Tuesday, December 29, 2009

X Mas

This was the view on my Christmas morning.

Back in the pool I be this week. Two days of back to back 6,000m efforts and I am feeling good. It is amazing to me that I basically swam 12,000yds as a maximum per WEEK until about September of last season. Hopefully the jump in distance will make a difference. It certainly has on my skin. I feel like a total girl looking for lotion all the time, carrying it in my car, keeping it in my desk, etc...

Here's to a fun filled New Years Eve and a happy and prosperous New Year to all.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

A Merry & Dry Christmas

This week was a "rest" week, which to Coach, meant a perfect opportunity to work on my swim. Heavily. So it was back-to-back masters workouts each morning but Wednesday. I got a morning reprieve on Wednesday but was sent to the pool at lunch. At least the sun was out. This morning's swim was the biggest of the week, and appropriately, finished it off. All the pools around here are closed on Christmas, and though I am sure it crossed his mind, Coach was kind enough not to send me out in the ocean. So Christmas day will be my first "dry" day this week.

In the end it was my biggest swim week ever, topping out at just over 25,000yds. Surprisingly, and despite my worst fears, my arms remain firmly affixed to my torso. Even more surprisingly, I still felt pretty strong in the water today. Maybe its working? It was a satisfying week, but no time to bask in my PR. The next plan hasn't been delivered yet, but I have already been told it will include a bigger yardage number for each successive week to come. Yikes!!

So tomorrow I will be enjoying my Christmas being dry & drinking hot chocolate. I hope that you all (mom & Danyel), do the same. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, etc... Stay warm and DRY!!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Save the Date

Tomorrow, on NBC, at 4:30 eastern time, Ironman Hawaii 2009 will air. You might just see my back running the other way Craig Alexander passes Chris Lieto. Either way should be a good show.

I took the morning off this morning so I could get in my training before the office Christmas party and tonights T3 Performance Multisports Christmas party. It was a damn fine day to have the morning off.





Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Article ?s

Yes that is my mug some of you may have seen staring back at you in the new edition of Inside Triathlon. I was fortunate enough to be asked to do a photo shoot and interview with the folks at Inside Triathlon the day after Kona and the current article is the result.

I have received some questions from people regarding the article, and I am clarifying some things here:

1. Yes I did win my Kona slot at Cal. 70.3 last year. The article says I won it at Ironman Coeur d'Alene but that was a miscomunication. I won my age group at IM CdA but already had the Kona slot.

2. Yes I did get a coach between IM CdA and yes I give big credit to him for the 11min time drop at Kona. His name is Dirk Achmoneit (aka the Dirkinator) and he is the REAL DEAL. www.coachingbio.com.

And finally,

3. No, I do NOT hate children. While I am not 100% sure I want them, my "Thank God" expression to close out the article simply expresses my thankfulness that I don't have any now. I am also thankful for my awesome sister Danyel who took it upon herself to shoulder the "producing grandchildren" burden all by herself. She has given our family (most importantly my Mom) 5 incredible kids and thereby satisfied my Mom's grandchildren needs. Thanks D.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Inbound Weekend

The weekend is inbound in more ways than one.

Due to the insanely harsh winters we get here in CA (that was for you Bob ;-)), it looks as though I will be logging some more bonding time with my trainer.

I was really looking forward to getting out on the road this weekend as I have been stuck on the trainer every day this week, but alas, those hopes have been dashed by the weather forecast. its gonna be wet. And after our last ride was halted due to weather, I just don't want to find myself in that position again. Plus, despite all his awesomeness, I HIGHLY doubt Ken Bauer will be coming to the rescue all the way from Carlsbad. The man is great, but he has his limits.

So here's hoping Sunday will at least bring "spotted showers." I would much rather bear that than several more hours on the trainer.

Cheers

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Holy Breath Fog

I live in Southern California. A suburb of Los Angeles, about 30mins to 3hrs Southwest of Downtown/Staples Center, depending on traffic.

This morning it was 37 degrees F when I left my house for my morning run. It was not fun. I found myself wondering what exactly "they" call the fog that one emits/creates when running in these temps. While trying to run and concentrating on not losing my balance on my numb feet, "Breath Fog" was all I could think of. I guess its all "they" could think of as well, because the temple of all information that is Google, told me this:
"Breath Fog" comes from breathing cold air through your nose & mouth into your warm lungs. When exhaled, this moisture-laden air creates a fog.

Well this morning there was a whole lot of it.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Worth a Thousand words.

Thanks to an awesome sister who clearly knew exactly what type of "recovery" beverage was necessary, and made sure it was on hand, the elder Pearson has what may be one of the best Ironman Finish photos of all time.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Few minutes to burn??

Check out this site: Where’s Rob?

Some pretty funny stuff. Goodhearted, nobody gets hurt, comedy. Putting a smile on faces.

Enjoy and have a good weekend.

Cheers.

Posted using ShareThis

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

And Here. We. Go.

I know I posted a bit ago about "off-season" being officially over, but now it really is. Similar to the "do you like her, like her, or just like her?"; off-season is now "over, over" instead of just "over."

The last couple weeks I received e-mails from a nice man named Dirk, suggesting "key workouts" I should be doing.

The e-mail I received Sunday night revealed the nice man was sent packing and the Dirkinator was back in full effect! He is who I will be dealing with for the next 10-11mos.

In true "calm before the storm" style, Monday was a complete rest day. Tuesday had some decent activity. This morning my heart rate topped out at 176 on the TRAINER!! And from the looks of it, I should being seeing similar numbers later this evening.

Yes, ladies and gents, the Dirkinator is back with a vengeance!

2010. Here. We. Come.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A wet one

Before I left for Carlsbad last weekend, Charisa texted me the following: "Wahooo Rain forecast for Saturday!" She comes from Chicago and various other places that actually have "seasons" and "weather", and obviously, sometimes she misses those things. I come from Southern California, and do not share her enthusiasm for rain, wind, cold, etc.... Well on Saturday, despite a little water on the ground and some windy conditions we saddled up and hit the roads for a ride. Not 10 mins in, we got hit with a drenching and even some hail on our way to pick up Alan. Kevin and I were riding side-by-side and I just kept my head down looking about 5ft in front of me. I told him he had to warn me of anything coming up.

