Monday, August 31, 2009

New things on the horizon

The past weeks have been tough for me. At the same time, though, I've learned a lot about myself. I've spent more time with myself in the last two weeks than I have in years. I have no one to blame for this but myself, but I think that it's probably one of the best things that could've happened to me.

The last couple of days I've beeing doing a lot of thinking. I guess that happens when you ride your bike and run a lot :). It's nice to be able to have this time to get myself into deep thought. I've figured out quite a bit about myself and suprisingly, I've liked a lot of what I've found out.

In the coming weeks I plan on using my time in a few ways. First and foremost, I plan to train my ass off for my last couple races of the season. Combined with the extra time I have for sleep and recovery, I feel that I can really make a good dent and improve on some fitness in the last 5 or so weeks I have left this year.

Next, I plan on committing myself to work. In the coming year, I'd like to get my debt to zero. Often times over the past years, I've spent a lot of needless money and made a lot of bad financial decisions. I have the opportunity in my life right now to work on straightening out my economic woes and start with a fresh sheet. Not many people my age are awarded this opportunity, and I realize I need to make the most of it.

Lastly, I'd like to open up my social horizons. Again, this is the fault of no one but me, but I've been kinda slack in the "friends dept." lately. I've always been the girlfriend guy, which is perfectly fine, but at the same time I started hanging out with the girls more and the guys less. I've been on a few "Man-dates" and "Man-outings" and really enjoyed myself. It's nice to be one of the guys again.

One more thing: I've really found a passion with triathlon. I've sort of played at doing it before, never really committing as much as I could. I would train as hard as I could, but then spend the night out late, drinking too much, and race way under my potential. Several times I even went out and had a few beers the night before a race. It takes a long time to get good, but more importantly, it takes a long time of doing the right thing to get good. Unlike other sports I've played, you can't just show up and be good with triathlon. Talent it certainly part of the game in triathlon, but as far as I've discovered more times than not the guy/girl that put in the hard work over and over again, will come out on top. I know I have some talent with this, and now I plan on putting in the "right work" behind it.

Positive, Positve, Positive.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rolling Along


Just having a strange couple of weeks. On a personal level, things have been sort of wacky. I'm in a transitional phase, and I honestly think it's the right thing in the long run. There has been a lot of hurt and sadness associated with it, but I think in the end it will be the right thing.

Triathlon-wise, I can't remember a time when I've ever been so focused. It's funny because I haven't been in this sport for all that long, but I feel like it's where I'm suppossed to be. Everything about this sport gives me butterflies. I get pumped up when watching competition videos and cry when I think about what I want out of this sport. From here on out, I'm promising myself to give it everything I have. I will not have regrets. I want to dive headfirst into it, and enjoy every failure and success. There's nothing that I want to leave behind. At this point in my life, I can afford to go all in. There's nothing holding me back and I would be cheating myself if I didn't take advantage of this. This is the time for dedication, and I plan on leaving it all in the pool/on the bike/on the road.

With that, I'm excited and scared at the same time. Time and time again I've let myself get caught up in my head. For all of my college athletic career, I allowed outside sh*t to dictate my performance. This is also something I promise myself NOT to allow to happen.

I'm so encouraged by certain aspects in my last race that it has me bouncing off the wall in anticipation of more. I'm gonna keep doing this until I get it right or I die trying. It's time to get off my knees and live life on my feet! This is it. One minute at a time.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Timberman Race Report...Well sort of...


Race reports take too damned long to report on. If I'm happy and stoked about my race, it's a little easier, but at this distance, I still have a bunch to learn, so this is a little bit of a task to write.


Hands down, Timberman was the best race I've ever been involved in. It's considered a "triathlon festival" and by all means lives up to this definition. It's like a weird cross between Woodstock and triathlon. There are plenty of hippies walking around, only instead of flowers in their hair, they're wearing compression socks with cargo shorts. Very interesting group and I'm proud to be a member.


So the race went well. It was a little hectic at times and I was proud to have stuck to my plan. In short, my swim was mediocre at best (I never thought I'd say a swim around 30 mins in a half iron race was mediocre, but for where I'm at as a swimmer now, I honestly feel that way). I did get kicked in the face 20 meters from the start, but that's just part of the game and it didn't rattle me in the least. The only reason I believe my swim was slow was the fact that I didn't swim in a wetsuit for 2 monts prior to the event. My last race was in June and at that point I was very fast in the wetsuit. Sunday I feel like it actually slowed me down as my shoulders tired prematurely.


The bike was by far the best part of my race. It wasn't the fastest time I was capable of, but I was happy with my pacing overall. I believe my bike split was around the 2:30 mark. I'm impressed because I honestly never got out of breath once on the bike, and at most times was holding waaaay back. My plan was to run like hell and I wanted every ounce of energy left to lay the smackdown on the half marathon.


On to the run. This is where things began to die slowly for me. When I'm fit I can run fast. I'm a teriffic 5 and 10 k runner, but the nature of a half ironman doesn't allow me to run like I'm capable of. My first 5k off the bike was strong. Not fast, as I was holding back, but strong. The next 5 k was also strong, but I still held back. My plan going into the race was to hold back on the first 10k, and crush the second 10k. However, by the time that final 10k came, I had no high gear. In fact, I found myself slowly fading, and fading, and fading.


From what I've read and listened to from coaches and athletes, the third 5k is usually where people fade, but often they come back strong in the final 5k. This is what I anticipated, but I never came back. It was a tough way to end what was otherwise a decent day, but just like all my races this season, it's taught me volumes about what it is going to take to get me to the level I want to be at in this sport.


In talking with my coach the night after the race, it because apparent that I didn't train to race the distance. Many of my longest days consisted of only 4 hours at the most. Simply put, my engine just wasn't tuned for what I tried to make it do. I've always had speed, and coming from explosive sports like football, lacrosse, hockey, and mma, I'm well equiped to sprint, but the long stuff has thus far eluded me. The good news, though, is that I've got time to learn and time to develop as a more complete triathlete.


I have one more half ironman distance race left this season, and I plan on putting in some long days in the five weeks before it. I don't expect this to make a gigantic difference, but I do expect it to change some things. I'm going into this final race with no specific intentions, only to see what the fruits of my labor will be. Six hour days will become a reality for me these final weeks. It'll be a good start.


Finally, self reflection is obviously a very important part of the game for any athlete. I've always been hard on myself because I've always had a lot of talent. I now see, though, that I've been too hard on myself many times. It takes a long time to get good at any sport, and with this one I need relax and work hard. It's not gonna happen overnight, but it is going to happen.

Monday, August 17, 2009

"This is your life...And it's ending one minute at a time."

So I've had some personal mishaps lately. It was a rough weekend and the days are only getting worse. Without going into detail, relationships are one of the hardest things in life. Love isn't quantifiable. It's not like a workout we can track, mileage we can clock, or a pace we can set. There are ups and downs that come at the times when you least expect them. I think if you're truly in love (like I am), there is no limit to the suprises (good and bad) that come out of that love. In the end, I just hope everything turns out for the best, no matter how good it feels or how much it hurts.

As far as training is concerned, I've reached the taper. Unbeknownst to my coach (sorry John), I started my taper a bit earlier than planned. Toward the end of my buildup to Timberman, I started to feel like crap on a regular basis. I don't sleep much, so I'm sure that had something to do with it. Also, a few weeks back, I was having INSANE workouts. I felt like I was invincible, and, in hindsight, this was the beginning of what certainly could have been the end for me. I was going out each and every day thinking that there would be no end to my fitness. I was healthy, fast, and felt great, so why stop?

Well, that soon came crashing down as in the next weeks I was totally burned out. It's true what they say about how peak fitness is like being at the edge of a cliff: Control it and you won't fall-push to much and you'll go tumbling down. Luckily, I caught a branch on the side of the cliff on the way down and was able to pull myself back up. It took some good friends to convince me that actually taking a step back was what I needed. So I took their advice, (Plus the wisdom of Lucho and Matty Reed-both of whom were kind enough to comment and leave me some great training advice) took some time to bring the volume down a notch, and now I feel like myself again.
I have no doubt that Timberman will be my best race to date. I've decided to have no specific expectations about this race, only to let it happen. Another major mistake I have made is expecting too much too quickly. I have a lot of talent in this sport, and there is a lot that I will do with it, but it will take some time. As Matt Reed said in his comment, "There are no shortcuts." I've got to do the work and put in the time-I'm still new to this for goodness sake! The strides I've made this season (namely becoming an actual swimmer!) are definately things I'm proud of. I plan on taking the advice I've gotten from others, lay back, and let the race unfold in front of me. ENDURANCE is the name of the game.

So this weekend we'll see where this strategy leaves me. I'm sure that New Hampshire will be a fun time and I'll learn quite a bit. I'm looking forward to the education.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A lot going on


So there's been a ton going on for me the last couple of weeks-hence the slowness with the updates.


