Monday, August 8, 2011

Slacker Update....

Been a busy past few months, and have really neglected the updates.... therefore I'm going to post the Slacker Update...

At the end of June, I was fortunate to schedule a tri along with my daughter's softball tournament in Denver, CO. The race was the Lake to Lake Tri in Loveland, CO. An abosultely beautiful venue, with probably the most scenic bike ride I have ever biked. Fortunately we received a blessing of a cloud cover for most of the race, especially since the Denver area had been hitting the mid 90's most of the week.

The race started with a 1500m swim in Lake Loveland, followed by a 30 mile bike loop with hills and rolling plains, and finished with a 10k run out and back along the lake.

After the race we finished up the weekend with road trip up to Estes Park, and enjoyed an amazing Colorado sunset.

A couple of days of recovery, and it was back to traing for my first off-road tri, Xterra Snow Valley. This tri is not a very long tri; 1000m swim, 10 mile bike, 4 mile run. However what the race lacked in distance, it packed in punch with elevation!!! Swim was at 7000 ft, the bike was a 2 loop coarse with over a 1000 ft elevation gain each loop, and the run was mix of grueling ups and downs - more like a run/hike.

My times were OK for the swim and run, however I got absolutely worked on the mountaing bike. Definately not my strong discipline and was easily 30-40 minutes slower than the best times!! Overall I had a great race, and enjoyed the scenery in the moutains when I wasn't sucking air..... Definately going to give this race another chance to kick my a--!

And I thought I'd throw in a picture of a ride we did in Idyllwild the weekend before Xterra. Amazing trails on that moutain, and will definately be back.

Friday, May 6, 2011


I thouhgt it would be cool to use an acronym to discuss my weekly strength training workouts. And since the whole cross-fit revolution has taken the WOD (workout of the day), I came up with WTW - workout of the week.

I took a little time off after the Big Rock Tri to reset, and get ready for the strat of my IM training. I'm using the Iron Fit book by Don Fink, and its weekly training guide. The IM program is a 30 week program separated into three 10 week phases. Just started phase one, and so far so good.......

On top of the IM training, I am adding 2 one hour strength training session per week, followed by a run or bike. The though process is to get totally spent with the strength training, followed by an aerobic run or bike. Kind of using it like a brick session....

Now here is the WTW......

Seesion 1 was more of a light circuit; 90 secs of each of the following, with a 30 sec rest in between. Repeat circuit 3 times.
- dumbell swings
- row machine
- good mornings (lower back, with barbell on shoulders like a squat, bend at the hips, stick the butt out)
- spin bike
- russian twist
- burpees
After a few minutes rest, finished with 5 minutes of core.

Session 2 was another circuit type workout called 25's. Complete 25 reps of each of the following;
- TRX chest ups (with back on the ground)
- Push ups
- Push Press
- Scarecrows
- Squat Cleans
- Atomic sit-ups
- Chinnies
- Dumbell Swings
- Jumping Pull Ups
- Splits jumps on tire
- Tire hops
- Push ups to dips
A few minutes rest, and only a couple minutes of core to finish.

Great WTW, looking forward to the next WTW!!!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Big Rock Tri

The second triathlon of the year was the Big Rock Tri in Lake Perris. The race started with a beautiful morning, a great swim, strong bike, and fizzeled with a "bonk" on the run. Soooo close to a PR, however my nutrition - or lack of - made for a personal worst on the run.

During the bike, my primary focus was calories and unfortunately I neglected the hydration. Once I started the run it was too late, and I couldn't recover my liquids. This made for a loooong, slooooow, and painful 10k. My final run time was 8 minutes slower tham my previous personal worst..... ouch. Fortunately I recorded my best time ever for a 1.5k swim, and I was also very happy with my bike time (for a back of the pack biker).

April is the month I officially start my IM Arizona training, so no more tri's for the next few months. My next event is the Laguna Hills Half Marathon on Memorial Day. This was the first half marathon I ran back in 2009, and I am really working to take some significant minutes off my time!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Stairs and Sand Burpees

One more week before the Big Rock Tri, and I was able to fit in a great beach workout. One of my training partners knows a hidden set of steep stairs that drops from PCH down to the sand just north of Dana Point.

The workout was 5 rounds of the following: Up the stairs, down the stairs, 400m jog in the sand, 20m bear crawl in the sand, and 20m burpee broad jumps in the sand. The first round took 8 minutes, and the last round took close to 10 minutes - total time was 50 min.

The stairs were a blast, definately more cardio than strength for the first few rounds, and then more strength than cardio the last 2 rounds. This was the first time I had ever done burpee broad jumps in the sand, much different (and harder) than on a hard surface!! Overall it was a great workout, and beautiful day to enjoy the ocean.

