Thursday, February 28, 2008

It's on: Vision Quest

OK... so I had originally planned to post a summary and review of my base training but that post is going to be lengthy. I started but don't have time to finish it. Work has been nuts this week so I have put it off until next week.

what I will be seeing plenty of this Saturday.

The big news is Vision Quest is Saturday. Vision Quest is a 56.5 mile mountain bike race/ride with 11,000+ ft. of climbing. Good times. I am pretty stoked about getting out there. This race has been what I have used as my motivation on my long 5+ hour rides. Every time I considered pulling the plug on my and heading home I would think about how hard this race was going to be. It kept me honest and that's exactly why I signed up back in October.

Elevation Profile.

more of the course.

I am stoked that I will be out there racing with Luke and Eric. Eric did the race last year so has been getting plenty of questions from me and Luke this week. I think we are already to go. I spent the night finishing up some work, getting the bike ready, and packing up all my nutrition. I am ready to go and if everything goes smoothly tomorrow morning at work I hope to be on the road by 2pm. I need to pick up my packet and check out where I need to be by 5:30am... that's right. The race starts at 5:30am!

So I think that's it. I made myself a killer Salmon burrito (more of this to come on Vo2 Maxxed later) for dinner and am now enjoying a tall glass of Block 50 cab before crashing. My recovery week is going well and I am feeling good and ready to annihilate myself on Saturday.

salmon burrito: wild caught salmon, whole wheat tortilla, avocado, red onion, salsa, spinach, red cabbage, and homemade sour cream/lime white sauce.

one last shot of the Vision Quest course.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Training: Getting it done.

The past couple of weeks have been pretty crazy. It started when I left Thursday (2/14) for AZ and then the adventure that was the 24 Hours in Old Pueblo. Between then and yesterday I have been all over the place bu still managed to get in plenty of quality training. I haven't done a post where I have just straight up with through a week workout by workout in a while. Here's what I have been up to since then...

Sunday (2/17 - Scottsdale, Az):
Since we retreated from the race and had more typical Arizona weather we decided to get in a big day on the bike. Trevor, Brian, and I headed out from Tom's house towards Bartlett Lake. The 13 mile climb back up from the lake was rad. We got in a great ride and the scenery was epic. Right after the ride we hit the trails that are right outside Tom's door. Trevor was planning going for an hour and somehow convinced me to do the same. The last 25 minutes of that run were at a fast tempo... and it felt great!

Me and Trevor at Bartlett Lake.. before the climb.

The climb up from the lake. As Trevor put it, this was me and Brian having "social hour".

Ride: 5:09 - 86 miles
Run: 56 min - 7.05 miles

Monday (2/18 - Scottsdale, Az):
I had to get back to San Diego and then head straight up to Irvine for a training class all last week. So I got up early, hit the pool and then the trails around Tom's house for another killer mountain bike ride. Right after the ride I headed back to San Diego. 6 hours later I was home and was only there long enough to unpack, repack, and grab a burrito with Beth.

swim: 45 min - 2500 yards
Ride: 1:48 - 13.8 miles - 1920 ft of climbing

Me on the ridge Monday morning. It was a pretty much a perfect morning.

you can see the single track we just climbed up... the descent was a good time.

map and stats of the ride.

view from the top of climb next time I am out there and have more time I am going to ride it all the way to the top.


Tuesday (2/19 - Irvine, Ca):
Being the person that I am I brought my bike and trainer up to Irvine. So Tuesday morning it was the first of my two weekly "mandatory" trainer sessions. Then it was off to class. Right after class I ran out to Upper Newport Beach park (onlyt 1 mile from the hotel) for a trail run.

Ride: 1:30 - 22.52 miles - Gnar trainer session
Run: 47 min - 5.95 miles - exploring

hotel setup.

Wednesday (2/20 - Irvine, Ca):
I was planning on heading back out the trails for a long run, but the bad weather the followed me from California to AZ made its way up to the OC. So instead of a trail run I hit the hotel tready for an interval session... and it was a good one. I always hate the thought of running on the treadmill but when I am done with a workout I am always stoked. After class I headed to the biggest 24 hour fitness I have ever seen for a strength session.

Run: 50 min - 7.2 miles
Strength/core - 60 min

mega 24 hour fitness.

Thursday (2/21 - Irvine, Ca):
Same as Tuesday. Trainer session number two and trail run in the evening.

Ride: 1:38 - 24.65 miles - Gnar trainer session #2
run: 57 min - 7.27 miles

trail run around the bay.

hotel: gear storage... training indoors = mega sweat sessions

Friday (2/22 - Irvine, Ca):
Last day in Irvine... Finally. I got up early to more crappy weather and just got in a mellow workout. Our class was complete around 1pm and I headed straight back home to Carlsbad. Later in the day got in 60 more minutes of running. Bumping up the frequency of my running has me feeling really good.

Ride: 1:05 - 16.5 miles - CTS MTB Vid - Mellow
Rune: 58 min - 8.08 miles

Saturday (back in Carlsbad):
Finally back home and the weather was perfect. Unfortunately my long ride was anything BUT perfect. I headed out early (6:45am) to meet with with the Break Away crew and immediately started having some issues with my bike. Long story short I drove up to Nytro (knowing that they open early for the Swami's ride) and the mechanic hooked me up. Rear derailleur adjusted and power tap hub batteries changed. Then I was finally on the road to meet up with the team. I was about 20 miles into my ride and had to use the bathroom so I pulled off and let them go. The two minute break left me hammering trying to work my way back into the pack but I was hitting every single red light. I descended down to San Elijo Hills to find the group waiting ahead on the side of the road. I figured some had a flat and I wish that was the case. There was a crash... and a bad one. 5 guys went down. 3 of the guys had minor road rash and Erik came away with broken wrist. Unfortunately Luke got the worst of it and had to be taken away in ambulance. He's still in pretty bad shape. 30 minutes later we rolled out again. We were all pretty shaken up from just had just happened and I couldn't believe the "dumb luck" I had. If hadn't stopped to use the can I would have been right up in the mix (I usually try and sit on Luke's wheel on the flats) and probably would have went down too.

I rode all through Elfin Forrest and Del Dios with Shane and Chuck and we just let the group go. I parted ways with those guys in La Jolla and made my way back home only to have my rear derailleur cable snap right after descending Torrey pines. So I road to B&L and then got me going again.... and then I finally finished my ride.

Ride: 5:12 - 86.35 miles - 3001 kj

More bad weather. Due to the rain in the morning I slept in a bit, lounged around on the coach with Beth and then headed off the gym for a strength session. Got it done and then headed home for more lounging. The weather finally started to break so we headed to Cardif for get in our long runs along the coast. We ran together for the first 5 miles in the drizzle and then she headed back. I pushed on down to the Torrey Pines parking lot, grabbed some water, took a gel, and then headed back as the sun came out full force.

Run: 1:43 - 14 miles - avg HR 152

and that concludes my crazy last couple of weeks and my 2008 base training. This week is a much needed recovery week and the I have Vision Quest on Saturday. I will review my Base phase in a post later this week...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

It's time...

First off... check VO2 Maxxed for a guest post/recipe from my Dad.

OK. The time has come and things are changing.

Number 1.

First of all I will be racing for the Breakaway Training Elite team this as well as helping them out with coaching. I met with Felipe and Luke from Breakaway a couple of weeks and we discussed the possibilities for me. With racing on their team comes a lot of great sponsors. So far the ones I know about are:
Look Bicycles

I will be racing on this epic machine:

Hi-Tech Bikes

As a member of the Elite Team I will be racing the KOZ Enterprises San Diego Triathlon Series. It's a series of road races (2 olympics and 3 sprints) and they fit really well into my Xterra race schedule. I will not be tapering for these races but I definitely expect to toe the line and throwdown with the boys in the "Elite" division.

Number 2.

I have been selected to be on the PowerBar Elite team. Last year I started experimenting with PowerBar products during racing and training. I used the bars, gels, endruance drink, and recovery drinks and they worked well for me. So I started using PowerBar exclusively leading up to nationals and worlds and finally had my nutrition locked down. So I applied for the Team last September and just found last week that I was selected. This is another great opportunity for me and the sponsorship will last for 2 years. Stoked!

Number 3.

I have decided to race the entire Xterra USA Championship Series. While I was in AZ this past weekend the boys convinced me. It should be a good time. I will start the season in my own backyard in Temecula and then head out for an Southeast and East coast road trip in June. Then in August I will hit up the Mountain Champs in Ogden, UT and then make the final push towards Nationals and Worlds.

Number 4.

This is a plug for Trevor and some of the best gear I have ever used. Trevor has been working to bring Skinfit to the US and starting in May it will available to the public. They will launching a US site and blog soon so keep on the lookout. Click on the image above or the link on the sidebar to check out the main Skinfit site to get an idea of what they will be offering. I will racing and training in Skinfit gear this year and am stoked!

Monday, February 18, 2008

24 hours in the Old Pueblo

I am thinking about changing the name of my blog after this past weekend. Something like Cold, Snow, and Tears... not really but it was a very interesting (and fun) weekend).


I headed out Thursday morning after and epic valentines day breakkie with beth. The normally trustworthy San Diego weather men (ok, never, they suck) predicted sunny skies and mild temps. When I hit the to road it was raining and pretty chilly. Needless to say when there is rain in SD people forget how to drive. Once I finally made it to I-8 I was roll'n unitl I hit the Laguna Mountains. The rain had now turned into snow. This slowed me down a bit but I made it through. I found out Friday that they ended up closing a 27 mile strech of the I-8 due to the snow later that day. Luckily I got on the road and made it through. I made it to Tom's, ate some killer grub, waited for Trevor to arrive, and then we all crashed.

the start of my drive.


We were up early to hit the pool. Tom has an amazing aquatic facilitly two minutes from his house. We were in the water by 6:15 and Trevor lead us through a solid workout. The water was pretty warm (83) which made the 3000 yards a little tougher but I just tried to hold on and keep up with these guys. After the swim we head back to Tom's for some breakfast and then the originial plan was to head out on the bikes for a bit, but the rain followed me to AZ. It was raining so we just chilled, finished packing, and hit the road. We picked up Brian and after a couple of pit stops we headed for Old Pueblo.

Just getting to the race site was adventure. Just prior to reaching the "24 hour Town" you have to drive a 9.3 mile stretch of dirt road. From all the rain the road was already a mud pit and torn up. Trevor and Brian were in a Prius and Tom and I were charging in the Xterra. Somehow Trevor's Prius dealt with gnarly conditions way better than Tom's Xterra. We were slipping and sliding all over the road but it made for good times.

Trevor's amazing Prius.

We finally made it to "Town" and found the boys from Focus Cyclery. Brian rides for them so they had some spots reserved for us. It was cold (upper 30's) so we decided to start setting up camp immediately. As soon as we busted out the gear it began to drizzle, then rain, and then snow. We were all laughing at this point but were also freezing. We got all of our tents set up and bikes under the EZ-UP and headed for the EXPO to check-in. Standing in line, drinking coffee, getting sleeted on, we decided we were going to make a break for it and crash in a hotel for the night.... ok... so were are not tough men... we are wimps.. there I said it.

Lucky for us Brian was prepared (that made one of us). He brought a list of phone numbers of the closet hotels. Our first call was a success and we had two rooms lines up at the San Manuel Hotel and Lodge. We packed some of our shit and hit the gnarly dirt road again. We were stoked that the guys from Focus agreed to keep an eye on our gear so we were able to leave our camp set up. Once we made it to the highway the snow really started to come down and we all pretty sure we made the right choice.

