Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Full Circle

I feel like a kid again.

I stumbled into the world of triathlon back in 1995 thanks to my love for bike riding, which incidentally came about thanks to a short hiatus in my running "career" (I started running back at the age of 8 or 9). My first real steed was a Trek 950, purchased at Seaside Cycle in Manchester, MA. back in the early winter of 1994. Although I possessed little experience when it came to life on 2 wheels, that didn't stop me from getting hooked on MTB, and shortly thereafter, XC racing. One thing led to the next and before I knew it my bike "collection" had expanded to include my beloved MTB and a left over Specialized Allez road bike (steel). A pair of clip on aero bars followed suit and the rest is history; MTB faded away as I took to the roads and pursued life as a triathlete.

Well, 15 years later and just when I thought the novelty of the multisport "lifestyle" had come to an end, I can emphatically state that I feel like I'm 19 years old all over again (as my friend Julie will attest!). I'm having the time of my life blazing the trails on my Gary Fisher Paragon 29er. Be it a solo night ride with my trusty lighting system or a 2 - 3 hour day light ride with my buddy Eric, I just can't get enough saddle time. I can't remember the last time I actually looked forward to riding my bike in 15 - 20 degree weather, but things have changed ever since purchasing the new bike from Seaside this past Spring.

"Training" as of late has been a real blast and I feel like I've been reconnected with the excitement that got me into multisport to begin with. I'm still plotting my course for next year's event calendar, but I'm certain that it's going to include some off road racing as well as my work on the road. There are a few marathon and ultra MTB events that I'm really looking forward to hitting up next Summer. Although it may be a bit of a deviation from the norm to insert them into the mix, I think that the mental stimulation that will accompany training for and competing in them will help me to stay connected with the "fun factor" that's so easy to lose touch with when you get a little too focused with your training for too long.

In the mean time... check out the video below from the Gary Fisher website as he talks about the 29er design. Having spent a lot of time on 26 inch MTB wheels back in the day, I know full well just how much more effective the big wheels are when handing the rugged NE trails. I'm currently on a hard tail, but with a little luck, I'll be able to pick up a Superfly 100 before I start in with the long 5+ hour rides and ultra MTB events this coming Spring and Summer.

I better start saving my pennies :)

In the mean time, looks like we're going to get slammed with a snow storm tonight, so it'll be back to the treadmill and some hard FT work tomorrow. I hope that the trails don't stay too snowy for long though!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Struggle

Although "the struggle" to succeed is pretty much behind me now (I've got to admit that I'm pretty damn happy with with the way things stand these days and am more or less fully content across all fronts) I know full well that it's the process of rolling the dice, taking the path less traveled and chasing your dreams that can make life seem both incredibly hard yet incredibly rewarding at the same time. For some, it's the struggle that becomes the addiction... the ultimate high. Aspiring writers, artists, musicians, athletes, coaches, etc. ... they all can relate.

I came across this little gem on Youtube. Cool track by the artist Shing02 that more or less sums up the myriad of emotions that those who aim high and aspire to achieve greatness must deal with on a daily basis.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Landice L8 Executive Trainer...

..has arrived and I have already started putting this bad boy to good use! Stay tuned to as I document my treadmill based training this winter and provide training tips to beginners and seasoned vets alike.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Grinding It Out

Inspiring... Check out this awesome article/video from the NY Times about Wiens before watching the video below. Goes to show that you can lead a "normal" life while competing at a high level.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

70.3 World Championship

Another season has just about come to a close (Susanne Navas: You're my last athlete standing in '09 and IM Cozumel is calling!). Michelle and I headed down to Clearwater late last week to support 8 of my athletes who were all competing at the 70.3 World Championship. Once the dust settled, we had a slew of big PRs. Everyone PR'd for that matter and we even secured a podium finish thanks to Crystal Anthony's efforts; 20th woman (including pros)/8th amateur overall. Not too shabby. Crystal had the fastest bike/run combo of all amateurs and one of the fastest of the day compared to the pros too. Nothing new here, as it was the same case when she went top 10 overall/1st overall amateur at Lake Stevens 70.3 this past August.

Michelle posted a nice little weekend recap if you'd like to read more, but it was a great day all around and I had a great time meeting up with everyone. We snapped some nice group pics that I'll post once they're forwarded my way, but in the meantime, here's a nice shot of Crystal and I at the awards ceremony.
As for me, slowly but surely I'm getting back into shape. The gradual increase in training volume and frequency is helping me to shed the 13 pounds I gained during my 5 weeks "off" after Pumpkinman. I'm 34 at the end of this month, so it's time to get r' done next season and step up to the Ironman distance. I'll be working hard this winter, so that extra "chub-chub" around the mid section will provide some much needed insulation when I'm grinding out my long runs and rides in the midst of the oh-so-fun New England winter!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

What does a 1:09 Ironman PR look like???

Perfect Pacing + Perfect Nutrition & Hydration = Perfect Performance (with a 7 minute OPEN marathon PR in the process!!!)

Nice work Dawn!

Shout out to Dawn's husband Greg for finishing despite losing nearly 2 hours on the bike (double flat) and to Maris DiTolla - sliced tire at mile 4 of the bike and no way to keep the tube/tire inflated as a result. Neutral support was long gone so she had to walk back to T1 only to be told that her day was done as there was nothing anyone could do to help her.

There will be more Ironman events in your future Maris.

Next Stop: Clearwater Florida. I have 8 athletes racing this weekend. I'm looking forward to getting out of NE for a few days.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How We Roll

One key to long course success is learning how to put your inhibitions aside, roll the dice and simply "Go For It" on race day. For VA based triathlete Joel Myers, who is Clearwater bound and ready to ROLL, this was his idea of an "inhibition reduction session" as (publicly) demonstrated at the Wicked 10k in Virginia Beach last weekend

Friday, October 30, 2009

2010 Gloucester Triathlon

Work is in progress on the new and improved Gloucester Triathlon. Race date for next year's event is Sunday, August 8th. Stay tuned for more info and our new website.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Back to the Basics

We're 2.5 weeks out from the Ironman 70.3 World Championships now. I've got a small army of athletes that I'll be accompanying down to Clearwater and am very excited to watch them all compete. It'll be a great time in that I'll be meeting a bunch of these people face to face for the very first time, so the trip promises to be special for a variety of reasons.

Although it's always tough to sit on the sidelines, I can't wait to support my crew and watch them compete. It's a real thrill to see all of the hard work and planning you've laid down over the months come to fruition. I expect some great performances on race day, so stay tuned for post race recaps.

