This year I have been giving things a lot of thought and I have decided to move forward to pursue my passion with multisport and travel. I am approaching a pivotal point in my life where I will have an opportunity to try something new with my life and pursue my dream of becoming an entrepreneur. This October I will embark on a journey to south east Asia for five months where I will swim, bike and run from Singapore, through Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam and develop endurance travel guides from my experiences.
There are many travel guides out there today which provide copious amounts of fantastic information about countries and places for people who solo travel to people who travel with families. However, as an endurance athlete who loves to travel and spends a lot of time training, I often ask myself when arriving someplace where can I run?, where can I get a swim in?, where can I bike safely and where can I eat on a racing/sports diet? With my experience with travel and being an athlete it would be nice to have a guide when I am traveling to race or on vacation and need to train that can provide me with good area information on training routes, places to swim, cautions to take in a particular area, and healthy places to eat for example. These guide books will strive to answer those questions that we all have when traveling for business, to a race, or to a vacation spot and we want to train. The guides will include but not be limited to detailed route maps for cycling and running, discussion of good places to swim, cautions to take, provide recommendations of places to eat healthy on an athlete diet, and make recommendations of places to base yourself out of depending on your life style.
Thus, to make this dream into a reality I ask for your help with a small donation. Every little bit helps. The money will be used to cover necessities: international air travel, ground transportation between cities, food, lodging in guest houses, hostels or airbnb and visas.
After exceeding my expectations for last year by not only completing my first full Ironman but completing it in over an hour and a half faster than what my goal, I was eager to begin to plan the 2013 season. Last year was such an incredible year, very long season but incredibly rewarding by accomplishing things I never dreamed I would be able to do. I also got to check off a couple of races I had been dreaming of doing for some time now.
Coming into 2013 I decided I wanted to go for another full (I know crazy right?). I had been thinking about it for quite sometime. Even before racing Cozumel. One thing I have realized about myself over the years is if you think about it constantly, go for it. It is what you want and your destiny. I did however, want to make the season much shorter than my 2012 season. I had a blast last year don’t get me wrong but racing and training from February to Thanksgiving was a looooong time. I would like some more downtime this year. Thus, I made my plan for my next full.
Last spring I came a cross the KMD Challenge Copenhagen in Denmark when some other fellow DC Triathlon Club members had told me they were competing in that race later that Summer. I immediately became intrigued. Having fallen in love with Ironman and my strong desire to travel I became really interested in this race. Not to mention I have been wanting to go to Denmark for the longest time. Scandinavia has always been a place I have had a strong desire to visit and spend some time. This was my chance! I then decided to cash my Star Alliance Miles for a round trip ticket to Copenhagen to begin my quest for Ironman number two and my ultimate “trication.” Doing to prelim planning I knew I wanted to spend a bit of time in Denmark traveling, however, I was also wanting to go to Sweden and get up to Stockholm. Norway was a must for me but that would have to be a completely separate trip since there are too many thing I want to see and do there. So I planned out 2 weeks (unfortunately thats all I have…sucks) in Denmark and Sweden, ending the trip in Stockholm. I like killing two birds with one stone. Traveling to a beautiful cool new place and getting a race in. It always makes me feel better on indulging after the race as well.
After cashing the miles (60,000 miles) and getting my vacation time cleared I registered. Gulp….Im in! Here we go…number two…. Now it was time to pick some other races. After looking at my finances from last year on how much I spent in triathlon (gear, races, travel) I went a little overboard. This year I decided to scale it back. Maybe this year I will do 3 races and not 6. I stated to look for a good half ironman I could do leading up to KMD Challenge Copenhagen. I chose Rev3 Williamsburg in the end because the timing was great where I was about 7 weeks out and Williamsburg I a great place to make a nice little weekend trip. The countryside is beautiful down there with lots of historical sights to see and fun activities to take part in like mini golf and Bush Gardens. I also wanted to get an Oly race in early in my season plan as well. I came across ITU San Diego which I thought would be cool. Our tri club got an awesome deal with tri bike transport the previous year if we got a large group of members to compete. They came back at us this year with the same deal. I was intrigued. Then I noticed that ITU Stockholm (which was linked to the San Diego website) was happening the day I was planning to be in Stockholm. Hmmm…. I started to look into it. It was a week after Challenge Copenhagen. Would I be crazy for signing up for this? An Oly a week after an Ironman? I just wanted to do it for the heck of it since I would be there. I asked around to some of our tri club coaches and they said “well your 30….you should be fine”. Done. It was only $125 for ITU Stockholm as opposed to about 250 with all the fees for ITU San Diego. Call me crazy but its the plan. Two weeks, two countries, two races. BAM! Let the training begin!
The last two seasons of triathlon for me had been a journey and a wonderful, self-rewarding experience from completing my first triathlon (a sprint distance) to working my way to completing a half ironman. This year I decided that I wanted to do “fun” and different races, “up the training” and pursue a full ironman. For the past two years my training workouts have been non-structured for the most part. I would train to be able to “do the race”. This year I wanted to give a little more sturcture to my workouts to improve at the sport, become stronger on the hills, and get insite on ironman training since I didnt really know how to train for one. I am not training to qualify for anything but I just simply am looking to improve upon my times from last year and develop my skills and form more. I bought a triathlon training book called “Your Best Triathlon” by Joe Friel which is a great book for triathletes who are looking to improve on their skills and times previous seasons. I would not recommend it for first timers. The book is very detailed with information on training levels and statistics and is designed for the more experienced triathlete. In his book he lays out workout plans for you in stages for all training distances for you’re a race. Last fall I made the decision to go for the full ironman this year and I am now following Friel’s Ironman training program in his book. . My reasons for pursuing an ironman were first, I wanted to challenge myself to an even greater distance. Secondly, I had this gut feeling that if I didnt sign up one this year I would regret it, and finally, I realized that at this point in my life I have the flexability with my job to train and my current lifestyle would be ammenable to doing one since I don’t have many other obligations at this point.
Now that I had established my ideas and goals set for the season it was time to start picking my races. Since I am a once-a-monther racer and love to travel, I started to look at races that would fit my schedule. Travel to me is just as important to my racing. I try to integrate travel into the season without interfering with my races. I recently have been getting into the concept of destination races. As one of my goals to do “fun” races this season I want to do more destination races. I had a couple races in the back of my mind from previous seasons that I have been wanting to do. One of them being the Lobsterman in Freeport, ME. I stumbled upon this race 2 years ago in a random race search and started to read up on it. The reviews for the course were great and the post race lobster bake they had seemed just as appealing. I had also wanted to try Philadelphia for an urban race since I had done the DC triathlons before and its close in proximity to Washington, DC. I always like to try one urban race a year. In picking my half ironman this year I wanted to do one in the northeast again because of the climate. Doing a half ironman in the mid-atlantic in summer is not appealing to me. I am not a heat and humidity person. I chose to sign up for the Musselman in Geneva, NY since I have heard great stories from people in the triathlon club who have done the race before and the price point is great compared to other half ironmans. Plus I thought it would be fun to make a nice weekend out of it and go wine tasting following the race in the area. I chose Cozumel for my first ironman as I wanted a race that was toward the end of the year to allow ample time to train and have my peak training period in less humid conditions. I also wanted to do an ironman in a place where I can just do absolutely nothing afterwards and relax on a vacation. Cozumel seemed perfect.
Now that I have most of my races planned for the year. Let the training begin!