We made it to the hotel which looked like a converted insane asylum but were stoked to find clean rooms, working heaters, and hot showers. We all got cleaned up bought some necessities and headed out for some grub. After dinner it was back to the the hotel for some more "carbo loading" and then we all crashed. I got a great night sleep (thank's PBR) and woke up warm, and positive we made the right choice.

Pre-race dinner.

washing it down.


We woke up to this.

I headed down first thing to grab some coffee and then we were on the road. We got back to the race site and it was still really cold. Our tents had all collapsed from all the snow and we listened to horror stories of how cold the night was. Most people without RV's ended up sleeping in their cars. Not fun.

Heading out Saturday morning.

Since the point of this whole weekend was to get in a heavy dose of training we all headed out for a run prior to the start of the race which definitely got us some strange looks, but it felt good and it was the first time I actually felt warm up there. Shorty after we got back Tom got ready to start. Our lineup: Tom, Brian, Me, Trevor.

The sun finally came out for a bit just prior to the start.

Tom got out quick and we were off to a good start... That lasted about 10 Minutes. Tom got a front flat which caused him to crash on a pretty fast descent. After getting himself together and getting some loaner gear (took the wrong tube) to fix the flat Tom was finally back and Brian bolted out on the trail. We got Tom back to the campsite and he was covered in dirt and blood (knee). The cut on knee was pretty bad but he was down playing it.

Tom... bummed.

I got ready to roll and in no time I was in transition trying to stay warm and itching to finally get out on the trail. Brian put in a fast lap and I was on my way. Brian's advice as we made the tag, "Go for it, just put it in the big ring and hammer!" That's just what I did and had a really good lap and made my way though loads of riders which was tricky at time because the the majority of the course is single track. I felt great and by the time I got back to transition I was amping out and laughing about how much fun I just had.

running out of transition to my bike.

When I got to the the tent Trevor wasn't there to head out. Tom was waiting for me to tell me that we were hitting the road. While I was out on my lap he visited the med tent and he was told that he needed stitches ASAP and a tetnace shot. The closet hospital was far away and the boys decided while I was out riding that we were all just going to pack it in and take Tom to Urgent Care. All for one and one for all.

I was disappointing but there is nothing you can do. Getting his knee taken care of was the most important thing and considering the fact that it was still very cold and only getting colder I wasn't too upset with packing it in knowing I had a hot shower and bed waiting for me back in Scottsdale.

So that's it... that's the race report. We made up for pulling out by putting in a mega training day on Sunday but I will get to that in my next post.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Some BIG changes...

I am the middle of a really big week in the last phase of base training. This 16 block cycle is all about the bike while keeping the run volume steady. I will end it with Vision Quest on 3/1. Work has been nuts so I have definitely been burning the candle at both ends but I leave tomorrow for AZ which will be good times for sure. I am really stoked for the 24 hour race and the guys I am racing with are all strong on the bike so I think we should do pretty well... but it's really all about having fun and getting in some solid time in the saddle. It's going to be a tough 4 days in AZ. Along with the race we are also going to be swimming and running... Going BIG!

24 hour course.

I have a big change to announce that will affect my training and racing schedule a bit. I don't want to let it out of the bag just yet until I have all the details, but it's a great opportunity for me and I am stoked!

Not much else going on... Beth is sick and I am trying to stay healthy. That's it. Have a good weekend and I promise a good Race and training report from the weekend.

oh yeah... get ready for a killer post on Vo2 Maxxed. Beth made me the some gnarly granola/energy bars for Valentines day and the race. She kills it!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Log it.

This past weekend was one of those weekends that reminds me that I don't want to leave Southern California any time soon. The weather was perfect and I got race, ride, and hang out with some awesome people while out training.

After 5 solid days of recovery (that I definitely needed) I got back at this weekend... In a big way.

Saturday was my biggest ride of the year. Even though I have been on rides with similar duration the intensity of this ride was up a bit at times as well as the distance. I rode out met up with the boys from Break Away training for their weekly ride. It was in the upper 40's when I left my house but I kind of under dressed because it was supposed to warm up... and it did. When I ended the ride it was close to 80 degress, not a cloud in the sky, and was riding sans arm/knee-warmers for the first time in a while!

