Calling all blog followers, let your voices be heard!

I could go on and on about how I could use a couple more hours of sleep or how the grind of work is starting to be felt…BUT I AM NOT.  I made a vow to myself and to you all to now whine and complain and I am sticking to my word.  I have nothing to be whiney about either, my life is good and in fact I quite enjoy it.  Its easy to look at the negatives but when you really think about it most people have so many positives in their lives that they actually vastly outnumber the negatives.  Its only because the negatives stick out some much like Lindsay Lohan at Bible School that they get so much attention.  All in all when you break down what I have to deal with I am a pretty simple man, scratch that I am basically a little boy.  I have to remember to eat and dress myself as well as remember to set my alarm clock so that I will wake up on time to do big boy things like go to school work.  After that all I really have to do is go to my office and work.  My extracurricular activities include triathlon related sports and excercise which I add to my daily life to spice things up.  And thats it.  I pretty much eat, train, shower, dress, eat, go to work, eat during day, go home at night, sleep and then repeat the process. 

Instead I am going to pose some questions to you (my readers) and please feel free to leave comments about any of these questions because I as well as all the other blog followers would like to read them.  Or you can email them to me at matthew.curbeau@gmail.com and I can condense them into a wicked sweet blog!

Question 1:  How’s everyone’s training going?  Does anyone have any stories of a 7 hour ride they did inside on the trainer with no tv, no music, while wearing and aero helmet and not using a fan?  Or how about an epic run where you had to go number 2 but had no toilet paper so you found a random mcdonalds bag in the woods and substituted?  Anyone go on any good training camp trips?

Question 2:  What’s your A++ race this year?

Question 3:  Do you have any topics that you would like me to write about?  Its tough to sometimes broaden your writing horizon and I often find myself writing or thinking about the same things over and over again.  So if there are any topics that you would like me to investigate and report on, or give my two cents about please let me know.  It doesn’t have to be triathlon related either!

So there you go, have at it.

I like it, I love it, I want some more of it… (PART 1)

…I try so hard, I can’t bite the bullet. Don’t know what it is bout’ that little
pools lovin’, but I like it, I love it, I want some more of it.

Alright enough of McGraw for now.

I begin this way because I have just had an ephifany from the heavens above.  I’ve just had one of those “lightbulb over your head” moments that you see in the funny pages.  What you ask has just hit me like a lightning bolt?  Well sit right down and let me tell you.

As I was solving the worlds problems at my desk (preparing tax returns) it hit me that I really love swimming.  I must say that I was on the fence for a while.  Way back when (October of 2009) I had just joined the Rochester Area Masters Swimming club.  In order to give you a proper background to my swimming career I will give a brief summary.  NONE.  There, that was quick.  In all seriousness I had no formal swimming in my background and no pool swimming whatsoever.  Although I grew up on a lake and would make the occasional cross lake swim (lord knows how long that took) I never really “swam”.  I played on waverunners, drove motor boats, tubed, water skied, played on wakeboards..just never really “swam”.  So with this pedigree I began my swimming career with the RAMS group at the ripe age of 23.  I promptly was lapped by swimmers that were as old or older than my grandparents, NO JOKE!  I can only imagine what that looked like.  I sometimes try to think about how I felt in the water back then since I was considerably slower than I am at the present moment.  However, as with all improvements in endurance sports they come over time, you really have to put in the hours to have any return on your investment.  This means that I just can’t for the life of me feel the difference in my swimming.  I guess the overarching theme is that I feel more comfortable in the water.  I mean I can now jump in the water and begin to warm up and know how the swim is going to be just by the first 25 yards, I think its something you develop over time when you know how your breathing is, how your arms feel, etc..its like if you get through the first 50 and your out sufferfest of breathe or just feel like a rock sinking in the water, well you know your in for a.  Other times you jump in and you slice through the water like a hot knife through butter.  If only I could feel that way for a whole hour at a time, but realistically you can’t.  I think the trick becomes maintaining that form that you had when you first jumped in throughout the whole workout.  Then even though you are feeling more fatigued and maybe not as smooth you are steel actually slicing through the water with the same efficiency.

So as I began my swimming career I struggled.  I struggled actually swimming as well as with the fact that I was so damn slow.  Swimming is not something that comes overnight, the real swimmers, the ones that can really light it up have usually been swimming since they were wee little children.  Most…but not all.  So in the beginning it was a bit discouraging to an ambitious soul as myself to see the people lap you time and time again.  Even though I would be giving 110% effort the swimmers would still be effortlessly kicking my butt.  I was always amazed.  I say that it looked effortless but as I would find out it really never becomes “effortless” their is still a lot of effort being put forth but as you progress you just raise your tolerance level.

During that first year I had a little lull in my swimming since I had to start swimming alone in the early hours due to my work schedule.  This meant swimming at 5am in the morning at the local Y before heading back to the audit trail.  I was doing most of my workouts on little sleep (literally taking a nap once I got to the Y parking lot before I went in to swim).  That was not good and in retrospect I would have probably improved my swimming more by skipping the swim and just sleeping more.  None the less I still swam, it wasn’t pretty.  I would be doing this alone most of the time and I was just having trouble pushing myself through the workouts.  Thankfully I stuck with it and put as much time as I could into it.  Finally late April came and tax season was over.  I raced in my first IM 70.3 last April at swam a ridiculously slow 1.2 miles of almost 40 minutes.  Sure it was in ocean water and wavy…but 40 minutes!  That’s a lot of time to give up in a 4 and a half hour event.  Luckily when I returned home from Texas the Spring season was in full effect and the open water season was on the horizon.  I don’t exactly know how to explain it but the open water changed me.  Once I was in the open water, away from all the drills and all the flip turns I began to come into my own.  By no means did I start breaking world records but It just felt so nice to be out swimming the open water with no clock on the wall and no lines to follow.  It was just swimming by feel and it really felt great.  I swam predominantly in the open water for the whole summer.  It wasn’t until late June (almost 9 months since I started swimming for real) that I felt I had improved.  I think this is typical of running, biking and swimming since improvement comes over a long long time but when it comes and you have a break out session you really “FEEL” it and you can see just how far you’ve come along.

and that is Part 1.  I wrote this on Sunday while I was at Starbucks then got lost in the day and never finished it.  I just had an impulse to get this out (its now Monday at 4:30pm) so I am going to post what I have so far and hopefully this will motivate me to conclude my thoughts tomorrow or some other day this week!

Hope you enjoy…hope its coherent because honestly I haven’t proof read a darn word of this and I was writing this while on a caffeine induced high at 6:30AM.

CHEERS!

Swim more to get faster…duh! & the 1,000,000 Challenge

This week is a recovery week for me.  Last week ended a three-week build where weekly hours were between 16-18.5. These aren’t the crazy high numbers that some others might toss around however they are solid hours that are really giving me a solid foundation as the 2011 racing season approaches.  Recovery weeks are a time for me to soak up all the training that I have put my body through over the previous build phase.  It’s a week that is not to be taken lightly.  Instead of the eye of the tiger focus on hitting the workouts I think the focus needs to be directed towards eating extremely well and making sure you are sleeping AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE.  This means going to bed when you get home from work instead of watching tv or sitting and your computer until the wee hours.  Alright, if you want to read a little from your paperback, magazine, iPad, or other e-reader I will give you that.  Reading is a good exercise for your brain and one that is altogether avoided by way to many people…at least in my opinion.  But then again you are reading this right now so you aren’t really the type of people who wouldn’t be reading anyways…so I dunno, if you know someone who doesn’t like to read tell them to buck up and get with the program.  The written word is important.  Just watch Californication, you get what I am saying then! Ha, understand my rant about literature by WATCHING a tv show.  What a hypocrite I am!

Anyway, I don’t have too much time right now but I just had some thoughts rattling around my brain that were dying to get out.  Like for instance how every time I go on my recovery week my masters swim classes focus turns to SPRINTING!  Not that this is a horrible thing because it does allow for ample time for rest and recovery between sets, but when in the sets its HARD.  Short and Hard..(one you stop laughing after that comment please keep reading)  Its 25-100 yards of sprinting, I am actually quite decent at it.  Well at least I don’t get lapped during these sets which is nice.  But seriously without fail each time my recovery week starts so does sprinting at masters, not a bad thing at all..just a thing…and I find it funny and wanted to share.

Also! I was pleasantly surprised to get some love from KSWISS and Team HoneyMilk today on twitter.  They gave my blog a shout out and am I am super pumped about that.  I legitimately like the products that these guys sell.  I really do think both of these guys are doing an amazing job building their brand and the triathlon world is benefitting from them doing so.  I am really impressed with the integration between these companies and the people who use their products.  It’s not just the pros that they are giving shout outs to but its the everyday champ like me.  The AG’er who is busting it while working 40+ hours a week.  I appreciate the heck out of that and I really give them KUDDOS.  And on that note I want to give KSWISS and extra pat on the back by putting together this challenge for the Raelert brothers.  I think that the Raelert brothers are both physical specimens who are truly outstanding at what they do.  As a quick summary I will tell you all that KSWISS has ponied up the big $$ and told the Raelerts that if they can cross the finish line together at KONA 2011 they will be handsomely rewarded with a $1,000,000 payday.  Now that is putting the $$ where KSWISS’s mouth is.  KUDDOS TO YOU GUYS!  And to the Raelerts I wish you the best in attempting to bring it home.  Read the article from Lava magazine here!

