Thursday, May 27, 2010


Memorial Day is right around the corner and with it, the busy lifeguarding season. It amazes me how people are convinced they should only go to the beach between now and Labor Day and I often wonder if the news didn't announce "Beach Season" if people would even notice. Best time to go to the beach? AFTER Labor Day; the water and the weather are still perfect and the crowds are GONE. Try it out and thank me later.

I'm struggling with balancing work and training; tough to do given how variable my schedule can be and that I tend to train best when I can get into a groove and just hammer out the tough sessions. Speaking of jobs, I'm looking around at my options since the seasonal thing no longer works out for me. "The Governator" lost a lawsuit and the courts decided furloughs were illegal or something. Rumor has it our rates might go up to "only" a 5% pay cut or might get cut to a 15% reduction. Eff that. I'm outta there as soon as I find something that pays close to what I make now.

As for training, I jump-started the second 1/2 of 2010 with a TCSD aquathlon (1000 yard swim, 5k run). I was beat from the week, but desperately needed to remind myself that I CAN go fast when properly motivated.

Awesome evening.

I got a lousy start and wound up mid-pack in the swim. I tried all the tricks I knew and just could not get clear. I took a beating the whole way and swallowed a ton of water. I need to swim more...Once I hit the beach, it was game on! I kept thinking how much different Vegas would have went if I'd had legs like this! I could see Beth just in front of me at the turn-arounds and tried like hell to catch her, but just couldn't reel her in. It's like she runs fast or something. CHARRRGE! Mom and Dad stopped by this week to say hello, buy us dinner and drop off my "mail". This $80,000 piece of paper is the most expensive thing I own. Woo...

Dad brought a sixer from their vacation up near Punta Arenas. A decent stout with a solid body and hints of coffee. Nice.

That's it from here. When you're out enjoying the holiday weekend, think of me working my butt off on a crowded beach and be glad you have your 9-5. =)

Sunday, May 9, 2010


I've been really, REALLY tired since Holly and I got home from Xterra Vegas. I though it might have been residual fatigue from the food poisoning or maybe the 10-hour shifts I've been pulling at work.

After a Facebook discussion with Allison, James, Steph and Trevor and some texting with Vance, it became clear that I needed more time off so I bagged the big weekend I had planned and shut down the training. As much as it hurts me to do so, I'm gonna have to forgo Maui this year and focus on Nationals instead. If I manage to qualify at MTN Champs, I'll have a go at it, but I had planned on peaking for MTN Champs; not happening.

Then Holly calls me from the kitchen the next morning:
"Um...when did you buy DECAF?!"
Me: "What? You're kidding me, right?"
I moseyed into the kitchen and, to my horror, found THIS! DUM, DUM, DUMMMM!! I had mistakenly bought it before the Vegas race. No wonder I've been so tired! I've been missing my crack! LOL! I chucked the impostor in the garbage and picked up some real coffee ASAP. Needless to say, morning's have been much easier to handle. =D

Anyway, since I'm taking some more time off, I've been sleeping in and heading out for whatever I feel like doing on any given day. It's really been helping my mood and I know I'll be better off long-term with the extra rest. Live and Learn.

So Saturday I headed out to the local trail system (Los Penasquitos Canyon) and just cruised around with a rough idea of what trails I felt like riding and how long it would take. Even on a busy trail day, stopping for, horses, kids, moms, dads, dogs, yadda, yadda. I still enjoyed myself where normally I'd be fuming at the people in MY way. A clear indicator I've turned the corner on the fatigue.

Even double track is getting over-grown! Trails are great right now.

Somewhere on the run down "cobbles" I found my smile. Been looking for that.

...and 1/2 mile from the car, I heard and felt a slight "PING" followed by my saddle suddenly dropping. Diagnosis: broken seat rail. It's not my fault, the seat slides back on the rails, which bend and prevent me from putting the saddle where it should be. Having it slammed that far back weakens the rail and it eventually breaks. A new WTB Silverado is on the way and the saddle on the SS will do until then. =D

Tire review (Conti Race King Supersonic):
They're everything you'd expect from a light XC tire: light, grippy and fast rolling. I like how predictable they are in corners, it's easy to ride them right to the limit of what the tire can do and the round profile make the transitions from straight-line riding to cornering seamless. They're also: expensive, they slide out on you if you push them into a corner even a little too hard, the sidewalls are flimsy the tubed versions pinch-flatted on me and the lugs shred FAST (see photo).

I'm thinking of trying them in tubeless before totally giving up on them. Tough call considering the cost and weight is the same as my trusty Larsen's. The grip might be better, but if they're less-durable that's a wash in my book. I'll let you know.
In other news, brother Steve killed it at Xterra Del Valle, chopping 50 minutes off his time from last year and nabbing 9th in his AG. Holly ran solid at the Malibu Creek 22K (friggin' STEEP) and finished in just over 3 hours. Great job you guys!
Last thing. Mom called: my diploma came in the mail. Woot! I'm reeling at the fact that I have a degree from a top-10 University. Whoa!
Easy training this week, testing this weekend and back to some base fitness work. Stoked I can re-do my base with a power meter. Time to get on it!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Moving On

I got some tough love about last week's results and I definitely I needed the wake-up call. I put way too much pressure on myself to perform at Xterra West and I absolutely caved beneath it. I didn't handle the food poisoning right, swapped tires when I shouldn't have and stressed out about the heat and the course. Dumb.

I absolutely went into last weekend half-cocked; my easy workouts this week have been nothing short of amazing as I wound up dropping 6 secs per 100 in the pool and running incredibly fast in very easy HR zones. Honestly, I think I dug too deep a hole back in February and never got out of it. Looking back at my training data, I should have recognized it and taken some time off. This is where having someone else coach you helps tremendously. Alas, I still lack the funds to hire a coach. Moving on.

Speaking of moving on, my next planned race is Xterra Tahoe City in June. I had planned on racing Xterra del Valle with brother Steve, but my heel and my bank account are still recovering from the Vegas Race. No worries; plenty of racing left!

The Tahoe course looks steep. Here's the course map from the website. For those of you fuzzy on reading contour maps, the more squiggly lines you cross, the steeper it is. The 22 mile bike course has 2400 feet of gain in it. For comparison, San Juan trail is 22.8 miles with 3700 vertical feet. Actually, looking at it like that makes it seem not so bad. Cool! Mountain champs looks WAY worse: 15.5 miles and 3600 vertical feet. Yeeouch! Looks like a great course, though. I'm all over it. Sorry for the .pdf file, I can't seem to embed it in the 'blog. Computer noob!

Anyway. Rest and relaxation is done and I'm ready to get back to training. I'm re-visiting some base work and transitioning all my bike workouts to power-based. I've seen some improvements just basing my power zones off my approximated FTP and I'm sure I'll see much more improvements once I get my CP zones all dialed in. I'm excited to see what the rest of the season holds. Off to bed; master's swim in the morning...