Sunday, September 21, 2008

It's out there...

I fell behind in my weekly blog updates and this one is over 7 days late – sorry :(

I really don’t have much of an excuse except that I wanted to be in a good “place” before I start to write this and I just woke up from 2 ½ x 1 hour naps on my flight back to Jacksonville from Seattle – it feels awesome to catch up on sleep like this.

I am 100% sure I was snoring, drooling and being socially unacceptable but hey – I was tired.

Today is also one of my very rare complete day’s off with no training. I don’t think I have had one of these in a few months – really. Travelling back and forth across the corner of the country doesn’t leave much time to train so I relax and enjoy it – besides my butt likes 1st Class so I am in a good place :)

So – what is going on in the VMS world?

Results, Results, Results!!!

Karel Sumbal decided to leave the hard ball roads for the ruts, roots and patchouli scents of Hanna park last weekend to race the Mountain bike race. He finished 6th with only 1 “real” day of practice – it must be nice to have that kind of an engine – congrats Karel :)

Other than that – the only other racing I know about is the Fletcher HS swimming and diving where the Boys team is crushing it. The talent pool at the beach is really incredible. I think the Fletcher Boys team have only lost 1 dual meet (team versus team) in like 15 years or something like that – really incredible.

Shane and Josh are both competing in swimming and diving and watching there progress really makes me proud.


Josh went from doing cannonballs a year ago to being able to throw a reverse double tuck and placed 12th (I think) in the Bolles Invitational meet last Saturday.


Shane’s and I have raced in the pool every year for last 5 years. Until last year the old man still had the advantage but not anymore.


He has reset all of his PR’s this year already and the season is still early. In his last meet he went 2:03.1 in the 200 free, 5:47 in his 1st attempt at the 500 free and jams out a 24.1 50 free and a 54.6 in the 100. I have no chance anymore and I couldn’t be happier. I can only imagine how cheap college would be if he really practiced :)

By the way – C-bone – not sooooo impressed :)


I think that is all and if I missed anyone I apologize.

No geek stuff here.

I was going to write a entry that would have made my pocket protector proud but my coach wrote it and I can’t come anywhere close to explaining it in level that he does…if you want a really good read, check out Alan’s Blog at – he is really one of the smartest people I know and can explain REALLY technical concepts at an understandable level.

So with my pocket protector safely back in its holster I am going to take a chance and do the Lieto challenge again.

Chris spoke at Trek Store of Jax awhile ago and he challenged all of us to take a goal and “put it out there” so that you would be “held accountable”.

Well – here it is – kinda like ripping off the band aid…I know this is gonna HURT

I want to go 3:22 off the bike in Florida…that’s it…it’s out there.

Ironman Arizona 2008 1028

Oh boy – now I don’t feel good :)

Actually I really like Chris’ philosophy – it is not bragging (because I haven’t done it yet) – it is not cocky (because REALLY I am not sure I can) – it is a goal – pure and simple. If the day brings good conditions and I am descent shape after Kona – I will try and smack the clock in Florida.

If I don’t make it you can tell me “better luck next year mate” or “Hey shawn – nice marathon time – you suck – next time shut your pie hole” :).

Not putting a goal out there in an endurance event like IM allows too many deals.

The miles 80-112 on the bike are all Monte Hall – let’s make a deal.

On the run – the Monkeys keep handing you briefcases and then laugh their a$$es off as they open them and they all contain $1,000,000 :)

Nope – it’s out there - no deals.

Just – go out and do it – or fail – simple.

So – if your not doing anything November 1st and you want to see or follow my suffer-fest…show up and watch me blow up :)

I can promise you this – it will be an all or nothing event – Medal or Medical – you gotta dig the pain – 6 weeks and counting :)

