Monthly Archives: June 2014

A week ago I ran a marathon in Minnesota.  This weekend my first triathlon, Tri the Boat in Steamboat Springs.

With Ironman only 6 weeks away, using this race to figure out the logistics of competing 3 sports same day.  Felt a bit intimidated at sign-in.  Boulder & Steamboat Springs are both athlete meccas, attractive for altitude training & the arid climate – sunshine, no humidity. I waited behind a trim zero-body-fat group, picked up my race packet & intently listened to instructions – where to park, where to leave my bike, starting time, transition area…becoming a quick study of everything Triathlon.

Sunday morning came early, an hour drive from my hotel in Kremmling.  Parked, carried the bike over my shoulder (like the true triathletes) & headed to transition slot 169 – my home for the day.

Pulled & tugged at my XTERRA wetsuit – crazy tight fit – but eventually managed success, zipped up ready to go.  Lined up on the shore of Stagecoach Reservoir.  Have never done this before – super nervous.

Air horn sounds & in we go.  Sub-60 degree water, C-O-L-D.  Panic, can’t breathe.  Up for air every stroke.  And unlike my gym pool, open water is murky – and deep.

Two strokes right, rollover, two strokes left – ok, moving.  Steady swimming, no longer swallowing water.

BUMP – I strike a small boat outside of boundaries.  They point the way – my goggles useless — scratched, dingy for months now. In a pool, no big deal.  In open water, can’t see a thing – pulling them on my forehead to catch a glimpse of other swimmers.

BUMP – now it’s a kayak on the other side.  Ridiculous.

I continue zigzagging my way across Stagecoach – back n forth, back n forth ‘til 2 kayakers guide my return home.  I hear them talking: I think he’s disorientated.  I tell them I’m fine – just can’t see.  They say I’ve swam full Ironman distance – yeah, that far off course.  I stumble onto shore and spew breakfast just past waterline.

I look at rows of empty bike racks – only 2 of us left…then the lady behind me quits.  Ugh – dead last 🙁

Sun beating down, I start the 56 mile bike ride – almost 3,000 feet elevation change.

No other human around.  That was the worst of it – the solitude.

Stopped at both bike aid stations but kept at it.  Last 2 stations already closed – but I finished.  I reached transition & slipped on my Hokas.  Asked directions from a volunteer & started the half marathon run.

Was pulled at the first aid station – too far back, time limitation.  Argh; it is what it is.

Hottest day of the year in Steamboat, I finished both the swim & the bike.  Not a complete fail, but gotta figure this out.

Beyond exhausted, I stop an hour later & rent a room.  Sun burnt and sleep deprived, I down a ginger ale, shower & set my alarm for 4 a.m. – back to work tomorrow: Monday, start of the work week.


As prep for Ironman, Ash chided me into participating in Bike to Work Day.

Sunny day biking towards the Flatirons – beautiful ride, why we live there.  My morning ride ended with a flat rear ride — blown valve…so in actuality I celebrated National Walk your Bike to Work Day 🙁

All in all inspired me to bike to or from work every day this week — including my first Tri day.  Biked to Colorado Athletic Club in Boulder, swam 50 laps, then ran home after work 10 minutes uphill, in blowing wind, rain & later sunshine.

Adding National Bike to Work to my calendar again next year.  New tradition!

Good to see so many people outside & greening up the Planet.


Bike to Work Day: Boulder turns out on two wheels

Bike to Work Day 2014

Bike to Work Day 2014















Social Media RoundUp

Cammy    Bike to work day is so much fun

Robin   It was my first too! I biked with Rob to his work and then biked back home to work! Sorry about the flat

Kimberly    Lol you do have a job!! With all your adventures with hiking in foreign lands, I had no clue what you did now! Lol sorry you had a flat though!

Ashton   Step 2..learning how to fix a flat! We got this

Joyce   You look like you are all in one piece. love you!


Just 3 weeks back, I thought I’d knock off marathon #8 in Minneapolis but fate stepped in & I needed a June make-up race.

Late Friday nite flight, picked up my rental at Enterprise, then headed 2 ½ hours north to Duluth — tomorrow’s race destination: Grandma’s Marathon.  Easy drive; powered by Sirius Radio I listened to Country Classics – yep, the super twangy stuff from the 1950’s & ‘60’s 🙂  20 minutes outside of Duluth, heavy fog rolled in.  Pulled off momentarily, then realized it wasn’t dissipating anytime soon so dropped my speed to 35, hovered in the right lane & stayed über alert to other motorists and wildlife.

Located a safe stop to catch some zzz’s (no hotel this trip), then woke to my iPhone alarm 4 hours later.

Fog, accompanied by mist & temps in the low 50’s.  Surprisingly cold for June.  Boarded a race bus which ferried me & fellow racers to the Start Line in Two Harbors, northeast of Duluth.  Waited ‘til the last possible moment to shed the jacket & drop-off my gear bag – sooo late [that] I was blocked from joining my race wave, relegated to joining the 5:30 pacers.

Didn’t reach the official start until 6 minutes after the gun sounded, trudged thru a pack of runners, resulting in a super slow 11 minute first mile.  Music cranked up, I started to work my way around folks.  At mile 3 I passed the 4:30 pace team & at mile 6, I put the 4 hour pacers behind me.  Now the trick – run my race, stay loose, don’t panic.

For a guy who struggles to run in heat, this was my day.  Caught a glimpse of Lake Superior thru the fog & drafted closely behind a fast-footed runner with crazy long hair.  I matched him on hills (which better suits my Colorado training), then fell back on the long stretches. Goal: stay close for a half marathon – revised goal, I’m drafting thru mile 15.

Reached down for water & just like that, he was gone.  Thankfully, still felt strong.  No grabbing water again ‘til mile 19, then again at mile 21.  Felt the burn at mile 23 & punked another 11 minute shuffle.

Water, I need water.  Or air, maybe I can’t breathe.  Stopped at the mile 24 aid station & turned my head to see the 4 hour pace team pounding behind me.  Where did they come from?   I am NOT giving up on my first sub-4 with only 2+ miles to go.

Crowds lined the final mile thru downtown Duluth to Canal Park.  I reached deep & ran.  Pulled out my buds & let crowd energy breathe blood back into my legs.  I’m blowing hard now.  I can hear the race announcer, I’ve got to be close.

Almost 4 minutes under my marathon goal – boo-yah, first sub-4 marathon.

(Race Time) From Grandma’s Marathon sponsor, Verizon Wireless: K R Haga has crossed the Finish in 3:56:38

Slipped to the ground & was done.  Couldn’t stop shivering, finished in the medic tent.  Super low sodium but high hemoglobin numbers.  Released 30 minutes later.  Thanks Colorado for my high hemoglobin – high altitude living does a body good.

sub-4 – FINALLY!

sub 4 FINISH!

sub 4 FINISH!



next month Montana!

next month Montana!

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