Monday, April 30, 2007

Race Report: Xterra Castaic 4.29.2007

So here's the race report from Xterra Castaic. I am writing this while sitting a plane headed for Newark, NJ. A week in Nj for work right in the middle of build up for Temecula. perfect.

Xterra Castaic.

I headed into the race with very little expectations after a week of being laid up with a stomach virus. I was a little weary of possibly digging myself into a hole with the Xterra West Champs coming up in the 3 weeks in Temecula. I told myself that if at any point during the race I was getting to uncomfortable or really not feeling good I would just pull the plug.


I woke up early and had my now-standard pre race meal:
coffee, oatmeal (1c oats, 1c Van soy milk, cinnamon, banana)

Then it was off to Castaic Lake. I got there pretty early and they were just opening tranistion. I checked in and secured a good spot in tranistion. I remembered last year transition getting really crowded. After everything was set up I headed back to my truck and listened to some tunes and just relaxed. About an hour out I headed out for my warm up. Considering the lack of running I did this week I headed out for a 20min jog with some accelerations and strides. It was already getting warm and I built up a good sweat.


At 930 am (race started at 10am) they had the pre-race meeting and then we all walked to the swim start. Once to the swim start I jumped and started warming up. With the warm temps the 60 degree water felt awesome. I also decided to do a bit longer of a swim warm up just to see how I felt. Suprisingly I felt pretty quick and this gave me a bit of optimism.

Swim (1200m - 2 x 600m laps w/beach run in between):
It was a mass start and just like last year it was tough. I was getting hit from all sides but I stayed calm and with a pack and pretty much got sucked all the way out to the first buoy. Once around the first buoy I found some space and a pack. We swam together through the first lap and then hit the beach. I noticed I was still in a pack and I let them jump in the for the second lap just ahead of me. i dove in right on their feet and tucked in for a good draft out to the next buoy. At the last turn I was still feeling strong and the guys I was drafting off of were fading. I picked up my pace, swam alone for a while, and then latched on to some more feet. Before I knew it I was on the beach.

swim + T1: 15:39
swim place: 10th

Run between laps, that's me in the middle.

out of the water:

Bike (16 miles - 2 loops):

The bike course is pretty tough. It's not too technical but there are quite a few steep climbs and the temps were now climbing into the mid to upper 80's. The first climb is about a 1/4 mile out of t1 and it puts your heart in your throat. I stuck on a guys wheel through the first coupld of switchbacks and then made a move to pass at that poing I had a clear shot to a guy in my AG that I have raced before. he usually gets more time on me in the swim so I was stoked to get to him so quickly. I latched onto his wheel and kind of just hung back for a minute. I wanted to see how hard he was going to push it and how strong he was. After a couple of short climbs together I made my move on a short steep climb and never looked back. I was able to put a good gap on him. I rode consitently on the first lap and really wanted to push it on the second lap.

It was hot. I finished my frist bottle at the end of the lap, grabbed a bottle at the aid station, took a swig, showered myself with it, and then chucked it. After the second time through the first set of climbs I grabbed my bottle (while climbing), took a drink, and then of course dropped it. I looked back to see it rolling down the hill. This is begining to become a problem. So for the whole second lap I had nothing. I had a gel in my jersey but the only aid station was at the start/finish of the bike loop. Right by the start of the last climb I took a quick wrong turn, locked it up, and dropped my chain. i jumped off, got passed by a guy, but was back going in the right direction in a couple of seconds.

On the last climb I was fading. About half way up I could see the guy I had passed in my AG making up some time on me. I was so thirsty and my mouth was so dry I couldn't even spit. I just really focused on my cadence and pedal stroke just to make it through that last incline. The loops ends with a couple miles of descending and I opened it up in hopes of building my gap back up. It worked. I had a flawless descent and my chaser was nowhere to be seen as I hit the ending aid station. I grabbed a bottle, finally took a drink, and downed a gel. Once I was back in T2 I looked around and there was nobody close to me coming in from the bike, but there were defintely guys to catch on the run.

