The Boston dream..

Posted: December 14, 2015 in Uncategorized

So I was able to achieve an Ironman finish. That in itself is a huge accomplishment and I couldn’t be more proud of my myself. I took a few weeks off and decided to do something else I never thought was possible; run an ultra (50k). Somehow, even with a missed turn, was able to squeak out a finish. Not the best time, but to me it was more than time it was the idea of finishing another race that looked unbelievable impossible to finish.

So what have I decided to do next. I thought about what my goals/drams have been since I started running and what PR or race I wanted to tackle. I think back to the runners and athletes that I look up to in the community and they all have been to Boston. Can I do that also? Is this something that even can become a reality, or at least plausible?

Made the decision to not do another full IM until I qualify for Boston. In order to achieve a dream, you must put aside some others. As much as I’d love to line up for another Ironman, doing both of those is just not smart.

Next year I plan on racing the Toronto Marathon in May as a measuring stick to see how far away I am from 3:07…Intending to do a late fall Marathon like Philly to see how close I can get. If I am not that far maybe and hopefully qualify Spring of 2017 and run Boston in 2018. So you see, this is not a short term oh ill go out and run now and get in for next year kind of goal. This is a goal where I need to work my ass off in the next 1.5 years and then wait almost a full year to line up at the starting line of Boston. If I can qualify Spring of 2017, I’ll then think about doing a full IM in 2017.

I am not going away from being a triathlete though. I will still be doing (2) 70.3′ s next season; even shooting for a sub 5 hour finish at one in Montreal. But this year will be a run focus/get faster kind of year. I am hoping for a lot of speed work and strength/core work, along with a lot of biking and swimming to keep me healthy and from over training.

 

 

 

4 months out!

Posted: April 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

Seems like training is groundhogs day week after week. So much going on in my normal life, and somehow packing in training for an Ironman makes life not boring at all. I am still finding “me” time to relax and have a glass of beer or half a bottle of wine. Or going out to dinner and having ice cream after. I never want to lose sight of enjoying life, and not taking training too serious where I am no longer enjoying it or life. I don’t want to become an athlete who loses sight of his family and friends during the season, and I am working hard on staying available as much as possible to see friends when I can. Taking on a part time job at Towpath bikes during the season has def limited that time, but it also have made my wallet a lot heavier and able to go out when I can and not worry about “the bills”.  The “Year of Blake” has been great so far and I look forward to an amazing summer or races, friends, family and bonfires.

funny_triathlon_greeting_cards-r5861796b93bf4377824dc5c98641377c_xvuak_8byvr_512 wpid-img_20141228_130141.jpg

Johnny’s 5 mile race recap

Posted: March 19, 2015 in Uncategorized

Came into this race never running the course, but I know the area very well. I was rested and eager to see what I was able to do. Coach told me to stick around 7min/mile for the first 3 miles and then try to open up. I tried on my new NB M1400’s racing flats, which wasn’t the best idea for the first run in a new shoe, but thought that a 5 miler wouldn’t hurt anything and would be a good test. BTW, these shoes are amazing and the lightest shoe I have ever worn at 6.4oz. Highly recommend these to anyone racing or for a light shoe for speed work.

10900059_10206388214450091_7868524667216245618_o

Splits:

6:47

6:43

6:49 (All uphill into U of R and the turnaround)

6:47

6:19

Overall: 33:39

The course was relatively flat at first, then uphill to the turnaround point, then it was mainly downhill, with only a bridge to worry about to the finish. I had a lot of fun seeing other people do amazing at the race, especially Roadkill teammates. Many of my Roadkill teammates took home wine bottles (age group wins), very proud of them all. Myself, I was 15th in my AG and 88th overall. Not bad for a triathlete who doesn’t run much anymore and hasn’t done much or any speed work at all since last Sept.  Next up is Syracuse Half Marathon this Sunday, hoping to get good weather and footing and see if I can chip away at my half PR.

My plans for this big triathlon season have changed drastically. I intended on going down in Oct to Wilmington, NC for my first long distance triathlon. Was going to take the 12.5 hour drive down, to an easy swim, flat bike course and pancake flat run. I told myself that finding a flat and easy course for my first long distance race would be the best race for me. The more I thought that over and spoke with people about it, and thought about my strengths and weaknesses on the bike/run the more I saw that this race isn’t the right one for me. So I decided to race Mont Tremblant in August! (Officially registered!)

