The Best Part About Today's Race

>> Sunday, July 31, 2011

At best count, I've finished 23 triathlons and 21 duathlons over the last 6 years.

But today's race was the first multi-sport race that my parents came to watch!!

Pre-race with Dad and Mom

Afterwards with the folks - as a sweaty hot-mess
(I apparently raced naked today....)

For whatever reason, they haven't seen me (or Pharmie) race a tri or du before. A few days ago when it came up that they might be able to make it to today's race, I got pretty excited. I kept telling Pharmie (possibly annoyingly so) that I was pumped to have them there.

It was so fun to have Mom running (LITERALLY running) along side of transition so she could see me come in off the bike AND see me run out on the run! I think they both had a good time!

Thanks for coming, Mom and Dad!!!

Back soon with my full race report soon....


Racing Tomorrow on Under-Trained Legs

>> Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Clif-Notes version:
1. I have no reason for not swimming more right now!
2. ONE bike ride in the last 3 weeks? Ouch.
3. Two runs since my twisted ankle. Well, we'll see what the race holds.

So, I'm going into tomorrow's Waseca Triathlon with a few "excuses." Here's what my training has looked like lately:

As a teacher, I HATE excuses. But I'll give you my 3 excuses now:

EXCUSE #1: I have a 7 week old child.

REALITY FOR EXCUSE #1: Pharmie is being AWESOME and actually TELLING me to get out for some of my workouts! She's caught in a tough spot where she'd like to be training more, but she just can't quite yet; she's working her way back up. And she's being great about making sure I get out even though she can't always do the same. I just need to make sure that I have the proper workout planned for the proper time of the day so I can jump out of the house on a moments notice when it's finally the "right time." ("The right time" meaning everyone's napping or being fed or going for a walk.)

EXCUSE #2: July 17th through 21st I was living on a small island in WI while teaching a photography workshop. Yeah, if I weren't the one involved, I'd be sure I was lying. On the 18th is when I twisted my ankle on a trail run on the island. As you can see from my training log screenshot, I did a short open water swim later that day, some strength work on the 19th, and nothing the next couple of days.

REALITY FOR EXCUSE #2: I could have done more OWSs. And I could have done my leg exercises in the evening after class.

EXCUSE #3: I was on a family vacation from the 23rd through the 27th.

REALITY FOR EXCUSE #3: I should have done an OWS! How is it that I was staying on a cabin 40 feet from a lake for 5 days, and I couldn't find time for a freaking OWS? For what it's worth, I DID do some other good workouts:

On the 24th, I did my first run since I had twisted my ankle the week before. But bigger than that was that IT WAS MY FIRST RUN WITH HENRY IN HIS STROLLER! Here he is asleep during the run as I'm actually running with him:

Around mile 2 of the run

Meeting Pharmie out on her run as we were heading back

A passed-out little guy after 4.4 miles

I had NO IDEA what pace I was running being I had the stroller for the first time and I was running in unfamiliar territory. I ran at a "solid" pace, but not too fast. I mapped it out using mapmyrun afterwards, and I found out that I covered 4.4 miles in 32:12, which was 7:19 per mile.

On the 25th, I had that long and fast bike ride that I posted about earlier this week. Oh, but did I mention that this ride has been my ONLY ride since the LTF Triathlon 3 weeks ago? Crap. Super crap.

On the 26th, I did some good strength and core work, and then did a hard tempo run. I first did my "fatherly duty" of calming down my crabby son on a 40 minute walk while it was drizzling:

I LOVE the clear "window" on our BOB stroller!

After that walk, I quick got changed, thought about stretching (but didn't have time to actually stretch), and I headed out for a hard 5.2 mile run out-and-back from our cabin in Alexandria. I made it "out" in 17:21, and "back" in 15:29. I ran an average of 6:20 per mile, and it was a KILLER workout.

So, how do these more "minimal" workouts make me feel going into tomorrow's sprint triathlon?

Well, not too bad, actually. I knew that having a little guy in my life would put my training on the back-burner for a bit, and I know that my race won't be THEE best ever. But it should still be OK. And I'm just going to go "balls to the wall" and have a good time.

The swim is only 400 meters, and my swimming has always sucked, so that's that.

The bike is 14 miles (out-and-back), and even though I haven't "time trialed" this year and have only biked 163 miles over the last 2 months (yikes), I still feel like I can have an OK ride. I think.

The run is where things could get interesting. It's a longer run for a sprint (4.4 miles) which drew me to this race initially last year. Running is my best event, so having a "longer-than-normal run" allowed me to catch a lot of people and finish 5th overall. (I'll be thrilled with top-10 this year.) But with my lack of workouts (and therefore "lack of endurance"), the run could get a bit ugly. I want to go hard, so I might end up having to walk for a moment. I'm not above that. Actually, I'd rather go TOO HARD and have to walk for a bit than go TOO EASY and hold too much back.

Oh, and speaking of last year, it was THIS RACE last year where I first debuted the "tutti frutti" shorts!! It's the 1 year anniversary of my shorts! Here's the first photo (from Sean) at the race last year of me and the tutti fruttis:

Off to the races! Back with a report next week, and a few more photos of Henry on our family vacation. Happy weekend!!


Most Recent H2O Audio Winner

Just a quick post to announce the winner of the H20 Audio goodies that I posted about 10 days ago. Here's what was up for grabs from the Life Time Fitness Minneapolis Triathlon:

Small iPod case, the iPod Shuffle system,
waterproof headphones, and more waterproof headphones
(photo I took of the gear in my kitchen)

I had 88 comments on the giveaway post, and with the "extra" entries added in, there were 150 names in the hat. I entered my variables on

I clicked GENERATE, and it gave me this number:

Who was #48? Well that corresponded to Elaine K! Congrats Elaine! I KNOW you'll put all of this to use based on your comment: "I could really use this - my IT band keeps threatening me to resort to pool running, and music would really make that better :)"

A final big THANKS to H20 Audio and the Life Time Fitness Minneapolis Triathlon for the giveaway!!

Back with my pre-race thoughts on tomorrow's triathlon in a few hours....


Friday Funny 206: Soccer Injuries

>> Friday, July 29, 2011

The winner of the most recent H2O Audio Giveaway will be announced tomorrow, and I'll be racing a Sprint Tri on Sunday! Happy Weekend!


Friday Funny 205: Diving Faces

Here are some of Ezra Shaw's Olympic diving faces:

Note: I should learn how to dive. I might fit in better with that group.


We're IN for the TC 10 Mile and an Impromptu Tri this Weekend!

>> Thursday, July 28, 2011

For the THIRD YEAR IN A ROW, our team got picked in the lottery system to run the TC 10 Mile in October!! (You can register groups of people as a "team" so that ALL or NONE get in.) There are EIGHT of us running this year, and 2 of those 8 are "10 mile newbies!"

The first noob is COUSIN BEN. He's the youngest team member. Here we are on a family camping trip a few years ago:

And Ben has helped to cheer at the TC 10 Mile and Marathon in the years past. Here he is (along with me) as we're getting ready to cheer:

The second noob is BROTHER-IN-LAW MIKE. Mike has cheered as the pig and the raccoon for the last number of years at the Marathon, and now he's taking his shot at the 10 Mile!

As the PIG a few years ago

As some "RACCOON roadkill" last year

There are 3 family members doing the TC 10 Mile for the second time. COUSIN MEGAN did the 10 Mile last year:

Megs near the finish of her first 10 mile!

UNCLE STEVAN and AUNT JEAN did the 10 mile 2 years ago with us. (They are Cousin Ben's parents).

Stevan near the finish

Jean running past

UNCLE JOHN is doing the 10 Mile with us too, and I don't know how many times he's done it (at least once). He's done a number of half-marathons and marathons, so this 10 Mile is no big deal for him. Here's John and I after a run we did together a few years ago:

Finally, there are 2 of us doing the TC 10 Mile for the 3rd straight year in a row. You all know BROTHER-IN-LAW MATT as my "Team Happy Pants" relay partner. Here's Matt after he finished the 10 Mile last year:

A steaming helping of sexiness

And of course I'm on the team too. Here I am during my "A" race for 2010 where I hit my sub-60 goal:

Matt already asked if I'm shooting for sub-60 this year. I gave a resounding "NO!" I told him right away that sub-61 would be a dream. But as I thought about it, I think I'll just be shooting for a NON-PW (personal worst). I did 3 different 10 mile races within about 5 months back in 2009-2010, and they were all 1:02:xx, and then Coach Jen got me down to 59:05 for the TC 10 Mile in 2010 (my 4th and most recent 10 mile). So I guess I'm shooting for under 1:02:44. We'll see what the next 2 months of training brings!

And, as always, we hope to have the farm animals out to cheer after the 10 Mile for all of the Marathon runners!

Oh, and I just finally decided last night that I'm going to race the Waseca Sprint Triathlon THIS SUNDAY! Their online registration has been closed for a few days now, but the race director told me that there are still "race-day registration" spots open! Pharmie and Henry are going to stay home, but I could use a friend who will be there to take photos of the "Tutti Frutti" shorts in action. (It was THIS RACE LAST YEAR where these shorts debuted!) Is anyone planning on spectating who can take some photos for me? Thanks!

Race report next week! We'll see what I can do at the sprint tri this weekend!! (Yikes!)


Bike Ride and Rollerblade

>> Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Pharmie and I both got out for our longest workouts since Henry's arrival 6 weeks ago. Yesterday, we were in Alexandria with my family for a Stenzel family vacation. My Mom and Sister said they'd take care of our little guy for a few hours, so Pharmie and I headed for the long flat trail that goes through Alex.

I ended up biking about 28 miles, which was my longest ride in a long time and my FIRST ride since the Life Time Fitness Triathlon over 2 weeks ago!! (Meaning it was my first ride since my first crash.) Well, this ride was much less dramatic (except for the bee-sting under my helmet), and I finished with a 20.6 mph average, which I was pretty happy with. I went out with the slight breeze and had a 22.4 mph average at the turn-around, and felt OK about only letting it drop to 20.6 after 14 miles into the wind.

Pharmie Rollerbladed out on the trail, and covered about 19 miles. She found out that she should be rollerblading more - she liked it as a good postpartum workout! I snapped 2 photos of her finishing up her workout:

After our workouts, with "Big Ole" in the background

Last night, I realized that I had that common "I-put-on-sunscreen-but-didn't-get-it-spread-around-my-watch-very-well" sunburn:

I'll have some more photos from vacation up later this week or this weekend. So stop back for those! You wouldn't want to miss photos like Henry's first time in a hammock:

Or his expression when he learned that there was "Big Buck Hunter" at the cabin:


Critique My Form

>> Monday, July 25, 2011

In my last post, I showed some photos from when I was teaching a photography workshop on a little island in WI. Well, one of my students snapped some photos of me taking a quick swim between some buoys one afternoon after class.

I didn't know anyone was taking photos, so I was just swimming "normally." I mention that because I wonder if anyone can look at my form in these photos and give me any swim pointers!

In that first photo, I feel like maybe I'm not using my full stroke - I think my hand needs to be farther back before I'm lifting it out of the water. And in the 2 photos after that, I wonder if my hand is entering the water too far out in front of me. Any thoughts on those photos above? I'm open for feedback!!

My student (Byron is his name) also got a funny shot of me taking a breath:

HEY! I'm actually "twisting" my mouth to find the air!! I didn't know I did that, even though Andrea was trying to get me to do that when I met with her last year. I'm glad to see I'm kinda doing it without even thinking about it! (And it leads to a goofy looking photo, so THAT'S a bonus too....) But again, I don't think I'm using my full stroke in that photo above. I need to work on having my hand exit the water down by my hip. (I think.)

And finally, Byron got a shot of me "sighting" to my next buoy:

Not bad. But I don't need to lift my head that high. (I think.)

