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“Somewhere behind the competitor you’ve become, the practices, the people who pushed you, the races you have competed in, the long time dedication, and the friendships you have made along the way, there’s a little boy who fell in love with the race; do it for him….”

Friday, September 5, 2008

Louisville et. al.

Not much to report. I think everyone knows what a brutal day it was. A really ho hum race for me and I can't really explain how disappointing this entire season was- embarrassing really. I trust God will use it for others. The positives were making new friends and acquaintances like Todd, Mel and the kids. Big shout out to Bree and E (Eileen). It was so great to meet new and wonderful people yet again!

I made SO MANY rookie mistakes out there. Days before I had adjusted my plan for the heat. For some reason I just couldn't follow it. Sometimes when you try to run a 3:15 you end up at 3:55 instead of planning on a 3:30 and running a 3:30. If so this would have been my most successful Ironman. However, I broke many cardinal rules of Ironman. We recently had an irondistance camp in which I shared a list of the 7 deadly sins of Ironman. If only I could heed my own advice! I had huge problems with 1,2,4, 6 and 7. Hey 5 of 7 isn't bad..... urgh!

7 Deadly Sins of Ironman

1. Gluttony: Don’t gorge yourself during the race or go paces you can’t hold (a glutton for punishment).

2. Envy: Don’t envy someone’s bike, body or race time/pace

3. Greed: Remember to SHARE the road with competitors, anything you can do to help someone else, and the glory of this accomplishment with friends and family!

4. Sloth: Don’t get lazy with nutrition, lack of concentration on pace, and your race plan in general!

5. Wrath: Don’t get mad at other competitors, race volunteers or yourself- it’s just wasted energy.

6. Lust: Don’t fall in love with the Ironman- it’s still just a race, it doesn't make you who you are it just provides a special quality to you life.

7. Pride: Check your pride at the door. Stay within yourself and your plan. No one else’s plans matter on that day – it’s YOURS take it!

Thanks to everyone who has supported me this season. It's been a crazy ride but something I wouldn't trade or ever forget. It's now time to spend more time with family, work on business and just "get a life".
Gear West
Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Friends and family,
I can't express how much appreciation and love I have for you all! Micki and the girls, Kate Monster, Dan and Kris, Jer, Chris, Kevin and all of you (sorry I could never list them all) have made this year what I couldn't on the course. I love you all!

We'll see you out there!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Live Blog

There will be live Louisville race coverage on Kate Monster's blog:

It's going to be hot so pray for safety and patience!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Getting Closer

The race is getting closer and closer. Ironically though I feel more and more at ease. Granted the forcast is getting more and more brutal. However I see it as just upping the ante. I hope as the race gets harder I get better!
My first family arrived today. I was so grateful to have had the time for myself this week but I also said a prayer as they pulled up about how grateful I am to have them here! They definitely give more energy thab they take.
Most posts this time are from my phone so I'll keep them short.
One day to go!
Blessings to you all!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Upon Arrival

I arrived in Louisville last night. It was the end to a very crazy day. However, it was wonderful to be greeted by friends who have become my second family this year. Thanks so much to Kate, Craig and Bob for taking care of this nervous, scatterd old coach. I've got nothing but mad love for my Tri Family!

Saturday, August 23, 2008


"This is fun!". A quote from friend and elite amateur triathlete Chad Milner during today's Kingswood Off-Road Tri. It was REALLY great to be able to volunteer at a race, watch my wife rock in her first off-road race and see all the JOY on peoples' faces! What a wonderful reminder of what we are all out there for.

As Louisville approaches next weekend I've found myself very reflective about how I've gotten to this point. Right now triathlon is OK. Don't get me wrong, I'm VERY grateful for the opportunities I've had, not only this season, but my entire life. It doesn't stop the disappointment I feel. Not so much for the poor results (those hurt too) but the loss of happiness, fun and pure joy in the sport. I attribute it to a schedule TOO full, a life TOO busy and expectations TOO high. I'm very excited to make a change next year. It's not that I won't race. However, instead of arranging my life around triathlon I will arrange triathlon around my life. It's my hope that with the proper priorities the ability to compete hard without hesitation and the pure joy will return.

I will try to blog a bit more this week while at Ironman Louisville. I'm excited, feeling pretty good and hoping against all odds to pull out the best race of my life.
Nothing like the pure joy of girls and kittens!
God Bless you ALL

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Belated Blog

Well where do we begin.

I have to say that I just haven't had the urge to blog AT ALL. It is my belief this is due to two reasons; 1. Ironman training just saps me, 2. Seeing some of the "nasty" side of blogging lately has really turned me off. Blogs seem to me can lead us to think we KNOW someone well just because we've read EVERY fact on them possible. It seems to lead to some understandings but also misunderstandings, blog fights and the like. FYI this is why I don't comment back to anyone or comment much on blogs. I like to see what some one's up to at times but that's it- sorta like a newspaper with no opinion page.


Last week was my Dad's birthday. He is 75 years old! Wow that is OLD! The weekend before I took him to the Twins game. It was really fun to get some father/son time. As we age and have our own families it gets so hard to have quality time with our own parents. I'm very much a hometown boy who doesn't get to go home much so seeing my parents is my way to "come home". Dad and I got to the game early, got some pretty good upper deck tickets and just sat and enjoyed the atmosphere! The game was OK to watch but the Twins lost. However, Dad and I enjoyed some good eats, just hanging together and the HIGHLIGHT of the game - scoring free Twins hats at free Dairy Queen Hat Night! I don't think I've had more fun at a ballgame.

Now if you know my family we all know my Dad is great but certainly not perfect. I won't sit here and say Dad and I are best friends. I just have a lot of respect for him. He worked hard his whole life, was quietly supportive of everything I did and is just plain MY DAD. I respect him, as a man, for how he goes about things with honor and integrity. He's old school and I love it!

Happy Birthday Dad! I love you.

