2011 so far

2011 has certainly been an interesting year for me.  Since triathlon has become my way of life when I reflect on the past year I tend to categorize things in terms of my race cycle.  Early on in 2011 it was all about staying consistent and getting ready for the Triple T weekend event in May.  Prior to that event I spent most of my days either fitting workouts in or at the office working on tax returns through the busy season for accountants (January – April 15th).  Once the tax deadline date came and went I started to focus on getting some solid training in before the end of May.  During the midst of that I had a great time at the Seneca 7 where myself and 6 other friends ran 77 miles around Seneca Lake.  Each person ran 3 times, running distances of 3-5 miles.  In between the running legs we rode our bikes which ultimately made us the winner of the most “Green” team, yielding us a bounty of prizes including free sandals from Vere, a new sandals company located locally in Geneva, NY.  Shortly after the Seneca 7 I participated in my first multisport event of 2011.  When I say I participated I really mean it because I certainly wasn’t racing anyone.  It was a pretty good awakening to race the duathlon as I got my butt handed to me by none other than my good friend Mike Corona.  I knew I had it coming to me when we both went out for a pre-ride of the course a week before and I was struggling to keep up with him on the bike.  Being on the trainer all winter and riding outside but a few times before the race definitely wasn’t enough to get me ready.  Anyway, it was a good training day and I kept my head down for the next few weeks before we headed down to Ohio for the Triple T, which was a three day racing event.  It included a super sprint prologue on friday, two olympics on saturday and a half ironman on Sunday.  I truly did not know what was going to happen at this event in terms of how my body was going to react.  I felt that this format would suit my love of extended endurance…meaning the longer something goes the better of a chance I have at holding out and persevering.  Well overall the weekend was a great success for me.  I came away in 8th place against some really good competition.  My times were not the fastest in the individual events, however I was very consistent and backed up the olympic races with a solid half ironman on the final day.  It seemed that in most races I played the hunter and Mike was the game.  Mike and I would usually come out of the water at about the same time, he would take the lead on the bike and then I would spend the majority of the run tracking him down.  During the half ironman we literally came out of the water together (we even made eye contact after the first loop of the swim, it was a 2 loop course), he took off on the bike and I hung tight sticking to what I felt was a comfortable pace.  After the first loop of the two loop bike course I felt surprisingly good and ended up taking it up a notch.  As I came into T2 I knew Mike had a decent lead on me but that I would have 13 miles to make that up.  It ended up being a really fun run for both of us as we were able to see each other about 4 times at the various turn arounds.  I remember seeing Mike on the final turn around and just giving him a snarky smile because I knew I was running well and that I was going to make it close.  This is all in good fun, we are both competitors and as it turned out I passed him with a mile or so to go.  Even though I slipped by him I know that we both made each other faster that day but pushing the pace.  We both ended up having extremely successful weekends which would lead up to successful race seasons ahead.  I really took a lot away from that weekend in terms of confidence in my racing ability, endurance capacity and ability to recover.

After the TTT I focused on a few sprint triathlons that were close to home which resulted in my first overall wins.  These races really helped me learn how to suffer on the bike.  Previously I had never pushed it hard enough on the bike to be competitive, but during these races this year I found another gear which I was able to hold.  In the middle of the summer I raced in the Musselman located in Geneva, NY.  I entered into the Double Mussel event which consisted of both the sprint triathlon on Saturday and the half ironman on Sunday.  I was able to have a solid weekend with a 2nd place in the sprint and a 4th in the half.  The end result was that I was the highest placing double mussel contestant and came home with a new wetsuit, some hardware and even a little cash for the 4th in the half.  I also came home with a 4:32 in the half which was the first time I had been in the 4:30’s.  In 2010 I was able to record a 4:45 in Galveston and a 4:43 in Syracuse.  The Musselman weekend again gave me a shot of confidence as I continued to train for IMFL in November.  I knew that I was getting faster in terms of racing and that my training was getting more and more consistent.  It was the training that was leading me to successful days on the race courses.  After the Musselman weekend I enjoyed a little vacation in Lake Placid while I cheered on many friends who were racing IMLP, I raced another sprint triathlon and I prepared for what would be my third 70.3 in New Hampshire at the Timberman.  The Timberman 70.3 yielded me my best 70.3 time ever and was a really great weekend all around.  I stayed in a great B&B which was about a mile form transition and located right on the race course and I had my parents with me for support.  In the end I recorded a 4:27 and earned a spot in the 2012 70.3 World Championships in Las Vegas which I took courtesy of a a couple guys not taking it, one being the very nice Pat Wheeler.

