Tag Archive: cycling

2015 Y Tri at Old Hickory Lake

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, After a year’s hiatus my hometown race The Old Hickory Lake Triathlon returned – now called the Y Tri at Old Hickory Lake.  Going home to race in… Continue reading

The Best Strategy for Getting the Best out of Yourself in life and sport

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Half-way through life I’ve learned what my strengths and weaknesses are. I used to dwell on my weaknesses, wring my hands, squint my eyes, and worry about them.… Continue reading

GU Brew’s new formula reviewed

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, One thing I’ve struggled with over the years is finding the right ratio of endurance sports drinks to gels to solid foods during my racing. Before switching almost… Continue reading

The echo of that strong wind remained

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I set out for a ride in the early gloom and wet streets of overnight storms. The roads and yards in our neighborhood were strewn with… Continue reading

Why I decided to go back to school after 15 years

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s been nearly a year and a half since I finally took that big step, a flying leap really, into the unknown. A leap of faith – across… Continue reading

Izzy and the 2014 Half Pint Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You raced in your 4th triathlon on Saturday, Izzy. This particular race was put on by the Williamson County Parks and Rec department: The Half Pint Triathlon: 100… Continue reading

Homework

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Homework is hard when you’re 5 and when you’re 10. We sit down at the table after cleaning the dinner dishes off and go through your homework. Actually… Continue reading

Pearl Izumi ELITE In-R-Cool Tri Suit review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, 12 years ago, when I first got into triathlon, I used to race in a one-piece tri suit. By 2006 I made the shift to a two-piece suit… Continue reading

Rest, Power, and Possibility

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I took it easy this week. I rested Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday entirely and then went for a short swim on Wednesday. I kept it nice and easy… Continue reading

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

The beach, faith, and inbetween

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The trick to leaving the beach is to pretend it’s not there – that without you – it ceases to exist. At least until you come back to… Continue reading

Quiet breaths

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Yesterday evening, around sunset, out on my bike I stopped and watched kids swinging on a rope swing into a deep creek. This morning, from my truck, as… Continue reading

Of Monsters and rainy southern summer nights

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We went to the tractor pull Friday night, Max. You girls stayed home with Mommy – which it turns out meant going shopping and for milkshakes. You and… Continue reading

Seadragon of the Year

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You scooted over closer to me, shuffled your feet on the concrete floor, took a sip of the Sprite can, and hid behind it nervously. “I didn’t get… Continue reading

Freedom and the Art of Riding Without Training Wheels

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I watched you ride off, across the empty parking lot – through the waves of heat. You gave me a quick glance as you turned to come back,… Continue reading

Training partners

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m training for what will be my 6th half-ironman event since October 2010. By some standards that’s not a lot – by others it’s monumental. For me it… Continue reading

The Lonely Pursuit of Significance

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wake up early. It never gets easier, but now my eyes usually open 10 minutes before the alarm on my phone sounds – be it 4:50am or… Continue reading

A simple life is lesson enough

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Someone asked me recently if I’m still writing letters to my kids. I tried to justify the fact that I’m just busier these days than I used to… 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

Making the most of a short season

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I can still feel the pinch of the chlorine in bridge of my nose, that familiar smell of swim practice, tee shirt wet around the waist from riding… Continue reading

Silent, across the horizon

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sunrise. Pastels. Water colors. Silver tipped reflections blend, swirl, and foam. God writing poetry. His voice thundering over the water.  Washing over my feet. A solitary boat, silent… Continue reading

Graduation day: slow down, because time won’t.

