Memorial Day weekend

Last week was definitely one of my more favorites weeks of the year. It included a lot of family time, training, racing, a video shoot, dodge ball and some fun times with friends/family! After capping off a fun race at Encinitas the next day I was set up for a video shoot with EZIA. They are making a triathlon video and I was stoked to throw on the Wattie Ink colors which they loved since it's their same colors and also give a big shout out to The Bike Shop. I arrived and realized this was a much bigger deal than I had anticipated. $100k+ camera's, video crew and I brought them a sore body from the race to do strength and mobility exercises! It actually ended up being a lot of fun and I went through everything pretty smoothly. I'm excited and a little nervous to see how it turns out, especially since we are talking full HD! If you live in the area be sure to check them out, they have a really cool thing going on there and I'm hoping to make it a part of my weekly training too.

The bet is on!
Two days later I entered the TCSD Aquathon. I've always wanted to check it out to do a little recon for the Temecula Valley Triathlon club so that maybe we could incorporate one at Vail lake sometime this summer. It ended up being a blast. It was a 1000 meter ocean entry swim followed by a 5k run on the beach, like literally in the sand with waves coming in at you. To make it even more entertaining by buddy and I placed a wager on who would get out of the water first. Last time we did a triathlon together he came out about 5 seconds ahead of me - so I figured with all of my swimming I've been doing, he'd be mine for the taking. The wager was a delicious IPA of the winners choosing. Even more motivation to swim fast! The Aquathon was set to go off at 6pm after work so I met up with Ryan and we headed down. After a tough few days of recovering from smashing a 5k at Encinitas and then hitting up a hard masters session the night before I wasn't expecting anything spectacular - just more of "racing" experience in the open water, something that is killing me. Over 100 people showed up for the race! I guess it was a large turnout and with it being one mass start into a pretty big swell, it was about to get interesting. At the pre race briefing they recommended that you just do the 5k if you're not a strong swimmer because of the swells that were coming in. It wasn't necessarily huge waves, but a lot of chop on top of it.

Running through the sand
Before I knew it the siren went off and we plunged through the waves out towards the first buoy. I did a lot better job diving under the waves and getting through the sets coming in than I did in Encinitas. After getting knocked around a bit we made that first turn and I just went all out to the next buoy...In this case the buoy floated to shore so it was a kayak we were spotting which was kinda tough. I just followed some feet and swam as hard as I could. I make it to the kayak and who do I run into? Ryan! Damn, I thought I'd lost him. I can tell he spotted me too because he just took off in an all out sprint to shore! I tried to body surf some waves in, but no dice. I sucked at surfing anyways...Sure enough I see Ryan go through transition with me about 10 seconds behind him. My cool sister came down and watched us and said we went through at 12:30ish which is flying (1:09/100) so I imagine the kayak er/buoy was cut off short - either way it was probably my best swim to date because I almost swam 15 minutes for 750 at Encinitas! We set transition right next to each other and when I saw him he was hardly moving and a little wobbly..haha. He earned that beer! I left him in transition and set out for the 5k. I've never run hard in the sand before and it was pretty brutal. Water was coming in so we were dodging that and at one point it was at my shins. It was a 2 loop course and we had a tail wind on the way out, headwind coming in. I passed a bunch of people but the fatigue was there and I definitely didn't dig deep. I just kinda put it in cruise control on the 2nd lap and I think I placed top 10 with a 5k in the 17's and a total time of 31:01. There was a potluck afterwards, fun atmosphere and a fun race. Definitely will be back for more and hope to create something like that for TVTC!

Amy and Vanessa getting ready!
Saturday it was all about Amy at the Foam Fest 5k. Her and a friend got together and raced a 5k out in Vail lake which included a bunch of obstacles, mud, bubbles, foam and fun! The kids and I along with our neighbors had a lot of fun watch the moms go out there and crush the course. They had a good vibe going on at the race - and the vibe got even more fun at the beer garden afterwards! Music, swag, mud and beer - what else can you ask for? I limited myself to two beers since I had a 4 hr intense hill repeat bike ride later...haha. It was only Shocktop so that really only counts as one :) The ride ended up being pretty fun actually. I rode hard for 2 hours to load up the legs a bit and then hit 90 mins of gradual hill climbing. After about 80 minutes of climbing I felt a sharp knee pain that seemed to go all the way down my shin. I tried to ignore it at first but every single time I climbed in the saddle the pain just worsened. I called the ride a bit short and headed home, skipped my t-run, iced and called it a day.