First and foremost I want to thank Matty Reed for stopping by to check out the blog. He left a comment on the "What Would Matty Reed Do?" post I put up a couple of months ago. Scroll down and check it out!


Training has been going ok lately. I only say ok because I'm teetering on the brink of overtraining. I'm in a tricky place where I haven't raced in over a month and my fitness is definately reaching a peak. I'm still two weeks out from my big "A" race (Timberman) and I'm honestly sick of training. Actually it's not that I'm sick of training, it's that my body is sick of it. Recently I haven't been feeling strong when I train. Almost constantly I'm in a fatigued state. I know that red flags are going up and it's time to slow it down. To put it in the words of my buddy Grant, the bucket is full right now and it's not gonna get more full. The biggest thing I have to do know in the remaining weeks is be smart and not overflow the bucket. Therefore, I'm gonna go off my plan a bit, cut the volume down, and concentrate on quality work.


My swim ain't gonna get better in two weeks and I'm not gonna get much fitter in those weeks either. If anything, I'd rather be slightly undertrained going into Timberman than overtrained like I fear I may be if I keep pushing the envelope with volume.


All this is hard because I really do LOVE training. Given the aspects of triathlon I don't see how any triathlete could not. I mean, we get to perform so few times in comparison to other sports. Baseball players, basketball players, hockey players, and so on, get so many opportunities to demonstrate their hard work. We're only on stage a fraction of the time they are so we really have to make it count each and every time. In some ways it stinks, but in other ways its a huge draw to the sport.


Otherwise life is good. Busy, but good. I'm happy with the way things are and I can feel there are some big things about to happen for myself and the people around me. Fun time to be alive!


Push 'till ya puke...Always.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Update

Been a while since my last post. The sad thing is that I haven't really been doing all that much training lately, so I really have no excuse. I guess I just haven't needed to say much lately.

Life outside of triathlon has been pretty busy. Work, as always, is busy, but on top of that, Kristen and I have gone out to Montauk for some relaxing, and Canada for a wedding within the last month. I'm an anxious traveler, so this was a bit stressful for me, but everything went smoothly so that helped.

The Canada trip was probably the most interesting. It's nice to go to a wedding with someone you love. Looking at Kristen during the ceremony gave me the chills-in a good way! It was easy to picture us up there getting married. I've never felt that way before, so I guess it's a GOOD thing! On top of that, her family (which I had never really met before) were the nicest people EVER! I can't remember ever being treated so nicely by strangers! Maybe it's just the fact that they're not New Yorker's, but wow they were nice. Basically, the trip was just one big smile!

Back to triathlon, I can't believe it's this point of the year. Tomorrow is the first of August, and Timberman is only about 3 weeks away! Getting down to crunch time. I'm excited to race again and make up for blowing up in CT at Rev3. It'll be a good chance to compete with some great athletes and see how all my training pays off. After that it's on to the Mighty Hamptons Olympic race, and then the Mighty Montauk Half Iron to tie things up at the end of October. I'm going to throw some running races in (10k and they NYC Marathon) just to sweeten things up! :)

So that's about it for now. I get back to training hard on Sunday, so I'm going to use this time to get in all the odds and ends that I never seem to get to when training a lot.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Builing my first bike!!!!


Ok, so I've never actually built a bike from scratch before. I've been one of those fakers that knew how to do most stuff, but never actually HAD to build from the ground up.


This past friday, I recieved two giant boxes from the good people at Fed Ex. One contained a sweet black, naked carbon frame, and the other all the components for said frame. Long story short, I had some work ahead of me.


I've started slow and have been patient with the assmbley, finding out that it's really not all that hard. It's all about not forcing things and taking your time. It's gonna be fun to actually ride something that I'm totally responsible for putting together.


The pic above shows what I've done so far. I'm done with the building part, now I just have to cut the fork, route the cables, and throw on the chain (not in that particular order).
Generally, I've chosen this little project as a de-stresser. Training realeases much of my stress, but I've haven't used my hands to build anything in a while. I think that's an important thing for a man. Call me old fashioned, but there's nothing better than getting your hands a little dirty and spending some quality time with your tools. I think it centers me in a way that not many other things can. Also, I stress a lot about my bikes. I guess it's because I couldn't, in the past, control everything about them. My hope with this bike is to learn EVERYTHING I can about bike maintenance and upkeep. A goal in the back of my mind is to never have to take my bike to the shop again to get fixed. We'll see.
I'm happy to take on this challenge and am excited to see how it turns out. Wish me luck!
Push 'till ya puke...Always!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

What would Matty Reed do? Part II


I've been really into training like a pro lately. Not that I'm into putting in insane volume or anything like that, but just generally following the attitude I imagine most pros have. I've gotten very serious about this triathlon thing this year, and I've found it important to think of it in a professional way.


So today was another time I had to ask myself, "What would Matty Reed (or any other pro) do?"


I've been dealing with a bit of sciatic nerve pain this week. Tuesday morning I got a sharp 'ping' at the top of my right ass cheek that hasn't gone away. It hasn't really hindered my training, but I know it's there. Long story short, after running, biking and swimming like I normally would all week, this morning I woke up to a little more pain. It wasn't much more than the day before, but enough for me to notice. A red flag immediately went up. I figured I'd see how it went, and decide on whether or not to do my 2hr 15 min run later in the day.


Work was busy today, and all I could think of when it came time to train was my bed. I decided to head home, take a nice little midday nap, and then go for the run. Well.....I never made it. I was too tired and the sciatic still hurt. Damage control time.


So this is where thinking like a pro comes in. Do I push through and train for the day injuring myself more, or do I lay off for a day, take care of myself, and feel great tomorrow? I went with option number two.


I think anyone (not a triathlete) looking at this situation form the outside would see this as a complete no brainer. However, for us 'type-A tri-types', the answer isn't so simple. We just wanna push and push and push. Resting to most of us is close to blasphemy. We don't think enough of rest as being an ally. Fortunately, today, I was able to think like a pro and take care of myself instead of making a little thing turn into a big thing. After taking a nice 2 hour nap, eating well, and resting my ass cheek, I already feel better. My head is clear and I'm sure that with a good night's sleep tonight, my body will follow suit.


Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

What would Matty Reed do?


So out on my long ride yesterday, I came to a direct conclusion: If you want to race like a fast guy, you gotta train like a fast guy! Easy enough right? When I raced the Rev3 trithlon in CT last month, I truly expected to have the race of my life. I went out strong, but got greedy on the bike. I knew I was super strong going into the race, and figured an AG win would be easy. I got out on the bike, hammered for the first 43 miles (in way too aggressive of a gearing!) and blew the hell up before I even got to the run. In effect, my race was over when the bike was over.

The moral of the story is that I learned something. I learned something not only about myself, but about what it takes to be a top pro. Those guys (and girls) are badasses. They know their bodies, they know how to race, and they know how to push it when they need to and lay off when they need to. Their race day execution is an art. I've learned that it's not just about hammering from the start to the finish, but about letting the race unfold in front of you.

Seeing Matty Reed and the rest of the pro field run back from the out and back on the run was inspiring. Those guys looked so damn strong it was unbelieveable. Sure they hurt, but the experience they have allowed them to figure out how to deal with it.

I say all this to say that I want what these guys have. I want the know how and strength to put together an awesome race. I'm putting in the physical work, now I just have to work on the mental game. It's gonna be interesting to see what I can do when that happens.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1st Wear Testing Official Vid...

Here's the first official vid for the skins video diary. I just got done today with a great 3 hour ride. Timberman is gonna be very very good for me! Off to try and find an hour to swim between now and the end of the day!


Friday, June 19, 2009

Quote

I came across this quote in a reply on Heather and Trevor Wurtele's blog from ChuckieV. I read it again and again and I can't think of a better way to sum up why I love triathlon so much. This quote says more about me than I can even write about myself.

Teddy says, “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Skins Wear Testing

I've been given the opportunity to be a wear-tester. They sent me some cool shwag and all I have to do is keep a video diary which I believe they will put on their blog. In an effort to give my loyal readers (all 3 of you!!!) a sneak peak, I've uploaded a couple vids from my first ride with the tights! Here you go!




Saturday, June 13, 2009

Mighty Montauk Olympic race report

Ok, so screw the Rev3 race report. The race itself was absolutely amazing in every way possible, but my performance sucked so bad (relitive to my fitness and how I should have raced), I don't even want to go into it. The only thing I can say is that I need to learn exactly HOW to race. Triathlon is three disciplines. I'm good at each now, but I just need to put that together....it'll happen.

So it was on to the Mighty Montauk Olympic distance tri today. After Rev3, I needed to get my mojo back and decided if I could get into this race, it would be nice to hop right back into the saddle. The race director, Merle, was very accomodating, and allowed me to enter. The only catch was that I wasn't able to start with the elite wave like I should have, but instead I had to go out with the 40-45 AG. Hmmm.

Ultimately I was able to hop in with the 20-25 AG (still not even my AG). Either way I was just happy to be out there.

The swim went well and I finished in about 22 minutes-much better than my previous oly time of 36...I've come a long way. The bike was really good as well, and the run was solid. I never felt SUPER strong durning this race, but I'm sure that it was a result of my legs still being sore and tired from Rev3. I'm not making an excuse, rather stating a fact. Finishing time was around 1:57:50 (unofficially).

Overall I'm happy with the race. Unfortunately the chip they gave me didn't register at ANY of the checkpoints, so I'm going soley with what my watch said. The effort today was a little on the conservative side. The goal was to put together a complete race and see what would happen. I finished strong and that was what I wanted. If I had been able to race with the rest of the elite wave I'm sure it would have been an all-out effort from start to the finish, and most definately a faster finish.

There are two things that I am going to take away from these last two races. First and most importantly, I'm still very new to this sport. I would really consider this my first year competing. The previous year really was spent hammering away aimlessly without a clue in the world. Secondly, from today's performance I've retained a large part of my confidence. I KNOW I'm fast, and I KNOW I'm going to get faster. The biggest challenge I have is learning to race. When I combine the speed I will have from smart training with the knowledge I'll gain from race experience, things are going to come together nicely.

In the end, it's all a journey. I'm extremely happy I've learned what I have. I'll take these lessons and grow from them.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Rev3 Race Report

All I can say right now is that it's easy to be happy when things are going well. It's the times, however, when things don't go your way that you find out what you're really made of. Today was that kind of day for me.

More to come later.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Taper Blues

So this is the first taper I've attempted...EVER! Hiring a coach has done wonders for me and this is one of them. I always heard about this taper thing, but didn't know quite how to do it. I didn't know for how long, to what extent, and exactly what the hell I should be doing. Not exactly a good plan going into any race.

I would have to say though, this is the first time that I've actually NEEDED to taper. It's not like I've been doing this sport for all that long, but since being coached, I've never trained so much and expected so much from my body. I can literally feel myself getting faster and more well tuned by the day. Such a good feeling.

Now this week has been putting the finish on. I'm antsy and ready to go. I have a sort of calm fury building in me, and my hope is that on Sunday I will be able to let it go. The closest thing I can think of is a caged lion ready to attack some poor zebra. It's like the lion's been caged, watching the zebra run back and forth in front of his cage for 6 days, and on the 7th, BAM! The lion gets out and unleashes hell on the zebra! Kind of blunt, but you get my point.

I've come to realize two things about myself in the lead up to this race. The first is that I absolutely love everything about triathlon. The people (some I could do with out), the equipment, the venues, the training (especially!!!), the websites, the flashy aero gear, and most of all the healthy attitude! Secondly, I believe I've found who I truly am through this sport. Even through highschool and college, I never was able to carve out a niche for myself in the activities I choose. Sure I was an athlete, I was popular, and I was very good socially, but on the inside I was never able to gather a true comfort within myself for what I was doing. In otherwords, I allowed the group or sport I was in to define me, not the other way around.

Now, I think that I've come to a sport that is me. I get bored with only one focus and triathlon has provided me with three! I'm a bit extreme and triathlon is the original extreme sport! I like to challenge myself and triathlon gives me that, day in and day out! Let's just say that I've always been a triathlete, even though I've only done the sport for two years.

With all these things on my mind I'm ready to let it rip on Sunday. This race is really more of a test than anything else, but I guess when it comes down to it they all are. I'm ready to see if what I'm doing is going to work, and what I need to change going forward to acheive my goals. I have every faith in my coach and the work I've done. It's a good feeling.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ready for the Fight


The training is done. The weight has been lost. The expensive bike stuff has been bought. And now it's time to fight.

Since my fighting days, I like to approach competition like a fight-it just works for me. There's nothing like the lead up to a fight. Much like training for races, it takes a LONG time to get in shape. Hours and hours are spent working on form and technique, and sweating your ass off when no one is looking. Some days are great and others are not, but consistancy is the thing. You have to outwork your opponent way before the day you see them in the ring. The fight is really you vs. yourself vs. them.

So I've found the same holds true for triathlon. I've spent so many hours sweating it out all alone. I've been in the pool dozens and dozens of times when I didn't want to be there. I've run in hail storms and trudged through muddy trails. I've ridden my bike until my hands and feet have become so numb I can't walk or tie shoelaces. All of this I've done when no one was watching. There was no one there to impress. There was no one there to push me. Desire to be better was my only 'real' training partner.

I was talking to Kristen the other day about something that happened in her life that was ridiculously unfair. She had done all the work, put in the blood sweat and tears, yet got minimal recognition for her accomplishments. Naturally, she was pissed. In trying to comfort her, I explained that she shouldn't let it get to her because she A) can't control other people's decisions, and B) should know in her heart that she did everything that she could possibly do. In my eyes (as well as many others I'm sure) she deserved much more than she got. The only thing she didn't get for it was the papers and plaques telling her that other people recognized her accomplishments.

So that got me to thinking about why I train and what my motivation to race is. When you break it all down, I train and race to find out what I'm made of. I want to progress and to keep wining and placing high in races, but I LOVE the feeling of pushing when there's no one there.

I used to do all my running around the downtown section of my town. I believed that running in front of people would make me run harder, and therefore faster. Now, though, I'm all about the trails and backroads. If no one sees me, I just have myself to be accountable to-and I'm NOT lying to myself.

I don't know if this is how others feel, but this is my take on it. I'll bethinking about all those solitary training hours when I'm racing this weekend. I won't lie to myself then, either.

Push 'till ya puke...always.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Life Advocate

I learned something about myself yesterday when I was out doing yardwork-I am an advocate of life. Not just experiencing it, but really being healthy and living with more "primitive" attitude than most.

I realized that material things really mean nothing. Not the car we drive, the clothes we wear, or even (and this will be a shock for triathletes everywhere) the bike we ride! I've come to the firm conclusion that material things will be the downfall of our species. We're so concerned with how much money we make and generally what we own, that we forget we're here to SURVIVE!

Survival is our first and foremost concern and most all of us forget about it. We forget about it when we eat badly. We forget about it when we drive our gas-guzzlers. We forget about it as we type on our computors. It's sad but true. The invention of pockets has changed our species forever.

One of my favorite pasttimes is running. Thinking about it, I've always loved to do it. Even as a child I can remember times when I would run in parks during family barbeques just for the fun of it. Visiting cousins in upstate New York, I'd convince them to go out on these day long hike/runs through the woods. I knew they hated it, but I loved every second of it!

A lot goes through my head when I run-past the blaring music in my ears from my ipod. I've realized that the reason I like it so much is that it's REAL. There's no machine, no engine, nothing between my feet and the earth (except maybe a thin EVA sole). This is what we we're meant to do. My ancestors did this. Their ancestors did this. If you believe it, Adam and Eve did it too! This is the ONE thing we share with EVERY single human the earth has ever seen. We've been blessed with immediate transportation straped to our legs. These beautiful feet to get us from one place to the next. Simply marvelous.

It saddens me though, that so few of us these days choose to use what God gave us. We have our big shiny cars, trains, and airplanes to get us from A to B. Most people these days are frieghtened to go 1 freakin' mile on foot! ONE MILE! That's a 20 minute walk if you're moving at a turtles pace! Then you hear of all the dangers of running-"You'll ruin your knees" or "I'm too heavy to run". Why do you think you'll hurt your knees and you're too heavy??? Because for your whole life you've been sitting and riding!

The bottom line is "F" technology. "F" all the things that we think we need. The truth is, we're born with only one possesion-our body! As ChuckieV says, it's the only thing that we'll truly have and own. Let's start using and caring for it. Think about that as you go through your day. I garauntee you'll see the world in a different light.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Key Workout


So yesterday I complete a very key workout in my training for the Rev 3 tri. I was basically to do a race simulator, envolving a 56 mi, race-pace bike ride, followed by a 11 mi race-pace plus :30 run. To put it in words, I KILLED IT! and I had to stop a bunch for cars on the bike!


I decided to do the hilliest bike and run loops I could find. Generally, I wanted to tourture myself beyond belief, mentally preparing myself for the course up in Connecticut. I felt that if I can handle the torture I'm putting myself through on my own, I can handle ANYTHING in the race. What I've found through this is that I really have an iron will to demolish myself. There must be some subconcious thing about myself that I hate and this is how I choose to get it out! :)


I also suprised myself with my level of current fitness. I'm so far ahead of where I thought I would be it's scary. Running as well as I did off the bike yesterday made me feel like a Spartan. Especially as my nutrition on the bike was equivalent to an elephant dining on a mouse. In other words, I need to learn that nutrition is not an option, it's a MUST!


Overall I'm happy with the outcome of yesterday's performance. I'm going to do the same workout in a week, so we'll see how much better I do with nutrition then. I'm NOT going to measure this workout, however, I'm only going to do it by feel. I'll do the same course and the same run, but without a watch. Knowing my gentle and fragile psyche, I don't think it would give me a big boost to see declining numbers (if that's the case-and hopefully it WON'T be) the week before a big race.


With that I'll leave you with my checklist for the Rev 3 triathlon-personal checklist that is:

-Lot's of lube-my TAINT killed me yesterday as I forgot to 'lube up' before the ride. Usually I use Body Glide, but forgot yesterday. I will definately be using it liberally next week and for the race!

-Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition-need I say more?

-A good attitude-several times yesterday on the beginning of the bike I lost it mentally and got frustrated with the wind, hills, etc. I HAVE to keep that in check and just keep smiling!

-Testicular Fortitude-my highschool football/lacrosse coach used to use this phrase and it's stuck. You gotta have Balls! No doubt about it. "It's not about how hard you can hit, it's about how hard you can GET hit and keep getting up"-I love that quote.


So that's it. Training and getting ready for the test. I have to say, this is the FIRST time I've actually done my homework! Feels great! Too bad school wasn't that way!


Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Rollin' Along

So the days here are rolling along quite nicely. I've been training a lot and working a lot, not to mention seeing Kristen and trying to get some sleep. Nothing much new, just plotting along until Rev3 in a couple weeks.

I got the oportunity to demo the new Argon18 e-114. All I can say is this is a DANGEROUS bike! Not in a bad way, but in a "Holy Sh*t!" way. What a faaaaast bike! The one I've been riding is a equipped with a Zipp 404 front wheel and an 808 rear. Very fast. I never realized what it was to slip throught the wind, but this bike does it! Not like my Trek TTX isn't the sexiest bike known to man (well to me at least), but this bike definately rocks! Maybe one day I can afford one!

Otherwise, Kristen graduated from grad-school yesterday, getting her Master's Degree in Physical Education. I'm so proud of her! She really looked great walkin' across the stage in her 'poo poo brown' graduation gown! Good look babe!

So that's about all for now. Long open water swim on tap for today and a super hard race simulator for tomorrow. 5 hour ride on Sunday and then it starts to get scaled down for the race June 7th. I'm nervous for the race, but in a good way. It will be great to see how I race now that I've officially been coached through this process. This race will be a good dress rehersal for the real fireworks later in New Hampshire in August.

Push 'till ya puke...Always!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Doubles Table Tennis!


Watching doubles table tennis on Universal sports right now and I have to say these girls are some freakin' athletes! Not only do they NOT take one another out, but they hit that damn ball as fast as I've ever seen anyone hit a freakin ping-pong ball! I'm sloppy enough playing table tennis by myself, but if I played with a partner on the SAME side of the table someone would be missing teeth!


Anyway, I got in a really great ride yesterday. As I'm gearing up for my first 'A' race of the year, my coach had me do a race simulator yesterday. It was to be a race-pace 60 mile ride followed by a race-pace plus :30, 7 mile run. Fun stuff! I did the bike in great time and added some killer climbs in the mix. Total climbing was around 3700 feet-tough to find on Long Island!!!!


The run was a game time decision. Since banging up my toe during last Sunday's race, I've only done one run for about an hour and 40 mins. That's it. During that run, the toe felt a little achy, but I managed. The next day, however, was a different story. Swollen and busted the f up, I could barely walk on it. So I gave it some rest and decided only to bike yesterday...no run :(.


After the ride I got together with a friend and went for a little open water swim. The water here in Long Island sound is about 52 degrees-not fun! It did feel great to get in though after the bike-my legs were shot!


So today is another open water swim. Wetsuit, neoprene cap, and goggles! The air is warm and the water is cool, but calm. Great conditions! I'll stay in as long as I can tolerate it, but I'm hoping to get in about 3000 yards. Wish me luck!


Gotta go, Beach Volleyball is on! BEST SPORT IN THE WORLD!


Push till ya puke...always!!!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Cocky Triathlete

I've come to a conclusion. I'm sick of people who have no idea as to what fitness means or how to truly achieve it, telling my WHY it is I do what I do, or WHY it is I look the way I do. I work in a gym, so day in and day out I'm faced with people asking me fitness questions, diet questions, and the like. Most often, when people come up to me, I give them straight answers, using the knowledge I've aquired over the years.

But now I'm sick of it. Today I was TOLD that the reason I'm so skinny is because I drink coffee! Can you believe it, COFFEE!!!??? Really??? Everyone is so obsessed with looking for the 'magic bullet', that they are not willing to account for the hard work and consistancy I've been putting in for YEARS!!! No one gets it. It's not because I drink coffee, or take a pill, or use a TV-bought exercise machine-My physique comes from hard work, eating right (most of the time), and consistancy...THAT'S IT!!! There's no magic potion, no bells and whistles, and CERTAINLY NO FREKIN' PILLS!!!

I've been thinking about this all for a while now, and it's really time to start a new movement in fitness. People need to truly know that there are no shortcuts. Anyone that has achieved a certain level of fitness (note-I did not say a certain LOOK), has put in consistant hard hours of labor to get what they have. Unfortunately, Americans are so obsessed with IMMEDIATE RESULTS that they don't stick with ANYTHING. we have instant gratification EVERYWHERE we look. Blackberry's, emails, television...EVERYTHING!!!

I just need to vent today. I'm tired of people thinking this way. WE NEED TO CHANGE! I used to think that many very fit people were just cocky a**holes... Well I guess I'm one of them now because I cannot deal with this anymore! I'm now on a mission to change everyone's perspective!

Let's do it!!!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

The day after...


I woke up this morning feeling like I was a hundred years old. After my little transition mishap (see yesterday's post), I'm feeling the effects of the fall. Luckily, after taking the bike to the shop to get checked out, it seems no worse for wear. I, on the other hand, am feeling it. This is the first time I've put out such an intense effort and feel absolutely no effects from the race. However, my elbow, right thigh, knee and toe, are feeling the impact of the fall. Such is racing I guess...


So today has been all about taking it slow. Monday's are usually my rest day's anyway, but today I'm making an extra effort to stay off my feet. It's not working out! I've been super busy at work today, which means standing for hours at a time training clients. I love what I do so it's not excruciating, I just know that I'm not getting in as much true 'rest' as I need.


On another note, has anyone out there ever NOT been able to control your appetite on rest days? What I'm trying to get at is why I am STARVING on the days that I do no training, but on the days I do train, I'm never hungry. I could ride for five hours and not feel at all hungry when I'm done, yet when I sit on my butt all day, I can't get enough food in my mouth. I know I'm repairing in this down time, but I still just find it strange!


Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting back to training tomorrow and working harder. It's nice to have a win already under my belt this season, but in order to get the results I'm looking for this year, I have to get back to the grind. I LOVE THIS SPORT!


HTFU before you get KTFO!!!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Carl Hart Mother's Day Duathlon Race Report



Great race!!!! That's really the first thing I can think of when I try to account for today. Great weather (a little windy, but hey, we all have to deal with it!), great people, lots of fun!





Today was a HUGE benchmark for me. As written in my post yesterday, I wanted to win this race-no if, ands, or buts. I would be happy with besting my previous time from last year, but in my heart, this race HAD to be mine. I've trained hard, rested hard, eaten right, and desperately wanted the win. Ok, so on to the report:





1st run (1.8 mi)-I wanted to go out at a moderate pace. Seeing a friend of mine (who happens to be a pretty hot shot cross country runner) got me nervous. This kid is fast. He's young, and has run forever! I on the other hand have been a lacrosse and football player type my whole life, at one point weighing in at 250 lbs. Needless to say I was worried. We took off pretty quick after the gun. I'm not sure of our exact pace, but I'm sure it was in the mid to lower 5's. Not bad for me, and at my present fitness, it was definately sustainable. So we get moving, and I'm in the top three-just where I had imagined myself. Suddenly, there's a surge from behind me, and one of the local tri-studs is making his way past me. Immediately I think, 'Not today, this is MY race!' So I caught and passed him and my cross country buddy, leading the race into the first transition.


Bike-Now here's were things geat tricky. I got into transition quickly, slipped off my running shoes, buckled my helmet, and I was off. Being that I haven't done a flying mount in a quite a while, I muffed it and fell hard on the road. Just as everyone who's ever loved their bike knows, YOU PROTECT THE BIKE FIRST! :) My sweet, new Trek TTX went down hard so did I. Without missing a step, I got up, dusted Susan (that's my bikes name) off, re-mounted, and we were off. Functionally there was nothing wrong with the bike, but I had unknowingly lost a perfectly good toenail in the fall-more on that later. By this time, XC buddy had pulled ahead of me on the bike. After regaining my composure, I reeled him in, and never looked back. I led the rest of the bike, fought off the 25-30mph wind gusts on the flat course, and finished the 10.5 mi. course in about 28:30.


2nd Run-I got into the second transition with a fairly comfortable lead (about 45 seconds). I had a flawless transition this time, got the sneaks on, and headed out for the final 1.8 mile run. I was feeling it by now and definately redlining, but the lead I had built on the bike helped as I was able to stay relatively comfortable on the run. As a testament to my fitness, I was actually able to build an even bigger lead on the run, and finish 1st overall.





My first 1st place finish!!! Very happy with the result and very happy with where I am right now. It's amazing what dedication and coaching has given me this year. Not only do I have confidence in what I'm doing, but I feel like I can seriously go to such a higher level! I would consider myself fit right now, but I by no means have peaked yet! This looks like it's going to be a very good season and I look forward to accomplishing a lot. From here on out, the races are within myself. I've learned that putting the time and miles in absolutely works. I just have to keep it up! Thanks for reading!



So for the toenail...I didn't realize it at the time, but during the second run, by foot had been bleeding like a faucet from my lost toenail. As I crossed the finish line, I looked down at my foot to see my beautiful Nike Lunar Racer soaked in blood! I can't wait to see the finish line pic. That's gonna look badass!


Push 'till ya puke...Always!!!!!

Oh, and by the way, my coach said to have a beer or a candy bar to celebrate the win! I think I'll have both! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Welcome Race Fans!!!


So tomorrow is my second real race of the season. It started with the Suffolk County Half Marathon at the end of march, and now we've come to the first Multisport event of my year-The Carl Hart Mother's Day Duathlon. This is a fun little, local duathlon that I've done twice before. The distances are 1.8 mi run, 10.5 mi bike, 1.8 mi run. Flat and fast is the best way to describe this course.


In doing this race last year I placed third overall and am definately looking to improve on my time from last year. It's important for me to place well, but I'll be happy as long as I beat my time from last year. You never know who's gonna show up on race day, or how you're going to feel so it's only fair to myself to concentrate on my time. This race is really not a major priority for me, and is only a tune up and time to work on my transitions.


I say all this, but in my heart I'll be going for the win. After all, what the hell am I doing all this training for? Sure it helps my head, my body, and my business, but in the end, you TRAIN TO WIN THE RACE!


I'll have a full race report on this little gem of a race tomorrow.


Push 'till ya puke! Always!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Thursday-Off


Today is another rest day. After doing an easy hour run yesterday, followed by an afternoon spin for 45 mins, today is completely off-as well, so am I. For some reason I just find myself HATING people today. What's up with that right? I mean, I'm a very easy going person, happy most of the time, but today I'm totally miserable. I really don't get it.


It's not my clients or the people I work with that are bothering me today, just the general public. Maybe it's the rain that makes people this way, but everyone seems to just be pissed at life. It could also be the fact that I'm not allowed to train today. Not having my daily dose of endorphins really messes with me. I know I'm SUPPOSSED to rest and absorb all the work I've done, but I just feel useless if I'm sitting around.


It's funny to think about these trivial things when people around the world are dying from poverty and disease, but I just can't help myself today. Maybe an afternoon nap and some healthy eating will help me get out of this funk. That or a five hour bike ride! Oh, well...time to catch up on the odds and ends I guess...


Push 'till ya puke...Unless it's your day to rest, in which case be miserable and think about training...Always.
Disclaimer on the pic: I have no idea why I posted this pic, I just happen to like it quite a bit. Also, maybe it's to ease my mind after seeing ChuckieV's lovely blog post pic today! :)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

30 min swim...


This recovery week is probably the first one that I've really really needed since I've started working with my coach. Every third week we take a step back and lighten the load to let my body adapt, and to be honest, before this week I thought I was wasting my time. Not that I was oppossing anything that he's had me do so far-it's made me into a much better triathlete-it's just that I never thought I NEEDED it. Well, that's far out the window now. My body had reached it's limit this past weekend and it's time to reel me back in.

This week is REDICULOUSLY simple. Very easy workouts, with very easy intensity, and the option to take any day off where I feel I need to. So yesterday was completely off, and today was a half hour swim...that's it. Nothing more, nothing less. One half hour of drills, drills, drills. Honestly, by the time I was done warming up, I felt like I was almost done.

Mentally this is a tough week for me. I LOVE training. In fact, I'd almost say I love it more than racing. There's just something about the alone time of it all that I find very pleasing. Usually it's just me and the road. Solitude at it's greatest! Racing is nice and it's definately fun to see the result of all that hard training, but it's really the training that not only draws me to the sport, but has been a great discovery for me in terms of my own personal development. I'm thankful that I've found this sport, and I love every second of it.

Off to bed for now, but I'm sure with all the down time I'll have this week from recovering, I'll be able to post quite a bit! Maybe I'll even try to figure out how to put up some video on this thing!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!
Oh, and I have no idea why the picture of Mini-Me...I've just been in an Austin Powers kind of mood lately!

Monday, May 4, 2009

"Cross-mojination" Yeah baby!!!

I got it back yesterday! And all it took was a ride in the pouring rain!

So after about a week or so of feeling like crap in my training, I took a little bit of extra rest and got back on the horse. Saturday was an easy 3 hour ride, and Sunday was killer! Thirth minute swim, 3hrs 30mins on the bike, and 45min hard run. Crushed it.

I was wet from the moment I got in the pool to the moment I finished the run, but it all came back together and I can't be happier. I never thought a miserably cold bike and run was what it would take, but I guess the elements provided me with the energy necessary to get it done.

Riding and running I felt like one of the Spartans from the movie '300'. I even yelled out, "This is Sparta!" while riding(I think I scared some squirrells). All in all a great day, and just what I needed to get my head back in the game.

Today (and the rest of this week for that matter) is all about resting. There will be plenty of self massage, foam rolling, and sauna in my life for the next 6 days. That's good too, because the weather is gonna stink here this week...rain, rain, rain!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!

"Cross-mojination" Yeah baby!!!

Friday, May 1, 2009

I did it...


Ok, so I'm officially an ass. I'm overtrained and I have no one to blame but myself. I've been walking that fine line the past few days, looking at all the symptoms-fatigue, depression, lack of motivation, etc.-and I've just waded through and ignored the right things to do. Namely, I should have rested, eaten properly, and rested again. But, of course, like every other type-A triathlete, I just couldn't get enough.

I got a sweet new Trek TTX the other day and I just couldn't resist the urge to ride more than I should have. I figured it would just be a nice cruise on a sunny day, but after hammering and really 'testing' the bike (like it needed it...), I found myself today sloshing through the pool, having an overall bad attitude, and too tired to walk out of the car and into the house. Needless to say, I passed out from 3 to 6pm this afternoon, and I'm still the walking dead.

Anyway, that's what's up. It's going to be raining here all weekend, so maybe that'll give me a good excuse to rest. God knows I really need it. It's amazing how the body works and what we do to achieve top fitness. Just as I was really starting to come into form, I go and push it just a little bit and BAM! here comes overtraining. I'm learning...

So it's early to bed tonight and REALLY PROMISING myself to take it easier this weekend and stick to the plan. The HR monitor will be my best friend and when in doubt, I'm taking it slow. No need to blow up yet, REV 3 is still a month away.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Flirting with danger..

I'm flirting with the line of overtraining in the last few days. It's been hot here, and since last weekend, where temps were in the high 80's, it's been a struggle to get used to the weather. It felt great to train in the warmth, but my body SERIOUSLY isn't accustomed to it yet. I usually do very well the hotter the temperature is, but this took me by suprise. Needless to say, I crushed it this past weekend, but am suffering the consequences in training now.

So I decided to scale it back today, and do my workout, but lower the intensity. That, and I added a 90 minute, dumb-easy spin to loosen up my legs and heighten my mood. It seemed to have worked as I feel much better now (writing this as I go to bed) and am in better spirits overall.

It's been a tough couple weeks for me emotionally, but things on that front seem to be coming together. It's amazing how even though you're not taxing your system physically, it can still be very effected by what happens in your head. Interesting...

I'm back at it tomorrow with 4k in the pool and a possible bike in the pm-depending on the weather.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Crazy what a difference a day can make...

It's awesome how much things can change from one day to the next. I rested today, which gave me even more time to contemplate my life as I've known if for the last week. I've come to the conslusion that there is no conclusion. Just when you think things are headed one way, they swing back and take another, entirely.

I've realized that I really love Kristen tonight, and, like most guys, a lot of the problems that we face come from me! That's right, I admitted it. That's certainly NOT saying that NOTHING is her fault, but this time a large part of the issues we faced dealt with the fact that I can't communicate worth a damn. So there you go...

Everything is fine in Happyland, and I'm off to bed. Big day of running on tap for tomorrow and I need some shut eye.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Water, Two Wheels, Hills, Running Shoes, and more life thoughs


Another productive day in the books. Started at 4am when I woke up to nothing other than the urge to piss like a race horse. This could be because I'm getting older (haha, yeah right at 28?), or, more likely, because I went to bed at 8:30pm the night before. With all the trouble I've been having recently in my relationship, I've been able to sleep like a baby. Ok, well not Friday night-had a migrane all night (which I'm sure was brought about from stress with Kristen, work, and training)-but every other night has been asleep early, up early. I feel like I'm 80:).

So today started with a half hour swim, and then off to the Verizon Wireless store for my new toy. With the nature of my business being the way it is, I NEED a PDA. Otherwise, I'd be completely screwed with all my client contacts, reminders, appointments, etc. I never thought I'd come to rely on technology so much, but alas, I've become a techie.

After the trip to the toy store, a.k.a. Verizon, it was off on the bike for a 3 hour ride. Nothing big, but after the effort yesterday, I was tired after only an hour in the saddle. Not to mention the fact that it was blazing hot outside today-in the 90's here!

So after the bike, I staggered home, placed my bike gingerly against the wall of my living room, and collapsed on the floor. I'm being a little over-dramatic, but I definately had a good lay down on the floor while the dog licked the sweat from my brow. After a little while, I realized I still had to get out for a hilly 30-45 min. run. So I Manned-up, took it on the chin, and headed out the door.

I got in about 35 mins before calling it quits. Tired and done, I made it home, stretched, and downed my recovery drink. Tomorrow will be a great and deserved day off.

Now I'm off to try to avoid the swine flu...Isn't this nuts??? Every time I look at the news it's getting worse. Scary, Scary, Scary. I'm definately going to the doc as soon as I get ANY symptoms!


Oh, and life thoughts... I'm scared with where I'm at right now. It's a definately turning point not only in my relationship, but possibly my life as well. There are a lot of things I have to 'get together' in my life. I've never been good at organization, and I'm worried that if I was to continue down my current path, I may regret some things. Family is becoming more and more important to me, and it's been getting a backseat lately. That scares me. Family is all you got. Without it, you're on an island, and I ain't Gilligan (maybe the professor with his studly looks though :) ).

Push 'till ya puke...always!
oh, and HTFU!!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Hills again...this time on two wheels.


Hills, hills, and hills. All on the bike today for 4 hours. GREAT ride! Had a ton of fun with a good friend and really had time to think about a lot of things. I think this is why I love endurance sports. There's something about that point at which your body is being worked to the max that makes you think as clearly as you ever have.


So anyway, during my ride today I thought a lot about life. My life in particular. Have you ever noticed that when parts of your life are going ahead full speed, something gets lost in the dust? It's like there's only so much you can take with you at any given time. There is a big part of my life that I feel I'm losing, but other's are being reborn. I'm scared though. Do I really want this loss? Do I need this loss? What is the cost of this loss? So many questions.


In many regards, I'm happy. But I wonder what can still be. Am I making the biggest mistake of my life, or am I doing what fate intends? I guess they're right-life is what happens when you're making other plans. I'm just gonna go with it and see where it takes me. John Blaze said, "Life is not a dress rehersal," and he was 100% right. We only get one shot at this, so we better get out of it what we want...we'll soon be dead and "you can't come back from that".


Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Hills

Worked it in the hills today. Tough workout. Probably the fastest run I've done in training so far. Something about hills really makes me wanna kick hard. The legs felt good. A little tired from Tuesday's Long run, but I'm very happy with my running right now. Never run so well.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tough times

Been having a tough time lately. With the car breaking down and things between Kristen and I not so good, it's been a rough week. I wonder why we go through these ebbs and flows...not just Kristen and I, but people in general. It really makes me question things that aren't in my (or any of our) control. What is the higher power? Is it God? Karma? Something/someone else? I don't know exactly what, but boy is it much bigger than I am.

Just when we think we have things all set, a punch in the face comes along to set us straight. Mike Tyson said it best (I can't believe I just said that), "Everyone has a plan until you get punched in the face." Truer words have never been spoken Iron Mike.

Just got off the phone after a heated convo with Kristen...

So now life is even tougher. It's difficult enough when things are going well to focus sometimes, and now it's even harder. I know that controversy and adversity is what makes good people great, but it's sure hard as hell to go through.

I'm so scatter-brained right now I can't even think. And I gotta take the dog out for a poo:).

Push 'till ya puke...always.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Ever wonder...


Ever wonder where everlasting love comes from? I mean the REAL THING...the kind of love that is unconditional in every sense of the word. I think I have trouble accepting love sometime. I wonder how someone can really care THAT much about me. It sounds silly but it happens.


Tonight I saw a demonstration of that unconditional love. So my car breaks down in not so good part of town-about 20 yards from a strip club (see where I'm goin'?). It's pouring rain, my cell phone is just about dead, and there's no one around to pick me up. So I manage to get a hold of my Dad. He's in his mid seventies, struggling with various ailments, among which could be lung cancer, and without hesitation, he asks me how to get to where I am so he can pick me up. Keep in mind, it's 12am and he's been asleep probably since 9pm. To say I'm not crying while I write this would be a total lie. I'm so blessed and fortunate to have the parents I have and this is just one shining example.


I truly don't deserve such a good father, yet he never EVER has let me down-not once. There's no possible way that I can repay him for all that he's done for me. As if I needed another example, tonight I realized just how much I'm loved. I don't think I've ever looked forward to telling my Dad how much I love him. Thanks Dad! You mean so much to me, I just hope I've made you proud in some way!


I love you Dad!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Pissed Beyond Belief...

So today, after conducting a running class in which NO ONE showed up, I go to work with a client at their house, only to find that I can't get there. No, not because my car broke down. Not because I had a family emergency. I was unable to get there because the road were blocked for a run/walk in the town I live in.

Now, obviously, I'm all for these run/walks. Usually they benefit a charity of some sort, so that's a good thing-not to mention that I LOVE running, biking and swimming and have surely put other people at an inconvenience for my passion. But, being as I live in this town, there were no postings warning residents of the event and possible road closures, nor were there 'polite' people shutting down the roads. As I tried to get to my clients house (and even to my own), I was told to go this way and that, none getting me to where I needed to be. Then, in desperation, I began to argue with the Constables. All in all, the event wound up costing me time with a client-whom I feel terrible about standing up-as well as money from my pocket.

It's unfortunate that things like this happen, not only because it causes people trouble, but because they more importantly get turned off to the idea of holding events like this in their village. They would be much better off planning for the road closures and awaring residents of these closures well ahead of time.

To say I'm mad is an understatement. I'm not one to complain, but this is just plain ridiculous.

Friday, April 17, 2009

It's official




Today it's official. I've signed up for both my "A" races and I couldn't be happier. The butterflies are doing loops in my stomach right now and I'm super psyched to continue killing it in training and working toward some good race performances.

Taking triathlon seriously this year has really changed me as a person. I've always been a focused athlete, but something about this sport really makes your life different. Triathlon, moreso than any other sport I've ever played, is a lifestyle sport. Everything in your life has an influence on performance. If you go out for a night and drink too much, you suffer. If you eat the wrong things, you suffer. If you don't sleep, you suffer. Everything down to the way I cut my toenails has changed because of this sport-and only for the better!

My organizational skills, while still far from perfect, have become more concise. I'm able to get more things done in a day than I ever thought possible...and train well on top of that! Of course I could get more sleep, and at times eat better (or less for that matter:)), but overall my life has been improved beyond belief.

I think a big part of this has also resulted from meeting Kristen. She's really a great catch. Things can be difficult at times (and what relationship isn't!), but at the end of the day, she doesn't take any of my shit. And that's a good thing! I know there's no bullshitting her. She tells it like it is and that's something I've been missing in my life for a long time. I love you babe!

So the races this year will go well. I'm planning on being healthy, happy, and fast! Hard work yeilds results and I've been lucky to learn that this year. I plan on keeping with that philosophy.

HTFU!!!!
(and push 'till ya puke)

Sunday, April 12, 2009

New bike, hard training, and a dog

Just a quickie as I'm about to head out the door to Kristen's for Easter dinner...

So I took the new CARBON tri bike out for a spin and loved every second! Even with everything that I said about how good my bike was in my last post, nothing truly compares to carbon! I'm a convert! It's amazing how fresh my legs were for my run afterwards! It could all be psychological, but even so, if that's enough to make me run faster, that's all I need.

So the dog...

On the Trek's maiden voyage with yours truly as pilot, I got chased by some HUUUUGE freakin' dog... No I know what your thinking, just ride faster right? Nope, I just so happened to be on one of the steepest climbs around. So I'm trying to stay calm, accelerate and ride away, just when he catches me. I thought it was over-and honestly, my first instinct was to protect the bike:). So just as he's about to sink his frothy, slober-filled mouth into my leg, I get a huge sloppy tongue instead! Talk about relief... I was so happy I even stopped to pet the pooch for a bit before going ahead. Not all dogs are all that bad-they just scare the crap out of you from time to time.

Anyway, Happy Easter and Push 'till you Puke, always!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Need vs. Want

Recently I've been struggling with the idea of buying a new bike. Keep in mind, there is nothing wrong with the THREE that I already have, I'm just interested in upgrading my current tribike to a sexy carbon model. I have probably the best aluminum bike availible, I just want to 'look' faster than I am.

I've tried to justify all the different reasons for upgrading-more comfortable on long rides; stiffer; more aero; etc. The simple truth is that I've never riden ANYTHING stiffer than my aluminum tri bike (including my carbon Specialized Tarmac), and the bike is extremely comfortable, even over rough terrain.

I've talked to my coach about this and he has confirmed to me that I don't need the bike. With the distance I will be covering in my races this year (nothing longer than Half Ironman), along with the fact that I'm young, the advantage gained in buying a more exotic bike will be minimal.

Along with all this, the thing that sticks out most in my mind is something that was written in my coach's blog. He mentioned something to the effect of 'earning' your equipment. That really struck a cord with me. I haven't EARNED anything yet. I'm good, but not good enough yet to really 'deserve' exotic stuff. Once I begin to consistantly place high and win the local races overall rather than just win and place in my age group, I'll make the upgrade. It's all about the engine and not the machine.

Finally, the simple fact is that I should be happy with what I have. Many people can't afford one bike, let alone the three that I have. I'm lucky and extremely blessed. Now I just have to put in the work to make the most of what I DO have!

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Race Report-Suffolk County Half Marathon

So I've got some work left to do.

That's the main lesson from today's race. Well, that and the fact that I know shit about pacing. I went out like a bat out of hell which left me no room to spare come the end of the race. I've never been a runner, and the sports that I've played through college required brute force and bursts of energy...in other words, I ain't exactly a patient athlete. I'm still learning.

So I went out and ran a PR for the first 5k, and then another for the 10k mark. At the midway turnaround I started to hurt. Not bad, but just that kind of hurt that you know you went too hard and the energy you will need won't be there. So I manned up, soldiored on, and finished up in about 20th overall. I made my goal of breaking 1:30, but only by about 5 minutes.

I'm happy for the lessons I've learned today, and I know I can do much much better. Again, this WAS my first stand alone marathon in which I've RACED, so it's a good starting point. I just gotta keep logging my miles and staying positive. It was a good day and an exceptable finish.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Suffolk County Half Marathon Tomorrow!

First race of the season for me tomorrow and I'm totally nervous as hell! As I've now mentioned countless times, I'm coached now, so with that comes new expectations. With the past races I've done, triathlons, marathons, 5k's, 10k's, etc., I've always run out of sheer determination. I've done well, but never really had a specific plan going into any of them. It's always been more like, 'Well, I guess I'll run today' as a training philosophy.

Now that I've been coached for the last 5 or 6 months, dramatic increases in both fitness and confidence have occured. Most importantly, every day that I get out to train, there is a specific plan. There's a goal to reach for the day, and I feel more and more confident every time I reach it. Gladly, I now feel that I'm no longer just spinning my wheels. Coaching has been worth every penny that I've put into it, and thankfully I have a great coach that doesn't break my bank!

So with that, today I find myself not quite itching to get out the door to do a simple 15 minute workout. Ironic right? I can get up for a 2 and a half hour run, but a simple 15 minute jog with some pickups....it's like pulling teeth. I just want to race damnit! Ok, sorry, just had to get that out.

Ok, so that's where I'm at. As for the race tomorrow, I'm trying very hard not to put any expectations in place. Of course I expect it to go well, but I'm not going to hold myself to a specific time goal. I've run only one other stand alone half in my life, and paced a friend and finished around 1;30 super comfortably. Not to mention the fact that I weighed about 200 lbs at the time and had put in zero quality weeks of training. I'm now at about 175 and fitter than I've ever been. So I guess that is putting a time expectation in place isn't it? Ok, so anything under 1:30 and I'll be happy.

So that's it. I'm going to post my full report on the race tomorrow (as if anyone really cares because no one actually reads this blog!). I'll hopefully be happy and bloated with Thai Food!

Push 'till ya puke...Always!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

I never thought I could do so much

The last few weeks for me have been nothing short of unbelievable to say the least...and I don't mean that in a good way. It all started three weekends ago when my Father had to be hospitalized for a 50% collapsed lung along with some fluid between his lung and the chest cavity. Then, the very next weekend, after waking up to a flooded apartment-and I mean seriously freakin' flooded!-I find out that my Mother is now in the hospital after having suffered somewhat of a mini-stroke. Then, as if by some act of who knows, my car breaks down. I'm pretty sure bad things happened in three's right? What the hell? This is FOUR! Don't I get a freebee somewhere in there?

So to compound things, I'm currently in some of the biggest training weeks I've ever seen. As I've stated before, having a coach has been the best thing I've ever done, and the results just seem to come out every single day. Now, most people would probably have shut down with training and focused on the events happening. Nope, not this type-A psycho. I decided to push through, continue training, and take on the obstacles that had been presented me. As it turns out, I have been more productive with my time, trained hard, and still managed to gain quite a bit from this whole experience.

I've learned that I can do just about anything I put my mind to and that fatigue, in a large way, is all a state of mind. Sure there were times in between hospital visits, insurance calls, cleaning out my apartment, and of course WORK, that I was dog tired. But I pushed through, Manned Up (or Hardened the Fu*k up-my new favorite) and did what had to be done. I'm a lot stronger than I though and I proved it to myself this past month.

Adversity is my new friend. It's been, and will continue to be the cornerstone of my work, both as a professional and as an athlete. It's tough as hell, but it's a sweet reward to get through. Sweat doesn't lie and neither do the lessons learned in facing adversity.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Stress

Just a quick one as I'm headed to bed...

So this has been the toughest week of my life without question. It included not only tough, but trivial things like training for my silly races, but visits for both of my parents to the hospital, little sleep, and insane amounts of work with my business. I now know that if I've made it through this week alive I can make it through just about anything.

On the training front, things couldn't be going much better. I'm consistant, motivated, and getting in the best shape of my life. Fitness before now has been something I've contemplated, but never actually realized. I can't believe the sense of overall well-being that I have from having an incredible base. It's like I'm high all the time. It's a powerful feeling to know that you're capable of doing so much. I look back at my training journal at the end of every week amazed at what I was able to accomplish. Not to mention the fact that I was able to do it with everything that's been hanging over my head this week.

Adversity is what makes good people great and takes great people to another level entirely. Being tested by fire is a real thing that I suggest everyone go through. Not only do we find what we are capable of doing under pressure, but more importantly, we find what we are made of. And what that is, no one can ever take away from us.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I love to K.I.S.S.

...as in Keep It Simple Stupid.

I've realized over the past year or so, that keeping things simple is one of the key concepts needed for success. When things get too complicated disaster strikes. It's not like everything can be simple in life, but when we make the effort to keep it simple, usually things go better than planned, and less crap gets in the way of our ultimate goal.

I'll make a sports analogy because that's basically all I know. From the time I've been competative (since birth really), I've played just about every sport possible in America. Football, baseball, soccer(for like a day, but it counts!), ice hockey, lacrosse, mixed martial arts, boxing, etc. I usually excelled in the sports that I didn't care as much about, with the exception of hockey. For some reason, mentally, when I didn't wrap myself around every little aspect of the sport, I found myself able to 'leave it on the field'. In otherwords, a single poor performance did no carry over into the next time I played that given sport.

In recent years, since my college athletic career has ended, I've tried to make a habit of being mentally stronger. Not only in sports, but in life as well. I don't let things get to me. People, performances, etc. are not allowed to bring me down. I guess you could just call it positive thinking, but it's really more than that. I've changed my outlook on things, and besides success, it's brought me an inner peace that I previously never felt. Sure there are times when you'll be dissappointed, but you have to find the good in those things and focus on that. Negative energy is a very real thing. It brings with it only inner turmoil and ultimate failure.

Sure there are some that thrive off of negative energy, but I ask, do you really truly succeed, or is it rather a temporary victory? I see it as immediate recognition that will undoubtedly leave you with a void once the fake 'high' has worn off. It's kinda like popping a zit-you'll be immediately satisfied, but you'll be pissed off later about that scar on your face.

That's just the way I see it and that's what has worked for me. Obviously we never stop learning about ourselves and how we tick. If we do, then what good is life anymore? I believe we should be constantly challenging ourselves in order to discover what we can do. I never want to allow myself the complacency of settling for who I am. I hope to learn more and more about myself until the day I shut my eyes for good. Keep learning!

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Coaches Rock!

So a while ago (November I believe), I hired a coach to help me along in my triathlon journey. I've always been a pretty high level athlete, so since becoming envolved with triathlon, I've been licking my chops to get better. Being that it's an entirely different sport than any other that I've ever participated in, I definately saw the need to get a coach. Long story short, I have made gains that I never thought I would see so quickly.

When I got into running, biking, and swimming, it was through sheer force and determination that I found the success I did. I was able to place in my age group at every event I attended(with the exception of one-I blame a major hangover), and I saw gains coming on quickly. The more I raced the more I wanted to do better, so when I finally placed third at a duathlon last spring, I knew that if I seeked the guidence of a knowledgeable coach I could do very well.

So the hunt was on and after looking at many different candidates, I decided for a the best coach I could get. Since that decision, I haven't looked back. He sent me my workout schedule and I was off.

I have to say that I really couldn't be happier. I'm just as fit now as I've ever been, and I still have months to go before my first race! Not to mention, the fitness has come on much easier this time! In the past, when I was training blindly, I would just do whatever I felt like on a given day, and try to hammer as hard as possible with the belief that I would get better that way. There were no easy days and the only days truly off were the ones where I was literally to sick to train. Not smart.

Now though, as evidenced in my long run this morning, things are moving easily and effectively. I'm still building my base, but man do I feel great. For example, this morning I ran 10 miles at a very easy pace and felt like I could easily do another 10 as soon as I was done. It sounds silly, but that's never happened to me! No matter what the distance, I've never actually felt anything but totally worn out after a run. I had one speed, and it was pushing to the verge of vomitting. With guidence though, that's changed and I'm so thankful for it.

Thanks coach!

Push 'till ya puke....Always. (but listen to your coach if he says not to!)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Takin' a day...

I'm so glad that there is a saying that training plans are written in pencil and not pen. My life is hectic (probably because subconciously I make it that way) and weekends are usually the worst of it.

When I started taking my training super serious this year, I decided that no matter what, I was not going to let it effect the rest of my life. Long story short, I don't want to become some super ocd triathlete with no life and no concept of what's real. I already do that to a certain extent, but in order to keep the few people around me sane, I sometime's choose to miss a day of training here or there in order to have fun and live life.

So today is one of those days. After having a very good training week in which I began my run focus, I decided to take today off, and do the long run designated for today tomorrow. In other words, I'm switching my rest day (Monday) for today and running long tomorrow. I had to convince myself it was the right thing to do, and now that I have I'm happy. I think sometimes we get in our own way in pursuit of our goals.

In all truth, my foot has been a problem for me, my shoulder is banged up, and averaging about 5 hours a night of sleep hasn't been cutting it. Today is a needed rest day and I'm positive I will only gain from taking it.

So anyway, that's today. Otherwise, it's on for the Oscar's tonight! I'm rooting for Micky Rourke to pull through. Somthing about that guy really gives me a lot of respect for him. Either he's the biggest idiot in the world for shunning Hollywoood and millions of dollars for years, or he's got balls the size of canteloupes! I really admire him for sticking to his guns and giving the finger to what people thing he 'ought' to do. Follow your heart and pursue your dreams. Life should be on your terms. We only get one shot so we better make it a good one.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Tough day at the office


...and by office I mean the pool.


So I'm done with my swim focus and it's on to the run focus. I really enjoyed the swimming and am sorry to see the focus go, but I've gotta stick to the schedule...I mean that's what I'm paying my coach for right?


This week has been tough as I've run more than I have in quite a while. We're not measuring miles yet, just time. And by the end of this week I will have logged about 5-51/2 hours of running. I'm guessing it's about 40 miles of running, give or take. I know it's slow as tar, but that's where my coach wants me right now so I'm not arguing. So, that amount of running along with the swimming and biking I've done this week has been a big week for me. Not my biggest ever, but certainly a biger week than I've done in a while.


And I'm pooped. My swim today was suppossed to be abou 5000 yards, but turned into more like 2500 as I just couldn't stand to flounder in the water anymore. Everything was tired, my shoulder hurt, and I had noooo motivation...none. I guess this happens and it's important for me to realize that in the big scheme of things it's just a measly 2500 yards I missed out on. I have a habit of being extremely hard on myself and I won't let that happen now. I have to remember that I'm in this sport first and foremost to be healthy and happy.


So now I'm home from work and going to take a nap before a meeting in a little bit. I'm gonna turn on the Tour of California and let the great cycling fill my brain as I drift of into la-la land.


Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

War has been declared


I'm declaring war on everything in my life. Triathlon, business, and especially debt. I'm currently reading "The Art of War" and it's got me to thinking a lot about how I approach things. I'd like to say I'm a 'go-getter', but to be honest it's only when there's something that I really want. I'm not the type to easily take on things that don't interest me, or are things that I don't really want to do. Well, right now, in order to hold myself truly accountable, I'm going to declare war on everything. There will be no more easy, only doing what needs to get done when it needs to get done. I will be successful and there will be no excuses. Likewise, I will take no prisoners in my endevor. Winning is the only option here and I have no doubt that I will be successful in this campaign.


Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wonderful Weekend

Now I know what my clients are talking about when they see me on Monday and tell me about their 'Wonderful Weekend'. Things couldn't have gone better this Valentine's day!

So it started Friday night, with dinner made by yours truly and a movie. Great dinner-Chicken Stirfry with yams and no rice-and great movie-"He's just not that into you". I know it's a chick-flick, but man, there's some real stuff in there! I learned things about myself that I didn't even know I knew before I knew I knew them....I've just gone crosseyed.

On to the good stuff...
Saturday morning we set off to Eastern Long Island, Montauk to be exact. I had booked us a room and dinner for Saturday night at a really nice spa/resort. Being that it's winter here, and most things on the eastern end are closed or dirt cheap, I was able to set us up nice in a place I'd have to spend much more for if it were summer. So anyway, we got in, had a wonderfully romantic dinner, and managed to get in some good trouble, which I WON'T elaborate on...gotta keep the juicy stuff to ourselves! :-)

And....one of the best parts of the weekend, other than the fact that I spent it with a wonderful girl I'm madly in love with, was that I actually got to train a little on Sunday! Kristen went off to get a pedicure and I headed down to the sweet little saltwater pool they had. This was only the second time I've swam in one, but honestly, all pools should be salt water. Not only did I not have that nasty chlorine stink when I got out, but I felt so much more relaxed than normal. Granted, I only got in about 2k yards before she was done, but man was it great!

So that's about it, great weekend and awesome time away to spend with someone I've found such true love with!

Today it was back to the grind of training as my run focus got underway. I have to say, swimming so much and getting so much better at it has really not made me miss running all that much. Only an hour run today, but it felt much longer than that. I guess it's gonna take a couple weeks to get my body back into the swing of things, but I'm missing the pool already! Also, my foot has been giving me some issues, so I'm going to experiment with some more substantial footwear tomorrow. I've been going 'barefoot' on the trails and treadmills with my Vibrams all winter, so I guess it was bound to catch up to me at some point or another.

Alright, bed time.

Push 'till ya puke...Always.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Ready for Valentine's day!


Ah, Valentine's day! Wonderful holiday right? I think a lot of times (as a guy) I really don't look forward to this "holiday". I don't know if it's because I've never really spent it with someone I've been super crazy about, or if it was just the sheer fact that I was usually spending money I didn't have. But, this time is different.


Kristen and I have been together for a year, and technically this is our second Valentine's day, but it really feels like the first...at least I think so. Last year we were still in the 'getting to know you' process of things. It was exciting of course (and still is), but I don't think we really had a ton of background on one another. In other words, I think the holiday then was more about the lust of the relationship-which isn't a bad thing, it's just usually where things are at that point.


This weekend, though, definately has a different feel about it. I've been planning it for some time, and I really think it should be a lot of fun. It's going to be a suprise so I'll have to post the details later. I'm positive that no matter what it will be a very fun and very romantic weekend.


The only problem, however, which really isn't a problem at all, is that I'll have to take off from training while we're away. Of course I'd rather spend plenty of alone time with a beautiful woman than scortch my crotch for five hours on the bike, but I'll definately miss a good two days. I know it sounds like I'm just another OCD triathlete, but I'm just not into messing with consistency. I've had a tough couple of weeks with injury and sickness, so my consistency has been somewhat effected. I'll have to be a little mentally tough though and suck it up, knowing that two days in the big picture is really nothing! Not to mention that this is really suppossed to be a recovery week before a nice run focus that starts next week. So, let me stop complaining and Man the Fu*k up!


Gotta get some shut eye, so that's all for now. I slept like dog crap last night and it showed in the water an on my bike today. Insomnia is a bitch! Anyway...


Push 'till ya puke...Always.