Category Archives: biking

Escape the Cape 2017


As some of the readers here may know I do not do a typical race report.  I do not give you the play by play of everything I did (at least I try not to) however I give you some snippets from the race weekend and how I felt, how it went etc.  With that said here is the recap from my experience at Escape the Cape 2017.

A little back story….If you read my first race recap here you will remember that I attempted to do a small local race to try and qualify for nationals.  You will also recall that I thought I qualified last year at Tri the Wildwoods when I was 4th in my age group out of 42 racers.  Long story short – there were a few guys that didn’t show up for that race and so the age group dropped below 40 which did not put me in the top 10%.  After reading some of the rules I believe that regardless of the number of racers, you need to be in the top 3 but I am not certain.  The rules for USAT are a little confusing.

Any who, leading up to Escape the Cape I checked the number of people in my age group so I knew exactly how many people were in it, where I needed to place(or at least where I thought because the rules are a little confusing), and what time it would take to get there.  I always have nerves leading up to races but this was a weird mix.  I was having moments of “You are a badass mother fucker” thoughts after some awesome training days and then I was having self doubt regarding the race and qualification.  I think this is normal, I mean it is normal right? No, just me….?

I knew going into this it was going to be a fast race.  The races are drawing much more of a competitive field and I am ok with that; I love the competition.  I looked at some times from last year and they were pretty quick (still not sure how these dudes and chicks crush the 5K with sections on soft sand!).  We did a small taper leading into the race but nothing like what I would do for an A race or a longer distance race.

As with my first race of this season, this one was also relatively close so I was able to leave Saturday morning and get to check in around 11.  Getting there early and getting my stuff always calms my nerves a bit because I don’t feel rushed.  I got a good night sleep Friday night in my own bed which is key because I knew I wouldn’t sleep much on Saturday night.  Seeing and talking with people I know before the race is also something that really helps chill me out so I spent a lot of time hanging around the expo and talking with people.  It was great to see and hangout with Chris from Kaenon Sunglasses and John from Tri Everything.  Two awesome dudes. I got in a nice shake out ride and swim (I have never really had the chance to swim the day before but it was awesome!).  Then it was time to find the house.

Time to stuff your face with pasta, plenty of water, stickers, tattoos, etc. Ya know…all of the normal stuff you have to handle the night before.  As I anticipated I did not sleep much the night before.  We were staying in an older house and the door didn’t close all the way so it kept knocking together.  Not too loud but loud enough to keep me up and it was like a scene from a creepy movie where the gate is knocking in the wind.  Regardless I was ready to go when the alarm went off at 3:30.  If you happened to catch my post from last year you will know that I pushed it WAY too late getting to the parking area and so I wasn’t about to do that this year. Learn from your mistakes people! I was on one of the first shuttles out and set up by probably 5:30.  This was good and bad.  Good because I was in and ready, bad because now I had about 30-45 minutes to kill….thats not good for the head on race morning for me.

Luckily I found my friend Gina and we got on the boat together.  National anthem started the morning off and then we were off the dock; it was go time.  I waited for the Olympic distance athletes to go off and then I pulled on my suit.  Just as I was about to step up and jump this lady rudely walked right in front of me.  I had half the mind to say something but karma is real and I don’t need any bad juju on race day.  Off the boat I went and it was a beautiful swim.  The water was so much calmer than last year and I was out before I knew it and my swim felt really good.  One thing I have been trying to work on this year is pushing my swim.  My paces in the pool have been dropping but for whatever reason I do not push my potential on the race day swim. The first two races this year I have felt much better about the swim though and I hope to continue this.

I told myself I was going to take my wetsuit off in the water but got caught up in the race and just ended up taking it off in transition.  The bike felt strong, really strong.  I knew that to hang with the fast guys in my age group I needed to hammer pretty good and I had that in the back of my mind.  I came off feeling pretty good and it was on to the run.  I kept telling myself to keep it cool because I knew the sand would get me but I couldn’t help it.  The legs felt good, so I went with it.  I watched my pace drop in the sand but I gained some back on the pavement.  After the turn I just kept telling myself “head down and run”.  Coming down the final stretch, I don’t think I have ever been happier to see the turn into the ferry terminal.  I was giving it all I had to come as close to 1:08 as I could but unfortunately I came up short.  I knew I didn’t put together what I needed to win the age group but I still felt like I put together a solid race.

