Monday, August 30, 2010

Pump It

Serfas Bike Floor Pump

Bike pumps are tricky.  It's like, once you have your very own, it's hard to use someone else's without looking like an idiot.  All of the sudden you don't know how to fill your own tires.  You are putting your whole race in jeopardy when you borrow someone else's pump in a transition area.  It's a crap shoot.

Which is why getting the right pump is muy importante.

I've used a few in my day, but here are two I really enjoy.  First, my Serfas pump is my "go to" pump.  I use it before every ride.  It's easy, breasy, beautiful...  I just love it.


Another pump in my collection is the Blackburn.  True story: my original Blackburn lasted about 6 years then broke somehow.  But my friend, Curt Kempton, former owner of a bike shop, told me to that Blackburns have a LIFETIME guarantee.  Will wonders never cease?  I ran that old pump back to Mike's Bike Chalet and Mike swapped me out a new pump No Questions Asked.  Slick!  Way to go Blackburn for being so cool.

Two great options for two great floor pumps.  You're gonna use one every time you ride.  You might as well get a goodie.  There might be better ones on the market.  But these two have withstood the test of time.  And that says a lot.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

More Wisdom From Compendium

A goal is a dream set to paper.  Don't just think it - ink it.

According to Dave Kohl, professor emeritus at Virginia Tech, people who regularly write down their goals earn NINE TIMES as much over their lifetimes as the people who don't, and yet 80 percent of Americans say they don't have goals.  Sixteen percent do have goals, but they don't write them down.  Less than four percent write down their goals, and fewer than one percent actually review them on an ongoing basis.  Guess which percent?  

Write your dreams down!  (Look, they just became goals!)

I'm writing this one down:  Xterra Triathlon 2011

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Five Years...260 weeks...1,825 days...2,333,000 minutes

Where do you picture yourself in five years from now?  What will you have accomplished?

I picked up this great book from Compendium that asks that exact question, then gives you all the motivation in the world to get out there and get it done!

Did you know:
In five years Columbus opened up a whole new world by discovering the Bahamas, Cuba, Hispanolia, and North and South America.

In just under five years, Michaelangelo painted the Sistene Chapel.

In less than five years Shakespeare wrote "Hamlet," "Othello," "King Lear," "Macbeth" and five other immortal plays.

In 1961, Julia Child graduated from cooking school with a quirky idea for a TV show.  Four years later she won an Emmy as America's Favorite TV Chef.

Fired from their home improvement jobs, Arthur Black and Bernie Marcus created a business model called Home Depot and went public with their idea.  Just three years after losing their jobs their annual sales were $1 billion.

At age 30, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was living in a 500-square foot apartment.  Five years later his net worth was $10 billion.

What do YOU want to do with the next five years?  Run a marathon?  Lose weight? Compete in an Ironman?  Don't say you don't have enough time.  You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Einstein, Ghandi, and Babe Ruth.

Today is your day.  Seize it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

What Sparks Your Dreams?

So an Ironman might not be your dream.  What is?

For my friend, Margie, her dream is to inspire others to create and bring out their inner artist.  She's been fulfilling that dream since I've known her, when we used to scrapbook together and hang out with our little chillins.

Today she has created her own empire.  She's got her own line of scrapbook paper and supplies, has an online kit of the month club, and has traveled around the world teaching paper arts to thousands of women.

Her latest venture is Spark #2, where she will bring hundreds of women together to enjoy crafting and creating, along with an artisan market in Linden, Utah.

The event is September 11-12, and unfortunately, I will not be there because I will be riding in the the Best Buddies Challenge along the PCH with my friends, Anthony and Maria Shriver.
But if you're in the neighborhood, you should really attend.  It looks very cool.

So cute.  So wishing I was going to be there!  

Whatever your dream, Dream Big and ignite the spark that makes you, YOU!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Why Can't We Be Friends?

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times.  All it takes is one good friend to help you fight the battle of that super soft pillow in the mornings.   If you could find one friend who is consistent and a little bit faster and stronger than you, it's a real nice bonus.  And if you could find one who wants to run or swim a little longer than you, or climb one more mountain on the bike with you, you've got yourself a real gem.

Fortunately, I've got lots of friends who aren't afraid to set their alarms in "the threes" to get up for a long bike ride.  They embrace the darkness of the early morning/very late night runs.  They turn back up the mountain for yet one more interval.  And swim off into the sunrise. They are crazy.

