Thursday, September 27, 2007


Man that race did a number on me. Although the muscle soreness isn't too bad, I'm feeling pretty beat up mentally and physically after last Sunday. It's a bit of the "post race/back to reality blues" mixed together with some pretty pronounced fatigue. I guess that 6000+ feet of climbing and a tainted win will do that to you.

I suppose that there's one other thing that is finally hitting home as well: The reality of what racing professionally in 2008 holds in store.

Back when I was in my early 20s, and brand new to the sport, I was in awe of the top athletes and, as the magazines made it appear, the glamorous lifestyles that they enjoyed. I'll never forget the picture of Spencer Smith in "Triathlete Magazine:" All propped up against a Mercedes-Benz, wearing a designer suit and pair of sunglasses.

What a bunch of B.S.!

Eleven years have past, the novelty of all things triathlon has worn off, and my perspective has completely changed. Do a little simple addition/subtraction and you'll find that it's very, very hard to make much money in this sport. $14,000 for an IronMan win? $5,000 for a 70.3 victory?

Chump change.

When you figure in the amount of money you have to spend traveling to/from events (entry fee, flight, hotel, rental car, food, etc.), the amount of training time that you must invest to get ready for such an event (20+ hours per week of HARD work), and the equipment that you have to buy along the way (it's not cheap, even when you're getting it at cost) you've got very little to show for your efforts at the end of the day, even if you win. So... if you're in it for the money, you're a fool. You'd be much better off working a minimal wage job.

Now here's where things get tricky. If you aspire to WIN professional races, it's very much a catch-22: You're going to need to free up A LOT of time for training, travel and racing and that means either working part time in a very flexible job, not at all (I hope that you get along with your parents) or running your own business (one that allows you to set your own hours).

What does this all mean: Forget about getting ahead financially.

I'm 100% ready, and committed, to racing seriously as a Pro next year, but the reality has hit home as to what I'll be giving up as a result. Sponsorship is non-existent, so it's all up me to amass enough money for travel and training/racing related expenses. Fortunately, my coaching/training business has grown enormously over the past year, so I can afford to leave my teaching position and not worry about being broke, but I won't be living large, in the financial sense at least.

But... this is the price that I'm willing to pay. I love the sport, love the lifestyle and want to see this long, winding journey of mine through to it's completion. I'm hoping that I'll be happy with the way that it all turns out when the trip finally does come to an end.

Time to train again...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nutmeg Update

Just a quick update pre-race report:

I took 1st place overall at today's inaugural Nutmeg State Half Iron Triathlon. Although I've been battling a cold all week and felt terrible for the first 8 - 9 miles of the bike, the day, on the whole, went well: My swim was solid and showed real sings of improvement (thanks John Ogdgen!). My cycling, once the legs finally woke up, was very strong, especially during the second half of the ride. And my run... I'm more or less happy with a 1:17 run split any time I hit a half I.M., but to do so after such a hard ride, with no one around to push me, well that's a great sign for the way that things are shaping up for Clearwater.

However, I am in no way completely satisfied with today's race. I was very disappointed to have found out that Pro triathlete Jordan Rapp went off course out on the bike. Jordan had amassed a formidable lead and I clearly would have had my work cut out for me on the run. As it turned out, his "detour" cost him that lead and allowed me to enter T2 all alone. I hit cruise control and ran the half marathon solo.

So... this was not the race (competition wise) that I was hoping for. I know that I could have easily run a good 2 - 3 minutes faster today, and that's what I would have needed to do to have had a shot at a "clean" win. It's hard to take pride in a victory that you know wasn't earned fair and square. I hope that Jordan and I can match up again in the future under completely neutral circumstances. In the mean time, I respect the fact that he didn't pack his race in today and gutted out what must have been a very stressful half marathon.

More to come. Stay tuned.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Time to roll (the dice)...

Well, I'm still not 100% health wise. The cold that I picked up late last week is still lingering. But... I'm going to roll anyway. It's a little disconcerting to head off to a race (especially a hilly half IronMan!!!) knowing that you're not at full strength, but I figure, what the hell, I'll do my best and see what happens.

In addition, I have to keep things in perspective here: It's not like this is Hawaii and there's $100k+ on the line. If worse comes to worst, Nutmeg will still serve as a good workout for Clearwater which is now less than 2 months away.

Time to roll the dice and see what tomorrow brings.

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Uh Oh...

I came down with a cold last Friday. Thankfully, symptoms seem to be improving a bit. Given the course profile and talent that I'll be facing on Sunday at the Nutmeg Half I.M. I need all cylinders to be firing, fast.

Good thing that this is a taper week. I just hope that I can bounce back to 100% health wise over the course of the next 6 days.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sad Day :(

The multisport community lost one of her brightest stars today. 30 year old Belgian duathlete, Benny Vansteelant, a NINE time duathlon world champion, died from injuries that he sustained after being hit by a car while out on a training ride.

I only saw Benny in action once; the first time that I gave the Pro Triathlete gig a go-around when I was 25. He destroyed me, and the rest of the field, at PowerMan Tennessee back in 2001.

I am extremely saddened to learn of his passing. What a sad, sad day...

For more info. see: Inside Triathlon

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Tune Up

Despite the job related stress & fatigue this week, the engine seems to be running pretty smoothly. Today's tune up event, the 4th annual North Shore Triathlon/BAC Tri-Challenge, went well. I was especially pleased with my bike split: minus the 1+ min. transition, I split 57 low/56 high for 40k and felt very in control throughout. Swimming and running both felt relatively smooth as well, although, as the results will attest, I didn't have much external motivation during today's run segment.

Looking forward to Nutmeg. T minus 2 weeks!

In the mean time, it's back to work: seven more schedules to bust out tonight...

North Shore Tri Results

Friday, September 7, 2007

JRM on IronMan Live!!!

I guess that the pressure is on now! Check out the article that the folks at just posted about me today on their site: Click HERE

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


Man... the next 9.5 months are going to be challenging.

I'm training a record number of athletes and more continue to sign on each week. School just began today and I've been assigned to a new position: that of Health Teacher (0n top of my P.E. position)! And last but not least, there's still 20+ hours of training to lay down each week. No wonder I'm about to fall asleep at my desk! It's all good though; I know how fortunate I am to have all that I have.

However... Sunday's upcoming race is going to feel like a vacation compared to the daily grind that I'll be dealing with for a long time to come. I'm looking forward to opening the engine up and turning my mind off for a couple of hours.