Monday, November 15, 2010


The title of this post encompasses my mental and physical state at this stage of the year, plus my current location in the yearly training cycle that shares the name of those descriptive attributes. This is always a difficult time of the year for a dedicated and competitive triathlete to navigate, but also an important one. I am a little more than 5 weeks past my final and marquis race of the season, my "off-season" and time away from training is over, and now I am into what can best be described as the transition phase of the macrocycle. This is often a time when you are tempted to start training hard right out of the gate, and start laying down some serious volume in anticipation of the year to come - however this is the last thing that should be done and in the end patience is key. This is the time to recharge the batteries while getting active again and getting back into something of a routine. Now make no mistake, this is not the same sort of routine as what one would find in June or even February for that matter, but it is a routine nonetheless and important to get back into the daily habit while having some fun. Fun has consisted of some masters swim meets, crazy swim relays for charity at practice....., trail running, mountain biking, cold morning barefootin'....., and even some crossfit. The crossfit has been the most notable addition to my routine, and this has been due in large part to my brother Chris' suggestion and also my desire to work on my all around strength for next season. I have yet to get too crazy with the olympic powerlifting component, but have been doing some rowing, wall pushups, pullups, pushups, jump roping, and my new favorite full body move, the thruster. I hope to learn some different routines and get into it a bit more to help build some full body strength and explosiveness that I hope will add some speed and enhance my power for next year. In the meantime though, I am trying to get back into the habit of frequent morning runs, evening swim and bike sessions followed by lifting, and then weekend adventures and even another swim meet this coming Sunday. That and some Dirty Dozen recon with (for) Jocey this coming weekend, as the Thanksgiving weekend tradition of the Turkey Trot + DD is just around the corner! In any case, the fitness is returning and I am having some fun starting to push the limits again, so the transition is in full effect and just what the doctor ordered. If all goes as planned, I will head into the start of my base training very shortly with more strength and motivation than ever. That first race of 2011 will be here before we know it! Good evening all-

Monday, November 8, 2010

recent media coverage

Over the past month or so, Jocelyn, myself, and Ballou Skies have been featured quite a bit in local, and even national (October issue of Triathlete magazine), media. This media blitz was setup to help promote the charity and to coincide with our racing in Kona at the Ironman World Championships on October 9th. While both Jocelyn and I have found it a little novel and strange at times because we are both pretty humble, down to earth people, the response has been tremendous and I think this has only be viewed very positively amongst our friends, family, teammates, coworkers, and peers and fellow athletes. Most importantly, it has generated a lot of good publicity for BallouSkies. I suppose everything really got kicked off in the leadup to Kona on Pittsburgh's PCNC network's NightTalk on August 31st, but I don't have anything in terms of pictures or links to share in regard to that visit. Suffice it to say that that was an enjoyable visit and we had a good talk and a lot of fun with the host Ellis Cannon, and it definitely served as a warmup for the months to come!

One of the first pieces that we were featured in was an article written by the Pittsburgh Tribune Review's Karen Price. This writeup was in October 1st's newspaper and featured myself, Jocelyn, Beth Shutt, Chad Holderbaum, and Matt Mauclair. This was a cool experience for the five of us to get together with Karen and a photographer maybe a week prior at Schenley Park and to do an interview with her about our collective training experiences, road to Kona, and what we expected for our upcoming trip as five friends traveling to and racing together in Kona. This article can be found here.

The next "stop" on the world tour was an early morning call-in by Jocelyn and myself from Kona on 10/3 to KDKA radio's Black and Gold Sunday show, hosted by Rob Pratte. The podcast from the segment of that show can be found below, by clicking the play button on the embedded audio player.

Our next appearance came on a wonderfully produced video by our friend (and great friend of the charity) Ward Hobbs, that was a work in progress for many weeks as we tried to coordinate our schedules, plus with the interviewer and narrator, WPXI's Gordon Loesch. The video aired as part of WPXI's news broadcast I believe both on the night of 10/8 and then again the morning of the race, 10/9. This one probably generated the most excitement amongst our extended family and friends, whom weren't necessarily aware that this was going to be airing, but in some cases were surprised as they were going about their lives and just watching the news as always, and there it was! A link to the video can be found here.

The next bit of coverage was not really about Jocelyn and I, but we were mentioned, along with the rest of the "Pittsburgh Five", on the sidebar that ran adjacent to this article about another Pittsburgh area athlete and recounted our finishing statistics from the Big Dance in Kona. This article was published in October 29th's Pittsburgh Tribune Review and was written again by Karen Price.

The most recent bit of media attention came in a very nice article written by Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post Gazette in the November 1st edition. This piece very nicely illustrated Jocelyn's efforts in Kona and the incredible adversity she overcame, all while finding perspective about why we both do this sport and how fortunate we are, and also to be able to support BallouSkies. This article can be found here.

The last (or at least for now!) stop on the media tour will be tonight, when Jocelyn and I will again be guests on PCNC's NightTalk at around 8:30. If you live in the Pittsburgh television market area, tune in to hear about our race in Hawaii, BallouSkies, and what is new with us! Thanks for reading and for tolerating my condensed version of the last couple months of excitement!