Wednesday, April 30, 2008

back in town and back to work!

Well things are getting back to normal... and just in time. I am back in town, training, and work has backed off a bit so things are good.

I am now in the first of two "Peak" weeks and then it's on to race week. The volume is definitely down, but the intensity is up. My focus is on two race-simulation workouts per week each of the next two weeks with the volume within them gradually coming down as I get closer to race day.

Wednesday's Effort - Peak workout #1
Ride:


Run:


I love these workouts but they definitely leave me pretty beat down so recovery is important. This weekend will be solid and I am kind of splitting up my race simulations. On Saturday I will be hitting hard on the mountain bike and then on Sunday I will be racing the Spring Sprint. The race is short (1/4 mile swim, 9 mile bike, and 3 mile run) and the focus will just be running fast off the bike and to get in more transition practice. I will also be riding my new TT bike. I got it a couple of weeks ago and have just done some easy spins on it. It should be fun get out on it and see what it can do... it looks fast! (i will get some photos soon)


Beth will be racing on Sunday as well and it will be her first "official" triathlon. She has done some TCSD club races but this is the first one that "counts". I am stoked she is healthy and ready to go... she's going to kill it... especially after we have a little transition practice on Saturday.. NO MORE SITTING DOWN IN TRANSITION!!!

One last thing... I got a photo in the Xterra West Championships program guide. It's from the race last year. If you are interested you can probably find it quite a few So Cal bike shops as well as Competitor Magazine. Stoked!


ok... this is really the last thing. I haven't posted on Vo2 Maxxed in a while so here's food photo. This is a dinner I cooked for Beth and I last week. Grilled tuna steaks and a ton of steamed veggies.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Recovery, suprises, and more "dumb luck"...

I have been kind of out of touch this past week as far as blogging goes that but doesn't mean that I haven't been living my overly active lifestyle.

I decided last Sunday to blow off the race in AZ to head back and surprise my little brother, Courtney, and my new little grommet nephew, Greyson. This is just something I really wanted to do. My brother is my best friend and the fact that he was now a father (typing that just blew me away) was just something that I needed to be there for. No race would keep from that. So I donated a good chunk of my life savings on Orbitz for a last minute plane ticket and just showed up on their doorstep on Saturday morning. To say the least they were shocked and stoked!

me and greyson.

Meeting the little grom for the first time, seeing my brother and courtney, and my mom and dad was awesome... and just what I needed. I basically spent the weekend hanging out with family, drinking some beers, and watching the NBA playoffs (c'mon Suns!). My dad also cooked up two chronic dinners: fish tacos and some gnarly red curry chicken.

After a recovery week and this trip I feel rejuvenated both physically and mentally. I can't wait to hit my workouts this week. It's all about race simulation!!!

Now for the dumb luck. I am sure a lot of people had heard the extremely unfortunate story of the fatal shark attack in Solana Beach last friday. The crazy thing is that I was planning on being out there but with my decision to head back east for the the weekend, and trevor not being to come down I decided last minute not to go and ride my bike instead. Pretty gnarly. I swam with this group regularly throughout the last 2 years and have done countless solo swims out at Flether's cove in Solana beach. For a full recount of friday check Beth's blog.

that's it... we are getting close to the Xterra West champs. 2 "Peak" weeks and then it's race week... I am getting anxious!

Congrats to Tom (3rd overall/1st AG), Cody (2nd Overall), Brian (1st AG), and Eric (6th AG) who all took it out at the Arizona Xtreme Off Road Triathlon in some hot conditions. Also biggups to Luke who despite a tough day threw down at his first solo endurance mountain bike race.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

a new addition...

Early Sunday morning my little brother's girlfriend gave birth to an incredible baby boy.

Greyson Scott Walsh.


This kind of stuff really puts life in perspective and makes you realize what's important. Yeah.. training and racing are very important and a huge part of my life, but NOTHING is more important to my than my family and the people I love.

Posting about my race this weekend and what went on with my training seems kind of insignificant right now. Maybe later in the week....

more photos of the little grommet...

the new family


big poppa


another of my little bro and his son!


my mom... proud grandmother


and the grandfather... they probably had to pry Greyson out of his arms!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

details...

Ok... first of all. Quite a few people were interested in the details of the "Conrad Stoltz" run work out. So here they are... straight from the Caveman's blog:

As for whipping the running into shape, I believe hill repeats is the best way to build strength and incorporate quality. Actually, this is my coach, Libby’s key workout, which I thought was “crazy” the first few times I did it, but I learnt to love it and now know its probably my most important workout of the week. Its hard to part with this gem… Warm up and find a nice hill. Dirt or grass is good. Dirt or grass in the shade is best.
Run 6×2minute hills at AT, jog down.

Run 5minutes at AT on the flat

Run 6×1minute hills at AT, jog down

Run 5minutes at AT on the flat

Limp home.

Despite the scant looks of it, this run will be 1h20 or more, so bring our A game.

Just like any workout... it's only as hard as you make it. If you really push it up the hills and on the 5 minute intervals this workout will kick your ass for sure! I have two different hills where I perform this workout. One in San Elijo Lagoon and the other in PQ canyon. Both hills are tough. and remind me of particular parts of Xterra courses... good for visualization.

Here's a graph from one of my workouts a couple of weeks ago. As you can see I pushed it pretty hard and was able to get my HR into the 190's during the 5 min interval.


Here's some videos my sister took from the race this past weekend. Thanks Steph... killer race support as usual!

the swim.
video
The run and finish.
video

The weekend should be a fun one. I will be ending the last hard week of my second build phase with a mountain bike race out at Vail Lake (Home of the Xterra West Champs on 5/18). The last couple of mountain bike races I have done out there I have headed out there early for 1.5 - 2hrs of riding before the race, which typically start at 2pm. This week's race starts at 9am so I am going to show up, warm-up and go as hard as I can. Reading Cody's post this week has me itching to race my mountain bike. After the race I am going to tack on some extra mileage with Luke before I hit a loop of the Xterra run course.

Then on Sunday I have along run in the hills before meeting up with Mac and his crew for an open water swim session in Del Mar. It should be a good chance to get out in the open water with some fast peeps and try to hang on... and then that's it. Next week is a recovery week and my homeboy Trevor will be coming down to get in some training with me before we head out to AZ on Friday morning. We will be racing the AZ Xtreme Off road Triathlon (Xterra points series). This race was my first Xterra back in 2006 (read that blog.. it's funny) and from that point I knew what I wanted to focus... it's to think I am just starting my 3rd season of this crazy lifestyle of racing and training. There is nothing else I would rather be doing!

here's a little snip from my race report after my first Xterra race back in 2006... a sign of things to come...
"Despite all the blood and pain it was so much fun. I have never pushed that hard for that long. It was by far the hardest thing is any sport i have ever done, and I am already itching to do another. The Xterra crowd is awesome. They are a bunch of granola eating, beer drinking, hardcore, friendly, fast triathletes. I met and talked to so many cool people."


one last thing. Check Trevor's coaching blog for a great post. I couldn't have said (or typed) it better myself.

check back after the weekend for race report from the MTB race... I am really going to try and give it everything I have and see what I have in the legs with 30 days to go until "The Race".

Monday, April 14, 2008

Weekend recap and Castaic Race Report


It's Monday... and the weekend flew by. Beth and I both took the day off today it was good to sleep in... we both needed it for sure! The weather was summer-like this weekend and here's how it went down.

Friday.

I was up early to get in a 2 hour mountain bike ride with some VO2 intervals. It was warm up on the trails and it felt great to sweat my ass off. Then it was off to work and I was able to squeeze in a 40 minute swim between meetings. It was a late night of work and I didn't get out of there until around 830pm... gotta love it!

Saturday.

Beth and I were up early to head down to the TCSD club race. We were on "beth time"(which means show up 20 minutes before the start, rush around, get in a 5 minute, and then throw down). I was just going to do the swim so I was just cruising and talking with everybody. I think I warmed up for 1 minute and then before I knew it they were counting down. I had a good swim and maintained contact with the 2nd lead pack (2 U23 Team USA guys were off the front) and I came out of the water with the top 10. I was happy with it but definitely noticed the difference of not properly warming up in the water beforehand. Lesson learned.

Beth had a good race and was the 5th woman overall and just a couple minutes off the leader. Not bad for not swimming in a month and just starting to ramp up here bike mileage and training.

Later on in the afternoon we headed up to my sisters house in LA, grabbed some good dinner at the California Chicken Cafe, relaxed, and watched "Running on the Sun: The Badwater 135". Ultrarunners are nuts... and I think all the people in this movie fried their brains out on the desert roads. Very strange.

Sunday.

I was up at 6am to start getting ready to head up to Castaic Lake for the Big Blue Off Road Triathlon... gotta love 10 am starts!

We were on the road by 7am and at the race site by 7:45am. The sun was blazing and it was already in the 70's. Perfect! I got checked in and ready to race while Beth set out for a 2 hour trail run with plenty of climbing. She's gnarly... and by gnarly I mean awesome! Unfortunately, due to not having the permits soon enough, the race was not an official Xterra points race this year so the number of races was down. Regardless of how many people were racing I knew it would be tough... the course is F'n hard and perfect prep for Temecula.

getting ready for the swim.


