Thursday, September 08, 2011

Moving Forward

For those of you following this blog, I am happy to say I have finally given my website a much needed facelift.  My blog posts will now be accessible via my site at  I do not plan on writing too much within this blog.

Thanks for reading & keep it smooth...


Saturday, August 06, 2011

Running the Good Race

Tomorrow morning approximately 1,900 athletes will converge on the Boulder Reservoir for the Boulder 70.3 triathlon (1.2 mile swim~56 mile bike~13.1 mile run).  It is a popular race on the half Ironman circuit with the Rocky Mountains as a scenic back-drop.

With a disappointing outcome in my previous four races I am excited to get back in the mix with a hometown tilt.  My training block leading up to this event has been solid as I have been working through a nagging foot injury.  I have simply strived to persevere with eyes of faith. 

Life can get messy: relationships, work, training, finances, health concerns, etc.  It is through these challenging moments we can all benefit from running the good race.  We might fall, we might get hurt, we might experience a taste of disappointment, but we will never be given more than we can handle.  Phil 4:13 - "In Him who is my source of strength, I have strength for anything."  Christ came not to take away our suffering, but fill it with His presence. 

When the gun goes at 6:30am, it's game on.  May we all have the courage to be our best in running the greatest race of all...LIFE!

Keep it smooth,

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Tasmanian House Guest

The last few weeks I have had an elite runner from Tasmania staying with me.  Dave is a humble guy and by his standards does not really think his running is "elite" just yet.  He posts a 29 and change 10k, so I think that is pretty darn fast.  It's been great hosting a single sport athlete and I can really appreciate the simplicity of not having to balance three different disciplines.  It has been interesting to learn about his self-coached training program and consistency with his daily double runs.  Additionally, the guy is all about herbs and natural supplements.  He recently spent a day in Denver seeking out some of these mythical elixirs.  He returned with a brown bag full of stuff from a Chinese medicine shop...dried herbs and various roots/tree barks.  Covered from head-to-toe with tats and having a shaved head with a couple of long dread locks you might not think the guy has a passion for running.  When he's not running, Dave likes to chill out with his herb books and walk into town to check out the local book stores.  I reckon he walks just about everywhere.  He used my road bike for a couple of trips, but didn't seem to care for the saddle too much.

Keep it smooth,

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Reposting: Call to Greatness

Reposting from June 2010:

Call to Greatness

In celebration of Father's Day this Sunday, I'd like to share a few thoughts on the importance of fathers.

Both men and women are called to greatness by God, each having a unique role to play. With respect to men, I believe our natural instinct is to be protectors and not predators. Okay ladies, please don't roll your eyes thinking, "Oh gosh what a load of male chauvinistic-ideological-mumbo-jumbo." Be patient as I think you will find my humble thoughts worthy of consideration.

Fathers, like mothers, have a significant impact on the emotional, physical, mental and spiritual health of their children. Recent research suggests the presence and voice of a caring, loving father plays a huge role in shaping the mind and values of his children. Fatherless children are statistically more likely to commit violent crimes, drop out of school and commit suicide.

It is quite likely the picture painted by pop culture is creating a lot of confusion as to what manhood is really supposed to look like. Our current hyper-sexed society would have us fall for the selfishness of thinking it's the norm to use people and love things, when in reality we are called to love people, unconditionally, and use things. Many men struggle with this as their idea of what manhood is all about gets twisted and distorted by the unhealthy lure of pornography. At it's core the porn industry robs us of our manhood (and womanhood). It creates a "users" mentality. Certainly fatherhood, as it is written on our hearts, is much stronger than what we see on television or the big screen.

I am blessed to have three men in my life who have truly set the standard for me on the signficance of fatherhood and all things "man":

William J. Seng, my dad, who continues to be a source of encouragement and perseverance. He always found time for our soccer games and swim meets while working fifty+ hours a week. Growing up in a small southern Indiana town, he has instilled in me and my siblings the joy of pursuing our dreams.

Frank H. Seng, Jr, my grandfather (father's side), who worked tirelessly as a cabinet maker and general factory laborer. His trademark teasing in calling us little monkies while proclaiming he could out-swim, out-run, out-kick or out-throw us even into his 90s always brings a smile to my face on race day.

Albert E. Ingraham, my grandfather (mother's side), who was commited to providing for his wife and family as a dairy farmer and jack of all trades. His Maine humor and work ethic is a daily reminder for me to get my bum out the door and do the job right.

Wishing all dads a very happy Father's Day and encourage you to lead your families to greatness...William Wallace style (think Mel Gibson in Braveheart)!

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

RFR Pics

A few random pics from the relay with my bros...

 Tom brining it home strong with newphew Jack
 Kate & Graham pushing the finish
 it's all about speed in transition with the chip exchange
the crew pre-race (note my bro's board shorts for the swim -nice)

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Racing for Recovery Sprint Triathlon: A Family Affair

This past weekend I ventured back to the Motor City to race a charity event with my brothers (Brian & Tom) called the Racing for Recovery Sprint Triathlon. My sister-in-law (Kate), who I coach, was also doing the sprint so it would be a family affair at beautiful Sterling State Park in Monroe, MI just south of Detroit. This is a fantastic race featuring the sprint and half Ironman distances with proceeds supporting a drug & alcohol recovery program. I hold the course record for the half and have won it the past two years. I was really looking forward to mixing things up this year and doing the sprint as a relay with my brothers as they have never done a triathlon. It had a special meaning for me with my older brother now being 14 years sober!

We of course had some fun rivalry and smack talk going on in the days leading up to the big race. Would my younger brother be able to eke out a faster swim time than his wife? How much time would I be able to put into her on the bike to aid my older brother’s efforts on the run? I was quite confident she would do well and keep us honest on the course.

Sans wetsuit & sporting his baggy board shorts Brian hit the waters of Lake Erie while I patiently waited for his arrival in T1. As many athletes, including Kate, flooded into transition, I continued to peer on the horizon for my bro. With what appeared to be some “sea” legs he made his way from the beach for our chip exchange to the cheers of my parents and nephews. My focus for the bike was to stay on the gas from the get-go and I was able to make good work of the flat 12 mile course. If I didn’t come off the bike appearing to have left it on the course I would for sure hear it from my brothers! Into T2 Tom and I were able to make a quick exchange and he was off for the 3.6 mile run. Looking around I asked, “Where’s Brian?” My Mom pointed over to a small tree where he was still lying down in the shade and apparently not feeling too spry from his 500m swim. I think he soon realized he was a bit “undertrained” with only one practice swim as his preparation. Tom covered the hot & humid course in good form ensuring us a 2nd place finish in the relay division, but more importantly, a narrow margin of victory over Kate.

It was a great way for our family to spend a Sunday morning (at least in my mind :) and I am quite certain my brothers now have a working understanding of what I experience on race day. Kate had a super race finishing 2nd in her age group and 12th overall. Racing for a cause in support of a charity always makes for a rewarding experience. While I am not sure my brothers are inspired to hit up another triathlon anytime soon, I think they did enjoy the day and I am downright proud of them for getting outside their comfort zone.

Pics to follow soon…

Keep it smooth,


Sunday, May 29, 2011

IMTX Race Report

 hanging at the expo with Skin Strong
early in the run under some cloud cover

I'd like to say this was a great day of racing, but it was the exact opposite.  Other than the swim, my race was in the tank!  I had a great build for this event and was confident with my fitness.  My run prep was slightly limited with some plantar fasciitis which developed two weeks out from race day, but I think the biggest influence on my poor run was the heat & humidity.  I typically perform well in these conditions, but I guess my body was simply not ready for it with the cold spring we have seen in Boulder.

Swim (58:41) - I positioned myself towards the front and had a decent start, but was not able to match the speed of some of the guys around me.  I swam the first 1200m just behind a small group which included Petr Vabrousek (Chezch Republic & doing his 100th+ Ironman), my buddies Patrick Evoe (USA) & Raul Furtado (Brazil), Mike Neill (Canada), Joanna Lawn (New Zealand) and a few others. I was able to bridge up to them approaching the first turn buoy at 1400m and would complete the final 2400m comfortably with this group.  The last 1000m of the swim was down a narrow canal with spectators on both sides which was kind of cool.

Bike (4:52) - Exiting T1 I expected to be in the midst of the same guys with whom I finished the swim.  Damn, where did they go?  Raul went passed me shortly into the bike and I made a tactical error in not trying to ride with him.  What was I thinking!?!  My legs felt decent but I rode too conservatively over the first part of this fast course and was never able to get myself into "go" mode.  We had lots of cloud cover and some rain which was refreshing as the temps and humidity continued to rise.  Over the final 10 miles I was caught by several riders and mentally a bit dejected.  "C'mon Brad, get with it!" I said to myself.

Run (3:19) - Within the first few strides of the run I could tell it was going to be a tough go with this marathon.  As the sun emerged my focus was trying to maintain some kind of leg turnover and keeping my core cool.  Through the first loop I was able to catch a few athletes, but was seriously considering pulling the plug as I struggled in the conditions.  I wanted to give up, but figured there would be some carnage over the final two laps and if I could keep things together I might be able to crack the top 15 for some valuable Kona points.  Unfortunately  I became part of the carnage as my pace slowed to a crawl.  I have not felt this bad in a race since Kona 2009 and was trying to use every jedi mind trick and prayer I know to get things rolling. 

Crossing the line in a sluggish 9:14 I had a smile on my face simply to be done with this race!   

The volunteers and crowd support throughout the day were top-notch and I was grateful for their encouragement!  I also enjoyed the pre-race expo and hanging with my sponsor, SkinStrong, at their booth.  A HUGE thanks to my parents for their support on this rough day as well as my sponsors.  I have enjoyed my recovery week of being lazy and allowing the body to rest/heal.   As my last three races have been rather disappointing, I am inspired by Galatians 6:9 - "Let us not grow weary of doing good; if we do not relax our efforts, in due time we shall reap our harvest." May we all persevere with eyes of faith in being our best.  Next up...the Racing for Recovery Sprint Triathlon relay with my brothers on June 5th!

Keep it smooth,

Sunday, April 24, 2011

NO 70.3 Race Report - A Trio of Firsts

Last weekend I ventured down to the Big Easy to kick-off my 2011 race season at the 3rd annual New Orleans 70.3.  It has been about ten years since I've visited this eccletic city and I was really looking forward to the entire race weekend.  A HUGE thanks to my home stay family, the Edwards.  Barry, Susie, Paul & Cody were terrific welcoming me into their home.  Barry was born and raised in the area and knew exactly how to get around town and through the various levy construction projects without any hiccups.  Without him I would have been driving in circles!  He was good company on my workouts leading up to race day and giving me a great course preview as well as showing me some of the areas hit hard my Katrina.  Susie made sure I was well fed with some incredibly delicious meals - buffalo burgers, salmon, buffalo tacos, big breakfasts, etc.  Barry also hooked me up with his secret post workout smoothies.  They went above & beyond the call of duty!

Race day brought three things which I have not experienced in over ten years of racing triathlons - a cancelled swim, a flat and a penalty.  I was not totally surprised the swim was cancelled as it was briefly mentioned in our meeting as a slight possibility.  The winds were pretty strong and with Lake Ponchatrain being quite shallow (average depth only 15 feet) it can create some serious chop in the water.  Apparently there was a small craft advisory and the race organizers felt it would be a dangerous situation for both athletes and water safety personnel.  After a good amount of time the organizers called the professional athletes for a brief meeting in transition.  They took a vote on our preferred method of starting the race: A) having us start as a group outside transtion and race to our bikes & B) cycling time trial format sending us off in numerical order every 30 seconds.  Obviously option B was the best way to get 'er going.

Bike (2:33) - About three miles into the ride my rear tire blew, unlocking my skewer and sent me fishtailing towards the first u-turn.  I was able to keep myself upright to the appreciation of some spectators who shouted, "Nice save!"  Not sure what caused the tire to blow and I suspect it was from one of the bumps I hit.  Getting out my spare tubular I saw the razor blade I always carry was no where to be seen...must have lost it on one of those bumps.  As I struggled to remove the glued tubular tire from my wheel, one of the spectators said he had a pair of scissors in his car.  He ran and got them for me to use to help remove the bad tire.  Technically I suppose this could be considered outside assistance, but at this point the ten guys who left the gate after me and five of the pro women had zoomed past.  I was losing major time on the side of the road getting this thing fixed.  I was able to get on my spare and successfully inflate it with my CO2.  Back on and into the head wind I went.  It took a good five miles for me to get my legs going and as the ride unfolded I was feeling really good.  It was a strong head wind for most of the first half of the ride, but with all the wind I've ridden through in Boulder this spring it wasn't weighing on me physically or mentally.  Shortly after the 20 mile mark I made a pass and then was shown a red card by one of the officials.  Seriously, for drafting??  It was a judgement call and I wasn't going to waste any energy questioning the official.  I nodded my head while being told I would need to report to the next penalty tent at the 28 mile mark.  Sweet, another four minutes sitting on the side of the road!  As I served my time, I was able to keep my mind clear of negativity, but admittedly it was disaapointing to have the flat and then a pentaly.  Two things which I have been able to steer clear of throughout my career.  At this point I was simply racing to get some good data from the bike.  Heading back there was a strong tail wind and my legs continued to feel good as I caught a few athletes who passed me while I was in the penalty tent. 

