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Don’t Take Nutrition Advice from 150lbs Pro Athlete

Well here we are friends, through the holidays, probably ate to many cookies and not trying to get back on track. No? Just me? Well lucky you!  For me I probably had one to many sweets, ok maybe 5 too many and a few too many beers.  I like beer and donuts, it could be worse.  Post a wonderful run of bronchitis I am not back on track and finding myself carrying around a little extra.  Did this all happen over the holidays? Absolutely not, it was due to my own mistake or course of mistakes that made me sit down and really think about what I was doing.

We’ve all heard it right? That famous phrase that at times infuriates us enough to even harm a small puppy….wait for it……

“Oh you do triathlons, you must be able to eat WHATEVER you want!”

Well let me be the first to say, no, no I cannot eat whatever I want.  This also leads me to my next point, do not and I repeat DO NOT EVER FOR ANY REASON take nutrition advice from a professional triathlete that weights 150 lbs soaking wet, possibly even holding a brick. 
Awhile back I read an article from a very famous, pretty quick, triathlete.  You may or may not know him.  Mr. Andy Potts. You haven’t? What do you live under an effin rock?!
Now listen, don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that everything in the article was bad, nor do I have anything against Andy.  From what I can gather through social media he is an awesome down to earth guy and he is wicked smart when it comes to this sport.  He did however give me just the amount of ammo that I needed to just go off the deep end.  He stated that “if you want a bowl of ice cream, have a bowl of ice cream.”  Now granted for him, he could probably have a bowl of ice cream every night if he wanted and still not gain a pound.  I am no professional in nutrition by any means, but I can gather that Andy Potts logs a little time training.  Maybe, I mean I am not sure, but I just have a hunch that he probably trains twice a day most days.  He is also focusing on the half and full distance race, so he’s burning a few calories here and there.  Still I do not think that this was the point of his article.  I think he was simply implying that you can treat yourself every once and awhile.
For someone like me however, I was looking for any and every excuse to eat whatever I wanted.  I have NEVER been able to do this before, why did I think I could do it now? Oh that’s right because I was a triathlete! I could eat whatever I wanted! WRONG!  This was when I realized that my mood, energy and everything else had decreased significantly.  What was going on?! I was blaming everything I could, when deep down inside, I really knew what I needed to do.  Cut out a few sweets and add a little more greens.
So now here I sit, back on track and focusing on next year.  Do I eat ice cream and donuts still? Yes as a matter of fact I do, but only on as what coach Dave calls it an “earned day”.  Just because I swam doesn’t mean I get a donut, just because I did a long ride doesn’t mean I get a cheeseburger from Five Guys EVERY time. You’re not an effing dog, don’t reward yourself with food!
Do I blame this fully on Andy Potts and him telling me to eat ice cream if I wanted it? Yes, he’s an ahole and I’ll never root for him again.  No absolutely not, he didn’t hold me down and make me eat the ice cream.  I was looking for affirmation that what I was doing was ok and I found it in that article.  That little thing between your ears is crazy powerful.  If you are looking for something, you will in fact find it sooner or later.
My advice to you? Get MyFitnessPal, track your calories and be smart about it.  Your food is your fuel and it will either help you or hurt you.  There are so many articles, blogs and posts out there for you to read and do with it what you may.  My best piece of advice is don’t take everyting for 100% truth, any idiot can sign up for a blog, look at me ;).  And lastly, track your calories and do not over eat.  If you can “afford” some extra go for it, if not you better earn it!
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!

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!

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!

Challenge Atlantic City 70.3

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

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


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

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

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

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!

Escape The Cape 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

Feeling Off in the Off Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for reading and thanks for the support!

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

“You’re insane, I could never do that” Marine Corps Marathon

It’s December 14 and its almost 2 months post my first ever 26.2 journey.  I have been neglecting this post for long enough but there are some reasons behind that.  I have started to structure my “race reports” different and I don’t want them to be a play by play of all the events leading up to the race.  Instead I am attempting to recreate the feelings leading up to, during and after the race.  This race had a lot of feelings behind it so I wanted to get my thoughts together before I put it all down.  Today someone said to me, “I still can’t believe you ran a marathon!” and I thought there was no better time than the present to get things down on the screen.

Let’s start with a few facts before the race, leading up and in training.  I was a complete rookie and I made every mistake possible so I want to get that all out for people to learn from.  Over the summer, after Atlantic City I began ramping up my running.  My first long run was a 13 miler and I decided to make it 13.1 to complete my first half.  This was a different first half because there were no aid stations, no cheering, just me and the rode.  I packed a couple gels and completed the run in under two hours.  I was thrilled.  From there things went down hill.  For about three weeks in a row I pack the SAME amount of gel or maybe one more and ONE water bottle.  I couldn’t figure out why I was hitting a wall every time and couldn’t get through 2 hours of running.

Fast forward and after many phone conversations with seasoned runners I came to terms with the fact that I was under fueling and under hydrating for the demands of marathon training.  I ordered a bag of custom Infinit Nutrition (check it out here) and waited anxiously for it to arrive.  It came and I threw every time goal out the window at this point and my main goal for the day of the marathon was merely to finish.  Leading up to Marine Corps I had one 18 mile long run and one split 20 mile long run.  This will come into play later.  Unfortunately due to time constraints this was all I could push my body to do in order to recover properly for the marathon.

The race was on Sunday and I left the Thursday before for Washington DC.  The expo was friday and I was advised to get in as early as possible and I am glad I did.  I met some amazing people for the first time who had helped me through training and they reassured me that I was ready and I WOULD finish.  Aside from the normal expo shannanigans it was business as usual.  My cousin had just recently moved to the DC area from California and so I got a chance to see him for the first time in probably about 4-5 years.  He is an active duty Marine so it meant a lot to me to see him before the race.  As we were walking back from a late lunch he said something to me that stuck with me for the rest of the weekend.  He looked me dead in the face and said “Listen I know a lot of people have told you a lot of different things about completing this race.  I am not hear to over load you with any new information, I just want you to remember one thing, don’t ever stop moving.  He looked me dead in the eyes and said listen to me DO NOT STOP MOVING!” This resonated with me and I took it very serious.  Little did I know how useful this would become.

Saturday came around and I wanted to stop back by the expo to exchange a shirt I bought the day before.  We got of the metro at the exit and before we even got to the top of the escalator I could see the line.  I said to my girlfriend “Thank god we came yesterday!” we turned around and got back on the subway.  It was off to some sight seeing for the day.  So we explored DC and saw all of the sites.  Another key mistake on my part.  At the time I did not realize it but later that day I knew I made a mistake.  We walked EVERYWHERE that day and by the end of the day my legs were tired.  Not to the point of exhaustion but I knew that they were tired.  I knew it was a mistake but I couldn’t change it at that point.  I met with my parents, had a wonderful dinner and it was off to bed.

I woke up the next morning full of nerves.  I tried to eat as much as I could but it was a struggle.  With every bite I felt like I was swallowing a boulder. I dropped of a bottle of nutrition with the facebook crew in the lobby that I would exchange around mile 20(another key point) and it was off to the metro.  The rest of my bottle were in a bag with my family and I would exchange them along the route.  We followed the crowds to the start and it was a long walk through the parking lot. From there it was just a waiting game.  I made my way over to the start and I was overcome with emotion.  It was time, I was about to embark on the hardest journey of my life.  I waited to see my mom and sister before I started because they wanted to send me off.  I saw them and then began walking up to the start line.  I was way in the back of the pack for the start.

Largest flag ever used in a jump!
Here we goooooooo!

A few miles in I had to pee so bad.  I didn’t want to stop but it got to a point where I knew I wasn’t going to be able to fight it anymore.  I found a tree, relieved myself and continue on.  I had one bottle in my pack and an extra bag of Infinit just incase I missed my family for a bottle exchange.  The miles ticked by and I felt good. I got to mile 10 and I had some tummy problems and I got nervous.  I thought man if this is an indication for my day, its going to be a long one.  I tried to sip some nutrition and just stay calm.  Luckily it subsided and I was back on track.  I was not going as fast as I wanted to but I knew I had a long journey.  I saw my family around mile 11 and did the first bottle exchange.  They were incredible and I cannot thank them enough for being a part of this journey.   The last thing I want to say about this point in the race was that I was heading back from one of the turn arounds and the “straggler bus” passed me on the other side of the road.  I remember telling myself this was the first and last time you would see this!

After mile 16 or so we made our way out by the Potomac River.  This was the hardest part of the race for me.  The mental game really began.  I just remember seeing mile 18 and thinking, OK I have 8 more to go, I can do this.  If you remember from earlier, 18 miles was my longest run leading up to this race.  So here began the run walk.  I had a bottle from my family and I knew I just needed to make it to the party at mile 20 to see the Red Felt crew.  I started to really look forward to seeing this party.  I remember hitting 19 and thinking ok, one more mile and I will see them, then it is just a 10k to the finish.  I remember seeing people stopping and stretching out.  I wanted to stop and stretch my calves so bad.  I thought “I could stop just for a minute, what’s it going to hurt?” Then I remembered the conversation with Michael, NO!!! NO STOPPING!!!  I hit mile 20 and I couldn’t find them.  Not anywhere…..this hit me hard. I was mad, I was stunned, I just didn’t know what to do.  It got in my head really bad.

I needed to just continue on and finish my race.  I remember being in the middle of the bridge and thinking for the first time, am I even going to be able to finish this.  From miles 20-23 it was a mental game.  “You can do this” to holy cow, how am I ever going to finish this all in the same breath.  When we got back to Crystal City I dumped the bag of nutrition into my bottle and filled it up with water.  I knew I had this in me.  The energy through this city was like nothing I have ever felt before.  They carried me to mile 25 and my walking at this point was minimal.

I remember getting to mile 24 somewhere and people started saying “just one more mile, you got this!”  To those of you who run, you may be able to related to how I felt at this point.  I wanted to smack these people in the face.  DO NOT tell me I have one more mile when in reality I don’t.  It was a false sense of security for me and I did not like it.  I powered through and looked forward to that mile 25 sign.  I remember passing it and reaching up and smacking it.  We were almost there.  For the last mile of the race, I don’t know where it came from but I ran the entire thing.  There were two things I heard about this race.  One I wasn’t sure of and the other I knew was going to be there.  The first was the magical man with the keg of beer around mile 24 or so, but I never found him =/.  The second was the uphill finish.  I rounded the corner of mile 26 and it was there, starring me in the face.  I knew my family was at the top of that hill and still to this day I don’t even remember feeling it.  I ran up the hill so fast to see my mom and girlfriend there.  This is where the tears started.  I remember approaching that finish line and just bawling like a little kid.  I had done it.  From a 300+ pound couch potato to a marathon runner in just over 2 years of blood sweat and tears.  I crossed the line and just stood there for a minute.  I kissed my hands and just threw them up to the sky and said thank you.

When the Marine put that medal around my neck and saluted me saying “Congratulations Sir!” I could have lost it.  I wanted to hug him but I thought that might be weird so I refrained.  I remember them pushing everyone to keep moving when all I wanted to do was sit down!! I found a curb and sat down for a second.  I just wanted to take it all in.  I took off my shoes and got out my phone so that I could find my family.  Having my phone on me the whole race was key.  I could keep in contact with my family and find them after the race.  I did not use it for music because I didn’t want to kill the battery which was key and I also know that service can be touchy throughout the race so I had an iPod for that.  Smartest 50 bucks I have every spent!

Post race the only thing I wanted to do was drink my chocolate milk and take an ice bath. Luckily my hotel was less and a quarter mile from the finish.  This was HUGE! The last thing you want to try and do is navigate public transportation after such a large race. Unfortunately I guess do to safety concerns you cannot plug the tub in hotels.  So I settled for a shower and my wonderful 2XU compression tights.  I remember receiving a congratulations text from a friend and she offered some words of wisdom.  I was laying in bed when I got this text and all I wanted to do was stay there.  She said “GET UP!!!” another key piece of advice.  I got up and continued moving as bad as it hurt.  I walked and got food and walked around a bit more.  It hurt but I am so thankful that I did it.  Plus it gave me a chance to go out in my new jacket with my new hardware ;).

I remember walking back to the metro with Jamee and she told me again for the millionth time how proud she was of me.  She has been there from the first day I met her and I am so thankful for that.  I said to her:

You know, I’ll be honest, it did not go the way I planned.  I did not hit my time goal, but there is one thing I did do and that is complete a marathon.  It is something I swore I would never do, it is something some people say they want to do but don’t and its something some people will never be able to say they did.  No one will ever be able to take that away from me.”  

It is completely true what they say, you will never forget your first and I believe it to this day.  Two months later and I still feel the same amount of joy writing this as I did that day.

If you have skipped all the mumbo jumbo in between and got to this point please just read this paragraph.   Years ago I remember talking to someone and telling them I would NEVER run 26.2 miles just for fun.  On October the 26th I did just that.  Something I thought I could never do in a million years.  If you have something that you have always wanted to do and said you never would, please take my advice an consider doing it.  I promise you that you will not forget it.  It will be the most rewarding thing you have ever felt in your entire life.  It was not an easy journey, it was a fight every day, but god I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  I made some key mistakes along the way but it has made me better for the next one.

I thank you all in advance for reading this extremely long and over worded post. I hope you find some motivation or inspiration in this to do something that you have always wanted to.  Lastly I thank everyone for their constant support.  Without you I would Have never been able to complete such an amazing task.  I cannot even begin to list the people but you know exactly who you are.

Next up I have some exciting things that I can’t wait to tell you all about!

Until then, thanks for reading, and thanks for your support!

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!