On the personal front, my life is finally starting to settle down and return to normal. 2009 was a very tough year for me given all that Michelle and I faced. No complaints on my end though, as it was nothing but "good" challenges that we had to face along the way:

Fixing up our new house

Helping to launch the VERY successful "Gloucester Tri"

Getting married!

I managed to squeeze some half-way decent training into the mix this year and a couple of noteworthy results, but my focus just wasn't where it needed to be given all the distractions/outside commitments that had to be dealt with between February and October.

Thankfully, the end is now in sight and slowly but surely, I'm building back and getting back in touch with the training focus that allowed me to attain a good deal of athletic success from 2006 - 2008.

I have no regrets about the 2009 season and actually learned a lot about myself along the way. I'm not one of the most talented athletes out there, so in order to hold my own on the pro circuit, I need what amounts to a year-round laser focus when it comes to training and race prep. As someone who's juggling a pretty successful one-man coaching operation, I've come to realize that over-committing myself is something that's easy to do, so I have to plan ahead and be sure to set aside enough "me" time so that I can chalk up the necessary training and recovery time to compete at my best. Lastly, I've learned that in order to operate at full capacity and remain happy, I have to avoid/cut ties with people, and in some cases, athletes, that either require too much "maintenance" or simply bring too much baggage and/or negativity to the table. Although this may sound cold, at the end of the day, the reality of coaching is that it's not a "job" that you never walk away from. Unlike other jobs I've worked in the past, there is no punching out at the end of the day and your "work" stays with you 24/7. Given the fact that I love my job, I have no problem with this, but the only way that I can keep my life in balance and move forward on all fronts is by maintaining healthy relationships with everyone I (closely) interact with on a daily basis and avoiding everyone and anyone who stands to get in the way.

So now that my "house" is nearly in order, it's time to start focusing on the 2010 season. I'm prepping my body for the Ironman focus that lies ahead. At this stage of the game, if I'm going to race on the pro circuit, I am going to focus on the races and distances that will allow me the greatest chance for success. 70.3 has become so competitive these days that losing even 1 minute in the water puts you nearly out of contention for a top 3 overall finish. And now that more and more ITU/Olympic distance specialists are flooding the 70.3 circuit, podium spots are harder to come by. If it's one thing I've found over the years, the longer the race goes, the better I do, so it's time to extend out and see what I'm capable of on the IM circuit.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wedding Day

Without a doubt, the best day of my life...

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Results Keep Rolling In

Looks like we had another GREAT day...

Still awaiting official results, but initial reports indicate that Allegra Parisi took the overall amateur title and placed well within the top 10 overall (including pros) at Cancun 70.3

This race is run under brutal conditions, and I hear that temps reached 100+ degrees with HIGH humidity.

If Allegra did in fact take the "W" this would be the 2nd overall amateur 70.3 victory turned in by one of my women so far this year. Couple that fact with the flurry of podium and overall victories that the ladies have been turning in this year, and I think it's safe to say that the "girls" have been showing the guys HOW IT'S DONE in '09! I can't wait for the official results.

In CT, Evan Barry finished 2nd overall at the "hillacious" Nutmeg Half Ironman! This was a great result for Evan and I couldn't be happier with the way he raced (rolling the dice and going for the win vs. playing things conservatively).

Down in VA, Dave Smith and Joel Myers tore it up, going 1st and 4th overall/respectively in a pretty competitive short course event. Dave's power was just through the roof today and he was solid on all 3 fronts. Thing are looking very, very good as we gear up for Clearwater.

Speaking of which, Michelle and I booked our tickets today. We'll have a small army racing in Clearwater Beach this year and I expect GREAT things! I'm really looking forward to supporting everyone and watching the action unfold.

Update on Allegra as soon as results are posted.

9/21 Update: Official Cancun 70.3 results are in and looks like Allegra was actually 2nd overall amateur (a woman in the AG above her beat her out, time wise, by 2 min!) and 8th woman overall including pros. Not too shabby!

Sunday, September 13, 2009


I'm feeling too lazy to post anything about my race today, so check out Michelle's blog if you'd like the story (and some pics!)

I had a good day, but what I'm super pumped about was the day that a bunch of my athletes had, both at Pumpkinman and across the country!

For starters... Crystal won (again) and is quickly emerging as a tremendous force to be reckoned with here in New England. She LAID IT DOWN on the bike, putting 8 - 10 minutes into her main competition on that leg. Since it was an out and back run course, I had a front row seat to the "C-Rock" show and she most certainly rocked the house.

Dawn and Greg Guarriello had great days, with Dawn taking home a new PR for the Half distance and Greg following suit. One of my newest athletes, Maris DiTolla also landed herself a nice 20 min. PR so that was pretty cool too! I can't wait to see how all three of these athletes do at IMFL in about 2 months time!

Franco Zuccoli took home an AG win at the Pman sprint on Saturday. This was Franco's 2nd AG win this season. Not bad for a former MMA fighter!

Out in New York, Dereck Treadwell placed 2nd overall in the "Toughman" 1/2 IM (and tells me that it was the HARDEST course he's ever taken on).

Dave Smith took 3rd overall in an Olympic distance event down in VA. He's certainly on track for a great performance in Clearwater.

Allegra Parisi was second overall at a sprint tri (tune up for Cancun 70.3 in 1 week's time!!!) in Miami on Saturday.

And last but not least, Quinn Borchard and Scott Hersey had solid races out in CA. Both of these fellas threw up some solid numbers and will be ready to roll at Clearwater as well.

A big "hats off" to RD Kat Donatello for the OUTSTANDING job she did with this year's Pumpkinman Triathlon Festival. If you haven't raced at Pumpkinman, yet, you have MISSED OUT. Full on Thanksgiving Dinner post race? Awesome course? Incredibly helpful volunteers? What more could you ask for? Nice work Kat!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mayflower Triathlon

Sometimes, things just don't go your way. This was one of those days... Got lost 3 times on the course while leading the race, the 3rd time being strike #3 (DNF/Walk back to transition after running 1/2 mile in the wrong direction). Usually helps when the RD at least has arrows out there on the run course, but volunteers who know which way to send you always helps as well.

Oh well...

In the end, it's not life and death, so I'll do my best to put today aside and move on. I read an article about a Marine Unit fighting in Afghanistan yesterday that puts days like today into complete perspective. This one is definitely worth a read and will remind you about what some people face on a daily basis and, what they give up. We complain about a bad workout or race while 21 year olds are losing their lives out in some dusty, lonely corner of the Earth.

In happier news, Crystal won!!! I'm very happy for her. Great to watch her continue to improve...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Cape Ann Tri Club

Thanks to the efforts of Gloucester based triathletes Peter Justice, Joe Borge and Lou Perry, Cape Ann now boasts its very own triathlon club!

