Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

Lot's to talk about!
We awoke today to the biggest snow storm we've seen here in Germany. Finally Marco got to play in the snow just outside the house. I'm sure it will melt away by the end of the day but for the first time the trees are covered and they look beautiful.
I just finished a big block of training. The goal of the the block was to put strength on by body. The reality is that it has been 15 months since I last trained for and participated in a race. That race was the crazy high desert 50K in December of 2006. Last year because of the move, new job, there was no training just activity. I road when I felt like it, I ran when I felt like it and I barely swam. So this year I decided to do some racing. It's one way to become part of the community for me. To do what I think I can do this summer I knew I had to build some strength. They say after 40 you lose 10% of your muscle strength/year if you do nothing. So this is why I changed my diet and headed for the gym using the Belly Off plan from The results of the plan.
Starting Weight: 149 lbs.
Max Standard Push Ups: 25
Max Close Grip Push Ups: 10
Max Chin Ups: 5
Current Weight: 157 lbs
Max Standard Pus Ups: 60
Max Close Grip Push Ups: 40
Max Chin Ups: 15
The rest of my workouts running, biking and swimming have felt better because of the above work. For the next 8 weeks I'll continue to work on the strength but only 2 days/week instead of 3. My goal is now to make all this added muscle work on burning the remaining fat I have and get to a race weight which is yet to be determined.
My hero right now is a guy named Brian Broxson. If you looked up Type A Personality in any smart book, you may find a partial description of Brian. Essentailly what Brian really wants he goes after with a gusto most of us can't comprehend and most of the time he hits it. He works in sales and if there is a contest he wants to win, he wins it. If they change the game on how he gets paid, somehow he changes his way of doing things and still ends up on top. But don't think it comes easy for him. I don't know everything about the guy but I do know he had a tough time growing up. It wasn't all positive go get them coaching in whichever house he was living in. So I think it was this part of his life that has made him an all or nothing type A kind of guy. So now to the real story of why he's my hero. Brian is a runner. He's not a runner like you or me becaue he's a big runner. For instance, in January Brian ran the Carlsbad 1/2 marathon. His weight was 285lbs. Recently he emailed me with his goal of qualifying for the 2009 Boston Marathon. To do that he has to run below 3:11:00 because he's still a young guy. His goal race is Chicago in October and his goal weight is 210lbs for that race. Let's face it, we would not even attempt it. The view from where I am to where I want to be is difficult but it's not even close to his view. 3:11:00 puts Brian in the top 1/4 of all runners in the world. 3:11:00 at 210 lbs puts him in the top 5% on a pace per pound calculation. ( I don't know this as fact but I'm sure I'm awefully close in my thinking). If it were me doing this, I'd count against it. If it were most people I know, I'd count against it. Because it's Brian, I am full on rooting for him. I know he can do it and I know he'll put everything he has into doing it. My only advice to Brian is write it all down. Write down how you you feel every day and remember it. Remember that this kind of effort is the real test, the end result really doesn't matter. If you succeed or fail it's the Journey that will count the most. And through this Journey you will inspire hundreds to get off their butt and get to work.
It's a good life.....

Friday, March 21, 2008

Happy Spring

Finally at least we hit the date, March 21st the first day of Spring. For the past few days while Mary and Marco have been in Prague I've been home living with the dogs. My mode of transportation my mountain bike and just regular work days. The thing about it though is the weather couldn't have been worse. It has rained or snowed ever day this week. The worst was yesterday where the ride to work was in thick heavy snow (coming down). The ride home was in high wind, rock hard rain pelting my face and mud. So I've been feeling a bit sad about this great weather.
Yesterday though my mind turned around. I was talking to one of the young German guys in our department Thomas. It was snowing really hard and I said "Hey Thomas, I'll be you like this weather". Thomas smiled and said "Of course I love it, I'm going skiing tomorrow and there's 1 meter fresh powder in the mountains". Then he said "Dave, in Germany we have a saying that goes something like this Make due with what you've got. So when it snows, we ski and when it's sunny we head to the beach." I had a flashback of San Diego where the sun shines almost every day. You get so used to the Sunshine that you forget just how good it really is. I remember days when it rained in So Cal, life simply took a day off. But that is not the German mindset. So today, I became German. The wind was raging yet again. Rain mixed with Snow. The outlook is for this to continue for the next 3 days. So today I put on my tights, my long sleeve thermal top, my hat, gloves, wind proof jacket and I-Pod and went out for a 2 hour run. I ran into the forest to get out of the wind and simply too trails I don't normally take just to stay in the Forest. I came back home muddier than I left, and feeling really good about the rest of the day.
By the way it is Good Friday which means no work! Germany takes day off seriously. Everyone in Germany gets a 4 day weekend. Monday is a Bank Holiday.
Happy Spring...
It's a good life.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


