Category Archives: Atlantic City

Iroman 70.3 Atlantic City

ironman-atlantic-city-triathlon-copy

The 70.3 course of Atlantic City…I have wanted a second crack at this course since the week after the race last year. I was upset, I knew I could have given it a better effort and I wanted another crack. I remember when Steve called me about the upcoming season and I said can you please tell me if I will ever get another crack and he said no. I was almost heart broken. Until the announcement was made, Ironman was coming to Atlantic City!

Taper week after a huge block always throws me through a loop when it comes to this sport. I had a few shorter, speedier workouts going on but I still had extra time on my hands. I finalized a few things on the bike, had my gear ready and decided to check the weather for the weekend. If you ever want to check the weather during taper week, let me tell you DON’T!!! It’s a horrible idea. Just don’t do it. You can’t control the weather, let it be.

I am super lucky because AC is only about two hours from me so leaving Saturday morning is completely within reason and I can get to check in and still have time for legs up and relaxing. I got down nice and early so I could shake out the legs and take my time doing the check in thing. Some how I lost track of time and spent a little more time on my feet at the expo than I initially wanted to but it wasn’t anything detrimental.

I got checked in to my hotel, had my dinner and packed it in. I was getting bottles ready and checking gear and I knew I needed to get some sleep but just couldn’t settle down.

We left for transition at 5am, as we started over the bridge towards Bader Field, we hit dead stopped traffic just as we did last year. We knew it was going to happen, they warned us of this issue. When you have 2,800 athletes all trying to get to the same place it is bound to happen, I place NO blame on Ironman or Delmo for this. We were lucky enough to have someone driving so we jumped out and walked the rest of the way to transition.

From there I entered and got set up. I was racked right next to two athletes who I have known since I started. I said my hello, gave them hugs and then went on my way. My swim wave was late and I don’t like being packed in with a bunch of people so I waited to head over to my wave until they were close to the front.

We got in the water and I did a little bit of a warm up. I have to admit the only thing I was nervous about was my wetsuit being too tight from Wildwood and having a similar experience of not being able to catch my breath again. As we were lining up I experienced something I have never experienced before.

Someone in the wave jokingly said “Don’t forget to start you watches!” and everyone gave a chuckle. Then someone says “in all seriousness, good luck fellas!” It seemed like all in sync everyone began to wish each other good luck. I NEVER had this happen before and it brought me chills and a sense of calm.

Through the swim I was fe7_m-100738239-digital_highres-1386_005841-4088276eling great! I could see the red turn buoy off in the distance and I felt like I was moving through the water well. Three strokes later I heard someone yelling “ TURN, TURN!!” I was very confused. I knew I wasn’t at the red buoy but I followed everyone and turned. Back to the finish and someone grabbed me under the arms, pulled me out, unzipped my suit for me and I was on my way. It was incredible, its like they did the thinking for me and I just had to focus on getting ready for the bike.

The bike course is great, the ride on the express way is so safe and fun. Exiting, the roads were a bit rough through Pleasantville but the loop itself was beautiful. I was bouncing back and forth with a guy in my age group and we were joking having a lot of fun. As I approached somewhere around mile 40-45 I started hurting a bit. I got out of the saddle for some relief and I looked down at my Dave Mirra decal on my top tube.20_m-100738239-digital_highres-1386_036335-4088289

I said to Dave “please just help me through this last bit, just get me to the run and I got the rest!” As I came to a turn there was a local business along the road. Parked right in the front row, facing the street was a giant black Ford Raptor (the truck that Dave owned) starring me right in the face. At that moment I knew he was there and I made it through to T2.

On to the run and I knew what I had to do. The first 3ish miles are on the old run way in Bader Field. It was mentally tough however, I would take this run set up over the run course from last year any day of the week. Yes running 3ish miles on blacktop at 12 noon is not fun. It will always beat running passed the finish 3-4 times on the boardwalk though.

I was cruising through the run and ticking the miles off. I walked each aid station, took in water, food, then water again in that order. Mile 8 hit and I realized I had to go to the bathroom, there was no putting it off. I couldn’t bring myself to just pee while I was running so I struggled with my kit to pee in the boardwalk restroom. This probably added a good 3 min to my run time. Coming passed Boardwalk Hall I saw my mom and girlfriend. Once I saw my mom it was like no one else was on the run course, I could hear her screaming from when I passed all the way to the pier. It sent chills down my spine. I hit the turn and I knew it was 2 miles left, I dug in and just went for it.47_m-100738239-digital_highres-1386_064855-4088316

Coming down the finish chute is always special, but this day, I can’t even put it into words. My goal time was 5:30 and I ended up going 5:35. I celebrated every second of coming down that carpet.

The first person that greeted me after I crossed was KT from Delmo and she gave me the biggest hug and made sure I had everything I needed. I made my way to find some food and more water and I ended up running in to Steve. I thanked him for everything and I said “remember that phone call? Remember I said I wanted one more crack? I had a 25 minute PR from last year, so thank you!” He proceeded to say something to the folks he was with and they all looked over at me. To this day I am not sure what it was but I can imagine he gave them the very brief story of my journey and I can’t thank him enough.

Post race there was a lot of complaining about parking, swim course etc. It was clear that the swim was cut short. We later learned that the conditions got very dangerous very quick and the lifeguards, race officials and other personnel made a decision that needed to be made. I will say this, their job is quite possibly one of the hardest jobs anyone has to do. They will always have someone who is unhappy, however, any time safety is in question, I will NEVER complain about a shortened course. They made dreams come true on September 18th and that is something they will remember forever. Kudos to EVERYONE involved in making this day something amazing.

This is it for the season. I have one open water swim but the triathlon season has come to an end. I have taken some time off just to get myself settled and ready to transition into the off season. I would just like to take the time to say thank you. I say it after every race but I will say it every single time. Thank you to everyone who got me to the start line, who supported me and held me up on the days that weren’t so great. Also thank you to the ones who were there to celebrate the days that were amazing.

Lastly I would just like to leave you with a picture that captures my every emotion during this finish of the run.

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Until next time, all for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

 

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Atlantic City International Tri


It will always hold a special place in my heart because this is the race that started it all.  Coming off of an iffy race I was ready to murder this race. 

Let me start by saying I love racing in Atlantic City, it is my favorite place to race.  I go over the bridge into Atlantic City and I get all amped up and ready to go.  I hit bike check in, packet pick up, and the athlete meeting.  I have done this race before but I wanted to check in with the RD and say hello so I figured I would hangout.  Plus things change from year to year so it is good to catch one of these.  After chatting with Steve I learned that the idiot who went off on me at the Challenge Race was fired and we chuckled about that.  He had to be on his was and I needed to check in to my hotel so we parted ways.

I was trying to keep costs low for this trip so I booked a hotel at the Chelsea but on the “other” side and not in the towers.  Horrible idea, DON’T EVER DO IT.  If there is one thing I learned about AC, it’s don’t hit the cheap button on your hotel choice. On top of that there was a huge pool party right next to my room.  Thank god that ended before bedtime.

My alarm went off and it was game time.  I got set up in transition and did a warm up jog I was ready to go.  This course is so fast that things happen in the blink of an eye.  The swim course is great, back bay, calm and little current.  The bike course is super rad because it is on the AC expressway, which is obviously closed to bikes at any other time.  The run is on the boardwalk but it is early enough where all the drunk, party people are still sleeping. 

My swim went really well for this race, I have been trying to improve it and I felt great during this swim.  I jumped out of the water and went right to the bike.  