For one thing, driving 12.5 hours to a race will be taxing on me and my body. I barely like to sit in the car going to Boston to see my sister which is around 6, so what makes me think I want to drive 12.5 for an all day race?! I also have friends who will be doing the race and I will be staying with them in a mountain condo walking distance to  the transition area, what perfect luck!

I have heard from so many Ironman finishers that the best “first” race is an “Ironman” branded race. Not saying that Beach to Battleship in Wilmington wouldn’t be a great first race venue, but it doesn’t compare to the race that Ironman puts on. Even Mary Eggers who is has done many Ironman’s said if she could do another full Ironman she would do Tremblant, now that is quite the endorsement!

My strength on the bike and run aren’t on flat courses. I am a much better hill runner and biker. I always find it difficult to hold fast speeds on flat courses. I need to use my strengths to the fullest, and I believe that the hilly course at Tremblant would better suit me.

I look forward to the next 167 days until the race and getting out and doing a lot of hill rides/runs and spending a lot of time with friends training. I have the most amazing support in my life and the timing couldn’t be anymore perfect for me to go all in for this.

Mont Tremblant here I come!!

Training/life Update

Posted: February 25, 2015 in Uncategorized

Training is going very well. When my coach makes me do lower leg squats/lunges I tend it get quite sore for up to a week, which just means I really have some weaknesses and unbalance in my legs that need work on.

My mother is recovering well from her major surgery. Glad she is home and slowly getting better. Took a toll on my mental health and also training with worry and lack of sleep. Tough seeing the toughest person you know go through such a hard time in their life.

I am starting to work a part time job at a bike shop soon. A close friend of mine is the manager there, so will be a good change of pace from the mundane of “normal” work and something fun. I also am eager to learn more about bikes and look forward to being able to work on mine more independently and not feel so out of my element when something is making that “noise”.

I have started to road race more often, that is a lot of fun and really seeing my speed increase due to them. I look forward a fun running season as well as tri season. I have my eyes on Keuka Triathlon first week of June, looking to really chop down my time on that course. This was my first triathlon 2 years ago and look forward to seeing the progress from all of my training.

I have been eating very clean, with the amazing help from my gf. She is amazing with how clean and healthy she eats, and has been a great influence on my diet and nutrition. I am currently weighing as much as I did as a fresh in college! I am hoping to drop into the 180’s for this season and being a lean-mean triathlete machine!!

Winter is under Protest

Posted: February 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

Ok, enough is enough. I love running, most of my close friends and family know this. I would much rather be in Mendon Ponds green trail over any road, and be outside over any treadmill. But there comes a point where it’s just too cold and the enjoyment of the run is no longer there.
When it gets to the point of pain from my sweat turning into ice, and my skin turning red and burning, and my fingers and toes aching for hours after the run; the enjoyment of running outside is gone. Feels like my tolerance for the cold has been altered since last year. I truly think running outside all of last winter just made it worse this year. I heard from someone that if you get frostbite, it makes that area worse in the future with cold. Well in that case, I really think that running outside last year made it worse for me this year, and for the rest of my life. So was running outside last winter worth it, sure in a way, I got to run and be off the treadmill. Was it the best option, NO. I should have done a lot less of running outside, and maybe my hands/feet and body would have not been affected in the way it was and I could have been outside more this year. Now I am doing indoor track runs mixed with treadmill and elliptical to help pass the time.
The times I have ran outside this year when the streets were snow/ice covered, the time it took me to recover was doubled from running on normal street roads. My hips/glutes and hammys became very sore and tight, and believe that set me back in training and staying healthy. I don’t think running outside for ME, is worth it being under 20 degrees, and if the roads are not clear. Sorry for the long rant, but I am staying indoors until its over 20 and until the roads are clear. I much rather be comfortable, and able to recover quicker, get the speed and HR that I need for my training, and have a much more enjoyable running experience.

Training/Life Update

Posted: February 2, 2015 in Uncategorized

Been quite some time since my last post…sorry. Training and life has been very busy and well for the most part. Coach has been upping my training hours, and with that comes some aches and pains. Not getting worried, just really working on rest days and recovery. I have an issue with stretching enough pre/post workouts. I know I need to work on rolling more also and using my muscle stick. When it comes to tri training there is so much more to it than just the 3 sports. Juggling life, work, new gf and training makes it a little more difficult. It will take time before I truly get in the groove of things, but I like the challenge. My gf has been amazing at helping my diet become more cleaner and leaner. I am dropping weight quickly and feeling strong and healthy. I also did a 10K ish race and was set to PR until I found out it was only 5.9 miles and wont count, oh well, will be other races. I am proud to be racing with Roadkill Racing, which will get me to race more, be around such amazing people/runners and get my running back to the speed it needs to be. I also love racing and want to lace up on the starting line a lot more this year.

