I’m Proudly Sore Today

>> Thursday, July 31, 2008

You know those good workouts at the gym that leave you sore the next day? It’s not a “Dang it, I hurt myself” sore; it’s more of a “Sweet, I worked my ass off” kind of sore. I’m sore like that today.

I wanted a real good free weight workout at the Y yesterday. If you’ve been following my blog for a while, you know that when I want a REALLY good workout, I keep track of all of the exercises that I do. I only do this during the “off season” because I can’t go too nuts lifting weights during the heart of the summer. When I’m done, I figure out how much weight I lifted.

For example, my heaviest set doing the bench press was 175 lbs for 8 reps. So I take 175 x 8 for a total of 1400 pounds. Others are lighter: 10 shoulder flys with a 15 lb dumbbell in each hand comes to 300 pounds (10 x 30). I total up how much weight I “lifted” during the workout. It’s not a perfect judge of how good the workout was, but it’s just a fun way to compare the intensity from one workout to another.

I had a few workouts this past winter (upper and lower body combined) that totaled over 50,000 pounds. My highest was nearly 52,000 pounds, and anything over 35,000 is considered a pretty good workout for me.

Yesterday at the Y, I only did an upper body workout, and in 55-60 minutes, I totaled 48,205 pounds. ONLY upper body. Best. Upper. Body. Workout. Ever. THEN, last night, I did 110 pushups at home (I’m finishing up week 2 of the “100 Pushup Challenge” - more on that in a week [it’s got its pros and cons]).

Putting on deodorant today was tough. I cringed a bit when getting the milk out of the fridge for my cereal. My boobs hurt and my shoulders are tight. Yes, I am proudly sore today.

Pharmie and I are heading out to Steelhead 70.3 early tomorrow morning. She’ll be competing, and I’ll be cheering (see previous post - oh, and add wrist bands and a head band out the outfit in the last post too). I’ll be seeing some of you out there! Good luck racers!


Steelhead 70.3 This Weekend!

>> Wednesday, July 30, 2008

No, not for me, but I’ll be there cheering!! Pharmie will be competing in her first half IM of 2008 (her third half IM in 3 years). We’ll be meeting up with some fun bloggers - many of the same from WIBA! We can’t wait!

If you’ll be out there, keep an eye out for me and say “Hi!” I think I’ll be wearing the short yellow shorts and suspenders. And not much more. It will look kinda like my Monster Dash 5K outfit...

...but take off the Speedo Jammer and Tighty-Whities, and put on the “bowl full of sunshine” instead. (Those suspenders could chafe my nipples right off after 8 hours of cheering. Crap.) If you see me, make sure to shout who you are (if I don’t know you that well). Good luck to everyone swimming / biking / running this weekend!

Check back all weekend for updates! Wish Pharmie luck!


Chisago Lakes Sprint Triathlon Report

>> Sunday, July 27, 2008

Or “Sweet Bloggy Meet-Up!”

Or “Fastest Bike Split EVER!”

Or “This race report brought to you by the letter ‘P’ for “Preservatives.”

Pre Race:

So I lived up to my word in my last post: I ate CRAP the day before this triathlon. Friday night, Pharmie and I ordered Thai:

On Saturday (the day before the race), I ate some of the crap that was shown in my previous post. My lunch consisted of a 4-meat Totinos pizza and a can of Mac and Cheese:

I add extra cheese to Totinos pizzas

The Mac and Cheese didn’t want to be eaten - it just wanted to stay home:

But in no time, both were in my belly:

I’ve stopped using a plate with Totinos - I just carry
the cutting board to the table and eat off of that

My thoughts on the canned Mac and Cheese: The first half of the can was actually quite delicious: rich and creamy. The last half started tasting like wet cardboard. I’d eat it again, but in shifts. So my the final numbers from just my lunch the day before the race look like this (Totinos and canned Mac and Cheese combined):

The bad news:
1160 calories (500 fat calories)
56 grams of fat (86% of my Daily Value)
20 grams of saturated fat (110% D.V.)

The not-so-bad news:
3440 mg of sodium (144% D.V.)
122 grams of carbs (42% D.V.)
42 grams of protein (84% D.V.)
80% D.V. of calcium

I needed that sodium, because I’d be sweating a lot the next day. I needed to carbo-load, so those carbs didn’t go to waste. Protein is good. And so is calcium.

AND THAT WAS JUST LUNCH!! A few hours after that, I went to a work-related pot-luck (uh-oh), and I had a brat, half a burger, a LOT of guacamole and chips, some pasta salad, and a couple of cookies. I was fueled for my race!

