Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Could Bearsharktopus Threathen Screaming Pumpkin?

Shev did Ironman Wisconsin in Madison a month ago and had I known it I would have never let her in the water. I found out the night after her race they found a dead body floating!!!! Yuck!!!!! It's true. She was pretty nervous and didn't know why. She's kind of psychic and I didn't just want to write it off to pre-race nerves. Well, today we found out why. They have a really nasty beast in that lake. It's called Bearsharktopus and it's really scary! Here is a picture of it.

Whew! It's my understanding that peeing in the water can attract this beast. Be careful Shev! Ironman can be dangerous. As for you pumpkin heads. Be afraid. Be VERY afraid. Wisconsin and Illinois are separated by only an unguarded border with little more than a toll booth attendant to stop him. Could Bearsharktopus exist in Springdale cemetary? God help us if it does.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

KFC Introduces New Family Size Nugget

Rich Giebelhausen is Crazy!

I'm scared of heights. I can hardly watch!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Honda's High-Tech Unicycle that Drives Sideways

Ok. This is pretty cool. A unicycle designed by Honda that can not only balance using robot technology but is capable of traveling sideways. I do think it needs to be taller though. I'd like to be about 20 feet off the ground!

Rich Giebelhausen's Auckland 1/2 Marathon Race Report

Well, that was an interesting race. Pretty much makes the IVS Half Marathon look like a flat course!!
It was very challenging and what really added to the fun was for over half the course we had to run on sidewalks. They wouldn't let us run in the streets because they were real busy. The problem was the sidewalks were right next to the streets. Most of them were concrete and you had to deal with all the curb and driveway elevation changes. It seemed like your feet never had a level or even surface to land on. I am not real (actually, I am awful) good on uneven surfaces so it added to the fun: an interesting twist to the race since I don't wear my glasses when I run. The side walks were narrow so passing was a challenge in spots.
I am not trying to sound like I am complaining but it wasn't easy - as my time shows it. I think we are a little spoiled with how big races are run in this country. It was well run but not being able to use the streets; well that was different.
Here is a link from my Garmin:
If you click on the elevation tab, you will see what the course was like - over 2,900 feet of elevation gain! The first couple of climbs were manageable but starting at the 8K mark the fun really began. It just didn't let up until about the 12K mark. Some of the switchbacks were very tight so doing the inside line would just add to the misery. In theory, you would think the downhill would help but the legs were trash by that point.

Rich and I were talking last night at the Tri-P social at Old Chicago. In addition to the World Championships and the 1/2 he decided to do a bit of bungee jumping. Here are a few shots. Would I do it. No! Not just no. Hell NO!!!

Screaming Pumpkin News

We ironed out many issues at our meeting of pumkin heads on Sunday. David, our race director is really doing a great job of keeping us on track. This event is going to be awesome. The Striders are pitching in and Mike Lewellen is going to map out his famous 5k route. The band is a definite as well. We were given a look at the beanies as well. They are going to be really nice for winter runs. The orange color adds to the pumpkin theme. I need to order the finishers awards and we still have a bunch of work. Overall it turned out to be a very helpful meeting. Collin Krause makes a mean Latte. If you are interested in registering either as an individual or as a team go here:

Friday, September 25, 2009

Barefoot Running Hurts So Good

Barefoot running makes me happy. It's not because it's more comfortable than shoes. In many respects its not. Like most things in life there is both pain and pleasure to be had here. There is an upside to pain and suffering; feeling alive. By making myself uncomfortable I appreciate the pleasure on a deeper level than I ever could without knowing these two sides of the coin. By getting out of my comfort zones I make new personal breakthroughs. To really know a thing means to also know it's opposite.

When I go too far with my barefoot experiments I experience pain. It starts out small like mild sunburn and over time gradually increases. If I go too far beyond what I've done prior and before I am ready, I develop sores on the bottoms of my feet. It's a fine line. As I practice being barefoot by running more and more miles, I push back the time until injury occurs. Like pressing a knife, you have to know how far you can go. Although frustrating, I enjoy the challenge. You have to try and sometimes fail if you hope to get better at anything. On a normal run, without a new limit to be found, I enjoy the warmth of road worn soles in the same way someone might enjoy hot peppers. It's pleasure of a much more natural feeling than running in shoes. I get a lot of feedback from various surfaces; texture, temperature, moisture, etc. My feet grip and release and I get all kinds of sensation. You might be surprised how good running without shoes makes you feel.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Barefoot Workouts of Late

Sunday -- 14 miles w/in foot paws.
Monday biked for 30 minutes low intensity
Tuesday -- 8 1/2 with Ron (ankles were extemely sore at start and got better later in run)
Wed -- bailed. My right ankle was swollen so I didn't chance it. Came back home and played basketball easy w/ my kids. I did see Neltner and Bill Evans running. They looked like they were feeling great!

What's Bugging You?

If you've spent any time at all outside running the last few weeks you've no doubt noticed you are covered in thousands of little specs. On close examination, you realize they are little bugs but they are not gnats. Not only is this totally gross, sadly, it may also have been introduced on purpose. You are experiencing the latest alien invasion in Central Illinois. The Asian aphid. Is it random or is it the USDA's way of making farm life better? If you know the answer give me a shout.

"As the soybean dries out they're moving out of soybean and trying to find buckthorn, which is their winter host," said Whitman. "So they're flying around looking for buckthorn. They're going to be doing that until the cold weather knocks them out."

The aphids will continue to bug us for a while. But Whitman says they won't be as bad next year.

Not it's not clear from what I have read whether these pests were brought here intentionally or by accident but who ever made the call on these if it was deserves a boot up their A##!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Man Zone Bed!

Magniflex’s Lamborghini bed features auto maker’s logo: the closest thing to that race-car bed he had at six. Built-in coolant: Mattress includes technology to minimize trapped body heat.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Local Couple Completes St. Louis To Chicago Spectathalon

Some local runners have been trying their hand at Ironman triathlons but two IVS members have stepped up to tackle something much more extreme. Michael and Dawn Helgeson competed this weekend in a 500 mile 2 day Spectathalon. The course involved a a 140km drive from Peoria to St. Louis, a 30 minute hot tub at the local La Quinta Inn, a 3 hour Cardinal Baseball game, another 30 minute hot tub, 8 adult beverages, one late night inebriated phone call to Chris Friedman (with singing), a brutal 10 mile run along the banks of the Mississippi River totally hung over, breakfast, a 220km drive to Soldier Field, 2 hours and 5 beers later a walk to The Hilton Palmer House and a morning drive home with VERY dark shades.

Well Done Team Helgeson!!!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Great Halloween Costume!

Tuesday I did 8 miles at 8:05 pace which represented a new best. I think I'm getting this finally. Last night I attempted 15 at get-er-done pace but I bailed at 12 mainly because I didn't start till after 5:30 and as slow as I move sans shoes it was getting too late to keep moving. Tonight I am thinking I might want to bike instead. We'll see. I'm definitely not in premiere marathon condition. As we get closer to the Screaming Pumpkin, I started searching for Costume ideas. Heres a great one! Bumble!!!!!! Watch how this guy actually changes back into a Camaro; too cool!


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Shev's Ironman Update

Shevaun finished 11th out of 118 in her division yesterday in the Ford Ironman Wisconsin. Way to go Shevaun!




























2.4 mi. (1:11:48)





40 mi. (2:14:36)

17.83 mph


83 mi. (2:26:01)

17.67 mph


112 mi. (1:43:36)

16.80 mph


112 mi. (6:24:13)

17.49 mph




6.35 mi. (53:15)



13 mi. (1:00:18)



19.23 mi. (1:10:38)



26.2 mi. (1:11:26)



26.2 mi. (4:15:37)










Friday, Sept 11

God bless America.....let us never forget what happened.

My running went well this morning. I went 18 miles barefoot. A new barefoot distance best. It gives me much confidence to complete this with no major nicks and absolutely no blisters. The time to complete was very slow at 3 hours 17 minutes. I definitely took my time to ensure I didn't come unglued. Still much work to do but I am happy.

Now it's off to watch my wife compete in Ironman Wisconsin.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Thursdy Pool Run, No Party Tonight

Did 5 1/2 miles from the pool easy. Constrained by the clock as Shev's out of town partying before her ironman and yet she still expects me take care of the kids. Did some core work as well when I got back. Mac and Cheese for the little turkeys tonight! Prepped by mom but I did all the work in turning on the oven to reheat!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


We know a thing by its opposite. We know happiness because we know what sadness is. Hot means nothing without cold. Mozart is enhanced by Michael Jackson. Learning to run naturally without pain is learned by knowing pain. By embracing our failures we can taste success. Life is a process. Knowing an opposite enables us to get a "boost" of mood to appreciate more profoundly what we experience. Trying something new and uncomfortable enriches us in ways we can't predict from the comfort of our easy chairs. Set a goal and make it one that's not certain to be achieved. Try something new.

6 Miles on the Treadmill last night with 40 mins of core/stability before. Did one of the miles at 6:44 pace. Had to slow down because my technique was falling apart. The treadmill really abrades the soles so I have to be conservative. I don't know if it's the moving surface or the texture of the belt. Maybe it's a combo of both. I believe it can be helpful at getting me back up to pace though I must be cautious. It's not quite barefoot running.

I'm going up to Madison to watch Shev compete in her first Ironman tomorrow. I'm hoping she has a good day. I'm looking forward to it! She's ready.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Better; Better Yet

Monday, 23 mile bike at moderate effort -- Better
Tuesday, 8 1/2 miles barefoot -- Better yet!

I opened up tremendously the last mile (in those gay dancer footies) but I felt I really had the proper technique. I looked down and was doing 7:15 which in the good ol days of shoes would not have been worth the keyboard time but I was surprised to be back in these speed ranges. Now if I can only figure out how to get there with regularity.

Monday, September 7, 2009

A bit of confidence

Sunday was raining but not unpleasantly cold. We stepped from Running Central and the Whites opened up early for a promotion. It was great to get out of the rain. I was having trepidations because I've been unable to get over this 12 mile barrier. Sometimes you need a crutch to help you overcome what seems very difficult. Anyway, i found some modern dance "shoes" that you put your toes through like gloves. They are made for dancing on hardwood floors and provide a little suede cushion on the ball of the foot to prevent blisters. They only go up to mid arch. So no heel support or straps. Very minimal. I am in the learning phase and I wanted something that wouldn't allow for me to revert to my form in shoes. They took it for the team. By the end of the run they had big holes in the soles. This might be an indication I'm scuffing a bit. Regardless, now my feet are in pretty good shape for the next, albeit shorter, barefoot run. I believe the dance paw still promote a barefoot stride. It's not the same as being barefoot mind you, but it can be effective at getting you through an injury on the ball of the foot or to a new unattempted distance. I am happy I completed 16 miles. It's a new first. Now I need to do this distance without them.

After the run, I went up to visit my bud Ty and enjoyed roast pig and beer in Downers Grove. It turned out to be a great afternoon and my kids enjoyed all the kids that were there as much as I did. It's Labor day so I get another day from work. Very nice.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Transitional Notes; It's all in the feet

The biggest difference in running barefoot vs in shoes is the foot strike. In shoes you extend a bit more than without. Even the Vibrams encourage this. If you run in this form barefoot you will quickly get some pretty sore feet. Transitioning is less about getting your soles to toughen as to learn the technique. If you get it right, you avoid transmitting excessive forces into your feet, knees and hips.

My biggest obstacle is the memorization of the technique. It has to be unconscious. Another is the muscles and tendons are still strengthening. I've been wearing shoes for most of my childhood and all of my adult life. It takes time and work to get where I need to get. On top of all this is the chronic hip condition Osteitus Pubis. It makes me feel like the muscles of my lower abs and groin are doing all the work. This makes me very sore and it's most noticeable right at the beginning of a run. Dr. Ryan recommended I take 6 months to allow the bone and tendon to heal. I may be forced to do this but before I do, I'll do some research. That setback is gonna really cost me.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drinkers Appear to Get More Exercise Than Non-Drinkers

Study: Drinkers Appear to Get More Exercise Than Non-Drinkers, but Longer Workouts Don't Outweigh Health Woes of Heavy Drinking

I was too lazy to get out of bed to do my workout this morning. I was dreaming I was racing in the Triathlon above. You know those dreams. The ones were you can't move. In this one I was behind the pack. For some reason, I had a calmness with it. I didn't mind the view from back here and had no urge to peddle faster. I couldn't seem to find the energy to get out of bed. Now I know why. Evidently, I haven't been drinking enough beer. The study (see link below) finds a positive correlation between motivation for exercise and alcohol consumption. Isn’t it great when you find out something you thought was bad is actually (kind of) good?

Check out this link!

God I want to drink that Kool-Aid

On Monday night the gang gathered at Running Central. Greg and Blair were there. Team RC is putting a crew together under Coach Greg and Blair to race Huntsville in December. Many of us are currently running Greg and Blair's program and seeing good results. Blair does the VO2max tests at Proctor and Greg uses this information along with the frequent time trials to help determine how the fitness is coming along. Based on my initial estimate, we should have at least a dozen of us going to race at Huntsville. The women coming should really help increase the teams visibility as we have some really strong girls interested this year.

Greg is putting a plan together tailored for each individual but based on the same race day. The biggest thing to keep in mind about having a coached plan versus a self-designed one is you HAVE to be committed to and maintain an open dialog. Trust in Greg and Blair and you will hit your goals. I know from experience. This plan allowed me to break 3 hours last year.

Patrick Arnold, our local mileage junkie, is seeing some serious results already. Greg has him "throttled" back to only about 90 miles a week.

"I would encourage any of you to try using the schedules that Greg can set up. It is hard work but it is a better schedule than anything I have tried before. I enjoy my training more than I did with Pfitzinger and I think it will pay off."

My biggest problem however is I'm still in the middle of my barefoot transition. Transitioning to barefoot is not at all about tough soles. If you hope to develop soles that are as thick and tough as shoes you will be disappointed. It ain't gonna happen. You need to learn a whole new way to run. Barefoot, I am landing with my legs bent much more than I previously had and landing more softly than I ever did before. I have to. Even in the Vibrams, I find myself reverting back to my pre-barefoot running style. You just cannot substitute for bare feet if you really want to learn how. I've noticed the change in stance means I don't yet have enough hip strength for long distances. This is tough for me as I am still struggling with the ostietus condition from the spring. Currently, my mileage and pace have taken a big hit. I am unable to run the BDI program successfully. Unable yet to drink the Kool-Aid. Man does it look tasty!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Screaming Pumpkin

The great folks who run the Macon Ga Make it By Midnight marathon have given PATFC the inspiration to try something similar here. Macon is quite a ways away from Peoria. But lot's have folks have commented to me how cool the prediction concept is. I hope someday a get chance to go to Macon and experience first hand the one and only Make it By Midnight run. From Matt's description, I'm thinkin it's a real GRINDER! PATFC will host something similar albeit not be as hard core on Halloween. It's a 12 noon finish instead of midnight. We are still working out the details so just keep watching the PATFC site for details. Basically, the plan is to use the Springdale Cemetary's IVS 1/2 marathon course X 2. The race will accomodate relays (of up to 4 runners) and individuals. No watches or pacing devices are allowed. The IVS 1/2 course is a challenging enough loop that you will get a unique opportunity to hone your skill at running consistently, by feel.....More to follow.