Monday, December 16, 2013

The Proposal v.Calley

When it happened

Friday, November 08, 2013

How we got engaged, and lived.

William blogged his side of the story, and I've been waiting to tell mine!  
The second day we were in Colorado, we decided to hike Flattop Mountain.  We were warned by the park ranger going in the entrance that snow on the trail was deep and that the winds were about 70mph gusts or more that day. She suggested a different hike.  We didn't have any special gear and neither of us had ever climbed a mountain trail in winter, but we decided to give it a shot.  We started out in the woods where the trees blocked the wind and everything was going fine -actually, it was stunning.  it was beautiful and quiet, with peek-a-boo views of the mountains around us as we climbed higher and higher. My hiking poles did occasionally sink way down into the snow right off the trail, so I was aware that there had been significant snow fall and we were walking on a raised, cleared path. There was some ice along the trail that we had to watch for, but the first part of our journey was so very pretty!
We were about to exit the tree line when a guy came out from a switchback corner on the trail and we asked him if he made it to the top? He said no, that he lost the guy in front of him's tracks in the snow as the wind was blowing fresh powder over them. He also warned us and said the wind gusts were really bad. He had turned around, afraid he would lose his way.  Wimp! :) So far, the hike was so nice it was hard to imagine it being dangerous. And on we went.....
Next, we spot some locals and we are all climbing - they kind of pass me and start to catch up to Will. Will and one off the ladies stop ahead and are discussing something. Right about then, the snow gets really deep and I'm almost up to my waist. There's occasional wind gusts and Will reports back that we somehow hiked off the trail. He assures me its a slight course correction and say he can see it just over the ridge, so we wade through deep snow and rocks to get back on the trail. All I could think of with each step was that in CO, there are a lot of rattle snakes. These snakes are probably dinning in a cluster under the rocks and there's too much snow for me to see where I'm stepping.....My mind runs wild with the idea that I might survive the bite, but not the heart attack from seeing them.  I get back to the trail, calmer, but I'm thinking if the locals got lost, we may be in trouble!  At this point, I want to mention both of those ladies turned around and said they had to get back (My! My! Where DOES the time go?).... And we pushed on.
We reach Emerald Lake overlook, which was totally worth my panic attack over the snow drifts and imaginary herds of snakes. We continue climbing and meet two guys who look like they came out of mountain man magazine complete with flannel shirts, beards and crampons/ropes hanging from their packs. Again, hopeful, I ask if theysummit-ed the mountain, and they said no. It was too windy.   Hmmmmm. 
We get a little farther along the switchbacks and now we are in open terrain. Gusts are starting and you can hear the wind howl right before it plows into you like a linebacker. The only thing I could do was crouch low and keep working my way over.  We must've been right on the continental divide because as I look over, I can see a constant airflow of snow/wind in one spot that I will have to cross assuming I can get to it.. I'm crawling along and I can see the summit (we are literally that close) but the winds are too strong and I got really scared.  This almost never happens. Will was a little ahead of me and he was really trying to get me to come along. He's really working it -standing up leaning into the wind saying "See, it's okay -it's better right here" or "i can stand up!" as a gust nearly topples him over..... I told him I was no longer having fun, I was ready to turn around. I do not think he realized I now serious and scared I was.  I'm not even sure I understood that those emotions had really sunk in while laying there on the ground getting wind whipped.  He started to argue with me and I kept in mind that he had never climbed a mountain and I had to go with my gut. My gut had been telling me before I was crawling on the ground through the wind that things were getting too dicey. I did like his fearless spirit! It made me happy to see him so undaunted.  I said he should go and I would wait for him. He was having none of that and was persistent that I go too.  I was scared. i literally could not make myself. He looked so disappointed and I just busted out into tears. I was bawling my head off saying to him "Why would you want me to be scared? Why are you being selfish trying to make me go when I'm begging you to let me turn around?"   He felt terrible. I could see it.  I did not understand the disappointment I read on his face though-I thought he was disappointed in me. I was sad and I started tracking down the mountain crying my little eyes out.  I had disappointed him. Was he trying to kill me? Did he want me to get blown off the mountain into a pack of rattlesnakes?
We continued going down for a while and he would stop me and try to reassure me that he only wanted to summit if we did it together. I begged him to do it alone because i didn't want to be the reason he held back.  Again he told me he only wanted to do it with me. He said it wasn't important now and that we should stop to eat our lunch by Dream Lake. We kept walking on down and he started singing our song to me  "I'm going to love you forever, forever and ever amen...." Over and over he would hug me or kiss my cheek when we would stop. I was conflicted. I didn't understand why he cared more about getting to the top than us both feeling safe and happy, and I thought I had really disappointed him, so I was really disappointed too....
We finally got back to Dream Lake. I started to sit down to rest and eat lunch but William would not let me. Was he CRAZY? i was tired! He said stand up.... And he took off his gloves and cap. I was confused and wondered if he had lost his mind undressing in freezing temperatures.  He hugged me so tight, then in the next second, he was on his knee with the ring in a box holding my hand. He asked me if I would marry him.... And I said yes!  I hugged him and then I understood and was so relieved!  I started to cry and he told me that was why he wanted to get to the top. He had planned on asking me there.  In the tornado winds. Us crawling on the ground. With me fearing for my life. Herd of snakes as witness. He's super romantic.

