Iowa Speedway: Newton Gets Nationwide Race!

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As a family that took a chance on Iowa Speedway's Newton Club membership in 2007, I'm pleased to announce that our "stock" just went up.  We've been blessed with an Indy series race for the last 2 seasons...but now, we're taking a step into the big leagues of NASCAR.

It's officially been announced that Newton's own Iowa Speedway will have a NASCAR Nationwide Series race on August 1, 2009. 

During that race, I'll be sitting in the same beautiful season seats inside the Newton Club area that I will have for life. 

Someday we may get a NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series race and the dream of all racing dreams...a SPRINT CUP race.  Of course we'll have to sell out every seat and keep adding incrementally before the big boys come to Iowa but that's OK.  It's good to have goals.

If you meet me in person this week please forgive my perma-smile.  I'm just dreaming of the smell of race gas and watching the heavy hitters duel it out in my own lovely home state of Iowa.

HyVee Triathlon Tentatively Scheduled for West Des Moines in 2009

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The decision seems to have been made to move the HyVee Triathlon to West Des Moines permanently.  Although it's not "final" according to some reports, the decision has caused some controversy. 
Article in DSM Register.

Gray's Lake, the original swim venue is certainly more susceptible to flooding earlier than Blue Heron Lake at Raccoon River Park (this year's alternate location).  However, I do think some of the ambiance of running and spinning through the streets of downtown Des Moines is lost. 

This year was my first year so I don't know what I'm missing yet, but I'd like to see planners make decisions on factors other than a massive flood that many are calling the "500 year flood."  Of course 1993 was the "100 year flood" so within 15 years we've taken care of 600 years worth of calamity :)

I've just accepted the role as "The swimmer" for a sprint tri relay team in 3 weeks.  That means 500 meters in a lake, then sit around and wait for the team.  I'm using this as a short term goal to cut weight and train like Michael Phelps (or maybe like his 3rd cousin James "Lefty" Phelps who tried out for the local Y swim team but was kicked off for hitting another kid when the boy inadvertently knocked Lefty's smoke from his hand and into the pool.  Lefty was quoted as saying, " smoke!)

That's completely false by the way.

Do you think you could eat 12,000 calories a day?

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A story in the New York Post describes Olympic history making Michael Phelps's diet and its a gargantuan 12,000 calories a day.  I absolutely believe it.

It's probably tough for most to believe that a steady supply of mayo and fried eggs is conducive to Olympic Gold (Maybe Sumo Gold)...but the burn rate of calories in swimming is just unreal.

When I was training for the HyVee Tri, I was only swimming about 2800-3600 meters per session.  That was a lot to me.  If you read this USA Today piece on Phelps however, you'll find that,

Phelps will swim at least 80,000 meters a week, nearly 50 miles. That includes two practices a day, sometimes three when he's training at altitude.

That's over 11k every single day, 7 days a week.  I've heard estimates that men of roughly 170lbs can burn upwards of 700 calories an hour swimming.  I'm sure there's a variation there but you get the idea. 

The bottom line is that he probably needs the fatty calorically dense foods just to meet a daily requirement and not begin to waste muscle or deplete glycogen stores in his muscles. 

If you start swimming to burn off that pizza and beer, just be warned that when you stop burning your 12k a day and stop need to CUT BACK the eating.  It's a very delicate dance indeed. 

Now go for a swim at the local Y and then head to the local Cracker Barrel and tell'em you want the "Lefty Special" (Chicken Fried Steak, 4 Biscuits w/Gravy, those incredible cheesy potatoes, 6 eggs, short stack, endless coffee, orange juice, and 12 pieces of bacon as an appetizer)  Not sure...I've just heard of this ;)

RAGBRAI 2008 Debrief

We had an amazing time cruising across the Eastern third of Central Iowa last week.  The weather began cold and rainy and we all couldn't believe daytime highs in the 60's in late July in Iowa. (Global Warming is no doubt responsible for the cold temps...or maybe it was GWB...anyway...

We stayed at host family houses again camping once and staying in a basement another night.  The next step of course is a motorhome and/or hotels.

Our team has grown again with the addition of our neighbor Mike.  Mike has never done RAGBRAI and didn't know what it was all about or how he'd fare along with 10k of his best biking friends.  I'm happy to say that Mike was giddy with joy and amazement as we meandered at times....rode in 27mph pace lines at times (a first for him) and ate hamburgers with bloody mary's and beers at 8:30AM.  (Mind you your matabolism and hunger are both raging when you're riding 6 hours a day for 75 miles.

Of course Gerard...uber buddy and purveyor of Luke Manohan's Cycling Tours in CA led the way with expertise and guidance...not to mention the comic relief and photography.

Pictures will come soon but we're already looking forward to a larger and more robust team next year. 

You can check out a few shots already that we posted via TwitPic here.

So my wife says..."Hey, you should do the triathlon next year again"

I've been pushing triathlon out of my mind.  "Just do it once and retire."  When people have asked me how the race was, my response has been, "It was kind of boring actually...more like executing my training but doing 3 full pieces vs. only 2 at a time.  (I'd never done the actually 3 sports in succession).  I didn't push too hard or really go for it because I didn't know how my body would react. I do.  I'm certain I could shave 20 minutes off my time if not more.  I'm now mentally gearing up for the fall and planning my indoor training/diet activities in my head.  Oh this disease!

The rest of the summer has been designated as cycling plus core/strength exercises.  I don't think I'll go hard core on the cardio again until after Christmas this time.

Anyway, HyVee Triathlon we come :)

Update on the post race grace period:  I just spent 2 weeks in CA eating and drinking everything known to man.  I've put on 8lbs and loved every minute of it.  Yes 8lbs in 2 weeks.  I'm sure it will shed quickly and I don't want to see another Brat for at least 6 months.

Into 3rd Training Day of the "Hundred Pushups" Routine

U.S. Marines count out push-ups.

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I've decided that in my "post triathlon figure out what the next challenge will be"'s best to not think too deeply and just act.  So I'm going to spend the rest of the busy summer doing isometric, plyometric, core, and other alternative fun stuff to build a strength base while cutting fat through the end of August.

Part of that plan is the quest to do 100 consecutive push ups by leveraging the plan over at Hundred Pushups.

I'm doing well and the rest day into between training days seems to be just enough time to recover.  You don't realize how great push ups are in a workout routine until you're doing 65+ in a session. 

Remember, it's probably better to be able to lift your own body weight to get out of a tough physical situation than proclaim, "But in the gym I can lift 75lb dumbellssssssssssss" as you fall. 

Can You Do 100 Pushups?

I can't do 100 push ups either.  However, a little strength building program out there at Hundred Pushups says they can get me there in 6 weeks.  I'm starting today. 

My next committment to physical fitness is going to involve more strength training, mass gaining, fat cutting...and we'll see where that takes me for a while.  This seems like a great start.

If you decide to do this, let me know how you do. 

Hy-Vee Triathlon Also Site of Tragic Loss for Iowa

I received an email on my Blackberry on the way home from the Iowa Corn 250 Indy Car race that Jim Goodman had died after experiencing problems during the first leg of the Hy-Vee Triathlon.  I am deeply saddened about this and feel for his family. 

I knew Jim, had met with him recently, and listened to his Iowa Business Hour radio show frequently.  This is a huge loss to the Iowa business community and obviously for his family and vast network of friends and colleagues.

My condolences go out to his family. 

First Olympic Distance Tri in the books: The HyVee Triathlon


The Hy-Vee Triathlon is in the books folks.  The race went as planned.  I think the most satisfying part of the deal is that it was "boring" with nothing in particular to overcome.  It felt like I was training and while executing each piece, simply zoned into training mode.  I knew that my quads would be a bit crampy after a couple miles on the I knew the feeling, sucked down some gator aide and it subsided...just like training. 

My only goal starting out was to FINISH and NOT be last in my age group.  I can say proudly that I was 150th out of 168...36-40 year old men.   I was 707th of 857 male finishers.  These numbers make me very happy. 

After the race we quickly made our way home, got ready and drove out to watch the the Iowa Corn 250 Indy race at Iowa Speedway.  What a day!

I'm really not certain if I'll do anymore triathlons.  When I began this quest last October, I had no idea that triathlon is almost a "lifestyle" and that there are probably 30 more triathlons around Iowa alone of various distances.  The training demands of 3 distinct sports are pretty stressful on schedules and family.  Not to mention the body.  There are really no excuses though since I spent most of my day getting passed by people much older and in better shape than I.  The organizers write your age on the back of your left calf.  Nothing is more (motivating?) humbling than watching 52, 61, 48, and 59 cruise by you while you're lumbering up a hill.

I've been tossing around the idea of switching into weight lifting and martial arts mode as the next longer term challenge/goal.  I've had great luck setting a new "off in the distance" physical goal and executing a plan to reach it.  That mode has given me the mojo to stick with a healthy and active lifestyle.  I hope I'm setting an example that our kids will latch onto.

Thank you
As always a special thanks goes out to my lovely wife for encouraging me and putting up with my training schedule/demands.  She has found her way into a women's cycling club and is pursuing her own healthy goals as well.  Thanks to my little munchkins for always being interested in what I'm doing and for coming along to "Their Gym" (ie the play area at Aspen).

Thanks to Steve Reese and all of the team at Fitness Together in Clive for training me from day 1 when my goal was simply to get in shape for RAGBRAI of 2007 and for the magical stretching/sports therapy that gave me "Happy Legs" that were eager to swim/bike/run!  Thanks also to Ryan and Bill from Nutri-Sport/Full Potential Training who helped me with my nutritional needs and my last burst of weight lifting circuit training to cut fat and gain endurance. 


Swim:  1.5km = 33.20
Bike:     40km = 1:23:40
Run:    10km =  1:04:17

balance of time was transitions.

Update:  Official Time 3:10:30


48 hours til the Hy-Vee Triathlon

Image by mcbill via Flickr

I attended the pre-race briefing and expo this morning...all leading up to the Hy-Vee Triathlon on Sunday.  I'll be getting into the water at 6:07AM and making my way out into the middle of a very nice lake while most of the world still sleeps.  (7/8ths of a mile or 1.5km)

At about 6:40AM, I'll emerge from that water, ditch my trusty Quintana Roo wet suit, and hop on my Trek Madone 5.2SL for a stroll through West Des Moines.(24 miles or 40k)

At about 8:00AM, I'll park my bike and dawn running shoes and a visor and begin running up and down hills.

At about 9:07 I'll cross the finish line and raise my hands having completed an Olympic Distance Triathlon for the first (and probably the last) time.

I'm already getting nervous with all of the details, prep, logistics.
What will it be like tomorrow night as I try to sleep knowing that the alarm is going off at 245AM or so.  Yes, we need to be down there early.

Here we go!