June 29, 2010

XTERRA East Championship Race Report

“Understanding motivation is important because it is an essential part of any negotiation. Many jobs require negotiation with others - athletics requires negotiation with one's self!” -Gordo Byrn

I really had to examine why I was trying to get back into an Xterra, trying to get to Worlds again to qualify to do "the double" and why I was dreaming of attempting "the triple". I could negotiate some pretty interesting deals with work and figure a way around the travel and money to get there but could I find the mojo to keep it rolling? In the "zone" of race time there is only one person to negotiate with and you save yourself a huge load by being brutally honest about your motivations. If you can walk away with a win-win reason behind your efforts you have all the fuel you need to get you to the next station.

We have had a pretty busy travel schedule the last few weeks. Our plans to get out to the EC camp in Boulder were just about finished before I managed to sneak in a layover in Richmond Virgina so Monique and I could race the East Coast Championship race. It was just about the only Xterra we would be able to race all year and I have been missing the high heart pounding fun in the dirt. We had about 3 days back from Hawaii to ship our road bikes to Boulder, unpack and pack up our mountain bikes for some off-road racing. Xterra Time!

Last year going to the Xterra CUP races was just about the limit of my ability to "race" and I thought it was at the edge of my endurance. After a few months of training and knocking out an Ironman I was not really worried about my endurance but the pain of a short race. With temperatures in the triple digits the event organizers decided to cut a few miles out of the bike course to make it even shorter. One thing that I have learned over the last year in racing and training is that, as Chris McDonald said "racing short course is HARD!! I will take 8 hours of dull pain over 1 of shear hell any day." Going back to a 2 hour race was a good reminder but the condensed experience of the race was just as much fun...just intensely more fun than what I have gotten use to...I would prefer to spread it out over a day. . . or three.

All of that hard swimming I have been doing with Nova and the recent open water races must be working. As we started the swim and headed up the James river I pulled out a group on the right side. I could see the lead pack and made my way up to them and got in the 3rd or 4th position. MUCH easier than trying to stay on the feet of Michael Collins during our team time trial race. I pulled up to the lead swimmer and just hung out in the draft swimming and switching leads at what felt like an easy pace. Good start to a quick race!

We made it to Browns Island and were off on our feet to sprint over some dirt roads around the island and back into the water. That got my heart back pumping in my throat! I think there were 3 or 4 of us who regrouped after the island to the next buoy and then I just decided I may have a chance to be the first out of the water and really felt like I was not doing any work yet so I turned up the pace. Its a short race anyways right?

I'm glad I took my blueseventy PZ3 suit! Not only did it help me swim faster but gave me some protection against the shallow rocks. Monique and I both had our hands and knees pretty scraped up from swimming over rocks at times... Adventure in the water! After the next buoy, I turned up the pace and just held a comfortable hard pace until we finished. I got ahead of the group and was able to get out of the water first right before my buddy Fred Smith. Cool! Now back to the heart in my throat running to T1.

The bike course was pretty sick! At one point we were carrying our bikes up about 5 flights of 6 stairs each. There were areas where we were in a deep forest that drowned out sounds from all around. I rode most of the course with Fred and Damian (just like the start of Worlds last year) and Fred got off course then I followed Damian and it sounded like a lot of folks were getting a bit off here and there. I was definitely sore from all of the technical bump and grind. I have not been on my MTB as much recently and it showed.

Getting into T2 I knew Fred was just ahead of me and we had been riding with some of the pro field that had a bit of a head start so I knew we were somewhere near the front. As much as I thought the race would go by fast my body was not use to holding that much lactate and the bike felt like it was so long! The run was a bit of the same where I felt like I could dial it back 10-20sec per mile pace and run forever but that fast pace was just a foreign feel. In true Xterra style we found ourselves crossing streams, jumping rocks, over bridges, running up stairs and ridges that required pushing both hands on your knees to get enough power to keep you moving. Between some of those sections were all out flat sections were it felt like a track session...only I have not been to the track! The adventure of the scramble was a huge motivator.

At mile 5 I was told I have about an 8 minute lead on the next amateur and I knew Fred was up front and out of site. The last section over the bridge and back to the finish line I could get a good view behind me and decided to hold back the pace a bit. Running in the heat with the next week of Boulder camp at elevation began to come to the front of my mind and my negotiations of sprinting the finish started. Perhaps one of the first races I didn't go "all out" until the end but I believe it was fitting. I finished 15 minutes ahead of the next guy in my age group so looking back I am glad I made the call to dial it down a bit. Boulder would prove I needed all the mojo I could muster!

