Jul 1, 2011

www.ajbaucco.com

After this next week, I will no longer be posting here.

Check out the new blog / website @ ajbaucco.com

Hope everyone likes the change!!!!

~AJ

Jun 12, 2011

Two Simple Words


This wasn't the triumphant return home that I was hoping for. Arm in a sling, swollen and scraped. With skin missing on both hands and road rash on my shoulders and back, my body is as battered as my ego. Vulnerability is the highest when a man has the most to lose. It’s hard not to laugh at my most recent setback. It’s almost like the Universe permitted momentary foresight into a life that I’ve been desperately been working towards, only to tear it from my fingers as quickly as I became accustom. Years ago, I found myself lying atop a dining room table in a small neighborhood on the west side of Cleveland. Wincing in pain, I allowed a girl with no experience, and a homemade gun, to tattoo the words “Sacrifice” and “Persevere” on my calves. Most would chalk that up to an adolescent mistake, but I eternalized that mistake and made those words the cornerstone of my mentality. Regardless of how my actions are perceived, I’ve always lived up to those two simple words.

This isn’t meant to be a lecture on overcoming obstacles. I’m not a motivational speaker, and I’m sure as hell not the best role model. This is about ideals that I hold deep in my heart. They are the reasons that I get up everyday, and they are what gets me through these darker days.  These ideals perpetually rest in the back of my mind; simple in nature, but incredibly motivating. They are promises that I made to myself when I first began to run. Ideals most likely conjured up while running single track around the Shaker Lakes on one of those hot summer days four years ago. They were promises that were made when running was new, back when my mind was forthcoming and unabashed. Naïve but far from delusional, my outlook on progression and sport was uncomplicated and straightforward. I thought about the Greats and the World Champions. Comparing myself to them, the only differences I accepted were time and experience. Denying any other difference enabled my progression as an athlete. It’s what allowed the development of those ideals; to continually work towards the dream, to never accept anything but the best, to find my limits and ignore them, to create my own destiny, to take advice from others but always disregard the naysayers, to give my life in pursuit of that great accomplishment, to patiently wait for that moment and then never forget it, to live my life like I have nothing to lose, to pick myself up off the ground, no matter how many times I fall.



Those two simple words, “Sacrifice” and “Persevere” recapitulate those ideals. A life worth living isn’t always about instant gratification. In this sport, that type of gratification doesn’t exist. There won’t be any half court shots at the buzzer or walk off homeruns. When someone wins an Ironman, it isn’t just the 8 or 9 hour struggle. It’s a lifetime of work culminating in one long day. In this sport, if you want it bad enough, if it burns deep in your soul, you can have it, and no one else can ever take that from you. 



May 17, 2011

Winning is fun

Three years ago, I crossed the finish line at a small race in Baltimore. It was a month before the Ironman 70.3 World Championships, and it was the second race I had won that summer. I remember doing an interview with a local newspaper. The reporter asked me if I was trying to turn professional. In my naïve little mind, I was already so close. It would take me three years to figure out how wrong I was.

For three long years, I waited… training highs and unforeseen lows. Injuries came and went. Every time I felt like I was close, I was still so far away.

Yesterday was an average day. I’ve been waiting to win a big age-group event for a long time. Even though it’s happened, I am still very critical. I didn’t race to my potential yesterday, and I am well aware of that. I did my best with the challenges that were presented, but I didn’t have that extraordinary day. I made a few goals for the race yesterday, and I accomplished almost all of them. My main goal was accomplished: to win an overall age-group title, but I wanted to do it with my run. I feel as if I ran about 4 minutes off my potential yesterday and that makes this victory bitter sweet. Andy Potts, a super star of the sport, won the pro race yesterday. I am sure he didn’t have a perfect race. It is how he changes and evolves that will make him win again. I believe that it is important to be proud of this accomplishment, but never be completely satisfied. There is always room for improvement in this sport.

I felt as comfortable coming into this race as possible. I didn’t feel any pressure to perform because I truly believed that I was the fastest person in the race. In my mind, it was my race to lose. The swim was a bit hectic as usual. I was the 12th wave to go off, so I had about 1000 age-groupers to swim through. I don’t mind people that race to complete a half Ironman. In fact, I think it is what makes this sport so special. I just wish these people would train hard enough to have the ability to actually swim freestyle for 1.2 miles. I had to maneuver through a sea of people doing breast stroke and elementary back stroke. Without doubt, it made the swim leg much slower. This race is notorious for having a long swim, so I wasn’t shocked to see 28:30 on my watch as I came out of Bay Lake.