Swim: 1200 meters (supposedly 2 x 600m laps with a 50 yard run in between. It was long, closer to 1500. I found this out after talking with the race director)

One of my goals for this race was to swim "hard" and not the let the leaders get away... and for once I did a pretty good job. One guy took off and me and a couple of other guys formed the second pack. I stayed on someone's feet for half of the first lap and then moved up. I was in second for a while and ended up third after the first lap. I stayed there throughout the second lap and came out of the water in 3rd. Solid and stoked!

end of lap 1.


3rd out of the water.


Bike (2 x 8 mile laps):
I passed a guy in transition and was out on the bike in second and about 2 minutes down. I settled in and started to "do work". I caught the leader 3/4's of the way up the first set of climbs and just pushed the pace. I was able to open up a gap and never backed off. It was hot and there was a lot of climbing but I felt pretty strong even with a hard week of training in the legs. I came into T2 up about 2-3 minutes over second place.

heading into T2.


Hitting the run... and feeling good.

Run (2 x 2.25 mile laps):
I felt great off the bike and my turnover was perfect. I felt quick and continued to extend my lead. After the first lap I knew I was had the win and just put it in cruise control. No need to dig myself into a deeper hole with another hard week of training ahead.

Overall: 2:00:10 (2:03:46 last year... and the swim was longer this year)
1st overall/1st AG


me and my trophy.


I am stoked about the race and with 34 days (ok... I am counting down) until Temecula I think I am right where I need to be. There is still some hard work to do but things are looking good.

After the race we headed back down to Carlsbad and hit up the Yellow Coyote Tortilla Factory for dinner. good food.


Ceviche Appetizer.


I had the Carne Asada Tacos.


Beth had the Mahi Salad.

Monday (today): Recovery day... maybe the best ever.

Beth's school was closed so I decided to take the off too and just chillax... We headed out on the bikes this morning for an easy spin up the coast. It was another killer day!

After that we chilled by the pool.

her.

me.

and then headed out for some mexi-food and a couple of drinks at the Cabo Grill.

A perfect recovery day.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Build 2 - Week 2 - Test 2

Another busy week.... My recovery from Sundays race was/is going very well. Not "running" the 10k was definitely beneficial in the long run from a training standpoint. I went on an easy 60 min easy spin Monday morning which always helps the legs and everything else this up until yesterday afternoon had been strictly aerobic.

another bike photo from Sundays race. Aero.


Yesterday I hit my hardest run workout of the week... and my favorite. This workout smashes me but I come back every week stronger and ready to push myself harder. I stole this workout from Conrad Stoltz... ok I didn't steal it. It was published in Triathlete magazine last year and then again on his blog this year. I started doing this at the end of last season and really liked the results. If it works for the Caveman... it's gotta work. He regularly hands out beat downs.

Here's a graph/map from todays effort (no HR data but plenty of elevation. It was pretty warm so I went sans shirt to try and mitigate my already brewing cycling tan). I did it in San Elijo lagoon and really like the terrain. It has many different aspects of the Xterra courses I will be racing this year.

bring it...

This morning I will be heading out on the mountain bike before work. I love ripping the trails before work... especially when I know I will be at work until 10pm. Saturday I will be heading down to Fiesta Island for the TCSD club race (700m swim, 12 mile bike, 2 mile run). Beth is doing the full race and I am just going to do the swim. I figure to more time I can get in the water and bang heads with people the better off I will be come "real" race day.

Sunday will be test #2 (last weekends race was number #1). I will be racing the the Big Blue Off road Triathlon. This will be my third year doing this race but this is the first year it is not an Xterra Points series race. I don't know why they lost the sanctioning this year but they did. I almost decided not to do it but the course (1200m swim, 16 mile bike, 6 mile run) and conditions (hot/sandy... it's going to be 85+ out there on Sunday!) are perfect prep for Temecula. Last year I was rested and won my AG and was the top Amateur, only losing to Mike Vine. We'll see how it goes Sunday on tired legs and body. No matter what happens it will be a good time and I can't wait to get out there and race.

That's it training wise. I will leave you with some food photos... it's been a while.

Sunday's post race meal at one of our new favorite spots. The Yellow Coyote Tortilla Factory.


Beth made a Killer "Asian Appetizer" dinner Monday night. Awesome.


I had to fend for myself last night. Grilled Salmon with Soyaki/Mustard glaze and steamed vegetables (broccoli, brussel sprouts, red onion, orange bell pepper, mushrooms, yams, parsnips, butternut squash, yellow squash, and zucchini squash.)

Monday, April 07, 2008

Tie Goes to the Runner.

Aero Time!


First of all check Beth's blog. She a killer race at the Carlsbad 5000 and met a big goal of hers... but I still think she's a sandbagger (tough love goes both ways).

Everybody knows a tie goes to the runner in baseball. I am huge baseball fan and played baseball for 20 years of my life, but I didn't think there was such thing in triathlon.

Yesterday I raced in the inaugural Super Seal Triathlon, an olympic distance race that was run in conjunction with the 30th anniversary of the Super Frog Triathlon (half ironman distance). The race for me was just be a tough training day and to get a chance to work on a few things. I really just wanted to have a good swim, have fast transitions, and a solid run off the bike.

The race didn't start until 9:15 so I had plenty of time to get down to Coronado and set up transition. I forgot how much crap you need to pack and take to a triathlon. It was rad hanging out with the Break Away crew and I was really calm.

The Swim:
The swim course was long and they were still setting buoys when gun went off. The race got off to a pretty fast start and plenty of people blew up before we hit the first buoy. Right after the first buoy I was just out of reach of the lead pack and had to swim solo for a while but I felt good and just continued to build my pace throughout the swim. I think I was 4th or 5th out of the water and felt great, but was about 2+ min down on the leaders. Thanks to Brian at Xterra Wetsuits for getting a killer suit the day before the race.

T1: solid. Nice and fast.

Bike:
The bike course was flat and fast with a headwind in one direction and a tailwind in the other. I felt pretty good and maintained the gap. I don't think I let the leaders get anymore time on me. I was actually having fun on the TT bike, but by the time it came to get off the bike I was ready. I think I was 4th off the bike. I didn't pass anybody and nobody passed me.

T2: really fast.


Run:
Luke told me I was about 2+ minutes down on the leaders as I left T2. My legs felt good and I was ready to go. I quickly began to reel everybody in. I passed an ITU guy from Mexico to take second place at the end of the first mile and had my sights set on Felipe who was 50 yards ahead of me... and then stopped and threw his hands up in the air. We all missed a turn... a turn that wasn't marked and where there was no volunteer to tell us where to go. We all just stayed on the dirt path we were on instead of taking some single track around a closed gate (yeah... pretty obvious. lame.) So eventually the top 10 guys were standing around with a race director while they tried to figure out where we were supposed to go. We stood around for 5 minutes... no joke. I thought it was kind of funny but some the guys were pissed, and rightfully so.

Another one of the guys working the race eventually jogged the group back to where we were supposed to go so we could finish the run. We all "jogged" together until mile 3 and talked about what we were going to do. We decided to to just treat it as a tempo run and all finish together. So by the time we got to the finish line there were 3 of use and we all just stopped and walked across the line, but we gave everybody a good show as we rounded the final corner and headed towards the finish chute 3 across, and shoulder to shoulder. The crowd was going nuts and I am sure they were pretty confused when we all stopped right before the line.

heading to the finish


So I tied for 1st. Kind of lame and funny at the same time. I am kind of taking it as a blessing in disguise. I didn't hammer the 10k and am feeling pretty good today so I will be able to resume normal training sooner than if I would blasted myself for 6+ miles. I'll take it for what it's worth.

Here's a bunch of photos I poached from the Break Away site and Jay's blog... I stole the video from Jay's blog... thanks dude!

Felipe and I setting up


getting ready to hit the water


out on the bike... into the headwind


Me and Break Away athlete Chris... sweet man-kini


getting my aero on
video

that's it for now... time for some recovery and to hopefully watch mempis "do work"... and maybe a cerveza or two.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Race Ready?

This is going to be a quick one... I have to get out the door for a session on the mountain bike before I head to work.

Work and training have kept me really busy this week and I have another 12 hour day at work on tap today. Nothing like starting the week with an upgrade at 530am Monday and ending the week with another 9pm on Friday... good times.

My second build phase is in full swing and the workouts are definitely kicking my ass... in a good way. Here are couple great posts I have read this week which have come at the exact right time in my training. Read and learn.

Cody Waite - Listening to your Body
Coach Paulo - Getting the Work Done
Mac Brown - Acting Like a Professional

and then Trevor posted on Race Recovery which is going to very important for me as I have some low priority races coming as I get ready for Xterra West Champs in Temecula.

Trevor Glavin - Post Race Recovery

As for the race this weekend.... it's going to be tough but fun. I should be pretty shelled heading in but will definitely lay it down as best as I can. It will be interesting to see how my 10k off the bike compares to my stand alone 10k at the St. Patty's day race where I ran a 33:56 on a course that is just a tad long. Predictions?

Here's my sweet TT bike ready to go... I lubed the chain, rode it up and down the street a couple of times to make sure it's good to go... and even practiced a couple of mounts and dismounts.


The Padres have started the season 3-1. Word.