Saturday, May 30, 2009

Pre-race = rain

Pre-Race - XTERRA Show Low
Its raining. The race director this afternoon said that everyone who rode the course yesterday in these conditions came back with bikes that were 15 pounds heavier. Nothing like lots of climbing in lots of clay mud. Awesome. I've been getting so psyched to crush this weekend and swim, ride, and run it's going to be a messy battle all day.

So I didn't get to pre-ride today (rain and lightning) and the course is also supposed to be somewhat confusing. This sounds like a winning combination. During the race briefing there was something about a locked gate that they don't have the keys to so you have to climb over it with your bike. Glad I at least made the meeting.

The drive up here wasn't great for my back and now I'm just sitting around trying to stay loose. Early 7am start in the morning. 57 degrees. It is over 100 back in the Valley so this is going to be a big shock racing in cold rain. I might pick up some PAM after dinner for lubing up the bike in the AM if the rain continues.

Never know what to expect with XTERRA. I think that's why I like it.....I think.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Taper time

My back is finally coming around. It is still painful, but I plan to race full tilt this weekend, no holding back, no protecting the back. I'm going for it.

Wednesday - lift during lunch / 5 mile run with A after work
Thursday - bike to work(20), lift during lunch, bike home (20)
Friday - I was going to hit the trails and ride with friend in town, but I'm thinking I have to bail and just rest the legs before the big weekend. Planning an easy swim and strength session in the AM.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


I'm getting more excited about XTERRA Show Low. I've been thinking all morning about swimming fast, biking fast, and running fast. My back is better than before Vegas and it is a shorter course. I do much better at this distance and I'm getting fired up to race. It should be a great weekend!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Counting down...

My next race in Show Low, AZ is coming up this weekend. My plan had been to rest my back and go into this weekend feeling healthy and strong. Well, I got a little too aggressive with the training and ramped up the mileage probably a little too soon. I've been able to handle the miles (and the pain) but I am going to need to take some serious recovery after the race in Show Low.

Training Update:
Saturday - 2.3 mile hike up/down Camelback Mountain followed by 17 mile road ride (loving the new bike).

Camelback It may be short, but it's steep.

Sunday - 3 mile run (lots of back pain with running)
Monday - rest
Tuesday - AM 1,600m swim, lunchtime lift and back stretches, PM MTB?

Friday, May 22, 2009

An open letter

To the cyclist who passed me on the way home,

How are you so fast? I've been riding and enjoying bikes for some time now, but I still have no explanation for what happened last evening. Before I go any further I need to let you know that I'm a triathlete, but you probably could have guessed that based on how I was riding. I know I don't really belong to any accepted group in the world, but my choice to be well rounded and mediocre across three areas is still no excuse for what happened last night.

We crossed paths when I was 35 minutes into my commute home from work and riding my new cyclocross bike, which until I met you, I thought was pretty damn fast. I've made several changes to my on the road riding in the past year - clipless pedals and skinny tires being the most notable. Because of these changes and the hours I spend training to be an "athlete" I consider myself a pretty worthy competitor.

In the 90 seconds before you calmly said, "on your left" I had decided that this flat, smooth, and traffic free stretch of pavement would be the perfect place to hammer with everything I had and see how fast I could possibly go on a bike. I was in the biggest gear, I was laying down low in the drops, my heart was about to explode, my legs were on fire, and I had about 30 seconds left at this rate until I wouldn't be able to take it anymore. It was at this moment that you so kindly informed me that you would like to pass with a, "on your left" call.

Now, maybe you had been drafting off of me enjoying some recovery time, injected some oxygenated blood, eaten a gu, and washed it down with a nice sip of water. None of that is an explanation for how you were able to overtake me and pedal off into the distance and completely out of sight before the next light. I'm a competitive SOB and I would have loved nothing more than to turn on the afterburners and show you what was what, but I was seconds from falling over from exhaustion as it was and couldn't even muster the strength to think about chasing you.

So, thank you for ruining my self esteem for the day and any dreams I may have had about the quality of my ride and the level of my fitness. If you happen to come across this and feel like sharing how the hell you got to be so fast I'd appreciate it.


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Training Update

Saturday - worked on the house in the morning, but then spent some quality time building a new bike in the afternoon. Unfortunately, it is the kind with the skinny tires so you can only be so excited about it, but a new bike is a new bike. Skinny tires are the first step toward a 1/2 IM in the fall.

- I had to take the new bike for a ride. Relaxed pace just trying to get a feel for the ride - SWEET! I threw in a couple of hard sprints just to see how fast it would go - FAST! Pretty exciting to add another beast to the stable. I rode up by Tempe Town Lake and was excited to do some exploring, but what I found was this. I was so bummed to find out there was a tri in my own backyard on a weekend when I would have been totally up for racing. Grrr..

- AM Swim 1800 / lunchtime lift

- AM run on SoMo 45 minutes on the trail with lots of climbing. Great morning run, but the trail wrecked my back that had been recovering well.

- AM swim (45 minutes straight) / lunchtime lift

Tonight I am doing the Ride of Silence and excited to meet up with some other bike folks in the area. My plan for Thursday is to do the big ride to work and ride home all bike commute day. It's 40 miles and I have the legs. I just hope I have the back for it. Get out and do your local Ride of Silence if you can!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Changing Dates

OK XTERRA - what's the deal?

I want to love you but you make it hard when:
  1. You cut a bunch of races from the 2008 to the 2009 season
  2. You list races for 2009 and then cancel them
  3. You list races for 2009 and then change their dates
WTF? Just found out that XTERRA Lock 4 back in Nashville has been moved from July 12 to July 18. No big deal unless you already planned your summer, bought tickets, and had gotten psyched about going back home on a different weekend. With Snow Valley cancled and Lock 4 moved this season is totally upside down.

miraculous recovery

Our dog appears to be on the up and up. Blood tests showed improved protein levels, she's not losing protein through her urine, and while some thickening showed up on her ultrasound she has been acting like the happy dog she is. The vet is still concerned because they can't explain the recovery, but she's eating, playing, and pooping like she should and that's good enough for me and a big relief for our little family.

I on the other hand have not had such luck. Given the circumstances I think I too am healing, but more slowly. It's my own fault. I returned to everyday training this week despite my back pain. I've made some modifications and cut back on distances, but got back to it this week. While I'm sure this is to the detriment of my recovery I've had more energy, been in a better mood, and have been sleeping well again. It's kind of scary what a week without exercising does to my mood, energy, and sleep routine.

I might try some rigorous workouts this weekend and see how the back responds. I've got a buddy who's going to do XTERRA Deuces Wild so hopefully we can start training together next week. UPS should be delivering a package today that will get my weekend off on the right soon!!!

Monday - 4.5 run
Tuesday - lift arms
Wednesday - AM lift / lunchtime swim (1,600)
Thursday - AM lift / PM trainer ride (30min)
Friday - AM lift / lunchtime swim (100, 800 build, 400 race, 100 cool down)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

XTERRA West Cup Video

So brutal at the time, but so cool to look back at the video...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

The multisport pandemic

Thanks to everyone for the well wishes. Elsie had her ultrasound this morning and it came back clean of any tumors or growths. We think this is a good thing right now.

In the world of people....
Forget the swine flu, it seems like everyone I know in XTERRA or the tri world is hurting these days. I've got a tab in iGoogle devoted to multisport blogs and you'd think it was the injured reserve roll call. James Walsh is having crazy quad issues, the soon to be Mrs. JW is also hurt, XTERRA pro Cody Waite is nursing a back injury, Zippy is recovering from being sick, and then there's my boy Coop with knee and ITB pain, Tri Diva is wired like a fembot, and Trevor even took a fall on the bike the other day. If this isn't a pandemic I don't know what is.

My plan to "rest"my back was derailed by a 4.5 mile run on Monday. Pretty painful when I got home and cooled off, but I felt good on the run. I've missed working out. Today I had to drop the dog off before work and will pick her up later. I might be able to squeeze in a strength session at the house.

Everyone needs to get healthy out there!!

Monday, May 11, 2009


I've been pretty quiet since the race in Vegas. There are a bunch of reasons for this but the short version is that my back has been really painful, it's the end of the semester at work so my busiest time of the year, and our dog has become dangerously sick and we've been spending lots of time at the vet and lots of time at home taking care of the pup.

I swam Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday last week. Easy 1,400m each day just to try and stay in some kind of shape while I wait for my back to calm down. Nothing too exciting on the training front as this is all I've done since Vegas. I'm planning to try a run tonight after work - fingers crossed.

I was really disappointed that after months of training I went into Vegas hurt. Now it looks like my recovery could last a while and I'll go into the race in Show Low without the kind of fitness I have been working so hard to achieve. The positive side of this is that I've been able to chill out a little and think about my priorities and spend some good times with family and friends.

Looks like the DSG - 12 hr race in Tennessee was even sloppier than last year. Got to give a big shout to team Cul Da Sac. Sad to have missed a weekend with friends, but kind of glad to not have traveled across the country for pushing a bike through muck.

I'm still going to get the Vegas race report out at some point. It just hasn't been a priority.

Monday, May 4, 2009

15th AG - quick pics

XTERRA West Cup, Las Vegas - 15th in my age group

I think this was the toughest XTERRA course I've ever done. The run was brutal and that's where my back and my race totally came apart. I was able to put together a pretty decent race up until the run and even then it wasn't that I didn't have the legs - ugh.

I'm just glad I was able to finish the race and a couple points for 15th in a competitive field isn't too bad. A and I had a great time relaxing in Vegas during the rest of the long weekend, although I was in some intense pain on Saturday PM and Sunday AM. Some quick pics....

Me, Diva's coachhubby, and TriDivaSuper cool swim startIn transition
all climbing (except the SKETCHY downhills)and I thought this meant the hurting was over

Friday, May 1, 2009

Quick Pre-race

Arrived safe and sound in Vegas. Got a quick chat with Tri Diva in the parking lot and then hit the course for a pre-ride on the bike. This is a super gnarly course, very XTERRA in that you never know what you're going to get.

Went to the pre-race talk by Stolz and McQuaid. When Conrad isn't planning on riding the whole course and thinks the run is all climbing "much steeper and harder than Snow Valley" a part of me gets kind of scared.

I only rode 6 of the 9 mile loop today. My back is really flaring up and cramping so tomorrow's race is going to be a battle on all fronts.

Race report as soon as I can. Good luck to everyone tomorrow!!