I developed a swimmers shoulder recently, due to some of my mechanics in the pool not being great. Good thing my coach also swims at my gym and helped me realize that my left arm is crossing over my mid line and is causing my shoulder issues. She is also a PT , and helping me with strengthening and stretching. It is helping, but it will take time I know that.

My mother is in the hospital now with a very tough and serious surgery. I will be spending most of the week in the hospital with her. Trying to remain positive and focused on work and training also. Hoping she gets out of surgery soon so I can take a deep breathe.

I will give an update in a week or so on her progress and my progress as well.

First few weeks done

Posted: January 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

So the first 2 weeks of training with Valor are in the books. Let’s see how it all went and how life has been going also. Coach has been putting me on some fun swim and bike workouts, and lets just say the swim workouts are tough!

I am used to swimming at the same pace, or maybe some pick me ups but nothing hard. Coach has be doing long distance overall sets, but also with some all out efforts in the middle of it. Wow. Those are so hard to figure out your pace and effort level so you don’t crash with 50 yards to go!

Bike workouts are going great. I am feeling stronger and able to put on higher levels of intensity and gears on the bike. I really cant wait to get outside and test out all of this riding and bike training. I am hoping to kill it on the bike this year.

Running to me as been running. It’s my go to when the others are having trouble. Running is my Zen, my church, my solitude in a busy week. I can always put on my running shoes and get into “my place” in my head. I went on a 13 mile run yesterday around the city.

Mentally I am focused and my body has been listening to me when I need it and need speed and effort, and its been recovering well. I need to get into the weight room more and get back onto a yoga routine. I did weights on Sat and my arms and upper body is still sore days later, just means I don’t do it enough. It will certainly help me lose the weight I need and to be a stronger swimmer in the pool.

On a personal side note, life has been going much better for me outside of training. Work has been going well, starting to really contribute and help the team. I am also happy in my personal life as I have met an amazing person, without looking or making effort. They always say that when you don’t look that’s when you will find the right person for you, always thought that was a stupid old wives tale, apparently it isn’t!

This week coach has me doing a very hard swim workout tomorrow, followed by some mile repeats on Wed..should be an interesting week for sure!

Have a great week everyone! Thank you to all who are following my journey to the Year of Blake. I think 2015 will be an amazing year!

2015

Posted: December 30, 2014 in Uncategorized

The year of me. This will be the year where if there is something I want to do, or go or accomplish I’ll find a way. I need to back to the roots of who I am, and ready to go on that journey to find just what that is.
For starters I will stop drinking soda, no fried foods and will limit my sweets to on small rare occasions. I will stop buying food that I shouldn’t eat, so they are not in the cupboards teasing me when I am weak.

Second, I am starting my ironman training this Friday with coach Jennie Hansen! So excited to start the journey with Valor and see what I am capable of doing with the right coaching and direction. I have faith that she can help me get to the starting line a lot better prepared and ready to take on the 140.6.

Third, I will listen to my heart and find someone who is right for me, and not settle for anything. I’d rather be alone and find my happiness, then be with someone who isn’t right for me. If they are not on board with my training or life goals, healthy living or spending time with friends/family then they aren’t good in my life.

4th, I’ll work hard at being attentive at work and proving to my coworkers that I am important to the company and that I am a valuable asset through my hard work and dedication to my job.

5th, I’ll take the time to have fun and enjoy the journey ahead of me this year. I know I’ll be tired and some days/weeks training and work will take a lot of my time, but I won’t forget to have fun, smile and enjoy myself. I’ll find the time to see friends and family.

6th, I will be strict with my budget and get myself back on track with saving money and saving up for trips and races. I will pay off the credit cards I’ve been using since being laid off and trying to get back on my feet since the divorce.

Lastly, I will cross that finish line @ Beach to Battleship and have the biggest smile on my face, remembering the journey that I had to go through to get  there.

Thank you all who have supported me this year which has been the toughest year of my life, and to all who will be there for me this year, which will be my year of finding myself again and regaining Blake.

image

image

New post coming soon!

Posted: December 29, 2014 in Uncategorized

Sorry I have been quite busy with the holidays, but I will be in Boston this week with my sister on vaca and Ill be recapping the last few weeks, discussing my training that starts next week and also my new years resolutions!