To this day I still don’t like to look at the results and find out my place because I like to be surprised.  If you ask me why, I can’t answer that for you. I am not sure why to be honest.  This day was no different; as everyone made their way to results I went to get a beer.  I met some friends and just hung around.  The anticipation began to kill me though and I needed to find out where I stood, after all, this was for nationals. I got someone else to go to the tent for me…I found out that I was 3rd!!  I knew that I had qualified!!  Little did I know that there were 11 some odd guys that did not show up…

When the time for awards rolled around I came to find that I was 2nd because the age group winner also won overall so he was removed.  However in the days since I read on the USAT site that if you are removed from the age group for awards, you are placed back in for USAT rankings.  This would push me to 3rd out of 26 for the official USAT results.  I also read there is a round up rule where if you were 3/25 you still qualify.  The only issue is that the results have not been submitted to USAT yet so I still do not have a definitive answer on wether or not I can book my tickets for Omaha.

In the days since Escape the Cape I have tried not to focus on the results and the USAT email that has still yet to come.  TRY is the key word.  I have gotten right back to training, crushed both of my field test for the bike and run and resumed training as if we are going to Omaha.  On the inside though I am freaking out, I want to know what is going to happen more than anything right now.  Sitting and worrying about a stupid email isn’t going to make or break my season though.  I have had seasons where I haven’t raced nationals and one where I have.  It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t go (at least that is what I keep trying to tell myself).

I have up until the 19th of June for the official results to be submitted to USAT and then probably a few days for the email to come through.  Until then, it full steam ahead.  Everything is going as if we ARE going to Omaha.  I will keep this page updated when I know more but please follow me on my other pages below as well.

Last but not least, I just want to say thank you to everyone.  Thank you to my amazing sponsors who support me in this sport, my friends and family who build me up and calm my nerves, and all of my followers.  I love hearing from you during race week and after the race regardless of the outcome.  All of the support does not go unnoticed and it really means everything to me.

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!

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!

Life update, the start of 2017 season and YouTube

I did a life update a little while back and I promised to continue them. Here is life update and the start of the 2017 season.

In that post, you can read it here, I talked about feeling some symptoms of adrenal fatigue. I said that I was taking a supplement that was supposed to help with that. I actually stopped taking said supplement. I am not sure if I wasn’t consistent enough with it or if it wasn’t actually working but I stopped. What I did start doing in putting my phone away from my bed with the alarm on it. Instead of having it right next to me where it was nice and easy to hit snooze, I moved it across the room where I needed to actuallyy GET UP out of bed to shut it off. I have a consistent time for when I wake up and I am trying to stay as consistent as possible when it comes to bed time. I have found that these two things are really helping me.

The last thing that I did not mention in my earlier post but I wanted to throw in here is that I purchased a pair of blue light blocking glasses from amazon. You can find the ones I bought here. These glasses block out the blue light that comes from TV, phone, and computer. From what I have read, blue light basically confuses your brain. Your brain accepts the blue light and gets in confused with the same type of UV light from the sun. When this happens it is hard for your brain to shut off because it thinks it is day time. I have these glasses by my bed or in my bag and I just throw them on when it starts to get dark out. It could be all in my head or it could be that it truly works but for 10-15 bucks, I’ll take that chance any day. Since wearing these glasses I have a MUCH easier time falling asleep when I lay down vs. when I don’t wear the glasses.

The second point I wanted to make was on the intermittent fasting that I started doing in the early months of 2017. It was working very well for staying in a calorie deficit. When I was trying to keep calories down, especially on rest days, using this method DID work. However since then, training has ramped up. The intensity and volume is in full swing right now to prepare for the season. Intermittent fasting has since stopped. I was just not eating enough when I was fasting and the window was too small to try and eat enough to fuel for the next workout. Just as a point of reference I did not see anymore weight drop than if I were just staying strict about my macros for the day. The weight loss was EXACTLY the same, so if you are thinking about doing intermittent fasting because you are going to shed more weight, that is not what I found in the least bit.

Last but not least, RACE SEASON IS HERE!! Wohooo, round of applause. There were times where I thought it was never coming. Sometimes it is hard to think of those goals when you are grinding away for two hours on the trainer and there is snow on the ground. However race season has FINALLY arrived and I couldn’t be happier.

I decided to jump into a small local sprint race this past weekend. It was called the Rivewinds Sprint Triathlon for those of you who are located in the PA, MD, DE, NJ area. If you are looking for a great, small town race feel early in the season I HIGHLY suggest you check this one out. The swim takes place in the Riverwinds Community Center pool and then the bike and run are around the surrounding area. It is a great little race, it is well organized and I really tip my hat to DQ events on this one. If you want to check out their races, I will link them here.

I won’t give you a long winded recap of this race because I know that those can get boring. What I will tell you is that the community center where this took place was beautiful, the swim was well organized, and the course was great. I never touched the person in front of me during the swim and the person behind me never touched me. We did a snake through an 8 lane pool and we were in and out. I made one mess up on the bike which was completely my fault because I was not paying attention and I got off course just a bit. The run was smoking fast on the path through this center and it had a slight uphill right after the turn around at the beginning of the first mile. I had one goal and one goal only for this race, win my age group. I wanted to qualify for nationals early in the year and go enjoy the rest of my Sunday. I looked at some times from last year and saw that 53 minutes won overall and my age group winner was somewhere around 55-56 minutes. I finished the day in 56:13. There were a lot of firsts for me, one being a really solid swim. I looked at my watch as I entered T1 and it read 3:17. This included exiting the pool and running outside so that was probably closer to 3 minutes. Very solid swim for me. The bike was not my best but not horrible in just over 27 minutes for the 10.5 miles and I was only seconds off my PR sprint run split. All in all, it was a great day for me to get out and test my off season fitness.

Now for the bad news. No one in my age group went over an hour on the day. 1-4 overall were all in my age group….Needless to say, I did not win my age group and therefore I have not yet qualified to go back to Omaha. I was disappointed about this. Don’t get me wrong there were a lot of great take aways from this race and I have a lot of good fitness for so early in the season. I just hope that I can continue to carry it into the full swing of this season and punch my ticket to go back to Omaha. Stay tuned!

I thank you guys very much for reading. I look forward to sharing this journey with you on the road to Omaha!

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

PS incase you did not know, I have launched a YouTube Channel. I will be documenting my journey to get back out to Omaha here! Please check it out and share your thoughts with me! ❤️

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!

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!

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!

New Jersey State Triathlon Race Recap

This past weekend I raced the New Jersey State Triathlon in Mercer County NJ(settle in, this is a long one).  This race is a championship race for the state of New Jersey and I was excited going in but nervous at the same time.  My training had ramped up significantly since my last tri.  I had some long runs, some speed work and a few long rides going into this race.  I knew my training would get me through but would it be enough?

As I pulled into the park and headed to packet pick up the day before the race I saw A LOT of expensive bikes….this could only mean one of two things, people with lots of money or people who were very serious about racing, but it had to be one of the two.  Either way I rolled in and picked up my packet.  We could not leave our bikes there which was ok, but we still got a chance to walk through transition and check things out.  I knew that historically this race was not wetsuit legal although I optimistically packed mine.  I stopped by the TYR tent and picked up a Toqure speed suit with anticipation of wearing that morning of.  As I finished the pre race meeting was still going on so I sat down on the lawn to listen in.

New speed suit
Pre race meeting
Numbers on the rack are always nice.
Checking out the swim course.
Now I don’t consider myself a pro at this in any sense of the word, but when I started to listen to some of the questions, I knew it was time for me to head out.  I still needed to check in to the hotel and find an italian restaurant for dinner.  
After finding the hotel it was time for dinner.  I went and had a delicious meal at Tre Piani, which was a small place right near the hotel.  From there it was time to head back.  I went back and got my things together for race day.  I put my numbers on, set up my chip etc. and got ready for bed.  The night before is never anything exciting, but when you have nerves and a 4:30 wake up call what do you expect?
My favorite alarm!
The next morning came early and fast.  I was nervous.  I packed my things, got in the car and it was off to the park.  Once I got there, I set up my water bottles, put air in my tires and walked over to transition.  As I was walking through the field I heard some guy yelling but I couldn’t hear what he was saying.  As I got closer he said it again “IT’S A WETSUIT LEGAL SWIM!! WATER TEMP IS 77 DEGREES!”  I thought to myself, this man is lying, there is no way the water dropped three degrees over night.  I had my suit in my bag anyway so I continue on to transition.  I racked my bike and filled my bottles. After one porter potty visit, the waiting game started.  I knew I needed to get in the water with this speed suit on and then I heard the guy on the loud speaker “Well folks for one of the first times in history today’s race will be wetsuit legal, the water temp is 77 degrees!” So I knew I didn’t need to put the speed suit on.  I was a little pissed the I dropped the coin on it but I knew I was wearing my suit.  
Setting up in transition.
Swim Course.
7:10 rolled around and it was time to head down to the start.  As I started walking, I saw someone racing for Wattie Ink who I follow on Instagram and I wanted to introduce myself so bad and tell her how much I love following her and her team.  I have loved this team and my dream is to one day race for them but I was just too chicken to say anything and I didn’t want to bother her on race day like that.  After the national anthem and some pre race stuff it was time to zip up the suit and get in the water.  An in water start, another first for me but I have practiced them and I had a game plan.  I went out to the line and took my spot on the left side.  5, 4, 3, 2, 1……GO!!!
As the swim started, I quickly found out I was racing with the big boys.  My wave was huge, it was men 29 and under plus one of the older male waves all together.  I was running into people left and right for almost the first 200+ meters.  It seemed like I couldn’t get into a groove.  After I settled in I knew I made a mistake right away, I started to get hot.  From then on I took the swim 100 meters at a time.  At each 100 meter mark I would take a few breaststroke and then continue on to the next buoy.  It got to a point where I just wanted to swim to end so bad.  I saw the 1300 meter mark and I knew I only had 200 to go, I can do this.  From there a few of the females from the wave behind me had caught me…..if that wasn’t a confidence crusher! I hit the boat ramp and it was into T1.
As I looked down at my watch, I saw my swim time…31:XX, not what I had hoped for but not awful either.  I ripped my wetsuit off and was out on the bike.  Once on the bike course, my stomach was still settling from the swim.  I knew I needed to wait at least 15 minutes before I could take in any sort of nutrition.  By the time that hit I was so ready for some gel.  I slammed my first gel and starting laying down the hammer.  My goal for the bike in this race was more time in areo.  In the first lap I found myself in and out of areo, getting a feel for the course.  As I hit the sign for the second loop I knew I needed to hammer harder and spend more time in areo for the second lap.  From then on I was in areo for almost the entire second lap.  Slamming down hills and crushing flats, for the first time I felt like a “real triathlete.”  As lame as it might sound, I thought of Dave Mirra who I have been looking up to and I knew I needed to stay down in areo and ride as he would.  As I was going through the course for the second time I could tell some of the later swim waves had found their way on to the course.  I was getting smoked by some dudes on $10,000 setups and holding my own with others.  I came into the finish and just hammered through the park to T2.  Finial bike time of 1:14:XX for 25 miles.  
T2 was quick, bikes shoes off, run shoes on, nutrition, belt, GO!  After Escape, I knew I needed to ease into the run.  As I left transition and headed onto the course I heard them announce the winner with a time of 1:57 and I just laughed.  The run course is through the park and again is flat and fast.  As I looked down at my watch I could see my pace bouncing between 7:30 and 7:15/ mile.  I just kept thinking my legs around going to give out at some point, they have to, but I couldn’t slow down!  
About half way through the run!
The run was getting hot and hard.  My pace slowed in a few spots to somewhere up in the 8’s but then worked its way back down.  I hit the five mile mark and knew I only had one left.  I wanted to finish it in 48 mins.  As I dropped the hammer one last time, I saw the 6 mile marker.  One of the beautiful things about this race was the volunteer presence along the run course.  All the people in blue shirts pictured above were volunteers who came in to cheer us on.  I was coming up to the tail end of the race and it was just packed with people yelling and screaming.  As I headed into the chute I heard a guy yelling and then he just started laughing hysterically and said “Nice hat man!!” I couldn’t help but start laughing!  It was down the finish chute and I gave it everything I had.  Finial run time was 48:29.  I missed my goal by 29 seconds.  
Coming in hot!
Hitting the misting tent.
Post race.
 Post race I went to look up my times.  The first attempt there was nothing there so I thought I was too early.  I went back to my car and changed and came back again and still nothing.  I found a woman in the results tent and asked her why they wouldn’t be there…….she said “Did you check the DQ list?” and with that my heart sank.  I felt like a school aged child checking to see if I got the lead in the play.  I went up and down the sheet of paper three times…..NOTHING!! Thank god, with that I went back to her and let her know I was not on there.  She informed me they had some issues and it would all be posted later.  With a finial time of 2:37:56 I was 16th out of 30 in my AG and 309 out on 1139 overall.  It wasn’t what I had hoped for but it was a good race.  I knew going in that this race was going to be competitive, but I had no idea it would be this FIERCE!  With everyone gunning for nationals, I got a look at how competitive this sport can really be! 
One thing I left out from the run, was quite possibly the coolest part of the entire day.  As I was headed for one of the turn arounds I saw this guy coming towards me, I noticed that he was starring at me for a good while.  I thought nothing of it, but out of no where he yelled out “HEY!! I know you!”  I figured out that it was a follower from my instagram page that I had gone back and forth with a few times.  He recognized me on the run and was motivating me every time we crossed paths.  It was so cool to see someone who knew me and knew my story out on the course.  I remember reading a post from NYC Running Mama about her experience with this and I thought it would be so cool if that ever happened to me and it did!
Post race meeting Stefan for the first time.
I later found out that there were more people who recognized me along the course and yelled at me but unfortunately I was so in the zone that I did not hear them.  It is one of the coolest feelings in the world knowing that there are people out there reading my stuff and following what I am doing!  
All in all it was a good race.  Big time learning experience but I wouldn’t trade the weekend for the world.  I had an amazing time with some amazing people and I loved every second of it.  I thank everyone for their support a long the way.  As always for all the texts before, during, and after the race.  The support on the course from both people who knew me and people who didn’t and from my readers.  Next up is AC International Tri sprint distance in September!
All for now.
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!

Post race excitement, Next race worries

Everyone knows that excitement, that feeling of accomplishment just after the race.  You can usually ride it for a few days, maybe even a week.  It’s a nice cruise to come down from, but as will all good rides, this one must come to an end.  Once the ride comes to an end you start to dissect everything that happened from said race.  Things like breakfast, the car ride or walk to transition, the sleep, the nutrition both before and during, the swim, the bike, and the run.  You look at all aspects of it and try to determine, did I give me best? Where can I get better?  If you have multiple races close together, here come the worries of the next race.  Do I have enough time to get better, faster, stronger? Will I improve or will I stay the same?  God forbid…..will I get worse? And cue the emotional roller coaster of race season!

Since Escape the Cape I have been training my tush off for the Jersey State Triathlon.  This race is much bigger than my previous.  It is bigger in the field, longer in distance and just bringing some nerves.  Once my wave came to an end after ETC I knew it was time to get after things.  I was having good sessions on the bike, in the pool and on the run.  Things were just going well.  I wasn’t shaving huge chunks of time off but my training felt good.  This could only mean one thing, I needed to step it up.  As soon as you get comfortable you need to get out of that comfort zone, or you could be stuck there for awhile.

So I started to step training up.  Workouts were getting harder and longer, efforts were going up and I was seeing results.  With Fourth of July right around the corner I knew I needed to take my bike with me to the beach.  Over the weekend I completed my longest ride to date.  30 miles through the beach towns and it felt great.  Coming home I was feeling good off of this ride.  I went to swim Monday however and I felt like garbage.  I couldn’t hold my times I wanted to and I could barely get through my swim.  Things just started to go down hill from there.  The next swim felt like crap again.  At first I thought it was from the weekend away, having fun and enjoying myself, which is something that everyone needs to do.  As I thought about it more though, I knew that if it were because of what I was doing, I wouldn’t have been able to do that ride.  Now I am not someone who looks for excuses, when things are going bad I put it on myself to get better.  I was standing on the pool deck one morning though and I noticed the board was reading a temp of 86 degrees in the lap pool.  I started talking to a friend and his swims were also struggling a bit.  I knew it was the water temp. I was freaking out about the upcoming race, knowing that the field is WAY more competitive than any field I have been in before and this wasn’t helping.

Fast Forward…..I started this post at the end of last week.  Since then I swam two more times and went for another ride and run.  I swam outside where it was cooler and my times were right where I wanted them to be again.  My bike was the longest to date again, 46 miles and my run was 7.15 miles in an hour.  I am feeling much better about my training going into this weekend now.  I am pumped to compete against a competitive field and I know its going to push me to my max and I am very excited for that.  Coming off of some great workouts that were key going into taper week and thanks to the support of some amazing people the nerves have been calmed a bit.  On my ride this past weekend I conquered my fear of getting into areo on the road.  This was a huge step for me and I thank my buddy Brandon so much for pushing me to get over this.  It seems very small but it was a HUGE step for me.

Dropped down and getting over the fear!

Fenwick Island on the 46 mile ride.

Now it is time to taper off and rest up for this weekend.   I am going in feeling good and confident along with excited to see how things pan out.  As for the rest of the week I have some open water stuff on Wednesday depending on this weather along with one more run.  After that it is just some shake out stuff and a long care ride up to Princeton NJ for the race.  Race is sunday but I will pick up my packet and everything saturday and stay there Saturday night so that I do not have to travel far on race morning.  Anyone else have an races coming up this weekend or in the near future? What are you racing and when? Please share!

All For now
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!