Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Waseca Triathlon Preview

I decided to do it after all, with one minor change. Yes, I'm back on for the Waseca Triathlon this coming Sunday (8/2). I had initially entered to do the 1/3 IM distance, but as I'm still working through a nagging Achilles tendinosis issue there was no way I was going to make it through a 9-mile run.

Instead, I am switching to the sprint event. This will be a 0.26 mile swim, a 13.8 mile bike and a 4.4 mile run. So why even bother doing it at all with my targeted big event...the Detroit Lakes triathlon....following two weeks later on 8/15? Three reasons.

One - I have been having mental issues with the swim as my last two events can attest to. Therefore I need to get into an open water swim and make sure I am mentally ready for Detroit Lakes. I'm not going to wear the constrictive speed suit or wet suit. Just swim trunks. I'm 100% certain I'll be fine.

Two - One gets faster on the bike by having speed workouts. No matter how many time-trial workouts I schedule, nothing equals race day conditions. I'll be using this as a bike speed session.

Three - Yeah, the Achilles is getting better all the time. But it still barks at me now and then. But, the speed is coming back. Mentally, I need to test my pace to see if I can go sub-7 min/mile for at least one of the miles. I do not intend to race the whole four miles. This will be a speed workout to get me ready for Detroit Lakes

The Swim

The Bike

What I like, the bike course is very flat. Or least, that is what race director Bill Nevala posted to Flickr over the weekend.

The Run

Right now, there looks to be about fifty males entered into the sprint event. Slots are still available so if you are looking for a last minute event, jump in!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sunday Leftovers

Since I was a bachelor this weekend, I had to get up with the dogs. My wife usually covers this duty. I guess it's something she just does and I take for granted. But she is a WKW (Well Kept Wife) so she can't complain.

Getting up with the dogs means sometime between 4:30 - 5:30 AM. Our oldest whippet, now 13, just seems ready to rock n' roll right away. My wife refers to Glynis as the 'old woman'.

Since the Wife® and the Boy® were out of town, it was my turn. Glynis allowed me to sleep in until 5:20 AM. My other dog, Pont....almost 5 now, was fast asleep under the covers with me. So we all got up together.

So, I headed out the door with the TT bike and drove to Baker Regional Park where I could ride unfettered and also get in some hills. My time-trial distance would be 13.57 miles. I had been doing this at 22 MPH pace in May, but haven't been able to match it since.

I got off to an ominous start was the chain somehow ended up in back of the cassette. It took me two minutes to undo the damn mess. My hands were now covered in grease. Yeah, it was going to be a great time trial. In the end my time was better than a few weeks ago, but still below my goal. But, I was content.

Distance - 13.55 miles
Time - 38 mins 28 secs
Avg Speed - 21.1

All before 8:30 AM. Which meant I could watch the last stage of the Tour. Which I did. My only comments are:

- Anyone else feel the icy friction between the #1 and # 3 spots on the podium?
- I do not like Fabian Cancellara (Spartacus) but I am warming on Mark Cavendish.
- Phil Liggett had a juicy comment at the end, in essence saying neither Alberto Contador or Andy Schleck could match the intelligence of Lance Armstrong and that Armstrong could have a higher result in the 2010 tour because of it.

With the Tour out of the way, I was free to hit the pool. I opened with a 500-yd warm up (250 yds of which was just pull). I then sank into my second speed work of the day.

12x25's: all under 20-seconds; 30-second rest interval
10x50's: all between :44 - :46; 20-second RI
5x100's: all between 1:34 - 1:37; 30-second RI
200 yd cool down for a total of 2000 yds.

That hurt. But it felt good afterwards. So good that I decided I might as well got for the trifecta and run. So I did an easy 3.77 miles. Very easy at 8:30 pace which felt smooth in the 80-degree temps.

All of which meant I could try two new flavors of Doritos and not feel guilty.

It's the little things in life, right?

