I got branded.

Since the day I registered for Ironman Wisconsin I thought about getting an M-Dot tattoo.

Well, I finished the race and I was happy with the result. So it’s tattoo time.

The M-Dot isn’t my first tattoo. I have a “tribal” sun on my right arm.

If you’re wondering what tribe, it’s a large group of people now in their 30’s that for some reason thought anything tribal permanently inked on their body was awesome.

Don’t take that to mean that I regret my sun tattoo. But it doesn’t have any real meaning other than “I’m 18 and I can do what I want without permission”

But the M-Dot (corporate logo or not) does have meaning. It represents the year of training & hard work, long rides, long runs, and 15 hours and 12 minutes I spent completing 140.6 miles of racing!

Sure it was Madison Wisconsin and not the Big Island, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less significant.

Who knows, maybe one year it will be Hawaii.

Before I made this sucker permanent, Dave (the tattoo artist) showed me a few different sizes to make sure I got what I wanted.

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Then it was show time! It didn’t take more than a half hour for him to finish the tattoo.

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And the end result is exactly what I was looking for!

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I actually got a complement on it in the post office today! My Dad however thought it should be smaller.

I like it.

What will WTC do with Lance?

It’s currently 9:15am in Chicago. The triathlon world is expecting to hear comments in about an hour from World Triathlon Corp, owners of the Ironman brand, regarding Lance Armstrong‘s newest round of doping allegations.

The initial word was that Lance has been banned from competition. But according to a great article on Slowtwitch, banned isn’t really accurate.

Here is my take. First of all I’d like to point out that I wrote about this months ago after Lace wasn’t tested after Panama. And weather or not he’s guilty of ever doing it, the long list of people who say he did, along with the slew of charges over the years (dropped or not) should have been a red flag & Ironman should have thought of before making Lance triathlon’s poster boy.

The question I’m writing about today has less to do with Lance being found guilty or not guilty, but rather, should WTC allow him to race.

Sure WTC has rules in place, but they are a private entity which means they have the ability to change or bend those rules as they see fit. And as I Tweeted yesterday, Lance is good for business.

Preventing him from competing wouldn’t really help draw the legions of new fans and Lance imitators that Ironman was hoping for. It would also make their partnership with Lance’s PR company Foundation LiveSTRONG look a little silly.

What I expect to hear from WTC is that even though rules dictate ” an athlete is ineligible to compete during an open investigation”, they’re going to allow him to race because these charges are pending & he hasn’t been found guilty.

They’ve already used the phrase “pending further review”.

Sure they’ll look like a podium full of fanboy’s standing by their blank check of an athlete. But it won’t be the first time Ironman reversed their stance on something, does anyone remember the Ironman Access Program?

And if they don’t allow him to race for they’re own reasons, maybe they’ll do it for the poor schmuck who already bid $40,000 in the LiveSTRONG auction to race with Lance in Kona!

But maybe I’m totally wrong.

Want to race the Chicago Triathlon? Better hurry!

If you’ve been thinking about racing in the 30th Anniversary of the Lifetime Fitness Chicago Triathlon, you’d better register fast! There are only 95 entries available for the international distance race!

The race, which features a 1.5k swim, 40k bike and 10k run is filling up very fast! The course highlights the best Chicago has to offer, with a swim in Lake Michigan, a bike ride on Lake Shore Drive and a run along the Lakefront path with a beautiful finish in Grant Park. There is also a sprint-distance race which is also filling fast.

Make sure you register soon so you won;t miss the celebration of 30 years of triathlon in Chicago. You’ll get the chance to race next to some of the best athletes

in the world like US Olympian Sarah Haskins who has won the woman’s race in Chicago the last two years as well as Ironman Triathlete Matty Reed.

You just might get to take on Chicago’s Mayor Rham Emanuel!

Race day is August 26th for both the sprint and international distance. So register NOW!

Stroller friendly races & runs

I got an email the other day asking about stoller friendly races. Well, here is a list of my favorites, click on the name of the race to register or for more info!

Bunny Rock 5K and Egg Hunt, Chicago – April 7th
This race is sure to bring lots of excitement and entertainment with Chicago’s own80's Rock Musicthroughout the course, the amazing amenities, and an overall fun, spring-filled 3.1 mile race!

Bunny Dash 5K, Palatine – April 14th
As competitors race through the course, various activities are available for families and kids of all ages. From an Egg Hunt with over 3,000 eggs to a Live Petting Zoo to the Easter Bunny, this event is full of delight and excitement that will definitely leave you wanting more.

