I’ve absolutely never had so much fun getting my butt whooped before. I got it handed to me this morning at the Patriots Sprint Triathlon in Williamsburg. It was my first time finishing out of the top 3 in a local race since I can remember much less out of the top 10. I got 11th overall and 9th collegiate. But I’m am absolutely stoked. It was Eastern Virginia Medical School Triathlon Club’s first race in the MACTC and I’d say we had a not bad showing for being a new program. Continue reading Patriots sprint triathlon race report
It’s been almost three years since that cold, rainy day in October. I was racing at my best, at least on the good days. I can’t truly explain why I stopped. Likely it was a number of factors. I was graduating college and transitioning into the working world, beginning to realize that at the top levels people were willing to do some dirty things to win, was tired of the grind of training, and I wanted to try something new. I had grown up with triathlon, and needed to stop racing to remember exactly why I started in the first place.
I am very excited to announce my partnership with 3Sports triathlon store in Richmond, Virginia for my upcoming Appalachian Trail self-supported thru-hike record attempt. They will be outfitting me with shoes and nutrition for the trip. I really couldn’t do it without their support and expertise so major thanks to all the amazing staff at 3Sports! Check them out at their store off River Rd. in Richmond and online here: http://www.threesports.com/
For over a third of my life I have competed in short course triathlon. With my first triathlon a Sprint distance race and my third a leap to the Olympic distance, I never considered tackling the challenge of distance racing at such a young age. Ironman and Half-Ironman distance races have never been on the radar for me. In fact, up until three years ago, it was very evident that my performance at the Olympic distance was significantly weaker than at sprints. I was blessed with an abnormally high VO2 max which is simply the volume of oxygen I can absorb in a given time. In fact, it is one of the highest. My lactate threshold on the other hand, was something that needed to be trained. This left me behind in longer races but enabled me to suffer immensely at high speed, something I am still much better at than distance racing. But recently my dreams have teased me toward new goals. Continue reading Sampling long-course racing
Frequently I wonder whether my competitors are lying about their training or if they really do swim 30,000 meters, bike 300 miles and run 70 each week. My training is so far from that I cannot even compare it. Actually, looking back at my training for the last month, that is near exactly the distance I swam, biked, and ran for an entire month.
So how is it that I continue to improve at such high rates along with guys who log almost four times as many miles as me? In all honesty, I can’t even imagine training that much. It would kill me. My first reaction to hearing that guys train that much is that maybe my body would adapt. Maybe my body would learn to recover faster. But even still, I imagine that I know how to recover. I focus a lot of my time on recovery. In fact I spend almost exactly the amount of time that I spend training working to recover for the next bout.
This is an article that was written a month after my high school graduation and published in The Richmond Times Dispatch. Andy Thompson, the writer of the article, met me out riding the James River trail system a couple weeks before the event. I knew he was a sports columnist because I had read several of his articles and we ended up riding for several miles together, conversing the whole way. He came to the event to spectate the pro race. But, when I crossed the finish line first in the sprint race, I managed to attract his attention to write a column on another story. I hope I can satisfy these expectations established when I was such a young athlete. Continue reading Xterra Sport Richmond ’08
In the days leading up to the race I had told my mom that having won four for four races in Virginia would make it hard to lose again. But then I recognized, maybe not. Maybe I would be satisfied with coming in second or even third in a race. Of course, the target remains the same, but sometimes maybe another guy just has a better day. I train for first, but maybe the other guy just had the upper hand that day.
“The problem is that once this happens, it almost always happens again. And if it does, I don’t know what I’m gonna be able to do for him. He’s an older dog. I honestly don’t think he would survive the surgery.”
“Well, we have to make sure that doesn’t happen again.”
“Well, most likely, it is gonna happen again.”
Whoever invented tortellini was a genius. I swear I would give the guy a big bear hug if I ever met him. That’s a weird expression. If I ever saw a bear I’d book it and the last thing I would think of is hugging the darn thing. Well, getting back to where I was, cheese filled pasta, what a brilliant idea. I mean, who wants to eat pasta with cheese on top? Cheese inside is the way to do it.
I acquired some nice new tan lines today. Following in my tradition of wearing dress socks to cycling races, I not only got the jersey and shorts tan line, but my sock tan line is about halfway up my calf. Sexy, I know.
I also acquired some points toward a cycling category upgrade. I also got fifteen dollars for dinner money. In a race of fifty, I placed fourth to get that quantity of money. I’m not complaining, I didn’t expect to get any. But I am confused about something. There were five women in one race, and not only did every finisher win money, but last place won twenty-five dollars. Okay so I’m a little bitter. If I add up the totals of my $56.00 paycheck from a low deal sponsor two years ago, and my assorted prize winnings, my wage is about ten cents an hour. I work hard too. I work really hard. I’m gonna be a wealthy man if I keep this up.
I miss going to the beach. I have been racing or training hard every weekend since I got home and I really just want to go to the beach for a couple days with no bike, no running shoes, and no stress. Don’t get me wrong my life’s pretty awesome right now. I paint windows, I keep the yard clean, I train, I eat, sleep, and write on this blog and thats about it. By no stress I mean the vibe that comes when one goes to the beach. I miss sitting on my surf board and if there are waves, thats great, but if not, thats great too.
I guess surfing’s a lot like fishing. I love sitting on the dock with a line in the water, and not really caring if my bait has been nibbled off or not. Looking out over the water, hearing the splash of small waves hitting the rocks below the dock, that is the essence of stress free. Sitting out on the waves, bobbing up and down as the swells roll under me, not really caring if that indefinable “perfect” wave ever comes, that is the essence of stress free.
Last year my cousin and I set out before sunrise to ride the day’s set of waves. When we crested the dune to the beach, we looked out of the giant swells with mist spraying off the caps and felt like we were getting an early glimpse into heaven. We toed the water and while it was a little chilly, our adrenaline was pumping hard enough to keep us warm. We pushed through the waves with all our strength and soon we were sitting past the break on our boards, looking at the pastel sky overwhelming enough to make even the most stubborn atheists question their opinion. The water was glass smooth and the waves were clean and powerful. This combination of strength and grace is rare on the east coast and my cousin and I were all alone on the surf to witness it. Later in the day we lost dominance over our surfing spot. But for that morning we only had to share the peace with the beauty surrounding it.
Its coming close to my bed time. Goodnight.
Looks like plans have changed.
I may be hiking the Appalachian trail this year rather than next. I may be leaving in early September or late August rather than March. If that is the plan I will hike it North to South. If I set out of August 27th, the earliest I can leave, I will hike attempt to hike the 2000 mile stretch before the new year. Another option is to hike as far as I can until it is absolutely miserable, then section hike the rest.
The reason I would do this is to not miss next year’s triathlon and cycling seasons. I am swimming, biking, and running faster than ever before and I may not want to miss next year’s season.
A few setbacks are keeping me between the two options. The first is the cold. It is going to be absolutely freezing by the end of my journey. And not only will that makes days of the trip miserable, but it will require me to wear pounds more of gear.
Secondly I would be missing Duathlon World Championships in North Carolina this year. I would also miss the late season triathlons. Also, I would most likely not hit my goal finish date and I will probably spend Christmas, Thanksgiving, and New Year’s day without a human companion.
I would also not have any company on the trail. Most thru hikers would be finishing up in Maine when I am setting off from their destination. I would pass them going the opposite direction on the trail. I would spend most nights alone in shelters or even if I was with a companion, I would most likely say goodbye in the morning rather than having a hiking partner. Much of my trip would be spent with no sight of another human.
I have absolutely no idea how I will react to such solitude and harsh conditions. I have no idea what to expect to get from this adventure and I have no idea if my body and mind will hold up to the stress but it’s worth the test. We’ll see.