Last month (Oct) was HUGE for things that did NOT have to do with me or racing. I've been running around the U.S supporting those I care about most! I'm still getting used to a transition from full time "military man" to a full time Athlete/Coach. I've been feeling a little awkward but also very fortunate. After 10 years of having to show up and "work" for a set amount of time, making my own schedule has been quite luxurious. Most of you would think I'd probably sleep in, grow a beard or put on 15 pounds BUT that's not the case. Granted I did relax certain eating habits (off season stuff)...I've been busier than ever. Mon-Fri I wake up at 4:20am so I can be on time for U.S Masters Coaching in St. Pete Beach or Strength and Conditioning in Tampa, Fl. The weekends allow for a few extra hours of sleep but my nights are never short of "occupied". If I'm not on the computer analyzing training plans, I'm writing e-mails, texts or conducting Skype meetings. Despite a busier schedule, I always know I am making a huge impact on people I care about. Also...I'm a Reservist now so some Military work will still be in my future.
I was finally was able to watch my girlfriend Karen complete her first marathon in Chicago. This was a wonderful trip and a HUGE event! Not only was I able to spend time in an amazing city that I've never visited for pleasure...I trained in some fun locations. Across the street from Karen's parents is a 1/4 mile track and 3 minutes away from that is the lakeshore running path! I wasn't super pumped about all of the heavily chlorinated indoor pools but shoot...it's only because I'm spoiled with year-round outdoor swimming in Fl. After the Marathon oringand travel it was time to head to Austin, TX. This is another city I've always wanted to spend time learning about and expl. This trip involved a special event, Nicholas and Heather's wedding. Being a groomsman was truly an honor and training with Nicholas is always a highlight. Austin has some amazing smoothie bars and a fantastic down-town running trails too. I've never seen so many active people in one location.
Off season or running season? There is most defiantly a balance but the goal should still be MORE REST! As much as we all want to start blasting out running miles when we have 3 or 4 months between our next "A" race, it's important to take some stress from your life in many aspects. If you always wake-early and train - bring in extra sleep or miss a few non-key sessions if you're not feeling it. Cut down some volume, keep some intensity and REALLY start having fun again. Personally, I like to try and still find some goals to work towards. I may sign up for a half marathon and a few 10k races for a possible opportunity to PR. I also like to spend most of my time on the road bike instead of the tri-bike, working in some intensity here and there....but lot's of cafe rides. At the end of the day I still collaborate everything with my coach (Tim Crowley) since I know he has the big picture in mind. Having a Coach in the off-season benefits me because if left to my own devices I'd probably push too hard and risk a possible burn out mid-season. It's good to have someone in your corner who really pays attention to your limiting factors, reminding you although it's fun to blast out tons of volume running...it may not pay off during a 70.3 or longer. At the end of the day, I need to work hard so I can make some money within this sport and that means top 10 finishes!
I Love My Job!
This past weekend I was able to pull off a win in my first half marathon. This was possible for a number of reasons. The time wasn't blistering fast but the course was challenging. I've wanted to run a sub 1:20 half marathon for some time now but just wasn't able to find time to dedicate myself to a running race. Since I love supporting local race directors and they take such amazing care of our athletes, Jon and I decided we would work together at the Honeymoon Island Half Marathon and try to set a new PR (for me). Given the course has about 4 miles of trails/sand and 4 bridges to cross...probably not the smartest idea. Despite being slightly off pace after the first 2 mies of sand, we brought the min's/mile back down and where definitely on pace for 1:20 despite the bridges. All PR hopes ended as we snow-shoe'd through the sugar sand for a second time on our way back in. None the less I know we could have been below 1:20 on a flat course so I'm so thrilled. I could't have done it without a phenomenal pacer and business partner, Jon Noland. This was a great confidence booster and knowing what I can do in an open race sheds light onto what I can do off the bike next year for 70.3. To add another layer of sweetness, TRIBAL Multi-Sport athletes took a huge number of AG wins, both male/female overall etc...I couldn't be more proud of our athletes!
Not to be outdone...another handful of our athletes had a blast competing in the FINAL REV3 event in Venice, Fl. Since REV3 and Challenge are merging next year, it was nice to be able to observe it's final event as REV3. Here are some great pictures from the event. Despite some wind, cold and rain, we had athletes take 2nd overall in the 70.3, 10th in the Olympic and a few won their age groups. Either way, I love catching up with all of the friends I've met over the years...this event brought out some great people who live for a challenge like this. OH and we also had some athletes set PRs at a half marathon in Savannah, Ga, a marathon in Fl and 40K time trial in Texas.
What's next? Who knows! I'll probably go hard at the Turkey Trot 10K and TRI Key West but that should wrap up the season. My next blog will have all my season highlights, training hours...mileage etc. It's fun to look back at a great year--my first as a pro athlete. Thanks again to USMES for accepting me on the Elite-team again next year and I look forward to representing all of our sponsors again next year!