Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Race/Recovery Week?

After a pretty challenging couple of weeks and I was looking forward to a reduction in overall volume this week while still getting after it a bit as I get ready for Xterra Snow Valley. After not since the Xterra East champs almost 2 months ago I am finally itching to toe the line. I am not going into this race to fresh, but it's a short one and I know it will be fun out there. Even though this is a smaller points series race it has grown every year and this year the man, Conrad Stoltz, is going to be out there to represent Avia.

As Beth mentioned in her blog... she's moving in! I am stoked and Monday was the day to head downtown load all her stuff in a Uhaul and get it up to North County. We had talked about getting movers but thought we could just do it ourselves for cheaper. I mean how hard could moving an small one bedroom apartment be? The was probably the biggest mistake ever. It KILLED us!

14 hours later we had her placed cleaned out, most of her furniture in the house thanks to my awesome neighbors (not the ones pictured below) and remainder of her stuff in the garage until we could get to it. The whole day sucked, we were getting cranky and mean, and we both bonked only to be brought back to life with some beer and chips once we got everything it was unloaded. It was a long, grueling day but it was definitely worth it but not what I would call a recovery day. I was shelled!

The highlight of the day was when I smashed the Uhaul into one of the balconies in my complex. Sweet. I was freaking out at first but the property manager came out of her place laughing her ass off, hugged Beth, and told us not worry about it and that they would take care of it. I was stoked and relieved.

the damage. I'm a tool.

We are still unpacking and still have some work to do but it's coming along and my place is getting an overhaul thanks to Beth... but I think is trying to throw away my Padres bobble-head collection... I'm not into it. Hands Off!

Here's a photo of some of my neighbors.

As for training... it's coming along. After recovering from moving on Monday with and easy spin and swim on Tuesday I started to feel really good. I had solid brick workout Wednesday morning and then headed to Masters Thursday morning for the first time in months. Needless to say the swim kicked my ass, but it's just what I needed. I need to get back to pushing it in the pool. I can't wait to get into my next phase of training. I am changing some things up as I prepare for nationals and worlds. In a couple of weeks the focus will shift from building endurance (base) to getting fast.

running hard in circles starts next week. It's going to hurt.

I know I already said it... but I can't wait to race this weekend! I should have good support crew out there too... My sister, Nephew, Aunt & Uncle, and of course Beth will all be out there... Stoked!

last year at Snow Valley. I was 2nd AG and 4th Overall. I like to change that!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Operation Mountain Goat: Week 4 recap

Going for it! That's I what I did this weekend. I knocked out a BIG week on the bike (for me any way), and feel great and also got in some solid run miles. The swim was down a bit due some scheduling issues and travel but I plan on getting some good yards this week as I cut bike and run volume a bit in preparation for Xterra Snow Valley on Sunday.

Cody wanted me to log some serious miles on the bike this weekend and I was ready. My last really long ride a couple of weeks ago didn't go so well and one of the main reasons is that I hit it solo. So for Saturday called upon Luke... he's always down and is getting mega strong on the bike. So I spent the week coming up with a 100 mile route with plenty of climbing. I am really enjoying exploring new roads/routes right now. Today I rode Lilac road for the first time and it was killer. Good climbing, fun descents, and very little traffic. There is so much good riding out here, but I have never really taken the time to check it all out until now.

I rode up to Carlsbad (about 10 miles) to meet Luke at 8am and we were on it. I was feeling really good from the start and that lasted throughout the ride. I kept up steady stream of calories and really never started to fade (thank you PowerBar!). We got in a lot of miles with plenty of climbing, heat, and head wind. I kind of messed with Luke when I planned the route. At the 95 mile mark (85 for Luke) we hit Twin Valley Oaks road. This is where I do my hill repeats. So with almost 100 miles in our legs we had tackle a steep 12 minute climb into a headwind! Good times for sure and like I told Luke right before the ride ended... I could have easily kept going and couldn't really believe how good I still felt. Tired for sure but still strong.

Stats from the ride.
Duration: 6:18
Distance: 101.85 miles
Work/Cals: 3320 kJ
Normal Power: 182 watts
avg HR: 142 bpm

sweet graph.

After the ride I was pretty beat. Beth and I lounged by the pool (as usual) for a bit and hit up El Caribe and the Yogurt Shack with my sister. I was in bed just after 9:30pm and crashed.

Sunday was an early wake-up to head down to watch Beth race the Solana Beach Triathlon. This is a killer local event that brings out a lot of people. I won my age group at this race in '06 & '07 but decided not to race this weekend and focus on my training. I definitely made the right call and had a blast hanging out and rooting for everyone. Beth had another good one.

Right after she crossed the line I set out on my long run through San Elijo Lagoon and San Dieguito Park. A great route with some sneaky climbing. It took a little while to settle into the run... I guess riding 100+ miles the day before will do that to you. 90+ minutes later I was back and just in time to snap a couple of photos of Beth and some friends on the podium.

i ran.

I was pretty beat after the run. I was planning on heading out on the bike right after I got home, but I opted for a nap. Later in the afternoon I head out on the bike for some recovery miles and felt good.

I have just completed the 4 big weeks of base training. It has definitely been highest bike volume block I have ever done and I am seeing and feeling the benefits. I am pretty beat right but a lighter week this week will take care of that.

I can't wait to race next weekend up in Snow Valley!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Exploring on the bike...

Just a quick post before another big weekend of base training...

We got back in town on Tuesday afternoon and it was right back into the mix of training and work. I have felt pretty off all week. Training has been going well but I felt "junky" and my stomach wasn't really agreeing with me, but that's all behind me and I'm feeling really good now.

I can only attribute it to spending about 20 hours in the car over the course of our trip and not totally eating the way we normally do... or it could have been all the wine!

Ok... so the exploring.

La Costa Trails (my backyard)

This morning I headed out on the MTB and had killer ride. I hit my local trails for the first half and then we out searching for some new stuff... and I found it. I found a killer fire road/paved climb and another maintain trail through San Elijo Hills. I am stoked... more climbing! There's more out there but I just ran out of time. I know I say it all the time but having these great trails right out my door is rad.

Here's the route!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Operation Mountain Goat: Week 3 Recap

I really meant to post more while up in Sonoma but we were busy and having too much fun to really spend much time on the computer.

I don't even know where to begin... but I'll start with a quick recap of my training last week. It was solid... a lot of riding. I got in some good riding while up north. The highlight was 3:45 ride Saturday morning. I headed out early and all alone. I cruised the Vineman course and extended it a bit to get in about 70 miles. The riding up there is incredible... I may have to do this race next year. Other than that everything else was super mellow and all about recovering from the 2.5 weeks of crushing myself.

me and beth heading down to the swim start.

Now on to more important things: Beth's race. Despite being sick and not sleeping well she put together a killer day of racing. I was in awe. I new going into the race that she was prepared and ready to go for it, but her crazy travel schedule and how sick she was had me concerned. I can honestly say that if I was feeling as bad as she was I probably wouldn't have toed the line of hard half ironman.... but she's a tough one.

the champ...

coming in off the bike. sweet aero lid!

I watched the race with her parents and had a great time and she ended up having a great. Race... go read about it. now.

I also go to hang out with Trevor and Jessica for a bit as well a bunch of other people I knew up there racing. Good times.

After the race we checked in to the Hotel Healdsburg. Sick place. Sunday night and all day Monday were filled with eating killer food and drinking some really good wine with her parents. We had a blast! Perfect recovery days.

Acorn winery.

Beth Frolicking in the vineyards at UNTI. It was out last stop. I think she was starting to feel it!


i love grapes.

drinking good wine and learning about Biodymanic farming (weird).

the crew. great times!

The only bad part of the trip for me was losing my Zipp 404 front race wheel. Beth used it in the race and when I was packing up her bike after the race I left it sitting on the side of the road and drove away. I realized 10 minutes later but when I got back somebody had already picked it up. Major bummer... but I'm over it now.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Vineman 70.3 Day 1

I was up a 2:30am to finish loading the truck so we could be on the road by 3. I think we finally hit by 3:20. The drive was actually pretty mellow and I was behind the wheel for the entire 542 miles.

Beth introduced me to the new iced coffees at McDonalds. So good, but she had to tell them I was allergic to sugar (is that possible?) to make sure we go the sugar-free stuff. She loves it!

We rolled up in Guerneville around noon and checked into our killer cottage at the Dawn Ranch. It's only about a 1/4 mile from the swim start and t1... and it's super mellow.

the crib.


After we got checked in and hit the grocery store for some berries we hit the road on our bikes. The riding our here is pretty rad and the roads are ok. Beth hadn't been on her bike all week so she just wanted to spin things out. I had just crushed it the day before so i was down for an easy spin. 1:20 later we were back at the cottage and on our way to the pool... that's how we roll.

solid ride with plenty of stops.

of course.

the team.

drinks anyone?
beth... poolside.
the russian river
After some chillaxing we hit a pretty good mexi-joint for dinner... and then of course hit up some fro-yo. Beth started feeling like she was coming down with something so we hit the store for some meds.... and the she made up go to bed... it was still light outside!

after dinner drinks. beth = theraflu, me = wine
going to bed at 8p is sweet.

tomorrow I am going to ride the course and beth is going to get in come race prep stuff. Get it!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Swamped... again.

This week has been nuts... I feel like I haven't really had any time to relax this week. Between work, training, my roommate moving out, and getting ready to head up to Sonoma I feel pretty beat down. I have gotten everything done but the couple of days up north will definitely serve as a good break. While I was busy busting my ass Beth was frolicking on the beaches of North Carolina with her Family. After a draining 24 hours of traveling she is finally back in SD... just in time for another vacation to wine country.

Quick training update... Things are going great. I put together my training plan with this mini-vacation as a planned recovery period. I will still probably do some riding and running but will definitely be keeping it mellower than the past couple of weekends. My goal was to really challenge myself in terms of volume and I am pretty stoked with how my body is responding. I feel like I am getting stronger by the day.

With a couple of huge (for me) weeks behind me I am really starting to feel really good on the bike and run. My plan for the last couple of weeks has been to ride huge, run a a lot, and swim enough. Swimming "enough" is about 10,000 yards a week spread out over 3 to 4 sessions. While it's not a lot of volume the workouts have been solid and focused. No bullshitting! Since I am back in base training one thing I am really trying to do in the water is build strength which means a lot of pulling with paddles and of course the newest tool.. the band (thanks Trevor).

I'm also back in the gym for regular core and upperbody sessions. All the riding (big gears and climbing) and running (a lot of climbing in the hills) is doing plenty for the legs right now. It feels good to just be putting in the time but after another couple of weeks of base-style training it will be time to start dialing up the intensity. I should go in stronger then ever so hopefully that will translate into more speed!

workout of the week. Big Gear Intervals. Check the graph (elevation & % grade). All those climbs were grinders at about 50 +/- rpms. I alternated seated climbs with standing climbs and each were about 10-12 minutes. With over 5,000 ft of climbing in 37.35 miles this workout is definitely a gnarly one.

I can't wait to watch Beth race Vineman 70.3 on Sunday. She signed up for this race back in December and watch her build her fitness and confidence to tackle this race has been rad. I know she's going to have a good race... and then it's time to party! I will be taking plenty of photos and video from the weekend for sure. expect some updates.

OK... time to finish packing and to get Beth's bike race-ready.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Operation Mountain Goat: Week 2 Recap

OK... this seems to be becoming a trend, but I decided not to do the Rim Nordic MTB stage race this weekend. I went back and forth with it all week and I really couldn't justify sacrificing the training time or spending the money. It's 110 miles each way, I would have to get a hotel, pay for the race, and then of course money for food. It's pretty clear that it becomes pretty expensive and the fact that it was just a fun/training race it just wasn't worth it.

My second half of the season race schedule was originally planned around wanting to have a good race at the Xterra Mountain Champs in Ogden on 8/16. So with the original plan was to get in some racing between now and then to stay sharp. When I decided to not race in Ogden and I didn't change my race schedule. So this week I took a good look at my schedule and got some consultation and decided to bag it and just go big this weekend. I am back into full-on base training so a weekend of long workouts would definitely benefit me more in the long run (both Nationals and Worlds are in October) than going and doing some short and hard mountain bike racing.

So I planned for three solid days (fri, sat, sun) of training. Here's a recap.

AM - Mountain bike: 2:16, 18.96 miles, 4700ft of climbing! I love this ride. 4700+ ft of climbing in just over 2 hours. Quality... and it's right outside my door.

PM - run: 1:02, 7.71 miles, 1400+ ft of climbing. After work. I did this on some same trails I rode in the morning. I felt really good on this run and pushed it up the single track to the top.

Road Ride: 5:49, 95.25 miles with a ton of climbing.
Big ride. I am trying to spend some serious time in the saddle and that's just what I did.
Here's the loop I put together. I have been a lot lately to plan my riding. Pretty good tool. The ride was solid until I cracked about 3.5 hours in. Seriously I was over it and over all my nutrition I had with me at that point. I finally made it to a 7-11 slammed a Red Bull and a bunch of Trail mix. Eventually I came around but it was pretty rough for an hour. I just didn't eat enough before the ride. Dumb!

here's the route.

The only thing that got me through the ride were the visions of a giant burrito from El Caribe. The Garmin/Chipotle team may have their "Le Burrito" but it's got nothing on my burrtios from El Caribe!

After the ride I had to head downtown to show Beth's condo to a potential renter and then I was supposed to go to the Padres game with some friends. The game ended up being nearly sold out so we were out of luck. So I was downtown hanging out and decided to just charge the game solo because there were some single tickets still available. They were honoring the '98 World Series losing team and I really didn't want to miss it. It's the first time I have ever gone to a game solo, but it's baseball... all i needed were a couple of beers and some peanuts. Of course the Padres lost. They are horrible this year!!!

I slept in a bit and didn't get to working out unitl noon.

noon - swim in the work pool. Nothing too fast but I got in another 1000 yards with the band.
Pm - MTB in PQ canyon with Eric and then followed it up with a solid run.
mtb: 2:17, 22.46 miles, 2600+ ft of climbing
run: 40 min, 6.07 miles

Overall a solid day and a great ending to a killer week. The last two weeks have been gnarly and I am glad I am through it. I am pretty stoked with where my fitness is right now. I have a couple good sessions on tap for the week then some much needed recovery. I'll be heading up to Sonoma to watch Beth tackle Vineman 70.3. I can't wait.

Sunday night dinner... on

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

when a good friends turns on you...


OK not really... but based on his suggestion I decided to try swimming with a band around my ankles. The idea is that you cannot kick and have to use your core and arms to pull you through the water and also makes you focus heavily on body position.

Wednesday was my first swim with the band... and I thought I was going to drown. I got in a solid warm-up and used the band for 1100 yards as:
5 x 100 (band, paddles)
3 x 200 (band, paddles, buoy)

The first 25 was brutal as my feet were sinking as I tried to pull myself through the water with assistance from my lowerbody. Over the course of the set I started to get the hang of it and it definitely made me use my core a lot more than normal to get myself from wall to wall. By the last 200 I was spent... beat down and decided I didn't like Trevor very much.

After the band set I continued with 10 x 50. Trevor said that these would feel great and like I was flying. Well kind of... I was pretty wiped from the band set but through it and ended up swimming pretty well. Maybe he's on to something and not just trying to torture me.

As much as it sucked I am going to stick with it. I know this will make me stronger and teach to use my entire body in the water so I will definitely be breaking out the band a couple of times a week. Cheers Trevor!

Seriously though... Trevor is a huge part of why have been able to accomplish the things I have over the course of the past couple of years. He has been in the game for a long time and knows a lot about training, racing, how to have a good time. Even though up until June we raced in the same age group (he's now knocking heads with the pros) he has always been willing to help me out and steer me in the right direction. He can always count at least an email a week asking his opinion on something and I am always blown away with how thorough his responses are, and he doesn't BS.

If you are a looking for a coach that knows his shit... get a hold of Trevor.

Trevor's coaching site

Other than that grueling swim set training is going well this week. It's another big and after I get through a monster weekend it will be time for some rest... and I'll be needing it!!!

