Category Archives: bike

Don’t Be A Dick

**EDIT….I was back and forth on posting this, but I decided to post it anyway.  Please understand that I am playing devils advocate here.  I understand that not everyone is being a dick when they post, but some are.  I am simply offering a point of view for you to explore. END EDIT**

 

Before I start I understand that this might be a bit hypocritical, however I continue…..

This past weekend was the Broad Street Run.  It the largest 10 mile race in the entire country, it’s an amazing race and if you haven’t done it I HIGHLY suggest you put your name in the lottery next year.  The support along the course is like no other, there is literally someone cheering from the start line all the way to the finish.  This isn’t going to be a typical review of a race though, it’s not a review or a recap at all…..

I have participated in this race for the last 4 years.  This was the first race I EVER participated in.  It holds a special place in my heart and I put my name in the lottery every single year.

I remember the first year I finished this race like it was yesterday.  The sense of accomplishment was something I simply cannot put into words.  The first year I did it was actually on a whim.  I was doing some running during the week but did not actually register.  One of my very good friends knew someone who needed to drop out of the race because of injury and so I got transferred in.  I was uncertain if I was going to be able to finish, I had only run 8 miles without stopping and it didn’t make sense in my mind that 8 was enough, but it was.

This past week leading up to the race, someone posted an article from someone from CSN, a local sports network here in Philadelphia.  If you want you can read it here.  The article was supposed to be “tongue in cheek” and funny.  I get it I guess, people who run “constantly talk about running”.  It was posted on a triathlon message board and the author was trying to make a funny; some people found it funny, others were offended.  Humor is of course subjective, so maybe you find it funny, maybe you don’t. It’s an opinion and opinions aren’t made to be right or wrong.  There is a grey area there.

After the race on Sunday I was browsing Facebook and I saw some status posts about how people were so glad they didn’t “pay to go running”.  This annoyed the shit out of me to be perfectly honest.  I wanted to comment on every single post and justify why people run, why people participate in races and why there is so much more to it than “paying to run”,  but I didn’t.  I let it go and decided to write this article instead.

Let’s address a few things here shall we?  First off, people are passionate about running, therefore people are going to talk about their running and their accomplishments.  Facebook and social media is an area for people to share things that are on their mind, things they are doing, or things they love.  If running happens to be one of those things, they are going to share it.  Just because YOU don’t find enjoyment in running, doesn’t mean you can piss in someone’s Cheerios.  People post about how they went to the Masters golf tournament, which mind you can cost thousands of dollars.  So you’re paying thousands of dollar to go watch someone hit a white ball?  You spend hundreds of dollars to go watch your favorite sports team play a game.  You posts pictures of your kids, your car, your house, your pool.  You post EVERYTHING about your life down to how your wiping you’re ass.  There are some people out there who don’t ever wish to have kids or maybe can’t, could give two shits about a nice car or can’t stand sports.  Yet I don’t see anyone bashing on them on a regular basis or when the biggest “event” in your life is going on.  Maybe this is just my own observation but it is something I have noticed.  Just because you don’t understand the idea of paying to run in a race, doesn’t mean you have to shit on people who do.  I guarantee there is something you do that someone else doesn’t share the same passion for.

Okay, so you don’t get it, you don’t understand what would possess someone to not only run, but to actually pay to go and “race” somewhere.  Allow me to try and explain this to you, if you have made it this far….

Some of us runners did not come from a running background.  Some of us start with the run walk method, some of us were significantly over weight, some of us have not been active for years.  We all have something in common though, we share a love for something that has helped us get out lives back on track with our health.  Many of us have or still are fighting a battle to become healthier.  Running is an outlet and we all have those, but running is more than that.  Running has given us back our lives.  Running in a race could be, and usually is the culmination of months or years of hard work.  When you diminish people for signing up for and participating in a race, you could be diminishing much more than you may realize.  People train for months if not years, depending on their race, in order to complete some races.  In the same way that people have bucket list goals to go to The Masters Tournament, The NBA finals, The World Series, The Kentucky Derby, The Annual Sales Conference for the top selling team.  A goal is a goal.  Your goal may be different than mine and that’s ok, but you don’t need to bash on someone else’s goal simply because you do not share the same passion.  I can tell you wholeheartedly that the first time I ever crossed a finish line at The Broad Street Run was one of the most fulfilling experiences I have ever had.  It was months after I started my journey to lose weight and get my life back together.  It was quite possibly one of the most emotional moments I have ever been in.  Imagine feeling such a sense of accomplishment and then you log on and see one of your friends bashing on what you just did.  I understand that you may not share the same passion for running or triathlon, but I can most certainly promise you have a passion for SOMETHING.

