Category Archives: weekend

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!

Challenge Atlantic City 70.3

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

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


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

Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Did they just call my name…?

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

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

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

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

Sand sculpture inside the expo. 

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer is officially out….

The weather has changed, temps are cooling off. Before longhairs will change color, the days will get shorter and I will inevitably trade my iced coffees for pumpkin flavored hot lates(not that, that’s a complaint).  I will trade my afternoon rides in the sun to indoor trainer rides. 

With the season change comes more change in training. Next summer I am stepping my distance up to the Olympic distance as my goal. Ultimately I would like to complete a 70.3(preferably the Miami!). On top of training changing I no longer have to get up and drive to West Chester anymore(again not a complaint in anyway!). 
My race is exactly two weeks out and I am getting super excited. The hotel is booked, bike will be tuned and fitted this week, the only thing left will be to get out there and kick some butt!! After a taper next week of course….
After my pull-up adventure on Tuesday I decided to do it everyday since then just because I could. When we were getting ready to change classes last week a student said to me “hey are you athletic? You look like you’re athletic.” I told him I was pretty athletic I guess. I wasn’t really sure how to respond to that.  For years I was never considered athletic. Now my students look up to me and tell me that I look athletic, to me as a teacher of health and physical education that is the ultimate reward!  If you are a regular reader you may remember the post from a friend who told me that I would inspire my students and this would further my passion…. Well she hit the nail on the head and I saw it here first hand. 
I was so excited about the pull-up extravaganza that I complete forgot to include my little story from last Sunday. I was leaving the club and one of the maintenance guys was freshening up the locker room. I stopped to chat with him because I haven’t seen him for awhile. We were catching up just shooting the breeze when he stopped and said “hey man I gotta ask ya something…that is if you don’t mind.” Naturally I didn’t care in the least bit. He wanted to know how much weight I had lost and etc. He proceeded to hit me with something I was not ready for. 
“You know man, they have all these hot women in that magazine, forget that, they should put you in there! You’re an employee…somebody real!”

I would have never thought anything about it but he was the third person who said the club should do this…that’s pretty crazy that three people who don’t work in the same department all feel the same way. It made me smile. 
As for this weekend, I packed the buildup and headed to the beach. I went for a beautiful ride this morning and this post is being brought to you from the sand of Sea Isle City, NJ. It is bittersweet, one I will be back in two weeks for my race, but it is the official end of summer. When I was driving down it was late at night and I had my windows down and the music up. I thought man I am going in to miss these days in a few weeks. But will fall comes changes and I am excited to see where things end up…where I end up. 
I hope everyone enjoys their holiday weekend whether it be with family or friends, new or old. I thank you, as always, for your continued support. Until next time…
All for now. 
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Tomorrow is my birthday!

August 12th….it is always bittersweet when this day comes around.  It is sweet because it is my birthday, obviously that is exciting as always!  However it always indicates that the end of summer is near.  I am excited for the end of this summer for so many reasons.  I start student teaching in the fall and it means I am in the last stage of college.  It is the final stage, something I have been waiting for, for the longest time.  I know I still have a long road of job hunting after I graduate but it is one step closer to teaching.  The other reason I am excited is because my race is in September as you already may know.  It is what I have been working my tail off for since September of last year and I will finally be put to the test!

 This past week was another one which wasn’t too exciting.  I worked and I trained.  No sailing this week because I took over at my buddies house to babysit his three dogs and they left early so I didn’t want to leave them for that long.  I have continued to lift two days a week and I can definitely feel myself getting stronger in the weight room.  For whatever reason when it came to to my bike and run this week though it was very difficult to get myself going.  I think taking so much time off last week definitely hurt me.  I also did not swim this week, which I don’t like but I will be back in the pool this week, I can promise you that.

My buddy who I am house sitting for was a personal trainer and is still into working out and staying fit.  One morning when I woke up I found an omron machine in the bathroom.  I decided to fire it up and plug in my info and see what it had to say.  I could see the little lines blinking across the bottom and the anticipation was building.  When the numbers popped up I had to rub my eyes and look at it again.  It told me I had 18% body fat.  ARE YOU KIDDING ME 18%!!  I didn’t have one of these machines when I first started so I cannot give you an exact number for where I was, but it had to be somewhere between 25-30%.  I couldn’t believe it…I was beside myself. 