Totally soaked, we got to Alan's and the rain stopped. We rode for the next couple hours in what would have been rather pleasant conditions had my feet not been totally soaked and frozen. Sunlight broke through and some dry roads were had. We hit the store in Rainbow, CA for some refueling and our luck changed again. A slight sprinkle had us heading indoors to "wait it out." That sprinkle quickly gained momentum and soon turned into this:
5mins of "waiting it out" turned to 15min. Then the temps dropped noticeably, and the hail started
15mins turned to 30mins then the lightning and thunder came, a nearby transformer was struck & the power in the store went out.


It was time to call in the meat wagon. Ken Bauer (Charisa's dad) to the rescue! Clearly I was happy to see him. He to see me... maybe not so much.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Gracias

The holiday offered me plenty to be thankful for. Thankful for family, thankful for having TOO MUCH FOOD, thankful for social networks that allow us to reconnect with old friends, thankful for great friends to race and train with, thankful for new friends and unexpected car washes, thankful for triathlon and the absolutely awesome people it has introduced me to, thankful for incredible friends whose generosity continues to amaze me, thankful for an incredible coach, and thankful that I am not trying to make a living as a golfer.

The weekend started on Thursday with my first long run since Kona. It wasn't pretty, but thankfully (sadly, pun intended) my good friend Bill agreed to run slowly and talk to me for close to 3 hrs to keep my mind off the struggle. 2:45 of some incredible views and great, meaningful conversation was much needed and appreciated.

After "earning" my dinner, my 90yr old Grandma (a.k.a "Gramcracker") joined us for Thanksgiving. TOO much food was consumed and the tryptophan coma came on fast.

Friday morning rolled around and I was meeting up with an old friend Megan I hadn't seen in probably 9yrs. Thanks to FB we had reconnected and she was in town for the holiday. After a nice 2hr Tour de PV, I was off to the OC for ride # 2 with the Brothers and Pops Pearson. Roughly 2hrs later it was time to taste Sister Pearson's famous gravy. Delicious!

After some visiting, I was heading south to Carlsbad and my second home at the Wernick Manor. The drive was made much nicer due to the fact I was making it in a clean car that had received a much needed bath while at the Pearson residence. (I am indebted).

Friday night Fast Brian joined Charisa, Steven & I for a Thanksgiving dinner that Steven had earned with a new 5K PR at the Turkey Trot. The rest of the weekend was spent in the company of people I am so stoked to call my friends. A movie was watched, a ride was partially completed (more later) and my first trek to a golf course in probably 5 years was made. (It wasn't pretty).

The weekend was capped off with a meeting with Coach & his awesome fam, and the delivery of my first training plan for the 2010 season.

If triathlon gives me nothing more, if I never stand on another podium and make no further improvement, I truly believe getting into this sport will remain one of, if not the best decision I have ever made. I cannot adequately express how thankful I am for the experiences it has given me, and more importantly, the great people and friendships it has brought into my life.

Ohh... and one more thing to be thankful for.... First day of the 2010 training plan.... "Rest Day"!! Thanks Coach!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IMAZ

First off HUGE CONGRATS!! to the Brothers Pearson. They both put a smashing to themselves and earned their Ironman status in fine fashion.

The weekend started off with a potentially ominous sign. While out for a quick last ride, Chris nearly T-boned a car that made a quick left turn in front of us. After about a 10ft rear wheel slide, I think its safe to say his heart rate probably doubled his "last ride" max.

Saturday we hit the swim course and to be quite honest I was shocked at how cold the water was. Not wanting to get in the Brothers' heads, Brandon and I waited to discuss this till after breakfast. Brandon said he thought it was much colder than last year. We got a late start on our ride but still managed about 75mi out on the course. The newly paved roads must have been nice for the IMers. That night I finally met the Sister Pearson who was in charge of dinner venue selection. We all headed out to Scottsdale to a very "New York" Italian food place, got harassed by the waiter, ate, drank and were mary. She made a good selection. I gotta say its nice the night before an IM to be able to drink a beer and some wine at dinner without a care in the world. The Brothers were calm and collected and seemed primed to have good races.

On Sunday we couldn't get through all the discombobulated racers & fans to see the Brothers before the start but I got onto the wall in a prime seat along with Maggs and Brandon.
Chris was out of the water first in 1:06 and Ryan 2 minutes later. Off onto the bike and they both looked good. As the laps progressed it was great to see them both looking good and riding smart. Watching the race with the Parents & Sister Pearson was rad. They are an awesome family and spirited supporters. It was the first Ironman for the whole family and getting to watch it with them added to the experience.
Onto the run Ryan had about 13mins on Chris and looked stoked to be off his bike seat. Chris had a determined look on his face as he set out on what he knew would be the toughest leg for him. Brandon and I were able to make it all over the course to see the Brothers in different spots. The rest of the support crew camped out at the tent and supported all day from there. Pops Pearson has control of the music at a local half in Irvine every year, and while the system wasn't quite the same, he brought his ipod and a stereo and had tunes going for the runners all day. He was thanked on several occasions.

I gotta say I was very impressed with both the Brothers' performances for different reasons. Before the race I had stressed the importance of pacing and nutrition. Both followed that plan to a "T" on the bike. But this being Ironman, I knew anything could happen. Ryan was a machine. He pretty much even split the run. I swear I never saw him pushing it too hard or taking it too easy. Dude was the picture of poise and determination at mile 1, and 23. I would bet there are very few who can say they ran such a smart, deliberate and fast race in their first IM. Awesome and inspirational.
Ryan comin down the chute
Brandon, Ryan, me, Brynn and Sister Pearson (aka Catherine)

Chris' performance was no less impressive. Knowing he didn't have the run training that his brother did, Chris was able to refrain from taking the "get as much as I can" approach on the bike, and conserve for what he thought would be his toughest leg. He thought right, and the grit and determination he displayed was remarkable. Going out I wasn't sure if the look he had was one of agony or singular focus. He proved it was the latter. Struck with stomach problems, he refused to succumb and walk, and continued to RUN the entire marathon. He battled through some long rough patches and came through strong. An equally awesome performance to that of his brother.
Chris getting some motivation from Ryan's GF Brynn. She was an enthusiastic supporter

Finish times: Ryan 10:01:12; Chris 11:02:25

Sister Pearson greeted the newly minted Ironman in style, with a brown-bagged PBR 24oz. and Slim Jim. Classic!
The Pearson Clan. See the brown bag. Keep it classy

Watching from the other side was motivating for next year and I am hoping to toe the line with the Brothers on many more occasions.

Congrats boys.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

IM AZ & The Brothers Pearson

I will be off to AZ tomorrow morning. My second year in a row heading out to watch Ironman Arizona. Last year Ryan (one part of the Brothers Pearson) & I went out to cheer on my buddy Brandon Mills as he lost his Ironman "V card". This year Brandon is coming along to see things from the spectator side.

On my way to masters this morning my buddy Jason said to me how stoked we are we aren't doing the race (he recently pulled out as well due to legitimate work issues). As I told him, I am SUPER stoked Dirk (coach) talked me out of racing AZ. After Kona I was READY for some down time and would not have been up for resuming training right away to get ready for AZ. I guess that's one of the reasons one gets a coach huh?

This time round, it will be the Brothers Pearson that will be losing their respective Ironman V-cards. We initially all signed to race this together. I was already signed up for IM CdA but still wanted to race it with them. There is still a little part of me that wishes I was racing this weekend to experience it with them, but that part is small and its voice is weak.

The Brothers have done all the training, put in the work, and now its their chance to see what it takes. I am confident in both. For the past year Ryan has gotten the better of Chris in most races (older brothers always win... sucks!!). But you know what they say, "this is Ironman, anything can happen." Ryan could go too hard on the bike, blow up and be left walking as Chris jogs by grinning all the way. (You read that Ryan?) Or vice versa. Cough, cough... Chris. Hahahaha. So who knows, it could end up being a Brothers Pearson battle to the finish. I, being a red-blooded Amercian sports fan, would obviously love to see that. But no matter what, I am confident post race will look something like this:
Chris, Ryan & I after Cal. 70.3. They will earn those Margarita pitchers on Sunday

Friday, November 13, 2009

Off Season

Check.

That was nice. I enjoyed it. It was short-lived, but nice.

With the decision I made, there is no time to waste, so back on track I go. Granted the first few weeks will be spent easing into it, but I think coach has some rather BIG plans set for me. Lets put it this way, he thinks a solid base is a great asset. And a really BIG solid base is an even better one. Well I think you know what that means. I could have a few more of these weekends in my not-so-distant future.

For now, the weekends are looking much smaller and tonight I will be partaking in a little happy hour(s?) with friends. (OK, so maybe off season isn't totally "off" just yet). This could give me a good excuse to sit on the couch and watch what I think could be an exciting Clearwater race tomorrow. Hard to bet against Reed I say. But here's hoping its exciting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mima & Poppa

For my entire life my grandparents on my Mom's side have been called Mima & Poppa. Even the adults call them that. Hell, they even called each other that. Its funny cause I have never even been told why my Grandma, Ethel, was given the tag Mima. But I think it was one of those, "So & So couldn't say "Grandma" when he/she was little and it just came out "Mima." However it came about, "Mima & Poppa" stuck.

Yesterday would have been Poppa Bill's 82nd birthday. Unfortunately, this August, cancer took what was one of the greatest men I have ever been privileged to know.


At Poppa's funeral, a family member spoke of how "Bill loved a party. Birthdays, graduations, anniversaries, golf scores, whatever. Hell, if he was here today he'd want to have a party just cause its Thursday!" Well yesterday would have been a day he wanted to party. I am sure he did just that, and it probably looked like this. When I called Mima, she was understandably emotional, and it brought tears to my eyes and a lump to my throat. But I reflected on that quote, and how true it is. Soon enough we were laughing and speaking of his great qualities. Talking about all the great memories they had amassed in 62years of marriage. We talked about all he had accomplished in his life, how they had been married when he was 19 and she 18, and how he could not of possibly envisioned the life that lay before him at that time.

During our conversation, I was again struck by how incredible my grandma has been throughout this process. When cancer began to take its hold, she steadfastly stuck to her instincts and kept him home, with his family. She stayed by his side, and remained as strong, beautiful and composed as one could possibly imagine. It was her commtment to her instincts that allowed for him to spend his final days like this.
Before we hung up, she told me her evening plans: "We're gonna take some of Poppa's ashes and spread them in the Great Pacific. I baked a birthday cake." She is Awesome.

Monday, November 9, 2009

2010 - Taking the Leap

I figured since the folks at the World Triathlon Corporation have made their big "professional announcement" for 2010, that I might as well jump on that ship and make mine.

After some deliberation, I have decided to apply for my "Ironman Pro Membership Card" for the 2010 season. It wasn't what I would call an easy decision. But I feel it is the correct one.

Since I began this sport the quest to get faster has been constant. That quest led me to start training with a friend, to join a running club, to a weekly group ride, to forming a triathlon club, and to get a coach. While definitely not saying I have achieved all there is to achieve as an age grouper, nor discounting the level of competition to be found in the age group ranks, I feel the competition level I will encounter amongst the pros will present the ultimate challenge and only aid in my quest to be the best I can be. I love this sport. It has given me something in my life that I never knew I was missing, but that I needed so bad. Some of the most challenging, rewarding and exhilarating experiences of my life have come through this sport. It is not glory, status and certainly not money, but rather the desire to keep those experiences coming that motivates my decision to seek my pro membership.

I am certain the move up will come with more than its fair share of "bumps in the road", less than stellar results, and discouraging moments, but it is these elements that will make me push even harder to reach my full potential (whatever it may be). Thankfully, I won't be going it alone as I will have my fellow CoachingBIO teammate, Charisa, making the move right along with me.

So here's to the 2010 season being my most challenging and rewarding yet.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

2 weekends, 2 Holdidays, 2 Costumes

The last 2 weekends I have been down in Carlsbad. I am sure those of you who read this blog (Thanks Mom) are shocked! The first trip southward was propelled by a desire to celebrate the close of the 2009 triathlon season and our Kona results, with those who I had spent SOO much time preparing for it all with. Well, as this is a festive crew, who was not going to miss the opportunity to celebrate in style (at least in the off season), a Beer Mile was chosen as the only appropriate event with which to commemorate the 2009 season. Unfortunately, soccer and pop Warner Football seasons conflicted with the beer mile scheduling, and all local tracks were in use. But this being a determined and resourceful group, a new course was mapped and measured. We had to use a local trail system that turned out to be just over a mile, but the 1st Annual X-Terra Beer Mile was set to go. Of course one cannot participate in a beer mile without donning the appropriate attire.
Charisa, getting her Game Face on!
1st Annual X-Terra Beer 1.2 Mile Crew

Good times were had by all. I took second to a seasoned veteran in my first attempt at the BM and was pretty happy with it. I have some plans up my sleeve for my next race... stay tuned.

