Saturday, July 30, 2011

"You Are So Anal..."

...not words you'd look forward to hearing from your boss.  
Am I right?

I would venture to guess those are words you wouldn't really look forward to hearing from anyone.  But you'll have to trust me when I say that they were said with a background of a chuckle.  My boss likes me...  We just don't really understand each other's quirks from time to time. 

"You are so anal about recycling!"

In short, I'm the guy at work who yells at my coworkers for throwing away plastic bottles.  I'll fish out the water bottles of our members from the trash.  I've even put in a request to our corporate office asking for some recycling signs. 

Can you blame a guy for wanting to do a little good for Mother Earth?


1.  Do you recycle?  What do and don't you recycle?
I have a box for paper under my desk, a collection for bottles, cans, plastics etc., all old clothing is donated, and all car parts (brake pads, rotors, etc.) get taken to scrap metal yards.

2.  Does your place of work recycle? 
We recycle plastic bottles.  I'm looking into adding paper and cardboard to the bin. 

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Mystery Craving!

Last night I posted on both Twitter and Facebook that I very much was craving cookie dough.  I really just wanted to sink my teeth into unbaked goodness.  And just so you know, I have been known to eat an entire roll of cookie dough; it really starts tasting salty towards the end.

Anyways, while I was boarded up at home today (stupid foot!), I decided that I should satisfy that craving and make some cookie dough.  The issue was deciding what kind to make.  Finally I realized that it A-C-tually comes down to what I have in the kitchen.  I had flour, sugar (white and brown), eggs, a little bit of butter, margarine, oatmeal, and other non-cookie items.  The final decision was Shortbread cookies (surprisingly simple to make) and Oatmeal cookies.

Long story short, as delicious as they were, they were a far cry from satisfying my craving. 

What the heck are you craving belly?!

One of my college friends came to the conclusion that I may be pregnant.  Let's just say I'm glad she's not going to be THAT kind of doctor.  My roommate immediately thought I ate two batches of cookie dough.  Honestly, with my ice cream cake endeavors in the past, I can't be too surprised at that reaction.  But either way, I have spent ALL day trying to figure out what it is that my body is craving. I keep munching and tasting, prepping and cooking, but nothing hits the spot.  I'm at a loss.

Any thoughts on what might solve this craving?  Maybe a cupcake...?

In other news, my good friend Chelsea finished her very first triathlon today.  Woohoo!!  I was happy to finally get to WATCH a race though I did wish I could have raced too.  Chels will soon be racing half ironmen with me I'm sure. 


1.  Everyone here loves to race, but how many races do you watch and/or volunteer at during the year?
I've only watched a couple and volunteered at one thus far.  I keep hoping my schedule would accomodate more volunteering.

2.  Have you roped any of your friends into your sport of choice?
Chels is the first I've turned into a triathlete.  I'm working on getting some more just to run a 5k (to start)

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Can you tell?

Can you tell which foot got rolled?

I guess there will be no sprint tri for me today.  Lots of RICE and reading Running on Empty instead!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Day of Firsts

First Wednesday off!  Usually I work Wednesday, but our assistant manager asked off for later this week, so my off days got bumped. 

First solo OWS (open water swim).  Other than the after taste of seaweed/algae, it was a success!

First game of Ultimate Frisbee this season.

First hyperextension of my right metatarsals.  Wait, what?!  Yep, I rolled my foot at Ultimate about two hours ago and the top of my foot is definitely not feeling great.  I've hyperextended it a few times before, so I know the feeling and unfortunately the only cure is rest.  I am hopeful however that a miracle will occur overnight with anti-inflammatory meds, ice and heat leaving me prepped for the first sprint tri of the season tomorrow.  That is optimism, my friend. 


1.  Have you ever had an injury that sidelined you right before a race?

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Survived a Solo OWS

One of my primary goals today was to get in the water. 

 As you can see on my weekly training log on the left column, I haven't done much swimming lately and I know swimming distance was an issue I pin-pointed after the Rhode Island 70.3.  So after a couple weeks of posting in my triathlon clubs forums and not getting anyone interested in going swimming with me, I said "eeeehhhh....  F* it."  I headed to the lake alone.

Solo OWS! (open water swim)

I know people say it's one of the worst risks you can take in training, but how else am I gonna' get my mileage in!  But either way, I'm still here (or am I?) and despite the horrible after taste of seaweed/algae water, I'm doing well.  I'm also looking oh-so longingly at my bed.  My nap may come earlier than planned.  (*smile!*).

Anyways, while I was out swimming - you know, thinking of random things while my body does the muscle work - all of a sudden there's a big SPLASH!!  What the heck?  Who's throwing things?  Oh, hey.  It's another swimmer.  haha  Apparently I wasn't the only one with the bright idea to do an across the lake swim solo.  And not only that, but we just about swam head on into one another.  We had a quick laugh, she warned me that there was another person out in the lake as well, and we headed off in our separate directions.  What are the odds of two random people swimming the EXACT same path (within inches!) in the same lake on the same morning.  Crazy!

Ok, it's time to get this new printer hooked up and some food in my belly before I hit the hay!


1.  What have you done today?  Anything fun?
I know, most of you are probably at work, am I right?  Though, a good number of you work from home!

2.  If you could do anything you wanted today, what would it be?
I'm doing exactly what I want; train, eat, sleep, and have some fun.  Man I love this life!!

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Mid-Week Weekend

I have the next couple days off; YAY!  

