Saturday, April 30, 2011

St George or Bust!

By this time 7:50pm Saturday Night next week I expect to be done with Ironman St George. It's my first Ironman in almost 10 years. I'm not 100% convinced of what caused me to sign up. I honestly think I was just tired of being fat and slow. Anyway the "training" is done. There are a couple tune up hard sessions and then some relaxing swims to go. All that's left is execution of the day.

- To all of those I've said no to for training in the last 5 months I am free to freelance now.
- To coach G thanks for sticking to my crazy schedule.
- To China - Well we'll see about that next Saturday. When I signed up I didn't plan on 3 trips to visit you this Spring.

Most importantly I have to thank Mary and Marco. If it were not for your understanding I would never attempt this nor would I be so ready. I love both of you.

It's a good life....

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Warped Reality

My beautiful wife posted this on Facebook the other day:

"What a warped reality I inhabit. I was dragging all day, and could barely get my backside out the door for a (much despised) hill repeat workout. The Mary Jewell version of hill repeats, anyway. Can't say I feel like a million bucks now, but maybe $750, 000. Don't sleep or eat sugar or carbs when you're tired, just run"

I am often asked if my wife is a runner. This quote sums it up. 

Yeah we run because there is a goal out there to be faster than the last time. Yeah we run because we think it makes us look better. Yeah we run because we can't play basketball or catch a baseball. But I think the real reason we get out there is because it makes us feel better. 

Once each weekend Marco and I go running. We try to plan it out mostly because I need to know when I'm running. Because he's a typical 12 year old our runs usually happen at 5pm on Saturday or Sunday. I'd rather do it at 9am but he's just not ready. So we set the plan. But just like any kid it's not his priority. In fact his priority is whatever is happening right now and only right now. So 4:30 rolls around and I send up the prep warning that we are going to run in 30 minutes. Many times I get something in return that is the opposite of excitement. He drags himself away from his thing and slowly gets dressed. All the while complaining that he's tired, that he just doesn't want to go. Usually he asks "Can I eat something first, I'm starving." In general he's throwing up every obstacle in front of the run. 

Somehow each weekend we get outside to run. The run usually starts with him wanting to get it over fast so he takes off at a quick pace. Luckily I've trained him to partially understand it doesn't matter how fast you run, it's still going to be 40 minutes. So off we go. Usually 10 minutes into the run, the negative "I don't want to run kid" turns into the chatty Marco we all know and love. The most observant kid I've ever been around. "Look over there dad, wouldn't you love to have that garden" By the time we are done we've had one of the best conversations of the week. At the end of every run he looks over and says "I feel so much better now, thanks for going with me". 

That's our warped reality as runners. If all else fails to brighten your day, go running. 

It's a good life...

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Beauty that is Running

Let me start with the day before the run. After the long flight from California to Hong Kong I knew day 1 in China would be a challenge. I had no idea it was going to be such a day. I woke up at my typical first day time of 2:30am. I tried to go for a run but the hotel I was staying in had no good access to running and the gym didn't open until 6:00am. I had to leave the hotel a 6:45am to catch the train. The day in China was typical for the first day. Meetings to catch up with the factories. First factory was the production factory. Second Factory was the midsole supplier. Then there was the required factory dinner and then the long drive to the hotel. I finally checked in at the hotel at 12:00am the next day.

I slept hard and was ready to roll at 6:00am on the run. I have a fairly standard first day run that takes me over the river and then along the quite boardwalk until I cross the river again and come back to the hotel. I was about 20 minutes into my run feeling ok but not trying to push it. The boardwalk is always full of morning people. People doing one form of exercise or another. There are plenty of runners. I was approaching one of the runners. He was dressed in shorts (casual dress) and a t-shirt and he was running in some brand of court shoe. As I pulled up along side him, without looking over he began to half step me. In other words he wasn't going to let me pass. So I returned the 1/2 step. He did the same. I did the same. He did the same. At some point I gave up and decided to see how long he could hold the pace. We are now running sub 6 min/mile. We run for close to 10 minutes. I got to my bridge crossing and was kind of relieved. He looked over with a big grin on his face. I simply applauded loud. As I went up the stairs of the bridge I glanced down and he had slowed down to a pedestrian pace.

I simply love the sport of running. The energy it brings to my life every day and the experiences it gives me. I've been lucky to run all over the world and in every place I find myself in awe of the experience and the people I get to share it with. It's not about shoes, it's not about distance it's simply the pure beauty that is running.

It's a good life....

Monday, April 11, 2011

Shoes for Travel

Over the years I have been asked the question "What shoes do you run in" often. While I was packing for this short trip to China (Leave Monday get there Tuesday Night, Return Saturday) I was planning out my running. If you keep up you know that I run every day I'm gone. It keeps me sane and it's the one constant. So planning out my runs I had to plan out my stuff. 5 runs, two pairs of shoes, 5 pairs of socks, 2 pairs of running shorts, 2 running shirts.

Why two pairs of shoes? Rotation and surface.
3 of the 5 runs will be on a treadmill. For those I brought the prototype Jordan Rapp #1. They are low to the ground (good for a treadmill) Light and they pack super easy.

For the other two runs I'll be on concrete and it will be flat. So for that I've chosen a new Spring 12 shoe I can't show you just yet. It's got more foam to absorb some of that ultra hard surface. As long as I concentrate on Float while I'm running, this lightweight shoe with more foam will be fine. If I lose the concentration and let my Float go to Flop the concrete will win.

It's a good life....

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Are Running Shoes Science or Marketing

I detect a bit of sadness from the Run Blogger.  He's sad that a shoe company did Market Research to develop their latest line of shoes and not scientific research. What I take away when I read his thing is that he wants this shoe company to walk away from the millions of pairs they currently produce and focus 100% on what he thinks is this huge market of "barefoot" running shoes. I wish the running shoe business was so pure.

It's a good life.....


Thursday, April 7, 2011


Do you ever get tired of driving toward excellence? There are times when I simply want to tell everyone to fuck off but that's not a good step toward excellence. When I'm in one of those moods it's always a good thing to look at a reminder. I have them all over my life. This one sits on the desktop of the computer. Most other pictures get deleted but this one is always there to remind me.

There are some strong statements in this. They are not always easy to abide by but if you stick to them 80-90% of the time excellence will happen.

It's a good life....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Got this idea from my friend James. He's really fast and loves food and beer. I altered it a bit but this is what Marco and I ate last night.

The Burgers
- Organic Ground Beef - You have to watch them closely, Organic Beef cooks differently.
- Minced Garlic
- Spinach
- Blue Cheese
- Cooked on the Grill to your taste.

The Carbohydrates
- "Stir" fry veggies
- with minced garlic

The only thing I did different for Marco was the veggie mix. He claims to not like Cauliflower. So I took all the Cauliflower and gave him most of the carrots and we split the Broccoli.

-100% Primal
-minimal processing (probably the blue cheese had the most processing)
- Gluten Free
- 30 minutes from lighting the grill to serving the food
- 12 year old approved

Both plates were cleaned at the table.

It's a good life...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'm a Pro Triathlete Take #2

In a blog from my friend Mac Brown he mentions a posting I made quite a long time ago(Blog). I knew I had pissed him off then. It was not intended to piss him off. I share the post again because Mac brought it up. I'm surprised he gives me any credit after all, he's right, who am I to talk about what it mean's to be a pro.

Mac I love you. I mean that in the best way. You are a freaking beast of an athlete and you are one of the smartest. I really hope you put it all together.

It's a good life.....

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Oceanside Race Report and More

And More Comes First:

- Goals: If you set meaningful goals weekly, monthly or yearly and work really hard to attain them the rest of your life can be lifted if you let it.
- Triathlon is a selfish sport. I've learned over the years that it's not that important and because of this I'm having more fun and racing faster.
- Volunteer for a race. Set your season goal of races and then instead of racing one of them volunteer at one.
- Each month try to introduce triathlon to someone new. The sport needs more people in it.
- Thank the volunteers and race directors and then thank them again.
- Most of all thank your wife or husband and your kids the most.

Oceanside Race Report
I'm not saying that I would swim fast but just once in Oceanside I'd like to swim in clean water. By the first marker and the rest of the swim it was zig zag through the slower swimmers. The Zoot Prophet is the best wetsuit I've ever raced in. I was there when the concept brief was written. The wetsuit delivers on the brief #1 get the swimmer out of the water feeling fresh. 33:18
Long T1: 3:13
Note to self - Check and double check your wheels and your repair kit.
Up the first climb in the harbor and the rear wheel starts creaking. I sit down at the top and the creaking is gone. Through the gate where there are a few bumps and off goes my repair kit (tube, co2 and tire levers). The first part of the bike is flat and fast. All hills managed seated and in the big chain ring. Moving through nicely with a couple guys to pace from. We turn inland and then the memory of the course hits me hard San Mateo hill is next. It's a good sized steep climb. I hit it with the plan to stay strong on the climb and not rush them. I pass my friend Diana and things are going fine. I stand up to stretch my legs and the creaking comes back only this time it gets worse with each pedal stroke. There is lots of climbing to go and finally it dawns on me that the creaking is coming from the rear wheel grinding on the frame. Darn it Zipp and your new wide wheels. So I stop in the middle of that hill and adjust. No good, I stop again. No good, I stop again. I have no idea how much actual time I spent trying to get that wheel straight. All I know is that I stayed calm and decided not to try to make up the lost time. That I would simply get back on and go. It took me 10 miles to catch Diana again. So based on that, I figure I lost 10 minutes in time. Maybe not 10 minutes fixing it but because I lost the group I was riding with I lost more than the time fixing. Anyway I stayed calm and road as strong as I could. I concentrated on drinking and fueling. Total Time: 2:40:44 20.9 MPH
T2: 2:14 - I went to the wrong isle. oops.
The Run
In the morning before the race I talked to coach Gordo. He said to run the 2nd 5K hard and that it's a good place to make up time. So I set out on the run. The first 5K I ran conservative and concentrated on drinking water at every station. I ran a comfortable pace of 7:22/mile. The second section I listened to Gordo and just hit the pace hard. Towards the end that section I made the decision that I would use the third section to hydrate and collect myself. I managed to pass a large number of people in my age group. Pace on the second section was 6:35/mile. On the third section a stayed calm and steady. Pace 7:22/mile. Finally on the fourth and final section I waited until the 10 mile mark to give it all I had. Once there I just let loose and ran. I passed through every aid station with maybe a sip of water or coke and a sponge. I ended up picking up some guys who paced off me. I sucked it up on the final little hill and made the charge for the finish line. Pace: 6:10/mile

Total Time 4:52:26 -
-Fastest Time on the Oceanside Course
- Best feeling run of any 70.3
- Best executed effort
- Stupid mistakes cost me my fastest time ever at the distance and a top 10 placing in a really tough age group.

It's a good life....