Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Its summer time in Montana! however,some of us are still getting some turns in up in the Beartooth's. And on memorial day we had a butt load of snow at the cabin. But now its hot and some happenings have been happening!. Just some of the news: A great trip with the boys from Billings to Moab for some road and mtn biking Chloe and I have been mtn biking and long boarding together but she was not quit ready for the cow pie classic last month! My wife won the prickly pear ultra and was second in the bighorn ultra as well. She does rock the trail running! Matt Walpoe qualified for 70.3 worlds in Las Vegas! at the Boise 26.2 congrats Matt! also kudos to David L and Chris for fighting through a very difficult day! Chris and Matt have had there share of bumps and bruises but continue to fight it off like the tough clones they are. then there was surf camp where, although the atmosphere and the crowd was not what I had expected,

I did learn to surf and had a great time mountain biking with Sarah's nephew Ben(a andy shleck look alike) who has skills on the mtn bike and we road some 5x in some incredible terrain among the big trees(redwoods) Pam H and Laura E, finished the CDA Ironman for there 50th's and are a joy to work with. congrats to you both. and speaking of Laura and Pam take a look at the very cool Gymjay gear ! Come get yours today
 tonight  is the downtown crit next up the 4th at the cabin, the big sky state games, and the Tangle and of course there is my wonderful girls

Monday, October 24, 2011

certified Natural trainer

Jon,Jesse and yours truly after passing my test at the Monkey Bar Gym Madison intensive certification training this past week

I have been in Madison WI for the past week taking a Certified Natural trainer certification at the Monkey Bar Gymnasium. The MBG is a functional training center developed by Jon Hinds. Jon is about my age and a complete stud. He was a Brazilian jujitsu gold medalist in the pan am games. In this class we are learning to teach the proper progressions of running, jumping, crawling, climbing and so on. Jon believes as I do in the physical culture. I can tell you that being a Triathlete primarily in my life has not prepared me for this type of training. I completely suck at it presently. But I am challenged to get better. And as a teacher of fitness, bring my clients to a new level of physicality. There are 25 of us in class and some of these guys and girls can do stuff I could not dream of doing. Here is a video of Rick who trains in a group called the Bar-Barians in NY. Unbelievable stuff!

The Monkey Bar Gym style of training combines not only the physical skill but bundles them in a way that will challenge all levels of fitness. It also uses cycles and variety to keep everyone motivated and focused on improving. At The MBG, Yoga, skill training and Nutrition are the 3 parts of the philosophy. Check out Jon's Blog to get a feel of the enthusiasm of his passion for fitness and health.

On the nutrition side. Jon believes in at at least a 90% plant based diet(My buddy Steve I am sure will give me hell). He references the Book The china study and brought in an expert to explain the benefits of what he calls nutrient rich eating. seeing how strong Jon and Jesse are eating only plant based, I am a bit more convinced in this way of eating. The point he makes is that once you eat this way for a while( 6mo or so) you will get off the crack habit of nutrient poor foods( ie meat, dairy, refined).

I feel like I learned a lot at this class/certification and can use many of the techniques with all my clients for years to come. I did have some fun away from the 10hrs a day of instruction. I met a cool kid named Erik, who is a cyclist/nordic skier( ex rugby player) that lives in Madison. we went on a nice bike ride around Madison and even went for a roller ski. But was better was after Friday's class we yondered to an after hours keger with the bike mechanics at his bike shop(cronometer?)(super fun and good thing there were no pictures. then I wound up a the hotel bar drinking some pints with a bunch of British/Irish breeders of Clydsdale horses! really funny---That explains why when I first got to town and rode my bike around the capital that the Budweiser clydsdale rig full on with the Dolmation was going down State street! again no picture( I should really get a smart phone----NOT

here is Erik practicing our Eichens Yoga poses

here are a few more photos of the class

Monkey Bar Gym

Jon down a wall press up

the other room at Monkey Bar WI

Jesse doing a reggie pullup(super hard)

I am glad to be back home really missed my girls

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marathon in Vermont

From Sarah:

Just back from the Green Mountain Athletic Association Marathon in Lake Champlain, VT, where I took first female with a time of 3:20. It was a small race and a soft field, but a very beautiful setting with incredible fall foliage along the lakefront, with rolling mountains in the distance. Great schwag and great post-race vegie chili, too!

