Monday, January 10, 2022

Bringing the Ironman Focus to the Business World. 

Been thinking… again.  Shocker, I know. I have been asked a few times recently if I was going to race another Ironman.  My last one was in 2019 and I gutted out my slowest performance over the six that I have completed.  I have always prided myself in getting across the line before the lights came on and they start handing out glow sticks.  I have managed to do that but in 2019 I went into the race knowing I would at some point be walking on the run due to a nagging foot injury.  I was also carrying an extra 20 pounds for this one and it showed in my finish time.  Oh well, I got it done but it didn’t leave a great taste in my mouth for signing up again.  Ironman is ALWAYS painful but the more prepared you are the less it hurts.  

Lately it seems my focus has shifted to a higher level of attention on Gross Profit, Net Profit and building my business.  In getting back to business I was able to put together a fantastic 2021 and we are well positioned to kick some serious a$$ in 2022.  2021 was tough though.  We had some tough projects, challenges with material pricing and availability as well as some struggles with sub contractors.  I found myself extremely stressed at times, like I was on a hamster wheel and I just couldn’t get off of it.  I wanted to build the business, create something sustainable, but I knew we needed to walk before we took off at a full sprint.  At times it was flat out chaos. By year end we got our arms around things and had learned some lessons. However, there is much to be done in 2022 before I can say we have a finely tuned machine, positioned for growth and ready to be scaled.  

Some of you may know that my daughter moved to Texas last year.  She’s out there doing well and making her mark so that has this proud Dad on a plane a few more times per year than I am used to.  As a result I have had a lot of time to think and reflect.  On this last trip I spent a lot of time thinking about the business and also whether I would train for another Ironman.  In that thought process I realized something.  What if I could take the same approach to my business as I have to Ironman? As a business owner I am often too lenient, too forgiving, not charging enough and overdelivering.  Now, some of those things certainly will keep you “top of mind” with your customers but it doesn’t do a heck of a lot for your bottom line.  Sometimes we take too long to complete jobs because we are doing a little extra (for free) and not getting to the next project on schedule.  We (I) sometimes interpret daily challenges as stress, and it is cumulative, adding up over the course of the week or months or the entire year.  So if my WORK was an Ironman how would I be handling things differently?  As an Ironman competitor I am sizing you up from the minute I see you at 5AM.  I train for a year, sparing no expense on a good coach and training plan.  I am up early, training and preparing.  On race day I am all business, picking people off all day long, rolling through an internal dialogue not fit for print.  I race ANGRY at times, I am laser focussed.  I look at adversity on race day as a challenge to be dealt with.  I WELCOME it. If the weather sucks I love it even more.  I tear through the  course BELIEVING I am the baddest MF’er out there, that NO ONE is tougher than me and if you are going to beat me you are going to earn it. I am no one you want to tangle with late in the race because I am NOT going away.  I once DOVE over the finish line in a Half-Iron race just to beat a guy that wasn’t even in my age group.  I go hard.

So how do I bottle that shit up and open it up over here in the business world?  I think if I figure THAT out it’s GAME OVER.  I am going to start by making sure I am getting uncomfortable, taking care of the shitty stuff.  My Mom always says “Do the worst FIRST” and I believe she’s right.  I will knock down the most challenging stuff first and then attack the rest of it the way I do a 140.6 mile race.  I’ve also asked for help.  I am working with a business coach and we are going to make some huge strides in 2022.  Funny, over the years I have had all kinds of coaches.  High School sports, triathlon coaches, nutrition coaches, Personal Trainers, Guitar teacher, you name it.  But never ONCE did it occur to me to hire a business coach.  Someone that can take a 30,000 foot view of what I am trying to accomplish and work with me to implement strategies and tactics to get me where I want to go.  I am excited about this and I can’t wait to see where things go.  I have done a lot of good things over the years but I have made a lot of mistakes too.  It’s time to bring it all together.  

