Just before I left Portland and headed back East I had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday with my brother, his family and his good buddy Skippy. Skippy is an amazing photographer and he offered to snap a few photos off of me on my bike as a birthday present. One of the best birthday presents a guy can get in my opinion 🙂 It is a bit rare in this sport to get a good photo taken and usually when one is taken during a race you have to pay a ridiculous amount of money to actually have a good copy of it. So I wanted to take the time to really thank Aaron Barna (aka Skippy) for doing this. I really appreciate it and think that these photos are awesome! You can check out his portfolio’s at his website –> Aaron Barna Photogrpahy
Once again Summer is here and the Finger Lakes Region is shining brightly. The small towns that sit mostly dormant during the 9 months that are not June, July and August are flourishing. Pungent farm smells fill the air as cyclist traverse the beautiful terrain and wino’s make their way around the Wine Trail. Summer is truly beautiful here in Upstate New York. With no shortage of amazing lakes to be on it is a one of a kind type of place. Having spent a bit of time out in Portland, Oregon this past winter I have an even deeper appreciation for this area. Don’t get me wrong Portland was AMAZING. It’s just that you can’t beat the Finger Lakes in the summer. The opportunities for cyclists to explore the area are tremendous! I’ve been around the United States now and I can honestly say that we have something special. It is my hope that someday we (cyclists/triathletes) can get together and start working with our government and DOT’s to establish bike lanes that circle our beautiful Finger Lakes not only making it safer to ride but bringing even more people to the area to share in our treasures. I really believe that we have an immense amount of untapped opportunity!
Pardon the tangent above. What I really want to talk about today is one of my favorite events of the summer. It comes but once a year, usually when the weather is really hitting its stride. Subtle reminders are usually strewn about your email inbox’s all throughout the year but the excitement and anticipation really reaches a fever pitch when the calendar page turns to July. Nope, its not the Tour de France although you get some bonus points in my mind if you were thinking that even with the huge picture I put at the start of this article. Never mind the TITLE OF IT! What I am talking about is the Musselman Triathlon held in Upstate New York’s very own Geneva, NY. This race is an absolute GEM. Jeff Henderson (Race Director) with the help of his family and COUNTLESS volunteers around the area have been putting this race on since 2004 and have created in my opinion one of the best triathlon weekends there is. They simply know how to put on a race, get the community involved and make the athletes experience truly unique and special. Races like the Musselman are links to the past, they are what Triathlon is all about and how it started. They celebrate all their athletes competing and create an environment conducive to great times, a ton of laughs and stories that will last a lifetime or at least the 12 months in between races.
I myself have taken part in the Musselman weekend since 2009 when I got into the sport. The first year I naively jumped into the 70.3 and had a rude awakening. Although that didn’t deter me from signing up the next week for Ironman Lake Placid 2010. Then in 2011 I used the mini-mussel as a tune-up for IMLP and finally last year I had my best performance at the Mussel with an Overall win of the Double Mussel Classification which combines the time of both the Mini and the Half over the weekend. So even though I’ve only been in the sport a few years I have history at this race and I really hope I can continue having special moments here for years to come. Special moments like the seasoned veteran Mary Eggers has had. Mary has competed in the Mussel weekend since its birth in 2004 where she took the overall women’s title and earned a lifetime pass to participate in the event. She’s back this year and doing the Mini-Mussel. So all athletes racing on Saturday better take note.
It takes a lot of hard work and effort by the race director and his staff of loyal minions to put this race and I feel they deserve a lot of thanks. These types of weekends and races are special and offer something totally different than the typical M-Dot races. We need to support them and really make them a show.
