Sunday, December 18, 2011

Goals

I wanted to take some time to hash out my short and long term goals as well as detail some of this month's training.

Short term: The upcoming season I have several realistic goals.
1. Qualify for World University Games, Top 8 finish at the games
2. Win Collegiate Nationals (April, Alabama)
3. Win U23 Nationals (Buffalo, NY in September)
4. Qualify for, and top 10 finish at U23 Worlds (October, New Zealand)
5. Qualify for Project 2016

Long Term
1. Make 2016 Olympic Team
2. Race the pro race at Kona
3. Be a top short course and long course triathlete in the world by 2017

With lofty goals, one needs to couple arduous training and strict discipline. This means what an athlete does all day matters- not just their workouts. Going to bed at 10 pm on a Friday night because you have a hard Saturday morning workout is often required. Such is the price to be a top athlete, but it is not a hard price if you keep your goals in mind.

The training I have been doing this month has been geared for building a huge base in the pool, in the saddle, and on the run. During The first three week in December, I have been fortunate enough to run with former XC runners at UD, and have consistently logged 60+ mpw. I have included some longer, steady runs such as 10 milers in 58 minutes just focusing on working hard, as well as a hill workout where I do 10 hill repeats up a .35 mile hill. This leaves me and my workout partner Andy Weaver running 7 miles up and down a 6% grade hill (tough mentally and physically). There are also the requisite 17- 20 mile long runs that help physically and mentally.  In the pool, I have been 23,000 plus yards each week and have thrown in some harder swims such as a 500 from a push mid practice in 5:43 and a sub 5:00 400 IM. I am logging 8-12 hours on the bike trainer per week in 5-6 sessions. I will be able to venture outside soon when my wrist is fully healed, but right now I feel as though I am in great shape from my CycleOps magnetic trainer. I have been seeing some threads on message boards about collegiate nationals in 17 weeks, and all I can say is that I am excited to race after my first winter of swimming/biking.

I will be doing a low key race in January, a 10 miler on a hilly course. I will follow up with an indoor 5k, then Clermont ITU sprint championships. I can start to begin feeling races coming up and it makes me ready to go.


I would also like to thank DogFish Head brewing company for giving me some training/racing gear for the 2012 season. They are a local brewery that is now internationally recognized. I am truly thankful for their support! Happy Holidays to all those out there, remember champions are made in the off season!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

College Living

Today's topic is somewhat tangential, but I thought I'd take a minute to describe the glamorous life of a pro triathlete living and training in college. First off when I say pro, I have earned my pro license, and intend on training full time post collegiality, but I am not referring to some 252 million dollar contract.. ahem should have become a baseball player... only kidding. Most pro triathletes are not making a huge living but we do pursue this sport because we love it and have immense passion for advancing it. I truly can say I love triathlon, and this passion is what wakes me up in the morning to get a swim/bike/run in before class even when the house is cold (more on that later).

Since I am in college (should be finishing up a year from now and graduate a semester early), I often fit training around a long day of classes and tests. My degree will be in Kinesiology and applied physiology with minors in Chemistry and Spanish with ultimate aspirations of going to med school.. that is after making the US Olympic team.  Taking Monday, December 5th for example, I had class from 9:05 until 11, then again from 2:30 until 3:30. During that day, I ran 10 miles in about 60 minutes before class, managed 4500 yards swimming at lunch, and then 2 hours on the bike trainer after my class at 3:30. Doesn't leave a lot of time for recovery, but all the running around makes an athlete mentally tough! Also, living the college lifestyle is sometimes funny. For instance, the heater in my house has been broken...for one week. The ambient temperature in the house hovers around a cozy 45 degrees and dropping. One positive thing about this is my roommates don't mind my indoor trainer rides because it warms the air a little bit! All of these little "blips" could hinder some athletes' training, but it adds character I think. Some other funny instances that surround my particular college town include a man being sighted running around with nothing but a flannel shirt on! I also live next to a fraternity that gives me a lot of odd looks when I'm biking on the trainer on our porch at 7:00 AM after they were partying all night and still awake! These are some funny instances and times that I would not change for the world. Also, the camaraderie of living with runners (and former teammates) is something I believe a lot of triathletes don't get a chance to do later in life.

Anyway, it is time to study some more for finals, I hope you enjoyed some of my life schedule. Happy Training!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

2012 Race Schedule

Here is my tentative schedule for racing tri's in 2012. Some of the races will depend on funding to travel to them, and I may have the opportunity to extend the season after October, but will not know until later. I am looking to finish my undergraduate studies next fall, so I may have to take some time to finish the requisite credits.
About the races, I am excited to race collegiate tri nationals and a REV3 race as I have heard great things about both races. I am looking to race as many ITU races as possible so I will travel to Clermont, Fl; Dallas, TX; Magog, Canada; Kewlona, Canada; and Buffalo, NY. Upon qualification, I will be racing World University Games in Taiwan, which will be my mid season big race in late June. Also pending qualification, I will race U23 world championships in New Zealand in October. I will also be doing 4-5 local races in the Piranha Race Series, where I will be looking to help out a local Tri team, Brick's Multisport, earn some points to earn the team title. the winner of the series is also awarded some money, which will help to fund some of my travel! I listed 5-6 of the races in the series (with * to denote that I won't be able to do all of them).


3/3/12 Claremont ITU Sprint
4/21/12 Collegiate Nationals Olympic
5/8/12 Rev3 Knoxville Olympic
5/20/12 Escape from DE* Olympic
6/3/12 Dallas Cont. Cup Olympic
6/9/12 Lavalove Triathlon Sprint
6/17/12 Washington DC 5150 Olympic
6/24/12 Philly Tri Olympic
6/30/12 World University Games Olympic
7/15/12 Magog Cont. Cup Olympic
7/27/12 Pittsburgh tri* Olympic
8/19/12 Lums Pond* sprint
8/19/12 Kewlona Olympic
9/15/12 Buffalo Cont. Cup Olympic
9/16/12 Marshman* Sprint
10/14/12 Cape henlopen* Sprint
10/22/12 U23 World Champs Olympic

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Off Season Training

I though I would share my thoughts on the "off season." In running and swimming (way back when), there was always at least two main seasons with a short break between each. I have always believed that building a strong base is paramount in order to race fast. Last winter, I may have jumped up a little too much over the winter as I was a little sluggish during outdoor track, but I firmly believe the body will eventually adapt to the training loads.
"Champions are made in the off season" is a quote that I believe is very true. I think some athletes can make huge jumps in ability during the off season. Some people believe the winter should be light mileage to prevent burn out (mentally), but I think if your goal is to race from March to September or October, you have to have a solid foundation to build upon. In this early phase of my training, I am logging mostly easy aerobic mileage in the pool, on the bike, and on the roads running. My last three weeks have all been about 20 hours of training, and have only fluctuated due to this being an extremely busy time of the year for college students! It is also important to keep up with stretching, hydration, and rolling out (with products such as Trigger Point Therapy) in the early season because it's easier to prevent injuries than heal one! I am looking to hold about 30 hours of training during the month of January, averaging about 200 miles/week on the bike, 30k yards swimming, and the normal 60-70 running. I am a big fan of long steady runs during the base phase such as my favorite 10 mile run with no warm up just going and working hard the whole time. Last winter, I averaged 5:33's during December for this run. I like huge base training because it makes me get to the starting line knowing I am ready for anything in the race (something I did not have last season of tris because I had no base of cycling or swimming to speak of!)

I have almost finalized my racing schedule for next year, and am excited to do some traveling to races such as Collegiate Nationals, REV 3 Knoxville, Clarmont ITU, San Francisco ITU, and hopefully World University Games in Taiwan, and U23 Worlds in New Zealand.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Getting back after injury

I am excited to be posting this week as I have returned to training. I had thirteen days off to allow the surgical scar to heal, but now I am back in full swing (albeit with a cast). The surgeon said he was happy with the progress of the bone healing, and was optimistic. I also will be using a bone stimulator to help aid the process.

Gnarley Scar (no stitches)
Cast to workout with
Thanks TP Therapy!



I did get a nice surprise from Trigger Point therapy! They sent a collection of their products to me along with some sweet socks and a visor. The quad baller and massage ball have also helped co workers with some hip injuries! This stuff really works.

I am working at getting back into shape, and especially with the news of Lucas V. coming back to tri's, I know I have my work cut out for me if I want to make the US U23 and World University Games teams. Lastly, big shout out to the UD club xc teams racing NIRCA nationals this weekend looking to perform well, wish I could be there!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Finding the good in the rough times

On Friday, October 21st I had an appointment with Dr. Townsend at Delaware Orthopaedics to look at my wrist. I had the opportunity to volunteer and intern at this office during the past summer. Because of that, I had a pretty good idea that my scaphoid bone was broken (and I raced my last two races on it), but I was hoping to not need surgery. Unfortunately, I had a separated scaphoid bone, and would need a screw to fix my two halves of the bone together! Initially, I was super upset because this would mean loss of two weeks of training, plus a surgery. After a little bit, I accepted the fact I needed surgery, and the bone would heal, and this is the time to get this procedure done.

