2018 -The Year to Get Lean and Fast Again- Hiring a Coach!

MedalsOn the eve of me signing up for my 12th Ironman I wanted to write a bit about what has been happening recently. For the last 10-12 weeks I have spent a lot of time reflecting on my previous race seasons, my career, and my personal life.

2018 will be about me focusing on my career, my family (son, friends & camp), and fully dedicating myself to triathlon. It will be about pursuing a NEW life. A healthy new life.

 

In the near future I will share with you what this new life is I seek and will attain.

I started training for the 2017 season on October 11th, 10 days after IMMD in 2016. I realized over the past two years I wasn’t dedicating enough time to training. I was going through the motions. Their was multiple factors in this. I fell out of love with the bike, I got injured in August of ’15, and I put on 10-12 pounds from not focusing on my diet.

The last time I considered myself ‘fast’ was the fall of 2014. I had come off a season of doing a lot of running races and my race weight was in check. Until 2015 my race weight was 167 pounds. Just lean enough to be able to run 7:15’s for up to about 15 miles without to much suffering. In 2014 I was doing a lot of weekend long runs and just racing in general. I missed qualifying for Boston in the fall of 2014 at the Loco Marathon by about 15 minutes. I ran a 3:30 and I needed a 3:15. I should have run a 3:20 had I not fallen at mile 26 and had to walk the last mile.

Part of this reflection I have been doing is I missed racing. I was a bit to focused on triathlon training. When I got injured in late August 2015 after hiking Mount Washington in 2 hours up and 1:30 down. To put this in perspective I hiked with a friend a few weeks ago and it took 3:45 to get up there and 3:15 to get down. This hike in ’15 triggered a tear of my labrum on the right side. It wasn’t until I was on a 20 mile run the following weekend that I believe it completely tore. I was 5 miles into a very hot and humid day. I thought because of the weather I was slowing down. When I got home I could barely walk. About 10 days later I went and ran a half marathon. This was the dumbest thing I could do. I thought It was just tight. I ran 1:32 half marathon in complete pain. After the race was over I could barely walk. It took over 6 months to heal and doing 3 Ironmen races in 2016 didn’t help me with the healing either.

This year I completely dedicated myself to the bike. I biked just about 5,000 miles from Oct ’16- July ’17. Near the end of January I re-injured my hip to the point I hard a time walking. This was in the front of my hip and caused me to miss about 10 weeks of training. I was able to get back to training and put in a solid 10 weeks of hard training in time for the Patriot half. I was able to PR there help me get ready for Lake Placid. During this time I never ran more than a 7-8 miles for my long run. This was because I was concerned about my hip.

Ironman Lake Placid was supposed to be my coming out party from all of the hard training. The hard training paid off on the bike but not on the run. At about mile 90 of the bike I bonked for about 5 miles. I essentially grabbed a wheel (meaning let someone pace me) while I ate and stayed with him on the hills. Once I recovered I finished off the bike. The problem was I never got enough calories to have a healthy run. That was mistake number 1. While in transition from the bike to the run my calves seized and my legs were cramping really bad.  I needed real calories at this point.

When I got out of T2 I saw my family and Ray’s daughter. I asked where Ray was and she said way up the road. Mistake number 2. I just put the hammer down. Remember rule number one of Ironman is the race doesn’t start until mile 18 of the run. You have to hold back and just stay relaxed. For the first 5 miles I was averaging sub 9’s. This is without food in my system and just going to catch up to Ray and hopefully Denny. I caught Ray and from then on my day was over. I think I caught up about mile 6 or 7. To stay with tradition I threw up at mile 8. Up until this point out of the 9 Full IM’s I have done I have throw up at mile on 8. The only one I didn’t was IMCHOO and that was PR race.

Ray stayed with me the rest of the day. If it wasn’t for him I am not sure I would have finished. I owe Ray IM number 9. Thanks Ray.

I had my second Ironman less than a month later in Canada. Mont Tremblant is by far the best Ironman village I have ever been to. I have done IMTX, IMLOU, IMLP, IMMD, & IMCHOO and IMMT was just beautiful.