And that was the day my wonderful boyfriend became my incredible fiancĂ©! 

Monday, December 2, 2013

The Proposal

I am sure you guys have been waiting to hear about the proposal and how it went down ever since we posted it on facebook and twitter. I had been secretly planning the proposal for quite sometime in how and when I would do it. I actually had the ring hidden away safely for over a month before proposing. My first detour in proposing in Estes Park, CO was most things start shut down in September. We had planned to do an aerial trolley ride up to Prospect Mountain. I thought this would be perfect that way I could get an innocent bystander to take a picture of the engagement. 

Next with the flood that damaged Boulder and the surrounding areas this year it had caused a lot of roads and businesses to shut down early for the year. We went back to our itinerary we had originally mapped out and planned all over again. While we were mapping out the itinerary I was secretly mapping out when and where I will propose. We had put Flattop Mountain down for our second day hike. I decided that this would be the best spot for a proposal at the summit.  A hike that is 12,342 feet. 

When I had packed I put the ring inside my jacket into my suit case. I did this so I wouldn't have to pull it out  at the airport when they checked us and I didn't wear that jacket the first day we arrived. 

Heading out to hike Flat Top Mountain. The ring is tucked inside my pocket on my left side, your right when viewing. 
 When began our hike after a big hearty breakfast that included Elk Smokies. This also happened to be the windiest day we were there. It was almost too bad to do any hiking and we almost switched which mountains we were going to do. In my head, I'm screaming....nooooooo! We can't hike any where else, I had been studying Flattop Mountain for weeks. We did get to Flattop Mountain and packed down our food and body warmers. It was super windy, as I mentioned. Getting out the car the wind would shut your door for you.

We embarked upon our journey up Flat Top mountain through ice and snow. Early in the hike she would ask to reach for the camera lens that was in my pocket that I was having trouble getting too with gloves on. I yelled "No" of course she can't reach for the camera lens there's a ring near there, I was thinking. I might have blurted "No" out a little fast, she was like ok, Weirdo.

All Smiles here. 
Once we got above the treeline that is when things got a little harry. The wind picked up brutally again with strong gusts. We got off the trail and trudged and crawled through waist deep snow, Calley at this point wasn't a happy camper. I could see the trail not too far away so we kept moving towards it.

Emerald Lake over-look I am sure she is faking this smile. Just before the going got really tough. 
I'm thinking we were almost to the top and I'm about to propose. 
At this point with some outrageous winds Calley will have no more and gets upset for me wanting to keep going. She doesn't know I'm about to propose to her. 