And now that April has arrived, its officially baseball season. Living in SoCal I have pretty much been a Dodger fan most of my life, however I rarely get to see the games in person. This year my daughter and I decided to attend opening weekend, and had a great time. Nothing better than a Dodger - Giants game to start off the baseball season ....

Monday, March 14, 2011

Desert Tri

This was my second consecutive Desert International Triathlon. The coarse is just short of an Olymnpic distance (3/4 mile swim, 24 mile bike, 6 mile run) and is very flat and fast coarse. The scenery is spectacular, set right next to the base of the mountains in Lake Cahuilla Park (Palm Springs area). One of the things I enjoy the most about living in So Cal are the sunrises, especially in the desert. Driving east to Palm Springs @ 5am was a great opportunity to enjoy the morning, and mother nature did not disappoint!

During last years race the wind and rain started as soon as I finished the swim, which made for a very cold day. My hands were numb when I finished the bike, and it took me 5 minutes to get my running shoes on. The weather for this years race was about as perfect as you could get, 60-70 F with lots of sunshine and clear blue skies.

Conditions for all three segments were some of the best I have experienced; clean lake water, flat smooth asphalt (98% of the course), and a nice trail run around a lake. Add that to a small, well organized, grass roots triathlon and you can't ask for a better day!

As for my race...... I did beat my time by 5 minutes from last year due to a better bike and faster transitions (it helps when your fingers aren't numb). I had a tough swim and a slow run, seems there's always one or two things that make you want to come back and do better.... And to make the race one to never forget, I got some spit afterspray when a girl passed me on the bike and decided to "huck" one to the side.
Overall this a great race, and one that I plan on doing every year to start the season. Thanks to all the great volunteers and mother nature for providing a great experience (minus the spit)!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The TB (Total Body) Workout

The weekly strength training session was more of a challenge session - the Total Body Workout. This challenge consists of the following 4 exercises: Burpees, Push Ups, Sit Ups, and Squats. One round equals 5 burpees, 10 push ups, 15 sit ups, and 20 squats. The object is to complete as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes.

Last time I completed this challenge, about 6 months ago, I finished with 10 rounds. This time I improved with a total of 11-1/4 rounds. Total reps in 20 min was 60 burpees, 110 push ups, 165 sit ups, and 220 body squats.

Total body workout with cardio in 20 minutes!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Who is Nate Harrison?

Nate Harrison is known as the first African-American settler in San Diego County - on the south west side of Palomar Mountain. The stories of his age, life and when he took residence on the mountain run the gamut. Stories suggest he was on the mountain as early as 1850 but artifacts tend to indicate it was closer to the 1890's. The truth is probably somewhere in the middle. He came to the area during the Gold Rush and made the mountain his home. His roadside property stood along the only road up and down the mountain. He would provide water and rest to all those who made the journey up or down the mountain. He befriended all and shared stories, made up stories, and became a legend in those parts and subsequent to his death in 1920.

Nate Harrison is also the name of a 12 mile fire road that climbs up Palomar Mountain. A road with beautiful views of Pauma Valley, and an average 8% grade up the side of a mountain with 5000 feet of elevation gain.

The ride started in Pauma Valley, and Indian Reservation north east of Escondido, off Hwy 76. Just past the Casiono Pauma, there is a small shopping center and post office. We parked behind the post office early in the morning and prepared for a long day of riding. Palomar Mountain is in the distance, and the visible part is only half way....

The climb started about 8am and the weather was a perfect 50ish. The first part of the ride rises up through a large patch of citrus groves for about 1-1/2 miles, a nice warm-up for the remaining 10 miles. As you exit the citrus groves, the broken pavement turns to dirt, and you can see the switch backs climbing up the side of the mountain above you. After about 2 hours worth of effort, you start to climb into the trees.

The views to the valley below were amazing - and this was only about half way up. The trees provide a nice change of scenery, however the climbing is just as tough as the switch backs. We took a small nutrition break at mile 9, just in front of the Palomar State Park sign. 

The last 3 miles to the top were more mentally draining then physical. There wasn't much mountain visible above the road, however the climb was just as steep. The last 1/2 mile provided a little relief to the base of the fire lookout climb. The final stretch to the lookout was a steep 1/4 mile that took a huge effort, however the payoff was well worth it....

The valley behind me is where we started..... We took another nutrition break at the lookout station and enjoyed the quiet and peaceful views: the weather was perfect with great visibilty. After a short break we continued to South Grade Rd and descended the moutain with fast and steep corners. The drop of 5000 ft and 12 miles took us only about 30 minutes, and dropped us right into a taco shop! A nice finish to an epic ride.