team raceAthlete

 
 

Thanks to everyone who supported our Miles for Smiles fundraiser that used our selfish activity (Ironman training) as an excuse to raise money.  Our group of eight triathletes met its goal of raising $20,000 to buy bicycles, helmets and locks for 150 kids who wouldn’t otherwise have bicycles.  Next weekend is the big presentation day when we get to present the bikes to kids selected by Big Brothers/Big Sisters and give them a safety lesson.
 
Here’s my Ironman Wisconsin, 2008, race report (five pictures are attached).
 
Sunday, September 7 was my 56th birthday and my third Ironman.  The weather was perfect.
 
IM = swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, run 26.2 miles
 
2207               Number of people who started the race.
2082               Number of people who finished.
1585               My final overall rank.
64                    Number of people older than me in the race (58 men and 6 women).
35 / 65            My rank in my age group (more than half of the group was 55 or 56).
 
14 hrs & 21 min         My time (25 minutes faster than last year).
 
Simply put, this is an amazing event and I’m both humbled and proud just to be able to participate.  Ironman training and racing is a life-changing and life-affirming activity.  It’s impossible to imagine doing it without help.  That helper is sometimes referred to as one’s Iron Sherpa.  I’m fortunate enough to have an Iron Sherpa extraordinaire, my amazing wife, Sue, who I can’t thank enough.


 
 

RomanI only had one advantage, one small window of opportunity to catch them, and I was going to make it count.

After all it was just one of those perfect days when the sun was warm without scorching the skin, the breeze was pushing softly against my sweaty body like a gentle caress, and the bike, Oh my God, did the bike feel fast.

I was at about mile 42 (or about 30 miles from home) when the four girls I know from the local Boulder women's bike team passed me on a gentle uphill. These young women were fit and buff...Boulder buff.


Please let me explain. I really don't mean any disrespect to anyone from other parts of the world, but Boulder is different animal when it comes to endurance sports. We have world class athletes that train here including the Olympic women's marathon winner from Beijing, and the boys from Garmin Chipolte bike team.

So when I say these young cyclist were Boulder buff, I mean they could easily be some of the best riders in their sport when compared to 99.9 percent of women of the twenty something age group.

They passed me doing about 25-miles per hour while working together as a team. I knew this because I sped up to 25-miles an hour and I was now keeping even with them, but about a quarter of a mile behind.

They had the advantage when it came to working together but I had one small glimmer of hope.  I was riding a truly fast triathlon time trial bike with some wicked carbon Zipp race wheels. My main advantage stemmed from the fact the I knew that the country road we were now riding made a gentle sweeping uphill left turn followed by a gentle three mile downhill before it T-boned into the main North South route back home.

I was in the foothills of the Rockies surrounded by rolling farms, horse properties on a road with no shoulder and no cars. I was riding with my fast and fit wife, but she was doing her last 100 miler before Ironman Wisconsin so I knew she wouldn't keep up with me. She needed to go slow and steady as she still had a much longer brick ahead of her today.

I looked up, saw my competition, and in an heartbeat I decided to go for it. I would not only catch the bike team but pass them in true triathlon fashion...blow by them in my areo position without so much as a glance back in their direction. In the same manner they had just passed me. It seemed only fair. I had three miles to do it, on a gentle downhill with the wind in my face.

I watched the Power Meter jump from 200 watts to 300 watts as I took a firm hold of the areo bars and began to pump my quads.

Bmc1 "Grrrr, Grrrr, Grrrr," the bike growled back in rhythmic agreement as the rear carbon Zipp began to flex its muscle. There are very few sounds in the world that are more pleasing to me then the roar of a carbon wheel in full flight.

"Grrrr, Grrrr, Grrrr," the bike hummed as my speed jumped to about 30 MPH. The wind began to whistle in my helmet as the road beneath my pumping legs became a blur of black tarmac.

I crested the hill and noticed that the girls had split into two groups of two. I was rapidly catching up to the tail group, but just barely keeping pace with the front two. I didn't need to look to know that I was red lining my heart rate, the pounding in my ears told that true story.

How long could I keep up this effort, I wondered as the sweat began to roll down my face? At 30 MPH, three miles goes by in just a matter of a few minutes. I remembered a story I read about Lance Armstrong. He knew he was ready to race the Tour De France when he could sustain 450 watts all the way up Alp d'Huez in training. If Lance could maintain 450 watts up the almost diabolical 14 kilometer incline to the top of the French mountain, I could hold 300 watts for three miles.

"Grrrr, Grrrr, Grrrr," the bike growled in approval as I watched the trailing two girls get closer and closer.

It's a funny thing getting old. Sometimes the most important races are the ones that only you know about. Because it's not like I'll ever compete in the Olympics at anything other than curling at my age. No, by far the small victories are the ones that mean the most.

And at this moment in time, all I wanted to do was pass the two girls just ahead of me. I pushed the pace even harder. My heart felt like it was about to jump out of chest. Sweat was pouring into my eyes.  I squinted and watched the power meter painfully climb to about 350 watts. And then in a blink on an eye I shot past the girls like they were standing still.

"Grrrr, Grrrr, Grrrr," the wheels growled in satisfaction. 

"Ahhhhhh," I silently screamed as my quads felt like they were about to melt down. I peered ahead and I could now see the intersection. I had only about a mile left to pass the first two riders. Ignoring the pain in my legs I pushed even harder against the clips on my toes.

The speed slowly but surely increased to about 37 MPH while the power meter edged toward 400 watts. At this point I was out of gears. I was in my highest gear pushing my legs, the pace, and the bike as hard as I could.

I looked ahead and began to make out both the stop sign and calves of the two women riders ahead of me. Both were made of steel. It was going to be very close as to who reached the intersection first. 

