Please Visit My New Triathlon Website


Friday, April 20, 2007

Busy with

Sorry I haven't posted since Saturday. As K mentioned a few days ago, we're launching this weekend. The web guys tell me we're a go - probably. :) I've been busy getting it ready, fighting off stupid injuries, attempting to train a little, and (oh yeah) running my other business (aka my j-o-b). Things are crazy. Anyway, check out the website. It's going to be very, very cool...

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Strange Days Indeed

So, the last few weeks haven't exactly gone my way. I was sick, and missed training. After tapering for Ragnar, I pulled my hamstring during the race, and missed training. Got back up to speed, and had a minor crash on the bike that roughed up my hip, and missed more training. It's a nice black/purple/yellow color! Man. I guess nobody ever said this Ironman stuff was easy. I am really glad that I have completed my first one, though. I think I'd be an absolute wreck if I'd missed this much training the first time around. I'm not happy about it, but I know everything will ultimately be okay. I may have to start altering goals a little, but I"ll withhold judgement on that one until I see how the next month+ works out.

The good news is that I busted out a 62.3 mile bike ride/:30 brick today, even with all the downtime. I got a little tired on the bike, but held up okay. Brick felt fine. I'm tired (feel like I could nap), but other than that I feel great. I didn't know how the hip would hold up (sore/tender, but more annoying than painful), the hamstring (a little tight, not bad), the heartrate (high, but within aerobic limits), and the desire (soaring!). K is pretty happy for me to get back out there, too. I was definitely grumpy having so much time off and not working out. grrrrrrrrrrrr. hee hee hee. Everyone at work will be happy, too, I"m sure.

So tomorrow is IronMan Arizona. I have a work thing all day, which is very disappointing. I have been to the first 2 as a spectator and volunteer. I love IronMan day, whether racing, watching, or helping. It is so inspiring to see people of all ages, sizes, shapes, adn abilities get out there to do their thing. My good friend, Lito, is racing tomorrow. He had a family tragedy about 4 weeks from race day last year and had to pull out. The guy has been training for this race for like 2 years. Send good mojo his way, he deserves it! I know it will be very emotional for him, as it is for everyone, and I have to honestly say that I feel pretty guilty about not being there for him. I am bringing my laptop and will check on him, and send good mojo, as often as I can. You know, when you sit and think about all he's been through to get to the start line, my silly little injuries really don't mean anything. Go get it, Lito, tomorrow you join the IronMan family. The price of admission is high, but the rewards will stay with you forever...

Monday, April 9, 2007

Um, I crashed

Okay, what is going on with my training? For IM Wisconsin last year, I kept a daily log of my workouts. I had a big spreadsheet that I hung on the wall, 11 boxes wide (1 for each workout) and 20 boxes tall (1 for each week). If I completed a workout, I highlighted it yellow. If I missed a workout, I highlighted it pink. This was mostly to discourage myself from missing workouts, since I didn't want a wall full of pink. I barely missed any workouts. IM scared me too much. I had a couple that I missed from being out of town, a couple from being sick, and a couple from a knee injury I was fighting after a derailleur failure in a 1/2 IM warm-up race. That was it. I think I've missed more than that in the last 2 weeks!!!!!

It started with being sick with a sinus infection a couple weeks ago. Then a taper for Ragnar. Then a VERY sore hamstring from running Ragnar like my very life depended on it, more days off. This makes 2 weeks in a row without a long ride. Okay, I can deal with it, it'll be fine. Then, on Saturday, just a little over an hour into our long ride I fell behind the rest of the group. I'd slowed a little to eat, and was babying my hamstring so I didn't hammer away to catch back up. I figured I'd catch them eventually. As I approached the bottom of a hill and stop sign, I couldn't see anybody. We almost always go straight there, and I could see ahead for a little ways, and didn't see anybody. So, I started through the intersection, slowly, looking right in case they'd gone that way. I figured out they had gone that way, started to turn right, BAM!!!!!! I was on the ground. Ouch. How did that happen? I'm still not really sure. I don't know if it was slick, or if my new tire slid out, or if I just, well, fell.

I got my bike out of the middle of the street and realized I had a flat. K & momo came back and asked if I'd flatted. "Um, I crashed" was all I could reply. Okay, time for a damage report. My hip hurts quite a bit - hmmmm road rash. My ankle seems to hurt - hmmmmm I don't seem to have an ankle, just a bloody mess. My hands kind-of hurt - hmmmmm looks like I tried to stop myself and scraped them up, too. It wasn't until today that I realized my neck/shoulder and bicep (How does that happen?!?) are a mess, too. The girls offered to call someone to pick me up, but I knew that if I didn't get back on the bike I would be intimidated by it. So, I got back on and limped home. Nobody said anything, but I know I was obscenely slow. Thanks for not saying anything ladies.

Guess what? No long ride for 3 weeks running! Yikes. I was okay with 2, I"m stressing a little about 3. I'm going to have to back down my mileage and re-intersect with the group when they take down week coming up. My Sunday run - didn't happen. My Monday (today)am Long swim. um 750m instead of 3500m. I just couldn't do it. I will try to do the 3500m Wednesday, and count this one as my "recovery" swim.

I guess I just need to stay upright for awhile and get back on track.

Thursday, April 5, 2007


Okay, I'm not very good at posting every day. But I post BIG when I do post. Here's the Ragnar Story...

2007 Ragnar Relay Del Sol Race Report

12 people
2 vehicles
187 miles to run (or 189, I don't know)
2 days
0 sleep

The 2007 inaugural Ragnar Relay Del Sol began for us in about November of 2006. Our friend Tonsa found the race and invited us other “fools”, um, friends, to join her team. It took a grand total of about 2 hours to get a team of 12 together, as we “fools” tend to like to do crazy stuff like this. One fool in particular, me, understood that there would be at least some sleep time involved. Boy was I wrong! Anyway, we set out to complete this race just to finish it and enjoy the time. Then, in February of this year, all our reasoning and desire around this race changed. Our leader, Tonsa, was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. She has described the feeling as being similar to getting punched in the gut, and, quite ironic since she’s a lifetime supporter of Susan G. Komen for the Cure and had a clear mammagram the month before!! Not to mention being very healthy, active, and overall not a good target for cancer. Well, cancer didn’t know what it was getting into.

Tonsa insisted we find a substitute and it took less time than gathering our original 12. Now, we had our team, but this race was no longer about just completing it, it had to be more. My wife Krista and I were talking about it, and we decided to try to raise some money within our group to give to breast cancer research. Our initial thoughts were that we should easily come up with $500. Cool, at least something good will come of this! I don’t know exactly how it happened, but after Krista posted this idea on her blog the race directors contacted her and wanted to throw Tonsa’s race entry fee into the donation fund. Wow. Hey – maybe we can raise a little more? Our group got up to just over $1000, and then we called in the media! Tanner (race director) was fantastic and put together a press release and helped us to secure some newspaper and television coverage. At the start of race week, Krista and Tonsa were interviewed repeatedly for 2 different news channels (only our local NBC affiliate ran the story), and 2 different local newspapers. To keep this from becoming a book, I’ll summarize by saying that our official total donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure: $2280. Whoops. I just checked the website to confirm. We have a couple late additions and are now at $2,430!!!! This is fantastic. I’ll describe more about “why” in a minute, but this whole diagnosis, well, pissed me off. Nobody wants to feel helpless, and that’s how I felt about helping my friends. So, between raising some money, hopefully some awareness, and Tonsa being brave enough to try a clinical trial for a new drug delivery method, she is fighting back. And more importantly, we gave Tonsa something to do, something to look forward to, and the knowledge that we are all behind her the whole way. I’d like to think that we helped her through it, though I know the reality is that she would have been just fine without us. Anyway, I suppose it’s time to talk about the actual race.

11am, Friday March 30

Here’s a funny start… we all thought the race was Saturday/Sunday, not Friday/Saturday. Oops. At least we figured it out a month or so ahead of time. So, 11 am and a group of runners is leaving the start line as we arrive. The starts were spread out from 8am-6pm. The finish had to be more condensed, so the start times varied in order to accommodate different run paces. Our start was noon. We had 2 vehicles. We were in vehicle 1: Melissa, Ric, Daniel, Stacey, Krista, me (Shane). Vehicle 2: Troy, Heather, Natalie, Jeff, Mike, Sara.

The start was in the town of Wickenburg, AZ, about an hour or so out of Phoenix. Vehicle 1 went to the start, then Vehicle 2 would pick it up (and we’d be free to leave for awhile) at Lake Pleasant. Melissa was our first runner, and she would set the stage for things to come. We met Tanner, one of the race directors, and talked with him for a bit before starting. I cannot say enough good things about these guys. They were fantastic about everything and did all that they could to keep Tonsa involved and active in the process. All while coordinating a 187 mile run!!!!! If you have an opportunity to get involved with something, anything that these guys do, take the opportunity. They’re fantastic. Anyway, some team introductions, the band starts playing, and “go”. Our Ragnar Relay Del Sol begins!

There was one team called “The Core Group” that had a bunch of girls in sports bras on the team. I don’t understand why, none of the boys do, but the girls in the van seem to have taken great exception to this ab-baring runner group. The Core girl took off, and Melissa went against our game plan and decided she must, no matter what, she must pass her. Luckily for her, I took a picture of her doing it! (She claims it’s her favorite picture of the whole day!) So, she set the stage. Then Daniel was up. Daniel runs about 6:30 miles no matter what. He didn’t disappoint. He Dominated! That became our word – “Dominate”. Ric followed, then Krista. The most surprising thing was how much activity was involved when you weren’t running. We had to jump ahead, pull over and make lots of noise as our runner went by, then go ahead again, repeat, then to the next exchange to get the next runner ready. I expected a lot of boring down time, but it simply wasn’t the case. After Krista, I’m up. Okay, I’m going to stay aerobic and follow my heart rate. That lasted approximately 7 seconds. ☺ At 7 seconds into my run this girl literally sprinted by me. I knew she was starting to fast (this leg was over 6 miles long), but I had to keep contact with her and the guy she caught up with. It took me about 2 miles, but I started to pull ahead of her. My heartrate was in the high 170’s at this point. Oops. Aerobic ends at 157, and 178 is a little higher than that. But not as high as I would see. ☺ There was a nice climb in the middle, and that’s where I caught her. I encouraged her to stay with me, but she just couldn’t do it. Okay, time to catch the other guy. But, I just couldn’t make up any ground on him. Even climbing. Alright, but can he run downhill as well? Um…Yup. He pulled away from me. My heartrate hit 195 during that run, and team “Corn Fed Beef” (Nebraska boys) stayed ahead of us the rest of the race. I was pushing this run very, very hard. If you’ve ever run 6+ miles hard, you know that at about 4 miles everything starts to burn. Your lungs burn (plus it was hot), your quads burn, your feet burn, everything burns. At that point, my thoughts turned to Tonsa. How much does her struggle “burn”? And what about my other friends? See, Tonsa isn’t my only friend to be diagnosed with cancer recently. Candy was first, with ovarian cancer. Then Susan – breast cancer. Then Tonsa – breast cancer. This is why I got so pissed off when I heard about Tonsa. I felt helpless, and wanted to help! So, how much does the chemo and radiation “burn”? It’s all I could think about. How could I slow down and succumb to this minor discomfort when my friends were literally fighting with all they had. “Candy..huff..puff…Susan…huff…puff…Tonsa…huff…puff” repeat. They gave me strength. They gave me hope. They gave me a reason to ignore my silly, temporary pain. And, I tried with all my might to send this energy through the world to get to them. To somehow let them know that we support them. It may sound odd, but it’s what was going through my head. Next thing I knew, my leg was up and Stacey was our runner. I ran about ¼ mile to cool down, then off to support Stacey and meet the next van. Holy crap – I have to run 2 more times!!! Yikes!!!!!

It was fun to meet up with our team in Vehicle 2. We’d spoken several times on the phone, but it was good to see them in person. They were ready to go! We made the hand-off, drove ahead and cheered on Troy, then we were off for awhile. We were all STARVING, so we went to eat, then some quick showers at Ric’s house, a little TV, and time to head to the next exchange to start our legs again.

We found Vehicle 2 waiting at their last exchange point before the “major exchange” (where we start again). We drove up to cheer on our runner and were told we wouldn’t have any trouble seeing him. That was odd, because it was dark by then. As we drove down the road, we couldn’t help but be reminded of that old movie Close Encounters of the 3rd Kind. Our friend Matt graciously agreed to ride his mountain bike beside us for company and safety. He told me he’d gotten some lights…but WOW!!! He had 4 lights on front, and 4 blinking lights on the back. It looked like he’d rigged up some sort of pvc pipe thing to hold them all. It was great! A cool side effect was that it almost looked like police lights blinking from a distance, and that may have slowed some cars down. So, Mike handed off to Sara and we went ahead to cheer her on. There is a section of the race on a very scary road called the Carefree Highway. It turns out, our fears were justified. We were pulled off to one side waiting for her to go by and “BANG” an explosion in the oncoming traffic! Okay, it wasn’t really an explosion, but it took a minute to figure that out. I was kind-of looking that way, then really looking that way once I heard it. I initially thought someone had rear-ended a boat (it was dark), then realized it was a landscape trailer. The truck behind bounced up onto the trailer, then kind-of slid into the car beside them and back down. Yikes. There was debris everywhere. Thankfully, no runners were in their immediate path. I don’t believe they would have survived it if they had been. So, about 10-15 people are out there with flashlights and picking up debris, etc. I’m trying desperately to get oncoming cars to slow down, but many of them ignored the fact that there were 5 people in the median shining flashlights in their eyes. Their reward? They slammed into garbage bins, palates, and tree branches. I guess it might have been a good idea to slow down after all. Oh yeah, we called 911 immediately. The answer? We’re not really sure who’s jurisdiction that falls under. Thankfully I wasn’t the one on the phone because I wouldn’t be able to reprint what I would have replied to that bit of idiocy! It took seemingly forever for an officer to arrive, probably 10-15 minutes. I never heard what happened to the drivers, but it seems that the runners got through it okay. One guy was pretty confused and freaked out when he got to me, but I pointed him back the right direction and I think he’s just fine. So, Sara got by the mess okay, and it was our turns to run again.

Melissa started out slow, then got passed. Oh… it is ON!! She never lost site of the 2 girls that had the nerve to pass her. ☺ And Daniel smoked their counterparts when he took over, so all is well. DOMINATE! Ric & Krista had a lot of downhill, so guess what that left me? Up, up, up, up, up, up for 7.2 miles. Oh, and a nice surprise at the end. They moved the exchange point another .2 miles and I didn’t know it. It’s like 2:30 in the morning or something, there’s nobody on the road but a couple other runners (who I dominated, by the way) and nobody where the exchange is supposed to be. Uh oh. I guess I shouldn’t have picked up the pace so soon!! But, then I found them. That leg was brutal. It didn’t look that hard on paper, but the ice on my hamstring as I write this tells me it was, indeed, rough. Stacey took over and had a leg that made mine look easy, and she killed it. Okay, 2 down, and we’re off the clock again. Except we only had about 2.5-3 hours before starting again. So, we went to the next major exchange and tried to get some sleep. 45 minutes was better than nothing, so I took it. Even if it was without a pillow (shirts instead) on the mat of a junior high gym. I don’t want to think about it any further than that. The sleep felt great, though. The next thing I knew we were getting awakened and Melissa was soon to be running. The spaceship was on it’s way in, and off she went! Matt had to stop at this point. It was about 6am, so it was pretty much light before the end of Melissa’s run anyway. He rode for like 12 hours with us. What a guy. It would have been much, much harder and much scarier (especially for the girls) without him, so we couldn’t be any more thankful.

Krista picked up some really bad blood blisters, so her leg#3 wasn’t very much fun. But she made it. Thinking about Tonsa made this experience easier for all of us. Shortly before Krista arrived to hand off to me, another team arrived and handed off to their guy. I don’t know why, but I just had to pass him. I had to, no matter what. Silly, but true. So, I took off like mad when she got there. Let me preface this by saying that the leg was 3.4 miles, almost all downhill, so I knew I had gravity and brevity on my side. I was flying (for me). We’ve been ironman training, with all low-heartrate stuff, so running all out is a bit novel. I caught the guy within the first 1.5miles and just blasted past him. DOMINATE! There was also a bike race going on, and the main pack had a couple guys in it that were cheering for the runners, etc. It was really cool. I wanted to finish this leg in under 25minutes. Um, how about 22:05!!! I did the math, and I missed my 5k pr at the 3.1mile mark by about 25 seconds. Oops, probably went too hard. Hee hee hee. I guess that didn’t do my hamstring any favors, either. But man was it fun! Stacey took off, too, and our final leg came to an end. We met up with the other team and saw them off, then headed home to shower and get some much needed food. One item of note was something that surprised me a little bit. We had 6 sweaty, sleep deprived people in a car together for over 24 hours. And nobody ever got mad/irritated/annoyed with anybody. We just had a great time, and all supported each other. What a blast.

So, on to the finish line! We heard that the whole team gets to cross together, and we were doing it with Tonsa as part of the group. I hadn’t seen her, so for me it was especially nice to talk to her. Tonsa went out about 50 yards (don’t tell the docs) and ran in with Sara from there. I’ve never seen a smile so big in my whole life. Even at the finish of Ironman. Even at weddings, births, anywhere. She knew she was a part of every leg of this journey, and we were stronger because of it. Her fight and spirit are an inspiration to anyone who is fortunate enough to come in contact with her. So, we crossed the line. We took the pictures. The race directors saw to it that Tonsa got a medal like the rest of us. We took more pictures. Then, somehow, and I’m not completely sure how it happened, our Vehicle signed up for next year as “Team Anaerobic”. With 6 people instead of 12. They call it the “ultra.” The same race, with half as many people. It sounded like a good idea at the time. But that’s what we do. We do things that aren’t easy, that aren’t dull, and that require tremendous amounts of dedication, training, and energy. And, I believe, that’s why we get to know people like Tonsa. She’s our reward. We love you, sweetie, and you really were with us every step of the way. If you’re up for it, I want to take you on an Ironman journey in a few months. You’re going to L-O-V-E this ride!!...