All the guys I rode with were strong and it was apparent that I have not been working on my top end yet and these guys are used to hammering. I was able to latch on to most of the breaks but some caught me off guard so there were a couple of times I was off the back and to work my way back up. Overall it was a killer ride and I will be riding with these guys in the future, especially as I get closer to race time.

the ride:.
5,5 hours
95 miles.
work: 3064 kj
normal power 199
avg HR 145

Sunday it was time to run. Beth and I race in the 23rd Annual Guys and Gals 4 Mile Couples Fun Run put on by the San Diego Track Club. This race has been going on for a long time and there were a lot people out there who have done the race for years.

I was basically using it as a run test to set my LTHR and LT Pace. I head pretty heavy legs from the ride the day before but overall felt good. We both went out fast and had good solid races. I finished 1st overall with a time of 22:37 for the 4.08 miles and Beth wasn't too far behind with a 26:06 and was the top Female. My goal was to negative split the course and I did so I was happy with that. We won the couples title (combined times) but were a couple of minutes off the record set by Paula Newby Frasier and Paul Huddle. We were pretty stoked, but the best part of the race were all the people out there. There was such a mellow, good spirited vibe and everyone
was just trying to have a good time. That's what I'm all about.

Race Data:
Distance: 4.08 miles
Duration: 22:37 (5:32/mi)
Avg Hr: 187
Max Hr: 192

After the race we got in another 50 minutes trotting around Mission Bay and just enjoying the weather. It was perfect! Then we hit the Naked Cafe for a chronic breakkie!

Banana and Blackberry pancake.

That's it. I have another solid work lined up and a lot going work before I head out for Arizona on Thursday afternoon for the 24 Hours in Old Pueblo and a weekend of mega training! I will be racing as part of a 4-man team and can't wait!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008


Damn... I forgot how much running-only races kick my ass! I don't think my body was really ready to go as hard as I did, but it's the only way I know and that's why I have be very careful with when and how much I race.

They posted the results and a write-up on the trail race. I ended up 8th overall and 3rd in my AG even with my little detour. I'll take it.

I woke up Monday morning and could barely make it to the bathroom. My glutes, calves, and especially my hip-flexors were screaming at me. Thankfully this week is a recovery week and I had a massage lined up first thing Monday morning. I knew I would be hurting but had no idea how much.

Tuesday morning I got up and knocked out 4250 yards in the pool and that kind of helped my loosen up my legs but there was still no way I was going to get the trainer session in that I had planned for the evening. I still did end up getting on the trainer but instead of the interval workout I just spun for an hour, which seemed like 3. Riding the trainer is like doing time when there are no intervals... but it did help. Then I spent some alone time with the foam roller. I was able to get in the trainer session I had planned Wednesday morning and then also a mellow run at lunch. I felt good on the bike and like crap on the run. It's pretty much what I expected. Then it was more time with the foam roller and marathon stick.

I am pretty stoked as to where I am with training right now. I am seeing a lot of progress on the bike so I know the specific training I have been doing is paying off. Cody has me on a very specific 12 week trainer program which consists of two ~90min workouts a week. I am pretty stoked that I have stuck with the plan. At first it was hard to get on the trainer when the weather outside was definitely nice enough to get out an ride. Now, with the progress I am seeing, I am actually looking forward to these workouts and have complete faith in the plan.

This week I started week 5. Just to give you a little taste (I can't let out all the secrets) her is one of the intervals from Wednesday mornings session.

Standing Tempo Climbing. 50-60 rpm. 30 minutes. Big gear, perhaps

53/14. 2.0-4.0 watts/kg. Surge 15-20 rpm for 15 seconds at the

top of each of the last 10 minutes. This will double tempo

power up to 8 watts/kg. Aim for 100% of LTHR by the end of

the last surge.

Here's the graph and data. I was working my ass off the last 5 minutes!

