Sometimes you get a flat during a key workout, often requiring double effort to get back in the zone. Other times your body fights back or is forced to fight off a virus. That's where I am today. It's been a rough weekend and last night was certainly the worst. Since my amazing birthday, I have been dealing with some nausea and fatigue....and some stomach issues. I had to cut a few workouts short and have generally felt like 10 pounds of crap in a 5 pound bag. Sunday morning I pushed through and finished my 1hr 30 min run (death march) but still bounced back after a nap. Yesterday's swim workout was the catalyst to my demise. So here I am fighting off a fever and massive tightness all around.
What does this mean? No racing this weekend! I'll be pulling out of Challenge New Albany :( which I'm super bummed about but it wouldn't make sense to cram in a race knowing I'm not 100%....especially when I have another 70.3 only 2 weeks later. I have no choice but to listen to my body! But hey....I get to lay in bed and watch Le Tour!!!
The 3rd Time Is a Charm. Rob's Glory!
I'm very proud of Tribal Multi-Sport athlete Rob Pulsifer, who fought is way to a Boston marathon qualifying race time. Seriously, we tried 2 separate races prior to Grandma's Marathon. Attempt #1.....A draw bridge at mile 16 and 5 minutes of standing around led to massive leg cramps and a slow finish. Attempt #2.....as everyone lined up to start, they cancelled the race due to weather! Attempt #3....read below....
I’m the goal guy and feel that life is best lived by having huge goals. Growing up outside of Boston and living for several years in Connecticut I have been devastated by the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary and the Boston Marathon in 2013. As a father of 2 girls, 3 & 6, it has been difficult to deal with these tragedies as many of the victims were kids not able to live their lives. Running has been my outlet.
After the bombings in Boston I made a commitment to qualify for the race, 3 hrs 10 minutes or better for my age bracket. I had run a half dozen or so marathons, my best race at that time was 4:05:17 and I was in pretty good shape. So shave an hour off, that’s all right? Easy right?… Wrong.
Well, I’ve been after it for a year and a half and have had 4 failed attempts but I needed all of those failures to learn the lessons. So welcome to Duluth...
Leaving Minneapolis around 11:00 AM, the weather was sunny and 85F... and rising, not ideal race conditions. By the time I got to Duluth, it was 48 degrees, perfect for the race! Crazy how you can go from summer to winter in 3 hours, that was a gift from the Big Guy.
The night prior to the race I texted a friend and told him I was attempting to qualify for Boston again. In short he said that I had already failed as my mind was not in the right place. In the words of Yoda, “there is do and do not, there is no try” and I think that is what my friend was saying. Immediately after reading his response I made a conscious decision to qualify. Sounds strange but I knew the night before that I would get it done. I went into Black Mamba mode... dangerous, fast, and aggressive.
Having signed up for Grandma’s late, the only place left to stay was the freshman dorm at University of Wisconsin Superior. Cold, drafty, group bathrooms, no TV... perfect. This wasn’t a vacation as I was there to do a job and the room reinforced that message.
I met up with the 3:05 Cliff Pacer and planned on hanging with him the whole race. In the first 5k he was well ahead of pace and I decided to back down to 7:03/mile. The entire race was run on Lake Superior but I never saw the water. I remember of thinking about perfect mechanics of the first 8 miles (Eyes fixed 30 feet out, 90 cadence, heart rate in the upper 150’s, etc.) Fast forward to mile 21, my “wall” in previous races where a hamstring or quad would lock up but not this day. At any sign of stress in a muscle group, I would consciously tell my body that failure was not an option and that it wasn’t going to shut down. It worked! 22, 23, and 24 went down. I caught the pacer at mile 25 who said we were well ahead of a 3:05 and I could back it down... not going to happen. Mile 25 was 6:53, Mile 26 was 6:33 and the final stretch was at 5:39 pace. Mission completed! Punched my ticket to Boston with a3:03:54. I learned so many lessons along the way but I think the last one was one of the most important. Train your mind and your body will follow. Whatever your goals are, remember to Believe!
First off, what the heck have I been up to?? Well let me tell you, it's been a whole lot of intensity! Some big changes are coming in the near future...but you'll have to wait for that announcement. BUT WAIT allow me stop any of my crude friends and their corrupt minds....no there will not be a sex change involved, you jerks. Anyway, a few quick highlights before I get into the race recap and a review of the next few months. IT'S MY BIRTHDAY WEEK! Not sure if that is good or bad....since I'm getting older and all- but none the less, my girlfriend has assured me it will be one to remember! It'll be hard to top last year though since It was the first time I had EVER been genuinely surprised.
Over the past few weeks since my last blog, I've been pouring a ton of energy into Tribal Multi-Sport and the development of the amazing athletes I have the honor of coaching. Amongst all that, I've been working on continuing my education too (I prefer to break a mental sweat too). But seriously, I've definitely chosen a path less traveled...which makes me want to challenge all of you to do the same, no matter how big or small that scale is. Working with compassionate and dedicated people who love Triathlon or even general wellness, is a dream come true! In the beginning the relationship is more business minded but over the course of a few months, we're life-long friends! So there's my little touch of emotion....I love my athletes!
My travels to California are ALWAYS beautiful and refreshing (especially to wine country)....I was very fortunate to share this experience with some great friends. Tribal Multi-Sport athletes Brittany Pierce (with her Sherpa Paul Higgins) charged into the pro field AND my good friend at XTERRA Wetsuits, Jay Webber came up to support all the XTERRA athletes. This guy LOVES the sport and has given me tons to work towards when it comes to positive energy. The dude is seriously on fire for our sport and whoever will give him a hug....or a feel how "springy" his hair is. I think he also stores his gels in there during long rides.
OH WAIT....if you're ever out in the Berkeley California, CHECK OUT Cafe Gratitude. The menu, flavor and support crew of earth loving servers will change your life....and blow your pallet out of the water! What's that? RAW kelp pad thai! Wait...The best tacos I've ever had with cashew cheese? Yea, I was pretty hungry after waking up at 4 am....for a cross country flight. So as we roll into the race recap....look forward to some more insight as I will be competing in Challenge New Albany in OH and IM 70.3 Steelhead in MI....very soon!
Race Recap ....In Reverse Order (mind=blown)
So wine country is pretty amazing; very easy on the eyes. After I finished I was sorta bummed I didn't have much time to even appreciate it. When you're busy spewing liquids from your body and trying to forcefully put more down at the same time....the scenery can often be overlooked. None-the-less, the finishing chute couldn't have come any sooner. My legs were hurting, my body had been telling me to quit since mile 10...but with 3 miles and change left, it's time for my body to chill out! We're gonna finish strong. A good take away on the RUN was even paced splits...(not very exciting I know). I didn't really "blow up" at any point, just kept it consistent. I took in tons of fuel each mile, either water, coke (after mile 6) or some Honey Stinger Gels. A nice steady dose of calories kept the diesel engine going. I passed a few guys, got passed myself (by chicks.....too)....but always remembered, it's not over until it's over. Some of the studs who blew by me off the bat were reeled back in...but a few more got away and really ran well. I've managed to pick races this year....with mega stacked fields. My rookie-ness in the sport shows when it comes to that. I get irritated being dropped over and over again but then quickly remember these guys are well seasoned. I think they have seriously bottled "awesome" and given a mega-dose to the likes of Tim Don and Jesse Thomas. So anyway, a tough run (but is it ever easy?). I'm still very pleased with how it turned out.
As far as the bike goes, I made a slight miscalculation of the angle of my aero bars. I usually tape all of my dimensions so I can't screw it up on the re-build...but I think the tape moved. Half way through, my back was about to pack up and leave....It wasn't until I hit a hefty bump where I realized they were loose enough to pull back up a bit. After that little fix, life was better but the rolling hills were deceptive. like most races, I had some power numbers to focus on, but sometimes when you're riding with a few others...those numbers start to fade. Since biking has always been my strong suit, I've been trying to taper back a bit to see if my run can improve...I suppose there's a long way ahead! All that aside the bike course was great! After riding the Wildflower bike course, this was a walk in the park...Chalk Hill was over and done with before I could expel the snot from my nose! (yea it was a bit chilly out--and snotty). One of these days, I'll swim with the guys who lead the race and actually have a foot forward-instead of always playing catch up. HOWEVER, playing catch up is fun at times...because some of those bad-ass swimmers come back on the bike and then I don't feel so bad.
The swim was full of dolphin dives (shallow water) and course corrections (per usual)....the river was 71 degrees, just tipping the "uncomfortable" point while wearing a full sleeve. I'd hoped to swim a 26min...but I suppose a 27 will do for now. Each course throws some different challenges my way and I'm still trying hard to hold onto some feet! I really liked the river start though...the fog was gently hanging above the glassy water. Pro transition was about 5 steps from swim exit so it was a mad dash to toss the wetsuit. I've been throwing a ton of body glide on the outside of the ankle portion, allowing the suit to come off as quick as a champagne cork.
For pre-race meal and what not...it's never anything different than what I have every day. Keep it simple! I eat tons of veggies, some quinoa, some healthy fats....maybe some fruit. A plant based lifestyle has really made meal time pretty simple...which I really look forward too. My goal is to even show my home-stay's how easy it is to be more plant based.
Finally, A HUGE thanks to my home-stay...who's name will remain anonymous due to his previous dealings with the Russian Mafia. Totally kidding, but a seriously large THANK YOU to Jesse, his wife and very sweet kids. Without a doubt, the most comfortable bed I've slept in along with the darkest room=paradise! It was an honor to race with you and share your first 70.3! I'll be back for Rancho Cordova....and I'm gonna stop by!
Thanks SCOTT BIKES for a solid rig and American Classic for the speedy Disc wheel. OSMO nutrition was also on site, keeping everyone's stomach PH in check for maximum nutrient absorption. Hopefully I'll have my Rudy Wing57 for the next race too....so look forward to that!