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!
As you can see from the very attractive people in the pictures above, early season training camps are happening all around. A camp worth your time should include 2 studs for coaches (Jon and I), detailed workouts, each precisely fitting in their place and most importantly, FUN. (Camp Location) Beyond the physical stresses, your mind must to be engaged too! This means paying attention to the nutrition presentation, swim demos, Training Peaks/power file analysis and running drill execution. There are always a few who really get balls deep in this process and it's likely those few who will have the most success. This isn't ONLY due to the fact that everything we say (as coaches) is worth it's weight in gold...kidding... but because a mind that is open to new methods can really tap into their abilities. As Jon would say, trust the process and achieve the results. The missing link between your racing goals may not be MORE volume or MORE intensity, you may just need to get smart. When I say get smart I don't mean you should take some college classes at the local Community College. You can spend 15 minutes a night reading some blogs from doctors, learn about Training Peaks, understand your thresholds or read about the food you're eating. Simple stuff can often have the biggest impact.
The inaugural Tribal Mulit-Sport triathlon camp was not meant to destroy, leaving corpses on the side of the road. I would put it more along the lines of a "wake up call". Overall, many hadn't put in any long rides or hard efforts on the bike or run...so naturally we explored those regions of the pain cave. One note worth mentioning; I witnessed some messy swimming while in the NTC pool. I'm not talking about the kind of mess that you could clean up with a single sheet of Bounty. I'm talking about the, drop your bowl of spaghetti squash pasta and red sauce all over your white couch type of mess. Basically, I highly recommend any swimmer have a friend or coach get some video of them. "Volume" in the pool doesn't always translate to speed (duh). Getting a good look at yourself on camera can highlight some major problems. Additionally, once the swim stroke is a slightly dialed in, it helps to have some defined "zones". You're "70.3 Race Pace" and your "All Out" should not be the same stroke rate. Your "Warm Up" and your "Tempo" should be different in the same regards. Knowing your "gears" and getting some eyes on your body as you move through the "gears" will give a better sense of what could be keeping you messy, fighting the water instead of making friends with it.
Recover with nutrient dense meals, perform at your best!
The real life, everyday missing link between you and your BEST possible self: Food Quality. Barely anyone I know in my normal job takes fitness seriously, much less their diet. Sadly, most athletes make succumb to many of the same failures I'm not going to go on a crazy rant but all I ask is that you try to analyze the quality of what you're eating. This is the main message I tried to send out to our humble camp participants. What better way to do so than to cook for 18 hungry athletes, demonstrating that IT CAN BE DONE?? Talk about putting me out of my comfort zone! I'm totally cool getting 3 or 4 people full of healthy food but 18 required some serious planning. Plus, everyone was typically starving and would devour double portions without batting an eye. The meals were simple, HIGH QUALITY versions of what people normally eat. It's crazy how simple it is to actually make this stuff. Chicken fried rice with roasted vegetable salad and homemade dressing? NO WAY!! Spaghetti squash pasta with avocado spinach sauce, turkey meatballs and a side of veggies?? BOOM! Very simple stuff here folks. Had I not been cooking for so many people, I could have whipped it up in 25 minutes or less. So on that note, look below for some quick/easy meals I use during the week to help keep the nutrient density high, maximizing recovery. (They may seem complicated but I promise they aren't)
So hopefully this season, you'll try some new approaches...become more efficient and make some new friends to share some paint with. I'll be traveling a lot this season so look for some healthy eating on the road. I'll prove to you that even without a fully stocked kitchen at your disposal, you don't have to eat a Dunkin Donuts or Steak n Shake. Please e-mail me if you need some more in depth descriptions of my recipes! Stay healthy and be safe on the roads!
So as you can see, I like to take the bull by the horns. However, it doesn't always work out as planned.... but when it does, holy cow, the sweet succulent nectar of success tastes SOO good. This past year has been a bombshell of goodness, almost like I've been attacked by Santa Clause, constantly surprised with amazing opportunities and "presents" along the way. Since I'm a total slave to my cell phone and have a 2 second attention span, I don't really remember EVERYTHING...BUT I'll try and list some sweet events that have kept me chugging along:
- Joined the US Military Cycling Team, attended the most noteworthy camp ever (most miles I've ever ridden)!
