, dutifully executed inelegant floundering laps of the Red Hook pool.

And, in order to shake out the cobwebs, signed up for a sprint distance tri at Harriman State Park.

I was in good company – the third amigo in a dubious band that included Paco (about to do his first tri ever) and K.O. (whose lifetime collection of joint injuries put my shoulder to shame, who was doing his second triathlon ever, and whose mesomorphic frame is frankly more appropriate for pro football or combat with vikings than distance endurance events).

I got to the event first, driving solo from Brooklyn, which meant rolling out of bed at shortly after four to collect my gear, load up the truck, and fight traffic on the George Washington Bridge.

I made good time and it was a beautiful drive, with the sunrise saturating the eastern horizon of the Pallisades with a luminous ochre blur.

Importantly, I spent the entire drive reminding myself of my Plan, and then reminding myself to stick to my Plan.  The Plan was simple: relax, see the event as simply a high intensity training session, and enjoy the fact that there would be people keeping track of time for me and handing me a cup of water every now and then.  So, a super slow motion swim, a challenging but executable bike tempo, and a moderately paced 5K.

I was primarily in a panic about the swim – my left shoulder simply didn’t move properly (I couldn’t hail a cab with that arm if my life depended on it) and there’s nothing like open water to bring all your fears about swim ability to a head.

As I pulled into the lot and realized I was on the early side, I set up my bike (the poor girl was shamed by her peers and their svelte carbon fiber frames, all literally ten years younger) and wandered down to the beach to dip a toe in the water.  It was startlingly warm – I guessed 75 degrees at least, which was a huge relief.  It meant zero need for a wetsuit, which ordinarily I would use for the buoyancy, but with my goofy arm I found that I literally could not take it off without serious help.

No wetsuit, no problems in T1.

I did a lazy ten minute warm-up, drank a liter of fluid (coco water, as I’m off manufactured nutrition of late on the theory there’s no reason to ingest corn syrup, salt and food coloring when I can get all the stuff I’m looking for out of a coconut), and waited for the guys.

Paco, who had very wisely opted to stay near the park so he’d be able to set up early and not have to worry about the commute, showed up about five minutes before the transition area closed, having successfully lost himself multiple times on his way to the race.

I was in a pretty good place mentally from having been up for a while and not having sunk like a stone while warming up, so I helped him get squared away in the transition area and we headed to the beach.  I also felt like I had some residual positive karma as earlier a competitor had blown a tube inflating a tire and had no spare, so I gave him mine.  While I figured I might need a spare tube, we knew he definatly needed a spare, so I trusted fate and handed it over.

As we waded into the lake to get used to the water prior to the gun, we located K.O., who was appropriately starting in the third wave with the Clydesdales, identified by their red caps.  Looking back at the Clydesdales as Paco and I entered the chute to start in the first wave was like looking at a rugby scrum in neoprene.

As we waited for the start, we hung back and I turned to Paco and more or less said, “no matter how overwhelmed you are by all this, try to relax, and I promise you that you that whatever happens, you will not be the last guy across the finish line… let’s have fun.”

We bumped fists with each other and the other first timers staying wide.  The horn went off, and I watched as the eager and the competent raced into the water.  I dutifully plodded in, quite possibly being dead last in my heat to enter.

However, that was The Plan – a relaxed swim, with the goal of exiting the water having exerted exactly zero energy and no drama relating to my shoulder.  Things got exciting only to the degree that the entire wave of women were upon me at the halfway buoy, and as I got to the finish, the clydesdales had largely passed me.

I jumped up onto the beach feeling great – swim accomplished in a shockingly slow 20 minutes (I would later learn that I was #255 coming out of the water in a field of 289) and most importantly, I was on plan.

With no wetsuit to shed, the transition was supposed to be a lightning strike, but as I yanked my jersey on I realized its fatal flaw – it promptly bunched up on my wet skin and I found myself stuck with my arms over my head like my three year old after putting a sweater on right after a bath.

I had to beg help from a woman who was watching over the transition area, but she sorted me out and I got up on my bike shortly thereafter and sped away.

Now, I had no prior knowledge of the bike course and had not bothered to look at any of the maps closely.  As it was only 15 miles and The Plan assumed that should should take only 40-45 minutes to for me to complete if I just went like hell.

As it turns out the course was incredibly hilly, and not only hilly, but hilly in a way that made the downhills as miserable as the uphills.

