RACE REPORT: Official Indoor Tri Results (Part 2)

>> Monday, February 26, 2007

So the official results are in! The scoring is simple: there are 100 athletes, and you get 1 point for each person you beat in each event. I earned 234 points, which was good enough for 13th! (See previous post for more details on the race, as well as a few photos.) One of my new tri buddies that I met at the triathlon earned the exact same score as me (K. Stauton). I was hoping for a top 15 finish, so I’m pretty happy. If I had decided earlier to kick a little more during the last half of the swim, I MAYBE could have gotten an extra length in the pool, which would have put me 9th overall. I checked my watch around lap 6, and I knew that I could ease into 19 lengths, or I could have really kicked from that point on and gone for 20 lengths.

“God, Steve, you did fine - stop figuring out how you could have done better and get over it.”


Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri Official Results:
• Swim: 40th overall (19 lengths)
• Bike: 21st overall (15.00 miles)
• Run: 8th overall (2.58 miles)
Overall Finish: 13th out of 100


RACE REPORT: LTF Indoor Triathlon (Part 1)

>> Sunday, February 25, 2007

(Note: This triathlon is based on how far you go, not how long it takes you. There was a 10 minute swim where you were to swim as many lengths as possible. Then a 10 minute transition. Then 30 minutes of biking on a spinning cycle with the resistance set and locked to make everyone work as hard as everyone else. That’s followed by a 5 minute transition. Finally, there’s a 20 minute treadmill run at an incline of 2 degrees. Everyone’s distances are tallied up and compared to everyone else’s, and then a point scale is attached to the final distances. I should be able to find out my official overall place tomorrow. Stay tuned.)

It snowed overnight. Snowed a lot. Twelve to 14 freakin’ inches of the white crap. The State Patrol was recommending not going out on the roads. The morning of my triathlon didn’t start with loading gear into my car or checking my bike tires; it began by shoveling a path out of my garage for 20 minutes. I didn’t care, although being it was such a heavy show, I was constantly thinking “OK, I’ve been out here 5 minutes - there goes 1 length off my swim... Now it’s been 15 minutes - that will take a half mile off the bike...”

I hit the road extra early for the Lifetime Fitness Indoor Triathlon in Chanhassen. I popped in a Bob Dylan CD and safely took my time. Normally it’s around a 30 minute drive, but this morning it took me around 50 minutes. The drive was slow and ugly:

(What’s with me and taking photos at dangerous times? During my First 100 Mile Ride back in August, I have a great photo of Pharmie ahead of me that I took while biking with no hands at 25+ miles/hour. Taking a photo driving down the freeway during a snowstorm is just as bright.)

I arrived around 8 am - plenty of time for my 9:20 am start. This year, I didn’t have the horrible “post-party guacamole squirts” that I had at the start of last year’s Indoor Tri, so I was already in a better mood. I used my extra time to cheer those on that were in the waves before me. There were very few spectators: some spouses, friends, etc. So I figured I’d try to liven things up and convert into my own little cheering section. I made many new friends, like I usually do at these events.

Before the swim started, I asked the woman who was going to be counting my lengths to be generous. She laughed and said she’d do what she could. I ended up sharing my lane with a 40-something, bleach-blonde, overly tan, suburban soccer mom. The gun sounded, and I went out too fast, which is what I was afraid of. Overall, I was moderately pleased by my overall swim. I swam 19 lengths in a 25 meter pool in 10 minutes. Last year, I only swam 15 lengths. I was hoping for 20, but felt fine with my 19.

