After 35 years of life, I have a few things to say.

Monthly Archives: February 2014

This start tomorrow. Join us. 🙂


I love this. I think I’m on Phase 3. Ha Ha. 🙂

A Collection of Musings

Before my first post, I thought writing was all you needed to do to run a blog. Perhaps it is enough to run a blog, but it’s certainly not enough to run a successful blog. If you write more than 2 blog posts you will almost definitely enter phase 1.

Phase 1
It turns out it is no fun writing if there is nobody to read what you are saying. So you work on getting followers. You tell your friends. Some of them start reading your blog. Some of them wish they could have a conversation without you bringing up ‘that damn blog’. And others ask you about it regularly, but never actually read it.


Phase 2
Eventually you run out of friends to promote your blog to and you focus on finding strangers to read your work. Perhaps you start to follow other blogs and find like-minded bloggers. Or…

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45 mile Caraway Mtn. Loop.

45 mile Caraway Mtn. Loop.

The weather could not have been more perfect for the ride today. The hills could have been smaller however. I usually stay away from group rides where the course name has the word “Mountain” in it, but the day was too good not to ride, and I guess hills are good training. Two hours before the ride, I jogged 4 miles on the elliptical at the YMCA to loosen up, plus today was supposed to be a run day for my triathlon training. No matter what, tomorrow needs to be a run day. Since the weather is going to be great again tomorrow, I guess my wife and I will be running around the lake.

Great ride in the hills today.

Great ride in the hills today.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend. Talk to you again soon.

Simon A.

It was a beautiful day on the road. I just had to share. My average would have been better if I hadn’t stopped to take pictures, but that’s ok with me. I still rode faster than Tuesday.


Long Hill Ahead


Turn Around Point

Stats for today's ride

Stats for today’s ride

Enjoy the day if you have weather like this where you live. If not, I hope it comes to you soon.

Until next post,

Simon A.

Today’s weather is not perfect, but it’s good enough to get out on the bike. The temp is climbing toward 60 degrees now and the clouds are holding in the warmer air. More importantly, it’s less windy than it was on Tuesday, which should make for a nice ride.

Today is Day 5 of my Triathlon Training and I shall do many things today in the interest of fitness. A casually paced 17-18 mile bike ride here in a few hours at lunchtime will start off the festivities. Tonight, I will stomp out a 5K on the treadmill at the YMCA, followed by an hour of yoga. I normally would do spin class tonight, but I think since I am going to ride at lunch, my spin instructor will understand. On Tuesday, I did to both, cycling outdoors and spin class at night and boy were my legs tired. The yoga on Tuesday did help stretch out the quads though, and they were very thankful. Monday and Wednesday nights, I try to get to the pool after running a 5K or doing the elliptical for 3 or 4 miles. This week, I swam 600 yards both nights, followed by an hour Deep Water Fitness Class. All in all, I feel that I am getting a full body workout with all the variations of exercise I am subjecting myself to on a daily basis.

Other than the motivation of familiar faces at the gym, and cycling buddies on the road, I really enjoy reading the blogs of other athletes. I know this process just started for me, as it has for many of you also, but just to read about the challenges and success stories of you all really helps me be able to see where I am going and to know that it is worth it. At times, I feel that I will never be able to run a 5K consistently or increase my speed, or that I will not be able to routinely swim laps without stopping for breaks, or ride faster on the bike without burning myself out. But then I see how others overcame these things and I know that I can overcome them too. That’s what keeps me going, so I want to thank all of you who read my blog, comment on my posts and workout summaries here and other social media venues, and give me advice to move forward. I also want to thank all of you, who share your stories with me, so I can see what is possible.
While I was in the pool last night doing laps, I stopped to take a breather, and a young man commented on my swimming stroke, saying that I was a great swimmer. I thanked him graciously and he continued to tell me that he just learned to swim and was on a program to be able to swim a mile continuously in 6 weeks time. I told him he looked pretty good for just started out. He’s in the same boat as me right now, where I can swim like a fish, but only for a lap or two at a time, and then I am out of gas and have to rest. I told him that I was going to look up that training program he spoke of and make try it myself. As it turns out, my triathlon training sort of includes the same swimming training as his program, with one less day a week of swimming. His program has 3 days of swimming per week, where mine only has two. I know he was not an expert swim coach or anything, but just him saying that I was a great swimmer motivated me to swim farther, with a little more speed, and with better technique ( I hope).

Can one of you come with me while I run and tell me that I am doing great? That is where I need the most help in my opinion. LOL. 🙂

Thanks for reading.

More updates and insights to come. Time to bike.

Simon A.

For a few years now, I have been biking regularly and periodically running. Back in 2011, I completed the Couch To 5K training program and ran a few 5K’s. Over the next couple of years, the running thing has slacked off a few times and came back. My wife and I ran a few more 5K’s this past year and she smoked me in all of them. I’m more of a cyclist than a runner anyways.
Last April, I signed up to volunteer at an Olympic distance triathlon as a rescue kayaker for the lake swim leg of the event. It was an amazing event and I thought to myself that maybe someday I would be able to do that. I am a great swimmer, but without regular access to a pool, I hadn’t swam in quite some time, except at the beach. Even though I knew I had to get my swimming conditioning back up to speed, I wasn’t worried about the swim as much as I was the run. The Olympic run distance is a 10K. I had always done 5K races and could hardly even do that far.

I did some research and found out that there is a shorter triathlon distance, the sprint distance. It ends with a 5K run. I thought to myself, “I can do that.” The bike portion is less than 20 miles, no problem for me, and the swim is shorter as well. As luck would have it, I found a sprint triathlon that is local, and is at the YMCA that my wife and I are currently members. How sweet is that? I can train in the pool that will be used for the actual event, the biking portion is on roads that I ride all the time, and the 5K run is on the trails that my wife and I jog and take the dogs for their walks. It’s the perfect opportunity for my first Tri. It’s short, local, familiar, and far enough in the future so I have time to prepare.
So I signed up for the All American Sprint Triathlon in Thomasville, NC on April 26th, 2014. It consists of a 250 yard swim, followed by a 13 mile bike ride, and ends with a 5K run. My 10 week training program started Sunday, 2 days ago. I am not going to be able to do the program day for day what it says, but I am going to get in the distances and the durations of exercise recommended. So what if my days are swapped around, depending on pool availability, spin class schedules, and time for the treadmill? The important thing is that I am doing the work and I am going to be ready to Tri.

Today is Day 3. Since the snow is finally melted and the weather is supposed to be 60 by lunchtime, I am going to try to get in a 17-18 mile bike ride in today. I also plan to do spin class tonight, followed by yoga class. I swam 600 yards last night and did a water fitness class also. Things are starting out great. Stay tuned for more updates. Hopefully soon I can run a 5K continuously again, and swim at least 100 yards continuously. It’s a work in progress, but I am psyched for this triathlon and no matter what happens, it will be a PR. 🙂

Simon A.

My wife and I have been married for almost seven and a half years now. It seems like it was just yesterday we were saying “I have, I have, I do, I do.” Wow, time does fly when you are having fun, and boy have we had some fun over the years. Our love of the outdoors, from camping to hiking, kayaking and traveling, there is no end to the fun we come up with. And the best part about it is that we have many many years ahead of us to enjoy time together.

This month is also my 10th Anniversary at my job. I was hired while I was going to school back in 2003, and here I am over 11 years later (I was laid off for a years or so), working in a different building and different department, with a different job title, and I’m back in school too. That’s strange. When I got hired, I was going to school at Guilford Technical Community College for Aviation management, specializing in Air Traffic Control. Ten years later, I am working full time in a field of IC wafer reticle design layout and going to school part time at University of NC At Greensboro for a BS in Computer Science. It’s amazing how things change in 10 years. I feel that I am in a very good place right now. Good job, great marriage and family, and I am in the process of getting in the best shape of my life. I’m swimming, biking, and running, and I am signed up for my first Sprint Triathlon in April. It’s going to be a great year. Now if we can just get this winter weather to go away, that would be great. 🙂

Simon A.