Sunday, September 28, 2008

Operation Incline: Week 6 Recap


again... lets start with something other than triathlon BS. The Chargers got it done today. It started ugly... very ugly, but in the end they pulled it off and still have not lost to the Raiders in over 5 years. My sister is a Raiders fan (if you can believe that) and we had a bet. Now she has to provide the wine for Thanksgiving... no $5 bottles of Yellow Tail allowed (even though I am uge fan of the YT). Beth and I were on the couch rooting them on and back east in Virginia Beach my little brother and my nephew were represent'n!

Go bolts!


Well... this is the week. The Xterra National Championships are on Sunday and I am physically and mentally ready to race. In the big scheme of things this is the second most important race of the the year for me, with Worlds on 10/26 obviously being #1.

This will be my third year racing in Tahoe in 3 years of racing triathlons. The first year I was in awe and just so stoked that I even qualified for the race. I was flying blind with no expectations. Last year I went in the the mindset that the race wasn't mine to win (not my conditions) and rationalized my second unsuccessful attempt to tackle that course and have a race I would be happy with. This year I am going to race. No excuses.

I just finished the hardest, most focused, block of training that I have ever put in. I worked harder, recovered better than ever, and can't wait to get on the line next weekend. I know the conditions (cold, altitude) aren't ideal but who gives a shit. I am going to see what I am made of Sunday and go for it.

Ok.. enough of that. Now for the weekend activities... it was a good one!

Friday was mellow with an easy spin, some swimming at lunch, and then Beth and I hit the 24 hour fitness for a little core work and some dry sauna action. I was able to last 17.5 minutes in the sauna and Beth lasted for 20. I cracked! I am really liking the sauna and really think it's helping with my recovery. I take "the stick" in with me and get to work on the legs. It's not fun, but I wake up the next feeling good so I'll keep it up.

First thing Saturday morning Beth and I headed down to Moonlight Beach for an open water swim. The water was perfect. I warmed up and then went after it for a couple of laps around the course. After the swim I headed straight home (after a quick stop for some of my favorite coffee, 7-11) and got out on to the trails for some hard riding and running. I was feeling great and really started to think about the race.

sunday ride. 4800ft of climbing in just over 26 miles.


After my workout it was another quick transition. I quickly got into mechanic/sherpa mode. I got Beth's bike race ready, loaded up the truck, and we hit the road for the OC. Sunday was all about Beth (but what day isn't... just kidding champ!). We got up there around 3, got checked into the hotel, and after a little bit of a hassle (I am sure Beth will cover it on her blog) we got her all ready to go.

sherpa mode at 5am. give me some more coffee!


Sunday morning we were up at 4:30am for the race and got down to the race site with plenty of time. The venue for the race and course were killer. It's definitely a race worth doing... maybe next year. The swim is in a private lake, the bike course has a lot of of climbing, and the run is very Xterra-like. It's not the best spectator course because you really can't see any of the bike or the first 4.5 miles of the run but then there double out and back section at the end of the run where you can really see the race unfolding... it was killer.

the little monster getting her gameface on... kind of. I had to make her go warm-up and get her butt in gear. (she's probably going to hate on me for posting this photo)


After Beth was out of the water and on the bike I got a little bit of a break from my sherpa/race photographer duties. So I got in my run. I had a really good run on some pretty tired legs from the day before and from being on them for the previous two hours walking around the race. I ran the race couse as an out and back and it was definitely tough. A lot of hills and some good trails. I was able to really hammer my intervals and make back in plenty time to watch the end of Beth's race.... again she killed it. The little monster is getting fast. I won't steal her glory so just go read her report.

racer and sherpa


So that was weekend... it was busy but not stressful. Just a lot of good times. The last 3 weeks have been hard and I am definitely ready for a rest/race week in terms of volume. I have some shorter race pace stuff on tap for the beginning of the week and then I will be pre-riding on course on Friday... can't wait.

