Great Weekend at the Races!

>> Monday, July 28, 2014

No time for a full race report yet. Here are just a few quick photos from the Waseca Triathlon yesterday:

A shot of the start of one of the "1/3 Iron" waves.

Henry enjoyed high-fiving the ladies...

... and Charlie enjoyed flirting with Grandma.

Henry walking back with my folks post-race.

Back with a full race report tomorrow. As I tweeted yesterday, things went well:

Lots of photos coming soon...


Pre-Race Plan for my Injured Self

>> Saturday, July 26, 2014

We've been on a family vacation for a few days. Here are 3 quick photos:

Henry and I on the jet ski.

A "dude bath" after a day in the lake.

Monday night, a storm knocked a tree onto the roof of the cabin, and it left a 10 foot hole.
Water was pouring into our kitchen all night! So what do we do?
Take a family photo by it the next morning! (More photos in a Facebook album HERE.)

Maybe I'll have more photos from vacation in the next few weeks. For now, I've been thinking about how to tackle this triathlon tomorrow (0.25 mile swim, 14 mile bike, 4.4 mile run). Here's what I've figured out:

SWIM: Go pretty hard. 99% effort. My swimming has been good lately, so I'll use it.

BIKE: Again, go pretty hard. Maybe harder than I've ever biked at a triathlon. Here's my reasoning: my run is going to be awful because I'm just getting back to running after my ankle injury in April. Being I've been biking a lot lately (not great WORKOUTS, but some decent MILEAGE), I might as well try to take advantage of that and go nuts on the bike. I could easily take it too easy and save a lot for the run only to STILL be running a lot slower than usual because of my injury. So I might as well just go hard on the bike. I'm sure I'll make myself back off a BIT, but I hope I can be ballsy and go pretty hard here.

RUN: My times aren't going to be what I want them to be, and I'm prepared for that. I'm just going to suffer through as much as possible. Last year, my official run average was just under 6s. This year, I really hope to be able to keep them under 7:00. Last year, I was doing 11+ mile long runs, and now I'm only up to 4 miles (all easy). My recent bike/run/bike/run/bike/run/bike/run workout showed me I had more speed left than I thought I would have (I did the 1 mile runs about 10-15 secs slower than usual), but I'm afraid what will happen with my endurance over that 4.4 mile run. It could get real ugly by mile 2.

Basically, I'm going into the race blind - I have no idea what to expect. Usually I have a sense of what I hope to bike and run, but tomorrow could really hold ANYTHING. We'll see.

Oh, and I'll be wearing my "tutti frutti" shorts for the race. I first made my public debut in them at the Waseca Triathlon in 2010, and I've worn them each year I've raced there:

2010, 2011, and 2013 at Waseca.

Check back soon for a race report! Check twitter in my sidebar for updates. Off we go! Wish us luck!


Friday Funny 763: Porn Based on the Sex Life of Married Couples

>> Friday, July 25, 2014

Finally, as I do every 2 weeks or so, here are some funny posts from my tumblr page:

Athletic-related funny things:

Thor de France.

Rules for the pool.

[GIF] Me on the treadmill when I'm half asleep.

Muscles are for men.

[GIF] Baby leads a yoga class.

[GIF] This guy can do burpees better than you.

Oldest runner to go sub-4:20.

My thoughts when doing intervals.

[GIF] Why track stars should be cops.

[GIF] Oww. Make sure to pay attention when running.

That's not really the point of the treadmill.

[GIF] Bad dog.

Bike pizza cutter. Awesome.

[GIFs] How to pick up a girl at the gym.

Non-athletic funny things:

My opinion of mushrooms.

How to load the dishwasher.

Cookie Monster is fat. But it's all cool.

The world's worst cake for a baby shower.

What is the meaning of life?

A great quote by T.I.

My life as a man.

My toes.

Laughter is the best medicine unless...

If you take care of things, they last.

Women (and the Spice Girls).

Every man ever.

Michelangelo was a jerk.

Regular vs decaf.

Nerdy puns.

I'm not Team Jacob or Team Edward.

A wise, wise man indeed.

[GIF] Most awkward high-five ever.

Have you ever wanted to say this to your kids?

This guy knows what's up.

Decisions were made.

And as always, stop by for funnies all week long. Happy weekend!!

p.s. We're RACING this weekend! I'll post a few pre-race thoughts tomorrow. Then check back next week for a race report. I'm doing a sprint tri, and my wife's doing a "1/3 Iron." Wish us luck!


Friday Funny 762: Very, Very Satisfying

These 10 things from Buzzfeed will take you to another state of bliss:

When these pancakes were even smoother than you.

When the dinner lady was a Tetris champ.

February 2015.

This glass that holds EXACTLY one can of Coke.

This magical ramp/step mash-up.

When this bread found its soulmate, and it was called “cheese”.

The perfect spoonful of peanut butter that will make you feel things you’ve never felt before.

The time this person won their wrap battle hands down.

The time it was obvious that everything happens for a reason.

And the time this person had the most fun anyone’s ever had while cleaning.

Lots more funny things on!


Friday Funny 761: Inappropriate Facebook Updates

I've been known to over-share. But I'm not as bad as these people from HappyPlace:

Perfect mom font as well. So much craftier.

Much like hemorrhoids, there is nothing to ease the pain of this post.

Please, let me be the idiot in this situation and let this be fake.

Well, he got the hashtags right, but I don't think a snap PSA will get you off in court.

This guy is both ignorant about sex and under-excited to be the next Joseph & Mary.

I know it's really hard to get an anal bleaching appointment after work, but don't brag.

C'mon, Lisa. Let us share the joy of laughing at Sean.

Drunk driving because no one answered your call is a new passive-aggressive record.

Is it just me, or did no one call 911 before posting to Facebook?

Probably made someone's heart rate go up, that's for sure.

I hope that other guy didn't Google that while driving.

I'm going to say "a.) Henry Clay and b.) all of them."

"I got this." - Completely accurate, totally not reassuring.

If this gets 50k likes, we'll get out of the car.

I guess you could say nothing and leave us ignorant of this behavior.

It's cool, they probably had to fart.

Invent a time machine, study home ec and sex ed, and never have a kid or buy bleach.

I think she's not pregnant because she murdered her boyfriend in the shower.

Check out lots more funny stuff on!


Friday Funny 760: The BEST Swiss Army Knife

More funny stuff on


Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: a GREAT Sprint Tri or Duathlon Workout

>> Thursday, July 24, 2014

In this week's "Thirsty Thursday" segment, I thought I'd share that awesome/killer/horrible duathlon workout I like to do. This is a GREAT workout for tuning up for a sprint tri or duathlon. CLICK HERE for details on this workout from a duathlon clinic that I went to a few years ago - I think you'll have to click through to page 2 of the article for more on this specific workout. Click that link above for more details on the workout, but it's basically 4 intervals of hard biking and fast 1 mile runs. The biking is 9:30 for each, and it's 30 seconds hard followed by 30 seconds of easy spinning. It's a leg-trashing workout!

I had tried a bit of hard running earlier last week to make sure it wouldn't aggravate my ankle - I was 99% sure it wouldn't be a problem, and I was right. Brother-in-law Matt came over to workout with me, and he brought his fiancée Angela to do it as well. And I invited 2x relay partner Jeremy too. We got set up in the garage and we took off:

Warm Up on Trainer (easy-moderate with 1 pick-up): 10:02
Transition: 0:10
1 mile run: 2:58, 3:07 = 6:05

I hit the first 0.25 mile in 1:25. "Yeah Steve, 5:40 pace? You're gonna die. Stop it." I backed off a bit and got back to the garage in 6:05 - surprisingly fast for my lack of speedwork lately!

I was the first one back in our group, so I (obviously) started my next interval. I snapped photos of everyone else once they were back on their bikes and I was on a "30 sec easy" spin:

Matt back on the bike behind me doing 30 secs hard.

Angela on her 30 sec break of easy spinning.

Jeremy going hard on his bike. (Note: you can see 2 ladders set up between
the 2 pairs of bikes, and I like to set those up to hold bottles and/or sweat rags.)

Transition: 0:20
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:23
Transition: 0:12
1 mile run: 3:07, 3:08 = 6:15

OK, that 6:15 was more of what I was expecting, not the 6:05 I started with. When Jeremy got back, he said that he lost 30 seconds from his first run, so I didn't feel as bad losing just 10!

Oh, and before anyone got back, I snapped a shot of me back on the bike (it's awkward to take selfies around other people):

Sweaty. Gross. Look at how nasty my pits are. Look.

Transition: 0:24
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:33
Transition: 0:13
1 mile run: 3:07, 3:06 = 6:13

OK, let's make the last one faster.

Angela transitioning to her final bike/run interval.

Transition: 0:22
Trainer (30 hard, 30 easy): 9:40
Transition: 0:11
1 mile run: 3:01, 3:01 = 6:02

Total time: 1:05:14

That's exactly 1 minute slower than the last time I did this workout with Matt. (And the vast majority of that 1 minute came from slower runs - and just a bit from slower transitions.) My FASTEST mile this time (6:02) was still slower than my SLOWEST mile last time (6:00). But really, after having not done ANY speed work for my running in the past 11 months, I can NOT complain. Seriously, the only hard running I've done since last August was the 1 mile run at the end of the YWCA Indoor Triathlon back in March.

I got photos of the other 3 on their final interval after I finished up:

Matt heading out on his final run.

Jeremy rounding the final corner back to the garage.

Angela thrilled to be finishing up.

I had to snap 2 final photos of under (sweaty) Matt's and (dainty) Angela's bikes:

Matt's sweat puddle. He ruined a perfectly good block of wood.

Under Angela's bike. Angela, you're welcome back ANY time.

This workout was given to me at a duathlon clinic a few years ago, but I also love it for before sprint triathlons. It'd be fine before longer races, but it really teaches you how to go fast and hard on tired legs.

This is more for my records than for anything else, but I've apparently done this workout 8 times now. Here's links to the first 7 times: first at the track with Marie, then a shorter version on the track with Matt, then near the track by myself, then out of my garage by myself, then out of my garage with friends on a HOT day, then on a chilly day in the garage with my Garmin, finally last fall with Matt.

p.s. I've been posting on a few Thursdays with the "Thirsty Thursday" tag. Click that link for posts tagged with that - you'll find informative bits of training information I thought were worth sharing.

Big race this weekend! Check my twitter and/or my instagram for race updates on Sunday!


Solid Workouts Recently and RACING This Weekend

>> Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Here's a quick glace at what June's training looked like:

There were 2 time trials in there, and 3 relay triathlons where I was the swimmer.

And here's July so far:

Here's a breakdown of some workouts worth noting:


On June 1st, I did 8x200 between 3:07 and 3:11. Then a week ago, I did 7x200 between 3:04 and 3:09. Progress!

I did my "go to" long hard swim of 1500 on June 10. I felt like I was going to die, and I did it in 24:57 (1:39.8/100). I did the same swim 10 days later 1 second faster per 100 (in 24:42) and I felt much less like death. Logic tells me that if I just keep doing this workout every 10 days, soon I'll be doing it at 1:20 pace... right?

On June 7th, I did my "go to" speed workout of 10x100. It ended as an average workout: 1:26/100.

Overall, I've been doing a fair amount of swimming: I'm up to nearly 80,000 yards on the year already (which is GREAT for me). That's more than I swam ALL YEAR in 2012, 2011, 2009, and 2008!


I did lot of shorter harder rides earlier in the summer, and then did two Time Trials in early June. I had an OK amount of speed, but not much distance training.

On the 9th, I did my longest ride of the year - nearly 30 miles. (That's long for me right now - shut up.) I did 3x5 mile intervals in the middle. I did them in 14:10 (21.2 mph), 13:13 (22.7 mph) and 14:06 (21.3 mph).

On the 13th, I did my normal quick loop. (For locals, it's basically along River Road to Hwy 5, then continuing on Shepard Rd to downtown St. Paul, up Ramsey Hill, down Summit, and back home.) I had my fastest average ever at downtown before climbing back up to residential streets: 22.2 mph! Not bad for city riding! Oh, did I forget to mention I had the wind at my back for part of that? Whatever. After bucking the wind the final few miles back (and after the big Ramsey Hill climb), I'd only dropped to 19.9 mph. I finished in 46:30 when the loop usually takes around 48 minutes.

Yesterday, I did a 25 mile ride with the middle 15 at tempo pace. It was a little breezy, and I finished the tempo 15 with a 21.3 mph ave. Again, not crazy fast, but OK for me in the breeze. I'm not the fastest I've ever been on the bike, but I'm doing OK this summer.

Overall, to have 153 miles (and 40 mins on the trainer) from the 1st of July through the middle is pretty good for me. (I've actually only had bigger monthly totals 5 times* in the last 5 years, and I'll jump ahead of 3 of those totals by simply doing the triathlon next weekend - I will easily have my 3rd biggest month in 5 years.) But my yearly total is still pretty crappy. I won't be breaking any yearly records in 2014.


So you all know I'm still working my way back from that nasty ankle injury in April. I'm doing 2.5 to 4 mile easy runs right now.

BUT, I did my first hard running last Friday night! I did that fun/nasty duathlon workout of bike, run, bike, run, bike, run, bike, run with 3 friends. My four 1-mile runs were slower than usual (being I've done NO speedwork in 11 months because of 2 different injuries), but I got through it just fine. I'll post more about that in the next few days.

Finally, I want to mention that Pharmie and I are racing the Waseca Triathlon this weekend. I'm doing the sprint for the 4th time, and Pharmie and Angela will be trying their "1/3 Iron" distance for the first time: it's a 1 mile swim, 34 mile bike, and 8.8 mile run. Wish us luck! Stop back to see how we do! The sprint ends with a 4.4 mile run, and I'll be doing that as my longest run in over 3 months. YIKES!

* My top 5 months of biking since August 2009 (when I started logging miles on BeginnerTriathlete) were May 2010 (208 miles), June 2013 (188 miles), May 2011 (163 miles), August 2013 (162 miles), and July 2012 (159 miles). I don't really like to bike much.



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