But crazy is as crazy does.  And we are better off because of it.

Thank you, friends.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Gorilla Wear - Get It While It's HOT!

Sometimes it's all about the fashion, right?  I mean, if you can't snow ski worth a dang, doesn't it help to have the cutest ensemble on the mountain?

In the tri world, wearing the right stuff is key to playing the part.  A good "kit" as they are called, will at least make you LOOK like you know what you are doing.

As a partnering coach with Gorilla Multisport, I am proud of the jerseys and tri suits that we wear.  They are electric blue and black and proudly display our lovely gorilla logo on every item.  Our slogan is:  "It's a little like wrestling a gorilla.  You don't quit when you're tired, you quit when the gorilla is tired."

We are placing another with Pactimo this Thursday, August 26th (wow, anniversary reminder).  If you are interested in anything, leave a comment and I will get back to you!

Gorilla Coaches wearing running tanks and running tees
The Men's Tri Top and Bottom 

The girls sporting the tri tops and shorts. 

 The Jerseys

Pricing is here Pactimo.   And here is the sizing.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Shoe Do

If you're in the market for a new pair of shoes, it's a great idea to bring your old pair with you to the running store.  Did you know shoes can tell a great deal about the way you run and your gait?

Try this on for size:

1.  Place your shoes side by side on a elevated surface like a table, with the toes pointing toward you.

2.  Look at the shoes from eye level.

3.  If either or both lean noticeably to one side, or are obviously worn, then you have either:

*  Over-pronation, if they lean inward.  In which case Stability models are best for you.

*  Underpronation, if they lean outward.  Then neutral shoes are best for you.

Typically you will have an under or overpronation on at least one foot.  This is normal.  Only about 20 percent of runners have a neutral running gate.  Consider yourself lucky if that is you.  

Oh, and don't worry, there's all kinds of crazy running styles out there.  A lot people have learned to perfect their styles and run FAST!  Keep good form in your mind, but RELAX while you run and enjoy it.

And thanks Newton, for the tips.


Thursday, August 19, 2010


Shop for a Shop

That's good advice in this month's Bicycling Magazine.

Let's face it.  There are LOTS of nice bikes out there.  I'd compare shopping for a bike to searching for a new car -- there are Hondas, Toyotas, Chevrolets - all good brands and all great values.  So which one do you buy?

At this point, it's purely YOUR personal choice.  Which bike grabs your attention?  Which one pulls at your heartstrings? p/s Bikes pull at my hearstrings.

Now take one step back and look at the bike shop.  Is it convenient and close to your house?  Do you feel comfortable there?  Is everyone helpful and knowledgeable and willing to take some time to work with you?  A bike shop is an important tipping point in selecting that perfect bike.

I've got a few good recommendations if you're looking.
Not my local bike shop...but cute!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

For Those About To Run, We Salute You

Those Cross Country high school kids impress me.  Or XC or Cross.   They inspire and motivate and keep me watching.

I don't know about you, but this 40 something wanna-be runner was not setting her alarm clock at 4:45 a.m. in high school to join her fellow teammates for an early morning run.  I was not logging in hundreds of miles over the summer to improve my times for the next season.  I was not taking AP Calc, and studying for ACTs and volunteering and making sure my GPA was in the 4.0s all while running the daily mileage as prescribed by my coach.

No, no, no.  Not me.

But these are the kids on the cross country teams I see today.  They are high achievers who rise before the sun for long canal runs.  They workout in the heat of the day when you'd find it uncomfortable to watch from the bleachers.  They stretch daily.  They listen to their coaches.  They watch what they eat.  They GO TO BED EARLY.  Yes, high schoolers!

Mountain View High School and every high school cross country team around the nation, well done!  You are the future.  And the future looks pretty good to me.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A.M. Aromas

Dear Cyclist,

Let's ixnae the erfumepae or the olognekay on the morning rides.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Adding In Weights

Most triathletes have a great aerobic base.  They've spent hours and hours running, biking and swimming.  But's hard to carve out one more chunk of time for strength training.

Using your time in the gym wisely can give you a big advantage on your next race.  Joe Friel has some great pointers in his book The Triathlete's Training Bible.

Here are some guidelines I follow:
-- Plan for 30 minutes in the gym.  Take your ipod if you are chatty.  Go in with a purpose and get it done.

