Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Family Fan Club Stocking Stuffers at Skirt Sports

SkirtSports and Family Fan Club have partnered to offer our line of triathlon stickers, triathlon t-shirts, running stickers and running t-shirts on the Skirt Sports stocking stuffer webpage. If you're looking for a last minute gift idea or stocking stuffer for that special female triathlete or runner this holiday season, be sure to stop by SkirtSports.com for Skirt Sport and FamilyFanClub products.

Also checkout Skirt Sports Outlet to get the classic skirts and tops before they're gone!

Wear Your Support! Visit our website for Triathlon, Running, Cycling, Swimming and personalization options supporting family and friends on race day. All designs are available on t-shirts, stickers, magnets, buttons, signs and travel mugs.

Digg this

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Celebrate Cyber Monday @ FamilyFanClub.net with FREE shipping

Tomorrow is Cyber Monday, the Monday immediately following Black Friday, kicks-off of the holiday online shopping season in the United States between Thanksgiving Day and Christmas. Be sure to stop by familyfanclub.net get the triathlete, runner, cyclist and/or swimmer one of our unique and one of a kind t-shirts, magnets, buttons, sweatshirts or holiday ornaments.

All of your gifts are under $100, with many under $25 and most under $20. All orders carry a 30 day 100% Money Back Guarantee.

Enjoy Free Economy or Standard shipping for Family Fan Club purchases of $75 or more on Cyber Monday only (12/1 only, this is a 1 day sale!), excluding shipping charges and applicable sales tax. Enter free shipping code FCPHOL2 at checkout.

Wear Your Support! Visit our website for Triathlon, Running, Cycling, Swimming and personalization options supporting family and friends on race day. All designs are available on t-shirts, stickers, magnets, buttons, signs and travel mugs.

Digg this

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Family Fan Club featured at EverymanTri.com

Just a quick hello to let you know that Family Fan Club is featured at EverymanTri.com this week. Roman is really excited about our business and promotion of fit families.

Stop by and read the full article here. Roman is also sponsoring a contest for one of his lucky readers to win any shirt in the store, your choice! Leave a comment with the article regarding your favorite design and why and you could be a winner!

Wear Your Support! Visit our website for Triathlon, Running, Cycling, Swimming and personalization options supporting family and friends on race day. All designs are available on t-shirts, stickers, magnets, buttons, signs and travel mugs.

Digg this

Perfect gift for the runner, cyclist, triathlete, or active person on your gift list

Road ID is the perfect gift and training partner for the runner, cyclist, triathlete, or active person on your gift list. If you can't speak for yourself, your Road ID will. If you don't know exactly which Road ID to purchase, just order a Road ID Gift Card or an online eCard.

Road ID: It's not just a piece of gear - it's peace of mind.

Kim and I both have Road ID bracelets and it really does give me peace of mind when Kim is out for a run or when I'm out for a ride on my bike. It's nice to know that if something happens to me, people will know who I am and how to contact family and friends. We even used our Road Ids for our kids a few times this summer when we were out at busy locations, such as Yankee Stadium!

If you don't think it can happen to you, checkout the testimonials. It's the best $20 you could spend this holiday season.

Wear Your Support! Visit our website for Triathlon, Running, Cycling, Swimming and personalization options supporting family and friends on race day. All designs are available on t-shirts, stickers, magnets, buttons, signs and travel mugs.

Digg this

Monday, November 10, 2008

Ironman Arizona is right around the corner

Ironman Arizona is right around the corner on 11/23. It's not to late to wear your support with a Triathlon Daddy, Triathlon Mommy, It's Business Time, More Cowbell, Iron Sherpa, Iron Wife or other triathlon design on a t-shirt, sign, sticker, banner, sweatshirt and hat! We've got all the gear you'll need to support your first time Ironman, as well as the seasoned veteran.

Visit our store and browse our selection of Ironman competition t-shirts for athletes and supporters. Also consider personalizing any of our designs with the name of your Ironman or the name of your support team, such as Team Smith or Team Jones.

Also makes a great holiday gift this Christmas season for under $100, with many items under $20.

Have a great race at Ironman Arizona!

Digg this

Child Safety Tattoos

As you recall, we took our two boys, Connor and Griffin (5 and 3) to Yankee Stadium this summer. Anytime we go out to crowded event, I almost immediately start to worry. What if one of the boys wanders off? What if, what if, what if? We work with Connor to know our names, phone number & address and in an emergency I'm sure he could remember enough to tell a policeman who he was, but I'm not confident enough to not have a backup plan. With our visit to Yankee Stadium, Kim and I put our www.RoadID.com bracelets on the boys. Good idea, but there little ankles are not big enough for a www.RoadID.com to fit comfortably. Kim emailed www.RoadID.com to let them know about this market and they indicated they're working on it, but I haven't seen anything on their site yet. Which leads me to this weekend's find.

I was doing some recreational surfing and stumbled onto the Child Safety Tattoos from SafetyTat, which is exactly what we could have used this summer, as well as other occassions where it's possible that the boys could get separated from us. They've got "If lost call...", "I have allergies...", "I have autism..." and others that allow parents to mark (for lack of a better term) their children in the event of separation or other where you can't be with your children. The great thing is that Connor and Griffin love Tattoos, so getting them to wear one won't be a problem and they've got cool designs such as Dinosaurs and Dogs, two favorites at my house. In addition to the pre-printed tattoos, you can also purchase a basic tattoo that you can you write on with the special tattoo marking pen. This seems like a nice option when the children are out with Mom or Dad, but not both.

In summary, I think this is a brilliant idea, why didn't I think of this? I can see these coming in handy at the next marathon, triathlon, concert, or amusement park visit. A nice piece of mind in the event that the unthinkable occurs and we're separated from Connor and/or Griffin.

