Saturday, January 30, 2010

2010 Great Lakes Multi Sports Expo.

Yep, it's that time again, already. This is the weekend, the 2010 Great Lakes Multi Sports Expo going on again. I feel like we were just at last year's expo! I managed to get out without buying anything this year-I really did not need anything so badly that I was inspired to make a purchase. So we walked around, checked out the goodies, they advertised about 150 vendors this year. They added a semi trailer set up with potable showers. The endless pool actually had a heater which worked this year (last year, the water was frigid, as the heater element went out). They had the individual and TTT on the Computrainers, which looked cool (but some of the riders said the calibration appeared to feel "off", as they were not getting the speed and times they should have). They had the VO2 testing and treadmill running races this year too.

There were some good deals to be had-one of the custom jersey and race clothing vendors had left over race tops and shorts starting at $3. Another local bike store was offering "buy one-get one free" on clothing, a great deal on Craft, Louis Garneau and other decent brands. The only thing I wanted was a new pair of arm warmers, but I couldn't find a second item I wanted bad enough to justify it today. In fact, the only purchase we made was for my wife-she bought a new bright color running shirt and got a free summer running top. And we got two free bottles of Myoplex, Chocolate Shake flavor, I think. I tried a freebie sample of this last year, and liked the stuff. I might buy some this summer for a recovery drink.

The obligatory pics from the Expo (sorry for the blur and low MP-used the iPhone this year!), good size crowd this year:

One of the Expo speakers, talking about proper nutrition and hydration, the use of HR monitors to become more efficient, this guy knew his stuff!

Sweet Guru, nice subtle graphics here

A very sweet looking Argon TT/Tri bike, love the paint scheme!

A nice stable of rides!

Another hot looking set of wheels!

Speaking of wheels, I was talking with a local bike store rep about the tubeless wheelsets they had on a bike at the expo. These particular rims were Shimano Dura Ace, and he seemed to believe we're going to see a trend in the bike industry going more towards tubeless wheels very soon. He said they are very good quality, they roll and corner nicely, and are not too expensive (though only about three tire manufacturers make tubeless tires as of right now) Interesting, no tube to change in the event of a flat. He said you can squirt a liquid sealer type compound inside the tire, and in the event of a cut tire or serious puncture, the sealer takes over and gets you home. Or you can carry a tube, in the event of a major tire slash, you can tube it up and it will still roll well.

Very cool. And, to think I came out of there without spending anything there today! Good self-control if you ask me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Motivational videos.

I was browsing around, somewhat unmotivated and feeling, I don't know, "drained", that's a good description. This was pretty much how I felt after watching the NFC Championship game tonight with my buddy Dennis. I was torn during the game; I mean, it was a good, hard fought physical battle, with a tight score. But, Minnesota gave the game away on their five turnovers, which was a bit sickening. Clearly, Minnesota had a good game plan, had strong offensive numbers and possibly outplayed New Orleans in every aspect of this game, except for the special teams (even so, Reggie Bush fumbling a punt return did not do much for NO's argument). But in the end, Minnesota fumbled numerous times, even getting some of the fumbles back, which could have made the game even more of a mess for them. And Farve did throw two picks, which was almost surreal. And the biggest blunder? The 12 men in the huddle penalty, which cost them a long 51 (ish) yard field goal attempt just prior to the last Farve pick near the end of regulation. I've already seen grumbling and bitching online, on FaceBook and on websites about how the refs blew the game for Minnesota with poor or missed calls. People going back and forth, arguing and yelling at each other.Will Farve retire again? Oh, Farve blew the game in the NFC Championship again, what a hack, yadda yadda, bitching and moaning...

Well, here's a news flash to all those complaining-the refs are only human, and cannot call a perfect game, ever. Minnesota might have brought a superior effort tonight, but they did not execute, did not protect Farve well enough and did not minimize their mistakes. They should have beaten NO by at least two touchdowns, but they didn't. So Minnesota goes home, NO goes on to FLA and the Super Bowl. That's life, that's the reality of it. Enough said, move on, don't complain about something like a ref's call you felt might have changed the outcome of the game. Minnesota could have not fumbled even once during one of those long drives, and there would have been no OT, no coin toss, no questionable calls about pass interference or whether or not the receiver had possession on that catch, putting NO in chip shot range of a hat trick score for the win in OT. I did like one post I saw on FB, someone said something to the effect of, "Well, now there is absolutely NO reason to watch the Super Bowl". I concur, time to move on and look forward to the Spring Classics like Tour of Flanders and Paris Roubaix, San Remo and Leige Bastogne Leige. After all, the Tour Down Under has already wrapped up, so the bike racing season is really here! Time to toss football by the side of the road. Time to forget about it!