The venue was VERY cool and as much as each Xterra I have been to incorporates some of the best views of the area, beautiful single track and challenging climbs the Richmond course was quite unique. We were buried in the heart of a city where we would run and ride up and down stairs and bridges but we would also ride and run some technical single track that made me feel like we were a million miles from civilization. Swimming in a river with a side current, climbing over rocks in the shallows along the way to a run through Browns island before finishing the swim was just the fit for such a diverse course. One of the many reasons why I love Xterra.

I could learn a lot from Trevor! He had another solid race and he is one of those guys I wish I could hang out with more often. He has the negotiations in check inside and outside of racing...balancing life, business and charging full speed ahead! Getting back to a shorter race reminded me that every second counts and in a race this quick you don't have time to dilly dally...Commit and stick to the plan! Monique had one of her best races and strongest Xterra efforts. She is mentally tough and it is scary to think what she could do if she trained for some speed. I wrapped it up in 2nd place age group (2nd amateur) and that got me a slot to race in the Xterra Worlds. Now with the opportunity of racing Kona (Ironman World Chamionsips) and Maui (Xterra World Championships) I can combine my finish times of each for "the double". I think it would just be fun to be at both races and maybe finish out the year with another big race but I am still waiting to hear about that one. I also qualified to race the first ever ITU Cross World Championships next year in Spain. Monique has her eye on a trip there anyways...

June 23, 2010

traveling, resting and feeling lucky(grateful)

The last couple of weeks have been an interesting learning experience. I made some good decisions, some bad decisions and fortunately had some luck along the way. When we got back from Hawaii we had a few days to unpack get caught up on work and then the plan was to get out to Boulder early for the Endurance Corner camp. That should have been enough stress travel to hold us over! Somewhere in my overzealous excitement to race, I added a for a layover in Richmond Virgina long the way where there just happened to be the Xterra East Championship race the same weekend. Imagine that! It all looked good on paper anyways.

I had been inching to do a "fast" race for a while and have gone back and forth between a number of races. I originally set my sights on the Auburn Half Ironman (with a name like The Worlds Toughest Half it caught my eye!) and then I signed up for the Deuceman Half in Arizona. After not doing these race I found myself racing in training here and there... That was OK as Gordo has me on the "boys just want to have fun" program for now but I was feeling pretty shelled from the intensity and was ready for an unload before getting back on the program for the Kona build. After putting aside some longer races closer to home I signed up for a very short race on the other side of the US. Not much to say about it now but it did feel real good to be racing an Xterra again. The journey to get there was more of an experience. Race report on the way...

I was reminded that you can rest and not be rested. Laying on the beach in Hawaii should have been a good time to mentally and physically freshen up. . . and it was for the first few days. However, getting a tan actually does rob some energy in a weird way. I'm not complaining at all! Believe me there is a good reason why you should be "hydrating" and laying down when you are bronzing. Clearly, this is hard work. Something to keep in mind before Kona too. Don't expect to tan up and feel rested if you get to the island a few days before the race. That is the time to head for the shade. Back to the rest part. By the end of the week I had some late nights and some long drinks. That mixed with eating all kinds of "food" that I have not had in a long time left me feeling pretty behind by the time we finished up our final flight home. Lucky for me the good times were worth it and the timing was good.

After getting back from Hawaii we had a few days to catch up on work, unpack/pack before flying into Richmond, racing and flying into Boulder to recover from the race at altitude and at a training camp. Sometimes I wonder if I have learned anything at all!

The beauty of Boulder and encouragement from the team here is enough to fuel us, even if we missed out on all of our sleep, we feel very lucky to be here. The value of the Endurance Corner camps is extreme when you consider the resources, wisdom shared, encouragement given and time saved from the mistakes you will avoid by trying to go at it in your own way. The training and "races" that we are experiencing everyday is a lot of fun and meeting new friends gives a special kick to the effort and enjoyment of the training too. Monique and I have also spent our off time touring Boulder on bikes. We REALLY like it here

There is also an added element that makes recovery just a bit better when you have support on every ride, food provided and getting pointers from the sports best. With seven coaches, guest speakers and specific skill review days it just gets better and better. We have had Chrissie Wellington, Bobby McGee, Laura and Gregg Bennett, Craig Alexander and it is just Wednesday! I am telling you this because I want YOU at the next camp so we can hang and crush some dreams in a remote location! Block out your schedule for the next camp and make sure you freshen up a bit before arriving ;-)

