July 29, 2009

Recovery

Last weekend... Just what the doctor ordered! We stayed home instead of setting out on a 12 hour adventure race and just enjoyed all of the things to do around the hood. I could not have said it better than what Luke described. Perfect recovery and fun with some friends at home.

The girls looking cool

Luke and me looking cool(er)? Er.. maybe not

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LTmrKuSH2AA

This week I am resting up before we head up to Mammoth for our annual trip with some of my friends that are more like family. For all of the races and projects that I have going on with work I am looking forward to this trip and seeing my family more than ever.


I got in a few swims and easy rides this week but I am still resting the foot. I am still calling this a "transition" mode for me because I want to make sure I am 100% rested or as close as possible to it before starting my final training for the end of the year. I think that Eric was correct about run fitness crossing over for gains in the other sports and I want to make sure i can (as monique would say) run my buns off in my next training plan.

The focus on swimming has helped too! We started filming our strokes and it is amazing how much you can learn just from watching yourself make mistakes. This is not the best video for stroke analization but it does show some killer tan lines that Sean and Me are sporting!

video

Hope my "cankles" and foot make it a restful week so I can crush myself @ mammoth this weekend. Hope to see you out there ;-)

July 22, 2009

San Clemente Ocean Festival Transition

I would say that my racing and training is in a bit of a transition right now. My life has been in a bit of a transition for the last couple of weeks. I am moving to a new phone, a new laptop (i love my new mac) and a new approach to my training for the end of the year. I was contemplating a rest week and before I knew it I had to stay off of my feet and got the rest I didn't know I needed. Funny how it all works out . . .

Last weekend, I decided to skip out on the Big Bear Duathlon because my ankle was not 100% recovered from when I sprained it at the Xterra SC CUP race. Almost 30 days had gone by and with my training volume increasing the future of my healthy ankle was decreasing.

Looking back it was a smart move and Monique and I got to head out to the San Clemente Ocean Festival. So much for paddling less and running more!

This was such a cool event setup. You have the entire weekend of some 25+ events that you can jump into and it is all covered from either a 1 or 2 day entry fee ($35 a day). I was planning on staying off of my ankle so I jumped into a 10K ocean paddle race, 2K paddle race and a 1 mile swim. This was a big contrast from the weekend before paddling in big bear lake. WAVES!

Beth and I are a little troubled about the surf entry and exit

This was another great experience and quite the challenge. Paddling through and over these waves, trying to stay in the boat in the ocean swells and putting in two solid paddle races and a ocean swim proved to be just as demanding as being on your feet. As much as it was a good thing to stay off of my ankle it ended up crushing my dreams a bit...


Well, crushing my foot. I was pushing so hard with my foot on the ski (barefoot) that I managed to bruise my toes at the joint. I thought that I kicked a rock or something but two weekends of paddle races in a row proved to be too much. I am sure my volume, ankle, running and walking around in dress shoes the next day all had something to do with it also but the result is the same.

Monique teamed up with Beth and started off with the 5K beach run and then followed it up with the 500 meter swim/5K beach run combo. Monique posted her fastest 5K to date! Not bad for the sand and her and Beth were still holding a conversation!


Keith was killing it in just about every event... AFTER he was crushing my dreams he told me that he had raced in Kona and at Xterra Worlds in the past. This guy is so quite and humble you would never know he is a secret dream crusher ;-)

We finished up Sunday with a 1 mile ocean swim. Triathletes can be fast and brutal in the water but real single sport swimmers are crazy! I got totally smoked by most of the girls in the water. Awesome to see these big back girls (in a good way) taking charge.


This little girl to my right finished a few spot ahead of me. This was my first open water swim race so now i have a baseline set! 20:10 for the mile. I am hoping to jump into a few more open water swim events this year but first some more much needed rest.

July 15, 2009

Why run when you can ride...why swim when you can paddle?

I appreciate the comments and suggestions from everyone about my last post. Things are going good in the racing realm and I have a good plan forming for the end of the year. During some rides this week with a few friends it all became clear... it is funny how it all makes sense when you talk something over with a friend or two during a ride. I realize I need to get away from my mantra in the title of this post for my end of year training but this weekend was one last fling with my favorite two sports.

I have only ridden a hundred miles or more two times in my life... Last October was the first time and it was the first ride on my road bike. A comfy fit and I logged over 140 miles. Three weeks later I hit about 112 miles at the 12 hours of Temecula and that was a hard century to pull in. I really didn't plan any of these century rides so this weekend when Ryan, Sean, Jason and I headed out for a solid ride the last thing on my mind was putting in another 100 miler...

drafting behind the six foot club

Not planning the ride or distance turned out to be the best route! We headed out at a quick pace and I made a plan as we made our way south on PCH. I was going to keep it steady on the flats (drafting behind the six foot and over club) and push up every hill at a threshold effort... Pretty good plan for a short ride but turned out to be a kick in the crack for this hot ride. I got a PR time/power up Newport Coast and ended up with the most "work" I have ever collected with my powertap in a single ride to date. A little over six hour of ride time, 114 miles, 3,715 kilojoules. Stoked!

We met up with a group ride heading north on Jeffery and lets just say it was a hot pace after every green light. Sean kept us honest with a solid pace the entire ride and I was trying to keep to my plan of pushing up all the hills. At about mile 30-40 Ryan and I really started to feel it. . . We thought that this was the half way point but we had no idea! By the time we met up with Jason in Lake Forest we had a HOT ride though the canyon. The heat does strange things to you sometimes and I think we were playing cowboys and indians?

Giddy Up Ryan!

We did net a solid ride and it was a good time with these tall guys. A good laugh and leg burn really makes the miles fly by....




The next day we headed up to Big Bear for the PaddleFest race. This was event #3 in the Conquer the Bear Challenge and the first paddle race for Monique and me. Another perfect day in Big Bear!

I was feeling pretty beat from the sun and miles the day before but I was so stoked to paddle! We had a 10K on the lake that would start in Fawnskin and head out to the damn, around some rock islands and back. Paddle time!


As we started out, I got in a draft behind Danny Hough to try to avoid getting caught in the sea weed all around Fawn harbor. Unfortunately, I was pulling a huge mess around my fin and slowly Danny started to pull away as we rounded the first cove. I was struggling in my mind about if it was better to hop out of my boat and pull off the mess of sea weed or loose more time and energy from dragging it though the entire 10K route. Then it somehow came loose and like the wind at my back I was gliding along at an efficient pace. Ahh!! It felt so good! Before long I had passed Danny and by the time I paddled through the rock islands at the turn around point I was told I had a five minute lead. Stoked!


With less than 5K to go I got into a rhythm and just started cranking along. I knew I would have to deal with the sea weed again once I got into the harbor so I was just trying to hold a decent pace until then. . . Then... I fell in while talking to some of the boats. A welcome surprise as I was sweating like a pig in the sun and I needed to go to the bathroom...ha! I drank a full hydration bladder that was strapped to the back of my pfd...what can I say, when you gotta go....

I looked behind me and there were no boats in sight so I cruised back into the harbor. Not my fastest paddle but I was able to hold on for the overall win. Stoked!! That last 200 yards felt so slow because as soon as I got back into the cove I picked up more sea weed. Dragging that in after a big effort felt like I was pulling a barge behind me!

I was stoked to win my first (hopefully of many) paddle races and then got to lead out the StandUp paddle races afterward. A great event and a perfect ending to my biggest training block yet.


Luke joined us and I was stoked to see him picking up paddling so quickly. He is a natural! For some reason all these triathlete/multisport folks just know body-mind connection or something... I am sure a solid understanding of swimming mechanics is a big help but Luke just took off after a few barks!

thow'in buckets!

After the race we got in a quick ride on some of Big Bear's sweet single track before getting back into town for the awards ceremonies. We were sharing the stage with the Big Bear Shootout #2 race that took place just an hour after the paddle race. Paul jumped into the race after announcing all day and setting up the venue and pulled a 2nd place pro result. Nice!

la bomb = refuel

We ate and enjoyed a great venue, music and people that came out for the hand full of races going on . . . just about as perfect of a weekend as you can get I think.

July 10, 2009

Plans

I had a few goals for this racing season and they were pretty basic. I wanted to finish a race with my run pace under 7min/mi, I wanted to qualify for XTERRA Nationals and I wanted to get into the top 10 for the Vision Quest. My big goal was multisport and I wanted to win one of the races this year.

It is funny how when you start working towards a goal…it starts working toward YOU. I was stoked to drop an hour off o f my time from last year and make it in the top 5 overall for VQ, I won the first Mulisport race of the year, I have qualified for Nationals and even Worlds for XTERRA and may even end up the regional champ with the points I have picked up. Last night, I ran the Peters Canyon Trail Race and put down a 6:28 pace with some big hours of training still in my body and I could not be more stoked.

the inspiration machine and me

Things have gone better than I could have imagined and I feel so blessed. . . I have exceeded my expectations and while having fun every time I get on the trail and remaining injury free. I tried to focus on “off road multisport” this year and the focus has helped but the flexibility of going for a paddle or hike has helped my mind stay pretty excited about every opportunity to share that time with friends. I am so grateful for all the great coaches and friends that I have got to spend time with this year. I also feel like looking back at my training log has been a huge help and I know how I need to “feel” to be tapered up for a race. This is hard because fitness is always changing but I am starting to get it. To be honest I am totally satisfied and it has been nice the last couple weeks of just logging time with friends on the trail and not having any planned races.

JHar and me enjoying a “yea bra” after the run last night

BUT… After talking to a few friends it looks like I would be pretty lame to pass up the XTERRA Nationals race or Worlds . It took me almost 3 year to do the series and I am not really planning on racing it next year so I should see what can do this year. I feel like I am just getting started and can still drop buckets of time. I know. . . if I do go . . I need to give it 100%. In addition to the XTERRA series, I am also doing the California Multisport series, the Conquer the Bear series and a few other races here and there…. Lots of races, lots of variety…good and a bad thing.

I wanted to ask for some advice and input about resting and trying to put together a schedule for the rest of the year… I know a lot of people take a small break mid-season and with the amount of races/training I have logged this year it may not be a bad idea. I feel fantastic but October and November are still a ways out and I don’t know what I don’t know. Maybe I am just getting into shape now or I am peaking and I will crash and burn in August? Maybe my mind will just “get over it” or maybe I will get swamped at work . . . Perhaps a rest will help?


limiters-

My running sucks the most and I know it is due to the volume I am getting in on a consistent basis. I have never been this consistent running before but my miles are pretty low and I only get in some speed work during races. Here is the last several months of my running sessions.

I have managed to get better at swimming this year because I have started “swimming smart”…drafting rules! My volume and technique is about the same and swimming is still a limiter for me. I need to start getting in more than 2 or 3 sessions a week and over 1500 yards a session. Maybe signing up for Masters will be a big help?

It feels like everyone I know is riding bikes and I cannot get enough of that so I think I will just keep cranking away with that schedule. One thing I need to move away from is my recently discovered super subliminal mantra of “why run when you can bike and why swim when you can paddle”. Explains a volume of my actions to me…

Here are some key races for me at the end of the year.

XTERRA NATIONALS – September 26th

California Multisport Finals - October 11th

XTERRA WORLDS – October 25th

This weekend is the Big Bear Paddle Fest (part of the Conquer the Bear series) and this morning I just signed up for the Santa Barbara Triathlon this morning. Last year this was my longest triathlon and it is a beautiful venue and we had a great time hanging with everyone up there. This year I am looking forward to crushing myself to a new PR. The only other race on the radar is an adventure race in two weeks that should be “FUN” as the race director puts it ; -)


Maybe too much racing? Maybe that is why I am broke? Maybe I need to just focus on swim, bike, run, recover? Maybe my mind needs a rest? I have not been to the doctor for a physical or anything since high school so maybe some blood work is in order? Sean just sent me this this morning and keeping an eye on stress is always a good idea and maybe I should get my lipids checked?

Sorry for the random ramble and post just getting my thoughts out and looking for some advice so I can make some plans.


July 07, 2009

The Big B

In the last 10 days I have logged some of the best training days of my life and I am not even "training" . . . I am so grateful for the sweet single track, cool people and truck loads of fun that I have got to get in. After the Tahoe race and with no future races in view I just started "doing what I felt like" and I was so stoked to see my motivation and strength grow each day. I have had a solid season of training and racing already so this was just pure trail time with friends and I got the bonus of bringing my body along for epic days in the dirt.


Monique and I were back from Tahoe for almost two days when we headed for the hills again. This time back to Big Bear for an extended stay at Team Sole "Base Camp". Paul was our host/tour guide/coach/cook/mechanic (just to name a few hats he wore) while Karen was still out racing the MONSTER. She has logged over 100 hours of racing with just about 6 hours of sleep. . . and the race continues. Puts my little training block in perspective!

Friday, we got a nice paddle on the lake before we met up with the Intense crew for some riding and over the handle bar acrobatics on some hidden single track. I think we all collected a bit of dirt and left some skin out there...

even covered in dirt Monique is so cute!

Jessi was taking some lessons all weekend on the mountain bike and paddle sessions but you would never know she is "new" to these sports. There is a lot to learn about building your body to dominate at anything you attempt and Jessi has nailed it and is sharing it. Good stuff.

Go Jessi Go!

My body is STILL sore from the core session we all did after our ride. "Bad Ass Billy" was putting us through some mental strengthening and our bodies would have to find the oxygen to keep up. Paul and Lisa were staying at base camp also but somehow managed to just miss this session...hmm? Maybe Lisa can incorporate that into some future yoga sessions? If Billy didn't keep me laughing all night after we were done I would be scared to see the guy again. That one session made me realize how much I need to get back to the weights. Time to get ripped! ;-)

welcome to the house of pain!

We all got cleaned up and headed down to the lake again to watch the fireworks, down some recovery drinks and hang out. Perfect day.


Saturday and Sunday we had some big rides on tap and discovered so many new trails in Big Bear. I LOVE that place and hope someday I can call it home. We got to ride with some of the fastest kids in town and ride some trails that I just cannot even mention. Yes, it was that good!

Some of the other "flatlanders" that were up for the weekend included Tiffany, Wes, Keevin, Heidi, Ben, Julie and Ryan and we tried to hang with them as much as possible . . . big groups are tough to organize but when it happens it is worth the effort.


Watching all triathletes take to paddling for the first time was pretty inspiring. I guess it has so many similarities to the swim technique (catch, high elbow, etc) it is a natural cross over. I started realizing my training motto this week "why run when you can ride...why swim when you can paddle". That explains my (lack of) volume for running and swimming ;-)

Ryan Rockin the Mako6

It was hard to get out of the Big B after so much fun but I had an appointment with the doctor when I got home last night. One more dream crushing ride to finish me off... Love it! This was just about as perfect of a weekend as it can get for me and I am resting, satisfied and sore.

My next post I want to look at some lessons learned from my races this year, ask for some advice and make a plan to attack the rest of the year. I have been so stoked to be injury free and meet/hang/get to know so many cool people this year and explore myself in some new challenges as much as exploring new trails. Monique and I have a few things cooking with Team DUKE and maybe even an event to get the SoCal mountain bikers excited for the end of summer.... All good stuff in good time.

July 02, 2009

Tahoe Advencha!

The Tahoe XTERRA was about the 15th race of the season for me. . . quite a bit of action and I was planning on a little break and some training schedule planning for the end of the year. With the race behind us and the beauty of Tahoe all around us we decided to stay an extra day (or two) and just enjoy some spontaneous adventure. No real plans . . . just advencha!


We awoke the next morning and grabbed some food and a few espresso drinks from the damn cafe and then headed out in our double to enjoy the blue water of Tahoe lake.

We took a nice five hour tour down south just west of Pope beach and then through Emerald Bay and back up. It is hard to image that you can move so efficiently and see so much sitting on your bum.

The water was a perfect temperature and the wind did not really get to us until the very end of the route. Monique is a champ! She more than doubled her longest ever paddle and it really gave us a thirst for some expedition length adventure racing...

Once we got out of the water we were running out of sun light and calories so we loaded up the boats and headed out on bikes for some sweet single track around Falling Leaf Lake and then into town. We got into town and loaded up our bike jersey pockets with warm burritos for the ride back. Warm, fat and happy we crashed out for the next days discovery.

We awoke and planned a quick hike out of Desolation Wilderness around a few lakes. Lots of elevation, water and amazing views. There were quite a few people on the trail and it is always interesting to hear about the stories and places that people come from...and where they are going. Keeping with our normal routine. . . I got us lost on just one trail but in my defense we only lost 40 minutes and we got to see some marmots and mountain grouse on the detour.

As long as our days were they somehow managed to energize us and remind us of what is most important in life. Monique and I made some pretty solid "life plans" and I really missed spending time with just M out in the wild. We hit Mammoth on the way home and it looks like we have another big weekend on tap. No plans just more advencha