Fri, 29 September 2006
I was in the hall of local movie theater a few months back. It was the usual red carpet with the overpowering smell of buttered popcorn. As I walked toward the movie I saw an advertisement for a Adam Sandler movie called "Click." On the poster was Adam holding a remote control. This particular remote gave him superpowers that included all kinds of cool stuff with one exception. It had a button for exercise. As we stopped in front of the poster everyone made comments about this button.
"Man, that would be great to just click a button and exercise would be done."
"That's what I need."
"Life would be so great without having to bother with exercise."
I was so taken by these comments. "What is wrong with you people?" I do not get it!
This may work for some people, but this is NOT for me. I live to train. I live to run. I live to bike. I live to swim. To me it's not about the race, its about the journey. I look so forward to the day when I can get out and run in the ice, snow, and rain. I love the thought of months and months of training. Months of wet clothes from running. Months of early day workouts. The feeling when you drop into bed and fall asleep instantly. I love everything about training. What is bad about it? What is bad about treating your body like this.
I want to see the people look at me like I'm crazy running in 5 degree weather. I want to smile at someone in a car while I'm soaking wet from the rain. I want someone to see me with steam coming off my head from the speed workout in the middle of Winter. I don't do it to show off. I want people to see the joy I feel when running, biking or swimming. I will be riding a BMC next year in Ironman Wisconsin. I'm so excited about this, but the bike does you no good without putting in hours, days, and months of work in the cold basement over the Winter. I want to see the sweat stains from the hours of riding. I want to see the mud on my shoes from running in the mud and snow. This is not work - this is fun. This is as good as it gets. I get such a rush from all this. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure how long it will last. I'm not sure about much. I'm just 100% sure that right now, I'm ready to start my journey to Ironman Wisconsin. I just want to tell you that I plan to do a few things before that day and LOVE every minute of it. There is NO way that I would use the remote, I don't want to miss this opportunity.
So until that day, I have a few things planned:
1) Run about 1500 miles
2) Bike about 5000 miles
3) Swim about 200,000 yards
No remote needed. Just give me the joy of the mud, rain, basement, pool, ice, snow, peace, quiet, hail, thunder, gravel, blood, and anything else my 7000 mile journey will bring.
Category:general -- posted at: 7:15pm EDT
Tue, 26 September 2006
Join Team raceAthlete and Train and Race like a Pro in 2007
September 26, 2006
You can train and race like a professional in 2007.
Team raceAthlete in conjunction with CycleOps Power, Zipp Speed Weaponry, BMC Bicycles, D3 Multisport, NUUN and 2XU will showcase the improvements that can be achieved through world class equipment and training by sponsoring age-group triathletes.
The chosen triathletes will get state-of-the-art PowerTap SL's by CycleOps Power to help them train and monitor their progress with ultimate power and efficiency.
Swiss based BMC bicycles will provide them with proven bicycle technology-the TTO2 Time Machine which is very similar to the bike ridden at the Tour de France.
Zipp Speed Weaponry will provide world class speed and aerodynamic wheels and components. These are the same wheels ridden by champion Triathletes like Peter Reid.
D3 Multisport will provide comprehensive coaching and training plans for the athletes to help them with expert advice and today's most cutting edge training tools for peak performance.
2XU apparel will provide state of the art training and racing apparel to help propel the athletes to the winner's circle.
NUUN will provide one year's supply of refreshing portable electrolyte hydration.
For complete details, to join the team and to apply to get sponsored Click here.
Please note that if you have already joined Team raceAthlete, or emailed your interest in getting sponsored, you still have to submit a new application by clicking on the link above.
Sponsored triathletes will be chosen by Team raceAthlete and notified by email or phone by October 23, 2006.
We're building a real and virtual team of endurance athletes that will have exclusive access to online coaching, a bike mechanic, product discounts and promotions, and other valuable resources.
Jump in with both feet, the water is warm. We want you on our team in 2007. Click Here to join.
Here's the skinny on the sponsorship opportunities.
This is the first "race like a professional" package will go to somebody registered for IM Wisconsin 2007.
However (the cherry on top) is that we are also seeking other athletes (who don't have to be signed up for IM Wisconsin) to partially sponsors with great products and services from our main sponsors. This means that everybody is eligible.
Also, we'll be selecting another athlete to fully sponsor toward the end of the year. If you fill out the sponsorship form and you are not chosen this time, you'll be in the running for the next "race like a professional" package.
Good luck and thanks for joining us on the exciting new journey.
Category:general -- posted at: 7:42am EDT
Sat, 23 September 2006
You have got to check this out! CycleOPS is putting on this wickely cool dream clinic. Could you imagine riding with Peter Reid during the week? What about Mel? Oh yeah! Would love to see you in Temecula!
Category:general -- posted at: 11:07am EDT
Sat, 23 September 2006
IrowWidow is ready to go. I'm still working to get some great graphics, but here is the idea. IronWidow is the site for all of you that have significant others out training for endurance events. It's time to understand YOUR side of the endurance training story!
Category:general -- posted at: 9:14am EDT
Sat, 23 September 2006
When I was 12, my family ran a local golf course. This was a great thing as I was able to play golf 7 days a week. Sometimes I would play 18 and even 36 holes a day. I was always playing with different people. On one particular Summer day, I told my mom that I wanted to play. We were very busy so she told me to join the couple going next on the tee. I smiled, grabbed my clubs and started to walk to the tee. I looked over and saw an older couple that looked to be about 65 each. I turned to my mom and gave her a sour look. How could she put me with these people? I walked over and asked my mom why she put ME with THEM. She smiled and said "you better watch out, she might just beat you today." I laughed, and reluctantly walked over to start.
Mrs. "K" was 90 pounds on a good day, and I'll bet she wasn't even that much. Mr. "K" was a nice gentlemen, that I instantly took a liking too. He was very soft spoken, and had perfect manners. The guys hit, and I walked down to where Mrs. "K" would hit. A few people had gathered to watch and roll their eyes as they looked at Mrs. "K." I could see the pain as they figured Mrs. "K" was going to be horrible and slow everyone down. I continued to walk and stopped next to her. She looked older than Mr. "K" and very skinny. She took a practice swing and lined up to hit the ball. She took a perfect backswing, and hit the ball about 150 yards straight as I have ever seen. Not very far, but perfectly straight. I swallowed hard and that began the lesson I hold near to this day. She made par on the first, second and third hole. I was amazed that EVERY shot she hit was straight. Not far. Just straight. She continued this all day. After 9 holes, she shot 41 and I shot 43.
I made my way up to talk with my mom and just smiled. I was so excited to play the back nine with my new found friends, that I got a candy bar and ran back down. We talked in between each and every shot of that day. She did end up beating me that day. She shot 85, and I shot 87. This friendship continued for many years to come. I loved to play golf with them. I broke 40 for the first time with them. I also broke 80 for the first time with them. So many milestones started with them. I learned to respect and honor so much with them. I also learned the most important lesson. When you look at people, walk in their shoes before you judge. Better yet, walk in their shoes and you might just become friends.
Fast forward to Ironman 2006. As I got out of the car with James (Ironwil's husband) to find Ironwil, I walked across the road to start watching bikes roll past. I noticed a young women that had an orange jersey on. I yelled out "come on, looking great, you rock." Many more people passed, and in the distance I noticed a guy that had running shoes on. No bike cleats, just running shoes. I'm not sure why I noticed this, but I yelled "You rock man! This is your day." Soon after this, I saw Ironwil. She looked great and I screamed and ran next to her for about 20 yards. "You Rock. This is going to be an awesome day." As she passed me, James and I walked back to the car. We drove past Ironwil a few miles and stopped again. I saw the orange jersey and the guy with the running shoes. I screamed. We saw Ironwil again. This process took place about 30 times on the bike. At one point the young women in the orange jersey started to laugh like it was groundhog day. I was amazing how we saw the same group of bikers over and over again. After mile 90, James and I parked the car at the top of the last hill on the route. This was a beast of a hill. A pregnant women had rigged up her car with speakers and played the best music for all. She was dancing and screaming for all the riders. I started to run down the hill, pick a biker, and run with them up the hill screaming "Come on, this is the last hill of the day." This happened to about 100 riders. We knew we had to wait about an hour for the "group" to come, so we helped people get up that last hill. I started to recognized a few riders and I would scream "How are you?" Many would look at me and shake their head. As I ran up the hill, I would say "I would give anything to be in your shoes. This is an honor to have come this far. You are a rock star, come on. This is YOUR day. Remember the prize. You are going to be an Ironman today." I said this over and over and people would smile. A few more riders went past and they would remember me and say "thanks for being there all day for me." I would turn and say "I'm with you until you finish." I was so excited to see these people.
