Monday, July 28, 2008

Quick Update

Internet is still down :(

I just got back from an awesome trip in western MT where I was a groomsman for a great old friend. I had a great time seeing old friends, hiking in the mountains, running at altitude, and beating away drunken bridesmaids.

My pick for GC, Carlos Sastre, won the Tour de France. My fav for the sprinters jersey, Thor Hushovd took 2nd in the points classification. Team CSC won the team competition, which should have been obvious--those guys are incredible. A great tour to watch despite the lack of Levi Leipheimer and his Astana squad, but it was cool to see Garmin Chipotle and Christian Vande Velde pick up the slack.

The car is as good as new.

Peak week is neigh, and I'll be going all in for intensity this week. Hill ride, here I come!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Heart of the Lakes 2008 Race Report

I'll give you a lead up to the race before I tell you about it.

-Chris Rock Show with the gf.
-Drinks out late downtown.

-Mimosas over breakfast at the gf's house
-Wine afterwards
-Big time drama with the gf
-Go out for Martinis to talk things over. We were sitting on the patio during a huge rainstorm and were engaged in conversation enough to stay in our seats through the whole thing.
-"Cheers" and we tip up the martinis
-Go to noodles & company. Thankfully I could drive. The gf was blasted beyond belief.
-Drive back to her place.
-Lay in bed, nap.
-Woke up at 10:45pm, drive home, pack, to bed around 12:00

The alarm went off at 4:30am, I ate 2 yogurts, and was out the door at 5:15. I commuted and had my transition setup by 6:30. As always, FAST registration.

Although HOLT advertises as "MN Championship Race," and perennially brings people with their "A" game, I planned to treat this as a B race, and I wanted to go really hard on the bike, and see what happens with my run.

Swim: The lake was very foggy. You couldn't even see the far buoys. My red tint goggles need to go. Orange-turned-White buoys are not easy to see against a fog. Focus on gliding and reaching worked well. Looking back to see the entire wave behind me on glass water was cool. Going around the buoys was vicious as I ran into the wave(s) in front of me. I was out of the water first in my age group.

T1: 2:13 A long run to transition, and a long run to the mount line.

Bike: 23.6mph avg. I just hammered--sweat dripping, gel choking, rumblestrip weaving, 100+ cadence, "on your left" yelling, head-down-in-the-aeros-up-hills, spin-out-the-downhills hammering. I've never biked faster, even during a flat out TT. I'll thank getting into the gym and lifting some cycling-specific weights this week. I'm going to be lifting once per week through the remainder of the season to build strength.

T2: 2:13 run allllll the way to the back of transition, put on socks, slip on shoes, run alllll the way back out.

Run: 6:57/mile I remembered this course vividly from last year--it's longer than the posted 5 miles. There was some long inclines, and I wanted to charge them hard. I took my first half mile at a moderate pace, pretty happy with how my legs felt, and chose a fairly hard pace, intending to see how far I could take it. I made it to the top of an incline around mile 3 running at an identical pace with a woman from an earlier wave. I figured that I'd just pace along with her, but I could tell she was NOT having someone (or probably just me) running next to her. As we passed mile 4, I dropped her. I looked at my HRM to see a heart rate of 174,which is way higher than I've dared to hold pace at in the past, and I'm thinking "Forget this B race garbage, I'm going fast." And then she passed me like a bullet with about 1/2 mile to go. I had nothing left in the tank to counter with, but was able to finish strong.

I've never ran faster. And this is by far my best run pace ever, and it's by alot. My run is really coming together. My best pace to date was last weekend at 7:14/mile, and last season I never cracked 7:30/mile. Strangely enough, I'm getting pretty bad shin splints. I've all but stopped running in the last 3 weeks, and will be resorting to biking to stay in shape after my last race this season.

I ran into my friend & fierce AG competitor Ben at the finish line, and we chatted for a while. His excuse for me beating him is lack of training due to his 2-month-old, and we headed over to the results printer. I was #1 in my age group, and Ben was 3rd! Later on, after non-chalantly telling everyone everyone I saw that I won my age group, a repost showed that I was in 2nd place (d'oh)behind some guy with no run or swim split, and a bike split slower than mine, but ahead of me by 6 minutes---knocking Ben off the podium. A double whammy for poor Ben.

66/460 overall
2/21 age group

I got a place on the podium and a little plastic trophy.

Timberman 08 Race Report

Timberman is a tough race to get into. It's known for having a very scenic course and usually sells out in just a few days after opening for registration--in early January. I was on the waiting list and eventually got in.

