Friday, December 30, 2011

The Old, The New, The Good, The Bad

It seems it is that time of year again where blog posts talk about 2011 in review or plans for 2012, so why would I not participate? 


The year started off on a great note, having just returned from a mission trip to Africa.  I went straight into training for my first year on Team Trakkers.

I was posting weekly summaries of workouts and putting up some content on my blog. 2011 looked strong!  I got my new ride.

I compiled a list of Trakkers Favorites to workout to: Trakkers Music and reviewed some products:

My training progressed and before I knew it, it was race season!  The Kestrel Airfoil Pro was ready to roll:

The first race of the season ended up with a 1st in AG(due to the first 2 getting top 3 overall) Then it was off to Knoxville… All I can say, is daym!  I was in pretty solid shape and have some work to do!

Knoxville was my first REV3 Race… and I was very impressed with how well things were run.  A+++++ Organization!

I had a disappointing race in New Brighton, but bounced back with an Overall win in Mason City Iowa.  Then the big news…. We found out my wife was expecting! Twins was just the added bonus! 
It never seems to fail that with good comes bad.  July came around and smacked me hard.  Leaving me with a broken collar bone and multiple surgeries to repair.

After the crash… everything went downhill quickly.  A much longer than expected recovery period took its toll on me, and I was mentally crushed. 

The good news, our twin boys were on the way, and growing well.  After a million doctors appointments, the boys were born on November 29, 2011. Both boys were healthy and after two weeks in the NICU, they got to come home and join the family. 


I have a number of goals/resolutions/plans for 2012.  First and foremost is to be the best dad I can to Carter and Caleb.  I love watching them grow every day.  They are truly a blessing in my life and I  could not imagine it any other way. 

I am excited to be ‘back’ on Team REV3 for 2012.  The returning members are what got me through my injuries last year, and looking forward to good things this year. 
My race schedule is far from set in stone, but here are my thoughts for events, peppered with a few local races as well.
  • REV3 Knoxville Olympic – May 6
  • Mason City Triathlon
  • Camp Courageous Triathlon – August 5 – Possibly
  • REV3 Wisconsin Dells Olympic – August 12
  • REV3 Cedar Point Half – September 9
Since 2011 added some pounds, I am also aiming on being back to race weight for Knoxville!  I have my work cut out for me.  But a goal is a goal!  I will post some more specific goals in the coming weeks.
I am very excited to see what else 2012 has in store! Until then… Go Hawks! 

Saturday, December 17, 2011

December Ramblings

I am going to do my best to keep this post to a reasonable length, but it has been a while since I have posted anything... So much for posting more often! Life is busy... What else is new. As many of you know, my wife was put on bed rest at 30 weeks which lasted for 5 weeks exactly. On November 29, 2011 we welcomed two members to our family in the form of twin boys, Carter & Caleb. They spent the first two weeks in the NICU, so we spent a lot of time back and forth between the hospital and home, scrambling to get things in order. Luckily both boys were healthy, what they call boring babies there. Boring is good!!!!! On top of that, in the same week as the babies were born, I found out that the new job I just hired into and transitioned to, was eliminated. How about that roller coaster of events in the same week?!?! Luckily, I was able to find something so it was not a big impact, more-so just a wave of emotions. I have been fairly diligent at squeezing in workouts when possible. I figure 30 minutes of running is better than 0. Hopefully I can use some of the time around the holidays to get into my new routine to find what works best. As the holiday season is around us, I cannot miss thinking about what a great year it has been. Some highlights include: - Finding out we were pregnant - Finding out and having our twin boys! - Making the Rev3 Team for 2012 - First Olympic Distance Triathlon - First place overall at Mason City Tri - Bike accident - broken clavicle - 2 surgeries for repairs Some people may look at that last one and say... What? How's that good? Well, you see, it did make me miss the whole second half of the season, but it makes me all the more excited for 2012! I am grateful for everyone that has been put in my life, friends, family, co-workers. I believe that everything happens for a reason and I fully trust that regardless of the situation, there is a bigger plan out there. Last night we had our first Christmas with some family. Since we moved into a house in March, we were ale to host, not to mention having two week-olds gives some pull so we did not have to travel. After hosting, it started to lightly snow, and a bit later after things settled down at the house, we had carolers from the neighborhood. This is one of the first years since being out of college that I felt like our Christmas was in a home, and not just our house. I am very excited for the next few weeks, and all that 2012 has to bring. Welcome to all of the new Team Rev3 members. I am excited to get to know everyone in the coming months. PS Pictures to come.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Great deal on Penzeyes spices with coupons

I just got my new Penzeye's catalog in the mail this week and was quite excited.  While I only live about 1/3 of a mile away from the store, I found this amazing deal for online folks to combine their current free sample codes, with smart choices to result in a bunch of free product.

