Thailand Top Ten

Posted on May 29, 2011 in Training Updates

As my time in Thailand draws to a conclusion, I am starting to get nostalgic about my time here and what I will miss most. Of course we all grumble about the things we don’t like namely the rain along with what and who we miss at home. But deep down I think everyone has some Love for Krabi. Here are the top ten things I am going to miss: 10. No driving! At home, I spent so much time driving here and there to the pool to the track to the store, etc. But here in Krabi, it is nice not to spend so much time sitting in traffic and to do all my commuting by bike. 9. Thai food. While I must admit, I am starting to get a bit tired of Thai food. It has been amazing and when I get home the Thai restaurants will be a pale comparison to what we have here. 8. No housework. Unlike at home where there is always a list of chores to be done, here I don’t have to cook or clean unless I want to for myself. It is nice not to have a list of things I should be instead of resting. 7. The one movie channel. Without any choice in TV, it makes it easy to decide what to watch every night. If I don’t like the one movie option, I just head to bed sooner or read. Instead wasting time with hundreds of stupid TV options I only have one so it is much simpler. 6. Thai massage. For $8 us dollars, you can get an amazing massage here. At home, I pay seven or eight times that for a great massage. 5. Free time. At home, it seems like I am always rung around from one thing to the next without any time to just sit back and relax. But here I manage to get in a god rest between sessions and feel like I am able to make the most of every workout. 4. The Big C. Where else can you eat at KFC, clothes shop, get a donut from Donut Time, and do all your grocery buying. Plus it provides a needed outing when the going gets tough. 3. The Tawantai Hotel! May and the rest of the hotel staff have been so nice and helpful dealing with us and our bikes and smelly shoes. And they have all gone out of their way to make our stay as easy as possible. Plus, living in a hotel has its advantages with laundry and cooking done for us. 2. The Thai people. Everyone here has been so nice and welcoming. Wherever i have gone, the people in Thailand have been so friendly. Even the cars on the road don’t seem to want to run us over as much as they do at...

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First Endurance HP Optygen: My Case Study

Posted on Mar 22, 2011 in Training Tests, Training Updates

As the triathlon season gets into full swing with training and soon to be racing.  I started taking First Endurance HP Optygen daily in early February.  I wanted to wait six weeks before reporting on the results.  Over the past six weeks, I have been duly impressed with how my body has responded as i have increased my training stress and i think that has a lot to do with First Endurance HP Optygen. After a hectic holiday season, I didn’t rush into training this year but rather used january to just build my fitness and consistency.  When I started to get the 2011 season training underway in February, I started using First Endurance HP Optygen.  As started to increase volume and intensity, my body broke down but definitely not in the way it did last year.  Last year, I became very overtrained and struggled to stay healthy.  But for once, I didn’t catch that inevitable winter cold or flu bug but remained relatively healthy.  In addition to this, I had consistent training without facing the usual tiredness and soreness that plagued me at least once a week last year.  At the end of February, I headed out to Krabi Thailand for a Team TBB camp stocked up with plenty of First Endurance HP Optygen and multivitamin.  Unlike last year where I caught something on just about every trip, I managed the 30 hour journey without catching a bug.  Then, I jumped straight into intense training over the last three weeks.  With the help of First Endurance HP Optygen, I have responded very well to the training load and been feeling great despite the demands I have put on my body.  The recovery from training definitely seems faster, and during back-to-back hard sessions and training days my body has been durable and resilient.  In years past, I have been inconsistent with my nutrition and wanted to make a change.  With the help of First Endurance, I have finally started to take my training, racing, and daily nutrition to a higher level.  While I don’t think that First Endurance HP Optygen is the only reason that my training has been progressing so well, I do think it has definitely been an asset.  As a pro, it may give me that extra 2 % that i need to win a race instead of finishing 5th.  In addition, with professional drug testing, I need to be sure any vitamins and supplements are tested and don’t contain any banned substances.  With a company like First Endurance, I don’t have any concerns and trust in all their products.    In the scheme of my training program, the easiest workout is taking that First Endurance HP Optygen with my First Endurance multivitamin.  Make it one of your goals this year to take your nutrition more seriously.  For that, I don’t think you need to look...

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Dealing in Krabi

Posted on Mar 19, 2011 in Ramblings, Training Updates

 Thailand has been an eye-opening experience for me so far. Besides experiencing a new culture, I am embarking on a new adventure in my triathlon career with this opportunity to train as a part of Team TBB. As the training heats up, literally and figuratively, I know it will be great to have such an amazing team of athletes to learn from and try to chase down. With a little over one week in the books, I am already starting to feel fitter and stronger physically and mentally am finally enjoying the sport again for the first time in a long time. There few times in life where I have really had to look in the mirror and deal with my own crap. Here in Thailand I not only literally have to face it some of the non-flushing you flood it down yourself toilets but also face head-on the other issues that have held me back in triathlon and life. Instead of dithering about in a tizzy of stress and sweating all the small stuff, I am endeavoring to follow orders, turn off my head, and stop constantly second guessing myself. Maybe Nike has it right: Just do it. Their slogan isn’t try to do it or think about doing it or research the ways you could do it. It is simple, direct, and right on the...