The club is in the earliest stages of development, but great things are already happening here. We're looking forward to creating a first rate support network for multisport athletes of all ages and ability levels and hope that you'll join us in this endeavor.

More to come over the course of Fall '09/Winter '10, but stay tuned on the club's developments by checking in on the club website

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

I'll Take It

Late August typically means cooler temps, the impending school year and Timberman 70.3 for me.

Well, this year, the weather was just about as hot and humid as it gets here in New England, I'm no longer a teacher so I don't have to worry about going back to school (too bad Michelle does!!!) but regardless, it was Timberman Time.

I made the trip up to Gilford with Michelle and Dean Phillips. It was smooth sailing up to Gunstock and registration and I had a blast seeing so many of my friends and fellow competitors once we arrived on site. I've hardly raced this year and had forgotten how exciting it was to be in that competitive environment. And competitive this year's race was: I couldn't believe the fire power that was assembled for this event; outside of Clearwater, this was the most competitive pro field that I had ever seen. I think that I counted 5 or 6 70.3 champs, a bunch of Ironman winners and some very fast international talent as well (i.e. Massimo Cigana who used to race for the pro cycling team Saeco-Cannondale).

Anyway, it was clear that this would be a very fast race.

Race day rolled around and we were greeted to a big line of traffic as we attempted to make our way to Ellocoya State Park. Not good. We abbandoned our cars out on the highway and ended up hoofing it down to transition so that we could set up shop and find some time for warm up. We managed to do so and then it was off to the swim start where I met up with Michelle who was carrying all of my swim gear. This was a non-wet suit legal swim for the pros, so I donned the BlueSeventy Pointzero3+ and spent some time warming up in the water and stretching out.

For me, pre race featured the normal mix of nervousness and that sickening realization of what I'd need to do for the next 4 hours of my life. I just wanted to race to start so that I could get to work and focus on my race. For Dean... his day started with what appeared to be a torn rotator cuff. He has been struggling with a shoulder problem all season, and right before the race, as he was putting on his skin suit, something POPPED. He was clearly in a ton of pain as he couldn't even raise his arm up to the side or the back. I felt terrible for him. But... being the soldier that he is, the guy gave the race a go anyway. I'm not sure if I'd chalk it up to unadulterated insanity or just an insane amount of courage (I think it's the later) but he more or less swam with 1 arm once the gun went off.

Anyway, back to my race... nothing much to report on the swim. The gun went off and I didn't go out as hard as I should of. I'm not afraid to admit that without the wetsuit, I was afraid of tightening up in the water so I didn't sprint out for the first couple hundred meters and, as a result, I was soon swimming by myself. About 1/2 way through the swim, I was caught by a female pro, so I worked along side of her and then caught a free ride once we turned the final turn buoy and headed for home. I tried to avoid tapping her feet but hit them a couple of times (sorry). She scolded me for doing so by increasing her kick a bit. My bad!

I came out of the water under 30 min. which pretty much tied my time from last year when I swam with a wetsuit, so the swim, although not very good by pro standards, wasn't a complete disaster.

Off on the bike and thankfully, the power was there this year. It took me a good 10 - 12 miles before I finally started feeling smooth, but by the highway, I was clipping off a steady 285 - 290 watts and feeling strong. I passed reigning IM Champ Chrissie Wellington shortly after the bike turn around and then set my sights on the next series of riders up ahead. Next up was a guy I respect very much, Mike Caiazzo. Mike was 4th at Ironman Lake Placid back in late July, and is always way up there in the mix at 70.3 events. When I finally caught and passed him, I knew what to expect and sure enough, it happened: He didn't let me go. Mike is a great competitor and he marked me for the next 15 miles or so. He remained at all times way back past the legal bike stagger limit, which I respect a lot. Drafting in the pro races is something that happens more often than you think, but Mike plays by the rules and rides clean and I appreciated that fact.

With Mike hot on my tail, I tried to keep the tempo high and we proceeded to pass a few more riders and roll into T2 in 9th and 10th place (or so) overall. I managed to beat him out of T2 but the legs weren't as sharp as I had hoped they'd be (too much IM training, No speed work!) so he caught me by the 1 mile mark. I had expected this as well, and accepted the fact that this was probably going to be the hardest 1/2 marathon of my life. The legs were already cramping a bit (the adductors to be exact) and Mike is a great runner. Combine that with the fact that we had been baking out in the sun/heat/humidity for the past 2+ hours and were now running in even worse conditions and, well, lets just say I knew this was not going to be a day at the beach.

At about the three mile mark, Mike started to fall off the pace a bit. Given the fact that neither of us were moving at our normal sub 6 min./mile pace, I knew immediately that he was simply still tired from IMLP which he had hit up just 4 weeks ago. I continued along and was feeling pretty good right up until I hit mile 6 and then suffered a MASSIVE hamstring cramp that stopped me dead in my tracks. It hit just as I passed my dad, Michelle and the QT2 athletes/coaches (watching on the sidelines) Tim and Cait Snow. I tried stretching but that didn't work. I tried walking and that didn't work either. The hammy was completely seized and I couldn't run. Mike went by me and I wanted to jump back on, but couldn't. So... since running forward wasn't an option, I decided to try running backwards for a while and thankfully, that worked. The hamstring released and I was able to continue on, gingerly. I was pretty pissed off in that I knew I had lost time and would had to shut the pace down for lap #2 or else I'd risk another major cramp that could very well end up knocking me out of the race.

A couple of miles later I caught and passed Mike again and was on my way. He was clearly way off his game, but I give him a lot of credit for having a go at such a tough race when he was only 4 weeks removed from an Ironman.

The remaining portion of the run was simply routine. I was on cruise control through the finish line and somehow managed to pass a couple more guys in the process (although I have zero recollection of doing so). I ended the day in 7th place overall. Given the field and cramping issue, I was pretty happy with it. I'm clearly NOT in top form yet as the body just wasn't nearly sharp enough, but then again, I haven't been training for 70.3s, so it's all good. If I could sum it up, overall, I felt "strong" but lacked those top end gears that I normally bring to the table when training specifically for the distance.

Dean: If a torn rotator cuff wasn't bad enough, he suffered 1 mechanical (bar end shifter broke) and 1 flat tire while out on the bike and then had to push his 195 lb. body through the heat and humidity that was hitting us all so hard. But.. he never quit. There were pros dropping out simply because they weren't having a great day, and here Dean was soldiering on despite a torn rotator cuff and about 7 or 8 min. of lost time on the bike. He would have definitely gone 2:06 or so for the bike split had he not suffered the mechanical and flat but as fate would have it, he was hit with a nightmare of a day. I've always respected Dean tremendously, but now I think that he's superman. I feel bad that he never had his chance to push that big bike split though, because it would have been right up there with what Bjorn Anderson turned in (and I have the power file to prove it - Dean's numbers were incredible).