Quick blurb on my August events schedule, coming Wednesday is my preview of the Waseca Triathlon scheduled for this coming Sunday (8/2). After that is the Detroit Lakes Triathlon (8/15) and then the Minneapolis Duathlon (8/31). Note on the MPLS already has over 800 people entered. Amazing for a first time event.

July Totals to Date
Work Out Hours - 33 hrs 18 mins
Bike Miles - 390
Swim Yards - 22,100
Run Miles - 30 (freakin' Achilles is making this a season to forget!)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

I Am a Magnetic Field

Magnets have long been associated with the ability to enhance the body's natural healing ability. Very soon I will try on the Trion:Z Ionic/Magnetic bracelet and keep an open mind.

Frankly I am a cynic. On some days, I’m a ‘glass is half empty’ person who always likes to shoot holes into peoples theories and ideas. But I do try and look into new things. No matter how Area 51 they may be.

Recently, I saw an ad for Trion:Z Active Ionic bracelets. I laughed off all thoughts of purchasing one of these "miracle cures" thinking that this was all a crock of lies to sell bracelets. But as I’ve inched closer and closer to the Big 5-0, my aches and pains that have crept up the past few years have not subsided despite massage and stretching. I'm feeling physically drained and I guess that I was looking for that phenomenon that would improve my health and give me back my A-game.

Trion:Z bracelets are not metallic but are made from a special material that is infused with negative ion-producing minerals called "STAYERS" actually woven directly into the fabric. They are double-looped to enhance their healing properties. As it clearly states on the package, the "unique, patented Alternating North South Polarity Orientation (ASPO) increases Magnetic Field Flow to maximize the power of the magnets".

Two loops, alternating current, more power. And now they had formulated a silicone model especially for triathletes who swim, bike, run and generally sweat twenty-three hours a day.

These bracelets were designed for the active person. Urban living produces countless positive ions which are associated with symptoms including fatigue, loss of concentration, nausea, headaches and joint pain. Basically, if you're feeling uncomfortable from the stresses of daily living, this bracelet's negative ions are supposed to counteract these symptoms.

Not only are athletic types supposed to benefit from this technology but people who are regularly exposed to positive ions from computers, cell phones and electrical machinery.

It is known that magnetic therapy has been used on patients since the days of the early Egyptians and Asian culture promotes the healing power of magnets as well. With the Earth being one large magnet and the field around it protecting us from the harm of radiation, there is some sense to be made of this technology.

You can pick one (or several) of these nifty Trion:Z ionic bracelets for a song (I paid $26.95 including shipping) compared to other magnetic lifestyle technology. Just don't blame me if they don't actually seem to do anything. I’ll be back to report on mine in a few weeks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

New Jerseys

I've been enticed to invest in a few new cycling jersey's having spent, oh, somewhere in the neighborhood of 99-hours glued in front of the television the last few weeks watching the Tour.

I've made it no secret that the rider I've been most impressed with is Franco Pellizotti of Team Liquigas.

So it should come as no great shock that I picked up a jersey off eBay this week.

And I believe I have spoken about my love for the color orange. Last week, I even designed a Trek Madone in orange. Not that I can afford a custom Trek Madone....but I can afford a orange jersey. Just like the one wore by Mikel Astarloza in winning Stage 16 for team Euskaltel-Euskadi.

Once again, thanks to eBay, I can now be rather dapper when cycling the roads of the Baker Park Reserve.

How about you? Make any recent purchases based off something, or someone, seen during the Tour?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Art

Warning - the following blog entry hasn't tickety-boo to do with triathlons.

In the fall of 2006, we paid a visit to Scottsdale. I love Arizona. I was there a lot in the late 90's when I worked for my former employer. In fact, I brought the Wife® down there one trip in the spring of 1998 hoping to talk her into moving. But back then, it wasn't to be.