At this point past the Emerald Lake there was a stretch of strong wind, it must had been where the Continental Divide was. Winds were gusting out of control and blowing the snow around. At this point I couldn't get Calley to go past this point. Calley started crying making me feel bad. "I never seen you like this before, what has got into you that you want to get to the top so bad," she said. I responded, "I had visioned that we would reach the top holding hands." She starts storming back down the mountain. I thought I probably won't be proposing today. What will be plan B?  I did think of Plan B on our way up, we had passed Dream Lake overlook and thought this would the be the perfect spot if we didn't make it to the top. At this point though I didn't think Plan B would happen either. 

With her being upset she stormed back down. Quickly trying to come up with plan to calm her down in time. As we were getting closer to Dream Lake I started singing Randy Travis, "Forever and Ever, Amen", which has been song to her since we saw Randy Travis at Billy Bob's several months ago. I thought she was about to keep walking right past it but I asked her to stop for a second. I through down my hat down and took off my gloves. She asked, "What are you doing?" I just pulled her close and told her how blessed I was to be with her. I sneaked the ring out of my pocket opened the box and got down one knee. She finally realized what was happening and why I was trying to get her to the top of the mountain. I am certain this location worked out even better with out the forceful winds and beautiful overlook to remember. She said, "YES!"

She's either or excited or just realized what she's done for the rest of her life. :) 

All Smiles! 
Of course we had to post a gangsta pic!
The rest of time we had a lot of fun celebrating, hiking, sight-seeing, shopping the strip at Estes Park. The Elk walk the streets in the early morning. Below are a few pictures from the trip. The rest can be found on my facebook page.

Thanks again for reading we are looking forward to beginning the next chapter here sometime in 2014. 

Sunday, December 1, 2013

OutRival Racing & Sigma Performance Swimming for 2014

When it came time to think about strategy for 2014, I sent OutRival Racing a message to see if they would be taking on more athletes to coach next year. I have seen several of their athletes  make huge improvements over the last couple of years.  I was thinking I would start in the spring at the earliest, quite honestly. A quick reply back and they had me on the phone the next day. Thanks to their proactive approach, I'm actually coming on board much sooner than I thought. OutRival Racing is based in Houston, Texas founded in 2009 by former Pro Triathlete 2007-2010 Michelle Leblanc. In a short amount of time I've been very impressed with OutRival Racing.  I'm looking forward to working more with OutRival Racing (ORR) in the upcoming year. 

 I started working Andrew Ha the Founder and Stroke Mechanics Coach for Sigma Performance Swimming based in the Fort Worth area in October. Andrew is awesome, he films me every session and we do an end of month test which seems to get more challenging and faster at the same time. I've made vast improvements working with Andrew over the last two months.

Thanks again for reading. I'm looking forward to the 2014 triathlon season. 


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Life Time Tri Dallas

Last race of the season I was eager to get it done. I did this race in 2009 when it was at the American Airlines Center and I haven't had a chance to come back until now.

Walking on the dock to get to the start, goggles pulled down, and my game face on I was ready to race. We started swimming and I got kicked and my goggles got knocked around and they were full of water and I couldn't see at all. I put my head back down to keep swimming but had put pull up and adjust my goggles even then they were still half-full of water and I could barely see in front of me. Now I'm in the back of the pack.  It took sometime to adjust as I was zig zagging to the first turn.  In the far stretch I found some feet to draft off, although I'm not sure what happened to him as we rounded the last turn and he was gone. At the end the swim the water was shallow and I dolphin dived a few times to the exit.

The start of the bike as up a steep hill out of the parking lot and then take a right and it continues to climb. It took a few minutes to get into my shoes and get rollin'. I found myself lacking some bike strength especially after my long-time friend Pedro flies by me like I was sitting still, I was like "What the heck was that?" I continued to push and found myself getting angrier but still to no avail Pedro kept pulling away.

Running into T2 I jumped off it felt like my feet had turned into bricks. I forgot to bring toe covers. The run was on a whole different level. On the other side of transition we had to run up a steep hill the same way we went out on the bike course. Take a right and it continues to climb and into more hills through this neighborhood.  I found myself having a decent run, at least I was feeling good. After the first mile or so I could see Pedro way ahead. I had my sights set on catching him, it took awhile because Pedro is a stud and one of the hardest Brazilians I know. The volunteers were doing a great job out there keeping everyone's spirits up. It wasn't long then we had a 1/2 mile to go and I could see Brandon Barnett just in front me. I was starting a wild chase but couldn't quite get him at the line.

With an up and down season this year.  I was mainly focused on improving my swim. It taking a lot of work but I a believe we are finally making some progress on the swim. I know I'm going to make even more starting next season, but I'll still have to get my bike strength back up too.

I owe a lot of thanks to my Jesus for keeping me injury free this whole season. Of course to Calley Borocz my amazing girlfriend who has been with every step this year. Lance Vernon who has supported helped me through the years and came out of the way to cheer and keep Calley company. My parents for always believing in me. Richard Burgunder from Extremus, Brent Poulsen Revolution Multisport, Karbon Speed, and Tri It Wear.

I'm already looking forward to next year but first I'm going to enjoy a complete week off and then I'll ease back into it. Calley and I have also been planning a vacation in November to Colorado for a few days in Estes Park. We are both looking forward to that as well as we escape into the mountains.

Thanks for reading and I'll see ya on the courses next year!

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Galveston 5150

I was excited to race Galveston 5150 especially after the swim I had in TriFecta (2nd out of water in age group wave). I wanted to able to compare it to the guys in Galveston. But unfortunately, rain combined with the considerably high winds made the race officials cancel the swim. Which it really wasn't that bad, no worse than an ocean swim. WTC, harden up just a bit, ok.

This was also the first time Rylan would get to see me race too, I was pretty excited about that. We took him to Pleasure Pier before dinner to ride some fun rides and we had dinner at Bumba Gump's.

After TriFecta and suffering another painful bout of stomach cramps we are trying to go gluten-free to see if it helps. I guess I've had too many pasta dinners over the years.  I believe it is helping already, my running has gotten significantly better since. I feel significantly "lighter" but I'm not.

Since the swim was canceled, we started on the bike one at time in 5 second intervals. It was definitely a different format than I was used to and we had to start out with our shoes on. I had a very good mount as I was trying to get in a legal draft of the guy who took off before me. The bike is along the seawall coast. Flat and fast. We had a very generous tailwind on the way out sailing our carbon cost more than your car bikes 29-31 miles an hour (some people probably sailed more than that), only to be faced with a heckuva headwind on the way back.  This is the first time I've raced in Galveston where we didn't get the tailwind on the way back. The group I was competing in it was a yo-yo the entire ride going back and forth.

On the 2 loop  10k run course around Moody Gardens, I finally felt good on the run. Quick effortless turnover starting out as I ran in "control" the first couple of miles. I was passed early on by a pro Rodolfe Von Berg finishing up his last loop once he passed me I was able to keep him close as I found the motivation to stay with him, but I was caught by up-and-coming, young Daniel Vertiz, who also in the "Elite-Amateurs" and would go on to have the fastest run split of the day. It wasn't until the last two miles that I had some stomach cramps but they weren't as intense as they have been. So, we are staying on the gluten-free thing for further experimental testing.   I would ended up 20th overall and 6th out of the "Elite Amateurs".

It was really great to have the support from Calley and Rylan especially seeing them on the run course.  Rylan, actually took most of the athletic photos from this weekend. Praise God that my running is coming back around and I know where I need to work on the bike to get stronger.