Last week I was talking with a guy Brandon who I work with at my health club.  I used to see Brandon when he would come in to swim when I first started working there and I was super inspired.  I knew he was a triathlete and I knew that, that’s what I wanted to become.  He has definitely been an inspiration throughout this whole thing and he has helped me more than I could ever imagine.  When I was talking to him, I told him that I wanted to get better and faster on my bike.  I am averaging about 15 mph on every ride when I go out but I want to be faster.  I also can feel how I am still a little hesitant when it comes to descending hills.  This is obviously something I need to work on because there are so many hills where I ride.  After talking awhile he said “it will come with time man, don’t worry about it!”  This is so true….I constantly need to remind myself that I have just entered into this new world of triathlons.  I did not run or ride before I started.  I am basically starting from square one and he is right, it will come with time and practice. 

Today I woke up and grabbed some coffee before I went to church.  I knew after church that I needed to do a brick workout.  I was just delaying the inevitable.  I grabbed my water bottles, my Powerbar gel and I was off.  I started my ride and it was hot.  Not nearly as hot as a few rides I have done, but the sun was definitely beating down.  As I was descending one of the first big hills I went to change gears and my chain totally locked up.  I couldn’t pedal and I immediately started freaking out on the inside.  I knew I just had to make it to the bottom of the hill.  When I got there I jumped off and started fooling around with the chain.  For whatever reason it had popped off.  As I said before I am totally new to this and I had to idea what to do.  I was over 6 miles from my car and I have no idea how far I was from home.  I wanted to just call it quits, call my friend to come get me who lives right in the town of Oxford and go home.  I finally figured it out and jumped back on the bike.  I rode some more and as I was descending another hill the same thing happened.  Luckily this time it was easy to fix because I knew what to do.  I popped the chain back on and finished my ride.  It was just over 17 miles.

Strava report from my ride.
When I got back to my car, I popped the wheel off and switched my shoes and started off for my run.  I headed over to the park across from where I parked my car and my legs felt like jello.  For my first mile it felt like I wasn’t even moving.  I got through two miles in around 18 minutes and I knew I had to finish….I had to hit my 5K just for myself.  I was already over an hour into my workout and my legs were dead. In this moment I wanted to quit so bad.  As I was running I thought of a picture that I posted on my instagram last week and it pushed me to keep going.  I finished my 5K and although it wasn’t my fastest time, I some how managed to go 8 min on my last mile!
Strava from my run with my first negative split!
As I said multiple times in this post, I am entering into an entirely new world here.  I am someone who wants things instantaneously.  I see something and I want it right then and there.  I have become better about this on this journey however.  If you go back to previous posts or check out my twitter(ForYourself15) You will see how I have gotten faster since I started running at the end of last year.  I know that I am getting better and better with each training sessions.  I can see my body changing and adapting to everything I have been doing and I am so happy with how far I have come.  I would have never thought when I started that I would be where I am today.  2-3 years ago….HA! I would have never even dreamed of doing what I am doing right now.  Still is it selfish of me to want more, to want to be faster?  No I don’t think so….I have never wanted something quite as bad as this and I can promise you that I will stop at nothing until I get there.
I am not sure how you found this blog but I can tell you that I have found some amazing people through instagram who have been incredibly inspiring.  If you are on there or not on there, you should check it out and find me if you want to put a face with the blogger (doing_it_for_yourself).  People post their story and their progress and it is awesome, I love it!  It is insane how your body responds to the pressure you put on it!  
This week is a busy week coming up, yes tomorrow is my birthday but to me it will just be another day.  I am going to train, I want to swim and honestly I wouldn’t have it any other way.  I had a great dinner with family tonight and I am so thankful for them. They have been absolutely amazing through this journey and I would be truly lost without them.  Wishing you all a wonderful week and I hope you enjoy what is left of your summer!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

That could have gone a lot worse…

It’s Monday….and oh what a start to the week. I set my alarm for 4:45 with the anticipation of hitting snooze 1 time. Well the second time it when off, I shut it off. I’m sure you can guess what happened next. I accidentally fell back to sleep and leaped up at 5:30. I had a half hour to get to work and the club is 20 min away. No breakfast and no coffee. So I fired on the coffee maker and grabbed a granola bar. I some how left the house in about 5 minutes. I rolled into work with about 3 minutes to spare. Although the old ladies were not happy that I was opening the pool at 6(which is when it should open) they will get over it.

Last week was fairly uneventful thanks to a little scare on Tuesday. As you already may know I went to the beach last weekend. I went out Friday and Saturday, had a great time, road my bike on Sunday and I was exhausted when I came home. It was a normal Monday last week. I woke up early, went to work, did my lift, etc etc. Tuesday was the same again. I had work and then rushed out to sailing Tuesday night. I was exhausted and not feeling like myself when I got to sailing. It still didn’t feel like anything was terribly wrong however. When we got back in after our races I started really feeling bad. I was holding on to the boat while one of the guys went to get the car. Next thing I knew I was getting tunnel vision, my ears started ringing and I felt myself going down. I handed the boat off and immediately ran to the bathroom to splash some water on my face. I had put my body under so much stress from the weekend and then during the first two days of the week that it just shut down. I got home and started sipping fluids until I went to sleep. Luckily I didn’t have to be at work early the next day so I could get some rest. As the day went on I started to feel a little better but I was still hurting on Thursday! I know rest is important and I never gave my body a chance to rest and boy did I pay! Everything went back to normal though and I am drinking water after water again to prevent this from happening again. 
Over this past weekend my buddy and his family did the Governors Cup in Annapolis Maryland. I drove down in their car with all of their stuff to meet them at the party after. Although the party was pretty lame this year I still had some fun down there and met some cool people. I am just thankful that I had my health and a car that could get me their and back to enjoy time with friends. Saturday night we left St. Mary’s college and sailed back to Annapolis. It’s a 70 mile trek up the bay and it took us just under 12 hours. Most of which was in the dark of night. Watching the sunrise over the bay was definitely one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen! Check it out

Last week I came home and I found these shorts sitting on the dryer. I loved them, they still had the tags on and they were my size! So I’m thinking hmmm who could these belong to? So I take them upstairs, try them on and they fit like a glove. I find a shirt I bought down the beach and throw it on and it looks sick, so naturally I am super pumped. I am walking around the house and my brother comes down and says “dude what the hell are you doing in my shorts?!” Hahaha uhhhhh WHAT?!  Go ahead, read that again….yes you read it right!! I was wearing my brothers shorts. It was the most incredible feeling I have ever felt on the journey. I am sure I’ve said that before and guess what?! I’ll say it again later too, get over it!
After more rest yesterday it was back to the grind today. I had a good lift and I am blessed to have multiple clients coming through today, one of which passed her swim test so I am super excited to see her! Tomorrow is back to biking and running, hopefully, if the weather holds off. If not we will be moving things inside. I am also headed over to a friends house to watch their dogs for the week and I can’t wait. It’s like a mini vacation every time I go over there and I love when they ask me to take care of their place. Like I said, other than my mishap Tuesday, things were very slow last week. I am looking forward to getting back in the swing of training this week. Only a month out from the biggest accomplishment of my life! When talking with someone the other day, they asked “could you imagine doing this two years ago?” No absolutely not. It was merely something I just dreamed about two years ago. They always tell you to chase your dreams though, don’t they? 😉 I’m running and I am not looking back. Thanks for the love y’all, it keeps me going!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

Time FLIES when you’re having fun!

Time is literally flying by this summer and I can’t believe it is July 14th already….I have only made it to the beach once or twice and we are half way through the summer!  Today is Sunday, which means Monday comes next and it is right back to work for me.  Most people use their weekends to RELAX and enjoy the time that they have off.  Nope not me!  I was constantly going this weekend… I woke up Saturday and knew I had to do some speed training this weekend because I hadn’t done it yet this week.  I had a swim lesson at home Saturday morning so I woke up and enjoyed my coffee and THANK GOD the weather held off! 

So it was lesson time!  I have been trying to schedule this family since the beginning of the summer but between vacations and this stupid rain this was the first time they were able to get in.  I love ALL of the families that I work with over the summer but this family is just SPECTACULAR.  They are one of the nicest families I have ever met and I could not wait to see them!  I hadn’t seen them since last summer so naturally they were beside themselves when they walked on to the pool deck.  After raining me over with wonderful compliments I got in the pool with the kids.  We had a great lesson and I couldn’t believe how far their daughter has come since last summer.  Her parents also told me that they were getting into some small 5K races this summer and it just so happens we are doing the same color run!  I think it is so cool that they can do stuff like that together!  I want a workout partner like that!!

After the lesson I jumped in the car and headed out to the gym while slugging my second cup of coffee.  Good and bad idea all at the same time.  When I finished that second cup as I was pulling into the gym, the intensity level of speed training shot through the roof.  I was so ready to go.  As I was doing my 800’s I glanced up and noticed that I CRUSHED my 5K PR at 24:20 and decided I wanted more.  I ended up finishing 4 miles in 30 minutes and some change. I felt absolutely incredible.  It is amazing the endorphin rush you get from working out.  I then went and blasted abs since I had to skip them in my lift this week.  Weighted situps and then a tabata with Russian twist, planks, flutter kicks, and ab roller.  I did two rounds of each and I was DEAD!  I headed straight for the smoothie bar to get my favorite recover shake and then it was off home for the party!

About the same distance as Saturday’s run but look at that time difference!
Saturday when I got home my next door neighbor was outside.  We have had a few confrontations with this family and when I arrived I saw him and thought oh god, here we go….I got out of my car and I could just feel him starring me down.  I sitting here thinking, what could his problem possibly be.  I purposely turned my music down and rolled down the street at a crawl of 5 mph.  He looks over again and says, “Holy crap man, how much weight have you lost?”  It took me a minute to process…but I decided ok, just go with it.   So I started talking to him about my race and riding etc.  He opened his garage and showed me his bike and I ended up talking to him for about 20 minutes.  The entire time I was standing there thinking to myself, is this real? Is this seriously happening right now?!  Do you remember saying you were going to kill our dogs like two weeks ago you wacko?!  Either way I entertained him and then went on my way.
Saturday evening I had some people from work here.  A girl who I work with came up with a challenge to Swim Across America.  Every lap that we swim converts to distance on the map and we have certain check points.  We hit our check point for New Orleans and so I offered to host the party at my house.  I was bumming a little bit because all of my friends happened to be heading to the beach for running of the bulls in Dewey.  I was a little low on cash though so it was no biggy.  Once everyone got here we fired up the grill and everyone had a really great time!  It was nice to have some people here and enjoy time away from being at work, that’s for sure.  When we were sitting around the table someone looked over at me, and right in front of everyone said “Ian!! Holy cow, look at your arms!”  Now if you have learned anything about me from these posts, I HATE being the center of attention! So of course someone else joined in and complimented me and I was just beside myself.  She followed it up with “Every time I look at you I am just amazed!” So even though I was the center of attention for a minute I didn’t mind it because that was one of the greatest compliments I have received yet. 
As for the rest of last week, nothing too big happened.  I workout, I eat and I teach swimming.  That’s about my life right now.  I did take my friend on a ride last Thursday.  It was her first ride on her bike so we took it slow and I just gave her a chance to crunch through some gears and get used to the roads around here.  After circling back to where we started, I hadn’t had enough yet and wasn’t ready to go back home.  So naturally I went back out.  I ended up killing my ride and really enjoyed it.  I know I said it before but there is just something about clipping into your bike and forgetting about everything else that is going on. 
Even after a slow start I still managed 20 miles in an hour and a half.  Can’t complain!
Tomorrow it is right back to work.  I am excited to start the “power phase” of my lifting and I really hope it carries over into my riding and swimming.  Everyone keeps telling me that if I just learn how to flip turn that my times will get faster but I won’t have to flip turn in my race so why waste pool time so close to my race on learning it and perfecting it.  Definitely something to consider for the “off season” though. 
Last thing I want to share is a picture of the family in front of the camper(that gave us a hell of a ride down) at the beach.  When I saw this picture I must say that I didn’t even recognize myself.  Still there are some days where I will walk passed a mirror or something and see my reflection and catch myself stopping for a second look.  It’s a great feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world!
 Thank you to our awesome photographer Susan for this shot of the whole family!
Here we are in front of our camper for the first time!
I think I covered most of the stuff I wanted to cover, naturally I am sure there are things I have left out.  I am going to make it a conscious effort to post more often on here even though it is hard with so much going on!  Hope everyone enjoyed their weekend.  Try to stay cool and HYDRATED with this heat wave coming across the east coast here!!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself.