As for the question of whether I will race another Ironman, well, I can say that I am going to go all Ironman on my business first and see where that takes me.  I am enjoying some weightlifting and a variety of other activities like hiking, fat biking and working to find a better sense of balance than Ironman training affords.  I may try some ultra running. If I feel the pull back to the Ironman race course you can bet it’ll be with a full vengeance and I’ll be looking to put my foot on someone’s throat. (figuratively of course) :) 

Stay tuned, it’s going to be a great year! 

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Mental Toughness Reboot

Mental toughness is an interesting concept.  I have been diving into some reading and podcasts lately and I always seem to gravitate toward this topic.  I think it is because I have dealt with some challenges over the past few years.  Some have been physical while others have surfaced in that empty space between my ears.  I have always considered myself “tough”.  I was the kid diving all over the court or ball field and doing whatever it took to get the job done.  And let’s face it, with a mouth like mine and a face people like to hit, you either get tough or spend a lot of time running.  I carried that mentality into the working world and overall I think it has served me well over the years.  But I got to thinking…. What makes someone tough?  Are you just born that way? Maybe.  I think some are tougher by nature than others. But as I have aged I have come to realize that the more you go through the tougher you become.  I sit back and think about it and realize I haven’t really been through that much compared to most.  In short, I’ve had it pretty good.  I was sitting and chatting with my neighbor Jimmy (he’s 76) the other day on the anniversary of his son’s passing eight years ago.  I looked at him and couldn’t even begin to imagine his pain.  They say you never get over losing a child, you just learn to live with it. So we just sat.  And talked. And in the process I realized that over the course of the last three years of us being neighbors that I in some small way have unknowingly helped to fill a huge void.  He comes over a lot and I bring the dog over a lot.  We sit on his couch in the garage and he tells stories.  Some about the Navy, some about his days at UPS. Some are repeats but Tuck and I don’t care.  He offers advice and always says “not to sound like your DAD or anything…” .  I share about work and life and we fill the dog full of treats.  I call him my Tuesdays with Morrie.  If you don’t know what that is then grab the book by Mitch Albom and sit down.  Jimmy is my dog walker, Head of Security and my Friend. I couldn’t be luckier to have landed next to he and his wife Jackie.  Funny thing about life how sometimes what we need is right in front of us if we just open our eyes.

I guess I got off track there  a little bit (SQUIRREL!) but it was worth it.  So, Mental Toughness.  I always thought it was defined by just carrying on, pull up your bootstraps and quitchertbitchin’.  Don’t be a wuss.  All that.  But I think it’s more than that.  It think it’s taking care of yourself, knowing when enough is enough and when to pull back and focus on YOU.  We have been so conditioned to worry about everyone else that we sometimes forget to check our OWN oil so to speak.  I recently had blood work done and was horrified at my levels.  Without getting into too much detail I can tell you it has taken me a long time to get my Vitamin D back where it belongs.  We get run down, we persevere, carry on.  We put everyone else first. Sometimes you just need a break.  I am certainly guilty of the “more is better” approach and “get up one more time than you get knocked down”.  I’m all about it. BUT, at some point you have to rest and refuel and let that fight or flight mindset go.  Otherwise you fall into a deep hole and no matter how much you throw at it you are NOT getting out.  Three things I have always viewed as a tremendous waste of time - sleeping, eating and stopping for gas.  I’m now taking time for all and not trying to rush through my day.

Stress can kill you. It presents in different ways and we all combat it in our own way.  Some smoke, others drink, some exercise and some lash out at others for no apparent reason.  And some of us keep it inside, withdrawing, never talking about it or sharing how we feel.  Sometimes just TELLING someone can help alleviate it.  I take lots of deep breaths and as my mom says “Don’t react”.  I’m a work in progress on that one. If you fire a shitty email at me I have been known to fire back a shittier one in under eight seconds.  That accomplishes nothing and helps no one. 

How about that person that is ALWAYS stressed?  I ask them what they are doing about it.  What are you changing? What causes the stress?  How can I help? Is it going to be the same tomorrow?  That must be awful.  I try to make adjustments, change behavior or environments and even change who I surround myself with.  Again, a work in progress over here.  As part of working on ME I am doing “75 Hard”.  It is a simple mental toughness program created by Andy Frisella.  It’s not a fitness challenge but more of an Ironman for the brain.  You have to do the following things daily. 

  1. Complete TWO 45 minute workouts. One MUST be outside.  And they can’t be back to back, there must be a few hours in between.  I have been walking, running and strength training to meet this requirement.
  2. Follow a diet.  Any diet, just follow one.  I am meeting with Mike Foley weekly.  It’s working. Down 15#
  3. No Cheat Meals.  Not one.  Zero
  4. No Alcohol.    Easy.  Don’t miss it, and I feel better.
  5. Drink one gallon of water.  NOT easy.  This one kills me but I’m doing it.
  6. Read 10 page of a non-fiction book.  Something in the personal development area.    Piece of cake.
  7. Take a progress picture every day

For 75 Days.  Miss one day or don’t get something in and you go back to day one.  Today is day 40 for me.  I started on my birthday.  Is it hard?  Yes, it’s hard, that’s why it’s not called 75 Easy.  But I’m doing it and I’m getting there.  About the time Covid hit I went down with a herniated disc in my back.  I had already put on some weight and the injury only made it worse.  So I am chiseling the chub off and lifting weights.  It’s been fun to see the results.  My back is better and I FEEL better.  A couple people have said to me “ why are YOU doing 75 Hard? You’ve done Ironmans and Marathons and all that stuff….isn’t it easy??”  To some extent yes, but only because I am mentally conditioned to do a lot of exercise.  But the daily grind of having to knock out these six or seven specific things is what is hard.  Life happens and all of a sudden it’s 9:30 PM and raining, I haven’t gotten workout #2 in yet and it needs to be outside.  So somebody is about to get wet.  So, 35 more days.  Piece of cake,  ;)

On the business side I am working hard at improving my game as well.  This week I am spending a few days in Denver with a bunch of like minded individuals at The Mile High Summit.  It is put on by The Contractor Fight, a group I joined awhile back as a way to work through some of the challenges of owning and operating my own contracting business.  I have lots to learn but I also bring some experience to the group.  I am enjoying it, meeting new people and elevating the game. 


Saturday I am going to shoot over to Texas “while I am in the neighborhood” and see my Girl.  She’s over there setting the world on fire and blazing her own path - which makes me a tremendously proud dad. 

Alright, I’m out for now.  Been a bit since I have written.  Remember to be TOUGH.. but not TOO tough ;)


Sunday, September 29, 2019


I'm back.  As promised.  Not gonna let five years click by before throwing some more thoughts together.
It has been an interesting week.  Couple of observations.  The first five people I heard from after writing my last entry were highly accomplished people that I respect greatly.  They said KEEP GOING.  So here I am.
The next bunch of folks I heard from ranged from people I hadn't heard from in years to folks that I see or interact with every week. They ALSO said KEEP GOING...So here I am.
Here's what I learned.  People are watching. And just because someone doesn't comment, doesn't mean they didn't notice... or read what I wrote.  Diving deeper... It's possible I helped someone and I don't even know it.  I ran into someone today that said " pssst... I read your blog thingy.. it was good... and it really hit home, so thanks!"   Wow.  Cool stuff.  So there... motivation to continue. It takes a lot to "put yourself out there" but what the heck, gonna roll with it.

Some other highlights from the week....and I thought about these as I was coming home last night in the Jeep, top down and heat on.... "The Big Chill Soundtrack" ripping through the speakers....
I talked with someone that quit drinking and had lost ten pounds and was feeling great.  One that finally got his small business spun around and is back feeling like he's in control.  Heard about a friend that found out her biological mother has ben looking for her for 43 years and they JUST connected.  Think about THAT one for a minute.  😳.  My daughter got the job.  Was there any doubt? Heheh.  She is now in the Scholars Program at Unum and on her way to getting some very good work experience.  Very proud Dad. Oh yeah... That Pat's released Trump and we are going to impeach Antonio Brown.  Something like that. 😉 Sox stunk it up, bring on the Celtics and Bruins. I have a few friends doing Ironman Chattanooga today and it's gonna be a hot one.  The Dempsey Challenge is today.  I did that once.. rode 100 miles in the rain with some friends to support cancer research.  McDreamy was there... They say he's good looking..... WHATever.... lol.  Fryeburg Fay'ah starts today.... Hot Apple Crisp anyone?

Here's one.... I ate SUPER CLEAN all week.  Did awesome.  Hopped on the scale and exhaled deeply JUST IN CASE air weighs something.....Didn't lose an OUNCE.  JUST about gave the scale  a "Bruce Lee"  right out the window.  HOWEVER.... I haven't exercised... still going easy on the heel... and... let's be realistic here... I didn't GAIN.  SO... as much as I would have liked to see some progress, it just didn't come in the form I was expecting.  So I will keep at it and realize this is a marathon, not a sprint.  I'll just gloss over the trip to Portland Pie last night ... let's not talk about that this time, deal? Rome wasn't built in a day right? On a more serious note though.  I ran into a friend tonight and was telling him about my foot... and weight... and being frustrated... blah blah sob story.... He nodded.  But then I said how funny it is that when you have an injury... a setback.. it can affect you mentally as well as physically.  For instance, I can't run right now.  I CAN swim.  I CAN bike and I CAN control what I eat.  I have not swam... haven't biked... and on balance could have eaten much better over the past few months.  So there you have it - control what you can control.  Easier said than done.  It's hard to sweat the small stuff when there is a dark cloud overhead.  I'll do better with this stuff this week.

Random thought.  Ever go to Hannaford and get started out in the deli section and you just don't have a good vibe about the people around you?  You know... you got this one guy clogging up the works at the deli counter... another lady with three little crumb snatchers running all over the place...then you get outta there and see the whole crew again in the next aisle over and you just know this whole trip is going to be a shitshow.   I mean, these are your "people", you're gonna be with them the whole way and you know that if it's not a good start it's only gonna get worse.  Like, if these guys can't navigate the Avocados and tomatoes, what am I gonna be dealing with when we get to frozen foods?  And the EGG WHITES???!!?  Good lord I'll be there an hour... get me out of here now..
Here's what I do.  I jump forward about 3-4 aisles... maybe hit the chicken and turkey burger.... shoot down toward the whole grain Scoops and then cut left and BOOM.... RESTART.... they are all GONE and voila' ... you have new people!  Works every time.  But just be sure to drag your feet a bit through that initial section to make sure they are gone... maybe check out the Kombucha or something.... peek around the Organic aisle... make sure they are gone.  Worst case, stop and grab some haddock, that'll tie you up for a few and let things stretch out a bit. LOL!  SEE?  it ain't easy being ME!   And lastly... the checkout line jockeying... I have heard that human nature is to go to the right in a crowd... so work your way LEFT... take a gander and see whatcha' got.  Don't be the "27 items in the 14 items aisle" person, but don't hesitate either.  Because the second you have a LOCK on the cashier you want (it's you and me boss, we are gonna DO this) sure enough, someone else will try to squeeze you out.  And DAMMIT if it ain't that lady with the three crumb snatchers!  LOL... I guess this could be whole post.  I could get into " Cart skills", "Parking in the middle of the aisle".... and WHY DO WE HAVE to bag our own stuff?   AND.... WHY in God's name is the Tomato PASTE not with the Tomato SAUCE???  All of it.. OK... moving on...

Alright.  I'm all out of "wisdom" for the moment.  Heading to Fatbike with friends.  It's a beautiful day. Get out and do something.  It's going to be a long winter so I am going to soak in these great Fall days while I can.  Have a great day! And if Hannaford is on your list... well.. you know what to do!

Monday, September 23, 2019


Wow.... 5 Years goes by in a hurry. Where do I start? OK.. I got to thinking about how many things have happened since my last blog post and it was overwhelming.  Life is HARD. Sheesh.  Here are just a few things (some of which are a blog post all on their own) that have happened since I last logged on.

I turned 50.  Whoah!  I REALLY thought I would have my act together by now. 😳

My parents continue to be the most supportive loving people you'll ever meet.  I'm a lucky guy. Both are retired, Dad is loving camp life and Mom is excited for football season and especially The Pat's.

My daughter turned 21.  Whoah! She is a Senior at USM.  First big job interview is tomorrow. She's got this.

Shut down my contracting business and joined MGM Builders, bought a condo and two Jeeps... sold a Jeep.  Completed 3 more Ironman races, some "halfs", two marathons and got lost on Katahdin... well, we weren't really LOST... well maybe just a little bit lost.  Went to Arizona four times. Won the Crank the Kanc bike race with Jared and Rick, climbed Mt Washington a few times.  Went to the Boston Marathon twice as a spectator having intended to be running it.  I tried to qualify and almost DID but it wasn't meant to be.  I might try to tackle that goal again at some point but for now I will go and support friends/athletes/clients.  Pretty proud of them too.  Opened "The Speed Lab" where we do our 207 Coaching and off season cycling. Gained 20 pounds... lost 20 pounds... gained 20 pounds.  And so it goes.  There's a lot more but honestly, my memory is terrible and it's probably GOOD for me to write stuff down so I can enjoy the memories again.

I have had folks ask me why I don't write more so I guess maybe there's something to it.  I enjoy it and it's a good way to keep people informed on things that I am involved in, adventures I take on and maybe have a laugh or two - mostly at my own expense. In the past I have shared mostly race reports and training stories when I have felt it was worth sharing.  I may begin to dive into some other topics from time to time but we'll see how that goes.  No politics or preaching, just whatever I find interesting and worth a closer look.  I drive a lot and things just pop into my head, so I will try to keep a list and be more active about sharing. I try to stay more with the motivational or uplifting stuff and not get into anything negative.  Life's too short!

In the short term, Rick Durgin and I are beginning year number 5 (I think) in The Speed Lab at the Dana Warp Mill in Westbrook.  We have been running off-season cycling training classes for cyclists and triathletes, successfully paying the rent with proceeds from the classes.  We are excited about getting rolling on October 1st and looking forward to a strong winter of good friends and training.  If you are looking for a place to ride regularly this winter then come and check us out.  Online we are at  First trip for first timers is free so come and see what it's all about.  I lead the Tuesday and Thursday evening classes and Rick does the Wednesday and Friday morning classes.  We are both in the mix on Saturday mornings.  If you have any questions feel free to email me at

So there you have it.  First ramblings in five years.  I'll be back soon and I'll have something fun to share or discuss.  Until then, keep swinging for the fences and focusing on what's out in front of you, not behind!  Oh .. one last thing.  One of the things that kicked me over the edge on starting back at this blogging thing was a nice note I got today from my buddy Pete Finkle.  He's a musician and one hell of an entertainer.   He'll tell you he's no athlete but the picture below says differently.  I love this stuff.  Here's Pete out ripping up some road race just having a ball. LOVE this guy!  He always sends me notes about my Ironman races or whatever I am doing and how it keeps him going.  :). THIS is the good stuff....and the funny thing is... stuff like that keeps ME going.  And I'll tell you what, if I could do triathlon as well as he plays guitar, I'd be in Kona.  ;) Thanks Pete!

Alright.  No really... I'm out.  Until next time.  Keep showing up. And remember, anything worth doing is worth doing well.  
Thanks for reading. 👊

Friday, August 29, 2014

Hanging On...General ramblings....

It's that time of year again folks.  The time when we all start trying to decide just how much gas we have left in the tank for the 2014 race season.  Maybe you have been racing all summer and need a break.  Maybe you have NOT raced much this year and are just coming into good form.  Either way, there is still plenty of time to get out there and enjoy the summer.  Whether you decide to enter a few end of the season events or just mix things up by getting outside and doing some different activities, JUST DO IT.  We endure long winters here in Southern Maine and these are the days we long for as we log our off-season training hours on the trainer, treadmill or in the pool.  This is a great time of year to plan that hike you have been putting off, schedule that long bike ride to WHEREVER and back, or just jump into a few 5k's.  Whatever you decide, take the opportunity to enjoy your hard earned fitness.
A little post IMLP '13 relaxation

To that end, many of our 207 athletes have been working hard since last winter.  It is never a bad idea to step away for a short time.  This helps you take a moment to put the 2014 season behind you and look toward 2015 with some goals in mind.  Think about what you have accomplished, be realistic and set the bar for next season.  If you would like to talk with either Rick or myself about this we are available.  We are reworking our website too.  We have added our new rate sheet and have come to the table with a few different coaching options rather than the "one size fits all" approach.  Information should be available in the next day or so. We appreciate all of the feedback that we have received and will always work to improve every aspect our coaching and 207 Multisport.

We are planning to get everyone together at some point to celebrate the season and chat about upcoming events like our Tucson Training Camp, The Speed Lab/OA and other exciting stuff.  We hope to have a date picked soon so stay tuned.

I just wanted to give a shout out to all the kind folks from KBTC.  All of us from 207 Multisport and The OA Tri Team have felt very welcome at KBTC events!  We have tried to do the same, whether it be a training camp, OA classes or group rides etc.  I just thought it was worth mentioning that we appreciate the coexistence and the mutual support on the race scene.  It ALL good stuff!!!  Thanks again!

And while I am thanking people....THANK YOU to Stan and Jenny Skolfield for opening their home to us after the Rev3 event.  A good time was had by all!

SO, keep at it guys, let's enjoy a safe and competitive fall season and soak it all in before things start to wind down.

Train smart.


(some parting shots....)

My favorite "Ebbrecht" photo.  IMLP '13
207 Headquarters, Island Falls ME. :)

Josh Freeman @ AZ Camp
John "Hollywood"Gendron racing the Rev3 Half

Thursday, August 1, 2013

IMLP 2013 Race Report

Ironman Lake Placid 2013.

This was my fourth crack at Ironman Lake Placid and I was looking to make it my best one yet.  In ’06 I went 11:39 for my first one.  In ’08 I had to stop after the swim due to illness.  That one stung but I rallied in 2011 for a 10:45 finish and a strong day.  So this year I was looking to improve upon THAT.  I felt that my training would allow me to drop down under 10:30 on a perfect day. As it turned out I was able stop the clock at 10:37 and I had a tremendous day.  Here’s how it played out.

Our trip to Placid went well after we were able to (ahem) depart.  It’s always an adventure travelling with my girls and due to my genetic make-up I really have to work at not  being a complete jerk about leaving on time.  I’m rarely successful.  After I wound the gums to them about how they had six months to get ready for this $&%*&$$ TRIP I drove out of the driveway having left the garage door open.  HEheheh….

We arrived in LP and checked in to our “best kept secret in town” motel.   We have stayed in this same place a few times and the girls give me a hard time EVERY time.  It’s not the best of places but it is CLOSE to the venue and only sets me back about $800 vs the $1,200-$1,500 I would be paying at a “good place”.  There’s really nothing wrong with the place other than the fact that the owner clearly makes no improvements and is barely holding the place together.  I view it as a place to sleep.  The girls, on the other hand are looking for a little more from their lodging experience than this place provides so I may be forced to upgrade if we visit again.  Pick your battles, right?

I did all the right things over the next couple of days, got to bed early,  rested, ate right, reviewed my race plan etc. 

Race morning came and I was still on the fence about a sleeveless vs full wetsuit.   I grabbed the full and headed to the venue plenty early.  Everything went smoothly and I was able to see two of my three athletes that were racing today.  Chris was right in a lather having dealt with a few curveballs in getting to the venue.  Jason was fine and I was able to lighten up their load by delivering their special needs bags for them.  It’s a delicate balance to be wearing both the COACH and ATHLETE hats on the same day but I think I did a pretty good job making sure they were all set and staying focused on my race as well.  I knew Marc would be OK as he has done this race before but I was worried about my first timers – Chris and Jason.  As it turned out, no worries needed!

The new rolling swim start program at Lake Placid had us lined up in a chute self seeding based on our projected swim time (see, Beach To Beacon Starting Line).  I was hopeful this would be a good thing and I would have open water all the way. WRONG.  I got POUNDED.  I was planning to swim 1:00-1:05 and take advantage of the work I have put into my swim over the past two years.  No dice.  I didn’t get a clean stroke the entire way.  I also got punched, kicked and pushed like never before.  Not fun.  Ironman needs to figure this out.  It is NOT an improvement.  And it wasn’t just me.  I talked with guys that are faster swimmers than me (ha, most are) and they felt the same way.  I ended up swimming two minutes SLOWER than in 2011.  The full suit was a mistake and I heated up again like in ’11.  I recieved my post race e-mail from Ironman yesterday and I’ll be filling out the survey and letting them know what my experience was.  Anyway, whatever, that’s racing and everybody had the same crap to deal with so I didn’t waste a lot of mental energy on it during the race, I just hung tough and kept my cool.   SO, 1:10 swim and off to the bike.

T1 was a little slow but I got on the bike and tore out of there for my 112 miles.  I saw all my peeps and had good energy.  I was soaked immediately by a steady rain.  Perfect.   I will take the rain any day over the heat.  I rode a smart ride and although I haven’t had a chance to break down the power file with my coach yet, I believe I nailed it.  I pushed it on the second loop but I felt I could and as it turned out I was damn close to even on both loops with regard to power output. Solid.  My only miscue was that I did not identify just how cool it was.  Given the weather leading up to the race I was ready for HEAT.  We got COOL.  I was losing a ton of fluids (that’s code for peeing a lot on the bike) and I was worried I was going to dehydrate.  I didn’t realize until later that I was not sweating as much.  As a result,  I dealt with a quad cramp after mile 100.  I dialed the wattage back and managed it into T2 where I took a couple extra minutes to get right.  I bent to put a sock on my left foot and my whole legs cramped.  NOT a good way to be staring down the barrel of an Ironman marathon.  Gulp.  I ended up posting a 5:33 bike split.  Pretty solid if you plan to run well after. J 

I took off on the run and decided I would take the first few miles easy and see if I could get by the cramping.  I saw Jared and told him what I was dealing with and he told me to fight through it.  I went into full-on nutrition alert and got my act together through the first loop.   Lots of fluids, salt and some luck got me headed back into town feeling pretty good.  I saw my friend Angela Bancroft and I knew I had to look tough going by her because, well, she’s tougher than me!  Ha!  Thanks for the support Ange.  I always like to run the big hill going into town MOSTLY because very few others do.  I turned the corner and saw my family and friends and pulled some energy from that.  I was now running well and thinking I might get this thing done without an epic implosion.  I headed back out of town with “only” 13.1 to go and I decided to take it up a notch and see what I could do.  I ended up posting a solid pace through 16 miles, hung tough through 21 when the wheels started to come off and then gutted out a strong finish.   I saw Ange one more time as I was coming back and I told her I was hurting bad…  I guess I just needed to tell someone.  She gave me some encouragement and I stopped whining and tried to kept turning it up.

I saw my friend Sean Snow closing on me toward the finish.  I had no idea who was ahead or behind due to the swim start but Sean was catching me at the turn around on the backside of the lake.  Damn.  I love racing this guy.  He never gives you an inch and if you think you’re going to beat him you’d better have your act together.  What I like most is that we swap punches all day long and then sit down together afterward and swap war stories, eat pizza and catch up.  He’s a class act and I’ve enjoyed gunning for him over the years.  So, anyway, here he comes in mile 26 of Ironman.  Crap….NOW I GOTTA try to drop a fast mile on this guy to hold him off.  Here we go…. 
I think I ran a sub 8 final mile and was able to hold off Sean.  Don’t get too excited though.  He out swam me but seven minutes, started well after I did and beat me overall by some 13 minutes!  And THAT is what SUCKS about the rolling swim start.  If I am racing I want to know where I am in the field.  Otherwise, it is nothing but a time trial.  I’ll have my say on it, you can bet on that.

So I had a strong finish.  Wrapping up the marathon in 3:42 or so. Overall time was10:37 for something like 158th place overall amongst 2400 or so.  Not too shabby.  Interestingly, my time would have me 24th in the male 30-34 age group but was only good enough for 38th in my age group (M40-44).  These old guys are FAST.

I am blessed with great family and friends that came out to support me.  I felt like I had an army of people helping me get this done.  Thanks to my wife and daughter for putting up with the training and the unconditional support.  Thanks to my parents who gave me the drive to do this stuff and continue to attend my events WHEREVER they are.  And thanks to all my friends that travelled out there to cheer me on.  The Grover Family, unreal support.  Thank YOU.  Love you guys.  Jenny, Melissa, Meg, Brackett, Durgin, Jared, Christina, Stan, Chelsea, Greg, Katie and many others.  Thanks to all you Facebookers for blowing up my page with support and thanks to my extended network of family, friends and co-workers for blowing up my phone with texts of support and congrats.  I am overwhelmed.

I also want to mention that my athletes, Jason Stokes, Chris Ebbrecht and Marc Dupuis all had great days as well.  So I double dipped.  Had a great day as an athlete AND as a Coach!  Good job guys, proud of you!  Last but not least, THANK YOU Jorge Martinez of E3 Training Solutions for both the opportunity to Coach with E3 AND the opportunity to race for the team!  Loving it!!!

So there it is. It’s in the books.  As they always say, I would have liked to have been a little faster but hey, who wouldn’t, right?  I know there are areas for improvement but right now those areas are family and work.  Time to right the ship.  Ironman takes a round out of you and those around you.  Balance.

Next up is the Rev3 OOB in August and I have a few people that I want to “trim up”.  Let’s see if I can get recovered and bring it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Catching up...

WOW...That was a quick seven months! I can't tell you how many great ideas I have had over the past few months - all great blog post ideas. BUT, I simply have not found the time to reduce them to "paper". This past Triathlon season was a real character builder for me. It had me on the sidelines more than I am used to. When I did compete I still gave it my standard 110% but it was downright ugly at times. It really showed me how much I love my sport- that I'll get out there and compete even when there are guys (and girls) beating up on me that I have beaten in the past. I'll file it away and pull it out during some tough trainer rides this winter and use it for motivation. The Speed Lab is in full swing so I am rebuilding the beast! Speaking of The Speed Lab....We have moved our activities down to Orthopaedic Associates in Saco this year. This has been a great move. We have a bigger space, a bunch of CompuTrainers and plenty of energy for a long winter of offseason bike training. OA hired a top notch local remodeling contractor (ahem) to make some minor changes to the Performance Lab and BANG - New Speed Lab! We are equipped with a cranking music system and have a lot of laughs while we get some serious work done. Misery loves company! Check out our class schedule at www.orthoassociates/performance. The relationship with OA has been great. They have given me a wonderful platform from which to expand my coaching business. I have also joined E3 Training Solutions as an Associate Coach. I am working with Head Coach and Owner, Jorge Martinez to take my triathlon and coaching game to the next level. We are accepting new athletes for the 2013 season so let me know how we can help you with your upcoming season! So once again, I hope to be more active with this blog as I always enjoy writing. We'll see how it goes! Highlights for the summer, in no particular order: Watching three of my athletes cross the Ironman finish line in great shape. Standing atop Mount Katahdin with BOTH of my parents. Very proud moment! Signing up for IMLP 2013. Gulp. Crushing it at Turner Contracting. OK - More to come. Until then, keep your dreams alive and don't ever let somebody tell you that you can't do something! BT