Dodge ball time!
The next morning I also called off my runs for the day. The knee was still sore and I actually woke up in the middle of the night freaked out about it, googling my symptoms and ended up sleeping on the couch because I couldn't sleep...oye. Amy saw all of the screens on the computer the next day and thought I was a little bit nuts and told me to relax about it...That's why I need her in my life! I got over it and we had a community block party to attend which included good ole fashion BBQ and of course Dodge ball! It was fun to take the kids out, let them run around and even watch Amy kill it at dodge ball. She says she isn't competitive, but I saw the look in her eye. Fierce! I even jumped in a bit and the knee actually felt ok. After throwing my arm out after like 2 throws, we just kicked back - drank some Dales Pale Ale and ate some good food. I felt like summer officially arrived that day.

Finally, Memorial day arrived. My wife and I love throwing parties but we haven't done much since our house is pretty small. Even though it's a 3BR/2BA house with a backyard, it feels very small and it can seem crowded very fast! So we invited a few friends and family (mostly local peeps) and had a blongo ball tournament (kinda like horseshoes) and an IPA tasting along with the kids in the kiddie pool and plenty of BBQ and beer to go around! I ended up making it to the finals against my lil bro (of all people) and he took me down! The reward? Rogue Voodoo Donut Maple Bacon Ale. Oh yes, it tastes exactly like it sounds. Not sure how I'd like it with a clean palate but after a pretty brutal (as in...strong) IPA tasting the bacon tasted pretty damn good...although I love me some bacon. The IPA tasting was pretty good, just went from the lighter IPA's to the Doubles, to the Imperials and polished it off with the Rogue. Back when I used to brew beer we'd have beer tastings all the time at the house but hadn't done it in a long time. Just a fun way for people to try new beers and appreciate it like fine wine (as it should be). My favorite was definitely the HoptologistDIPA. Try it!

That's it. A few more pics:

Walking to the start of the Aquathon
Couldn't figure out to flip this one...My awesome sis coming out to support!
Amy getting fired up to race!
1st big climb they went up (Foam Fest 5k)
Some obstacles
Water crossing
Ladies after a muddy finish
Amy after taking up a push up challenge w/National Guard
And won a shirt!
Kiddos dancing
Memorial day blongo ball fun
My brother the blongo ball champ
Kids having fun in the pool
Taylor devouring fruit kabobs
And finally some IPA Tasting time!

Encinitas Sprint Triathlon RR & some changes...

After a great weekend of training last week, come Monday I was pretty smashed but I got an email from the BSK coach David that day seeing if I wanted a comp entry into the Encinitas Sprint the next weekend. Heck yea I'll take it! The thing that is holding me back the most right now is the lack of open water AND triathlon racing experience. Since this was a beach entry start, even more reason to get my feet in the sand and notch another triathlon under my belt. The result? Who cares about my place and time (although, I'll get to that in a bit), I had fun! As much as I want to enjoy long course right now, I'm starting to find out that I have so much more fun in the shorter stuff and like my buddy Irving said, my miler/fast twitch muscles enjoy the shorter stuff waay more. I think I'm starting to agree.

Slice ready to go, thanks
Ryan for loaning me
some Zipps!
We decided to train through it, so James set up the schedule like any other week - A pretty long Saturday with some race intervals thrown in and then instead of my long run on Sunday, I raced and then put in an hour run afterwards. Since it was going to be an early wake up call and drive down to Encinitas, Amy and the kids were still sound asleep as I slipped out the door to what would be my 2nd Sprint triathlon. I arrived, said hi to Doug (fellow Wattie team mate), chatted with some other friends, body marking - short run warm up - ouch my legs are sore! Next thing I know it was time to get out of transition and head down to the beach start.

