CJ and I had an opportunity to go sailing around Baltimore’s Inner Harbor yesterday.

We sailed on the skipjack Sigsbee.

CJ taking the wheel with the help of Capt. Eric

This trip was a happy hour cruise put on by the Maryland Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

All in attendance are raising money and helping to find a cure for CF.

Group picture

I have seen Baltimore’s Inner Harbor a lot from the docks but it was great to see Baltimore from the water.

What an awesome trip. I am so thankful to share in such a memorable experience with my little buddy.

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Go get yourself a July edition of the Hagerstown Magazine.

They featured our story and the article & pictures turned out great.

The author did such a wonder job caputring and sharing our story.

Hagerstown Magazine cover

CJ got a kick out of seeing pictures of himself. Hopefully he’ll be able to look back on these when he’s older and appreciate all the hard work the CF community puts in the fight this disease.

Link to the Hagerstown Magazine article.

It was tough coming back from vacation in Ocean City. But as soon as July hit, my anxiety levels started to rise. Only 2 months of hard training until Ironman Maryland.

I started this week really focused on getting to work and putting in the hours of preparation it takes to complete an Ironman.

Monday: 5 mile run

Tuesday: 1400 meter swim

Wednesday: 5 mile run

Thursday: 1600 meter swim

Friday: Rest!

Saturday: 44 mile bike

Sunday: 15 mile run

I finished up the week running 15 miles on the C&O Canal with an old running buddy.

Sunrise over South Mountain

Another week is in the books. Cheers to the grind.

We just returned form our week long trip to Ocean City Maryland. Which was capped off with my Father In-Law’s annual crab feast.

Its fun to get away and also experience training in a different place. But the hustle and bustle of my family’s vacations sure does make time for training even more difficult. The fact I was able to get in a workout 3 times this week was a small victory in my mind. We go pretty much non-stop from sun up to sun down, back and forth from the beach to the pool to the beach to Fish Tales to the pool to the boardwalk to the pool.

But we always make time for a family selfie.

 

 

While we were gone, we had another article published about our journey in the Hagerstown Magazine. Author Marimar McNaughton and photos by Turner Photography Studio, did such a wonderful job capturing and presenting our story.

Hagerstown Magazine Article

I also wanted to make a pit stop in Cambridge on our way home to check out the Ironman Maryland location/course. All I REALLY wanted was to snap a picture of the Ironman Maryland Sculpture, which I assumed was in one of two parks along the Choptank River. After I came up empty at both locations we stopped at the Cambridge Visitor’s Center and I asked the nice lady behind the desk where it could be? I assumed it was somewhere close and maybe I had just missed it.

She looks at me with a blank stare for about 10 seconds, then says “I actually just saw it yesterday on my way back from physical therapy. It’s down on rt. 50, behind the Burger King, next to a gym or fitness place or something like that.” She even took the time to take out a map of the city and mark the various points of interest I’d need to find my way.

And sure enough, I turned right the Burger King parking lot, drove to the back of the lot and there it was. Parked right next to the side of a warehouse looking building. In the most random location in town.

Ironman Sculpture

I was really thankful that random lady at the visitors center: 1. New what the hell I was talking about and 2. actually remembered where she saw it.

It was a great ending to another wonderful family trip.

 

Just keep grinding. That’s what I say to myself over and over, everyday. The old football coach saying (as cliche’ as it is) ” just take it one game at a time”, is exactly the way you stay on track to achieve big goals.

This week was no different.

I made some adjustments to my bike. I wasn’t very comfortable getting down in the aero position. As a shorter stature man, I need a little help being able to keep my head up to see the road as I ride.

I added 30mm risers to my aero bars.

Contrast between the new and old

I also needed to make some additions to keep me hydrated on long rides. I added a water bottle between my aero bars for easy access to water.

Profile Design water bottle

I was really thankful I added this. On my long ride Sunday, I went through two bottles of water and this was a lifesaver.

Saturday I was planning on a open water practice swim, but it got rained out. Because nothing ever goes as planned. Luckily I was able to head over to Shepherd University and get a mile long swim at their Wellness Center.

Shepherd University Wellness Center

My Sunday morning long ride started hot and ended hot! Good thing I had extra water.

And after my 32 miles was complete. We headed over to Mimi and Papa’s house for some much needed pool time.

Woke up Monday morning with bad back pain. Smack in the middle of my back. Couldn’t tell if it was soreness from last weekend’s trail race or a legit muscle strain. It hurt to do everything and even to take deep breaths. So much so, I had to put training on hold for the week.

Luckily, I know a guy (actually a girl), that’s a Physical Therapist. Dr. Nichole King, at Best Life Physical Therapy, was able to give me some good tips to relieve the pain.

I woke up Saturday morning feeling great and went out for a brick workout.

I made my way out to the Western Maryland Rail Trail.

The trail starts in Clear Spring and goes up the Potomac River to Cumberland. It is a wide, asphalt service that is completely flat. Makes for a great place to ride and run.

Bridge over a Potomac River tributary

On this day however, the trail was littered with debris. I had to dodge sticks and twigs for 20 miles. Tree roots under the paved surface caused bumps along the way too. These bumps didn’t feel good when riding 20 mph on a bike that has zero suspension.

These bumps we’re a perfect metaphor though.

Sometimes you think everything will be easy and smooth sailing. Then bumps come along and you have to learn to deal with them.

This past weeks training plan was a little light considering my upcoming race. I had to flip flop some workouts around based on my schedule. Always juggling kids, work, training, house work and general life expections.

I finally was able to use some of my new Xoskin gear in a trail race. My compression shorts and socks definitely lived up to my expections. I love going out on long runs and not even thinking about my gear. All I need is to focus on my breathing and fuel intake. I love the feeling of not having to worry about anything or being anxious that you may have a wardrobe malfunction, literally, in the middle of nowhere.

Waiting to start my section at mile 19

Post run muddy shoes with my DRY socks

I was a part of a relay team competing at the Laurel Highlands 70 mile ultra marathon. The course was broken down into 5 sections and each team member took turns completing a section (or two). The course was the entire length of the Laurel Highlands hiking trail, which starts in Ohiopyle Start Park and finishes in Johnstown, PA.

Waterfall at the start

Runners getting ready at the start

A course map that’s too big to even make out

The race is very well supported with aid stations every 5 to 10 miles. Parking was good for crew members & spectators and the course was easy to access as well.

Waiting for Wayne at an aid station

Our whole team ran a solid race. No one threw up either. We all hit are targets too. Except for our team captain JR. He ran out of his mind on the last 14 mile section and locked down our 3rd place finish for the team relay. We finished in just over 15 hours.

Finish line!

Aid station at the finish

This past week was specially tough on me. I caught a bit of a stomach bug and my training came to a screeching halt. I took it easy for the early part of the week and was finally able to get in some work over the weekend.

Friday was spent in Gettysburg at my cousin’s wedding. It was a beautiful ceremony & reception (and super freaking hot). And was complete with an owl greeting guests and a hawk delivering the rings during the nuptials. I always enjoy catching up with family and enjoying time with my forever date.

Another exciting development: Our, finding a cure for CF, story will be featured in the July edition of the Hagerstown Magazine. Jamie from Turner Photography came by the house to take some pictures of CJ and myself Saturday morning.

CJ is getting better smiling for the camera. He’s not quite as happy to get his picture taken than I am. 😀

Racing CJ to the finish

Saturday from 11-3:30 I had to full fill my South County Little League concession stand duty. Four hours of standing on my feet making hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries, fried pickles, fried shrimp, snow cones, chicken tenders, and mozzarella cheese sticks, kinda got in the way of getting in a good long workout.

Sometimes life can get in the way of our plans. I’ve learned to accept this.

Learn to be flexible and roll with the punches. Sometimes nothing goes as planned and that shouldn’t get in the way of our goals.

So excited to announce this week, I have the honor of becoming an Xoskin Brand Ambassador!

Xoskin is a local company from Frederick MD, they are revolutionizing performance apparel with ground breaking technology. They give special attention to the weight and compressibility of the material. Xoskin designs follow the body’s contours providing ergonomic shaping with reduced friction and enhanced movement.

Spring has magically jumped into summer this week. Training the past couple days has been tough. The heat is unrelenting. It would be nice if there was a slow progression from cold to warm to hot. But it never actually works out like that.

More Miles to Go training prescription:

Monday: 4 mile run

Tuesday: 800 yard swim, 20 mile bike

Wednesday: 4 mile run

Thursday: 20 mile bike, 1300 yard swim

Friday: Rest

Saturday: 25 mile bike, 14 mile run

Sunday: Rest

An Ironman is built over time, not just on one Saturday in September.

‘Comfortably Uncomfortable’

Finished this week with one of my better race performances. I’ve been triathlon training for the most part and haven’t focused on speed. I finished the Frederick Half Marathon just a couple minutes off my PR pace. I was a great way to cap off another week of training.

Training recap:

Monday: 9 mile run

Tuesday: 20 mile bike

Wednesday: 500 yard swim

Thursday: 20 mile bike

Friday: 3 mile run

Saturday: Rest

Sunday: 13.1 mile run- Frederick Half Marathon