About Me

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This is my 6th Summer of racing triathlon. I have now completed 3 Ironmans under my belt, Florida 2009, Coeur d'Alene 2010, and most recently Ironman Wisconsin on 9/11/11. I love my family and I love my sport and everything they have both done for me.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Ironman 70.3 Kansas Race Report

Wow...ok So it's been a while since I've blogged...ok. Here goes. This season has been more or less a success so far for me. My season opener was the Chain of Lakes sprint triathlon in Alexandria. I was accompanied by my brother only, which was in and of itself a change of pace as far as "support crew" goes. It's a pool swim in Alex and with my swimming abilities I had the fortune of going off in the last wave (elite apparently) which meant I started at something like 11 am...after getting there around 7:30. Long story short, good swim, wet and windy bike, biffed it in T2 on a wet timing mat, good run, good start to the season, minor road rash to show for it. Next race...Fargo half marathon. Again, long story short, I reached my goal of under 2 hours with a 1:59:34. May not seem fast to you runner people but it's been haunting me for years and has been to this point the race of my life. Next race, Dewey Du. Very solid effort for me. My run speed has really been improving and I was able to "showcase" it so to speak at this race. I did both 5k runs around a 7 - 7:30 pace which for me is unheard of at any distance and had a very solid bike at 22 + mph...again fast for me. I walked away with 6th overall and won my age group, thanks in part to the absence of a certain pair of brothers who shall remain nameless. Ok...now for the Kansas race report Quote of the day? "Don't bonk. Stay on top your hydration and all that shit." A good luck text message from my favorite brother the night before the race! Heat and wind are two words which best describe this race in a nutshell. This race was one of the most fun race experiences I have ever had. We arrived in Fargo Thursday night. We left Nicholas with Grandpa on Friday morning and set off for Lawrence, KS! After a looooong drive we got to our camp site and set everything up. We went into town for a late dinner with some fellow racers and returned to our campsite late for a short fire. We made our way to bed in our little tent and I actually slept pretty well. We got up the next morning and walked the couple hundred yards to check in for the race. I got all checked in, signed things that I think say things like I won't sue the WTC (World Triathlon Corporation) if I drop dead during the race, and we walked around the Ironman store and bought a bunch of stuff, including an updated size of "when I grow up I want to be an Ironman" for Nicholas. I spent the rest of the day getting my gear in order, checking my bike in, knocking out a couple of short tune up workouts, eating, and drinking. We did go back into town for some Dairy Queen and to see a movie. We went back to camp and made some spaghetti for dinner, had a nice fire and went to bed early. I slept well and the alarm went off at 4:00. Race Day! Booya! Got up, got my caffeine, breakfast, and hydration in me and we set off for transition - approximately a 5 minute walk. I set up my T2 with my running shoes, hat, and some nutrition and then met back up with Leah and headed down the hill to T1 and the swim start. I set up my T1 including my towel, bottles, nutrition, helmet, and sunglasses, and made my way back out to Leah. Everything is going well at this point. This is not a full Ironman and so it was not a mass start. For this reason I had to wait until about 7:25 for my wave of M30-34 to start. USA triathlon has a rule that you race in the age group of your age on the 31st of the year. Yuck but oh well. So I mentioned the wind. It was a very bumpy swim. After an in water start, I swam through my wave and several of the waves in front of me as I passed people in several different colored caps. Favorite swim moment was everyone apologizing for peeing as we waited in water for the start. Turns out my swim was 4th in my age group. After a respectable and efficient but not lightning fast T1 I was out on the WINDY bike. My bike was average for me. It was not the hardest course per se but the the wind intensified the degree of difficulty. Head winds uphill sucked, tail winds were fun. Cross winds going downhill at 45 mph with deep dish wheels were sort of interesting as I had to hang on like none other to avoid catching a gust and getting blown over. I didn't blow over though. Finished the bike around 19 mph. Not as fast as I would have liked but what can you do. Nutrition and hydration went well so I seem to have that nailed down. Favorite bike moment was the woman cheering in the middle of the hill yelling how Kansas is flat, which it isn't. Now onto the run...grrr run. After about 3 miles of the run I knew it would be about survival and not speed. Seeing as how I am not Lance Armstrong and cannot hold my heart rate at 185 + for close to 2 hours, I was not able to run the entire time. In fact, there was a large amount of walking involved. My brightest moments were when I saw Leah multiple times and I smiled each time I did. Especially when she gave me some lovely ice cold water to pour on and in myself. The run was hot as hell. Hats off to those who can run in that heat, but I can't. I wish I could. I don't know if it's physical, mental, or what, but I can't do heat well. I hope I can figure it out one day, but I haven't yet. I wore my cooling shirt and was able to shove ice down my back but like I said, it was about survival. I finished in 6:24 and was very happy to be done for the day. Ate lots, drank lots, showered, left, drove home, and that's how it went. Could not have done it without Leah, as always, who took great care of me, as always. Although this was not my best or fastest race, I had an amazing time camping with Leah, and loved soaking in the Ironman atmosphere... My future race plans include: This season I intend to race on June 30 at the Minneman Olympic Distance triathlon in Oak Grove, MN. Next up will be the Maple Grove Triathlon on August 25, held in conjunction with TRISTAR111 Minnesota. My final race of the season will be the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7. All 26.2 miles. Why? Because it's fun remember? And I would also like to announce my intentions to race Ironman Lake Placid in July 2013. Thanks all for reading. Thanks for all your continued support!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ironman Wisconsin Race Report

After a week and a bit to think about it, I am finally ready to write my race report for Ironman Wisconsin on 9/11/11. I arrived in Madison by myself on Wednesday before the race. I spent Thursday, Friday, and much of Saturday completing the usual pre race preparations - checking in, getting gear bags ready, short workouts, walking around the expo, and resting. On Saturday morning, the Optumhealth Performance athletes had a get together for any last minute questions etc. It was good to catch up with some people I had gotten to know at training camp at the end of July. Dad, Leah, and Nicholas (my fantastic support crew) arrived on Saturday afternoon and I was very happy to see them. We hung out at the hotel for a while, went and got Dad checked in, then headed downtown for dinner. I think everyone else doing the race had the same idea and we ended up waiting 40 minutes at the third place we tried. But the food was good and it was well worth the wait. We then headed back to the hotel and Dad took Nicholas to spend the night at his hotel, for which he deserves saint status. We got up to the room and I got all the usual night before stuff done - bottles and nutrition ready, special needs and clothes bags ready, and was ready for the morning. I actually was able to get a good night's sleep and woke up about 4. I didn't feel the knots in the stomach nervousness or the force the food down feeling I had before the last 2 ironmans so I was able to get a good breakfast in and had no stomach issues. Leah and I headed off to the race. We parked and started the short walk. It was at this point, shortly before 6 am, that I realized I forgot my heart rate monitor. So Leah ran back to the hotel and got back to the race and found me before 6:30, for which she deserves saint status. In the meantime I got body marked, got my nutrition on my bike, and sat inside against the wall wondering why the hell it is that I do this again. When Leah got back, I got my wetsuit on and we headed down towards the water. I kissed her goodbye - wish I knew how she felt at this point - and made my way toward the boat ramp for the in water start. I got in the water kind of late, shortly before 7, but managed to get decent inside positioning for the start.

THE SWIM - The swim start was definitely the easiest of the 3 I have experienced. People aren't running, they r in the water swimming. I experienced very minimal contact and got a great line on the inside of the buoys. I settled in and found a good rhythym. I checked my watch at the end of the first lap and saw 27 something. I was on pace for a good swim. I found somewhat of a group to draft with on my second lap and was actually having some fun out there. I got out of the water with a high 56 minute swim split. My personal best by 2 minutes and I was very happy with it.

T1 - I felt like a rockstar running up the helix with screaming people lining either side all the way up to transition. I saw my coach as I got inside and he was yelling "awesome swim Don, great swim!!" Sat down in transition and had about 3 people helping me because not too many people were in there yet. Another OHP coach who also recognized me was helping me get suited up and giving me reminders to take it easy and play it safe in the first 20 minutes of the bike. I then headed out to my bike where the volunteer who handed it to me said, "you have a beautiful wife and son - I had taped a picture of Leah and Nicholas to my aerobar. "Thank you," I said and headed out on my way.

THE BIKE - I headed out on the bike and took maybe 20-30 minutes to settle down my heart rate and get comfortable. About 16 miles in I started my first of 2 40 mile loops. I was familiar with the bike course as I had ridden it during a training camp about 6 weeks prior, so I knew what to expect. To be blunt, the course is hard, hilly, and technical, but I was confident. I was feeling good, my nutrition was on track - 200 calories of carbopro with nuun and a gel every hour, amounting to 300 calories an hour, of course sipping water as well. This loop has 3 major climbs. Each climb is lined with screaming fans in costumes and signs who run along beside you, exactly like the Tour de France. I again felt like a rockstar. The fans give you so much adrenaline that you can't even feel the effort you are putting forth to get up the hills. My coach was at the top of one of the hills and I gave him the thumbs up as I rode by. After the first loop, the adrenaline had worn off but I was still feeling decent. I got my special needs, drank my red bull and woke up a bit. This is where things sort of get interesting. It was around mile 70 that I suddenly found myself on the ground bleeding out of my elbow and both my legs. I wish I could say I crashed with someone or that it was someone else's fault, but I can't say that. I was alone, I remember looking down, then looking up. Something must have caught my eye and I must have hit my front brake. My bike flipped up and over me and I landed on a combination of my chest and elbow judging by the condition of my arm and my bike jersey. I got up, walked over to my bike and saw that my xlab wing on the back had literally snapped off, so everything was sort of dangling from the back. The first to arrive was a state trooper who radioed my name, then a volunteer shortly after. They gave me the option of getting medical help on the spot or continuing on to a town called Mount Horeb, about 6 miles up the road. I rinsed off my elbow with some water, got back on the bike and started riding, I was not going to quit this damn race if I was still conscious. After five minutes or so I had to stop cuz my xlab wing was dangling and rubbing my rear wheel. I zip tied my tool bag to my seat, but my wing was still dangling there precariously looking pretty stupid I imagine. I made it to Mount Hored where there was medical at the aid station. The volunteer checked out my bike, which, aside from the aforementioned xlab wing, was completely undamaged, thank GOD!. The paramedics on duty couldn't help me themselves or I'd be disqualified, so they gave the volunteer some gauze and some wrap and he patched me up and I was on my way, with about 40 miles to ride still. The 3 climbs were not as easy the 2nd time through and I cramped pretty badly on the last hill with my quads locking up on each pedal stroke. I was not going to get off my bike and walk it up, like I saw several other people doing, so I hammered through the pain and cramping and made it to the top and spun out the legs on the descent. After the 2nd loop it was time to head back to town. There was a tail wind on the way in so I actually felt pretty good and gained some speed in the last half hour. All in all my bike split was 6:30 even. Looking at my GPS files from the race a bit later I saw that I was stopped for about 15 minutes in all. It could have been worse. My coach always talks about having a plan B, I just never thought it would happen to me. Up until that point, I had never once crashed my bike out on the road during a race, and only once in training in 6 years. Well my luck ran out, but I didn't let it ruin my day. I could've quit and justified doing so but I didn't. I only comtemplated doing so for about 0.68 seconds. That reference is for you little brother! Backtracking a bit, I even got a few more comments on the picture that was on my aerobars while I was out on the bike course. That picture saved my day.

T2 - Anyway...made it into T2 and saw Dad, Leah and Nicholas on the way in. She didn't look like she knew I was hurt, neither did Dad. When I came out of the changing room I saw Leah out of the corner of my eye. I was not in a very good place mentally and needed to hear something...anything. I was almost in tears and I told her I had crashed, that I was hurt and that it basically was going to be a long night so as not to worry her if I hobbled in as the last finisher or something. She said "we love you and you can do this." I kissed them both and turned around and headed out the door.

THE "RUN" - I started to run and felt like crap. My legs were bruised and bleeding and I couldn't bend my left arm. It was hot out too, probably mid 80s. I tried several times in the first hour to run, but every time I did, my heart rate would spike and I had to walk because I didn't want to end up getting an IV on the spot like a few other people on the side of the road flat on their backs. For the first maybe 8-10 miles I tried this a few times but the legs wouldn't fire. Maybe I was in a state of mini shock from my crash, maybe it was mental, maybe it was because I had just ridden a bike for 6+ hours and it was really hot out, I don't know. What I do know is that it wasn't happening. I found myself starting to lose the mental battle and was having my own little pity party out there, almost starting to cry a few times because I was so pissed off for a number of reasons. Around mile 9, I came across my coach... I told him what happened and that I could not run. He told me to keep moving and to do what I could to get to that line and said a few other things to build me up. I knew it, but I still needed to hear it and it helped. About that time, I ran into Dave, another guy from Grand Forks who was doing the race. GI issues had screwed up his race and he was relegated to walking because he couldn't keep calories down. It was at that point that I decided I was going to let the day be what it was and just finish. I walked for probably 16 miles with him. There were long periods of silence with periodic talking and high fiving kids cheering along the way. Before we knew it, it was around the 14 hour mark - I finished Florida in 11:56 and Coeur d'Alene in 12:45 - and we hit the 25 mile marker. Slowly but surely we had walked the marathon. Both of us made attempts to shuffle a bit but these attempts were short lived. The balls of my feet were on fire, my arm hurt like a bitch, but I was going to be an Ironman once again. I probably could have done it without Dave, but it wouldn't have been as fun. It might have even been faster who knows. The athletes were pretty spaced out when we got near the finish so I sent him on ahead and thanked him for helping me turn my day around. I rounded the corner and caught Dad, Leah and Nicholas out of the corner of my eye at the beginning of the finisher's chute. This time, I took it slow, high fived random people on the way down, and crossed the line. I was indeed an Ironman for the 3rd time. My coach was there, he hugged me told me he was proud of me. He told me this race threw me a curve like any race can and I dealt with it and persevered and that it took lots of mental toughness. Of course I got my hat, shirt, medal and finisher's photo. Finally I found the family and gave them all hugs and kisses. Leah said she was more proud of me now than after either of my either 2. I think I understand why.

Matt...You obsessively followed along all day like I expected you would, so thanks buddy. Leah even told me you texted her in the car for updates because you weren't near a computer...That's also something I would do. It was good to read all your encouraging words after the race. Everyone else..it's amazing to know how many people followed me and commented throughout the day. I appreciate all the words of support and congratulations. A week and bit after, I am feeling pretty good, aside from a bit of a sore arm still.

Leah - You know me, you know what I need before, during and after races, your mini pep talk in T2 kept me going. Thanks for all your sacrifices and I love you!

Dad - I could not have done this race without you there. It means a lot that you've been at all of my races. So thank you.

Nicholas - It was really cool to have you watching me buddy! One day you'll understand why Daddy does this and maybe even do one with him! It was a special day having my son see his first Ironman. Hopefully many more to come!

Plans for next season...There are no Ironmans on the calendar for next year. I am taking a year off from the Ironman distance to focus on having more time with family and to do things like travel and visit friends in far away places. Ironman is a huge family and financial sacrifice for everyone involved and the training is very time consuming. I do still plan to race next season. I'd like to focus on some short races, add more speed to my training, and maybe do one or 2 70.3 distance races. Leah and I will sit down maybe some time in the winter and figure out our summer. As for my next Ironman? It will be 2013. I'd like to take a shot at Lake Placid if I can get into it. If not, then maybe Arizona, Canada, or Louisville, that's the short list. Of course there's always the big show in Hawaii, you never know... :-)

I hope you've all enjoyed reading. Again thank you all for the support. God Bless!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The night before Ironman Wisconsin

The night before an Ironman is always the longest. All the preparation, work, and training is done. Dinner is in, and we are just sitting at the hotel, winding down, about to head to bed in an attempt to sleep. This has been sort of an up and down rebuilding type summer for me. My loved ones and my training have kept me sane and grounded. I could not do this without their sacrifices and for that I thank them. They know I appreciate them and I hope I say it enough. I have my small entourage (support crew) with me for this race. Dad and Leah are here. This is also the first Ironman for Nicholas who is spending the night with Grandpa. He will have absolutely no recollection of watching his first Ironman, or most likely his second or his third for that matter, but I and everyone here will remember it and can tell him about it. It's weird sort of... I always saw all the "go daddy!" signs and now that's me. I'll have a picture of Leah and Nicholas taped to my aerobars and will wear my wedding ring around my neck this time. Of course mom will be watching like she is every race, cheering for me and at the same time scolding me for doing this to my body the way that she did...

I have been so caught up in this Ironman stuff that I almost forgot that tomorrow is the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Where was I? In my dorm room in Smith Hall and then eating breakfast at Squires. Maybe the whole thing will hit me at some point during the race tomorrow when I have all that time to think...

Anyway...Not very deep or profound words this time but I think I've said what I needed to say. Thank you all for your support and words of encouragement. My next entry will be my race report. Remember to follow along tomorrow, thanks for reading all!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Some pictures from the Lifetime Minneapolis Triathlon

My favorite fans!

Me with Andy Potts

Me with Sarah Haskins

Podium finish! The guy next to me is way taller...but I am on the middle step!

good workout!

So I had a fun workout today. The plan was to be a 2 hour ride followed by a 30 minute run. Not huge by any means but still a good day of work. As I was about to head out the door a severe thunderstorm blew through the area. I was happy I wasn't out on my bike when this occurred, so was Leah. So...I set my bike up on the trainer in front of the tv and fan I have in the garage. Watched a combination of Bad Boys 2 - and when that DVD froze I switched to a Kona DVD :-) Ride went well, 30 minute warmup, followed by 5x12 minutes of tempo riding with 3 minute recoveries. Followed a nutrition strategy of 300 calories an hour using a combination of carbo pro and energy gel. Seemed to work, I'm gonna give it a shot next weekend. Then I headed out on a 30 minute run. It was HOT. Struggled my way through the run, got home, went straight to the backyard and stood under the cold hose for a few minutes. Felt great! Its about 90 out and just rained so it is humid. I'm hoping for not this weather next weekend but obviously will play the cards I'm dealt. Currently as I sit writing this, my future Ironman is playing on the floor with his mother's shoe and what looks like a cord of some kind... So that's my cue! Until next time!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lifetime Minneapolis Triathlon Race Report

Ok folks, less than one week post race, here is the race report. The day before the race, the fans (Leah and Nicholas) and I attended the expo at a time I am not used to being there! We were there in the afternoon and for this reason I was able to meet and chat with Andy Potts and Sarah Haskins, two professionals competing in Saturday's race. Andy Potts was in the Athens olympics, is an awesome all around triathlete, and won Ironman Coeur d'Alene when I was there last year and actually commented on my finisher's shirt. It was great to chat with him and get a picture and autograph. He is a class act. Sarah Haskins was an olympian in 08 and I'm pretty sure she is well on her way for 2012. She won the women's race in Minneapolis this year and is one of 3 women to break 2 hours on this course! I follow both of these athletes closely and it was great to meet and chat with them!

RACE DAY!! This one is an early one so we were up very early, alarm was set for 3:45 am! We were fortunate enough to be staying with friends and not in a hotel this time. I like the "homestay" much better. It was great to visit with such good friends and have such great hospitality. So the morning went very well. Leah did a kick ass job of getting up and getting herself and Nicholas ready while I ate and got my nutrition ready and got ready to go. Got to the race, and after a short walk got my transition area set up and found the fans on the beach right by the swim out. Posed for some pictures with my fans then hit the porta potty one more time. Then I headed out to the beach for a short warmup and a short wait for my wave. I entered in the clydesdale division with hopes of winning it this year, more on that to come! My wave went off shortly after the elite wave, which I have always liked at this race, because I am one of the faster swimmers in one of the earliest waves which means I have transition basically to myself. Swim was actually not my fastest here (only about 30 seconds off). Weather was icky and windy and the water was a bit choppy. Was good to hear my coach on the walkway above the swim out screaming out "great swim great way to start the day!" Got through transition well enough and out on the bike. The bike was ok but never felt super awesome. Roads were a bit wet in spots and I saw a few people go down right near me so I was happy to take some extra caution. Bike split was about a minute slower than my best here in 2009. Not awful but not great, 21.4 mph I believe. Lost my bike shoe on my dismount into transition. Was grateful for the volunteer who ran my shoe back to me in transition. Volunteers kick ass! I've been one and my ass has been saved by one several times, so thankful for them! Headed out on the run and felt pretty good. Got to a little less than 3 miles and started to feel not so great. So....the 2nd lap of the 10k was a bit of a struggle but I pulled it out and finished in around 2:32. All in all only around about 2 minutes slower than 2 years ago. After geeking out and reading a few other accounts of this year's race, I don't feel so bad because pretty much everyone's account reads that this year's race was just "slower". This year's winner's time was the slowest on record too. It was humid and muggy and the roads were wet on the bike course, which is a windy and technical course to begin with. I was not so with it after the race but I came around eventually. Went to get my results printout and saw that I was 1st overall clydesdales through age 39! And as it turns out was the fastest overall clydesdale too. I don't know why but I made it my goal to win the clydesdale division at this specific race after the 1st time I did it. The 1st time I ever did this race I finished just over 3 hours. I'm down around a 2:30 or so now. This was my second race this year and my second podium finish. I'm not used to podium finished. Growing up I was never the athletic type, or at least the good or fast athletic type. I was never good at much athletically, but I still did it and kept at it. It feels great to have 2 races done and 2 podiums and 2 trophies. It feels good to come as far as I have in triathlon. It felt great to have my wife and son there watching me and see me up on the podium. My life is kind of at a turning point right now. It is great to have my family and the sport I love to keep me grounded. Without my family and without triathlon I'd be in a bit of a pickle to say the least.

Anyway...I'm about a week out from a half iron distance race - the Chisago Lakes triathlon. I have never done it. I am going with my dad which I am very much looking forward to. The week after the race, I am going to a training camp in Madison, which is conducted on the Ironman course. Also going to this camp with dad! He isn't doing it :-) simply coming with me to help drive 10 hours one way to Madison and back.

Training is going well, I am feeling good and looking forward to racing again next weekend. I will update again around that time! Take care all!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

catching up

Ok, so January was my last time, I have to do better. Let me fill you in on my life and racing. My season opened with the half marathon in Fargo. I was not terribly happy with the result. I didn't feel mentally prepared. I thought the race started at 7:30 but the half actually started at 8:30 so I started the day off with a small mental mistake. During the race my effort was just too high for the pace I was running. I could blame it on conditions or nutrition or hydration and any one of those things could have played a factor but ultimately I am responsible for my own race. So lesson learned. Move on. My next race was the duathlon in Grand Forks. I had an excellent showing for me, finishing 7th overall. I was around an 8:00 pace for my two 3 mile run segments and around 21mph on the bike. So I was happy with that race. My most recent race was a sprint triathlon last Sunday in White Bear Lake, MN. I did very well and took 2nd in my age group. Felt good on all 3 disciplines. My swim was 2nd overall (a little because the elite wave turned too early and had to double back) and I was first in my age group in the swim. Bike was short and sweet, 13.5 miles, around 21 mph. Run I averaged 7:42 over a 5K which is by far my personal best run pace in a race. So I am happy with my races so far. To come I have Lifetime on July 9 olympic distance, Chisago on July 24, half iron distance, the Madison training camp the last weekend in July, Detroit Lakes sprint mid August, and the Ironman on 9/11 in Madison. The season is shaping up nicely and I will do my best to be better with updating.

My son...Nicholas is exactly 5 months old today. He is perfect. I am amazed that I have a child and I am watching him grow up when so much of me still feels like a child myself. Why? I do what I love because it makes me happy. Kids go run around outside and ride their bikes and go swimming. So do I. There is a strange feeling of peace that comes over me when I am training and racing, I forget everything else, temporarily. I didn't know how I would feel when I saw the "Go Daddy" sign that Nicholas so expertly made for me for my races. I still don't know if I know but it's pretty cool and I know he's watching with his Mommy. Can't wait til he can kick my ass!

Something else to talk about...I've been struggling a little at work as of late. I manage a new program, I have new hires I have to train, meetings to go to, people to talk to, endless work to do. Every now and then I suffer a setback and it frustrates me, even makes me angry, frustrated, like I want to give up and go home for the day and just ride my bike, something I can always do the right way. I can't always do everything the right way at work. But that's life. I have the support of a number of great leaders and staff under me who all have a great amount of respect for me, and I couldn't do it without them. I was a little apprehensive about all of a sudden being a manager for people who were my equals in every way before I became manager, people I also consider my friends. I am not going to lie, it was and has not been easy in the least but I am beginning to learn how to balance it. I like to speak in metaphors sometimes because it helps me and so I am going to use a triathlon or racing metaphor for this...imagine right? Anyway, in a race I have suffered setbacks and disappointments of different magnitudes as I have at work recently. The first time these things happen, you might not have a plan for how to correct them or salvage the situation. But if they happen again you have knowledge of how to get back on track. The bottom line is to focus on what you can control and do the best you can to control it. In a race, what can you control? Nutrition, hydration, effort and pacing. If things go wrong in a race, force yourself to go back to these basics, slow down a bit and think your way through it. You can't control a flat for example. I'm lucky enough to have never flatted or crashed in a race, but if I did I know how to fix it even though I can't control it. At work, I need to focus on things I can control and do my best to work through things I can't. Seems like something we've all heard a million times but it works...

So...learn from things, use them to help yourself grow and be better at whatever it is you are passionate about. I am passionate about the work I do and I am passionate about triathlon and I am passionate about my beautiful wife and baby. I haven't always done everything right with any of those things. But all of those things teach me so much about myself and about life. I have learned a lot, but think how much more there is to learn. Bye for now folks!!