Sat, 6 June 2009
Check out the pictures from the Rev3Tri on the picture tab...
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 3:19pm EDT
Thu, 27 November 2008
This is an older post, but one that I will forever be thankful for.
It started like any other race. I was excited just to be in great shape and test my abilities. After setting up my transition area, I looked at the sky and saw heavy rain. I smiled and just watched as the rain soaked the bikes, shoes and just about anything that wasn't covered. I stood under a tree and just smiled. So many people panicked, but I just smiled and enjoyed it all. After about 15 minutes the skies cleared and the race was on. Note: I was prepared and always carry a big garbage bag with me in case this happens. My stuff was nice and dry once the race started.
After a good swim warmup, my age group was called. A new age group
for me this year - the big 40. I looked at the guys and for the 1st
time thought - I can beat these guys. I normally start up front to get
off fast. The gun went off and I quickly was out front. Huh What? Where
is everyone? I looked left. Nothing. Right. Nothing? Huh? What? I hit
the first turn and saw nothing. Wow. Is this happening? It's not that
big of a deal, but I have never been out front. I hit the 2nd turn. Still out front. I started to pass
the groups in front of me, and finally saw a guy come up to the right.
For a split moment I said, just let him go. NO. NO. NO. I picked up the
pace and made sure that I came out 1st.
The bike started out ok. With my PowerTap, I was able to see my power. The problem with the sprint is you have to go so hard that your HR is high. I was not feeling the best, but I held on. I was not getting passed in mass like past years. I did count 4 guys pass me from my age group, but I was staying close. Wow. At mile 7 I was starting to get in a rhythm and staying at 90 cadence. It was a mental battle. Come on Stu. Stay with the guys. Say with them! Come on.
I was flying and feeling better until the sound we HATE to hear. Psssssssssssssssst!
Yep. Flat city. My day was done for the division race, but not for me. I changed the tire but noticed a big cut. I didn't think the tire would hold, but I tried. I rode another mile and got another flat. I was not surprised, but not all that happy either. My day was done. What do I do? Well, I figured I better start walking. I walked about 3 miles, trying to tell people "Nice Job", or "way to go." People felt bad for me, but I was actually enjoying all of this. Not sure why, but it was not that bad.
I hit the main road and found 2 older women and a boy about 16 years old getting in a van. I asked if they could drive me back to the start line. I got in the van and jumped in the back seat with the boy. After talked for a few minutes I found out he was mentally challenged. He told me how he had made it to Special Olympics Nationals in Iowa. He was so proud. He asked if I wanted to see the medal he won in power lifting. Our conversation went on and I felt like I was riding in the car with a super star. I promised him that I would tell all my friends that I met a Olympian. He smiled and told me to "go get 'em." Have you even seen a person that works so hard and never wants to take that medal off? Have you seen the pride? The passion? This kid had it all! He had 2 gold medals, 1 silver medal, and the best attitude!
I took my bike out of the car and just smiled. I put my bike together but thought that I had to finish the race. I told the guy at the start that I got a ride but wanted to finish. I asked if that was ok. He looked and at this point I was dead last in for the men. "Sure, go on." I looked at my tire and figured it was better for me to carry the bike so I didn't do any damage. I picked up the bike, put it on my shoulder and started to run. I was abut a mile from the transition area. I was running in bike shoes. Not the best thing, but I had to carry the "virtual" Olympic torch that my new friend gave to me while in the car. I just smiled and started to hear the crowd go crazy. I ran faster and decided that I could not let my new friend down. I had to keep running. I ran and carried my bike over the bike finish! The crowd erupted! I was already in dead last, but decided that I could not stop. I was the LAST male out of T2.
I ran hard and finally caught a few people. I finished the day swimming, biking, flatting, walking, riding in a car, running with a bike, and finally running. (I want to make it clear that I did ask an official if I could continue even though I had to take a ride in a car). Officially I had a DQ as I got in a car, but I really didn't have a choice. I do want to thank my new power lifting Olympian to show that sport is not about winning, it is about passion! I'm 100% sure that I had the best race of the day. No question about it. I met someone that would make even the last place finisher smile. I met an Olympian. I met pure magic. I just hope that one day, on your worst day, you too can meet him. I guarantee that he will make your day! He certainly made mine!
It is for meeting people like him that make me thankful!Here is to a happy and healthy 2008 Thanksgiving!
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 12:21pm EDT
Sat, 18 October 2008
I was trying to get my pictures organized, and came across this picture. One of my favorites. I was very happy to have this picture with the incredible Tyler Stewart and the awesome Melanie McQuaid. This was taken a few years back in California by John Segesta. If you want to see some wicked photographs, check out his website. Prepare to be amazed! Also, you have to check out the upcoming Racergirl Television. This is going to ROCK! Can't wait to see what she comes up with. Check Mel's RacerGirl TV Episode 1 here.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 11:39am EDT
Mon, 6 October 2008
The Twin Cities Marathon may be the end of the seaon for many, but for me, it was the kick-off to 2009. After Steelhead, I kicked into gear, and started my training for Ironman 70.3 New Orleans. My plan is to stay in shape and work on my weaknesses. I also really want to take my running to the next level. I thought Twin Cities would be a great place to start. I was also looking forward to the first marathon with my "proven" nutrition strategy.
I was planning to drive to Minneapolis the Friday before the race, but got delayed in Madison. My wife had been on travel, so I hated to leave right when she got back. I stayed in Madison Friday night and left at 4:30am so I could meet my teammates Rob and Michelle at Hell's Kitchen by 9:30. I made good time, and was only a few minutes late. We met Scott from BMC, and had a great discussion about the 2009 season. After breakfast (lasted until almost noon), I picked up my race packet and ate more food. I also drank plenty to top off my tank.
The forecast looked OK, but I was prepared for anything. I put out clothes for scenario 1, scenario 2, and scenario 3! After a great night of sleep, I woke to rain. Looks like it will be the scenario 2 outfit that consisted of shorts, Ironman Wigwam socks (love these), a long sleeve shirt, visor, vest, Garmin and my nutrition. I was prepared for cold and wet. I got my wish. As for nutrition, I was wickedly excited to test my Ironman successful nutrition strategy. The key has been NUUN and Carbo Pro. As I have said before, whatever works for YOU is the key. The key is that I just cannot take pills (salt tabs) and without them I was never getting enough electrolytes. Gatorade makes me totally sick after about 2 hours, and so I was left with very little. I used my 1.5 NUUN tabs per bottle and went from 1.5 scoops of Carbo Pro to 1 scoop. I find that on the run, I take in just a few fewer calories to keep my stomach in check.
In order for me to carry this, and really the only down side, is I need to carry the mixture in a Camelbak. It holds almost four full bike bottles. I don't see many runners with them on, but I love it! After a mile, I forget it is on. During a marathon, and in training, I can make it to about mile 19 before I run out. That is a huge benefit as I don't need to stop at water stops, and my nutrition is in perfect sync. I mix the bottles to make sure I get my perfect mix, and dump them in the Camelbak.
After stretching at the Dome (where the Vikings play), I went to the start line. I somehow made a mistake and was about 10,900 of 11,000 runners. It took me over 5 minutes to cross the start line. I could see people laughing at my Camelbak, but I was determined to see if my nutrition strategy was going to work. In my past 10+ marathons, the last 10k has been miserable at best. Time to see what happens.
So I start the race just trying to not fall over the people around me. It took the first mile just to see the street below me. My first mile was 9:40. Nice! Anyway, I was really only trying to run sub 4 for the day, and it was early in my season. I watched the Garmin and knew that I could certainly run very easy and make 8:35 pace until mile 20. It was 20-26.2 I was not sure about this early in the year. Mile 2-8 were perfect. I was feeling like a nice jog in the park, only is was more like a jog in the pool as the rain was coming down hard. I had predetermined I would walk for 3 minutes at mile 8. It was early in the race, but had done it by accident in training, and it felt great. All my miles from 2 - 8 where about 8:15. Mile 9 was 9:50 with the walking. I was back to running and felt incredible. I had a 7:43, 7:50, 9:01 and the rest at about 8:15 until mile 18. I had decided to walk 3 minutes again. I was feeling awesome, but didn't mind the walk. After that I got back and was preparing for the melt down. In all my races, it didn't matter how I felt, it just happened. The WALL! My NUUN and Carbo Pro were gone. Bummer, but it got me to mile 20 feeling like a million dollars. NO WALL!
At mile 20, I ran an 8:06. What? Huh? Mile 21 was an 8:46. Huh? Where's the wall? Mile 22 was a 9:06. I walked for 2 minutes and decided after that I would give it all I had. I was still feeling perfect. Nothing hurt. I was smiling and chatting with the crowd. I thanked as many volunteers as I could and said "Good Morning" to at least 1000 people. So at mile 23, I felt a tad tired, but I still felt nothing. I felt a slight cramp from time to time, but said, not today and kept running. I didn't look at the Garmin, but the next day I saw I ran 24 = 8:46, 25 = 9:14 and 26 = 9:12. I didn't feel like I slowed at all, but I must have.
I finished in 3:47. Not too bad for my first run of the new season. I'm completely convinced that my problem for all those years was not the work. It was not the training, it was the nutrition. Plain and simple. I did not get the proper nutrition. At the end I was well hydrated, felt great, and never hit much of anything during the race. I cannot say enough about my NUUN / Carbo Pro combination. I know I have to carry it, but it got me to mile 20 singing in the rain! Literally! Please remember that nutrition is so individual, but for me I finally get the right balance of electrolytes and calories. I walked out of that race wanting to do another. That has never happened before! I'm totally excited and already looking to run at least one marathon in 2009! Now I know I can do it. I can race and not feel like death at mile 20. Now I know I can get my times down. I can't wait for 2009!
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 9:42pm EDT
Tue, 9 September 2008
*** Check out my picture gallery of Ironman Wisconsin here. Once you go to my picture site, click on Ironman Wisconsin 08 for almost 60 pictures! ***
I’m a huge fan of Ironman Wisconsin, and really Ironman in general. I love everything about it. I love that it’s not something you can just “do.” Just ask those that have done it. It just gets in your blood. I hear it all the time – let me give you the scenario:
Ironman Athlete after finishing -“I’ll never do another ironman.”
Ironman Athlete after taking a shower, eating some food and getting down some liquid – “I’m definitely going to do another Ironman one day. Maybe in a few years.”
Ironman Athlete the day after – “Heck yeah I’m going to do another ironman. Next year!”
So there you have it. Once you do one, you want to do another. That is exactly how it is for me. I love it. While I was not doing the race this year, I wanted to be part of race day. I wanted to follow someone every step of the way. I wanted to feel part of the race. I wanted to be part of the action. As I have done in the past, I decided to follow and document a few of my favorite athletes. This year was an easy choice. I wanted follow my friend and teammate Michelle and new teammate JP. I also wanted to follow a pro, and this year was an easy choice – Hillary Biscay.
To make things easier for Michelle’s family, I picked her up at 4:45am on race day. I even recorded our conversation on the way to the starting line, that will make for interesting Podcasting. Anyway, I sat with Michelle and got the same race day jitters. It was sad for me in a way. I would have given anything to be right next to my teammates racing. I made a promise, however, to myself and my family that I would hold off a few years on my Ironman racing. Have no fear as I will race again. As the time got closer I walked with Michelle down to the start and wished her well. After wishing Michelle well, I turned and saw Hillary. As with Michelle, I wished her a good day! She was walking alone to the swim start. It seemed late to me, so I imagine she likes to get in the water close to the start. I guess you can’t blame her as she is a complete rock star in the water.
I watched the swim start and about 15 minutes. After that it was time for my Ironman spectator journey. I knew Hillary would be out of the water up front, so I went to the road underpass to see her for the first time. It didn’t take long until I saw her fly past me. I screamed some craziness at her and I’m sure she thought I was some crazy Ironman freak. I guess she was right!
After seeing a few men and Hillary, I had plans to see the lead group about mile 7 of the bike. Unfortunately, Hillary and the boys were too fast. I had to leapfrog the group and find a nice steep hill. As it turned out, I had a perfect vantage point and awesome spot for pictures.
The men started to come past and I finally saw Hillary. She looked great and I screamed again and again. She looked a bit puzzled, so I said “It’s me – Stu.” She smiled and said “Hey Stu!!!” I felt a bit better as I had interviewed her awhile back, and had E-Mailed her a few times wishing here well at the races. This spot was so awesome that I decided to wait for JP and Michelle. I was surprise to see JP only a few minutes past Hillary. I again went nutty on the hill screaming and running along side him. I did this at least 40 times until my buddy Michelle came up the hill. To be honest, I wasn’t sure she was doing well. I half smiled and she smiled widely, so I knew things were ok. I repeated my craziness and ran as far as I could. I was convinced that she was going to do well.
After each passing of Michelle, I had to report back on her blog, so I jumped in the car and drove around neighborhoods until I found a “public” WI-FI. It was actually funny as I would drive until I found a signal, hoping it was “public.” I made my update and rushed back to find my three peeps for the day. I was lucky to find Hillary right away and went absolutely berserk when I saw her. I was starting to worry for her. I wanted her to win and didn’t know how she was feeling. Anyway, after watching her fly past me at 28mph, I figured I needed a better spot. I tried to return to the “perfect hill” but was unable to get back due to closed roads.
I decided to head back to another steep hill later in the route. I found the hill and started the yell and run routine. I saw my buddy from Canada and ran all the way up the hill with him. It was so nice to see Laird again. (BTW – you have to check out his time. NICE!) Anyway, I did this about 10 times for those on the 1st lap and finally saw Hillary, JP and Michelle again. I was now dripping wet from running up and down the hill so many times. The group at the top of the hill kept laughing. There was even a little girl that started to put “tick” marks every time I made it to the top. My grand total? 48 times. I think that was a PR.
It was time for me to find another “public” WIFI. This time it took me a bit longer. I finally found it at restaurant. I bought some food and updated Michelle’s blog again. It was now time to pick up the run. I had my spot picked out for weeks. I was right outside my office. I had dreamed of this for weeks. I know. I even dream of Ironman when I’m not racing. Anyway, It was approximately at mile 2/11/15/24. It was also right at a turnaround so I was surrounded by people. I saw Hillary right away and screamed. I’m not sure if she could even hear what I was screaming as she was starting to have the perfect game face. She didn’t look to be struggling at all. I can remember yelling “Hey Hillary – this is it! This is the day. This is YOUR day. You belong! This is the day you win!!!”
I knew JP and Michelle were a bit behind Hillary, so I decided to run over to watch Hillary on the lake path. I ran over with my camera, saw Hillary and the lead pack twice and ran back just in time to see JP. I couldn’t tell how Hillary was feeling, as her smile had gone away, and she looked totally focused. Consistent. Focused. Ready to win. JP on the other hand, had this huge smile, like the day was a walk in the park. Alll day. He wins the prize for the happiest athlete. I cheered on the athletes that surrounded my small landing area. It was the perfect spot too watch the race. I was able to see Hillary, JP and Michelle at least 8 times on the run. I was starting to get nervous for Hillary and Michelle. Hillary had the lead all day, but could she hold it? Michelle wanted to break 12 hours. BOTH had the day in hand. Both had control. Both were about to find out how deep they could dig. After screaming like a crazy man all day. After worrying myself sick, I saw Hillary for the last time. For the first time in my many sightings, Hillary was now in second. At mile 24 I saw the bike turn the corner that said, 1st Place Female. As was the case all day, I expected Hillary to appear. This was not the case. Instead Karin Gerber of Switzerland ran past. I was so sad. I was devastated that Hillary had come so close only to give it to Karin. I looked to the ground and kicked the Gatorade bottle. After a few seconds I looked up and saw the 2nd place female bike. There she was - Hillary was about 50 yards down. Karin did not look good, but Hillary looked so determined. I screamed like never before. I can’t even remember what I said, but when she ran past me I knew she would win. No doubt. I wanted so bad to see her finish, but I could not leave my teammates JP and Michelle. I had a blast with Hillary, but I was loyal to my teammates. I gave one last scream and just had a feeling that Hillary would pass and win here first Ironman.
I sat on the ground for a few minutes just thinking about how lucky Hillary, JP and Michelle were. They had health, family, and Ironman. They had it all. I was so proud of them. I wanted to scream and run all the way in. I saw JP pass me with a smile of all smiles. He was an Ironman – and fast as well.
I decided that I couldn’t miss Michelle’s finish so I made my way to the finish line. It was hard to find a spot, so I went to the athlete exit. I watched the clock tick ever so close to the 12 hour mark. All of the sudden, out of crowd of athletes, came Michelle. She was smiling and looking like an Ironman. For those that know Michelle, the next words out of her mouth will not surprise anyone. It went something like this: “I'm not happy. I know I can do better next time.” She smiled as if to acknowledge what she had accomplished.
We went to find Michelle’s family. As soon as I shook her husband Jack’s hand, I decided this was time for me to exit. This was time for Michelle and her family. You will never see a family with more pride and tears. She had the support. Michelle was an Ironman, and her family was the Ironclad support!
I walked back to the car with a smile. Hillary had won. JP crushed it, and Michelle did the usual. She exceeded her goal, while setting the bar ever higher. All three made my day. All three are the reason that I WILL do another Ironman. Once my children are in college, Stu will be back. For those wondering, my son is a high school freshman. Four years until college.
Thank you Hillary for letting this crazyman scream his head off for you. Thank you for having the courage to come back and take a victory that you so deserved. Thank you for digging so deep those last two miles that you made me dream that in Ironman, you can NEVER give up. Thank you for showing the world how tough you can be! Thank you for inspiring me.
Thank you JP for the smile that made others smile. Thank you for coming on the Evotri journey with us. Thank you for making Ironman look easy. Thank you for making so many others smile when they saw you smile.
Thank you Michelle for setting the bar higher and higher. Thank you for showing the world that you can set a goal and that you can deliver. Thank you for showing that with hard work you can exceed your wildest goals. Thank you for showing the world how tough you are and how great of a teammate you can be. Thank you for being a great friend. And most of all, thank you for being the ultimate of all teammates.
The athletes are gone. The bikes are packed. The journey may be over for those that did the race in 2008, but the greatest thing about Ironman is yet to come. Those people that finished can proudly walk over to the line of people waiting to start their own dream for 2009. Where else in sport can you run with the pros? Where else can you feel like an Olympian? Where else can you tell people you plan to swim 2.4 miles, ride 112, and run a marathon? Where else can Hillary do TWO Ironman races in seven days? The answer is simple. You can do it in the dreams of Ironman. Here at Ironman you can DO what others only dream about.
Until September 13th at 7am, 2009, thank you Ironman for letting me race with my friends for one day a year and dream about it the other 364.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 1:26pm EDT
Sat, 6 September 2008
I love Ironman. I love the energy. I love everything about Ironman. There is a certain emptiness in the air when I watch and don't toe the line. The only thing that gets my past that is my awesome Evotri teammates and friends. I have already taken many groups out to preview the route. It is such a blast. This is a picture of the group I took out last night. From Texas to Canada - we had a blast. I love Canadians!!! :) I plan to follow teammate Michelle all day and track her updates online. You can check it out here.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 8:08am EDT
Sun, 3 August 2008
It's official. I've hit the 1000 (1166 to be exact) mile mark for my commute this year. Can you believe that for my commute to work, I have only filled my car TWICE since June. Here are the details:
- Seven weeks so far
- 1016 miles of biking
- 150 miles of running
- 2 tanks of gas
- 1 flat tire
- 1 extreme thunderstorm
- 1 day of 60 mph winds
- 3 days of rain
- 39 low temperature
- 92 high temperature
- 1:22 = slowest commute
- :54 = fastest commute
- 39 mph, fastest speed
- 1 big smile
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT
Fri, 4 April 2008
Ten years ago, I did not know how to spell Leukemia.
Today, I think this is a work of Art.
Details to follow.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 12:32pm EDT
Thu, 7 February 2008
I have partnered with Zipp to help with the new ZippCast Series. I hope you enjoy the show about the new Sub9 Disc. On the first new show I talk with Josh about the Sub9 as well as Ironman 70.3 World Champion Andy Potts. You can listen to new shows every two weeks on www.Zipp.com.
Wed, 30 January 2008
I have been all over the United States this week. Check this out...
1) Marquette, Michigan (almost Canada)
2) Chicago, Illinois (spent the night at the airport)
3) Tampa, Florida (-30 wind chill when I left Chicago, and 72 in Tampa)
4) Los Angeles, California
5) Madison, Wisconsin (Home again)
The SimplyStu Worldwide Triathlon details - Coming Soon, for now...:
1) I have a special Evotri team member joining me this year...Guess who?
2) Free T-Shirts for the kids again this year. Thanks Coach Adam.
When I get back, I have some awesome guests:
1) Andy Potts, 70.3 World Champion
2) Chrissie Wellington Ironman World Champion (GREAT interview)
3) ??? One of my favorite past guests. (Back by request) She rocks.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 11:17pm EDT