Friday, September 19, 2014

RECIPE BOOK: Stuffed Zucchini

Thanks to my friend Katie, I bring you another recipe.  This time, the recipe comes in the heat of farmer's market season!  I love walking around the farmer's market looking at the various options they have.  Not only do you find some new items you've never seen before, but you find gigantic zucchini and bell peppers, onions with the stalks still on them, every color tomato you can think of, and peppers in more shapes and sizes than you've ever seen in the grocery store.  When you can find a knowledgeable staff member who isn't busy with customers, it's fun to pick their brain in asking what this or that might be used for, what the heck something is, or what the difference in taste might be between two similar items.  Sometimes, you may find you come up with a whole new recipe or side dish that you had never thought of before. 

This recipe at first came from Katie.  I'm not sure where she got it, but I can't take credit for the bulk of the idea.  However, after making it once, I decided that it needed some changes.  Thanks to my love of mushrooms and corn and the local farmer's market, I had plenty of inspiration!


1 large Zucchini, halved and hollowed out
1 Tomatoes, diced
1/2 Bell Peppper, diced
1/2 Yellow onion, diced
1 Portobello Mushrooms, diced
1 Corn on the cob, cut from the cob
1/4 cup Monterey cheese, shredded
Garlic, finely minced (or garlic powder)

The best part is that everything except the mushrooms came straight from the farmer's market.  What a difference fresh ingredients make!


Pre-heat the oven to 350o. 

Clean, halve, and hollow out one large zucchini.  I like to use the meat of the zucchini for a separate stir fry.  There's no use in wasting!  Fill a pot with water and boil the zucchini until it begins to be flexible to the touch.  We don’t want to fully cook it in the water.  Set aside in a baking dish.

Add onions, mushrooms, and uncooked corn to a large pan.  Sautee for 5 minutes or until the onions soften and the mushrooms become aromatic.  Add peppers and seasonings to taste and cook for 2 additional minutes.

Empty the pan into a bowl and add tomatoes and cheese.  Mix and spoon into zucchini.  Bake at 350o for 15 minutes or until peppers are cooked to your satisfaction. 

Top with additional cheese or seasonings if you so choose and enjoy!



1.  Do you visit a farmer's market or partake in community shared agriculture (CSA)?
I love visiting farmer's markets, but have not pulled the trigger on the CSA yet.

2.  Is there any specific item you love fresh versus from the grocery store?
I grew up eating nothing but local corn on the cob.  If it wasn't picked that day at the farm, it wasn't on our plate.  The difference, I found much later on, is incredible.  Now, in adulthood, I eat nothing but farm fresh tomatoes as well.  Again, the difference in taste is astronomical!


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Gym Pet Peeves

As many of you know, I work as a trainer at a gym.  Every once in awhile, to keep people's minds busy, I give them something to make a list of.  One of the best ones to date was "Songs you don't want to hear in the hospital" which included Quit Playing Games With My Heart by Backstreet Boys, Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, and

This time, I asked them to list their pet peeves of the gym, the things they hate seeing people do while they're working out.  Here's what we came up with.

Gym Pet Peeves

I really can't stand it when a member...

  1. ...hangs onto the treadmill while walking at a high incline.  Get your hands off!!
  2. ...uses their cell phone during their workout (to text, call, browse FB, or play candy crush)
  3. ...when you can hear someone's feet hitting the treadmill but they're completely oblivious.
  4. ...thinks they're at Crossfit and drops their weights.
  5. ...does repetitions of only 25% of their range of motion (and does 100 of them).
  6. ...doesn't wipe down their profuse sweating.
  7. ...hogs a machine by "resting" on it for 2-5 minutes between sets.
  8. ...goes for an impressive weight while ignoring their form.
  9. ...does more and more and more crunches (and only crunches) in an attempt to get a six pack.
  10. ...sticks to their gender roles; guys in the free weight area, girls on the cardio equipment.
  11. in the gym for an hour without a single drop of sweat.
  12. ...comes to the gym with full makeup on and their hair done up.
  13. ...sounds like their constipated or trying to pass a kidney stone/give birth with every rep.
  14. ...can be smelled halfway across the gym 10 minutes after they have left.


1.  Are there any items that you can add to the list?

2.  Are you guilty of any of these?

3.  What have you seen in your gym?


Monday, September 15, 2014

Body Image Issues

Hi.  My name is Kurt and I have body image issues.

I have been an athlete almost all of my life.  I've never been overweight.  I've never had a doctor tell me I need to lose weight, stop a bad habit, or that I was anything other than perfectly healthy; even superiority healthy most of the time.  I am a swimmer turned triathlete.  I am a scientist turned fitness coach.  And ever since...  maybe junior high?, I've had body image issues.


As everyone seems to start these discussions, this is hard to put into words.  But it's not hard because I struggle emotionally with it.  It's hard to describe.  I'm not the stereotype, so I don't fall into a category that has already been hashed out half a million times this week alone.  I've never been overweight, so I don't fear that.  I've never been stricken by an eating disorder.  Heck, I've always eaten just about anything I wanted; even up through this past year of being a vegetarian.  I am symmetrical, so I can't blame malformations or physical oddities.  And I have some muscle, but nothing to stand in front of the mirror flexing with.

I am me.
But for many reasons, I've never fully accepted who that is visually.

Where to begin?!...

Why am I writing this?  Many people consider those with more prevalent issues - obesity, eating disorders, malformations, or even body builders - to have body image issues.  A part of me wants to tell you that that's only the Hallmark story, the majority and more apparent occurrences.  As a fitness trainer, I've come to realize that many many many many more people have or have had similar questions, thoughts, or troubling times.  This year, some things have happened that have helped me get over my issues.  I am by no means cured, but I have some tactics in place now that get me over any issue that comes up.  So I am writing this so that more people will be aware of how the people around them feel.  I don't want you to be 'more careful' about what you say because heaven knows we don't need to be more censored, but instead more supportive of one another and open to different perspectives. 

So...  let's dive right in. 

High school.  Ha!  You can't talk about any body image issue without going through the most grueling time in most people's lives for comparing themselves to others.  One classmate of mine shot up to 6 feet tall in 6th grade and as far as I could tell, never grew another inch.  Another friend of mine shot up 6 inches over one summer and his voice dropped about two octaves.  Girls start to get their curves.  We're all pretty awkward at that point in our lives and for some unspoken reason, we hold it against one another.  Why?  Beats me! 

My personal battle at the time was acne.

It's typical.  I had it on my face, chest, and a large portion of my back.  I still do today, but have somewhat outgrown it and/or learned how to deal with it.  But in my early teenage years, it bombed how I looked at myself.  I very much disliked going shirtless and because of how embarrassed I was, I let that filter into my self-worth.  In my mind, I wasn't the desirable jock or one of the cool kids (as very few of us ever really were).  I tried lifting for a time to counter my skin by building some muscle, but it never took.  I stayed just as scrawny as ever.  I figured I was bound to be second rate or worse even forever.

Having said that, I want to point out that I LOVED high school.  I had a great group of friends, loved learning, and until shortly after graduating, I would have chosen to rewind time and repeat high school any day!  I simply did not think highly of myself. 

Now, one key to this story is that there was one place where how I looked never crossed my mind.  The swimming pool. 

The pool.  That was my dominion, my safe haven, my no judgement zone.  I had been a swimmer well before getting to junior high and spent 7th through 12th grade living as a swimmer.  It's a funny comparison that taking off my shirt outdoors was absolutely out of the question at that time of my life, but walking around in a speedo while in the pool area didn't make me blink.  I never cared what I looked like.  I never had much muscle.  I didn't care what my skin looked like.  I could swim and my focus was not distracted once I walked through those doors.

