Friday, August 3, 2012

Race Day in FL vs. Race Day in CT

     I haven't done one of these in a while so I figured no better time than right now.  Well it's race day.  This one is different from the rest.  It is 0930 as I write this.  Usually by now I've finished the race and had a beer or 4.  Tonight's race doesn't start until 5.  I'm used to getting up at 4 and trying to squeeze out a poop, setting up for transition in the dark,  dealing with the chilly mornings by the water, that kind of crap.  5 o'clock?? What am I going to do all day? I'm on vacation, I want to start drinking.  I'm going to take it easy and get ready slowly.
     This race is also different because it is in fresh water.  Can't tell you the last time I swam in a lake.  PROS- no currents, waves, or saltwater that I usually get a lung full and then choke on for a few minutes as I flail like I'm having a seizure. (the move I call swimming) CONS- I'ts flippin' cold.  I've heard between 70 and 74 degrees.  That's bath water to these crazy northern bastards but I'm a Florida boy now.  If the air temp was 70 degrees I'd have a sweatshirt on.  Hopefully it makes me swim as fast as possible, which I have found out at previous races is as fast as an overweight 45 year old woman, and get the hell out of the water.
     I'm also not used to these hills.  I went for a run my first morning here and I felt like I was a smoker again.  I was gasping for air.  After a few miles I got used to it. They got fun when I jumped on the bike and started roaming the tri-town area.  Coming back from visiting my grandmother I hit 33.05mph.  That was pretty intense.  You have a lot of faith in your bike when you hit speeds like that with cars and dump trucks driving just 2 feet away from you.
     As far as the run goes I've got that under control.  Even though I pulled a calf muscle playing kickball Tuesday night I feel good.  I've been running a lot lately.  If you are in the St. Pete/Tampa area join Running for Brews.  Such a fun group.  Todays run is only 3 miles, I can do that in my sleep.  In Florida when I'm running theres usually great things to look at, Tampa Bay, palm trees, girls in yoga pants, sunrises, sunsets.... Here in CT  theres not too much.  Hills, houses that I used to party at in high school, the telephone pole I almost wrapped my truck around.  But I did notice the trash on the side of the road is different up here.  In St. Pete you'll see Checkers wrappers, empty packs of 305's, and tall boys of High Gravity.  People in Watertown are more classy.  Snapple bottles,  Marlboro Lights(which I saw are like $9a pack), and I even saw an empty handle of Smirnoff vodka by the golf course.
    The final thing about today's race that makes it special is that I finally get to meet Evan.  I feel like I know him already.  I've known DeDe and Joe forever but still haven't met the EvMan.  Thats the great thing about Facebook.  Even though I've been gone for 5 years I don't feel like I've missed much.  I've watched evans progress over the last 2 years and I'm proud of the little dude.  Can't wait to meet him tonight!!
     Thanks for all the donations, you guys rock!!  I'm going to do this race every year!!
Really can't thank you all enough,

Sunday, June 24, 2012

My Training Diet

     I write this as Tropical Storm Debby dumps massive amounts of rain on sunny St. Petersburg.  Going for a run or a good bike ride is not in the cards for me today.  I don't even want to ride to the gym to do the dreaded treadmill run. I F'n hate those things now. A huge part of my training has been my diet.  I was on what I now call "the single guys diet".  I ate ramen noodles, frozen pizzas, TV dinners, fast food, Chinese delivery, anything that was cheap and easy.  (make a joke about some of the women I've dated and I'll smack you.)  The only time you'd find me in the produce section of Publix was if I needed something to go in a cocktail.  So I decided to start eating healthy.  No more frozen or processed foods.  I am one of those guys who reads labels at the store now.  I learned some new words, like portion control, salad, turkey bacon, Miller Lite, WTF!!!!  It took some getting used to but I made eating healthy fun.  Chicken and fish with lots of fresh vegetables.  That's pretty much all I eat now.  Good thing I'm pretty creative in the kitchen so it doesn't get boring.  The fresh market or local produce stands are now some of my favorite places to shop.  But its not cheap!!  My food bill tripled if not more.  Is it worth it?  Hell yeah, I feel great.  My energy level is through the roof, I actually sleep at night now, my skin cleared up.  This is great!  My secret to success?  CHEAT!  If I feel like having a burger or a piece of pizza once in a while I do it.  Its not like my diet is court ordered.  After a race nothing beats a big juicy burger and a beer.  So if you make it to a finish line don't be afraid to hand me a cold brew as I cross.

Monday, June 18, 2012


     I just got back from my running club. (Not just, I had a few beers after and had to get some groceries.)  I ran 3 miles in 22 minutes.  I'm gonna do some math here, thats ... nevermind, I'm bad at math, but thats pretty damn fast as far as I am concerned.  As far as a triathlon goes I have the running part under control.  After a 1/2 mile swim and a 15 mile bike ride I can still run a 5K(3.1 miles) in about 26-28 minutes. Now some of the crazy F'ers can do it in 17 minutes, but I dont care about them.  I fiend for the finish line.  Nothing can compare to the feeling, the high, I got when I saw the finish line at the first triathlon I did.  I was doing the Escape From Ft. Desoto.  I rounded the corner from the beach and hit the pavement and there it was. The giant inflatable blue and yellow finish line.  FINISH  I'm done.  Everytime I see that word I push as hard as I can.  There may not be somebody in front or behind me, its just something I need to do. (Totaly passed a dude in the last 5ft. in Dunedin)  A strong finish.  Something I need to prove to myself.  When I think I'm done I HAVE MORE!!
     Now I am 31, and just trying to battle being fat and lazy.  My friend Evan was born and had to fight to stay alive. Like right away, no breather, no sit and chill for a minute.  This kid is hardcore.  And he's only 2!!  The awesome thing is I don't even think he knows he is sick.  He is one happy baby!!  I know with the wicked awesome parents he has, the great family they have, and the friends and loved ones around them we can make life easier for Evan.  Help me out with my quest to help my friend Evan.  I'm sure if you needed help he'd be all about helping you out. He'd be lke" F' Yeah I'm gonna help a complete stranger.  I'm only 2 and I know thats the right thing to do.  But I'm not going to see Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer. That movie just looks stupid."

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What am I doing?

     What am I doing?  That is a question I ask myself often.  3 times in the past 2 months I have been standing on a beach at sunrise asking that very question.  I am a triathlete.  That's right, me.  Tom Rockhill, Rockhill, Tom Tom, Fisherman Tom, or whatever you may know me as.  The out of shape, sometimes obese, heavy drinking, heavy smoking funny guy you all know and love.  A year ago I made some changes in my life and now I am a triathlete, but that is a story I will tell you later. 
     2 years ago my friends Joe and DeDe had a baby boy.  I know what you are thinking and no, I'm not racing a 2 year old.  I am racing for a 2 year old. My friend Evan was born with a rare skin disease.   It is called Harlequin Ichthyosis and I will buy you a beer if you can pronounce it right the first time.  This means Evan requires a lot more care than any other 2 year old.  Evan is lucky he's got DeDe as a mom, she's taken care of me after a hard night of partying a few times.  Read more about their story on his blog. 
     With me being in Florida and Evan and DeDe being in Connecticut I am helping the only way I can.  That is by raising money for research.  All donations will go to the FIRST Foundation in Evans name.  FIRST is a national non-profit organization connected to its members and families by the special skin and unique management needs of individuals affected with ichthyosis and related skin types.   I copied and pasted that all by myself!  I wrote this whole blog all by myself!!  Check back for more, and thanks for your help!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Sandy Beach Triathlon: August 3, 2012

Come support Tom as he participates in his first triathlon in Connecticut. Tom has been inspired by Evan, his friends' two year old, who is affected with Harlequin Ichthyosis. Tom's mission is to help support the FIRST Foundation with donations in hopes to find a cure some day. Help support Tom and his mission by donating here:

All proceeds will be donated to the FIRST Foundation in Evan's honor. Learn more about Ichthyosis and the FIRST Foundation HERE.