August 29, 2008

CDM Paddle Loop

Now that we have been doing our weekly swim/trail run at Corona Del Mar for a month or two I feel pretty confident in the water and getting around to the trail. Marius has been wanting to do a multisport day for a while now and Keevin and I have thought up some good loops/sports to mix in but today I stumbled upon a little loop of my own. I usually paddle out of the Back Bay on Fridays and decided to just combine our Wednesday swim/run loop in the middle... It looked like this when it was all over.

The only problem at first was where to leave my boat until it hit me... I could just tie it up with the other boats and add a swim in and out from the beach. Perfect! My paddle session was extended and my loop began... Luckily, I have been lazy enough to keep all kinds of crap in my truck so I managed to dig up some running shoes, Marius's wingnut backpack (thanks!), a dry shirt, socks and even some goggles. All I needed to complete the trip was some bungee cords to tie up my boat and a dry bag to pull behind me on the swim in. Gear check complete.

The laps broke out something like this-
Lap 1 - Paddle out of the back bay to Big Corona 6ish miles / 60min
Lap 2 - Tie up boat and swim into shore
Lap 3 - Run the single track trail out and back 7ish miles / 60min
Lap 4 - Swim back to boat 1mile / 30min-ish total swim
Lap 5 - Paddle back to the NAC in the back bay 4-ish miles / about 40min

I started with a warmup paddle out of the harbor and over to the boats. I was warmed up and ready to swim. The tricky part was packing all my gear and getting the boat to stay locked up to the outside buoy.

(the welcome of cold water in the morning fog)

I used some extra bungees to tie the dry bag around my waist and swim it in... My only problem was that my boat was following me in! By the time I got to running and looked back my smaller bungee attached to the buoy had snapped. My swim was extended a bit to pull my boat back out and tie it up. I learned it is much better to clip on to the rope under the buoy where there is less motion from the ocean anyways.

By the time I got back the beach I was starting to shiver a bit... I was looking forward to warming up on the run and I felt so good. I finally got the kinks worked out of my paddle and no numb legs...

(Unpack the dry bag and get going)

The top of the run has two options at the end of the trail. Left heads up to San Joaquin Hills Rd at the corner of Newport Coast crossing where you can make a sub 1 mile cross over to the back of El Moro park. The right turn was undiscovered until today but I soon found that it just ends about 400 yards after the turn. I guess we were going the right way all along. Next time we will plan to have some bikes at the top of the run for a lap or two through El Moro park and maybe a few hill repeats up Newport Coast Drive. The sun was now pushing through the clouds and the run back was getting h o t . . .

I was a bit nervous leaving my boat but so stoked on the run back down to be able to enjoy the day like this... We normally are coming back in the dark so to see the ocean and all of the views on the way down was inspiring... Ahh... So nice.

The swim back out to my boat was the BEST!! The water felt sooo good and I was just thanking the Lord for such a cool playground. The start slow approach worked well and I felt stronger paddling back. Next time will be a super loop with some friends.

GPS dump from the loop and even a little play back over here:

We are checking out some bike loops for our next go round and it should be another great adventure.

August 28, 2008

Santa Barbara Triathlon

This last weekend we were fortunate enough to participate in the Santa Barbara Triathlon long distance event. Something that Monique, Keevin, Chuck and I were not really training for specifically but ended up being a solid performance for all of us. This was the longest race for all of us so far and now that we know how much fun the longer stuff is we are all hooked!

(Monique and Chuck in the EARLY morning)

We stayed at Chucks house which was just down the street from the transition area and got to hang out in downtown SB the night before. Such a fun place and it was just a carbo loading time for us and go to bed early... When we got back to Chucks house we heard some music playing from the bowl... Hey, thats Ben Harper!! Dang... I would have been cool to see him play the night before but maybe next year?

The race was so much fun I cannot even go into the details but I have a few lessons learned that I want to remember. The biggest for me was
A)starting slow -the longer the race the more important pace is
B)Consistency -in training lead to the biggest gains

Not that it is new or anything but this race proved to me that even if we were not specifically training for this event the consistency Wednesday night swim/trail run (about the only swim and run I have been doing all week) proved to be a BIG help just because it was consistent week after week.

I was also a little scared about the distance so I started out sllooowww... Maybe too slow in the water but I felt great on the bike...had some technical problems with my chain to rest a bit more and probably had the best run of my life to finish it off. Start slow and finish strong! I cannot remember the last time I ran over 7 miles but finishing this race with 10 miles I was able to hammer on the last 3 miles and felt sooo good. I passed tons of people and was so stoked to hold it at a faster pace than normal for a longer distance than I was training at...

Still looks like it hurt but I was lovin' it.

Chuck and Keevin looking RIPPED at the finish

Happy to finish and stoked to be back next year for the longer stuff

August 17, 2008

Orienteering Day

Yesterday we got to watch our friends new and old, get lost on a training orienteering course we setup. Much more fun than I thought it would be and I think that we learned just as much as they did. Super fun although I dont want to see those trails through Aliso for a month or two... Anyone feel like picking up those last checkpoints? ;-)

August 12, 2008

Volume or Bust

I have a new found motivation and momentum after moving back to the OC... Not only am I spending less time in the car but I am finally putting that time into some additional time training and quality time in my life. The momentum is awesome! I have always had a low volume and because I have only been at this for a couple of years any increase in volume is an increase in performance. So why have I waited so long??

On Sunday we rode the San Juan trail with a big group. Killer time and I just love that trail. I feel stronger than ever on the bike and my technical skills are feeling right where they should be... I also met Sean Clancy and was so motivated by this guy... He confirmed to me again how moving to a 10, 15, 20+ hours a week is a big jump in performance and even more encouraging to stick to the basics in my first years out. I have a lot to learn and was stoked to have someone like Sean to ask some questions about adventure racing, Ironmans, etc, etc. I just kept going and going ;-)

My new focus on volume is all around frequency. I dont need the 3+ hour sessions as much as I need a solid 3 runs, 3 bike, 3 swim/paddles a week. More sessions and consistency week after week. I have a plan in place leading up to SLO and it should be short enough to stick to... I am motivated more than ever and living with Keevin has proved to be a dream as far as making it easy to train more. Recovery comes easy with the BBQ at poolside ;-)

Here is some history for each sport for the three months leading up to Big Bear-
(April 26, 2008 -- July 26, 2008)

1 per week average
Avg swim - 1 mile
Avg week - 1.4 miles

3 per week average
Avg ride - 13.5 miles
Avg week - 31 miles

1.5 per week average
Avg Run - 5.5 miles
Avg Week - 8.7 miles

1.4 per week average
Avg Paddle - 4.1 miles
Avg week - 8.1 miles

All sports - Distance by week and individual session

Here is an outline of what I am trying to stick to now-

3 of each per week (simple enough to stick it!)

2 of each per week

Simple. I am aiming for frequency over time in each sport so I need to keep the intensity down and session short enough to have some gas left throughout the week. Hours should be at about 10+ per week but I am focusing more on frequency. I plan on taking a rest week on the 18th-23rd for the Santa Barbara Triathlon and then giving a couple more hard weeks after that. No more races every weekend and taper, taper, taper. . . I finally am SO amped about the multisport races and have my life in check living in Huntington that I have a focus that I have never had before. No more holding back and no fear for overtraining. It it time to train smart, hard and work on my limiters. VOLUME OR BUST!!

There it is . . . Now I got to stick it!

August 04, 2008

Paddle Time

OK - I need help with my swim, bike, run, paddle technique and what better way to see what I am dong wrong than seeing it for myself.... I have been reading about some forward stroke technique so I thought I would try out some video shots this weekend to see just what I was doing...wrong

Then...Monique stepped it up a notch and used her MAC to put a little music to it... It makes watching it over an over a little more manageable ;-0

Now I have something to show someone who can hopefully help me out with my paddle time. If I could just stay in the boat for the entire paddle sections during races I would be stoked!

Suggestions anyone???

I noticed that my hands cross way over the "middle line" and I cannot remember right now if that is a good thing or a bad thing..?

The forward stroke article also mentions "Also try and remember that the height of your top hand (your left hand in our example) should remain fairly level throughout the stroke and only begin dropping once the paddle has exited the water....." I noticed that my left hand drops noticeably lower than my right... I never noticed that before but my left shoulder usually gets more sore after a hard paddle so this may be the reason, however, I am obviously no expert!

What else..."Your wrist should also stay locked in one position and should be slightly above the level of your elbow for the duration of the stroke." and "Your wrist should also stay locked in one position and should be slightly above the level of your elbow for the duration of the stroke." which is the same problem as listed above where my left arm dips way down. So that gives me something to work on for a while!

Killer Weekend

Yes, a killer weekend and no races... Too much going on to mention but I don't want to forget how perfect this weekend was.

M&M finally tied the knot on Aug 2nd which means we saw friends from all over the world flying in to hang out. BBQ friday night at the beach. Brent and David cracking us up. Friends old and new are always a blast with stories from Pete and of Georgina moving to SF and Jeremy and Liz got to visit from SF. Now we have more reasons to head up north for trips! Good times.

After the wedding we were off to see Jason for his BDAY party and that was an experience in itself...
Happy Bday J!

August 2nd was also Monique and my 5th year anniversary!!! I am constantly reminded how lucky I am to have Monique in my life and time really does fly when you are having fun. FIVE YEARS?!? We are of the same tune and so stoked to be able to enjoy the creation all around us and get to do what we love to do day after day. . . It has been a dream of sorts.

We managed to love our time together with a few rides on the xbikes, some paddles and a perfect run through the back bay to slow us down and relax is for the best dinner I have had to date. Unbelievable BBQ pizza under the stars and light from the pool with music playing and Nacho licking away. Perfectly in love and a perfect end to a killer weekend.