So that's that. Another Timberman in the books. My left hamstring and SI joint are in bad shape right now, but I'll bounce back. Looking forward to the next race...

Sunday, August 16, 2009


First year triathlete and she makes her debut at the 70.3 distance with a 9th place overall finish/TOP OVERALL FEMALE AGE GROUPER at today's Lake Steven's 70.3 out in Washington!!!!

Goes to show what happens when talent, hard work and desire all come together.

Watch out for Crystal at Clearwater this year. I expect GREAT things!

Lake Stevens 70.3 Searchable Results

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Helping to organize and direct a race was about 10 x as hard as actually competing in one. I can't believe how much last week took out of me.

My training was close to non-existent for the second half of last week and I felt so weak and tired due to the stress associated with the impending race day that it was a struggle to push more than 200 watts at times!

Life got a lot less complicated as soon as Monday rolled around this week though, and I celebrated that fact by rolling out a 4.5 hour ride w/Dean (featured leading off the bike in the Gloucester Tri video below!) Monday morning and then following that session up with a distance swim Monday p.m. (in my fancy blueseventy point zero3+ speed suit). I followed those sessions up with my final long run of this Ironman progression: an easy 3 hour/25 mile run (Tuesday).

It's good to be back.

I'll take the next couple of days relatively easy (swim practice will not be easy tonight of course!), hit up some bike and run interval work between Friday and Saturday and then enjoy Nick Dufresne's wedding in W. Mass Saturday evening. Sunday will be one final long ride, executed out in the Berkshires, and then it's an easy week heading into Timberman; an event that'll serve as a tune up for the big day on 9/13. I do hope, however, that I have a little juice in the tank for Timberman as Chrissie Wellington was too close for comfort in '08! :)

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009


It's 4:20 a.m., Sunday August 9th... This is it: One year of planning and hard work all on the line.

Time to roll.

Pictures and race recap coming soon. Weather is looking perfect. I've been dreaming of this day for over 10 years.

Time to get back out on the course and finish setting up before 900 or so of my friends arrive :)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good Block

I've managed to chalk up a couple more good weeks of IM prep; not the BIG numbers the full time pros hit mind you, but pretty good for a guy who's working full time. Some of the "keys":
  • 17 hours (over the course of the week) in the saddle 2 weeks ago, but those numbers were largely due to the fact that I didn't do all that much running that week (save a 21 mile long run and a couple of lesser run sessions) due to my knee flaring up.
  • A really nice 3 day "block" between this past Saturday and today that included: A quick tempo/fartlek track workout on Saturday morning + an eventful MTB ride Saturday evening; My chain snapped mid ride and I sat there alone in the woods, swarmed by mosquitoes wondering whether I should run or walk the bike home. I was feeling too lazy to run, so I used my "MacGyver" skills and reassembled the chain using 2 rocks. I'll leave it to you to figure out how I did that (hint: It's something a caveman would do, so I shouldn't be bragging). On Saturday, I joined Dean "The Machine" Phillips and M50 - 54 year old national 1 hour record holder Mike Pavlov for an extensive 70.3 pace session. I knew I was in a bit over my head when I clipped through the first 25 miles @ nearly 300 watts, so the numbers dwindled a bit in the final hour or so, but not by much: 285 avg. between min. 60 and 90 and 284 between 90 and 1:59:xx. I covered 50 miles in <2 hours @ an avg. of 290 watts. Not bad. I had a bunch of Gloucester Tri related meetings this morning, so I didn't get a chance to train until mid day. I capped this 3 day block with a 30k out around the Cape course. Between the mid day sun, hills and lingering fatigue, I can't say that I was moving all that quickly, but it was another solid endurance session in the tank, and that's what matters most.
Okay, time for an easy day tomorrow: A couple of easy hours on the bike and then a fun open water swim in the p.m. It's game on again effective Wednesday though.

Looks like I'll be on the sidelines for the Gloucester Triathlon. Given the fact that I'm the co-founder and that I designed the course, I feel that it is my responsibility to MAKE SURE that everything is in place for the 800+ athletes who'll be pouring into my beloved hometown this Sunday. I don't think that I could live with myself if something small was overlooked and led to an injury out on the course. I'll be that guy with the head lamp on cruising the course @ 5 a.m. on Sunday morning making sure that everything is good to go. I'm very excited about the big day. In a way, it'll be awesome to watch the event unfold from the sidelines; although I'll be missing out in some ways, it'll be a blast to see so many of my friends, athletes and comrades tearing through the streets of Gloucester. Good times ahead.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

DANG IT (Happy now FZ?) :P

Okay, so I pulled out of RI 70.3 a couple of weeks ago in order to take care of an aching knee (same one that ended my season prematurely last year) to ensure that I can stay on track for IMWI. In place of RI, I hit up a local race on Saturday, rode home, and then ran long today.

Well... looks like the WTC gave my timing chip, bib number and NAME to someone else! WTF?!?! I wasn't even in the state of RI today!!!

To make matters worse, the guy DNF'd after a bike ride that would be a good 18+ min. slower than what I'd turn in on that course.

I suppose I shouldn't care, but I won't lie: I do. I hope they fix that BS ASAP because I'm kind of pissed about it.

Anyway, my long run wasn't a lot of fun today. Off to the Dr. tomorrow to try to get this knee taken care of. I need to get back to hitting my PFMS exercises religiously and to keep up with my stretching.

Nice job to Amanda Russell for her 70.3 PR today. I had a few other athletes throw down too: Quinn Borchard out in CA was 2nd AGer in a big sprint event (would have been 4th elite) and Dave Smith of VA was 4th overall in a pretty competitive Olympic. Those guys are hitting up Vineman and Steelhead, respectively, in the next couple of weeks, so things are looking good.

Okay, back to work tomorrow.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pow Wow

Well, at least I had a good Swim

Big thanks to Craig Lewin and the North Shore Swim Club for helping to bring my swim around. It's getting there.

Not much more to report besides that. I was GROSSLY underpowered on the bike today: Nearly 40 watts lower avg/Norm power than Cohasset (same distance: 12.5 mile bike leg). That's just stupid weak. I felt AWFUL out there on the bike today.

But... I gave it all that I had so no excuses. The legs just wouldn't go despite my best efforts. I suppose today shouldn't come as a big surprise given all the IM work I've been laying down, but it's still tough to accept the fact that you were only able to put out the same wattage you held, easily, for a 100k pace ride just 6 days prior... a pace ride you executed in the midst of a 90 mile cycling/17 mile running brick session.