The conditions were absolutely perfect. The sun was out and the water apparently warmed up over night up to 65 degrees and it felt great. The waves were 2-3 ft with an occasional 4-5 foot sets coming through. The last time I swam through waves was probably back in 2005 and it was with a surfboard. The current was heading south, so as the first waves started going off I was checking out all of the different approaches racers were making. There really wasn't any big sets coming through until like the 3rd or 4th wave I think where the announcer said, "Well, sent them off at the wrong time..." and you'd see some swimmers get plowed over...and it was actually pretty funny, cause I knew that's probably going to happen to me soon!

Swim: 750 meters - 14:50 (1:49/100yd pace)

This was actually the Pro's start...Cool set up and venue
30-34 age group was sent off in two waves according to last name. I actually don't like this format because it's so hard to tell what place you are in even if you win your heat (which I ended up doing). I was talking with my buddy Lipke and he said the same thing happened to him last year. Plus in this case our heat (of course) had some bigger sets come through at the start. I got nailed a few times pretty good, it was a completely different experience. Sprinting all out into the water, diving in, sighting for waves while swimming as fast as you can. The first set that came through I dove under and I let all of my air out right away like I was still swimming! So I came up gasping for air and it shook me up a bit and everyone around me seemed to be getting pummeled. Finally I made my way through it, looked up and I was in 5th place. So that pumped me up quite a bit and I sprinted as hard as I could to the first and only buoy before heading back. On the way back I veered a little too far to the right where another paddle boarder told me to get further to the left, so once again my swimming straight skills are quite there. This ended up costing me a few spots but I still managed to come out in 7th in our heat which was the best I've ever done coming out of the water. I made the 100 meter sprint on shore to the timing mat and started T1.

T1: 2:01

After the timing mat we had a long run up a very steep hill to the parking lot at Moonlight beach - so times were a little slow. I was in and out quickly once I got there

Bike: 20k (12.4 miles) -34:31 (21.6 mph) 3rd fastest split in AG

Rock & Roll
So when I first saw my time I was pretty disappointed because it seemed so slow! But after seeing the overall results, nobody really threw down crazy fast times. Barely anyone broke 33 so the course was slower than I was expecting. It had some gradual rollers and a few technical turns - either way I had the 3rd fastest split in my age group so I made up a lot of time on the bike after loosing some in the swim. The best part about a sprint? You just sprint. No strategy, no nutrition plan - you just go balls out (not literally, prob get a DQ). So as soon as I started riding I hammered throughout. I passed a ton of people, got passed once but I stayed on his wheel (legally) and before I knew it - it was time to get out of my shoes and hammer this run.

T2: .57

Easy quick transition, saw James on the way out (he did the bike leg of the relay) and I just started hammering.

Run: 5k -16:52 (5:26/mile) 2nd fastest split Overall

Fun run!
I knew I was ready to nail a 5k. Last year at Thanksgiving I ran a 5k Turkey Trot on tired legs and ran 16:16. Fast forward about 6 months later with a ton of more fitness I knew I could run fast on this course. After hitting up the track on Tuesday I was hitting 5k pacing at around 5:10ish so I knew 5:20's would be attainable. I tried to nail it from the get-go but the legs weren't there yet. Although I didn't wear a watch I imagine that first mile was around the 6 minute range, then finally at mile 2 the legs started coming around and I pretty much went all out for the next 2 miles. Just a guess, but mile 2 had to be around 5:20 and mile 3 close to 5 mins flat. For the first time ever in a triathlon I didn't cramp up. I felt free on the run, I was finally able to run to my potential. The thing is, I wasn't tiring, I still had a lot more in the tank. This gets me pretty pumped up to do another Olympic race. See how it translates to a 10k. Coming into the finish I was pretty confident that I won my heat. You go through a lot of traffic and u-turns during that run so I was able to see everyone for the most part.

1:09:13, 3rd in AG, 33rd Overall

After cooling down I met up with James and talked about the race. And after checking out results, once again the swim lost the race for me as both 1st and 2nd place beat me by ~4 minutes on the swim. We then got into talking about strength training and the importance of it for me. To tell the quick story, I used weigh 180 pounds about 2 1/2 years ago. Now I weigh 135, sometimes I dip under a buck 30 after a hard weekend of workouts! That is waay too light for triathlon. In a sport that requires power in the swim and bike, being runner skinny does not help me, it hurts me. I haven't touched a weight or even done a single push up or sit up in about 6 months. My time schedule is so strict, it ended up being just one of the things that needed to go. But it's time to back off on something else, I need to bulk up a bit.

Picking up my award
Podium count 2012:
Short Course 3 for 3
Long Course 0 for 2
On another note, I have decided to call off racing at Ironman Boise 70.3. After racing just average at Oceanside and Wildflower and crushing it at all of the Sprints and Olympic distances so far this year, it is obvious that I don't have enough strength to be competitive at the longer stuff yet. Not just strength training but hours and hours in the pool and on the bike -something my competitors have way more of then I do. I only started training seriously last November and even though I expected myself to crush the longer stuff this year, it's just not realistic. I'm going to approach this year much differently now. I'm going to race as much as I can locally (sprints/Olympic), have fun and just put in a lot of hours in the water and on the roads so I can handle the longer stuff better next year. I haven't totally given up on qualifying for WC's in Vegas, but the stars would have to align perfectly to find a race that isn't sold out, something I can afford, and something I can hit when I am very fit and healthy. Instead I kind of have my eyes on the USAT Age Group National Championships in Burlington, VT in August. I qualified for it last year and doing the Olympic up against some of the best in my AG in the US appeals to me. Plus it's a lot later in the year which would give me to time to train for it. We'll see. Up next is an Aquathon I'm jumping into this Thursday night (1000 meter swim, 5k beach run). Then I'm on the waiting list for San Diego International...which I'm sooo hoping I get in.

Few more pics...Thanks for reading!

Spent the day before with the kids at check in
down at the beach. Those kids love it!!!
Celebrated with my victory mug...
Then recovered w/some greens, Tour of CA and a red.

The Week that Was

What a crazy week. I'll do something a little different and tell the story in pictures:

A lot of this going on Post Wildflower. I took a week just to drink, eat, stay up
late and workout only on feel....
My friend Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness...I probably got my
worst case of this from Wildflower. Left me very sore...and tired.
So I grilled/ate a lot...

Drank some more...

This was the number of times I got in the pool last week...
Instead, I just drank of bunch of this...waaay more than I usually do
Went to Big Bear over the weekend for a big ride with some new/old friends
Josh and I about to head out for 5k+ of climbing at over 6000ft
At the top of the first climb...
While I suffered, Scarlett was playing at the lake
While poor T came down with a fever while I was out riding
Came back from the ride and devoured some specialty Stone
Ruination that was Double Dry-Hopped (Amarillo)
Woke up, a ton of more coffee and headed over to
San Diego Safari Park for mothers day...T was feeling better
We all had fun celebrating momma, but it was hot!
Come back to get my run in...and take a pee only to feel like
I pissed needles...UTI (Urinary Tract Infection).  This was my
first and it was pretty brutal. All of the beer drinking, coffee drinking,
riding in altitude and lack of water I think caused it.
So I made friends with water again. Both in my body to
flush out that infection (thankfully it's almost gone) and
also getting in the water to sharpen my swim for this...
Got a comp entry from David, our coach at BSK for racing this weekend!
This will be my 2nd sprint which I'm pumped about...Anything
that allows me to use my fast twitch/miler speed is a bonus!

Kendra sent this to me...some "Refrigerator Poetry"
Always a good reminder about what this blog is all about.
Especially after my epic suffer fest at Wildflower.
Embrace it and you'll naturally go faster.

Wildflower pictures

Here's a few more shots from the weekend, including a pretty funny one that Macca posted on his facebook of a bunch of naked dudes chasing him during his "tune-up" race with the college kids.

Exiting from my PR Swim
The Xterra Vortex rocks!
Heading up into T1
Another before and after pic...This is before, first hill -spirits high, feeling good
This is about 2.5 hrs later bringing it in...haha

Rolling through the campground

Pain. Cave. Form is jacked
Hate my life right now.
Macca getting chased..hilarious.
Random naked group run through the campgrounds...Sorry if you're offended by butts.

LINK to my video finish where I am limping in and the announcer gives some love to Wattie and the team.

Til next time Wildflower!