It's been a sad, happy and somewhat bewildering few weeks. It all started about two weeks ago. Neptune our champion breed 13.5 year old black lab came bounding up the stairs after spending the day in the safety of his bed. He went straight outside, started to run out of breath and instantly fell over and went pee all over himself. He did the same thing the following day and we knew then something was wrong. We got him to the vet to find out that he is simply growing old. His hind legs have something wrong in the nerves, and he has trouble controlling them. The excitement of running up the stairs is causing his hind legs to collapse. The doctor put him on some pain medicine that just makes him sleep more and a bit sick so we took him off the medication.
Neptune was a birthday gift from Mary almost 14 years ago. He is the heart and sole of our family. He is always happy. Has never really grown up and is the ultimate protector. When his big sister Freeway was around he was the wild one running off on our walks. As soon as Freeway passed away, Neptune was by my side taking over the duties of protector. On walks with Marco he instantly becomes Marcos protector. No dog can come close to Marco without a good inspection a growl from Neptune. But he's not mean in any way. He is the most loving dog I've ever been around. In his own way he gives the greatest hugs a dog can give. But it's clear now that time is catching up. Just like Freeway he has gone from lively one day to acting old the next. You can see it in his eyes, he's starting to get tired. Whenever the day comes it will be one of the hardest days for the entire family.
On the flip side is Scout. She is growing up fast. You can see it in her eyes too. She is worried about Neptune and knows that she now has to carry the protection mantel. I've posted about how good of a dog she is. How she stays close while we run and is always in eye contact. At first I thought it was for her safety that she didn't want to get lost but now I know. She is simply looking out for me to make sure I'm protected. The other day Neptune, Scout and I were out on a walk. It was a rare sunny day. Since Neptune was hanging by me, Scout decided she could venture out further. She dissapeared for what seemed like 10 minutes. We were frantically looking for her. There was a raging creek and both Neptune and I thought the worse. That maybe Scout had chased something into the creek and had been swept under water. We went down stream searching. We gave up down stream and started heading upstream. All of the sudden, 30 yards away, Scout pops out of the water with this huge (she's a dog and I'm a dog person) grin on her face. Shaking all the water off she runs over to us barking and and just wagging her tail. She was simply having a ball. That night this same dog took two steps outside noticed it was raining and sat down. She looked back at me and her eyes said, you're crazy, I'm not getting my feet wet.
Scout, Neptune and Freeway. They will be forever linked in our lives. To this day we still tell Freeway stories. After 14-15 or whatever years with Neptune we will have only warm stories to tell of this forever young Black Lab and as for Scout the stories are still building.
It's simply amazing how much love these creatures have for the family, for each other and how much love the family has for them.
It's a good life....

Monday, March 17, 2008


Read the story in the link. Jamie, is one tough girl. She has been at the top of her sport for years and deserves to be recognized as one of the best ahtletes on the planet. Today she faces a new challenge but as you read this she's doing it with the same energy and grace she raced with.

It's a good life....

New Run Test

It was run test day today. Same as reported yesterday, one hour or until I lose concentration. This one went very well. Running outside on the forest trails is easy. The pace is really easy but that's becuase it's a Max Aerobic Test not a Maximum Speed test. So the ultimate goal is train my body to run further than I did today. I will do this with long runs below this HR. Hill Repeats at this HR and speed workouts that are in general just strides done on form, fast and short. I'm confident that the distance will go up as I continue to build aerobic strength.

Test Time Distance Pace Avg HR
Run 60:00 6.92 miles 8:40/mile 142

I can tell by my comfort that in January I would have been at roughly 9:15 at this pace. Three more weeks roughly and I'll do this again.

It's a good life....


Sunday, March 16, 2008

Another Test

It seems to me that recently life has all been a test. The weather is testing my patience. So far in March we have had two days without either high wind or rain. I think I'd rather have the rain then the wind. The wind topples trees and just makes running a pain. At least you know what you get with the rain. Work has been a test too. As with all teams there are good times when everything seems to be going right. Down times when nothing seems to be happening and just plain bad times where nerves are shattered. We've been on a pretty good run of everything going right, I just think our time was due. Big things aren't going wrong but the nerves are there to make even the smaller things seem gigantic. It's a test of the team for sure. Moving to Germany was let's just say a test. I think it has stretched the love in the family pretty far and it's a really good thing we love each other so much. There isn't one thing there that is any more testy than another it's simply the enormity of the task at hand. But this posting has nothing to do with all those other tests, it's simply another bike test.

The test
I've been struggling with my test protocal recently. My goals for 2008 are fairly loose but the races I've targeted are relatively long. So the testing I've been doing doesn't seem to address the length of the event. The testing has been looking at my top end speed and or efficiency. The events I've signed up for have nothing to do with top end speed and everything to do with efficiency at a controlled heartrate over a long period of time. So I went back to all the different types of testing I've done and then I simply read a number of the Blogs I've got as my favorites. I chose to go back to doing MAF testing. Essentially MAF (promoted by DR. Phil Maffetone and Mark Allen) is Maximum Aerobic Function test. It's a test of how fast you can run/ride/swim etc. at your Maximum Aerobic HR. Dr. Maffetone uses a simple formula that is 180 minus your age and then you subtract if you have been sick or have been on the couch all your life or you add 5 heartbeats if you are a regularly active person. I do think there are flaws because the 5 heartbeat addition is a general number. It doesn't take into account how long you have been active. That's the problem when you don't use a lab. So I use the formula and use my long history of using a Heart Rate Monitor. With this my Max Aerobic HR is 141 and so my testing is all done at 141 or lower. The testing I'm doing is also a mental testing. The maximum a test can last is 1 hour. The test ends when I hit one hour or there is a mental breakdown and I lose concentration. Yesterday on the trainer I lasted 34 minutes. Nothing physical going on there at all but I think all of the testing in the discussion above and the sheer effort it takes to sit on the darn trainer had something to do with it.

Test Time Avg HR Distance Avg. Speed
Bike 34:14 137 9.4 miles 16.5 mph

My expectations on the next test is improvement accross the board. I expect to go the full hour, at a faster average speed. We'll see!

More to come this week as I have a weather permitting MAF run test scheduled.

This is a running theme but I think there is much deeper learning that goes beyond running. At work there is a group run that leaves the gym every day at roughly 12:20. Through the early part of this year the group has grown with numbers and speed of runners. In January you could show up any day of the week, run 50 minutes at a relatively easy pace and call it a day. Recently though as people have gotten in better shape and some of the younger faster guys have joined in and the pace has picked up. In February they began running a loop that is a fairly rolling 16K (10.2 miles) loop. At first it was just a change of pace run, something different. But recently it has become a run for time. Ego has joined in and records are being recorded. The first known record was 58 minutes. That record is now down to 52 minutes. The problem in doing these kinds of runs is that people or egos join in when they shouldn't. We have guys trying to get in shape after a winter off or guys training for an April marathon. It started out to be a fun thing but as the weeks went by people were running it every week and sometimes twice a week. Our two marathon runners training for Boston and London were running much faster on this loop then they will ever run in the Marathon and guess what, they got injured. The guys just getting in shape got injured. The leader of the pack came down with a nasty cold. Essentially the group run fell apart. The other day I was dressed and ready to go and one of the guys in the gym asked "Where are all your running buddies (By the way, I stopped running with the group when all of this nonsense happened)" I said they were either sick or injured. He couldn't stop laughing.

I think the learning here is that it's always good to run or hang around people that are at a higher level than you. In running that simply means faster runners. In life that mean's someone you view as more successful than you. Just make sure you check your ego at each of those encounters. When running you have to know your limits and you can't with your ego push beyond them. Both of the Marathon runners say they didn't feel the injury until it was too late. Both also now admit that they didn't listen to their coach. When you are with those successful people I just think you have a much better chance learning from them if you are humble. As lots of questions and don't over do your welcome. An ego can turn them off faster than anything and they can pick up on it very easily.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Please Take Care Out There

It's a sad day in the world of Endorphin Fanitics. Being part of the great endorphin charging endeavors, you think that bad things won't happen. Here's an example of a couple folks who had life in front of them. Life full of promiss on the Bike and probably off it too!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Sunrise and other stuff

Yesterday I posted about some sleep problems I've been having. I think I cured them last night. It's Monday morning at 10:45am and I'm at home resting. I think the sleep thing had a great deal to do with training, driver's license work, and overall work and family stress. Last night I went to bed at 9:30 and woke up at 7:00am. I feel better today than I have in weeks and I guess it was a build up of things. Anyway I plan on rolling into work at about 12:30 today. I'll be there until 7:00 so it will be a full day but just a different one.
The picture to the right is just a random triathlon picture. I think it tells two stories. First and foremost is why I like the sunrise. You just can't be that to start your day. It ushers in the day peaceful. It tells you that it's a new day which means you have a chance to make an impact all over again. Secondly, this picture shows a bit why I love the sport of Triathlon. That moment just before the start of the race is absolutely peacful. Yes, the butterflies are always there but you have find a way to get calm because the start of the race is anything but calm. Sitting there in the stillness of the morning with the sun just peaking out is inspiring. No matter if this is the start of a one hour race or a 10 hour race, the effort to take it on is large and a good calming before the start is not a bad idea.
Other Stuff
While other athletes spend large amounts of money on bike equipment I choose a different route. The bike is the most important part of the race. The more time you spend riding it the more comfortable you will be for the run and the faster you will run. So athletes spend a huge amount of money on fast comfortable bikes. I saw a post the other day of a bike that easily tipped the scale of $10,000. My choice is a bit old school, I choose to ride an older bike and work on the engine more. This Spring (it's not Spring yet in Germany) has been spent working on getting strong and controlling the fuel.
Getting Strong
I really hate lifting weights. My coaches put two days of weight training per week and list roughly 15 different things I should concentrate on. I was doing this in December and January and just could not get motivated. One day roughly 6 weeks ago I was surfing the net and went to . There I found the Belly Off Club and an 8 week program to core strength and flat bellies. I think Men's Health is probably the biggest source of encouragement if you need to get your butt off the couch. They are really good about giving motivation, simple advice and on their site a really simple plan to follow that if you work it works. So 6 weeks ago I started using their plan which is 3 days a week with no weights. I am much stronger today than I was 6 weeks ago. Pictures (OS!M) will show up on this blog in two weeks. I have a before picture from 6 weeks ago and we'll take one in 2 weeks.
Fuel is absolutely important to feeling healthy and going fast if that's your goal. So earlier this year I made a commitment to drop some bad habbits and also join the Mary program. The habbit I broke was soft drinks. It was almost a daily routine to walk to our cafeteria to buy a coke or diet coke. I quit cold turkey about 10 weeks ago and I think I have had one maybe two diet cokes since. Then about 8 weeks ago I joined the Mary program. She can't eat anything made from Wheat without feeling ill. I wasn't having a problem but I read a Blog from Chuckie V. It was an all out assualt on Grains and Dairy. His claim is that many of the ills of the nation come from these two. Dairy because humans are the only group of mamals that eat or drink dairy beyond infancy. (Your house cat doesn't count because you feed it that milk) Grains because if you notice where people live the longest, hard grains like wheat are not eaten. Anyway I read his blog and decided to make shopping easier and gave up Wheat and for the most part Dairy. I can't speak to any results just yet because it's too early. I know you are asking where my carbohydrates come from and that's easy, Fruit and vegatables. They are cheap easy to digest and full of carbs. I think the strength and the fuel are directly linked and may or may not show up in the pictures. Maybe they will show up in a race or two planned for later this year. We'll have to wait and see.
It's a good life....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Sleep and the OS!M

Just a random picture from one of our outings. We found this on a trail were were hiking. Like any kid, Marco gets a bit tires of being the model "Hey Marco go stand by that thing for a picture". I think we are all the same.