My race strategy was simple. Just enjoy the day. I had come into this race fairly well rested because I had been working so much and didn’t have a chance to do another block of training. Just maintenance miles really. I had put on about 5 pounds for race day.

My swim was a bit slower than I had hoped. The last 1/4 I was tired and chop was bothering me. The bike was similar to IMLP but it had a few more ups and downs. On lap two of the bike I had a pop tart that my mother had me put in my bike special needs bag. This saved me from bonking those last 12 miles like I did at IMLP.

My run strategy was to walk out of T2 getting real calories in me and easing into the run. I planned to stop and walk every few miles so I get real food in me. This went according to plan. I held back a lot. At this point I haven’t run a full marathon without walking since 2014. So I wasn’t sure what to expect. In my head I thought I could break 5 hours for a marathon. By about mile 9 I was finding my groove. I stayed within myself. I wanted to run sub 12 minute miles and just have my heartrate very relaxed. I was able to average 10:35’s. My Marathon time was 4:35. About a one minute PR for my best Ironman marathon race.

For these last several weeks I continue to think how much I missed racing. Something I will change next year. I will post a schedule in the coming weeks but I plan to do a lot more local races next spring to prepare for the 2018 triathlon season.

2018- Accountability

My main focus for 2018 is to hold myself accountable and reach the goals that I have set out to do. My weight is currently at 180 pounds. I will get to 160 pounds in time for Lake Placid in July. I plan to post my weight monthly starting in January as I make this transition.

My coach- Todd Gothberg

Todd will be coaching me next year and hopefully beyond. He is old school in his training. Meaning it’s about doing the work and a bit less about interval work. Todd’s strength is on the swim and the run but his way of training will help me to achieve a sub 6 for a bike at Ironman. He and I will sit down in the next few weeks to go over my 2018 race schedule and he will help me to achieve the goals I should have been attaining all along. Our main focus will be up my training hours, get very lean, and race a lot more. Todd gives me that fire that I want to continue and be the best that I can be.

We may even try a late season BQ attempt depending on where my times are.

Here is to a healthy training season!

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2018 Race Schedule

February:

  • Hyannis 1/2 marathon

March:

  • Stu’s 30 K

May:

  • Providence 1/2 marathon

June:

  • Patriot 70.3

July:

  • Ironman Lake Placid

August:

  • Maine 70.3

September:

  • New Haven Road Race
  • Lake Placid 70.3
  • Reach The Beach

October:

  •  Hartford Marathon- Training run for Florida.

November:

  • Ironman Florida
  • Marathon?
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2017 Race Schedule

May:

  • 6th: Providence marathon

June:

  • 17th: Patriot 70.3

July:

  • 23rd: Ironman Lake Placid

August:

  • 20th: Tremblant Ironman

September:

  • 15th & 16th: Reach The Beach

Fall:

  • Marathon?
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Cars vs Bikes

I wanted to do a blog that was a bit different. I want to write about Cars vs Bikes. I have been driving since September of 1991. If you count all of the cars that I have owned in the 25 years that I have driven it comes out to about 500,000 miles. I have been biking since I was a kid. But as a kid I was either on the sidewalks or in a quiet neighborhood where I wasn’t concerned about cars. As an adult I have been riding since August 2008. In those 9 years I have close to 20,000 miles on the road.

The triathlon/cycling community is very small in general. I’m sure you have all heard of the 6 degrees of Kevin Bacon. Meaning every actor/actress in a movie can be connected to Kevin Bacon in 6 people or less. In the triathlon/cycling community this number would be closer to 2-3. So when a person is killed or injured chances are very high a friend of a friend on Facebook or the Ironman community knows this person. It hits close to home.

Death and Injuries

As an active cyclist and triathlete I am very aware of people getting injured or killed as a result of a car. In 2014, the latest data available, shows that 726 people were killed involving a motor vehicle while riding their bike. With an addition 50,000 injured. https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/812282

What this means is almost two people are killed per day and 137 are injured everyday. 71% of these killed are happening in urban areas. The average age has spiked to 45 from 39 in 2005.

Alcohol

82% of drivers and 78% of cyclists didn’t have any alcohol in their blood. While 13% of drivers and 19% of cyclists has a blood alcohol level of .08 or more.

On Facebook the majority of my friends are either cyclists or runners. I have a handful of friends who have posted about annoying cyclists taking up the majority of the road. Let me share some thoughts I have….

Drivers:

  • When you come up a cyclist or a group of cyclists please slow down. You slowing down isn’t going to cause you to be late anymore than you are. Slowing down costs you 30 seconds tops.

 

  • Buzzing by cyclists and trying to get as close as you can because you are pissed isn’t the answer.

 

  • If you see a cyclist or a group of cyclists out in the middle of the road and they don’t appear to be moving out of the way lightly tap your horn. Give them a friendly horn. For example in a group (called a peloton) maybe they are two wide.

 

  • Cyclists are always communicating with each other. The majority of time it may be hand signals. When we see or hear a car we do yell “Car Back!”

 

  • A lot of states have the three feet rule. Meaning you have to give a cyclist or pedestrian a minimum of three feet. I have no idea how to measure 3ft when I am out riding. If you are a driver at the very least you should have a set of tires on the yellow line. I recommend putting at least half of your car over the yellow line if no car is coming in the opposite direction.

 

  • If you are coming up on a cyclist and going say 45 mph and another car is coming the opposite please slow down. Maintaining speed and coming close to a cyclist(s) just so you don’t have to slow down is wrong.

 

  • Most groups of cyclists are riding on quiet roads. We’re on quiet roads because we don’t want to deal with traffic. If you see a large group of cyclists on a major road it means two things. One they have a nice break down lane or they are just going to turn off shortly to get back onto a quiet road.

 

 

Cyclists:

  • You need to make sure you are staying as close to the side of the road as possible.

 

  • Following the rules of the road is a must. You need to obey the same rules as drivers. For example, going with traffic, stopping at stop lights/stop signs, & using your own lane.

 

  • When you go to pass another cyclist or attempt to come out of your bike lane you need to look back.

 

  • You should if possible be riding with a light on the back of your bike.

 

  • When coming up to an intersection even if the light is green slow down a bit. Cars do pull out in front of cyclists because they are looking for cars and not cyclists.

 

  • We as cyclists need to be very aware of the cars around us.

 

  • Communicating with cars with hand signals has its benefits.

 

 

I have had a few close calls while being on the bike. Most of my confrontations have come from angry males speeding then turning around to tell me off. I refuse to interact with these people. The last time this happened in October of 2014 it was about 4 days after my latest Ironman and this guy buzzed me coming around a corner speeding and I stuck up my hands (no I didn’t flip him off) he turned around and started swearing at me. I honestly just smiled and waved to him. What was he going to do stop the car and chase me? 🙂

 

On side roads I don’t quite understand because it’s dangerous to be going excessively fast on these side roads. As a driver when I see cyclists in the middle of the lane for no reason other than to talk to their friends it can be annoying especially if I am in a hurry. But truthfully what’s the rush?

 

As a runner I have close calls all of the time. This is because of a few reasons. Most cars don’t stop at stop signs. So if you are running on a side walk and you come up on a street, that stop sign is usually  just before the path of the sidewalk or just after. Either way cars don’t stop there and they are usually looking the opposite way. As a runner you have to be even more aware. Most drivers are looking for other cars and not pedestrians.

 

Cars and cyclists need to work together. You both need to be aware of each other. We all need to be a bit more patient. Stay safe everyone!!!!!

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IMTX and IMLP Recap

Ironman Lake Placid was my 7th Ironman that I was able to participate in and complete. IMLP was suppose to be a bit different than last year. It was suppose to be me getting redemption after having a rough race there in 2015. In 2015 the weather was hot and I never was able to nail down my nutrition. Before we talk about IMLP ’16 lets reflect on IMTX from May and the training leading up to it.

IMTX-2016

IMTX the race itself was full of a lot of drama both leading up to the race and the race itself. The drama had to do with the organizers not being able to secure the full distance of the bike. The course ended up being 96 miles instead of 112. Even two days before the race they moved the bike transition because the swim in the canal wasn’t safe for swimming because of issues with the water. Usually it’s .8 up turn .8 down and then about .8 in a canal. They changed it to be about 1.1 down turn across about .2 then back down to 1.1. The bike course had more turns than watching a Nascar race. Of all of the Ironmen I have done the run course is my favorite. It’s three loops and in the canal area it’s a complete party.

The swim for me was pretty much a non-event except for the last 400 meters or so when I had to either do a side stroke or backstroke. I started to become dizzy. This is something that I will talk about more for IMLP. I actually road the bike course fairly well except for the last 15 miles or so when I became tired. I cut back on my nutrition and I paid the price for it. More details on that later. :). The marathon was an adventure unto itself. When I got onto the marathon the skies were darkening pretty quickly. I did my normal where I walked for a bit before I started running to get some calories in me.

About mile 3 it started to rain and by 5ish it was a complete down pour. At an aid station around mile 5 A volunteer told us to go to the timing mat and wait there because the race has been put on hold. This is where the race becomes a complete cluster. A bunch of us jogging were like the hell we’re stopping. We were at a part of the course where it didn’t make any sense to stop. Little did I know my buddy Greg Barnes was up the road about 3-4 miles (I think a lap ahead). At this point an elite runner came up on me. He was on his 3rd and final lap. I started pacing behind him.

About a mile later while it’s down pouring we were about to enter the canal area where all the fans are I asked him if he wanted me to pace him and said yes. This to me is an incredible ego boost. This is what I live for. I was having a crappy race and if I could pace him for the rest of the lap so he could have a strong finish It would make my day a bit better. I went from running 10-12 minute miles to running about 8’s. In the canal area all of the fans are huddled under overpasses or anywhere they can find a dry spot. I remember yelling at times to let people know runners were coming through. On this stretch we were getting pelted by hail. I was literally getting nailed in the head. I was in the zone at this point and giving it everything I could. At times we were ankle deep in water because it was raining so hard.

I was able to pace him for a solid 3-4 miles. I was still able to at this point pace him a bit longer but the police had held back probably 200 participants at about mile 8 near the end of the loop (just before that out and back for those that know the course). I was there for about 30 seconds before a few participants just charged and we all followed. Everyone went nuts. It felt almost like the movie Braveheart and everyone charging. By this point I had no energy and I spent the next two laps getting sick multiple times and having Evan and my parents on the course rooting me on. Thanks to Melissa Akin for staying with me as I was on side of a hill for about 2-3 minutes getting sick. I had some quit in me that day but she wouldn’t let me. Thanks my friend!!!

Texas this year was my last time participating in it for at least the next few years. They moved the race to the third week in April and being up north it’s impossible to get in enough shape with outside miles. It would require starting training in early December. Next year I’m coming to volunteer. I’m leaning towards volunteering at the swim so I could enjoy the rest of the day. Evan and I have talked about it as well as a few other friends. It’s time to give back to IMTX!

 

IMLP-2016

Coming into this years race I had a decent training period. Coming out of IMTX on May 14th I just wanted to be healthy and I was able to attain that. I had ten weeks between Ironmen and thought that was enough time to get ready. Some of my preparation including getting back to basics of riding with my club. For the last few years I haven’t ridden enough with my club on Wednesday’s and Sunday’s. I spent most of June riding with the club and getting into better shape. I also was able to head to Freedom, NH to do some serious training up there as well. Todd and I had a great training session together. The other major piece here was me getting help with nutrition. My Ironman friend Ray and I met up and he explained to me how nutrition works for him. It’s essentially 2 3 hour bottles. Each bottle consists of 1,000 calories. I also competed in Patriot 70.3 and had a great race.

