Oct 05

A Little of Everything

Has it really been nearly 2 weeks since my last post? Yikes. Well between work and life, it has been pretty crazy around here. 

New Blog Layout

First things first.  If you are reading through Google Reader, you may not have noticed, but I have revamped the layout of the blog complete with new header images.  I’ve stuck with the Ironman By Thirty title, but added a new subtitle and spruced up the images and picked a new theme.  There are 6 different header images that cycle through each time the page loads.  I still have to clean up a couple of them because the checklist is hard to read, but it is getting there. What do you think? I also cleaned up all of my previous years’ race results pages.  That was a lot of fun to go back and see what my times were in previous races and see where I improved.

Optimal Recovery

I started off my IM recovery with a Notre Dame football game. Jennie and I headed off early in the morning to allow for plenty of tailgating time. Donuts and cider for breakfast, homemade subs and beer for lunch – is there really any better recovery food?  After two disappointing losses to open the season, the Irish finally got their first win of the season against MSU.  That brings my in-person record to 4-0 at ND games.


Spectating Like an Ironman

To make up for all of the spectating Jennie had to do over the course of the season and at IMWI, I took the spectating reigns the next weekend during a 5k Jennie was doing.  I think are about even now right? haha.  I’ll just share a couple quick pics from the race.  Head on over to Jennie’s blog to read all of her details.


Bailey was not at all happy to be tied to the fire hydrant while I snapped pictures.  I thought dogs liked fire hydrants?


Yep, Jennie passed her on the final stretch!


Man, spectating is hard work!

Concert Time

A couple weeks ago, Matt Smith asked Jennie and I if we wanted to go to a concert with a group of their friends.  The band was Switchfoot, a group both Jennie and I like, so the answer was an easy one.  So, last Thursday, we met up with Matt and Jenn for dinner before heading to the concert.  The concert was at Calvin College which is only about 2 miles from our house.  When we go there, we met up with Matt and Jenn’s friends Rachel and Donnie and Josh and Brittany.  I had previously met Josh and Brittany at Steelhead when Josh was racing.  It wasn’t much of a meeting because at the speed Josh passed me on the bike he was out of sight in about 5 seconds – he smoked the bike course! haha.

2011-09-29 19.24.42

They are all amazing people and easy to get along with.  Which is good because it was a LONG concert.  There ended up being two opening acts that both sang about 10-12 songs before Switchfoot came on stage at 10:30 (concert started at 8:00).  The opening bands were good but no one really knew any of there songs so that was kind of weird. 

Run, Ride, Row

At the concert on Thursday, Josh asked me if I would be up for doing what would amount to a 20 mile time trial on Sunday.  Sure, why not?  He and a friend were already signed up as a 2 man relay team for the Run, Ride, Row down in Berrien Springs.  Josh was planning on doing the Run and Ride, but really didn’t want to bike because he hadn’t been doing much biking since Steelhead.

So, at 5:00AM on Sunday, I headed down to the race.  It was freezing out! Literally. Only 31*F out when I left with a predicted 32*F by race time.  So, I had to bust out all the cold weather gear.  It ended up being a really small race.  So small, this was everyone on the starting line (Josh is in the orange).

2011-10-02 07.25.55

Matt and Jenn ended up making a surprise visit to cheer us on. Big thanks to them for cheering and snapping all the pictures!

Josh smoked the run with a sub-6 minute pace leaving me with only 2 people to catch on the bike.  The two other riders made about 30 and 45 second leads respectively.

2011-10-02 07.38.12

As soon as Josh tagged me after the run, I started to hammer it.  I immediately started making headway on the two leaders.  Matt, Jenn, and Josh’s wife Brittany, all hoped in the car and drove the bike course to cheer and photograph.  This was a huge help because I really didn’t know the course at all and it wasn’t marked very well.

2011-10-02 07.53.17

I passed the first guy at about mile 7.  Only one more to go.  For a while, it didn’t seem like I was making any progress on him at all and then all of a sudden, he was right there in front of me.  With him only about 25-30 yards in front of me, I settled in and let him lead because again, I didn’t really know where I was going.

