2015 Race Calendar

I have finalized my race calendar for this year through August. For a multitude of reasons, I don’t have anything scheduled after August because frankly I don’t know how I will feel or how light my wallet will be!

I’m excited for this upcoming season for the variety of events but also the focus of it all culminating in Mont-Tremblant for 140.6 miles through a lake, over asphalt hills and around a French-inspired village. Each race has a purpose and focus; it is not just to race but rather to add to my training or enhance it.

2015 Race Calendar

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Treasure Coast Half Marathon

March 1, 2015

Purpose: Provided January and February focus training-wise. Gauges long distance race pace and to set a benchmark

B Race

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Gate River Run 15k (Local)

March 14, 2015

Purpose: to have fun, get training miles in and do the Gate for the first time ever

B/C Race

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Great Clermont Triathlon

March 22, 2015

Purpose: First race of the triathlon season! Clermont provides hills upon hills in the olympic distance. While I was looking for a race a little later in the season, no Florida race provides the appropriate terrain like this one. This is a “dust the cobwebs” off kind of race.

C Race

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Run Til You’re Boared (Local)

April 5, 2015

Purpose: I’m doing the 16k option so its simply a long run day on trails that will provide me a good break from the concrete.

Training Race

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Ragnar Trail Relay

April 10-11, 2015

Purpose: I’ve been dying to do Ragnar Trail so I was happy to find a team who needed an extra person. This one takes place in Atlanta and allows me to test out my new camping gear I got at Christmas 🙂 I’m adding two days of biking at Six Gap afterwards for a very challenging training weekend. The weekend will provide me the opportunity to see how I do on a longer ride in the mountains.

Training Race

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Ironman Raleigh 70.3

May 31, 2015

Purpose: Redemption. Its as simple as that plus the course is a great warm-up for Mont-Tremblant and because I left a lot of time on that course and know I can do better.

B+/A- Race

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Ironman Mont-Tremblant

August 16, 2015

Purpose: The ultimate goal! The main goal is to get to the start line healthy and prepared mentally and physically.

A++ Race

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I’m Back-Hello 2015!

Happy 2015! Wow, I can’t believe how long it has been since my last blog post; seriously, I thought it had been only a couple of months but low and behold its been seven! I last posted about my sorrows and woes regarding Ironman Lake Placid in Heaps of Frustration. Well, a lot has changed since then and I am back on the road to becoming an Ironman, only this time I’m taking my racing abroad, to Canada, that’s abroad right?!

Ironman Mont-Tremblant is on August 16, just two days after my 30th birthday so I decided earlier this year to kick off my dirty thirties with a lil jaunt in the mountains of Quebec alongside thousands of my closest spandex wearing friends (who are just as crazy, if not crazier than me).

Before I get too far into this Ironman business, I feel the need to recap the end of 2014 some and at least document it before I forget everything that happened (seriously, I have to write everything down).

August 2014

  • Moved back to Jacksonville.
  • Competed in the Tour de Pain. 3 races in 24 hours of various lengths.
  • Competed in the World of Beer 5k-My birthday present to myself.
  • Memphis completed his first Monday night run at World of Beer.

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September 2014

  • Competed in the HOT Sprint Triathlon. Good enough for 2nd in my age group.
  • Traveled a bunch for work.
  • Registered for Ironman Mont-Tremblant.

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October 2014

  • Raced in the Evergreen Pumpkin 10 miler that was mostly in a large cemetery.
  • Ran around Washington DC on a work trip.

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November 2014

  • Used my failed Lake Placid spot to go do Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas half marathon. Not my best 13.1 miles but a fun one with friends and family nonetheless.
  • Did my first Thanksgiving run back in my hometown.

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December 2014

  • Took some time off from racing and training. Ate a lot of holiday cookies, drank some great beer, traveled to NYC for work for a week.
  • Enjoyed Christmas with my family. Rang in the New Year in Jacksonville.
  • Became a Nuunbassador! More to come on this…

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Since January 1, 2015, I have been back on a training plan, working towards my first triathlon which will be in March at the Great Clermont Triathlon. This is an olympic distance race in the hills located outside of Orlando and yes, we certainly have hills here in Florida!

I am about 1.5 weeks into this first training block and it has been going pretty well despite some chilly weather we’ve had recently. Jacksonville even saw snow flurries earlier this week, albeit I did not. So here’s what I’ve been up to since the new year rang in:

Thursday, 1.1.15

  • 1,000 yard swim (only swim so far this year, womp womp)
  • 30 minute trail run with a friend (his first trail run ever!)

Friday, 1.2.15

  • 30 minute trainer ride
  • 30 minutes of at home strength training

Saturday, 1.3.15

  • 1 hour of trail running. I’m trying to adhere to zone 2 HR for runs which on this day was very difficult to do because it was unseasonably warm and humid. Only covered 5 miles in 60 minutes. Can’t remember the last time that happened but the theory is if you train at a lower heart rate for several weeks, you can ultimately train your body to go faster at lower heart rates. We shall see!

Sunday, 1.4.15

  • 1 hour on the trainer.

Monday, 1.5.15

  • 30 minutes of strength training. Tried a new business called Timed Exercise. Without getting into details, I will not be returning.

Tuesday, 1.6.15

  • Rest day. Team dinner at V Pizza, seriously my favorite pizza place in Jax.

Wednesday, 1.7.15

  • 45 minute trainer ride
  • 3.26 miles at the Wednesday, Mellow Mushroom group run.

Thursday, 1.8.15

  • 1 hour RPM cycle class at the Y

Friday, 1.9.15

  • 1 hour yoga class at the Y. Preparing for Saturday’s 10k race.

Saturday, 1.10.15

  • Best Damn Race 10k. Race report to follow.

Sunday, 1.11.15

  • 26 mile bike ride on Baldwin Trail. Went a little bit further than I should have but felt good. Even got rained on for part of the ride.

Overall, I’m pleased at how training has gone thus far. I’m just getting acclimated again to training and organizing my day. My true Ironman training plan starts on March 1 but with an early season tri, I have to get my butt into gear. I look forward to staying on top of this blog and noting my thoughts and experiences through this process of becoming an Iron(wo)man. I hope you’ll join me by reading whenever I post 🙂

PS Shout out to my brother in law Kevin who completed his first marathon today at Disney! He and my sister caught the running bug when I started to train and document my running so I’m excited to have been somewhat of a catalyst in his big accomplishment! Way to Kev!

Tough Decisions: Ironman Lake Placid

I’ve been meaning to write my Ironman Raleigh 70.3 race report for some time now, the race was June 1, but with being away for a  couple of days post-race in North Carolina and returning home to a lot going on and recovering, I just haven’t found a suitable time to do so.

This post is not going to be about Raleigh though but about my season thus far in general. I started my training plan for Lake Placid in mid-March of this year. I was recovering from achilles/plantar issues in my left leg and had not been running for several months. I was doing some shorter bike rides and some casual swims. When I went to Vegas, I got my butt kicked in Red Rock and found I had zero fitness going on. Just a couple of days prior was my longest run for quite awhile, 2 miles!

As March turned to April, things were rolling along pretty smoothly though conservatively. I raced St. Anthony’s sprint in late April and felt pretty good and was just happy to get to the start line.

By May, I was having saddle issues during longer rides and so began my ever long quest of finding a saddle that did not produce tears and audible grunts every ride. Needless to say, I am still on this quest.

Rev3 Knoxville Olympic race occurred in mid May where I had lots of climbing for the first time. Post- race I felt ok except for my saddle area. Without going into too much detail on any of this, lets just say things were not happy for quite some time.

The week after Knoxville I did not bike except for my longest ride to date on the Ironman FL 70.3 course in Haines City where my friend Amber and I rode 62 miles. I was in some serious pain that day but got by with some Chamois Butt’r reapplication but man did I start to worry about Raleigh 70.3 the following week.

By this time heading into Raleigh, my longest ride was 62 miles and my longest run was 14. I was taking time off to let things recover and heal but its been quite the process. Throw in weather and general Ironman training fatigue and things were getting rougher.

Post Haines City, I did not ride again prior to Raleigh 70.3 on June 1. When I hopped on my bike before pre-race racking, I was uncomfortable and uneasy and that was just a 2-3 mile spin to check the bike over. I knew the following day was not going to be a fun one but I tried not to think about it and was excited to ride on a beautiful course.

Race day came and during the bike portion of the race, any time I moved a centimeter on my saddle, I got sharp, burning pains that left my legs tired from trying to alleviate any additional pain during the ride. I could feel things on fire and tears welling up towards the end of the ride. If I had to ride one more mile as we climbed the last hill into transition, I would have probably quit at that point. I walked into transition with my bike, racked and walked to a volunteer to get my gels in my kit. I have NEVER walked a transition before. The subsequent half marathon was brutal as it felt like sandpaper and ripping for the next 13.1 miles.

Long story short, my post-race vacation in Pine Needles, the golf mecca of NC, was not filled with golf but rather a bed, tubes of neosporin and advil. I even lost a toenail and let me tell you, I rather lose all 10 toenails than deal with what I’ve been dealing with. It doesn’t even compare.

As I returned to FL, the swelling was slowly going down but there was certainly no biking or running going on, when I walked, it was as if I had been on a horse for a week straight.

I started back in the pool towards the end of the week and started to face the reality that we were 8 weeks out from Placid and I had just lost another week of training.

As that week rolled into this week and I woke up this past Sunday morning not feeling great and knowing things weren’t improving, I headed to a walk-in clinic. I received two antibiotics and was told no running or biking until everything was healed.

I was demoralized. I cried in the parking lot because I knew that no matter how much my mind and spirit wanted to will these issues away, my body was going to take its time to heal.

Following that appointment and calming down and reflecting some more (something I’ve done a lot these past couple of weeks), I made my mind up to not continue my pursuit of Lake Placid. I consulted my parents and friends and coach and everyone agreed that with now 7 weeks out and an insufficient training bank to fall on, I would risk injury before/during/after the race and a giant uphill battle to even get to the starting line.

The path to this decision has not been taken lightly nor has it been an easy one. When your training and racing is public knowledge, it is difficult to say you will not be lining up with the other competitors on July 27, 2014 in Mirror Lake. I am a competitive person by nature and do not like not being able to compete. I’ve been competing in sports my entire life and rarely did I miss a game or event due to injury. I have spent over a year thinking about this race but I know that these races are not going away any time soon and that I will have another chance at crossing an Ironman finish line; it just won’t happen on the date I thought it would. I have read too many times about athletes who only think in short-term considerations and end up doing more damage in the long run. I’m only 28 and want to be able to continue this active lifestyle for a long time to come.

So….I’m hitting the restart button and letting things heal before getting back to training. I have been swimming frequently and in fact did my longest swim ever last night in the ocean with our group. It was about 1.6 miles I believe and I was happy to reach a new milestone.

I’m still uncomfortable with things physically but now I’m not putting the pressure on my body to recover quickly. Once things are healed, I am getting another bike fit done and hopefully will solve the saddle issues.

Should everything start to fall into place, my goal and hope is to register for Ironman Cozumel which is held annually over Thanksgiving weekend. When I first thought about my first Ironman, this one was the original one I targeted but chose Lake Placid in the end. I know the universe has a strange way of working things out so maybe I was destined to race there all along!

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With regards to my fundraising with the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, I am still going and still need your help! I am currently at $3600 and should I reach $7000, I will shave my head. A promise is a promise! The MMRF team is also holding a spot for me for next year at Lake Placid, but we’ll see.

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I have 6 weeks left to raise $1400, my minimum is $5,000, so will you please consider a donation to this very worthwhile organization in memory and honor of my late grandfather? You can donate here. 

Thanks for reading this post and for hopefully supporting a very difficult decision. I know its the right one for me and me only. With that said, let’s get training again!