ragnar, running, soldiers, triathlon

3 Easy Ways To Say Thank You To Our Veterans

No Comments 11 November 2011

Today is Veterans Day, a day we remember and say thank you to those who’ve served and given their lives to protect our freedoms.   I decided to ask my friends who are veterans if they suggested any ways civilians like myself might be able to say thank you.  The first two below are organizations that were very near to their hearts, and were suggested by multiple people.  I also included some additional links.

We wouldn’t have the lives and freedoms we have today without our soldiers and veterans.  Please make sure to thank them today!

The photo above is of a young boy name Christian, son of Staff Sgt. Marc Golczynski, accepting his father’s flag at his funeral.  Marc’s friend Daryl Mackin realized that Christian would never again receive a present from his father, and that there were children all over the country who would never again receive a present from their fathers or mothers who had lost their lives defending our country.
Christian’s father wrote this in a letter to his mother shortly before he died in combat:

“We are warriors… we fight and sometimes die so that our families don’t have to… Stand beside us.”
The goal of A Soldier’s Child Birthday foundation is to do just that- stand beside fallen soldier’s families.  They aim to honor the memory of the parent by giving a meaningful gift to his/her children on their birthday.  If you’d like to help, you can do so here.



The Wounded Warrior Project assists soldiers who’ve been injured in action.  Being into triathlons and endurance events, I especially have a heart for the sporting portion of this group. It was great to see the soldiers with the Wounded Warrior Project running at Ragnar Tennessee last weekend.

Next year I hope to ride during another event of theirs, The Soldier Ride.  These rides take place around the country (including Nashville), and raise funds for the project.  If you’d like to donate or participate in a ride, you can do so here.

Special Operations Warrior Foundation
Special Operations Warrior Foundation provides scholarships and counseling to families and children of fallen or severely wounded special operations soldiers.   You can donate here.

A friend of mine let me know her husband lost his best friend last year in the well publicized Blackhawk helicopter crash, leaving behind his wife and four children- one who had only been with his daddy four weeks of his life.  The Special Operations Warrior Foundation gave his children scholarships.  As she put it so well, “It is strange to have it so close to home.  I think what most do not realize is the compounded effect of the loss of one life. It’s not just the families, it’s the brothers and friend as well.  Much like a pebble in the lake the ripple is huge! “

SUPPORT OUR TROOPS (http://troopssupport.com/)
This site contains links to several organizations that support our troops, including Operation Mom, Hugs for Heroes, and others.

It just takes a few minutes to give back and say thanks today!

ragnar, running, triathlon

Running Ragnar TN, 2012!

No Comments 03 November 2011

I’m running 196 miles with my Ragnar Relay team over mountains and through the night (last year, through sleet, rain and snow), 30 hours straight, from Chattanooga to Nashville Friday (aka tomorrow) and Saturday.  Follow, donate (please, it’s for an awesome cause!), and cheer!

Where are we? We’ll be posting handoffs, photos, and videos throughout the day and night!
Twitter @SHMinistry
Facebook.com/servantsheartministry (NOTE: twitter updates will be more frequent)
Youtube.com/12ozofawesome (you can see several videos from last year already, more going on through the race)

In theory, here is where I’ll be:
At 1:02PM on Friday- http://www.ragnarrelay.com/race/tennessee/legs/5 (somewhere between Chattanooga and Jasper, TN)
At 11:39PM on Friday night- http://www.ragnarrelay.com/race/tennessee/legs/17 (in the wilderness near Lynchburg, TN)
At 8:35AM on Saturday morning- http://www.ragnarrelay.com/race/tennessee/legs/29 (cruising from Page High School to Trinity Park in Franklin)

Brian Lord: www.firstgiving.com/brianlord  (Krista, the girls and I will be visiting these kids next spring).

MAPS: http://www.ragnarrelay.com/race/tennessee/course_maps

Thanks for your support!

In a nutshell, this past year, Servants Heart Ministry’s donations were down, so they had a tough decision- do they A) still serve chicken, rice, and beans for their meals, but stop feeding as many kids in Santiago, Dominican Republic, or B) feed as many kids, but cut out the chicken. Rob (my good friend, SHM co-founder, and one of our runners) told me the story of the time he had to be the person at the end of the food line, and had the difficult job of telling a grandmother that they didn’t have enough food for her grandchild- basically, that they had to turn her away and the child would have to go hungry.  So the decision was made- the kids would lose the chicken, but at least the same number of kids would have something until donations came back up.

