Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Training through the harsh winter.

On Monday I woke up to sore arms and low energy. The fin camp workout from Sunday had killed me. 30 minutes into the workout we had already done 20 X 25 with 100 dips and 100 push ups for the rest. My motivation to jump into the water was low. I turned on the computer to find the winner of my Facebook contest. I had decided the third person to send me their workouts would win. Chris from Indiana sent the story below. It motivated me to head out the door to the pool. It was cold (40's) and raining. I got to the pool (outdoor pool) and the heat was off. Cold water, rain and I though of Chris. I got in and did the masters workout. I would not have done it had Chris not sent me his note. Maybe his note can motivate you to get outside and get it done. You'll feel better, I did!

Chris Hubbard February 21 at 6:26pm

Instead of complaining about the snow, ice, and lack of perfect training weather; this week was about embracing the weather. Sunday's are usually for long rides but with another round of winter blues I opted for a good day of snow covered trails. (Yes in case you're curious, I made sure the trails were frozen as to not rut out a good trail.) I thought my winter/off season training was going well until about two miles into my mountain bike ride. Nothing like a slick, snow covered trail to set your legs on fire right out ot the box. I covered the 11 mile trail in about an hour and a half but spent the rest of the day feeling the burn. Plus, it's hard to not like a day on the trails with friends even if it is twenty degrees out.

I made it out the next morning for my usual 5k training run but it took more time than usual as the snow and ice made for less than sure footing. It did however keep me on my toes watching my footing. Living in Indiana you must have a wide selection of base layers/outwear to train year round unless you're happy on a treadmill.

The next couple days training were done inside as things began thawing out and the trails and roads were both soupy. Inside isn't always bad; I got in some yoga and core strength workouts at my local gym. I really like Jason Lezak'- Weight Training for Swimmers program (found online at bodybuilding.com). Nothing wrong with a solid weight program.

Saturday, the sun was out, the roads were clear and with the right layers I was able to get in a couple hours on my road bike climbing my favorite roads. It was in the high twenties but I was pretty toasty. Several times I thought to myself that I need to include more mountain biking, the climbs on my road bike seemed easier after last weekends ride. I think it was more mental than physical but hey, sometimes that's the difference... Outside enjoying the snow vs indoor spin class... Climbing a tough hill on the road bike vs trying to make the next uphill section of trail... giving it your all vs giving up.... Like I said sometimes the right mentality makes all the difference.


It's a good life.....


Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where's Dave?

I've been a bit quiet this week. Partially on purpose and partially due to circumstances. I do a bunch of reading myself and much of my reading this week was on simplification. Simplify your life and things might open up. So with that I have simplified my email beyond belief.

1. Personal Email - All email has been moved or deleted. Roughly 90% deleted. I also unsubscribed to almost every company oriented email. Now daily, that account will be cleared.
2. Zoot Email - 4 folders created - RRS, AA, Action, Temporary. RRS is Road Runner Sports, AA is my boss, Action is stuff that needs my attention. Temporary is that which I may need. Everything else roughly 60% of all my email was deleted. My goal is to have an empty inbox when I leave the office.
3. Facebook - I turned off every alert. Now if I get contact the only way I read it is if I'm on Facebook. No more coming to my email.

This feels like freedom.

More on the rest of my week as I digest it.

It's a good life....

Monday, February 15, 2010

Why Triathlon and Triathletes Rule

If you get injured there is always one to two other sports. The winner this week is Cathy Hlusak Lee, from Minnesota. Yet another freezing cold training area today. Cathy won because it was Valentine's Day and I decided the first girl to send me a story wins!

From Cathy

This winter I am trying something entirely new. It didn’t start out by choice, really, but rather because I had a nagging running injury that I really needed to take care of and a lack of swimming prowess that has cost me too much lost time at races. I pretty much stopped running for a few months while increasing my swim yardage. Before I did this, my typical week included 3 swims, each about 3200 yards. Now my typical week includes about 25,000-30,000 yards of swimming. I even hit 35,000 once! I have started to incorporate more running back into my schedule lately since I am running Boston in April, but I’ve really started to enjoy swimming! I never thought I would say that. Getting faster has helped – I knocked about 10 seconds per 100 yards off my regular swim paces – and I’ve also been blessed with great masters swimming coaches and groups who make swimming more fun. I plan on continue this high-yardage pattern for another month and then start ramping up the cycling more. The main event for me this year will be Kona in October.

It's a good life....


I Hear Footsteps

Yesterday I planned a monster run. 3 mile warm up, San Dieguito Half Marathon, 3 mile finishing run. Warm up was fine, first 4 miles of a very tough half marathon were fine and then I started hearing footsteps. In other words my mind went from concentrating on my pace to concentrating on the feet around me. That's not uncommon for me. Just ask my wife, I am always looking at and listening to feet.
For the most part yesterday I saw and heard good things. Either through their own doing or through the help of a really good retailer people have shoes matched to their running which generally makes for quiet running. I was happy to see a number of the "other" brands out there yesterday. Lots of Newton and lots of Zoot. In fact I think Zoot was on 3 of the top 5 runners overall. Not bad for a little brand.
What disturbed me and always does by the way was the sound of slapping feet. My gosh I think, can't you hear that. Do you like that sound. Do you think it's normal to make that sound. Quit, for the love of all things running, quit so we can run in peace. Seriously though that's not normal. There are two causes of loud slappy running. First, there are runners. Runners with poor running form don't run quiet. There is a cure for this, learn good form. That doesn't mean Pose Method, or any other method (although if you ran Barefoot, you would run quiet). It simply mean's good posture while running. Generally when you hear the slapping and it is the runner, you see a runner that is leaning really far forward and using their feet to chase that lean. Slap, Slap, Slap, Slap, Slap, Slap.
The worst of all though is not the runner but the running shoe. I've been known to have memory in my feet. To know what a shoe should fit like based on the previous version. Well I'm beginning to be able to tell the shoe or the brand by their sound. And that I tell you scares me. Either because the shoe companies don't pick up on it or I'm loony for caring. I will not call the brands out, and I certainly will not call the shoes out. Keep building those shoes folks, please keep building them. For you the runner listen up: If you hear yourself slapping and you feel you have good running posture, ditch the shoes. That's not normal and there are better shoes built for you. I tend to think they all start with Z and end with T but maybe I'm biased right now. Ditch those loud slapping dogs and make running peaceful for all of us around you.

It's a good live....

Sunday, February 14, 2010

My Story This Week

A few things from my week of life:

1. WWPD - What Would Papi (My Dad) Do is a good way to make the decision

2. The Marketing of the Truth is better than standard marketing that is made up stuff.

3. Ice Baths are the best recovery - "OK that's Weird" - Marco Jewell

4. My 45 year old legs can't get it together like they used to but heck listen to this: Turbo Session Thursday am, Hill repeats (running) Thursday afternoon, Double Peak (The nasty climb) Friday, 65 miles of the best riding in San Diego (Del Dios, Lake Wolford, Old Castle, 395, the base (Twin Oaks Valley) of Double Peak and home Saturday, 19 miles with the San Dieguito Half Marathon in the middle on Sunday.

5. San Diego may be the best place on earth. At least it is this week.

6. I am blessed to have the family I have and the freinds who inspire me.

It's a good life...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

A Shoe Story

Tom Mertz from Urbondale IA will receive a pair Zoot Ultra Tempo+ 3.0. He's also getting a 2009 Zoot Kona Visor for inspiration. Dude is training indoors right now because he lives in Iowa. The Visor is there to remind him that it will get hot!

In May of last year the family and I were living in Germany. We drove down to Austria so I could race in the Ironman 70.3 St. Polten. We drove down a few days early so we could tour Vienna and the surrounding area. Everything was going just fine until I went out for a run in my planned race shoes and instantly noticed something wrong. Somehow I had crushed the heel counter and now that heel counter was exposed and rubbing a hole in my heel. I had a pair of "Training" shoes with me but it was not ideal for the kind of race I wanted. Here I was, an adidas footwear guy without shoes to really race in. Nice story right? So I get to the race sight the day before the race and plan to find a shoe to race in. The only thing I had to do that day was meet up with my buddy Brian from Zoot. He was in town to do the race and it had been a couple years since we had seen each other. By the time I meet up with Brian I'm desperate. No shoes yet and I'm settled to racing in my heavy training shoes. The first thing Brian does when we get together is pull a pair of the above shoes out of his bag and says "Look at what we've been up to". I slip them on and say "Can I give them a go". What's Brian going to say, "No". Of course he wants the adidas guy racing in a pair of Zoots. Lucky for me nobody is there who cares about this except Brian, me and my son. My son of course is laughing at me because I don't have 3 stripes on my feet.
Race day and my Zoot shoes are set up in transition. Other than a couple short runs I have no experience in the shoes. Zoot shoes have this BareFit thing going that says I should be able to go sockless so I decide to give it a try. Mind you I'm one of those people who has lived with messed up feet from triathlon for years. I figure it's part of the game. The race is great. If you get a chance, travel to Austria for this race. I get off the bike and I'm ready to run. It's hot, and there is no shade. My kind of run. I slip the Zoots on and start running. During the entire run I'm focused on running. Not once did I ever notice my feet. Not once, no hot spots, no tongue problems, nothing. I finish the race slip out of my shoes and nothing. Feet don't hurt. No blood anywhere. Sure I felt like I had run 21K but that's it. The feet are in great shape. Just ask my wife, that usually doesn't happen.

Fast forward 2 months, we're moving back to California and I need a job. I talk Zoot into hiring me and here I am telling this story. I couldn't make this up if I tried.

It's a good life...

Monday, February 8, 2010


Remember that Sunday morning show where the guy would put a pin in a map and go find the stories. I'm a sucker, I loved that show. Well this is my version. You send me the story, I put a pin in one and post it here. These stories don't lie. They are real and they have the ability to inspire. Here is one from this weeks winning post:

The progress I've made since getting in to triathlon 3 years ago is just amazing. Back in Feb. of 2006, I was 33 and had just lost my dad to brain cancer. Two days later, my wife gave birth to twins. Needless to say, my life was a roller coaster of emotion for quite some time.

In June of 2007, the Hy-Vee Triathlon came to Des Moines, and my family and I went down to watch the finish of the pro women’s race. There was something so overwhelmingly inspiring about seeing them finish that it practically brought me to tears. I decided right then that come June 2008, I would be crossing that finish line for my dad.

I'm about 5'10 and was close to 190 lbs and about 25% body fat when I started training. I had never swam competitively, never biked competitively, and had never run more than a 5k at about a 9:00 pace. I finished the Hy-Vee Olympic in about 2:38 and I was ecstatic. I was definitely hooked. Last year in addition to Hy-Vee, I raced the Florida and Kansas 70.3, and IM Wisconsin.

I'm down to about 145lbs and 9-10% body fat, and have a goal of a 2:15 Olympic and qualifying for AG Nationals this year. The transformation both physically and mentally has just been amazing. I feel so much better about myself health wise, and finally found something to help me get over the loss of my dad. Triathlon has really been a life-changing decision for me!

It wouldn't be possible without the tremendous support and understanding I get from my wife and kids!


Tom Mertz


It's a good life......


Unfortunately Probably True More Often than we like

So I post this story from my brother-in-law Mike. He's getting free stuff because he's family. The point of posting this is because I fear this is what people think will happen or what actually may happen to people. I see these "Trainers" in gyms around the country working with people and sometimes it absolutely scared me:

The Story By Mike Miller
For my birthday this year Cyndi purchased me a week of private lessons at the local health club. Though still in great shape from when I was on the varsity chess team in high school, I decided it was a good idea to go ahead and try it. I called and made reservations with someone named Tanya, who said she is a 26-year-old aerobics instructor and athletic-clothing model.

Cyndi seemed very pleased with how enthusiastic I was to get started, and suggested I keep an "exercise diary" to chart my progress.

Day 1: Started the morning at 6:30 a.m. Tough to get up, but worth it when I arrived at the health club and Tanya was waiting for me. She's something of a goddess, with blond hair and a dazzling white smile. She showed me the machines and took my pulse after five minutes on the treadmill. She seemed a little alarmed that it was so high, but I think just standing next to her in that outfit of hers added about 10 points. Enjoyed watching the aerobics class. Tanya was very encouraging as I did my sit-ups, though my gut was already aching a little from holding it in the whole time I was talking to her. This is going to be GREAT!

Day 2: Took a whole pot of coffee to get me out the door, but I made it. Tanya had me lie on my back and push this heavy iron bar up into the air. Then she put weights on it, for heaven's sake! Legs were a little wobbly on the treadmill, but I made it the full mile. Her smile made it all worth while. Muscles ALL feel GREAT.

Day 3: The only way I can brush my teeth is by laying the tooth brush on the counter and moving my mouth back and forth over it. I am certain that I have developed a hernia in both pectorals. Driving was OK as long as I didn't try to steer. I parked on top of a Volkswagen. Tanya was a little impatient with me and said my screaming was bothering the other club members. The treadmill hurt my chest, so I did the stair monster. Why would anyone invent a machine to simulate an activity rendered obsolete by the invention of elevators? Tanya told me regular exercise would make me live longer. I can't imagine anything worse.

Day 4: Tanya was waiting for me with her vampire teeth in full snarl. I can't help it if I was half an hour late; it took me that long just to tie my shoes. She wanted me to lift dumbbells. Not a chance, Tanya. The word "dumb" must be in there for a reason. I hid in the men's room until she sent Lars looking for me. As punishment she made me try the rowing machine. It sank!

Day 5: I hate Tanya more than any human being has ever hated any other human being in the history of the world. If there were any part of my body not in extreme pain, I would hit her with it. She thought it would be a good idea to work on my triceps. Well, I have news for you, Tanya: I don't have triceps. And if you don't want dents in the floor, don't hand me any barbells. I refuse to accept responsibility for the damage. YOU went to sadist school, YOU are to blame. The treadmill flung me back into a science teacher, which hurt like crazy. Why couldn't it have been someone softer, like a music teacher, or a social studies teacher?

Day 6: Got Tanya's message on my answering machine, wondering where I am. I lacked the strength to use the TV remote, so I watched 11 straight hours of the Weather Channel.

Day 7: Well, that's the week. Thank goodness that's over. Maybe next time Cyndi will give me something a little more fun, like a gift certificate for a root canal.

It's a good life....

Sunday, February 7, 2010

It was one of those runs

Today I headed out for a run. Normally on Sunday I wake up slow and save my one workout for the pool and Swim Fin Camp. Today though I decided to run and I'm glad I did. The run was only 55 minutes long but it was one that remined me that I can run. The pace was up there for 40 minutes of the run and it felt effortless. Even into the big hills that make up the end of the run, it was efforless. I wish I knew why those runs happen. Why can running feel like dirt much of the time and then boom effortless.

After the run I headed to Swim Fin Camp. Ouch that was crazy hard. My arms are still shaking and it's been over for 8 hours. A good day I guess.

Congrats to the Saints.

It's a good life...

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Do we Ever Learn?

That's Hong Kong in the background. No I wasn't there this week but I was thinking of there this week. I was actually thinking of this day. This was the day I found out my father had passed away. This week was one of those weeks where I really needed Dad. I needed someone to talk to who had been where I am and who could walk me through it rationally. That only comes from experience. This week I let one person get under my skin and dominate my week. For so many reasons I can't fully explain just yet. But Dad would have known how to handle it. Dad would have calmed me down and given me that insight. I have the insight now but it would have been nice to have it going in.

Here's the Insight: People who talk only of themselves and only of their accomplishments can never truly be happy. They are searching for recognition that isn't there. That doesn't mean they can't be smart and highly successful. It simply means they can't be happy. I'll remember this when we meet up again. I'll remember to not challenge the face but learn to acknowledge and move on to get my things done. I think it worked in the end this week and can work any time I believe.

It's a good life....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

And the Winner Is

We have a winner for the first week of the every week Dave Jewell Zoot Contest. It's a simple contest, submit your workouts and your story and you stand a chance to win.

This weeks winner is: Brandon Wilson from Jacksonville FL. His training for the week and store are as follows:

This is my third week of training building up to IMCDA.
Monday-swim 2500 yds
bike 1hr 25 min

Tuesday-swim 2500 yds
run 50 min

Wednesday-brick 1 hr 15min/30 min

Thursday-swim 2000 yds
rainy, no cycling

Friday-bike 3 hr 30min
run 30 min

Saturday-swim 2500 yds
run 40 min (short run, I'll explain...)

I'm not sure if this is the story you were hoping for, but here it goes: On Saturdays "long run," I had to turn around at 20 minutes because my stomach was telling me it's time to pack it in. Well, I'm back at the house, in front of the driveway, when my bottom drops out. I've gotta go. NOW.
All the doors are locked, everyone's inside eating dinner and watching TV, so they don't hear me screaming and nearly banging down the door.
Well, I'm not gonna make it, so I sprint around the side of the house, well, more like waddled like a penguin, and just as I pull down my shorts to ease my suffering, the floodlights come on. Oh, crap! So I hike up my shorts, and run around to the hedges in the front, and those lights come on too. At this point, all that I'll say is that there was no point in trying to hurry to the bathroom anymore.
And now you know my worst day of running. Ever.

Good training efforts and what a story. Give it up to Brandon for letting me post it. We've all been there one way or another. Maybe not that extreme.

Now the winning prize: Zoot Ultra Kapilani - Available July 2010
The Name. Naming shoes is not the easiest thing. My favorite name that I came up with is still the Supernova Sequence. You know how running is sequential. Well Kapilani has a story. There is a park in Honolulu named Kapiolani Park. It's the finishing park for the famed Honolulu Marathon. No way I was getting Kapiolani through legal so I dropped the o and made it up. But that's not the story. The Honolulu Marathon is special to me because it's where I met Tom Carleo. Tom and I spent many hours over Beer the week leading up the the Marathon a few years back, planning out the Nike Technical Running Line. That Line eventually in a much refined way became what we all know as Nike Bowerman. Since that time Tom and I have remained friends. It was a great time in the world of shoes. Tom moved on to Saucony and created that great Saucony stuff you know and has since moved over to New Balance. All I can say is look out for NB.

But for now, look out for Zoot. The continued story of the shoe is this. In August of 2009 I spent weeks talking to athletes wearing the Zoot Tempo+, the same shoe Brandon uses for Racing. I asked "What do you use the shoe for?" The response was racing and some training. Next Question "What do you do your long run in?" The response, Asics, Brooks, Saucony. Then I said if you had a shoe that performed like the Tempo+ but felt like more shoe would that be good and would you buy it? Resounding yes, we love your brand. So the Kapilani was born. The same low profile go fast construction with a more substantial workhorse feel. No holes, and regular laces. It still has the ultra comfortable BareFit system that just makes Zoot feel so good internally. It has a few other things Zoot. My favorite comment so far on the shoe was this "It's a great shoe but there's nothing special about it" - Zoot employee Germany. Exactly, it's a workhorse running shoe and that's the best comment for a workhorse. No flash just substance.

I also sent my sister Cyndi a pair. She's trying really hard and getting to the gym at 4:45am. To me that deserves a Kapilani.

Thanks Brandon, I hope you like them. Good Luck with your Ironman training.

It's a good life...

3:15 AM

That's what the clock said when I finally decided it was not worth trying any longer. So I simply started the day. What kept me up all night. The day of course and it was an interesting day. My day went like this, great swim (yes I can go back to back even after fin camp), your shoes suck, Oh crap we have a long way to go on Spring 11, there goes my opportunity to ride today, lots to get done before the trip to Seattle, yes dear I know the house was a mess but someone told me my shoes suck (bad excuse as if any is good) I have a new name. Let me introduce myself. My name is Brian Jewell.

So with that I start my day. Tuesday is Long Run Day so away I go. Into the dark abyss knowing that the Sun will rise during this run and I get the chance to do the day better.

It's a good life....