Saturday, October 31, 2009

Talk To Me

If you ride or run regularly and haven't purchased your Road ID yet, now is the time.

Road ID is personal identification system that you wear as a bracelet or anklet. It's good for runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes and even kids! It provides important emergency contact phone numbers in case you are in an accident or can't identify yourself.

I wear the anklet when I ride. Every time. And so do most of my cycling buddies. But recently my friend told me she had bought ID bracelets for all five of her kids to wear at Disneyland. Genius! Haven't we all been lost or have lost children at Disneyland? Wait, that might just be me. I am one of six Funk kids.

Believe me, I am aware of the hazards of cycling. And I am confident a Road ID can buy you valuable time if you are in need of medical attention. Just to be safe, order yours today.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Random Epiphany

As I was boogie woogying around the kitchen today, I had this funny realization: the dance moves I've used from junior high school through college are all I got.

I used to laugh at my parents or anyone older than me when they danced. Their movements seemed so ... dated. They'd throw a little waltz-type box step in with an under-the-arm pass through. Totally out of style. My mom even had the Chubby Checker "Twist" in her dance repertoire!

Now here I am -- my mother.

It's pretty funny when you think about it. We never seem to lose those moves that got us through proms and college formals. They are ingrained in our brain.

Talk about muscle memory.

Good thing Michael Jackson and I are such good dancers.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Gobble Gobble

Today in AZ it finally felt like Fall. The morning was crisp and chilly and dark. The cyclists were wearing their arm warmers. And the after-the-kids-depart morning stayed overcast and grey. I loved it.

It's times like these that SETTING A GOAL is a good move. Face it, who wants to wake up and run on a dark canal or ride in the freezing cold? With Fall comes Winter, and with the dropping temps, it feels like it's time to take that long winter's nap. Setting a goal will keep you focused and scheduled and just might eliminate those mornings when you want to crawl back under that toasty down comforter.

Races give you an extra incentive to run. Signing up for a 5-K or 10-K is a great goal for anyone. Next month there is a Turkey Trot in almost any town in the U S of A. There are marathons in Phoenix, and half marathons in Queen Creek. Get to and check it out for yourself.

And take along a friend. When you have to meet at some crazy hour to get in a long run, it's nice not to do it alone.

So Goals and Friends. That's what I got today. It works. I promise.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Behold, the $55 cycling sock

I found these in a high end "Snottsdale" cycling shop. Yes, you read it correctly, $54.95. For two socks. Cashmere, okay. But two socks.

I am constantly reminded that the cycling world has two distinct consumers: those that ride because they love to ride, and those that ride because they love the gear. I had this epiphany at the top of Bald Mountain this year in Deer Valley, when I realized I was riding next to nearly 24 thousand dollars worth of mountain bikes, and four riders.

I don't want to fault anyone. But as I scanned the hill and watched the local teenagers tearing up the mountain on their beat up, squeaky clunker bikes, it didn't take a rocket scientist to notice that expensive gear does not equal a better time on the bike. These young riders were laughing, screaming, and enjoying their ride just as much as my swanky Assos-clad friends. (Assos =Swiss made cycling apparel/expensive)

When my younger brother Dave decided to try out cycling for himself, he jumped on my old aluminum Specialized and proceeded to pass every cyclist on the road. He didn't need the most lightweight, newly-released titanium model. He just needed a bike and his freakishly strong legs and he was hooked.

So if you are all about the $550 handmade Italian cycling shoes, or the top-of-the-line Pinarello... go on, and enjoy. But remember that it doesn't take the newest ride on the street to enjoy a great day of cycling. It only takes you and two wheels...and a comfortable seat.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Maximum Swim

Training for the open water swim requires many, many hours in the pool. And those hours might as well be optimal performance hours, right? Here's something that just might help you in the pool.

A study conducted at St. Cloud University compared the effects of energy gels and water with water alone on the performance of competitive swimmers in a hard workout. Twelve swimmers received the gel packets and completed a difficult college level swim workout. Each swimmer did the workout twice - once with gels and once without on seperate days.

The results noted that swimmers' times slowed down significantly more over the course of the workout when they received only water during their day. Every timed 100-yard sprint was significantly faster in the gel trial than in the water-only trial. And in the gel trial, swimmers maintained their performance through 20 sprints, while the water only swimmers slowed down after just the fourth sprint.

Based on these results, it is beneficial to slurp down one packet of energy gel right before you start your swim workout. (They also recommend an additional gel every 30 minutes during the workout). This provides a signal to your brain that there is extra energy available for your muscles and allows you to perform at a higher level. And don't forget to keep your bottle of water at the edge of the pool to stay hydrated, too.

Saturday, October 10, 2009


It happened today in the little town of Kona, Hawaii. The Ironman World Championships. All the drama and action will be unveiled soon as a television special event. Until then, we'll all just have to wait.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Okay, sometimes I am a little slow. I have to learn things ... visually. I have to take a moment. And it's times like these that I feel it is my obligation to pass along my newly acquired information to you. Just in case you're a step behind the curve, like me. I'm sure you're not. But just in case.

Last week, it was time to order new tires for the Guru (my tri bike). Four weeks from Ironman and the tread was dead. After consulting Jim (my OTHER guru) for recommended tire brands, I ordered the Continental 4000s.

The tires came this week and when I asked Jim to help me put the them on, he came right over and we got to work. Um, well, he got to work. Opening the box, Jim announced to me that I had ordered "Twenties". Alrighty then. Not sure what that meant. But as I watched him work, I noticed that it took a bit of "muscle" to get these babies around the wheel. Lots of gripping and adjusting and even a little bit of talcum powder.

So what, pray tell, is a Twenty? A Twenty equals the width in millimeters of the tire. Notice the difference between the Dave's super fast Specializes tires

and the tires on this cruiser bike.

The cruiser has a way wider tire -- which puts more contact on the road, which provides a slower, more stable ride. I had been riding with a 23mm tire. But now I am at least three millimeters higher off the road. That equates to speed, baby! When I got on the bike yesterday I did notice a difference between the fatties I had been using and the new Twenties.

Well, that's it. Just a little common sense physics lesson for today. If you want to go fast, use the smaller tires. They come in 25s, 23s and 20s. Now you know.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Gym Rats

Fall leaves and the cooler weather tend to signal the "off season" for athletes. We take a break from long runs and ridiculously long bike rides. And we tend to avoid the pool and curl up under that warm down comforter for a few more minutes. But what we should be doing is making time for strength training!

Master's athletes (that's adults who think they still can race) need year round time in the gym. With mornings a little more accesible, 30 minutes twice a week can keep you strong, injury free and even more powerful for next season's races.

Commit right now to a strength program that involves sweat and work instead of jaw reps and socializing. Light weights and high reps will not gain power in your legs or arms. Get off the machines and work with stability balls, Bosus, dumbbells and ankle bands.

Here are 10 exercises perfect for triathletes and marathoners during the on and off season. Remember that more movement equals more calories burnt so standing exercises always trump sitting or lying on a weight machine. Even if you don't use these exercises, just watching all these gym rats on youtube is totally awesome! I love the music in the background. Hilarious.

1. Cook Hip Lift
2. Hip Flexor Stretch
3. Reverse Lunges with Bar
4. Reverse Fly
5. Single Leg Squat
6. Single leg dead lift
7. 1 arm/1 leg cable row
8. Cable Lift and Chop
9. Single Leg Heel Raise
10. Stability Ball Push Up

Monday, October 5, 2009

Why I Love The Marathon

In a word - DRAMA. There's more butterflies, tears, elation and suspense in that twenty six point two miles than any bestselling novel or box office movie out there. And Saturday I observed it all.

Thirteen point one. Halfway up Snow Canyon Parkway. That's where I positioned myself to help cheer on the Mesa gang for the 2009 St. George Marathon. Check off that first half, folks, it's on to victory now! And within a few minutes - the race unfolded. First, the quiet and beautiful wheelchairs sliced down the highway. Silent, amazing and inspirational. The men and women would push and push and push their wheels with a cadence as fast as any runner's stride.

A few minutes later the first runner passed -- so effortless and efficient. (So THAT is what running is supposed to look like.) The chasers came singularly at first. One. Then another. Then another. Until Ben LeSueur in his neon singlet whooshed past me in a blaze of glory. He would go on to finish at 2:37, his personal best and a top twenty finish. After that, the gaps begin to close. Runners filled the expanse of the highway. And mixed between the colorful tanks, shorts and visors, I got a glimpse of my friends.

We ran individually and collectively for the next hour and fifty minutes. I chatted. They listened. (I've never had such a captivated audience!) I retrieved water, and talked them through the hills. And in return, they rocked it. I know they suffered. I know they challenged themselves. But they finished strong. There were goals realized and Boston times achieved. It was a PR day for many.

Congratulations to all the finishers. You inspired me with your determination and dedication. I know it wasn't easy. I watched you dig deep and turn those legs over. I watched you follow your heart. It was a day of dreams and I loved participating without being a participant. Thank you for inspiring me to reach higher in all that I do.

Kudos to Karen Scoresby, Michelle and Jared Cox, Charlotte Rush, Jenny Allen, Amanda and Mitch Bogle, Jacque Arnett, Sally Johnson, the Tri Mesa Boys. And Dawn Bollinger, Cordell Rogers, and Marnie Brian too!
Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True