Monthly Archives: September 2012

What City Would Claim Me

What makes something home?

As I was suffering/enjoying what I told Steve was a boring workout this weekend (not every workout will knock your socks off or crush your legs), I rode through Needham and saw a sign proclaiming it the home of Aly Raisman, Olympic Gold Medalist. The question of home has come up multiple times: what is home? Is home where the heart is? Is home where you were born? Is home where you are now? If I were an olympian now (not that it’s ever happening), which city would try to claim me as the hometown kid1?

Jacksonville, to be honest, never felt like home while I was living there, though I have felt the need from time to time to defend the city from its detractors. The DC area never felt like home but I think perhaps a bit of that was unhappiness with the situation there. Perhaps it was all the stress of my job there, the situation that brought me down there, the je nais se quaquoi of what home really is? I don’t know. Boston has felt like home, at times. Part of that is family, part of that is friends. But there is also something about Boston, that despite having great friends and great family and great places to run and ride and drink and hang out… it sometimes feels like the city isn’t home, yet. It has its moments, its place and its quirks, like the way the city winds its ways around the water and always appears to be 90° from where you think it would be.

  1. This is why I should never be allowed to train on no breakfast or fuel during the ride


I’ve been thinking a lot about how I would talk about Lance Armstrong racing the Rev3 Half Full Triathlon after the USADA ruling against him. After all, Rev3 is my sponsor and I’ve got ambiguous (at best) feelings towards Lance. I think the truth matters, and I think integrity matters. Honesty too. So yes, I was a bit conflicted about how to reconcile the Ulman Cancer Fund dropping USAT sanctioning and allowing Lance Armstrong to race in the survivor wave. A little tangent first…

I’ve been struggling a bit, as I often do, with the feeling that I am living slightly past the edge of my own control… that is, things are getting away from me and I am not living up to my own standards. It’s impossible, in this day and age, not to see photos of friends on trips to far reaches of the world, whether for business or pleasure, and not be a bit jealous of the lives they are living. But then I remember the choices I have made, the lifestyle I lead, the things and people I love are pretty fantastic and they are mine. They have not always been right, they have not always been the best in the end, but they were mine and they are me and while I am jealous that people are in far corners of the world, I am confident that there are others who feels pangs of jealousy for my life as well. These are stupid things, and things I know and understand all too well. All of this is to say I was thinking of whether business school is something I would ever want to do, given that I know people who have gone and respect many of them…

So as I got off the trainer after watching 2 episodes of Breaking Bad (yes, it was that long of a trainer ride) I started framing this from a business perspective. Charlie has talked publicly (and privately) about the decision. Rev3 providing race support to UCF is expensive even before UCF let Lance race (Rev3 donates timing and other support services). There is some discussion (on Slowtwitch and elsewhere) that there are further opportunity costs to letting Lance race (e.g. some people who feel very strongly will not race Rev3 events, other race directors may not allow Rev3 to steward their events in the future). But if UCF and Charlie believe that letting Lance race will provide an inspiration to young cancer patients, survivors, and their families, then I can understand their decision to let Lance race. It’s an honest decision, and if celebrating Lance the cancer survivor helps others, I think perhaps we can sport aside once. The onus is on Lance not to “race” and rather to encourage those racing and battling around him (I would be extremely disappointed if he even attempted to win the survivor wave).

I still believe the truth matters.

Disclaimer #1: Like I said, I’m sponsored by Rev3, and this is a touchy issue. Even for me. I struggle with it
Disclaimer #2: I know that this post avoids a lot of the ethical issues. But it’s a very slippery slope no matter where I stand

It’s All About Who Shows Up

I said last week that I didn’t think there was a chance I would even sniff the podium at Lobsterman. If I was talking about the overall podium, I was right.
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The Opposite of Here Goes Nothing

From the first emails back and forth with Steve last year:

Goals (short and long term) within the sport? Short term goal is to go sub 4:40 in a half within the next year. Long term I’d like to be competitive within my AG (moving from top 40 or so to top 10-15).

Yeah, I’d say I covered that one pretty well this year. To be fair, that longer term goal is relative to who shows up on a given race day. At Lobsterman (of which a google image search is hilarious) this weekend, I know some of the speedsters who will be there and there’s just no way I can keep up with them. But this year has been relatively consistent nonetheless: just off the podium a lot of times, on the podium once (in triathlon). 2012 has been a pretty interesting year so far. Although MCM happened way back in October 2011, it feels as though it was part of this entire training block1. And while training rarely went as planned or hoped, things have generally turned out pretty well. And as I’ve said, it’s somewhat frightening to think what the top end might be.

So with that in mind…


  • 4:25 70.3 — this seems like it should be very difficult. 15 minutes off of a 19 minute PR this year? That’s a 5% increase in speed. Surely I can get some of that on the bike, maybe some on the swim and hopefully some on the run because…
  • 2:45 marathon OR 1:19 half — This. I have no idea whether I can hit this. But Emily thinks it isn’t unreasonable. I’ll get my chance at Boston (if I don’t do Two Oceans 2-3 weeks beforehand) or maybe the New Bedford Half.
  • Be smart, live right — I know; this is really a stupid goal. But part of it means deciding whether I want to race 140.6 again (not next year, but maybe the year after), eat healthier, do less stupid things (or stupid things less often)… hard to quantify.

So there it is. I’ve said it. Those are pretty tough goals to reach for2. It won’t be easy. It’ll hurt. But it’s worth the effort. I’m worth the effort.

  1. I guess it kind of was. Steve and I decided to get right back at it 1 week post-marathon
  2. I haven’t even talked to Steve to see if he thinks they are a good idea. Maybe he comes back and says pick one or the other (triathlon or running) as your goal for 2013.

Camping is Intense

There’s a building being, well, built next to my office at work. On the skeletal frame, there are these staircases that lead to open air below. Turns out they are part of these elevators that ring the frame allowing workers to put up the facade of the building. But as someone afraid of heights and afraid of my brain, the thought of a stairway to suspended in the air terrifies me.
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