Thursday, January 31, 2008

In the water

I’ve always loved the water, but last night my parents provided new insight into why I feel so comfortable and fast in the stuff. Turns out that at 6 months my mom placed me on the edge of a pool, blew air in my face so I took a deep breath, and then shoved me into the water. I mastered this quickly. Next my parents were standing in the pool and taking turns blowing in my face and then pushing me under the water. They insist that I instinctively knew how to swim to the other one. Regardless of how I learned to avoid drowning swim, I am extremely grateful. I’m a strange breed of triathlete, in that I love swim workouts, and can’t wait to be back in the pool. Of course, my former and current teammates all insist that my gifts in the water have nothing to do with childhood exposure or years of hard work, but insist that my talent is because I’m a genetic freak with webbed toes.

I don’t care if it’s the early exposure or the toes, but whatever it is it makes water feel like a second home.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Training indoors

I spent 45 minutes on the trainer yesterday and thought I was going to die….of boredom. There is a reason I love XTERRA so much and it is because not only do you get to compete OUTSIDE, but instead of plugging along on a nice paved road with some ups and downs you get to ride/run off the nice paved road. So indoor riding/running are just about the furthest thing from the real thing as far as I’m concerned, of course when it is 12 degrees outside there isn’t much choice.
I feel like I led a solid Vanderbilt conditioning practice last night. We were indoors so lots of functional strength exercises mixed in with running on the indoor track. Burpees, side crawling, wall sits, pushups, lunges, standing squats, and lots of abs. Leading four groups through the conditioning means, I got 4x the workout. I’m not feeling too sore this morning, which may have a lot to do with sleeping in my compression tights after practice last night. Today is a rest day before a weekend of swimming, running, and hopefully wrenching on the new bike.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Getting in the groove

After returning from the bay area Monday night, it was right back to training on Tuesday. I hit the weights during lunch on Tuesday, and it felt good to be back in the gym after a long weekend of rest and relaxation. The workout was straightforward, a warm up on the elliptical machine and then some intense chest/back work. While my lifting program hasn’t changed (for now) since I started my formal tri training this week, I have been trying to incorporate as much functional strength training into my routine as possible. This means lots of pushups, dips, and different styles of pull-ups. Interesting article in Outside that turned me on to the Monkey Bar Gym philosophy, which has been huge. I can tell it is paying off, but functional strength exercises are much more humbling than free weights.
I was up early and in the pool before sunrise. The water was cold, the air was cold, and it took me a while to get warmed up, especially since I was trying to keep my hr down. Swimming comes so easily that I’m able to really enjoy my workouts, even evaluating my stroke and body position is fun. I was tough pressed to find my own lane this morning, I’m guessing the cold weather is driving everyone indoors. A quick costume change and it was off to work. I got in a quick workout after “Unity Day” during lunch, mainly just a warm-up with stretching and pull-ups for good measure. I’m looking forward to Thursday as I get to coach and workout with the Vanderbilt Ultimate team. I always work harder when I’m coaching.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Day 1 in the Berkeley Hills

Monday, I officially started my training for XTERRA in 2008. It was an early morning run in the Berkeley Hills with just enough light rain to keep you cool, but not enough to be uncomfortable. It was the perfect way to end a great weekend trip to Berkeley, CA visiting friends in the East Bay. In addition to the great company of friends, I had some incredible food. The most impressive was the fried chicken sandwich at Bakesale Betty's in Oakland. You have to check this place out if you are in the Bay Area.

Great run in the Berkeley Hills!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The New Bike

After finishing 5th at the XTERRA Lock 4 Blast on my Gary Fisher Rig single speed I decided I might need some gears if I was going to race competitively in 2008. Last fall, while I was "just looking" in my local bike shop Cumberland Transit, I saw a number of the '07 Gary Fishers on clearance. Among the group was a beautiful Gary Fisher Cobia 29er. While an entry level 29er, the deal was too good to pass up. My wife found me in the parking lot putting the bike on the rack and could only shake her head. Because I saved so much money on the bike, it meant that I could splurge on all new components to make it "race ready" for spring. After a busy fall and winter holidays I am just getting ready to throw it on the stand and start wrenching. I'll put some before photos up soon as I get ready to ring in the new year on a sweet new ride

Monday, January 14, 2008

1 week from today

My official training for the 2008 XTERRA America Tour begins one week from today. I've completed 6 weeks of base training and I'm looking forward to starting 15 weeks of goal specific training and racing. My goals for this season are to qualify for XTERRA US Nationals and the XTERRA World Championships.