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