Thursday, September 11, 2008

Back to the gym

Ok so I knew I was a bit flabby after taking WAY too much time off after Ironman last year and never getting fully in shape afterward. But when I weighed in at Louisville at 199 and my daughter Bridget (in picture below) made a crack about me having an A cup I knew it was time to get down to business.

So, I went to Urban Active Fitness Monday and Wednesday this week and did some strength training and cardio which has me sore still today. I have found that lifting weights is really mandatory for me especially as I get older, to stay firm and lean. I did almost no lifting last year and it really cost me. This off season will be minimum three times a week in addition to my off season triathlon training. I have a new dog compliments of my friend who moved to California and left him with me. His name is Max and he is a Newfoundland / ? mix and weighs over 100 pounds. He is only a year old so I need to run him a lot to keep his energy level down so that should help too.

So stay tuned I will be posting my progress from time to time on my way to my desired weight of 185.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ironman Louisville

Well I am finally making some time to post about my second IM as I track some fellow triathletes who are on the bike course right now at Ironman Wisconsin. This has been a year for me that has thrown many challenges my way both personal and business. I don't know how many times I said to myself I am going to have to bag Ironman due to lack of training time just to have my brain shout at me "NO WAY MAN YOU HAVE TO DO IT". Even up to the last day when some craziness hit at the office I was in the process of moving out of did it continue. I called my triathlete buddies Charlie Mosbrook and Tim Ritt who I was driving up with and told them it looked like I couldn't go but that I would give Charlie my car keys to drive. Lucky for me Charlie "the simple man" Mosbrook, does not have a drivers license and reiterated to me that my problems would still be here when I got back but the bitterness of skipping the race would last a long time. Charlie has become a good friend and I envy his lifestyle of Vegan living, riding his bike to work and doing triathlon. Thanks Charlie. You were right.

When I got in the car with Charlie I was tired. I had stayed at the office until 3:30am finishing work and then ran home and packed up. I picked him up at 6am and we were on the way on one hour of sleep. A cyclist rode up to us as we were loading Charlies bike and ask us if we could go to where his friend had a flat a few miles away to change a tire. We would have had no problem doing this normally but time was an issue so we said no. We both thought it was strange for two cyclists to be miles away from home on a bike and neither one know how to change a tire but we had some fears that this would be a karma jinx! If you are a cyclist reading this and don't know how to change a flat please learn it is so simple and it sucks to have to rely on others for simple things like that which can ruin an otherwise nice day.

We picked up Tim Ritt near Cincinnati. Tim is another one of my good friends from the Cleveland Triathlon Club (CTC) and is as nuts as they get. He has already completed Ironman AZ this year, just did IM Louisville and is as I write on the bike course at IM Wisconsin. Crazy dude but a lot of fun to be around. We laughed and talked triathlon the rest of the way to the race and my attitude was much better as I left the office issues behind. We arrived in Louisville, checked into the hotel and registered, and I crashed for a couple hours. Afterward we went downtown to where a bunch of other CTC members were gathering to find a place to eat. Louisville is a really cool place and Cleveland should take note of some of the things they do there because the downtown was thriving with people taking part in several different events. There was a kids concert in a section of the town where they put a cover over a bunch of buildings and made it into a cool center with restaurants, shops etc... that was teeming with people. We walked around there a while had some appetizers and then home to bed where I really passed out and didn't budge until morning.

Saturday morning we went and did a practice swim in the Ohio River on the race course. The water was warm as could be and it was definitely going to be a no wetsuit race. Saw a bunch of Cleveland people down there and checked out the transition area. Then we went to find a Starbucks as I was jonesing for some coffee. One anomaly of the trip was this Starbucks. They were always closed! With all the thousands of people here I couldn't understand it. We also went to the expo, the supermarket Whole Foods where we had a last big meal of lots of carbs, and checked our bikes and gear into the transition area. Then it was time to just sit back and wait. We checked out the gear store, went to the hotel restaurant for a light last meal and back to the room where we did our last minute preparations.

Race day we woke up at 4am and had our pre race meals. Checked the weather report - 94 degrees and sunny - oh how nice. I had a couple bagels, a Clif bar and a banana. We hiked over to transition to put water and nutrition on the bikes and air in the tires and then we walked the mile or so to the swim start. My son Michael and the rest of "Team Carney" which consisted of Conor "the BIG C" Luskin, and Ronnie Thomas two of Michael's friends who I have known since they were little kids. Did my last minute toilet run and then back to look for Tim and Charlie who were getting a spot in line. The swim start at Louisville is not the traditional mass start instead it is a time trial start where everyone is herded into the water like cows and you jump in off a dock. I could not find Tim or Charlie but had met up with another CTC homey, Chris Phillips who had jumped in line closer so I blended in with him and waited. I was nervous but really excited and couldn't wait to hit my turn. The horn went off and the line started moving slowly at first then more quickly until the turn at the dock where is was almost a slow jog and the starter was urging us to hurry up.

The Ironman swim is usually like being in a washing machine with flailing limbs and clashing bodies similar to trout in a stream. It was strangely peaceful here as I swam alone with only occasional body contact. I did have one guy swim over me almost perpendicular and wondered where he was going. The only time it got congested was near the turn where we left a small narrow area where we had headed upstream to turn and swim back toward the finish. Once I made that turn I again was only occasionally in contact with other swimmers. I had a good swim and had no problem without the wetsuit other than the fact I chafed under my arms from the friction and it hurt a bit. I got out of the water in 1:41:28 a bit slower than I hoped.

I ran to transition and changed and when I went to the volunteers who were spraying sunscreen to get doused, I raised my arms and when they sprayed me it felt like a blowtorch. I realized the chafing under my arms was pretty bad. Jumped on my bike and off I went. I felt good and the first ten miles or so are flat, well paved and fast. It is a nice start and then you get to the meat of the course which is non stop rollers for the rest of the way. I mean non stop. My first forty five or fifty miles seemed a bit slow at times and I even had to slow down on a long steep descent where some poor girl had taken a bad spill and there was an ambulance in the road loading her up. I was able to see my son and his friends twice during the ride and that always picks me up. I got a good second wind and felt better during the second half of the ride and came in strong. It was 95 degrees by now and I am glad I took advantage of all the water on the course both to drink and to douse myself with to keep the body temperature down. I was hot heading to the transition and by now my underarms were really burning but not as much as the chafing I had developed between my legs. I could not wait to get off that damn bike.

I handed off my bike to a volunteer and went into the changing tent. I sat down feeling really tired. I slowly changed my shoes and put my gear into the transition bags and gave them to a volunteer. I should take time here to say the volunteers are fabulous and the race couldn't happen without them. They really do a great job and it is hard work doing what they do all day in the heat. I went to the table and had something to drink and took Vaseline and put it generously under my arms that by this time were ugly red and raw. Why I didn't take a handful and slap it between my legs is a mystery to me but I lived to regret it.

Off to the run. I ran out of the tent, sun screened again and ran out. I always take a little time to get my running legs under me but this was different. I was really tired, really hot, and more than a bit uncomfortable. I ran for about a half mile and came to a bridge that leads up to a turnaround and the first aid station. Knowing I was not in as good shape as last year I had decided to run to each aid station get my food and drink, and walk a little afterward. When I looked up that bridge which was fairly steep I just stopped and started walking. That took the wind out of my sails a bit and at the top I really thought I might not have it in me today to finish. That is a horrible feeling at less than mile one of twenty six so I just told myself " Suck it up Princess" and get moving. I ran after that aid station and stuck with my plan for the first four miles or so. Then my walk breaks got longer and I felt like crap for the time I was running for a few miles. Thankfully I got a second wind on the second loop and for whatever reason began to run a lot more consistently. Seeing all the CTC members and my son and his friends definitely helped a lot. It was really hot and when the sun finally went down it made life easier. The mile markers began to fall and I knew I was at least going to finish now it was a matter of how long. I wanted to get done under fifteen hours and that became my new goal. At mile twenty one a girl who doesn't know it really helped me out. See I am a bit sexist and even though there are hundreds of girls who beat me when one is close it hurts my pride to lose to her. So when this girl passed me with a smile and I was walking I said enough is enough and decided to try and run the rest of the way and to make my new goal to beat her. I ran for the next two miles walking only when she did and then skipped a rest stop thinking that would be the last time I saw her. To my dismay she passed me while I was walking after the next stop.

I had more issues by this time. The chafing between my legs had me doing a dance from time to time in an effort to avoid the skin contact. It was like a blowtorch down there and the skipping of the Vaseline came back to haunt me big. I will never forget that again believe me. Combine this with the fact that my toes were really sore (I am losing both big toenails) and I had huge blisters on the bottom of my feet just below the toes made me just one big uncomfortable mess. I saw what I thought was mile marker 24 and my spirits were lifted briefly until I realized it was mile 23. Damn! Pushed on with my strategy to run as much as I could the rest of the way and at mile 25 run in fast. Mile 25 finally came and I picked up the pace. Now I didn't measure it but I think that mile was actually two miles because the end would not come! I had a couple people trying to catch me at this point and I was not letting them pass. I finally hit the 26 mile mark and took off. I ran the two tenths of a mile to the glorious, air conditioned, finish line and slapped five with a whole bunch of spectators. The Louisville finish line was electric and the feeling was sheer ecstasy. A volunteer gave me my medal and walked with me holding my arm as I was on unsteady feet by now. She handed me off to my son and I gave him a big hug. I was done - I had gotten in under fifteen hours in ninety five degree heat after a training year from hell and I was now a two time Ironman finisher. I was feeling so good!!

I literally waddled to the building where they had food but could not eat a thing. I got a massage and went back to the hotel, got in a hot shower and screamed with pain when the water hit the delicate parts that had little skin left. I looked at my big toes and the toenails that were moving around not anchored to the tissue below any longer with liquid squeezing out of them and I looked at the huge blisters on the bottom of my feet and I had a wonderful sense of satisfaction. I had pushed this forty nine year old body to the limits once again and made it through. I put on a pair of underwear, got in bed and didn't move until morning. We were going to go eat but after finding Charlie who ended up with an IV in medical after his finish and getting him back to the room my son Michael realized were were going nowhere. He said we both appeared intoxicated and I fell asleep on the phone while talking with somebody. It was so nice to have him and his friends there to go get our bikes and gear and for support throughout the day. Thanks Michael, you are the best and I treasure the fact that we can share these times with you and your friends.

I am a week out, feeling good except for my still swollen toes that are still oozing and sore, and I will be resuming workouts tomorrow. I am hoping to do Louisville again in 09 at the ripe old age of fifty and in much better shape than this year.


Sunday, July 6, 2008

Spirit of Morgantown

Well I finally got a chance to see how fit I was with my scaled back training due to business, life, and other interruptions. If I won the lottery (which I rarely play) I would really have a chance to see how good I could be as I would work out very often. Working out is not drudgery or "something I have to do" but instead an integral part of my life that I enjoy greatly and helps to keep me in a good place mentally and physically.

The Spirit of Morgantown in Morgantown West Virginia is a fun race and I did pretty well taking into consideration the heat and the fact that I drove fifteen hours to get there and started the race with about four hours of sleep. There were also a lot of Cleveland Triathlon Club members there and it always makes for a great race when you have your local "homeys" to rely on for motivation during the day. My son Michael and his girlfriend Ashley also attended and brought along Conor "the BIG C" Luskin who has been cheering me on for years and always give me a lift when I see them.

The swim went well 39:15 which is OK for me. The bike was a little slow for me this year and I did feel kind of fatigued on the first lap. Second lap I was more awake and I was a little quicker. I was not as prepared as I should have been and forgot the straw to my aerodrink and then like a dummy poured it full of the race drink they were handing out and it splashed me in the face the whole ride and made me sticky. The bike course is really bumpy so there was no lack of splashing. The run was slow for me and hot as hell with a few brief respites of chilly rain that were very welcome. I began to cramp in the first mile which brought back a horrible memory of two years ago at the Greater Cleveland Triathlon where I cramped up very severely in every muscle below my waist for two and a half hours. The worst run of my triathlon career. Fortunately I was able to run through them this time and I immediately increased my water and food intake to make sure I was not lacking nutrients which is what I believe the problem was at GCT. I didn't cramp again until the top of "Devils Hill" which is a nasty ascent that I stubbornly decided to run up the first time around the two loop course. I finished the run with a 2:20 which was very slow and included some walking but overall I was happy with my effort and although not my best I was able to push myself through some pain and fatigue and keep moving forward which is the key at Ironman Louisville which is a short six weeks away.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Daytona Beach Bliss

Here I am over a month after my last post promising myself I will write more often. Oh well some things don't seem to change do they? I am in Daytona Beach FL looking out at the ocean and getting ready to go do a brick probably four hours on the bike and a half hour run. I am finishing up a job here after our superintendent decided he had seen enough of FL and went home. Not a bad thing sunshine and running along the ocean but I do miss my kids and the sound of their sweet little voices saying "Dad can I have some money"? (just kidding)

If it weren't for the fact that both my business and personal lives were in a bit of turmoil I would be enjoying this a lot more. Unfortunately I am dealing with a developer who would like to get in my pocket pretty severely and a client that is impossible to please who is making it easy for the developer to try and maul me. I cannot understand the mentality of some people who seem to think it is always a win/lose situation instead of working together. Business has really changed and the "you lose I win" and bottom line mentality has made work much less enjoyable. I long for the days when we did business on a handshake and everyone treated each other fairly. Our business is struggling and the future may hold some new challenges/opportunities for me.

If it weren't for working out and my family and friends I would have gone insane a long time ago or returned to my previous lifestyle of way too much partying. I find it impossible to be down in the dumps after a two hour run or fifty miles on the bike so I figure whatever time I spend doing it saves me money on anti depressants and other drugs that so many people in this country seem to be reliant upon. I do get reminders from time to time that my issues are minor compared to what some people deal with on a daily basis. I was in the Atlanta airport a few weeks ago and saw a guy who had been burned severely over his whole body. He was missing one leg, his fingers, nose and ears and was completely disfigured. But you know what? He was talking and laughing with his companion as if there were nothing wrong. I said to myself, "Jack you have no problems" and went about my day with a different attitude. I try to live my life like that and hope to be able to convey that message and attitude to my kids who I texted that day with my thoughts.

