Big Race News: Next Weekend's SHOWDOWN

>> Saturday, May 31, 2014

Let me introduce you to a FORMER friend:

That's Dave and I at the bee... er... ah... I mean... "Kitten Mile" nearly 2 years ago. We were chummy. We were buddies.

Well, no more.

Next Saturday, he's challenged me to a showdown at the Trinona Time Trial. He wanted to prove he was better than me so badly that he offered me free entry into his race. (You remember I did the Trinona TT last year, and it was awesome.)

Here's some math... or "who to put your money on:"

Dave did it 2 years ago, and I finished 20 seconds faster than his time when I did it last year. But times were faster last year - local rockstar cyclist Patti Schmidt did it both years, and she was 33 seconds faster the year I did it vs the year Dave did it. And Matt Ollwerther (someone I don't know but someone who finished 1st and 2nd those 2 years) was 36 seconds faster the year I did it. So looking at those results, Dave's time from 2 years ago probably beats my time from last year by 13-16 seconds.

SO THAT MEANS OUR RACE SHOULD BE CLOSE! Stay tuned to see how this shapes up next weekend...

Dave thought he'd be a "big man" and pick on poor, injured me. My ankle hasn't allowed me to run in nearly 2 months. My hip is still a big issue from last August. I have a 3 week old son so I'm sleep deprived and my training has suffered. "Hey Steve" says Dave, "I wanna race you!" Yeah. Good timing. Seems fair. Sure.

(This GIF makes me wish I were a woman so I could do this allllll the time. Just to Dave.)

I'm not TOO worried about Dave beating me because he's not too coordinated. He can hardly ride a bike. Here's some footage of him playing golf 20 years ago:

Dave, I hope nothing "accidentally" happens to your bike on race day next weekend...

Alright, it's 7 days to the Trinona Time Trial. Time to get my game face on:


It's on, Dave. See you at the top of the Bluff next Saturday. I'll be waiting.


Friday Funny 732: Bike Race Finish (and Funny Links!)

>> Friday, May 30, 2014

There's a good reason why many bike races will take away your win if you do this...

Direct link:

"At least he won." Priceless. It's been a bad week for people at the end of races.

Finally, as I do every 2 weeks or so, here are some funny posts from my tumblr page:

Athletic-related funny things:

Awesome Photoshopped finisher's photo!

[GIF] These guys are amazing.

You might be a Cross County runner IF...

Willie Nelson on Lance Armstrong's doping.

I'm going to start eating healthy...

Swimsuit season.

[GIF] Hard Body of the Day Rita Benavidez.

[GIF] That's a sweet bike jump. Nice.

Who else says this when they need to workout?

[VIDEO] How to win the 50 meter freestyle.

I really should workout.

Sweet design piece that labels the parts of a road bike.

[GIF] What kind of race is this?

Oh, you ran a marathon? Cute.

Non-athletic funny things:

I hate it when this happens when I try to eat organic.

The only way to get a hot body for the summer.

[GIF] Kids. Sheesh.

Deep thoughts.

[GIF] Some awesome juggling.

The proper way to pee with morning wood.


What's your sexual orientation.

[GIF] Dog overboard? Nope.

Best yard sale sign ever.

Is this your relationship status?

Sweet car for sale. Good deal.

Dirty joke.


Raising kids/dogs.

Man I love "Who's Line."

Weird/awesome tattoo for someone who loves to cook.

Me when I eat.

Pizza Rolls.

It took me a second to understand this.

Doing projects around the house: this is WAY TOO TRUE.

The secret to pleasing a man.

Weekend plans (if you're cheap).

I can't wait to teach my sons all I know.

And as always, stop by for funnies all week long. Happy weekend!!


Friday Funny 731: What Kind of Procrastinator Are You

I'm 1/2 "The Cleaner" and 1/2 "The Snacker."

More funny stuff on!


Friday Funny 730: Running Fashion

Runner's World recently posted 10 Running Faux Pas:

Toe Shoes With Tall Socks

Society as a whole has long since declared the "separated toe" look disconcerting, but what happens when you up the ante by adding socks? What started as a sensible approach to minimalism and warmth results in the worst combination of two fashion abominations—flip-flops with socks, and toe shoes in general. Sorry, world.