The first 5 miles of the bike were some of the most dangerous racing I’ve ever experienced. People were going 15mph while weaving around the entire lane. Wet roads made for even sketchier riding. It was seemingly impossible to get around the cluster of age-groupers for the first 5 miles. I tried my best to get moving, but the first 5 miles felt more like soft pedaling around town. Once out on open roads, I was able to get moving. I received my first time check at mile 10. I knew that if I road 12 minutes for each 5 miles I would be at 25mph average for the race. My plan was to rid a bit slower than that. The more I tried to relax and slow down, the faster I rode. I felt like my heart rate was around 130 for most of ride. I am sure it was higher, but it felt really effortless. Around 50 miles in, I was afraid that I was going to ride under 2:10. I knew if I did, my coach was going to literally kill me. As it turns out, I was just riding under pace because of a nice tailwind. The headwind in the last 6 miles slowed me down and I ended up riding around 2:13. I felt like it was a very conservative ride, but I suppose this is debatable.

Once out on the run course, I quickly fell into a rhythm. I felt confident as my pace hovered around 5:55 – 6:05 for the first 2 miles. That quickly changed when the road ended, and we ran onto the cross country section, a 1.5 mile grass trail that had to be run three times total. That section proved to be very difficult. I grass was not groomed, the air was thick and sticky, and there was no shade. My first time through that section was hard enough. I tried not to think about running through it twice more. Once back on the road, my pace dropped back down. Unfortunately, it wasn’t anywhere near my goal pace. I was working as hard as possible but only seeing 6:10-6:15 pace on the pavement. As the weather got hotter, I got slower. The high humidity had everyone fighting for their run splits. After the second loop, at around mile 9, I knew I had a strong lead on the rest of my age group. I tried to fight any urge to “settle in” or slow down. I knew I was racing for the overall title, and winning my age group was just the first step. About 2 miles out from the finish, I knew it was time to dig deep. I didn’t want a repeat of those last 2 miles in New Orleans. My body was incredibly overheated and very near melt down, but my mind was already fantasizing about pouring ice cold water over my head at the finish. That thought was all I needed to really push for the finish.

I ended up crossing the line in just over 4:11. I was 13th overall (including the pros) and won the overall age group title. Having a less than ideal race and still winning by over two minutes, makes me really believe that I am one of the better age groupers around. It also makes me believe that I am truly ready for the jump to professional racing. I know it’ll be a totally different race, but I feel like I need the challenge so I can keep improving. I haven’t even turned 25 yet, and I really feel like I am a LONG way away from my potential in the sport. Only time will tell…

As for now, I am headed back to Houston to train for two more weeks before I race the Capital of Texas Triathlon, an Olympic Distance. Two weeks ago, I set a goal to be top age grouper at both the Florida 70.3 and the Capital of Texas Triathlon. I am delighted to say that I am one step away from a clean sweep.

Winning is fun. I think I am going to do more of it.

Cheers.

May 11, 2011

Back on the Road


The last few days have passed like weeks. The hot and humid duplex at Vacation Village in Clermont, a scarcely populated vacation rental community (read: trailer park for old people), 45 minutes outside of Orlando has become my new home for 8 days. Short course professional, Ethan Brown MD (also known by his twitter alias, EzeBreezy) has been kind enough to open up his training pad for yours truly during this taper week. Ironman Florida 70.3 is this Sunday, and I am looking to correct some of my major errors from New Orleans.

Sweating my ass off in the 90deg Duplex... trying to cool down with cold towels

After the race in New Orleans, I packed up my condo and immediately hit the road for Las Cruces, New Mexico. Even though we had already spent a couple weeks training here in January, this training camp was much different. The weather was warm and dry, the pool was 50 meters and college girls took over the tanning area. The orchards had bloomed and the riding was much more scenic. But most importantly, we worked our asses off for a few weeks with zero excuses. We nailed the sessions and left New Mexico much fitter than when we arrived.

With the squad girls before leaving Las Cruces

Last Wednesday, I made the 12 hour drive to Houston where I will be living for the majority of May. I’ve taken over the spare room at DJ Snyder’s house. I’ll get to do the majority of my training on the Ironman Texas course, and I will get the opportunity to watch DJ, along with Pedro “Krepster” Gomes, race IM TX on the 22nd. Towards the end of the month, I’ll be heading over to Austin to race the Capital of Texas Triathlon on Memorial Day.