Bike + T2: 1:21:10
bike place: 7th
T2... off the bike:

time to "do work":

Somebody yelled to my that I was in 7th overall heading out on the run. Time to work. I was feeling ok but it was getting very hot as the temps were now pushing the low 90's and there was no shade for 90% of the run. I quickly caught and passed the 6th, 5th, and 4th place guys By the half way point of the first lap. In another 1/4 mile I caught the 3rd place guy and then it was on to the 2nd place guy. I knew first place was out reach. I saw Mike Vine (xterra pro) early on in my first lap as he was finishing his first lap. About 3/4's of the way throgh the first lap I passed 2nd place and just started to pour it on. I opened up a good gap and just kept extending it. By the time I headed out for the second lap I had a big gap and continued to build my lead over the rest of the pack until the finish.

run: 26:57
run place: 2nd

Overall time: 2:03:46
AG Place: 1st
Overall Place: 2nd

End of lap 1:

This result was very unexpected. I beat guys that regularly beat me last year and I did it with having I strong swim, bike, and run. It was hands down the best complete performance I've had. The only person that beat me or ran faster than me was Mike Vine and he's a top performing pro on the Xterra scene. The next amateur was almost 3 minutes behind me. I am stoked to stay the least and can't believe I had my best race so far after having such a hellish week. go figure...

I am going to use this race and confidence it gave me to build into Temecula.
Top 3 overall (R to L): Me, Mike Vine, Jimmy Wills

Saturday, April 28, 2007

it's on...

yep... I'll be racing tomorrow.

I woke up Thursday morning feeling much better, but overall still pretty weak. The bug had passed but I was totally beat down. I stayed home, rehydrated, and just got a lot of work done. Friday I woke up feeling about 85% normal and went for and easy 2000 yard swim before work just to feel it out. I felt pretty good. I followed that up with a 40 min run at lunch and although I was a little sluggish, I didn't feel too bad. The workouts weren't about trying to gain any fitness just to see if racing was a possibility... and they were a good sign.
I waited until this morning to make the final call. I woke up feeling great and finally seemed to have my "everyday" energy back. So I loaded up the truck and and headed for Castaic Lake to pre-ride the course with my friend Paul from up north.

It was hot... really hot. Probably about 90 out on the course. My legs felt ok. Not Great but I will defintely be able to race. The post ride soak in the cold lake water felt great.

One loop of the bike course:

It took us about an hour to spin a loop around the course, very mellow. About 8 miles and 1200+ Ft of climbing. The course is a tough one. Some long, hot climbs and twisted, loose descents. It will be interesting to see what kind of legs I have after being sick all week and not being on my mountain bike since last weeks race.

The rest of the day I will be chillen and my sisters house in LA with my feet up, packing in some calories, and just relaxing. I was back up to 131.5 lbs this morning from an all-time of 127lbs on Thursday morning. TIME TO EAT MY FACE OFF!!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

I'm sick...

I have been in bed for two full days, haven't been able to keep any food down, and I am miserable. On Monday morning before I got sick I was up to 135lbs. I jumped on the on scale this morning... 128lbs. Not good.

The diagnosis: gastroenteritis.

The symptoms:
The main symptom of gastroenteritis is diarrhea. Other common symptoms include:
Abdominal pain
Sweating or clammy skin

I am basically hating life right now. I am feeling better today and trying to stay hydrated but haven't really been able to eat anything since Monday night. My race plans for the weekend are definitely in jeopardy. We'll see how I feel in the next couple of days. The only positive I can take out of this is all the rest. I think I slept for 15 hours yesterday.

I also found out I have to travel all next week for work so my training will be "interesting" to say the least. Hopefully I will be able to find a pool and a good gym.

That's all, it's time to see if I can stomach some chicken noodle soup.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Race Report: Arizona Xtreme Desert Triathlon - 4.21.2007

The first Xterra race in the season has come and gone. The race was solid for considering where I am at with training. I just transistioned into a more xterra specific block 2 weeks ago. Here's how it went down.

I woke at 5am and looked out the window to find a full on downpour. It was coming down and temp was hovering right around 50. Perfect! Not really what I expected for a race in Arizona, but I didn't let it get to me. I mean it is an Xterra race and there's nothing wrong with a little mud.

I had a couple of cups of coffee, some oatmeal, and we were out the door.

heading out:
The sky heading out to the race:

The swim (1500 meters):

The swim is an in-water start so I found my line, got with a pack, and was ready to go. The gun went off a stayed with a pack for the first couple of hunderd meters until they started going swimming off course. I turned it around and proceeded to get beat down by a couple of guys. I mean full-on grabbed and dunked. It was like this guy was drowning and was clutching on to me for dear life. It broke me for a couple of seconds and it took me a couple 100 meters to really get back in a groove.

The swim went OK, but it felt slow.

Swim (1500m + t1): 22:06, 3rd AG, 12th OV

Bike(16+ miles):

The bike was pretty straight forward. Right out of T1 you head into a short climb that is unrideable and then onto a more significant climb. About a 1/4 wat into the climb I was caught my Cody Waite (2006 Xterra National Champ, now pro). I tried to stay on this wheel and follow his line but it wasn't happening. I stayed in touch with a group for most of the ride but couldn't quite sustain the power to stay with them. They would pull away, I would get it together, catch them and this is pretty much how the whole bike played out. The last 4 miles were on the road with a couple good climbs. I had a group of 4 guys, including Tom, to work with on the road and we hammered it out.

