Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Young Life Triathlon Report - Aug. 21, 2010

To my sponsors...
Everyone - Just wanted to give a quick report from the Young Life Sprint Triathlon this morning. This is an annual race held in Detroit Lakes, MN. There were 217 in the race this year so it wasn't a huge race, but...I'll take the results... Last year, I took an overall first place victory so, I was trying to repeat.

Had a good swim in my Xterra wetsuit and Predator Barracuda goggles. Chose the clear lenses as it was real foggy due to the high humidity. I was 4th out of the water and on to my Valdora PHX. I rode faster than I ever have in 17 yrs. of racing as far as mph go. My bike computer said I averaged 24.7mph. I had the fastest bike split on the day. I really felt like I was flying at times.

I had a quick T2 pulling on my newest sponsor's product - my Somnio racing flats - I now use Somnio Pacemakers for training and the new Hot Sauce flats for racing. They are custom fit for each athlete and even each foot. Check 'em out. It's like getting a bike fit, only for your feet. :)

Anyway, I had to hold off a fast 25 yr. old and a few others right behind him but by God's grace, I did and scored my 9th career overall first place victory. Pretty fun for a 53 yr. old!

I'm very thankful for your support, encouragement and great products and services this season. I plan on doing some road racing this fall to keep some race fitness...then the long NE winter.

Lord willing, I'm hoping to race at US Nationals next year for my "A" race, qualifying for the World Championships and Team USA in 2012, aging up and racing in the 55-59 age group. I love aging up!

Thank you so much for you help. I'm grateful to the Lord for all of you and grateful to Him for the strength He gives me. It's been an amazing season getting an overall win in a 5K and this tri, and getting top 6 overall in four other triathlons, winning my age group in every race I did this season, except for one, where I missed first in my age group by one second.



Thursday, August 12, 2010

Somnio Running Shoes - GREAT shoes

I want to recommend Somnio running shoes. Go go Somnio has a very unique appoach to shoe fitting. They actually fit the shoes to you, as the shoes have dozens and dozens of various combinations of compenents. They can "dial in" the shoe to meet your needs and fix your foot, leg and biomechanical issues. I'm loving mine that's for sure. Find a Somnio shoe fitter close to you on their web site and try some on!

Somnio's mission: "Our missions is to keep ruuners healthy and on the road so that they may realize their goals. We aren't selling shoes, we're solving problems. This is our dream at Somnio, and we hoep that you will join us."

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Omaha Triathlon - Aug. 1, 2010 - report

Omaha has a few small triathlons but this was the first ever Olympic, large scale, USAT sanctioned race in Omaha with a major race management company putting it on. 700+ signed up for the race, most individual triathletes but some doing the relay and some the aqua-bike race plus a kids race.

I had been nursing a bad hamstring/adductor for two weeks since straining it at the Okoboji tri, so I had no idea how it would hold up. Dr. Faye Jones of Blair Chiropractic did some great ART work on it which was very helpful!

The race start was delayed 30 min. as we waited for the EMT guys to get there. We knew it was going to be very hot and humid so we weren't excited about having to wait... There were about 450+ who raced in the individual category. I wanted to swim in the 25s and came out at 25:51 thankful for my XTERRA skinsuit in the no wetsuit swim and my Barracuda goggles as we swam directly into the sun for 1/2 the swim.

Quick T1 and then I flew over the very difficult 40K+ bike route. Some have said this is the hardest tri course in all of NE and IA. I couldn't believe how good I felt. I had my Hammer Nutrition dialed in perfectly. My Valdora PHX bike was amazing - so fast, light and responsive! Love the cool deep-rim wheels too.

The run was tough as the course is super hilly and it was getting hot out there. I stayed steady the whole run and when a bit of cramping came on, I popped some extra Hammer Electrolyte caps and I finished strong. My time wasn't close to my Olympic PR but considering the hilly bike course that was longer than 40K, the very hilly run course and the heat and humidity, I was very pleased.

Out of about 420 individual finishers, I got 11th overall and first in the 50-54 age group. Take out the Elites and I was 5th. I beat some guys I've never beaten before or hardly ever beat. I actually beat 4 Elites. It was a blessed day for sure. I carried a copy (which got destroyed during the race) of Psalms 91 in the back pocket of my tri top. Someone had sent it to me that week in an email so I printed it out and took it with me. Great encouragement in that chapter - it applies well to triathlons!

