Sunday, December 23, 2007

It feels good...



Let me start by saying that I just got a shipment of Matisse and Jack's products...do me a favor, get online and order some of these tasty treats (www.matisseandjacks.com)! The new granola bites and cocoa bars are awesome!!!


It feels so good to be training again!
Yesterday I went for a mountain bike ride and a swim and, in about 30 minutes, I am heading out the door for a long road ride and transition run. I really like this time of year. It is really cold right now but there is something so relaxing to me about riding/running on a sunny, brisk winter morning.
While being sick isn't any fun it does help you realize how lucky we are to healthy and happy. I guess it is safe to say that being sick gives you a bit of a reality check, forcing you to uncover what is truly important to you. The entire time I was sick I wished I could be out training and able to spend time with friends and family. I also realized that too much television is just evil =)
Well, I am off to do what I love. Happy holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Alright, back in action...

Finally, after a week of nothing but extra sleep I am feeling better. Perfect timing for a weekend of training under the good'ol California sun. I am so excited to be back. Like I said in my last post, I try to use my time wisely when I am sick...I obviously can't train or work so I do my best to build my motivation for the coming season. Plus, the down time gave me a chance to perfect my annual training plan. I can say with confidence that 2008 is going to be a solid year packed with great results...I am fired up!
So, I am back and my brand new Elite road bike is in the mail...just in time for christmas! I should have my new machine next week and I will share some pictures once I get it built up.
Happy holidays!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

A minor setback

Monday marked the start of my 2008 Xterra campaign and I already have a setback...I am sick. I don't get sick often and when I do I realize how horrible it is. It is really hard for me to just sit around and rest especially when the weather is nice and I would love to be out training. The good thing is that it's December and I still have plenty of time to prepare for my season.
I have learned over the years that you just have to accept it and make sure not to return to training too soon. It is always tempting to jump back into things at the first sign of improvement but this always leads to problems. Really, I use times like these as sources of motivation so that when I do return to training I am grateful to be back and willing to put in the hard work that's needed.
So, here I am on the couch watching television (too much of it) and reading every magazine in the house. I am probably out for 2-3 more days. The good thing is that I get to spend time with Jess and get to catch up on some things that I have been puting off.
That's it from here. Have a good one.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Great weekend and now it's crunch time!


Originally I planned to do some fun, group rides/runs over the weekend as part of my last prep before my base phase, which starts today. Plans changed as Jess and I decided to get the house ready for Christmas (on Saturday) and the great weather opened the doors to some excitement with good friends down at the beach (on Sunday). I will be training for the next 10 or 11 months so an opportunity to spend some time with those closest to me wasn't something I was about to pass up.
Saturday Jess and I bought our Christmas tree and then went on a decorating rampage...with some wine of course!



--Big Mike showing some Christmas spirit

On Sunday, we went down to the beach, got out the cruising bikes and rode along the coast for a little while taking in the beautiful weather. We made it to our destination and put back some tasty apps and a tall beer. After the grub we went into Monterey to catch a movie. Overall, we had a great weekend and it was so nice to spend some quality time with Jess and friends.







Today marks the official start of my 2008 Xterra campaign. I start my first of 3 base phases. This first 3 week base phase will consist of endurance rides and runs (sophie loves this time of year!), master's swim workouts and weights. Nothing will be really hard, just nice and steady to build an aerobic base for more intense training down the road. I am excited to get under way and I feel confident that 2008 will be a very solid year for me. I have set some lofty goals but with hard work they are within reach. Going into my 3rd season I feel like I know what I have to do to achieve my goals, which is a nice feeling. Now it is time to put my plan into action...Xterra 2008 here I come!

Monday, December 3, 2007

Last week of "whatever" training

This weekend we headed up north to Sacramento for two reason...
1. For our niece's b'day party (2 years old)
2. To see Reto run his first marathon

It was fun to get away for a couple days. It was nice to wake up on sunday knowing that I didn't have to race and I could just go as support crew for Reto and the thousands of runners.



--Reto decided to stop for a coke and a chat at mile 21...if you blow up at mile 10 this is probably the right thing to do! What did Reto learn on Sunday...you should probably train for more than 6 weeks if you want to run sub 2:40 and you take the first 1/2 marathon out in 1:18 =) Way to live that "go big or go home" attitude!

After the race we went to the birthday party, ate pizza, and watched a ton of kids run around like crazy for an hour.

It was a fun weekend with plenty of beer drinking and sushi saturday night...thanks for the headache sunday morning Doyal!

Now I am moving into my last week of "whatever" training. I will get in some unstructured workouts and prepare myself for my first base phase, which starts on the 10th. I have my official training plan in place and after a consult with coach Reto I should be off and running toward the 2008 Xterra season.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Update and my plan for the 2008 season

So, I am in the middle of my prep phase of training and it feels good to be back in action. I have only been in the pool once in the last month (2 days ago) and to be honest that one time was rough...I hate being out of shape in the water b/c I feel like I am drowning for the first few weeks until things start to come around.
I am happy with how I feel at this point in the season. I certainly feel out of shape but I feel like things are coming back quickly, which is nice to see. I hit the weight room on tuesday and I am still pretty sore but this is how it always is when you start back with weights...it will get better in a couple of weeks. I will be in the weight room a lot this winter in an effort to build the strength I need to ride fast. Weight training and massive amounts of time on two wheels will hopefully bring my riding to the level it needs to be at for next year. Quite honestly, I didn't dedicated enough time last year to riding so I will be putting in tons of miles over the next few months. Swimming and running will obviously get some attention but riding will come first...it will be fun to see how my body reacts to bike specific training. Back in college I raced my bike for two years (no triathlon training) and in those two years I saw a dramatic jump in my riding abilities b/c of all of the racing and miles I put into my legs. So, I know I can ride fast b/c I have done it before but it will require the same focus and dedication I had back in college...I welcome the challenge!

Here is my race schedule for 2008:
-12 hours of Temecula (January 26th, 2 man team)
-24 hours of Old Pueblo (Tucson, February 16th, 4 man team)
-Xterra Real (Folsom, March 30th)
-Sea Otter Classic (Monterey, April 17th-21st)
-Xterra Extreme (Arizona, April 26th)
-Xterra Castaic Lake (Castaic, tba)
-Xterra West Championships (Temecula, May 18th)
-Xterra Southeast Championships (Pelham, June 8th)
-Xterra East Championships (Richmond, June 15th)
-*70.3 (Texas, June 29th)
-Xterra Mountain Championships (Ogden, August 16th)
-Xterra Nationals (Incline Village, September 21st)
-Xterra Worlds (Maui, October 19th)
-*Ironman Arizona (Tempe, November 23rd)
-I will also be doing several mountain bike races and a couple duathlons throughout the season as prep for more important races.

*Still up in the air on these. My focus is Xterra so I will decide based on how my Xterra season is going.

I will work on getting some pictures up soon...I have been a bit lazy with this end of things.
Thanks for reading. Talk to you all soon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And it begins...


I offically started my prep phase of training on monday. Prep means that I will be preparing my body for longer more structured training to come. In the prep phase there is a lot of freedom and flexibility. Basically I focus on getting in some short, fun workouts and pay more attention to my diet. I like this time of year b/c I can just head out the door with the simple goal of enjoying a nice day doing something I love. This phase will last for about 3 weeks.

Of course, every year at this time I do something stupid like ride for way too long or run some crazy distance. Not sure why I do it but I always get the urge to just go for it. So, my traditional "stupid" training day was on monday with Reto. I went for a mountain bike ride to test out some things I have chaged and then went into the santa cruz mountains for a 2 hour death march. Things were obviously set up for disaster as reto is training for a marathon and I have been building my biceps through the ever difficult task of marathon beer drinking. I figured I am not totally off the wagon in terms of fitness...I did just come off of a full racing season. Nice thought but my thinking is a little off this time of year.

So, I survived the "stupid" run of the year...2 hours of running with tons of climbing. Even reto was suprised I finished...way to believe in your athlete coach ;) I guess all that "carbo-loading" paid off after all! Overall, it was an incredible day in the mountains. You know, it might be stupid to just go out there and train like an idiot so early in the season but, for me, this type of stuff keeps the fire burning and really motivates me. Plus, it helps me clear my head and allows me to really evaluate and pinpoint what I want to accomplish in the coming year. So, stupid yes but also very productive.

For me, doing a super long training day early in the season when I feel fat and out of shape is motivating b/c it makes me realize that I have some serious work to do and I don't want to feel this way for long. For non-athlete's this would likely be discouraging but for us crazy triathlete's this feeling is what pushes us and takes our performance to new heights.

Something tells me I will do something "stupid" again very soon but this time it will probably be on the bike...stay tuned for that story. Early season long rides always make for good stories =)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Xterra or bust

Okay, so I have been talking about Ironman Arizona and how it will be my focus for next year but I have been thinking A LOT and I have decided that I will remain focused on Xterra in 2008.
I love Xterra too much to take a break from it. There really isn't anthing like Xterra...the culture and the people are incredible and I really feel at home racing the xterra circuit. I love training for off-road triathlon so why stop doing what I love, right?!!!! Plus, with two years under my belt I feel like I am due for a break out year next year.
So, come December 1st it's on and I will be charging hard at the 2008 season. I plan on doing the entire Xterra National series and, as usual, the big races of the year will be nationals and the world championships.
In 2008 my focus will be on the bike. I will be training like a cyclist in an effort to bring my riding up to the level that it needs to be at to compete at a high level. So, that means a lot of time in the saddle climbing a lot of mountains =) Plus, a ton of mountain/road cycling races to build fitness.
I am really happy with my decision and I so look forward to all of the adventures that come with preparing for the Xterra season. It is going to be a GREAT 2008!!!!
Thanks for reading!

SKINFIT PORVIDA!!!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Moving into a new phase


So, I can say with certainty that I have enjoyed the past two weeks of excess. I can say this b/c at this very moment I feel incredibly fat and generally unhealthy. I want to feel like this b/c it helps me recharge for the upcoming season but it is always hard to accept b/c for 10 months out of the year I feel athletic and strong. The month of November always serves as down time and, quite frankly, I welcomed it more than ever this year.

Now I am moving into the prep phase of training in which I do some light training and pay more attention to my diet. I will still be unstructured with my workouts and if I don't feel like excercising I won't but the life of extreme excess is coming to a close. I start back with official structured training Dec. 1st but for the next couple weeks I will be doing some FUN, easy "excercise" to ready my body for the hard work to come.

Ironman Arizona is not too far off...everytime I look at the calendar I think, "WOW, it is only 20 weeks away!" I am excited to start training for this race as the ironman distance is such an unknown for me. The training will be long and hard but I truly welcome this challenge.

Okay, time for more coffee! Okay, excess coffee doesn't count...the coffee consumption remains constant all year!

Friday, November 9, 2007

Full hibernation mode


-Living it up in one of my favorite places in the world (the harrington cabin in big sur)

I haven't posted in a while b/c I have been busy celebrating my state of hibernation from the world of structured training and racing. It feels good to be catching up on all of the things that I have put off and/or stayed away from for the past 9 months....ie. beer (Okay,I did drink beer during the season but just not as much as I do now) , late nights, excessive eating, the list goes on.
I have really enjoyed spending time with Jess and friends. Every off-season I realize how much effort it takes to be a triathlete and I realize how amazing my support crew really is (Jess, Family, Friends). Thanks for everything guys!

-It doesn't look like the smartest combination but I assure you we are always very safe. The shooting takes place in the morning before the real festivities begin.




With all this free time (I have been working a lot actually but without workouts to fit in life seems so easy) I have had time to think about next season. I have decided to try to qualify for Kona, the hawaii ironman. I mentioned several months ago that I was going to do ironman arizona but I have been questioning that decision for the last 2 months, trying to decide if that was what I wanted or if I wanted to just focus on Xterra. After much thought I decided to go for it. So, come December 1 we are embarking on an ironman journey in pursuit of a slot to the Ironman World Championships (Kona 2008). My efforts will be directed toward qualifying for Kona until ironman arizona is completed (April 13th). After April 13th the door is wide open and it is at that point that I will decide what road I want to go down (xterra, other fun races, whatever). So, in a nut shell it is all about ironman arizona until april 13th and then I will decide what I want to do. If I don't get a slot at ironman arizona I will likely find another race to qualify at. If I do qualify it is very possible that I will charge the xterra scene since I love it so much.

--For now, the hibernation continues!

Friday, November 2, 2007

More pics from world's


--Just a little dirty out there

Picture edition


--You can't beat a Hawaiian sunset


--The gun about to go off


--Skinfit por vida! Skinfit was everywhere in Maui...what a great site to behold! Also, the womens winner is a sponsored skinfit athlete...the best in the world wears skinfit!



--"slightly" dirty after the bike when I went out onto the run




--Happy the race and season is over and fired up for James...Congrats on a great race buddy!



--The crazy life post race! Loving the hippie life!

You know, I have had some time to think about my performance and when I look back on the day I can't help but feel disappointed but happy at the same time. While I know I didn't race to my potential I think it is important to recognize that I was in Maui and I did take part in an incredible event with great friends. Many people pulled off great performances and I am so happy for them...James, you killed it and I couldn't be happier for you!...Tom finished up his first world champs and I know he will be back (once you get a taste of this race you can't stop thinking about it).

Now for some honesty, this was the first time in 2 years that I have not been on the podium after a race. To see those guys up there for the overall amateur and the 25-29 age group was hard, actually it really pissed me off. That night at the awards dinner was a wakeup call and I realized right then and there that I never want to feel this way again. I am not the type of person to let something like this get me down. Instead, the emotions that I felt that night at the awards dinner will fuel me all season next year (every workout). I will only work harder and be stronger next year. I realize that failure is one component of success but, let's be honest, I hate losing and I refuse to do it! So, giddy up...2008 is going to be an incredible season!

Thanks for all the support this year from SKINFIT, Matisse and Jacks, Elite Bicycles, GU, Aquaman, my coach Reto Waeffler, all my friends and family. Most importantly, thanks to my amazing wife Jessica...you are so special to me and I couldn't be on this amazing journey without you!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

New products from Matisse and Jack's!

Matisse and Jack's has been supporting me all season and I can't say enough about how amazing they have been and how great their products taste.
They are expanding their product line, which is good news for all of us! See the additions below.
What I love most about their products is that they are made from real, all-natural ingredients, which is rare in a world flooded with over processed foods.
Order some of their stuff, you won't regret it! Ok, you may become addicted but there are worse things to be addicted to. Give them a try.




--YUMMMMMMMMMMMMM!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

worlds

So, the race is over and, guess what, the course is still BRUTAL!
I went 9 minutes faster then last year. My swim and run were solid but my bike was lacking in every sense of the word. My goal was to ride 1:45 but I only managed 1:50. I just didn't have the strength I needed today. Had I ridden what I think I am capable of I would had a much better result. The good thing about the run is that I was in control the entire time and didn't even try to redline it...I probably should have pushed harder but to be honest I knew I lost a lot of ground on the bike and I just didn't feel like I had much to race for. I guess this could be viewed as a bad attitude but this was a very long season and I think my heart just wasn't really in it. It shouldn't be this way at the world champs so I will just have to evaluate everything and create an appropriate plan for next year.
When I look back on the day I am a bit disappointed but I did improve a lot over last year and that is all I can ask for. I can't really control how fast everyone else races and they did go fast (way faster then last year!).
I only managed 5th in my age group and 44th overall...not exactly stellar placing considering my goal going into the race and, like I said, I am pretty bummed but this fuels the fire for next year and I can't forget that I did improve over last year.
So, now it is time to party it up a bit at the dinner and halloween party! I will be taking November off (no training) so I am looking forward to some great adventures with Jess and friends.
Thanks for all the support. I will post pictures once we get back.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Loving island life!


So, we are officially in Maui and it feels great to be back!
We are staying at the host hotel (Maui Prince), which is nice since it is so close to the action. I tend to stay away from all of the pre-race activities/hype not b/c I don't want to partake but b/c I want to go into race day as rested as possible and that involves staying off my feet. There is plenty of time to party after the race (the entire month of november in fact!).
Today Jess and I are up early b/c of the time change and b/c the birds here are unbelievably loud...Wow!! Plus, we went to bed at around 8pm.
In about an hour I am heading out for a short ride with a few accelerations and then I will swim one lap of the course. I LOVE swimming here! Yesterday Tom and I took a quick dip and it felt great despite the heavy ocean chop (from all the wind). We saw a ton of fish. I can't wait to get back in today...it is so relaxing.
Alright, time for more coffee and then I am off. I will try to post some pictures later today.
Race day is tomorrow and I can't wait!
Have a good one.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Life's full of choices...

So, every year after the race there is a huge Halloween party and you HAVE to show up in a costume.
I just can't decide which way to go...while the wig is just one component it can make or break the image. Life is full of choices....
What's a guy to do?


--Old faithful...sure to turn heads


--The darkhorse...this one could be a stunner with the right lighting =)


--Thrown in for good measure so you can see just how GREAT these mullets are

What's your vote?

Alohaaaaaaaaaaa!

Well, the bike box is packed with the new Elite bike and mentally, we are already embracing the island spirit. We can't wait to get to Maui so that I can race hard and then we can relax hard =) I love Xterra but I also love an ice cold cocktail on the beach and I feel like I have earned a few.
Today was my last run and I jumped in the pool for a quick 1 k swim with some accelerations.

--sans pelo with one tierd dog. Gotta beat that heat in Maui!

I feel strong and rested...just the way I need to be feeling a few days out from the race. Hopefully our travel day goes smoothly and we score some sushi at Sansai (a local spot with some great food)by days end!
FYI--you can all follow the race on race day at www.xterraplanet.com. They will have live video throughout the race.


--The days have been perfect here...80 degrees at the beach in asilomar, which is unbeatable!

Stay tuned as we near race day.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time for some rest and mental prep


We are a mere 5 days away from the Xterra World Championships and it is time for some rest. The hard work is done and all I need to do is get plenty of sleep and relaxation(physically and mentally) so that come race day I am ready to go as hard and fast as possible. My workouts between now and race day will be short with some brief intense efforts to make sure my body is ready for the hard effort on sunday. It is a fine line, if you do nothing but sit around and rest you will likely feel flat on race day but if you do slightly too much in terms of intensity you could feel tierd. I have done a lot of racing so I know how my body reacts in these situations and I have race week workouts/rest pretty dialed in. The most important thing for me is that I toe the start line hungry and ready to go ballistic for about 3 hours and in order to do that I need to rest mentally and do a lot of visualization so that during race day I embrace the pain rather then give in to it and slow down.
A lot of things go through your mind in the days leading up to race day but I have found that you must look back on all the hard work you did and remain confident that you are strong and mentally charged to put in a great performance. If you doubt yourself at this stage of the game you didn't prepare hard enough over the last few months. So, I feel confident and strong and I look forward to a great day in Maui. Stay tuned as we come even closer to World's.
Thanks for reading.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

A great day in paradise!

My day started with a swim and then Reto and I headed down to Big Sur for an epic ride. Whenever I just need to get away from everything I head down to Big Sur and ride Nacimiento Ferguson. It is an incredible climb (8 miles up one side and 3 miles back up)that shoots straight up from the ocean and drops into a beautiful canyon that goes on for a long time and runs along a stream. When I do this ride all my worries disappear and I am mentally rejuvenated and recharged. Today didn't disappoint...this ride with Reto put me in the right frame of mind as I near my biggest race of the year. To cap off a great day we drank a few beers and chowed on some killer mexican food...just what the Dr. ordered!
video
-A short video of the long decent back to the coast

Friday, October 19, 2007

Photo edition...


--The bike leg at Xterra Nationals


--Look at all that beer!


--The boys post race


--The top 4 men atop the PBR podium!

Well, it is the final week before World's...where has the time gone?!
I will be resting and fine tuning this week for an all out assault on the BRUTAL course in Maui. It is going to be very hot and hard but this is what I have trained for all year so it is GO TIME and there won't be any excuses.
Stay tuned as I near the big day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

First win of the season

Over the weekend I joined Tom and James for some off-road triathlon action in sunny Arizona. I decided to do this race as final prep for world's. The race format was perfect--nonwetsuit swim, 10 mile mountain bike and a 5k run. I went into the race considering it a workout. My goal was to put in a very intense effort to make sure I am race ready for Maui and to prepare mentally for the challenges of pushing your body to its limit in competition. I met my goal and walked away with my first overall win of the season. To win is always nice but more importantly I got in some very solid training (physically and mentally) and had a blast with some good friends.
As the winner I walked away with a HUGE trophy (5 feet tall) and I had to promise to return next year to defend the title (they will reuse the trophy every year and engrave your name on it as last years winner). Plus, the boys from Mafia Racing provided all the PBR that we could drink...Yes, this race was sponsored by PBR (pabst blue ribbon) and it tasted great in the hot sun! Thanks to Dave and Travis from Mafia for putting together such a killer day of racing!
After the race we went across the lake to the fat tire beer festival, enjoyed some brews, and took in the "sights" (there were some crazy costumes at this little party!).
That night we went out for some burgers, fries, wings and MORE beer and then hit the sack pretty early.
The next morning Tom and Brian showed me and James some killer trails in the area. I can't wait to get back to Arizona for some more training...I love it out there!

FYI--pics from the race weekend will come soon.

Stay tuned...Maui is only 11 days away!!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

This is what it is all about...I love this quotation!

"life is not about getting to the grave safely in one piece… but to live and love every moment as if it were your last, to skid into the future totally out of control, while shouting with your fist in the air"! -www.mafiaracing.com


So, get out there and enjoy everything this world has to offer...you aren't going to live forever so do it up while you can!

Friday, October 5, 2007

3 weeks away from the big show!


After 5 days of rest with only very light training to promote recovery it is time to get back at it. The next two weeks will be filled with hard workouts and plenty of rest to make sure I am 100% for each tough session. During these two weeks I will be on my bike a lot. My riding has come a long way since last year but I still have some work to do in terms of developing the power and strength to ride fast. There isn't really time to build strength before world's (this will happen during the winter and spring) so I will be focusing on getting as fit as I can over the next two weeks.
I am banking on my cycling fitness to come around a bit so that I can put together a solid ride in Maui. I worked closely with Reto (my coach) to put together a two week plan that will give me some extra cycling fitness. My run is where it needs to be. A few more workouts and plenty of rest and I am certain that I can pop off a fast run split. I think a fast run will actually be key on race day. It is a tough course in Maui and a lot of people can't pull it together on the run course, which opens the door for me to make up ground. So, I will give it all I have on the bike and then lay it down on the run. I think it is possible for me to run under 50 minutes in Maui, which will put me up there.
I will also put in several key swim sessions at stanford. The workouts there are super intense and in a couple weeks I can get some great swim fitness. I won't be focusing on my swim at all but the few key sessions per week will be hard and focused. I don't need to be flying in the water but I do want to come out feeling fresh enough to go for it on the bike. It took me a while to find my legs in Tahoe and I don't want to wait that long in Maui.
The goal still remains to finish top overall amateur and given my result in Tahoe (at altitude) I don't think this is out of reach. I will be peaking for Maui so I will be more rested and more fit then I was in Tahoe. Don't get me wrong, this is a tough goal but I have never been one to set goals that are easy to achieve...why even set goals then?! You have to dream and you have to believe, right? I believe I can achieve this goal and you can count on me to go "all-out" on race day to make it happen.
So, stay tuned as I ramp up for world's. Have a good one you guys.