While on the bike I started to pick a few people off.  I caught up to one guy and he was clearly from north Jersey.  He look at me and was like “oh man these shorty bars are killing me. I am cramping up.”  2 mins later he puts his arms up over his head and screams “OHHHH MY ABS!!” I almost peed my pants.  

fasted bike split for AG
I continue riding my race.  We play cat and mouse, he said at one point “I thought I lost you.” And we headed in to T2 together.  I could see him leaving T2 and he actually stopped to “stretch” but turned around looking for me.  I was paying attention to my race and just let him go.  I knew what I needed to do and that was smoke this run.  And that I did.  I came back into Bader field and I was moving at a pretty good clip.  As I cam down the chute my boy Jim was waiting for me and he ran the whole time, yelling and pushing me to finish strong.  
Coming into Bader Field
Running the chute with Jim

Finish strong I did in 59:54.  I wanted to go under an hour at this race so bad and I did.  I was on cloud 9. 
I literally cannot thank everyone who supported me at this race enough.  Jamee, my mom, dad, and Jimbo.  It was incredible to do what I did there in front of all of them.  Thank you as always to my followers and sponsors and Coach Dave for getting me to the start line healthy and enabling me to accomplish this goal.

I can’t thank this man enough for everything that he has done for me since day one.  He’s been here through the entire journey. He was there on that first day I toed the line and he was there to witness the win. It was special that’t for sure.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart Jimbo.

Up next is Challenge Pocono!

Until next time, All for Now

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself


I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Challenge Atlantic City 70.3

It has become apparent with work and training etc that this blog has somewhat taking a lapse.  I apologize to the readers.  I need to get back in the swing and on this fine Sunday afternoon accompanied by a delicious Iron Hill pumpkin beer I begin to catch up.
First things first we tackle the “race report” for Challenge Atlantic City 70.3.  I put race report in quotations because I do not plan to give a play-by-play style report.  I just want to give you some highlights and how I felt along the way. So on we go.
The weeks leading up to AC 70.3 I was getting tired.  I was training a lot. More than I was typically used to but in my head, I was going further than I was used to.  I vowed to be mindful of over training this season so I purchased a plan from a coach.  Unfortunately it was a “can plan” so I made the best of it.  The final week before the race I was tapering down in beautiful South Carolina.  This was quite possibly the best way to stay calm and collected and unstressed leading in to a race, until the trip home.  I came home Friday, race was Sunday.  AC is a short car ride for me from home so coming home Friday was going to be fine.  I would grab my car, bike etc and head to AC.  Well that was before my flight was delayed a solid 6+ hours, thanks Spirit Airlines.  Once I did get home I made the choice not to leave until Saturday morning, thank god this was an option for me.
Upon Arrival on Saturday I met up with my buddy Brandon and we did our shake out.  After shake out, we hit the expo, grabbed some stuff etc.  It was all business as usual for us at this point.  Him more than me but having someone there who had been there before was super helpful.  While on the bike it started to drizzle, little did we know they were calling for hurricane like conditions.  Down pouring rain,  howling winds, the whole bit.  I was worried about my bike but there was nothing I could do.  I filled my belly with food and hit the hay.

When I woke up I was a ball of nerves but luckily I don’t have a race breakfast that is too hard to consume so I could get some nutrition in me.  We got to the start and I checked the bike, all seemed good. It was go time, my VERY first 70.3.
Swim was the swim, I need so work there and that is my goal this off season.  I headed into T1 and I saw all these people ducking under the ribbon to get to their bikes.  I figured well if they are ducking I am ducking.  Go figure I duck and this guy starts yelling.  Next thing I know he is in my face telling me he will DQ me and that he was going to talk to me team about me.  I laughed at him, went back under the rope and then grabbed my bike and was off. I didn’t even pay him any mind because I knew it would spike my heart rate and getting me all worked up when I didn’t need that.  15 minutes into the bike I went to take in some nutrition.  Nothing came through my straw.  I could feel my heart rate immediately spike.  What was going on.  I realized because I use powder nutrition some powder got stuck in the straw.  Ok no biggy.  I figured it out and kept rolling.  The bike on this course is beautiful and I really enjoyed it.  I made some new friends and joked with some guys along the way.  Overall I really enjoyed this leg.
On to the run and I left T2 feeling great.  One of the guys I was on the bike with all day Chris (read his blog here) gave me some props on the ride and then he took off.  As much as I wanted to hang with him on the run I knew I couldn’t hold that pace.  This is super important when it comes to longer distance racing!  The run was a little touch and go.  It’s just about 100% on the Atlantic City Board Walk.    It is scenic and fun but also stressful because people can be inconsiderate.  I was holding on great through mile 7-8. Then I hit a wall and went in to survival mode.  I think one of two things happened or a mixture of both.  I did not fuel enough on the bike to store up for the run and or didn’t drink enough on the run.  Whatever the case I was sucking down coke and chews like my life depended on it.  Luckily because this course is on the board walk I got to see Jamee, Brandon and Brandi multiple times and they kept me going. I don’t think I have heard Jamee scream this much before, ever!  Also to the girl who would give me a shoutout with every pass on the run course, thank you!
Coming down the finish chute it felt like I was on top of the world, yes I just traveled 70.3 miles on my own, but it was more than that.  It was months of hard work all wrapped into one moment.  The announcer gave me a super nice shoutout but unfortunately I could not hear it.  Either way many thanks! I wish I could have taken in the finish chute a bit more but live and learn.  I also probably should have gone for an IV because I know that would have helped with how I felt, again more knowledge for next time. 


