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July « 2009 « Scott DeFilippis's Blog


Archive for July, 2009

A Day At The Tour

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Last Sunday I checked off a big box on my life’s list of things to do , I had the opportunity to watch the Tour de France live from the side of the road.   We have been training pretty hard here in the Swiss Alps so it was nice to have a relaxed day for a change.  Funny enough the best part of the day might have been our journey up to Mosses from Leysin.  James and I left the house around 10 a.m. with our back packs full of the eccentials, lunch, dry clothes, cameras, and a six pack of beer. We  decided we would take the scenic route which takes us up into the mountains on cow paths.  There were a few wrong turns but we didn’t care because the views were amazing and the riding was quite fun!  I kept saying, “Man this is so much fun!!!”  And James would reply in his very proper South African accent, “Yes, very good for the head!”  One of our wrong turns took us up to Les Furs, which is a restaurant way up in the mountains, it sits right in the middle of Leysin and Mosses.



 Thought this sign was cool!  It gives the distance to other vacation destinations.








Les Furs:  It was pretty quite today but I imagine this place goes off during ski season!!!








View From Les Furs

Once back on track we managed to find our way into Mosses, the tiny village we ride thru at least once a week was buzzing with excitment!!  After a few trips up and down the last km of the climb we found a spot right at the 1km to go mark.  We had a few hours to kill so we had lunch, drank a few beers, and just soaked in the atmosphere.  Felipe and Travis joined us after a short while.  

About two hours before the riders come past, the parade of sponsor vehicles comes thru.  It is something like over 200 vehicles and 25k long!  I had know idea what to expect but it turned out to be very exciting.  Every vehicle would have people throwing free shwag!!!  This carries on for well over an hour! 

James, Travis, and I really enjoyed this part of the day, but what where did Felipe disappear to?








James and I with our sweet new hats!








We met a family from the Philippines!  Thought it was fitting to take a photo since we train there.








One Of The Cooler Vehicles!








There’s Felipe!!! We gave him 1 beer and then he went to take a nap in the grass!








These people had me cracking up!! Table full of wine and cheese.  Reminded me of home!  My Italian family drinks it’s fare share of wine and eats plenty of cheese!!!








And here they come!!!

Only disappointing thing of the day was that I thought the peloton would be have been a bit more strung out.  They came by so quick it was like I was dreaming!  After they passed by James and I joined A.J., Lisbeth, and company in the local fire house where they had the race on a large screen for people to watch.  It was very exciting to see so many people so passionate about cycling!  When Contador made his move the room erupted with applaudes, I must admit, I did think it was Lance attacking.  After it ended, we ate a pizza on a picknic bench, got on our bikes smiling ear to ear, and rode home.  Perfect ending to a perfect day! 

I do wish we could have seen the final climb on Verbier but I will save that experience for when I retire from triathlon.  I didn’t like to come back with my brother and do it properly, follow the tour in a campervan!!! I think he would enjoy that!!!

For me, this day was very special!  I am a sports guy!!  I love sports, love to compete, and love to watch others compete!  I have been very blessed in my life in that I have seen some incredible sporting events!  First of all I ran track at one of the biggest college footbal schools in the U.S. GO VOLS!!! so I have seen my share of unbelievable college football, I have seen playoff hockey, playoff NFL games, been to Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden, The Emirates Stadium in London, seen Major Leage Baseball in Colorado at 5000ft altitude, sat ringside at numerous championship boxing matches, and watched the finals of the U.S. Open of Tennis.  But this was different, to see the passion of the fans for something that I am so passionate about was very special and I can’t wait to see it again someday!!!  I can remember watching the tour when I was 8 or 9, not really understanding exactly what it was but thinking it was pretty cool!  Then I’d go out on my bike and pretend I was Greg Lemond, racing around my neighborhood.  Now twenty years later I got to see it live!!!  Unbelievable!  I will remember this day forever!!!

Long Live The Tour!!!


Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Topic #1


As some have read I had a bit of a slip and fall a few weeks ago while venturing into the woods to take a pee, video on how to correctly take a pee in the woods coming soon! I am very happy to report that the knee is doing great and proper run training has resumed! Due to the stupidity of this accident, I have become the first recipient of the rubber chicken at this year’s Team TBB altitude camp! Doc has this rubber chicken that every Monday he hands out to whom ever has done something stupid. You get to take the chicken home with you, keep it for a week, and do what you like with it, kind of like the Stanley Cup. I hope this will be my one and only time receiving the rubber chicken this year.




Last night was our last night together and I got her all dressed up to go to a movie but unfortunately we read the movie advert wrong and missed it








Topic #2
One of the big perks of being based in Europe for the summer is that all the big track meets around Europe are televised live on public television. I have thoroughly enjoyed watching The Berlin Gala, the meet in Lausanne, and Saturday night’s Golden Gala Rome meet. It got me thinking about the kind of crap that is on television back home in the U.S. Our stations are inundated with reality tv and what great role models these people are for our children. The Ozborns started it all, then came Paris Hilton parading around half naked throwing her money away like its play money, then Hulk Hogan and his entitled bratty children, and now we have this John and Kate couple, boy they are doing a stand up job on how to raise children!!! And don’t even get me started on shows like, Desperate Housewives and Sex in the City, great, great influence these actresses are for young teenage girls!!! All this while over here, I am sure there is similar crap or the same crap translated into French, at least they show some true reality TV, sport. Yes track and field, the purest form of competition. And yes I know some of the athletes might be cheats but hopefully we are beating the drug cheats and what we watch is not a lie. The last three weeks we have watched Olympic Champions and aspiring Olympians run, jump, and throw as fast, high, and far as they can, desperately giving their all as they chase their dreams. The Africans run to feed their village, the Jamaicans run to inspire their fellow Jamaicans, Europeans throw the weights to prove they are still the strongest humans on earth. This is everything the American culture yearns for, it’s art, drama, competition, hell it’s even sexy, have you seen some of those pole vaulter chicks? And when Usain Bolt is running, it’s funny. This is reality TV and I wish my country would appreciate this form of entertainment because I think we need better role models back home than ones mentioned above, but I guess watching Usain Bolt run 19.59 for 200m in the pouring rain is not quite as sexy as that $5000 hand bag Paris Hilton carries on her shoulder, right???


Ironman France

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

Just over three weeks ago I arrived in Leysin, Switzerland, home base for Team TBB. I was here for less than a week when Doc suggested that I try and get into Ironman France. I knew the reason for me going to this race was not about time or place, it was about finding out what I have inside my heart and mind. At first I was like, no way!. I thought, I haven’t done nearly enough long rides or runs and I had just arrived in Swiss to work the bike, and this guy wants me to go do an Ironman, already? Then I realized what it was, just a test. After the awful experience I had in China in April, I knew that I must go do this race.

They say IM France is one of the most difficult Ironman races in the world with over 5000ft of climbing on the bike. With three solid weeks of training in the mountains I really felt prepared to tackle the bike course and then have a go on the run, testing my knee that I bruised the week before. The Friday before the race I had a bit of an accident, we were all gathered down by the forest to do a run when I popped into the woods to take a pee. Well, it had been raining and as I jogged into the woods, I slipped on a rock, my hip landed on the rock on slipped on and my knee was wedged between another. After quickly popping up I thought I would be fine and had just banged it real good but after we started running I quickly realized it might be best to stop and jog/walk home. As I limped home, all my thoughts were racing, F#ck, Sh#t, D#am It, what if I really did something bad, tore an MCL or Meniscus. I have heard so many crazy stories over the years about people falling doing stupid things and tearing something. Well after a few days the knee started to feel better and I knew I would be able to complete the race.

So I began to write this long race report and I thought to myself, do people really care about how I felt during the race because this seems quite boring? So this is the abbreviated version. The swim was rough but nothing like I anticipated, I got out great and swam very controlled the whole way because I knew I was going into unexplored territory. It was first time starting as a mass start so I pleased to escape with no issures. On the bike I was again very controlled, at 3 hours I was sleepy but came out of it 30mins later. The bike course is gorgeous and the streets were lined with supporters all the way up the Col de L Ecre.  The last 30mins on the bike were very hard , this should have been a warning signal that I had not eaten enough.

















Viw on the way up the climb

 Coming off the bike my legs felt very good, again I was very controlled. At 15k it was like someone was smashing my legs with a hammer. I never felt my knee but my quads were soooo sore. I limped on for the next 25k stopping at aid stations to try and refuel but never regained the form I had at the beginning of the run.

All in all it was a tough day, very hard and I am proud to finally be an ironman, great, but let’s be honest, I got my ass kicked by many. As doc said, I am an ironman, but a slow one at that I am happy to have the monkey off my back and will now work on taking an hour off that run. I know I am capable of this and realize it is a must for me to make it to the top.

It is nice to be back in Leysin and feels good to be back training! Ironman France was a mental exercise for and I passed, maybe not by much, but I passed so now there are no more racing to finish bull sh#t, yes there will be other races for training but the standard will be much, much higher!!!

I must thank Caroline for setting up my home stay with Florance and Stephan! Thank you so much Florance and Stephan for having me stay at your home! It was great getting to know you and practice my French! I hope to see you next year! Also thank you so much to Ludo and the rest of the Nice Triathlon Club for your support on race, it was nice to have complete strangers cheering me on! Ludo you and your brother are the best!!! Thanks for all you did for us!








And maybe the best part of the weekend was the sweet tan on got! It looks great with my togs on:) 










Oh and the $90 taxi that Abi and I had to take at midnight to get back up the mountain as we missed the last trolley, that was the best part of the weekend!!