Race Morning:

I woke up at 3:45 am after a night of restless sleep. For good luck, I taped the Mac and Cheese label to one of my water bottles (I really don’t know HOW this is lucky):

I got loaded up and was on the road by 4:45. I got to the race site, got my race packet, went back to my car for my gear, and set up my transition:

Notice that sweet, sweet, torn, paper sack under my bike? That’s my gear bag. Come on Zoot, TYR, Blue Seventy, or anyone else - I could use a gear bag! Please? Anything beats my paper sack.

I walked down to the water while it was still calm and quiet. You can see the 5 yellow markers for the short 400 meter sprint course, and all the orange markers (that nearly reach the far shore) for the much longer 1.2 mile half IM course:

Then I stopped at a port-o-potty because there wasn’t a line yet!

First self-portrait in a port-o-john mirror! Sweet!
(Notice my hand - I was in wave 21)

Then back in transition, I ran into 2 bloggers: Danielle in Iowa and Miss Allycat:

I was quickly introduced to Karen (who actually snapped the above photo), a friend of Miss Allycat. TODAY WAS THEIR FIRST TRIATHLON!! For both of them! They were excited!

I showed the ladies my sweet, sweet smiley face on my calf that I asked the body-marker to draw on for me. They were jealous. I pulled a Sharpie out of my pocket and marked Danielle and Miss Allycat with smiley faces to make them feel better:

I’m the girlish one in the middle.
At least my smiley is the biggest...

Well, that was that. Time to drop the camera, all our extra clothes, and get down to the start. Danielle, Miss Allycat, Karen, and I stuck together until our starting times. We all scoped out the scene, and I was trying to be helpful (but not that “overly helpful jerk” that we’ve all met) to the 2 newbies. I think they had their plan, and they both knew what they were getting into.

We watched the 8 waves of half IM triathletes take off, along with the first few of the short course athletes. I told the 2 newbies that they weren’t triathletes until they peed in the lake. So I waded into the water to do my pre-race business. I was in waist deep water, and I let it flow.

“Hey Miss Allycat!...” I said with smirk and a thumbs up. She looked over and laughed. She knew what I was doing. “Now you can say you’ve seen me pee!” I exclaimed with a smile. She walked up next to me and paused for a second. “Well...” she said to me, “now YOU can same the same about ME!” Sweet. We both peed for a minute next to one another. That was “Step One” for Miss Allycat in becoming a real triathlete.

Oh, and as we were getting ready to swim, we saw MN triathlon stud David Thompson walk by. All the half IM swimmers had gone out a long time before. I asked him what he was doing out of the water. He said that he just registered race morning, and the line was an hour and a half long. He JUST got registered. So they let him start late. I wished him luck. He’s so personable for being such a big-shot super-stud; he’s always nice to talk to, even if he doesn’t know you. Karen thought he was HOT! I told her that he was married to Hannah from Gear West. She knew Hannah because Hannah helped her while she was looking at aero bars. Karen thought BOTH of them were hot, so she said something like “I don’t want to break up their marriage and sleep with David. So I’ll invite Hannah too, and we can have a threesome.” Gotta love a woman with a plan! Go get em’ Karen!

Swim (0.25 miles):

I took off in wave 21, and went out well. I hit a major “log jam” of swimmers when I was nearing the turn-around: I think a few people collided, and more people swam up on them. I got around the mess pretty easily. I hit the turn around in 4:47. That was slow. Talking with Danielle afterward, she thought the swim seemed long too, so I’ll go with that.

I lost my form a little on the way back - I was trying to go a little faster than I should have. The good news is that my calf didn’t cramp up like it did 2 weeks ago! I hit the shore in 10:30, but the swim didn’t technically end until way up a grassy hill at the edge of transition. So that added nearly 40 more seconds to my “official” swim time.


Nothing fancy here. The only thing to note is that I decided to bike and run topless. Two weeks ago at the LTF Triathlon, I struggled A LOT with my shirt in T1 - I actually had to take it off and give a second run at it. So today, I wasn’t going to bother. I think topless cyclists look a little trashy, but I didn’t care. I was off on the bike in my topless glory, folds of skin bunching at my mid-section. Trashy. My apologies.

Bike (17 miles):

I really wanted to attack the bike today. I’ve been focusing on that all year. I went out pretty hard. People TOTALLY forgot to stay right during the first few miles. I passed a lot of people on the right. People were all over the road. It was pretty frustrating. It got better as we got farther into the ride.