I am not very happy with my ride but I have to keep it in perspective considering most of my training so far this season was for the 70.3. The mountain bike in an Xterra race takes a different kind of fitness and strength than a 56 mile ride on the road.

Bike (16+ miles): 1:12:45, 3rd AG, 19th OV

Run (6miles):

Last year the run was only 4.5 miles so I was pretty stoked when I heard that they extended it by 1.5 miles this year. Right out of t2 it is straight uphill on some steep switchbacks. I was feeling really good and reeled in quite a few guys. I think I came into t2 in about 12th overall and ran my way up to 6th overall. The run felt really good and with not having done much speed work so far that's a good sign.

Run(6 miles): 34:52, 1st AG, 1st OV

2:09:43, 2nd AG, 6th OV

Overall not a bad day. Trevor killed it won our AG and finished 3rd overall and Tom also had a breakthrough race. He finished 3rd in his AG. More than anything the weekend was just a good time racing, training, and hanging out.

Another race... same story. I need to work on my swim and bike. Nothing new. Time to get back to training and another Xterra race next weekend.
I ran into a cactus somewhere on the run:

Friday, April 20, 2007

a quick one... from AZ.

We got into town yesterday afternoon and the weather was perfect. Sunnny and in the low 80's. We are staying with my friend Tom in Scottsdale and as soon as he got home from work we headed out for Saguaro Lake for a pre-ride.

The course is just how I remembered. Sandy, not to techinical, a couple good climbs, and some super fast and fun rollers. We rode for about 1:20 and just made out of the trails before dark. I am talking full-on desert dark. Pitch Black. For the last couple of miles we hammering and racingthe sun. By the time we got back to the care we had to turn on all the light just to get changed and pack up.

After the ride it was home to quickly shower and then head out for some grub up the street. The restaraunt was solid and after a seared Ahi tuna salad and a Fat Tire draft it was time to head back to Tom's pad and crash.

This morning I was up around 630am to a fresh pot of coffee, my laptop, and a huge bowl of oatmeal. We hung out for a bit and then rode a quick 6.5 mile single track loops that started just out the door of tom's crib. His location is killer. Now it's time for some more food and a coffee.

Later we are heading to the lake for packer pick-up and an easy swim. Then it's on for tomorrow morning. Should be fun.

I am so bummed I forgot my camera when we went on out ride last night. The view of sunset from the trails was killer.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Training, Racing, and a decision to make...

Before I get to the decision I have to make let's get to some racing and training.

I am really looking forward to heading to AZ tomorrow morning for the Arizona Xtreme Desert Triathlon (Xterra Points series race). A lot of people are coming out to this race. I am heading out there with Trevor Glavin who is the reigning Xterra world champ in my AG (25-29) and Cody Waite will be there too. Cody was the 2006 Xterra national champ, but is now racing pro. I am really looking forward to watching him race against the pros after having racing against him last year. There are also quite a few guys coming out from Colorado and Norther Cal. It should be a tough early season race. I trained through this race last year and was able to pull off a 2nd in AG. I only lost by 30 seconds and I crashed on the bike that cost me a couple of minutes. They also extended the run this year from 4.5 miles to 6, which will definitely help me out. It's also my first repeat triathlon. It definitely helps mentally to have raced the course before and have an idea of what to expect.

This week has started off pretty solid. So far I have gotten 3 swims, a solid ride, and a strength session. I had to rearrange some things with my travel plans and with how much the tough weekend workouts took out of me. Those hills on my Sunday run really shelled me legs. I had a run on tap yesterday afternoon but after talking with Jim switched it to a ride and will go on an easier run today at lunch. Here's the info from my ride. A solid one.

2:01/18 miles/3000+ ft of climbing:
Now for the decision.
I am getting ready to order my new mountain bike. I have decided on the Specialized Epic Marathon, the aluminum version. The carbon just doesn't seem like it's worth the extra loot.
This is an "epic" XC racing rig. This bike will make me faster. No doubt. I just need to decided on the color. I can get it in the above color, anodized black or hot pink. I am not sure which one to go with. My hardtail is a black Specialized Stumpjumper and I don't know if I want another black bike. Pink may be a little over the top but it would be pretty easy to find my bike in transition.
Any suggestions/opinions?