In college, I didn't swim.  I realized that pinching skin off of your bod is normal.  It wasn't until my freshman year of college that I had ever been able to do that.  A part of me really wants to go back and get tested for body fat.  I was below 4% I know.  But overall, my feelings about how I looked remained the same during those years.  It also didn't bother me as often because I had plenty of other things (studying!) to keep me busy.

Fast forward again and I'm now in grad school.  I had started to feel like I had outgrown my acne.  I felt a liiiiiiittle more comfortable if I was to take my shirt off say, at the beach, but I still would avoid going shirtless under most circumstances.

I have gotten better since,
but I've never outgrown that insecurity.

Now, remember how I couldn't put muscle on in high school?  In grad school, I decided to really try and focus on that.  For whatever reason (I can't exactly remember what the trigger was), I wanted to improve how I looked.  I joined a gym.  Over 6 months or so, I leaned out a bit, put on about 5-10 lb of muscle, and began to be happy with the thought that I could end up where I wanted to be; happy with how I looked.  The problem was (and if you had asked me then I would have eventually admitted the same thing), I knew it was only a journey.  I would never truly be happy.

I see myself as my junior high self.
It will take a long time to overcome that ingrained identification.

Enter Triathlon.  When I started triathlon, it functioned just like swimming used to.  It was my domain.  I didn't care who was looking at me or what I was (or wasn't) wearing.  I was so focused on performance that nothing else mattered.  (*Cue Metallica*)  Maybe that's why I loved it so much and still do.  It brought back into my life a way to escape from the world for awhile as well as a focused goal to work towards.  I was addicted. 

Then, as I started to dream of getting better, I started looking around and naively tried to pick out who was better than me.  I wanted to emulate them, to pick apart how they train or race.  Whether I picked out the right people or not, I noticed that the fast athletes tended to look rather fit.  They weren't big and muscular, but they were lean and good looking.  My own insecurities crept right back in!

'How can I beat these guys?
I don't look anything like them.'

Fast forward 4 years.  I started triathlon in 2010.  I spent 2011, 2012, and 2013 with those thoughts in my mind as I sized up the competition.  I would do that REPEATEDLY.  Thankfully, since people jostle positions a lot during a triathlon and coming into the sport a strong swimmer, I tended to come out of the water towards the front and got a taste of glory.  That has helped keep my triathlon career alive and enjoyable. 

As of this year, my 5th year in the sport, I am starting to revert my way of thinking.  When I'm at a new race, I still look at my competition and think 'I don't look as good as he does.  There goes the podium,'  but I have the experience that no matter how I look, I've proven I can perform.  I regularly podium at the local sprint races.  I came in 6th at Rev3 Cedar Point.  Yes, there are still a lot of better athletes out there, but I recognize that this sport is visually deceiving; looks have nothing to do with rank.

Looks have nothing to do with rank in triathlon.

Now, shortly after triathlon entered the picture, I switched careers and instead of doing neuroscience research, I became a personal trainer.  It was because of triathlon that I'm in the career I'm in now and it's in large part because of triathlon that I remain here.

Personal Training.  Walk into any gym and you are often greeted by a staff that visually look very fit.  If you asked people to pick out someone in a line up that is a personal trainer, they'd probably pick out the most muscular person there.  It's a stereotype.  It has historical reference too, which keeps me from getting too upset about it, but if I'm going to be honest, there have been multiple times when I've dealt with people doubting my knowledge and ability as a trainer because of how I looked.  That goes both for potential clients as well as other trainers.  It can be frustrating.

Why do I have to look like a body builder
to help you lose weight or get in shape?

I admit that it's easy to think that if someone looks fit, "buff," or built, they must know how to get that way.  But there are plenty of people that have the knowledge and decide  not to put it to use on themselves.  I am a fit person, but line me up next to other 6 foot, 165 lb guys that might be regulars to a gym and I don't look much different.  Thankfully, my experience with triathlon has helped me brush off what people say about my professional abilities.  I like to think to myself 'Let me show you what I can do.  Then we'll see who's talking smack.'


Overall, No.  I will never be able to fully shake my own self-perceptions.  However, I can do my best to keep them from causing me any emotional grief.

I've never been happy with how my skin looks and am still embarrassed by it.  It has gotten better as I age through my 20s, but I doubt it will ever go away and the scars from the years that have gone by will always remain.

I've never been a muscular guy.  I never thought I got sucked into the social desire to be lean and muscular, but maybe I did along the way.  However, now I also don't want to be.  If I'm going to continue as a triathlete, the extra muscle will only slow me down.

Professionally, it will always be a struggle as a personal trainer.  I don't have the body that market's myself like I know some do.  However, if my triathlon career has to suffer for the sake of my professional career, then I'm good with struggling.  As long as I'm persistent enough, I know I can change people's opinions and hopefully their own perceptions.

I am who I am.
Thanks to athletics, I am learning to accept and enjoy who that is.


1.  Have you ever had issues with body image?

2.  Are you affected personally, socially, or professionally by a stereotype?
I do not "look the part" of a typical personal trainer and many potential clients as well as other trainers doubt my knowledge and abilities because of that.


Sunday, September 14, 2014

No More Apologies

It's that time of year when the triathlon season for those of us in the northeast US starts to wind down.  Many of us are already off on our "off season" shenanigans already.  And most of us have already started sketching out crude plans for 2015, thinking about how to adjust training, and what races we're going to do.

The off season is a time when a lot of us find time for that get together we've been putting off, for that trip we've always wanted to do but couldn't fit in, or simply for being lazy and having massive pancake breakfasts for no more of a reason than "it sounds great!"

In the past, I've been that person.  I've taken this time to catch up with friends, stay up later than normal, go out, eat things I couldn't before, and for all intensive purposes lead my alternate life.  I did that because come the new year, I knew that all of those things would be back up on the shelf as training began.  I'd be in bed early, RSVPing "no" to parties, being a stickler with what I ate, and the list goes on and on.  Every year, I either considered or actually did post a pre-emptive apology...

"If you're reading this, I want you to know that I am taking this year as my shot at some hefty triathlon goals and I want to take every step I can to complete them.  I apologize for not being able to make your parties, stay up late, eat anything outside of my diet, and the like.  So, in short, I'm sorry for the next 6-8 months."

That was something akin to what I sent out in 2011 when I started getting serious about triathlon.  I was doing my first 70.3 and then got a spot for the Ironman 70.3 WC in Vegas.  In 2012, I thought very hard about sending out another apology as I set myself up to tackle my first full iron-distance triathlon.  2013 just felt like an extension of 2012.  And this year, I hired my first coach to help me. 

Over those years, not only have I lost touch with a number of friends - and I do apologize for that to those who have suffered - but I've changed as a person.  I've taken triathlon on not just as a hobby, but as a lifestyle.  I don't dabble in a few every year.  My year is scheduled around my races.  My yearly vacations are taken so that I can travel to races.  I've adjusted my diet so many times that I've gone from eating frozen dinners to becoming a lover of farmer's markets and a vegetarian for over a year.  I've embraced my morning person attitude.  If I could be in bed by 9:30p every night so I'd be up at 5:30a every morning, I would!  I've gone from lab researcher to full time coach. 

Since 2011, I have changed.  I've changed a lot.  We all do.  I thought about that a lot as I was driving home from Rev3 Cedar Point last week and listening to Scott Jurek's book "Eat and Run."  In the end, I came to one very large conclusion.

I am no longer apologizing.

I am not sorry about missing late night parties. 
I am not sorry about skipping eating out.
I am not sorry about having to fit in my sometimes very long workouts.
I am not sorry for being tired and wanting to take a nap or stay home.
If you ask me "can you just not do or move that workout?," it does not phase me to tell you "No."
My socializing consists of pre/post-race, group OWSs on Fridays, track workouts, and meeting up for a long ride/run.

I very much enjoy how I've changed my life.  What started out as a new hobby and small ambition has morphed into a true focal point in my life and I refuse to apologize for that any longer. 

So as I move into my off season where I have more time, more flexibility, and less scheduled items on the to do list, I will continue to be in bed early, up early, cook at home, be a vegetarian, and be active.  If you have an issue with that, then that's too bad.  This is my life.  I'm going to live it the way I want to.



1.  Have you found that any particular hobby has altered your life?
Triathlon has COMPLETELY changed my life and I wouldn't have it any other way.

2.  Do you take the off season to "let loose" or lead a somewhat alternative lifestyle?
I used to lead a different life in the off season. 

3.  Have you ever made an apology in order to maintain an athletic endeavor?
Yes, I have.  At first it was against my typical schedule, but at this point most people have come to assume that I have a workout, bedtime, or the like.  It's much easier now that I've been in this lifestyle for a number of years.


Monday, August 4, 2014

RACE REPORT: Lake T Sprint Tri #5

Lake Terramuggus Sprint Tri #5
July 31, 2014

The greatest parts about the every other Thursday night races are as follows...
  1. It's cheap
  2. All your friends are there to cheer you on (or run you down)
  3. You can test anything new that you'd like
  4. If things go wrong, it's the best time for it to happen
  5. Go!, Go!, GO!!!  ...'cause even if your race sucks, it's over quickly.
This past week was no different!  I tried something new, I got cheered on, things went wrong, but I pushed on and still had a rather good day.  Here is the story!


Out of work at 2pm, I got home, packed, did what I needed to, and was out the door by 4pm.  The race starts at 6:20pm, but if I leave any later than 4pm, it can take 30-60 minutes longer to make the same trip.  Ugh!  Traffic!!

I got to the race site, quickly set myself up, and headed out on my bike because I wanted to try something new...

Trying something NEW
Racing with my trainer wheel

I bought this wheel (a Bontrager Race X Lite) from a friend.  I had a couple dings in it, but would function well for a quick switch on and off of the trainer.  But in the end, I decided that if it would work on the road, it is a better wheel than my normal rear wheel.  So...  Let's test it.  But I opted to test it before the race just in case it was going to pop or break off once on the road.

I headed out and did a couple laps of the bike route.  Just after starting this ride which kept me below Zone 1, the day/race started going downhill.

Things can go WRONG
PUKE!!  Puke again!!  ...a dozen times?

Afternoon races are tough to get your nutrition right for.  Two weeks ago, I nailed it!  This week I tried to imitate it and it blew up...  all over the road.  Hahaha.  I wasn't sick, but there was simply too much in my stomach for my body to handle, so it got rid of some. 

When I got back, I opted to rest as much as I could and just see what happened in the race.  I won't let puking stop me.  The race is only an hour!!  So I signed up, got my chip, got dressed, laid down for a bit, and then toed the line!


I was talking to my coach today and I mentioned that I've gotten to a point where races don't make me that nervous anymore; I've done enough or tested it enough to take away the nerves of "I hope this works out" and replaced it with much stronger habits of what to do if X, Y, or Z happen. 

So as I toed the line, I had a swim plan of pushing myself as normal to the turn around buoy and then kick it up to the 3/4 buoy and try to maintain it to the finish.  It just about worked out!!

As we started, I was just to the right of the fastest swimmer, Matt.  I did my best to hold onto the feet of the person who was immediately drafting him.  I held those feet to the first buoy.  Then the swimmers from my right merged in and I stuck around in that mass.  For whatever reason, breathing was tough this week.  I breathed right, breathed left, and both sides were being tough.  I had to resort to turning my head much higher than I like to.  As a competitive pool swimmer, I'm used to very easy breathing.  Open water swimming and especially triathlon race swimming is all about adapting.

We made it to the orange turn buoy and while I had already counted out the idea of kicking it up, the two swimmers I was drafting pulled ahead.  For a second, I opted to let them go and take the open water.  Almost immediately I yelled at myself and thought...

"You wanted to do this, here is your opportunity!!  GO!"

So I went.  I didn't catch those feet, but they didn't pull any further ahead.  They stayed right where they were all the way to the 3rd buoy and then somehow disappeared.  They may have swung right or pulled away; who knows.  At that point, I started realizing how drained my arms felt.  I had had Monday through Wednesday as rest, so I had hoped to feel race ready today, but as I swum from the last buoy to the swim exit, I started wondering where my swim fitness had gone.  Haha.  

I dug in as deep as I could to maintain my rhythm to the finish.  Thankfully, those ladies in front who decided to stop waste deep in water were off to the side.  Haha  Pet Peeve!!  I swam until I couldn't swim anymore, popped up and headed in!

(** Always an approx. distance **)
5th (I think) of 155

Transition went smooth.  The ROKA Viper Swimskin comes off like a dream!  Popped on the Rudy Wingspan helmet with the front vent completely open (also something new I tried) and headed out. 

One thing I love about this race is that they've decided on sticking with the Men's wave going 2nd.  This does mean that we swim through a number of the women in the water, but I also get lots of rabbits to chase out on the course.  Yay!!

As per usual, my goal was to not be able to catch my breath until at least the 2nd loop of the bike if not until I get to T2.  I maintained my rapid breathing all the way around the 1st loop.  While hammering it out, I also puked a couple more times (much smaller now 'cause there's not much left to get rid of), so I started taking a Clif Shot Razz gel and some water.  It didn't settle that well, but it also didn't come back up.  I'll take it.

About half way through the first lap, I passed Matt, the speedy swimmer.  I asked if there was anyone up ahead.  I thought at first he said "Red just ahead.  And you."  I assumed that was Chris Schultenn, the eventual winner and the guy who I had no chance of catching.  About half a mile later, after not seeing anyone in red, I started debating if Matt had instead said "No one ahead.  Just you."  Was I in first or second?  Either way, I was stoked to be up that far so early in the race.  (Turns out there WAS a speedy swimmer/biker ahead of me that I wouldn't meet until the run)

I can't help but laugh at the term "early" for a sprint. 

Either way, I hammered on, taking bits of my gel, passing people.  The second loop had just as many people to pass which is odd.  I started wondering if they started the 2nd wave later than usual.  Later on, most of us had the same thought.

About a quarter the way through the 2nd lap, I got passed rather quickly by a guy in a black Pearl Izumi kit.  He was bookin!!  I figured at the time he was a slow swimmer.  Shortly after, Chris Schultenn pulled up and convincingly passed me.  I know Chris is a slower swimmer.  I yelled "Alright!!" 'cause what was I going to do?, chase him down?  I don't think so!

I figured I was in 4th at this point.  Last year, that would normally get under my skin and I'd start giving in.  This year, I've learned that I have an ace still in my back pocket with the run.  It may hurt.  Heck, it may hurt like HELL, but I can run people down!  So with that in my head, I tried to keep the bike speed up all the way to T2.  "I can run 'em down!  I WILL run them down!"

I was also pretty sure I was going to puke the moment I started to run.  "It's only a 5k."


I'm not even going to count where I was on the bike.  I'm not the fastest biker for sure!  And this wasn't my fastest split ever.  But given the previous (and current) puking, I felt I did well. 

Down the last hill, slipped off my shoes, quick dismount straight into a run, racked my bike, immediately sat down, slipped on my Pearl Izumi ISO Transitions, traded the helmet for my Valor Triathlon Project visor, and was off.  Third fastest T2 of the day.

i passed the speedy biker in the black Pearl Izumi kit in T2.  I felt great at that point.  I had just slipped into 2nd or 3rd.  I still wasn't sure what Matt had told me back there on the first loop.  With the black PI on my heels, I kicked it up a bit higher than I had wanted.  I dislike ongoing battles.  I have always had it in my head that I am not a sprinter.  If I'm going to beat you, I need to get that in your head early on or I could be in trouble later on.  Off I went!

I took out the first quarter mile HARD.  My Garmin data says I ran around 6:00/mile pace up to the first hill, peaking at 5:20 for 0.05 miles (HR had already given out during the bike).  I REALLY wanted this guy gone! 

Another fun part about this course is the steep, but thankfully short hill at the 0.25 mile mark.  That hill can make or break you!  I kept my intensity on the way up hoping that black PI wasn't going to charge up to me.  I didn't look back at all, but I couldn't hear anything either.  He couldn't be too close.  Another 0.1 mile later, we made a 90-degree turn and I did look back.  He was 0.1 mile back.  I was putting distance between us, but still needed to push!

I passed a couple women along with Ken, a friend who was doing a relay.  Ken told me that I was in 3rd, that 2nd was just ahead in green, and that I was running him down.  I set my sights and stuck to my pace.  I really wanted to put this guy away on the false flat we were on; I love that section!!  It didn't happen though and over the next few rollers, he didn't seem to be slowing.  A big part of me wanted to just take it easy and accept 3rd.  But again, I found myself saying...

"You wanted to do this, here is your opportunity!!  GO!"

It took three more turns over the next mile to catch this guy.  Until I did catch him, I had no idea what kind of battle I would have.  He turned to me and said "You're in 2nd.  Don't let me catch you at the finish!"  Haha  Yup, this was going to be an easy pass.  He won't be sprinting after me.

With about 1.5 miles to go, I started slowly putting distance between us.  I turned back a few times to see if anyone was coming.  I had the mile 2 beep come up on my watch - 5:59.  I was doing well, but my stomach was not happy.  The single person I knew was ahead was out of reach (he would beat me by 1:30) and no one was coming up on me.  At that point, I gave in.  I let myself slow down a bit to a more comfortable pace and saved the rest of my energy for another fight on another day.

4th of 155

Also, not my best, but I was happy with my battle to get into 2nd and that I stayed mentally in it despite feeling sick until I had gotten there. 

2nd of 155

Not my best, but on a day when I tried something new (my trainer wheel worked well!) and my GI system decided to wreck havoc on me, I was happy with the outcome.  If anything, I got another gift card to my bike shop and another bottle of wine to add to the collection. 

I love this series.  It is so well run.  The athletes, volunteers, crew, and police are great.  The age group medals are awesome (below).  I get to race with some tactics instead of racing within myself (it's a nice change sometimes).  And I really believe everyone needs some races throughout their season that are just fun, a change up, or at least a throw away in case they don't go well.  Sure, I had to still ride 6 hours that coming weekend, but I got a break from the Zone 1 / Zone 2 and just went out and pushed the limit! 

Oh, and post-race, my stomach ached almost immediately; right back to the pains I used to have post-race.  So I downed my pbj in the car, chugged some water, and stopped to get ice cream on the way home.  It did the trick.  The next day, my energy was still a little low, but the pains were gone. 


1.  Do you have races that you use for tests?
The Lake T series is my triathlon testing site.  It works great.  New tri suit?  New bike wheel?  New helmet?  New transition setup idea?  New race tactics?  Bring 'em along.  We'll see how they work!

2.  What's the worst pre-race event that either made you pull out of a race or you ignored and raced anyways?
I had a cold going into my first iron-distance event.  This event I was puking just before.  The only raced I've ever pulled out of was the Litchfield Olympic this year and I re-registered for it the day of the race.

3.  What's your next race??
I have the olympic distance triathlon at this same race site.  Then just one more sprint before Rev3 Cedar Point full.  


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Musselman Bike Course Preview

I am writing today from my lovely but lonely townhouse on the Hobart & William Smith Colleges campus in Geneva, NY.  That's right.  I'm in my home state of New York.  Woot!  Woot!

