Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Ferrah Felt

Here's a story of a lovely lady named: Ferrah Felt.

Here was a story of her conception. She is one of a kind. She was not spotted in a store. No one said: "That's the one." Or even: "LBS guy, order this for me." She did not exist before someone started messing around, looking for components. And then like a Weird Science experiment, she came to be. For the truly geeky, keep reading and you'll evenutally hit a component list.

What about the name? This bike came about specifically for IM WI. Someone did not have the confidence that another ride would be able to withstand the rigors of a 112 mile race up and down the hills around Madison. So although she is loaded with carbon, her name had to tie into Ironman.

At the time of conception, the name was to be Ferros. Why Ferros? The chemical symbol for iron is Fe, which is derived from the Latin word Ferrum. Ferrous refers to an iron ion. In addition, Ferros also sounds like a recent Ironman winner. So Ferros ties in to Ironman not once, but twice. Nice.

But Ferros just sounded too masculine. It also sounds like the name of this guy:

After she was born, the name Ferros just did not fully exude her sexiness. So she went unnamed for a while. Then the eureka moment came. The inspiration: Charlie's Angels.

Not these three,

but the original trio.

Which included perhaps the most famous Farrah.

Then change an "a" to an "e" to stick with the Fe motif, and voila: Ferrah. It was also a coincidence that the bike was a Felt, which fits nicely with Ferrah. Good Morning, Angels!

And for the truly geeky:

Frame: Felt F1C
Fork: Ritchey Carbon Pro
Crank: Campy Chorus Carbon Fiber Crank 53/39.
Shifters: Campy Chorus Carbon Ergopower shifters.
Derailers, Brakes, and Chain: Campy Chorus group
Cassette: Wheels Manufacturing, Inc. Campy to Shimano cassette 11/23
Stem: Ritchey Pro Stem
Handlebar: Richey WCS
Seatpost: Ritchey Carbon Pro Seatpost
Saddle: Specialized Toupe
Pedals: Look Cx7 (to be replaced by Speedplay Zero Ti)
Aero bars: Profile Design T2+
Wheels: Bontrager Race X Lite
Tires: Vittoria Corsa EVO CX
Wheels: Bontrager Race X Lite Carbon Aero
Tires: Tufo CS3
Computer: Cateye Astrale 8

Is that the end of the story? Not at all. Remember the name:

Ferrah Felt

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Here are the top 10 things I will try to do now that Ironman Wisconsin has come and gone. Or you could call this the 10 things I put on the back burner while I was going after Iron.
  1. I will try to turn a screen pass into a touchdown. Then I will try to stop my friend on the other side of the ball from running past me for a touchdown.
  2. I will try to make my friend run around the raquetball court. Then I will try to hit a kill shot on the game winning point.
  3. I will try to make the tough dig on a well struck volleyball. Then I will try to hit a three ball down the line, from the weakside.
  4. I will try to head down the black diamonds under control. Then I will try to do the same at Tahoe, or Vail, or Whistler.
  5. I will try to play Mozart on the piano again. Then I will try Chopin.
  6. I will try to utilize my kitchen on a weeknight. Then I will try to cook again the next week.
  7. I will try to get my humidor in order. Then I will try not to smoke too many cigars.
  8. I will try to watch some TV. Then I will try not to watch every night.
  9. I will try to sleep in on Saturdays. Then I will try to get to sleep earlier on weeknights.
  10. I will try to enjoy my time with family and friends, new and old, near and far. Then I will smile at the thoughts of where I have been and where I am going.
I have been dying to get my endorphin fix, but I guess I'll have to wait a little longer. So yeah a few of those things on that list will not get knocked off soon. My self diagnosis on my ankle is a grade 2 ankle sprain. Unfortunately I was not too diligent with the RICE prescription so my foot looks like a smurf attached to my leg. It really does not hurt, but it looks nasty. I am walking around gingerly on it, but as soon as the edema goes down, I should be walking with a normal gait. After that, a few weeks in the weight room and hopefully I should be good to go. Time to pick up more athletic tape. Someone mentioned that they love gross pictures so here's one more. Maybe I'll post some bike porn next time. And maybe get a pedi too.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Love Hurts

Hope your weekend was an excellent one. Great job to all the racers out there this past weekend, especially to DaisyDuc and Papa Louie at the C-bus marathon and TriEric and his wife at the B-more marathon. Happy Birthday to E-Speed, too.

Me? I had to get my football fix in. Well here are some of the results.

The result of someone's cleats meeting my chest.

The result of trying to cut on an uneven patch of ground.
Then continuing to play for another hour until the adrenaline wore off.

