24 year wedding anniversary

It seems hard to imagine we’ve been married 24 years - I’ve officially been married to Beth longer than I was not married to Beth!  That’s longer than some of you have been alive.

I will save the super sappy post for our 25th anniversary; today I’ll just say it’s been great to be married to someone who is smart, athletic and attractive and also your best friend and playmate.  Who else would want to celebrate their anniversary with a 4 mile run through slush and ice?

I never thought I gonna win this thing, honestly. If you could have seen me three weeks ago (…), I had to cry and go in the car with my coach. I thought I couldn’t even finish the thing. I was so close to just fly home and stop my career. But then you see, never, never judge your life because of one bad day. Judge it because of the best day!
—  Sebastian Kienle, 2014 Ironman World Champion
Ironman Florida, The Duathlon Sneak Peak

Mike (ExitRowIron) and I are still in route after Ironman Florida, so I can’t make a full blown race report for a day or two. We wanted to thank everyone for rooting for us and thinking about us. It was a crazy, cold and windy day out there but it was great to be out on the course together. My parents also came to spectate and help which made it very special, too. We’ll post pictures and all of the details soon.


I thought this picture was funny- our reactions to the cancellation of the swim due to rip tides and high winds. We were just about to line up on the beach when they cancelled it. Not hard to tell which one of us was in the pool for 11,000 yards a week for 30 weeks and which one is one the road traveling so much that they didn’t have much pool time.  

Here is my dad photo-bombing us with the reaction to the cancellation of just about every parent of an athlete on the beach:


Between the two of us we will tell you all about the whole day. Thanks again for all of your support!

“(Man) I was originally a little into cycling, but I’ve gotten more and more interested in it. Recently I’ve been preparing for a triathlon. Every day after I eat I only exercise, so I feel sorry for my girlfriend whom I couldn’t meet often even before I started to train for the triathlon. The times in which we can now meet are dwindling.”
“(Woman) We have been dating for four months. We are in the beginning of our relationship. What’s up with this triathlon?”

(BIFF 2014)

“(남자) 조금 제가 원래 사이클이 취미였는데 점점 관심이 깊어져서, 요즘 아예 철인 3종 경기를 준비하고 있어요. 그래서 맨날 밥 먹고 운동만 해가지고, 원래도 자주 만나기 힘든 여자친구인데 만날 수 있는 시간이 더 줄어들어서 좀 미안하긴 해요.”
“(여자) 사귄 지 4개월 됐어요. 연애 초반인데 무슨 철인 3종 경기예요.”

When career-obsessed people come home at 11 p.m. after a busy day, many of them are ready for only one exercise – unfolding the bed sheets and getting under them. Finding a balance between work and workouts has become one of the top concerns of those who know how to win in business but lag in healthy activities.

Статья в Kyiv Post о том, как находить время на хобби в целом и спорт в частности




The vision of Dimond bikes was shared between TJ Tollakson and Dave Morse in 2008 when they first met to collaborate on a bicycle hydration system. Working late one night, the idea of making a triathlon superbike was tossed on the table. Though the thought was only briefly entertained, it was filed deep in the subconscious of each inventor.

In 2010 TJ began racing Ironman events on a Zipp 2001 frame. The Zipp 2001, a product of the golden era of superbike designs, was still proving to be the fastest triathlon bicycle in recent wind tunnel tests even though the bike went out of production 13 years prior. By 2012 TJ was convinced of the merit of beam bikes as an optimal design. He embarked down the path of creating the Dimond bike brand and immediately turned to his old friend Dave Morse for consult.

The first prototypes took many long nights in the shop, but TJ finally started producing renditions of his own superbike. In May of 2013, Dave joined the company full-time as the Director of Engineering. The design of the Dimond was refined again and renovation began in an 11,000 sq ft warehouse to create a state-of-the-art carbon fiber manufacturing facility. By November 2013, the Dimond superbike was released to the public with wind tunnel data confirming its place at the top of the list of “fastest bikes”. The Dimond Bike has been long awaited, but the final result is nothing less than the fastest triathlon bike in the world.

It takes heat, pressure and carbon to make a diamond gemstone. Similarly, it takes heat, pressure, and carbon to create the Dimond bicycle. While the physical similarities between the two may end there, one thing is certain; with a Dimond bike, you can be brilliant under pressure.


Made it to Panama City Beach and so did the bike and wheels. Weather was gorgeous today but looks less so for race day. It’s going to be cold and really windy which will mean a long day on the bike but then hopefully less suffering on the run.

Anyone else get frustrated with valve extenders? I got the tires pumped but not without some frustration. I’m sure it’s just my lack of experience with them, but it’s nerve wracking before a race.

We check in for the race tomorrow, maybe go for an easy run and get in the ocean briefly.

And my parents arrive tomorrow! This will be their first time spectating and I’m excited to have them here- it makes this third time at the same race more exciting and fun. Thanks Mom and Dad!!

Looking back at a darn good year 2014. January! Training and talks at Sands Beach Resort, announcing at the FIS Ski World Cup, Winter triathlon, gala nights and so many more things. A great kick off to what turned into a fantastic year! @activelanzarote @fisalpineagram http://ift.tt/1uVtJFX


Working through the pre-race checklist

Today we checked in and received our bibs, bike stickers and wrist bands. I also registered for IM 2015 so the insanity will continue for at least another year. Then we attended the mandatory athlete meeting and did a little shopping at the expo.

Still no official IMFL pictures as I am sifting through all of the unassigned photos looking for pictures of me and Mike, but here are a couple from our own camera that I can share.

My parents came to help with all of the logistics, gear, and be our cheering section. This was their first Ironman experience and it was super fun to have them there. It was tough spectating with the cold and windy conditions, but they came prepared and had a great attitude all day (and night) long.

Here I am with my mom around mile 5 of the run:


Having someone waiting for you on the course is the best!

Here I am with the parents after the finish:


They are glad that I am not dead and I am glad to see their lovely faces and the jacket that they brought me. :)

I just realized I never told you how I did- Whoops! I think if you bother to read my ramblings that you deserve to know how I did. Here is a partial recap and I’ll go into more specifics later.

The swim and T1 were cancelled, so I’m going to say that I came in first for both of those things. :)

Bike:  6:34:57 (17.01 mph)  This was almost 40 minutes slower than last year but the wind this year was insane. The female winner this year also won last year and she biked 20 minutes slower and she had a stronger bike leg this year. I also had an extra 14 minutes of time that I was not moving over last year. It was so windy that I couldn’t fill my bottles or eat while moving. I had to stop to remove layers and I had other “personal” reasons that I had to stop that weren’t an issue last year. My Normalized Power was 10 watts higher this year and I was on the bike longer, so this was an improvement on the bike even if the time didn’t show it. Division Rank:  31/100 (number that finished the bike. There were a several more that started that did not make the bike cut off but the results are not showing them currently. The bike DNF rate was twice what it was the previous year.)

Run: 4:45:51  Last year I ran 4:31:02 and I was hoping to have a stronger bike but then match this marathon time. The extra time on the bike, the shivering for 90 minutes waiting for the start, and the extra effort on the bike took some of the pop out of my legs during the second half. I ran the first half in 2:14 which was good. The second half I found myself going slower. I walked the water stops as usual and ran everything else, but my pace just slowed. The amount of willpower that it takes to keep running is indescribable. I just tried to keep a pace that I thought I could mentally handle for the rest of the race. If I thought I could PR then I could have suffered and pushed myself harder the second half, but with the lack of a swim time and the longer bike time, I was satisfied that I was still running and wasn’t hurting. Division rank:  21/100

Overall Division Rank:  21/100

Total time: 11:28:38


Some shots from today’s Second annual (and last) RocketMan Triathlon. The bike portion of the three-leg race took place on the secured grounds of the Kennedy Space Center, riding around the Vehicle Assembly Building, Mobile Launch Platforms, LC-39A, and other sites at the Center. 

The run portion took us on a different course this year; we ran past the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum and its historic collection of aircraft.

This is the second year KSC hosted the triathlon (for coverage of last year’s inaugural event, click here), although the course was modified significantly. Entrance was via the NASA Causeway, and we did not get to ride our bikes to Pad B, around the Launch Umbilical Tower or former Orbiter Processing Facilities, nor by the Mate-Demate device. Regardless, it was an incredible experience that combines my two favourite passions - cycling and space. Unfortunately, I was not able to capture the experience on my GoPro as I had last year. 

This is likely the last year the race will take place; it’s extremely difficult to ‘open the gates’ and allow the general public in to KSC for a sporting event such as this. Additionally, wildlife impact was greater than originally projected, and increased fees made it harder for the organizers to justify a third year. It was an incredible honor to ride the race the last two years. It gave me a new perspective on a special and favourite place, and I met some incredible people along the way. Something about riding your bike on the seemingly-endless miles of undisturbed, traffic-free NASA roadways, surrounded by launch pads and technological marvels, really clears your mind and reminds you just what it is you live for in life.

And of course, what race wouldn’t be complete without a celebratory lunch with George Diller?



Ironman Kona 2014 - 9:40:09

Yeah yeah yeah, just like everyone else, I swear I’ll never do an Ironman distance race again. And that was true at this time last year. At some point you learn your limiters and stay away from them. Part ego, part self preservation, I think. When I accomplished most of my 2014 season goals early on this year, I decided it was time slam my way back into Kona. When I was thinking about this year’s version of the race, I wanted to get myself back into my 2012 position, where I was on Ali’i, and up front, to have another go at running a smarter marathon and killing some personal demons. 

Well, things worked out through the bike. I had a pretty great swim. Lined up on the far left side so I could get out of trouble if necessary and so I could control my own race. Found feet often, and often served as feet. Most of the swim, I spent thinking about my bike. Came out in a 1:02 and then went looking for a fight.

Compared to all of my crying at Tremblant, refs were throwing a TON of penalties on this bike. So there was no bullshit, which was a damn relief. Wouldn’t have mattered anyway this time around, because I wasn’t going to let it matter, because I was going to be gone. Aimed to hold an average of 295 watts and finished 282. Really lagged coming back from Kawaihae after being on track at 309 to the turnaround at Hawi. Ended up riding a 4:50, which was big and put me at #1 about 90 miles in before I traded spots with some guys the rest of the way to town. My thoughts are that I probably overcooked the climb to Hawi. No lucky clouds this year. When I came back into town, I was fighting to hold power in the 260’s, which is a fall, but not a blow up. I was ready to run smart, just like I’d been seeing it.

Miles 1-10 in Kona take on rollers and the coast. In the past, I’ve remembered it being cooler than the highway. My plan was to keep it in the 715-745 pace those first 10, depending on the rollers. And it was good. Tough, obviously, but under control, and thoughtful…meaning I was backing off, keeping calm, trying to be tactical with the terrain. I was managing the race — it absolutely felt that way. At mile 8, I checked my watch and there was even a point there where I told myself to back off…even if just a little bit. At 9, the sun seemed suddenly hot, and then my body followed, and then things quickly shifted. Walking up Palani at 10, I wasn’t straight. Two volunteers asked me if I needed help as I acted like a kid trying to hide a virgin drunk from his parents. They followed me for a bit. I heard them talking to other people behind me about the way I was moving and something about a “pull.” This is all probably over-dramatic, but I have never DNF’d, and could never imagine it at Kona. I was scared and saw it happening there. Never felt like that before. Like I was hollow and about to topple. And yo - this ain’t my first rodeo. But I made it to the top of the hill and then the clouds showed up. There was a lot of walking. At a point, I sat down, took my shoes off and rubbed bag balm all over my feet. Then I made it to an aid station and had everything, but more importantly — Red Bull and coke. And then what eventually felt like a miracle — I came back. I mean, not really…but I started running again, and actually put a few miles away at about a 7:45 pace. I’m sure it looked rough from the outside looking on…but to me, it felt like I was riding a chariot on fire, being pulled through the sky by a team of magic, screaming eagles. None of this lasted very long, but it showed me the depths of the pendulum that can occur during an Ironman - even more so Ironman Kona. The majority of the rest of my run was a slog, but a slog I was very grateful and proud to be a part of. It made for a very satisfying day. Around mile 22, my buddy, the very fast usually faster Brad Williams came up on me and wouldn’t let me lag. He probably gave 3 minutes of his own time to pull me to the line and give me 3. We crossed together and flew some colors. Great end to a fierce day. A damn fierce day. 

Season is over. I have some big ideas for 2015 and am looking forward to starting the process of hatching them. In the end, I didn’t have the complete day I wanted here, but few do. Love it. Loved it. 

The Athlete Guide is here and the bike is gone, so I guess the race is getting close!

I was lucky enough to get one more ride in this morning before the bike shop opened and the bike and bags had to be dropped off. I ended up re-packing the tri bag for the third time, this time putting all clothing items in zip lock baggies. Last year it was raining when we picked up our gear and the bags were out on the parking lot. They had a tarp over the top, but if your bag was at the edge then I’m sure it got somewhat wet. Mine was dry, but I don’t want to risk having everything soaked. When I dropped it off I felt satisfied with it.

I dropped Mike’s bag also and noticed he left some bottle sleeves on the side empty, so I was able to shove some bottles that I was going to have to take on the plane into his bag. We work well together because he under-packs and I over-pack. If he forgets something, chances are I have a spare. If I run out of room, he’s nice enough to let me horn in on his space. Ah, one of the many joys of having a fellow athlete for a spouse. 

If you thought I was done writing about chaffing, you would be mistaken. This morning I tried a combo of Aquaphor and Chamois Butt’r and I think that may be a winner. The ride was only an hour, but it was my last chance to try the shorts I’m going to race in on that seat. It seemed good so that is what I’m going to use for the race. I’ll put other options in my special needs bag plus a different pair of shorts so I can change out half way through the race if it isn’t working.

How is it that I’ve raced so many times and have never had to change up what I was doing? Weird how something can work just fine until one day it doesn’t. I know you aren’t supposed to try something new on race day, but what if what had been working now doesn’t? Not much choice but to try and make a change. It’s not really that different, so it will either work or I will just have to bear it and ride faster.

Ten more days!