Once the Timberman race was behind me I set my sights on preparing for IMFL in November.  Over the next two months I knew that I would need to be consistent in my training in order to give myself the best chance of succeeding.  I really focused on getting the work done and I can honestly say that the difference in training is night and day in comparison to last year.  I was both mentally and physically prepared for the training block and regardless of what my results are this year at IMFL I know that I am in better shape physically, I have a better mental vision and I am overall happier for a variety of reasons.  I have left myself with no other option that to go out on the course in Panama City and execute.  I have prepared myself to have a great day, so now all I will need to do is DO IT.

I got ahead of myself there a bit.  In between Timberman and when IMFL will take place (this Saturday) I did race again at the Syracuse 70.3.  I basically trained through this race using it as a good solid training day.  I did recover a bit over the two days prior to the race, but otherwise my training volume and intensity stayed the same.  I ended up with a 4:34 on the day, a bit faster than the prior year and had a much better run on a much more challenging course.  Again Mike Corona and I had our own little war with each other as he had a 5 minute head start on me and it was my job to track him down.  Read more about that race here if you are interested –> 2011 Cuse 70.3 Race Report.  Once the Cuse 70.3 was behind me I knew I had but a few short weeks left until IMFL arrived.  I seemed to really zero in on getting all my work in over that time.  Even while commuting a good amount to work each day I stayed focused and didn’t let it derail my training.  I ended up having some of my best workouts ever, due in large part to training with a couple new friends, Steve Rosinski and Nate Lowe, who are both former college level XC runners who have begun to set their sights on triathlon.  In fact if my memory serves me correct, I believe that before we even knew each other that well we were all on the podium at the Mini-Mussel in July.  Anyways, they are both very fast individuals and provided me with some good motivation and companionship over the last few weeks when I had some longish are hardish runs to get done.  Having them run alongside with really helped me make sure these runs were of high quality.  Something I wanted to definitely have in the last few weeks before the race.  Sometimes I feel as if you hear of people kind of breaking down near the end of a long build cycle and I didn’t want that.  I wanted to be strong and consistent the whole time and I really do appreciate all the people who have swam, biked and ran alongside me this year as I do appreciate it very much.  Most of my workouts are solo efforts but when I do train with other it is always a nice treat.  So thank you…you know who you are.  And I should take this opportunity to say Thank You to all my lane mates at masters as you all pushed me in the pool and have made me the swimmer that I am today, a far cry from what I was a couple years ago.  The team even gave me a swim cap with all their signatures on it this morning….I think I can comfortable call myself a swimmer now 🙂  However, I need to validate this on Saturday with a good swim in the Gulf of Mexico 🙂

So that’s that folks.  A little recap of how the 2011 season has gone.  I am right now sitting at my good friend Don Ehinger’s house as I wait to take my bike to the shop for packing.  This is the last “worry” I have before I get all packed up for the trip.  Once the bike has been packed in its box I can relax a bit as everything will be ready to go.  A big thank you is due to Don, his wife Brenda and his two girls who have graciously allowed me to crash at their house on many occasions over the last 2 months while I was commuting from Penn Yan to Rochester.  They made it possible for me to get all my swims in.  It was really really nice of them to have me in there home.  Don even arranged a bit of a surprise going away party last week which was really awesome as I was able to spend some quality time with the great friends I have made during my time here in Rochester.  I will miss many people when I move across the country in a couple weeks, but I know they are all on my side.  I just hope I can make them all proud.

I’ll probably get a few more posts up this week as I will have a bit more free time as I make my way to FL.  So keep a look our for more words of wisdom from Turbeau.

 

Until next time….