I got out of the pool, and used a minute of my allocated 10 minute transition time to thank my “length counter” and snap a quick photo:

She’s pointing to the tally marks from my swim
along with the number “19”

So then I took off for the locker room and quickly changed into my biking gear. I put on my new socks that Pharmie gave me for Valentines Day. They have happy beavers on them that are giving “thumbs-up”:

They have some text on the sole as well, but it’s
kinda dirty - it can be interpreted with more
than one possible meaning... *wink wink*

Anyway, I got my clothes on and headed to the spinning studio. I grabbed a bike, and had about 90 seconds left to get set. I made all the adjustments that I needed, and hopped on. I placed my bike shoes in the toe cages, but something didn’t seem quite right. “Oh well” I thought, as I only had about 30 seconds until we had to start. I tightened my feet in, and started spinning. “Crap.” I knew what the problem was. The pedals were on backwards! The buckle that holds the tether tight in the toe cage was hitting the INSIDE of the arm of the pedal on each revolution - they were on the inside, not on the outside as they should be (I hope this makes sense - it's hard to explain). Immediately, we all heard, “OK, TIME!! Hit the big button on your computer and GO!” I didn’t know what to do about my pedals / toe cages, so I just went. It wasn’t too much of a distraction, and I don’t know that it horribly affected my overall distance. I told a volunteer about it so that it could be corrected before the next wave, and I just did the best that I could. Being we couldn’t change the resistance, my cadence was always between 110 and 130. Uncomfortably fast. Let me tell you, my hips were a-shakin’!!

Just over half way into the bike

There was some pretty poor officiating at this triathlon. I was pretty pissed. There were at least 2 people that were TOTALLY drafting me the whole time on the bike, and they weren’t even called for it! Bitches.

Thirty minutes later, at the end of the bike leg, I had “traveled” exactly 15.00 miles (last year I was able to go 15.3, but I’m not in as good biking shape right now, and who knows if the resistance was set the EXACT same as last year). That was about what I was hoping I could do, maybe even a bit better than I thought. I hopped off the bike and got over to the treadmill area. I quickly stretched out my knee and my hamstrings and got ready to run. At this point, my bum knee was still holding up just perfectly!

We started running, and I set my pace so that I could hit 2.5 miles in 20 minutes. I backed off after a few minutes, but throughout the run, I slowly added that speed back (plus more). I always stayed just ahead of the pace I hoped to run, and I ended up with a reverse split. At the end of the run, I had covered 2.58 miles (up from 2.42 last year). I was pleasantly surprised at the distance that I covered on the run, being I didn’t run all of December or January because of my knee, and I’ve only ran a few short, slow runs in the last 3 weeks.

So, everything being said and done, I was happy with my performance. But I was not too happy with my knee after the run. It started to flare-up about half way into the run, but I was told by my PT that I could work though some pain. It didn’t get too intense, but I was hoping that it wasn’t going to get as bad as it did. I iced it at home, and told it I was disappointed in it before sending it to it’s room without any supper.

Lifetime Fitness Indoor Tri Results:
• Swim: (25m lap pool) 10 minutes, 19 lengths
• T1: 10 minutes
• Bike: (spinning) 30 minutes, 15.00 miles
• T2: 5 minutes
• Run: (treadmill) 20 minutes, 2.58 miles

Official results with placing should be up tomorrow - check back!

I had a GREAT time, just like last year, and I hope to do it again next year (maybe with Steph, my wife’s sister, in her “Crazy, Hot, Cool” suit that you may have read about). I chatted it up with about 8 new tri-friends, and hope to see them at more events in the next few years. Last year, I finished 25th out of 100. This year, I would LOVE to have made the top 15, but I don’t think that it’s possible. The group seemed more intense this year over last year. I just looked at last year’s results, and if I had performed this well last year, I’d have moved from 25th place to 9th place. Today, I did NOT get 9th, but I guess I’ll officially know tomorrow (that will be "Part 2" of this post)!


Upcoming Tri (and Cat Attacks)

>> Wednesday, February 21, 2007

So I went running again yesterday. It went well again! I was able to easily go 3 miles, and my knee held up fine. So this Sunday, I’m doing my first Tri of the year: the Indoor Triathlon at Lifetime Fitness in Chanhassen, MN. I’m looking forward to it. It should be a blast! Make sure to stop by my blog early next week to see my race report.