While there in 2006, we went shopping for some paintings. Real oils. One of a kind pieces. And we discovered an artist out of Spain by the name of Pedro Fraile. Spain has been the birthplace of many talented artists such as El Greco, Goya, Murillo, Velazquez and many others including Fraile, from Madrid. Pedro had the opportunity as a very young man to live in the environment and influence of the great Spanish master, Manuel Benedito. His further studies included training at a School of Arts and Crafts, and the Superior School of Fine Arts in Madrid.

His fondness for the countryside…its plains, humble villages…the land and sea, and particularly, the simple life that he respects and loves, is the inspiration for Pedro’s irrevocable vocation. His palette of pure, vibrating colors translate into vitality, warmth and optimism. Pedro’s youthful exuberance continues to be evident in his work and his pursuit of the path towards perfection is infinitely intriguing as the mystery of a white canvas evolves little by little to where his mastery gives shape to a message, an emotion…the silent legacy of the painting becoming a memory for the future.

When the Wife® and I first starting dating, she was employed at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. We spent many a date walking the various galleries and looking at our favorite works. We have traveled abroad to look at art. Such as our 1995 trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg where we have fallen in love with so many Russian artists.

On this 2006 trip to Scottsdale, we started out looking for Russian art. But in the end, we just could not pass up the opportunity to own some works by Fraile. So, we bought two that trip as shown below.

This past spring, we again returned during the Boy's® spring break. During our stay, we returned to the same gallery and spent the morning pouring over more than forty works by Fraile. We narrowed it down to five. Then to four. And eventually decided on two new paintings to add to our Fraile collection.

One was very large and needed to have a special frame created. So, there was a delay in getting the new art work to us. But arrive they did, just yesterday. The first, shown below, now hangs in the master bedroom.

The second was more of a challenge to hang. We had planned to place in our living room. But with frame the painting's dimensions come in at 4' by 5'. And it just didn't fit over the piano. One hour later we had shifted around living room furniture, including the piano. But nothing looked right. I was losing patience.

The Wife® then came up with a brilliant suggestion. Move the grandfather clock in the Great Room and we'd have a perfect spot for the oil.

The painting is just tremendous. No amount of pictures does it justice. The Boy agreed to stand in front of it to provide an idea of its size.

That's it for today. If you are in the Scottsdale area and wish to visit the gallery we have had such great service with, go no further than S. R. Brennen and ask for Trey.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Taper Help!

Hi everyone. I'm going to use this blog entry to ask for a little help. I have a triathlon on August 15th that I'd like to do well in. This will most likely be my last tri of the 2009 season.

Question is simple - do you have a favorite one or two week taper program that you have found successful leading into a triathlon? If so, please share. Either leave a comment below or send to me via e-mail.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

Tour de France Average Winners Speed

While watching the Tour this year, I began to wonder what was the overall average speed of the past Tour winners. So, after compiling the information I can now share with you via Google tables.

It would appear that I would have had a chance in the year 1919. Of course, the key would be taking my current stable of bikes back in the time machine with me. That year, winner Firmin Lambot averaged a mere 14.95 MPH. That was the slowest tour ever. Now, that must have been a very tough year. Sixty-nine entrants started but only eleven finished. And the route didn't leave much to the imagination, as shown below.

Why? The impact of World War I had been large on the French road system, which made cycling difficult. This tour was important because the yellow jersey was introduced for the first time and was so successful that it has been used ever since.

The fastest year? That would be 2005 won by Lance Armstrong. His speed for the tour that year averaged 25.88 MPH.

It took until 1948 for any rider to average above 20 MPH for the entire tour when 38-year old Gino Bartali averaged 20.78 MPH. In 1960, the 23 MPH average for the entire tour was cracked by Gastone Nencini. In 1981, Bernard Hinault brought home the overall title with 24.21 MPH average for the tour. The 1999 tour was won by Armstrong at 25.02 MPH, the first time the 25 MPH tour average was broken.

Some fun trivia to close out this blog entry.

