2014 Grandma’s Recap

Video

Here’s my video recap:


Training

Savage was 5 weeks before, so I was worried my muscle endurance and recovery wasn’t going to be there, here’s what I did:

  • Week 1 – Rested – I went for an easy 5 miles on Friday of that week and did one 20 minute yoga routine.
  • Week 2 – Mostly easy at or below MAF (heart rate of 135 – 145)
    • Tuesday – MAF test (after warmup, 5 miles at heart rate of 145 on a flat known course) – I was 17 seconds per mile off my test from March 20 (this indicates that I wasn’t fully recovered from Savage)
    • Friday – I did a 20 miler with 7 miles at 7:00 minute miles, then recovered for one mile, then I attempted another 7, but only got 5.5 at 7 minute miles, some yoga too.
  • Week 3 – Easy and less mileage than week 2, with a 20 miler on Wednesday with 8 miles at 6:58, the one recover mile, then 8 at 6:59 (this was the same as I did last year, but this year I had 2 more days to recover until race day), also biked and did yoga.
  • Week 4 – Easy and less mileage than week 3, with a MAF test – which I was down to 1 second per mile slower than my previous best, also biked and did yoga.
  • Week 5 – Super low mileage and easy, except, one progression run of 6 miles (7:11, 6:42, 6:39, 6:31, 6:25, 7:08)

Things I don’t want to forget about the race

  • It was fun to see the family early – at mile 4.
  • Erika beat me in our “Who Can Run a Shorter Marathon Contest” – my Garmin said 26.35, her’s said 26.33 – 0.02 miles – I was really trying to run the tangents.
  • In fact, that got me talking to a guy in the middle of the road that was on the same line as me.  Nobody else was within 30 feet of us, but we were right next to each other.  It was a bit awkward, but I explained and told him he was running the perfect line for that section and I was trying to do the same.  We ran together for at least 2 miles.  He was a really nice guy, Erik Kaitala, and said congrats after the race.  I looked him up and he has run Western States – I would have loved to hear that story.
  • It was really fun seeing the family back at the old mile 19 spot!
  • At about mile 25, I saw the guy who I followed for about 10 miles last year, he looks like the guy who runs in the pink tutu, but he’s not.  I said hi and told him I recognized the back of his feet.  He said it was too bad Harvey wasn’t there to pace this year.
  • Sav holding the signs of Jen, JD and Erika was awesome.
  • JD being there was awesome to have a new friend fired up about running.
  • For the first 8 miles or so a dude was running on the white line or even on into the shoulder as far as he could – making people get out of his way and step back.  I couldn’t get to a spot to tell him to pull his head out.  I found a picture with him in it and looked up his results – he faded bad and finished at like 4:30 or something – servers him right.
  • Seeing Erika come by on her way to a PR.

Check out the cardiac drift:

image

Pace stayed fairly even:

image

Photos

2014-06-17 10.08.24Fam_mile25Grandma's 2014 014Grandma's 2014 005Fam_EHive5

Garmin Data

Long Runs & Beer Drinking

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The following was written by a guest blogger – J.D. Anderson – he is running his first Half Marathon at Grandmas and tweeted these out a couple of weeks ago.

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Today it dawned on me how much long runs & beer-drinking are alike. image

After 3 miles/beers I start thinking that I should go home and sleep…

…but then a good song comes on after 4 and I’m re-energized. 

After 6 I feel like dancing in the street….alone…

…after 7 I’m high-fiving random people that happen to be near me….

After 9 I become emotional for realizing that even though I tell my family I love them I really should make a point to SHOW them more…

…after 11 I’m sort of staggering down my street, trying to convince myself and my neighbors that everything is fine….

….and after 12 I’m lying in my yard with the sprinklers going off all around me….telling myself that I shouldn’t do this again….

….but knowing that after a greasy breakfast and day of recovery I’ll be back after it….

2014 Savage 100 Race Report

Here’s my video recap of the race…

Here’s a video Erika took 60 miles into it..

Training

  • Snowmobile trails were my main trails before the snow melted.  Horse trails once it dried up.UConn FASTER Study
  • I did lots of back to backs i.e. 20 one day, 30 the next day.  I also ran twice a day a few times.
  • 38 miles was the longest training run – 7 hours long
  • I had to get lots of calories for the long ones – I ate everything from cookies and Mt Dew to my homemade rice bars to PB + Js
  • My training runs were pretty amazing
    • I got up a 3 AM quite a few times early in the year and ran on the treadmill – kind of fun, but burnt out after a few weeks of doing that.
    • I saw a car accident – it was scary, I may have been the distraction that caused the driver to pull out in front of another car.  Nobody was hurt!
    • On a run, in Elm Creek, I ran past a guy and complimented his beard, he told me he hadn’t shaved since 1971!
    • I was part of two different studies (about 10 hours on the treadmill between the two of them), one at the U of M and one at UConn.
    • I was walking on top of the ice, crossing a stream at about 28 miles into a long run.  I broke through and ended up in water over my ankles.  At first I moved quickly to get out, but then I stopped and rested for a good minute – it was awesome!
  • Some of the recovery tricks I learned
    • Often, I would get in the “Legs up the Wall” yoga pose and read at night
    • I soaked my feet in Epsom Salt a lot (I did not chant or take a bite dip)
    • Trigger point therapy with a lacrosse ball – rolling a ball on my calves or shins does wonders.
    • Low carbs after long runs or hard runs to avoid swelling
    • I reaffirmed my love for Lentils and Spinach with rice and an avocado on top – eating this meal is like the fountain of youth fuel for me.

Things about the race I don’t want to forget

  • The support from my crew of Madonna, Jeannie and Erika – I didn’t run a mile alone after 50 miles.
  • The volunteers at the race – they were great helping everybody and made it really fun.
  • The start, so much fun – just running easy with a bunch of people who have really big plans for the day!
    • 2 dudes took off, they were at mile 11 when we were at mile 10
    • I took off out of the first aid station alone in the dark, it was fun, but more fun with others.
    • Me, Ryan and Greg ran about 8 miles together in 3rd – 5th place – I didn’t get their last names but a Ryan won it and Greg finished as well (we were all rookies)
  • I got to the start/finish after 33.33 miles and went to my bag, I looked up and Granny was there!  I thought he was coming down, but I didn’t think he’d be there.
  • I had some mini bad stretches, i.e. – once on the 7.5 mile stretch (I think with Erika) I ran out of water and Gatorade, but after some food and liquids, I bounced back.
  • I really have no idea what time things happened, i.e. Erika and I were talking about a dude who ran past us saying how he loved that it had cooled off – I thought it was about 10, nope like 2 AM or so.
  • Hanging around with John…Everybody knows John….for a couple of loops we’d pass him, the he’d pass us, crackin’ jokes, etc
    • I believe him passing us caused Madonna running me into manure
  • Almost every aid station would cheer as a runner would come in.  Somebody would usually ask to fill water bottles, get me food, etc. 
    • Whenever someone would ask if they could do anything for me, I’d ask them to update my Facebook status.  The only way I could get them to say OK was to say “The volunteers rule!”
    • I switched it up and asked them to tweet or update my LinkedIn status. 
    • I asked one to wish Marti a happy birthday on Facebook.
    • This amused me for a couple of hours.
  • The weather was awesome….here are the numbers.

Recovery

  • Erika did get me a piece of pizza.
  • My feet were the most beat up part of me
    • I had some blisters on the balls of both feet.
    • Immediately after I sat down my feet swelled big time, especially my left foot.
    • They hurt for a few days – maybe Hokas next time?
    • I started with about 7 toenails and didn’t have any issues there.
  • My quads hurt like my first marathon, but were pretty good two days later.
  • It took my 3.5 days before I said I’d consider doing another.
  • I did yoga on Thursday night (5/22/14) and ran an easy 5 miles on Friday (5/23)
  • I still haven’t slept normal

Photos

Andy 100, Kyla's Day 002

Jake and Kyla at 50 miles

70 miles

2014 finish

That hand is for Jeannie.