In a game where size does matter, it doesn't bother me that I am the smallest guy out there. I'm not even the best runner. But despite the many bumps, bruises, sprains, and tears I have sustained through the years from playing football I still love being out on the field. I don't know why. I want to make that catch, or shake off the tackle for a few more yards, or break up the pass, or make the solid tackle. So my ankle will heal up and I'll probably be out there again in a few weeks. Maybe I'll tape up my ankle next time. Maybe I'll be even smarter and get an ankle brace. Maybe I'll score a couple touchdowns next time. Then Monday morning the hurt won't feel as bad.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


I have been asked by several people about my coaching. Maybe I can help a few folks out by telling you why I got a coach and in the process, give some due credit to my coach. So today's musical selection and post is dedicated to my coach, Pete.

Back in his racing days, he was an exceptional cyclist and athlete. Please click here to see some of the things he has accomplished. As some of the local athletes know, he leads some serious workouts. Although he no longer races, he could probably still kick most of our butts in any race.

I met Pete at one of his coached outdoor cycling workouts in 2004. By the end of the season, the results of those once-a-week workouts were undeniable. Having built a good relationship with him, I knew I could work well with him.

A few thoughts:

Do you have a good rapport with your coach?

I think this is the first question to ask. I believe you need to have a good working relationship with your coach. If you don't, it won't work. We actually had some minor disagreements here and there, but for the most part we were on the same page. Here's a short anecdote over one disagreement.

As we were putting together the season, I told him I did not want to do any half IMs. He wanted me to do two. We discussed a bit, but he ultimately told me that if I did not do at least one, he would not coach me. So I said okay, I'll do one. Well as you may know I ended up doing two half IMs leading up to IM WI and have since told him that he was absolutely right.

Do you need someone to provide you with workouts?

Some people do, some people don't. If I had to do it on my own I could have pieced something together from a collection of free plans, my own experience, and the wisdom of other training partners. So I was looking for someone who was going to do more than give me weekly workouts. With my input, Pete developed a training plan from scratch tailored to me. We were flexible to the point that I was able to add a half IM and some long workouts at the end of the season without the fear of deviating from a plan. Through working with him, I learned a ton about planning. Everything from establishing a macrocycle for the season to modifying my workouts. We both went in to this with the same approach: "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime."

On a side note, I actually started an analysis of my race and training. As some of you may have seen, I tend to buck conventional wisdom. So I am not surprised at some of my findings. I doubt I will publish these notes, but I will leave you with this tidbit: Number of brick workouts - 0.

What is your coach's background?

I am a novice cyclist so I wanted to work on that area. For a coach, I wanted someone who had a strong cycling background. I actually rode with Pete a few times during the summer just to focus on cycling form and technique. Pete also has a background in strength training which was also a good fit for me, as I was not afraid of the weight room. So did the results of being in the weight room four times a week pay off?

What are some other benefits you hope to get out of your coach?

Let's take a quick look back at a few seasons.

2003 - "A" race was a marathon in May. Six weeks prior to the race, my knee and ITB decided to flare up. Pulled out of the race, rehabbed all summer and did not run again till August. Probable cause of injury - poor base training.

2004 - "A" race was a marathon in October. The majority of the season went well. After an awesome 30k race, I stacked on a speed workout on Tuesday and tried to do another long run the following weekend before tapering. My legs revolted and I ended up with fasciitis in the calves. Just several days before the race, I decided to suck up the pain and race anyways. Probable cause of injury - overuse.

2005 - "A" race was a fall marathon. I never got on track. I was trying to adjust to orthotics and actually suffered through some shin splints. On top of that my immune system seemed to be overwhelmed by my allergies. I was constantly sick or dealing with minor leg discomfort. Canceled any thought of an A race and just trained and raced for the sake of it. But being fat and out of shape took all the fun out of it. Probable cause of injury - dumb luck.

2006 - "A" race was IM Wisconsin. Well we know how that went. But let's see: sprint tri a week after an IM leads to foot pain. And is it any coincidence that I am sick right now. Probable cause of injury - lack of common sense.

So you see I tend to get myself onto the DL some how and that was a big reason I wanted a coach this year. That was an underlying theme the whole year: Keep me healthy so that I could toe the line in Madison. By the way, Pete disapproved of my race the week after IM and once again he was right.

Could I have done Ironman this year without Pete? Honestly, probably not. I probably would have done too much somewhere and limped into the race, or perhaps even worse.

My coach will be going on this adventure on Saturday. I have a previous engagement or else I would join him for some of this fun.

But I will have a Foster's oil can in honor of my coach. Pete, thanks for a great season.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


I will not lie.

I am tempted.

I think I want it, again.

It's all around.

It's in my system.

And I can't ignore it.

It's on TV.

It's about to happen at Kona.

It is


Registration for IM Louisville opens up in a few weeks.

IM Florida takes place next month.

Even IM Canada and IM Wisconsin have opened up a lottery for additional entries.