I was a bit nervous since I hadn't raced a marathon for nearly 7 years when I decided to jump into this one -- and another about one month ago, the inaugural Bozeman Marathon -- because my training partner, Liz Nemer, was training for Rock N Roll St. Louis. After doing so many of the long runs with Liz last summer I decided to find a race around the same time, so we could train together. Since I had a work trip to do in Burlington, this GMAA race worked out perfectly. Plus, I got to sample excellent beers from hosts Meghan & Seth's Taproom.

I'm not fast, and I'm not a super star. But it sure feels good to accomplish small goals and succeed at them. This summer and fall have been reminders of how good it feels to train, race and compete. This is true even if the training isn't perfect -- as long as you are fit and can dig in deep when the racing gets rough.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Getting off my Ass!

Well, I let myself go a bit too much and hit my drop dead weight of 170. So the buzzer went off and I started my 5 day fast/cleanse. I am writing this on day 4 so if I sound/write a bit foggy that's because I am. Just fyi in the past 4 days I have ingested 2 cups of vegetable soup and 4 glasses juice. Of course I am drinking electrolytes and taking vitamins as well but so far-- less than 1000 calories in 4 days. I have done this before to jump start my discipline, and this time is no different. It is super hard and makes you feel like you are running at the end of the Ironman. 1 day to go and my first real food with be at kindergarten lunch with Chloe at Lunch Buddies tomorrow at noon. Give me 8 grilled cheeses please! (uh o! last night Chloe came down with a fever of 102-- up all night and sick as a dog, my weekend with the kids gets a bit more complicated) The hardest part of a fast is exercise, which I have been trying to be more consistent at---but with no food it makes movement very difficult for sure-- yesterday I ran 5 miles and I swear it felt like a marathon. It is very hard to hold up your arms and you can feel the fat and muscle burning for energy due to no sugar.

My Girls Chloe and Cale during our evening wrestling match

The past month or so have been very busy with lots of work and much more kid duties. I just love taking/picking up the kids from school and doing the everyday duties they require. Starting today I have the kids for 4 days as Sarah heads east for a conference and runs a marathon. We have plans for the corn-Maze, heading to Laurel to the pumpkin patch and lots of daddy day care fun.

stepping back a few weeks, Sarah and I had a great trip down to Denver to see Further at Red Rocks. We had a great time doing the parking lot scene, taking in the great shows and during the day sweating out the toxins with some epic exercise. Friday night old clone Kevin came with us for the experience. and an experience it was. The next day,the three of us went on a mountain bike ride in Golden at Apex park. The ride was hard and we all came away with some scars to prove it. Mine was a nice half chain ring carved into my calf.

Along with my fast/cleanse I have been getting a bit more consistent exercise. I have been riding my bike more than once every couple of weeks and have enjoyed my cross bike up in Bozeman the past couple of weekends. I have also been back in the gym getting my body back from the flab that it has become.

last weekend after a great cross ride at the Bozeman creek trail, I checked out the finish of the Kona Ironman on the computer. I thought the pro race was pretty exciting especially on the womens side. Miranda Caffree trying to run down Chrissy Wellington was pretty cool. I also want to congratulate my clients Jay Preston and Mike Fogassey for excellent races in Kona. Jay met his goal of going under 10hrs going 9:58 and Mike made his dream of running down Ali drive and finishing the Hawaii Ironman! His pictures were awesome and showed the great joy of his experience great job both of you!

I always blog on some thoughts about the race and here are mine from this year

1. I wish they would go back to placing the race date on the first full moon Saturday. Recently the race has not had the severe wind that it had when that was the case. I did the race in 1995 and 1998 and on those years we had head winds that started very early on( mile 30) and again coming back. In comparison, 1998 the winning time( peter Reid) was 8:24 compared to the 8:03 this year. most of that time was on the bike were the pros were going 4:30 or under whereas in 1998 the best pro times were 4:45 or higher. In 98 there were 19 athletes under 9hrs, this year there were almost 40. In 1998 I went 9:27 and placed 46th overall and this year my 9:27 would of placed me 127th. Much of the same comparisons can be made in 1995 as well.. Almost all the best bike times have been set since the change to the date but interestingly Mark Allen and Dave Scott still hold the best run times 2:41 and 2:40 in 1989.

2. I wish they would go back to starting the age groupers and pros together--allowing for the same race conditions by all. I don't mind the pros getting the pole position but this 30min delay can mean totally different conditions for the age groupers, and not allowing an age grouper to compete for the overall. You say an age grouper can't compete for the overall? well this year you had an age grouper getting 26th overall( 11 min from the podium) and another that had the 2nd fastest run of the day, running 2:43. This all under harder conditions most likely.

3. and again I call bullshit on aero helmets-- Chrissy again wins without one and Carolyn Steffen as well. Maybe these guys could run better if they did not bake their heads in the heat!

The family at Bridger bowl during raptor fest

raptor at Raptor fest

Sarah and Cale on our hike at Bohart ranch

Last Sunday the fam went for a family Hike near Bridger bowl and took in the Raptor fest and got ready for ski season by cleaning our locker and getting our pictures for our season passes. it was a glorious fall day with the first snow of the year laying down the white stuff at the 7k high mark.

Bridger bowl in October

It is always stunning to see the mountains covering in snow with the aspen tress turning a bright yellow. I headed from Bridger bowl on my cross bike after our family event and climbed up toward Ross peak, getting up to the snow line! amazing ride and views! can't wait for the first ride on my board-- probably a split board climb/run coming soon!

The climb to Ross peak

and on the way back down-- toward the Crazy Mountains


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

No more free pass!

Me at the finish of the Dakota Five-0--- "That Hurt"

The conclusions of my own personal fitness experiment are now in. After 2 full months of almost no consistent exercise, I have come to the conclusion that you can get one free month of fitness but not two! Let me explain.

When I retired from competition after the Buffalo Springs 70.3 in late June, I pretty much stopped training completely. I figure I have done 10-12 workouts in 2+ months. Why? Well, many reasons, but, in a nut shell, I just did not feel like it. I was tired and completely worn out from the effort I put in to trying to come back to a competitive level. The effort both mentally and physically was so hard that once it was over, I was just done!

I often have read about what level of training it would take to maintain some level of fitness. When I say "some" I mean "not mean sucking ASS!" I would often talk to John Howard about this. John believes that a lifetime of base training full on -- can help in withstanding a level of fitness that is pretty good even with cutting his hours of work from 20 to 10 or more. So in the past 2 months as I have been getting fat and soft, I have been doing my own experiment.

Post Lubbock: After 2-3 weeks of doing nothing, I went out for an epic mountain bike ride at the Bangtail Trail. Conclusion: I felt good and it was fun and not painful!-- Another week or so and I did the Beartooth Burn (a 22 mile climb TT up the Beartooth Pass). Conclusion: I did pretty good going 1:51 and placing 3rd in the 40-49 age group. And again I felt ok even though I went out too hot! The next week I did another epic mtn bike ride at Curly Lake. Conclusion: Felt good and even put in a better time than pre-heart surgery! Keep in mind, that I am doing no exercise during the weekdays -- at all!

I thought OK -- This no training thing seems to work! This is great, I will have so much more time for other things if I only have to workout once a week! Next up the Dakota five- o mtn bike race in Spearfish, SD. A couple of weeks before the race, I thought to myself, "Damn, I need to do some training for this thing" -- since it is hard as hell (7 km of climbing and very competitve). But then I thought to myself --- let's experiment a bit further. So I didn't get on my bike even once for 2+ weeks before. Instead I went to Chicago with my kids and played golf with the old man. By the way, I played much better than my club championship debacle, scoring all 3 rounds in the 70s with a low of 73 at Shoreacres. And by the by, thanks to my mom and dad for a great time and to Kevin Cox, Mike Harrigan, and Mr. Burke for some fun games.

So, last weekend was the Dakota Five-0. This event is just awesome! The course, the town, the campground, the organization, the swag--everything. For the 2nd year in a row, we rented an RV and headed to Spearfish, SD, with other friends from Billings,(this year we had the Dueys, the Galls, Steve M, Don R, Chris J, Don cole, Tina and Ed, Chris J, the Sekora's. Brian J). The vibe is great and the race is very hard! The campground in Spearfish is really great and a total cool family experience. If you want to join us next year for the event sign up early for the race, it sells out, registration starts april 1 and reserve at the campground soon since RV hookups also sell out quick. Congrats to all that finished this very hard and fun event Spearfish city campground
Cale waiting for Dad at the finish

I don't think I should of rode some of the course the day before -- this may have skewed my experiment of no training. But I can tell you that on race day there was certainly a big jump with a lack of legs and fitness. I started in the first wave and found my HR pretty much through the roof in the first 4 miles of climbing to the single track. That was not a smart plan for sure. I managed to do ok through the first 10 miles but, now unlike the previous 8 weeks, my legs were already cooked! This is not good with 4 hrs to go. Needless to say - it was a survival the rest of the way. I began cramping in my VMO at about 3 hrs and that hurts when you have a bunch of serious climbs to go. Today it still feels like I am bruised in the inside of my quads. I ended up finishing with a 5:26 result which was 1hr 10min faster than last year( however, last year I was pretty much the walking dead).

At the finish I was totally worked but at least my experiment was over---conclusion: If you are in solid shape -- you get a one month free pass but not two!I will now find some level of consistency in exercise that I can live with, be happy with and find the balance with my family and work. So my goal for the coming year is to find that balance and work toward feeling better at next years Dakota Five-0. I would like to give breaking 5 hrs a shot. But this time without the experiment of no training.

Monday, August 8, 2011

new ways

Creek Crossing at Curly lake ride, that's me making it and Stan almost!

Habits die hard, but I think I am finally there! for nearly 25 yrs I have been swimming, biking and running in preparation for racing triathlons. Now 5-6 weeks after my race in Lubbock Tx and my retirement from the sport, I am finally not getting up and feeling that I have a planned swim, bike or run workout in the day.

From the beginning swimming was always a sport I least liked to do and has been my weakest discipline for most of the past 25yrs. Ironically, In this past year swimming has been my most competitive sport( most likely due to lower heart rates). But I still don't enjoy it and now that I am not doing triathlon races--- its done---

Next is running, which I really enjoyed the most in my early years. I once was the very fastest 11 yr old in the suburbs of Chicago. Then in College, I began to run longer and really got a buzz out of it. Then I tore my knee up playing basketball as a weekend warrior back in the early 80s. My knee repair was successful but I still had pain and after I started doing triathlons I managed that pain in my left knee and more recently my right one. I did become a pretty efficient runner regardless, logging a 33:25 10k pr and a 2:42:06 marathon pr as well as a 1/2 marathon off the bike of 1:18 in Gulf coast and a 3:11 marathon split in the Hawaii Ironman, this all with running mileage of 30-40 miles at its peak. but today running still hurts and with Heart rate numbers that are higher on the run(which causes a weird feeling with my repaired heart)This sport is also done.

Then there is the bike. I love to bike, and I love to ride all kinds of bikes, especially off road bikes( cross, mtn, single speed) I still get excited for a bike ride and for the past 4 weeks I have gone out and done some epic rides. I have no schedule or method for my riding these days I just go out and ride how I feel and plan rides with friends. I still challenge myself on the bike and do hard rides even though I don't have the engine I used to have. see below. so going forward I see myself riding my bike for fitness and getting back to my bodywork and yoga routine to shore up my body's ability to keep up with my kids and wife in the hopefully many years to come.

My girls

Originally, we decided that Sarah and the Kids would go to the east coast(Cape Cod)for the month of July to spend time with her parents and get bit of east coast(ocean) culture for the kids, while I trained for the Ironman. Then of course my quest came to an end. And with that, I really only wanted to spend time with my family and catch up on the time I missed with them while I was training. But I was forced to figure out this transition alone and begin new ways in my life. So the past month has been very hard. combine that with a bunch of unforeseen house projects and July was pretty difficult for us.

My little fish

Now that the Fam is back. I have really enjoyed spending more time with the kids and Sarah. We have been going to the pool both in Briarwood and in Bozeman, checking out festivals like the Sweat Pea in Bozeman and going to many a play ground. I almost didn't recognize Cale with her sun bleached hair and her new lingo. She is amazing as well as Chloe who is now 6 and is growing up to be a wonderful little girl. They totally make me want to be a stay at home dad.

My love child

Last weekend I entered the Beartooth Burn, a timed ride up the beartooth hwy from red lodge to the summit( 10,000 ft). 22 miles and 6000ft of vertical. I did the event in 1hr 51 min. It is strange to do hard rides with multiple days of no exercise. I start these rides very fresh and have good legs for some of the ride, but of course that catches up with you after a while and you start to show your true fitness. I have gone up and done the Bangtail trail a couple of times with Pat Duey and have felt pretty good for a 4hr hard mtn bike ride. check out this clip of the final descent at the Bangtail trail 5 miles from our cabin

I still go out and try to compete and on Sunday I went pretty hard in the first 1hr and of course started to blow up after that as the altitude reached 9k ft. I did manage to tie the first women! and get 8th overall. I am pretty damn sore today although. And its still a bit hard to let go of being competitive

Coming up there is a lot on the Marschall/Keller agenda. This coming weekend I am holding a mountain bike weekend in Bozeman, doing some epic mountain biking, including the Curly lake Highline ride.

The ride Sunday was epic and definitely a cherry ride! Dr Pat Duey, Stan the man and Dr. Dan Gall came on the Curly lake ride with me. This ride has it all and will make you wanting that Rootbeer then real beer at the finish. total time from start to finish( with a couple of flat,rest, and food stops) 6.5hrs for a mere 25 miles, thats 7k of climbing my friends! boy those fish tacos at La parilla did taste good after!

the crew finally making it to the trail head

and near the top of the last climb at Curly, The Alpdhez of mtn biking, 10k high, 20% grade and many switch backs-- need to be super good and super fit, to not walk. those are not mountain goats walking that is Pat and Stan.

Then I am going to play in the Briarwood club championship the next weekend, did I say I went to the long putter? I hope this will help my scoring. Then I am taking the Girls to Chicago the next weekend to visit my parents and play some golf with the old man. Its on to Spearfish SD on Labor Day for the Dakota five-o mtn bike race and at the end of September we are heading to Red Rocks to see Furthur for the 3 night run there. Its getting me exhausted just thinking about it. But its the end of the summer and its time to pack it in before winter sets in.

the floatin fam

The 4- wheelin fam

Monday, July 18, 2011


This past week I went 7 days without exercise! When you combine that with a lot of eating you will definitely gain those additional 10lbs. As I try to figure out my new routine or lack there off, I spent the past week not wanting to do a single workout. I think the past 6mo. just plan wore me out mentally and physically. I have been working on my golf game lately, trying desperately to get ready to play decently in the Briarwood member/quest event called the"Tangle". Going forward I am thinking that I may work on my yoga,bodywork, long boarding and cycling. My feeling right now is that swimming and running may be an occasional workout from now on.

The scene at the Targhee Music festival

This weekend my Friend Josh and I cruised down to Driggs ID for the annual Targhee music festival. Originally this would be a family event but this year it would be a guys trip to one of the most beautiful spots and coolest events on earth.

Friday night we arrived and took in Grace Potter and the Nocturnals which is always a great show. The next day, I got up early and took the short trip down the hill and walked 9 holes of golf at the local Muni course, for 9 bucks I was all by myself with the Tetons as the back drop for my ball. Back to Targhee, Josh and I went riding some of the great Targhee single track. We had planned on getting padded up and go downhill mtn biking from the top of the ski hill, but the snow pack is still blocking the downhill trails! probably a good thing in the end. After sweating out the micro beers the night before, we set up our camp in the lawn and chilled in the sun checking out the great Saturday lineup of James McMurtry, Jackie Green and Michal Franti.

the Great Jackie Green doing an amazing Sugeree!

Michael Franti out in the crowd jamming

A great night of people watching and music. The great thing about the Targhee music fest is how great the scene and the Vibe is. very kid friendly and tons of activity's to do in the area. The crowd is very fit- and no- assholes!

Hula sites at Targhee

Kid friendly Targheefest-- check out the dads with their noise canceling headphone kids!

The next day brought much of the same but this time after Golf in the morning I made the grind up to the top of the mountain( 2k up in a couple of miles), I could not get up this climb last year since I was still weak and recovering from surgery, but I did manage to get my fat Ass to the top this year.

The way up to the summit of Grand Targhee ski resort

and at the top

Later on Sunday we even got a visit from my friend Patrick and Wendy Sheehan who the day before had sumited the Grand Teton over in Jackson Wy. After Little feat closed the Sunday show, we busted a move and drove back to Bozeman MT. Now its back to Billings and some summer heat!