Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Well it’s that time of year again when you see little kids in costumes running around trying to fill their buckets full of sweet goodness. Others spend their time running the local 5Ks full costumes optional, but you usually find some really good ones. This past weekend I was at a couple of the local races and there were plenty of great costumes out there. It had been a few years, but a group of us actually went picked pumpkins and carved them on Sunday. I had used a cool looking Igor stencil and it turned out pretty well. Of course the local squirrels came around and ate out his face. So there goes that masterpiece. So whether you get all dressed up and take part in the festivities or not enjoy this ghoulish night before you wake up tomorrow to the on slot of the winter holidays.


Take care…

Pictures from this weekend

Friday, October 27, 2006

Chicago Post Race

Crossing the finish line at Chicago was pretty sweet and a big relief. My last big race of the year was over and it was time to relax a bit. After collecting my gear bag I was off to the meet-up area to wait for the rest of my crew. I did have a long wait but it was broken up by a quick stop by TriSaraTops as she was leaving the race site. It was great to see her again if only for a couple of minutes.

TriSaraTops and I

After a couple of hours of standing out in the cold the crew was assembled and we make our way back to the hotel. I don’t think I’ve had a shower feel so good. I could have been in that thing for hours and not even blinked. I might have come out looking like a shriveled prune, but it would have worth it. Once we had all showered it was off to PF Chang’s for some much needed nutrition. I highly recommend the lemon pepper shrimp. It was goooooood!

With food in our bellies we walked the half block back to the hotel to lounge around until we decided on the next course of action. This would finally entail heading down the block to the Rock Bottom Brewery for a little blog meet-up. I had missed the big blog meet-up that Jawhawk put together, but Mouse, e-speed, and Running Rabbit made the trek and we partied it up for a couple hours. The booze was flowing a bit with beer, wine, shots, and of course long islands ordered. It was fun hanging out with everyone even though the runners were pretty tired. Finally it was time to say good-bye and we headed back to the hotel for some much deserved rest. All in all it was a great race and a great trip. I leave you know with some pictures from the weekend.

Take care…


My Travel Crew
(Patty, Becca, Sara, and Sherry)

Building in GreekTown

Bottoms Up
(Sherry, Patty, Rabbit, Becca, E-Speed, and I)

E and Mouse

Mouse and I (after a couple LIs)

E and I

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Chicago Race Report

The wind was bricks, but the moods were high as we walked the mile from out hotel to the race start. My nerves were there, but not running too high which I was thankful for. I had my Pre-Pre-Race mix on as people chatted while we walked. Soon we were engulfed in the hoards of people making their way to the starting line. After some good lucks and good byes I left my crew and made my way to the gear check and then to the Preferred Start II corral. I have to say that having a preferred start was pretty cool. People made small talk as they waited for the start of the race. Soon the cheers went up as the race started and our corral moved towards the start line. You had to watch your step to avoid tripping over the clothes that were tossed aside as runners started their race. It took us only 3 minutes before we were at the start. A final cheer went up; I smiled and crossed the start line of my first marathon.

My goal for this race was to come in under 4 hours. Even better would be to finish in the 3:50, 3:55 range. To accomplish this I stuck with the 3:50 pace group. Well I should say I ran a little ways (10-30 yards) behind the pace group. I figured if I could keep them in my sights I would be just fine. The first half of the race was over in a flash. I was on the look out for Mouse and TriSaraTops, but I never found them in the crowd. I was a little disappointed, but rest of the crowd was great. There were bands playing and people cheering the entire time. Two sighs caught my eye during the race. The first one said “Run Faster Stupid” and the second was “More Cowbell?” for the SNL skit with Christopher Walken.

Up til about mile 19/20 I was feeling really good. I guess for most people it’s usually around mile 20 where things get a little harder and that’s where the race really started for me as well. I was still feeling pretty good at the 20 mile mark, but the body was starting to tire and legs were starting to feel heavy. It didn’t help that I had been running in the cold and windy weather for about 3 hours. I don’t think the temp rose much past 40 the whole day. After the 20 mile mark my legs started to spasm a bit. I figured that sooner or later the cramps would come, but for the time being I just marched on and took down some sports beans. It’s amazing how some as simple as chewing was like a breath of fresh air. Yum yum I heart sport beans.

At around mile 23 I went more into survival mode. I knew that I was going to be able to finish and I just wanted to be done. I tried to keep my pace steady, but I had lost the 3:50 and would kick it towards the finish on my own. A mile later my legs reminded me what I was putting them through and started to scream. By mile 25 I was cramping every other step and was forced to job and shuffle along at times. It didn’t help that I the finish was a bit on an incline and the wind from the lake was smack right in your face. Soon came the countdown signs, 800M, 400M, 200M. By this point my legs had had enough, but I surged as best I could towards the finish. Finally after 3 hours, 52, minutes, and 2 seconds I had complete my first marathon.

To be continued…Post Race

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Make Up Your Mind

This is all I’m asking of Mother Nature in terms of Sunday’s weather in Chicago. The weather reports have been flaky as always with some saying rain and others not. Now on a normal day the weather comes and goes, but when it comes to race day I want a fortuneteller. Is this too much to ask? I mean with all the technology this world has produced it’s still a crap shoot when it comes to predicting the weather. So like the thousands of others who will be racing on Sunday I’ve been rolling over the combos that might help keep me comfortable and as dry as possible should the heavens open up Sunday. There just a few when you list the many options; shorts, pants, short-sleeve shirt, long-sleeve shirt, vest, jacket, visor, hat, sunglasses, gloves, and maybe some arm warmers. So much for a light packing trip. All I know is that it’s not going to get above 50 which I’m ok with it. Bring it on Chi-town!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Final Taper

In less then a week I will wrap up my final race for the 2006 season. Oh there might be a 5K here or there, but for big races this is it; Chicago the last big hurdle in a long season. To be honest I’m looking forward to a little break. Yes I will continue to train to retain my base, but I’m looking forward to being a bit lazy. I think 10 months out of the year is plenty of time to devote to my training and the sports I heart. All that’s left is this “little” 26.2 mile run. On Sunday I finished off my last long run before the race. It’s weird how 10 miles just doesn’t seem that long anymore. I’ll be singing a different tune after the break. Anyway just a couple more short runs this week before I pack up and head down to Chi-town. There should be a good crew from blog land on hand which will make it a lot of fun. I know Mouse and TriSaraTops will be in the crowd with Nic, Elizabeth, and several others running. I’m starting to get psyched for this race. Would it hurry up and get here all ready? GOSH!

Friday, October 13, 2006

My 2007 A race

Thursday, October 12, 2006

What It Takes

Frickin huge! What It Takes is a documentary about 4 professional triathletes and their journey to Kona. I’ve been waiting and waiting for them to release this flick and it’s finally happening. On Monday the movie will go on sale and I’ll be placing my order Monday morning. This is supposed to be an amazing look into the lives of these people and it’s a total psyche up for training. They are even going to be showing the movie at a local theater in November. Woohoo! This is sweet sweet news people.

Check out this trailer. It's super sweet!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Keep it going…

Things have been going well since the weekend. I returned from my trip up north on Sunday (post about that coming) and went for a great 12 mile run. With my new Asics on I was flying and before long I was done. I was kind of like, that’s it? I guess after the 20 miler the previous weekend everything seems really short.

I suggest sunglasses when looking directly at my new Asics....

I already relayed the news about making the preferred start for Chicago. Today I was hit with another bit of good news. My local LLS office wants to send me to CA for my TNT coach’s certification. I mean how sweet is that? I won’t know for a bit if I get in or not, but I’m pretty psyched. I haven’t been in CA in a couple of years so it would be great to spend some time on the west coast. Oh and before I move on, Dave Scott is one of the instructors. He’s only like the most famous triathlete and coach in the world. He won the world championship in Kona 6 times. Holy crap and I might get to meet this guy. Totally bitchin!

More good news rolling off the news tickers, I’ll save the big one for Friday.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Preferred Start II

When I returned from my weekend up north I found a very nice surprise waiting for me. In the mail was my confirmation notice for the Chicago Marathon. Included was my starting position which read Preferred Start II. This means that I qualified to start in the first 10,000 racers. Now that might not seem like a huge deal to be 1 of 10,000, but when look at the big picture I’m pumped to be starting before 30,000 other races. This is a freaking huge race. 40,000 racers! This will defiantly be the biggest race as far as number as I’ll probably ever be apart of. Get ready Chi-town, 40,000 runners are coming to stomp all over you!

Thursday, October 05, 2006


I think this is the best way to describe my marathon training. After Pigman back in August I just haven’t have the motivation and rigor that I normally put into my preparation for a race. Now this may come back to bite me, but I think I’ll be alright. The one area that being relaxed about that I know is affecting me is my nutrition. This is something I usually watch very carefully when I’m training, but I just haven’t. I’ve been eating out too much, having a few too many cocktails. So it’s time to crack the whip. After this weekend, cause I’m going to visit my little bro and we may have a bit to drink while I’m there, its back to a good diet and non or very little booze til the marathon. I mean if I can’t pull it together for two weeks then I have no business training and racing in the first place. You hear from time to time of people flushing their systems before a doctors appointment, there was a great Cosby Show episode about it, but I’m flushing my system before a 26.2 mile race. Hmmm…maybe I should have thought about this earlier.

Take care folks…

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Disney Recap

Last Monday I returned for the “Happiest Place on Earth,” aka Disney World. My TNT tri team was racing in the Walt Disney World Triathlon on the 24th. It was a crazy weekend with little down time. All I have to say is that it’s a lot easier being an athlete then a coach. That whole responsibility thing can really drain the batteries after a full weekend. It didn’t help that it took at least 45 minutes to get anywhere down there. That’s one of the downsides of staying at the Disney resorts. You can’t just hope in your car to get where you need to go. It was busses, shuttles, or fairies the whole weekend. We also spent a lot of time working on bikes. I had to set up a bike repair spot in my living room for most of the weekend. I don’t think the grease came off my hands til after I returned to MN.

So the highlights of the weekend included all my athletes finishing the race. Three athletes placed well during portions of the race. Kris placed 9th in her age group for the swim. Chris placed 9th in his age group for the run and Nick finished 21st overall in his age group. This was pretty exciting and they were stocked. It was a big race with 1500 racers so to do really well in any portion of the race is a big deal.

There were a few stressful moments when one guy on my team had a flat only a couple minutes into the bike. One girl made me sweat with a fairly slow swim. You always start to wonder and worry when most of the swimmers have come out of the water. Finally she arrived and I was able to breathe again. Myself and a couple other TNT coaches were lined up at the swim exit watching for our last swimmers, it was pretty comical.

Overall I was so proud of the way my team performed. The weather conditions were hot and muggy with temps reaching into the 90s. That’s a huge change from the 50s and 60s we left here in MN. They all finished with huge smiles on their faces. All which were made bigger by the time the victory party rolled around and a few drinks were consumed. The night didn’t end til after 1 AM, nothing like whopping it up at Disney World all night long. The victory parties are always a good time with all the different TNT teams there. We partied with some people from RI who I had met at the Philly tri back in June. It was a good way to wrap up the weekend.

Here is a link to a gallery with all the pictures I took that weekend. Disney TNT Tri weekend.

Oh and I don't want to hear the word "Magical" for like two years!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Flash Gordon Style

I blinked and my weekend was over. One minute I’m finishing up my work on Friday afternoon and the next instance it’s Monday morning and I’m back at work. So here in blitzkrieg like fashion is my weekend recap.

Friday after work I drove down to my hometown to visit the fam. My brother and sister-in-law were in town to show off the latest addition to the clan. Of course when I arrived no one was there so I got dinner started while the fam trickled it. We had a nice visit and my new nephew is a cute little baby.

The visit was cut short when I had to leave to return to the cities. With a 20 mile run in the morning I needed to be back at a decent time. On the drive home I contacted the infamous Mouse who had arrived in the Twin Cities for the Minnesota vs. Michigan football game. By all account she was having a ball and enjoying her stay.

Saturday morning and it was time for my 20 miler. I wasn’t looking forward to this run at all, but it was my last long run before Chicago. I decided on a 10 mile route to loop twice. My first loop was conservative and slow, but I was feeling good. I made a quick stop at by car for some sports beans and to restock my Gu supply. I felt good starting the 2nd loop and I picked up my pace. Up until the 2.5 hour mark I was feeling really good, but all good things come to an end. Things didn’t take that big of a nose dive, but my legs were starting to rebel and spasm. I slowed down a bit over the last couple of miles to keep from cramping. It worked and finished just back to 3 hour mark. I knew I had pushed the 2nd loop and was shocked and excited when I saw that I negative split the 2nd half by almost a minute per mile. I was stocked even with the knowledge that my body would get me back in only a matter of hours.

After my long run it was back home for a little rest before I had to leave again to meet up with Mouse and her crew for some tailgating action. Now this was the first time Mouse and I had met so all bets were off. I was quick to learn that she’s just like she is on her blog and we had a great time. We partied it up with the other tailgaters until the game started. Drinking some whap like concoction called Hopskipity. (spelling?) Mouse was decked out in full on Michigan clothes complete with blue mascara. It was a blast!

After the game we met up again for a few drinks. Due to the outcome the first round was on me and I treated Mouse and her crew round of Tequila shots. (Mouse’s favorite btw…hehe) Then it was off to another bar for a bit before finally calling it a night.

Sunday morning I’m up for the Twin Cities Marathon. I cheer the runners on for a bit before heading back downtown for the Twins game. I was meeting my little bro and his friends for the last game of the regular season. A few beers later and the Twins had one and clinched the division with Detroit (or the D, according to mouse) losing. I was suppose to go out again after the game for a TNT function, but I went home and crashed.

So yeah there’s my weekend that was over in a heartbeat. It was a good time though and meeting up with Mouse was a blast on Saturday. Don't worry Mouse I won't tell everyone that you were amazed by the Twin Cities and wondering why you are still living in the big D. :)

Ok I need to catch my breath. I’ll catch you on the flip side…