Anyway, check out the last post for photos of my time teaching this photo class on Stouts Island. And PLEASE let me know if you notice something about my swimming and how I can improve my form! Thanks!

p.s. Have you entered my recent H2O Audio giveaway? You can enter up through Wednesday. Click here to go to the giveaway post to leave your comment!


Three Ts: Trail Running, Turned Ankles, and Teaching in WI

>> Saturday, July 23, 2011

I've been mostly off twitter for the last couple of days (and had to miss Pharmie's and my 8 year anniversary) because I've been teaching a photography workshop on Stouts Island in Wisconsin. Here I am in front of the main lodge on the small island along with my 10 students (ages 38 - 80+) after our final class:

When I unpacked last Sunday for my 5 day stay, I stocked the fridge in my room:

Yep, that'll about do it... ;)

(p.s. If you like Woodchuck Hard Cider, try the "Summer" version. SO GOOD!)

Here's a photo of the 2 small islands from above (right in the middle of this image):

On Monday morning, I decided to run farklek-style intervals on the trail on the east island. To get there, you take a little footbridge from the main island:

And here are a few photos of the trail. It has few straight sections, but it's mostly pretty "windy" with tiny little hills here-and-there:

Sloped to the right

Pine needles on the trail

One of the most "open" sections

Two quick turns and up a hill

I mapped it out afterwards, and it was just as I suspected - it was JUST shy of 0.5 miles one way:

You can barely see the blue line on the east island

I figured I'd warm-up for 2 lengths of the island, and then do a ladder style workout of hard running for 1 length, easy for 1 length, hard for 2, easy for 1, hard for 3, etc.

JUST AFTER STARTING MY "EASY 1" AFTER MY FIRST "HARD 1," MY ANKLE TURNED A LOT NEAR A TREE ROOT AND I HEARD A POP. I didn't fall, and I didn't even stop running - I figured, "If I can still run, it must not be TOO bad." So I finished my workout which looked like this:

WU: 3:48, 3:46
1 hard: 2:55
1 easy: 3:44
2 hard: 3:03, 3:01
1 easy: 3:37
3 hard: 3:13, 3:04, 3:00

Note: The "easies" were more like "moderate/easy." They weren't complete recovery, but they were a LOT easier than running hard.

I figured I shouldn't do much more than that with my weak ankle. And after turning it near the beginning of my workout, I was EXTRA CAREFUL to watch where I was landing. I told myself right away that if I even came close to turning it again like that, I'd force myself to stop doing the workout.

The cotton shirt I wore for the run was pretty soaked through after that hard running:

I was planning on taking it off and carrying it while running (and using it to wipe sweat off my face), but because the trail was SO narrow in spots, I was being brushed with vines, branches, pine needles, etc the whole time. I figured if I took off my shirt, my chest and sides would get really scratched up, so I left it on. Dear cotton: you suck.

Later that night, my ankle got PRETTY SORE. I iced it the rest of my time on the island (usually 2-3 times a day while elevated in bed). It's still just a little tender, and there's just a tiny bruise right on my "heel bone." (It's funny that I didn't get a single bruise from my bike crash during the LTF Tri 2 weeks ago, but now I got a bruise from tipping my ankle too far while running. Sheesh.)

I didn't run any more while on the island. I DID, however, do a 30 minute photoshoot with some kids jumping off the diving platform as I was shooting photos on my fun, crappy, old "Holga" film camera:

Treading water while trying to make a photo.
(Photo courtesy of Mike, one of my students.)

Talking about trying to make those photos after the shoot.
Well, either that or I'm eating an invisible sandwich. ;)
(Again, this photo is courtesy of Mike.)

I might "test" my ankle with an easy run this weekend. I think it should be fine. Oh, and a BIG THANKS to my twitter peeps who gave me lots of good advice regarding my ankle just after I turned it! Thanks everyone!


Friday Funny 204: Organic vs. Non-Organic

>> Friday, July 22, 2011

Yep. That's about right.


Friday Funny 203: When You Think About It...

This really, really, really, really makes a lot of sense:



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