XP Multisport

Uniquely Normal

How do you define normal? Is normal something it’s good to be?  Of course not—we are all unique, all different, and each have our own special abilities and strengths.  However, there are some times when each of us as unique individuals come together to do normal things. Where am I going with this?  Well, first off, it’s the first time in a while I’m not just writing a race report so that’s a good start!  But I’ve had some talks with some really good friends lately that have been helping me put a lot of things in perspective.  One of the things I was reminded of was a previous blog post I did where I realized that I can’t let my eating disorder define me.  I can’t let the eating disorder be an excuse for justifying my behaviors.  Like, “it’s ok that I’m skipping swim practice to workout on my own—it’s because I have an eating disorder” or, “I’m going to eat dinner on my own instead of with friends because my eating disorder is making me do it, so its fine.”  No, it’s not fine.

Many of you know I basically follow a paleo diet (for me that’s no grains or legumes) and I work closely with my nutritionist to monitor this.  But something that was brought to my attention lately was—is it a good idea for someone trying to beat their eating disorder to be following a restrictive diet?  While I truly enjoy eating paleo and can’t really think of anything I would change, I thought this was a very good point.  It’s preventing me from going out with friends for dinner or other social situations… and maybe I’m just using it as a way to hide my eating disorder behind another diet/lifestyle. So as these conversations occurred I decided I should talk to my nutritionist about it.

Her response: HELL YEAH you need to go out and live life and enjoy time with friends and eat WHATEVER you want in those situations!  That’s normal!  And I also need to eat more!

Basically, she and I talked and while she is a proponent of paleo, as am I, she wants me to have those “cheats”, to not worry and go out with friends , and to just do some “normal” things.  She amended my meal plan to include at least one BIG cheat a week (or I should say “normal” meal).  For as hard as I train and for as strict as I eat the rest of the time, this cheat is mandatory (I’ll be honest, just writing this has my mind telling me “you’re going to get fat because your writing this”, but I’m ignoring it!)  But my other biggest fear hasn’t been “this isn’t paleo” but more “eating this will make me fat”, but I’ve got to get over it.

I also had a great conversation with my friend Jess and she said some things that really moved me and pushed me:

So did I do it? Hell f-ing yes.  I had a burger. At a restaurant.  No turkey burger, no lean buffalo burger; a real burger.  With cheese.  And avocado.  And sweet potato fries!  Do you know the last time I had a burger at a restaurant (a real one)?  I do.  9th grade.  My friend Anna’s birthday, and it was at Glory Days Grill and had 3 cheese and was delicious.  Then I became entrenched in my eating disorder and hadn’t had one since.  Well I did it.  And I’m not dead.  Here’s the burger I got from Square 1 Burgers here in Tampa!

And you know what?  I put in some serious mileage and training over Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and I actually left this meal still starving!  Haha, I’m going to need a bigger burger next time… or maybe a pizza?

I’m looking forward to embracing life even more now!  I’m finally starting to make a good group of friends here in Tampa who I get to train with and I also got to hang out with them all on Friday night at Meghann’s place.  Living life less restricted but still being me is what life is about.  I’m never going to be 25 and single again! (Although, I’ll gladly change that “single” part lol)

So besides that, I’m redistributing my meals throughout the day, SERIOUSLY focusing on pre and  post workout nutrition, and overall sleep!  Training has also been really solid as well—Rock the W!

  1. What’s the best burger you’ve ever had?
  2. How do you feel about just letting yourself live and simply not stressing over useless things?

2012 Long Course Duathlon Nationals Race Reports

Another weekend, another race! The last of 3 weeks in a row--which is good because my body could some weeks of solid training to get me stronger for the next racing block.

This weekend I was in Cambridge, Maryland for the Long course Duathlon National Champions.  This was a 10k run, 70k bike, and another 10k run.  Thursday night I went over to my coaches place and we broke down my bike and put it in my new bike box.

This way, instead of paying for a bike shipping service, I can now travel a lot more and pay $50 (thanks JetBlue) to fly it for me!  Not too bad a deal.  The next morning, I boarded a crack of dawn flight and flew to my parents house in DC.  From there, we drove together to race site on Saturday, which was about 2 hours away, where we checked in and spent the night in a nearby hotel.

The race started at 7:00 on Sunday morning and we got there with plenty of time. I met up with my boy Ben, who I used to train with in Virginia Beach.  He’s still a beast and it’s a shame he had to pull out after one lap of the bike with because of a foot injury he’s been dealing with.

I was nervous about the first run, as in training, I don’t like cold (without a serious warm... or bike workout beforehand).  Luckily, when the horn sounded, this wasn’t an issue as my warm up and fueling were adequate. I felt pretty fresh being the only Wattie Ink racer there as well with definitely one of the best kits.  I’ve been using one of our sponsor products as well, Xtreme Endurance which has been helping recover quicker from workouts which I’e definitely needed with the current demands in my life.

The run was an out and back and the the bike was 2 loops of an out and back.  Both courses were with the wind going out and against it coming back but flat.

The first run I used my Garmin and, per coaches plan, kept the pace balanced and no faster than a 6:26 average pace (40 mins)- a sub 40 min 10k is still fast! But I wasn’t killing myself, but still working hard.  There was some serious speed at this race though and some of the competition was fierce.  My split was a 39:53.

The bike is where the wind became killer.

Everyone was mentioning it post-race.  Going out, I was averaging 22-23 mph or faster, but coming back it was close to 19-20... and I pushing hard to maintain that!  I didn’t get much passing done here so knew I would have some work to do on the run.  My only complaint is that turnaround was at and aid station, and therefore I didn’t really know if it were an aid station or the turnaround as well...and the guys there didn’t feel like saying anything.  I had to yell and them and they  were like, uh, oh yeah, its a turnaround.. There was no one near me at the time so there was no one else for me to follow to know and no signs.

Coming off the bike, the first .5k were directly into a headwind before I made a turn. This  was not the best way to feel starting a run, ha.  But luckily the course turned and then there wasn’t much wind till the turnaround. where I would running back into a slight  headwind. I could see a couple people in my age group 2 or 3 kilometers ahead of me and made my goal to beat them (well, duh right?) My Garmin somehow didn’t start, but I didn’t know this because I had it on a blank screen. The plan for this second run was just to ball out.  I ran this pretty hard too.

At 4k I could see another guy in my age group, who I knew I should be beating, going the other way at 6k, and I wasn’t sure if I could get him.  I kicked even harder at about 7k and was really pushing. At 9k I could that guy in front of me... then he started to intermittently walk and I was like “game on”, and started to seriously grind.  I passed with about half a Kilometer to go and heard him try to keep up for a couple paces and then he fell off.  My final split for the 2nd run was 39:52, according to the race results.  I felt faster than that though, but to run a sub-40 min off that grinding bike, I’m pleased enough.  It was the 15th fastest overall for run 2. I’ll take it, but room to improve for sure.

Overall I finished 45th and 5th in my age group.  Thus, I’ve qualified for Worlds in Switzerland in September! Am I going? Probably definitely not, lol.  The race itself is a 10k run, 150k bike, and a 30k run.  I don’t have enough time to be in seriously competitive shape for that distance.  Not to mention all the logistics of getting there.  And oh yeah, remember the hills I talked about in the Worlds Triathlon race in Las Vegas last year?  Apparently Switzerland makes those look tame.  No thanks.

Post race I made my parents stop a small beach nearby so I could jump in the Chesapeake Bay and cool my legs off.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t as cold as I had hoped, but still felt great.

After the drive home, I collapsed on my living room floor for a couple hours--not intentional, but I definitely knew I had left it all out there in Cambridge that morning.  My mom is awesome and made great pizza for dinner that night.  I usually eat strict paleo, but after races, and whenever I really want something (gotta live life, right?) I don’t worry about it for a meal here or there.  She makes great pizza.

Now comes a tough training block to get me ready for whatever race comes next.  Not sure what that is yet, but I know I have Age Group Nationals in August and probably local stuff before then!  We are rebuilding this year from the ground up, trying to establish greater speeds and power to allow me to get into the red zone like I haven’t been able to in previous years!