One of the members at the gym asked me what I was planning on doing with my "mid-week weekend" and after I told him, he just laughed.  So I'll let you tell me why.  Here's my plan...

  • Pick up a printer
  • Go for an open water swim
  • Go for a long run
  • Nap
  • Set up said printer
  • Ultimate Frisbee game (I'll ride my bike there and back)

  • Go for a bike ride
  • Do some errands (grocery shopping, post office)
  • Possibly go hiking
  • Nap
  • Sprint Triathlon

Is that not how everyone spends their "off time"??


1.  What do you do with your days off?
Do you use them for relaxation, catching up with what's been dragging, or just ramp up your training?

2.  What are your plans for these next two glorious days?

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I'm alive, I swear

Hey guys.  

Sorry to have somewhat disappeared randomly.  This will be short and if it's posted any later than 8:30PM EST, then I fell asleep at my computer.  If so...  Yeah, I don't know.  You'll just have to work with it.

I just got back from work.  Normally that shouldn't be any excuse to miss blogging, but I've been trying my best to keep from driving to work lately in order to save some moolah and since it's been dry weather, I've been doing a lot of riding.  Between having to leave my apartment 1.25 hours before work and not getting home until 1.0+ hours after I punch out and fitting in errands when I can, I haven't had much "free" time.  On top of that, despite the continued heat wave with temps in the high 90's today, I even opted to commute home today by foot.  That's right, I RAN 11.5 miles.  To put it quickly...

I'm tired!

Now here's the rest of the news in whatever order it decides to spit out of my half-functional brain...

This whole idea of training in the hotter weather seems to be working; I can feel myself getting better at dealing with the heat.  I still am not training as fast as I used to, but I figure that will come in time.  I've taken this week as a distance/endurance week and ran 7, 8.5, and 11.5 miles.  Next week I think I'll split up one of those runs and test my speed with it. 

I finally have a Thursday off at work on a week when my Sprint Triathlons are scheduled as well, so I'll get to test my speed out this week.  

On top of that, I have a Wednesday off as well which means I get to join my Ultimate Frisbee group for once this year.  I haven't been able to make it to a single game because of my work schedule. 

Ok, time to stuff whatever food I can get my hands on into my mouth before I pass out for the night.

I'll be back soon!


1.  Do your coworkers know about your athletic endeavors?  If so, do they think you're crazy?

2.  How long of a commute do you have to work and how do you get there?
If I drive, it's 10-15 minutes.  By bike, 45 min.  By foot, 1:39 by today's timing.

3.  Have you noticed the heat getting easier to deal with?
I don't think I could be totally used to it - it's still heavenly to walk into an air-conditioned room - but it's becoming more of a "norm" now. 

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Ask and Ye Shall Recieve

With the Las Vegas 70.3 race on my mind lately, I've been trying to think of how to change my training to better suit myself for this race.  I haven't attacked making a new training plan just yet (that's later this week), but I've been giving thoughts to how to deal with the change in temperature and climate.  The only thing I've come up with...  Train during the mid-day!

It's going to be HOT in Las Vegas no matter what time of day I race at; especially compared to what I get here in CT.  So I figured, why not just train during the hottest parts of the day.  Right?  Makes sense.  Well...

Ask and Ye Shall Receive

I wanted hot weather.  

Mother Nature obliged!

It sure makes the rest of the day super uncomfortable and is increasing my electric bill for sure while I attempt to manage non-body temperature conditions for sleeping.  However, it's perfect for getting used to heat!  

So as much as I will complain for the next...  well, at least 10 days, I should embrace this opportunity and make the most of it.  Ok, time to go ride!


1.  Are you seeing warm weather where you're at?
I'm a winter person, so anything above 65*F and I consider it warm/hot.

2.  What's the worst climate change you had to deal with in a race you traveled to? 
Was it heat, humidity, rain, or something else?

3.  Does anyone go to concerts?  If so, what do you like to go see?
I'm heading to see Parachute, Michelle Branch, and my home town boys the Goo Goo Dolls tonight since a friend won some tickets this morning.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Spinning Class Kicked My A$$

I'm going to come right out and say it...

I'm a triathlete.  I do a LOT of cycling (ok, plenty of people do more, but I think I do a good amount).  I've raced up to 56 miles on a bike straight.  I've spent three hours straight in the saddle.  But yet...

spinning class is TOUGH!!

Here's my post-class rationalizations...
  • Spinning class is 50% or more out of the saddle & I rarely ever get out of the saddle when I'm cycling.
  • While the spin bikes are the "closest thing to actual bikes," they still fall quite short.
  • Cycling 11.5 miles to the gym at a sprint pace just to make it there on time for class should not be considered a warm up, but a workout in itself. 
  • I was still within one week of my 70.3, so my legs are bound to feel tired.  ...right?  (Really, I would call shenanigans on that since I rode to work the day before at the fastest speed I've done so far)

Either way, I might be heading back for more torture later this evening.  It's supposed to rain, but I might just ride my bike there anyways.  We shall see. 

Also, my boss keeps telling me to get certified to teach spinning.  All of my cycling to work along with the shortage of spinning instructors falls together conveniently.  I'd love to - and I'm sure I will eventually - but I have to make sure that he'd actually give me class time if I did get certified since $$ is tight these days.  


1.  Have you done spinning?  If not, why not?  If so, what are your thoughts?

2.  Does anyone teach spin??  If so, do you find it a decent part time gig or are gyms difficult about it?
I know a lot of gyms are strict with their class instructors and personal trainers.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Who loves eggplant?