I feel luck and I am learning. Meeting and talking with some of the people here is quite encouraging and humbling. They are so down to earth and balanced in life. I believe being at that level (and putting in that training volume/intensity) requires a balance in life and commitment to purpose that is superior. When I get tired, I spend... I spend money, energy and cycles and become I am horribly inefficient. This comes more often than not when I am out of balance and make some bad decisions and try to muscle out of it. That does not work well for the long haul... Being tired highlights my bad habit(s) and provides a good reminder.. At least it gives me something to work on...there is no quick fix. Taking the long view of things and commitment to purpose often helps to get efficient fast but it takes a long time to make it stick. "There is no easy way"

Tomorrow is off to the pool early so it is off to bed for now. Its been a good week so far!

June 18, 2010

Top Producers

This last week, Monique and I were fortunate enough to join my co-workers and their spouses for an amazing vacation at the Kahala Resort on Oahu. My employer has been hosting a “top producers” club trip the last few years for the top sales reps and this year they opened it up to take two guys from the Engineering side of the house. I was probably more shocked and excited than anyone that I made the trip!

When I had my performance review a while back, James asked me how it went... I txt him my honest reply “i didn’t get fired” and I have had that approach to my own review recently. I guess burning the candle at both ends has some advantages but more importantly “time” spent working is not the primary indicator of getting to the top…That got me thinking. I don’t feel like I am a top producer but here I had a chance to take some notes on just what these top producers do to land a trip in paradise. Don’t get me wrong, I was humbled to go and I maybe on the receiving end of some top producers charity more than anything so I have no place to boast….My work is not something I often blog about and in fact I usually try to stick to race reports or trail time but there is just as much learning and cross over in my work life. It’s time for me to start taking notes and learning lessons on all fronts. Now I am seeing real balance!

Without question every individual had displayed these qualities below not only during our normal working days but also during our trip together. Of course, there are things like teamwork, work ethic, going the extra mile, having fun, discarding excuses, and a huge list that go on and on and are vital to one success. This is by no means an exhaustive list but just some key things that really hit home with me because they were personal, common among every person on the trip and I saw them acted upon not only on a daily basis but before my eyes during the trip. Enter my warped paradigm perception of sport, dreaming and work flow efficiency infatuation . . . or just some of the things I was chewing on while I was laying on the sand.

Departure state does not matter – Before I started looking at the similarities between our group, I was overwhelmed by the diversity of our team. While some people may have been groomed into successful traits others must have been digging under rocks to find the focus to get anything done. In many ways, I believe this plays an advantage to our success as a team. The key was that each person knew what it was that motivated them to focus on the arrival more than the baggage behind. I could slice and dice this in so many ways but we had a huge variation in the makeup of the group and it just proved to me that it does not matter where you flew in from as long as you are working on where you are going. Paradise, by the way, is a good destination.

DO WORK” – I know this sounds like cranking out some major training miles or slamming the hammer down at a race but the cross over for the specific work ethic is so intriguingly similar to me that it is what started me collecting thoughts about this post. How do these people land bigger deals, generate more revenue and simply more work output with the same resources and time? Is this work measured any different than the black and while kilojules of power output measured on a power meter? Trip merit was all based on number. Rate of perceived effort (or worthiness for that matter) was not going to get you on the trip. These top producers do not spend time on excuses. They take what they have, set sights on where they want to go and get to work. The difference with this sales team and sport was that these individuals never considered themselves talented or that they had a genetic advantage to perform. They understand that it is the act of doing the work, at all levels, over and over again that builds the skills, focus and experience needed to fuel the flight as you correct course along the way to success. Work is the process. The process is work. Correcting course to work more intelligently along the way is the difference between good and great. It is a matter of effectiveness over efficiency. Yes, it is nice to have time management and be efficient but it is much better to be effective and have time to spare. After all, in the end, that will allow you to do more work and get to your destination faster.

Partners – Everyone had partner that significantly contributed to the ability of the individuals ability to “do work” and keep it consistent. Your team will catch you when you fall but this partner is more likely not to let you trip to begin with. All of the spouses and partners are either working themselves, raising kids, traveling, etc. (lets be honest we are all busy with our own needs) but one key I found similar to each person was the belief that the partner had in their top performer. This was a call to action belief to support that partner by putting their own energies (spiritually, mentally & physically) ahead of their own needs. Although it may never have been spoken or agreed upon between the couples, the receiving end was just as aware of this as the giving side. An innate trust that allowed them to dream just a little bigger, work a little harder or risk a little more knowing someone was committed to them and the journey good or bad.

