Monday, June 30, 2008


Totally forgot I had some good news in the Lifeguard/Ranger department. I received a letter from the State Parks this weekend notifying me they accepted my application and tht they invited me to take the written exam for the position. Awesome! One step closer to getting my a$$ off Federal Financial aid/school loans and out of debt.

Don't panic, I'm still applying to P.A. school, I'm just glad the State liked my application and gave me the opportunity to take the exam. Nice to be excited about something again.


"Spread it on!!"

If you've seen "Super Troopers", the above quote probably sounds familiar. I represents exactly how busy I am at the moment: between summer school, work and training, I'm pretty much hopping from one task to the next with very little down time between anything. I don't see it letting up anytime soon...

Let's talk about work.
The beach is heading into it's busy season; point of fact, 4th of July is this weekend and it's arguably our busiest day of the year. Thankfully, booze is no longer allowed on the beach, yet some people insist on drinking and swimming; if you can't have fun without getting sloshed, you have a problem. I've cut back on my hours to 32 a week, but with school and training, that's still a lot.

Summer school starts today and I'll be in class three days a week for 8 hours a week total. It sounds like no big deal, but add in study time double that of class time and it starts looking insane.

I love training. There's nothing I'd rather do and if I could get paid to do it, I totally would. That being said, I'm laying my base for my build up to Xterra Nationals in Tahoe in October. My coach has me doing HUGE volume to prepare for it. If I manage to survive, I'll head into that race more fit than ever ad ready to do something very special. I'm worried about injuries, though (yeah, it's THAT much volume). I trust my coach, but this much training is new teritory for me by a lot and when I start getting into this many weekly hours, things start breaking down.

Anyway, I'm off to class and the three wotkouts I have scheduled for today. Told you I was busy..

Last thing: a friend of mine sent me an e-mail about pics he's put on facebook. I signed up just to view the photos and no I'm getting a zillion e-mails from people who want to be my "friend" that I haven't spoken to in 10 years. It's a colossal waste of time; don't drink the Kool-Aid.


Monday, June 23, 2008

Deep Thoughts

A few notable passinggs this weekend. The one you've likely heard of is that George Carlin passed away from heart failure. If you're not familiar with his comdey, I highly recommend you check it out. Low-brow humor for sure, but edgy and thought provokin for sure. A man with the courage to criticize society; saying things many of us think about saying, but lack the courage to do so.

Additionally, NHRA drag racer Scott Kalitta died in a crash during competition. Sad to see that happen. I'm not a huge drag racing fan, but I've seen many races on TV and been to a few races in person. Enough to be familiar with the racers and feel saddened by Scott's passing.

As or me, I'm still struggling with working full-time and squeezing in all my training around work. How folks like Seth Wealing or Tom Evans (IM CDA winner on Sunday) hold down careers (Seth is an Architect and Tom a Dentist) and still train and compete at the Professional level amazes me.

A friend of mine once said: "Eric, it's is all about desire. If you want something bad enough, you'll find the money or the time or both to make it happen". He wasn't talking about racing, but his words definitely apply. I think it's good advice.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Nose to the Grindstone

School is out and I'm back to working full-time on the Lifeguard tower. The past week since finals ended has been really hectic: working 40+ hours a week and trying to squeeze in training before work, on my break or after. Suffice to say all that is really taking a toll on me. I'm burning the candle at both ends and the fatigue catches up to me eventually; it's only a matter of when.

I'm writing this as I'm getting ready for work so I'll just update a few things. James killed it at Xterra East Championships. Were it not for Trevor Glavin at the West Championships, James would have won three regionals in a row. As it stands, he's won two in a row. Way to go! I'm still trying to figure out how to strap a 5 pound weight to his bike to slow him down. I have a feeling the reason he's doing all the regionals this year is to see how he'd stack up against the Pro field so he can convince himself to race Pro. So far, he'd be 15th or 16th as a Pro; not cashing any checks, but not dead last either.

Luke did well at The 12 Hours of Temecula, finishing 3rd in the Solo Expert division after some nutrition problems forced him to take an extended break after lap 5. He'd go on to finish 8 laps. Stud.

As for me, the Rim Nordic XC MTB race series starts this weekend and it should be fun, though my fitness isn't so great and I'm not likely to do so well. I have to remind myself that these are training races and not the sole reason why I train. Xterra Nationals are still a ways off and staying focused on that proves difficult.

Ok, off to work Lifeguarding. Here's a few tips to make my life easier and keep you from drowning.

1) Swim near a lifeguard tower
2) Ask the lifeguard where the safest place to swim is
3) Learn how to spot a ripcurrent and how to get out of it (don't panic, swim parallel to the beach until you're out of the rip and THEN swim in)
4) DO NOT use a body board (called boogie boards in my day) without FINS. On a boogie without fins you're basically driftwood. The most common rescue I make is someone on a boogie board in a rip current that doesn't have fins on. Buy 'em...wear 'em or leave the boogie on the beach.
5)Don't drink and swim. EVER! The vast majority of drownings had some alcohol in their system. 6) When the lifeguards go home, STAY OUT OF THE WATER. Your chances of drowning in unguarded water are many, many times higher when compared to guarded water.

Seriously it's an ocean, not a wave pool.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Finals are finally over. It's time to get things back in their proper order...

I took my last final this morning (Biochemical Structure and Function...yuck!) came home, ate something I can't recall at the moment, jumped in the shower, made it to Sprawl-Mart for some necessities came home and absolutely crashed. I vaguley recall Holly waking me up to say she was going to work. I woke up a little while later and deecided it's time to get the training back on track.