For those that do not know what Penzeyes is... it is a spice store.  What good is a spice store you may ask?  Well at prices fairly reasonable when compared to supermarkets, you are getting much higher quality.  I have been using their spices for a few years.  I am slowly getting rid of all the old spices and plan on using only stuff from Penzeyes in the future.

As a note for those who think it is more expensive, take a look at the 4oz "bags" and the empty jars to make the most of your money. Once you have the jar, you can just order the bigger bags and replenish your stash.  It is typically close to the same cost for the bulk bag plus an empty jar as the same jar that is pre-filled.  

So without further delay, here are the steps to take advantage of the amazing free Penzeyes coupon codes.

Enter Kind Heart in the search
change qty to 1 on the free one, click add
Click search again
Enter: 95107 (empty jar w shaker lid) - Teacher Pack requires a purchase
Change qty to 1, click add
Click Search again
Enter forward, click search
Click on the link under: the 5.39 Forward jar that says "Click to redeem your coupon"
In the new area that comes up, Enter coupon code: 15958C to add the Free Forward 
Enter another code: 83018C to add the Teacher Gift Pack

When done, click to check out and setup an account if you do not have one.  On the checkout page, under the Shipping Info tab, you can change from Regular shipping 4.95, to Slow 3.95 to save a dollar, bringing the grand total to $5.66 for all of that stuff, not too shabby!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

What type of runner are you?

Not long after I laced up my first pair of running shoes did I realize I needed something to get me out running.  I needed something to make me still go run if it was cold and rainy or if it was 100 and humid.  Over the past few weeks as I have been getting back into running after my bike accident, I have really spent some time thinking about why I run, which lead me to this post.  Without generalizing too much, and without stereotyping, I have come up with a few groups that tend to define what motivates us to run.

*Disclaimer* While this is article is written from the running perspective, I see it holding true in the triathlon realm as well.  Over time, I have met people that fall into each of these three categories, some even find themselves in multiple categories.

To Runners:
This group of runners has a purpose, often motivated by a goal.  When I started running, I set a goal to run a marathon.  Every run had purpose, to get me more prepared for that goal.  Everyone in this group has a different threshold for motivation.  For me, running to stay in shape was not enough to keep me motivated.  For some people, setting a goal to run their first 5k is what it takes to drive them to consistently put in the time to accomplish that goal.  From my experience, this as one of the largest categories, and I believe that the increasing numbers each year seen at races are a direct result of this mentality.

-          Distance (5k, Half Marathon, Marathon, Ironman, Ultra, etc)
-          Time for a distance (Sub 30-Minute 5k, 5 hour marathon, etc)
-          Weightloss (10 pounds by summer, back to pre-pregnancy weight,…)
-          Placing or Podium (Top of Age Group, Overall winner, finishing ahead of someone you know)

Every time someone hits a goal, they have to re-evaluate, even if subconsciously.  Is the motivation to continue training there now that I have passed this event?  Well for some, the answer is a clear yes due to missing a goal.  They may bounce back and try to reach their goal again, but some get discouraged if they do not make the mark.  Some hit the goal, are completely satisfied and stop activities afterwards, never making another goal to pursue.  
Finally, there is the section that sees what their work has done, and looks for the next challenge. 
This group shows a progression from a 5k, to a half marathon, to a full marathon.  Always building distance or setting a faster time to pursue.  It may be competition or it may be the sense of accomplishment that drives them, but they have a burning feeling inside to explore their limits.

From Runners:
This group of runners may or may not admit or even know they are in this group.  They are often running from something… We all have skeletons in our closet, and some people use it as motivation to run.  Some of the common things people run from:

-          Addictions (Drug, alcohol, etc)
-          Issues at home
-          Obesity
-          The past – Anything that they want to get far away from (Turning a new leaf)
-          Stress

While many of the above are fairly self-explanatory, they are commonly related in the fact that it is something that is causing a void and needs to be filled.  The one that sticks out for me in this group is stress.  While it does not necessarily leave a void, it can be a catalyst to other issues.  Some may say people run TO relieve stress, but I categorize it in the FROM category, because of the downstream impacts if the stress is not dealt with.

There are no shortages of stories of people at rock bottom who see a commercial, magazine, someone running, or some other trigger that makes them do a re-evaluation of their current situation and want to make a drastic change.  These people have something they want to get away from quickly.  While running is not the “fastest” way to get away (sure you could drive), it sure gives a physical feeling to “running away from your problems or heading in the other direction”

I have heard a number of stories from people who may not necessarily be classified as an addict, but had many bad habits.  Once they started running, they realized that the two did not play nicely together, and something had to go.  Hopefully it was the activity that hindered running.  In no way I am I saying you cannot enjoy a beer and running both, but to go out drinking many nights a week and still run is somewhat counterproductive depending on your goals. 