So if you happen to be a member at that Lifetime, or if you are competing in the Triathlon yourself, please stop and say “hi” on Sunday morning. I’ll be starting in the 9:20 am heat. I’d love to meet you!

Oh, one more thing. Now that I’ve been able to go running again, I’ve been getting sweaty again. And one of my cats, Kermit, licks me when I get home from the Y because I am covered in salt. I don’t really mind. It’s pretty entertaining:

Pharmie calls them hickeys. But they’re totally NOT hickeys - just lick marks. Lick marks with styled chest hair. I keep Kermit away from my nipples because that’s just weird.


Why Bike Shorts Are Black

>> Thursday, February 15, 2007

I think these images say it all. According to the guy second from the right, it’s about 1 o'clock (if you know what I mean). I can hear the advertisements for red bike shorts now: “No need to wear a watch - just look down to your built-in sundial!”


Look Ma! I'm Running!

>> Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I went for my first run in 2 months on Saturday. I wasn’t feelin’ it on my way to the Y. I just didn’t think that it was going to go well. I was prepared for it to be a disaster. My plan was to try going 1.5 miles. The last time I tried that in December, my knee made a turn for the worse at 1.3 miles, and at a mile and a half I HAD to stop. On Saturday, I had some lingering pain in my knee, and I felt like it was going to be holding me back. I was ready to be disappointed.

But, instead, I felt GREAT! I was sneaking up on 1 mile, and I still felt good. I was trying to run smooth, clean, and non-jarringly (is that a word?). It was going well.

Long story short: I had a pain-free 2 mile run!

The next day, I swam. And the day after that, I didn’t do anything - I needed to recover. I did have some more, fairly intense lingering knee pain, but nothing sharp and horrible.

Today I was feeling OK again, so I stretched out and headed to the Y. I had a good 2.1 mile run! These 2 runs have been short, but very meaningful. And MUCH needed for my psyche.

After I finished on the treadmill, I snapped a quick photo in my pain-free bliss:

I must have been satisfied: you can see my bulging “Vain of Approval” throbbing away in my forehead. We’ll see how long this running delight lasts. Stay tuned!


Physical Therapy And Dream Analysis

>> Friday, February 09, 2007

I had another PT appointment this afternoon. Now we have a new theory. Our first theory was IT Band issues (tendonitis or what-not). Along with that theory was the idea that my knee wasn’t strong enough, and that’s why there was too much work being done by my IT Band to stabilize my knee. Then our theory was that my fibula was moving incorrectly over the top of my tibia. Our new theory is that my pelvis is a little crooked. I didn’t need my physical therapist to tell me that - I think I’ve heard that from an ex-girlfriend before...

So she grabbed a towel, tied it around my ankle, and tugged and tugged and tugged. Then she prodded around on either side of my pelvis and all around my ass. She asked if anything hurt, but I was just trying not to giggle. I’m ticklish.

She also gave me the OK to try running again. I can run through a little pain, but I’ll stop if it starts getting horribly worse. So tomorrow, I hope to try running 1.5 miles on a dreadmill. And she thinks that the indoor triathlon that I’m signed up for in 2 weeks is still plausible.

Oh, one last thing. I had a dream that I think predicts the future. Right before I woke up, I was dreaming that I was a vampire. “Vampire Steve” was masturbating on someone’s kitchen table. When I was done, I was compelled to clean up, otherwise the “residue” could turn someone else into in a vampire. True story. I can’t make this stuff up.

I think the fact that I’m a vampire means “September.” And masturbation means “finish.” And the table symbolizes “Ironman.” And finally, the idea that I was cleaning up after myself means “14 hours.”

So, if I’m interpreting this correctly, the dream I had last night signifies that I’ll be finishing Ironman in September in 14 hours. I don’t know much about dream analysis, but this just makes sense.

But maybe I’m wrong.

Theories anyone?


