Monday, April 16, 2012

What Am I Doin?!

I have alluded to many of you that this year of racing is different than my years past.  I have found through discussion with some close friends that there are three things that matter most when it comes to enjoying my passion and hobby of racing.  I need answers for "Where?", the "How?", and most importantly "for what Purpose?"

I think the first question was a relatively easy concepts to grasp.  For the past ten years I have raced across the US in various events from triathlon, running, and cycling.  My hobby has focused primarily on the sport of triathlon.  I have raced the coast line, the mountains, the plains, and in all weather conditions. So I have thoroughly covered the "Where" question with the answer of "Anywhere".

The second question of "How" often times really had me focus on the juggling act that is life.  In our household life does not and I repeat does not revolve around my schedule.  I have two boys and a wife that all seek to race, live, and look for my attention.  I also have a career and second company that require attention.  When I look at my race season for the next year I have to consider my goals and the time I can commit to achieving success in whatever it is I focus on for the year. So to answer the "How" I say "Compromise".

The third question "for what Purpose?" leads me into my newest venture. There has always been a purpose in my training.  It first was to lose weight. Well, I went from 215 to 165.  The second was to see how fast I can go.  For example my average sprint triathlon went from 1 hour 28 min to 1 hr 9 min.  Then I stepped into let me see how far I can go. I went far by completing Ironman Louisville.  That brings me to the present date.  I have always raced and trained with my family front and foremost in my mind.  I wanted to set the bar and show my boys that anything is possible.

My boys have gotten the message and they are now both pushing themselves and trying hard in every endeavor they take on.  So here I am now, I have set the example, I love to train, I love to go far, and I am constantly seeking another challenge.  The challenge has finally come calling; Can I be that guy that carries a cause and can I be the example to many on a national scale.

My friend Tim Borland recommended me to an organization based out of the San Francisco Marathon. They were trying to find a couple of athletes that would be willing to tackle an ultra-marathon (52.4 miles) in July in San Francisco.  In brief they would help financially if I were to race for a cause and give all money to a charity.  Tim Borland has been the face of AT Cure since the mid 2000's.  He has raised over $250,000 for this charity through his actions and athletic efforts.  Those are monumental numbers and big shoes to fill.

This season I have focused on the cause AT Cure.  Ataxia-telangiectasia combines the worst symptoms of Muscular Dystrophy, cerebral palsy, cystic fibrosis, immune deficiencies, and cancer.  This is a disease whereas the children do not survive their teens and the disease is genetic.  This is not just a disease that affects the child, it affects the entire family and family line.  I was introduced to this organization about 3 years ago and felt an instant connection.  AT affects 500 children nation wide and more and more families are being diagnosed.  I urge you to check out for more information.

Well, Worth the Hurt,, came to me and asked me to race for them for this year.  I would dedicate all my training and all my races to them and AT Cure.  I have already found the "Purpose" in what it is exactly I am searching for.  I raced about two weeks ago in Galveston, TX.  I made a couple of stops along the way to start making the "connection" with the families.  I was able to meet two children, Jared Digby and Lana Little.  I met Jared (29) in the hospital where he has been battling various invasions since February and I met Lana (8) at lunch who is now primarily confined to a wheelchair. 

Meeting these two children has put the bigger "Purpose" in my racing.  Before I left Texas, I saw Jared one more time.  I left my medal and bib with him to encourage him and his family.  It gave a chance for my boys to see racing as not just something to prove to themselves but something that can give hope to others.  I am trying to raise money not just by the sponsorships that Worth the Hurt has provided but also through my families efforts this year.  We are challenging everyone to donate a dollar for every mile my boys put in, and 50 cents for every mile my wife and I put in.

Just to update you:
Connor (10) - 25 miles last week
Cooper (4) - 5 miles last week
Kerrie - 75 miles
ME - 94 miles
Total cash to match : $114.50  Donations can be made to or contact me for other methods.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Lonestar 70.3 4/1/2012 Post Race Review

I must tell you for my third year doing this race it has been an adventure every time.  Not just the race itself, but the company I have shared this weekend with.  This race has always been a boy’s getaway for my dad, my oldest son Connor (10), and me.  This year was different.  We added one more boy to the mix this year, my youngest son Cooper (4) joined us.  It was quite an experience for all involved as I will go into details on the trip itself later.  But now the race…

The race takes place on Galveston Island at the Moody Gardens in Texas.  The swim is a salt water swim on the north side of Galveston, opposite the Gulf.  The bike is an out and back along the seawall fully exposed to the Gulf winds for the entire 56 miles.  The run for this year was changed to a 3 loop run, with years prior being 4.  The big difference this year was one mile of the four mile loop was ran on the tarmac of the nearby airport.  Otherwise the remaining three miles are in the park itself relatively protected from the elements.

The swim went well this year. It is a tread water start whereas I floated to the back of my wave (160 total) and eased into the swim this year.  The water temp was 70 degrees and the water was flat.  I pulled for the first 400 yards so I could let my body relax until I found my groove and swam my line.  This was the least physical swim I have been in despite having 1500 people already ahead of my wave.

Swim time: 36:03- 76 in age group - 661 place overall.

I made a quick transition and headed out on my favorite part. I rode out on the bike’s first leg which is 28 miles into a strong headwind of roughly 20mph.  The thing about riding this wind is that it is absolutely relentless.  There is no let up of the wind.  This is also a ride that is pancake flat with the exception of a bridge about 22 miles out into the ride.  You then ride another 6 miles onto an island that is wide open with sand dunes, wind, and heat.  I hit the turn around and was able to then hit the gas.  I had borrowed a friend’s bike for this race which I was not terribly familiar with and at about 40 miles, my hip popped.  It seemed minor at the time but it had a lingering affect into the run.  I finished strong on the ride and reentered the transition. 

Bike time: 2:38:08 – 46 in age group – 351 overall.

Transition was clean and smooth.  I hit the run with the main plan of slow and steady.  I felt the pain in my hip and did not want to risk the rest of my season.  I planned to run between a 9 and 10 min pace.  This was very comfortable.  The run conditions were very sunny, hot (mid 80’s), and there was a very steady headwind on the airport tarmac.  Within the park it is well attended with people around every corner.  Though around the airport it was like watching someone plod through the desert.  It was no man’s land, a long line of runners, just trying to get through it. The run remained uneventful.  My pain was constant so I just focused on the finish as well as the main reason I am racing this year.  I am racing for a cause.  AT Cure was in my heart the entire time.  But again more on this on my next check in. 

Run time: 2:11:10 – 93 of 290 finishers in my age group– 642 of 2670 overall.

Total Time: 5 hours 30 minutes and 19 seconds 

Overall I was pleased with my race.  It is a real challenge to get ready for a hot race in April in Texas when you live in Iowa.  I feel I performed well and learned a few more lessons.  I did get one chance to see Lance Armstrong on the bike leg but that was it.  One big lesson I have learned is that the changes we made in our diet have affected my standard race nutrition as well.  I will take the coming months to hammer out a new plan and get myself ready for the challenges to come.  In the meantime I will continue preparing myself for my ultra-marathon as well as Ironman to come later this year.

I urge you to check out my newest sponsor at  I have dedicated this season to racing for AT Cure a small charity doing big things for children afflicted with AT.  Go to for more information.  If you want to help me achieve the financial goals set by my sponsor please contact me. 

Again a special thanks to my wife for letting me go, my dad for being the ever faithful and sometimes wrong directed co-pilot.  And my two boys, I could not be happier with you two, 32 hours in a car and we never argued!  It was a great trip with more to come.