Monday, February 26, 2007

Weekly Recap (Build - 2.19.2007 - 2.25.2007) & Desert Classic Du RR

Another solid week in the books that was capped off with a duathlon in Arizona. My volume was down a little bit from my previous build weeks because I didn't have a big bike due to the race, but I was able to get out on my mountain for a fun ride. I also hit 20,000 yards in the pool which has been a goal of mine. Here's how the week shaped up:

Total Training Time: 15:15
swim: 20,000 yards (4 Masters, 1 Work pool)
Bike: 90 Miles (1 MTB, 1 road, 2 TT race and cool down)
Run: 32.2 Miles (6 runs, 2 off the bike, race)
Strength: 1 Sessions (1 upperbody)
Core: 1 sessions (w/ strength session)

Desert Classic Duathlon Race Report

Thursday morning I woke and felt a little off and was kind of congested. I didn't think anything of and just attributed to the fluctuating weather we have had lately. I felt better on Friday and then headed out for Phoenix on Saturday morning.


I woke up at 5am on Sunday and was really congested. The thought even crossed my mind to bag the race, but I couldn't after having driven all the way out there to race. I had a couple of cups of coffee, my pre race meal and then headed out for the race. It was cold when I got to the race site:

Thermometer in my truck.

Luckily Trisports had a booth there and I was able to buy some arm warmers before the race. I wasn't thinking and didn't bring any cold weather gear. Once I got the arm warmers I set up my transition and warmed up with a couple of miles of running with some surges to race pace. I knew it was going to be tough day with how congested I was. I really couldn't breathe through my nose and was just blowing snot everywhere.

Run #1 - 3.5 miles (.5 miles road/3 miles trail): 18:55

My wave (men 34 and under) went off 4 minutes after the pro men and 2 minutes after the pro women. It was a big group and a pretty small starting area so I got right in the front. 3 guys went out really fast and I was in fourth and just wanted to see what they were going to do. About a mile in the thrid place guy started to fade and I moved up. I was right behind 1 & 2 who were both in the AG above me. So I knew I was in 1st in my AG early on. They started to pick it up and I went with them. We pretty much gapped everybody else and started passing some of the pro women. I was holding back a bit because I wasn't sure of how I felt and was having a hard time breathing, but was still going pretty fast. I finished the first run in 3rd (1st in my AG) and only about 10 seconds back of 1 & 2.

Bike 21.5 miles: 57:55

Once I got on the bike I knew I had a couple minutes on everybody in my AG and wanted to keep the gap. I was pretty sure that if I got to the second run in the lead I could hold it. The course was tough. The roads were pretty rough and it was never flat. I was always climbing or descending. This was the first time I have ever used a disc and it was sick. I just put my head down and hammered on the downhills and tried to keep up my cadence and focus on my pedal stroke on the climbs. Around mile 9 I was caught by a guy, but he was not in my AG. It was an out and back course so after the turn around I could see how much of a gap I still had. I was stoked to see that I still over a minute with less than 10 miles to go, but my lungs were burning from the dry desert air. I finally got off the bike and was still in the lead.

Run #2 - 2.7 miles (.2 miles road/2.5 miles trail): 15:55

T2 was quick and I was out on the run with a comfortable lead. I knew I didn't have to go all out and I just held a steady comfortable pace. Both runs were offroad but the second one was considerably harder terrain with a couple good climbs. It reminded my alot of Xterra. I finished the run still in first place.

Overall: 1:34:21 - 1st in AG (2nd was 1:36:24)

Considering I still don't really feel "fast" right now and that I felt like shit I am happy with the race. I was stoked to lead from the gun to the finish. I am usually the one trying to chase people down on the run and this time I was being chased. It was a good change.

Here's some photos from the road trip:

Breakfast on the road: Venti Americano

Cruise control

Lunch on the road: turkey pita (made at home)
I saw plenty of these.

My bike looking faster than it ever has thanks to Elliot and B&L.

On the podium.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Race Ready - 2.23.2007

This week is finally coming to end. I am in the middle of a really busy cycle at work right now which will hopefully back off a little after next week. Training this week is going well and I have felt really strong on the bike.

Yesterday I got out on my mountain bike for the first time in a couple of weeks. I got in 90 minutes on my local trails which I am going to name Water Tower. These trails are going to be incredible training for the upcoming Xterra season. The climbs are long, rocky and grinding and there are some fun technical descents. I plan on putting a lot to time in over there as soon as the the 70.3 passes. It's nice to have the trail head only 1.5 miles from my front door. Last year I had to either get up early or head out after work to black mountain to get in the climbing that I needed. Now I have a better, harder, and longer climb practically in my backyard. I am stoked. Here are some photos from the ride:

view from the top of the first major climb

about half way up the 20 min climb back to the top.

I am ready to throw down this weekend. This race is coming at the end of 2 big weeks so it's safe to say I will not be super fresh but my plan is just to go for it, especially on the bike. My race plan is simple: go as fast as I can on the first run, go as hard as I can on the bike with no regard for the second run, then just see what I have left in the tank for 2.7 mile second run. I really just want to hammer on the bike. I am going to try approach it like I don't have to run again.

It's my official Duathlon aside from some club races and I always figured Du's would fit my strenght, running. There should be some pretty good pros out there too. I just read that Simon Whitfield (olympic gold medalist) will be out there racing. I am really curious to see how fast he goes. Jim won this race last year against some really good competition.

That's it. I will report back from the race on Sunday night or some time Monday.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Weekly Recap (Build 2.12.2007 - 2.18.2007)

I would be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit shelled after the half marathon last Sunday. My first run of the week on Wednesday was pretty brutal, but as the week passed things got better. I had another solid week with a lot of swimming, a huge ride/run on Saturday and big run on Sunday.

Total Training Time: 18:35

swim: 18,000 yards (3 Masters, 1 Work pool)

Bike: 132 Miles (1 trainer/TT, 1 road, 1 TT)

Run: 36 Miles (4 runs, 1 off the bike)

Strength: 2 Sessions (1 upperbody/1 lowerbody)

Core: 3 sessions (2 w/ strength session, 1 solo after trainer ride)

I made a point to up my swim volume. I went to Masters early each day so I could get in 1000 yards prior to the workout. This requires me getting up at 4:45 am! I am going to keep this up in build weeks and hopefully will hit 20,000 yards this week. Since I don't have a big bike day this week due to the race on Sunday I am just going to put in some major time in the pool.

Strong Brew. Necessity for 4:45am wake-up.

My 5 hour ride on Saturday was solid and I nailed my nutrtion. I covered 87 miles and put together a very hilly route. It was nice and hot. I felt strong all the way to the end and also felt good running off the bike, especially the second half of the 50 min run. Sunday was a big run of 18 miles with the group in Cardiff and again I felt really good. The plan was to get in an open water swim after the run but the wind was coming up and I really didn't feel like swimming in chop. I was spent from the run. So I hit the work pool for 2,250 yards and then the gym for a lowerbody/core session.

Another solid week in the books. I'll be heading to Phoenix this weekend for the Desert Classic Duathlon. It should be a good time and really fit my strengths. It's a 3.5 mile trail run, 21 mile road bike, and then another trail run of 2.7 miles. I plan on just laying down on the first run and trying to hold on. We'll see how it goes.
It's Monday, it's a recovery day and it's pouring rain. I just got back from the gym. I hit the stationary, recumbent bike for 30 minutes and then stretched for 15. I do this every Monday after my big weekends. I usally wake-up with some pretty sore, stiff legs on Monday morning and getting on the stationary bike and just spinning really loosens them up and doesn't take anything out of me. I am thinking about heading over to YMCA for the 11:45 masters session and just getting in a couple thousand yards of easy swimming. It' the only way I will be able to hit 20,000 yards this week.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

a couple of things... 2.15.2007

Back to going big. My legs are just starting to come around from the half marathon last Sunday. On Monday I got an hour massage, which was torture on my sore legs, and an adjustment. I have already gotten in a couple of good swims this week of 5,000+ yards. Yesterday I got in my first run since the race and the last half was kind of uncomfortable but I am feeling a lot better after my ride this morning. It was killer out, sunny and relatively warm.

view of Pipes in Cardiff. The waves looked kind of fun but the tide was really high. Hopefully I can get on it this afternoon.

The whip... resting.

One last thing. I found this video on youtube. It's and interview with Conrad Stoltz, one of the big dogs on the Xterra circuit. His season was riddled with injuries last year, but I am anxious to see him lay it down this year. This video pretty much sums up Xterra racing and why I will continue to make it my focus.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

San Dieguito Half Marathon RR/Weekly Recap (Recover 2.5.2007 - 2.11.2007)

Damn my legs are sore. The first race of 2007 in the books and it went pretty well.

I am going recap my training for last week and then get to the race report. I have some photos too, so this will be a long one.

Last week was a recovery week and after putting a 2 big, solid weeks it was needed. Here's the stats:

Total Training Time: 11:29

Swim: 11,600 yards (2 Masters, 1 work pool)

Bike: 70 miles (2 rides)

Run: 27.1 miles (3 runs including half marathon)

Strength: 1 Session (upperbody)

Core: 2 sessions

I felt really good all week and was really looking forward to the weekend and the half marathon. I am feeling really good in the pool and will be upping the volume over the next couple of weeks. I was supposed to get in an open water swim yesterday after the race but it rained all morning which elevates the bacteria level in the water and I am not trying to get sick. I was thinking about just getting in a couple thousand yards in the pool and also doing a lower body strength session but I was pretty shelled from the race and bagged those ideas.

Saturday I put in 3 hours on the bike and rode up to Lake Wholford. This was the first time I have ridden out there and it was a really good ride. I did quite a bit of climbing, which was probably not the best thing the day before a hilly half marathon, but I had fun. Below are some pictures from the ride.

almost at the top.

fun descent.

the way up and down.

Soaking in the 58 degree pool in my complex. I do this after all my big weekend workouts. Torture.

while in the pool: protein shake and magazine to take my mind off of how cold it is.

39th San Dieguito Half Marathon:

This was my first race of the Season and first repeat race I have ever done. Last year I ran it in 1:21:47. I had been feeling strong leading up the race so the plan was just to go for it.

For the past month I have been having Sushi on saturday nights during my big weeks of training and have always felt great the next day. So I did the same thing this Saturday night. 1 Spicy Tuna Avoacado roll and 4 chicken & rice potstickers. After that I just relaxed and got to bed around 1030pm.

I got up at 530am for the 8am and downed two cups of coffee and this (samething I have been eating before all my long sunday runs):

toasted Mini cinnamon raison bagel with 1 tbsp of Power Butter, honey, and covered with a little bit of Bear Naked Peak Protein Granola. So Good.

I got to the race, found parking, and picked up my number. It was drizzling but it was in the 50's. I warmed up for about 20 minutes with some easy running and some accelerations to race pace. After my warm-up I threw back a couple of Motivators and a couple swigs of Esspresso hammer gel. I found a group of guys at the start line that I have raced against in XC races and decided to try and stay with them. At 8am we toed the line and it go time.

We went out and were immediately in a pack of about 8-10 guys with a couple of guys leading us out. Nobody really pushed it at all. I think we came through the first mile in about 5:30. The pace was really conservative for the first 4 miles and I was running with the lead pack of now about 8 guys. I felt really comfortable. Between miles 4 and 6 the pack started to separate. 3 guys started to pull away and I was in the second pack of 3 guys. We hit mile 6 at about 34 minutes and one guy started to pull away and I kind of let him, but not too far. By mile 8 I was in 5th all alone with the lead pack (1st-3rd) about 45seconds ahead, 4th 10 seconds ahead, and 6th 20 seconds behind me. I went through the 10 mile mark at 58 minutes and the hills were starting to take their toll. At this point I surged and around mile 11 I caught the 4th place guy and we ran together for a mile and then he pulled away from me and I could catch him on the last up hill mile. I was spent. I crossed the line at 1:15:48, 5th overall, 6 minutes faster than last year.

I am very happy with the race. This is a hard course and we went out very conservatively. I am pretty sure with a faster start and a flat course I could get down to about 1:12-1:14 for 13.1 miles. I did not take in anything during the race. No water, no calories. I don't know if this was the right approach or not, but I haven't been taking any calories in on my long runs up to 2 hours. I felt pretty good but maybe a gel with some caffeine would have given me a late boost. I need to experiment more.

Now let's just see how fast I can go after swimming 1.2 miles and riding 56.

heading into the finish. spent.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Photos, recovery, and waves - 2.8.2007

The waves were fun this morning, but it was kind of cold. It took a couple hours, a large java special, and bowl of oatmeal to thaw me out.

I read a lot of blogs... I mean a lot. Most of them are those of endurance athletes (triathletes, moutain bikers, cyclists). Some are from the pro/elite perspective and others are from people who fit their training in around daily like (work, family, etc.). The ones I like the most are the ones with a lot of photos. So I have made the decision to start adding a lot of photos to my blog. Right before I went to Maui I bought a brand digital camera. I made sure to get one small enough that I could slip into my pocket or the back of a jersey. I have been lagging in using it as much I would like, but from here on out I am going to fill this blog with photos. I go back an look read my old entries from last year to see what I was doing at this time a year ago and would be a lot more fun if I had photos.

My recovery week is going by pretty fast. I am still really liking the 3 week blocks (2 weeks build, 1 week recover). Physically my body is responding very well and I am getting to a level I have never been before. Last year I was a little over zealous when I signed up for races early in the year. I raced a lot, probably too much. It made it hard to put in solid training blocks and also to allow for proper recovery. This year I will be racing less and making sure I can train hard and recover in hopes that I can finish the season strong. The 3 week blocks are also easier to tackle mentally. Knowing that after 2 weeks of crushing myself I will have a mellow week makes it easier to push it to the max in the build weeks.

Ever since my brother moved back out here in the begining of January I have been surfing more than I had been and that's a good thing. For one, I love surfing and another good thing is getting used to the cold water in preparation for the cold swim at the 70.3. If my schedule stay relatively the same throughout the summer I should be able to get in the water a lot.

Training so far this week:

2 swims, 1 run, 1 bike, 1 core session, 2 surf sessions

more later...

Monday, February 05, 2007

Weekly Recap (Build 1.29.2007 - 2.4.2007)

"All smiles and sunshine, a perfect world on a perfect day
Everything always works out, I have never felt so great" - Rise Against

Things are continuing to progress. Last week, just like the week before, set a new record for volume for me. When everything was said and done I was just over 18 hours. Even with all this work my body is recovering incredibly well.

Total Training Time: 18:10

swim: 13,500 yards (2 Masters, 1 Work pool, 1 open water)

Bike: 134.5 Miles (1 trainer, 1 road, 1 TT)

Run: 43 Miles (5 runs, 2 off the bike)

Strength: 2 Sessions (1 upperbody/1 lowerbody)

Core: 3 sessions (2 w/ strength session, 1 solo after swim)

As usual the weekend had the biggest workouts. I rode for 77 miles/4:10 on Saturday and followed it up with a 6 mile/40 min run off the bike. The bike was very tough. I rode Camp Pendleton again. I now officially hate this ride. It's so boring but I can get in long intervals without having to worry about stop lights and too much traffic. While on Pendleton I rode 4 x 20min at race pace and felt solid. On the way out of C.P. I had a tail wind which was nice but then I headed up the coast to Del Mar. I turned around at the 3:30 mark and was now riding home in 20mph headwind. It was crushing me, mentally and physically. I finally made it home and headed out for the run. The run was solid.

On Sunday I ran longer and further than I ever have, 18miles/2 hours. I ran with the group that leaves out of Cardiff and we headed out pretty quick and ran to the top of Torrey Pines, a loop around the trails and then back to Cardiff. I felt great and even led the run up TP. The run was defintely a confidence builder.

This week is a recovery week. I got a nice hour massage last night that I thought was going to kill me. My legs, especially my IT bands, were super tight.

I will be running the San Dieguito half marathon on Sunday. I really don't know what to expect. I haven't really been doing any kind of speed work so I am not sure of how fast I will be able to go. I know the endurance is there but we'll see. I am looking at it just like a training run. If at any time I feel too uncomfortable I will back it off. There's no reason to bury myself into the ground right now.