This last weekend was yet another excuse to costume up and the Wernick Casa played host to a dinner party/rock band fiesta complete with some disgusting looking, but great tasting deserts!!
I flew in for the festivities.
You know its a party when ShamWow's Vince shows up!
A slightly pale and trimmed down Arnold a-la the "Running Man" and his wife the Garden Gnome
Ray Finkle, Superman, and the Ewok... Coming soon to a stage near you
Our Ends

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

More Kona (in photos)

This was taken on Kuakini Hwy just before climbing up Palani. That was probably the last time I felt good in the race until right about here.
From then on it was pretty much all smiles. Especially once I knew Charisa and Kevin had tamed the beast as well.
For some reason I always feel goofy when they ask us to put our awards over our heads. I feel like Ben Afleck's character in "Dazed and Confused". Like I am being set up and somebody is about to dump paint all over my head.
With the awkwardness over the flood gates were open for the real fun, and fittingly the fastest (and happiest) Hawaiian was there to open em.
My parents are great fans and unbelievable supporters. they had a great time as well, despite the fact that my Dad looks like he just saw a ghost and is scared out of his shorts.
One of the things I miss most about Kona is the crazy little Geckos that provided endless amounts of entertainment. My mom was Hilary Biscay's teacher's aid in like 3rd grade and we were talking to her and her BF, Maik Twelsiek (12th pro) after the race. Apparently he was even more enthused by these guys than me as mid conversation he excitedly exclaimed: "LOOK, LOOK! Green Animal!"
I am definitely missing views like this everyday. Alot of people around here have been begging for cold, wet, whether of late. I just flat out don't want it. This is my off season. The last 2 days my alarm has gone off to get up and go ride/run/swim and I have laughed and gone back to sleep. I want nice whether, I want to go out and enjoy days like this while not clipped into a bike for 5-7hrs. I want to swim in the ocean without any purpose other than to enjoy it. Its gotta be warm for that. On the other hand, "since off season" is rapidly coming to a close, I wouldn't mind if winter came and went within the next 3 weeks!
I said "aloha" to the big island with, at the request of its grantor, a toss of a lei into the Pacific and a quiet request to one day return to the island to compete again. Only a couple weeks back, and I already know that competing or not, I wanna be back for 2010!

Friday, October 23, 2009

When in Rome...

Well, I haven't been to Hawaii on all too many occasions, but apparently the locals like to run around the streets in their undergarments. Who am I to go against tradition?

Charisa, Kevin and I before the gun went off!

My entire Brazilian fan base

K-Swiss came out looking strong... except for Rousey!!
We went out at a comfortable pace but really picked it up after the King Kam Hotel
The Zoot Crew basking in the glory of our victory

Moms was SO proud!



Monday, October 19, 2009

Kona Race Report

So I have been waiting to write this post, telling myself I would do it when I got all the photos I wanted to post. (I know the photos make it much easier on the reader). But as I sit here and write this today I think I have refrained from posting my race report due to a subconscious unwillingness to put Hawaii in the past. Since Oceanside I have been gearing up for Kona, and with each race, the posting of a race report has sort of served as the moment that I put that particular race and result behind me and begin looking to the future again. So this post, with nothing to look forward to, seemed a bit anticlimactic. If I had been smart like Charisa and Tawnee, and actually taken photos maybe this would have come sooner. If you want some awesome pics and to read a in depth "all things Kona '09" account, visit their blogs.

With all my literary procrastinating out of the way, without further ado, here goes -- KONA 2009

PRE RACE:
The trip did not start off so well. I was supposed to leave at 8:20am, fly to Oahu, have a 1hr layover and get to Kona at 2pm. All was looking on schedule until we had boarded our plane, sat for a little longer than normal, then heard "This plane is being taken out of service." An hour and a half delay, and we were boarding our second plane. Of course, this meant we would miss our connecting flight in Oahu. Despite our flight attendant's assurances that they run inter-island flights every hour, upon landing we were greeted with the news that our new connecting flight would be leaving at 4:15, some 3hrs later. Needless to say, the day was filled with a bunch of "hurry up and wait" type situations and I barely made it to Kona in time to drop off our bags and get to the Zoot party. The rest of the pre-race was relatively uneventful. Charisa, Kevin and I went for some swims and a bike ride, and Kevin and I took a good run. Friday night Moms came up HUGE again and cooked an awesome meal for Charisa, Kevin & I and our entire support crew.

RACE DAY:
3:45 am couldn't have come soon enough. Moms and Pops dropped off Sean to grab his board for his water patrol duties and we picked up Brian and Nick for the drive to the King Kam. The body marking tent was actually much less stressful than I thought. Transition was a quick and easy trip with the help of an awesome volunteer (Judy), and before I knew it, Kevin, Charisa and I were watching the Navy jumpers and singing the National Anthem.

Swim: 58:12
I had hoped that all the work I had done in the pool since IM CDA would pay off to the tune of a sub 56 swim. When I look back, I think I had that in me on race day. After some talking with Kona vets., I chose to line up in the middle/left, and in the first row or 2. I found a spot. It soon became over-crowded, so I found another. I started my heart rate monitor, and it read 00. I stopped it, started it again and 00. Repeat this process about 5x to no avail and I was a little frustrated and worried I would be riding without HR the whole ride. Finally I decided to just forget about it and try to get it working on the bike. Soon thereafter the cannon sounded and away we went. I swam with a fury for the first 500m or so and was pleasantly surprised to see I was still in the mix without any gap in front of me to the lead swimmers. I kept my head down, took the usual kicks, punches, and scrapes and just tried to keep the effort up. My plan/hope had been to find a pair of fast feet and cling to them for my life all the way through the swim. But after the first 500 was done, I found myself having to go around quite a few swimmers in front of me. Given that the swim went left, I tried to do most of my passing towards the left. This plan backfired soon though, as all my "head down" swimming had lead me off to the left, and much to my chagrin, out of the main draft. I saw the gap forming, but there was nothing I could do. I worked my way back into the pack by the first turn, and hoped to find some feet on the home stretch. On the way back it was clear to me that I had indeed missed the first pack and was right at the head of what was probably the 3rd or 4th pack. I couldn't find feet and the gap was way too big to close, so I just tried to stay out of the madness behind me and at the front of that group. Needless to say I wasn't very happy with the 58 on my watch when I exited.

