Crazy Flips

>> Wednesday, November 30, 2011

In one of my "Friday Funnies" 2 weeks ago, I showed a GIF of a man flipping over a table while putting on a hat. Well, I found out more about this guy.

This guy is Damien Walters, and he's a professional stuntman, gymnastics coach, and free runner. Check out these things he can do:


Direct link: http://youtu.be/zQgFxDSqft4

I want to be able to do ALL of those things, but I also don't want to break my ankle in 15 different places, so I think I'll just stick to swim / bike / run. But this IS pretty sweet...

Back with more on my race plan for Sunday's indoor 5K tomorrow.

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Distance Running Members

>> Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Last week, we got our Minnesota Distance Running Association (MDRA) membership letter in the mail. It was also addressed to Henry:



When I took out our membership cards, I noticed there were 3 of them: 2 were for Pharmie and me, and 1 was for Henry:


Fronts


Backs

He's a member!! Well, technically, we DID sign up for a 2-year "family" membership!

I commented on Heidi's Facebook wall (a friend who handles a lot of this stuff for the MDRA), and here's our conversation:



This brings me to 3 final things:

FIRST: Henry tried solid food for the first time on Sunday night. Here he is all confused and covered in food after the "attempt:"



SECOND: I think I may sign up for the MDRA Grand Prix again this year. I mentioned this in a previous post. Now, Henry can hit the circuit hard with me. :)

THIRD: It's RACE WEEK!! I'm racing the Charities Challenge track meet on Sunday! I'm trying my hand at only my second ever indoor 5K. Henry and Pharmie are going to come too, so check back next week for a race report and photos! And I think I'll have a little more on this in my next post...

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Two Skullcandy Winners

>> Monday, November 28, 2011

Time to announce the 2 winners of the Skullcandy giveaway from last week. Here's what's up for grabs:


Red on Black 2011 FIX


Black on Black 2011 FIX


FIRST, THE "BLACK ON BLACK" HEADPHONES:

These went to 1 lucky person who commented on my giveaway post. (I wanted to give "extra entries" to those who left funny comments or if they called Henry cute, but I refrained.) There were 148 comments, so I entered my variables on random.org:



And I clicked for a winner:



Who was #70? It was Sara from NY. Congrats Sara!!


SECOND, THE "RED ON BLACK" HEADPHONES:

These went to a lucky twitter commenter. I had 71 "entry tweets," so I plugged in those numbers:



And I hit "generate" for a winner:



The 18th tweet-face was triathlete Mom Kathy from Toronto! Yay Kathy!


Sarah and Kathy, shoot me an e-mail or direct message me with your mailing address, and I'll get your headphones out to you ASAP! Congrats!

And thanks Skullcandy for the great headphones!

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One Final IM AZ Post: Finish Line Video from Midnight

>> Saturday, November 26, 2011

I have one more post about this, and then I'll stop talking about it. Really. But it's too much of a "moment" to just let slide by.

To catch everyone up: I posted about the last official Ironman Arizona finisher on Wednesday. Here's most of that post:

For anyone who's trained as an "age-group" triathlete for an Ironman event, you know the meaning behind 17 hours.

Seventeen hours is the cut-off time to be considered an official finisher of an Ironman. After that, they may let you finish or they may pull you off the course, but either way, it won't "count."

Check out this amazing photo from last weekend's Ironman Arizona:



The athlete finishing is Patricia Tillotson (age 56) from Wilmington, DE. She had a 1:38:20 swim, a 8:06:09 bike, and a 7:00:00 run. She finished as the last "official" finisher...

...in exactly 17:00:00.

Eneko Llanos (who won IM AZ in SUB-8:00:00!) is the one cheering right over her shoulder, and I believe that's Linsey Corbin with the camera phone (who finished as the 2nd female in sub-9:00:00). The third place female (Meredith Kessler - 9:00:14) is in the blue jacket between Eneko and Linsey. It's always so cool to see the pros come back out HOURS after they've finished to cheer everyone else to the finish line!

And famed Ironman announcer Mike Reilly (the voice that says "Steve Stenzel, YOU are an Ironman!") is the one crouched down with the backwards hat who is cheering like a mad-man. I don't know how he has the energy to do that for over 17 hours at EVERY Ironman! That man is just as much an athlete as all of the triathletes!

Someone named Sharon commented on the photo on Facebook:

I was there - just to the right of the guy with hat/mustache on far left of the photo. It was a heart-stopping moment. Mike Reilly half-supported, half-flung her across the finish line. I don't think anyone cared that it might be considered outside assistance....

This gives me goosebumps.

Congrats Patricia!!

Then on Thursday, I posted pro triathlete Linsey Corbin's photo from her twitter page of the other side of the action:


Linsey's caption: "And the final finisher crosses @ IMAZ. Unreal!!"

Now, WichitaTri tweeted me the link to this video. It's just crappy cell phone video, but you get to see Mike Reilly HAULING Patricia up to the finish line so she can finish right at midnight (17 hours). Look for them at the 1:40 point of this 2 minute video:


Direct link: http://youtu.be/Yoi4D-MPCiM

And I'm pretty sure the woman running past at the 1:06 mark was Tracey who commented this on my post from Thursday (where I was writing about Patricia):

I finished just 30 seconds in front of her. It was my first IM and I was trying hard to hear my name and the song that was playing. Let me tell you...that finish chute was DEAFENING when I went down. It literally hurt my ears and I couldn't hear a thing. I went up to Mike Reilly a few minutes later and hugged him and told him I'd waited a long time to hear him call me an Ironman. It was an incredible night.

What a night! Congrats to all the finishers!

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Friday Funny 249: "On your left!..."

>> Friday, November 25, 2011

Any cyclist from any slightly populated area will tell you this is true:




Reminder: if you haven't entered the Skullcandy Headphones giveaway, scroll down to Monday's post (or CLICK HERE) and leave a comment on that post to be entered. You can also tweet to be entered. You've got about 1.5 days left, so do it now!!

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Friday Funny 248: Black Friday Bingo

I'm heading out with Henry today TO THE MALL OF AMERICA!! It should be quite a "show." Wish us luck. (Watch for photos on my TwitPic page - also seen on the right side of my blog.)

I'm thinking I should use this "Black Friday Bingo" card from HolyTaco:



I might be able to fill in the 3rd or 4th row, or maybe column "O." We'll see...

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Update to Last Post

>> Thursday, November 24, 2011

In yesterday's post, I showed this awesome photo:



In that photo, I speculated that pro triathlete Linsey Corbin was the one with her phone over her face as she took a picture. Well, I checked the pictures she's uploaded to her twitter page, and I found this one:


Linsey's caption: "And the final finisher crosses @ IMAZ. Unreal!!"

What a moment! Scroll down to yesterday's post for more of this story.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!

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17 Hours

>> Wednesday, November 23, 2011

For anyone who's trained as an "age-group" triathlete for an Ironman event, you know the meaning behind 17 hours.

Seventeen hours is the cut-off time to be considered an official finisher of an Ironman. After that, they may let you finish or they may pull you off the course, but either way, it won't "count."

Check out this amazing photo from last weekend's Ironman Arizona:



The athlete finishing is Patricia Tillotson (age 56) from Wilmington, DE. She had a 1:38:20 swim, a 8:06:09 bike, and a 7:00:00 run. She finished as the last "official" finisher...

...in exactly 17:00:00.

Eneko Llanos (who won IM AZ in SUB-8:00:00!) is the one cheering right over her shoulder, and I believe that's Linsey Corbin with the camera phone (who finished as the 2nd female in sub-9:00:00). The third place female (Meredith Kessler - 9:00:14) is in the blue jacket between Eneko and Linsey. It's always so cool to see the pros come back out HOURS after they've finished to cheer everyone else to the finish line!

And famed Ironman announcer Mike Reilly (the voice that says "Steve Stenzel, YOU are an Ironman!") is the one crouched down with the backwards hat who is cheering like a mad-man. I don't know how he has the energy to do that for over 17 hours at EVERY Ironman! That man is just as much an athlete as all of the triathletes!

Someone named Sharon commented on the photo on Facebook:

I was there - just to the right of the guy with hat/mustache on far left of the photo. It was a heart-stopping moment. Mike Reilly half-supported, half-flung her across the finish line. I don't think anyone cared that it might be considered outside assistance....

This gives me goosebumps.

Congrats Patricia!!


If you haven't entered the Skullcandy Headphones giveaway, scroll down to Monday's post (or CLICK HERE) and leave a comment on that post to be entered. In the first 24 hours, there were 102 blog entries and 53 twitter entries. So if you check out the details of the Skullcandy giveaway post and can enter via twitter, you have a better chance of winning! Good luck!

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Skullcandy Headphones Giveaway! x2!

>> Monday, November 21, 2011

Skullcandy sent me 2 pairs of headphones to tryout / giveaway, and I thought I could give BOTH pairs away. They are both "sporty" and really meant to stay in place.

Note: I don't really run, race, or train with music. (Note previous posts regarding that topic HERE and HERE. Those posts and comments were an interesting discussion about pros and cons or training / racing with music.) But just because I don't run with music doesn't mean other people don't. So I thought I'd pass the goodies on to my readers!! In fact, the last time I used my (really old) iPod was about a year ago when I was listening to music while finishing remodeling a guest room before Henry came into our life.

Oooh! I said "Henry!" That means I get to pause and post 6 gratuitously adorable recent Henry photos:


Friday night bath!


Baby buns! (Yes, I'm usually topless at home.)


Pharmie and Henry post-bath


Pharmie and Henry getting bundled up for literally
"running errands" on a run together Saturday morning


5 month old Henry is practically bigger than his 2 year old cousin!


"Hat Time" with Daddy yesterday morning!

OK, ok, ok.... that's enough Henry. For now. Back to the giveaway....

Here's what Skullcandy has for me to giveaway: it's 2 pairs of the 2011 FIX Earbuds:


Red on Black


Black on Black

They are both a $40 value. They are designed to stay "FIXED" in place. (Get it? They're called "FIX.") They have a control switch on the cord that lets you skip forward and back through your songs, as well as control the volume. AND they have a built in microphone so you can take calls by talking into the cord instead of getting your phone out of it's holster as you're running! (Or if you have a new iPhone, you can ask Siri how to get home.) Here's some of the details from their site:

- Hook Design for Secure Fit
- Rear Acoustic Port for Deep Bass
- In-Line Mic3
- Carry Case
- Passive Noise Isolation
- Mic + Control Switch + Volume

Skullcandy has 2 great warranties. First they have the Aggressive Listening Discount where they say "if your headphones broke because of a crazy crash on the mountain or a violent head-banging session, or any other reason that is not a product defect, we'll still hook you up with 50% off a replacement in our online store." Ha! And the second warranty is for if the product breaks for no good reason - they will send you a voucher to replace the defective product with a product of equal value.

Here are photos of the Black and Red FIX headphones in my kitchen:





I'm doing this giveaway a little differently. I'm giving away one set of headphones here on my blog, and another set on twitter.


TO ENTER TO WIN THE BLACK SKULLCANDY HEADPHONES:

JUST LEAVE A COMMENT ON THIS POST!! Yep, that's it. Ba-da-bing: you're in the running to possibly win 1 set of the headphones. I'll randomly pick one comment to win.


TO ENTER TO WIN THE RED SKULLCANDY HEADPHONES:

FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER AND SEND OUT THE FOLLOWING TWEET. I'll randomly pick the winner for the red headphones from among the tweets that say this:

Hey @SteveinaSpeedo, enter me to win the sweet red @Skullcandy FIX headphones! - http://iwannagetphysical.blogspot.com/

Then check back early next week (Nov 28 or 29th) to see if I draw your name as 1 of the 2 the winners! Heck, it's possible to win both pairs if you comment and tweet and are super super super super super lucky.

Legal junk:
- Just like in all of my giveaways, Skullcandy has only given me these headphones; they have not asked or told me to say anything else. All of these thoughts are my own.
- When you leave a comment, please "sign" your name if you don't have a blogger account, otherwise it will be hard to figure out who you are if you're one of the winners. For example, say something like "It's Steve S. from St. Paul. I want those headphones!"
- I'll assign all entries a number (for both the blog comments and the twitter entries) and then use random.org (or other random number generating scheme) to pick a winner at random.
- If I can't get a hold of the winner(s) in 3 days, I'll re-draw for a new winner(s). So make sure to CHECK BACK early next week!


I'll ship anywhere, so if you can read this, you can enter!

So comment now! Right here! And send a tweet if you want a chance to win another set! Do it before Sunday the 27th! Thanks everyone! And thanks Skullcandy!! Happy Monday!!

Oh, and one final thing for the locals: this past weekend was the "Minnesota Multisport Awards" ceremony. Here are the results with a listing of who won. Some of my "Kitten Mile" buddies cleaned house...

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First Track Intervals in 4 Months

>> Saturday, November 19, 2011

Before I get to the intervals, I should also mention that I swam this week for the first time since my last triathlon in August. I went nearly 3 whole months without swimming. But a labored 1200 meter swim changed that.

Yesterday, while waiting for Target to figure out the simple photo order that I had sent in, I took a half hour and busted out some intervals on the St. Thomas track:


Hoodie, keys, and water bottle on the edge of the track

It had been nearly 4 months since my last intervals, and it was only my 3rd time doing intervals all year! Last year at this time, we already had a foot of snow, so I knew it was a blessing to be able to run on a clean, dry track! It was 40 degrees and breezy, but I put on my calf sleeves (which help to keep me warm) with shorts, and I was grand.

3 x 1600 with 90 seconds rest:

The first interval felt good. The first 2 400s were consistent.

The second interval felt pretty "clunky." I was stomping my way through most of it (starting around 500 meters in). I started faster and slowed up a bit in the first 800.

Third interval was hell (but really good for me). The first 2 400s were pretty even (and fast), but I was hashed. Felt like I was stomping and had no form through any of it. Tried to keep my foot strikes quick.

2:50, 2:46 = 5:36
2:50, 2:43 = 5:33
2:45, 2:41 = 5:26

5:31.6 average


Nice descend. I had hoped to be a little faster, but I'll take it. It beat me up (in a good way). It was slower (but in a way it was better) than my last intervals in early August. I went out too hard a few months ago, and ran 5:24, 5:34, and 5:33. And I took some extra rest before the last interval because I so stupidly went out too hard and was dying at the end.

I grabbed a photo just 30 seconds after the final interval while I was sweaty and still breathing hard:



My hands were red and chilly once I got home, so I took a photo:



You really CAN'T see how red they were, but what you CAN see is my chest hair in the lower-left part of the image. Sweet. I used the self-timer so I could hit the shutter button and hold the camera with my chin so both hands (and apparently my chest hair) could be in the photo.

Back with a giveaway next week! Do you like music? Music while working out? Well, then stop back on Monday for a great giveaway! Happy weekend!

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Friday Funny 247: A New Jogger

>> Friday, November 18, 2011

I don't know what this is from, but I think we've ALL been here before:



p.s. I think they'll be a giveaway on Monday! Check back for that! Happy Friday!

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Friday Funny 246: Smart (but chilly) Dog

Here's another GIF for you on this lovely Friday:



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Friday Funny 245: I put on my hat just like everyone else...

... by doing a perfectly executed front-flip over a patio table:



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Farm Animals Featured as the 'Video of the Day'

>> Thursday, November 17, 2011

Yesterday, the "farm animal" video of me and my brothers-in-law was featured on EverymanTri.com as their video of the day! Here's a screenshot:



Mike's going to love the fact that he was called the sexiest. :)

Here's the video if you missed it:


Direct link: http://youtu.be/FmNAplgJs9E


I never get sick of that video. Thanks EverymanTri!

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My Former Coach Still Haunts Me

>> Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In Aug and Sept of last year, I worked with Coach Jen Harrison to get me to a speedy TC 10 Mile finish. The plan was to have her build me up to the TC 10 Mile, and then to go my own way - it was a short-term coaching situation. Just after working with her, I had the following exchange on Facebook. I've been meaning to post this for a while.

My swimming buddy Julia is also coached by Jen. Pharmie and I were planning on hitting the pool for a workout with her, but I told her we'd be sleeping in:



After seeing that, Coach Jen wrote on my wall:



I had to reply with this:



Ha!

I maybe finally feel inclined to post this because I hit the pool yesterday for the first time in 3 months!! My last swim was the Lake Marion Triathlon almost 3 months ago, and my last time in the pool was a week before that (which was OVER 3 months ago)! I swam a "solid effort" 1200 yesterday (in 20:17), and it left me feeling pretty hashed. And the top / inside of my foot is still sore when I kick - that's still from when I turned my ankle in July. Something's not right in my foot.

Being we still don't have snow on the ground, I hope to hit the track at St. Thomas for some intervals in the next few days! I have to be ready for my Dec 4th indoor 5000 meters!! That's 25 laps on a 200 meter track - YAY! :)

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The Final 2011 MDRA Rankings and Upcoming Races

>> Monday, November 14, 2011

The Minnesota Distance Running Association just sent out the final standings for the "MDRA Grand Prix." I signed up to be part of the Grand Prix this past year because (1) it was only $5, and (2) I was planning on focusing more on running this year being we knew Henry was about to come into our life and I figured it was easier to run with a baby than to go for a swim. However, I didn't plan on getting injured in January (an injury that kept me from running for 8 weeks, and after that I was only allowed to slowly build).

The Grand Prix is a series of 13 races. You get ranked against other Grand Prix racers, and you're given a point value. They only take your top 10 finishes from the 13 races - 3 can be "throw away" races.

Well, I only ran the first race (the "Meet of the Miles" indoor mile race) before getting injured. So the overall rankings look like this:



I was quite surprised at how HIGH I ended up (having only done ONE race).

It's interesting to see that in the top 15 men (and of the 150+ individual races in that top 15), there are only 2 times that someone won the race. Proof that to place well in a big series like this, you don't always need to be the fastest, you just need to be consistent. And with my injuries, I'm not always consistent.


UPCOMING RACES....

December 4th is the first Charities Challenge track meet of the winter. I've done a number of these races in the last 3 years. For $22 you can race as many of the events as you want. This one has the 1500m, 60m, 5000m, 200m, 800m, 1500m RaceWalk, and the 400m (in that order). I think I'm going to try the 5000m again! That's 25 laps on a 200 meter track! I did my first indoor 5000 this past winter, and it wasn't as "boring" as I thought it was going to be.


With 4 of the other 19 runners during my first indoor 5000m race.


These "Charities Challenge" track meets go through mid February (there are 5 total), and I'd like to do a few of them. I'd probably be running the mile, 3000m, or 5000m at these races (they offer different distances at different meets). Come join me for the Dec 4th race and any others! They are "professionally" run with a fully automatic timing system, but they're still "low key" enough to be fun!

Pharmie and I both have said that we'd like to do the Winter Carnival Half Marathon again this year. Last year, I did the half marathon for the 4th straight year, and Pharmie did the 10K. It was how we announced that Pharmie was pregnant:




In early January, there's a race called the "Meet of the Miles" at the U of M. I did this race last year, and it stands as my 1 mile PR (4:49.53). It's part of the Grand Prix, so it brings out the speedy folks.

I think I'll take another stab at the MDRA Grand Prix again this year (and hope to do more than 1 race!). This year, I'm signing up for 2 reasons: (1) it's still just $5, and (2) they added the Winter Carnival Half Marathon to the Grand Prix! So hopefully, by the end of January, I'll be "2 for 2" in the Grand Prix races - I'll have the Meet of the Miles and the Winter Carnival Half Marathon under my belt. Hopefully.

After that.... who knows. I'm still hoping to do a number of duathlons and triathlons this year, but I'm being flexible. I might focus more on running again this year, but we'll just see how things go. I'll just try to stay injury free....

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Being "Fit" and Running With The Family

>> Saturday, November 12, 2011

My goal of staying "fit" this winter is going OK so far. All of my strength / core workouts have been SUPER quick, but they've been intense. But I still haven't swam or biked since my last triathlon in August. Oops. Gotta work on that.

But Henry and I have been having a good time on a few runs. On Sunday, we ran 8 miles by the river. We started off and Henry was all smiles:




Asleep and running near the Franklin Bridge down by the Mississippi


Back near home as Henry was JUST starting to wake up!

And then on Thursday evening, I got home from work and all 3 of us headed out on a CHILLY run! It was 34 degrees, but it was calm. So we bundled up our little guy and hit the road:


Loading up Henry (with Henry Mancini watching in the background)


All layered up (but before putting on his mittens)


Around mile 1.5 shortly after entering Minneapolis


Stopped at a stoplight near the U of M

Henry fell asleep shortly after this, and slept almost until we got back home. Pharmie and I (and Henry) got in 6 miles on that chilly evening!

Back with more on my upcoming running / racing goals! Have a great weekend, everyone!

p.s. If you need more of a Henry / running fix, check the right sidebar of my blog for my 5 most recent TwitPics. Or check out my TwitPics profile for instant photo updates. I started "tweeting in photos" about 2 weeks ago.

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Friday Funny 244: Funny 'Cause It's True

>> Friday, November 11, 2011

Here are 10 things that are funny because they are true:


#1


#2


#3


#4


#5


#6


#7


#8


#9


#10

I think #5 and #9 are the best. What are the "truest" for you?

Happy weekend!!

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