Rn (1:17) Heading out of transition I was in last place within the professional men and felt like I was on a training run.  I worked hard to push myself towards a fast run split and it was a bit of a challenge being so far removed from the guys.  I enjoyed the run course which winds it way through historic City Park and some amazing oak trees which provided a good amount of shade.  Without any athletes or specators in good parts of the course it felt a bit quiet at times.  Approaching the finish and running through the French Quarter I got a chuckle as I recalled the last time I was in this area during Mardi Gras many years prior.  Crossing the line in 3:52 I was grateful simply to get through a somewhat surreal day of racing!

Overall, I had a fantastic race weekend...steallar home stay, great food, opportunity to speak at the FCA-E IronPrayer, catching up with friends, making new friends & speaking at two local high schools the day after the race.

Thank you to my sponsors for their continued support and Happy Easter!!

Keep it smooth,

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Wind, Fire & Snow

The annual chinook winds are alive & kicking with gusts today up to 55mph.  Seems like mother nature is flexing her muscle this early spring with consistent winds, snow in the high country and wild fires just outside of Boudler two weeks ago and three currently raging outside of Golden.  Perhaps Coors, located in Golden, should donate some of their brew to help douse the flames.  At a minimum they should at least make some of their Rocky Mountain suds available for the firefighters once these bad boys are out. 

Like the weather, my life has been a bit crazy at times with the training load in preparation for Ironman Texas, speaking obligations and trying to keep some balance beyond swim, bike & run.  The fatigue factor has been in full effect with some planned stacked days of training, but my body & mind know the deal.  I've had great results on the fueling/nutritional side of things as I continue to work with Craig at Max Muscle Sports Nutrition.  It has been really insightful to track my lean muscle mass, body weight and caloric consumption from week-to-week.  Anyone looking to make some positive changes with their overall diet or sports nutrition should check out what Craig can offer via his nutrition consultations/meal planning.  I really thought I had this part of training/racing pretty well sorted, but Craig's program has allowed me to see a few gaps while making the necessary tweaks. 

Well, I wish I had some more entertaining thoughts to share, but alas my pillow is calling my name as the wind continues to roar.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Hello 2011

As my 2010 season wrapped up in early December, I decided to take an extended break from training, which apparently carried over to updating my blog.  My body & mind were fairly fried coming off a long season and I enjoyed a much needed break.  The holidays were spent catching up with my family in Michigan, North Carolina and Ohio.  Always great to see my family while embarking in some bowling, sledding, snowball fights & competitve games of Apples to Apples Jr.

Training resumed the first of the year and has been going well.  I really get a kick out of the rebuilding process and finding some base fitness after a long break.  My long bike is up to three hours with my longest run at one hour.  Any intensity has come during some of my swim sessions, but Coach Z will slowly begin introducing some quality with the bike and run this week.  Last weekend I had the pleasure of presenting/speaking at the 6th annual ICTN/FCA-E training camp in Tucson.  We had about 50-55 athletes attending from various parts of the US and Canada.  Great time indeed & I highly recommend this camp to anyone looking to boost their spiritual & physical strength!  The last three years this camp has been an effective way for me to capture a theme for my racing/training while keeping the focus on Christ.

As many people know, Team Sport Beans/NTTC will not be returning for 2011.  I have been diligently seeking new sponsors and have lined myself up with a stellar group of companies.  You will see me sporting the Skin Strong (chamois cream & anti-chafing spray) colors while racing along with Valdora & Max Muscle Nutrition Boulder.  I am pleased to remain with Spira (running shoes) and Rudy Project (sunglasses & helmets).  New sponsors include Thorlos (socks), Emergen-C, BareSkin towels and PowerBalance.  To recieve 20% off your online purchase of any sized BareSkin towel use this code: SENG20.  Their towels are great for every day use at the pool or gym and super convenient for travel.  I have one or two more companies in the works and will update as things are finalized.

My speaking engagements have been keeping me busy beyond triathlon & coaching.  I absolutely dig meeting the students and sharing insightful discussion about making healthy lifestyle choices.  As I encourage the students here are three simple things you can do each day to experience true freedom & peace:

1.  Laugh - either at yourself or a friend.  Laughter is medicine for the soul.
2.  Be thankful for one thing - gift of good health, the roof over your head, chocolate chip cookies, etc.
3.  Be your best & dream big - God's gift to us is our potential, what we decide to do with it is our gift to God.

Wishing you a healthy & happy 2011!

Keep it smooth,