Diddle Diddle Dumpling your son John

Tuesday, July 29, 2008


I'm now scrambling to get a quick entry in so my family can take me out to lunch- BLESSING #1!

The report goes as such:

What seems like a year ago (actually a little over a week) was the Racine/Class Reunion/Okoboji triathlon weekend. As you know we decided on skipping Racine 1/2 to focus on recovery. I had decided that doing the local tri near my home town might be fun and just add a spark to the year. I was excited with the probability of a win and getting to race with Kate Monster (also a good chance of a win). After taking a week off there was certainly some rust. The swim was harder than I thought but I kept up with the leaders and came out second. The bike felt AWFUL the first few miles but as I broke into the lead all of sudden I was ROLLING! With probably about 3 min. lead going into the last couple miles of the bike I was just cruising and thinking about how much rust I'd have to knock off the first miles of the run. Well, long story short, I missed the turn! I figured it out after going about 3 miles out of the way and then 3 miles back. I cashed it in but rode into the transition ready to get in a nice run. Luckily Kate had started 5 min. behind me so I wasn't far off of her coming into transition and was able to run in with her. She won in a fairly close race! It was a blessing to get to run in with and help her.I'm so proud of her. It was lot of pressure on her as the local favorite- she's one tough chick! In hindsight it was also good for me to not have pushed into run hard and saved my legs. Blessing #2.

The reunion was AWESOME! It was really neat to see how grown up all of my classmates have gotten. I was really able to lay some old demons to rest about growing up and going through all the issues we all have in high school. I'm really looking forward to our next reunion- hopefully not another 18 years. Blessing #3

This weeks training was AWESOME! I finally feel like my mojo has returned. It makes me extremely excited about doing another Ironman! We had our Wisconsin Ironman Camp this weekend and it was so inspiring to see all the athletes make realizations and get more and more confident in the upcoming finish of their big day! I had planned to do all the training with them but I had done a lot of good work during the week and, although hard, I stopped myself with the thought in my mind "didn't you just get out of a bad over training/racing 6 week slump!" . Hence the 112 miles turned into 30. WHAT A GREAT MOVE! The run the following day went really well and I feel ready to tackle more preparation! Blessing #4-????

I'm so blessed to have the opportunities I do. And FINALLY this season I'm realizing that!

Thank you to ALL OF YOU! You are all a blessing to me and each other. I pray you all feel as blessed as I do!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Time Off

Well, last weeks race did not go well. By this I mean the result was not what I wanted. However, some positives remain. I came out of the swim 1st with what felt like not a huge effort. My effort level was there! I felt really bad on the bike. NO GAS! But I kept on fighting. The run was much of the same. No legs, really struggling, just no SNAP. Once again I hold onto the fact that I pushed it HARD on the run and never once gave up. I slowed a little to give the girls a HIGH 5 but then turned it back on to sprint in. The result was a distant 4th in a race that should have been battling for the win. BUT another great positive was Danny Boy grabbing the victory in what I think may be his best race yet! A solid swim, strong bike and outstanding sub 34:00 6 mile run. NICE!

Continuing with the positives our family was lucky enough to have a cabin to stay in for free. What transpired was a really great impromptu VACATION! We stayed two nights longer than we planned and had a blast. Boating, fishing, swimming, bonfire and LOTS OF FOOD! To sum it up, a quote from Quincy- " Mom and Dad I never want to go home, I want to stay at the cabin." I think it was a little bit of the entire family's sentiment.

During our stay it was also decided that we would not be dragging the family to Racine for another 1/2 this season. Enough was enough. I really think it was a good decision as it allows for recovery time and a much earlier start on specific preparation for IM Louisville! I've also developed a new goal- simply have my best Ironman ever. No more delusions or stresses of trying to qualify for Hawaii or go for some unrealistic time. I will simply prepare and race to the best of my ability with the situation that presents itself.

I had a long talk with my coach and we agree that the thing missing for me is recovery. With my health status, my family, age and work schedule I just can't hope to race so many weeks in a row. It leaves no time for recovery and no time for training- it's an evil spiral.

This week I've taken the week off of triathlon activities. However, I'm back home for a reunion and as fate would have it the Okoboji Triathlon (my first triathlon I think) is being held tomorrow so I just have to join Kate Monster for the fun. The key word is FUN! It would be great to have both of us win but it will be much more important to enjoy it! Monday we're onto the new attitude, new schedule for Ironman and NEW RESULTS!

Thanks again to all of you- God Bless!

See you out there...

Monday, July 7, 2008

The Best Thing About Being a Coach

Lake Stevens was, once again, an awesome trip! Thanks to the sponsors for making it all possible - go Rome or go home I always say!

I was really looking for that race that says "I'm back baby!". I'd have to say that in days before it seemed that we would get just that. However, as I somewhat suspected weeks ago, this process will be a slow, step by step one. We swam on Thursday and I felt super smooth and just AWESOME in the water. I'd have to say that even after a lot of laying around and doing nothing my legs felt pretty darn great during our tune up run , swim and bike. It was exciting to be getting all that rest and starting to feel like myself again. Kate provided a nice diversion of attention with her flat tire (of which we had no spare and had to send the Sherpas to Seattle to fix) and after the pro meeting I suddenly felt very relaxed. However, I did not have a restful sleep and for the record did not sleep well in naps, or at nights this entire trip. The debate is still out as to have going in and out of the tent is affecting recovery, sleep and performance.