No rants from me this week – but a “guest” rant from Joy Murphy…


So I do not have a blog and this is just a must share:
I plan my 21 mile run today on a Wednesday b/c I am doing the MS150 this weekend. I recruit 2 people to run with me. One friend who is training for a marathon in 4 weeks in Ohio and runs a great pace ran with me for the 1st 13. She comes in to use the bathroom before we go and my wonderfully behaved dogs try to attack her. So she walks outside to wait for me and I grab my fuel belt, calm the dogs down and walk out of my door to my garage and close my garage with an automatic key pad. We run 13 right on pace and come back to my house and the 2nd shift (Regina) meets me and we run the last 8. I come back home, open my garage door and go to open the door and it is locked! I have never in my 8 years of living there locked this door so I know I did not accidentally do it, so it must have been my wonderfully behaved dogs going crazy and jumping on the door and locked me out. Luckily Regina has a cell phone and I call my mom (Jimmy is working in OP and is of no help) and we drive to the northside to meet her to get a key. I come back home starving and grouchy and sweaty....the key does not work! As I am ready to eat dog food b/c that is all that is in my garage, Regina drives me to get a bagel but then has to leave for work. I had made some calls while I had her cell phone to get a locksmith to come out and am drinking out of my hose I decide to use my skills from growing up on the northside and used a hanger. After about 15 minutes...I broke in! I felt like superwoman at this moment! Now I must go swim!

BTW...does anyone want a dog? She does tricks!

Lastly from me – my sister Miah is hilarious...


She is a diver turned triathlete, begrudging cyclist and soccer mom…she wrote to me about an email I sent on the Cervelo sale – I laughed:

OHhhhhh...I thought it was a cocktail...I was going to order a Cervelo on the rocks with a twist of lime:) Hope the ride was good I am off to soccer I will not be texting while driving there and I resent the stereotyping. Your sister

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Results and Rants

Life is back to normal – I get to rant :)

1st Results

It was the second weekend in a row for the Iron Buttz and this time it was Wisconsin.

Cheese Heads and Bratwurst and 140.6 miles – what more could you ask for :)


Vann Simmons from Amelia Island headed up to Wisconsin in the best shape he has been in years.

He did ALL of the work and then some.

Vann is an incredible cyclist and logs a LOT of miles and has great speed.

His swim and run are solid and if he put it all together - he knew he would be in the top ranks.

Sunday Vann hit all of his goal splits – almost spot on.

He swam a 1:06 and change, biked 5:34 on a VERY TOUGH course and ran a 4:02 marathon for a 10:53 – 40th in his age group – FANTASTIC JOB!!!

It is absolutely great to see someone set goal times and just NAIL THEM – really nice Vann – enjoy the recovery and safe travels home.


On the left coast, VMS Client #1 had a much shorter day but very similar experience at the LA Triathlon.

Paul Cantin has raced this event over the past few years and every year he gets better.

This year – TOP 10 in his AG with a new PR.

LA has only a “few” triathletes so the competition is tough.

This is also the race that made the top 10 photo shots from last year magazines – 6 foot shore break and the racers are heading out into it. Yeah – that is “normal” California surf.

This is a premiere course with a TOP NOTCH field and that is a great result – Congrats Paul – back to the grind – Clearwater is in 9 weeks :)

In the shortest distance and the shortest competitor category – Carabba’s Summer Run 5 mile race was held on the beach on Saturday night.

For JC, this would almost not be worth noting if it were not for her warm up ride.


JC joined the Iron Buttz and rode 112 miles with us in the morning and then went 32:01 for a 4th place overall finish 7 hours later.

And no, I didn’t suggest, hint, think, infer, condone or intimate that I thought this was AT ALL a good idea :)

JC and I have a great coaching relationship, I tell her what I think, she does what she wants and gets GREAT results – I am not sure I am necessary but if she lets me call her a client – I’ll take it :)

Shortest Competitor – what - did the midget race?

NO – not the midget – VMS only has 3 TRULY sponsored clients and the ONE – THE ONLY – C- BONE was on the start line.

His annual training plan was in place.

His base season – solid.

His build up – perfection.

His taper – spot on.

His warm up – just like Lance.

He was focused.

He is tapered.

He was ready.

He was in the moment.

It’s go time.

(Real version – “Dad – can I race that race?” I look at my watch…4 minutes until start time. Let me see…Dad sprints over the sand dunes taking out 4-5 people in the process – slaps $12 on the table signs and form and is back in 2 minutes 30 seconds. Pins attach numbers to his surf shorts – t-shirt comes off and the Dude is on the starting line with 1 minute to go – NICE :).)

Coen ran and finished the 1 – mile fun run in fantastic form – he was all smiles and I think even gave the crowd a little “raise the roof” salute in the chute.