-- Focus on prime movers.  For triathletes, that's hamstrings, glutes, lats and chest.  But don't forget the core.  If the core is weak the whole body fails.

--  Use multi-joint exercises.  Bicep curls move a single joint. Squats, however, involve three joints, the hip, knee and ankle.  These exercises give you more bang for your buck.

--Keep the number of exercises low.  To concentrate on specific movements, keep your workout simple and focus more on the number of sets you will do than the number of exercises.

--Periodize your strength training.  Keep your overall training plan and goals in mind when you begin strength training.   Every third or fourth week you should reduce your training volume in the gym to coincide with a recovery week.  Then, eliminate or scale back strength training as a race gets closer.  

--Don't forget to stretch.  Take a few minutes out of your gym time to stretch. There are great stretch apparatuses in the gym or if you are working out with a friend, stretch each other.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Congregation

Most cyclists keep a dedicated list of their favorite rides in their theoretical spandex back pocket.  Around these parts, some of these rides are called "The Frontside", "The Backside", "EOP" and "The Beeline Loop".   And then of course, there's "Nine Mile Hill."  

Nine Mile Hill  winds it's way through Fountain Hills, then pecan groves and the McDowell Mountains, then Rio Verde.  Then there is Nine Mile Hill.  After climbing, you guessed it, nine miles, the pavement dumps you into north Scottsdale where you encounter something akin to this:
Okay, okay, so it's not quite THAT.  But there are dozens of bikes parked, propped and balanced on the curb and walls of a mighty Circle K.  Where is my camera when I need it?

Like a hive of bees making honey for the queen, there are cyclists coming and going and milling about in all states of busyness.  In all their colorful and tightly clothed glory, they are refilling their water bottles, sippin' on sodas, munching on power bars and even grabbing fresh donuts.

I've been mulling over in my brain lately the human desire to be part of something.  The desire to share with others something that is really awesome to you.  To belong. For me, I guess it's this triathlon thing.  For my friend Shane, it's the Rollercoaster Enthusiasts club.  To each his own.  

What I like about cycling, is this:  getting off the bike to refuel, to say hello, to talk amongst yourselves,  to congregate.  You just don't get that in swimming and running.  Swimming is so solitary.  And not many runners stop off for a Krispy Kreme mid run.  But cyclists do!

At this Circle K you'll see Tri Scottsdale northsiders swappin stories with East Valley Brumbys.  The DNA posse mingles with the Landis roadies.  It's all very communal and joyful.  There is talk of poor  road conditions and the water truck that tried to side swipe any/all cyclists in her path.  And there is a lot of oogling over the newest ride in the bunch.  Ooooh, a Pinarello Prince in black on black.  Nice.

It's a funny bunch.  But, I belong.  And so does anyone who rides up on a bike, looking for a drink, and ready to make a friend.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Racing Weight by Matt Fitzgerald

Interesting stuff from this month's Triathlete Magazine:

You've been told a million times that you should eat breakfast.  Well I'm here to suggest that you eat not just any breakfast, but a big breakfast.

Here's why:  People who eat breakfast every day tend to be leaner than those who routinely skip it.  You may think it's because breakfast revs up the body's metabolism, but that's actually a myth.  Instead, it appears that eating breakfast reduces appetite throughout the day.  So people who eat breakfast actually eat less overall that people who skip it.

In fact, a study conducted by University Texas El Paso found that the fewer calories people ate before noon, the more total calories they ate in the entire day.  That's right:  The more you eat before midday, the less you are likely to eat overall.

A couple of years ago, Daniela Jakubowicz, an endocrinologist at Virginia Commonwealth University, decided to find out how far she could take this idea.  She fed a variety of different breakfasts to women enrolled in a weight loss program.  Those who ate a large breakfast containing 610 calories lost a lot more weight than women given a modest-sized 290-calorie breakfast.  

What sort of breakfast has 610 calories?  How about two scrambled eggs, a bagel with low-fat cream cheese and a small glass of orange juice?  That's not a Denny's Grand Slam, but it's a pretty substantial meal, and certainly more than many people - even many triathletes - eat.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Butt...of course

I heard on talk radio the other day that America has chosen the butts of Jennifer Lopez and Kim Kardashian as some of the nicest in the country.  Well, I'm not too sure who was voting, but I'm not going to jump on the bandwagon for that one.  My idea of a nice butt is one that is strong, small and packs a punch.  Track sprinters come to mind. Is that TMI?
Exhibit A:  Gabby Reece and her friends playing volleyball.

Glutes are the largest muscle in the human body and play an important part of  injury prevention for athletes of all types.  If muscles are stronger around the pelvis, the core is more solid and stable.  If they are weak, there is greater risk of unstable, inefficient movement while running cycling and swimming.

So how can you tell if your butt is ...bootylicious?  I mean stable?  A simple test is to stand in front of the mirror, balance on one leg and squat halfway to the floor.  Try one leg, then the other.  Does your pelvis stay level, does your knee move inward, do your feet stay straight?  All of these are clues to instability in the core (think inner abs/butt/lower back).

Um, need I say more?
If you're solid and stable, congratulations.  If not, it's time to add these exercises to your fitness regime: single leg squats.  The key is to build your butt strength by adding at glute strengthening exercises at least three times per week to your routine.  This will help improve your stability and the overall curvature of your assets.

In addition, five to six minutes of planks per day should be the norm for anyone who wants to reduce the chance of  injury and increase overall athletic performance.  

I'm starting my new routine today.  And though I can't promise that I will ever look like a track sprinter, my hopes at defying gravity a few more years might just last a little longer.  

Monday, August 9, 2010


Here is the crew at Spudman. Looking goood, man.

But what I want you to pay attention to are the shoes on Talia, far right.  She's got her sister on her back.  Talia's wearing the Vibram Five Finger shoes.  Can you see them there, the pink ones?

Talia had never ran in them before.  And her report:  Loved them!

Hmmm.  There you go.  One person's opinion of those crazy glove-like shoes.  Oh, and btw,  Talia runs track for Utah State, so she can run.

If anyone else has an opinion on these shoes, I'm listening...

Here's the Vibram deets:  Unlike conventional shoes that insulate you from your surroundings, FiveFingers footwear deepens your connection to the earth and your surroundings. FiveFingers enhance your sense of touch and feel, while improving foot strength, balance, agility, and range of motion. Because wearing Vibram FiveFingers is so close to going barefoot, you’ll enjoy the health and performance benefits of barefooting without some of the risks.

A Second Attempt at Falling Whistles-- Read On

falling whistles

Saturday, August 7, 2010

What My Kids Are Into...And Me Too

Abby bought these in Park City this week, then showed me the video.  I was inspired.  I like how Falling Whistles dreams big.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Spudman 2010

There are a lot of good reasons to sign up for Spudman:  Pre-race baked potato and spaghetti dinner served by the Burley Lions Club;  miles and miles of bountiful farmlands, grazing horses and fantastic rolling hills;  a relaxed race atmosphere without the silly body markings that seem to tattoo themselves on your calves and shoulders.  Yes, these are all great reasons to make the drive up to eastern Idaho for an Olympic distance tri.

But the number one reason:  sleeping under the stars.

At this particular event, the citizens of Burley welcome you with open arms.  There is no rule book on where you may park your car and pull out your sleeping bag for the night.  No, sleeping arrangements are only determined on your best vantage point of the night's sky - that, and if you are in the path of the driving range sprinklers that click on in the wee hours of the morning.

There is much to enjoy about swimming in the Snake River with a current so strong you could never form a stroke and still get a swim PR.  The bike course is a little Tour de Farms-esque. And the run, ha!  The city's water trucks are stationed every three miles to douse you in a shower of cool refreshment - just in case it gets a little hot out there.

The Spudman is so popular these days you have to enter in a lottery and hope for the best.  But it's only $5 to enter.  Here's what the website says: 
Entry Fee and Refunds

The entry fee is $85.00 for individuals and $255.00 for teams. The fee includes: (Carbo Dinner) (Drawing) (T-shirt) (Swim cap) (Post Race Fruit & Refreshments) (Complete Results) (Hopefully a Fun Race).

Yes, it was a fun race.  I did it for the swim cap... and the post race fruit.  

But if you do it in 2011, bring your sleeping bag, your blow-up mattress, and lots of family and friends.  Who cares what your finishing time will be.  It's the TIME with them, under the stars, that matters.

Que lindo es sonar despierto.
How lovely it is to dream while you are awake.

Dreams That Have Come True