I was able to find someone to carpool up with, a run/ski shop owner who's been doing ironman & triathlon since the early 80's. She's a pretty wild lady, so we had pretty cool conversation. We got rain the night before, and I had the best $6 all-you-can-eat pasta buffett in recent memory. I got to the hotel, got my race gear, and had a decent night of sleep.

The official water temperature was a cool 62F, but I found a pretty wide variety of temperature. There were bone chilling cold spots and a couple pretty temperate spots near the shore. It might be worth noting that the lake is pretty shallow in most places, and the places you might find yourself walking/ running have big rocks. Great to bash your toes on. At least they're smooth.

Swim: 20:27 (Not a full 1.5km) Whitecap waves almost as big as those at Waconia, but coming from a diagonal as opposed to head on. I took plenty of mouthfuls of water into the waves, and the swim back tossed me into the middle of the course. I later found out that a few of the top swimmers swam through the middle of the course on the wave-sheltered side of the boats on the course. Something to consider during the next wavy swim.

T1: 1:44 Smooth, no problems.

Bike: 21.4mph A course known for being hilly, we got a complement of wind in our face for what seemed like every direction. The inclines never semed to let up, but we did get to take one very long bomber of a downhill on both laps. Fun!!!! One section of the bike course had big bumps about every 20 feet, which made it really difficult to focus. Other than that, the road was very smoothe. Strangely enough, there was plenty of flats.

T2: 1:27 Slow dismount, I ran my bike down the wrong row, and since there was no spaces in between racks, I had to run all the way to the other end of transition and backtrack. Again, I struggled with my socks, and ran off. When I clipped my race number belt on, it fell off. I turned around to grab it, and the belt had pulled out of the clasp. So I tied it into a square knot.

Run: 7:14/mile The run was a 6 mile out&back half paved/half dirt, very little flat, but nothing too traumatic. I'm a little surprised by how quickly my legs are adapting to running after the bike--I was striding well within a quarter mile. Around mile 2, I was pretty sure an aid station was up ahead of me, so I had a gel, only to see spectators around the corner instead of a water, so I gagged for a half mile with goo in the back of my throat. A bottle of gatorade at the turn around was a little piece of heaven; I carried it for nearly a mile. About a 1.5 miles out, it started to get pretty painful, but strangely enough, I only saw my heart at 162. I picked up the pace despite feeling the ominous "wall" setting in. This was my best run pace ever.

Noteworthy Observation: For Olympic races, I generally keep a bottle of HEED, a bottle of concentrated Gatorade (from powder), and gels. I forgot to bring my powder along to the race, and there really wasn't an opportunity to get any gatorade, so I ended up just going with water on the bike. Along with my gels and a couple enduralytes, I raced pretty well going into the run. Who knows if I coulda went faster given my sweet, sweet gatorade.

Best story of the day: On the first lap of the bike, I was rounding the top of a hill to see one of the fast guys walking his bike. I asked him if he needed anything-- he was flatted, and had tubulars, so I really couldn't help him. That sucks-- but really, if you're gonna race, you ought to be able to handle a mechanical, no? Later on, I was about 3/4 through the run, I passed the guy going the other direction, and he was cheered me on and said something about relaxing my shoulders.

I thought, "surely he didn't walk his bike 15+miles....did someone help him?"

Apparently, some local guy was out for a leisurely bike ride, and the guy walking his bike talked him into swapping bikes. So he finished his bike leg on a mountain bike and clip-in sandals. What the local guy did with a tri bike+flat race wheels remains a mystery.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


I've not been updating since my home computer has decided it doesn't like accessing the internet anymore.

I have plenty of things to discuss, including the Tour de France, my recent race at Timberman, and a bike ride with the 2008 Canadian Olympic Triathlon team.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Worst day ever.

Yesterday I drove my car out of the underground garage to go to work. My car was not 50% onto the roadway when a car comes out of nowhere and swipes the bumper off my car, tearing the headlights off along with it.

The guy steps out, chewing tobacco, dirty, talking about how he doesn't have a job. But he was nice. I later on found out while swapping info that he was from Cedar, MN. WTF was he doing in Edina at 6:50am??

We called the cops and the officer that showed up didn't even write a report. I gave the other guy a ~6"x6" dent in his car, and scraped off some paint. You can hardly see it.

Anyways, I called progressive and they were super nice & helpful. I couldn't drive my car away because, well my bumper is lying on the ground. So I took J-Mo's car to work.

I get to work, do that, leave and meet the roommates in uptown for happy hour.