Oh well, just one of those days. They sure do suck when they decide to rear their ugly heads though.

Congrats to my friend Dean Phillips on his victory and to pro cyclist turned triathlete Lynn Bessette for her awesome showing too (she'll be making big waves in the sport very shortly).

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Crawling Into The Pain Cave

Today was the first of my BIG IM assessment sessions and man oh man did it go well. The short of it:
  • 14 mile warm up (ride over to ECV TT course)
  • 100k @ IM Goal Watts (Dean Phillips was kind enough to join me for 80k. I can't thank him enough for the company as it made the session FLY by). Avg. power of 271 watts/norm of 275 and I felt absolutely sensational throughout. Despite the wind and lack of aero kit, I covered the 100k in 2:33 and passed through 56 miles in 2:18. It felt very easy.
  • Rode home 14 miles (total of 90 miles of riding on the day)
  • Quick Transition and out the door for a hilly 17+ mile run. Avg. pace of 6:25 for the distance. Passed through 13.1 miles in 1:23:50 and despite a really painful blister on the ball of my left foot and the fatigue that goes hand in hand with being nearly 6 hours deep into a pace session, I held it together and capped the workout. The final 30 min. of the run were anything but easy though. I won't lie.
I still have a way to go until my IM fitness is 100% and I'm ready to make an all out assault on IMWI, but as long as I can continue to stay motivated and injury free, I am extremely confident that I'm going to have a good day on 9/13.

You can never disrespect this distance though, so as good as I felt today, I know that race day will feature nearly 4k of swimming, an entire 180k of hard riding and a full marathon and as such, I'll be sure to lay down the necessary training that will allow me to handle this absurd distance when the day comes.

Things are headed in the right direction though, that's for sure.

Here's the Garmin File from today's long T run if you'd like to check it out.

p.s. Big props to my Dad for helping me with today's run. Gatorade every other mile really gave me something to look forward to out there, especially when I had to run by the beach and think about all the fun everyone else was having while I suffered alone.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Bad

I'm feeling too lazy to post anything about Cohasset, so you can check out Michelle's blog if you're so inclined :)

Legs weren't as tired as I expected them to be after this initial block of IM training. It was a solid day, but nothing to write home about. A win is a win though, and I was happy to support race director Bill Burnett and stop # 1 on the Commonwealth Tri Race Series.

Best part of the day was seeing so many of the athletes I work with in action and catching up with them pre and post event.

Well, it's raining, excuse me, POURING again today. We've had about 3 or 4 sunny days this month. Not fun.

Back at it tomorrow with the next big round of IM training: 3 weeks of big volume. It's looking like I'm going to skip RI 70.3 in order to concentrate on my IMWI prep - I need the training time.

In the mean time... off to another Gloucester Tri related meeting this afternoon and swim practice tonight.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Gloucester Tri PR

I can't believe the momentum that the Gloucester Tri is building. The event is already close to sold out (St. Peter's Square is going to be bursting at the seams with athletes!) and it seems like everywhere I turn, someone is talking about it. Dawn Guarriello happened to be walking through the Burlington Mall the other day and came across this:

Pretty cool.

Even the Mayor of Gloucester is gearing up for the inaugural event. She's clearly fired up and ready to roll, as evidenced by her most recent column in the Gloucester Daily Times.

Speaking of races, it's time to roll again. I kick my season off with the Cohasset triathlon tomorrow. I have zero expectations as far as racing is concerned right now. My only objective for this year will be to punch my ticket to Hawaii '10, so anything leading up to IMWI is going to be nothing more than a training session. I backed off my IM prep yesterday and today, so I'm hoping that the legs have a little life in them tomorrow as I would prefer to NOT get beaten by the entire elite Jr. field that will be in attendance. I'm sure that the race will seem like an all out anaerobic sufferfest, but it's all good; at least it'll be over quickly :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

It Won't Be Easy

This past weekend featured my first round of IM specific intro sessions and served as a nice wake up call to the reality of what prepping for this distance will entail. In a nutshell... being "70.3 fit" doesn't mean a thing when you're prepping for a 9 hour race and I am NOT (currently) in shape to successfully pull off the Ironman finish I'm hoping to on 9/13! That's okay, still plenty of time until race day, but there is work to be done.

I spent Saturday out on the open roads chalking up nearly 3 hours of IM pace work in the midst of a 4 hour ride. I wasn't feeling so hot towards the end of the session and can't say that I enjoyed my short "T" run post ride either! Lessons learned: I need to be dilligent with my asthma medication during the summer months, especially when it's humid and air quality is poor. Wheezing on the bike and struggling through T runs isn't my idea of fun. Other lessons learned: There's a big difference between simply riding your bike for hours on end, which I have no problem doing, and pinning your watts up around 260+ for 5 hours. I'll be emphasizing the later with my training.

Sunday was a much better day. The rain and cooler temps left me feeling nice and relaxed while out on the bike. I spent a little over 2 hours spinning out @ 230+ watts (nice and easy), practiced the art of "peeing" while in the saddle (hey, why the hell not? I was already soaked anyway. And... if the goal of this training is to emulate the stress/realities I'm facing on race day, I've got to accept the fact that pissing while on the bike is going to be something I have to learn how to do because there's no way in hell I'm giving up 2+ min. to pull over to the side of the road during the race) got off, consumed 1 pria bar, took a couple of puffs off the inhaler and was on my way around the cape. I was surprised how easy a hilly 17.1 mile run felt after riding, but was especially surprised by how good I felt after Saturday's session. I think that my inhaler made a big difference though as I could barely breath towards the end of Saturday's ride.

Anyway... good sign that I could ride for over 2 hours and then run for nearly another 2 on nothing more than 100 calories and 1 bottle of water (a stupid move on my part to go without adequate liquid, but given the rain and cooler temps I was able to get away with it this weekend).

I used my new training toy, the Garmin 305, for my run yesterday and uploaded the session to the Garmin site. Pretty cool training tool, I must say. Here's the session if you'd like to check it out.

Well, I get to enjoy a well deserved active recovery day today (swim only) but it's back to the grindstone tomorrow: Heavy dose of FT work on the bike and run fronts. I hope the rain will end. It's been raining here for nearly 2 weeks now.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Mr. Pavlov

New M50 - 54 National 1 hour record set yesterday (Wed, June 10th) at the Lehigh Valley Velodrome in Trexlertown, PA. Mike smashed the old record by about 2.5 miles! Official results out soon, but it looks like 27+ miles covered in 1 hour.

I do not think that I could do that and I'm 20 years younger than Mike.