The funny thing is that if I image myself looking down at the "race" from a helicopter, you would see two very fit and very fast women being chased down by a very sweaty, hairy legged, and somewhat biggish guy on a bike about two pay grades above his skill level.

But to me, at that very moment, in that very instant, I was Lance racing the final and most important time trial of my entire life.

"Grrrr, Grrrr, Grrrr," the bike growled in a frenzy of speed and adrenaline.

And just like Lance, in a the final moment of pain and fury, I roared past the girls and hit my brakes hard so as to not fly into the intersection and past the stop sign.

I made the turn, slowed to catch my breath, wait for my wife, wait for my legs to fall off, and wait my heart to explode. In the meantime the girls on the bike team grouped up again and rode by me chatting away as if nothing significant had happened.

And really noting significant had happened. They were still much faster than I ever was, or would be. The sun was still shinning, the birds were still singing, and I was still about 27 miles from home and now completely blown.

But for about ten brief magic minutes, I was Lance, and my Swiss made BMC Time Machine was eating up miles the way the designers had intended it to do.

But more importantly, at the age when a lot of my friends have slowed down and switched to golf, or the occasional leisurely jog, or gentle game of tennis, I was able to match and even beat some of the youngest and best in the sport.

I guess what I'm saying is that at 45 years of age I'm blessed to have the good health and fortune to be able to go on long bike rides with my beautiful wife and still be able to feel the raw energy and strength of youth. To feel the air rush through my lungs, to feel the blood pump through my heart, and to feel the goose bumps on my skin as the adrenaline rushes to my muscles.

I am truly blessed and lucky to be able to do all that plus sustain a significant amount of power output and not die, or cough myself to death after the effort.

FYI: In fact I was able to ride the 27-miles back home in relative comfort, and enjoyed what turned out to be a glorious summer day in Colorado.

Not bad for an old guy who today jumps into the 45 to 50 age group with both feet.

"Grrrr, Grrrr, Grrrr," the wheels growled in satisfaction.

Post Script: I don't mean any disrespect to all of you who love to play golf, tennis, or jog, or even go on long walks around the neighborhood. I'm sure I'll be doing a lot of that myself...just not quite yet.

On a another note, I'm now two thirds of the way to my B-Fit B-Day Challenge. I've got the bike and run done (I ran five miles this morning) and now it is just a matter of swimming 4-miles (old school) in the next two days. It looks like I'll be going for bronze this year. The good news is that just means that I can go for silver and/or gold next year.

 
 

The team has voted and by an huge landslide you wanted the B-Fit B-Day Challenge formula modified.

Your wish is my command so as of this instant the new formula is:

1) Swim the number of yards in the first number(# multiplied by 1000 yards),
2) Run the number of miles in the second number,
3) Bike the number of miles in the combined number.

So a 45-year-old athlete would:

1) Swim 4000 yards
2) Run 5 miles
3) Bike 45 miles

But don't fret. A lot of you liked the old formula, and a lot of you went for Gold in the swim in miles and not yards.

I could not let that accomplishment go unheralded so as of today if you did the Gold Challenge in 24 hours in Miles this year you are now a Platinum Finisher.

That's right, I've added a Platinum category for all of you super achievers who want to really test yourselves the old way.

Platinum is now the old Gold and Gold, Silver and Bronze are now in calculated in yards on the swim.

That means that the Gold, Silver and Bronze B-Fit Challenge is now much...at least when it comes to swimming.

Platinum is now very very hard!

Thanks to everyone who voted and good luck to all going for Gold, Silver, Bronze or perhaps Platinum.

 
 

First off…how in the world do you all (who blog regularly) find the time to blog!?!?! I’d love to create a history of what I do, and maybe share some wisdom (a very small amount at that); however with a full time job, a wife and four beautiful kids…I’m tapped out! We all have the same 24 hour day, but some of you must be putting in 28 hours into one 24 hour period! Maybe you can blog about how you do it? Who knows…there probably already is a blog about that!!!

08/08/08 was a great day this year.

The start of the Olympics...although I'm no Phelps, I was drawn to his speed in the water. Although I'm no Bolt, I was drawn to his 6'5" frame cruising at an unbelievable pace.

It was also my 37th birthday...or as my wife reminds me...it was the start of my 38th year!

Regardless...it was a beautiful day here in South Eastern Michigan.

Months ago, I got caught up in this B-fit-bday challenge and have been working up to it all year. It was the first year (that I recall) I took a day off of work, just for an endurance event. In fact my boss continued to text me throughout my day asking how my "mid-life crisis endurance challenge" was going. Maybe I was (am) nuts!? In any event, I was off and ready to start the challenge!

My plan all along was for the Gold challenge…swim 3 miles, bike 37 and then run 7. Sure didn’t sound like much when I signed up for the Gold challenge…but then again I probably wasn’t thinking straight! For the furthest I’ve ever swam was 1.5 miles…ahhh, what’s another 1.5 miles amongst friends?!

It started around 4am with a wake up and fueling for the day. As with most of my endurance events (3 ½ IMs, and 9 marathons) I have a predetermined routine in the morning to ensure all systems are firing. The plan was a 3 mile open water swim where ½ my swim I’d be accompanied by two other people training. Post swim, I took off on to a new bike route, then a drive home for the run to include some laps around the neighborhood with my family. All in all it was a lot of fun…and might be the start of an annual event. Thanks Roman…and sponsors. Speaking of sponsors…having my Hornet Juice mix along with my Rudy Project sunglasses made this an even more enjoyable day. The 2XU Tri shorts were a bit dirty so they didn’t make the journey!

The swim started at 6:15a with the sun still considering its move above the horizon. The lake was calm, but that’s an eerie feeling crawling into the lake when the sun isn’t up! I’m more of a boat anchor than a dolphin so I took this endeavour while wearing my full wetsuit. The water was a bit warm, but the comfort (mainly mental) that the wetsuit gives me. Besides, embarking on 3 miles of open water swimming (more than ½ of the distance alone) isn’t the smartest thing to do…unless one has a flotation device. I thought about bringing my water wings, but didn’t want to be made fun of!