Now, with that said. Let me explain why this year could really be a show. This years race could really be something. A strong field has been assembled on the shores of Seneca Lake. Leading of the list of challenges for the coveted title of “Musselman” is Chad Holderbaum. Last year (2011) Chad took the overall win with a time of 4:27. Chad is a seasoned veteran who annually makes a trip to Kona for the Ironman World Championships. Just recently (like 3 weeks ago) he was the 2nd Amateur Finisher at Ironman Coeur d’Alene. This finish was a huge accomplishment for him and one that he has been working very hard towards, so a big congrats for him. However, with the quick turnaround from the Ironman and many miles logged even this week from training his task of defending the title won’t be easy. Especially since the Man from Massachusetts is making his 2nd appearance at the Musselman. Yes, Pat Wheeler of QT2 Systems, another mainstay at the Big Island in October is making the journey down to Geneva. Pat raced her win 2010 and he is eager to challenge for the “W”. It should be mentioned that on top of Pat being a mainstay at the Ironman World Championships in Hawaii he just recently race Ironman Texas this past May where he set a Personal Record at the 140.6 distance with a 9:10. Pat is known for running his competition down and with a course like the Musselman’s run he could really make some noise.
Also racing the Musselman this year is Pro Triathlete Kevin Taddonio. What you need to know about Kevin is that he just came off a huge performance at Couer d’Alene where he finished 4th in the Pro Field where he out split the likes of Tim O’Donnell (and MANY others) on the bike and finished the race with a sub 3 hour marathon. Which is absolute amazing considering the difficulty of the race course in Idaho. The inside scoop is that Kevin’s parents recently purchased a house on Seneca Lake and once the Musselman was made known to Kevin and his Dad they both hurried to sign up before registration closed. Just goes to show you what kind of appeal the race has. Based on Kevin’s recent performances he looks to be the one to beat on Sunday. However, with racing an Ironman just a few weeks ago it will come down to how well rested his legs are as the run course with its 7 miles of climbing to start are anything but “LEG FRIENDLY”. Kevin we local here in the Finger Lakes are happy to have you.
I can’t forget the Double Mussel competition either. A new Double Mussel Champion will be crowned this year as yours truly took the win in 2011. The Double rewards the athlete who can string together two races back to back. This year Mike Corona, from Syracuse will be throwing his hat into the ring. Mike has raced IMLP the past two July’s and this year with Ironman Louisville on his schedule in August he has targeted the Mussel in July as his mid-summer race of choice. Mike is a strong cyclist who has been putting in some serious running miles this year. He will be one that anyone challenging for the Double Overall Title will need to keep an eye on. However, I must make note that Geneva resident Alvah Aldrich has really been logging the training hours this year and with his extensive knowledge of the course he is not someone to be taken lightly. Alvah is hungry, so watch out people!
Of course there are many others racing this year who will be gunning for the top spots, myself included. However, I do not know enough about their stories to them justice so please do forgive me if I have excluded you. By no means do I mean a discredit to someone not named in here who kicks all out butts.
It’s really shaping up to be a great race weekend as long as the weather holds out for us. I am really excited to have a lot of friends coming to the race this year and since they are all fast I am equally excited about he level of competition. It will be a great race and I think I speak for all the athletes that we are going to put on a show! So tell your friends and family and come on out to the races this weekend (Mini on Saturday and the Full Musselman 70.3 on Sunday 7AM sharp..but we’ll be racing until close to noon so you have plenty of time to eat breakfast, read the paper and all that good stuff).
As always thanks for reading and have a great day!
I am a sucker for all things cool. Things like new gadgets, new shoes, new apple products, the latest bikes, fun races…essentially I am a fanboy as well as a marketing creator’s dream. I have always been attracted to sites like Uncrate, Sneaker News and others because they give brief glimpses at the latest and the greatest. From the newest multi-tool to the latest Air Jordan Retro re-release. The majority of the things on these types of sites are fantasies, things that will never actually be obtained. Yet it is still fun to look at them and dream.
Keeping with the theme of letting the public know what is the latest and greatest I would like to begin what I hope will be a monthly column on the things I think are cool. These will be items, events, people and anything else I deem worthy of attention. So sit back and enjoy, maybe you will see something you have always been looking for.
