Friday, July 24, 2009

Race report on hold...

Really sick and headed to the doctor. My kind co-workers are sure I have swine flu. Chills, muscle spasms, and crazy high fever = not good.

Monday, July 20, 2009

XTERRA Lock 4: pre-race

July 17th I boarded a plane for Nashville, TN - my home until June of last year. The 2007 XTERRA Lock 4 triathlon was my first ever XTERRA and I finished 5th in my AG racing on my Gary Fisher Rig singlespeed. I've been dying to race on this course again since I crossed the finish line two years ago.

Friday afternoon I was able to swing by Chandler's house and pick up his Niner MCR steel 29er HT that he was generously letting my borrow for the weekend. At first the small frame tubes had me kind of worried, but this bike was more than up to the challenges of the weekend. I swung by Calypso Cafe for a late lunch and then to my parents' house.

I got the Niner pretty well dialed in (raised the seat, lowered the brake levers, and put on my SPD pedals) and then hung with my folks before going out to dinner only a couple of hours after "lunch". I made a quick phone call to my longtime childhood friend who I had talked into doing this race with me in February and that got me fired up for the next morning.

Morning came pretty early - 5am central time - so 3am Arizona time. It wasn't as bad as I thought it was going to be, but it wasn't ideal. I ate my usual muscle milk shake, oatmeal with raisins, granola bar, and redbull. I had uncharacteristic race morning GI issues which had less to do with the race and more to do with my body's usual reaction to early morning wake-up calls.

I was on the road by 5:30am and arrived at the race site a little after 6:00am for an 8:00 start. I was the third car in the parking lot and had the fourth bike in transition. I picked up my race packet, made a couple more bathroom stops, and spent some time enjoying the cool Tennessee morning (sweatpants and sweatshirt pre-race!). Slowly friends and family arrived including Brooks who was able to grab a sweet transition spot right next to me.

More to come with pictures.....stay tuned

Monday, July 13, 2009


I've been dropping hints about the remainder of my season for a while now. I've been trying to decide between a return to playing competitive ultimate Frisbee or continuing to race triathlons and endurance events through the fall. I only took up triathlon as a temporary diversion from ultimate hoping to heal 15 years of competitive ultimate injuries. I have to admit I got hooked on XTERRA (and it really is sweet stuff), but my true love will always be ultimate. It offers a community and physical challenge like nothing I've ever known.

This past Saturday I attended the local men's practice that consisted of two scrimmages. I held my own in the first game, but by the second game I was totally spent. Endurance wise I was fine, but the strength and power of sprinting, jumping, and changing direction tapped out my limited reserve of quick twitch muscles. So after a brutal morning of practice I knew how much I missed it, but that same morning found out that playing ultimate this year would be out of reach. The team I had been planning to play for has folded for the season and taken my return to playing with it.

So what now? That's a very good question. I have 1 more XTERRA race - 4 days from now - and I'm still eying a 1/2 IM, but that looks doubtful as my mileage has tapered off with the heat and continued back pain. I'm looking at a fall filled with whatever I feel like - some ultimate, some biking, some triathlons, and a lot more getting out of town with A to backpack, hike, and explore the Southwest. I've been derelict in my adventure trip planning and this fall may be just the time to set things right.

Playing catchup

Thursday - bike 40 / resistance training
Friday - Swim 1000m (10x100 - water was 91 degrees!!)
Saturday - 3.5hr Ultimate Frisbee practice
Sunday - shoveled gravel / yard work
Monday - 1000m swim / resistance training

It's been over 110 since last week. 115 yesterday and today. That's hot!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Gheral Brownlow 10k - race report

I've been sitting on this for too long and now I've lost the flavor of last weekend, but here it goes:

19th overall: 2nd in Age Group: 51:22: 8:16 pace
I showed up late to a 10k at 6,000ft with over 200 people. I rode my bike to the race and started it already breathing hard, I kept up with the front guys for about a mile before they dropped me on the first big climb. I got passed by a bunch of people from mile 1-3.5. At 3.5 I had a little "come to Jesus" talk with myself and picked up the pace and picked people off. I ran miles 5 and 6 all by myself at a strong pace.

My overall pace and time were slower than I expected, but I also didn't' expect the course to have so much climbing. There was one climb where running wasn't possible and I had to walk it. Racing at altitude also made it tougher, but I felt I handled it pretty well.

