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.

  • 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.


  • 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.


  • 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:


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!

Zero point Zero Stickers Everywhere

I’ve been collecting all pictures of the 0.0 stickers people have sent me/tweeted me/or I’ve taken.  If you have one, take of a photo of it and send it to me.  Get creative.  I’ll add them to the collection.

Grandma’s 2013 Race Recap

Here’s the video race recap:

Here are some of the interesting things I experience on race day:

  • The Black Tie Non-Event raising $1446 for ACS!
  • The fog – very cool to experience, not fun to watch or deal with, but cool to run through
  • Running with Harvey and the 3:05 pace group – which included:
    • The horse sounds we made every mile or so – it relaxes the face, which relaxes everything.
    • Harvey talking about the Coke-a-colas he was going to have
    • Harvey calling me out after lemon drop hill – saying “Andy, you will be with us.”
  • A guy in a mouse costume, who ran a 3:04.
  • Seeing Grandma and Grandpa and Jake and Kyla at mile 14 and at the end.
  • Two guys next to me talking about “Tall Dude” who passed one of them in the TC 1 mile in jean shorts.  He also ran the entire Twin Cities Marathon in jean shorts – the softest he could find.
  • Seeing Porkchop as the Granbergs, Savalojas and Andersons were just walking up to watch.
  • Watching Erika PR with the Granbergs, Savalojas and Andersons

Here’s my Garmin data:

“Ironman Wine” for Donations $100 and Up

This year in order to reach our goal, a supporter of the program, Andy G, has decided to get involved and help out.  He has created “Ironman Wine”.  These are thank you bottles of wine which will be given out to donors who donate $100.00 or more and are not involved in the Corporate Sponsor Program.

Not only will you get wine, but I will deliver all bottles of Ironman Wine via my bike if the following conditions apply:

  • You are in a 60 mile drive and 30 mile bike ride radius from Dayton, MN
  • Donations are received before 8/18/13

For each delivery, I will go on at least a 60 mile bike ride (30 out, 30 back).  If however, two donors live on the same route, then I’ll up the mileage to 80, but I’ll only make one trip.


Al’s Black Tie, Summer Kickoff, Endurance Motivation, Non-Party Spectacular for ACS and a chance to win $53,000!

You are NOT invited!

For most people, the start of summer not only identifies good times ahead, but also being over booked. I’m going to save you the guilt of skipping a party, keep your calendar as free as possible and give you a chance to win $53,000, by NOT inviting you to a black tie benefit for the American Cancer Society.

A black tie fund raising party is a great idea, but I’ll save us all the stress and still provide you an opportunity to support the cause and have a few laughs. I will post pictures and share videos of the non-event, which will feature some inspiring stories and interviews from Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, MN on June 22.

The reason why I’m not hosting this party: On September 8th 2013, I will be attempting to complete Ironman Wisconsin and raise money for the American Cancer Society. This NON-event will be the fundraising kick off for summer – and hopefully it will motivate people to live a healthier lifestyle!

Date: 6/22/2013

Schedule of Events:

  • 7:45 – 11:00 a.m. Good pain and suffering
  • 11:30 – 12:30 p.m. Social hour
  • 12:30 – 3:00 p.m. Benefit for ACS
  • 3:00 p.m. Drawing for the Lottertree

Location: Your computer sometime after 6/23/13.  You’ll get exclusive online access to happenings from throughout the day including the race and post-race party.

Door Prizes Include:

· A chance to win this Lottertree - a chance at $53,000! One lucky non-attendee will win this tree decorated with 18 MN Scratch Game lottery tickets (you don’t have to keep the tree and you need not be present to win)


· Every non-attendee gets a 0.0 bumper sticker – see this page for a full explanation and how to order more.



Detach and return this portion of the invite

___ Number of non-attendees at $25.00

___ Number of extra 0.0 bumper stickers at $5.00 each

___ Additional Donation

___ Total Donation

To simplify the money collection, you can donate directly on-line here:

With your response, please let me know:

  1. Names of people you know who have been affected by cancer.
  2. If you ordered an extra bumper sticker.
  3. Any ideas to help raise more money.

All money raised will go directly to the American Cancer Society

Stay in contact…

Andy LohnFacebookTwitterAndy's 2013 Ironman WI Page

Update – after much consideration, we have decided to open up the naming rights for this event – details on sponsorship levels can be found here: