Sleepless Nights...

The nights leading up to an Ironman seems to always be...well sleepless. You are constantly wondering if you have checked, double checked and triple checked making sure you have everything ready for the big day.  You have laid everything out, mentally walked through the entire race and are still convinced you will forget something even if the checklist is completely checked off.

He is in there somewhere!!!

For me personally, this causes me to struggle to get to sleep each night leading up to the race. This year I had a little surprise that helped take my mind off completely off of that. A damn cricket that just thought it was freaking hilarious to make it's annoying noise from about 9pm-1am every single night.

So I am out there at midnight trying to drown that cricket with the hose, walking up and down the front bed stomping around, which I am pretty sure my neighbors might think I am a bit headcase but nothing was working because as you get close to them the get quite. It is like they are messing with you. Once you walk away, they start right back up...

I finally resulted to just turning on a fan and music and as all three blended together, I was eventually able to fall asleep...but I have a feeling it was more because of the ungodly hour and pure exhaustion.

This here is from my bedroom window...my little buddy Jiminy...the little bugger!!!

According to wikipedia this is what the little guy won't stop doing. Apparently he is pissed off at the male next door and well wants the world to know...and keep me from sleeping.

Only the male crickets chirp. A large vein running along the bottom of each wing has "teeth," much like a comb does. The chirping sound is created by running the top of one wing along the teeth at the bottom of the other wing. As he does this, the cricket also holds the wings up and open, so that the wing membranes can act as acoustical sails. It is a popular myth that the cricket chirps by rubbing its legs together.

There are four types of cricket song: The calling song attracts females and repels other males, and is fairly loud. The courting song is used when a female cricket is near, and is a very quiet song. An aggressive song is triggered by chemoreceptors on the antennae that detect the near presence of another male cricket.

I just hope he finally figures out his beef with the dude next door and finally shuts up because I may go insane or at least develop a case of insomnia.


Trailblazer Triathlon: Race Report

The past 2 weeks have been CRAZY!!! With Carla doing her last few runs and Damon in full taper mode, we were picked up by Tiffany and Eric and hit Medical Lake on Saturday afternoon ready to go. There were plenty of conversations describing strategy and how Damon was going to try and beat Roger. It was actually pretty dang hilarious to hear is philsophy on why he has a chance to win.

As you can see, Roger hasn't been riding much in the last week and well Damon has been training pretty hard for two weeks, so we pretty much have this one in the bag...right?

Heading to transition...These two look like pros!!!

Body Marking...Did I mention this is a small town race?

Pre-Race: Team Twee Boere en 'n Yank...All Smiles!!!
As for the race, it went really well. My game plan was to swim fast and just try to not hyperventilate on my way across.  After swimming across for a quick warmup and then waiting for about 15 minutes for the race to start, we were off. This race is just short enough that you can really swim hard but just long enough that you better keep yourself under control. Fortunately I was able to do both and exited the water 3rd. It was now Damon's turn to ride like the wind.
Heading up towards transition!
After hearing Damon and Carla's recaps, I had to get them to write a race report from their persepective, the non-triathlete point of view. I was amazed how many of these same thoughts have rolled through my head...even to this day!

Damon's Recap:

This “fun” triathlon couldn’t have come at a better time for the lazy college student I have become. When Steve asked us if we were interested in doing it, I was all over it and immediately started trying to figure out what little part of my day I could dedicate to training for the two weeks we had left before the race. When I found out team Fawesome had entered too, things got that much better. I always talk about my “older triathlon friends” to other people and really make them out to be more than pros at what they do, so the opportunity for me to get out there compete with them was something that sounded pretty exciting. And so, the trash talk started as I’m sure you’ve witnessed on this blog already.

As soon as I found out I was up against Roger on the bike I couldn’t stop wondering how sweet it would be if I managed to kick his butt. Which in turn made me forget that 12 miles isn’t necessarily a sprint. Any bit of continuous aerobic activity that lasts longer than 15 minutes sounds ridiculous to me, so I tried to forget that it would take anything longer than that.

Damon out on the bike course!

Steve got a pretty good lead for me out of the swim which left only Kalen in front of me at the start. I’m not sure what he was up to on the first straight but whatever it was he was riding pretty slow, which started to resound all these dreams in my head as I slowly caught up to him (all in the space of the first 100 feet, turned out he was just trying to get his shoes on properly). It wasn’t long then before I heard the dreaded “whooa whoa whoa” of old Rog the Dodge's carbon wheels screaming up behind me at which point I knew I had to start making my move. I didn’t even have the time to think though before this man that is not human on a bike was out of my sight, along with Kalen. I sprinted to try and keep up with them for at most 10 seconds which quickly made me realize that I would more than likely kick the bucket in the following 10 seconds if I were to try maintain that pace especially knowing this was only the first minute of a 36 minute ride. So I slowed down a little and started thinking about all the oxygen I had wasted trying to trash talk my opponents before the race.

Damon made the 12 mile loop and finished up strong!

As for the ride, it was pretty enjoyable in the early stages. I even took the time to see what kind of fish were swimming around in some of the little lakes by the roadside. This was fun until we started to make our way back and I had the wind in my face and a pain in my butt and sack. I remember trying to adjust my seating position for quite a while before I eventually came to the conclusion that it was more comfortable to ride with the seat up my butt than have my dudes slowly but surely be crushed. Big props to all you cyclists that do this everyday of your life. I feel sorry for your manhood though☺

"I think my bum bone and sack are broken"

All in all I was pretty impressed that the only people I let pass me were those with alien looking bikes and cone head helmets. You are all seriously impressive athletes even if you dress funny.

I had the time of my life doing this triathlon, I might even consider doing a full one sometime in the next few years.

Thank you all for a great day.

Damon Byrd

Carla's Recap:

Trailblazer Triathlon was the shiz! Barring any crazy insane heat and the nerves, it was a load of fun! Unfortunately though, the heat and nerves were most definitely there! I managed to get a stitch before I even warmed up - thank you, I understand that this is no easy feat. I then managed to get the taste of blood, yes blood within the first 10 minutes of the race.

Cahlah kicking some serious butt!!!

People think, "Oh 3 miles, that's okay isn't it?" Well actually, let me reframe this for you. It is not 3 miles of jogging on a treadmill with that glorious fan blowing directly onto your rosy cheeks on exactly the right spots. No. Horribly wrong there. It is 3 miles of running your heart out in the heat of the day, doing your best to smile and apologize to the most unfortunate mother and child who happen to see spit on the side of the road. Without the wonderful screaming encouragement from GREAT friends and complete strangers, this race would have been a million times more difficult. I have a whole new respect for people who do this regularly. I have even more respect to the Byrd crew for not only doing this regularly, but for actually smiling whilst doing it too. Jessi, your just-before-the-finish-line photo makes me sick. Try believing that the pain is actually there next time. Puke.

Cahlah Byrd

Team Fawesome and Team Twee Boere en 'n Yank

All smiles after the race!

This was a great race and I had a fantastic time racing a team triathlon, even if I can't pronounce our team :)
I also want to congratulate all the Tri-Fusion athletes who raced. We had a great showing and kicked some serious butt. Dave Erickson put some awesome videos together so take a look!

Swim to Bike

Bike to Run

Run to Finish


Twee Boere en 'n Yank...Pre-Race

Just after moving in with my new roommates from South Africa, I suggested they should team up and do a triathlon. Rory (Glory) is an amazing swimmer, Carla (Cahlah) likes to run and well Damon (Damon Byrd) didn't really care and thought biking woud be fun. Since Rory will be stuck at a local swim meet and with Cahlah and Damon Byrd totally ready to go, I had no problem stepping in for the swim portion and my first team triathlon.

Over the last two weeks, the workouts have been at a feverish pace. Damon's stories about how he had planned to run on the treadmill for 12 minutes only get to 10 and almost die...but he pushed through and is quick on his way to setting a new course record for fastest cyclists to 12 miles on the indoor bikes in the Whitworth gym.

Cahlah who has been showing that treadmill a thing or two and is pretty sure she will kick this race's butt...even if I need to reassure her the race is only 2.94 miles vs. the 3.4 that the website shows a couple more times before Saturday.

The converstations about race strategy and how Damon is going to hold of Roger during the bike have been hilarious. Many times Damon has warned he may need someone to catch him when he rolls into T2.

Below are a few of my favorites. If I could have only written down a few things that have been said around the house...you couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

Text Messages from Damon:

Damon: "12 miles in around 26 mins... Is that good or bad?" (He was averaging 28 mph)
Steve: "That is good but you prob won't go that fast out on the road. I would plan to ride 35-40 on this course"
Damon: "Really? Is it a lot of uphill stuff?"
Steve: "No just always slower on the road."
Damon: "OK, that's good... I probably wouldn't make it too far with a lot of hills."

Damon: "I got in a 30 min ride in the gym and a 10 min cool down run after that... Feeling Good!)
Steve: "Awesome. That is what I like to hear.)

