Category Archives: cycle

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!

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!

Barrier to Entry

With 2017 right around the corner I got to thinking about people who may be interested in doing something they have always dreamt of but were hesitant for whatever reason.

When people learn that my passion is triathlon they almost immediately follow that up with something to the effect of “how can you afford that?!” Or “how much did you bike cost?”

*humble brag, yes I have a very nice bike*

However, this bike for one would not have been possible without some amazing people helping me when I was in to this sport and just coming out of college and two you do not NEED a bike that costs thousands in order to participate in a triathlon.

In this posts I will break down some of the most common misconceptions about the barrier to entry for this sport and some “hacks” on how you can start, train and finish a race on a budget!

Gear:

First things first, lets cut to the chase, you will need some gear, without question. In the very least you will need the follow:

Swim

  1. Swim suit- you can find these pretty inexpensive on swimoutlet.com or at a local shop. Most times you will have better luck with cheaper prices on line but in the off season check out local or big sporting goods stores. You should be able to pick one of these up for somewhere around $20.
  2. Goggles- There are hundreds upon hundreds of varieties here. You can get them for as cheap as $5 and as expensive as $30. This really just depends on what you prefer. I really like a few different types. The cheap ones are “swedes” you can get them pretty cheap, they are very minimalist but they get the job done. Middle of the road, a little step up would be something along the lines of the Speedo Vanquisher. These provide a little more cushion, the are great but still under 20 bucks. The top end would be something along the lines of the TYR Special Opps. I have the transition lens model in these and I really like them a lot for triathlon swimming and open water swimming. They provide a great field of view and are very comfortable. Again these are over $20, could be upwards of $30 depending on what you choose, but these are the “top of the line” so to speak.
  3. Swim cap, do not buy one of these, ask a friend, ask the pool where you are going to swim or send me an email (ian@thedoitforyourself.com) and I will send you 3 swim caps. There is no point in paying for one of these because everyone has at least 5 they aren’t using.

In all honesty that is it for the swim. You really don’t need much to get started. Most pools have the gear that you need for the swim (fins, kickboard, bouy, etc.). Remember you are just starting out, lets get a feel for things before we start getting too involved with gadgets and tools.

Next is the bike, possibly the most expensive.

  1. First and foremost you will obviously need a bike. You do not need a $10,000 bike. Allow me to repeat myself. YOU DO NOT NEED A $10,000 BIKE. When I first started I was put in contact with someone who was in a bike group/club. Turns out another member was selling an older bike and I could pick it up, upgrade a few things and be on the road for around $500 bucks. Granted I ended up very lucky in this, but my point is, shop around, look at models from last year, used models and talk with people who are in the sport. You do not need something brand new (unless you can great a great deal!) and you do not need something top of the line for your first bike. I have seen people race on mountain bikes, beach cruisers, hybrids, just about anything with 2 wheels.
  2. Helmet. You are riding a bike on the road, you need a helmet. You can also get deals on these. Rudy Project has a ton of ambassadors out there and they have discount codes on their helmets. I have had 2 of these helmets and I have loved them so far, check them out. You other option is going to a shop or somewhere that sells helmets. My only piece of advice here is to make sure that whoever you’re getting it from, knows how to fit a helmet!
  3. Water bottles, cages, etc. When you first jump in to the sport you do not need the pedals with the clips and the Garmin and every other bell and whistle for your bike. Just grab the basics! Two bottle cages on the bike(the thing that holds your water bottle) and two bottles. 9 times out of 10 if you buy your bike from a bike shop they will cut you a deal on cages and probably throw in bottles with their logo. Platform pedals will do the trick for you just fine and I bet you dimes to donuts you’ll be quicker in transition.
  4. Bike clothes. At a minimum (depending on your budget, preference and your distance) I would suggest getting yourself a pair of cycling shorts or bibs. The difference between the two really comes down to preference. The “bib” style has suspenders that come over your shoulders whereas the shorts don’t.

The run.

  1. At a minimum you will obviously need a pair of running shoes. My best advice for anyone who is starting out is the same advice I got when I first started. Go to a running store, have them look at your gait (the way you run) and they will put you in shoes that are right for you. Over color, over look, over how cool you think they are, the fit matters most. In order to stay injury free and avoid further problems down the road, please take this advice.
  2. Other than shoes, running is also relatively inexpensive. Of course you might want a pair of shades, a hat or visor but again these are all based on preference. You can usually pick these things up on amazon or in the clearance bin at a local store. Don’t be ashamed to shop the clearance bins!!

If your goal is to do a triathlon or any race for that matter, the best thing to do, is just sign up. Don’t wait until you think you are ready or for your friend to sign up with you or anything of that nature. Sign up, especially now when race fees are still cheap. If you need to find a race in your area, google “Tri Find” or just google triathlons in “insert your city/town”. You will find loads of races near you!

If you have any questions, please send me an email ian@thedoitforyourself.com. I am happy to talk through things with you and answer any questions you may have. Remember anyone who is in triathlon or anything for that matter, started in the same position you are in!

Thanks for reading!
It would mean the world to me if you shared this with someone who is considering a triathlon this year!

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!

Never Forget Where Ya Came From

Just and FYI, this post isn’t for the delicate flowers, or the children. It’s not decorated with pictures, there is cursing, but it’s raw, it’s real and it’s me.

It’s August 4th. In just one week I will be in Omaha Nebraska for USAT Age Group National Championship. It’s strange to think about this really. How did this all start? Why? (A question I often get). Lastly would, things be different without Delmo?

How did it start? Well that’s an easy one to answer. I started on a path to change my entire lifestyle, literally woke one morning and decided let’s flip this shit on its head! So that I did, I got some guidance from a man I am for ever in debt to, I worked my ass off and things began to disappear. It all sounds so simple when you write it that way, it’s not I’ll be honest, but you have to put in the work. I say it all the time in my posts on Instagram and else where, there are no shortcuts, it’s just down right hard work. Speaking of work, I realized I was working but I didn’t have a goal! All this hard work for nothing? I don’t think so, so I started brain storming. Another friend texted me out of the blue and said “Hey let’s do a triathlon” THAT’S IT! Without hesitation I said absolutely. We landed on the Delmo Sports Atlantic City Triathlon. After the race in Jersey, I was all in. I am still all in, I live, eat, sleep and breath everything triathlon. It is truly what makes me tick….Segway into my why!

Why? Why in the hell would you put yourself through this shit? Honesty, I asked myself the same damn thing last night after 400m repeat #4 with 4 left to go and the humidity setting in. I asked my coach the same thing after a “bad” race and he said this:

“You do this because it got you healthy, that’s why.”

He’s right I do and yes it did. I also do it to send out a big fuck you, that’s right I said it and I am sending out a big one, to every last person who poked fun, laughed, was just a downright asshole. That means you, the kid who said to me at lunch in the fourth grade “why don’t you just eat better? It’s not that hard, like just eat a salad or something.” Guess what asshole, it is that hard, I invite you to try it some time. And then again, I do it for myself, is that contradictory? Sorry, I don’t care. It’s to prove that you and I can literally do ANYTHING you set your mind to. Without a doubt, if I didn’t believe in myself, I would have never made it here, this is a very lonely, selfish and self fulfilling sport at times. If you can’t pull yourself out of the depths of that 30min interval at FTP in the garage, I am sorry but you’re never going to make it here. Lastly, I do it to inspire, to show people that again ANYTHING is possible if you are willing to go all in, but you have to be willing to go ALL in.

Last but sure as shit not least, would my journey have gone the same if I never came along Delmo Sports? This is one that I have thought about quite a bit, the short answer is no, I don’t think I would have had an experience like I did to fuel this passion elsewhere. My experience at the Atlantic City International Triathlon still hasn’t been matched. Ok I lied, last year was phenomenal as well, ahhhh shit who am I kidding, every year has been great! I keep going back, I can’t stay away! That’s because Steve puts the athlete first and he takes care of you from start to finish. His personality is electric, his team is unmatched, and god damn his wife cooks a hell of a spread for breakfast! But seriously the man knows how to do an event and he knows how to do it right. I have gone to other events since racing all of his and I get annoyed at the lack of attention to little things, most of which my friends don’t even notice. They are all “dude what’s wrong with you?” Well if you do a Delmo event, you will realize what you thought was world class before, is more like a third world country. If you have not heard of him or done one of his events, I urge you to look in to them. There are two events left this season, and if you like to party, you don’t want to miss Tri the Wildwoods. What’s that, you don’t like to party? That’s fine, check it out anyway. If you are feeling real daring, sign up to Escape to Lewes and jump off the ferry. Even if it is not this season, I invite you, I beg you to check out their events. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

So this is it, this is my post to remind myself where I came from, how it started, and why I do it leading in to one of the biggest things I’ve gone for. I appreciate your attention and time. I thank you for your support and I look forward to seeing you out on the race course very soon!

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

Super Pants! My Review of the Lava Pants and Lava Shorts

So I told you all I had some exciting news for you and this is the start of it!  I have been blessed to become a part of a great brand Xterra Wetsuits.  I have been racing in their suits since I started and they took really good care of me so I jumped at the chance to become part of their team.

With this I have had the opportunity to test and review two of their awesome training/ racing products their lava shorts and lava pants.  I would like to offer my thoughts on both in order to help you make up your mind on which would be best for your swimming abilities and training.

The Lava Pants
I first got my hands on the lava pants about a year or so ago when I came on with the Xterra team.  I was one of those people who used to pull on a wetsuit about once a week just to get used to have in on, swimming in it and taking it off before my main set.  The pants will ALMOST eliminate the need for that.  I say almost because it is always good to practice in your full suit, especially as a new athlete.  The lava pants however provide a great amount of bouncy when swimming in them.  They really mimic the feeling of swimming with a wetsuit on.  In my training the pants are good for about 10 seconds or so faster than just a normal swim.  They give you a great feel for what is going on with your upper body and move your hips into a nice position.  These are great for a cooler swim when the temps are lower but not quite cool enough for a full suit.  They are also great for active recovery swims where you are taking it easy.
Two things I will say about the lava pants. 1. I find that I do not kick nearly as much when I wear them.  This is OK if I am training for a wetsuit swim but I do not use them during every swim.  2. They are the bottom half of your wetsuit so if your pool temps are on the higher end of the spectrum keep that in mind.  I felt it a few times when swimming indoors.
The Lava Shorts
On to the lava shorts.  I just got my hands on these a few months ago and I really enjoy these for day to day swims.  They elevate the hips very well and are super comfortable.  I feel like I am putting on a pair of jammers when I pull these out of my bag.  These are great for indoor swims, elevating the hips but not interfering with your kick.  They are definitely made for a more experienced swimmer however.  When I first put them on and jumped in I could feel a significant difference from swimming without them but there is also a difference between them and the lava pants.  I like them because I can do my longer sets inside with them and not get hot.  I still get all the benefits of the bouncy factor with them, without getting on during hard working sets.  These however do not mimic the wetsuit position nearly as much as the lava pants however and I would not use them in a race situation.  I would elect to either use the lava pants or my full suit personally.
Xterra has two great products here that both have different purposes but if they are used correctly can really benefit swimmers and triathletes in preparing for their race.  I love both products and use them in my training throughout all different situations.  I cannot say enough about how much I love these two products and how I really appreciate what Xterra has done for me as a customer first and now an athlete.
Another piece of exciting news is that Xterra has opened up a chance for me to share my personal discount code with any athletes who are interested in purchasing these, or any of their products.  If you are interested please do not hesitate to contact me to receive up to 50% off their products!

Hopefully you have found this useful and if you have any questions or you are interested in purchasing please follow the links below to get in contact with me!

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

 

 

A Weekend at the Mirra Compound

This past weekend I had an incredible opportunity that fell together through what I can only describe as good karma.  I had the chance to go visit and train with Dave Mirra who is a legend in the BMX industry and has begun to make a name for himself in triathlon.  I got Dave’s attention on Instagram and we traded comments and likes back and forth for some time.  I had mentioned that I wanted to ride with him and we went back and forth about the idea.  After awhile we decided on a date and things were set for me to head down and ride some bikes with him, I couldn’t believe it.

I can remember my times watching BMX highlights from the X-Games and him being in every single one.  He was and still is an icon in the sport.  I remember going to X-Games in Philly and he tore the vert ramp up, it was an incredible sight. But this was not about X-Games, this was about triathlon and now I had a chance to meet with him and share some knowledge and love for the sport.  I can remember looking up to him in BMX and thinking how he was on a level that not many knew, but this weekend, we were closer to equals, sharing a love for triathlon.

I left early on friday morning after Thanksgiving.  I was eager and anxious to get the weekend started and really wanted to get on the road.  The states and miles ticked by and it was a smooth drive.  I remember turning on a road near Dave’s house and thinking “wow look at that building all the way back there!” I soon learned that “building” was actually his house.  I pulled into his driveway and dave almost immediately came out to great me.  It was surreal and routine all at the same time.  Surreal because I was meeting someone who seemed so untouchable to me at one point and time yet routine because we had talked many times before this and I felt as though I was pulling up to a friends house.

After I was greeted by his mom, we got some things out of the car and adjusted my brakes, it was time to hit the road for the first time!  We had a nice short ride just to shake out the legs.  I remember looking down at my Garmin a few times and we were holding 21-22mph, so much for easy! It was a nice ride though and we wrapped it up and hit the showers.  We decided to go grab some food and beverage for dinner.  When we got to the store I walked down the beer isle and went to reach for my wallet, only it wasn’t there.  I felt like such and idiot!  How did I leave the grocery store and not bring my wallet?!  We forged on and grabbed some things and headed back to the house.  We hit the hay pretty early because we were doing a big ride the next day.

Saturday morning we were up and at em pretty early.  We mixed our bottle, got changed and hit the road.  It was pretty cool because we were actually riding over to the group ride.  I am not able to do that here in PA so it was nice shaking out before things got under way.  We got to the shop and I met up with some of the local guys.  One guy in particular that I can remember was Justin.  He was also on a beautiful P5 and he instantly came over an introduced himself.  Everyone was very nice and welcoming, I loved it.

We departed from the parking lot and headed out on to the road.  This was my first experience riding in a group and that took a little getting used to.  We were about 10 minutes in to the ride and one of the guys had a flat so we pulled over.  I remember Dave asking if I wanted to go with the other half of the group and they would catch up, I politely declined but probably should have.  Once we got moving again I knew these guys weren’t out just to joy ride.  I was holding on for dear life at 25+ mph for the first hour until I got spit out of the back of the group and caught up with the slower half.  I was a little upset but knew I would never be able to hold that kind of pace for 60 miles.  I ended up putting in about 50 miles with the crew that I caught up with and it was a beautiful ride out on country roads.  Part of me didn’t want to look like a fool and “fan boy” so I decided to leave the GoPro at home for the day.  Looking back I wish I had brought it with me and lived out even just a small part of that “fan boy” that was excited to ride with such a legend.  Oh well, you live and you learn.

Post ride we grabbed some lunch at a local spot and then went back and had a nice nap.  Saturday night we were just hanging enjoying some burgers and brews amongst the boys.  I was glad to see that Justin came over to hang with us for the night, he’s an awesome guy and I really enjoyed sharing some laughs with both him and Dave!  Next thing you know someone mentions heading to the “Buc” which is a local bar and I found myself listening to a southern cover-band and enjoying some brews.  It was an awesome night at a local spot and I really enjoyed seeing this side of Greenville.

The last thing that sticks out in my mind from saturday night was when I was chatting with another guy I met Thomas.  He told me that Dave had mentioned I was coming down and he heard my story a bit but didn’t get the full thing so I gave him the short end and we shared a few laughs back at Dave’s house.  I remember him saying to me that Dave was talking about me coming down almost all week and he was really excited for it.  What an incredible feeling.  At this point I was exhausted so I turned it in for the night.

Sunday I woke up and grabbed some coffee. I knew I had a long drive ahead and I needed to get on the road.  I grabbed some lunch with Dave at Mellow again and then we said our good byes.  It was an amazing weekend and I really can’t thank Dave enough for inviting me into his home and allowing me to tag along for the whole weekend.  There were tons of laughs shared and everyone I met down there was awesome.  I feel like I made some friends that I will never forget down there and I hope that I get the chance to go rip it up again with them down in Greenville.

I would just like to close by saying thank you to Dave, I had a great time hanging and riding bikes and just relaxing over the weekend.  Thank you for inviting me into your amazing home and allowing me to share some great memories with you.  I look forward to doing it again.  Thank you also to Andy and Justin for sharing some laughs and brews with me on Saturday night, you guys really made me feel welcome in Greenville.  Lastly thank you to Thomas for your kind words and support in this continued journey, it is greatly appreciated.

Lastly I will share a picture that I snagged before packing up my stuff, it was one of the only ones I grabbed from the weekend.  Like I said earlier I didn’t want to look like a fool so I didn’t take any pictures but looking back I really wish I would have.  Maybe next time..

All For Now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself


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

Challenge 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!

Feeling Off in the Off Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading and thanks for the support!

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

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