•123,900 - calories burned by a rider in the course of the Tour

•324,000 at 60rpm, 486,000 at 90rpm - number of pedal strokes taken per rider over the Tour

•Three - average number of chains worn out by a single rider (Armstrong goes through one chain per week)

•792 - total number of tires used by the peloton

•Eleven - fewest ever finishers (1919, out of 69 starters)

•34 - most stages won by a single rider, career total (Eddy Merckx - 1969, six stages plus overall; 1970: eight stages plus overall; 1971: four stages plus overall; 1972: six stages plus overall; 1974: eight stages plus overall; 1975: two stages)

•Eight - most number of stages won on single Tour (Charles Pelissier, 1930 - Eddy Merckx, 1970 and 1974 - Freddy Maertens, 1976)

•Eight - most riders to wear yellow jersey in one Tour (1987)

•96 - most days spent in yellow jersey (Eddy Merckx in seven Tours)

•28 minutes 27 seconds - biggest winning margin (Fausto Coppi over Stan Ockers, 1952)

•Eight seconds - smallest winning margin (American Greg LeMond over Laurent Fignon in 1989)

•22 minutes 50 seconds - biggest winning margin on stage win (Jose Luis Viejo, 1976)

•34.27 MPH over 4 miles - fastest prologue (Chris Boardman, 1994)

•Seven - highest total number of "King of the Mountains" victories (Richard Virenque)

•33.89 MPH over 15.22 miles - fastest individual time trial (Greg LeMond, 1989)

•34.13 MPH kph over 41.63 miles - fastest team time trial (Gewiss, 1995)

•36 - age of oldest winner (Firmin Lambot, 1922)

•20 - age of youngest winner (Henri Cornet, 1904)

•16 - most times Tour finished by one rider (Joop Zoetemelk, 1970 and 1986)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday Ramblings

Wow, I am having a great July as far as workout totals. I fact, if I keep on my plan for the weekend I will break my monthly bike total record this weekend. With twelve days left in the month I will be over 320 miles on the bike. And that will be a new monthly record since I started my triathlon comeback two years ago. Could I get to 400 miles for the month?

Of course, it hasn't been pain free. On Thursday evening, I had a windy 40 miler on the bike. Then I picked up some road rash in my friggin' driveway when I couldn't click out of my pedals and just fell over. Laugh a minute I am.

My fav rider (thus far) at this year's tour is Franco Pellizotti. Yours?

And am I the only guy who doesn't really like Mark Cavendish? Can't put a finger on why. I've never met the man. Never will. But I just bristle when I see him.

Me and a copper got into it the other day. It was captured on tape.

How can I get a yellow Specialized S-Works? Seriously. More on this bike here.

Of course, everyone wants to ride what Lance is riding. Which is a Trek Madone 6.9 If you want to play around, you can build your own Madone 6.9 to your own custom specs. Here are three that I created. Amazing that just under $9000, ahem, gets you a custom bike. The third is my favorite. I've been wearing orange when racing, so why not a orange bike? And this actually comes in at $8609.99.

I leave you with a short video of my whippets.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

If I Were a Rich Man

If the economy weren't so tanked and I wasn't stuffing money into my mattress like a depression era bumpkin, I would be looking at getting a nice road bike. One can never have too many bikes.

I save the Cervelo P3 for races. I take it out into the country at least once a week for 'carbon day' where I basically just make the quads quake. One thing I despise is seeing all these yahoos tucked into a aero-position on their time-trial bikes roaring on the bikes paths, hardly paying heed to pedestrians and little toddlers. They are just asking for trouble. Is it too much to ask to take your TT bike out on the road where it belongs?

So I'm relugated to my Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra city bike for the most part. It does the job. I love the bike. But call it Road Bike Fever now that I've been watching the Tour. And two bikes have caught my eye.


Starts around $4300

Wilier bikes are almost unheard of in the Tundra. And fewer know that it has a history more than 100 years old, twice as long as Pinarello and five times as Cervelo.

Wilier Triestina was founded in 1906 when Pietro Dal Molin, a trader from Bassano del Grappa, had the idea of building his own bicycles. His forge of "steel horses" began as a small workshop along the banks of the river Brenta, and was originally called Ciclomeccanica Dal Molin. As the demand for bicycles increased, it became more and more successful. He even supplied bicycles to the Italian army during WWI.

The name Wilier was a patriotic acronym. In Italian, the letter W is not used. W is usually used as an abbreviation for the word Viva! The acronym goes like so:
W Italia LIbera E Redenta, which means "Long Live Italy, Liberated and Redeemed." Triestina was meant as a tribute to the city of Trieste, which at the time was not yet regained by Italy after the war.

Modern era landmark victories and achievements include:

1985-Claudio Corti Wins Italian National Road Race Championship
1997-Marco Pantani Wins 2 Tour de France stages and places 3rd on GC
2000-Sergei Gonchar Wins TT World Championship
2004-Wilier Triestina Expands Factory
2004-Davide Rebellin Wins Historic Triple of Amstel Gold, Fleche Wallone, and Liege Bastogne Liege
2005-Giro d'Italia passes Wilier Triestina factory
2008-Ballan wins the World Championship

The top of the line Wilier bike is the Centro Uno, which means 101 in Italian. Designed in collaboration with Mitsubishi, taking advantage of their very highest grade of carbon fiber. This "46 Ton" carbon fiber can withstand 46 tons of force per square mm.

The asymmetric chainstays and integrated seatmast are two additional details designed to deliver stiffness. Pedaling forces put different loads on the driveside chainstay vs. the non-driveside chainstay. It also has an integrated seatmast as a true extension of the seat tube, but can be cut to accommodate a regular seat post.

The squared headtube mates the a squared fork crown, with the goal of providing outstanding steerability. Last but not least, the oversized BB and integrated rear triangle.

The people I've talked to have rave remarks for the stiffness and ability to just torque it out on the gears. For more info, read here.


Starts around $8500

Maybe you saw Stage 9 of the Tour on Sunday (7/12). Franco Pellizotti, third-place finisher at the Giro d'Italia, spent almost the entire day off the front of Sunday's Tour de France stage. Along with breakaway companion Pierrick Fedrigo, Pellizotti attacked just five kilometers into the stage and against the odds, the duo stayed away until the finish.

Pellizotti took maximum mountain points on the day, crossing both the Col d'Aspin and the feared Col du Tourmalet in first position. The points total puts him in third in the fight for the polka dot jersey of the Tour's best climber, a competition the Venetian has his sights on winning. Riding for Team Liquigas he races aboard the Cannondale Super Six featuring System Integration.

I think I could be happy with either! What about you? If money weren't an object, which road bike would you most like to have in your garage?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Boy® at Swim Team

The Boy® does kick and free warm-ups at the beginning of another ninety minute swim team session.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

State of the Kids

So I'm out on a cycling workout. I turn to go down a very slight hill and almost run into a kid. No, I wasn't going to fast or not paying attention. The kid wasn't.

Picture a kid about fourteen years old and, oh, about 260 lbs give or take a fat roll. He doesn't have the A) energy, B)inspiration, C) Hootzpah, D) strength, E) all above to make it up the hill on his bike so he is pushing it. In one hand is a brand new video game at which he is staring intently. In the basket of his bike are three empty 20-oz soda bottles. I figure he coasted down the hill to the video game store, during which he chugged down all three soda's while he recovered from that effort as he chose his video game. Then he leisurely sauntered back totally oblivious to the world.

I counter that with the week the Boy® just had.

9-12 AM: Soccer Camp
1-3 PM: Swim Club
5:30 - 7 PM: Swim Team

9-12 AM: Soccer Camp
1-3 PM: Swim Club
7:15 - 8:15 PM: Soccer Practice

9-12 AM: Soccer Camp
1-3 PM: Swim Club
5:30 - 7 PM: Swim Team

9-12 AM: Soccer Camp
1-3 PM: Swim Club
7:15 - 8:15 PM: Soccer Game. They lost their first game of the year 1-0. There were tears.