Finding Forest

Today we are going to take a trip in time machine all the way back to 1994 when people had money to spend, money accumulating in there 401k’s and when Turbeau Curbeau was entering 3rd grade.  It was during this year that Forest Gump was introduced to the public.  As a side note I would like to state that 1994 was a banner year for movies in my opinion.  Yes, Forest Gump led the box office making $329 million, however it was closely followed at $328 million by none other than The Lion King (which by the way was re-released just last month).  1994 also saw the release of Dumb and Dumber (a top 5 movie on my personal list), The Santa Claus with Tim Allen, The Flinstones with Rosie and John Gooodman (I vividly remember seeing that movie in the ghetto downtown Geneva theater that no longer exists which used to be next door to where the Geneva Bicycle Center is now located.  Also I remember getting a really cool glass mug from McDonalds who had the official toys and merchandise for the movie), Pulp Fiction, Maverick, and of couse ACE VENTURA!  Upon review of this 1994 top movies list, there really were a ton of great movies that year.  I think I saw Major League 2 on the list, Blank Check where that kid buys the castle/mansion place and races go karts around his back yard, Beverly Hills Cop 3, SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION!!!  Alright I will stop there, but I wanted to share this with you.

What brought me to begin this blog was that while running this afternoon it hit me that I have not heard anyone yell at me “Run Forest Run” in a really long time.  I can recall when I was in high school and college..yes I did occasionally jog at a pedestrian pace back then…that people would at least 2-3 times per week yell the “Run Forest Run” quote at me.  This got me thinking that the generation gap has just begun to get to big.  Grown adults usually are to ashamed to yell at a runner passing by and it appears that the younger generation has all together not been introduced to the great movie of Forest Gump.  Additionally I would have to say that my generation is to spaced out, brain dead for working, or to into Jersey Shore to remember any good piece of entertainment.  So this was something that just got me thinking, anyone else feel the same way?  Anyone have any recent encounters with the classic “Run Forest Run” comment?  I’d love to hear some stories.

In the mean time if you see me out and about feel free to yell at me!

 

Quick Recap from Training HQ – (Keuka Lake, NY)

Last weekend was magnificent.  It was a true bonus weekend in my mind since I was able to do all my bike riding outside instead of indoors on the trainer.  Last weekend the cold and the wind really beat me down.  I ended up doing a little of both outdoor and indoor riding to get my full rides in.  Not ideal but the work was done none the less.  On Saturday I had a relatively short but intense ride around Keuka Lake and into some of the country side which smelled of freshly laid manure.  The ride went well enough and I spent most of the rest of the day watching my new addiction (Breaking Bad) on my iPad via the Netflix App which is simply outstanding.  Instead of buying the seasons on iTunes I used my noggin and got a Netflix subscription which is only 7.99 per month and can be cancelled anytime, as opposed to the $15 or whatever it is on iTunes to get a single season of the show.  I must say that I really dropped the ball on this show a couple years back because vividly remember starting to watch the series when it first aired, and I really liked it.  I just don’t know why I did’t keep up…I think it must have to do with the fact that I haven’t had a working cable TV in a few years and it wasn’t streaming for free on Netflix of Hulu at the time.  In any case I am pretty hooked on the show at the moment, and the best part about getting on the bandwagon late is that there are a ton of shows to be watched.  So when I haven’t been training I have been keeping myself busy by resting on the couch and watching Breaking Bad..thats pretty much it, it is very nice.

Last week I had one of my biggest training weeks as I head towards IMFL next weekend.  During the week I also had my last day as a practicing CPA.  In a move that I have been planning for quite some time I finally had my last day at work.  Everyone was super nice and very excited for me as I was to begin the next chapter in my life.  I think I was able to personally say goodbye to every single person in the office.  I think that a situation like that in the working world is pretty special and I was very lucky to have been a part of such a classy organization.  The people who make up a company/firm are what really counts and my time at DeJoy, Knauf & Blood in Rochester, NY was well spent…it is just time for me to move on and have the next experience in my life.

