Past 2 weeks...

Wow, I don't think I've ever missed a week of blogging, but these two weeks (this one included) are probably the busiest weeks of the year for me at, priorities - putting food on the table!! Doesn't mean I haven't been training though. Matter fact this is the strongest I've been on the bike because of a huge bike block James set me up with. I haven't been in the water or running as much as I'd like but I'll take it with the bike fitness gains. I've had some big week day work weeks and big weekend training weeks, top it off with a three day work/vacation trip to Disneyland and you come back sick from the most infected place on earth! Worth it though, the work event was a huge success and when I wasn't working, I was playing hard with the kids. Total blast. Amy was able to sit and relax too - Disneyland is probably her favorite place to be, so I was happy to see her smiling all week. I'll be back to my usual blogging next week, for now - here's what's going on with pics:

Since we stayed at Disneyland hotel we got access to the park
an hour before it opened. Kids were in heaven!
Case in point...She barely made the height cut off and went on thee
Cars ride. It was fast, she is a brave little 3 year old!
Kids went up and down this slide like 50 exaggeration...
even the lifeguards knew their names. Disneyland Hotel Resort is really cool!
A whole lot of riding and KOM crushing lately on Mr. Slice...
Put on a transition clinic for some of the people that stuck around
after the Randy Pruett Fundraiser at the Bike Shop...discussing wetsuit hickeys here..
Limiting my intake of beer lately and have noticed huge
differences in my recovery. Doesn't mean I won't enjoy one here and there...
I highly recommend this beer by New Belgium. Great session beer on a hot day
Most likely my next race. Aug. 25th. Long Course.
1 mile swim, 35 bike, 10 mile run
Then this Olympic Race on Sept 8
And finally my redeemer and coming out party for 70.3 in Oct. I'll be racing with
bitterness for not qualifying for Vegas and DNF'ing at this race last year.
And of course, there's always a lot of love :)

Getting Serious

45 pounds heavier in 2008
When I first starting making a "comeback" into endurance sports I did it mainly because I wanted to lose weight since I topped off at 180 pounds. My daughter was born and I realized that I wanted to be active with her and my family as I got older so I decided to start running again to lose some lbs. As most people struggle with when getting back into shape -running isn't exactly the best sport. Although it will get you to lose the pounds fast, it is also the riskiest because your lugging around that extra weight which will get you injured. After two miserable attempts at marathons (5:12 in 2008 and 4:14 in 2010) and multiple injuries and frustrations I decided to get a bike and give triathlon a try. Even though I couldn't even make it across the pool for 25 yards in the summer of 2010, I was finally losing weight and I ended up racing my first triathlon in September of that year and ended up winning my age group at the inaugural Tri Rock Sprint in San Diego. I was hooked.

Fast forward ------------------------->

Hours on the Mountain Bike...
Hours in the water...
Hours of suffering on the bike...
Hours of Suffering on the run...
Good times and celebrations...
Bad times and defeated...
And of course, plenty of beers...
But now, I've recently come to an interesting stage. How far can I go in triathlon? The question is starting to climb out from a very deep part of my heart. I haven't dealt with this type of burning passion since I ran competitively. It's a bit scary, I push it aside - but then it makes its way to my mouth sometimes around others. I try to keep it concealed, but I can't. So I've decided that it's time to let it go and bear its fruits. It's time to get serious.

I've put in quite a bit of work to get where I am now but I haven't taken it as serious. When I say serious I don't mean quit having fun and all you do is suffer. I'm talking about giving that extra effort in workouts, in recovery, in lifestyle, in diet, in attitude and in life to become a better triathlete. There are SO many things I'm doing wrong right now and if I make some changes, who knows where I can go from here. I'm 33, I've got seven more years in my triathlon prime. Plenty of time to accomplish some dreams that I put away for over seven years. Plenty of time to get a second chance to become the athlete I wanted to be. Plenty of time to fulfill my passion.

It already started two weeks ago and there's no turning back now...

Old Pros 4th of July 10k RR

So last Wednesday on 4th of July I entered my second running race of the year, The Old Pro's Scripps Ranch 4th of July 10k. It's a race I've done since I was 13 and it brings back a lot of great memories of going down with the high school cross country team and bandit-ing races. Back then it wasn't quite frowned upon like it is now - but our coach would tell us to just line up and pull off towards the end of the race and he'd time us! The only difference now is, I pay the entry fee and hit the beer garden afterwards!

Amy and I with our sister in law Traci in the Beer Garden
One of the coolest things this year was that Amy did it. She is a gym rat, Zumba, Pilate's, Body Rock, Yoga type of girl that runs "on the side." She ended up doing an amazing job running 55 minutes for her first 10k. My sister in law also ran her first 10k and went sub 60 too! Along with family, my swimming nemesis ran as well as some other old friends. Overall it is one of my favorite local races and unfortunately it ended up being a week and a half after crushing my legs in the San Diego International. That race tore me up pretty good - way more than any of the half's I've done this year, just a lot more intensity and that hard 10k at the end can really make you sore. Speaking of SDIT, I'm so glad that on my first overall amateur win that they screw up my results. One result says I ran a 14 minute 10k and the other one (the one that's on the site) has me completely off of the results. I shot a quick email to the RD, but no response - oh well, no biggie - as long as I know...