I sincerely hope there are many more kids like the Boy® out there than the video game, soda swilling, obese kid. Or America is going down without a fight. This country needs another Greatest Generation. Active kids will become the leaders of tomorrow. You can bank (bad, bad word!) on that!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Photo from MinneMan Tri

I received one free photo from YndeCam which photographed the MinneMan Tri this past July 4. Nice work by them, and nice they allowed one free photo per participant. So, I thought I wuld give them a plug!

You can see all the photos from the event here. Registered Participants Get a FREE Photo Courtesy of the MinneMan Triathlon! Thanks guys!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Busy Week for The Boy®

The Boy® is having a full week of soccer camp in the mornings, swim club in the afternoons, then soccer in the evening (Tue & Thur) or swim team (90-min practices on Mon & Weds). I should be so lucky!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Road ID

Over 20-years ago as I was training on my bike in Texas I was hit by a pick-up truck that was making a left turn as I passed through an intersection. I was knocked out for a few ticks of the clock. I lost my four front upper teeth and much of my upper gum tissue...which also left an indent on my handlebars so hard was the impact. My face and legs were cut-up pretty bad from the impact with the road.

I had nightmares for weeks. To this day, I still jump if a car comes up from behind me and honks its horn...friendly or not.

I'm not sure what would have happened if I had remained unconscious. I had just moved to the Bryan-College Station area. I knew hardly anyone and lived alone. Luckily, I had a high-school friend in the area that I was able to call and pick me up from the hospital after they had checked me out.

But what if I had been knocked for a real loop...with no ID and no way to contact anyone?

I just ordered a Road ID wrist bracelet as seen below. I had been meaning to do this for years. Watching the Tour this week, the lads on Versus were promoting them which prompted me to order one.

I suggest you do the same if you haven't already. Yeah, it makes you feel a bit like a old-fuddy-duddy..."Help! I've fallen and I can't get up!". But you never know when something like my Texas story will occur. Be safe, not sorry. And I'm going to make it easy for you and save you a buck.

When I ordered, they gave me a coupon that I could pass along to my friends. Here's the coupon number:

Coupon Number: ThanksBrian506936

The coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order placed by 08/07/2009. To order, simply go to This coupon is good for $1 off any Road ID order. It can be used up to 20 times in the next 30 days.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

MinneMan Triathlon Result

It's official. I need to see a shrink. For the second event in a row, I had issues with the swim. I'll come back to this in a bit.

I got up a little after 4 AM to make sure I made the event. The MinneMan tri was held in Oak Grove which is a little over 40-minutes from my home. A 7:30 AM start time was the root cause of getting up earlier than I would otherwise have wanted.

The weather was fine. Temperatures were in low 60's, hardly any wind, and high humidity. The water on Lake George was very calm which made me feel good after my disastrous DNF at Lake Waconia where I didn't even make it through the swim portion.

I liked that the bike racks were divided by your age group. I could scout out the competition. Set-up was fine and I was done with laying out my gear by 7 AM.

Results and comment:

Swim (528 yards)
Goal - 9:40
Result - 12:47

Yeah, three minutes over goal. And I had set a conservative goal. So what happened? Everything was fine at the start. But about 150-yards in I was still fighting for position. I was laboring for no reason at all. I guess you could say I was starting to freak. I swam over to a guard and floated for a bit on a noodle. It took me forever to catch my breath. But I wasn't going to DNF in a second straight event so I took off and found a good rhythm and was able to complete the swim.

I think there could be one possible cause. I have been doing a trial with a DeSoto Liftfoil trisuit. One can wear this suit for all three elements. No wetsuit is necessary.

