Friday, December 28, 2007

Holiday Shuffle

After a stellar week celebrating the Christmas holiday with family & friends in Michigan I returned to snowy Boulder late Wednesday evening. I had a hoot with my nieces and nephews, catching up with friends and feasting on some of my mom's tasty eats. Oh yeah, I did manage to get in a few good swims and runs.

As much as I enjoy seeing my family, it is always refreshing to return home (yes, I do refer to Boulder as home) and get back into the training, etc. Seeing several friendly faces around the gym has been great and this morning I doned my YakTrax for a sweet hill workout with a few folks. Amanda & Michael dished up a spicy little session and while my lungs were burning from the 11 degree temp, the snow covered mountains and blue sky provided some excellent scenery.

2008 is just around the corner and I am looking forward to what it brings! One of my goals is to learn how to salsa, hip-hop or ballroom dance. Wish me luck ;)

Keep it smooth...

Friday, December 21, 2007

Back in Motown

Motown, Hockeytown, the Motor City...all nicknames for Detroit. My flight arrived with no glitches Wednesday evening and it's great to be back. My family is gathering for our Christmas gig Saturday afternoon with the Christmas cheer lasting until the last little kid is standing :) Planning to go to one of my niece's soccer tournaments Saturday morning, sledding, snow ball fighting or bowling with the band of kiddos during the day then meeting up at my parents house late afternoon. Catching up with friends tonight at a Chritmas party hosted by my friend smokin' Joe Deighan. It will be great to see the crew from BD's Mongo Multisport Team.

Training has included a couple of swims and plan to run & hit the gym today. I had a fun social swim with my buddy Dennis at the local Y yesterday and this morning a solid session with my Dad at his swim club. I am super proud of my Dad for starting his swim program and he is rocking it after just four weeks. Like most of us he has his routine and it was fun to be part of it this morning.

Keep it smooth...

Monday, December 10, 2007

Triathlon Training 101

Upon reading Chuckie V's article at xtri this morning I was motivated to relfect on my training and what I deem a productive training model. I will premise my thoughts by stating I do not have any formal education on training principles and no degrees in kinesiology or human biomechanics. My training philosophies, if you will, have grown from the past eight years I have spent chasing a dream and the 15 years or so I spent chasing a soccer ball.

My foundational belief on how to be successful in and outside of sport is simplicity. I see and hear of far too many athletes who spend countless hours scrutinizing training data found on the web and magazines. (Some spend too much time scrutinizing other things on different kinds of websites and magazines, but I'll save that for another post). As Chuckie expresses in his article, debating about heart rate (HR) monitor versus power or how to utilize both is simply "icing on the cake". As a professional triathlete I have invested in these tools and do find value with them in my development. However, when it comes down to it I simply need to do the work - with or without my Ergomo and HR monitor. Gordo and his "good guys" group affectionally call it JFT.

Running is my strength within the three disciplines of triathlon. Having posted a 1:13 half IM run split and 2:53 marathon in Kona several folks have asked me about my running. It seems as though they are thinking I might share a special workout or secret tip. The reality is I simply try to be as consistent as possible with my training which includes taking care of the little things (recovery, fueling, rest, stretching, massage therapy, etc.). This past year when limited to water running I put in the work (which included a 2 hour deep water run) to help maintain my "feel" for running. It is also quite likely my years of playing soccer as a kid through college provdided a foundation for running. I have never received any formal run training. Actually, I used to think to myself when I saw someone jogging, "What a moron."

Boulder is certainly a unique place to live & train...the town oozes of athleticism, creativity, beauty...With this is the reality athletes often look at what so and so is doing and compare it to their training. It should not matter if I choose to swim with a masters group or on my own. It should not matter if Lilly does speed work with a group or bikes long on Tuesdays. What matters is each of us simply gets our arses out the door and trains.

There is an African proverb which reads: Every morning in Africa a gazelle awakes knowing it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be eaten. Every morning in Africa a lion awakes knowing it must outrun the slowest gazelle or it will starve. Whether you are a gazelle or a lion, when the sun comes up you better be running.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

The Giving Season or Silly Season

So here we are with yet another Christmas/holiday season upon us. Holiday parties, lights, parades, office parties and beer miles dot the calendar and consume our weekends. I'm all for the festive mood, but embark upon it with the goal of keeping it sane. For many people this time of year triggers a whirl of emotions, both healthy & unhealthy. One of my goals in closing out the year is to walk with humility and avoid getting caught up in the "loudness" of the season. Don't get me wrong, I am all for spreading good cheer. As a matter of fact my roommate and I are doing just that in a couple of weeks. (Any of you reading who have not RSVPd please do so :) I will spend Christmas with my family back in Michigan which is always a hoot and I look forward to mixing it up with my eleven nieces and nephews. Beyond the commercialism of the next few weeks, I find the connection with family and friends to be the crux of it all.

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Called Out

In fulfilling my obligations of being tagged, I am sorry to admit I committed a blogging foul. It appears my friend Kurt (www.stageracer.blogspot.com) has called me out on the sandbagging of the beer mile. Was it a true sandbagging....hmmm....my last quarter was clocked at 1:21 by Matt Reed acting as a non-partisan observer. My drinking splits were most likely triple that...at least!

So, in lieu of this I will retract my sandbagging revelation for this sparsely known fact: I was on the homecoming court my senior year in college (Albion College - home of the Britons).

Meeting up with a few of the fellas for a "conversational-paced" run in north Boulder.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I've Been Tagged

Apparently there is a cyber game of tag being played within the blogger community and my friend Kerrie was kind enough to "tag" me. At least she was friendly and didn't "karate chop" me as she did recently via Facebook. Yes, I am guilty of having an account. It will take me a while to figure it all out though. Ok, back to the game of tag. I am supposed to list 5 random things about me and then tag some other peeps. Hmmm...what to share and what not to share....

1. I once keyed a cop car.
2. I sandbagged the beer mile.
3. As a kid my backyard had 4 apple trees, 1 pear tree, 1 plum tree, 1 peach tree, strawberry bushes and raspberry bushes.
4. I am not a fan of the domesticated feline species.
5. I am a sucker for Peanut M&M's, especially when frozen.

Now who to tag...

Mark because he might reveal how much running he really does.
Michael because his wife was already tagged and he has nothing better to do at the moment.
Zane because he is worse than I am at updating his blog.
Matt because he is going to win the Tour CLEAN.
Glen because he played basketball for the New Zealand National Team.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Catching Up

I have once again been a bit flaky with my updates, not that my world has been super busy lately. It has been great to get back to some low-end training. Just today I commented to my massage therapist, Kelly (www.kellyliljeblad.com), how I was starting to feel like an athlete again. I am loving the early morning yoga classes and the strength training. My new kicks from Spira (www.spirafootwear.com) are treating me quite well with their responsiveness and comfort. I was back on the FeltB2 for the first time since Kona for a little spin this afternoon and was stoked to have no irritation or tightness in my glute. The plan through November is to keep things tame and allow the body to fully recover/heal before getting more structured and specific as December rolls in.

My beer mile was pretty lame with a time over 12:00 (winning time was 6:40), but I had damn fun socializing between quarters at the "drink zone" with the spectators. I am in need of a new read having finished Kite Runner last week. It was a fantastic book. A couple of movies I want to see include American Gangster and Bella. Perhpas this weekend - any takers?!?

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Back On

Well, after three weeks of minimal activity, and I mean minimal :), it is time to unpack my bike, dust off my shoes, find my swim suit & goggles and get back on the training. I have enjoyed getting out on my mountain bike in the sunny, fall weather and look forward to regaining some strength and fitness! Yesterday was day one in the weight room and I like the routine Zane has given me with this phase...lots of variety. Now, if I can only get ride of this damn delayed on-set muscle soreness. Having not run since Kona, I was fairly certain my first run would feel quite foreign, but to my surprise it felt decent. Granted, it was quite the leisurely pace, but the form was smooth and relaxed in my new Spira kicks. Their shoes have been creating a bit of a whirl within the running community and I am stoked to partner with them for 2008. Check them out at www.spirafootwear.com. On the topic of sponsors, I have re-signed with Team Sport Beans/NTTC for 2008. The team will have a couple of new faces on it for 2008 and I am super excited about the upcoming season. More details to follow as our team director finalizes some deals.

It was bliss watching the Lions toy with the Broncos over the weekend. Big boy defensive tackle Rogers rambling for 66 yards after intercepting a weak pass and then stiff arming a Bronco player for the TD...classic ESPN highlight! Rumor has it another Beer Mile is being held in Boulder this Saturday...hmmm, could provide some good entertainment. For those of you not familiar with the Beer Mile visit www.beermile.com. Perhaps there is one at your local track.

Good luck to those racing Ford Ironman World Championship 70.3 in Clearwater this weekend!

Thanks for checking in and as always,

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Few Random Photos

Running along Ali'i Drive...
Post race with my support crew
Classic Kona sunset!
Scenery along the "Road to Hana" in Maui

2:53 v 2:42

Crossing paths with Chris McCormack. His 2:42 form looks a heck of a lot more relaxed than my 2:53 form at the moment.

I have been enjoying the three week down time from training and getting my glute healed. The weather has been absolutely amazing since my return from Kona and I have tried to make the most of it with a few hikes and time on the mountain bike. My pre-base training kicks off next Monday. It's always fun to lose some fitness, put on a few pounds and then get back to work. The 7 am yoga class has been refreshing and my body is "unfolding" better than I expected. I am excited about the 2008 season kicking off with IM New Zealand in early March. As the winter weather rolls in I am looking at a few options for a quality block of training during January and early February in a warmer climate. If anyone has some ideas, let me know. At the moment I am considering Austin and Tempe. Kona is also being tossed around.

Happy Halloween and safe trick or treating!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Strained Glut

With some lingering tightness since my return from Kona I made an appointment with PT guru Bob Cranny at Altitude Physical Therapy. I was keen on getting his insight on things and it turns out I have a strained upper glut muscle where it attaches to the lower back. The pain I experienced in Kona was not back related, but the strained glut. Bob initially thought my SI joint was out of whack, but after an evaluation he determined the glut was strained and now healing. At some point I tweaked it in training just before the race, although nothing jumps out at me. I did feel some tightness post my final long ride the week before the race in Kona, which was probably the initial symptom. Anyway, I will have a few more sessions with Bob for ultrasound and continue to stretch & ice it.

A few final thoughts on Kona...

- It is like no other IM event I have raced. The conditions and terrain are unique and the field is loaded with talent. To be top 10 requires a strong, balanced day in all three disciplines. Guys like Patrick Vernay and Michael Lovato did just that on race day...never being right up front, but solid throughout the day.

- Illness is common. Perhaps the gathering of athletes from across the globe in a relatively small area makes one susceptible to bugs & viruses. Several athletes withdrew or had less than ideal days due to illness.

- Be True to Yourself. As race day approaches and the energy builds around town, it is easy to get caught up in what so and so is wearing or how so and so is training. Have confidence in your preparation, know your limits and what works for you and make the best of it on race day!

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sand to Snow

My non-stop flight from Kona Saturday night arrived in Denver early Sunday morning to a bit of wintery weather with snow, rain and temps in the 30s. We were a bit late with our arrival, so me and a few friends (Joanna, Mark & Michael) hung out in the warmth of the terminal over some hot coffee and rather tasteless muffins. Fortunately all our bags arrived without incident, save my bike box which is sitting in some guy's storage unit in Kona. Instead of carting my bike around the islands, I made arrangements for my bike to be stored and then dropped off at the Kona International Airport before I made the connection to my final flight. The minutes ticked by and no sign of my guy. His business card did not have a cell phone so I figured he must have forgotten as I never receieved a call. It was a weeee bit awkward boarding that plane without my bike, but I am hoping he did indeed forget our meeting time and will ship the bike on Monday. I will have to keep you posted...I honestly do not want to deal with any drama.

It will certainly feel comfy to sleep in my bed tonight and enjoy another week off from training. I am looking forward to getting back to yoga this week though. Other items on the list include sponsorship follow-up, new sponsorship contacts, tentative 2008 race schedule, fundraising follow-up and contacts for speaking engagements. If I get really motivated I will download some pics from Kona.

My current read is The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini which tells the story of an Afghani boy.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sick in Maui

Apparently the race really jacked my body. After arriving in Maui yesterday afternoon I have been holed up in a cozy condo with the chills, fever, cold sweats and aching throughout my body. Hopefully it is something of the 24 hour variety.

In reflecting on my 2007 season I would have to say it was perhaps my most challenging and frustrating year of racing. I definitely made more gains as evident from my training, but come race day no one is looking in the training log. Despite not having my ideal race in Kona, I know that performance does not define me as an athlete or person. I ran an IM marathon PR and given how my back was feeling I was pleased with that. My nutrition plan was solid as well and I never felt depleted or experienced any cramping.

Random, lucid thoughts I know, but that is where I am at the moment.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, October 14, 2007

2007 Ford Ironman World Championship

Collateral Damage - stiff back, sore legs, swollen feet, blisters, lost big toenail, sunburn, large serving of humble pie

Swim (1:00) - This was perhaps my best swim start as I was determined to keep my head down and swim hard the first 300 meters. It was a typical IM race start with a lot of body contact as I swam over and around other athletes. I did not sight at all until well into the swim as I had successfully secured a good draft. Through the turn-around I was feeling comfortable and swimming with two others. From my sighting it appeared a large group was about 100-200 meters ahead of us. The currents seemed stronger coming back towards the swim exit, but I still felt pretty good about things.

Bike (5:21) - Ughh! This was my second slowest IM bike split. My friends thought I was haivng mechanical issues or crashed. There was some hearty headwind along the Queen K and the final climb up to the turn-around at Hawi. My lower back began to bother as I rode through the wind gusts up to Hawi, but I thought it would loosen up as I made the descent with a good tailwind. My friend Billy rode up to me along the descent and I stayed with him briefly. He soon rode out of my sights. Making the turn back on the Queen K I was passed by numerous athletes and with 30-35 miles to go I was in a world of hurt. It was a VERY long ride back to T2. I had serious thoughts about pulling the plug with the amount of pain and inablity to stay aero. I just reminded myself to keep moving forward, but it was not fun to have soooo many athletes pass me with ease including JZ, Heather Gollnick, Hillary Biscay and others. My buddy Brandon rode by as I was out of the saddle in an effort to stretch my back asking, "You alright." "No, my back is jacked" I responded with frustration. Heading back towards T2 another Boulderite (Jeff Keill) caught me and encouraged me to run well.

Run (2:53) - Fortunately my back did not bother for the run and I was able to have a decent go. My focus was on keeping hydrated, cool and fueling. While I don't know my splits, I probably went out a weee bit too hard as the final three miles were ugly. It was great to have family, friends and Zane along the run course encouraging me to keep working. With no cloud cover I knew once I left town it was going to be pretty toasty along the Queen K and into the Natural Energy Lab. I simply told myself to keep moving forward. Coming down the hill on Palani I was feeling pretty well spent. The positve energy from the spectators pushed me to the finish line on Ali'i Drive to a 9:21:07 and 78th overall.

Boulder was well-represented within both the pro & age-group ranks and congrats to those who finished in fine fashion!

While this was not my ideal race I am grateful for the gift of good health to be out there competing in such an incredible event. Nutritionally, I felt good throughout the day. My body feels like it was just run over by a truck, but I will enjoy a relaxing week in the islands with a visit to Maui and Ohau. Someone asked me after the race, "Is it worth it?" Yes, without a doubt!

A HUGE thanks to everyone who was out on the course encouraging me, tracking me on-line and sending me positive thoughts. My efforts would not be possible without the support of my family, friends, coach and sponsors!

Mahlo,

Brad

Monday, October 08, 2007

Race Week Baby

Monday in Kona has seen a significant increase in activity as race week begins! Things were quite peppy at the Gatorade swim this morning. I enjoyed getting back in the ocean for an easy effort. This afternoon, well in about two hours actually, I move from Joanne's house into my condo at the Kona Reef. It has been super comfy kicking it at Joanne's mountainside home the past week and the new digs should be just as inviting! Last night I had dinner with a few friends in town and made a visit to our friend Carole who got her eggs scrambled pretty good two days ago while riding...two broken wrists, broken vertebrae and some minor road rash. Her sense of humor is uncanny though and I know she will be out and about within a couple of days. Funny thing is Carole is the coach for double amputee Scott Rigsby who is racing this weekend. Scott has no legs and Carole has two broken limbs. The weather continues to be somewhat cool with overcast skies. How about the craziness that took place at the Chicago Marathon yesterday...yikes! I have never heard of a marathon being cancelled like that with thousands of athletes still on the course.

The days leading up to Saturday will go quickly. Wednesday afternoon I was asked to speak at a local school which should be fun. Thursday is the pro race meeting and my typical two day pre-race day off. My parents and some friends will be rolling in throughout the week, but I'll pretty much keep a low profile and simply enjoy the atmosphere as the energy builds.

Thanks for reading!

Keep it smooth...

Friday, October 05, 2007

Kona Mountain Coffee

The week has been rolling along in fine fashion. There has been a fair amount of cloud cover which has kept the temps reasonably "cool". The humidity is still a bugger though. My homestay is fan-freaking-tastic and just down the Queen K towards town is the recently opened Kona Mountain Coffee shop & store. Oh man, their coffee is soooo good and this week has been on sale for a buck! Best deal in town!! I saw several cronies at this morning's swim which was fun and this afternoon had an easy run. Along the Queen K is a state park called Kakolo National Park. It has a several "trails" which traverse a large lava field to the ocean and a couple of fish ponds. Well, I found a splendid dirt road down to a secluded beach with a short sandy trail. In addition to being on a soft surface (once off the lava rock trail) the sandy trail along the ocean offerred some shade :) The dirt road can be accessed from the Queen K, but it is unmarked. I doubt too many atheltes venture down it. If you are ever in Kona and have an easy run to complete, this is the place. Mums the word though!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Big Island

Aloha from the big island of Kona!

My travels yesterday went as planned with no issues. It is great to be back in Kona and staying with my friend Joanne and her two little weiner dogs Lucy & Nani. Joanne lives in a new house since my visit in 2005 and it is conveniently located about five minutes from the airport. As I type I am kicking it on her lanai with my Kona coffee and enjoying the splendid view from her mountainside home which overlooks the lava fields and Pacific ocean.

Having sat on a plane for close to seven hours yesterday, I completed a little 20 minute shake-out run under the stars with a good stretch before calling it a night. My plan this morning is to venture into town and get in a good swim at the race site, hit the grocer store, build the bike for an easy spin along the Queen K and an easy run later this afternoon.

I brought my camera to document the beauty of the island, but wouldn't you know I forgot to bring the little cord to download to my computer...damn!

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Just In Time

As I noticed more snow atop the Rocky Mountains this morning while completing my run session I figured I am departing for Kona at a pretty good time. The temperature this morning was a brisk 48 with strong wind gusts and yesterday I had to don arm & knee warmers for my ride. The leaves are reaching their peak golden color and I am ready for the Kona warmth!

Keep it smooth...

Monday, September 24, 2007

Kona Bound in One Week

With rain, hail and temps in the low 50s the timing was perfect for a planned day off from training today! I enjoyed sleeping in with no alarm to rouse me out of bed and took advantage of the down time to begin getting organized for Kona. I depart next Monday and know it will be a busy week with key workouts, packing, organizing, blah, blah, blah. Mother Nature has been very kind to those of us in Boulder who like to swim, bike & run :)

A BIG congrats to my friends who rocked at Cancun 70.3 over the weekend!

I will be sure to have an update once settled on the big island early next week...hopefully with some pics.

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Four Weeks

The Kona countdown is on...a little less than four weeks. I leave for the big island in two weeks, so I am hoping the weather in Boulder can hold out just a weee bit longer. I completed the big block with good results and have been enjoying a bit of a transition week as I approach taper mode. From here it is about quality and taking care of the little things.

This afternoon I will be attending the Safe Routes to School community program with my friend Joanna and a few other athletes to encourage kids to ride their bikes or walk to school. It should be a fun afternoon with games, give-aways and a scavenger hunt for the kiddos.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Chocolate Milk

In the midst of my build for IM, I have re-established my liking for chocolate milk. As a kid, I loved an evening glass of milk with Hershey's chocolate syrup. I was never a big fan of the strawberry flavored stuff. The last couple of weeks I have been enjoying a cold glass of milk on ice from the brown cows. Delicious...and good for me with the antioxidants from chocolate :)

Two weeks down and two to go in this hearty block of training. My body and mind have been responding well to the demands. This weeks volume included 26k swimming, 400m biking & 82m running. It was fun seeing friends at the squad swim session today. I even had a good laugh as Bob Cranny, my super star PT, was beginning a set with his wife and made sure I was aware they were going to do 10x100m on 1:05, backstroke of course. Bob and Sandy are flat out great people. Our pool was closed last week for annual cleaning so I have been doing a lot of swim sessions solo. The crew at FAC did a wonderful job as the pool is crazy sparkling clean!

Last week I had my FeltB2, training & racing helmets and some Miraculous Medals (I have these available for distribution at my talks) blessed. Fr. Peter, former punk rocker & artist, was kind enough to say a few prayers over the items asking God to watch over me when riding and speaking to students.

Thanks for checking in!

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Sleep. Eat. Train. Repeat.

Yes, that is a common phrase within the triathlon community and it easily describes my life at the moment as I find myself towards the end of Kona prep week #1. With the increased volume and intensity, recovery is key between sessions and days. Naps are more frequent which I admitedly enjoy. Training is going well with lots of time in the saddle and on my legs running. Tuesdays are my "big" day with long ride and run off the bike. I started at 120 on the bike this week with an easy 11 miles controlled off the bike and will grow that over the next few weeks. Yesterday was my speed day for the run and on the tired legs from Tuesday it was a tough 5x1200 at sub 4:00/1200. I am also working the swim frequency and should be close to 24K this week. I enjoyed an easy ride early this morning, a solid swim with a few buddies and have an easy run over flat terrain this afternoon. Friday is my "moderately" long bike of 110 and another controlled run post. Saturdays are devoted to intensity on the bike and getting some hill work for the run. I will close out the week with my long run Sunday as well as a swim and easy spin. Should be fun to work the IM pacing on Sunday's run.

My focus is simply taking care of the little things (stretching, icing, nutrition, refueling, rest, etc.) and enjoying any downtime with a book or movie. I also find this type of training an excellent time to sharpen the mind and soul/spirit.

I want to send a shout out to my friends racing IM Canada and IM Louisville this weekend - make it happen & best wishes for a grand day!

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Bring on the Kona Build

My apologies for being negligent in posting any updates since the 5430 Half IM last weekend. It was a great race weekend with the Boulder Kids' Triathlon on Saturday and then the long course event Sunday. It is always a treat to race in Boulder and I had plenty of support on the course with my parents visiting and many friends taking in the action...thanks to everyone who was encouraging me along the way!! I had a PR for the 5430 Half IM course racing to a 4:09. The field was the most competitive I have seen for this event and we had rather friendly race conditions.

Monday following the race I made a trek up to Rocky Mountain National Park with my parents. It was so cool to drive the Trail Ridge Road and do a little hike along the Continental Divide. The scenery is absolutely stunning and we saw several herds of elk and big horn sheep. The weather was super with lots of sun, blue skies and at an elevation of 12,000 plus feet temps in the 60s...ah very refreshing :)

Tomorrow I start my official build for Kona. I am really psyched about the prep and putting in the work. It has been over a year since I did any IM-specific type work and I am hopeful for a healthy and strong go at it. My last few IM preps have been excellent with Zane commanding the ship and we will use a similar approach for Kona with some minor tweaks. There are numerous athletes also training for Kona here in Boulder and I will probably do some group work to spice it up a bit.

I have been invited to participate in a pilot program here in Boulder called Safe Routes to School (www.saferoutesinfo.org) which encourages kids to walk or ride their bikes to school. Monday afternoon is the kick-off day and I will be joined by several professional cyclists and runners to encourage the kids to be healthy & active. Rudy Project will be on-hand to provide some treats and the Boulder Fire Department will be distributing free bike helmets. On September 13th there is a festival for the kids who sign up for the program with a scavenger hunt, goodies and other schwag from sponsors. How cool!!

On the reading front, I just started a new book called Just One More Thing, Doc by Bradford Brown, DVM. It recounts some hilarious farm calls of this Maine veterinarian. A fun, light-hearted book that will be sure to keep you laughing.

Thanks for checking in & as always....

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Boulder Kids' Triathlon

Perfect weather greeted over 400 kids early Saturday morning at the Boulder Resevoir for the 11th annual Boulder Kids' Triathlon! It was a busy weekend of triathlon racing in and around Boulder with the kids event Saturday morning, 5430 Long Course Half IM Sunday morning and the ITU Continental Cup just outside of Boudler Sunday afternoon. I was stoked to watch the Fit to Tri group complete their first triathlon. They were both excited and nervous for their first race, but definitely ready for some fun. After meeting the group outside transition Beth and I helped them get sorted in transition. Kayla & JJ were both racing in the last wave with the other 14 year-0lds and John was in the second to last wave with the 10-11 year-olds. They looked very race-ready sporting their FastForward Sports technical tee & visors compliments of Scott with FastForward Sports! After explaining the flow of T1 & T2 we all made our way down to the beach to kick it and watch the little ankle biters (3-5 year-olds) get after it. Our kids were most nervous about the swim, but ready for the challenge. Beth & I chuckled as all three used the dolphin dive technique we taught them in our open water swim for both the start and exit of the swim. They all finished their races in fine fashion with smiles on their faces :) I am crazy proud of their efforts and hope to have the opportunity to work with them next year!

I am waiting for pics from Beth and will post when they are ready.

Keep it smooth...

Monday, July 30, 2007

As they say in Kona...

it's not so much the heat, but the humidity! After my on-time arrival Sunday morning in Austin, Zane and I headed to their house so I could make a quick change into my running clothes. It had been a bit humid in Boulder the past few days, but nothing like the heavy air of Austin. With all the rain in recent weeks Austin is lush, green and DAWG-GONE humid! Starting from Jack & Adam's I was looking forward to running at sea level around the scenic Town Lake trail. Coach Z must have been in a humorous mood to include 5x1000m intervals at the beginning and 3x1000m efforts at the end of my 18 mile run. Starting at 11am the air was nice & toasty. I soon realized why ML has said he always had to train in the early morning hours when he lived in Austin. Training in this humidity at late morning/mid-day should be outlawed! I was drenched and relished soaking the legs in the cool water of Barton Springs upon completion of the session.

Later today I get sorted on my new bike...yahooo!

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Austin-bound

A rather dizzing week returning from Vineman 70.3 and getting back into training mode. I have felt really good the last few days with some solid work on the bike and run. My run form is taking shape and I am stoked about my new ride. After speaking with Zane on Tuesday we decided the sooner I could get down to Austin the better to pick up my new Felt bike! Using some miles courtesy of Frontier, a whole different animal, I was able to book a quick trip leaving early Sunday morning. It will be great to see the crew at Jack & Adam's (http://www.jackandadams.com/) and spend a bit o'time with Coach Z and his lovely wife Terra. Long run tomorrow in the Austin hills, early morning swim with the UT masters and bike fit on Monday with my return to Boulder on Tuesday. I arrive back in town just in time to meet up with my Fit to Tri kids for a group bike ride late afternoon.

My current read is The Endurance about Sir Ernest Shakleton's grueling Antarctica expedition. An incredible book about perseverance and survival with superb photos. These guys spent close to two years living on ice! I highly recommend it...the book, not sleeping on ice :)

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vineman 70.3

The Vineman 70.3 course is perhaps one of the most scenic courses I have raced as it twists and turns throughout the vineyards of Sonoma County. It was a great race weeekend shared with my parents & friends from Boulder and San Diego. My dad even joined me for my pre-race swim early Saturday morning and I was impressed with his ability to complete a deck change. Saturday afternoon I was invited to speak at the Iron Prayer service hosted by FCA Endurance (http://www.fcaendurance.org/) which was great.

Swim (28:00) - The swim takes place in the shallow waters of the Russian River. It is typically a fast swim with the current coming back to T1, but the swim times seem to be a bit slower this year. I found myself in the first chase pack which included Greg Ramaly, Melissa Ashton, Sam McGlone and a few others. It was a comfortable swim and I exited three minutes down from the lead men. Grabbing my bike I was intent on riding strong and bridging the gap.





Bike (2:23) - I love this bike course! It is quite technical with all the blind corners and rolling terrain. Within the first 5K I caught a few athletes who had exited the water just ahead of me and rode within the legal draft zone over the next 10-15K with a small group of three. Tim Sheeper and I exchanged posititions several times. Once on one of the few flatter sections I picked up my pace in an effort to drop Tim and ride into the athletes who I knew were just ahead of us. My push allowed me to open a gap on him and for the next several miles I continued to ride hard and focus on fueling. I was feeling pretty good and soon rode up on and passed Pete Jacobs from Australia who was first out of the water. Pete re-passed me and was able to open up a gap. I continued to work knowing the longest climb on Chalk Hill was nearing. I passed Brent Paulson from Canada leading up to Chalk Hill and rode well over the final 5K of the course. Vineman 70.3 is unique with two different transition areas and riding into T2 I saw Peter Clode (one of my teammates), Pete Jacobs and Torsten Abel as they headed out for the run. I figured they were within striking distance as I exited T2 in 12th position.

Run (1:17) - Like the bike course, the run was scenic and challening with the rolling terrain and several good hills to keep us honest. This run course was very well managed to ensure a fair race with the corners and turns being closely watched so athletes could not "cut" the tangents. Within the first 3K I caught my teammate, Peter, who was having some cramping issues. We exchanged some encouraging words and I simply focused on my effort and fueling through the aid stations. I did not see any athletes in front of me until entering the property of La Crema Winery near the half-way mark of the run. Intent on securing a top 10 finish I pressed the effort and passed Pete & Torsten as we rounded one of the small ponds of the winery. This would be the position I maintained crossing the line in 4:11.

While a bit disappointed to be over the 4:10 mark, I was grateful to race in good health on such a beautiful course. I want to thank my sponsors for their continued support as I work towards Kona. A big congratulations to all my friends who raced over the weekend at various races!!Thanks for reading!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fit to Tri - Group Session #1

This afternoon I headed up to Longmont for my first group training session with the kids. Our group has downsized to three, but what they may lack in number they make up for in spirit! Two boys, JJ - age 14 & John - age 11, along with one girl, Kayla - age 14, met me and my friend Beth (their teacher) outside the Summit center for our late afternoon run session. It was a hoot and I am stoked about working with these kids over the next several weeks as they prepare for the Boulder Kids' Triathlon on August 11th.

Life has been good and training taxing at times with the quality being done. I am really looking forward to racing Vineman 70.3 this weekend.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cranking It Up

My body experienced a hearty "shock to the system" with my return to training this week. The general plan over the next couple of training cycles is to work the upper end and find some speed. I did my first interval run session since mid-March early in the week and dang did it hurt. Several solid bike and swim sessions compiled with the hot weather has made me one tired camper, but it has been great to dose my training with some focused quality. Shared a bushel basket full of laughs with friends throughout the week and of course the fireworks on the 4th. Capped my training week with a hard masters swim served up by Jane Scott this morning followed by a long run on Magnolia Road (elevation around 9,000 feet with some hearty hills) and an easy spin late this afternoon. A little ice cream with fresh raspberries and I will be ready to hit the rack for some needed sleep!

Keep it smooth...

Monday, July 02, 2007

BSLT 70.3 Race Report

All smiles post the race...and an IV :) This is one of the few races where the medical staff actually asks if you want an IV. Race morning brought cloudy skies with not too much wind which I figured would make for a rather hot affair considering the upper 90 degree temps the day prior. After getting in transition I realized I forgot my cycling shoes in the car. No problem though as I had plenty of time to walk up the steep heel out of transition and back to the car. As I was organizing things once back with the shoes an official asked me to fix my race number on my bike. I was #16 and it looked like #91 on my frame...oops! A quick adjustment and I was set to go through my warm-up before the swim start.

Swim (26:28) - The swim in Lubbock is done in a lake which is fed my spring water. Every year a couple of athletes at the pro meeting inquire about taking a vote to not use wetsuits. Mike Greer, the race director, simply stated wetsuits are optional...love it! I had a good warm-up and was ready to go. After we gathered for the beach start, for some reason everyone made a quick dash on the beach to our right. The horn sounded and we were off. The lead group which included Chris Legh, Tim DeBoom, Adrea Fishers and few other sharks were quick to separate themselves from the main field. I found myself in a small pack and after the first turn buoy it seemed I was with only one other athlete who was enjoying the draft on my feet. As we made out way through the long back stretch I decided to ease up and let this character do a little work. He went by and I immediately settled on his feet for the remainder of the swim. As we exited the water I was surprised to find several athletes in front and just behind us. I had a swift transition and headed out of T1 just ahead of James Handley, Natasha Badman and Jason McMillian from Jack & Adam's in Austin.

Bike (2:26) - After the first steep climb out of transition I worked hard over the rollers to the park exit. The winds were being kind and I was focused on briding any gaps and putting distance between me and the others who I knew would be coming. Just before the first aid station Patrick Evoe and Jason (both race for Jack & Adam's) passed me. I was not surprised by this as I knew both these guys can bike. My plan was to work hard to maintain contact with them. Something just did not feel right though as these guys were able to drop me with ease. I continued to work and rode through the leading women before hitting the first turn-around. Chris, Tim and Paul Matthews (Australia) were well out in front with a good group of guys following. As I made the climb out of the first canyon, Natasha passed me and also rode away from my sights. I stayed calm despite some frustration from how I felt and the data from my Ergomo. I held my position in 11th through the rest of the ride and maintained a present focus on my fueling. My bike split was six minutes SLOWER than last year and it was not until after the race I noted my rear brake had been rubbing every so slightly to disrupt the normal wheel rotation...ugh!

Run (1:18) - Exiting T2 I knew I would have to run well to make up for precious lost time on the bike. I had not done any interval work before this race after coming off my injury and figured I would need to dig deep and keep working until crossing the line. I felt pretty good as I found my running legs and hydrated through the aid stations. As I ran towards the backside of the lake I took a look across to see if I could spot anyone. No one in sight. Upon reaching the first hill out of the park my left hamstring began to cramp and I had to ease up a bit to avoid a full-blown cramping episode. I was able to manage it with my Endurolytes and fuel from the aid stations. I did not see anyother atheltes until I reached the long out & back section to the turn-around. Chris was running strong out front and I encouraged him with a few words as we passed each other. I finally ran down Natasha and soon after that Jason. As the others were making their way back from the turn-around I took note of the gap and was not too sure if I could catch any other guys. Through the turn-around I simply focused on my effort and fueling. After six miles I felt like I was finding a good rhythm and began to press my effort. Once back in the park and near the backside of the lake, several age groupers were giving me feedback about the two guys who were apparently within range. The BSLT 70.3 run course around the lake is such that you can not really see your competition and creates the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. I knew I would have to keep working through the run, especially over the final three miles and through this portion of the course. My effort paid off as I was able to catch and run by James Hadley (Great Britian) and Brent Poulsen (Canada) within the final half mile to finish 8th overall in 4:14.

Although my time was eight minutes slower than last year, I was pleased to cross the line in good health and secure a top 10 spot. Once again there were lessons learned. I think that is part of the reason I have such a passion for triathlon...no race is the same. It was a fun race weekend in Lubbock and I enjoyed catching up with the Austin peep. A hearty congrats to all those from Boulder who raced. I am grateful for the support from my sponsors, coach, family & friends.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Got Lobstah?

Sydney enjoys a mouthful of smores :)

Taylor & Cassie hamming it up!

Cassie & Forrest strut their stuff as Syndey & Ryan get in on the action

Ryan cutting it up - get this little guy some cardboard!

A group of happy campers!


My nephew Taylor is showing off his tasty New England treat as my family enjoyed our annual lobster feed on the Maine coast. I have never taken a mid-season break from training and this was something Zane and I planned at the end of the 2006 season. With great anticipation I had the final week of June penciled on my calendar. The original plan was to to take the week comletely off, but as I am just getting back to running we made some minor adjustments to include 2-3 runs while in Maine. No big deal and it would not interfere with the family fun :) We had absolutely stunning weather with warm, sunny days kicking it on the coast. Visits from extended relatives to our quaint spot along the unique Maine coast were welcome. I always enjoy the chats and of course the Maine humor. The days were filled with spotting harbor seals while sea kayaking, swimming in the ocean, playing trac-ball, kite flying, walks along the shore at low tide, volleyball, lacrosse, bonfires with smores, family dinners & lots of laughing. One of the highlights from the week was the show put on by Cassie & Forrest, two of the more "theatrically-gifted" family members. Seven-year-old Sydney & four-year-old Ryan were rather spontaneous with their appearances. It was a great week spent relaxing and I am very blessed to have such a wonderful family who can laugh with and at one another :)

My body and mind are rested and I look forward to getting back to things in Boulder!

Keep it smooth...

Monday, June 25, 2007

BSLT 70.3

I will get a full report on BSLT 70.3 upon my return from Maine. In general though it was a decent day (not my worst nor a banner day). Great to see friends from Austin and meet others throughout the weekend in Lubbock. Looking forward to a chill week with the family on the rocky & rugged coast of Maine.

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, June 21, 2007

112

That's the temperature my Ergomo read yesterday afternoon. While I think that was a bit high, the temp was definitely toasty in the mid to upper 90s. My final prep for BSLT 70.3 has been on target and I am super stoked to toe the line in Lubbock this Sunday. Race coverage will be at www.ironman.com. I know several folks from Boulder who are racing and there will be a good crew from Austin including Coach Z's wife Terra (www.terracastro.com). Looking forward to a good time down south.

I am heading to Maine the week post my race and welcome the mid-season break. It will be fun to kick it with my family, fish at my uncle's camp in northern Maine, enjoy the ocean and of course induldge in a hearty lobster fest. 8 of my 11 nieces & nephews will be on-hand...lots of rough-housing and nuggies are in store :)

Good luck to all my friends racing this weekend!

Keep it smooth...

Monday, June 18, 2007

Fit to Tri

After coordinating with my friend Beth we are set to launch our Fit to Tri program for at-risk youth! It will be a six week program culminating with the kids' participation at the Boulder Peak Kids' Triathlon (www.5430sports.com) on August 11th. We have an eager group of 12 year-olds who have never done a triathlon and one 15 year-old assistant who completed his first race two weeks ago and now has "the bug". Our goal is to introduce triathlon to these at-risk-FOR SUCCESS-kids while promoting an active, healthy lifestyle. Stay tuned for updates and photos as the program unfolds.

Keep it smooth...

Friday, June 15, 2007

Beautiful Day


It is an absolutely stellar day in Boulder! Summer temps & low winds made for an excellent morning run with hill repeats. I ran across one of my favorite single track trails to a quiet paved road having a 4-6% grade...perfect for the 10x1'' repeats in preparation for BSLT 70.3. Above is the view I had for the second half of my run...nice, eh!? Post the run I enjoyed a good swim at masters with several of my friends :) The local triathlon season kicks off this weekend with the 5430 Sprint Triathlon on Sunday. I am looking forward to volunteering as a body marker and then taking in some of the action at the Boulder Resevoir. Happy grilling!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Fragile


Glasswing Butterfly
Bugs come in all sorts of shapes & sizes...come to think of it so do cars, people, boats & a heck of a lot of other things!

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, June 09, 2007

2.5 - 15.5 - 2.5...Dang That Hurt!

Well, I found myself getting back in the mix this morning at the Big Sky Duathlon - 2.5 mile run, 15.5 mile bike, 2.5 mile run (www.racingunderground.com) in the pleasant community of Bennett, CO. It has been about five years since my last duathlon. Friday evening I felt like a kid getting ready for the first day of school as I organized my race day bag. Darren & his crew put on a great event and I really enjoyed the low-key atmosphere. The FastForward training group from Boulder had a strong presence with several podium finishes including the top two elite women...way to go Sunny & Lianne! Of course my favorite part was talking a bit o'smack with Ivy, Scott & Randy from FastForward. Here's a quick re-cap:

The runs were two loops through a small neighborhood with one dirt trail section (my favorite part). The bike was an out & back affair over gently rolling terrain.

First Run (12:30) - Our wave included the elite men & women. Joshua Merrick was off like a bullet. Man this guy has some wheels. Justin Hurd was second, Leroy Popowski third with me just a few yards back. Joshua & Justin were heading out on their bikes as I entered T1. One of my goals was to have quick transitions. I was swift through T1 and started the bike just ahead of Leroy in third place.

Bike (36:55) - My hold on third was brief as Leroy quickly went to work on the fastest bike split of the day and passed me just outside of transition. Another goal I had was to respond to any surges from other athletes. My quads were tight and Leroy was gone. I continued to press my effort through the rollers, but never found any kind of range. About six miles into the bike, Jim Hallberg passed me and I fought hard to stay with him for a bit. I thought if I could stay with Jim he might help bridge me up to Justin who was still in my sights. Through the turn-around Jim soon began to open a gap on me which I could not close...dang! Although I was frustrated with how my legs were feeling, I continued to stay positive. As I entered T2 I could see Jim just leaving the transition area for his second run...is the gap too big??

Second Run (13:42) - The transition to the second run felt really good. I was enjoying the experience of racing in good health and went to work on cutting into Jim's lead. Through the first loop I could see I was gaining on him and held my foucs on maintaining a quick turnover. As we continued the second loop I enjoyed seeing some friends on the course. My form felt comfortable & relaxed. I soon realized I did not have enough realestate to catch Jim, but was exuberant upon crossing the line and congratulating the guys for their efforts.

This was a very fun event and gave me and Coach Z a good snap shot of my run as I prepare for BSLT 70.3 in two weeks!

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Under the Knife - A First for Me

Today was my first experience of "going under the knife". OK, so it was not really that big a deal...I made a visit to Boulder's foremost dermatologist and had a slice of my back removed. My massage therapist, who has first hand experience with skin cancer, noted a spot looked suspicious and hooked me up with Dr. Karen Kallgren. I expect to hear back early next week after it is analyzed for melanoma, carcinoma or some kind of noma -- that's a movie quote, but the movie escapes me at the moment. All kidding aside, skin cancer is no joke! As athletes we expend ooodles of energy to stay fit, eat well & get plenty of rest. We get our teeth checked every six months or so and pay top dollar for massage therapy & accupuncture. With the amount of time we spend in the sun training, it makes sense to get a thorough skin check once a year. Visit www.skincancer.org for more information. I am not an alarmist, but an advocate for healthy living.

The last couple of days has seen some downright crazy winds in and around Boulder with gusts up to 85 mph. No rain or thunderstorms, but lots of wind!

Training...
It has been a rather solid couple of weeks. My swim and bike are in a good spot at the moment and my run is coming along. Tuesday was a key session with 90 miles on the bike and a one hour run off the bike (9 minute run, 1 minute walk). Coach Z and I are pleased with my pacing on the runs. The dark side was getting at me this afternoon to skip my longer run with hill repeats, but I was able to get my bum out the door. It was a great session done on the CU x-country course. I'm lucky to live about a mile from it, which serves as a good warm-up and cool down. This weekend I am racing the Big Sky Duathlon (www.racingunderground.com) located in the farming community of Bennett, CO. It will be a fast and furious affair with a
2.5 mile run~15.5 mile bike ~ 2.5 mile run. I am stoked about getting in the mix!

Best wishes to my friends racing Baja 70.3 and Eagleman this weekend...rip it up!

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wildflowers

The last couple of days I have enjoyed running on two of my favorite trails in Boulder: Doudy Draw Trail & Eagle Trail. With all the rain in recent weeks the wildflowers are in full-bloom and certainly make for a nice view as they paint the rolling hills. The purple ones are my favorite. Hey, I'm man enough to admit I like wildflowers. Today's training - easy spin, run & swim - was capped with a saweet ab class at FAC which is led by a grandmother :) Seriously, it's a killer class and I like hitting it at least once a week. We used these gliding discs today which was a hoot!

Well, I'm hoping the Pistons can get back on track with a big W tomorrow against the Cavs.

Keep is smooth...

Monday, May 28, 2007

Remembering the Fallen

Happy Memorial Day! As a kid, this holiday weekend was one of my favs...with school almost over, the neighborhood pool opening, family barbeques and the local festival/fair I knew it meant summer was about to begin in full force :) Come to think of it, I still enjoy all these aspects of Memorial Day weekend. I also find it a healthy reminder to keep in my thoughts and prayers those who served our great nation and continue to do so in all corners of the globe.

I have enjoyed a rather busy week of training and hitting the town a bit to enjoy some of Boulder's finest adult beverages and food. My brother and his wife were visiting and we shared some good laughs and conversation with my friends over dinner, drinks and of course the Pistons' play-off games. Saturday night we took in the Boulder Creek Festival...I never knew chicken on a stick could taste so good...yummm! The live music by an Irish band called the Indulgers was a hoot. Today Boulder plays host to one of the largest 10k's in the world with close to 56,000 runners hitting the neighborhood streets throughout the city.

May you and your family enjoy a healthy, happy & blessed Memorial Day!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Running Free

Monday afternoon I enjoyed my return to running outdoors! What freedom to be out on the trail instead of confined to the pool or treadmill :) The legs responded well and I will continue to be patient with things as I regain my form. A hearty kudos to all my friends who raced over the weekend. Boulder was well-represented in big races with several top 10 finishes, one overall win (Laura - Memphis In May) and one second (Simon - Florida 70.3).

Last night I caught up with my brother & his wife for dinner and watched the Pistons take a 1-0 lead over the Cavs in their Eastern Conference Championship. Now if the Wings can play well tonight and even their series with the Ducks...

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Good Times & Good Laughs

Another stellar day of training in some downright top-notch weather. I enjoyed riding with a small group of friends for the first part of my ride before making my way back towards Boulder as they all had longer rides on their schedules. The legs responded well for the solid three hour effort over rolling terrain. A tasty lunch and nap pre my treadmill run hit the spot. A wonderful day was capped sharing laughs with friends over dinner on Pearl Street. Anchor Steam might be my new beer of choice for the moment. I am stoked for the return of summer nights!

Tomorrow's schedule is fairly light with a 1:30 swim in the morning and then another chance to watch the Red Wings in play-0ff action on NBC. My brother and sister-in-law roll into town Monday and I look forward to entertaining them a bit this upcoming week.

Time to catch some shut-eye.

Keep it smooth...

Friday, May 18, 2007

Witness to a Miracle

With an active recovery week in progress I have been able to catch-up on the little things around the house which usually get ignored...dusting, cleaning my bikes (I have made a commitment to keep them clean), sorting a pile of mail, emails to friends back in MI, replacing a cable on my road bike, reading, car wash inside & outside, finalizing Kona travel, etc.

Wednesday & Thursday night a musician/healer/speaker conducted healing services at my church. Her name is Lorraine Louvat. Before I share with you what I witnessed, please understand I AM NOT ON CRACK OR HITTING THE BOTTLE! While I can not explain with I saw, I simply trust in my faith in understanding God's healing power.

Quick background on Lorraine...at the age of 4 she was told by God she would have a strong gift of healing but would use it later in life. Untile the early 90s Lorraine was pretty much a prayer hermit. She is not a religious sister. In 1963 she met with a guy by the name of Padre Pio, who himself was blessed with incredible gifts and is considered a modern-day saint being cannonized in 2003. At the time of their meeting, Lorraine knew nothing about Padre Pio and he provided her spiritual direction confirming her divine gift of healing and stating she would be given property on which to establish a healing ministry in the future. Lorraine had never told ANYONE about what God revealed to her at an early age, but through the Holy Spirit Padre Pio knew of her gift. Fast-forward to the early 90s and that is when Lorraine was asked by her priest in Maine to go out and begin her public ministry. In the mid 90s Lorraine was given 100 acres of beautiful land in rural Maine on which she has established the Lifesong Healing Ministry. It is a community of lay-people who pray for the healing of those who write and call asking for it.

This week she has been in Boulder conducting healing services and has done so across the globe. Lorraine is not a psychic and admits she herself does not possess any special power. She is simply a vessel through which Jesus places His healing hands on those in need of it. With her grandmother-like voice and tender heart she tirelessly opens herself to this work. She has healed believers and atheists, the young and the old. Her ministry is not limited to any particular religion or race, just as Jesus reached out to all.

I was intrigued when I first read about her in our church newsletter and the skeptic in me wanted to see this first-hand. Both nights I was witness to numerous miracles...healings on the spot. Lorraine is very clear that not everyone in attendance would be healed as the healing is not for her to decide, but God's will. Everyone though would receive a gift of grace from this experience. I saw people with chronic pain walk away pain-free. An older gentleman seemed to dance down the aisle while folding up his walker upon receiving the healing gift. Tears of joy flowed from the woman whose crippling pain from spinal fusions was removed. A teenage boy smiled from cheek to cheek as his humble wish to grow became reality through God's will and Lorraine praying over his legs, ankles and feet. On my grandmothers' graves I swear he became visibly taller than his mom at that moment.

My faith is integral to who I am as a person and Lorraine's gift to simply love others as Jesus did is a wonderful example how to live. Her vocation is to heal and share God's love. Many of us want to do this but struggle with how to carry it through within our own vocations/jobs. I think it is very simple: wherever God has planted you, that is where you are to share His love through your actions, words and how you treat others.

For me, I use my vocation as a professional triahlete & speaker for His glory. For example, while racing in Kona I will be raising money to support the work of a non-profit crisis pregnancy center (more on this in June). The amount of training time we commit is a great opportunity for prayer/reflection. If you have a specific prayer request please email (brad@bradseng.com) it to me as I will be certain to keep you in my thoughts & prayers while swimming, biking & running. If we can lift each other up in prayer our lives will be blessed.

For more info on Lorraine & her ministry visit www.lifesongljl.org

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Running Day Five

Things in Boulder have been relatively uneventful this past week. I have enjoyed my return to running, uh rather "jogging", having completed day five of my two week treadmill protocol this morning. Perhaps in the not-too-distance future I can join the fellas, and gals, for the Tuesday morning special at the Boulder Reservoir. Swimming and biking continue to roll along with some dashes of intensity. My motivation is certainly getting cranked in following my friends and training partners with their race efforts. This weekend plays host to a couple of big races...the Florida Half IM (Ford Ironman 70.3 Florida for you type A folks) and Memphis In May. Several of my cronies from Boulder are towing a rather competitive line in Orlando. Best wishes to all of them for strong performances!

The Red Wings and Pistons are both in action tonight...thank God for the remote control!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Motor City Madness

I hail from perhaps the best sports town in the United States...DETROIT! What other major city consistently has teams playing for and winning championships?? The Red Wings find themselves in the Western Conference finals in their bid for another Stanley Cup while the Pistons have put the hurt on the Chicago Bulls going up 2-0 with big wins as they look to get back to the Eastern Conference finals. Let's not forget the Tigers were in last year's World Series. Now, if the Lions could just find their roar from years past.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, May 06, 2007

McDonald's & Movies

Perhaps many of you are in the know on this, but I just learned you can rent a movie for a BUCK at select McDonald's restaurants. They have these dvd kiosks called Redbox and you use your credit card upon selecting a movie of interest. The dvd's are due back the following day or you are charged a late fee of $1 for each day you keep the movie. Cool thing is you can return the movie to any McDonald's with a Redbox. That sounds good for road trips! No, you do not have to order any food to use the dvd machine. Admittedly, I was keen on some french fries when I picked up my flick this afternoon, but was able to hold back. Actually, I had not stepped a big toe into the Golden Arches in years and was surprised at their expanded menu...salads and sides of fruit. Of course, if I were to cave for some Micky D's I would make it count. As a kid, my favorite McDonald's meal was quarter pounder w/cheese, fries, Coke and apple-cinnamon pie....yummmmm!

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Love/Hate Relationship

Today I experienced that familiar love-hate relationship with the wind while riding. This was the first day with some narly winds in quite some time and I found myself both applauding and cursing it. The hill repeats into the gusting head wind provided an opportune time to work on my patience. It was a hearty ride and my legs will be glad I plan to just kick it tonight and take in the Wings play-off game with the San Jose Sharks.

This nifty picture was taken by my friend Dave Young. No, he did not use any smoke or mirrors for this creative blend of shots. Dave has a passion for photography and he is interested in working with other athletes and individuals in the Boulder area. Drop me a note at brad@bradseng.com if you want to contact Dave about working with you.
Keep it smooth...

Monday, April 30, 2007

Guys Night Out

We are finally enjoying some splendid weather in Boulder. The weekend saw temps in the 70s on Saturday and creeping into the 80s on Sunday. It was so nice to ride sans arm warmers, gloves and yes, even toe covers! I was out riding with JZ on Friday and asked her when she thought we could take those damn things off our cycling shoes. "NEVER" was her response :)

A solid weekend of training was highlighted by a 9,000+ feet day of climbing with a few of the fellas on Sunday. I was crowned jackass of the group with a flat while climbing St. Vrain Canyon and then upon stopping at the renowned Ward Store realizing I left my cash, ID, house key and phone at the lovely Raymond Store (our first stop climbing up to the Peak to Peak Highway). The guys were actually very cool with it and we had a few good chuckles.

The real laughs were over dinner and few adult bevies with the guys on Saturday night. Colorful and animated conversation seemed to flow easily with everyone taking his fair share of jabs at one another. Even Wes, the guy with a busted scapula from crashing during the Bus Stop ride, was not immune from the banter.

Several folks are traveling this weekend for races at Wildflower, Tri One O One Bradenton and some far-away ITU World Cups...wishing them the best!

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Rain, Snow, Sun

The last forty-eight hours has been a mix of some rather unseasonable weather. After a day of cold, rain and bit of snow it was great to see the sun return today. The mountains looked beautiful this morning capped with fresh, white snow against the blue sky background. Sure a picture would have been nice, but trust me, it was a dang good view.

My appointment with the orthopaedic confirmed what I suspected...a developing stress fracture. Good news though as it is healing quite well and I should begin a run protocol (on land) within the next week and a half per my top notch PT, Bob Cranny. Until then...more deep water running. On the training front, the bike and swim are progressing as planned per my zen triathlon coach, Zane Castro of Austin, TX. We had a lengthy chat last night about some specific targets in the pool and in the saddle as well as my upcoming race schedule. Zane has been great in keeping me patient and focused. I am also grateful for the support from my sponsors. Their understanding of my situation allows me to go about my business stress-free.

Quick Training Week Recap:

Monday - yoga 1:00, PT exercises & core :45, swim 1:15
Tuesday - deep water run 1:15, PT exercises :25, bike 2:30 with a series of HITs (high intensity intervals)
Wednesday - deep water run 1:00, swim 1:30, bike 2:30 with 90 minutes tempo, PT exercises & core :45

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Climbing Big Thompson

After an early morning swim I rode one of my favorite climbing routes today with a few friends (Chris McDonald, Marilyn MacDonald - engaged, but similar last names & Billy Edwards) up Big Thompson canyon to Estes Park and down through Lyons. The ride has stunning scenery, less traffic than the other canyons and features a series of short, steep switch backs at the end. The view at the top of this long climb is stellar and the gradual descent down into Estes Park provides a chance to take in the surrounding mountains. We saw a herd of Elk today grazing in a large, open field before reaching our refueling stop. From there, it was a short climb out of Estes Park then a screaming descent down to Lyons. Note of interest...riding to our starting point a bird made a deposit on my shoulder. I thought to myself, "Is this a sign of what to expect on this ride?" We had a great weather and I rode well today, despite having to walk my bike up a portion of the steep switch backs on account of a trashed hub. It was good for some laughs though with Chris shouting as he passed me, "Dude, you are walking faster than I am riding."

Injury update...I have a follow-up appointment with the orthopaedic tomorrow afternoon to review my bone scan and the radiologist report. More on that later.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Indoor Pool Community

Spending the past several weeks running in the indoor pool at our lovely FAC I have had the pleasure of getting to know a whole different type of athelte. Most of the folks who swim the 23 and change yard pool are over the age of 55. The average length of time spent in the pool per swim is 25 minutes. Hey, I have to occupy my mind in some way during these "run" sessions :)Some are new to swimming and not quite sure what lurks in the outdoor pool and craziness of the masters swimming scene. It is most definitely a "mellow" atmosphere unless Verne Scott (father of "The Man") has his Platinum Rockers in there making waves. They are a group of athletes 70 plus years young. The lone woman of the group is just learning to swim at the spry age of 78 and one gentleman just learned to do a flip turn!

NHL action tonight as the Wings look to go up 3-0 on the Flames...Go Wings!

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Go Wings

The storm predicted to hit us with some of the white stuff on Friday blew south of Denver. This is a good thing because the thought of putting in more CompuT time was starting to give me a rash. Solid training yesterday with an early morning run (water), bike with some HIT's and late afternoon swim. Riding long today with some of the local yahoos. I'm sure the banter will be entertaining as usual. Kicked back last night with a dvd, "The Pursuit of Happyness". Great film based on the true story of Chris Gardner who became a Wall Street mogul after struggling with hard times and being homeless. Will Smith and his son are fantastic in playing the father-son characters.

I will be sending postive thoughts to all my friends racing IMAZ today...Amanda, Joanna, Rhonda (one of my athletes), Terra, Barry, Glen M., Glen N., James, Michael, Patrick & all the others!

Spring is one of my favorite seasons and the NHL play-offs are in full swing. The Red Wings opened their quest for Lord Stanley with a 4-1 win over the Flames and look to increase that lead later today. Go Wings!! I have a bone scan scheduled for tomorrow morning and follow-up appointments with my PT and doctor later in the week.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Ouch!

Happy Christer! Kinda feels like Christmas and Easter here in Boulder. I took advantage of the unseasonable weather for a 2:45 ride on my mountain bike. It was a hoot riding through the snow, slush and sleet. My body was comfy with a few layers. Only downside was slamming the pavement on my injured hip after my rear wheel kicked out from a small patch of ice I just happened to encounter. Got my eggs scrambled a bit with some dizziness, minor road rash and bone bruise. It does not appear to have affected the injury I'm trying to heal...keeping my fingers crossed :)

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Moving Forward

My visit with the orthopaedic doc confirmed what I suspected...a likely stress fracture. Good news though as it is definitely on the mend and feeling so much better from a week ago. The doctor advised me to continue working with my top-notch physical therapist, Bob Cranny of Altitude Physical Therapy. Anyone in the Boulder area seeking treatment from a PT should schedule a consult with Bob. He and his wife Sandy are great people and exceptional athletes. Having raced all the distances in triathlon and several IM events, including Kona, they get it :) While my race schedule for May is subject to change I am confident my return to running on land will be timely. So the plan is to be diligent in taking care of the little things, listen to my body and continue to progress on the bike & in the water.
Like most of the country east of the Rocky Mountains, we are being hit with some cold & snowy weather. I enjoyed a solid swim this morning in the brisk temps. Fun seeing my friends Erin & JZ at the pool...they were swift and sleek in their Helix wetsuits. Looking forward to sharing some laughs with friends at dinner tonight, even if we have to be on our best behavior to avoid embarrassing my friend Lara whose parents are visiting.

I pray you have a healthy, happy & blessed Easter weekend!

Keep it smooth...


Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Back In Boulder

My flight back to Boulder late Tuesday was uneventful, aside from the poor woman sitting next to me who got sick as we made our descend into the mile high city. I ran, rather, walked into my friends Erin & Laura at the San Diego airport. They were returning from their Team Timex camp and we were all on the same Frontier flight into Denver. It was great to chat with them and hear about their four day camp. They looked sharp sporting their new Timex jackets and bags. I spent the morning catching up on emails, unpacking and writing coaching plans for my two athletes. It was then off to the pool for a deep water tempo run. Yes, I know, how does one do a tempo run in the water. It felt good and I enjoyed the "feel" of running. I had the pleasure of hooking up with BD, one of my sponsors (www.gomongo.com), and Ted Kennedy, who runs the CEO Challenge, for a pleasant bike this afternoon. Tomorrow morning I will be heading to the doc's office for an evaluation and perhaps an MRI. Gotta fly to swim practice...

Keep it smooth...

Monday, April 02, 2007

My First DNF

It has been a rather frustrating three weeks in dealing with an injury which has limited my ability to run. I headed to Oceanside for Ford California 70.3 Ironman knowing my race day was going to be suspect to a potential early end. Saturday morning I could not complete my pre-race run warm-up and things pretty much went south from there. I pride myself in having a strong mind and planned on nailing the swim & bike. Things just simply did not come together and I retired from the race after hobbling through T2. While I am disappointed with my effort in the portions of the race I was able to complete, I understand it is a long season. I am in San Diego through late Tuesday and have an appointment set with an orthopaedic early Thursday.

Beyond the injury, it was a great race weekend. A hearty congrats to my training partners from Boulder and my teammates on their efforts! I was able to spend some quality time with my Dad and appreciate the support from my family, friends and sponsors. Sunday I had an all-day photo shoot with two of my teammates (Kathryn & Peter) for some Team Sport Beans/NTTC ad campaigns. It was a hoot with lots of laughs :) and I was pretty shelled by the day's end.

I enjoyed a chill day in Encinitas with a buddy from MI today and look forward to my return to Boulder.

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Rainy Day

Today's weather is absolutely stellar....for the ducks, frogs & fish! Mother Nature is dishing up a steady dose of spring rain much to the joy of the local agricultural community. The land is really starting to morph from the winter brown to the spring green as the grass grows and trees bud.
I'll get back on the saddle tomorrow as the sunshine and warmer temps return to Boulder. This morning I enjoyed a therapuetic deep water run. It is something I like to throw into the mix as it lends great opportunity for quieting the body & mind. While it does not replace the demands of running on firma terra, it does mirror the neuromuscular patterns and is great for anyone recovering from an injury or feeling really beat-up.
Have a happy & healthy weekend!
Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Rolling on the Eastside

After several big weeks I am enjoying an active recovery week and catching my breath. The past few Tuesdays have been my biggest days of training with some long rides and tough runs. Today, however, I was able to take in the beautiful upper 60/lower 70 degree weather while riding my road bike east of Boulder. My last visit to this area was a year ago when completing my prep for IMAZ as the terrain is mostly flat with stiff winds. I love riding out east of town because the traffic is minimal and not too many other cyclists are seen. Funny, after 400 mile weeks with no flats, I managed to get a good one today from some large staples.

Keep it smooth...

Friday, March 16, 2007

Fit to Tri

In June I will be launching a triathlon program for at-risk youth called Fit to Tri. I am super stoked about this program having done one two years ago with a group of kids from Denver. This year I am partnering with my friend Beth who teaches at-risk youth in Longmont. The goals of the program are to engage at-risk youth in alternative sports opportunities, to improve self-awareness through physical challenge and to combat obesity by highlighting the benefits of a fit mind and body. Most importantly, it will be fun :) It is a six week program culminating with the kids' participation at the Boulder Kids Triathlon on August 11th. Each week we will have one group training session emphasizing the individual disciplines of triathlon, including transitions, nutrition and goal setting. In addition, I will design a weekly schedule for each participant. Once the program gets rolling I will be sure to share some stories and pics of the team in action.

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

New Wheels

I received my new race wheels from Blackwell and they are saweeet! Dave Bunce has been great to work with in educating me about their wheels and what set-up is best for me. This year I will be running their 50mm front and 100mm rear. I originally thought I would go with their disc as well, but after talking with Dave he indicated I would be best served not purchasing the disc and rolling with the 100mm which is just as fast and Kona-legal. Click on the logo to learn more about their products or visit www.blackwellresearh.com

The weather has been stellar the past several days...damn I probably just jinxed myself and it will snow tomorrow. Training is progressing well as I continue my quest to find some fitness and a little speed for the Ford Ironman 70.3 California. It is going to be a great weekend...my Dad is going to catch the race and volunteer, my friend Caroline is going to be spectating and Stephanie & Deborah from Jelly Belly will be on-site for the weekend. Sunday after the race I have a photo shoot with a couple of my teammates for some Sport Bean promo. I may also be catching up with an old childhood buddy of mine. I haven't seen him since elementary school. He owns a killer sound biz and does work for the film and tv industry. You can check out his projects at www.bigears.com

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Descending St. Vrain

Today I made my first go of the season with some climbing in the mountains...it was super fun and a focused effort. Only a few other riders and the ocassional car as tourist traffic will not kick in for a few more weeks. The descent down St. Vrain Canyon into Lyons was super smooth...several of the main canyons were resurfaced last summer/fall. It was like water skiing on glass or snowboarding on fresh corduroy. I was stoked to get back on things with a solid bike and tempo run post my ride. Time to enjoy some of my favorite treats...dark chocolate, icecream and homemade granola while putting the legs up and watching a movie...tonight's feature is About a Boy.

Enjoy your weekend and as always...

Keep it smooth...

Friday, March 09, 2007

Down for A Day

I found myself quite ill Wednesday night with some kind of stomach bug and took a day of rest Thursday. Glad to be back on things today :)

Wednesday afternoon I was enjoying an easy, high cadence spin late afternoon. One of the few times I kick it with my music while riding. Simon rode up on me and while passing chirpped something about riding like a girl. I really do not know what he said because I had the music jumping. Anyway, that evening upon checking my email I had a message from Simon reading "What were you doing? Like they say in France, I passed you so fast I gave you a cold. Time to stop listening to music and ride faster." I got a good chuckle from his humor as usual and responsed with "I was counting the newborn calves in the pasture." Well, I did not get a cold, but something did not agree with me on Wednesday night!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Signs of Spring

...the trees are beginning to bud in these parts, a bee committed suicide today flying into my glasses while riding, more calves are popping up, er out, around the pastures, sunny skies and warmer temps, running and biking with fewer layers and Daylight Savings this weekend!

Zane delt me a rather hearty day with long tempo intervals on the bike over hilly terrain and a tough run featuring 10x400 meter hill repeats. Best part...being outdoors for the entire effort :)

Outside of triathlon, I have a speaking engagement 3/25 in Pagosa Springs, CO which is in the south western part of the state and in mid April it looks like I will be traveling to Boca Raton, FL for a talk.

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Attachments

If you wish to be happy the first thing you need is not effort or even goodwill or good desires but a clear understanding of how exactly you have been programmed. ~ Anthony de Mello

For the past nine months I have been working with a dynamic performance coach. If you are looking for some guidance in this area I highly recommend my friend Ashley with www.mindful-sports.com She is awesome!! In addition to sport specific skills with goal setting, race prep, visualization, etc. we have been doing a fair amount of work on identifying my "attachments". These are things we all have and "cling to" and they come in both the physical and emotional varities. Through this process I am learning to become more "aware" as both an individual and athlete. For example, most of us have an attachment to comments we receive from people. When someone tells us, "Hey Brad, you look really good today." it makes us feel happy and good about ourselves. When that same person says, "Wow, you look kind of tired today." it makes us feel a bit down or unpleasant. The key is to recognize our society, from the time we were children, has conditioned us to react in certain ways to what others say or think of us. I have experienced a tremendous amount of personal growth in recognizing my attachments and understanding them which in turn has really brought a sense of freedom to my daily life. Within my training and racing I have found a genuine purpose and peace. A super book to read which really acts like a daily devotional with 2-3 page chapters is one titled The Way to Love by Anthony de Mello. I may have mentioned this book in a previous post. It is an easy-to-read insightful piece of writing which I am enjoying for the second round.

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Back In Boulder

I left the 85 degree weather in Austin on Monday with my return to Boulder. It has been a bit hectic the past few days, but so good to be sleeping in my own bed! Waiting for my arrival in Boulder were hundreds of blue, red, orange and green Sport Beans along with some of my Team Sport Beans/NTTC apparel our team director, Mark, shipped so I would not have to travel with it to Austin...thanks Mark!! Yesterday was very pleasant here with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. Today...not so much...cold & snowy. Admittedly my motivation for my final workout of the day, a run over rolling terrain, was a tad lacking. Still I managed to get my arse out the door and get it done. One of my new partners is BD's Mongolian Barbeque. As an athlete, having access to healthy & delicious food is huge - especially when you are dragging and do not feel like cooking up some grub. Check them out on the internet for a location near you at www.GoMongo.com BD has about 36 restaurants nation wide and even one in Mongolia!

Well, me thinks it is time for some reading and shut eye.

Keep it smooth...

Monday, February 26, 2007

Camp WIT Austin Day Fourteen

Enjoyed taking in the action during the Pro 1-2 men's race at Pace Bend Park on Sunday...

Run: Solid long run over the hilly terrain in and around scenic Pace Bend Park. Final 30 minutes were done with a bit of snap and legs responded well. 20 miles

Week Summary - Great weather made for some wonderful training this past week. Swim 16,000 yards. Bike 353 miles. Run 80 miles. I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent with Terra, Zane and friends in Austin, but look foward to getting back in the mix with my peeps in Boulder.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Camp WIT Austin Day Thirteen


Warm & windy...

Bike: Awesome route on the rolling country roads east of Austin. Rode out to Elgin and back. The return was a bit challenging into the steady headwinds gusting up to 40 MPH. Two events making the ride interesting - 1. Hit a large bump in the road hard on a descent causing my aerobars to drop which made for an uncomfortable position the final 18 miles and B. Almost taken down by a mean, nasty & aggressive farm dog which seemed to jump out of nowhere. 95 miles

Run: Controlled, fluid run off the bike. 11 miles

Swim: Quick swim in the cold natural spring waters of Deep Eddy pool. The water temp was chilly but it felt great on my legs. 650 y

Topped the day off enjoying another tasty burger with Terra & Zane at Phil's Ice House and some delicious hazlenut treat from Amy's Icecream :)
Keep it smooth...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Camp WIT Austin Day Twelve

Run: fluid and steady run around Town Lake just outside downtown Austin. Legs are coming around from the week's work. 11 miles

Bike: easy high cadence ride to flush legs. 24 miles

Swim: fun swim on own at Old Stacey Pool. 5,200 y

Current reading is a fantastic book called The Dream Giver by Bruce Wilkinson. Movie recommendation for home viewing - Fighting the Giants...inspirational story about a small school football team making it to the state finals.

Keep it smooth...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Camp WIT Austin Day Eleven

Temperature on the Ergomo reading 85 F...

Run: early am run to shake out legs a bit; effort controlled and steady on UT intramural grass fields. 11 miles

Bike: hill repeats done in the exclusive Mt. Bonnell/Balcones area; hill grade range 5-15%. 50 miles

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Camp WIT Austin Day Ten

The weather is absolutely fabulous right now...

Swim: Whitney put together another solid swim session with some peppy efforts. 5,000 y

Run: Steady aerobic effort from house down to Town Lake trail for a few miles and back. Perfect running weather although it started to warm-up towards the end. 16 miles

Bike: Easy, high cadence spin to flush out legs. 25 miles

Our friend Matt Seagrave rolled into town late Tuesday fresh off his impressive overall win at the Valley of the Sun stage race in Phoenix, AZ. He is in Austin for a road race on Sunday and I'm looking forward to taking in the action.

If you are interested to joining NTTC's club team or wanting some coaching check out the program offered by NTTC at our website www.NTTCracing.com. Thanks for reading!

Keep it smooth...