Thursday, May 31, 2007


Life is good.

I have been super busy... with work and training.

I started off last week just focusing on recovery, arranging my trip to Virgnia for the Xterra East champs, and letting my wounds heal.

All my cuts and scrapes are looking good and the only one I am still dealing with is the hip and it's almost gone as well. I didn't take me too long to recover from the race I went on a couple of easy rides on Tuesday and Wednesday and by Thursday I was ready to go.

I am going out of town this weekend... to good 'ol Vegas.. so there will be no training. So my plan was to go big on the bike with solid 9 day block before taking two days off. I have done a couple runs and swims but I am mostly focusing on the bike. Starting next week I will hit some speed workouts to prep for Richmond. Here's what the past couple week has looked like:

Thursday 5/24:
Easy Recovery Ride, pushed it on some climbs: 1:28 - 21.58 miles - 2464ft of climbing

Friday 5/25:
MTB - Just riding around local trails: 1:16 - 11.75 miles - 2338ft of climbing

Saturday: 5/26:
AM: MTB - Hard ride: 2:23 - 21.26 miles - 4029ft of climbing
PM: Recovery Ride: 1:21 - 19.96 miles - 1468ft of climbing

graph from morning MTB ride:

Sunday 5/27:
MTB: fun ride in PQ: 1:50 - 18 miles - 1661ft of climbing

Monday 5/28:
Long, hard road ride: 3:58 - 58 miles - 5000+ ft of climbinig

Tuesday 5/29:
Easy recovery ride on Trainer: :45 - 12.35 miles

Wednesday: 5/30:
MTB intervals: 1:21 - 12.97 miles - 1990ft of climbing.
Tursday: 5/31
Road ride - 2 x College: 1:35 - 25.35 - 1938ft of climbing

stopping for red bull on my long ride:

calling it a day:

creek crossing in PQ canyon:

memorial day feast:

I am getting ready to head out the door for a quick 90min on the MTB before heading to Vegas.
double down!

Friday, May 25, 2007


Just a quick post.

I am recovering well. I have been taking really good care of my wounds and they are healing quickly. Training-wise I have gotten in some easy rides, a run, and a swim. Feeling good.

They posted a killer photo of my on the Xterra site from the race. It's hands down the best race photo of me I have ever seen. It makes me look fast!


Here are some links to some killer race videos. The first one is Temecula and the second is Castaic Lake.

Xterra West Champs - Temecula

Xterra Castaic

That's about it. I went to the Padres game last night, had killer seats, some beers, and they lost.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Race Report: Xterra West Champs - 5.19.2007

I'm back from a killer weekend of camping and racing. Everytime I go camping I want to go more and more and camping prior to racing is ideal for me. I was so relaxed by the time race morning came around. My brother, his girlfriend, my sister, my nephew, and my friend Tom all camped on the same site. It was defintely a good time. I had some other friends camping as well and there were a lot of other racers out there too which made for a really good vibe throughout the weekend.

my weekend home:

I brought the SS to cruise around the campground which ended up being a good call because we were a good walk from the bathroom/showers. It helped save the legs and it's just a blast to ride.

Relaxing by the fire the night before the race.

The makings for one strong-ass cup of coffee. So good.

Camping brekkie. Just like home.


I woke up around 6am race morning and I was ready to go. I ate a ton the day before was really feeling fueled up. I made a couple cups of strong coffed and had my pre-race oatmeal. After breakfast it was time to breakdown the tent and get things ready to roll. Around 8am Tom and I parked our vehicles and headed down to the lake.

I got a pretty good spot in transistion, strapped on the ipod, and started to warm-up with some light jogging. The sun was just coming out and it was heating up quickly. 15 minutes before the start I was in the water and got in a good swim warm-up.