Well, at least I can say that I helped him with his training!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Weekend Results

  • John Babcock: 1st place overall/new course record @ Mystic River Tri
  • Mary Ann Smith: 1st place overall @ Olympic distance race in CA
  • Dereck Treadwell: 2nd place overall (70 sec. back!) @ Mooseman Half Iron Tri
  • Quinn Borchard: 2nd place overall @ sprint tri in CA
  • Crystal Anthony: 3rd place overall @ Mooseman Olympic Distance Tri. Crystal's first tri and she's already keeping pace with the pros!
  • Margot Robinson: 5th place overall/1st AG @ Mooseman Aqua Bike
  • Amanda Russell: 18th place overall/3rd AG @ Rev3 Triathlon
  • Dawn Guarriello: 15th place overall/5th AG @ Mooseman Olympic

And we're just getting warmed up. Next weekend = Athletes racing @ Eagleman 70.3, Boise 70.3, Kansas 70.3 and a bunch of sprints. Stay tuned!

In the mean time, congratulations to all who competed this weekend.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

4 Down, 3.5 to Go

Another great week of training in the books. Weekend sessions included a 13 miler on Saturday with about 12k/40 minutes of high end tempo work over very undulating terrain and today's 80 mile ride w/50 miles @ just above goal IM pace (avg. of 272/norm of 277 watts). Yes, slowly but surely I'm already preparing my body for IMFL by inserting small doses of IM pace work into the mix. HR was staying down in the high 140/low 150 zone and the watts were very easy to produce despite some residual fatigue from yesterday's run, not to mention the past 4 weeks of good training.

So... it's all coming together. Another few weeks and I'll be ready to roll for R.I. 70.3. This "crash" approach seems to be working out pretty well; Not that I have any other option if I want to race well by mid July!

We had some great results this weekend too: Nick Dufresne returned to action and won the Ludlow tri, leading wire to wire and the Donatellos (Jeff and Kat) went 2nd/5th overall (both winning their AGs) up at the King Pine Tri. Not too shabby.

The action REALLY picks up over the course of the next 2 weeks as we have athletes racing @ Mooseman (Olympic and long course), Rev3, Eagleman 70.3, Kansas 70.3, Boise 70.3 and a bunch of other locales. I expect some BIG results and even BIGGER PRs.

Game on.

Time to eat (again) hit the sack and get up/get back to work. Another big week ahead.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Dangerous Dave

So my most consistent, hardest working athlete, Dave Smith from Virginia Beach, VA, stepped up and got the job done this past Sunday at the Rocketts Landing Triathlon in Richmond, VA.

3rd place overall, including all pro/elites in attendance. Dave walked away with a little loot and, more importantly, a GREAT bike split/average power output of about 285 watts; not bad for a 24 year old (or are you 25 now Dave? I forget) full time PE teacher who only weights a buck 48 or so. You start pushing 4.2 watts/kg over the Olympic distance and you're really getting somewhere...

Keep an eye out for Dave at Ealgeman 70.3 in 3 weeks time. Based off of what we saw this past Sunday, he's got a 270+ watt bike leg and a 1:2x low run in the legs. If he can throw those splits down, he'll certainly make an impact in the amateur race, that's for sure.

Other shout outs go to:
  • Newbie Quinn Borchard (another one of my workhorses), who won his AG and placed very high overall in a stacked sprint race in Encinitas, CA.
  • Cyclist Thom Connor for shrugging off a full workweek and a bunch of missed training time and still managing to set a new PR (and pretty respectable avg. power of 291 watts) at the Crank the Kanc TT.
  • UConn triathletes John Babcock and Evan Barry who went 1st and 3rd overall, respectively, at the 6th annual Bobby's Run 8 miler in hilly-as-hell Vernon, CT on Saturday. Both of these guys got up and rode long the next day as they continued prepping for the Rev3 half IM that's right around the corner.
  • Triathlete April Bowling's breakout day at the JCC Tri in Marblehead, MA after rebounding from an oh-so-fun case of fifth disease (training and racing isn't much fun when your joints are screaming in pain)
  • and... last but not least to Marty Miserandino for his PR day at the JCC Tri as well.

That's a wrap. Seems like everyone is doing well. The real fun begins next month when the crew starts hitting the 70.3 scene along with a few other major events, one of which (I have to keep it under wraps for now) will include an attempt at a national record. More to come here in early June.

We have A LOT of horses in the stable right now and they're all chomping at the bit to get out and run free. Although some of the athletes I work with have already begun racing, MANY are still locked down and immersed in heavy training. That's all about to change within the next 3 weeks or so.

Exciting times. It's going to be a very good year.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Fired Up

Man... nothing gets me more fired up than watching live results from 70.3 races. Florida 70.3 came to a close a few hours ago. I was tracking the tail end of the men's race as I waited for the rain to subside before I headed out for today's long run.

Pretty stacked field, with Santiago Ascenco from Brazil running his way up into 3rd place overall. Santiago is the the tough bastard who made my life miserable for a good 6 miles at Muskoka 70.3 last fall. Usually, when you pass someone mid way through the run they don't have the stones to up the ante, suffer and make a go to have at it and stick with you. Not the case with this kid. I had to hyperventalate through miles 7 - 11 on the Muskoka course before he finally popped and fell back. That was probably the most painful race of my life to date. Here's a pic from an epic day that I'll never forget:Anyway... I carried a little extra spark into my hilly 17 mile long run today, and passed through the 1/2 marathon mark in 1:22 without too much effort. Not bad considering I laid down a good block of training this week. Yesterday's set of pace intervals on the ECV course were executed at an avg. of 304 watts per 11.4 mile loop, so the form is starting to return. I'm about 2 months out from being ready to ROLL. Just have to make sure that I overhaul my shitty swim stroke before I pull the trigger and start racing long again.

Another good week in the bag. Time to eat and then start working on the house again.

Friday, May 15, 2009

My New Steed

It's been 14 years since I spent much time on a MTB (Mountain bike racing is what led me into the world of triathlon back in 1995) but man oh man is it nice to be back! Don't get me wrong; I won't be trading my 70.3/IM focus in for Xterra anytime soon, but it's nice to get back to my "roots" and add a bit of variety into the mix by getting off road 1 - 2 x per week.

Thanks to Seaside Cycle in Manchester MA for setting me up with the latest addition to my 2 wheeled "family" (although I parted ways with my old Cervelo P2k to help finance my new steed).

Awesome ride tonight; 2 hours of singletrack with only 1 significant crash to speak of. Over to the TT course tomorrow for some extensive 70.3 pace work. I commited to Timberman today (couldn't pass up on the opportunity to mix it up with the field Keith Jordan has assembled) but REALLY hope that I can bring my fitness up to par so that I can join the fray at RI 70.3 in 2 months time...