Routine – Even the crew of Gilligan’s Island fell into their unique routine after three years on the island. The professors inventions where adjusted from metal gadgets to coconuts but his routine around his creative process continued. This is something that is not unique to this trait. Your habits will follow you wherever you go….even on a deserted island. Routine is consistency, the secret sauce behind big work , so make sure it is working for you and not against you. All of the top producers I watched followed their routine to success on a daily basis. The routines were as different as the individuals themselves but they kept what worked for them, got ride of what didn’t and put it on repeat.

Multi-Sporters – Sometimes runners will swim to cross train and mix it up. Most single sport athletes believe in the value of a good resistance training program to aid in balanced strength and some protection against injury. That is cross training. The top producers I got to witness were more like triathletes. They purposefully set out to become effective at multiple job roles and were just as excited and driven to complete tasks that were not in their job description. This added to the team work, their skill sets, balance and maybe job security but I do not believe this was the primary reason behind their decision to excel at multiple roles. They were not wearing multiple hats just for a season or when things got hectic and they needed to help out the team. That is multitasking. These multi-sporters must have seen a bigger value in the balance of being effective through the entire process because it was all part of the fun. They complete multiple jobs day in and day out because they value the entire development of getting better at the process and the more opportunity they have to exercise their skills in a new environment the better the environment is for them.

Follow up – Sales people are on the phone all the time! It looks that way to me when I am with these folks during the work week but it is just one example of what it takes to close the deal. Did you ever start a story and get interrupted and have someone follow up with you later to ask how the story ends? How did that make you feel? I always see the best athletes who already have a consistent training schedule, getting enough sleep, eating right and have a life balance looking for what can make them better and follow up on every response to their training. They want more and are willing to invest the time to go back and close the loop. Do you search out every detail of your passion to find the “secrets” that most people overlook?

Woody Allen said, “80% of success is just showing up” but if you want to rise above even that 80% over achiever status, following up will get you to the next level. Top performers understand the additional kick from a good follow up. Call it attention to detail, passion to look for more and chase down every lead or good closing skills but following up pays huge dividends.

Charity – giving to someone who cannot repay you. I found this one particularly interesting because of the vast diversity of our group yet everyone gave to someone who would never be able to repay them and did not expect anything back. While the motivations behind the giving are forever unknown and may even at times even be a negative driver (greed, pride, etc) it was a action that all of them displayed as a necessary deed in the character of a top producer. I see this everyday working with these people and saw each individual performing this on the trip. Maybe why I was invited on the trip!?!

In the end, earning a spot on the trip was all about numbers… Thank God that life is not that way! The balance of life will keep focus on things much more interesting than just a number game but when work does need to get done, it is always helpful to have the tools of good habits at your side.

June 09, 2010

swimming with the sharks and riding with the snakes

Instead of driving over 20 hours this weekend to a race that we just got keen on and signed up for the same week..Monique and I opted to stay home and enjoy a quite weekend with the animals.

Saturday, we slept in, had a good breakfast and rolled over to the start of the Playa Del Run in Huntington Beach(down the street). A few friends were out to race from OC Multisports and Nova doing the aquathon and run. I opted for the 1 mile open water swim and Monique jumped into the 10K run. We signed up just minutes before the race and it was fun, easy and simple. Perfect weekend stress

Last year, I did a couple of open water swims and was seriously schooled by some 13 year old girls(the real sharks in the water) and big beer belly dudes. These are usually the two fastest category swimmers out there for some reason?!? It just goes to show how much technique is driving the speed in swimming.

This was another opportunity to see what trying to swim "fast" would feel like and I was bound to learn something new by the end of the weekend that would take my swimming to new levels...good or bad! Going out just about as hard as I could without the worry of a bike ride or run after wards really sets the bar for a "hard" swim effort. I wrapped up the swim and got to watch Monique drop over 10 minutes off of her 10K PB. We got hamburgers and lots of good chats with friends after the race. Good times!

Next up was some local dirt. 1 track please! Local trails are in pristine condition and we got to roll out with some friends and special guest, still in town, my buddy Sean Clancy. It is hard to imagine all of the cactus, laughs, barb wire....adventure we found ourselves in just tooling around El Moro on a weekend ride. We saw snakes and we acted like animals knocking out the hilliest run after our ride dropping down to Laguna Beach and back. Sean's secret sauce run "the big ben loop". Epic!