Swim (2 x 750m laps with beach run):

The swim was a mass start so as can be expected it was pretty rough. There is really nothing you can do except roll with the punches (literally). When it gets really rough I just have the same mindset when I get worked surfing and get held under. If you just relax, don't panic, and keep your heart rate under control you'll eventually float to the top. It's the same in the swim. When it gets really rough I just zone out and relax. The swim went well even with getting me goggles kicked off 3 times, which has never happened to me before. I did a fair share of drafting but nothing sustained. The swim felt slow but I came out with a good pack and in the mix. I really like 2 laps swims with the run in between.
Swim - 1500m + t1: 25:02

Bike: 24 miles

I was in and out transistion pretty quickly and for the first time decided to wear a hydration pack. It really didn't take any additional time to throw it on. The first quarter mile was a climb on a paved road. Two pros, Brian Smith and Brian Astell (both strong MTB'ers) came up from behind me and I jumped on their wheels. They pulled me up the climb and then it was downhill to the start of the trail.
The first part of the trail is a fire road climb and my plan was to attack right away on this section before getting to the the hard climbs. I just laid it down. For the first time in a race I was totally riding away from people. Guys were trying to stay on my wheel and couldn't. After a couple of miles on the fire road it was on to the real climbing. I again jumped on some wheels and made my way through the pack. I passed a couple of guys in my AG and was feeling really good.

Then it was time to descend and I was flying. My new bike (the epic) was just sucking up all the technical sections. Towards the end of the first lap there is a long fast roller coaster descent down the ridge line. There are some technical rocky sections but I just flew over them. Right at the end there is a short, steep, switchback descent and it went in with a little too much speed and my front tire washed out in one of the turns. I was thrown to the ground hard and was sliding down the trail on my hip, shoulder, and head. I quickly got back to my feet, finished the descent with my chain off, and then got myself together at the bottom. I knew I had a couple good cuts and scrapes but I was ready to get back at it. It took me a minute or two to really get it back together and start pushing.

While I was down I was caught by a couple of guys in my AG. I pushed to stay with them through a fire road section and then on to the "tunnel of love"(super fun single track). The three of us started lap two together and we were back on the fire road where I made my initial attack and I went for it again. I was able to drop one of them but the other latched on. I put a little gap on him right before the hard climbs. I rode through some people on the climb and was able to drop the guy in my AG completely. However I was caught by a guy in my AG, Luke Jay, near the top. He's strong on the bike but I knew if I could keep him insight I could get him on the run. I was able to this and come into T2 about 45 seconds behind him.

Bike +t2: 1:45:48
Run: Hard/Hot/Hilly 6.2 miles:

Brutal. I finally caught Marc as I was leaving t2. I later found out he was first out of the water. So rad. Right out of tranisition you hit a trail and then up a huge climb. I knew I had some work to do and just pushed on. I was making up ground quickly. I caught a few guys on the first climb, a couple more on the ridgeline and then finally caught Luke once we descended onto the road. The second half of the run was different from last year and much harder. I continued to push but was defintely feeling the extra effort I put in on the bike and my left side was pretty sore from the crash. I continued to track people down until there was nobody else that I could see or within reach.

Run: 43:50
23rd Overall
3rd Amateur Overall
3rd in AG (as luck would have it the my AG finished 1-2-3 forthe AMs)

I was kind of bummed after the race. I mean I was defintely stoked to be the 3rd amateur but 3rd in my AG does not get me a slot for Worlds and that was my goal. Only the top 2 in 25-29 get slots. If I was any other AG I would have my ticket punched. So now it's time to stay focused and I will now be heading to Richmond, VA for the Xterra East Champs in hopes of getting a slot to Xterra Worlds.

After the race I was sent to the med tent to get cleaned up. It was not fun. The crash happened on the first lap and all the wounds were crusty and filled with dirt. Needless to say getting them cleaned out sucked. Ryan came over to the med tent and took over from the EMT helping me out. I think he enjoyed making me suffer!

running to the finish:

crossing the line:

talking with my friend, and new Xterra pro Cody Waite:

Stoked to be finished... probably thinking about an ice cold beer:


Special guest EMT Ryan cleaning me up:

not fun:

On the Podim with the 25-29 chicks:

Xterra's new Sponsor for 2007... Everybody needs a beer after a race like this.

