As I head into my third year of triathlon I have managed to maintain my interest and drive despite an aggressive racing schedule that had me training for 53 weeks straight. Over the last two years I have only taken about 6 weeks off total. Sometimes, in the cold dark winter mornings, I find myself asking “why? Why get up? Why bundle up only to get cold and slip?” but it all passes once my legs start to turn. My blood starts pumping and the cold makes my legs tight and strong. The basement stink from my trainer changes from gross to homey and I hit my groove.
I am a lunch swimmer, morning swimming is not my MO. It’s too crowded and my body isn’t into it. I am lucky to have a pool within walking distance of my office so I can pull off the lunch swims, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
There are three things that, in my mind anyway, have kept me going in triathlon. The first is that I love the training. I love the feeling I get from swimming, it reminds me of when I was a kid, I love the chlorine stink on my skin and how my muscles feel afterwards. I don’t always love my swims (often times I hate them) but I love swimming. Biking is pure freedom on two wheels. When I was a kid, getting on your bike meant you could go somewhere and be independent. Hopping on that thing in the morning feels the same way. Heck I have even learned to love my trainer time, the 100 days challenge helps with that! And then there is running. It’s like reuniting with a long-lost friend from high school that just moved in right next door. Suddenly all my old training mixed tapes make sense again, seeing the dew on the track before the sun comes up gets my blood racing, it’s like a rush of wonderful memories.
The second thing that keeps me going in triathlon and keeps me from being burnt out is the variety. Every day is a new adventure (Matt is good and sometimes kind of cruel with his “Matt’s favorites” he throws in the mix to get you going). Finally, it’s the camaraderie of a bunch of other nut jobs that find this crazy sport as fun as I do! I mostly train alone, it just fits my schedule best that way, but with my team, I never really feel alone. I eat my breakfast after my morning ride and check how my other teammates are doing, we comment and chatter about the funny stuff we encounter. At races they’re there with me cheering each other on. And the few times I can line things up, they are right there ready to meet up for a run, ride or swim. My team also includes my wife and my son that are always there to make me smile even when I am gassed and ready to collapse.
This year I am making the plunge into the long-course triathlon. I am not much for traveling for races, I like to be home for dinner, so I will be doing local races, The Syracuse IM and the Double Mussel will be my big races of the year. I will also be racing in the Caz Tri, the Green Lakes Tri, the Syracuse Half Marathon and a few other odds and ends. I am looking forward to another year trying to compete in my group, but no matter what, I know that I have found a wonderful sport and people that will always make things fun!
2016 Team Highlights
2015 Team Highlights
2014 Team Highlights