I can't seem to figure sleep out right now. I go to bed at 9:00 p.m. I wake up at 4:30am. I go to bed at 11pm and wake up at 4:30. I run for two hours, go shopping with Mary and Marco then take the family to the gym for a workout. Go to bed at 10:30 last night completely exhausted and wake up at 4:30am. On a Sunday the day and my day of rest. Last year at this time, living in this house by myself, the wake up time was 3:30 so at least I'm getting an extra hour of sleep. I like my mornings. In fact everyone who knows me knows I'm a totally different person in the morning than at night. Sure I can rally with the best of them at night but I would rather not do that because I already put everything into the day. My favorite time of the day is Sunrise. It's the most peacful time I have ever found. 4:30 am is not even close to sunrise. Here in Germany right now sunrise is 6:40 am. So I'm more than 2 hours early for my favorite time of the day. Any tips out there would be of great use.

My recent post about the Radical Leap leadership book got me thinking. Again LEAP stands for Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof. Essentially if you love what you do, who you do it with and why you do it, let the energy from that love flow be a bit audacious from the prior two (not your ego) and then prove that it's working, you can become a great Radical Leader. Tied to that is the OS!M or "Oh Shit Moment". It's that moment when you do something that you are not really comfortable with that causes some fear and you learn from it good or bad. In other words you will never be perfect all the time and you can't become an extreme leader without putting it out there for everyone to see and failing every once in awhile. I try to manage my work life every day through LEAP and the OS!M. I don't hide the fact that I'm not in the shoe business but in the people businesss. If I do things right, the people around me will be energized to reach beyond their current known potential. If I do things right runners around the world will be able to run longer, faster or at least pain free. Shoes are just the catalyst to get me to those goals. To do that there are quite a few OS!M's. Heck, just handing The Radical Leap to someone I've just starting working with and then saying "don't copy me on every email, don't check in with status, just finish the job.......Go!" Is a big OS!M. What happens if she fails, then I fail but that's o.k. because we both will learn something.
My recent posts about my training and my testing have been really big OS!M. I have usually been very guarded with that kind of stuff. I guess part of it has been my little secret. Now to put it out there for everyone to see is a bit scary. But I also think this, If my goal is to make sure runners or simply people around the world can enjoy running or their fitness I've got to put it out there for you to see. You have to see that I work hard, fail miserably at it from time to time and then get out there and do it again. If I don't do that I'm not fully engaging in my Goal to change the World.

It's a good life.....

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Radical Leap





A few things have changed in my job. One of the recent changes were my direct reports. Since July I had this young guy who was new to the BU. I am convinced if he sticks it out he will one day be president of the company. I could go on all day about him. The decision to move him from reporting to me was not my favorite move but it was done to help the new guy. So my new report has had a tough time over the last 3 years. She has not had the same boss for more than one year in at least 3 years. Her last boss who only worked with her a short time gave her a less than good review. So she was passed on to me to get her motivated again. She is super sharp but it was believed she just needed crisp clear direction. At the time of the change I gave each of them a copy of my favorite leadership book of all time The Radical Leap.

Today as I was preparing to write the 2008 plan for my new direct report I decided to read it again. All I can say is this: If you are in a situation as a boss or a direct report where things aren't going as planned read this book. If you have read the book, read it again. No book I've ever read explains leadership in such simple terms as Love, Energy, Audacity and Proof. Generally the other books I've read have been theory or they were written by life long consultants who forgot what working in a big office is like. The Radical Leap will teach you new things every time you read it. One thing for sure is that leadership is not a title you get. Sure there are lots of people with Leadership in their title but that does not make them true leaders. True leaders come from all levels of an organization and from all different backgrounds.

A short story about one of my favorite leaders. His name is Scott Shewmaker and he's the quality assurance guy at my old company. Scott is admittedly a bit quirky in his day to day life. He's a huge baseball fan and I'm sure he is excitedly gearing up for the 2008 Padre season. Scott leads radically. He has a passion for what he does that goes beyond a job and has a passion for the people he works with. He brings great energy to the job every day. He has an audacity I only wish I had. He has an ability to tell you you're full of shit without you hating him. And he backs his leadership with proof day in and day out. Without much fanfare he produces results. He has no direct reports and has to get things done through relationships and it's amazing to watch him work through other people. The only way he can do that is by being a great leader.

