Friday, September 28, 2007

Race day is fast aproaching!

Wow, it is so beautiful up here...We love it! Everyday I wake up so excited to get out and enjoy the mountain air here in Tahoe.
After some time at the dog park with Sophie Cody and I ran one lap of the run felt good to get a feel for the course and what's in store for sunday.
After our run Cody, James, Jess and I headed out to Sandy Shores beach for an open water swim and picnic. Jess patiently sat on the beach while the three of us took the plunge into the crisp waters of Lake was spectacular! The water is crystal clear and the color of the water is similar to the water off of any tropical can see the bottom the entire time. Experiences like this make me want to leave everything and move up here. After the swim we sat on the beach, ate our sandwiches, and took in the beautiful view.

--The three of us swimming at Sandy Shores

It was a good day of race specific training and to top off the great day "chef" Cody made us some KILLER pizza's! I'm not even kidding, Cody needs to open a pizzeria! Oh yeah, and then I walk in this afternoon and he has some burrito's on the menu...they were AMAZING too. How about an eatery that serves only pizza and burrito's...Cody, you game?! I will be your first customer!
Today, is a complete rest training, just eating and relaxing. We did make it down to the race venue to pick up our race packets but that's it.

--It's all about rest at this stage

--At the dog park/race venue

The race day excitement is fast approaching and sunday should be a tough but good day. Tomorrow is a light training day with some short efforts to get the body ready for the race. I will do this training in the morning and rest all afternoon.
I hope you enjoy reading this. Stay tuned for a race report from Xterra Nationals.

--Sophie expecting to go with me on my run

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Loving Tahoe!

So, we are officially in Incline Village and loving it up here. North Lake Tahoe has such a cool vibe and it is so beautiful. Yesterday we got up here, checked in (our condo is awesome!) and then I went to pre-ride the course. Like last time I rode it I was in awe the entire time...this trail has to be one of the best in the world!
I was so tempted to go ride the course again today with Cody and James b/c I always have so much fun but I think it is best to rest up since I have already gone twice in the last week. So, today will be my last run and then we will take a dip in one of the most pristine lakes in the world. Hopefully it won't be too cold...wishful thinking =)
Jess and I are off to walk the crazy dog...there is a great dog park just down the road from us so she can get plenty of exercise. Stay tuned...race day is fast approaching.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Oh, how the tables can turn...

We woke up yesterday to sunny skies and warm temperatures...this was a beautiful sight to us since the weather has been so depressing the last couple of days.
Feeling rejuvinated from the good weather I took off on my ride/run workout fairly early. Yesterday was a day with some intesity. I started my training with a road ride out toward Ebbets Pass and put in some solid interval work on the hills. I did 4 rounds of 2 min hard, 2min recovery, 1 min hard, 2min recovery and then I followed this workout up with a 5k run with only 5 minutes of harder effort to make sure my body is ready to deal with the pain at nationals. I am happy with my results b/c I was able to get my heart rate very high on the bike, which at altitude can be challenging. What my high heart rate told me is that I went into the workout rested, which was the goal. So, what does this mean for me as we near race, rest, rest and hopefully I can pull off a good race.

--Heading out for my ride

After my morning session and some food Jess, sophie and I headed out to Lake Utica for an open water swim and to get Sophie some exercise. I had heard that this lake is beautiful and worth the trip and, I have to say, it is! It was a spectacular day out there with only a few kayakers in sight. It felt like we had the entire place to ourselves, which amazes me.

--Sophie is curious where I am going

--She just couldn't let me go out on my own. I did have to swim back to the shore and Jess put her on the leash until I got back...what can we say, she's a water dog!