Bike: 4:55: 20
My HRM began working on the bike and I was intent on following coach's advice of staying within my prescribed numbers. For the first couple miles before the Queen K I knew I was above my prescribed zone but not worried about it as coach said this would happen. Onto the Queen K I began to settle down a bit, and tried to find my rhythm. There was a good bit of passing going on for the first 20mi or so, with several of us trading passes. I was pleasantly surprised to see almost everyone riding legal however and tried to do the same. I was not so happy with the way my legs felt however. I was at the low end of my prescribed HR spectrum, but it felt like a big effort. Finally, about 35mi in the group had thinned out, and my legs really began to come to life. By the left turn toward the harbor I was feeling good and the surprise cheers from a familiar voice (thanks again Tawnee) all the way out there really lit a fire. I rode the rest of the way to Hawi feeling good and making up some lost time on the swim. Before Hawi, and for the last 10mi or so up to, we hit a pretty solid head wind and all I could hope for was that it would stick around to be a tail wind on the way back. After the turn, where I saw Steven & Jeff who had made the long trek to support, Jeff told me I was 2 minutes down on the next AGer. Special needs unfortunately was a little slow as they couldn't find my bag, and I was forced to slow to a crawling pace, waiting for them to find it and run it up to me. After I got my bag and food, I hit the 54x11 hard and tried to regain the ground lost in special needs. The tail wind held, and I was able to retake a few of the spots lost in special needs. The rest of the way back to town was somewhat uneventful. I was able to maintain a pretty good clip despite the inevitable; the wind shift and the headwind it left us with. The highlight of my ride back was catching Bree and getting to exchange some pleasantries with a friend on the lonely ride.

T2: 1:46 (Fastest in the entire field!!)
You read that right. I came off the bike feeling good, not stiff (thanks Armondo at Ted's Manhattan Cycles for the fit adjustments), and ready to run. It was pretty awesome to come into T2 and see only a few bikes other than those of the pros. When I looked at my racking area it was pretty barren and I knew I was out on the pointy end of the age group race. I grabbed my bag and went into the tent with some intent. One good thing about being out in front, is that the changing tents are full of eager volunteers to help you. I think there were like 3 athletes in the tent. I grabbed a seat, emptied my bag, and threw on my Zoot Ali'i Kicks. I had prepared my Ali'is with some blister shield and a little body glide around the edges, and was confident that I would have no problems going sockless for the whole marathon. The shoes went on lickety split and I was out. You want a fast T2, get Zooted.

Run: 3:12
I went out on the run feeling great. I had wanted to run sub 3:05 and I was fairly confident I had it in me to do so. When I looked at my watch, I saw I had run the first mile in just over 6mins. I knew this was too fast and tried to reel it in to a very comfortable pace. I thought I was running pretty comfortable at the turn around on Ali'i and even though it was HOT, I still felt pretty good coming onto Palani. When I look back now I realize I should have taken in more calories early on the run. I failed to take in a gel before Palani, and despite some awesome cheering from Sean, when I hit the top, I quickly realized the hill had taken a BIG chunk of my mojo. On the Queen K it just got hotter and I became a super customer at the aid stations taking coke, water, gatorade, ice... whatever they were selling, I was buying. One thing I was happy with was that while I was definitely HOT out there, I never felt like "Ohh man, I can't run any farther/faster because I am too hot!!". I used the aid stations to manage the heat and tried to press on. At the first aid station on the Queen K I downed a gel and an orange slice and hoped to try and catch my caloric slide before it got too deep. Just before the Energy Lab Craig Alexander and Chris Lieto ran past me on the home stretch. It was awesome to see those guys in action. I had seen Craig on Ali'i but he looked even better out on the Queen K. His face was that of complete concentration and determination. Lieto, having just been passed, looked like he knew he had just lost his dream, but was determined to hold second. He was the picture of suffering. I am not sure who was more impressive and inspirational. Into the Energy Lab I knew I had the real race in front of me. That place is BRUTAL. I hit a real rough patch in the lab, and was hoping the boiling hot Red Bull I was about to suck down would help. Unfortunately, the Red Bull didn't lead to the sprouting of wings as the commercials promise, and I struggled on. At the top of the Lab my friend, and many time Kona Vet, Patrick Baldwin passed me on his way in. Patrick is a stud athlete and someone I look up to. He could see the pain on my face and yelled "This is the race of your life Ian!". This fired me up and made me even more determined to finish strong. I knew I had 6mi left and was going to do all I could to keep going and finish on absolute empty. Maggs was spectathlete superstar and had ridden her bike out on the Queen K and was stopping every mile or so to yell encouragement. Having her there on those last few miles was huge. However, all my determination couldn't keep me ahead of the eventual age group winner and I lost 1st place in the age group at about mile 23. The dude ran a 2:55, and thus we see where Ian needs to be in the near future. A friend, pro-triathlete and US Marine, Billy Edwards, passed me moments after I lost 1st and thankfully so. Despite struggling through an off-day for him, he used a bunch of energy to scream his ass off at me, demanding that I pick up the pace and "Get Back On IT!!" This was a huge moment. It sent a charge through me and I was revived (to some extent) and again determined to dig as deep as I possibly could, no matter what happened the rest of the way. Coming up the final rise on Palani Maggs gave me one last cheer and headed off to the finish. Never has anything felt so far yet so close before. At the bottom of the hill I was caught by another AGer but was adamant with myself that I would not surrender the spot. We ran shoulder to shoulder for a brief moment but I was able to pick it up slightly and maintain my position. Down Palani I just tried to let my legs go and stay upright. On the last stretch on Kuakini, I knew I was literally "running on empty" and right at the turn I was passed by the eventual 2nd place in my AG. I had nothing with which to respond. From then on it was survive and hold my spot. Sean greeted me on Ali'i and I was so mentally numb, I could only concentrate on one thing, staying in front of the guy behind me that I had battled up the Queen K. Coming down the chute I gave one last look back and saw I had time to enjoy the finish as much as possible. I saw my Dad and got to high five him, and then soaked in as much of the finish as I could.

Final Results: 9:09:51; 3rd in M25-29; 8th Amateur; 1st American Amateur; 4th American Overall; 43rd Overall.

I had long imagined what it would feel like to cross that line on Ali'i Drive, but my dreams had fallen miles short of the true experience. Simply put, I don't have the words. I don't think a language exists in which it would be possible to fully capture the multitude of emotions that were pulsing through my being at that moment. I have never been happier, more exhilarated, more exhausted and more ALIVE than I was standing on that line. It was quite an experience. To be the top American Amateur is quite an honor and something I am proud of.

