Mountain Biking in the Fall

>> Saturday, September 30, 2006

My brother-in-law, Dave, and I went out for a nice, cool, late-September afternoon mountain bike ride yesterday. We drove over to Theo Wirth Park between Minneapolis and Golden Valley. We biked out to the course, did the narrow short course out to the main loop, biked the main loop twice, came back on the narrow short course, and then biked back to my car.

One time, I got like 3 feet of air. (Yes, that was a bad Napoleon Dynamite reference)

Dave thinks that, much like baseball hats, bike helmets make you look “cooler” when worn backwards. Idiot:

We had a great time. In fact, earlier this summer, I figured that I’d do an Xterra Triathlon next summer (swim, mountain bike, trail run). But now that the Ironman is officially on the books for next year, I’ll have to push the Xterra back a year.

2007: the year of the Iron-Steve.

2008: the year of the X-Steve.

Sounds like a plan.

When we were almost done for the day, Dave had a nasty wipeout:

He was unresponsive and bleeding from his ears, so I figured it just be best if I left him there so he could work it out himself. The wolves could help him if he needed it. And the fire ants too - I hear they're nice to work with.

It’s been 24 hours, and I still haven’t heard from him...


I’m In!! IM WI 2007, Here I Come!!

>> Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hurray for the Community Fund!

I was unable to get registered the “normal” way for Ironman Wisconsin next year (see previous post), so I sent out my Community Fund application the day that it opened. I was informed yesterday that I’m all registered for IM WI 2007! Now comes the plea...

To enter through the Ironman Community Fund (ICF) means that I have to try to raise $550 for local charities. The main focus of the ICF fundraising is directed towards youth and sports. I still paid the normal (expensive) IM entry fee, so this $550 is on top of that. I have to foot the bill on whatever portion of this that I don’t raise.

If you are able to help me (and ICF) out, please send me a little money. I won’t act like a high-pressure infomercial. I won’t try to B.S. you into helping out. I won’t make you an offer that you can’t refuse. I’ll simply ask nicely one time. If you can help, great. If you can’t, that’s fine.

Please mail checks to:

Steve Stenzel
544 Ashland Ave
St. Paul, MN 55102

Checks can be made out to me, in my quest to raise money to go towards funding youth athletic activities. If you choose to help out, I’ll send good karma back in your direction! Heck, I'll send good karma your way even if you don't!

Thanks everyone! See you in September in Madison!

p.s. If you need me to sound more pitiful, I had a dentist's appointment this morning and was informed that I have my very first cavity. FIRST ONE! Boo-hoo.


No Ironman For Me Next Year...

>> Monday, September 11, 2006

I tried to register for Ironman WI 2007, but it filled up FAST! I was online 10 minutes after online entry started, and I was working from a fast computer with a fast connection. It took forever for each page to load because of the traffic. I slowed myself down at some parts: I forgot my ID and screwed up on a few pages in (forgot to click some little box or what-not). I finally got it all taken care of and was moving through the site. I got to the point where I was putting in my payment, and it wouldn’t take. It was 10:58 am, 58 minutes after registration opened. I called a support number, and they told me that I missed it and didn’t make it into their database. IM WI 2007 was full, and I was not going to be part of it.


Sarah is IRONMAN!! Chapter 3

She did it! And she did it well! Sarah finished in 15 hours, 53 minutes, and 18 seconds. She was hoping to just to finish in the allotted 17 hours, and she was spectacular!

9:30 pm, Sarah with just over 6 miles to go

10:54 pm, Sarah about to become Ironman in 50 feet!!

Sarah and Sara after the finish.

Then I hopped in my car at 12:45 am and drove straight back to St. Paul from Madison. I had 2 Diet Cokes and 2 Vaults along the way. I got home at 4:30 am, prepared for class for a half hour, slept from about 5:30 - 7 am, finished getting ready for class, and headed out to teach. I was told I didn’t look like I had only had an hour and a half of sleep. Sweet.


LIVE From Sarah’s Ironman, Chapter 2

>> Sunday, September 10, 2006

WET, WET, DAY!!! Holy Mother of God. What a wet day. It could be worse. It’s not pouring, but it’s been raining lightly all flippin day. The athletes look pretty horrible out there. Steph and I have been yelling, “LOOKIN GOOD!!” to everyone running by, but it’s been a lie each time. Everyone looks miserable.

Sarah’s been hitting her time goals pretty dead-on. Sarah’s good at estimating her splits. Maddy called me at 3:10 pm when Sarah had just gone by mile 89 in the bike, and she said Sarah was still sporting a smile, but looked lonely.

There were some frantic phone calls around 5 pm when no one had seen Sarah in a while. The cut-off for getting in on the bike was 5:30, and time was not slowing down. I was nervously checking the time every 45 seconds or so. Finally, Steph called me at 5:13 saying that Sarah had just dropped off her bike and was headed into T2. SHE HAD MADE IT!!! Sarah wasn’t in there long, and she was out on the run. Cheerful phonecalls ensued. She’s out there right now, probably about 9 miles into the run. Steph and I are headed back out after a quick drying-off break.

Here are our friends as they start the run:

4:11 pm, XT4 made his point.
(Sorry, bad pun)

4:45 pm, Thomps, still smiling

5:07 pm, Sara
I missed Sara last time, so here
are 2 photos now to make up for it

5:22 pm, Sarah sporting the bag look

5:24 pm, Sarah with 26 miles to go

5:43 pm, Wil, making it before the cutoff!

Steph showing off her wet bottom

Me showing off my wet everything


LIVE From Sarah’s Ironman

Right after the starting cannon at 7:00 am with a
RECORD BREAKING 2,450 people in the water

It is 12:30 pm and I’m sending a LIVE update from the Ironman Course. Sarah did GREAT in the swim! She was out of the water in 1 hour, 55 minutes. I was just happy to see her out of the water and on two feet!

I just received a call from Maddy who is WAY out on the bike course, and she told me that Sarah was doing super at mile 43. Sarah took off her long sleeve shirt and left it with Maddy and Jess. At that point, it was 12:06 pm, just over 5 hours into the day.

Here are some pics of some of our online buddies shortly after the swim on their way to T1:

8:05 am, Chris

8:34 am, Thomps

8:36 am, XT4

8:50 am, Wil

8:56 am, Sarah

8:56 am, Sarah again.
Notice Sarah’s super enthusiastic sister, Steph, to the right.
Her brother Matt was just behind me, cheering like a mother.

8:56 am, Sarah yet again

8:57 am, Wil heading for the bike, feeling peaceful

9:02 am, Sarah getting ready to hop on her bike

Good luck out there, Sarah!! You'll do great!!!


Post Residency/Pre Sarah’s Ironman

>> Friday, September 08, 2006

Well, I haven’t done squat in the realm of physical activity over the last few weeks. During my Photo Residency at the Anderson Center, I worked myself crazy and made a few good photos - which IS all that really matters. I only went on a 5 mile bike ride and a 5 mile run during my 2 and a half weeks down there. No random push-ups. No tricep dips. And lots of Debbie’s rich, rich cooking. Bad combination.

Now, the fall semester has started, and I’m teaching 4 classes at 3 different colleges/universities in Mpls/St. Paul. Back to the working life.

Sarah and I are out in Wisconsin for her first Ironman Triathlon this weekend. We had a pasta supper at Stu’s house near Madison. (Otherwise known as Simply Stu.) What a great guy! He invited everyone from the triathlon blogosphere in the area. There were over 20 people there.

About half the gang at Stu’s

After the meal, we (“we” meaning all the fat, slow, non-Ironman schmucks) snapped some photos of the group of soon-to-be Ironman Athletes (and our host in yellow):

My sweet, little Ironman is on the far right.
No, not the Asian front of him.

So I had a bit of a revelation tonight. I realized about 5 weeks ago that when we got out here for the Ironman, I could be sucked in. I figured I’d see the excitement and exhilaration that goes along with all of this, and I’d be hooked. I didn’t really want it to happen, but I was aware that it could.

And it has.

At Stu’s house, it took just over an hour for me to go from
“I’ll MAYBE do Ironman next year,”
“I’ll PROBABLY do Ironman next year,”
“I hope to finish Ironman next year in about 14 hours.”

Crap. I’m sucked it. I blame Sarah and Stu. Super crap.

Good luck to everyone in 2 days!!!
I’ll be out there screaming at all of you!!!



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