Celebrating 5 years of Ironman participation

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Ironman Lake Placid – One more time

After 4 years off of long-distance triathlons and much debate about whether the 2014 Ironman Maryland was my last race, I am excited to announce that I will be returning to Lake Placid, NY on July 18, 2018 for the 20th Anniversary of Ironman Lake Placid (and my 10th anniversary of being an Ironman).

My training plan will not officially begin until January 2018.  In the mean time, I’m keeping focused on running (with the Heartbreakers in Boston) and strength training.

While on a hiatus from Ironman triathlon for the past three years, I have not been a complete couch potato.  In between a few half marathons, I’ve been spending a fair amount of time applying the lessons I’ve learned from Ironman to my life at work.

2014 not only marked my 5th Ironman race, but also my shift from West Coast startup life back to East Coast corporate life.  I love thinking through how my triathlon life can positively influence my success within IBM.  For my “pre-training” mode through the end of 2017, I’ll be publishing a 10-part series on lessons from triathlon applied to business life.

Check out the first article now, available on OpenView Partner’s Lab:

Lessons from a triathlete: Begin with the end in mind

You can also catch up on some of the fun I’ve had mixing triathlon, running, and work together over the past 3 years with these highlights from IBM projects with USA Cycling, Runkeeper, and Simon Wheatcroft.








4th of July – Ironman Style

We escaped to Napa/Sonoma for some 4th of July celebrating.  Here’s how to celebrate the 4th like an Ironman in Training!

1. 40 mile bike ride along the Silverado Trail.  90+ degrees.  Paceline for 20 miles, average speed 19-20 mph.



2. Swim in a Lake. New find: Spring Lake Regional Park!  

Spring Lake Park

3. FEAST!  Family style picnic at SpoonBar!, music by Easy Leaves Duo, Fireworks – Healdsburg Plaza.  Done!

Easy Leaves Duo








Fourth of July Menu

1st course
Chilled watermelon + verbena
Chopped salad
Corn bread + smoked honey

2nd course
Slow roasted spare ribs, sesame, BBQ sauce, scallions
Crispy fried chicken, jalapeno mash
Baked Rancho Gordo beans, roasted + picked pigs head, herbs
Roasted corn on the cob, lime, queso fresco, arbol chili
Fingerling potato salad, pickled onions, mustard, aioli

3rd course
A picnic basket of cheese, sour dough, summer fruit preserves
Chilled berries


Ride Report: Giro di Pacifica

10,000 ft of climbing + 100 miles + 106 degrees = Giro di Pacifica Century Ride.

I joined my friend Katya (also racing LP – and she also lived in Delmar!), a few of her friends, and my friend Rachel for this organized bike ride around the South Bay.  The ride started in Pacifica, went down the coast along Rt.1 to Pescadero, then climbed over the mountains towards Palo Alto (view full route).  While we’ve cycled these roads before, this was a new overall route and we were excited about a fully supported ride (aid stations, SAG support).

The Highlights:

Not only did we go through the new Lantos “Devil’s Slide” Tunnel on Rt. 1, but Katya’s friends won the “First Through the Tunnel” option and the small group of us got the whole tunnel to ourselves.

I discovered POTATOES.  When you cannot stomach another cliff bar or Gu, try a boiled potato!  White potatoes have a high glycemic index so they provide a quick energy burst and are easy to digest.  They even keep in your jersey pocket.   I’m thinking about adding some to my special needs bag for IMLP.  Overall potato intake: Roughly 7 halves of small white potatoes.

I remembered to DRINK while climbing.  I made it up Alpine road – the toughest 7 mile climb on the route – with no trouble, thanks to my consumption of nearly 2 bottles of sports drink.  Much better than my attempt at Brockway Summit in Lake Tahoe with half a bottle of GuBrew that left me ready to vomit.

The Challenges:

The HILLS… never… ended.  There was a climb on Pescadero Creek Road leading up to Alpine.  There was a good climb between the aid stations at miles 65 and 80.  Oh, and just when we thought we were done – in Pacifica, turning back onto Rt. 1 with a mile to go – yup, you got it, one more little hill.

The heat.  Seriously.  106 degrees?  As one other cyclist said after our major descent, “It felt like I was cycling straight into a hot hairdryer.”  Most of the aid stations had no shade or tents.  I don’t know why I keep cycling in this heat.  Right now, it’s close to flooding in the Lake Placid region.

Finally, the organizers did a pretty good job, but I do have to say it was disappointing that one aid station was not set up as planned and the aid station at mile 80 had run out of sports drink.

I’m hoping I can get in another 100 miles+ this coming weekend, with a lot less heat and hills!

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30 Days until IMLP 2013

I went to Lake Placid over Memorial Day Weekend and picked up a few tips that will be good to know for race weekend – just a month away!

1. The road conditions on Rt. 73 heading out of LP towards Keene are a little rough, but the rest of the roads on the bike route are in good shape.

2. There’s a new hotel going up next door to the Lake Placid Brewery. It’s a Hampton Inn and is open for the race weekend.

3. Lake Placid Brewery now has a third floor! With a kids play room and a big room for private parties

4. Bluesberry Bakery on Main St will make things (like maple walnut scones) special order if you call ahead!

5. There’s a new grocery store in town. Hannaford is across the street from Price Chopper now.

6. Placid Planet Bicycle shop will be open 24 hours a day during race week

And, hopefully, we won’t see any of this weather we saw in May:

Snowy May Lake Placid





Motherlode Century

It’s funny what you willingly sign yourself up for sometimes.  Take the Motherlode Century bike ride, for example.  The website does little to hide the fact that it will be hilly.  And, by hilly, I mean close to 10,000 feet of climbing!  Seriously, that’s like hiking on your bike.  And, the ride was starting in Lotus, CA – that’s right along the South Fork American River in the foothills of Gold country outside Lake Tahoe – where it is HOT.

So, knowing full well, it would be a long, hot, hilly day, I signed up for the Motherlode, packed up my gear, and joined my friends to tackle this thing.

Motherlode century start

Ready to go!

The ride was not too bad to start.  And, we were enjoying the full support with aid stations every 20 miles or so.  Who can resist soda, jelly beans, and salty chips on a hot day?  Soda count: 1

It was around mile 40, that things got interesting.  First up – Mosquito hill.  And, yes, the hill was named appropriately.  At times I could see the mosquitos sitting on my arm snacking away, and I could do nothing to stop them.  Surely taking even one hand off the handle bars would have led to me falling over on the steep climb.

Next, we all wore out our brakes on the steepest descent down a one lane road that ended with crossing over a wooden bridge.  Oh, and then we had to climb back up, of course.

Mosquito Hill Bridge

Mosquito Hill Bridge

We were still in pretty good spirits, especially after the lunch stop.  Per Kelly’s advice, I loaded pickles on my sandwich.  Rumor has it they help prevent cramping.  Seemed like a good idea.  Soda count: 2.5

Mile 71 brought the most interesting and challenging element of the ride.  We cruised down a winding road only to find the road slowly breaking up – first gravel, then dirt, then a creek.  Yes, we had a water crossing.  The ride organizers had a volunteer there to serve as a bike valet.  CK got a lift, and we waded through the water and cooled off a little.  Did I mention it was in the 90’s by this time?

motherlode river crossing

motherlode bike valet











Leaving Weber Creek was one of the toughest, steepest climbs. From a complete standstill, you had to climb something so steep, all you could do was stand, pedal, and look at your front tire.

While that was challenging, it was the final climb up Salmon Falls that nearly did me in.  Totally exposed with the sun beating down on us from miles 75-87.  An extra aid station part way up the climb was essential for my soda intake.  Soda count: 3.5

The ride finally came to finish with an easy 4 miles back to the Earth Trek Campground.  Showers, the river, a band, a BBQ – perfect!

We recovered enough on Saturday for an 8 mile run near Folsom Lake.  Our spirits had improved enough that everyone was willing to participate in a little synchronized swimming lesson from yours truly.

post motherlode synchro


Ironman Race Goals

Conventional wisdom dictates that the goal of your first Ironman should be to finish.  Any expectations you have about time or performance – put them aside and just cross that finish line.  Even better, cross the finish line with a smile.

I did just that at Ironman Lake Placid 2008

My finish at IMLP

My finish at IMLP

I held onto that primary goal of having a great experience at Ironman Wisconsin in 2009 and Ironman Canada in 2011.  Now, five years later as I return to the place it all started, I’m ready to set new goals. These are the ideas in my head driving me to M2 cycling classes every Tuesday and Thursday, the USF Koret pool every Wednesday and Friday, and out on the roads/trails each weekend.

4th Ironman/Return to Lake Placid Goals:

  1. Finish the bike portion in under 7 hours.  6:45 sounds nice and doable.
  2. Finish the run in 5 hours flat, maybe a little less.
  3. Keep my same time on the swim as in 2008
  4. Enjoy a Lake Placid Brewery Ubu Ale at the end of the race (or by lunch the next day)
  5. Spend the remainder of the following week hanging out with my family in upstate NY.  It’s ok if my youngest niece waddles quicker than me.


If I hit my targets above, I’ll finish IMLP closer to 13 hours.  This would be a great improvement, and not unfathomable.  I recently re-discovered my copy of “Training Plans for Multisport Athletes,” and read the chapter on “13 Weeks to a Sub-13 Hour Ironman.” There’s a chart that provides several paths to hitting the 13 hour or less mark – and I’m already there.

So, this year, I want to have time goals and performance goals.  I want all my friends and family (and readers of this blog) to know my goals. The goals are posted here – and they’ll be hanging on the fridge door (along with spectator duties) at the IMLP House.

Please help hold me accountable.  Please push me to train a little more seriously.

And, I promise to not only keep these goals visible, but also work as hard as possible (regardless of rain or heat) to meet them.

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Product Review: MooMotion Indie Tri Kit

Finding the right clothing is a bit of a never-ending journey in the world of triathlon.  The legs pinch too much, the tops are too short, the padding in the bike shorts doesn’t last for 100+ mile rides (minus my favorite De Soto shorts), swim caps slip…and if you’re a woman, the internal bras in tri tops never provide enough support.  In addition to the perils of finding the right fitting gear, we female triathletes are often searching for the right style.  There’s a limit to how many daisies you can wear at once.

I’m excited to introduce you all to MooMotion.  It’s a new line of multi-sport attire for women.  Based on the mantra of “work hard, play harder,” this new line of apparel has great style, flattering lines, and quality material.  I met Melissa Moo, the founder of Moo Motion recently and had the chance to try one of the first kits out of the factory. You can try out MooMotion for yourself at the GGTC Vendor Expo on March 4th or at the Tri Mania Expo in NYC on March 16th.  

MooMotion Indie

The full Indie Kit

What I Love About MooMotion (after a test ride in the kit during my morning workout at M2 Revolution):

  • The colors!  Beautiful hues that mirror those found in my work wardrobe.
  • The fabric – From Italy, it is smooth and wicking.  Plus, the tri top has great breathable mesh in the right places
  • Length of the tops – Both the tri top and the matching jacket have long silhouettes, so you don’t need to worry about your top creeping up and getting sunburn on your back during your long days on the road.
  • The matching jacket and top with the Indie style.  I have never looked so put together!
  • The tri top is also fantastic.  It reminds me of the Orca tri tops, I once loved.  Better than Orca, MooMotion left the back pockets open to make it easy to reach your shot blocks and gu. The top also has a hidden cleavage pocket which could be perfect for a house key.
MooMotion kit

Test ride in MooMotion at M2


Again ladies, you can test MooMotion out for yourself – and possibly even win a free kit at the GGTC Vendor Expo on March 4th or at the Tri Mania Expo in NYC on March 16th.    Not in SF or NY?  No problem, the online shop is now open.

I look forward to trying a few other styles myself…and maybe crossing the line of IMLP in one of these kits.