- Met some local Pro's and trained with the best in Clermont, Fl...signed on with coach Tim Crowley @TC2 Coaching
- Sustained support from colleagues and leadership within the U.S. Air Force. Totally appreciated!
- Finally getting over some lower leg injuries with lots of PT/massage/A.R.T...Thanks Dr. Rubin and Matt Shanklin
- Traveled to London to compete in Age Group World Championships!!
- Joined forces with Jon Noland @Tribal Multi-Sport. Couldn't be happier to coach along side him!
- Earned Elite Card! Next year I'll be at the bottom of the totem pole with the big dogs....but not for long!!!
- Earned USAT Level 1 Cert and 1 yr long Master Trainer Cert with ISSA...Always learning!
- Started Coaching U.S. Masters Swim Program at St. Pete Beach
- ACCEPTED AS 2014 ELITE TRIATHLETE ON US MILITARY ENDURANCE SPORTS....truly honored!
So the road ahead is still full of questions! Will I perform well and continue to grow in the professional ranks of triathlon? Will I develop a phobia of water and become a duathlete? Will I move to Iceland? Who knows!!!?? That's the best part about life, the direction you take is totally up to you! Of course you have to have the courage to take a path less traveled but IF you LOVE what you do, you're no longer at a "job". At least that's what I've noticed about being a coach. Waking up at a steady 4:30 am most every day to either workout before work, coach masters, get home late from a strength and conditioning session and staying up late-er to take care of training plans/research better ways to thrive as an athlete...Now that's my JAM! Of course the icing on the cake is being part of the U.S. Air Force, knowing every day I work to help sustain the mission and support our nation. So when I hear people complain about not having time and they don't have kids....I just sigh and hope one day they get their priorities in line. Life is to short to have excuses!
Next season is packed with lots of travel and proud representation of the US Military Endurance Sports team and our sponsors. I'll be cruising on a new Scott TT Bike, staying warm yet flexible in my Xterra Wetsuits, hydrating with OSMO in my bottles, keeping my noggin safe using Rudy Project helmets, wearing some great Primal kits, rolling on American Classic wheels and precisely monitoring power and selecting gear ratios on SRAM hardware! I'm pretty much spoiled! Given this opportunity, I plan to race with a fury I've not yet experienced. This new year is sure to throw some curves and require deviation from the plan but shoot, I'll remain resilient. I'll be like an amoeba, just mold me into a new shape whenever you want! So for now, thanks for all of the support and continue to CHASE your dreams!!
So, starting this jam-packed blog off with a bang should be easy since I've got some truly remarkable news. I'm joining forces with Jon Noland and Tribal Multi-sport. You might be asking, what the heck does that mean? It means Jon and I are going to blend our training philosophies to create super-mega athletes. Okay, that might be a little extreme but just know, we're kind of a big deal. The overall goal is to add value to each athletes experience. You can check our mission statement and program at Tribalmulti-sport.com. Officially, the website will be 100% operational 1 January but I wanted to give those who read my blog a sneak peek. I couldn't be more excited to be accepted into this stellar network of athletes. Training on my own all the time has been dull and I definitely benefit from having a positive energy around me! Super Pumped!
Holiday Weight Gain? Don't stress!
I'm not sure how everyone tackles the holiday season in relation to food and drink but I'll give you a glimpse of a stress free method I currently practice. As a striving top-level athlete, I'm continuously thinking of performance and if you ask me, nutrition is most definitely linked into my plan. It's probably a "Top 3" priority. That being said, I don't have any races for awhile and this is the time of year to accept a few healthy pounds. My goal was to finally get to 160 lbs by December, which I managed to do in a very healthy manner. I think it took be about 5 months to lose the 3 or 4 pounds I had set my sights on. Now that I've reached my goal, it'll be easy to get back there once the training volume increases. Since then, I've been allowing more sweets and treats into my diet, never stressing about a moment of indulgence. Despite the previous statement, don't for a second think that I've been lowering the level of "quality" food I eat. If I decide to eat something a little on the sweeter side, I'll bake or make it myself. That way I can closely monitor every quality ingredient I enjoy, knowing that the bar is still set high. To be blunt, you wouldn't catch me with a store bought pie, snickers or fatty fudge sundae. I LOVE FOOD but I also know that everything adds up and being "mindful" now will, will pay off later. If I feel like eating more sweets, why wouldn't I keep the quality high? Why wouldn't I want to be involved in it's creation? Why settle for garbage ingredients you can't even pronounce? My point is this, be passionate about your food and it doesn't matter if you eat meat, diary, gluten, soy or wood chips...set a high standard for what you'll allow into your body. Remember you're a finely tuned machine and you need high octane fuel!! Enjoy the off-season, gain a few pounds and spend time with those who have been neglected due to high training volume :)
Tri Key West Race Report
First off, you cannot beat the weather. While the rest of the U.S was hitting some cold weather, we had the pleasure of some tropical vibes and limited clothing! The long drive was well worth it, especially since I was able to make the journey with a fellow athlete, Brett Hendricks!
