Going Big...

Working and recovering
Lots of big things happening lately. Working from home, getting into Masters three days a week, BIG rides, BIG weeks of training and getting more sleep which is allowing me to do all of the above better. About two weeks ago my boss gave me the OK to work out of the house. For those of you that have read this blog for quite some time know that for the past three years I've commuted 2.5+ hours a day to San Diego and back. This obviously took its toll on my energy levels, my training and most importantly my family time. I've been at the same company for five years now and the fact that my boss trusts me to do the work makes me want to work even harder for him.  I can't tell you the impact it has had on my life. I've never really realized what kind of toll it took on me until I stopped. The biggest thing I've seen is my recovery process. Instead of the seven hours of sleep I've been getting for years, I'm now getting 8-9 and I wake up feeling refreshed and motivated to get the day of work and training done. I see my family more also which takes away that "guilt feeling" (even though Amy's never complained) for leaving hours on the weekends to jam training in. In a nutshell my life feels balanced again and I've become a happier person because of it. Stress is way down and I think I'm gonna see some BIG gains in fitness because of it...Oh wait, I already have!

My coach James, mentioned something to me that has really stuck since he said it. He said he's stoked to see me "experience training." I've never really thought of it that way before. Even after all of these years running and then a little bit of triathlon I've always looked at training as the stepping stone to doing what I love to do...racing. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can have just as much or even more fun training if you get creative and get outside of your training bubble. So I've done that lately and it's been a lot of fun. If you've ever been to James' blog, he is the king of experiencing training and probably loves endurance sports more then anyone I know. It's inspiring. Here's what I've done lately...

Josh and I finishing up our big day in Snow Valley
It kind of all started with the ridiculous 150 mile ride from Santa Barbara to Huntington Beach, you can read about that ride HERE. Then from there I rode a crazy 6-8kft of climbing ride up in Big Bear, ran single track and swam in Snow Valley with a buddy which was totally surreal. The views I saw, the crazy 30%?!! grade that I barely made up will be a day that I never forget, thanks Josh! Then I hit up a 90 minute trail run in Vail. The first 30 minutes I did it with my buddy Stephane and we hit up some unexplored trails out there and ended up in Bushwhacking territory. It was awesome. It made it fun and different - "experiencing training." The rest of the run I did solo and it was a super windy/stormy day, but Vail never got rained on. It was dark, wind was howling, lightning in the background and just me and my feet making noise in the sand. I think I smiled the whole run.
Massi, ready to kill it at Leadman Bend!
Then this last week, I made another trip out to Huntington Beach to try and escape this crazy heat wave we've had and rode 80 miles with Massi. He's in taper mode, so he was feeling really good and I was polishing off my biggest week ever...Great. I actually felt fine until about 30 minutes left of that ride. I ran out of water and hadn't been drinking enough in that heat and ended up getting pretty nascous and even started cramping a bit once we got back. Chris got a good laugh out of that (as did I). On my way home I crammed as much fluids as I could and by the time I got home I showered, ate and drank some more - then CRASHED! Although I was flirting with heat exhaustion, I was pretty stoked that I got through that - and it's only going to make me tougher (and smarter!).

Now for the biggest game changer. I finally got into a Masters program. As much as I wanted to and tried to make it work, I could never fit in Masters swimming into my schedule. It's been impossible until now. I have always been so confused why I am so slow in the water. I felt like I always pushed myself and always swam 3-5 days a week consistently but never really saw too many solid results in the water. Now I know why! Masters is insane! I've never swam this hard or this long before. There's like 5 people in my lane so I'm always swimming scared (to not slow them down) and there are zero shortcuts on extra rest. Some of the best triathletes in Temecula Valley swim at this Masters so I know I'm in the right place. Can't wait to finally knock out a good swim in Soma. In the short two weeks I've done Masters, I've seen a significant gain in swimming fitness and confidence. Now if I could only move my arms when I run now....

Not really sure what's up for racing for now. I might jump into an 8k Cross Country race this Saturday even though this will be my first 21 hour week...should be interesting. All I'm signed up for is SOMA at this point and it has been my targeted "A race" since I didn't get into Vineman which took me out of even qualifying for WC's.

Until next week! Here's a few pics from the past few weekends...

Wife making homemade everything lately...but in this case it was
extra special because it was Frozen Yogurt!
Riding a lot of my easy days through the Vineyards
View atop one of the crazy peaks we did in Big Bear, breathtaking!
One FIT hummingbird
Celebrating big training days with some good beer
Tried and True recovery method...

Hosted a Running Clinic - we had a great turnout, stoked!

Also hosted "Stein Holding" contests at work
golf tournaments...they didn't tee off very well.
Been getting to spend more time with this guy...
And this one...Here's an early bday present thanks to family.
She's turning 4 next week :(


Damie said...

working from home- that is the most fantastic news ever. You are going to experience such an increase in quality of life with kids and wife....and the training will be a bonus! Congrats!!!!

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