The Accident...

So those of you that follow me on FG/IG or Twitter saw my post about cutting off my fingertip on Christmas Eve last week. What a way to celebrate the holidays right!? Amy and I were late as usual getting out of the house. I decided to help out by cutting the veggies with our new Mandolin Slicer! The cucumber didn't fit the guard so I decided to just use my hands...literally! That thing cuts so fast. You can't even feel if it's cutting or not because its so sharp. Before I knew it I hit my right ring finger slightly and then hit my middle finger really bad. [This is about to get descriptive so go to next paragraph if things gross you out!] As soon as I cut myself I didn't think it was that bad until I moved over to the sink and saw my fingertip fly off into the sink and down the hole. Blood started really coming out. I stopped the blood immediately by pinching down on below the cut and that's when I saw how bad it really was. My bone was peeping out of my nail. The cut was a diagonal cut so the bottom of my finger is fine. Imagine a clean cut through the nail down to the bone and out.

1992mandolinIn the heat of the moment I did not get pictures. Only my lucky wife, kids and neighbor who brought over his medic kit and saved me from bleeding all over the place and saving me a trip to the ER. Why didn't I go to the ER? Well there's not much you can do with a fingertip. There's nothing to stitch, It's too deep of a cut. I decided to kill the pain with Ibuprofen and beer for the rest of the day and keep an eye on it to make sure it stopped bleeding which thankfully it did. The last thing I wanted to do on Christmas Eve was to go wait in line at the ER for them to just do exactly what my neighbor did - stop the bleeding. During those few minutes of staring at my finger while I waited for some help the first thing that came to my mind was no swimming (like the sick triathlete I am). I've been making some big gains in the water recently. 5 days/week I've been in the water putting in 3-5k each time. Flanny has incorporated a lot of specific drills which has really help me be more efficient in the water. And then...I cut my fingertip off...1 month - maybe more away from the pool while I watch my swim fitness float away :(

[caption id="attachment_2530" align="aligncenter" width="224"]photo 4 The damaged goods..[/caption]

However, I'm not going to let it get me down. I'll take this time to really focus on biking and running and get better that way. I'll start the season a little behind in swim fitness but hopefully ahead in B/R fitness so it doesn't hurt me as bad. In the meantime I'm practicing my pain tolerance for the season. Flashing back to it, after loosing a good amount of blood, my neighbor was patching me and my exposed bone up and my wife instantly felt me get warm and sweaty. I was starting to pass out haha. Unreal. I laid down, took in some water - toughened up and went back for more. Before we knew it we were down seeing family in San Diego, enjoying Christmas while my finger throbbed with my heart while all the good beer made me numb.

This was all a good reminder to be thankful when you are swimming, biking and running because any day a freak accident like this can happen or you can get injured and it can be taken away from you. One of my goals next year is to really appreciate the fact that I get to do this - not HAVE to do this. Sure training seriously can take a lot of the fun away from the sport but I will use this accident as a good reminder that I am lucky I get to do what I do.

Well next week officially kicks of my "Kona Journey" with LAVA magazine. I built this site and have blogged months ago to help build some interest leading up to January. Hopefully it will provide great exposure to my sponsors and inspire those that want to be fast even if you are juggling a full time job and family with kids. I'm a little nervous to show the world all of my workouts - 1. It will be boring 2. I may be too slow and have no business qualifying for Kona haha. Either way, I'm excited to get some feedback and really embrace the training and hard work that lies ahead!

Hope all of you have a great and safe New Years!

[caption id="attachment_2532" align="aligncenter" width="224"]Thanks Adam for patching me up! Thanks Adam for patching me up![/caption]

photo 3


Holiday Beers

Like most people, this is my favorite time of year. Even though it's 75 in San Diego, it still FEELS like the holidays around here. Even though I ran with my shirt off at the track last night - there's that winter air smell and feel that you only get during the holiday season. I'm not afraid to admit it - I have Christmas music on 24/7, Christmas candles burning, Christmas lights hanging, decorations everywhere and traditions we are passing on to our kids. It's a lot of fun and I don't think I'll ever grow out of it. Especially since this is also the time of year where some of my favorite beers come out.

There's no doubt that I love to consume plenty of holiday beers. What better way to make something even better? Beer makes everything better! I also love to take this time to share my favorite beers with my friends and family. This year I thought I'd share my shopping list with those I can't buy a drink or share one with. Here's my top 5 Holiday Beers.  Feel free to light that candle, turn on some Christmas music and pour yourself a Christmas ale - no better way to wind down after a day of hard work and training.

My Go-To Christmas Beer

[caption id="attachment_2512" align="aligncenter" width="300"]sierra-nevada-2009-celebration-ale Sierra Nevada Celebration Ale[/caption]

I absolutely love this beer and it's always in my fridge during the holiday season. I would actually buy this year round if I could. It's easily accessible in just about any grocery store. It has the perfect malt-to-hop ratio in my opinion. Rich dark color, hoppy flavor with sweet undertones. A must have!

Favorite "Spiced" Ale

[caption id="attachment_2513" align="aligncenter" width="176"]imagesQ29HJHQK Anchor Brewing Christmas Ale[/caption]

Anchor Brewing is one of the few breweries that survived prohibition by selling root beer at the brewery while some speculate; still selling on the black market to stay afloat. What you get is a very old brewery that knows how to brew the old school way. The cool thing about this beer is it changes every single year. Same "style" of beer - think Thanksgiving/Christmas spices with a dark/rich color and flavor. Perfect pairing with Christmas dinner.

Favorite Winter Warmer

[caption id="attachment_2514" align="aligncenter" width="300"]339197_300350166662843_205756879455506_991978_428337210_o Avery Old Jubilation Ale[/caption]

If you can get your hands on this, snatch it up right away. I fell in love with this beer when we lived in Boulder for a short stint. Even though it only gets down to about 40 degrees at night out here for us, after a few of these you'll warm right up. I'm fascinated with the copper color, toffee flavor and how smooth this beer is.

Winter Warmer Part II

[caption id="attachment_2516" align="aligncenter" width="300"]12172012-best-winter-ales-anderson-valley-winter-solstice Anderson Valley Winter Solstice[/caption]

Anderson Valley always has good beers but this one is slowly becoming one of my favorite holiday beers. Weighing in at 6.9% ABV, just think Carmel apple flavors that are really thick and warms you up instantly. Bonus - it comes in cans!

Strongest Winter Ale

[caption id="attachment_2517" align="aligncenter" width="300"]sam-adams-utopia-xl Sam Adams Utopia[/caption]

Advertised as the strongest beer in the world weighing in at 27%ABV - what better way to warm up during the holiday season?? I've been lucky enough to try it - as it's not easy to find in some areas. It's not carbonated like your typical beer. It tastes a lot like a fine cognac - sweet/strong but with a ton of flavor. It's the holiday season, dish out that $150/bottle and share it with your family - it will truly be something everyone will remember!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas. Drink good beer, have a lot cheer. Be Safe. Love you all!

Weekend in LA

Last weekend was a blast. I took off Friday from work and headed up to get a professional bike fitting from THE man Jim Manton from ERO Sports at the Velo Sports Center aka. The Olympic Training site for the US cycling team.  I literally got fit a stone throw away from the $15M dollar indoor Velo track and was even treated to some Olympians doing some high cadence work on it while Jim worked his magic. Those that don't know Jim's name, he fits the US and Canadian cycling teams, has fit just about every major pro triathlete in the circuit and to my benefit is good friends with Wattie so I was able to afford seeing him without breaking the bank! I went away with not only a better/faster fit but also walked away with a lot of insight of where the future of cycling is going. It was a lot of fun talking with Jim and just the whole experience at the 125 acre "Official Olympic Training site." If you're looking for a fit, I highly recommend going to see him - even if you have to fly far to do it. Thanks to Massi for recommending him to me!

Here's my before/after pics:

[caption id="attachment_2496" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Before Before[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2495" align="aligncenter" width="300"]13 After[/caption]

I'm no where close to an expert on bike fit but here are some numbers and a breakdown of some of Jim's thoughts on my old/new fit:

  • My old fit likely caused the injuries I've struggled with over the past year (all on my right leg)

  • My old fit likely contributed to a lot of the cramping I was getting in races

  • Jim recommended 165mm cranks opposed to my 172.5mm cranks

  • My new fit includes a 6cm increase in drop

  • Reach was extended to 4.5cm

The biggest thing I see is in the before pic I look like your average Joe triathlete and the after pic I actually look like I am racing. My old fit never felt comfortable. Everything always seemed forced and awkward. With the new position Jim mentioned climbing in the bars will be a lot easier, I'm going to be a lot more aero and also get more out of my entire pedal stroke = more watts. Looking forward to 2014!

11After the fit, I headed over to fellow friend/team mate Dusty Nabor's house to get ready for a fun weekend that was going to be capped off with his annual Christmas Party. Wattie team mates from all over the country flew in for this one. Why? Because he throws really really good parties. Some of us arrived Friday and he surprised us with a limo and a great dinner/night out in North Hollywood. We ate at Bow & Truss, enjoyed some of the best wine I've ever had including a Justin Isosceles. Amazing!

Ba5sEztCAAA1OdOWoke up the next day with a bit of a headache but still knocked out some yardage in the pool under a misty rain with some awesome team mates. Dusty prepared a great workout for JJ, pro Erin Green (another Flanny athlete) and I. Erin and I were treated to some very fast experienced swimmers in Dusty and JJ. JJ even picked up some things I was doing wrong in my stroke so - I had some good tips/coaching from a dude that hadn't touched the water in months, goes in and crushes the workout! After a great bfast it was onto a 2.5 hr. trainer session in Dusty's training lair room. I had to get a ride in (thanks Flanny!). I just adjusted the volume up to try and drown out all the partying, laughing and fun the rest of my team mates were having. Luckily I had a little bit of company - some gave me sombrero's to wear, some brought gifts of donuts and beer (love my team mates). I was glad when that ride was over. Then it was time to prep the mind, body and soul for some fun that night!

12Nacho aka. Ron Schmidt my roommate for the weekend got some rest and naturally started drinking before the festivities. Nacho does not drink water come to find out. Like, seriously doesn't drink any. Just beer and coffee. So awesome/inspiring. We headed to the hotel bar where we saw the man Wattie himself show up with his lovely lady Heather Jackson. The rest is just a blur. Lots. of. fun. Basically laughing/dancing the entire night. Everyone had a permanent smile on their face and I can't thank Dusty enough for an awesome night. After he made a little announcement the team presented Wattie with a year-end gift for all he's done for the team. We gave him a Breitling watch. Baller!

[caption id="attachment_2497" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Wattie & HJ Wattie & HJ[/caption]

Some more pics from the weekend:

photo 1photo 3 photo 4 2 1

Also got a cool video of the track HERE.


[caption id="attachment_2491" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Dinner! Dinner![/caption]


[caption id="attachment_2499" align="aligncenter" width="225"]Trainer time... Trainer time...[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2509" align="aligncenter" width="223"]Capped off the weekend with the family at the Seaport Village xmas light boat parade! Capped off the weekend with the family at the Seaport Village xmas light boat parade![/caption]



Minor Set Back

So I took a week off of blogging to enjoy Thanksgiving with family and friends. There's no doubt it's one of my favorite times of the year. It's just a great way to get all the families together to enjoy some good food, beer and watch the kids run around. I even hit up some local breweries (Societe and Stone) with friends to make the long weekend an even better one.

Flashback a week before Thanksgiving and I was on the track doing 10x400 repeats at 5k pace. I was contemplating whether or not to jump into an ultra competitive "Turkey Trot" a week later and this workout was going to be my answer to that question. I was just getting back into the swing of things running wise and hadn't really done any speed work so a 5k was going to be questionable at best. After cranking out 10 all right in at 1:17 (5:09 pace) with only 40 seconds rest I felt really good and decided to pull the trigger on racing a week later. The goal was to go 16:16 which is what I did 2 years ago on the same course. I felt it was obtainable and was really excited to race until...

abc6ac2f8c328e2674a2c9f415da6aedTuesday I was slated for a short little tune up workout on the track. Some 150's and 600's, just to get the legs woken up for some speed! After only a few reps my calf grabbed and I was done and so was my shot at an over 30 5k PR a few days later. Even though it was my calf the injury really lies behind my knee. There's some weird misalignment with some tendons/muscles (excuse my lack of savvy-ness here) that creates issues from the knee all the way down to my heel on that same leg. It's been giving me problems dating all the way back to San Diego International this year. We think it is stemming from a poor bike fit. So this Friday I'm going to see Jim Manton at Ero Sports. He's fit folks you may have heard of: Bradley Wiggins, Heather Jackson and a ton of other pro's not to mention a few of my teammates who said to never use anyone else. So needless to say, I'm excited to spend some time there and get my bike fit done by the best in the business.

There are a bunch of other exciting things in the mix for 2014 - some I can't share quite yet but it's really starting to motivate me during the "off season." My blog will go live at Lava Magazine starting in January which I'm excited about and is already opening some cool opportunities. Although I will be posting all of my workouts, I still want to keep this blog intimate. Not a place to just see numbers but more of an avenue of inspiration (so I hope).

[caption id="attachment_2476" align="alignleft" width="300"]photo Some cold 4:30am wake up calls with Mike & Sarah![/caption]

For now my life has been all about the pool. Been spending a lot of time there and I feel like I am seeing drastic improvements in my efficiency/form. My swimming "fitness" isn't quite where I want it yet but I'm definitely going faster with less effort which is so SO huge for me. Not only do I have fast lane mates but a lot of them are coaches or have a very successful backgrounds in swimming. So I've just been trying to learn as much as I can and come into 2014 as a different swimmer. I want to be that triathlete that gets on the bike and can hit it hard right away without the swim taking away from the bike or run which it always has done to me in the past. For those of you that have trained with me know that my bike and run times in races don't nearly match what I'm truly capable of. I believe that it all stems from the swim. It's equivalent to doing a 2x1 mile run all out and then trying to do a fast 56 mile ride and 13.1 mile run afterwards. I'm getting into oxygen debt and cramping up just 30 minutes into a long race! I'm hoping to change that next year and race up to my capabilities because I really don't think I've reached my peak or potential yet. Hopefully these consistent 16-20k yds/week with a 12 week drill/technique swim (2 times/week) gives me fresh legs for the bike/run, gets me on top of the podium and ultimately to Kona!

As far as the mustache goes...December 1st came and the mustache left! Movember was a lot of fun. I raised a little money and got a lot of weird looks. It will truly be a month I'll always remember!

[caption id="attachment_2478" align="aligncenter" width="300"]mustache photo 1 Fun times with Jaime & Irving![/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2479" align="aligncenter" width="225"]photo 3 Me and the wifey[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2481" align="aligncenter" width="300"]photo 5 Cousins on the trampoline[/caption]

[caption id="attachment_2480" align="aligncenter" width="225"]photo 4 Cheers to the holiday season![/caption]