Garmin Data

My watch advertised that it would last 20 hours…it made it 18 minutes and 13 seconds longer than advertised.

My Ultra-Beard

I started to grow a beard last October 1st.  I wanted to have it for a trail run on 10/26/13, so I figured with almost four weeks of growth, it would be a decent full beard by the 26th.  What happened next surprised even me.  My beard loved running for a long distance on the trails.  We, My beard and I, started looking around for other trail races and I started reading up on ultra marathons.  One of the things I read was to question weather you want to be hanging out with people who have large beards – I did.  The next thing I knew it was Thanksgiving and I hadn’t trimmed my beard yet and we were running a lot.  Then it was Christmas and we went to Colorado – a perfect mountain man beard.  We continued running a lot.  I found a race in May – maybe we could make it to that race, then I would shave it.

We didn’t make it.  I came across an opportunity to be in the F.A.S.T.E.R. study at the University of Connecticut.  A study comparing high fat vs high carb runners..I’ll have a full post about that soon, but it was something I really wanted to do!  The one issues was I had to trim the beard because I would be doing some running with a mask on.  That was my conundrum….

I decided I was going all in, if I didn’t have a huge beard, I was going to be clean shaven, so my beard and I separated…Basically I looked like a jackass for a couple of of months for no good reason. 

Here’s my tribute to my beard:

Here’s a recap of a few funny things that happened in the 192 days we had together as I lived looking like an Arizona homeless person.

Favorite quote

My favorite quote about my beard came from my sister around Christmas time, she asked, "Is this the look you’re going with?  After all the looks you’ve had, you’re going to go with that?  Or is this just some running thing?"

Comparisons

I was told I look like a few different people – they include:

  • Brett Favre
  • Opie from Sons of Anarchy
  • Captain Spalding
  • Smith Brother’s Cough drop guys – *most obscure
  • An Arizona homeless person – tanned and old – *favorite
  • Santa
  • One day at work I was told I look “Jesus-ee”

Brett Farve 2014 Opie from SOA CaptainSpalding The Smith Brother's Arizona homeless Santa Claus

The most popular comparison was Duck Dynasty or one of the Robertsons

Duck Dynasty

The one I was really going for was Forest, which I got a few times, but not as much as Duck Dynasty.

forrest-running

Brush with Fame

Rob Krar is a fast ultra runner who has a beard.  His beard has a twitter account, so I tweeted it about my beard messing up a VO2 max test

Rob Krar’s beard responded with an excellent response:

Facebook Comments

I put the picture below on facebook and excluding my mother disowning me, here is a sampling of comments:

  • WOW! That is one heck of a beard!
  • That. Is. Awesome!
  • I am frightened and awed, and I am not sure in what order.

2014-03-24 09.52.35

It’s for Science

Last January I received the “January 2014 Mile marker”, an email put out by the Twin Cities Marathon group.  In it, I saw the following blurb:

A Researcher Wants You!

Patrick Wilson, a graduate student in the School of Kinesiology at the University of Minnesota, is looking for participants for a research study. This study will compare the effects of two carbohydrate beverages on metabolism and performance during long-distance running. If you take part in this study, you would complete two, 2.5-hour running tests on a treadmill while consuming one of the beverages each time. Respiratory gases, perceived exertion, blood lactate, heart rate, gastrointestinal distress, and biomechanical data will be measured during the tests. Each testing session will involve approximately three hours of lab time, for which you would be compensated $100 upon the completion of the study. You will also receive free VO2max and body composition testing.

To take part in this study, you must be aged 18-50, have completed at least one marathon in the past year with a time of 3:30 or better for men and 3:45 or better for women, have run 30 or more miles per week over the past three months, and have done one or more 20-mile runs per month over the last two months. If you are interested in participating or have any questions about the study, please email Patrick Wilson….