I owe huge "Thank Yous" to many people for all their support and help along the way. It means more than most of you will ever know. Like I said before, from those who simply read and/or comment on this blog, to the awesome support I recieve from Zoot, TriSports.com and Ted's Manhattan cycles, to those who make sacrifices of their own to train with me and help me be a better athlete, and to those who go above and beyond, I am filled with gratitude to you all.

Cheers,

Ian

Monday, October 5, 2009

What's Done is Done

Nothing I can do now but %*@# it up by doing too much. Which, I vow NOT to do. People have asked me several times today whether I am ready. I actually thought about it, and while, yeah, I am ready to get on with it, it is just one of those things in life that you never really feel "READY" for. I feel as though I have done a great deal to get here, and that I have put in some solid work. But its just one of those things. Like when I took the Bar exam, beforehand when people asked me if I was ready, I felt like "yeah, I am ready to get on with it and put it behind me. But at the same time, would I like 3 more weeks to study? YES!!" That's how I feel now, I am ready to race, to take a crack at the biggest of the BIG in my sport. But would I like 3 more weeks to train? HELL YES!!

But as far as I know, one can't slow down time. So I am just going to try and enjoy the rest of the days before the madness and then do my best to put all my work to test. I have WAY TOO many "Thank Yous" to go around, some bigger than others, but most of you, I hope, know who you are and I will keep most of it personal and leave it at this: No matter what happens on the 10th, some people reading this, and some not reading this, have done some HUGE things for me and motivated, coached, encouraged, enabled and supported me at times when I really needed it. From those who have done the most, all the way to those who have simply made a comment on this blog, it has all helped. And for that I am grateful. So a BIG "THANK YOU" to you all.

I board a plane at 8:20 tomorrow morning for my date with the Harbor, Madam Pele, and Ali'i Drive. Here's hoping for a good one.

Cheers,

Ian

Monday, September 28, 2009

Friends a wedding and a race

This last weekend was pretty Jam Packed. Maggs arrived on Friday at 4:30am and once home threw herself full force into a series of naps. After some pool time, run time, and dinner time, it was bed time and Saturday was set to be a hectic one. Maggs was mainlanded to race in the Best of the US race, which this year was the OC International Tri, that Charisa, Tawnee, the Brothers Pearson, and myself were all set to race as well, just in the normal (not the "Best") race.

Saturday I was also heading to spectate another significant event, the wedding of my friend and fellow triathlete Brandon to his beautiful (now) wife, Sarah. Timing however was an issue. Maggs had to be at a race meeting at the race start at 3pm. I had to go to race check in, a nearby hotel, and get to T2 to drop off my run stuff and then get to Coronado Island by 4. It was not looking good. So being the gentleman that I am, I swung by the lake and booted Maggs out of the car and into the heat at the lake a full HOUR before her meeting was to start, jetted to T2, dropped my run gear, and parking-lot-changed into a suit for the speed race to Coronado. The wedding was at 4. My arrival time, 4:22. I was dreading being "that guy". I got my pre-race sprint work in from the car to the venue and made it just before the procession began. A beautiful ocean front wedding ensued followed by some good grub, and then I was out. Back on the road and up to the Wernick Casa de Rock. Charisa and Steven (who should be entirely fed up with my repeat impositions) were kind enough to pick Maggs up from the lake, and let us crash at their house on Saturday night.

Sunday was race day and it went like this.

Swim: I had the good fortune of starting in the 5th of 6 waves, so I knew there was going to be some weaving and bulldozing on the way, but I was actually pleasantly surprised with it. I caught a great draft for half the swim (PLEASE GOD let that happen in KONA!!) and exited with what I think was a good time. My Zoot SpeedZoot was awesome!! It was my first race swimming in it and I was frankly really surprised how nice it felt. I think I swam about a minute faster this year and last year I was in a wetsuit!

T1: I made the rookie mistake of running up the wrong aisle and spent some time frantically dancing around looking for my bike... idiot

Bike: After about 15mins I settled into a really good rhythm and was able to start picking riders off. I didn't see many (any?) in my age group so i just tried to get as many guys as I could. I battled with a few 30 & 40 yr olds for a while but by the turn around, I was able to put them behind me for good. Everything felt great on the bike until about 45mins in, when my heart rate started coming down rapidly and I realized that the one Powergel I had at the beginning of the bike might not be enough to get me through the entire race. Oopps! But I kept pushing just following Charisa's instructions to make the entire race HURT!! Climbing the last hill I saw fellow T3er and spectathlete extraordinaire, Bill, who informed me that only one 25-29er was ahead of me. I came into T2 right about an hour (I think?) and was happy with that for how hilly this course is.
Run: My goal for the run was to try and concentrate on my breathing, a fast turnover, and keeping my arms low. This is a challenging run with some pretty big hills (I remember them now M!). I caught the 25-29er, Chris Berg, just past the first mile marker. I have raced with Chris many times and know he is fast. I watched him race Malibu the week before and I knew his 10K was primed to go, so I was a little worried my Ironman legs wouldn't hold the pass.
So again, I just concentrated on the turnover and breathing. Sure enough, on the BIG hill, he caught and passed me while my quads screamed for mercy. I did not want to get in a sprint to the finish with Chris, and wanted to put as big of a gap as I could (if any) on him before the last half mile. I didn't know if that was possible, but once that last big climb was crested, I decided to find out. I went for it and when we hit the road again, I just tried to hold pace the rest of the way.
Once we hit the final turn around, about 3/4 of a mile out, I saw that I had put in a little gap, and I knew I had the legs to take it in from there.
Post finish Maggs, Charisa and I enjoyed some of the best finish line fare I have ever had, OTTER POPPS!!
When all was said and done, I missed breaking the "elusive" 2 hour Olympic distance mark by 30 seconds, but on that course I was content with a new PR for the distance. I ended up winning the 25-29 group and (factoring out all the real fast guys... read BOUS racers) I was the first overall male. Charisa had the same results on the female 30-34 side and overall, which meant I had the honor of sharing the top podium spot with an amazing athlete and even better friend. Icing on the cake in my book.
The crew we assembled did pretty well, with Tawnee taking 2nd in her AG, her mom winning the 50-54, and the elder Pearson taking 3rd in 30-34. After a little jogging, a little riding, and a TON of RD speeching. It was off for some BOMB mexican food with Maggs and the Wernicks. All in all, an awesome weekend with some great people, and good racing.