Most people can read this book in one sitting. I'm not most people so it takes me longer. The point is simple find time to read it if you are in a state of Flux. If you aren't ready for it, it won't do much for you. My new direct report is on fire right now. She is just blowing me away with her energy to get things done. The only thing I have really done so far is give her this book to read. She doesn't even realize that she's quoting it on a regular basis.

The Cold Weather

Just an update from my post yesterday. It was colder than I thought it would be this morning. -7 on the celcius scale. That's just a bit colder than Southern California. In fact my hands were hurting cold when I got home and I had fleece gloves on while running. Hands while running generally produce good heat. Anyway it was totally worth it. I got my hill repeats in. Scout chased a Hare, a Fox and two deer. We both will sleep well because of it.

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Tights, Jackets, hats and gloves

Marco in Lanzorate.

O.K. I'll admit it, I'm sick of getting dressed to go running in the dark. I now have a much deeper connection with all those people I used to be in contact with across the US who had to run through the winter. It just plain sucks. Tomorrow morning after crawling out of a toasty warm bed, I will wake up for 45 minutes or so and then head out the door for a set of hill repeats. (don't get to overworked by the term repeats. They will be done with a HR cieling in place) The tempreature will be somewhere around 22 and the wind is expected to be blowing which will bring the Feels Like down a few more degrees. So I'll have long thermal tights, a thermal top, a wind stopper jacket, thermal hat and gloves. It will take me what seems like a long time to get organized because of all this stuff. The first 100 or so steps will be very hard and my nice warm body gets the shock of cool seeping through the tights and around my neck. Yes of course, I will actually be sweating by the time I'm done but it's the first 5 or 10 minutes outside that are the hardest. That and the simple yet pain staking routine of layering on the clothes just to go running. I really long for the days when I can run in shorts and no shirt if I so choose. Oh and just a bit of sunshine to go with that would be good too.
Then again, who am I to complain. Scout will join me and won't give a hoot that it's cold. There are deer to chase and that makes her happy. I will be out running while most of the houses are still closed up for the night. Most of all, I am still running with no injuries and no aches and pains that I didn't know were going to be there. Nothing I do is more basic or more freedom feeling than running even if it is in what seems like the dead of winter in the Dark.
It's a good life.....

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Happy Testing Days

Today was yet another testing day. One performance and one German. I'll start with the really happy one.

Driving Test
Complete. Tomorrow I pick up my new German Driver's licence. One thing I know for sure is it pays to pay. The first time I took the driving part of the test I made a major mistake and it cost me the test. Today after driving with the instructor 4 days in the last two weeks at 35 eoru each time, I made a major mistake and the testing guy let me slide. I'm sure that my other driving during the test made up some of the blunder but there is no doubt in my mind that the 140 euro I spent driving with the instructor sure helped out. Anyway after 8 months, a CPR Course, written test and driving test I finally have the darn thing. They sure don't make it easy. But I also have to thank California for part of this. Apparently California makes it hard for Germans to get their license so Germany does the same in return.

Bike Test - March
Today was a scheduled bike test. There is slight improvement and that's all I can ask for at this stage of my training. Today was much more than a physical improvement. It was also a mental one. Last month after the first test I quit on the second test. I gathered myself up and did it but it was mentally tough. Today I finished the first, recovered and then went after the second. The second was really taxing but it felt good to stay in it mentally.

1/20 2/21 3/04
Test 1 3.98 mi 153 HR 3.98 157 HR 4.04 157 HR
Test 2 4.2 mi 153 HR 4.0 160 HR 4.05 162 HR

Each test is 12 minutes with 15 minutes of warm up before and 8 - 10 minutes between each of the tests.

It's a good life....


Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Balance thing again

Attitude is Everything!......... Who knows who first said this

This has been the subject for Marco and I over the past few weeks. He is at a stage in his live where boys begin to like girls, he's being tempted to be "cool", his homework is getting harder, and most of all he is learning to love reading and it's getting in the way of sleep. In other words he turns the light back on to read and sometimes stays up past 10:00 before we notice. This simply means he's getting less sleep. So all of this boils down to "You are your attitude". If you have a good one, you can overcome anything and you typically get what you want. If you have a bad one, bad things will happen and you surely won't get what you want.

The other day, my good friend Kristen emailed me with a concern. She has been reading the blog regularly and noticed that I'm "training" a bunch. She was worried that I was getting out of Balance and thought she should weigh in. Thanks for that Kristen, I have some explaining to do.

Family - I wouldn't say family life is perfect but we are doing well. The challenges mentioned above with Marco are all part of growing up and for the most part I think we are dealing with it well. We never expect Marco to be perfect at home, he has to have a bad attitude at home so that he doesn't have one outside of home. All indications are still that he is one of the nicer kids around. Mary, Marco and I are working on one of his projects this weekend. We are building a model Solar System which is a bit of a challenge. Marco is probably the most mechanical person in the family but his patience for mom and dad is short as he tries to explain how he wants it to work and we ask questions to try to learn. Other than this it's a weekly focus for all of us to spend quality time goofing off. This week we had Jordan and his dad over (his mom is traveling for work) dinner. Last night we all went over to another one of his buddies houses where the adults had great coversation and dinner and the kids created havok.

WORK - At the start of this week I was bored at work. We were doing our project plans for the third time because we were trying to make them work for many different people. It was boring and tedius work trying to redefine what we already defined. So I wrote in my daily Journal that typically when I'm bored at work I blow something up just so that I have something to do. I committed myself to stay the course, not blow anything up and keep things moving forward. Tuesday rolled around and the blow-ups occured without me doing anything. It was good to be involved in them even though they were monumental blow-ups. It sure made every day of the week exciting and will keep it exciting for the next few weeks. It's amazing when you peel back the onion so to speak, you find things that stink. All fixable problems and no blood was drawn, yet.

Financial - I hate to say it but thank you USA. Our computer died two weeks ago and we had to buy a new one. Since Dad is on his way in a couple weeks we thought we'd ship one to him and have him bring it. Who knew the day we bought it from Dell, the exchange rate would jump to $1.51 to 1 Euro. That means the 1300 euro computer that we paid $1100 dollars only cost us 700 euro. Those aren't the exact figures, but you get the picture. We saved a great deal of money. The Euro goes a long way right now so we are trying to take as much advantage as we can even in this increadibly Tax heavy country.

Dave's World - My posts may indicate that I've put lots of emphasis on training. Although some of that may be true, it's not anything out of this world. I'm simply telling you about it which I normally don't do. In general my "training" has been at this level or higher for most of what I can remember. I do this to release energy and to fuel the competitve side of myself. Just some indications of what it looks like right now:
Monday - Key Run - Steady State done by 6:30am - Swim all drills early evening.
Tuesday - Hard Ride on the Turbo Trainer - done by 6:30am - Core Strength in the afternoon.
Wedesday - Easy run done by 6:30am - Long Swim in the evening
Thursday - Key Run or Key Ride or Easy Run - Depends on the focus for the week along with Core strength
Friday - Varies by the week but could be long run day, or long brick (bike/run) day - All done by 7:00am
Saturday - Long bike or long run Core work in the afternoon
Sunday - Off

The younger Dave would have stuck to this schedule no matter what but today that's not close to the attitude. For instance this past week I've been taking driving lessons and because of that I did not swim at all. In other words, Dave's World does not rule my life any longer and I'm extremely flexible with it.

To conclude, I'm always working on balancing out the above. It's a never ending task but in general I'm balanced right now and it feels good. 4 weeks from today, life will balance towards work as I head out on the road to Panama, Mexico and the Boston Marathon, but as long as we see it coming and plan for it, the overall Balance doesn't have to suffer greatly.

Finally, this weekend marks the 1 year mark of my Germany stay. Last year on this day I road for 3 hours in the bright sun with a major bike crash in the middle. Today is Sunday so it's a day off but there is no way I'd be out there on my bike. Steady 30 MPH with gusts to 60MPH put a damper on bike riding. Anyway 1 year down who knows how many more to come.

It's a good life....