I Tri Original

The Beginning of JoCo Multisport

So where did it all begin?  How did JoCo Multisport come to be and why might this be a team you want to join?   Well, here’s the story.  We think you will want to be a part of this!

A little over two years ago I approached the Flowers Plantation Parks & Rec department about starting a Triathlon Club.  Having just received my USAT Level 1 Coaching certification, I was excited to begin connecting triathlon for beginners in the Flowers Community.   Then Parks & Rec director Coach Kurt Bienas was game and so was birthed the Flowers Plantation Triathlon Club.  A band of 9 triathletes (6 athletes completely new to the sport ) and a new Coach.

FP Tri - Year 1

All athletes completed their sprint triathlon and did so exceeding their own expectations!  Lifelong friendships were made – we were all changed by the intense encouragement and support we all provided to each other!  As a Coach and experienced triathlete, I was amazed at how much being a part of a group meant to me.  Frequently the team heard from me when they were thanking me for coaching guidance and support, that I got more out of our team than they.  The team insisted that we continue our journey for the 2nd year… and so the team grew.

FP Tri - Year 2

Flowers Plantation Tri Club had a roster of 21 strong in year two, with athletes having skill levels from Ironman to new to the sport.  The same amazing team connection was solidified as the team faced adversity and challenges including the almost cancellation of the goal race at Flowers.  The team rallied behind 3 Little Pigs Race Director Martin Tetreault who stepped in 24 hours before the race to save it.   At 9 p.m. the night before the race – the bike rack construction was completed by the team.  We finished the season with 8 new athletes again completing their first race, many placing in their age groups!

The growth of the team and desire to reach beyond Flowers Plantation to connect with athletes across our community as birthed the creation of JoCo Multisport.  There are many tri clubs in the surrounding areas.  Some are quite large and able to offer discounts and other perks that our start up club cannot.  But having been a part of one of those clubs – the distance folks have to travel to engage in the social connection and training for the Raleigh based teams were prohibitive to Johnston County locals.


While we are shedding our FP Kits, wearing great new colors and bearing a new team name this year, the same great team is still at the core of JoCo Multisport.  Also joining the team is a second coach, Coach Brad Farrell from Cirog Rollta.


We believe the amazing support, encouragement, accountability and friendship that comes from being on a team is amazing.  The team support has proven to be the difference maker for many who considered quitting or giving up on their goals.  Having experienced the power myself on my journey to becoming an Ironman finisher, I can attest to the significance of being on a team.  Many times in training and during the race, it was the support of the team and their belief in me that was the only thing keeping me going.


By starting JoCo Multisport – we’d like to bring the triathlon and athlete connection closer to our community.  Many of us are connected with runners, ultra runners, obstacle course runners, triathletes and cyclists.  We have often trained with folks that may be interested in more than just triathlon.  We think that the diversity of a group is what makes it strong.  Folks are able to share their experiences as they have evolved through various athletic achievements.  JoCo Multisport is for all athletes.  While many of us  may be triathletes – we embrace the skills and talents that every local athlete brings to a team.

The end goal… to keep being active.
Keep finding activities and training partners that keep you going.  

JoCo Multisport is that group for Johnston County!  We hope you will join us and forge new friendships and make us stronger as we grow!

Find out more about us at our informational meeting.  Or if you are convinced this is for you… come on and join the team!

Join The Team



Food & Fuel

Someone once said to me that no amount of training can make up for a crappy diet. Said differently, what we chose to eat (the types of foods, the amount of foods, the timing of foods) significantly impacts our bodies and can outweigh the hard work we put into fitness training if we aren’t paying attention.

i tri man

As you begin your journey into fitness, you will come to realize that in order to be fitter that you must use both exercise and food together. You will not find sustainable results if you focus solely on food or exercise alone. You can place yourself on a restrictive “diet” and put yourself into calorie deficit to hit a weight loss goal, but your body (heart, lungs, muscles) will be no stronger, healthier or in shape by ignoring exercise. Eventually the restrictions will be unsustainable and you will find yourself on the weight gain path again, quite possibly having lost valuable and precious muscle in the process.

You can set off on an intense and extreme exercise plan. But if you continue to eat excessively or non-nutritious foods, you will sabotage your hard physical efforts and fail to achieve the results you desire. You may find yourself scratching your head as to why you are not looking more like you want to with all of your hard efforts.

Fitness is about balance. It is about finding physical activity that you love and enjoy while taking positive steps with your fuel (your food) to nourish your body properly. Neither of these things is something that you can “fix” all at once. They are both a process. They are both a journey. And they go hand in hand.

Healthy Food

It may very well have taken your body years and years to get into the shape it is in today (quite possibly one you are not satisfied with – or better said “out of shape”); you have developed eating habits and acquired tastes for foods that may be less than nutritious, highly processed and significantly contributing to your out of shape state. Food is a powerful substance – often triggering strong emotional responses (memories) or providing comfort when we are experiencing strong emotions. We use food often times as a drug – to make ourselves feel better or feel less. When we are caught in this cycle – it can be very challenging to break the cycle. Learning to be patient with yourself, take small steps to educate yourself on your food motivations and selections, and how you ultimately want to use food will be key on your fitness journey.

At I-Tri Fitness, we refer to food as fuel. It is a necessary part of powering our awesome bodies. We use it for power. We use it to give us energy. We teach that getting stronger and healthier with exercise also requires that we understand more about the fuel we want to use to sustain our engines. Throughout our website we will provide awesome recipe ideas, healthier cooking tips, and some strategies to help you become more aware of what food means to you, how you are using food and how to overcome some of the obstacles that may you may be facing with food.

Remember, fitness (and that includes exercise and fuel) is not about perfection… it is about what we do most of the time. Let’s work together to make what you chose most of the time healthy and nutritious.

Our Long Lost Friend…Hunger

A few days ago, I recall a commute to work from about 5 years ago.  It was a normal drive to work, 45 minutes of think time.  Sometimes I listened to the radio, sometimes I rode in silence.  Sometimes I called people.  On this morning, it was me and my thoughts cruising into work.  I remember this drive specifically because it ultimately changed the way I eat.  As I drove, this thought bounced into my head:

“When was the last time my stomach growled?”

i tri man

I kept driving in silence, thinking about this.  It occurred to me that it had been a long time since I had experienced the sensation of a growling stomach.  As I kept driving, I realized that it had in fact been many YEARS since I had truly felt hungry…you know that deep uncomfortable physical sensation of really needing food.  It had been so long that I was unable to remember what it physically felt like to be hungry.  As I rode in my car, carrying extra weight, feeling out of shape and very bad about myself, my new revelation about my lack of connection with my body and it’s needs bounced around in my mind.

I ate.  I ate frequently.  I ate because I FELT like I needed to eat…. mentally.  I ate because eating felt good, food tasted good, because I was craving a flavor, feeling stressed or bored and eating distracted me.  I did not eat because I truly needed fuel.  Food was something more than just nourishment for my body.  Food was very much a part of my emotional life, and I used it to help me manage my feelings.

This was a huge wake up call for me.  But despite the fact that this new information had come to me, old habits die hard.  I continued on my emotional eating train for many more weeks, but the truth that I didn’t need to be eating kept tapping on my shoulder, reminding me that this wasn’t part of any solution that was going to get me feeling better about myself.  Like a giant gorilla hanging on me, every time I stuffed things into my mouth, I could hear that ape jumping around

“But you’re not really hungry.  This is why you are gaining weight.  You don’t need that.” 

Man, I hated that monkey.

Hungry Monkey

Eventually, I grew weary of the mental battle between myself and the ape and decided to get back in touch with my hunger.  I would wake up tomorrow and purposefully not eat breakfast and possibly lunch until I heard my stomach growl, until I felt the physical sensation of hunger.  I would pay attention to what I was thinking and feeling, but until I heard the sound, no food.  Now, you may be thinking that this sounds extreme.  Perhaps it is.  But it was what I needed to do to get back in touch with my body.

The experiment was a great lesson for me, helping me to understand how far out of touch with my hunger that I was.  When I finally heard my stomach growl, I was already experiencing the long forgotten sensation of hunger.  It is a physical sensation, deep in  your core, a hollow and uncomfortable feeling.  It is unmistakable.  My stomach finally roared like a hungry bear.

Hungry Bear

When I was experiencing hunger, my thoughts were not my normal cravings thoughts, my thoughts were very much focused on my discomfort.  On that day, prior to experiencing that sensation, mentally I had many feelings about eating, many thoughts about eating, and many cravings for food.  I repeated this experiment for several days, at different times, making sure that I was in fact hungry before I ate.  The volume of thoughts and cravings I had about food when I wasn’t truly hungry was astounding.

If I was listening only to my thoughts and cravings as the criteria for eating, it was no surprise that I was eating more than I needed and thus gaining weight.  I also recognized the pattern that after eating something high in sugar or highly processed (snack foods, sweets, fast foods) that within an hour to two hours, I was thinking about food and eating again.    The quality of my food (or lack of quality) was leading to blood sugar swings that were contributing to my cravings.

Being out of touch with true hunger and subjecting ourselves to extremes in blood sugar as a result of less than healthy food choices is a common component to undesired weight gain.  It is a vicious cycle.  It feeds on itself.  You feel bad for being unfit.  Your emotions get overwhelming.  You think of food, something that would taste good, make you feel better.  You eat the food (donuts, chips, ice cream, French fries, etc..) and then you feel full and your emotions are at bay for a moment.  But then fairly quickly you feel bad about what you ate, and start mentally beating yourself up and telling yourself what a horrible person you are for having eaten like that.  Meanwhile, your blood sugar has skyrocketed and your body dumps a ton of insulin out into your blood do deal with the sugar.  And in about 2 hours your blood sugar plummets and you start craving food again.  And this time, it’s worse because not only are you craving food because your blood sugar has bottomed out, but you are mentally stressed because you have been beating yourself up over the last meal or snack.  Your emotions are even higher or more uncomfortable and you need to soothe yourself even more than you did before.  And so the cycle keeps playing, over and over.

This cycle isn’t relate to hunger.

This cycle can be broken.  You can shake the monkey… and find your inner bear.  Get in touch with your real hunger again and start the process of learning to eat only when you are hungry today.

i tri man

** None of the information on this site is intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor.  Always seek the input of your medical provider regarding changes in diet and physical activity levels.