Archive for July, 2012


Services for Heather Frazer Boyum

July 31, 2012

I was given permission by the family of Heather Boyum  to post the following information about her calling hours and funeral. I hope you will join me in wearing something pink, and honoring this beautiful woman who was so many things to so many people.

  • Wednesday….. Calling hours will be 3-7pm at Keenan’s in Egypt on Route 31.
  • Thursday 11am  Service at St. Johns of Rochester Church, 8 Wickford Way, Fairport – off of Route 31 (near 490 interchange).
  • In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to the Heather Boyum Memorial Children’s Educational Fund c/o Elissa DeChick at Fairport High School, 1 Dave Paddock Way, Fairport, NY 14450..

Heather after finishing her first 1/2 Ironman, just a few weeks ago.

They have also asked that the focus be kept on celebrating Heather’s life and her legacy, for everything she was in this community. We all want justice to be served and while we can trust that it will be served….. we can certainly write to our representatives and Sherriff O’Flynn…… but let’s not give these …… there are no words to describe scum of the earth……. let’s not give their names the light of day. I encourage you to remove social media posts regarding them. They will be dealt with.

We would like to keep the focus on her life and my personal focus is what we can do as a community to make our roads safe. Heather was following all of the rules of the road. New York State Laws regarding cycling seem to protect pedestrians from cyclists, not always cyclists from cars. There is also good evidence that some of those laws that do outline our cycling rights are not enforced. Stay tuned, we are collecting information.

Today is a day of healing for all of us. Wear your pink, get some pink flowers, some pink balloons and celebrate. Heather would have done exactly that.



Light…… lost

July 30, 2012

Yesterday morning our community lost a beautiful woman. A mother, wife, sister, daughter, friend, teacher. According to reports she was riding her bike at 7:45am on a Sunday morning when she was struck by a motorcycle passing a car, thrown from her bike and then hit by the car. Apparently both drivers were…. drunk. Let me repeat…… Sunday morning…. 7:45am.

The rage felt throughout this community is deep. The pain is deeper. It’s one thing when it’s an accident. I don’t see how you can call this an accident.

I was told that….. one more law isn’t going to help….. we can’t change things. Watch us.

In the meantime….. before any of that begins we have to remember we have a family who lost their wife, mother and sister, students who lost their teacher, and we have the Rochester Moms in Motion who lost their shining star. If you know anything about the Moms in Motion group around here…. they are family. Right now we need prayers for everyone Heather touched.

Heather is a wife and the mother of two young children. She is a teacher. She is a tremendous athlete. Recently Heather completed her first 1/2 Ironman at the Musselman. As I understand it she was planning on going to USAT Age Group Nationals in 3 weeks.

That’s just a fraction of what she did in her life.

Saturday morning she came bounding up to me at the Rochester Kid’s Triathlon …. so excited her kids were racing and so proud of a young man who was competing. Happiness just poured from her. She is the kind of woman who lived her life to the fullest, who was cherishing every single day, who was an inspiration to everyone who had the honor of knowing her.

There is a lot of healing this community needs to endure right now. So let’s begin there first. If you have something pink…. wear it today. She’s a member of Rochester’s Moms in Motion and pink is their color. I will be in touch with USAT today to see if they can place a pink balloon at her spot in transition at Nationals. I will make sure that we have pink balloons on site at the Finger Lakes Triathlon … whether she was planning on being there or not doesn’t matter. She’s a member of this community.

Next weekend is the Ride for Royston, to benefit a man named Kevin Royston who was hit 2 months ago, left for dead and lost his leg. That was also a DWI case. Right now…. I ask you to come and join us. I know the Moms in Motion will be putting together a ride in Heather’s honor….. and of course we will promote, attend and support that. I ask that we all go this weekend and ride together. To begin to heal and to begin to think of how we as a community can stop this senselessness. Come ride, wear something pink…. I am told the MIM’s are creating T shirts and arm bands for other events they are already scheduled to compete

Photo by Laura Knights

But let’s be together as a community this weekend.

You can’t teach someone good morals and ethics…. I am told. I know someone who is drunk at 7:45 in the morning isn’t thinking about bicycle or pedestrian safety. But I do know we can create awareness. I do know laws can be tougher on the convicted. I do believe as a community we will not allow her to have died in vain. I was told you can’t change things and that one more law on the books won’t make a difference.

Good. Keep telling me that.

Today is a day of grieving. For a woman who should not have been lost. Today is a day of prayers and coming together.

Please wear something pink.