My biggest excitement on the bike was at about mile 2. I went for a drink from my Gatorade bottle. I had a swig, and then the bottle flew out of my hands. “Crap,” I thought. But it was only a 17 mile bike, so I didn’t think I’d need that much liquid (I had another bottle with just water), and I had gel for calories.

After 5 miles, my average was 21.4 mph. That’s CRAZY FAST for me! I’ve never averaged over 20 mph in a race. At about mile 10, my average was 21.5 mph (down from my peak of 21.6). There were a few more hills in the last half, but I was able to roll into transition with my computer reading 21.0 mph. THAT’S FREAKIN’ FAST FOR ME! I’d never broken 20 mph before (officially, my average was 20.0 mph two weeks ago at the LTF Tri, but my computer read 19.7 mph). I hit T2 feeling REALLY good about my performance thus far.


In and out quick. I was trying to do better in transitions today. I threw on my shoes, and I was off in 1:07, even though I was in a crappy corner of the transition zone.

Run (5K):

I wanted to break 20 on the run, but I really didn’t know what I could do after having a faster than usual bike split. I saw Jumper cheering out on the run. I gave him a high-five (and later he told me he held up his hand and bad shoulder - I felt bad for that! I hope I didn’t hurt his shoulder!). I hit mile 1 at 6:30, and I hit the turn around in 10:15. “Crap,” I thought (again). I’d need to run a negative split during a triathlon in order to keep my 5K under 20 minutes. “Well, I won’t know unless I give it a try...” So I picked it up.

I was running pretty uncomfortably. I missed the “mile 2” marker, so I had no idea if I had a chance at sub-20. I was passing all kinds of people. And, unlike last week where 1 person passed me, today NO ONE passed me on the run! Sweet!! I saw the finish area coming up, but there were a couple of sharp turns and one last little hill. I booked it to the finish line, and my official 5K split was 19:58.20. Sub-20! (Barely!) And a negative split! (Which I don’t think I’ve ever done on a run during a triathlon!)

Official Results:
• 0.25 Mile Swim: 11:07 (included a run up a hill to T1)
• T1: 1:58
• 17.0 Mile Bike: 48:52 (20.9 mph)
• T2: 1:07
• 5K Run: 19:58 (6:26 / mile)
• Total: 1:23:03

• Overall Place: 73 out of 781
• Age Group: 16 out of 52

• Posted fastest average bike speed in a race (20.9 official, 21.0 computer - my PR used to be 20.0 official, 19.7 computer).
• Placed 17th out of 781 on the run, and 6th in my A.G. on the run!
• My strained calf, weak heel, and bad knee all stayed in check!
• Got to meet up with some awesome blogger buddies!!

Post Race:

I was hungry. At the finish of this race, they have fresh Swedish pancakes! So I had 2 plates:

As I was eating, I was looking for Danielle, Karen, and Miss Allycat to come to the finish line. I totally missed Karen, as she finished her first triathlon in 1:30! Nice job Karen! (Now good luck with that threesome...) Danielle came running by first. But there was a catch. All the ladies made me promise not to post photos of them in spandex without their approval. So I told them instead of putting black bars over their eyes to protect their identity, I’d place a black box over everything EXCEPT their eyes (as to cover the spandex). So here’s Danielle getting ready to conquer that last hill:

And here’s Miss Allycat finishing up her first tri:

Here’s Miss Allycat and Karen in line for food after finishing their FIRST triathlon!

They both had a great time and can’t wait to do it again! I’m so happy for them! Way to go, ladies!!

Time to unveil the secret finishers food that I brought along:

I brought 2 cans of Spaghetti-Os and 3 spoons for anyone to share. No one wanted any except for Danielle and I:

My mouth isn’t really that crooked...

It only took us each a few minutes, and we were left with this:

I think I’ve found a new post-race tradition! SPAGHETTI-Os ROCK!! I don’t like eating cold food, but cold Spaghetti-Os after a race are GREAT! If we ever race together, and you want a delicious snack afterwards, let me know!! I’ll bring you a can and we can chow down together!

So the five of us (Jumper, Me, Miss Allycat, Danielle, and Karen) hung out for a few hours and watched the half IM folks run and finish:

Apparently, we had to line up tallest to shortest...

Oh yeah, notice the short yellow shorts “bowl full of sunshine” over my crotch. I threw them on as soon as I finished, so I could cheer for everyone else with a little "flavor." I didn’t run in them, but I couldn’t NOT wear them for an event.