For Runners:
This is a group of people who run for something.  Often it is a cause (Think Breast Cancer 5ks, ALS races, and other like events) but not limited to a specific race.  Sure there are people who do events to raise money for a specific cause, but there are also others who dedicate their training to one cause.  I have done 5ks for a number of causes, and the MS150 bike ride, so my “for” events are spread out.  Some people choose to do events to raise money across multiple events for one cause.  While these examples are often an extreme event, such as running across the US, or something that seems completely unattainable, it pushes the person to do the unattainable because they are thinking about the good that will be done for their “for.”  In no way am I saying you have to run across the US to be in this category, simply setting a goal to raise money for a cause, regardless of the event distance puts you in this category.

This is a group that I think many people revisit throughout their running “career.”  These events can grow to be very large, and serve as a great way for people to get involved and contribute to a cause.  It may spark interest in future events.  While some people will stick with the FOR cause, many do continue to run for other reasons, and then someday circle back to being a FOR runner when they no longer to keep setting goals, and want to still have purpose in their running. 

Regardless of the type of runner you may be, do what drives you.  Whatever it takes to keep you motivated, keep with it.  If you start losing motivation, look at how you could change your attitude or outlook on running, it can provide a much different perspective.  Although races are filling up at record rates as more people get involved, remember you are in a small percentage of people who are out and doing something, regardless of your reasons.  Find what works for you, and keep going!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

REV3 Team Application

Here Ye, Here Ye, Read all about it…

That is right, big news just came out… What you have not heard?  That is why I am putting this post out there. It is no secret of what I think about my Team Trakkers group of athletes, amateur and pro alike.  They are Legen…… wait for it…. Dary!  Yes they are that good.  I was thrilled to get home last November from our trip to Africa and receive a call from none other than Carole Sharpless with a few questions as I was applying to be a part of this team. 

I was pretty excited to hear that I had made the team, having followed many of the athletes in the past, I saw what a great group of people were involved.  I assume this is probably why they have such good retention between the years.  This just isn’t a team, it is a family.  Forget a race wheel? Someone probably can help out.  Need training advise? Plenty of that to go around.  Last race didn’t go as planned?  They will pick you right up and get you focused on the next event.  Down and out from an injury?  They will keep your spirits high and maybe even send a goodie box and get well cards! 

That is not even to mention the professional team.  This group of athletes are awesome to sit down with and have a chat, maybe even over a beer.  The pros are approachable and extremely knowledgeable, along side of being blistering fast!  At first I was a little star-struck being around, but quickly felt like I could talk to them like a friend I have known for years. 

So what does all this mean for the post?  Well, the big news is that Team Trakkers will be changing a little bit for the 2012 season.  The team will change to the Revolution 3 Triathlon Team.  Again… great… what does this mean for you?  With no further delay…. Drumroll please….

The online application to join the REV3 Amateur Triathlon Team has been posted.  Follow the link below, fill out a few easy questions, and hit submit!  We are looking for high quality people.  Note I did not say athletes.  Sure the team has Boston Qualifiers/Runners, Age Group winners, and people who are just generally FAST, but we are looking for people with character!  Social media, market exposure, community involvement, easy to talk to, and enjoying tickle fights are all things we look for.  Oh wait sorry, that last one is an inside joke from one of the current teammates.  I apologize in advance if you happen to room with that person!  Do not let that hold you back from applying.  From day one, I felt involved with the team, and cannot believe the relationships that have developed from only a year of knowing these people!

This is a great opportunity to get in on the REV3 Amateur Triathlon Sponsorship.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

When a little bit goes a long ways...

Last weekend was the Miracle Kids Triathlon in Chanhassen, MN.  I am on the leadership team for these races, and love every minute of helping facilitate the events.  The weather this year was nearly perfect.  After spending a good chunk of Friday helping setup the course, we got a little rain overnight which made the morning temperature actually a little brisk!  That is a sign that fall is near in Minnesota!  After a 30 minute drive, we managed to get to the race site around 5:15 AM on Saturday to help finalize setup and get the race going. 

For anyone who may not be familiar with the Miracle Kids Triathlon or Miracles of Mitch Foundation, I urge you to check out the webpage and read about what they are all about.  I got involved three years ago as a great event to bridge the gap of a hobby, and helping a great cause.  I was hooked!  It is a combination of getting kids active, teaching them about the importance giving back, and being able to contribute some of my strongest talents to somewhere they can be fully used. 

Race day was awesome, no matter how much planning and work  goes into hosting it, I look back this week and feel like I could have done twice as much “work” and still never felt that I had done much work at all.  The people (organizers, volunteers, board members, kids, and All-Stars) are amazing to be around and give me a feeling that I wish I could have every day! 

There are two age groups for the event, the younger group swims 100 yards, bikes 3 miles, and then runs ½ a mile.  The older group does twice that number.  Just like an adult race, you have all shapes/sizes/ages.  There are extremely competitive kids, and others who are just out to have fun (riding along with a group of their friends.)  One thing that they all share in common is that they are working to help others by raising money for the Miracles of Mitch Foundation.  The foundation helps families that have children with cancer.  The story of how a pinky-swear between Mitch and his dad turned into this wonderful cause is nothing short of amazing.  Through the day, I could not help but think of what great things the foundation is able to do for these families and how grateful I am to provide some help.

The race went extremely well and clean-up went even faster than the year before.  (We are getting more efficient!)  There were some moments in the day that I was choking back tears as best as I could.  The race had over 1000 kids racing, in total, they raised something around $325,000.  Amazing,  hearing one girl who was one of the top fundraisers had knocked on over 400 doors just baffled my mind.  One moment in the day that grabbed my heart was the ceremony before the race where they had 12 of the All-Stars on the stage and they gave their name and age.  What a great way to personalize this cause for each of the kids participating, not to mention the families involved.  

Another moment did not come until later that night when we were with a group of the leaders and discussing the day where I learned the story of one of the All-Stars. I was talking to someone about the best moment that day for her and she went into getting to ride on a golf cart with one of the All-Stars.  She told me the whole story, and I was just blown away.  The family had a daughter that was in the hospital with cancer.  She passed away, and during that time they grew closer with Victor, who was also in for cancer.  His story was a little different, he belonged to the state, so the family ended up adopting him, despite everyone else giving up on him.  That was a number of years ago and the prognosis was not good, he is now 14.  Unfortunately he has relapsed 6 times in the past 7 years and things are not looking well and breathing is labored.    The lady I was talking to, described that the family was very deep in their faith, and have been able to bring that to him.  Their conversation in the golf cart included some discussion of faith topics as well as some prayer together.  I was just amazed at hearing all of this and how close the organization is to the families. 

I got up on Sunday and went to church despite being still quite tired.  One thing that is often said at the beginning of the services is ‘We believe the Lord lead you here today.”  It could not have been more true!  I was meant to be there and hear the worship and message that related so closely to my experiences the days prior.  One of the songs that came on had the following lyrics, and I welled up almost instantly beginning to think how true it is.  The song is called “What Joy”  - “What joy, what joy for those whose hope is in the name of the Lord.  What peace what peace for those whose comfort is Him alone.“  I don’t think the words could be any more perfect.  In a time when things are not well, Victor is looking to Him to find joy and comfort when everything around him is negative.  This was just confirmation that I am meant to help with the races and help them grow to be able to support more families. 

Part of the message was about using your gifts to grow and then being able to influence others.  There were a number of times that I had tears in my eyes just listening to the message, knowing that I was there for a reason that day.  As the service ended, I was sitting next to an older couple, and the lady made a comment about being a great message, I agreed.  I forget how we transitioned into talking more on the way out, but I told her about the race and about Victor’s story.  Before I knew it, I again had tears coming down my face and she did as well.  As we parted ways, she thanked me for sharing, but  I should have been the one thanking her for listening.  It was one of those moments where you see a situation and wonder how something so negative can be true, but feel blessed to be a part of the wonderful group of people and organization.  I have no doubt that the lady was put there just for me that day as I needed someone to share with. 

I cannot even count the number of times that I had to stop writing this in order to regain my composure!  During the race, I talked to a number of parents and they mentioned wanting to get involved.  I would highly encourage everyone out there to find an organization you can relate to  and get involved.  These types of events do not happen on their own and can always use more people who can help. 

FIS Business Intelligence and Reporting

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Garmin Vector Update - Release Date Added

Many of you, like I, have been watching Metrigear progress to Garmin Vector and I guarantee the top two questions have been answered.

When will it be released? March 2012
How much will it cost? $1499

Here is a link to the Garmin Vector Blog

Finally some answers to a product many thought would become vaporware.  This puts it in the middle of the range for cost, competing with Quarq, yet nearly doubling the cost of Cycleops PowerTap.  I urge you to read the article (also contains some good information about future updates for the Garmin Edge 800, including Intensity Factor, Training Stress Score, and Normalized Power)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

That will leave a mark

It has been just over a week, and I am just getting around to posting my recap of my biking “initiation.”  Some may remember a couple of years ago when my wife had her accident that took her up and over her handlebars and quickly to the pavement causing a main course of a broken rib with a side of road rash.  Well, I too, now been inducted into the biker club with my first crash. 

It was Monday the 11th and I headed out to tackle my workout, 1:35 total with 7x5 minute intervals.  It was hot, but moving along on the bike kept temps at bay with a subtle breeze. I knew I had the wind at my back on the way out towards Hastings, so I knew the way home would be a bit long.  After finishing one of my intervals, at about 14 miles out, I hit a bump.  No not a pothole, not a speed bump, just a normal bump in the road.  Somehow it got the best of me, and I lost the front end and began heading up and over the front handlebars.  I was still moving at a good speed having just come off the interval at an average of 31 MPH flat. 

I had no idea what I hit or why I what the next few seconds would include, but I knew a few things.  First, this is going to be ugly, second, I hope to aim for the ditch so I do not get run over.

I went up in the air and began to tuck my body to aim myself more towards the ditch as to not end up in the road if at all possible.  As I came down, I felt my right shoulder hit, ouch that hurt, but not as much as I was expecting, followed by my right hip.  That is going to leave a mark!  Then I felt what made me the most nervous, crack, my head hit the shoulder, and then I skid on my back a little ways to watch my bike land about 5 feet away from me and my water bottles and Garmin went flying. 

What a ride?!? I was thinking as I tried to collect myself, pissed that I had wrecked for no reason.  As I began to gather myself, a car pulled over to offer some help.  After a few attempts we got ahold of my wife and she was on her way to pick me up.  I pretty much immediately knew my collar bone was broken just from the pain I was feeling.  The feeling of nausea, well I think that is mostly from the whole situation as opposed to a concussion, but I did crack my helmet on impact. 

After some time passed, my wife arrived, following an unmarked car and an on-duty officer who stopped to make sure I was alright.  Despite them wanting to call an ambulance, I knew I was going to the ER anyway and was doing better at this point. So I declined. 

Here I am after getting triaged into the ER, Gotta love parading around in spandex!IMG_0871I know the ER is not typically an in and out thing, and that night was no different.  I explained my story a few times and they gave me some meds to help with the pain.  When I got sent back to the ER, I was hurting, so they came to further investigate the wounds.  Yep road rash – although it was pretty  clean and took very little scrubbing to get gravel out. 


My elbow got the brunt of the road rash, but the other areas quickly started to feel like lava as they began to heal.  Now a week later, they are mostly down to bruises and a few light scratches.

Sure enough, after the X-Rays were done, I was right.  A broken collar bone, but I was not aware at how difficult of a break this would be.  So there are 3 types of fractures.  The first is when you just cause a crack in the bone.  It stays in place, but there is a small line that travels through the bone, almost like a piece of hair.  The second is a clean break.  This is where you break the bone and they separate a ways, so there is a gap between the bones.  Finally, there is my break where the bones break, and shift out of place, thus the nearly 1 inch overlap on the bones.  This is the least likely to heal properly of all breaks, which is why I later opt for surgery to repair.


In order to give myself the best chance at recover, and to be prepared for the Twins that are on the way… I figured having the surgery would be the best choice in order to get healed up asap.  I pretty much know my tri season is over for this year, unfortunate, but I am glad that this was all it resulted in. 


You can see the new plate and 9 screws I have in my shoulder now.  It is a beefy piece of hardware, that is for sure.  I am still on the mend, and have been tired as can be, which I suppose is my body’s way of telling me it needs to recover and to take it easy.  As I have said, I pretty much have come to the conclusion that my 11 Tri season is going to be cut short, but all I  can pray for is a speedy recovery! 

Looking back, I cannot imagine how things would have been different had I not had a helmet on.  I am not sure that I would have been here to even write this post.  I am quite confident of my handling skills, and this just goes to show, you never know what can happen.  Be careful out there, and always, always have a backup plan!  (Thanks RoadID and my cellphone!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Sweet Giveaways

In the case you have not seen these, take a look at some sweet giveaways I have found in the past few days!

Allied Medal Giveaway

Somnio Nada

Check back often for any others I may find, or leave yours here.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

BIG NEWS!!!!!!!

I remember it clear as day, I was in the middle of a brick workout.  I rode on the street towards our house, up the driveway, unclipped my shoe… and the garage door started opening.  “That is odd” I think to myself, “I must have caught my wife just leaving, rather interesting timing.”  I stopped my watch and she came out the door to meet me.  “Hey, how was the ride?” ‘Good” I replied, “Headed out for a quick (40 minute) run now.” She looked at me and uttered two words that will change our lives forever!

“I’m pregnant!” With a huge smile on her face.  I was shocked, sweaty, excited, and my adrenaline started pumping through my veins like I had just won the lottery.  We had been planning/trying/whatever you call it, so it was not unexpected, but to hear the words… it changes everything.  It is for real now.  We celebrated a few minutes, but as any spouse will tell you, hugging after a hard workout isn’t always the most attractive thing!  She had been stalking me on my ride, knowing I would be home soon, so as soon as she saw me, she opened the door to tell me the news! 

She had plans that evening with her sister and obviously wanted to tell me first!  I headed out on my run after a few minutes and had an blazing fast run from the adrenaline rush! 

I could stop the story here, but I realize it would be a pretty short post, so I will add some more to beef it up a bit, hopefully you will find it worth reading.

Trakkers that were in Knoxville, yes we knew at that point.  Mike Moore, sorry we had to give a generic response when you asked if we were considering kids!  “Why yes, we absolutely are considering having kids someday…” We just did not define someday with a date! 