Visit Safety Tat and checkout their products today!

temporary safety tattoo

Digg this

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Inside Triathlon Holiday Hot List

Make your multisport enthusiast on your list smile with these gifts. (Inside Triathlon - Melaina Juntti)

Family Fan Club is featured in the December 2008 issue of Inside Triathlon in the Holiday Hot List (December issue, page 29). I've been sitting on this news for a month or so and was excited to receive my copy today. After reviewing the other items on the hot list, in terms of uniqueness, this is the perfect gift for every triathlete! Our IRONDAD design is pictured in the article on our 160 page journal. Don't worry Moms, we also have IRONMOM journals, t-shirts, stickers, hats, signs, clocks and more. The text of the ad also mentions our Major League Triathlon Mug, which is also available on t-shirts, stickers, hats, magnets and more.

Checkout the gifts referenced in Inside Triathlon Gift Guide:

     IronDad Journal                         Major League Triathlon Mug

Stop by and make Family Fan Club your one stop shop for all of your triathlete, runner, cyclist and swimmerholiday gifts for under $25.

Digg this

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Naked runners face registering as sex offenders

Check out this story from the Peoples Republic of Boulder.

I've been living in Boulder County all the way up in Longmont (~15 NE of Boulder) for 8+ years and this is the first year that I can recall hearing about this event. Apparently it's quite a party where people gather to run naked with only a carved pumpkin on their head. Sounds like relatively innocent fun to me, particular if done after hours, ie after family time, however it looks like the Boulder Police cracked (ha) down on the event this year citing 12 of the streakers for indecent exposure. Ok, it's not legal, here's a ticket right? Nope, if found guilty of indecent exposure, they'll be forced to register as sexual predators, which can have a significant impact on one's life. Seems a bit over the top to me and let's hope that cooler pumpkin heads prevail and it's either dismissed or lowered to public indecency, which doesn't carry the heavy consequences, but sounds worse! I wonder why they weren't charged with public indecency anyway?

PG slide show is here.

Leave a comment and tell us what you think?

Digg this

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Medals for Mettle

Checkout this article in Runner's World about a marathoning doctor who gives medals to patients struggling through much harder races. Steven Isenberg, M.D started a nonprofit organization that collects medals and donates them to people battling illnesses.

Visit the medals4mettle website and consider donating your race medals. I haven't earned any medals yet, but when I do, I'm going to consider donating to medals4mettle.

Digg this

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday Fit Challenge

It's official, I'm going to take the Birthday Fit Challenge this year. My neighbor has done the challenge the last couple of years and frankly I've called him nuts (on more than one occassion), but with my new healthy lifestyle (excluding the last 3 months), I see the fun in the challenge. The challenge goes like this:

Take your age and in any order:

1) Swim the number of yards in the first number(# multiplied by 1000 yards),
2) Run the number of miles in the second number,
3) Bike the number of miles in the combined number.

So for me, going on 38 this year:

1) Swim 3000 yards
2) Run 8 miles
3) Bike 38 miles

If you choose to accept the B-Fit B-Day Challenge you must....

Bronze: Do all three (swim/bike/run) during the week of your Birthday.
Silver: Do all three (swim/bike/run) in the three days before, after, or on your B-Day.
Gold: Do all three (swim/bike/run) in 24-hours to celebrate your B-Day!
Platinum: Do all three in miles (swim first number in miles not yards/bike/run) in 24-hours to celebrate your B-Day!

I'm going to shoot for Bronze, but Gold is not out of the question depending on how I feel. You can read all about the B-Fit B-day Challenge here.

My birthday is December 21st, so I've got some time to get back to regular exercise so I don't pass out on my birthday!

Digg this

Saturday, October 25, 2008

2008 Ford Ironman World Championships summary video

Checkout this 2008 Ford Ironman World Championships summary video, the underwater swim shots are awemsome:

Digg this

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Who won this race? Two winners, how can that be?

Last Sunday, October 19th at the San Francisco marathon the fastest time did not win. Yes, you read that correct. The fastest runner was not the winner. How can that be you say? Citing a technicality, that the faster runner did not run with the elite wave, she could not be declared the winner.

Backing up here, Arien O'Connell ran a 2 hours, 55 minutes and 11 seconds marathon running in the age group field. She had never broken 3 hours in five previous attempts and ended up with a PR by more than 12 minutes. If not for the ending, this would have been a great story. Incredibly, the "winner" of the race was a woman that ran 3 hours, 6 minutes. Nike declared the 3 hours, 6 minutes time the winner and initially refused to consider the faster time as the true winner of the race. Incredibly, Nike officials essentially blamed Arien for competing in the wrong category and that if she planned to run that fast, she should have been competing as an elite.

A few days later, the story has a somewhat happy ending in that Arien was declared "a winner" but not the winner, stating that since the elite class runner did not have a chance to respond to Arien's race.

I can see that Arien probably should have been running with the elites, considering her best time was around the 3 hours, 6 minutes timeframe, but to declare a winner, where the winner does not have the fastest time? That seems a bit ridiculous to me. This will never be a problem for me, but Jason and Craig, pay attention!

Read the whole story here.

Digg this

Social network for endurance athletes

During lunch today I was surfing the net and stumbled upon a social network for endurance athletes called Athlinks. You can track all race results, training, calendar, email, rivals, photos and gear reviews within the community. I searched for my name and most of the races I've done over the last two years are already in the system, I just needed to create a profile to associate them with me. There was one race that was not me, a 6 hour marathon, so I just simply deleted that one.

Go sign up and join the community. You can see my profile here and you can see my Family Fan Club profile here. Add me and Family Fan Club as a friend.

I'm sure I don't have a full appreciation of all the benefits, but I'll explore and report back.

See you online!

Digg this

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race

Checkout this video story about the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race on August 9th: http://www.superhumanmag.com/content/view/763/92/

Lance Armstrong showed up and decided to participate and challenge the 5x champion Dave Wiens. If your Dave Wiens I think you've got to be thinking "really"? Can't I be the big fish off road at high altitude? The video is great and I'm sure only tells a portion of the story in what was an epic battle. Watch the video and find out who won!

Digg this

Sunday, October 12, 2008

2008 Ford Ironman World Championship - Results

I spent most of the day on Saturday watching the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championships live on Ironman.com. I missed the start and exit from the swim, but I watched the balance.

Spoiler alert: Don't read the rest if you don't want to know who won!

The men's 2008 Ford Ironman World Champion is Craig Alexander in 08:17:45, which represented a 3 minute improvement over last year's second place performance. Craig lives and trains in Boulder in the summer, so another top level triathlete you could run into during a workout. Keep your eyes open, you know never who you'll run into!

The women's 2008 Ford Ironman World Champion is Chrissie Wellington in 09:06:23, good for 40th overall, defending her title with a convincing 15 minute win over second place.

Some of the interesting points of the race:
** Chrissie Wellington is clearly the top women's triathlete in the world. She won by 15 minutes and that includes 10 minutes standing on the side of the road waiting for tech support to fix a flat tire. If you remove the 10 minute flat time, she wins by 25 minutes and goes under 9 hours. Amazing and she makes it look effortless.
** Chris McCormack was stung by bad luck with a broken gear cable just past the midway point on the bike. Macca was in the top 10 at the time, but was unable to continue due to equipment failure. Macca later joined the online broadcast and he sounded fit, strong and disappointed. He was in the group with Craig Alexander at the time of the bike failure. After catching up with tech support, Macca learned that it would take 20 minutes to fix, he decided the race was lost and decided not to continue. It would have been great to see that finish!
** Andy Potts really surprised me. Andy finished 8th, competing in his very first Iron distance race. Granted, he's the reigning 70.3 World Champion and a two time olympian, but for the first time in Kona, that's an impressive finish. I heard / read that he'd never run past 15 miles (ever) or rode past 100 miles (ever), so that makes it even more impressive. I'd watch out for Andy in the future if he decides to move to Iron distance full time.
** Rutger Beke again exemplified his professionalism. If you watched the Ironman broadcast on NBC last year, you'll recall that they followed one pro triathlete who did not have his "A" race last year, but would not quit out of respect for the other competitors and the race itself. He came back this year for a 4th place finish, really impressive.

It was a good day of watching triathlon. The big disappointment of the day was losing Macca due to equipment failure. I wonder if it would be possible to have backup gear on hand and provide some mechanism/rules for equipment replacement during the race. Frustrating to see the defending champ knocked out due to equipment failure. Or perhaps it's just part of the game and should remain unchanged. What do you think? (Add a comment)

I'll look forward to the NBC broadcast of 2008 Ford Ironman World Championships, likely in December. Hopefully Bicycle Village will again host a viewing party and get Craig Alexander or Chrissie Wellington to speak. (They had Macca last year.)

Checkout all of the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship results at http://ironman.com/worldchampionship.

Digg this

Friday, October 10, 2008

2008 Triathlon World Championships - Pre-race

Tomorrow is the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii, the Super Bowl of triathlon. Last years winners Chris McCormack and Chrissie Wellington are both back to defend their titles. Both have won a number of races since last year's race, I think they're both undefeated as far as I know, which will make it hard for the competition to unseat them as champions.

For the men, I'd like to see Macca win again. I met him at Velo Swap in Denver and saw him speak last year at the Ironman viewing party at Bicycle Village in Westminster, CO. I recognize that Macca rubs some the wrong way, but I like his confidence and spirit he brings to triathlon. Although I'd like to see him win, repeating is tremendously difficult. If he doesn't repeat, the next in line I see is Craig Alexander. I'm buying the reports that after last year's second place finish he felt fresh and could've given more. He also hasn't over raced the last year, in fact he hasn't gone the Iron distance since last years race. I like that he'll be fresh and focused. I also think Norman Stadler is ready to return to the top after a disappointing race last year.

For the women, I don't see anyone beating Chrissie Wellington. I admittedly don't know many on the women's side, but from what I've read in Inside Triathlon and Triathlete magazines, barring injury or mechanical failure I think she'll repeat.

If you're not doing anything tomorrow, check out live race coverage on www.ironman.com.

Digg this

Monday, September 8, 2008

Skirt Chaser 5k - Denver, CO

As I mentioned in my Friday post, Skirt Sports Skirt Chaser 5k series was in Denver at Cherry Creek this weekend and Family Fan Club was lucky enough to participate in the festivities. We arrived on Saturday afternoon and there was literally an army of Skirts buzzing around setting up displays, banners, point of sale displays, stage, food and everything you'd need to put on a 5k race. We unloaded our gear and setup in the middle of the action, a great location for maximum exposure and foot traffic. We finished setup approximately 2 hours for the race, plenty of time for interacting with Skirts and Skirt Chasers at packet pickup and leading up to the race at 5. The premise of the SkirtChaser5k is to give the ladies (Skirts) a 3 minute head start and if the guys (Skirt Chasers) can catch them. The first person to cross the finish line gets $500.

Leading up to the race Kim was busy giving away FREE Run Like a Girl temporary tattoos, which were a big for both the Skirts and Skirt Chasers. We had several hundred visitors to our booth and tattoo'd most of them! It was a great feeling to see so many people wearing our design on their cheeks, arms, and calfs. Aside from the product we sold, it was great opportunity to introduce athletes, family and friends to FamilyFanClub.net how everyone can be involved on running, swimming, biking and triathlon race day.

After the race, things really picked up as most people were focused on the race before the race (duh). We had a chance to meet several hundred more visitors to discuss our business and mission. It's always nice to have your vision validated with the excitement of others!

Overall we had a great time, meet a bunch of new people and got the word out about race day support running, cycling, tri-shirts, stickers, magnets and gifts. Nicole was excited at the number of people she saw with our tattoos and I think there will definitely be additional opportunities to work with Skirt Sports in the future. If you're in Austin, TX or Culver City, CA I'd recommend checking out the SkirtChaser5k, it's a blast!

Digg this

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon - Longmont

Today was my last scheduled race of the season, a local race at Union Reservoir in Longmont, Colorado. I've been wanting to get a couple of my friends, Russ and UD, from work involved with triathlon, so we teamed up for a relay. I thought the Oktoberfest Triathlon sponsored by Without Limits Productions would be a perfect introduction race. As with most athletes, the swim keeps those that aren't comfortable in the water out of the sport of triathlon, so I did the swim. UD biked across America while in college, so the bike leg was a natural fit for him and Russ is a strong runner, so he ran the anchor leg. Our goal was to have fun, no injuries and not embarrass ourselves! My goal for Russ and UD was to get them interested in doing a triathlon as an individual or at least another relay.

We decided our team name would be Need More Cowbell and I had some performance tees made by Electric Weave, which came out totally sweet. At the very least, we'd be the best dressed relay team. The nice the thing about doing triathlons in my home town is that I can sleep in since I live less than 3 miles from Union Reservoir. Also, since it was a small race, a more reasonable 8 am start was nice. We arrived around 7:25 and briefly discussed strategy. Russ and UD were pumped.

It was a little bit chilly when we started, but the water was not to bad. My wetsuit certainly didn't hurt, but it wasn't cold at all on my hands, feet or face. It felt nice. There were 4 waves, so I had to wait 13 minutes from the start of the race until the fourth and final wave. Finally the siren and I was off. Falling back on my Boulder Peak experience, I positioned myself for a fast and short swim along the buoys. I almost fee like I'm missing something, as it wasn't to crowded along this line. I made it to the first buoy second place in my wave, but I could tell pretty quickly that I went out to fast as I was quite tired. I slowed the pace, stopped to let a little water in my wetsuit, caught my breath and kept going. I got passed by a few people, but I'm quite sure that I still finished within top 10 for wave 4 swimmers. Unfortunately, for some reason the timing system didn't capture my time, so I can't say for sure, but I'd estimate 12 to 13 minutes.

I ran into transition, gave UD the timing chip and he was off. The bike course was a 4 mile loop repeated 3 times that circled UD's house, where his sons Alex & Adrian and wife Kathy cheered him on. UD finished in just under 42 minutes. When he returned to transition, I could tell he was winded, but jogged to the transition point and handed the timing chip to Russ. Russ ran off like someone was chasing him. Russ made quick work of the course, somewhere between 24 and 26 minutes we estimate, but again since the timing chip failed for us for some reason, we don't know the actual time. Our overall time was 1:28, but with a 13 minute swim, 42 minute bike, there's no way that Russ ran 33 minutes. We figure that 1:28 was our wave unadjusted time, which would have put us at 1:15, which seems fast, but Russ was really pumped on adrenaline, so 21 minutes isn't out of the question. In reality, we probably did something between 1:15 and 1:28.

We celebrated our accomplishment with a frosty beverage from Oskar Blues, a local micro brewery in Lyons, CO. We recalled the race, watched others visit and shortly after finishing started to joke that we probably one the relay category. We also started talking about doing more relays and I think if Russ sets his mind to it and wants it, with a plan to build swim endurance, Russ could be ready for a triathlon by June 2009. Make the commitment Russ, Greeley Sprint Triathlon, first weekend in June. It's a pool swim, you can do it! We also vied to make this a semi-annual event, where we'll do a relay in the Spring and Fall.

To our surprise, we did win the relay category and are now the Oktoberfest Sprint Triathlon reigning and defending champions. We even got trophies, glass boots, I suspect for enjoying Oktoberfest tasty beverages.

Good job UD and Russ!

Digg this

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Skirt Chaser Kids Race

The family headed down to Boulder tonight for the Skirt Chaser Kids Race, one of the events leading up to the Skirt Chaser 5k in Boulder this Saturday. The race was being held at the local middle school behind Fleet Feet Boulder, which also gave us a chance to see our Family Fan Club t-shirts in the store. We got signed up, Connor & Griffin got their race numbers and waited impatiently for the race to begin. Luckily, there was a toy store next to Fleet Feet that was a nice diversion for at least 5 minutes!

Finally we headed over the middle school and the kids were drawn to an old football tackling sled like moths to a flame. They jumped and hung & speculated what this pseudo jungle gym's original purpose was. When were able to draw the kids away from the football sled, we tried to get the kids to do some stretching. As I was tickling Connor and Griffin, Tim DeBoom (2 time Ironman World Champion) and I joked that pre-race tickling was the key to his Ironman championships, as it loosens all the muscles in the body. So, for aspiring Ironman out there find someone to tickle you before your next race, perhaps that will be the key for a PR. Connor and Griffin also like to be hung and swung upside down as part of their pre-race stretching.

Tim and Nicole DeBoom gathered the kids and led the kids in a triathlon of stretching exercises. After everyone was stretched out the kids were broken down into three groups by age. Connor was with the 5 & 6 year olds, while Griffin went with the 3 & 4 year olds. For some reason and from some unknown source Connor is incredibly fast. I don't know where he gets it, but it's certainly not from me or Kim. Griffin on the other hand, we know exactly where his running talents come from. Not only does he look exactly like me, but he also has my body type and running abilities (read: SLOW).

After the race, Nicole complimented me on my "I need more cowbell" shirt and I told her about Family Fan Club, my shirt, the kids shirts and she loved it, great message. I saw that as an opening and suggested that we partner! She loved that idea too and I was on a roll! Nicole invited Family Fan Club to participate as a vendor at the SkirtChaser 5k race, it was like she was reading my mind at this point. Needless to say, we're very excited to be part of this race and building a relationship with Nicole and Skirt Sports. Check back next week for our expo report.

Checkout the attached photos and movies that recap our fun night with Skirt Sports. We had a blast, the boys had a blast! Thanks Tim and Nicole!

Here's a video recap of the race and associated activities (3.51):

Digg this

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Performance shirts are now available

Run Like A Girl shirt
We've had a lot of demand for performance shirts and if that's what you want, that's what you'll get! We'll begin offering all of our triathlon, running, cycling and swimming designs on performance t-shirts, partnering with Zazzle.com.

The first two designs available are: Run Like A Girl and It's Business Time. We'll be adding more designs in the coming weeks.

Are you looking for a particular design? Let us know what you're looking for via comments and we'll get it up immediately!

Here's what we currently have in our Zazzle Gallery:

Digg this

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Hello Blog

We're back from vacation and refreshed! We had an awesome vacation visiting friends and family in Upstate New York. As we usually do, we drove from Colorado to New York. With two young boys, cross-country road trips are getting harder and harder for everyone. During our visit we said good-bye to Yankee stadium, visited Buffalo Bills training camp and enjoyed a week of rest, relaxation and sand at Sodus Point on Lake Ontario.

For the most part since the Boulder Peak race I've been resting / relaxing. During the week at the beach a did a bit more, ran a couple 5k's, swam in the lake and went for a ride with my buddy Jason on the Sodus Triathlon course last Friday. Jason and I did the Sodus Triathlon last year, my second, Jason's first, so it was like revisiting an old friend. We need some work on our weather radar intrepretation, as we got wet, but it felt good.

I'm glad we made it back early this week because the Olympics have been awesome. Swimming has always been my favorite and this year has not disappointed. Michael Phelps has been unstoppable. It's Business Time, It's Business Time t-shirtThe domination at this level is absolutely unbelievable, he's the equivalent of a human speedboat. His performance and domination, physically and mentally, reminds me of Michael Jordan, Wayne Gretzky and Tiger Woods in their primes. (Note: Phelps just won 200 IM by a body length and a half.) Michael Phelps would be a great spokesman for "It's Business Time" or "I need more cowbell" designs! I've also been impressed with the video coverage, particularly the underwater swimming camera shots. If you haven't seen these videos, check them out. (Jason, notice that none of the swimmers look this: L. Get those legs up!)

I'm amazed how quick the race season has gone. It seems that it just started and it's effectively over for me. I've got one more event on the schedule this year, I'm going to do a sprint relay with some friends at work, where I'm going to do the swim portion with my friend UD on bike and Russ taking the run.

While the season may be close to over, www.familyfanclub.net is picking up speed. We've got a bunch of new designs in the works for the holidays, a new store website and a number of exciting events coming up. So while the triathlon season is winding down, we're just getting started! Stay tuned!

Digg this

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

5430 Sports Sprint Triathlon video from foxsports.net

Checkout this video summary of the 5430 Sports 2008 Sprint race:

Digg this

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

2008 Boulder Peak Race Report

The alarm went off at 4:15 am and I was ready. I got to bed early last night and I was exhausted. Most experienced triathletes would tell you to race like you train and not try new things on race, but I like to keep it interesting and try new things. I started with breakfast, eating a bagel with almond peanut butter, banana and 32 oz of lemon lime Gatorade. Normally I eat oatmeal and a can of diet Dr Pepper before the race, but the last few races I've felt a bit sluggish, so why not change it up on race day? Overall, I felt good about the change, most competitors aren't drinking soda before the race! I rode over to the reservoir with my neighbors Craig and Chris at 5 am.

There are two ways into the reservoir, the main way and the back way. I was contemplating being a back seat driver and recommend the back way, but I didn't. Big mistake. When we got near the reservoir, the line was a mile or two long, but it went quick. When we finally got to the reservoir and parked we were faced with at least a half mile line of triathletes waiting to get into transition and marked. Craig and I walked past everyone and entered the transition area from the rear figuring we could get marked and our timing chips after setup, porta potty and warm-up. It worked, but I'm sure there were some choice comments for us from those that waited in line. At any rate, the delays with parking and transition entry resulted in a 15 min delay to the start of the race. Feeling good.

I headed down to the water to check out the course and get in a quick warm-up. As opposed to yesterday, I felt really fast, which was a good sign. I was really getting pumped and excited for the race, a feeling I didn't have for the 5430 Sprint for some reason. I was in the second wave today, which I was happy about. I'm always worried about being the last one on the course, which is a lonely feeling. I worked my way near the front of my wave for the start hoping to find the perfect position. The gun sounded and I was off. The first section of the swim is directly in the sun, so sighting was interesting. I immediately wanted to go faster than my wave would let me, so I tried to work to the inside to the left of the pack and found a lot of open swimming. I felt great, no wetsuit terror or general fear like some of the other races, just pedal to the medal. Generally I like to swim on the outside of the pack, but that usually leaves me swimming extra, so I made an adjustment in race and decided to swim on the inside, closest to the buoys. It was a great decision and feel like I swam the perfect race, minimizing the distance I paul taylorneeded to swim staying close to the buoys. I could see the pack on my right, which seemed to be taking a much longer path to the first buoys, which I couldn't figure out, but I suspect most were just following the leader. I felt great the whole time and definitely felt a good time coming. I approached the beach, went to stand up and ahhhhh hamstring cramp...yikes, I hate that. I pulled back and it went away as quickly as it appeared. I exited the water, looked at my watch, 25 minutes! Whoa, that's awesome! I was targeting less than 30 and hoping for 28, off to a good start. After the run up the beach into transition, I entered T1 at 27:09 which was good for top 20% swim, which I felt great about. I took my time transitioning to the tune of 3+ minutes. Now the fun part starts.

As I mentioned before, why not try new things on race day, I decided that today I would wear a cycling jersey during the bike and switch to a running shirt for the run. Makes sense, but not something I normally do on race day. I also decided that I'd only carry a half full water bottle on the bike so as to not carry extra weight up Old Stage (mind you, I'm 200+ lbs, a water bottle probably isn't going to make much of a difference), where I'd re-supply at the first aid station. Great plan, poor execution. I got a drink upon exiting transition and promptly dropped my one and only water bottle less than a mile from transition. I was dreading the ride up old stage with no water and I was right, I could have used some water. The ride out to Old Stage was uneventful, but I was in granny gear much sooner than expected. To make the ride a bit morepaul taylor exciting, a fire truck and ambulance passed me on my ride up Old Stage on the 15% grade. Luckily it was not race related, but something was going on at one of the homes along Old Stage. As I reached the Fire District sign, which marks the end of the steepest point, I saw the devil. A friend of mine was dressed as the devil, running up and down the hill encouraging everyone to push it. I was ready to make a deal with the devil at this point, but when I saw him I had a burst of energy. It's really great to see people you know out there cheering you on! Thanks Mike. After Old Stage, the ride was fairly uneventful. My lower back and between my shoulder blades started to tighten up around mile 15, so it was a bit uncomfortable heading back to T2. I finished in 1:35 or so, which was slower than I wanted to go, still on pace for my goal time of 3:21. T2 went smoothly, I took my time taking in fluids and a gel prior to the run.

paul taylorThe run started out ok, I kept to my water station to water station game plan for the 1st two miles, but then mile three happened. Mile 3 was like 10 miles. I think not being able to see the water station at Mile 3 was the killer. I walked a lot during mile three. I struggle with the run and today was no different. As opposed to the Bolder Boulder 10k, I was chasing Kim and Rebecca and I didn't want to let them get away from me. With the Peak, I'm not tied to anyone and I just didn't have the will to keep going and consequently I walked more than I wanted to. I ended up with 1:17 10k, which leaves a lot of room for improvement. Looking back on it now, I don't know why I didn't keep running, just didn't have the mental toughness again.

As I approached the finish line I was invigorated by the crowd and cheering. Since I started early, there were still a lot of people watching and cheering at the finish. For the Sprint, Kim and the boys were waiting about 50 yards from the finish and we all ran in together & it was a great feeling/memory. When I saw Kim and the boys today, they were about 100+ yards from the finish. We hadn't talked about it before hand, so I ran by thinking that it was to far. Turns out the boys were looking forward to it and hurt their feelings a bit. Looking back, I wish I had stopped and walked with them if necessary. It was a great feeling to finish the Olympic distance race, but it would have been better to share it with the boys at the finish. Next time.

I missed my goal by 6 minutes, but I'm overall happy that I finished what I'd consider my greatest athletic achievement. I exercised at a relatively high level for over 3 hours, where a year and half ago I couldn't exercise for 30 minutes without wanting to pass out. The good news is I've got a lot of room for improvement. Within a couple of hours of finishing, I'm already thinking of what I need to do between now and the 2009 Boulder Peak to improve my time. My tentative goal for 2009 will be under 3 hours. That's aggressive, but there's no reason that I can't get my bike down to 1:25, run down to 1 hour and transition within 5 minutes total. If I can do that, I can get under 3 hours. I plan to be doing a lot of cycling and running this off season. I'll be looking to my cycling experts (Craig and Ben), running experts (Jason G) and strength & conditioning expert (Jason B) to help me reach those goals next year.

The next scheduled race for me is the Oktoberfest Sprint at Union Reservoir in Longmont where I'm planning to do a team event with a couple guys from work.

Thanks again to everyone that helped make this a great triathlon season!

(I'll add pictures later (Done 8/22).)

Digg this

Saturday, July 19, 2008

2008 5430 sports Boulder Peak - expo and race goals

The calm before the storm. Today is the Boulder Peak expo at the Boulder Reservoir. The family headed over around 11 am for packet pickup, expo and swimming. If today is any indication, it is going to be hot, hot, hot tomorrow! I expect to be done by 10 am, but it's already in the mid-80's and not a cloud in the sky, just you and the sun. I picked up my number (125), t-shirt (not thrilled with white performance tee) and goodies. I forgot my USAT card, but they let me pick up my stuff and told me that my timing chip would be held hostage in exchange for my USAT card. That's a lot of pressure considering I live 30 minutes from the reservoir. (Note: I pinned it to the shirt I was going to wear race morning when I got home so that I wouldn't forget it. Now I just have to remember to wear that shirt!)

triathlon t-shirts, run mommy run, triathlon gear, race day supportThe expo was packed with vendors, athletes and support crews. Family Fan Club was well represented at 3 booths: Adrenaline Tri-Sports, Runners Roost and 3x Fast Triathlon Equipment. It's always great to see people I don't know wearing our designs, great feeling to see people validating our vision and wearing their support on race day.

triathlon t-shirts, run mommy run, triathlon gear, race day supporttriathlon t-shirts, run mommy run, triathlon gear, race day support

At noon 5430 sports had a guest speaker, Craig Howie, from Howie Endurance Project (HEP) giving a workshop on do's and don'ts associated with Boulder Peak triathlon. Craig is a top-tier age grouper (going to Kona this year) and coach of the HEP. A couple of my friends (Mike and Kristina) are part of the HEP family and rave about how Craig has helped them reach their goals. If I ever take the plunge for Ironman, Craig seems like the type or person that would work for me too, but we'll save that for another discussion.

The rest of the day was spent lounging on the beach, resting up and hydrating (lots of water and gatorade). I went for a quick swim to work out the kinks and keep loose. I debated whether to bring my wetsuit, but decided to leave it at home and go for the sluggish effect today and tomorrow I will feel really fast! (I don't know if that will work, but I'm sticking with it.) I did feel sluggish and just took a leisurely pace around the designated area. They have diving platforms throughout the area, so naturally I had to stop and try that. I didn't feel fast, but I didn't expect to.


This is the race I've been looking forward to all season, my 'A' race. I'm stepping up from the comfort of Sprint racing to the unknowns of Olympic distance racing. I feel real good about the swim, good about the bike and running is required, so I have to do it. The run continues to be my least favorite activity, but it's something that I can get better at fairly quickly, as opposed to if I had to learn to swim. So, here are the goals:

Swim: 1500 meters in 30 minutes or less. I did 1500 meters at Stroke and Stride a couple of weeks ago so I expect to do it in 28 minutes or less. If I go by my training times (750 yards in 6:30 or so) I should be able to do it in 26 or 27 minutes. The farther I am from 30 minutes, the happier I will be.

T1: 3 minutes or less. I need to have some sense of urgency here, but I'm not going to rush for the sake of rushing.

Bike: 25 miles in 1:30 minutes or less. I'm planning to go as hard as my body will let me. The last ride on this course I started to get a stiff back and neck around mile 15, so hopefully that won't be an issue tomorrow. Old Stage is going to be interesting. I don't have any concerns about my ability, but wonder how it will be with cycling traffic, cars and my endurance as I usually ride it fresh.

T2: 2 minutes or less

Run: 1:15 or less running water station to water station. My goal is to walk only at the water stations, but we'll see how it goes out there. The run is very hot and boring. It's an out and back loop around the reservoir which is much like what I'd expect the desert to be like. Hot, dry, no points of interest, just you and the soft trail. Craig gave me a bracelet he wore at CDA that reads: Harden The Fraggle Up (HTFU and yes, it's a family blog, therefore Fraggle is more appropriate). When I have an inclination to walk, I will HTFU.

Overall: 3:21 or less. These goals are achievable, I just have to execute and have the will to meet them.

Tomorrow starts early (up at 4:15 am), transition closes at 6:20 am and I'll be in the water for my heet at 6:30 am. If everything goes according to plan, I should be done by 10 am before the heat really starts.

Thanks to everyone for their support, encouragement and advice, particularly my wife Kim, Connor, Griffin, Craig, Ben, Jason, Jason, Mike, and Bryan. See you at the races.

Digg this

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Boston Thief Turns Triathlete

I think a getaway car would have been more appropriate: http://www.boston.com/news/local/breaking_news/2008/07/boston_theft_su.html

Digg this

Monday, July 14, 2008

Mission Accomplished

Over the winter as the pounds were dropping I started to think about some goals, special dates etc... that I could use to benchmark my progress. Some of my loyal readers know that I was in the Navy for six years, from 1989 to 1995 and today, July 14th is the 13th anniversary of when I got out. A few months back I thought it would be fun to see if I could get down to my out of the Navy weight. I then started to think, if I can get the weight down, I bet I could fit into my Navy uniform. I'd given up the possibility of that happening within a year of leaving the Navy. College, food, laziness, beer...just didn't see it happening. (If I can find a picture of me in the Navy, I'll post it. Or maybe one of my readers can send one?)

Today, I made impossible possible and celebrated my 13 year anniversary by making weight and putting on my cracker jack uniform (One of two uniforms I still have. I also have the summer white polyester uniform. Maybe next year I'll put that on.) It fit like a glove, literally. It wasn't as tight as I thought it might be. I buttoned all 13 buttons on the pants and I could still breath. I didn't have any trouble getting the top on either, complete with ribbons, name tag and I Like Ike button. I also have the neckerchief I probably rolled and taped in or shortly after boot camp and I topped it off with the lone cover I still have. I received this uniform in boot camp when I was 18 years old. Luckily the tailor left some room to grow 19 years later. It's a bit tight around the mid section, but another year of exercise and I'll be ready to go out on the town. Well, maybe not on the town, I forgot how freaking hot it is! It was really hot. I also have the shoes, but by the time I got the uniform on, I was ready for some pictures and get out. (See previous comment on warmth)

Anyway, Connor joined in for a picture, Griffin was to shy. I'll keep working to make my old clothes wearable, who knows, maybe I can get down to my high school weight? That would be nuts, but who knows.

Digg this

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Boulder Peak Old Stage vs Me - Rnd 3

Today was my last trip up and down Old Stage before the 2008 Boulder Peak Triathlon on July 20th. I tossed around riding to Old Stage and back from home (44+ mile round trip), riding Boulder Peak Olympic bike course start to finish from the reservoir or doing hill repeats up Old Stage with a 30 min run at the end. I decided on the latter, figuring that the strength work on the hill would satisfy my biking needs and I'd have something left in the tank for a 30 minute run.

Old Stage is not getting any easier, however I have made some observations. The hardest part is the first part. This is the steepest part of the hill and it's really no fun. There's no way around it and stopping is not an option, as I don't think it would be to easy/possible to restart. Once you make it to the "Lefthand Fire District" sign, it's all "downhill". Well, as you can see from the picture, it's not really down hill, but relatively, it's reasonable. From this point, there's a rolling section, two more reasonable hills and then you're done.

The other thing I like about Old Stage is the scenery. It's very brown, but you can't beat the views. When I stopped to take the picture of the reservoir, where the Boulder Peak swim starts, as well as the transition area, I noticed one of the homes has an inground swimming pool. I can't imagine the water bill to keep that full! The climate is so dry around here I have to re-fill my fish tank weekly due to evaporation. I'd imagine that swimming pool has to be refilled weekly also.

Anyway, I did the ride twice, figuring that the second time would simulate what it's going to feel like next Sunday during the race after swimming 1500m and biking 5+ miles out to Old Stage. It wasn't fun, but I made it. I stopped to get a drink at the top after the second summit, unclipped my left shoe but my weight was leaning right and.....yep, I fell over. Luckily I only skinned my knee and elbow, but it was embarrassing. Luckily only one other cyclists witnessed that!

I zipped back down the hill with no major issues. The only thing that was bothering today was GI issues. I was trying out some new nutrition options for the triathlon next week and apparently my body is not to happy with my choices. Prior to the ride I drank some Mix 1, but that gave me some nasty gas and a bit of an upset stomach. Not a good start. Even worse, where's the porta potty when you need one? Not at the trail head I parked at! I wasn't bothered to much, but I wasn't 100%. After the two trips up Old Stage I went for a quick run, where I ran out and back 13 minutes or so for 26 minutes round trip run / walk. As if the Mix 1 issues weren't enough, I threw in a Vanilla Cliff Energy Gel to the mix. I didn't feel worse, but I wasn't feeling better either. I took the time to think about my run goals for the race next week, which I'll discuss in a separate post later this week.

Summary: I've done Old Stage four times now and I have no doubts that I can make it. I just need to make it past the initial incline and look for the Left Hand Fire District sign and I'll be all set. Once I get to the top I'll have 10 to 15 minutes on the downhill to gather myself, breath and get ready for the rest of the race. I'm planning for some more running this week, probably 3 mi Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, open water swim on Tuesday night and a nice flat/fast bike ride probably Wednesday. I'll probably rest the rest of the week and get ready for the big race on Sunday.

Digg this

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Free Shipping through July 20th!

Hello Family Fan Club fans, if you're looking for a Cafepress coupon for free shipping, it's your lucky day. For a limited time, through July 20th, shipping is free within the US on all orders over $65. Just enter the following Cafepress free shipping coupon at checkout: FREESUMMER.

Visit familyfanclub for triathlon t-shirts, triathlon support, triathlete t-shirt, run mommy run t-shirt, run daddy run t-shirt, it's business time t-shirt, i need more cowbell t-shirt, major league triathlon t-shirt and many more sports t-shirts.

Happy shopping!

Digg this

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Fan Club featured at Workout Mommy today

Family Fan Club has the honor of being featured in today's "One Fit Family" segment over at Workout Mommy. Stop over and checkout the article. Also vote for your favorite shirt for a chance to win it!

Support Workout Mommy by shopping for Family Fan Club gear via the affiliate link on the Workout Mommy webpage (right hand side).

Digg this

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

5430 Boulder Peak Old Stage vs Me - Rnd 2

On the two week anniversary until the 2008 Boulder Peak race I tackled Old Stage for round 2. This week I decided that after conquering "just" Old Stage that I'd add the full 5430 Boulder Peak bike course in for a training ride. My neighbor Chris decided to join me this week, as she's been battling through some injuries this season and testing the water as to whether she'll be able to do the Boulder Peak this year. The plan was to start at the base of Old Stage, ride the entire Boulder Peak course and then do Old Stage again at the end.

We arrived in Boulder at a open space trail head on Lee Hill road, about a mile from the base of Old Stage. Mounted up, quick loop around the neighborhood to get the blood flowing and we were off to Old Stage. It was just as I remember it from last week, the beginning is slow and annoying. It doesn't look like much, but I was already feeling it. Much like last week I was in granny gear in no time keeping a steady 10 mph until I hit the intersection of Lee Hill Road and Old Stage, which is where the fun starts. My pace was quickly cut in half, down to about 5 mph but still moving steady, keep the pedals moving.

Once you get past the steepest part of the hill, it's still uphill, but it's all downhill so to speak. There's still some climbing to be done, but the worst is behind once you make it over the first peak. There's actually a relatively flat spot after the first climb that I've fumbled my water bottle both times. Can't seem to get the bottle back in the cage. Another thing I'll say about both climbs so far, my butt has not left the seat one time. I think before getting some pointers on the attacking old stage, I would have thought that I would need to stand up, out of the saddle to make it. I've been told that burns a lot of unnecessary energy and that I can get up just as fast in the saddle as out and to my surprise I can definitely make it sitting down.

Chris was right behind me the entire ride and for someone who's been on the shelf with injury, she kicked some butt. The ride down the backside of the hill was fast and fun. I tried to keep it around 35 mph, but did notice I crept up to about 39 mph a couple of times. It was a nice reward after a steep climb up. In fact, one of these days I'll probably have to ride the opposite direction. It's not as steep, but it's a longer climb. Pretty much from there on out it was a relatively flat, with some rolling hills back to the open space trail, however by this time it was starting to rain and weather was moving in on the mountains pretty quick. That was fine with me because I was tired, wasn't really motivated to do Old Stage again.

Chris and I had planned to do a short 10 minute run after getting off the bikes to get our legs and we stuck to the plan. The legs were a bit wobbly, but after 5 minutes or so, no lingering affects. On the way back to the car we ran into Nicole and Tim DeBoom, which was AWESOME. Chris works for SkirtSports, so we got to stop and chat. The great thing about living in Boulder is that you never know who or where you'll run into. Maybe you'll run into arguably the Michael Jordan of Triathlon (2x Triathlon World Champion - Tim), IronMan Wisconsin winner (Nicole) and owner of arguably the most chic, often imitated by never duplicated Skirt Sports skirts. That was really cool.

So, another old stage climb for the notch in my belt and rubbing elbows with who's who of Triathlon, another great day in Boulder County.

Next week, I'll be doing Old Stage again, just haven't figured out exactly what/how yet.

Digg this

Friday, July 4, 2008

Stroke and Stride

The great thing about living in Boulder County is that you can almost always find a race, even on weekdays. I've been wanting to participate in the Stroke and Stride series at the Boulder Reservoir all season, but due to t-ball practices and games it just hasn't worked out. This week, due to the holiday, there were no games or practices so I jumped at the opportunity to participate. Boulder Stroke and Stride consists of a 750m or 1500m swim followed by a 5k, where I selected the longer swim distance to simulate the Boulder Peak swim in just over two weeks. Prior to the swim and after setting up my transition area I spotted Gail and Roger from Adrenaline Tri-Sport in Niwot, CO selling their FamilyFanClub t-shirts. Stop by and see them for all of your triathlon and race day support gear!

I positioned myself in the front of the middle tier of swimmers for the start. I moved a bit closer to the front compared with the sprint in attempt to find the right spot with minimal waiting and hitting. The position worked out great and I really wasn't slowed, kicked or touched from behind, so I felt like I had the perfect spot. Another thing I'm finding is that I like to swim on the left side of the pack, where I can keep all the swimmers and buoys on my right. The wetsuit terrors seemed to have passed with the wetsuit tip I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. When I start feeling uncomfortable, I just pull the collar forward on my wetsuit to let the cool water in and everything is good.

The first lap of the swim was uneventful, came out of the water in 13:05 which I'm pretty happy with. I'm by no means sprinting, just taking a nice calm and even pace. For the swimmers doing 1500m, you have to get out of the water and jog on the beach for 100m before starting the second lap. The second lap with 100m jog/walk/catch your breath was just over 15 minutes. I'm very happy with swim time under 28 minutes. I was targeting under 30, so feeling good about the swim.

Oh the run. Transition from the swim to run is very casual, very much unlike race day. Friends and family can be in the transition area, not at all like race day. I took my time for a 3+ minute transition to my running gear, which is about normal on race day, but seemed particularly slow today. I started off on the run at my normal pace, feeling pretty good initially, but then I started to cramp up and just couldn't shake the cramps. I walked a bit and ended in 32 minutes, so by no means a stellar running performance.

The nice thing about today's run was that we had friends (Jason, Tammy and kids Kaleb and Aspen) visiting from Nebraska for the holiday. Jason is a physician's assistant, certified strength & conditioning (formerly trained special forces, pro baseball, college football and college hockey) and a bunch of other credentials. He gave me some tips on my running stride which was helpful, now I need to practice and build up some endurance with my new stride. He also has a blog and website you should checkout.

Anyway, another great time at the reservoir with family and friends. Feeling good about the swim, but the run, which will be a 10k on race day, has me a bit concerned.

Digg this