Swim

The swim at Mirror Lake is so easy and calm that it should really be the best swim anyone has. Except if you did IMCHOO in ’14 because it was all down river. :). You can follow using the buoys for site but the chain under the water makes this not necessary. I swam the first lap in about 43 minutes. On the second lap I started to feel a bit nauseous. On the last 800 meters I had to do the backstroke because I knew I was going to get sick. As I was getting out of the water I was so dizzy from the swim. I got sick right away. I had someone pull off my wetsuit and got sick again. Then medical attention came up to me a bit concerned and asked what my nutrition plan was. I explained to them and that I was feeling better.

I saw my family and friends. I saw Ray as well and said now for plan B. Whatever plan B was! 🙂

So why did this happen? I think mostly because my new ear plugs weren’t the quality ones I had used previously. Water got in my ears and it caused me to be a bit dizzy. I know I have some vertigo and this causes a lot of me being dizzy. I also need to do a bit more swimming that’s over 2,000 meters.

Bike

When I got on the bike I knew I was in the negative for calories so I decided to take it slow. I should have probably eaten some food right away but wasn’t sure if I would get sick again. I stuck with the liquid nutrition plan. It’s ten miles before you hit the Keene decent. The Keene descent is 5 miles of descending and you need to hold on… Once you get through this you have a good 20+ miles of flat stretch. A few small rollers but overall flat. I dropped the hammer the best that I could. My legs felt strong and I was going to give it a go. I passed a lot of people in this stretch without really working to hard. This is because of two reasons. One I was so far behind from the swim and I descended so slowly in the Keene descent that I didn’t pass one person there. :).

The first lap was pretty uneventful overall. When the climbing began from Wilmington to Lake Placid I noticed I was riding a bit slower. I thought at the time I was doing this to conserve energy. My legs felt fine overall but I didn’t have the speed I did last year during this stretch. More on this later. When I came into finish my first lap I saw my family and friends. My bike special needs was very basic. I just needed the other 1,000 calorie bottle.

Starting lap two I felt stronger than I did last year. I was about 25 minutes slower and had a good idea why. More on that later. I got down the Keene descent again and when I made the turn that was mile 70. I know at this point I was slowing down but I was still on my TT bars plenty and I worked hard for the next 15 miles or so not to lose to much time. At about mile 90 I had a nice person hand me a drink of a beer. For someone who doesn’t drink much at all I am known to have a few shots of beer while on the course. This honestly gives me a sugar rush as well helps me to burp.

The climb back into town was death march. I had thoughts about quitting. I was asking myself why am I here if I am not learning from my mistakes. I have done 7 and in 6 of them I have limped to the finish. On the bike course I barely stopped at all and when I did I was pouring water on my head. I used the restroom once and that was near the end of  the first loop.

When I got to the end I saw my parents and asked where Katie K. was. They didn’t know. Katie finished 7th in her age group last year and I knew she had a shot of qualifying this year. Katie is someone I see about once or twice a year at races and we have mutual friends. I’m friends with her on Facebook and know how strong she was. Why ask where she was at this point? It’s because going into the race I really thought she would only be about a 1/2 lap ahead of me of the marathon and we would see each other going the opposite direction. But I had a crap swim and a crap bike so I thought maybe she would be just finishing the first lap and I could help her out. Please understand this about me I am a loyal Lieutenant. I am someone who will turn myself inside out to help pace a friend like I did at Texas back in May. My day was over at this point and if I could run say 3-5 miles or even more for someone with a chance to qualify it would have been worth it. I learned about 10 minutes later she was already on lap two and I had no chance to catch her… Bummer! But she finished 5th and I know she will qualify there next year.

Run

Normally when I start the run I walk for about a 1/2 mile to get some food in me before running but I was able to run pretty much right away. Overall I had pretty good first lap. What I did wrong was not continue my nutrition plan. I went for Gatorade instead of having my special drink. Having food and drink cravings is the closest I will ever feel to being pregnant.