So, we’ve set a goal of raising $2,675 (the cost of chicken for one month for the kids in the program), so all the kids can have chicken (and the much needed protein it provides) for December- sort of a Christmas present. (as of Thursday morning, we’re at $1,495)


active.com, athlinks, belmont, cool running, daily mile, running, triathlon, vanderbilt

My Top Five Favorite Running/Triathlon Links

No Comments 25 October 2011

Here are my top five favorite running links.  Some, I visit several times a week (or even daily, in the case of Bonktown), and they’ve all made planning run and triathlon training easier or more fun.

5. Cool Running Pace Calculator–   – I need every little victory I can get, and seeing that I dropped a 6 mile run pace from 9:21 to 9:15 per mile is a big plus.

4. G-Map Pedometer – brought to you by your friends at Google.  I use this to map out all my new runs ahead of time.  You can also use the elevation feature to see where the hills are- if you’re training for a race with big hills at miles 3 and 8, you can set up your training run to do the same.  You can also share your routes with friends, or people you’re inviting to run with you so they can stake it out ahead of time. Here is the Belmont-Vandy route I ran when I lived in that area. (By the way, all the Vanderbilt people reading this are really upset that I called it the “Belmont-Vandy” route instead of the “Vandy-Belmont” route, and almost made them spit out their chardonnay in disgust at being mentioned after Belmont.)

3. Daily Mile (with Electric Miles App)- .   #5 and #4 have more to do with planning and results. This has more to do with accountability.  Daniel C. White suggested this to me as a way to keep not just friends in the loop, but people who read my blog as well (you can see it over on the right).  It just looks bad if I haven’t put anything on for a day or two.  There’s also a nice little app (you can find it under Electric Miles in the App Store) that you can put on your phone to more easily download your info, and it just pops up on your blog.  If you decide to friend me on Daily Mile, you’ll get to see my picture of when I had an awesome Geraldo mustache!

2. Athlinks–  Once you sign up, it automatically adds in your races (you can usually find the race and add it if it misses).  I love to back and see the 39 of the 40 or so races I’ve done over the past 8 years, compare all my times, split them up into years or events, and see the improvement.  You can also pull up and compare how you’re doing against your ‘rivals’ (people who you may not even know who run 3 or more of the same races you’ve run) and your friends as well- kind of a facebook for runners.

1. Bonktown– This site has helped me save a TON of money.  I still strongly encourage folks to make their big purchases from their local bike/running/tri shops- but for certain things or taking risks on new products, Bonktown is great.  Every 20 or 30 minutes, a crazy 50%-90% off deal comes up (you can set it so the bottom right hand of your browser shows what is currently offered). I’d heard how bib shorts are all the rage, but they’re three times as expensive as regular bike shorts- UNLESS you get them on Bonktown.com.  I ended up getting a matching Castellini jersey ($99) and bib shorts ($129) for $110 total- not any more than I’d pay for regular bike shorts and a jersey, and they’ve been great- now I only want to wear bib short. I also get my Accel Hydro ($16 instead of $40) and some various odds and ends there like arm warmers, tri tops, or sunglasses.  Great site.

nintendo, running, snake, spider

What’s Your Best Spider or Snake Story?

1 Comment 02 September 2011

Corn Spider- actual size

When you end up running 5 or 6 miles with your neighbor several times a year, you have to come up with new things to talk about (after the burping and farting jokes are exhausted, which has only taken us 4 years).

Today we somehow ended up talking about our best spider stories, after we ran under a tree with a beast the size of your hand, hanging in a massive web.  Until the age of seven, I lived on a farm where the cornfield came right up to our yard.  I loved to run through the tall cornstalks (every tall, especially to a 5-year-old) and pretend like I was lost in a maze.  One day I was running at full speed, and nearly ran through a big corn spider’s web, which is face high to a little kid. I stopped with the massive black and gold spider a couple inches from my nose, the turned and ran home as fast as I could.

My neighbor Daniel was a city kid who never actually ran through corn fields, so he has no cool spider stories.  Maybe he saw a spider in an airport sometime or something.

The spider discussion led naturally to snakes, and luckily Daniel had a story of finding a copperhead coiled in their garden hose one time, which his dad dispatched by cutting it to pieces with a shovel.  My best snake story (other than seeing a large blue-colored snake sunning itself just under a bridge near our old farm house) came at Davey Ross’s 8th birthday party sleepover.  That night I remember being completely freaked out by the giant wolf at the end of The Never Ending Story, and I had to watch both Apple Dumpling Gang I and II in order to come down.  The next morning, we decided to run around outside because Davey’s family ‘lived on some land’, as they liked to say, with a nearby creek.  Not too far from his garage we saw a small water moccasin winding across his driveway.  He ran into the garage, put one of his big, padded, winter mittens with just the thumb, and picked up the water moccasin.  We gathered around in a circle to look. Unfortunately, he’d picked it up in the middle, rather than right under its head.  While Davey was frozen in horror, the snake started whipping its head down, biting and pulling out pieces of the mitten.  Davey came to, threw the snake as far as he could, and then we all sprinted back into the house.  Luckily, Nintendo had recently been invented, so we were able to finish out the morning in a calmer, safer fashion, by battling trolls and Koopa Troopers and what not.

So what is your best spider or snake story?  Comment below!

(If my mom doesn’t leave the story of her family’s unofficial pet in the comments section, I’m going to be upset!)

kick irrational, risk, running

Hang Gliding Comic

No Comments 16 June 2011

Click comic to enlarge

 I wrote this comic as a reminder to myself that I need to take the safe path less often.  After being in the music industry, I swore I wouldn’t go on a date with a professional singer, and ended up marrying one.  I laughed a friend who decided to run for an entire hour, and now I do marathons and triathlons. I couldn’t believe people would actually go to a book store, pick out random books and read them, but years later I was really sad when our Borders closed down.  I’m still who I am, but I’m glad I’m not who I was.

PS- I realized too late that I misspelled ‘rather’, and now the original of this comic is gone and I can’t change it.  Oh, well.

coke, running, sweet tea, triathlon

Did A Month Without Coke (a-Cola) really work?

No Comments 04 April 2011

Back on February 28, I said I’d throw away a dollar bill every time I drank a Coke or a sweet tea.  Why? 
Despite working out a decent amount, I’d plateaued in the weight-loss/fat-loss department.

I was also curious to know if I could actually do it, being a fairly well-known Coke (a-cola) addict, even in Haiti. In the past, I’ve tried to quit drinking Coke, only to get hooked on sweet tea.

I also thought more about how Coke isn’t just something to drink, its also been a crutch/relief during hard or sad times. Even more than wanting a Coke with salty foods or going to the movies, the hardest times this month to not have a Coke were when I was frustrated or in a funky mood.

As far as working out went, in March- 6450 swim (about 4 miles), 141.28 miles biked, and 41.04 miles run.  Not a lot for a triathlete, but probably more than the average human.  I only lifted weights once, which is a bit down, but I’ve gone months without lifting before.

In putting down my workout totals every week, I found out something else. I’ve shared workout stats with a few friends before, but never ‘publicly’.  In the past, I’ve kinda been taking a week off each month.  This time, I couldn’t suddenly drop from a 1500/35 mile bike/10 mile run week down to nothing- so the March blog’s helped with that, too.

OK, now to answer the question- did dropping Coke and sweet tea from my life for a month really make a difference?

February 28: Weight – 191.2 pounds: 20.4% body fat
April 1:         Weight – 187.0 pounds: 19.3% body fat

That comes out to a loss of 4.2 pounds, about a pound a week, and a drop of 1.1% body fat. That’s good, I guess, especially since I didn’t really change anything else. Part of my was hoping I’d drop 10 or 12 pounds, but I probably needed to combine the no-Cokes with part of my diet.  In any case, it was fun, it was great to have people support me…and, it leads me to my next project.

How to Bring Back The Chicken.  What?  You’ll soon see!

kick irrational, running, snow

Classic Kick

No Comments 19 January 2011

I’m famed/mocked for loving to run in the elements.  Every PR (personal record) I’ve had has been at or below freezing.

missions, ragnar, running

My Ragnar Route

No Comments 13 October 2010

I’m running a 195-mile relay race from Chattanooga called the Ragnar Relay (www.ragnartn.com).  We’re raising money to help feed kids in the Dominican Republic through a ministry called Servants Heart Ministry (www.servantsheartministry.com).  We’ll each run three legs of varying lengths.  I’m in the middle speed-wise, so I get two ‘hards’ and one ‘moderate’, for a total of about 17 miles.  We’ll have two vans of six runners each, so one van will follow their six runners, while the other van rests, then we play hopscotch.

Our team starts at 10AM Eastern, but since I’m runner 10 of 12, I don’t get to start to that evening. Here is where I’ll be running my first leg of the relay, around 6:30PM Eastern time on Friday, Nov 5.  I get the joy of running 6.5 miles up a mountain in Monteagle!

I’ll get into a van, wait a couple hours as our Van 2 runners finish, then go to a rest area for another few hours.  Then we’ll hop back in our van, and eventually I’ll get my ‘easy’ run as I cruise through Shelbyville, TN, about 3:35AM Central. (we’ll have crossed into a new time zone by that point).

Then back into the van, wait for our other two runners to finish, then head to Franklin for a few hours sleep. 

About 2:37PM, I’ll get my third and final run through Belle Meade into Green Hills.  You wouldn’t believe it, but they rate this one as being harder than the run up Monteagle.  Must be all the Belle Meade bling.

You can follow our progress at twitter.com/shministry, or on facebook.com/servantsheartministry.

If you’d like to donate (suggested is $25), go to www.firstgiving.com/brianlord.  Thanks for helping!


nutrition, running, triathlon

My Racing Weight

No Comments 17 May 2010

I’ve enjoyed running and competing in triathlons, but my weakness (or biggest weakness) has been the nutrition side of things. I’ve decided to go hook, line and sinker with Matt Fitzgerald and his book Racing Weight as my nutrition guide.  Rather than having a focus strictly on losing weight, the focus is on finding your ideal body composition.  I think I’m more driven by competition rather than looks, so this has greater appeal to me. I’m not completely finished with the book yet, but I have been able to set some rough goals.  I mentioned in an earlier blog that I’d enjoyed some years in the 180s.  Given the events and stresses of the start of this year, I’d gone up to 194 lbs and 22% body fat by the end of April.  Fitzgerald wrote the book both for professionals and age-groupers (where I’d fit in), and suggested that age-groupers try to move up just one level of body composition performance to the next, rather than go from couch potato to pro.  Therefore, my goal is to get to 14.9% body fat, which should equate to something like 179 lbs if I don’t loose to much muscle.   I did go out and buy a body fat scale and even the Forze snack bars he recommends.

So far, so good- I’m sure it helped being sick this weekend, but according to my new scale, I’m down to 187.8 lbs and 19.5% body fat.

running, triathlon

My 2010 Triathlon Race Schedule

No Comments 26 April 2010

I’m very excited about having my first ‘full’ triathlon season. If you’re a member of USAT (USA Triathlon), you need need to complete 3 USAT sanctioned events before you qualify for a national ranking. I might be 74,398 out of 75,202, but at least I’ll be ranked! Plus, having run the Miami Marathon (26.2 miles) and Country Music Half Marathon (13.1 miles) already this year, I’m glad I don’t have to run more than 6 miles at any point this summer. I plan on doing one a month.

June 5- Mach 10 Triathlon, -16 mile bike only, doing a relay with Kevin Herrington (swim) and Eddy (run). Set up another relay team of Michael Norvell (swim), Shawn Ellis (bike), and Tom Harmon (run).

June 12- Harpeth River Ride (42 mile version) I’d love to do this one, but fear it might be overkill. 1,500 riders with a police escort through Cool Spring to downtown Franklin, out into the country. Pretty cool!

June 26- Old Hickory Lakes Triathlon, (400 yd swim / 1.5 mi run / 12.5 mi bike / 1.5 mi run)
July 24- Lake James Triathlon, Nebo (Winston-Salem), NC- Swim 750 meters, Bike 22 Miles, Run 3.1 Miles
July 25- Music City Sprint Triathlon, Nashville, TN- 400 yd swim / 20k bike / 5k run.
August 28- Cedars of Lebanon, Lebanon, TN- Swim 300 yards, Bike 16.5 mikes, Run 3 miles
August 29- Rocketman Triathlon, Huntsville, AL- Swim 1500 meters, Bike 24.9 miles, Run 6.2 miles

So, what are your plans for staying in shape and having fun this summer?

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