All cleaned up:

the elbow:
the hip:

Trying to get ready to go get some beer & Pizza:

Friday, May 18, 2007

a quick change of plans...

This will be the last post until after the Xterra West Championships in Temecula on Sunday. It's always nice to shutdown the computer for a few days. With my job I am latched to a PC hours a day and then at home it's more of the same. Time to relax.

The original plan was to hit a quick ride this morning on my local trails but after talking with Jim yesterday and hearing the bike course has changed I am going to hit a light pre-ride this afternoon. I will definitely avoid all the climbs and just ride the new single track sections. I am meeting my friend Tom from AZ so it should be a good time.

I have everything ready to camp. I packed up all my gear, groceries, and made up a bunch of food as well. I am just looking forward to lounging around the campgroud and staying off the legs the next couple of days.
that's it... A RR will come sometime next week.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

tapping into some speed...

I really like the workouts leading up to a race. Short, quick, and to the point. I like breaking out the race pace (or faster) intervals and tapping into some speed. It's just enough to know what it feels like to go hard without taking too much out of me. Here's how the week is shaping up so far.

After a full day of rest on Monday I was ready to hit the pool tuesday morning. We had a solid workout with some longer intervals but also just some short fast stuff. I was feeling really good. After work it was time for the bike. I was debating all whether to the interval workout on the road bike or the new MTB. It's not really suprising that the MTB won.

I ended up having a killer workout and smashing some of the previous times on a tough loop by my house. I rode this same loop on my hardtail on 4/10 to set a baseline for the climb and descent. Here are the numbers from 4/10:
climb: 3:28
descent: 4:05 (17 mph)
climb: 3:29
descent: 3:45 (19.1 mph)

Here's the numbers from yesterday:
climb: 3:05
descent: 3:10 (22.4 mph)

climb: 3:05
descent: 3:09 (20.6 mph)

The first time I did this loop I was coming off the 70.3 and had just started focusing on Xterra and the MTB. It was also done on my hardtail. This time I was on my new Epic and have been putting a lot of quality on the bike. I am stoked to see the progress.

This morning was an interval run on a different offroad loop by my house. I got in six intervals all faster than 5k pace:
2 x 3min
2 x 2min
2 x 1 min

I descended all the efforts and the recovery interval was equal to the work interval. I felt fast and ready to go. At lunch I hit the gym for an easy 20 min spin on the recumbent bike and a lot stretching. After work it was off to get and adjustment and a 60 min massage.

Tomorrow I'll hit Masters and then call it a day. Then it's time to stay off the legs until my short Friday morning ride.

I am feeling good.... and can't wait to hit it on Sunday.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Race Week: Xterra West Champs

The week is finally here. I have been looking forward to the race since the Xterra season ended for me last year in Maui. I really can't wait to get out there and go for it.

Training last week solid. It was a little more heavy on bike and easier on the run which I think will lead to some really fresh legs this week. I have kind of different approach to race week and rest after my sickness before the Castaic Xterra race. I was laid up and sick for four days prior to the race and as a result my body was very rested when the weekend came. So this week I will definitely be taking it easy both physically and mentally. I still have some key workouts to get in to tap into some speed and race pace effforts but I am really going to focus on recovery and relaxing.

Saturday I headed out to Temecula to pre-ride the course with some friends and other athletes that Jim coaches. Ryan coordintated the whole trip so we could all ride together. I was told we had one huge van and a lim0 for transportation. I thought the limo was a joke bought at 730am on Saturday morning this incredible vehicle pulled in the park and ride:

This thing was amazing. Racks for 5 bikes and plush red "leather" on the inside. The looks we got driving on the interstate and pulling up at Rubio's after riding were priceless.
As for the pre-riding... It was a good time. There is defintely some steep climbs but also some really fun rollers. The new Epic handle and the rocky descents flawlessly. I can't wait to race on it. We took it pretty easy while pre-riding, rode a couple of sections twiced, and always waited for each other at the tops of the climbs. Here's a profile of one lap of the course. It's not exact because we got a little lost at one point.

