Friday, May 29, 2009

Other Crap

For the record: this has nothing to do with the stuff I couldn't remember last night, but I thought I would classify it under "other crap" for continuity sake and because it really is just a bunch of random stuff.

We picked up our race packets earlier today. A couple of people (the other two people I am running with) were a bit disappointed in the expo and didn't really get that "pump" for the race that they were hoping for. I set my expectations waaaay lower figuring it was the first year of the race and having already experienced the somewhat ham-fisted way the course was set up. I sent an email to the race director to get confirmation that the course was USAT certified and I have not heard back from him. We asked around the expo and no one could give us a definitive answer - another example of first year inefficiency. (This thing had better be certified because when we qualify it better count, damn it.) Oh, I don't know what kind of tracking they will have available, but our numbers are 355, 359 and 360 - like the circle. (Me, LF and MS, respectively, not "respectfully" like I posted originally - I'm dumb.) The magic number is 3:45.

In other news: my mom is in town to shop before a trip to Europe and to watch the marathon and the kiddos when A and I go to a little private concert on Saturday night. I will be making it a very early night on Saturday and A has already secured a ride home with a neighbor. So, this concert is by a guy named Martin Zeller and his band The Hardways. Martin Zeller is formerly the lead singer for a band called the Gear Daddies. They put out a few albums in the late 80's and early 90's before they broke up. The music is really fun and a lot of Minnesota grew up on this music in college. You can find their stuff on iTunes. (Two favorites - Color of Her Eyes and Time Heals. Unfortunately the best song is not listed - I Wanna Drive the Zamboni.) Now, for some completely tangential Minnesota music information.

As I was checking to see if the Gear Daddies were on iTunes I came across an iTunes Essentials mix entitled "Minneapolis" - there was an "explicit" tag so I had to open it. As expected I saw Prince, The Suburbs, The Replacements, Lipps, Inc. (Yes, Funkytown is a product of Minnesota) I looked at the "Next Steps" tab and scrolled down. At the bottom is a band called Trip Shakespeare. These guys played at a couple of dances at my high school and at the time they were kind of a big deal (not Prince big, but big in the local scene.) This band was fronted by Dan Wilson of Semisonic "Closing Time" fame. The song on the iTunes Essentials list is called "Toolmaster of Brainerd." Brainerd is where I grew up and went to high school and I was the biggest tool there at the time (you know, a "tool master") so that song is essentially about me. I had no idea I had such an impact on the Minnesota music scene. (You do realize that me having any influence on anything is a total fantasy - just wanted to be clear.)

In a little while here we will be heading back to Burger Jones for dinner with my mom and sis. A is at her parents helping get them settled after her mom had her hip replaced. (See, totally random stuff.) She'll be home later, but will miss dinner with us. I will try to go light tonight and get a good balance of carbs and protein. A burger should be pretty well balanced, right?

A late addition - here is the link to the Minneapolis Marathon. Like I said before, I don't know what kind of tracking they will have, but if I am still cooking out on that course at noon we will have missed our target, by A LOT. The race starts at 7:00 AM CST.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Single Speed Obsession, Boston Qualifying and Some Other Crap

I am obsessed with getting a single speed bike. Since I saw Charisa's super fly new ride and I checked out some blogs, manufacturer's sites and did some other reading I am totally coveting two wheels and one gear. I am not sure I can say I want to go all the way to fixed-gear (I do have a family and live in a state with stupid drivers when bikes are involved) but, I like the idea of a bike that is super simple that I can hop on and ride and fully take care of myself. I have kind of settled on the same manufacturer as Charisa because for a very reasonable price you can get a custom colored ride. I just have to cobble together some funds, maybe it will be a single-speed fall.