Ending my work commitments has left with me with no income but a lot of freedom.  Currently it is allowing me to spend some quality time with my family here in Penn Yan, NY.  Time that you really can’t put a price on…and as an added bonus I am getting some extra rest/sleep that I was missing out on over the last few months with all the commuting and training I was fitting in.  It’s nice to be able to sleep in until 7:00am…in fact I was planning on sleeping in as late as possible this morning, however at 7:00 I was awake and couldn’t fall back to sleep.

So that leaves me here, catching up on the blog a bit, getting some breakfast and planning the day a little bit.  On tap is a nice bike ride (potentially outdoors), a short run, and an evening swim at whatever pool I can get myself into.  Due to the fact that Penn Yan has no pool whatsoever I make the trip to Rochester still, however when you don’t have to rush to the office after it makes a big difference.  This luxury of time won’t last for long but I will definitely take advantage of it while it lasts 🙂

IMFL in a little under 2 weeks and Portland, OR in just over 2 weeks.  Lots of new and exciting adventures ahead…so in the mean time I have to get packed.

Talk soon,

 

-Turbeau

 

Oh yeah, this happened yesterday in Penn Yan.  A garbage truck lost its brakes coming down an extremely steep hill (Sand Hill) and ended up sliding on its side and running into a big telephone pole.  The driver was unharmed and no one was hurt, no cars were hit, nothing…it was simply amazing as the truck flew through a very busy highway on its way to hitting the pole and flipping on its side.  I was at the scene after the accident had happened but was able to watch the tow trucks flip it back onto its wheels..big news day in Penn Yan, haha!

 

and check out this truck that looked like it was out of “CARS (disney)” from the 1950’s…and yes it did flip it back over.

Eye of the Tiger

To me having the “Eye of the Tiger” or  EOT, as I just came up with in my head; is essential to succeeding in life.  You might be wondering, “Matt, what on earth do you mean?”  Well let me explain this in terms of how I approach my training.  (This approach can be applied to almost every daily activity from fantasy football to work for a fortune 500 company)   When I say that having the Eye of the Tiger is essential I mean that in order to succeed at something you must be totally focused on getting the job done.  Getting the job done does not always mean that it is going to be easy, or that it is even going to be right…it just means that it’s done…and once it’s done you move on to the next thing.

When you have the Eye of the Tiger you focus solely on the task at hand for the time you have alloted.  This might be better represented by the phrase “Just Train” or “Just Do it”.  Training for something like a half ironman or ironman distance race…or marathon…or really any endurance activity really takes a lot of time and dedication.  The truth is that you are going to have to train when you are not 100%, when you are tired, when you haven’t got enough sleep and when you would rather be on the couch nursing some warm soup.  It is at these times when having the Eye of the Tiger is most needed.  When on a daily basis you can put your head down and just train without worrying about whether you will hit your training marks (goals) then you can truly progress.  All to often we as humans can get in our heads about things.  When I get into my own head about training in particular I can either really motivate myself to do something or the opposite…and the opposite is not good.  The opposite usually results in me either going to right to bed instead of getting that bike session in or completely blowing up and wasting my own time half assing a workout.

Instead of pysching myself out I have worked hard this year to JUST TRAIN.  A smart person told me to forget whatever preconceived notion of what a workout should be, instead just go out and execute what has been planned.  Some days will be better than other but either way you will be giving it a full effort without selling yourself short.  Along this lines I can say from personal experience that a lot of weekly consistency in terms of volume can be trashed and thrown right out of the window when you start skipping workouts and/or trying to shuffle them around…believe me I tried myself to pull this BS just this week…its hard but if you have a good system (a good coach/mentor) they can help you from falling into the traps.