Thanks guys. Rock the W!

  1. What’s the farthest you would travel for a race? (any race)
  2. Did you do anything cool this weekend?

North Florida Olympic Triathlon

First true Olympic race in a while!  My last was the Nations Tri in DC, but the swim was cancelled, so that race became a Bike, Run—a theme for me and qualifying races, ha.

This past weekend, the XP Multisport Team and I went up to Madison, Florida (basically freaking Georgia) to do this race on Saturday.  It was about 3-4 hour drive, but the venue was nice and the town was countryyy—but those make for the best places to race—no cars!

The race began at 7:30 and the water was wetsuit legal—barely—by .01 degrees.  I opted to wear the wetsuit, and at 7:33, the age group men dove into the water.  This was my first opportunity to try and work on the swim work I’ve been in—anything better than previous races would be an improvement!  The swim was a simple enough “rectangle” and the water was perfect.  I also had a pair of new goggles that were amazing compared to my old ones!  They didn’t fog up at all and remained clear the entire race!  The swim went ok and I exited the water in a little over 32 minutes.  Not good, but improving.  I definitely pushed it more on this swim than I have in the past!

After a quick change it was on to the bike.  I was expecting a flatter course, but it was actually surprisingly hilly with some rollers, but nothing major by any means.  I really focused on pushing hard, knowing it was only a 40k and to work through the burn in my quads.  I realize this wasn’t my full potential though and will push even more next time.  It’s a race damnit!  Thinking back, though, I don’t recall being passed at any point..  Well one chick passed me after I passed her, but then I caught here and she never got close again.

My final time on the bike was a 1:09:00—which is possibly a PR for me, although I want to break 1:08 (and then 1:05, and then 1:00 haha).  That came out to an average of 21.5 miles per hour which I think is fairly solid.

The race director quoted the run, before the race, as being “fast and flat”.  He was a liar.  It was hilly.

I started the run in 11th and knew I had a little work to do as I didn’t catch the fastest riders on the bike, and certainly had ground to gain on the swim.  My coach had me racing this run portion very specifically—“run till it hurts. Then run harder.  And then run even harder.”  I also wasn’t allowed to look at my Garmin to know my pace at all.  I put it on the HR screen, which wasn’t working, and never thought about it again.  And then ran hard.

I caught all the people in front of me that I could see pretty quickly, and moved up to 6th by mile 4.  Unfortunately, the 6 ahead of me had a far enough lead that I couldn’t catch them, but only 2 of them ran faster than I did.  I definitely made this run hurt and finished the 10k in 39:09, resulting in a 6:18 min/mile pace.  I’m happy with this being that it was such a hilly course and I still broke 40 minutes easily.

My final finish time was 2:24:43.5.  6th OA, 1st Male 25-29

After the race we hung out for a while before getting our awards and heading back.  The XP Multisport racers took 2nd overall male, and 3rd overall woman which was awesome!  I was the only Wattie Ink Athlete at this race, as well, and took 6th overall in first in my age group.  Props to all the Watties from north Florida who were in Texas for the Ironman!  DRC Sports put on a fun event and after awards there was a push up contest… which I was obligated to participate in, of course.  I got second here, but my push ups were damnnnnn good, but I can’t say what the winner's looked like.

After the long drive back, it was good to have that feeling of being spent!  I was surprised on Sunday not being more sore in my legs as I was anticipating, however, my arms and back were feeling that swim!  I think that says good things about my form!  I’ve also been using Xteme Endurance supplements and have noticed a reduction in soreness from that.  I think using a drink during the bike that had protein and carbs, made by UR, prevented some of that muscle breakdown as well.

Overall I’m proud of the effort I gave in this race and can’t wait to go again!  Next Saturday I am doing a sprint, another race put on by DRC, called Crystal River and am stoked to absolutely obliterate the pain haha!  Then the week after that is Duathlon Nationals in Maryland!  Then another big training block will commence!

Rock the W and have an awesome week.

  1. Any races coming up?
  2. What’s your favorite type of course? Urban, trails, hilly, flat, beach?