Being injured is never fun and even less fun when you know you could have probably avoided it. I had some really run training while we were in Florida. I managed to get probably 5 of the 7 days we were there. It was great, considering that back home we were getting pounded with snow every 4 or 5 days. Unfortunately coming home to the snow and ice covered streets didn’t lend itself to running outside. This is the bad part, instead of running on a treadmill I just put in more time on the bike.

At first this worked out Okay. I put in 9 to 10 hours one week on the bike and managed to get one run in. Only one run seems to be the problem. Once I started back up running again, which was probably a week and a half later, my legs were not ready for the volume. I went out for a 10 mile run and could feel my calves getting tight. Didn’t stretch enough when I got home and they were sore again the next day. Next scheduled run was skipped for the bike because of weather.

Here is where things got ugly. Went out last Thursday morning for what was supposed to be an hour easy run. I made it less than two miles and my right calf tightened right up. Had to stop and stretch it, turned back and it started to feel better. Then stupidly tried to continue for a little more and the calf tightened back up again.

The next few days I did some exercises to strength up and stretch out the calf and it was feeling pretty good. Switched my bike and run day so I wouldn’t go out again until Sunday. Supposed to run 10 miles or 1.5 hours. I made it an hour and was feeling good and then, BAM, tightened up again. Made it home, sort of, walked the last mile. So it was a 9 mile run and a 1 mile walk.

After doing some more exercises and switching my next run day out a day I was back out there again this morning. It was definitely tight for pretty much the whole run, but I limited it to the 4 mile loop. Will continue with the exercises and stretching and see what happens for Thursday….


Snow, snow and more snow…..

This has to be one of the worst winters in the Boston area ever. According to the Weather people on TV we are in the top 10 of just about every category at this point and heading for number one. We have had over 80 inches of snow and there is a storm coming this weekend that is supposed to drop another 12-18 inches.

With all of this snow getting in run training has been difficult to say the least. The last time I ran was a week ago Saturday. That was the beginning of the last storm we had so I ran in the snow. Actually my 3 or 4 last runs have all been with it snowing. Running in the snow in the dark and cold is just not fun. So, what do you do when you can’t get out? Well, a lot of people jump on the Treadmill, or as I call it the Dreadmill. I hate the Treadmill, it is just torture.

Instead of getting on the Treadmill I’ve made this a bike intensive week. I have been on the bike everyday this week. I’ve used Trainer Road, Zwift and ErgVideo. A little over 5 hours with varying intensities. By the end of the week I will probably be over 8 hours in the saddle….


An increase in FTP…

Most triathletes are always trying to increase their FTP. What is FTP? FTP is Functional Threshold Power, or the number of the maximum number of Watts that you can hold for 1 hour. Most people don’t really do a full hour long test. Instead it is some form of 20 or 30 minute Max effort and then a percentage of that is used to determine what you could “probably” hold for an hour long effort.

A couple of weeks ago I did the 20 minute test on Trainer Road. After I was done it changed my FTP from 250 to 260. At the time I was thinking great! Now, after having done a couple of workouts with segments sending you to 120% of FTP, not so excited. It’s back to suffering, I was able to complete them, but it was HARD. Hoping it will get easier over the next couple of weeks as my fitness increases.

It’s not too bad on the Tempo or Endurance rides where the change is hardly noticeable. 75% of 250 is 187 and 75% of 260 is 195 so not that big a deal. However when you are going over FTP, 120% of 250 is 300 and 120% of 260 is 312. Now it is a 12 Watt difference and when you are at your Threshold it really start to burn up the legs!!!

So, while an increase in FTP is usually a good thing, sometimes it just means more suffering…

Race Triathlon

Planning for 2015

I’ve started planning my 2015 season. So far the only race I have been able to sign up for is the Patriot Half. I like this race a lot, because it is a fast flat course. If the sun is out, the run get get a little hot, but other than that it is a great place to have a PR. Oh, and there is a lot of cool swag too!

The Patriot Half is going to be the A race of the season for me. No Ironman this year, but hopefully one in 2016. I’ve been looking at other races to fill out the season. I will probably do a half in April, The Great Bay Half, that I usually do with my friend Ray. I’m not sure if this will be a training run or an attempt at a PR.

Another race I would like to do is S.O.S. Survival of the Shawangunks in New Platz, NY. I forgot about the signup on Halloween night so I am in the lottery as of right now. This is an 8 stage triathlon, starting out on the bike and you transition to run to swim to run to swim to run to swim to run…. you get the idea.

If I’m not able to get into that race, then I will probably attempt Pumpkinman for the first time. It’s a race a lot of my friends have done and everyone seems to love it. Like Patriot it is a pretty flat course and it is likely you will have a cool day since it is in early September.

Then there is the Bermuda Around the Sound swim. This year the pond scummers went down and Tropical Storm Fay came along and cancelled the race on us. I know at least Mark wants to head back and I would like to go back and do the race. I’m not sure how many others will go though.

I should have a more solid outline at the end of the month when I find out if I’m in S.O.S.


Shoulder Update

It has been almost 6 weeks now since I suffered my Shoulder Separation so I thought I would post and update on my progress.

I’ve been doing my PT exercises almost daily and have been seeing progress in my strength and notice that there are fewer places in my shoulders movement when I feel any kind of soreness.

Last Saturday was my first time back in the pool since the day before I injured the Shoulder. I would describe the feeling in my shoulder while swimming as weak and stiff. At no point in the swim stroke did I feel any pain, so I was happy about that. I did 1000 yards for my first swim and felt that while I could have done more that was enough for the first time out and wanted to see how the shoulder would feel a few hours after the workout. There was a slight soreness, but no pain, so that was good.

Tuesday evening I went to PT and received a few new stretching techniques. For the next week we are planning to continue with the routine that I have now and then on next Thursday map out where I will take the exercises from there.

I think my questions at the next visit will focus on how I get back to lifting heavier weights. Exercises that include incline bench press, squats, etc. I know that I won’t be doing things like shrugs for sometime and I’m perfectly fine with that. I haven’t done those in years so it isn’t like I feel a huge need to do them.


Separated Shoulder – PT

On August 21, 2014 I went for Physical Therapy for the first time for my shoulder. My PT is Stephen Sheridan from North Shore Physical Therapy.

After going over the injury and what happened, we discussed what I was doing right now. It was at that point he said I should put the sling back on for at least another week. When I had left the Orthopedic I was under the impression that I didn’t need to be in the sling anymore. That may have been an assumption on my part, but when the Dr. tells you that you can go run or ride your bike you kind of assume that you don’t need the sling anymore.

So, I have the sling back for this week. Steve also gave me a few exercises to do. Pretty much just to keep range of motion, as he still wants to let the healing process continue.

After leaving PT I felt like I still had a lot of questions in my head. Back to the what would be going on if I was Tom Brady? Would I have had surgery? This kind of set me off on a quest to find answers on the internet. Kelly found a lot of information from people who have had similar injuries on forums. Not surprisingly they were mostly people that did not have surgery and seemed to rehab themselves. Not exactly what I was looking for.

I did a search on Dr. James Andrews, after all, every Pro sports athlete that has had an injury has seen him. Turns out that he has seen a few Pro football QBs that have had this injury and his advice to them was no surgery, at least not until you have given Physical Therapy a chance to work.

This finally put my mind at ease. I just needed to know that I wasn’t being treated like some guy on the couch eating potato chips and drinking beer and that I would still be able to do those things. That to me, was not going to fly. I needed to know that I would be returning to at or close to what I was before the injury occurred. I finally feel like that is the course I’m on.

I will say that I’m not happy with having this bump on my shoulder. I’m surprised that with the technology that we have today the best you can get from a shoulder separation is a Clavicle that sticks up in the air unless you opt for surgery that doesn’t always seem to work….


Shoulder Separation – The Orthopedic

On August 18th, 2014 I went to see Dr. Brandon Earp at Brigham and Women’s. She specializes in hand, elbow and shoulder injuries and had operated on my friend Brian’s hand. I was fortunate enough to get an appoint the first day I was back from vacation.

At this point I really wanted to know what the process is for getting my shoulder healed and returning to normal life. Normal life for me that is.

I went in early to get more X-Rays taken. This time they took them in for different directions. One from behind, I was actually facing the floor and the X-Ray machine was facing down. Another from the front and two more from the front but at different angles.

Kelly met me just as I was going into see the Dr. I’m not really sure what I was expecting to hear because I hadn’t done a lot of research on the internet, mostly because you just don’t know what you are going to see out here and what you can trust. In my mind I was prepared to have surgery if necessary and get on with the healing process.

Dr. Earp came in and took a look at the X-Rays and did a quick exam to see what kind of strength I had and range of motion. When she was done she said that she recommended no surgery at this time and to let it heal. She immediately could see that I was skeptical and went on to explain that the majority of Grade 3 separations are allowed to heal without surgery. They only issue is the bump where the Clavicle is now sticking up. That never goes away.

She said there was no difference between having the surgery now and waiting to have the surgery a year from now. I was still pretty skeptical because I just could not understand how my shoulder is going to function properly if all the pieces are not in their proper place. Again she explained how the scar tissue would form where the old ligaments had been and I would be able to build strength and range of motion through Physical Therapy.  She said that I could probably run and bike if it wasn’t too painful, but should probably hold off on the swimming.

She wrote me a prescription for PT and had me schedule a followup with her in 4 to 6 weeks. My follow up appointment with Dr. Earp will be at the end of September. After I left I still had so many questions that I just didn’t think of when I was sitting there.

The biggest question I had wished I asked was, “What if I was Tom Brady?, would you be recommending surgery or just PT?” That is really the question I wish I had asked. What would you tell someone who depends on their throwing arm for making a living?


Separated Shoulder

On August 9th, 2014 the family took a vacation down to Ocean City, MD. The drive down took a little over 8 hours and traffic really wasn’t bad at all. Waze had us go over the George Washington on the way down through NY. We arrived around 4 o’clock unpacked and walked over to the beach.

All the kids were in the water having a good time, riding the waves in. Kelly was in and said I should go get my bathing suit and come in. I ran back up and put my suit on to join them. Body surfed in on a couple of waves. Then it happened. Took a wave in and kind of got turned a little bit and my shoulder hit the ground. Only my shoulder hit the ground and I felt something pop.

When I sat up on the beach feeling my shoulder I knew immediately that something was seriously wrong. I could feel my collar bone in a place that it did not belong. I didn’t know at first if it was broken or what was wrong. I lifted my arm feeling the bone and felt it pop back into place.  That was the end of my swimming for vacation. I went back up to the condo and took a shower and decided I needed to go to the hospital to have it checked out. I needed to know what was wrong and how to fix it.

My first thought when my shoulder hit and I felt the pop was how am I going to swim 10k in Bermuda? Then I thought about the Call To Honor Triathlon and Century Rides I had signed up for.

Kelly brought me to the emergency room and they took an X-Ray, that you can see below.

Grade 3 Separated Shoulder
Grade 3 Separated Shoulder

Turns out that it was a Grade 3 Separation of my shoulder. They gave me a sling, some pain medication and sent me on my way. The only other advice was to make an appointment with an Orthopedic when I got home.


Ironman Lake Placid Triathlon

Ironman Lake Placid 2013 – Race Report

The end of the journey to my second Ironman started early. I had set the alarm for 4:30am, but ended up not needing it. Breakfast consisted of a couple of bagels with cream cheese. I also drank a bottle of my custom drink mix to make sure I was hydrated and ready to go. My Dad drove me over to the Crown Plaza parking lot so I could walk down the hill with my morning gear and get going.

First thing I did was get marked, because they don’t let you into the transition area unless you have been marked. After finding a short line and quickly getting marked I walked into the transition area and the first person I see is Heidi and Jan pumping up their tires. Julie shows up a few minutes later after getting her bike all set. I borrow Jan’s pump and head down to my bike and fill the tires, put the water bottles on and calibrate my power meter. The bikes are all set so we head out of transition.

Outside we wait for Roger to come and get Jan’s pump and backpack and while waiting I take a quick walk around to try and find my Dad. He was wearing a bright orange shirt so he would be easy to find. The problem is that he isn’t the only one that thought of that and I’m not able to find him. Roger makes it down to the Mobil station where we are all waiting and takes a couple of pictures and a quick video before we head over to Team BPC for the group photo.

We get over to Dave (my coach) and Michelle’s condo and I put on my wetsuit and leave my morning clothes in a bag there. I was going to leave the bag on the transition rack for later, but it was looking like rain and I didn’t want everything to get wet if I was going to wear it after the race. I’m pretty much ready to go at this point. I have my cap, goggles, a Gu and I’m wearing my wetsuit. Let’s get this rolling! But first we have to get the team photo. We all walk over to get the team photo for BPC (Breakthrough Performance Coaching) and from there we can see the swim start. It’s just before 6am and they are not letting anyone in the water to warm up just yet. Jan is getting anxious at this point and wants to get started, as we all are really.

The pros are going off at 6:25 and the rest of us are going off at 6:30. We can see people warming up in the water now and starting to line up for the rolling wave start. Jan is getting really antsy now. “Can we hurry up and take this picture?”, “Shouldn’t we be over there right now?” Finally we get the picture done and head over, to Jan’s relief!

The Swim

This is the first year they had a rolling wave start. This is similar to a road race where all the athletes seed themselves accordingly so that we don’t all swim over the top of each other. Coach Dave is up front in the 60 minutes or under. Jan and Michelle Roy are in the middle of that wave somewhere. Michelle Sek and myself are at the back of the 60 minutes or under wave. I’m not sure where everyone else is at this point. I turn and look up into the crowd and I spot my Dad up on the hill and he sees me and waves. Glad I saw him before the start. The gun fires and we are off. Michelle and I make our way down into the water and start out. The beginning of the swim is better than last time and I can feel the draft as I’m just being pulled along. That feeling lasts for about half way down the first loop. Then it just turns into a mess as people start swimming back and forth across in front of me and I have to get out wide to avoid them. The problem with being out wide is that you don’t get any draft and you have to swim a longer distance. Once I make the turn and start to head back I stayed about 10 yards wide of the line and just cruised in for a 31:05 first split. Not bad and I figured it would open up a little more on the second loop. Second loop went well until about halfway down on the way back. That is when I ran into the back of the slowest people and started to have to swim around and do a lot more sighting than I wanted to. The second loop was almost two and a half minutes slower. Total time for the swim was 1:04:37, almost the same 2 years ago.


I came out of the water and quickly took off my watch and got my wetsuit down to my waist so that the wetsuit strippers could pull it off for me. As always the volunteers are awesome and the guy quickly pulled the wetsuit off my legs, pulled me up and had me on my way. On my way over to transition I hear Jan’s family yelling my name, quick turn and wave and I’m on my way to get my transition bag. I get into the tent and try to hurry, but I’m also trying not to forget anything. I forget to put the heart rate monitor on, so I try to hurry up and get it on. T1 is slow at 7:21. Kelly comments to me afterwards that she though something happened to me because I took so long. I mean it was long, but it wasn’t that long!

The Bike

I didn’t realize it during the swim, but it had started to rain. I just kind of laughed to myself because I had done so many training rides in the rain, I just figured it was going to be one of those days. Turns out that by the time I got to the bottom of the descent into Keene it had already stopped and it didn’t rain again.

My goal on the bike was to stay at the power numbers my coach had set out. This was particularly important at the beginning of the bike course when everyone is racing up the climb out of town full of adrenaline. It’s a hard thing to do, watch everyone pass you going up the hill. Some of the people were standing and grinding away and I just though I’ll be seeing them on the run. I felt pretty good after the climb up and the descent and I remembered thinking to myself this is where I let the ride get away from me last time. On the long flat out to Ausable I just rode way to easy the last time and didn’t pay attention to the power numbers. This time I was prepared and held the Watts all the way out and made it to the turn or just over 30 miles out in about one hour and thirty minutes. That’s pretty much the half way point time wise for the bike course. The way back goes slower because you are climbing back up to Lake Placid.

On the way out to the Ausable passed Jan at around mile 22 or so. She was looking pretty strong and was feeling good. After chatting with her for a little bit I headed out to the turn around. Just as I got to the beginning of the stretch of road where you can see the riders coming back I saw Coach Dave. I started looking for everyone else after I made the turn to come back from Ausable. First I saw Jan again, she was not far behind me and was still looking strong. Then I saw Heidi, not very far behind Jan. Michelle was next with a big smile. All three of them were doing their first Ironman.

When you return from the out and back you take a right and head toward Jay. I just took my time and spun up the hills keeping my power numbers in check. At around mile 40 or so Heidi finally caught up to me. She was riding well and having a good day. We rode up into the short out and back and saw Jan as we were heading back out. I remember telling Heidi that Jan was killing the bike. Heidi started pulling further ahead and I think I finally lost sight of her around mile 50.

The final hills up into town are probably the easiest on the course. Everyone is yelling and screaming on Papa Bear. It is a lot of fun to ride up that hill with everyone cheering you on. The first loop of the bike took me 3:03:36. I was pretty happy with that. I was thinking I might be able to come in off the bike in around 6 hours and I wasn’t far off on that first loop. However, I knew the second loop would be a little slower. The question would be, how much slower?

Starting the second loop I was still feeling pretty good and again watched the power numbers on the climb out of town and stayed in control. This time around there were not too many people passing me and I was actually starting to pass a few back that I tried to crush the course on the first loop. I made it out to the turn in 1:28:28, that was only 2 minutes slower than the first time around and now I’m 86 miles into the ride.

The last 26 miles were not as kind though and I ended up losing more time over the first loop. My time this time around for the last 26 miles back to Lake Placid was 1:42:44, the first loop it was 1:37:06. So lost almost 6 minutes on the last part of the second loop.

Total time for the bike course was 6:14:38, that is over 35 minutes faster than 2 years ago. While I wanted to go under 6 hours I also wanted to stay with the power numbers and see where it got me. I figured if I had something left after the bike I’d push the run.


The transition from the bike to the run was pretty uneventful. They grabbed my bike and I went and got my run gear and headed to the changing tent. Changed into my running gear and headed out. The nice thing about this year was that I didn’t need sunscreen because it was so overcast.

The Run

The goal on the run was to maintain E pace or E pace + 30 for the first 20 miles and then see what I have left. For me that means 8:30 to 9:00 minute miles. I did ok with that through the first half of the marathon. Actually, I did that ok all the way through mile 16. At that point the wheels kind of fell off and I just did what I could to hang on. I think part of my problem is that I may not have taken in enough nutrition late in the marathon. Thinking back on it now I don’t remember taking any Gel in the second half of the marathon. I made sure to drink at each water stop. I would have Ironman Perform and ice at each one and made sure to drink it down because I didn’t want to cramp. The marathon ended in 4:05:10. Not exactly what I wanted to run, I think I blew it by not having enough Gel, I remember taking it early on, just not in the second half. That was about a 9 minute improvement over my first Ironman Lake Placid marathon.

Total time for the Ironman was 11:36:29, a 50 minute improvement from the first time I did Ironman Lake Placid in 2011.

I want to thank my family for all of their support. Kelly, Mackenzie and JP have been great through all of the training and it always lifts you up when you know you are going to be seeing them on race day as you come in on the bike or the run.

I would also like to thank my coach, Dave Sek, from Breakthrough Performance Coaching for preparing me for Ironman. I thought he did an outstanding job of training me and getting me ready for Ironman. I felt like I showed up to the race injury free and ready to go.

Congratulations to all of the other Ironman finishers that I trained with at one point or another as well:
Janet Barnes (Kona qualified – awesome Janet!)
Pat Canonica
Jan Dik
Heidi Moulison
Michelle Roy
Dave Sek (Kona qualfied – 2nd time!)
Michelle Sek
Brigid Sullivan
Julie Valenti
Melinda Vaturro


Make sure Outlook 2010 uses the Default Account

If you have have mutliple accounts setup in Outlook you will know that one is usually set to the default. That means you create a new email using Ctrl+N or the New E-Mail button you would expect to see the sending from account be your default account. Well, that used to be the case with Outlook 2007, but that has changed in Outlook 2010 and 2013.

Apparently Microsoft decided that even though you specified a default account, you didn’t really mean it. So, if you were in a folder from the non-default account and send new e-mail, it is now sent using that folders email account.

To prevent yourself from sending personal emails from your business account there is a registry setting that can be made to fix this problem.

DWORD value: NewItemsUseDefaultSendingAccount
Value: 1
or for Outlook 2013
DWORD value: NewItemsUseDefaultSendingAccount
Value: 1