The following Wednesday, I had surgery and it went, "perfectly" according to the surgeon. I apparently responded (in my post anesthesia state), "that's how I roll."  I apologized for this later, but Dr. Townsend liked the gumption and positive attitude I had. This attitude can only help the bone heal faster. I will be in s water proof cast in two weeks, which will allow me to swim, bike (on the trainer), and run freely. Until then, I am catching up on school work, keeping my hand elevated, and helping out with the UD tri club. I have convinced myself that I will be stronger after some solid rest, and be rejuvenated Nov 8th to begin 2012 preparations. Until then, I will hear the joke, "Dan, do you have a question?" about 1,000 times, but it's all good. I am becoming ambidextrous and a little more proficient typimg with only my left hand,  and most importantly staying positive!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Myrtle Beach Pro Debut

This past weekend, my Mother and I drove down to Myrtle Beach to race in the USAT elite race series finale. It would be my first race as a pro, as well as my first ITU style race. While things did not go exactly as I had hoped, I came away from the race with so much information and motivation to get after it this coming winter.
The day before the race, I was able to join fellow Collegiate Recruits Jason Pederson and Natalie Kirchoff in swimming/biking the course. We also met Andy Schmitz who is the director of the high performance at USAT. It was awesome to share my first pro race with these two other recruits as we could help keep each other in check mentally. I got a flat while riding the course, but otherwise the preview went smoothly. The water was an interesting coca- cola color, and was so dark, the visibility was under 5 inches. After previewing the course, I was able to kick back, relax, and watch Kona on the computer as I waited for the Pro race briefing.

At the pro meeting, it was easy to get intimidated, as multiple Olympians and members of other country's' national teams filed into the hotel conference room. Hunter Kemper sat next to me, and it was a huge honor to be able to introduce myself to him, and talk to him about his many accomplishments (such as being 3x Olympian!) The meeting was actually pretty funny, as the pro triathletes held no reservations about voicing their opinions on the course, the timing of the event, etc. It was a very different experience from an age group race meeting!

The morning of the race went pretty normal for me, woke up 3 hours prior to the race, jogged 10 minutes around a golf course next to my hotel, ate, and left for the race site. Being new at this, the only only male racer at the course at 7:30 am was Jason, so we were able to hang out and warm up together for the race as we watched the women's race. It was extremely exciting as Gwen Jorgensen, another member of the USAT Collegiate Recruitment Program won the race, and the overall series title!


video

When we finally got in line to be introduced for the race, the butterflies that were in my stomach had turned into elephants that were romping around in there! It definitely gave a new name to pre race jitters. The swim start of a dive went pretty well considering you plunged into darkness and had 35 men racing for the first buoy, 170 meters away. I go out pretty well, and settled into a group chasing the leaders. At the first buoy, I was trampled a little, and my wrist was kicked a lot (my wrist was likely broken before in the scaphold bone), so this did not help that situation. After one loop of the swim, I was in a group of three guys, not too far away from Kaleb VanOrt, who I knew was a runner that had frequently bridged gaps after the swim. I figured if I could stay there, I'd put myself in contention to be top 20 and possibly top 10. the second loop was a little more shaky, as I got a few more swift kicks to the wrist, but I exited the water in 20:40- a little slower than I should have been- but I honestly attribute part of this to my wrist having a fracture.

video

I hopped on the bike and started chasing like mad, but once I hit the first turn around, I was completely solo into the wind. I biked about 2 loops completely solo, then was caught by Jason and Rusty Pruden, but I fell off them at a turn around, when I accidentally put my inside leg down, clipped my pedal on the ground, and when I knew it, my group had dropped me! This was essentially the end of my race, as I biked hard for the next 4 loops, but was eventually caught by the leaders and forced to stop. This obviously was not what I was looking for, but I know I need to actually get a good base of cycling and swimming in. Last winter, I did a lot of running, but only biked or swam once a week. I know this winter of base will allow me to accomplish so much more during the upcoming triathlon season. I am taking two weeks of very easy workouts and days off. I have only taken 4 days off between last January and today, so I think my body needs some rejuvenation.

