April 28, 2008

Good Times @ Hurkey Creek

Well, we are back at home and spent after a weekend in the hills and sun. The eight hour version of Hurkey was a perfect fit for a training session and we managed to pull off about the same amount of riding and sleep as we did at the 24hour version last fall...A good and bad thing but we almost stuck to our plan for the race with the exception of getting a little too excited...going a bit too fast early in the day. Easy to do at such a fun event!

We met up with Keevin, Mandy, Marius and Nick just about an hour before the race start and found a little camp site right across the road from the transition area. We registered a camp site the night before so it was not "scheduled" when we arrived so we just picked some dirt and called it home. The "spot" we selected was just perfect and we had no time to waste with the race start just around the corner. Warm ups? Thats what the first lap is for...

video
(the adrenalin starts)

Before long we were off and running, biking and doing the transition shuffle with the passing of the wond. I almost forgot how much fun that course was and how cool the people at these races are...It all adds to the joy of the day and the event is so well supported that it may find its way into our schedules every six months or so... Here are some pictures from the day.

(This guy is praying Monique doesn't pass him!)


(the jacket or the baton?)


(I'm heading out for another lap)


(Nacho(Harold) holding down the fort)

(Marius - Cooling off??)


(Keevin Killing it lap after lap)


(So pretty in pink)

(Nick and me enjoying some food time!)


Keevin was racing the eight hour solo and started his first lap of with a 54 minute split! He went on to take 6th place out of over 50 people registered for the eight hour solo. Nice job!!

Marius decided to ride his cross bike and to no surprise it did not slow him down but he was slightly shaken... The laps and the time started to fly almost as fast as Mandy around the course. She ended up doing 50 minute laps for her first two laps and only slowed by a few minutes at most throughout the day!

We were in the presence of greatness and stoked to get in another good workout... We managed to stick to our plan...however, much like our training we just cut some of the running out of the day. Monique put in a solid three laps/30miles in our eight hour window and I got in one solid brick with two laps, a 30min run before another two laps - skip the run. I will have to go over some of my "lessons learned" in another post when I can think a bit/recover my brain more, but here is my GPS dump from the race.



Sticking to two laps at a time was the best thing to help me work on pace... It broke out something like this

Lap2 - :51
Lap3 - :54
30min transition run
Lap5 - :58
Lap6 - :55

I got a good understanding of pace and felt better and better as the day went by. . .I started to get a feel for where I could push and rest. On my third lap I tried to keep my HR down for the lap to see how much it would effect my time and it was not as bad as I thought it would be. I averaged a 157bpm heart rate that was over 10bpm lower than any other lap and only a few minutes slower. This pace would be key for longer races for me and I think I have that feeling in check now. My last lap I had some cramping in my hams and the heat just got to me. I cut the last run and a potential last lap for our team of two out and I am now stoked that I did. After that last lap I was done.

When the sun started to settle down and the temps started to drop it was the BEST feeling to be able to shower off and dig into some food.... Ahhggg... those 24 hour solo types have another kind of motivation fo sho. Dinner and the conversation were on spot as usual and the excitement in the air kept Monique and I up most of the evening... We walked around the course and cheered on the crews pushing though the night and had some fun with it. The course was more exposed than I remember with rocks and ruts all over the place which I am sure made the night riding even more exciting. The 24 hour teams showed little sign of it slowing them down at all.

(Ryan pushing through it all...even with flats!)


(4am in the morning...go dudes go!!)

Super fun event and I highly recommend it! The support and organization of the HOA events are top notch!

The next day Nick and I found a little trail that heads into a "whole new world" that we will have to explore next time out. I wish I had known about it instead of running around the camp parking lot! They even have some cross country races on many of these same trails and I am thinking about trying out some "mountain bike only" races outside of the "endurance" category or at least using their maps posted on the site for now ;-)

Posted a few more pictures over here and until next time (Sept?) I will be missing that place...

April 25, 2008

PowerCharts



PTap

Newport Coast Climbs



BB to Hardy Loop


April 24, 2008

Hurkey Crack

I have three weeks until Temecula and this is what most people would consider the "build" period of an ATP (annual training plan). The build period generally calls for an increase in intensity and a little less overall volume (due to the recovery needed from intensity). This is also an ideal time to schedule some "priority C" races for tune-ups. The Bonelli off-road tri and the Desert tri were a big help and this weekend we are continuing the madness with an Eight hour session at Hurkey Creek.

Training, however, is only a small part of the reason we are headed out to the 24 hours of Adrenaline venue. We have been kicking around the idea with M&M for a while now and after we found out that Keevin is going the 8 hour solo we thought it would not be so bad to enter as a team of two... Plenty of time for snacking, talking it up at our camp-out and watching the action from the 24 hour teams giving it a go. . . Plenty of time to ride my mountain bike!!

The more I ride my mountain bike the more I want to ride my mountain bike! This is what put it "over the top for me" even if I was SOO sore from the race this last weekend I rode San Juan on Tuesday and it was glorious!!! We only saw 1 other person on the trail in three/four hours of riding and we even got to ride back about an hour in the dark. Amazing single track the entire time!! I cannot believe how fun that trail is and it is so green right now. Keevin and I were talking about how it must feel like to be on crack because the trail had just taken us to that euphoric place that only comes from trail time. Ha ha haaa.. I have that image of the sun setting as we rode towards the ocean and the dust floating within the single track as we were weaving in and out of the tall grass.... That was enough to get me craving more crack for this weekend fo sho.

As far as training, we have a good brick workout scheduled around our laps that should play out like the following and help give us a boost for Temecula and Boise after we recover. Things may change as they often do but here is the "plan" anyways with the ideal revolving around a double brick (bike/run combo) so we are thinking about starting with something like...

Monique - Lap 1
Slater - Lap 2(monique running)
Slater - Lap 3
Monique - Lap 4 (slater running)
Slater - Lap 5 (monique running)
Slater - Lap 6
Monique - Lap 7 (slater running)
Slater - Lap 8???

This would give Monique a solid hour ride and she could follow it up with a 30min transition run after each lap. She should have a little over an hour to recover before the repeat session. This is a big jump for Monique from the last time we were at Hurkey Creek and she did three laps within a 24hour window and no running. I would hit the bike for about two hours followed by a transition run of 40min off the bike leaving about a 20min recovery between each session. The goal would be to have our second sets be at a faster pace or a progression through the bricks so that means starting ssslooow... Depending on how we felt after all that we could both get in two fast laps at the end "just for fun" ;-P

Race starts at 12 noon so we will have some dark time too! Looking forward to hangin' out with friends and we are brining Nacho too...

April 23, 2008

Desert Damage

Well the results have been posted with the splits so I thought that I would review some "lessons learned" from the race and the aftermath...

I just missed my sub-2hr mark but this race was all about getting ready for Boise and practicing pace, transitions and nutrition. With that in mind, I am stoked at the results as I pulled in some of my best transitions and the results showed even better than I thought with T2 being 49 seconds! Nice! I also learned what not to do like pounding some red bull during any portion of the race!

Swim - 19:22
T1 - 1:18
Bike - 1:00:16
T2 - :49
Run - 39:58

Total Time = 2:01:45

Swim distance in practice is finally up to par. I am no longer worried about "just making it" so I can start adding a little speed to my swims but the frequency has been a big key in helping my swim times drop.


My legs are killing me from the bike. I wanted some hills so bad and just pushing a big gear on flat for an hour was pretty challenging. My heart rate LT for the bike was about 167BPM and I kept it about 160BPM or less for the race but looking back I think I could have pushed it a bit more. I think for the Boise 70.3 I will aim for a sub 140BPM for the first 30-40 miles of the bike leg and never get over 150BPM if possible. I gotta get some long rides in to practice nutrition a bit more too.


My running volume is pretty pathetic and my biggest limiter for the race(as usual). I think I have been averaging about 4 miles a week but somehow was able to get a PR for the 10K. Probably because I have never ran a 10K before unless it was on hills or a trail. I was still struggling however at the distance and I think I can make BIG gains by just adding some volume and/or frequency each week. Temecula is also a 10K (in the hills) and Boise is 13 miles I need to build up "just to make the distance" anyways.

So just when I thought that the damage was in and the wind has stopped we had one more surprise on the way home. I have a few wheel locks that I usually put our mountain bikes in for longer trips but for the road bikes with the aerobars, we usually just lay them down in the back and lock them together. Safe and the aerobars dont break the glass on the back window. . . but probably the start of the problem. Maybe it was the flat profile laying down or the wind that picked up again as we left... Maybe it was those Zipp wheels that caught the wind?? All that I remember is Monique saying "I saw something fly out the back!". I look to the side mirror and see my Zipp wheel slide out to the side and then behind the truck again... C R R A A P P P ! ! Not the way a bike should be traveling at 80MPH!


Now, I have to say that I lock up our bikes on most trips out but I dont lock them TO the truck...However, we had the tail gate down after the race so I decided to put a lock through one of the eye loops in the back....Thank God. If it was not for that I think we would have lost both bikes and they would have been under someones car... Good thing Monique was driving too because she was in the slow lane and I am sure I would have been in the fast lane doing 100 and it would have taken a while to pull over.


Surprisingly, not much happened to my bike. STOKED! It was only sliding across on the rear derailleur, seat, pedal and my bars. The carbon wheels were in good shape and so was the frame. Titanium is a bit more "car drag" resistant than carbon. With some new bar tape it should be good as new

April 21, 2008

International Desert Triathlon

So even after a mental battle to stay off the road and a night full of desert wind we still managed to get our race on Sunday at the International Desert Triathlon. Actually, it was a beautiful day with almost no wind and clear skies...Not too hot and perfect for racing. No complaints...We were happy to race in such a cool place.

(monique with her bag o tricks)

Race morning and everything starts to fall into place. The only problem was I really thought that the race would be canceled which caused me to be so behind that I just got into transition and started scrambling to get my stuff minutes before the sprint distance race started to go. One hour and counting...

I got some big encouragement from seeing Josiah in the transition and it was just minutes before he left and he looked so calm and cool. . . And it was his first triathlon! He took the time to come by and say whats up and that was a good lesson for me to learn. Always make time for your friends because you never know how much it may effect them if you do/dont... Josiah gave me a big push that morning. So what do I do? Minutes later I ride by bike to the car to meet Moninque and we see Kevin Brown. Whad up? I don't even stop because I am in such a hurry to get my pump and start warming up. I'm such a jerk! Monique and him talked it up and then we got our warmup on. Lesson learned and before I knew it we were in the water and ready to get busy.

The swim -
Perfect water in mid 70's and a soft, clean smooth bottom. I have been loving the swim time recently and started out easy because I have only swam this long once before about two years ago. I got into a nice draft between two guys and seriously only looked up two times and the third we were four feet from the first buoy. NICE!! I felt like I was not even working and the swim was so much easier than I remember or thought that it would be. Looking back I should have pushed just a bit more but I was stoked at the pace and felt very relaxed heading into the bike.

T1 - So perfect. This is all that I got to practice for a warmup and it was beautiful. Grab and go, helmet in motion.. hop to seat, Rubber bands pop, crankin away. I got in my shoes on the first little downhill and I wouldn't change a thing.


The (flat) bike -
TT Time! Hammer, drink, Hammer, Gu, Hammer, Hammer, Pass, Hammer. That was about the pace for the two laps we did and it seriously went by so fast. I was loving my bike and my new bars and wouldn't change a thing on my bike. I went out conservative on the first lap and pushed a bit more on the second and ended up having my splits be 24:45 on the first and 24:25 on the second lap. Not bad and I kept my HR at just under 160bpm. Again, I could have pushed harder looking back but I was holding back for the distance and that run. I was still in the window to make my sub-2hr time also and well hydrated/fed.

T2 - I don't want to say perfect again but my T's were just the best thing of' the day. This race was about "practice" for me and it was awesome to have it fall into place so nicely. Maybe it is a little easier on the road to fly through transition? I also took some notes from the Tri-Talk transition video (check out the last point) and it helped a ton. My helmet was off and it landed just about the time I ran by and hooked my bike. Grab the visor and off...

The Run -
Here it comes. Can I run a 10K on flat? I don't think I have ever even ran a 10K unless it was after a tri or in the start of a long trail run. I felt really good off the bike but I had a bubbling in my stomach. I thought this would be a good race to try some new things so I filled one of my water bottles with Red Bull. Not a good idea! After the second lap and when I was out of water I was putting down some gu packs with Red Bull. Sugar sweet dry mouth but not as bad as a pissed off stomach on the run. I wanted to get it out of me and at one point I almost didn't have a say in the matter. I marched on and skipped the aid stations on my first lap and by lap two I was in a nice grove. Solid finish and I made it in JUST OVER 2 hours!! Agghh.. 2:01 So close but I know the pace now and see huge improvements with a little work.


(monique takin' it home)

Monique did an awesome job! She not only made the swim look easy but she almost beat my time from the first Olympic distance tri that I did. She has so much potential and I am surprised that she had the speed and distance with the little training she has behind her but we both need a lot of work before our first half about a month away ;-)

Results should be posted soon and I am interested to see those splits!

(Desert Damage Results and Review)

April 19, 2008

Desert winds

Last year we decided to race the sprint distance at the Desert Tri and signed up at the last minute... it was in the string of four or five weekends of racing and we were going a bit crazy with the racing but the dynamic planning of packing for a weekend to head to the next race was just irresistible. Unfortunately, it left me injured but taught me a ton too. Like sticking to a plan and just doing some key race throughout the year. . . which brings us back again this year. As a key race we had planned to do the Olympic distance because we needed a longer road race to give us an indication of where we were at or how much we were going to suffer on our first Half Ironman at Boise. This would be Monique’s first Olympic distance and I did one in 2006 when I first started doing triathlons so I had a simple goal of trying to break two hours and Monique had a simple goal of surviving the swim. ;-) It was all about building confidence and experience toward long course racing for this stage in our training.

However, as we pondered on our drive out. . . it was a road race. R O A D?? That’s for cars. . . All that we thought about on the drive down was how we wanted to be in the dirt. Why are we driving so far to ride on the road?? Why are we killing a perfectly nice Saturday when we could be mountain biking in the green hills all around. Why did we sign up for these road things anyways… I guess it just showed us how much we really love being out in the woods and the wild and made our love for it grow just a little bit more. We were driving right by Hurkey Creek…We should have took our mt bikes with us!

That feeling only grew throughout the day. By the time we got to the race venue the wind was whipping this way and that like crazy. Waves in the water, dust in the air and no way you would be able to survive with a disc wheelset on the streets. Windy city.

This tent was another indication of "wind protection" so we staged our camp-out behind a tree and sideways picnic table. By the time we got back from Starbucks this tent was pushed to the road that you drive in on and our tent was all over the place...C R A P. Wind sucks. We ponder. . . Is this a good excuse to head back and get on a trail? Should we run a few laps at Hurkey Creek? Stick to the plan! We ended up scraping up our tent, dropping a couple hundred dollars on a hotel and listing to the wind aaaalll night long. All that I thought about was the waves and people getting tossed to curbs and across the streets... Imagine those pretty carbon frames shattering to pieces! Oh, no! Was I having a dream??? 2:30am I shot this outside our room.

video

I stayed up and thought about friends, prayed and planned out a way we could still get some trail time before the weekends end. Maybe just a wish away but I managed to stay up just until we left for our race at a little after 5:30am ...At best I was hoping to get in a rough open water swim practice and take off to Hurkey for a nice long trail run when they dropped the news to everyone that the race getting canceled. But it didnt roll out that way.

The funny thing about a plan I have noticed is that if you manage to stick to it, it somehow, manages to stick to you. Stick it out. As we drove to the race venue we were met by people with our same concerns and stories of the night wind but for some reason as the sun rose the wind fell. Clear day...glassy water. Time to stick to the plan and RACE!

April 16, 2008

Malibu Moni

This Monday was Moniques big 3-0 . . . but while she was still just a young hottie I was able to talk her into a little camp out this weekend. She thought that it would just be the two of us but we were so stoked (and she was surprised) when we had some friends, new and old arrive to celebrate the weekend with us in the woods.

We drove out Friday night just in time to watch the sun set and the glow of the day fade away... I love that time of day and always have. . .From skating or surfing growing up I have always tried to be "outside" when that window of day fades to night. There is an energy that I just cannot explain. Almost as if the world is taking one last breath in anticipation before for the changing of night. For us, the night was just starting and I wish we could have made it to the park by then but it made for an exciting time setting up the tents. Forgot the poles...blamed Joe for one set then found them (sorry joe!), found a wedding ring and tore my skin from the oak and had some good eats complements of Nick.

How do you setup a tent without poles?

The days were spent out on the trails running, exploring riding and climbing about like kids. It is always hard to write about the REALLY good times...or how much I love Monique and want to give her the world everyday... Maybe because I don't want to do it an injustice or it would just take too many words but for me this weekend was perfect. Multisport activities outside with friends and celebrating Monique. Love it.

Morning scramble

Lunch dip

and some rides with bob

Blissful... Too bad time flies when you are having fun. We made it back to camp Saturday as the sun was again setting and it was time to celebrate. We thought we put in a good ride until Keevin showed up. He had just done a nice long 112 miles through the hot hills all day. WHAT?? He looked much better than we did too and with that the evening flowed into some more good eats and stories and cake!

