Sunday, June 27, 2010

Ventura Triathlon

I had a race today. It was an olympic distance triathlon that I am very fond of called the Breath of Life triathlon. It is the southwest regional championship which doesn't mean much other than it turns out a really quality field. Last year I placed 9th and was pretty stoked.

This year, I was rolling in with a good deal more fitness and hoping to improve.

Pre: I drove up to Ventura listening to Kanye sing about how everyone doubts him and how he is so fresh and such a genius. Amazing that so many songs can revolve around this subject but I guess his freshness is sort of like an onion in its layers. Let's just say Kanye doesn't exactly speak to my soul but the beats are cool.
Saw my friend Colleen and said hi. Her boyfriend, who I think had too much McCafe, got excited and ripped the valve off her tire. Neither of them knew how to fix it so I banged it out and then went to get my pre race crap sorted.
My training buddy, Tony, showed up to cheer. Also some homies from MSU, Andrea and Erika got their asses out of bed super early to make me feel really good. Friends are the best.

Swim: Got to the swim start feeling spry. I wanted to race from the gun and not have mental lag time to get into a rhythm. I needed to attack. The reason will come later. I needed to bank time. I Ran into the water and dolphin dove into the lead. Short lived as a collegiate swimmer from Cal apparently had a bottle rocket up his ass. He took off and left one guy in no mans land and three others(myself included) sitting in a pack. Uneventful swim. We traded leads, sited well and swam strong.
T1: slow run in the sand and slow changing process... worst part of the race maybe
Bike: stole the bottle rocket out of the Cal swimmer's ass and attached it to my bike. I took off and caught the top guys really quick. I was staying on top of a big gear and riding hard. I noticed that I picked up a guy who I was towing. I talked to him and we rode legally trading tempos for pretty much the whole ride. We were blitzing everyone. He faded towards the end and I yelled to stay on top of his gear... we needed to bank time for the run... you'll see why. Came into t2 averaging 25.1 mph for 25.5 miles. Awesome.
T2: sucked again... not sure what the deal was in transition but I don't particularly care. I'd rather not train changing my clothes.
Run: We started out in 2nd and 3rd respectively... The reason we needed time was two collegiate runners who have both cracked 30 for a 10k... Not 40... 30! I was running the numbers the night before on what I would have to do to prevent them from dominating and was hoping for a major lead with my bike/swim. I took off and checked my watch at mile 1- 6:05. I kept my foot on the gas but at mile 2.5 I heard the very quick patter of a collegiate runner. Bugger. He went by me quick and I was still holding 6:05's. I hit mile 3 in a bit of pain. I told myself, "cover as much ground as possible as easily as possible and refocus at mile 4 to really suffer." Mile 4 came and I think my pace was around 6:08's avg at that point. I picked it up and the other runner came by me equally as hard. Double bugger. I was running well... (very relative) but just not in their area code. I started to come unglued and hit mile 5 nearly dead. Another runner came through who I had seen shamelessly drafting and had words with on the course. I guess I was served. I was redlined so shifting gears was not an option as down was the only way to go. 6 mile mark and the finish line was no where to be seen. I careened around a corned and plowed into a 60 year old running on the wrong side of the cones. I heard him topple into the bushes and I tried to choke out a sorry between my gasping and spitting, Another .6 later and I was done. I collapsed. Talked to some friends. Puked. Collapse. Rinse. Repeat.

Overall 20:13 swim... 25.1 mph avg for 25.5 miles ... 6:13min/mile pace for 6.6 miles
6th overall out of 1000 vs. last year 9th

Major improvement on the swim, bike and back half of the 10k compared to last year. Good swim. Lethal bike. Mentally strong 10k. shit transitions but overall a GREAT race. Not a whole lot more I could ask for other than god given 30minute 10k speed. Maybe for Christmas.

Til next time loved ones.

Yours contentedly,


Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Turn it up a little bit

I have been feeling like old horse droppings lately. My appetite is going crazy and I am eating literally non stop. I find that this generally happens to me during recovery weeks and race weeks when I sort of taper. I go into full repair mode and apparently it takes a ton of energy (read food) to rest. It always screws with my head though because race week feels like I am incredibly unfit. But generally if I am feeling good race week, I am doing something wrong and I don’t race well.
My teammate Michelle was asked by her coach to send her 10 reasons why she will rip it up in a race she just did. She did this and then won outright! Baller.

I think I’ll try but only with 5.
1. I have consistently trained since November with only 2 weeks completely off for major sickness. See Dengue Fever and horrific weeklong food poisoning induced by rotten pork.
2. My biking wattage is higher than it has ever been and I am climbing way faster than last year.
3. I raced out of my mind at Triple T against a quality field.
4. I am swimming with a training buddy (Tony) and we are exceeding times in every workout we do.
5. I am more confident going into this race than any race prior to this…. Well let’s go for 6.
6. I went 1:58 at this race last year (1.5 min or so shortish swim) and I am fitter now.

Stay tuned.

Friday, June 18, 2010


Greetings loved ones,

Lately I have been on that fitness high that does not happen very often. The work that was tough early in the year, I am floating through right now... I got a major fitness bump from the Triple T and I am riding the wave of my base fitness right now.

I have punched it up with 400 repeats and some tough bike intervals as well. Yesterday I did 3 hours on the CycleOps POWERBEAM trainer. It measures power, cadence, HR and everything else you would want to quantify. It may be the dopest thing I own.

Anyway, while the Celtics game was on I smashed out some intervals. I set up the workout to do 2 hours of aerobic Ironman type work. I was working at 250-270 watts and keeping the HR low.

I then took a break and ate some stuff to prep for the major interval work starting in the 4th quarter. Depressing game as the Celts let it slip away in the last 6 minutes ...but great intervals.

I did 6x 3 minute efforts with short rest. Hold on to your seat. These watts are staggering for me...

The #s looked like this
1- 337 watts
2- 345 watts
3- 355 watts
4- 360 watts
5- 361 watts
6- 381 watts

The crazy thing is that this felt comfortable despite having majorly fatigued legs after rolling huge training the previous week and doing 400 reps the day before. I am fairly sure that my LT is around 345 watts right now. This is up from about 315 in peak fitness last year. That's outrageous.

I don't talk like this very often as I am usually not sure how I'll go or a little bit bummed with my fitness. But I am not either now so...

I have a race next weekend. Get ready for this because I am about to unleash my demons and tear down this course like something from your nightmares.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Up Up and Away!

I am struggling big time right now and already on my second cup of coffee. Nothing can save me.

I figured I would toss out an update as it has been a monumental week for me.

I had the highest training volume week of my life by 30 minutes! 20.5 hours. It may not seem like a lot but when you actually go out and do it, it sure feels like it. I am feeling just over the moon right now. I even decided to live large and eat some fast food. Turns out I can completely understand why America is so portly. Melted cheese is the delightful downfall of the American waistline.

I am at the point in fitness where everything feels like floating not work. My legs are just pistons and don’t give in to the acidic discomfort that usually takes its toll pretty quickly. The burn point is getting more bearable. I am even comfortable in the pool which is sort of like a solar eclipse or the last time you saw Hale Bopp.

I got some major work done that was highlighted by several workouts.
1. A beastly swim with my buddy, Tony. 5 x 500 that I absolutely destroyed and felt like I was swimming down a water slide. Fish-like! He is a great training partner and we push each other, keep each other honest, and it isn’t competition, it is building each other towards a goal. We are a team as opposed to opponents.
2. Long run of 13 miles with Tony as well. We just clicked through it with no issue on a perfect day in Santa Monica.
3. Ridiculous solo 3 hr bike with 4k of climbing in the first 16 miles. I did some major damage to my neck on this ride and properly blasted my legs
4. Solo 400 meter repeats that shattered me and saw me with my hands on my knees, sucking 02. Track work alone is testing. Try it sometime, you find out a lot about yourself when you are alone. Honestly I don’t like what I see some of the time. This time was acceptable but I fell apart towards the end and when the wheels come off in 400’s, that’s pretty much it.
5. Interval ride with 4 x 6 minutes @ 360 watts and felt comfortable. For those of you not watt inclined, those numbers are pretty big but could barely power a handful of lights. Things are relative. I think I might be able to crank about 340 watts over a 40k which will be huge but again would create very little electricity.

I also finished a phenomenal book. It’s called Once a Runner. It gets inside the head of an elite miler. The mile is THE hardest race. No questions asked. Most people have not felt this kind of pain and those who have are scared to feel it again. Milers are brave. That edge is something very few people can tolerate on a regular basis. Truth be told, I am too much of a coward to race this race.
Anyway, it may be one of the most motivational reads ever and is exceptionally well written which few sports novels can claim outside of Jon Krakeur. It talks about his journey, complete with the self doubt, and triumphs. One of the best quotes in it is on my side bar and talks about compromise. That stuck with me… to excel you can’t compromise. I’m working on this.

Outside of training, I am just surrounded by positivity and I feel great. The people around me are building me up and I am trying to do the same. It is contagious and I am really happy. Hope you are too.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bunnies and Metallica

So yesterday I absolutely smashed it. I ended biking 3 times for a total of about 2.5 hrs… commute plus big gear effort. I then swam pretty hard and went to the gym. I felt gutted by 10pm and slept like the dead. (I almost made a dead celebrity joke but I am learning restraint)

I planned on a long aerobic sleep session but it had to be cut short because I guess I am not trained for it. I woke up at 5:50 had some coffee, eggs, and chocolate and hopped on the bike with the goal of roughly 40 miles.
I was really steady and worked consistently through the whole ride. I can put my stamp on that ride.

Some weird crap I saw/ thought about….
I came upon a bunny in the middle of the road. It was next to a fallen comrade. I thought, “AW, cute he is mourning”… then I saw his paws were soaked in blood and his little whiskers twitched as he munched on his bunny compadre. Sick bastards. I should have known they were more depraved given their sexual habits. Lesson learned.

Think Peter Rabbit is cute? Take a look at his soul

I also was pondering Metallica while riding. I was thinking they should be the voice of the society. Forget voting. What does Metallica think. For example, President Obama should be heeding sage wisdom such as, “Bow down /Surrender unto me/ Submit infectiously /Sanctify your demons” or “Yeah, musha rain dum a doo, dum a da, ha, yeah/ Whack for my daddy, oh/ Whack for my daddy, oh/ There's whiskey in the jar, oh” ….
Bottom line is that shit is profound.
Obama's new cabinet... the US will thank me.

Also, a lot of people think Kale is the bomb or something. Wrong. I ate a ton of it and almost immediately, I had gas that smelled like I had ingested roadkill skunk. Be careful with Kale. It’ll give you diabolical GASSSSSSSSSSS. That’s also a metallica lyric.

Monday, June 7, 2010

I'm talking with the MAN in the MIRROR

I'm asking him to change his ways... No question could have been any clearer... if you want to make the world a better place take a look at yourself and make a change

Despite some idiosyncrasies and the propensity to behave in a generally creepy manner, MJ is a genius. I am taking his words to heart.

Recently, I decided to get a coach. This isn't final yet but it is sort of gathering actual steam to the point where he/she asked me to put together a self analysis...

I figured I would do that publicly so you too, blogger, can look deep into the depths of my ugly dark soul. It will be like looking into the Tunnel in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate factory... mildly unpleasant and confusing.

Let's start with a healthy dose of general ability assessment.

Racing Strengths-

  • I would say I am a well balanced athlete meaning that I place reasonably evenly throughout the disciplines. I am not exceptional at any but solid across the three.
  • I am a baller in a wetsuit and people who dust me in the pool get served in the open water.
  • My bike is strong and getting better
  • My focus and ability to stay in the moment, especially during the run, are strengths that I have worked on since starting racing.
  • I also fancy myself as a mature athlete in terms of pacing
Racing Weaknesses-
  • I struggle with nerves prior to the swim and I feel I am weak minded during the first 10 minutes of the race and often question my motivation with negative self talk
  • I can't close down gaps during the swim if they open up... I can't change gears or won't (not sure if it is physical or mental)
  • I struggle mentally and physically in the wind (this is getting better...actually lots better but I figured it would be a good reminder)
  • Heat particularly bothers me and my pacing in heat is atrocious
  • My run split does not translate up from Olympic distance to the Half in any sort of respectable way
Training strengths-
  • I am totally in love with the sport... I am addicted to it and pretty committed.
  • Consistency in training is something that I am really hitting my stride with...I started a philosophy of never going 72 hours without doing each sport so I am really getting a ton of frequency... around 4-6 bikes per week 5-7 runs per week and 3-4 swims per week
Training weaknesses-
  • I negotiate with terrorists too much and alter sets/ workouts to make them soft too often
  • I don't swim even close to enough or hard enough EVER. It's hard to do alone but that is no excuse... I am going to join a master's club to try to fix this
  • I don't go long on a consistent basis
  • I don't do bricks on a consistent basis

What I like...

  • I love to run easy. Cruising around aerobically is so enjoyable and rhythmic. It is a beautiful thing.
  • I love to bike hard. I love hills, wind, intervals, snot, drool, and bloodshot eyes.
  • I love to do pull sets in the pool and love to swim in the ocean. My legs are really heavy so pull buoys are the bomb. Ocean water makes my hair look like Dragon Ball Z plus I love to swim without doing turns. I also like swimming continuously.

What I could do without...
  • Track running makes me a bit crazy. I get neurotic and I am not very fast so it gets in my head.
  • I hate easy spinning and tootling for long rides with lots of stops and coffee breaks. I am disgusted with meandering around.
  • Swimming in general is not that cool to me. I love to race swimming, but I hate training it. I hate going to the pool, I hate changing, I hate chlorine, I hate warming up and doing sets, and I hate the feeling that no time has passed since you got in. This is mainly cuz I do it alone all the time and it questions my motivation for this sport EVERY time I swim.

My overall training volume looks sort of like this...
25-45 miles running each week.... 4-9 hours of biking....3x swimming a wk roughly 6-10k (pathetic I know)

Most of this is done at a very steady pace with lots of hill/ big gear work on the bike, strides on the run, and lots of F%$^ing around in the pool.

I can't tell you my goals because that would be like showing you my underwear or the internal routing around the bottom bracket of my bike... some things are just too personal.

What do you think the coach will say?