This race is a little late in the season to really "care" about but it's always fun to do it. Since the past month or so has been super relaxed, I wanted to hit the race with cruise control set to "moderate". With that in mind, I'll briefly take you through where I was mentally and what went into the race prep.
- Prep- We arrived mid-day, ate some awesome squash, enjoy the beautiful view and enjoyed the full belly (a little too full) of treats. Breakfast was at 4:30am and consisted of a banana and almond butter, followed by some coffee blended with avocado, ghee and coconut oil (for real). I always get in my breakfast AT LEAST 2 hours prior to "go time". This race actually had a "Pro/Elite" field and I was pretty pumped to see a few names I recognized from last year! The competition would still be there and I was pumped to see how I would perform on limited preparation.
- Swim- Well, this is where I first noticed I was lacking comfort at "race pace". I quickly slacked off into a pace I could maintain without totally de-railing. I ended up 3rd out of the water with a high 22 min time. Not stellar by any means, but good enough for the day. The warm water and awesome sunrise set a perfect stage.
- Bike- I've accepted that when I race this course, my chances of death increase 20 to 30%. With tight corners, two way traffic, police marshaling cars in front of you and sudden course changes....you have to really be on your toes. I was a little slower than last year but was still happy to ride down the 1st place swimmer (from Aruba). We entered T2 like a couple of buddies and he quickly applied some speed to which I mentally replied "PSH.......whatever". With a jovial attitude, I pressed forward, sweating like one of those Corona bottles in a beach commercial.
-Run- So 1st place dude from Aruba pretty much went out too fast and blew up by mile 3 (Mentally I thought, "AHA"), which meant my effort was enough to pass and hold him off. I quickly accepted a top 2 position when I was run down by the stud behind me...but then he also blew up with 2 miles left. I thought, well I might as well see what I have left, taking full advantage of his misfortune. At the end of the day, it all worked out and I was able to walk away with nice win. A steady pace won the race!
All in all, I couldn't be more proud to have been part of this event. It's not because I won but because 2 of my athletes raced along with me. Brett Hendricks, despite coming off a hip injury, smashed his AG and took the win in the Sprint. Lannie Marsh, taking on her first Olympic Triathlon, took 3rd to some very fast women in her AG. I have to say, watching these two succeed and having been part of their journey was incredible and solidifies why I love being a coach. For the love of sport and the company of extraordinary people, I'll continue to thrive with this lifestyle!
For the most part, Turkey day leads me to consume close to 10,000 calories within a 4 hour period. Last year, I ate myself into a nap, with drink still in hand. This year I'm taking a different approach. Don't get me wrong, on any given day I'm about 2 decisions away from being a glutton. BUT the difference is, these days I don't crave the same foods. Oddly enough, once you learn to prepare delicious meals with veggies, you learn to season them in a way that makes your mouth water. That being said, this year there is a definite plan when it comes to holiday eating. Believe it or not, you don't have to overeat on horrible carbs and heavy foods. As a matter of fact, if you're an athlete and care about your performance, it's smart to hold back a bit, even if that means not going back for 5th's or 6th's. The damage you've done in one day of heavy eating can throw off your system for a week or so, meaning you'll have to do a lot of catching up. That also doesn't account for thanksgiving breakfast and all the turkey you'll be eating AFTER thanksgiving Also, being able to control yourself on such a "glutinous" occasion will give you piece of mind. OKAY, so I'm pretty sure if nothing else we'll all still overeat just a little...I mean if food is hanging out on the counter, someone has to eat it, right? Make some small changes!
HAVE A PLAN!
My plan is this:
- I know I'll probably be presented with some challenges. Mounds of heavy carbs, meats and gravies will be staring me in the face at every opportunity. SOOO I've decided to prepare the healthiest version of the foods I love.
(everything is homemade too)
- Veggie Loaf (replaces turkey)
- Cranberry sauce with dates and maple syrup (definitely not from a can)
- Sweet Potato/Cauliflower mash w/ coconut milk
- Mushroom gravy
- Gluten free stuffing
- Roasted root vegetables
- Fresh salad with homemade carrot, ginger dressing
- Almost raw, frozen pumpkin pie
I get it, totally different than what I've crammed into my mouth in previous years. The difference is, if I happen to over eat on some of the items above, the penalty is not nearly as severe. By cutting back on the heavy salts, canned products, fatty oils, mayo, butter, processed sugars and refined carbs. Also, I shop for my ingredients locally so I know where they came from and will have that piece of mind. I find it odd that we blindly neglect the thought process when it involves food. With the "instant gratification" fairy on your shoulder, it's hard to remember that there are consiquences to your dietary decisions. IF anyone is interested in how they can make some healthy decisions on Turkey Day...please get ahold of me and I'll steer you in the right direction. Also, I credit a lot of my eating ideas to Rich Roll. Check out his website and blog if you get a chance. The pictures below will take you to a few recipes.
Last blog post, I put out a giveaway. I'd like to announce that by luck of the draw, Brady Price will receive a brand new pair of Maui Jim glasses and a new pair of Asics shoes. His response to the "challenge" was spot on and very inspiring. It's important to know your "why" and stick to it when you're tired or don't feel like training. Read below for some inspiration and then take 5 minutes to answer it for yourself.
- Why are endurance sports the driving force in your life and what are your goals for next season?
"Being a triathlete has changed my entire perspective on life, and how I approach each day. I remember when having a house was important, when my car was a status symbol, when eating was for pleasure only, when I worried what people thought of my clothing, and when I wanted to conquer the business world. Then I was introduced to endurance sports! My house is now just a place to sleep, shower and safely store my gear! My car gets me to the trail so I can train, and holds all my dirty shoes and bike tools. Food is now fuel, and recovery, and cheat days are more rewarding than ever! The clothes I wear are race shirts, and I sport them proudly, even at work! Endurance sports introduced me to life, and instead of waking up to work, and working to pay bills, and paying bills for what society says is “how life should be!” I wake up motivated to train, to better educated myself, to push the boundaries of what I thought impossible, only to realize impossible is just the beginning if you are willing to push past it. We are capable of so much, and I learn more about myself each time I toe the line. Life is about living, and this sport has helped me define that."
My goals for next season!
· To take full advantage of my first official “off-season” as an athlete.
· To get back on my mountain bike, road bike, and enjoy some social riding with friends since I isolated myself during the past 5 months.
· To work on my short game, and have some fun at the Clermont Sprint Series.
· To tackle more 70.3 races, and continue working on my long game.
· To continue working on my diet, and maybe trying out the Paleo thing.
· To work on my mental toughness, so I can one day compete in a Full Iron Distance. (hopefully in 2015)
How ever simple or complex your race plan may be, it's important that you truly understand it. It may seem like another race; waking up at the butt crack of dawn, hoping for the morning "movement" before leaving the hotel room, eating early and mentally preparing for a beat down but believe it or not, this ritual is very important. Often we methodically lay out every race item, systematically tucking items in our race bag like we're tucking an infant into a crib. That being said, now that I've been racing for a few years, I find that I sometimes slack on the planning aspect. I'm just soooo tired all the time. This sad realization led my mind to wander and inevitably led to the doodle you see above. Putting it all down on paper (so to speak) really helped me focus, re-committing my mind, ensuring everything was in its place. Seriously, TRI Rock Clearwater was yesterday and I'm pretty sure this race plan was executed with the utmost precision. Heavy Metal or techno, why not both? Why not mix the two and listen to some Skrillex, turning my red Jetta into a 4:30 am club on wheels? The WHOLE point is, know your plan, have some fun and MAKE sure you leave the house on "empty".....
Brief Race Re-cap, TRI Rock Clearwater
I'm going to start from the finish and work backwards, BOOM!
- As I ran through the finish, I knew I had held off some fierce competition. All the hours of training, 4:30 am mornings and early nights added up to that one moment, the victory. I've been on both sides of this, often being just short of the "win". Today, my best turned out to be the best and I'm so thankful for that moment!
- The RUN was surprisingly strong! Even with my 2 year old Saucony A5's. The freaking Clearwater bridge certainly slapped me with it's vengeful hand, but the pain was short lived. The fact is....Hills are HARD, lol. I knew a very studly runner was on my heels, thanks for the motivation Mr. 32 min 10k, you kept me running hard!
- I've had to accept that this was "the year of the bike". The single place where I could gain an edge. I managed to ride a solid 26.3 mph Avg through multiple turns, 3 steep bridges and a large field of 30+ Men and ALL the women. Talk about an obstacle course. Gladly, I caught the lead swimmer by the last 8 miles and we finished strong!
- I'm not quite sure what the heck you have to do to tie the knot between the pool speed and race day execution, but I haven't totally figured it out yet. I held a faster pace for my 5K swim a few weeks ago, without a wetsuit. The weird thing is, I felt really good. MAYBE feeling "good" is the problem and I should be a little more uncomfortable with a faster pace? Who knows? I can't complain too much, but definitely expected 1st or second out of the water....instead of 4th :)
- My pre race plan was simple as depicted above. Wake up really freaking early, eat a banana with cinnamon and almond butter, drink some coffee blended with 2 Tbsp coconut oil, Udi's Omega 3/6 blend and slam a Roctane Gel before my swim warm up. Transition set-up was seamless and It was fantastic to see all of the amped athletes! By the way, say what you will about my coffee mixture but I totally swear by it. I've also blended avocado or a raw egg with my coffee for a rich, creamy delight. Yea...a raw egg, for real! ALSO, I had been pre-loading with beetroot juice and beet juice all week long. After the race I enjoyed some Amrita Bars and fresh fruit. Believe it or not, I feel like I perform better with a vegetarian diet!!
WHAT?? You're Giving Something Away??
Great News! I'd like to offer one of you the opportunity to be highlighted in my next blog AND receive a pair of Maui Jim Sunglasses (Any pair you want) AND get some Asics (Gel-Blur33 2.0).
- All you have to do is subscribe to my blog and e-mail me the following:
- Why are endurance sports the driving force in your life and what are your goals for next season?
Please e-mail me your story, email@example.com.
Sponsors...couldn't do what I do without them. Thank you!
As this season comes closer to an end (frownie face), it's time to remember my "Why". Since I fully committed to this lifestyle and future career, life has taken on new meaning. Going to "work" is often the easiest part of the day because there are usually two to three workouts mixed in, not to mention healthy pre-planned meals and mentoring dedicated athletes. No matter how many ups and downs head my way, it's always important to remember the big picture; my "why". Why do we as athletes strive for such success and continually challenge existing expectations? Heck, sometimes I haven't the slightest idea....because honestly, it's super expensive, tiring and places a huge amount of stress on the body and mind. Those reasons keep a lot of people from succeeding but it's important to keep it in perspective. I know I love being a triathlete because I get to train and compete with some of the most inspiring people I've ever met. I can't think of many sports that have such an intense dynamic, forging talented individuals not only in sport but in life. Approximately 90% of the season is training, which means there is time for a taper and a race every so often. SOOO much emphasis is put into one day of performace. Months and months of training spent balancing the fine line of healthy fatigue and certain injury. Anyway, Ironman World Championship (KONA) was on Saturday and some athletes I look up to flawlessly executed their race plan, setting PRs and representing some amazing foundations. I'd like to thank all of them for giving me TONS to think about while I was competing at Long Course Nationals in Anderson, SC. The pain is temporary and everyone else is hurting too. Mental toughness is the missing link for many athletes. Click the pictures above to read about a few amazing athletes I have the pleasure of knowing.
Revolution 3, Anderson SC (Long Course Nationals)
Alright, I'm gonna hit you with some facts about this race. Despite the smiles in the pictures, I definitely had some predominantly negative thoughts. It wasn't even anything physical or painful, I think I'm just kinda, sorta ready for the season to be over. Even though I was 3rd out of the water and am very happy with that, I found it challenging to push through the "lows". The slight discomfort was even MORE mentally impactful than normal. The negative thoughts crept a little further than I am comfortable to admit. I'm not ready to do a "season wrap up" yet but I'll say I'm definitely considering all options this week . I've got another 70.3 ahead and a Olympic in Key West, which let's be honest...will be FUN regardless. BUT wait...let's move on to the Bike Leg. This course cataloged between 2800 to 3000 ft of climbing (depending on who's Garmin you're reading). I know it's nothing mountainous but it took its tole on the legs. I'd like to say it was fun to lead the race on the bike...dropping the 5 pack of drafters who made it to my wheel for about 10 minutes, then suddenly faded when an REV3 van came around.
