Sunday, June 29, 2008

good choices and a great week!

Damn I'm feeling good right now... it could be the couple of cocktails I just had poolside with Beth or the just the satisfaction of knowing that I did the right thing... probably a combination of both.

Let's start with today. I was up early (430am) in the role or triathlon sherpa/race support for Beth at the San Diego International. I don't want to give too much away but it was awesome! I will let her tell the story on her blog. The bottom line is that I loved being out there rooting her on. I never once had the feeling that I should be racing.... she killed it! READ HER BLOG!

sweet scabs... you gotta love mountain biking!

Other than that I think I have gotten all the partying out of my system and I am ready to go... more than ever. I was going to ride today but I opted for poolside cocktails to celebrate with Beth.

Earlier in the week I attended my nephew's high school graduation at the Hollywood Bowl in LA. Good times... and there were serving drinks... rad!

hydrating at the 'bowl

me and jake.. post grad... time to party!

Tomorrow starts Operation Mountain Goat!

the champ... in all her glory... she love's cake!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

not so fast...

After a killer weekend of mellow training with Beth I was ready to get after it on Monday... or so I thought. I slept in a bit on Monday and then hit 30 min strength and core session in my garage (time to get some strength back!). Then at lunch I hit the pool... getting in the pool at lunch when it's 85 and sunny is killer. I just took it easy and enjoyed my time outside between meetings and getting back in to the work groove. I had also planned to do a super mellow 60 min spin on the bike when I got home, but it didn't happen. I got home, had a tallboy of PBR in the fridge and the first game of the College World Series finals were on.... it was a no brainer... I went for the beer and baseball!

Beth isn't going to let me go grocery shopping anymore!

That pretty much sums up my week. I have been getting out and getting some mellow workouts in and have been feeling good but I found that I was not ready to get serious... and that's why I decided not to race the San Diego International this weekend. I know it's a big race but I was dreading it everyday and it was kind of stressing me out. It just came down to the fact that I don't want to race right now and I can't go out there and just fake it. I know that if I raced I would be in lockdown-race mode right now and I would race hard on Sunday. I put so much time, energy, and focus into my early season races that there is no way I could get up for this race. I would much rather be out there to support Beth and some good friends, enjoy myself for another week than get on the start line... so I pulled the plug!

Next week my build up for the Xterra Mtn Champs, Xterra Nationals, and Xterra Worlds starts. I would rather go in refreshed and ready to get after it than shelled from a race that really means nothing to me. From a racing perspective Xterra is all that matters to me.

I am hoping this conservative approach will pay off and help me reach new levels with my training in the coming weeks... I know that I will be testing my limits with some the training I have on tap... and I can't wait. I am ready to crush myself!!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Transistion time!

Things are a little different than they were a couple of weeks ago... My focus is a bit different and Beth wasn't around to keep me in line who knows what would happen.

When building my training plan I stick with the Friel periods... Base, Build, Peak, Race, and then Transition. Transition is time between the big macro cycles. I peaked for Temecula and extended that through my races in Alabama and Richmond. Now it's time for a break or the "transistion period". The break is more mental than physical. I will still be getting in some unstructred training (basically whatever I feel like doing on a given day... beth style). I will get back to some base training when Cody tells me too!

Beth has been calling me "TJ" since getting back home. It stands for "transition james". With as dedicated to training and a healthy diet I am I also have the ability to let loose and enjoy things... maybe a little more than I should when racing is not my focus. Lets just say Beth is not a fan of TJ. After riding she is looking for a recovery meal and I am craving beer and fish tacos... I don't care what anybody thinks... I need a mental and physical break. It's all about balance in my book... i like to train hard, race hard, and enjoy life. It's not all about racing to me... not by any means.

Beth and I enjoying her roof top deck

but... From the training side of things I have have spent a good amount of time riding the streets with Beth (maybe too much... she shelled me!) this past week. Me being in a transition phase is kind of tough on her as she is in the middle of her last big block before Vineman 70.3. I am training on a whim, changing plans constantly, and eating a lot of ice cream (see the video above)! So I am trying to do whatever she needs as she gets ready for her A race of the year. I know, for a fact, that I wouldn't have had the success I have had so far this year without her. She keeps in line... and enjoying life! So I want to do the same for her.

riding with the champ

I have helped her dial in her nutririon plan for race day and leading up to the race and also tried to refine her "beth style" training leading up to the race. The bottom line is she is going to have a great race. She has done the work and i am proud of what she has accomplished in such a short time and I can't wait to be on the sidelines cheering her on!

Beth at the end of our ride... heading back in the the Gas Lamp... yeah we share sunglasses.

Beth. Post big bike week! Chillaxing poolside.

I will be racing the San Diego International next weekend. It is probably the biggest local race here in San Diego and sells out quickly every year. I, again, will be competing in the "Elite" division and against some fast guys... Trying to hang with these guys on their turf (the road) should be fun!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Back at home.

After a long day of travel Beth and I made it back to San Diego on Wednesday. Our vacations were awesome but we were both definitely glad to be home. The last couple of days have been spent unpacking, doing laundry, and catching up on work.

gotta love this...

Last night we cruised down to the TCSD aquathlon in La Jolla. After keeping it super mellow since the race on Sunday I decided to do the race. I mean it's only a 1000m swim and 3 mile run. We got down there nice and early and just enjoyed the sun... we have come back to perfect summer weather! I actually felt pretty good warming up and was ready to go.

post race chow fest!

The swim was solid. I swam in my new Zoot Zenith and felt fast! I hung with a good pack of guys that are usually out of the water ahead of me. Solid. I think I got out on the run in the top 15 out of 200+. We definitely have some fast fish in the club. The run was hard... more mentally than physically. I just didn't have what it takes to dig deep enough to get on the podium. I ran my way into 4th and just hung on. I think on another day I may have been able to track down the 2nd and 3rd place guys, but they both were running fast and had good races. Beth had a solid race too... she had little problem getting out of her suit, but once she did she layed down and tracked down a bunch of fast chicks.... get it dog!

I am fried... mentally. I definitely need a break from racing. I am happy with where my fitness is right now. My body feels great but I definitely need to get back to some base training which I am really looking forward. I am ready to hit roads for some long rides in prep for my end of the season races.

That's it for now... back to the laundry and unpacking... oh yeah.. and work!!!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Virginia Day 5 - Recovery

I woke up yesterday morning and had a text from me homeboy/mentor Jim Vance. It said:
"Congrats on Solid race bro. Now shut it down and party hard"

That's exactly my plan. The last two weeks have been great but I can honestly say that I am ready for a break from racing... and it's more mental than physical. My body feels great and I love training but mentally I am kind of fried. Getting on the start line prepared to go full throttle takes a lot out of me and after giving it everything I have in the first three Xterra championship races I am ready to take a step back and relax for a couple of weeks.

It all started yesterday. Beth and I lounged around on the beach and then hit a beach-side bar for a couple of drinks while watching Tiger "do work." Amazing.

After the beach my brother, Courtney, Greyson, and Brittany cruised over the my parents house for dinner....

Filet mignon and an epic salad (mixed greens, strawberries, hearts of palm, almonds, and goat cheese)

more of the same is on tap for today... and then it's time to head home tomorrow and back to the grind!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Virginia Day 5 - Xterra East Champs

The Family.

Just a quick one... with a lot of photos.

Yesterday was Awesome on many levels. First and foremost I got to spend Father's Day with my Dad and also my brother (his first Father's Day).

My little brother and nephew. Happy Father's Day

pre-race meeting

On the racing side things went well. After our early wake-up call I had my pre-race breakkie and I was off to transition. I will post more detailed race reports when I get home, but here's the results.

1st Amateur
1st AG
18th Overall

Xterra Press release and results.

I had a solid race and am stoked. My goal was to have a really good run and I did.

After the race we headed back down to my parents house in Virginia Beach and it was time for some beers and some Father's Day and Race celebration!

me and the champ... leaving richmond

Chillaxing on the porch.

3 Generations of Walsh.

Courtney, Chris, and Greyson

Greyson... show me love.... with finger...

It was a killer day... and Beth ended it with an Ice cream party.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Virginia Day 4 (race prep)

Making my parents proud!

Well it's 5am race morning and I have been up since 4:28am. No... it's not because I am nervous or couldn't sleep. I am actually am very relaxed and was sleeping really well. The fire alarm went off in our hotel at 4:28am with instructions to evacuate the building. Sweet!

430 am in the morning face.

The scene in the hotel lobby was like the scene from a movie... all kinds of people. There was a crew from 'lil Kim's entourage who were still in full-on party mode(yes she is staying here... or so I heard), a bunch of confused triathletes, and some disgruntled guests. Me and Beth couldn't stop laughing as we made our way outside to the street. It was hilarious. In situations like that there is nothing you can do and nothing at to be stressed out about... all you can do is laugh and know you will have a good story to tell.

waiting to go back inside... at least it was warm.

Yesterday was a good one. Beth had a solid race even with having to deal with tons of lap traffic from the 5k and 10k. I will let her post about that one. I am so stoked she is here along with my parents. Hanging out with them makes the time leading up to the race way more mellow and fun.

Beth doing what she does.

I got in my race prep workouts while Beth was out doing work and then after she was done we hopped in the river for a swim. After she collected her hardware it was back to room for some relaxing and lunch. It was a great day. All we did was lounge around all day, eat, and watch TV. I am ready to go!

Me and the Champ.

one last thing... you gotta check these drinks out. Cody's team is sponsored by them and now I am hooked. Mix 1. Great first thing in the morning or after a workout.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Virginia Day 3

A view of the Xterra compound with the Richmond skyline in the background

Best day yet...

Before I get into what went down yesterday I need to day this: "The internet is taking over my family!"

