Good Week of Workouts Leading up to Next Weekend's Showdown

>> Saturday, February 28, 2015

The last 10 days have been productive. I've been doing a little less strength work and a little more swim / bike / run:

• WEDNESDAY, FEB 18: 51 mins on the trainer, then 4x400 in the pool. Not a hard spin. Then 4x400 (with about a minute rest) later in the morning in the pool averaging 6:01.25 (last time I did that workout, I barely dropped below 6s, but this is the 2nd faster I've done it).

• THURSDAY, FEB 19: moderate 6.33 mile run in 45:51. It was below 0. I just ran a bit. No biggie.

• FRIDAY, FEB 20: 45x50 in the pool. I like this workout: it's broken up into sets of five 50s with different goals. (CLICK HERE for the workout details.) I did 9 sets of 5, and I had to take a longer break between #3 and #4 because one of the babysitters at the Y was standing in front of me with Charlie who had a big poopy diaper. I changed him next to the pool, handed him back off, and went on the way with my 50s.

• SATURDAY: 40 mins of Spinervals on the trainer. After having not touched my bike since my last race in September, I've now done 6 Spinerval workouts in the last 4 weeks. Not stellar, but it's something.

• SUNDAY: 6.4 moderate miles on the treadmill.

• MONDAY: 2600 yards in the pool. It was lots of 100s with a total of 800 of pulling as well. (First seen in a post here 5 years ago.)

• TUESDAY: 7 mile run with the middle 3.5 at a descending tempo pace. I didn't want to kill myself running too hard, but I wanted to try something a bit harder. My "fast" miles were 6:41, 6:35, 6:16, and then a final half mile of 2:49. (It was windy, and the first mile was into the wind, and the last half mile was helped by being pushed by the wind.)

• WEDNESDAY: 50 mins of Spinervals on the trainer, and a PR swim in the pool. My legs were heavy late morning in the pool from my early morning sprints on the trainer (and some 90 sec efforts), but I still set a personal best in my 3x500 workout. I looked back over a few of these 3x500 workouts over the last 2 years, and it really seems to be my barometer for my overall fitness. Here are some of my average 500s from that workout:

March 2013: 7:53.33 (noted it was "fastest 500s in a long time" in my training log)
June 2013: 8:01.33 (not swimming much)
July 2013: 7:48.67
Sept 2013: 7:54.33 (right after sacrum/hip injury)
Dec 2013: 7:58.00
May 2014: 8:16.66 (yikes - a month after sprained ankle)
June 2014: 7:52.33
Aug 2014: 7:59.00
Oct 2014: 8:09.00 (REALLY eased up on the swimming after tri season)
Feb 2015: 7:44.05 (after hitting the pool a lot for 4 months)

That last "Feb 2015" time was from 3 weeks ago. When I did it this time, I had a 7:32.05 average!! Yeah, really. I descended them too, with my final one being just under 7:27. Just 12 months ago at my last swim meet, I did a 500 free in 7:26.08, and this past week, my final 500 of 3 was just about that speed. Wow. Nice.

• THURSDAY: 2x2 mile intervals in sub-0 weather. I know - I just did a harder run 2 days before. But my hip/sacrum/ankle were all doing fine, so I thought I'd have one last hard push before the race next weekend. 2-mile intervals were a good idea: I still get to run hard, but it's not as fast as 1-mile intervals. (They're a good "distance" runner interval, good for 10K through 10-mile training. I'm hoping they help for my sprint tri training too.)

My first interval was 11:58 (6:00, 5:58), and my second interval was 11:53 (6:00, 5:53). Not bad for my first intervals in about 5 months. I was plenty warm on my slower cool-down from all the blood flowing, but I still had a bit of frozen ice on my stubble when I got into the house post-run:

• FRIDAY: 14x100 in the pool. I had planned on 16x100, but I was feeling tired (maybe from a good week of training) and my times weren't great. So during #10, I told myself I'd just do 4 more. I averaged 1:25.39/100, and closed out the month with 19,400 yards.

These last 4 big months of me "recommitting" myself to swimming have yielded a total of 80,500 yards! That's more than double of what I swam all of 2012! That's also more than my yearly total from 4 out of the last 7 years!

Stop back soon for my predictions on the indoor triathlon SHOWDOWN happening next weekend! Hint: it doesn't look good for me. Really.


Friday Funny 881: Instructions for the Game of Life

>> Friday, February 27, 2015

I'm stuck on #10 right now. Probably will be for a while.

Stop by for funny stuff posted all week long. Happy weekend! (I'll maybe see you at my art exhibition tomorrow night!)


Friday Funny 880: What Your Food Says About You

Lots more funny things posted all week long on!