The List (June/July 2012)
The shoe in the picture is the actual one I created with NikeID. You can mix and match all colorways on the shoe and even put your own message on the tongue’s. As these will be the training shoes I use on a daily basis in preparation for Hawaii in October I chose to put “Kona 2012” on them, split between the left and right shoe.
My personal opinion on these shoes is that Nike really did an amazing job. Yes, it is no secret that I am a huge Nike fan BUT with that said I have never actually trained (running wise) in any Nike shoe for any long duration. I just never found one that worked. However, since I started running in a sample of this shoe back in December I have found it to be a really great everyday shoe. In fact I was getting a bit worried since my “sample” shoes were getting worn out and Nike hadn’t released them to the general public yet. I was relieved to see that these were finally available a couple weeks ago. So with that said if you are looking for a pair of eye catching shoes that are great for putting the big miles in, these are a great choice. The lunarlon technology is really amazing and provides for a great ride!
I’ve had a few Mellow Johnnys Jersey’s over the past few years but I must say that the latest Chevron Kit (In Green) that they have come out with is pretty awesome! Check them out for yourself, I will personally vouch for the material as they are Giordona made and of a very high quality.
Yep, that company who has been doing wonders for the female body with those “black” pants, and the one who has been getting more men into yoga studios than ever before does in fact make outstandingly good apparel for men. In fact Lululemon covers a broad spectrum of individuals from the two-a-day yogi to the dude on his Harley. Like the people who wear it, Lululemon apparel is extremely versatile, always looks good and never dissapoints.
Specifically for the summer months I urge you all to take a look at the offerings they have in the shorts department. Most of them are made with “built in underwear” type liners which really do an amazing job. The shorts come in many lengths and styles, from short 4 inch ones made for those uber-runner types who like to show off their quads to the longer but still very light ones which would be perfect for the fall marathoner in training or Crossfit junkie who deserves to looks and feel good while repping out 50 burpee’s in a row.
Personally, I am in love with Lululemon products and have been since the first time I tried them on. I even bought a pair of running tights from them while I was out in Portland this winter. I had no intention of purchasing them when I entered the store but when I saw them I figured I would try them on. My thinking was that I would try them on and think that their fit was not much different than my other name brand ones from a specific running (athletic) company that I am in love with, which happens to be based in Oregon. No offense Swoosh but Lulu’s tights put yours to shame. Once I had them on me I knew I had to have them. Thus, as I left the store that day I walked with a spring in my step as my wallet was now lighter and I knew I was going to look and feel awesome on the trails 🙂 Look good, feel good, play good right?
One last thing I will leave you with about Lulu is that they seem to really have their proverbial head screwed on straight. I have always loved the clothing that I have bought from them and enjoyed my experiences when in the stores. However, until recently I didn’t really know what they were all about. Then I actually read the Lululemon Manifesto and it hit me square in the chest…like it was calling me. Here is a picture of it and if you click this link you will find a text friendly version. I urge you all to give it a read through, I think you’ll like it.
Are you a fast swimmer? Nah, me neither. That’s why I need every advantage I can get in the water. The new Torpedo Speed Suit by Kiwami is like they say “Lethal in the Water”. You can read all about the details of the suit here. But the fact is that if you have a non-wetsuit swim coming up this year you are probably going to want one of these. What a speed suit has to offer in my opinion is the streamlining effect. When swimming without a wetsuit in your race kit you are most likely leaving your pockets and other areas exposed to water. This means additional drag is being caused because as you swim water is filling those areas and ultimately slowing you down. The speed suit goes over top your race kit and makes everything seamless like a traditional wetsuit would. So for all that time you spend in the pool do yourself a favor and grab one of these. As an added bonus I will say that these speed suits are also great to use for the summer months when lake/ocean temperatures are pleasant. Instead of putting on a full sleeved wetsuit every time, you can use slip easily into a speed suit and off you go. You will easily look the best of all your buddies at the Monday morning open water swim club. Remember to use “MattC10” for 10% off all Kiwami purchases.
I will leave you all with possibly the biggest secret of them all. A secret training tip that will make you faster, stronger and go longer. It’s a secret that “they” don’t want you to know. This secret can be summed up in two words: BEET JUICE
As I woke up in another hotel room this morning I thought to myself “I wonder when the last time these sheets were laundered”. Then I realized I was once again in the land of swim, bike and run which is Lake Placid, NY. A cozy little town nestled in the Adirondack Mountains which every summer comes alive with triathletes from all over. This trip marks that fourth summer I have come to Lake Placid to do some type of training/relaxing. It all started way back in August of 2009. Having just discovered the sport and promptly signed up for IMLP 2010 I needed to see what I was getting myself into. The lasting memory from that trip was the fact that I was on a new TT bike and the first loop felt good…but the second was hell. I am not sure how much has changed since then. The second loop always hurts!
Lake Placid is a comfortable place for me. I know where things are and the good places to ride, run and swim. In the summer months motivation and energy are plentiful due to the sheer volume of athletes in town. I guess that is one of the main reasons I enjoy it up here so much. Sure, the scenery is beautiful and mountains are majestic…but really it is the energy from all the people that makes the most impact on me. Its the same reasons that Boulder, San Diego and many other training destinations are so popular. The landscape and scenery are a bonus but the thing that matters is the fact so many people are around for constant motivation.
So while I continue to get back into it training wise having a little extra boost will be great. It’s funny just how much fitness I lost form taking about 10 complete days off after the Boise race. I drove across the country (sat on my butt a lot), could have ate better, didn’t exercise and really just tried to chill out as much as I could. The first couple days after Boise weren’t hard since my legs were a tad sore from the Boise run and the driving was paramount to me getting across the country as fast as possible. However, once back East and recovered I definitely had an itch. Luckily the fact that I had a wedding last weekend made the time go by quickly.
Now that I am back a it, I am just astounded at just how much you lose when you back off a bit. I honestly haven’t taken that much time off since last November after Florida. In the long run it will be good for me as I have a full schedule over the next 4.5 months…and that is what matters. And now that the first few workouts back are done I am confident that things will start getting back to normal this weekend. At least I hope they will as my long ride on Saturday won’t be much fun if the fitness doesn’t return 🙂
I last left you with a recap from the weather shortened Boise 70.3 It has now been a little over a week since the race and I have since driven over 3,800 miles. The first leg of my cross country trip back east after the Boise race was the drive to Penn Yan, NY (Home). This journey in total was around 2,400 miles, but don’t quote me on that as I am purely making an educated guess. I made the journey in three days of driving, stopping the first two nights at around 9:30 PM to get a mom-requested “good nights sleep” at a place other than my front car seat. Rest assured mom and all those mom-types, I laid my head to rest at a Fairfield and Hampton in respectively.
The drive across the county was largely uneventful. My days consisted of drinking water, stopping to pee a bunch, snacking and listening to hours on end of Adam Carolla’s podcasts and new book “Not Taco Bell Material” as well as listening to the classic book “The Great Gatsby”. Listening to Gatsby was an absolute joy as it has been a couple years since I last read it and it seems every time I read/listen to it I pick up something new. When I have time set aside for these types of drives (aka not having specific training to do) I really enjoy the alone time. It is a steady straight drive and really allows for you to lock into the drive. The miles went by quickly and before long I had made it back home to beautiful Penn Yan, NY, located on Keuka Lake.
Here are a couple photo’s from the drive:
I spent a couple days getting things in order once home. This mainly consisted of unpacking my car, organizing my bike stuff and clothing and then re-packing for the next adventure.
Last Friday with great excitement I headed to Boston for the wedding of one of my best buddies, CJ who I went to school with in London way back during the spring semester of 2006. I hadn’t seen him, his bridge to be or my other best bud from London, Joe in over 4 years! Such a tragedy when life gets in the way. Anyways, I finally was headed to Boston to spend time with them and see CJ get married. It is a tribute to how good a friend CJ is that after all this time he still thought enough of me to share his wedding day with him. My friend Joe let me crash at his place on Friday night and then on Saturday the festivities began. The ceremony was in the city and following the saying of “I DO” we headed towards the cape for the reception. Complete with bus transportation from the hotel to the party it made for a great time. Lots of laughs and lots of dancing ensued. I am sure some photos will surface soon and when they do I will be sure to share the good ones. Even though I only knew a very small group of people at the start of the wedding I ended up having a great time with all the people whom I met for the first time. Chuck, if you’re reading this man, thanks for having me!
Once the wedding festivities had ended and the hotel rooms cleaned up I packed up once again and headed to the shores of Connecticut. But not before CJs mom presented me with my black jacket that was purchased in London and subsequently left behind in his dorm room when I hurriedly rushed to catch my bus to the airport that fateful May day in 2006. The jacket had been in CJ’s closet at home since he returned home that same week in 2006. I even made a trip to Boston in 2008 to see the guys and still managed to forget it. Well last Sunday I was finally reunited with the jacket and yes it fit great, maybe even a touch large as I have become slightly smaller since then. But fear not, my aptitude for forgetfulness did not disappoint as it turns out I left another article of clothing, a hat behind at brunch on Sunday morning. I guess it just means that I have an excuse to visit CJ and his Mrs. in the near future…and I promise it won’t take another 4 years.
That finally brings me to today. Life is good here in Old Saybrook, CT.
I am here for a few days visiting with my grandma. Old Saybrook has always been special to me as it was one of the first “destination” vacations I can remember as a child. I spend many summer trips here and I always get excited driving through town and making my way along the Long Island shore as I head to grandma’s house. A lot has changed since I started coming here a long time ago but I still get the same joy I did as a young boy in the back of a jeep.
Tomorrow I will be heading to Lake Placid for the weekend where I hope to regain some semblance of fitness. The week of last week has definitely left me feeling “soft” but it did feel good to get moving in the pool and on the bike yesterday so hopefully by the end of the week I will be back in the swing of things.
I will check in with you all from the Starbucks on Main Street in Lake Placid this weekend. Until then, train hard and be safe.
Over the past week I have nearly driven from nearly the Pacific Ocean to the coast of the Atlantic, raced in a quasi half-ironman in Boise, Idaho, watched more television in the past four days than I have in the past two year, listened to Adam Carolla’s new book called “Not Taco Bell Material” and hardly exercised at all.
The plan was to come into the Boise 70.3 with a really good level of fitness and have a great day on the course. However, mother nature had a different idea of what the 70.3 would become. On race morning the temperature was cold, rain was pouring and the wind was blowing. Some say that the race officials even saw snow on some parts of the bike course. The end result was a shortened bike segment from 56 miles to just 14 miles, which was the distance from the swim course back into town where T2 was. (It was a point to point race) Even though I had pretty much everything I own in my car last weekend I was totally unprepared for the pre-race hours and just how cold and nasty it was. You see, the point to point setup made it such that you would drop your run bag off in T2 downtown (where my hotel was and where the race would finish) and then drive about 20-30 minutes out to the reservoir where the swim would be. On the way out to the reservoir I knew I was in trouble. I did not have a jacket to keep me warm and after I would drop off my gear on my bike I would literally have nothing to keep warm in until when my race started at 12:50, which was fifty (50) full minutes after the pro’s went off, and it was still raining and extremely cold with temperatures in the mid 40’s. Adding salt to the wound, in order to get up into T1 you had to climb a big hill that was nearly 3/4 of a mile. The first time I ventured out of the cocoon of the warm Athletes Lounge Xterra I took my bike, put it on my shoulder and made the trek to my spot. After debating how I was going to stay warm on the bike (at this point no change to the race had been made, for all I knew it was still the regular bike and regular race distance) which led me to making the decision that being warm for 56 miles was more important that having a fast transition. I opted to put arm warmers, a long sleeve shirt, vest and gloves in my bag. This ultimately would add to my dismal transition times. But more on that later. I will wrap up the pre-race drama by saying that after I put my winter apparel in my gear bag I made my way through the rain all the way back down to the car. I then cranked up the heat and sat in front of the heaters until 12:05. At that point I put on my wetsuit at the base of the hill and began to run up to the swim start. This would couple as my pre-race warmup and the only way to get my core temperature up. The only downside was that when I reached the top I still had about 50 minutes until my race started. You see because of the weather I would soon find out that the bike was being shorted (swim and run stayed the same) and the race start was pushed back about 10 minutes. This meant more time in the rain before the start of the race and a big wrench thrown into my race plan.
The pre-race period like I said was cold and standing in the rain for almost an hour while the other waves went off was pretty much as bad as it sounds. Luckily the morning clothes bag van stayed until after the last wave went off so I was able to wear socks and shoes right up until the point when my wave began to be ushered into the corral.
Swim: 30:11 (7th division, 68th overall)
The swim was fantastically cold. I thought that after spending almost an hour in the cold rain that the “warm” water at 52 degrees would feel like a bath. However, I was mistaken as the water felt like an ice bath. I was probably bobbing in the water for about 3 minutes before it was time for our wave to go off. I can honestly say that is the coldest I have ever been in the water. It took until at least the second buoy before I felt the effects of churning arms begin to warm me. The swim overall went pretty well despite the cold temperatures. Really the main challenge was avoiding all the traffic from the waves of age groupers ahead of me. After the first right hand turn I locked onto some feet and stayed with him for the remainder of the swim.
Everything good about the swim was quickly negated by the horrific T1 time I had. It was an absolute cluster f*&% due to the fact that my hands just wouldn’t work. My brain was telling them to put on my shirt, buckle my helmet and strap my bike shoes tight but the hands were so cold that all dexterity had been lost. I literally spend 2 extra minutes in transition due to this. I also decided that dropping my bike off the rack and onto the ground would be a good idea. Ugh..it was brutal and ended up being the difference between an 8th place amateur finish and a top 5.
None the less I did my best on the bike to make up any time I could. Since it was now only 14 miles the plan became, “go as hard as you can”. I am happy to say that I was pretty much on par with most of the pros splitting just over 33 minutes. This included a stop right after I went over the timing mats to tighten my bike shoe and a good deal of coasting due to crowded roads from the age groupers ahead of me.
Bike: 33:23 (6th division, 39th overall)
T2 was like T1. I had a very hard time getting my sneakers on even with laces that didn’t need tying. I was just really struggling getting the heal of the shoe over my own heel for some reason. Again I gave away at least a full minute because of this.
Onto the run course I went. Again since this race has been drastically shortened I really didn’t have a game plan as to what I wanted to do with my run. While on the bike I figured that I would start out around 6:00 min/mi pace and go from there. I covered the first mile in 6:00 minutes and felt pretty good, with the only exception being that my feet were like bricks. I mean they were FROZEN. It wasn’t until the second loop that I regained feeling in both feet. Over the first loop I mainly chased a guy that came into transition right next to me (he was 24 and in an AG below me but we started in the same wave so we were racing for the same time). He came into transition about 5 seconds before me and was out of transition a good 45 seconds before me. Thus, over the first 5 miles I just kept looking at his back from a good distance. I ended up making the catch at about 5 miles in and proceed to run side by side with him until mile 9. We had a couple exchanges and finally at mile 9 I made some comment like “good racing man, whatever happens man thanks for the company”. I am not sure if running with him for those 4 miles was a good or bad thing because my avg pace was the highest during those but they were also the most difficult in terms of exertion for me. Its not the beginning so you are facing a bit of fatigue and it was still a bit far out to start giving it my all. Whatever the case may be it got me through the 4 miles in a good place and with just about 3 – 3.5 miles to go I began to pick up the pace. Things worked well for me after that. I pulled away from my run buddy and gave a good 5k effort to the finish line.
…and then this happened. As I was coming down the finishing shoot I happened upon the man in the blue tank, yeah the guy with the crazy face. As I came up from behind him (I was running faster than him at that point as I was from a later wave start and I was just hustling to the finish line to try and get there as fast as I possibly could) he decided it was a life or death situation and rather than “fight” he was going to take “flight”. It was as if he took personal offense to being past in the final 100 yards of a race. I wasn’t really all about having a sprint off finish with some guy not in my AG who started at the very closest 5 minutes before me. Despite my pained expression in the background I wasn’t really hurting all that much. Truth be told I was a bit ticked off that this was how the finish ended up for me, but once I saw this picture all that was wiped away from my mind and replaced with joy. Joy of making this guy look like that. This photo is priceless and I hope you all can enjoy it as much as me.
Run: 1:20:27 (4th division, 31st overall)
All in all I was very pleased with my individual splits from the race. If I had not screwed the transitions up so badly I would have been much higher placed. For that I am disappointed in myself. I should have prepared myself better for the situation at hand. For instance Matty Reed, the eventual co-champion wore his wetsuit on the short 14 mile bike ride both keeping him warm and making T1 FAST! It’s things like that I need to take into account. And yes, I was pretty bummed the bike portion was shortened by so much since cycling has been a big focus this year. It ultimately made the Boise race into a track meet. I did have my PR at the 13.1 distance but did it on only 14 miles so I really can’t count that. The bottom line is that some guys can pop off 1:11 – 1:15’s and that is what it takes. I don’t have that speed in my legs yet, but there is still time. If anything the fact that this race became a bit of a mess only adds fuel to the fire. I am excited to get back to training and cannot wait for the rest of my races this season. First up will be my hometown half ironman, The Musselman in Geneva, NY. I have a lot of work to do as taking a week off from training coupled with driving a lot and eating sub optimally has left me feeling a bit “soft” to say the least. Hopefully spending a few days on the Long Island Sound training and spending time with my Grandmother will get me back in the swing of things. And even if that doesn’t I know that once I get to Lake Placid on Thursday it will be all business.
The last month has absolutely flown by for me. Just thirty days ago I was getting ready in Portland to head down to Phoenix for some great training in great weather before flying back to Portland for about 18 hours and then continuing on to New York. Once in NY last week I spent a couple of days in Upstate and then was off to Southern Ohio for the Triple T race festival last weekend. It’s now almost 4 weeks since I set off for Phoenix and I am back on beautiful Keuka Lake in Upstate New York, my home. I will be here for the rest of today and then will be flying back to Portland tomorrow afternoon. Once back in P-Town I will have the honor of seeing my big brother graduate from Med School and become a true MD! It will be a great time in Portland as the weather is really getting awesome and both my mom and sister will be making the trip to see the graduation.
Shortly after that on June 7th I will once again become a Nomad as I will pack up my trusty Subaru Wagon and head East with all my belongings (Most importantly my bike). Along the way I will be racing the Boise 70.3 on June 9th. Many of my new friends from Portland will be at the race so it will be a good way to wrap up my time on the west coast. I have made some great friends over the past few months in Portland. Since my life kind of revolves around triathlon and I worked at a tri shop my friends are all pretty much in that circle. I just wanted to give a little shout out to all those who made the move and the past fall/winter/spring a really awesome time. Eric, Danny, Chris Boudreaux, Scott, Gary, Bagg, Damian, Tom, Brittany, Mike and all the rest of the Athletes Lounge contingent, both employees and loyal customers. Athletes Lounge is top-notch and I hope it always will stay that way, I will proudly be wearing the “A” on my kit for the rest of the season and beyond as long as you will have me. I could go on and on about thanking each person individually but that would be a pretty long post. I mean it would start out with something like, Eric – for all the rides, runs and swims….Danny – for the countless times your fixed something on my bike and got it running like a top…..Boudreaux – for welcoming me to Portland and showing me everything it has to offer. Coffee, restaurants, running trails, biking routes…etc..etc..it won’t be forgotten. Scott and Gary – thank you a 100x for giving me the opportunity to work at your shop, it was a privilege. (That one can be for you to Boudreaux :)) The list could keep going but I am going to stop their with my Athlete Lounge friends for now.
Anyway, where was I? Ah yes, I will be racing the Boise 70.3 on June 9th and then continuing my travels back east the following day as I cross the country once again in the opposite direction from last fall. I think the weather will be a bit better than it was then…which will be very nice. The week following Boise is going to be my “mid-season” break. I am going to take that week pretty much completely off and try my best to re-charge before turning my attention on the rest of my season. With 3 70.3’s and a full Ironman in Hawaii on the schedule I will certainly be training my butt off and the week off after Boise will be a great way to get my body and mind recovered.
Once back on the East Coast I am going to hunker in on Keuka Lake with the plan of training myself into the ground, and the recovering of course 😉 One of the best half Ironman in the country awaits me in mid July when I will once again take part in the Musselman weekend by racing the Half-Iron on Sunday. This will be my fourth year in a row taking part in some race during that weekend. My triathlon career really started in full thrust at this race in 2009 when I jumped into the half-iron with no real knowledge of what I was getting myself into. 5 and a half hours later I crossed the line feeling pain and fatigue that I had never experienced before…this year I will look to feel that pain and fatigue again, just a bit sooner though 🙂
In August I am happy to say I will be in NH for the Timberman 70.3 before turning my focus to the World Championships in Vegas and Kona. Yes, it will be a busy second half of the season for me but I can’t wait for the challenge. I have an opportunity in front of me that many would kill for and I promise I won’t take it for granted. My job is to get myself as fully prepared for these races as possible, not just in training but in everything around it as well. I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to be home on Keuka Lake this summer as well. Other than the fact that Penn Yan does not have a pool everything is ideal…but I mean really I do have a lake right in front of my bedroom so what am I complaining about? Might have to adjust some swim workouts 🙂 But if you do know of a way I could get into Hobart William Smith’s pool let me know!
That’s all for now. I am going to go take advantage of the beautiful morning here in Upstate NY by getting out for a nice spin around the Lake. Life is good today and I hope everyone else’s is too!
I wish that I was the one who wrote this story, however I did not. Please take a moment and read this short story, you will be better for it. I promise. -Turbeau
Many,many years ago in England, in the days of yore, when men and women who were not Lords and Ladies were yokels and vassals, a traveller was riding his horse through the English Countryside.As he rode he heard the sound of chipping stone and as he came over the crest of a hill he saw a stone mason, a most “unhappy chappie” with a scowl on his brow, chipping away at a block of stone.
“Pray tell me”, said the traveller to the stone mason,”What are you doing to that block of stone?” “Well, if you must know”, said the stone mason,”I am hewing it into blocks for some huge structure being built down the road. I haven’t got time to talk.I’ve got to finish another six stones by nightfall.And my back is starting to kill me!’ “Oh, so I won’t hold you up then”, said the traveller and he rode on.
Soon the traveller came to another stone mason on the side of the road also hewing a stone.This stone mason was a little happier then “old sourpuss”, down the road.The traveller commented on this to the stone mason.”Well”, the stone mason said,”this stone I am working on today is reasonably good.See how smooth I can make these blocks.With this smoothness they should fit together reasonably tightly and make a water-tight wall for the huge new church I hear is being built down the road”.”However, I am certainly getting a few blisters from this hard stone”.”Interesting”, said the traveller, and he rode on.
Soon he came across a third stone mason.This young fellow was singing his heart out as he chipped away on a stone and the chips were flying faster than at a McDonald’s restaurant!.”Well”, said the traveller to the third stone mason.”You’re certainly a joy germ but why are you so happy at just chipping away at blocks of stone?” “It’s simple”, said the stone mason.”I am building a cathedral!”
Does our work make us chip at stones or does it allow us to build a cathedral.