Saturday, December 17, 2011

2012 Race Schedule

I have finally figured out a preliminary race schedule for 2012.  In 2011 I only did three races including Ironman Wisconsin.  The plan this year is to put more races on the docket thus forcing me to get in shape earlier in the year to avoid embarrassment.  Embarrassment is a big motivator and so is whopping up on specific individuals. (You know who you are)

The first couple races of the year will be in January and February.  The Chilly Cheek Duathlon series takes place rain, snow or shine and encompasses four miles of running and ten miles of biking.  It is early in the season and hopefully will provide me a little incentive to work on my running.  I will also need to be ready to ride either my mountain bike or road bike depending on conditions.  I am hoping to convince a few people to join me in these races.

In April I have scheduled the Platte River Half Marathon.  I have never run a stand alone half marathon so this should be a good indicator of my early season fitness.  I have also heard from a number of people that this is a great race.

On May 5 is the Spartan Race.  This is a five mile obstacle course at Fort Carson military base.  This race concerns me a little since it is going to require some strength and agility.  I plan on hitting some weights and doing some crossfit the first few months of the year to hopefully get me ready for the race. I do not want to muscle up but would love to improve my upper body strength. I am also trying to get a team from my work or friends together to compete.  The Barking Dog Duathlon is a 5k/30k/5k race which I did last year and is scheduled for May 12. I really enjoyed the race because of the friendly atmosphere.  I came in 3rd place in the Clydesdale division of the sprint last year. Hopefully I will not qualify for that division in 2012.  I believe this will also be my wife's first race of the season.

June 9 is the first major race of the year with Kansas 70.3.  The plan is for a group of us to do this race.  It will be fun racing and beating the people I train with. (Yes are my motivator)  June 24 is Xterra Curt Gowdy in Wyoming.  The Xterra is an off road race which includes mountain biking and trail running.  I was very hesitant to put this race on the schedule because Kansas is only two weeks prior.  I am going to have to get some mountain bike riding in early in the season which will take away from my road bike.  I actually think this will be beneficial.  I tend to get my heart rate in the red zone a lot easier mountain biking then on my road bike.  I plan on using the mountain bike training to get my "intervals" in. My friend Christy has also promised to help me get ready for this race since she will also be competing.

In July my race will be either Racine 70.3 on July 15 or the Door County Half-Ironman on July 22.  Racine is my hometown and I did the race last year and loved it.  It would be great to race the course again and gauge my fitness.  However, I have heard great things about Door County and it would be nice to visit that part of Wisconsin.  I guess this decision will be based upon which week works best for vacation.

The last race I have scheduled is September 9, 2012..Ironman Wisconsin.  I have a goal time in mind for this year. I will share that at a later date.  There are numerous other races in Colorado this year and I may do a sprint or olympic in early August or even the end of July.  There is another Xterra Race near my home on August 4, 2012, Xterra Indian Peaks.  Also, the new HITS race series is in Colorado the end of July which includes all distances of races. 

Overall I think my race schedule is solid. I am really looking forward to racing with people I know and sharing the experience.  I am also looking forward to scheduling my wife's races this year. She has taken an interest in the sport and plans on doing a few sprints and possibly an olympic this year.  I am also looking forward to getting some miles on my mountain bike. I totally neglected it last year.  If there are any other races that you recommend or have input on the races I have scheduled please let me know.  Hope everyone's Christmas season is going well.

Also make sure that you tell all your friends and family how much you care about them at this time of the season as well as all year long.  As I write this my mother is again in ICU in Wisconsin fighting the complications of her cancer and the stroke she had 20 years ago.  I will be leaving for Wisconsin shortly to be with her and the rest of my family to celebrate Christmas.  Remember the true reason this season is great and that the memories you make and share with loved ones are far more precious and everlasting then any gifts.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

We're Smelling Roses.

In other non-triathlon related news..The Big Ten champion University of Wisconsin Badgers will be taking on the Oregon Ducks in the Rose Bowl this year.  As you all know my family and I are huge Badger's fans.  And my brother Ben was able to score us tickets for the game.
Wife smiling after she finds out I am leaving for three days
My wife was especially happy to hear that I would be leaving for a few days. (For some reason my wife is always happy when I leave..she says it's because she misses me so much when I am gone that she loves me that much more when I return.  I don't really buy this..I think it has more to do with the house staying clean).
This will be my second trip to see the Badgers in the Rose Bowl.  My first trip was in 2000 when Ron Dayne ran over the Stanford defense for an ultimate Bucky victory.  For those of you who do not know the long standing traditions of Wisconsin just ask one of the true believers to Teach you how to Bucky.

This game will take on even more my brother Ben..because he is a graduate of UW and worked in the ticket office...and then he went to work for the University of Oregon Athletic Department.  Although no longer there, he still has about a quarter of his closet filled with green and yellow..all of which will still be in his closet as we head to Pasadena.

How does this relate to triathlon?  Well for one I have even more incentive to drop weight so me and the posse can show up the California natives on the beach volleyball courts.  Of course I have no idea where I will be getting a tan beforehand. really does have nothing to do with triathlon..but its all about Bucky.
Best Mascot Ever

 So feel free to join Sconnie Nation and root for the Badgers on January 2nd 2012.

We're Smelling Roses and remember..Quack is Whack!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

On my Christmas List for this year.

Since it is Christmas time..and my tri bag was stolen with half my equipment...I have been shopping for new gear.  Here is a quick list of what I am asking for in case anyone feels generous or you can use the list for triathletes you are shopping for.  Just click on the item name for a link to a description.

1.  The Nathan Endurance Hydration Pack.
These vests sit a lot higher on my back then the camelbaks do.  I have not actually found the endurance to try on but have found a couple of similar Nathan vests.  I am thinking this may be the answer to my hydration issues since the fuel belt just does not carry enough fluid.  There is even room on the vest for an additional water bottle.  Here is a complete Review.

2.  Sony Cybershot DSC-TX10
I actually just picked this camera up on Amazon for an amazing Black Friday price to replace my Canon that was stolen.  I was looking for a waterproof, shock proof, compact camera and the Sony fits the bill.  Further I only payed $160.00 for it..about 60% of the normal price..and insurance is covering it..So far the camera works great and I will start posting pictures in the near future.  I have not had a chance to check out the waterproof capabilities as of yet.

3. Timex 100 lap watch 
This is the watch that was stolen.  I really like it for swimming and being able to record my splits.  I was looking at upgrading to the Timex 150 lap with tap technology but was disappointed with a lot of reviews that said the watch would randomly record lap splits while swimming.  Obviously the watch would be useless then.

4. Swimp3 Player 
This is awesome...I can listen to my music while I swim. Better yet there are no ear plugs..the unit fits on your goggles and sits on your cheek bones.  Once you are swimming the music sounds great.

5.Garmin 910XT  The item every triathlete wants.  Of course it is supposedly available right now but every place on the planet has them backordered until late January or February.
I loved my Garmin 305 and 310xt (which was also stolen) but this is the creme de la creme...It has all the functionality of the previous garmins and has also made significant upgrades in its ability to record information both during an open water swim and indoors.  The price is hefty at $449 for the unit with a heart rate monitor..but it is only $50 more than the 310xt.  The extra $50.00 is well worth the added functions.  I am guessing the 310 will be dropping in price soon.

6.   Newton Running Shoes
I love my Newtons..however they are very pricey..especially if bought from the Newton Store in Boulder.  However, they did transform me from a heel strike runner into a midfoot runner.  That does not sound like much but before the Newtons I could only run a mile or two without my knees hurting.  Once I changed my form with the assistance of the Newtons I have no knee pain at all and have done 2- 3 hour runs with little or no pain.  I have tried to switch back to other brands with mixed success and am therefore going back to the Newtons for next season.

7.  TYR Transition Bag
This is a great bag for the gym or for race day.  It is a back pack and contains a wet bag inside as well as space on the bottom for your wetsuit..and the price does not break the bank.  I would suggest this bag to anyone looking for a relatively inexpensive triathlon bag..about $50.00 online.

8. Scattante multi lens sunglasses

I LOVE these sungalsses..they are a multi-lens system and they fit my fat head.  They are sold by Performance Bike shop either in their stores or online. There is also a woman's model for smaller faces that can be seen on the website. And they are always on sale. Right now they are on sale for 29.99.  I use them for everything..running, cycling..just looking cool.

Those are a few ideas that I have for a triathlete for Christmas.  I am going out soon to try an replace some of the items. Hope everyone is having a great Holiday Season!.