Wednesday, December 31, 2008

pre 2009 post

Big plans to get away this weekend and take stock of 2008 and prepare for 2009. I'll post up the year-in-review, goals for 2009, and all that other fun stuff, but for now I'm just looking forward to the last bit of vacation for some time to come.
There's a long run scheduled but I'll have to fit it in with fires, movies, dips in the hot-tub, mountain views, and maybe a day spent on the slopes. I'm also going to map out my race schedule and training plan for the year. Exciting stuff! Stay tuned...

Christmas Break

I didn't plan on taking such a big hiatus from the blog, and training, but I'm gearing up for a new 2009 season and I have big plans. The past week and a half was dominated by my parents and sister coming out to visit us here in the desert. It was great to have them all out here and spend time with them as well as the in laws. I'm so fortunate that our families get along so well and we have the opportunity to see each other so often.

12/19 - 4 mile run
12/20 - 5 mile run to hospital to visit A's uncle, 3 mile short route home
12/21 - 1.5 hr ride on SoMo at sunset
12/22 - strength and core work
12/23 - hike with parents and sis on SoMo
12/24 - 4 mile run with A
12/25 - Christmas!
12/26 - rest
12/27 - rest
12/28 - 7 mile run w/A, 45 min functional strength training with sis
12/29 - installed new gutters
12/30 - rest

Top 10 ride the other day on South Mountain. So much has been going on lately is was great to get away for a while and ride some empty desert singletrack at sunset. Riding the singlespeed made it an even more pure experience. I really enjoyed the washes and just bombing in and out of everything just going with the flow of the ride. Stellar.

Elsie all set for SoMo
trail shot
big wheels
playing with shadowson the trail

Friday, December 19, 2008

Here's the deal

As a college administrator the last week of the academic semester is worse than when I was a student. I experience the collective stress of all of the students, who each feel their own final exam experience is the sign of the apocalypse. My way of saying it has been a crazy week at work and now that it's over it's time to get caught up on all the training that went down.

12/11 - 45min ride on trainer
12/12 - rest
12/13 - 9.2 mile run / 20 min trainer / ice-bath in the pool
12/14 - rest
12/15 - Personal training - main set was alternating a pace or incline increase on treadmill every 30 sec, until I reached incline level 6 at 6:00 minute mile pace. Hardest day yet. Puking at your office gym during lunch is not recommended.
12/16 - rest
12/17 - Personal training - another total body day. Just a solid workout. I need to post that day to remember the sequence, #, weights. / 4 mile run after work
12/18 - 30 min on trainer

How to make a bike rack (staying organized)

I think it's a safe bet that most triathletes are pretty organized. I mean gear for three different sports doesn't just show up and arrange itself in transition and finding time to balance work, life, and training takes some organizational skills as well.
Since moving to Arizona I've loved having a garage, but it despises organization. Last weekend I made some big improvements with just a little time, a little money, and quite a bit of PVC. Take a look:
all cut
4 bikes?
better make it 5

Friday, December 12, 2008

Actions are louder than words

I think I'm in denial. I keep telling myself, and others, that I don't know what 2009 will bring, but my actions over the past several weeks might be telling the real story. First, I got hooked up with a triathlon trainer/coach. He's been breaking me, building me back up, breaking me again, and all along the way giving me new ideas for 2009. Then, in what I consider the loudest action, I bought a new toy.
one of these things is new
Yes, I bought a trainer. When I got back into mountain biking last year I never thought it would lead to this. I'm quickly entering dangerous territory. If I ever buy one of these it is time for an intervention. Please.

Last night I went about setting up my riding space. Thanks to all those in the blog world I had a pretty good idea of what this should look like. Riding inside with the laptop and Netflix on demand is way more appealing right now than riding on the road.
Thursday: 2 mile run / 30 min on trainer

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Training Update 12-10-08

Saturday: I was all set for our long run of the week, but A was feeling lazy and it was contagious.
Sunday: 8.6 miles, I'm pretty sure this is the 2nd longest run of my life. This will all change soon enough.


Monday: active recovery on the foam roller and light weights
Tuesday: 15 mile bike, bosu squats 3 x 10, lunges 3 x 10, calf raises 25# 3 x 10
Wednesday: 5 minute rowing warm-up
3 x (1 min of box jumps, 10 pull ups, 20 pushups, resistance tube shoulder raises)
3 x (1 min plank hand steps, 15 crunches, 10 bosu push ups, 10 seated rows 80#)
3 x (10 skull crushers, 10 overhand pull ups *lat pull downs for last 2 sets*, side crunches)
SMABS - 3 x
30 each - flat, knees bent, legs crossed, 90 degrees
Swiss ball handoff 15
Swiss ball rollers 30 se
Swiss ball balance 30 sec
15 leg lifts

SAMBOB - that's 90 push ups in case you didn't count

Monday, December 8, 2008

The illustrious draw of the Ironman

If you're a triathlete you know the drill.

