1 week out, St. George

This has been an interesting way to prep for a race. As I've mentioned in previous posts, I've been down for the count with sickness. The past 10 days I've been able to get in some pretty good workouts. Although I can't seem to shake this sore throat, all of the chest congestion has left and has at least allowed me to get in some decent S,B,R miles. So instead of the steady taper for this race, I've been ramping up volume/intensity to at least try and put together a decent race next weekend. At this point the more volume/intensity the better off I'll be. My legs are fresh but just not sharp and really lacking endurance more then anything. Last week I put in a pretty hard 4 hour ride and four weeks ago, that kind of ride wouldn't have phased me much. This time it left me on the couch for the rest of the day, just completely wiped out. Swimming is coming back slowly - no where near the shape I was going into Oceanside and running? Well tonight will be the first intensity I've done in a few months ...We shall see!

This Saturday's Elevation profile!
This Saturday I rolling up to the Alpine Challenge with my buddy Andrew for the 63 mile "Pine Valley" ride. Includes about 6,800 feet of climbing - so it's going to be ideal for trying to get my climbing legs back for St. George. I would have loved to do the 100 miler, but don't want to completely destroy myself for next weeks race. Although all of my buddies/team mates are heading to Wildflower next weekend, I'm still pretty stoked to race in St. George. We are making a vacation out of it, staying in a house with some friends that has a pool, kegerator, pool table...etc. It's going to be a nice way to relax and wind down for the race instead of dealing with the heat in a tent like we did at Wildflower last year.

That is all, hopefully next post includes me writing pool side, relaxing and getting ready for the race!

Camping fun

Nothing better than a good beer around the
campfire with great company!
With this sickness sidelining me for so long - I had a lot of down time. This sinus infection has really been  interesting because with the help of some over-the-counter meds I'd be fine and could perform everyday tasks. But when I tried exercising I would instantly start getting that fever feeling and it would sideline me for the next several days. So I took a lot of time off in hopes that it wouldn't come back even worse like it has on me two different occasions now. It's not worth ruining the season just trying to get ready for St. George. Being quite stubborn, I did not want to let go of St. George. I have visualized this race in my head over and over since November. This has been my "A" race and all of my off season work has been geared towards this type of course. What I didn't imagine is being out for the count so long. This A race has now become a C race for me. I took more time off then I did in the off season and it shows. This is my first week back and it really feels like I am starting all over. I know it should come back fast but I also don't want to push it and risk making my sickness worse...Yes, I'm still coughing up green crap.  Soooo over it. So St. George is now going to be a fun family get-a-way with friends and team mates. We're going to make a vacation out of it, visit Zion, different parts of Vegas and really enjoy ourselves. The race? Well it's going to be more of a big workout for me now and I'll be sure to treat it that way. There's a good chance I'll be lounging by the pool with a beer in hand most of the time leading up to the race. And I'm OK with that!

Love opening day!!!
With the downtime came some fun non-triathlon related activities. I went to the Padres opening day, worked an EXPO at the convention center for work and went camping with family/friends. Amy and I grew up camping and during our first 5 years of marriage sans kids, we did a lot of it. Since we've had them, we've slowly backed off just because of how hard it is to tent camp with two little ones running around. Only this time, we camped about 15 minutes away from Amy's folks so they were generous enough to loan us their 5th wheel for the weekend. Man, what a difference! Time to start saving some pennies, because camping with a trailer/motorhome with kids was a blast! Cousins everywhere, family, friends, campfires, horseshoes, great weather and great beer made for a really cool weekend. Although I would have to say the highlight of the weekend for me was watching Scarlett ride the first few days on her training wheels only to take them off and ride without them for the first time on the third day! It was one of the most proud moments a dad can have. She's been asking me for the past three months and telling me that she's ready and that she wants them off, but the paranoid dad (me) didn't think she was ready. I learned a lot from this. Never doubt Scarlett! I did a few laps with her running alongside her, but eventually realized she didn't need me anymore....The first of many experiences like this to come....She's getting big waaay too fast and I am so proud of her.

As far as training/racing goes....The gameplan at this point is to slowly add volume/intensity up to St. George. Pretty much the opposite of what you'd do in a typical "Peak" period of a training plan but I need it. I need to get some decent climbing legs in me before I hit this hell-ish course. Just over two weeks to go!

Here's some pics from the weekend:

So many kiddos!!!

Taylor, the mechanic

Here's Scarlett with the training wheels...
1st bike ride!!!
Love throwing shoes
Good beer was consumed, Lightning Brewery (Poway, CA)- Double IPA
Western themed EXPO for work...Like the stache??
Scarlett's princess carriage for Awana's. Amy did such a good job in just a few hours of work!

Tried a new recipe from the feedzone, really good. Never though Anchovies would taste like salty beef jerky!

Sick of being Sick

Yesterday marked the 30th day of zero exercise just in this year alone. That is more than I took off last year combined! Pretty much our whole family has been hit hard with this flu season. Amy was talking with the doctor last week and he said there have been three really bad strain of flu's to hit this year, the worst he's seen in years. Even if you got a flu shot - most likely you were still vulnerable to it. The sicknesses I've had -have not been the typical stuffy nose, cough, sore throat etc. They have been the serious ones. Viral Bronchitis, Sinus infections, fever - all the worst ones to have when you are a triathlete. I was almost fully recovered until I raced Oceanside. I felt good for the first time two days before the race and then the day after the race I woke up with a raging sinus infection. The past few weeks have been very minimal in training. One of those things where you really have to be careful so you don't end up with pneumonia. I went on a ride the other day and had to turn back. Started breaking out in sweats, feeling fever-y again and just not right. So needless to say, I'm really bummed as we hit three weeks out from Ironman St. George 70.3.

It's a good thing I qualified for Vegas at Oceanside because it looks like St. George is going to be just more of a workout day for me. I cannot risk jumping into a tough three week block to try and get ready for the race. It's just not worth it. I've already relapsed from two sicknesses this year from racing and cannot afford to miss anymore time off. It's super depressing. For those of you that work out often and constantly get that endorphin high, when you miss workouts - it really brings on a chemical imbalance to your body and leaves you....well a bit depressed. I still try and look at it as a positive though. I was going to take a few easy weeks after St. George to start slowly building towards Vegas, so now with all this time off - I'll just have a longer base-building phase which will make me even more strong leading into build and the World Championships.

Does anybody have any great tips for staying healthy through the flu season? Especially ones with kids? We feel like we do what we can to prevent it to spreading in our home but are always open to any one's advice. This is what we currently do:
1. Eat very clean.
2. Top of the line SportMulti multi-vitamins, supplements, immune boosters...etc
3. Sanitize our hands often.
4. Clean house, clean carpet
5. All bathe very often!
6. Exercise
7. Ton of water (no soft drinks)
8. Try to avoid other sick kids/people when possible
9. Plenty of sleep

I've become a bit of a germ-a-phobe since I started racing triathlon, but would love to hear what everyone else does to stay healthy!

That's all I've got. Lack of training and beer makes this blog a bit dull haha. Hopefully the blog next week brings good news on the training front!

2013 Ironman Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

Bringing it in from a hard day
What an amazing weekend with family, friends, teammates and just the great atmosphere Ironman provides. This was my second "Ironman" race - last year was Oceanside too; although, this one had a happy ending. I went into Desert Tri about a month ago just getting over sickness, raced and then it came back worse. The week before the race I spent 5 days of zero exercise. Viral bronchitis accompanied with a fever - I was miserable and definitely wasn't ideal going into this race. About two days before the race - I finally started feeling like myself again, just not as sharp as I was feeling going into Desert Tri. I checked in at the EXPO on Thursday after work, and met up with fellow teammate Mu and an old friend (from high school) Kendra Goffredo - who ended up being the female overall amateur champion! After the EXPO I picked up our sweet new Wattie Ink kit and then Friday it was all about resting as much as I could around dealing with last minute bike issues (thanks Bike Shop!! - I'm in debited to you!), packing, and getting the kids down to the grandparents so Amy and I would be kid-free for the race and post-race festivities.

Slice ready to rip, thanks Dusty again for loaning wheels!
Pre-race: I powered down my new pre-race meal scrambled eggs with sweet potatoes. I've been experimenting on the off-season with pre-ride/pre-swim meals. Just listening to my body and seeing how it responds to different meals. Everyone is SO different so I think it's key to not listen to what the magazines say but experiment with what works for you. The protein and carb combo work great for me. I sipped on water took two e21 capsules and Powerbar Perform up till the race start and even had a half of a Powerbar to top of my glycogen stores. Got body-marked by my lane mate Heather! And just chatted it up with a lot of friends and teammates - which really makes it fun. Some people get nervous before the race, but to me, the pre-race vibe is my favorite part of racing. You can just feel all of the energy in the transition area, all of the smiles and laughs - it just rubs off on you and I love it.
Swim: 1.2 miles -30:00 (1:33 pace) 47th out of the water in AG

I know, I couldn't swim one second faster! I wore my Garmin for the first time and as soon as I got out of the water and saw 29:5x, I gave a big fist pump and yelled in excitement which probably cost me that one second lol. Problem was transition was just up the ramp so breaking 30 will have to come another day. A lot of people were criticizing the swim saying it was short. That's the problem when you have people with Garmins and then outsiders not seeing the conditions. Some people had 1.2M, some had 1.1M - I think the REAL reason why it was fast was because of the conditions. They were absolutely perfect. Last year once you leave the bay we ran into a TON of chop which is pretty normal for this race. This year it was all glass and maybe even a bit of a current coming back in. My 10 cents...I lined up on the front just to the outside with my sweet Blueseventy Element goggles. My goal was to ease into it at the start this time instead of blowing up like I usually do. Once we were approaching the turn around I found myself leading what I think was the 3rd pack. I ended up swimming with one guy all the way home from there, both of us taking turns leading. We caught the tail end of the second HUGE pack coming in and even though I was 47th out of the water - I was just at the tail end of a bunch of high 28-30 min guys. I couldn't be more pleased with the swim as everyone knows that reads this blog that I have put a lot of time in the water over the off season. This is a 4 1/2 min PR and even though I'm pleased with the time - everyone that beat me in this race was 2-6 mins faster than me out of the water. At least it's progress.

T1: 3:24

T1 is a long run up to transition area and I was actually happy I was up more near the bike exit which meant more running sans bike. I sprinted as hard as I could. My heart rate reached it's highest point coming out of the swim and sprinting to my bike. The only problem was I was breathing so hard I was a little delirious trying to get my wetsuit off and getting outta there. No doubt, my transitions need work!

Bike: 56 miles (~2800 ft of climbing) - 2:34:06 (AVG 21.8mph) 14th place off the bike

I started the bike just a bit conservative. My heart rate was still sky high from that swim so I wanted to get it down a bit and take in some nutrition before I started hammering. Looking back on it, I wish I would have started hammering earlier (more on this later)...My bike set up was simple. One bottle of Powerbar Perform in the cage and a small water bottle of Perform in my tri top in case I lost bottles throughout the course. I weight 138 pounds so to keep my bike light too, I try and carry the least amount of nutrition possible. I had a bento box with one Powerbar and four e21 capsules. No doubt about it the e21 capsules were key in me not cramping. They are the most powerful electrolyte boost available on the market and it's all from a natural source and they work GREAT for me. I'll have a discount code shortly or if you see me ask me about them and I can get you some samples. If you cramp or struggle with electrolyte imbalances, you need to get your hands on this stuff. So that's all I had, I drank three bottles total of Perform and ate 3/4 of a bar. Feel free to critique my nutrition, I train pretty minimal, so I race minimal and I felt great the whole race (not stomach issues or feelings of bonking).

Bringing it home w/my KASK Crono...
I fought my way up to the second pack. We all flip flopped for the first 30 miles are so. Referees were everywhere making sure no drafting was going on - another great thing about Ironman. Once we hit that first major climb I hit it fairly hard and dropped a lot of people then on the second climb I hit it even harder and when I looked back there was no one in sight. At this point I had passed 32 people in my AG on the bike. In front of me there was no one in sight. I was in no mans land, fighting this crazy headwind up these hills. I just stayed on it as much as I could. When you don't have anyone in front of you to help you target and push the pace, it can be tough. I finally started catching some pro girls and at that point I thought maybe I was having a pretty good bike split. It wasn't until about the 45 mile mark or so that I realized my split was going to be waaay off of what I though it'd be. I really thought I could break 2:30 on this course but it wasn't going to happen today. I had to overcome that those last 11 miles as speedy Adam Zucco (35-39 AG) flew by me like I was a child. With hardly anyone is sight ahead of me I started having a bad feeling that the first pack in my AG were waaay up there. Time to go to work on the run...
Such a cool shot Amy got...putting on socks and KSWISS
and my comfortable Fuelbelt!
T2: 1:47

Nothing special here. Those 47 seconds came from putting on my socks. I hate doing this but it tears up my feet for weeks if I don't. Not worth missing future training for...

Run: 13.1 miles - 1:24:45 (AVG 6:28 pace)

My goal pace was 6-6:15 for the run. As I've mentioned before in previous posts, my running has been sent to the back burner these past several months. I've been putting time in the water instead and just hoped that my 15-20 miles/week would suffice. The 10k at the Desert TRI I felt like I made the right decision...After this half...Not so much. That 1:24 was waaay harder than it should have been. My first 10k I was nailing all 6-6:15's then I just started progressively slowing down and there was nothing I could do about it. When I first got a glance at my competition I saw friend and stud Reilly Smith aka. Godzilla coming back and I was waaaay back. I figured he was in the lead so now I had to try and figure out how many were behind him. At this point we were mixed up with the pro's so it was pretty hard to figure that out. I just started gritting it out. The cool thing about my early wave time I was actually able to run with some of the pros that were on their second lap. I hung with Kyle Leto for awhile before he dropped me. It was just a cool experience and kinda lit a fire in me to become a better runner. As I started my second lap I saw women's pro champion and Wattie Ink Queen Heather Jackson coming in. I kept waiting to see second place but they were waaay back. Incredible that she just blew away a field like that, amazing!

Because of my lack of running miles, my IT band flared up big time and I ended up hobbling the last 3-4 miles home. Absolutely brutal. As I was rolling up to the finish I spotted #Eurostar (who's trending on twitter btw) who gave me an ass slap and as much as I was deep in pain, he got me to laugh - shows you the power of humor (pics below)! The family, friends and Wattie crew support was absolutely amazing. Pretty much every part of that course I had someone cheering and it helps tremendously - I thank you all!

Time: 4:34:02 - 8th in AG **Ironman 70.3 World Championships Qualified

I had a 13+ minute PR and it really didn't surprise me. Without the cramps I was able to just race. I think my only mistake was not hitting the bike harder earlier. I'm learning in order to place high and win these races there's no such thing as pacing. You just have to rely on your fitness and go after it the ENTIRE time. Walsh always tried to explain this to me last year but it never made sense because I would cramp. Now that it's not longer an issue- IT IS ON in St. George. After the race I had no idea where I placed. My parents, aunt/uncle who watched me for the first time race (which was awesome!) said Ironman live showed me at 10th place. My realistic goal was to place top 10, my secret goal was top 5. So I was semi-happy with the result at the time.

One of the many celebratory beers for qualifying
All I know I was ready to eat. We went to Breakwater Brewing - (my first time) and was impressed. A pitcher of IPA (thanks Danny!) and some pizza later my dad said Ironman updated me to 8th place. Score! Oceanside was giving 4 slots to my age group so with the three international competitors ahead of me and the hopes that some of them claimed at late races last year- I felt I had a pretty good shot at getting a roll down. Amy and I headed down to awards/slot allocation and sure enough I got the last spot! I was sooo stoked to get it in my first race. My A race and focus has been St. George this entire off season and if I didn't get it there I was going to have to spend a lot of money chasing that slot at other Ironman races around the country. Not ideal. So overall, excited about my performance and I know there is A LOT more in me for 70.3. This was a great learning experience and I can't wait to tow the line at Vegas with the fastest triathletes in the world. The fire has been re-ignited because of it. Time to get to serious work!

Here's a bunch more pics from the awesome weekend. Thanks for reading, supporting and being a part of my little triathlon story...

Probably my favorite picture from the day. #Eurostar. Best spectator ever.
I think I was a little shocked that I broke 30 (or at least I thought I had...)
Racking my bike in T2...notice sweet e21 tats!
Dude was STRUGGLING!!!
Despite hurting most of the run, I'm proud I kept good form throughout...key in going fast!
#Eurostar sequence 1 "The Chase"

#Eurostar sequence 2 "The Slap"
#Eurostar sequence 3 "The Laugh" photo credit: Kevin from Tri Lounge,
email me back and I want to frame this one!
DONE! Thanks ISM saddles for the comfy ride! and my sweet
new Rudy Project Stratofly's. So comfy!
Thanks mom and dad for the support all these years!!
My #1 supporter. Couldn't have done ANY of this without Amy, love.
Claiming my spot to Vegas!
Sign of relief. Vegas bound!
Cheers to that! Thanks bro for an amazing stout