The Latest and Greatest

 

SIGN UP NOW so we can race together!

 

 

  • Tim Snow, professional triathlete (and Coach with QT2 Systems)with 26 IM under his belt not only raced this weekend in Puerto Rico but also wrote a great race recap from LAVA magazine.  It must have been quite the balancing act to scribble down notes on a piece of paper while riding a bike and running the course.  I wonder if he used a tape recorder to document his thoughts while racing?  Anyway, check out his latest piece here.  And as a little side note his wife just happened to come in 3rd place that day.  She blistered the run leg and chased down the leading girls as she snagged the last podium place.  Great job Cait!

GEAR REVIEW:

I ran in the Kwicky Blade’s this weekend and my first take is that I like them.  I will need another couple of weeks to really determine if they will fit in the regular rotation but as of now things are looking good for them.  They are a light shoe with a little cush to them which helps when your hitting your transition run after a 4 hour bike on the trainer.  Even though they are pretty light and minimal they seemed to stand up well during the 2 one hour plus runs I took them on.  They advertise as having a stability feature to them which allows for a little aid on the long runs whe the tough really gets going, however when the legs are fresh they allow for quick feet when you have that extra giddy up.

And because I like to keep my mom up with the latest trends in fashion and fitness I ordered her a pair of the Kwicky’s in the women’s yellow version.

The Weekend Wrap-up – ps Happy Spring!

Here’s what my weekend looked like, bullet point style:

  • Friday night after work I went to the gym and got some work done on the treadmill next to my buddy Joey Williams, a Penn Yan Native
  • Saturday morning a solo long run
  • Then I went to the gym to try and do some trx but there was no room set it up so I did some other core stuff and then headed to work..did peoples taxes all day
  • Sunday morning I met up with people at the canal path and ran for about 1:40ish
  • Then I headed home and got in touch with a good buddy named Dan Jarecke, owner of NiceTriOnline and we decided to get an outside ride in since it was really nice today.  Let me preface the ride by saying that it was your typical first outside ride of the year.  So I am getting dressed and I go to put my helmet on and SNAP! the thing that tightens it onto your head breaks into about 4 pieces, its a crucial plastic piece so the helmet is pretty much useless now.  I rigged it to work for the ride but I will prolly scrounge at my parents house for one next time I get home.  So then on the ride everything is rolling smoothly until about 40 minutes in, when I flat.  And this is where it really gets good because I decided to be brainless and not bring my flat kit.  I even packed it in my bag!  I had just left it in the back of my car instead of actually putting it on my body.  Anyway, Dan is well prepared and lets me use one of his tubes and CO2’s (which reminds me I need to get him a new one!)
  • On we went after the flat, everything seemingly fine until pow, another flat.  My front tire goes completely soft and now we are about 15 miles from his house with no spare tubes and here’s the kicker, no cell phones.  Yet again another true sign that its an early spring ride.  It appears that we were both so eager to get out and ride outside and we completely forgot some of the essentials.  And I will say that it was all my fault since If I just remembered my flat kit we would have been fine….oh well.  We ended up asking a nice lady whose house we were by if we could use her phone.  Dan called his wife, however she didn’t pick up so were left with very few options.  In the end we decided to give the front tire a shot of CO2 along with some air from the nice ladies bike pump that she had laying in her garage (I guess her son was a rider, so that worked out nicely).  By some miracle the tire held the air long enough for us to cruise back to his house, only to find that his wife has left the house in search of us.  Turns out she was looking in the wrong place so it was a good thing we made it back and gave her a call to let her know we made our way home.  And as an update my front tire is completely flat as of this morning.  Needless to say I will be switching my tires to the bomb proof bontrager kevlar hard cases ASAP as Spring riding is definitely starting up.  SOOO GLAD FOR THAT!  All in all it was a fun adventure with Dan and we still managed to get in around 30 miles or riding so all was not lost!
  • After the ride of many mishaps I tried on a wetsut of his only to discover that a Small Tall from blueseventy just doesn’t fit my Arnold Schwarzenneger sized chest.  The rest of the suit was fine but my burly man bust was just to large…I guess that comes with the territory when your a beast like me..haha, must be all the swimming!  So it was a good thing that I got to try on his wetsuit since if I has bought that size without trying it on I would have been sorely dissapointed.
  • After that I headed back to Rochester to finish the training day up.  First thing first though, a nap was in order.  After running for 1:30 plus at 7Am, and riding outside I needed a little power nap to get me through the remaining portion of my day (which by the way was to be the hardest).  I don’t usually nap since I just never seem to be “tired” enough or be able to shut my mind off in the middle of the day.  However, I laid my head down on my bed at 4pm and the next thing I know its 4:45 and my alarm is wailing away.  I seriously considered hitting snooze or throwing the phone out the window and just continue to sleep until Monday morning.  However, I had a plan and I was sticking to it come hell or highwater since revcover week starts on Monday.  I can rest all I want this week but today (Sunday) was a training day where the volume and intensity counted.  Its days like those where the work really pays dividends.  So I saddled my trust steed and rode for around 3 hours (finish at the ungodly hour of 8:30PM).  Luckily I have just discovered Californication on Netflix so approx 8 shows got me through the ride.  Immediately after I attempted a transition run…and boy was it ugly!  The legs were screaming no Matt! don’t do it!  but I carried on and everything was going alright for the first 20 but then the last 20 everything hurt and I pulled the plus and did some recovery zone running to wrap it up.  It is always hard to not push through the pain but the big picture is that race season is still a ways away and my biggest race of the year is still over half a year away.  Getting hurt is the worst thing that could happen so playing it safe is ALWAYS the best option.  Yes, I am a little sore today but I slept till 7:15, had a good breakfast and am having a pretty decent day.  Although the coffee I had this morning really didn’t “Jazz” me up as usual.  I think I just needed some more sleep.  I will get on that this week!

