Category Archive: Swimming

3 simple things half ironman training taught me about life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve learned a few things about training for half ironman races over the years. In the process, triathlon has taught me a lot about life. And I hope… Continue reading

Driving a truck with no shirt on and running with horses

  Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They saw me coming around the corner I guess. And by the time I reached the fence dividing them from me and the road and their open… Continue reading

Faster. Circles.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You play on the tire swing on Saturdays at the playground behind our house. You girls sit on the tire while Max spins you around again. Again. Again… Continue reading

Fall break

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I hurt my knee back in June. At the end of a long day on my feet I stepped out of the cargo van full of empty peach… Continue reading

A Saturday nap on the couch

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I don’t nap. Ever. Unless it’s dark outside and past 8pm, I can’t sleep. In order to sleep I need complete darkness, complete silence, and a full day… Continue reading

Where writing comes from

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A new friend asked me today about writing. It forced me to think about my process. The lack of such of a thing. I reflected upon it as… Continue reading

The lines in my face

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I read about a group of local guys who are riding their bikes from Oregon to Patagonia. I looked them up and realized that I know one of them personally. I… Continue reading

Izzy and the Brentwood Kids Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, One of the best days of the year for us in each of the last three years has been your race at Team Magic’s Brentwood Kids Tri, Izzy.… Continue reading

2013 Mtn. Lakes Triathlon review

Dear Izzy, Max,and Kate Ten years passes quickly. So much in my life is different in 2013 than it was in 2002 when I made my first trip to Guntersville, AL for Team… Continue reading

With each 1st day of school

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m struggling for words of late. Unfortunately that’s meant fewer letters to you kids. There are a lot of reasons why, but mostly it’s because life is good… Continue reading

The distance you travel is relative

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re leaving this afternoon for my final triathlon of the summer down in Guntersville, AL. I’ve done the Mt. Lakes Triathlon many times over the years since my… Continue reading

Seagrove August 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked on the beach in the dark. I put my feet in the water and looked across the black water. It rose against the horizon, the moon… Continue reading

A summer morning’s walk

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We walked down to the creek yesterday morning.  You asked to take your shoes off and walk in the shallow parts. I sat and watched from the grassy… Continue reading

Freedom, joy, and High Cotton

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been a hectic summer.  Odd work hours for both mommy and I, practices, bible school, always something these days. Several weeks ago we started a new family… Continue reading

What I learned by falling down

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started loading peaches into the truck at the storage building at 7:30am on Friday. I worked on my feet at the Farmer’s Market until 4pm. Then we went… Continue reading

Old Hickory Lake Triathlon 2013

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Going “home” stirs something in the spirit. When you’re weary and tired from life’s day to day challenges, returning to the place where your dreams were formed and… Continue reading

Sometimes you have to choose

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Tuesday morning was a learning experience for me. Mommy and I decided to let you go to a birthday party sleepover on Monday night, Izzy; the night before… Continue reading

Learning to let go of control

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke at 4:30am  on Sunday – Father’s Day. I climbed on my bike at 5:15 and rode 43 miles. Mostly moderate-to-hard miles, feeling like the extra effort… Continue reading

Suffering,chocolate donuts and greatness

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I came across this old picture a few weeks ago at Nana and Papaw’s house. It’s from a cold evening in February 1993: McClellan Gymnasium on the University… Continue reading

Fireflies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Barefoot silhouettes small voices in whispers beneath the trees of our front yard. Hiding our house from the world. The same house that didn’t feel like enough not so long… Continue reading

200 years too late

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I didn’t want to run. I woke up and turned off my alarm that had yet to sound. I’m preprogrammed to wake up between 4:30-5:00am now.… Continue reading

The Leap

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I get emails and messages sometimes from other moms and dads who read my letters to you here on the blog. They often thank me for sharing my… Continue reading

3 Bugs in a Rug

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke up at 4:30 this morning and went for a swim. I’m starting what my coach calls a “transition week,” meaning I’m shifting from a week of… Continue reading

Meet Liz Lyles: mother of two, wife, and Ironman champion

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I want to introduce you to some awesome Moms and Dads as I write these letters to you. I’m doing my best to balance being a husband to… Continue reading

Rev3 Knoxville 70.3 race report

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had such a great time at Rev3 Knoxville last year we decided to go back again this year. I trained hard, through the ebbs and flows of a… Continue reading

Race week mantra: Chop wood, carry water

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wake up thinking about it. I try to put it out of my mind – focus on the tasks of the day, being present in the moment,… Continue reading

Joe Kapacziewski: Husband, Father, Triathlete, and Soldier

Dear Izzy Max, and Kate, I have met and talked to a lot of interesting people over the years of my involvement in triathlon. Some of them were and are athletic heroes of… Continue reading

Spring Training products for triathletes

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re beginning to see lasting signs that spring is here. After another long winter of slogging through miles in the cold and wet Tennessee winter, warm afternoon walks… Continue reading

The Last Long Run

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As I approach the end of my 20 week training cycle I’ve been reflecting on the journey. Here’s a post I wrote for Rev3’s blog called “The Last… Continue reading

Tales from the dinner table: Simple prayers

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been awhile since I’ve shared one of our dinner conversations with you. We put a lot of importance on family dinner time. Mommy has been teaching swimming… Continue reading

Ahead of What?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I worked my way through it. The first big overdistance training weekend of my 20 week training cycle. I’ve done  a few rides in excess of race distance… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: Part II

PART II OF TRUST AND CLARITY IN THE TEXAS HILL COUNTRY. READ PART I HERE. Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We drove straight to Salt Lick BBQ when we arrived. It didn’t disappoint.… Continue reading

Clarity and Trust in the Texas hill country: part 1

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Carolyn Horton handed me a pistol. “It’s scatter shot,” she said. “So you don’t need to have good aim, just point and shoot.” She walked back up the… Continue reading

Rudy Project Gozen sunglasses review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I now own 3 pair of Rudy Project sunglasses. Yes, they’re that good. Along with my Zyon sailing and Noyz glasses I was lucky to also get my… Continue reading

Daddy, here’s a dollar

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, People don’t slow down often. I saw a guy cut across a median on the off ramp and slide 3 lanes over. That move motivated, I presume, because… Continue reading

Life is just a tire swing: Easter photos and potlucks

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great weekend! The sort of weekend that you hope for during the other five days of the week….filled with fun, love, and photo opps. It… Continue reading

Peaceful Easy Feeling

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Grandfather sent us this picture of you fishing beside the Pedernales River in Texas, Izzy. I stared at it for a long time. Different emotions overcame me as… Continue reading

8 of my triathlon training essentials

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s becoming more and more popular, but triathlon is still a “fringe sport.” For that reason I’m asked often what sorts of products I use regularly in training.… Continue reading

Sunshine on a cloudy day

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The breezes helped me relax as I lay motionless, eyes closed, drifting back in time: a beach in Hawaii, a beach in South Carolina, Mexico, Duval Street, Bourbon… Continue reading

Seek and you will find

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We wandered through unfamiliar streets. Bordered by thick green, heat waves, and banana trees. All of it felt like it might close in on us at once. I… Continue reading

Rites of Passage: Rev3 Blog

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Rev3 ran my second installment on their Rev Blog yesterday. It’s called “Rites of Passage”. When I wrote it I was really thinking about your papaw and about… Continue reading

It feels so good feeling good again

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you a few days ago about some of the struggles I’ve been having with my health. At first the doctors called it an ulcer. When… Continue reading

Skin Strong skin equipment review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I have enough to think about on long training days and race days without thinking about raw, chaffed, or sun burned skin. But I’ve been there. The middle… Continue reading

Changes in Attitude

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The first 20 passed effortlessly. The first signs of spring allowed me to ride in bib shorts and a jersey rather than the layers I’ve been wrapping myself… Continue reading

The Way I Take: One Twelve Media

Dear Izzy, Max ,and Kate, I heard a guy speak yesterday on the book of Job. As he made light of the Job’s trials I considered the path I’ve been following.  My life… Continue reading

Loneliness and the journey

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started to feel it this weekend. That empty feeling I get. The loneliness that sets in as the miles build. I’ve written to you about how miles… Continue reading

How to scare the bajeebers out of your kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m a bad daddy. I scare my kids. But only at their request. Here you two little ones are a few nights ago after “seeing a monster” downstairs… Continue reading

Perspective in the dark

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was dark when I walked in. The oddity threw me off balance for a moment. I stopped, rubbed the morning stubble still on my face, as if… Continue reading

Peeking into the cave

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a rare Saturday with no training yesterday. Thanks to a quirk in my schedule I managed to get my workouts accomplished during the week, leaving me… Continue reading

Meet off-road triathlon pro, mother of two, and PhD: Danelle Kabush

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It sounds impossible for someone to break into the triathlon world and finish 3rd in the world, among pros, in just their 2nd triathlon ever. But Canadian off-road… Continue reading