Category Archives: love

Sacrifice

 

image

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

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

Be open with everyone around you.

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

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

 

Include spouse, kids, friends when possible.

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

 

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

 

Have a plan!

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

 

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

image

 

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

 

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

 

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

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!

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!

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!

The end of the beginning

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

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

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

Congratulations….for what?

Monday 4am and cue the worst wake up call ever….after an extremely incredible weekend with friends I was rudely awakened by a raging ear ache from out of no where. For whatever reason as of some time last year every once and awhile I’ll get water stuck in my ear from swimming and it will be annoying but I’ll use swim ear stuff and it will go away. Not this, I inew this was something different and I knew I needed to see a doc ASAP. More on that later though. 

I was excited to go to the doc because I knew I hadn’t been there since my journey and they would have an accurate account of my progress. When I got there the woman at the desk finally noticed me and said “oh my god you’ve lost a ton of weight!” I said yes I have and I just gave her a short story and she said congratulations. I was just a little confused.  She didn’t have any idea how far I have come, so why would she say that. 
Normally I wouldn’t even think twice about this, but my mom brought something up recently and it got me thinking…haha go figure. She asked me how it made me feel when people said things like “you look amazing!” She chuckled and said “what because I lost weight I’m all the sudden a different person?!” And she is 100% right. It’s a comment that I have grown to love and hate. I hate it because most people who say it, just say it because they don’t know what else to say. If they knew the WHOLE story and it was heartfelt then I would love it. That’s one of those times I do love it, when it comes from someone who really knows. 
I don’t want to sound like a total ass to those of you who don’t know me all that well because that’s not the case. I love the compliments, but this woman had no idea what I went through to get to where I am. I do appreciate her compliment but I don’t feel as though it was heartfelt. 
Anyway rant over, bottom line I just wish people were either actually truly interested or sometimes didn’t say anything at all. Back to this ear ache…it’s the second speed bump I have hit since the off season started. First I have my foot all jacked up from these stupid k-Swiss shoes. They were marketed as a “stability” shoe.  Little did I know that they were none of the sort. They didn’t have anywhere near the stability I need and it started to cause me pain so I haven’t run in god knows how long. Now on top of that I have this ear infection and I can’t swim. I am stuck in this rut right now and I can’t seem to dig myself out. I am super siked about next season and I can’t wait but I gotta shake this funk and I don’t know how. 
It’s a weird funk, I feel like I am losing old friends yet gaining new ones. I love all of the people that I have met through this amazing new community, I feel like there are some people who don’t understand this new “obsession.”  I never really had a passion before and triathlons and helping people is it now, without a doubt. I am not saying that everyone should jump on board and go crazy and do a tri, I’m just saying I don’t want to lose old friends. Who knows it could just be me, overthinking things.  
Aside from that life is just moving a long here. Student teaching is flying by and I can’t believe I only have a month left of school. It’s my last month of school ever….until I go back for more. I am excited and nervous all at the same time. 
Regardless of what’s going in I thank everyone for the constant support. You guys are my foundation and you keep me going so thank you. I know that I wouldn’t be here without any of you. 
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

It was just supposed to be for fun…I swear!

It was just for fun, not a race, we were just going to run and have a good time….well we were supposed to at least.

It was 5k4Gray at the club.  Nothing huge, just a small local 5k for an amazing foundation.  I was there for Gray and nothing else.  Or so I thought…….I got there around 7:45, registered, got my bib and hung out with some people from work for awhile.  One of the girls joked and said “oh good you made it so at least I will have someone to chase during the run!” I reassured her that there was no way I was going to have a run like I did at my try and there was no need to worry. 

Before I get in to the race itself I want to tell you about the foundation and what the race was for.  There is an amazing family who is a part of the club where I work.  Their son has an inoperable brain tumor and I feel like I have a connection to them, although I have never even introduced myself to the family.  I have supported various different events for them in whatever way I could and when I heard they were doing a run I knew that I would be there.  Like I said I just feel connected to this family for some reason and I will do anything that I can to help them.  When I saw the mom come in with Grayson I immediately wanted to run over and give them all hugs and tell them how excited I was to see them, but instead I just looked from afar.