I like the suit. It moves well. But it is restrictive across the chest. And by that I mean it makes my breathing more shallow, like a taut innertube is stretched across the chest. I feel good in warmups, but as soon as I start a race stroke I find that I'm just gasping which leads to mild anxiety which leads to, well, Get Your Freak On.

For my next event....I have nothing now until August...I'm thinking of just wearing a swim bottom, period. I'll see if it is the Liftfoil after all. I can change into a proper trisuit in T1 without losing too much time.

Or I'll have to pop a Xanax before my next event! I've just not experienced anything like this before. And it plainly cost me today.

Transition One
Goal - 1:15
Result - 2:42

Geeze Louise, but what a loooooooooooooooooooooong transition! Having not done this race before I was purely guessing at a T1 time, but we had to run a long, long way just to get to the transition entry and then once inside....another 40-yards to get to my rack. Holy cow!

Once in, everything went well. Glasses and helmet and run to the exit. My shoes were already clipped in.

Bike (13-miles)
Goal - 36:16 (21.5 MPH)
Result - 35:57 (21.1 MPH)

The bike went fine. I only bonked once and that was short. My mileage had been low as of late so I had no idea what the legs would give me. The wind was not a factor. I just kept picking people off and was not passed once. Considering our group was the third wave out of ten, I was happy.

Brian gets dialed in on the start of the bike segment

I had no issues with the calves or Achilles during the bike. Had I been in better shape, I could have meet the goal easy. The only negative about the bike course was the last three miles was through curving residential streets with two tight turns. So I wasn't able to hold much speed through that area.

Transition Two
Goal - 1:00
Result - 1:56

T2 length wasn't as bad as T1, but the long trek to the rack certainly hurt. Helmet off, run cap on. Small issue with one shoe as the liner slid so it was all balled up. No way I was going to run on that so I took a moment to reinsert the liner. Need to use more baby powder next time. I don't wear least after May!

Run (3-miles)
Goal - 25 minutes (8:20 pace)
Result - 22:39 (7:33 pace)

Yes, the ol' Achilles. How would it hold up. I had run a grand total of 12.76 miles since May 16...all of them this week. To say my run endurance would be suspect would be a colossal understatement.

Brian during the run segment

First impression was that my legs felt surprisingly fresh out of T2. I actually had to will myself to slow down as I knew I did not have the gas for the pace I was setting....old habits of just letting 'er rip were there and I liked it. I came through the first mile at 7:12.

The rest of the run was just spent hanging tough. The Achilles ached just slightly as I neared mile two but it just as quickly loosened up. I finished without having to hobble so that was a great thing mentally for me

Goal - 1 hour, 13 minutes
Result - 1 hour, 17 minutes
Overall: 84th out of 393; 9th out of 25 in the 45-49 AG

AG Rankings by category
Swim - 19th out of 25 (ugh!)
Bike - 8th out of 25
Run - 7th out of 25

Full Results link

Considering I was three minutes over my swim goal I'll take it. I don't like to play, "how would I have finished had I had my A-game?", but take off 3-minutes for my horrible swim, drop another minute had I turned in my usual bike performance, and drop two minutes on the run had Mr. Achilles not happened....and I'm looking at a much more respectable 1 hr 11 min finish getting me into the top forty overall and my usual Top 10% overall finish.

But as Dandy Don Meredith once said:

"If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we’d all have a merry Christmas”
Best to come was that after finishing, I heard someone calling out my name. It took me a second to recognize the face but I was elated to find my high school cross country and track coach standing there. Russ Schmeichel is a coaching legend in the North Dakota community.

He still holds the Jamestown College indoor track records for the 600 and 800 meter runs. Both were set in 1969. He was NDHSCA Coach of the Year four times (1977-1978, 1988-1989, 1990-1991, and 1991-1992). In 1998, Schmeichel received the Special Achievement Award from the North Dakota Associated Press Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association. It is the association's highest honor. In 24 seasons as head coach, Schmeichel led the Jamestown Blue Jays to 17 state championships. During my high school career, we won back-to-back titles. While other cross country teams would arrive at the meets in a small bus carrying perhaps 10 runners, the Blue Jays would show up in two full-sized buses with over 70 runners.