Just last night I had a decently long run scheduled.  After a long day which started out at 4am, a drive to Rochester, a swim, a day at work, and then another 1 hr drive home to Penn Yan…I can say that I wasn’t exactly bouncing off the wall with excitement to head out in the pitch dark for over an hour.  (I preface by saying that I do this stuff out of a passion and love for it, love for the sport and a passion to succeed)  Well I got my arse out of the door and put one foot in front of the other.  The first half of the run felt completely awful, the longer the runs are the more time you have to play games with yourself, like in your head when you think “damn this feels slow, it will pick up…10 min go by…nope just not feeling it, wonder how the tempo interval is going to feel…ugh I gotta pee….ahh there we go much better…5 min later…yuck my legs feel like lead….hmmm there’s a deer….and there’s a cat…boy those people should get their garbage can out of the road….”you know the things that play on in your head when your alone on a dark road.  Anyways the moral of the story is that I had a really really solid second half of the run where the pace picked up and I hit my targets.  It doesn’t always work out like this but I would say that more likely than not if you put yourself in a position to just get the work done you will have a successful training session..and hey if you hit every goal and executed every session exactly as prescribed than maybe those goals need to be raised.  So I will leave you with these words; don’t think about how your going to do everything on your plate (schedule) just start chipping away at it without getting overwhelmed before you even begin.  For triathlon go into every workout with a blank slate and chisel your own work of art.  Sometimes it will be worthy of a museum and others a refrigerator door…but the fact of the matter is that you got the work done and you can move on to the next task.

 

 

Kuddos to all those journalists who have a daily article in the paper, or should I say a daily blog these days.  I really struggle to come up with new things to write about.  Obvivously most of my posts are triathlon-related but I try my best to deviate from this genre once in a while.  I guess the smart thing to do would be to narrow down the focus and really analyze everything on a microscopic level.  The only issue with that is that I seem to see the same topics come up on every blog I read.  Just seems to get redundant at a point.  I suppose the best things about blogs is that it presents an open forum to get a race report out chalk full of sponsor laiden propaganda.  I’m not against that at all, actually I am all for that as it gives people a different persepective from there own.  Sure, what works for someone may not work for someone else but it may plant a seed for investigation which could lead to something else entirely that would have never been found otherwise.  That’s my little blurb about that, I mainly wanted to praise those that write a meaningful article every day…even every week.  I think that in the future as it looks like I may have a bit more time on my hands that planning in advance some topics would be the smart things to do.  Then I can properly investigate the topics and present an article that is actually worth reading.

With that I will ask those who read my blog what topics/types of things would you enjoy reading about?  I would assume most of them would be based around swimming, biking, and running but they don’t have to be.  So ask away, I’ll create a list and hopefully get to work.

I almost fogot, I should let you all in on what’s actually going on with me at the moment.  I decided that my last day at my current job will be the 19th of October, that’s next Wednesday.  Originally I was going to stay on until the end of the month but as my responsibilities here are pretty much wrapped up I really am not needed anymore…which is how it should be.  I would not want to leave my firm with things still up in the air in regards to projects I was working on.  What this gives me is some time to get my life in order.  It’s always amazing to see how much stuff gets pushed aside when you are working a steady job..between insurance stuff, car stuff, medical/dental, eye stuff…it’s never ending…hopefully this extra week and a half of time off will allow me to get these miscellaneous things taken care of as well as provided me some quality training time that can be backed up with quality recovery time.  Over the past couple of months while living back home I have only ramped up my training hours, however I have also began commuting to work 1 hour plus each way.  This means that sleep is even moreso a precious commodity and one that has had to be cut back, I am functioning quite well on 7-8 hrs during the weekdays, sometimes 6.5 but usually not anything below that and definitely not for multiple days in a row.  The good news is that over this time I really haven’t cracked and I think my mental fortitude has only grown stronger as with my focus.  The only hiccup is that I developed some type of cold or seasonal sickness this week and have had to go on antibiotcs to curb this before it gets worse.  Normally I don’t think I would have run to the antibiotics so quickly, however with the next few weeks being pretty critical preparation wise for IMFL I don’t really want to risk it.  Hopefully this runs its course and doesn’t rear its ugly head again…well at least until after Nov 5th 🙂  The extra time off from work will be a welcome addition on many fronts, allowing for a reduced stressor and more time to train and recover being paramount.

What this all is leading up to is IMFL on Nov 5th which I mentioned above.  It will be my second time racing the couse and I am looking forward to the challenge of executing my race plan a bit better than last year.  I am in better shape, in a better mindset, and have been putting in more hours than last year.  This should mean I will perform better, however I can’t take that for granted.  140.6 miles is a long way and I know that I must execute my plan in order to succeed.  It will be a fun day regardless of whatever outcome may come my way…but I am really looking foward to a solid performance at the Ironman distance.