It amazed me how much your mentality shifts and how quickly it happens.  We go from a married couple with only really our lives to worry about, to immediately being concerned for babies health.   At our first appointment, the physician’s assistant who was doing the ultrasound said to us “Here you can see you have a healthy baby with a good heartbeat” A wave of emotion hit.  Holy cow, we did that, that little flashing pixel on the screen, that’s the heart beat of our baby!  Although the measurement was only .43 cm, roughly the size of a sunflower seed, not including the shell!  Technology is pretty cool! We looked at each other and smiled.

I think that moment was broken when we heard the following words “Now I don’t want to scare you guys, but…” Our excitement quickly changed to looks of concern “Ok what is wrong, what did she see?” 

 “You guys have two healthy babies in there!” 

“Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh…… oooooooookkkkkkkkkkkaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyy…………” Was the exact response.  Here are my wife and I, shocked by what we just heard.  I will come to find out that I apparently went white as a ghost, but stayed upright!  That is right… you heard it correctly… TWINS!!!! I saw a tweet by teammate Heather(runfastermommy) that cracked me up the other week.

I am all for a good deal, but holy cow… two?!?  Just when you get your mind wrapped around becoming parents and everything that means… you get this curve ball.  As my wife and I said… it is God’s way of saying, “You guys can be planners and try to have control over things as much as you want… but just remember it is My plan” 

I am a numbers guy, no secret there.  You know… 1+1=2 

In this case, I am not thinking that is quite valid logic.  The sum of the products is not the product of the sums.  1+1 != 2

Fast forward to Today.  We are both 100% as close as you can be to accepting adjusting to the thought of twins.  I cannot imagine it any other way!  The last little nugget of info for this post.  They seem to believe the twins are identical! 

We are very excited to begin this journey!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Race Report: Mason City Triathlon - First Overall!

I will start this report by saying I was not terribly into this race.  Ever since the disaster which was New Brighton, I have been a little less motivated.  It is a dark rut to find yourself.  My motivation to workout was low, meaning my conditioning has slipped, and the fear of another poor performance loomed in my head.  I am highly competitive, so a disappointing race like New Brighton was tough to take.  I know I am better than it, and this week… I am going to prove that (mind you this is the week after the race) 

I drove down to Mason City, Iowa on Friday evening to stay with some family.  My wife is from Mason City, so my father-in-law, Jeff, and I decided to do the race after he heard about it.  First things first… it was a third annual race.  In 2009, it had 25 people, in 2010 there were 50.  Not large by any standard, but growing.  I sometimes forget that Minneapolis is a big area, and there are a lot of races, venues, and people to attend.  When we signed up, it was $30 bucks, and I figure it would be a good hard training day if anything. 

Seeing as we were staying about a mile away from the community center pool, we did not have to be up too early for the 9AM start.  We still managed to be there at 7:30.  When we arrived, they were still getting some things setup.  We picked up our packets and were informed there were no race number bibs, but that we should check back later.   I got marked up, number 57, picked up my swag bag (Tech t, water bottle, and a nylon sling bag).  Let me just say this… if this race is in the third year, gives a swag bag like that, and only charges $30 dollars for entry…. Where does my $65 plus for the c heap ones in the Cities go?  Someone’s pocket I assume.  Later I would come to find out that the volunteers for this race were also AMAZING!  The only races I have seen people so helpful in comparison is Rev3! 

The layout for this race was a bit different than normal.  The swim was a 150-yard pool swim, in an outdoor pool.  My first time lap swimming in an outdoor pool.  Transition was actually on the pool deck.  There was a semi complex system of ropes/cones to direct people out of the water, along the pool deck to transition, then back out a gate to get to the bike course.  This was due in part to the timing all being done from one trailer.  All of the wires were close, but it made for some odd paths between sports.

I got setup in a spot and got settled in.  It was overcast, but quite sticky even early in the morning.  My water bottles were sweating all over the place, not to mention I was as well!  I sipped on my bottle of EFS Orange and Pre-Race about 30 minutes before the race started. 

I am not sure I am 100% convinced with how the swim was run, it was alright.  There were 4 lanes setup in the pool.  Each lane was actually a double lane from what I am used to.  It is a circle swim.  I think probably to give more space to those who are not as comfortable in the water.  We started in the deep end, and a semi TT start with one in one out style.  Being number 58 and only 16 people in the water at a time, I had a bit to wait, but not terribly long since it was a 50 yard pool, down back down is all we had to swim.  One thing I am not used to… out of water start.  I was a bit worried about diving in with my TYR Nest Pro goggles, the last thing I wanted was to pop the seal and fill with water, but with the swim as short as it was, I could probably manage with some water in them.  I cranked down the straps a bit and got ready to dive in. 

“57… GO!” I dove in and was off like Flipper for a tasty fish treat.  150 yards, half of my warm-up set, approximately 2 minutes of pushing myself in the water.  My first 50 was fast, so fast that I passed two people going the same direction.  In my lane.  I was in the shallow end before I even knew it.  I quickly analyzed how the water looked… was it deep enough for a flip turn and not looking like an idiot, other people had, so why not?!?  I flipped and pushed and headed back for the deep end.  Good work on that Jeff, now keep it up.  Sure I went out a little too hard, I know that for a fact, but whatever, just keep swimming, swimming, swimming. (Thanks Nemo!)  As I got to the deep end, I always have trouble gauging distance from the wall especially since I am not used to the line being so much deeper.  Another flip, with about a 1/3 of a push because I was too far away, and the last stretch was ahead. 

As I got back to the shallow end, I saw one of the people I passed on the first length getting out of the water about 5 seconds ahead of me.  Not too bad, I felt good about that effort!

As I hopped on the pool deck, I checked the Garmin, 2:11.  Not the 2 flat I was looking for, but good enough.  Ironically enough, I am not sure how they got swim time and T1 split, but my chip time said the exact same. Swim time got me 6th overall.

Transition 1:
After running around the cones and rope, I circled back to my bike, and got into my shoes, sunglasses, helmet, and away I went.  Over the pool deck, in some grass, down a little hill over the timing mat, then out to the parking lot.  Whew, time to get on the bike. 

Time: 1:07 - due to the crazy nature of this layout (2nd fastest time)

10 Miles, this was going to be a hurt-fest.  Having done the MS150 last weekend, I had some bike miles, but not on my Kestrel Airfoil.  I did manage to get one good workout in the week before, but only one quality workout in two weeks left me questioning what my legs would do.  I tried to settle in on the bike, but the first little bit was in town and had a few tricky turns/rough spots I wanted to make sure and avoid.  As I got onto the main stretch, I started to push the pace.  My goal was to hold 240 watts.  I saw 400s, I saw 100s, but tried to keep pushing for that 240 mark.  Being a bit later in the start line, I was able to pass people on the bike.  I do not do as well out in front, and I seem to do better as I am reeling people in, it gives me a target.  On the way out I made some good movement up, and never had anyone pass me.

I was using my Stinger 90s with disc cover and felt some wind, although it was low, I was trying to figure out where it was coming from.  I hit the final stretch and made the turn around to realize that I had it in my face on the way out.  SAWEEEETTTTT! I would have a tail wind going home.  Time to take it up a notch.  I pushed the stretch back into town hard, even with the wind helping, I was able to hit some good numbers, and not kill my lungs/HR.  That being said, my HR never really came down when I got on the bike.  I was working for every watt I was putting out.  A few turns back towards the park and I was back before I knew it.  I knew I had a good split, right on par with what I was expecting, but probably not much more.  I thought to myself, that’s what you get for being lazy, so you better hope you didn’t blow up your legs for the run.

BIke: 25:40 - 23.38 MPH - 3rd fastest of the day

Transition 2:
Weaving back to the racks, I tossed my things down, slid on my Avia’s and headed out. 

Time: 0:59 (4th)

Yep my lungs were still burning, and I felt like I was running in a steam room.  I tried to go out with 6:40s the first mile and let my body “come down” a bit before picking up the tempo.  Well… that never happened, and I slipped closer to 7 minute miles.  Ugh, did I push too hard on the bike or am I just not used to the weather? The run was a twisty run through the campgrounds and park, weaving in and out, going over some streams.  The thought of jumping in the water did occur to try and  cool down some, but I opted to wait on that.  I had not been passed on the bike, and quickly passed a couple of people on the run, then saw someone ahead of me a few hundred yards, and tried to keep him in sight.  I was slowly gaining, but wasn’t sure if I would ever catch up.  After a short downhill section, we hit a turn and I was able to hold some momentum as I went past him and then it got lonely.  There was nobody in sight.  I had nothing to focus on as we hit the trail on the river.  Did I mention I wanted to jump in to cool off?  It would have been better than roasting in the humidity!  I felt myself start to slip a little and had to keep focused on pushing myself.  After weaving back over a bridge, I knew I was in the home stretch, somewhat.  The first 2 miles were a bit long. It was advertised at 3 miles, but I think it was a bit more like a 5k in the end. 

The last little stretch came back on some city streets, and finally I saw some people ahead of me, unfortunately, they were far enough ahead that I could not make up the distance before the finish line.  I came across the timing mat, and about hit the ground.  I heard the guy in the trailer spout off my time, 51:34.  “Nice work out there, that is the top time right now!” Dang I thought to myself, I was shooting for 50 minutes, but the second part then hit me (my brain may have been oxygen deprived a little, so it took a few seconds to process.)

Run: 21:37 (7:12 pace, fastest run split of the day!) 


I was happy with the race, hit my wattage, the run fell apart, and I know I am capable of running that course sub 50, so I plan on going back again.  I did end up first overall.  My first podium, and race win!  I was pretty pumped, this was the catalyst I needed to get me back in the swing of things for the rest of the season. 

Remember above when I said the swag bag was good, well I saw the prize table, and thought to myself, “Holy cow, I have paid more money for a raffle, with lesser prizes and worse odds.”  They had some KILLER giveaways.  An autographed Vikings helmet, football, jersey, 5 iPod shuffles, iPod nano, iPod touch, a Kindle, a Nook, 2 Toshiba netbook computers, 2 digital  cameras, 2 digital video cameras, and a number of other things.  I managed to win a RoadID gift card as well!  Another great plus for this race.  Their prizes were amazing! 

I am back, getting on schedule for workouts, and focused on having a great second half of the season.  This was just what I needed to remind me, hard work pays off!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Race Report: New Brighton Sprint Triathlon 2011

Nothing terribly eventful here. I was using a free entry into this race and there were some hold-ups in the system, mostly with my packet not being there, but they got things sorted out and before I knew it, I was in transition getting everything ready.  The weather was going to be just about perfect, mid to high 60s water, sunny, and almost no wind! I got in a warm-up on the bike, and a short run and felt great while sipping on my First Endurance cocktail of EFS Drink and Pre-Race.  At about 10 minutes to 8, I snagged my TYR Cat 5 Wetsuit and headed to the water for a quick warmup.  Nothing terribly eventful here, felt good, fluid, very floaty (technical term) and ready to go.  The water was about perfect with a full sleeve wetsuit. 

Half mile, Garmin in my cap, triangle shape out and back style.  I started right up front (knowing I would not exit with the leaders, but mostly trying to avoid the crowd at least.  Off we went, and I started faster than I should have, I was feeling good and decided to go with it.  Unfortunately my training has changed a bit, so a lot of my effort has been spent doing 100 repeats and not holding it for a half a mile.  I was about 2/3 of the way out before I felt myself letting off a bit, not getting comfortable, just losing form and strength in the pull.  A good turn around, and I was aimed back at shore.  My sighting was a bit off on the way in, partially into the sun, and who knows what other excuse! 

I felt like the course was a bit long, although the Garmin said it was .51 miles.  Maybe it was just a bit longer than years past, because swim times did look a bit slower than one would have expected.

Transition 1:
I felt like my first year all over again.  I was a bit disoriented and struggled getting my wetsuit off my ankles.  After fumbling around a while, I was able to run out and get on with the show.

From bad to worse.  I have no clue what happened on the bike, but I had nothing.  As soon as I started pedaling, my glutes and legs felt like they had gotten done doing about 1000 squats or lunges.  I could not generate power for the life of me, I could have walked a few of the hills quicker than I seemed to be biking up them, and all around, I was shot.  I have absolutely no explanation for this outside of having felt sluggish all  week.  I was shooting for 250 watts and being in the higher 23 MPH Range, that was not happening!  I started getting passed by people left and right, having Clydesdales climb quicker than I was, ugh what a day!  I was mentally checked out of this race very early. 

Transition 2:
Outside of forgetting my race belt after a few steps and a quick turn-around to grab it, nothing crazy here. 

Oh yay, finally the last leg.  Right away I knew that a 20 minute 5k was about as likely to happen as winning the lottery.  I tried to hold on to something in the higher 6 minute pace, and quickly found myself right at 7s.  They were painful 7s at that!  My lungs were burning, stomach about ready to heave, and legs still felt like I had already run 20 miles.  I plugged away, got chick’d about half way through (not to mention the one who flew past me on the bike) and decided to try and hold her pace (right at 7 min miles) We flip flopped a few times and as I entered the wooded trail, I knew I had a pack of 3 hanging on my heels.  I heard one chatty guy offering his 2 cents to people, breathe this way, relax that, one foot in front of the other.  Thanks buddy, as if I didn’t already know how to run.  I did hear one guy say he was just following “the guy in green” (that was me).  I responded saying he better not be in my AG and make a pass in the last 100 yards or I would be pissed!  As we hit the turn around with about a mile to go, I finally got some legs.  As we entered the woods again, I picked it up a bit, wanting to catch back up to Mr Running Coach who was about 30 yards ahead.  His pace was slowing, and mine was getting faster, so it did not take long to pass him.  Then my focus was on making sure to keep him behind me, and not get  out sprinted at the end, so I pushed a bit harder.  A quick glance backwards and I hardly could see him and ran it out. 

Results were sucktastic.  Overall the times seemed slow from what I would have expected and years past.  I don’t know if the swim was a bit long or if the bike changed a bit, but I ended 2 minutes SLOW of my time last year.  The best thing that came from this race is that eventually, I knew I was going to do a race and not set a new PR on that course.  Sure, not the race I would have liked that to happen on, but it was bound to happen.   All I can do is take it as a learning experience and go with it.  My race with Jared can hardly be considered a race.  I guess I was not terribly far behind out of the swim, but it was game over from there.  Oh well, one race in the books that did not go nearly as well as I had intended, keep training with the long term goal in mind!

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