Well, on to getting motivated. I came across these two videos posted on the forums by "LesMcLuffAlot", not sure who that is but pretty cool videos, nonetheless. Especially the first, of Levi Leipheimer (Pro bike racer extraordinaire, TdFrance podium finisher and now racing for Team Radioshack) descending a mountain or, at least, some very hilly terrain called "Pine Flat Road". I'm assuming it's in CA, and it's not flat! Oh yeah, someone on the forums site pointed out, check out about 7:40 on the descent, Levi does this big bunny hop, both wheels way off the ground at some crazy speeds! Also watch as they go around fallen rocks and trees in the road, WOW! That's why he's the Pro racer-me, I'm not crazy about getting much over 35 mph on my skinny 23c tires. Yeah, call me chicken, call me old-I don't know how people can live in the mountains and ride 50+ mph down mountains all the time. I hit 45+ mph last Spring in North Carolina, and man, that was too FAST for me while on a bicycle. Sheesh, scary stuff!

I used to browse and chat on the forums a lot more, but, like the NFC game tonight, there was always a bunch of bitching and wisecracking going on, people insulting others about something that really did not make sense. You know, you've seen those message boards, where everyone has an opinion and likes to tell everyone else they're wrong? But, I also found many good posts on the forums, and some cool links, even some really good info or something cool to watch, like these here videos. I might make it a habit of stopping back and browsing more often, who knows? I said this just earlier today, some people like to talk their game up when on FB or online at a message board or other forums site; hell, it's easy to shoot your mouth off on the internet, right? I guess sometimes I forget about that.

Well, enjoy!

Levi Leipheimer Descending Pine Flat Road from Roger Bartels on Vimeo.

Levi Leipheimer Time Trial Training from Roger Bartels on Vimeo.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

1st bike ride of 2010

So, I got out today for my 1st road ride of the new year. I braved some cold, it was about 32 degrees but the sun warmed me up. There was very little wind, so I went for a quick ride around Wind Point. Here are the ride stats:

This is a good start to the year; in 2009, the weather was so bad, I wasn't able to get my bikes out until February. Today, I took my gloves off near the end of the ride, as I was too hot. Here's the Giant propped up in the snow:

I got a salty taste on my water bottle during the ride-that's one thing about living in Wisconsin, they salt the heck out of the roads. I can't wait for the Spring rains to wash the roads clean again.

I was also able to get my youngest out on her bike today-she had been bugging me for days to get her bike down and let her ride!

Nice and bundled up!

So the 1st ride on the road is in for 2010! My buddy and I, we have differing views on counting miles on the bike (or for running too). I don't count trainer miles-I simply log the time, but do not add the "distance" to my yearly totals. Never have. Never will. Am I right? Is he right? Who knows, and really, it doesn't matter all that much, IMO! To each their own, I say. But, when you read the miles totals in my blog, or on my stat keeping sites, they are ALL 100% road miles biked or run. So, with today's ride, I have a total of 8,919 miles since 3.16.06. Check out my page, here:

I will add another 2010 goal right now: I need approximately 181 road miles to hit 9,000 miles. I want 10,000 by the end of this year. 9k, I'd like by mid March, which I think I can do. That's all for now!

Monday, January 18, 2010


The entire family had off today (I'm off for four days straight, WOO HOO!), on a Monday, so we got up late, lounged around and went sledding finally towards noon. It was beautiful out today, highs of mid to upper 30s, no wind and sunny. It actually got too warm!! Here are a few pics, from Wind Point right near our place:

The snow has actually melted quite a bit, so much so there are big spaces of grass showing through! And the hills really melted, leaving us only a few good spots to pick from to zip down. Here Beck and Maddie get going down.

Coming back up over and over, it gets tiring!

Abbey, hamming it up on the tube!

Beck went down more than I did!

And the result is some tired kids! Ab fell asleep on the couch while we were watching "Field of Dreams". Nice day for a nap! Beck and Madd went shopping for a new dress, as the Father/Daughter dance is this Friday.

2010 Events.

Just a quick post, some of the events and races for 2010 I will be doing. (and I'm trying some new screen capture technology out as well!)

The 2009 Expo was a great event. Many good sales, lots of merchandise and we even ran to test our VO2 max. This year, I might sign up for the 20k Individual TT. Got to decide quickly, it's coming the end of the month!

The 30th running of the Milwaukee Marathon will be my last big race of 2010 (more than likely, maybe...)

The IM Racine 70.3 will probably be my toughest race of the year! Lake Michigan is COLD, even in mid July, so this one will be a real test of my training.

This one is a "possibly will do", the infamous Dairyland Dare!

Here are the details on the 200k ride, brutal!!

Pretty cool looking DD jerseys this year (2009 were an ugly, green color IMO)

And of course, our group will run the Waterford Full Moon 4 Miler, just a blast to run at night!

And, I might run the Racine classic, the Lighthouse Run, which starts in downtown Racine and heads due north to Wind Point and the Lighthouse (hence the race name!), within about three miles of home. This is a nice event, they have shorter runs (5k and 4 miles) up to the 10 mile run.

Oh, and I upgraded cell phones. I went from the broken down POS to the Cadillac of phones:

I've had it about a month now, and I'm LOVING it. I can do most anything from my iPhone that I can do on my mac. I'm looking to see if I can blog from the iPhone and load pics directly, this way, I can update this from New Orleans and while on various other road trips this year!
And, a screen shot of the images saved to desk top to post here. I'm liking this!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Awesome job, Carolina John!

Here's one going out to you John, congrats man!!

That is way too cool to see you listed on the site, neat seeing this! Keep up that awesome blog, and I look forward to reading about your super accomplishments in 2010!

Keeping me motivated in 2010, bud!!


Monday, January 11, 2010

Dinner and other things bike.

So, my family and I headed out for a bite tonight at a local burger and ice cream joint called "Georgie Porgies". The reason we're heading out on a Monday night, when Maddie had piano, Beck and I both worked all day, and we had a mess of stuff to do? Well, there was a good reason for the bad food and bid old dish of hot fudge and carmel sundae- I mean this place should be on the Food Network show, "Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives", you seen this? Anyways, a percentage of the proceeds from the sales tonight went to the St Rita School 8th graders field trip to Washington D.C. Yeah, this is where we send our kids, and in a few more years, it will be my oldest daughter's turn to make the pilgrimage to our nation's capital. And she asked me tonight if I'd volunteer to go on the trip with her class-of course I said YES! I love DC, and I'd love to chaperon the class trip. What a blast, but man, are the kids growing up fast!

On the DC note, my buddy Dennis called me tonight (after he stopped at Porgie's during work and we chatted) and asked about DC. He wanted to know if I wanted to head back out to ride the short fundraiser three day bike ride from Chesapeake Virginia to DC. Well, first he texted me, then he said to call him, which I did. 2009 was his first year going to DC for the bike ride, and we had a blast. So I think he wants to really go back out again. This would be my forth year in a row, it is a blast and I've made many good friends out East. I simply cannot do the long ride from (this year) Georgia to DC-my oldest has her first holy communion the first week of May, and I cannot miss this! But the three day ride, I could probably swing it, if I wanted to. I've got the Vac time to go, as a matter of fact, I just figured my vacation time we have scheduled, and I still have six days left after taking time off for three vacs for 2010. The training does not concern me, it's only 240 miles or so, but I've done no fundraising or prep for the ride this year. Hmmm...maybe Goal #4 for the year??

So, I told my buddy I'd think about it, and I will talk more about it with him this weekend. As a matter of fact, this weekend is our (???th) annual holiday gathering of friends from days of old; seriously, it is probably the 9th or 10th year straight we've done a "holiday" gathering of friends, most of whom date back with me to at least middle school-and some of these guys I've know since 3rd grade whne I moved into the old neighborhood! And no, we are not trying to avoid offending anyone by calling it a "holiday" party, it's just usually held after Christmas and the first of the year, so holiday sounds better. And yeah, this party usually gets pretty much off the hook crazy (last year's was WILD), so I will post on it after I recover.

AND, speaking of vacations, looky looky...

Milwaukee (MKE) to Chicago (ORD) 02/04/10 11:20 AM - 12:10 PM American Airlines 4166 Operated By: AMERICAN EAGLE COMMUTER SERVICE/AMERICAN EAGLE
Chicago (ORD) to New Orleans (Louis Armstrong New Orleans Intl.) 02/04/10 2:15 PM - 4:35 PM American Airlines 1584

Yeah, in just over three weeks, Beck and I are heading to New Orleans for vacation #1 of 2010 (no kids this trip, sorry girls!). We just need to catch a cab from NO Int'l to Jackson Square, where we'll spend four nights in Beck's Aunt Lisa and Uncle Ron's condo (thanks guys!), they will drive down after work to hook up and we'll hit the town for eats and drinks! It is awesome-we're staying within walking distance of most everything we need to see, drink or eat. With the exception of the WWII museum and possibly a tour of St Louis I and II cemetaries. The last time down, we had a local "guide" give us a walking tour of Lafayette Cemetary, which is famous for having been used in, "Interview with a Vampire", with Tom Cruise some years back. Let me check one of my external HDs for some of the pics, (it was awesome, as if I don't sound excited enough!) the hardest part of finding some of my older pics is locating them on my HDs (last count I had well over 10,000 images, now probably closer to 15k or more).
Oh, and some of the really good pics were converted to Tiff files, which BTW, are HUGE and take forever to I had to go dig for some simple jpeg formated ones, but here:

Check this out, an actual tomb where they stack the, well, you get it...