Yes, we all do.  What's that?  You don't think you do?  Oh, you don't?  Well, trust me, you do.  You just don't know it yet. 

When I get time away from work, sleep, and training, one thing I do love to do is cook and one of my favorite dishes - thanks in part to my semi-chef of a roommate - is Eggplant Parmesan! 

I'm not sure exactly how this love for eggplant parm started, but I know there were a few involved parties.  An ex of mine is a really good cook; if her and I made the exact same thing from the exact same recipe, hers would be rated 9 or 10 while mine might be 5 at best.  Anyways, she got me hooked on eggplant parm.  It wasn't, however, until a couple of Italian friends showed me how to make homemade tomato sauce that I started making it myself.  I tweek the sauce a little differently each time and I bake the eggplant instead of fry it.  Let me tell you, one batch can disappear over night if you catch me at the right time. 

One thing I love to read on all of your blogs is food ideas, so I thought I'd share.  Here is my recipe for today's homemade tomato sauce and baked eggplant parm.

Kurt's Homemade Tomato Sauce

- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Garlic
- Red Onion (1 medium)
- 2 cans of Whole Plum Tomatoes
- Mushrooms (6 medium or 1 portobello)
- Parsley (fresh or dried)
- Oregano (fresh or dried)
- Salt
- Pepper
- Sugar

1.  Cover the bottom of a large pan with extra virgin olive oil ("EVOO", if you're a Rachel Ray fan) and heat on medium (my stove goes from "Lo" to 10; I set it to 4).

2.  Finely chop (I used a small food processor) garlic and add to heated oil.  Today I used a good 8-9 cloves (double what I've done in the past).  Let garlic heat until the aroma fills the kitchen; just a couple minutes. 

3.  Chop one medium red onion to preferred consistency (I, again, use the food processor) and add to the garlic and oil.  Heat for another couple of minutes.  If garlic begins to turn tan/brown, skip ahead immediately.  You may use another onion if you'd prefer.  I use red onion for the flavor and greater amount of nutrients. 

4.  Chop, mince, puree, or otherwise cut up 2 cans of whole tomatoes.  I prefer my sauce slightly chunky, so I will "puree" for a few seconds in a smoothie machine and leave it as is.  Add to the garlic, onion, and oil and heat on high until it begins to boil.

5.  While you wait for the sauce to boil, add parsley, oregano, salt, pepper, and sugar to taste.  Generally, I add greater amounts of parsley, a small amount of oregano, and a dash of salt/pepper/sugar.  I find that increased oregano works well for pizza sauces.  Today I used sugar, but no salt/pepper.

6.  Finely chop mushrooms and add to sauce at any time.  Since fresh mushrooms have very little taste, I added these today to increase the chunkiness of the sauce. 

7.  Once sauce begins to boil, turn heat down to 1 or 2 and cover.  Let sit for approximately 45 minutes, stirring it every 5-10 minutes to keep the oil and water mixed.  If at any point you feel the sauce needs more seasonings based on taste, feel free to add. 

8.  After approximately 45 minutes, take cover off and continue to heat sauce.  This is meant to boil off the water in the sauce.  You may notice the volume decrease; that's ok.  It's all based on personal preference though, so do as you wish.

9.  After an additional 15 minutes of heating, let sauce cool and serve!

Kurt's Baked Eggplant Parmesan

- Eggplant
- Eggs
- Bread Crumbs (flavored or plain)
- Cheese (I use slices of Muenster)
- Baking pans

1.  Heat oven to 400*

2.  Cut eggplant to desired thickness

3.  Dip one individual slice, first into whisked eggs and then into bread crumbs.  Place on baking sheet and repeat with remaining eggplant.  I cut the eggplant length wise, but you can do as you wish. 

4.  Bake eggplant at 400* for 10-15 minutes.  Flip each slice and cook for another 10-15 minutes.  This may require more or less time depending on thickness of slices.  If the edges are crisping, then cut time shorter.

5.  Layer tomato sauce, eggplant, cheese of choice (I choose muenster since my sister has me hooked on it), in a baking pan.  Use as many layers as you would like as well as much sauce as you would like.  I use more sauce than my roommate does; my personal preference.

6.  Place baking pan back in oven and cook at 400* for 20-25 minutes. 

7.  Let cool and enjoy!!

For those of you who have and have not clued in yet, NO, I do not use parmesan cheese on my eggplant parm.  Does that make it something different?, maybe.  Maybe it should be called Eggplant Muenster?  I'll let you decide.

After making this D-E-Licious dish today and eating two servings of it, I now have the desire to make eggplant chips!  Maybe I'll pick up another eggplant this week and do that.  If I do, I'll let you know how to make 'em; they're quite easy!!


1.  Are you a fan of Eggplant?

2.  Have you ever made homemade sauce?  Do you have a sauce preference?
I've never gone back to pre-made tomato sauce.  Everything I make will be with homemade sauce now.

3.  What is your favorite dish to make at home?, or to be made for you at home if you're not the cook.
Besides the Eggplant Parm, I really like Italian Stuffed Portobellos, Teriyaki Burgers, and just about anything my roommate makes (Oh, coconut shrimp!)

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Place Your Bets Giveaway Winner

I'm sure you've already thought "Hey, did this guy conveniently forget about the giveaway he posted?"'d be wrong!

