Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Rest, Rest, Rest

I am really trying to take it easy this week. This is my my first A race in quite a while so it will be nice to go in fresh. I am still learning how body reacts to training, resting, and racing. Hopefully with everything I have done this year I will figure out how many days out I really need to start cutting things back. If I don't feel 100% on Sunday maybe I need more rest (longer taper) or if I feel flat, maybe I need to include more shorter intensity stuff during the final week before the race. Like I have said before this year is all about learning in hopes that I will have it all dialed in next season.

I am really focusing on my diet and nutrition this week. I am already pretty strict with my diet but this week even more so than normal. I am making sure I am eating really lean protein, good carbs, and even cutting back on the caffeine. I also will not be having any beers this week until after the race. I even turned down going out with my friends last night to the local sports bar to watch the Padres game and Monday Night Football. I don't think I could have resisted the temptation to knock a couple back while watching the Pads take on over the Cards.

I had a pretty good talk with my coach Sunday night and was feeling pretty good about everything. He has raced on the Tahoe course a couple of times and gave me some good tips for the swim/bike/run. He says with the way that I am running right now that I should me able to make up a lot of time on the run. It's a flat run with alot of turns and obstacles. It's all about turn over. I just can't wait to go for it. This is the biggest race I have ever done and I am just want push harder than I ever have on the run.

Yesterday morning I woke up and my legs were reallyu tired and achey from running on Sunday. I may have pushed a little to hard on the way back from my run. I negative split the run by 7 minutes. It was a rest day and that's what I did. I hit the gym at lunch and rode the stationary bike for 15 miinutes to loosen up my legs and then stretched for 20 minutes. After the games last night I took and epsom salt bath and crashed around 10pm.

Monday: Rest
Lunch: 15min spin/20min stretching
PM: epsom salt bath

AM: swim - Masters - 3300 yards

I felt great in the pool this morning. I only did 3/4 of the 4200 yard workout and was swimming pretty fast. I shut it down before I started to feel fatigued. I am not going to gain any fitness this week and I just need to maintain the feel. That's all I am doing today and my legs are feeling much better than yesterday.

Padres are up by 2 games over the Dodgers with 6 games to go.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Race Week

By this time next week I will have finished my biggest race of the season (until Worlds 10/29). Last week's training was solid and I am defintely feeling pretty good. This week is really mellow so I am really hoping that I feel ready to go for it next Sunday morning. The only that has me concerned is the race day weather. More on that later.

End of last week and the weekend:

PM: Club Aquathlon - 1000m swim/3 mile run - 3rd Place

As usual the race was fun and I found myself in a similar predicament. I was probably 8th out of the water and ran my way to third place. The only people I couldn't track down were Marc and Caue (a local pro). Watching them go head to head was awesome. They are both really strong swimmers and were shoulder to shoulder throughout the run and ended in a sprint finish. Caue just edged out Marc. Good food afterwards.

Rest: - Massage

AM: Ride - 2:13/37 mile - Hilly Loop

Solid ride and pushed it quite a bit. My legs were feeling good and I was solid on all the climbs.

Sunday (today):
AM: Run - 71 min/9.85 mile - Negative split - 39 min out/32 min back

I felt really good on the second half of the run. I actually held back quite a bit and ran just over my 10k pace. I am ready to throw down a hard run at Natl's.

My schedule this week has a couple of swims, a run, some pre-riding and that's it. The Forecast for the weekend is highs in the mid 60's and lows down into the upper 30's. By looking at the hour by hour forecasts I am guessing it will be right 40 when the race goes off. The water temp right now is somewhere between 58-60. To say the least it's not going to be warm. I am still trying to figure what I am going to do to try and stay warm. I don't like the cold, especially when I am on the bike.

Here's a comment from the Xterra message board regarding weather for the upcoming weekend...

I measured the water temp this morning 9/24 at 9:30am and it was calm and 57 degrees.

It is 10:30am now and 49 degrees outside. Warm in the sun, cold in the shade.

It looks like it's going to warm up some this week, so we might see 70s during the week. Still lows in the 30s.

Bring something to keep your feet warm and dry while you set up transition, just in case there is frost on the Village Green. A beanie and gloves would be a good idea too. Otherwise, I agree with the previous post. Prepare for the worst, hope for the best. Bring layers."

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Last "hard" ride...

I was up at 5am this morning as usual and was really anxious to get out and ride. I have really been having good offroad rides lately and this morning I got in my last "hard" ride before Xterra Nationals next Sunday. I have another ride lined up for the weekend but it's not going to be offroad or too hard. It's starting to get a little cold in the mornings. I was stoked I brought my arm warmers. I guess it's time to find all my winter gear. I am not looking forward to it!

AM: swim - Masters - 4000 yards
PM: run - 70min/intervals - 10x3 min hard w/ 1 min recovery

The swim yesterday was solid. Not many people have been showing up to Masters (I am guessing because it's getting colder in the AM and racing season is coming to an end). I had my own lane which is always nice. I swam everything averaging a 1:24/100 pace. After smashing myself in the pool two days in a row it took a little bit of motivation to run hard after work. Once I got to about my 3rd interval I started coming around and I finished the last 5 feeling stronger than the first 5. Good sign. I started my run from Fletcher's cove so I could jump in the water and swim around for a bit afterwards. It felt great.

AM: ride - 2.5hr/28 mile mountain bike
Lunch: 20 min recumbent bike/20 min stretching

I am feeling really good lately on the bike. I have been working on my bike handling quite a bit and it's really starting to come around. I am feeling a lot more confident blasting down technical, rocky descents. I rode from the west end of PQ canyon all the way out and to the top of Black Mtn and back. I felt really good on the climb and then blasted the downhill. Sitting in my office after my ride my legs were really starting to tighten up. So at lunch I hit the gym, loosened them up on the stationary bike, and then stretched for 20 minutes. They feel much better now. I will defintely be hitting and ice bath tonight.

Tomorrow will be my last hard run which will come on the second half of the club Aquathlon, and it's the only thing I am doing tomorrow.. well that and maybe surfing in the morning. I am really looking forward to the club race. Aquathlons are just a good time. They only take about a half hour, I get to try and catch Marc and the other fast swimmers, and the food afterwards is killer.

Time to get back to work so I can head out and go for a surf.

Padres are back in first.

Monday, September 18, 2006

busy weekend...

Another solid weekend in the books.

AM: Swim - Masters - 4000 yards
Lunch: Strength - Core/Stretching
PM: Swim - 1.5 mile ocean swim - Torrey Pines
Run - 45min/6 mile trail run

A lot of swimming on Thursday. I did my normal Masters session in the morning but then met up with Marc and Mike for and ocean swim after work. After the swim Mike and I headed out to PQ canyon for and easy 45 minute trail. I felt good through out. After the run we headed back to Marc's for some food and beer. It was a long day and I think I was in bed by 930pm.

AM: Swim - 2 mile ocean swim - La Jolla Cove
Lunch: Strength - upperbody
PM: Ride - 2hr/22mile MTB - PQ canyon

Friday was another solid day. I met Marc and Mike at the Marine Room at 7:15am. Marc and I swam 2 miles while Mike got in a run. After the swim they headed out on a 112 mile ride and I was off to work. During lunch I got in the gym and got my last weight workout before nationals. After work I hit the trails for a ride that was scheduled for Saturday but I wanted to head down to Coronado Saturday to watch the Superfrog Triathlon.

AM: Run - 75min/10 mile run w/ Intervals

This was supposed to be a group workout but nobody showed up. I ended up running on the beach near Torrey Pines and then all the way down to La Jolla cove. I felt really strong on the run.

AM: Run - 90min/12 mile run - nice and easy

I woke up early on Sunday morning and went and surfed for a hour and then hit the trails. I needed to get my run in before 1pm because both the Chargers and Padres were playing and were televised. The run was mellow. I ran all through San Elijo Lagoon and RSF. After the games I surfed again.