It bums me out not to do a proper race report since I really had a great day riding and racing last weekend. Things at work and at home have hit light speed and I'm trying to keep it all balanced. Big update on the future of my season/plan coming in the next couple of days....let's just say Ultimate is back in the picture.
race stuff the night before
yes, that is in fact bubble wrap taped around the cords of a track bag. I realized on Friday night I didn't have a bag for carrying my run stuff to the race and at 6:30am I didn't have a sherpa. So I modified this track bag to hold my run shoes, bike lock, and other stuff with a little tape and bubble wrap. It worked, but I didn't win any style points.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Gheral Brownlow 10k - pre race

Friday's late afternoon ride (14 miles) on the singlespeed was tons of fun, but brutal on my legs. The GB 10k started at 6:30am and I planned to ride the CX bike 12 miles from the house to the race. That meant an early start! I arranged my clothes, food, and bike the night before to get as much sleep as possible.

5:00am - let the dog out, ate something, and hit the road. Ahh yes, the road. On a map my route looked like an easy traffic light free 12 mile ride. In reality it was 1,000ft of climbing on a rough graded highway.
6:10 - still a ways from the race so I kicked up the pace.
6:20 - shit. 6:30 start and I'm still not there
6:27 - I come screaming up the road to find a much larger race crowd than I expected and the announcer letting everyone know we are three minutes from the gun. No late start to this race.

I lock my bike to a fence, change shoes, change shorts, grab my ipod, check in, attach my race chip and number, and hit the pack of runners waiting on the trail.

6:29:30 - My bladder is going to explode. I run off the side of the trail, pee behind a bush, and run back to the trail as the gun goes off and the pack is surging forward....stay tuned for the race report!

Race Weekend!

I threw my SS and my CX bikes in the car along with the dog on Thursday night and headed up to Northern Arizona. We arrived late Thursday and spent some time with the in-laws at their house before calling it a day. A very long day. I started Thursday supervising a concrete company pouring our new yard borders in preparation for our artificial turf yard that goes in this week.

Friday morning I slept in a little bit and had some breakfast with the intention of riding trail 305 in Prescott, AZ. I've tried to ride this trail twice before. The first time it was pouring rain as soon as I got the trail and the second time I got double flats (one when I got the bike out of the car and one riding from the car to the trail head). The MTBR folks were big on 305 and I was excited ride what they were talking about. So I headed out the door Friday AM as my father in law says, "looks like we may get some rain."

Five minutes from the trail head the sky opened up and it poured. I saw blue sky to the east where the 10k I was running in the morning was being held so I headed over there to ride those trails. I got to the trail head got the bike out and BOOM - thunder, lighting, and rain. I tried waiting it out in the car, but finally called it quits and headed home.

Friday afternoon was a different story as the storms broke and I headed out to 305 one more. This time I was not disappointed!

this trail dries fast
first ride in new kicks
I've been off this bike way too long
the trail made me homesick

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Why I need a plan

I'm running a 10k trail race this weekend and I realized it has been a long time since I've been running. A really long time. I know I don't like running, but it's absence now looks particularly glaring in light of this weekend. I think one reason is that it is f'ing hot here. Overnight lows in the upper 80's make for nasty running conditions. I can tolerate biking in the heat, and swimming outside right now is awesome, but running - not so much.

I'm going to relax over the long weekend and get caught up on life. There has been a lot happening at work and at home over the past month and July looks to be even crazier. I'm looking forward to some much needed down time to clear my head and make some decisions.

Tuesday: (20 mile ride in/lift during lunch/20 mile ride home) shoveled gravel for 45 minutes
Wednesday: rest / shoveled gravel 1.5 hr
Thursday: 1600m swim

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

What I Eat

I'm a big fan of James Walsh's blog and when he posted this the other day it got me thinking about my own health and nutrition. Because endurance sports can be such a personal endeavor I think it is easy to get yourself out of whack. When you play team sports there are coaches and teammates who are all putting forth similar exertion and while some can take more than others it is easy to keep a balance of work/rest. When you are one competitive SOB who likes to push sometimes it can be too much.
After reading JW's post it got me thinking about my own nutrition. I've always felt I do a pretty good job of eating enough of the right stuff to keep me fueled, but there have been times when I knew I needed to do more. I logged on to FitDay and decided to keep a food journal for a while just to track how I'm doing in reality compared to what I think I'm doing.

Day 1 (pretty normal with exception of ice-cream and rootbeer)
It is pretty cool to see I'm pretty close to right on target

So I consumed 4,452 calories and burned 4,617. Not too shabby. Pretty cool little utility with lots more feedback and graphs than I posted.