Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to everyone.
Having the week off work has been strange. Today I spent the day in a coffee shop, not having the nerve to talk to the woman at the table next to me. Then I babysat my friends Matt and Jen's kids (Ben (5), Madigan (6), and Joe (1.5)) for about an hour. Then Matt and the kids had dinner, watched Wall-E, and the kids went to bed. Now me and Matt are hanging. I think it will be a quiet NYE, unless something comes up in the next few hours.
I have some pictures from Christmas at my dad's house that I am going to post eventually. The pictures are of the Christmas tree, the cats, and the strange weather. Strange weather being heavy snow December 24th, it looked like half a foot on the ground, and then temperature above 50 degrees and raining on the 26th and 27th. Just strange. I did not workout the whole week of Christmas, had two pretty hard workouts so far this week. Monday was 30 minutes on the bike and one hour on the treadmill and Tuesday was 30 minutes on the bike and an hour and a half on the treadmill. Hour and a half on the treadmill is too long. I am pretty sore. Some more running, a little swimming, and some spinning to finish off the week.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Cathartic

On Saturday morning I did the tri-club weekly spin group, it was just me and another guy, which was fine.  I felt so much better after spinning.  Today there was no tri-club group run because it was too cold (-10 without wind chill, -30 to -40 with, ugh) so I ran for an hour on the treadmill at Bally's.  Again, it felt great.  I still feel stressed, anxious about stuff, but the workouts really helped.  I spent about 8 months working out almost every day, and I was so much more relaxed, there was less stress then, but now that I am working out less, when I do workout, I realize how helpful it is.  I have always known how helpful it is, I guess sometimes I need to remind myself.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The way things are

The last two weeks have been very busy, mainly with work.  Business is very bad, as it is everywhere.  I have been abnormally busy.  Which makes everything even stranger.  I am not afraid to admit I am frightened, about my job and the future.  The unknown.  I know that I, we, have no control over many things, and I should only worry about those things that I can control. My day to day.  Sometimes it is hard to maintain that focus.  There was a time I had a horrible time focusing on the present.  I have become much, much better at it.  Thankfully.  
Whatever job I have had, whatever task I have been assigned, if people rely on me I do the best job I can.  I have to realize and accept that no matter how hard I work, how many hours I put in, how perfect I try to do things, it might not matter at all.  In the end someone else is making the decisions.  So that begs the question, "Should I keep putting all the effort and time in?".  I think that answer is "Yes", because that is who I am.  

Monday, December 8, 2008

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Weight, Training, and some other stuff




It has been awhile, I have been busy (not a good excuse), and I have been forgetful (not a good excuse either). I finished taking the LSAT yesterday, and I am glad to be done with that. It has been a long time since I studied that much and since I took such a long test. If I decide to go back to school it is going to be rough at first. Now that I have both the GMAT and LSAT out of the way I can think about if and when I want to go back.




On the right I posted my summaries for training, with and without races, for the last couple of years plus the offseason so far this year. This offseason would be a lot more relaxing if work was not so scary, with the economy and all.




I also put my weight trending for the last 12 months. Pretty interesting to me. Not too suprising I am starting to uptick a bit. That is what happens when you slow down training in the cold winter of MN, weight goes up.




I registered for St. Anthony's in late April, so I will doing that as my first race again this year. I am going to do two half-ironmans but no IM 70.3, at least not at the moment. Mainly a money thing. If I end with more money than I think, maybe I will add a late one on the schedule. Maybe Longhorn or something.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Hooray!

Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!
Last night I watched the election results come in at a bar in Saint Paul with some friends. When Obama was finally called the winner the bar let out a roar. People were cheering, not for a football game, not for a basketball game, but for a presidential candidate winning. They were cheering for a African-American Presidential candidate winning. What a great night, what great day, what a great corner to turn for America.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Camping Trip Up North 08





