Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Photo: 6-mile run, 22-mile ride, 9:00 am, 24 degrees, Marion, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 4,400 yds (ytd 249,600 yds.)
Bike: 56 miles (ytd 5,418 mi.)
Run: 21 miles (ytd 1,335 mi.)

BBBBBlue Christmas.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Photo: 6-mile run, 24-mile ride, 10:00 am, 30 degrees, Marion, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 4,100 yds (ytd 245,200 yds.)
Bike: 68 miles (ytd 5,372 mi.)
Run: 21 miles (ytd 1,314 mi.)

I'm dreaming of a brown, dusty Christmas.

Photo: 6-mile run, 16-mile ride, 9:00 am, 30 degrees, Marion, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 4,100 yds (ytd 241,100 yds.)
Bike: 52 miles (ytd 5,304 mi.)
Run: 20 miles (ytd 1,293 mi.)

Last gasp of fall, first breath of winter.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Video: 10-mile run, 8:00 am, 34 degrees, Decorah, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,700 yds (ytd 237,000 yds.)
Bike: 30 miles (ytd 5,252 mi.)
Run: 20 miles (ytd 1,273 mi.)

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Photo: 3-mile run, 8:00 am, 40 degrees, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 2,800 yds (ytd 233,300 yds.)
Bike: 61 miles (ytd 5,222 mi.)
Run: 17 miles (ytd 1,253 mi.)

In response to the seasonal rash of how-to articles detailing
10 tips to avoid gaining weight over the holidays, I've opted to pen my own:

DON'T FEED YOUR PIEHOLE LIKE AN IOWA CORN-FED PIG AT THE TROUGH! I live in Iowa. I've seen pigs eat. It isn't pretty... shoving their filthy faces in the slop. Grunting, snorting and making, well, pigs of themselves. Piglets are cute. Pigs are not. They're fat... really fat. Obese. They're bred to eat A LOT and then die at the slaughterhouse.

Don't want to gain weight? Maybe even lose a few pounds? Eat like a human. Take respectable helpings of food that's good for you. Chew. Chew some more. Wash it down with glass after glass of water. Carry on a conversation in between bites. Tell a joke. Sing a holiday carol. When you're finished, get out the door and play with your kids or the neighbors' kids or any kids or just act like a kid, or take the dog and yourself for a walk, run or ride.

Looking for nine more tips? You don't need them. It's not that difficult.
Can't do it? What are you, a pig?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Photo: 4-mile run, 6:30 am, 60 degrees, Scottsdale, Arizona

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 1,100 yds (ytd 230,500 yds.)
Bike: 68 miles (ytd 5,161 mi.)
Run: 12 miles (ytd 1,236 mi.)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Photo: 2.5-hour fixie ride, 15-minute run, 11:00 am, 50 degrees, Lafayette, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 3,200 yds (ytd 229,400 yds.)
Bike: 72 miles (ytd 5,093 mi.)
Run: 10 miles (ytd 1,224 mi.)

Why Not... Ride

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Photo: 2.5-hour gravel ride with some modified chins at the end, 11:00 am, a dry 69 degrees in the basement, Marion, Iowa

Weekly activity log:
Swim: 0 yds (ytd 226,200 yds.)
Bike: 45 miles (ytd 5,021 mi.)
Run: 2 miles (ytd 1,214 mi.)

Monday, October 31, 2011

First, a BIG thank you to everyone who came, who rode and who conquered AGGI v2.

Mario Czarnomski once again proved unbeatable, setting a new course record as he crossed the very vague finish line with a finish time of 3:44:30. Unfortunately, Mario was unable to stay for the last finishers (frankly, we think he was just avoiding the GRAND PRIZE), so the GRAND PRIZE (from the Land of Sky Blue Waters) went to Matt Maxwell from Ames who finished a close second. Rounding out the podium was newcomer Charles Showalter. Tops among the women was recent Kona-qualifier, Jenny Lorenz, who was heard muttering throughout the day, “Hot tub, where’s my hot tub? Has anyone seen my hot tub?” All will receive FREE entry to next year's race.

Additional shout outs to:

  • Das Pitbull for tasty Crucible Jam. If you didn’t get any, you missed out. Morning-after toast just isn’t the same without it. FREE entry for you in 2012.

  • Tom Gehring for hauling himself and his beautiful Wild Turkey rig all the way from the Twin Cities. (Tom, the Surly Beer didn’t suck! FREE entry for you next year, too.)

  • Richard Studer for hanging in there and finishing in the dark. Richard had surgery this past week and still decided to show up and ride. FREE entry for Richard.

  • Zoey’s for great pizza pies, cold beer, friendly conversation and warmth.

  • Mother Nature for sparing us the rain and offering up wonderful hills, beautiful scenery and dust-free roads. But did you really need to include the wind, and then more wind?

  • Melanie, you’ll be back.

  • Lord Nibbles, Patron of the Hamster Clan, for signing in as such.

  • Big Al, for the sculpture and the host truck.

  • The spectators. Okay, so they were cattle, but it’s a start.

  • That dog off Rollins Rd that made us pick up the pace and then keep up the pace. “DOWN, BOY!”

  • In the end, numbers were up, times were faster and laughs were had well into the night. Another successful - and FREE - American Gothic Gravel Invitational in the books.

    Until next year,


    Monday, October 24, 2011

    It's Time!

    PowerBar®, The Crucible® and the Iowa Gravel Society™
    The American Gothic Gravel Invitational™
    Sunday, 30 October 2011, 12:00 pm

    A 60-mile, balls-to-the wall, dust-in-yo-teeth, winner-take-all, free-of-charge bike race across the gravel roads of Linn County, Iowa. Yes, IOWA!

    Everyone gets: Dirty, satisfaction, camaraderie, the cue-sheet keepsake you see here, BONUS POSTER seen above (suitable for framing – WOW-FUN-WOW, COLLECT ALL TWO), and a get-together of some sort afterwards (but only if you stick around for the last finisher. Bring a few bucks if you're hungry.
    Zoey's was dang tasty last year). Word has it there MAY also be Crucible Jam for a lucky few. While we can’t guarantee a broken spoke, flat tire, dog bite (a couple strays have been added to the course) or saddle sore, if the fates are with ya, you may leave with a story to tell.

    One person gets: The grand prize (but only if he/she sticks around for the last finisher).

    Rules: Sign the notebook before the start. We roll out as a group at high noon (later start time this year… I need to mow). Once we hit gravel on the other side of Highway 13, the race is on. Follow the cue sheets ‘til you hit the finish. Sign the notebook with your name and finish time (there’ll be a stopwatch [or cheap Timex] by the notebook). No aid stations. No outside help. Don’t be stupid. Don’t cheat. Ride safe. Stop, look and listen. When you cross the highway(s), look and then look again. Don’t be a tool (ride like your grandmother is watching). And don't, don't, don't litter. The roads are open and the farmers are working harder than any of us. Stay to the right and outta their way. The roads and fields are theirs, not ours. Wave and they’ll wave back.

    Cue sheets: Click the pic. These are the only directions you’ll receive. Print ‘em. Bring ‘em. Lose ‘em and you'd better find someone to ride with. If you bring a buddy, make a copy for him/her and make sure your pal doesn’t get lost.

    Start/Finish line: Indian Creek Elementary School parking lot (by the OLD football field), 2900 Indian Creek Road, Marion, IA. There may be some road construction near the start/finish – look at it as your chance to ride creatively.

    In the event of a tie, the 100-yd Grant Wood Dash of Death will be held at the adjacent track to determine the winner. We’re REALLY hoping for a tie. Bring your running shoes… just in case.

    Fine print: You’re receiving this because you’re one of a select group (or someone we thought really had nothing better to do). This is an invitation-only race because we’ve seen what happens when some FREE events are opened to the inconsiderate masses. That said; if you want to bring along a kindred spirit, that’s cool, too. In fact, we encourage it.

    Large print: YOU'RE ON YOUR OWN. There is no sag wagon (though Crazy Pete will again ride ceremonial DFL and pick up the carnage), so choose your weapon wisely. If you get a flat, fix it. If you break down, work some mechanical magic or start walking. No one is coming to save you (unless you have a very forgiving spouse, child, parent or domestic partner). You got into it, you get out of it. That said, offer a helping hand if someone needs it, even if that means slowing down. As mentioned above, don't be a tool... but feel free to lend one.

    See you soon,

    Photo: 2-hour gravel ride, 30-minute run, 9:00 am, 50 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 4,200 yds (ytd 2220,000 yds.)
    Bike: 93 miles (ytd 4,894 mi.)
    Run: 14 miles (ytd 1,201 mi.)

    Some days you can see forever. Other days you can see even farther.

    Tuesday, October 18, 2011

    Video: 2-hour gravel ride, 30-minute run, 7:00 am, 40 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 4,300 yds (ytd 215,800 yds.)
    Bike: 77 miles (ytd 4,801 mi.)
    Run: 13 miles (ytd 1,187 mi.)

    FACT: Zombies don't ride bikes. Get out and ride.

    Monday, October 10, 2011

    Photo: 40-mile gravel ride, 4-mile run, 9:00 am, 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 1,500 yds (ytd 211,500 yds.)
    Bike: 130 miles (ytd 4,724 mi.)
    Run: 4 miles (ytd 1,187 mi.)

    Monday, October 03, 2011

    Photo: 26.2-mile run, 12:00 pm, 70 degrees, St. Paul, MN

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 2,600 yds (ytd 209,700 yds.)
    Bike: 26 miles (ytd 4,594 mi.)
    Run: 40 miles (ytd 1,183 mi.)

    A mass of humanity?
    A mess of humanity?
    I'm missing the humanity.

    Tuesday, September 27, 2011

    RIP, Copper

    No more medicine,
    Never another transfusion,
    One final car ride,
    One last breath.

    This time, a heart as big as the mountain you were named for just wasn’t quite big enough.

    Monday, September 26, 2011

    Photo: 10-mile run, 6:00 am, 40 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 3,100 yds (ytd 207,100 yds.)
    Bike: 74 miles (ytd 4,568 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 1,143 mi.)

    Monday, September 19, 2011

    Photo: 46-mile fixie ride, 6-mile run, 9:00am, 50 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 3,000 yds (ytd 204,000 yds.)
    Bike: 102 miles (ytd 4,494 mi.)
    Run: 53 miles (ytd 1,109 mi.)

    It’s the little things…

    So you’ve crept into the top half of the finisher’s results… maybe you even made the awards ceremony at your local race. Your legs are now smoother than your face (for you guys, at least). You’ve already set your DVR for the re-rebroadcast of Kona. Congratulations! You’re becoming a triathlete…

    Or are you? Are you breaking these unwritten (until now) rules?

    Banana peels – Bananas are great for your health and fit so neatly in your jersey, but don’t drop the peel in the middle of the road. Sure it’s biodegradable, but at least toss it in the ditch where the field mice can enjoy it and the rest of us don’t need to look at it. See also: apple core
    Gel – The energy surge of a well-timed gel is magic, but dropping the wrapper is pathetic. Stick it in your pocket or in the leg of your shorts. Yes, it’s sticky, but littering is weak. Don’t do it when you’re training; don’t do it when you’re racing. Drop it by mistake? Go back and get it. Simple. See someone do it, call them out.
    Mechanicals – You’re on your training ride. Your average speed is your best yet. Suddenly you see a rider with a flat tire. Don’t blow past. Stop and ask if they need help. They may only need an extra hand, a tire lever or a call on your phone. Your amazing MPH can wait.
    Speaking of flat tires – Now that you’ve learned how to change one, don’t leave your tube on the roadside. Toss it over your shoulder and take it home…it’s perfect for holding up that tree you’re going to plant.
    Laps – You missed the masters’ workout. So you’re left swimming over your lunch hour during ‘open swim.’ The water joggers and back floaters don’t understand ‘fast lane’ or ‘swimming circles.’ Educate them, NICELY.
    Badass – You’re not one. You may be fitter than you’ve ever been, but keep it real. Go to an evening of mixed martial arts. Better yet, train with one of them. THEY are badass.
    Common Courtesy – You’re 40 miles from home, the pace line is rolling and John Deere just cut you off. Give the driver a wave and ‘good morning’ instead of the finger… he’s working harder than you and your mates, day-in day-out, and he may just be growing the beef, chicken, fruit and vegetables you’re about to eat.
    Family – You’re fit, we get it. So why is half your extended family carrying your wetsuit, schlepping your bike, and toting your gear pre- and post-race? Man-up and do it yourself.
    Race Reports – Do you really think Mom is going to read all seven installments of your latest race report? How about the rest of humanity? Hire an editor and cut it down to a 5-minute read.
    Stickers – We all get them. In race packets, every time we order a new bike part, with our various federation memberships… you don’t need to put them ALL on your car.
    Cycling Gloves, Helmet Pads – For the love of God, please wash them. That smell is YOU.
    Bike Racks – They’re for bikes… transporting them to and from races, your rides and the shop. Leaving your bike on the car for days/weeks/months at a time will surely trash your rig. We all understand that you’re a tri-dork. Now remove the bike, then take off the rack and store it in the garage. It’ll last for years.
    Sucker – Do I care if you suck off my wheel when I’m riding the backroads? Nope. But you better introduce yourself first and ask if it’s cool.
    More Sucker – Suck off my wheel during a race and I will get your race number… then I’ll find my very big non-triathlon friends and come looking for you. See: Badass
    Skinsuits – If you’re out in yours (dang, that’s sharp), training on your high-dollar rig (dang, that’s sharper still) and you see a rider ahead, don't catch them and then blow by. Instead, catch them, match their pace for a bit and introduce yourself. Then ride off after wishing them well. Karma comes around, believe me.
    Finisher’s shirts – At church? Really?
    Pee – We don’t care if you empty your bladder in front of us, but the guy does who owns the land you’re standing on. Find a field far away from his view.
    Wheels – For the umpteenth time, another new wheelset isn’t going to make you any faster than the last new wheelset or the new one before that. Put the credit card away and start riding more. Same goes for weight-shaving saddles, aero helmets, carbon this and titanium that.
    Fit – You skipped the new wheels (smart) and spent your cash being fitted for your bike (smarter still). Don’t go home and tweak (e.g. ruin) what they just did.
    EPIC – Read
    Endurance by Albert Lansing if you want epic. What we do is not epic.
    Ego – You passed a runner early this morning… the one in tattered shorts who was creeping along slowly. You chuckled to yourself, thinking how fast you’ve become. You’d better be nice. He/she was running 6 hours before you left the house, is 20 years older than you, and is training for a 100-miler. He/she could run circles around you and your day-glow singlet.
    Volunteer – At a race, a school, a library or a soup kitchen. You’ll feel good.
    Treadmills – Don’t you just hate it when someone’s using your favorite treadmill? They’re not training for the big race, yet they’re determined to shuffle along for the club’s 30-minute maximum. Instead of tossing a tantrum, find the door and run outside (it’s where you should’ve been in the first place).
    Races – Create your own. It doesn’t have to have an entry fee. It doesn’t need awards, medals or t-shirts. Get a group together, beat the snot out of each other, and then share stories over pizza when you’re finished.

    Sunday, September 11, 2011

    Video: 3,000-yard swim, 7-mile gravel run, 60-mile gravel ride, 7-mile gravel run, 5:00am, 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 7,000 yds (ytd 201,000 yds.)
    Bike: 121 miles (ytd 4,392 mi.)
    Run: 38 miles (ytd 1,056 mi.)

    I’ll be honest. Sometimes it just doesn’t work out.

    Say, for example, you have a race planned for the weekend; a long, long race a long, long ways from home. But then maybe your dog falls ill and needs a blood transfusion and a cocktail of drugs administered regularly and constant attention. And maybe your daughter moves off to college, but then has a bit of an emotional meltdown and needs you, really needs you. So maybe you pull the plug on your far, far away race and care for your dog and your daughter, because that’s what you do. Then, maybe you give up for the year, rack the bike, closet the running shoes and shelve the speedo.

    Or maybe, just maybe, you quit moping, set your alarm and get out the door to finish off a favorite swim workout, head out on one of your favorite, long gravel rides, and top it off with a long run or two you enjoyed from years ago.

    Maybe… maybe not.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2011

    Photo: 2,000-yd swim, 10-mile run, 6:00am, 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 6,100 yds (ytd 194,000 yds.)
    Bike: 76 miles (ytd 4,271 mi.)
    Run: 30 miles (ytd 1,018 mi.)

    Wednesday, August 31, 2011

    Photo: 10-mile run, 30-mile fixie ride, 6:00am, 65 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 2,100 yds (ytd 187,900 yds.)
    Bike: 145 miles (ytd 4,195 mi.)
    Run: 40 miles (ytd 988 mi.)

    Photo: 2,000-yard swim, 10-mile run, 8:30am, 70 degrees, Marion, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 5,300 yds (ytd 185,800 yds.)
    Bike: 70 miles (ytd 4,050 mi.)
    Run: 38 miles (ytd 948 mi.)

    Flip turns gone wild!

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    C.P. on Vimeo.

    Photo: 3-hour ride, 5:30am, 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 5,400 yds (ytd 182,500 yds.)
    Bike: 130 miles (ytd 3,980 mi.)
    Run: 29 miles (ytd 910 mi.)

    Sun rising to the right,
    Moon setting to the left,
    Trouble straight ahead.

    Sunday, August 07, 2011

    C.P. on Vimeo.

    Photo: 3-hour fixie ride, 7:30am, 75 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 6,900 yds (ytd 177,100 yds.)
    Bike: 122 miles (ytd 3,850 mi.)
    Run: 23 miles (ytd 881 mi.)

    Monday, August 01, 2011

    Photo: 55-mile ride, 2-mile run, 8:30am, 75 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 1,800 yds (ytd 170,200 yds.)
    Bike: 102 miles (ytd 3,728 mi.)
    Run: 5 miles (ytd 858 mi.)

    Home Sweet Home with the Usual Suspects.

    Wednesday, July 27, 2011

    Photo: 4,200-yard swim, 112-mile ride, 26.2-mile run, 7:00am, 65 degrees, Upstate, New York

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 9,300 yds (ytd 168,400 yds.)
    Bike: 165 miles (ytd 3,626 mi.)
    Run: 36 miles (ytd 853 mi.)

    To my fans,

    Okay, so you’re not my fans. You came out to see [insert friend or loved one] cross the finish line last weekend, not me. Your sign that reads ‘GO [insert friend or loved one] ’ is wonderful – really, it is.


    You just about knocked me out with that sign when I passed. I wasn’t being rude when I tore it from your hands; I was just to gassed to get out of the way. I appreciate your excitement, but I really don’t want my last vision on earth to be ‘GO [insert friend or loved one] .’

    I also need to tell you that ‘Looking good’ doesn’t work. I’ve been on the course for hours. I don’t look good. I swam in a lake filled with ducks, fish, algae and 2,500 unshowered bodies, and then drip-dried on the bike, peeing myself periodically along the way. Now you see me out on the run and I’m looking good? Really? Is it the salt stains? My gel encrusted fingers? The sexy aroma? I appreciate the thought, but I beg to differ.

    Oh, and when I passed by the second time and you said ‘Almost there,’ that one doesn’t really work either. I’m no aerospace engineer, but I’ve done the math. My pace has been fading for the last hour or two. The sun doesn’t feel so warm (because the moon is about to rise) and the race is now between me and the demons in between my ears. ‘Almost there’ is beginning to sound much more like ‘Almost on the brink of lunacy.’ Maybe instead you could meet me at the finish line and just say, ‘there.’ (Then grab me a chair, fast.)

    Also, you can scrap ‘Just one more mile,’ ‘Pick it up,’ ‘Chase ‘em down,’ ‘Only two more hills,’ or any other motivational quip. I’m moving at a snail’s pace, but it’s all I’ve got. Chances are, if I do anything differently, my head, legs, stomach or some unmentionable body part will burst. Please just leave me alone to the obsession I’ve just developed for mumbling Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ over and over… and over.

    Don’t ask how I’m feeling. If I say ‘good,’ I don’t mean it. If I say ‘like hell,’ you’re going to worry (though it’s the truth), and we can’t have you worrying. Instead, ask me in the morning. By then, when I say ‘not so hot,’ I’ll say it with a limp and a smile.

    Your child, she’s adorable. But when she darts into my path and you think it’s funny, she’s more like a crazed goblin in my addled brain. I startle, seize up and suddenly I’m very aware of how miserable I am. Please keep those cute dimples on the side of the road and out of harm’s way. Besides, watching an adult wretching in the road is no fun for any child – my daughter will attest.

    The cowbell – it’s cute for an hour… and the worst thing ever invented for the next 10. Thundersticks, same deal.

    Your chalk on the hill – I can’t even read ‘GO’ at this point, much less what you spent all morning creating. ‘140.6!’ suddenly looks a lot ‘IEOb!’


    My brain doesn’t need that right now.

    I tossed that visor at the aid station for a reason. I don’t want it back. Leave it there. It was giving me a headache. I also don’t want the watch I pitched a mile back either. Or the number belt I’m about to remove. At this point everything is irritating. The shades… I hate them right now more than I loathed their price. No, really, I don’t want the damned visor.

    Anyway, thanks for coming out to support [insert friend or loved one]. They appreciate it and I do, too.

    Monday, July 18, 2011

    Photo: 3,400 yard swim, 50-mile ride, 9:00am, 78 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 6,200 yds (ytd 159,100 yds.)
    Bike: 105 miles (ytd 3,461 mi.)
    Run: 27 miles (ytd 817 mi.)

    What are the benefits of doing this? Is it:

    A: Poison Ivy - Let the toxins flow

    B: Fewer Toenails - Who needs 10 anyway

    C: Annual tuneups... or lackof?

    D: Saddle Sores?

    E: All of the above?

    Monday, July 11, 2011

    Photo: 3,400 yard swim, 7-mile run, 4:00am, 71 degrees, Marion, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 10,000 yds (ytd 152,900 yds.)
    Bike: 205 miles (ytd 3,356 mi.)
    Run: 38 miles (ytd 790 mi.)

    Tuesday, July 05, 2011

    Photo: 65-mile ride, 7-mile run, 6:00am, 65 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 9,600 yds (ytd 142,900 yds.)
    Bike: 174 miles (ytd 3,151 mi.)
    Run: 35 miles (ytd 752 mi.)

    Holiday Weekend Flat-O-Rama checklist:

    -Ignore rim tape for years
    -Ride 15 miles...get a flat
    -Swap out flat tube with broken presta tube
    -Force 30 lbs of pressure and pray it gets you home
    -Get close to home and make sure Big Al gets a flat
    -Ensure that Big Al gets a second flat
    -Have friendly fella in pickup offer his compressor
    -Have friendly guy in pickup scratch head over "presta"
    -Witness Big Al performing the walk of shame
    -Limp home and swap skinny, flat tires for gravel grinders
    -Enjoy good ol' American dust

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Photo: 90-mile ride, 7-mile run, 11:00am, 75 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 4,100 yds (ytd 133,300 yds.)
    Bike: 175 miles (ytd 2,977 mi.)
    Run: 35 miles (ytd 717 mi.)

    To whom it may concern... here’s the deal:

    1-No one cares that you’re into this endurance thing...

    Your friends don’t want to hear about your workouts; your co-workers don’t give a rip about your last race; and your neighbors think you rode your bike to the grocery store, not to the next state. You’re going to have to find something else to talk about that's interesting to them. Stop tweeting about your latest chainring. You’re selfish and it’s time to knock it off. Think I’m wrong? Ask anyone about your most recent race. I can all but guarantee they won’t know the name of the event, the distance(s), your time or your placing. All they heard was, “I blah, blah, blah.”

    2-Your family has had it with you…

    They’re not proud of that shrine of medals and race numbers you’ve built for yourself in the basement. It’s “more crap” - just talk to my wife. Your partner is sick of the workouts, the post-workout social media updates, the laundry and the pill bottles. Your kids just want someone to push them on a swing. Find something else to talk about on date night. Instead of reading the latest issue of your favorite endurance magazine, read aloud your children’s favorite book. You may even like it and want to read another. Skip the ice bath and walk the dog – you’ll both benefit from it.

    3-Those drivers that pass…

    They’re not jealous of your tan or your bicycle or your wattage. They just want to get where they’re going, fast. You’re in the way. Get over to the right and hope for the best. They, like the individuals in #1 and #2, don’t care.

    4-Speaking of your bike…

    It’s your pride and joy, slammed with all the tricks of the trade the marketers successfully jammed down your throat. Funny thing is, that rig hasn’t made you any faster. You see, training on your race bike with your race wheels in your race kit has made you lazy. You’re better off training alone on that piece of sh#$ collecting dust in the garage. Remember how hard it used to make you work?

    5-While I have you…

    Feel free to peel off the race numbers from your bike and helmet. And wash the numbers off your shoulders and legs. The race ended Sunday. It’s okay to wear jeans, real shoes and a shirt that has buttons when you go out for dinner.

    6-When you see a fellow cyclist or runner…

    It’s okay to give a nod or a wave or even a ‘Hi.’ It’s training, not racing and we’re all in this together. If you put your head down and just keep hammering, I’m gonna think you’re a jerk, just like the drivers in #3.

    7-Those guys and gals who are faster than you…

    They work harder, really they do. Your ‘epic’ is their ho-hum. They eat better than you, too. They lift weights, they stretch, they get massages, they do yoga. Want to get faster? Work harder, eat better, cut the crap. Instead of talking the talk, work the work.

    8-“It’s cold, rainy and windy…”


    9-The lousy race you had…

    No one cares and no one wants to hear the excuses. Admit to yourself that you sucked and move on.

    10-That great race you had…

    No one cares. Get over yourself and see if you can do it again. You’re only as good as your next race.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Photo: On the road, 6:00am, 60 degrees, somewhere in Iowa/Wisconsin

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 6,800 yds (ytd 129,200 yds.)
    Bike: 197 miles (ytd 2,802 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 682 mi.)

    124-mile ride...

    before a 124-mile ride:

    Monday, June 13, 2011

    Photo: 13-mile run, 51-mile ride, 1,500-yd swim, 11:00am, 60 degrees, Marion, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 4,400 yds (ytd 122,400 yds.)
    Bike: 144 miles (ytd 2,605 mi.)
    Run: 39 miles (ytd 648 mi.)

    Sometimes, backwards is just fine.

    Sunday, June 05, 2011

    Photo: Sprint Tri, 7:00am, 65 degrees, Pleasant Creek State Park, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 8,800 yds (ytd 122,400 yds.)
    Bike: 61 miles (ytd 2,605 mi.)
    Run: 31 miles (ytd 648 mi.)

    Thank you to Powerbar for nutrition, THE Crucible for inspiration, Cervelo for aerodynamics, Zoot for spandex and footwear, Xterra for neoprene, Honda for a reasonable vehicle, fixies for the effort, Culligan for soft water, Neil Young for Cortez the Killer, Camus for The Plague, Sharpie for the numbers, Zach for Rage, one of the local pizza deliverers, James Baldwin for opening my eyes, Pitbull for regular beatdowns and therapy, gravel for the roads less traveled, The Reverend for 20 years of this sh#$, Big Al for being so damned big, the sun for finally shining, the temperature for going up... what am I forgetting?

    Monday, May 30, 2011


    C.P. on Vimeo.

    Very Proud

    C.P. on Vimeo.

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 8,200 yds (ytd 113,600 yds.)
    Bike: 132 miles (ytd 2,544 mi.)
    Run: 30 miles (ytd 617 mi.)

    Monday, May 23, 2011

    Photo: 46-mile single-speed ride, 9:00 am, 60 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 5,200 yds (ytd 105,400 yds.)
    Bike: 139 miles (ytd 2,412 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 587 mi.)

    The toad less traveled? The toad not taken? The long and winding toad?

    Monday, May 16, 2011

    Photo: Gravle Debacle, 12:00 pm, 43 degrees, Fillmore County, Minnesota

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 5,200 yds (ytd 100,200 yds.)
    Bike: 104 miles (ytd 2,273 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 553 mi.)

    Sometimes fun isn't.

    Tuesday, May 10, 2011

    Photo: 50-mile gravel ride, 9:00 am, 50 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 8,100 yds (ytd 95,000 yds.)
    Bike: 133 miles (ytd 2,169 mi.)
    Run: 30 miles (ytd 519 mi.)

    Sunday, May 01, 2011

    Untitled from C.P. on Vimeo.

    Video: 50-mile fixie ride, 8:00 am, 40 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 7,500 yds (ytd 86,900 yds.)
    Bike: 127 miles (ytd 2,036 mi.)
    Run: 31 miles (ytd 489 mi.)

    In fact, it's pretty good.

    Photo: 3-hour gravel ride, 1-hour gravel run, 8:00 am, 40 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 7,500 yds (ytd 79,400 yds.)
    Bike: 119 miles (ytd 1,909 mi.)
    Run: 27 miles (ytd 458 mi.)

    Happy Easter

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Photo: 7-mile run, 7:00 am, 35 degrees, Fountain City, Wisconsin

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 5,100 yds (ytd 71,900 yds.)
    Bike: 123 miles (ytd 1,790 mi.)
    Run: 23 miles (ytd 431 mi.)


    A little hillwork...


    And some heavy lifting to finish it off.

    A blissful roadtrip.

    A Sad Day.

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Photo: 35-mile 'ride,' 2-mile run, 7:00 am, 45 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 6,600 yds (ytd 66,800 yds.)
    Bike: 156 miles (ytd 1,667 mi.)
    Run: 8 miles (ytd 408 mi.)

    Sunday, April 03, 2011

    Photo: 5-mile run, 6:30 am, 75 degrees, Mesa, Arizona

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 5,000 yds (ytd 60,200 yds.)
    Bike: 91 miles (ytd 1,511 mi.)
    Run: 14 miles (ytd 400 mi.)

    Photo: 1-mile run, 3-hour gravel ride, 9:00 am, 28 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:

    Swim: 8,200 yds (ytd 55,200 yds.)
    Bike: 153 miles (ytd 1,420 mi.)
    Run: 9 miles (ytd 386 mi.)

    The legend grows.

    Tuesday, March 22, 2011

    Photo: 1-hour run, 3-hour gravel ride, 9:00 am, 30 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 8,100 yds (ytd 47,000 yds.)
    Bike: 112 miles (ytd 1,267 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 377 mi.)

    Probably not the best place to ask directions.

    Sunday, March 13, 2011

    Photo: 1-hour ride, 1-hour run, 2-hour ride, 8:00 am, 30 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 7,800 yds (ytd 38,900 yds.)
    Bike: 134 miles (ytd 1,155 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 343 mi.)

    One man's trash is another man's...trash.

    Wednesday, March 09, 2011

    Photo: 7-mile run, abbreviated gravel ride, 7:00 am, 25 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 7,200 yds (ytd 31,100 yds.)
    Bike: 112 miles (ytd 1,021 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 309 mi.)

    The Big One taking time out from the ride to explain catastrophic failure.

    Sunday, February 27, 2011

    Photo: 7-mile run, 8:00 am, 21 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 6,800 yds (ytd 23,900 yds.)
    Bike: 78 miles (ytd 909 mi.)
    Run: 34 miles (ytd 275 mi.)

    The gym, the doors, the road... always open.

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    Happy Valentine's Day to me... courtesy of my daughter.

    Kari Senior Solo from C.P. on Vimeo.

    Photo: 3-hour ride, 1-hour run, 7:00 am, 32 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 6,200 yds (ytd 17,100 yds.)
    Bike: 120 miles (ytd 831 mi.)
    Run: 33 miles (ytd 241 mi.)

    Time to get rid of the rust and hit the road.

    Sunday, February 13, 2011

    Photo: 40-mile ride, 8:00 am, 20 degrees, Linn County, Iowa

    Weekly activity log:
    Swim: 5,500 yds (ytd 10,900 yds.)
    Bike: 118 miles (ytd 711 mi.)
    Run: 31 miles (ytd 208 mi.)