Eventually, we hit a corner where everyone was cheering and saying that it was the last turn – straight ahead from there.  That was all I needed.  I took off and passed the final guy.  Only to be stopped by a stoplight and lose all the ground I gained.  Ugh.  Because it was a small race, the roads weren’t closed and we had to obey stop signs and stop lights.  I lost about a 30 second lead because of the light.

2011-10-02 08.35.40

As soon as the light turned green, we both took off and headed to the campground where we switched to the rowing.  As soon as I got there, I tagged Ryan and he took off in his kayak.

We then headed back to wait for Ryan to finish.  The plan was that Ryan would tag Josh and he would run the final .5 mile back to the finish line.  Unfortunately though, somehow we ended up on the wrong part of the river and totally missed Ryan until he was already across the finish line.

2011-10-02 09.40.47
The Run, Ride, Row “Dream Team” (Josh, Ryan, Me).

We ended up taking 2nd place in the team division by about a minute.  More importantly, we all had an absolute blast.

GR Marathon Decision

No fancy video this time, but I have finally decided to register for the Grand Rapids Marathon on October 16th.  I have been 95% sure I was going to run it. My biggest decision was whether or not to take the plunge and sign up for Lifetime Entry.  For $725, you get entry into every race as long as it exists.  As far as I know, this is the only race in the country that offers such a perk.  As tempting as it is, and knowing that I will probably continue to do the race each year I don’t have anything going on, I decided to pass. On second though, after talking to Jennie and her encouragement of, “I’m in the Lifetime Entry boat now” (and after finding out you get an extra special shirt each year), I took the plunge.  I am now a Lifetime Entrant for the Grand Rapids Marathon.  I just have to do the half or full marathon at least 6 more time and it will pay for itself.

And in the spirit of the late Steve Jobs, “One more thing”:


I’m absolutely loving this.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2011/10/05/a-little-of-everything-2


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  1. Greg

    Not sure how life didn’t seem as hectic before Redman, but how I feel like I don’t have time for anything now that Redman has come and gone, completely get the hectic crazy thing. Definitely like the changes to your blog.

    Laughed out loud just looking at your pic and knowing what happened. Sucks enough when you have stop lights on a training ride. Can’t imagine how big a momentum killer that is in a race. Good luck in GRM!

  2. Aimee (I Tri To Be Me)

    That relay sounds like it was a lot of fun! I love that you wore your Ironman jersey!! 🙂

  3. Matt Smith

    Wouldn’t it be funny if you guys decided to move to Utah or something and you had to fly back to get your money’s worth out of the GR Marathon every year? Haha!

    It was great seeing you so much last week. Good times. I wish we had figured out where Ryan would get out of the canoe. Ya’ll might have won. Nice work on the bike. You’re a stud. And, that breakfast was awesome!

    I like the new blog header. It’s sweet!
    Matt Smith recently posted..Apple Cider Century Flood Report

  4. BDD

    That race sounds fun, I need to do a relay for the fun of it

    There is a half mary somewhere in Ohio that if you win your AG you race free the next year
    BDD recently posted..Deer Creek Challenge Olympic Triathlon Race Report

  5. lindsay

    well i hope the race exists for at least 6 more years so that isn’t just one expensive extra shirt. i would have been tempted by the extra shirt too… heck i ran the goofy to get 3 medals and 3 shirts.

    look at jennie go! i think you may need to spectate one more 5k to even things up, but then you should be good.
    lindsay recently posted..september 2011: clemson

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      I totally want to do the Goofy someday. Hard to train for winter races in Michigan though. I know, excuses, excuses. I want 3 medals and 3 shirts though too!

      One more 5k? I think I can handle that.

  6. Heather O

    That was a jam packed post! Loved every bit of it from the ND win to the lifetime marathon entrant. Lets hope you never get sick of running!

    Congrats on the 2nd place run, ride, row! I’ve been on my bike exactly one time since Rev3 😉 Matt told me he wanted to ride this weekend and I just kind of gave him a glazed over look like “do I have to.”

    And finally congrats to Jennie for kicking butt in her 5k. I’m hoping her spectating crew was just as fabulous as all of your spectating crews!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      If I ever get sick of running, it will be time to get my head examined.

      Screw the bike rides when you have places to take nature walks like you and MattyO have. I found two awesome places to hike today on my bike ride…. but NO DOGS!!! WTF?

      I don’t like to brag, but Jennie’s spectating crew was pretty stellar 😉

  7. Morgan

    I don’t even know where to begin?!?!? Ok I love the new look of the blog which reminds me I seriously need to finish up my WP blog! I need to get with you on this soon! Do not let me put this off any longer!!!

    Moving on, that relay race looks like such a blast! Way to go guys!!!

    Spike is jealous of your lifetime membership to G.R.! Good luck next weekend!!!!
    Morgan recently posted..Wordless Wednesday

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Sounds good. I’ll keep on you to get it done. haha

      Lifetime membership is available for Spike too if he wants it 🙂 Christmas is right around the corner…

  8. ELizabeth

    Congrats on the lifetime Entrant…At that price, I hope that special shirt you get is woven with like real gold or something. Love the picture of Jennie kicking it into high gear on her race. I think you probably need to go see her run in about 100 more 5ks before you can call it even on the spectating. Good luck on your marathon next weekend!

  9. katie

    oooh, love the new look!

    lifetime membership, wow! have a blast next weekend!
    katie recently posted..three things thursday

  10. Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race

    Love the new look. Love the checklist. Nice job sir.

    When I saw the pic of you stopped I burst out laughing b/c I knew it was a stop sign and the race was so small that you guys probably looked like typical riders and not racing.

    The pictures of fall have me jealous. I cannot lie about that. I miss the leaves changing and that little bit of a cold snap when you first walk out the door. As a matter of fact I bought a hoodie just to wear around here and its 83*. Not hoodie weather but f it I’m wearing it.
    Jason @ Cook Train Eat Race recently posted..Athlete’s Plate by the Athlete

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      These fall colors are incredible. I just wish they stuck around for longer than a couple weeks. I’m going to be posting pics of my fall color tour tonight or tomorrow.

      You must be the only guy in TX that owns a hoodie. haha

  11. Jon

    How bout we tie u up to a fire hydrant? I kid! I kid!

    Where is this suspensful thing you and Matthew Smith have got going on? Or is it the anticipation of just waiting that is the thing;)

    Nice job at that race! Stupid red lights!
    Jon recently posted..Dear Steve Jobs: Thank You!

  12. Matt Oravec

    Alright, I hate having to click more things on your blog now… such an inconvenience for me!

    Ummm, I had to re-enter all my info to leave you a comment now too?!? COME ON!

    This is a great post 🙂 Just like us, post IM you hit the ground running and make up on all of the things in life you didn’t have time for before hand 😉

    Great stuff all around, hilarious on that stop light in the race haha.

    Good luck at the 26.2. My decision was definitely the right one for me. Everything is all weird now and cramping up and what not. Crossing my fingers you get the race time you want 😉

    And, 100% behind your registration for lifetime member. Seriously, kind of jealous they don’t do that here!
    Matt Oravec recently posted..Towpath Half Marathon Pre-Race Report and Nature Hike

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      Have to click more??? You had to click once to get to the comments page before right?? I was just trying to speed up page loads – noticed it was crawling a bit loading the full stories on the home page.

      Let me know if it doesn’t remember you info on the comment page next time. Not sure why it lost it but it might have been tied to the theme. Hopefully it remembers it next time or I can look into it.

      Hilarious is not what I was thinking at the stop light. There was a first place purse of $300 ($100 bucks for each teammate). Missed it by like 55 seconds or something like that.

      You and H are going to do the GR Marathon one of these days. Even if I have to come and pick you up. Seriously, you’d love it. I’m biased, but it is the best marathon I have ever done.

  13. DR

    Lots of good things going on!
    Love the blog layout

    you should be in better shape for GR than I was for TC…..good call on entering

    LOVE the lifetime option

  14. Mandy

    First – I LOVE the new look of the blog!! I SO need to work on mine. IT is on the list.

    GR Sounds like so much fun!!! Go for it! I wish I could be a lifetime member of something. 🙂

    I love the dream team. AND jealous you got to meet Smitty!

    1. Ironman By Thirty (Kevin)

      You are a lifetime member of something. You are an Ironman for life!

      After Smitty moves south, we’ll have to do a blogger meetup down there. He and his wife are two of the nicest people we have ever met.

  15. Pat

    Sounds like there is never a dull moment in the life of Kevin Neuman. Nice job on the TT!
    Pat recently posted..Winter Training

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