Tucking in a T-Shirt

Tucking is generally for more formal occasions, so unless you're headed to a weird running gala in one of those iron-on tuxedo t-shirts, it's probably best to just wear a top that fits. Here's a handy visual guide to when you should tuck in your shirt. Note: Running isn't mentioned.

Tri-Suit in a Single-Sport Race

It's hard to know what Tri-Suit Guy is trying to communicate with this oft-spotted 5K look. Is he proclaiming his love of multisport to the world? Was this the only techwear he had clean? Does he know something about the course the rest of us don't??

Running Shirtless in a Blizzard

There's always that one guy who can't wait to strip down the second the heat index rises into the positive integer range. Does every running group have one of those? We have one of those.

Racing Shirtless in a Blizzard

Note: This was taken at the 2012 RW Half Marathon, but it could have just as easily been taken at the Siberia Ice Marathon in Omsk.

Wild Hair

We've been seeing this at more and more long-distance races lately—long, lustrous hair, bouncing freely, unshackled by the burdens of a rubber band. It certainly looks lovely... but then there's that moment when a stranger's hair is clinging to your sweaty arm, and you kind of want to grab it and stuff it into a stray hat.

Shorts Over Tights

For whatever reason, shorts over tights is a no-no. I don't understand it either. It looks cool.


Head-to-toe color coordination: A little too much of a good thing, or the hottest 2013 trend in street style? Executive Producer Robert Reese's favorite look insists it's the latter.

Too Much Makeup

Look, we all want to look good in race photos, which is why most of us do the bare minimum of grimacing in the general direction of the cameras. And if heavy makeup is your race-day equivalent of warrior paint, then by all means, spackle it on. But just for the record—you'd look great with less, too.

Inappropriate Shorts Length

Too short, or too long? Believe it or not, there's an entire middle ground your shorts can occupy.

I'm partially guilty of the "topless in winter" one - I like to be bare-chested once it hits 45 degrees. But the only one I'm REALLY guilty of is that last one. And I'm guilty on BOTH accounts of too short and too long. I raced Ironman Wisconsin back in 2007 in shorts that were WAAAAY to long, and in more recent years, I've been wearing shorts that may be a little too short:

Oops. Oh well.

See more funnies updated throughout the day on


Friday Funny 729: Baby Handling Tips

Now that we've got Boy #2 at home, it's time for me to refresh myself on the best way to deal with a baby. This is old, but it's still quite funny:

Lots more funnies on!


Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: Breathe MORE in the Pool

>> Thursday, May 29, 2014

An interesting article recently popped up on Triathlete Europe's website that was written by Gary Hall, a 3-time Olympian and coach. He writes about breathing while swimming and that we should breathe MORE.

Yes, turning to take a breath slows us down in the water, but Hall suggests that by breathing more, we will be breathing at a more comfortable (and NATURAL) rate:

Cycling or running at maximal exertion requires between 50 and 60 respirations per minute. If you are swimming anywhere from 800 yards to 2.4 miles, chances are your stroke rate is 50 to 60 strokes per minute. A swimmer taking 60 strokes per minute and breathing to one side on every stroke cycle (1:2 ratio) takes only 30 breaths per minute, far below the body’s chosen rate. If you are an alternate breather, breathing first to one side, holding two strokes, then breathing to the other (1:3 ratio), your respiratory rate is even slower at 20 breaths per minute.

I'm a 1:3 ratio swimmer. Because I thought that was a good thing. He suggests a 2:3 breathing pattern (explained below as point #3). Hall says that by moving to 2:3, your swim will either "remain the same or improve slightly because the compromise between improved physiology and increased frontal drag from the extra breaths is almost a wash. However, you will feel so much better getting out of the water - your bike and run will see the benefit."

Here are his 3 final tips:

1. Breathe by turning your head back and to the side, not straight to the side. You will find you don’t need to turn the neck as far (the rule is one goggle out of the water, one goggle in). Lift your mouth to the breath side to gain another inch of breathing room. Breathing in this manner will slow you down less and also help you avoid swallowing nasty sea or lake water.

2. Learn to breathe on both sides. Awkward as it may feel at first, within a few weeks, you’ll become comfortable doing so. There are some rough open-water days that you may only be able to breathe safely to one side, so it’s nice to have this option. You also get to see the view on both sides.

3. Once you have gotten comfortable breathing bilaterally and have mastered the 1:3 pattern, try going to a 2:3 pattern (see diagram below). That means you will breathe on two successive strokes in a row, hold one stroke, then initiate another two breaths in a row starting on the same side you took the last breath. At a stroke rate of 60, that equates to a respiratory rate of 40 - not quite what your body self-selects, but closer. It is not so important that you don’t get a full breath each time. You just need a good air exchange of fresh oxygen in and carbon dioxide out.

I've always done #2. I tried #1 a bit in the pool last week, and it seemed to make sense. But I haven't actually tried #3: the 2:3 breathing ratio. I might try it for a few laps in my swim today and see how I feel. I'm skeptical, but his points make sense.

Speaking of skeptical...

On a TOTALLY unrelated subject, Matt Fitzgerald just published some study findings 2 days ago that MAY prove that muscle fatigue is much more psychological than it is physiological. That is, it might be all in our mind. The theory is that we're programmed not to go too hard for too long to keep us from dying. I'm sure a smarter person than me can find some holes in this study, so here it is if you're interested in taking a look.


Semi-Wordless Wednesday: My Multisport Hero

>> Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Bob Powers turned 90 this past weekend. And he celebrated by racing the Apple Duathlon:

I've cheered on Bob before at a few races. I want to be like him when I grow up.

Here are 3 more photos from Apple Duathlon's Facebook page:

Local rockstar David Thompson killing it again. He won by over a minute in a deep field
(with an opening 5K split of 15:38!).

Awesome face poster!

A Pee-wee Herman bike kit!! AWESOME!!!


Riding Lots of Hills in St. Paul

>> Monday, May 26, 2014

Brother-in-law Matt and I did a hilly ride on Saturday. We road along the Mississippi River for a few miles, rode the Big Rivers Trail, and then did hill repeats on THEE Ohio Hill and THEE Ramsey Hill. Here's what our elevation chart looked like:

2 warm-up hills early on, and then 6 nasty repeats.

Matt coming up the 2nd of our "easy hills" early on.
(Sorry for the blurry sweat-on-my-camera photo).

A few miles later cruising behind big sexy on the Big Rivers Trail.

We got to the base of Ohio Hill, and I told Matt I was going to do it 3 times. He was gearing up for a long flight that night, so he was just going to do a few of the upcoming hill repeats (he didn't want a sore bum):

About 170 feet of elevation gain from start to finish.

Just after the finish of #2 (that light pole behind me marks the highest point and my finish).

Heading back down. I did three 0.41 mile repeats in 2:25, 2:26, and 2:29.

Then Matt and I crossed the Smith bridge only to do 3 more repeats up Ramsey Hill. Here are some photos Matt got of me on my final hill climb:

That speck in front of that car is me - I'm about 2/3 up the hill.

Almost up.


Straight up Ramsey, then down the quiet "back roads" to the bottom.
I screwed up my first split, but my last 2 were both 1:35 for the 0.22 mile hill.

Close up of the elevation of the 6 hill repeats. Some nasty climbs over 25 mins.
Close to 2,000 feet of climbing over 6 miles!

After riding all of that, my overall average was still just over 17 mph! I wasn't speedy throughout, but it was a solid workout! Thanks for the ride, Matt!


Instagram of the Day: Two Weeks Postpartum, My Wife Did This...

>> Sunday, May 25, 2014

I posted this on instagram last night:

"Two weeks ago, my wife's lady bits pushed out a child. Today, those lady bits
carried her on a 15 mile ride. What a stud!"

People had awesome responses right away:

My wife is amazing.


Runner / Cyclist Celebrate Too Early

>> Saturday, May 24, 2014

A week ago, there were too awkward "low lights" in the sporting world. A cyclist and a runner were both caught celebrating too early.

Eloy Teruel was racing in the Tour de California, and during the 7th stage, he thought the race was over. But in reality, there was 1 more lap. Awkward.

And Taoufik Makhloufi was caught celebrating too early in an 800 meter race at the Diamond League Meet in China. He was passed at the line (losing by 4 hundredths of a second) and lost out on a $10,000 pay day. (Replays start at the 1:55 mark where you can see it clearly.)

Yikes. Pay attention. Reminds me of the time that Lance got caught at the finish line of a 70.3 about 2 years ago. Oops. Don't forget it's a race... to the finish.


Friday Funny 728: (Not So Helpful) Life Hacks

>> Friday, May 23, 2014

The Windex one totally works. I tried that one time.

Lots more funnies here:



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