The fire has returned!

p.s. The Gary Fisher "Paragon" is a 29er; I can't get over how much more effective the bigger wheels are. I'm easily traversing the same singletrack that use to force me to dismount and run over a decade ago...

Monday, May 11, 2009


Man... these past couple of months sure have been "interesting." LOTS of change!

I ended my season, or should I say, my season was ended for me, prematurely last year when my right knee started giving me problems. It took me a few months of no training/rehab to get back to the point where I could actually start training again, but just as I was beginning to do so, life stepped up to the plate and threw me a bit of a curve-ball; Michelle and I pulled the trigger and bought a house!

I guess that I didn't know what I was getting myself into, because the entire process, between our initial look at the place way back in January, to now, sure took A LOT out of us. Our house (see Michelle's blog for pics/story) is the quintessential fixer upper: GREAT price, great location (I'm looking at the water right now as I type), good size lot (>1/3 of an acre), good size (roughly 1900 sq. ft), TONS of potential but... In need of A TON of work.

The bottom line: Your priorities suddenly shift when you see water dripping through your roof and pouring down your walls during the first rain storm, an interior that desperately needs rehab in order to even get it to the point where you can safely move in, windows that need to be replaced immediately, etc. etc.

To make this process even more fun, our closing was delayed by about a month thanks to an old plot plan snafu that left us both pretty stressed out. Upon closing, we then proceeded to cram 4 or 5 months of work into 4 or 5 weeks and worked non-stop to get the place in semi-move in condition by the end of April.

Needless to say, serious training turned into a "do what you can/when you can" approach this Spring, and I'm suddenly faced with the reality that it's mid May and I'm a good 2 months away from being in top form.

My biggest obstacle right now though isn't time, it's focus. When you're away from something for a long period of (i.e. the 4 - 5 hour rides, long, hard pace sessions, etc.), and are still pressing hard on a daily basis to keep up with everything else in life (work, house related projects, etc.) it's tough to summon the mental focus needed to bang out the BIG sessions that bring your fitness up to where it needs to be on race day.

I won't lie: Short course prep certainly seems a lot more manageable right now; a 75 min. workout on the trainer or a 1 hour, intensive track workout is A LOT easier to manage at this point in my life.

But... a short course athlete I am not. Although I enjoy the short course prep, I can't say that I really enjoy the races (they hurt too much) and know that relatively speaking, I'm not very good at them. However, given everything else going on right now, short course racing will have to suffice until I'm able to bring my long course fitness back up to par.

As it stands, I'd say that RI 70.3 is in question, and 70.3/I.M. racing very well might have to wait until late Summer/Fall.

The month of May will prove to be a critical block. This past week was a pretty good one for me training wise, but one good week doesn't get you anywhere. I need 8 - 10 good weeks.

So, on that note, time for my Monday morning run. It's easier to stay focused when you take it one day at a time :)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Congratulations Crystal Anthony!!!

Marathon runner turned multisport athlete Crystal Anthony won the 25 - 29 year old age group title at this past weekend's Duathlon National Championship in Richmond, VA!!!

Given the fact that this is Crystal's first real year as a multisport athlete, I expect great things from her in '09.

I always told you that you'd make a great triathlete Crystal! Nice work!!!

US Du Championship Results
SlowTwitch Article

Monday, April 20, 2009

Nice Work Dereck Treadwell!!!

Congratulations to Dereck Treadwell; 2nd overall at the 2009 PowerMan Alabama Duathlon despite a flat tire in the final 10k of the bike (slow leak)!

Dereck led the way into T1 with the day's fastest run, with triathlon long course super star and uber biker David Thompson in hot pursuit.

Although Thompson would go on to win the race, yesterday's performance bodes well for Dereck, so be sure to keep an eye on him this year as I expect great things on the US Pro tri/du circuit!

Alabama Results

Sunday, April 5, 2009

God damn I feel strong. The forced time off must have done me some good. Training sure is going well. My key numbers are all higher than ever and it's only April...

Good sign.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Getting My Head Back In The Game

I'm not sure if it's the barrage of smack talk I've traded with a certain someone over the past month or so, or simply the fact that I'm finally well rested, healed up and feeling strong again, but the fire is definitely returning and I'm looking forward to getting back into the arena. All that EMO B.S. about not caring about competition has fallen by the way side as the season draws nearer and my knee continues to cooperate. Slowly but surely (I will admit that I thoroughly enjoyed the down time by the way) I have gradually shifted from a recreational approach to training towards a full on, high quality routine that's designed to do one thing: Get me ready to race.

Thinking back to where I was about 2 months ago, perspective wise, I'd like to go back and kick my own ass for being such pansy. But, as my smack talking counterpart did point out "being injured screws with your brain" so I guess that I shouldn't be too hard on myself.

Bottom line: I train and race because I like to push myself. I like to see what kind of watts I can produce and sustain. What kind of run I can lay down post bike. How deep I can dig when that little, weakling voice inside my head starts screaming "I want this to end!" Oh yes... and to see how much time I can make up on the super swimmers and world class/well rounded pros who kick my ass in the swim. I also train and race because I like to compete against, and beat, other like-minded athletes. Although I never like to lose, I also don't mind losing to the better man and will always be the first to shake his hand and congratulate him when the dust settles. In the end, I view competition as a healthy thing: Racing other people helps you to race to your full potential.

To me, that's fun, and the process of figuring out how to get my body into peak form so that I can race to the best of my abilities, against others, is what brings me back for more year in, year out.

After my long lay off, I must say that I'm pretty surprised by what I'm laying down at the moment in training. I was once again shocked by the avg./norm power I produced (275/290 respectively) during my latest venture outside: an intensive 40 miler. I just can't get over how easy it feels to hold what was my normal race day power output last year. I'm only riding 3 x per week right now and I'll tell you... every ride, hell, every pedal stroke feels GREAT!

Just started swimming again last week and thanks to all the suspension training I've been laying down this winter, I've been pleasantly surprised by me form in the water as well.

Running: Seems like no matter what I do, my run form is always within about 5% of peak, but I guess that 25 years of running will do that for you.

Anyhoo, that's that. I'm really excited about this next month of training and can't wait to up the ante as I go. I don't think that I'll enter my first race until llate June, but... if I start producing norm watts of 300+ for my 2.5 - 3 hour intensive rides this month, I just may have to toe the line at Rev3 and give my smack talking buddy a good fight!

(p.s. If you scroll down and take a look at the "Cohasset 2008" pic listed here on this blog, you can just make out a sliver of Mr. Smack Talk's head in the background. I forget if we exchanged words that day, but I do recall the fact that he was pretty bummed out that he couldn't race due to a nagging injury. Too bad, as I honestly think that he would have won the race that day...)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Slowly but surely, I'm getting back to "that place" where multiple daily training sessions are once again becoming the norm. A couple of months ago, I felt like my days as a competitive triathlete were pretty much over. Funny how your perspective can change so dramatically in such a short period of time; I was flying high after Muskoka 70.3, down in the dumps and hopeless 6 weeks later (feeling like this knee would NEVER heal!) and back at it and looking forward to all that '09 holds in store shortly after New Years.

Knee felt good on today's intensive 9 mile run (executed over hilly terrain) and I'm excited to hit the bike and weight room this afternoon.

Seems like the knee issue was petellofemoral syndrome all along as it's responded VERY positively to the 2 simple exercises I've utilized to get the patella tracking correctly again: nothing more than squeezing a blow up med. ball between my knees (until the adductors are screaming!) and locking the leg out/contracting the quad to help develop the VMO. I wish that the doctors would have recommended this to me back in September, but oh well.

My competitive schedule might have to be pushed back by a month or 2 so that I can prepare correctly and bring the fitness up to par, but surprisingly, I'm pushing watts and paces on my easy days that are either on par or faster than what I was hitting in season. A lot of this has to do with the fact that all of my work is sub threshold right now though, so I credit fresh legs with what I'm seeing. I won't hide the fact that I'm also deriving a lot of "inspiration" from the daily reports, or should I say, taunting, that soon to be short course/TT specialist turned long course triathlete Dean "the machine" Phillips keeps sending my way. I wake up to email based updates that let me know "how easy it was to pump out 2 hours @ 300+ watts" or "how much faster I'm running than last year." I can't just sit there and take that kind of abuse of course, so I have no other option than to prepare to the best of my abilities. I'll have my hands full with this 185 lb.+ monster this season, as I expect to see him lay down some of the fastest bike splits on the 70.3 scene (i.e. I expect a sub 2:10 bike split out of him at Timberman) but... There's nothing better than a good fight, so onward I shall roll!

IM might have to wait until the end of '09 given another BIG personal development that has recently come about for Michelle and I; one that will require a lot of the time and energy I'd need to pump into the IM prep. This being said, it's looking like RI 70.3, Timberman 70.3, Muskoka 70.3 or Pumpkinman, Austin 70.3 and, perhaps, IMAZ to end the year. Throw the new Commonwealth tri series into the mix and Rev3 if I'm ready to roll by early June, and I've got myself a full season.

It's good to be back!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Game On

Training for '09 has officially begun. I was able to build back slowly to 40 miles of running per week over the course of November and December and have inserted suspension training into the mix as well.

I'll be taking more of a "strength" oriented approach with my training this winter as I build towards Ironman this summer. I'm not sure which one I'll hit yet, but I think it's easy to guess which one I'm tentatively targeting given it's proximity to Gloucester.

It's good to be back at it.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Nothing Left To Prove

Although 2008 didn't end quite the way I had hoped it would, the past few months certainly have provided me with a lot of time to think about things.

I'm rolling into 2009 busier than ever on the coaching front. I'm currently working with 32 athletes, many of whom are showing some real promise! I'm very excited to watch my crew in action this year and am expecting some great things. I never lose sight of how lucky I am to do what I do for a living and am at all times driven by my love for the work. I get up every day and do what I've always dreamt of doing. It doesn't get any better than that!

Personally, the forced down time I've taken thanks to the knee injury has allowed me some time to reflect on my own athletic undertakings. The bottom line: I can honestly say that I don't feel as though I have anything left to prove to myself or anyone else now. I think that I finally got that monkey off my back. For far too many years, I was motivated to train and race by a constant feeling of inadequacy. I was trying to make up for lost time and lost opportunities; a high school and collegiate running career that fell short, my first go around with triathlon back in the mid - late 90s - 2001. You name it. I wanted to prove that I could hold my own against the best. So... I set out back out in 2006 with one singular objective: To beat as many people as I could and to ascend the tri ranks as quickly as possible.

Fast forward to 2008: After 2 years of great AG results I turned pro and started racing head to head against the big boys. Although I took my fair share of lumps, I also more than held my own, routinely laying down some of the fastest run and/or bike splits on the 70.3 circuit every time out. Out running Galindez (split wise) at RI 70.3 and out biking guys like Alexander and Cunningham (once again, split wise) at Muskoka 70.3 left me, more than anything... satisfied. I don't care that I "only" came in 6th and 5th overall (respectively) in those races, I had finally proven to myself once and for all that I could at least hang. And for me... that's enough.

At this point in my life, I'm really not interested in flying all over the world to race. I love Gloucester and hate being away. I also hate flying, staying in crappy hotels, eating on the road, and wasting my money paying for all of these things!

In the end, life as a "pro" really isn't all that it's cracked up to be. As a matter of fact, there's no difference between racing pro and age-group. Outside of the occasional comped entry and homestay, you have to deal with the same travel related B.S., the same bad food, the same pre-race stress, etc. The only thing that changes is your position on the bike racks and the fact that you leave shore in the first wave every time out.

Well, at 33, I find that I'm more excited by the thought of having a nice home here in Gloucester; perhaps a place with a small on-site office/testing center and a free room that my athletes can crash in when they come to visit. I'm also interested in making time to pursue other interests that are in no way related to triathlon. Given the nature of my work, I spend almost every waking hour either talking about triathlon, writing about triathlon, or physically preparing to compete in triathlon. For most people, it's their hobby. As a full time coach, it's my job. Like any job, no matter how much you love it, if you don't make time for other things, you're on the fast track to burn out.

I was talking with one of my new athletes the other day, former Pro tennis player and rising tri star (watch out for this guy in '09, he is going to be GOOD) Quinn Borchard, who hails from CA. He was asking me about Ironman. Yes, I've hinted that I plan on hitting at least one Ironman in '09. But this year, I find that I'm motivated to compete for different reasons. When I started in with triathlon back in 1995, I was was motivated to do so because I craved the pure adventure of the sport. I didn't care about sponsorship, beating people, media exposure etc. I just wanted to ride my bike and run. And yes, some things never change: I only swam (and continue to do so!) because it was a necessary evil. Outside of distance swimming in the ocean, I'll NEVER like swimming. It's THE worst and mind numbingly boring. But I digress; I find that I've come full circle.

I'm looking forward to all that 2009 holds in store and a return to my roots. I'm going to pick a handful of the most challenging long course tris I can find (all preferably within driving distance of Gloucester!) next year and have at it, my only motivation being the simple challenge that I'll face by pushing myself on a bunch of rugged courses against good competition.

It's as simple as that.

Happy New Year!