Friday, October 22, 2010

Announcing Cornman Multisport Coaching

Today I proudly announce the launch of my coaching business, Cornman Multisport Coaching. I have been thinking of starting my own coaching business for some time now as I have become something of an informal coach and sounding board for many of my triathlete and endurance athlete friends and acquaintances, but now is the time that I make it official to the world! I have been involved in the sport for 11 years, progressing from an injury-prone beginner that suffered from lack of motivation, to an elite amateur competitor that dreams of going pro, completely as a self coached athlete. I have lived and breathed both failure and success, so I know what works in training and racing, and what doesn't. Since I have been self-coached and guided, it was necessary that I become an ardent student of training theory and practice. As a result of this learning process, I have experienced all of the resulting highs and lows that one would expect - from broken bones and overuse injuries, to overtraining syndrome; and then conversely, long periods of health corresponding with satisfying race outcomes and strings of personal bests.

I offer monthly coaching plans, catering to triathletes and single sport athletes (swimmers, cyclists, runners) alike, from true beginners to advanced competitors, with a minimum of a three month commitment. Payment for the first 1 month block of training must be received before the training plan is sent to the athlete. Once purchased and setup, individual training plans and details of the program will be delivered and workout interaction made via TrainingPeaks. Yearly plans are available upon request and at a discount.

My coaching plans are unique and customized to each client, reflecting your unique needs as both an athlete and also a working individual with your own demanding life. I will work with both local (metro Pittsburgh area) athletes, and also out of area clients over email and the phone.

Check out my website and let me know what you think! And if you have been looking for your first, or a next triathlon or multisport coach, drop me a line and we'll talk!


Jeremy Cornman

Friday, October 15, 2010

2010 Kona Race Report

Last Saturday, October 9th, I raced in my second Ironman World Championships, and while it and the preceding week retained every bit of emotion, fulfillment, and mystique that last year's race held, this one was every bit its own race and an evolution of last year's experience. The addition of my wonderful wife Jocelyn, racing by my side in Hawaii almost one year to the day that we were married in Hawaii, plus close friends and training partners Chad, Matt, and Beth, this experience was more complex, but for that reason additionally rewarding. While Ironman generally is a very individual pursuit, and this race would be no different when "down in the trenches", racing at The Big Show with those that are so close to me and so loved and respected, made this event very dynamic, communal, and just plain incredible.

Saturday morning started out early as detailed in my update post, getting down onto the beach by 6:35 or so due to the earlier pro start (6:30) than last year's cattle call at 6:55. I got into the water much earlier this year as a result, so had some time to swim back and forth to warmup, and also to visualize the day and soak up the atmosphere that was crescendoing with the drumbeat. I found myself a little closer to the front this year, and more to the right than last year. The cannon went off @7am and we were off! The first 500-600 meters I estimate were pretty hectic as usual, but only had one or two really close encounters with others. I went out pretty hard and was swimming a straight line for once(!), so I didn't seem to be playing bumper cars as much as I usually do. The swim is always tough to analyze and be objective about because you have no visual cues, reference points, or any type of feedback or metrics at all, so ultimately the objectivity is limited to swim time and the rest is all feeling and whether you found the rhythm or not. I didn't feel as though I had while I was swimming, and felt like I was very average in the middle third, but when I excited the water I was pleasantly surprised to see a sub hour in 59:57 as I raced up the astro-turfed steps to beat that landmark. The new BlueSeventy PZ3TX must be as fast as everyone says it is!
After navigating the zoo of transition, I was out and on the road after a reasonable 3:16.

The first 8 miles of the bike course loops you through town a couple times, going up and down both Kuakini Hwy and Palani Rd before you are deposited out on the Queen K where things really get underway. The first 25 miles of the bike course felt super fast and easy, and I didn't feel any of the elements of Kona...yet. At around the 25 mile mark, I remember first noticing the wind and the heat, although relative to what was to come, this was pretty insignificant. I kept cruising along, trying to keep the avg speed above 23 mph if possible, but most importantly keeping the HR steady and around 150 or above while taking in as much nutrition as I could stomach. I had had some questionably fueled rides in the last couple of months where I kinda fell asleep with my nutrition, so I wanted to avoid that today for sure. At around mile 40 I made the turn at Kawaihae and started to get a little bit more variety in the terrain and scenery. I started the long gradual climb up to Hawi and just tried to keep the pressure on, and the cadence high. The crosswinds really started in earnest maybe somewhere between miles 45 and 50, and the cycling at an angle (leaning into the wind!) began. It was up and over the top of the hill in Hawi and then grabbed the special needs bag for the extra Infinit bottles. They actually had my bag ready for me so I grabbed it on the fly and emptied the contents with it hanging from my teeth for the first time, so I was proud that I still had the coordination to pull this off! Then it was time to bomb back down the hill to Kawaihae and accept some of that free speed, while always keeping alert because now the crosswinds had a little but more speed to play with and your surprise gusts would take you just that much further across the road. I was continuing to take in the nutrition, but around this time my stomach started to get a little gassy and upset and I think this was the beginning of some trouble. As the Infinit and GUs were not sitting that well, I instinctively backed off a little bit on frequency of ingestion, but of course this would bring other problems. Somewhere around mile 90-95 (Waikoloa to Puako) I started noticing declining power and focus, and watching my HR and speed start to drop off. I started drinking Coke at all of the aid stations and trying to take in more salt in an attempt to settle my stomach and simultaneously get in the necessary calories. Once I got up over the hill by the airport and began seeing signs of civilization again, my mood rebounded and I started mentally preparing for the run. I came into town, got out of my shoes and sat up about a mile out in one final attempt to let the stomach settle and to prepare for the marathon. I came in for the bike leg at 5:13:01 for a 21.47 mph average, with a 147 average HR that had declined steadily throughout the bike. Would I have anything for the run I wondered?

I was in and out of transition pretty quick, although my time of 3:55 was inflated by a stop in the porta potty before heading out to Ali'i Dr.
I started out the run thankfully feeling pretty great and fresh, despite a still partially upset stomach and presumed calorie deficit. Aside from a good deal of burping and farting in the first three miles, I felt amazingly comfortable and energized, but I wasn't going to make the mistake that I did last year by running opening 6:30 miles. I was going to ease into this a little, and hold back until I knew my systems had stabilized a little bit. I was running along at about 7 minute pace or a touch under, and my HR was only about 150, so I was confident that I could keep this up for the length of the marathon, anf hopefully build on it as well. Seeing my parents out on Ali'i, as well as Jen, Kristen, Carrie, Chad, Matt, and Beth gave me a nice boost and a welcome distraction from the enormity of the task at hand. The out and back on Ali'i came and went, and I was feeling great and starting to pick it up starting to run 6:45s to 6:50s pretty consistently.
Looping back through town and up Palani Dr, I was reminded of how my family surprised me with a quick spectating shift last year and busted me walking up Palani hill, and also how my friend Joe told me that I better HTFU and not walk it this year, so I laughed and just shuffled up, keeping my HR under 160 bpm. Then it was up onto the Queen K again, but it was much more mentally challenging this time around, with an additional 114 miles in the legs. Now this stretch of the Queen K just DRAGS on. When Jocelyn was asking me for pointers on how to break down the course, I told her this segment was only about 4 miles, but it turns out that its nearly 6, and so isolated. The throngs of cheering fans and supporters from Ali'i, Kuakini, and Palani are gone, and its just you, your competitors, your thoughts, and the HEAT. I was still running strong along this stretch and doing pretty well, but suddenly after an unexpected burp and subsequent acid reflux taste around mile 16, my stomach turned and I had to stop, double over, and projectile vomit 5 consecutive times. I felt like such a chump, doing this right after I passed Ironman legend Ken Glah. Who knows though, maybe he was impressed to see me Puke n Rally, standing back up and resuming running right away. But probably not! So I quickly resumed my pace and got down to business doing the out and back in the Energy Lab section of the course, easily the hottest place I have ever been on Earth. I took three aid stations off from any drinking or eating, and once back up on the Queen K, took two full cups of Coke and even some pretzels washed down with more Coke. This seemed to do the trick, and not a minute too soon as I was starting to get a little dizzy. The rest of the way down the Queen K the mental strategy was to remind myself that every step brought me closer to the finish, and that the quicker I could go would give me an even greater PR once I did the math. Turning right onto Palani I felt an instant surge of power, and remembered the ecstatic final mile from last year and my energy was easily doubled. Three turns later, I was coming onto Ali'i Dr for the finishing stretch of another dream come true on this storied road. I kicked it up a notch in the finishing stretch, but not quite as fast as last year as I wanted to take in the moment and drink it in a bit more, as last year I remember being a little too cooked and not as present in the moment. Coming across the line, I put my hands up in the Helping Hearts sign, showing my love for Ballou Skies and the team, and then pumped my arms and fists for the gift of such a wonderful day. I ran the marathon in 3:13:05 to finish the race in a PR of 9:33:14.

As the night wore on, I regrouped with Jocelyn, Chad, Matt, and family, and recounted the great days everyone had and the powerful experiences that were now etched into our legs, arms, hearts, memories and consciousness. Jocelyn overcame a terrible set of circumstances after being hit by a truck on the preceding Wednesday that ruined her bike and ballooned her knee and elbow. Chad realized his dream to return to the Big Island after tireless work and commitment to his goal and passion for the sport. Matt raced here in Kona for the first time as bad luck had conspired against him on too many occasions, finally fulfilling his dream. Beth did her first Ironman after not quite being sure that she wanted to, but ended up loving it, I think it is safe to say, as we all do. Ironman starts out as this external accomplishment, but becomes a part of who you are, I think in large part due to the goals you set, dreams you pursue, and the people you meet along the way. It is not the destination, it is the journey. Although Kona is certainly a worthy destination! Many thanks go out to Jocelyn, my family, friends, Ryan and Ty, our great team, great charity, coworkers, and to all who cheered, supported, tracked, or showed interest or gave energy in any way - you are the best, and I am incredibly grateful.

Mahalo nui loa!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Jocelyn's Kona Recap

Jocey's Kona Recap, as posted on Facebook. I am reposting here, for all to see, as I imagine FB's security settings would not allow me to link to it, and I am so PROUD of her I just have to let the world know. Maybe, I can convince her to start her own blog. ;-)

I am going to start the recap of my Kona adventure on Wednesday before the race. I was about 7 minutes into an easy ride when a red pick-up truck made a right hand turn into me. Without going into every detail of the accident – the result is that I ended up with bruises on my knee/elbow/hip and a broken bike. Needless to say, I was so shaken and upset that I could not stop crying. I just kept thinking that I am so sore, I don’t have a bike, and I have to do an Ironman in THREE days. Jeremy came up with the idea of taking my bike to the Quintana Roo tent at the expo to see if they had any idea on what we could do. We carried my bike to the tent, and with tears running down my face – told them what had happened. Immediately Brad, Mac, and Chris from Quintana Roo said not to worry – they were going to set me up on a CD0.1. Now my only worry is my physical and mental state.

Thursday morning I woke up feeling like a truck had hit me. My right ribs/abs/hips/knees and shoulder were all very sore and swollen. I dressed up in my banana underwear that Nate provided me, and went down to the underwear run. Only instead of participating, I became a spectator because there was no way I was able to run a mile. This is when I felt the lowest. I was thinking that all of these people are in tip top shape and so healthy that a mile is NOTHING to them, and I couldn’t even walk a 100 yards. How in the world am I going to run a marathon in TWO days? Depressed and feeling so negative – I went to pick up my new bike. When I walked into the Quintana Roo tent, Brad had done some research and found out that I was a part of the Ballou Skies Charity Team. He asked me about Ryan Ballou. I sat down and told him all about Ryan and the charity that I race for. Somewhere in that conversation, I gained perspective. I am racing for a young man who has to fight muscular dystrophy every day of his life, and who never gives up. Ryan overcomes challenges that I cannot even begin to imagine. Thinking about Ryan inspired me to take this little itty bitty challenge and overcome it, without giving up, without taking one step for granted. So that was my new plan!

SWIM: Wading out into the crystal blue ocean waters with 1800 athletes, spectators as far as the eye can see, hearing the drums beating in the background is a very cool experience! When the canon went off, the craziness began and lasted until the turn around buoy. I was a little bit surprised at how sandwiched I was getting, but I guess that is what happens when everyone in this race is a somewhat decent swimmer. I must say that it was a little bit difficult to not look at the amazing fish right beneath me!

BIKE: I felt stomach cramping immediately when I got on the bike, but I was hoping that it was going to settle in a few minutes. I was wrong! The first time I took a drink, I threw up in my mouth and felt stomach pains. 45 minutes into my ride, I tried to take a gel, which I threw up right away. This has never happened to me before, so I just tried to continue with my nutrition plan hoping that it would go away. It never did and I ended up throwing up every single gel/block I tried to take on the bike. At 4 hours I stopped taking in any type of calorie, and I watched as my heart rate continuously went down. My average heart rate was about 15-20 beats lower than it normally is, which I attribute to a lack of calories. In the midst of this, the thought of Ryan constantly crossed my mind, and I continued to fight through the bad and enjoy the day. I was, after all, experiencing the famous Queen K, the Hawi crosswinds, the sun beating on my back, and I couldn’t help but smile through it all, thinking how lucky I am to be out there!

RUN: With pretty much zero calories in my body, and my stomach cramping like crazy, I had no clue what to expect on this run. I planned on just running as long as I could possibly run. My run turned into a port-o-potty to port-o-potty run. At this point, I don’t even know what was coming out of me, because I still was only taking in sips of cola and water. At 10 miles into the run, my knee pain caught up to me pretty bad. I know that I changed my stride, but I kept to my run as long as I possibly could run plan which took me to the next potty (I stopped in at least 5). I hung in there for the rest of the run. At the top of Palani Rd. at mile 25 I could hear the cheering and music. I was overcome with so much emotion that I almost couldn’t breathe. Running down Ali’i drive I know that I left every last piece of me (and my stomach) out on the course.

In the medical tent, I was given an IV and told that the copious amounts of Ibuprofen that I had been taking for my swollen knee/body is definitely what was causing my stomach pains. Luckily I don’t think I did lasting damage to my knee despite it being swollen to almost twice its size. Needless to say, it wasn’t the race that I had planned, but I learned that things don’t always work out as planned. But if you take these challenges as they come, the results can be just as sweet!

Thanks to all of the wishes, thoughts, and prayers that I received through text/email/calls/conversation. Every single word gave me strength. Thank you to Jeremy and my ever supportive family! Thank you to Quintana Roo’s Brad, Mac & Chris who made this race possible! I wholeheartedly know that they did not have to help me, yet they went out of their way to get me up on a bike. They kept saying “it is all about the athlete” and I cannot even express how grateful I am! Finally, thanks to Ryan Ballou for being my inspiration to do everything in my power to overcome adversity and be the absolute best that I can be!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Ironman Hawaii 2010 update

Yesterday Jocelyn and I competed in the 2010 Ironman World Championship in Kona, HI. This was my second trip out to the Big Island to compete in the "Super Bowl of Triathlon", earning the opportunity to compete the first time last year, and Jocey's first attempt but only her third Ironman ever. We had arrived in Kona a week prior on Oct 2nd to adjust to the time difference and acclimate, and for the most part had a very enjoyable and relaxing week leading up to the race. The one low point was when Jocey was hit by a truck when cycling on Ali'i Drive on Wednesday, right in front of the triathlete people watching epicenter of Lava Java, which rendered her bike useless and bruised and battered the whole right side of her body. Not the sort of thing that you want to happen three days before the most challenging physical event on earth. The circumstances of this accident are even more surprising and disappointing, but this post will not devolve into a negative rant on that subject. On the contrary, this unfortunate incident led us down another path that we would not have otherwise gone down, and as a result met some incredibly helpful, compassionate, and great people here in Kona. Mad props go out to Brad, Mac, and Chris of Quintana Roo for stepping up completely unbidden and saving the day (race, week, sanity, etc.) for both of us. In addition to these lifesavers, there were a number of others who were so sympathetic and supportive, and we both are so thankful for this at this tough time. Jocelyn was going to make it to this race come hell or high water, and it would live up to all of our expectations.

Saturday morning started early as usual and we were down at the Kailua Pier by about 5am to setup in transition and meet up with the rest of our Pittsburgh crew out for the race, Chad, Matt, and Beth. My parents were there to cheer us on, in addition to husbands, wives, and parents of some of the others. The race was underway at 7am and then it was on for the next 9+ hours. At times the conditions were the challenge, and others my body, but sometimes you just have to bear down, knuckle up, and as Jens Voigt has said, "Shut up legs!" Or perhaps, "Puke and Rally!" It was very tough at times to keep the pressure on and to continue pushing so hard when quite often my body was in revolt, but that's when you learn the most about yourself, when the chips are down and as I constantly reminded myself, that this was the world championship, you are here to do your absolute best and to suffer mightily in the process. As hard as I thought I had it, my tough as nails wife was pushing through the 140.6 mile race with a bum knee, which was probably swollen to almost twice its normal size. Seeing her out on the course in addition to my close friends and also the sport's top talents gave me so much inspiration to draw upon, to allow me to reach deep within myself for every ounce of effort I could. Hearing people shout, "Go Jeremy" and "Go Ballou Skies" at every turn was so powerful and I couldn't help but smile and do as they asked. I came across the line at about 4:30 HST for an Ironman PR with the following splits on this most competitive, fulfilling, and magical of days.
0:59:57 05:13:01 03:13:05 09:33:14

My official race report is soon to follow, but I just wanted to put something out there before I undergo radio silence during the long journey back to Pittsburgh tomorrow. Thanks everyone for reading and for all of your support leading up to and during the race! Mahalo.