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I forgot to set the alarm on my phone last night. It normally startles me awake each morning at 5:00am. I woke up on my own at 5:04 in a… Continue reading

Victory

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I drew a line in the dirt with my foot. Dug my toe in. Then swept across it again with other foot – brushing the earth even. Standing… Continue reading

Swimming for daylight

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I left in the dark. Half asleep. Dangling my feet in the water flexing my ankles, pulling waves to the surface with my bony toes. Looking across the… Continue reading

Triathlon spring product roundup 2014

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was in the upper 70’s today. After a long dark winter – the coldest I can ever remember – the warmth and sun made me feel like… Continue reading

All at once; where do I start?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate,  Here’s a letter I wrote to you a couple of days ago, but couldn’t muster the nerve to publish. Fear set in and as I told Mommy “the… Continue reading

The future; no matter what

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I purposely sat you in the back passenger seat – so that I could quickly glance back at you as we drove, Izzy. I took you to Nana… Continue reading

Rumpled. Exhausted. Wrinkled: Hyperbole and Parenting

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sometimes I think the hardest thing in life is getting a 5 year old dressed. Maybe that’s hyperbole. I don’t know. I’ve been through a lot of stuff… Continue reading

Empty cups and God: The life of a professional coffee drinker

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I went for a ride this morning. It’s beginning to warm up finally, but it was still cool enough for my winter cycling gear.  Before pulling out of… Continue reading

Chipotle Spaghetti

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, He used to walk in the front door – a smile on his face, his shirt and suit still freshly pressed, no dark circles under his eyes. She… Continue reading

The promise of spring

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, New ball gloves and under-hand tosses – the turning cheek of uncertainty grew more sure with each toss. I looked up at the sky, closed my eyes let… Continue reading

The road is never as long as it seems

Dear Izzy, Max, and  Kate, The picture above is from my very first triathlon in 2002. This morning during my swim it occurred to me that my fitness and my success are both… Continue reading

Scratches, Bruises, and Boys

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mommy has never let me forget it. Occasionally she’ll just bring it up. Other times we’re reminded by the photos. Back in 1999 I was still wrestling regularly… Continue reading

The wrestling coach and the spelling bee: a heart to heart talk with a 9 yr old

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mommy called me a few days ago while I was at work. “You need to talk to Izzy when you get home,” she said. “What’s going on?” I… Continue reading

The Electric Horseman

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat with my hands over my face. Slowed my breathing, released slow. easy. breathes. felt hot tears fill the corners of my eyes, roll down my cheeks,… Continue reading

Salted Caramel GU Energy Gel review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I was sure I had found my true love, as energy gels go, when I first tried GU’s Peanut Butter flavor gel. Many dozens of packets of Peanut… Continue reading

Erin Baker’s Wholesome Baked Goods review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I stumbled upon Erin Baker’s breakfast cookies around the same time I got involved in triathlon. I don’t recall exactly, but I’m sure I saw a Triathlete magazine… Continue reading

Wrestling: Having chased a dream

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Something in me changes when I walk into “the room”. That familiar smell of resilite or dollamur mat, watered down bleach, sweat, blood. The heat. I roll my… Continue reading

Fall memories and delaying the endless pursuit of perfection

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We made an entire week out of celebrating your 5th birthday Max and Kate. Sunday we invited family and a few friends to come and play at Ring… Continue reading

The mess and the masterpiece: The triathlon offseason

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My legs ached and my breathing was labored. The sort of sensations normally felt at the end of a long run. I strained up hill at what felt… Continue reading

SKINS C400 Compression cycling jersey review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, When I think of Australia I think of a few things in particular: Crocodile Dundee (“That’s not a knife…THAT’s a knife.”) Outback Steak House (I know it’s not… 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

How Revolution Changes Everything: Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I woke up this morning and fumbled for my phone to stop its 5am alarm. The room was still dark.  I set out for 6 slow miles before… 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

Ever heard of Cambodia?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Saturday we went to Nana and Papaw’s church for a block party. You played in the bounce houses, climbed the rock wall, ate from Nashville food trucks, and… 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

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

How life should feel

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We’re at the beach again this week. We visit the beach twice each year. It’s important to us; a way to connect. A reset for the heart and… Continue reading

A flat stone sinking into the deep

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Your feet almost reach the foot-board of your bed now, Izzy. I don’t know why I noticed this recently. But as I passed by your room while gathering… 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

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

Run with me

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My biggest fear isn’t losing everything; it’s wasting this rare opportunity to change the direction of our life. I may never get the chance again to work with a… 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

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

How Triathletes raise their children

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I fear you’ve seen me riding my bike trainer too often… You discovered a hole in the front yard, placed your rear wheel in the hole, steadied the… 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

Saturday Ride: Pressing into the still life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Another silent morning. Layered. Pressing into the still life. Sunrise held captive by the heaviness drifting across the horizon. Snow fell, mixed with thicker, less beautiful, ice. Into… 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

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

Attitude is Everything

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I found this note in your “Izzy – Tall and Proud” envelope at home. It’s one of the many places you store your self-affirmations and life lessons that… Continue reading

It will come: Belief in the face of fear, doubt, and uncertainty

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The deep ache set in somewhere around 30 miles.  I ate another gel and began to slow. I’ve been on my bike diligently through the winter, but for… Continue reading

Swiftwick SUSTAIN sock review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I wrote to you about Swiftwick a while back. Someone commented on the letter to the effect of “how can you write about socks?” It’s easy. My socks… Continue reading

Healthy Life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We don’t need a life coach at our house. We have you, Izzy. I’m constantly finding your notes around the house ranging from “how to save the planet”… Continue reading

How Revolution Changes Everything

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve changed. Sometimes you’ll hear that people don’t change; It’s just the circumstances around them. I’m not sure I believe that. Perhaps a little backstory is necessary if… Continue reading

A true American super hero: Fireman Rob Verhelst

Across the Threshold: 140.6

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Last night I found myself on my bike trainer at 9:30pm in our living room, listening to music, watching a basketball game, spinning my legs, my mind racing.… Continue reading

Monster Trucks, ear plugs, and the voice of God

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, When it started we were stunned. I wondered how loud it might really be, assuming that from our vantage point the noise would be manageable. It rattled our… Continue reading

Trevor and Heather Wurtele: Pro triathletes into the great wide open

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Trevor and Heather Wurtele are rising stars in the long course triathlon world. While it’s not that unusual for two professional triathletes to be married, Trevor and Heather… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong and Grace

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They gathered together, as much as that’s possible, in our modern age of social media. Virtual torches and pitchforks lifted. Snarled expressions. A thirst for blood. When there’s… Continue reading

The monsters in the dark: triathletes and 4:30am

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It’s there every morning. It’s been there my entire life. Most mornings it pokes me, pinches me, pushes me until I’m out of bed, on my feet. Listening… Continue reading

Zoot thermoMegaHeat jacket and pants review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I prefer the outdoors to indoor training (although my coach is trying to teach me to love my bike trainer). Unless I’m equipped with the right gear  it… Continue reading

Happy Saturday: Gettin’ down to Frankenreiter

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We do a lot of kitchen dancing at our house. It brings laughter and joy into our home. When you’re grown with kids of your own I hope… Continue reading

ZumXR xtended release sports drink review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As a triathlete I’m always on the lookout for products to help me maintain my energy and stay hydrated. I had the opportunity recently to try out the… Continue reading

Meet Brady Murray: Racing for Orphans with Down Syndrome

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

How Breakthrough Endurance plans to change the face of Endurance racing

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I sat down recently with professional off-road triathlete Craig Evans and his nutrition coach Cliff Duhon of Breakthrough Nutrition. I’ve known Craig for several years, as our paths… Continue reading

The Family Friendly guide to planning your race season

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate I gather my things. I shuffle around the house in sweatpants looking for something to write with. Some years I find a pen, but I’ve used a crayon… Continue reading

Saturday morning ride: Breaking Belgian

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, My family moved to Belgium shortly after I was born. We lived there until I was your age, Max and Kate. There are only a few things I… Continue reading

The year of “OF COURSE”

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We had a great Christmas. We’re fortunate to live close to family, so we make the rounds every year: Christmas Eve lunch at Aunt Lisa’s in White Bluff… Continue reading

Healthy eating for the entire family: A chat with RD and pro triathlete Kim Schwabenbauer

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’m often asked about nutrition. I guess it’s because I’m a triathlete and that causes people to assume I also eat wisely. While I think I make good… Continue reading

Just One

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We  went to the grocery store after gymastics practice Monday night, Izzy. It’s a sort of daddy-daughter routine of ours, no matter how mundane it may be. I… Continue reading

Pearl Izumi PRO Softshell WXB 3×1 Glove review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I don’t like to train indoors. I’m indoors too much as it is, so I always choose an outdoor training when I can. Even when it’s freezing, sleeting,… Continue reading

Smartwool Phd HyFi arm and leg warmers review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I used to think of Smartwool as a sock company, but they do so much more than socks. Smartwool offers a full array of clothing to keep you… Continue reading

Saturday morning ride

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I rode through the country this morning. The first grey, damp ride of the new training season. I passed a field of cows, moving slowly in the half… Continue reading

Raising Twins: what kind of cars do clowns drive?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few nights ago I took you two little ones to Pet Smart with me to get Coco the dogs nails trimmed. Seemingly simple trips always turn into… Continue reading

The first step: Why signing up for your next race makes all the difference

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The distance is nothing ; it is only the first step that is difficult. – Madame Marie du Deffand I stumbled upon this quote yesterday. I thought about… Continue reading

Hydrapak Soquel hydration pack review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve written to you before about the importance of staying hydrated while I’m out swimming, biking, and running. For years I relied upon a hydration belt. Recently though… Continue reading

The miles: how I covered 112 for preemies

* Part 2 of: 112 miles for Preemies Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I shuffled into our driveway, stepping from the road’s pavement to the crumbling aggregate rock. It’s separating, becoming gravel in… Continue reading

Rudy Project Windmax helmet review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As a husband and a father of 3 the single most important piece of equipment I use for training and racing is a helmet. Cycling is the most… Continue reading

My 1st article in Triathlete Magazine!

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I started reading Triathlete Magazine in 2002. Since then I’ve dreamed about publishing an article in the magazine. After 10 years in the sport, many miles, and lots… Continue reading

Three Little Birds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You played in the leaves at Nana and Papaw’s house on Sunday. Took turns on the rope swing in the backyard. Watched several deer sneak into the yard,… Continue reading

Swiftwick socks review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Because I’ve been running for awhile a lot of new runners ask me for advice. One of the first things I ask them, after we’ve talked about their… Continue reading

112 miles for preemies

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, 500,000 babies are born early every year in the United States. In 2008 you were two of them, Max and Kate. You were 10 weeks early. That experience… Continue reading

Weekend Ride: Endless possibilities and a wave of black birds

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a rare opportunity Saturday morning. The opportunity to do whatever I wanted, with no time limits. Mommy coached a swim meet most of the day and… Continue reading

Alone in the woods, listening

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I spent the early hours of last Sunday morning in the woods. Alone. I love trail running and by August I’m usually looking forward to the end of… Continue reading

Why I didn’t race: Part 2

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, CONTINUED FROM PART I Learning to be still played a big role in why I didn’t go. After 20 weeks of training I stayed home, and missed the… Continue reading

Why I didn’t race after 20 weeks of training: Part 1

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, They’re racing at Rev3 South Carolina this morning. I was supposed to be there making my 5th attempt at a sub-5:30 half ironman. But I’m not there. I… Continue reading

6x World Champion Dave Scott on fatherhood, Kona, and the abyss

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Ironman is what it is today because of one man; Dave Scott. Although he didn’t create the race, he quickly became the most dominant figure in the sport… Continue reading

The ocean never forgets

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, It was cold Sunday morning. I descended a hill on my bike.  The first sharp grip of fall around me, the first flush of warmth I’ve felt leaving my cheeks in… Continue reading

Family Heirlooms: Backyards and Adirondack Chairs

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Your papaw makes adirondack chairs in the driveway behind the house. He drags heavy saws and lumber out of the garage and uses his hands. He works into… Continue reading

Can love save us from ourselves?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sometimes I imagine the room they found him in. The sheer linen shades pulled across the windows. The sun coming through them creating soft white light across the… Continue reading

My birthday weekend

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, We celebrated my 38th birthday this weekend. I took off from work on Friday to celebrate and go for a long ride. It was difficult to get out… Continue reading

What I’ve learned in 38 years: All streams flow into the sea

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ll be 38 on Sunday. And while 38 is far from “old”, it’s another year closer. Or farther away from youth, depending on the mood I’m in and… Continue reading

The problem with authenticity

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, The problem with authenticity is that the world hates it. Most people, collectively, don’t want you to be you. They want you to be like them. That’s how… Continue reading

Parenting expert Dr. Meg Meeker on the athletic parent and raising athletic kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You know this by now, but Mommy and I aren’t perfect parents. Sometimes we need help. I was fortunate to be introduced to Dr. Meg Meeker several years… Continue reading

Across the Chasm: Writing letters to your kids

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I sat in my familiar spot on the front porch steps a few days ago watching you play. It was late in the afternoon. Past dinner. I gave… Continue reading

Xlab torpedo mount review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, As a triathlete I’ve been deep into the void; places where the sound of my own heart pounded so loudly in my head it was deafening, places where… Continue reading

Outrunning the Storm

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I decided to try something new in my training. For 10 plus years I’ve done my long ride on Saturday and my long run on Sunday. That’s standard… Continue reading

Former National Champion Bruce Gennari on his health scare, family, and longevity in the sport

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

Live to Fight another day

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I had a decent training session on Saturday. I met my friends Daniel and Jeff at a country market near the house at 6am to start our ride. We… Continue reading

A tire rolling downhill: my triathlon life

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, A few days ago a good friend told me that I’m like a “tire rolling down hill.” He was talking about my relationship with triathlon specifically. He said… Continue reading

BASE Performance review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, After 12 years of training and racing I’ve used a lot of products. In fact, that’s probably the most common question I get from new or aspiring runners… Continue reading

Shut off the voice that says you can’t

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Saturday I had a training breakthrough. Those are hard to come by at this stage of training and racing. I’ve been doing triathlons for a long time, so real… Continue reading

Lance Armstrong, Peppa Pig, and Envy

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, This morning I was greeted with questions at work. As soon as I walked in I was fielding questions about Lance. I guess that’s what you get when… Continue reading

Somewhere along the line the pearl would be handed to me

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I didn’t mean to eavesdrop, but I couldn’t help myself. A few days ago I sat and listened to two women on the playground, about my age, talking… Continue reading

Izzy’s big day at the Vaco Kids Triathlon

Dear Izzy, Max and Kate, You did the Vaco kids tri again this year, Izzy. Our friends from Team Magic put on the race in Brentwood, TN at the Maryland Farms YMCA. We… Continue reading

When do you get your kid a dog?

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, You’ve been on me for weeks,  maybe months. You want a dog. This is your fight really, Izzy. Your sweet spirit has always been content with what you… Continue reading

Peanut Butter Gu and Gu Roctane review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, I’ve become a bit notorious for my shifting nutrition strategies during training and racing. Some have worked and some have been a disaster (see my long walk at… Continue reading

The real reason I race

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Sunday after church you handed me this, Izzy: It wasn’t by accident. In your 8 years of life you’ve always delivered the voice of truth in our home.… Continue reading

Bare feet on the kitchen floor, the sound of waves, and 3rd grade

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Mommy and I sat alone on the beach on the last day of vacation. She talked to me about the sound of waves. I’ve thought about it since,… Continue reading

How Becky Lavelle turned tragedy into hope and inspiration

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

Pearl Izumi SynchroFuel RD II review

Dear Izzy, Max, and Kate, Triathletes and runners are a loyal bunch. Especially when it comes to our shoes. I wore one brand/model for 4 years, then another for 6 years, and then… Continue reading