During Ironman you get all of these cravings. On the first water stop I started to drink soda. You think no big deal but that was the first time I drank soda since Thanksgiving Day 2003. I went 12 1/2 years between having a drink of soda. Meaning I didn’t have one soda in my 30’s. And I drank it at every water stop. When I saw Gary and Bridget on the course I mentioned it to them and they told me don’t stop drinking it because you will get a sugar crash.

At about mile 12ish I saw my Aunt Sue Stockwell and Geo. Geo took a video of it and it’s on my Facebook timeline. After the first loop I started to fall apart. This was because I didn’t have the proper nutrition in me. I saw Bridget and Gary again about mile 13/14 then I saw my parents at about mile 14. About 100 feet later I got sick. Someone from Base came over and gave me some fluids. It was a bit to salty for me but I did enjoy it.

I got sick again about 2 miles later and by then I was pretty deflated. I ended up walking most of the rest of the way. I just wanted my day to be done. Coming up on Mile 25ish I saw my friend Catherine and Paula that I met in IMCHOO in 2014. They were volunteering at the last aide station. It was great to catch up with them and say hello.

Coming into the Olympic oval I pretty much was still walking. I was just frustrated with how my race went. I did jog the last few hundred yard and happy that I finished. What I have learned from my other finishes was to not stick around. Just get my medal, picture taken, and head towards the hotel. My parents grabbed my bike and because I was a mile away from the hotel I was just going to coast there. Ray ran with me and even pushed me up the hill. I think we did that mile in about 7 minutes.. ;).

Thanks to everyone who showed up to watch me or followed me online. Next year Hunter will be there to spectate.

So what did I learn in all of this?

  • I learned first and foremost I need to stick with my nutrition plan on the run. I can’t be afraid of getting sick again. This probably held me back on the bike. My nutrition plan overall was solid.

 

  • I need to face the reality that I am not in as good as shape as I thought I was. I lost a lot of fitness when I tore my labrum last August. I didn’t even start running until about 8 weeks before Texas. Even to this day I have been hesitant to run that much. It’s not that my injury is still an issue but, it’s mostly very tight the day after a run. Because of the lack of running it has caused me some weight issues. My overall fitness is pretty disappointing.

 

  • My race weight is 167 pounds. I haven’t seen this weight since Texas in 2015. For the last three Ironmen my weight has been somewhere around 175-182 pounds. Most of this is because the lack of running and not training enough. This is me facing the reality that I need to be in much better shape to excel at Ironman. I am working hard to get into better shape for Ironman Maryland coming up on October 1st.

 

  • After Ironman Maryland this fall I need to re-evaluate all of my training. I need to find that fire I once had and work on getting in much better shape. My confidence is not where it was two years ago and I realize this. I have a few good ideas on what is holding me back but I want to keep that private.

 

  • I understand doing three full Ironmen in a year is a bit much and this is the only year I will do this. If I had known last August I wouldn’t be fully healed from my injury I would have only done two Ironmen this year and done three another year. At this rate I will be eligible for the Kona legacy program at the end of 2018. I plan to go and spectate Kona in the fall of 2018 and hope to compete in 2019 or 2020.
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IMTX 2016

Ironman Texas 2016 has honestly come up on me pretty quick. Ever since my finish at Lake Placid in July I was itching to get back do another Ironman. Lake Placid left me with a sense of emptiness. I had prepared well for it but I had breathing issues that I haven’t been able eliminate. It’s something that haunts me and my training to this day.

A few weeks after Lake Placid, in August, I hiked Mount Washington. I was hiking to meet up with some friends who were doing the bike race up the auto road. I hiked this a pretty good clip. It took just under two hours to hike up and less than that to go down. Little did I know that this triggered an injury that would haunt me all winter. The next weekend I was out doing a 20 mile run and about 5-6 miles into it I felt something. I assumed it was just the heat and I continued on. That was a mistake.

I had plans to try and BQ in the fall at Hartford but After Labor Day weekend I knew it wasn’t going to be realistic. I did the New Haven Road Race and I shouldn’t have. I was running 7:30’s on an injury to my hip area. Right after mile 1 I could feel it and I pressed on. It loosened up but I realized later it was just completely numb. So it felt like Novocain in my hip area but I was making it worse.