Since my last post I have been extremely busy and training has been lighter than I hoped due to being so busy and ending up here in Daytona with no bike for two weeks. I feel good though and think I am going to be ready for Ironman Louisville (ten weeks out) although probably in not as good shape as last year in Wisconsin. Hopefully the cumulative effect of training will carry me through. One nice thing about being here in FL is that I have been doing a lot of running on the beach and getting used to the heat which could be a factor in Louisville. I am doing the Spirit of Morgantown Half IronmanTriathlon in West Virginia next Sunday June 29th (first tri of the year) and that will give me some indication of my fitness.

I did the Rite Aid Half Marathon in May and was a little slower than I had liked (1:56) but was overall happy and felt good. I had the pleasure of meeting well known Fox 8 sportscaster and accomplished triathlete John Telich after the race and had a nice conversation with him and my barrista/vocalist/triathlete buddy Charlie Mosbrook. John has a great blog you can check out at called Triguyjt and Charlies is Other than that I have done no organized races but have been trying to stay in shape here in FL.

OK I have been online for too long. Time to hit the road.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Hermes 10 Miler, Buzzard Duathlon in the bag

I had a great weekend of working out starting with the Hermes 10 Miler which is a run in downtown Cleveland that I have done several times. I was wondering if I was good to go for a hard ten miler and as it turned out I was. I hit my time goal of 1:30 almost on the nose at 1:29:57. Best part was I started slow and steady and had plenty in the tank when I finished up the hilly last mile or so. Sunday was more hills with the Buzzard Duathlon, a 3 mile run, 15 mile bike, and 3 mile run. The bike course is five laps of the run and it is a loop with several hills that are challenging especially on the second run. Although I watched with a bit of jealousy as the younger faster racers start their runs as I am still on my last bike lap, I was happy with my time of 1:44:30 and the fact that I was able to pass four people on the run and hold off a late challenger to finish strong. A nice therapeutic swim Monday capped off the great weekend.

Starting to feel good. Now I just need to drop about ten more pounds and I will be ready and raring to go for Ironman Louisville.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Anyone want a kitty?

Finally a beautiful day to train in Cleveland. Did a three and a half hour ride today followed by a twenty minute run. It felt good to be out in the sunshine. This was my second long outdoor ride and run brick. I am feeling stronger now and ready to ramp up the training.

We have six baby kittens at home now having not gotten our kitten (Cash) spayed in time. Now three weeks later we have her offspring and I am trying to get rid of all of them but one. We had a minor tragedy the other night when one of my daughters friends stepped on one of them and hurt it pretty bad. Took it to the vet the next day (another 139 bucks down the tubes) and they said no broken neck as we had thought but it is still acting funny two days later and we have to feed it by hand. Don't know if the poor thing is going to make it.

Anyone want a kitty?

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Long ride today. Nice time to start writing in this blog again.

I am going to now try to start writing in this damn thing from now until IM Louisville and keep a good log of my workouts and ups and downs. Right now is a pretty crazy time in my life with business being very bad and my future in business uncertain at best so working out has taken a bit of a back seat although it keeps me sane. I do have a couple of new biz ventures I am working on check out my YTB Travel site at where you can save money on travel, hotel and rental car. For very reasonable legal coverage at a low monthly cost go to You get a will done and access to attorneys for any issues you have both large or small for a very low monthly cost. My brother Chris Carney is the best lawyer in town but prepaid legal allows me to not bug him so much and have access to attorneys out of his area of expertise which is personal injury. I also have not updated my will in years prior to getting this coverage.

I have been very light in the workout department since IM MOO and thanks to Mark Gorris a friend from the Cleveland Triathlon Club (CTC ) I have finally started working hard on the bike in the last six weeks after joining his CompuTrainer Challenge and learning how to train with both wattage and heartrate to become a stronger rider. Mark is also going to help me with workouts this year leading up to Ironman. CTC has been such a great resource for me and I have made a ton of new friends and workout partners who have helped me so much in my short triathlon career. Did my first long ride today of about 3hrs in a cold rain with several of my CTC homeys, Rob R, Aussie Rob, Katie, Morena, Ryan, Tim, Dave and a couple others. Other than the fact I didn't wear my foot warmers and my feet were like lumps of clay by the end when Ryan and I went for a short run, overall it felt great to be outside riding for a while. My legs are shot but I feel great and now all I need to do is lose some damn weight. Tomorrow I have a run scheduled we will see how my sore knee feels in the am. I'm out.