Emails from Cahlah:

Cahlah: "I'm excited - I went hard on the treadmill this morning and only lasted 15 min which is not a good sign - but I know that I will finish it in under 30 min when I have people to compete against."

Steve: "It is OFFICIAL. TEAM Twee Boere en ‘n Yank are all signed up...This is going to be fun and already looking forward to it. Let the countdown begin…13 DAYS!!!"

Cahlah: "Holy sh%t balls - might be spending a bit more time in the gym this week!"

We thought it might be a good idea to get Damon on the actually bike he will ride before Saturday. So after a few minor adjustments and a couple of quick tips he was ready to go.

Explaining how clip-in pedals work...this is Damon's first ever attempt!

It took a couple of tries but before you knew it...he had it down!

Off on a very short ride around the block...it was getting really dark.

See...told you it was getting dark!

Damon Byrd...is ready to go!!!

So this Saturday at the Trailblazer Triathlon in Medical Lake, Team Twee Boere en 'n Yake will be ready. I can't wait and all in all it is going to be an absolute BLAST.


Long Days!!!

With Ironman approaching quickly, my 'long' workouts are just that LONG!!! With rides approaching 6 hours and runs consistently up near 2 hours, much of my weekend is spent training. These are the days that make you an Ironman. When everyone else's workouts are done, it takes a lot of mental toughness to continue to push yourself day after day, week after week. But heck, if it was easy everyone would do it.
Here are a few photos from the last few weeks of training:

Getting dropped off 13 miles from Rathdrum on my way to the Tri-Fusion Radiant Lake Triathlon. Due to a wrong turn this run 'slowly' turned into a 16 mile jaunt.

This was VERY early in the run...as you can see from the smile :)

The BEAUTIFUL Ironman Coeur d' Alene course!!!

Loving the sunshine...definitely haven't had enough this year!

Last long ride before the big day!!!

Icing my legs in what will be the lake we will swim at for the race...The water is COLD!!!

2 WEEKS until Ironman Coeur d' Alene!!!
One more long run tomorrow morning and it is time to set the sails and get ready for the big day!!!

Until next time...


And the WINNER is???

Sorry for the long wait but I was finally able to get the GU and the winner in the same place. I used a random number generator to select the winner. It was pretty easy and a whole lot faster than trying to get photos of the winner to make this post a little bit more exciting:)

Congrats to the #4 comment on the post...Tiffany Byrd!!!

She was game for taking a few pictures with her new GU products. She was so excited with her victory that she decided to throw the GU just a bit to high.

The second attempt was WAY better!!!

Thanks to everyone who commented!!!


Breaststroke Challenge

So how do you challenge a world-class athlete to a race? Require him to do the impossible. Earlier this week, Jessi and I challenged Rory to a breaststroke race. Now under any other circumstance we wouldn’t have a chance but today was different. As we gathered at the far end of the pool, the stage was set. Jessi and I would do normal breaststroke and Rory was going to have to swim with one arm and one leg…sounds impossible right…well that is exactly what I thought.

Posing for picture while holding one leg is almost as difficult as the swimming.

In true fashion, we had Kevin grab the camera and document the race. As the countdown began, I was sure there would be NO possible way this race was going to be close. Like, I seriously thought I would have time to touch the wall, turn around and swim back talking smack about how I just kicked his butt, even if he was swimming with one arm and leg...

I will let Jessi, explain the end of this video but it is absolutely hilarious. Sure wish we had about 2 more seconds worth.

As you will see from the video, Jessi and I get a great start and use a pull down to get a good gap on Rory...and then reality sets in. As we are swimming along, I constantly look to my left to see if he is there…do remember even though I thought I was going to dominate this race, you just never know.

About halfway down the pool, I start to see a hand slowly moving up next to me. The only thing going through my mind was… YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!! There is no way this is possible. Before you know it I am swimming with absolutely ALL the strength I got. Now a good breaststroke might rely on form, I rely on strength and just try to fight the water as much as I can.

For a split second, I seriously thought I was going to get passed. Though I was able to hold him off, it was definitely a bit humbling to realize just how good Rory is at swimming. The guy is freaking phenomenal and yet another reason why you better come up with ANY advantage you can when you are in the pool.

Of course once we are done with the race, Jessi and I have to try and see if we can even do the one arm one leg breaststroke…

This is my second try and thank god the first one didn’t make it on video as Rory and Jessi almost drown laughing so hard.

So next time you are in da pool, give it a shot. Not nearly as easy as Rory makes it look.