One last thing... the Padres season is now officially over (it was really over by the end of april). It was an ugly season and I am glad it's over. They finished 63-99 and it in the cellar. Now it's time for the MLB playoffs which should be really good. Time to root for some underdogs... I would love to see the Rays and Brewers make it to the Worlds Series. I am also stoked the Mets got the boot and I am hoping the Whitsox flop today and another of my favorite underdog teams, The Twins, get to the post season. Beth loves this time of year!!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Getting it done.


First and foremost... The Bolts took care of business on Monday and absolutely gave it to Favre and the Jets. I was on the couch screaming and yelling, chips and guac within reach, PBR in hand while the little monster (yes I mean Beth) was down in the garage grinding away on the traininer. She finished up in time to watch the second half. They're now 1-2 and the offense is looking solid but they have the Raiders this weekend. Time to get back to .500.

Early morning view from Wednesday mornings ride.

I don't really know what to say about my training right now other than that is I am kind of blown away with the progress I am seeing week to week, workout to workout. Of course I have workouts where I am kind of tired and just through them, but those workouts are few and far between and way more rare than ever before. More common in the last couple of weeks have been workouts where I am PB'ing climbs or cruising, comfortably hitting paces I have not seen in a long time.

My brick on Wednesday morning was one of those workouts where everything was clicking. The conditions were rad too. It was super foggy at the base of the trails and then as I would climb through the marine layer to the top I would end up in blazing sunshine only descend back down into the fog. The climbs and descents were like riding through a misting tent and by the end of the ride me and my bike were covered in dirt and mud. The run was done back up on the trails but now the sun was blazing and and so were my legs. It was definitely one of those workouts that has me anxiously counting the days until the race.

another view from the workout. At the top, above the fog/marine layer.




Xterra Nationals is only 10 days from today I am am really getting the itch to race. I have finalized my travel plans and I will be staying with my homebody Cody on Friday and then moving to the sofa bed in Brian's condo for Saturday and Sunday night. It will be killer to hang with the boys again, and I am already looking forward to some post race good times and beers!

A couple more things...

Luke is the man! He finished 4th overall in his 24 solo event at Hurkey Creek this past weekend. You have to go read his race report. As if riding /racing for 24 hours doesn't seem hard enough the conditions over night were pretty brutal. Good on ya dog!

Another piece of news is that I will be getting a new training partner for next year. I am so stoked about this. I know if we have the chance to regualry work together, and by work together I mean push each to our limits on a regular basis, we will both be racing on whole new level next year.

That's about all that's going on this week. I have some more good training going down this weekend before I shut it down a bit next week. On Saturday afternoon Beth and I will be heading up to the OC. Beth is racing the OC Tri early Sunday morning and I'll be in support crew mode.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Operation Incline: Week 5 Recap

I am sitting here Monday morning with a big cup of coffee feeling pretty shelled from yesterday's big effort, but I'll get to that in a minute. The original plan was to hit masters this morning but both Trevor and I thought it would be a good idea to sleep in and make sure I recover because there is still plenty of hard work ahead.

First of all check out this killer fortune I got this week. Things are looking good for next month!


Last week I got some work done on my bike in prep for the end of the year races. My homebody Gordon (Smudge) at B&L got my bike dialed in... as he has done all year. I really don't think I would be having the season I am with all the help and support the boys at B&L have given me this year... especially Gordon. He has kept my bikes running smoothly all year.

I got some new Stan's rotors installed, bars cut down a bit, new ESI grips, and my new races tires mounted. I will be running a Maxxis Larsen TT rear and a Maxxis Crossmark up front. This my favorite combo and one that will work well in both Tahoe and Maui.

On Saturday I had mellow ride on tap just get the legs ready to race on Sunday. I decided to head up to San Clemente to ride some single track that Gordon had told me about. It was killer and only about 30 min from my crib.... a good place to go for a mellow ride. There was plenty of flowing, fun single track, with only some minor climbing.

miles and miles of this.


fun switch back.