"Oh, you do triathlons? That's the Ironman right?"

I'm sure some advertising mogul somewhere hears the cha-ching every time someone asks that question. For those of us who Tri, but not of the Ironman variety there always seems to be a let down with anyone you meet when you explain the distance or event you do compete in. As if the 1500m swim, 35k bike, and 10k run that are XTERRA Nationals in Tahoe are something for your typical weekend warrior and not really that impressive....

Part of my attitude is jealousy. I admit it. Part of it is also probably fear; I'm less inclined to admit to that. This January I'll be running the PF Changs RocknRoll 1/2 marathon here in Phoenix. This will be a big jump for me in terms of my endurance sport career and will mark the longest event I've ever competed in running wise. With all the longer run training, something I needed for next year's XTERRA season anyway, has come this nagging voice in my head that screams Ironman. Now, at this point the whole thing would be just dumb, but that 70.3 distance is sounding pretty tempting.

Is is the recognition? The personal challenge? I think it's a little of both. I raced XTERRA this year and in my first season I made Nationals. Did I have a solid performance at the big dance? No. Is there room for improvement? Tons. But instead of just focusing on XTERRA this next year I'm looking for a little added adventure, some spice, and that may just take the form of a 1/2 Ironman - 70.3.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Back to basics

I started this blog to keep up with training and hold myself accountable. Found a friend's blog with his training log and made me think I should get back to more of that on mine. We'll see how long I can keep it up the posting this time of year, but it's worth a shot.

Let's get caught up:
11/29 - 40 minute run in Papago with Tri Diva, her hubby, and A - breakfast at US Egg
11/30 - rest
12/1 - 3.5 run
12/2 - 1 mile run, 1 hr personal training - total body
12/3 - 3.5 run
12/4 - 1 mile run, 1hr personal training -total body, 2.5 mile run

I'll get back to the specific nitty gritty in the coming days. This will hopefully make for some more intense workouts as well. The main focus right now is the 1/2 marathon, but I'm also thinking of a 1/2 IM in the coming year.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

An open letter

Dear James and Beth,
I started reading your blogs to learn something about triathlon and training. I'm sure that happened somewhere along the way, but today my first jar of PB2 arrived and with it the need for major props to the two of you. This stuff is amazing.
I read about it here, thought it looked interesting, and finally ordered some last week. This stuff is amazing. Thank you!
this is the stuff
This is what's in the stuff
sure beats the typical stuff
first we mixed it with icing...then cookies

Friday, November 28, 2008

Still Training

Friday - 10 mile MTB
Saturday - Ultimate tournament / 12 mile road bike
Sunday - 15 mile MTB
Monday - Yoga
Tuesday - 1 mile run / core with trainer
Wednesday - rest
Thursday - 5 mile run
Friday - 8 mile run

1/2 marathon training continues despite the holiday week. John out here last week was great for my riding, but hard on my recovering neck. I've been putting in some hours working on my new bike and stripping my old bike. We had the in-laws over for Thanksgiving and have plans to spend lots of time with friends this weekend. Life as it should be!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Pain in the neck

So two weeks before XTERRA Nationals in Tahoe (two months ago) I woke up with a sore neck. I figured it was from all the last minute training I was trying to get in as I prepared for nationals and powered through it. Well, it never seemed to get better so I finally made a trip to the doctor last week who ordered x-rays. Turns out I have a pretty severe case of whiplash that has gone untreated for the last 8 weeks. Now I'm on a pretty heavy medication regimen to let it heal and I'm supposed to be taking it easy.

That whole "taking it easy" part didn't work out this weekend as I had two great rides with John visiting from Nashville and the final end of season tournament for my ultimate frisbee fall league team. I did forgo my long training run for the 1/2 marathon, because I'm sure of all these things that would have been horrible for my neck :).

SoMo National Trail Lookout
National is gnarly in so many places
The unforgiving desert
Hawes = wide open spaces
It was a tough day on the SS
Trying to catch this man
Led to this
and this
but it's still warm enough for this

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Breaking radio silence...

Blog posts have been few and far between lately, but not because there hasn't been any news related to my plans for XTERRA in 2009. I still haven't decided what role XTERRA will have in my 2009 athletic season, but several things have fallen into place that have me leaning that direction.
1) I miss racing
2) I miss structured training
3) I have a new race bike
4) I have a new all mountain bike
5) I've been working on my running
6) I have a new triathlon coach

Some of these items, like say #6, might seem to suggest that 2009 would be a lock for XTERRA. More details in coming days, but the most important thing may be that I miss racing or at least miss having races to look forward to. The weather here in Arizona is also amazing right now and making me wish I had some structured training to be out doing in this weather instead of 100+ like it was all summer. Anyway, thanks for reading and more updates soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Enjoying the off-season

Saturday - we went for a great hike in the Prescott Granite Dells area. Beautiful. I can't wait to go back to this trail and bring the bike for an easy all day ride. A casual dinner at Casa Bonita and then the movie Smart People.

amazing views
the familybaby girl

Sunday - slept in, ran 5 miles, and jumped in the hot-tub with some java juice. I can't belive that during this relaxing off-season I've managed to completely tweak the hell out of my IT insertion point in my hip. WTF? I think it is just thinking about the 1/2 marathon in January. Anyway, nothing some trips between the hot-tub and ice can't cure, especially when my Titans are destroying the competition. 9-0 baby!!the off-season is hard work

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Just Do It.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Papago Park

Today had it all. I slept in, ate some breakfast poolside, worked on the bikes, and the highlight of the day - riding Papago Park with A. We hit the trail around 11:00 and it was in the upper 80s, but dry, so pretty much perfect. It had been a while since I had ridden with A, she prefers this boring thing known as running.
After getting her ride dialed in, and breaking a brake cable, she got the hang of it again and we had a great mid-day ride.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Yoga 4 Lunch

Just a quick update on how the off-season is progressing. This past weekend I got up to Prescott Valley, AZ for a hike with my wife and in-laws. Beautiful high desert, great time with family, and cooler temperatures (we are still in the 90s here in PHX).

Training has mostly consisted of running in preparation for January's 1/2 marathon and thinking about next year and what challenge I'll prepare for. One new addition I'm excited about has been twice a week yoga during lunch here at work. A nice open studio and quality instructor make these twice a week classes perfect for off-season recovery and strength building for next season. I'm also looking to get back in the gym in the coming weeks.

More exciting news on the bike front, but you'll have to check back for that news!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

One week off-season

Until this year every fall brought the end of the competitive club ultimate season. Congrats to JAM, PoNY, Alpha Cobra Squadron, and Guillermo Y Comania for all making Nationals this year. I’ll miss hanging out in Sarasota.For the past several years the end of ultimate season meant weeks/months of physical therapy and rest - torn psoas muscle, torn meniscus, cyst on my PCL, and the usual bumps and bruises. One reason I decided to race XTERRA this year was to take a physical break from playing ultimate and use the year to build some strength and explore some different sports, while still qualifying for a national championship. Mission accomplished!

I’m still undecided about next year. Do I return to Ultimate? Do I use my 1st year of XTERRA experience to build an awesome plan of attack for a second year and redemption in Tahoe? Or do I live a more balanced life playing some ultimate, racing some local XTERRA races, skiing, backpacking, and just being active….?

Well, until I make that decision I’ve decided to join A in running the 2009:

I’ll be clear about this – I hate running, but if I want a better 2009 XTERRA season spending time training for this ½ will be a serious plus. If I go back to ultimate or just want to be active in 2009 this training won’t be that bad either. It’s just so much running….

So with my one week of rest after XTERRA 2008, I’m officially training again. Those of you that know me are not surprised at all.

Monday: 30 minute low intensity run

Tuesday:: 30 minute bike / core work

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Rest week

My 2008 XTERRA season ended with Nationals last weekend so I took this entire week off. Complete rest - well I played league Tuesday night. I caught up with friends, family and work around the house.

Saturday, A and I worked for Habitat for Humanity and then I found some time to work on my Singlespeed. I haven't ridden this bike in almost 4 months - a real travesty and a consequence of so much racing and training.

Sunday John was in town so we hit up McDowell Mountain for an AM ride - perfect singlespeed track and tons of fun.

The eats this week have been awesome. I celebrated my one week off-season with Golden Grahams and Little Debbie.
Roofing for Habitat
finished product
time for wrenching
my post season nutrition

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

XTERRA US Championships ‘08 - Race Report

The Swim:

I was pretty concerned about the water temperature in Lake Tahoe. Official word was that it was 59 degrees and that was a far cry from the 80 + degree pool water back in Phoenix. I talked with the Tri Diva on the beach about the pros/cons of getting in prior to the start. I compromised - waded in a little- and realized that the temp was fine.

(by waded I meant feet in the water)

The cannon went off and I ran into the water with (315?) other athletes. It was extremely crowded and I had a hard time finding my rhythm. I was breathing every stroke as I planned and the water felt great –seriously. It helped that it was crystal clear and tasted great. The first 300m were way too crowded and not a lot of fun.

After that it thinned out and I could focus on my stroke. I tried standing up too early on my exit from the first lap and should have kept stroking all the way in, but that was my only hang up. I felt strong and fast with no thought of the altitude. This was one of my favorite swim experiences of all time.

(off to T1)


It was a ¼ mile run from the swim to T1. I didn’t leave shoes or a jacket and didn’t feel like I needed either one. I did take my time getting to T1 and got passed by plenty of people sprinting the ¼ mile. I had lots of clothing options in T1, but based on what I saw other riders wearing leaving transition I went for only the UA sleeveless I was wearing under the wetsuit and slid on my bike shorts over my jammers. I had placed hand warmers in my shoes and gloves which felt great on my hands and feet. My core was extremely warm. I’m really disappointed that you don’t get a strict swim split from the swim, because according to my amazing wife/cheerleader/equipment manager I was out of the water less than a minute behind James Walsh and the Diva, but my jaunt to and wardrobe change in T1 tacked on quite a bit of time.

Bike: Yin & Yang

I left T1 feeling strong, warm, and excited to see what this bike course was all about. I fell in behind several other riders and drafted the paved section until the start of the jeep road. Here is where the trouble began.

I’m no weight weenie, but my all mountain rental with a thru axle was quite the porker. I’d dropped the front end down and firmed up the rear shock, but it was still a beast of burden. The sand/gravel road wasn’t helping but I kept a solid cadence and was feeling confident.

Climbing, more climbing, and still more climbing. I hadn’t been training enough for this much granny gear action, but I was still making good progress. I was being passed by the slower swimmers, but stronger riders, and only had to walk twice. I got some nice heckling from passers, “That must be a rental.” Thanks buddy.

The flume trail was everything it is made out to be. One of the most beautiful rides I’ve ever done. I can’t wait to go back and ride it for pleasure since I only snuck one or two glances at the incredible views. I knew I needed to fly on this relatively flat section to make up for my lack of climbing speed, and after passing one slower rider at the dismount section I rode hard and alone until the climbing started again…

(Flume Trail - not my image)

On the Flume section I started to get hungry. I knew this was a bad sign as I had only one GU with me on the bike. I ate it at the end of the Flume trail had enough power to hammer the Marlette Lake section and then things got bad. The trail climbs to 8,900ft and the temperature dropped quickly. I lost my strength and then my confidence. I felt hungry, weak, and cold on the climb to the top. I was having to get off the bike and push and had trouble keeping my balance on the bike at low speed. I was passed by one large group of riders and then all alone on the trail. This meant I had fewer people to chase and probably slowed down more than I would have had there been others around. When I finally hit the DH section I was weak and having trouble picking clean lines on this unfamiliar course. Opening up the suspension meant I could take some monster hits and fly on the jeep road back to T2. It’s true that I smiled pretty wide flying DH on this beast of a ride, but the 2:30:00 it took to go up and the 20 minutes it took to come down were not worth it.

(at least it looks pretty?)


I knew it was almost over. Took off my bike shorts, slipped on some mesh ones real quick and I was out. Happy to be off the bike.


I hit the first aid station for some Gatorade and it tasted delicious. I quickly found my legs and lungs and just tried to stay steady until I got some strength back. I was starving. Next aid station I got some GU and water and ate/drank while on the move. I built over the entire run course just getting faster. The twists and turns make it hard to carry any speed, but I could tell such a difference after the initial calories and knew I was going to finish strong.

(almost there)

4:28:38 - Ouch


I was disappointed with my time, but proud to have qualified and finished. I was also feeling really good physically post race, worlds better than on the bike, which was good, but also kind of disappointing. I learned so much at this race and am grateful I had the opportunity to explore such a beautiful locale and spend a great weekend with my wife, who was a trooper even in the cold. Many a thank you and lessons learned coming soon…(the view from the lookout)

(best wife ever)

Monday, October 6, 2008