Then Dr.J called for the first time in quite a while, and I missed the call. Then I got back to my loaner car, and the battery was dead.

Thanks, Dean, for stopping by and jumping me.

On Monday, I told my dad over phone that I wanted to trade my car in.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008


I want to pull my hair out and fucking scream.


So I'm swimming at nokomis tuning up for this weekend, and I'm doing a run exit, and nearly trip myself on a buoy condoning off the shallow swim area. Hey--I was running into the sun...I could barely see anything. As I was running to the shore, I hear a little kid squealing and running. I stop, winded, and pull my goggles off to see that there's this little 5 year old kid looking at my saucer eyed.

Kid: Whooooa. Are you a lifeguard?
Me: Nope. Just swimming....
Kid: I see you're wearing a...a... shark costume.....
Me: It's a wetsuit.
Kid: *just stands there & stares*

Kid runs off.

Monday, July 7, 2008

John McCain gets OWNED.

Tim Russert might not have been as lukewarm as I thought he was. Kudos, sir.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cycling Heaven

So Dr. J has been completely unaccessible(due to work) for the last week -- I haven't even talked to her on the phone since Tuesday.

Not the worst thing, although this is the most time since we've been dating that we haven't talked.

With all this extra time -- I've been on my bike.

Wednesday: 29 hard miles with Gear. Great course & roads, but my friends on their TT bikes don't leave much of a draft.
Friday: 52 Miles on my Cervelo out to the West 'burbs. A few hard surges slipped in.
Saturday: 78 miles of masochistic bliss from Prescott to Stockholm & back.

South of Maiden Rock has some of the best roads I've ever biked on. It feels downhill in both directions, even if the wind is in your face.

And the view is spectacular.

On the way back, we had a tailwind. This intuitively is a good thing, but not when you consider that biking up a monster hill leaves you with no moving air to cool you off. My riding companion was continually turning around on the hills to get some wind in his face.

I became a sweat machine--I drank over 8 liters of gatorade & water during & immediately after the ride.

Today: 57 miles -- Sunday coffee ride + commuting to & from.

Hopefully I can rock out at my next tri this weekend.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Is this weird?

When I think of "America at Large"......I generally envision people that either are, or dress like rockabilly fans.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Waconia Tri '08 report

I woke up in the middle of the night before to the sound of thunderclaps and strong wind. I thought to myself, "Well, I might as well sleep in. The race will be cancelled."

But the weather subsided in the morning, and I headed out the door @ 5:55am. Only to find that my local caribou didn't open for another 5 minutes. "No worries, I know a caribou on the way. I'll stop there." That place didn't open until 6:30am, WTF? So I got coffee at a gas station.

By the time I was standing on the beach for the race meeting, the gloomy skies had cleared, but most conspicuously-- the wind was blowing @ 20mph out of the North, and the lake was whitecapped.

A time trial format was used this year, where everyone goes individually at 3 second intervals. Starting order was determined by age --old people first. This did stem congestion in the water to some extent, but that didn't change the fact that I was tossed around by head-on waves so high that I couldn't see the buoys.

Swim: 15:05, 1:43/min Let's just say I stayed "well hydrated" during the swim. This was the most difficult swim I've done, including the Minnetonka Tri a couple years ago(there were over 70 DNF's yesterday) Just waiting in line I watched alot of people turning around & walking out of the water. The race director had about 3 times as many boats as you usually see on a swim course.

I found it helpful to time sighting at the crests of big waves and breathe right after.

Once I made the turn, the waves were pushing you along, but I zig-zagged that half of the course since the sun blinded the swim exit.

I swam faster than everyone in my age group.

T1: 1:26 I need to figure out how to get that wetsuit off my legs faster.

Bike: 22.5mph avg. A crosswind for about 90% of the course, and about 4 miles of spinning out 53x11 with a tailwind. That was the best part of the race.

Perhaps worth noting is that since the time trial start had me as the 471st person on the course, I had lots of people to pass on the bike & run. I think having someone in my sights to pass all the time helped me focus on a hard effort.

Nearly killing myself last week at hill ride also may be culpable for a decent bike split.

T2: 1:36. I'm going to try running without socks for my next race.

Run: 29:04, 7:16/mile. This was the fastest I've ever ran. I did feel a little bonking going on about halfway up the last hill a mile or so out from the finish, but the long downhill helped me compose for the last bit to the finish.

Finish 1:51:06

Overall Place 62/431
Age Group 6/28

The worst part of the day was drinking crap coffee & a touch of sunburn. Damned Norwegian skin.