Exciting things ahead...

EZIA (whom you should follow if you don't already) tweeted out a cool quote a few weeks ago:

“If you always do what you have always done, then you will always get what you have always got.” -Anthony Robbins

One of my favorite posters/quotes
I think it's important to switch things up often when it comes to training and coaching. It's very easy to get caught up in the same routine which can become boring over time. After a year stint with Walsh - whom I learned so much from - I coached myself over the past 6 months with good success (also learned a lot) but then my workouts started getting stale, I started getting a little bit unmotivated and down because of all of the sickness. So I started putting my feelers out for coaches again to help me get back on my feet especially after several bouts of sickness (I blame myself for a lot of that). I missed too many days then I tried to play catch up (big no, no) then relapse after relapse.

So after chatting a lot with a fellow Wattie Ink'er / OG, I decided to get on board with Robert Flannigan (Flanny) from CVE Coaching. Not only is Flanny a cool guy but he also has a similar background of being a successful runner in college turned successful triathlete. We are on the same page in overall training philosophies so as of this week I'm being coached again and super excited about it. As I've mentioned in past posts I really want to dedicate a lot attention to detail these next 4 months leading up to Vegas by crossing every I and T and having a coach is part of that.

One of those details is bringing down the overall alcohol consumption. Now before you give me hell, I want to say that I didn't quit or anything crazy like that, just backed off. I was in a terrible habit where everyday or every other day I'd crack a beer or two open in the evenings to wind down. Nothing wrong with that but then on the weekends I'd probably have 3 or 4 (sometimes more) in a sitting and I would often wake up the next day just feeling flat and not recovered at all. Everyone's opinion on what alcohol does for training is different but I feel it's just that. Everyone is different and people will respond differently then others. For me, I've noticed a HUGE difference in recovery and the ability to get up early to get in a workout. So it's a no brainer for me and now it's become a special treat/reward to have instead of an everyday indulgence (again see above quote).

So I've always been semi-serious about triathlon but now I'm going to get real serious about it. It's only four months - what would happen if you committed your "all" to anything in your life for four months? I'd bet you'd see drastic improvements and that's my plan. My family (team) is on board and what do I have to lose? I have an epic fail at Vegas? Who cares, I just made huge fitness gains so it's a win, win in my mind.

So here's to training! Don't call me for happy hour and don't ask me to stay up late. I'm drinking water and going to be early. See you in Vegas and I promise you I'll be bringing my best.

How to guide

I get asked a lot on how I do it....This is not a brag post or pretending I have it all figured out because I don't. I just want to share how I balance being a husband, father of two kids, have a successful career and be a semi successful triathlete. I get asked this a lot and I have written about this a few years ago on my Time Management post that I did. A lot of that post still holds true today. It really is all about mapping the time you have and figuring out where you're spending it. I'm tired of always hearing people say "I don't have any time for that...." The truth is, 99% of us do - we just choose to ignore where ALL of our time is being spent.

Unless your a freak of nature, in order to be a great triathlete you need to put in the time. That means sacrificing a lot if your scenario is a lot like mine. The most important place to devote your time and energy to is your spouse...then your kids. And I'd argue that to the grave -most have it backwards. And if you're the only bread winner - then obviously you need your career to take precedence over triathlon. Some people have that backwards too which can really cause a lot of head aches for you, your employer and your family.

THEN maybe triathlon comes next....

So let's start with your spouse or even your significant other. Get them involved in your triathlon goals/pursuits. Communicate! Don't just go out on these long training days and spend all this money on races without including them. Amy and I are a team and we always map out my training weeks so we are on the same page. I try and run with her and the kids and we plan my big rides when she has things lined up with friends/family so she's not left home with crying kids while I'm outside riding my bike all day! Make vacations out of your races. Don't make it all about you. Treat your family to a nice vacation (again, importance of a successful career) on your big races.

Kids. Include them into your triathlon pursuits as well. Get them into the Ironman kids races or local road races. Get them on their bikes, run with them, swim with them. Not only does it promote a healthy lifestyle but it show them its fun and that's why you're constantly training. If they don't understand why its so fun then they are eventually going to hate you for doing triathlon because it takes you away from spending time with them.

Work. Share with your boss and co-workers what you do. Sure, you'll get the annoying "When's your next marathon?" questions but I think it's very important that you share what your passion is outside of work. "I don't do marathons!!!!" lol. You'll be surprised how many will support your pursuits and they'll probably respect you more when you decline that happy hour or donut instead of giving them any type of explanation.

Money. It's no secret that triathlon is expensive. Just make sure when you're buying bikes and gear that you are spoiling your spouse in his/her hobbies/passions. If you're spoiling your spouse they'll most likely not question you when you want to drop another $350 on a stinking race.

Free time. What free time? haha. No really, if you want to be good you really shouldn't have much free time. Learn how to multi task. If there really is a movie you want to watch, foam roll while you watch. Instead of taking a lunch staring at the computer get a short run in. Instead of staying up late watching TV, go to bed early and get that early trainer ride in. Get that early trainer ride in so you can spend time with your family in the evening. Plan your workouts around your families schedule not the other way around.

It's not easy. I still have a lot to learn when it comes to discipline with my time. What do you do that helps you balance it all? Would love to hear from you!

Ironman St. George 70.3 Race Report

Anyone that's been reading knows I've struggled with sickness this year. I always hate to use excuses - but when you have a poor race like I did, they are more explanations than anything. I had another relapse of sickness two days before the race and I wasn't properly prepared to race fast with all the days I took off leading up to it (also from being ill) = hence the ridiculous slow times/placing I put up. I still took a lot of positives away from it though. The biggest one was just not quitting. Not caring how the results played out or how I looked out there. I just refused to quit. At least I got to do it in one of the most beautiful race settings I've ever been at. Here's how it went down...

Pre Race: Amy and I along with the kids headed up to Vegas Wednesday to stay at a huge house with some friends. the house had a pool, kegerator, pool table, big screen TV's everywhere, BBQ....etc etc. Total vacation home and it was perfect way to relax leading up to the race. However the next morning I woke up feeling terrible. I had planned to go over the Vegas course a bit and get a good solid ride in but I ended up feeling fever-y, with the same head/chest congestion that I thought I got rid of a few weeks prior. Full on relapse again. This pretty much confirmed that I have this virus that I can't shake. I HATE going to the doctor and I HATE meds - but I might not have a choice now. I need to get better. There have been waaay too many times where I've gone to the doctor, paid the $50 co-pay only for the doctor to have a 5 minute conversation with me and say "Yup, it's going around. Just drink a lot of fluids and get plenty of sleep..." Lame.

Conditions were perfect!
So Thursday I took the day off and Friday I woke up without the fever but still really congested. I went on a chill ride in the am, packed up the family and we made our way to St. George. My Wattie team mate Aaron Dewald aka. professor hooked me up with the house he was staying only 1 mile from the swim start. This made logistics so much easier since T1 and T2 where miles apart - I wouldn't have to deal with the shuttle bus crap, sleep in a bit and hang out with the boys. That night I got my brand new custom Wattie Ink Blueseventy Helix and after putting it on for the first time I was really debating whether or not to race in it. I know the golden rule of never trying anything new on race day but after swimming in my old wetsuit that same week in Vail lake (near my house) my suit was just filling up everywhere with water. It's old, ton of holes, patches and it's too big on me as I was about 15 pounds heavier when I first got it. I decided to just go with the new one and cross my fingers it was a good decision...

Professor and I getting ready to race!
Swim: 1.2 miles 34:35 (1:47 pace) 62nd out of the water in AG

That morning I slammed my normal eggs, bacon and potato meal, headed over to T1, set up my transition which Ironman made extremely confusing. We had to have everything IN our Ironman bag before and after we transitioned onto the bike. Then we got an announcement saying we couldn't have our shoes on our bikes and that everything must be in the bag. Then they contradicted that statement again later...just super unorganized. Before I knew it - it was time to get in the water. It was advertised at 60 degrees, some said it was 56...either way, I thought the water was nice. About the same as it was at Oceanside. The conditions were absolutely perfect and the surroundings amazing. U2's "Beautiful Day" started blasting over the speakers and the cannon went of for the pros. Even though I was already hacking up and blowing out a ton of snot (sorry), there wasn't any other place I wanted to be.

I lined up about the second row and we were off! I only got about a 150 yard warm up in the new Helix and it was hard to tell how it'd play out. It was super tight and just not worked in much. About 800 meters in my arms were already burning. Not the typical hard swim set burning but just from my arms being restricted and not used to the suit. I grabbed some feet here and there, did a lot of dodging from previous waves and just did my best to swim as hard as I could while blowing out as much snot as I could in the process. Only being able to breath in and out of my mouth made it quite difficult especially under water. Add in elevation. St. George ranged from 2000-4500 ft - quite the nuisance for this sea level kid. I wasn't too bummed about my time. I swam a lot faster in Oceanside but that was salt water, sea level and I was a lot healthier - so no big deal.

T1: 2:43
Soon as I got out I let the wetsuit strippers do their thing since I wasn't quite sure how I'd do with the new suit. The funniest thing about T1 was I had the uncontrollable sneezes. About every 30 seconds I'd sneeze a bunch of times like crazy - snot, water blowing everywhere...ya, I was quite the sexy sight!

I'm the dark guy in the middle...
Bike: 2:38 (21.2 mph) 27th in AG (3,600 ft of climbing)

I got on my ISM saddle and Cannondale Slice and rolled out continuously eliminating the demons in my head. My body was telling me and giving me every sign that this was not a good idea. My mantra for the day was: Race hard and finish. Oceanside it was Stay Stubborn and Hurt. So you get the idea...

This bike course is pretty brutal. Definitely a climbers course which is why I picked it. I love to climb, I'm good at it - so why not race it? To be honest I was pretty surprised with my split. With all of the wheezing and coughing up stuff throughout the course I thought I'd be a lot slower. For those of you that have raced or worked out sick, I just had that achy - zero power feel to my legs. No bueno. I did a lot of passing and just tried to work hard while enjoying the beauty around me. My ism saddle was money (as always) and I fueled with Powerbar throughout the day. Using Perform, Cola Blasts and a Cookies and Cream Powerbar. To help with hydration I took in a lot of e21 recovery tabs throughout the ride too. After climbing the dreaded "Snow Canyon" climb towards the end of the ride it was a quick ride back to town and before I knew it I was headed into T2.

T2: 2:16

Took my sweet KASK Crono off, put my Kswiss Kwicky shoes on and rolled out. I saw Amy and the kids as I headed out which put a big smile on my face.

In a world of hurt!
Run: 13.1 miles - 1:48 (8:19 pace) (1,100 ft of climbing)

I knew going into this race sick and unprepared that the run was going to be a suffer fest. My strategy was simple. Don't walk and finish. I had a really hard time breathing and just coughed up junk throughout the run. Not fun. I think I had a 10 minute mile at one point. 1000+ft of climbing in a half marathon is pretty brutal. You were either going up or down. I was just in survival mode on the way out. Seeing team mates on the course and spectating helped...but only for like 2 seconds, then it was back to reality. Running's always been my weapon in triathlon and I rarely get passed. Let's just say there was a lot of passing going on. When you're going that slow you never run into those guys that are hurting because YOU are that guy. I was starting to get a little sketched out with about 4 miles to go. I started getting really bad chest/lung pain and that's when I started coughing/tasting a little bit of blood. Just a really bad chest infection. I just refused to quit. It was tough for my pride to finish but when I crossed that line I was smiling inside because it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Everything in my body and mind told me to quit but I refused to. I will use this race for fuel when things get tough in future races.

Feeling it...
Finish Stats: 5:06:44 - 30th AG, 236 Overall

St. George was the hardest course I've ever done. We were lucky that we had perfect conditions as if it was hot or windy like it normally is this time of year out there, this could potentially be the hardest 70.3 out there (or at least right there with Vegas). So to almost break 5 hours under the circumstances I was facing, I'm pleased with the race. There's a lot of work to be done now. Amy and I have had a serious talk about the remainder of the season. I'm going "All In" if you will. I will dedicate every moment and every decision I can to triathlon these next 4 months leading up to Vegas. Balancing career and family with triathlon is difficult but I am so lucky that I have such an understanding wife that will deal with my commitment these next 4 months and let me give it a go. I understand that I can't become super fast in 4 months and that it takes a lot of time to get to a high level but when you do a lot of the little things right you can make huge gains and that's what I plan on doing.

What's next? Since I won the overall amateur title at San Diego International last year they are putting me in the elite/pro race this year. So this will be my first race with the big boys. SDIT is a legit race in San Diego (1k swim, 40k bike, 10k run) with most of the top locals racing so I will have my hands full. I'm just excited to mix it up with them and see if it elevates my game that day. Time to get rid of this sickness and countdown to Vegas.

Thanks Wattie Ink, team mates and all the sponsors that make triathlon such a fun sport. And thank YOU for reading!

More pics from the weekend:

Always a good time...
Kids had fun on the strip too - M&M Shop

Playing at the park
St. George was very kid friendly, especially with the splash park
right near the finish!
My support team!

Getting the rig ready, thanks again Dusty for letting borrow
some wheels!

Leaving for a hell-ish half marathon...

Kids loving the park

Bringing it in after a LONG day

Red Rocks where beautiful...ignore my man boobs!

Only smile of the day!

Katie got a good shot of me when I was in a very very bad place...


Thanks for reading. Cheers!!!