In a nutshell, the swim was uneventful and I completed it in 1:59:01. Did I say that 1 ½ miles was the furthest I had ever swum before? The last ¼ mile was pretty rough! While I was in the middle of the lake (mind you it’s a no wake lake until 11a) I was ‘floating’ on my back catching my breath and saw a flock of seagulls circling overhead. I had been in the water at that point almost 1:40 and I was wondering if they were vulchers ready for a fresh breakfast. Then, a week later a friend mentioned that seagulls are just ‘winged-rats’. Don’t know if that made me feel any better or not. Needless to say, I crawled out of the water with respect for long distance swimmers. Speaking of which…did you see the Men’s Marathon swim during the Olympics? They did a 10Km swim averaging around 1min / 100 yards. I think their 10Km time beat my (shorter than) 5Km time. WOW!

The bike on the other hand was a different story. Having never gone 3 miles in the water, I didn't realize how much my legs were going to be fried as a result. Needless to say the fact that I was on a new and hilly course, the wind was blowing (always right off the nose) and having just swam 3 miles...the bike was a little more difficult than anticipated. Do you guys remember the old school Tour de France when they had a stage or two on the coblestones?! Part of my bike was just like that...with every bump (that most of you call pot holes but we in SE Michigan just see as typical bumps) I felt I was about to be thrust into oncoming traffic. I finally finished and it was a good feeling to have 40 miles behind me. 37 miles biking...2:03:47.

I went home, fueled a little and had the family there for my support. My neighborhood has a fine, yet boring, 2 mile loop that was going to be my course for this 7 mile venture. I finished two loops and the kids were stir crazy, so I took them for the past 3 miles. This was the best part of the day...running the last 3 (actually 3.2mi) with three of my four kids. They were on their bikes and wante to do their thing, and I was just ready to be done. However, when we came around the last corner toward our house...that was an awesome feeling watching my kids ride in front of me as I was pulling up the caboose. 7.2 miles 1:06:36.

Total for the day was 5:09:36...I thought I was going for the gold on the first day of the Olympics, and needless to say...I ended up with Platinum (thanks Roman!)!!

Tradition in our family is that on ones birthday you can have cake and ice cream for breakfast. Although it wasn't breakfast...I DID induldge in plenty of cake and ice cream!!!

Until next year's b-fit-bday challenge!!

 
 

Art.phelps.swim.giThis is the third addition of the Everymantri Endurance Buzzreport; a brief and interesting round-up of all the news that's youneed to start your week. To make it even easier for you to get your Monday morning Endurance Buzz on with your cup of java or bottle of Gatorade just subscribe to this RSS feed (by clicking on the RSS image below)  and you'll get the last endurance news every time you go online.

E-Buzz

Click HERE to read how regular running slows down aging


Click HERE to read how Olympians get their fuel

Click HERE to view the official Olympic Sap-o-Meter

Click HERE to read three myths and one truth about running

Training Buzz

Click HERE to watch how Hunter Kemper and his folks got ready for Beijing

Click HERE to watch how speed walking can be bad for your health

Offbeat Buzz

Click HERE to read the 10 lessons learned from being an Ironman wife

Click HERE to read how body size can be misleading...for health

Click HERE to see what happens when you try to lift too much in Beijiong (warning not for the squeamish)

Inspirational Buzz to get you through the week

Click HERE to watch the world's hardest Iron distance race

Click HERE to to read about the world's hardest Iron distance race

 
 

ScottIronman Wisconsin (North American Sports race organaizer)
http://www.ironmanwisconsin.com

EveryMan Rating: 1 Brewskis

Rating Scale (based on the amount of beer needed after race)
• 4 Brewskis So excruciatingly painful and lame you’ll need a full year of recovery just to forget this race
• 3 Brewskis The best thing said and remembered about race is; I finished
• 2 Brewskis Challenging race in a masochistic I’d could do it again sort-of-way given enough time and Ibuprofen.
• 1 Brewski Good solid race that exceeds your expectations
• No Brewski A must-do annual event for both friends and family

The Race:

This race (over the past three years), unlike any other North American Ironman in recent history, has been defined by the weather.

2005 --- So hot that you could fry an egg on your disk wheel, and so humid that you could poach the egg simple by standing over it and wiping your brow.

2006 --- So cold that for the first and only time in Ironman history the Coke provided on the run was actually cold, and so rainy that the aid station volunteers did not need to fill up the water cups, but just let mother nature fill them from the great water hose in the sky.

2007 --- Pretty near perfect conditions except that the clouds did block out the gentle and warm sun in the mid afternoon for a few fleeting minutes.

2008 --- ?

You'll have to take this review with a grain of salt as I raced IMMOO it in 2007 and my experience was most certainly and all together different from those who raced in 2005 and/or 2006. In any Ironman race the weather is always the silent and often critical variable that either makes or breaks a race. For me in 2007 the weather Gods smiled and I swam in a dead calm lake, biked under a gentle sun, and ran with the aid of fluffy cloud cover. It just doesn't get much better and you can read my race report HERE and HERE.

The Racers:

Let's face facts. On the whole when it comes to IM race weekend we Ironman racers tend to be a nervous, selfish, self-absorbed, worried, tense, gitty, confused, slap-happy, eager, crabby, panicked, terrified, and about a hundred other emotions that can drive your average hotel concierge bonkers. 

What makes IMMOO such a great race can be summed up in two words: the "Volunteers" and the "Locals". It is the volunteers and the locals that make this race so special. Unlike any other Ironman race that I've done, it is these folks that will bring the smile to your face when you arrive in Madison.