You can see me in white lined up front/left
So going into the race I only put in two easy 30 minute runs in the week leading up trying to still recover from SDIT. My legs started coming around the day before, but with no intensity in 10 days - I knew I wasn't going to be 100% going in. Regardless I had my eyes set on going sub 33. We arrived to perfect conditions race morning. As usual, everyone was dressed up in Red, White and Blue, a ton of speedo's and weirdos - perfect for a 10k. After a quick progressive warm up my legs didn't quite have the pop that I wanted and I knew I was going to suffer...I lined up at the front and saw a ton of legit guys. This race always brings out a lot of talent and I knew even a sub 33 would barely crack the top 10 overall. The gun went off and after dodging the speedo sprinters, we went up the only hill of the day and I settled nicely into the 2nd pack...

Running race reports can get kind of boring, so I'll just give you a quick summary with splits. I started in 10th place and ended in 10th place overall. I didn't pass anyone and no one passed me. The 2nd pack consisted of me and two other guys. I tucked in right behind them and let them do the work.

I hit 5k in 16:31 and knew I was right on pace to go sub 33 since the last mile has a downhill. After mile 4, the two guys I was staying with pulled ahead and I knew that was my ticket to sub 33. My legs just didn't have it. Although I wasn't wearing a heart rate monitor my heavy breathing/wheezing was an indication that I was red-lining at 90% of max heart rate for the last 2.5 miles. Mile 5 I fell asleep since I didn't have a pack to stick with and had my worst mile of the day (5:37) hitting 8k in 26:5x. Good thing there was some downhill because I was smoked.

I kicked it in and my official time was 33:27 (5:24 pace), 3rd in AG, 10th Overall.

So I grabbed an "over 30" PR and was pleased with the effort. Doing two hard 10k's in a 2 week span is brutal and not something I ever want to do again. That race hurt - and it's supposed to. Matter fact, it's the only reason why I ran as fast as I did. I run three/four days a week averaging around 25 miles/week. Two of those runs are usually done at 9+ minute per mile pace. Sure I carry fitness from swimming/biking and I have a running background, but the biggest reason why I run faster then most other triathletes is because I visit "the pain cave" often. What does the pain cave look like?

You kinda want to cry/and throw up... Kicking it in at Old Pro's
Learning to hurt is so important. It's when you can make those huge gains in training/racing. I'm just now learning how to do it on the bike/swim and I've seen big improvements these past few months.

That's it, I'll just leave the rest of the story in pictures:

Another pic from SDIT I found
SDIT coming out of the water

Hitting Windy/Choppy Vail lake each week & seeing progress
Watching the TDF every single day. 10 yr Annv. Ruination with Josh here.
4th of July with grandma and cousins!
Homemade Ice Cream!
Peaches from our tree
Suffered up Palomar in the heat. 10k Race + Climbing almost 7k ft = rough day in the saddle :(
So I rewarded myself with some Hefe with lemons from our tree
And some local IPA
And some "bottle cap head" beer. If it floats, it's most likely a quality beer!

Nuun "All Day" Product Review

So I'm privileged to give you another Nuun product review. If you missed my first Nuun review make sure you check it out here. This time they sent me some of their Nuun "All Day" hydration tablets that are designed for you to sip on throughout the day keeping you fully hydrated and providing zero sugar, under 8 calories per tab, and a blend of A, B, C, D, E vitamins. There are a lot of folks that just won't drink much water throughout the day and as a multi-sport athlete - hydration is going to be key in the recovery process, so I thought I'd give them a try and let you know what I think.

I picked the Blueberry Pomegranate and Tangerine Lime to try out. Now usually I'm a little suspicious when companies advertise these ridiculous flavors like Cucumber Mint Dream (OK, I added the dream part) or Goji Berry Green Tea (actual Nuun flavors), but I must admit - I've tasted this before and it does have a hint of the Goji Berry in there...ha. No, in all seriousness though, the flavors I've tried so far really do taste like the name and they are very refreshing and quench my thirst.

Perfect Combo!
 We are pretty simple in our household. We don't have soda or any soft drinks in the house. We basically have water, coffee, almond milk and beer (the essentials right??). However, after drinking water all day long at work, when I come home I'm always craving for something else to drink. Most of the time I grab a beer to quench that thirst. This can become an expensive (and not so healthy) habit..not to mention I need to wake up at 5am to train and do it all over again and who can only drink just one beer?? Nuun has been the answer to this problem of mine. And hey, if you still need the alcohol - no worries, Nuun has you covered. Check out their latest Happy Hour blog on some tasty looking Nuun All Day Cocktail recipes!

Filling up the water bottles and adding some Nuun

Now the thing that sold me on Nuun the most is that it is sweetened with Stevia (natural sweetener). We actually grow Stevia in our garden and my wife uses it to sweeten a lot of the things she makes for me and the kids. Nuun doesn't have all of the chemicals that often come with sports drinks and I can tell because it just settles well in my stomach. As I mentioned in my last post, as a triathlete these tabs are very convenient. I throw them in my jersey when I'm cycling and refill the nasty-turned-delicious fountain water on my long rides and I throw two in my Nuun water bottle whenever I'm driving down to a race or hydrating after a long pool session. So check them out when you get a chance. If you're local in Temecula - you can get them at my favorite sponsor, The Bike Shop. If you're not you can check out Nuun's Store Locator for a store near you or you can always go straight to the source and by direct from Nuun.

Happy Hydration!