During this time, I am also rapidly looking for sponsors whom I can help by advertising, but they could also help me with equipment, funding, etc. I am acting as my own agent in this process, and it is difficult, but I am excited at some of the prospects I have already had. Trigger Point therapy has helped me out tremendously, as well as Brick's Multisport, and Middletown Bike Line. I hope to continue to work with these sponsors as well as growing that list. If any companies are reading this blog, and thinking, "Hey I'd love to sponsor this athlete!" Please send me an e mail to dfeeney@udel.edu, and I can furnish you with a resume, pictures, and anything else you may need.

"You are never a loser until you stop trying."
~Mike Ditka

This quote helps me persevere through this tough race, and get ready for a huge winter of training, to follow with a huge triathlon season. My goals for the upcoming season include winning collegiate nationals, qualifying for World University Games, winning a U23 national title, and racing in U23 world championships.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trigger Point Therapy Sponsorship

I want to give a big thank you to Trigger Point Performance Therapy for agreeing to be my sponsor during the 2012 season! This company provides one of the best methods to help stay injury free. I was first introduced to their products at the Olympic Training Center in July. They taught us how to use their products in a 45 minute session. Personally, I use the grid roller, and quad baller every day. The idea behind their products is that the material will slightly change shape after holding a position on them. This gets deep into the muscle to help be similar to a toothbrush for muscles, while going to a masseuse is like going to the dentist. When I wake up at 5:30 to get a swim in, I am often times very tight (and sometimes  a little grumpy). If I spend 5 minutes working on the grid, my body feels much more prepared to get a hard workout in. After workouts, especially bike/runs, the quad baller is a must for recovery. I am extremely excited to work with this foreword thinking company founded by Cassidy Phillips, an ironman himself. The website may be found at http://www.tptherapy.com/ where more information may be found as well as ordering products!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Nickel City EDR/Finally a pro!

So this weekends elite development- draft legal sprint race was cancelled, but Buffalo, NY hosted the Nickel City triathlon that would qualify the top three overall for Pro Licenses. This race was tough going in because of three crazy injuries that I accrued in the last week. After an XC meet last weekend, I hurt the tendon around one of my metatarsals that took me off my feet for two days. Then, while not running, I was hit by a car and possibly have a small break in my wrist. Thirdly, the day before the race, my knee started hurting every time I flexed it! I felt like the walking wounded, but tried to not even think about them because I knew when I started, the adrenaline would take over.

I was right for the most part. The swim was rough where I could feel my wrist's instability every other stroke, and that lack of power was exacerbated by the fact that I was swimming in no man's land. Dan Eckler and another 3 good swimmers had a big gap on me, then I was well ahead of the next group behind me. Ended up getting out of the water in 5th, about 2 minutes back.

The bike consisted of two loops, the first of which, I was just trying to warm up! Lake Erie is a cool lake with 67 degree water temps. After catching up to third place, I knew I was at least able to get my pro card if I could hold that position. Every bump in the road hurt the wrist, but that took my mind off my burning legs! I did not get my race split yet, but had 1:02:13 from my bike for 25 miles. Pretty solid split for some hills. Wanted to go faster, but can't complain.

The run went great. I knew there was only a 10k separating me from officially being a PRO. I took off hard to try and bridge up to the leaders (over 2 minutes ahead). While I put time into their lead, I never caught them despite a close to 32 minute run split. They had great races too!
video


After the race, I was able to talk with Barb Lindquist and watch the pro ITU races going on during the afternoon. I plan to race the Myrtle Beach ITU pan am cup October 9th as long as everything goes smoothly signing up through ITU entries. I learned a lot from watching the pros that day, and honestly cant wait to get a crack at draft legal racing!


The top three overall. All of us college athletes before turning to Triathlon. Big props to Barb Lindquist for her collegiate recruitment program!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Little molehills!

So this last week has been an interesting week for me. It all started on Saturday, September 16th with the University of Delaware XC meet. I do love running XC, so I was excited to have a chance to run a good race against some good competition from Ole Miss and George Mason. The 8k at UD is extremely hills, rocky, and this particular day it was very muddy and wet. Perfect XC conditions! The course is a big loop and a small loop each with a 250 meter hill at about 30% grade. It is ridiculous. This hill is honestly comparable to the incline in Colorado Springs, CO. The race went out slower than I thought at only 5:01 at the mile (the only flat ish part of the course). After the huge hill, I got into the lead pack of three guys. One kenyan from Ole Miss (8:40 steepler) and a Mason runner who was 30:45 for 10k last spring. I rolled with them until the second huge hill, where I got gapped. I mostly attribute this to the lack of hill training I've been doing. Finished the race in 6th overall in 26:10. For this course, that's perfect. At the same meet last year (when I was only training for XC) I ran 26:09. After the race, I noticed that my 4th metatarsal was hurting from a spike that has evolved through the plate. I did not think much of it during the cool down, but the next morning, when I woke up at 4:30 to get ready for a sprint tri to help out Brick's Multisport, I realized my foot was really hurting. I did not want to let Brick's down, but I had to scratch out of the race and let it heal.

By Monday, my foot was feeling much better, but I still only swim/biked this day to give it some more rest. On the bike ride, I was doing a pyramid based fartlek on a flat course. It was at this point, when a car turned into me and my bike. The car was not going too fast, and thankfully, I did not have too many damaged and my bike was OK. I did get road rash, and my wrist is swollen to this day (Wednesday). I do not think anything is broken, but a lot of muscles are sore around my body from the impact of the car. I am feeling better every day, and have huge plans for my race in Buffalo this weekend. My goal is to win the race, and qualify for my pro card. Once I get that, I will be able to race the ITU race in Myrtle Beach. This post is entitled as such because all these little problems can really get to somebody, but I refuse to let it bother me. Rather, after a long strain of not- so- great luck, I know I am due for a big performance and lots of good luck!

I am very excited to race this weekend, and glad I was able to recover from this accident quickly.


Crossing the line at Nation's Triathlon...First time ever finishing with an American flag, and it was on 9/11. This was a huge honor!

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Nation's Triathlon

On September 11th, 2011 I was fortunate enough to be able to safely race in the Capital of the United States. This race had more significance than other triathlons because of the dedication to the troops, first responders, and everybody that was affected by this day ten years prior.

The race itself was bittersweet as I had the best bike/run combo I've ever had, but was penalized for drafting after the fact. The race started with no swim due to the monsoon that had passed through the mid atlantic area the previous week. The start of the race became a TT style start with 15 athletes starting every 15 seconds running through transition, hopping on their bike and going. While this led to a lot of congestion on the bike course, (the entire elite field was in a peloton save one guy who had a phenomenal solo TT) the course was still blazing fast. I did my best to not be drafting by trying to split up the field at the front, staying to the side or back, but there were a solid 30 riders together and we all were certainly closer than 3 bike lengths. Bike splits: 57:34 (25.8mph!)

After dismounting the bike, I was able to run through the now very muddy transition area, and start the run. I like to get out hard in runs, and this was no exception. I grabbed the overall lead by the 0.5 mile mark and tried to maintain high cadence and I passed. Slightly before 2 miles, somebody told me I had 15 seconds on second. I made sure to not look back but tried to slowly push down on the gas and by 5k (where there was a chip sensor) I listened for the sound of a runner crossing behind me, but I did not hear one. I still tried to maintain my cadence and form as I had bad memories of age group nationals, so I really wanted a good run split today. With about 400 meters to go, I was handed an American Flag which I was able to hold over my head to finish. This was a huge honor- and something I have always envied of the Olympic athletes you see on tv, etc. Upon finishing, my Mom thought I had run 5:15's, which I would have been happy with. The official results had my splits at 32:09 (5:11s) which is great! Also my Aunt, Uncle, and Grandpop were able to make it there to see me race and win, which was another great part of the day.

Obviously I was upset after losing the winning title, but with two great splits and a great day I couldn't worry about it too much. A mantra that I've had in my head for the race and past few weeks of training comes from Ghandi and is simply, "an indomitable will." I think that quote represents what it is to be a triathlete in the best sense. This sport, as Macca said, is not for wimps, and small circumstances can not get into your mental psyche. After this race, I was more motivated than ever to get back to training and racing Buffalo, and (hopefully) Myrtle Beach pro ITU race September 24th and October 9th respectively.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Great Training Block

So after a tough race at Age group nationals, I had two options. The first was to get out and train harder, the second, which was never even an option, was to feel sorry for myself and give in. The week after AG nationals, I logged my highest volume week while still maintaining intensity.  I was able to hit 150 miles on the bike, 65 on the run, and 15k in the pool. This included a set of 3*2 mile cut down reps the Wednesday after the race with the last two 10:13 and 9:59. I also was able to get a few good TT efforts in on the bike including one 8 mile TT avg 25.4 mph after a 15 mile ride, run, and subsequent run and ride home after. I'm really excited at how my cycling is coming along.

The other aspect I can't overlook is the resurgence of training partners! My running buddy, Andy Weaver, started his build up for a half marathon in September, so working out with him has made it so much easier to push the pace, go longer, and have good workouts. While doing workouts solo is mentally a good thing, sometimes the addition of a partner can bring you to bigger and better levels.



That's it for now, back to training with an easier week for The Nation's Tri on Sunday, September 11th. I'm hoping the monsoon that has enveloped the east coast will stop soon- or at the very least keep the swim at Nation's Tri still on!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Age Group Nationals 2011


Transition 2


So here is my race report from AG nationals in Burlington, VT September 20, 2011. This race wasn't exactly what I was looking for, but after a few days, I saw a lot of positives from the race. The run was really the only problem because I bonked on it, if it wasn't for that, I would have made the overall podium and fulfilled that goal.

First, I traveled with my Mom and girlfriend via car to Burlington. Got there the Thursday before the race, and Friday was my 21st birthday! On Friday, met with some of the crew from the collegiate recruitment camp and swam, biked, and ran on the course. Also sight saw the Ben n Jerry's factory which was delicious! To the race:

Pre race: Woke up at 5:20 (sleeping in for a tri!) and jogged for 10 minutes, ate my usual breakfast, showered and off to the race. Set up my transition area, and relaxed for awhile as my wave started second to last in the whole race. I knew this would mean I'd have to pass people during the whole race, and not have a great idea of where I was relative to my competitors.  Warmed up with surgical tubing.

Swim:
The swim split was 20:02 which put me about 6th out of the water in my age group, only 45 seconds behind the leader. This was a really choppy and physical swim as we started out behind so many waves that we had to swim over to of them. Everybody on the swmi course got off course at one point. It was bad enough that everybody was treading water at one point looking for the next bouy. Exited the water in front of most of the contenders for the race. Got into and out and T1 pretty well with wetsuit coming off pretty well and rubber bands on the shoes.

Bike: 
This was a phenominal bike ride for me! Got out of T1 and immediately passed Dan T from camp. I figured that meant two things. First, I had a good enough swim to be that close, and two, I was moving on the bike pretty well. The beginning of the bike was very uphill, so I stayed mostly on the horns and in a lower cadence. Was battling back and fourth with another guy in my age group when I saw the eventual winner, Kashar, come by up the hill on I189. I tried to hang with him for a little, but the course got so congested at parts that I eventually lost sight, and he was flying. Only finished about half of my water bottle during the ride, which probably led to the problems on the run. At one point, there was a course marshall actually blocking me as I wanted to pass some of the people in front of me. That was not fun, and I was a little worried I'd get called for drafting. Once I hit the turn around on Dorset, I stayed in the aero bars the whole way in. I did get out of one shoe too soon as I misjudged the transition area, but sprinted with feet on top of the pedals to the dismount. 

Run: 
The actual run was disasterous. 36:10 for a 10k. Felt ok off the bike, but that huge hill really made me work. Felt fine once I crested it and I immediately started passing people in droves. Got a huge side stitch around mile 2 that I tried to forget about. Once I started downhill, the side stitch really was hurting, and then my stomach started hurting all over. At this point, any water I tried to take in just made me feel worse. I had to REALLY mentally focus on just finishing. I do not know if I have ever hurt that much physically and mentally. I was dry heaving, and actually had what I think were tears coming out of my eyes. Weird stuff. i put any effort I had into the last 100 meters, and thought I may actually collapse after. This was completely my error by not consuming enough carbs/sugar on the bike leg. With such an improvement on the bike leg, I was just not ready and prepared to run my best off it.

Post race: 
After the race, I was initially dissapointed, but then I thought about a few things. First, if I had run 32:30 (what I normally would run), I would have been 6th overall and beaten a lot of guys just by moving up by only a minute. I am not a 5:51/mile runner, so this was not an indication of my ability, but rather my best effort on the day. Second, I have only been training since late May for triathlon, and I am already able to stay with most swimmers (off relatively little swim work compared to future winter plans), I just biked 24.2 mph for a 40k (which is a 2 mph improvement over Philly less than 2 months ago!) and I already know I can run with anybody in the country at the end of the race, barring today. Overall, this was a positive experience, but I do wish my run could have been on.


nearing the end of the bike


The Bricks Squad and myself (left)


Sunday, August 7, 2011

2011 Mid Atlantic Sprint Regional Championship

On August 7th, I competed in the 2011 Steeleman triathlon sprint division that was serving as the MA region sprint championships. I came out with the overall win by 5:31, so it was not as close of a race as I would have liked. The race did simulate the course in Vermont for AG nationals, so that was a very positive result. Also, it was my first wetsuit swim ever, so that was good experience. Here is my race report:

Pre race: Woke up at 4:30 to do a short 10 minute shakeout run. Found it was pouring rain outside, o well. After my run, I had standard banana, bagel with peanutbutter, and coffee for breakfast before heading to the race site. There, I warmed up another 2 miles on the run, about a mile of biking because there was no good place to go, but I did practice the tough hill 200 meters out of transition and decided on climbing it in the small ring. After that, I waited around for my wave to start.

Swim: 10:16 for 860 yds (fastest by :58) Unfortunately, the sprint race started a little late, and I was in the 4th sprint wave, so I had to make my way through throngs of people, but again, good practice for AG nationals where my age group starts later. Wetsuit swim went great, I got out really hard and by the first bouy (100 meters in) I was in front. There was a group of swimmers from Liberty University that I thought were going to get out after it, but they did not get going. I exited the water, and began the wetsuit removal.

T1: No official time yet, but wetsuit came out pretty well. This was the part of the race I was most nervous for, but everything worked out well. Rubber bands on the shoes worked perfectly and saved a lot of time with them.

Bike: (39:06 for 15.5, fastest by 1:20) New Trek Speed Concept 9.8 is simply incredible! Only problem was, the sensor did not pick up my speed, so I rode the bike with only cadence and perceived effort to rely on. Ended up being a pretty hilly ride with no flat sections. I rode the uphills (my stronger suit) well, and again was passing droves of people as the Olympic and Sprint courses converged on each other. The downhill into T2 was technical with a 90 degree turn at the bottom, but I navigated it pretty well. Was probably a bit conservative on this since it was rainy in the morning.

T2: Again, no time, but everything went according to plan in T2, got out hard on the run.

Run: (16:42 for 5k+ fastest by 2:00). Plan for the run was to get out harder on the uphill out, and let the downhill back carry me home. Felt like I had the race in the bag at this point, so I did not kill myself to put crap in my legs for the next few days. Had plenty left in the tank for a 10k. Good overall race, would have liked more head to head racing as I was 8:00 in front of the next person in my wave, but great simulation for Vermont, and nice race.

Overall 1:08:09 for 860 yd swim, 15.5 bike, slightly longer than 5k run. (First by 5:31)

Time to rest up, hit the next week of training, and then rest up for nationals. I have a fun team XC race in Tuesday night with two former UD runners and a current ST. Joes runner. 4 man team race in West Chester. It's always fun for me to get into a purely running race.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Rest of the Summer

I have finalized my races for the rest of this 2011 season. I am doing the Mid Atlantic Regional Sprint Championship, Sunday August 7th at Noxamixon State Park, PA. After that, US Age Group nationals will be August 20th (day after my 21st birthday), then the Nation's Tri September 11th in Washington, DC. After that will be two draft legal races, September 25th in Buffalo, NY, and October 9th in Myrtle Beach, SC. I am excited that I will be able to do a mixture of draft legal racing and non drafting racing to hone my bike skills.
This first week after Colorado Springs has been a hot and humid adjustment in Delaware, but I've still managed to get a good week of training in. I have done a track workout, a bike/run brick, a swim/bike brick, and a hill workout. There will still be a long run, and long bike this weekend with some swimming both days. Endurance Films will be announcing their elite racing team next Tuesday, August 2nd, and I have applied and am a finalist for this team. I hope I will be able to align myself with such a great company!
The last bit of exciting news I have is that USATriathlon has helped me find a good draft legal bike to rent until I get an official bike sponsor! They have provided me the frame of a Blue RC4 bike, and I will be switching all the components from my current road bike (much too big on me) to make this one my race bike in Buffalo and Myrtle Beach. I will also get my first TT bike ever, courtesy of Bike Line Middletown, a Trek Speed Concept 9.5 I am excited to see what I can do on a truly fitted time trial bike. It looks like quite the machine, and I can't wait to try it out.



Speed Concept 9.8


Blue RC4





Thursday, July 21, 2011

OTC Collegiate Recruitment Camp



Barb Lindquist, head of the usat collegiate recruitment program, incited myself and 12 other collegiate swimmer/runners from across the country for a week long camp of triathlon training, skills, and learning. I'm posting this on Thursday of the week, and training has really begun to kick up! Our mileage figures have not been that high, but everything has been done with intensity and it has been a great learning experience! This morning, we went to the cappy crit course (a 1km loop course with several s turns, and a good mix of hills). There, after a warm up, we went into 3 sets of 5km bike (draft legal), 2km tough run. This was a really hard workout done near race intensity. My runs were right around 5:08-5:10 pace, and the bikes were all above 23.5 mph. Following this workout, we had lunch, then off to Colorado Country Club to do some open water swimming practice. Unfornately, thunder/lightning got the best of us and we had to resume open water practice at the pool at otc with 4 bouys and no lane lines. This swim lasted about an hour, and included some turn work, fartlek swimming, and diving into beginning of race work. Everybody is pretty spent this afternoon, and it appears we have some time off before dinner and a guest speaker.

Here is a final schedule for the week. Good training+meeting other driven triathletes=success.









Time/Day Sat 7/16 Sun 7/17 Mon 7/18 Tue 7/19 Wed 7/20 Thu 7/21 Fri 7/22 Sat 7/23
6:30 a.m. Swim
7:00 a.m. Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast Breakfast
7:30 a.m. Breakfast Breakfast
8:00 a.m. Run Technique w/Bobby McGee   Group Ride or Coaches Lecture w/Scott
8:30 a.m. Bike Skills Assessment + Transition Skills at Prospect Park Bike w/Neal- 2hrs lecture, 2 hrs skills @ Prospect Park Bike w/Neal- Crit Course Bike/Run Brick at Crit Course
9:00 a.m. Swim/Bike Brick at Pool
9:30 a.m.
10:00 a.m. Start RETUL fits
10:30 a.m.
11:00 a.m.
11:30 a.m. Lunch   Lunch Lunch Bike Maintenance over Lunch Lunch
12:00 p.m. Lunch Lunch
12:30 p.m. Video w/Dr.G (second half of group) Open Water @Country Club (12:30) or LCM 1-2:30
1:00 p.m. Mental Skills w/Bobby Swim Technique w/Barb Swim Technique w/Susan Trail Run at Woodman Trail
1:30 p.m.
2:00 p.m. Bike check 2-6 Dr. G Lecture 2-4pm 1:1 w/Bobby, 1:1 w/Barb, or TP Therapy Demo Run w/Barb- bounds, 100's
2:30 p.m.
3:00 p.m. Video w/Dr.G (first half of group) Group Ride w/Neal to Garden of the Gods Strengthwork
3:30 p.m. B/R Transition Skills Practice Bike Packing Party
4:00 p.m. Surgical Tubing  
4:30 p.m.
5:00 p.m. Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner Dinner
5:30 p.m.
6:00 p.m. Intro Talk + Icebreakers Free night or  1:1's w/Barb Dinner USADA Katie Talk on ITU Free Night! Wrap Up Survey + End Talk
6:30 p.m. Watch Bobby's Run Video
7:00 p.m. Susan Pep Talk
7:30 p.m.









Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Getting Started

I am pretty new to this whole website idea, but many aspiring professional athletes have a website, so I wanted to start one. My background in the sport of triathlon started when i was four years old as a young swimmer. I kept swimming year round until my junior year of high school. I had earned three all state swimming accolades with pr's of 4:16 400 IM, 4:52 500 free, 1:59 200 back, 2:11 200 breaststroke. I started running cross country my junior year in high school, and fell in love with it. In 2009, I accepted a scholarship to run for the University of Delaware. During two years at UD, I lowered PR's to 14:48 5k, 9:18 steeple, 25:01 for 8k XC, and 31:51 for a 10k XC.  Sadly, during my sophomore year, the University dropped the men's running programs. At this point in my life, I was faced with a huge decision; either transfer to keep running, or pursue the idea that has always been in the back of my head (turning pro in triathlon). I chose triathlon, and have not looked back.

Since my decision, I have been invited to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs in July with the USAT collegiate recruitment program headed by 2004 Olympian, Barb Lindquist. In the beginning of the summer, I won my first triathlon, the 2011 lavaman sprint triathlon in Lavalette, NJ. Up next was PhillyTri, a huge international distance race. I placed 10th in the elite amateur division without a time trial bike.  After this last race, I have ramped up my training during the month of July (with the help of the camp in Colorado), and also purchased, with the partnership of Middletown Bike Line, a Trek speed concept 9.5. Also, XTERRA wetsuits have given me a pro deal for a velocity x2 wetsuit.
The rest of the summer racing will be:
The mid atlantic sprint championship in Quakertown, PA on August 7th.
Age group nationals, Burlington, VT August 20th (day after my birthday)
Elite Development race in Buffalo, NY September 25th.
Elite Development race in Myrtle Beach, SC October 9th.

I will try my best to update this site with training, racing, and sponsor information!