My Dad has now started a blog and so has my little grommet nephew Greyson (with the help of my Chris and Courtney). Basically from now on we will never need to actually talk to or see each other anymore. As long as we can get an internet connection we should be good to go.

Dad's blog
Greyson, Chris and Courtney's blog

From a training perspective a left yesterday a "?" on purpose in my training plan. The bike course here in Richmond is pretty technical so the more time you can get out there and ride it the better. We rode it Wednesday afternoon and again yesterday morning and the second time was much smoother and faster. I was thinking about getting out there for a third go yesterday morning but wanted to see how I felt in the morning as I had been on my bike quite a bit over the past week.

cruising around Richmond

I got a great night sleep that started at 930 pm but still work up feeling pretty tired. I opted to not ride the course again and again the legs a bit of a break. I went out for 60 min recovery spin on the flats and did some sight seeing and hit the streets of downtown Richmond to pick up lunch. This was definitely the right call. I got back to the room, showered, put on my recovery gear, ate lunch, and felt much better.

here are some shots from the ride...

the james river

a shot looking back at the boulder hopping section of the run course

the infamous staircase. you have to carry your bike up these twice. it sucks.

you don't see things like this riding around so cal..

Killer spot i stopped for some lunch. Salad King's.

Lunch California style: chicken wrap on wheat with tones of veggies and avocado.

bag-o-veggies on the side

After relaxing for a couple of hours and headed down to the river to get in another swim in the river. After the swim is was back to the hotel and my parents showed up right after I was done watching the swampy James River water off me. I was definitely stoked to see them.

An hour later I was out the door and off to the train station to pick the Beth. Let me just say that train stations in urban cities aren't the most fun to hang out in. Her train was about 90 min late, but thankfully the little champ arrived intact. After that it was out to a good dinner and then time to crash.

Beth is running the 21k in a couple of hours and I am getting my pre-ride workouts. It's on!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Virginia Day 2

Morning in Richmond

Another day on the road and another day filled with good times...

I woke yesterday morning in the hotel after a good night sleep and just sat around blogging it up, reading blogs, and watching ESPN. I am kind of out of the sports loop since I have been on the road, but the Padres are playing better so I am stoked. I am also stoked that the College Worlds Series kicks off this weekend.

I met Trevor and Cody at the course at 10am. While getting ready we ran into our homeboy and "Mr. Xterra" Will Kelsay. He had just got done riding and was feeling good... and was trying to convince me to come out to Colorado in early August for a couple Xterra points series races... that's not going to happen... I gotta work... some times.

We headed out and my legs were feeling pretty good and almost back to normal. I still kept myself in check but definitely punched for a couple stretches. I am still not fully recovered from last weekend and I don't want to bury myself and deeper, but the harder efforts felt good. I also took a little spill, nothing major... just a couple of scrapes, but the crash was pretty awesome. Full-on flying over the bars with my bike following me and ending up 10 feet down the trail ahead of me. Sweet! No damage to the bike either so that's good.

After the ride I rolled into the parking lot to find Cody and Trevor waiting at the Uhaul. As I got off my bike I thought I heard some one say "Blood, Sweat, and Beers" from just across the parking lot... and sure enough I was right and it was Conrad Stoltz. I guess he recognized me and then Dan Hugo came up and introduced himself and a said that he has been looking at the blog too... pretty nuts. The two fastest dudes in Xterra have actually seen and read this thing. It kind of blows me away. I also had numerous people at the Alabama race come up to me and introduce themselves to me and say that they really like the blog. I started this blog 3 years ago basically as an enhanced training log but it has gotten way out of control! I still keep it for myself so I will have something to look back on but it's rad that other people enjoy it and my family can follow along... with everything I have going on I can some times be hard to have a conversation with. Thanks to everybody out there reading and leaving me comments...

I talked with Conrad and Dan for a bit and the we headed out to preview the technical sections of the run course and to plan our attack through the boulder field. We tried a couple of different routes and I am pretty sure we have the fastest route down.

the second half of the run... it's another tough one!

After the run we hung out for a bit and then I headed back to the hotel to clean up. I was starving and headed up the street to well known taco shot that had really good reviews: Cafe Ole. I am always skeptical of "Mexican" food on the east coast. Mexican is hands down my favorite kind of food and living in southern California I am surrounded by the best you can get.

Cafe Ole.

sweet decor.

tres tacos (2 chicken/1 steak)



The food was solid, but I am still craving my staple Mahi Mahi burrito on a whole wheat tortilla from El Caribe... it's been way too long!

After lunch I headed back to the room and crashed for a bit. I woke up with a plan to head over the Trevor's cousin's house for homemade pizza and a couple beers, but I missed the last shuttle from the hotel. So I just kicked back, put on my recovery tights (with shorts over the top, not cody style), and watched some baseball and the NBA finals. I fell asleep around 930 when the Laker's had a huge lead and then woke up to find out they blew it... get it together Kobe!

cody has some killer videos on his page... check'em out.

A lot of recovery is what is on tap for today. Beth and my parents will be in town this afternoon so the good times will just keep on rolling!