I looked down and saw the orange jersey coming up the hill. I started to scream. "You look awesome. Come on girl! You rock. This is YOUR day." I smiled as she looked over and I said "I will see you on the run." A few minutes later I saw the running shoe guy. "Come on! You are doing it! You are already an Ironman to me. Just go and prove it to yourself." I looked at him and said "I will see you on the run. I'm with you until I see you finish." Not long after that I saw Ironwil and said the same to her! I told her how proud I was to see that she was smiling all day. She looked straight ahead and just kept going. I sat and watched her go.
As the run started and light turned to dark, I had not see the orange jersey or the running shoe guy. I stayed close to Ironwil and watched as she ran mile after mile. At one point of the run, at mile 3 (and 15 if you were on your second loop) I watched as runners ran past and I thought back to Mrs. "K." That was the moment I realized this lesson I had learned. You cannot look at someone and judge what they are, who they are or what their intentions are. At 90 pounds Mrs. "K" could beat most people in golf. She was amazing, but did not look the part. It was the same here at Ironman. People doing the race were young and old, men and women, short and tall. Some did the race "just because", some did the race to heal the pain of losing a spouse. Some did this race to get rid of addiction. Some did this race to support a friend. Some did this race to feel part of something. Some did the race to get healthy. Some did the race to win. Some did the race to finish. Some did the race because people said they could not.
Here is what I learned from the race:
From orange jersey: I wrote down the # for orange jersey women. I sent her an E-mail with a picture that James had taken. I wanted to write this long E-Mail about how I much I enjoyed watching her journey. I never met her and I may never, but I will say that she was a rock star in my book. She wasn't someone like Andrea Fisher. She was just another face in the crowd. I just felt so intrigued to see just what brought her to this journey. What is her story? Why did she do Ironman? I now wonder what her story is. To you “Orange Jersey Woman? - I thank YOU for sharing your journey.
Running shoe guy: He brought back a very important reminder to me. When I first saw him without bike cleats, and riding a bike in running shoes, my first instinct was to say "he will never finish." After seeing him ride past me the 3rd time, I sat on the wet ground and thought about Mrs. "K." You see, running shoe guy forced me to remember the lesson that Mr. "K" taught me. "Walk in their shoes before you judge." He E-Mailed me a few days after the race with his times. He is an Ironman. You rock in my book! As I sit today, I would love to know what his story is. To you “Running Shoe Guy? I would be honored to bike in your running shoes – I thank you too for sharing your journey.
Ironwil: She gave a gift to all of us. She gave each and every person a unique opportunity. She put her running shoes on her doorstep. She put them down and asked a very simply question. "Do you want to walk in my shoes?" Mrs. "K" would be very proud. Lesson learned. She gave so much and asked for nothing. She simply let the world walk in her shoes.
I have no idea where Mrs. "K" is now as she would be almost 100. I just hope she can look down and get the chance to walk in my shoes next year at Ironman Wisconsin. I would love to pay her back for the lesson she taught to me!
Thank you Ironwil, Orange Jersey Women, and Running Shoes Guy!
Category:general -- posted at: 8:50am EDT
Sun, 17 September 2006
Stu Interviews Andrea Fisher and Jamie Cleveland before Ironman Wisconsin 2006. Also, get the details on Race Athlete. Hear the conclusion of the newbie interview with Cathryn. She rocks and finishes her first race! Check out the cool Otterbox iPod case review. Stu is soooo glad to be back. Check back soon for entry details on Team Race Athlete. Also, check out the new website coming soon for your significant other.
Tue, 12 September 2006
As you may have figured out, I've been working on some VERY VERY cool stuff. I have been so busy that I have not put out a Podcast in a few weeks. Here is a sneak peak of what is coming over the next few weeks.
1) New Podcasts with Andrea Fisher and Jamie Cleveland.
2) A companion website JUST for your spouse. I hope to help those that are NOT doing but have to deal with our "triathlon" behavior. Have your significant other check back soon for details.
3) Details on Race Athlete. This is so darn cool.
4) The start of Stu's Ironman Wisconsin journey.
5) SimplyStu WorldWide Triathlon II details.
6) Powertap clinic with Peter Reid and Melanie McQuaid details.
I have to catch my breath after the most awesome Ironman Wisconsin ever. Ironwil gave so much and I will always remember her "Wil" to race! What a day.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 9:44pm EDT
Sat, 9 September 2006
If you want to follow an Ironman in the making from start to finish check out www.throughth3wall.com. I hope to get audio, and text along the way on the journey with Ironwil from Get Your Geek On!
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 7:11pm EDT
Fri, 8 September 2006
On the Monday before Ironman I anxiously away the barrels to come off the truck. After taking the kids to school I drive a different route just in case the barrels are starting to show up on the roads. As I drive I do not see anything. I was a bit depressed, but figured that Tuesday might be the lucky day. The entire day I dream of barrels. Tuesday comes and with the same results. This cannot be happening. Each of the last 5 years, I’ve seen the barrels come out on Monday or Tuesday at the latest.
At lunch on Tuesday, I decided to ride out on the bike route in hopes I would see the barrels. As I started my ride, I had the swim route on my left. I was dreaming of the day when I would be racing in Ironman again. I know signup is only a few days away. As I dream of racing I look up and see the barrel truck. Yeeee Haaaa!
As cars passed by I did not see the excitement in the faces of the drivers. I looked at a few more drivers and saw nothing. What is going on? How could this be? I guess people do not get excited about this as much as I do. Oh well.
I get off my bike and watch as they unload one after another. This was the start of Ironman preparation. These guys were putting barrels out that would mark the first part of the route. This was so cool. This meant that I could officially start celebrating Ironman fever. I was so jazzed up. On the way home I could see the electronic sign go up that said “Ramp Closed from 6am to 6pm, Sept 10th.? How cool is that? Another piece to up the Ironman fever. I had my fill for the day.
On Wednesday I was lucky enough to meet and Interview Andera Fisher and Jamie Cleveland. Andrea is racing while Jamie is a spectator. After the barrel sightings and meeting Jamie and Andrea, I was just about to burst! Could things get any better?
Thursday night I was able to host a “Triathlon Training with Power? clinic with the AWESOME help of Scott from BMC, and all the folks at CycleOPS. I was hoping to have 50 people in total. We had 83! Wait. It gets better. Heather Haviland, Jamie Cleveland, and Allen Lim Phd did a wickedly cool presentation. They where all just super!
OK, so I’m not about ready to just self destruct as I had so much excitement! I needed to calm down. Everyone always tells me that. I get things from my training buddies like “Come on Stu, calm down,? or “Stu, this is not a race, slow down,? or “What the heck got into Stu today.? It really never changes. This is such a darn cool sport.
So what do I do to top the last 2 days? On Friday, I meet Ironwil and a bunch of others for a swim at the official race staring line. Wrong thing for me to do this since I was trying to calm down. There had to be 400 people just out for a nice easy swim. It was so awesome. WOW.
Category:SimplyStu -- posted at: 4:46pm EDT
Sun, 3 September 2006
Several weeks after the 9/11 attacks, I arranged a trip to visit the Pentagon and the World Trade center with my brother (A fireman) and my best friend. It all started as we exited the Metro (Subway) in Washington D.C. It was about a mile walk from the exit to the part of the building that was hit. Since I work partially out of Washington D.C., I had seen the Pentagon 100's of times. Even after knowing the layout of the building, I was not totally sure where the attack took place. What I had in my mind and what was actual were two different things. After coming closer to the building I was in total shock. No matter how many times I had seen it on TV, seeing it live was unbelievable. You could see crews with hoses still working on the building. As we sat and reflected, I started to look at writings people had of the day. I also took lots of pictures as this was something I never wanted to forget. Living in Wisconsin and watching this take place in Washington was so hard. Going to the Pentagon and seeing it first hand was so healing…
Later that day we took a train to New York City to see the World Trade Center. We checked into the hotel and decided we would go to the site in the AM. I had made arrangements to get onto the grounds to let my brother make peace with all that had happened and pay respects to all that had fallen, especially the Fire Fighters. As the Subway got closer to the site, I started to think back to the day all this happened. I was shaking as we got off on the last available stop. As we exited, you could still smell smoke, even after all this time. The moment I stepped out into the light of day, I was speechless. You could still see the ash on the ground. You could see it on the buildings. It was weeks prior, but you could still see, smell and taste the aftermath.
I continued to walk in silence to the gate where we were to meet with my contact to walk us to the site. We met and walked into a screening area where we had to leave all but our jackets. We did so and started to walk in areas where the general public were still not allowed. We walked in silence and could see it right in front of us. We continued to walk to the actual footprint of the buildings. You could still see piles and piles of rubble. You could see the infamous grid that you see in so many pictures. For those that have seen the footprint, it is so much bigger than you could imagine.
We did not talk much at all. There was nothing really to say. You can see by the pictures, that not much really can or needs to be said at that moment. I looked at my brother and could see the pain he felt for his fallen fraternity brothers. He is a firefighter that would have gone in that building without question as so many did.
NOTE: I want to make it clear that I'm not in any way equating what happened on 9/11 to triathlons, but what happened next will be a print on my mind for the rest of time…
As we made our way out of the building, we had nothing to say. You could still see the window shades blowing in the breeze inside the broken windows. You could still see cars and trucks with concrete slabs on top. The ash was on my shoes. As we walked down a few blocks, my friend and brother had walked ahead and I stopped in front of a store. I looked and instantly dropped to my knees. Inside the ash washed windows was a small family owned dry cleaning and shoe repair store. There were about 20 bags full of clothes. There were also rows of shoes that had tags on them. As I looked closer to all the bags, they all had one of 2 dates on them 9/10 or 9/11.
I will never forget that store. Those tags. The lives that were changed in a matter on minutes. I use this as a constant reminder that we never know what tomorrow brings. We never know what life has in store for us. For everyone that is doing the Ironman Wisconsin this year it is on a very special day. That day is September 10th, 2006. Everyone should understand that on this day before the attacks, the world had no idea what was in store. The world had no idea that the very next day would be one of the most significant days in world history. This day was the last day of innocence.
I think about this on race day for 2 reasons.
1) When it comes down to the grand scheme of things, the Ironman is not all that big of a deal. In fact when it comes to what happened on 9/11, it is not even on the radar. So, if you are worrying this week, think about the race in the big picture. If you are stressing, drop it. If you are not getting sleep, take a deep breath and relax.
2) When it comes to YOU and those you WILL inspire on race day, this is a BIG deal. This is your 9/10. Think about what a different world things were on 9/10. You have a chance to repair brick, by brick what was torn down and destroyed on 9/11. You have a chance to do your part to help restore a very small but significant piece of the world. Yes, the Ironman is a big deal. It is an amazing race. It is an inspiration. It shows what humans can do with some incredible effort, dedication and passion. Ironman is a day when people from most every country, state, race, and religion come together to show what human nature is capable of. 9/10 is the LAST day of innocence. 9/10 is the day when the world was still Naïve. 9/10 is the day that Ironman truly belongs on.
For all those doing Ironman on 9/10 - enjoy your portion of history. In the grand scheme of things your Ironman race is microscopic, but for those you inspire it is as tall as the World Trade center. Never underestimate the power you give to yourself and those that see your passion.
Category:podcasts -- posted at: 8:52pm EDT