February 18, 2010

DreamCrusher Century Extravaganza

training has been going good for me and it really is all just about getting out with friends and having fun. I have learned quite a few things from Gordo already and one that comes to mind is "never show your best in training". . . there are just some things you have to save it for race day.

With two big races just a few weeks away I have a nice training camp on the way with some comp days that I banked for working over the last weekend(s).
I should recover from this in just enough time to hit the dreamcrusher ride and push my ALT to a new level. Goodness.

That is really what this post is about anyways. Making our ride "unofficially... official". Would i really go out and crushing myself on a ride that has little importance to my racing in the name of nothingness and a good time with friends. Of course! I am very motivated by my friends and pushing it and mixing in some points is sure to get me to a new level. I am thinking about taping that quote to my handlebars for the day however... It is all just for fun between the dc crew ya know. I will likely need another camp and extravaganza of greater proportions sometime before St. George. Something wildly extravagant!

The ride is set for March 6th 9am start. Feel free to join us or add some more fun topics for points. There are two main route options and we will have an A and B group for speed/pacing. the 4 climb ride will allow for additional tac on extra credit for the peppy few who want to go a bit more.

100 mile ride – 4 long climbs

90 Mile Ride – 3 long climbs

  • 100 points if you finish the entire ride
  • 10 points for taking the KOM (multiple KOM's)
  • 5 points for most vitargo consumed (will be close between sean and slater)
  • 5 points for whoever brings the best post race beer (will be decided post ride, will close between james and ryan)
  • 5 points if you are riding a TT bike
  • 5 points if you run after
  • 5 points is you swim before
  • 5 points if you pull the biggest group for the majority of the day
  • 5 points if this ride is the longest ride you have completed in the last 12 months
  • 5 points for puking (needs to be 20oz or more and witnessed)
  • 2 points for every 10 miles you ride over the minimum distance (100miles)
  • 5 points if this is your longest ride ever
  • 5 points if you ride the next day
  • 2 points for helping someone w/ a mechanical (that they could not fix themselves)

Hope to see ya there!

February 16, 2010

my weekend in pictures

had a long weekend...not only enjoying the Monday holiday but full weekend of long work, family, training and food. Not always in that order or preference . . .

Friday, I got in a nice ride with Ryan at Aliso Woods. Greenery everywhere and the dirt was still wet and tacky. Ryan showed me some new trails I had never seen before and after almost two weeks off of the mountain bike I got to experience the most technical trail I have ridden in Aliso within the first 30min of the ride. Good start!

Ryan telling the climbs to "come see him!"

multitasking downhills and con-calls

Then it was off to work for the weekend... Friday night at 7:30pm until sometime Sunday at about 11pm. I was closing out a project that we had started almost 18 months ago with data center designing and nerd-o-metrics. Of course, I got to take a good break somewhere in the middle and a much needed nap but it was a good experience to have a solid plan that our teamwork knocked out like clockwork. We basically migrated a bunch of legacy infrastructure gear like the stuff below

into some pretty new scalable, virtual and a few other catchy word type redundant gear routing up to 15 terabits per seconds. I have noticed that after a solid "life" accomplishment I usually knock out a pretty good effort in sport...I guess the zeroing of stress and celebration of pulling something off that you have been working on for a while is like a tail wind when the plan works out...and you don't get fired.

I use to do installs like this all the time...long before I started racing. There are so many similarities between the two (developing a design/plan, teamwork, details, etc) and I think if I have any mental toughness it was developed during the years I was working around on stuff like this. You never know what God has you working on and it maybe overwhelming to see the big picture too soon. I would never imagine riding for 6 hours just three years ago and now it is just "a session" and usually just one of two or three for a big day of training. Funny how that works.

I was still a bit behind on sleep so I decided to hit Sunday with no plans for training. I just wanted to see how I would feel and enjoy the nice 80 degree temps and clear skies. Monique and I headed out on foot and I ended up getting in a 11.5 mile progressive run. Felt good! Then I hopped on the bike for a 140K ride with some hot laps in the canyon. I like to ride my bike.

I rode into the dark because of the late start but watching the sunset I had one of those moments. . . Happy. I rode home in the dark and then bagged a 3K swim, gym session and another 30min run. Good day.
Monday, we were up to head north and spend the day with Moniques parents. I love them...They just dont make American folks like they use to. I thought we were going to meet up with Paul Romero but I had my days mixed up! Still a little behind on sleep and brainpower. We packed our mtb and headed for some local trails. New trails found. We have only ridden here once before and made a left at the first trail. Big difference in the choice!

This time we turned right and right into a 4.5 mile non-stop climb of over 2,100ft. Hello! We rode until we were pooped (not very long) and then bagged a swim on the way home. Lots of good stuff to explore out there in the future. Solid ride and I am having to deal with my rest day when I am not riding with M anymore. She is getting too fast!

We also got into the Park City Point to Point Race (PCP2P) that is going to be held later in the year. There was about 9 of us who got in before it sold out and it looks to be the perfect vacation bash to end a killer year. 78 miles of 90% single track trails and 14K of climbing with friends. . . add in some T-runs and compression socks and then I will start snapping more pictures ;-)

February 12, 2010

runnin, riddin and lovin

Last weekend, I got to participate in my third half marathon race with Monique at the Surf City venue. 20K mix of people between the marathon, half and 5k. crazy.

When we first ran this back in 2006 it was the longest physical activity that Monique had ever completed. We ran side by side and finished in 2hr 20min and it was a struggle for her to just finish. After our ride yesterday it is hard to imagine Monique struggling to finish anything. She looks to get stronger the longer she goes too. I'm really stoked to be headed into our first Ironman journey together.