All in all this was a phenomenal first 70.3 for me and I couldn’t have asked for a better support crew along the way.  All of my readers and followers for cheering me on along this journey.  My family and sponsors for enabling me to do what I love to do and most importantly Brandon, Jamee and Brandi for your assistance through the whole weekend.  It was incredible and I can’t thank you enough.
Next up for me is the Jersey State Olympic Distance championship race.
Until then, all for now

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

I don’t post on here daily but feel free to find me else where!

Escape The Cape 2015

Hello all you beautiful people! I am currently sitting in the airport on a 4hr delay thanks to Spirit (never again) but thats another story for another time.

In just two short days I will be toeing the line of my first 70.3!! Challenge Atlantic City half is on sunday and I am a ball of nerves/excitement.

The race season does not begin there however, it began two weekends ago at the Escape The Cape triathlon down in Cape May NJ.  Many of you may have heard of this iconic race where the start is from the back of a ferry boat! Its pretty sweet, a little scary and a ton of fun all at the same time!

I was wondering how this race would go because I have been training a lot different that before.  For one I had a plan, normally I would just swim bike and run three days a week and rest one but it wasn’t really structured.  The other thing was that I was training for a half and that was WAY different than training for short course racing.

The morning started a little rough with a down pour.  I was in transition and I remember saying to myself this sucks and I started letting it get to me and I stopped. I knew I couldn’t let myself get that negative on race morning so I just embraced it.  Unfortunately we had about a 30min delay getting out of the terminal.  When it comes to the swim I made two key mistakes again this year.  Mistake number 1 bring more food.  I had breakfast at 4:15 and then one cliff bar 4 hours later.  For me that isn’t enough. Number two get off the boat early. Once the international athletes start jumping I need to be down low on the dock and ready to go (more on that later). Either way, amazingly fun way to start a race and you honestly cannot beat it!

Now for the bike…..eh is my feeling on my performance here and it is mostly due to rain and crowds. Because I was in the back of the pack on the boat, most people were out on the bike course along with the international athletes.  On top of this the course was wet. I am not a risk taker on the bike, its just not my style. I race, I push but I will always reach for my break going into a turn and there were people who didn’t want to do that.  I remember this guy specifically who would pass me on the outside at every turn and then I would get him on the flat.  Coming into one of the final turns he took it way too high, lost control, crossed into the on coming cyclists and then into the guardrail he went.  Just not cool and that made me hold back on the bike a bit more than I wanted to.

On to the run and I’ll be honest with all of you about this run course because I love you….It SUCKS!  There are two sand runs for the sprint course and I am not talking nice flat hard sand runs, NO! soft sand, high dune, full suck runs.  I was holding a good pace on the flats but those sand runs just punished me.  I could remember looking down at my watch and just thinking man this isn’t gonna cut it today.  The owner of my company has a house right along the run course though and it was super rad to hear him yelling out there.  I could remember hit the turn and heading back and thinking I couldn’t let him see the struggle! Pull it together!!  I got back on to the road and I knew I had 800 meters to go and I just dropped it and went for it.  I almost collapsed after crossing the line and that’s how it should be.

Once I handed in my chip and got some water and settled it was time to hit the results tent…..Well it was time for someone else to hit the results tent.  For whatever reason I like the element of surprise so I have someone check it for me and let me know if I need to stay for awards or not.  I knew I had to stay but I had no idea where I stacked up against my field.

They went through the international awards first and then went from oldest to youngest.  I was on the edge of my seat the entire time.  I knew in the back of my head I was going to get my time on the stage but I just wanted to know if I was going to get to step on that RedBull podium for top 3! Finally my AG came up and I made my way towards the stage. They started with 5th, not me, then 4th not me and I knew right there I would get to stand on the podium. I took 3rd overall and I was happy.  I wanted to have times closer to 1st and 2nd but I had to tell myself that training for long course is way different than training for the short course. I was satisfied with my times but for my later season short course stuff I really need some speed work and hard runs off the bike if I want that top spot!

For now it is on to Challenge Half in a few days and like I said at the start I am just a ball full of all kinds of emotions.  There are a lot of unknown factors that come with a new distance but I am sure that I followed my plan and it will just be another day at the office on Sunday.  If you are interested in tracking me you can find me on the other social media forms!

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

Feeling Off in the Off Season

It’s March and as I sit down to write this my entire town is covered in ice scratch that, we are now covered in 7+ inches of snow.  If you know anything about me, you can only imagine the effect this has taken on me haha.  It is killing me, but March comes in like a lion right? I can only hope so.

So let’s get to it.  It’s the off season.  It gets cold, it gets dark, it gets just down right miserable here on the east coast.  I had a plan to combat this though! I was doing more racing this past season so that I could make a bit of a name for myself and apply for a team this off season.  Going into a new season with a new team, a team that I always dreamed of would give me that “high” to carry me through this off season and get me to the spring ready to rock.  As you may have guessed things did not quite go as planned.  I applied to two teams. I will not put the teams on bast but one straight up denied me and the other “never got my application”.  One of the teams is one that I have had my eye on since I started this sport.  Maybe it’s a sign, maybe it’s not right but nonetheless it was a hinge moment for me.  A moment that made me reconsider a few things and a few different approaches.

As you may know I had a GoFundMe account set up at the end of this summer to help off-set the cost of a new bike.  So I began to focus on that and how I could maximize the amount of support I received from family and friends.  It was absolutely incredibly how supportive people are and I am still, to this day, beside myself and cannot thank everyone enough.

Between the let down of not getting on to two teams again and the training break I took after the Marine Corps Marathon things started to spin out of control.  I ended up loosing interest in my training among other things.  Luckily enough I caught myself and I could right it before things got completely out of control and get back on track!

One day a good friend said to me “Yo man, why don’t you apply to Xterra Wetsuits to be an ambassador.”  I figured hey it couldn’t hurt so I did. I applied to them and heard back pretty quickly and after talking with the East Coast regional manager I was in!  This got my brain working.  I started thinking of brands I use and love and I started reaching out to them.  Some I heard back from and others I did not.  It got me back on track though! I am now an ambassador for Xterra Wetsuits, Delmo Sports Elite Events, and Infinit Nutrition.  All brands that I know, use and love and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  If anyone has any questions or needs help I would be happy to assist in any way that I can.

Now at this point you may be thinking wow, this guy is certainly tooting his own horn here.  Confession time…..not my intention at all! I am using this for two reasons, first, according to a very smart man, Jon Acuff, I had what was called a hinge moment.  Something was going on that I didn’t like and I had to change it.  I had two options, I could really let this get to me and just hang it up.  Say you know what forget it, I don’t have what it takes to make it on these teams so why am I even doing this.  As much as I don’t want to admit it, that thought crossed my mind a time or two.  My other option was to find a better way.  That’s what I did. I took the advice from a friend and I ran with it.  You have the same choice.  It could be with your job, relationships, training, or all of the above.  Whatever it is you may do, sit down, think about it, bring it up to people you trust and really put some thought into it.  I promise things will work out if you put the time in and take the time to figure it out.

As for training, Monday marks the start of a 16-week block leading up to my first 70.3 race in Atlantic City.  I am anxious, nervous, and excited all at the same time.  I can’t wait to get things moving and I can’t wait for this season to really get under way.

Thanks for reading and thanks for the support!

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Atlantic city International Triathlon

So the season has come and gone, are you satisfied with you results? What did you accomplish this season that was a challenge you were focusing on? What are you going to do different for next season?  For me my last race of the season for triathlon was the Atlantic City International Triathlon (my first race ever).  I am going to structure my race “recaps” a bit differently.  I am going to cut out some of the boring details and just focus more on how I was feeling before, during, and after the race.
Atlantic City is a special place for me.  It has a lot of significance.  I have been there in many different points in my life and for many different reasons.  From 21st birthdays, to bachelor parties and now my most recent journey triathlons.  No matter the reason I love going there.  On saturday before the race, I was driving across the bridge and I saw the city and the swim start etc for the race and an instant joy came over me.  I was ready to go for this race.  After pre race check in, bike, marking etc etc I just went to my hotel to settle in.

Race morning came early as always but I was ready to go.  I woke up ready to go.  I was looking for some strong results for this race.  Last year I went 1:05 which was solid for a first timer but this time I was looking for more, I wanted to shave about 5 minutes to get closer to that hour mark for a sprint race.  Unfortunately I knew the bike leg was going to be tough because it was a windy day.  I got all my gear set and was just listening to music, getting in the zone and getting ready.

Unfortunately I was not paying attention and couldn’t hear Steve on the mike too well so I missed being one of the first in the water.  Once I got in I realized it was going to be a challenging swim.  It was dead low tide, there was a ton of sand and it was just a tough swim.  When I rounded the bouys and started heading back I was feeling good.  I went to climb out and sunk into the mud!  Thankfully there were guys there to help us out which was awesome of them.

Candid post swim shot!

On to the bike and I was feeling strong.  I had that hour mark in the back of my head and I knew I just needed to red like the whole time.  The wind on the way out was a bear.  I had zipps on my bike that I borrowed from a friend and I was still only about 30 seconds faster this year because of the tough wind! Coming off the bike I looked down at my watch and I knew I was so far off that hour mark I just had to hammer the run to finish with a solid time.

Bike leg from AC.
The run from t2 to the start of the run course was a bear so I just started easy and then hammered the course.  I knew I wasn’t going to hit my goal but that was out of my control to a point(more on that in a min).  The run is completely flat and I knew I could drop the hammer.  When I crossed the finish line I knew I left it all out there and that is my goal for every race.  When I stopped my watch I was almost scared to look.  1:08 was my final time for the day which was good enough for a 4th place finish in my AG.  It is not what I wanted but it was still better than last year.  Yeas my time was 3 min slower but that 3 min was in the swim alone.  I know from my races this year, my swim is what I really need to focus on this year.  The bike leg is what it is, I can’t change the wind and I was still faster than last year.  
The greatest moment and memory from this race was when Steve called my name to come get my AG medal.  He gave me a huge shoutout in front of the entire crowd for my weight loss and is was incredible!  The crowd erupted with cheers and it was like nothing I have ever experienced.  Yes my times were slower over all but it was a learning experience and I still walked away with two medals.
AG podium shot.
Receiving congrats from the mayor of AC!
The last thing I want to share is this photo.  This is one of my favorite pictures of all time.  Blog family, meet my wonderful and amazing girlfriend.  She is at every start, every transition and every finish line for me.  I can hear her screams louder than anyone on the course.  She has been through so crazy times with me including freezing her toes off on this morning all to cheer me on.  She motivates me and keeps me going through all of the rough training spots.  More importantly she understands the long training hours that are needed to accomplish what I want to do and she supports me every step of the way.  She is the most amazing girl I have ever met and I can’t thank her enough for being there every step of the way.  Love you!
Next on the list is Marine Corps Marathon Recap. My first ever 26.2 so settle in for that one.  
Until then thanks for reading and sharing!
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

I do not post on here on a daily basis but feel free to catch me on other social media!