I am not writing this article to change anyone’s mind about running, racing, triathlon or people posting about their fitness accomplishments.  My goal here is to simply play the devils advocate.  You may not share a passion for running and you don’t understand why people do it and then why they need to post about it.  I get that the article was written tongue in cheek and I get that people posting on Facebook are simply trying to make a joke, or maybe they aren’t.  Just think for one second who your post might be affecting once it is out there. There will always be people who are trolls, no matter what you post, they will find something they don’t like about it.  They may also just hate on it because that’s simply the only thing they know.

Or don’t think about what you are posting because you could care less what runners think and they shouldn’t take things so seriously, I mean it is JUST running *insert eye roll*.

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

Tri the Wildwoods

1f9e7076-5a42-4290-aebe-c093ce8d229fTri the Wildwoods, it’s a laid back, beach run, FUN race. There isn’t really a better way to describe it. The whole atmosphere is super laid back at this race. Everything is down the shore, it’s fun, it’s inviting and it’s just an all around good race. Not to mention is has one of THE best after parties! If you are comfortable with swimming in the ocean you should absolutely do this race at least once in your life!

Rewind to last year and when this race arrived, I was done, cooked, stick a fork in me. When my alarm went off I legitimately considered going back to bed. That’s not a joke. This year I was in a much better head space. I was coming off of nationals, ramping up for IMAC and I felt good.

This is a Saturday race, so in order to save myself undesired aggravation, I took a half day from work on Friday to do check in and packet pick up. For me this has been a smart decision the last two years. Normally the line is around the block to pick up your stuff on race morning and I want no parts of that. If you have the ability, I HIGHLY suggest getting your stuff on Friday afternoon.

That being said, I picked up my stuff, had some delicious pizza (our waitress was closing and then RACING the next day!) and then turned in for the night. This race starts EARLY because they need to be done early, it’s a Saturday at the shore.

4:15 came early, however this time I woke up feeling good. Instead of driving over this year, I took the walk. It’s a few blocks but they are short and I avoid the nightmare of parking! Again super smart move if you can find a place close enough to transition. I got in and found a nice spot near the side walk (making my stuff easy to find out of the water) and set up camp. There were a few first timers around so I gave them a helping hand where I could and it was time to head down to the water.

This is an ocean swim, it is very well supported, very safe and very fun, if you’re into that kind of thing. The one thing that I knew was coming but somehow still threw me a little wrench was the 100ish yard jog down the beach before you got in. For some reason after this jog and through the whole swim I could not catch my breath. I am not sure if my wetsuit wasn’t fully on or what but I had some tightness in my chest. Luckily itrace_2081_photo_41343308
was a sprint so I could fight through the feeling and finish my swim.

Into transition and grabbed my bike. I found my stuff easily due to the sidewalk however my seat got caught on the rack and it wasn’t the smoothest transition. Looking back, the rack sat a little lower than the rest because of where it was and another spot probably would have suited me better. The bike is a nice out and back, closed roads, nice support from police. You are probably seeing a trend here, it’s a Delmo race, everything is ALWAYS well supported. The tightness in my chest seemed to go down a bit but I was still coughing and such after the swim.

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Now the real fun began, the beach run. There is nothing easy about it, you’re running on sand. Yes there was some hard sand to run on this year due to the tide but either way, it’s tough. I was ready to be off the sand, my legs were screaming. Back up on to the boardwalk and I knew we were nearing the end, but dammit we weren’t close enough. The awesome part about the run is it is on the boardwalk so people are cheering and you get to run through the amusement parks which is pretty cool scenery for a run. As we were approaching the final stretch I could hear footsteps behind me on the boards. I said to myself this person will NOT pass me. As he came up next to me, I looked down and I could see a 2 on his calf but couldn’t see the other number. It didn’t matter, I knew he was in my AG and now he really wasn’t going to get me. For the last 3/4 of a mile we were shoulder to shoulder. I would give it a little gas and he would gas too. He would try to go and I would rein him back in. It made the run REALLY fun. As we went back down on to the beach, Mindy fr4c69d7c2-2acc-4e2a-841f-f869f6883417om Delmo was at the base of the ramp screaming for me and I took off. We hit the soft sand and it was like this dude was floating! He took off and I just couldn’t keep up.  We both crossed within 5 seconds of one another and he turned around and he said “Dude! Thank you, I would have never been able to do that run without you,” I said “Shit! Neither could I.”