The idea of all this travel already has my head spinning, but it should work out well. I will get to have two major races in two weeks. And, I get to see many friends in the process. Once June rolls around, I’ll be settling down for 4 hard weeks of training in St. George, Utah with the rest of the squad.

I’m really looking forward to this Sunday in Orlando. I know that I am ready to put together a solid performance. I’ve done the work… now, it is time to execute. 

Apr 20, 2011

The Big not so Easy

The season has officially started…

I was lucky enough to fall asleep before taking off and actually wake up back on the ground. The last 48 hours have been a bit tiresome, and I am looking forward to some regularity. I’m landing in Tucson in a couple hours and I’ll have less than 10 hours before I need to be back at the airport. However, this time I’ll be dropping off Kulbis. It has been a long but amazing training winter in Tucson. I know he is sad to go back home, but a few weeks of steady training will bring his winter fitness to light, and he’ll be winning all the local races in no time. After a quick trip home to pack the rest of my belongings, I’ll make the 4 hour drive to Las Cruces. At this point, I can barely fill a car with what I own. Kulbis sold the rest of our knick-knacks over the weekend, so I’ll literally be leaving with my clothes, a couple bikes, or more pairs of shoes than I’d like to admit to owning. I’ll be settling in Las Cruces for a few weeks before I road trip to Houston where I’ll be reuniting with good friend, DJ Snyder. There, I’ll also be meeting up with Portuguese rockstar/triathlete, Pedro Gomes. It’ll be a great environment as long as Pedro doesn’t force me to eat Dairy Queen twice a day. I need to lean down a bit now that the racing has started, and I can’t be sandwiching a DQ run between Chipotle visits anymore. Once back in Cruces, I’ll have a chance to really pick apart my race in New Orleans. I definitely have mixed feelings about the race, and I can’t say that I am very satisfied.


As many people have heard, the swim leg was cancelled due to a little chop, and the race was turned into a bike-run. Even though swimming is not a great strength of mine, I’ve spent the last 4 months swimming 30km a week, and I believe I’ve pushed my 1.2 mile split (with a wetsuit) down to around 25min. Mildly annoyed that the swim was cancelled, I tried to re-center myself and think about the new race. Everyone had to deal with the same situation and it was up to me to adapt. Regardless, starting an hour later and the new time trial start made it difficult to truly warm up. Starting a bit “cold” had me working a bit too hard from the gun. I was overeager and too aggressive in the opening miles. I believe riding through the first 5 miles in 11 minutes illustrates this perfectly. Regardless, after the shock of the first few miles, I felt as if I settled in nicely. I rode hard the entire 56 miles, but I never felt as if I was out of my comfort zone. I just locked in and rode the miles. My biggest task was making sure that other age groupers didn’t get in my way and cause me to crash. Instead of getting mixed in with those people, I spent the whole bike leg riding near the center line. A nice tail wind on the way home put the exclamation point on a solid ride. However, it may have been a bit too “solid.” I rode 2:11:18, which is 25.6mph. My split was faster than some of the pros and about 90sec off the average pro bike split. I may have overexerted myself, but at the time, I felt like I was riding exactly where I needed to be. Onto the run course, I felt pretty strong as I came through the first mile in just under 6:00. Unfortunately, I quickly found myself settling for 6:15s. The first 6 miles were certainly the worst miles for me. I had a bad stomach ache, and it was starting to affect my ability to run anywhere faster than 6:30s. At the halfway point, I finally caved and took care of that issue. That mile was 7:45, so I figured that I lost about 60-75 sec in the bathroom. That is part of racing though. After my setback, I found myself back in a rhythm. After a 6:20 7th mile, I was back down to just over 6:00 pace. At mile 9, I was passed by the one and only person to do so all day. It only took a few seconds to realize that he was the person I needed to be running with. I dropped the pace and started to come back to him. We ran the 9th mile in 5:45 into a light, but noticeable headwind. In the moment, it felt like the right move, but it was too fast and had me absolutely popped. Looking back now, I probably should have continued building slowly and finish the last few miles around 6:00-6:15, but I took a chance. After a mini melt down, I ran a super slow 6:40 11th and 6:45 12th mile. I was never ever able to come back from that harder 9th mile. I ended up running 1:25 half marathon (6:30 pace). I consider this very slow and need to make some changes in order for this to not happen again. Overall, I finished 6th in the amateur race, and 29th overall (including 35-40 pros). I was about 80 seconds out of 3rd place and a little over 3 minutes out of 1st. I am definitely not happy about this result, because I came to win. However, I have a few areas where I need to improve and I am eager to get back to the drawing board. Although I kept this mostly to myself during the last few months, I had an injury that kept me from running for 3 weeks. It took another 3 weeks to get back to a normal stride. With this setback, I know I still have a lot of fitness to gain in the next couple of months. Training Camp with the Triathlon Squad has already started in Las Cruces, and I am looking forward to joining them. I need a few solid weeks with Coach Paulo Sousa and the crew. Training solo in Tucson was starting getting old and I am more than excited to see my squad mates. It will definitely be a busy few weeks in Cruces. On a side note, New Orleans never ceases to shock me. I saw things on Bourbon St. that will haunt me for long time. It is amazing what people can get away with down there.


Apr 10, 2011

A Consistent Winner


Winning... No, I'm not referring to Charlie Sheen or any of his nonsensical garbage. I'll let a quote from Bill Rodgers say it all.


To be a consistent winner means preparing not just one day, one month or even one year - but for a lifetime.



Most mornings around here are the same. Waiting for our coffee to brew, we sit and chat about the days work. Everyday has a set of challenges that have to be met. There aren’t any options here. There are no “maybe I’ll move that swim until tomorrow” moments. I have a job that doesn’t cater to sick days or vacations. Looking back through pages and pages of logs, I searched for an off day. Even though I’ve made it out of the snowy Midwest, this winter still brought its fair share of adversity. Page after page, I flipped… back until January 1st. But that empty space in my training log ceased to exist. I’ve trained through sickness, injury, and infection… through rain, wind, and freezing temps… through mental breakdowns and logistical nightmares. And after it all, I’ve only realized that this isn’t anything but what is expected. This is what it means to “get work done.” It has been four months… talk to me in four years. There are no “congratulations” or “pats on the back.” I haven’t done anything but my job. Yesterday, I was an hour into my last long ride before the New Orleans 70.3. Temperatures were around 45deg and it was pouring rain. After losing feeling in my hands, we decided to stop at the Supermarket to pick up some latex gloves. While standing outside, I ran into a girl that I used to tutor with up in the Foothills. We exchanged some small talk and she started to notice the effects that the cold had on me. At this point, standing around in wet cycling gear had given me a bit of the shakes. Pausing for a second, I realized that she was finally going to say something about how crazy we were for training in this kind of weather. While opening her umbrella and stepping out into the cold, she said “Man, you look cold. Sucks you have to train in this weather. But that’s your job, right? You don’t really have a choice.” Alas. She understood it perfectly. It wasn’t crazy or brave or heroic to be riding in the freezing rain. It was our job.



I am exactly one week away from racing my first half of the season in New Orleans. I have one specific goal in mind and it has nothing to do with a time. It isn’t even specific to a placing. My goal… No. My job is to swim hard, ride hard, and then run the life out of myself. I’ll put it all on the line, and I’ll work just as hard for 1st place or for 50th place. My body doesn’t know what place it is racing for. It just knows that it needs to work. Otherwise, when I do start racing for the win, my body won’t know how to handle it.

Check out Ironman.com next Sunday, April 17th to track my race.

Cheers. 

Mar 9, 2011

Recovery Loop in Premanon, France

video

This is a great video shot by Jacob Christiansen in Premanon, France (October 2010). This loop was known as "the recovery loop." It doesn't take long to realize that we were training in a cyclists paradise. Enjoy guys!

Mar 7, 2011

Tucson Training Camp


For those of you people looking for me in the video...

I am the idiot attacking on the bike, doing a cannon ball in the pool, and swimming a horrible version of fly towards the end.

ENJOY!!!

A Day Off?!?


I don’t want to lie. Even though we have the entire afternoon off from training, there is never really a full day off. It is already early March and I have taken 0 days off from training. It is also important to point out that today is the FIRST time during a training camp that we have done just one workout in a day.

We started our “day off” with a short 5500 yard swim including 3 x (5 x 100 on 1:25 descending 1-5) and finished the workout with 2 x Chorizo Burritos from The B-Line and 3 x Cups of Coffee; a perfect way to finish any set.

2011 has already been the year of BIG changes. The biggest change has been leaving the guidance of Northeast Ohio legend, Jim LaMastra. It was a difficult choice to make, but Jim and I both thought that it was time I moved on and pursued other opportunities. During the transition between triathlon seasons, I started training under the guidance of world class triathlon coach, Paulo Sousa. Paulo has created the first ever elite training squad in North America. There are plenty of other triathlon teams, but we are the first team to spend the majority of the year living and training with each other and our coach. The basic change in training from 2010 to 2011 is volume. Previously, I was under the impression that two workouts a day was the standard. This year, I’ve quickly learned that 3 workouts a day (roughly 20 workouts a week) is, in fact, the standard. So what type of training volume does that entail? We swim 30,000 – 32,000 yards (17 – 18 miles), cycle 300 miles, and run 50-60 miles. This sounds like a lot of training, and I am going to ensure you, it is. So what am I going to do with this blessed day off?!?

Sit on the couch, update my blog… and eat.

For anyone who is interested on keeping tabs on me, my schedule is as follows. And please, only stalk me if you are an attractive female… or a potential sponsor than wants to give me money ;)

Present time – April 9th in Tucson, Arizona (Training Camp #2)
April 9th – April 15th in Las Cruces, New Mexico (Training Camp #3)
April 15th – April 18th in New Orleans, Louisiana (Ochsner Ironman 70.3 New Orleans)
April 19th – May 8th in Las Cruces, New Mexico (Training Camp #3)
May 9th – June 5th in Houston, Texas (Racing TBA)
June 6th – July 3rd in St. George, Utah (Training Camp #4)
July 4th – July 8th in Cleveland, Ohio (To Celebrate America!!!)
July 9th – July 12th in Providence, Rhode Island (Amica Ironman 70.3 Rhode Island)
July 13th – August 7th in Cleveland, Ohio (Racing TBA)
August 8th – September 4th in Mammoth Lakes, California or TBA (Training Camp #5)

***This is all subject to change at any second***

Here are some pictures from the last few weeks of training in Tucson, Arizona. Enjoy!!!

Cruising out on McCain Loop with Yoder.

Out for 2 hours after a solid swim session. Heading towards Gates Pass. 


Bike Skills and Transition Clinic with the Squad. We only got yelled at twice by Mall security.

Training at Hillenbrand Aquatic Center in Tucson, AZ

Excited to get in and start some quality training

What would we do without Krepster's (aka Pedro Gomes) underwarer camera

I assure you, we trained hard before this. I think we did 7 x 400 as the main set.

Ummmmm... Me being freaking awesome before a swim workout.

Jersey Shore has T-Shirt Time. We have Hot Tub Time. This is some of the crew after a swim.

Our view of the man in black... Johnny Cash. Er, I mean Paulo Sousa. He's like Cash minus all the style and musical ability.

Me pulling a few people down Kinney Road on the other side of Gates Pass.










Jan 30, 2011

I.T.W.N.P


The optimistic yet straightforward tone in the room was convincing. We all stirred in our chairs easily portraying the sixty hour training block that now lived deep within our muscles. Our brain, world class triathlon coach, Paulo Sousa, stood towards the front of the New Mexico classroom. We reflected on the two weeks of training that was in the midst of completion. Gracious “pats on the back” were forfeited for a hard-nosed lecture on accountability. Races wouldn’t be won and careers wouldn’t be made on a successful two week training block. Regardless of effort, these two weeks were trite; far from extraordinary. Success comes neither from days, nor weeks, nor months… but years of dedication. Listening intently, we all understood that notion. Just as quickly as we accepted this concept, the tone shifted. In true Klep fashion, Pedro Gomes, an accomplished Portuguese triathlete, strolled to the front of the classroom and took over the meeting. Intrigued and sitting at the edge of our seats, we watched as Klep asked for chalk and started writing the acronym, I.T.W.N.P. Fittingly, acronyms are commonplace within The Triathlon Squad. Phrases like G.T.W.D. (Get The Work Done) and D.Y.J. (Do Your Job) and have seen the surface of the workout white board many times. Today, we sat in anticipation as Klep turned and faced the room.


In broken English, he proclaimed, “I tink. We need… PAINTBALL!” The tone of the meeting was immediately changed as the room broke into laughter. Klep, notorious for lightening the mood of any training session, spun off into a story about his hesitance to leave his Portuguese training center in search of another elite training squad. Although the speech was slightly mushy, we all shared in his general feeling of total approval. His newly crowned acronym may have been a joke, but it pointed towards the idea of building an even stronger unity between the squad members. At that point, it was easy to see that although the training squad was filled with a hodgepodge of individuals, we all meshed in our quest for excellence. 


