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!


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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!



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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.