Sunday, December 27, 2009


Photo: 11-mile outdoor run, 20-mile indoor ride, 8:00 a.m., 15 degrees, Marion, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,000 yds (ytd 67,050 yds.)
Bike: 97 miles (ytd 5,789 mi.)
Run: 37 miles (ytd 1,623 mi.)

Monday, December 21, 2009


Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 66,050 yds.)
Bike: 111 miles (ytd 5,803 mi.)
Run: 35 miles (ytd 1,621 mi.)

I had to grab a quick lunch the other day. Too many deadlines and too little time for a workout (besides, the temps were hovering around zero and I'd already been out for an early-morning run in the -20 wind chill. Frostbite twice in one day? Nah.).


So I drove thru the local Taco Bell®, placed my order for six softshell tacos (yes, six) and proceeded to window #2 (#1 was frozen). The Iowa-friendly gal (as in "thanks, hon") then handed over my six softshell tacos (yes, six) and my $.13 in change.

While the six softshell tacos (yes, six) made it into my vehicle, the change dropped to the ground during hand-off. There were cars lined up behind me; the counter to my left prevented my door from opening; and did I mention the temps were hovering around zero? So I drove off, leaving my $.13 behind.

And that's when I started thinking...

There are roughly 195,000 fast-food restaurants in the U.S. (don't ask, I just know these things). At least half of them have drive-thru counters. Now let's assume each of those 97,500 drive-thru lanes sees roughly 50 cars on any given lunch hour. Of those 50 cars, I'd bet 10 of their drivers lose $.13 in the now-dreaded hand-off. I'm no genius, but my little Microsoft® calculator tells me that 97,500 x 10 x $.13 = $126,750.00.

Every lunch hour, guys (and gals) like me are skipping their workouts (cut me some slack, the temps were hovering around zero... did I mention that?) only to toss a six-figure income out the window... every single lunch break.

Tomorrow I'm thinking of skipping lunch to go for a run. In 60 minutes I can jog over to the local fast-food shop and collect $1.30 in dropped change. If I keep it up for another 40 years , I'll bag $18,980. Can I get a "Hell yeah!"

Then again, I hear the temps tomorrow are supposed to be hovering around zero...

Monday, December 14, 2009


Photo: 11-mile outdoor run, 20-mile indoor ride, 6:00 a.m., 5 degrees, Marion, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 66,050 yds.)
Bike: 100 miles (ytd 5,692 mi.)
Run: 35 miles (ytd 1,586 mi.)

IT may not be March, but IT roared in like a lion.

Sunday, December 06, 2009


Photo: 10-mile run, 13-mile single-speed ride, 7:30 a.m., 15 degrees, Marion, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 66,050 yds.)
Bike: 95 miles (ytd 5,592 mi.)
Run: 40 miles (ytd 1,551 mi.)

Sunday, November 29, 2009


BONUS POST!

26-inches +
1 Thanksgiving road trip +
1 Twin Cities
Bike Co-Op =

29, er, inches



Photo: 3.1-mile run, 8:30 a.m., 30 degrees, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 66,050 yds.)
Bike: 87 miles (ytd 5,497 mi.)
Run: 31 miles (ytd 1,511 mi.)

Earning the bird with the next generation.

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Photo: 8-mile run, 6 a.m., 45 degrees, Ames, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,100 yds (ytd 66,050 yds.)
Bike: 84 miles (ytd 5,410 mi.)
Run: 31 miles (ytd 1,480 mi.)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Photo: 50-mile single-speed ride, 10-mile run, 9 a.m., 45 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 64,950 yds.)
Bike: 121 miles (ytd 5,326 mi.)
Run: 26 miles (ytd 1,449 mi.)

Giving thanks for perfect placement.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Photo: 51-mile single-speed ride, 9 a.m., 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa... I think

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,100 yds (ytd 64,950 yds.)
Bike: 134 miles (ytd 5,205 mi.)
Run: 25 miles (ytd 1,423 mi.)

Sunday, November 01, 2009


Photo: 12-mile fixed-gear ride, 2-mile run, 8 a.m., 38 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,100 yds (ytd 63,950 yds.)
Bike: 107 miles (ytd 5,071 mi.)
Run: 23 miles (ytd 1,398 mi.)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

video

Photo: 27-mile single-speed ride, 2-mile run, 9 a.m., 34 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 62,850 yds.)
Bike: 135 miles (ytd 4,978 mi.)
Run: 15 miles (ytd 1,375 mi.)

Sunday, October 18, 2009


Photo: 42-mile single-speed ride, 2-mile run, 9 a.m., 30 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 62,850 yds.)
Bike: 110 miles (ytd 4,843 mi.)
Run: 32 miles (ytd 1,360 mi.)

The gravel roads of Iowa -- where cyclists conquer... furniture?

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Photo: 44-mile single-speed ride, 2-mile run, 9 a.m., 30 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,500 yds (ytd 62,850 yds.)
Bike: 114 miles (ytd 4,733 mi.)
Run: 41 miles (ytd 1,328 mi.)

Snowy Saturday morning spin class.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Photo: 25-mile single-speed ride, 2-mile run, 9 a.m., 38 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 61,350 yds.)
Bike: 90 miles (ytd 4,619 mi.)
Run: 37 miles (ytd 1,287 mi.)


video

Sunday, September 27, 2009


video

Photo: 15-mile run, 15-mile ride, 10 a.m., 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,000 yds (ytd 61,350 yds.)
Bike: 125 miles (ytd 4,529 mi.)
Run: 31 miles (ytd 1,250 mi.)

15-second fix (a.k.a. 15 seconds fixed)

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Photo: 50-mile ride, 2-mile run, 9 a.m., 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 60,350 yds.)
Bike: 104 miles (ytd 4,404 mi.)
Run: 27 miles (ytd 1,219 mi.)

Kona Girl nearing the end of her
long road.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


BONUS POST!

I’ve been hovering around the endurance world for more than a couple decades, so it no longer comes as a surprise when I make new friends during my travels or run into old ones. Not long ago, I stumbled across a childhood sidekick who was making a first try at ‘tri.’ It wasn’t long before the comment, “I want to get faster; everyone tells me I need a new bike.”

Ugh.

I’ll be the first to admit I’ve been sucked into the marketing tactics of all the manufacturers. To my family’s dismay, there are now six rigs in the basement; too many parts to count; a spare this and a spare that. But I’m also smart enough to know, none of that equipment buys me a single second if there’s no engine inside my 47-year-old skin. I’ve received awards after plenty of races and I’ve fallen off the back at others because I wasn’t race ready. The bike I was riding never got the credit or the blame.

Of course no one, from newbie to ‘old-bie’ wants to hear that. They just want to roll up to the next race with the priciest cockpit, the latest wheelset, and the trendiest paint scheme. Results? Whatever.

The Burrito Union 10-hour Triathlon has become a personal favorite. Nestled in Northern Wisconsin’s Pattison State Park, the race pits each entrant against cold lake water, a demanding cycling course and a TOUGH trail run… over and over and over, all day long.

What better place to NOT take my Cervelo, but instead a $500 single-speed bicycle… fixed gear to be exact. No aero bars, no disc, no teardrop helmet and no freewheel. My fellow racers and traveling companions thought my choice was idiotic. Maybe they were right, but it was off to the north woods to find out.

Long story short, I covered roughly the same amount of ground (and water) at ‘Burrito’ as I had the year before. Yes, not being able to coast on the descents or turn a huge gear on the flats had me questioning my choice, and repeating the climb into transition, unable to shift-n-spin started to hurt by triathlon lap 4, but I also spent more time thinking about pacing than I would have otherwise, and I always saved a little in the tank to catch up with friends and competitors on the swim and run. I raced smart.

In the end, I got beat by some folks and passed others; solo racers and teams. I missed my age-group podium by a couple slots. I also realized you-know-who was right; it’s NOT about the bike. It’s about the heart, lungs and legs you brought on race day, whether you have one gear or 20.

What I told my old friend was right after all: Clean up the bike that you already own and get on it. You don’t need the latest, you just need your greatest effort. Put down the parts catalog and stop shopping on the Web. Get outside to ride.

See you next year at ‘Burrito’… I’ll be the one on the P3 .

Monday, September 14, 2009


Photo: 1 race, 1 gear, 5 triathlons, all day long, Pattison State Park, Wisconsin

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 4,250 yds (ytd 60,350 yds.)
Bike: 156 miles (ytd 4,300 mi.)
Run: 33 miles (ytd 1,191 mi.)

Between a rock and a hard place.

Monday, September 07, 2009


Photo: 10-mile run, 30-mile ride, 10:00 a.m., 70 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,100 yds (ytd 56,100 yds.)
Bike: 174 miles (ytd 4,144 mi.)
Run: 32 miles (ytd 1,158 mi.)

Mooving

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Photo: 10-mile run, 7:00 a.m., 45 degrees, Eagan, Minnesota

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,200 yds (ytd 55,000 yds.)
Bike: 99 miles (ytd 3,970 mi.)
Run: 33 miles (ytd 1,126 mi.)

Gone runnin'

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Photo: 2-mile run, 55-mile ride, 2-mile run, 9:00 a.m., 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 4,200 yds (ytd 53,800 yds.)
Bike: 164 miles (ytd 3,871 mi.)
Run: 30 miles (ytd 1,093 mi.)

The
Pitbull during his much-needed cankle and bladder break.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Photo: 15-mile ride, 3-mile run, 7:00 a.m., 70 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,400 yds (ytd 49,600 yds.)
Bike: 149 miles (ytd 3,707 mi.)
Run: 32 miles (ytd 1,063 mi.)

In a fog.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Photo: 56-mile ride, 9:00 a.m., 80 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,200 yds (ytd 46,200 yds.)
Bike: 164 miles (ytd 3,558 mi.)
Run: 25 miles (ytd 1,031 mi.)

Monday, August 03, 2009


Photo: 7-mile run, 11:00 a.m., 75 degrees, Woodbury, Minnesota

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,100 yds (ytd 43,000 yds.)
Bike: 153 miles (ytd 3,394 mi.)
Run: 23 miles (ytd 1,006 mi.)

Monday, July 27, 2009


Photo: Cool, cool-down, 10:00 a.m., 60 degrees, SoCal

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 2,000 yds (ytd 39,900 yds.)
Bike: 53 miles (ytd 3,241 mi.)
Run: 23 miles (ytd 983 mi.)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Photo: 6-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 60 degrees, Laguna Beach, California

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 2,400 yds (ytd 37,900 yds.)
Bike: 65 miles (ytd 3,188 mi.)
Run: 25 miles (ytd 960 mi.)

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Photo: 15-mile fixie ride, 3-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,600 yds (ytd 35,500 yds.)
Bike: 166 miles (ytd 3,123 mi.)
Run: 36 miles (ytd 935 mi.)

Conundrum

Sunday, July 05, 2009


Photo: 56-mile single-speed ride, 11:00 p.m., 65 degrees, Somewhere in Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,000 yds (ytd 31,900 yds.)
Bike: 145 miles (ytd 2,957 mi.)
Run: 37 miles (ytd 899 mi.)

Daylight ends, the fun begins.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


Photo: 15-mile single-speed ride, 6-mile run, 9:00 a.m., 40 degrees, Summit County, CO

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 4,300 yds (ytd 28,900 yds.)
Bike: 108 miles (ytd 2,812 mi.)
Run: 20 miles (ytd 862 mi.)

Sunday, June 21, 2009


Photo: 50-mile fixie ride, 2-mile run, 9:00 a.m., 70 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,800 yds (ytd 28,900 yds.)
Bike: 142 miles (ytd 2,812 mi.)
Run: 31 miles (ytd 862 mi.)


Sunday, June 14, 2009


Photo: 60-mile ride, 2-mile run, 9:00 a.m., 60 degrees, in-the-fallout-from-the-Duane-Arnold-Nuclear-Facility, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,500 yds (ytd 27,100 yds.)
Bike: 138 miles (ytd 2,670 mi.)
Run: 26 miles (ytd 831 mi.)

A good race on Saturday; a butt-kicking, courtesy of the IronCop, on Sunday.

Monday, June 08, 2009



Photo: 550-yard swim, 15.5-mile ride, 3.1-mile run, 10:00 a.m., 70 degrees, Pleasant Creek State Park, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 2,100 yds (ytd 25,600 yds.)
Bike: 113 miles (ytd 2,532 mi.)
Run: 19 miles (ytd 805 mi.)

And this little piggy got none.

Sunday, May 31, 2009


Photo: 52-mile ride, 3-mile run, 9:00 a.m., 60 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 600 yds (ytd 23,500 yds.)
Bike: 229 miles (ytd 2,419 mi.)
Run: 30 miles (ytd 786 mi.)

Chasing shadows.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

"Where Are You Go" -- I wanna go!


Photo: 51-mile ride, 2-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 60 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 22,900 yds.)
Bike: 175 miles (ytd 2,190 mi.)
Run: 29 miles (ytd 756 mi.)

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Photo: 50-mile ride, 4-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 40 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 800 yds (ytd 22,900 yds.)
Bike: 185 miles (ytd 2,015 mi.)
Run: 17 miles (ytd 727 mi.)


Sunday, May 10, 2009


Photo: 31-mile run, 11:00 a.m., 50 degrees, Kettle Moraine Forest, WI

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 22,100 yds.)
Bike: 90 miles (ytd 1,830 mi.)
Run: 46 miles (ytd 710 mi.)

"One by one... "

Monday, May 04, 2009

Two wheels and some space... it's all you need:


Photo: 63-mile fixie ride, 11:00 a.m., 70 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 22,100 yds.)
Bike: 144 miles (ytd 1,740 mi.)
Run: 34 miles (ytd 664 mi.)

I prayed for fresh legs and all I got was the boot.

Sunday, April 26, 2009


Photo: 10-mile run, 31-mile fixie ride, 9:00 a.m., 50 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,600 yds (ytd 22,100 yds.)
Bike: 129 miles (ytd 1,596 mi.)
Run: 45 miles (ytd 630 mi.)

Monday, April 20, 2009


Photo: 21-mile run, 14-mile fixie ride, 7:00 a.m., 55 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,000 yds (ytd 18,500 yds.)
Bike: 128 miles (ytd 1,467 mi.)
Run: 46 miles (ytd 585 mi.)

a) aid station
b) rest stop
c) scene of recent high school shenanigans
d) ?

Sunday, April 12, 2009


Photo: 46-mile fixie ride, 2-mile run, 10:00 a.m., 45 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 15,500 yds.)
Bike: 100 miles (ytd 1,339 mi.)
Run: 43 miles (ytd 539 mi.)

One small silo, one big blue sky.

Sunday, April 05, 2009


Photo: 45-minute run, 2-hour gravel ride, 9:00 a.m., 35 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 15,500 yds.)
Bike: 102 miles (ytd 1,239 mi.)
Run: 43 miles (ytd 496 mi.)

Not lost, just confused.

Sunday, March 29, 2009


Photo: 6-mile run, 8:30 a.m., 30 degrees, Chicago, IL

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,000 yds (ytd 15,500 yds.)
Bike: 67 miles (ytd 1,137 mi.)
Run: 49 miles (ytd 453 mi.)

Tip to nephew: When your uncle says "smile," he really means "brace yourself."

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Photo: 47-mile fixie ride, 2-mile run, 10:00 a.m., 50 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 2,400 yds (ytd 12,500 yds.)
Bike: 115 miles (ytd 1,070 mi.)
Run: 48 miles (ytd 404 mi.)

In a bit of a fix.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Photo: 30-mile single-speed ride, 4-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 30 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,500 yds (ytd 11,100 yds.)
Bike: 109 miles (ytd 955 mi.)
Run: 43 miles (ytd 356 mi.)

Welcome to Iowa:

WARNING
Unauthorized Persons
Apprehended On This Land
Will Be Charged With
Trespassing And
Prosecuted Under The
Iowa Trespass Law
Dogs Will Be Destroyed

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Photo: 5-mile run, 6:00 a.m., 20 degrees, Marion, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,400 yds (ytd 7,600 yds.)
Bike: 100 miles (ytd 846 mi.)
Run: 41 miles (ytd 315 mi.)

It's all a blur.

Sunday, March 01, 2009


Photo: 15-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 10 degrees, Marion, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 6,200 yds.)
Bike: 85 miles (ytd 746 mi.)
Run: 45 miles (ytd 274 mi.)

Take a left at the moon.

Sunday, February 22, 2009


Photo: 9-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 2 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 6,200 yds.)
Bike: 85 miles (ytd 661 mi.)
Run: 35 miles (ytd 229 mi.)

On the (frozen) road to nowhere.

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Photo: 13-mile run/12-mile ride, 8:00 a.m., 18 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,300 yds (ytd 6,200 yds.)
Bike: 80 miles (ytd 576 mi.)
Run: 33 miles (ytd 194 mi.)

Four seasons in four days... ugh.

Sunday, February 08, 2009


Photo: 52-mile ride/2-mile run, 7:00 a.m., 45 degrees, Linn County, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 4,900 yds.)
Bike: 108 miles (ytd 494 mi.)
Run: 30 miles (ytd 161 mi.)

Here comes the fun...

Sunday, February 01, 2009


Photo: 10-mile run, 8:00 a.m., 25 degrees, Marion, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 2,600 yds (ytd 4,900 yds.)
Bike: 79 miles (ytd 386 mi.)
Run: 31 miles (ytd 131 mi.)

Where's Bowden?

Sunday, January 25, 2009


Photo: 10-mile run, 6:00 a.m., -10 degrees, Marion, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 2,300 yds.)
Bike: 82 miles (ytd 307 mi.)
Run: 30 miles (ytd 100 mi.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Photo: 3-mile run, 5:30 a.m., -24 degrees/-51 windchill, Marion, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 2,300 yds.)
Bike: 85 miles (ytd 225 mi.)
Run: 28 miles (ytd 70 mi.)

Thanks-but-no-thanks to the policeman who offered me a ride... and who was kind enough to snap a photo.

Sunday, January 11, 2009


Photo: 8-mile run, 7:00 a.m., 20 degrees, Marion, IA

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 2,300 yds (ytd 2,300 yds.)
Bike: 79 miles (ytd 140 mi.)
Run: 28 miles (ytd 42 mi.)

Ride?