Friday Funny 879: Workout Without Exercising

Here are 10 good tips on how to LOOK like you're working out at the gym without actually exercising:

Check out more funny things posted all day long on

p.s. I've haven't mentioned anything about this here, but I'm in a exhibition that's opening tomorrow night. The show was the idea of CVA Action, a non-profit (that I'm the vice president of) that is working to keep the community of artists together from the recently closed College of Visual Arts. It's a juried show, so I wasn't just let in because I'm the vice president. We'll be hosting an opening reception tomorrow along with an after party at a wine bar right next door. If you're a local and want to stop into downtown Minneapolis near Sex World tomorrow night, then check out some details on my Photo Blog. I'd love to see you there!


Friday Funny 878: Engineering Fails

"This is what it says on the blueprints."

"That makes no sense."

"Not our job."

Lots more funny things posted all week long on


Thirsty (for knowledge) Thursday: Butt and Lower Back Exercise

>> Thursday, February 26, 2015 recently showed an exercise that I need to start doing. It's called a "Bird Dog," and it's for stabilizing the muscles around the hips and lower back, "thus reducing the risk of injury to those areas" as it says on their site.

Check out this short video to help your hips and lower back:

Direct link:

For more "Thirsty Thursday" posts that highlight workouts, body science, and all kinds of interesting information, CLICK HERE.


Vote for Steve's "Coolest Bike in Triathlon!"

>> Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I submitted a photo to a Triathlete Mag contest a number of weeks ago and forgot about it. Then I got an email yesterday saying I was in the "top 50." (Probably out of about 52 entries.) Now the public needs to vote me into the top 10 to get into the next round!

Here's the link to the top 50 "Coolest Bikes in Triathlon" contest. In the 52 pages of bikes, I'm way back on page 47. But you don't even have to scroll through to find me - you can just vote for "Steve S" at the bottom of this link. Here's what page 47 looks like:

If you can't read the text, it says: "I have a seven-year-old gold Specialized named 'Goldilocks.' A bike mechanic friend offered to redo my bar tape a few years ago, and he promised to make it 'real nice.' Goldilocks came back with four different colored bars: pink, yellow, orange and sea-foam green. She seems to clash horribly with bright tri shorts, but no one seams to mind - I've been racing that way now for years."

Here's a bigger pic for your ocular enjoyment:

Top: 2014 Trinona TT and 2014 Lake Marion Tri.
Bottom: Waseca Triathlon (2012 or 2013?) and 2013 Lake Marion Tri.

So CLICK HERE and cast your vote for STEVE S!! And big thanks to Sean "Easy" Pease from Gear West Bike and Tri for making Goldilocks "real nice."


New "Friendly" Showdown!

>> Monday, February 23, 2015

I recently called out a friend to race. You might remember seeing this blurry photo of Lisa at the 24 Hour Relay for Aaron:

Over those 24 hours and 194 miles (total) around the track, she had the 3 fastest female mile splits: 6:18, 6:22, and 6:27. She's fast.

She's been doing the YWCA Indoor Triathlon "series" this winter, and she's been winning all of them. In fact, she was 3rd overall and 2nd overall in her first 2 this winter. She cranks out the 600 yard swim in sub-8:00 (which I could NEVER do), puts down a speedy split on a spin bike, and then runs a 5K on the track between 20 and 21 minutes. Beast.

So, I figured I'd politely challenge her to the next race on March 8:

Well, it turns out she has a big half marathon coming up the week after the indoor tri, so she told me she couldn't race me. Dang.

But then when I got out of class, I saw these 2 text message from BFF Devon just 11 minutes apart:

I logged back into Facebook to see what he meant. This is what had happened:

We set some rules (well, 1 rule for the bike), had the race director (Nicole) chime in and relieve Lisa of her volunteering responsibilities, and we decided to race:

As Lisa's final comment mentions, we will spin with the bikes set at a resistance of 12 (on a 0-24 scale I believe). The bikes just count revolutions as "distance," so most people just set it super low and spin their brains out at like 120-150 RPM. We'll tone that down a little to keep from blowing out our legs and to make it a *little* more like actual cycling.

Then other people started weighing in, and someone mentioned a wager (not seen in these comments):

I really had no idea for a wager - I was just in it for the race. But then Lisa's sister had a great idea for the 2 of us (who each have 2 kids):


I suppose the "smack talk" started yesterday when I saw Lisa's sister swim at a Masters meet. I Instagrammed this photo:

"Took the boys down the street to creep on @hlendway at the
Masters meet at St Thomas. Henry didn't want to leave."

We never got to talk to Heather, but she told me via Instagram that we just missed Lisa and her kids. I commented back "Shucks. Would have been nice to have the kids meet before she has to come over to babysit my boys."

I'll be polite. But there might be smack talk. Might.

Stop by the Midtown YWCA of Minneapolis on March 8th to see the race. Better yet, click here to register as a volunteer as you watch the race unfold. High stakes, people. High stakes.


Big Breakthrough in Running (Only in Japan)

>> Sunday, February 22, 2015

The Tokyo Marathon was earlier today. And luckily, this was invented in time:

"A Japanese food manufacturer has invented a wearable tomato dispenser for runners at the 2015 Tokyo marathon. The device allows runners to consume up to seven tomatoes on the go, all at the click of a button. Designers from Kagome, a tomato-based food manufacturer, says they wanted to find a way to incorporate tomatoes into running."

It's about time.


Swim Meet Weekend...

>> Saturday, February 21, 2015

This weekend is the Masters swim meet at St. Thomas - it's the meet that I've swam in the last 2 years. (My ONLY 2 swim meets.) It's where you all got to see my first dive start:

Much grace. Such wow. Many speed.

(Here's a link to my first swim meet in 2013 where I swam a 31.03 50 free [and where you can see video of that superb dive], and here's a link to last year's swim meet where I swam a 1:09.88 100 free.)

I did NOT sign up for the meet this year for 2 main reasons:

First of all, knowing I had a meet coming up in years past was the push I needed to get in the pool and swim more. But that hasn't been an issue lately. I've been putting in solid months of swimming since the end of October (as I showed in this recent post).

Secondly, my diving is horrendous, and I'm pretty embarrassed by it. I don't get embarrassed too easily (see also: the clothes I race in), but my diving "skill" bugs me. In that GIF above (from 2 years ago), I didn't do TOO bad (yes, that's considered not TOO bad) because a swim coach friend gave me a half-hour diving lesson a few days before that swim meet. Before that, I'd never learned how to dive. Like never. I quit swimming lessons as a kid right before the level where I'd learn how to dive. Then last year, my diving was horrible because I hadn't done it in a year - if you remember, it kept knocking my goggles off. Here are 2 photos from before last year's swim meet:

After those horrible practice dives, my chest looked like this:

This is not altered in any way. Unfortunately.

About 90 minutes later as I was getting ready to race, it looked like this:

Some bruising starting to the middle-left and the lower-left.

I've considered asking the lifeguard to let me do some practice dives off the blocks at Hamline University (where I've swam a few times this semester between my classes), but I'm even a little embarrassed to try that. AND the dive team has been practicing in the same pool where a few of us are swimming laps, so that'd be EXTRA embarrassing!

BUT I STILL HAVE AN EVENT ON THE HORIZON!! You've maybe seen the banter on Facebook… yes, there's a "throw down" in the works. The race is 2 weeks away. Check back for all the details on Monday.

Happy weekend!


Friday Funny 877: Adulthood (and funny links!)

>> Friday, February 20, 2015

Like I do every few weeks, here are some of my recent favorite posts from my tumblr page:

Athletic-Related Funnies:

Guys are idiots at the gym.

[GIF] Awesome martial arts kick.

When a runner is in denial about an injury.

A sassy twitter account about doing more pushups than you.

I run...


It's so cold outside...

[GIF] Gym goals.

Awesome cyclist.



[GIF] A "hard body of the day:" some awesome 1-handed pushups.


Kids and sports.

The daily struggle.

Non-Athletic Funnies:

A life lesson from your dog.

A Harry Potter Valentines.

[GIF] A good introduction for Leonardo Dicaprio.

My kind of food pyramid.


My life.

[GIFs] Men vs Women in commercials.

Life in Minnesota right now.

[VIDEO] Related to that last "funny," turn up the volume and enjoy this 6 second vine.

Life Hack: this is a great, great, great idea.

Awesome waitress from back in the day (like in the 80s or something).

Bob Ross pregnancy announcement.

This would offend me if it weren't so true.

NASA is awesome.

[GIFs] Buster Keaton was a badass.

Gross (from The Simpsons).


[GIF] Awesome/horrible pick-up line.

Dirty (but to-the-point) Valentine's Day card.

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


Friday Funny 876: Urban Dictionary

Here are the 16 best/worst definitions found on Urban Dictionary:

Find more funny stuff on!


Friday Funny 875: Dad Land

Someone created a fake pamphlet for the ultimate "Dad Land" and stuck it with a lot of other pamphlets while on a trip. Man, I wish this place were real...

Check out more funny things posted all day long on!


Friday Funny 874: Disney Princesses on Tinder

CollegeHumor shared what it might look like if Disney characters met on Tinder:

Lots more funny stuff on!



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