ALRIGHT, back to taxes.  Hope you all enjoy the little catch up on what’s been going on the past couple days.  It was very busy but very productive!

HAPPY TRAINING, SPRING IS HERE!

-Matt

Nominations for the Stylish Blogger Awards, PLUS 7 facts about Turbeau! and PICTURES FROM THE RACE!

More to come about the race later but I don’t have much time at the moment as I have to go to a meeting.  But here are a couple pictures from the race on Saturday, so nice of the race to actually allow the competitors to download full resolution pictures!

I like that I am off the ground and I seem to have good leg separation, however my head is up and I am not leaned forward enough.  Possibly because this was near the finish, but still I need to work on that.

And heres a goofy one at around mile 3.5, I pulled up to this guy and he ran with my for about half a mile.  I think he was in more pain that I was…and in that regard I should have been pressing more 🙂

 

Courtney nominated me for the Stylish Blogger Award (thanks for giving me something worthwhile to post!)  You are supposed to link back to the person who nominated you, and then nominate 7 other people.

In addition to Mrs. PW, I nominate:

Mike – you have some really nice photos lately.  Keep up the good work!

Ryan “Whitehot” Barnett – your posts keep my days filled with laughter.
Mary – your post A lot..like everyday and that should be acknowledged for sheer endurance.

Cait – i really enjoyed the year in review through pictures, and the pictures of all the pig out food you ate after IM St George, Placid, and Kona.  Its inspiring to say the least.  I think you have fried more food than I can name

Travis – You don’t post as frequently as others, but when you do they are usually Quality efforts! 

Pat – you went A.W.O.L in regards to blog posting for a while last year but over the last two months you have thrown up a few very worthy posts of your recent on-goings.  I commend you for this.  And if there is a “Comeback Blogger of the Year” award…well sir It goes to you!

FalkeeTri – Check the FalkeeTri 2011 team out!  I have some sweet tattoo’s (temp of course) and some other swag to rock this race season.  Mine along with the other athletes profiles are up now, so do yourself a favor and read up!

You are also supposed to put 7 things about you, so here are mine!  I know you all have been dying for me to expose myself…..(and NO not in that way your perv’s) although if your in Lake Placid during the summertime something the speedo show comes to town! 🙂

1. I spent almost 5 months in London during the Spring semester of my Sophomore year in college.  It was the best time of my life and I have the most amazing memories.  I made so many great friends and had some many crazy adventures.  It was a once in a lifetime experience.  I miss it most everyday.  CJ and Joe, it was freaking real dudes! 

2. I am sitting at my desk at work right now as I write this.  Its Sunday night at 8:42 PM…is it April 18th yet?

3. I am what you call a sneaker-head.  It used to be pretty insane.  I had a sneaker collection that was pretty substantial.  Jordans, Air Max’s..etc..I have since sold most of them off to pay for triathlon stuff.  I thought the shoes obsession that I had would go away once I got into multisport but I think it has only gotten worse since now I just buy a ton of running and cycling shoes..always looking for the best fit and the coolest looking.  I guess its, “once an addict, always an addict”

4. I rode my bike outside today for 2 hours.  First outdoor ride of 2011!  A crisp 40 degrees with some snow flurries but BOY was it nice to be outside.  I finished up the training day by riding indoors for couple more hours so I didn’t want to make my cycleops trainer feel lonely.  I need her to be in good working order for another month or so.  After that she can fuss and whine all she wants through the summer 🙂  Kidding though since I might use the indoor trainer more often this year for higher intensity rides.

5. I haven’t played tennis in many years but back in the day (way back..like when I was 12) I was REALLY GOOD.  Like good enough to beat all but 1 person on the varsity team.  My dad coached the team so i was always hanging around practices.  In retrospect I should have recognized my potential and stuck with it instead of playing baseball.  Reasons?  Let see here.  I am white, 5 foot nothing, and have no super human strength.  However I was gifted coordination and endurance.  But no I went with the nations pastime instead..stupid me.  I could have played at Wimbledon!  Well maybe not…but I think I could have palyed at a decent college and maybe become a tennis pro.  Boy being a tennis pro teach hot ladies how to play tennis.  Now thats the job for me!

6. I am a podcast-aholic.  Since my car radio basically doesn’t work I listen to podcasts in the car, which subsequently leads me to listening them on my way into the office, at my desk, in the breakroom, on my way home from work, into my apartment, while I am eating dinner, and while I am surfing the web.  Sometimes I go on electronic media overload and put on netflix on my computer while listening to a podcast about a totally unrelated topic.  This is when you know your are too “plugged in”. 

Current Favorite Blogs:  Stuff You Should Know, This American Life, Adam Corolla, WTF with Mark Maron, Stuff you missed in History Class, Tri Talk with David Warden and Simply Stu.

7. I hate the fact that I have become addicted to social media (ie Facebook, Twitter, etc.)  I spend way to damn much time on it for no real reason.  I love reading my friends blogs because there is something fullfilling about them.  The person is really taking initiative and expressing themselves.  Social media is a great outlet to get messages, blog links and pictures out but I just end up going on there and wasting many minutes that could be put to better use.  I don’t know why I feel the need to check facebook 5 billion times a day…it makes no sense to me, yet I constantly find myself looking at “most recent” news.  Anyways…I think the moral of the last two items is that I need to go on a grass roots training weekend where I totally unplug from the world.  I bring my nutrition, bike, and running shoes and pile on the miles!

ps..I feel like I could write many more facts about myself and kind of want to..anyone wanna read them?

Alright people, time to get started on your 7 facts.  I created mine, now I want to read yours!

Another week closer to Spring

A lot of the same lately.  I’m up to my neck in tax returns and honestly can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.  Hopefully in a couple weeks that will change, I think it will!

So the past couple days have been good sleep-wise.  I got my marching orders to rest up on Friday and take a recovery day.  So that meant not getting up at 5am to go to masters swim class.  I really don’t mind getting up that early and quite frankly I love being at the pool with all my friends, however a few extra hours of sleep can do wonders energy wise.  I mean just as an example you can see that I am actually posting a blog which of late I only do when I have a little extra energy to spare.  However, I don’t have that much to spare because in a couple hours I am going to be giving it my all at the St Patricks Day 5 mile run down town.  The command tower at work gave me clearance to race this morning which means I was able to sleep in a bit and even go to the gym for a little trx core warmup session.  That has brought me back here, at my desk.  Its around 8:45, so just under 2 hours until the gun goes off.  In the mean time I think I will load up an old iPod I found with some tunes so I can listen to it while warming up and then chuck it with my warm clothes pile and not care if I lose it.  So there you go kleftomaniacs, if you want an old iPod shuffle search out my warm clothes pile at the race and bingo..there you go!  But beware, karma is a bit$%.

Anyways, thats all I really got for now.  Time to relax a bit before flooring myself for 5 miles.  I feel that I am a little overweight at the moment in terms of racing weight but really thats kind of expected since its still early March, but who knows maybe that little extra spare tire around my stomach will help me move a little faster this morning..who knows?

Good luck to all those who are racing today, and to all those who are drinking today..be safe and have a green beer for turbeau!

 

ADIOS AMIGOS,

 

-MJC

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