WOW that’s all I have to say…

It’s been quite some time in between this post and last and I apologize.  Things have been very busy around here with the summer in full swing.  At times it feels like I am rolling downhill with no brakes, but it is keeping me busy!

I left you off with the annual 3rd of July party and it was a good time as always.  Just like vacation this year was different than previous years.  We were short quite a few friends this year but that is to be expected with everyone going different directions in their life.  We had a great time none the less and it was very enjoyable. 

The 4th was nothing to write home about, we had a few people here by the pool and a small BBQ but nothing too crazy.  I had to be up and out early on Friday for work so I wasn’t getting too crazy.  It really just felt like a pretty routine week for me, with a little extra time off.  This isn’t helping me much since mother nature hasn’t been cooperating and I haven’t been able to teach many lessons.  Friday after work I wanted to go for a ride but I didn’t want to go alone, it was extremely hot and I had just about every excuse there was in the book.  Nonetheless I geared up and went for a ride.  There is something about climbing on your bike and just going.  It got me right back to where I needed to be.  The terrain here is quite different than anywhere else I have ridden so far.  As soon as you hit the peak of one hill, you are going down to the base of another!  It was a challenge but at the same time I really enjoyed it…NO CHALLENGE NO CHANGE!

My Strava report from my ride.

As for the rest of the weekend it was really routine here.  Didn’t get too crazy or do too much at all.  Just a lot of the same old same old.  Sunday I woke up and went to church then went for a swim.  I need to get a little faster in my swim if I want to hit my goal on finishing top 10 in my age group.  It I go sub 1:15 for my race this is completely possible and I am stopping at nothing to get there.  After this we went to a birthday party for my cousin who turned 4 on July 3rd.  It was a party with multiple 4 years stuck inside because it, yep you guessed it, RAINED!  So sick of this weather!  None the less it was good to see some family that I haven’t seen for awhile and I don’t have any complaints, I love being around kids!

Here’s the a little dude with and entire plum shoved in his mouth!

I have a few things that I really wanted to share so that is why I wanted to write this post.  The first was that I started this blog and made my first post in May.  Since then I have had over 700+ views on here.  When I logged in to see that, it was so rewarding. WOW…. Just absolutely INCREDIBLE to me.  700 views….I can’t even wrap my mind around it.  I did not think in a million years that there were that many people interested in what I had to say!  I hope everyone is enjoying the post and getting something out of it because at the end of the day, that’s all I want!

Next on the 3rd we were sitting around the fire and playing a silly game.  We had to go around the circle and say something nice about or to the person sitting to our left.  A very good buddy and workout partner of mine was sitting to my right so it was his turn.  Mind you this is one of the guys that really got me started.  There were multiple who have been absolutely instrumental in this whole things and he is definitely one.  However, I was not prepared for what was to happen next…it came to his turn and he said:

I’ve been in the gym with you since day one brother and you have come so far, it’s awesome and you need to keep it up brother…great work.”
I have looked up to this guy since we started lifting together back in January.  He ALWAYS pushes me to work harder, give it my best, and walk away knowing I left it all out there.  For him to give me respect like that was an irreplaceable feeling and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.  Again another WOW!
On Saturday we went out on the river for the afternoon.  I left the gym after a lift and I was feeling great.  I threw on some boardies and my tank and I was ready to hit it and show off my hard work.  We left the dock and had a nice ride down to the flats.  When we got there I looked over and saw some chicks sitting on there boat and they looked over at us.  Naturally I was all excited because I just left the gym and I was feeling great….Until they started laughing…WTF?!?! AGAIN!!  Was the laughter directed at me or was it a coincidence…? I will never know but naturally I could only assume that it was.  I wanted to walk over to their boat and say “Do you realize how far I have come?!” But I didn’t.  I jumped in the water and went to play some games with my friends.  Yeah it got to me a little but not enough to go and put my tank back on and that is what the old me would have done.  It’s a start right!?
When I got up to brush my teeth somewhere over the last week or two I noticed some changes.  Some changed I REALLY like.  I am beginning to see my shoulders and Bi’s develop and it’s a great feeling.  I have never seen changes like this before and so every little thing counts and every little step is more like a giant leap for me.  It helps me and pushes me to keep going.  I have stopped getting on the scale as much as I used to and really just focused on the changes I am beginning to see and it has helped a ton.  Check out this pic of my “shoulders” starting to pop out a little bit!(yes I took it while brushing my teeth, don’t judge!)
 Also take not of my sweet road id that I am super excited about!
Lastly today I was on my phone and someone responded to a tweet on my personal account.  He was asking about the “challenge” that I keep posting about.  I told him that it was about the last 10lbs I want to get rid of before I hit the 100 mark and that I was helping motivate a good friend who I was helping get started.  He said that was awesome and gave me congrats.  I didn’t even know that he was following me, let a lone paying enough attention to what I was tweeting.  It was pretty cool that someone saw something and wanted to know more about what was going on.  I am overwhelmed with people inquiring about what I am doing, who actually care and want to see me succeed.  And that was my third and final WOW of the evening. 
I have been up since 4:45 and I am absolutely exhausted, I probably forgot some things I wanted to say but I think I hit on most of it.  Tomorrow I am up early again to do some meal prepping and such before work.  Going to also try and squeeze in an AM run before I have to jump in the pool to teach some lessons.  I went out and bought tons of food today so now the only thing left to do is cook it.  Have a plan or plan to fail my friends!!  Keep doing what you are doing and remember stop worrying about those other people!  There are always people who are going to talk and as long as you are doing what YOU want you’re good! They have to put their head on the pillow at the end of the day and at least you can do it, knowing you did something you are happy about!
All for now
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself

First week back!

This week was the first week back from reality and it was tough. The weather here in PA has not been fun this week. It has rained every afternoon which has totally messed with my training schedule. I haven’t been able to ride my bike since vacation and I miss it terribly!

Just to pick up where I left off with my last post… I was talking about being super excited to go out in public in a tank. I just wanted to make a comment I thought of after that post. Some people may say “well it’s not like you looked awful before you started training!” While this is 100% true, I wasn’t happy with the reflection I saw in the mirror. I was not happy with myself or how I felt and so I decided I needed to make a change! When you put your mind to something it’s incredible what you’re capable of. I always said I just want to get rid of a little weight, I know I’ll never look like this or that. But now I am not stopping at anything until I am a lean mean fighting machine!
This doesn’t necessarily need to be applied to weight loss or getting in shape for that matter. Maybe your family is going through a troubling time or you’ve been faced with a mountain you never thought you would have to climb. You have two options. You can’t sit and think or talk about how awful it is or you can go out and change it!  I can tell you that sitting and dwelling on it, only makes it worse. People are always going to find something you’re doing “wrong” but when you stop doing things for other people and start doing things for yourself you’ll see what I’m talking about. 
This past week I also had someone ask me to help them get on the right track with their diet and exercise. I  completely honored by this. Someone is recognizing my hard work and wants me to help them! It’s super rewarding and I can’t even begin to describe how that made me feel. I am super excited to see if she has what it takes to get there! I will make sure to keep y’all updated on that progress along with mine!
Today I saw a buddy of mine who I saw not too long ago. But today was different, he said “dude! You are looking cut up!!” That was a great feeling. I have said before that I am a pretty humble person and although I have been very successful, I don’t think what I am doing is amazing or incredible. I am doing something I should have a long time ago. I also truly believe that it is something that everyone should be doing. I feel amazing and I want EVERYONE to feel this good!
As for this weekend I am headed out with a great group of friends and I can’t wait. We are going to have a great weekend regardless of the weather forecast. These dudes have been there through thick and thin and now we get to enjoy so time together! 
This has seriously been the longest car ride ever and my back is starting to get super tight. I can’t wait to get there and have a stinking beer! 
Hope all my readers have a wonderful weekend and the weather is better where you are!
All for now. 
Keep FSU and Do It For Yourself!