It Takes An Anvillage: 2016 Florida Double Anvil Race Report

“3…2…1…Go!” “Is that the start?” I overheard one of my fellow racers ask. Yup.  I put my face in the blackest water I’ve ever swum and began my second go-round at the Florida Double Anvil, which is a double iron-distance event featuring 281.2 miles broken into a 4.8 mile swim, a 224 mile bike, and a 52.4 mile run. Each of these distances are completed in a series of laps: 12 laps for the swim, 37 laps for the bike, and 26 laps for the run. After all of this lapping, there are multiple repeats of food and sleep. This race …

I can’t get no satisfaction: Labor Pain 12 Hour Endurance Trail Run Race Report

I am rarely, if ever, completely satisfied by a race result–or training session. Even for the races that seem to go pretty well, it usually only takes me a good night’s sleep to start picking apart what I need to do better, how I can improve, and what I did “wrong.” The Labor Pain 12 Hour Endurance Trail Run was no different than any other race in this regard. I selected this race as my primary prep race for the Javelina Jundred, which will be my first 100 mile race on October 31, 2015. G.U.L.P. My plan was to approach this …

Force of Nature, Power of Experience: Running Rim to Rim to Rim in the Grand Canyon

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”  ~Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. I gingerly peered over the side of the North Kaibab trail, which runs from the North Rim of the Grand Canyon down (about 5,600 feet down) to the Colorado River. As I looked down, I saw the Grand Canyon jig and jag from millions of years of evolutionary change. I looked up and saw the cliffs reach upward to the sky, as if praising the sun and the clouds. And, there I was somewhere in the middle of this expanse, nothing but a molecular speck, clinging …

Wrapping Your Mind Around This Thing: 2015 Florida Double Anvil

“Perseverance is not a long race. It is many short races one after the other.” ~Walter Elliot “So, do you have your mind wrapped around this thing?” John asked me a few days before the 2015 Florida Double Anvil (double iron-distance triathlon), which was held on March 6-7 in Tampa, Florida. I paused. He has never in all of the history of the things we’ve done asked me that question, which led me to question myself. Wait! Do I have my head wrapped around this “thing”?  “Um, I…uh, what do you mean? Do I have a race plan?” I asked. “Not a …

Ironman Coeur d’Alene: Course Review

This post offers a detailed Ironman Coeur d’Alene course review. Based on my experience racing there in 2014, I give you my perspective of the swim, bike, and run, as well as some tips for racing. If you aren’t interested in the intricacies of the IMCDA course, no need to read any further :). But, if you are planning on racing or even thinking about racing IMCDA, please read on! If you are interested in reading my race report of my experience at IMCdA 2014, you can click here to read it. The Swim Lake Coeur d’Alene is a beautiful …

Ironman Louisville Course Overview & Tips for Racing It

I raced Ironman Louisville in 2013 and 2014, when the race was held in August. What follows is my detailed overview of the course and conditions. Please note, however, that since the race date will be October for 2015, my notes about the heat may or may not be relevant. (If you would like to read the race reports about my experience racing IMLou, please click here for the 2013 IMLou report, or here for the 2014 IMLou report, when I qualified for Kona for the first time.) Overall: I like this race and the city a lot – plenty …

(No) Room for Doubt: Lake Raystown Triathlon Race Report

Doubt is a stubborn presence. While I’ve worked hard physically, mentally and emotionally to keep my doubting voices quiet, they are persistent. I’ve learned that I need to be more persistent, more stubborn than the doubt. I have the Lake Raystown Triathlon to thank for this important reminder: The mental work of endurance is harder than the physical work.  John and I were looking for an early season half iron race with plenty of hills, which is hard to find in the Northeast U.S. given the cool spring temps. But, the inaugural Lake Raystown Triathlon, held on May 18, 2014, seemed to meet our needs for …

It’s Not Ideal: The Intimidator – Florida Challenge Triathlon Race Report

“The first race of the season is always something of a sh!t show,” I mentioned to a friend, last week, as we talked about my upcoming race at the Intimidator Florida Challenge Triathlon, held in Clermont, FL on March 22, 2014. In the case of this race, “sh!t show” turned out to be an accurate descriptor, as a series of events joined together to make this day–and the lead up to the day–less than ideal for racing. But, if you wait for the perfect conditions, you’ll never race. All of my racing experiences – from high school until today – …

Ironman Mont Tremblant: The Course

I raced Ironman Mont Tremblant in its inaugural year in 2012. In sum: It’s challenging. It’s spectacular. It’s worth doing again. In this post, I want to share details about the course that will help guide training if you are signed up for this race. Because the course is the same for the 70.3, this post should also prove useful for those of you signed up to do that race. If you are on the fence about doing this race: Get off the fence, whip out your credit card, and do it. It’s awesome. (In a previous post, I covered …

Discipline thyself: Tips for Racing Ironman Lake Placid

If this is your first time preparing for Ironman Lake Placid, you are no doubt wondering (fearing?) what to expect. And, even if you’ve done the course before, you may be wondering how to master the challenge that is IMLP, the oldest Ironman course in the continental U.S. The course may not be the most difficult Ironman there is, but it is challenging, with many people squeezed into a tiny space for the swim, 5600 feet of climbing in the bike course, and a rolling marathon that makes you work for your finisher medal. The key to a successful day …