I was still good for a 4th AG finish and 28th overall which I was really happy with. Unfortunately I thought awards started at 11 so I went back to grab a shower. Well they started much earlier and I missed my award on the podium. Womp Womp.

I had two take always from this race for sure that I think would have helped me BIG time. First was, I didn’t have any water the entire race. I didn’t take any bottles on the bike with me which was a stupid move and there was no water on the run except the very beginning. This was a poor choice, even for a sprint I will absolutely take water from now on. There is no need to try and be a hero! Second was, a gel would have probably been a good call just before the run. I think it would have given me that little extra boost that I could have used on the run. Like I said, lesson learned. I still had a good race over all with a swim and bike PR for this course!img_0001

Oh and one last thing I learned, don’t go straight to the beer at the after party, it will not end well, you will possibly smash your phone screen and your girlfriend will have to drive you home hahaha!

Up next is the big daddy!! Ironman 70.3 Atlantic City. I have been putting in a lot of work for this race and I am excited to see how this goes compared to last year!

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 2016

Escape the Cape is always an exciting race, I believe there is only one other race in the country that starts by jumping off a boat and I can guarantee its not as epic of a jump as ETC. This race will always hold a special place in my heart because it is where I completed my first international distance race. I remember that race like it was yesterday and as soon as I stepped on the ferry grounds, all those feelings came back.

This year I started my race weekend off on a rough foot. The week leading up to the race my power meter stopped working. It needed to be replace which meant on Saturday morning instead of leaving early for South Jersey, I was going to the bike shop. It was a stress that didn’t need to be added but it was something that was out of my control. With the new power meter installed we headed out and arrived at the ferry terminal with plenty of time.

078c37f9-cd5e-4c58-b583-d6974f2147d3Going into this race I was feeling really good, probably too good (more on that later). I did my bike check in, said hi to everyone and made the usual rounds. Unfortunately I was walking around with a bit more confidence than usual, but I had worked hard all off season, it was time to shine! I remember a friend texted me to say good luck and my response was, “luck is for chumps, I got this”. Not good, I needed to take a step back or it wasn’t going to end well.

 

Usually I stay with a friend right in Cape May and we arrive plenty early to the ferry in the morning. This year I dropped the ball and forget to get in touch so I ended up staying in Sea Isle which is only about a 20 minute drive. What I didn’t account for was the one lane traffic headed into the winery for parking. We sat and sat, and sat some more in traffic and I watched the clock tick closer to closing time for transition. At this point I was freaking out, again a stress I should have avoided, especially on race morning. Just as a point of reference, plan ahead and arrive EARLY. If you think you’re going to be too early, you can never be too early.

I got into transition just in time and set up my stuff to board the boat. The great tha1357371-c855-42b1-b906-b9087ac0b53aing about this race is that the boat is like a huge party, but you can escape it if that’s not your thing. I met some friends and we patiently waited for our time to jump. I was ready, I was confident and it was time to race.
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My swim went very well and I came out feeling great, now time for the bike which is usually my strongest leg. I was to follow a power file from Best Bike split. When I hit the turn I knew that’s when something wasn’t right. The power it told me to ride wasn’t going to bring me in where I wanted to be so I disregarded it and went for it. I was confident, I knew I could do it. Or so I thought. I hit the bridge for the last time and for whatever reason I decided to shift into my little ring, I didn’t do it the first time around so don’t ask me why I did this time. Well I dropped my chain and that’s when I about lost it. I put the chain back on and hammered the rest of the bike to “catch up”. This was also a poor decision. It destroyed me for the sand run and set me up for a sub par day all in all.

 

I left this race feeling deflated and nervous for nationals. All this work I had put in and it almost felt wasted. I talked with coach and we hashed a few things out. One I should not have hammered that bike the way I did. We still aren’t sure why the power numbers aren’t matching up b24a5d22a-f6f0-4714-ac02-417af665cb64ut that is to be figured out. There are still multiple take-a-ways from this race. First being, be prepared, not only with gear but with your timing. I shouldn’t have added the stress I did by showing up later and hitting traffic. This is completely avoidable and now I know it sets me up for disaster. Second is, even with a mechanical issue you don’t need to “catch up” to anything. I should have stayed within my numbers and played it safe. It probably took me about 2 mins to fix the chain. Even if I made that up hammering back, I lost that and more on the run. Third and possibly the most important is, this sport is supposed to be fun, remember to have fun!

This race served me up a huge slice of humble pie. Standing next to the stage, handing a6ef24232-7590-4736-ac53-2f587918f382wards to fellow athletes and not stepping up on the podium was a hard pill to swallow. I can’t help but think walking in with a big head, played a role in the way things went with this race. Yes I have worked hard, but that doesn’t give me the right to walk around like a smacked ass. Lesson learned, that’s not me anyway, and now I know I don’t want it to be me either.

Next up I have USAT Nationals out in Omaha NE and it should prove to be everything I have hoped for! Until then thanks for reading!

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!

 

Sacrifice

 

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Triathlon, quite possibly one of the most selfish sports of all time.  Think about it, how many sports out there require long hours of solo training away from friends or family?  Am I saying this to scare you? NO! Not at all however this sport takes sacrifice and anyone who is considering joining or stepping up to a longer distance I feel as though this is something that everyone underestimates.  Let’s talk about some ways to keep your friends and family happy while you still hit your goals in things you love.

I am going to give a few tips that will help you balance life, work and your family while you are training this season.  Let’s face it, the spring is right around the corner, they are calling for temps in the 70’s here on the east coast next week.  If you want to have a successful season and keep everything balanced, read on.

Be open with everyone around you.

Whether you are new to the sport or a seasoned vet this is something that EVERYONE should do.  Tell the people around you about your goals and aspirations for the season.  If you show them that you are serious and you have goals set forth they will be more likely to support you through this journey.  Along with this everyone who is around you will not be able to say well this isn’t what I signed on for.  Be up front and open with everyone.

I can remember when I signed up for my first 70.3 and the people around me did not know what exactly that meant in regards to training time.  If I was open about the goals and what my week looked like it made things easier.  Telling someone up front that you need to go ride you bike for 3 hours on a Saturday is much easier to take rather than the morning of just dropping it on them.

 

Include spouse, kids, friends when possible.

This is something that can be more difficult but if you can pull it off correctly, you will win and that’s a promise.  Including people in your workout can be challenging because you have a very specific plan when it comes time to train. However if you can include things like group rides this will make everyone feel involved.  One thing that worked well with my training was to do the indoor or more structured workouts on the trainer while watching tv with my girlfriend. We were spending time together (granted she was relaxing and I was working) but we were still together rather than me disappearing for that time.

 

If you have children, you can include them in the workouts as well! Now I am by no means telling you to take the little juniors out on your Sunday 20 miler.  Use some common sense here but if you have a zone 2 run, your kids could ride their bikes along side of you.  Two people who are super awesome about this are Ironmom Kim and her husband Taylor.  It’s no secret that kids need to get outside more.  Here is your golden chance to get them moving and have fun with them in the process!

 

Have a plan!

Lastly it is super important to have a plan.  If you have a coach, which obviously is the ideal situation, however I understand not a reality for everyone, then take the plan that they give you and share it with everyone who needs to know it.  You can work with your coach on constructing the week if you have things to work around.  We all have lives, coaches understand that and most of us are athletes too.  We get it, but you have to be open with us just like you need to be open with your family and friends. After you have your plan, put it n the calendar, put it on the fridge, put it somewhere that everyone can see it.  Have you kids cross the workouts off or days once they are completed, keep everyone involved and it will make the process more enjoyable for everyone.

 

I understand that this s all easier said than done here, but it is my goal with this post to shed some light on things that you may not have thought of.  I also understand that the balance of this looks something more like a cat on a tight rope over a pool, rather than one of those plate spinners or the guy juggling the chain saws.  However if you are open and keep everyone involved, with time, things WILL get better.  This is not going to happen overnight people.

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The last thing I want to tell you is that no matter what there are a few things that are going to happen.  Number one, you WILL miss a workout.  It is not the end of the world. Don’t try to make it up.  Pick up the next day where you’re supposed to and keep right on moving.  Number two if you have kids, you workout will get interrupted, kids fight or bicker, someone drops something, shit happens.  Get off your bike, handle the issue and get back on.  Guess what, what are you going to do if you get a flat on the bike or you shoe is untied on the run?  You gonna just call it quits right ther?  Nope you’re going to fix the situation and then keep going.  So do just that in training.  Lastly there are going to be times you have to get up early or stay up late.  It’s just part of the game.  How bad do you want it?  You wanna get better?  You wanna hit that goal or crush that PR? The days when you don’t feel like doing it are the days you need to do it most!

 

If you found something of value here, please share with a friend or family member.  It is much appreciated.

 

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Challenge Pocono Olympic Distance

After only six short days I was back on the road for another race.  Typically I like my R&R so I wouldn’t set myself up like this but I knew I was doing a sprint the week before and a buddy gave me a code for 50% off this race so I went for it.
Going into this race I looked at the course map and thought eh it doesn’t look like there is too much elevation gain….boy was I wrong.
Let me start by saying this race used to be Rev3 and I did not do it then so I am not sure how it was handled by them.  In 2015 it was taken over by Challenge and so that is what my report/review will be of.  On to it…..
We got up there mid to late morning on Saturday and followed the GPS directions to the INN where transition was.  After packet pickup I started to look around for transition and couldn’t seem to locate it.  This is when I realized that transition and the finish where not in the same general area.  No big deal we asked for directions and jumped in the car.  As I headed to find transition there were no signs, indicators or people telling you where to go.  I just found myself wandering around.  As I turned around for the 3-4 time I passed a park entrance and figured this is where it must be so I turned in.  Half of the entrance was blocked so I needed to wait for cars to pull out so I could go in.  In the meantime a park ranger came by and told me I needed to turn around. I figured there must be another entrance.  There wasn’t.  Clearly he didn’t know I was there to drop off my bike.  I turned in when he left and found transition ok.

Fast forward to race morning and I set up transition and was ready to roll.  We jumped in for the swim and the water felt great.  This was my first time swimming in open water where you could actually see!  Very nice course, until we hit a huge patch of river life and I freaked out.  The seaweed was so high you couldn’t really swim but there were rocks and sketchy bottom so you couldn’t stand up either.  I wish the RD or someone would have at least given us a heads up but I made the best of it.   Off on to the bike.  Now this bike course was like nothing I have done before.  You leave transition and you are almost immediately hit with a huge hill.  This hill was so steep I actually witnessed people fall because they could not go fast enough to keep their bike upright.  From there we went down an on to a road that was closed to traffic.  This road wasn’t closed because of the race though, the road was in such bad shape that cars were no longer permitted to use it, yet we were riding our bikes on it? I was not ok with this.  After that the course opened up and it was very nice. I was not too pleased with the decision to include this road but understand it may have been out of their control, either way I felt like I was placed in a rather unsafe situation. 
Off the bike and on to the run.  I made sure to take in some more nutrition on the bike because of my last olmypic mistake.  (You can read about that here).  On to the run and I took the first mile a little conservative.  Through the first 3-4 I was good.  It was mostly a trail/XC style run course, which was tough.  For whatever reason I lost it through the last few miles and I am hoping to correct this next season.  The run course was tough I will give it that but I still should have had a better performance. 
Coming down the finish I was just excited to be done for the day.  It was very hot out there and a tough course so it felt good to have it come to an end.  As I said before I was not stoked on my showing for this day and it was just a learning experience. 
One thing that was super rad about this race was that I met someone from Instagram who I have been following for some time now.  Shari Ann Nelson is such an awesome individual and I was happy to connect with her in the NormaTech tent.  She is so nice and friendly and I am glad we got a chance to chat.  Thanks for your advice and help! Check her out on facebook and Instagram!

I only have one race left for the season and I am starting to feel all of this training and racing.  Hopefully I can pull it together to go out and do it just one last time.
All for now, until next time

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!

That’s enough of that!

Have you ever felt tied to something? Felt as though you were trapped to something or chained to something and yet it got to a point where you didn’t want it anymore? Not an addiction to something, but just something you did for a length of time that you wanted to stop, maybe a habit?

This was the case for me with sleeping medication.  A few years ago I began taking it in order to sleep.  I would be dead tired yet when I laid down to go to sleep I just couldn’t let go….I would find myself laying wide awake in bed for hours with no explanation as to why.  I was convinced that I needed some sort of sleep aid.  I had tried everything, cut coffee out after noon, no computer or phone in bed, and yet still saw no results.  I went to the doctor and they prescribed me a medication for a sleep aid.  I began taking it and it worked, for a little while, but then it wasn’t enough.  I needed more, so I would use benadryl in order to fall asleep with the medication.  When I started my journey I was still on the medication.  I found it hard to wake up and get going for early training sessions though.  As the time passed I would wake up still in this fog for an hour or longer.  I decided that I didn’t want this feeling anymore.  One night my prescription was out and I had forgot to call it in, I had no other choice, I needed to attempt to fall asleep without it.  I was nervous, I was scared, I had not done this for quite some time.  I surprisingly laid down and went right to sleep.  Since that night my script has not been filled since September 3, 2013.  Some nights are better than others, but I still believe I have beat this.  I knew that I did not want to wake up in a fog anymore and be a zombie so I put my mind to something and said I don’t need this anymore!  It is a small victory but it is powerful nonetheless.  I knew it was something I didn’t want anymore and I made it happen.