For example, there was one point early on where I was headed down a long, steep hill at almost 40 miles per hour, only to round a bend and see a course marshall waving a flag frantically and pointing at a 180 degree turn he apparently expected me to make with no prior warning (seriously, did it not occur to anyone to maybe post a caution sign even 100 yards in advance of the turn?).

I barely made the corner, but was so focused on braking without locking the wheels and dropping the bike I had no time to downshift and so found myself pointed directly uphill in my highest gear moving about 5 miles per hour.  I stood out of the saddle, dropped onto the pedals as hard as I could and batted at the paddles desperately trying to drop into a smaller ring, and wobbled miserably before the chain finally dropped and caught the smallest ring.

K.O. would later relate that he did a little off-roading at that same corner for the same reason, and spent a miserable few minutes trying to work his chain back onto his bike – at the finish, you could still see the grease on his fingers.

More unnervingly, when the ten mile marker showed up I looked at my watch and saw it had taken me a little over 40 minutes to get that far, and I was pouring sweat.

Despite the effort and a heart rate I assumed was nearing 400, I was picking people off on the hills and passing them, which was encouraging, so I decided to simply keep it up (sorry data junkies – no power meter, as they didn’t exist when I bought the bike a decade ago, and my heart rate monitor stopped working last week).

The Plan for the ride was to keep a solid pace, which for me means to pass people going up hills.  That’s it.  Keep them honest, and if they’re faster going down let them have it.  The downside of The Plan was that, if possible for an out-and-back course, it felt like it was 90% straight uphill.  The total ride took me 57:40 (what happened to 45 minutes, tops?) but that time was good enough to have me rank 119th for the section, demonstrating the value of getting out of the water with a clear head and gas in the tank.

I flew through T2, as my bike was racked right next to the run gate.

At this point, The Plan dictated a warm-up mile (for me a nine minute pace), a higher tempo mile (eight minutes) and then gunning it for the last mile just to see what happened.  As I turned onto the running trail (a gravel out and back path through the woods) the eventual top finishers were just starting to come in, and they were flying.

As one fellow vaulted past me toward the finish line, he looked me square in the eye and said “easy run”.

He lit some kind of fuse.  I took off, picking off a bunch of people as I headed up and into the woods, promised myself I wouldn’t let anyone pass me and getting more and more motivated by the athletes coming back to finish.  As I chugged up hills, people I passed encouraged me to keep going which drove me forward.  I made it to the first marker in exactly 8 minutes, made mile two in 7.33 and passed the third in 6.57.  I crossed the finish in another 45 seconds for a 5k total of 23:18 which I think is some kind of personal record for me, a speed can’t even begin to explain because I don’t think I’ve moved that fast when just doing a 5k alone.

During the run I was keeping my eye open for Paco and K.O. and while I didn’t see Paco, K.O. delivered me a thundering high five as we passed each other on the trail that nearly spun me around.

I crossed the line in 1:47, good enough for an overall finish of 129, thanks to a run pace ranked 57th.  I was 21st for my age group.

I grabbed some water and collected myself on a picnic bench in the finish to wait for K.O. and Paco.  K.O. made it across the line at 1:51 and we tackled a couple of bacon, egg and cheese burritos together while waiting for Paco.

And waiting.

And waiting.  I scouted for his wife, but did not see her.  We checked the transition area, where his gear was still intact and his bike was racked with no visible damage, so we ruled out a crash or a mechanical failure.  We didn’t see his name up on the posted results, and we even checked the t-shirt folks to see if he’d collected his race shirt.  No luck.

Finally, with the awards ceremony done and the parking lot starting to empty, and with K.O. and I facing the gravitational pull of having to return home to be husbands and fathers, we decided to check in with the paramedics.  The ambulance was parked at the finish, and I was frankly starting to brace for bad news as I walked toward the driver when I heard K.O. whoop Paco’s name.

And as I watched, over three hours after he had begun, Paco staggered into the finishing area and flopped onto a seat, chest heaving.  K.O. and I mobbed him, handed him water and clapped him on the back.

Paco’s wife was suddenly right there also, waiting for him to clear the finish chute and deliver him a kiss that was so sincere I was suddenly regretful my own wife wasn’t there to kiss me.

So what happened?  I won’t presume to tell his story for him, but listening to him between gulps of water at the finish, we got a pretty clear picture.

Paco got into the water, and part way into the swim, panicked.   For about a thousand incredibly obvious reasons, to panic in open water pretty much ends your race on the spot, because it devours all of your body’s energy instantaneously.  And not just your energy, but it robs you of your focus and your composure and thus your desire to keep moving, which, in an endurance race, is everything.

Yet somehow Paco kept himself together enough to ward off the life guards and work toward the buoy and then the beach.  It apparently took him forever to get out of the water, hyperventilating the entire time, but he somehow kept a part of himself focused on getting ashore and he did.

Then, incredibly, exhausted but having survived the water, and facing the very attractive option to call it a day right then and there with dry land under his feet, he somehow got himself together enough to get on his bike and grind out the hill-infested bike leg – at this point, completely alone.

Finishing the bike leg, doubly exhausted, he laced up his shoes and tackled the run – again, completely alone.

And crossed the finish line at 3:01, judging by my eyeball of the clock.

As impressed as I was by my own race, I literally couldn’t believe Paco kept going after his swim leg.

K.O. and I left him in the capable care of his wife, but as I was driving home, I smiled when I remembered that I had promised Paco that there was no way he’d finish the race last.

It looks like he may have proved me wrong, but I have no doubt that Paco’s race was hands-down harder than anyone else’s that day, and I couldn’t believe that he found the grit to keep going and cross the line.

They didn’t have a medal big enough for him at Harriman.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”

Posted in Random on August 4, 2011 by eeodim

I had dinner with my boy, Sam, last night and he’s giving me advice for the big day.  He tells me stay calm, don’t listen to music as it might get you too excited thereby wasting energy, and then he finished by giving me a number of ideas for special needs bag.  He finished the dinner by telling me this:  “Mike Tyson said it best … Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.”  His point is that no matter what I plan for something is bound to go wrong.  All you can do is find a solution to the problem and keep it moving.  Easier said than done, but I hear what he’s saying.

If you remember, I wrote about Sam not too long ago.  He just finished IMUSA (Lake Placid) after being hit by two cars during his training- amazing.  Ironman.com actually profiled him after the race – definitely worth the read.

Click for story

Iron-Widow

Posted in Random on August 3, 2011 by eeodim

I mention my wife, Sarah, in a lot of posts, so I figured I would get her more involved in this blog project.  I recently solicited her services and asked her to contribute by writing a post that told her story as the spouse of an Ironman-wannabe.  She did an unbelievable job articulating her sentiments by writing a thougthful and entertaining perspective on what it’s like to be an Iron-Widow

“I will love, honor, and cherish you for all the days of our life”. These words definitely do apply, but know one ever told me that eventually I would have to add, “ agree to all of your extracurricular endeavors, eat dinner alone with the kids most nights, discuss important family issues via email etc”. These new vows have been a product of my husband’s dire need to torture his body, mind, and my sanity by participating in an Ironman.

Ironically, what first attracted me to Evan nine years ago was his svelte figure and incessant workout schedule.  The man was a fit beyond my expectations. I loved all the lines that highlighted his “manhood”. The washboard abs, muscular thighs, impeccably built chest, everything about him was so enticing. From day one, I knew that he was a workout junky and at first it was beautiful.  He was dedicated and determined to be physically active and I was so proud of him for having the drive to keep everything balanced. Then as we became more serious all of the initial “love at first sight” moments became fleeting images as the responsibility of adulthood set in.

We are both quite passionate about our careers and we knew we would be adding to our family at some point.  I thought that once this these additions began, the life we once knew filled with work-outs, long work schedules, and alone time would too become sparingly trickled about our new combined responsibility of being parents and running a house hold, silly me!!

 

Year after year, a new activity began to blossom.  I used to think my husband forgot he was married, had kids, and worked a full-time job. He would come home like an excited schoolboy and inevitably tell me he wanted to try a new “thing”. First it was basketball with the guys every Tuesday night.  This meant we didn’t see Daddy on Tuesday’s because he didn’t arrive home until nearly 11 p.m. It was way past all of our bedtimes including his own. Next, it was amateur soccer at Chelsea Piers.  This activity required at least 2-3 practices per weeknight and some kind of match on the weekend.  “White-Collar” boxing, which was introduced to me four months after our youngest daughter was born, followed soccer. “Yeah, now you want to be physically disfigured or worse, Great!!!!” And the newest thing he came to me with over a year ago is, he wants to be a triathlete. All of these activities were brought to me with such enthusiasm and eagerness that it was hard for me to diminish his love for the sports and I had to accept that it was not going to end anytime soon, despite all of the family obligations.

 

I have always tried to be the type of woman who would never stop my significant other from doing what he loved.  At times I may get upset or become irrational when something new was brought up, but for the most part I have endured everything. The late nights, the incredibly difficult workouts, the feelings of being alone and having a roommate instead of a partner in life, these feelings continually dampened my spirits. I found myself resenting the man I loved and for the very same reason that I fell in love with him. It was becoming too difficult to handle.

When I was first introduced to the idea of a triathlon, I thought, “you want to do what?”  You hate running, can’t swim very well, and I can’t imagine long bike rides are healthy for your baby-making package. I really felt like he had finally lost his mind. Now I was really going to be alone because I would have to check this man into a mental hospital.

Me & JW (culprit for getting me into Tri's)

He really had gone off the deep end and now I will never get him back.  My next reaction was which one of your friends is making you do this? (JW) You can’t possibly think this is a good idea. Why would some want to intentionally put their mind and body through agony? Why does anyone think this is a good idea? It was really difficult for me to comprehend his intentions. Once I knew he was serious about taking on this adventure, I began to cry. I couldn’t imagine having to cope with my career, the kids and all of their activities, cooking meals, taking care of the house, and having to do it alone because he would never be around. I barely had time to wipe my own rear-end, let alone do everything required to run a household and still have time for myself and oh wait spend time with my husband too.

 

Once the heavy training began, passion for this sport exuded from him. He really was so dedicated to doing it the right way.  It was difficult at first to find a balance that worked for both of us.  He promised me that he would do his best to not let the training interfere with the family time. Yeah, I’ve heard that before I thought. Deep down I was always anticipating being constantly angry. Quite frankly I didn’t believe he could manage such a heavy load, but I was wrong. (Not easy for me to admit)

 

Workouts were done in the early morning hours or after the kids went to bed.  Saturday mornings he would creep out like a ninja, bike and run for hours, and still be back home before the rest of the family awoke. We still planned family vacations, fun time with the girls, and we even were able to spend time together.  Our most recent alone vacation was spent in Cabo San Lucas for a week, which he planned all by himself. It was amazingly beautiful. I began to realize that there are much worse things that he could be doing and I was so grateful he picked something so positive and inspiring.  He is such a great role model for our girls.

 

Mealtimes are still difficult because he has omitted so many of the foods we once enjoyed together, but he is really good about finding foods that work for him and don’t require any added pressure on my part as far as preparation.

 

With less that a month before the big day, I am looking back on the past year with happiness, pride, and a bit of trepidation. I am so happy for him and for us that all of his hard work has finally come to a head. He has prepared for this for so long and we have been through so much of it together.  I am so incredibly proud of him.  I have always thought he was an incredible man.  He works really hard and wants the very best for all he encounters and I really want success for him on this big day. My apprehension comes from the worry about what’s next.  For the past year I become comfortable with the triathlon, his training, and the expectations and requirements of a triathlete.  I am afraid of the “new thing”. We are expecting a baby in the fall and I want to cherish this experience together without the anticipation of the next sport. Who knows, maybe it will be something we can do together. I will need help in trying to regain my body after our son is born. Whatever the next “thing” is I’m sure it will be even more far-fetched than the previous ventures.

 

So here’s to you honey!!! Ironman Louisville look out because “Big Daddy” is coming for ya. I love you. You will be awesome.

 

X is for “Xavier”

Posted in Happy Thoughts Library on August 2, 2011 by eeodim

My wife and I recently found out the newest addition to our family will be a boy.  Up to this point I hadn’t put any effort into possible names (girl or boy) as I thought it was a waste of time.  One of them wasn’t going to be used so why muddle through possibilities?  Anyway, after we received the news I asked wifey what she was thinking.  She threw out “Evan Xavier” as a possibility.  I had never thought of having my son having the same name as me, but it grew on me pretty quick.  I relayed that regardless of what his name will be I would end up calling him “Junior” as a nickname.  She took it one step forward and decided “EJ” sounded good.  So there we have it … Evan Xavier Odim aka “Junior” aka “EJ” will be welcomed into the world early December. Talk about some great motivation …

Damn that Oprah!

Posted in Random on August 1, 2011 by eeodim

 

 

So wifey sends me the below text along with a picture …

“Look at the topic of this story on the OWN network.  No, I’m not thinking of doing this – just thought it was ironic”

I am soooooooooo glad IMLOU is almost here!  Oh, and I love you baby!