Getting Back On the Wagon...

>> Monday, May 31, 2010

This weekend, I didn't do any training and I ate like shit.

But I have a good reason. My sister-in-law Steph (who lived with Pharmie and I for 3 years) got married to Jon ("Borsch" in the blogging world) on Saturday!! My wedding present to them was taking all of their wedding photos. Here's a small sampling from their big day:












In the small Minnesotan town of Easton (population sub-300), you don't need to stop traffic on Main Street. You just start walking. There's no one around to hit you.




Coming down the aisle as man and wife!


Pharmie and I after the ceremony


Limo!




"Team Happy Pants" enjoying a swing made for someone much, much younger...


Congrats Steph and Jon!!

It's now less than 2 weeks before the Liberty Triathlon (I'm doing the Oly and Pharmie's doing the Half). Time to hit the training hard for another few days, and see what happens at the race! I'll be back tomorrow with my thoughts on my recent training and what I hope to do at Liberty.

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First Open Water Swim of 2010!!

>> Saturday, May 29, 2010

Last week, I FINALLY got the e-mail I was waiting for: Julia was ready to hit Square Lake for an open water swim!! Steve H had tested the water the week before, and it was in the lower 60s. When we got out there on Wednesday morning, the water temp had risen to 72 degrees! That’s GREAT swimming weather!

At the park, Julia remarked that her suit still tasted salty from her ocean swim at the Memorial Hermann Ironman 70.3 Texas a few weeks back:


If you’re asking “why,” you’re not the only one. ;)

Marit was in town, and she brought Vasoline. I THINK this was in case we needed to smear it on our face to keep us warm in cold water, but with her expression, one can never be sure:



Here’s the gang getting ready to hop in:


Steve T, Julia, Marit, Steve H, and Pharmie

(Steve T’s not getting changed because he had to defend his “polar bear” title from last year when he was the first one in our group to go wetsuit-free. So he just swam in his Speedo. His title’s safe for another year.)

The plan was to swim around the lake. We went buoy-to-buoy starting here and working counter-clockwise:



What a beautiful swim!! Pharmie kept telling us to go ahead without her (she’s not fast but she can go forever [*wink wink*]), so we kept an eye on her and swam on. We finished in about an hour. When we got done, I ran up to my camera to get a photo of Pharmie coming out of the water just behind us:



And then I got a photo of Steve H without any pants on:


You simply can NOT trust me with a camera. ;)

Thanks for the great swim everyone!

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Friday Funny 94: Technology-Related

>> Friday, May 28, 2010
























My favorite ones are the TV comic (funny cause it’s true) and the Mario one where “finding a mushroom” is getting ready to be published to his Facebook wall.

Happy Friday!

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Tuesday Night Time Trial

>> Thursday, May 27, 2010

Matt and I decided to do the local “TNT” on Tuesday night: the “Tuesday Night Time Trial.” We got out to Baker Park, and there was “bike porn” left and right:



I did some last-minute adjustments on my aero bars:



Matt and I warmed-up a bit together, and we watched the sky get darker to the south. I saw a big cloud-to-ground lightening strike off in the distance. We were afraid we’d get poured on!

We got back to the starting area, and started chatting with some people. I saw Jill for the 3rd event in a row (Oakdale Du, GW Du, and now TNT). I said hi to some of the usual crowd: Dan, Suzie, and Chris. Soon we were ready to go.


Lining up for the start


Matt being held just moments before his start


Grimicing to get up to speed. I LOVE his face!


Getting up to speed

The TNT is an 11 mile out-and-back time trial over rolling hills. Here’s a photo from last year (my first and only other TT) that shows the first big hill that we had to climb:


That’s actually Matt half-way up that hill to the right

Matt was off and rolling, and I had about 15 minutes before my start. I warmed up a little more and found my spot in line.

GOALS:

• Keep a low-profile and stay “aero.” Be efficient.

• I did NOT want to check my average mph until the turn-around. Just go HARD from the get-go. Go just by “perceived effort.”

• Last time I negative split the ride, and this year I did NOT want to do that. I wanted to go out harder and just do what I could on the way back.

• And finally, after my TT last year I said “I think I could have pushed a little harder in the middle of the ride, so I’ll try that next time.” (Actual quote from my write-up from last year's TT.) So I made sure to keep that in mind for this ride.

So I took off. I hit the first hill pretty hard. I wasn’t passed until about 7:30 into my ride, so that was better than last time! And it was about that time that I started to feel a few light drops. Oh yay. Nearing the turn-around, I was passed again. I felt like I was working hard. I didn’t know if I was faster or slower than last year, but I knew I was working!!

I hit the turn around in 14:10, and my computer read 23.0 mph. That’s faster than last year at this point!! I was on track with my goals. Good. But unfortunately, being “on track with my goals” didn’t take the pain away. ;)

Shortly after the turn-around, God opened up the sky on me. Thanks buddy. It poured relatively hard for a few minutes. I was having a hard time seeing through my visor. I lifted it up to see if I could see better, but the pelting rain made me quickly lower it back down again. It didn’t slow me down. The rain wasn’t an excuse. I just pushed through it as I was climbing a hill, and tried not to get too depressed at the 15.7 mph I was currently seeing on my computer.

It slowed to a drizzle, and then it poured again. It rained enough in those last few miles to soak my feet through-and-through. Nearing the finish, it let up and nearly stopped. I passed 1 guy (the guy who started just in front of me) as we crested that final hill. I booked it in to the finish where Matt was waiting with my camera:


A little wet and dark, with the biker I passed just behind me


Close-up

The dark clouds really made taking pictures tough, but I kinda like this one that Matt took as I crossed the line:



My aero helmet looks EXTRA long. Kinda like Hal’s helmet in that one episode of “Malcolm in the Middle” where he takes up speed walking. Anyone remember that one? That’s a classic!


Rolling through the finisher’s chute

I went “out” in 14:10, and made it “back” in 14:30, for a total of 28:41. That was better than I did last year!

I circled back around to Matt. He said, “Whoa, that’s quite the boob sweat you got goin on there,” and then snapped this photo:



We went back to guys at the finish and asked for our official results. They had Matt at 25.38 mph, and me at 24.27 mph. We were both TRILLED!! (Out bests last year were 23.44 for Matt and 22.54 for me.)

Matt was 32nd out of 80 overall, and I was 46th.

I wasn’t sure I believed my average speed. My results online were exactly 1:30 faster than what I had on my watch. I e-mail the TT director yesterday, and he got back to me saying there were some kinks in the timing from 3 “no-shows,” and that would equal 90 seconds. Everyone who raced might not be 90 seconds off, but Matt and I were after those 3 no-shows, so we’d both be 90 seconds slower than listed. So calculating my “new” results, I’m at 23.01 mph, and Matt would be at 24.00 mph. That’s STILL better than we both did last year. But there was something nice about thinking I had broken 24 mph....

Anyway, we both had a good workout, and were happy with how we had done. I snapped one last photo showing the dark sky as we were leaving the park:



Nice work Matt! Thanks for the workout and the photos! Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY yesterday! Hope it was fun! (Hope you remember some of it!)

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Part 2 of the Gear West Duathlon Report

>> Tuesday, May 25, 2010

(If you missed it, scroll down or click here to see Matt and I [Team Happy Pants] racing the Gear West Duathlon. This post picks up just after we finished.)

As I was catching my breath, and before I had my camera, I saw the top females finish. Cathy won again this year! Then Jenny came to the line (she won at the Oakdale Du 10 days ago). I got my camera in time to see Catherine finish in 3rd:



And I got to see Julie (who won at the Cannon Falls Du and who I passed just before the finish of that race) hold on to 4th place ahead of Marlo:



Look at that photo above and the next photo - I don’t think Julie actually runs. I think she just strikes sweet running poses for the camera:



Soon after that, I sprinted across the playground because I saw Pharmie go running out of T2. Here she is (in white) running past the water stop coming out of T2. She used the woman in pink as her “rabbit” and caught her before finishing:



Matt and I worked our way back down the course towards that little jerk of a hill about 300 meters before the finish. We were looking for Pharmie (my wife, his sister). Here’s a group of people who just crested that hill in the distance:



Soon, Pharmie came trudging up that hill:



She ran past and sprinted towards the finish:


Matt’s cheering on the far right, and that’s Chris Hawes running next to Matt

Pharmie put down a GREAT time, and hit the finish line HASHED!! She finished 7th out of 18 in her age group with her fastest average on the bike EVER! After she finished, we had a 5 minute conversation about the race while she was doing this:


I LOVE this photo!


Sister and brother


Pharmie and I. I love that this race has your name on your race number.
You can read “Team Happy Pants” on my bib!

Soon, we got to cheer one of Pharmie’s college roommates to the finish of her first duathlon! Here’s Jess just before climbing that hill:


Go Jess!


Hitting the finish line!

As people were packing all their stuff up, that car that was parked in the middle of transition was becoming a dumping ground for anyone’s unneeded race number stickers:



I went to go find Julia because I knew she was going to bring cupcakes from her sister (who has her own bakery):



But, she had JUST given the last of the box to Hannah to give out, and I missed out!! Apparently Hannah’s hubby (David Thompson - the guy who won this race) loves Aimee’s banana cupcakes. I would had totally eaten this one if DKT hadn’t:


Jerk. (Just kidding!)

We all stuck around for the awards and the drawings. There’s always a TON of great stuff given away (Zipp wheels, a QR bike frame, a wetsuit, a gear bag full of goodies, etc.) Here are the top 4 females all apparently checking out Cathy’s slightly-oversized-but-not-comically-huge paycheck:


Julie (4th), Catherine (3rd), Cathy (1st), and Jenny (2nd)

None of us won any of the sweet prizes, so we loaded up and headed home. I had to pee SOOOO bad by the time I got home, that I couldn’t make it into the house. I stopped and peed behind our bushes. And being I was still wearing my camera around my neck, I snapped a photo of the disaster once I got done:


That felt sooooooooo good!

Pharmie and I showered and hit the hay for an hour+ nap! And despite what Jenny Evans would like to believe, we had a hearty supper later that night:


I ate everything there but the asparagus.
I don’t like shit that messes with my piss.

(To read my Examiner article about the Gear West Duathlon and to see more photos, please click here.)

Thanks for reading, everyone!

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