Thursday, November 27, 2008

A year for which to be thankful...

I'm thankful for the past 12 months because:

1.  I learned the difference between skepticism and cynicism.
2.  I grasped the concept of "work to live" vice "live to work."
3.  I was shown sympathy and empathy.
4.  I grew the number of my acquaintances and the depth of my friendships.
5.  I began to understand the truth that "just because you can doesn't mean you should."
6.  I was forced to internalize that a lack of education doesn't mean a lack of intelligence.
7.  I embraced "new deals" and not "nude eels."
8.  I served in the company of great men (and women).
9.  I have friends who shared the truth... No matter how much it might have hurt at the time.
10. Rachel, Boo, and Savannah...

Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 9, 2008


Each of us defines "success" individually.  Familial, professional, spiritual, social, and physical are just a few of the areas one might consider important.  While each has its own specific measures of success, I believe each of them are also inextricably linked.

2008 has been an interesting journey and I think my triathlon season has reflected the impact positive support from family, friends, co-workers, and coaches has on our individual performance.  

So, let me be clear.  I think 2008 was one of my most rewarding seasons.  I overcame early failure at IMAZ and finished with a significant personal best time for the half-ironman distance at the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Clearwater, Florida.

First, I'd never excel without the Rachel's support.  She pushes me to be my best in every endeavor.  

Second, I appreciate the friendship and support that Dave Ciavarella provided throughout the season. He's a true gentleman.

Third, I think Marc Becker at Ironguides is one of the best coaches in the business. His no-nonsense approach has resulted in 2 of my 3 fastest Ironman finishes and 3 of my top-4 half-Ironman finishes.  Basically, he knows how to coach:  Focus on the basics, reinforce proper habits (technique, diet, recovery, and consistency), and slowly/continuously build the athlete until race day results are known BEFORE the gun goes off.  I'd recommend him to any athlete willing to commit themselves fully to their goals.

As for race day... Beautiful course, disappointing swim, outstanding bike (reflecting TONS of additional bike work in training and a willingness to take risks in racing), and a hard-fought run.  I'd say the course gave me 10-minutes and I earned the other 10-minutes of my nearly 20-minute Personal Best.

TOTAL SWIM1.2 mi. (35:01)1:50/100m950141

BIKE SPLIT 120.7 mi. (54:06)22.96 mph
BIKE SPLIT 220.3 mi. (49:13)24.75 mph
BIKE SPLIT 315 mi. (38:23)23.45 mph
TOTAL BIKE56 mi. (2:21:42)23.71 mph

RUN SPLIT 13.5 mi. (25:00)7:08/mile
RUN SPLIT 23 mi. (21:42)7:12/mile
RUN SPLIT 33.6 mi. (26:45)7:27/mile
RUN SPLIT 43 mi. (22:49)7:36/mile
TOTAL RUN13.1 mi. (1:36:16)7:20/mile50577

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Yes we can!

Inspiring... And, I believe him.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

The challenge...

What happens when you take 10 of the nation's smartest Field Grade military Officers, 70 cans of beer, halloween, and a competitive guy?  We like to call it "the challenge."

The challenge?  Eat 50 packets of candy in 50 minutes (without throwing up for another 50 minutes after the challenge was complete) for $50. 
It all started innocuously enough...Apparently, children were afraid to trick-or-treat in our neighborhood...I suppose this isn't surprising given that our neighborhood is filled with a bunch of 35-40 year old "Geo-Bachelors" (guys whose wives are living back home while we're in school thousands of miles away).  The result was someone asking "what are we going to do with all this candy."  And then it happened...Someone said, "Vinnie will eat it" and Vinnie actually said he could...
The candy was a mix of Snickers, Twix, Reese's Peanut Butter Cups, Swedish Fish, and Sour Patch candy.  Somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 calories (heck, some people can eat that at a Burger King for lunch).

Vinnie started out on fire by powering through a few chocolates and a bunch of fish, but it was ultimately the Sour Patch which proved the greatest challenge.  At 20 minutes, he'd consumed 20 items.  At 30 minutes, he'd consumed 30, but wasn't looking good.  At 36 minutes, he threw in the towel, exited the house, and fertilized the grass.

I wonder what we can do with Turkey for Thanksgiving or Egg Nog at Christmas...