December 29, 2014

The Week of December 29, 2014 in Team Z Arlington/West

This magical week in Team Z!  (or maybe ED Z)

*Its been a while so far warning.   If you don’t like the soft side of Coach Ed skip this email.   J   Otherwise ”“ HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS!   I wish nothing but the best for each of you and your families.   Here is to a happy, safe and healthy new year!




Hi folks.   I thought that I would have THIS entire week to be productive before Talia and I tie the knot on Saturday ”“ then head out for the honeymoon on Sunday.   I’m such an idiot, and now I know why Talia did not let me plan anything for the wedding at all.     I just don’t think I’m capable!     Also – I had no idea how much of a terrible decision it was to have a wedding around the holidays.     I would not recommend it.     It definitely throws everything for a loop and out of whack with family visits (money), christmas presents (money), weddings (money).     Then as always there are “the unexpected” <insert your version of some type of challenge that you’d never think you had to deal with – as the options are endless>.   Talia and I have had a few to say the least (few = <endless options of things you’d never think you’d have to deal with>).


Sometimes I can be too personal when I chat with the team, but what the hell”¦. it is who I am and its been way too long.  Most of you who’ve been around me for a year or more have probably heard that I don’t have a ton of family aside from my brother/nieces and that emotionally I am an open book.     Well, I have not heard from my Dad in more than 8 years.     He texted me on Saturday (he wanted to know if he was still invited to the wedding even though he did not RSVP).   Shake your shaggy hair and BAM! He’s outside in my front yard RIGHT NOW taking down my Christmas Lights for me.     36 hours later (he lives in Southern Florida).


I’m really excited about him being here ”“ but”¦this is just < endless options of things you’d never think you’d have to deal with >.     A little bit of drama.   Haha! I just have to laugh about all of the things you never expected would happen/could happen/would add stress as you approach a wedding.   Thank God Talia has done 99% of the wedding planning (like you’d think she’d let me help)”¦otherwise I might have popped.   No wonder people need honeymoons!


Anyway ”“ the point is on a personal level I am about to have what probably amounts to one of the best weeks/few weeks of my life so far.     And I’m pumped.    Pause.   FedEx Is at my door.





SWEET!   New Jeans.   I mean”¦.how could the week get any better.  My dad AND TWO NEW PAIR OF JEANS!?!  J


So anyway, what I was saying is that I am about to have what probably amounts to one of the best weeks/few weeks of my life (so far).   And obviously it just keeps getting better.     Talia’s family comes in tomorrow”¦lots of fun and cooking and bowl game watching and Giants/Mets Bashing (says the Cowboys and Nats fan).     But”¦all of this fun also means that I’m not going to be as available to many of you as I would have hoped this week.   I don’t know why I thought this week would be like normal”¦.like”¦probably b/c I’m an idiot.     Sooooooooo”¦.


If you need help from me specifically ”“ please let’s try to get it done before Tuesday COB.   PLEASE!   After Wed I would appreciate it if you would direct questions for help to your mentors or Kim/Alexis until I return from my honeymoon.     THEY ARE SMART PEOPLE, they can help with everything!


New Zs:   When you can’t reach me through wedding/honeymoon, please please please lean on your mentors.   These are all 100% salt-of-the-Team Z-Earth and A-Number 1 individuals.   Your mentors are all experienced triathletes, experienced zrs, and just down right nice people.   They volunteered to help you ”“ so lean on them for workout help, locations ”“ protocol ”¦whatever.     Cool? Email me ASAP if you need to be re-introduced   to your mentors.   The only reason this team has survived to become what it is”¦I’ts our ability to rely on each other.   It’s that most of you willingly offer your support to new people, even complete strangers.   I want to thank you for that ”“ there are not many organizations that work as hard as this one to make people feel welcome.


Other key resources while I am away are and      Of course they have answers to everything as well ”“ but at times may not be as accessible (they get way more questions than the mentors).


So ”“ here we are”¦”¦”¦”¦……


The week of Monday, December 29 2014


Just FIVE WEEKS OF HARD WORK (three recovery, and taper after that) left before the A races/end of the season.    I get it.   I know.   This is a work week ”“ we have recovery next week.     I hear you. It’s a distracting week for you”¦too.     There are so many opportunities to find a way to NOT workout.


But you can do it.  You are too close to the season end and you can’t afford to miss one of the 5 remaining track practices.     You will get your workouts in and you will celebrate your accomplishment (not letting excuses drive you away from success).     Even if you don’t have a winter goal ”“ it’s now time to realize that we are 12 weeks from where our Ironman Md/Choo people must be riding 40-50 miles and running 8-10 like it is NOTHING.       Been sitting on your hind quarters a bit?   STOP IT NOW.   LETS GO.   PEDAL TO THE METAL.   START RIGHT NOW.   WE WILL BE OUTSIDE ON OUR BIKES DURING THE WEEK IN JUST OVER 8 WEEKS.


Even with the reduced group workouts due to the holiday (no Track, Etc)”¦.I know that you can NOT AFFORD TO MISS THIS WEEK OF WORK.   To be successful you simply have to set the plan and the goal.   Plan the time and place you will do each workout.   Pick your bff, or even include your kids or spouse/significant other and tell them that you need their help to keep you on task this week!   Yes, NYD is awesome”¦PLAN to get out the door and to the track at 8 am.   GET IT DONE and over with.     You will not regret it.   You know it.     Tell your family that you have to run at 8 am on Wed, you have to spin at 8 am on Tues ”“ whatever/whenever”¦make the plan now folks.   Have them ask you if you have finished your workout yet”¦.you will do the workout just b/c you know you are going to be asked and you want the answer to be YES!


IF you find doubt, or excuses starting to creep into your mind think about this. Think about all of the things you have in your life that you are thankful for.     I mean, think about it.   During 2014 some of our Z-family have lost mothers, sisters and brothers, and spouses.     Even these teammates who are suffering such traumatic loss”¦Yes even then we all have so much going for us that I want all of us to take advantage of our opportunities.   Our gifts.     Our good fortune.     Let’s stop focusing on our obstacles right now”¦let’s not let them get in our way!


We all have different things that motivate us.   But if for some reason you can’t find something to motivate you when the doubt starts to creep in”¦you can borrow mine anytime you like.   My motivation these last 6 months or so has been the wounded warrior that Alexis and I helped at Nations Tri.     His name is Cedrick ”“ and he is a double Leg amputee that raced the entire triathlon solo.   Cedrick ”“ I think about that man (boy) often and I’m reminded of just how he stunned me, and how remarkable the human being is (all human beings, not just Cedrick).   I was Cedrick’s Handler (some official word USAT gives helpers for PC division atheltes).   When I went to help him set up his transiition area the day before the race (like everyone else, racking bikes, etc)”¦.He was walking (walking prostheses).     He asked me to carry his cycling legs. !!!!!! I just never stopped to think”¦.. And then”¦and then he gave his running legs to his wife!!!.   My jaw dropped a little b/c it was just unexpected.   Then he carried his transition bag and his bike (upright bike – bad.ass.) to his spot.   Talk about difficulty in packing for a triathlon?   It took the entire back of a pick up truck to get Cedrick’s gear in place.


Cedrick’s spirit was uplifting for me.   Never a negative word.     Not one”¦except when I told him using ear phones on the bike was illegal (he wore them on the run, anyway).     J     I think about him often.   Cedrick has been dealt with one of these <insert things you never thought you’d have to deal with> OF THE REAL VARIETY.     And the coolest thing is that I don’t feel sorry for him in the least. I started to”¦and then this guy Harvey from Walter Reed (another story) helped me understand that Cedrick in no way wanted my sympathy.   If I did show it, Harvey said he’d probably either give me a hug and tell me its ok ”“ or more likely he’d kick my ass. LOL HAHHAHA!   I loved it and because of that comment”¦.Cedrick INSPIRES me when I think of him.   Cedrick does not make me feel sorry for him.   Having met Cedrick makes me feel sorry for MYSELF when I choose let some excuse to get in my way of accomplishing anything.   We all have choices in life.


You can choose to run, or not.


But when you don’t want to run.     Think of how badly someone else may wish they could be in your shoes.   What you see as a run”¦it is a gift for others.   It is not a run for you”¦it is an opportunity and you can choose to capitalize on it or you let it be wasted.   After Wed is gone, you can’t get that track practice back.     But if you finished the workout, it can never be taken from you.


My dad calls out of the blue – after 8 years and wants to know if he is still invited to the wedding.   No returned birthday/holiday cards or phone calls.   Not a word over that stretch of time. I have an 8 year old niece who he does not even know is alive. No explanation, no reasons.   I could choose to be pretty pissed at him for acting like a jackass.     It would be way EASIER to just be mad and say no, you are not welcome.     This is one of those <insert your choice of obstacles> I was not expecting to deal with and it will provide a little drama I’m sure during this “most important week of my life”.   I’m just really happy that he called.   The opportunity was presented ”“ I’m going to take it.     Screw the obstacles and potential drama. I’ll just laugh at it and be grateful that my father got to see me get married.


Yo, guys”¦.take advantage of your opportunities.     This world is an amazing place ”“ and I think that IF you can find a way to turn the start of any negative thought into a positive one”¦If you can do that I think each step you take from that day forward could be more rewarding than you ever thought possible.


Again- happy holidays people.   Have a safe, and happy new year and I will see you guys all in about 3 weeks.


In this email:


  • Important Announcements and Reminders for this week
  • Overview of events and activities for this week
  • Look ahead for the Weekend Events


Important Announcements and Reminders for this week


  • NO BOOT CAMPS OR YOGA OR FOAM ROLLER THIS WEEK OR NEXT ”“ we start back with the first work week after next week (so Monday the 12th we are back in the mix).
  • UDC Van Ness Swim is still closed for repairs this week.   They are scheduled to start back next Tuesday, January 6.
  • NO SWIMS ON NEW YEARS DAY at Providence, Spring Hill, Chinquapin, Claude Moore, Audrey Moore, American University


  1. Link to all weekday and weekend Team Z group activities: here
  2. Link to pool schedule via the Lane 4 Masters page: here
  3. Link to Regular workout location directions: here



Overview of events and activities for this week




  • Monday Swims Practices (Require “all swim pass”):   Chinquapin Rec (Alexandria) @ 6-7:30 AM, Audrey Moore Rec (Annandale) @ 6:30-7:30 AM, Wakefield HS Pool (Arlington) @ 12:30-1:30 PM
  • NO Monday Boot Camps
  • Monday Group Runs:   Freedom Plaza (DC) @ 12:15-1:00 PM, PRR (Reston Town Center) @ 6:00 PM, Woodside Park (Silver Spring) @ 6:00 PM, PRR (Arlington) @ 6:30 PM




  • Tuesday AM Swims: Spring Hill Rec Center (Tysons/Great Falls) @ 5:15-6:15 AM, Providence Rec (Falls Church) @5:30-6:30 AM, University of DC ”“ Vannes (DC) CLOSED FOR REPAIRS, Chinquapin Rec (Alexandria) at 6-7:30 AM, Audrey Moore Rec Center (Annandale) 6:30-7:30 AM.
  • Tuesday Lunch and PM Swims:   Chinquapin Rec Center (Alexandria) 12:30-1:30 PM, American University (DC) 7:45-9:00 PM, Audrey Moore Rec (Annandale) 8-9:00 PM, Claude Moore Rec (8-9:00 PM), Stone Ridge School (Bethesda) 8-9:30 PM
  • Tuesday Group Spins:   Lyon Village (Arlington), Morse BAG (Alexandria), Bonzai Sports (Falls Church), Claude Moore Rec (Sterling), Fresh Bikes (Bethesda)   ALL @ 6:30 -7:30 PM




  • Wednesday Swim Practices (Require “all swim pass”): Chinquapin Rec (Alexandria) @ 6-7:30 AM, Audrey Moore Rec (Annandale) @ 6:30-7:30 AM, Wakefield HS Pool (Arlington) @ 12:30-1:30 PM








  • Friday Swim Practice (Requires “all swim pass): Chinquapin Rec (Alexandria) at 6-7:30 AM



Look Ahead for This Weekend’s Events


**Note: Subject to change and final details come out in the weekend email which is always published on Wed or Thur.




  • Group Run:   Potomac River Running at 9:00 AM
  • Running Technique Clinic: Guest Speaker Margie Shapiro ”“ 8:00 AM a Potomac River Running Arlington.




  • Group Ride: Southern High School, Harwood Md at 9:00 AM.
  • Cycling Etiquette and Safety Clinic:   Arlington Oaks Recreation Room 9:00 AM.



Coach Ken has listed new Vo2Max testing dates ”“ HOP ON THEM BEFORE THEY FILL!  


If they do fill, let me know and we’ll have him put some more up out in Feb/March. The following slots are available in the Performance Testing section at FitnessWerx:


  • Individual slots at 3:00, 4:00, 5:00, 6:00, and 7:00 on January 6, 13, and 27
  • Team Z group slots at 4:00, 4:30, 5:00, 5:30, and 6:00 on January 20



Instructions: Vo2Max Testing


Testing is conducted by Coach Ken Mierke.   Ken is a world class coach and physiologist who has been testing Team Z athletes for years.   Through our existing relationship, Ken offers Team Zrs 50% off the $200 testing price if you participate in a “Team Z Group” session, or $50 off the $175 price if you choose an individual slot.   All scheduled Vo2Max Testing dates are available and published via the website listed below.   There are not always Team Z group slots available, please ask Coach Ed to contact Ken to set dates up if you don’t see any in his calendar on the website!


How do I get my Vo2Max Testing scheduled?


1) Go to

2) Scroll down to the Performance Testing part. There will be boxes with dates of testing.

3) Pick the box that best suits you–GROUP TEAM Z slots are in different boxes than INDIVIDUAL slots.

4) Going through the checkout section, you will put in your discount code to get the $100 rate for group test or the $125 rate for individual test. THESE ARE THE PROMO CODES:

“ZVO2group” (gives 50% off $200 min purchase)
“ZVO2”   (gives $50 off $175 minimum purchase (for ind. test))

5) Please remember, if you schedule a group test, you MUST STAY TO THE END TO GET YOUR RESULTS. NO EXCEPTIONS!    We have plenty of individual slots available if you are interested!