Race day was upon us and it certainly was exciting. The pro wave was a NON-WETSUIT swim which I have realized can often affect the entire race for me. It just seems that not only are the swim times slower but the kicking and effort involved seem to leave me a bit more fatigued for the rest of the day. The swim went OK but I feel out of the main pack near the end and decided that taking it a bit ez could help the remainder of the day. WRONG! The beginning of the bike felt like someone injected large amounts of lead into my leg veins. I spent most of the time trying to figure out why I wasn't catching anyone. The nice thing was that for 1 miles no one caught me either. There was some serious contemplation of dropping out but then BAM! Danny boy caught me, gave me a word of encouragement and all of a sudden the legs began to come around. Misery loves company I guess. We battled together through an extremely difficult bike course with another pro (#8). The 10 meter rule was a bit strange as we've been racing at 7 meters so much that I think all of us were overly cautious about getting too close. It worked out fine and did help to have other guys around. We ended up passing a couple more pros en route to a slow but somewhat OK bike leg. Coming out of transition I once again struggled but Day caught up to me again and we began a nice long run together. At first we were in good spirits and clipping along at 6:15 to 6:30 pace. At the first turn around ( about 5 miles in) we could see the final money spot held by Australian Brian Rhodes and it even looked as if we would catch him. We put in another good few miles and then the wheels slowly began to come off. We began the game of waiting for each other as each one struggled. By the last out and back we realized things weren't going to come to fruition and we began to slow. We finished somewhat respectably but still questioning why we thought we needed to turn pro and how much fun we USED to have doing this as amateurs. It is crazy how as amateurs our finishes would have looked pretty darn good but as pros it looked quite the opposite.

BUT...... as a coach the day isn't over then!! The Kate Monster was out on the run course TEARING IT UP! Running herself into her 2nd qualification for Worlds in Clearwater with a monster 1/2 marathon PR and a course PR (on a much tougher bike this year) by nearly 17 minutes!! She saved the day for the entire team! It was great to be able to see her get that spot and watch the sense of relief and joy in her eyes. It spins the trip in a whole different direction and makes everything seem like a huge success. Being a coach is great. There are always plenty of chances to have success outside of yourself. We all celebrated the afternoon away. It was a wonderful trip with great friends. I missed my family dearly but a big thanks to Sherpa Bob, Craig and Kate for making me feel the warmth of a family.

Onto the next race this Saturday at Timberman!!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008


Well Waconia did not go as well as I had hoped. Basically a theme for my last two seasons. It's been very frustrating being so inconsistent. In seasons prior to this I was the model of consistent racing and had no new equipment, no tent, and not nearly as many expectations. In this vein, this year, I changed my nutrition plan. Never mind that my wife said "what are you doing that for" or that the plan I had developed was from years of trying things out. No, No, NO I had to improve everything this year. What has happened is a phenomenon called- overthinkyourselfitis.

When I got my pro card it was obvious I was a long shot at best to post any type of high result in the pro field. However, I did know that to be competitive I really only needed to work on a couple things; sleep and recovery, race weight and maintenance of strength training over the season. Since then I have : changed bikes, changed nutrition, increased my anxiety about getting rest, taken the fun out of racing and caused a very large slump! So what's a guy to do?

Relax. Enjoy your children. Enjoy having to work more than many other pros. Simplify race nutrition. Rest as much as you can without worrying. Rely on the wonderful family and friends that got you this far. Most importantly- continue to battle. The one thing I will never have to say is that I gave up on my goals or quit any race I entered. It's an honor to live the life I do. I would like to honor all who support me by stepping up to each day, race, challenge and walking through it no matter what.

I tell so many athletes that racing is simple. Just prepare as best you can, rest and then give all you can when in competition- it's really all you can do. Now if I can only follow my own advice we might get a result that makes the finish even more sweet!

I love you all. Keep fighting whatever fight you're in!

God bless you!

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Well, this was going to be a well thought out, heart felt, and wonderful blog about how much fun I've had the last 24 hours just being a dad. I got to go out with my two daughters (just daddy time) to WALL - E , the movie, and then played with them a lot of the morning today without trying to email , answer phone calls, train and write programs. It was reall awesome to actually pay attention to them!
However, after getting them to bed (literally screaming and kicking us) at 8:30 (wow what a blessing- this never happens) Clancy woke up 20 min. later screaming and is still up as I write this. My back is killing me and I can't do anything about it. This reminds me of most nights before races. In fact the last time it was this bad at home was the night before Gear West Duathlon- here's hoping things turn out that well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Getting it all done?

Wow! It's just too much for me sometimes! Tomorrow Micki leaves for Arizona to teach for Spina Bifida Association, I leave for Des Moines- then Arizona and the girls head to the farm then back home with my folks until we get back. I'm going to miss them so much and feel pretty horrible to leave them for a week. It makes getting everything ready tougher- not motivated. I think it's probably from guilt as we are so blessed to be able to do these cool things!

Another reason I'm fretting is trying to get some monster training in while all this is going on. I have a 5 hour ride and 2 hour run to try and squeeze in this weekend. I'll be helping coach the MJETS team as well as do some Regional Development Coordinator stuff. It's great to get to go down and see so many awesome athletes and be on my own a bit but I do get overly worried about how it will affect rest, recovery and my general health (which hasn't been good lately).

All of this is such a blessing and my children will be with both sets of Grandparents which is also too cool for school. I guess I need to heed my own advice: "enJOY what your doing while doing the best you can".

I hope you all have a blessed and safe weekend of training, family time, work and anything else we are privileged to do!!

* I gotta get Kate to help me get some pictures up on this thing!

Monday, June 16, 2008

1/2 Iron Success!!

This weekend was exciting! Not a mile from my house was a two race event that filled like an Ironman (waiting list and everything), drew a solid field in both races and made use of the park I train in daily and have grown to absolutely love. It was a race in my own backyard!

After a few down weeks I was ready to have a solid race again! I had almost forgotten how it felt. Two weeks ago was the start. An absolute flop at Pigman Sprint. This was the beginning of the downward slide.

Coming up on Alacatraz I got two different infections and ended up traveling and sleeping the nights prior in chills and cold sweats. One infection was a saddle sore which made it almost impossible to sit on my bike. NOT FUN! The weekend was really awesome though as our hosts (Ted and Mai) were absolutely awesome again. We also got to gather as a Fellowship of Christian Athletes crew and minister a bit. It was awesome! The race was pretty crummy but overshadowed by a beautiful day and great experience!

So coming up on this past weekend I was beginning to feel better , able to sit on the saddle and ready to rock my neighborhood triathlon! It started well but alas I ran into more of the same. NO GAS! I later figured out I was several pounds low and likely dehydrated. It was somewhat of a blessing in disguise.

In my struggling coming back in I was going slow enough to enjoy seeing so many impressive athletes out there going hard and finishing STRONG!

Congrats to : Dawn Keller (first 1/2 finish! Awesome!), Greg Meyer (1/2 finish), Bob Mackenzie (1/2 finish), Erin Schindler (Olympic Finish), Jamie Heying (first 1/2 finish!), tons of others out there who soldiered through and MADE IT!

Special Congrats to Kate Monster- 4th overall Olympic finish and PR 2:27!!!

It was an honor to be out there with all of you- it's inspiring to keep going and try harder!

More to come...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

New Goal

I have a new goal (with some pressure but in a good way) of making a post on my blog each week. We'll see how it goes.

For now a quick recap of the last couple weeks. It's really been a lot of highs and lows. The story of life I suppose. After my best performance at Gear West Duathlon I was flying high. Still having some work to do during the week, I was still excited to go into Apple Du 5 days later and see what would happen. Admittedly not as fresh as I'd like the race actually went quite well.

The first run of apple was really amazing and fun. We had a few more big runners in the field and the second group packed up nicely with the giant Ellingson twins and D Train leading the way into the sharp wind. We didn't seem to be loosing a lot to the leaders about 1/2 way through but then DKT and Sam put it down and gained significant time on us the last mile. Regardless things were looking good. I passed D Train early in the bike and set us up once again to battle it out and legally help each other but pushing each others' pace and battling it out with several passes. I ended up leading a charge into the wind the last few miles and in prime fashion Dan came around to lead into transition. Coming out and up the hill I was having to really work to catch Dan. He backed off a little and we ended up running the rest of the way together. At first we flew but as we realized no one was close we began to settle and really dogged the last mile. We talked about some scenarios but I was disappointed in my willingness to just concede. I truly believe if we would have raced it in hard Dan would have still beaten me but I don't do either of us any favors, or make us better, by just pushing cruise control. Needless to say I ended up 3rd but was still super happy with how the du season went. I was super pumped to start TRI SEASON!

Next up was Pigman Sprint. If you really want to know how I feel about it read Midwest Events Magazine in July/August on handling disappointment. I did not rest well at all the entire week and the lack of sleep and added stress caught up with me big time. In a race I really felt like on a good day I would have been 2nd, bad day 3rd I was 6th. Out of the money and with a big points hit for the teams' season points. The swim was pretty good. Bike felt really off and the run was HORRIBLE- no legs at all. I'm VERY disappointed in my discipline this week. I came in very tired, a couple pounds heavy and it showed!! My apologies to my family, my sponsors and my Lord. I did not take care of my end of the bargain and it's all on me! But it's all about forgiveness and perseverance. I'm pretty good and the bounce back!
Next week is another day- I'll be ready! A really cool side note. I actually got to hand out a Fellowship of Christian athletes card to someone who noticed my fish tattoos I wear at each race. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

As always big ups and mad props to God, my family, friends and ROME, GEARWEST, FCA and SCS Multisport!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Bright Spot

Wow what a weekend! My trusty companion (lovely wife too) was gone being a camp chaperone on Friday and then an trail racer on Saturday so I had the girls to myself. It is always really fun to have just Daddy time but it can also be a true challenge. You never realize how much you depend on the help of your spouse until they're not there. Everything would have been just fine but I had some work to do on Saturday, the lawn needed mowing and the upcoming "start" to the local racing season was upon me. I became more and more frustrated while trying to prepare for the Gear West Duathlon, finish up company work, try to get a couple tune-up workouts in and still be superdad for the girls. As Micki got home the arguing ensued. We were both strung out, tired and crabby- it showed! Not to give too much info. but not our best night. Micki was also feeling the effects of stomach flu and was up all night making runs to the bathroom. HOW WAS I GOING TO PERFORM AT MY RACE!?
While riding over to the race course I was wondering the whole time- "is this worth it?" all the headaches, fatigue, arguments over this sport, money and the like make me wonder A LOT. However, as I pulled up and heard the familiar greetings of "hey Shelper" I remembered the main reason I do this- THE PEOPLE!!! WOW I LOVE ALL OF YOU!! It was so much fun to catch up with everyone, joke, warm-up, be nervous together - just plain COOL. What a gift from God! I was VERY nervous for the race, you just never know how you'll feel until you're out there. My multisport friends made it so much easier to handle.
The race started well, I felt pretty good and we were cruising along nicely. I have to admit secretly waiting for the gorilla to jump on my back but it seemed to just be a spider monkey this time. As we got to our bikes I was pretty optimistic. The legs were ok on the bike, not great, as my bro Danny Boy and I battled it out we seemed to be catching some key runners early. Then something crazy happened! David started to get closer into view. Yes he was pretty deathly ill but it was still cool to do something I've never done actually ride up and catch David. Of course one we did we stirred the hornets nest and he was GONE but it was still an honor and neat experience. After that I seemed to pull away from D-Train and, refusing to look back. wondered if I was putting much time into him. About five miles later I found out when he came blasting past me near the end. Into T2 we went. David was just out and Dan closely behind, I was in third. I new we were going well when we left transition no one was in the parking lot yet.
The last run was weird. I really didn't try to race, just one foot in front of another and BOOM there was Dan, as I past we chatted a bit and then move on, a weird feeling came over me- I just couldn't believe what was happening and really didn't think about it. I just kept putting one foot in front of the other. Soon enough it was over and I'd had my best GW DU ever and hopefully a start of a great year of racing. The fun began again as we all returned to chatting, running, eating, laughing. It's hard to put the experience into words but it was just such a bright spot in a tough weekend.
Thank you too; Julie Mac, Becca, Danny Boy, Kevin, Fellowship of Christian athletes bothers and sisters, Gear West, Rome, SCS Pose (Swart and crew), KWJ, Julie Hull, Cathy Y, Brian, the Kellers and the 100's of people I haven't mentioned. Most importantly I love you to the 3 Shelp girls (Micki, Quincy and Clancy). Mad props to the Florida 70.3 chicks (Brook, Jen and Katie) and Mark!
Thanks be to God!