Race to Wrigley, Chicago – April 14th
Chicago Cubs Charities’ 7th Annual Race to Wrigley 5k Run, which starts and finishes at legendary Wrigley Field, helps kick off the baseball season and runners and sponsors can show their support for a good cause. This year, personal fundraising proceeds will benefit Children’s Memorial Hospital-after you sign up for the race, thenregister as a fundraiser and make every step count.

Arbor Day 10K, Lisle – April 22nd
Celebrate the return of spring by participating in the Arboretum’s second annual 10K run.

Spring Fling 5K, Chicago – April 29th
The 3rd Annual Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation Chicago 5k Walk/Run to raise awareness and funding for Lung Cancer research will be held on Sunday April 29th, 2012.

Southwest Half Marathon, Palos Heights – May 6th
a part of the First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon and enjoy one of the Midwest’s finest events of its kind. From world class runners to physically challenged athletes who will compete in the Walk, Run or Roll competition, the Southwest Half Marathon offers an extremely fast, flat course with chip timing, 5-year age group awards, $10,000 in cash prizes and commemorative medals for all finishers.

Got 2 Run… For Education, Arlington Heights – May 19th
Everyone gets an Awesome technical T-Shirt, even youth sizes. All students get a backpack tag/zipper pull with the Got2Run 2.62 logo. Everyone gets a 2.62 bumper sticker to show off, just like the marathoners do with their 26.2 stickers!

Stepping up to wellness, Libertyville – May 20th
On Sunday, May 20, please join the Cancer Wellness Center of Northbrook, IL for their 5th AnnualRun/Walk. The event supports the Center and their Wellness Programs, which focuses on nutrition, exercise, spirituality, mediation and support groups. In 2008, the 10K Run, 5K Run/Walk and the Marcia Slotky Family Walk attracted over 1300 runners and walkers and raised an amazing $155,000.00. This year’s event — to be held at Independence Grove in Libertyville- promises to be bigger and better.

Pathways 8th Annual 5K, Glenview – June 2nd
Pathways  is a state of the art, not-for-profit, outpatient pediatric therapy center located in Glenview, IL. The Center provides occupational therapy, physical therapy andspeech/language/feeding therapy for children with developmental delays, autism, sensory integration disorders, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, spina bifida, and other neurological and orthopedic conditions.

Beloit Half Marathon & 5K, Beloit – July 21st
Finish behind homeplate of the Beloit Snappers Stadium. Free Miller64 Beer Over 21. Awesome Tech TShirt. Outstanding Finisher Medal.

Run from the cops 5K, Vernon Hills – July 22nd
The Jailbreak is back! Join us Sunday July 22nd, 2012 at 8:00 AM. Officers line up at the back of the starting gate and  “chase” participants through the course.  As our event has grown officers from surrounding communities have also joined the cause.

Champions 5K & 10K, Chicago – August 11th
All 10K & 5K participants will receive a customized Dri Fit T-Shirt (Men’s and Women’s Sizes), Customized Race Mug and Goody Bag. The event ends with a “Breakfast of Champions” breakfast of eggs, meat and BEER for all of our “Champions”, post-race ceremony, prizes, medals, and much more!

Wausau Marathon & Half Marathon, Wausau WI – August 25th
Finish in Downtown Wausau. Free Miller64 Beer Over 21. Awesome Tech TShirt. Outstanding Finisher Medal. Saturday Evening Free Post Race Concert for Participants starting  at 5PM. Live Bands throughout the course

There are a lot more races that allow jogging strollers, you can look them up at CaraRuns.org.

It’s always fun to run with your family and as parents who run we always appreciate events that accommodate strollers, but it’s important to remember a few things when participating.

1) Start at the back of the pack.
2) Go slow, don’t plan on setting a PR if you’re pushing a stroller.
3) Keep some distance from the runners in front of you.
4) Don’t stop on the course. if you have to stop pull as far off the the side as you can.

If you know of any other good stoller friendly races, tell me about them in the comments section!

Where’s the Beef? – A Peer Pressure Blog

I’d like to introduce you to my buddy Beefy (on the left). Beef is the reason I started training for a marathon, I went on one of his training runs for the 2009 Chicago Marathon. I (barley) made it 6.5 miles that day, but it hooked me on running.

I went out to watch Beef run the Marathon that year and saw how excited all the finishers were, it was amazing.

A few weeks later Beef and I were sitting in my condo, watching the bear and drinking some Abita when he said “You should run the Marathon with me next year.”

I said “OK” and started training for the 2010 Chicago Marathon.

I was one of the most fun run’s I ever had, and it got me hooked on endurance sports. The next year I did an Ironman 70.3, then the 2o11 Chicago Marathon and for 2012 I’m doing TWO 70.3’s and I’m registered for Ironman Wisconsin. It’s my first attempt at the full Iron distance.

One of my prep races will be the Bigfoot Triathlon in Lake Geneva on June 24th. I sent Beef a Facebook message today saying he should do it with me.

Let’s just say he didn’t jump at the idea. But he didn’t say no.

I know that he IS interested in doing a Tri. He bought a bike last year, he already has running experience, and I know he can swim at least a little (we used to be Lifeguards together).

So I’m going for the peer pressure approach. I would probably never be doing this if I didn’t run with Beef. Help me get Beef to race the Bigfoot Triathlon this year!

Leave a comment below and let’s get this guy racing!

WTC, Doping and Juan Pelota

When it comes to Lance Armstrong’s credibility, I flip flop like I’m running for office.

Part of me wants to believe that everything he has accomplished as an athlete came from nothing but hard work and dedication to his sport.

Then there’s the other part of me that thinks there has to be some truth to all the allegations, witness accounts and stories of doping in the media.

After the case against The Texan was dropped last month, I knew it was only a matter of time before we heard it all again.

After is 2nd place finish at Ironman Panama 70.3 Mellow Johnny “legitimately” secured himself a spot on the pro start-line for Kona this year. But in classic Lance Armstrong fashion this spot doesn’t come without controversy.

A few days ago Lance posted this Tweet

He sounded a little annoyed right? Well Big Tex, you’re not retired anymore. You just placed 2nd in your very first race in your return to triathlon which earned you one of the very coveted spots in the biggest race that sport has.

So yeah, you’re probably gonna get tested.

He later tweeted again and this time didn’t sound like such a child complaining that he had to get up early.

At first I thought he was just being a prima donna, then with the 2nd tweet he was trying to save face.

Then I read this article about how how The Boss DIDN’T get tested by the WTC in Panama.

Wait… WHAT?!?! I’m I being Punked?

“It is detrimental to us all. It is totally absurd. We are making a huge effort, we have a fantastic image, and now what? It’s terrible,” ITU president Marisol Casado told dpa in a telephone interview.”

Yeah, kinda shady. Why wouldn’t he be tested?

Here’s my guess. Lance racing in IM events financially benefits two groups, the first is obviously WTC. When lance took 2nd in Panama, it got more media attention then I’ve ever seen Ironman get. How many REAL headlines did you see about Bevan Docherty winning the race? Poor guy got second billing. Plus after Lance’s win 2nd place finish, a press release came out saying that with his qualifying entry to Kona, that NBC and WTC were talking about airing the even live for the first time.

Cha Ching. So if WTC was skeptical that Lance may not be clean, they may have intentionally delayed his test.

The 2nd benefactor is Lance and his LiveSTRONG foundation. LiveSTRONG is also in a gray area, especially after the article in

Outside Magazine in January. If you haven’t read it, I highly suggest you do.

“he’s never been shy about monetizing this appeal for personal gain.”

Between his $200,000 speaking fee and endorsements like Oakley and Michelob Ultra, Lance needs a clean image in order to keep the vault on the ranch full (I don’t really know if there is a vault).

So IF Lance wouldn’t have tested clean in Panama on February 12th, then delaying and doing a “random” test on February 29 would give him enough time to clean up.

So what’s the answer for Lance when it comes to squashing all the doping rumors? He could make a public spectacle each time he’s tested. He could do like Chrissie Wellington and post his test results online.

But what’s more likely is that Lance Armstrong will continue to what he’s done for years, fly almost under the radar until someone else comes out of the shadows to rat on him or until another event like this happens where for an unknown reason his testing was skipped, delayed or lost.

As for WTC, they have a brand to protect and need to decide how big of a liability Lance could be to it. When he races Kona with all his hype and later tests positive, it’ll be World Triathlon Corp, not just Lance that will have major image issues to deal with.

Ironman Mooseman Bike Montage (2011)

My run today has been pushed back to later in day. My son woke up as I was getting ready to head out the door. If it wasn’t 20 degrees out I would just take him with me! Instead he watched Micky Mouse Club House (probably to prepare for Florida 70.3, my first Tri this season).

While he did that I started to look at some of the video from Mooseman last year, I cut a short montage of the bike course… Enjoy!