Photo Residency...

>> Wednesday, August 16, 2006

It looks like I’ll be taking a few weeks off (which is fine because I don’t think I’ll be doing any more races this year) to do a photo residency at the Anderson Center in Red Wing, MN. I accepted a residency that is just over 2 weeks long to do my work in and near Red Wing. I’m leaving in about 2 hours! Please track my progress on my Photo Blog.

I hope to be posting updates every few days on my other blog. Thanks everyone!


Clean Bill of Health

>> Saturday, August 12, 2006

I just got back from a general check-up, and all is well. Dr. Petrie was great. He was smart, listened to what I had to say, and was gentle with my testes. Those are the 3 things to look for in a doctor!

When I was in the bathroom to “prepare” my urine sample, there was an instruction sheet mounted on the wall. Step #2 was “Expose Penis.” I’ve done that before without instruction, but this time, I was told to. Best instruction manual I’ve ever read! When you start the day with instructions such as those, you know it’s going to be a good day!

• 157 lbs
• 5 feet, 9.5 inches tall
• Resting Heart Rate: 54 bpm
• Blood Pressure: 100 / 74
• Ganglion Cyst on right foot; only needs attention if it becomes painful.

Verdict: Still waiting on the blood work, but I should live another year (or more). Dr. Petrie told me to never stop doing triathlons.


First 100 Mile Bike Ride!

>> Monday, August 07, 2006

That’s right folks, Sarah and I did our first Century Ride yesterday! Here’s how it started a few days ago:

Sarah: “I’m going to go for a 100 miler on Sunday. Wanna come with?”

Steve: “Ummm...I’ll think about it.”

Sarah: “I think I’ll pick an extra hilly route in order to train for Wisconsin.”

Steve: “Hey...that sounds...super-duper. One hundred miles and lots of hills. Ummm...OK. Let’s do it.”

Steve’s internal dialog: “Our first one hundred mile ride AND the hills out near Stillwater? That sounds super. How about adding 40 mile per hour winds? And lets line the trail with monkeys so they can fling their poo at us. Flaming hoops – lets add flaming hoops every few feet! And maybe some landmines too. Ooh, barbed wire at random points across the trail sounds great! Spectacular! Crap-tacular! Stu-frickin-pendous!”

But we made it just fine (although there were some annoying 15 mph winds out there). Here’s a rundown of yesterday’s ride:

We got ready by mixing A LOT of Carbo-Pro with some Gatorade. Here is one bottles worth ready to be mixed:

Carbo-Pro is just added carbs for energy. It turned a bottle of diluted Gatorade (100 calories) into something that could sustain us over a long distance (around 1200 calories!). Sarah displays about 2400 calories in 2 bottles:

Along with the Carbo-Pro, we also packed salt pills, which help keep hyponatremia from setting in. Hyponatremia, or “water-intoxication,” is a lack of salt in the body from sweating out too much salt while only drinking water. I think I had 7 salt pills throughout the ride. And we packed the other normal essentials: Luna Bars, Powerbars, Fig Newtons, etc.

So we got to the end of the Gateway Trail and out to the hills by Stillwater, MN. Here, Sarah and I are going up and down the typical rolling hills on Hwy 55 heading south into Stillwater:

25 mph with no hands while taking photos.
Good times.

At the bathrooms near the end
of the Gateway about 44 miles in.

We went back and forth on this 5 mile stretch 5 times before heading down into Stillwater for lunch. We stopped at Darla’s Old Fashion Malt Shop. They treat a rider right! Always great fuel for the rest of the ride. At this point, we were 52 miles into our ride.

I started with a blueberry malt that didn’t last long!

Ham & Cheese with homemade chips. Incredible!

We left Darla’s with full stomachs and had the most missive climb of the day. We headed up the GIANT hill on Hwy 12 from the St. Croix River towards the west. It’s about a 3/4 of a mile hill that cannot be described in words. For those of you out their training from IM WI, Sarah told me that this hill is bigger and harder than any hill out there (except for maybe one)! So take that! We went back to the Gateway along Hwy 55 and headed back towards home. Then we took Hwy 12 from the Gateway back to Stillwater. From the looks of this ride, you’d think that Sarah and I must be in love with Stillwater! In actuality, we were just in love with the hills near Stillwater.

Coming into town, we were headed down the large, large hill again. Being I still have a 10-year-old boy living inside of me, I had to see how fast I could go biking down that hill. The 10-year-old boy wanted to hit 50 mph. However, I could only make it to 48 mph. I know I could have done it with my Specialized Hardrock MTN bike because the gear ratio is much greater on that bike (and I’ve put narrower tires on that bike so I can go pretty fast on paved surfaces. That’s the bike that I put nearly 1,000 miles on in 10 weeks last fall). On my Tri bike, the gear ratio is much closer, making the high gears not actually as high as on a MTN bike. You bike nerds out there know what I’m talking about. I think I can break 50 on my Tri bike though. It just wasn’t going to happen yesterday because I had already put 72 miles on my legs, and they didn’t know what the hell was happening to them when I was furiously peddling down that hill!

So we headed back up that hell hill one last time, and headed for home. (And by the way, both times up that hill, I stayed in the saddle! I sat the entire time. Last year I would have never thought that possible.) Once in St. Paul, we came within 3 blocks of home, but knew we had to go 6 more miles, so we biked down to St. Thomas on Summit Ave and back to get us there. We pulled into our yard, and the computer said “100.37 miles.” Sweet, sweet victory. How it hurts so.

Some final stats:
• 100.37 miles
• 14.9 mph average (hey, we didn’t do it for speed)
• 48 mph top (soon to hit 50)
• 6 hours, 40 minutes total time

Here’s a look at what we rode on paper, in case you ever want to try the “Sarah and Steve Hilly Hundred” (or the “Double S, Double H” for short):

Click on the map to see a larger version

Once home, I was sore all over. Notice the sore spots as illustrated by the Ken doll below:

I used a Ken doll to illustrate my point because
I’m anatomically built much like him...unfortunately.

I decided an ice bath would be best for me and all my sore areas. So I filled the tub with one foot of the coldest tap water possible, and then added 10 pounds of ice.

Who made ice so cold?

It felt so good, except for certain parts.
You know...THOSE parts.

Now, all is well. I had a decent nights sleep and I’m recouping well. I’ll be ready to do another ride like this tomorrow! And by “tomorrow,” I mean “2008.”

p.s. Sarah and I went to the Science Museum of Minnesota the night before the ride, and I got warmed up for the ride on the bike-machine that you peddle in order to light up some lights and ring a bell. I could ding the bell easily after about 5 hefty peddle strokes. Sarah tried time and time again, but she couldn’t get that bell to ding. She was so frustrated. She’ll hate me for telling all of you that.


Mini Doughnuts = Inspiration

>> Friday, August 04, 2006

I rode out to Lynda’s house today for a 2D/Digital Design curriculum meeting. I am now considered the senior 2D instructor at CVA. Weird. Riding bike past the Uptown Art Fair on the Greenway sent the smell of Mini Doughnuts wafting in my direction. It got me motivated to get home QUICK. What an heavenly smell.

I made it home fast, but I was sweatier than a monkey. See how the sweat glistens from arm to wrist:

I’ve mentioned before that my cat Kermit only sees me as a giant hairy salt lick, and she went at me when I took off my shirt. All the styled chest hair and red marks are from her tongue:


More Photos From the Chisago Lakes Triathlon

>> Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Never mind the giant “C”s in the middle of all of these photos. I’m sure it doesn’t mean something like “copyright” or anything.

I look angry after swimming.
Stupid water. I hate it.

Coming in on the bike

I’ve never liked the way I look when I run
(I seem awkward), but at least I don’t look like this guy:

It looks like he’s running sideways like a
sand crab while holding his hernia in. Jeez.



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