We saw IronJenny take off on the run. She ended up placing 2nd in her AG with a half IM time of 5:18!! Nice job Jenny!

As we were cheering, we saw TacBoy come out of T2. He had to pee, but he was disguising it well:

He hung out for a few minutes waiting for his wife, TriMama. They posed for a photo...

...and then took off to conquer the run together. I also saw (and hugged) TriMom as she was starting the run course. But she caught me off guard, so I didn't get a photo. Shortly after, I got packed up, and hit the road. It was getting hot, and I was ready for some A/C.

So just to round off the weekend nicely, I got home today and had another Totinos:

Overall, it was a GREAT day! I got to meet up with a few old blogger friends, I got to meet face-to-face for the first time with other blogger friends, and I had a decent race on top of it all! Hurrah!

Check back in a few days for official photos! Thanks everyone!


Why I Don’t Do The Grocery Shopping

>> Friday, July 25, 2008

Pharmie gave me a list and had me get groceries today. But I broke the cardinal grocery shopping rule: I went hungry. I bought everything on the list (like a good boy), but I also came home with these things:

- 2 boxes of Cinnamon Toast Crunch
- 4 Totinos pizzas (without an ounce of real cheese)
- 2 cans of Spaghetti-Os
- 2 cans of Chef Boyardee (including CANNED Mac and Cheese)
- Turkey Jerky

Most of the jerky didn’t make it home, and by the time I post this, it will all be gone. And I haven’t had Spaghetti-Os in YEARS - I can’t remember the last time!

So I think I’ll try a new regimen of canned pasta products and fake pizza the day before the Chisago Sprint Triathlon this Sunday. In fact, I think I’ll reserve one of the cans of Spaghetti-Os for just after the race, as I’m watching the half-IM racers finish. So if you’ll be at the race, bring a spoon: you can indulge in a can of goodness with me after the triathlon!

I’m off to start carbo-loading. Just try to stop me...

Check back Sunday evening for a race report (along with a report on how delicious canned Mac and Cheese is...).


Can I Call This Cross Training?

>> Wednesday, July 23, 2008

...I think I can. Turn the volume up and enjoy 54 seconds of good times.

Here’s the direct link to the video on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DuloTMxu2TY

Chisago Lakes Triathlon this weekend! Will I see any of you there? Wish me luck!!


Vacation Workouts

>> Monday, July 21, 2008

Pharmie and I just spent some time with my family this weekend. We were up in Alexandria, MN staying in a cabin on Lake Mary.

We got in a few workouts. Pharmie went for a good 75 mile bike ride in some sloppy weather. She got back with some messy legs:

The next morning, we both went for a swim in Lake Mary. I started with a solid breakfast of waxy, chocolate Donut Gems and toast:

Then we got wet:

Pharmie went for about an hour, so she took off before me. I only went for 20 minutes, because next weekend’s triathlon is just a quarter mile swim (which I’m hoping to finish in around 9 minutes). When I finished my swim, I took a photo similar to XT4’s blog photo:

My photo

XT4’s original

(His lake looks bigger, and his swim cap is less "girlie." I'm "Steve in a Speedo," damn it - shouldn't my swim cap say "Speedo"?!?)

Later that day, my brother-in-law went for a bike ride. At one point, he tugged a little too hard on his bike shorts, and, let’s just say he was glad that he had gym shorts on over his bike shorts:

Injury Update:
So after the Lifetime Triathlon just over a week ago, my calf was pretty tight and sore for a few days. Sunday and Monday morning, I woke up with a nasty limp. Tuesday and Wednesday it was better (I took 5 days completely off). Thursday I had some ART, and my Doctor told me that track intervals (1600s) would be fine to do on Friday. He figured I had a little muscle strain from the swim last Saturday during the tri. So I hit the track on Friday after a little warm-up, but I only did one interval - after that, it was pretty sore again, so I figured there was no reason to push it too much.

I wanted to try to get in some speed work late last week or early this week for my tri this next weekend: the Chisago Lakes Sprint Triathlon. It’s a speedy, short little tri, so some speed work would have been nice. But it’s not the end of the world. I may try a slower, slightly longer run tomorrow (6-8 miles maybe), and I’d like to try a fast bike workout on Wednesday. Then, triathlon on Sunday! I’ll be seeing some blogger buddies out there (and hopefully meeting some new ones!). Should be fun!!