A great way to head into the big dance... 11 DAYS!!!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Withdrawals

No, I am not suffering any major withdrawals right now (although some of the sandwiches I saw on Man vs. Food last night made me REALLY miss a burger). Rather, in a fit of rational thinking, I finally caved and adopted Coach's thinking as to my racing Ironman Arizona. Thus, I found this waiting in my inbox this morning when I hit the office chair: "Hi Ian, Thank you for your interest in Ironman! You are now withdrawn from the 2009 Ford Ironman Arizona. Please allow 5-10 business days for your partial refund to appear on your credit card statement."

I am a little less than thrilled to be pulling out. This is going to be the first IM for the Brothers Pearson and we had all signed up together last year. I was really looking forward to racing it with them as we have done many races together before. However, I am still going to head out there for the race and this way, I can be a better supporter during the race and hopefully help them along. Maggs will be racing too, and my buddy Matt, I think?? So my athlete card will be pretty full, but I am up for the challenge. I figure it will be a long training day either way, or at least I will tell myself that so I can feel the post race dinner is well deserved.

In somewhat more uplifting news, on Tuesday I ran what will essentially be my last "real" track workout. I don't know about you, but I find running track by yourself to be somewhat of a mental challenge. Last week my buddy John was nice enough to provide company and pacing. This week however, he was on his way to a dinner party and seemingly all other options were busy. I say seemingly because there was one other option. I have written before about the incredible support I have received from many people in my triathlon pursuits. Yet one person stands head and shoulders above all, MOMS! That's right, faced with heading out to track all by me lonesome, 64 years young Moms stepped up to the plate and met me there. I don't think I recall seeing my mom run since the last Turkey Trot we did as a family when I was like 8. But by the end of the night, I had her running "Straights and Curves" (Coach Ed would be proud). It was awesome to see and I was stoked she was enjoying it! Look out ladies in the 65-69 AG, you could just have a new player in the mix!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Getting Real

So race numbers for Kona appeared yesterday and come October 10th I will be tattooed with the numerals 1686.

I like the number, it has a good ring to it. The realization that Kona is now 17 short days away was made that much more real by the appearance of the race number list. I am feeling good about it. I am anxious, nervous, and a little on edge, but I am happy, and not scared or freaking out (knock on wood).

I had been feeling like I just wanted to hit the "Fast Forward" button on life for the last couple days, but then my friend Matt imparted this bit of wisdom upon me: "Enjoy this time, there are many people who would give anything to be in your position right now!" Not to brag or toot my own horn, but I do realize that I am extremely lucky to be one of the few who will be getting the chance to race on Triathlon's most hallowed ground this October 10th. For that I feel beyond fortunate, and grateful to all those who have supported me along the way, even down to those that just left a simple encouraging comment on this blog. It has all helped. So I am savoring it now. I don't want the Fast Forward button. In fact, once I get to Kona I'd be willing to bet my bottom dollar that I will be looking for the "Slow Motion" button!!

So here it is, its REAL, its awesome and I am going to enjoy it!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Speed Kills...

Or at least it HURTS ALOT!!

My training program has hit that section where I start knocking off some of the BIG volume, and start upping the intensities. Early in the week the bike efforts were ok, and the runs were actually pretty good. I ran some repeats on Tuesday and each one got progressively faster and faster. That, I thought, was a good sign. Thursday night brought a tempo run that I was NOT looking forward to after a rough morning on the bike. A friend of mine, John Megeff, who is fresh off competing in the Wild West Relay and the GoreTex Trans Rockies Run ( 2 person team runs the whole 120mi in 6 days across the Rockies and each person runs every bit of it!!) decided he wanted to join in the pain. Fortunately it went much better than expected, in large part due to John's help pacing. With that, the attempt at garnering some speed seemed to be moving along. Then Saturday came.

With fellow T3er, Bill, we met up with Jason May (another wicked fast local guy fresh off an Overall win at Malibu Oly) for some hard bricks. To say these were tough efforts is a drastic understatement. As usual, Bill brought the hammer down on the bike and sooner that I would like to admit, I was off the back. Jason stuck with me, but I think that was only out of pity. The run was nothing spectacular but I was able to stay on pace. Round #2 brought even further degradation. My heart rate was like a high schooler refusing to get out of bed in the morning. No matter how hard I tried I couldn't get it out of bed. Saved by the bell, we all headed out on the run together and I honestly thought about sitting down on the grass and calling it a day. But my ego got the better of me and I pushed through and actually felt halfway decent on the last mile. The rest of the day consisted of some painful legs, a mediocre ocean swim, and a fun BBQ for my buddy Craig's birthday.

Sunday was my last big brick. To be honest, on Saturday night and even Sunday morning, I thought there was NO WAY I was going to be able to do it. I even went back to bed after eating breakfast. But after 9.5hrs of sleep, I awoke feeling surprisingly improved, got my ass in gear and headed out on the bike. 5.5hrs, 95mi and a bunch of climbing, and I was off on my run. About 20mins in I felt a bonk coming on hard and fast, but I scaled back the pace, focused on my breathing, and kept the heart rate in the "fat burning" (GOD I hope so!!) zone. I thought I could actually feel my body switch over at the lower pace. I was glad to have it done. I was glad I did it in the heat of the day and didn't have any mental or physical issues like the day before.

Today is mellow but the rest of the week continues the speed switch with the OC International Tri this Sunday. I am looking forward to dialing in all my Kona gear and getting that one last race effort. Hopefully it will be a confidence booster and send me off to Kona content, confident, healthy and smiling.

Cheers!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

IRONMAN CDA

Tonight at 9pm on Universal Sports. Coverage will be aired... Might just be my .5secs of fame!!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Made it... with new records

The MEGA weekend got kicked off early last Thursday when I jumped ship to SD in the afternoon due to the fires and smoke up here in LA. By 5pm I had changed and was headed out the door from the luxurious confines of the coach's pad in Cardiff. 3hrs and a little over 24mi later, I was back, and neck deep into a couple huge plates of some INSANE chicken and pumpkin enchiladas. Coach's wife's cooking may be some of the best I have ever had!!

Friday morning brought with it the longest swim of my life. Thankfully Coach took me to an awesome new pool and it was me and a 25m lane for the next 2hrs. 340 laps in the bank, and I didn't think I was going to be able to steer the car home! Later that night I uprooted again and headed to Kona Camp '09 Mega Weekend Headquarters (formerly referred to as the Wernick Manor Resort and Spa).