“I’m amazed how fast time flies…It reminds me that every minute of life is a treasure!” – Heather Boyum


Behind our scenes

July 27, 2012

I love this picture. It’s of Jennie and I after she crossed the finish line at Ironman Lake Placid (second female pro!). Read her race report right here, and you will understand why this is such an emotional moment.

Photograph by Charlie Abrahams

I also love this picture.

Photograph by Charlie Abrahams

And one more. My third favorite picture from Sunday. I don’t know why it’s so small. It’s Pat Wheeler, Jesse Kropelnicki and I. If Tim Snow was in this picture it would be complete.

Photograph by Charlie Abrahams

These are the guys who have taught me so much in the past year. I came to QT2 with seven years of experience but have learned more in the past 365 days than those seven years combined. I owe these guys a lot. I owe them more than a THANK YOU. They have helped me begin to become the coach I know I can be. Or at least begin down that path.

I can promise you one thing about QT2…. we are a team. We are not a group of coaches. We are a team. We have coaches calls. We have email chains to one another that would rival … just about anything. We stood on that hill together and we brought our athletes home (and others) because of one big reason.

We care.

I spoke with Jesse about how when you coach this in-depth, when you coach elite athletes….. your own performances may suffer. Quite honestly when I began coaching my performances slid a bit, this season I felt like they slid a lot, despite the time I put it. At the same time when you ask me who I care about more…. my performances or the performances of my athletes….. I care more about theirs. I am blessed to have done so much on my field. Nothing …. nothing in the world rivals what I feel when they achieve their goals and dreams. See the first picture of this blog to understand that.

I sh*t liquid all day at Ironman Lake Placid. It’s how I have always been. I do that for any big race. It’s not that I am not confident, or worried or …. or anything bad. It’s just because their performances are personal to me.

I essentially forewent my own season when I realized that Vegas was off the table for me….. but not gone. Not at all. I have taken some time to give myself that break that we should all take. At the same time I am focusing on running a fall marathon (I am almost up to 50 miles a week). In the meantime I am learning to strike that balance. I will never be a coach that doesn’t care with my heart and soul … about them and their performances. Never. I am just not wired that way.

And my step back is just temporary. I have two Ironmans on the docket for 2013!

I love what I do. I love being a coach. I love coaching with Qt2. EVERY DAY I am so grateful and honored they invited me to join the coaching team. They have become my friends, my family.

This picture is of some more of us. Tara, myself and Molly.

Things are going to pick up again as my traveling roadshow moves on this week!

This weekend I will be announcing at the Rochester Kids Triathlon (and “someone” will be competing).

I have my 20th high school reunion. Three day party!

Next week our long and storied battle with the school district will come to a resolution. It’s down to the wire.

I will be announcing at Summer Sizzler, Carly’s Club Crossing, hopefully heading to Ironman Mt. Tremblant…..

Coming soon: trips to Kona and Panama City Beach!

And that’s not even all of it.





Arial view

July 25, 2012

My friend shared this picture with me the other day, it’s of a place called Battleship Cove in Michigan (if I remember correctly). I think I could stare at it forever. I have a love for big open spaces, being able to see forever and scenes like the above. It makes you realize just how small you are in this great big world and how if we don’t stop and take a look around once in a while…. we miss scenes just like this.

This one is of Columbia River Gorge, and is from the same friend. Another example of places you can see forever.

If you have ever listened or read anything from a man named Garret Kramer you know what scenes like this mean. He tells a story of walking around in a forest bumping into trees. Getting irritated because it’s crowded and the bigger picture isn’t very clear. He goes on to instruct us to imagine we are suddenly lifted up as if we were in a helicopter above the treeline. A minute ago we were in the thick of it and now we are pulled above it looking down. We realize that yes, there is plenty of room and yes…. there is enough space down there… and okay…. that is the pattern of the trees. When we were ground level it didn’t make sense. But pulled away from it, looking at it from above, it made perfect sense. We need not only to see the forest through the trees…. we need to view the whole darn forest.

That’s what pictures like the above exemplify for me. Not just in sport but in life.

Much of what I do in my life relates to sport however, so let’s continue down that track.

As a triathlon coach one of the most important jobs I have is to maintain this panoramic view. As an athlete the view we often see is ground level, bumping into trees. Why am I doing this… we might ask. What’s this all about? Many times as athletes we don’t necessarily nail one single workout or on the other hand we nail it so well we immediately ask our coach….. does that mean I am fit? Does that mean I am not fit?

