All work, some play

I'll admit last Nov/Dec I was super un-motivated, burnt out and started forcing myself to train when the time came. I ended up taking a step back, enjoyed the holidays and went into just full on unstructured/no pressure training mode. By the end of December and beginning of January I felt very refreshed and ready to tackle my third season. I think it goes back to listening to your body instead of telling it what to do (believe it or not - you're not in charge). I recently had an article published over at Tri Cal about this exact subject - go check it out HERE.

January has been a big month for me. I've had a ton of fun with Amy and the kids, killing it at work, nutrition dialed in and workouts have been flawless. My "new normal" in swimming has really changed. I used to think 10k/week was putting me on the right track on getting faster in the water. Then some of my pool lane mates are doing 10-20k a day! Not saying I have intentions of doing that amount of crazy swimming but it really opens up your mind to what the body is possible of doing. I've about doubled my yardage in the pool and have seen some big gains. Sometimes when you see the discipline in others it helps motivate you you step up your game. Love my swim mates!

As far as cycling and running - I just keep surprising myself each week. Last year I tried sooo hard and everything just seemed like a struggle to get through. This year it's coming easy without even trying to hard. I don't know if it's because I hit that magic third year and all the hard work is starting to finally pay off or if it's just me being very smart with my workouts. Probably both - I don't care I'm just going to keep my head down and keep doing what I'm doing and have fun doing it...
Amy making homemade ravioli
You hear about this book a lot these days. For
good reason, buy it!
Allen's rice cakes from the book. Real food ride snacks!
Staple dessert after big days
Spending time with my favorite lil girl

Wine tasting date with Amy
Riding a lot...

Climbing a lot...
Not AS much...but still enjoy it. New brewery - Helm's Brewing Co
 14 weeks until Ironman St. George 70.3...I'm coming with a lot of hate.

Shocking the Body

Thanks Massi for the sweet shot
Just like everyone else...busy. Didn't get a post out last week and that seems to be more common these days because...well, I'm training. It's game time. No more lax/unstructured training schedule. Tri season is upon us and even though it's only January, I'm faster than I ever was. I'm more hungry then I've ever been and I'm more confident and aggressive going into this season. One of the benefits of being my own coach this time around has allowed me to really dictate my schedule on a day-to-day, hour-by-hour basis. I probably switch up my schedule three times/day in my head. Just listening for cues from my body on whether or not I'm prepared to nail it or take it easy in all three sports. In a way, I'm "shocking my body" by breaking the routine I've always had. I'll throw in workouts at weird times of the day, put in little mini-sport specific training blocks in and really keep my body guessing while listening to it at the same time. I started the off-season off by following everything by the book and naturally just went to a day-by-day approach and since I've been doing that--I've seen big gains in fitness across the board.

9 Year Anniversary montage
I guess the one workout that comes to mind to me over the past few weeks that I'll share is my solo journey from Ramona to Warner Springs to Temecula. It's a ride I've been thinking about doing over the past year or so but just never had the opportunity until this last weekend. To back up a bit, the night before Amy and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary down in La Jolla. We started by looking at some art then did some olive oil/wine tasting at We Olive and then ate at Eddie V's for the first time. Now back when I was in sales Amy and I had the luxury of going to Ruth's Chris and Donovan's from time to time and it was always a special treat to do so. It's been awhile since we've gone to a fancy restaurant, but what better way then to do it then on our anniversary. $300+  later we just enjoyed the best meal of our lives! Holy crap, it was worth every penny and I highly recommend that place if you live in soCal or are coming out to visit.

Ride montage
I thought waking up the next day with four glasses of wine and a 15 year old scotch in my belly would be painful to start the ride but I actually felt great. I think there's something to be said when you drink high quality alcohol. No fogginess! I know soCal has it good when it comes to weather but this winter has been particularly cold. 20's is 20's no matter where you live and add a serious headwind that I rode into all day all by myself and my bike set up a pretty epic day for me. As miserable and cold that I was all day I had a smile on my face the entire ride. Where else do you have four hours of alone time to just think to yourself? It may seem crazy to some people but out of those four hours I received self-meditation, enjoyed nature, got a great workout and dreamed the entire ride. When you go on a ride, you're not just riding aimlessly - I've grown to love riding my bike more then any of the three sports (running is actually last on my list these days) and my ride fitness has sky-rocketed because of that love.
Other then the ride, I've been getting in the water quite a bit, particularly with the snorkel and band. It's done wonders for my stroke (especially my recovery arm) and can't thank fellow Wattie team mate Dusty Nabor for the little bit of mentoring he's been giving me for my swimming alongside my awesome swim coach (Coach Carol--who's crazy fast) so my swimming has improved and most importantly my CONFIDENCE has improved which I think is very important, especially with swimming being my limiter.