This Day in Our History

>> Saturday, July 19, 2008

We’ve dressed up at Halloween as He-Man and She-Ra...

and we’ve gone as Al and Peg from “Married With Children”

We’ve had our fun at the lake:

Years before that, I cheered you on during your first triathlon...

and 2 years after that, you cheered me on during my first triathlon:

YEARS before that, we went to prom together:

And around that time, we rocked the FFA (Future Farmers of America) State Convention on the Floriculture team (and we made it into the newspaper!):

(Yes, we were on the “flower” team. Geeks.)

But it was exactly 5 years ago that we were doing this:

I was just as crazy then as I am now:

(Yes, that’s Jerry the Mouse on my undies)

We went to Canada for our honeymoon, where you high-fived a monkey near Assiniboine Park:

I, on the other hand, high-fived a cactus at the conservatory in Winnipeg:

You’ve always been the smart one. But you’ve loved me through all of my craziness. Happy 5th Anniversary, Sweetie. I love you.

(p.s. I set this post to automatically publish at 12:01 am, so consider me the winner of our annual “who can say ‘happy anniversary’ first” contest. Better luck next year!)


More LTF Photos and Answering Some Questions

>> Thursday, July 17, 2008

The official photos are back from the Lifetime Fitness Triathlon this past weekend. I look angry in most of them. And, if you EVER read my blog, you know that I’m not like that...

Running out on my cramped calf

The man in front of me is squinting because he just
glanced back at the sun gleaming off my white, white thighs.

Kicking toward the finish, looking pissed

Gliding to the finish line

Ready to be done

Just across the line in 2:37:33 (chip time)

There was a little drama on the course with the pros on Saturday. Triathlon stud (and USA Olympic Team alternate) Andy Potts was near Lake Harriet, and had about 3-4 miles left on the bike. He hit a pothole and snapped off one of his aero bars. He got carbon fiber splinters in his left forearm. He finished the bike and ended up placing 2nd in the pro field, only missing first place by a few seconds. Here he is nearing the end of the bike (notice the one dangling aero bar):

I need to answer some questions:
The following are questions that were brought up by readers in my last 2 posts (LTF Tri Report and my Chest Waxing):

• Did I really eat that crap (bacon cheeseburger, fries, malt) the day before the triathlon?
YES! I normally eat pretty crappy, and I don’t change that the day before a race. All my training workouts start with a crappy meal of pizza or Chipotle or 3 bowls of cereal. I’m used to performing with that stuff in my gut. So I’m not about to eat grilled chicken, steamed veggies, and pasta the day before a race - that would screw up my stomach for race day! Really!

• Did the waxing make me faster?
Psychologically, yes. Physically, who knows. When I get all hairless and smooth (like I did for my half IM and IM WI last year), it means IT’S TIME TO RACE! It’s like when I put on my spikes for running the 800 in track in high school: getting those things on my feet just got me pumped up and in the right mindset to go, go, GO! I think removing the majority of my body hair had the same effect.

• Would I recommend waxing to other men?
(this will get me in trouble with a lot of husbands out there...) If your wife wants to you wax, give it a whirl!! If nothing else, it sure is an experience!! You’ll have a story for the grandkids someday...

• Would I get waxed again?
I broke out pretty bad, but it didn’t hurt nearly as much as I thought it would. So I think I’d say, “YES, I’d get waxed again. I think.” But I wouldn’t do it 2 days before a race - even though I put on a cool front, I WAS pretty self-conscious about the millions of whiteheads on my chest (AKA my chest herpes). I’d maybe wax 6-10 days before a race.

• What’s the story behind the “family-friendly blow-up doll?”
This blow-up doll (named Fernando) showed up at Pharmie’s aunt’s 30th birthday party (I may or may not have been the one that brought him...). From that day on, Pharmie’s family took him everywhere: family functions, trips to the lake, camping, etc. Here are some photos of Fernando having fun camping last year:

Canoeing with Pharmie and her Godchild (all in pink)

Tubing down the river

Fernando and I having some man-fun in a canoe

Fernando around the campfire, trying to wake up Tom

Unfortunately, that camping trip was Fernando’s last stand. He developed a life-threatening wound, and it ended up completely deflating him. We left him at the campsite, where he passed away, waving to those driving by:

Fernando: RIP June 2007

So before our most recent get-together, we had to get a new friend. It just happened to be the day before the triathlon. He looks suspiciously like Fernando, but his name is Enrique. You’ll have to meet him sometime.

Chisago Lakes Sprint Triathlon in just over a week!



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