Awsome new look...Same great flavor!

1 year
140.6 miles
8:59:59 OR LESS!
That's the game

Friday, November 16, 2012

That was kinda' "bitchy!"

Hooray for the Commander!  She just completed her first OFFICAL marathon!  The ORIGINAL marathon at that...from Marathon to Athens.  It kicked the shit out of Phillipides so badly that it killed him, but not the Commander.  She rocked it in a true warrior style!!!  It was a great weekend in Athens watching many many friends tackle the Athen's Original Marathon; very inspiring.

In fact, very, very inspiring.  Maybe, too inspiring?  With just 9 days to train and taper I signed up for the Florence marathon in Firenze, Italia.  9 days are plenty of time to go from a long run of 11 miles and maybe a 2 day taper...right?  Plus the Thanksgiving weekend I'll be spending in a farm house agriturismo, in the wine region of Tuscany, with rolling hills, with my bike; late nights, food, wine.  WTF: Bring on a marathon too!

The face cancer issue is hopefully resolving.  Nothing like 3 weeks of a topically applied chemotherapy to really fuck you up. My face swelled to look like I was a 300lb dude, bright red (red purple actually), splotchy, blistery, and then, it started peeling.  Like PEELING!  Like bloody peeling.  Like waking up in the morning with half your face and a liter of blood on the pillow peeling.  Yikes!  I'm told that I can expect the skin of a 16y/o after the final peeling and my face slowly returns to it's normal color in a few weeks.  I've been allowing my hair to grow and once I'm back to "normal" I've made my appointment to have my hair bleached white...Think: Rebel Yell!!!!!

So what was so bitchy?

Easy answer.


It's sort of a long explanation (you have met me right???so of course it's a long explanation).  I actually feel moronic having to complain or even appear to complain.  I have a great life.  I have a great kid (I'm not really sure I like being around 10 year olds this much).  I have an awesome wife that is strong, driven, inspirational and her biggest attribute: she accepts my douchebaggery.  I'm healthy (with the exception of my face shedding and bleeding uncontrollably), so I can't use that as a crutch. I have the ability to do almost anything if I can focus. But...

Believe it or not, I have a few faults. I can come off a little bit crass.  Sometimes I can be overly sarcastic.  I'm selfish.  I have a short attention span.  Not the most patient.  A wee bit dramatic.  I don't forgive easily.  Did I mention selfish?

Ok, so the refresher course of Ryan is over for now.

I needed reintegration from Roth.

Worst day ever!

It was like the perfect storm of triathlon.  Perfect training meets perfect fitness meets perfect opportunity; sadly it was just too much.  The "nor'easter" of stress (mental and physical from moving internationally), the "super celled cold front" of expectation performance stress, and the "hurricane" forced stomach virus all met that fateful July day in Roth Germany.  It was just too much.  100ft rouge waves of diarrhea flowed from my body, as vomit propelled itself out from within at a category 5 force.  No energy.  No eating.  Stress.  I should have hung the Zipps up when I was puking after the practice swim the morning before.  Shoulda Woulda Coulda!

It's tough to be dejected with a 9:18:00 Ironman.  That's the best I could do that day so I should have been satisfied with my efforts.  I was puking early on the bike.  I quit eating around miles 10-13 on the marathon because nausea was setting in, but at the same time I'm screaming to myself, "IF YOU DON'T EAT...YOU DON'T RUN!"  No surprise the explosion happend 10 miles later and the wheels didn't just come off; they blew apart.  I went from running a 3:10:00 marathon pace to struggling to walk, and of course the route was marked in km and with my delirium I couldn't figure out where I was at on the course.

"What fucking mile am I on?"
(nice German fellow) Ya, you are on 38k's
"What???  I think I ran too far...I'm only supposed to run 26"
                                  Ya, do you need some help
"I was only to go 26, I've gone too far"
                                  Ya, you go just around zee corner and be done

I turn the corner thinking I've run 38miles and the finish will be there but instead I see a wall of people pushing me the final 4k's...pure misery.

I decided there, with 4k's to go, I'm done!  DONE!    In a total nutrient (water,calorie,electrolyte) induced zombie state I called this Ironman game over.  I was completely shelled.  I wasn't going to hit my time.  I wasn't winning.  My body was shutting down and I was furious that I had failed.  I started thinking about all the free time I will have with out the long rides looming.  All the fun I'll have staying out late and over indulging knowing i don't have a 3 hour run in the morning.  Think about how the girls won't be immolating their free time to work around my schedule.  So as I'm being physically assaulted running those last 4k's my mind is finally free of the imaginary stress I painted my triathlon life to be on me. 

It was the only solution.  The freedom for which I delved was there...Just Stop!

I stopped!

I was ready to leave my bike in the transition rack and drive home from Germany that night free from the shackles of my Dura Ace pedals.  I'm a new man free from prosternation and stress.  The world is mine to conquer!

Another sad fact: I'm not actually that successful at many things in my life.

First month:  Kinda' diggin' this easy livin'!
2nd+3rd month.  The Commander is NOT diggin' this "new" found Ryan
4th month.  The Commander and Ryan are definately not diggin' this new found free time and "new" Ryan.

Naples Italy, for a basically unskilled house man, is not a hot bed of opportunities for a dude with some newly found free time.  You know the old saying, Pedals that aren't turning are the Devil's playground (ok so I made that up).  What appears to be my nature: a bored, crestfallen, ADD, ADHD, Hyper, non-medicated (all self diagnosed by the way), non exercised Ryan, is kind of a dick???

Basically it came to this.  I knew I had to find something to do because I wasn't happy doing the nothing that I was doing, or wasn't doing.  I wasn't the most pleasant person to be around at times.  My patience level may have dropped a bit???  Oh and most importantly...I was ORDERED by the Commander, "You'd better find something to do with yourself, and we never talked about your retirement bullshit anyway."

Yikes!  Ryan just got SCOLDED!

I started moving again and it felt good.  Really good!  I like looking out my window and seeing 4000ft mountains knowing that I just rode up there today.  That's my contribution to the world today, and to my family.  They come home and the house is in shape, the laundry is done, and dinner is ready.  I'm here for them and they know I've been out kicking my own ass to impress them.  I think that's where I fit in.  I never in a million years would have ever wanted to be a Mr. Mom.  I'm in the prime earning years of my life but I'm antiquated in my field of study.  In a few years and it's time to grow up I'm back at square one and I think the Commander understands this, and to show her appreciation for the Mr. Mom sacrifice for the family,  she encourages me to push myself and find my success in triathlon.  I try to be #1 in bathroom cleaning, laundry folding, dinner making,  to practice driving, etc, but that doesn't make me feel successful.  Racing does that for me...still!  I love the pain of running at mile 18 in an Ironman just waiting for wall to hit to see how I'll respond.  That's my success.

I did the ultimate bitch move.  Worse than the little douche that loses and goes home with the ball, I was such a giant douche that I not only lost, I took my ball home, I cut it in half and threw it away.  I was ready to leave my bike in Germany (giant dickface move but a great reason to buy a new bike); I'll show you...I won't swim, bike, or run so take that fuckbag!  Well, it happens, it was just me that was the fuckbag and the only people I showed was The Commander and Teegan...hmph!

Here I am. I'm the kid that finally saw the mistake I made, and I'm now standing on the edge of the practice field with a new ball ready to apologize to my friends for leaving and being a prick (if the Commander reads this, feel free to use "new ball" as a metaphor for a new sleek Italian racing bicycle with electronic shifting components).  I miss talking about triathlon.  I miss pushing my body.  I miss writing a stupidly immature blog with a gratuitous amount of body fluids and vulgarity.  I miss the Commander grabbing by shoulders and lats saying, "wow I can tell you're swimming a lot."  I was an idiot.  No!  I was a fucking idiot. No...I was a stupid fucking douchebag idiot (re-read about 5 sentences ago).  Sorry!  Mental slip.  My bad!  Let's not dwell on the past; it's time to get back to business.


Dear Ryan Barnett,

we confirm your entry for the Ironman France-Nice 
on 23rd June 2013!  
Event: Ironman France Nice 2013 (English)
Date: 23/06/2013 - 00:00
Athlete: Ryan Barnett

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Stopped counting at 18???

It's never a good thing to hear at a dermatology appointment, especially when he's only made it from my forehead to left cheek, "I'm going to stop counting at 18 and I have not even covered half your face." 


I guess being a white, nearly ginger, freckled, dude that grew up living in the tropics, cyclist, runner, triathlete, has not been kind to my skin.  In fact, the doctor said that the damage to my skin is indicative of a 60 year old...Double Yikes!

Before I get scolded.  I wear sunscreen.  I wear a hat.  I wear shirts.  But...sunscreen doesn't work as well as not being in the sun (as told to me by the dermatologist).  I have multiple risk factors. Growing up in Australia (2 out of 100 will develop melanoma and 25% of the population will develop some sort of skin cancer according to the dermatologist), I covered my face in sunscreen and zinc oxide; but, cycling, running, and generally living outside has taken it's toll. 

It seems that my entire forehead, nose, and cheeks are severely damaged with multiple cancer/ pre-cancer spots...more than 18 on just the left side.  Just within the past 4 months I had a spot that was continuously "peeling" or scaling no matter how much lotion I applied.  I also had a spot right on the top of my head, at my part, that NEVER had sunscreen applied and wasn't covered by a running visor, that also was continuously peeling; hmph!


Well instead of hacking my face apart or irradiating me into oblivion, I am applying 3 weeks worth of a topically applied chemotherapy cream that essentially kills any rapidly proliferating cells on the surface of my face.  Thankfully it's not a more aggressive form of melanoma.  Instead, the primary damage is to my squamous cells, the last layer of epithelial cells that eventually become the outer layer of the skin.  If left untreated there is a good possibility for these cancer cells to proliferate inside the body and then I'd be in really big trouble with a metastasizing form of cancer. 

This treatment leaves me with a very unsightly face.  You know you are pretty fucked when the medicinal information packet describes to expect your face as "UNSIGHTLY!"  The info packet recommends limiting your interactions with people and maybe taking vacation time at work to avoid potentially uncomfortable situations and staring.

Ok, I look like I'm VERY sunburned, windburned, chaffed, dry, peeling,...well...pretty fugly!  It burns, itches, and is very sensitive and uncomfortable.  My lips are completely blistered over!!!!!!!!  My lips look like what I can only imagine a hooker's vagina might resemble...scabby and blistered????  I have a few more days left of chemically removing the entire surface of my face and then I can expect the severe redness to slowly fade over the next 3 weeks, along with some scabbing in the heavily damaged areas.  The advantage of this treatment is that it is 93% effective and my skin will return wrinkle free!  Great, I'll have the skin of a 16 year old with grey hair.

Sunscreen.  I use it but, I'll use it ALL THE TIME now.  There are two main types of sunscreen: blocking and absorbing.  Chemical sunscreens absorb the radiation and turn it into heat, damages skin but not in a cancer way; and, blocking...think zinc oxide.  Now there are new pulverized zinc creams that are apply clear but block uv rays vs. old school total white out zinc.  I won't be preachy but wear your sunscreen all the time!

**upcoming news**  vive la France (hint)