So as I was standing at the start line I start to chuckle at the people who were running before the race and doing all their crazy stretching…we were just there to have fun!  I did some dynamic stretches, took my spot on the outside edge of front of the start line and waited for the horn.  It blew, I crossed the mat and hit my garmin, we were off.  The course was a route I run literally 3-4 times per week.  I was just cruising along like it was an afternoon run before work.  Before I knew it we hit the first mile mark and I checked the pace.  7:40….uhhhh what? I figured ok let’s just go with it.  We hit the hill on Limestone Rd. and no matter how many times you do that hill…..it sucks, bottom line.  So this guy was pacing right next to me up the hill and I wasn’t going to let him pass me.  I just kept picking someone in front of me and trying to catch them. Once I caught them I would move on to the next, still keep this guy right on my hip.  I hit the top of the hill and into the neighborhood for the turn around.  I looked to my left, guy was gone, looked to my right, nothing…So I just kept running! The beauty of hills is that once you get to the top, you get to go back down.  I was cruising down the hill, unfortunately there was no one with me coming back but I did get to see all of the people who were going up.  I hit the bottom rounded the corner and headed back into the park, I was on the home stretch!  There was one guy who came out of no where and he hit the gas pedal, I did my best to not let him pass me but there was no stopping it. I looked down at my watch as I hit stop and crossed the finish….I couldn’t believe my eyes….23:17 ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

It was just supposed to be a fun easy race and I PR my time like that…I am not sure whether to be upset or excited! It felt great, I definitely pushed it but I loved it and I wouldn’t trade it for anything when I saw my time.

I ended up taking second in my age group and when I went to get my little trophy, the guy who took third was the guy who I lost coming up the big hill.  “Damn maybe I should have stuck with you and I would have done better” This made me chuckle. It was great to see some folks I hadn’t seen before, to have a great run and to support such a wonderful cause for such a great family. 

This is me getting my pint glass for a second place AG finish!

All of us post race, what a great morning!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Did they just call my name…?

Grab a coffee, beer, glass of wine or your favorite beverage of choice, a nice blanket and find a comfy spot because this is going to be a long one. 
This started on Friday. I packed up all my goods, bike, and clothes and headed to Sea Isle to stay with some friends. This way I could wake up and take my time getting my bike over to transition and I wouldn’t be rushed. I hate the feeling of being rushed and it was something I did not want to do at all this weekend. I got down there and basically passed out right away. The next day I woke up and had some breakfast. Went to pick up coffees and some wheat grass for myself. 

Yes it is strange but it’s actually quite tasty!
I enjoyed my wheat grass, coffee and some breakfast. I decided it was time to get ready to head over to Atlantic City. I was going to go for a ride but I had to get my bike to transition and go to my meeting all by 1pm so again…didn’t want to rush. Grabbed a shower and I was off. 

The welcome center on the AC expressway.  
When I arrived to AC I went straight to my hotel. I figured since I forgot my parking pass for the field I could just park my car at my hotel and then walk my bike over. Well the hotel had a different plan. There was no parking garage so I was required to valet my car. Not happy but no big deal. I walked over to the field just in time for the meeting, which was silly because all the info covered at the meeting, was in the packet I already read…

After the meeting I went into the expo and picked up my packet and all my race goodies. My bike and bags were all waiting with the bell hop because my room wasn’t ready so I knew I had to go back to check on that. When I turned my car in they also told me that I was nuts for trying to get out of the city later for dinner with the miss America parade. What I decided to do was put my bags upstairs and drive my bike over, then just leave from the field. It worked perfect…silly bell hop. 

Sand sculpture inside the expo. 

I went and had dinner with my parents and some friends to carb load and what do you know….made it back into the city just fine. When I got back in I was tired but couldn’t settle down. I think I unpacked and repacked my transition bag half a dozen times. My roomie was laughing at me so I decided it was time to turn it in. Alarm was set for 4am and out I went. 
I about jumped out of my skin when the thing went off and was up and ready to go in a matter of minutes. I was buzzing around like a bee with excitement and all kinds of other emotions. I gathered all my things and it was off to transition. 

When I got there I found my bike just as I had left it the day before. I unpacked my things, laid out my towel and dug into my protein pancakes. They were a little cold but I had to get something into my stomach. I stood there, head phones on, just trying to get into the zone. 
It was getting close to 6:30 so I went to the bathroom and came back to start stretching out. As I was stretching, the sun started coming up over all the casinos and it was absolutely perfect. 
I then heard the guy come over the loud speaker….transition was closing. Time to pile into the swim stage area…as I stood there a calm came over my body. I’m not sure where it came from but I just became comfortable with what was about to happen next. I looked over and saw my parents, my friend and his mom who had all coke to support. I ran over quick and hugged them and then headed out. 
We worked our way closer and closer to the swim start before I knew it my race buddy and I were down the ramp and boom into the water. The water was a beautiful 75 degrees and it felt amazing on this chilly morning. As I started I told myself that it was just the same as Wednesday night club swims. 4 strokes, mark, head down and keep swimming. Before I knew it I was around the green buoys and headed back to the dock. As I was going back my goggles began to fog. By the time I got half way back I could barely spot the mark but they were so big I could keep and eye on them. As I took a stroke I felt something wrong, round and squishy…I knew exactly what it was and I don’t think I have ever swam as fast as I did the last 25 yds or so. 
Up the ladder I went and on to the dock. I ripped my goggles off and ran up the mat into T1. 
I ripped off my swim cap, glasses on, helmet on, shoes on and I was out. Over to the mount line and I was on my bike before I knew it. We had to go through sand and gravel, which was a bit of a challenge but if you took your time you were good. 

Half way down the expressway I realized my garmin got messed up and it thought I was on my run, not my bike. It still had the time running though so I was pacing myself off of that. My goal was 1:15:ish. I looked down and at the bike turn around I was somewhere around 30 min. I knew if I could make it back to transition and onto my run in 45 min I would hit my goal. My goal was 1:15 based on times turned in from last year and I really wanted to make top 10 for my age group. I finished my bike, dismounted and came into T2. Bikes shoes off, belt on, sneakers on and gel. I was out of T2 and headed for the boardwalk run. As I started my run I made the mistake of hitting lap on my watch which ended the activity. I simply started it over again really quick and figured I could just have a different log for my run. As I approached the boards I found this guy who I decided to pace with. He was a few strides a head of me the whole way out. I slurped down my Powerbar gel and grabbed a cup of water from the station. When I looked up I could tell this guy picked up his pace a little bit, so I had to do the same as not to lose him. I kept checking my pace on the Garmin and it said 7:49. I assumed it was acting screwy because I messed it up and didn’t think anything of it. 
I came down the boards and got to the base of the bridge. Although the hill was small I had to dig deep to hold pace with this guy. As I hit the peak I could see the finish line. I was going to do it…I was going to make it!!
I came down the finish chute and my body was filled with emotion. I could hear my cheering section going wild and it only made me run faster. I did it, I did it, I DID IT!!!!!!  They handed me my finisher medal and a bottle of water and I went over to see my family and friends. They all said that I was flying. The time said 1:35 min. I was bummed because I didn’t want to go longer than 1:30 but I knew I didn’t start 10-15 after the first swimmer.

 

From there I cheered for my race buddy and another friend who was doing the race. We all gathered together and took some pictures and went to stretch. 
Now time to hit the results tent. I went to pull up my name but there was nothing there. My dad had already seen my time but I told him I wanted to see it myself. So I was bummed…he some how pulled it up and I took a deep breath. 

1:05:50!!! I absolutely crushed my time that I had in my head and pulled of a 7th in my age group. I was beside myself at this point. I had hit both goals that I set out to do and surpassed them. 
I went back into transition and packed up all my stuff to take to the car. Everyone decided to head into the seafood festival. I was ok with it because even though it was 10am I needed a beer. So we hung around for awhile.  They started the awards and one of my friends joked about me getting one. We knew I wasn’t though and my folks were ready to go. Plus I had to go clean up all my stuff in the room so we started to walk back to the car. We could still hear the PA system and my friends mom looked at me and said, “they just said your name!” I thought she was kidding…I said no way, must be a different guy. She swore on it however so I texted someone still inside and sure enough they did!  I went back in and went up to the stage. Apparently the results I saw were wrong and instead of 7th in my age group I took 5th!!!!! I was freaking out. 

There are so many thank you’s that I owe but I will try to keep it on the shorter side. First of all, Jimbo, you’re the man. You started this train rolling and I know you won’t take the credit but just enjoy it. You were at every transition today and yelling the loudest the whole way. I can’t thank you enough for everything…especially the post race stretch. Thanks again brother!

Next, Meg, can’t tell you how proud of you I am for sticking with this. I know you were equally as nervous as me but you stuck with it, you came out and you killed it. Amazing! Congrats again on 2nd in your age group. 

Last but not least, Penny, you’re awesome and amazing and I can’t thank you enough. You offered advise and calming words of wisdom when they were needed most. You were very supportive the whole way and I can’t tell you how much I appreciate everything from you. Congrats on your top 10 AG finish and crushing your times 🙂

Brandon wasn’t there but he’s helped me more than I could have ever imagined and I truly thank you as well, you’re the man and good luck in Augusta!!
Ron, thank you so much for everything with the bike as well. Without your help I would have never had a bike!
I’m sure I forgot people and I am sorry but I swear your support is sooo appreciated. Thank you to everyone who texted me or messaged. Anyone who gave me the slightest bit of love, it helped believe me. Thank you to everyone on Instagram, so of you I have never even met but you sent so much love!!
Last but not least thank you for all of the people who told me I couldn’t or I wouldn’t. You gave me the strength I needed to get through the race. I couldn’t have done this without any of you. 
Ok no more…
All for now,
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

One week…ONE WEEK!

It’s Sunday, September the 8th and in exactly 7 days I will embark on the biggest journey of my entire life. Yesterday I woke up and and was just ecstatic, absolutely beside myself with excitement. I can’t wait for next weekend. 

Last weekend when I was at the beach I had two great rides down there and I was super stoked on both of them. I can back on Monday and was ready to take on the week. Wednesday was open swim night with the Tri club. My last open water experience didn’t go so hot and this time I was around a bunch of people from the club. I got there, blew up my buoys and waiting for the other coach to arrive. She got there, we went down the the waters edge and she swam the first mark out. She came back and and told me I needed to check the knot just to make sure… I slapped on my cap and goggles and started walking into the water. I took some deep breaths and tried to stay as calm as possible. I jumped off the bottom and took my first few strokes. I WAS DOING IT!! I was swimming like I was in the pool…nothing different. It was so awesome. 
We had such a great practice and I helped a few of the athletes with some starts and sprints and I was having such a great time. When I left I had such a boost in my confidence…the boost I needed for this weekend. 
When it comes to chasing your dreams there are times when you sometimes need to make sacrifices, you need to give things up or do things you don’t want to do. When there is something that you want so bad, more than anything, you’re going to have to do something you don’t want to, I guarantee it. I am not going to sugar coat it, you just gotta suck it up and focus on what you could and will have at the end. Just keep that in your pocket. 😉
Just this past weekend all my friends got together. I was exhausted from training and had more training the next day. I knew if I went to have a drink with them, I wouldn’t get up to train and I could afford that. So instead I sat at home. Finding this balance has been tough for me, I don’t always choose to stay in, I do go out, I’m not a lame….well not totally at least. 
This is going to be the longest week ever and I can’t wait for Friday afternoon to get here. I can’t wait to get to my hotel, I can’t wait to race and I can’t wait to see everyone who comes to support me along the way. I wish that I could have every one of my readers there, every one of my followers and one person in particular who said they would be there….I have a feeling they won’t be there though and that sucks. But I don’t know that for sure…maybe they will, I will find out on race day. 
I am in the works of submitting my video for got chocolate milk team and I will need your help when I do. I will need every vote that I can get to help boost my video and spread the change that I want everyone to have!
Other than that I have a taper this week. My bike is in the shop getting tuned. I found out that it is actually a little too small. I need a longer stem but a workout from the race isn’t the time to start messing with that. I have one last swim on Wednesday, maybe a light easy run on Thursday and sprinkle some transition practice in there when I get my bike back! Thank you all for your continued support, you’re amazing quite frankly and I wouldn’t be able to do it without you. Next post will be from Atlantic City NJ!!!!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself