Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Back to racing

This sunday I will back to racing. I haven't raced since Richmond and the 6 week break has left me hungry to really get after it! I am really excited to head down to Snow Valley for some off-road Xterra racing.
Stay tuned as I will post the results and a race report shortly after the race.
Take care

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hard at work and loving it!

Sunrise from our kitchen...talk about motivation to get out and start your day (after coffee of course)!

The past 2 weeks have been tough but very productive. I have been busy with work but this is a good thing b/c a lot of great things are happening, which helps me look good to those signing my paychecks =)
In addition to a hectic work schedule I have been putting in tons of training time, often waking up super early in the morning to squeeze it all in. I am a morning person so I don't mind waking up early but the challenge comes in making sure I get enough rest and don't burn out.

-Heading out for a ride in San Luis Obispo
I am very happy with where I am in terms of my fitness. After a 2 week break the question is, how much fitness did I lose and how much weight did I gain from all that beer and wonderful food? The goal of my break was to get out of shape so that I can be in peak form in october and I think my mission was accomplished but I am suprised with how well things are going now. My swimming finally feels like it is coming around since I have started swimming with a team in monterey. I have really struggled with swimming this year but other areas have improved and you can't have everything, right? Swimming is funny in that if you want to swim with a fast group you often find yourself swimming with a bunch of kids about 10 years younger. Sure, there are fast masters groups in major cities like San Diego, Santa Clara but in Monterey I have to swim with high-school kids and some that are even younger. I had to do the same thing when living in SLO but, to be honest, I will do whatever it takes to swim fast and the kids I am swimming with now are the key to faster swim splits. It has always amazed me that kids so young can swim so fast. If you look at the olympics you will see a lot of the swimmers are in their teens. They have perfect form and have been in the water ever since they learned to walk. While the kids I am swimming with are not olympians they can post some very fast times and I am excited to be swimming with them.
My riding and running are also coming along quite well. While swimming matters in Xterra the bike and run are the most important and I can say with certainty that if you can't ride your bike fast you won't go far in this sport. For this reason, I will be spending tons of time on my bike and I will focus on a few key run workouts that will bring everything together. Xterra requires strength so I have developed a plan that will hopefully have me flying in the month of October.
On the bike my focus will be climbing so I will be in Los Gatos a lot doing threshold climbing in the Santa Cruz mountains where there are several 45 min to 1 hour climbs, which is perfect prep for nationals and worlds. Threshold climbing means that I will be riding up these long climbs at around 170 heart rate. These workouts will make me strong and hopefully lead to fast bike splits. In addition to threshold climbing I am doing the tuesday night crit in monterey, which is more like a circuit race b/c it is a 4 mile, hilly loop. These rides are always tough and get you some quick fitness. Additionally I am riding my mountain bike twice a week, one long ride of 3+ hours and one ride about 2 hours long to build endurance and to keep my handling skills in check.

Weights are also a new addition to my plan. I have felt that my muscle strength is lacking so I am lifting weights twice a week and I think this will make me much more powerful.
My run workouts focus on hills. Every run is on a trail and 95% of the time it is hilly. Aside from nationals I have not seen a flat Xterra run course so hill running is key to a fast run split. I am trying some new things with my run and I am excited about my progress.
Overall, I am so excited about training right now and I can't wait until my next Xterra race August 5th.
I hope all is well. Stay tuned...I will keep you posted on my progress.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

A bold move...we'll see what happens!

Many of you think of triathlon and think of the Hawaii Ironman, which takes place in Kona each October. Yearly, there is television coverage of this special race and you see images of victory, triumph, and struggle. For a triathlete, the Hawaii Ironman World Championships is the pinnacle of the sport and most every triathlete around the world dreams of crossing the finish line in Kona.

I, like so many others, have a dream of making it to this event and crossing the finish line. So, today I signed up for Ironman Arizona in an effort to qualify for the Ironman World Championships in Kona. Like the Xterra World Championships you have to qualify at another event and I have choosen Ironman Arizona as my qualifying event.

To be totally honest, this is unchartered territory for me b/c I have never competed in an event this long. There will be several variable to control in order to even finish the race, let alone earn a slot to the Ironman World Championships. The biggest hurdles for me will be nutrition and mental stength. I will be in good shape physically but these other two variables have to be in check for me to have a good day.
So, this will be a great adventure, one that I have debated for a long time. I have finally pulled the trigger and I will be participating in my first Ironman April 13th 2008 in Arizona. Xterra is my focus and will remain my focus into the future but I will officially begin my Ironman prep December 1st after a long break in November...stay tuned.

Friday, July 6, 2007

It feels good to be back!

The past 5 days have been great...I am back to training and while I don't yet feel in shape it just feels good to be out doing what I love. The weather has been amazing and there's nothing like long rides/runs/swims when the weather is perfect.
Yesterday I picked up a new sponsor...Gu Sports. They will be supplying me with food/nutrition and clothing. When I say food I mean GU, which is basically sugar that gets absorbed quickly and provides a rapid energy boost...perfect for race day so I can avoid "hitting the wall" like I did in Richmond. They also make an electrolyte/carbohydrate drink that will keep me fuel during training and racing.

I am still relying on the Trailblaze bars b/c they are too good! GU is more of a race day product while trailblaze bars are an everday product.
So, that is the good news here.
Another week of endurace/base training and then I will move into the hard stuff...can't wait!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Back to work...Maui here I come!

It has been a great 2 week break! I have spent plenty of time relaxing and catching up on all of the things that have been pushed aside for the past several months.
Jess and I hungout at the beach, down in San Luis Obispo and Big Sur, up in S.F. and we shared a lot of great beer, wine and food.
Now that the batteries are recharged and the body is healed I am more then ready to get back into full training mode. I am excited about the next four months b/c I know that with hard work and dedication I can achieve my ultimate goal of winning the overall amateur title at the World Championships in Maui. While this is a tough goal I feel that I am capable of it and, after my last race in Richmond, I am out to prove myself. Plus, goals are meant to push you and I believe that without high goals you will never achieve your true potential.
I will begin with a couple weeks of base miles to build up my endurance and then after that it is game time...the hard work begins!

Here is my schedule:
-July 14/15th--mountain bike race
-August 5th--Xterra Snow Valley
-August 25th--Xterra Wild Ride or Santa Barbara long-course*
-September 1st--24 hour mountain bike world championships (3-man team)
-September 8th--Pacifc Grove Triathlon
-September 30th--Xterra Nationals
-October 28th--Xterra Worlds!
*may not race

Stay tuned. I will continue to post entries as I move toward the big day...The Xterra World Championships October 28th.
Take care