Friday, February 26, 2010

First race of 2010!

I just committed (registered) to my first race of 2010. On Sunday I will be racing the Sage Brush Safari. It's the first race in the Kenda Cup West Series. I was going back and forth all week on whether i was going to race or not because last weekend i heard the course was in bad shape from the rain... and we're supposed to get more rain starting tonight and all day on Saturday.

I felt great out on the trails this morning and started to get really stoked about the idea of racing for the first time since mid December, and the last time I raced on a mountain bike was back in September. So I charged and signed up and will race no matter what the conditions are like... and just have fun. I can't wait to race on my 2010 Sworks Stumpjumper. I finally have a race bike that is on the same level as my competitors.

This race was on my schedule but I didn't plan on resting for it as I just started my "race prep" phase this week... and I am kind of shelled. A lot of solid riding has taken place this week including a hard interval session and an anaerobic hammerfest of a group ride on thursday. with the rain coming tomorrow though I probably won't be able to get out for my planned long ride so i may actually get a little rest for the race.
group portion of Thursday's ride. Pain Cave!

that's it. here are some photos from the week that has been a very busy, but very good.
on tuesday night i was up in LA and went do dinner with my sister and nephew at 1739 Public House. 64 beers on tap! this is green flash west coast IPA... never lets me down!

the local trails are still in perfect condition

sun and wide open roads

Finally got into our AWESOME wedding present from Sue. Thank you!
with training beth so much... and killing it... i have been doing most of the cooking. no complaints.

mahi mahi taco salad

Monday, February 22, 2010

race prep...

4 weeks until my first A race of the season. Vison Quest. really looking forward to it.

after the big base block i definitely enjoyed a more mellow week last week. i was still on bike 6 our of 7 days but kept it MELLOW and actually got on the trails more than the roads. that's always a good thing.

I got in 4 days on the mountain bike and loved every minute.  i started the week with a super fun ride with my incredible wife at hodges and that set the tone for the week.
trying to keep up

chasing beth up the climb

after 4.5 hours on the road on saturday i really wanted to keep sunday mellow and my recovery in check.  with the rain i wasn't sure where to ride but i definitely wasn't looking forward to another wet road ride so i decided to hit lake hodges and hope it wasn't to wrecked from the rain.  ryan cruised down and we got in a killer ride.  just about 3 hours and 90% singletrack.  we kept it mellow and just had fun riding our bikes... what it's all about.  we rode some trails i have never ridden before and they were rad.  i can't wait to take beth out there.
new trail (for me at least)

conditions were PERFECT!
ryan descending.

starting this week i will be transitioning into a "race prep" phase, similar to what most people call "build". the volume will be manageable but the intensity will be on the rise... something i am really looking forward too. in this next block i will also have a couple or XC races that are part of the Kenda Cup West and SoCal State series'. with me changing my focus to more of an endurance mtb race focus and Vision Quest coming up i definitely won't be resting for these early season races.

so that's about it... here's some more food photos... it may get old to look at but my favorite meal is grilled fish, or chicken, & grilled veggie salad!

orange roughy, hard boiled egg, avo, mushrooms, cucumber, red onion, mixed greens, & bleu cheese with horse radish mustard dressing.

yeah... random... beth on the trainer.  twittering it up

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Recovery mode and Refining the Plan

i am in full on recovery mode this and it feels good  I was stoked to have monday off of work hit the trails with beth.  i kept it super mellow and beth was dropping me all over the place!
the trails are in perfect condition right from all the rain we've had.

beth killing it up a climb... before making the turn and dropping me.

on wednesday i got in another mellow mountain bike on my local trails.  with the rain we've most of the miles i have been getting over the last couple of weeks have been on the road, and as much as love my tarmac sl2 and riding with my friends on the road, riding in the dirt is what it's all about.
the climb up

view from the top
heading back home

I have been doing a lot of thinking about my race schedule and trying to trim the fat.  there are a lot of races i want to do but I don't want to be racing every weekend... unitl CX season at least.  i want to race, have fun with friends outside of training and racing, be at as many of the beth's races, as possible, and just have fun riding my bike.  i really do like the training as much as i like racing.  in some ways i like it more.

so on monday i was ready and waiting on the computer for the clock to 8am (9am MST) so i could try to get into the Park City Poing 2 Point.  it will be the 2nd year for the race and it's said to be harder than leadville.  78 miles, 14,000 ft of climbing, and 90% of it is on single track!  there were only 143 slot available when they opened registration.  luckily i was able to snag one before they were all gone.  it ended up taking about 5 hours to completely sellout.  i am stoked that ryan, slater, monique, keevin, and sean all get in too.  labor day weekend is going to be sick.

later that night i also locked up my spot into Vision Quest on march 20th.  originally i was trying to get a slot into Counting Coup after missing registration, but i was willing to take a slot into either race.  i was contacted by a guy wanting to sell his Vision Quest slot and i jumped on it.  go big.  so instead of 44 miles with 8000 ft of climbing i will be tackling Vision Quest and it's 56.5 miles and 11000+ ft of climbing.  i did this race back in 2007 as a training day and then did Counting Coup last year, again, just a a long training day.  this year i plan on racing.

so getting into these two races has changed things up a bit and confirmed some things for me.  outside of racing i have a lot going on this spring and summer with beth's races, family visits, and work and pretty much figured that actually competing all the necessary races to makes runs at the Kenda Cup West Series and SoCal State series would be pretty tough, if not impossible.  So I am choosing to put more of my focus in the into the longer endurance mountain bike races with the big one being the PCP2P on labor day weekend.  I still definitely plan on racing XC MTB as well but i  will pick and choose races, no series'.  I just want do well enough at one of the Kenda Cup qualifiers so I can get slot into the "invitation only" championships in mid september.

the long riding i have been doing the past couple weeks really made me realize again how much fun long epic days on the bike are.  racing for 4-8 hours as opposed to 1.5-2 hours is a lot more gratifying i think and makes all this training more worth while.  so simply... big training, less racing, but longer/harder races.  that's the plan for now.

after september it will still be all about cyclocross.  i am really looking forward to my second season of that and trying to compete with the pro/1/2's.

some good food stuff going on this week too... on monday night beth and I headed to colleen and justin's for dinner and beth made a killer side dish.

Asian spiced, roasted kabocha squash.  this was her second attempt and making this type of squash and it was really good.
the spices
ready to roast

ready to eat

on tuesday night beth had a track workout and i was on my own.  i had some trader joe's curry chicken breast tenders and decided to make a mega veggie chicken curry stir fry.

i cooked the chicken in it's own pan

and the veggies too (broccoli, brussel sprouts, onion, mushrooms, carrots, red bell pepper, zucchini)

while they were cooking i made a sauce using course ground dijon mustard, yellow mustard, organic tamari, stone ruination IPA curry mustard grilling sauce, and rice wine vinegar.  once the everything was cooked i put them all in the same pan and added the sauce.

dinner time!  i topped it with some sunflower & pumpking seeds

Monday, February 15, 2010

getting through it... barely.

wow... i can't believe i got through that.  i just finished up the biggest 3 week block of training i have ever done... and i am feeling awesome!  don't get me wrong.  it was HARD!
when cody proposed this last block of training i was kind of apprehensive. i told him to send me the schedule so it could start planning.  getting in this many hours, working full-time at a demanding job, and just living life is not easy... at all.  i really wasn't sure if i could pull it off.

the first two weeks were easy (relatively) even though i had to deal with some weather.  i was knocking out the rides and feeling very motivated.  then the third, and biggest, week came around.  my body was still feeling great and attribute this to my recovery and daily nutrition (thanks Fluid and Feed the Machine/SportMulti).  mentally is where it got tough. most of my miles were solo and it was starting to wear on me.  i didn't admit this to any one but cody, but i was kind of cracking.  i was having conversations in my head on my rides mon-wed on how/why i should cut the ride short or bag it... but i didn't.

pushing yourself and trying to reach a new level of fitness SHOULD NOT be easy.  i think you have to reach beyond your limits and get uncomfortable... tired, sore... but not injured. that's the thing... it was ALL mental.  the plan was working and my body was handling the stress.

thursday morning i had breakthrough 3 hour ride and felt like a million bucks. and then crushed myself with 6+ hours and 8300+ ft of climbing on the mountain bike friday.  saturday beth and i did the 80 for Haiti ride and it was a tough with a lot of headwind and some tough climbing.  i finished off the week with a mellow 4 hour ride on sunday, which i broke up by going to watch beth and some friends finish up the san deiguito half marathon.  the weather was perfect and i felt great.  i thought i was going to have to push through the ride but that was not the case.  i had a great ride and when i rolled back into the garage i was amped to be DONE!

grinding into the head wind on hwy 80.

 my 80 for Haiti teammates.

after the sunday ride i spent the rest of the day lounging and hanging out with beth.  we hit alehouse for a couple of beers and then headed home I cooked up a rad v-day dinner. 

grilled steak and veggie salad.

fitting after a long week on the bike.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

finding time... barely.

another weekend of "questionable" weather in so cal but i didn't let it keep me from logging some miles and completing the biggest training week (time-wise) i have ever done.  i kind of don't how it happened... it just did.  cody is definitely challenging me and i am really looking forward to getting through this next BIG week and then dropping the volume a bit.  i am itching to start doing some "hard" workouts and getting ready to race.

the hardest ride of the week wasn't my cross ride on saturday where i headed out and got in 3 hours in pouring rain and 20-30 mph winds, no, it was sunday's long road ride.  i met up with denner on sunday morning and the plan was for 5+ hours with plenty of climbing, but keeping it mellow.  the roads were still wet and there were still some lingering rain clouds but we charged anyway.

right before we hit the climb at lake wohlford it started to rain and the wind came up.  the rain didn't last too long but the temperature dropped and the wind beat us down the rest of the day.  on woods canyon rd i got chased by a huge pit bull but luckily i was on the road and able to out run him pretty easily.  all of this sounds pretty standard but when we hit lilac road is when things go interesting.

denner had never ridden out there and i told him we were taking lilac to 395 and didn't tell him that there was one turn we would have to make.  he wanted to hammer ahead and dropped into his aerobars and went for it.  when i hit the fork in the road i wasn't sure what to do because i didn't think he knew to make the turn.  so i stayed on lilac and into places i have never ridden before.  after plenty of miles i saw a sign that said "Paved Roads Ends in 300ft."  sweet.  in a couple of seconds was descending a dirt road and heading into the Pala indian reservation. at this point i knew denner had made the turn but it was too far to go back.  so i kept on.  i had a vague idea of where i was.  riding around the reservation was sketchy to say the least.  all dirt roads, no one around, and some wild dogs.  after a while i could the see the 76 and casino and new how to get home.... and then 2 big ass dogs came bolting up a driveway and were chasing me down.  i was freaking out... yealling and screaming while trying to accelerate up a dirt hill.  i thought for sure i was about to be mauled but they gave up chase just in time.

i finally made it to the 76 and took it all the way back to the coast, and then headed for home.  I ended the day with 90 miles in the bank and just stoked to not need rabies shots!

here's the route.  one i will never be taking again.

saturday beth and i will be doing the 80 for Haiti ride on in east county.  it's for a good cause, it's a killer route, and pretty much how you would expect us to spend a valentine's day weekend... and then the lil monster will be backing it up with the San Dieguito Half Marathon on Sunday.  the training she is putting in continues to blow me away and motivate me.

that's all for now... not much extra time right now but here's some random photos.

my "go to" meal.  veggie/egg scramble.  everything we have in the fridge with eggs.  i think this one had eggs, spinach, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, niman ranch ham steak, sweet potatoes, turkey bacon, red peppers, and almond cheese. i usually eat with corn or brown rice tortillas.

i didn't take this photo.  beth must have. it's our fridge.... it's where we hang out.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

bringing it back...

i have totally let MY beer, and OUR food blogs slide... but i want to bring them back.  i just don't have the time to work, train, live life, and keep up with 3 blogs.  so i am just going to do what i used to do and put it all up on here.  i am sure my "training only" posts get boring and monotonous any way.

so from here on out i will going to start posting food/diet related stuff of what i am eating in and out of training and also some beer reviews. i have been cooking a lot and also always on the search for another good beer (the hoppier the better). Here's some recent stuff to start with.

Moroccan Stew.  Beth made this on tuesday.  there's a lot in there... chicken, tomatoes, olives, carrots, onions, garlic, almonds, and more.  it was really good and she also made some cauliflower rice to server it with.

a go to meal.  grilled salmon with a Dijon mustard/dill sauce and roasted veggies in a balsamic & grainy Dijon mustard all over spinach.

On wednesday night i got home a bit early had some time for a "bonus" ride.  i hit the trails along the rail road tracks in cardiff for fun 30 minute cross ride  i can't wait for day light savings so i can start knocking out some more rides like this.

killer sunset.

after the ride and before dinner i finally got to the try this beer.  It's New Belgium's brand new, just released, Ranger IPA.  I'll admint when i first read about them making a year round IPA i was a little skeptical.  first they out on colorado (sorry JP and GZ) and while they do make some good IPA's in the mountains they are also a lot of let downs and just a differenty style than the hop bombs coming out of california. so after hearing about this months i arrived in stores this week and i snagged a six pack and had a taste.  kind of blow away.  it is good... really good.  the taste is kind of like a stone ipa, which in not a bad thing.  i am looking forward to having more of these and stoked that it will be easy to find.