I caught the Radical Reels Tour this past weekend with some friends. There was most definitely some Ironman talk and it stoked the fire.

Will I IM again? I think that has already been decided.

"Can I do it?" is no longer the question.

That was asked a few hours after crossing the line at one triathlon and I found my way to another triathlon in the shadows of a capitol a year later. Along the way, I experienced highs and lows. New friends were made. Old friends became better friends. And by loosening my grip ever so slightly, I found out how far I could really go.

And the answer:

I did it.

So the new question is:

"What will I experience on the next journey?"


Friday, October 06, 2006

Still somewhere....

I have been lurking around blogland, but have been absent from my own blogging for about two weeks, somewhat on purpose. I haven't done any training since IM WI and so I don't have much to write about. I think I worked out five times in the last three weeks.

But I also want to box up this IM experience a la triteacher and move on. So just like any breakup, I needed a little time and space.

Anyways, I've got some random thoughts tonight and most aren't triathlon or training related, except the first item.

With the breaking news of 2007 IM Lube, it got me thinking a little. The Type A persona in me believes I can complete an Ironman faster than what I did at 2006 IM WI. Will I do an IM in 2007? Maybe. If I was going to do another IM, I was hoping to go back to IM WI. At some point in the near future I will need to study for a series board examinations and I purposely did not apply for the test in 2007. Just in case...

My nemesis struck again. Every year I seem to get some form of sinus infection with all sorts of symptoms to go with it. Nasal congestion, sore throat and cough. That leads to lack of sleep etc. Last year it literally caused me to give up on training for an A race. Well it decided to throw an added twist this time. Hiccups. These were some serious watch-for-whiplash like convulsions; and they stuck with me on and off all day. At least it waited till after IM. So this evening I quarantined myself, cooked, and ate. I had been watching my food intake for the last few weeks to prevent weight gain, but I believe when you are sick, you must eat. So some soup, and a lot of steamed veggies, pork, and chicken. I will be going to sleep with a full belly tonight. The only question I had was: do I wash it down with hot tea and honey or the top shelf cognac.

Last week I took a little trip to Seattle and picked up another brother-in-law. (Congrats sis.)

Seattle traffic is downright awful.

Does it rain in Seattle? Or just tease us by being cloudy? I have never opened an umbrella in that town. By the way, most of the days I spent there last week were near perfect weather - sunny with one or two clouds and about 74 degrees. If I had time and money I would have picked up something to ride from the Performance Bike Shop I passed several times every single day. Riding up and down those hills would have been soooo much fun.

Why do weddings become such big productions? If/when I make it to the altar, is there anyway I can reduce the "destructive stress"? My mom has a big family which can makes things even more exciting. We had 6 minivans and 2 cars. Oh and that's only about half of the family.

Just curious. When was the last time you got carded for an alcoholic drink? When was the last time you got carded at your sister's wedding? Being a designated driver, all I wanted was one drink. Good grief.

I love football season, so I was disappointed to miss the big college game last weekend. I watched some of the UWisc-Indiana game with my cousins in the morning, but couldn't catch the OSU-Iowa game becaue of the wedding reception. There wasn't a TV available, but at least the conciegre at the reception hall was kind enough to look up the score on the net.

By the way, I had a discussion with my brother-in-law, a UWashington grad about college football. I believe, that there is a slight bias in favor of college teams from the South and West (warm climates.) Those teams tend to have more speed and finesse that can benefit them in a bowl game. Midwest and East coast teams need to be more physical because the weather can definitely factor into the regular season games that they play. So if you take a team like USC and have them travel to Ohio for their bowl game in January, they probably would not have as much success. As a supporting statement, look at the NFL. Teams like the Colts struggle in New England come playoff time. Why? They are a finesse team whose strengths are nullified by something out of their control - weather.

Sorry to be such a snob, but I am not quite used to flying economy class. Airplanes in general are like flying cesspools. And maybe that's where I caught my sickness. Anyways, with my luck, I got stuck in front of a kid that kicked my seat the entire trip to Seattle. And all the dad did was say in a very loud voice: "Marcus, stop that. Marcus....sit still.....MARCUS." That gets old on a four hour flight. The kid on the way back home was a little more calm, but I actually traded my window seat for a middle seat on the other side of the plane just to get away from that kid.

I believe you have a better chance of having a good conversation with people in economy class, especially if you wear an M-dot t-shirt. What is more exciting: Ironman or biking around the world? I don't know, but I would love to do the latter.

Anyone watching the current season of The Amazing Race? If you haven't caught it yet, there is a duo that consists of Ironmen - one being Sarah Reinertsen. In my humble opinion, this season has been pretty lackluster.

Well, I have a few more posts in the pipeline, but I'll save them for next week. Thanks for putting up with my off topic rants.

Have a splendid weekend.