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"Open" to new lessons

Posted on Jan 7, 2010 in Ramblings, Training Updates

Like Julie Dibens, a friend and fellow pro triathlete, I too have been reading Andre Agassi’s book “Open”. Julie has a great blog discussing her reflections on the book and how it applies to triathlon. I read her post and was not only struck by her insights but also by the fact that we had completely different portions of the book that resonated in our minds. While Julie was struck by Agassiz’s “last ten minutes before you fall asleep”, there were different lessons in perservence and perfection that I extracted from the book. (click here for her blog it‘s definitely a worthwhile read) I must admit that I am mostly a fair-weather tennis fan just tuning in for the big tournaments, but this book gave me more appreciation for Agassi and the game. In addition, the life lessons that Agassi articulates so eloquently are applicable to triathlon and everyday life. For me, Agassi had several life experiences that struck me as an athlete, but perhaps his resilience was the most inspiring. Despite facing numerous setbacks through his career, he kept on overcoming challenges that would have stopped many lesser athletes. Agassi continued to keep playing and improving over a long career. Remarkably for a tennis player, some of his best performances were later in his professional life when he should have been past his prime. In addition, as he matured, Agassi seemed to relish the wins more as he appreciated all the hard work and perseverance that were required to get there. As a triathlete, anytime an athlete can overcome injuries, personal difficulties, and burnout, to achieve success, it is very inspiring. I hope that I can continue to triumph over my challenges half as well as Agassi. Likewise, another key insight for me came from one of Agassi’s coaches, Brad Gilbert. Brad stressed to Agassi that he didn’t need to aim for perfection with every shot. He merely needed to beat the man across the net and force the other athlete to feel the pressure and make mistakes. I think many athletes fall into the trap of trying to achieve perfection all the time every day. Unfortunately, this is never possible in training or in racing. Most days, you just need to go out there and give it your best. Setting unattainable standards, only sets an athlete up for failure and disappointment. For me, the most satisfying training days or races have been not when I was perfect but when I succeeded despite one issue or another. The real trick is to stay positive mentally despite the ups and downs that are inevitable in sport and life. Finally, the last lesson from the book was that Agassi trained and performed best when he was happiest and his life was going smoothly. While some of this can’t be controlled, I hope that I can keep a positive and happy...

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State of Professionalism in Triathlon

Posted on Dec 11, 2009 in Rants, Training Updates

Original article on xtri There is an epidemic among the professional triathlete ranks, and I fear it is spreading. From blogs to race reports to twitter feeds, my compatriots are lamenting the difficulty of their life as if they have a tortuous job working on a chain gang. This constant hum of ‘woe is me’ self-pity is starting to worry me. I am not immune and have on occasion blamed others or circumstances for my own shortcomings. However, I have been lucky to have coaches who have taught me the importance of taking personal responsibility. When I started triathlon, I worked with Siri Lindley and more recently have been coached by Simon Lessing. Both have taught me an invaluable lesson for all athletes namely taking control of one’s own destiny and accepting responsibility. In 2006, I started training for triathlon and was fortunate to learn some important lessons in self-reliance early in my career. First, in one of my early races, another competitor clobbered me in the swim and tore off my goggles. At the finish line, I was complaining that this happened and it ruined my race…..insert dramatic music here… but my coach just looked at me and said that is racing suck it up and deal with it. In another instance, also during my first year as a triathlete, I learned the athlete’s responsibility to know the race course. As a compulsive first year pro, I drove every bike course the day before the race. I am embarrassed to admit that as a rookie I also tried to memorize all the street names at every key intersection. As a result, except the leader who had a vehicle escort to follow, I was the one of the only athletes to take the correct turn on the course. Since I had driven the course the day before the race, I didn’t even glance at the traffic cops stationed along the course to direct traffic. Apparently, the cops were sending the athletes on the wrong way on the course. Although I am no longer as compulsive, I still believe it is the athlete’s responsibility to know the course. You can’t depend on volunteers or anyone else out there to tell you where to go. It is not their job to know the course it‘s our responsibility. In the last two years, I have continued to benefit from my early lessons and received additional insights into the importance of taking responsibility. For example, more recently in 2008 a few weeks before the Olympic trials, I was in a bad bike crash in a world cup race New Zealand. During the drafting bike leg, one Austrian athlete, hit the front wheel of another Austrian competitor while we were in a high speed decent causing her to go down hard. I was in the wrong place in the pack and was taken out...

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2009 Season: The Good, The Bad, & The Ugly

Posted on Aug 28, 2009 in Race Reports, Training Updates

I am finally coming through with a much overdue update from the 2009 season. After a rough some might say ugly start to the season, I switched coaches and started working with Simon Lessing and Darren DeReuck. While one high profile athlete may have opted out of their program, it seems to be a good fit for me. On the racing side of things, the highlights so far would be my wins at the Pan American Championships, Escape from Alcatraz, and Boulder Peak. The lowlights being a tough day at Oceanside and a flat disc wheel for the last 13 miles at the NYC triathlon. On the ITU circuit, I have had a good season finishing inside the top 15 in most of my world series and world cup races(one lonely 17th place). This sesason has flown by so far, but there are still some key races coming up on my schedule. Upcoming races include the ITU world championships on the Gold Coast of Australia, LA triathlon, Dallas US Open triathlon, and Clearwater 70.3 World Champs. I am hoping to fit in another half ironman somewhere to either whet my appetite or adequately scare me for Clearwater. Outside of all the racing, I have been busy moving and trying to fit in all my housing projects around training. Despite my desparate pleas to the HOA board and jumping through all their little hoops, I am still not allowed to put in the laminate floors I ordered. I guess I’ll be stuck with carpet if it ever comes in, but meanwhile I am warming up to the cement subfloor I have been living on the last month. Cement is the new hardwood right? On a side note, I moved just a mile away from my favorite training partners. So that I can keep an eye on them at all times- make sure they aren’t squeezing in any secret training on the side. I was planning to blog more often this year, but life got in the way. Starting now…(I am sure you’ve heard this before) I am going to do a better job of updating my...

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