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 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.


  1. It must be tough being so loved.

  2. I get it and that is super cool.

  3. dude no worries, it was a good call on your part going down south. I went up the Santa Monica mountains and almost died from smoke inhalation and heat stroke. One weekend I will join you in some epic rides.