Category Archives: never give up

Let’s talk about setting goals…..

Well here we are, 21 days into February as I write this and I just got home from the gym.  I am sad to be honest, really sad to see that the gym numbers have already dropped off significantly.  For the first few weeks of January it’s tough finding a parking spot up front, you may need to walk a little bit further to get into the gym god forbid.  You may not be able to get on your favorite piece of equipment, you may need to wait a minute to use something.

Here’s the thing though, we all started somewhere.  We all had our first days at the gym and yes maybe it wasn’t in January but we all started somewhere.  I absolutely hate the negativity surrounding New Years Resolutions but we’ve already talked about that.  Tonight I want to talk about something different, one of the main reasons that people do not stick to their resolutions or diets…..Setting goals.  This is the most important concept you need to master in order to be successful in ANYTHING.  Not just losing weight or exercising more.

There is a specific system to use when it comes to setting goals and I am going to break it down here for you tonight.  You may have used this before or you may have used another system that worked well for you in the past.  This is not 100% the absolute golden rule for setting goals.  This is a technique that works and if used will work for you.  That being said there could be another system that works for you as well, I invite you to share some other systems in the comments so that readers may give them a try!

Here we go, let’s get into it! The acronym is S.M.A.R.T. and we are going to take a look at each item individually and really break it down.

 

S-Specific- This is the one where most people go wrong right off the bat.  If you make a goal that is too broad you are increasing your chances of dropping out right from the start.  A goal that is too broad would be something like “I want to lose weight” or “I want to look better” or “I want to start running”.  These goals are not specific enough. You are leaving things up in the air and stacking the odds against yourself!  Instead, when creating a specific goal, give yourself more details.  “I want to go to the gym three times per week” or “I want to lose 6 inches off of my waist”.  These goals are much more specific, they are set in stone, black and white, no grey area and you can measure them. This brings us to the next point! (See what I did there, I think I might be getting the hang of this writing thing!)

M-Measurable, or meaningful- As mentioned above, the latter of the two sets of goals are things that are black and white and you can measure them.  If you look at the first set of goals, “I want to lost weight” or the “I want to look better”, you can not accurately measure those.  “But Ian I can get on the scale and it will show that I am losing weight”.  Ah yes my friend you are correct, but how much weight do you want to lose? What happen when you have a plateau? What happens if you only lose 1 pound that week and you want to lose 5 per week?  “I want to look better”.  Again, how do you accurately measure “looking better” to yourself?  With a selfie pic in the mirror? That sounds wildly acceptable for a measurement in progress….HAH! Make goals that you can clearly measure and are meaningful to you.  Don’t waste your time pulling something out of thin air and thinking it’s going to work.

A-Attainable or Achievable– Now this is where things get a little tricky, but please allow me to explain.  You want to make your goal attainable, you don’t want it to be too far out of reach.  You also do not want to sandbag your goal, it should be something that makes you step out of your comfort zone.  For example, saying you are going to loose 5 pounds a week for the next 10 weeks before your wedding.  Not achievable. “But Ian what about extreme weight loss, what about this person who did it?” blah blah blah.  Yes it has been done, however, IF you make it to that goal, yes IF, it will not last.  You WILL relapse and it will not end well.  A healthy goal would be to loose 2-3 pounds per week.  Another example would be, “I want to run a marathon in 15 weeks”, but you haven’t run a mile in 2 years.  Again yes it is possible, anything is possible, however thats a very far reaching goal.  Bottom line is, you need to have self awareness here and know what is going to push you a little but not too much.  Just know you can always adapt your goal!  They are goals, they are not written in stone, if you don’t achieve it, you learn what you are able to do in the set amount of time.

R- Realistic- Realistic and attainable can be interchangeable depending on how you view it.  Realistic can mean that it’s not too far out of reach. For example you want to qualify for World Championships in your first ever crack at a triathlon. This would be an unrealistic goal based on the fact that you have not yet completed a race.  There are situations and circumstance associated with racing that you cannot recreated in training.  You can always do you best to prepare but there is always a chance something can come up on race day.  It can also mean realistic in your resources.  For example if you have a goal to participate in an Ironman but you work 80 hours a week and have 3 kids and a significant other at home, an ironman may not be a realistic goal at this point in your life.  Taking that much time away from your family or job may lead to other things suffering which could lead to dropping the goal.  Be realistic with your resources such as your time, your equipment, your ability or your knowledge.

T-Time based- Last but not least, your goal needs to be time based.  You need to give yourself a time line of when this goal will be completed by.  There isn’t any other way to put it.  You simply can’t say well I want to drop 50 pounds.  Without that time frame, if there is a week where you stay the same there may be a chance of dropping out.  With a time line, you can track and keep yourself accountable.  The time frame ensures you will get it done and it keeps you honest.  Think of when your boss gives you a project at work or you have a project at school.  With a time line you can sit down, break it into small manageable chunks and get it done.  Some times you may even get it done early!  If that happens it’s ok, you get some time to plan your next goal and reconsider either your time frame or how challenging you make your goal.