With this small victory I find myself reflecting on where I was at this time last year.  I was still in the early stages of my journey.  I had just started running, I didn’t know what I wanted to accomplish, I just knew I didn’t want to remain the same anymore.  As I think about my goals for this season, I know that they are very attainable for me.  I am training harder and smarter this year than I was last year and I am 80lbs lighter than I was at that time.  I am researching things, an more knowledgable than I was at this time last year.  I am getting very excited to compete this season even with all the talk of snow looming around tonight.

Here are a few current pictures of my progress, please excuse the bed head!

Through this blog and posts on Instagram and Facebook I have had people contact me for various reasons.  I am asking you for some help now…I have picked up a few adult swim clients at the club.  Two of which had expressed last week that they want to learn how to swim properly in order to lose weight.  I was thrilled!  I was in their shoes at this time last year and this is an opportunity that I have been searching for and yet it has fallen right into my lap.  I am really enjoying helping these people reach their goals and be successful not only in swimming but in also losing weight.  I couldn’t help but ask myself should I share the link to this blog with them?  I have probably said it before but I will say it again, people have told me how incredibly inspiring my story is and how they find motivation in it everyday.  I do not see this, I just see it as I am chasing a dream, I always wanted to compete in triathlons but I always had an excuse as to why I couldn’t.  So my question to all of you is should I share this site with them? Should I give them the link, should I just give them my story? How should I approach this?  Anyone who has found this site or any of my social networking profiles has done it on their own.  I have never given it out for the most part.  I am unsure on how to approach this but I do think they could benefit from it in some way, I am just not sure how to approach the situation.  Any help or advice that you may be able to offer would be greatly appreciated!

As for now, it’s been a long day so I am off to bed.  More triathlon training is on tap for tomorrow!  Thanks for all the support and most importantly thanks for reading!

All for now,
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Back At It!

There has been some time that has passed since my post after the radio show and I apologize. Things have gotten busy post graduation and with the holidays things just got out of control, but I am really trying to find more time to post here when I can(I feel like I have said that before).  That being said, let’s get down to it!

The holidays were insane here.  It was a constant go with seeing various family members, remember those who aren’t with us, etc.  I love the holidays however, because you get to see and connect with people who you haven’t seen in forever.  Most of my family is pretty local but some live over an hour away so we only get to see them a few times a year.  When I was sitting talking with one of my relatives, she told me that she had found my blog.  Now most of you know my rule, if you read this, we don’t talk about it, because then I will know who reads it and I may write differently or leave things out, however I let this one slide.  So she told me that she had found the page through a mutual friend.  They had commented on something and as she followed the trail, she landed here.  Even better, as she thumbed through the posts she thought, man this is awesome, this guy is doing great things!  The kicker, she had no idea it was me!!  She hadn’t seen me for some time so she didn’t recognize the pictures.  Once she figured it out, she was amazed!  I love that people can come to this page and find things that inspire them, no matter what it is in!

During the radio show and after, I received some advice from my athletic trainer to take some time off from running and cycling.  At the end of last season I was battling some issues with my IT band and instead of taking it easy after the race I continued on with my training….Not the best idea on my part.  So he shut it down for two weeks and I was only allowed to lift and swim.  For the first few days I went insane.  I walked into the gym and looked at all the people on the dreadmills and thought I could just go for a little, who would know? But I didn’t and I am glad I didn’t.  After some rehab and lots of foam rolling, I was cleared to start easy runs again!  For the first time in my life I actually missed running, I never thought I would say that.  I have done a few runs since then and I am feeling good so let’s hope this carries into the season because things are going to start picking up again.

During this time of no running, I knew I had to do something.  One of my friends lifts everyday and since I don’t have to go to school anymore, I figured I would ask him if I could join.  Working out with a buddy makes everything so much better.  They push you and you push them and you really leave the gym feeling like you gave it your all.  Last weekend we were hitting chest and as we got started he said to me “Let’s really get after it today and help each other out.”  This hit me, I was really helping him and he was really pushing me in order to get that edge and better myself.  Having someone there to support you in whatever it is that you are doing makes all the difference in the world!

Last weekend when I was at work, one of the clients mentioned they had two tickets to the Eagles game that night.  Eagles playoff game? Um yes please, but wait it gets better, not only did they have tickets but they escorted a friend and I to the game in a limo, we hit a tailgate party before hand at the ballpark and then went back home!  It was an incredible experience and we saw an awesome game!

You may be thinking well why is he bringing this up? He rarely talks about his personal life…there is a method to the madness.  When we were walking over to the game we got to talking.  One of the guys said you know I have been working out and I am bettering myself, but I want a goal to work towards.  I thought hmmmmm, that sounds familiar.  So I shared with him that I started in the same place.  I started with one goal and now that has transformed into much more.  I find myself in the weight room trying to get stronger in order to improve my sport.  I am running 400’s, 800’s and tempo runs in order to get better and I am holding myself accountable.  I have a goal of what I want to do for next season and I know that if I don’t do what I need to I will NEVER reach that goal.  Once you set a goal, no matter what it is, you need to do the same.  You need to fight and fight until you have no more and then….you need to fight some more.  It is not going to be easy, but if you want something bad enough, you will stop at nothing until you get it!

As for now, I am just in a maintenance phase.  I am building strength in the weight room thanks to the wonderful help of a friend.  Today he really pushed me on the dead lift, which I haven’t done in forever.  He pushed me to try a weight that I was unsure of and the last thing he said was “hit it man, I got a hand on your back if you need it!”  THAT’S what is is all about!!!  Forget the triathlons, the training, the sweating, all of that….that is what life is all about, good friends who will have their hand on your back no matter what.  I thank my friends and family for teaching me that and showing me all of the unconditional support they show me everyday.  I leave you with one last thought….How are you helping the people in your life? How are you supporting the ones around you? Whose back are you putting your hand on and better yet, whose hand is on your back? Hold on to those people in your life, because you may need them when you least expect it….

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

You had flappy jacks hanging off of there….

It’s Monday December 16 and it’s a day that I will never forget for as long as a live. When I started commuting to school I found a new love…The Preston and Steve show on 93.3 WMMR. They grace the radio waves of the Philadelphia area with their antics weekday mornings from about 6-11am everyday. I remember the first time I tuned in, comedian Todd Glass was on and I literally found myself doubled over in laughter listening to the show and 2 years ago I instantly fell in love.

You may be thinking well what does this have to do with your journey.  Well about a month or so ago they were talking about nutrition. As I heard the conversation I instantly thought of my journey and how my focus on nutrition has fueled my success. I also remembered their segment they do on “not so average listeners” who live in the area. I thought to myself you know I should write in to the show but I brushed it off and thought no way. 
Fast forward a bit and something changed, I don’t know what but I decided to send an email to producer Casey. I have them a short version of my story and told them I would love to share the full story with them in the studio. A few days later I received an email from Kathy asking me to come in. I excitedly agreeded and we set up a date, December 16th I would go in. 
Sunday hit and I couldn’t sleep. I had realized that I would actually be on air and not just in the studio to meet the gang. I also learned that I would be at the mercy of the listeners that day to decider whether I was worthy of the prize of $250. 
I awoke around 5:30 Monday morning and jumped in the shower…I was actually going to do this. I grabbed a cup of coffee and some breakfast before it was time to hit the road. As I was driving in I heard Preston say my name and I was beside myself. I was supposed to be there at 8:00 but thanks to hitting every traffic light on route one I was there a bit after 11. I signed in and sat patiently waiting for them to call me in. Casey popped his head out and called my name…it was time. 
I sat in front of the mic and the music filled my head phones….here we go. Preston cut in and started to talk about me.  My hands were probably twitching at this point. He addressed me and I began telling my story. I went through the highlights of the story and they asked me a few questions just about how I got started etc.  After sharing my story it was up to the listeners to decide. I received a ton of texts and messages from friends saying that they had heard me. It was so incredible knowing that they were listening and supporting me all the way through. 
I hung out for a better portion of the show and then it was time for the results…the listeners had voted and they were very kind to me. 78% of the listeners that day had decided that I was “not so average!” I was thrilled and beside myself and just overwhelmed. After Preston delivered this news he asked me about the inspirational aspect of my story. This was the climax for my visit to the studio. I shared with him and the listeners that to me, the most rewarding aspect is inspiring other people. Helping them see that anyone is capable of doing this, anyone can reach a goal they set, I am just here to show people that. 
This experience was absolutely incredible and I can’t thank the gang at WMMR enough for inviting me on the show. Hugest thanks to Preston, Steve, Casey, Nick, Kathy and Marisa for having me. I also owe Pierre a huge thank you for his kind words after the show. 
Here I am, post show with the whole gang. 
Although I gained 100’s of views on here and Instagram and even gained some more followers, it’s not about that for me. Yes I also won a cash prize thanks to the listeners, but again that isn’t why I went on. I went on to share my story. To show people that YOU can do this. Whether just starting or hitting a plateau after losing 100+ pounds, keep going!! At the end of the day I don’t care about the numbers, I want people to say, because I saw that page, because I saw that picture, I kept going

I can’t thank everyone enough for the support. From the listeners, to my followers and most importantly my friends. One of my friends said in a text today “congratulations man, you deserve it!” THAT is what it’s all about. It’s about supporting one another in order to reach a goal. Today I attained a goal of reaching thousands of listeners and if I inspired  just one of them, then I will sleep happy. Thank you…thank you to all of you. 
This is just the start as one of my friends put it and I am not stopping here. Tomorrow is another day and I plan to do everything I can to inspire those who find this page to keep going. 
All for now. 
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

The end of the beginning

It’s here….it’s finally here! Tomorrow marks the end to the beginning. Does that sound backwards? It kind of is and it kind of isn’t. Tomorrow is the first day of the last three days of my undergraduate career at West Chester University. It literally feels like just yesterday I was walking into the welcome day for student teaching and now I am beginning my last three days. It will be a bittersweet last three days for me. I will miss my students from both schools and the relationships I have built with all of them. I am excited for what’s to come next and where life will take me. 

In the final days and hours of student teaching I still have things to take care of. I have to apply for my teaching license, renew clearances and get on sub lists. My goal is to start subbing soon after students arrive back in school after their holiday breaks. The threat of graduation is looming and at times overwhelming but I am excited as well. 
As for my training, it has taken a backseat in order to complete the things I have needed to complete. I still train but my runs are shorter and my swims are less challenging. I am taking the advice from my mentor(who has been absolutely amazing) and taking things easy for now. There is no sense in going hard right now when my first race isn’t until June. One thing I have noticed is I feel like complete CRAP when I miss workouts. When I make the time to workout my days and my attitude are 100% better! Things are going to pick up after the new year and I am excited. I will start a 21 day cleanse and hopefully work to shed these last few pounds and really get into race shape for this season. I am excited for this season. I will be doing a few Olympic distance races along with a few sprints. I talked to the owner of a local bike shop today and I think I will be racing for their team next season which I am super pumped about. It’s going to be a great season and I am so excited for the things to come. 
The last thing I want to share with you is something that I have been kicking around for awhile but I will finally start pursuing. This summer I have a goal to become a motivational speaker who will speak at kids camps in the surrounding areas. My plan is to share my story with children and adolescents who are just getting started or looking to get started on a weight loss journey. I have been exploring ways to give back to a community that has given me so much and I think this is a great way to start that journey. With the childhood obesity epidemic at an all time high, there is no better time than to reach out to children who may need some help. I am looking forward to taking on this challenge and embracing it to it’s fullest. This is not for a monetary gain on my part, I plan to speak for free. I just want to reach out to children who are in the same shoes I was once in. This will take hard work and dedication but I’m willing to put in the 110% necessary in order to pay back this community. 
Along with this journey, I wanted to share another group that is on their own journey. Two guys I graduated from high school with are going on a cross country journey to spread the word of being who you are. They are a dynamic duo who both have faced their own challenges. Check out their site and first video. Keep it up Jon and Levi!! You guys are going to do incredible things together. 
http://jonandleviadventure.com
http://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtube_gdata_player&v=cq7Sj6Eqhkk&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dcq7Sj6Eqhkk%26feature%3Dyoutube_gdata_player
I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone. All of my readers, all of my Instagram followers, my Facebook followers. You are all absolutely amazing and I would not be able to keep plugging along without you. The more important thank you goes out to my friends though. The ones who have been there from day one, the ones who have texted me on race days and random days. The ones who say congratulations and the ones who say hey keep on keeping on. You’re amazing and you all are my immediate support system and I can’t thank you enough. I will repay all of you I can promise that. 
As for now it’s off to bed so I am well rested for tomorrow. Thanks again for reading. 

I leave you with one of my favorite pictures from last season. Most importantly don’t ever give up on your dream and don’t ever let anyone stand in your way. 
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.