One last thing. I finally bought a foam roller and marathon stick. I have read a lot about self massage and the benefits. My massage therapist and chiropractor have been suggesting them to me for months because of how tight my legs always are even with all the stretching I do. I got these both on Monday and have used the the last 2 nights. First of all, it's just as miserable as any deep tissue massage I have ever had, but I have felt great afterward and especially the next morning. I am defintely going to keep this up and try to get to use it for 20-30 minutes a day after my tough workouts.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Xterra focused... finally!

Damn my legs are sore after yesterdays run but...

First of all big ups to Bryan. He did IMAZ yesterday and took it out. It was his first IM and he finishined in 9:43 which included having to fix a flat on the bike. His goal was to qualify for Kona and by finishing 4th in this AG he did. I am so stoked for him because he trained his ass off and was totally focused.

This past week was defintely a tranistion from a training standpoint. After recovering from the 70.3 it was time to turn my focus to the upcoming Xterra races. Next weekend will be the kick off at the Arizona Xtreme Desert Triathlon in Mesa, AZ and then the following weekend I will be heading up to Xterra Castaic in Castaic, Ca (just north of Los Angeles). I am really looking forward to going out and racing hard. I am curious to see what I'll have in the tank.
After putting a lot of emphasis on the 70.3 I and just now switching to more intense "Xterra-specific" workouts I will be training through these next couple of races with a plan to peak and really throwdown at the Xterra West Championships in Temecula on 5/20.
After taking Friday relatively easy it was time to really hit it Saturday morning with and offroad, race paced brick workout. There's a killer offroad 1 mile loop right by my house that I used for this workout. The workout was basically 4 laps of the loop hard on the mountain bike followed immediately by running the loop once all out. All of that 3 times. To say the least I was spent after this workout and it defintely let me know where I am at and that there is still work to be done to get into top form for the upcoming races.

The bike:

The Run:
After the workout I came home had my shake and soaked in the pool. Then it was off to fish my brother. I hadn't been fishing is a long time and eventhough we didn't catch anything we had a good time. We ended up hiking about 2-3 miles to get where we wanted to fish... and I was tired. The only thing that kept me pushing were the ice cold beers my brother had in his cooler.
After a mellow Saturday night I had a open water swim and run on tap for Sunday. The plan was to swim first thing in the AM and then head out for a run. I got a hold of Tom first thing in morning and we called off the swim. The weather and water conditions were miserable. So instead I headed out for breakfast and put my run on hold until the early afternoon. With Xterra coming up I was to run in the warmest conditions I can. Around 11:45am I headed out for my run and it was a tough. I took a new route through the trails around my house and did some exploring. I found a bunch of new climbs that I can't wait to hit on the MTB. Here's the profile for the run. 12.5 miles and 2700ft of climbing!
I finally got my new Ergon grips installed on my bike. I love these things. It's been too long since I have used them. My ride with them on Saturday was killer.
The R2's:
The GX2's. I am saving these for my new bike, which if everything goes as planned I should have by Temecula. C'mon review bonus!!

Friday, April 13, 2007

what a difference...

This week has been a tough one so far, yesterday especially. The workouts have been tough but I am also oncall at work. This means when there are "network emergencies" in the middle of the night from any of our offices all over the world I am the one getting called to troubleshoot. So every night I have received multiple calls but there hasn't been anything thats taken more than 15 minutes and usually I can go right back to sleep. By the end of the week it starts taking it's toll and yesterday I was tired.

I woke up in the morning very tired and sore. I forgot how much a hard mountain bike ride can take out of me. The hill repeats on Tuesday along with the hard, hilly trail run on Wednesday pretty much torched my legs. My calves were super sore. Defintely a different feeling then what my body was feeling while training for the half ironman. The long steady workouts seemed like they were a lot easier to recover from. I need to be very diligent with my recovery over the next couple of weeks if I want to have a couple of decent races.

I contemplated just heading to my work pool for swim so I could kind of take it easy. I talked myself out of it, sucked it up, and headed to Masters. Once there I basically got my ass kicked. There were just three of us in the lane and I took the second position for the first 2000+ yards. After that I was struggling to hold on. I got through most of the workout but then got out before the last set because my form was going to shit because I was spent. I got in a total 3500 yards and then hit the hot tub to soak my tired legs.

