Full Steam Ahead

Well the train has departed and is in full steam ahead for Ironman 70.3 CA. It's taken awhile to get this train going but I feel like I am finally riding on all cylinders. Four cylinders if you will; Swim, Bike, Run and Nutrition. Getting back into shape over a year ago has been no easy task. I've had a ton of injuries, inconsistent training and lack of patience. I feel like my body has finally caught up with my mind and my fitness level over the past month has risen to a new level. Why? It's an an accumulation of things, really. I think the best thing I did this year was sign up for the Soma Triathlon. It was kind of a last minute decision and I'm glad I went through with it because the whole point was to experience a Half-Ironman so I know what to expect for Ironman 70.3 CA. For those of you that don't know what happened, you can read my race report here. Not gonna lie, that race lit a bomb-fire inside of me. I was pissed and my mental outlook on the sport changed. I instantly knew I needed a coach. My swim was poor, my bike fitness wasn't there, my running wasn't at my potential and my nutrition planning was waaay off. So I started working with James and he's really helped me in all three sports, plus nutrition advice along with keeping me in check with intensity/volume. What else has changed? Well my wife continues to support me 100% which means so much to me. She even goes out in the freezing garage at 5am to give me some company while I'm on the trainer. Super cool! Then, over the past few months I've been able to get some support from sponsors. Not only are they going to make me look and feel good, but the are going to make it so much easier financially to afford all of the racing/training I do.

Speaking of sponsors, I picked up two more over the past week. I am really stoked to be working with The Bike Shop in Temecula. As I mention in my Support page, the first time I walked into the shop that opened up just over a year ago -I was able to make friends and watch them grow. Rick and Rich are unbelievable people and they are so different from your typical bike shop where you go in and get shunned and ripped off. They actually care about getting you on the right bike and fulfilling your passion. Not to mention, John their mechanic is well-known throughout the industry as being one of the best in the business. If you live in Temecula, make The Bike Shop your go-to bike shop for anything cycling or triathlon related. If you are out of town and on your way to Vail to put in some miles on your mountain bike, they are on the way. Thanks Rick/Rich for your support. As mentioned on my last post, I also teamed up with FLUID. I've always used the FLUID Recovery drink but I'm excited to add the FLUID Performance into my race day/training nutrition. If it makes me feel as good as I do after taking the Recovery, I'm gonna be a happy camper.

As far as the training front goes, I've been making huge strides in all three sports. Last week I did a 1000 meter time trial swim. James coaches for Training Bible Coaching, so this was no surprise to me because I had done one before months ago when I was coaching myself (referencing the book). It's just a good gauge to see where your fitness level is so you can help determine pacing structure in future swim workouts and also see how you are progressing. The original idea was to do it in a wetsuit at my HOA pool. The rec center pool has been so busy so I didn't want any interruption during my TT. The reason for the wetsuit is because they turn the heat off in our pool over the winter months. I figured I could handle 58-60 degree water in my Xterra Vortex which I love. So I got in and holy crap! This was not 58 degrees. Definitely more like 50! I did one 50 meter lap and my face, hands and feet started getting pins and needles just like I used to get in the 52 degree ice baths I took in college post workout. I jumped out of that pool as fast as I could and headed over to the rec center. Screw that!

The Bike Shop put this on loan to me
while Mr. Slice gets some love. Blue AC1
I jumped in the water at the rec center (sans wetsuit) and after a 300 meter warm up I set off. I've been feeling pretty good in the water lately. With my speed increasing each week, I feel like it's been easier to maintain balance and form as opposed to those slow strokes I used to take. I ended up swimming 14:43 (1:28 per 100 pace). Now I know that's not fast for some, but for me it was a huge break through. 6 months ago when I did this I swam like 18:50 something. Even 4 months ago when I did a TCSD club sprint race I swam 14:50 something for 700 meters! So all of the hard work in the pool is FINALLY starting to pay off. As far as the bike goes, I am just doing a ton of climbing and a lot of hours. Last week I put in ~10 hours just on the bike. I'm starting to feel increases in power and agility. With all of the riding and dropping a few more lbs, I feel like an animal on the climbs. The running is going well too. I'm running great on tired legs and feeling really really comfortable running off of the bike. Almost better then I do when I just go out for a run. And nutrition? James has just guided me with my diet a bit. I was already eating well, but we still made a few tweaks. The biggest thing is, he's helped me with my training nutrition. I'm really working on limiting my intake and teaching my body to be more efficient with calories which will help me come race day.

Mentally I feel like that steam engine. I'm slowly picking up speed but I know there is a long road ahead of me. Careful planning and perfect execution is all that is on my mind when it comes to triathlon. 2012 is going to be an exciting year and I am thankful that some of you actually read this blog and will follow along with me on this road. Cheers!

My son Taylor on the treadmill, getting his miles in!

Token Beer shot


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