Sunday, November 14, 2010

WWPD - 2011 Goals

Based on the crazy year I've had, one in which I'm happy to put behind me I've taken a different approach to my goals. My Dad (Papi) is not here to provide input but I sure can use his life as a guide to what would make the most impact on my life. So the goals are titled WWPD (What Would Papi Do) goals.

Marriage - Simply put my goal is to put Mary first in everything I do. Through all the things flying around if Mary goes first we all win. She deserves that kind of attention and she will get it.

Marco - We are going to learn something together. We'll work on it this winter and by spring we'll make it ours. It will really be up to him. I know what I want to learn but if it's not what he wants we won't do it.

Money - Save, Save and Save. Our current savings rate is about 15% of our income. My goal is to get it closer to 25% of my income. In this world where we are lucky to have a job, a 25% savings is the smart thing. To do this I'm going to have to cut some of the things I take for granted. More on this as the year goes on. Any suggestions would be great.

Motivation - Papi spent the last 20 years of his life continually refining his faith. I think I need to do the same thing and first up may be that I define it. Then I need to continually refine it. I think this leads me to question it all. I can say right now that I don't define myself by a religion. Some heavy research is needed here. Some help or direction from others is welcome.

Me - I split me into two places that matter most.

1. Competition - I can't lie, I still want to compete. Last year I did zero in this world. At the end something had to give. My "Fitness" didn't give but I did no racing. So in 2011 I plan to do an Ironman and to do well in it. What that mean's is I have to cross the line and feel like I gave it everything and the results show. I also have to do this in the scope of everything here. I've been known in my younger days to put this first. That will not get me anywhere.

2. Relationships - This is one Papi was a master of. He had more personal relationships then anyone I know. I have 360 or so friends on my Facebook page but I don't know how many are truly personal. That needs to change. So my goal is to develop relationships all year long. This is probably the biggest stretch for me. Personal is the hard part. I have lots of relationships but personal is not what I would call them.

Now if I read this as Papi I think he would sign up for it. Put family first, take care of your money, build relationships and realize you are just a part of something bigger.

It's a good life...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Papi Day Mountain Bike Ride

I went for a ride today on the Mountain Bike. I had planned to meet up with friends but I forgot that the main group was out of town so the extended group wouldn't meet up. Silly me for not checking. But this gave me a chance to ride my own pace and to do some reflecting. Well at least I could do some reflecting when I wasn't on the rivet going up or holding on for dear life going down.
Today officially marks one year since my Dad Passed away. In fact it was one year ago on this particular Saturday. It was a rough year. Not because I sat around miserable because he is gone but I had life moments this year, more than I ever imagined and he wasn't there like he has always been. That fact didn't really hit me until this week and it was a big realization for me. I can only imagine what I looked like from the outside. You see, my Dad was always there to talk me through the challenges. Without that I think I let the challenges brew. And in that I think I've been walking around most of the year pissed off. Well that's done folks. No more!
I have a plan with how to get unpissed and that will be covered tomorrow when I throw out my goals. So back to the ride. It was as perfect a morning for mountain biking as you could ask for. That's November in San Diego. Crystal clear morning, sun and no wind. I got lost for a time but that's normal for me. I'm always looking for trails I've never been on. Then I just find my way back. I made it back so it couldn't have been that bad.

The View from the top of the hills I was on. That's the Pacific way out there.
I made it to this point pedaling. This was hard!

Dad, thanks for the morning.

It's a good life....

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Be Real

Social Media - This Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Link In. There is more social media to attend to then there is time in the day. Or so it seems anyway. My goal is to keep it real. To stay away from the endless politics, to keep it light and to stay away from it for days at a time.

It's a good life...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Float - To glide across the earth without bounce, without strain and with purpose.

Marco and I have been working on Float. It's very important in running to float. Every runner from time to time does not float. It wasn't until my last trip to china that I found my float. I noticed recently while Marco was running that he was bounding. We had a workout given by his coach yesterday to run 600m repeats. We ran side by side and focused on float. The more he found his float the faster he ran. There was a father on the track watching his daughter play field hockey. He said in amazement "I've never seen a kid that young run like that, it is beautiful". Float.

But float is not just running. Float should be life. Glide across the earth without bounce, without strain and with purpose.

It's a good life....


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Rock

Today I found out that Larry "King" Solomon has Prostate Cancer. You know it's serious disease when it hits someone you know. Larry and I worked for 12 years together at Road Runner Sports. He still works there. I titled this post "The Rock" because that is what Larry is to us. First of all he's the guy who can forecast like nobody I know. If you need to know how many running shoes to buy, give Larry a nod and a few key details on what you like or don't like about a shoe and he'll hit a forecast. Can you say inventory Turn? Besides that Larry is the guy you go to for a good word. He's the guy you go to just to chat. He's the guy you go to for direction on what's important. For Larry it's his kids. Both kids are simply great models of what a kid should be. Obviously Mrs. Solomon has a great deal to do with this too but Larry devotes his life to those kids. On a regular basis, Larry gives this big Sigh. Not the Sigh like a Black Lab just before he falls asleep. But the Big Sigh that says it's time to get to work. When you here it, you simply want to join in and get to work with him.
Now I say I worked with Larry for 12 years. I think he's worked there for more than 20 years. He's one of the many at that company that nobody knows about, but those who have dealt with the company have dealt with something or someone who has been touched by the Larry "King" Solomon. The next time you go to that huge retail store in San Diego or you order something from that monster website, give a big thanks to Larry and send good vibes his way. He's in for the fight of his life.

Larry my personal message to you is fight it and live it like you do everything. Put your head down and get it done. We'll be with you physically or emotionally the entire way. Oh and may your Chiefs play better for the rest of the season. Did I really just say that? We love you Larry.

It's a good life...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Be Prepared

Today I met some friends for a Mountain Bike Ride. I hadn't really ridden my bike since I packed it up to ship it home from Germany. In Germany it was rather difficult to keep up with cleaning and care of the bike. When ride after ride was done in the rain on trails it was tough to get everything out. So today, I hopped on the bike only to find that yes, it showed it's wear. The tires were almost bald. The cables were beyond stretched. The front shifting didn't work and the shocks were like riding on a swiss ball. So on the steep climbs I was riding the equivalent of the big gear. On the descents I could squeeze the brakes to full power and still would struggle to control around the corners. Add to that I didn't know where we were going and it made for an interesting ride.
But I learned something out there. Or I should say I relearned something out there. Things are never going to be perfect. Sometimes they will almost be a disaster. But if you keep your head about you, and focus on the good stuff (like today, on the trails, home not traveling, hanging with friends no cars, not grumpy people and pushing the Heart Rate up) things will turn out ok. Yes, I'm feeling the effort of climbing steep hills in the big gear but it's a good feeling.

And the bike, well it went to the shop today for a total overhaul. One day riding like that is ok. Two days riding like that is stupid.

It's a good life...

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Free Night

When time permits, take a free night. Tonight without any notice, Mary and I get a free night. Good food good times await.


Monday, November 1, 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Ironman Story

Yep Godfather's Pizza. Probably the only time that logo has been on the Hawaii course. Marco says "A speedo, Really Dad". The first version of the Profile Bars. Before bike fit was the thing. Yes, the long torso and the short top were not a good combination. My back got fried.
Finishing down Pay n Save. Those are the Saucony Azura ST. Year #1 for that classic shoe. I had to have them. Imagine that, I was a shoe geek then too!

My Ironman Story

As I head to the Big Island of Hawaii I’m reminded with lots of emotion of my first trip to Hawaii. I’ve been to the big Island 4 times before this trip. I went 3 times to do the famed Ironman Triathlon World Championships and once to catch a really big Blue Marlin. After the first time I vowed never to go there unless I was doing the race. I broke that vow to go fishing. Now I’m breaking it again to go work.

It was the Winter/Spring of 1986. I was sitting in the living room of the house I shared with 4 guys. It was our last year of college. I had done two triathlons and was gearing up for the upcoming season. I already considered myself a Triathlete. We were watching the coverage of the 1985 Ironman World Championships. One of my roommates makes the comment “Dave, you should do that.” They all chime in “yeah, you should do it”. My response, “those people are fucking crazy, there is no way I’m ever doing that.”

Fast forward to 1988. I’m living in Leucadia California with Tim Sheeper and I’m living the triathlon dream. We train all week, race every chance we can and work as little as possible. Tim worked less and raced faster. I was not ultra fast so I worked more and trained a bit less. Our training partners were the who’s who of the sport. We had both made a few attempts to qualify for Kona but with little success. Our goal race was in August, the then long course National Championships Texas Hill Country Triathlon in San Antonio.

We roll into that race on a slim budget and hopes to do well. Texas Hill country was my kind of race. 46 hills in 48 miles and then a hot and hilly 10 mile run. The race felt good. At the awards ceremony Tim gets called up for his stellar pro race. Then they roll through the age groups. I managed 2nd in my age group and I felt really good. Next up they start calling out Ironman Qualifiers. Tim and I look at each other with this scared kind of look. Both our names are called. Like today, you had to sign up right then. Both of us were relatively broke but we both had to take the slot. We were in and we had 8 weeks to get ready.

We got home and hit it hard. Our constant training partner was Mark Montgomery (Monty). Monty was a stud athlete everywhere but Kona. He had tried multiple times but never finished. He was giving it another go. Since he had done it, we tried as hard to do his training. It was sick training. Hard and long for as long as we could go. For our long runs we brought in Gordy Haskins yes that Gordy to push us through stupid long runs. By the end of 8 weeks I think we could just say we were tired. Luckily I worked at Godfathers Pizza so food was not a problem. A large veggie Pizza every night hit the spot.

Race week came fast. We were in Kona Saturday, 1 week before the race. This was a time when people didn’t show up to the sleepy little town until the last week. I remember it like it was yesterday. I stepped off the plane and the blast of the oven hit me. The first thing through my head, “I’m running a Marathon in this heat.” We continued our training. Not quite as long or as hard but we were out there every day. On race morning I was at the peak of fitness. I was 5 feet 10 inches, the same I am today, and I weighed in at 129lbs not quite where I am today. I was lean.

The cannon boomed and we were off. This is it, the Ironman World Championships. The meanest of the mean. All I remember about the swim was how long it was. Never in my life had I ever gone so far without a wall. I remember making the turn and looking up and realizing this was going to be a very long day. I made it to the beach in about 70 minutes. Transition was a rush and then we were off on the bike.

The bike felt easy. Too easy! I was rolling along for the first 10 miles. Where’s the heat, where’s the wind? About 15 miles in I go by a struggling Tim Sheeper. He says he doesn’t know what’s wrong but that he’ll continue. I keep riding on. By the time I get to the hills to Hawi the field is thinning out. At the turn around I’m riding along with this guy. He turns to talk to me. “Don’t worry about the riders in front, they’ll all start coming back to us on the way back. What’s your name he asks” I give him my name and ask him his, Kevin Moats. Crap that’s not good. Mr. Moats is an unreal athlete. At this time of his triathlon career he was a top 10 Kona athlete. Here I was riding along side of him. Either he was having a bad race or I was in over my head. He had a great race, mowing down the field on the run.

On the way back to town I began to struggle. Each hill seemed mountainous. The wind although slight for the year was still not fun. Who turned on the oven. With about 15 miles to go Tim goes flying by and this time he’s asking me if I’m all right. I nod and wish him well. Back through town I start to feel ok and actually looking forward to the run. 5:05 on the bike.

Into transition and out again I’m on my turf. Running was and is my thing. I’m feeling fairly good and seem to be rolling along. What’s the big deal with the Ironman. I’m clipping along, nothing hurts and I feel good. As I’m running up Pay n Save hill I run up on Monty. He’s had another stellar swim and bike. He looks over and says “Dave, this isn’t a 10K”. I look over and want to say but don’t “Monty, just finish this thing and don’t worry about me”.

My favorite Monty Ironman story goes like this. He’s in his usual spot off the bike. Somewhere in the top 20. He’s been pushing the bike hard. As he starts running he really starts to suffer. He comes to his hotel and decides he needs a break. He goes to his hotel room lays down and turns on college football. Sometime after that he wakes up. Standing up he notices he feels good. He heads out his door and starts running again. This run doesn’t go any better than the first one. Somewhere out on that highway Monty collapses and they cart him off in an Ambulance.

At the left hand turn the road stretches out. It’s so hot nothing feels like it can cool me down. All of a sudden I hit a wall. A wall of heat that stops me dead. I’m forced to walk. For the next 10 miles I do some combination of running and walking. It starts first as a run between the aid stations and I walk the aid stations. But as I go on there is more walking than running. If only I can run to that pole. Now my feet are hurting my stomach is hurting and my head is about to explode. I stop drinking anything but Coke. I’m now at mile 20 way behind my expected finish coming off the bike. It feels like I’ve been passed by everyone in the race. Suddenly something strange happens, I start running again. The pain everywhere but my feet is gone. My head is clear. Everyone heading in the opposite direction already has their glow sticks in hand. I’m going to finish in daylight.

Running down Pay n Save hill hurts but I can hear the finish line. When I make the turn on Ali’I drive I’m flying. This is a feeling like no other. This finish line is everything and more. My run time 4:15. My total time 10:30.

Both Tim and Monty finished that day. Tim about 45 minutes in front of me and Monty a bit behind.

I learned lots that day. I’m a fast starter. Ironman takes patience. I can come back from the depths of pain. The human body is an amazing peace of engineering. To be able to go that long and be in that bad of shape only to recover while in the act, crazy. I’ve done plenty of Ironman races since this one. I’ve gone much faster and I’ve gone slower. I don’t really remember any of them, only this one. In fact I still have strong memories of the smell of the clothes when I picked them up the following day. It’s not a pretty smell but a fond one. A smell of hard work and a memory I will never forget.

It’s a good life…


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Making a List and Checking it twice

Are you a big list writer. I really tend not to be. I try to keep life simple enough so that I don't need a list of things to get done. That doesn't mean there aren't things to get done just that everything is generally manageable and I simply have it under control. This week though is different. It's a short week leading up to back to back trips. If things don't get done this week it will cause heart ache at home, head ache in my head and financial ache for Zoot. So here's my list.

1. Fin Cog - The Zoot Financial model that needs completion on Friday.
2. Sunscreen - That doesn't hurt the living things in Hawaii
3. Board Shorts - Need those
4. Electrician - We've been living with out light in the bathrooms for too long.
5. Vacation - My turn to plan the vacation for December.
6. 401K - Read Heart ache
7. Marco College fund - Read Heart Ache
8. Demo shoes shipped to Kona
9. NYC Marathon trip booked
10. Pack for 11 days in Kona
11. Book Hotels for China Trip
12. Print 2012 Blueprints - New Shoes!
13. Pay Amex
14. Skis and Snowshoes - See #5
15. Shoes for Matt Long
16. Make sure Sam and Luke are happy with their feet
17. Breathe
18. Cross Country Practice, Practice, Race

It's a good life.....

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Everything is in Front of You

2009 Cross Country National Championships - Reno

The other night I was watching Marco running some hard 400’s on grass. Ever since he started this cross country thing he’s had a habit of looking over his shoulder. The other night on his 400’s either the light was right or my eye’s finally saw it but I saw the results. Each time he looked over his shoulder he lost two steps to the runner in front or to the side of him. He would make up the two steps but at what cost. At first like I’ve done in the past I wanted to catch him after one of the efforts and explain what I saw. But he’s taught me over the past few months that he doesn’t respond to that kind of thing. So I waited. Before his race on the weekend I sent him a text message because I couldn’t be there. The only thing I told him was “The race is always in front of you. What’s behind you doesn’t matter. Only what’s in front” Isn’t that really true for everything we do. We can learn from what’s behind us but we can never go back so why even look back. The best things will happen up front. They always do.

It’s a good life….


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Time Travel

When is Time Travel coming up? I've decided to just roll with it and get stuff done when I can. I tried to get back on my normal schedule Up at 4, Working out at 5, done at 6:15, Marco off to School at 6:45 and me out the door at 7:00. My head said go, my body said stop. So I got the workout done but not until after Marco left for school. It will get better for sure. It always does but Time Travel please come when you can.

It's a good life...

Monday, September 20, 2010


Athletes are losing their luster. This year alone the mighty have fallen. If I were an athlete at the top of my game I would put my head down, be thankful for what I get and I would shut up. Unfortunately, just like Bankers and Oil Companies, when one really screws up everyone takes a beating.

Good thing we have athletes who are still winning and being humble about it.

It's a good life....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Running Is Universal

The last two times I've been to China I've been reminded that running is Universal. Both trips included a run where I was joined mid run by a local runner. In both runs my run partner didn't speak English and I certainly don't speak Chinese. The language we spoke was running. First is the language of pace. Miles/minute or Kilometers/minute are the same no matter where you go. Pace is pace and if two runners are running the same pace then they are speaking the same language. But was is even more amazing is space. Runners have a unique ability to measure space. We both see the person on the bike and instinctively we know which way to move. To know that you have to know which way the other runner is moving. Again, it's universal.

It's a good life....