For more on Coach Schmeichel and his impact on my early days, visit my blog entry here.

Coach Schmeichel, at age 62, is still biking hard. He told me he had ridden over 100-miles the last two days alone. And he was there to see his son Don ride. Don ended up twelfth overall. He participated in the Clydesdale division and won that category by a substantial ten minutes.

I had a good talk with Donnie afterwards as well. He is riding a Wilier bike and so I had to take a look. This is what the frame looks like as I didn't have my camera to take an actual photo.

It is a beautiful frame. Donnie is involved with promoting the bike line, so if you are interested or would like to learn more just let me know and I'll get you contacted. If certainly did not hinder Don at all as he had the day's 10th fastest bike split.

Friday, July 3, 2009

MinneMan Triathlon Preview

I'll be celebrating July 4 by getting up shortly after 4 am and heading a little north of the Twin Cities to participate in the MinneMan Triathlon. This will be my first time at this event and it comes a mere six days after my DNF at Lake Waconia. The only way I will be leaving the water this time around is, well, I don't see a scenario playing out in which I leave the water this time.

Start is at 7:30 am at Lake George Regional Park in Oak Grove, MN. It is a 0.3 Mile swim, a 13 Mile Bike, and a 3 Mile Run. The race is capped at 450 participants and it is full, so a big event. I'm sure I'll be amazed at all the people wearing wet-suits for a sprint event. I shy away from wearing a wet-suit unless the water temperature is in the 60's or it's a swim or longer than 1000-yards. Otherwise, I think you are just losing time in T1.

If you happen to be around, here is the wave information. The swim waves, which will be sent off in 3 minute intervals will be as follows:

o Wave 1: Elite Men & Women Royal Blue Caps
o Wave 2: Males 13 - 39 Yellow Caps
o Wave 3: Males 40 – 49 Silver Caps
o Wave 4: Females 13 - 34 Pink Caps
o Wave 5: Females 35 - 44 Day Glo Orange Caps
o Wave 6: Males 50+ Light Blue Caps
o Wave 7: Females 45+ Red Caps
o Wave 8: Clydesdale / Athenas White Caps
o Wave 9: ALL Novice Males Orange Caps
o Wave 10: ALL Novice Females Day Glo Green Caps

So I will be looking to pass some yellow caps and hopefully not be passed by pink or orange caps! I'd hate to be in the second wave. That will be a lot of bodies heading out at the same time.

One thing I think I will like is that the bikes will be racked by division. So I hope to see a lot of bikes still racked when I get out and hardly any racked when I get back from the bike.

At last count, there will be twenty-seven people in my age group. By far the deepest AG of the season for me. I'll have no set goals for this. In fact, I count at least seven people who should finish ahead of me in the coveted 45-49 age group. So if I have a goal, it will be to crack the top seven in that age group.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Frozen Garmin 405 Fix

Earlier this year I purchased a Garmin Forerunner 405 with heart rate monitor. I love it and probably couldn't train without it. I only wish they would make this model to be water resistant. Yes, they have the Forerunner 310XT, but that thing looks just too bulky. Hopefully Garmin will introduce a water resistant 4-series in the new future. And I'd love one that would automatically recognize if you are doing a swim, bike or run without having to change the Sport Mode.

On Monday I grabbed my Garmin only to find it frozen on the date and time. A quick search on the good ol' 'Net yielded two remedies.

One: You can let the battery drain down. Not a good option if you are in need of the Garmin at that very moment.

Two: Push in both buttons and hold for about 30 seconds. The screen will go blank at which point you can release the buttons. A quick screen reset will display and you are back in business.

And going back to my DNF at Lake Waconia this past Sunday where I experienced some 'issues' navigating the large waves due to high winds...maybe I wasn't so stupid after all. Two swimmers died in similar conditions at another lake.