The fine people of Madison really treasure this race and it shows. It shows in the TDF like gauntlet of fans that line streets in Verona between the first and second bike loop.

It shows in the thousands of spectators that crowd the streets near the capital building as you exit the transition area.

It shows in the thousands of students that get drunk in the racers honor as you run through the University area of Madison.

But mainly it shows in the hundreds of volunteers and locals that never cease to smile from the moment that you register to the moment that you cross the finish line.

This is a race that's much loved by the locals and so by association are the racers. This is especially important when you are having a bad moment or two as you will certainly have before, during, or perhaps after the race.

DqswimThe Swim:

Two-loop swim in Lake Monona in downtown Madison.

For me the Swim was by far the worst part of the race.

Not because:

- The swim was cold: It wasn't, the water was near perfect for a wetsuit swim.

- The swim was rough: It wasn't, the water was glass-like calm and very easy to sight the big buoys.

- The swim was confusing: It wasn't, the course is two big and lazy loops that I could swim in my sleep.

No, the real problem with the swim is that it is perhaps too easy.

Here's a fun fact that you may not know. The average IM swim is about 1:20 to 1:25 in duration. So if you happen to swim the 2.4 miles in about an hour and twenty minutes you are right in the heart of the biggest IM bell swim curve. This means that you have the most athletes around you trying to get to the exit of the swim. In fact you, and several hundred others, are one big rat moving down the stomach of the snake toward the end of the swim.

For me this meant that I was was unable to get one clean swim stroke during the entire swim.

Some of you may think that I'm exaggerating a wee bit here, but I'm not. Everywhere I tried to swim I hit somebody or somebody hit me. I could never get into a comfortable swim rhythm, and I paid the price by having my slowest IM swim of my career.

But that's not what cost this race a perfect No-Brewski rating. What cost the race the perfect score were the hundreds of "athletes" who cut the corners and the fact that the race officials did nothing about it.

I know that it may seem reasonable to cut the inside of buoy when you are with hundreds of other athletes heading for the same corner, but when you do this seven times at seven buoys  (the first time by a few feet until you are cutting buoy corners by yards) you shorten the swim from 2.4 miles to 2.0 miles. And that's cheating plain and simple and a DNF no matter if, how, or when you cross the finish line.

More importantly, in my book, when the race organizers look the other way when hundreds of athletes cheat, the cost is a perfect Everyman No-Brewski rating for the race.

TransitionTransition:

Unlike any other race I know of IMMOO is held in and around the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center in Madison. This means that transition (the changing area at least) is inside a carpeted and air-conditioned building while the bikes are waiting for you in the outdoor parking garage.

Monona Terrace was designed by Frank Loyd and it is pretty spectacular (at least as convention centers go).

Because of the unique design of the convention center you get to run up and bike down these large spiral parking ramps coming and going in and out of transition.

You also get to change in the cooled and carpeted rooms of the convention center with comfy chairs and plenty of transitions volunteers, snacks, and drinks. I saw more than my fair share of athletes who were having a hard time leaving the cool confines of T2 for a late afternoon marathon.

The Bike:

Image for a second a giant lollipop. There is of course the stick and the round sugary part that you lick. That's pretty much what the IMMOO bike course looks like. You fly down the spiral parking ramp out of transition and head out to the town and hills of Verona. Once you get to Verona you bike around two big and hilly loops(the sugary part of the lollipop) and head straight (the stick) back into downtown Madison.

Out of all of the long triathlons I've done this is probably the one that is most suited for a regular road bike. The only part where you really get the benefit of the areo bars are on the straights heading to and from Verona. The loops around Verona are wildly hilly and you are rarely ever in the areo bars as you are either climbing, or turning, or descending too fast around corners to be in the classic areo position.

What makes the hills around Verona challenging is that they are these small choppy little pain-in-the-ass bumps with an attitude that never really allow you to get into climbing mode or descending mode. You are just constantly, climbing, cresting and descending, and that's a hard way to spend 112 miles.

On the positive side the countryside is spectacular with diary farms, forest, fields and best rural scenery that Midwest America has to offer. Plus, the crowds in Verona are massive and they almost make taking on the piss ant hills worth the effort.

RuntherunThe Run:

As I get to be an old hand at these races I'm really starting to hate the typical Ironman marathon course. Unlike a big city marathon like Chicago, Boston, or New York, the IM marathon is always bit too loopy for me. I like to run through a city and start and end in two different locations.

But for obvious reason an IM marathon always starts and ends in the same place, and has you making multiple loops around, through and in town. The IMMOO course is two big loops through Madison.

You get to run on almost every running surface know to mankind and that includes, cement, concrete, dirt, railroad tracks, streets, paths, sidewalks, and even AstroTurf as you run through the University of Wisconsin stadium.

There's one big steep hill (that everybody walks) one big lake (that everybody loves) and one big capitol building(that signifies that you are at either the beginning, middle, or end or you run). 

Do you want the good news or the bad news first?

I'll start with the good news. The run is truly interesting with plenty of points of interest to look at, and massive crowds that gather at both ends of the two loops.

The bad news has to do with those little mileage signs. Perhaps this is only me, but I hate seeing that I'm either on mile 3 or 13. This is hugely demotivating for me on the first loop when I'm just on mile two and signs starkly reminds me that I have 11 more miles to go before I'm even at the halfway point of the marathon.

The Race Expo:

The Race Expo is right in front of the imposing capital building between the Capital and the Convention Center as well as inside the Convention center. It features the same old Schwag that you can also buy inside convention center at the IM store. If I were you I would skip the expo and head to the farmer's market around the Capitol building on Saturday afternoon. 

Unless you are really a hardcore triathlete and you really need to discuss the subtle virtues of carbon wheels with the Zipp rep., your time might be better spent tasting the subtle virtues of the local homemade Amish chocolate chip cookies at the farmer's market.

Versona2FYINTKS (For Your Information Need To Know Secrets):

- Get to the start of the race early and into the water ASAP. The timing mats are set-up under a big black arch that you must cross before you get into the water. The area for doing this is about 4 feet wide and when I raced there were still several hundred athletes trying to squeeze through the arch and get into the water the as the gun sounded. Perhaps that's why so many of them felt the need to cut swim corners.

- This is one race that you don't need a tri bike. A road bike with clip on areo bars may be a better bet in the long run as you'll spend less energy climbing the short but steep hills of Verona. The gearing on a tri bike is just too tall (think too hard to pedal up steep hills in your smallest gear) for all but the most talented and hardcore triathletes/cyclist.

- Be sure to get your finisher's photo...especially if you finish at night. The finish of the race is right in front of the blazing Capital building, and this makes for an incredible photo of you crossing the line with the Capital ablaze in light in the background.

- Don't kill yourself on the bike. This is one of the harder bike courses and it is certainly all too easy to leave it all out on the bike course. The smart race strategy with the race is to build into it and leave plenty of power and energy for marathon.

- Don't dilly dally in T2. I know that it may seems cruel and unusual punishment to leave the cool/warm confines of the convention center but get out on the run ASAP because transition count.

- Finally, check and recheck the weather for your race day. Even if you think it may be a perfect day bring all of your cold and hot weather stuff with you to Madison. I'd be willing to bet that I got lucky and the weather will always be the silent and often critical variable that will either make or break your IMMOO race.

 
 


Find more videos like this on raceAthlete B-FitB-Day.com
Mandy you go girl!

When I started the raceAthlete B-Fit B-Day Challenge at the beginning of this year I got a lot of great comments about the unique idea of celebrating health and fitness on one's B-Day with a little athletic Challenge.

But it was the handful of negative comments that really made me think.

The Challenge is simple, but not easy. You must:

Take your age and in any order:

1) Swim the number of miles in the first number,
2) Run the number of miles in the second number,
3) Bike the number of miles in the combined number.

So a 45-year-old athlete would:
1) Swim 4 miles
2) Run 5 miles
3) Bike 45 miles

A lot of great athlete's took up the B-Fit Challenge when I first announced it to team raceAthlete. But a small number of athletes called it, "age discrimination," "fluff," and one went so far as to say that it was, "a complete waste of time and energy!"

I completely disagree!

MandybdayAnd I want to thank Mandy for making my point with her fantastic B-Fit Challenge video.

You see in my way of thinking our health and fitness is one of the greatest gifts that we get in life.

The old saying, "Use it or lose it," certainly applies.

So why not celebrate this great gift with our friends and family on our birthday? We spend so much time and energy when it all goes South to get well, yet we rarely celebrate the health and fitness that we have...when we have it.

There are a lot of great people doing great work on trying cure the many ways that we can get sick and unwell with the hundreds of diseases that can rob us of our health. There is so much pain, sadness and suffering when we, our friends, our loved ones, get sick with cancer, or any of the other countless ways that our lives can be cut short.

There are so many brave people today fighting the big battle to overcome, acknowledge, or even remember all those who fought their battles and lost.

The B-Fit B-Day Challenge is simply the other side of that same coin.

It's the "Thank You" card instead of the "Get Well" card.

It is our chance to shine and to show all those that we love how fortunate and thankful we are to be healthy.

I'll be the first to admit that it is not an easy Challenge. In fact, it is very hard and it gets harder as we get older. But than again we have to work harder to stay fit as we age, and in the end we have more to be thankful for as we get older.

In the next two weeks many of us will be watching the Olympics, which in my mind is the ultimate display and celebration of physical fitness and ability. Unfortunately we all can't compete at that world class level. But we all have a B-Day, and if we're lucky we also have a healthy body, and if we work at it... a fit body.

So a huge thanks to Rudy Project, Hornet Juice, and 2XU for their support this year and thanks Mandy for sharing your B-day Challenge with me today. For proving in such a fun and creative  way that my idea wasn't just "fluff." You made my day and even though the weather outside here in Boulder, CO is lousy...it is indeed a beautiful day!

 
 

TriphotoStaring today, I'm introducing an exciting new feature on EverymanTri.

I know that many of you just don't have the time (what with all of the swimming, cycling and running your are doing all of the time) to search out and find the most interesting stories, news, articles, athletes, professionals, studies and even videos that help define the world of endurance sports.

So starting today and (every Monday morning) I'm doing it for you.

Introducing the Everymantri Endurance Buzz report; a brief and interesting round-up of all the news that's you need to start your week.

Plus, as an free bonus I've partnered with a great local coach, professional triathlete, and race director to bring you a weekly workout that's perfect for the Newbie triathlete all the way to the seasoned age-grouper racers.

I want to thank Lance Pantigutti of Without Limits Productions for these great weekly workout that will have you race ready in no time.

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Everymantri Endurance Buzz #1  August 4, 2008

E-Buzz

Click HERE to read if Presidential Hopeful Barack Obama is too fit to be President?

Click HERE to read if 30 is the new 49 for Olympians?

Click HERE to read and view how the New York City Policy deal pesky bike protesters.

Click HERE to read how recent triathlon race deaths have researchers seeking illusive answers.   

Training Buzz

Click HERE to read how cycling can improve your running. The catch: you just need to bike across America to get the full benefit.

Click HERE to read if training and racing success is about doing the minimum?

Click HERE to read about the most common raining mistakes that endurance athletes keep making.

Offbeat Buzz

Click HERE to read why groping a cyclist is a sure way to end up in jail...especially if that cyclist has biked across America.

Click HERE to read why women need to exercise at least 270 minutes a week to get and stay fit. Let's face it gang we knew this all along.

Click HERE to see what a masters class from hell might look like in China.

Inspirational Buzz to get you through the week

Click HERE to see some truly magnificent photos from the Tour De France.

And HERE for a couple more great pics.

Click HERE to watch a a great video to help get you through your training week.

*Please do me a favor and let me know in the comments section below if you like this new feature and format. Do you find it useful and an interesting way to start your work week?

If you have an interesting endurance news story, video, or  news tip send me the link (romanmicaatgmaildotcom) and I'll enter you in a new give-away I'll be promoting this coming week.

Thanks!

Everyman Weekly Workout for the Week of August 4, 2008


Technical Description
How Each ZONE feels


Zone 1

Embarrassingly Slow! 

Zone 2
Over distance – Aerobic
Improve aerobic efficiency
Build capillaries
Burn fat

How it feels
Still feels too easy
Can talk comfortably during entire workout
Sweating slightly


Zone 3
Endurance
Moderate Effort – 20bpm<LT
Feels like a training workout

How it feels
Feels refreshing when done
Starts to feel more like a workout
Sustained effort


Zone 4
LT – Tempo
Body shifts to burning mostly carbs as fuel source
Lactate is still clearing from the muscle cells

How it feels
Breathing intensifies
No more talking
Hard, long intervals
Muscles could cramp if not properly fueled

Zone 5
VO2 Max
Intense Effort / Max HR
Short Intervals
Sprint pace

How it feels
All out effort
Heart beats out of your chest
Muscles burn
Heavy sweating


Week 1: Base/Intro 


Monday: Bike: 1 hr ez spin Zone 1, small chain ring only


Tuesday: Run Intervals: 20min warm-up 8min @ half marathon pace, 4min recovery, 6min @10k pace, 4min recovery, 4min @ 5k pace, 2min recovery 10min cooldown

Wednesday: Swim: Warm-Up:
200 – Easy
1 x 200 [(Kick/Swim/Drill/Swim by 50), 50 Build to Over Kick, 50 Build]                                    
Preparation Set:
1x [ 50 perfect / 25 build the kick to over kick / 50 perfect / 25 build to all out]
100 easy    

                      
Main Set:
1x [100 from a dive at pace – 40 sec rest / 175 holding 2 sec above pace – 1 min rest / 75 building from pace to 90% 40 sec rest / 3x 50 1st and 2nd @ 90%, 3rd all out on 20 sec rest] – easy 200 recovery in between
                               
Kick Set:
1x [100 1 length fast, 100 2 lengths fast, 75 1 length fast, 75 2 lengths fast]
                                                                           
100 Cool Down Minimum



Thursday: Run: ez 25min run +or- 10min all zone 1



Friday: Rest Day



Saturday: 

Swim V02max swim
Preparation Set:
1x [ 100 perfect / 50 build to 90% / 100 perfect / 50 build from 90% to all out]
- The last round of this set should be swum with fins :45 sec rest after each round
100 easy                           

Main Set:
200 with fins from a push swum at 200 PR
5 min recovery in after
1x100 at 100 PR
5 min recovery after both
1x100 negative split – 2nd 50 should be at 50 PR
200 easy
                           
100 Cool Down Minimum

Sunday:  Long Run: 1 hr all Zone 2 (Focus on stay light on your feet, upright running position)

 
 

If you’ve been living under a rock, there is this technology called Twitter, you can read more about it on Texafornia’s blog at www.zentriathlon.com. Now Twitterers are mostly self absorbed, self promoting, insecure, procrastinating, self indulgent or just plain self unaware. Hey I know this because I’m a Twitterer and I probably fall into many of these descriptions. We’re all Modern Jackasses, more on what that is in a future post.

So with my 43rd birthday coming up, I decided to see if Twitter had any real value aside from letting people know where I was on an Ironman Bike course so they could have adequate time to leave Charlie’s or Pizza on Main Street to come out for the 30 seconds to cheer me on as I pass by before making that massage appointment at the Mirror Lake Inn - yes Sherpaing can be done with style.

But I digress. On Saturday, I’ll turn 43 years old and against all good judgment decided to do this whole B-Fit, B-Day that Everyman Triathlete Roman Mica has dreamed up. Let’s face it, an ADD endurance coach like me isn’t going to want to stare at lane lines for 3 hours and I founded a program called Race with Purpose, so here I could kill off a few avian flu birds with one stone by participating in Swim Across America’s Long Island Swim. And given that I’ve only ever swam 2.4-miles before and had so much fun doing that, I figured I could complete Roman’s B-Fit, B-Crap B-Day Challenge and qualify myself to get a cool Rudy Project aero helmet so I can wear it backwards and look like a cone head while riding my Trek 1400 at 14mph.

In the process I can also raise a bunch of money for cancer research to honor my mom who got me into this whole endurance sports thing in the first place. Lastly, I could prove once and for all if Twitter has any use beyond making me feel like I have friends that could ultimately replace my stuffed Barney figure that I talk to all too regularly.

So for the past week, I’ve been acting like the program manager for the local public radio station tweeting all sorts of crap to basically encourage (annoy) people into donating $10. With 80 Twitterers following me (get a life), and most of them spending their non-Twittering time polishing their carbon bike frames, I figured $10 from each person would easily raise more than the $500 I’ve pledged. To make it even  more enticing, I’ve committed to matching the donations up to the $500 just to calm the critics out there who think I’m doing this as a way to get out of paying for the honor to swim with jellyfish in the Long Island Sound. Oh, I fell off of my white horse years ago, and don’t think the thought didn’t cross my mind, but in this case, I’m actually sincere and have the funds to back up my commitment.

So what do you need to do to participate? Go to Twitter and specifically go to my twitter page where you’ll find the link to donate. Trust me, it won’t be difficult to find. I can’t post it here or that would defeat the entire purpose of seeing if we can use Twitter for good as opposed for evil as Brett has proclaimed previously. I want Twitter to be Twitterlicious.

What do you get for this? Nothing, well not nothing, you get to add yourselves to the multitude of people who have already donated like @KonaShelley, @JenWillTri, @TriJD, @HolisticGuru, @hak42 (thanks Tanya), @jg_65, @billrisch and @bmatheny and @Rambonie who have all donated more than their requested $10.

You also get to see if I can get dropped off a boat in the LI Sound and can make it back alive under horrible conditions. Read what the Swim Across America has posted recently:

2008 LIS Swim Update Jellyfish - Due to the jellyfish in the sound this season we are recomending all swimmers wear a tight fitting full wet suit. If your wet suit is sleeveless we recomend a tight fitting rash guard underneath.
For those who do not want to swim in the sound because of jellyfish, we will for this year only have use of the pool for you to participate. If you know you want to swim in the pool, please e-mail biffy at biffy@swimacrossamerica.org. If you are undecided let us know at sign in if you want to change. Looking forward to seeing you on Saturday. And since we already know I ain’t doing this in a pool, I’m wearing a full wetsuit and will put duct tape anywhere there is still exposed skin. Hey, the only other tape I had laying around is packing tape and I thought that might not be hypoallergenic. So go to Twitter and donate your $10.

Now switching gears, I have a few thoughts on Roman’s whole B-Sh1t B-Day thing.  Roman, who thought of this stupid thing of swimming 4 miles for 40, 5 miles for 50, 6 miles for 60, 7 miles for 70, 8 miles for 80, 9 miles for 90? Someone’s going to die and YOU’re going to be responsible because all they will gurgle as they’re being pulled out of the water is “I just wanted that Rudy Project aero helmet.” DEAD!

Everyman triathlon my ass! What everyman triathlon at age 88 is going to swim 8 miles, run 8 miles and then cycle 88-miles. Jack LaLane? Maybe you should have included that we need to hold a rope to a tugboat in our teeth to make it more reasonable.

Here are the details and the rules for the B-Dead, B-Myass, B-Day Challenge:

http://bfitbday.ning.com/

Take your age and in any order:

1) Swim the number of miles in the first number,
2) Run the number of miles in the second number,
3) Bike the number of miles in the combined number.

So a 45-year-old athlete would:
1) Swim 4 miles
2) Run 5 miles
3) Bike 45 miles

If you choose to accept the B-Fit B-Day Challenge you must….
Bronze: Do all three (swim/bike/run) during the week of your Birthday.
Silver: Do all three (swim/bike/run) in the three days before, after, or on your B-Day.
Gold: Do all three (swim/bike/run) in 24-hours to celebrate your B-Day!

Important Note: Since “0” Birthdays like 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, and so on are important milestones the “0″ in your birthday represents a 10. This means that on those “0” Birthdays you get to celebrate this big milestone by running ten miles. Whoohooo!

Whatever, I’m a lemming so as I stated above, I’ll be doing the Long Island Sound Swim version.

According to the Swim Across America folks:

“The Long Island Sound Swim started in Larchmont, New York in 1992 at the Larchmont Yacht Club with a 4-mile swim. It was, and still is, dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Kathy Webers, who along with family and friends courageously battled cancer for over a year. Our first year we had 35 swimmers and raised $15,000. In 1994, the swim’s course ended at the Larchmont Shore CLub, where a brunch was held. Without a swim in 1996, the Long Island Swim Committee reformed and in addition to the 4-mile swim added the 1 mile swim. Now, we offer a 6 mile swim as well. We also added the Cancer Support Team and Children’s Hospital of New York- Presbyterian at Cornell Medical Center as additional beneficiaries.

Swimming requirement for 4 milers - 4-mile swimmers must be able to swim 1 mile in 30 minutes or less, as attested to by a Pool Director, Swim Coach or Life Guard.”

NOT!

I freak’n hate to swim and now I have to get a note from my local swimming pool that says I won’t drown on their watch doing this stupid thing, which is, oh by the way, the week after Ironman Lake Placid. Oh give me a break, I did the swim and a loop of the bike there. I just bet that there will be some lame-ass rule that says I can’t listen to music as well similar to the USAT or RRCA rules now. F-that. I’m going out to buy a SwiMP3 or something similar so I can listen to 4 hours of podcasts while I practice drowning myself in the Long Island Sound. What is the level of exposure to bacteria necessarily to contract Hepatitis? Will 3 hours be sufficient or do I need four? Where is lunch served in a four-hour open water swim? Let’s be honest, I’m supposed to swim 4 miles and then I have to run 3? Who thought up of this brilliant parody that is so heavily weighted towards the swimmers? I have an idea, let’s make the swimmers run 40 miles and then they can swim 3.

Roman, I am officially declaring theB-Fit Birthday, the B-F’d Up My Ass Birthday Challenge for the criminally insane. It is incredibly discriminatory. Let me get this straight, a 14 year old has to swim 1 mile, run 4 miles and then bike 14 miles, and a 88 year old man, presumably a bit more frail, has to swim 8 miles, run 8 miles and bike 88 miles? This has got to be some Arian way to kill off the lessor species or an I hate old people statement. And as an older Jew, I take this as a personal assault. Also as an older Jew, as I’m ranting, I know I’m going to do everything in my power to do this stupid thing. Go ahead; brand a number on my arm as soon as possible, I hate it when body markings come off.

Forget Rudy Project and Hornet Juice, you need to be sponsored by Aetna, or Blue Cross or what the hell am I thinking, you need to be sponsored by Mutual Life Insurance Company.

I expect you, Mr. Everyday Triathlete, to financially take care of my girlfriend, my detached selfish and anti-social dog, and my blind/deaf cat after they dredge my lifeless body from the sound. Please make sure someone escorts Cindy to Tyler’s and Kelley’s wedding next week.

But I digress…


 
 

Editor's Note: Since the beginning of the year dozens of athletes have taken on the B-Fit B-Day Challenge.
These are a just few of their stories:
Dave:

This was a blast! The BFit BDay Challenge pushed me to tackle distances I’d never even approached before – a four-mile swim!!! Whoa!

First, the details:
Age: 42
Swim: 4 Miles in 2h 25m 49s (62 seconds per 50 yard lap)
Bike: 42 Miles in 2h 26m 51s (17 mph)
Run: 2 Miles in 16m 56s (8:28 minute miles)

Total Time: 5 hours 9 minutes 36 seconds

The swim was the real challenge for me. Swimming has always been my toughest discipline and this year a respiratory infection wiped out my training for the entire month of June! I came into the BDay Challenge sorely under-trained and I turned the race into three training sessions. I made great strides during the weekend. My mile split times fell steadily. I was happy to finish without drowning and thrilled with my progress!

The Bike portion I split into two stages: a 17 mile ride on Friday morning followed by a 25 mile ride to historic Walden Pond on Saturday. Unlike Thoreau, I didn’t stay … my quest was the ride!

I completed the 2 mile run Sunday morning. The overcast skies left the air warm and heavy. My two mile loop starts with a short decline and ends with the same meaningful rise while the rest of the course is fairly flat. Given my limited training, I was right on pace with my expectations.

So with the BFit BDay Challenge under my belt, I plan to tri it again in three months on my quarter birthday to see if I am getting better with age!

RunnerGirl:

I have lost 35 lbs, found happiness and health in this challenge. Who would have thought that one little challenge would have such a huge impact in someone's life? Certainly not I. I went from fearing swimming 3 miles in a week to honestly considering swimming 3 miles in 24 hours. I am not so sure I can do it - but you know what? I am going to tri! ;)

I feel stronger with each workout. I feel happiness pouring from me after each minute spent moving forward. I have taken this challenge personally. If not now, when? If nott his, what? My vices used to control me... not any more. My new addiction is health. Living with a purpose. True happiness in being me.

This challenge is not about a killer finishing time... it is about have a killer time finishing!

SydTrefiak

Well, it was my wife's birthday, so I talked her into some training. She turned 27, so that meant 2 miles, 7 miles, and 27 miles.

She couldn't make the ride so I still finished it for her!

My totals:
3miles' swimming, 1:10
10miles running 1:25
and a 3hr trainer ride (roughly 50miles)


A little bit of an overachiever, but the fear of Ironman looms large, so I guess that is what you do!

KT:

I have a confession. Sadly, I didn't take many pictures. I'll explain as I go.

My birthday is July 3rd, 1980. It fell on a Thursday this year and if you do the math correctly, I turned 28. I have never taken my birthday off work but this year was different. I took Thursday off, had Friday off for the holiday and then of course Saturday and Sunday. It was a whole birthday weekend. Mr KT was on mission trip with the youth from our church and our "boarder" went home for the long weekend and so I had the house to myself.

Swim: 2 miles
I woke up bright and early on Thursday and headed out to do a double masters workout. 2 swimming miles is apparently 3300 yds. Perfect. I had wanted to take my picture from the back putting on my goggles with the pool ahead of me but about 50 or 60 swimmers who were in town for the Olympic swim trials were there that morning and that just seemed too weird. The masters set included

600 pks warm up
4x150 free getting faster within the 150 RI:10
16x25 IM order RI:05
4x200 (2 pull, 2 kick) RI:05

Then I was told to warm down. Um... I need at least 900 more yds coach. She was a rookie (not my usual coach) and didn't have anything else planned for me and just then two guys jumped in my lane for the next practice. They started their 600 warm up and so I just added myself to their circle swim and swam a 900. Why not? Felt good, did the first 700 at race pace and the last 200 as a warm down.
Total time for practice and the extra 900 - 1:20

T1: 4 hrs 10 min
I had a buddy coming in from out of town to ride and run with me. So I took some time during T1 to have some breakfast, calibrate my ipod, run to Target and the bookstore and play my guitar.

Bike: 28.05 miles
E and I rode south on the Keystone Trail with the wind. That meant that at our self proclaimed turn around we had the wind in our faces. I ate every 30 minutes, drank Gatorade every 15 and sipped on water from my Camelbak throughout but my legs were still tired from Sunday's longish brick and it was a somewhat challenging ride. I wore my local team's sleeveless triathlon jersey and the pockets are minimal so no room for the camera.
Bike time - 1:40
Pace: 16.3


T2: 10 minutes maybe?
Enough time to change into running clothes and grab a visor for me and a hat for E.

Run: 8.2 hot, sweaty, thirsty miles
We headed out with no water bottles or fuel belts. I tried to pick a fairly shaded route but its hot and humid in Nebraska in the summer no matter where you run. We were about 3.5 miles in and I could tell E was not feeling awesome. He is in great shape but hadn't had lunch. We ran the back half of the loop and then came back around looking for a water fountain. At this point I accidentally reset my Nike ipod+. Totally annoying. We figured out how much further it was and headed out on the sun baked Keystone trail for a mile and a half or so. We finally turned around and headed back home. I never run in just a sports bra but I was so hot and miserable I peeled off the tank top. I'm not proud of it but it felt good to be free of that sweaty shirt. I had to walk for about 200 yds as we headed home due to cramps in my pelvis and low back, not sure what that was all about. Ran the giant hill up to my house and it was over.
Run time: 1:15
Pace: 9:08 min/mile


So no pics (may post some soon) but got the job done!
Happy birthday to me.

note:
On Thursday I did this little event and then on the following Saturday (2 days later) I did a 53 mile bike/12 mile run brick and felt great. 2 weeks from the day after that I will compete in my first ever HIM! Perfect training. Couldn't have timed it better if I had tried.