It is a HUGE race weekend this weekend. Let's see, there is: Ironman 70.3 Hawaii, Ironman Brazil, Rock & Roll Marathon San Diego, the inaugural Minneapolis Marathon and some others I am sure I am forgetting or unaware of. I know a few people racing in Hawaii so that will be fun to track. I know no one racing in Brazil but it will still be interesting to read about. I know one person running the marathon in San Diego (as a training run - I am so sure) and then there is the Minneapolis Marathon. I know a handful of people running this race and although I wish them all well, I am only concerned with three people - MS, LF and me. In case you weren't aware of it, MS and LF are turning 40 next year and they have decided that they want to run the Boston Marathon as part of their celebration. This is going to be the qualifying race. Why am I involved? Because I volunteered to be the pacer. 

Now, I am fully confident that we will run under the qualifying time. The three of us have trained together for the full cycle and we have been running faster and more consistent than we did last year. There have been some mental setbacks, but I think we have our heads on straight (especially MS) and we will be in good shape. The weather is supposed to be good - perhaps a bit warm, but at least not raining - so the dirt trail portion should be in good shape. (Yeah, dirt trail. Not the ideal course, but we are familiar with it.) I am super excited and relaxed because: I know what I need to do, I ran a faster marathon last fall, I have run a considerably faster half marathon recently and I know what to do regarding pacing and running in the heat (after screwing up my first marathon a year ago.) All the training is done. On Sunday it will be full-on. (When we qualify those ladies for Boston there will be more pressure on me, because then I will want to qualify and that qualifying race will be Twin Cities Marathon in the fall, but hey, one race at a time.)

When I started writing this there was some "other crap", but now I can't remember what it was. When I think of it, I will add a separate post.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

To Swim or Not To Swim

I feel like I should post something just so people are not greeted with "Mr. Walrus Dick" when they come to visit. 

We had a busy weekend. Ran ten relatively easy miles Saturday morning for our last longer run before the marathon this coming Sunday. The weather was beautiful so we did a lot of stuff outside. The kids had swimming lessons - which are going very well. We were having people over for dinner the rest of the weekend so we decided to go out to eat. There is this new restaurant called Burger Jones that just opened. This place is good. They have gourmet hamburgers - here's the website - I had the black and blue burger which had just the right amount of black pepper and just the right amount of blue cheese. 

Sunday night we had A's parents, my sister and her family and another family that are mutual friends of my sister and mine over for dinner (confused? Too bad.) I grilled up bacon wrapped steaks from Costco. Highly recommended! The kids had hot dogs, because that is what kids eat. We are a walking cliche. 

Monday we had more people over. Four families from the kid's school came over for burgers, hot dogs, brats, kilbasa on the grill. We were just going to have burgers and hot dogs, but I kept finding things in the refrigerator that needed to be grilled. A made this awesome bean salad. She just made enough to feed a small army. It will be good this week as I get ready for the race. 

Why polska kilbasa, you ask? When we were at Costco F was hitting all the samples and he came across the kilbasa samples. After some encouragement from me, he took one and tried it.

Me: "F, how is it?"

He went back for three more samples and when E came up he took her over so she could try it and he took two more. 

This morning we ran four miles. I wasn't planning on doing anything but running this week, but now I am tempted to swim tomorrow. So, should I? I don't think I will, but I am tempted. 

All right, this was the all time lamest post ever. But now my mom doesn't have to see walrus "parts." I will try to do better next time. Maybe I will include pictures. Sorry, that's about five minutes that I now owe all of you. Please come back again, I promise it won't always be this b-o-r-i-n-g. 

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Still Crying

I am still crying about this website. Thanks Mrs. Bickerson!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

A Special Hug

It has been hot here in Minnesota. Unseasonably hot. Firing pots hot. Smelting iron hot. Two days ago we topped out at 97 degrees. Yesterday we topped out at 93. Both were record highs. Three days ago it was 81. A week ago it was 62. Right now it's 64. Most of the time I hate the heat. Especially when it comes on suddenly. This time though I decided to take advantage of the heat. Embrace the heat. 

That embrace became one of those hugs that linger just a beat too long and make both parties feel uncomfortable and awkward. 

Tuesday, (three days ago) we did our usual run. We are in taper so it was short with some sprints at the end. We went around Lake Harriet two times and it took until the second time for us to get some zip back in our legs from the previous week's long run. For me the sprints felt amazing and fast. It was humid and the sweat was a flyin'. That night my lower legs were killing me. Ugh. I hate that feeling. 

Yesterday was a double. I swam with Masters early in the morning and then went on a bike ride with MS and CS. The swimming helped my legs feel much better. It was another hard workout - IM day with 200, 300 and 400 IMs. I felt good throughout and made the intervals, but could tell I was tired. I got home, got the kids on the bus, ate too little and drank too little, took the dog to school, came back home, loaded the bike in the car and drove to MS's house.

Along with the heat we have had crazy wind both Tuesday and Wednesday. Like steady 15 miles an hour with 30 - 40 mile an hour gusts. Needless to say this made the ride rather challenging as we were riding at odd angles battling the cross-winds. But it went well. 24 miles at an easy pace. We were really just spinning to get the legs loosened up and spend some time in the saddle. Nothing really hard with the marathon coming up in a week and a half. After the ride I hopped in my car, drove home, took a shower, drank too little and ate too little, ran some errands and then went to get the dog from school. Got home, had dinner, then it was off to soccer for F. I was exhausted. Stood around at soccer talking to parents and cheering on F and then home to watch the end of American Idol and then to bed later than I wanted. All along I have a light sweat going because it is so damn hot and I tend to be a sweater - but I hide it well. (Or maybe I don't - someone please tell me if I am becoming "The Sweaty Guy." OK - thanks.)

I slept OK but was still hot so I imagine I sweated during the night. (Not like night sweats, don't worry.) ("GOD, WILL YOU MAKE A POINT!" I am sure you are screaming right now.)

Today was another easy six mile run. It was humid and a little rainy, but nothing to write home about. I was kind of tired, but got up as usual, drank a large glass of Accelerade and ate half a Clif Builder bar as usual and went off to run. 

About a mile into the run I was experiencing weird things with my vision. I have had migraines and it was not at all like that. I was hot and sweating because it was still pretty humid. There is a water fountain ("bubbler" for anyone in Wisconsin) at mile two so we stopped. Sometimes a stop is all I need to reset the engine timing so I thought this would help. We started running again and I was not feeling right at all. Spacey, still had the weird vision thing, hot, HR too high, working too hard for the easy pace, legs were kind of crampy and felt like jelly. I called it off. We turned around and started walking back - stopped at the water fountain again and eventually started running very easy just to get back quicker. 

I think I was running totally dehydrated with whacked out electrolytes. I don't know if I have ever felt that before. It was a little freaky. The rest of the day I am taking it relatively easy. Certainly no workouts today or tomorrow and pumping the fluids and NUUN. Luckily it's cooler today and more seasonal. Next time I will embrace the heat a little more gingerly and not throw my arms around it and grab it's ass like I did this past week. Better to have this happen in training than on race day, right?

UPDATE - Lost the unsightly tuft of man-fur today. Waxed. The experience makes the scene in "40 Year Old Virgin" all the more funny. I only had a small area deforested but it FRICKING HURTS. I didn't cry or squeal, but I had to grit my teeth and flinched with every pull. I am glad I don't have to have large swaths taken care of. (And "No" I am not going to provide pictures. Some of you people are freaks!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

All Right You Maniacs!

Almost immediately after uploading my last post I was implored (berated?) to post pictures. Pictures are great, but they have their time and place. Me trying on a new shirt, not the time. In the bathroom, not the place. The "time" - you know "shirt-trying-on-time" - is usually less than interesting and the "place" - well bringing a camera in the bathroom is just plain weird and if it's a public bathroom you could get yourself thrown in the slammer for a night or two. (Um, or so I have heard.) 

That being said. I ventured back into my bathroom with my camera to reenact the "Donning of the Too Tight Tri-shirt" for my adoring fans. (I will also do anything on a dare or for one dollar.)

The pictures on my previous post - the one immediately below this one - are reenactment photos, but I gotta tell ya - it was a pretty faithful reenactment. That thing is still damn hard to get on and off. But now you can all see how slimming it is and how goood it makes me look. (You also get to see how hairy I am and my man nipples. And a little bit of my bathroom. Lucky.)

Oh, yeah the tuft of chest hair - it comes off Thursday - already made the appointment with the esthetist. (No! I am not getting my chest completely waxed just along the collar bone so I look less like a neanderthal. How is that for too much info?)

I Dressed Myself

Even though my first tri is over a month away, I continue to obsess about gear and fantasize about going fast. After taking inventory of my various clothing options I decided I needed a new race top. I had considered a full suit, but I like my Pearl Izumi tri-shorts and I have heard it's much easier to pee when you are wearing a top and shorts. (In a past life as a terrible inline racer I had a couple of full suits and they always reeked - don't need to go back there - "there" being inline skating and a stinky full suit.)

After much shopping and consideration of features and benefits (ie - good color) I settled on the 2XU Comp Tri Singlet in Dark Red. I tend to pick red as it is a little easier for my family to pick me out of a crowd of white, black and blue. Oh, and it makes me look super hot. (It actually doesn't make any difference, I am just delusional.) Now to determine size. Ideally, I would probably wear a large, but the large race shirts I have had in the past are too baggy by the end of the race and bunch under my wetsuit and if I decide I don't want to use my wetsuit I couldn't swim in them. I went out to Gear West to try on the large and medium because they are the only place in Minneapolis that I know of that carries 2XU. (No - they didn't have it in red, I looked. Blue and white.) The large fit comfortably but I was still concerned it would "bag out" after awhile. I tried on the medium. 

Now, when I say, "I tried on the medium" I really mean I struggled into a sausage casing. However, once I got it on, it was comfortable and nothing oozed out embarrassingly and I could zip it. (The magic of lycra.) Medium it is.

This was weeks ago and I finally got around to pulling the trigger on buying this thing. This stuff is not cheap, as I am sure everyone is aware. You don't want to make a mistake and be stuck with something you will never wear again after you wear it once and decide you hate it. (And when I say "you" I really mean "I" or "me", but I digress.)

Hold on, I know you are all thinking (as I am) who fricking cares about you buying a race top. BFD! Trust me, it gets slightly more amusing from here. (The anticipation is palpable, isn' it?)

I ordered a 2XU Comp Tri Singlet Dark Red size medium from Triathlete Sports on the interweb. (That is not an endorsement of Triathlete Sports as it is the only thing I have ordered from them and it went off without a hitch - so maybe it is an endorsement.) It came yesterday in the mail and being the complete dork I have always been, I had to try it on right away.

I snuck my package up to the bathroom (This post is for about my tri-top, right? Not my submission to Penthouse Forum - would not want to get those two confused - my mother reads this blog. BTW - I have never sent anything into any porno mags, don't read any porno mags, don't even know where they are sold. Is my defensiveness making me sound guilty? Whoa, off on another tangent.)

So, up in the bathroom. I pull out my small red scrap of fabric and start to second guess my decision. That thing looks small. 

This is a picture of the new top lying on top of a size large t-shirt that I ran in this morning. And it's not a generous large either.

I unzip the front and proceed to squirm my way into the arm holes and through the neck hole. Things quickly went awry. As I am getting the shirt over my head and shoulders it starts to roll and is now a stretchy, tightly rolled rope cinched around my upper chest. (In case you are not aware, I have a massive chest. I am sorry, that waa lie.) So now I can't get my arms down to pull the front of the shirt down and I can't get my arms back to pull the shirt back over my head and off. I am stuck!

How the hell am I going to get in, or out, of this? 

I look at myself in the mirror. Shake my head and laugh a little as I realize I am getting tunnel vision from the lack of blood circulation. I have to get this thing on or off! And there is no way in hell I can call my wife! First of all, embarrassing and second of all, she wants little to nothing to do with my fitness obsession or any of the trappings that go along with it. After some struggling to get my arms down I am able to grip the rolled shirt enough to stretch it past my chest. (I think the sweat I was working up might have helped as well.) Now I have another "issue" - chest hair. I am not an overly hairy guy but I do havchest hair. (Yes, manscaping is probably in order.) Well, my chest hair is now getting wound up in the rolled up fabric and being slowly and torturously ripped out. The faster I get this thing on the better. 

I think I ripped off a nipple along with some hair. Oooh, that stings like the dickens.

I manned up and pulled the fricking thing down. Whew! Done. 

I look at myself in the mirror. I zip up the rather over stressed zipper and proceed to rip out more chest hair.

Over stressed zipper. And a frighteningly hairy chest. (Sorry to all the children and adults and small animals who just ran screaming from the room. It doesn't bite. Trust me.)

"Hey," I think to myself, "this is comfortable and very slimming. I just really need to do something about the tuft of chest hair sticking out at the top of the zipper. Ugh."

Nice tuft of hair. Ever heard of waxing? Jeeze!

I did a couple of pirouettes in the mirror. Looking over the right shoulder, then the left shoulder - good, no back fat oozing out, just lean rippling muscle under the palest skin in Minnesota. (There wasn't really any lean rippling muscle, another lie, sorry.)

Hey, hey good rookin'! Slimming. Good color.

Alright, that is enough alone time in the bathroom. Luckily, my wife is no longer phased by my excessively long stints in the bathroom. (It takes a lot of time and effort to look this good.) So, I unzipped ("Ouch, hair") and reached down to pull the shirt over my head in one swift pull. Good theory, very poor execution. 

The back of the shirt rolled up on me again and is now resting across my shoulders while the bottom front of the shirt is wedged securely under my pecs and ripping out still more hair. I reach back over my head to grab the lycra rope that the shirt has become yet again and it is so tight I can not pull it over my head. I am afraid I am going to pull a muscle in my shoulder trying to get this damn shirt off. I work more on the front and am able to wriggle it up without rolling and that relieves some of the pressure off my shoulders. I wrestle the front up as high as I can on my chest and then I am able to reach back over my head and wrench the damn thing down in front of me and off. 

About to black out, again, due to strangulation by too-tight shirt.

All told - a 25 minute ordeal. 

Now I am exhausted, sore, sweaty, alone in the bathroom, breathing heavy and top-less. Thank god no one walked in. 

The verdict? It looked so good on - I'm gonna keep it. Now, off to yoga so I can get the damn thing on and off without passing out or injuring myself.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Legs of Lead

At least that is what they felt like at Masters this morning. Long set with many 400's and not much zip in the kick, but who really kicks anyway, right? I am feeling both the 16 miles I ran on Friday and the effects of the taper. Tomorrow should feel particularly horrendous at this time in our taper. I can't wait. I am really looking forward to this marathon being over so I can concentrate on biking more. Again, good sign, getting a little antsy about the reduction in training volume. We are planning on biking on Wednesday again and then no biking for me until after the race. So close, yet so far.

On a more embarrassing note - I went out to lunch with my old boss and we decided we were going to sit outside because it is absolutely beautiful. As I was driving downtown to m
eet him I realized I had not put any sunscreen on my lily-ass-white arms so I popped into Walgreen's and picked up some Bullfrog and Neutrogena sunscreen. I opted for the Bullfrog and proceeded to slather it on my arms, neck, nose and cheeks - I had a hat on - no need for the forehead (And "Yes" I got my ears as well, I always get my ears.) I had a short-sleeved black shirt on and noticed that I had gotten a little dab on my sleeve - it kind of looked like bird-poop, but I am in a non-caring mood right now so I just went with it.  I noticed that the stuff didn't soak in very well on my arms, but again, who cares. Ate lunch, walked down the street, drove home. 

