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 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 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!


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 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 are so special to me and I couldn't be on this amazing journey without you!