Sean going wide on the OC 1 track

Sunday it was time to take my medicine! The Pacific Open Water Championships were just down the street and featured the main event, a 10K swim on Saturday and some 1-5K swims on Sunday. Michael Collins asked me to join him and Jim for a team time trail 2K race. I have never seen anything like this and even when I expected to see a "swim meet" scene it was very different. I love open water swimming! There was a huge looking course setup at the Marine stadium in Long Beach with a 2K lap and unique looking finish shoot.

the south side of the course

Watching the sharks in the waves before our race was amazing. Huge packs of swimmers who managed to turn up the pace on the last lap after miles of swimming. The white wash explosion from the kicking was impressive! I was about to have the hardest swim of my life and just had no idea what I got myself into... Mike and Jim are FAST!

me, mike and John - The Nova 2.5 men (i was the .5!)

The teams left with 30 seconds apart and we would try to stick to our strategy of rotating the lead and drafting as we worked our way around the 2K course. The goal was to start out smooth and . . . well. As we hit the second buoy and I was already anaerobic, red lining and a few yards behind the boys I knew I was going to be in trouble.

To make (what felt like) a long swim a short story.... I ended up blowing up several times and was just stoked to finish. Not getting on or holding onto the draft in a triathlon is not that bad as a TTT race. If you loose the draft you simply try to get back on or swim at your own pace. When I was right on Mikes feet I felt like I was swimming at about 90% of max. As soon as I lost the draft I would basically blow up trying to catch up or Mike would slow down and let me get back on and get right back into the pain cave. Oh, thanks! I didn't want to let my team down and I had just enough of a draft to repeat this over and over and over. Taking my medicine!

In the end, I somehow had my enjoyment for swimming grow just a little bit more and I am looking forward to implementing some of the ideas that Mike mentioned. I felt really lucky to be swimming with my swim coach and glad that Mike and Jim didn't mind doing backstroke while they waited for me. Pushing yourself is hard when you are all by yourself but races help bring out the extra dream reaching ability. Sometimes races help you to go the extra mile or dig a little deeper but friends add another element that I cannot explain. James knows exactly what I am talking about. You want to do it all because the motivation, energy or whatever you need to power it shows up by the truck loads as fear falls behind. When you are racing with your friends you forget all about the sharks, snakes and any other hurtle . At times, even time itself or the clock does not really matter. You are just doing your best to lead when you can, keep up when you must and laugh at every moment while you race life with your friends. Sign me up for that one any weekend.

June 04, 2010


My racing schedule has been working itself out over the last few weeks or so...and so has the life plan. Monique and I have been more focused on planning than at any other time in our lives together. Dream big...then go crush it ;-)

For this year it is looking pretty close to this (should have a formal on the new website soon)

Tentative Race Schedule
Feb 7th Surf City Half Marathon Huntington, CA
March 27th Oceanside 70.3 Half Ironman Oceanside, CA
May 1st Ironman Saint George St. George, UT
June 6th DuceMan Half Ironman Triathlon Show Low, AZ
June 13th Hibiscus Half Marathon Oahu, HI
June 20th-28th Endurance Corner Training Camp Boulder, CO
July 17th-18th The Coolest - 24hr Solo MTB Race Cobb, CA
July 24th-25th SPMA SW Zone Championships (LCM) Fullerton, CA
Aug 1st Tour of Buoys-5Mile Open Water Swim La Jolla, CA
Aug 14-15th Gold RushAdventureRace(Team Nuun) Redding, CA
Aug 28th Santa Barbara Triathlon (Long Course) Santa Barbara, CA
Sept 4th PC Point 2 Point Endurance MTB Park City, UT
Sept 11th Fiesta Island 40K Time Trail San Diego, CA
Sept 19th Playa Del Rey 1 Mile Open Water Swim Malibu, CA
Oct 10th IRONMAN World Championship Kona, HI

We were planning on some races this weekend at the Deuces Wild Triathlon Festival out in Show Low Arizona. Monique is registered for the Xterra Triathlon on Sunday and I am registered for the Deuceman Half Ironman. However, with all of this planning and my super busy days at work over the last couple weeks and the desire to refrain from almost 20 hours of driving we decided to pull the plug on it yesterday. Plans change! That is part of the plan too! Racing has its place but I am more excited to stay home and do what I love a lot more than even racing . . . T_R_A_I_N!!

What a perfect change of plans too! Once we made our decision we got good news from many friends that we would be able to hang with at home. Some of them we dont get to see very often and hanging and training with them is what makes the training FUN.

Sean Clancy is back in town to grab his stuff for his move to Boulder. Yesterday, I got to ride with him and Cyril and chat it up between some good efforts. I was pushing 370 watts for over 10 minutes on a climb trying to reel in Dr. Clancy and still came up short. His last 8 weeks in Boulder at altitude is bringing his dream crushing to new levels!

Our good friends Karen, Jordan and Paul fly into LAX today after a successful summit of Everest. It will be a good time to hear the stories of adventure and catch up. Huge lesson in teamwork from that crew.

Then its time to swim! There is one of the biggest open water swim competitions just down the street from our house. The Pacific Open Water Swimming Championships all weekend long. We are going out to watch for a bit and then Michael Collins asked me to join a team for an open water team time trail swim race. SO COOL! How often do you get to do one of these races?

I also got a new sponsor that I am very stoked about. . . Blueseventy! "the world is swimming faster in blueseventy" and so am I! In addition to making some of the best swim gear out there and being the open water specialist they are showing support at every level and arena of swimming. A true leader. They even have some cool new tri gear that is coming out soon. I am so grateful for the support and it gets me just that much more motivated to bring my swimming into a new focus. The increase of time I have spent swimming with Nova and the open water swim sessions are getting me more and more excited about my time in the water and the swim races I have planned over the summer. I love swimming!

Saturday, I am also planning on the Huntington Beach Playa del Run 1 mile open water swim. This is just down the street from my house so Monique and I can ride our bikes to the start. Sure beats a 20 hour drive!

Between these we have some epic mountain bike rides and trail runs in the works with James, Ryan and the rest of the dream crusher crew. All just minutes from our pad. Excited to see how that all works out. Plan to have fun...Plan to focus on the process...the rest falls into place.

I have one more BIG goal and race for the end of the year that I am waiting to hear back about. It is all about finishing strong and loving what the process will entail along the way.

June 01, 2010


There has been a lot of change going on in my life over the last couple of weeks...and more on the way. "Change is inevitable. Change is constant". Some of it driven from myself and some that is much further upstream but I am embracing it as much as I can to influence the drift.

The last few weeks Monique and I have been out on trails and enjoying finding some new routes right in our own backyard. The glow of summer is here but the heat has not slipped in yet so the green is lingering around. Makes me want to go camping! Monique usually sends me morning sunshine emails with scripture and a note. She is so rad! I got this one last week and it stuck in my mind and my heart. “However, I consider my life worth nothing to me, if only I may finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the gospel of God's grace.”- Acts 20:24

In our planning for change, we did manage to finish an outline for races this year and some trips we are keen on but that is for another post...and on hold for now. Sarah has also developed a real website for me and it is creative and amazing... I am the bottle neck in the launch! Delayed change to make sure all is going in the same direction.... I started this blog for a an opportunity to record some timeless moments on the trail that made me remember why I love life and all around me. Recording my training and race reports that would serve as learning lessons inside and outside of sport. I never intended to maintain a site that glorified ME. I hope that with this change and a new website I can have a broader platform for a more worthy cause.

No real structured training plan for me over the last few weeks(no change there!). After a quick recovery from IMSG, I began to wonder what would make me tired and started to search out my relative "hard" effort level but not with a race...in training. I had capped most of my efforts at steady for the last few months and the fast is fun bug got a hold of me and I found myself in an intensity war...with myself. I won. Yeah! After smashing myself and then talking with Gordo and realizing that I am on the guys-just-want-to-have-fun plan to Kona this year I let the intensity fly over the last couple of weeks. That was fun. My only problem of it all was that I didn't let up for about 10 days in a row...but that is where the learning comes in..."if you're going to be stupid then you'd better be tough". I got out injury free and have a better idea of where my hard baseline is so I will clock that up under some wisdom gained from the experience.

I also stared working more with Doreen who nearly pulled me apart before she massaged me back together on Friday. wow...I am looking forward to working more with her and I know the sessions are paying off. Her Yoga for Athletes focus is just what the doctor ordered. The mental thoughts themselves about alignment, posture and such throughout the day are a welcomed transition into keeping centered.

I spent this weekend with some old friends and much of whom I would consider my family. Time at the ranch to rest and enjoy the company and conversation of good people. Our needs are truthfully very simple.

The last time that Monique and I were out there the trees were not so tall and the flowers did not look as pretty. The food...I do remember that still being really really good!

We are off this week to Arizona for a few races that we signed up for last week. Monique is racing an Xterra off-road triathlon on Sunday and I am jumping into a Half Ironman on Saturday. Should be fun time extending the intensity war with myself!