After the race my Aunt Veronica met up with us, who I haven't seen since I was a young boy. I also played in the beach with Rylan we stopped to visit my grandparents on my dad's side. What a great trip!

Next,  Lifetime Dallas October 6.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

TriFecta Triathlon

Hell's Gate at Possum Kingdom Lake
I've been reading, reading a lot actually. Mostly business/leadership type books, but these books also can be put into translation for triathlon or any other athletic event. I'm currently reading two books right now that I would recommend Orrin Woodward's book "Resolved" and " The Magic of Thinking Big" by Daniel J. Schwartz. Reading these books built my confidence up coming into the week of TriFecta.

Pre- swim warmup Business face is on.

I've been swimming a lot this year, but have been seeing very little return but keeping at the grind. Finally, though I saw something that came out of nowhere this weekend as I led the age group swim wave well past the first turn. I could feel people on my feet throughout I wasn't too worried about it. I was pretty excited because I never lead anything that was in the water regardless of what level of competition it was. I am used to getting run over soon as we start.  On the back stretch I ended up losing position but not my much, I caught him through transition. 

Coming out 2nd of the water in the age group wave.

Through transition I mounted my bike like a rookie, I never saw the mount sign. I just kept running down the street finally I said I must have passed it but mistimed my jump on the bike and had to stop and get it on. The bike was harder than we expected with false flats, rollers, and one steep climb just before halfway through. At the halfway point I knew I wasn't too far behind the pros that started just 4 minutes ahead of me. On the way back in, I didn't think the signs were marked correctly, there was sign that said right up ahead and I ended up turning into this boat dock thinking that's where I shoes were after making the turn I realize that wasn't correct so had to spin out of there get back on the road. Once I saw T2 and came in set my bike on the rack and the pole popped out, volunteers had to come hold my bike so I could put my shoes on.

On the run course, I started out feeling great but didn't think the course was marked too well and the volunteers may have needed more coffee. Arrows were pointing to the right when I should have went straight and where I was supposed to make a turn to get on the trail I didn't know I was supposed to turn until the last second. I ended up knocking down a few chairs and nearly taking out the volunteers. The first 3 miles of the run was more challenging then anybody thought it was there was a asphalt hill steeper than the hills on the Buffalo Springs course and the trails had some steep inclines and full of rocks to watch out for. It felt like I as Xterra trail running. Through the trails I knew Jose wasn't too far behind in there but I was confident I could still hold him off. But after two miles through I was having to manage stomach cramps, actually I had them on the bike but got them to go away for awhile. Once we exited the trail I knew he was there, I held him off for almost another mile, but couldn't respond to him once he caught me.

Finishing as the 2nd amateur and 2nd 25-29 male. 

Top 3 25-29 males (Jose on the right)
I thank God for a great race! The biggest weakest for me is of course the swim, this maybe the first sign of progress I've made in awhile, if ever. It's probably the first race where my swim has ranked higher than the bike or run. Next week will be a better test of that though.  I'm actually working to eat gluten-free to hopefully eliminate these stomach issues I've been having in every race so far this year. Calley has was super supportive, she made the weekend a lot more fun! This weekend we are going race Galveston 5150.


Thanks to the SO PRO Stacy McKinney for taking the picture. 

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Houston Towne Lake Triathlon

Coming into the Houston Triathlon I had a couple of solid blocks of training over the last two months. I was ready. Here is a picture of me at dinner the night before at Chili's. Calley had used the beans that I didn't eat for decoration. 

Pre Race dinner art. 

Swim Start

Going into the swim, I thought I was having my best swim yet and maybe I was. I got off too a good start. Nothing too significant to write about here but this was a first for me when the water got really shallow in the last straight away and I had to run and dive back in.

Coming out of the Towne Lake swim. 
Running into transition I could see the new rookie pro Scott Wilkinson just heading out. I knew then I wasn't as far back I though and was still in the mix. The bike was mostly flat since it is in Houston at sea level. I took me awhile to get my legs moving but once I did I thought I was moving pretty good. I lost my water bottle early in the ride when I hit a bump when I was looking down. So, I was doing mostly without fluids over half the ride. Which this was short race so I wasn't worried about it. I was pretty excited to get in on the bike. I knew I was well under sub 1 hour for 40K. I thought at the time was pretty well until I saw results with some guys out splitting me by 2 or 3 minutes.

Houston Towne Lake bike

I haven't had a solid run off the bike all year this season, which is quite unusual except I've been swimming a lot more than usual too. As the saying goes regardless how well your training is going it doesn't matter until it happens on race day. I started out with good turn over but the speed of the legs weren't there. I struggled through the run but I was still thinking positive thoughts. With a couple of miles to go a couple of guys were starting to run up on me, they must have been in the sprint tri, but I reacted is if they in my division and was able to run a little faster based off that.

I finished 7th overall and 6th male. Former Pro Michelle Leblanc dominated the race on the women's side. OnUrLeft Austin Parker crushed the men's race. I think Scott Wilkinson must have had some technical difficulties, I never heard what happened.

Houston Towne Lake Finish

I thank God for a good race, even though it wasn't the end result I was shooting for there were still some positive that came out of it. Also, I had this amazinggirl Calley here shown below who was out cheering for me the whole time. Also, I have great team of people behind me Team Extremus, Revolution Multisport, CR Massage, Karbon Speed, and Tri It Wear. TriFecta is next at Possum King Lake a gem of a location out in the middle of no where 90 minutes west of Fort Worth.

Calley and I just before the start. 

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Benbrook Lake Sprint Triathlon

This past weekend I squared off again with Dallas' Matt Inch. Since he was coming I was pretty pumped but work still must get done so I trained right through this race and hard. I actually took a recovery week the week before. They playing fields were even though as he attended a cross country camp in Michigan and put in 55 miles of running in 5 days.

Benbrook Lake
I've been working my swim/bike over the last couple of months. The swim didn't show up, my start didn't go so well. I thought I had jumped on Matt's feet when I realized it wasn't him I could see
a pack of 3 up ahead and knew that wasn't him. In a short 500m swim I was a min and some cents off Matt. I worked the bike pretty nice and was surprised how good I felt.  I could see Matt along with Jason Soria, making the round about that was at the beginning of the bike and knew I could be in the mix on the two loop bike course. I chased them both down and finally caught Matt before the last turn around. I put in a surge past him and switched sides of the road to hopefully to put some distance on him that he wouldn't be able to come back on. However once I reached the turn around I could see him close. I shut it down and decided to soft-pedal in if I wasn't going to be able to break him, which I don't think was the best decision but you never know. We both switched to our run shoes as fast as possible were on the run course together bumping elbows and exchanging sweat. We were side by side for most of the 5k. Like last month it still came down to the last mile, he has another gear that I was  unable to match again. The "Special 4" was also doing a training ride on the course - Will, Myrna, Kelly, and Angela were cheering me on for a little bit as as Matt and I were starting to put surges on each other near the end out in the middle of the 5k. Matt ended up slipping by and getting the overall win by 8 seconds. I'll live to fight another day.

Here are some pics Calley got during the awards presentation. 

Top 3 Male
Calley and I
Texas Shootout Series Cowboy hat

My friend Monty from Tyler, Tx. 
Matt Inch and I after the awards. 
Team Extremus Press Release

Thanks for reading. I'm always blessed with my amazing people who help support me. It was fun racing. God kept us all safe and Calley was great at supporting me and keeping me informed how far back I was. Matt was a class act a great guy to race with. I'm looking forward to ramping up the racing this fall and to start is The Houston Triathlon Sept 2.  Thank you to my amazing sponsors Extremus, Revolution Multisport, Tri It Wear, Karbon Speed!!!