Late, inconsistent posting these days. Busy like everyone else. I still have a lot of blogging in me and I even have some plans for the future of a face lift of the site with more meat and potatoes of my training & mentality towards triathlon with some personal life sprinkled in. You could probably say one of the single biggest pushes I received when just starting in the sport was the motivation I received from a lot of the blogs I read. I learned a lot from others blogs and it motivated me like no other magazine, article or pep talk did. I'm hoping to maybe motivate and/or inspire others to do the same. The reward is not the weight loss or the metal at the finish....I've discovered that when you get the most out of yourself mentally and physically in this sport you discover a lot about yourself in the process. You've probably heard that before but take a second and really think about it. If you're not discovering anything about yourself you're probably not training hard enough.

First race of 2013 is this Sunday at the Desert Tri in Palm Springs. It's a 1200 meter swim, 40k bike, 10k run. I haven't raced a single race since I came limping across that finish line at SOMA last year. I'm a different swimmer now, I've sacrificed my run for it, something that I've been fighting like a demon for two years now; finally giving in. We'll see how it pans out. Cycling....Well, I'm not much of a Queen fan but I constantly have this in my head so I've been doing my fair share of riding...

I just love riding my bike. I've been feeling a lot of those special days where your legs feel so good that you want to mash and rip the cranks off.

Running continues to be a question mark but I'm not worried about it this year. My outlook has completely changed. I've always been so concerned about running well in a triathlon but I haven't even got to the run where I could showcase my fitness. My focus has been too heavy on it so I've backed way off from running and put it into swimming and biking and I am really seeing a payoff. It's kind of like those experienced competitive swimmers that barely swim but still do damage come race day. I'm in the same boat as a runner and I know I can tough it out with the best of them if I can just get there in one piece. I'll get a little taste of where I'm at this weekend. Take it in, make necessary adjustments and get ready to damage at Oceanside and even more at St. George...

Showcasing a mustache at our Wine/Food Pairing party
We may have done a little beer/food pairing too
Plenty of good coffee
And the Powerbar hook up

Mini Training Camp

One of the many canyons we went through -Mulholland Dr.
So last week was a huge volume/intensity week for me. I was all set to go out to St. George for the weekend to go over the course and get some good training in but when that fell through I had some training days planned that I needed to fill. The wife and kids were all set to go out of town and the last thing I wanted to do was stay at home. So I asked around to see if anyone wanted to do a little mini-training camp. My team mate Dusty Nabor jumped on board and even invited me up to his palace to train for the weekend up in Westlake Village. I've only traveled through that part of CA, but I quickly realized this was a very wealthy area with a lot of celebrities as the first lunch we went to we saw Jamie Fox- dude has a big huge tribal tatoo on the side of his forehead ---don't see that in the movies...haha. It also ended up being one of the most beautiful places I've ever ridden in and thoroughly enjoyed the views, weather and company.

Beautiful pools...
The first masters swim session I went to was nothing out of the ordinary from what I've been doing. I was a little nervous to see how my swim stacked up to this larger group but I ended up leading the 2nd fastest lane and felt good/easy by the time it was over. However, the next day was a different story. A bigger group comes out, including former Olympic Champion/World record holder Matt Biondi with a 5k swim on tap. I've put in 4500-4700 days pretty frequently now but not outside of the comfort of my masters group. After warm up, the coach gets us out of the water for a 100 meter TT off the blocks. I just laughed, what the hell!?? I've never started off the blocks in my life! She said for the wimps (myself) to just dive in off the deck instead which I was happy to do. The first wave goes which includes Biondi and Dusty. Biondi swims a freaking .46 at 47 years old! Don't know if I was more impressed with that or Dusty's .55. He learned as an adult and has quickly become a force in the swim. Before I took off, Dusty told me to tuck my head when I dive in to avoid my goggles slipping off. Well I thought I did that but as soon as I dive in, one goggle lens is in my mouth...Great. Gonna be a long 100! I ended up swimming 1:10 which is 3 seconds slower than my PR but I was still happy with it considering the bad start, open turns and no goggles! The rest of the swim ended up being pretty brutal - especially since they moved me into Dusty's lane...It's the first swim workout I've ever done where I cracked. Like, completely fell apart. I barely dragged myself up onto the deck when it was all said and done and left there with a whole new outlook on swimming. I've been swimming my ass off these past 6 months and have noticeably become faster but that workout kind of made me realized that I haven't been swimming hard enough. That's gonna change, along with my times.

BIG day
I was curious how I was going to respond to the rest of the days training after a really hard swim like that. After getting a bite to eat the next thing I know we are off for a 4 hour ride that ended up being absolutely brutal. About a year ago I found this workout in Pro Cycling magazine that I have always wanted to try. It was never really the right timing until recently. With St. George in the near future I've been focusing a lot on climbing while tired. Too often we do hill repeats when we're fresh. Well in a race you're not going to be fresh, so this is what we did:

2 hours of hilly/rolling terrain with a few TT efforts (arriving to the hill repeats tired)
4x2:30 min max hill repeats with last 30 secs out of the saddle ALL OUT (recovery is the trip down)
20 minute continuous steady climb
4x2:30 all over again
Cool down to 4 hours.

We destroyed this workout. I was really happy with how I climbed and am very excited to see how St. George pans out. Once we got back we threw in a 20 min transition run for good measure and called it a day. The next day we had another 3 hour ride and 30 min run to cap off a great weekend of training, goofing off and great food/company. Oh ya, Dusty bought a Range Rover and looked at a $1M home to buy - found out how that dude rolls. Different zip code!

Well, next week it's time to race! Desert Tri will be a good tune up for Oceanside which I'll train straight through and then prob an Olympic distance in April then my A race St. George first weekend of May! Pumped to race alongside my team mates this year with a huge breakthrough in the near horizon.

First time in recovery boots...Ya, I was still sore/hurting the next day...
Cheers to 2013!

RockTape Review

SmackMedia is doing big things in the world of triathlon. They are blowing up the twittersphere/social media and really getting the name of good companies out there. They threw a roll of RockTape my way for me to check out. It couldn't have been better timing as I've been hampered with Plantar Fasciitis pain in my right foot for a good 8 months now. Besides massage, icing, and beer drinking I really haven't done anything else to address it. I can't figure out if it's derived from cycling or running (probably both)! Well the RockTape arrived and I was stoked to see flying skulls covering the tape. Immediately I threw on some Whitesnake and started cutting some tape!

Once the Whitesnake was over I went over to RockTape's website where they have "how to" videos on taping all the different ailments you may have. It ended up being very easy and before I knew it I was ready to put it to the test through swim, bike, run and a lot of showers (triathletes are dirty).

Easy PF Taping
I was pleasantly surprised how well the tape held up. I only had to re-tape once over the course of a week that included dozens of workouts and showers. However. The biggest thing I was impressed with is by Wednesday I had my first pain-free run in 8 months. I really thought of the tape as more of a masking agent then I did a cure. But I feel it really is making a difference. It doesn't happen overnight, but I've found with the taping, icing, massaging and beer drinking - the pain is slowly going away! My reviews are always straight up, tell it like it is - no BS. If you have PF, get some RockTape - your heel will be very happy! Physical therapists and doctors are catching on to the magic of RockTape so you can actually find a "Roc-Doc" near you or buy it yourself at the nearest retailer. Both can be found here:

Held up even to the harsh chlorine

I also found it very helpful in permanently strapping a beer you
don't want to share to your hand for easy no spill, frills!

Off Season's Over

Well TRI season is almost upon us. Off season is over and now it's time to finally put some fun into all of the training I've been logging over the off season. I kind of went with a different approach this off season. Instead of going after that magic 18-20 hour/week threshold that I always thought was so important, I'm just let my body decide how long/how hard I go each day and each week. Let me tell you something, it is WORKING. I highly recommend this approach, even if you are coached and he/she has a set amount of time on the schedule -don't do whatever it takes to make the hours. It's the quality that counts in my opinion. Listening to your body - have conversations with it - be good to it and it will reward you for it. My training in all three sports has me wondering how far I can take it this year. Like I've said in the past, numbers don't mean a damn thing in this sport but it sure can give you confidence. Right now, after just two weeks of introducing some speed work/intervals (z4-5) stuff - here's where I stand. If you could care less about workouts and numbers, I suggest you stop reading cause that's all I got this week. Here's some workouts that stand out to me over the past few weeks:

Been logging 16-20k/week lately
Swim: Yesterday I did a workout that I like to call 45's: 500 wup, 10x50 (on the min). Main set: 3x 400,500. 30" rest after 400, 1 min rest in between sets. I hit the 400's in 5:30-35 (1:23 pace) and 500's in 6:45-50 (1:21 pace). 300 c/d = 4000 yds. My last 100 on my last 500 was a 1:15. So anyone that reads this blog knows that the swim has been my demise. Each race it's left me cramping before I even get on the bike and just dead legged/tired for the remainder of each race. I'm hoping all of the yards I've put in this off season is going to change that this year. I understand open water is a different story from what kind of times I put in the pool but regardless, I'm very pleased with my progress.

Bike: For the most part I've just been logging in some good miles, lots of climbing and a few efforts here and there. Lots of Joe Friel specific workouts mixed in with some Walsh trainer sessions I did from last year. This was a ride I did a week or two ago and was surprised to see how quickly my bike has progressed over the last year. I could never figure out why I couldn't throw down a decent bike split in races and the answer is, I just haven't given myself enough time to progress. This ride is nothing to brag about to my competitors but it's a good indicator to me what kind of shape I'm in for the effort I put in.

Run: I'm still trying to figure out why I'm running so fast right now. I just started doing some speed work/intervals on the track a few weeks ago and have been really surprised to see how fast I'm running with just base miles under me. The answer is this. I used to run really fast in college/post college. I'm finally running more then 15-20 miles a week and my running talent is actually going to show this year I think. Amongst a bunch of other little stuff I did in this workout, I had 2x2 mile repeats. It was all HR specific stuff so my first 2 mile was 10:22. I was like - WTF? Zone 3? I still felt it was a bit fast for January so I toned it down the next one but still went 10:50 hitting zone 4. The biggest thing I've noticed is my speed is coming back. All of the drills/speed specific work I did in the off season is paying off and I feel like a kid again out running.

Remember, this is in a way my training log - so the reason why I post workouts is for me to be able to look back on them in the future to see where I was, what dumb things I said and who knows, maybe it helps motivate one of you out there. If you read my blog back when I first started, I could barely make it across the pool! Good things can happen if you put A LOT of work into what you're doing. Reading blogs over the years has always opened up my eyes to how much is A LOT. I used to think swimming 2000 yards was a lot or that riding 35 miles was a lot....Running...that's a different story.

Here's my cheesy pep talk: Don't let anyone tell you that you can't do something. Show them. That's what I plan on doing this year.


I Got In.

Back in 2011 when I signed up for my first Ironman 70.3 it was this race and I signed up 3 months after registration opened. This year I made a point to save up and register early because I knew it would sell out quickly. The week I had finally saved up I went online and found this:

To say I was bummed is a huge understatement. I was pretty devastated. It's the only big local race in town and I had unfinished business from last year's mishaps.

Well I got in. I thought when an Ironman race sells out, it's done, over, finished. A fellow Wattie gave me a heads up of a way in (thanks Hague) - I made the contact and bam - I'm registered as of today! So I'm super excited to give this race another go. Last year I was faced with a poor swim, lack of experience and just naive about what a 70.3 is all about. Granted, I only got two more 70.3's in (and Santa Barbara long course) for 2012, but I learned sooo much from them and I definitely feel more prepared and confident about long course in 2013.

Now St. George is still my "A" race and all my cards will be in that basket for early 2013 but I still want to do well even though I'll be in my "build" phase of my training. I plan on training right through this race and it'll give me a chance to experiment with my taper strategy as well. I have a slight feeling that I do better with little or no taper coming into a race as opposed to a taking a full on low volume, little intensity/sharpening type of taper.

All I know is my swimming has made a tremendous leap from where it was even a month ago, my cycling is on point and my running has just been a ridiculous college-esq type of shape. You can count on me bringing it at Oceanside and it's just the beginning.