That's about it. Today's a rest day and a I am going to take full advantage. I need to get all my camping gear ready for Temecula. I will be heading out there Friday and camping over the weekend. This is the same thing I did last year and showed up race morning feeling very relaxed and rested.

One last thing. I finally bought a new grill on Friday. So me and my brother have been cooking out every night. I don't know how I lived with out it. Friday night dinner:

chicken, shrimp, mushrooms, peppers, onions, and 9-grain bread all cooked on the grill:

I'll try to post a couple of times this week before I pack up all the camping gear. It's going to be nice to have a weekend with no computers or cell phones.

Friday, May 11, 2007

the maiden voyage...(new bike)

I'll start with training. It feels so good to be back in the full swing of things. Training has been solid. I have had a couple good rides, 2 solid masters workouts, and a killer run on a new trail I found by my house. Tomorrow I will be heading out to pre-ride the Xterra Temecula course with some friends. It should be a good time.

OK... now for the new bike. I picked it up on Wednesday afternoon at B&L in Solana Beach. Dan hooked me up with a killer fit and I was ready to roll. I wanted to take it out as soon as I got home but I decided to wait until yesterday afternoon.
ready to roll:

my new brain:
Everything on this bike is a complete upgrade from my hardtail. The brakes, the fork, the cranks, the shifters, etc. Everything is spec'd as listed on the Specialized site. The only things that are different are the wheels and shifters. I had it built up with my Stan's ZTR Olympic wheels and had them swap the SRAM trigger shifters with SRAM twist shifters. The twist shifters have a crack on the plastic so I will be getting that replaced next week and I'll wait until then to install my new Ergon team grips.
So I headed out yesterday afternoon. My plan was take it on my local loop which has everything. Steep climbs, tight technical single track, and some long rocky descents. I can't believe how good this bike feels. I was flying down the descents faster than I ever have and with more confidence. The front and rear suspension were sucking up everything. I will still be dialing the suspension in over the next couple of weeks but Dan got me at a very good starting point. One thing I didn't expect was how much better and faster I was able to climb. I thought I may be giving up some up of my climbing going to slightly heavier bike and rear suspension. Defintely not that case. My new position and the bike handled all the climbs with ease and I was actually climbing in bigger gears.
I am so stoked on this bike. I can't wait to ride out a Vail Lake tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

getting back at it...

The last couple of weeks have been nuts. Between racing, getting sick, and spending most of last week in New Jersey for work my training has been all over the place. Thankfully I was able to have a good race and for the most part I have been able to get in most of my workouts or at least some kind of workout. The training schedule has kind of gone out the window and with the way things are going at work (in a good way) there will be more crazy work and unpredictable scheduling.

The only thing that I have really had a hard time getting in is the swims. I swam once the week I was sick and twice last week. All of those were in the work pool and with no master's swims. This morning I was back in the pool for masters and suprisingly I felt great and easily made all the intervals. I have a new approach to my swimming but I'll get into that later.
Last week while I was on the road I sitll managed to get in some good workouts amongst some 15 hour workdays, late dinners, and drinks. All I did was run and hit the gym. Getting to the pool was too tough and the hotel didn't have a stationary bike. Thankfully I don't have to travel much.
I got back in town Friday night/Satruday morning around 1am after spending 7.5 hours on a plane thanks to numerous delays. I was supposed to get in a 4-5 hour mountain bike ride on Saturday, but that wasn't happening. I headed out for a couple hours on the road and followed it up with a 45 minute run. Sunday I did get on my mountain bike for 4 hard hours, 40 miles, and 4000+ ft of climbing.
The data:
chillen at the top. Ergons kill it.
That's about it. Below are some random photos from the week.
work. I spent hours upon hours in this datacenter configuring a bunch of gear.
workout gear on the road.
Essentials I picked up at the grocery store. Trying to eat healthy on the road. It can be done. Luckily I had a room with a kitchen.
More food that I brought from home. Check the pre-packaged oatmeal.
Breakfast is served.
View from the room... the Garden State (NJ) is defintely green.