Saturday began with yet another trek up Mt. Palomar followed by a picnic/refuel in the park before our afternoon runs.

Sunday brought us a little reprieve from the climbing, but was still a long day in the saddle. I ended up tying my personal record of 137mi. The record however, was soon to fall. Much like me.
Monday was labor day and LABOR we DID!! At the outset of the day I was questioning just exactly HOW in the HELL I was going to be able to pull it off. My legs were NOT ready to be back pedaling a bike, and the hours ahead were NOT going to be easy. Somehow though, an hour or so in, they came alive. Its was almost like they just gave up fighting and went along with it realizing they had no choice. The good thing was I didn't once find myself asking "WHY?" I was doing it. That answer is solid as these rocks.
Sunday was supposed to begin with a small group, but in a fitting twist, Jon had to go save lives at the Oceanside Pier swim and IM recovery and Family duties claimed Kevin and coach. Thus Charisa and I were on our own. Like I said, fitting. It was our MEGA weekend and somehow it only seemed appropriate that the 2 of us would face the hardest and longest day alone. I have to say, a better partner in crime couldn't really be asked for. Over 3 days of intense and long hours of training, not a complaint was uttered, and smiles and laughs continued all the way to the end. And that end, came after over 9hrs of riding covering 160mi and over 8,500ft of climbing. A new record for both of us.
Mega Weekend totals =
Swim: 5.2mi
Run: ~ 35mi
Bike: 364mi

For me, those are all records. And I am, if I do say so myself, impressed. Don't fret though, my head is firmly kept in check by the fact that my friend Ken can say: "My daughter did that too. Only she ran a bit further!"

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Let the MEGA weekend begin!!

Well the Coach has saved the day again. I am off this afternoon heading south to SD and away from the fires, smoke, and the deathmill, to fulfill the training plan. I will be enjoying the evening in the lap of luxury when not out punishing myself on my long run, and then head to training headquarters (a.k.a.- the Wernick Casa) for the remainder of the MEGA weekend.

A little fiesta for the IMC'ers and Kevin who nabbed his Kona slot and a Ironman PR will take place one evening. The rest I am sure will involve a bunch of the following: FOOD, DRINK, foam rolling, compression garments, complaining, soreness, bonking, and internal questioning.

If I make it through it, I think I will be very happy with myself.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

My Nemesis

I harbor a serious, deep, and seething dislike for treadmills. I began my running days stuck in the basement of my Law School library running on treadmills and since I sprang free from that institution, I have stayed as far away from these evil creations as possible. I like running. I find it fun, relaxing and a good way to "unwind" but the treadmill, without fail, overwhelms the restorative capabilities of running, and leaves me feeling more "wound up" than when I started. I ran 13mi on a treadmill once and was on the verge of punching someone.

Due to the firestorm that has beset upon the LA area, the ocean breeze has been similarly overwhelmed and the air is thick with lung irritating and nauseating smoke. So last night I found myself aboard a deathmill for my interval run and spent 1:20 of my life that I will never get back in complete mental agony. This morning I was back in the same spot for another 40mins, and it wasn't much easier. Thursday night of Coach's MEGA schedule, calls for a 3hr run. I can't decide which is the better option: 1) Run outside and risk almost certain respiratory irritation/damage, or 2) head for the deathmill and risk my sanity and possibly freedom as the potential is high that I will serve some time for the assault I will almost certainly commit following such a stint.

decisions, decisions....

Monday, August 31, 2009

Weekend Salvaged

As my last self-centered post explained, the smoke from the So. Cal fires had my training weekend in serious jeopardy. I had trained outside all week (except for a few indoor trainer sessions) and by Friday, despite my denial, I could feel the effects in my throat and chest. With the weekend's training plan calling for big miles, and needing to incorporate one solid sustained climbing session, I was looking towards the Santa Monica mountains. However, the AQMD website and the fact that I couldn't even see the mountains from my office on Friday had me very concerned, especially given the aforementioned throat & lung symptoms. "What to do?" was how I left it last time. And after severely testing the patience of a fellow TriSports.com athlete and friend, Quinn Borchard, I was still undecided. I knew the weekend was going to have its fair share of pain, but I didn't need any added bonus from the smoke.

In steps Coach:
I had sent a "HELP" e-mail on Friday asking how I could vary the weekend plan if the smoke was too bad, and got a vicious trainer-run-trainer workout for Saturday. However, given Sunday had an even longer ride, I was too scared to even ask about the "plan B" for that one. Then, in an "above and beyond the call of duty" gesture, Coach said "screw it!" (He didn't want to be responsible for my almost certain Marlboro Man lungs if I stayed up here and trained, and also didn't want me missing a key training weekend). So he and his fantastic wife extended invitation to me to spend the weekend with them and their family in San Diego, ride the prescribed routes, run the prescribed run, and do it all breathing clean air. Reluctant as I was to impose upon him and his family, his wonderful wife was very persuasive and come Saturday morning I was on my way.

The weekend exceeded all expectations. I was welcomed into an AWESOME home, guided around SD on my run, and kept full to the brim with some incredible food. It was HOT as HELL out in eastern SD, and Palomar and Henshaw did not disappoint in providing the pain (although I guess I can't really complain after hearing a friend, a-la Conrad Stoltz, raced an entire sprint tri with a gash in her foot that would later require 6 stitches to close).

Plain and simple, I couldn't have even hoped for anything more. Getting in my training in a safe environment was one thing, having a house and awesome family to come home to and unwind with was truly icing on the cake. Having a coach who is so invested in my success that he will invite me into his home, inconvenience his family and sacrifice his weekend so as to allow me to "stay with the plan" is proving to be an extremely valuable asset. And one I am value highly.

Friday, August 28, 2009

FIRES SUUUUCCCKKKK!!!

Ok, so not to be a total self-absorbed ass (my home, my family, nor that of anyone I know of is in any danger of being lost), but fires can really blow a hole in a triathlete's weekend training plans. This weekend is a big and IMPORTANT one in my schedule as it is one of the last BIG volume weekends I have on tap before Kona. However, as LA is literally surrounded by fires right now (one less than 5 miles, as the crow flies, from my house) 14 hours of outdoor training is not looking like the best idea. I had planned to ride up in the Santa Monica Mtns. but that is in severe danger of being scrapped due to the poor air quality.

What to do?!?!?!?!!