Final Duathlon Thoughts

>> Wednesday, May 24, 2017

So it’s been 2.5 weeks since the Cinco DU Mayo Duathlon, and I have a few thoughts. Well, really just 1 thought.

I noted being just 3 seconds off a course record, and how my “slow” final run (especially the start of that run) kept that from happening. But I sort of failed to acknowledge that it’s a DUATHLON where you have a run, a bike, and a run. Sure, I hoped to be faster in that final run, but it’s a 3-part race, not just a final running sprint to the finish. I posted my fastest bike split there by a long shot, and was the 2nd fastest cyclist overall, which is a stat I’ve NEVER been close to before. I can’t be too upset by being a few seconds slower than I would have hoped for the final run. In fact, one of my goals for 2016 (before becoming injured that year) was to be passed on the run: that was my way of acknowledging the fact that I wanted to bike harder/better, and then be up along side a different caliber of athlete when hitting the final run.

Also (related to that), I don’t know how much of my bike speed is my new bike, and how much is my training. I’ve put on more miles than ever before in spring/early summer, so my bike fitness is REALLY good right now. But, how much of my speed is a newer/lighter bike? I can’t say. If I had to honestly guess, I’d say 60-70% is my better bike training, and 30-40% is my new bike.

Sidetone: I had a nice, hard ride last week:



Sort of related: yet another big THANKS is warranted to Robert at Element Wellness Group for his acupuncture work at getting and keeping me healthy this spring! Thanks Robert! See you next week!

Back with more training updates and thoughts for an upcoming Memorial Day 5K in a post on Saturday!

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Weekend Wedding

>> Monday, May 22, 2017

My family and I headed to Mankato on Saturday for my wife's cousin's wedding. Here are a few quick pics:


Looking for our hotel room.


Hallway selfie heading to the reception.


A cute one.


My boys after running back and forth on this ramp for a half hour.


Fun with glow sticks.


Henry looking at me surprised when he sold a glow stick for a quarter.


Circus/dino/wedding party tricks.

Congrats Mikaela and Luke! :)

Then we spent the night in a hotel in Mankato. Charlie passed out on Mama near the end of church the next morning, and we stuck around after mass for a bit so he could nap:


Note the donut: Henry and I went to "coffee and rolls"
after mass, and brought back a donut for Charlie.


Back at our hotel pool. We were the only ones in there!
Also, my wife in a bikini is MUY BUENO!


Henry loved jumping in.


Some final (tired) snuggles in our hotel room. My wife posted this last night with
the caption: "Back in our own beds tonight, but what a fun whirlwind weekend of family!"

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Weekly Training

>> Saturday, May 20, 2017

Here's a look at my weekly training numbers from mid-February through last weekend:


(The red-ish "22" in mid-March is 68 minutes on the trainer that I'm counting as 22 bike "miles.")

Notice that the beginning of March took a bit of a hit when my knee was acting up a little, but then I had some pretty consistent training after that. And the last 3 weeks are all labeled:

    - Raced the Falls Duathlon at the end of April, so that 3rd to last week is a bit easier.
    - Recovered the next week, and then raced the Cinco DU Mayo Duathlon that weekend.
    - Finally, a true recovery week, still with some decent milage, but all easy. (Basically just skipped a run.)

Consistency is working for me! I don't know that I've EVER had bike miles every week from mid-Feb through mid-May. Let's keep this going.

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Friday Funny 1274: God Creating Animals

>> Friday, May 19, 2017

These always make me smile...





















More funny things on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com. HAPPY WEEKEND!!

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Friday Funny 1273: Food Inventions You Didn't Know You Needed

Some of these are just OK. But some are GENIUS.



Lots more funny things posted all week long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.

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Friday Funny 1272: Texts from Mom

In honor of Mother's Day last weekend, here are some funny texts from Mom:



Lots more funny things posted all day long on steveinaspeedo.tumblr.com.

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"Camping" in a Camper Cabin with my Boys in Jay Cooke

>> Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Last July, Henry and I spent 2 nights in a tent in Jay Cooke State Park in northern MN. This past weekend, I went back with Henry (5) and Charlie (3) for 2 more nights. Only this time, we rented a "camper cabin" instead of staying in a tent. Here's our photo diary of the weekend:


A loaded car as we picked up Henry from school on Friday.


The 2+ hour drive was PRETTY quiet.


The boys thought our little cabin ("Gabbro") was AWESOME. It's 12x16', can
sleep 6, and has a little table that seats 4 in the lower right. And baseboard heat!


Hanging out as I cooked supper over the campfire in front of our cabin.
The front 1/3 is screened-in porch, and the back 2/3s is the cabin itself.
It's tiny, but it doesn't need to be any bigger.


Friday night supper: angus hot dogs and kielbasa.


Mealtime.


Exploring the woods right behind our cabin!


On Jay Cooke's famous "Swinging Bridge" over the (noisy) St. Louis River. Amazing.


Playing a little farther upstream. You can barely make a few people out
near the top/middle on a little cliff above the falls.


Looking down on the falls.


The boys making me nervous as they were PRETTY close to the edge of that cliff.
(The edge is just past their heads.)


Group selfie with mist from the falls behind us!


Down under the Swinging Bridge.




Dudes on the bridge.




Close up of the last photo.


View from our front deck. We were a nice distance from some vault toilets and a water spigot.


Headed back from brushing our teeth.


Getting settled in for the night. Henry's sitting in my bed, and he slept above Charlie.


Zoning out before bed. He was tired!

I didn't sleep too well the first night. Maybe I was a bit nervous for how the night would go. Henry got up at 1:20 to pee, so him and I went out into the moonlit night to pee off our deck and point at the Big Dipper. Then back to bed. The boys slept well:


Charlie at 6 a.m.


Henry catching flies.


Chilly Saturday morning breakfast: scrambled eggs with kielbasa.


Breakfast burritos (seasoned with wild chives growing near our cabin) and apple walnut oatmeal.




Our "little buddy" for the weekend liked our apple core.


Quick walk to the camp office.

My cousin Michael stopped out to visit, and we took him on a hike. We went just down the road to Oldenburg Point:


Looking out over the sprawling St. Louis River.


Michael helping Henry down some steep parts. I didn't plan it this way,
but it was great having extra help on this tough hike. Thanks Cuz!


The highlight of Charlie's trip might have been this dead beaver.


Hiking back across some amazing rock formations with the NOISY river in the background.


I made a point while making these next 2 photos to hold my camera perfectly horizontal
to show how steep this was. This part of the trail was more vertical than horizontal!


More steep climbing. Thanks for helping Henry, Michael!


The fun steps that Charlie counted as we climbed. By his count, there were "onety-one."
(In actuality, there were 54.)

We said goodbye to Michael and headed into Duluth. We played around Canal Park for a bit and got lunch at DQ:


Lounging on Daddy as he finished his cone.


By the lighthouse in Canal Park at Lake Superior!


Henry found a "fort"...


... as Charlie was throwing rocks. These are my boys. :)


Another selfie before leaving the world's largest lake.


Petting sturgeon at the Great Lakes Aquarium!


This one liked Charlie.


Overlooking St. Louis Bay with the famous Lift Bridge in the background.


Charlie loved spotting all the "Dory fish!"


Back at the cabin for nap time.


Charlie wanted to wear jammies for nap time. OK, whatever.


My view on the porch relaxing for 2.5 hours as both boys napped hard inside!


Climbing rocks in his swimsuit down by that little bay near the Swinging Bridge.


More climbing.


Out in the COLD water.


MORE climbing. Always with the climbing.


Climbing down.




You can barely see my boys on the beach.


Ham steak and pork chops on the fire!


Saturday night supper was GOOD: ham steak, pork chops with pears,
and garlic shrimp in the cast iron pan.


It started getting chilly during supper.


S'mores!!


He likes sugar...




The boys were excited to shower!

I slept a LITTLE better on Saturday night, but still not great. Here was the scene at 6:20 a.m.:


Both boys starting to stir on the left.


Bacon over the fire on Sunday morning!


Our cabin with cooking bacon.


Eggs and an english muffin.


Bacon, egg, and cheese english muffin sandwich!


The boys thought it was too chilly on Sunday morning, so we had breakfast inside.


All loaded up! One final selfie in front of the cabin! Good-bye Jay Cooke!

We made a quick stop near Thomson Dam just a few miles from our campsite to explore a place that Henry really liked last year:




Running to the next look-out point.


Through the pines high above the St. Louis River.


The rock formations are beautiful.


Looking down 50' to the river. The dam is in the background on the other side of the bridge.




They always picked the hardest/most fun route up the rocks.


One FINAL selfie in the woods before loading up for home.


We stopped for donuts at Tobie's Restaurant, and this is Charlie
still TECHNICALLY awake getting ready to crash from a sugar high.


Another quiet ride. (Henry's under his pillow.)


Throwing "confetti" (petals from our crab apple tree) for Mama for Mother's Day.

The Camper Cabin made camping a LOT easier. I hope to do it again (at a different state park) mid-week sometime with the boys this summer, and sometime with my wife and boys all together. We'll see if we can fit that all in this summer. (And here's photos from last July when it was just Henry and me at Jay Cooke - we did a LOT of same things, because he liked everything we did back then so much!)

I might post a few short videos in the next week that give a better sense of the power of the St. Louis River. It's much less impressive in these small still photos.

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