Friday, December 29, 2006

Gandy Dancer

Living in Boulder I always appreciate the natural beauty and opportunities I have been given to train in such an amazing place. I kicked off my day with an early morning yoga class which I have been attending twice a week since November in an effort to increase my flexibility. There were only two of us attending the session so it was like having private yoga lessons! I followed the yoga with my strength training and my body is adapting to the new routine. I love being in the gym and the other dimension it adds to my training. With the recent snow I opted to mix things up a bit with my training and do some skate skiing this afternoon at Eldora Mountain Resort ( After an easy spin on the CompuTrainer and some lunch I headed up the canyon with my roommate, Pete, who is an excellent skate skiier. Today was my first time out this season and I was surpised how comfortable I felt on my skiis. I was thinking to myself, "Wow, I may just get in my first skate skiing session without falling." This thought crossed my mind just as we headed down a steep technical section of trail called Gandy Dancer...I soon found myself dancing face first into a large pile of soft powder! It was a hoot to get on the skiis and fly through the wooded trails at 9,000 feet. A killer day was capped having dinner with friends at one of my new sponsors BD's Mongolian Barbeque ( Their food is awesome and healthy of course :)

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Christmas Surprise

Despite an hour delay departing Detroit Christmas evening my flight to Denver still managed an on-time arrival - way to go Frontier ( We, my friend Erin and I, had the standard wait for baggage, but no big deal. Upon getting to my car I was stoked to not see my car buried or blocked with snow from the snow plows. I hopped in and went to start my trusty Jeep Cherokee Sport. Dead. No turn over. Nada. Zip. Zero. Nothing.

We hopped back on the shuttle to return to the terminal so we could catch the RTD bus into Boulder. When it was all said and done I found my head hitting the pillow at 12:50 am. Sweeet!

Yes, my car is still sitting in the DIA parking lot with hopes of getting it sorted tomorrow.

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, December 23, 2006


I left late Tuesday evening for Detroit and fortunately missed the big snow in the Denver/Boulder area. It has been great seeing my family and a few friends back in Motown. We celebrated our family Christmas yesterday. Having 11 nieces and nephews makes for plenty of laughs and excitement :)

Training has been steady with a swim and run emphasis while in Michigan. I opted to leave my bike in Colorado this year. I must say I am awfully spoiled to swim outdoors year-round in Boulder...I forgot how stuffy some indoor pools can be.

Hope you and yours enjoy a very Merry Christmas!

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Warm & Windy!

The past several days have been unusually warm here with temps yesterday reaching the upper 60s. Along with the warm temps though have been some crazy winds...gusts up to 50 MPH which have made riding a bit interesting at times! A couple of days ago I was riding smack into a head wind coming on a flat section. I laughed upon looking down at my Ergomo and seeing my blazing speed of 9.6 MPH and watts at 200. No sense is fighting the winds! Tomorrow it is supposed to snow with a predicted high of in the Rockies.

While cycling along the rolling terrain of Boulder County one can see an array of wildlife...prarie dogs, fox, deer, snakes, hawks and eagles. Heck this past summer someone actually ran into a bear during the Boulder Peak Triathlon. Yesterday I was riding the rural roads north of Boulder and came across a herd of cattle in the road. Fortunately they were not aggressive and seemed pretty content on just going about their business.

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Over the River & Through the Woods

After a decent week of snow we have had some warm temps which in turn has made the trails a bit mucky. I ran over a portion of the CU cross country course recently...well really I was a slipping and a sliding! It's all good though as it adds a fun dynamic with the goal of not landing completely on my bum.

Earlier in the week I had my run blood lactate test done at the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine ( It revealed what I pretty much run fitness is a bit down. Not a huge concern though as my pace at LT is the same as this time last year, but my HR was a bit higher. Over the next four weeks I will continue to focus on some serious base training with strict HR ranges on both the bike and run.

Christmas is approaching and I have done absolutley squat for my gift-giving. I'll be traveling next week with my friend Erin back to the Motor City. I only have one gift to buy though as my family has a traditional gift-giving deal. This year I have my brother-in-law and the guy has every tool known to man. I'm sure I"ll think of something. One year I gave him some compact fluorescent light bulbs...seriously no joke and he loved them! My parents are adamant we do not purchase anything for them and instead have expressed gratitude for a donation made to a charity if we feel so inclined.

I wish you all a very safe, healthy, happy and blessed Christmas season!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

My Backyard!

After spending last week indoors for all my rides on account of the hearty winter weather we had in Boulder, I was soooo happy to get outside and ride today. Pictured at left are the Flatiron Mountains which are part of the Rockies. Yes, I am one lucky son of a bisquit to live in such a beautiful place!

My good friends Erin, Pete & I hosted a holiday party over the weekend and it was a hoot! Great food (by gourmet chef Bradford Heap of LeChaunticler), super sangria & jell-0 shots (compliments of Joanna Z. & Mark), entertaining white elephant gift exchange and lots of laughs :) It's always refreshing to mix it up with folks outside of our sport. I have a strong inclination December is going to simply fly...plan to be home in Michigan to visit my family over Christmas...with 11 nieces and nephews it is always interesting.

My 2007 schedule is pretty well set and I'm stoked about my new partnership with Jelly Belly's Team Sport Beans/NTTC! ( While triathlon is most definitely an individual sport (minus the hacks who find ways to make it a group effort) I'm looking forward to adding a team dynamic to things this season. We have our team camp in early February and it will be great to meet my teammates. The last few weeks I have been in a sudo prep mode in getting myself set for more structure and specificity with my training. Tomorrow I am making another visit to the Boulder Center for Sports Medicine for my early season LT bike test and next week I'll get in the run LT. The tests will give us (me and Zane, my coach) some solid baseline numbers for my current fitness.

Outside of training I have been busy sheduling talks. Last Thursday evening I had the pleasure of speaking at Colorado State University on the topic of "You are what you eat - physical & spiritual fitness". It was a good change from my typical message.

Need to hit the rack...want to be rested for my test in the morn!

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh the Pain

Friday I returned to the weight room for a new strength training block. Today I swam masters with the usual sharks...Simon, Dave S., Wolfgang and many more. It was great to be in the mix with a group practice after the drill work I've been doing on my own. As much as I love the weight room, it's always a little rough the first couple of days with tweaks here and there. It has also reminded me how unflexible I am, especially in the water. Plan to hit a "gentle" yoga class twice a week to help loosen things. Day two of the new strength routine is later today. Hopefully I won't wake tomorrow all seized up!

Looking ahead, this is a busy week...swim video analysis, speaking engagement Thursday at CSU, hosting a holiday party with friends on Saturday...if I get my new digital camera working I'll try and post some pics from the party on my website.

If you are looking to get something in the holiday spirit, visit for his latest free download.

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


Yesterday I met with my new wetsuit sponsor LAMAR Health, Fitness & Sports to try on a couple of suits. Having never met the crew at LAMAR in person I was looking forward to the meeting and getting in my new suit. My contact, Paul, was great and had a couple of O2 Flow Razor suits fresh from the warehouse and still boxed for me to try. The first one looked a bit small and as I was wriggling my body into it I thought, "No, this is not going to work...." ripppp. Yep, I ruined it. Now remember, this was my first interaction with the good people at LAMAR and I just trashed a $500 wetsuit. Complete jackass. Yes, that is exactly how I felt. Paul was totally cool with things and even let me try on the other suit. It too was too small and I am going back next week to get it right!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Loving the down time!

I'm feeling a bit thick these days, but it's all good! I've totally enjoyed the last two weeks of no training and look forward to getting back to things this week. Last week I was in Michigan for some speaking engagements. It was great to see some of my family and focus on my other passion...talking to young people about dating, love and relationships :) One of my talks took place at my old high school which was a bit surreal.

Yesterday I picked up my tennis racket and hit with my friend Erin. I think it has been at least four years since I swung that bad boy and it wasn't as ugly as I thought it would be. Me and my friends are getting stoked for the snow and skate skiiing!! Training-wise, I'll be back in the weightroom for a strength training cycle starting tomorrow. My focus with the swim through December is all about technique. I'm meeting with super star swim coach Wolfgang Dittrich here in Boulder later this week to talk about some of my limitations (flexibility is seriously lacking) and what I need to do to put myself in a better spot for 2007! The biking and running will be pretty low-key with an emphisis on continuing to build the internal engine. I'll return to Austin sometime in February for a few weeks to escape a bit of the winter. Heading out to see the new movie Borat (sp??) with my cronies tonight.

Keep it smooth...

Friday, November 03, 2006

Fun Times in Tempe

I wrapped up the 2006 race season last weekend at the Soma Half IM in Tempe, AZ. As expected it was a super fun weekend with friends and racing. The race director, Jeff Suffolk, and his crew did a great job in making it an exciting and competitive race. He also hooked me up with a stellar homestay...Glen Newbold, his wife Jana and two year-old Tyson were so generous in welcoming into their home for the weekend. A hearty congrats to Glen who completed his first half IM!

My flight leaving Denver on Thursday before the Sunday race was delayed 2 hours because of a snow storm which dumped up to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow along the Colorado front range. It was a little after 9:00 pm when I finally walked through the front doors of the Newbold home. The next day was my standard pre-race rest day, so I spent the morning building up my bike then headed into downtown Tempe for some lunch and check things out a bit. A couple of my friends, Kristin & Erin, were arriving later in the afternoon and we were able to meet up for dinner that night.

Saturday morning I completed my final workout, registered and checked in my bike. I was assigned bib number 1, which gave me and my friends a pretty good chuckle. Kristin, Erin and I had lunch, drove the bike course and spent the rest of the day relaxing at the house where they were staying. We had some competitive games of billiards and plenty of laughs before making our pasta dinner.

I woke race morning rested and ready to roll. I was super excited to get after it and simply enjoy the day. The course was spectator friendly with 3 loops on the bike and 2 for the run. I lined myself up in the water next to my roommmate, Pete, hoping I could secure a draft from him...ha. It lasted all of about 10 seconds and I soon found myself gapped from the leaders and once again swimming alone for 1.2 miles. I exited the water in 28:27, well off my goal time.

Onto the bike and just made an effort to hit my nutrition and ride aggressively. The loop course offerred plenty of chances to see how I was doing against the competition. The eventual winner, Lewis Elliot, was hammering things and opened up a big lead with a bike split of 2:09. This particular course really made one ride aware and alert with the u-turns, construction and having to navigate through other athletes. I found myself riding with Timex's Andriy Yasterbov who had DNFd at Kona the week prior. We played a nice little game of cat & mouse through most of the second and third loops. Coming into T2 I was pleased with my effort on the bike riding a 2:16.

Exiting the bike-to-run transition I calculated I was about 10 minutes down from the leader and running in 9th place. I was quite familiar with the run course as it covered the same route as IMAZ. Reminding myself of my run mantra, swift & smile, I took in what I needed at the aid stations thanking the volunteers. Through the first loop I managed to run down some of the guys and was in 5th place. It appeared Lewis was well on his way to the victory, but I continued to run hard in an effort to make the podium. Running a somewhat disappointing 1:17 (second fastest on the day behind Andriy's 1:16), I finished in 4th place with a 4:03:58. Andriy ran into 2nd and Jonathon Carron of Candada was just ahead of me in 3rd. As I crossed the finish line I was pleased not only with the day, but to have completed a successful season.

I congratulate Lewis, Andriy and Jonathon for their results and a big kudos to Pete, Erin and Kristin for their effort on race day!

2006 proved to be a solid year for me with several PR's set throughout the season. I am so grateful for the gift of good health, my sponsors and their support...Hammer Nutrition, Rudy Project and Elite Performance Foods. My coach, Zane Castro, has been such a big influence on my development as an athlete and person.

Thanks for checking in!

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Let It Snow, Snow, Snow

I awoke this morning to a hearty dose of snow...the wet, heavy kind that creates havoc on the roads but makes the trees and mountains look like a winter wonderland. My flight for Phoenix is supposed to depart at 5:00 pm. I might need to borrow Santa's sleigh to get to the airport!

With a solid block of training under my legs I'm stoked to wrap things up for 2006 at the Soma Half IM this weekend in Tempe, AZ. My friends Erin, Kristin and Pete are racing as well and we've put in place a bit of a competition to spice up the race a bit...should be fun.

More to come upon my return to Boulder early next week.

Keep it smooth...

Friday, October 20, 2006


Jeesh, I almost forgot to send a shout out to my friends racing Kona tomorrow. I wish them and all the other competitors, volunteers, sherpas and others a safe and healthy day of racing on the Big Island!

I will be sending positive thoughts throughout the day to Joanna Z., Michael S., Mitch G., Michael L., Lars F. & Emily! Be your best!!

Keep it smooth...

Taste of Winter

Earlier this week we had our first snowfall here in Boulder. The colder weather has forced me to ride on my CompuTrainer a few times this week, but it's all good. The Soma Half IM is next weekend and I'm stoked for it...I've been feeling quite sharp in training in all three disciplines and ready to lay down a solid effort in Tempe. My friends Erin, Kristin and Pete are racing as well so it promises to be a fun way to end the season :) After Soma I have to travel to Michigan the first week in November for some speaking engagements and will enjoy a nice break from training. It will be fun to do some other things like skate skiing, ice skating, sleep in a bit, etc.

With my speaking, people often ask, "Are you Christian?" This has prompted some thoughts while riding indoors this week. Whenever I give a talk, I'm never in the position or mindset of imposing my thoughts on dating, love and relationships. Rather, I like to think I'm proposing some ideas on how to live a healthy lifestyle. This is done out of a genuine care for the health and well-being of others, specifically our young people.

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Rolling Along

The last 10-12 days of training have been quite good. I seem to be getting out of my IM Wisconsin "funk" and finding a bit of snap with things. Of course, completing some sessions with the likes of Michael, Simon, Dave, Colleen (Olympic runner), her husband Daren and others certainly lends itself to upping the effort. After completing so much training on my own in preparation for IMWI, it's been fun to train more with others and share some laughs.

Outside of training and getting ready for the Soma Half IM in a few weeks, my focus has been on sponsorship for 2007 and finding a new place to live. ML has been huge in helping with sponsorship. His insight has been invaluable. I just may have found a new condo...trying to sort out the finances, etc. Off to bed for tomorrow morning brings another brisk 15 miler with the guys.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Running With the Devil

OK, so Simon isn't really the devil, but he can be evil in training sessions! Friday morning I met up with Simon, Michael and Tim for what was supposed to be an easy to moderate 15 mile hill run. "Easy" quickly transformed itself to brisk within the first mile as "competitive" reared its ugly head. It was a beautiful morning for a run and Simon threw out a couple of options...the Teller Farm run or a new route to east Niwot. Michael's response was simply, "Whatever will slow us down." The challenging Teller Farm trail it would be. By mile 2 Michael decided he really didn't need to be running the set pace, so he wisely dropped back. Tim joined him at mile 3 and I found myself running shoulder to shoulder with the lanky South African. When we hit the turnaround Simon commented we were running a bit faster than what he typically runs over this portion of the route. I thought to myself, "Greaaat" knowing the next few miles were the toughest with steep hills. We hit these pretty hard but I didn't lose my vision. Simon gapped me a bit at the 13.5 mile mark and I opted not to kill myself in an effort to go with him. Upon returning to his house Simon noted we had just ran this route the fastest he ever has...not sure if that is good or bad. At any rate it was a hearty effort!

Yesterday I rode my favorite long climbing route which had close to 4500 feet of climbing. It was a magnificant day to ride in the mountains and I was loving it. I rode from Boulder north to Big Thompson Canyon up through Glen Haven and on to Estes Park. This climb is stunning with its views leading into Estes Park and not much vehicle traffic. The final portion has a nasty bite with a 10-12% grade. It's well worth it though as the view upon cresting is simply a hand painted sign reads "A slice of heaven". The descent down 36 into Lyons was awesome riding 35-45 MPH. I completed the 104 mile loop faster than I thought I would given Friday's run the day before and my legs felt pretty good running off the bike. The day was topped off having dinner & dessert on Pearl with a couple of friends.

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Indian Summer

The color is in full swing in and around Boulder these days and it looks absolutely stunning! We are enjoying some amazing weather at the moment and I am going to take full advantage of it. Embarrassingly, or rather sadly I should say, I have not done one long climbing ride up to Estes Park this season. Saturday I'm all over it with predicted temps in the upper 70s. Hopefully a few of my friends will join me for the venture. Plan to ride up to Estes Park via Big Thompson caynon which is one of my favorite climbs. I rode it last year with Simon Lessing and Chris Legh, but maybe this go I'll be able to take in a bit of the scenery instead of being blind from an anaerobic state. I am looking at some condos later today with my realtor...yippeee!

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

What Happened?

I've been reflecting this quite a bit since returning to Boulder. I totally had the good intention of putting up my Ironman Wisconsin race report in a timely manner, but have found myself in a bit of a funk...disappointment from my race and other "life issues". Basically it was a rather rough day for me. Cold, wind and rain from start to finish made for a pretty miserable day of racing. The Ironman North America staff and volunteers in Madison are unbelieveable and really helped motivate me in my glossy-eyed state on the run. I did secure a slot for the 2007 Ironman World Championships, so I'm stoked about that. My performance on the other hand was less than desireable. I placed 7th overall in 9:41 which is my best Ironman placing. It has been good to get back to some strucutred training this week. I've felt good on my bike completing some tempo and threshold work and my legs are feeling pretty decent with the run. I always enjoy getting back in the water after a bit of a recovery.

Having some down time from training I've been working on sponsorship for 2007, the Fit to Tri program for at-risk youth ( and house hunting. Yeah that's right I'm finally getting motivated to move into my own condo. Coming from Michigan where I was a proud homeowner to having a roommate and renting the past two years I am so ready for a change. My roommate is great and we have never had any issues, but I'm ready to have my own space...kinda lick myspace but only better ;)

I am excited about one more final block of training in preparation for the Soma Half Ironman on October 29th. The race is a hoot and held in the pleasant confines of Tempe, AZ. Several of my friends from Boulder are racing so it promises to be a fun way to cap my season!

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Twas the Night Before IM Wisconsin...

I completed my final pre-race brick and feel realllllyyyy goood! The weather has been stellar here in Madison since arriving on Wednesday. A cold front came in during the night and temps on race day will be cool...predicted high of 63 with chance of some rain. I've got my arse covered either way with the right gear so the cooler weather really shouldn't be too big an issue. Cold and rain is not the ideal, but just got to roll with whatever it is.

I've had a great time the last few days with some training, eating and hanging with my Austin Zane, his wife Terra, her mother, friends Shelly & Joseph and a few others. Yesterday was my off day so I enjoyed a leisurely breakfast and relaxing at the hotel. I met up with Terra and a couple of friends for lunch (got to stay on top of the carbs and nutrition) before our pro meeting. As always, the meeting was highlighted by some rather dumb-ass questions. I know that sounds crass, but c'mon do we really need to debate the drafting zone or why we are starting 10 minutes ahead of the age groupers and not 15 minutes? Jeez, don't sweat the small stuff! After the meeting, Zane, Joseph and I went to see Invincible. What an awesome flick! Highly recommended.

Well, I need to get my gear bags and bike race ready! Check back post the race for a re-cap!

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Checking In...

As much as I've said to myself in the past, "Dude, you need to stay on top of updating your blog!" I once again have found myself neglecting it. Since my last post I've raced two half Ironman events - the Spirit of Racine which served as the US Pro Long Course Championships in Racine, WI and most recently the 5430 Half IM here in Boulder. Brief recap...Spirit of Racine was a wonderful weekend with my parents making the drive from MI to support me. We had ideal race weather all weekend. Swim was tough as I found myself solo for the 1.2 mile effort in the chop of Lake Michigan. Bike was steady, but nothing special. Run was speedy as I had the fastest run split of the day in 1:14 and ran my way to a podium finish. 3rd overall and able to take home some grocery money! 5430 Half - It's always nice to sleep in my own bed before a race. This was a rough day for me and my worst race of the season. Swim stunk, bike was flat and simply ran hard to save a little face posting the second fastest run behind the talented Aussie Craig Alexander. It was a rather frustrating day, but given the fact I was just coming off my peak volume week in preparation for IM Wisconsin, not too bad...always have to keep things in perspective.

I'm in my final "big" week building for Ironman Wisconsin on September 10th. All things considered it has gone very well. Some highlights have included a 30 mile run day (25 early am and another easy 5 late in the day), 150 mile bike session followed by a moderate 10 mile rurun, several bikes of 110-130 and some hearty swim sessions of 5-6K. My body has met the challenge. My mind...well let's just say there have been a fair amount of f-bombs being dropped on the roads of Boulder County! Really, it has all been good and I am very grateful for the gift of good health. With the taper just around the corner I will be sure to give an update - seriously for real!

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, July 19, 2006


My friends Kristin & Mary recently introduced me to this killer new word, schads. Don't go running to your Webster's though, as I don't think you'll find it there. It's a great word and fun to use. For example: The guys had schads of laughs at Tom's Oyster Bar last night. We had schads of fun kite boarding in the Keys.

Last weekend, I competed in my first bike race. It was a hoot and pretty demanding. The Mike Horgan Hill Climb begins just outside of downtown Boulder and climbs some 3,000 feet up to Nederland. As my group, Cat 4, rolled away from the start a friend rode up next to me. I mentioned to him it was my first bike race as we talked casually and he suggested I not say that too loudly. We climbed up, up, up Sugar Loaf Road before connecting with the Peak to Peak Highway which would lead us to the finish at the Nederland Elementary. As the race progressed I was feeling comfortable and rode with a small group of guys off the front. I soon realized my chain wasn't staying in the appropriate gear and this was going to be one tough effort. Rolling across the finish line with a flat I had a smile on my face. It was a great experience and I look forward to hitting some more bike races in the future.

This weekend I'm heading to Racine, WI to race at the US Pro Long Course Championships. More to come post the race.

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Living Large in Lubbock

The Buffalo Springs Lake Half Ironman joined ranks with the new 70.3 series, offering a larger prize purse, which of course attracted a stronger professional field. On the men's side there were several Ironman champions, Olympians and a 5 time World champion making this the strongest pro field to date to toe the line in lovely Lubbock. My zen-like coach, Zane Castro, gave me some great insight to the race and we put together a solid plan with the main focus of improving my time from last year in an effort to make a continued progression.

I made the 9-10 hour trek from Boulder to Lubbock on the Thursday before the race with a few buddies (Greg, Michael and Alex) and there were no shortages of laughs along the way. It was great traveling with these guys and we rode in style...Greg's monster Ford 350 diesel extended quad cab. It was saweeet...plenty of room and rode like a Caddie! Our first little adventure was the dinner stop in Raton, New Mexico. After surveying the offerings, we opted on K-Bob's Steak House. What a treat! Bar-b-que beef brisket, salad and plenty of good people watching. We all had the same dish and amazingly no one had any stomach issues. Upon leaving we were extended an invitation to attend the rodeo festival by a nice young lass, but figured that wasn't on the agenda for us. Back in the ride and we made our way to our overnight stop in Dalhart, TX. I had the pleasure of rooming with the mad Russian, Alex, for this stop. We both pretty much just fell into our beds for a decent night's rest. We finished the drive to Lubbock arriving into town in the early afternoon on Friday. Our accommodations in Lubbock were great with each of us scoring our own rooms with small kitchens. Friday afternoon we drove the bike course and along the way met up with our friends Amanda and Michael who were doing the same. While I raced this event last year, it's always good to preview the course. After the drive and sorting some things out with our bikes we took in dinner at a nice little Italian joint called Orlandos. The food was good and conversation jovial. We decided this would be the spot for our pre-race meal as well.

Saturday was a busy day. I had the pleasure of speaking at a breakfast being put on by one of my sponsors Elite Performance Foods. This was a first for me, so I was looking forward to the opportunity to share my thoughts on nutrition and the race course. James Bonney and Ahmed Zaher were also there to share in the discussion. It seemed to go well and Jim Murry, founder of Elite Performance Foods, has indicated he received good feedback on the program. Hopefully we can do it again next year and Jim has promised there would be no delays with the pancakes coming off the griddle! I was finished with this obligation by 10:30 am and met up with the boys to complete our pre-race training efforts at the race site. We were done with things by 1:00 pm and made our way to a hearty lunch. Next up, the pro meeting which was entertaining on several levels...Mike Greer, the race director, is never at a loss for entertaining and Simon certainly had some keen things to say during the meeting. The head referree appeared to be very professional and personable with his explanation of the rules and I got the impression he was there to work with us and not against us. After my meeting ended I hung out a bit while my buddies finished up their meeting and we made an early exit to beat the masses for dinner. One of my buddies from Michigan was in town to race so he joined us for dinner at Orlandos...another good meal and even more laughs! I think we were all pleased to be done with dinner and back at our hotel by 6:45 pm. I took care of some final items before relaxing in bed and taking in Forrest Gump. It was about 9:45 pm when I turned the lights out. I was feeling relaxed and confident about my race despite the thunderstorms being predicted for race morning. I was also exited for my friends, Joanna, Kristin, Jennifer, Dennis, Matt and Ben who were racing at Ironman Coeur d'Alene the following day. Sending them some positive thoughts I fell asleep with a smile on my face.

Race morning arrived 3:15 am quick! This was earlier than what I get up for an Ironman race, but with the 6:30 am start and drive to the lake, it was all part of the deal. My pre-race meal was relaxing, comforting and tasting good! I was stoked to race and enjoyed the music from my MP3 player while dining on the likes of a PB&J, oatmeal, applesauce, coffee, Heed and some cookies of course! I met up with my road trip crew at the truck for our 4:40 am departure and we made it to the race site without any snafu.

Upon arrival, we noticed the river, or what seemed to be a river, flowing in the usually calm lake. There was a rather strong wind and plenty of lightning in the distance. Hmmm, would we be getting wet throughout the day?? Well, nothing I can control, so why worry. One thing I like about this race is the number of volunteers. Not your typical volunteers either. This was a small army of junior ROTC high schoolers. Poor souls had to be up at a godawful hour to mark thousands of anxious triathletes with their race numbers, etc. I was able to get things sorted in transition, chat with a few other athletes, complete my pre-race run and of course make my traditional visit to the porta-potty. Things were set and I proceeded to the start line. Having a larger professional field was a good thing and gave me a better opportunity to secure a draft for the swim. The gun, well not so much a gun but the voice of the race director went, and we were off. I was glad to find the feet of someone with whom I stayed until the first turn buoy. I made the decision to leave my "draft" as I felt like I could swim faster than the pace being sustained. Apparently a few others had the same idea as I soon found myself pulling a small group of athletes. I felt smooth and comfortable in my Apex wetsuit, but as the swim progessed was definitely beginning to get a bit too warm. Exiting the water I had no idea of my time and turned my attention to the challening and entertaining 56 miles of biking. The swim course seemed to be a bit short this year as the times were quite fast across the board and I posted a 24:59.

Onto the bike I was committed to riding strong and smart. My whole focus was staying on top of my nutrition and building the pace in an effort to ride faster than last year. I had a modest amount of confidence in my biking over the last few weeks leading up to the race and was looking forward to putting it together. This course was unique as it climbed in and out of three different caynons and had several out and back sections to give me an idea of how I was doing against the field. To my delight I felt like I was riding steady and not really losing too much to the guys. Having caught a couple of guys through the 56 miles I found myself arriving in T2 in 10th place. I was psyched to see I biked 10 minutes faster than last year with a split of 2:20.

I exited T2 in range of two other guys and again focused on my pacing and nutrition, trying to stay patient. This is a tough 13.1 mile run course with several long, steep hills and cramping can alwyas be an issue. Through the first few miles my legs responded well and I soon found my running form. I caught and passed the two who were in my range by the 5K mark and focused my attention on staying relaxed, yet running with a purpose. By the turnaround I found myself in 7th place with 6th place in my sights. This was significant as 6th place was the final money slot for this race and I really wanted to make it a pay day. I exchanged a few pleasantries with Jamie Cleveland and continued my effort, running to the third fastest run of the day at 1:17. Coming across the line with a new PR of 4:06 I was pretty jazzed and joined my friend Michael for a mineral cocktail in the med tent. I love this race for the fact they give away IV's which certainly helps with the recovery. Never mind the fact it took the student nurses three sticks in my arm to get the drip going. It's all good! A big congrats to Simon and Michael for their 2nd and 4th place finsihes as well as Michael, Greg and Alex for getting it done! Next up the US Pro Long Course Championships in Racine, WI on July 23rd.

Keep it smooth...

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Better Late than Never...

Well, it's been way too long since my last update post Wildflower. Things have been pretty hectic with some traveling, training and speaking. I spent a week with my friend Kristin training in the oppressing heat of Palm Springs, CA. It was a great week filled with training, good conversation and lots of laughs! We met several cool people, including Lori Travis and Mitch Gold with Counterpart Coaching ( A couple of highlights included a super ride through the scenery of Joshua Tree National Park and spending a relaxing afternoon at the beach with KH at the end of the week - we were both feeling pretty spent from the heat in Palm Springs and took a nice road trip to the beaches at La Jolla. Last weekend I was in San Antonio to speak at a youth rally. Currently I am trying to find some speed via the local balls to the wall Bus Stop group ride, track session & key swim days and have resumed strength training, which I love, in preparation for Buffalo Springs Half IM. This year it is part of the 70.3 series and offers a significantly larger prize purse which should attract a comepetitive field. I'm road tripping down to the Lone Star state with several training partners from Boulder - should be fun! I will also be speaking at a breakfast being put on by one of my sponsors, Jim Murry with Elite Performance Foods ( They make a super product called Omega Oat pancake & waffle mix. Its extremely healthy and makes for a great meal or between training snack.

We're in the midst of an early summer heat wave here in Boulder, but I'm not complaining. I'll take the mid 90 degree heat over the cold any day! Outside of training, life has been interesting (in a good way). Through a pretty incredible friendship I've recently found myself being challenged in a positive way which has given me more opportunity for growth. It's so easy at times to get all caught up with the training, racing, sponsorship commitments, etc. I often forget about the human component to life outside of triathlon. Don't get me wrong, I'm not so focused on my sport I forget about the outside world, but there are definitely areas in my life I've neglected and I am thankful for my friendships.

Keep it smooth...

Friday, May 12, 2006

Wildflower Experience

This is an absolutely awesome event with a full-on festival-like atmosphere for the more adventuresome! With close to 7,000 athletes camping, numerous live bands and great weather (not always the case) my first Wildflower experience was a hoot, apart from my race. I'll get to that in a moment...I traveled to San Jose two days prior to the Saturday race and had a 2.5 hour scenic drive to Lake San Antonio State Park with my friend Mary who was racing the Olympic distance event (she rocked with a 1st place finish in her age group). We secured a top notch campsite with a nice view on top of a knoll and looked forward to meeting up with our friends Pete, Erin, Kristin and Jen. Props to Kristin and Jen for laying down stellar races and securing podium spots with Kristin 3rd in her age group & 7th overall and Jen 1st in her age group and 9th overall. They were awesome!! The weather for camping was great with cool mornings and evenings. Race day I awoke fairly rested and looking forward to the day's challenge. Typically, I preview the bike and run courses, however this time no such luck and I relied on descriptions from my friends. I knew the course would be tough, but it would have been good to see firsthand. Admittedly, I did not prepare for this race mentally like I usually do and in hindsight that was a mistake. I was psyched to be sporting my new Orca Apex wetsuit for the swim and anticipated a decent effort. Well, that plan lasted for about 300 meters...once we hit the first turn buoy the boys were gone - I soon found myself being dropped and swimming solo for the remainder of the 1.2 mile swim - not the way to start a half Ironman. Onto to the bike it was a bit chilly as the sun was blocked by some cloud cover and I was not enjoying the start to this 56.2 mile ride. I used some positive self-talk and reminded myself to be patient and apply my nutrition as there was a lot of climbing up ahead. About 25 miles into the ride I caught and passed a couple of fellas and when I hit the toughest climb, appropriately named Nasty Grade, I was riding with a small group of three. We went back and forth a bit exchanging some pleasantries. As the bike progressed I found myself feeling better both physically and mentally. I exited T2 with another guy and we set a brisk pace into the run. I didn't have a clue how much time the main field had put on me and I simply told myself to run and run hard. Like the bike course, the Wildflower run course is not lacking in hills and about 60% of it is on trails through the park. My legs responded well through the rollers of the first three miles and when we hit the first significant climb at mile 4, I figured it was time to drop this guy with whom I had been running. My running form felt strong and I continued to press the pace. I didn't really get an idea where I was within the field until I entered the "Pit" at mile 8, which is a 2 mile out and back section of the course. This gave me a good opportunity to see the state of my competition and it looked like there were some guys suffering...I passed my roommate, Pete, on the downhill of the Pit, giving him encouragement to keep pressing. With each pass of an athlete I locked my eyes on the next guy, playing a nice little game of Pac-man. The final mile of this run course is a steep downhill then a flat segment into the finish shute. I made my final pass with about 1/4 mile to go and crossed the line with a time of 4:28 and 21st overall. Kudos to my training partners Jimmy Archer and Jared Berg for their solid performances. Next stop Buffalo Springs Ironman 70.3 (half Ironman distance) on June 25th in Lubbock, TX.

Keep it smooth...

Monday, May 01, 2006

Triathlon Woodstock Style...

Yes, I've been a total slacker with my delayed update. Life happens. Anyway, I've had several key sessions that have gone very well in my preparation for Wildflower this Saturday. I'm super psyched to go out to California for this event as it has always been one of the races on my "list". Several of my friends from Boulder are racing...Pete, Jen, Kristin, Mary, Erin and Jimmy. The field is looking competitive with the likes of Cam Widoff, Chris Lieto, Luke Bell, Rutger Betke, Tbjorn Sinballe and a slew of other guys with impressive resumes!

This race is considered the Wooodstock of triathlon because it's located at a state park in the boon-docks. The majority of the 7,000 athletes (three different races throughout the weekend) will all be camping at Lake San Antonio (about 150 miles from San Jose). I've slept in my car before a race but never spent an entire race weekend camping...should be fun, especially if it doesn't rain. The weekend promises to have a festival-like atmoshpere with the three races and several bands for entertainment. I'll drop a note post the race.

Please keep your thoughts and prayers with my coach, Zane Castro, whose father suffered a heart attack over the weekend.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, April 11, 2006


A super-sized congrats to my friend Michael Lovato on his victory in Tempe...what a performance!!

I'm back in Boulder and my legs are feeling IMAZ proved to be another challenging "day at the office". The weather was decent with mild winds and warm temperatures reaching into the upper 80s and a high of 90. I awoke race morning and went about my pre-race breakfast routine feeling confident and prepared. My parents were volunteering as bodymarkers and they did the honors for me at the transition area which was kind of cool. After getting things settled, checking the bike, chatting with some friends, etc. I took some time to get my mind set and listen to my MP3 player.

We had a 15 minute gap from the age group mass start which still provided plenty of athletes to secure a draft with a very large professional field of around 70 athletes. After the cannon I found myself swimming a bit too far right near the wall and was soon able to find the feet of one of my training partners. I felt comfortable throughout the swim and exited the water within my goal time. I stayed calm and relaxed in T1 and made my way to my Trek TT which a bike handler had waiting for me. It took me about 30 miles before my legs started to come around and I really settled into a good rhythm for the final two loops. I found myself riding through some of the field and away from a few guys which gave a good mental boost. Within the final few miles of the bike my left quad and hamstring began to cramp and I knew the run was going to be tough, but was happy to be off the bike in under 5 hours. It appeared I was on track to break 9 hours for the day which was one of my goals. Into T2 I used some postive self-talk as I began to feel the familiar cramping I had experienced in previous races. Throughout the run I never found my true running form and my pacing strategy was revised to more of a survival mode in an effort to manage the cramping. Through a lot of prayers, the helpful volunteers at the aid stations and the folks on the course cheering I was able to keep things fairly steady and run my first sub 3 hour marathon getting me across the line in 8:56 - a new PR!!

I am very humbled to have the gift of good health to train and race at this level. I would also like to thank my family & friends for their support and prayers - it's greatly appreciated! To Zane, my coach, you rock (even though I often curse your name in training!) My efforts are the result of an incredible team and I am very grateful for the support of my partners: Elite Performance Foods, Hammer Nutrition and Rudy Project.

This race has given me motivation to continue my pursuit of excellence and I look forward to getting in the mix at Wildflower on May 5th!

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Bring It...

So the work has been done and I find myself packed, locked, loaded and ready to roll in Tempe! I had a very good build for this event despite the bike crash in Austin at the end of February and my taper has been "on". I am excited to race and welcome the challenges Ironman Arizona has to offer. It promises to be a competitive day and the weather is supposed to be quite good for race day. Several of my friends from Boulder are racing...Jimmy, Michael, Alex and Sandra (part-time Boulderite from Germany). I also know quite a few folks coming in from Austin and wish everyone (participants, spectators & volunteers) a safe, healthy and enjoyable day on Sunday!

Keept it smooth...

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Bring On the Taper

After a hearty 4 week block of training, I'm enjoying a few days of "active recovery" and getting ready for taper mode...benefitted from a scheduled, and well-deserved I might add, day off yesterday with massage therapy and spending the afternoon on my computer at Amante's coffee shop in north Boulder. Very condusive atmosphere for attending to my doings outside of triathlon and catching up on things. I am quite satisfied with how my body has performed and recovered from the training and crazy weather we've had in Boulder as of late with snow, cold, etc. Now it's pretty much time to find some speed and sharpen the mental game! I am super stoked for IMAZ in three weeks and welcome the challenges it will bring.

FAITH - it's something we all have in one form or another; for some its spiritual or religious, for others a trust or confidence in a person or process. I believe faith is what gets us through the twists and turns of life. It seems as though some individuals choose to take the supersonic expressway at high rates of speed with life simply passing by them. Others take the slower, and at times tougher, rougher side roads. In doing so, they are most likely embracing and experiencing all life has to offer - the good and the bad. I'm probably cruising down both avenues, but strive for the experience the sid roads have to offer.

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Oh, That's Gonna Leave a Mark...

Out on an easy spin to flush the legs yesterday, I got tagged by an elderly woman driving her car who didn't see me when she was making a turn. I am very thankful to my Guardian Angel and God for watching over me as I survived with a concussion and some road rash. My bike seems to be in good working order as well. This was my first "serious" accident involving a car and I got my eggs scrambled pretty well, but shouldn't be set back too much by it. It happened in kind of slow motion and I remember thinking at the moment before impact, "Oh shit, this is gonna hurt!" A big kudos to my friends - Kristin, Terra, Zane, Shelly, Joseph and Matt for their concern and help along with my family and friends in Boulder. It's comforting to have such a top notch support group! This was my second visit to the ER room while visting Austin the past two times...hmmmmm....

Keep it smooth....

Friday, February 24, 2006

Well, the time is going fast here in Austin. Having begun my main build for IM Arizona in addition to a few speaking engagements has kept me out of trouble and away from the computer! It's been great hanging with my coach Zane and his wife Terra. My friend Kristin arrived last Thursday and all of us (yes, Zane is back to some training) are enjoying the training, encouragement and sharing some meals. Weather has been a bit cooler than desired, but beats the cold and snow back in Boulder. The days are being consumed with training, eating, training, sleeping, eating, get the picture.

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Arrival in Austin...

Ventured from the cold of the Rocky Mountains to the warmth in Austin for a few weeks in preparation for IMAZ. It's been good times staying with my coach, Zane, and his wife Terra. Vatolovato is also here and stayed with us for the first weekend...good laughs! Weather has been decent and things rolling well (minus the cleat incident and getting lost on my bike and in car a few times). It's kind of cool to be able to train at sea level and actually breathe! Beyond the training and I have several speaking engagements on the calendar and looking forward to those. It's a true blessing to have the opportunity to train full-time and talk to young people about God's plan for love in their lives. It's really quite humbling...a tough day of training is always put in perspective after talking with some teens who are struggling with some life issues. Well, need to make this brief as a nap beckons before hitting the Barton Springs "pool".

Keep it smooth...

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Back in the saddle....

So, Simon sends out an email encouraging the start-up of the Wednesday/Saturday group rides. Sounds like a good day with the boys on the bike, so I respond with a definitive "IN". Start time for today's effort - 11 am at a conveinent meeting place for all...11 am and three of us - Simon, Richard (Simon's cronie from the UK) and me. Being the first "group" session since the summer, maybe some of the fellas are running late. So we wait, for a good 5-6 minutes...that's pretty generous. I mean, who wants to sit out and wait in the fricking cold for guys with no sense of being prompt. The three of us make our way north of Boulder into the wind towards Carter Lake. Richard was feeling a bit fatigued and had a shorter ride scheduled (those darned ITU guys!) so that left me and much for "hiding" in the pack. As we made our way after the back descent of Carter Lake lo and behold we cross paths with the other knuckleheads...Curt, AJ and Michael. Don't get me wrong, they're stand-up lads, but what part didn't they understand of "We will meet at 11 am." Ah, it's all good...they'll be in the mix next go around.

Keep it smooth....