AM: swim - Masters - 3800 yards
Lunch: strength - core/stretching
PM: ride - 80min/24mile - Steady pace with Sprint intervals

Monday mornings are always rough for me in the pool. I was really sluggish in the pool for the first half of the workout and then picked it up for the second half. With nationals coming up I am done lifting weights but I am still going to hit the gym at lunch a couple times this week for core workouts, and that's what I did today. After work I got in a 24 mile ride up and down the coast. Felt good all day.

That's it for now... Monday night football is on and so are the FIRST PLACE PADRES!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Taking it easy and feeling good...

After feeling so tired and flat last week and weekend my coach kind of scaled things back this week. Which I think I needed. My last block of training was the hardest that I have put in. Both in volume and intensity. I think it just all caught up with me last week and at the race on Sunday. At the begining of the week Xterra Natl's in Tahoe was just a short 3 weeks away. So the plan is to take it relatively easy this week, put in a solid week next week, and then really cut it back the week heading into the race.

Here' what I have been up to:

REST! No Workouts.
Massage/adjustment/epsom salt bath

AM: surfed - 1.5 hours
PM: run - 30 min super easy

AM: surfed - 1 hour
Lunch: Strength - lowerbody/core - light on the weights
PM: ride - 2hr/22mile Mountain bike

AM: Swim - Masters - 4000 yards
Lunch: Core - hard (still to come)
PM: Run - 45 min - easy/mod "run how I feel"
* I also may get in a mellow ocean swim

I am feeling really good. I felt really fresh on my ride yesterday. Probably the best I have felt in the last couple of weeks but still held back a bit. I didn't want to smash myself. This is also the last week I will be lifting weights until after Tahow. I was planning on doing a XC 5k this weekend but the coach didn't think it was a good idea. He wants me to take a break from racing so I go into Natl's fresh.

They posted the official results of the LA tri and I finished 10th in the Male Elite Division. By far not my best race but I'll take it. It defintely fueled the fire to train hard, especially in the off season. I want a top 5 in LA next year.

And in case anybody was wondering if I do anything besides train. Here's a photo of me and my brother a couple of weeks ago. Nothing better than beer and a baseball game.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Los Angeles Triathlon - Race Report

The race is over and I have never been so happy to just finish.

This race was a pretty big deal. Lifetime Fitness is really doing something awesome to promote triathlon and give back the amatuers trying to compete at the highest level. This was the last event to qualify for the Elite Amateur Championship race next summer at the Lifetime Fitness Tri in Minneapolis. Next year they are going to have 4 qualifying events (nyc, chicago, liftime fitness, and LA) and then have championship race in Ocotber '07 on a brand new course in Dallas. It's all still in the planning stages but at the Elite meeting they gave us the inside scoop.

back to my race...

I headed to the expo to check in and attend a mandatory meeting for everyone competing in the Elite Amateur race. At the meeting they went over the rules, qualifying, and the point to point course. They also went around the room and had everyone introduce themselves and tell everyone what some of their triathlon accomplishments were. Wow... there were some accomplished, fast dudes there. National champs, sub 4:20 half Im'ers, Kona qualifiers, and former LA tri winners. It was nuts and kind of intimidating, but everyone was really cool.

I watched the start of the men's pro wave and then went to the holding bay. The elite wave went 5 minutes after the pro women. I was actually really loose and not really nervous. I figured I didn't have anyting to lose. While I was standing there waiting for the women to start my stomach started cramping out of nowhwere. I need to go to the bathroom (something that couldn't be taken care of while wearing a wetsuit) but I didn't have time. I was going to have to hold it. Great.

Swim: 1500m
So we're off... a full sprint to the water. There was a pretty good swell in the water and I was just diving through the waves. the swim was pretty uneventful. I really didn't push very hard and just kind of cruised. I really don't know why I didn't swim harder. I came out of the water in the middle of the pack and then ran 100 yards to transisiton.

swim time: 24:59

I got to the race and some knocked my bike almost off the rack and my stuff was everywhere. I got my helmet and glassess on and then fumbled stuffing my wetsuit into the bag (it was a point to point race so you had to stuff everything in a bag after the swim).

T1 time: :59 (worst t1 ever)

Bike: 40k
I booked out of t1 and jumped on my bike. I had my shoes already in the pedals and kept in place with rubberbands (typical set up for me). As I started pedaling there was a ton of resistance. I looked down at my front brake and it was rubbing on the rim. So I jumped off tweaked it back so it wasn't rubbing and then had to rip my shoes off the pedals and put them on because I had already broken the rubberbands by pedaling on top of my shoes. All I can think is theat when whoever knocked into my bike they hit my front brake becuause it wasn't like that prior to the race.

As soon as I got on the bike I knew it was going to be a long day. I felt like crap. I posted earlier this in my blog that I felt tired and flat all week and I still did. I had nothing in my legs. No juice at all and my stomach also began cramping like crazy. I pushed through it and the course was pretty challenging. There were a lot of false flats, rolling hills, a couple good climbs, some super fast descents, and the roughest roads that I have ever ridden on. Even with as bad as I felt I only got passed on the bike by one guy and he was in the 30-34 AG that started 5 minutes after my wave. He was hammering.

Overall the course was pretty awesome. Riding through Hollywood and downtown LA on closed roads was pretty cool.

Bike time: 1:07

T2: Uneventful. In and out.

run: 10k

By now I was really feeling bad. I usually love this part of the race. I always look forward to getting off the bike and laying it down. Not on this day. I was hurting. My legs were completely dead and the stomach cramps were getting worse. My stomach was so bad that I actually considered bagging the run but I couldn't let myself quit. I pushed through and passed a couple of guys in the elite division and the guy that passed me on the bike. While on the run I also saw Greg Bennet and Craig Alexander finishing which was rad. They were hammering. The run course was pretty tough with a lot of hills including one long steep climb right out of t2.

After 4 miles I had caught all the people that I was going to be able to so I pretty mush shut it down. I had a big enough lead that nobody behind me was going to catch me so I just cruised to the finish.

run time: 35:57

Results: 2:09:44 - Place ??

I was the 12th elite to finsh, but 3 or 4 guys ahead of me got DQ'd for missing a turn on the bike course and cutting off about 4 miles. So once things get sorted out I will probably have finished 8th or 9th. I was just so happy to finish. I am really glad I pushed through it. This was the first time I have ever had to deal with anything like that. I am also stoked that I was able to run a 35:57 10k without even pushing it. I know now that I am defintely capable of running in the 33's when I feel good.

If I wouldn't have raced Elite I think I could have won my AG even with how I felt. The winner of 25-29 went 2:09:02 and ran a 37+ 10k. I am pretty confident that if I would have been able to push myself on the run if I was racing in the same wave as the winner and contending for the win.

I learned a lot from this race and am glad I raced elite. Putting the pressure on myself and seeing where I stand with top amateurs was way more valuable than placing in my AG. It's the reason why I like racing. It's not to collect placques and trophies. It's to push myself as hard as I can and go as fast as I can. Racing faster guys is the only way I am going to find my limits.

Next season I am really going to focus on the Lifetime Fitness Series and try to qualify for the 2007 champs in Dallas.

I need to figure out why I felt how I did all week. This race was a last minute thing so there was really not tapering. My big races are coming in the next couple of weeks and I need to make sure that I dont' feel then how I did yesterday.

Friday, September 08, 2006

It's almost GO time...

Well the week is coming to an end and I have had a relatively easy week. Here's what went down:

AM: swim - 1.5 mile open water

I did this solo at Fletcher's cove Monday morning. The water was perfect and I felt good.

AM: swim - Masters - 4000 yards
PM: run - 60 min easy w/ 15-20 strides

I felt really good in the pool and it was my last full swim workout before the race this weekend. The run was standard. Didn't feel bad, didn't feel great.

AM: swim - Masters - 2700 yards
Lunch: 10min Stationary bike/stretching/light core
PM: Ride - 1:20/22 mile - easy with spin ups

I was still feeling really good in the pool. I put in some hard efforts but cut down the volume. It helps having good masters coaches helping you with your taper. I was really tired heading out on the bike. I felt ok once I got going, but never really got "into" the ride. I was just waiting to get back home and eat.

AM: run - 40min easy
Lunch: 15 min stationary bike/stretching
PM: swim - Coached open water swim workout

I felt good in the morning getting out an running first thing. I have always like running in the mornings. By the time the afternoon rolled around I was exhausted. I headed home frow work took a power nap and then headed down to Pacific Beach for the swim workout. The swim workout was solid. We worked on surf entries/exits, drafting, and did some hard efforts. Once I got in the water I felt good and then felt a lot better after I ate dinner.

AM: bike - 55min/15 mile - easy ride with 4-5 short race pace efforts
Lunch: STRETCH!!!(still to come)
PM: Transition practice - just a few run throughs with my shoes already in my pedals (after work).

I felt really good on this ride. It was my first ride with race wheels. My friend Matt let me borrow his Zipp 404's for this race. They defintly make a difference. I rode my normal route and was about 1-2 mph faster than usual. I don't if it was wheels or what, but "whoosh" sound was pretty cool. I need to get some for next season.

It's almost time to race and all my work has been done. I was kind of tired all week. I think having family and friends in town all last week and weekend along with getting all my workouts in really caught up with me. I also don't think I was eating enough. I have been super busy at work and skipped some feeding times due to meetings and bad planning on my part. I feel much better today after nailing my nutrition yesterday.

I am just going to go for it in the race. My plan is just try and find a pack on the swim and draft, draft, draft. I am going to really push myself to keep up with the lead pack. The Elite amatuer wave starts at 6:55 am right after the pro men (6:45) and women (6:50). Once I get on the bike I am just going hammer away. No pacing. Just seriously try to give everything I have and not worry about saving anything for the run. I know even if I am tired I can put in a good run. My goal for the run is sub 34 minutes. i won't be happy unless I am @ 34 min or under.

I have also made a decision not to carry any tools or "flat kit" on the bike. I am racing for a top 5 spot, not to see if I can finish. If I flat I am done. Plus I am riding tubulars that I have never changed before. I know it's a gamble, but that's how I am looking at this whole race. I am going to have to give everything I have to hang with these guys.

Game on.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Less than a week...

For the past week I have been going nonstop. My brother and his girlfriend were in town but I was still able to get in all my workouts and still hang out... and drink too much beer.

Here's what I have been up to training wise:

AM: run - 60min easy run

AM: swim - 1.5 mile open water
PM: bike - 90 min ride

AM: Balboa 4 mile XC race - 22:22 - 4th AG/10th Overall
30 min warm-up
22:22 race
40 min cool down

The race was solid. I was feeling ok but I was defintely feeling the fatigue from my week of workouts. I had a better strategy going into this race. There was a guy who beat me by 30 seconds last time and I was just going to stay on his hip as long as I could. The course was really tough with a lot of steep climbs. I was able to hang with this guy until then and passed some guys on the final hill. We ended up in a sprint finish and I just did not have the distance to complete the pass. It felt good to run that hard and I am really starting to like "running only" races.

PM: bike - 3:04/50 mile ride

My ride yesterday was solid. My sister and nephew were down the night before, along with my brother still being in town, and they all left around noon. I wasn't feeling very motivated to get out on the road in the heat, especially after downing too many beers and chicken wings at the Padres game the night before. The goal for the ride was to get out and ride, get in some climbing, descending, cornering, and some sprints. Once on the road I started to feel good and had a great ride with a lot of climbing. I didn't attack the climbs. I just kept it steady and powerful.

This week is going to be relatively light with the LA Triathlon on Sunday. It was good to be so busy this past week as I did not have time to think all the mega-fast guys I will try to hang with. Either way I am just going to try to have fun with the whole experience.