I thought that would be cool to do, so I offered by services.  Here’s the description of the study:

Study Purpose

You have been asked to take part in a study that aims to determine whether metabolism and performance differences exist between two carbohydrate beverages consumed during endurance running. Sport organizations recommend that carbohydrate be consumed for events lasting longer than 60-90 minutes. However, much remains to be known about the optimal composition of carbohydrate supplements. Therefore, the study will supplement runners with two carbohydrate beverages with different compositions during two submaximal 120-minute runs on a motorized treadmill. During the runs, expired gases, heart rate, psychological feelings, bllod lactate, beverage palability, and stomach distress will be measured. After each submaximal run, you will complete a 4-mile run as fast as possible to test performance. The beverage ingredients include maltodextrin (glucose), fructose, sodium chloride, lime juice, lemon juice, and aspartame (artificial sweetener).

The Process:

The first meeting, we:This is what the water weight test felt like!

  • Went over all the paper work and the purpose of the study.
  • Got my underwater weight to determine my body fat %
  • Did a VO2Max Test on the treadmill – about a 2 mile run on the treadmill as the speed goes up, then the incline goes up.
Test #1

To prep for this, I did the following:

  • Five days before I started logging all my workouts.
  • Two days before I started logging all the foods I ate
  • The night before I ate the meal provided, which consisted of a cup of rice, two bags of pretzels, a clif bar, apple juice and gatorade
  • The morning of I ate the breakfast provided, which consisted of apple juice, a clif bar and two packets of oatmeal – NO COFFEE!
  • Right before the run I was weighed with a dry set of clothes

Then run on the treadmill for two hours at a set speed, 7.7 mph at 0 degrees (this was based off a percentage of my marathon time).

Patrick provided me with a drink (unknown to both of us at the time which drink it was – I later found out it was the glucose+fructose mix) at set intervals and he did some testing which included:

  • High speed video of my feet running
  • Measuring the gases I was breathing out via a big tube I’d put in my mouth
  • Drawing blood samples
  • Asking me questions on how I was feeling

Finally after that, I got to control the speed and run four miles as fast as I could, but the time was covered up, so I didn’t know what my time was.

Afterward, I put on the same set of dry clothes and got re-wieghed.  I lost 6.2 pounds.

This was the logo on the wall I stared at on the treadmill.

Test #2 – Two weeks after Test #1

To prep for this, I did the following:

  • Five days before I did all the same workouts I did before test #1 (or at least as close to it as I could)
  • Two days before start eating the same foods I ate before test #1
  • The night before I ate the same meal provided – a cup of rice, two bags of pretzels, a clif bar, apple juice and gatorade
  • The morning of I ate the breakfast provided- apple juice, a clif bar and two packets of oatmeal  - NO COFFEE!
  • Right before the run I was weighed with a dry set of clothes

Then, again, run on the treadmill for two hours at a set speed, 7.7 mph at 0 degrees (this was based off a percentage of my marathon time).

Patrick provided me with a drink (the other mix this time) at the same set intervals.  He also did the same testing as test #1

After the two hours, again, I got to control the speed and run four miles as fast as I could without knowing the time.

Finally I was weighed with my same set of dry clothes.  This time I lost like 5.3 pounds.

Conclusions:
  • I was impressed with Patrick’s process and how everything was the same for the two tests.
  • There were 19 other people in the study, who volunteered to run on a treadmill for over 5 hours
  • I haven’t heard any official word from the study’s findings.  I will update this post when I do.
  • My time was 9 seconds faster for the four miles on the test #2.
  • I had to use the bathroom after about an hour into test #2
  • My legs felt dead during test #2.
  • I was a bit unaggressive with the start of the four miles both times.  I got at least 2.5 miles in before I really started huffin’ and puffin’.
  • My theory is that I absorbed the carbohydrate and water in test #1 better, which is why my legs felt better and why I didn’t have to use the bathroom in test #1.
  • The nine seconds faster on test #2 was because I was more aggressive, I had never practiced running two hours, then running four miles as fast as I could.
  • I bought a running Camelbak Ultra LR Vest with the money I got from doing this, so now I can run extra long!
This is where it all took place.  I only had a tube though - no mask

Not me, but this is where it all took place.  I didn’t have the spectators or the full mask – only a tube for 5 minutes total.

