Friday, July 31, 2009

revamped race schedule

training this week is going well. i made a game time decision on monday night to pass on the tuesday's swami's ride. the legs were still feeling sunday's race and i may have had too much of a good time at pizza port hanging out with the beth, coach, and a killer crew. i just didn't think hammering a group ride was the right call. instead i just got in some endurance paced riding on the road and then later in the evening had solid trail run with beth... and felt great.

trevor providing much needed coaching tips.

so i kind of rearranged my week and nailed a hard MTB session on wednesday morning. I pr'd my race loop (helltrack) even with taking a face first digger on the final descent.

so right now my training is going really well and with everything that happened over the early part of the season I am kind of feeling like things are just getting going for my season. i did race quite a bit in the spring but not up to my potential. i was just digging myself into a hole. now that things are back on track i am filled with motivation to end my season strong.

one of my goals is to race well at the Rim Nordic series and do what I can to help the Celo Pacific team take the team title. Then my A race for the end of the season is the recently relocated US MTB Cup Unification Race at Bonelli Park on 9/20. so that's where my focus is but i will also be doing some more fun events through the late summer and early fall/winter.

one thing i am really stoked about is the Dirt Dog XC series. I will be running for team BSK... with a bunch of fast dudes and ladies. this series will definitely help me get back in running shape and it's just a lot of fun. the distances are short so even with my low volume of running over the past couple of months i should be able to get through the races and build on my performances as the season progresses. the finals are on 11/14 so i have plenty of time to get into shape before then.

there are some more bike races out there too. on 10/3 i am going to race the inaugural Socal Fat Tire Epic 50 out at vail lake in temecula. it's 50 mile mountain bike race and i am pretty stoked about it. I am training more for shorter races so seeing how long i can hold on should be fun. i think we'll have a pretty big crew out there. I also want to try my hand (and legs) at some cyclocross this fall as well. it's something i have wanted to do the past couple of years but my foucs on Xterra Nationals and Worlds has kept me from it. there are also some later season mtb races that i hope to do with beth. the more racing she can do the better so she will be prepared to tackle some Xterra races next year.

and if that wasn't enough... there's the 2010 Xterra Trail Run series that kicks off on 9/26 at Point Mugu. I still have some unfinished business with those races and definitely plan on racing a few of the 2010 series.

so much going on...

so below is the updated race plan... it's kind of like a wish list though as opposed to an actual race schedule. these are just things that have sparked my interest... and i haven't even seen the cyclocross schedule! The only things that are 100% are in Red. i still have some things in the works so there me some additions and subtracitons before all is said and done. so in some cases there are races on back to back days on the same weekend. that likely won't happen. i will pick between the two.

8/9 - Rim Nordic MTB #3 - B
8/22 - Dirt Dog XC - wild duck 5k - C
8/30 - Rim Nordic MTB #4 (final) - B
9/5 - Dirt Dog - Balboa 4 miler - C
9/20 - US MTB Cup Unification Race - A
926 - some options this weekend. undecided.
- Xterra Trail Race Point Mugu
- Dirt Dog XC - Bonita Stampede 8k
10/3 - Socal Fat Tire Epic 50 - B
10/17 - Dirt Dog XC - Couger Challenge 8k
10/18 - Incycle Cross Country Challenge
10/31 - Dirt Dog XC - Cuyamaca 6k
11/1 - Mt. Sac Fat Tire Classic
11/14 - Dirt Dog XC - USATF San Diego Open Championship 4 Miler
11/21 - Southridge 18th Annual Challenge (XC MTB)
11/26 - Xterra Trail Race - Topanga Turkey Trot
12/13 - Xterra Trail Race - Crystal Cove

so yeah... that's a lot of racing. there is no way i am doing them all.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Proof: Rim Nordic #2 Race Report

like i said in my last post... my training is working and sunday was some proof. i think my training has a lot to do with it but also my revamped diet.

i had solid week of training (and some gnarly things going on at work) leading up to the race. i hit the swami's ride on both tuesday and thursday and then took friday and saturday pretty mellow. on saturday morning i headed out to lake hodges for a mellow ride and did some exploring. i rode a lot of stuff i have not ridden before and was pretty stoked with how my legs felt.

views from lake hodges.

sunday morning i headed up early to running springs to meet up with ryan and sarah. i think i had my new favorite pre-race meal on the way up: gluten free waffles (mesa sunrise are my favorite) with an banana, Nuttzo, and agave nectar. solid clean fuel... and no wheat or gluten.

ryan had not ridden (and it was his first race since moving up to cat 1) up there so we registered and then rode a lap of the course. I also picked up my "VIP" number plate. the folks are Rim Nordic know how to do things right.

the lap was a little shorter (7.5 miles as opposed to 8 miles) than the first race but still played out the same... plenty of steep climbing and a lot the loose, techinical descending. they claim that this is the hardest XC race course in southern californina and i have to agree.

my race started at 11:50 so 45 minutes before ryan and I started warming up. the legs were still feeling good so i was ready to race. i got on the start line to see the usual fast dudes that i have been racing all year. it was small field but everybody was fast... and all have beaten me at some point this year... and some a lot more than others! i personally think it's harder to race when the field is small. there's no place to hide! once you get dropped and the leaders are off the front it's usually game over...

on the start line the race director was giving us the pre-race briefing and told me I looked like the one of the Schleck brothers and told the other riders to watch out for me. this got me stoked, and eased the tension... i love the shcleck brothers. definitely my favorite riders in the tour.

when the gun went off i made sure not to get dropped and was sitting 3rd wheel as we hit the single track, right behind my teammate Griffith (who won the first race, kicks my ass regularly, and just killed it up at the big bear shootout 2 weeks ago), with Marco Arocha from Team Sho-Air leading us up the initial climb. i was happy just sitting in with these guys.

we were rolling but they both got away from a bit on the first descent. i just lost focus. lame. as i came around the 90 degree corner at the bottom of the first descent I saw that griffith had taken a spill and Marco was getting away. i started hammering and closed the gap to marco and sat on his wheel. griffith was back up and riding but still a ways back from us. this is where some team tactics came in! i was feeling really good and could have went around marco on the climb but I didn't want to pull a "Contador" and leave my teammate behind. so i just sat on marco's wheel, recovering, and waiting for griffith to get back to us. by the time we got to the fire road griffith was back and I was feeling good. that's when i went around and moved into first place and put the hammer down!

i got away on the fireroad climb and got a good gap. i was building my lead but then took a little spill on the switchback descent. soon enough griffith caught and passed me. this didn't bother me... it's all about the team and us taking 1st and second if possible. it also helped my descending because i just stayed on this wheel and his good lines. at the end of the descent we hit the last fireroad climb of the first lap together. it was time to work together. i sat on his wheel for a bit and then went around and he got on mine.

i was in the lead when we went through start/finish/feed zone and was totally expecting us to stay together. when we hit the single track climb and i put in another hard effort and to my surprise i was riding away from him. by the time i got to through all the single track climbing i was all alone and continued to hammer up the fireroad. this time I nailed the descents and was riding well.

i started the third lap, grabbed a fresh bottle from sarah (thanks sarah! you killed it!), and was feeling great. i just kept riding hard... and scared. i knew if i lost focus the fast guys behind me would quickly close the gap. fortunately I was able to hold on the for the win.

the podium: me in first, griffith in second (not in photo), and marco in third. Team Celo Pacific taking 1st & 2nd again!

the race was really hard but i couldn't believe how good i felt at the finish. last race i was blown but this time i felt like i had the juice to hammer another lap if needed.
the race:
22.5 miles, 3700+ ft of climbing
max HR: 194 bpm
avg HR: 176 BPM

i feel like everything is falling into place right now... the training, the daily nutrition, the race nutrition. it's just all working right now.

celebrating at home after the race!

ryan put in a solid effort and took 3rd in Cat 1 25-29... getting some good point for the Celo Pacific team and earning some beers!

beth's friend heather stayed with us for the weekend and both them raced in the Solana Beach Triathlon on Sunday. they both had great races taking 2nd in their AG's. check beth's blog for her RR.

that's it! another week for training on tap and the we have actually have a weekend with no racing or travel. my sister is coming down and it's going to be nice to have a whole weekend to hang out at home and hopefully hit beach.

oh yeah... one last thing. a couple of weeks i headed down into the garage to head out on an early morning ride and found this on my mountain bike:

yep... beth put her school photo on my stem! it's awesome and of course it's still there.

Friday, July 24, 2009

it's working...

the training that is...

even with all the traveling my training is going really well. it helps that on both of my vacations and stayed very active and was able get in some running and hiking in the northeast and some awesome riding in sonoma. the biggest change that i have made in the phase of training, besides having a solid structure provided by trevor, is sucking it up an hitting a lot of group rides on the road.

I won't lie... in the past I have always been intimidated to hit group rides with roadies. there were many reasons... i wasn't strong/fast enough, fear of crashing and taking others with me, and just knowing it would be really hard. back in the day Jim urged me get in some group rides, so did cody (who just killed it at the Xterra Mountain Cup race!), and now more recently, trevor has done the same.

back in early may i decided it was time to suck it up. i started attending the swami's tuesday/thursday morning group rides and also getting to the Celo Pacific saturday rides when i was around. at first it was hard... and yes i got dropped, but that ended up being a good thing and gave me a lot of motivation. things quickly turned around and i was hanging with stronger riders on the front, taking pulls, almost throwing up in my mouth, and having a lot of fun... maybe too much.

in the 3 months i have been making 1-2 group rides a week and have seen my power number increase dramatically. i havent done an FTP test but the power I am putting out in all my rides from endurance rides to intervals has increased and RPE has decreased at those wattages. the rides are hard and i have seen my HR get up to 197 bpm and power up to 700w (11w/kg)... which are all new highs for me on training rides! I know 700w may not seem like a lot to most people but it's a number i have never hit before. i have seen my max 10 second, 30 second, 1 min, 10 min, 20 min, 30 min, and 60 min power all increase to all new highs just in the last 3 months. i have to think the group riding has A LOT to do with it.

stats from the group section of tuesday's ride... pretty typical.
duration: 1:02
distance: 20.69
work: 639kj
normal power: 246
max pwr: 697
avg pwr: 175
max hr: 197
avg hr: 149

getting to do these rides is like getting to do little races on weekdays. I'm loving it. trevor is now having to keep me from too much group riding and making me stick to the plan.... and i'll listen. it's working.

justin had a good post about some recent testing he did with a power meter... the dude can throw down some watts!

that's it for now. i have the Rim Nordic #2 this weekend... and it's going to be another tough one. the celo team will be in full effect and hopefully we can score enough points to move in the team standings... we are currently in 4th.

that's it. RR to follow.

Monday, July 20, 2009

an awesome weekend in wine (beer) country!

i am back after another whirlwind trip. this time it was up to sonoma county so beth could race the vineman 70.3. it was a super quick trip but we packed in a lot and had a great time. we hit the road at 4am friday morning for the 8 hour drive and headed straight for guerneville (where the race starts). the weather was rad... in the 90's and blazing sunshine. I hit the roads for a quick 90 minute ride through some awesome back country roads and beth got in a mellow run and swim in the river.

photos from the the ride on friday.

my little river rat.

after the ride we drove to windsor to check into our hotel and kept it pretty mellow. beth was starting to get sick so we wanted to do everything we could to make sure what ever it was coming on didn't get any worse. i was able to find some good beers though! lagunitas is one of my favorite breweries and they are located about 20 minutes south of windsor. so all the liquor stores are fully stocked with their beers. i was able to find 2 sixers of the some of their "limited release" beers. full review coming up on the beer blog later this week.

saturday morning we were up pretty early and beth wasn't feeling well at all... and i was bummed. she got sick for vineman last year. so she lounged around the hotel and i headed out for some killer riding. Sarah hooked me up with a great route (she gave me friday's awesome route too!). the ride took me out from the hotel and i rode the vineman course backwards and then hit sweetwater canyon rd and some 20% grade climbs. i was loving it! it was 95 degrees, no clouds, i was sweating my butt off, climbing in my smallest gear, and stoked beyond belief.

photos from the satruday's ride.

ride profile.

i thought a lot on the ride. 4+ solo hours on the bike is good for thinking. the saturday before i was on an epic 3 hour climb up Mt. Mansfield in Vermont with beth and then a week later i was riding some lonely roads through the beautiful vineyards of sonoma county. i love my life... and the fact that i am marrying a woman that not only approves of this lifestyle, but strongly encourages it and makes sure it happens. i'm lucky. i don't need a lot of money or expensive things. to me it's all about these kinds of trips and just experiencing new things. at the end of the day i don't really care about race results, sponsors, or winning. i just want to "live it", have fun, make the most out of every day, and push my body to it's limits in the process.

after the saturday ride i was pretty shelled but we had some fun plans on tap. first we headed up to the high school to drop off beth's run gear and I was able to swing by the Avia tent and hang out with Conrad and Shawn. I was stoked! i haven't hung with conrad since last year in maui. such a good dude. later on we headed up to the Bear Republic Brewpub to meet up the Corbins, luke mckenzie and his girlfriend amanda. i am not name dropping or anything... but it was a blast. good times, good people, and good beers!

bear republic double red rocket ale. stoked.

sunday was race day and we were up at 4am. beth still wasn't feeling good but she did what ever she could and was ready to go to work. i won't go into details about the race as I am sure she will on her blog. she gutted it out and had a killer race and pr'd. i know she's a little disappointed in her time because we know she is very capable of going faster... but after not really running for weeks and being sick i think what she was able to pull off is pretty incredible. i'm proud of the lil monster.

some race day photos.

beth is in there somewhere.

my champ.

after the race we headed back to the hotel and in typical beth and james fashion we chilled by the pool for a while. then we cleaned up and headed to russian river brewing for more good times (and beer!). we met with sarah and her boyfriend and kristen and dan (he's perfect... haha! you had to be there). the beer and food was very good and the company was even better. i think sarah and i may be related somehow... she loves cycling and IPA as much as I do!

she loves it!

pliny the elder double ipa!

the awesome ladies. beth, kristen, & sarah.

oh yeah... after dinner we hit Golden Spoon (thanks for the heads up Kerri) for the third time in 3 days! She loves it!

monday morning we were up early and on the road back to carlsbad. it was defintely a quick trip and packed with good times. now it's back to work and "normal" life for a while.

last thing... i want to give props to all of our friends who raced on sunday and killed it on a tough ass day! biggups to felipe, chris berg, caroline, charissa, tawnee, chris teague, matt dixon, luke walton, dave & brit, kristen, and anybody else i forgot!

Thursday, July 16, 2009


if you've been reading my blog over the last couple of weeks/months it's pretty obvious i have been busy... and the blogs have been kind of lacking. it's like all or nothing. so here are some updates.

first. training.

it's going well. my riding is really coming around and all the group riding is really starting to make a difference. i am regularly putting out more power on a consistent basis than ever before... and it's only the start. my big races are in september and october so hopefully things will keep progressing.

in the coming weeks i will get in more depth on my training on this blog and also figure out my racing schedule for the rest of the season.

second. Vo2 Maxxed.

it's updated. check it out. with all my diet changes i plan on posting quite a bit more over there and getting into more details about my nutrition and work back to getting healthy and hopefully more than ever.

third. beer blog.

it's updated too with my trip back east. check it out. i got to try a lot of beers.

that's it... i am rushing though this too (no surprise!). i have to finish packing and then get up mega early tomorrow to head to sonoma. beth is racing vineman 70.3 for the second time. can't wait!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

living it... east coast style.

a quick recap of a rad trip back east... with tons of photos.

our trip back east was a good one and we crammed a lot in a short amount of time. we got is some time on the lake wake boarding and water skiing, some running, hiked/climbed a mountain, tried some new england beers and did plenty of partying. as much as i like traveling to race i do really enjoy not having an agenda and just taking each day as it comes. we stayed really active but it was always fun.

quick recap of the trip.

after some long travels and some delays we at beth's moms house on the "pond" by early afternoon and were out on the lake in kayak shortly after. beth and i cruised around and then she went for a swim while i tried my first round of local beers from otter creek. the rest of the day was spent cruising around the lake and then finished up with an epic dinner prepared by Robyn, my future mother-in-law. the cooking skills definitely run in the family. great day.

view from the house.

beth and i slept in and ran around perkins pond. perfect day. sunny, no clouds, and just great running conditions. after the run we had a quick breakkie and then we hit the lake for more wakeboarding before we had to head up to stowe for the rehersal dinner.

friday in stowe was fun. i met some of beth's college friends, had more great food and drink, and even made it out to the bar for some post dinner fun. it was definitely a late night for me and beth... in comparison to our normal 9:30om bedtime.

martha trying to peer pressure me into taking shots.

we were up relatively early and hit the road to head out to mt. mansfield. it was a quick 15 minute drive and then we hit the Long trail. we hiked a portion of the long trail all the way to the summitt. it was rad and definitely longest i have walked/hiked in years. it took 1:20+ to get to the top and about the same coming down. our total time was 2:45 and was a gnarly workout.

views from the hike.

getting the garmin dialed in.

after the hike it was time to get ready for the wedding. the wedding and reception were incredible. during the wedding, while we were in the church, it started raining and by the time we were on the buses heading out to the farm for the reception it was pouring rain. right before dinner and after some of the best hor'sderves i have ever had the rain stopped and there was the craziest rainbow i have ever seen. everybody went out side to get photos... after the photo session it was back to dinner, more drinks, some dancing, dessert, and then beth and i scored a limo ride back to the hotel... again... past our bedtime for sure!

wedding photos.

we aren't always wearing workout gear or flip flops.


a makers please...

dirty martini(s)

good whiskey and lamb shanks = epic!

post rain rainbow.

beth and i got up and went for a mellow run on the stowe rec path. it was a really cool paved path for waling, running, and riding that takes you all through stowe. it was another perfect day weather wise. after the run we checked out and then headed back to the farm for the "hangover bbq". after some smoked bbq we hit the road and were back in new hampshire by early afternoon. i picked up a couple more local beers to sample and then we spent the rest of the day relaxing on the pontoon boat. we had another killer dinner and then we crashed. both of us were pretty beat from the past couple of days.

beth taking control of the pontoon boat.

my job.



i was up early for some reason. i got in one more run around the pond and beth got in a quick run and swim before we hit the road for the airport. it was another long day of traveling but well worth it.

now we're back in socal... but only for a couple of days. we are leaving super early on friday for Sonoma and the Vineman 70.3 (beth's racing). i am looking forward to hitting the Bear Republic brewery/brew pub... just more good times!