Over the last three years of school I've tried very hard to strike some kind of balance between Triathlon and school. What happens is that I focus on one to the detriment on the other and then the pendulum swing back the other way. I've had some sucess buy focusing on my studies near the beginning of the quarter when I'm still motivated. Unfortunately, by the time finals roll around, I'm in fantastic shape and I'm behind in my studies. At that point I disappear off the face of the planet for two weeks while I cram for exams. It's a vicious cycle and I'm still working on how to balance both more effectively.

Ironically, I start working immediately. I have one whole day off and it's right into 40-hour weeks lifeguarding until summer school starts up in two weeks; at which time I work on days I don't need to attend class. Throw training into the mix and sometimes I wonder how I get it all done...sometimes I can't get evrything done. Crappy.

If you've got a minute, check out James' 'blog; he's on an Xterra road trip with some of his buds and having a lot of fun. Oh yeah, AND he's kicking ass. As for racing, I'm skipping Xterra Tahoe City for financial reasons. Racing there looks fun and the timing was sure to positively affect my motivation, but money's tight and there's just no way it's going to happen.

Next race? Rim Nordic XC.

BTW, Luke is racing The 12 Hours of Temecula this weekend and, from his posts, he looks fit and ready to go. Get after it, man.


Sunday, June 1, 2008

Tour de Donuts?

Stranger than it sounds and more nauseating than you can imagine.

The object? Consume as many donuts as you can during the "stages" to gain a time bonus. The final stage is a staggered start hill climb up the notorious Torrey Pines Hill. Each donut consumed is worth 30 seconds on the clock during the hill climb and first person to the top wins the jersey the title "Gluttonous Champion" and bragging rights for a full year. Ex: Bob eats the most (10 donuts) while Jim eats only 9. In this case, Bob starts the hill climb first and Jim starts 30 seconds after him. Get it?

There are a few caveats:

1) If you vomit at any time prior to the start of the hill climb, your donut count gets cut in half. Vomiting during the hill climb or after is encouraged.

2) Riding between "stages" is neutral, though pushing the pace and causing your opponent to vomit is totally legal.

3) You have 15 minutes at every "stage" to consume as many donuts as you can. Time starts after every competitor has arrived.

This year a KOM (King of the Mountains) was added and first person to the top would get a donut added to his or her tally. This would turn out to be crucial in the overall victory.

My strategy would be to eat as many donuts as I could at every stop without "pushing" myself and see if I could pick people off during the hill climb that had eaten a whole bunch.

Stage 1: Winchell's Donut House. Somewhere near Mira Mar...
I've never seen people eat so many donuts so fast. It was like that scene from Jurassic Park where they feed the Velociraptors. Scary. Unofficial donut count eaten here was approx 5 dozen. Last year's champion, Chris Burnham, would retain the polka dot jersey by eating 5 donuts here. I managed to get three down before I started feeling odd. Stage 2: Donut Touch in Sorrento Mesa? Again, horrific donut carnage. People still chowing down donuts like mad, but with less impetus than stage 1.
Stage 2 podium. The jersey would go to Phoon (?) who had consumed 8 donuts by this point. Kevin and Chris tied with 7. I ate 2 more for a total of 5. Stage 3: Donut Stop. I've totally lost track of distance and time by this point. The looks we got from the locals as all 40 of us rolled in was priceless. Elvis would have gotten equally strange looks...More carnage. By now I'm not feeling so great. The route had placed the "stages" very close together such that we got very little time to digest. I only managed to eat one donut, bringing my total to 6. The leaders were beyond double digits at this point and I was clearly outmatched.

Donut carnage...
Stage 3 podium. Kevin in 3rd (left), Karl in second (right) and Phoon still in the lead (center). No idea how many donuts they had eaten by this point, but it was a lot...

Stage 4. P.Q. Donuts. This would be the 4th stop in 14 miles. Total ride time to here? A whopping 45 minutes. I knew that the distance between stage 4 and 5 was a fairly decent ride, so I pushed myself here and ate 2 more donuts, upping my count to 8.

Adam Bickett from the cycling team would pull into the lead at stage 4. The leaders were somewhere in the 12 donut range. Ugh...
Stage 4 podium. Third: Chris Burnham (left), second: Karl, first: Adam. I recall there being a tie, but since Adam had consumed the most donuts during the stage, he was declared the GC leader.
The KOM was between stage 4 and 5, which Adam would win, making him the outright leader. As I mentioned earlier, this would prove to be crucial in the time trial.

Stage 5: Solana Donuts in Solana Beach. I had managed to recover a little at this point thanks to waiting for someone fixing a flat between stages 4 and 5. I managed to eat 2 more to bring my total to 10. I was considering a third, but took too long deciding and ran out of time. My indecision would cost me in the GC...

The leaders wound up in a 3-way tie at 16 (!) donuts each between Chris, Karl and Adam, though Adam ate 15, he was awarded an extra donut for his KOM victory. Kevin held second by himself with 13 donuts. In third were Adam Strobl and Phoon. I would start 4th with Trevor, Jake and Mike.

The hill climb: If you've ever ridden the hill up Torrey Pines, you know it's steep and long. Try eating a bunch of donuts and then hammering up it as fast as you can.

Trevor and Jake are experienced road racers and both managed to outfox me on the climb. I thought the hill ended sooner than it did and went too early. Mike got dropped early and I shot past Trevor and Jake near the middle. Trevor went with me and, when he made his move, I tried to go with him, but didn't have the legs. Jake rallied and passed me with about 400 meters to the line. I have no idea where I wound up overall.

Your GC winner? Adam Bickett. I told you his KOM victory would prove to be crucial!

Fortunately, no one vomited! A few of us certainly felt like it, but we all managed to keep our donuts down.

Overall, a fun event, though every burp for the rest of the day tasted like donuts; even a Stone IPA couldn't mask it.