Friday, May 30, 2008

just trying to maintain...

Wednesday was probably my hardest workout of the year. After Temecula I consulted with Cody to try and determine the best way hold to the fitness that got me on the podium. I have basically gone back into a peak/race phase of training with addition of a little extra volume this week.

I decided to really push myself Wednesday morning both on the bike and run. I wasn't too stoked or disappointed with my run in Temecula... it was just kind of so-so. I kind of shut it down at the end but definitely think I can go faster. So I decided through this next peak phase to nail my t-runs and make them challenging.

First the bike... I got out on my local trails nice and early and got to work.
2 x 15min technical single track climbs
2 x 10mn steep fireroad climbs
2 x 2:30min all out climbs
Plenty of of fast descending.
Totals: 2:09:19 - 18.35 miles - 4038ft of climbing.

Then it was time to run the same trails. It's the run Beth and have named KOM, King of of the Mountain, or QOM, Queen of the Mountain for her. I love this run... and it's hard.
Totals: 1:03:08 - 8 miles - 1467ft of climbing

I know the length of the run is a little longer than a typical peak session, but it felt great. My peak workouts from here on out will decrease in length and volume but the intensity will remain very high.

I was sticking to ~30 min transition runs during my build up to Temecula and I don't think that's long enough for Xterra. Most of the runs on the Xterra USA circuit are about ~35-45 minutes long. I need to remember that when I start planning for my next A race, which isn't for a long time.

That's it.... more fun training on tap for the weekend.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

keep on keepin' on

Recovery weeks are good... especially when they include goblets of PBR at Fred's Mexican Cafe. Yes GZ, they have PBR on Draft!

Reovery dinner.

I got a pretty good email last week... here's what it said:

"You have qualified for the 2008 XTERRA World Championship to be held in Makena, Maui on October 26.

We look forward to welcoming you to Hawaii to participate in this exclusive event. The World Championship is limited to 550 of the world’s best XTERRA athletes, and will be filmed for a one-hour television show.

The Maui course is legendary and combines a 1.5-kilometer swim in the crystal clear waters of the Pacific Ocean, 30-kilometers of mountain biking with more than 3,000 feet of climbing up the slopes of Maui’s Haleakala volcano, and an 11-kilometer trail run covering a dozen different surfaces from sand to lava rock.

And, if that’s not enough, the parties will be!"

Recovery from the race took a little longer than usual. Typically after a hard race (assuming it's on a Sunday) I am feeling pretty good by the following Thursday. Not the case this week. I think the main reason is the effort I put on Sunday in the extremely hot conditions. I think I was just very depleted and it didn't help that I went to the Padres game downtown Monday and probably walked 5 miles by the time it was all said an done.

Sweet views at Petco.

My 21 year old cousin that pretty much drank me under the table. What has happened to me?

Finally on Saturday I started to feel much better and got in a killer trail run with local Du-master Kevin Gillotti. I am stoked he was there because he got me out my funk and pushing along. I chased him for the better part of 90 minutes and felt much better afterwards.

On Sunday Beth and I put together a group ride prior to heading down to the beach for some Memorial Day partying. A solid group and good times... and then some marathon partying afterwards. Definitely a long, fun day.

"Chillin' Out"

Monday was more of the same. I got out on the mountain bike in the morning for some easy riding and exploring on my local trails. I have lived here for a year and half and still have not ridden everything and I found some new ways to link trails. After the ride we spent the holiday lounging on the beach with some "beverages". Some of Beth's friends were in town from the east coast and the weather turned out to be pretty nice. A very relaxing weekend.

nothing like 2 hours and 3000+ ft of climbing right out your front door.

That's it... kind of a lame post. We were too busy having fun this weekend and forgot to take photos. I'll get on it this week.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Recovery mode (mega photo and video post).

Holy crap! The race on Sunday totally kicked my ass. I woke up Monday morning and felt like I got hit by a truck but still managed to get out for an easy 60 minutes of spinning. It wouldn't have happened if I wasn't cruising out to meet Beth, and I am glad I did. I always find it better for recovery to do an easy spin the day after a hard race and then take the following day totally off.

Here's a video from Dan Hugo's (2nd pro) site. I think this does a good job of showing how hard the race is... even Conrad is power-walking the hills!

Monday night was spent at Petco Park in great seats with my sister, nephew and cousin watching the Padres get their asses handed to them by the Cardinals. Knocking back plenty of beers both before and during the game made it very enjoyable just to be at the park hanging out.

I don't have much more to say about the actual race. It just went well and I will be using this momentum as I prepare for the Xterra Southeast Champs (6/8) in Alabama and the East Champs (6/15) in Virginia next month. I peaked for Temecula so hopefully I can maintain this fitness through those two races but that wasn't a priority when I was planning my season. Temecula was the goal race for the first half of the season so I am going to have a little more "fun" with these races. I will be traveling to these races with all my Xterra homeboys... Trevor, Tom, Cody, and Brian. It's going to be Awesome!

the crew... minus Cody. He's a pro so he's too good for us!