Every year for the last three years I have gone camping with 3 friends (Matt, Kurt, Dave) from high school. The first two years we stayed on Kurt's land up near New Auburn, WI. He built a tree stand of sorts, a very large tree stand. We would spend the day hiking, canoeing, doing outdoorsy stuff, and then spend the night in the tree stand. Sleeping under the stars, in sleeping bags, with many layers. Usually it was only about 20-30 degrees at night.
Last year we went hiking on the Ice Age Trail, 14 miles on Sat and 7 miles on Sun. The hike was a little taxing, and Kurt received some flack for it, but the camping was fun.
This year we went to Temperance River State Park, about 80 miles north of Duluth on Lake Superior. It is incredibly beautiful. Matt brought an 8 person tent for the 4 of us, which was great. Matt made both dinners and breakfasts, which were great. Dinners were Pastes (meat, potato, and vegetable wrapped in a dough crust and cooked on the fire wrapped in aluminum foil), and bison meat burritos. Breakfast was sausage, biscuits, and gravy the first day, and omelets (I did not eat them) and hash browns the second day.
Saturday we went on a trail run, about 7.3 miles total, on the Superior Trail. Really beautiful trail, what an amazing park. The trail varies from grass, to hard-packed dirt, to rock, to broken rock, stairs, roots, etc. The elevation change is about 850ft.
Kurt got sick Saturday night\Sunday morning for some unknown reason, seemed like food poisoning. He ate the same as us, except for lunch on Friday, could have been the undercooked chicken he had, or maybe he could not handle Saturday's run. I guess we will never know the truth
Saturday night was pretty neat, it was windy and you could hear the waves on Superior hitting the shore as you went to sleep.
It was a great weekend with great friends.
Below is a short video of Matt and Kurt making the gravy on Saturday morning.
video

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Season Done - Season Summary



So with the completion of the Longhorn 70.3 this long, satisfying, fantastic, educational, etc (nothing negative to say) season is over. I am a little sad, and happy, about it. I am sad (and angry, confused, frustrated) about a number of other things also. Those things are for a different discussion, a discussion about relationships, corporate greed, and politics. Above is a summary of my triathlon results for the last, and only, two years. I am pretty happy with the results. Also is a summary of my workouts broken down by month and run, bike, and swim.

I plan on doing not much for the next 3 weeks, maybe a little run and bike. I am not sure if I want to write really personal, unrelated to triathlon and workout stuff, on this blog. Something I need to think about.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Longhorn 70.3 - First Half-Ironman Done





So here I am sitting in a coffee shop\bar (Halcyon) in Austin, haveing one of my favorite beverages. No not a Maker's Mark Manhatten, a large vanilla latte. Mildly recovering from the number of beers I had last while enjoying an awesome blues band at pretty cool bar (Friends). Oh yeah, and recovering from the 70.3 I did yesterday. I actually don't feel too bad today. Some pain the left lower back, a little neck and shoulder pain, some pain in the left knee (nothing to worry about) and my hamstrings feel weird, not cramped, just not right. I am very thirsty, probably the beers last night did not help. So to the race.


I was up at 3AM, actually about 2AM from the sounds of the bars getting out and traffic. I am on the 11th floor of the Hilton Garden Inn in Downtown Austin and I could still hear a ton of street noise, mainly honking horns. For breakfast I had the normal bowl of oatmeal , banana, and coffee, no donut, which I might have needed today. I picked up one of my fellow club members on the way to the race site and we got there by 5AM. Luckily, because as I understand it people who got there around 6AM had to wait almost an hour to park and get to the race site. That is why the race started about 20 minutes late. I get everything setup in transistion pretty fast, helps to put the bike there the night before. It was a pretty cool morning (65), the water was much warm than the air, barely wetsuit legal. Said the water was about 77.5. The swim went very well, I was surprised at my time, my goal was to go under 40min and I went well under that. Only issue during the swim was traffic and about 3/4 way through my left shoulder starting bothering me. Fairly long run from the water to the transistion, uphill run, of course. Bike course was fairly hilly and it was windy. The heat did not pick up until over halfway through. 4 aid stations, skipped the first, got water at the other 3. Dumped half the water on me and then took some in. Had a bottle of water on the bike and a bottle of gatorade, drank almost all the water and 3/4 the gatorade, plus two bloks. I felt pretty good coming off the bike. Like in my long training ride the only thing that bothered me was my lower back and neck a little. Once I got moving off the bike that pain went away. Of course coming into transition was the largest hill of the bike. It was a good bike course, I was surprised at how crowded it was. I definitely would have been faster if not for the crowding. I don't have the balls or the bike skills to manuever like some people in that kind of traffic. Now to the run. I felt pretty good for the first 4 miles or so, then things did not go well. It was hot and the course was extemely hilly. By far the hilliest course I have ever been on. It was two loops and there was 6 aid stations on each loop for a total of 12. They were life savers. I used everyone, they had sponges and towels, which was also a life saver. At about 5+ (near Quadzilla, truly a hell hill) I just stopped being able to turn over. It was not mental, nothing really hurt, not more than expected. I felt the tank of empty, no energy. For the rest of the run I alternated jogging and walking. I think I ran out of gas, I just did not take enough calories. I think I took on plenty of water and other fluids. The last couple miles I felt sick, like I was going to vomit. When I finished I went by the med tent near a garbage can, did not vomit. Nurse came out and asked if I was ok. Told her a felt like vomitting. Took me in the tent, sat me down, took my blood pressure (90 over 70) said I looked pale. Laid me down, gave me an IV and after that I felt wonderful. The tent was packed with people getting IVs The race was great, I great learning experience I can take into next year when I do more of them. Swim was great, bike was very good, the run was, well, the run. Last race of the season and I was very happy with it. After the race they had a party at Hill's Cafe that was buffet style with BBQ (Chicken and Pork) with live music. That was really good. So far Austin has been good to me. Off to Lance Armstrong's bike shop, Mellow Johnnies. Later I will post my stuff for the whole year. Well, another great season in the bag and looking forward to next season, and more half-IMs, olympics, sprints, and duathlons.....
Overall - 741/1929
Age Group - 97/219
Total Time - 5:46:43
Swim (1.2 miles) - 29:23 (1:31/100yds, second fastest split of the year next to Escape from Alcatraz current assisted swim)
T1 - 4:27
Bike (56 miles) - 2:50:48 (19.7MPH)
T2 - 2:26
Run (13.1 miles) - 2:19:37 (10:39 min/mi, ugh, what are you gonna do?)