Check Vo2 Maxxed. I posted on our "basic" nutritional guidelines. Go eat!

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Operation Mountain Goat: Week 1 Recap

heading out saturday morning.

It's on. ... Operation Mountain Goat.

I will be riding my ass of in the coming weeks with a heavy focus on climbing. I have always done a lot of climbing in training but I am taking to another level. Both Tahoe and Maui have a lot of climbing on the bike I plan being ready to attack them like haven't done the last couple of years.

During my "transistion phase" I was still getting in some workouts and that left me ready to tackle last week pretty hard. Monday and Tuesday consisted of some mellow swim, bike and run workouts just to get back into the flow of everyday "structured" training. Wednesday was my first hard day on the bike and it definitely left me a little haggard heading into my recovery day on Thursday.

Friday was killer. I met up with Mac at Moonlight Beach in the morning for some open water swimming, and the was joined by the Beth and the Encinitas YMCA Masters crew. The conditions were perfect and the beach was packed by 9am. After the swim I headed out for a mellow ride with Mac. Trainings and just hanging out with Mac gets me stoked. His attitude and dedication are "all time!" My homeboy is focused and fit... I can't wait until 7/20 (that is the date of Lake Placid and Vineman 70.3...can't wait to watch Beth race)!

Saturday was a mountain goat day. It was all about climbing Palomar!

pre-ride breakkie

When I need somebody who is down for some epic training I know who to call. Luke is always down and a great training partner. I started from my crib and met Luke at the base of the Lake Wohlford climb. We rode long and hard... good times. This was my first time climbing Palomar... and I loved it! I didn't push and just kind of sat it because I had no idea what to expect. The climb was hard and I got the numbers (power/HR/cadence) and it will now be my baseline. I will doing the same climb every couple of weeks to see how training is going.

recovering at the summit

The rest of the holiday weekend was pretty mellow. Sunday Beth and I headed out to the Ranch to run. There was a solid crew and my mission was to run with Beth at her "Vineman race pace". The run went better than expected. She is ready! After a big Saturday she ran great on Sunday. We ran most of the run with Patrick Baldwin who just had an amazing race at Ironman CDA. He won his AG and got his Kona slot. I love seeing good people and hard workers succeeding!

The rest of the weekend was spent grocery shopping (Beth's first Costco mission), eating a killer dinner, and watching the Olympic trials. good times.

grilled red snapper and shrimp, huge salads, and cauliflower "mock" mash!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

another decision.

Photo: Nils Nilsen/XTERRA

The two weeks of unstructured training and good times gave me a lot of time to think about the rest of the season. After consulting with my and getting various opinions I have decided not to do the Xterra Mountain Champs in Ogden, UT on 8/16. It just didn't make sense. The bottom line is it will cost quite a bit to get there and I have already locked up everything for the season...

I qualified for Worlds in Temecula
I have maxxed out my points for my AG in the southwest region so I have my Nationals slot and the AG Southwest Regional title.

I just couldn't justify the cost to go race in August and it will also let me put in more solid training leading up to Nationals and Worlds... and give me a chance to do some fun local events.

My mom took this photo richmond. I like it. I look fast.

Here's a couple of lined up for this month:
7/12 - 13 - Rim Nordic MTB Stage Race
- I have wanted to do this event for 2 years but it always fell on the same day as Xterra Snow Valley. Saturday is a hill climb TT & Dirt Crit and then on Sunday there is an XC race.

7/29 - Solana Beach Triathlon (sprint)
- short races have always been great training and I have won my AG at this race the past two years, but this year I will be towing the line with the Elite!

I also have some things I am thinking about in August and September, but I'll to those later.

Other than that I am back to full-on training and it feels good, but it's taking it's toll. I forgot how tired getting up at 5am three days in a row, hitting the bike and then heading to work makes me. The good news is that my body feels great in my workouts. This weekend is the fourth and I have big ride lined up for Saturday... I love base training. Like my bike coach/homeboy Cody, my body responds really well to volume and I seem to recover very quickly. Bring it on!

Photo: Nils Nilsen/XTERRA

I just through up some random photos because I haven't taken any this week... Thanks Nils!!!