Thursday, June 29, 2006

Thursday 6.29.2006 - Big week

My legs are tired... My training has pretty much gone right back into a building period. My next "A" races are not until October (Xterra natl's and worlds). So this week I started back in the weightroom and will be there a lot. I am really working to increase my leg strength and climbing ability before the big Xterra races. Both races have a ton of climbing on the bike and I need to be able to keep up with top guys so I can still be in the race when it gets to the run.

The only problem with lifting weights with my legs is recovery time and the mental side of dealing with sluggish run/ride workouts. My most intense weeks of lifting won't come until August but still just after one session yesterday my legs feel dead.

I will still be doing a couple races but pretty much training right through them. I am also still trying to decide if I want to do the LA Triathlon. My sister lives right on the course and it's supposed to be an awesome event and the fact that it is 3 weeks out from Xterra Nationals would make it good tune up give me a chance to see right where I am. I need to decide this week because I am sure it will sell out.

Training so far this week:
Mon - 1 mile ocean swim/weights - upperbody/core
tues - 3000+ yards pool/60 min interval run (5x5min hard)
weds - 2.5 hour MTB up to black MTN/weights - lowerbody/core
thurs - 3000+ yards pool/weights - upperbody/75 min easy run

that's it. I have a big weekend of training coming up. should a tough one!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Monday 6.26.2006 - Big Weekend

After feeling sluggish after getting back in town last weekend I finally started to feel good this weekend. The more and more I think about it the more I am disappointed with my race in Richmond. I can't believe how bad of a ride I had. I hands down lost this race. My swim (2nd AG) and run(1st in AG) were solid and should have been go enough to win. I will be getting out on the trails a lot more from here on out.

I know I need to keep things in perspective. I know in triathlon you are going to have bad days/races. I need to keep in my mind that it's still my first year in this sport eventhough I have found some success rather quickly. I am six races deep (4 Xterra, 2 road) and I have finished on the podium in every race with four second place finishes, one third, and one first. I am still considering this a "learning" year for me. I feel I will not even come close to my best race until next season. At that time I will have quite a bit more experience and be more fit.

I got in some good training sessions this weekend.

60 mile ride and bike skills clinic with coach. The total time spent on the bike was 3:45. I rode from apartment down to mission bay and met my coach and a couple of other guys to do some drills and work on cornering. Then I rode 25 miles back to my apartment straigh into a nice head wind.

1000m ocean swim/13 mile run. I negative split the run 47 minutes out and 43 minutes back.

It was defintely a solid weekend of workouts and I'm feeling good this morning. Next race is the Scripps 10k on 7/4 and then Carlsbad Triathlon on 7/9 and after watching the San Diego International Triathlon yesterday I am cracking out to race.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

6.20.2006 - Xterra East Champs Race Report

This past week has been super busy with racing and visiting family and friends. I had a blast back in Virginia and the Xterra race in Richmond was the best course I have had a chance to race on so far. Here's the report from the weekend in Richmond:

I got to up to Richmond around 1pm on Friday. I rode with my parents and just relaxed while they drove. We immediately found our hotel which was right across the street from the Race Site. The location was perfect. I headed straight for the mountain bike course and spent a good 3 hours riding the course. The course was incredibly challenging. It was predomintantly technical single track (not my strength, i need hills!) and there were some urban features as well. The course required that you scale 6 flights (8 steps per flight) of stairs for a railroad crossing not just once but twice and then descneding down another 6 flights. You also had to ride over a 3 foot wide bridge that was 10+ feet over a a rocky creek with no railing. It was sketchy to say the least. I got my fill for the day and headed back to the hotel.

I headed out with my coach to pre-ride some of the more technical areas and practice riding down a couple of flights of stairs. I got my lines down on the bike and then we rode the run course and found our lines for the 100 yard boulder hoppping section that had you crossing an area of the James River. After that we cooled down by going for a swim in the River

Sunday: Xterra East Champs - 1030am start - 95 degrees

Swim: 1000+ meters
I am not sure how long the swim was becasue the course was anything but standard. It started with three long stretches making right turns around the buoys and into a zig-zagging "W" before heading back to shore. This was my first race without a wetsuit so I was kind of nervous, but the swim went great. I was in the second wave, AG's 15-30. I came out of the swim near the front and found out later that I was second in my AG out of the water. After the swim there was 300m run to transition over rocks and gravel. Following suit of the pros I had my running shoes at the waters edge and put them on for long run to T1. This turned out to be a a very good descision as I past quite a few people who making their way very slowly without shoes.

Swim(+ run to t1): 18:44

Bike: 18 miles
I was glad to get on the bike and really looking forward to the challenging course. The first couple mile were pretty mellow and then I went up the first set of stairs and was had already passed and dropped one guy in my AG. Then it was on to the super fast gnarly single track. To make a long story short I crashed 6+ times (can't remember if it was more). A couple of them were casued by other riders following me to closely into tight corners. I went over the handlebars more times than I can remember. The good thing was that everybody was crashing. I saw a lot of people going down. I made it over the some of the real technical sections cleanly and even rode down a sketchy set of concrete and brick stairs. When all was said and done I knew I had been passed by 2 guys in my AG, but i still had no clue where I was in the pack. It was getting really hot and I was glad to get of the bike with a quite a few new bruises, scrapes, and cuts.

bike: 1:32:30

The run course was pretty flat in comparision to other xterras I have done, but there was alot of different terrain. At one point you had to climb the "Mayan Stairs", which are basically old wooded railroad ties. It was tough, hot, and there was no shade for the first half of the 11k(yes 11k, that's xterra for you. nothing normal). I was picking off people one by one and really pushing it. I cleard the boulder hopping section with ease and made my way to finish passing a quite a few more people.

Run: 40:25 (fastest run of all amatuers)

3rd in AG
10th Amatuer

I lost this race on the bike. I was out of the water ahead of both of the guys that beat me. They crushed me on the bike, but I ran 2.5 minutes faster than the first place guys and 5 miuntes faster than second place and still less then 2 minutes behind both of them overall. I know I could have won if I could have stayed on 2 wheels for more of the bike.

The finish of the race was like a war zone. There were a lot of injuries and quite a few people falling out due to the head. the medical tent was full of people getting IV's, getting stitched up, getting wounds dressed up, and icing various parts of their body. It's what Xterra is all about.

I had a blast at this race. The course was incredible and I am defintely going to make the trip to Va for this race next year.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thursday 6.15.2006 - East Coast

It never takes me long to realize, once again, why I left the East Coast and moved to San Diego. The moment I stepped off the plain in Norfolk,Va late Tuesday night it started raining and yesterday it rained all day. When all was said and done we got 5+ inches of rain in less than 24 hours. And now that the rain has stopped it's going to get hot and extremely humid today. The good 'ol east coast.

I was supposed to put my bike together yesterday go for a 30 minute spin and also do a super easy 30 minute run. Due to the rain I scratched both workouts and just hung out with some friends. I did put my bike together and I will have chance to see how everything is working here in a bit.

I went for a swim at public indoor pool this morning at 6am and it was horrible. The water in the pool was way to warm. I could only last 1500m before I started feeling sick. Not a big deal though it was just an easy swim. I am going to run later today and am waiting until it gets hot and humid to get a feel of what the race will be like on Sunday. The forecast for Richmond, Va on Sunday: 94 degress, humid, and mostly sunny and Xterra races start at 1030 am to make sure you are really suffering. Should be fun!

I will be heading up tomorrow morning to pre-ride with my coach and will be hanging out with my family in Richmond all weekend. It's nice to just be able to hang out and be stress free the week leading up to a race. No deadlines at work, no conference calls... just relaxing and watching the word cup.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Monday 6.12.2006 - A lot of running and rest

I am glad it's Monday and all I have to do is a mellow ocean swim the the tri club tonight. I had a really big week last week but thanks to ice baths and "active" recovery runs I am not feeling too bad.

I hate packing. I have already packed up my bike but still have a lot to take care of before I leave for Virginia tomorrow afternoon. It seems I never travel light. In the past I would always take my surfboard with me on all my trips, but now it's my bike. Not to mention I need to make sure I take all my nutrition products with me for the race and light training I will be doing while hanging this week.

I am getting really stoked about the race coming up this sunday. After today I have the whole week off of work and just plan on hanging out at my parents house in Virginia Beach and maybe cruising down the the beach to get some waves (there will be a tropical storm just off the coast!!!). I will be able to sleep in everyday and just relax so I should go into this race feeling great and my workouts leading up to this race have been really good (and challenging). The fact that my coach has done all of these races has given me a lot of confidence in my training. I feel like I am doing exactly what I need to be doing to be succesful. No more second guessing myself.

I know it's world cup time, and I am really enjoying watching the matches, but if you like baseball I hope you have been able to catch some the college baseball regionals and super regionals. ESPN has really expanded their college baseball coverage this year. Starting last weekend most of the regional games were on tv and this weekend all the super regional games were televised. It's hands down the most exciting baseball there is. The College World Series starts this Friday. Check it out.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Thursday 6.8.2006 - Good Fortune.

This time next week I will be in Virginia Beach, Va on vacation, relaxing, and getting ready for my next race. I am really looking forward to the the race but I also really stoked to see my parents, brother, and friends. The last time I saw my family was this past Thanksgiving.

I had a my weekly 3 hour Tuesday meeting at work on Tuesday and as usual they brought in lunch for everybody. It's usually some crappy food and this Tuesday was no differnt. Crappy Chinese food, all fried and loaded with MSG. No thanks. I brought my lunch like I do everyday and I new it would be waiting for me after the meeting, but I did grab a fortune cookie and the fortune was pretty ironic (and true):

"You are a bundle of energy and always on the go."

Training has been going good. My coach has me back in the weight room lifting with my legs. I had completely stopped strength training with my lower body in March as race season was approaching, but I still get in the gym 3 to 4 days a week at lunch. 3 core days and 1 upperbody weight session. I enjoy lifting weights but my legs defintely feel it this morning.

Training this week:

am - swim - 3000 yards
pm - 69 min run - intervals - 514131212131 - minutes with 90 sec recovery

am - 2 hour MTB 3 x 10 min race pace - 3 x 1 min all out
lunch - strength training

am - swim - 3150 yards
lunch - core
pm - 60 min run(easy)

With the help of my coach I have finally figured out the rest of the races I am going to do this year. I am planning doing some shorter races in order to get more race experience. In addtion to these races I also plan on doing club tris and aquathons when I can fit them in.

6/18 - Xterra Eastern Champs
7/2 - Scripps Ranch 10k (first stand alone 10k... ever)
7/15 - Camp Pendlton Olympic distance tri (first oly dis)
7/30 - Solana Beach Sprint Tri
8/6 - Snow Valley Xterra (point series race)
8/26 - Bulldog 25k - (tentative - depending on training)
9/10 - LA triathlon
10/1 - Xterra National Championships
10/29 - Xterra World Championships

I will be training right through most of these. The Xterra's are defintely my focus but I am also curious to see how I can do in an Olympic distance race (I have never done one)

I have also been putting some though into next year and what my plans are, but I will save that for another day.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Monday 6.5.2006 - Balance.

This past weekend was a solid one. My new training schedule has me feeling fresher for my big workouts and has also given me the time to surf more and hang out with my friends. The balance between training and other activities has kind of been out of whack since I started training seriously in December.

Before triathlon took over I pretty muched surfed everyday and partied with my friends (probably a little too much). So when I started training I made it a priority and started blowing off surfing and friends on a regular basis. So from January until a couple of weeks ago I hadn't surfed a lot and or hung out with my friends on any kind of regular basis.

Over the past couple weeks I have been surfing a lot and hanging out with my friends a lot more too. It's been good. I am figuring out how to juggle it all and that's a good thing.

Weekend training:

AM - 1 mile ocean swim
Lunch - core workout
PM - surfed

AM - ride Swami's ride+ (50 miles total)
- 45 min run off the bike
PM - open water swim clinic (learned quite a few things)

AM - surfed
- 90 min run (12.5 miles)
PM - Recovery time - Beer Garden and Fiesta del Sol

So it's monday morning and I trained my butt of this weekend and I am still feeling fresh. I got in the water and surfed for about an hour and half this morning before work and all I have for training today is an open water swim this evening. My next race is just under 2 weeks away... I am getting anxious.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Thursday 6.1.2006 - i was wrong....

Prior to the Xterra in Temecula I thought I was training hard and really pushing myself. I am now starting to figure out what is "hard" and where my limits really are. Having a coach that has done the races you want to do and been successful is starting to show me what it takes to take it to the next level.

Yesterday morning we met up at 6:15 for a 3hr mountain bike ride that would include some repeat climbs of black mountain. I really had no idea what I was getting myself into, but after a pretty hard run the day before I was feeling pretty good. The first hour was pretty much a warm up as we cruised through PQ canyon. It was on once we reached the base of our climbing session. The climb was long an sustained with varying grades and a lot of rocks. Up until yesterday the longest hill repeats I had done on the bike were 7+ minutes. This climb was a lot longer. Here are the stats:
1 - 13:43
2 - 13:56
3 - 14:05 (I was spent)

This by far the hardest I have ever pushed on the bike and was kind of disappointed with my times. I was giving it pretty much everything I had. I want to get these down in the 12 minute range... and I will. After the hill repeats we headed back and did 10 x 1 min ALL OUT! By number 10 I was crushed.

Stats for ride:
time: 2:45
distance: 29.5 miles
ascent: 2500+ ft

I was completely wiped out, but it felt good. I really thought I was giving it all in my training before. I am learning about a whole different level. Basically, when you are pushing yourself racing hard it's uncomfortable and I need to replicate that feeling in my training so I can learn to deal with it and get through it.

If I keep on the direction I am going I know I am bound to quite bit stronger and faster. This summer is going to be a tough one, but I am pretty sure I am going to learn a lot about myself through this.