Friday, October 3, 2008

On the Way Out to TX Soon

I am writing this from work (don't tell anyone). In a few hours I am going to the airport and not shortly after that I am will going to Austin with all my crap (Bike case, tri bag, laptop bag, bag with clothes). I am excited and nervous, excited and nervous to do my first half IM. Nervous about getting everything there, setup, and organized before the race. Hasn't been a problem this year yet. This is my 3rd fly-to-race this year and there have been no issues with the other two. If anything was going to happen it was going to be Alcatraz, and that went off pretty well.
I think I am well prepared, training for almost 10 months, 17 races prior to this one, and pretty good taper. Sleep has been not good this week, some soreness, pain in neck and back, not sure where that came from. Some stress from work. Once I get out of here and get going I think things are going to be good (great!). I just have to keep my eye on the goal, focus, not psych myself out (have not done that all year, not worried), and everything should be good.
The plan is to settle get comfortable at each event and then pick up speed, since I have not done this distance before, not sure how to attack. For a sprint or olympic distance I can pretty much go full bore and not worry about pacing, especially the sprint. Here, especially the run, I should come out a little slow and then build speed. Hopefully negative splitting.
Time to stop writing and get back to work. Ugh.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fast Weekend and Long Workouts

The weekend went by really fast and I had a couple of really long workouts.  Workouts where I learned a lot.  I admit, during the week I had my doubts and thought about cutting the workout short on Saturday and Sunday, I am glad I did not.  I got up at 6AM, had oatmeal and 2 bananas, one more banana than usual.  Got to Bally's by 8AM.  Swam 41 minutes straight, went at least 2000 yards, lose track with all the flip turns.  I went more if anything, when I thought I lost track I would go down a 50, assume I was short.  After that I stopped at a gas station and got coffee, a donut, water, and Gatorade.  I drove to Stillwater, on the way there had the coffee, donut, and a little water and gatorade.  
I had the training wheels on the Seduza, new tires, because the old one had been wore, especially the back one from the trainer.  Put on two bottle cages, one of them with Gatorade, the other one was a bottle with the top cutoff so I could put food in it.  A bag of Shot Bloks (I think Strawberry) and fig newtons.  I left Stillwater (Stillwater is a beautiful little town, that gets crowded with tourists on the weekend) north to Taylors Falls.  What a beautiful ride and beautiful day.  My coach suggested this ride.  It is pretty hilly, nice wide shoulder, which is good since the traffic did get heavy at times.  I must have seen 100s of motorcycles.  The ride was good until about the 40 mile mark when my back started acting up a little.  I went a total of 52 miles in 2 hours 46 minutes, longest ride of the year.  My goal for the Longhorn 70.3 is 2 hours 45 minutes (56 miles).  It looks like I am in good shape.  
Got off the bike and ran north out of Stillwater.  Maybe a bad idea for the hour run.  Going north out of Stillwater takes you out of the river valley.  Which is uphill.  The half hour out was almost all uphill.  On the way back, I had to walk at about the 4 mile mark and 5 mile mark.  I did go about 6.2 miles in the hour.  Good thing about the run was that the back pain from the bike was gone. 
Took awhile to cool down.  Then I went down the street to Whitey's Bar, thought I would eat in Stillwater since I was there.  Had a huge, and delicious club sandwich and mound of fries.  I think I was driving the bartender crazy with how fast I was downing water and Diet Coke.  On the way home I stopped at Dairy Queen for an Cherry Arctic Float (Soft Serve, Ice, and Cherry flavor mixed up, Yum).  Matt (him and his wife are my best friends all the way back from high school) called and told me that the family (Jen's parents also) were going to Pad Thai for Matt's Bday.  Pig out time.  In the span of about 3-4 hours I had the huge club and fries, the DQ float, roast duck curry (with rice) and a 22oz Kirin Ichban, along with all the water, diet coke, etc.  Not even that full.  
After dinner and going back to Matt and Jen's house for a bit, met Eric to see Burn After Reading.  Pretty good movie, you have to like the Coen brothers to like this movie.
On Sunday, up at 5AM to volunteer at the Iron Girl Duathlon in Bloomington.  I got to stand at the top of long steep hill and warn cyclists of the railroad tracks at the bottom on the first lap, second lap warn of tracks and the turn for transition, also a lot of cheering.  It was really fun.  I am going to volunteer more next year.  Watching people do triathlons and duathlons is amazing.  To see the looks on people faces, there reactions, just fascinating, fun, just a great experience, an experience you don't get to enjoy as much when racing.
In the afternoon I ran 2 hours (13.6  miles) longest run of the year.  Not too bad.  Ran down to the Mississippi, along the Mississippi on both sides and back home.  Hotter than I thought it was going to be.
I was tired today and sore, not too surprising.  Most soreness in quads and hamstrings behind the knees.  I felt dead, but kind of good, for the 3100 yard swim workout I had tonight.  
I can't believe that I am training like this near the end of the year.  I feel good, which is great.
Things are progressing well as this season comes to the end.  I feel good about doing my first 70.3.  The goal I set of 5 hours 5 minute seems possible.  40 minute swim, 2:45 on the bike, and 1:35 on the run.  I think the run is going to be really the only push.  It will be a learning experience, which will be great.  
This is the longest post I have written, I think.  Time to stop blathering.

Friday, September 19, 2008

3 Years of Duathlons






So, I am tired after racing last Sunday and working out everyday this week.  Work on Friday was frustrating.  I have mixed feelings about Saturday, which will be a simulated 70.3 (40 min swim, 3 hour bike, 1 hour run), which be my longest workout of the year, and a 2 hour run on Sunday.  No rest day until Friday Oct. 3. Not complaining, just saying.  I am very excited, and nervous, to be doing the Longhorn 70.3.
On to the point of this entry.  I ran cross country and swam 3 years in high school, plus a year of track my senior year.  Then I went to college, then I went to grad school, then I got my first "real" job and essentially stop exercising for 10-12 years.  I started running\jogging 5-6 years ago.  When I moved to Saint Paul 4+ years ago I got a little more serious about running, and then about 3 years ago I added some biking to my training.  I bought a new bike (Lemond Sarthe) in early April of 2006 and did my first duathlon (Gear West Duathlon) in May.  I was slow and it hurt.  I did 6 duathlons that year and a lot of 5Ks and a couple 10Ks, without a lot of training in between.  I was kind of winging the training.  In Oct of that year I bought my first tri-bike (QR Seduza) and did the Green Bay Duathlon with it, probably about 2 weeks after I bought the bike.  It was a painful summer, but I loved it, and it led me to start swimming so I could do triathlons in 2007, which lead me to spend more money on equipment, and eventually hire a coach this year.  In 2006 I weighed about 225, in January of 2008 I was about 205, and now I am currently about 185, sometimes a little closer to 180.  I have tried to change my diet over this time.  Cut out regular soda, drink barely any diet soda (trying to quit that also, get most of my much needed caffeine from coffee, yum), more fruits and vegetables, trying to cut back on the beef, eat a little more chicken, etc.  
Above to the right are the results for my duathlons for the last 3 years.  I think next year I will probably do the same 4 duathlons, I would like to do 12-14 triathlons next year.  After the Longhorn 70.3 I will post my triathlon results for the last 2 years, and my workout summary for the last 2 years.  Exciting!   

