This picture certainly sums up my attitude @ Wildflower Triathlon! #pumped After we arrived at our humble abode, only 15 min from the camp site @ lake Nacimiento...I couldn't believe the view, the fresh air and the cool breeze. It was like I was re-born. It wasn't hard to get into the moment because last weekends race, St. Anthony's Triathlon, didn't go so hot. To be specific, I finished the bike at my girlfriends condo rather than T2. Luckily, we live at mile 23 of the bike course and I could walk down to see this finish.
I'd like to take a quick second to have a chit-chat about that DNF. At one point, only months ago, I thought "I will never allow my self to quit". Ohhh, how blind I was! Since this year is my first year on the "elite" start list, I drastically underestimated the laundry list of mental stressors that tag along. In short, since this was a home-town race, I got caught up in all the daily activities, sale of my home, home-stay of 2 athletes and social meetings. Typically, I'm way more mellow...off my feet, in a cave hiding. I've never vocally said I didn't want to race until that morning. After that statement, I should have known not to start...but I love this sport and I wanted to have a good local race, so I chose to give it my best...which was over in about 2 minutes of the swim when my $400 Garmin ejected from my arm, lol. ACTUALLY, I didn't care about that..but once I got on the bike, I hit the slow motion button. It was time to pull the plug. I've gotten tons of great energy and learned more than I ever have. LISTEN to your body and it's OKAY to have a less than stellar day. That race certainly made me hungrier for Wildflower. Almost how bad we all want a Cinnabon but know they lead to instant gratification or fat-ification
WILDFLOWER TRIATHLON A.K.A Hardest Race EVER!
As you can see from the pictures above, I was thirsty, I was with my team and great friends (Jay from XTERRA Wetsuit's) and that finisher medal proves I actually finished! Boom! (27th Male Pro..definitely not last) I managed to actually pull off a solid swim, hanging onto some feet for a long time, setting a new 1.2 mile swim PR! However, all that cool swim stuff was quickly forgotten on the 15% boat ramp run which THEN followed by a 2 mile run to my bike LOCATED at the top of yet....another boat ramp! At the end of the day, the tune was continually accented by more hills. For a living in Florida I think I definitely did my best to prepare for such a feat! Check out the run and bike profiles....pretty Gnarly!
Anyway, I wont bore you with the specific data points but I'll tell you what you need to know. This race is challenging but the trip is worth its weight in gold! Camping, great views, relaxation, smore's, topless aid stations....etc ALSO, your shoes will be destroyed!
Without the support of the US Military Endurance Sports team, I wouldn't be here. Without the amazing people who surround me, the pain cave would be mighty lonely. I certainly wouldn't be here had I not chosen to join the U.S Air Force and I'd probably be dead had I not found something as awesome as Triathlon. I have 6 races in CA this year but this one will be near and dear to my heart. The race organization treated athletes with the utmost respect and I've never seen volunteers so knowledgable and involved! It's easy to see why this is a "bucket list" event. Please let me know if you want to go next year...I'll cook for you and wash your bike for a free place to stay. Finally, a big thank you to Scott Larson and Tri-Lounge for taking such amazing pictures that will definitely make my sponsors happy:)
A final Congratulations to my accomplice in Doughnut Adventures...Nicholas Sterghos! He took 4th overall on the Olympic course. He's the ITU specialist of the bunch...he'll run down a cheetah one day, I'll bet $100 on that!
Seriously, think about that question and apply it to your everyday life. #1 We wear clothes to protect us from the elements and/or wear sunscreen to avoid skin cancer. #2 We "climate control" everything because it's just way too uncomfortable for us to live in the natural environment of the world. #3 Our dear friend "gravity" turns our knees, backs and joints to shit. #4 We can't simply live off the land, we have to chemically alter food in order to consume it. THE LIST GOES ON!! Louis C.K got this thought process going and I thought I would expand on it a bit. This is just a quick reminder that we totally complicate everything, diminishing it's initial pure "goodness".....turning it to shit :)
Life is about to get hectic!
So in a few short weeks I'll be racing again. I'll either knock out an epic 4 day cycling event in Georgia OR just chill out and rest before 70.3 Steelhead. I've FINALLY gotten my (moderately) broken butt back on the track, which feels completely alien at this point. None the less, I'm getting my legs underneath me again, getting faster every day. If you've ever been injured for a sustained period, you'll know what I mean when I say...it's scary to go fast again. The main reason being...I don't want to be injured again. My Coach is keeping me focused and motivated, reminding me I can handle more than I think. I'll be back in no time! Until then, I'll be dealing with sore calfs and hips!
Want to come to train in a beautiful location with Hank Campbell and ME?? Check out our group page on Facebook if you're interested in coming out!! The focus will be knowledge, but there will be TONS of great training. All you have to do is work hard, eat and recover...we'll do the rest. There will be some educational seminars, running drills/demonstrations, open water swims, race nutrition "chats" etc. You will walk away with a GREAT understanding of your own limits and I'll definitely provide ALL of the knowledge I've gained from Pro athletes, nutritional experts and personal experience. Come on out, don't be lame!!
Check out this awesome Dinner!!
- 1 pound Grass Fed BEEF
- Salt/pepper/garlic to taste
- Crushed red pepper/Cayenne pepper
- 2 Cups caramelized onions/sautéed mushrooms
- Avocado/tomato/lemon juice
- Red Cabbage
- Sautéed Spinach
- Brussel Sprouts
So you're colleagues bring in donuts...before you know it you slip deep into a sugar coma (since you ate 3). Birthday party? Why not eat 2 pieces of Oreo cake? We only live once right? A friend mentioned that chocolaty treat you're eating is "healthy" because it's "gluten free" or "paleo"....Go Nuts, right? It's around 2 o'clock and you feel the hunger monster, let's get down on a candy bar (Cliff bar, Raw Bar, Crackers or something else processed), right? These little decisions ADD UP and are limiting your bodies ability function as it should....forcing it to hold onto fat, even if you're working out. PLAN AHEAD and bring some healthy snacks with you at all times...be prepared or prepare to fail!
Point being, it's always easy to find a reason for a snack or sugary delight. Odds are, we all crave something that's probably not going to eliminate any fat from the butt or gut. I've been there too, but now....things are exponentially better.
SOOO here is what I'd like to share. It's been over a month since I've been immune to the past unhealthy "additions" to my body fat. If you know me or have read previous posts, it's easy to see, I prefer some healthy (tasty) meals. OF COURSE, I cheat from time to time and have some fun (Froyo)! However, the majority of everything I eat is pretty simple. I eat butt loads of (clean) local vegetables, fruit and humanely raised, sustainable MEAT sources. Ever since I decided to make this change, life has been really.....kick ass! First off, I'm not on a sugar kick anymore, body fat is on the decline and I feel more energy than ever. FACT is, you DON'T NEED REFINED GRAINS OR PASTA to have ENERGY! Also, once you decide the "American Diet" isn't for you, the vail will been lifted. As a matter of fact, STAY out of the center of the grocery store (stick to the outside). Anyway, everyone comes from a different experience and carries around a different pallet. Challenge yourself to make smart decisions on a daily basis....IF you're interested, let me know and I'll totally shed some knowledge! As active as I am, I'm proof that the common perceptions of nutrition are mostly foggy or flat out wrong.
Above, are a few meals I recently enjoyed. It's a pretty obvious to see, there are lot's of veggies with some delicious protein. Also, check out all of the snacks that are available (still in moderation). Odds are, these types of meals and snacks will sustain you longer and exceed the needs of your taste buds, while helping you stay lean. If nothing else, I hope all of you are taking small steps to drive your health and fitness needs in the right direction.
I was shark bait for 1 hr 26 minutes...
Aaron Vaughn Frogman Swim! This event was incredibly inspiring and I felt honored to participate. Honoring those who have given their lives for our country is absolutely necessary. Too often, we forget that our fellow brothers and sisters are giving their lives, the ultimate sacrifice. Honestly, as much as I think everyone has forgotten about the men and women in harms way, I'm suddenly astonished on many occasions. Whether it's someone buying my groceries, dinner or coffee OR even a simple comment honoring my service, It's a nice reminder that we're all compassionate people.
Swimming 5k was really not as bad as it seems. The water temperature was very refreshing, the current was fighting back and the energy was high. I will definitely consider more long distance swimming in the future. Coming in 4th was awesome, as I had no idea how to pace this event. My watched clocked a solid 3.5 miles, which means I was in the water for awhile (1hr26min). I was able to average 1:20 per 100yds....very happy with that. Either way, I had tons of energy an really recommend everyone support a noble cause, especially Navy Seals and their families. Additionally, one of my favorite athletes completed the swim....this being the longest distance he'd ever swam too. As the 4th of July approaches, it's once again...time to dig deep and DO WORK! Stay safe while training and make healthy decisions!