Run Coen Run

Mom and Dad were all smiles too – it was a VERY cool finish.


On yeah – I ran with him and the only person I know that has worse pacing is the sinker. Coen was sprint – walk – sprint - walk – sprint – ok – you get the picture :)


My 1st medal :)

Rants albeit a very short one.

It is 9/9/08 and it is Josh’s Birthday - he is 15 - the roads are no longer safe and he is smiling :)

Traditions in our family are pretty important to me and also apparently to the boys.

I told Josh last night "Happy Birthday" and that I was heading to the gym in the morning.

He gave me a kinda – WTF look.

Then I remembered – “Dude – you want Birthday breakfast? – I’m sorry – no problem – Donuts at 6am :)”

For as long as I can remember – probably when I was 4 or 5…

Dunkin Donuts was THE Birthday Breakfast.

My Grandfather used to take me there…it was a long drive…but it was worth it.

So – this morning – 5am wake up – 5:10 head to DD. Pull up to the drive through and hear…

“Velcom to Dunkin Dunkin – I take order please.”

I am thinking – there is NO WAY that I am going to get what I want through this speaker and broken English – I need to go inside.

Besides it’s Dunkin Donuts NOT Dunkin Dunkin.

I pull around – the inside doesn’t open until 5:30 – nice. Back to the drive through…

“Velcom to Dunkin Dunkin – I take order please.”

I say “Medium Coffee with cream and 2 splenda and a dozen donuts”

“Sir, thank you Sir – please pull up Sir”

I am thinking – what kind of donuts am I getting – never mind – I will unscrew this at the window.

I am greeted by a VERY middle aged Asian woman who is throwing more Sirs at me than a Marine Corp Private on Paris Island.

She gets my Coffee and gets my donuts and it replaced at the window by a middle eastern man with a HEAVIER accent and donut all over his hands to take my money and give me more “SIRS” and Thank you’s.

I am scratching my head.

This is Florida – northern Florida – home of red necks and barbecue.

Who hired and put these two on the schedule at the same time?

It must have been the managers last laugh as he turned in his keys and quit.

This is NOT “Dunkin Dunkin” it is Dunkin Donuts and you need to at least know and be able to say the name of where you work. PLEASE.


Anyway – my coffee was actually good – the donuts great and the back of my head sufficiently scratched wondering what were the managers thinking.

I guess I will wait until the next birthday to experience this again…until then it’s Bucks.

Flash back – Sunday afternoon – 3:30pm – 93 degrees – drive to the Starbucks drive through with Josh, Gabe (I think we adopted him but I don’t remember signing the paperwork) and the Bone for Frappacinos after the skate park.


“Welcome to Starbucks would you like to try our Perfect Oatmeal?”

Dude - It’s 93 degrees in the middle of the afternoon – WTF?

I am going back to Dunkin' Dunkin' :)

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Results and Raves

...sorry no rants this week…

Shaved Leg Tough Guys

Curtis Long and Karel Sumbal had fantastic results in the ATL this weekend with Curtis taking 2nd in the Crit on Sunday and Karel placing 14th in the 100K on Monday. This race is “real” deal and the final sprint was over 50MPH.


Congrats to the Lindner team!!!

Tri Guys can run

Paul Cantin, VMS Client #1, took 2nd in a 5K in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA with an 18:36 (5:59 average) placing him 2nd in his AG and 24th our of over 1000 athletes. Congrats Paul!!!

The BIG show on the O-HI-O

Hercules and I rolled into “Lewey-ville” late on Saturday and proceeded directly to 4th street live to get our grub on. Starving from a couple of plane rides we rolled into Hard Rock and they were on an hour wait at 9:15pm and this was just from the local’s.

We opted for the Bar at TGI Fridays and got our spectator “pre-race” meal in – chicken sandwiches and LOTS or fries :) Hey it is hard being a Sherpa and we needed to make sure we were fueled up.


Sunday morning started INCREDIBLY early as the IM Louisville start is a time trial start were the athletes go off every 3 seconds. It is 1st come first serve for the swim start so we got down to transition with Lyndon, Kellie and Carrie at 5:10am and it was a 15 minute walk to the swim start.