Last year at the Surf City half marathon we ran our own paces and I finished with a PR of 1:35:33 (7:19min/mi pace). Pretty stoked with the amount of running I had in my legs and the bike focus. I was pretty close to that time (1:39) a few weeks later running off the bike at the Oceanside 70.3 including getting a little lost in transition. Not going to make that mistake this year!

I had plenty of steady running going into the half this year. Finishing 30/30 and trying to be a more balanced TRIathlete helped. Running IS fun! While I have slowly been chipping down my slow and steady pace but I have not ran with my heart rate over 155bpm in a long time. My steady pace was dropping to about ~7:15min/mi and getting closer to 7min/mi pace. Improvement but I must admit I was a bit shocked when I saw my paces for the race. My coach Gordo suggested that I take the first 3 miles as a warmup and shoot for my best average pace over the next 10 miles.

Trying not to get caught up with "the race" and the people huffin and puffin around me in the first few miles was the hard part and I felt like I was holding back but I was running at about a 6:40min/mi pace...oops?.. Thought I went out too fast and it was faster than I was ever running but I just focused on my breathing and knew I could still turn it up if needed. Mile 5 is when I started rolling ~6:25 pace for the next 7 or so miles. Expectation exceeded and I was just stoked at any pace by then. Kind of weird how you can hold a pace even if you dont "practice" it.... Exciting! Finished in 1:25 (6:33min/mi pace) and got myself a new PR but more importantly proof that "its" working! Monique sqeeked in under 2hrs!

I need to work all weekend to close out a project that I have been working on since June of 2009. A new network upgrade that is going to start tonight at 8pm and probably finish sometime Saturday at noon. Around the clock. Brutal but good mental training and I love my job. Only bummer is I will probably be toasted on Sunday for VDay....

So...yesterday Monique and I headed out for our early VDay brick. The last couple of years we have done a pretty "adventurous somethings" for Valentines and we got an early start this year. We packed our snowshoes, crampons, h20-prof this and that and headed for the mountains!

The plan was to climb GMR with our gear to the base of Mount Baldy. The Glendora Mountain Road is one of my favorite rides and the conditions were ideal to make it an adventurous day. Once we completed the ride to Baldy ski resort we would lock up the bikes and snowshoe to the top for a tea party. We had a few routes in mind for the trek and then we could take the long or short ride back to the car. All of this "planning" took place yesterday morning and on the drive out there. We did some 6,000ft of climbing on the way to the Baldy village and it was quite the workout with all of our gear and the conditions.

As we got closer we also came upon more obstacles. Sometimes it was black ice. I learned my lesson about why it is not smart to think you can ride over it and practice your balance. We found a few downed trees and land slides too..

Then when we thought we could enjoy the last few miles of downhill to the village but we had snow, snow and more snow. I did not realize how much work it would be to ride through the snow but it was a unique experience and a ton o fun.

Unfortunately, I still had to get on some con-calls later in the day and we were running out of sunlight, food and time so we had to cut our adventure short. bummer. No snowshoe action after packing all that crap for 5plus hours and 6K of climbing! We did get to test our gear and pack list and now have a itch to get back on the route soon and bring some friends along.

until then...

February 04, 2010

home bound...

sitting in the airport in Oakland waiting to catch my flight and get back home. ramble, ramble...I have started a few posts recently but I have just been super busy with work and training and hitting those key dates.

I just finished up three days of tech training here in SF and 2010 strategy meetings for our quarterly company goals, etc for work. I had my review about a month ago and my expectations were just not to get fired and keep the flexibility that I have been given to train and be able to get creative with my time. Turns out just doing what is required scored me in the top 90% of the company and i even got a little award and a little something special from Tiffany & Co. Grateful I just didn't get fired ;-)

In November, I decided to make a switch and go long with my training and racing for next year. My 2010 challenges will take on some exploration in an area that I feel is a good fit for me. Keep my mind as interested as my body and I have always felt like I start to feel better after 3-3:30 hours into training or racing. Looking back, I have also done pretty good at longer races even if I was not specifically training for them so maybe this is where I can be competitive at...we shall see. I set out to get a much frequency in Nov-Dec and see how I responded to it... Double my swim volume, run more than I ever have in my life and bike the long rides that I love. My goal was to see if my body or mind would crack or if I wanted more. I love it! I want more! . . . and more importantly it is "working". I have gotten faster at all three sports but more specifically I am able to hold my steady pace for a much longer time... an appropriate theme for going long.

I have also kept in contact with Gordo since I attended the St. George camp back in November. I knew Gordo was a rockstar for long course racing, coaching and repository for endurance fitness but I was very pleasantly surprised at what a nice guy he was when we met in person. The time that he took to address and talk with every athlete and meet their needs was just a natural expression of how he operates. This was very refreshing to see and a big motivation for me.

I have been working with Gordo Byrn and the Endurance Corner team now and I am honored to be a part of the EC team and get some of what I consider the best coaching out there. No excuses now! Time to take my energy and use it at the right times with a structure. Something I have never had before in training but I am actually finding that I really enjoy it. Gordo makes that part easy. I have a tremendous amount of respect for Gordo and I cannot think of a better coach to have for me in my attempt to go long.

My running has been going well...No injuries from the ramp in volume for the 30 days of running and I am even mixing in some more intensity here and there. This weekend I am running the Surf City half marathon and I am excited to see how things shake out. I have no time goals and just looked up my time from last year 1:35:33 or a 7:18min/mi pace. Not bad considering the amount of running I had going into it and the ride the day before.

My only goals for this year are to have fun with it and beat my time from last year. Whatever time I get for the half this weekend I want to beat that time running off the bike at Oceanside in a few weeks so I will be running somewhere between last years time and a manageable pace that I will try to crush running off the bike. Hopefully I don't go out too fast!