Thanks to you all for your encouragement, support and great companies and products. I appreciate you all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Okoboji Triathlon Report

Hey Everyone - Last Saturday, July 17th I did the University of Okoboji Triathlon in Okoboji / Spirit Lake, IA. There were 360 starters and 330 finishers who headed out into the 93% humidity. Lake swim of 1000 yds., 18 mile bike and 5.5 mile run. Interesting distances I know... I was fueled up on my Hammer products and had what I needed for the bike/run ready to consume!

I had a strong swim in my Xterra skinsuit and Barracuda goggles. Came out of the water in 19th place with a PR swim of 15 min. Beat several who were ahead of me out of T-1 and then started picking off others during the bike leg on my speedy Valdora PHX with my Valdora deep rim wheels. Pretty technical course through a lot of residential areas. In and out of sunshine and shade so I pulled my Zeal Optics "Lift" sunglasses on and off as needed because the shaded areas were really dark. Only one highway that I could really open up on. Not a hilly course but several rollers and lots of turns. Came off the bike and into T-2 in 6th overall and took off on the run, strapping on my Nathan race belt and Sidekick which held my nutrition.

Ran alone in 6th the entire run which had tons of turns and rollers. With a 1/2 mile to go my hamstring started to tighten up badly for some reason - probably pressing too hard - so I emptied a Hammer Endurolyte under my tongue and washed it down. It was very hot and humid that morning. I finished running but not at full speed. I was thankful for holding on to 6th overall and 1st in the 50-59 age group. I was also blessed to have grabbed the 2nd fastest bike split of the day.

The 5 guys who beat me were between 17-36 years younger than me. It's tough chasing fast young kids, some of them younger than my kids. Anyway, I was thankful for what was, up til the last 1/2 mile, one of my best races ever I think. I had no energy let downs at all and felt strong and fast - thank you Lord!!!


Monday, June 14, 2010

Hy-Vee Triathlon, June 13, 2010 - Report

Race officials decided to cut the Olympic distance Hy-Vee Tri down to a sprint to try and get it started and finished before a very bad storm hit the West Des Moines, IA area, and, they just barely did it. 2,000 athletes got in and out of the water - 600 yd. swim - and on to the course before it cut loose. I had just crossed the finish line when the heavens opened up - thunder, lightening, pouring rain, cold, mud, etc. made it miserable.

They said the swim was 400 yds. so I skipped the wetsuit. Probably would have used it if I knew it was more like 600+. The transition area was a mud pit. Black mud/goo squished between my toes running in and out of T1 and T2. I had a pan of water for T2 ready to rinse my feet off before throwing on my shoes. Averaged 6:23 miles I think for the run. I ended up getting 2nd in my age group out of 57 finishers, missing 1st place by 2 SECONDS - ouch! That hurt. But, I was/am very thankful to the Lord for a clean race and a good result.

Still dealing with a bruised heel which hurt on the run but not too badly. I've been restricted to grass running only or deep water running because of the bruise. Pretty sore today - day after. We had an FCA-Endurance / Step Up To Life booth at the two-day expo and had great opportunities to talk to a lot of folks and give out a bunch of literature.

So...I've thought of about 10 different ways I could have gone 3 seconds faster and won my age group, but, at least I made the podium. Last year I missed it by 13 seconds, dealing with a bone problem in my foot. Always something it seems to keep me trusting the Lord, which, is a good thing!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

USAT Holiday Lake Triathlon - Brooklyn, IA - Racing For Money!

I did this race last year, the first year it was held. Got 4th overall and of course, they paid cash to...the top three. $250, $125 and $75. So, I had a goal of getting a bit of cash if possible, depending on who showed up, which is often what race finishes come down to.

My Dad drove out with me the three hours into Iowa Sat. afternoon May 15. We checked into the motel, drove out to the lake, checked in and scoped out the course. Having raced this course last year I knew it had the hardest 5K run course I'd ever seen in 30+ years of racing. My Dad couldn't believe it as we drove up one steep hill and down the other side, one after another - relentless.

Bite of dinner, then back to the motel...only to discover...I'd left my tri bag with all my my garage at home. 7:45pm. Ouch. Called my wife and asked her to start driving east on I-80 across Iowa and told her I'd drive west. So, after driving 3.5 hours so far, I drove another hour and 45 min. to meet Jen, get the bag, then 1:45 back arriving at the motel at 11:15pm. NOT the way I'd planned to spend the evening.

Race morning was cloudy with a little drizzle that stopped well before the race. We held a short pre-race chapel for those who wanted a bit of encouragement and inspiration before jumping into the water. The race director was support of this and even attended. The men all went into the water in one heat. Water was about 60 but it didn't feel that bad. Settled into a steady but strong stroke and exited the water 5th. Headed out onto the bike in 4th, slowly moved to 3rd and played leapfrog with one other guy for 2nd and 3rd almost the whole bike. Windy and hilly out there. Was in 3rd, close to 2nd, but with about a mile to go the cyclist ahead of me pulled away and hit T2 about 30 second ahead of me.

Quick trasition and started chasing that guy up the first hill which you hit immediately out of T2. Not wanting to pull a calf or something I chugged up the hill and let him open up a 20 yd. lead or so. At the top of the first hill is the only flat part of the entire run course. I notice the 2nd place guy had a very smooth stride with a beautiful, high back kick - looked like an 800m runner. I really thought he'd just pull away but I started to open up and just tried to keep the distance what it was.

I was surprised to find that I was slowly reeling him in and when we hit the 1/2 way turn around I was right behind him. We were running all out and on that course, man, it hurt. My heel bruise was also starting to hurt a lot. Made the mistake of running in racing flats instead of trainers which would have offered much more protection for my heel. The downhills were murder on it.

I took the lead with about 3/4 of a mile to go - 2nd place - $125 was mine if I could hold it. The first place guy was about a minute ahead of us. With about 400m to go my opponent came around me and blew the doors off me - like I was standing still. He took second, I got third and the $75, which paid for the gas I burned on this trip. Found out later he ran track in college and was the Conference champ in the 5,000m all four years. No wonder he had a kick. He was 8 yrs. younger and the winner was 13 yrs. younger than me.

I was thankful to the Lord for getting third, having a good trip with my dad and having my gas paid for :) This will probably be an annual race for me as it's a lot of fun, is run really well...and it offers money!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Race Report - 6th Overall In The Scenic City Tri - Chattanooga, TN

Hey Everyone - after a week of no workouts due to travel from Omaha to Chattanooga and helping my mother-in-law for 3.5 days, eating way too much fast food, and, nursing a heel bruise - I had been limping around all week...well, my expectations for the USAT Scenic City Tri just north of Chatt. were not high. I felt flat, slow and pudgy. Horrible storms last Saturday gave way to a beautiful Sunday morning though, perfect for racing.

I went out in the second wave - 40 and older males, and had an decent swim in my Barracuda goggles and very fast Xterra Vector Pro wetsuit. Was well fueled with my Hammer Nutrition products. Felt just a bit rusty even though it had only been a week since working out. Tried to hammer the very hilly bike course on my Valdora PHX yet still have something left for the run. I came off the bike and headed out on the run not knowing if the heel bruise would let me run even 1/2 a mile. It hurt but was not debilitating. Right away someone tried to pass me and was flying, so I thought I'd run just off his shoulder for as long as I could. We must have gone through the first mile in 5: something. I finally pulled away from him and held him off on the hilly run course.

After the race, chip timing said I'd finished 4th overall, first Master over 40. So, I took that award home. Now they have another set of results posted and it shows me 6th. The guy who won is listed as 2nd. Not sure what's up with that... However, I was thrilled to learn I had the 2nd fastest run split of the day. The 5 guys (or 3???) who beat me were between 12 years and 35 years younger than me. It was truly a blessed morning and I'm very thankful to the Lord for that and give Him the glory.

Also, I'm super thankful for you all, your companies, products and services and the help you have given and are giving me with my training and racing. So far this year I've got a 5th Overall and a 6th (or 4th?) Overall in two triathlons, both age group wins, and one 1st Overall in a 5K. Next race, the USAT sanctioned Holiday Lake Triathlon in Iowa in 3 weeks.

5K Road Race - first RR in 10+ years

On Saturday morning, April 17th I did something I hadn't done in more than a decade. I did a road race. I used to do these all the time in the 80s and 90s but it's been just triathlons the last 10+ years. There were two other races in town that day so I didn't know what the competition would be like. Thought it might be a bit thin...

200 total were signed up for 5K and also a one mile walk. I would guess there were 120 in the 5K. The course was out and back starting/finishing at the Alegent Health Care place one mile from my house - basically into and out of a subdivision. The first 3/4s of the first mile was downhill with the wind. Four of us formed a pack leading the way. We went through the first mile in the high 5:00s I would guess - probably 5:50 or something like that. I was surprised at how comfortable I felt. At the turn around it was down to one kid in his 20s and me. I opened up a 20 yd. lead on him by the bottom of the climb back up to the start.

I had two chances to look back at right-hand turns to see if was closing on me. I leaned forward, shortened my stride, "chugged" with my arms and tried to power up that long hill. Once at the top I had about 300 yds. to the finish and I saw that I'd opened up about 50 yds. on him so I backed off and cruised in. I won by 30 seconds in 19:30. That time will not win many 5Ks that's for sure, but I was happy with it in that I'd done no speed work at all except for one sprint tri a few weeks before and hadn't done a road race in years. I think the fact that there were 3 races in town on the same morning spread out a lot of competition because again, 19:30 will not usually win 5Ks.

Only bad thing was I came away with what I think is heel bruise and it's hurt now for two weeks so I'm only doing deep water running right now. Several member of my family came to watch the start and finish of this race and drove to the 1/2 way point to cheer for me which was great. Getting a win with them there was extra special and I was very thankful to the Lord for it.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Lake Havasu (AZ) Triathlon - First Race of the Year

Got the 2010 season off to a pretty good start at the Lake Havasu Sprint Triathlon, in Lake Havasu City, AZ last Saturday. Drove out from Phoenix with my good friend and fellow Valdora rider, Randy Kastler. Got checked in, registered and had dinner with two great couples, the Johns and Gibsons from Phx. Hit the sack before 9pm and the alarm went off at at 5am.

Started the morning by using The Stick lightly on all my leg muscles for some muscle activation and blood flow...felt great. Set up my transition area and warmed up with a short jog. Put on my brand new Xterra Vector Pro wetsuit. Fit like a glove! Grabbed my Barracuda swim cap and (Predator) goggles and headed for the water. Left my Valdora bike (thanks Pete and Kendra for letting me borrow one so I didn't have to fly mine down from Omaha) ready to roll in transition. I'd fueled up on my Hammer Nutrition products and felt great.

The water was pretty cold but the 500 yd. swim went really well. The wetsuit felt fantastic! I was in the top 5 out of the water and started rolling on the bike sporting my Zeal Optic sunglasses that are super clear and light. Only one guy passed me during the bike - another Hammer athlete, Bruce Balch who took 2nd overall and is a crazy fast cyclist. Hit T2, grabbed my Nathan race belt, threw on my new Avia Bolt racing flats and took off. The shoes felt amazingly light, comfortable and fast.

I hadn't gone fast/raced in 6 months since Worlds last September. Most all my training as been base work, inside, during the worst winter in Nebraska in 40 years. So, I just tried to settle in and have a solid run. Had a calf issue early in the run and started praying really hard. I had to slow down to a jog til it loosened up which it did about 3/4s of a mile later costing me at least a minute. Ended up taking 5th Overall out of about 300 on the starting list, and 1st in the 50-54 Age Group. Drank my Recoverite, used The Stick again on my legs and sat down in the warm AZ sun to drink in some Vitamin D.

I could tell I wasn't in prime race shape yet, but Havasu is always a great early season race to see where I am and where my fitness level is. Definitely carrying around a few extra pounds of winter fat which didn't help. I was happy with the results though. I thanked the Lord a ton for helping my leg to loosen up and get through the race, finishing strong!

Afterwards, as I reflected a bit, I wondered why I don't pray as hard when life hurts as I did when my calf hurt. I mean, I started begging God to help me and touch my leg when I felt it going. Often when I get that leg pain, I'm finished running for 2-3 weeks as the pain is debilitating. However, this time, the pain slowly went away. Lesson learned - lean on God and cry out to Him when the pain that life sometimes brings, hits hard.

Next race - Scenic City Tri in Chattanooga late April when we're on vacation. Gotta drop some lbs. and extend the swim and bike training in the next month...

Friday, February 26, 2010

Best Tri / Endurance Racing Products...

I've been running long distances for 30 years and racing triathlons for 16. I've tried tons of different products over the years made for every aspect of endurance training and racing. Here are a few that have totally won me over. I think these companies and their products are the best out there.

NUTRITION - Hammer Nutrition - I've been using Hammer products for well over 10 years, learning more about their products and using more of them each year. I not only use their fueling and recovery products for training and racing but also their vitamins and supplements which are fabulous. They also make excellent casual, training and racing clothing that are super comfortable and very reasonably priced. The customer support is second to none. Best staff around!

EYEWEAR - Zeal Optics - I've been wearing Zeals for 3 years now and really like many things about these sunglasses. They are cutting edge in looks, yet very functional, serving well the purpose that each model is created for. For casual wear or for training and racing, they fit great and provide a clear, clean view. The models I race in are so light I don't even know I'm wearing them.

BIKE - Valdora Bicycles - I've been on a Valdora for five years now and could not be happier. My Valdora PHX is a full-carbon bike that is super stiff and responsive yet very comfortable and light. The full carbon weave is eye catching and makes for a sweet looking ride. The staff in Phoenix is very helpful and supportive!

SWIMWEAR/GOGGLES - Barracuda - This company's swim gear is the best! I love their wide selection of goggles and partiually the Predator which is perfect for triathlons. They also have great swimwear, apparel, accessories, fins, hand paddles, etc. Their prices are excellent as well.

HYDRATION - Nathan Hydration Systems - Nathan has a huge selection of hydration products, many of which have keep me hydrated during long workouts and races too. They offer belts, hand bottles, backpacks, and a great tri gear/transition bag along with tons of other products are available, all of them make with the the athletes needs in mind. I love their stuff and use it all the time!

WETSUIT - Xterra Wetsuits - Xterra makes a fantastic line of wetsuits from the $99 entry level Volt, to the top of the line Vendetta - Xterra has it all. The wetsuits are super flexible in the arms and shoulders but provide extra thickness from neck to toes along the front of the body where it's needed. I love my Vector Pro 2X fullsuit. It's comfortable and very fast! They also provide some great tips on swiming on their brand new website.

THERAPY - The Stick - I'm a bit new to The Stick but have used it some and was so impressed I contacted them for sponsorship and am expecting to get my sticks tomorrow in the mail. The little that I've used them I discovered that working The Stick over my muscles felt great, caused blood flow to increase, breaking up adhesions and speeding the recovery process. The Stick comes in a variety of lengths and levels of stiffness and is recommended by people like Phil Jackson, coach of the L.A. Lakers. Check it out -

There you go. My favorite companies and products. They all rock! They all have been proven over time to be the best! Give them a try and you won't be disappointed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Winter Tri Training - 2010 Tri Season...

OK, so, it's been a brutal winter here in Nebraska. Approaching 3 months with snow on the ground and way below normal temps. Wind chill right now, at 5:30pm is 7 and the yearly average high for Feb. 22 is 41. Ouch. Training has been consistent but all indoors. I've become a whimp and now run on my treadmill all the times vs. going outside like I did from 1982 til 2000 before we moved to Phx. Run an hour and lower body resistance/weight work one day, swim and upper body resistance/weights the next, then bike an hour on the rollers and core work the third day, then, repeat...all winter...

I do have my first race of the year in four weeks at Lake Havasu, AZ. I've done the sprint race there five years in a row with my AZ buddy Randy Kastler. I've got a first, second, third, fifth and six (not in that order)at this race. Then, while we're in Tenn. in April I'll do the Scenic City Tri there at the end of April. One race in May in Iowa, then we hit a nice summer race schedule. I'll throw in a couple of running only races and maybe a cycling time'll be a fun season.

I really got spoiled in Arizona where the tri season is 11 months long. No such thing in the midwest. Long off-season where an athlete can put on a quick extra 10 lbs. and then work like crazy to try to get that off in time for the season - not easy at 53 yrs. another 6-7 to go. Why is food better when it's cold out? Just is.

Need to ramp up the swimming now and start adding some speed word to the run training and go a little longer on the bike. I'll be in Alaska for the Iditarod dog sled race for 6 days in early March (not competing - smile) and will most likely only get in a run or two during that week, but that's OK.

Picked up a new sponsor - The Stick. Check it out at It's a great total body therapy tool for both maintenance and injury treatment. Hope I only have to use it for the first one of those two.

Next post will probably be a Lake Havasu Tri race report. It's an early season race and a great opportunity to measure one's fitness.

God bless!