I haven't forgotten.  I've just conveniently been busy catching up on everything I put on hold the last two weeks (or more) including consolidating my student loans (man that takes a lot of time), cashing a months worth of checks (that should keep the finance monster at bay for a couple days), and finding the floor in my room (I knew it was under there somewhere!). 

But a-n-y-w-a-y-s...  Last Sunday I raced the Amica Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island and before that, I asked you guys to take an informative (or wild) guess at what my finish time might be.  I must admit I was quite impressed with the guesses.

There were twenty predictions ranging from 4:55:45 up to 6:13:00 with an average of 5:16:44.  My official finish time was 5:31:52 and wouldn't you know it?, there were four people within 2% of that; Big Daddy Diesel, Colleen, TMB, and Mike.

Now, while all four of you were extremely close, only one of you (and you already know who you are) was actually within a statistically perfect prediction.  Mike @ Mike's Triathlon Journey had a prediction of 5:32:00 which was only off by 0.04%.  There might be a future in gambling there!  *cough* I mean coaching

So Mike, give me a shout out at BECOMINGANIRONMAN @ and we can figure things out.  I got a bit side-tracked by the awards ceremony on race day, but I had a bit of a revelation the other day on a pretty cool nutrition package I could put together.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

MS Bike Tour

Multiple Sclerosis an autoimmune disease (a disease where your body actually attacks itself) that affects the nervous system.  If you know even a little about the disease or possibly someone that has it, you know that the disease slowly chips away at the body's motor functions.  As an athlete, this would mean you would eventually lose the ability to compete, which I'm sure none of us would have an easy time accepting.

This year, I am joining one of the fundraising events for MS, the MS Bike Tour.

A few years back, the owner of the gym I work at was diagnosed with MS.  Ever since then, our company has been the lead sponsor of the Connecticut MS Bike Tour.  The tour begins and ends in the beautiful Priam Vineyard and this year has three separate routes depending on your skill (or insanity) level; 25, 50, or 75 miles.  I, of course, signed up for the 75 miles!  Our company has raised over $250,000 to date and continues to double our fundraising goals each year.  This year we're shooting for 150 individual riders and $100,000. 

If you live in the CT area or you will be nearby on August 28th, I would highly encourage you to join the tour!  You can ride 25, 50, or 75 miles.  If you join Team Cardio Express by July 31st, registration is only $35, the minimum fundraising is set at $150, and you get an awesome Cardio Express cycling jersey (so we look THAT much more like a team) as well as a buffet and wine at the finish.  If you are, however, not able to join, you can still play a role in finding a cure by donating to the cause; even $1 goes a long way!

To donate or join my team, click HERE.  
I have $25 right now, so I'm already at 16% of my goal of $150. 

Let's help find a cure for MS!

Thank you.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Thank You's

Just a few thank you's going out to everyone who helped me reach this weekend's finish line.

First set of thank you's go out to all of the companies I used clothing and race gear from...

The second round of thank you's go out to my nutrition....

(You guys seriously make the best water on the planet!!)

Third, I'd like to blanket thank all of the volunteers and paid staff from the Ironman Crew

It was my first Ironman event, so I don't have much to compare to, but things went very smoothly and you could tell the volunteers were working very hard to accomodate every whim of the racers; VERY much appreciated! THANK YOU!

My fourth thank you (I feel like I'm accepting a Grammy) goes to everyone who helped with my training, whether it was the right or wrong advice!

Racers at all of my events

Next, my mother
She drove over 4 hours to come see me a few short times over the two days.  She held my car keys and other memorabilia items during my race and I want to say thank you for always being there and dealing with my hectic race mentality!

Next, my CT Crew!

You guys were amazing with your signs and simply just making the trip out to see the race.  Thank you for being so accommodating and supportive despite how crazy and scary-skinny you might think I am.  haha

And of course I can't go without thanking all of you bloggers!
I've learned so much from you guys (and gals) and have so much more to still absorb.  Thank you for reading.  Thank you for your advice, support, and stories!  I've honestly made friends that I hope to eventually meet in person and keep for a LONG time.  It helps to have people who don't think I'm crazy all the time and even encourage me to do more. 

Lastly, I want to blanket-thank everyone who believes and disbelieves in the possibility of my dreams.
Writing that literally made me cry!  It took a HUGE leap of faith to drop what I had eleven months ago and follow this dream, but every time I hear a "OMG, you're nuts," "Good for you!," or "Seriously?," I get another boost of energy to continue following this path, for better or for worse. 

I may not become a pro.  I may not get anywhere near my goal and I may crash and burn financially, socially, and personally all at once, but one thing I've learned (and still need a reminder of from time to time) is...

"happiness is a journey."  

Don't focus on the end point, but the steps it takes to get there and no matter where you end up, you'll be proud of and happy with yourself.


Here's to many more training days, race recaps, laughs, fears, and tears!


Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Race Report: Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island

Ok, here it is.  My recap of my very first Ironman 70.3!!

My alarm went off at 2:30AM and I thought "Why the heck do I have to get up this early when I don't get to race for another 4.5 hours?!"  Oh, the qualms of not racing in your back yard.  To be fair (in some way), I was awake even before my alarm went off.  My body has this odd way of knowing when I have to be up.  Anyways, I got up and had some breakfast - oatmeal, salad, fruit, multivitamin, and an Airborne (heaven knows my body's going to take a beating!).  I packed my stuff in the car and made it to Providence by 3:50AM and got the first set of shuttles up to T1.  When we got there, the bus ahead of us parked in a lot about 0.5 mile from transition and we were about to, but some of the athletes in the front convinced the driver to continue on.  I have no idea how the driver ended up turning around because I don't think it was possible, but I appreciated not having to walk that far before the race.  If the bus driver reads this, I am sorry!  We got body marked, prepped our bikes, and chatted with other athletes.  I walked down to the water and took a quick swim to warm up and test the temperature.  The official Race Day water temp was 79.5 and it felt it!  Thankfully there was a breeze, so as your arm came out of the water, it got cooled off, but warmed right back up as you entered the water.  I dried off, redressed, and waited around until I got to start at 7:05AM.  I did get to see the pros start and get into transition before I started too.  I'm still hoping I can be one of them some day.