New Blogger Kindred Spirit

I was flattered to find a surprising post on a new blogger buddies site. It’s a short, simple post (the way I like them) that has links to the things that him and I have in common:

- how we’ve both recently completed our first century rides
- how we’ve both been known to use action figures to illustrate our stories
- and how we’re both big dorks

It’s pretty good. Plus, you KNOW I’d love a blog titled Neoprene Wedgie. So check it out. It’s good stuff!

(and here's the direct link to the post about us and our common blogging sensibilities)


A Serious Post (for a change)

>> Tuesday, February 06, 2007

I think most of you tune in to my blog for crazy stories and self-deprecating tidbits. This post is a little less fun. This is about what’s been going on with my stinkin' knee.

Since October, I’ve been battling with my left knee. I the last time I ran was in late November. And on that run, I only got 1 mile from home before my knee was in some serious pain. I figured it was IT Band issues, but I wasn’t sure. The pain was a little different. It was always lingering, whereas when I had IT band issues in high school, the pain was really only while running or right after. I stopped running and started stretching and icing (but only in moderation). I took it easy.

Finally, at the very end of December, I met with a sports med doctor. I had X-rays, he poked me a lot, and he figured it was “just IT band issues.” So I was told to meet with a physical therapist and keep stretching. I was also taking 2-4 ibuprofen per day (not for pain, but for helping to reduce any internal inflammation). I’m not big on taking pills - never have been - but my pharmacist wife thought it could help.

At my first meeting with the PT, she gave me some exercises and stretches and had me come back in 2 weeks. Nothing was really helping. I didn’t think this could be “just IT band issues” anymore. At that point, I stopped biking or spinning as well. So I just kept lifting weights (upper body only) and swimming.

At my most recent PT appointment, she finally agreed with me. She thinks my fibula might be moving incorrectly over my tibia, or my crap-ula is moving incorrectly over my poop-ula - I’m not good with anatomy; I don’t remember exactly what she said. Anyway, she massaged it out for 10 minutes and actually bruised me pretty bad, which is strange because it has been 2 years since my last bruise. It helped though. So I don’t care that she turned my knee purple. She can bruise me all she wants. (That’s not supposed to sound dirty.) She gave me one new exercises and sent me on my way.

My next PT appointment is this Friday, and it’ll be my 3rd meeting with her. My knee felt better for a day or 2 after our last meeting, but it’s by no means fixed. I woke up this morning, and it was very sore, and I haven’t done anything that would have aggravated it for a few days. So I’m really frustrated, and, as I’ve noted before, I’m starting to see my IM dreams slip away. I just can’t see training like this. I wake up in the morning, and it’s sore. I sit on my ass all day and it’s sore. I’m up on my feet teaching all day and it’s sore. What will happen on a 2 mile run? It’s won’t hold up. Because of all of this, I don’t think I’ll be able to compete in the wussy little indoor triathlon coming up in 3 weeks.

The good news in all of this is that I’ve been hitting the pool and getting ever faster. On Saturday, I swam 60 laps in our 25-yard pool - that’s 1 and 2/3s miles! And I just tallied up my totals for January, and I swam 10.5 miles over the course of the month (and that was after not doing much the first week of the month). So, if I’m looking for any sort of silver lining, I guess that’s it!

Well, off I go - these leg exercises won't do themselves....


Tag, I'm It

>> Monday, February 05, 2007

I’ve been double tagged (just like my wife), by Lance Notstrong and TriTeacher. The first task? List 6 strange or weird things about yourself. Being I recently posted “100 Things About Me” and most of those were strange, I thought I’d put a little twist on this post. This will be 6 strange or weird things about me that are athletic related. So, in no particular order, here we go:

• I drink like a CAMEL! I am a hydrate-o-holic. Water, PowerAid, Gatorade, diluted lemon flavored Carbo-Pro - they’re all good. I even have to bring 2 full water bottles to a 1 hour spinning class! Here I am just before a SPRINT Triathlon:

• I have no ass, and therefore, on long bike rides I wear 2 pairs of bike shorts. Don’t laugh. It works.

• The night before my first ever triathlon, I was at a party where I over-indulged in guacamole. The next morning, my bowels weren’t happy. I did the nasty in the bathroom 3 times in the half hour before starting the race. I LITERALY ran from the toilet to the start of the swim. It all ended OK.

• I’m getting really frustrated by my bum left knee. I’m not running at all, I’ve stopped biking/spinning, I’m stretching it out but not over working it, I’m seeing a physical therapist and doing all the stretches/exercises that she’s recommending, and it’s just not getting better. My IM dreams already seem out of reach. Update on this soon. Grrrrr...

• I like my toe cages. I don’t want to get clipless pedals. I was so happy to see a few toe cages on the bikes at IM WI 2006.

• I’m looking forward to shaving my entire body mid-summer in preparation for IM WI. Well, maybe “looking forward to it” is strong language. It’s more like I’m just curious. Sarah is too.

The second task is to answer the following 6 triathlon questions:

1. Describe a memory from your first triathlon ever.
Well, I’ll go with the guacamole/diarrhea incident that you’ve already read about earlier in this post.

2. Describe a memory from your most recent triathlon.
Mmmmmmm....... the Swedish pancakes at the end of the Chisago Lakes Triathlon. Best post triathlon food ever.

3. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
For all the embarrassing and stupid things that I do (and that I have shared with you over these past few months), I really don’t have anything very embarrassing from a triathlon. I’m just as surprised as you! I mean, I’ve peed at the start of the swim during 2 triathlons, but who hasn’t?

4. What’s the most thrilling thing that has ever happened to you in a triathlon?
Completing the 0.93 mile swim at my first Olympic distance tri and still remaining upright!

5. What is something that you discovered about yourself by doing triathlons?
I can NOT swim a straight line if my life depended on it.

6. What is “The Big Goal” that you are working towards?
Um, duh, IM WI 2007. And a rock hard body. (First off, let’s start with a healthy knee!)

Time to pass on the cooties. So, I’m going to tag XT4, Spokane Al, and TriShannon (Shannon, I see you’ve already done one of these, so your job is to do the other one). Tag, you’re it. Do either one of these, or both of these if you’d like. Go to it.


My Hot Wife and Female Pole Vaulters

>> Saturday, February 03, 2007

Early this morning, Sarah (Pharmie) and I went for a swim. After 28 laps, the pool emptied out a bit, and we were able to move over a few lanes. That proved smart because it wasn’t too long after that when it began. You know...IT.

I first caught a wiff of Elizabeth Taylor’s “White Diamonds” perfume. Then I saw someone wearing sneakers in the pool. It was older folks getting ready for water aerobics.

Oh God...

...the HORROR!

They are all unshowered, full of perfume and hair spray, and they have...no...say it isn’t so...PICTURES OF THEIR GRANDKIDS!!






OK, I’m better now. When we paused a little after 28 laps, Sarah asked if I could check her form. Let’s see... I’m being forced to watch my wife as she’s wearing just a sporty swimsuit and some sweet goggles? She’s actually ASKING me to stare?!? Not a problem. Come on guys - am I right or am I right? Female triathletes have super bodies! Someone back me up on this.

Then it was back to swimming, and I finished another 32 laps, for a total of 60 laps in 1 hour and 10 minutes. That was 1 and 2/3s miles - my longest swim ever!

Oh, speaking of super bodies, there was an indoor track and field event on TV this afternoon, and I realized something: Female pole vaulters are HOT! Holy lord! They are super toned and (at least from what I was seeing) they were all cute too! If any guys reading this are single, I suggest tapping into that market.

In conclusion, I don’t like old people ruining the air quality and water quality at the pool, but I have nothing against the elderly. My wife looks good in a swimming suit and female pole-vaulters in their mid 20s make me hot, but I am not sexist. Don’t write me a nasty letter.

Good day.



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