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Technology

Look @ me I'm blogging on my phone!
Hoping this saves time that I can spend with my family and training!

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Luckiest Man on Earth

Just got done with a MONSTER workout designed by my boy and fellow athlete Danny Cohen. We did a series of 6 min. efforts on the bike followed by a sub 6 min. mile (10 total). It was really great to workout with my old friend again. We haven't gotten to do that much the past couple seasons and it was painful but fun! The workout actually went very well and has given me good confidence for the upcoming season.

When we finished we talked about life a bit and especially about the women in our lives. I was complaining a bit about a fight Micki and I had last night. Pretty much small talk and just letting off steam but as I drove home and continued the day it made me really reflect on what's going on this season and how hard it can be on my family. It seems lately I wake up and ask myself if this is all worth it. Time away from my family, energy and $ drained all to race some silly races that seem to be pretty much all about me. I guess when you think about it none of this crazy Triathlon stuff really matters and yet it matters immensely. It's that love hate relationship that we all have with many things in life.

With that said I do feel SO completely lucky to be able to train, rest and race with the support of my family. More so I'm so blessed with the women in my life MICKI, QUINCY and CLANCY are what matters in my life. It's sounds crazy but it's very comforting to know that Triathlon and sport are truly not my life and when this all fades away the most cherished things in my life will remain.

I hope you are all as blessed as I am!

ps- Shout out to Chell (fellow member of class of 1990 cancer club), my sponsors ROME, GW, SCS and all the home town players of the Midwest Multisport Community. Special prayers and blessings to JEREMY SARTAIN- get well !

Friday, April 11, 2008


I know this is suppose to be a continuation but I've been having a hard time finding any inspiration to write lately so I figured I'd take liberty and wait.

Today inspiration struck in a small coffee shop after reviewing our most recent advertisement that coach Kris put together. He is so talented and creative with graphics and ideas- really neat stuff and truly a blessing. Within the ad was a picture of my wife. It strikes me every time I see her or view a photo of her how beautiful she is. Sure she's a tall blond, athletic and has the best smile you'll ever see. However, I think her beauty is just a reflexion of what's inside. It just seems to shine out of her and you can really see when she's happy- the light shines even brighter. Don't get me wrong - she and I see eye to eye about 48% of the time and she can make me more upset than anyone I've ever known. That just doesn't seem to matter to either one of us-there's just something about her, a spark, a liveliness that just is.

While I was replying to the SCS crew to tell Kris what an awesome job he had done I started making a joke about "... hey who's that hotty in the add ... wonder if she has a husband and two daughters ha ha ...." It struck me again how blessed I am. Mom's shine and zest have passed on too my BEAUTIFUL daughters (mom's looks didn't pass by either). It's just amazing what God has done in my life through these three wonderful girls. Once again anyone could tell you that my daughters can also drive me crazy beyond belief. But, the most amazing sound I've ever heard is my two girls SCREAMING "DADDY-O" as I walk in the door each evening. The amazing thing about children is that they are not only a gift from God but truly a gift from the wonderful women who mother them as well.


Monday, April 7, 2008

Bent But Not Broken

You'd expect a blog entry to be quite lengthy after a long absence. Sorry.

The drive down to Arizona was a lot of fun but pretty draining. It was great to get to see both of my sisters on the way down and the biggest change in plans was stopping over 200 miles short of our Albuquerque stop because the girls just couldn't stand the car anymore and a nice meal, dip in the pool and sleep was a GOOD thing.

The Arizona "vacation" was also a lot of fun but Micki and I are finding out that with two young children and a workout schedule to keep there is no such thing as vacation. It was great to just be with my family and we did get a lot of sun time. My Mom and Dad were great as well, keeping us in clean clothes and fed with healthy food. We took the girls swimming (sometimes twice a day), went to Horton Hear a Who, out to eat (gotta love chuckie cheese's) and had a great time together.

Training actually went really well. Sure there were some early mornings and all those naps I planned to take never happened but my volume and the paces of intensity I was able to get in were the best I've ever had this time of year and I was really quite certain I'd have a great California 70.3 and come out fresh and super confident!

What I didn't account for was after Micki left with Clancy, Quincy and I struggled to rest enough, eat good foods and drink enough water.

The drive over to Oceanside was fine and Dad drove a lot but each time I tried to nap in the car Quincy would literally yell and hit me to keep me awake. Needless to say it was a little stressful. The two nights leading into the race were not good sleep at all and the actually night before I slept with Quincy next to me- kicking, snoring, squirming- not a good idea.

I still woke feeling confident. Warm-ups went just fine and I was pretty hopeful for a great day.

To be continued.......

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Gotta Make it Quick

- Crazy week with clients, teaching at school again, training and getting the family ready for a vacation in Arizona (can't wait)

- Had an amazing time at camp in Florida with the Gollnicks and our athletes.

- 7th overall in the Great Escape Triathlon with a pretty solid field of elites from Candadian National Team, Clearmont National Training Center and hand full of top Ironman athletes that train in Florida. I was shocked and very encouraged.

- I feel God lifting me up throughout this week and am more convince than ever that I'm doing the right thing by racing this year.

All glory to God and blessings to you all!!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Remembering Where You Came From

My clients and friends, the Weaver and Jongerius families, were kind enough to let me stay over at Clearwater Beach with them while we awaited coming to Tri Camp in Sarasota Florida with Heather and Todd Gollnick. When I'm with this group I'm always reminded of where I came from. They are from my home town, Sheldon , IA, and hearing news from home and names of old friends in the conversations gives me a bit of peace. Remembering where and I came from and what has made me who I am - and that the person I am is OK is just plain nice.

Lately I've felt a bit in a funk. No goofing around, no dancing, just not being me. It's strange but as I flew in yesterday Katie made the observation that I was about 40% of myself. Today after some good sleep we went for a ride with Mike (Kate's Dad) around the neighborhood. It was AWESOME to get outside and just roll. I haven't enjoyed my bike as much lately and it was just fun again. We also walked down to the beach in full wetsuit and goggles all the way through the neighborhood and it was just fun to be funny and get the looks from all the local folks. We went for a short swim and joked (kinda) about swimming with sharks and laughed at our fear while out there. Coming back in we caught a couple nice waves - body surfing !! We laughed and just plain had FUN- weird that triathlon would be FUN - what's that? All of this was wonderful and just reminded me how we all need to do things with JOY and getting such a gift from God , the ability to do triathlons, is special and should be filled with laughter, fun and JOY!

This all sunk in when we were back in the house and Bonnie (Kate's mom) and I were talking about some old school friends like Tim Blankers which reminded me of other great friends and a whole group of guys and gals that loved me for exactly what I was and always reminded me to do the same. We also talked about an old family friend of ours who had recently passed but it also brought back memories of simpler times, less stress and pure joy! Northwest Iowa is a special place and I feel I need to bring myself back there (in my heart and head) more often to find a place of peace and enjoyment of old memories and memories yet to come.

Ok OK OK we also had an absolutely wonderful time so far at camp and I see the fun the groups having, the wonderful hosts we have in the Gollnicks and all the great potential for joy in our small group. Riding and running in shorts, doing run drills in GRASS , and enjoying sprinkles just to cool off - who can't enjoy that in MARCH?

I can't wait to go home and share some good energy with my family and see and feel the JOY with them as well.

Katie asked me if I was up to 110% yet and I have to say - YES!!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Roller Coaster

Wow! Being a former theatre geek and baby boy of my family I can be a bit dramatic at times. However it won't stop me from going on about the roller coaster of the past week or so.

It started last Friday with a trip to the dermatologist to recheck a really nasty "rash" I've had since the new year began. It's a series of nasty red spots I've gotten nearly everywhere on my body. At first it was a bit of a nuisance but lately it's really had me down and feeling something was really wrong. After lots of going round and round, light therapy, creams, antibiotic prescriptions and more it had basically gotten worse. The doctor informed me that I had PLEVA. It was acute for now but could be a chronic case of lymphocytes acting funny and if it continued to be chronic (remember I have the acute case) could lead to problems with the skin and seems to be more prevalent in people with lymphoma. NOT READY TO HEAR THAT! I spent a lot of the morning crying- no real danger just a reminder that sometimes I'm not the healthiest of folks.
After working though the slight depression I began the next week with a HUGE bike wattage test- best numbers I've ever put out. VERY exciting. The next day I ROCKED the water at my first group swim in awhile- I was pulling away from some really good athletes - it was very exciting. Later that day I went to get my bike refit at Gear West. We got it pretty much nailed down but things just felt a little off with my new bike- it's like new shoes - they may fit really well but you still need to get used to them. Thursday of that week my red spots were bright and shiny for a day of 4 workouts with one being a new strength session I promised to go to. It was really great but EXCRUCIATING - in my heart I knew it would effect me for days but I hoped for the best. Micki and I had a fun date that night and everything seemed great.
The next day I had a nice day off- felt ummmmm ok but the girls stayed home with me and I had to try to get some work done (my fault for leaving it). The whole day tore at my heart trying to do everything and just running on empty. Micki was gone until almost 10 at night and I was just drained. Micki had class again on Sat. so I got up at 5:00 and went to the studio alone to swim. Once again the whole day I tried to get some things done but was torn by needed girls and really wanting to give them ALL of my heart and attention the while waiting for Micki to get home so I could train another 3 hours. She got home around 5:00 and I began but just had NOTHING! My goal this year is to be a bit smarter about bad days so I pushed off my biggest training day of the year so far for Sunday.
I really wanted the family to be at church and couldn't get up early enough to get anything in so I thought I'd get my work in between church and Grandma's birthday party. Got to try and ride outside but was so uncomfortable and weak on my bike I gave up on the workout. With a push from my wife I did go out for a little test run to see if it was as bad as thought. The run went quite well- I felt a bit better. Later that night I got back on my bike to try and finish. Just didn't have it and there was no way I was going back outside to run with freezing rain.
Today I woke up with that all too familiar pit in my stomach. It seems since I've stopped teaching I just feel a bit lost- the schedule is just so variable and it leaves me a bit unproductive.
I did spend some good time reading my yearlong bible and praying. I downloaded the sermon that turned my year around last Jan. and listened to it while I rode. WOW - the legs were back and I felt confident again! The Lord does test us but I once again feel that sense of purpose for this season.
God's peace to you.

Monday, February 25, 2008


It was yesterday, a Sunday, and it just kinda hit me. The day before Dan and I had a clinic to give in Chisago Lakes so it was an early Saturday morning of workouts. Swimming came first and it was mmmmmmmmm... ok. I'm really starting to expect a lot in the pool as workouts have been faster than I ever have this winter. The base was some strong 200's and things were fine. I was actually wearing a bit more of a drag suit and could really tell. Next came a run. Wow, did not feel well at all. I DID reach for the ipod this time and have to say it saved me! I had just downloaded some GNR and just smiled as it came on- taking me back to a time when this was all a game, life was fun and free and workouts seemed more an adventure than a job. I had some 2 min. harder efforts and rarely made it the entire two minutes. Yes, I certainly could have finished them off but felt that it wouldn't be beneficial the way I was feeling. I could go on and on. This brings us to Sunday.
My coach had even more intensity on the run, strength training and even a short ride. Just couldn't do it. I NEEDED a Sunday. A day to wake up late, read the paper, and nap, nap, nap. The stress indicator in the mornings has been resting heart rate. It as actually back down near normal in the morning. Still I just didn't feel that it would be smart to do a lot of hard work today. To top it off it was a beautiful day! Yet, I resisted the temptation, played with my kids, actually took a nap and even got a few minutes of the World Golf Championships in.
When all of this happens I usually fight a small battle in my head- am I being smart or am I being a wimp? It's a borderline that athletes teeter on.
My conclusion is this. All of us work hard and have overcome our own obstacles both big and small- getting out the door, following dreams, raising our kids, surviving in this crazy world, striving to understand our faith, finding purpose.
Smart or wimpy? I don't think any of us are wimps!

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Good, the bad and the ugly- in reverse.

The ugly: Sunday's run felt the exact opposite from Saturday. Slow, tired and pathetic. After a tortilla chip and homemade salsa binge my weight is up almost 4 pounds (mostly water and salt)

The bad: All the girls are recovering from ear infections. I've been really stressed about this coaching gig. I just can't let it go when I sleep or have down time. There is basically no getting away from it and I don't handle that stress well.

The GOOD: The picture above says it all- bedtime with the girls puts everything in perspective!

God Bless You!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

A Normal Blog?

I have a tough time with a "normal" post. Maybe I'm a just a little closed off or don't feel like using my blog like a diary (although that's what they are right?). I do love that peole open themselves up and bring us into their days and lives freely in their blogs. It will take me awhile to get to that point.

Last night Micki and I got a treat. A neighbor watched the kids and we got to go down to Julie Mac's for Danny's Birthday. We had a blast. Drank a beer or two and played some ROCKIN' Guitar Hero. Now I'm not much of a gamer but it was ez to get hooked. Mike Creigo and Dan were the superstars but the rest of us enjoyed ourselves non the less. It really is true rock comes in three colors - red, green and yellow. That's on the ez level of course!

This leads us to today's workout. We slept in this morning. I worked most of the rest of the morning. Micki was wonderful enough to let me get an additional nap in. Pre-kids weekend naps were a given but NO MORE. I took advantage by flipping on the Golf tournament and ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ.

It was getting later in the afternoon so we bundled up everyone for a family workout. We decided we'd run to the park and do some loops on the plowed road in the camp ground. Quincy (3 1/2) ran with us for several blocks. That kid is getting quit long legged and really clipped along. I felt a little guilty watching her run thinking "I'm influencing this kid too much!" it was still cool to see her run so well! The workout was hectic with the Dog, the girls crying A LOT and having to try and work in a little speed with the whole crew. I did the run ahead then run back routine and actually got some good speed and power in. I felt incredible on my feet today! Running nearly full speed didn't phase me at all, I felt light and fast- like I could run fast ALL DAY! It was exciting to feel that way - is this a sign for the upcoming season? God does work in mysterious ways!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Best foot forward

Each time I come to a workout there's a question I ask myself. Why? As a coach I know that a workout without a purpose is simply some nice exercise. When the question is easily answered it's also very ez to do. If , however, the question is not so easy- well that's when it's ez , to quote Mater from Cars, "ta not to".
This morning I was once agin asking the question as I stared at the TV (that said it was -14 F outside) and pondered my upcoming BRRRRR run part 2. Two hours of ez to aerobic running with no indoor option. I certainly tried to figure out a way "ta not to". Was it healthy? Was it worth it? It was hard for only a short while. As I have stated before, this season is about honoring and glorifying God. It was brought to even clearer light later tonite during our FCA huddle when we talked about being temples of God and when I put my oldest to bed and told her God loves her through her family and friends. So honoring God also means honoring my family, my coaches, my competitors, my friends... Needless to say it was much easier to get out the door than the last time.
As I ran it was hard at first. Workouts have been going well but due to the volume it's been tough at the beginning many times. Each step felt a little better. My mind began to drift to the upcoming season. I have BIG goals. With those goals come certain paces that have to happen. As I went over some paces for my biggest goal , IM Louisville and a bid to qualify as a pro, I began to realize just how massive this goal was. The weight of it began to wear on me. Then something hit me. Goals are great but we all truly have limits. So many times in racing and life all we can do is push it to the limit, have hope in our hearts and let God sort out the rest. Thus at that very moment my goals changed. Don't get me worng - my goal remains the same but at the same time different. My goal is now the HOW of any future accomplishment. I will make myself the best at each discipline I can. I will go into each race not with an end goal in the front of my mind but the back. My fore most thought will be doing the best I can each step, to push threshold at every distance I do. If I do that its the best shot I have to glorify God, my wife , daughters, friends and competitors in all I do.

My hope is that all of you find a way to honor others and each other in what you do. It certianly makes things like training easier and more worth while.


Saturday, January 26, 2008


Many of you know but some do not I'm down in Arizona this weekend coaching, leading and learning at the International Christian Triathlon Network's 3 rd anual Triathlon Camp. It has been a blessing in so many ways. Mom and Dad are down here for the winter and getting to spend some time with them by myself has been wonderful. Mom and I took a 1 mile walk on Thursday, talked and had a great time. I love my mom. She's an inspiration in spirit, humility and walking what you talk. She's just a good person.

I was a bit nervous about coming down here. At times my faith can be a struggle and I falter a lot. With this in mind it was nerve racking to come down here with so many strong believers and try to "fake it". Something wonderful happened- I didn't have to!!! The Lord has shown me every minute- why I am here, what he wants from me (ok well not everything but lots of stuff) and reaffirmed that my passion for this crazy sport and lifestyle is of his design and will ultimately bring him glory. All the pastors and speakers have been extremely moving to me but tonite was particularly moving because we were basically challenged (after a long story about the pastor struggling with this same problem) to put our season in God's hands and let him decide,through prayer and reflectiong, how or what we should race or if we should even race at all. I was extremely nervous because I've never been to good and listening to God and was really afraid this whole time (since I hadn't really asked or listened) this season may not be what God had really wanted from me. WONDERFUL NEWS- not that I "heard God speak" or anything but this overwhelming feeling of reflection came over me- all the people I've met , the inspiration I've gathered and even training tips I've recieved have led me to believe God wants me right here, right now and my season will be truly blessed for his glory- I'm pretty pumped!

The great people I've met have been wonderful. Chris Lieto, Jamie Whitmore (xterra world champ), Steve Born from Hammer Nutrition (who has offerd to totally tweak my nutrition and believes it can really make a difference), and Kirk Nelson (fellow pro) have all helped and inspired me to believe all things are possible and even crazy dreams like somehow qualifying for Hawaii at IM Louisville can actaully happen by God's grace if you only believe (and train) with all your might. I've heard this a million times but is has never sunk in until this weekend. I vow to let go, let God, believe and drive forward with all my might!
Getting to ride the new DA outside has been a true blessing, I also ran/ hiked up Camel Back Mountain and even swam in the unheated pool (about 50 degrees). I just really feel like a pro here.

May God bless all of you for his glory!

Sunday, January 20, 2008


As I prepared for my long run this morning I contemplated how to achieve this seemingly daunting task. Driving down to the studio was out of the question with my three girls waiting for me at home. It was -13 and we won't mention the windchill. I actually considered getting a membership to the brand new Snap Fitness one block from my house so I could use a treadmill. In this process I dressed for indoor running then layered cold weather run gear overtop, planning to run past Snap or 24 hour Fitness (crazy in a tiny town we have both) and popping in. As I dressed something snapped inside me and it was decided- I'm running this 1:30 OUTSIDE!!
It began fairly well. Certainly there were bits and pieces that cooled but came back to warmth as I ran. Feeling the ice build on my eye lashes was a fun feeling and when I hit certain patches in the trial I actually felt warm. All in all it seemed the "professional" thing to do by finishing the entire run outside. It was certainly a character builder and a step in the direction of my goal of being truly professional this season. I want to bring honor to my family, my sponsors and glorify God by racing with all my heart this season. Here's hoping.
Have a warm day!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Just keep swimming

I worked with Mike Weaver (hope he doesn't mind my using his name) in the pool today. It's always extremely rewarding because of the progress he is making. It's hard for him to feel right now but I see a swimmer developing in him. Now the new challenge is what triathlon to do first!

My adventures in the pool afterward were steady. My coach hasn't had me in the pool too much yet so my sets of 75's did seem a bit daunting. I started out a bit slow by my own standards but finished a bit faster than I had anticipated. All in all a good swim.

I'm quite tired lately. Early season training always seem to get me a bit. Strength training seems to really fatigue me at this time but, hey, that's the point right? I'm heading to Phoenix next week to coach at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes Triathlon Camp. It's very exciting to be working with the likes of Chris Lieto and Jamie Whitmore. I so have to say I'm pretty pumped to be able to run and ride in shorts. It will also be great to have some time with my folks.

God Bless you all!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Reaching for the ipod

In the last month I've not only entered the world of BLOGGING (still getting used to it!). I've also been blessed with a the wonderful gift of an ipod. This is a lot of technology to take on at one time for someone like me. This is a kid who's mother was afraid to get a microwave for fear of radiation (sorry mom) one of the last kid's in the neighborhood to get a VCR and the highest gaming machine we had until the late 90's was an atari 1500. I'm also convince I have some sort of weird polarity to my electrical system that makes most electronic devices malfunction. Anyhoo....

Today I was beginning my long run ( a 2 hour jaunt home from the afternoon mall trip with the family). It was so exciting to think that I could just pop on my ipod and groove my way though it- something I've never really done before outside. Well as usual with me I started off and had completely forgotten to use the ipod. I was really enjoying the crisp cold air, moving along quite nicely and enjoying the day. Then it dawned on me that I hadn't used my ipod. As I reached into my pocket I stopped. I began to walk and ponder why I would put in music and drown out the magical sounds of my feet, my breath, the trees, birds and everything else I was currently enjoying? I promptly put the ipod back and began running, more free than I had been before. It was great and made me think twice about reaching for the ipod on every long workout. I wish you all the peace of an ipodless workout every once in awhile.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Well we're off and blogging! I won't be a complete nerd about this for long but I just can't believe I'm doing this. Once again it's a bit tough to get comfortable talking about myself but that's what bloggs are about.
I failed to mention my causes for the upcoming season. I'm hoping I get a chance to talk about them at awards sometime this summer but that means I've got a lot of work to do. Leukemia/Lymphoma Society helps thousands every year with blood born cancers. Being a survivor and treatment free this year I feel blessed by such organizations. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes Endurance Division touches the lives of so many sharing the faith, hope and love through the ministry of endurance sport. Others will follow.

Training Report
- ate supper with my family last night while riding on my trainer- the girls had fun with it but I felt a bit weird about it. It was the only time to get a ride in so- there ya go.
-Had a tough and disappointing bike wattage test today. I've been know to not have great numbers but have great rides in races- I'm counting on it! One thing I CAN do is take a punch so on we go!
-Going to be LATE tonight and up early for a swim session!

Peace to all and thanks again to my family and sponsors.

Monday, January 7, 2008

My First Blog Entry

Wow! I've never blogged before and am quite nervous about it. My purpose for creating this site is to inform friends and family of how things are going, create awareness for both my sponsors and selected charities and hopefully, bring some light into the reader's day.
Believe me, not all entries will be bright and shinny but I hope to give insight into my life and thus inspiration or at least a feeling of realation to both the good and hard times.
I want to thank my all of my extended family, my sponsors (Rome Ltd. , Gear West, SCS Multisport) and my immediate family - wife Micki, daughter Quincy (3.5) and daughter Clancy (1.5) for allowing me to have a story to tell.