My Morning CT Crew (Maddy's taking the picture though)

They called Wave 14 and I toed up to the line.  I waited for the horn - continually adjusting my cap and goggles (it's a swimmer thing), and was OFF!!!  Now, let me start by saying that we noticed the previous day that the actual swim route was different than what was in our Athlete Guide; they never decided to fill us in on that bit but we all knew what was up.  Tricky, tricky!

I'm somewhere in that mix
In the first 500m, I honestly started thinking "OMG, what did I get myself into?"  After another 250-500m, I found my rhythm and held it out, but that start was tiring.  I'm pretty sure I went out a bit fast, but either way, I've resolved to get more swim practice in before Las Vegas.  Overall, the swim was quite boring.  You stare at murky brown/green/blue water for most of the time and pop your head up to site every so often.  I did two bilateral breathes and then sited and kept repeating it.  What I spent most of my time working on was repositioning to my right; apparently I curve to the left (that's what she said) when I don't site enough.  When I saw the swim finish arch, my brain totally switched gears and I was prepping for transition.  "Towel, socks, shoes, suntan lotion, belt, shirt, helmet, glasses, GO!"  I had practiced my transition the night before and figured out the best order.

When I finally could reach the sand with my fingers, I popped up, Baywatch-ed it to the shore and took off like a bat out of hell.

TIME: 35:47
DIV: 30/354

I've watched a lot of people exit the swim and run to transition and the one thing I never have understood is their pace; why run so slow?  Your legs haven't been working that hard yet, you should have energy, right?  For whatever reason, when I pop up out of the water, I'm running probably around 6:00-6:30 pace and charging ahead.  I even ran to the side of our racers shoot forcing spectators to get out of my way as I went around other athletes.  I passed at least 10-12 people in the run to transition alone.  I got to my bike and it went like clockwork; dried off my feet, got my socks on, shoes, sun tan lotion, race belt, shirt, helmet, glasses, and off we go!  Given the spacing of our bikes, it was a bit difficult to get my bike out - took me a good 10s - but I man handled it and took off.  Now I understand why a lot of people ignored the rules and racked their bikes by the BACK of the seat.  

Time: 3:23
I was very happy with that time!

Overall, I felt the most comfortable on the bike leg of the race.  The first thirty miles were mostly hills followed by 15 miles of relatively flat road and another 11 miles of Pothole Central!  In the first thirty miles I focused on the hills - easy up and fast down.  I got passed a number of times on the uphill, but repassed most of them on the down and flat levels.  Overall, I did much more passing than being passed.  I do have to say that one of my favorite things of the entire race was watching what looked like great cyclists power up a hill only to die off at the top (digging will get you nowhere on an endurance race).  My second favorite thing was passing anyone with a high end aero bike or aero helmet.  I was on a craigslist bike with a helmet from Target that has a blinking light in the back; I loved every minute of it!  I did cheer them on though as I passed, but silently laughed at the same time. 

I stayed in my aerobars 95% of the bike leg, only getting out when I had to make a tight turn or when we got to the extremely bumpy roads in the last section of the leg.  I also only got out of the saddle twice.  Once I tested my legs on a hill around mile 20 only to sit back down 5s later (wasn't worth digging into my energy).  The second time was to get off the bike at T2.

My nutrition plans went rather well on the bike.  I downed two powerbars, one pack of clif shot blocks, three bottles of water, 1 bottle of Gatorade Endurance, 1.5 bottles of Ironman Perform, and half a banana.  Every so often I got a slight upset stomach and held off for a bit, but I felt it went rather well.  I stopped eating at 2:30 into the bike to give my stomach time before the run.

At mile 48, we hit pothole central!  In the race briefing we were told that mile 48-49 was a "no pass zone".  They made it that way because the road was in such a bad state that passing would be risky.  As soon as we hit that section of road, water bottles went flying and everyone spread out width wise; we were all trying to find the smoothest way through the holes.  Overall, I was surprised half of us didn't end up with flat tires.  I did end up passing a half full bottle of Perform to another racer after his bottle ejected.  After that section of road, we hit lots of potholes and multiple sets of rail road tracks all the way back to T2.  Plenty of people I know said that they will not race Rhode Island again because of the road conditions alone and I have to admit they have a point.  It felt like we were mountain biking with road bikes!

And within those last few miles I had another mini battle, this time with a white VW New Beetle.  Picture this:  You're riding 22mph down the back roads of Providence making turns about every 0.3 miles and the cops are only stationed at the lights.  You come up to one turn with cones directing you to make a right, but there's a VW Beetle stopped at the stop sign.  You think "What's a car doing on the race course?"  You guess it just got lost or whatever and continue to speed up to its left side.  Then just as you pass the rear tire, you notice that the car starts moving forward.  "HHEEEEEEYYY!!!" you yell as loud as you can.  You hear two guys on the sidewalk to your left yell at the car because they know there are plenty of cyclists coming up behind the car as well.  You see the car moving.  You have to make a right turn and you have about two feet and closing between the car and the cones.  Your front tire clears the front of the car and you bank right.  The car is still moving and then you hear it; that sound of the plastic fender bending.  Then you feel it; your back end swings out to the left.  Before it hits you, you're cleared of the car, they slam on their brakes, and the guys on the sidewalk continue yelling at the car.  You've just been hit by a car during a race.  I stopped pedaling for a moment, looked down at my tire and didn't see anything wrong; the wheel was turning free, no issues.  So I sped up and continued on thinking "if the car has a scratch, good!  They deserve it."

Another couple miles down the road I passed my CT entourage and headed into T2

I'm too fast for pictures

At this point I'm thinking "Ok, here goes the T2 legs.  Just hold on, just hold on!!"

Time: 2:56:17
Div: 44/354

I ran into transition with my bike and thankfully had a slight memory of where my bike was.  I ran up one row too early, but no one was there, so I just ducked under the bar and racked the bike.  I tore off my bike jersey, grabbed my run gear and took off.  I headed out of transition with sunglasses, tri shorts, sock/shoes on, and my hands full of gear.

Time: 1:30

Thankfully, the first 0.2 miles was a downhill, yay!  It took me a good 0.5 miles to get my running shirt on; the first attempt had it on backwards.  I had already noticed that my quads were cramping and my lower back was really painful.  I pushed through it and then realized "Hey, what happened to my T2 legs?"  They never arrived.  I had hopped off the bike and was immediately ready to run.  I certainly wasn't complaining!!

I had tried to drive the 6 mile, two loop course the previous day but got lost.  I had found out from locals that the only hills were in the first 2-3 miles and they were gradual inclines.  I went into the inclines slowly; no use blowing up half way into the run.  I hit aid station #1 (of six on the course) and grabbed a Perform.  I figured I'd switch - perform at #1, water at #2 and so on.  Then I hit the hills.  Slow all the way up but steady.  I hit aid station #2 and they had a sprinkler set up just before it - OMG, that was heaven!!  After station #3 I noticed I was getting a slight upset stomach.  I switched to water again at station #4 and from there on.  At the bottom of the hill I passed a guy with a GPS who said he was at an 8:15 pace.  F' Yeah!!  I was under 8:00 pace for sure and was feeling GREAT!  My plan of kicking it up a notch later on went out the window - "Just hold this pace!"  I hit the turn around just under 50 minutes (under 8:00 pace) and was thrilled.

Going into the fiinsh of Loop #1
I couldn't rip or get the video, so here's the link to me starting Loop #2.

Unfortunately, the day caught up with me by the time I hit station #1 again.  I took another water - this time drinking the entire cup - and walked.  From that point forward I couldn't run more than 1-1.5 miles at a time.  I don't know if it was the physical or mental aspect getting to me, but I'm leaning to the mental.  I ended up drinking more and more water as I hit each station; one cup, two cups, up to three full cups.  I also started playing the largest game of leap frog I've ever been a part of.  Given my unique hair style, a lot of people could recognize me and were encouraging me to keep going as they passed and repassed me.  I'd run passed them easily enough, but then have to walk a mile down the road.  Either way, after another 5 miles of that torture, I came up to the last aid station and then ran all the way to the finish (which was uphill FYI, not cool!).

There wasn't anyone within 100 yards ahead of me, so I got to hear my name over the loudspeaker as I ran in.  And I did a jump in the air with a fist pump at the line!

Time: 1:54:55
Div: 44/354

Overall Time: 5:31:52
Div: 44/354

I was done.  Five hours and thirty one minutes after starting out this morning...  11 months after putting up this goal of an Ironman...  I had finished my first 70.3.  While my friends and family were full of "You were awesome!," "I'm so proud," and "Are you ok?," I was (and still am) full of such a mix of emotions.  I won't lie, I was a bit upset with my run and immediately filled with thoughts of how to improve and where to change my training, but I had still done it.  Any thoughts of "OMG, why did I sign up for this?" from during the race were gone!

My CT Ironman 70.3 Crew
After the race, I chowed down on some food, drank an incredible amount of water, got a massage, and then headed over to the awards ceremony.

As some of you know, each Ironman 70.3 race has a certain number of slots for the World Championship that they give out.  After the awards, they divvy up the slots to each age group and start calling off names.  You have to be present to claim a spot.  When they got to M25-29 (my age group), they read off the names of 3rd place, 4th, 5th, 6th.....10th, 11th....15th, 16th...  Eventually they said "Ok, anyone male 25-29 who's here, come on down.  We'll take the top two times."  I popped up immediately and shot down to the announcer.  As I was walking down I thought "There's no WAY I'm one of the top two finishers who are here right now."  I got down to the front and realized I was the ONLY M25-29 there.  "No F'n WAY!"  I know it's not Kona, but some people would kill for a slot to World Championships and I grab it after my very first race.  I was extremely tired so my excitement level was hindered a bit by that fact, but I was doing flips in my head!

So there you have it - my very first Ironman 70.3.

Now it's off to plan the attack for my second 70.3, The Marine Corp Ironman 70.3 World Championships!!  I'm so going to have my a$$ handed to me.  But hey, maybe I'll get to keep the platter.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

The Stripes Stay!

I just wanted to quickly let you all know that...

I get to keep my racing stripes!!

I got the email this morning from our corporate office.  Since they're temporary and are associated with an incredible story that certainly can be shared with our members, I have authorization to ROCK THE RACING STRIPES!!

TMB, did you get the pink stripes yet? 

And yes, I will be working on my race report tomorrow, so no cyber bullying.  It's coming!


1.  If your place of employment (or profession) allowed you to do one thing that you don't do now, what would you want to be able to do?
Being able to rock my fun hair designs is a big bonus.  Not having to wear a suit is awesome too; I don't do dress up.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

70.3 Las Vegas in September

Lying Officials
Getting a bus stuck
Bath Water
Tough Mudder Wannabe
Mountain Biking with a Road Bike
"I'm glad I don't pay RI taxes"
Engine versus Chrome
VW Beetle versus Trek 470
'Don't try anything new on race day' is a guideline, not a rule, right?
T2 Legs?, what?
5.5 Liters and no need to pee
The largest game of Leap Frog I've ever played

Those are just a small list of the things I'll get into with my upcoming race report for the Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island.  But today (while I recover and consume massive amounts of calories without ever feeling full), I'd like to talk about one individual topic.

Las Vegas, NV

Has anyone ever been to the area?  Does anyone by chance live there or travel to it often?  Anyone have family there?  Do you know of a great (aka, cheap) hotel that I might be able to snag up for say - oh, I don't know - the 8th to 11th of September??  Do you know what flights are the best to get in and out of the area?

Why are you asking for travel advice for Las Vegas in September?

And why are you asking for the dates that surround the Ironman 70.3 World Championship?

Well, I'm glad you asked ironically informed reader!  Guess who got a roll down slot for the 70.3 World Championship?!


Who's excited?


Who has no idea how they're going to pay for it?


Any ideas?


1.  Do you happen to know any bit of advice for the Las Vegas area?
The race is in Henderson, NV just outside of Las Vegas.

2.  Has anyone ever shipped their bike before?
I'd be all ears for how that works/goes and who to go with.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe.  

No More Bets

All bets are in.
Let's see the cards!

Here's my prediction.

As Danny pointed out, swimming is my strong suit.  That's where I have the most experience, but also where I spend the least time training.  For race predictions, I'm going to start with last year's Litchfield Hills pace and bump it up a bit.  However, I found out this morning that the water temp is 84 degrees (shoot me now!), so there may be a little extra time in there.


The bike is going to be a focus on nutrition.  I've hit the wall plenty of times, so my whole goal here is to hit a decent time while putting away enough electrolytes and water to keep me going on the upcoming run.  Again, I am making this prediction based on last years Oly times.   While I feel I'm a much better cyclist now (with still plenty to learn and improve on), I know I'll take it easier with 56 miles than I did with 25 (who knows, maybe I'll just be "in the zone"!).


Now this is where things will be made or break down horribly.  I've only ran one half mary and as you may know, I hit the wall HARD!  This is where I hope my bike nutrition comes to save me.  My plan is to take the first few miles out at what feels like an "easy" sub-threshold pace; something that feels like when I go out for my long runs after a bike ride.  After that, I'll kick it up a notch, testing myself out for a mile at a time.  It's a two loop course and the only hill is in the first mile (and seventh), so I'll ease it up the incline, let my stride open up on the decline, and see what I can get out of my legs once I'm back on flat ground.  My half mary was at 7:14 pace.  The 10k of my Olys were around 8:40 pace.  I am a better runner today and after going 7.5 miles on 2 hours sleep in the back of an SUV at 8:00 pace proceeded by 17 miles of 7:00 pace, I think I can hold an 8:00 pace (I'm hoping those long runs after commuting from work made their impact). 


I've done a bunch of sprints, a couple olys, but this will be my first half iron.  I have no idea how similar the transitions will be.  Better yet, I should say I have no idea how different they'll be.  I know my transition times for the olys and I bet these will be a minute or two longer though I'll do my best to do as much change on the run as possible.

Swim to Bike

Bike to Run

And that brings us to my overall predicton


Now, predictions and goals are two totally separate things (am I right?!).

Despite my time prediction, here are my goals

My Goals
1.  Don't get injuried
2.  Finish
3.  Exit the water feeling well warmed up and alert; NOT tired or sore
4.  Finish swim in 29:59
5.  Finish the bike well energized and calves warmed up for the run
6.  Finish bike in 2:30
7.  No walking on the run
8.  After T2 legs are gone, kick it into a solid gear and HOLD!
9.  Rock the run at 1:40:00 (7:38 pace)
10.  Cross the finish line like a F-n ROCKSTAR!!
11.  Cross the finish line in under 5 hours.
12.  Avoid the hospital (no restrictions on the med tent)

In the words of one genuine rockstar, EMZ...


See you at the finish line! 


1.  Does my prediction alter your own thoughts and predictions?

2.  Do you plan out predictions and goals separately?, or are they one in the same?
I always have a "reach for it" goal and a more realistic idea, but I never let myself settle for realistic.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe.

Friday, July 8, 2011

T Minus 46 Hours - The Transformation




Can you pick it out?  Ok, let me make it a little easier...


Ok, NOW I'm ready to race!!

I only ask that you help me out and think happy, fitness thoughts today for me.  
I haven't e-x-a-c-t-l-y cleared this with work yet. 

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

T Minus 68 Hours

Today is step one of last minute checks.

I've got three piles of "items" on my floor for the bike gear bag, run gear bag, and morning clothes bag.  I went out yesterday before work and got my Gatorade Endurance (lemon-lime flavor) since the trial with Hammer Heed didn't quite work out well.  I picked up a new bottle of Tide Sport Detergent (this is THE best detergent every made!) for tomorrow's morning laundry, I've made lists upon lists upon lists of "things to do," "things to bring," "athlete check list," "contingency plans," "possible versus necessary plans," etc., and I've planned out my meals for the next 48 hours.

Oh, and a big THANK YOU to Amanda at Run To The Finish for the Running Gear Giveaway I won awhile back.  The Odwalla bars are awesome!  I only wish I could find the chocolate peanut butter ones to buy more.  I can't even find them online to buy!  I'm planning on bringing one or two of the Odwalla bars along with a Powerbar with me on the bike course too. 

I've also spent time going through the rules for this weekend's run course in detail.  Unfortunately, they DO state that a shirt must be worn at all times.  My NERelay teammates, roommate, and friends here in CT know I much prefer to run without one, so that will be an interesting run.  I went and tried on some tri tops at the LBS, but for $50+, I decided to stick with what I have for now and find an alternative before September's race.  I might very well run the course with my shirt pulled up though; I can overheat way too quickly with a shirt on (hence why I am not wearing one at this very moment!).  I might have to ask at our pre-race meeting what penalty there is for going shirt-less; it might be worth it. 

I went to the grocery store today too and I'm starting to feel more and more like an athlete or nutrition junky.  The only things I bought that weren't from the produce department were two Powerbars.  The rest was fresh fruit and veg!  And I've been eating a lot of it lately for lunch/dinner (strawberries, celery, yellow bell pepper...).  I made a pasta dish for lunch with yellow and green squash, red pepper, sausage, and an alfredo sauce. 

Ok, time to take a nap before I head off to work. 

Stay Classy!!


1.  What are you up to today (other than work)?

2.  How far in advance do you begin prepping for a race?
Training doesn't count as prep.

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Place Your Bets Giveaway

The final stretch is here!

You know what that means...

It's prediction time!

Here's the deal.  I've never done a Half Ironman, which is how most of my races seem to go up to this point (a lot of "firsts"), but nonetheless I love to spend incredible amounts of time sitting down and coming up with time predictions.  I have my own predictions as to what will happen come race day, but I want to know what YOUR thoughts are.

Will I win the race in four hours flat or will I trudge in around hour eight?  
Will I have as good a day on the bike as I thought?  
Will the new transition setups be easier or more confusing for me?  
I have no idea.  

And what better way to get your thoughts than to tempt you with a giveaway.  Am I right? Everyone loves free stuff.  But here's the catch, I have no idea what it is I'm going to give away.  Think of it as Pandora's Box, but nothing to do with the Pandora jewelry 'cause that shit is expensive. All I'll say is I will have my eyes open this weekend at the race. 

Here's the deal
  • Predict my overall finishing time at the Ironman 70.3 Providence this coming Sunday (I would encourage break downs of that time as well - swim, bike, run, and transition times).
  • Only one prediction per person counts though you're more than welcome to add extras just for fun if you'd like (First prediction counts as official entry). 
  • Must be a follower of this blog.
  • Get your prediction in by 12AM midnight Sunday morning / Saturday night.
  • I will post my own personal predictions Sunday morning before heading to transition.  
  • Follow my race progress Sunday at (race begins at 6AM)
  • Closest time to my official finish time wins.

Here are the distance details in case you are not familiar:
1.2 mile swim
56 mile bike
13.1 mile run

Feel free to make use of my previous race reports and times as you'd like.  And feel free to break the overall time down if you'd like (Danny, I expect spreadsheets and graphs from you.), but only the final counts as your official entry. 

Let's hear it!

Who's going to be the closest?!

Mumbo-Jumbo Small Print Details
- Giveaway is open to anyone with an address in the U.S. or Canada.
- Entrants must be alive to claim prize
- Entrants with previously established psychic ability are ineligible.
- Entrants who work for fast food chains are ineligible (It's my giveaway, I can do what I want!)

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Happy 4th of July Weekend!!

Happy early 4th of July to those in the U.S.

Happy belated Canada Day to those to the North. 

Everyone else, I just hope you have a fantabulous day!

I drove up to my Mother's place last night after work and I will be here for the holiday weekend.  I'll have limited time on the fancy interweb, but I'll be back Monday night or Tuesday morning after my massage appointment. 

Enjoy the weekend!

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe. 

Friday, July 1, 2011


I call Shenanigans!!

First it was one-size fits all clothing.

That's bull!  Not all people are one size.  It's more like "one-size covers all, but doesn't guarantee it fits well by any stretch of the imagination."

Then there was "Family Size Meals." 

I'd like to see a family that is satisfied by those!  If I can eat two and still be hungry, that's gotta' be one tiny family.  

And now I call Shenanigans on Dri Fit, Dry Wick, or any other sort of moisture wicking material.

They may work if I don't do anything more than STAND outdoors, but once I start moving, they soak up sweat!  Long-sleeves in winter, short sleeve in spring, and even shorts in summer.  They're all soaked by the time I'm done for the day. 

I figure the material really isn't meant to be 100% dry, but there's got to be a better way to engineer it.  I got for a 1 mile run and my shirt is stuck to my back.  I go for a mid distance run and my shorts are soaked. 

If it was possible, I'd challenge any fabric manufacturer to make a material that actually stays dry or at least makes a jump in improvement over what's on the market today.  My sweat glands have got you beat!!

Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay safe.