- 3 hours before race- 1 banana and almond butter
- 2 hours, 1.5 cups home brew coffee blended with coconut oil, ghee and omeg3 oil
- 1 Amrita bar 30 min out
- 3 gels, 2x Nuun tabs in bottle and 1 honey stinger waffle on the bike
- Sipped a gel w/ water at each aid station during the run...Gatorade too.
The RUN started with tight legs, either due to over biking or because I've been unable to get any long runs in over the past few months. Either way, after 6 miles, it was time to survive with a smile. The last ditch effort came to me within the last 2 miles, as I gloriously held off Jon Nolan...a very talented athlete/coach with FAST legs. I'm happy to have been able to run 1:30 considering what the season has handed me. Next season....will be a different story.
Try a REVOLUTION 3 Race next year.....I promise you'll be impressed. Support the companies who support ATHLETES!
Oh and.....Post Race Nutrition was a group meal at MELLOW MUSHROOM!
Armed with my toilet seat pillow, plenty of healthy snacks and roaring excitement for the unknown....London awaits.
I'd like to first thank my Mom and Dad for being awesome cheerleaders. My Dad FINALLY learned how to use Facebook and has since been no stranger to hitting the "like" button. I managed some sleep on the plane; roughly 4 hours. Unfortunately my Monsters University movie session was cut short due to our arrival. Seriously, couldn't we hold pattern for another 15 minutes so I could finish my free movie?? Needless to say, the journey was only mid-way once we arrived at London-Heathrow airport. After my travel companions learned that their luggage had not taken the same route, the mood wasn't as pleasant. Luckily, the bikes made it in one piece though (whew). After a 45 min Tube ride and a 1.5 mile walk (which felt like 20 miles due to the bike case, heavy luggage, backpack....and sweaty/stinky armpits) we arrived at the Corus Hotel. We are a 10 minute walk from everything we need.
Speaking of walking, I've definitely walked more in the past 3 days than I have in the past 5 months. Since the race is tomorrow...we'll see how that paid off.
I was lucky enough to meet some great ParaTriathletes and even luckier to be a "handler". Truth is, he didn't even really need me...but I'd like to think I at least helped a little (high fives, chest bumps and what not). Needless to say, totally can't wait to leave it all out there on the course, just like they did. I definitely can't wait to see these guys compete in the Rio Olympics. The amount of spectator support was also very inspiring. Despite the weather not being able to make up its mind (it's either cold or misting and cold) the crowd was very large.
And so here I am...it's almost like Christmas Eve...hopefully I can sleep. My trip thus far has been full of great and hilarious events. Somehow, my travel companion packed two rear wheels...but luckily the guys at Specialized helped her out with a front wheel and a "triathlon for dummies" book. It's hard to believe that there has been so much preparation for just one event, but that's what makes what I do amazing. It gives a greater purpose to traveling and brings everyone together in healthy competition. I LOVED having a front row seat , 20 feet from the water, watching the elite women fly by...too bad I was numb since I had just swam myself. Finally...let me just say...I'm SO thankful there is a Whole Foods nearby!!
Tomorrow's projected conditions:
Air Temp....probably around mid 50's
Wather Temp....Mid 60's
Rain: It's ALWAYS misting or just recently misted....so the course will be slick
Smell: Fish n Chips with Ale....and Goose poop.
BOOYAH! Another race under my belt! This means more knowledge and a better understanding of my abilities as I head into Olympic Distance Worlds in London! I decided I would give a little more detailed race "wrap-up" since I tend to learn a lot from others experiences....but it'll still be pretty short:
1- DIET- I've been on the "Paleo" or "Wild" eating plan for several months now, transitioning my fuel sources. To keep it simple, I pretty much decided that processed foods aren't really "food". With precise planning and a powerful understanding of ingredients/nutrients, I get WAY more bang for my buck using veggies as carbs (when needed). It's hard for most to understand since the sandwich, pasta and dairy "mindset" is engrained in us since birth. Anyway, I'm not here to sway you, just know that I've NEVER had issues with GI distress or "bonking" while racing/training.
2 -Morning/Swim Leg- NOTE: MAKE SURE you book your hotel the day you sign up for your race. If you don't, you're pretty much saying "sure, I'd love to stay at the hotel that everyone avoids because it smells of urine and is most likely 40 minutes away from the race". SURE, you'll have a good attitude about it and think "all the explicitly negative reviews on Yelp can't be true, right?" HOWEVER they WILL be and you'll soon be layering up in your own clothing, with hopes of preventing any part of your skin from touching the sheets, carpet or even the drapes. Anyway, the swim was one of my favorites. Water temp, 67 degrees and the course was in a straight line, parallel to the beach. BOOM, the cannon goes off and before you know it (13 Buoys later) you're scrambling to your feet like a drunk baby. It felt great since I stuck to a "conservative" approach and came in with the faster age groupers (didn't try to blow anyone away). Being the last wave wasn't very fun though, had to dip/duck/dive/dodge lots of floating mammals with flailing limbs.
3 -Bike Leg- Wow, one of my best times yet! I think it was around a 26mph average, boosting me into the top of my age group. My Felt DA and I were a rocket, taking advantage of every roller available. Looking back at the data, I was able to lower the heart rate and RPE in order to conserve some energy on the run. I managed to demolish about 3 Stinger gels (Ginsting) and a Stinger waffle, while downing 1.5 bottles of NUUN (Cherry Limeade). Aside from getting a great workout, my vocal chords were definitely strained from very politely asking other to share the road (aka yelling ON YOUR LEFT!!!!!!).
4 -Run Leg- As usual, this is the most humbling aspect of my race and it definitely demands respect. I had a solid plan though, which prevented some turmoil. I wish I'd ridden the course though, there were 2 very steep hills I hadn't expected. A 6 mile steady state run, 3 mile tempo, finishing with descending miles at the end=Running Gam Plan. Sadly, the descending part wasn't really happening on the average min/mile part but my RPE definitely went up....along with heart rate. It's pretty standard though, as the race goes on...you'll work harder and harder to maintain the same pace. Regardless, I'm fully aware I'll be developing the run over the next 6 months. BETTER TIMES ARE AHEAD which means....Pro status.
All in all, I broke 4 hours 20 minutes, a marker I'd been hoping to meet this season. I really loved this race and thought it was a great change in scenery/weather. MOST of all my Mom and Dad were there to cheer me on and High Five me as I finished. I couldn't have asked for better support as I'm totally aware my needs are often demanding and a pain.
Family time=Time well spent (cooking/eating)
What aspect of life is most important with what I do? Recovery! Which means repairing damaged tissues with proper micro nutrients. I've gotten my hands on some great recipes over the past months but haven't had the time to cook them or prepare them for anyone who would enjoy. Luckily, my parents are always munch on what I prepare and are obligated to like it. I finally made a frittata, which will be a staple for my weekly meal planning from here on out. It's so easy, always available and will definitely last a few days in the fridge. After some trips to Whole Foods and Trader Joes, we made some other treats as well.
- Dark Chocolate Paleo Brownies
- Blueberry upside-down cake
- Crock Pot Pork Tenderloin with sweet potatoes apples and onion
- Grass Fed Beef burgers stuffed with Avocado
So the desserts were mostly because I NEVER make them at home AND since I wasn't home (in MI) for my birthday, it was a nice way to enjoy some moderately healthy treats. At the end of the day, the ingredient list is short and simple and I will always give kudos to those who indulge in their own, homemade desserts. It definitely eliminates a ridiculous amount of unecessary ingredients. Seriously, why does Yellow dye #5 need to even occur in the world??
I'm completely ready and excited for the end of the season and to continue my learning and experience. Finally, I'm currently working with some very talented and inspiring athletes and I'm lucky enough to be called their "coach". This is the first time I've really talked about this on my Blog but I have to say, being a coach is truly rewarding and on a small scale, I feel like they are my kids....growing, learning and always challenging themselves. Kinda Cheesy, but it really makes me happy. How Happy? Happier than Elmo at a tickle convention.
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