Friday, August 30, 2013


Before I go into this post, I just want it to be known that I'm not pulling a Nick Frank and specifically questioning motivations in a negative, "I don't like this anymore" kind of way.  I got a first-row seat last weekend to get a chance to see WHY people want to train and ask myself that same question.

At it's most simple I suppose I work out because it is a phenomenal time-filler.  The thought of having 20-30 hours each week of additional "free time" actually scares the crap out of me.  I have no idea what I'd do.  I'd probably have to work on all those "responsibilities" that people seem to harp on and that heretofore I haven't had any problems with.  So that part is scary.  Idle hands are the devil's something or other and I don't wanna be the devil's something or other.  

I think describing "why I train" it is important to dive backwards a little bit.  I've always been an athlete but I really wanted to be good at ball sports when I was growing up; I wanted to be a good outfielder and I wanted to be a good sweeper.  That was what I WANTED.  Now what I actually got was bad eyesight and mediocre touch skills.  Womp womp.  I had a great arm, but no accuracy.  I had speed, but relatively little coordination.  I had eyes, but they needed strong contacts.  I had feet, but not much ability to tell them apart.  So I was decent at both sports (actually in college I was somehow a much better soccer player participating in intramural sports than I ever was when playing at the club/HS level).  As life moved on I discovered golf and realized that you didn't just need to have talent to be good at something, you needed to also put in the hard work.  

Ball sports are "talent sports."  It is pre-determined that you need to have been gifted with some serious athletic abilities to truly excel.  You can train all you want but that will only take you so far in the baseball/football/soccer/basketball (we're talking mainstream sports here) world.  Golf, on the other hand (and maybe is not the best example because it requires talent and the means to play, which can be very expensive), is more of a "hard work" sport.  Vijay Singh is probably the most famous example of extreme dedication to the craft.  He used to spend hours on the range every day, working on some little thing each time. It made him great.  

When I first discovered triathlon I sort of "sensed" the same thing.  There is very little talent involved in 99% of triathlon (the 1% is the WTS level racing).  What makes you better at SBR is a heckuva lot of SBR'ing.  Hard work.  The DESIRE to improve becomes easy to "make good on" because to improve you simply have to work at it.  There are no short cuts, no magical workouts, no training aids...absolutely nothing...that makes you better faster.  It's just not out there.  Never let a coach tell you anything different.  Never let a salesperson sell you something like it.  Never let a friend tell you about their secret methods.  Because they do not exist.  

"Once a Runner" is a relatively famous book in the circles of...running... and it does a really good job of discussing (through narrative) the "feelings" associated with training.  For Quenton Cassidy, an elite miler, one doesn't just train to train.  It is about the feelings it inspires in you, the camaraderie among training partners/teammates, and the desire to improve.  The "constant quest for betterment" is what made him and others like him wake up every morning and lace up their shoes.  The ever present desire to be better than you were the day before.  Where you can finish a workout and say "I am better than I was yesterday." Those are all things that motivate.  I feel similarly; I go through lulls and peaks but for the most part, I can look back and say that I am BETTER than I was the day before.  I am BETTER than I was last year.  I am BETTER than I was three years ago.  I WANT to improve.  I WANT to put in the work to improve.  I do not want short cuts.  What appeals to me is the fact that short-cuts don't work.  It is a simple process of improvement.  THAT motivates me.  

Because of that inherent factor in my motivation, I frequently find myself questioning other people and their desires.  I can think of countless examples of athletes that are very negative, in general, about training.  If I didn't enjoy swimming, biking, and running I just simply wouldn't do one or any of them.  It's pretty simple.  I want to improve but I also ENJOY doing all three and racing all three.  I guess because it's so ingrained in me (the desire to improve, duh) when I see other people floating along, talking about getting better but never doing the work to do so, it makes me question all motivation. 

I know that my reasons for doing things are in no way representative of the way or whys of other people's reasoning.  I realize that and am completely comfortable with it. Everyone should be comfortable with their own reasons for doing things.  But still, what is the point of doing something if you don't want to do it better as your experience grows and matures? Isn't THAT the right attitude to have in all aspects of life? Whether it be as a person, a father, a brother, an employee, an athlete, etc, the desire to improve is - I feel anyway - completely ingrained in human nature.

Swimming is a good example of this, especially among triathletes.  Many, many triathletes want to improve their swim.  It is their weakness.  It happens and is easily predictable when it comes to adult-onset-swimming.  The time management aspect of swimming is definitely tough, but there are 2-3 months out of the year (maybe more, maybe less depending on where you live) where you are just simply not going to be biking or running as much.  Isn't that a great time to really INVEST and improve?

It is, unless you are not motivated to improve.  You can talk the talk all you want but if you really WANT something you will find a way to get it done.  It is simple.  So if you don't enjoy swimming but somehow feel compelled to do it because you consider yourself a triathlete...what's the point?  Either make yourself enjoy swimming (trust me, it's possible) and actually put in the time to get better when you have the time, or stick to duathlons.

I think everyone should search themselves a little bit and increase their general sense of self-awareness.  I am pretty aware of WHY I do things. Why do you do things? Why do you train? Why do you ENJOY training? (hopefully you do) Why DON'T you enjoy certain things?  What can you do to make yourself enjoy them more? What motivates you and makes you enjoy the things you do? Simple questions, complicated answers...

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Lake Norman Sprint Triathlon

S - 12,500 yards
B - 136.8 miles
R - 39.5 miles

Time - 15.44 hours

Lake Norman Sprint Triathlon

I was a little tired for this race given the normal week of training and I had some tight spots and so was a hair nervous I would suffer as a consequence during the race.  Jenny and I drove up there and got ready only to discover that Ross (who would've been racing his first triathlon of the year) had forgotten his bike shoes.  This made me realize that I had forgotten my goggles but luckily I was able to run back to the van and grab a pair from my swim bag.  The rest of the morning passed uneventfully and we all lined up to start the race.

Swim - 11:21 (2nd)

On the front row Jenny, myself and Frank took off expeditiously.  I could feel some movement behind me and some slaps on my feet in the first 100m but ignored them figuring they would drop off eventually anyway. Jenny was on my right and Frank was on my left stroke for stroke almost all the way to the first buoy.  I had fallen behind Jenny and Frank had fallen behind me and Jenny went around the buoy and got a gap on me.  I put in a 150% effort to try and get back on her feet but I just couldn't close down the gap.  At the next buoy I backed the effort level back down a hair and hoped that I could maintain the pace through the end.

Jenny stayed in front all the way to the last turn buoy, visibly about 20-25m ahead and I could feel Frank (at least, I assumed it was Frank) on my feet.  As we rounded the last buoy (about 75m to go) I took a quick glance back to my right and saw Frank and to my left I saw another swimmer.  I was surprised but then I remembered Jen Keith was doing the race and she is a good swimmer so I put my head back down and carried into the finish.

T1 - 1:19 

I moved pretty quickly into T1, leaving Frank and Jen to their own devices. This is a pretty long run to transition and then a fairly large transition so my time isn't crazy fast. I ended up passing Jenny in T1 but only because she took a really bad route through the bikes.

Bike - 43:05 (1st)

I made a rookie mistake with my bike pre-race and had the bike in the biggest gear to go up the hill out of the YMCA parking lot. Luckily I have Di2 so shifting into an easier was relatively easy (push button push button push button) and I didn't rip my rear derailleur off so that was good.  I made it up to the top and carried on through downtown Davidson.  The first part of the course is flat and fast and on good pavement.  I made it to the roundabout and took a glance back and saw three people a fair distance behind me.  Once we made the left turn on Shearers (I can never remember how to spell that) and the pavement took a turn for the worse (but that was expected).  There's not that much to say about this bike split.  My watts were awful and my legs were dead through the first half but they started to feel a bit better once we got on the long flat road leading into Davidson.  Like last year, the bike course takes about 1000 turns in the last 2 miles of the course which is really frustrating as you lose a lot of speed but it is what it is.  I was surprised at the lack of volunteer preparedness on the course this year.  Several times I went through turns where there were either no volunteers (at least that I saw) or volunteers that were paying absolutely zero attention.  I don't blame them, triathlon is pretty boring, but if you sign up to be a volunteer it's your job to help with the safety and direction of the athletes.  I came back into transition with what I felt was a good lead on everyone else.

T2 - :49

T2 was quick and easy although there were a ton of people in transition who were ending their swims or just standing around.

Run - 17:24 (2nd)

As I was running up out of transition onto the course I heard some brakes squealing down the hill so I figured Donny was about to enter transition which meant I had at least a minute lead on him so that made me happy.  I took the first part of the run relatively easily to let my legs come around and made it to mile 1 quickly and with lots of good feelings.  There are a lot of turns as you go through the neighborhood and in a couple of spots there were families out in front of their houses so that was pretty cool.  The weather was not that hot so it was actually quite a pleasant run.  I continued to try and build pace and came back to the beginning of the loop feeling good about my run.  I carried into the finish line hoping to have achieved something I have never done before: split 1st in each of the three disciplines.  Unfortunately young Jack kept that from happening with a faster swim and run but he did not start in open.  I was alone the whole race from the end of  T1 so I was happy with my ability to push myself.

Overall - 1:13:57 (1st)

Unfortunately Donny and Binny took a wrong turn (or failed to make a turn?) and came into the finish line several minutes ahead of me so when I saw them I was a bit surprised but knew I had done the course correctly so was confident in my win.  This is the first win I've defended from last year so I was pleased, especially considering the amount of training I had done during the week.

Also of note, 2012 results

Swim - 10:42 (3rd)
Bike - 43:46 (2nd)
Run - 17:31 (2nd)
OA - 1:14:10 (1st)

It's interesting that the swim is so much slower than last year.  I am curious as to why that would be because the course, as far as I can tell, is placed on the same buoys every single year.  So while my time is only a bit faster than 2012 my swim was almost 40s slower (despite being in far, far better shape in the water than I was in '12) so I gained good time on the bike and the run versus last year where I had Donny racing around me to push me and motivate me.

All in all, it was a good race.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The week where I laughed at myself ironically

S - 19,300 yards
B - 164.7 miles
R - 52 miles

Time - 20.51 hours

The ironic timing of my Friday blog was amusing to me this weekend.  It's possible that it was ONLY amusing to me but to a certain extent you kind of have to take that and run with it. If it's amusing to you that's the only thing that matters.

Of course, I am referring to my "Getting Stoked" post about how I deal with motivational issues while training.  It was clear from the post that I deal with my problems by buying stuff, which may or may not be the best short/long-term financial strategy.  Be that as it may, it has usually worked for me.

Well, Friday rolled around and I finished up and posted the blog, went to work and then had an absolutely phenomenal long run.  My schedule called for 100 minutes aerobic and I knew it'd be a great chance to really see what "aerobic" could mean given that my running fitness has been increasing each week lately.  I had run 10.5 miles the night before with Jenny, including 20 minutes worth of threshold intervals and it had gone quite well so I was excited!

Now, aerobic - according to Brian - is defined as "power level 2, your 'I can do this for 3-4hr' pace; day in day out repeatable doesn't take you out of a workout tomorrow today pace."  If you know Brian, that's a very Brian way to describe something haha... Anyway.  I can usually tell if I've drifted out of the aerobic range and into the "tempo-ish" range by the way my calves feel throughout a run.  If they start to get sore and tight then I know I've been working a little too hard.  This run was not that, it was an hour and forty minutes of pure, aerobic bliss.

My pace was consistent, most notably on the flat parts of the run (greenways, Selwyn, etc), and I felt great throughout. So I was on a motivational high on Friday evening although we did not get to have dinner (big group dinner) until almost 10pm so in hindsight that was a really, really bad situational timing incident and may have affected my Saturday.

The weather for the weekend was going to be bad, especially on Saturday.  After swimming in the cold 65 degree air and rain in the morning at Cordelia I just could simply not get motivated to ride.  I couldn't do it.  I was scheduled to get in 4 hours both days and Saturday I just did not have the desire to get on my bike.  Indoors or outdoors.  I was a little upset with myself but it's been a long time since I took a "me" day and I think in hindsight I was smart to not do the ride I was "planning" on doing Saturday.  Either way, I got excited to ride again on Sunday and got to ride with a good group of friends I hadn't ridden with in a long time and managed to put in some decent efforts so was pleased, especially after seeing my run totals, with the week.

Cool story bro!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Getting "Stoked" for Dummies

There is a process we all use when leading up to workouts, races, drives, trips, vacations, work, appointments, sleeping, #2ing, and many, many other things: you gotta get stoked about it.

For those not "in the know" let us first refer back to my favorite source of online knowledge: urban dictionary.  UB defines to be "stoked" as "to be completely and intensely enthusiastic, exhilirated, or excited about something; those who are 'stoked' all of the time know this: that being stoked is the epitome of all-being and when one is stoked there is no limit to what one can do."

A more eloquent and all-encompassing definition you will never find, I am sure.  I also fully believe that it is true: when you are stoked about something you will CRUSH IT.

Everyone goes through lulls, peaks, valleys, troughs, etc.  There are high points and low points.  Just as with training volume, it's important - when thinking in the context of excitement/motivation levels - to not have the peaks too high and the valleys too low. That is key to overall performance. There are some things that you can get easily excited/stoked about so it's important to sort of "reign it in" at times.  You only pull out the get-super-stoked methods during the times when they are absolutely necessary.  Natural stoked-ness will happen for the things that you are naturally stoked about so there is no need to pull out the big guns.

For me, I mostly struggle with motivation at the beginning of the year, in the middle of the year and sometimes at the end of the year.  Now, at first glance that may sound like the entire year but what I really mean is when I first start getting back into training for a new year it's tough because my watts are low, my swim paces are slow, and my runs are a bit of struggle so it is tough to get excited about the year because you feel slow and out of shape! In the middle of the year (i.e. summer) one is in the middle of the year (kinda like being in the middle of the Atlantic and hitting the doldrums. Nice metaphor, go me) and the middle of summer so it is hot and I've presumably been training at a somewhat high level for some period of time and it's only halfway over and so it's a tough period.  At the end of the year I've been training a whole lot and I am tired and sometimes a little sick of riding the bike and so motivation drops.

Sometimes it's tough to get excited about a certain race (i.e. because you feel like you HAVE to do it or whatever), it's tough to get excited about swimming, it's tough to get stoked for run workouts, it's tough to get excited about a long drive, it's tough to get stoked about work, it's tough...oh get my drift, sorry.  Sometimes I get a little carried away...

Basically, the point of this post is to share some things I do when I need that extra little bit; when the stoked-ness is suffering and needs a nice little bump to get over the hump.

If there is one thing that works EVERY. SINGLE. TIME when I am down about swimming it is purchasing a new suit.  There is nothing more simple than scouring the internet for the wildest, most awesomest speedos on the planet.  There is nothing that gets you quite as motivated to put in the hard work of swimming. There is nothing that makes you feel quite as sexy as a new suit.  There is nothing that amazes your friends with your audacity quite as much as a new suit.  I personally don't like boring stuff.  I like to let it all hang out, metaphorically speaking of course.  A suit should make a STATEMENT.  It should tell your lanemates and general passers-by that you mean business and that you take yourself very, very seriously and they should take you seriously as well.

Exhibits A, B and C:

I actually have the great pleasure of owning these exact suits.  Well, not ALL of them, but the best ones anyway.  If you want and in-person preview of how stoked you could make yourself just by pulling on a sweet, sexy set of briefs and contemplating your awesomeness as you stand over the pool deck fully ready to take the proverbial and physical plunge.

Swimming is easy to get jacked up about from a material standpoint.  I mean, just looking at those suits gets me all jacked up to wake up and swim in the morning and yes, I am being completely serious.  I motivate myself for biking and running workouts in much the same way as I do with swimming: buying new stuff.  My personal outlet for cycling purchases comes in the form of bike shoes; I LOVE bike shoes. Not tri shoes, because most of those suck...but ROAD shoes.  Or should I say "real" shoes.  Over the past couple of years, here is a list of the shoes I have owned (mostly in the past 2 years)

Nike somethings (first pair that lasted many years)
Scott Tri Carbon (first pair of tri shoes!)
Mavic Zxellium
Mavic Huez
Giro Prolight SLX
Mavic Tri Race
Fizik R3 Uomo
Sidi Genius 6.6
Specialized S Works Road (2012 version)
Specialized S Works Road (2013 version)
Fizik R1 Uomo

So basically when I need a pick-me-up I basically seem to choose purchasing bike shoes.  There are few things better than looking down at a sick pair of kicks to get you jacked up and stoked to rail on some fools using your bicycle.  Seriously.  

But to be honest, whatever floats your boat is what you need to get your stoked meter running on FULL. For some people that may just be the right music or a nice fresh shave of the legs or a new pair of bibs or the right friend to ride with or...or...etc.  

You can probably guess what's coming next: getting stoked for RUNNANG.  As with cycling, shoes can and do get me motivated to bust out some sweet, sweet miles on the roads and sidewalks (not on the trails because I do not get excited about running on the trails).  Sometimes trying a new running route can get my motor running just the right way.  Anything YOU need to do to get yourself excited is what you need to do! 

This post was galvanized by the Charlotte Motor Speedway 10 mile TT series on Wednesday night of this week.  I was not stoked.  Nobody was going with me, it was windy in the morning, I was tired from lots of training and I was skeptical of my ability to go fast.  The time approached when I needed to depart for Concord from work and I was just not excited.  I tried a couple of home remedies, like buying a bunch of sugar:

Based on the premise that so much sugar would get my juices flowing this method had sound reasoning behind it but it only got me halfway there, so to speak.  Even when I showed up and saw Mike Starkey there (so I'd have someone to talk to) only increased my desires a couple of percentage points.

Even seeing some stiff competition there (Derek Kidwell - who would go on to finish a mere 4s behind me - and some of the other usual top 5 guys, including Eric Christopherson - who would have the fastest time of the day wearing - a skinsuit that read "SC State TT Champion" on the butt - knowing I had beaten him at that race...) couldn't quite get the job done.

What it took was a bet.  There is nothing quite like a bet to get you motivated.  Jenny texted me and asked if I cared to make a friendly wager.  She asked how far off the category record my last time at the time trial was, to which I responded 3 seconds (last year I set the course record for 25-29 at 20:49 and earlier this year cruised to a 20:52).  She asked if I thought I could break the record, to which I said "yes." She said if I DID break the record she would wash my car.  She said if I DID NOT break the record I would have to wash her my purple speedo.  Not wanting to be forced into such an arduous and demeaning task I took it upon myself to get all kinds of jacked up and set a new category course record of 20:28, averaging a hair over 29 mph.  Looks like I'm getting a free car wash!

So those are a few ways I get myself do you get stoked, hmm??? 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

More is more

S - 21,100 yards
B - 236.6 miles
R - 38.9 miles

Time - 23.32 hours

I am not sure whether my current musings are based on fact or not, but I feel like it's been quite a while since I've gotten in a truly "solid" week of training.  Maybe I am right and maybe I am wrong but ultimately the important thing is that the training happened.  I do know for a fact that it's been a while since I've really been gung-ho about my swimming.  This week had three masters practices of 5k each and two other "technique" swims, which is basically my way of copping out of doing a hard workout.  Lately though I have been getting back into a slight groove so that is obviously good.  Biking was good, running was good...stuff was just...GOOD.

On a scale of 1-10, with 1 being most boring and 10 being most exciting...I am guessing that this post rates a solid -5. Yay? Nay?

Monday, August 5, 2013

Stumpy Creek International

For a long time I had been eyeing Stumpy Creek Sprint as my first August race seeing as how it was close to Charlotte and would be 1 of the 2 "bonus point" events in the NCTS this year.  Somewhat surprisingly (ok, really surprisingly) the sprint was cancelled and the International was moved from Saturday to Sunday and took over as the bonus race.  So, I decided to do the International instead!

Seeing as how it was a heavily weighted event in the series I was expecting some stiff competition and with Derek Kidwell and Matt Wisthoff racing I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.  I was hoping to have some other NC fasties show up but those two are more than enough for one race day!

Jenny and I drove up in the morning and got set up pretty quickly although I didn't have time for quite as much swim warm up as I would've really liked but the skies were raining and the temps were somewhat cool so I felt that'd be a fair trade-off. (of course, it ended up being a cloudless, slightly windy and hot day! oops)

Outsiders probably think we look weird, I think we look AWESOME
Swim - 22:15 (3rd)

So I had a couple of thoughts about this swim.  I KNEW Jenny was in phenomenal shape so sitting on her feet would be tough.  I KNEW Matt would be taking the swim out very hard.  I FIGURED Derek would sit on Matt's feet as long as possible to try and get a gap on me into T1.  I FIGURED my best bet would be to go out on Jenny's feet (she goes out a little slower than those two) and use her draft to eventually catch Derek who I surmised would not be able to hold Matt's feet for the whole swim.

This plan started off very well when at the gun I started out very hard and after several strokes looked up and slightly off to my right saw what appeared to be a motorboat streaking away from the rest of the group. No, that was just Matt with Derek hot on his heels, taking the swim out at about 1:00/100m pace.  It was an impressive display of water movement.

Jenny was on my right shoulder and eventually made her way up past me and as soon as she got ahead of me I slipped over and hopped on her feet.  It was a lot of work staying there but I knew I needed to do my bestest as it would help me move up the field.  Up ahead I couldn't really see Matt but I could see Derek so I figured he had popped off and was now solo.  Jenny was making up ground and I dropped off her pace but at that point Derek was only 25m ahead or so and we had yet to reach the first turn buoy.  Jenny turned left, then Derek turned left, then I turned left.  With only 50m to the next buoy I closed the gap down to Derek and got on his feet before making the second turn.

The way back on the swim course passed uneventfully and I stuck on Derek's feet (hopefully only tapping his feet once or twice unintentionally) with Jenny visible not too far ahead.  I wrestled with the proposition of putting in a hard surge to try and drop Derek and/or try and catch Jenny.  I was not working altogether THAT hard (I was working, mind you) on Derek's feet but as it was at OTM the positive would be mayyybe getting a gap with a lot of hard effort (but I have serious doubts Derek would've let me "go") the negative would be blowing myself up for the rest of the swim.  I chose stay on Derek's feet and coming in to the end of the swim I was pleased as it allowed me to stand up and sprint into T1 expeditiously, which would prove beneficial.

T1 - :37 (7th)

I knew Derek had a speedsuit so I hoped I could get out of T1 ahead of him.  JP Story yelled out to us that Matt had a 1:20 lead out of the water, which was a reasonable gap and Jenny was just ahead so I plowed on towards my bike and had a quick T1

Bike - 1:04:34 (1st)

I got out on the bike quickly and passed Jenny at the beginning of the big hill (same one you climb on the run twice) and set my sights on trying to catch Matt.  My legs felt pretty good and despite my watts being relatively "normal" for me I could tell I was moving along pretty quickly.  The pavement in this beginning section was incredibly awful and choppy so that was distracting but it didn't take all that long to catch my first glance of Matt up ahead in the distance.

At about minute 10 or so I saw him for the first time (way ahead, mind you) and when I looked back at the point where he had been when I saw him I did not see Derek visible so I was happy with my progress.  The bike continued on rather uneventfully for the next 20 minutes and I steadily made progress on Matt up ahead.  The weather was warming up and at the halfway point or so I was sweating pretty good.  At one point I looked up ahead and saw Matt much closer than I had seen him last so was excited but also dismayed as I figured maybe he got a flat tire or something (I didn't know what I was thinking really) but as I rapidly made up ground I saw it was a triathlete riding the course.  Now, there is nothing ACTUALLY wrong with that but it was quite annoying in the sense that it disrupted my focus and confused me as to where I actually was. Not really a big deal, but like others he could have just been riding the other way on the bike course.  Oh well.

I eventually caught up to Matt roughly 35-40 minutes into the bike and I don't think he had realized I was approaching until we both coasted around a turn and he heard my freewheel as he looked back suddenly.  We both got back down in the aerobars and I had to decide whether I wanted to stay with him and ride his pace or forge on ahead.  With how Derek has been riding I thought he'd probably catch us both if I chose that option and I wasn't sure how I felt about that.  The road turned into a long, very slightly downhill section that was straight and true so I resolved to try and lay down the hammer and see what happened.  I went into my extreme "turtle" position, and went by Matt at a fairly expeditious rate.  I heard him shift gears as I went by so I assumed he was coming with me.  I carried this speed on for a bit until we made a left turn, where I looked back and realized that I had gotten a gap on him.  I put my head back down and carried on and we came through the State Park (lots of twists and turns so I was "out of sight" to a degree) and I had a slightly bigger gap.  We turned back onto the first part of the course and had some out and back traffic to motivate us and I continued into the last turn pretty quickly.  I came down the entrance road fast and hopped off my bike quickly with the lead intact! Hooray!

T2 - :37 (1st)

I T2'd pretty quick in an effort to get down the road before the chasers came in and was mostly successful as I saw Matt coming down the hill as I was reaching the first water stop (200m into the run or so?)

Run - 37:51 (4th)

My locks are not as awesome as Matt's locks :(
The first thing I noticed when I headed out on the run was that my legs felt like junk and it was very hot.  I was pretty conservative at the beginning, which is quite different than the way I "normally" exit T2.  I've had the lesson hammered home enough about going out too hard and coming in too slow enough to decide to change my tune at this race.  It didn't "hurt" from an "educational" standpoint that my legs also felt tired!

It was fairly lonely for the first two miles as I wound my way behind the race site and into the neighborhood and I peeled my top down pretty quickly as the temperatures felt somewhat overwhelming.  I popped back out of the neighborhood "loop" and the first guy I saw was an NC State kitted fellow followed closely by Jenny.  I tried to say good job but my oxygen levels were a bit low at the moment so it was more a whisper (creepy).  I made the turn to head up the hill and just stared 5 feet in front of me and kept putting one foot in front of the other.  At the top I looked back and saw no sign of chasers so I knew I'd finish the first lap in the lead.  I came down the hill and started feeling a bit looser as I came through the start of the second lap and the cheers of the spectators and volunteers.

I think I look tired

Now I actually look fast, yessss
I carried on a bit easier (but I "felt" faster) back into the neighborhood and popped out of the loop again to see a slightly different set of people before I turned up the hill.  I climbed the hill the same way I did before: eyes down and feet moving.  With the length of that hill it is imperative to not start out too fast as one could easily blow themselves with the length and steepness of its climb.  I got to the top with no one in sight behind me and realized I was (barring any penalty or anything) going to win the race.  I carried on down the hill, across the parking lot, around the soccer fields and across the line in first.  Hooray!

OA - 2:05:52 (1st)

I was excited about this race to get a chance to see what I had against Matt again, as we haven't raced short course against each other this year.  I did not think I would see him until the end of the bike so while he must have been feeling somewhat subpar I was excited to come out ahead in this particular match.  I WANTED this race and I think my attitude and strategy worked well to achieving the win.  I think I've slowly but surely become one of the faster guys in the region and it was nice to see a good result from a bonus points race that sort of confirms my thoughts.  I've done Stumpy each year they have had it and gotten faster each and every year.  While I didn't go as fast as Doug did in his win last year (I believe the run was much warmer this year) I went faster than my time last year.  Steady improvement is the name of the game.  Patience is indeed a virtue!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Elite Triathlete Application

Job Description

Here's your chance to compete among the professional field in triathlons with the opportunity to win loads and loads of prize money while amassing fame, fortune, and a lifetime of great memories! This is a career field with huge amounts of upward mobility that is steeped in tradition, history, and a pursuit of excellence.  Are you a go-getter, type A personality? Well then there's no need to look any further! Wanna get out exactly what you put in? Well, no need to look further! The more you apply yourself, the more you'll get out of the job.

Essential Responsibilities

Essential responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Being "on the job" 20-30+ hours a week
  • Prep time for "on the job" workday can, but does not always include, an additional 5-10hrs/week
  • Becoming a bike mechanic
  • Learning the schedules for all local masters swimming groups
  • Learning the schedules for all local weekly group bike rides
  • Mapping out and determining the approximate (but sometimes exact) locations of all area tracks, greenways, flat roads, hilly roads, and trail options for running
  • Mapping out and memorizing all straightforward bicycling routes, alternate routes, detour routes, spurs, add-on options, short-cut options, tailwind options, climbing options, flat options, headwind options, low-traffic options, fast options, slow options, easy options, hard options, and basically any other kind of option
  • Be willing to wear little to no clothing at all depending on the exercising being done and preferably color coding all clothing, accessories and equipment at all times.
  • Travel is 75%
  • Have a social life that is centered and focused on friends that you train with regularly and have little to no time to make friends outside of your close-knit self-imposed community
  • Other responsibilities updated as job context changes and positional influences alter

Required Skills and Experience

  • Preferably come from a single or dual sport background
    • Lifetime swimmers are the preference
    • Secondary preference would be collegiate and/or Division I runners
    • Lowest priority is an applicant with no prior history of athletic excellence
  • Proficiency with social media outlets (facebook, twitter, instagram, blogging platforms)
    • Must make continuous efforts at self-promotion
    • Must be able to speak coherently about workouts, races, and product usage for the sake of employers and sponsors
    • In general, be willing and able to talk about oneself non stop and with reckless abandon
  • Must be willing to maintain a strict bodily appearance
    • Shaving every one to two days is an absolute must
    • At all times be able to produce pictures that showcase vascularity, definition, shredded-ness, upper body weakness (while still making sure to show off strong lat muscles and shoulders), etc.
Company Description

Professional Triathletes, INC is an equal opportunity employer.  Each applicant will be considered by factoring in prior employment history, athletic resume, future potential, marketability, and general affability.

Thank you very much for your consideration!

Remember that at PTInc hard work = fame and fortune.