One last thought to keep you motivated or on track is consider a reverse bet.  If you have a friend or a few friends who are all working on goals, create a reverse bet with them to hold each other accountable.  A reverse bet is simple, you have your goals and your friend has theirs.  You set the time line and then you set the consequences if you do not achieve said goal.  The consequences should be something that would absolutely make you cringe.  This is a great way to hold each other accountable, get friends and family involved and stay on track.

If you set a goal for New Years and you have dropped off, DON’T wait until next year to make a S.M.A.R.T. goal.  Make your S.M.A.R.T. goal tomorrow.  The best time to start was yesterday and the second best time to start is now.

If you have a technique for setting goals that has been successful for you please share it below in the comments section! If you need any further help or just want to bounce some ideas off of someone please use my social links below and hit me up in the DM’s.  I really love hearing from you guys!

 

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!

Running to Lose Weight

I’m going to run because I want to lose weight. I am going to do a triathlon so I can shed some pounds. Oh you are a triathlete, you must be able to eat WHATEVER you want!

These are all statements I have heard on a regular basis. Yes running would aide in weight loss, doing a triathlon would help you be in a calorie deficit, but no triathletes cannot eat whatever they want. Sorry to burst your bubble.

Let’s break this down a little further.

Yes I have lost and successfully kept off a lot of weight and yes I am also a triathlete. However those two things do not necessarily go hand in hand. For me, I lost a majority of my weight through resistance training. Participating in endurance sports has only aided in keeping the weight off.

When you’re beginning a life changing journey, such as losing weight, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Let’s dive into them.

  1. Pick activities that you enjoy- Maybe you don’t like running endless miles, maybe you are intimidated by the free weights, maybe you don’t like traditional cardio. Whatever the case may be, there are 1,000 of ways to get your heart rate up and get your sweat on. Even if you don’t like anything, there are some things you dislike less than others, do them. This doesn’t have to suck, you can get enjoyment out of working out and it can actually be FUN. Some other easy and fun ways to get moving would be to get up and walk around your office 1 every hour. You can use your lunch break to go out for a nice walk instead of sitting at your desk. Even simple things like taking the stairs over the elevator can add up over time! If you enjoy running or cycling or swimming, by all means, incorporate those activities into your plan. Just know that in order to get the results that you are most likely interested in, it would take hours on end of these activities in order to achieve the goal of fat loss.
  2. Don’t pick activities based on calories they “burn”- Odds are, even if you wear a heart rate monitor, the calories burned are slightly off. Wearable devices can be up to 50% off when it comes to calories burned. There is no way to get a 100% accurate account for calories burned outside of a lab and having lots of testing done. Pick
    activities based on number one, not based on the perceived calories you could burn. If you pick an activity you even somewhat enjoy you are much more likely to continue.
  3. Weight loss or fat loss come down to 3 things- intake, expenditure, and progress. It is much easier to measure intake and progress. Intake is counting your calories or your macros. “Macros” short for macronutrients are the three large categories foods can be broken into. Carbohydrates, Protein and fats. You can choose to measure by the number of macros(in grams) you are eating or the amount of calories. The decision is really up to you, there are arguments for each and it really depends on YOUR preferences, I can’t tell you which one I think is better. What I can tell you is that proper nutrition (i.e. lots of good veggies, fruits and lean meats) will keep nutrient intake up and assist in keeping calories low. Expenditure is the amount of calories you burn (again very hard to accurately track). Lastly is progress, this can be measure a number of ways, either on the scale, through body fat tracking or through measurements. I just want to forewarn you that measuring too often can cause a feeling of standing still. You do not need to measure everyday if you don’t want to and for most I would suggest not. Doing measurements once a week or maybe even once every two weeks may be better as this will yield changes and decrease chances of dropout. You can use calipers and a friend to measure you body fat loss or you can use a measuring tape that a tailor would use. Some of the common areas to measure would be around the upper arms, thighs, neck, waist, and midsection.

Here are a few more things to consider when you are starting your journey for fat loss. Most people are actually more interested in losing body fat, not body weight. Therefore, burning calories does not equal fat loss. You can shed some pounds by merely by burning more calories than what you are eating. It’s probably safe to say that you would also like to burn fat more than just losing weight. So becoming aware of what you are consuming would be very beneficial to your goals. If you monitor two of the three things listed in number three above, you will be well on your way to your goals! PS if you are interested in reading a short post about setting goals check out this post from last week! I will write a more detailed post on setting goals next week!

When developing a plan or working with a trainer, you should be performing a mix of cardiovascular activity and resistance training. This plan paired with monitoring your consumption will enable you to track 2 of the 3 keys for fat loss! Just as an FYI if you have hired a trainer and they are handling your workouts for you, follow what they say. Every trainer has a different process and a different approach. Many even vary their approach from client to client, so don’t compare your workout to anyone else’s. They are the professional, just trust them!

Lastly but possibly one of the most important things to note! As previously mentioned, calculating the number of calories you are burning during exercise is complicated. Never, ever, EVER attempt to loosely estimate the number of calories burned OR the number of calories you are consuming. People have historically and wildly over estimated how many calories they burned. On the flip side of that you will underestimate the number of calories you are consuming. You do not need to be 100% accurate and weigh everything down to the gram when tracking, however, use a tracker. There are many options out there, if you prefer counting calories try the MyFitnessPal app. If you find yourself more interested in counting macros check out this app by Mike Vacanti.

I want to wrap up by giving you a few example workouts you can do for cardio that will help during your fat loss journey.

  1. If you are doing cardio in the traditional sense you can do steady state or interval training. For steady state cardio you want to go for a set amount of time, at the same effort. This effort should be somewhat easy. Say if you are walking or jogging on a treadmill next to someone you should still be able to have a conversation with them. You words should not be broken but you should still be breaking a sweat. If you are doing some form of interval training it can be broken down in many ways. 1 minute hard followed by 1 minute easy is a great way to get started. Your work intervals should be hard, you should be counting down the seconds until you get to stop!
  2. When you are first becoming aware of your nutrition there are a few key things to key in mind. Processed foods are one thing that should be avoided. Now is it ok to have ice cream and pop tarts here and there, yes absolutely! You want to abide by the 80/20 rule. This means that 80% of the food you are eating should be clean. Lots of fresh vegetables are good, along with fruits and lean protein such as chicken, lean cuts of beef and turkey breast! Being prepared with these foods or even snacks in the fridge at work or in your desk will help keep you from getting into a situation where you are trapped with poor choices. Nuts and seeds also make for a great snack to keep in your desk or car. Just remember that nuts have a high fat content (although they are good fats) you still want to limit them.

When approaching this journey you need to keep one thing in mind, its about consistency not perfection. You don’t have to weigh food, you can estimate, you can measure progress and you can play the long game. If you are someone who is over weight, you did not get that way in a month, 6 months, a year, maybe even 2 years. This is not going to change over night. Consistency is the game here my friends.

As alway if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out to me ian@thedoitforyourself.com.

Until next time!

Thanks for reading, it would mean a lot if share with a friend!

All for now.

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

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

Back to the Basics

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

So here it goes….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why Motivation Sucks, by Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

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

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

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

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

Systems for Exercise:

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

Systems for Nutrition:

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

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

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

 

kyle

Kyle of KJ Healthy Way

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!

Escape the Cape Race Recap

Good evening all! I apologize on the delay of this post but settle in because it is going to be another long one.  As follows is my recap of the Escape the Cape International distance triathlon.  I will try to cut out most of the mumbo jumbo and just get straight to the facts.

Friday came around and I didn’t leave my house until around 8:30-9pm.  In my head I knew that I would much rather arrive at the beach on friday night at some point rather than shake out, get in the car and drive down on Saturday morning.  All Delmo Sports events have mandatory bike check in the day before the race and a very good family friend has a place down the shore so this makes my life very easy.  I got down there friday night and had enough time to make my bed and pass out.

Saturday morning I awoke and took my time, had some coffee and breakfast and then went to do my shake out stuff around town.  I went in a backwards order and did run, bike, swim, but actually skipped the swim part.  After the shake out I was feeling good and decided to just go with the flow for the day.  I knew if I left Sea Isle and went to the early meeting that I would just roam around and think about the race which would only increase the nerves.  I instead decided to sit on the beach for a few hours and chill before getting in the car.

After sitting on the beach for a few hours I knew it was time to go do check in and so I jumped in the car and headed for Cape May.  After parking and entering I went upstairs to collect my packet and various other things for the race, got marked and then I was off to get my bike.  I put my tags on my bike and walked it into transition.  Once I found a spot close to the end, I racked and it was time to hit the meeting.  There were A LOT of speakers at the meeting, some of which were just babbling and others who were giving great info.  One speaker in particular that I remember clear as day was the Doc who was going to be on the boat with us the next day.  He went through some breathing exercises with us if need be and then he began talking about the race.  I specifically remember him saying “everyone here has selected this race for a different reason.  The challenges that you all will embark on tomorrow mean something different but you picked this race for a specific reason and a specific goal.  You will all go out there tomorrow and jump off that boat and embark on a journey that you will never forget.  ENJOY IT!” I literally felt like he was talking specifically to me and no one else was there.  He was right, I picked this race for the challenge and to prove to myself that I could in fact do it.  After the meeting I stopped by to grab a pic of transition and then it was off to get some rest.

I arrived at the house, grabbed a shower and threw on some pasta.  I was in a complete calm at this point after everything the doc said and I got a good night sleep.
The next morning it was up at 5 and off to transition.  We arrived and I started laying out my stuff.  I put everything in place on my towel, got some air in my tires and just started the waiting game.  The worst part….. my batteries in my beats were dead so I had to listen to all of the people around me.  As the guy came over the loud speaker to announce we needed to start boarding, I grabbed my suit and headed for the line.  
One of the challenges of this race is that all athletes board the boat at the same time and take the same ride.  So all 1,500 of us were on the boat and heading out.  We got to the start of the sprint distance race and the first few people went off.  However what they did not account for was the current pushing the tide back out.  Some of the first people off the boat ended up in the jetty and it was a mess.  It all took about an hour and a half for the 800 or so sprint athletes to get off the boat.  By this time it was already 9:15.  I had been on the boat for an hour an 15 mins.  Thankfully I planned for this and brought nutrition on the boat with me.  If this is a race you plan on doing, and I highly recommend it, may I make two suggestions.  One, bring nutrition on the boat with you, even if it is just a gel or something.  You need something in your stomach for that swim, especially if you are doing the olympic distance.  Two is, don’t pull your suit on until you are just about to jump, you will bake like a potato in it if you pull it on too early!!
It was 9:30 and finally my turn to jump, I stepped across the matt, hit start on the garmin and I was off! I never thought twice about the jump, but I had a lot of adrenaline flowing and I was ready to go.  My goggles popped up in the back and I had to take a min and adjust them when I landed, so when they say hold them tight, they mean TIGHT!  For us it was easy, or at least for me because I was using the ferry terminal as my sight.  I just knew to look for the big blue roof and keep swimming.  Before I knew it, I was out of the water and on to the beach.  Up the beach and in to T1 it was.  I made sure to grab two cups of water and throw them on my feet so I wasn’t putting sandy feet into my bike shoes.  My one complaint about this part of the race is that the sprint athletes were done at this point and hanging around transition basically getting in the way and so you needed to be very careful!  One of the things I know that I need to work on is getting my suit off faster.  I could have cut a significant amount of time off my total had I not taken so much time in T1.  I grabbed my bike and it was off on the corse.  Just as I was exciting I heard my name!  My cheering section was there and had a great presence coming out on to the bike and I was so stoked.  
From here I knew I had a solid ride ahead of me.  It is a two loop 10 mile course on the bike through the town of Cape May.  As I went up and over the bridge we were approaching a sharp turn and the race guy standing there said take it slow and wide and so I began to do just that.  I heard this idiot behind me start screaming, what are you doing and cursing me.  I wanted to say listen lady, I am following the mans directions here, that is all.  But i didn’t I just stayed in my zone.  15 minutes had passed on the bike and I knew I was safe to take in some more nutrition.  I sucked down a gel and it was GO time.  The bike course is mostly closed except for one road and it is relatively flat.  There were a few tough spots with rocky terrain but all in all it was a nice course.  I came blasting in to T2 to a nice welcoming party and they really got me in the zone for the run.
off the bike and ready to run!
T2 was significantly faster than T1 and just as I was leaving I thought you know what, I am going to bring a water bottle on the run, thank god I did.  The first part of the run was on the soft sand shore.  I knew it was a beach run, but I was not prepared for what was to come.  I attacked the run and made it to the road.  From there it was one foot in front of the other and just trying to hang on.  As I was coming down the road someone came up on me pretty fast.  I said ok, I am going to hang with this guy for as long as I can.  Just as I said that I looked down and saw a dark 22 on his calf.  NOPE not hanging with him, I am off!  I knew that he could be the difference between me and a podium spot, which is obviously the goal when racing.  I took off and never looked back.  As I hit the second aid station I thought the turn was coming soon but I forgot about the second part of the beach run.  YES you are that correct a second beach leg.  If you thought the first one sucked, the second was nothing but a strugglefest.  The turn was on the beach and I hit it and tried to accelerate a little.  I knew that it wasn’t far to get back to the road and that’s all I kept telling myself.  I got back to the road and knew I only had about 1.5 miles to go.  I sucked down one more gel and just gave it everything I had left in the tank.  I kept telling myself embrace the suck and just get it done!!  At one point running down the road I remember saying to myself, “as much as I am hurting right now, I absolutely love this and wouldn’t trade it for the world.
As I approached the path to enter the finish chute I had that rush of emotion that I get coming down every finish chute.  It’s a rush of emotion that I can not explain to you unless you have done something you have never thought you could do.  I positioned myself on the left so I could see my squad one last time and just as I did that I could hear them going insane.  I heard my name over the loud speaker and I about collapsed as I crossed the line….I had done it, yet again I had done it, something I thought was never possible just a year ago.  

Post race I am never hungry, I sucked down some recovery drinks and ate a little something but I wasn’t hungry….I had one thing on my mind, results.  It seemed like it took forever for them to be posted.  I sent my buddy Dave over to check and see if I needed to stay or go while I went back into transition.  When I met back up with him his response was this “I got some bad news buddy……WE GOTTA STAY, YOU TOOK THIRD PLACE!!!!!
I couldn’t believe it, everything, all the hard work, the training hours, everything paid off in that one moment and they were all there to share it with me.  I can’t even begin to say how grateful I am to have shared this whole day with them.  
First, Second, and Third for AG
 Same as above but with 4th and 5th.

Dave and Katey I can’t thank you enough!

Jamee was absolutely awesome and I am so glad she made it!

Notice that huge plate of food, still full, never hungry after a race
This is my favorite picture of the day.  It captures all the emotions I was feeling as I stood up there on that podium in front of everyone.
All in all the race was fantastic, but for me it was a one and done.  There are just too many races going on around this time for me to repeat.  I also did not like hanging on the boat for that long.  I am not trying to shy anyone away from this race, it was fantastic, just ensure you are prepared from A-Z, don’t just breeze over the packet and course map!
I can’t thank everyone enough for everything that you have done.  The support was absolutely amazing and I couldn’t believe it to be honest.  Thank you to Dave, Jamee and Katey, for coming down and screaming your lungs out for the entire race.  Thank you to everyone for your messages and texts both before and after.  Just thank you….Thank you to everyone.  Up next for sure is Jersey State on July 21st!
Until Next time
All for now.
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

I do not post on here on a daily basis but you can follow my training and other posts here!

Demons….

Well post Broad Street run things have seemed to take a turn.  My posts are typically about how things went well or how I can at least take something away from them.  Everyone loves reading about people getting better and good news but this news is not good.  After my weekend away for golf I have not gotten in the training that I know I need to be hitting.  I have been making excuses and shying away from challenges.  The most frustrating part is, I have no idea why.

We all have demons, demons that we live with day to day that have come from various experiences.  As athletes we learn to deal with these challenges and face them head on.  For some of us, me included the training helps rid these demons from our lives.  For whatever reasons these demons have made a triumphed return.  They have affected my training and my mood lately.  I don’t train the way I used to and when I do, things seem to go on a downward spiral as the training progresses.

For me it is race week as of today.  In less than seven days I will be taking on my very first olympic distance triathlon in Cape May, NJ.  I have a buddy who always tells me “trust you training and just do what you know how to do.”  This is right but without the training I have nothing to trust and I am starting to get nervous about this race.  I know that I can finish the race, but I am not just a finisher.  I need to earn that medal.  I started this journey because for once I can be competitive in something and run with the “big dogs” so to speak.  I am just hoping that come race day I will be able to hang with the big dogs still.

As far as demons go, these race demons seem to come around for every race.  The doubt of can I do this? Will my body hold up? Do I really have what it takes?  I have goals in mind for myself, just as anyone else does.  For this race however I am not going into it with too many goals.  It is my first race at this distance, I need to see how things go on race day.  I know what I have done in training and I will repeat that on race day.  I have had some physical demons that I have been battling in racing and I am just hoping to work the kinks out and really use race week to chill out and get my mind right.

Mock race of .5mi swim, 15 mi bike 3.1 mi run

As for everything else in life, things are going very well.  Memorial Day weekend has just passed and things were awesome.  I had a great weekend with old friends and made some new ones.  This past weekend the weather was beautiful and I had more awesome times and there are sure to be some great times on the horizon.  Aside from being incredibly busy and not having much time to train for racing things are going spectacular.  I know that when I leave for the race on friday all of these things will be gone with the wind.  Has anyone else experienced things like this?  How do you combat these demons? Just know that you are not alone in this and everyone has demons that they must battle in some way, thats what makes this sport as amazing as it is.

Until next time, thank you as always for reading, sharing and commenting!

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I do not post on here on a daily basis but you can follow my training and other posts here!

2014 Blue Cross Broad Street Run Race Recap

Good evening all, I hope this finds you well, I apologize in advance for the length of this so settle in!  Things have been super busy with training, working and everything in between.  Most recently I competed in the Blue Cross Broad Street run and I had some big goals for myself(we will get to that).  After the Marine Corps 17.75K run (recap here) I was very nervous going into this run for multiple reasons.  If you did not read the post from that race you should start there first.

Race week came and I was feeling good.  My long runs were good and I did some speed work in between so the running felt good and I felt good about my goals.  Friday rolled around and it was different that the Marine Corps race because I did not have to leave until Sunday.  My goal from that race to this race was to minimize stress.  Unfortunately that goal was killed when I never received my confirmation email that I was supposed to get in order to pick up my packet.  That being said I tried not to sweat it, I found my bib number and had my plan.  Saturday I woke up early and went to handle my shake out stuff.  The run felt good, cadence was where it needed to be and everything went well.  I jumped in the pool for a light swim and then went to work.  My shift felt like it was dragging, I just wanted to get in the car and go!  I finished my last lesson, showered and I was off.

Gotta do shake out selfie!

The drive went well and thank god I did not hit any traffic on the way there.  I got into Philly parked my car and headed for the hotel.  The best part about this race is that when I get there Saturday I park my car and do not have to move it again until Sunday when I leave to go home.  I checked in to the hotel and then it was off to find the convention center.  If you read last years post, you will remember that I am not good at navigating the city so I may have walked in a bit of a circle.  Either way, I found it, got my bib, stopped by the Delmo booth the see Steve and then it was back to the hotel.

Race gear ready to go.

One of the perks of doing this race was that the Phillies offered us BOGO tickets to Saturday nights game.  BOOM! What better way to relax that hit a Phillies game with My boy Jimbo!  So I showered, stuffed my face with pasta, yes I brought my own this time and jumped on the subway(yet another disaster in navigational skills). The game felt like it was dragging on and then we got hit with a HUGE storm and were in a rain delay.  At this point we made a decision to just leave because it was getting late and I had to be up early.  I headed back to my room, set my alarm and called it a night.

Night view from the room.

Sunday morning came fast, but I felt ready.  I woke up, grabbed my breakfast and coffee.  I knew I had to be on the train no later than 6:30 so I was out the door pretty quick.  I arrived at the start with no problems and so then began the waiting game.  I went through some stretching, sucked down one final Powerbar Blend and then got in position.  From this point on I had my headphones in and I was in the zone.  I knew what my goal times were and I was ready to go.

As the corral began to move up I felt the nerves start.  I crossed the start line, jumped to hit the banner and I was off.  The first few miles flew by and I was hitting all my times right on.  I was taking in water at each aid station and checking my watch periodically for cadence and time around each mile.  Somewhere between mile 6-7 something happened that has NEVER happened to me before.  I started to doubt myself.  I looked down at the watch, I was on pace, my cadence was where I wanted it, everything was fine, so what was the problem you ask? I knew I had 3+ miles that I needed to hold that pace for.  Could I continue to hold this? Did I go out too hard? Was I going to make it?  I told myself that I needed to make it to the next aid station and take my gel.  If I could fuel by mile 8 I knew I would see my mom at mile 9 and finish very strong.  I saw the water station so I ripped open my gel, that thing never tasted so good.  I sucked down two race cups of water and it was go time! From 8-9 I got my second wind.  Knowing mom was at mile 9 and would be screaming her lungs out carried me through big time.  I approached mile marker 9 and I did not see her so I kept trucking.  Just as I thought I had missed her I could hear her cow bell and screaming over the music.  I slapped her a high five so hard her hand is probably still red.  Just as with 17.75 the emotions flooded through my body.  These emotions were different though, this was an I AM GOING TO DO IT!! emotional rush.  I gave it everything I had.  I looked down and saw 9.5 miles and gave it everything I had left.  As I crossed the line I jumped up and hit the banner again.  I looked down at my watch to hit stop and look at the time 1:20!!!! ONE HOUR AND TWENTY MINUTES!!! I did EXACTLY what I came to do.  My goal time was 1:20 to hold an average of 8:00/mile.  This was a PR for me and not just by a few minutes but it was an 18 minute PR.  Last year I went 1:38 and some change.  I can’t even begin to explain how I felt and how I still feel writing this.  All the hard work, all the dedication, all the workouts, earlier mornings and doubts all paid off in one moment.

I hung around the Navy yard for awhile and saw some amazing people who also did the race.  Unfortunately with over 40,000 runners I did not get to see all the people I wanted to see.  I can’t begin to thank everyone enough.  Mom carried me through that last mile and knowing she was there in such a key spot was killer.  Jimbo came down and had an awesome night with me at the game and really put my mind at ease.  He has been there since day one and been such a huge part of this I can’t thank him enough.  Thank you to Brandon for helping me dialing in my running form and cadence in order to reach this goal.  Thank you to all of my friends and family for the motivational texts and messages the morning of the race and during the race.  Lastly thank you to all of you, my readers and supports, so of whom I have never even met for supporting me in this goal.  Everyone has been amazing and I really can’t thank you enough.

Next up on the schedule is Escape the Cape Olympic distance triathlon in Cape May, New Jersey!  Until next time thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you again soon!

All for now,
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

I do not post on here on a daily basis but you can follow my training and other posts here!

Marine Corps 17.75K race recap

For those of you who know me or have been following for awhile you will know that when I have a plan in my head, it needs to be executed in that way and nothing else.  When things don’t go according to plan, well let’s just say that it doesn’t end so well(foreshadowing…..hmm read on).

That being said I participated in the Marine Corps 17.75k this past Saturday.  Upon completion of this event, you get guaranteed entry into the marathon in October.  Everything is centered around the year 1775 because that was the year in which the Marine Corps was founded.  I got in luckily(race sold out in 9 mins) and I selected this race because I got in through the lottery for Broad Street in May and I did not want to try my luck again for the marathon.  So it was prep time.  I did two long runs and some speed work prior to this weekend and went in feeling really good.

9:00 for 9 miles and I was thrilled!
Friday rolled around and it was go time.  I took a half day at school and I was gone.  It felt like the morning dragged on but finally lunch hit and it was time to do my shake out stuff and get on the road.  The race was down in Virginia and I had about a three hour car ride ahead of me.  So I went to the gym, got changed and went outside for my shake out run because it was beautiful.  
Garmin portion of the run.
Then it was back inside for a light 15 min swim and off I went.  I stopped and filled the car with gas, got some soft pretzels to start the carb loading and headed south.  I got to Maryland and just as I was about to get on I-95 south there was an accident, DETOUR…Ok no big deal.  I turned around and found a different route and before I knew it I was off.  I could take a breath and just settle in for a bit, or so I thought…..Somewhere around an hour in I hit traffic.  I thought hmmmm maybe it is just an accident. From there on I was in on and off traffic all the way down 95.  My eta on the GPS just kept going up and up and up.  My three hour ride turned into a six hour journey.  Yes you read that correct SIX HOURS in the car the day before a race.
I arrived at my hotel somewhere around 10pm and I just wanted to find some pasta and go to sleep.  My car ride didn’t go so well, why did I think that was ever going to happen.  All the local places that would have pasta were closed, so Pizza Hut it was…..I put in my order and they told me that I would have it by 11:15…..ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?! I had to be up at 4 so that I could get to the race site and pick up my packet, I was not about to wait that long to eat.  I got in my car and drove to McDonalds, got food and came back home(more on that decision later). 
After finishing my food I went to bed, I had to put this day and road trip behind me and go to sleep.  Luckily I had a gorgeous hotel room in a brand new and quite hotel so I could get some sleep.  When my alarm went off at 4am it was not the same feeling as any other race day.  Normally I am excited and ready to go, this morning felt a bit different though.  I felt like I was just going through the motions.  I gathered my stuff, mixed up my gel and water and went down to the car.  I knew I had to get on the road because I had a lot to handle yet.  
I arrived at the race site, grabbed my packet and put my bib on.  Unfortunately we were shuttled over to the start because there was no parking right there.  I have a weird superstition that you do not wear your race shirt until you have completed your race.  You get it and you put it in your bag, don’t try it on, don’t wear it to the race until you earn it.   It all stems from nothing new on race morning.  It is a new shirt and you have never run in it before so don’t run in it on race day.  Well I couldn’t take it back to my car because the shuttle wouldn’t have be back in time so I had to have it on me while I ran.  Luckily I could tuck it in the band of my shorts and not wear it.  
Now to the race.  We went through opening ceremonies, national anthem and all that good stuff.  Heard some very inspirational stories of people who were 70+ years old doing the race, some who lost 100+ pounds and who were looking to do the marathon etc.
Snapped this just before I set off.
Now to the run itself.  It was through a beautiful corse in the Prince William County Forest.  The first 2 miles were on a trail and then we turned off onto the road.  As we were approaching the first mile marker I could see the mile marker for the 10th mile at the bottom on a hill.  I thought hmm that’s strange.  As I went on I realized, we were going to climb that hill at the start of the last mile…..As I was running I felt good, didn’t look down at my watch and let it control my race, I was just running.  Things were a little congested through the first mile but then it opened up.  Somewhere around mile 4-5 I felt this pit in my stomach.  Not a pit like I needed to hit the next Porta John or find a tree but one that was saying “Hey dumby you didn’t carb up enough.”  That was when I knew McDonalds the night before had caught up to me.  It was a stupid choice, but it was out of my control.  Had my plan worked out and I made it to my hotel in three hours like I thought, I would have had a nice pasta dinner on my beautifully balcony and enjoyed the sunset.  But instead I watched the sunset from 95 and was forced to make the decision I did.  I hit mile 6 and decided to look at the garmin…I was going slightly slower than I wanted.  I tried to pick my pace up a bit but when I pushed I could feel my stomach saying no.  I sipped my perform and gel combo but it didn’t help much.  I was just trying to survive at this point.  I hit mile 10 and I knew that hill was just around the corner.  As I approached the hill I could hear a guy say to the girl he was running with, “don’t worry this is out last hill!” I was amazed at the number of people who were walking the hills.  I am not sure if it is because of my journey or what but I have always told myself that no matter how slow I run, I will NEVER walk during a race.  Today I did just that, no matter how slow I climbed those hills I did not walk one time and I am very happy about that.  As I conquered this hill I thought about what that guy said, I was done with the hills.  As I rounded the corner though and made it a little further I found myself facing another hill!!  I looked for the same guy as if to say “You son of a gun you lied to me!!” I may have even laughed out loud as I started to climb this hill.  After that I knew that I was in fact done with the hill.  Coming out of the forest I caught a guy and stayed next to him.  I told myself no matter what he was not going to beat me to the finish line.  Well he must have told himself the same thing because it was a foot race to the finish from there on out.
As I was coming down the finish shoot I got chills, this immediate swarm of emotions took over my body.  It was the same rush last year at Broad Street and Atlantic City.  It was a swarm of I did it, I am done, another race, I made it, I can’t believe this…..A million things all at once.  In an instant I thought of every person who made fun of me, every fat joke, and every person who has supported me along the way.  I had a time goal in my head and a placement goal in my head.  My time goal was 1:30, my placement goal was 10th or better for my age group.  Unfortunately neither were reached.  I crossed the finish line at 1:44 on the nose and ended up missing 10th place by 2 mins.  I took 11th, but more importantly I learned a lot from this race.  It’s funny because as I was talking with someone about this race they said “well all you need to do is finish” and yes they were right, the main reason I selected this race was for the entry to the marathon, but it is still a race and I still want to give it my best.  Maybe that is just my mentality.
Garmin report from the race.
Now let me side track for just a moment and comment on something that I was not so thrilled about.  Upon crossing the finish line I grabbed a bottle of water and looked for the voulnteers handing out medals.  I have grown to love race medals.  They are a sign of accomplishment, you get to wear it around after and it shows you did it!  I didn’t see anyone so i got in line to grab more water and some food.  As I went through the line I was still searching for my medal……nothing.  As I exited the tent I found some marines and this is what they were giving out
A chip……REALLY?! I was slightly annoyed and almost offended.  I wanted a medal, I just completed my race, I ran 11 miles, give me a damn medal!  Sorry rant over…..
I learned that sometimes things don’t go according to plan and you need to plan for the worst.  I learned that I need to train for hills a lot more than I did and most importantly I learned or reaffirmed that nutrition can be your best friend and your worst enemy all in the same day.  I will continue to work with my nutrition and practice my hills through workouts.  My next race is the 10 miler in Philadelphia and my time for 10 miles this past weekend way about 5 mins faster than last year there so I am excited to see what happens there.  As for now it is back to my normal training schedule for this season.  For a rather unplanned race I can’t be too upset about the out come.  Not to mention it’s 11 miles and a rather successful 11 miles if I can say so for myself.  I said to a friend last night “I have come a long way and things aren’t going to happen over night” this is very true and it is the one piece of advice I can offer to anyone on a similar journey.  Things take time, it doesn’t happen overnight and there will be setbacks or days where things just don’t go according to plan.  That is my take home message from this race.   
As for now it is another day of recovery and then back to training.  I was tight today but felt surprisingly well considering.  I would just like to take a moment to thank everyone for their support, the countless texts, comments and messages of motivation I received.  You guys rock and I really appreciate it!  Next Up is Broad Street!! Until then……
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!

I do not post on here on a daily basis but you can follow my training and other posts here!

It’s Been too long….

Where have the days gone? It is October 1st.  My first race is here and gone. School, work, lessons, planning, training…everything is in full swing and it doesn’t seem to have a brake pedal anywhere to be found. 

Things have been interesting since post race weekend here.  As I said, the school year is in full swing and so balancing teaching and training has been hard.  I wanted to do one more race for this season before I clean and rack the bike but I don’t think that is in the cards.  Balancing time to train in with work and school is tough.  I know this is a taste of things to come but at the same time it will be different.  Trying to find that balance shall be a challenge though.

After the success of the first race, I cannot wait to get to the next and the next and the next.  The entire weekend was absolutely amazing and the support from everyone made it even better.  People have been asking what my goal distance is and where I want to be.  Ultimately I would like to complete a half Ironman, preferably Miami.  Unfortunately there are too many unknowns for me at this point in my life to make a commitment to something that big.  First the cost…My bike is too small and needs work, or I need to get a new one.  It is $300 to register for the race…travel expenses etc.  I also have no idea where I will end up after graduation.  This is ok with me though because I do not want to take things too fast.  I want to take my time and ensure I am prepared and ready for what I am going to do.  I do not want to take too many steps or too big of a step. Next season I step up to an international and then 2015 is a half!

I know I have said it 1,000 times but I can’t thank you all enough for the support I have received on this journey.  Both from long time friends and people who I have never met in my life.  It is incredible and I thank you.  I was talking with a friend a few weekends ago and he said “You know man you are just out there doing your thing.  You didn’t need a pitty party, you didn’t need any crazy products, you put in the hard work and you did it up man.  Keep going!” My man Heem! Such a stand up guy.

As for Atlantic City….call me selfish but I can’t help but be honest and say that I was scanning the entire bike and run course, transition and finish chute for one person.  Not to take ANYTHING away from the incredible people who were there in any way shape or form.  They were incredible throughout the entire race and I’ll never be able to thank them enough.  I was looking for one person in particular though…who never did show….guess something came up, or they just decided not to for personal reasons.  It sucks but hey I can’t do anything about it.

I did have a 5k race last weekend but I will do an entire post on that because it was for a special cause and I have a good bit to say about it.  As for now, it is just swimming, biking, and running.  I can’t wait to get my life back in December when this nonsense is finally over!!  I feel like I just wrote a bunch of fluff but didn’t really say much in this post.  Bottom line is I am having difficult balancing time, can’t keep my head straight and I just want to do another race so bad!  Other than that, my life is boring right now.

I am going to sign off and try and get it together.  Thanks for reading

All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

ps. There has been a rule in place for the blog and people ask me why.  If you know me in person, you may not ask questions about any of the posts.  I have no idea who reads this, it does not tell me who the views are from and unless you drop something in the comments, I have no idea that you were ever here.  I appreciate all of the views and love the support, it means the world…There is something to be said about not knowing though.  If I knew who all of my readers were, I would tailor posts dependent upon who was reading them.  I do not want to do this…I want everything to be there out in the open so that people can see, I am just a real, average guy who is doing this.  There will be hardships on the way, however if you keep your eyes on the prize, you will grasp what you are reaching for.  If you have asked me a question already and I answered you, no worries, it probably wasn’t something that was too big of a deal…just FYI 🙂