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dousman Duathlon




It was raining.  First it was sprinkling and then it picked up to a pretty good rain, not really a downpour, but a good solid rain.  It rained the whole race.  Sometimes sprinkling, sometimes pretty hard.  Thankfully it was not cold, it was actually pretty good race weather.  Probably slowed the bike down a little, for safety.  It was the first time in 3 years (37 races, duathlons and triathlons combined) that I had to race in the rain.  It was a very good race, almost 6 minutes faster than last year, and almost 17 minutes faster than 2006.  Fifth place in my age group, about 4 seconds out of fourth, and less than a minute out of 3rd.  Very happy with my run times.  The run is pretty flat, so that makes it fast.  No long hills, but some short steep hills.  Good road surface.  I think next year I am going to try to get in the Elite wave (fastest 20%), which puts you in the first 2-3 waves.  I started in the 9th wave (400-450) and I finished 34th overall out of 615.  I pick my way through a lot of riders.  Many of them were exhibiting some pretty bad riding etiquette.  Riding 2-3 across, not staying to the right, etc.  It would be nice to have a little less traffic.  
All in all, it was another great race.  I am kind of sad, in about 3 weeks, actually less, I will be done with this season.  It has been a lot of fun and very enriching.  I am also a little happy that soon I will have some time off.  
Below, a look at my results for the Dousman Duathlon for the last 3 years.  Nice to see improvement.  Always nice to see improvement.  Hooray!

2008 Results
Run (2mi) - 12:58 (6:29/mile)
T1 - 1:25
Bike (20mi) - 57:17 (20.9 MPH, always 1-2MPH slower in the duathlons, first run kills the legs more than the swim) 
T2 - 0:55
Run (2mi) - 14:06 (7:03/mile)
Total - 1:26:39
Overall - 34/615
Age - 5/54

2007 Results
Run (2mi) - 13:20 (6:40/mile)
T1 - 1:19
Bike (20mi) - 1:01:50 (19.7MPH)
T2 - 1:17
Run (2mi) - 14:40 (7:20/mile)
Total - 1:32:26
Overall - 111/797
Age - 21/55

2006 Results
Run (2mi) - 15:12 (7:36/mile) 
T1 - 1:48
Bike (20mi) - 1:07:48 (17.7MPH, did this on my Lemond Sarthe with bolt-on aerobars)
T2 - 1:44
Run (2mi) - 16:28 (8:14/mile)
Total - 1:43:00
Overall - 238/254
Age - 13/24

 

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Tuesday Night Time Trials - Done (A little late on my part)




So, I did the Tuesday Night Time Trials (Put on by Cadence Multisport and sponsored by Gear West Bike and Triathlon and Hammer Nutrition) for the 3rd year in a row.  This year I did 7 out of 8 races. It is an 11 mile, hilly, time trial that goes out and back on County Road 24 in Medina, MN.  It is very challenging, mainly because it is hilly, also because it is a time trial.  In my opinion, the time trial is the hardest bike race out there.  No drafting, against the clock, all out.  When you are done you should want to vomit.  The guys doing this are FAST.  As you can see from my placing in the races I am not the fastest, by far.  It was one of my hard training rides and I usually would get off the bike and run about 2.5 miles.  Turn it into a nice little brick.   
In previous years I had done the Black Dog Time Trial that is every other week than the T'N'T and is a 7.2 mile TT on a much flatter course.  This year I chose to do just T'N'T.
So I have exposed my results for the last 3 years here on the blog.  First year I did the TTs on my Lemond Sarthe with clip-on aero bars.  Last year I had my QR Seduza with Zipp Z6 and a drive train upgrade.  This year I added a new tri-seat, Easton Attack TT bars, and a RETUL bike fitting, done at Gear West.  I am very happy with my improvement over the last 3 years (Click on image of Excel spreadsheet to the right if you want to see the results).  It is good to see the the training, and equipment, paying off. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Square Lake Short Course





Weather was nearly perfect, nice sunny day, few clouds, perfect racing temperature. At the race start the air temp was probably about 55 and the water was close to 70, if not more. The water felt good, and the lack of humidity and the cool temp made the bike and run nice. I was out of the water in 8th place in my age group and I had the 6th fastest bike split in my age group. I had a little back and forth with a guy in my age group on the bike, which was nice for motivation. He beat me into transition in the end. I then had the 28th fastest run split in my age group. Not bad, would have liked better. The bike and run are both very challenging, very hilly. The run is probably one of the hilliest runs of the year. Maybe second to Escape from Alcatraz? In the end I was almost 5 minutes faster than last year, most of it due to the swim, bike, and transistions. Swim was almost a minute faster and I averaged about 1MPH faster than last year. I am sure the faster tranisitions this year is due to improved fitness. I am happy with the run because I was very consistent. I did not come out running a 6:45 mile pace and finish on a 9+ min mile pace. I ran 8 min miles for all five miles. I would prefer the consistency than coming out fast and dying.
I almost forgot, I don't know how I did that. Jen, Matt, Ben, Madigan, and Joe came to see me. They showed up just in time to see me finish. It was nice to have someone(s) come out for a race this year and cheer me on at the finish. It gives you a nice little umph at the end. My mom and Paul saw my first race this year, which was nice, especially for them since they had not seen a triathlon before.

2008 Results
Swim (880 yds) - 14:30 (1:39/100yds)
T1 - 2:16
Bike (18 mi) - 48:29 (22.3 MPH)
T2 - 1:26
Run (5 mi) - 40:09 (8:02 min/mi)
Total - 1:46:47
Age - 9/41
Overall - 70/433

2007 Results
Swim (880 yds) - 15:22 (1:45/100yds)
T1 - 2:42
Bike (18 mi) - 51:03 (21.2 MPH)
T2 - 1:54
Run (5 mi) - 40:40 (8:08 min/mi)
Total - 1:51:39
Age - 15/38
Overall - 124/420

This was race 16 of 18 for the year. Only two left. A duathlon and a half-ironman. I have mixed emotions about the end of this season. It has been long, and I feel like I need the rest, but it has been a lot of fun and very fullfilling.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Another Wedding






This weekend I attended the wedding of a friend.  It was a beautiful wedding and reception.  The wedding was short and on the beach on Sea Island, GA.  The reception was on the the island in The Cloister.   
Sea Island is a gated community that is the island.  It is beautiful homes.  It is a place for the wealthy.  It is an amazing place.  The Cloister is a beautiful hotel inside and out. Something that needs to be seen to be appreciated.
If I were to get married, I would not mind having a wedding like this.  Less than 30 people, everyone sits at the same table, 5 courses, and then social time after the meal, no dance. 
I would like to say something more profound about marriage and weddings, but it isn't coming to me tonight.  The right man, meets the right woman, and they love each other forever. Ideally. 

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Sad Day for Music


I have seen the Dave Matthews Band in concert 15 times, I have all their studio CDs, most of their live CDs, and their DVDs.  I think it is fair to say they are my favorite band.  When I heard that LeRoi Moore died yesterday, I was really sad.  More sad than I thought I would be.  His death is a loss for DMB fans and music fans everywhere.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

St Paul Triathlon - Triathlon #12, Race #15




So, the St. Paul Triathlon was triathlon number 12 for the year and the 15th race overall, including duathlons. It was the 9th of 9 race weekends in a row. I was finally able to go under 50 minutes for a 10K in a triathlon. I think my best prior to today was about 52-53 minutes. I didn't think I was going to go that fast, since I briefly slowed to a walk on the second lap around Lake Phalen twice as the water stops. It was probably a good idea, since I really needed it today. I really had to put a lot of mental effort into the second loop, my body was telling me to stop and walk. "Chris", it said, "You have done a lot of racing this summer. Take a walk, it is ok" I think I did a good job of fighting that urge and running through it. Again, I felt like barfing at the finish, but did not. A number of people have said something to the affect that triathlons are supposed to be painful, they are an exercise in pain management. If it doesn't hurt you are doing it wrong. I am not talking about joint pain or injury pain, that is not good, but the pain of pushing your body beyond its limits. I think I am getting much better in that area. I still have aways to go.
The swim was good. I have never swam a loop swim. There was a lot of traffic at first, then settled, then on the second loop there was some traffic from the short course people who had started. Not too bad. I have been very consistent with the full wetsuit the last 3 races. The last 3 races have been 0.8 -1 mi swims and I am going 1:44, 1:42, and 1:42 per 100 yards. I can live with consistency. My bike was at 22.5MPH for 24.3 miles, some people said the bike was shorter, which I would believe. Again, biking on the roads of St. Paul and Minneapolis is trying. Potholes and just rough roads make it pretty uncomfortable, along with the traffic of other bikes.
It is going to be nice to have a couple of weekends off until the next race. I think I need a recharge before going into the last 2 triathlons and last two duathlons. Especially before the 70.3 in TX.
Again, it was another great day to be out racing. Any day out racing is a great day.
Total -2:27:03
Swim (1760 yards) - 29:54 (1:42/100 yards)
T1 - 1:39 (small transition area and good location = fast out, for me)
Bike (24.3miles, questionable distance) - 1:04:54 (22.5 MPH)
T2 - 1:17 (again, good location, fast for me)
Run (6.2 miles) - 49:21 (7:57 min/mi, hooray, for the record this is my second fastest 10K time ever, my fastest open 10K at the Victory Road Races last year was 48:55. Hopefully this means I can go under 45 minutes in an open 10K)
Overall - 42/182
Age Group - 5/22 (about 2 minutes out of 3rd place, I think I got passed on the run by 3rd and 4th)
Kind of a weak field compared to others, but still a great race for me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

25th Turtleman




Weather was great, really nice day.  Race finished just as it started to get hot.  
I have not spent a lot of time socializing with other triathletes at races.  Lately I have been doing it more, which is a very good thing.  I don't know why I have not been, probably just my natural shyness and somewhat introverted nature.  There are so many nice people out there doing triathlon, it is great.  
The swim was good, water just cold enough for wetsuit, shallow like last year, not as many weeds, still kind of stinky.  I got kicked in the left hand, middle two fingers, and it still hurts.  Had a little trouble with the wetsuit zipper, the breakaway zipper did not breakaway.  I don't think I had it high enough and I did not pull it up correctly.  I had to squeeze out of it.  Bike was pretty good, the ride hurt at first, felt better as I went on.  The run hurt, less than last year, but it still was a little painful.  Not sure why this run is so taxing.  It might be the long straights, openness of the course, and lack of turns.  I thought I was going to puke at the end, not the first time, but this time it felt like it was actually going to happen, it did not, thankfully.  
Again, it was another beautiful day at the races.
2008 Results
Overall - 206/795
Age Group - 24/72
Swim (1630 yards) - 27:45 (1:42 100/yards, pretty close to a personal best)
T1 - 2:11
Bike (21.4 mi) - 57:10 (22.5 MPH)
T2 - 1:27
Run (5.1 mi) - 41:36 (8:10 min/mi, really wanted to go under 8 min/mi, but what are you going to do?) 
Total - 2:10:06

2007 Results
Swim (1630 yards) - 33:30 (2:03 min/100 yards, no wetsuit, but still slow)
T1 - 2:03
Bike (21.4 mi) - 1:00:44 (21.1 MPH)
T2 - 1:40
Run (6.2 mi, longer than 2008) - 54:39 (8:48 min/mi, ugh not good, kind of blew up)
Total - 2:32:35
Overall - 316/715
Age Group - 50/84

Friday, August 8, 2008

Racing and Training Playlist


Here is the playlist that I listen to before a race. I also listen to it when I am running, on a treadmill, and when riding, on a stationary bike. I never listen to music while running outside or biking outside, too dangerous. List subject to change.

Chinchillas are cool (Belongs to my friend Kurt)

All Fired Up - Interpol

Catch Hell Blues - The White Stripes

Checkered Floor - Silversun Pickups

Keep the Car Running - Arcade Fire

Push It - Garbage

Long Division - Death Cab for Cutie

Not Even Jail - Interpol

Low - Foo Fighters

Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!) - Garbage

South Side - Moby and Gwen Stefani

For the Length of Love - Fog vs Mould (Interpol)

Run Baby Run - Garbage

The Pretender - Foo Fighters

Mammoth - Interpol

Til the Day I Die - Garbage

Future Foe Scenarios - Silversun Pickups

In Your Honor - Foo Fighters

Bring it On - Seal

You Got Yr Cherry Bomb - Spoon

Us V Them - LCD Soundsystem

Monday, August 4, 2008

Duluth Area and Brewhouse Triathlon







The area around Duluth has to be one of the most beautiful areas in the Midwest.  I could not a get a hotel in Duluth because of the big boat show, not really that many boats, not really that big.
Ate lunch at Hell's Kitchen in downtown Duluth, pretty cool place.  I had the BLT with the addition of a nicely breaded piece of walleye in the sandwich.  The side was sweet potato fries. Very good.
Anyway, I had to stay in Silver Bay, which turned out to be pretty cool.  The drive up there is amazing.  Stayed in probably the nicest AmericInn in the midwest.  It was right on the lake.  I didn't have a view, but still beautiful.  I got up and left about sunrise, so the drive was really cool, getting to see the sunrise over Superior is awesome.  
Race went well.  Swim was good, overshot a couple of the turns going into the swim, but no biggy.  The road for the bike is the worst road I have ever biked on.  Worse than Lakeshore drive, worse then some of the streets in Minneapolis during Lifetime.  Road is buckled, potholed, and just plain rough.  First half of run is almost all uphill, which is harsh, but that means that going back is downhill.  Hooray.  The weather was nearly perfect, cloudy during the run kept it cool.  Did not rain until during the awards.  Nice.  Into my 3rd year of racing and I yet to race in the rain.  Cold and wind, but no rain.  
The drive back from Duluth was terrible, only bad part of the day.  I think every single family in the Cities goes north for the weekend and comes back on Sunday afternoon down 35.  Ick.
Swim (1408 yards) - 25:39 (1:44 min/100 yards)
T1 - 2:55
Bike (20.6 miles) - 57:27 (21.5 MPH)
T2 - 2:39 (you get to run a little circle around the transition)
Run - 38:53 (7:47 min/mi)
Total - 2:07:29
Overall - 86/188
Age Group - 14/23 (Tough competition)
Another race that has over a 5K run, under 8 min/mi.  I like that. 
Oh yeah, I should complain about the running pain in my side and abdomen.  Not too bad.
As usual, it was another great day, except for the drive.


Sunday, July 27, 2008

Chisago Lakes Triathlon



I think triathlon is the only place where adults have there parents yelling, chasing, and cheering for them. It is fantastic.
It was a pretty nice morning and a pretty good day.
I pushed the swim hard, time was not great. It was good to go out and be aggressive.
I would like to continue to do that for the rest year. Bike was good. Run was a little painful, stomach hurt a bit. A little slower than I would have liked to go 7:30-7:45.
Race number 12 this year and all went well.
I am enjoying this year.

Swim (440 yards) - 9:18 (2:19 min/100yds)
T1 - 1:54
Bike (17 miles) - 45:39 (22.3MPH)
T2 - 1:09
Run (3.1 miles) - 24:25 (7:52 min/mi)
Total - 1:22:25
Age Group - 7 of 51
Overall - 68 of 779
Here is a comparison to 2007, I would say I was significanlty faster than last year.
Note: Bike was longer last year, but speed was up this year
Swim (440 yards) - 11:47 (2:41 min/100 yds)
T1 - 2:56
Bike (20.1 miles) - 57:16 (21.1 MPH)
T2 - 1:27
Run (3.1 miles) - 25:37 (8:16 min/mi)
Total - 1:39:02
Age Group - 17/55
Overall - 142/801

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Refocus or just Focus

Last weekend it was my 31st race (14 duathlons and 17 triathlons) in less than three seasons. So I am taking some time to reflect. It has been a great two and a half years of racing. I have learned a lot about myself, physically, mentally, and emotionally. I have lost quiet a bit of weight, and I have gotten much faster and stronger, I still think I have a ways to go. I can get even faster and stronger.
Mentally, I learned that I can overcome pretty much anything put in front of me. The only fear I have faced is the bike at Alcatraz, and I don't consider that a big deal. I have not "hit the wall" or "bonked" during a race, so I have not had to deal with that mental/emotional situation, yet. I will deal with it when it comes. I have used the Tuesday Night Time Trials (T'N'T) to work on my mental toughness for the bike, and I think it has helped a lot. I think I need to improve my mental effort when I swim train, it is very difficult to do laps by yourself, 2-3 times a week. Running and biking, and just have to remind myself to remain focus, and not get lazy, which is not too hard. I think my biggest challenge is yet to come with the my first half-ironman in TX at the end of the season.
Emotionally it has been strange. I sometimes feel like crying before and after races, mostly out of happiness, which is a good thing. Occasionally out of lonliness, a desire to share this with some one else. Kind of like when I seen amazing and beautiful things by myself while traveling for work, I wish I could share the moment with someone else. Otherwise, all of this effort has had a very positive emotional, not to mention mental and physical, impact on me.
It has definitely made me a stronger person.
My friend Matt asked me wondered how I would handle it when I finally hit my physical limit, speed on bike, run, swim at any given distance. Not something I have thought about, not really sure it is something I need to think about. See what happens when it happens.
Another thing I would like to focus on a little more is writing more than just race reports and posting race pictures. Writing more things like this to it. Trying to be a little more creative with it. See what I can do.
I have 8 races left this season. Over the halfway mark, and I am still pretty excited. Training sometimes gets me down a little, but the race help motivate me. I still love it, I still want to learn more, experience more, do more. I think that is the most important thing. When that stops happening, then there is a problem.
So far there is no problem.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Heart of the Lakes Triathlon




Cool, kind of humid, foggy on the lake.  It was a very good day to race, and I had a very good race.
My fastest bike split, finally over 23 MPH in a tri.  Fastest run split over 5K.  I like this course and will probably do this race again.  
I had a good day.    
Swim (880 yds) - 16:42 (1:54/100 yds)
T1 - 2:57
Bike (21 miles) - 54:13 (23.2 MPH)
T2 - 2:02
Run (5.3 mi) - 40:58 (7:44 min/mi)
Total - 1:56:50
Overall - 151/460
Age - 14/39