The Stenzels / Pharmies Bought A House!

>> Monday, April 30, 2007

Friday morning (and well into the afternoon), Phamie and I were signing papers for our new home. We saw some scary numbers: how long we are going to be in debt and how much we are REALLY paying once all of our interest is figured in. Gross. We walked out of the title place with a packet of papers and some new keys. It didn’t feel like we now had a new home.

We headed downtown to homestead the property at the courthouse, and then got to cleaning the new place (and by “new” I mean “new to us” – it’s a sweet 1914 home). We stopped once for a Subway meal and booze. Here we are cleaning late into the day, after said meal of meat and booze:

So now, if you’d like to swing into St. Paul for a day or two, you’re welcome to stay with us. We can all go for a bike ride or a run, and then stop off at Izzy’s Ice Cream shop just 3 blocks away. We have a guest room and a basement that’s good for housing bikes!


Triathlon Fuel

>> Tuesday, April 24, 2007

No, I’m not talking about Hammer Gel or Carbo Pro. Not about Power Bars or Power Gel. I’m talking about REAL fuel. MAN FUEL.

Recently, I picked up my brother-in-law and his girlfriend and drove them to the airport. As a “thank you” gift for picking them up, they had a large Papa Murphy’s ALL MEAT pizza waiting for me.

They knew that the ladies that I live with would leave that meaty mess alone, and that it would be all mine. Ten minutes later, over 1,500 calories were in my belly (half of the pizza):

I saved the other 1,500 calories for the next day. Fuel. Man fuel. Fuel for life. Fuel for Triathlons. Maybe a little too much fuel. My tank was full. My tank runneth over. Then I had to clean the bathroom.


I’ve Forgotten How to Bike

>> Friday, April 20, 2007

About a month ago when I dusted off Big Rhonda (The Dyke Bike) for the first time this year, I went a little nuts. I pushed it too hard. I forgot all about pacing. My first 10 miles were done at over 19 mph. However, I got onto the trail on Summit Ave, got down into areo, and smiled a little to myself, thinking “Ohhh…this feels GOOD!” It had been too long.

(Speaking of going fast, I recent was able to run a 3 mile run in 7:40 minute miles WITHOUT knee pain! Woo-Who!)

Anyway, I’ve gone for a few bike rides since, and I have gotten a little better. Pharmie and I went on a ride this past weekend, and she’s a SUPER pacer. She can set a pace and just go. It was a little slow, but the pace was constant. We had a good time.

Today, I went for a nice spring-time ride. It was a little fast (as usual), and it kicked my ass in the end. The ride ended with a nice trip up Ramsey Hill. Nasty ole’ Ramsey Hill. It’s the kind of hill that takes your average speed that you’ve worked so hard to keep high and kicks it in the nuts, slaps it in the face, and calls it Nancy.

When I got home from my ride, I was starving (what’s new?). I dug through the freezer and found a Weight Watches Salisbury Steak with Mac and Cheese. It didn’t live up to my expectations:

What’s the opposite of delicious?

So, in short, I need to work on pacing myself on the bike. I need to be slower and able to stick it out for a longer time. Sorta like the way I am in the sack.



Keepin’ It Real

>> Friday, April 13, 2007

I achieved a minor breakthrough yesterday evening: I was able to run 4 miles without stopping with little to no knee pain during the run!! This is huge (well, for me at least)! I ran outside and was running slow but comfortable 9-minute miles. I ran loops near home in case my knee went ka-put, but it held up just fine. It did get a little sore last night, and it was a little achy this morning in bed, but still, I’m happy with the run. Now, if I’m just able to feel that good after running 6 times that far I’ll be set....

It’s time I posted some totals. I need to get these in front of God and everybody so I keep “guilting” myself into training. Remember, through all of this, I was trying to heal my left knee, so there are some pretty uneven distances. Here we go:

Jan. 2007
• Swim: 17,300 meters
• Bike: 16 miles
• Spinning: 5.5 hours
• Run: 0 miles
• Strength: 14 times

Feb. 2007
• Swim: 11,300 meters
• Bike: 0 miles
• Spinning: 1.5 hours
• Run: 12 miles
• Strength: 12 times

Mar. 2007
• Swim: 9,200 meters
• Bike: 12 miles
• Spinning: 0 hours
• Run: 24 miles
• Strength: 10 times

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

One last thing. If there are any guys out there that think I must be incredibly lucky to be living with 2 women, think again. When I got home from work today, look what jumped out of the shower and nearly killed me:

That ain’t mine. Gross. Girls are nastier than guys.


Results of “Name My Bike”

>> Thursday, April 12, 2007

The results are in!!

And by that, I mean that I’ve determined what the name of my bike is with the help of YOU. There were a lot of great possibilities: I loved Paula Bunyan (it has good MN ties too), Gina (pronounced with a long “I”) was strongly considered, and Oprah was a GREAT suggestion. But there can only be one winner chosen. It was a tough decision, but the winner is...

May I have the envelope please...


Her full name will be “Big Rhonda the Dyke Bike.” Rhonda was first brought up by Mallie, so she is the big winner! Mallie, email me at with your mailing address so I can send you your “prize.” It will be “great.” You’ll “love it,” I promise.*

And I’d like to thank everyone for the well wishes regarding my last post about my impromptu ER visit. Besides the comments, I also received a few e-mails with more thoughts, concerns, and all around warm fuzzies. So THANK YOU, all of you. I’m doing fine, and I’m pretty convinced that I’m going to live another day. It’s provided me with just another great story for around the campfire.

* I’m not promising anything.


My Trip to the ER

>> Friday, April 06, 2007

This is a little bit of a scary story, and this story is true (unlike my scary story about my watch that spoke to me a few months ago).

On Wednesday, near the end of my Color and Design class at CVA, I mentioned to my students that I was feeling a little dizzy. It didn’t seem to be too big of a deal. I went and got a drink of water and figured I’d be fine in a few minutes. Class was beginning to wrap up, and I was ready to swing by home to have lunch and get ready for my afternoon class at MCAD. I was leaving school and walking to my car, and I felt a little dizzier. I was just watching my feet, because if I looked up, everything was spinning a little too much. I stopped for a moment and rested against a fence to get my balance. I was close to my car, so I let go of the fence and kept walking.

The next thing I remember, I was getting out of a construction worker’s truck (or contractor, or electrician) in the parking lot of United Hospital’s Emergency Room. As I was “coming to,” I realized I was speaking with the man in his truck. He had picked me up and taken me about a mile to the hospital. I don’t remember ever getting up, getting into his truck, or speaking with him. I don’t know if he woke me up or found me dazed or what. When I climbed out of his truck and was staring at the doors of the ER, I nearly lost it; I was freaking out.

I didn’t know how long I was out or what happened in the time between collapsing on the sidewalk and getting to the ER. I walked inside and up to the counter. The woman at the desk asked how she could help me. I said “I... I was just dropped off in the parking lot... and... and...” I lost it. I was so scared, and I just started crying. I was shaking. She tried to calm me down and she handed me some paperwork to fill out. I reached for the pen, and I realized that my right hand was bright red and numb. I was able to mumble, “I think my hand is frozen... I can’t write...” I looked down and started feeling around. My left leg was soaked and my computer bag was wet and still had some snow on it. “Oh my God, my computers... My wallet!...” Both of my laptops were still in my bag and my wallet was still in my pocket. My day planner was still in my left hand, but it had some snow on it too.

So the nurse took down my info for me. My memory was working fine. I was able to rattle off my social security number and all of my other data, so my brain wasn’t broken. I wasn’t in any pain, but the back left part of my head was a little sore from where I must have hit the sidewalk.

I had to tell what I remembered about what had happened to all kinds of people in the ER. Each time I broke down. The head nurse (who was the second person I met with) kept nicely telling me to calm down. I must have looked like a mess. “Just calm down, it’ll be OK, they’ll run some’s OK...just calm down...”

They tested me for about everything except for feline diabetes. My blood sugar was fine. My blood pressure and heart rate were fine. The numbers and lines flashing on the EKG were all fine. They did blood work and that was all normal. There were no outward signs of anything being wrong. They kept me there for a few hours to monitor. I kept telling them, “The doctor who gave me a physical last fall told me ‘Whatever you’re doin’, keep doin’ it! You are a very healthy young man!’ I’m a triathlete, I’m in GREAT shape!”

I asked if I could get my laptop to get the phone number for the head of the Media Department at MCAD so I could call her and let her know that I wasn’t going to be able to teach class that afternoon. They handed me my computer, and I got her number. (I talked to her later that day, and she told me that I sounded really scared in the message that I left her.)

After being there a little while, my fear turned into embarrassment. I just wanted to get out of there. I felt fine. Except for being quite shaken up, I felt fine from the moment I walked into the hospital. They weren’t ready to let me go. I also realized that, being my computer was still on my lap, now was my chance to take a quick photo with the built-in iSight on my Mac:

I’m pretty sure that I wasn’t supposed to take a picture in there, but whatever. To wrap up this long, strange story, they basically told me “these things happen” and unless it happens again, it was probably just a fluke - maybe due to stress. But if it happened again, I’d have a CAT Scan and a lot more tests. Super.

They asked if I had a ride home. I lied and said yes. I was just ready to get out of there. They let me get dressed and leave. I walked back to my car, which wasn’t really that far from the hospital - maybe over a half mile. But in that walk, I had to climb the roughly 200 stairs behind the James J. Hill house. After that, I STILL felt fine, so I knew things were going to be OK.

I got back to my car and looked around. I wanted to see if I could tell where I dropped. Sure enough, right between the fence that I leaned on when I felt dizzy and my car, there was an L-shaped depression on the edge of the sidewalk. That’s where I fell. And I still didn’t remember any of it. I looked around to try to figure it all out, but I now realize that I won’t remember what happened and I should stop driving myself crazy trying to dig those details out of my brain. I got into my car, drove home, and did something any good triathlete would do: went to the Y for a 2500-meter swim. Just kidding. I drove home, had a big glass of water, and fell asleep on the couch to Rachel Ray making chicken on TV.



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