Rest & Test Week

Kiddos ready to go look at xmas lights!
For the past month or so I've kind of stayed away from blog posts about training. It's the holidays after all right!?? I've definitely done my fair share of training but honestly the thought and "act" of training has been on the back burner this month. Since Thanksgiving it's been all about spending quality time with family, friends and really just planning my 2013 season. Putting on paper my objectives for the year, my races and most importantly- mapping out my training schedule. I've been having a lot of fun coaching myself so far this year. This is the most I've ever been involved in my training/planning and it actually has added a higher level of focus as I go into each week and each workout. I learned so much from Walshie last year that I pretty much know what I need to do to get fast and it forces me to be "in-tune" with my body by listening to it and making changes on a limb if I need to.

Getting ready for my 1000 TT
Last week was my rest and test week. Basically my first test to gauge fitness as I head into Base 2 for my build to Ironman St. George 70.3. Basically it's a 1000 yd TT swim, 30 minute TT ride, and a 30 min TT run. The result? I pretty much picked right up where I left off leading up to SOMA which puts me waay ahead of where I thought I would be this time of the year. I have taken a lot of days off, only cruising in zones 1/2 and I still knocked out times/HR zones that I was only doing when I was peaked and ready to rock the last race of the season this year. So the only way to go is up from here. I look forward to building and seeing where my fitness is once we get closer to St. George. The numbers? Well I said this wouldn't be a numbers focused blog, but this is also a training log for me too - so if you roll your eyes, skip over this part and deal with it...haha:

Swim 1000 TT: 15:04 (1:30 pace). Just a solo TT (no wetsuit) in my HOA pool. Can't remember if this is a PR or not. I think I swam 14 low at SD International this year with a wetsuit so swim fitness is definitely getting better. The biggest take away here is that I actually haven't been in the water much these past few months (my lane mates would agree) because of crazy work schedule. Overall pleased with the results.

Bike 30 min TT: 12.1 miles in 30 minutes (24.2 mph). I didn't exactly do this the way it was supposed to be planned. I had a long ride scheduled so I ended up doing this right smack in the middle of a 60 mile ride with 3k of climbing. Either way I was pleased with the pop I had in my legs despite only doing easy rides for the past few months.

Run 30 min TT: 5.5 miles in 30 mins (5:29 pace). This was probably the biggest surprise of the three. My running volume has been pretty low, slow and inconsistent mainly on purpose these past few months to try and rid of PF issues I've had all year. So I just took the first half mile as an easy build and then went sub 27 for the last five miles. Solo, on the track at night and freezing. My kind of night! I had a lot of fun getting on the track and couldn't believe the results I had on such lack of running.

Overall I am way ahead of where I projected myself to be. The swim was right about where I expected it but the ride/run is where I thought I'd be in March so needless to say I'm stoked heading into 2013.

Few pics over the past week. Happy New Years!

Son got everything firetruck, police and ambulance related
Princess stuff for the princess
Beer for me in my new Ruination Bomber glass!

Some riding with The Professor
New cook book
Teaching my son how to shave
Amy and her nightly Yoga Sessions with the kids
Beer tasting with good friends
And maybe a bit of scotch....Happy Holidays!!!

"Hoppy" Holidays

If you're anything like me, you love the seasonal beers that come out during the holidays. I pretty much exclusively drink IPA's year round except for in Nov-Dec...I cut down my IPA intake and get my hands on some of the best beers the holidays have to offer. Some call them the "Winter Warmers." Although we still see a lot of sun in December in SoCal - it can still get in the 30's/40's at night which is my favorite time to open up a dark beer and let it warm me up. If you haven't already, get your hands on my favorites if you can:

Anchor Brewing "Merry Christmas Ale" Probably my
favorite during this time of year. Plus, who can't love
a beer from the oldest brewery in the US and the
only one to survive prohibition??

Stone's 12.12.12. This just came out last week. Get your hands on this.
It's the "final chapter" of this series and really is an "Epic" holiday brew.
Deschutes Brewery "Jubelale" They let a different
artist create their label each year...oh yea it tastes good too!
Left Hand Brewing's "Milk Stout" Tough to get your hands
on in SoCal but if you can, do it! Tastes like a milkshake.

Avery Brewing's "Old Jubilation Ale" This beer always brings me
back to when we lived in Boulder and could walk to the brewery. Great beer.

So now that I geeked out on beer, I just want to say Merry Christmas to family, friends, team mates and everyone that has followed along with me on this blog/journey. Make it a goal during this time to donate your time, spread your love and fill your mouth with good beer.


2013 Wattie Ink Elite Team

In the beginning of this year when I received the news that I was on the Wattie Ink Elite triathlon team, I was super pumped. Especially since I got the email literally walking to a bar to celebrate a half marathon PR and party with some of my closest friends. I made a lot of new friends through it all, trained harder, got faster and came away with some cool gear and sponsors. This year I had to put my application in just like anyone else. Only this time Wattie received over 1000 applicants and even though he expanded the spots to 100 I was a little nervous. Well I was picked again to represent the 2013 team and couldn't be more stoked. I didn't have the greatest season this year. Even though I podiumed in every race I entered that WASN'T a 70.3 I still felt like I under-performed. However, where I didn't was as an ambassador. So many people have a misconception with the term "elite". Just go over to Slowtwitch and you'll be entertained for hours!

I'm definitely not an elite triathlete. Even when I was running a 4:04 mile I was a border-line elite runner. Now-a-day's a 4:04 mile is a good high school time. Insane. I think Wattie and a lot of companies out there are looking for a good triathlete but a GREAT ambassador. Someone who has a great following on their blog, a great presence in social media and represents the brand well on and off the race course. A lot of people don't realize how much work is not only put into training but also being an ambassador. I fit this mold, so BOOM! I'm on the team.

Now this is not to say there aren't ballers on this team. There are several that could have gone pro, always on top of the podium and just dominate in the age group world. There are also your slow as molasses people on the team. There's young, old and everything in between. There's a lot of returning Watties and a lot of newbies - it's going to be a fun year and I can't wait to get it started!

Sponsor line up so far for 2013:

Blue Bikes
454 Tattoo

I'm dropping a lot of my personal sponsors due to conflicts. I want to support the companies that support this team. However, personally I still have: The Bike Shop and SportMulti (Feed the Machine).

As far as training goes, work has had me absolutely slammed. Lots of end of the year parties, reports, meetings, budgets, happy hours, etc etc. Holidays have turned into one of the busiest times of the year! Still getting the work in, just not as consistently as I normally do which is OK. Now's not the time to be dominating, hammering and getting super fired up. I did that last year and learned my lesson.

Chill out, eat sweets and drink beer/s. Cheers!

Part of theWattie team at Nabor's crazy party that had the likes
of Simon Whitfield, Rappstar, Paul Amney,Wattie/HJ and others
Got back on the mtb and climbed Santiago canyon with
Massi and the MFG's
And of course, been drinking good beer...

The Run

This is the type of picture that stops you in your tracks. It literally sent me to an immediate halt when I came around the corner and saw this. I was lucky enough to catch it at just the right time of day and it has inspired me to write about it. Although the picture doesn't do it justice (it never does) it really was an amazing site. The light shined through this single track trail surrounded by trees like seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. My stunned shadow stretched all the way to the other end as if there was a another person stopped in his tracks glaring at me. I couldn't help but to reflect that I've had tunnel vision when it comes to my running. I've been chasing my shadow for the past two years now. Trying to find that same running form I had ten years ago. Although I see glimpses of my shadow from time to time, I'll never BE that shadow again. I'm starting to realize that and I'm OK with it. The good news is - I don't have to be that guy to be competitive in triathlon. I'm a completely different athlete now. I'm actually waaay more disciplined then I was in my 20's. I focus on the little things that mean big things in fitness. Every single workout I do has a purpose, I don't just go through the motions. I've found a love for sport again - even running which has only happened over the past three weeks or so. The reason I quit in the first place was because I was so burnt out. It was no longer fun for me. After seven years off and then starting triathlon, it was still the sport I struggled to love. Swimming and cycling where so new and exciting and without fail, if a workout was to be missed during the week over these past two years, it was the run. I still managed to do pretty well but I wasn't in love with it like I used to be.

Well over the past three weeks I've put in some good base running miles. Each run has had a purpose but it has been all low intensity running. I've hit the trails more, drills more, strides more and it really has brought back a nostalgia like feel when I run now. It's like I have an extra pep in my step and it's not because my legs are fresh. Sometimes I'll throw my arms in the air and pretend I'm flying like an airplane, I'll exaggerate arm swing like I'm sprinting, I'll skip and bounce around - I act like a kid again with my running shoes on. I'm in love all over again.

It's really got me excited about the upcoming season. For some reason I feel I'm putting less pressure on myself. I can tend to be super hard on myself and will often times take it out on my training which is never a good thing....well maybe sometimes. I just feel more in-tune with my body (Yoga helps) which I think is just a testament to getting a little bit of experience in triathlon and finding the love to run again.

The beam followed me all day

2013 Schedule

Well it's holiday season and it's been a few weeks since I've actually blogged. For those of you that missed "My Day with Betty" VLOG last week, go check it out. During the off season there's not much to blog about. There's no races in the near future and it's just all about family time, structuring the next season, planning races and getting in good base work. My season next year? For the most part it will look something like this:

January: R&R 1/2 marathon. Really the only "serious" running race I'll do all year. Although this year I won't be hammering track workouts over the winter in getting ready for this one. This will strictly be all off of aerobic work so we'll see how it goes. Not planning to go 1:14 like I did last year!

March: Desert Triathlon: I really had fun doing this race last year and it's a great race to "open up" with.

April: Ragnar Relay. This will be the 4th year in a row I've done it and it's pretty much become a tradition and a great running based workout.

May: Ironman St. George 70.3 It was a tough call between chasing a Vegas spot or partying with my Wattie team mates but if I'm going to throw down money for a 70.3 then I need to go after St. George. I'm a climber on the bike and a strong runner, so this race suits me. Plus I like the idea of mixing it up this year at different races.

June: Ironman Boise 70.3 Almost pulled the trigger on this race last year, time to go after it this year!

June: San Diego International: This will be my 3rd time doing this race too. This year (although the results say otherwise) I won the overall amateur and I'd like to maybe join next year in the elite wave if the season is going well.

July: Ironman Lake Stevens 70.3 or (Vineman-wait list) This is a maybe. If I don't qualify at either St. George or Boise I'll do this race for sure. If not I want to make the trip up. I love that part of the country and getting away with the family up there appeals to me. We'll see.

Sept: Ironman World Championships 70.3 *If I qualify As I noted, that's the goal this year. I only gave myself one shot this year and giving myself 3 next year.

So that's it. I'm more focused coming into this winter and am paying extra attention to the details that I never did before. I guess you can say I'm more disciplined because it's not just all about logging the hours/miles - the stuff in between is the hard part and I hope to get it right!

I'll leave you with a bunch of pics over the past weekends. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving and best wishes for you and your family over Christmas and the New Year.

Thanksgiving family pic. Love.
2nd stop Thanksgiving dinner
Good beer was consumed
The whole family
Some fun riding and good beer. Love my winter warmer beers!
Visiting with Santa!
Love this little guy!
And her...she's just a little bit excited about xmas.
Which totally makes it fun for Amy and I again.
Tasters at a new brewery - Weins! Happy Holidays everyone

Betty Designs Review

So this will be my first VLOG (video blog) and I actually enjoyed it. I do a lot of video at my work and it was pretty fun doing one as a "product review." Morgan from Smack Media hooked me up with a sweet Betty Designs Men's Graffiti cycling bib shorts and shirt. I've actually never owned a pair of bib shorts before so I really didn't know what I was missing out on. Now, I don't think I'll ever go back! The kit is a head turner (like all of their designs) and this kit is quickly becoming one of the more comfortable ones I've ever owned.
Every kit I wore this year was Betty Designs. From the Wattie Ink team triathlon kit, cycling kit, jacket, to the Temecual Valley Tri Club kit to The Bike Shop team jersey. All of them had that same Betty Designs "flair" and I couldn't recommend them more. Men, don't be scaaared. Although you may think it's all women's stuff, it's not! Check out the men's selection, such rad gear. I'll admit, I'm bit jealous of the ladies too - so many cool designs.
Here's a video I put together that I titled "My Day with Betty" Hope you enjoy!

Be sure to check out their website at:

Respect the Process

So my short little 2 week "off" period is over and I'm back to structured training. I'm slowly working my way back into it and I must admit I'm really enjoying it. Especially swimming and running. For months leading up to SOMA I had a lot of 200+ mile weeks on the bike. That meant A LOT of time in the saddle. There's no doubt that it made me monster on the bike (although SOMA doesn't reflect that at all..) but it's been nice to get OUT of the saddle for awhile and just do some chill rides that are only 1:30-2:30 hours long instead of those 3-4 hour rides. It won't be long until I get back to those longer rides but in the meantime I'm enjoying the sloooow build up. Right now it's all about aerobic base training. Building the engine before I fire it up.

I have some big plans for 2013. This will be my 3rd triathlon season and I really feel like this is the first time going into a season where I feel smart, experienced and confident. Here's been my experience thus far:

1st year = Mental overload, crazy swim starts, thinking that I train a lot, still wanted to train like a runner and excited about the sport.

2nd year = Impatient, knowing I train a lot, nutrition conscience, coached, sponsors, Wattie Ink, getting smarter, podiums, frustration, cramps, pretty much a roller coaster year and the biggest thing is... I learned soooo much! I became a student of the sport.

3rd year = TBD. Lots of breakthrough years happen in the 3rd season. I've seen it with a lot of triathletes and I even experienced it myself in high school AND college track. It's my junior year and I'm going into it a lot better athlete and not to mention I got rid of that horrendous 3-4 hour/day commute that no doubt had an effect on my energy levels.

Scarlett & I getting the Barbies
to plank just like we do in Yoga
Last week I mentioned of some of the changes I had planned. Well, they are already in the works. I've been doing functional strength training, yoga, changed up my nutrition game, bike fit is scheduled next week and coaching myself has been great. I feel like I listen to my body more coaching myself. I've already found ways to re-arrange workouts better in my schedule and take it more as a day-by-day model instead of planned, in-grained training weeks. This has helped with recovery, adapting to change and maximizing the time that I have available to train. What model am I using to coach myself? Well it's a combination of several influences:

1. Joe Friel
2. Dave Wilson
3. Irv Ray
4. Steve Scott
5. Bob Schul
6. Jeff Galloway
7. James Walsh

Those are basically the seven coaches I've had and/or studied. I have documented workouts, training logs, books - you name it. Not to mention years of knowing what works for me. The 20 years I've been running give me a ton of ammunition for planning out periodization which include key workouts in base, build, taper/peak phases. Running and biking are a lot alike in that regard. Swimming..Well I'm just glad I get to go to masters 3-4 times a week and let Coach Carol handle that!

College Track days, Pre style
One of the biggest things I've learned this year was how un-important numbers are in training. Walsh and I were talking about it in a run last week. Sure, they are great for training in the right zones and being smart but when it comes to nailing this or that workout and basing it off of the times you threw down don't mean a damn thing. In track the numbers mean a lot because there are waay less variables. You do key track workouts, there may or may not be some wind, then you race on the same track for 4 minutes. In triathlon, there are sooo many variables so you really can't gauge the times you throw down in training to what you should be capable of in a race. Conditions, mechanicals, nutrition, and the fact that you are out there for 4+ hours is a game changer. So this year I promise I will not get caught up in the numbers, post workouts, predict how fast I'll go...etc etc. I was soo convinced that I was a "sub 4:30" guy but the reality of it is, I had three shots last year and I ended up as a 4:47 guy. I hate the saying, but "it is what it is." Cramps, mechanicals, peeing, heat...whatever - the guys that go sub 4:30 go through the same learning process that I went through. So as Reilly Smith mentioned in a tweet to me "Respect the Process."

So f*ckng true.

Enjoying riding around wine country
Enjoying time with the kids
T rocking my new K-Swiss
My wife rocking her first 1/2 Marathon!!
Amy and I at a Holiday GALA
Enjoying some of my favorite things...
Cheers to 2013!