No half marathon for me this year. I was going to do R&R AZ then changed my mind to Surf City and then ultimately decided on skipping out this year. When I do half marathons, I RACE them. I don't trot so each time I do them the next day I can barely walk. It takes me a good two weeks to recover from them and I don't want to sacrifice the training time I could get during that. I have nothing to prove with my running. I know I can run. I need to swim and bike fast and that all starts with the Desert International in Palm Springs in March. I'm already itching to race and it'll be exciting to see how much faster I am this year compared to last year.

Until them, CHEERS!!!

Ramona to Temecula stats/ride
Wattie train on another monster ride, shot by Walsh
This is what has been keeping me warm. Cheers friends/family!

2012 in Review

If I had to pick one word to describe 2012 it would be FUN. It's been awhile since I've had a year that felt that way. It's a combination of family, training, friends and even work - overall it's just been a blast and I can't wait to carry that over into 2013. Although in this blog I can often times sound very serious about triathlon - if you know me in person, I'm really not that way. This blog is just an outlet to discuss my training, racing and some personal life experiences. Sometimes I can come across as intense or too serious on paper but just keep in mind that although I do put a lot of time/energy into triathlon - it isn't my life - it's just a part of it and I intend on keeping it that way.

This doesn't mean I don't want to go fast. That's really the only reason why I race triathlons. I don't do them to be an average triathlete that trains occasionally and their goal is to travel and finish races. There is nothing wrong with that - but it's not in my DNA. I love to compete and triathlon is my outlet and I'm having waaay too much fun doing it. In wrapping up 2012 in my 2nd year as a triathlete, although I went through hell trying to figure out long course and cramping I did come away with a lot of positives from the year - here's some highlights:
  • Podiumed 7 out of 10 races (top 3)
  • PR'd Sprint, Olympic and 70.3
  • Had my 1st Overall Amatuer win (short course)
  • Swam 254 miles (little embarrassed by this number as I still swam slow this year)
  • PR'd 1.2M swim in 70.3- 34:17 (see above note...)
  • PR'd 1500M swim in 24:56
  • PR'd 40k Bike in 59:28
  • PR'd 13.1 run in 70.3 - 1:23
  • Ran a 1:14 1/2 marathon
  • Ran a 33:27 10k
  • Ran a 16:15 5k
This isn't a bragging sheet as it's more of me trying to instill confidence in myself that I had a good year haha. I still have a lot of weak links in my training and racing but I feel like I've done a good job working on those in the off season and definitely feel more prepared going into 2013. I'm a lot faster swimmer and cyclist than I was last year at this time. My running is like the black sheep of the three. It gets neglected A LOT. I only averaged 19 miles a week last year and it was intended that way. I put way more time into swimming and cycling just to get it anywhere near my running talents. Now that I like where my swimming and cycling is heading - I'm going to capitalize now on some more running and really use it as a weapon at the end of races this year.

Even though I became a faster triathlete in 2012 I think the biggest thing I learned is patience. I expected to jump into triathlon and just dominate 70.3's. I was so naive and so disrespectful to those that put in the work and did their time. I haven't gotten there yet, but when I do - I'll be on that 70.3 podium.

Check out my race schedule for 2013. If you're in the 30-34 age group and you're fast - Let's race!!! 
You can't miss a Wattie. Beers after as always.

Some pics from 2012 racing:

R&R AZ 1/2 Marathon
Strapping on the Work hat and getting ready to do some work at IM Oceanside
Starting the day on the bike at Wildflower

SDIT with Massi and Wattie

Podium at Santa Barbara Long Course

What really matters...

Cheers to 2013!