We have to put our athletes on the helicopter and bring them to our vantage point. It’s the shape of the work that matters most, not the individual days and individual heart rates and paces. It’s the work over time that matters most. When athletes are in the thick of things it can be difficult for them to step back and see the big picture. That’s our job as coaches….  to work the details into the bigger picture.

Ironman is beautiful like that. It’s the culmination of an entire year of those trees that you bump into. There are times when you feel lost. There are times when you feel like the compass is completely wrong. There are times when you just want to lay down. Then the cannon goes off and in the space of 17 hours or less….. dreams are realized.

It’s not just a race. At least to me it’s not. It’s a spiritual experience in many ways. Call me insane…. but that’s how I feel about it. Not only for myself but also for my athletes. You learn things about yourself. You go to places you didn’t even know existed. Even if you have been at this Ironman game for a long time…. it still happens.

One of our professional QT2 athletes … Tim Tapply had that day on Sunday. He’s a father of three, works full time and competes as a professional. He came up that hill one last time on Sunday with a look on his face that showed…. he was in a place that he had never gone before. It was like the worse it got the harder he ran and just looking at him you knew he was in a corner of himself he didn’t know existed. I wish I had a picture of it.

When I talked to him afterwards he told me the world was closing in…. and he had to go to “that place.” It was incredibly inspiring to me. How many of us are willing to dig that deep, to go to those corners of our soul…… not knowing in that moment if we would make it back. That’s what Ironman does. It challenges you like that. It gets hard. It hurts. Sure it hurts your quads and hamstrings but…. it takes you to a place you have never been. If you are lucky. If you allow it to, it’ll show you strength you never knew you had.

You can’t plan for it. You can’t train for it. You just have to know it’s coming and you have to be ready for it. You just have to let it happen.

For me Ironman and even not Ironman…… life….. is about remembering to stand on the cliff and look out over the canyon, and remembering to do that when you are focusing on one small rock on the ground.  It’s about taking the helicopter above the treeline and looking down. It’s about bumping into the trees when you get down to ground level and understanding there is a plan, there is a reason, there is a way through.

Ironman mirrors life in many ways. That’s what I love about it. It’s long. It’s difficult. It’s the unknown even though you have done it before. It’s looking out over the world and being able to see forever. It’s not one mile, two miles although that’s we have to approach it (another blog for another time).

So today…. give that a try. Step back. Look out, look up, look down. See the big picture instead of what is right in front of you. As a coach it’s vital. As an athlete it’s enlightening. The beauty of what is before you will calm you, will engage you, will bring you peace and will intrigue you all at once.

That is what makes life so beautiful.






Ironman Lake Placid. QT2 style!

July 23, 2012

I stood in the finisher’s chute… waiting. It was empty aside from Mike Riley giving updates and a boatload of photographers waiting as well. I looked at Jesse and he smiled. Jessie Donovan had just come through celebrating her first Ironman win. Her kids came running to greet her and she gave her pre race chat to the crowd. A year ago this woman was here volunteering to sign up for this race. Yesterday this full-time working mother of three and professional triathlete won Ironman Lake Placid. She’s a QT2 athlete.

I was waiting for Jennie Hansen  of course …also our QT2 athlete. It was the longest five minutes of my life. It was her first Ironman, and she was about to take second place.  Again I looked at Jesse..… who mentors me in coaching Jennie. We laid out an incredibly solid plan that brought us from November through this moment here. I knew she executed the plan to a T.

I have coached hundreds of athletes through Ironmans. Jennie is my first pro and this was the first time I got to greet someone at the finish line. Like right AT the finish line.

Mike Riley’s voice filled the air and I could see her ponytail swinging back and forth as she came running down the chute, after a 1:09 swim, 5:27 bike and 3:12 marathon to place second in her first ever Ironman. She balanced full time work as a physical therapist by the way. And she’s just beginning her professional career.

When she came across we embraced and …. well in a moment like that all you can do is cry. Because you both know. The emotion of the past nine months came down to this moment right here. A year ago I asked her to put herself and her faith in QT2 Systems. This was the unknown. This moment was about all of it.  The moments of what am I doing… will this really work….. it does not even need to be said….. all I could do was hug her and cry.

I am so proud of Jennie I can’t even explain.

A year ago Jesse invited me to be part of this amazing coaching team. For me that was the unknown. Is this the right move? When I brought Jennie to the table he helped me create the plan, I leaned on him as a coach like I have never leaned on anyone. I am so grateful to Jesse and our entire team at QT2 Systems. We are really a team here.