Yellow = Watts, Red = HR, Green = Cadence

Power-Tap #7 - 30 min climb:
Duration: 30:01
Work: 397 kJ
TSS: 44.5 (intensity factor 0.943)
Norm Power: 226
Distance: 9.794 mi
Min Max Avg
Power: 104 448 221 watts
Heart Rate: 120 181 161 bpm
Cadence: 50 80 60 rpm

This weekend Beth and I doing 23rd Annual Guys and Gals 4 Mile Couples Fun Run put on the by the San Diego Track Club. It's a team race and the teams have to be coed. They combine your ages to get your division and then take both racers time to get an overall score. It should be fun and it's flat on-road 4 miles. Since it is a recovery week for me I will be using this as an LT field test... but of course I will have put in some solid time ride time on Saturday.

Here's my dinner from tonight. Curry Chicken and steamed veggies. For more info check Vo2 Maxxed.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

One down... many to go.

Well race #1 of my 2008 season is in the books... and it was tough.

Let's start with Saturday. In my last post I said that I was blowing off the Boulevard Road Race and I did, but I still put in a big day on the bike. Friday night we celebrated Beth's b-day down in Pacific Beach so that made for a late start to the day on Saturday. I finally got on the mountain bike around 10 and got in 3:10 with a lot of climbing (over 5,000ft!). Then I met Beth back at my place and we hit the roads. I got in a total of 5:38 on the bike and felt great all the way through. I made sure I ate constantly on the bike so I could stayed fueled up and optimize my recovery for the trail race on Sunday.

Sunday morning at the race.

Sunday we were up early to rain. Yep... rain in San Diego. We made it to the race early checked and tried to stay warm and dry. 5 minutes into my warm-up I knew it was going to be a tough 15k. The trails were really muddy and the rain/drizzle wasn't stopping. A lot of pros showed up for the race. The Endurance Sports Awards were Saturday night so there were some fast mofo's in town. Conrad Stoltz, Sam Mcglone, Heather Fuhr and a some other guys and girls I didn't recognize. There were also a lot of of other local fast runners out there including newly turned pro Mac Brown (he gave me some props on his blog).

First race in the 30+ AG!

Getting ready in the truck trying to stay dry.

The course was super muddy and the first mile was like running on a slip and slide. Through the first mile and into the first climb I was in the top 10. I started to make my move on the tougher climbs and was quickly in 2nd place. At mile 3, at the top of a super steep climb I caught and passed the leader and then bombed the descent to open up a gap. I kept pushing on the climbs and then running wide-open on the downhills.

When I got to the the infamous 1000 Steps I was all alone and could not see anybody else... anywhere. I power walked the steps with my hands on my knees. This was actually faster than trying to run because they were so steep. When I reached the top I looked back and the 2nd place guy was just hitting the base so I knew I had a big, unexpected lead and the rest of the race was pretty much downhill. So I just put in cruise control and kept the pace high.

I was able keep my lead and was having a blast running on the rocky single track and creek crossings. With 1.5 miles to go I reached a "T" intersection and was told to go right when I should have went left. After a mile down the road I new something wasn't right and doubled back. Once I got back on course I had run and extra mile and was way out of contention. Bummer.

I trucked on to the finish where I heard them say Conrad had won the race. I didn't even see him on the course. I was bummed at first because it would have been my first overall win of any kind and to beat Conrad Stoltz in any kind of race would have been awesome. I got over it quick because I was just so stoked with how I ran and that it actually felt pretty easy considering the course and the week of training I had put in. I definitely love off road racing and can't wait to give it another crack. Stand alone trail races are definitely in my future.

Beth also had a killer race but we didn't stick around for the results. It was still raining and we were muddy and cold.

here's some date from the race... nice high HR!
9.73 miles (1 mile off course)
2311ft of elevation gain
avg HR: 186
max HR: 202

Have a good one and check the new blog Beth and I have started. It will chronicle out cooking, eating, and drinking (not too much of this anymore... the season is underway!) adventures. Vo2 Maxxed (thanks the name Jeff!)