What you can expect as readers of my blog:

1.  Some solid posting volume beginning late next week all the way through IMFL

2.  An IMFL race report (details TBD)

3. Posts from across the country (whenever WI-FI is available).   I will be driving across the country, from NY to Portland, OR.  My mom will riding shotgun with me to Portland at which point she will kiss me goodbye and continue on to see my other brother and his family in Japan…so I am sure I will have great stories and pictures to share.  If anyone has suggestions on sites to see, places to stop while driving from coast to coast please let me know.  I am not budgeting much time for stops but if something is cool and along the way…well I’ll just stop and enjoy 🙂

An overdue blog post…(What I’ve been up to)

Yeah, I know that it has been a while since I last posted.  My weeks have become jam packed and there just hasn’t been much excess time for indulgences like writing blog posts.  In preparation for the move out west I have finally sublet my apartment and am now living at home in Penn Yan full-time.  Yep, I know am that mid-20’s guy living at home in the basement.  Well, not quite I guess, I actually have a bed and it is on the top floor 🙂  However, the bike is set up on the trainer in the basement and I spend more time down their than anywhere else soo….yeah…Anyways, I like living at home.  In my situation it works extremely well since I get along with my parents and enjoy their company. (Is that the right use of “their”, I am trying to be better about my grammar these days).  So yeah, being at home on Keuka Lake is very relaxing to me.  During the weeks I spend the night on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays as well as the weekends.  On Tuesday’s and Thursday’s I have been crashing in Rochester thanks to my good friend Don Ehinger as well as my cousin Brian.  I do this in order to fit in my current training schedule.  I end up getting my bike workouts in on Tuesday and Thursday mornings back home in PY on the trainer, and then get my swim in at night.  Instead of driving back to Penn Yan and getting home at 10pm and then leaving again at 4:30AM on Wednesday and Friday mornings to make it to Masters which starts at 5:45AM I stay in Rochester and save both time and gas.  So yes my weeks are filled with a lot of driving and fitting in workouts around my schedule but I found that over the last two weeks I can accomplish 20 hour weeks of training as long as I plan ahead and make sure to get to bed as early as possible when I can.  On Mon, Wed and Fridays I aim for a mandatory bedtime of 8PM so that I can get as close to 8 hours of sleep as possible.  With swimming on Tues and Thursday nights I usually end up hitting the sack closer to 10PM..I try my best to sneak a nap in during the work day but sometimes it just isn’t possible.  So that’s a little glimpse into what I am doing on a day to day basis if you wanted to know 🙂

I also want to thank Steve Rosinski, an Optometrist by day and beast-mode triathlete by night, for letting me tag along to the RIT for Tuesday and Thursday night swims…It’s always hard to find a good open pool to get a workout in and also having people around you in the pool makes the workouts go much better and much faster.  So thanks.  I must add that Steve is a monster and just took 5th Overall (Including the Pros, obvisouly won his AG and was also top amateur) at the Pocono’s 70.3 last weekend.  This was Steve’s first 70.3 and even through pretty tough conditions that cancelled the swim he came out on top.  The dude is gonna be a big time player in the 70.3 distance so be sure to follow him and watch the destruction he leaves in his path.  And so you know he laid down a 2:18 on the bike and a 1:20 on the run…THAT’S FAST!

ALSO, this weekend the registration for the American Triple T opened up.  In May none other than Cuse Tri (Mike Corona) and I will be teaming up to dominate the team competition.  This 3 day event is located in Shawnee Park, Ohio and is an absolutely amazing experience.  If you haven’t heard of it you need to check it out!  And if you have heard of it and have been thinking about doing it, I HIGHLY RECCOMMEND IT!  It’s like going to camp, the most fun camp you have ever been to that is.  Staying in a cabin full of tri-dorks, eating mass quantities, trying to recover in time for the next race, BS’ing the whole time…its a blast!  Here is my race report from last year if you want to read more –> 2010 Triple T Race Report

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