Jan 15

Check. Check. Is This Thing On?

December 14th. Wow. It has been a long time since that last post. Time to do some catching up (roughly in chronological order).

In early December, Jennie and I ventured to Cincinnati and then Kentucky to celebrate a friend’s birthday and check out the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. The Bourbon Trail was pretty awesome and I highly recommend visiting even if you aren’t a huge fan of bourbon (or are pregnant and unable to drink the bourbon). It was almost more a historical/scientific tour than anything. I learned a lot about the process that goes into making the bourbon as well as the history of the area and companies

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I’ve been training a bit with a group called RunGR. They recently merged with the triathlon group I trained with last year. Obviously, based on the name, the group is more run focused now. However, they intend on adding in bike and swim workouts to make it more applicable to triathlon. Any ways, one of my first runs with the group was a beer run – 8 miles with a total of 4 stops at different brewing companies.

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This is about half of the group. There was probably 25 of us total.

For New Year’s, I joined a huge group of riders out to brave the cold for a Hair of the Dog ride. The turnout was incredible – nearly 200 crazy devoted riders.

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Our leader weaved us on an urban mountain bike ride; weaving up and down narrow alleys, trekking across open fields, and through parks. Of course, as the name implied, there were two beer stops along the way.

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The first beer stop at The Pointe Bar – we didn’t all fit. The second stop wasn’t much better.

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So some people brought their own supply.

Along the way, there were a couple of hill drag races. Line up at the bottom of the hill, the starter drops his helmet and when it hits the ground, haul ass up the hill. And to make it even harder, the climbs were on cobblestone roads that I didn’t even know existed in Grand Rapids. I participated in the first race and actually did pretty well. I was probably 5th or 6th out of ~25 riders. I spectated the other two races.

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Trust me though. I have been doing more than just drinking bourbon and beer (although that would make for a pretty good life).

I ended up taking nearly 6 weeks of fairly easy workouts to recover from a pulled rectus abdominis. I never had it officially diagnosed, but did plenty of self diagnosis and had a buddy in pre-med check it out. I was able to run and bike without much pain, but I still took it relatively easy. Swimming, however, was a no go. I finally got back in the pool during the past couple of weeks.

During the recovery time, I dove head first into finishing up the bathroom remodel. I know what you are thinking, “He is still working on that same project.” Yes, it has taken me a long time, but I honestly hadn’t put that much work into it until recently. After demolition and getting the window installed (which we wanted to do while it was still warm out), the project got put on the back burner for a while. It is nearly completed now with only some finishing touches left. I hope to do a full blog post with lots of pictures in the next week or two.

Once I started to get back into training, my first big effort was the annual Resolution Run on New Year’s Eve. It is a 4 mile loop around Reeds Lake so I get home course advantage. Last year, I was in the middle of Pfitz marathon training, so I figured that this year would be bit slower. I ended up going about 20 seconds slower this year, but managed to move up both in my AG placing and overall placing, so I’ll take it. All the times were a bit slower because of the cold and wind this year. Jennie had a great race as well!

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The past two weeks have been spent getting my training ramped back up.  My running and bike fitness held on pretty well. My swim fitness went straight down the crapper though. I feel like I am starting from scratch. Both my speed and endurance were completely gone when I started back up. I’m confident that it will return in the next month or so. I finally have the mental urge to get a training plan hashed out though.

Finally, a quick pregnancy update. Everything is going great We are both very excited and are getting into full planning mode. We are currently getting some preliminary home projects wrapped up so that we can started working a nursery. The first ultrasound will be in a couple weeks and we hope to find out the gender of the baby. Jennie has been able to continue to run, walk, and bike (on the trainer) consistently throughout the pregnancy. I am super proud of her because I can’t even imagine working out for two people.

Thanks for reading!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2013/01/15/check-check-is-this-thing-on

Dec 14

Our Growing Family

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Jennie and I are happy to announce that we are having a baby!!! If you are on Facebook, this might be old news, but I finally have a few minutes seconds to catch up on the blog. We couldn’t be more excited!

We found out in mid-October that we were pregnant with Baby Neumann due to arrive June 2013. And let me tell you, it was super hard to not tell everyone immediately. How do you honestly respond when someone asks, “What’s new?”. Ummmm… “Nothing….” On top of that, I had to side step the questions about races next year. Let me be clear though, rumors of my retirement are 100% false and I still plan on racing next year. I just won’t be doing any big races are or traveling.

We haven’t had an ultrasound yet, but we were able to listen to the baby’s heartbeat. Way cool!!! At a 170bpm, I have a feeling that Jennie is growing a world class triathlete.

We still have lots to learn and lots of prep to do, but it is sure to be an exciting and fun time!

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Stay tuned for updates!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/12/14/our-growing-family

Nov 29

Three Things Thursday

2013

I have finally started to think about 2013 (at least a little) and even have signed up for a couple races. I have a friend that wants to try and Kona Qualify at the St. Croix 70.3 in May (they offer 30 Vegas slots and 30 Kona slots). I’m not up to racing, but I told him that I would train with him. It should be good for us both. As for my races, I signed up for a indoor tri series at the Y. It will be 3 races in each January, February, and March. Races include 15 minutes of each discipline with 5 minute transitions. I also took advantage of a Cyber Monday sale and signed up for Tri Del Sol for only $40! Tri Del Sol was actually my first tri ever back in 2008. It should be fun to see how much I can crush my time by.

Rib

And of course as soon as I start thinking about next year, I get injured. I pulled a muscle or something which is causing my some pain in my lower rib cage. It seems to be fine for running and cycling, but swimming is a no go. I tried yesterday and stopped after 200 yards. Swimming itself doesn’t bother it that much, but the turns (both flip and open) hurt like crazy. I’m going to take it easy for a couple days and probably start back up again next week if it is feeling better.

Chex Mix

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The season is upon us for my favorite holiday snack – Chex Mix! I made my first batch last night and have plenty more cereal for at least 3 more batches. I have to put on a winter warmth layer and this should help!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/11/29/three-things-thursday-6

Nov 27

Random Updates

Hello there. I’m still alive, just super swamped with life. Here’s a little bit of what has been going on.

We bought a new car! After 7 years and 155k miles of loyal service, we decided that it was time to put Little Red out to pasture. We ended up buying a Jeep Patriot (still unnamed).

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It is kind of weird to think that 6 months ago we had two cars and now don’t have either of those cars. I know that it is just a hunk of metal, but it is easy to grow attached knowing how many places we traveled in each of the cars. Goodbye Little Red, you’ll be missed!

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I’ve already ordered a hitch to put on, but still need to find a bike rack. I really like the Saris Thelma rack, but it doesn’t allow access to the rear lift gate. So, for all you cyclists and triathletes out there, what kind of hitch mounted bike rack do you have? Would you recommend it?

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! We sure did. We started out early with our own Thanksgiving celebration a couple weeks ago.

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Thanksgiving Day kicked off with a local Turkey Trot 5k. I haven’t run a 5k in forever let alone done any speed work recently so I knew it was going to be interesting. I did the (notso)smart thing by tapering with a 50 mile bike ride the day before hand. Despite it all, I ended up running a 19:02 – only 7 seconds off my PR!

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After that it was off to two celebrations with my family followed by a trip across the state for more celebrations with Jennie’s family over the weekend.

After Thanksgiving, Jennie and I celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our first date. Unfortunately the restaurant we went to as part of the date burned down a couple of years ago and they never rebuilt it. So, we recreated the best part of it, the dessert! A giant chocolate chip cookie pilled high with ice cream, chocolate and whipped cream.

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Slowly but surely, the bathroom is coming together. I am honestly just not spending a ton of time working on it – a few hours here, a few hours there. I managed to get the plumbing done last weekend which was a huge personal success. Despite a couple extra trips to the hardware store, it went much better than I could have imagined. I plan on wrapping up the electrical and drywall this week. After that, I’ll nearly be to the home stretch with only tiling, painting, and finishing touches left.

And this is going back a couple weeks, but I had the pleasure of accompanying Jason to his first ever Notre Dame football game. And not only that, but I am happy to report that the Texan managed to survive the cold Midwest fall day. He must still have some New Yorker blood left in him after all.

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And what a game it was. A triple overtime win made for a super exciting game.

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And now, that game is made even better with Notre Dame just capping off a 12-0 season with a win over USC. It is a good year to be Irish! 

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The light atop Grace Hall – lit again!
(source: http://subwayalumnistation.blogspot.com/)

Thanks for reading!

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/11/27/random-updates-2

Nov 01

Identity Crisis

What am I? Am I a runner who bikes and swims? Am a cyclist who swims and runs? Am I a triathlete who simply likes to take things offroad every now and then? At least that I know I am not a swimmer who bikes and runs.

What am I talking about?

Well, all summer long, I was crushing it on the bike and having an absolute blast. I was taking every chance I could to do group rides with a bunch of roadies to improve my bike skills. I spent many a Monday’s hammering it out on the Monday Night Time Trial course in Ada pushing with everything I had in me to better my time by a few seconds each week. I did back to back long rides to increase my endurance and even managed to do a sub-5 hour century during training for the first (and second) time. I was beginning to think that I was becoming a true cyclist.

However, all the while I was increasing my bike performance, I missed running. I started this crazy lifestyle as a runner. Running is my roots. I started running in 1997 for high school XC and except for a year or two off in college, I was purely a runner through 2008 when I started training for my first triathlon. So, in the back of my mind, I always seem find myself going back to my roots and identifying as a runner.

Now, this fall, I am splitting my time between dodging roots, rocks, and trees on the single track all the while pounding the pavement. And I can’t decide what I like more? I love the thrill of carving around a corner, hopping a log without thinking twice about it, or rocketing down a hill and grinding back up the other side.

But at the same time, I love hitting the roads and pounding out a 10-15 mile run and not think twice about it. Ever since my marathon training last winter, my runner performance and stamina has gone through the roof. I feel like I can run forever and at speeds that 5 years ago I never thought were possible.

I still haven’t figured out quite what I am, but I do know one thing… I am having a blast!

So, how do you identify?

Permanent link to this article: http://www.ironmanbythirty.com/2012/11/01/identity-crisis

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