At lunch I headed to the gym for a strength/core session and also to stretch my tired legs. I started coming around while I was in the gym and put together a pretty solid workout. I am still taking it easy because it's been about a month since I have lifted any weights. Here's what I am doing in the gym and plan on the same routine for the next couple of weeks. All the weights are pretty light but I have to balance on the bosu ball while doing the lifts. This really helps with core strength. The leg stuff is more for injury prevention than anything else. The hard intervals I will be putting in on the mountain are just all my legs can take right now.
Strenght/core workout:
5min easy warm-up stationary bike
15 min stretching/various core on ball

2 x following circuit.
20 pushups feet on ball
15 single arm (left) overhead tri ext - standing on bosu upside down - 12lb
15 single arm (right) overhead tri ext - standing on bosu upside down - 12lb
30 alternating dumbell curl (15ea arm) - standing on bosu upside down - 15lb
15 lateral dumbell raises - standing on bosu upside down - 10lb
25 back ext on ball
50 crunches on ball

then 2 x following supersets
15 lat pulldown - 85lbs
15 - wall squats
15 leg ext - 40lbs
15 leg curl - 40lbs

I got home from work early in the afternoon and took a 45 minute power nap and felt good, but still kind of tired when I got up. I could have slept more but I had a trainer session I had to get in. I set up the trainer put "Bull Durham" on my lap top and grinded away. Just like when I start a run feeling sluggish, as soon as I hit my first interval and started to sweat I started to feel great. The workout ended up going really well and I am really enjoying using my power tap to monitor my power and HR. Have some good data is going to really help me improve.

Last night was more of the same and was up from about 12pm to 2am working. Not fun. My plan was to be in the work pool by six but I decided to sleep in and didn't get in the pool unitl 8am. The water was freezing. I think the heater is having problems. Some days are nice and warm and then randomly it will be damn cold. Jim wanted my to take it easy in the water today after the way I was feeling yesterday. I was planning on 45-60min and 3000 yards, but with the cold water I only got in 25min and 2000 yards. I am not to worried about not getting the extre 1000 yards. It took me 20 minutes in the shower to thaw.
I still don't think I am eating enough. After a solid week of taking it realtively easy, drinking, and eating crappy food i was up to 135.5lbs on Monday morning. I know that's still super light and 5lbs short of where I want to be. I have been tracking everything I eay in the meal log on Training Peaks. It takes your RMR, calories burned during workouts and calories consumed and breaks it down. I still end everyday with a significant calorie deficit which isn't going to work if I plan to put on some muscle. I have been trying to eat more but am still struggling. I eat until I am full and if I am hungry I eat. Yesterday when I weighed myself I was back down to 132. My diet needs some retooling for sure. Everything I eat is really clean and healthy. Maybe I need to start eating donuts and drinking beer everyday? Probably not going to happen. I just need more calories.
that's it... just a pretty much a normal week. The weekend is going to be a tough one.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I'm back... and I'm stoked

I have been anticipating today's workout ever since Jim uploaded it into my schedule. It's couple of weeks of hard stuff. I have races on back to back weekends and will be training right through them. I have been cracking out to start some intensity.
I had an easy swim and run yesterday and was feeling great during both. My focus was defintely back. This morning was my first day back at Masters since the 70.3 and I felt pretty good. It was a solid 4000 yards with some solid fast stuff. I really need to take my speed in the pool and apply it in races.

Then this afternoon it was the workout I have really been anticipating since the day after the 70.3. It was a mountain bike ride with hill 4 repeats. It was supposed to be 4 x 3 minute climbs with 2 minute recoveries, but I had to to kind of change it based on where I was going to ride.

My intervals were as follows:

#1 - 10:31 min/.87 mile/587 ft. total ascent- Back side water tower climb

This is the climb to the top of hill where I was going to do my three other intervals. I have a killer loop up there. After the intitial climb I descended some super fun, super rocky, fast single track.

The next three intervals were shorter and more intense. After each climb I rode the same gnarly single track down and each loop I really was able to speed up and really attack the steep switchbacks. This loop is really going to help my riding. There are aspects of both Tahoe and Maui courses up there.

#2 - 3:29
#3 - 3:28

#4 - 3:30

I came home from the ride and was stoked. Getting out training on the trails is so much more fun than the long steady state rides I have been doing so far this year. I can't wait for my first Xterra next weekend.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Weekly Recap & Baseball! (Recover - 4.1.2007 - 4.8.2007)

This past week has been quite a change from the norm, but in a good way. From a physical standpoint I feel rested and ready to hit it hard starting tomorrow, which is the the poing of a recovery week, but I got most benefit mentally. I have had a lot of fun this week without thinking about triathlon too much. It was just what I need after a disappointing race last Saturday.

I need to keep things in persective. Eventhough I had some quick success last year the race last weekend was almost the one year anniversary of my first triathlon. The
first race I ever did was on 4.1.2006 at Bonelli Park in San Dimas. So in a year I've gone from never having done any kind of endurance event to having some pretty good races both triathlon and running. I am defintely getting pretty stoked for the first Xterra of the season and my training leading up to it.

So here's a bunch photos from the last week. Most are from the Padres home opener and the game last night. Both games were good. They lost the opener 4-3, but came back to win the bottom of the 9th last night. Both nighs were fun and included plenty of beer and greasy food. Today they won in the bottom of the 10th. I'll take a 4-2 start.

Pre-game beverage on opening day:

The ticket:

Honoring T. Gwynn... the man:



national anthem:

huge flag:

Pre-game snacks day two:

More unhealthy snacks that will not be in my diet starting tomorrow:

We needed something to wash down all the grease:

Heading in, day two:

Here's a video I took on my camera on the second night after the bottom of the 9th win:

Thursday, April 05, 2007

a down week....

Well this week has defintely been a change from the recent norm. I have just been hanging out with friends, eating food I normally wouldn't, and just relaxing. I still have had daily workouts, but I am still in recovery mode. I have been sleeping and just going with the flow. Tomorrow I have a swim and run and then the Padres home opener. I am thinking I will sleep in, run, go to work, swim at lunch, and then it's off to the game.

I watched "What it Takes" this morning as I spun away on the trainer. What really made me think is when Peter Reid was talking about his diet, and his "self diagnosed" eating disorder. A lot of that reflects to what I have been thinking this week. After eating so healthy and clean for the last couple of months I have felt really guitly indulging in not-so-good food and drinks this week. Every bad thing I have been eating has made me feel guitly, but it hasn't stopped me. Two weeks ago I had a fitness test and they did a body fat test and I came in at 3.7%. That's probably too lean.

So this week I am just living it up. I have 2 baseball games to to and after having to work late for an upgrade tonight my brother and I headed to a sports bar to watch the Pads try to sweep the Giants (didn't happen). We had beers and nachos... and chicken wings! I need to kind of let go and relax and recover. I worked really hard and was really focuesd on the 70.3 and I need to let go of that race. The next 3 weeks are going to be tough ones. Jim uploaded my schedule and it looks like fun, and by fun I mean it's going to kick my ass. A lot more intensity than I have had so far this year. I have 2 races on back to back weekends and I am training through them with Temecula being my next "A" race. So staring Sunday it's on. I will be back to the training diet and hopefully packing on a couple pounds of muscle over the next few weeks.


I am into this song from one of my favorite bands, "Say Anything":
Wow, I Can Get Sexual Too

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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Taking it easy and getting back on track.

ok... so I kind of lost my mind for a quick second after last weekends race. Right away I started looking for another 70.3 to do. Having that bad of a race after how prepared I was and how hard I trained was definitely a disappointment. After talking with Jim and my family I have come back from the "ledge". I don't want one bad race potentially affect my season and my goals in Xterra.

I am still contemplating the idea of doing the Baja 70.3 on 6/10, but we'll see how the early season Xterra's go. I finally found out my work travel schedule and I will be get able to get in both the Arizona Xtreme Desert Triathlon (4/21) and Xterra Castaic (4/29). The races are on back to back weekends I am going to train right through them. I really want to put in some solid training for the Xterra West Championships in Temecula as that is now my #1 focus.

I have just been taking it easy so far this week. I have been getting my mountain bike ready to go and ready to put in some serious training. I am really looking forward to adding a lot of intensity back to my training. The longer stuff was a nice change and did build up a good base, but I thrive on the hard training and really pushing myself. I have let my super healthy diet slip a bit this week too. I have definitely been enjoying some beers and some foods I have stayed away from the past couple of months. I'll be back to the full on training diet next week and adding some calories in hopes of packing on a couple pounds of muscle in the coming weeks.

I am really looking forward to the weekend and it has nothing to do with Triathlon. Friday I am going to the Padres home opener and then also going to the Saturday night game. I can't wait to be in Petco with a cold one watching Greg Maddux make his debut for the Pads. They won their season opener yesterday against the divisional rival Giants. It was a day game and watched from the comfort of my office while I got caught up on work.

If you haven't heard of "sopcast" I suggest you look into it. You can basically stream and live games (mlb,nba,etc) for free. Check out the links:
Sports Channel Directories

That's it. Here are some photos from the race.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Race Report - California 70.3 - 3.31.2007

Super long post.

What a F'ing disaster of a race. I am not even sure where to start this race report so I'll just break it down. Starting with the night before, to the post race visit to the med tent, and then onto the beers and burritos.

Night before:
I was very relaxed and was able to easily fall asleep just after 9pm. I never force myself to try and go to sleep too early because it always makes for a restless night. I had my alarm set for 3:45am. Tranisition opened at 4:45 and closed at 6:30. With the crowd I was anticipating I wanted to get down and take care of business with out any hassle.

Race Day:

I woke up at 3:43 without the alarm going off. Perfect. I was feeling rested and ready to go. I had my pre-race meal (see below). I hit the road, found a good parking spot and got into transition. It was cold down there. The thermometer in my truck was reading 44 degrees. I was pretty bundled up so I was ok. I got a really good spot at the end of my rack, set up, got body marked, and just tried to stay warm (wasn't really working, I was freezing). At 630 transition closed. I was in the last wave of the day and didn't start until 7:48 so I had some time to kill. So I took a bag with my wetsuit in it and left the transition area. I met my family down near the "hot corner", dropped off my bag and started to warm up. I was still cold but jogging around was warming me up. About 7:15 I put on my suit and proceeded to the swim corral. I had to stand around for another 30 minutes in my suit and I started to get really cold. By the time we were allowed to enter the water my hands and feet were already numb and was not really looking forward to the sub 60 degree water.

Pre-race brekkie:

It was as in-water starter and I got into a pretty good position. I could see there were a lot of slower swimmers from previous waves in packs along the course. The gun went off and we were cruising. I was in a pack and didn't get knocked around too much. I was trying, unsuccessfully, to find some good feet to draft off. I kept trying but couldn't get on any feet that were the right speed. So I pretty swam the entire first half solo and had to sight more than usual to weave in and out of the traffic from earlier waves. The swim back was brutal from a sighting stand point. We headed straight into the sun and without a good group to swim with I was swimming right into a lot of people. The traffic was thick and the cold started getting to me, but it was easy. The swim did not take anything out of me I just wasn't fast and didn't swim too smart.

33:25 - 1:45/100 (are you kidding me???) Horrible swim.

Usually I have some of the quickest transition times but my hands and feet were super numb. I was clumsy and fumbling all over the place. I ripped my race number off my race belt trying to put it on and then I couldn't buckle my helmet because of my hands. I had to ask an old lady volunteer to buckle my helmet. She asked me if I wanted to get some soup (they had soup in the med tent) before I headed out on the bike because I was shaking and looked cold. hahaha! Then running out of transition I dropped my bike. I hate being cold!

Nutrition I took on the bike:
2 x 20oz bottles - 290 calories each, mix of NUUN, Gatorade endurance and carbo-pro. I have been training with this mix and it works great for me.
1 x gel flask - 300 calories, 3 cliff shots

I finally got on my bike and was shivering like crazy as I pulled up my arm warmers and got into my shoes. I was all over the place and all I was thinking about was getting warm and couldn't really get up to speed. A couple miles into the bike you ride behind a strip mall on the base and the roads suck. I was getting ready to pass a guy when he hit something and swerved right in front of me. I quickly swerved and bashed straight into a pot hole going 20+ mph. I heard a super loud pop. I though I flatted for sure but I didn't. The hard impact snapped one of the bolts on my hydrotail (rear mounted bottle carrier) and one of my 2 bottles of calories was lost and I now only had one usable bottle cage (on the frame) and 3/4 of a bottle and a gel flask left. At about ten miles in I started to warm-up some and my legs felt great. Better then ever actually and I started to hammer. I was averaging 23-24+ mph and passing tons of people.

I got to the first aid station and decided to take some of my gel and grab a water. I took some gel out of the flask and put it back, grabbed a water, slugged some of it and chucked (I didn't have any where to put it). Then I looked down and I didn't close my flask all the way and get gel was spewing out. I started with 3 gels in it (300 cals) and now maybe had 100 cals left. So now I was through aid station 1 and I had 1/2 bottle of calories and 1 serving of gel left. I wasn't too worried about it because there were 2 aid stations left.

A couple of miles down the road I grab my bottle take swig and drop it as I am trying to put it back. Crap. Now I have no liquid calories and nothing to wash down the gels. I finally got to the next aid station grabbed a Gatorade, threw it in my cage, and then grabbed a water and downed as much as possible and then chucked it (nowhere to put it). I also tried to grap a banana but the volunteered juked me. So now at least I had some fluid and there were some calories in it (only 220 in 24oz Gatorade bottles). Even with the lack of fluid and calories I was feeling really good on the bike and just flying by people up the hills. Then it happened again. After one of the climbs I pulled out the Gatorade and again with my still numb fingers I fumbled and dropped the bottle and I had a long way to go until the 3rd and final aid station and it was starting to get really warm. My hands a feet finally thawed but I now had nothing... again., but this time for miles! I was starting to sweat and was really thirsty but still able to ride hard and actually felt great. I finally got to the last aid station and again put a Gatorade bottle in my cage, slugged some water and prepared for the next 10 miles of false flats into a head wind. The last section was tough mentally and I was starting to wear a bit but I was able still ride at a good clip. Approaching the end of the bike with about 4 miles to go you ride back behind the strip mall. For some reason I thought this would be a good spot to finish my gel. I grabbed the flask, finished what was left which was only about 3/4 of a serving. I needed to wash it down so I reached down, grabbed the Gatorade, and as soon as I pulled it out a hit a bump, and yep... dropped another bottle. What the hell? I never ever drop bottles in training and that made 3 and to make it worse I had just taken some gel and now couldn't wash it down.

I finally got off the bike. My plan for the bike was to take in about 800 cals and 50-60+oz of fluid. Doing the math I figured I actually took in about 450 cals and only 30oz of water/fluid. Not the way you want to start a half marathon.

2:44:43 - 20.4 mph avg (again... horrible.)
I am pretty sure if I took the first 5-10 miles out when I was shivering my ass off my avg would have been a lot better, but who knows. I did feel really good on the bike. The legs were there and again the distance felt easy. I could have probably ridden harder.

1:29 - Really quick in and out after long run in transistion. Finally something went right!!!

So yeah... I started the run with a gnarly calorie deficit, was feeling very thirsty, and have no idea how down I was on electrolytes/salt. I hit the aid station on the way out of T2 and chucked back some water. My legs still felt good and I got through the first mile in 5:58 and then started downing calories. I took a gel with water at the first aid station and then started taking in Gatorade endurance at every aid station trying to get some calories in me and electrolytes. I was still feeling ok and was averaging 6:15 min/miles. I started adding cola to the mix along with another gel at the 6 mile mark. Everything I had been taking in was just sitting in my gut and not emptying. My stomach was knotting up and I was super bloated. I then got a vicious cramp on the left side of my gut. Things were getting bad between miles 6 and 8. At mile 8 the wheels came off and I felt like I hit a brick wall and needed to puke to empty my stomach. At mile 10 I stopped at a port-o-john and tried to throw up. After and unsuccessful couple of minutes I exited and tried to get up to speed but couldn't. The last 3 miles were brutal. All I could think about was the finish line. I was so bloated and full that I could barely even get some water down. I didn't want anything. It was rough but I never walked even though I really wanted to. I was so stoked to finish and was super dizzy. I guess I didn't look good because they walked me straight into the med tent.

1:28:47 - 6:46/mile (I am not happy with this at all, but considering what happened and stopping for a couple of minutes at the john it's not too bad.... ok.. yeah it is.)

just wanting to finish:

4:52:47 (very disappointing, at least 20+ min slower than I know I am capable of)

Med tent:
They sat me down, gave me fluid, and ice packs, and offered me food. I couldn't even think about eating my gut was jacked. They put me on a scale too. My pre-race weight was officially 133lbs and after a bottle of water, everything I took in on the course , and a severly bloated gut I was at 125lbs. Not good. After a while in there I was feeling better. I started to milk it a bit because the nurse helping me was pretty hot. Then it was on to get my gear and meet up with my family.

None of the distances felt hard and after I got some food and fluids down I felt great. Jim definitely had me in shape for the race. This morning my body feels just little more beat up than normal. Not too shelled, but that could been from all the beer and food I consumed last night! I am pretty disappointed in my performance, especially after training as hard as I did. Now it's time to focus on Xterra and building up my speed. Xterra season opener in 3 weeks.

Lessons Learned:
1. I will never, ever, ever do a cold weather race again. I am just not suited for it. I am a scrawny SOB, and I hate being cold. I will only do running races or duathlons in the early season from here on out.

2. There is no rectifying blowing your nutrition plan. I tried to make up for it on the run and I suffered.

3. I need to swim smarter/harder (still).

4. The bike is still something that needs to be worked on (again, nothing new here), but I really felt good on the bike after the 10 mile mark and was able to sustain a good speed.

Post race:
I hung around on the beach for a while and even felt good enough to have a beer. I had a blast hanging out with my family all night and really didn't think about the race at all. Just knocked back some beers and good food, which is what I am planning today as well.

Post race, on the beach. Having a beer and still trying to get warm.

This what I have remember the race by:

The next week will be about recovery then I would put in solid block for the Xterra on 4/21.

Post race indulgence:

and some more: