Saturday, December 27, 2008

checking in...

I am in the middle of my east coast vacation and couldn't be having a better time. Hanging out with Beth's family has been a lot of fun. There has been plenty of good food and drinks going around.

On the Training front this is probably the biggest break from structured training that I have taken since I started triathlon. I have been hitting the gym for some strength sessions and the occasional spin class with Beth.

Part this has to do with my slowly healing foot. The last time I ran was the Xterra tail race on 12/14. I am not too stoked about this but not to worried. It still hurts in the morning when I wake up better feels much better after I loosen it up. I have just been really playing it safely so I can start training full-on when we get back home and start the 2009 season.

That's it. Tomorrow we are heading down to VA to see my family. More good times for sure.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

best ride of my life...

Last week was busy. I had a bunch of stuff to finish up at work before heading out on vacation, a big data center cut over on Saturday (nailed it!), and I did plenty of riding. I laid off the running and rested my foot and it's feeling a lot better. At this point I don't even know if I can find my way back to the pool... i'll have to google directions. (Sorry Trevor). After I was done with work on Saturday morning I was stoked... I don't have be back at work until January 5th!

Last Thursday I surprised Beth with an early Xmas present. A new bike... Specialized Safire.

Since last summer she has been going on and on about how she wanted to start mountain biking. I told after the season that I would help her start looking for a bike, but I already new what I was going to do. So I kind of kept blowing her off or told her that I had the guys at B&L looking for a bike for her. She wouldn't let up and then started hating on me for not really helping her look and telling me, and everybody else, that I didn't want her to mountain bike... and I continued to blow her off knowing I had already bought the bike. To say the least she was pretty shocked when she found the bike in garage and I was stoked (check her blog for all the hater details). I am really looking forward to getting her out on the trails and teaching her to ride.

Saturday afternoon Beth and I headed out to Lake Hodges for her first ride. We cruised some fun single track, got in some climbing and descending and had a good time. Beth killed it! So much fun.

Oh yeah... near the end of the ride I asked Beth to marry me... and she said yes. Stoked.

I am probably the luckiest dude ever. I popped the question while she was still wearing her helmet and shades. Classic. Our first date was a bike ride so I thought this was the best way to do it... and I knew giving her the bike would throw her off.

After the ride we headed for one of our favorite meals. Good wine and Ciopinno.

holy decanter.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

dragging along....

Yesterday morning. Pouring.

This week is creeping. I don't know if it's because I haven't been able to run (because of my foot), the weather has been crap, I am getting ready for big upgrade/cutover at work on Saturday, or that fact that Beth and I are headed back east next Monday for the holidays. It's probably a bit of each... we're just busy.

My foot is feeling better everyday which is good. I didn't want to mess around if there was something seriously wrong with my foot and one of the benefits of my job is great medical insurance so I took full advantage. On Monday afternoon I hit Core Orthopedic for some X-rays and have the doc take a look at my foot. Fortunately the X-rays came back negative and then they scheduled me for an MRI on Tuesday morning.

I got the MRI on Tuesday morning and actually fell asleep during it. I got a call from the Doctor on Wednesday morning letting me know there were no stress fractures or bone damage of any kind. I am just suffering from a muscle strain and can treat it with rest and ice. It was a big relief because my foot was killing on Sunday after the race. So I'll give it a couple more days and then give it a go on the tready when it's feeling better. No rush. The most imporant thing to me is starting 2009 100% and ready to go. I have some really fun races that I am thinking about and want to be able to start training right away.

morning ride.

Since I have been laying off the run I have been back on the bike more this week. Riding doesn't affect my foot at all. This morning I hit the roads on my mountain bike for some climbing. It was cold and roads were still pretty wet from all the rain so I played it safe and took the mtb out.

The ride. Plenty of climbing.

More riding on tap for the weekend and then it's time for vacation!

Beers tonight at Robbies!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

a good weekend for the team...

A good weekend for sure and getting back in the training groove. On Saturday I met up with Ryan for a brutal 3 hour coastal ride in howling winds and some light rain. It wasn't fun, but it was good to be back on the bike and putting in some work. The rest of the day was mellow and staying off the legs before Sunday's race.

On a my local trail run last week I landed on a rock pretty hard right in the arch of my right foot and it was pretty tender the rest of the week. After and easy run on Friday it was pretty sore. I didn't run at all on Saturday and my foot felt great so I figured I was ready to go for Sunday.

Beth and I got to Crystal Cove nice and early and it was still pretty cold so we had some time to kill. See her blog for the details. When we headed out to warm my foot felt ok but not 100%. It could climb just fine be descending was aggravating it. I almost decided not to race but charged it any way.

Beth chillaxing in the car pre race. Maybe people can see why I call her my lil' monster. Sweet stink-eye.

I lined up right at the front with my homeboy Jon on my left and Beth on my right. The race started and I was immediately in a pack of four charging up the initial 1 mile climb. It was soon only 3 of us and we put a big gap on the rest of the field. I dropped into third position and just sat in it until the first descent and that's when I knew it was going to be a rough one.

Descending hurt.... and this course has a lot it. Jon and the leader were able to get away from me on the long descent pretty easily which doesn't usually happen. So I just sucked it up and for the remaining 8 miles I just went as hard as I could uphill and cruised the descents and flats. I was able to hang out to 3rd overall on the long 10.2 mile course and win my AG but with a pretty sore foot. Not stoked. Jon ended up in second and some unknown Euro guy took the win. Beth had another solid on post-marathon legs. She also was the third female overall and won her AG. Go Team.

me and the champ post race.

If am stoked about the race but am beginning to think I am cursed at these Xterra Trail run events. My first race last year I was leading the race by a good margin and got sent off course in the last 1.5 miles by a volunteer, at Topanga I had the mysterious quad cramps, and yesterday I couldn't go all out because of my foot. I am bummed because these are hands down the races I have the most fun at.

I'll rest my foot this week and figure out what's jacked. I am not to worried about it as this is perfect time to take a little time off of running with the races/goals I have for next year.

After the race Beth and I headed home to watch the DVR'd Chargers game. She made some killer turkey chilly and rested/iced my foot and drank some beers. I have so many random beers in my "beer fridge" so I decided to have a couple of different ones. I can't believe the bolts came back to win.... and still have a slim chance to make the playoffs. It's killing me.

beer#1. Stone Ruination IPA. Thanks to Matt.

Beer #2. Red Hook Late Harvest Autumn Ale & elevated, iced foot.

beer #3 & some chili. Firestone Walker Union Jack IPA

Friday, December 12, 2008

Planning for '09

My last race of 2008 will take place on Sunday and I'm really looking forward to it. I watched Beth (she finished 2nd overall behind Heather Fuhr) and my friend John (he was the overall winner) do this race last year and have been wanting to race this course ever since. It's the Xterra Crystal Cove 15k Trail run. Here's the elevation profile. Looks fun.

Other than that not much going on this week but Xterra did finally release at tentative 2009 schedule. So it's time to start planning. They are changing things up quite a bit this year. Instead of 4 regional championship races there will now be 8 "cup" races. One for each region. I don't know if this is necessarily good news, especially for the pros. There will smaller purses at each cup race than the previous regional championship races. The top 5 races will count for the pros so that's a lot of traveling. So less prize money and more travel ($$$) doesn't sound too good to me.

They have also done a way with some the races/venues. There will no longer be a race in Temecula (my home course) or Richmond, Va (one of the best courses on the circuit). Nationals will also moving from Tahoe to Snow Basin, UT.

I don't know how it's all going to shake out this year, but I do know that I am going to have a very interesting race schedule with all kinds of races... and a lot of running! I am still working on it and it's getting pretty excited. I will definitely be taking a different approach to next year than I have in the past.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Double'n Down.

Beth kicked my ass... as usual.

I am stoked to be back from Sin City. I really do not like Las Vegas. It was quick trip for us but definitely enough to get my fill.

Obviously the reason we went to Vegas was for Beth to take her first crack at the marathon. She has been training her butt off since the end of summer under watchful eye of her Jog Coach. She really impressed with her dedication and how she handled the load of work, school, and training. Her goal was to run a 3:10 and that is what she trained to do.

I also decided to run the half marathon while we were in town to keep me out of trouble. I knew Beth would have to eat healthy and get to bed early and Las Vegas really isn't the best place to do that. So I figured if I signed up for a race that would give me good incentive to get to bed early and stay a way from the bad food and drinks the night before her race. It worked.

The races started together at 6:05 Sunday morning. We were up at 4 and jogged from the MGM down the Mandalay for our warm-up. Everything went very smooth and we were ready to go. Right before the start I found Macca and got right behind him with Beth and Felipe a couple of rows behind me.

The race went out fast and the lead pack took off including Macca and I was about 30 yards back right away. I thought it was game over. I went through the first mile in 5:21 and knew it was going to be a long day because I don't know the last time my body even felt 5:30 pace. I am not going to do a full on report because the race was kind of boring. I made way up a few spots and felt pretty strong all the way to the finish. The splits and results are below.

The most important part of the day was definitely Beth's marathon. I was waiting at the finish line with Felipe's girlfriend who also set a PR during the half marathon. We watched the men's winner come in at 2:27 and the top woman at 2:48. That seemed slow to me so I was wondering if it was a slow race or if they hit some wind on the marathon course. I was concerned that Beth might not meet her 3:10 goal. So when I saw her come cruising around the last corner with the clock showing 3:02+ I was in shock and didn't even have the camera ready. Luckily I was able to get it together and snap a quick shot. She killed it... nothing new! She ran a 3:03 and beat her "secret" goal of 3:07. I jumped the barriers, dodged security, so I could hug her and tell her how proud I was. I was completely blown away and totally impressed. She was the 3rd woman overall!


My race:
1:13:50 (5:38 pace)
4th Overall out of 10,000+
2nd in AG
mile 1: 5:21
mile 2: 5:33
mile 3: 5:27
mile 4: 5:28
mile 5: 5:33 (passed 2 guys between 5.5 and 6.5 to move into 5th)
mile 6: 5:25
mile 7: 5:34
mile 8: 5:36
mile 9: 5:45 (moved into 4th Place during mile 9)
mile 10: 5:49
mile 11: 5:53
mile 12: 5:48
mile 13: 5:42
last .1: 5:30 pace

It's easy to see I didn't race very smart.... but I just raced. If I would have been a little more conservative on the front half maybe I would have been able to move up to 3rd but who knows. It was just fun getting out there and racing hard... and after watching Beth race the marathon for the first time I am kind intrigued by the marathon.... for the first time ever.

post race pose down. I had an hour and a half to kill!

After the race it was on! We headed back to our killer room, lounged around a bit and then went and met Felipe and the Breakaway crew for a Champagne Brunch/Dinner at the the Wynn. We got there about 2pm and went big. Tons of killer food and all you could drink bloody mary's and champagne. We stayed until 4:30 and let's just say we got our money's worth. Then we played some blackjack and of course didn't win any $$$ and then we headed back to our room because we were sure it was getting pretty late. It was only 7pm.... and we were out by 9pm. Yes... we are that exciting!

is jim beam and diet coke good for recovery? I'd like to think so.

26.2 miles + champgne + epic desert bar = Beth in rare form.

Next up.... The Xterra Crystal Cove Trail race this Sunday. This is the one I have been waiting for!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

New Sponsors and getting a beat down!

Wow... this week has been tough. Work has been crazy and I am back in the pool (ok, once so far) and back on the bike with some structure, but still keeping it pretty mellow. It's crazy how not being in the pool and not riding hard for couple of weeks can set you back. Don't get me wrong "it's" still there but it's hiding somewhere.... hopefully. It's just been kicking my butt.

After hitting the trails with Trevor on Tuesday morning, and getting dropped on every climb, I was worked. But that's exactly where I should be right now. In years past I was afraid to let my fitness on the bike and swim slip... at all. This year I think I have been better and I will ease back into things and really look to start focused training in January in hopes of a strong spring/summer/fall of racing. So for the next couple of weeks I will continue to ramp up my running volume and get in a couple of swim and bike sessions just to maintain the feel and be ready to nail it in 2009.

I have locked up a couple more sponsors for 2009 and am pretty stoked.

First is Skinfit USA. They my make the best athletic apparel I have ever used and am stoked (thanks to Trevor) to even have access to this stuff. For the last 3 years when I was in Maui for Xterra Worlds I would always see a lot of international athletes rocking the Skinfit gear... now I will be too. Check out their online store for more info.

I will also be working with 53x11 coffee. I have been ordering my fair share of coffee from them over the last couple years and their program is pretty killer. If you guys buy some coffee after clicking on a link on my site (on the right hand side or any link I post) it will help me build credit and hopefully I can use that to help fund some travel to races. It's not getting any cheaper... time are tough!

Beth I will be packing our bags once again and heading to Las Vegas for the marathon. It's going to be a fun. I will be running the half on Sunday morning as well. After the race we will be meeting up with Fatdad and Gunner and hitting up the Burger Bar. I can't wait.