We look at an athlete like Jennie and we look at the ten year plan for her. Not just the 2013 plan. Where we going long term, not in two years. The first thing people are going to look at is her swim. 1:09.58. I actually had her slotted for a 1:10. We know that swim needs to improve….. it has improved. We are working on it. No one goes from being a 1:10 Ironman swimmer to a 59 Ironman swimmer in one year. It takes time and patience, this is what many athletes lack.

How much time? We don’t have a finite answer for that. I can get this girl under an hour. I need a few years to be able to do that. Anyone who tells you that can happen in 365 days does not understand long term progress. Her swim will take time and patience. It will come.

So don’t worry about her swim. That’s my job. She executed this race exactly to plan.

All of our QT2 athletes executed their plans to a T yesterday.As a coaching team here at QT2 Systems we are stoked. But that is always the plan. Our athletes come into Ironman healthy, strong and ready to go. Ready to execute. We take care of every single detail. I can tell you I know Jennie from head to toe.

I not only know her work schedule, I know when she is tired just by looking at her. I know what she eats most days and I even know what kind of mascara she wears (Maybeline).

My point here is that we know our athletes.  We take care of the details. We create solid plans. Our consistent results really speak for themselves.

As I waited for Jennie I said to Jesse…. “I put my soul into this girl.” And he smiled. “That’s  what we do here.” And I know what he meant. We care about our athletes. They are not numbers to us. We care about them like they are our kids.

I felt like a mother who put her daughter on the school bus for kindergarten yesterday. When the cannon went off I could tell which swimmer Jennie was, it was like the bus was rolling up the street, and she was taking off on the adventure of a lifetime. In my mind I scrolled through everything, like you do when you send one of your own off. The training is done, the plan is laid out. Now spread your wings and fly. And that’s exactly what she did.

The only thing I didnt’ do was write her a note on a napkin and put it in her lunch box. I sent an email instead.

I have accomplished a lot of things in my own triathlon career. Every time I bring an athlete through an Ironman I feel that …. it trumps everything I have ever done myself. When I saw the look on Jennie’s face as she came through that finish line…. it was no different. That’s why I love coaching. That’s why I love to be able to do what I do.

I am so very proud of Jessie D.,  Jennie,  and Jacqui…. the women’s podium here at Ironman. Our men took 5,6,7th I believe and the age group podium this morning will be covered in QT2. We are not smoke and mirrors here. We are results.

So thank you Jennie for putting your faith in me, and in all of us here at QT2. And thank you Jesse for being the best mentor a coach could ask for and for the chance to join such an amazing coaching group. My gratitude is bigger than I have words for.

(And remember…… Maybeline mascara. Lasts through an Ironman. When you perform like that….. I don’t care if you paint your face as spiderman.)


Congrats Jennie Hansen!!!!!

July 22, 2012

Please join me in giving a huge congrats to professional triathlete Jennie Hansen for her second place win today in her first ever Ironman, at Ironman Lake Placid! I am a VERY proud coach today!




Lake Placid Awesomesauce

July 20, 2012

If I haven’t mentioned it yet… I love it here. LOVE.

And the girls of room ten have reunited. Marley the dog is here too. Although we are now the girls of room 26. We have moved up in the world and our location here in Placid might be the greatest one ever.

Yesterday was a solid day of training … running with friends…. cycling a loop of the course, two loop swim in Mirror Lake, dinner with Kim & Kyle…..  it was of course… awesome. I got a video of the descent with my Go Pro helmet cam, I will try to load that later today. We ran into Mike Riley in the expo, and got to talk with him a bit about the kick offs!

View from our hotel

Gifts for Curty

Today is going to be busier. I have three athletes competing here, and QT2 has over 30. (7 pros!). We have our team breakfast tomorrow morning which has grown to over 90 people, along with the annual Tim and Jesse IMLP course review. This is one of my favorite talks of the year. Tim Snow has competed in more than 30 Ironmans and has made every mistake in the book. He shares his experience and Jesse and he share their expertise. It’s my third time at this chat and I love it every time.

I am easing into marathon training and quickly learning that a marathon takes less time in a way than Ironman training, although it’s harder on your body. On tap today is a double run, recovery swim and the TRX that I forgot to do yesterday. I am hoping for a recovery bike as well! Lots of coaching meetings and coaching education stuff today. Love this stuff. I love that I get to do it here.

Things pick up today…. that’s for sure. Ironman village is built, the expo is hoppin’ and we are just TWO DAYS AWAY!