Street performers:

Lisa and Beck, circa 2004 in NOLA:

Ahh, got to love NO. I'm hoping to be able to squeeze my good camera kit in on my carry-on, I want to snap a few thousand pics from this trip. And I hope to find a decent enough image to blow up to poster size, like 20 X 30 for our wall. This will be our first post-Katrina trip; I'm looking forward to seeing the differences down there now, and how the recovery is going (or lacking). It will be nice to get back to the Big Easy, and to hang with Big Ron and Lisa, for sure. We've been away far too long!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

2009 Recap

OK. So it's been roughly two months since I posted on blogger. I can contribute it to many reasons (none of which really justify the absence); the holiday season, my first winter working dayshift since the mid 1990s, working many, many 12 hour shifts, the OT, time trades, busy family stuff...Yada Yada...but I've got no good reason other than I have not had a whole lot of race stuff going, nor training material, for that matter, and have not had a great desire to do much posting. I started some 'side projects' during this time too, so I will need a little extra time to give the appropriate attention. Maybe I will post on that later this...decade.

And Christmas was fun, and I must say this: I am fortunate. I have some great family, great in-laws and decent relatives, most who live close. We all have gotten along well, since the years and years it has been since I started going to the family functions. A great bunch, we always talk about my job, but nobody gets pissy, and we talk guns, 'what if's', and fun stuff like that. Good times are always had, no doubt.

But back to the Life list stuff. So, for the winter of 2009, and into 2010, I went about things a bit differently since my 're-born on date' of 3.16.06. I found myself in a position of not having to train so early in the year, to be ready for a ride or event by late April. So I took some time off, almost two weeks, with a few strong, almost interval-esq sessions pitched in that time for good measure. I felt the desire to get out running, or to ride, but simply did not have the time nor the daylight to do it. So, with the new year now upon us, I will start to find the time again. Such as tonight after work. We had to stop at the butcher for meat, pick up kids from my in-laws, where we shot the breeze for a while. Then, home to change and run. It was dark by the time I hit the street, so I tried out my new running coat my mom got me-a very nice Brooks ventilated in the back, high visibility lines with black and yellow, and all. I ran a quick 2.9 miles, had to cut it short for dinner, but still, not running much lately, I managed a 8:16 pace and was not killing myself. So, I feel good on my fitness level, better in fact, than at this time last winter. I emailed my IM-Racine 70.3 challenge buddies a few weeks back, and told them, my goal for my Spring 2010 runs was to get down to a 8:00/mile pace for 5 miles, which I've almost done just prior to the holidays. So now it's time. Time to start training a bit more, getting ready for the season goals, which, I will list here as well.

But back to the 2009 season totals, here they are:

65 rides
142 hrs 49 min 34 sec
1,948.03 miles (1,040+ miles done in May, over 11 days)
97,710 kcalories
hear rate-142 avg/180 max

79 runs
468.83 miles
45,139 kcalories
2-pair shoes
not sure how much time ??

As of right now, I can definitively say I have THREE main goals for 2010, yes THREE, that is all for now:

1) Run Wisconsin Marathon, May 1st. Run it faster than I ran the 2009 Milwaukee Marathon (so a sub 4 hour run).

2) Race the Ironman Racine 70.3, July 19th. Finish in about 5 hours (gulp).

3) Run the 30th running of the Milwaukee Marathon, Oct 3rd. Run it faster than the 'other' marathons.

So that's it. I will probably do a few other short races, maybe a couple sprint distance tri's, a few other 5k runs, and the staples, like the Full Moon 4 Miler, maybe the Racine Lighthouse Run again, probably will run the Mt Pleasant 1/2 Mary for training too. But, I don't need to 'start' my training until Feb 1st for the Wisconsin Mary. And this will be a good thing, as my training will start almost a full month sooner for the long distance runs than I did in 2009. Case in point; I started training for Milwaukee Marathon in late August, giving me two months training. In 2010, I will have the full three months training to gear up, and hopefully to get faster, plus now I have some valuable endurance race experience to go on as well. I had to juggle decisions to run Milwaukee again, or go to Chicago for their Marathon, but I think I would prefer Milwaukee, it was a first rate event all around. I'm still up in the air on the Chicago 1/2 Mary Rock N Roll, it looks like fun, but it might conflict with the Full Moon, which I will NOT miss!

I'm going to mix in some more bike sessions in January, before I revert back to the full out run training I need to do to get in to be where I want for WI Mary. We've also planned our vacation itinerary for 2010, which is, in brief:

1) New Orleans LA in early February, about 4 days or so for our anniversary (no kids).
2) Colorado in late June for 7-10 days. The big family vac for 2010.
3) Florida (or maybe Texas, outside chance) in November, right before Thanksgiving.

So, no long bike trips for 2010. I might try to rent a bike out in Colorado, family permitting me of course, and try to ride up a mountain. We'll see on this might be my own personal L'etape de Tour state side...