Thu, 31 August 2006
The word is out. Come with us on this journey!!!!
The start of a journey is often scary. It is often the hardest part. To say you want to do something is easy, but to put your plan into action is far different. The road may be clouded, the sky may be dark, but the journey is well worth it. Think of what you will feel like when you cross that line. 2007 is just around the corner - do you have a dream?
Do you have a dream to do a 5k? How about a Marathon? What about a sprint triathlon? Do you want to cross the line of an Ironman? If you have a dream, I promise I will walk with you each step of the way for the 2007 season! As an added bonus, MANY other Podcasters and Bloggers are on the Team already!
Whatever your dream is, maybe its time to see it to the end. Yes you will need to do Ironman Wisconsin 2007 to win the complete package, BUT you can do ANY race, have ANY goal, and pick ANY journey to come with us.
Check out the official Press Release:
Official Press Release:
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 9:47am EDT
Wed, 30 August 2006
Category:general -- posted at: 11:20am EDT
Fri, 25 August 2006
The 2003 Ironman was a magical race. It was amazing in every way. I trained the best I knew how. I did everything right. I worked hard, never missed a workout, and loved every moment of the training. It was an adventure of a lifetime.
Just a few weeks before the race, the wall came crashing down. It was during my LAST long workout that I had run into problems. Nothing life threatening at all, but I needed to take a trip to the doctor. After just a few minutes with the doctor, I got the bad news that the only chance I had to start the Ironman was to have surgery. I was lucky enough to get in just a few days later. After coming out of surgery, I felt like a million bucks. WOW. This is great. Little did I know that the drugs were still in place and within a few hours, I would feel the pain. The pain came hard. It stayed with me for almost a week. I was flat on my back in bed for almost a week. How horrible was this. There was nothing I could do. I had a hard time walking from the bed to the bathroom. After a week of constant pain medication, I had enough. My family was gone, and I wanted to see if I could run (jog) without falling over. After being in a dark room for a week, I opened the door and felt the heat of a Summer Wisconsin day. I can remember walking in the field behind my house. As I walked, I thought about the race I had trained so hard for. I was determined. With my father passing away just a few weeks back, I HAD to do the race. I stood in the middle of the dry grass, and started to walk until I was jogging. I was ok. I was feeling ok. I looked up and saw my wife drive by in the car. She looked at me like I was crazy. She looked and just shook her head. As she rounded the corner and pulled into the driveway, I can still hear her saying how "crazy" I was and asking "what the heck are you doing." This was just something I had to do. It was just as much for me as for my father.
After that jog, I was convinced I would be able to make it. As I wrote in the "Silent Coach," I did make the race. I started and I finished. I was not able to go all that fast as the surgery and week in bed took its toll, but it felt great. It was an amazing day. It was an amazing race.
As with most people that finish an Ironman, here is the usual scenario. During mile 20 of the marathon, you will tell yourself that "I will NEVER do another Ironman again." When you finish you may even say the same thing. On the drive home you have already changed your mind to "I will do another, but not for a few years." The next day as you shop for finisher gear you tell your buddies, "I can't wait to do another Ironman." This was the basic idea with me. I wanted to do another race, but wanted to wait until 2007 when I turned 40. In 2004, however, I was talked into doing the race again. My buddies that did it in 2003 convinced me that it was time to do it again. I really wanted to wait as it is a big commitment. I was called on the carpet, and decided to do it. I'm extremely loyal to all my friends and just had to do it. The training went well, and I was in much better shape this time around. It was about February of race year, when one of my training buddies dropped from the race. I was so disappointed from this. i felt like my loyalty had been broken. I felt like I had been left at the alter. For whatever reason, I was so upset about all of this. You can't just drop out of training. You can't leave your friends just hanging. You can't do this. You just can't. For those that know me, they will find that I'm loyal to the end of time. From that time until race day I was hurt by this. Can you imagine your training partner leaving in the middle of the journey?
Like the first time, I had trained hard and felt amazing. I was in much better shape this time around. I was ready. I had my nutrition plan. I had a race plan. I had everything except my training buddy that left mid stream.
Race day started well. I swam as slow and easy as I could. I was able to glance at my watch and was thinking as great as I felt, I would exit about 1:10. As it turned out, I did a 1:03 swim and can tell you that my heart rate was never in the yellow or red zone. The bike was great as well. The out loop and first 40 miles where great. I was nailing everything. It was in the 90s already, but things where ok. i turned the corner to start loop #2 and it was like I was a different person. Things went wrong in a hurry. I was getting so thirsty and was out of water. i made a tactical error and went 10 miles in 90+ heat without water. The damage was done. I was at mile 90 and I knew that if I kept going the race would end in an ambulance. My kids and wife have supported me in Ironman as long as I made them a simple deal. They never wanted to see me in the medical tent or in an ambulance. I made the decision to stop. It was so painful to do, but I knew it was right. I thought the hard part of the day was over. I was wrong.
As I came back into the transition area already having to give my timing chip back, I saw my children and wife. This was the worst thing I've ever had to do. To walk up to your family, after training so hard, only to not finish. I had trained for a year. I was in perfect shape. This was NOT how it was scripted. This was not the outcome I had in mind. I continued to walk and saw three smiling faces as well as some other friends that had come to support my day. The smiles where forced, but sincere. The hardest thing is I knew what was coming next. The obligatory "it's ok," or "You have nothing to be ashamed of." All I can say is there are no words that feel right after a year of training that ends before the finish line.
I had survived the worst. Seeing the family. Having to face the pain of not finishing the race. I had seen the smiles, heard the words. The worst was over. WRONG. I turned to my daughter and she pulled a necklace off her neck. It was a "surfer" type that had a pink piece on the end that had a swimmer, biker and runner on it. She smiled and said that they had bought these at Ironman village while they waited for me. She handed it to me. This would be the only "finisher medal" I would get. This was so painful. Here is a 9 year old girl that had battled so hard in a hospital to beat Leukemia. SHE was handing ME a consolation prize. My heart dropped. I turned to my son and he too had the same necklace in a different color. He took it off and handed it to me. I had held up my part of the deal of not going home in the ambulance, but I almost felt like it would have been better if I had.
Over the past year, I looked at those necklaces every day. They are a reminder to me about what is important in life. They are also a reminder of how things do not always go as planned. I have waited for over a year to get back in the race. Day 1 is approaching fast. Day 1 is the day I have been waiting for since I was handed the necklaces from my children. I will wear these a lot over the next year as a reminder. I will also wear them on race day at Ironman Wisconsin 2007. I will wear them with pride. I will wear them as a reminder of a mission. I will wear them with one goal - to take them off at the finish line and give them back to their owner - My children. When I look back, the pain is not that I did not finish. The pain is that I feel I let my family down. They will argue differently, but I want to make sure there is NO question. I know I have finished once, but I need to do it again for one reason. I want my kids to look at me again and say "DAD - you are an Ironman."
Category:general -- posted at: 6:32pm EDT
Mon, 21 August 2006
- Allen Lim PhD - Floyd Landis's Training Advisor
- Jamie Cleveland Ironman Florida Champion
- Heather Haviland Pro Triathlete
Cost: Come on. Are you kidding? 100% Free. Come join us!
- Training for Triathlon with Power Presented by Simply Stu and CycleOps Power
Where: The Madison Concourse Hotel in the Madison Ballroom. 1 West Dayton St Madison WI
When: Thursday September 7th at 6:00pm for approximately 1.5hrs
How: Roundtable Q&A with all the athletes and Allen Lim Phd moderated by Simply Stu talking about training and fielding questions from the audience. Stu will show a video. CycleOps Power will offer prizes to all guests. Guests must rsvp attendance to firstname.lastname@example.org
How Many: First 50 people! Space is almost gone! Hurry.
Category:general -- posted at: 7:28pm EDT
Sun, 20 August 2006
The RUN portion of the Ironman Wisconsin route is complete and ready to download. At first I was going to send out as a complete DVD, but after several requests, I will put out the run video just as I did the swim and bike portion. It takes you past each foot of the 26.2 miles. I hope you enjoy the video. Also, if you are unable to view the video for any reason, please let me know and I will send you a DVD of the swim, T1, Bike and run! If you can help pay for shipping and the DVD that would be great. Good luck! See you all soon.
Sun, 13 August 2006
During the month of June and July I tried something new. I tried to commute on my bike. It was not all that long, only 22 miles each way. It was long enough that if I rode hard, I would get tired. It was short enough that I could do a leisurely ride and not feel winded at all. I loved the days when I rode in nice and easy, ran an hour at lunch and rode a tempo ride home. Even better was to swim at 6am in the Lake do speed work with my buddies at lunch, and hammer on the way home! Life is so good at that point!
With all this commuting, I only filled my tank of gas ONCE in June and twice in July! How cool is that. As you can imagine, I had a lot of time to think on the bike. It was great to clear my mind and think about work, family, the Packers, Triathlons, and just about anything else. As I rode there was one theme that kept coming up. I will call it the Silent Coach.
As a kid, my father was at every swim meet, every golf tournament (yes I grew up playing golf, and at one point had a solid 4 handicap), and every event if he was available. What was weird is he was ALWAYS silent. He rarely cheered, and at times I did not understand this. If I needed help I could always look out of the corner of my eye to see him, but he was not like the average parent that yells and screams during sporting events. This went on all my life.
At my son’s games I find myself the same way. I do not cheer much and often remain silent. I love to see him play. I feel so proud, but don’t feel like I need to show it to anyone. He knows that I will NEVER miss a game of his. He also knows that he will not hear me say much either. When will he understand? It might take years because it was not until a few years back that I figured out the silence.
My father had all but beaten prostrate cancer, but was now faced with cancer of the Esophagus. The battle was going well, the treatment was done, but we all knew that time was not his friend. In July of 2003, just weeks before the Ironman, I went to Florida to see my father in the hospital. The cancer was back in full force. As I sat in the room, my father and I talked as he came in and out of sleep. At one point, as clear as can be, he broke the silence, grabbed my hand, smiled, and said “how is Ironman training going.? The silence was broken.
My father passed away the next day.
A few weeks later I was in the water looking at my fathers wedding ring. I had asked my mom if I could wear it for the Ironman. I looked at the ring and thought I would need the help and inspiration during the day. As the canon went off, my thoughts turned to racing. The swim and the bike went well. At mile 24 or the marathon, I was in pain, and needed something.
I took out a picture I had of my father and looked at it. It was at that time that I figured out the Silent Coach. You see, my father was not silent all those years – he was just being the Silent Coach. He was teaching me how to handle a moment like this. He knew that he would not always be available for me, but his lessons would help me make it past the pain of this race. As I continued to look at the picture, I could hear him say “Put the picture away. This is what I’ve taught you to do. This is about you now.? I put the picture away, and ran the last 2 miles with a huge smile on my face. As I turned the corner towards the finish line, I was amazed how much “coaching? my father did all my life. He prepared me to train. He prepared me to live. He prepared me to hear those words “STU – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!? Thanks dad!
The best coaches in the world don’t need to say a word to teach you something. The best coaches in the world might just be the Silent Coach sitting right next to you.
As you prepare for the Ironman or think about signing up, you have to understand that we all have awesome Silent Coaches. Maybe it is a father, mother, sister, friend, husband, partner, or wife. They might not say much, but they are the true Silent Coaches we all learn from in life.
I have no regrets with my father. He was a great man, and I respect him like no other person in the world. He taught me so much. He never said much, but in a weird way, he taught me more than the spoken word could ever do.
Ironman is a special race. I think about a new friend of mine – Ironwil from Get Your Geek On Podcast. She has all these Silent Coaches from around the world cheering her on. Maybe she too will find that having a Silent Coach can really help in life and the Ironman too.
This is what Ironman is all about. Good luck to all doing Ironman 2006, and I will see you all at Ironman Wisconsin 2007!
Category:general -- posted at: 11:22am EDT
Sun, 13 August 2006
Meet the awesome Melanie McQuaid. Also, the continuation of the newbie Triathlete series with Cathryn. www.racergirl.com is a must view to learn more about Melanie. You can also read about the Kahuna at www.trigeekdreams.com. Melanie was the Kahuna's Tri Diva for 2006. Also, have you ever listened to Deep Dish? Melanie caught me off gaurd with this group. Do you think the Kahuna knows who this group is? I can tell you that I've already done the right thing and purchased some songs from iTunes. I can't believe that I did not know about this group. Check them out at www.deepdish.com.
Make sure you check out Cathyrn's training plan here -> The Newbie training plan
Sat, 5 August 2006
SimplyStu Interviews: Check out this quick link to some recent Pro interviews that Stu had. Enjoy!
Category:Interview Series -- posted at: 10:34am EDT
Thu, 3 August 2006
Ironman Wisconsin bike preview. This 30 min video includes each and every mile of the 112 mile route. Taken on the road and from the air, you will get a great idea of what the course has to offer. Good luck. YOU DO NOT need an iPod to watch this. Works best from iTunes. If you have problems, I would be happy to send you a DVD copy. Make sure you watch the swim video to see T1 and the infamous helix.
Thu, 3 August 2006
You can try all you want, but there are things in life that are impossible to explain unless you experience them first hand. Ironman is one of those. I have struggled both times in the past to finish. In 2003 I had emergency surgery just 17 days prior to the race. I was in bed for 7 days, and was unable to walk 10 feet just 7 days out. I was able to recover just enough to start and several hours later finish my 1st Ironman with a huge smile on my face. In 2005 I was in great shape, much better than in 2003, and I felt invincible. I was sure that I had figured out the race, and never thought twice. I made rookie mistakes. I took the race for granted. I took the heat for granted. After 90 miles on the bike in blistering 93 degree heat, I lost 11 pounds and had to stop. I made my children a promise that I would never get so bad that I went home in an ambulance. I was able to walk off under my own power. Do you know how hard it is to see you children and wife back at the transition area after dropping out? They both had bought Ironman necklaces' that day. They smiled as best they could and handed me the necklaces. I still have them to this day, and WILL wear them in 2007. When I cross the finish line, they will get them back, a few years late. I have never dropped out of any sporting event in my life. This has been on my mind every day since. I will be 40, and plan to do it right. I have the "ok" from the family, and I do not take this "ok" lightly. This is a huge sacrifice to have someone train for a year for this event.
I would love to have you join in this journey. Do you want to do it with me? You have only 5 weeks to think about it, as the race will fill fast. Don't take this decision lightly. This is a life changing decision. There are few things in life that compare to being called an Ironman! I was once an "Ironman" but feel I owe it to myself and the race to do it once more. Life is so short. Come on the journey. You will never regret it!
I will be following my progress on the Podcast, but would like to go one step further. I have some very special plans to include a few of you. Do you have a story to tell? Do you have a special Ironman journey for 2007? Let me know. You may be able to join Team Stu for 2007.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 6:49pm EDT