When I got home I looked at my arms again. Still no soaking in. (I know that Bullfrog has titanium dioxide in it - but obviously didn't think about what that might mean.) The collar of my shirt was white, my face was white, my shirt sleeves were white. I kind of looked like an ashy, flaking albino. From now on - Bullfrog only goes on when I am swimming, biking or running and the good Neutrogena stuff goes on every other time. I am dumb.


OK - this is not news to anyone, but I am about as immature as a guy can be. I just posted a too long comment about "balls" followed by another comment about "wieners". Next I will be commenting on "nuts," "junk," "racks" and "beavers." Thought you should all be forewarned and I thought I should be somewhat apologetic. 

Saturday, May 16, 2009

OK - Maybe Every OTHER Day

Yesterday I had another double workout day. I had Masters in the morning as usual for a Friday, but because my wife was going to be out both Saturday and Sunday I had to get my long run in on Friday. We are in taper mode as you know so this long run wasn't quite as long. (16 miles is still long.) I decided to get it out of the way and so as soon as I got home from dropping the dog at his school and the boy at his (the tummy ache ploy doesn't work on me anymore) I got after it. 

The weather was beautiful. It was unseasonably cool, sunny and very windy, but a great day to run. Thursday we did a threshold run - which was fun and fast by the way - but my legs were still feeling it. The first eight miles were achey and kind of a struggle. I took a quick water and gel break and things seemed to go much better. My pace was a little all over the place for those first eight miles and I am tempted to blame it on the wind, but more likely it was the running the day before and swimming. The next six miles were much better - a little faster and more consistent. I take that back - they were awesome! I totally overtook a person on roller skates and I almost caught a person on a bike until they went down a hill. Damn, I am super fast. (Honestly, I knew my pace in both instances and it was not "other worldy"-  those people were just extremely slow.) I totally loafed the last two miles back home as a warm-down - I figured I deserved it.

Now I have about three days off from running. I might be able to swim and bike on Monday, but the weekend is free of activity. For now my tired and sore legs get a well deserved break. Maybe two a days are too much or my old bod - at least without a rest day in between.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I Think I Could Do That Every Day

I swam AND biked today. It wasn't technically a "brick" because in between the two I got the kids off to school and took the dog to Boot Camp. 

Masters was great. Wednesday is always IM day and it seems to keep attendance down. Our main set today was:

2 x 75 fly
3 x 100 IM
2 x 75 back
3 x 100 IM
2 x 75 breast
3 x 100 IM

I drilled the 75s fly but was able to do the full 100 IMs. I have been thinking that my backstroke has been clunky and my breaststroke just plain awful, but coach asked if I swam IM in college. I told him he should know the answer to that by the look of my breaststroke. (I would swim it occasionally.) He said he was surprised because my fly and back looked good. Then he asked if I swam 200 fly. My response was a flat, "No." (I could never finish it when we time-trialed it in college.) He was kind of surprised. My fly and back did feel particularly good today and when those feel good my free feels particularly strong. All in all a good session. LCM outside starts June 8th - can't wait (really, I can't.)

MS and I had scheduled a bike ride for the morning. The weather was sketchy - it had been raining or drizzling and extremely windy for about the last 12 hours so I was worried (hoping) we would get rained out. I had to bust a move over to MS's house after I got home from dropping the dog off so I didn't even get to take a proper shower and smelled kind of "bleachy" from the pool. We rode for an hour and a half and avoided all rain and wet roads and even got a little sun at the end. Two hours later it was pouring rain. Very strange weather. 

I would love to be able to get two workouts a day in everyday. I guess I will have to take them when I can get them. I hope they come more often after the marathon in a few weeks, but then I will be shuttling the kids to all their summer activities. Ah, I'll make it work.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Taper Time

We did our last 20+ mile run on Saturday. I, personally, thought it went pretty well. It was uncomfortable at the end (as it should be to some extent,) but we held a pretty good pace about :38 seconds over our marathon pace. Thankfully, there was no crying, near crying or negative comments throughout the whole run by me or MS or LF. It must be pointed out that a week prior to this run we raced a half marathon, so we were all still feeling it. Now we taper. 

We are starting our three week taper, but I am more of a two week taper guy. I like to keep a little more mileage during this week and then drop the training off the cliff after this coming Saturday. Fitness-wise I think we are in great shape, no injuries (that anyone is admitting to) and everyone is feeling healthy. Only problem is a little confidence issue. 

One person, who shall remain nameless but who knows who she is, can't imagine running our pace for 26.2 miles. She has never done it, so she can't see herself doing it. I post this not to embarrass her or call her out, but to solicit advice, encouragement, experience. (The thing is - we have run this pace on numerous training runs and we have held it no problem - granted it's not a full marathon, but we will be rested and fresh when it is. She is also super fit - biking and swimming along with running for a HIM in July.) 

Don't get me wrong, I don't think this will be "easy" and/or comfortable, but what goal worth achieving ever is? I see the three of us crossing the finish line and hugging (yes, I will hug these sweaty, stinky chicks) when they qualify for Boston. I just hope I don't have to yell at them along the way.

Anyone willing to provide encouragement please do so in comments and I will forward them to "un-named individual."

Friday, May 8, 2009

Yes, I Am Obsessed With My Body Image

Recently I have been told, "I thought you might be a runner. You walk like a runner." And at Masters, "You must be a tri-guy." I am not really sure what it is about the way I walk or how I look in the pool that gives me away, but apparently it's something. I don't have any tats or wear any race paraphernalia. Maybe it's my "muscly", shaved legs, whatever. The whole "walking like a runner" thing is even more baffling. I certainly don't walk on my toes or like I am in constant pain or like I have a steel rod up my butt. I do however always wear my HRM and am constantly checking my pace. (Not really.) 

Keep an eye out for me at any races. I will be the tri-guy who looks like he should be there and walks like a runner.

Why I Could Never Be a Stripper

No, not that kind of stripper (with tear away pants and a banana hammock) a wet-suit stripper. Charisa suggested that a stripper would be a good volunteer job at IMWI. Well, from her perspective it might be. But, let us go back in time to the Door County Half Ironman last summer when I finished the swim, was sprinting up the boat launch and was knocked spread-eagle to the mat by an over zealous stripper. And let me tell you, this is one guy I would not want to see in the above mentioned tear away pants and sausage smuggler - he was "large-ish". So, I am not a fan of strippers (either kind in this case.) I tend to believe that I can dress and undress myself rather speedily on my own. I am good with the gear bag sort and bike catch at IMWI. MS however will be wearing the HAZMAT suit at the bike catch thanks to D planting the image of urine soaked machinery being flung in our direction. Real good.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Bottom of the list for a reason

On this morning's run, MS asked if I saw the last volunteer option for IMWI - "Sunscreen Applier." 

MS's thoughts on that job: "No way! Someone in that crowd will have 'the hiv' and I don't want any of that. Can I have some rubber gloves please?" 

I almost peed myself - "the hiv" (HIV - not in itself funny, but funny in the context of our conversation.) 

Needless to say none of us planning to volunteer is a real 'touchy-feely' person - not huggers, not kissers, not ass-patters and definitely not sunscreen appliers. I am good with going through your plastic gear bag and tossing your $5,000 bike on a pile of others. We are going to have so much fun!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fatty, Fatty, Two-by-Four...

How do I train for a marathon, triathlons, run a fast half-marathon and STILL gain weight? No, I haven't been eating Oreos (or any cookies for that matter). I had my first bowl of ice cream in about two months last night (not very satisfying - don't know if I will go back to that well.) I don't think I am eating particularly calorie-dense foods. I don't drink, don't drink soda. I eat breakfast and snack moderately. I just get so hungry especially mid-afternoon. If anyone has any advice, please let me know. As I have said before, I am not looking forward to dragging this extra weight around numerous race courses this summer. Maybe I just need to take Peyton Manning's advice. (I guess that guy was right, I am a little bigger than expected. Son of a bitch!)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Step One: Complete

MS, CS and I just signed up to volunteer for IMWI in September. Our plan is to then sign-up for IMWI 2010. I should probably tell my wife of my plans at some point. Ah, we have over a year, there will be plenty of time to cover that, right?

Monday, May 4, 2009

Small Victories

I am officially a freelance writer. My first article was published and I will get a check in the mail shortly. Check it out here. (I edited the pub down so it wouldn't be so big.) Those are my pictures as well. (I wonder if this justifies a new digital SLR? Scheming, scheming.)

"Not Small"

Yesterday after the race AS, the husband of MS, tells me this story:

"I was standing there with MP's husband when you came by. I said, 'Hey, here comes Todd,' and he said, "Are you sure that's him?' and I said, 'Yeah, that's Todd,' and he said, 'Geeze, I thought he was thinner."

When I saw MP's husband I threatened to punch him in the nuts. His explanation was that he didn't realize how "muscular" I was. Uh, huh. Yep. Muscular.

Today at playground duty, I am talking with one of the mom's and F comes up and says "Hi" and then runs off and the mom notices how big he's getting and then we talk about kids growing and then she says to me, "Well, your not a small guy." And I am thinking to myself, "Did you just call me fat, you lard ass?" 

So, what's the deal? I guess I have to lay off the cheese and bacon and train twice as much. (Do these jeans make my butt look big?)

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The Season's First Race

Today was the Wells Fargo Lake Minnetonka Half Marathon. We use this as a tune up for our spring marathon which is at the end of the month. This is the second year we have run this so I have been looking forward to seeing how my time has improved from last year. At the beginning of the year I put together my race schedule with some goal times. You can see what I wrote here. I was determined to race this thing because I wanted to see where I was in comparison to last year. A couple of the girls wanted to run it a little slower and closer to marathon pace. And then the other two ladies were just in it for fun. 

The day started out cool (50 degrees) and clear with a little breeze. I was chilly at the start and my calves were sore. I was reassessing my goals like every 5 minutes. We started after the police escort decided to arrive. I had planned to start moderately and build into the race, but I had also read that the best way to run a half-marathon is to keep consistent splits. I ran my first mile about :35 faster than I wanted to. My second mile was about :20 faster than the first. As was the third. I was starting to think that maybe I had "screwed the pooch" on this one, but I decided to try to keep consistent splits through the whole race. The miles clicked off - all of them with in one or two seconds of each other. I was feeling good and strong and confident.

The weather was nearly perfect for a race. It got a little warmer as the morning went on, but nothing major and the breeze remained light and variable. Water stops were a problem. I had hydrated well before hand, but I had trouble grabbing water and gatorade. I would have like more, but between my fumbling and some of the volunteers holding on too tight, I didn't get as much as I wanted. For some reason, at mile 10 I fell off my pace - by about :20. I think it was about the time I was trying to get my gel packet open and it was really exhausting. I got right back on the train for miles 11 and 12 and then 13 came in about :08 slower. I think that last mile was slow because I had done the math in my head and knew about where I was going to come in with a mile of XX time. 

I felt good and strong the whole way. I kept reminding myself to concentrate on quick turnover and staying light on my feet - it really helped, although I didn't feel like I had another gear at the end, but it was not much of a detriment here. It gives me something to work on.

All-in-all a fantastic race for me. A PR of about :06 or :07 minutes - by my watch, 1:33:44 and the course was a little bit long. Great start to the season and a huge confidence booster for the rest of marathon training and the tri season.

Now, I sit here, alone in my house with my compression socks on, waiting for my GI distress to pass. Almost a perfect Sunday.

This might be interesting to know: I was 17th out of 252 in my division, 66th overall out of 1,050. Official time 1:33:41.