Sitting around for close to 2 hours before the start you get to see a LOT of people freaking out. Really Freaking OUT!!!

Our 3 were NOT part of this – they were calm, cool and collected.


The rest of the crowd was panicking enough to really make me wonder (silently) why the hell would anyone do this?

Seriously, 90% of the people out there are NOT going to be even close to front.

They are going to suffer all day and for what? Bragging rights? Personal Bests?

It was actually a little unsettling. I was starting to wonder why I do this distance?

Hell, it is stupid to train as hard and as long as we do. It’s NOT healthy, in fact it’s probably UNHEALTHY – it’s not good for our jobs, not great for our families, why do we do this?

I must have been thinking about this for a while as Hercules said – “man – your quiet”. I choose not to relay out load my inner voice and just chalked it up to 3:40 wakeup.

The bugler played his tune – the gun went off and so did the iron lemmings one by one into the river…


We strolled back down to the swim exit to watch T1 – send them off.


Once they were off, we figured we would go for a run on the bike course to check out the riders. Let’s just say Hercules and the map didn’t coincide and we ran close to two hours and the only people we saw on the course were the 2:00+ hour swimmers.

Hercules, not known for “inside” voice wondered "outload" the benefits of an aero helmet on a 220+ pound athlete on a road bike after a two hour swim…I just said “be nice”.

After figuring out we could not watch without running 22 miles one way – we decided to turn around and watch T2.

Then the drama started.

Apparently my phone had been ringing off the hook with family, well wishers and worries (me soon to be included on that list) wondering what was up with our crew. Lyndon was not showing up at all and Kellie had only a swim time. After trying to contact anyone and everyone who would talk to us the organizers finally said you’ll just have to wait it out.


Around 5:45 into the bike we found Lyndon’s bike in T2 and realized we had somehow missed him. At least we knew he was on the run and that was good news.

The midget was still missing and when she showed up at 6:30 into the bike she was without her chip. An overzealous volunteer in the T1 tent ripped it off and put it in her bag for her.


We got her another chip and on to the run.

Hercules and I took up our “post” at the turn around point and started crunching numbers.

Lyndon was in 33rd coming off the bike but was running REALLY strong and he had a BUNCH of guys in front slowing down drastically.


Kellie was somewhere around 13-16 off the bike and was running smooth.

Carrie (Kellie’s twin) made it off the bike at 7:21 and was running 10’s which is FANTASTIC for the training she was able to get in and this being her 1st Ironman.

Lyndon finished up the marathon closing 20 places in age group and pass over 100 people to finish in 10:39 and 13th in his age group – ABSOLUTELY GREAT EFFORT!!!

He crossed the line – said hello to Lesleigh and slumped down on a park bench for a good long sit – he gave it his all.

After walking him back to the room, we headed out to find the midget and make sure she was ok and she was all smiles at mile 24 and still running strong. 1st and 2nd in her AG where the only people left in front of her and they were simply out of reach on the day.


Her marathon of 3:52 was one of the fastest amateur times of the day and she moved past 10 people in her age group to finish in 11:52 and 3rd place. Not to be out done by Lyndon, Kellie took a few minutes to sit down and then we put her in a wheel chair and rolled her over to medical.


Our broken Midget was repaired by the medical staff and returned to us in one piece.


After the two finishers had a chance to get cleaned up and the Sherpa’s picked up all of the VERY DISGUSTING gear – really – it was BAD – we headed back to bring in Carrie and then sit down for a well deserved meal.

Carrie was all smiles as she brought home her first time finish in 14:38 – CONGRATS CARRIE – YOU ARE AN IRONMAN!!!!


All the crew was all smiles, the goals attained and the tanks emptied.

My momentary confusion of the early morning as to whether all of this was worth it of not, completely resolved in the smiles of my friends and strangers.

The wide eyed deer in the headlight looks of the predawn still were now replaced by the quiet content of accomplishment.


Hercules and I had a BLAST!!!

It was a FANTASTIC EXPERIENCE and capped off by getting to see the Midget on stage accepted her 3rd place AG award in front of over 1000 people.


We are ALL so incredibly proud of the efforts these guys gave – all of the hard training they endured – the sacrifices they made and the results they achieved.

Kia Kaha – hey wait - you already did that!!!