Two weeks later I ran Reach The Beach for Calumet. I warned some of my friends that it would be a rough day out there for me. I think some of them thought I was playing possum with them. :). And to some extent I thought I was as well. But during my first leg of three I knew it would be a rough day. I hobbled through my first two legs. On my third leg I had to pull out because I couldn’t even move. I really appreciate my teammates for filling in for me. I will make it up to you this fall I promise.

Over the course of the fall I had two MRI’s.  They found I had a torn labrum on my right side of my hip. I was told not to run for a while. It turned out I couldn’t really run all winter. I didn’t really start running until about 8-10 weeks ago.

Then the day after Christmas my bikes were stolen. One was taken right off of my bike trainer and another was taken from an upstairs bedroom. I have so much I want to share with everyone on who and why but I need to bite my tongue here because as I wrote on IG and FB yesterday morning they are ‘just things’. You made me realize what is really important in my life.  I realized so many caring people who reached out to me to offer to help. My FB post was shared by over 1K people from around the country. I had bike shops offering to help me as well. I am in debt to so many of you for helping me out.

My only real tune-up race’s for IMTX was doing a Spartan with my friend and mentor Todd Gothberg as well as a 10K race in CA a few weeks back pushing a few kids.

My strategy for Texas is to ‘slow down’. Remember when Maverick in ‘Top Gun’ at the end of the movie he said to his new Rio (co-pilot) he was going to ‘slow down’ and let them fly right by? Well that is my strategy. I believe by slowing down I will have a better day out there. I fully admit I am not in shape like I have been in the past. I am carrying some extra weight that I probably shouldn’t be. I admit I will probably be in the 14 hour range. It’s okay I am here to finish and come out of this healthy.

I will be changing up my nutrition a bit as well. I will be eating a bit more solid food. I have a lot of more ‘Oh Sh$t’ food. This is food when things go wrong and I need to get something in me in a hurry.

I am thankful for so many things. I am thankful for having to go through the injuries that I went through these last 10 months. It taught me that recovery takes time and I need to be patient. It taught me to listen to my friend Robin Ziko and spend time daily with her stretching. And even though I am not flexible she continues to work with me. Thanks my friend.

 

 

Jeremiah 29:11 God declares I think of you and I have plans for you prosperity and a future filled with hope

 

Philippian 3:13 Keep Pressing Forward!

 

PS.. Thanks for the sneaker Mindy!

To follow me on race day…. Click Here

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Reach The Beach 2015

Reach The Beach 2015 was my fourth year in a row running the event. I was part of an amazing group from Camp Calumet. We had four teams and we raise money every year to send kids to camp. As of tonight we have raised over $65,000. This fun event is about the kids.

All of the runners and drivers have ties to camp. We were either on staff, a camper, or currently on staff. Most of us reside in the New England area but we do have a few people fly in from NC, FL, or other places around the country. We’re a very close group and unless you were part of a camp (it doesn’t have to be Calumet) you just might not get it. I mean that with respect. Camp people are special. To my Ironman friends it’s a similar group.

Coming into RTB I didn’t run since my Labor Day race. I was still nursing this injury. I knew it wasn’t healed and I was limping a bit. I knew the race would be a struggle but thought with enough time off that I may be able to push through.

I was in Van 2 again this year. Again I had amazing teammates. This was by far the strongest team I have ever been on. My teammates were Kim, Megan, Knute, Mike, & Jack. Our driver was Croce. I told Kim going into RTB that Croce will make you laugh so much. He did not disappoint.  These runners make it look easy. I couldn’t ask for better group of people.

I was running the same legs as last year (8, 20, & 32). When it was my turn to run about 1:30 Kim showed up earlier than expected and I was honestly a bit frazzled and not quite ready for her. My watch wasn’t turned on either. So I ran the first 30 minutes without my pace. But I knew my heart rate was through the roof because of the heat. This was the hottest RTB I have ever ran. Once I started running I could tell my right leg (butt muscle) was in bad shape. I was limping. It took me about 3 miles to loosen up my leg. As my van mates told me after they could see me struggling at times while other times I was running okay. I honestly had no idea of my pace. Normally when I am healthy I can dial it in and know how fast I am going. But as I mentioned it took 30 minutes for the satellites to pick up where I was. So I decided to reset my watch. The last 3.15 miles I did in 24:43 for an average of 7:50. I went back and figured out that for my leg of 7.3 miles I did it in 55 minutes for an average of 7:32. I must have been going quicker than I thought those first 30 minutes.

My second leg was at 2:20 in the morning. It was a wild card transition. I had talked to Kim beforehand and our plan was for her to hand it off to me in the beginning of the wild card. Based on my watch I ran 6.84 miles in 1 hour flat. for an average of 8:50. Even though my time was slow for me my leg actually wasn’t terrible. The temps were ideal at this time and I thought I was consistent. My plan was to run the first few miles of the hills slow as I loosened up and then go faster. My last .84 was uphill (slight one) and I was averaging 8:29. Meaning I was getting stronger.

Entering the third leg I didn’t do the same thing as I did for the first two legs. For the first two legs I would Ice my leg and take some advil. I would learn that this was a big mistake. When I started my run I knew right away my leg wasn’t turning over. I was going at a decent clip but after a 1/2 mile I couldn’t turn over my leg at all. After about 1.75 miles I texted Knute telling him ‘I’m suffering’ He asked me if I wanted him to come back for me and I said ‘Yes’. My day was over! Megan jumped out of the van and she, Knute, & Mike split the next few legs. I was scheduled to run 6.7 miles but only managed 2 miles. My leg was numb and there was nothing I could do. I admit I was a bit deflated. I want to thank all of my van mates for picking up the slack. It means a lot. Looking back at it I probably should have swapped with Kim for the third leg and then she could have split that leg with Megan and Knute. Or I could have just iced it and had more advil. :).

I had a few people ask me afterward what would have happened if this was Ironman? Let’s be clear At RTB I have teammates who were more than capable of running faster than me. Megan can easily hold 8 minute miles and even though the pace doesn’t matter for a charity race but me running/ walking 12 minute miles for a third leg makes zero sense. I would have completed Ironman. I probably would have had to walk the rest of the way but I would have finished. For me to quit Ironman it would mean that I passed out.

Last year I had Ironman Chattanooga a few weeks after RTB. What would have happened if I had IMCHOO this year (it’s the 27th of September)? I would have shown up and finished Ironman. I’m stubborn in that I refused to not complete Ironman. I honestly would have asked for a shot (cortisone) to help me complete it.

This really is my favorite event of the year. It’s something that I look forward to doing and putting on my race Calendar. It’s already on my 2016 race schedule. It’s such a team event. Everyone from our group of 48 runners, 8 drivers, & countless volunteers from Calumet makes this event top notch.

Injury:

As most of you saw on my Facebook post I am now shutting down all racing for the rest of the year. My injury is going to require about 6-8 weeks to recover. I don’t expect to race again until sometime in 2016 when I am fully healed and ready to tackle 3 full Ironman race events along with 2 70.3 distances.

This off-season I think will be a lot different. I have decided for the most part to keep my training a secret as I work to improve on my weaknesses. I am in PT two days a week and working to keep my fitness.

The goals I set in 2015 were not achieved. (Break 12 hours at Ironman, break 4 hours on the marathon course at Ironman, run a 3:15 open marathon, and run a sub 2:00 1/2 marathon at a 70.3) Even though I am disappointed that I didn’t reach these goals they still remain in place for 2016.

Dealing with an injury is going to make me a better and stronger triathlete. The fire that I had in my belly post IMLP is honestly burning more now than ever. As my friend and mentor Todd said the question isn’t ‘Why is this happening?’ the question is ‘What am I to learn from this?” The WHAT is going to refine who I am and make 2016 the best year yet.

I look forward to a strong healthy 2016 as well as healthy relationships….

 

 

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