Monday, November 30, 2009


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


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


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