Tomorrow is the Musselman 70.3 triathlon and this morning, after getting breakfast and milling around, I headed out to check out the bike course.  I've been told that I'll think it's rather pancake flat after Quassy.  Not to ruin the surprise, but they were right; it is!

Beautiful Seneca Lake
 The bike course begins in Seneca Lake Park and winds quickly out onto Waterloo Geneva Rd and then a very quick right onto 96A.  The road, as of 7:00am this morning was already lined with cones.

Riding south down 96A

There are a lot of views like this.  Long roads!

Lots of barns.

More straight aways.

A firehouse

A white bike in memory of Michael Coyle.

Michael Coyle raced in 2013 and was in a fatal accident during the race.  This bike was placed near the accident site in his memory.  This is a great reminder to always be careful and to always enjoy where you are, RIGHT NOW!

A railroad bridge at mile 10.

This will be where I am allowed to look at my GPS watch to see where my heart rate is.  Not a moment before!
More barns.

A cemetary

Sampsons Veteran Memorial Cemetary

State Park coming up.

There it is!

Bearing LEFT onto W. Blaine Rd.

Look for the tractor pulling a yellow barrel??


More open roads.

Lots of open roads!

Coming up on the LEFT onto 96/414 North

Turning left.

Onto 96/414 N

Open roads on 96/414N

Not pictured is one of the many tourist attractions on the course, the State Penitentiary!

Staying straight on 414N

More open roads (get used to it)

Just before your right turn onto Ogden Rd.

Open roads on Ogden Rd.

End of Ogden Rd, turn right!

Is this a winery tour??

Yellow arrows mark the course!

Where is the tasting aid station?

Cayuga Lake in the distance.


Another winery!

Very steep turn

Not AS open of a road.

Cayuga Lake

Cayuga Lake

Beautiful lake front homes.

Cayuga Lake

Let's continue the Winery Tour!

What the.....?!?!

Next stop Lakeshore Winery!

Onto Knapp Winery.

Goose Watch Winery.

Buttonwood Grove Winery

Right turn onto Swick Rd.

Turn at the barrels.

Follow the farm equipment.

Farm, farm, farm, farm, farm!

Left turn at Hollow Creek Groceries onto 129

Open road on 129

Church on your right.

Abandoned church on your left.

And then turn right onto Hayts Corners East Rd / 130

Lesser road conditions

Blue Metal Shop on the right

Coming up on the left turn to 96/414 South (look familiar?)

Onto 96/414 S (not for long)

Turning right onto 138A / Depot Rd.

More road

Turn and oh, look.... more road.

Right onto 96A and straight on!

Seneca Lake in the distance

Not pictured is bearing left off of 96A to follow Main St which turns into E. Lake Rd.

Tourist attractions!!

Quick downhill to Seneca Lake

And....  A dead end?!  With a gravel road??

I will be sure to ask at the athlete's meeting what that is all about!

A little detour to find my way back around

Can I swap my bike for the plane?

Back onto E. Lake Rd.

Beautiful road!

Back up onto 96A, turn LEFT!

The path back to Transition

Saw these guys out on the course.  Is this our support?

Entrance back into Transition

Seneca Lake.  Where we begin our run.

In conclusion, they were right.  Other than a steep hill on Swick Rd. and a good number of false flats, this is a rather flat course.  I'm excited!!

I'd stick around and chat some more, but I need to go check in at the expo.  I'll see you later!


1.  Do you preview the course before races?
I love Quassy in the fact that I know that course inside out.  I know how far until a turn.  I know what is coming up.  So I drove the course today just to give myself an idea of where the turns are and some landmarks to judge my position by.  The last thing I want tomorrow is to being asking myself "When is this turn coming up?!?!"

2.  What type of bike course do you prefer?  Open straight aways or lots of turns?  Lots or little elevation change?  Your own backyard or a mini-vacation?
While I enjoy my own backyard for the training advantage, I prefer lesser elevation change, so I'm excited about tomorrow!