I did some pick up's in the water with some race pace efforts. Swimming at altitude is feels like oxygen is nonexistent. The bottom line is that if you go too hard in the swim you will blow up big time and be unable to recover for the rest of the swim. I will be spending the next several days finding that point at which I "blow up" so that on race day I can try to sit just under that point of no return. Unfortunately, I am just not that fit in the water so it makes swimming at altitude that much more difficult. I have spent much more time preparing for the bike and run over the last couple months so I don't expect to be flying in the water. So, I just have to be realistic when we sart the swim at nationals, which means staying controlled at the start (don't go out with the leaders like I always try to do) and fall into a hard tempo (below the "blow up" point) early. Then, most importantly, know that the swim will be very hard and simply accept it for what is, just get it out of the way, and head out onto the bike ready to go as hard as I can.

--A little play time after my swim

After our time at the lake we drove down to Arnold to have dinner with Jim and Sue, some long-time family friends. We had a blast! They are such wonderful people and we truly enjoyed catching up with them. The meal was incredible...GREAT job Sue and the house looks beautiful!

Today is a day of rest. The sun is out, the temps should be perfect and we have absolutely nothing to do...what a great feeling! I will probably hop in the water for an easy swim to loosen up and then we will let sophie swim her heart out. We have one more night here and then we are off to Tahoe...we are looking forward to getting up there.

--now, that's focus and determination! If I can race with the same intensity that sophie has for chasing the ball I'll be all set =)

Monday, September 24, 2007

An easy day yesterday..light training and rest.

So, yesterday was another easy day with some light training. I waited until it quit raining before heading out the door for my ride. The sky was still coudy and looking pretty mean but I figured I would take my chances. It was a quiet, peacful ride through the mountains out to mosquito lakes.
I thought I had it made but once I got to my turn around point I started to get hit by a few small rain drops. I don't mind a sprinkle here and there but when it started to hail my first thought was "great, what a nice way to cap off 3 days of terrrible weather." Then I started to think, what's worse rain, snow or hail? I think of the three I would prefer hail b/c you don't get wet and with temps as low as they were wet is bad. So, despite getting pelted with hail I actually had a smile on my face b/c I knew that I was experiencing the lesser of three evils. The funny thing was that there was sunshine off in the distance just to make me feel that much more like I am getting beat down by bad weather. In all honesty though, it was beautiful...the sun was streaming through the clouds and was reflecting off of the mountains in the distance.

You know though, I learned a long time ago that when the weather turns bad and you are out training in it you just need to laugh b/c really what else is there to do? Sure, it sucks to be out in the elements with little more than you cycling/running gear but at least your outside doing what you love and what more to make you feel alive then flying down the road in a good'ol fashion storm. Experiences like this make me think back to training days in college with my friends Reto and Matt...I can't even tell you how many times we got caught in storms and still had a long time before we got home. Our thought was always that it made you tough...I still believe this but I have to say that it was a lot more enjoyable getting caught in a storm with two buddies b/c, really, what can you do but laugh and laughing with friends is what it is all about!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Ranked #1 in the country and two-time west regional champion

As it stands now, I am ranked #1 in the country for the 25-29 age group and I am the 2007 west regional champion for the 25-29 age group. You can accumulate a maximum of 250 points in a season and the only way to accumulate 250 is to win your age group at 3 Xterra events (they only score 3 events in a year) throughout the season. I am one of 14 athlete's in the country to have 250 points.
Last year I won the west regional champions jersey in my first year of doing Xterra and at nationals this year I will become a two-time regional champion. Hopefully all goes well during the race and I walk away with a national champions jersey too but this is no easy task as there are some solid athlete's to compete against. Last year, I was crushed by now pro Cody Waite so I have yet to win a national champ jersey and I wouldn't mind taking that one back home. Of course, my focus is World's so I think I am still a few weeks from peak fitness but I am still ready to compete against the best Xterra athlete's in the country.

--This is last years regional champions jersey

Check out this years regional champions jersey...

Check out the link below to the Xterra ranking page...®ion=&divisionmajor=13&orderby=overallrank&sort=asc&+=+GO+


Yesterday all Jess and I did was eat, sleep, watch movies and then I ate some more. I had a rest day scheduled for yesterday and the rain and snow made it very easy to sit inside all day and get some "real" rest.
Today is supposed to be sunny but we woke up to more rain. The forecast says that it will clear up by the afternoon so that means more rest for me in the am and then this afternoon I will head out for an easy recovery ride and swim. We have realized that the weather people really don't know what they are talking about so we will just wait for the sun to come out and then hope it stays that way.

Today will be my second recovery day after two harder days of training. I didn't really want to put 2 harder days together but weather forced me to make some adjustments to my schedule. At altitude rest is key! It is very easy to overtrain b/c your body takes longer to recover then at sea-level and it takes us stubborn sea-level athlete's time to realize this. I know how my body reacts at altitude b/c of years of training and I have a good coach that knows the physiological and psychological effects of altitude training/racing.

So, I have learned that even if you feel good and are ready to go you probably still need some rest. This is especially true since I have a big race next weekend. About 2 weeks to 10 days out from an event you stop gaining fitness...well, you don't really stop gaining fitness but the workouts you do in the 2 weeks to 10 days prior to an event don't really help you on race day (it is possible that they could mentally but not really physically). The reason for this is that your body needs time to process and recover from the hard work you put in. Hard workouts I do now will help me in Maui (which is the most important race of the year) but will likely only make me tired for nationals. I will do some shorter, intense efforts throughout the week in each sport b/c you want to make sure your body is sharp and knows that it has a very hard effort coming up. These efforts will be short and used primarily to "shock" the system, not to gain fitness. The most important part of my training right now is the rest. So, as I mentioned above, altitude affects me quite a bit so over the next several days my job is to make sure I go into each workout rested and focused mentally on the upcoming race. If I am not rested I won't train at all or will do very little to facilitate recovery (this is "active recovery").

--The only time we left the couch was for a HUGE breakfast at the local coffee was AWESOME!

--Even Sophie got in plenty of relaxation

Have a good sunday and stay tuned!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Checking out the nationals course in Tahoe

Jess and I left Bear Valley this morning and drove up to Incline Village to pre-ride and run the course.
The rain gods decided to leave everything dry, which we were very excited about.
The course was killer...the recent rain left the trail in perfect condition (no dust!) and the views were as spectacular as I remember them. I don't remember the major downhill being so plagued with is a tough decent, especially at race pace!
Oh yeah, I did crash...I somehow managed to land on my feet after being dislodged from my bike (it felt like I was in the air for a while) when my front wheel hit a rather large rock and stopped. I had that split second thought that this is going to be bad but my "cat-like" reflexes (ha, ha) saved me from what could have been a painful ride back to the condo. To be honest, I wish someone was there to see this happen b/c it probably looked pretty crazy. After I marched back up to the trail (I flew down the hill a bit) I found my new bike set nicely on a soft kind.
After my ride I ran 1 lap of the run course.

Jess and I then got some grub at a local cafe and then headed back to Bear Valley.
All said and done, it was a great day with some solid training. sophie even made some new dog friends at the dog park in Incline Village.

Well, off to get some pizza and beer at the local hot spot.
Take care and stay tuned.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Some pics from our mountain adventure

-My favorite two people enjoying the beauty of Lake Alpine

-Skinfit por vida...the BEST clothing hands down! I look tierd b/c I am, but ignore me and check out the awesome gear!

-Our campsite at Lake Alpine Campground

-sophie chilling out by the fire after some serious time in the water

-Did I tell you she loves her tennis ball?

-The happy couple lakeside

-Yes, that's snow...what is happening? We didn't sign up for this!

Altitude training in Bear Valley

Jess and I are in Bear Valley right now to get in some relaxation and training. It is absolutely beautiful up here but I have to say, its COLD! What's up with all of this new snow? We didn't come up here to see snow!

Well, we are making the most of it and between snow fall I head out for my training adventures in an effort to get acclimated to altitude before Xterra Nationals. I have to look at the snow in a positive light...Lake Tahoe (the site of nationals) will be cold so I better start getting used to it. It is time to "harden" up and what better way than to train in the snow at altitude.

This morning I got in a hard run, which was brutal since we are at 7000 feet and shortly I will be taking a plunge into Bear Lake for some open water swimming...Good thing I have my wetsuit =)

Seriously though, the water isn't that cold b/c it is a relatively small and shallow lake so it heated up over the summer and it has only been cold here for a day, which isn't enough time for it to cool off. There is still something about jumping into a lake when snow is on the ground. I just try to turn my mind off and go for it and, in all honesty, I always end up loving the swim b/c the water is crisp and clean.

Tomorrow we are heading to Incline Village, NV so that I can pre-ride and run the nationals course. Tomorrow shows some clearing so we are going to take advantage of the "better" weather. Sunday will bring tons of rain and snow so it will be a rest day for me.
Well, stay tuned as I approach Xterra Nationals. I will try to update my blog often with all of the adventures Jess and I find up in the mountains. Take care.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

A new feels just like christmas!

I just got my new mountain bike from Elite and it is SWEET! I can't wait to hit the trails on this bad boy! The bike showed up just in time for nationals and world's and I am really fired up to be representing Elite at these big races.
check out their

--If you look close you can see that my signature is on the frame

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Pictures from PG

Despite a poor performance on my part Jessica got some good pictures!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

We'll just act like that didn't happen....

I have always loved the Pacific Grove Triathlon b/c it is my hometown race and all of my friends and family come out and I get to spend quality time with them. With so many people watching I always want to do well but you can't be in peak shape all year and my big races come in October.

The bottom line is that I was flat all day and I suffered from stomach problems so we will just act like this years race didn't even happen. I had a great time with friends and family but raced very poorly. I wouldn't even really call it a race...just a day of exercise really.

There are three things that I think went wrong for me...

1. I don't think I have fully recovered from my altitude training takes about 10 days to get back to normal so you feel flat and unable to really get after it.
2. I don't think breakfast sat well. Reto and I both ate the same thing for breakfast and both had stomach issues.
3. I normally take a carbo loading drink the day prior to competition and I haven't had any problems with it for the past 5 races but I am thinking it left me bloated and full.

Reto and I both had poor races and we both trained at altitude and we both consumed the exact same thing so I think it is safe to say that these three things led to "flat" days.

Overall, I am disappointed in my performance but my disappointment was overshadowed by fun with friends and family.
So, it is on to prep for xterra nationals and world's...these are the races that really matter.
I will post some pics later so stay tuned.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007


My buddy Reto and I just returned from an epic training camp in the sierra's. We spent a few days at Lake Alpine, CA, which is at 7,300 feet and is a perfect location for a tough training camp filled with tons of riding, running, and open water swimming.

Lets just say that we had a blast and we put in some very hard work at altitude. I can say with certainty that I have come away a stronger athlete with a renewed focus on top performances at both nationals and world's. I must also mention that I found a second home up there...I love the Bear Valley/Lake Alpine area and I can assure you that Jess and I will do our best to become locals up there!

Everyday started with a swim in Lake Alpine, which is beautiful and crystal clear. There is something so special about swimming in the morning in a calm, crisp alpine bad there isn't anything like that here in monterey. Then it was off for thousands of feet of climbing over numerous mountain passes. This was some of the most spectacular riding I have ever done and I can't wait to get back to tackle those long, tough alpine climbs. After the ride it was time for a short transition run, which was always hard after such an effort on the bike.

When training was all said and done we ate like kings, stuffing ourselves until we couldn't take in anything else...except for that incredible apple pie at the lodge we were staying at...did I mention the ice cream was amazing too?!

--Okay, we did have some beer but can you blame us =)

So, it was a very productive training camp and I am so happy that we chose to go there b/c I feel that we found a second home that we will visit many times throughout the coming years.

Now it is time for a little rest as I approach the Pacific Grove Triathlon, which is this weekend. The goal is to win the overall amateur title...I have wanted to do this for a long time. This race is tough for me b/c I always want to do so well but you can't be in great shape all the time and since the Xterra World Champs is my focus, my fitness will not be exactly where I need it to be. You can't have everything, right? I will still go out there and go as hard as I can and hopefully a win will be the result. Stay tuned for a race report and thanks for reading.