So stoked that everyone could make it out and we all need to do that more often. Corby took some killer pictures like this "holy roller" picture of Jeff rising from the water...

okay Jeff, stop showing off

Corby posted his pics over here. (http://picasaweb.google.com/cdemeis/MalibuCreek)
and I got a few that are posted over here too (http://slater.smugmug.com/gallery/4749195_3XdiZ).
Until next time...


H A P P Y --B I R T H D A Y --M O N I Q U E

I love you.



April 10, 2008

Pleasure and Pain

You have to take the good with the bad and you are reaching for the "experience" then you get it all... I would not have it any other way... "love bites" from the trail to remind you of the good times and release you from the fear that holds you back. Crashing is not as bad as you may make it out to be in your head and the itching from the leaves of the trees only makes it more of a memorable experience. Good or bad it IS the experience and I celebrate it ;-)

Here is to the pain that is all part of the fun...

(Jodi fixin' up Monique after the race this weekend)


(two weeks after Folsom and I now have the Oak EVERYWHERE)

It happens.... Where would we be without the reality and wisdom of pushing our limits. How do we know if we never do a little testing, pushing and falling? A wise person once said that "experience is what you get when you don't get what you want" I want it all...


All about the experience and the experience is wonderful

;-)

April 07, 2008

Bonelli Off-Road Triathlon Results?

Just got word that they posted the results from yesterdays race and was pleasantly surprised... Monique ended up with a first place finish for her age group and somehow I ended up winning my age group also.. Crazy! I got 6th place overall and just about 5min behind the leader. Now, how much time did I lose to that tire, running to my truck to get the pump . . . That is all part of the fun of racing! You never know unless you TRI

Humbling as it is... this really just shows the talented competition that Xterra off-road triathlon series brings to the table... Last weekend at Folsom I was battling it out at full throttle just to make a fourth place age group finish... Train harder..Go faster...Live more?

The should have the full results posted with splits shortly. It will be interesting to see what it broke out to but Monique and I had a really good swim so we are stoked at our progress. Now it is time to push ahead with a solid week of training and get ready for Moniques BDAY this weekend.

Renegade Off-Road Triathlon Race Report

Well another weekend race in the books and this was more time well spent on the trail and not short on the learning lessons... We signed up for this race just a week or so ago and were we going into it with some serious training lag behind us but it was suppose to be just a "tune up" race anyways. . . Its funny how that all changes when the gun goes off however....

Bonelli Park Off Road triathlon action with a half mile swim, 15 miles on the mountain bike and a hilly 3 mile trial run to round things out. Monique and I knew the park well and have done a few races here before on the road but we were in for a welcomed surprise to find new trails and and challenge in a race just down the street from her parents house.

This was the second year for the off road triathlon and with the recent rain the trails were packed, fast and full of green around every corner. The cloudy morning helped ensure the perfect temperature for a race and we were in high spirits as we started a warmup for the day. Familiar faces started to make their way into the transition and it was a "at home" relaxing feeling mixing with the excitement of seeing some old friends. I guess it is that "home field" advantage but it made for a cheerful warmup.



The water was perfect. I wanted to swim and it was calm, no current, no freezing face, no rush. I really didnt care about the race or pushing myself to puke levels and it helped to have a long slow warmup. I usually do maybe a 100yds to warmup in the swim but this time I swam about a 400-600 yards. Short speed strokes, long easy, turning around the buoy... A real warm up and I felt great. I gotta remember that for the future. I think I need longer warm ups and with my bike it was about 1 hour total before race start.

The Swim
My swim was solid. I got clean water the entire way and for the fist time I didn't fade towards the end of the swim. Getting past the minimum distances in the pool has paid off... I felt power until the last stroke and exited out of the water with the lead pack.


The Bike
Just when I though I was relaxed and having a good "training race" the reality of my competitiveness and my laziness hit me... Out of transition and on to my bike I realize my back tire is flat. CRAP!!!! I cannot stop now! I am not going to give up this position! I thought I didn't care about this race?? In the span of one second I went through a plethora of emotions and thoughts that I just cannot describe... You probably don't/shouldn't hear them anyways ;-)

The compulsion to move forward had me forgo a pump and attempt the first lap with a flat. I did not have a "spare" on me, pump on me or in the transition and I was too caught up to go back. It was not totally flat and I could get by with a squish back tire for a bit I thought...Not smart.

I was floating around this way and that, ping ponging my rim off of rocks, sliding out, crashing and loosing countless time. So lame. Things in perspective I agreed to go back to my car between laps and finish the race safely. That first lap was long.... Between laps I go back to T1, grab my keys, get to my truck and pump that baby up to 50psi for insurance against the slow leak... I knew about the slow leak for weeks and even bought a new tire yesterday but was trying to rely on the no-tubes fix instead of changing the tire. Ahhgg.. Lesson learned. The second lap felt SOOO fast. Screaming up, down confident turns. Tire pressure ROCKS!! ; -)

The Run
On to the run and I was somewhat more "rested" than I normally am after the bike. Maybe I go out to hard on the bike in race? Great perspectives gained from this race... I knew the run had some nasty climbs so I waited and attacked when I knew it was right. I felt solid and strong on the climbs and started passing people again. No pressure of being run down or setting some specific time I was free to focus on form, cadence and all the stuff I should be focusing on. I felt like I could run for days and ran to the finish at a comfortable pace. I needed that... Fun race finish-no pressure.

I chatted it up a bit at the finish line aand then grabbed the camera and started running the bike course in reverse to take some snaps of Monique. She was powering around the course with a bloody elbow from taking a slam around one of the turns but it was not stopping her. Go girl go!

(snap)

(snap)

(snap)

My running felt right on and I needed a long run anyways so I continued around the run course again getting some pics and cheering people on. This was the highlight of my day. Watching people stick it out, suck it up and pull through to the finish is awesome.

(monique finishing in perfect form)

The race crew at Renegade had their own share of problems too so results, awards and all the good stuff was canceled after the race but we got to talk to some friends and get monique all fixed up before a retreat to Moniques parents for a feasting all night. Good times, good folks and good trails. What else can you ask for?

RESULTS post

April 05, 2008

Bonelli Park Preview

Our second week back from vacation and our second week of a build period in training with some more "prep" races. I think we were almost back to normal before the Folsom race but have settled in to a good routine this week. The Folsom Xterra left me fighting off some poison oak and constantly thinking about that single track out there. So fun! So itchy...

I have had a tear in my back tire that I got during the Vision Quest when I lost the back tire off the rim and the NoTubes juice has helped a time strapped man (or lazy) like myself out once again. This stuff rocks and patched another big hole today before our ride. Hope it holds for the race tomorrow too.

We got down to Moniques parents today and we are stoked that Bonelli is just about five minutes away. We have already had a busy week and so we decided to just ride the run course today to get a peak at what we are in for tomorrow. It was much more challenging than I thought it would be but it looks to be a classic off-road (trail) time. I dont know about the bike course but the run is all about HILLS and HILLS like this /\/\/\/\/\/\ ...Good times

Here are some shots from the park today.

(setting up the buoys)

(lots and lots of hills)

(Dog tow of the day)

April 03, 2008

Falling in line

Summer is close at hand and with the days getting longer even more time to play. We are back to our "normal" lives and into a solid routine again...

Just about recovered from Folsom we are heading into a good four week training block. This is the first time that I have stuck to a training schedule (loose but still present) and the intensity will be cranked up for the next four weeks. Folsom ended week one. We just signed up for another off-road triathlon at Bonelli this weekend and then a harder week of training following that week... No race that weekend so it is be a solid week all the way through with intensity cranked up just a bit more. The last week is a rest week ending with our Olympic distance race in the desert. If I can hold a solid schedule through this I am sure I will see some good gains come Boise but it will be hard to hold back during the races and go into them a bit sore but I need to have priorities if I want to go long and strong later in the season.

Today is all about falling into that schedule with a smile on my face because we feel so blessed to be enjoying the warm California sun, friends on the trail and the resources to get there... I always hear "some" people complain that they "don't have the time, energy, etc, etc" but I really think it comes down to being creative and motivated enough to just get out and do it. One listen to any of the Ironman journeys of what obstacles some very challenged people overcame to get there and I have no excuse.

I get home just a bit before Monique most days so I grab our water bottles, gu/bars, helmets, shoes and all of our other crap and start packing it up for our SSFTA ride. We have a "tote system" for our various adventure gear that has save us so much time as we pack, unpack, repeat... Through it all in and stack it up for the weekend or weekly ride and we are ready to head out in minutes. Pump up the tires, get dinner ready to eat on the way and download some new content for the ipods. We are packed and ready for a little get away tonight. No lights or big clothes... I love summer!

Warm summer sun and good times on the trail with friends.... Why would we miss something like this?