Did they just call my name…?

Grab a coffee, beer, glass of wine or your favorite beverage of choice, a nice blanket and find a comfy spot because this is going to be a long one. 
This started on Friday. I packed up all my goods, bike, and clothes and headed to Sea Isle to stay with some friends. This way I could wake up and take my time getting my bike over to transition and I wouldn’t be rushed. I hate the feeling of being rushed and it was something I did not want to do at all this weekend. I got down there and basically passed out right away. The next day I woke up and had some breakfast. Went to pick up coffees and some wheat grass for myself. 

Yes it is strange but it’s actually quite tasty!
I enjoyed my wheat grass, coffee and some breakfast. I decided it was time to get ready to head over to Atlantic City. I was going to go for a ride but I had to get my bike to transition and go to my meeting all by 1pm so again…didn’t want to rush. Grabbed a shower and I was off. 

The welcome center on the AC expressway.  
When I arrived to AC I went straight to my hotel. I figured since I forgot my parking pass for the field I could just park my car at my hotel and then walk my bike over. Well the hotel had a different plan. There was no parking garage so I was required to valet my car. Not happy but no big deal. I walked over to the field just in time for the meeting, which was silly because all the info covered at the meeting, was in the packet I already read…

After the meeting I went into the expo and picked up my packet and all my race goodies. My bike and bags were all waiting with the bell hop because my room wasn’t ready so I knew I had to go back to check on that. When I turned my car in they also told me that I was nuts for trying to get out of the city later for dinner with the miss America parade. What I decided to do was put my bags upstairs and drive my bike over, then just leave from the field. It worked perfect…silly bell hop. 

Sand sculpture inside the expo. 

I went and had dinner with my parents and some friends to carb load and what do you know….made it back into the city just fine. When I got back in I was tired but couldn’t settle down. I think I unpacked and repacked my transition bag half a dozen times. My roomie was laughing at me so I decided it was time to turn it in. Alarm was set for 4am and out I went. 
I about jumped out of my skin when the thing went off and was up and ready to go in a matter of minutes. I was buzzing around like a bee with excitement and all kinds of other emotions. I gathered all my things and it was off to transition. 

When I got there I found my bike just as I had left it the day before. I unpacked my things, laid out my towel and dug into my protein pancakes. They were a little cold but I had to get something into my stomach. I stood there, head phones on, just trying to get into the zone. 
It was getting close to 6:30 so I went to the bathroom and came back to start stretching out. As I was stretching, the sun started coming up over all the casinos and it was absolutely perfect. 
I then heard the guy come over the loud speaker….transition was closing. Time to pile into the swim stage area…as I stood there a calm came over my body. I’m not sure where it came from but I just became comfortable with what was about to happen next. I looked over and saw my parents, my friend and his mom who had all coke to support. I ran over quick and hugged them and then headed out. 
We worked our way closer and closer to the swim start before I knew it my race buddy and I were down the ramp and boom into the water. The water was a beautiful 75 degrees and it felt amazing on this chilly morning. As I started I told myself that it was just the same as Wednesday night club swims. 4 strokes, mark, head down and keep swimming. Before I knew it I was around the green buoys and headed back to the dock. As I was going back my goggles began to fog. By the time I got half way back I could barely spot the mark but they were so big I could keep and eye on them. As I took a stroke I felt something wrong, round and squishy…I knew exactly what it was and I don’t think I have ever swam as fast as I did the last 25 yds or so. 
Up the ladder I went and on to the dock. I ripped my goggles off and ran up the mat into T1. 
I ripped off my swim cap, glasses on, helmet on, shoes on and I was out. Over to the mount line and I was on my bike before I knew it. We had to go through sand and gravel, which was a bit of a challenge but if you took your time you were good. 

Half way down the expressway I realized my garmin got messed up and it thought I was on my run, not my bike. It still had the time running though so I was pacing myself off of that. My goal was 1:15:ish. I looked down and at the bike turn around I was somewhere around 30 min. I knew if I could make it back to transition and onto my run in 45 min I would hit my goal. My goal was 1:15 based on times turned in from last year and I really wanted to make top 10 for my age group. I finished my bike, dismounted and came into T2. Bikes shoes off, belt on, sneakers on and gel. I was out of T2 and headed for the boardwalk run. As I started my run I made the mistake of hitting lap on my watch which ended the activity. I simply started it over again really quick and figured I could just have a different log for my run. As I approached the boards I found this guy who I decided to pace with. He was a few strides a head of me the whole way out. I slurped down my Powerbar gel and grabbed a cup of water from the station. When I looked up I could tell this guy picked up his pace a little bit, so I had to do the same as not to lose him. I kept checking my pace on the Garmin and it said 7:49. I assumed it was acting screwy because I messed it up and didn’t think anything of it. 
I came down the boards and got to the base of the bridge. Although the hill was small I had to dig deep to hold pace with this guy. As I hit the peak I could see the finish line. I was going to do it…I was going to make it!!
I came down the finish chute and my body was filled with emotion. I could hear my cheering section going wild and it only made me run faster. I did it, I did it, I DID IT!!!!!!  They handed me my finisher medal and a bottle of water and I went over to see my family and friends. They all said that I was flying. The time said 1:35 min. I was bummed because I didn’t want to go longer than 1:30 but I knew I didn’t start 10-15 after the first swimmer.

 

From there I cheered for my race buddy and another friend who was doing the race. We all gathered together and took some pictures and went to stretch. 
Now time to hit the results tent. I went to pull up my name but there was nothing there. My dad had already seen my time but I told him I wanted to see it myself. So I was bummed…he some how pulled it up and I took a deep breath. 

1:05:50!!! I absolutely crushed my time that I had in my head and pulled of a 7th in my age group. I was beside myself at this point. I had hit both goals that I set out to do and surpassed them. 
I went back into transition and packed up all my stuff to take to the car. Everyone decided to head into the seafood festival. I was ok with it because even though it was 10am I needed a beer. So we hung around for awhile.  They started the awards and one of my friends joked about me getting one. We knew I wasn’t though and my folks were ready to go. Plus I had to go clean up all my stuff in the room so we started to walk back to the car. We could still hear the PA system and my friends mom looked at me and said, “they just said your name!” I thought she was kidding…I said no way, must be a different guy. She swore on it however so I texted someone still inside and sure enough they did!  I went back in and went up to the stage. Apparently the results I saw were wrong and instead of 7th in my age group I took 5th!!!!! I was freaking out. 

There are so many thank you’s that I owe but I will try to keep it on the shorter side. First of all, Jimbo, you’re the man. You started this train rolling and I know you won’t take the credit but just enjoy it. You were at every transition today and yelling the loudest the whole way. I can’t thank you enough for everything…especially the post race stretch. Thanks again brother!

Next, Meg, can’t tell you how proud of you I am for sticking with this. I know you were equally as nervous as me but you stuck with it, you came out and you killed it. Amazing! Congrats again on 2nd in your age group. 

Last but not least, Penny, you’re awesome and amazing and I can’t thank you enough. You offered advise and calming words of wisdom when they were needed most. You were very supportive the whole way and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything from you. Congrats on your top 10 AG finish and crushing your times 🙂

Brandon wasn’t there but he’s helped me more than I could have ever imagined and I truly thank you as well, you’re the man and good luck in Augusta!!
Ron, thank you so much for everything with the bike as well. Without your help I would have never had a bike!
I’m sure I forgot people and I am sorry but I swear your support is sooo appreciated. Thank you to everyone who texted me or messaged. Anyone who gave me the slightest bit of love, it helped believe me. Thank you to everyone on Instagram, so of you I have never even met but you sent so much love!!
Last but not least thank you for all of the people who told me I couldn’t or I wouldn’t. You gave me the strength I needed to get through the race. I couldn’t have done this without any of you. 
Ok no more…
All for now,
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself