Monday, July 30, 2007

As they say in Kona...

it's not so much the heat, but the humidity! After my on-time arrival Sunday morning in Austin, Zane and I headed to their house so I could make a quick change into my running clothes. It had been a bit humid in Boulder the past few days, but nothing like the heavy air of Austin. With all the rain in recent weeks Austin is lush, green and DAWG-GONE humid! Starting from Jack & Adam's I was looking forward to running at sea level around the scenic Town Lake trail. Coach Z must have been in a humorous mood to include 5x1000m intervals at the beginning and 3x1000m efforts at the end of my 18 mile run. Starting at 11am the air was nice & toasty. I soon realized why ML has said he always had to train in the early morning hours when he lived in Austin. Training in this humidity at late morning/mid-day should be outlawed! I was drenched and relished soaking the legs in the cool water of Barton Springs upon completion of the session.

Later today I get sorted on my new bike...yahooo!

Keep it smooth...

Saturday, July 28, 2007


A rather dizzing week returning from Vineman 70.3 and getting back into training mode. I have felt really good the last few days with some solid work on the bike and run. My run form is taking shape and I am stoked about my new ride. After speaking with Zane on Tuesday we decided the sooner I could get down to Austin the better to pick up my new Felt bike! Using some miles courtesy of Frontier, a whole different animal, I was able to book a quick trip leaving early Sunday morning. It will be great to see the crew at Jack & Adam's ( and spend a bit o'time with Coach Z and his lovely wife Terra. Long run tomorrow in the Austin hills, early morning swim with the UT masters and bike fit on Monday with my return to Boulder on Tuesday. I arrive back in town just in time to meet up with my Fit to Tri kids for a group bike ride late afternoon.

My current read is The Endurance about Sir Ernest Shakleton's grueling Antarctica expedition. An incredible book about perseverance and survival with superb photos. These guys spent close to two years living on ice! I highly recommend it...the book, not sleeping on ice :)

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Vineman 70.3

The Vineman 70.3 course is perhaps one of the most scenic courses I have raced as it twists and turns throughout the vineyards of Sonoma County. It was a great race weeekend shared with my parents & friends from Boulder and San Diego. My dad even joined me for my pre-race swim early Saturday morning and I was impressed with his ability to complete a deck change. Saturday afternoon I was invited to speak at the Iron Prayer service hosted by FCA Endurance ( which was great.

Swim (28:00) - The swim takes place in the shallow waters of the Russian River. It is typically a fast swim with the current coming back to T1, but the swim times seem to be a bit slower this year. I found myself in the first chase pack which included Greg Ramaly, Melissa Ashton, Sam McGlone and a few others. It was a comfortable swim and I exited three minutes down from the lead men. Grabbing my bike I was intent on riding strong and bridging the gap.

Bike (2:23) - I love this bike course! It is quite technical with all the blind corners and rolling terrain. Within the first 5K I caught a few athletes who had exited the water just ahead of me and rode within the legal draft zone over the next 10-15K with a small group of three. Tim Sheeper and I exchanged posititions several times. Once on one of the few flatter sections I picked up my pace in an effort to drop Tim and ride into the athletes who I knew were just ahead of us. My push allowed me to open a gap on him and for the next several miles I continued to ride hard and focus on fueling. I was feeling pretty good and soon rode up on and passed Pete Jacobs from Australia who was first out of the water. Pete re-passed me and was able to open up a gap. I continued to work knowing the longest climb on Chalk Hill was nearing. I passed Brent Paulson from Canada leading up to Chalk Hill and rode well over the final 5K of the course. Vineman 70.3 is unique with two different transition areas and riding into T2 I saw Peter Clode (one of my teammates), Pete Jacobs and Torsten Abel as they headed out for the run. I figured they were within striking distance as I exited T2 in 12th position.

Run (1:17) - Like the bike course, the run was scenic and challening with the rolling terrain and several good hills to keep us honest. This run course was very well managed to ensure a fair race with the corners and turns being closely watched so athletes could not "cut" the tangents. Within the first 3K I caught my teammate, Peter, who was having some cramping issues. We exchanged some encouraging words and I simply focused on my effort and fueling through the aid stations. I did not see any athletes in front of me until entering the property of La Crema Winery near the half-way mark of the run. Intent on securing a top 10 finish I pressed the effort and passed Pete & Torsten as we rounded one of the small ponds of the winery. This would be the position I maintained crossing the line in 4:11.

While a bit disappointed to be over the 4:10 mark, I was grateful to race in good health on such a beautiful course. I want to thank my sponsors for their continued support as I work towards Kona. A big congratulations to all my friends who raced over the weekend at various races!!Thanks for reading!

Keep it smooth...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Fit to Tri - Group Session #1

This afternoon I headed up to Longmont for my first group training session with the kids. Our group has downsized to three, but what they may lack in number they make up for in spirit! Two boys, JJ - age 14 & John - age 11, along with one girl, Kayla - age 14, met me and my friend Beth (their teacher) outside the Summit center for our late afternoon run session. It was a hoot and I am stoked about working with these kids over the next several weeks as they prepare for the Boulder Kids' Triathlon on August 11th.

Life has been good and training taxing at times with the quality being done. I am really looking forward to racing Vineman 70.3 this weekend.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Cranking It Up

My body experienced a hearty "shock to the system" with my return to training this week. The general plan over the next couple of training cycles is to work the upper end and find some speed. I did my first interval run session since mid-March early in the week and dang did it hurt. Several solid bike and swim sessions compiled with the hot weather has made me one tired camper, but it has been great to dose my training with some focused quality. Shared a bushel basket full of laughs with friends throughout the week and of course the fireworks on the 4th. Capped my training week with a hard masters swim served up by Jane Scott this morning followed by a long run on Magnolia Road (elevation around 9,000 feet with some hearty hills) and an easy spin late this afternoon. A little ice cream with fresh raspberries and I will be ready to hit the rack for some needed sleep!

Keep it smooth...

Monday, July 02, 2007

BSLT 70.3 Race Report

All smiles post the race...and an IV :) This is one of the few races where the medical staff actually asks if you want an IV. Race morning brought cloudy skies with not too much wind which I figured would make for a rather hot affair considering the upper 90 degree temps the day prior. After getting in transition I realized I forgot my cycling shoes in the car. No problem though as I had plenty of time to walk up the steep heel out of transition and back to the car. As I was organizing things once back with the shoes an official asked me to fix my race number on my bike. I was #16 and it looked like #91 on my frame...oops! A quick adjustment and I was set to go through my warm-up before the swim start.

Swim (26:28) - The swim in Lubbock is done in a lake which is fed my spring water. Every year a couple of athletes at the pro meeting inquire about taking a vote to not use wetsuits. Mike Greer, the race director, simply stated wetsuits are it! I had a good warm-up and was ready to go. After we gathered for the beach start, for some reason everyone made a quick dash on the beach to our right. The horn sounded and we were off. The lead group which included Chris Legh, Tim DeBoom, Adrea Fishers and few other sharks were quick to separate themselves from the main field. I found myself in a small pack and after the first turn buoy it seemed I was with only one other athlete who was enjoying the draft on my feet. As we made out way through the long back stretch I decided to ease up and let this character do a little work. He went by and I immediately settled on his feet for the remainder of the swim. As we exited the water I was surprised to find several athletes in front and just behind us. I had a swift transition and headed out of T1 just ahead of James Handley, Natasha Badman and Jason McMillian from Jack & Adam's in Austin.

Bike (2:26) - After the first steep climb out of transition I worked hard over the rollers to the park exit. The winds were being kind and I was focused on briding any gaps and putting distance between me and the others who I knew would be coming. Just before the first aid station Patrick Evoe and Jason (both race for Jack & Adam's) passed me. I was not surprised by this as I knew both these guys can bike. My plan was to work hard to maintain contact with them. Something just did not feel right though as these guys were able to drop me with ease. I continued to work and rode through the leading women before hitting the first turn-around. Chris, Tim and Paul Matthews (Australia) were well out in front with a good group of guys following. As I made the climb out of the first canyon, Natasha passed me and also rode away from my sights. I stayed calm despite some frustration from how I felt and the data from my Ergomo. I held my position in 11th through the rest of the ride and maintained a present focus on my fueling. My bike split was six minutes SLOWER than last year and it was not until after the race I noted my rear brake had been rubbing every so slightly to disrupt the normal wheel rotation...ugh!

Run (1:18) - Exiting T2 I knew I would have to run well to make up for precious lost time on the bike. I had not done any interval work before this race after coming off my injury and figured I would need to dig deep and keep working until crossing the line. I felt pretty good as I found my running legs and hydrated through the aid stations. As I ran towards the backside of the lake I took a look across to see if I could spot anyone. No one in sight. Upon reaching the first hill out of the park my left hamstring began to cramp and I had to ease up a bit to avoid a full-blown cramping episode. I was able to manage it with my Endurolytes and fuel from the aid stations. I did not see anyother atheltes until I reached the long out & back section to the turn-around. Chris was running strong out front and I encouraged him with a few words as we passed each other. I finally ran down Natasha and soon after that Jason. As the others were making their way back from the turn-around I took note of the gap and was not too sure if I could catch any other guys. Through the turn-around I simply focused on my effort and fueling. After six miles I felt like I was finding a good rhythm and began to press my effort. Once back in the park and near the backside of the lake, several age groupers were giving me feedback about the two guys who were apparently within range. The BSLT 70.3 run course around the lake is such that you can not really see your competition and creates the "out of sight, out of mind" mentality. I knew I would have to keep working through the run, especially over the final three miles and through this portion of the course. My effort paid off as I was able to catch and run by James Hadley (Great Britian) and Brent Poulsen (Canada) within the final half mile to finish 8th overall in 4:14.

Although my time was eight minutes slower than last year, I was pleased to cross the line in good health and secure a top 10 spot. Once again there were lessons learned. I think that is part of the reason I have such a passion for race is the same. It was a fun race weekend in Lubbock and I enjoyed catching up with the Austin peep. A hearty congrats to all those from Boulder who raced. I am grateful for the support from my sponsors, coach, family & friends.

Keep it smooth...

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Got Lobstah?

Sydney enjoys a mouthful of smores :)

Taylor & Cassie hamming it up!

Cassie & Forrest strut their stuff as Syndey & Ryan get in on the action

Ryan cutting it up - get this little guy some cardboard!

A group of happy campers!

My nephew Taylor is showing off his tasty New England treat as my family enjoyed our annual lobster feed on the Maine coast. I have never taken a mid-season break from training and this was something Zane and I planned at the end of the 2006 season. With great anticipation I had the final week of June penciled on my calendar. The original plan was to to take the week comletely off, but as I am just getting back to running we made some minor adjustments to include 2-3 runs while in Maine. No big deal and it would not interfere with the family fun :) We had absolutely stunning weather with warm, sunny days kicking it on the coast. Visits from extended relatives to our quaint spot along the unique Maine coast were welcome. I always enjoy the chats and of course the Maine humor. The days were filled with spotting harbor seals while sea kayaking, swimming in the ocean, playing trac-ball, kite flying, walks along the shore at low tide, volleyball, lacrosse, bonfires with smores, family dinners & lots of laughing. One of the highlights from the week was the show put on by Cassie & Forrest, two of the more "theatrically-gifted" family members. Seven-year-old Sydney & four-year-old Ryan were rather spontaneous with their appearances. It was a great week spent relaxing and I am very blessed to have such a wonderful family who can laugh with and at one another :)

My body and mind are rested and I look forward to getting back to things in Boulder!

Keep it smooth...