They posted the results and split times from the race and I am pretty happy with my progression from last year. My swim was a little slower but the course last year was two laps and wetsuit legal where as this year it was one loop and a non-wetsuit swim.

Overall: 2:45:25 (2007: 2:54:40)
Swim: 26:09 (2007: 25:02)
Bike: 1:37:13 (2007: 1:45:48)
run: 42:03 (2007: 43:50)

The biggest improvement by far is on the bike and that's where most of my focus has been so it's good to see the hard work paying off. A big part of my improvement on the bike has been from the help and guidance I have been getting from Cody Waite... but more on that in an upcoming post.

I have a big "Thank You" post in the works. There are just too many people that are constantly helping me that I need to make sure I don't forget anybody. Even though triathlon is an individual sport what I am doing is definitely not a solo effort.

"Team Walsh" in full effect.

a bunch of photos from the weekend...

Me, Trevor, and Cody after the race... so glad to be out of the sun.

Me, Luke, and the Caveman Conrad Stoltz (the winner). He is obviously asking me for tips on mountain biking.... haha... He's such a cool dude...

My homeboy Jim Vance and me after the race. I think he owes me some beer!

Matching stauche's. Me and my uncle.

Chillen with the family post race.

Another killer photo by Rich Cruse.

putting on my game face.

first climb out of t2. Yep.. that's me in the center of the shot.

My uncle enoying the refreshments!

Bringing it home!

almost there.

swim exit.

The first club aquathlon is tonight and I'll be there... but just swimming. My legs are no need of a hard 3 mile run right now. We'll get back to that over the weekend.

Monday, May 19, 2008

2008 Xterra West Championships - Race Report

My time was actually 2 minutes faster than the clock. That is the "pro" time and they started 2 minutes ahead of us.

Ok... this is going to be a quick one just to let everyone know how I did. I have a lot going through my head about this race but the bottom line is I am STOKED beyond belief. It all came together. 6 months of dedication and working towards a single goal paid off.

I will post more in the coming days about the race, all the people that helped me get to where I am, and the motivation for the race.

2:45:25 (about 10 minutes faster than last year!)
1st AG (30-34)
2nd Amateur Overall
18th Overall (including pros)

It was a no wetsuit swim which I was stoked about. I had a solid swim but lost some good feet about halfway through, but overall it was good.

Best ever. I knocked 8 minutes off my split from last year on the same course. All the hard working is paying off (Thanks Cody!).

F'n hot. I was kind of blowing up a third of the way through but rallied back. I kind of shut it down for the last mile or so just to hold on. Trevor was out of reach and there was nobody who was going to catch me. Not my best run but still happy with it. It was cooking out there!

The most important part is the I got my slot for the Xterra Worlds Champs!!! Mission Accomplished! Now I can enjoy the summer of racing without too much to worry about.

Me and the real champ! She absolutely killed it in the gnarly 21k on Saturday. Read her blog!!!

Friday, May 16, 2008

It's almost time to Unleash the Beast!

"It's all about the process, if I prepare relentlessly the outcome will take
care of itself".

That quote is from Simon Whitfield and pretty much sums up the last 6 months of training for me. He posted it on his blog a couple of days ago but I watched an interview with him on YouTube months ago and where he said the same thing and it stuck with me. I thought about it every day!

In the past 6 months have pushed myself harder and have been more singularly focused than ever in order to show up in Temecula ready to lay it down. There's nothing left to do. I have done the work, made the sacrifices, bled, and now it's time to have fun. Racing IS the fun part.

You can only control so much on race day. The only thing you can really do is show up mentally and physically prepared. On the starting line you either know you did everything you could of to put you in a position to have a great race or toe the line with doubts. I can confidently say it's the former for me. No matter the outcome I know I couldn't have done anymore.

The weather is looking perfect for Sunday... and by perfect I mean blazing hot & sunny... my favorite conditions!

There are so many people that have helped be get to where I am right now. I will need a whole post (it's in the works) to thank them all. Beth and my family are at the top of the list.

I used to get so wrapped up in training that I would shut everything out else out. I thought that is what was needed to "go fast". Don't get me wrong I am still very focused but Beth has helped loosen me up and have more fun both in training and away from it. Meeting her and letting her into my crazy life is probably the best thing that's ever happened to me.

me and beth living it up in Maui... post race.

Then there's my family... They ARE AWESOME and have been behind me 100% since I started this crazy mission/life of endurance sports in January of 2006. While I know they thought I was crazy they have always been super supportive. My sister and nephew Jake were basically my support crew my entire first season and even came with me to Maui for Xterra Worlds. I am sure I did not thank them enough. My parents and brother, even while living on the east coast, are very involved in my racing. I can count on a phone call within a couple hours of finishing a race from my mom and my dad (they are both on the line at the same time using separate cordless telephones!) asking me about my races whether it's the a big Xterra race or a local 10k... and now they have started calling asking about Beth's races. They are on it and I love it. My mom has my race schedule written on down on her calendar in the kitchen all the way back in Virginia!

Me and my parents enjoying a post race beer in Richmond last year

Even my aunt and uncle have shown incredible support which I didn't expect. Not that they are not awesome but I didn't know what they would think about a bunch scrawny dudes running around in spandex with shaved legs... but they are into it. My uncle is the one that got the "Team Walsh" shirts made last year when I raced (blew up in) the 70.3.

My uncle showing his support... getting his hair cut at the Xterra West champs last year to raise money for CAF.

Thanks to everyone that has left me comments, sent me emails, or called me with words of encouragement.

Sunday morning it will be time to Unleash the Beast!

Monday, May 12, 2008

The work is done.

My second "peak" week came to end yesterday after an easy spin along the coast and after another very good weekend. I am ready to go.

On Saturday morning I headed to down to Glorietta Bay with Beth for the TCSD club race. It was an early morning but I definitely got a good night sleep the night before. My plan was to just do the 800m swim portion of the club race and really push it. The swim course ended up probably being closer to 1000m which I was stoked about. I swam the course once to warm-up and got back to the beach a couple of minutes before the start.

I considered not doing another lap because I was kind of cold. So I stood on the beach while everyone got ready to go. The race was huge for a club race with 150+ racers. The gun went off I was still standing there contemplating what I wanted to do. After about 30 seconds I decided to swim thinking would be great practice trying to swim through the entire field. It was rough and I was able to make almost all the way to the lead pack of 10+ guys. It was a good swim and I felt good.

I left Coronado and headed for B&L to meet Jim to head out to Temecula for one last pre-ride/run on the course. Once we got out to Temecula it as warm and we knocked out a couple laps of the course and then a quick run off the bike. I was feeling good on the run and actually dialed back a little bit in the latter half. On the way back I tripped... again... and ate shit...again. I scraped up my knees, shoulder, arm, and hand... again. I think I need to start wearing body armor when I am out running on the trails. It's nothing bad, just annoying, and they should be healed up by the weekend.

The shoulder. sweet.

The bike course. Jim posted this graph on his coaching site...

Yesterday was another mellow open water swim and then an easy spin. I was feeling really good. It was one of those days where your legs feel so good that you just want to hammer... but of course I didn't.

That's it. Time to get ready to race!!!

here's a photo of a killer turkey taco salad beth made last week... she's earning her keep!!!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

right where I want to be...

This is a photo of me from Temecula last year heading up the gnarly climb right out of T2. It crushes a lot of people but I love it. I had a dream about this part of the course last night. Let's just say "I cannont F'n wait to race!"

It wasn't until my preparation for Xterra worlds last year and a talk by Joe Friel did I really understand what it took to come to a true "peak". In the past I have always tried to race too much in weird state between building my fitness and still managing some rest to perform. This year has been different. All races I have done have been carefully planned and were built into my schedule in a way that would add towards my build up for Temecula with no regard to the outcome.

Trevor just posted a good "Friel" article on peaking on his coaching blog. Read & Learn.

I split my season into to halves and the first half will come to a close with my first "A" race of the season on 5/18. My schedule was built meticulously around this race and I don't feel like training could have gone any better. Most of the work is done... a couple more workouts with some race intensity and before you know it I'll be towing the line.

Last year, the week before the World Champs, we had the horrible fires in San Diego and I was forced to rest more than I would have during a typical race week. The result... the best race of my life. So I will be approaching next week in a similar way to the week before worlds last year. I am confident that I will towing the line hungry and ready to throwdown!

I have solid weekend of race-sim workouts that I am really looking forward to. Early Saturday morning I will be heading down to the TCSD club race with Beth. I am just going to race the swim... the more head banging I can get in the swim prior to race day the better. After I am out of the water I will be heading straight home to get my bike and gear and then of to Vail lake in Temecula. I will be meeting Jim out there for one last pre-ride/run.

They posted the splits from the race last weekend here:
Sprint Sprint Split times

swim: 6:32
bike: 25:00
run: 16:01
finish: 47:33 (3 seconds back from the winner)

I am pretty stoked with everything but my swim split, but am not worried about it. It's kind of hard to get true split times when there are only 3 splits and the transitions are included... somewhere. I didn't have a great t1 so my actual bike split is probably off by ~20+ seconds and I had a long run from the "bike in" once I got off the bike and that time is added to my run, which means I ran the 3 miles in about 15:30 (guessing) which a great sign.

Here are some photos from the race thanks to

coming out of the water:

mountain biking is WAY more fun:

Caue finishing with me on his heels. He puked right after crossing the line. seriously.


Sunday, May 04, 2008

one of "those" weekends...

...what I mean by one of "those" weekends is that it was one where everything thing just clicked and I sit back and am just stoked to be training, racing, and living "the life" in southern california.


I woke up early to head down to get in my "peak" mountain bike session before heading down to the expo for the Spring Sprint. I hit the trails around 630am and it was already sunny and warming up. I ripped this workout. I felt great on the bike and it was probably the best workout I have had so far this year. I was strong on the climbs and was railing the descents. It went so well that I was kind blown away... a good sign with the race two weeks out!

Then it was off to the expo to pick up my packet and hang out with Break Away crew. Good times.

Me and Beth on Saturday in our sweet aero lids.


Spring Sprint Triathlon

My wave went off at 7:05 and Beth's was at 7:30 so we were up early to head down to the race. This race is always big as it is kind of the local kick off to the triathlon season in San Diego. This was my 2nd ever road triathlon back in 2006 and my first ever AG win. This year was no different and their a couple thousand people racing. I raced in the Elite division for the second time and against some very fast dudes. There were seven of us racing Elite including local pros Caue Suplicy and Juliano Teruel, and my fast Break Away homeboys, Felipe, Luke, and Erik.

The swim (1/4 mile):
I got right up in the mix off the start. Even though the swim was short and these guys were all faster swimmers than me I wanted stay with them as long as possible to minimize how much ground I would have to make up on the bike and run. Well I hung with them... until the first buoy and then they got away. I came out of the water in 6th (out of 7) and was about 30-60 seconds back. Not bad, but not good either in such a short race.

As I entered transition Luke, who was doing his first race of the season and first since his crash, was on his way out and I took the time to slap him on the ass and get him on his way. Transition was a little crowded and I had a little trouble getting my wetsuit off over the timing chip. Nothing major, no worries.

Bike (9 miles):
As soon as I got on the bike I knew it was going to be a tough one. My legs were pretty tired from the bike workout the day before (as expected) and I felt kind of flat. I just put my head down and tried to not lose any time to the leaders. Half way through the bike I was caught and passed by the 7th place guy and now I was in 7th... last place. sweet. He put about some time on me and soon enough I was off the bike.

heading into T2:

Wow... probably the most congested transition area I have ever been in. There wasn't really any clear way back to my rack but I eventually found a way having to pick my bike up to clear a couple of curbs and piles of gear. After that I was in and out.

Run (3 miles):
I got reports as I was running out of transition that I was any where from 30 to 90 seconds down on the entire field. So I just went for it and ran hard. The majority of the run was on trails and some which were sandy and loose. I knew this would be to my advantage. It was only a 3 mile run so I wasn't sure how far I could move up but I felt great. I caught Luke 1/4 mile in to move into 6th and then just kept pushing. At the first mile marker I could just start to see the guys in 3rd, 4th, & 5th.

Now that I could see them I made it my mission to catch them. It took me about 3/4 of a mile to catch 5th (Felipe) and 4th (Brian Wilson). They were running together and I just surged past them in a sandy section and upped my pace and was able to get away. Erik was in 3rd and I was closing in. I caught him just after the 2 mile mark and then could see 2nd off in the distance. Again... I went for it and as I got closer I could see the leader (Caue Suplicy) about 15 yards ahead of him. I worked hard to get up to the 2nd place guy (Juliano Teruel) and finally caught and passed him with less 100 yards to go and now was closing in on first. I just did not have enough course left to get to first place. Caue got me by 3 seconds. If there was another .1 miles I am pretty sure I would have taken the win!

2nd Overall/Elite

Caue (1st), Me, Erik (5th)

I am definitely happy with the race. My biggest goal going in was to run hard and fast off the bike and that's just what I did. It's definitely one the best runs I have ever put down off the bike... if not the best. Mission accomplished.

The guys I am racing against these days are guys I thought were way out of my league last year. I never even used to see them in races after the gun went off. So to say I am stoked with my progress of the the last couple of years would be an understatement, but I still have a long ways to go to get where I want/need to be.

Beth also had an incredible race and I am very proud of her. I don't want to steal her thunder so you will have to wait until she has time to post a report to find out how she did.

The Break Away team had a great day with plenty of athletes taking podium spots both in the triathlon and duathlon. Biggups!

Me and Beth after the race (second place is the first loser)

After the race it was straight home and then we headed out for an easy spin thanks to Beth. I was ready to blow it off and go hit some happy hour for some celebratory beers and tacos but she got me out the door... and today I am glad I did. My legs feel great. After the ride we headed to our favorite spot for the mexican food and beers.

Beth with her well deserved cerveza.

This week is my second "peak" week and I am ready to get after it. "The race" is less than two weeks away!