Sunday, February 28, 2010


By Chuckie V

Pardon me here but I'm all jacked-up on sugar and caffeine, two substances I normally eschew. Every so often though I like to "shock" my body with something it's not familiar with: coffee, alcohol, concentration, lethargy, hitting the gym and squatting ass-to-the-floor style, bowling, sex---you name it. I do this because life is short and I'd like to experience as much as I can while I can. In life, you see, there is infinite possibility but a rather inopportune finite amount of time and I'd like to take a stab at as many of those possibilities as is, um, possible. READ


By Molly Hurford (for

Being a 34A can have its advantages, at least from an athletic standpoint. No bouncing, jiggling, unbalancing unpleasantness to deal with on those long runs, no awkward stares from men out walking their dogs. But where does that leave the, shall we say, more endowed women athletes? READ

Saturday, February 27, 2010


By Ben Greenfield

Bored of the same old triathlon workouts? Are you ready for some routines that are going to absolutely blow your mind and put some fresh intensity into your training program. In no particular order of importance, here are 15 of the best triathlon workouts that you aren't doing...READ


(Photo's: Above - Anne graduating from Gustavus Adolphus in 1982. Left - Anne and husband Duncan--empty nesters--in Telluride. Below left- Anne age 1.)

Nobody doesn't like Sara Lee. What could be truer than that? Equally indubitable is that nobody doesn't like Anne Lee, either.

How could they?

Anne is a lapsed triathlete who is still very much a member of The Clan. Winner of the inaugural Lakes Country Triathlon, known then as the "Wipple Wave," and the 1998 Timberman, where she out-sprinted Robin Quist for the title, Anne hasn't raced in half a decade but still maintains intimate ties with the sport and many of its practitioners. She still trains, volunteers at events, is an enthusiastic spectator at races and is a member of the Minnesota Multisport Awards Selection Committee.

And she is insanely pretty and even more insanely likable. As the song goes, "to know, know, know her is to love, love, love her." (Or to put it less mushily, "to know, know, know her is to like, like, like her a whole lot.") Ergo: Nobody doesn't like Anne Lee.

Anne is tall (5'11") as are her husband and two great kids. She has an amazing, albeit not ostentatious, fashion sense. Clothes don't make her look good. She makes them look good. She's 50 and could pass for 35. She gregarious and loves to travel and being a great friend just comes naturally to her.

Have a look at her answers to our "Going Off-Course" questionnaire see if you don't agree: Nobody doesn't like Anne Lee.

Occupation: Before kids: Cargill Financial Markets, After kids: part-time jobs

College/Degrees: Gustavus Adolphus College, class of '82 BA in Economics, minor in French

Family: Husband-Duncan, Son-Nick (21), Daughter-Allison (19) Both attend The University of St. Thomas in St. Paul

Age: 50 (Yikes! Where does the time go?)


Books: Presently reading "Born to Run", about a tribe of distance runners in Mexico's Copper Canyon. I prefer non-fiction books, usually about, "Eat, Pray, Love", "On Mexican Time", "Without Reservations" and many others.

Movies: "English Patient", "Chocolat", foreign or low-budget artsy films.

TV Shows: I don't watch much, other th an news shows.

Alcoholic Beverages: Wine, beer and an occasional cosmo (martini) with girlfriends.

Junk Food: Peanut M & M's, nachos with all the works, McDonald's french fries, my daughter's homemade chocolate chip cookies

Restaurants: Not particular-I don't enjoy cooking and would rather do the cleanup!

Meal: A good steak with garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus-and red wine

Ice Cream: DQ

Non-Tri Hobbies: Hiking with Duncan in Colorado, biking with Heidi on a warm, sunny summer morning (we are fair weather riders only), hanging out with my family (dog & cat included), spontaneous gatherings with neighbors, travel

Vacation Destination: Telluride, Colorado for the rugged beauty and unpretentiousness, Southern France, Italy, Boston (lived and worked there after college), anywhere else with scenic beauty...loved Alaska and Montana.

Dream Job: My Cargill job was my dream job due to the International component... buying & selling financial instruments world wide.

Tattoos? Yes, on left ankle. Done while still on the "endorphin high" after completing "Ride the Rockies"....just keeping a promise I made.

Heros: On a personal group of college friends (and my sister Katie). These are women who have maintained careers AND raised great kids. They have very little time for themselves, yet never complain. I have great respect for that.

Friday, February 26, 2010


(Top photo: A triathlete who totally isn't Bonnie, but totally looks like her.)

by Bonnie Siegel

Aerodynamic, compression technology, allowing for full arm movement, designed for long bike rides, wicks away sweat, absorbs impact, maximum buoyancy. These are not words commonly associated with designer clothing or any clothing for that matter. At least, not unless you are a triathlete.

At my first triathlon I wore a pair of old Nike shorts and a mismatched top from Target over my swimsuit for both the bike and the run. I have photos to forever remind me and I look fondly upon those memories. I recall watching the other participants racing and wondering where they got their cool outfits and what the benefits were. I started talking with veteran triathletes and getting the scoop on what was good to wear and why. Louis Garneau soon replaced my Ann Klien; Pearl Izumi my Tommy Girl & DKNY; 2XU my Target swim suit.

At a triathlon in Duluth a few years back I was standing in line for the ever so popular port-o-potty when I overheard the following conversation taking place behind me, ""I brought more make-up for after the swim.""That's good but guess what! I found the best base and eyeliner that are both waterproof! You should try some in transition!"" I felt sick and it wasn't from the smell seeping from the giant plastic boxes up ahead.... Make-up at a triathlon??? True, they take your photo. True, I treasure said photos if I at least have my eyes open.... But make-up?? What?? I half expected to turn around and see at least one of those women with hair curlers piled up on her head.

I don't get the make-up thing for working out, especially in endurance sports, but what I do get is the clothing. Clothing can make or break a long brick or any long training session. It's tough to feel good and focus when you're wearing poorly designed shoes, a baggy shirt that acts more like a parachute when you're riding the bike, or shorts that are riding up into your comfort zone.

My middle daughter Cailee is in track and last year qualified for Hersheys at her grade level. The coach at her summer training camp has everyone wear conforming running wear to aide in avoiding wind resistance and for ease of movement. Go, Cailee!

I spoke with a friend of mine whom is a well known MN triathlete. You may recall Moe from previous articles. I asked Moe what the benefits are to wearing tight clothes or flats for running. "You have to look cool." was his initial response. I once again pulled out my hot iron and Moe continued nervously, "Clothing really can make the difference for a triathlete. Ease of movement, compression tights, fluidity. That's where it's at. You don't want to have to struggle to get around your clothing because you shirt keeps blowing up your back, your shorts are hiking when you're trying to run, or your shoes are more like clogs from Holland. What you wear can make a big difference in how you train and race. The last thing I want is shorts that don't protect me while I'm out on my five hour bike ride. And, you gotta look cool. We're triathletes! We are cool!"

Take a look at your gear as we head into the race season and make sure you've got what you need for speed. Personally, I like to check out the blow-out sales for the models that worked for me last year to help save on cash. Have fun while you're out there and don't worry - if you've left your make-up at home, most of us won't care.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


@ # * @ * # STOPLIGHT!

Darin Wieneke

February Legal Question Of The Month:
Can I turn left against a red light on my bicycle if the light has not changed for an excessive period of time (or is a motor vehicle/motion-activated traffic light)?

No, but there might be hope on the horizon. The rules of the road for motor vehicles and bicycles are virtually identical. See Minnesota Stat. Sec. 169.222, Subd. 1. At this point, crossing the intersection against a red light is not permitted for most motor vehicles and it is not permitted for bicyclists even if it has stayed red for an unreasonable time or is a motor vehicle/motion-activated traffic light
(a/k/a inductive loop detector traffic light).
The hope for change is in a bill that has been offered in the Minnesota Legislature by State Representative Phyllis Kahn (HF 2616) and State Senator Jim Carlson (SF 2453). Currently, motorcyclists are allowed to raise an affirmative defense to any traffic citation for crossing an intersection against a red light if a red light continues for an unreasonable time or is engineered to change to a green light only after detecting the approach of a motor vehicle.
Minnesota Stat. Sec. 169.06, Subd. 9. This affirmative defense currently does not apply to bicycles. The legislation proposed by Representative Kahn and Senator Carlson would make the affirmative defense also applicable to bicycles.

Until this legislation is passed, you are better off @ # * @ * # at the red light instead of running it.

Darin is a personal injury and wrongful death attorney. In addition to posting periodic triathlon safety articles, he will be answering a legal question of the month. Please send him an e-mail at
if you have a triathlon-related legal question that you would like him to address on MTN.


(Photos: Above - Budapest, Hungary - the site of the 2010 ITU Age Group World Championships. Right - Coach Kris coach his bro-in-law at IMMOO.)


Kris Swarthout Named USA Triathlon’s 2010 Team USA Coach

Minnesota coach to assist U.S. contingent at Budapest World Championships.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – After guiding a number of his athletes to last year's Age Group National Championship, Minnesota-based triathlon coach Kris Swarthout has been selected to serve as USA Triathlon's Team USA coach at this year's ITU World Championship in Budapest, Hungary in September (9/8-10/2010).

Swarthout won the right to serve as Team USA coach due to his athlete’s showing at the 2009 Age Group National Championship. In order to become the Team USA coach, interested certified USAT coaches submitted the names of their athletes who were competing at the Age Group National Championship. The coach with the most athletes at the starting line of the Age Group National Championship won the honor of being the Team USA coach.

“I was blessed with the opportunity to represent the United States in 2005 as an athlete, and to be able to come back in 2010 as a coach is even more of an honor,” said Swarthout, who is the co-owner of SCS Multisport LLC in Eden Prairie, Minn. “I have found a greater sense of accomplishment helping people achieve their dreams than I ever felt living my own.”

“One of the things I look forward to the most will be handing out the American flags to the athletes as they come into the finish line. Thank you USAT for this great honor. I will not let you down.”

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


(Top Photo: Upstairs at The Garage Mahal!)

Have you ever heard of Dihydrotestosterone (see photo), or DHT?

It's the hormone that in elevated quantities makes one lose his hair, drink beer, fix stuff and pass wind. DHT is typically measured in micrograms. In Kris Swarthout's case, however, the stuff can be measured in quarts.

Triathlon Coach/Stay-At-Home dad Kris Swarthout was doomed to be an excessively manful and manly man. Heck, in German the name "Swarthout" means "Swarthy fixer of stuff who has a five o'clock shadow at 8:30 in the morning."

Kris, that manful and manly man who has quarts of manly DHT coursing through his manly bloodstream, is a poster boy for manliness. Everything a manful and manly man does or likes, Kris does and likes. That's right, he's into NASCAR, beer, pizza at least four times a week, and sophomoric movies, like the NASCAR-themed "Talledega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby."

And he fixes stuff! Not just cars, which is a prerequisite for men with manful manliness. He can also build and remodel entire houses. Heck, when he bought his home in South Minneapolis a few years back, it was little more than a glorified lean-to. Today, after several non-load-bearing walls have been demolished, his home is a manful and manly showplace, complete with a deck that covers almost an acre.

His crowning achievement as a manful and manly builder and fixer of stuff is his renovated garage, or as he calls it, his "Garage Mahal." Fellow manful and manly men have been known to weep when they see this manful and manly masterwork for the first time.

As for his DHT-mandated love of pizza and beer, the manful and manly Kris Swarthout
demands only the very best. He scoured the U.S. in search of the greasiest deep dish pizza (the deeper the dish the more grease and nitrite-rich toppings it can hold). He found it in Chicago, which happens to be the pizza capital of the World. We're not talking Pizza Uno or Giordano's. Sure, they're good. But a manful and manly pizza-eating man like Kris demands the amazing and lethally delicious manful pies baked at Lou Malnati's.

As for his favorite manful and manly beer, he was able to find that locally. Surly Coffee Bender. This exquisite brew was crafted with manful and manly men in mind; manly guys like Kris who believe that the marriage of hops and caffeine was made in Heaven.

After a full day of fixing stuff, the manful and manly Kris Swarthout loves nothing better than relaxing in an ancient and malodorous Lay Z Boy in front of a big screen TV on which a manful and manly movie, like "Hot Fuzz" or "Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy" is playing. (He also loves "Don't Mess With the Zohan" and after much practice has mastered the "Zohan Method" of catching exotic fish and hacky sacks.)

As a manful and manly man, Kris Swarthout is able to quote lines from the most manful and manly sophomoric movies. Of course, in the tradition of manful manliness, most of what he is able to recite is, like the Zohan Method of catching fish and hacky sacks, totally inappropriate, thus examples will not be cited here.

And here's some non-made-up stuff that is worth knowing about the truly World Class man, husband, dad, friend, coach, race director, former cop and reader of "The Catcher in the Rye," Kristofer Swarthout:

Occupation:Triathlon Coach/stay at home dad

Colleges, Degrees: BA in Criminal Justice from St. Cloud State University

Family:Wife Jill (her identical twin Alison is married to a Kris also! No lie.) Daughter Stephanie 12, Son Col 2 in May, second son in the oven.



Books? Catcher in the Rye, first book I ever read cover to cover with no skipping pages, I actually read it twice.

Movies?BoldHot Fuzz, Star Wars, Anchorman

TV Shows? Nip Tuck, Burn Notice, Entourage, True Blood

Alcoholic Beverages? Surley Coffee Bender Beer

Junk Food? Home made cookies

Restaurants? Bagu, Pepito's, Turtle Bread (notice they are all with in a block of each other at 46th/Chicago)

Meal? Fresh Lou Malnati's pizza from Chicago (the city)

Non-Tri Hobbies? Quoting movies

Ice Cream Flavor? Real Vanilla

Vacation Destination?Anywhere with oceans or mountains, if they have both even better!


Have you registered for this amazing event yet? To learn more, visit the event WEBSITE.


"Has the economy hit your race entry pocket book? Here's a way to save $10 on race entries this year. Register for both the Gear West Duathlon and the Manitou Sprint Triathlon and save $5 on both! You must register at to take advantage of this offer." - Coach Kris Swarthout

Monday, February 22, 2010


By Tom Segar......How to (not) save a life.

I taught myself how to swim when I turned 30 by reading a book. In reality, I learned that reading a book to learn how to swim is like explaining how to hook up a wireless modem to a relative over the phone – someone will end up in tears, and it won’t be Grandma.

In my first race, I freaked out after 4 minutes and 100 yards in the water. Nowhere in the book did it say what to do when you’re a slow-swimming idiot in a lake with 400 other people, and you suddenly realize this is a very bad idea.

A few summers ago I found myself flung into a situation I was even more terribly unqualified for.

I was at a triathlon which shall remain nameless as it’s a great race and I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. I should mention there were plenty of noodle-wielding lifeguards, boats, buoys, and all the stuff that make a great triathlon swim safe.

With safety the number one concern, at the pre-race meeting the officials made it clear what to do if you were in trouble in the water: remove your swim cap and wave it around while you try desperately not to drown. Although I’ve had my terrified moments in the water, luckily I’ve not had to worry about the swim-cap-removal trick yet.

At this local race, the rest of the 35-39 year old men and I were standing on the shore of the beach waiting for the gun. I noticed a man from the wave before me a few hundred yards into the water that was definitely in trouble, attempting a sort of doggy-paddle/side stroke combination back to shore. I immediately recognized he was swimming the ‘Panic Stroke’ which I had perfected in my first year of triathlon. I glanced around but in the anticipation of

our wave’s start, apparently I was the only person who saw this guy. As I watched, suddenly he pulled the trigger: the cap was off.

For the record, by no means am I mocking, teasing or being critical of the swimmer in trouble. If anything, I was probably paying attention because I’ve been that guy. I’m the one apologizing to you as you swim over me. Sorry I was in your way…

I happened to be standing very close to an official and I told him the man in the water was in trouble. The official looked at the man in the water, then looked left, looked right, then looked me straight in the eye.

“You!” he said pointing at my chest, the tip of his finger a half-inch from the word Dork on my tri jersey. “Go get him!”

The next two seconds were the longest of my life. It’s hard to describe the flash of thoughts running through my head. “Me? Seriously, you want me? I’m supposed to save that guy? Are you nuts? I’m hardly qualified to be standing here!”

Speaking of qualifications for an emergency, there are very few emergencies a self-respecting Dork is qualified for. An emergency interpretation of your Chi Square test, sure. Need version 3 of Glassfish for your Web Server? We’re your team. A last-minute ride to the Cyphan Science Fiction Convention in Wheeling IL this June? It’s only a phone call away. But rescuing some guy in the open water at a triathlon? You, sir, are looking at the wrong nerd for the job.

There was no chapter in the Swimming book about lifeguarding, so rote memorization was not an option. In fact everything I knew about lifeguarding was from watching reruns of Baywatch with my housemates in college. Although most of our attention was saved for watching C.J. run down the beach in her swimsuit, I tried to channel my inner Mitch Buchannon and I started my sprint into the water to save a life.

I ran for maybe 15 yards and did my best Curt Wood imitation for another 100, reaching the man. Very luckily for both of us, we were both relatively tall and by the time I reached him I could stand with the water up to my neck, the man on his toes could hold his head above water.

“Are you okay?” I asked. “No!” was his reply.

Oh God, I thought. Now what? I had always hoped I’d be on the receiving end of mouth-to-mouth resuscitation from a beautiful lifeguard in a red swimsuit. And NBC would have never allowed David Hasselhoff to perform the Heimlich maneuver on another man when their pelvises were underwater so I wasn’t sure if that was an appropriate in-water lifesaving technique.

Another five feet toward shore and we were both walking in chest-deep water. I asked again if he would be okay, and thankfully this time he answered yes. It was pretty obvious neither of us was going to drown at this point, so hoping to look cool to the beach full of men I desperately wanted to impress, I said “Okay- just walk to shore”, gave him a manly pat on the back, and I swam the 50 or so yard back to the beach.

I walked/ran to my wave who were waiting for me on the beach while the official yelled to the man whose life I sort of ‘assisted’ to be sure he was okay. The official then pointed at me again and asked if I was okay. I said yes, which was followed immediately by the official saying “Good. Okay Men, five, four, three…”.

It was when the official was at “three” when my mind reeled yet again. My heart rate was already through the roof and I was close to hyperventilating. And now, as a guy who still thinks “The bike is hilly but the swim is flat” joke is funny, I had to swim half a mile in two seconds. As desperate as I was to say “But, but, the water- I saved the guy!”, the official continued “two, one” and the horn blast…


Walton Training's next 2010 Swim/Triathlon Clinic is scheduled for March 21. This session has filled but, due to the ongoing popularity of the clinics, a 2nd session will be added on March 21 with 10 available spots. The clinic will cover training and race techniques and feature open water and triathlon skill tips. You'll learn how to structure your swimming workouts and the correct application of training drills and stroke detail. Act quickly. Only a few slots remain. WEBSITE

UPDATE: Click on link above to learn about Walton Training's April & May Swim / Triathlon Clinics! NOTE: Tim is available for individual coaching by appointment.


By Juliano Ciruelos

leep is a cornerstone in training. Sleep accelerates the recovery process of our body, readying us physically and mentally for the challenges of a new day of working, training or competing. READ

Sunday, February 21, 2010


With the Olympics in full swing, people all over the world are feeling inspired to challenge themselves and accomplish things they never thought possible. There are only seven days left to register for the Ironman Lottery Program, which gives out 200 race slots for the Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona on October 10, 2010. READ


Yogi Berra was right. You can observe a lot just by watching. Heck, you can learn a lot just by looking at a single photograph, like the one above.

Who is that excruciatingly good looking family in the photo?

They are the Langels - husband/dad/triathlete/tax guy Joe, impossibly pretty and supportive wife Emily, and cutie pie multiple-name daughters Clara Jo, 7, Anna Marie, 5, and Sophie Mae, 3.

And what can we tell about the Langels just by looking at their family portrait?

They are very wholesome looking. This suggests that they drink lots of milk. Not the pale, thin, flab-free stuff. Uh-uh. Fresh whole milk. And they probably consume at least three tall glasses apiece daily, which means they all have strong bones and teeth, boosted immunity and enhanced cellular differentiation.

We can also deduce that they are adventurous and fearless.

Why, you ask?

Because they like to hang out by abandoned factories or warehouses that have mountains of
ancient palettes that have countless rusty, lockjaw-inflicting nails sticking out of them. Places like this are havens for plague-carrying vermin. Also, the overgrown foliage around the palette mountains are doubtlessly teeming with herds of marauding deer ticks (photo below), each intent on spreading Lyme disease.

Joe projects a clean, prosperous, well-coifed, republican image. His father was probably a lot like Ward Cleaver (photo), a quiet, authoritative figure who, like Ward, carried a briefcase and worked "down at the plant." (Why doesn't anyone ever work "up at the plant?") Who knows, Ward Langel may have actually worked at the pre-abandoned factory with the mountains of ancient palettes where the family portrait at the top of this post was taken.

It's also likely that Joe's mom was a lot like June Cleaver (photo). She was doubtlessly very
well mannered and wore pearls and high heels all the time and made a "dynamite" meatloaf, which Joe washed down with several tall glasses of fresh, wholesome whole milk.

Joe and Emily undoubtedly own a van; probably one that was manufactured in America, like a Dodge Grand Caravan or a Chrysler Town & Country. Why? The girls have to go ballet classes and piano lessons and regular cars just won't "do" for this sort of thing. Especially if the girls have friends who go to the same locations for their ballet classes and piano lessons, or they need to be dropped off at "gymnastics," which is on the way to the ballet class or the piano lesson.

Though a doting father of three piano-playing, ballet dancing girls, Joe secretly wishes that he had a son (all sonless fathers dream this!); someone to build bionicles with; someone to outfit with an entire arsenal of air-soft weaponry and to watch Nazi Zombies (photo below) videos with. Sure, Joe appreciates the fact that his beloved multiple-name daughters make their own beds and never leave their Malibu Barbies (photo) laying around the house and even help their pearl and high heel-wearing mom, the pretty and supportive Emily, load the dishwasher. But deep in his soul Joe longs for a Joe Jr.; a boy who will rarely flush the toilet and never put the seat down; a boy who will become an Olympic caliber sport belcher and say the word "suck" at least 250 times a day; the kind of boy he can take to Lego Land and on camping trips to abandoned factories or warehouses.

So then, what have we learned about husband/dad/tax guy/triathlete--and darn good one!-Joe Langel just from looking at his family portrait? We learned that he's an excruciatingly handsome, milk-drinking, adventurous, fearless, van-driving, Barbie-buying man who loves his wife and her meatloaf more than life itself but secretly wishes he also had a son to watch Nazi Zombie videos (photo below) with.

And here is some stuff we didn't make up about Joe Langel, a really cool guy with a wonderful family:

Occupation: Tax and Finance Manager at the Pohlad

Family of Companies.

Colleges, Degrees: Bachelors of Arts Degree -

University of St. Thomas, Master of Business in Taxation Degree - University of Minnesota

Family: Wife of 14 years, Emily. 3 daughters: Clara Jo (7),

Anna Marie (5) and Sophie Mae (3)

Age: 37

Pets? Names? The family stuffed animal dog named Jimmy. The answer is still "no" to the "can we get a puppy?" question, for now.


Books? I read Triathlon magazine in the bathroom

and read tax literature at work. Sadly...that is it.

Movies? High School Musical I, II and III.

Seriously, I have gotten a late start but I am

addicted. They are my preferred bike trainer flicks

this winter. Mindless dialogue and some cool tunes for

motivation. Plus my girls will sit and ride their

rocking horses along side me while I bike.

TV Shows? Seinfeld. Don't/Haven't watched

much TV in a long, long time

Alcoholic Beverages? Bombay Sapphire Martini with


Junk Food? McDonald's Cheeseburgers

Restaurants? Manny's Steakhouse

Meal? Every Sunday night: A large Hawaiian pizza and Captain diet


Non-Tri Hobbies? Watching movies with my girls. Snugglefest.

Ice Cream Flavor? Vanilla

Vacation Destination? St. Croix, US Virgin Islands

Favorite Sports Team? Minnesota Twins and any team playing the Vikings

UPDATE: Triathlete JMatt Kiel sent us this e-mail:

Hey MTN,

Thanks so much for your continued support and entertaining blog posts.

For the record, however, we most often refer to Joe (Langel) as Shirtless Joe. It wouldn't be right to call him anything less.

One might speculate that Shirtless Joe is trademarked at this point... or an integral part of his brand. :)

See you when it's warm..


A big fan of SJ


Friday, February 19, 2010


By Chuckie V (for

In the sport of triathlon there really are no losers*. Sure, there are nerds, dweebs, geeks, dorks, assholes, egos, stick people, loners, know-it-alls, whiners, gabbers, idiots and obsessive-compulsive types, but there really are no losers.

*Except, that is, for one type of participant. Enter the cheater. READ


More than 350 of the 500 slots available for the 2010 Trinona Triathlon, aka "The Battle for the Bluff", have been filled. Please act quickly if you want a spot on the this great event's starting line. WEBSITE

UPDATE: We just heard from Marvin at the Lake Waconia Triathlon, which is now over half full. WEBSITE

Thursday, February 18, 2010


(Photos: Left - Frozen eyelashes. Below - Broken & leaky, Bonnie reclines regally on her kitchen counter while Mike washes the dishes. She claims that the used tissue wads that surround her are actually "divinity." What the heck is she talking about?)

By Bonnie Siegel.......frozen eyelashes

Loath. That word may seem appropriate when applied to getting up very early on your only day off to shovel the driveway for the arrival of your not so welcomed in-laws or cleaning up after the dog discarded his recently consumed outdoor surprise, but it fails to fully encompass how I feel when I so much as gaze upon the (insert scary music here) treadmill.

Yesterday I had the privilege of talking with one of Minnesota's finest elite triathletes Mr. Name Left Out to Protect the Innocent. For purposes of fluidity, we will refer to him as Boe hereafter. Boe embraces training outside as much as possible during the winter months. I can attest to this as I nearly ran him over at night with my car fairly recently. Thankfully he was wearing a head lamp. I asked Boe what he considers the benefits of training outdoors in the Minnesota winters to be and his response was, "There are no benefits. Minnesota winters suck. Fly to Arizona." Thanks for that insightful piece of encouragement, Boe....

Over the past few months I've noted with growing interest the number of what I commonly refer to as "Maniacs" running around the streets of Eagan in the dead of winter. I had yet to run outside in fear of dying from frostbite, being attacked by skidding vehicles, or simply dying of pneumonia from having my lungs instantly freeze up and no one finding my lifeless, frozen body until the spring thaw sometime in July. I went to the gym a few weeks ago and looked loathingly upon the treadmill. I forced my body up onto the elevated platform of bodily mechanical hate and willed myself with all I could muster to slog along going absolutely no where.


After my fun run I drove home and noticed a group of Maniacs out weathering the near zero temperatures, donning their multi-layered heat compression gear, hats, gloves and head lamps.

Pivotal moment.

I quickly called my better half and poured out my hate for the treadmill as well as my newly found inspiration and interest to give the outdoors a go. He was as supportive as any man in love with absolutely no earthly interest in doing anything sounding so remotely horrific could be: "Sounds great! Let me know when you're ready to give it a try!" God bless him.

Two weeks later we emerged from the garage while it was still light out. I immediately noted the wind chill factor had dropped to temperatures in competition with Antarctica. The ground seemed to stretch out before us like a never ending plate of icy death, beckoning us to come and break our backs. There was an igloo close by and someone wearing what looked like full winter body armor consisting of a thousand pounds of down crouching next to the doorway. We were wearing enough layers of clothing to stock a second hand store and proudly displaying our mugger hats, burglar outfits and YakTraks; off we went. Five miles later we were smiling, high fiving and wondering why we didn't do it a long time ago. We laughed as we tried to talk with our frozen cheeks. I never knew my boyfriend could look so cute with frozen eyelashes and brows. Two days later we wrapped up a successful seven mile run in the dark with our headlamps guiding our feet.

I think what Boe meant to say is that the benefits of running outside in the winter include constantly changing scenery, fresh air, body mechanics, stabilizer muscle usage, camraderie, potential sunshine to offset SAD, frozen eye lashes, and the feeling of accomplishment. Not everyone braves the great Minnesota winters outdoors so now you've got something to be proud of. Shake it up! Now where's my coffee?....


Amphibious tri-blogger Steve Stenzel is one sick puppy. Have you checked out the totally gruesome and potentially spew-inducing injury photos on his blog site yet? LINK


(Photo: Cindy and son, Kyle, at at Wild game.)

Triathlete/Physical Therapist and future MTN contributor Cindy Schlafmann is originally from Canby, Minnesota.

Ever heard of it? It's "The Gateway to the Prairie," you know. (Do prairie's need gateways?)

We didn't think so. Heck, most folks in St. Leo have never heard of Canby and these communities are only about ten miles apart.

Actually, Canby is not without a modicum of notoriety. It is one of Minnesota's 2,832 bergs that claim to be the birthplace of Tater Tot Hotdish. Cindy Schlafmann, like all loyal Canbians, adamantly defends her community's claim to the TTHD title. (Not surprisingly, 74% of Canby's adult residents are on statins, and the other
26% probably should be.)

Though she left Canby twenty five years ago, Cindy still pays tribute to her ancestral hometown once a year by serving Tater Tot Hotdish to her teenage son, Kyle, and whomever she is dating at the time. (As a health industry professional, Ms. Schlafmann understands that it is inhumane, if not downright homicidal, to foist this kind of stuff on others more than once per annum.) And she enjoys washing this gunk down with the yummy wine that comes from a box in the fridge.

Though Cindy is unwilling to share (for obvious health and liability reasons) her delicious, but deadly TTHD recipe, we do know that each serving contains at least 1200 grams of saturated fat and 34,000 mgs of sodium. We also suspect that the "Canby Version" substitutes Velveeta for cheddar cheese soup and Spam for ground beef. (Yum! That's good eatin'!)

Here's some non-made-up stuff about this great mom, wonderful friend, consummate professional and total workaholic:


-Physical Therapist, Manager of PT at TRIA Orthopaedic Center. Athletic Trainer at DeLaSalle high school for 20 years.


Education: BS degree South Dakota State University 1988

-PT School at Mayo Physical Therapy School 1990

-Currently in my doctorate (DPT) for Physical Therapy through Regis University in Denver finishing up in about 1 more year( goal is graduation May 2011)

Family: I grew up in Canby MN a small town in SW Minnesota and my parents still live there. I have one son Kyle, who is 14, a Freshman in HS at Champlin High School. He loves soccer, as well as downhill skiing, snowboarding and wakeboarding. I have just one sister who lives in Willmar with her husband and 2 sons.


Books? I don't really ever read books again due to time. Right now I am just reading tons of PT research articles :)

Movies? August Rush, Titanic, recently saw Up in the Air and thought it was a really good movie

TV Shows? Right now the Olympics!! I don't really watch any tv.

Alcoholic Beverages? Red wine especially Pinot Noir

Junk Food? Chips and Salsa, dark chocolate and treating myself to a Mocha after a good workout..

Restaurants? Buena Sera ( great Italian restaurant in Champlin)

Meal? Chicken enchiladas that I like to make since Kyle loves them also

Ice Cream Flavor? Chocolate chip cookie dough

Vacation Destination? Going on vacation to the Dominican Republic this March with my friend Melissa. Other than that the entire year of 2003 was great there was Brazil in February, Cruise to the Caribbean in September and New Zealand for Worlds in December. That was a great year.

Dream Job? I love being a PT and my current job is close to a dream job. Maybe being able to live half the year in MN and half someplace warm so I could continue to bike and run outside year round..