Sunday, January 31, 2010

LAKES COUNTRY TRI UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT...



Pickle Events has passed the ownership and management of the Lakes Country Triathlon onto the Kiwanis Club of Baxter as of January 29, 2010. This is a move intended to breathe new life and energy into the event which in seven years under the direction of Pickle Events has grown from a small, 50 person event to over 500 participants. READ

Saturday, January 30, 2010

WHY WOMEN GET INJURED MORE OFTEN THAN MEN...

By Dr. Vicki Harber (Former Canadian Olympian - Rowing)

ScienceDaily (Jan. 28, 2010) — Female athletes experience dramatically higher rates of specific musculoskeletal injuries and medical conditions compared to male athletes, according to exercise physiologist Vicki Harber in the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta. READ

MINNESOTA'S "GOOFY" GIRLS......

(Photos: Top -Three of Minnesota's most accomplished multisportswomen--Angie Schmidt, Jen Lenarz and Jenny Wilcox--model their "Goofy Bling." At Bottom - The girls get "bagged" before the race.)

By Jenny Wilcox

Angie Schmidt, Jen Lenarz and Jenny Wilcox ventured to Orlando, FL, to tackle the "Goofy Challenge" on January 9 & 10. It just so happened to be the coldest weather in 25 years! The half marathon was held on Saturday and the full marathon was on Sunday. During the half marathon it sleeted and was very windy; at the start of the marathon on Sunday it was 28 degrees. All three of us dressed in pants, stocking hats, double layered tops and gloves. Being from Minnesota we thought we could handle the cold weather, but it was wicked. On top of having sore and beaten legs from the half marathon we knew we were in for a hard day’s work for the full, so we tried to make the best of it with taking in the sights of the magnificent course. Both races took us thru all of the theme parks of Disney World. When we mentally needed a break at the hardest miles of the race, the course would wind us thru Cinderella’s Castle and all of the lands of Disney World; in addition to the wonders of Epcot, the wildlife of Animal Kingdom and the excitement of Hollywood Studios.


We woke up at 3am both mornings in order to make it to the start line by 5:40am. During the races Jen Lenarz was looking to have fun, having her photo with all of the characters along the way, she truly had a picture perfect race experience. Jenny Wilcox, still recovering from a broken foot, paced Angie Schmidt for an outstanding PR half marathon. With no expectations we all finished the marathon strong and satisfied with our accomplishments.


We received a Donald Duck medal after the half marathon, a Mickey Mouse medal after the full marathon and then a Goofy medal for completing the challenge. The Goofy medal was almost back-breaking it was so heavy. Still feeling fresh after the Goofy Challenge, the ladies and their kids went out for a day at the parks. We hobbled around the park and wished we had rented a lark-powered wheelchair for the day. It was a fun and amazing experience, but we may wait until we retire to do it again when we have more time and money. We have many fond memories and all had a great time, as did the kids. Training for the Goofy challenge helped us keep the holiday pounds away. All three ladies have Ironmans on their lists this year to tackle next, always needing something to keep us moving and motivated.





Friday, January 29, 2010

TRENT'S DOING FINE..


Trent Schroeder underwent heart surgery today (Friday) and according to his top-notch surgical team, the procedure was successful and the prognosis is excellent.

Emily Schroeder, Trent's wife, was more specific:
Hello all,

Trent is out of surgery and they were able to repair the valve. We spoke to the surgeon but haven't been able to see Trent yet (shortly). The surgeon said it went very well. They were able to tell that the leakage had been significant and his heart was enlarged but that should repair itself in the next year.

Thank you for all your support and keep up the good thoughts! Trent will be in the ICU for the next 24 hours and then in the hospital for 4-6 days.

Thanks again,

Emily Schroeder

Ed. - Great news, Emily. Thanks for sharing. Get well, Trent!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

LIKE A CAT ON A LEASH...


As an exercise in "Journal Therapy," triathlete Bonnie Siegel (photos) recalls her first spin class. The "prosaic approach" seems to be working; the nightmares are less frequent and her meds have been cut in half.

Kidding aside, we think you'll enjoy this essay. Bonnie has a very interesting literary voice; funny and packed with rich imagery.

As a newbie to triathlon and just starting my first week of training, I was about to take my very first Spin Class. I had never seen bike shorts in person and hadn't even ridden a bike in decades.

Thursday morning came. I had been on the phone until just after 2am the night before and I was dragging like a cat on a leash.

Stumbling into the gym I tried to find the spin class and noted someone wearing odd clothing and shoes. I asked where she was heading and she confirmed to spin. She pointed up the dark stairway at the back corner of the building. "It's up there...." she said, her voice trailing off. For a moment, I thought I detected a hint of trembling in her voice. I broke out into a sweat and headed for the dark stairway. As I went up I noticed a man in front of me wearing a very expensive pair of cycling shorts with so much padding I began to consider a new marketing angle for Depends underwear. He looked as if he had just completed a successful race against Lance Armstrong in the Tour de France. He pulled open the door and walked into the room I was supposed to enter. Something gave me the feeling that this was not the beginers class. All of the lights were off in the room except one pointed at center stage. I froze in my tracks and let the door close in my face then quickly turned and pretended to be studying the schedule of classes that hung on the wall. I was feeling lost, confused and sure to die. No one would find me and I would be swept away with all of those who end up in the "Have you seen this woman?" literature. I wondered for a moment what my face would look like digitally progressed 10 years. Not a comforting thought.


I took a deep breath and swung the door open wide. It banged against the wall and I saw some of the dark figures in the room turn their heads towards me. Now I had their full attention. Perfect. I then proceeded to trip on one of the steps as I made my way to the back of the class to the elevated platform.

I moved to the only open bike in the very last row with, unfortunately, a window behind me. There was a small shimmer of light coming through the bamboo blinds and so I was highlighted just perfectly for the instructor to take full notice of. I could even see my silhouette in the mirror at the front of the class. Not a pretty sight. I tried to adjust the seat and noticed immediately that there was no seat at all. Instead, there was some sort of thin, hard torture devise mounted to the top of the bracket that was sure to be used for bringing forth unruly confessions used to put people away for a very long time. My thoughts immediately went to survival mode and I reckoned I may have to stand up off the seat for most of the ride. My mental picture of "Have you seen this woman" went to a funeral pamphlet. I glanced over at Armstrong's friend and wondered if it was worth the struggle to convince him to let me borrow his bike shorts for $20.

Everyone was instantly up and pedaling furiously as the instructor at the front began to encourage the riders to begin bringing it up a notch. I glanced around nervously and noted everyone was in deep concentration. I was almost sure we were going to enter an actual race. Next to me was a lean and mean blond girl that looked like she was hoping to get in a fight. .

Two TV screens were mounted at the front of the room on the sides of the mirror, each about the size of an Olympic swimming pool. There was a video taken from the front of a cyclist's bike as he rode at warp speed along the road by some California winery. I've never been there and I don't particularly like the taste of alcohol but at this point I was considering I may need to toss one back by the time I got home.

The instructor shouted to tighten the bike's tension clamp so we could enter into "zone 3", which she explained is when you are working very hard. I was still trying to calm my heart down as I struggled to get my feet in the clamps. These were no ordinary slip your feet in clamps foot pegs. These looked like the mouths of small mechanical monsters that were also rigged up as lie detector tests; feet defibrillators with wires and metal things coming out all over. The blond next to me glanced over and gave me a dirty look.

Finally I was able to start pedaling and went immediately from zone "let's all go back to bed and call it a day" to zone "dial 911 'cause she's gonna blow!' With that the instructor ordered everyone into "zone 4", which she literally described as the following:

1. You should not be able to breath comfortably or talk at all.

2. Your jaw should be hanging open and

3. You should be feeling a deep burn all over your thighs.

My reply:

1. Nope, can't breath regularly, in fact I can't breathe at all. Don't you hear me gasping from way over there?

2. Yes, in fact my jaw is hanging open, and by the way, is it okay to drool all over myself?

3. Lady, my legs are burning so bad my pants are on fire.

I forgot to mention this zone 3 & 4 stuff was all while we were standing up, butts off the seats. This is good and bad. I was wearing down so fast that I found myself leaning forward for handle bar support but had nearly taken it to the point of toppling forward over the bike.

The instructor boomed into her face mic: "Okay, people, this is an hour long class. We are 15 minutes into it so you should be nice and warmed up by now! Tighten that tension! Oh, and be sure NOT to lean forward over your handle bars." I immediately hated her guts and tried not to curse.

Zone 4. The big blur. The time of hallucinations and out-of-body experiences. I stood up off the pedals and cried. I needed a distraction. After looking at the screens I began imagining that I was a cyclist on that long, country road. The instructor boomed into her mic: "Tighten the tension people! And I don't want to see anyone pretending to tighten the tension! You know who you are and so do I!" I hated her. Loathed her screeching voice. I tried to focus on the video, imagining myself riding on the shoulder of that peaceful looking road. As I pedaled my way into zone beyond and back I was hallucinating, wobbling into oncoming traffic with complete muscle failure, cars honking and swerving in all directions. Just then I heard someone break my concentration. "Hey! Let go of my seat!" "Huh? What?" I then realized I had leaned over and had grabbed the back of the seat of the blonde's bicycle, clinging for dear life as if somehow hoping she could pull me along with her. I laughed a nervous laugh and she gave me another dirty look.

I'm not sure how I made it to the end or even why. I recall that the infamous "YMCA" song came on. I remember numbly trying to participate when the instructor told us all to do the large arm movements simulating the y, m, c and a. I vaguely recall realizing the trauma of the class had inflicted me with sudden dyslexia as I was somehow doing the letters backwards but I didn't care. By that time I was making the symbols for 911.

Before the lights came on I decided to make a dash for the door. I had been up off my bike seat for so long that as I walked strenuously towards the door I realized my butt was permanently in a skyward bound position. I made it home and went straight to bed. I didn't even bother to make egg whites or oatmeal. Just give me something that read 'Cadbury' or 'Nestle's' on the wrapper. Life was suddenly too short for this type of self abuse and not being a violent person, I quoted to myself, "Blessed are the peacemakers..”

Since then I have learned that Spin classes are not only fun but very beneficial for training, and of course, being from Minnesota, an absolute life saver. I love the 90 and 2- hour classes as well as just an occasional break from my bike trainer. I still huff and puff through the class but enjoy the variety of music, the feeling of camaraderie and just letting someone else direct my training while I give it my all. - BS

SUPPER AT THE SCHROEDER'S: TWIX & MT. DEW...



Do you know this guy?

Sure you do. You may not recall his name but you've seen him at races and at Gear West Bike & Tri. Tall, pleasant dude. Doesn't shave very often.

His name is Trent Schroeder and he's a really cool guy. (A latter-day hippie, no less!)

He's going to have heart surgery (leaky valve) on Friday. Tri-stud and father-to-be Curt Wood, who is also very tall, posted a great interview of Trent on the Gear West blog site: READ

We also asked Trent to fill out a "Going Off-Course" Questionnaire. Here are his answers. You'll note that his kids have really cool names, he loves seriously hoppy beer and that he looks forward to playing "I'll-Show-You-Mine-If-you-Show-Me-Yours" after his surgery.

And his favorite meal consists of Twix and Mt. Dew.

College: BA in Communication Studies from the University of Iowa (Go Hawks)

Family - Wife Emily, and two sons Finan (3) and Eli (1)


Trent's Faves -


Books - Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Movies - Star Wars--not that it's the greatest movie, but it's the first thing that made me go wow as a kid.

TV Shows - 30 Rock

Actors & Actresses - Nobody specific--but Pitt in Snatch is awesome.

Junk Food - Anything that is bad for me--my favorite "meal" is a Twix and a Mt. Dew

Restaurants - Kings Restaurant in Minneapolis

Cartoon - I really enjoyed the recent Pixar movie UP, but it isn't really a cartoon. Oh well.

Alcoholic Beverages - Beer--Surly Furious is the best thing on the planet

Meal - I love pizza--specifically Pizza Luce, but most will do

Ice Cream flavor - Chocolate

Favorite T-shirt - Lake Waconia Tri from 2002--my first tri ever.

Boxers? Tighty Whities? Boxer briefs

Tattoos? Body Piercings? Any self-mutilation? I had both ears pierced in college, but have not worn earrings since I cut all my hair off.

And anything you want to add that you think is cool, odd or otherwise compelling?

I'm just not that interesting. I think having the zipper scar running down my chest will be a great feature? HA. For some reason being a vegetarian throws people for a loop, not sure why.


LACTATE, SCHMLACTATE...

(ED. - This is interesting stuff, especially for those who've been doing that "endurance thing" since the '70s.)

The Lactic Acid Myths

by Matt Fitzgerald

Everything you’ve been taught about lactic acid is wrong.

There are many myths about lactic acid. Perhaps the greatest of all is the notion that there is lactic acid in the human body. There is not. The body actually produces lactate, which is lactic acid minus one proton. READ


From the New York Times:

Lactic Acid Is Not Muscles' Foe, It's Fuel ...Read

Monday, January 25, 2010

TOWEL-SNAPOPHOBIA & TALKING TO RATS...


(WARNING: Much of what you're about to read in this "Going Off-Course" feature is just plain silly.)

We asked triathlete and unrepentant dork Tom Segar to recount the greatest day of his life. We incorrectly assumed that it would involve his wife or perhaps the birth of his children. Or that it had something to do with becoming a triathlete.

We were wrong. Very, very wrong. And when one assumes one makes an ass of u and me.

The disturbing truth is that the day he realized that here was no cheddar in cheesecake was his best day to date. He was 26 when he made this earth-shattering discovery and he immediately felt that he was "9,490 slices behind." He's remained committed to "catching up."

Here is some more stuff you probably don't know about the incredibly interesting, though somewhat spooky, Tom Segar:

Degrees? BS in Biology & Psychology, MS in Experimental Psychology. I spent a lot of time with rats in grad school. We had a rat named Fezzik who we taught to reverse slam-dunk a little basketball into a little hoop. He was a good friend, easy to talk to.

High School: Anoka Sr. High. One of my few brushes with athletic greatness was on the Anoka Cross Country Ski team with John & Bruce Bauer, both amazing athletes (John's an olymipian). Bill and Nancy Bauer taught me how to ski in 8th grade. In all seriousness, I owe a lot to the Bauer family. They started me down the endurance sports path.

DOB? Where?
07/19/1970. Fridley MN

Wife & kids? My wife Michelle is a Pharmacist working in the IT department at a local hospital (she's a total dork). Two relatively normal daughters, ages 13 & 9, both swimmers!

Occupation: I work in an analytics group at a marketing company. We do statistical data analysis for a number of clients. Technically I'm not an IT dork, I'm a numbers dork. I don't blame those who get them mixed up.

Q- Own a pocket protector?
A- Of course. I even pimped it out. (see photo)

Q- Ever put tape on your glasses? Scotch? Duct? Electrical? White?
A- No, I don't wear glasses. But I have Scotch tape holding my calculator together. Old school, TI-31 Solar Scientific, dark blue. I've had it since 11th grade.

Q- Do you play any instruments?
A- I played Tuba in high school. I was first chair and they used to call me "King of the DipSh*ts", a-la Farmer Ted in Sixteen Candles. But I wasn't great at it. As an acquaintance of mine who is a world-class Croquet player* once said to me, "the trick is to find a relatively obscure hobby, get pretty good at it, and you'll be awesome". (*Yes, I know a world-class croquet player. As I've said before, dorks tend to hang around with other dorks.)

Q- Have you ever been beaten up?
A- No, not actually beaten up. Pushed around, intimidated, made fun of, yeah. That's why I joined Cross Country running in High School. At a young age, I learned the importance of running away from the bullies. As long as you got a decent head start, distance was more important than speed.

Q-Geek heroes?
A- Real Human: I always thought Dr. Jose Delgado was awesome. He was a physiologist at Yale. To demonstrate he could manipulate behavior by implanting a radio transmitter into an animal's brain, he got into a ring with an adult bull which had the transmitter implanted. The bull charged but just before it reached Delgado, he pushed a remote control which stim
ulated the bull's brain and caused it to stop in its tracks. Cool, huh?
A- SuperHeros: I have a picture of Electra Woman and Dyna Girl hanging in my cube at work. Electra Woman is hot, hot, hot. I always wished I could be there for the Electra-Change.

Q- Are you a Trekkie?
A- Nope. Star Wars all the way.

Q- Can dorks who are triathletes be identified as such at races? How?
A- Sure, we smell like chlorine. We're so scarred from Junior High locker room towel-snaps that we rarely shower at the gym after swimming.

Q- Favorite Movies?
A- I don't understand the question. I thought it was a fact that cinema achieved perfection in 1977 with Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

Q- TV Shows?
A- "Dexter", the ShowTime series. Coincidentally, we also liked the cartoon "Dexter's Lab" (about a little boy who's also a mad scientist) so much that we named our dog Dexter 11 years ago.


Q- Musicians?
A- Ben Folds (see photo) is awesome (he has described his music as 'Punk Rock for Sissies'), The Replacements changed everything for me when I was 15, and pretty much anything Maynard James Keenan touches is incredible (Tool, A Perfect Circle).


Q- Favorite Sweet?
A -Cheesecake. I didn't eat cheesecake for the first 26 years of my life because I took the name too literally and assumed it tasted like cheese. But once I tried it, I immediately fell in love. I eat it as much as I can- I have 26 years of no cheesecake to make up for.


Q- Alcoholic beverages?
A- Summit Pale Ale. It's so delicious. I'd brush my teeth with it if my wife would let me.


Q - Hottest female triathlete on the MN scene?
A- In 2007 I spent some time thinking about writing a song to honor the great female triathletes in MN. Working backwards, I got the last line finished but then found out Marlo got married and changed her last name to McGaver. I was crushed so I gave up on the song. But the last line was:

"Of all the triathletes I wish I could be, I wish I was Marlo Crosbeeeeeyyy!"

Q- Hottest male?
A- I suppose a few people know of my fondness for DKT. Brett Lovaas is another guy I really root for. I'm terrified of Dan Cohen - he's so intimidating. He looks like he could snap me in half, so I cheer really loudly for him hoping he won't hurt me. I'm afraid my 'running away from the bullies' thing won't work with Mr. Cohen.

FROLICKING (DUST) BUNNIES


(Photo: Steve Woods look-alike, James Taylor)

Frothing spinner Susan Woods submitted this cool story by her husband, Steve. She didn't send along a picture of him, but said he was very handsome; claiming he looked like James Taylor.

By Steve Woods

"One day, when he was naughty, Mr.Bunnsy looked over the hedge into Farmer Fred’s field and saw that it was full of fresh green lettuces. Mr. Bunnsy, however, was not full of lettuces. This did not seem fair."

- From Mr. Bunnsy Has an Adventure (Terry Pratchett)

In Minnesota, our winter bike workouts take place in a studio with stationary bikes arrayed in an arc facing the leader. My wife and I work out together on Saturday morning so we reduce the ‘parallel lives’ threat that tri training can have on couples. Yet even when schedules align, abilities may not. For example, during race season (the threeweeks when the ice fishing is bad) her goal is to place in her age-group; mine, to avoid a gurney.

I like these classes. I can keep up with her on a stationary bike in a way that her custom tri bike does not allow on the road. I plant myself right off her shoulder and no matter how hard she rides, there I am wheezing alongside her.

The studio has several large fans to move air and extend the time it takes to overheat. The fans, combined with the arc of bikes, induce a centrifuge effect that causes dust bunnies to rotate in the middle of the room.

“Looks like the bunnies we saw frolicking in the pasture in England,” says my wife. This surprises me a bit as her intensity is usually focused on the workout. I swear she tries to will her stationary bike to waver in its mission and let her inch ahead.

My bike may be stationary, but my mind wanders impressively during workouts. She is not surprised to hear me reply, “I’ve been watching the three of them as well.”

“There’s four – I bet you missed the baby bunny.”

“Where?”

“He’s in front of the angry looking woman.”

“Oh.”

The instructor calls for a sprint as a Green Day’s American Idiot (with a couple key word substitutions) cues. We comply and soon are too gassed to talk. After two minutes we slow and my wife announces, “I’ve named them.”

“No…”

“Yep – Flopsy, Mopsy, Peter, and Cottontail,” says my spouse of British heritage in a less-than-impressive spurt of creativity.

Our rest minute over, we sprint again. We are wordless, though not silent as our lungs labor. Our eyes follow the bunnies.

“Friendly amendment - can we change Peter to Pigpen?,” I ask. “That one by the instructor is a heinous looking collection of stuff.”

“Done.”

Water consumed. Some “hills.” A cool down. We dismount and stretch. After the bikes are put away we turn to look for the bunnies playing in the meadow. Apparently they had fled when we all stopped.

In a gesture as solemn as our wedding vows we pledge not to point out things on the bottom of the pool Sunday morning. SW

COMMENT (Received 1/27/10)

Dear MTN,


Thank you for your newsletter. It is a refreshing reprieve from the pull of the day.

I appreciated the article today about the couple and the dust bunnies. It was so nice to read about a couple who trains together and and enjoys each other so much. Thanks for the warm smile.

Yours in health and fitness,

Bonnie Siegel




Sunday, January 24, 2010

"GOING OFF-COURSE" EXPANDED....


We appreciate all the positive feedback we've received on the "Going Off-Course with Team Minnesota" features, so we've decided to "Go Off-Course" with many other athletes as well. Let us know if you'd like to be featured. If so, we'll send you a questionnaire, dig up a great picture or two, and post what you send us.

Later this week we'll "Go Off-Course" with triathlete/IT nerd Tom Segar (see photo). Married and father of two or three kids, Tom proudly admits that he hasn't been beaten-up in at least five years.

In case you missed any of the Team Minnesota women's biopics, you can link to them here.

1. CATHY YNDESTAD (Toltec Wisdom & More Cowbell)
2. KORTNEY HAAG (Tofurkey & Caipirinha)
3. MARLO MCGAVER (Jim Carrey & Cottage Cheese)
4. JEANNE FLECK (A Salt Shaker in her Purse)
7. HEIDI KELLER-MILER (Madison's Mom is a Groupie)
8. BROOK MUTZENBERGER (Wine & Onion Rings)
10. SUSAN WILLIAMS (Tears for Fears & Kohlrabi)

HOW TO MAKE IT TO KONA...


By Coach Ian Murray (filched from triathlon.competitor.com)


The Hawaii Ironman wasn’t the first triathlon, but it is the most famous. It serves as an inspiration, drawing thousands into the sport of triathlon who view it on NBC in the fall or live on the Universal Sports network, see it online and in magazines, or who meet the relative few who have “gone long in the lava.” Many triathletes are content with getting faster at shorter events, but many also dream of someday racing an iron-distance event and perhaps even competing in Kona. READ


Saturday, January 23, 2010

THE ARTSY-FARTSY TRIATHLETE...




This post is purloined from xtri.com It is written by erudite pro triathlete Mary Beth Ellis and entitled "Triathlon on a Grecian Urn." It's good stuff.

"John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn encompasses everything that I love most about triathlon. The most intriguing parts of the poem for me are the paradoxes that weave throughout the entire text as well as the elusive meaning of the poem which enables everyone to experience it in their own unique way...READ

Thursday, January 21, 2010

GRANITEMAN'S UPGRADES...


Organizers of the 7th annual Graniteman Triathlon are excited to announce that they're moving the event from Pleasant Lake in Rockville to beautiful Warner Lake Park near Clearwater. This change will cut the driving time for Twin Cities triathletes in half. The new venue can accommodate a much larger field than the original one, which had an enrollment ceiling of 400. Additionally, the event's format will be expanded to include a kids triathlon (Granitekids) and a Corporate Challenge. Registration is open for the July 11 events. To learn more about this year's Graniteman, visit it's WEBSITE.

LOVE FOR TRAIN-SMARTER.COM..



My name is Ted Dickey (see photo), I live in Chaska…Joe "Triathlator" Kandiko and I are pretty close friends and have been for many years and it was thru his influence that I originally became interested in triathlon. Best thing I ever did. Fun to do and fun to train for, which is one of the reasons I am sending this t....; I know you like a story (this will be short) with a little bit of background to it. I recently found out you are adding the Train-Smarter.com site to your MN Tri news site and wanted to give you a glimpse into what is actually behind the site as well as the guy that developed it, Todd Shea.

I met Todd 10 years ago at the local Chaska Community Center where we both used to do the early (oh dark thirty) workout deal. We'd bs a little back and forth when we'd meet up somewhere in the complex. The we started to run together every once in a while, then that increased. We had no real goals back then but to drop a few pounds and be healthy. One day towards the middle of June in 2000 we were working out when I mentioned to him that I noticed people in the club were getting ready for something, the activity was almost like electricity and I asked someone what was going on.."Oh there is a triathlon in Waconia this Sunday and people are getting ready for it" I was told. What the heck was that I wondered. Anyway Todd lived in Waconia and decided to drop down and check it out. Well the following Monday back he came all excited about "the triathlon"...then he said those magic words "lets do it next year, we have a whole year to train for it" and thus started what both of us became hooked on, the workouts, the t-shirts, the whole deal. It took us a year but we did it, as a matter of fact at the last minute we signed up for Manitou as a practice for Waconia, and showed up that day with the wind howling and the trees swaying and both of us thinking "what the heck have we gotton ourselves into" but with our trusty Mountain Bikes (with kick stands!), waterski suits for warmth and bald running shoes experienced for the first time the joy and addiction of coming over the finish line. Hooked is the perfect word.

While we were training for this Todd always had in the back of his mind trying to find some way of keeping track on a daily basis other than on a sheet of paper what he was doing. Being a developer he thought this thru for a long time, all he really wanted was something basic to keep track of workouts and times on. Something he could go back to later for reference to track his progress and plan future goals and develop an actual workout plan. It took him a couple years of trial and error but what came into being was what is now known as Train-Smarter.com. We used this log just the two of us for a while, then we got others to try it out. They liked it too, so it sort of grew as it went on, very informal type thing, just a log and it was nice and served a great purpose.

It needs to be noted here that out here in Chaska its a pretty small area or was back then, but the interest in triathlon was just starting to grow and we became a sort of Tri group, included in the group that seemed to form was myself, Todd, Joe Kandiko, Tim Thoma, and Gary Bork. It was thru working out with one another and using the Train-Smarter Log that we not only met our fitness goals but it fostered a kinship in all of us that even to this day we are all still a pretty tightly knit group, we of course get together a lot during the season, but all meet at pre-season and post-season do's to just re-live the highlites and admire t-shirts and hardware. Very Very fun and just the best group of guys, very supportive and very enjoyable to be around.

In a nutshell … I guess what I am saying is that the choice to feature Train-Smarter.com on the site was a great one, it will not only foster continued interest in the sport of triathlon but all multi-sport, but most importantly it will help others achieve goals, act as a support system, and form friendships with others that will last a lifetime, a healthy one at that! - TD


Wednesday, January 20, 2010

GENDER COMPARISON...


Not long ago a female member of Team Minnesota asserted that last year's men's team was significantly more talented than the women's. She noted that their were more than twice as many emerging stars on the men's list--Hauck, Balabuck, Payne, Parish, Dane--than the women's roster--Haag and Mutzenberger.

Well, that unnamed athlete is right. The men's elite talent pool in Minnesota is currently deeper than the women's. But there are several good reasons for this. Here are two:

1. Male participants outnumber female participants. In fact, males accounted for approximately 64% of the total entrants in Minnesota's multis last year.

2. Childbirth and Family Responsibilities. By our reckoning, there were four Team Minnesota-worthy women who didn't make last year's squad because they were either pregnant (Becky Youngberg, who placed 2nd on Team MN in 2008) or opting to spend more time with their kids. (Darcy Franklin--pictured--and Mary Beth Tuttle race sparingly because family events take precedence in their lives, and Michelle Andres decided to forgo racing for the next several seasons in order to concentrate on raising her five children.)

By comparison, there were only two perennial Team Minnesota-worthy men who, for good reason, didn't make the 2009 roster: Jeremy Sartain (fighting back from a near-catastrophic injury) and Curt Wood, who cut his season short last year. His wife is pregnant with their first child.

The point we wish to make here is that Minnesota's elite multisportswomen more than hold their own in the gender comparison arena in our state.






Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A DEFINITE MAYBE...


From Competitor.com

Cyclist Lance Armstrong has once again claimed that he plans to be on the starting line of the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii...READ



Monday, January 18, 2010

WITNESS PROTECTION? A FUGITIVE FROM JUSTICE?


(WARNING: Some of what you are about to read is ridiculous.)

Jan Guenther's answers to our "Going Off-Course with Team Minnesota" questionnaire were disturbing. Many of them seemed purposefully vague. Others appeared diversionary; "smokescreens," if you will. And others were just downright lies.

Need proof?

Okay. Check out her answers and our commentary.

Occupation: ___________(MTN: Why didn't you answer this question, Jan--if that is your "real" name? Got something to hide?)
College? Where? Degrees? Northwestern (kellogg school of Management) MBA, Duke University BS (MTN: Northwestern AND Duke? No one is THAT smart!)
Favorite food: Fresh homemade bread and rubarb crisp and a whole lot more! (MTN: Is she kidding? There's no such thing as "Rhubarb Crisp.")
Favorite books: Lots and lots-- of bookshelves in my house. Anything but Sci Fi (MTN: Could she be any more vague? Do any of your books have titles, Jan?)

Favorite Movies:no time (MTN: What are you hiding, Jan?)
Favorite actors & actresses:no time (MTN: What are you hiding, Jan?)
Favorite TV shows:no time (MTN: What are you hiding, Jan?)
Favorite Singers or Bands? I forget the names, bad memory and I am not going to spend time to try and remember. (MTN: Why so defensive, Jan?)
Favorite Songs? same as above--maybe summer breeze. How sappy. (MTN: Liar! A recent poll by Rolling Stone Magazine revealed that NOBODY actually likes that song.)
Favorite Junk Food: cookie dough (MTN: This tells us nothing. Everybody likes cookie dough.)
Your Perfect Meal: most things healthy followed by a really good desert! (MTN: Could she be any more vague?)

Favorite Restaurant: no time (MTN: What are you hiding, Jan?)
Favorite Alcoholic Beverage: good red wine (MTN: As opposed to what? "Bad" red wine? What are you hiding?)
Non-Tri Hobbies: drawing cartoons, reading (MTN: Liar! What cartoons do you draw? Sponge Bob? Courage the Cowardly Dog? Zippy the Pinhead? We didn't think so.)
Favorite Pro Teams: no time (MTN: What are you hiding, Jan?)
Favorite College Teams: no time (MTN: What are you hiding, Jan?)
Heroes? no time! (MTN: What are you hiding, Jan?)
Dream Vacation Destination? up north, hiking and paddling and running and relaxing and drinking wine with friends... (MTN: Up north? Can you be more specific, Jan? How far north? Vadnais Heights? Hinckley? Thunder Bay? Moose Jaw, Yellow Knife?)
Winter Training? How do you train in the off-season? xc skiing OF COURSE!!!!! (MTN: Do you really ski, Jan? Our guess is that you disappear for hours and when people ask you where you've been, your claim that you were cross country skiing. Very convenient.)

Why was Jan deliberately evasive when answering our questions? There are four possible reasons:

1. She's in the Witness Protection Program.
2. She's a fugitive from justice.
3. She's a spy.
4. She's an undercover cop.

We hope she's a fugitive from justice, otherwise we've blown her cover.

(P.S. Jan Guenther is actually a person with a very full and rewarding life. An entrepreneur, endurance athlete, loving hands-on parent, Jan excels at everything she does.)

WHAT IS THAT STUFF?

Do you know what that stuff in the picture is? We'll give you a hint. It's one of the following:

A. Dog vomit
B. An alien life form which threatens to take over our planet
C. A yummy vegetarian casserole

Give up? Here's the possibly surprising answer: READ

Sunday, January 17, 2010

TWIN CITIES IN MOTION...


Twin Cities In Motion proudly presents the Medtronic TC Kids Marathon, a unique online running program that is designed to get classrooms and families exercising. READ

Check out all of the great Twin Cities in Motion events HERE.

VIKINGS 34, COWBOYS 3...



Hey triathletes, how do you feel about the Vikings? Are you as stoked as we are? Let us know.

(Photo: Quarterbacks Brett Favre and Tony Romo)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

IT'S COOL! AND IT'S FREE!

(Photo: Train-Smarter.com founder Todd Shea)


TRAIN-SMARTER.COM PRESS RELEASE

Laden with handy features to log, track and comment on your workout regimen, TRAIN-SMARTER.COM not only helps you keep track of your workout, but builds a social community around it to foster friendly competition and inspire results.


With the workout-logging feature, TRAIN-SMARTER.COM documents the weather, your time, reps, laps and distance of your favorite training activities. The customizable notes feature allows you to capture the unique events encountered in your experience from inspiring sunrises to grueling new routes to new tips and techniques.

Besides being a great workout-tracking app, TRAIN-SMARTER.COM shines in its ability to share your workout experiences to an entire community. Make a friendly wager. Kid around with your friends. Boast about your best times. Plan and schedule an event. Inspire yourself and your friends to take charge of a smarter workout.