Category Archives: race

Escape the Cape 2017


As some of the readers here may know I do not do a typical race report.  I do not give you the play by play of everything I did (at least I try not to) however I give you some snippets from the race weekend and how I felt, how it went etc.  With that said here is the recap from my experience at Escape the Cape 2017.

A little back story….If you read my first race recap here you will remember that I attempted to do a small local race to try and qualify for nationals.  You will also recall that I thought I qualified last year at Tri the Wildwoods when I was 4th in my age group out of 42 racers.  Long story short – there were a few guys that didn’t show up for that race and so the age group dropped below 40 which did not put me in the top 10%.  After reading some of the rules I believe that regardless of the number of racers, you need to be in the top 3 but I am not certain.  The rules for USAT are a little confusing.

Any who, leading up to Escape the Cape I checked the number of people in my age group so I knew exactly how many people were in it, where I needed to place(or at least where I thought because the rules are a little confusing), and what time it would take to get there.  I always have nerves leading up to races but this was a weird mix.  I was having moments of “You are a badass mother fucker” thoughts after some awesome training days and then I was having self doubt regarding the race and qualification.  I think this is normal, I mean it is normal right? No, just me….?

I knew going into this it was going to be a fast race.  The races are drawing much more of a competitive field and I am ok with that; I love the competition.  I looked at some times from last year and they were pretty quick (still not sure how these dudes and chicks crush the 5K with sections on soft sand!).  We did a small taper leading into the race but nothing like what I would do for an A race or a longer distance race.

As with my first race of this season, this one was also relatively close so I was able to leave Saturday morning and get to check in around 11.  Getting there early and getting my stuff always calms my nerves a bit because I don’t feel rushed.  I got a good night sleep Friday night in my own bed which is key because I knew I wouldn’t sleep much on Saturday night.  Seeing and talking with people I know before the race is also something that really helps chill me out so I spent a lot of time hanging around the expo and talking with people.  It was great to see and hangout with Chris from Kaenon Sunglasses and John from Tri Everything.  Two awesome dudes. I got in a nice shake out ride and swim (I have never really had the chance to swim the day before but it was awesome!).  Then it was time to find the house.

Time to stuff your face with pasta, plenty of water, stickers, tattoos, etc. Ya know…all of the normal stuff you have to handle the night before.  As I anticipated I did not sleep much the night before.  We were staying in an older house and the door didn’t close all the way so it kept knocking together.  Not too loud but loud enough to keep me up and it was like a scene from a creepy movie where the gate is knocking in the wind.  Regardless I was ready to go when the alarm went off at 3:30.  If you happened to catch my post from last year you will know that I pushed it WAY too late getting to the parking area and so I wasn’t about to do that this year. Learn from your mistakes people! I was on one of the first shuttles out and set up by probably 5:30.  This was good and bad.  Good because I was in and ready, bad because now I had about 30-45 minutes to kill….thats not good for the head on race morning for me.

Luckily I found my friend Gina and we got on the boat together.  National anthem started the morning off and then we were off the dock; it was go time.  I waited for the Olympic distance athletes to go off and then I pulled on my suit.  Just as I was about to step up and jump this lady rudely walked right in front of me.  I had half the mind to say something but karma is real and I don’t need any bad juju on race day.  Off the boat I went and it was a beautiful swim.  The water was so much calmer than last year and I was out before I knew it and my swim felt really good.  One thing I have been trying to work on this year is pushing my swim.  My paces in the pool have been dropping but for whatever reason I do not push my potential on the race day swim. The first two races this year I have felt much better about the swim though and I hope to continue this.

I told myself I was going to take my wetsuit off in the water but got caught up in the race and just ended up taking it off in transition.  The bike felt strong, really strong.  I knew that to hang with the fast guys in my age group I needed to hammer pretty good and I had that in the back of my mind.  I came off feeling pretty good and it was on to the run.  I kept telling myself to keep it cool because I knew the sand would get me but I couldn’t help it.  The legs felt good, so I went with it.  I watched my pace drop in the sand but I gained some back on the pavement.  After the turn I just kept telling myself “head down and run”.  Coming down the final stretch, I don’t think I have ever been happier to see the turn into the ferry terminal.  I was giving it all I had to come as close to 1:08 as I could but unfortunately I came up short.  I knew I didn’t put together what I needed to win the age group but I still felt like I put together a solid race.

To this day I still don’t like to look at the results and find out my place because I like to be surprised.  If you ask me why, I can’t answer that for you. I am not sure why to be honest.  This day was no different; as everyone made their way to results I went to get a beer.  I met some friends and just hung around.  The anticipation began to kill me though and I needed to find out where I stood, after all, this was for nationals. I got someone else to go to the tent for me…I found out that I was 3rd!!  I knew that I had qualified!!  Little did I know that there were 11 some odd guys that did not show up…

When the time for awards rolled around I came to find that I was 2nd because the age group winner also won overall so he was removed.  However in the days since I read on the USAT site that if you are removed from the age group for awards, you are placed back in for USAT rankings.  This would push me to 3rd out of 26 for the official USAT results.  I also read there is a round up rule where if you were 3/25 you still qualify.  The only issue is that the results have not been submitted to USAT yet so I still do not have a definitive answer on wether or not I can book my tickets for Omaha.

In the days since Escape the Cape I have tried not to focus on the results and the USAT email that has still yet to come.  TRY is the key word.  I have gotten right back to training, crushed both of my field test for the bike and run and resumed training as if we are going to Omaha.  On the inside though I am freaking out, I want to know what is going to happen more than anything right now.  Sitting and worrying about a stupid email isn’t going to make or break my season though.  I have had seasons where I haven’t raced nationals and one where I have.  It won’t be the end of the world if I don’t go (at least that is what I keep trying to tell myself).

I have up until the 19th of June for the official results to be submitted to USAT and then probably a few days for the email to come through.  Until then, it full steam ahead.  Everything is going as if we ARE going to Omaha.  I will keep this page updated when I know more but please follow me on my other pages below as well.

Last but not least, I just want to say thank you to everyone.  Thank you to my amazing sponsors who support me in this sport, my friends and family who build me up and calm my nerves, and all of my followers.  I love hearing from you during race week and after the race regardless of the outcome.  All of the support does not go unnoticed and it really means everything to me.

All for now…..

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

 

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

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!

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!

One day at a time

When things start to go your way there will always be someone who jumps in and tries to mess it up. It’s just part of life and that’s part of the challenge or journey. How you handle those things will be what defines you. Do you accept the challenge and face it or do you turn around and run. Take the easy way out, find another avenue and take it because at that time it’s just easier. If that’s the case, when you look back do you wish you would have not hung up your towel and continued to fight. When it comes to fighting do you fight for something regardless of what’s going on? Or do you turn to something or someone else because it’s more convenient in that moment? Make your choices carefully. 

For me I am still fighting a fight. I look in the mirror and I am still not where I want I want to be. I want to change things more. I want to cut more here, build more there. I feel like this will be a constant battle though and anyone will agree. As for racing I want to race. More and NOW. With wind chills around 15 degrees here though it’s evident that winter is here and it’s time for things to officially move inside, so inside I am. I need to continue to tell myself that race season will come and there will be plenty of warm weather to train outside. 
This past weekend I did 800’s on Friday because I have a 5k coming up and when it comes to running I LOVE the pain when it comes to doing speed work.  When I first started running I was looking at well over 10:00/mile at least and it was a mix of walk jog even before that. Today I can pump out sub 8 with no problem. But I want MORE!! It took me almost a year to get there…it’s going to take time. On Friday when I was done someone asked why I was doing 800’s and I told them I had a race on Thursday that I was shooting to do well in. Their response? “I don’t train for 5k’s I just go out and run sub 22’s and I’m good with that.” Mind you this is a track and field person. Which is fine and I understand people don’t look at races all the same. For me though it’s a race and I want to do well, I always want to do well or better my last time even if it’s a minimal gain….that’s my goal, yours may be different and that’s fine. I just don’t like when people belittle what I am doing. But hey it happens. 
This 5k will be the last of the year with the temps and weather shift. From there everything moves inside. Today I had a nice run inside, some on the track and some on the treadmill. It frustrates me that I can be such a newb when it comes to training still and determining what I should be doing. I am thankful for the people I have in my life though who help me through every step of the way. 

Nike+ report from today. 

And of course it wouldn’t be a run without chocolate milk after!

After my race in AC I was on a bit of a race high still and I decided I wanted to apply to become a part of a team. I thought my journey and solid finish at AC would be enough to just walk on to a team. Unfortunately that was not the case. I have been denied from a few teams already and it was a bit of a reality check. I am not ready for that yet and I got a little too big for my britches. Yes I have a fantastic story but I need more races to prove myself. The one team that I was accepted to made me an offer but unfortunately it’s $135 a month to be apart of their team and right now just isn’t the time. I’m taking it one day at a time though and keeping my hopes high for becoming a member of Wattie Ink. 
I am excited for things that are coming up and I can’t wait to see where this road takes me. I do not post on here daily but if you would like to follow things further I post on twitter, Facebook, and Instagram daily. Links are on the right side of the page. 
Thanks for reading!
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

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 🙂

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