Category Archives: hard work

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!

New Years Resolutions and Adrenal Fatigue

So here we are 8 days into the new year as I write this and I am doing well with my 1-2X posting per week on the blog.

If you haven’t checked it out already please read my last post on how to do a triathlon on a budget. I know that many people consider this as a goal for New Years resolutions but are nervous about the cost of participating in such an event.

As for me things have been going well so far, it’s early yet though. I am still fasting most days during the week. This has helped me immensely when it comes to staying in a calorie deficit. I did have one day over the holidays that kind of scared me a bit. Normally I work on Saturdays during the fall winter and spring. Recently I have had no trouble completing my training sessions in the afternoon after work. On this Saturday however I woke up and I was completely drained. My body felt weak, my legs felt heavy and all of this was more than usual. The only thing that was different would be the stress and strain I placed on my body through the holidays. There were a lot of late nights, a few drinks (some nights maybe more than a few haha) and holiday parties. I think my body had just had enough and it was time to just relax. So I did not train that Saturday or that Sunday. I actually got over 12 hours of sleep the one night and it felt great! Sparked by the scare though I have been attempting to cut back on caffeine consumption at least 1 day per week and I have started taking an adrenal gland support supplement. It is common to have some form of adrenal fatigue syndrome when training for long periods of time so I thought it would be an good idea to give this a try. From my general understanding adrenal fatigue syndrome is when you feel fatigue even after a good nights sleep. You have difficulty getting up early in the morning, cravings for salty foods and you may abuse caffeine and sugar. You are basically feeling way more tired that you should be even with a good nights sleep. I will let you know how I feel in the coming weeks!

The next thing I wanted to touch on is New Years resolutions and the inherent negativity that surrounds them. This time of year, whether you are a regular member of a gym or not, you have probably gotten some sort of marketing email about how there are no joining fees, special rates, and even deals on personal training sessions. You have probably also heard the “facts and figures” of how many people make resolutions and don’t keep them, join gyms and never go back, etc. When it comes to resolutions, I am a fan of the idea. I love someone wanting to make a change, especially for the better. I also can see how January first is an appealing time of year to do this. It’s not only a fresh start to the month, but you get to hit reset on another year. I made a resolutions myself, I just chose to do it at the start of the “school” year instead of the calendar year. Deep down I believe that resolutions are amazing no matter when you decide to start.

There are a few things that I do not like about New Years resolutions however. The negativity that surrounds them drives me insane. I can’t stand how people view resolutions and basically chalk it up to something 99% of people won’t complete. The other thing that annoys me is the “regulars” bitching about the influx of members in the gym. Yeah things are a little busy, yeah there are sometimes not enough treadmills for everyone at the gym at that time, but we all started somewhere and you were that first timer once too.

If you are reading this and you were considering a resolution, are working on a resolution, or just looking to get better, here are some tips I have to help you.

  1. Have a plan- most people create resolutions like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better”. These are great goals, but they are not measurable or specific enough. When you do not see the results you are looking for, thats when you will quit. Instead, create a goal for yourself that is specific such as I will go to the gym 5X per week or I will perform cardio 3X per week.
  2. Write your goals down! On January 1st I hung a whiteboard. I have my goals for the month and week written on there and I mark down each time I do that. I look forward to putting a tick everyday for the things I have completed and this builds momentum. Momentum is key! You do not need to use a white board, you can use a notebook or even just a piece of scratch paper. Just write it down! And keep it some
  3. You do not need to be 100% perfect all the time. Especially when it comes to counting calories or macros, whatever your preference is. If counting calories is helping you reach your goals and what you want when you look in the mirror then count calories. Which ever you decide, you do not need to be 100% perfect. This is about the long game, patience and persistence, not being perfect. To build off of that, start small. You do not need to cut everything “bad” out of your diet starting day one. Start small, but not too small. What do I mean by this? Start off drinking more water than sugary empty calories. Add more fresh fruits and vegetables and then build from there. After you have built momentum there, then you can start cutting processed foods out and going with more whole food. When I first started counting calories, thats all I did was count calories. After that stopped working, I began to figure out how my food could help me with my goals. It’s a learning process but you need to be willing to put in the work.
  4. Last and most important, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Utilize the people around you. There are way more people than you think out there who were once in the position that you may find yourself in. Utilize those people for their knowledge.

As for the first two ish weeks of January that’s it for me. If you are looking for a place to go for some support and motivation, come join me in the Facebook group I have created. There are no sells, its not MLM, I am not pushing products on anyone. This is just real, down to the grit motivation. If you are interested please join us!

I hope that you have set goals for yourself for the coming year, I know I have some big ones for myself and for Do It For Yourself. I look forward to sharing this journey with you and I thank you as always for reading!

All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

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!

Back to the Basics

Its no secrete that I have been slacking with this blog. I felt as though I couldn’t “create” enough content for the readers and so it led to me slacking on this blog. I have been following and consuming a lot of content from Gary Vee and Mike Vacanti and I have learned that putting things out there consistently is far better than not putting anything out there at all. So my vow for 2017 is more consistent posting.

So here it goes….

My year this year with tri was busy to say the least. I had some tune up races early in the season and a late peak. I won’t bore you with the details, I have posted race report from the season that you can read up on those.

One thing that has really been lacking, other than my blog posts, is my nutrition. I haven’t been nearly as locked in with it as I used to be and so I decided to start a Facebook group for No Cheat November. I knew I needed to get back on track and this would be the perfect way. The month started and it was back to basics for me. Tracking calories and macros, eating the right foods and cutting out the crap. Yes this means no soft pretzels 3X a week, sometimes more. It was hard at first, I’m not going to lie. I knew I needed to do it and I knew that I could do it, but for some reason, getting rid of this 25-30 pounds that I put on, was harder than when I first started.

I knew what I had to do, it was just bringing myself to do it! So the group was perfect, holding each other accountable. It worked very well and we actually decided to continue the group through the holidays.

When I started the group and the clean up though, I had one thing that I wanted to give a try and I was nervous. Intermittent fasting has always peaked my interest, why I don’t know, I love food but I always thought it was never possible. How on earth could someone skip breakfast and not eat until like 1-2pm?! I decided from the start I would do it on rest day, I would be trying to keep calories low this day anyway and wouldn’t be training so it made sense.

The first time I did it, it was kinda like the first time you take your kid to the doctor, I had no idea what I was in for but once I got there I found out real fast what was going on. The only thing I had from dinner the night before until lunch was black coffee and green tea. In the following weeks, I almost looked forward to the challenge. I knew what I was in for but I was ready for the pain. In some sick twisted way, I am convinced that I just love pain. There is really no other explanation for it to be honest.

Since then I have begun fasting everyday except for days when I know I will be training 2+ hours. It’s something that you think is impossible and then you try it and it’s really not that bad. I usually eat dinner pretty late because I train after work. Dinner is usually between 8-9pm after training. From there its nothing for 16-17 hours except for black coffee, green tea, and water. I was against the idea of gum at first but its negative calories (you burn more chewing than what’s in the gum) so I also have gum from time to time.

Here is the other key, when I break my fast I am not eating burgers and fries and whatever I want like these “trainers” you see on Instagram. I still keep things clean and as always I am conscious of my macros. If it is something that interests you give it a shot!

There are many benefits to intermittent fasting depending on if you can make it work with you schedule. The whole idea of “breaking the fast” in the morning is no longer 100% the only way to go. If you are trying to stay in a calorie deficit and you’re not training this can be difficult. With intermittent fast I typically skip about 500 calories from breakfast and another 200-250 in a snack that I would have mid morning. If you are interested in the more detailed explanation of how this could help you, stop over to Octane Athletics blog and read this article from Blake, he goes in depth on everything you need to know if you want to give it a try! http://www.octane-athletics.com/intermittent_fasting/

As far as everything else goes it is just back to the basics for me, thats what this post is all about. Back to black coffee, lots of protein, healthy complex carbs and just getting shit done. Don’t get me wrong I will have plenty of beers through the holiday, pie on Christmas, and everything in between. But then it’s right back on track. That’s the biggest thing I have found so far, is that before when I would have a little slip, the wheels would fall off, now however its back to normal and I am thankful that I can recognize that.

Thank you to everyone who joined the Facebook group and shared your thoughts and journeys for the month of November. I plan to keep it open through the New Year so if you are a reader and you would like to join the link is right here https://www.facebook.com/groups/370960176573403/

My attempt to be more consistent with this blog from now on is 1-2 posts per week. I am going to do a reverse bet (shoutout to Mike) and if I don’t do that then I will need to do something that makes me even more uncomfortable. Leave your comments below and share something you plan to do in 2017 that will make you better!

Until next time, all for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Why Motivation Sucks, by Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

Got your attention, didn’t I? Let me start by saying motivation doesn’t suck. I am a big believer in motivation and its power to galvanize action. But motivation is only just that, a spark. It is a jumpstart to your day or pick-me-up when you need to push through. It will not carry you through the finish line all on its own. The title really should have been “Why Motivation is an excellent tool for starting you on your journey towards your goals or helping you sustain your efforts while pursuing them but should not be as the sole instrument to achieve success,” but, then I didn’t.
Motivation is kind of like a drug; you get that first hit and BAM, you’re flying high. Eventually, the high of the motivation wears off and you’re left with that need for more. Take another hit, you’re flying again. This time though, you don’t have that same amount of intensity you had the first time. But you get your fix. You repeat this process until you just don’t get that same rush, that same crazed intensity you had the first time. Eventually, whatever you’ve been using for motivation just doesn’t work anymore and you look for another form of motivation to get you that same “high” you had the first time.

Here’s an example: I watch the Rocky IV training scene where Rocky is training in the Russian wilderness and Ivan Drago is in the Russian lab training with new age equipment (one of the best Rocky training montages in my opinion). I get motivated to start training and get in shape. The next morning, I’m up before the sun and out the door running, you know, like Rocky would. I feel great and I have a fire in my belly to keep pushing until I look like Rocky (in Rocky IV, not the original Rocky). I am able to sustain this intensity until midway through the month, when my motivation starts to wane. I’m not quite looking like Rocky yet and I’m tired and sore and don’t really feel like getting up early and running anymore. Watching Rocky training montages isn’t doing it for me and I’m getting sick of listening to “Eye of the Tiger” on repeat. I abandon my “training” and, most importantly, wonder where my motivation went.
Maybe not an applicable example for everyone but definitely something you can relate to. Everyone needs motivation to get you started or to help get you out of a slump with your training. But motivation will fade and you need something else to, not only sustain your efforts, but to help build a lifestyle around your goals. How can you do that, you ask?
You need to build Systems into your life that allows you to create a sustainable lifestyle and not a transient state of excitement.

A System is not a robot or software that does stuff for you (although, if you can make this happen, contact me). The best way to describe a System you probably already use is where you put your car keys. When you walk in the door after a day of work, you put your car keys in the same spot; on the counter, in a dish by the door, a hook on the wall. You’ve developed a System for placing your keys in a convenient spot so you can effortless grab them as you’re heading out the door. It is automatic and you don’t even think about it anymore. It is a System that you’ve built for your morning routine.

So how do you build Systems into your daily routine so you make proper nutrition and exercise automatic? I’m glad you asked.

Systems for Exercise:

  • Pack a gym bag the night before and place it by the front door or in your car
  • Schedule your workouts on a calendar or your phone calendar or Google calendar (so many calendars)
  • Hire a personal trainer or prepay for a month’s worth of sessions
  • Put your alarm clock or phone alarm across the room so you have to get up to turn it off
  • Wake up 1 hour earlier…do it
  • Buy some simple workout equipment like resistance bands and a yoga mat that you can take anywhere
  • Purchase a workout program or course

Systems for Nutrition:

  • Meal Prep…you know you saw this one coming
  • Pack food like fresh or dried fruit, nuts and seeds, protein powder, tuna pouches at work and in car so you always have something with you
  • Buy food containers so you can take your prepared food and snacks with you
  • 90-10 Rule – eat clean 90% of the time and the other 10% you can eat what you’ve been craving
  • Remove temptation from your house by removing junk food
  • Plan Meals and shop for those meals
  • Learn 1 healthy meal or recipe per week and put it in rotation

Systems can be used for anything: sleep, work, chores, etc. But, if you noticed when I was listing the Systems above, many of them involve some sort of monetary involvement. This is absolutely by design. By investing in something related to health and fitness, YOUR health and fitness, you are making an investment in yourself. This is a crucial step toward any goal. Additionally, you’re more likely to use or do something you paid for rather than if it is just given to you. There’s something about paying for an item or service that, psychologically, makes you appreciate it a bit more. You’re also more likely to “get your money’s worth” as well.
In summary, Motivation does not suck. Motivation is awesome and necessary. But it not the end-all and be-all to success. Inevitably, it will not always there. Instead, use Motivation to start building Systems into your daily routines. This will ensure you are not always relying on Motivation to push you forward and you will develop a consistent lifestyle.

If you have any questions, comments, or want some more help developing systems, feel free to leave a comment below.
Thank you.

 

kyle

Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

Iroman 70.3 Atlantic City

ironman-atlantic-city-triathlon-copy

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

56_m-100738239-digital_highres-1386_090558-4088325

 

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!

Tri the Wildwoods Triathlon and 5k

Well here it is.  The last race of the season.  I would like to apologize to everyone that it has taken me so long to post all of this.  I got caught up in the madness of training, racing and just life in general and my blog suffered.  I am back though and I have some exciting things for all of you coming up.

On to the race… This race was a little different for me because it is a Saturday race.  I don’t like to be rushed or stressed on race morning so I took a half day and headed to the beach for packet pickup.  Let me start by saying by the time this race came around I was done.  My head wasn’t in the race and I was so worn down from the season that I just wasn’t in it. 
After check in, some pizza and stickers etc I hit the hay.  I knew what I needed to do the next day.  When we got to transition it was a bit crazy.  There were A LOT of first timers at this race.  Not that there is anything wrong with doing a race for the first time.  I love seeing first timers come out, but I don’t like first timers who don’t do their homework.  There were a lot of those.  I weaved my way through the crowd and in to transition.  It was nice being able to pick your spot in transition.  I found a spot with a good landmark so I could remember where it was.  Super important! From there it was business as usual.
I pulled on my wetsuit and headed to the beach.  This was an ocean swim and I was a little nervous about that.  Of course the race director Steve put everyone’s mind at easy and gave us a few pointers before jumping in the water based on what the tide was doing.  I ran down the beach and in to the water I went.  Everything was going well until it was time to start heading back in.  I felt like I wasn’t going anywhere and just when I least expected it a huge wave came up behind me and freaked me out.  I made it in and got to my bike.
The bike course was a nice out and back.  Not too flat but not too challenging.  There was one gnarly climb going up and over a bridge but you got to come back down.  I found my groove and just peddled away.  Just before T2 I got to see my parents and Jamee, which is always a positive.  No matter the distance that little extra boost you get from seeing your cheer squad can carry you through the pain cave and I knew I was just entering.
On to the run, this run is no joke.  The first half is in the sand and not the nice hard sand down by the water.  They purposely put you up in the soft stuff so I took a moderate approach.  It was however TOO moderate.  I got back to the boards and my legs felt fresh.  I finished strong but I knew I still had some left in the tank and I was mad about that.  I knew I could have pushed myself harder in that soft sand.  I could have pushed myself harder the whole day but again my head just wasn’t there.  Must have been in the post race beer tent.
It has been a long season and now it is time to unwind.  Not before I thank EVERYONE who got me through this season.  I can’t name everyone but I will name a few.  First of all Jamee, this was a long season with lots of long training hours for both of us and I couldn’t have done it without her.  Jim and Brandon who helped me all through the way.  Jim keeping me healthy and coming to AC at the crack of dawn to cheer.  Brandon for getting me through my first 70.3 and all those early morning swims at the club.  My parents for traveling in the wee hours of the morning to almost every race.  My sponsors and everyone who enables me to do these things every single day in the beast gear.  Last but not least my followers.  All of you guys who read, comment, message and support me along the way.  Thank you so much.
As I said I have some exciting things for my readers coming up to keep an eye here and on social media!
Until next time, All for now

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.


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

Atlantic City International Tri


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Up next is Challenge Pocono!

Until next time, All for Now

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself


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

Jersey State Championship recap

Onward and upward.  There is no rest for the wicked.  For me I only have a few weeks and it was back to racing again.  This time it was Jersey State olympic distance.  This was a race that I did last year and I did very well here so I was pumped to go back. This is a very competitive race and I was really ready to go out there and drop the hammer coming off of my fitness from 70.3 training.

This was an olympic race, I had been here before and I was super excited.  I had a few race nerves but I was ready to go.  I knew which restaurant I was having dinner at, we got to the hotel. Everything went well.  En route to the race we passed a tree down in the road and I didn’t think anything of it.  Little did I know this was right in the middle of the bike course so this meant a shortened bike course(foreshadowing for a later decision fyi).

I got suited up and headed over toward the swim start.  I watched my buddy go off with the elites and I just couldn’t believe how some of those dudes were flying through the water.  Next thing I knew it was my turn to go.  So waddled down like a penguin in a flock getting ready to jump in.  I jumped in and did a few strokes up to the line.  The water was great and it was go time.  I could hear my Dad whistling for me from the start, I had no idea they were coming so that was a pretty rad feeling. The gun went off and there we went.  Swim felt great.  I didn’t crush my time from last year but it was right around the same but this year was without a wetsuit which made me feel pretty good.  I still have a lot of work to do on my swim though.

From there it was off on the bike. I knew that the course was shortened by three miles and I decided to hammer my bike and just hold on for the 10k.  Well hammer I did. I think at the end of the day I held somewhere around 24-25 mph for the bike leg of this race.  I hammered it alright and I wasn’t even ready for the pain of this run.

The pain came and it came quick.  The heat was almost unbearable, I am not using that as an excuse because everyone had to battle the heat, however I did not fair well.  It became clear that I was not going to PR this run very early on so I went into survival mode.  I poured ice anywhere and everywhere I could, I drank water and I covered myself in towels.  Thankfully Stefan found me from earlier.  He pushed me along for a few miles and was very helpful.

Stefan however faired much better than I on the bike and so he lost me soon after.  I crossed the line and felt defeated.  Not in a good way though but in the man, I just messed that one up and I shouldn’t have done that kind of way.  But hey you live and you learn, I realized that my the nutrition attack I had for this day didn’t work, I realized I couldn’t push the bike that hard in the heat and most important I realized I had an amazing support system in people I might only see at races.
Thank you John and Stefan for helping me through this run, Thanks Mom, Dad and Jamee for coming out to support again and thank you to my sponsors and supports for enabling me to do something I love!
Next up is Atlantic City International Tri and I’ll give you a sneak peak, its a good one!
Until next time my friends,
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!