2013 Year In Review

Here’s the highlights of breakdown of my activities in 2013:

I did three races and I learned how to make cool videos. 

I also got a little creative and dreamed about re-making a movie.

Here’s the numbers breakdown of aerobic activities:

  • Running: 185 runs for 1649.69 miles in 222 hours, 12 minutes
  • Biking: 64 Rides for 2054.30 miles in 120 hours 16 minutes – 8 times I rode to work, then worked and then rode back home (21 – 28 miles)
  • Biking on Trainer/Spin bike:  62 times for 78 hours 34 minutes
  • Swimming: 88 times for 150156.2 meters (93.3 miles) in 62 hours and 39 minutes
  • Total – 483 hours and 41 minutes – 1 hour and 20 minutes per day of something aerobic.

Other Stuff:

  • 22 sessions of yoga from 9/18 until 12/10
    • 15 Hour long classes
    • 7 videos from Runners World
  • 57 Weight Lifting Sessions from 1/2 until 5/30 and then from 9/18 until 12/18/13 for 35 hours and 28 minutes
  • 1 Stairmaster session for 10 minutes post-run – I intend to do this more early in 2014

Here’s the monthly running mileage breakdown – here’s the 2012 version and the 2011 version.

Microsoft Excel - 2013 Workouts.xlsx 3282014 101925 PM.bmp

Here’s an even further breakdown of my running (2012, 2011 totals)

  • 1649.69 miles (2012, 2011)
  • 185 runs (206, 210)
  • Averaged 8.92 miles per run (9.77, 9.58)
  • Averaged 31.72 miles per week (38.69, 38.67)
  • 222 hours 12 minutes 00 seconds of running (270:24:37, 275:8:23)
  • 1 days I ran twice in the same day (there was one were I ran, then biked, then ran but that’s the same workout (0, 3)
  • 50.15% of the days I ran – 183/365 (56.28% – 206/366, 56.71 – 207/365)
  • Longest week – Monday – Sunday 62.08 (63.01, 66.03)  (this is what I use to measure)
  • Longest week (any seven day stretch) – 62.16 (12/12-12/18) (67.03, 83.06)
  • 12 runs 20 miles or more (12, 13)
  • Longest Run – Surf the Murph 32.4 miles
  • Shortest Run – 2 miles – 21 times all of them were after a bike
  • 358.41 miles on the treadmill – 21.73% of total miles (205.6/10.22%, 215.2/10.7%)
  • 254.42 miles of trail running – 15.42% of total miles (171.68/8.53%, 0)
  • 293 days I worked out, 158 Days I did multiple activities (35, 0?)

I’ve decided I’m a runner.  2014 includes – Savage 100, Grandma’s and Twin Cities Marathons.

2013 Surf the Murph 50K Recap

Here’s my recap video:

Here’s the video I shot as Erika turned to an ultra marathoner:

Here are some of the cool things that I won’t forget:

  • Erika getting a cold the entire week before, not knowing if she was going to be able to pull this off.
  • Erika having issues with her ankle a few weeks before, not knowing if she was going to be able to pull this off.
  • The quesadilla was one of the best things I ever ate – It was about mile 20 and all it was was cheese and a wrap, but WOW!!
  • Both Erika and I grabbing a Mountain Dew and thinking it was gatorade – I didn’t even realize it until she said something after I was done.
  • The smorgasbord of food to eat at the aid stations – cookies, PB+J, grapes, bananas, M+Ms, soup, etc
  • A volunteer asking if I actually said “Delightful” when I grabbed a cookie.
  • At about mile 5, a deer ran across the path in front of us – like 10 feet in front of us – there was another that didn’t cross the trail
  • The most annoying heart rate monitor alarm ever.  For the last 6 miles we were with a guy who had a heart rate alarm – if it got to high it would beep, if it got to low it would beep to signal him to walk or start running.  Cool idea, except he had is set for a range of about 1 beat and it seemed like it was this guys goal to get his heart rate up, so it was beeping every 3 minutes.  Also, its volume was to 11.
  • Running with with the Hunter, Flash (who had the same shoes as me – then after the race had the same crocs as me) and with Roy
  • Thanks to Jeannie and Grandma for babysitting

Here’s my Garmin data – here’s what the weather was…

Here’s last years recap

2013 Ironman Wisconsin Recap

Here’s my video recap:

Here’s Mike Reilly actually saying my name

ACS and Thank Yous!

  • Raised $3,246.35 dollars.  That is awesome and incredible!  I spent many mundane hours running, biking and swimming thinking of the great people who donate to the cause.  Truly – Thank you!
  • During the race, I didn’t set up miles for people, but I repeatedly went through the list of donators in my head, mainly on the bike – if you’re curious, ask me – I went through the list afterward and can name at least one memory associated with each donators name
  • Total for four events $8,751.46 – I was planning on this being the last event I do, but raising $1250 would get us to $10K….we’ll see – never say never.
  • Also thank you to the entire population of Madison, volunteers and spectators. It was an incredible event.
  • Thank you to Erika for putting up with me and twelve months of obsession with this race.
  • Thank you to Abbie, Jake and Kyla for putting up with my boring stories and always cheering me on!
  • Thank you to the Big Man for all the gifts and opportunities you’ve given me
  • Thank you to all my family for the support.

The Training:

  • The biggest influence on my training was the book Going Long – Erika got it for me a year before the race – as a “Congrats for Registering” present.
  • There were two Youtube videos that gave good strategy for race day.  Dave Scott on Training Peaks and Rich from Endurance Nation
  • The cool places I went:
    • I covered about 40 miles of the Gunflint trail on my bike.
    • For the swim, I trained in 3 different lakes and one pool.  I was thinking about adding the ocean to that list, but then two sharks swam by (seriously).
    • I biked the former Ironman bike ride 100 mile loop that starts in Lakeville.
    • I ran a few times in Myrtle Beach in super hot weather and on part of the Myrtle Beach Marathon course
    • I ran some dirt road hills on the Gunflint trail – they are so long and steep.
    • I biked in new places in Minneapolis I didn’t know existed.
    • I biked through my old stomping grounds, Rockford twice.

Pre-race:

  • The video covers the deraileur hanger breaking and my search to find a new one.  It was about three hours of searching and driving around on Friday, and the race wasn’t until Sunday.
  • My car with the roof top luggage carrier is about 6’ 9.05”, the parking ramp that was easy to get to was 6’ 9” and the top rubbed the ceiling in one spot.
  • I found a $2 bill in the parking lot on Saturday before the race – that’s gotta be good luck!
  • The weather was close to perfect for race day – 90 the day before, 70 and overcast race day (a little windy, but I can’t complain), 90 the day after.

The Swim:

  • The wind and current were against us for the longest stretch.  The waves were bigger than I had trained in.
  • My major mistake was on the last turn
    • My goggles were fogging up and instead of watching for markers, I tried to be in the middle of swimmers – this added a lot of distance.
    • The waves, wind and current were with us, but I couldn’t adjust.
    • There were people on my right, but I couldn’t see anyone on my left – the left would be the straight line
    • I saw a dude on a paddle board pointing with his paddle to go left
    • My garmin said the total swim distance was 2.59 miles instead of the 2.4 it could have been.  That could save some time and energy
  • I started just outside the water ski jump, I got into the water about 6:50 and treaded water for 10 minutes, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.
  • I ran into a bouy about 3 minutes into the race – I haven’t seen it in any pictures, but I hit it square on.
  • I saw one dude without a wetsuit, just a speedo – I thought it might be a wet suit like Miley Cirus’s skin colored outfit.
  • Without trying I stayed with the same group most of the way – one red-stripped wetsuit, one blue-stripped wetsuit, a dude with a big beard (jealous) and a pink stripped wetsuit girl.
  • It was so fun to run up the helix – everybody was screaming and it was packed!

The Bike:

  • There was another tux shirt, I saw him about mile 20, he was coming out of a outhouse, I was going in – and we high fived.  He was a head of me most of the way, but I guess I passed him near the end.
  • At mile 70 I went into an outhouse and Journey’s “Any Way You Want It” was playing super loud – I thought of Townie, JD and Rodney Dangerfield dancing.
  • The X10 has three front crank rings, most road bikes only have two (I was kind of embarrassed about this) – it was huge to have it geared so low that I could spin up all hills.  I passed so many people on the steep parts of the hills and I saved my legs for the run
  • I consumed a lot more calories that I planned, but that was very good.  Someone asked me what the toughest part was and my answer was getting enough calories, yet still keeping my stomach happy – it worked.
    • I started putting the wrappers in a pocket and ended up with: 3 cliff bars (250 calories each), 3 bonk breakers (250 calories), 3 chomps (90 calories) and 3 GUs (100 calories) – that’s 2070 calories in food that I saved the wrappers for.
    • I also had at least two bananas (100 calories each)
    • I drank at least 6 gatorades (150 calories each) – 900 calories
    • That put me at (not including the stuff I threw away and if I had more gatorade) 3170 calories over 6 hours and 45 minutes or 470 calories per hour.  Everything I read says 250 – 450.
    • Salt tablets – I took them for the first time (bad thing to do on race day, but they worked) every hour on the hour.  Stomach was a bit shaky after 1.5 hours, but it was great after that.
  • I wore my Tux bike shirt – which was awesome because everybody was yelling “Classy” or “Tuxedo Guy” or “Bow Tie Man”, etc.  Another racer asked me as I passed her, if I was “the tux guy”.

The Run:

  • I wanted to run the way Erika ran in Chisago, we would stop to watch her and many people were in survival mode, then Erika would ran by smiling.  I used this idea to keep things in check during the bike.
  • My plan/goal was to run the first 6 miles at 9:15 min/mile, then do the next 12 at 8:45 to 8:34s, then give it all I had left and not be passed from mile 18 on.
    • The first 6 miles averaged 9:12, actually the first 5 was 9 and the 6th was a big hill and a bathroom.  It was challenging to not run faster when I knew I could
    • The next 6 were at 8:35s.  The next 6 I started to fade and had to deal with that hill again and were at 9:04s
    • The final 8.2 I was battling and passing a ton of people.
  • At mile 18.5 or so a dude passed me, so I attempted to stay with him, I got a bit competitive, and he’d pass me, then I’d pass him at the water stops.  At mile 20 he said I had a good pace and asked if I we should finish this up fast.  He became my new best friend.  I could only stay with him for two miles, then I faded
  • I dropped a “Jesse Pinkman” on the crowd at the 1/2 way point/turnaround – I yelled “I’ll be back in two hours – <<Jesse’s Favorite Word>>!!!”
  • My goal was to beat my first marathon time from 9 years ago – 4:26, but my secret goal was to keep it under 4 hours – I made it by 16 seconds!
  • As I crossed the finish line, I wanted to pay tribute to Harvey Lewis who inspired me many times this summer, by copying his Badwater 2012 picture.

The Fans:

  • The fans on the bike had me in stitches the entire day.  I saw more guys in speedos…image
  • There were signs referencing the Honey Badger, twerking and the “I Ain’t Got Time for That” Lady.  My favorite was “Go Random Stranger Go”
  • There were lots of faces on sticks (like “FatHead BigHead”), but there was one that was about 6 feet tall, mounted on a 2X4 – I was laughing so hard at the guys holding it, they made me ride under it every time I passed them.
  • There was a clown in a corn field with full make up on – freaky!
  • The crowds on State Street, which we did four times, was unbelievable.  Bars and restaurants with patios right up to the road we were running on.
  • The last 1/4 mile I couldn’t hear myself think – just loud and packed with people.

Post-race:

  • Big thanks to Erika’s (and my) friend Madonna, who is a two time Ironman – soon to be three timer!  She was with Erika and walked with us to get my stuff.  Heck, she carried most of it, as Erika was holding me up.
  • I couldn’t eat the pizza they were serving, but I did devour a sub, about 10 cookies and a Coke-a-cola.
  • Erika and I went to Applebees where I did find my appetite and I had a greasy burger, fries and a Summit.
  • The waiter asked if I had done the ironman, said I didn’t “look as bad as that guy!”  And pointed to a guy with a finisher shirt, hobbling to his car.

Here are the official results.

Here’s the swim:

Here’s the bike:

Here’s the run:

The Final Push for IMWI and ACS

Last chance to get your 0.0 sticker!  Here’s the direct link to donate to the cause.

Here’s what Dean Werner has thinks….

Here’s the full version of that clip

A Recreation



The following was written by a guest blogger – Andy G.  The Black Tie Non Event in Duluth occurred after this.


Recently my new bride and I ventured up to Duluth, MN to see some friends participate in Grandma’s Marathon. My friend Doug did the half and My Pal Al and his wife did the full marathon. It was a blustery day in Duluth with a high of 52, rain and wind. Minneapolis was warm and showing true signs of a Midwestern summer, muggy and highs in the 80’s. Duluth was welcoming the runners by playing by it’s own rules. The day was dreary and heavy overcast for the runners.

We’ve been making this trip every year for quite a while. For the runners it involves endurance, stamina and fortitude. For the spectators it involves a wakeup call of at least 8 AM if not earlier (the runners are up at 4:30) and using every ounce of endurance to start drinking shortly after getting up and venturing a good 100 feet from our hotel room to a curb on the race route. What makes things worse is that the Finish Line is no more than 3 blocks away but we make the runners come to us after they finish. Apparently it would be too cumbersome to lug our coolers that far.

A good friend would have brought his camera to take shots of the runners as they passed by. I however don’t think I own a camera and the one on my phone was deep in my pocket so you see my dilemma. Therefore I have decided to recreate the point where Al ran past our spot by the hotel with Star Wars action figures. Here it is:

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Please make note of a few things:

1) Notice how some of them have the Hoth Rebel Winter gear on. As I said before, it was cold and rainy.

2) The Rebel with the mustache is Al since he has a penchant for mustaches and I believe was sporting facial hair.

3) Notice the ambulance. (BTW, the ambulance is not regulation Star Wars action figure gear.) There was a medical station right by us and was utilized by several people. It’s tough to see but the C3PO droid on top of the ambulance is missing a leg. My nephew tore it off several months ago. I thought that fit in well seeing as though it was a medical station.

4) Also, the Luke figure dressed as an ex wing fighter reminds me of the emergency personnel stationed there. They had vests on also and in my mind I heard one of them say in their walkie talkie “Red 5, standing by.” (didn’t happen.)

5) On the left you can see my Star Wars figure carrying case that I still store them in. I placed it up like that to portray the hotel and the distance we walked. Not far. My wife is portrayed by Han Solo because I think at that point she had to go back and use the bathroom and you can see Han gazing back at the hotel.

6) Notice C3PO sitting on the ground. I don’t necessarily remember someone sitting on the ground however I couldn’t get that action figure to stand up. I don’t remember them being so difficult to get to stand.

Congrats to Al, Erika and Doug for all having great times!