October 29, 2008

5 Fingers of DEATH ! !

The perfect ride and in perfect timing... The Five Fingers of Death ride moved in Halloween and made me sign up for the 12 hours of Temecula race. Its spooky time!

"Training" with Sean Clancy recently has been amazing to say the least... Probably the smartest guy out there who has not only been there and done that from Ironman to multiday adventure races but is one if the coolest down to earth guys too! Sean has opened my eyes to some "smart" and "hard" training recently and we had a ride that he was using to get ready for the USA Adventure Racing National Championships. No doubt that Sean and his team Dart-Nuun will be crushing the dreams of everyone at the race this year...They have been doing it all year long with an incredible EIGHT 1st place finishes this year!!

The five fingers encompasses the biggest and most technical climbs in Aliso Woods done in succession. . . Up and down each climb. Don't let the elevation alone fool you. . . After spending so much time on the road recently I have a new found respect for every foot gained on the rugged trails. The 5 fingers is a killer workout and a technical challenge for any mountain biker. It felt like my kidneys were shaking loose after the second decent!

Summary Data
Total Time (h:m:s)2:34:12
Moving Time (h:m:s)2:17:10
Distance (mi )20.67
Moving Speed (mph)9.0 avg.
Avg. Heart Rate135 bpm

Total Elevation7,857
Elevation Gain3,940
Elevation Loss3,917

The 5 Fingers of Death ride would have killed me before but I managed to make it and even forgot to bring any gu or bars. Sean is a great motivator and I am sure we will be cranking up the training with Xterra, California Multisport and Triathlon racing next year. Seans wisdom about our training is that we are either going to get in super good shape or have a complete meltdown training together... I am just hoping I can keep up!

There was something about the suffering during the ride that made me really want to sign up for another race ;-) Now that I put the 9 trails off for this year it made perfect sense for me to get a long suffer fest in at the 12 hours of Temecula. I may have had a low running volume but my bike volume has been way up in the last few weeks and I am feeling stronger than ever turning the cranks around. I have a century under my belt now and am willing to reach a bit further for a goal like tackling a 12 hour race. I could always stop if I get tired right? Unfortunately, I know myself better than that but it will be 12 hours of fun either way... Marius, Mandy, Monique and Keevin are all doing Temecula also so it should be a fun day and this ride has me and Sean now squared away for the next and possibly last race for the season. Time to get spooky!

October 26, 2008

Running nowhere fast...

I have never had a solid training plan around running and because of that I have never had a hefty volume in my running training. The problem is only compounded when all of your friends ride bikes all the time! I dont think I have any firends that just run... Why sign up for the Santa Barbara 9 Trails 35 mile endurance race then? Partly to get motivated enough to bring my running volume up but mostly because when I do get the chance to spend the day running trails I just love it.

Then there is the reality of my recent training... I have spent a lot of time on the bike recently and a good deal of my running miles have been in races. Fast and short. Inconsistently obvious despite my optimism to go the distance. This is where good friends like Keevin and Sean Clancy are priceless. During our Swami's ride this weekend they got me to focus on the bigger picture of staying injury free and building a base rather than destroying myself after a good season. When I got home I put together the chart below and it was painfully obvious that I just should shelf the 9 trails race this year. My longest WEEK has been under 35 miles and this would be a one day wonder that I would be scrambling just to finish.

I had some big runs in but I would usually have to take four days off after to recover. . . My goal is now going to be running consistently 3-4 times a week at just about 3-4 miles each. Consistency in frequency. Funny how it is a lot like financial, spiritual and life challenges. Consistency rules!!

With my next running race (Pacific Shoreline Marathon) almost three months away I have plenty of time to bring on the build and keep it consistent. Slow and steady wins the race.

October 19, 2008


What a FULL week of training... Not only did I finally get my longest running volume for a week ever @ 34miles but I finally got my road bike built up and let it roll...

I have wanted to do a century for a while and although it looks like such a long distance I know that pace is everything. Starting slow and finishing strong would be key. My goal was to do one by the end of the year but this week it all just fell into place.

I was feeling pretty motivated after getting my road bike finally put together... Keevin picked it up for me in San Diego on Monday, I rode it around the block on Tuesday...did some little adjustments and then put 141.7 miles on it Wednesday. Yes, I love it! Under 14lbs and equipped with the best stuff from the Raston EC90 components and Power Cordz laced up the SRAM gear....those Power Cordz are soo smooth and they look awesome with the carbon!

It is amazing how much faster the miles pass on the road. I managed to double my previous longest ride and the miles just rolled along and it was not as bad as I thought BUT I went very slooow for the entire ride. Just pleased to get a ride like that in and finally got over my longer ride fears...

The training for the week just stepped up another notch when I went on the Swami's ride with Sean on Saturday. WOW!! Real road riding and super fun! Sean continues to be super encouraging and we even added another loop through San Diego after the group ride with a brutal climb up Mount Soledad . Check out the after ride pancake!!

So much for the 10% rule!! My mileage just blew up this week. Longest running week ever and my longest ride and second longest ride ever. NICE!

Finishing up the weekend was the icing on the cake. Marius BDAY cake! We rode into El Moro for a camp out and Birthday celebration for Marius on his 21st Birthday. Amazing views of the moon and a long night of fun with friends. Perfect.

October 15, 2008

Multisport Day - Finding another loop...

Well we managed to get a multiday in the books... Not very organized but I still remember the pot-luck and talking on the warm ground in the parking lot when it was all over with....

A fun day and plenty of inspiration from everyone who made it out....Even if we didn't get to paddle, run, ride, eat with everyone.

Here are some picture from the day

October 12, 2008

Running to NINE Trails

Long story short... I have never had high volume and I dont think that it is "needed" to do an ultra but with my races checked off for the year it is time to start running myself up for the Santa Barbara Nine Trails in just a month or two away.

Fear can be a good thing and holding back the running volume has kept me injury free for the year so far but I am learning a lot more has to do with the intensity. Time to focus on the LSD(long slow distance) for a while...

Looking at my running miles is pretty disheartening but I know I have been hitting it pretty hard as far as intensity. . . I have also been mixing it up quite a bid with paddles, swims, etc so I am hoping to swap some of that time/fitness now to running. Simple goals to a simple plan that can be executed.

(weekly running mileage from the last few months)

I had a good week and I am planning on getting three runs a week min and reaching over that 20 miles a week mark that has been illusive all year. Today I hit my max mileage @ Aliso with some repeats up Meadows and the miles came much faster than I thought. PACE is so key and I learned a little something from Tiffany about the all important walking breaks. Today I got in 4 laps and am hoping to build to about 7 in the two weeks before the 9 trails race.

The "volume or bust" certainly worked for me at SLO and the BOD so hopefully I dont bust before 9 trails(or at nine trails!). I really miss getting out on foot on the trails which is why I signed up in the first place so I am looking forward to getting time hiking and LSD running with some friends again! Just in time for the cold weather!

October 06, 2008

Bonelli Olympic Distance Tritahlon Results

No rain and near perfect conditions, we would start our day in the dark just minutes away from Bonelli park getting some early breakfast from Moniques parents house. The Bonelli Olympic Distance would be my third race at this distance and the 2nd ride on my new B2. I was stoked and felt ready to race.

Without too much of a warmup we headed out to the water to start our day with a 1.5K swim...Actually, I think it was closer to a mile and felt soooo looooong. I managed to stay with the lead pack until the first buoy and then started fading back. I finally got onto some feet as we reached the far side of the lake and pulled through the weeds in the shallow water along the shore. What a long swim! My arms for the first time started going numb near the end of the swim and I am still not sure what that was from. I thought that I was pretty far behind exiting the water but I managed to hold on to a 5th place spot and it was a quick T1 onto the bike.

The 40K bike
Three laps around Bonnelli park and the airport and I was loving my bike! I probably should have had more miles on it but I just got it back on Wednesday of this week after getting fit so I had about 9miles on it before the race. Not the best but I made some adjustments as I rode and felt solid on it. So fast and smooth. The hills did not feel bad at all and I was able to stay seated for all the climbs conserving my energy for the run.

The second and third laps were plastered with the sprint triathlon group and it was a crazy passing game. I saw Monique ripping around and I was so stoked to see her little bunz pushing up the hills. She is getting fast and she is so cute!

Into T2 and besides one of the volunteer putting their bike sideways in front of my bike rack the transition was pretty smooth. Heading out I heard a few people say that I was forth overall and I was stoked!

10K run
The run, the truth, the last push. For me it is the judgment of how I held up so far and pacing although after the California Multisport series the race felt much shorter than ever before. Ending with the run is MUCH easier than starting with the run and at just over 2hr there was not as much of a need to hold back. I gave it to the bridge (about 1mile) before I passed any condition of how the run would play out and just as I reached the end of it I saw the next runner up. My running usually sucks and I am usually just waiting for someone to run me down but things have slowly been changing. . .

I took my time and got the pass at about mile 2.5 and then pulled away to keep out of sight. So much of that slow passing on the run is mental and just as I rounded the corner I looked back and saw the same guy getting passed by someone else. Was I next? My mind shifted from focus on catching the #2 spot to getting run down. It sucks. It makes me run so much slower. Inefficient. I held on until the out and back (about mile 4) and I ran with Ryan for a while before I told him to catch that #1 spot! He looked strong and pulled away with ease. I started looking at the next runner behind me again and started running scared again. Ahhg... I saw another guy gaining on me and looked back about every 10 steps. Whats wrong with me? he he he... I got to the 2nd to last hill and could hear the footsteps behind me. Downhill to an aid station and one more hill to the finish with less than 2 miles to go so I told myself I would not look back until the I reached the top of the last hill. I let it rip down to the aid station and sprinted up the last hill way over LT. Feeling beat but after one look back there was nobody in sight. I ran the last mile in a recovery and then was back to finish strong and looking back I had put about 5min on the next guy. I think he had a stop at the aid station between the hills and I managed to get over my shoulder looks...hopefully.

Third place overall and I got a #1 for my age group 10min up from the #2 spot. Stoked!

Monique took 5th in her age group and even if it was her second ever Olympic distance she showed a huge improvement. She is ready to go long!

Official Results:
Race: Bonelli Olympic Triathlon (226)
Age: 32
Hometown: Huntington Beach
Full Results: Overall Full Course
Time: 2:19:42.490
Overall Rank: 3
Male Rank: 2
M30-34 Rank: 1

October 02, 2008

California Multisport - S.L.O Race Report

It is always the races and places that go above and beyond my expectation that are hard to write about. . . Maybe it is because I am afraid to forget the details, my writing will not do it justice or it is just that it cannot be put into words. . . I think it is a bit of each and the California Multisport races are in that category for sure. Expectations are exceeded at every race by the staff and venue lineup. The best of any race I have done to date.

The San Luis Obispo race is over and concludes the first (hopefully of many) series of California Multisport races. This was not as "destructive" to me as the Big Bear race but proved to be a fast and fun course! You would never imagine all of that technical single track in the local hills!

Starting things off

The race started with about a 5.5 mile run of mixed single track, dirt roads and lots of climbing. Typical Xterra/CalMultisport mountain run with Sully and local Pro Triathlete Chris Stehula setting a blistering pace. Two laps up and over a mountain and I was loosing places but keeping "my" pace. Such a lesson learned from Big Bear!! I felt pretty good on the fist lap and eased into the second lap without going into the red zone.

Kim leading the pack on the downhills

I probably could have picked up the pace but running into the transition of the boat section I felt smooth and ready to paddle. I think I was around 7/8th place and confident of my position. The goal of the run was not to blow up!

finishing up lap two at a steady pace

Joe Friel always says something about "working on your limiters" and for me paddling was so new that it was my obvious limiter. Not only paddling itself but a new boat too so it became the focus of my recent training. . . and it worked!! Paddling ended up becoming my strength for this race! In training I was aiming for frequency and the volume was just an end result from the frequency but I almost tripled the volume I had going into the first two Multisport events. . . first race in the Mako6 and after working out all of the kinks it felt pretty fast. Hitting the water felt natural and being rested from the run let me dig deep with every scoop. Two laps and about 5 miles on the water.

Karen cheering on racers! The best Race Directors ever!

I passed a few people within the first few hundred yards and by lap two I was a few minutes behind Sully in second place. Nice!

My goal was just to stay as close I as I could to Sully and try to put some time on the guys behind me. Time to finish strong and HAMMER on the bike!

Tiffany in transition from boat to bike

Getting out of the water I had Karen giving me info about Sully being about 3min up from me and Monique telling me that Fred Watson was right behind me on the paddle. Running up to transition I was just seconds ahead of Fred who ended up posting the fastest paddle for the day. Paul was on the speakers and all I remember was him saying "you gotta make this transition all business Slater"! I slapped on my shoes, grabbed my helmet and started putting pressure on the pedals.

The bike climbed up a long road and then started a single track route back and forth around Cerro San Mountain. As I reached to of the first climb I looked back over my shoulder to see...no body in sight. What? Another look and I saw two riders just heading out of the trees from the transition and starting to make their way up the climb. I had plenty of time and the presure from behind was off... Now I could focus on keeping a gap and giving it all that I had left. Feeling the strongest on the bike than anything else I thought I would lay it down and then I made the biggest mistake of the race. I got lost...

GPS outline from the course

I had a big gap, pressure off, closest race I have been to Sully and my strongest discipline with a very well marked course I and turned off, headed down a big hill and rode to a parking lot and stopped. Time felt like it was standing still and all I could think about was "is this really happening?". I knew I made a wrong turn but just kept going down the hill... Was my body making the decisions or my mind? Was I cracking under pressure or just lame? I got over it and started climbing back to the course.... I was still racing and I felt good so "here we go" I remember saying out loud... Maybe I was needing a gu?

As I started my climb up to the course I saw a few other riders cresting the first hill where I made a wrong turn. Clearly I was the only one who took the downhill route but I soon joined and passed a few riders. Reaching a volunteer at one turn I discovered I was in 5 or 6th place. Hey, thats racing I said and tried to catch the next guy. A few turns, lots of rocks and a few riders later I had passed the volunteer again and found myself back in second place. Stoked! One more big climb to the top but by now I was spent. I had my gu explode all over my hand and mouth and another gu flask melt down my bike. I was loosing it fast and just fighting with my sticky hand on the bar... Focus! It is crazy how the little things can get in the way when you are fatigued... On the last major climb I had Chris Stehula ride up to me on a climb...Standing and cranking like he was on his single speed. Nice work I said to him and he disappeared out of site.

I made up some ground and manged to come around by the time we got to the front of the mountain again. I saw Chris pushing his bike up a steep hill and thought I could catch him but found myself walking the same hill. Hike A Bike! Little did I know it was all downhill to the finish from there but I ended up making another wrong turn and following the run course back to the finish line. . . Again, the course was marked clearly but I guess my body just wanted some extra credit. I think I surprised everyone when I rode through the finish backwards! I was stoked to finish and still grab 3rd for the podium.

gu explosion!

Sully takes the race and the series - Undefeated!

just made the podium
The BEST friend,supporter,teammate,wife
Monique rollin' it up

Until next time around....