Doing Another Triathlon, but No Duathlon

>> Monday, March 31, 2014

So I decided I'm doing the longest race at the April 27th YWCA Indoor Triathlon in Minneapolis. When Pharmie and I did that indoor triathlon 2 weeks ago, we both did the shortest distance: the MINI Sprint (400 yd swim, 8 mile bike, 1 mile run). Pharmie's going to do that distance again in about a month (if she's able to - she'll be due 2 weeks after that), and I'll try the MEGA Sprint: 600 yd swim, 12 mile bike, 5K run. As of the end of last week, there were only a few spots left - sign up now if you want to race me!

After the race 2 weeks ago, my hip was achy for a day or 2, but everything was in decent shape. It's time to really start pushing it and seeing what it can do, because it's multisport season in just a few weeks!

The biggest downside to doing this race is that it's the same weekend as the Falls Duathlon that I enjoy racing (I've done that race 4 out of the last 5 years). With so much snow still on the ground, I haven't been out for a bike ride yet, so maybe it's OK that I'm missing that duathlon and it's 14 mile ride. But... if I WAS doing that the duathlon, it would get me on my bike soon and help me be ready for the rest of the season, so I don't know if this is a good thing or a bad thing.

And a quick injury update: my last 3 runs last week were all 42 minutes, and I cracked 6 miles during the last 2! There's still some hip aches usually the evening after a run - right after a run everything feels PERFECT, but then it starts to ache a bit 8 hours later. I still have to figure out if I should try any speedwork in the next few weeks or just let any race this spring/summer be my "speedwork." (If I do, I think I'd probably start with 2x2 mile intervals as a way to try running a BIT faster for a while.)

So sign up now if you want to race the MEGA Sprint with me in 4 weeks, and check out my indoor triathlon race report from 2 weeks ago if you're curious what it's like. Have a good week!


Two Henry Updates: Circus and Big Boy Bed

>> Saturday, March 29, 2014

The circus is in town this weekend. Henry and I met Uncle Jon and cousin Evie at the State Fairgrounds for the Shriners Circus yesterday.

Henry LOVED the big cats!

He also loved this thing.

Gymnasts. (The one on the right with the fire is spinning by her hair!)

Jon and Evie!

Henry spotted a Minion (from Despicable Me) at the start of intermission, and he KEPT waving at him!

Down on the floor watching an elephant up close!

Watching the elephant give rides! This was his favorite!

These guys were good...

... check out the guy in the air doing flips over 9 people from l-to-r.

The elephants were Henry's favorite. This guy was huge!

Evie liked the elephants too!

Henry's reaction to some big motorcycle jumps!

Apparently, Jon and I are horrible parents for not covering our kid's ears
for the motorcycles (like the Mom on the other side of Jon). Oops. We're Dads.

Then we came home at 1:30, and Henry had his first nap in his "big boy bed!" We'd been talking about it for a few weeks, and Henry was ready. I posted this on Facebook on Thursday (the day before):

"Tonight will be Henry's last night in his crib. We've been reading bedtime stories
in his "new" room in his "big boy bed," and at nap time tomorrow afternoon, we'll try
to make the permanent switch. Wish us luck!!"

From Instagram: "I'm a little jealous of Henry's "big boy bed" sheets.
(He's moving out of his crib tomorrow afternoon!)"

From Instagram yesterday morning: "Henry's last time in his crib. He woke up with 4 stuffed
animals in his PJs."
(He had them zipped up in there, and just unzipped to show me.

And he did great yesterday afternoon after the circus. We read a few stories, and then he showed me how he was going to sleep in his new bed:

Waving for a photo for Mama!

I snuck in after an hour because I'm "that Dad." He's adorable.

He's now in his bed for the 3rd time (nap, bedtime, nap), and everything's going great. Pharmie and I both expect he'll be good for about a week and then start pushing his limits a bit more. We'll see. I'll report back when he walks in on us for the first time. And then I'll start a "donations" link to pay for his therapy. Until then.


Friday Funny 697: The Best/Worst of Yahoo Answers

>> Friday, March 28, 2014

Dear Baby Jesus, I hope some of these are fake. In the off chance that many are real, I've offered my answers below the images.

You must eat a lot of potatoes.

It actually takes 7-10 business days for them to upload the video.
Stand outside all day Sunday, and start checking Google next weekend.

I actually don't know. I know there's THIS pill if you're looking for the opposite effect.

It won't happen until you've had your first child.

Dang. You've got a vampire baby.

Why do you think they have a maple leaf on their flag? (They wipe with it, obviously.)

I have no response.


In Hosea 7:8, it says "Ephraim, he mixes himself among the nations. Ephraim is a pancake
not turned over."
So... I think you're safe. (I have no idea what this is telling me.)

They have a complicated phone tree system that I always get stuck in. Just keep trying.

See lots more "funnies" on Happy weekend!!


Friday Funny 696: ACTUAL Definitions

"Never Mind" - SOOOO true.

New funny stuff posted all week long on!


Friday Funny 695: More Honest Slogans

"Something's funny because it's true" is practically the #1 rule of comedy. (Well, so is "nut shots are always funny.") That's what makes these so good. (The "funny cause it's true" part, not the "nut shot" part.)

See more honest slogans HERE and HERE in 2 previous "Friday Funny" posts.

Lots more funnies on!


Friday Funny 694: 10 Kinds of Bras

I'm not a woman. *NEWSFLASH*

But these are still entertaining to me. My wife really remarks often about #3:

Lots more funnies on!


Nostalgic Bike Tricks

>> Thursday, March 27, 2014

Turn up the volume for this one - the commentary on this video is great. It shows a 76 year old cyclist doing some tricks on his different bikes:

Direct Link:


Two Honest Selfies

>> Wednesday, March 26, 2014

I snapped 2 photos at the gym on Monday after my run:

10:15 a.m.

10:17 a.m.

That's how I feel lately.

I've been lifting a lot in the last 4-5 months, and I'm putting on some more muscle. See that shoulder in the first photo? I've NEVER had that before! And that photo was from just after running - not after lifting where I'd maybe look a little more "jacked."

But as that 2nd photo shows, I also have a bit more chub than I usually have. I've been eating better overall, but I've been snacking more. I'm up about 5 pounds from where I was last year. Yes, some of that might be muscle (even on my legs from the exercises I posted about on Monday), but there's plenty of extra chub too.

I was going to instagram those 2 photos together...

... but I didn't have the guts to post that to everyone I know on Instagram. (Like former students and lots of friends who don't read my blog.) But to keep things honest, I felt like posting it here.

We'll see if I can work on cutting out some of the excess snacks. I'm not cutting out everything - ooooooh noooooo. But I can be a LITTLE better / smarter / healthier.


My Five (Current) Favorite Exercises

>> Monday, March 24, 2014

A few people have recently been asking about my strength / P.T. exercises, so I figured it'd make a good post to share what I've been doing. Since my sacrum / hip / leg injury back in August and September of last year, I've been doing a LOT of exercises to work my way back. I've done (and am still doing) a TON of simple leg exercises (like leg lifters, clam shells, etc, etc), but here are the 5 that I think have helped me the most.


Dr. Folske gave me this exercise early on. I would NOT have jumped to weight training right away. But this helped me the quickest. Folske noticed a lot of atrophying in my right quad a month after my injury, and he had me do these to help build that muscle AND to get the muscle "firing off the right way."

I'll sit on a quad extension machine for 10 minutes straight. I'll go UP for 2 seconds with both legs, and then I'll drop my left leg and slowly go DOWN for 8 seconds (for a total of 10 seconds a rep). I'll do 15 reps for 1 leg (2 mins 30 secs), and then do the other leg. And then I'll do them both all over again. That's a brutal 10 minutes on that machine. More recently, a PT I was seeing told me he liked the exercise, but wanted me to load it down even more so that I wasn't tired after 15 reps, but after just 5-8. Sometimes I do that; sometimes I do slightly lighter weight to do 12-15 reps.

(Folske also had me to eccentric adductor exercise: it's the machine where the pad is between your knees. I'd pull my knees together, and then slowly lower the weight back down as my legs open.)


Here are 2 pics with my PT notes:

That first one is where I put a band around my knees and go into a squat position. Then (down in that position), I step to 1 side for 30 seconds, and then come back to where I started for 30 seconds more. It's a 60 second burn. I take 30 seconds off and repeat another 4 times. Killer.

The second one picture above starts similarly to the first one: I get into a squat with the band around my knees. Then I pull my knees a bit apart (with the band resisting against me), and simply hold that for 60 seconds. Then I repeat that a few times with 30 seconds breaks.


These get my "weak butt" firing. These take a lot of balance, but that's the point. I'll throw my back foot up on a balance ball, and then roll it down as I squat with the other leg. I do it SLOWER and with a BIGGER RANGE OF MOTION than what's shown in this GIF:

Me on the front porch yesterday.

I'll usually do 12 reps / leg, and I'll do each leg 4 times. This one can really make my glute BURN if I do it right! And this one lets me know what is my weak side - it's a LOT easier doing this with my right foot on the ball. At the Y, I'll do this in front of a mirror to make sure my knee stays over my foot.


Planks, side planks, supermans, and anything else for my core and lower back. I was given a new move a few months back, and I've NEVER done this one in public - I look a little like a flopping fish out of water.

(Again, it's a slower motion than how it's conveyed in this GIF)

Basically, it's a "crunch" position with my arms across my chest, and then I crunch up and down (rocking my hips too) as I slowly turn around in circles in 1 direction. I'll go 1 way for 60 seconds, and then immediately switch directions and go the other way for 60 seconds. It's all in the hips. If I'm cold in the morning, this will warm me up RIGHT away - after 2 minutes, I'm breathing hard and my core is burning.

You'll usually find me doing all these moves a few times a week. My running is currently up to 39 minutes straight: I'm almost hitting 6 miles of running now! (I should hit that on Wednesday or Friday when I jump up to 42 minutes.) My hip is achy at times, but it's always like 12 hours after a run - when I FINISH a run and stretch/foam roll, I feel GREAT, but it starts to ache a little later. Sometimes it's a little annoying, and sometimes it doesn't hurt at all. But I know a lot of these exercises have helped get me back at it!

p.s. When I do a normal "weight" routine at the gym, I like to play games to mix it up. Sometimes I'll go for high reps and lighter weight. Sometimes I'll do higher weight and lower reps. Sometimes I'll do everything in the reverse order than I'm used to. Sometimes I do 100% free weights. Etc, etc. On Friday, my "game" was to see how much I could lift during my workout, so I did exercises where I would be moving the most weight. If I bench pressed 135 lbs for 10 reps, then that'd be 1,350 lbs. Anything over 50,000 lbs is usually a really good workout. Well, on Friday, I lifted over 80,000 lbs. (80,240 to be exact.) This is not an exact science and it's a bit arbitrary, but it's just one of the ways I keep things interesting (and hopefully effective) at the gym. I try to keep my muscles from falling into too much of a routine!

p.p.s. Check out Thursday post that has some interesting points on weight training and bike training. A few people have tweeted me about this since I posted them. Click that link or just scroll down past some good "Friday Funnies" from last week. Have a good week!



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