Jan 23, 2011

The City of the Crosses



It’s already been eight days since my arrival in Las Cruces, New Mexico. This is the first of many training camps for coach Paulo Sousa’s Training Squad. It may be early in the season, but like many athletes, we have started getting into shape early. Without going into too much detail, here is a glimpse into our first week of training.



Swim – We are lucky enough to get some pool time (I mean A LOT of pool time) at the New Mexico State University pool. I believe we totaled around 31,000 – 32,000 yards this first week. That is roughly 18 miles in the water. Most of the workouts have been between 5k and 6k with one longer swim set over 6k. Some of the most notable sets, for me at least, were 12 x 200 hard, 30 x 100 (every 3rd hard) on 1:25, and 8 x 100 best average.



Bike – Since IM Cozumel, my bike mileage has been pretty low. This has been the first week back to some longer intervals and longer days in the saddle. This first week has brought just under 15 hours of ride time. Besides the more traditional 3-4 “long” rides, we have been doing a fair amount of threshold and V02 max intervals. Some of the key workouts this week have been 4 x 10min @ threshold, 5 x 4min uphill @ V02 Max. Last season during my peak training, my threshold was just over 300w, allowing me to push 4.3 watts per kilogram. Right now, I am pushing around 280w at a slightly lower weight, allowing me to push about 4.1 watts per kilogram. Although this number is slightly lower, it is very acceptable my first week back to solid bike training.



Run – This has been my priority ever since breaking my heel back in April of 2010. After 2 years of disappointing run training, I am very eager to make this discipline my strength again. My running this season has been VERY steady and I am starting to feel fit again. I have officially run 42 times in 42 days. Since arriving in New Mexico eight days ago, we have run around 70 miles with 99% percent of running on soft dirt trails. The key to our run training this week has been a few 90min progression runs where the last 5 to 6 miles are done slightly faster than marathon pace. For this time of year, that pace has been between 5:50 – 6:10 per mile. Another good session this week was 20 x 30sec hill repeats. 30 seconds doesn’t seem long but the last 5 repeats left us all pretty broken.

Overall, this first 30 hour training week has been very challenging but will eventually be rewarding. The whole crew has worked together very well, and I can honestly say that everyone here is working incredibly hard. I can’t wait to see some of the results that this squad will produce by the end of the year.

For those who aren’t familiar with the training squad check out http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Triathlon-Squad/183206021698840

Here is a list of athletes -

AJ Baucco, 24, Tucson AZ
Amanda Felder, 28, Cupertino CA
Andrew Yoder, 21, Lancaster PA
Chris Coble, 28, Fremont CA
Greg Billington, 21, Winston Salem NC
Heather Wurtele, 31, Kelowna BC
Ian Mikelson, 30, Torrance CA
Janelle Morrison, 33, Penticton BC
Jennifer Spieldenner, 24, Findlay Ohio
Kate Ross, 20, Doylestown PA
Pedro Gomes, 28, Lisbon Portugal
Kelsey Withrow, 28, Park City UT
Trevor Wurtele, 31, Kelowna BC

Jan 10, 2011

The Power of Music


My glare could burn a hole through the wall. My eyes were fixed intently on the three inch dent in the wall. My legs turned over in a fluid yet effortless motion while the sweat began to glisten off my bare back. An abrupt loss of concentration forced my eyes deep into the blank television set sitting across the dimly lit basement. The dark shadow of a man running played across the vacant television. It seemed as if I was watching my own life unfold, however; I couldn’t seem to fight the feeling that I had seen this program before. As the music faded in, a penetrating shot of adrenaline made my fingers tingle. I closed my eyes for a moment and allowed the music to take me back through time.

With the moonlight guiding every movement, pure exhilaration carried me through the empty streets. Every motion was without effort and I had worked damn hard to make it that way. Trying to remove my mind from any thought about the task ahead, I took refuge in the music that seemed to penetrate deep into my mind. With a false feeling of immortality, I increased my cadence. An attempt to allow my body to feel fatigue was a seemingly impossible task that morning. I moved with the music; a harmonious movement that couldn’t be broken until the sound died away.

In total agreement, my consciousness faded in as the track faded away. The work gradually became a little more labored, and I quickly forgot about my mind’s momentary sanctuary. The clock clicked away as the miles absorbed into my already hardened legs. Again, I waited patiently for my mind to escape. The miles pass faster when the mind works absently. I silently prayed for the next track to take me away.