I was up early on Sunday to head up to Big Bear for the California State Cross Country Championships. I got to the race site, got checked in with plenty of time to get in a good warm up. I love the mountains and the weather was perfect.... about 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. There were a lot of people out there for the race and I could tell I would be racing some fast dudes, but the vibe was pretty mellow.



My heat went off at exactly 11:02 am. All the Expert classes went of together so it was big group and it went out fast of the first climb.

I had never ridden the course so I really didn't know what to expect. I knew there was a ton of tough climbing but I really wasn't expecting how technical and sketchy most of the descending (there was a lot) would be. The good news on the day was that I was able to climb with anybody and ride away from most of field when ever the course turned up hill. The bad news was that I lost a lot of time descending. I really wasn't willing to take the chances on the descents to stay with the lead pack... they were flying and totally letting fly over the loose, sandy fire road descents and then seemed to the single track and rock gardens pretty dialed in. Most of the guys I was racing against had raced up there on that course quite a bit (it was the same course they used for the Big Bear Shoot Out for years). Nationals is now less than 2 weeks a way and the last thing I needed was to crash, hurt myself, and hinder my training leading up to 2 biggest races of the year. Kind of a weak cop out... but it's the truth. So I held back.

So there was kind of y0-y0 affect going on. I would catch or pass guys on the climbs and then they would gap me on the descents. This went on for the whole race and the climbing seemed to never stop. It was definitely hard but I was having a blast. Even though I wasn't flying on the descents the single track sections were killer and definitely unexpected. I ended up finishing 4th in the Expert 30-34 class and only 1+ min down on third and 3+ on first. So not a bad day and I am sure if I was willing to take more chances I would have had a good chance to get on the podium.

When Trevor first suggested I head up to Big Bear for this race I wasn't into it... I mean it's football season and that means I am all about getting workouts done in the morning so I can plant my butt on the couch and relax. Then I remembered the Bolts are playing tonight on Monday night football and I decided to race.

Racing was the right decision. I not only had a blast but it was perfect training for Tahoe. The course was very similar to what I will be facing in a couple of weeks, it was at altitude (we actually climbed to over 8,000 ft.), and it got me WAY out of my "comfort zone" on the bike. Just what I needed. Of course I ran right after crossing the line and the legs felt good and as always I got a bunch of strange looks as I was changing into my running gear and everybody else was either laid out in the parking lot in pools of sweat and blood or cracking open some ice cold beers (what I really wanted to be doing).



After the run I packed up the truck and hit the road for home. I got home just in time for some Sunday night football and an killer dinner cooked up by my awesome girlfriend!



ceviche and filet.


Tonight it's more chillaxing and watching the Bolts take on the Jets. They HAVE to win!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Xterra Southwest Regional Champion!

Right after I started racing in 2006 and came across Xterra this has been on my goals. It took me 3 seasons to do it but I finally got it. I am the Southwest Regional Champion in the 30-34 AG. I can't wait to get my jersey at the awards/pre-race dinner in Tahoe!

Here's a link to an article about the regional champions and another to a PDF with all the winners.
article
PDF

Biggups to Brian & Erik for also bringing home their titles.

This week has been creeping by. I can't wait for the weekend. I am finally going to get out and race again. On Sunday I will be heading up to Big Bear to race in the California State Championship XC mountain bike race. It's two weeks out from Nationals and at a similar altitude so I will be some good prep and a chance to see where my riding is at. There will definitely be some stiff competition. The plan is to just go for it and see how long I can hold. Hopefully I can just jump on the wheels of the fast guys a go has hard as I can for as long as I can... hopefully that's the finish line! The course is 24 miles with 3300 ft. of climbing. It's going to hurt!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Operation Incline: Week 4 Recap


on top of a mountain... my brain was working.

a very good week....

I really can't believe how good my training is going right now. The progress I am seeing week to week is keeping my motivation very high. I am also loving being a "coached" athlete right now. I like having a training plan that I don't have to think about... and a most of that is because Trevor knows exactly what it's going to take for me to reach my goals. He's trained with me and we've raced head to head on both of the courses I am about to tackle.

Friday was super mellow with strength session at lunch and then an open water swim after work. On Saturday it was time to "do work"!

I started off the day with a TT swim in the pool (in my wetsuit) to get an idea of where I am right now and get more time in my suit in preparation for Tahoe. I got straight out of the pool, got on the mountain bike, and met my homeboy Denner at PQ canyon. I was stoked to be heading out on the MTB with Denner for the first time. He recently had a killer race in his first Ironman at IMLP this year. Some of the training rides he did to get ready for his race were nothing short of epic. So I knew riding with him would be a good time.

view from the top... where's the sun?


We rode all over the canyon and out to Black Mountain for a couple of repeats.

Denner grinding out to the top.


half way there.

4 hours later I was back and my truck and it was time to run. I was pretty beat getting of my bike but my run was awesome. I couldn't believe the pace I was holding and how easy it felt. I wanted to run faster and go longer, but cut it at 4 miles as prescribed.

Saturday afternoon Beth and I cruised to Don's for his annual Tri club cookout. Good times for sure... tons of killer food, and too much wine!

Sunday it was back out to the "ranch" for some hard running. I come away from this workout every time liking it more and more. The run is not easy, there's a bunch of fast dudes, and it hurts... but it's awesome. I had a good run and am so stoked about where my run is right now with the big races still a couple weeks out.

Then my weekend was destroyed late in the afternoon on Sunday. We headed over to Mac's crib to watch the Bolts vs. Broncos game. The Chargers got owned and their defense played horribly, but even with all that they came back, had the lead in the final minutes, and then refs blew it! One of the worst calls I have ever seen and one that clearly cost the Bolts the game. I was pissed! So the Bolts are 0-2 and next week they have the Brett Favre and the Jets on Monday night... they have to win!

Training this week is going to be hard... maybe the most challenging week of the year. I am really looking forward to it!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Rested and a new sponsor...

It's Thursday and I'm feeling good. I think Thursday is my favorite day of the week because Fridays are mellow and the weekend is right around the corner. I try to bust my ass at work mon-thurs so I can just wrap somethings up on Friday and take it easy.

I just got back from a mellow run in San Elijo Lagoon. The instructions were "not to go hard and just cruise". So that's what I did. I did the run kind of caveman style. I still wore my Garmin so I knew when to turn around, but I didn't wear a HR strap, I turned of the auto lap (usually set to 1 mile), and I didn't display my pace. I just ran and it felt good. Now it's time to eat with Beth and then head back to work for some data center work. Another long ass day!

My workouts this week are going very well. I had my second masters session of the week this morning and it was probably one of the best swims I've had all year. I was seeing some times I haven't seen in a while.

5:45am. Time to swim.


I also had a HARD brick on Tuesday and my legs felt great. Thank you Rest!

Tuesday consisted of a little bit of this (bike)...


and then some of this (run)...


tunes I have been training to this week: Metallica (old), slipknot, underoath, rise against, gym class heroes, jack's mannequin, jay-z, funeral for a friend.

I have been forgetting to mention that I picked up another great sponsor a couple of weeks ago.



Stuffits makes shoe inserts that are filled with pure cedar and they absorb moisture and kill odor. I met the owner, Mike, after the Xterra East Champs in Ricmond back in June. He had seen me race in Alabama the previous week as well and he gave me a pair to try. I have been using them in my running and cycling shoes. I really like them and recently got back in touch with Mike and I am now stoked to say I am one of only two sponsored athletes. The other being Conrad Stoltz.... so I am in good company for sure.

Stuffitts has a grass-roots feel and I am excited to be working with them so early on. Now go buy some! Just kidding, but if your feet sweat a lot and your shoes stink give them a go.

That's about it. There's definitely some more challenging stuff on tap for the weekend and also Don's annual Tri Club BBQ... good times!

Oh yeah... and Bolts are taking on the Broncos. They need a win but it's going to be a tough one. As much as it kills me to say it, the Broncos looked damn good on Monday.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Operation Incline: Week 3 Recap

Rest, Recovery, Restoration.

Whatever you want to call it that's what went down this past week. After busting my ass for a couple of weeks it was time to back it off a bit before another block of hard work. It came at a perfect time. I am 4 weeks out from Nationals and 7 from Worlds. Something I read in a post by Chuckie V a couple weeks stuck with me. His athlete's are killing it! So I think he knows of what he speaks/types.

"In sports psychology circles, it's commonly accepted that eight weeks is about as long as an athlete can maintain razor-sharp focus."

This makes sense to me and I am now within in that window and time to buckle down.

Here's the breakdown of my second half of the season training which started on 6/30. Last week was by far the lowest volume in a while.


Trevor had me taking pretty easy through the week and it was a nice change. I was waking up without an alarm, sleeping great, I never even thought (ok.. maybe once) about adding workouts. I just followed the plan even when Trevor told me Thursday afternoon to skip the planned Friday morning mountain bike ride. As much as I was looking forward to getting out on the trails I listened and got in another night of good sleep and a morning of waking up with out an alarm. I also spent plenty of time this week stretching, torturing myself with the foam roller, T.P. "tools", marathon stick, and got a killer massage.

Saturday morning was my first and only bit of hard work for the week. I had a track session on tap for some testing that was a mix of 2k and 1k intervals. I slept in again and then sat around the house watching sportscenter, drinking coffee and letting my food digest. A nice change from getting up slamming some food and coffee to get out the door as early as possible to knock a long saturday of workouts.

At 9 I set out for the track. There is a killer track at La Costa Canyon HS (see Beth's post for photos and videos from the track). It's a fast track and I was looking forward to running there all week. When I got there the parking lot was packed and the track and field were in use. It's football season and a bunch of little grommets were in middle of a heated battle with their parents going crazy in the stands. It was awesome and I watched for a bit, but then had to split and find some place to run. I headed to San Marcos High School because they have a killer track too and Beth and I met the track coach a couple of weeks ago and he said we could use the track any time. Same results as La Costa.... more grommets, more football. I was stoked for them, but I still needed to run.

My third option was Carlsbad HS which has kind of a crappy dirt track, but when I got there it was empty. Time to "do work." The workout went fairly well from my perspective. I was able to throwdown a good effort and get my HR way, but I know I can go faster. I can't wait to do this workout again after another block of workouts that will be building and dialing up my race speed.

"do'n work"


Sunday was all about football. I woke up early Sunday morning without the alarm and just decided to get on it. The earlier I got my ride over with the earlier my butt would be planted on the couch watching football. Trevor sent me a late email Saturday night telling me to cut back my long ride... and believe it or not I listened. I got in just under 3 hours and got home in plenty of time to knock out some weekly chores while watching some football.

I was done cleaning the house, backing up Beth's computer, and getting gear ready for next week in plenty of time to get to watch the bolts game, which ended up being a total disappointment. They didn't play too well and Carolina won on the last play of the game... lame.



On another note GZ sent me a bottle of his home brew. Good stuff. I was kind of shocked at how good it was... no offense GZ, but I would pay for a six pack of it for sure!


taste test
video

time to head to the pool!

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

changing things up and an explanation...

*warning. this post got out of hand and long winded, but it's an explanation nonetheless.

First things first...

I changed my header photo. The new photo is from Xterra nationals last year and was taken right after I crossed the line. I totally blew up. It was just a bad race and I want use this photo as a constant reminder. I went from pretty much collapsing as I crossed the finish to laying down in the med tent. Good times.



Last year I went into the Nationals not taking it to seriously. I was focused on Worlds but also took the pressure off myself by convincing myself Nationals was not my race to win. The race is cold, at altitude, and the run is "easy" (in comparison to all the other Xterra championship races). My strengths are racing in the heat and being able to keep it together on the harder run courses. Looking back my attitude towards the race and the way I raced it was kind of a cop out. Things didn't go my way on raceday in many ways but mentally I went in weak and had already rationalized why I wasn't going to have a good race.

Not this year.

The Xterra World Championships on 10/26 is still my number one race of the year and the race I will be peaking for. From a physical standpoint there is no way to peak for Nationals on 10/5 and then carry that peak into Maui just 3 weeks later, but that doesn't mean I can't have a good race in Tahoe. I am not going to make any excuses for the cold or the altitude or that I am focusing on Worlds. I am going to Tahoe for one reason... To win. I hope that doesn't come across cocky or arrogant, but that's why I will be in Incline Village, NV on October 5th.

In order to peak for Maui and still have the best race possible in Tahoe I felt like I needed some help and to change things up a bit. With the exception of my bike training I have pretty much been coaching myself since last summer. Cody has played a huge roll in why my cycling has seen such an improvement in the last year. Through each phase he told me what kind of workouts I needed to be doing and why, but I was still making my own schedule and handling all my own running and swimming.

If you have been reading my blog it's pretty obvious that I like to train... a lot... probably too much at times. I'm not the best with scheduling enough recovery/rest. Part of that has to do with my work schedule and when I can get workouts in and then there is the side of me that is always second guessing if I am doing enough or the right kinds of workouts.

When I first started triathlon in 2006 I was coaching myself and then eventually started working with Jim Vance. Being a former Xterra Amateur World Champion, Jim was the perfect coach for me. When Jim started coaching me I would ask questions about everything... every work out, every weekly schedule he would send me. I was new to the sport and just wanted to know why he had me doing the workouts I was doing. He taught me a lot and I am sure I probably annoyed the hell out of him. No matter what he put in front of me I always wanted to do more... and often did. He used to get on me for adding workouts quite a bit. Again, it was all new to me and it seemed like my fitness was growing by the week. He always wanted me to rest more but I rarely would listen and probably go harder or longer than prescribed.

After Temecula last year I began coaching myself and loved it. I was going for it on the bike and from everything I had learned from Jim I think I was able to doing a pretty good job. There was definitely some trial and error but I learned a lot about what works for me and what doesn't. I ended my 2007 season by having the race of my life (up to that point) at Xterra Worlds and was very satisfied.

This season is going better than I have ever could have expected or hoped and I couldn't be more stoked. I definitely put in a lot of hard work to get the results I have, but in order to get to that next level and have a real shot to win a National and World title I really wanted to focus on just training. I wanted to take all the questions and second guessing out of the equation. No thinking, just training... and training hard. I talked a lot with Trevor and after going back and forth I asked him he wanted to take the reigns and take over my training plan. He was stoked and agreed to help me out.

So for the past couple of weeks I have just been training (and resting more than ever). We worked together to come up with a training plan that fits my schedule and maximizes my time and that also allows for proper recovery between the harder efforts. I have complete trust in Trevor and know he will have me ready to go on raceday. I am hitting my workouts now with a sense of accountability and renewed motivation. I think this is just what I needed to reach my goals. I'll know soon enough.

Training this week... It's a recovery week and I am embracing it. Some mellow swimming, biking, and running is all that has gone down this week... and plenty of stretching and foam roller action. I'm feeling good and ready for some tougher/test workouts this weekend.


Last thing. The NFL season kicks off tonight... so stoked. I can't wait until Sunday at 1:15 when the Chargers kick of their season. The plan as of right now is knock my ride out early and have my butt chillaxing on the couch with a cold beverage and watching the Bolts "do work".

My plans for sunday:

Monday, September 01, 2008

Operation Incline: Week 2 recap



Ok... the focus has changed. My recently completed base phase was all about climbing, both on the bike and run. Now it's time get fast in prep the Xterra USA Championships in Incline Village, NV (hence the change in "operations"). This was second week of my first build phase and I can honestly say it's probably that hardest, most focused week I have put in all year and I had some of the best workouts I've had in a quite some time. Ramping up the intensity the past two weeks has left me pretty beat down. Luckily this week is a recovery week... and I need it.

Here's how the end of week broke down.

Thursday.

I hit masters in the morning for a pretty tough session and swam ok. Definitely not my best day in pool, but with all the other hard training going on I am not to worried. In the afternoon I had a run on tap with some challenging intervals and I nailed it! Last week I went into this run with a case of the DOMS and ran ok. I was looking forward to hitting this work out all week. I went in feeling really good as I really paid a lot of attention to my nutrition and hydration throughout the day. I won't go into the specifics of the run but it's probably the best "hard" run I have had all year. I felt like I was flying and pace solid!

run workout playlist: All Slipknot including their new album which is pretty damn good.

Friday.

After the hard work on Thursday the plan was to take it pretty easy. I got in a mellow spin on the road before work and then hit moonlight beach right after for some open water swimming. I made sure to keep the intensity down so I would be recovered for Saturdays big workout.

workout playlist: Lucero and Iron & Wine

Saturday.

pre-workout breakkie: sprouted english muffin w/ almond butter & agave nectar and coffee in my favorite mug.


One of the toughest workouts of the year. I headed up to the San Juan River Trail to meet up with Luke first thing in the morning. Luke's racing the Tahoe Sierra 100 (gnarly!) next weekend so he was looking to dial it up a bit and definitely get some climbing in. The San Juan Trail is probably some of the best riding in the area and it was my first time heading up there. I had some specific intervals I wanted to get in including a 20 min climbing TT. Luke lead me out on the climb and when it was time to Go... he went for it. We spent 20 minutes hammering up the climbing passing a lot of riders... it was a full-on race pace effort and it was awesome. Luke got a gap on me but I bridged back to his wheel at about the 15 minute mark until we hit a technical switchback. He nailed and I blew it. He got another gap and I spent the rest of the interval trying to chase him down and almost did. I was stoked about the effort.

after quite a bit of climbing.


After that we still had plenty of climbing left to do and then it was time to descend. The descent was killer, fast, and technical. I ended up taking a good spill but came a way pretty clean.... just a couple of bruises.

view from the top.


After I got back down to the parking lot it was time to run. It was hot and there weren't very many options of where to run... there was going to be a lot of climbing no matter which way I headed. The first mile was brutal. 9 minutes and 500+ ft of climbing. I didn't get much easier from there but I ended the run knowing I had really pushed myself and was very satisfied.

workout playlist: a big mix - slipknot, metallica, the cool kids, shwayze, ignite, cinematic sunrise, thrice, rise against, and more

Driving home I could barely stay awake. I was shelled, dehydrated, and needed a nap. I was pretty out of it for the rest of the day, just ask Beth. I made sure to eat and drink a lot to get ready for Sunday's run.

the ride:

the run:


Sunday.

Ranch Run. This one of the more popular group runs in the area and there are plenty of fast folks out there, many of which are getting ready for Kona. I won't name drop but you will be seeing them on the Kona TV coverage for sure! I warmed up for a bit before the run and met up with Beth. She started early to get in all of her miles and then was going to join the group for the 11.5 mile loop.

I headed out with lead pack and we kind of went for it. This the kind of run I need. I talked with GZ earlier in the week about beer, running, and the benefit of running with other runners. I am kind of a sandbagger when it comes to my long runs and this kind of run snaps me out of that. I run felt great and shockingly comfortable. I never felt like I was going all out even though the pace was high and most of our mile splits were between 6:00-6:20. I ended the run covered in sweat. I can't wait to get back out there.

I think that's about it for last week. Looking back I am pretty satisfied with where I am at but also really ready to push it in the coming weeks. I have changed things up quite a bit in my training and I will get to that in my next post... this one is already too long.

No workouts today! I am just chillaxing, drinking coffee, and watching sportscenter.