Saturday, November 29, 2008

Training Plans

With my recovery downtime, I've been able to finish up a few projects I've been working on, which includes two half-ironman training plans for triathletes in the San Diego area. The plans are specific to the Oceanside 70.3 and the SuperFrog half-ironman. I have created these plans from scratch, and included much of the Tri Club of San Diego events in the plan, for those who like to participate in those events. For those not in San Diego, or those who don't want to do the club events, the plans also have alternative workouts on those dates. The plan are price very affordably, and will work great for any athlete who is consistent with the plan.

Check it out for more info on my coaching blog:

I've run once since the race, and riding easy with some friends tomorrow. Not too sure about what is next and when I be back to training yet. Just enjoying watching a bunch of college football and getting a bunch of things done which have been hanging over my head for awhile.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Another long day...

Yes, today was another long day dealing with the illness. This time though, it was at the hospital. I am feeling better, finally able to eat a meal today, but Orlanda had another long night of vomiting. When we got up this morning we headed to urgent care at the hospital. They gave her a couple of IV's and some drugs to help ease her stomach. The doctors ran a few tests and we found out it was a virus which we caught. This was good to finally know, as I just couldn't believe how bad things went, and trying to figure out how it happened was really bothering me.

Thanks again to many of you for your emails, calls, texts, etc. Some of you have encouraged me to find a marathon to race, or go to Ironman Western Australia, etc. As much as that sounds like a good idea, there are a few problems...

1. Flying to Western Australia is NOT cheap. I can't afford that. Sponsors aren't helping me like that. In fact, no sponsor gives me a single penny, unless I do well.

2. I am still reeling physically from this illness, and can't just show up to race a marathon and expect it to go well in the next week or so. The same can be said for switching to Ironman Western Australia.

3. As much I understand the illness was not my fault and just bad luck, it doesn't extinguish the disappointment of months of hard work to perform at this race that are wasted. To do another race like a marathon, however intriguing, is rather anti-climatic. I think you have to be clearly focused on the start-line to perform near your potential. My focus has not been there, and it's tough to turn your focus that quickly. I've seen it a lot in the past, where guys drop out of Kona and try to salvage months of hard work with a different Ironman a few weeks later. Most times it doesn't work out well for them.

I think the best use of my efforts would be to do an early season Ironman, but that means Australia or New Zeland, and again, those are not cheap trips. Honestly, I can't afford those trips. The other choice is Ironman Coeur d'Alene again, but that's nearly 8 months away, and I don't know if I want to do that. There is a lot to still decide, and I need to think it thru, not just making decisions entirely on emotion.


Monday, November 24, 2008

Still feeling it...

Last night was a long night of being up about every hour, on the toilet. I lost over 7 lbs since I went to bed, to when I woke up. On the drive home today, my appetite didn't exist.

Crazy...But at least it's somewhat reassuring that it wasn't me just being a headcase, I really am sick.

Hopefully after a few days off, I'll feel better.



Not exactly what I spent many months working so hard for. It's clear the virus or food-born illness which I and Orlanda both got on Friday night, had more of an effect on me than I realized. My stomach was so upset and sensitive on Saturday, I couldn't hardly eat anything all day. The day before an Ironman is not a time to be fasting.

It literally got so bad, I decided to try and force myself to throw up, with no luck. I did the best I could to hydrate and sleep and on Saturday, as I felt so weak. I should feel lucky I wasn't as sick as Orlanda was, who was clearly not doing well after a night of little to no sleep and violent vomiting.

On Sunday morning, I felt a lot better, and figured I would give the race a go, and see what happened. I was hoping maybe I ate enough on Friday to make up for a major lack of calories on Saturday.

The swim went fine, as I just hung in the chase pack and cruised, really trying to make an effort to conserve energy, not even trying to go with a faster pack. Came out of the water in 52:29, a new PR. Pretty pleased when I saw that, and figured the race would maybe go better than I expected.

First lap of the bike and I'm riding fairly well, averaging 280+ watts and things are looking good. Second lap, about 1/4 of the way thru it, I suddenly really struggled to hold 250 watts. By the time I got to the turnaround, holding 200 watts was a struggle. It was clear then, my day was over. If I was too weak to hold 200 watts half-way, I clearly was going to put myself in danger if I tried to continue. After the second lap of the bike, I stopped at the penalty tent and dropped out. (No, I did not receive a penalty.)

What's next? Not sure. It's hard to think about the future when all your hard work for months ends up like this.

Thank you to everyone who sent me good-luck emails, phone calls, text messages, etc. I really appreciated it, and wish it could have gone better.


Saturday, November 22, 2008

Long night...

Well, this wasn't how I had planned things to go, that's for sure. Last night after dinner with Joe Friel and some others, Orlanda and I headed home and went to bed. About 11 in the evening, Orlanda was running to the bathroom, vomiting pretty violently. It actually woke me up.

Then the rest of the night I spent tossing and turning, stomach issues myself. I woke up about every 20 mins, then every hour. By the time the morning came, I felt hung-over.

How much this will affect me, who knows? I still have about 24 hours to get back on track, so taking it very easy today.

We will see how it goes.


Thursday, November 20, 2008

Photo Collection Sharing #3 - Video

Sometimes, I watch this video just to remind me of the joy of hard work paying off. (After the first minute, at 2:54 into the video is the interview with Welchie.) I think it's obvious why I like this one...


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Race week movitation...

I think I found some great motivational tools for this weekend's race. It's been a long year, and these last few weeks it can be tough, when the body starts struggling with the taper, and you start questioning yourself. These are great for reminding me the fun of raceday! I thought others might enjoy these as well. For those of you in the winter months of cold climates, these could make great trainer entertainment!

2005 Ironman coverage:

2006 Ironman coverage:

2007 Ironman coverage:

2008 Ironman coverage:



Thursday, November 13, 2008


"When they kick down your front door, how you gonna come? With your hands on your head, or on the trigger of your gun?"
-- The Clash, "Guns of Brixton"

That verse and song represent the attitude I must have at IMAZ. The field is so tough, you're either going to surrender to them, or show them what you've got.

Numbers are up, and I'm #19. Middle of the pack number, for a guy who has middle of the pack expectations placed on him.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008

IMAZ Start List

Ironman Arizona is becoming the deepest field I've ever faced. (Kona was probably deeper, but I didn't really train for it or try to race.)

The funny thing is, the money isn't all that great at all. The reason so many guys are doing this is so they don't have to worry about trying to qualify for Kona again next year, (I'm assuming.)

Here is a sample of guys on the start list who have won an Ironman race in the past, with their name and the Ironman event I know they've won:

Jasper Blake - Canada
Chris Lieto - Japan, Placid
Bryan Rhodes - Canada, UK
Kieran Doe - Canada
Joszef Major - Arizona
Chris McDonald - Wisconsin
Jan Raphael - Florida
Francisco Pontano - Placid

There are bunch of other guys on the list who I respect a lot, who haven't won one yet, but are poised to do well. They include guys who have podiumed at Ironman events before, and guys who haven't done an Ironman, but have had a lot of success at the 70.3 distance.

At this point, the field is so tough, no one can predict what will happen, and who will win. I am actually more relieved that the field is this tough, as it forces me to just focus on myself.

12 days to go, and things are going well. My swimming is coming back, as I've been focusing more on it. I had a small arch strain in my right foot, brought on from a bad blister on my heel I got at Tahoe, which still hasn't healed. (Trust me it's nasty!) It's limited me for my last few runs, but it seems to be back to 100% now. One thing I am hoping is that the rest is exactly what I needed, and will force me to hold back during the taper. I think many of the guys are looking at the start list and thinking they need to get in those last hard workouts to make it happen.

One thing I know for sure, race-day never goes as people think it will. It will be interesting...


Friday, November 7, 2008

It's a new day


Photo Collection Sharing #2

Here's another photo I wanted to share. This one was taken by my good friend, professional photographer, Rich Cruse. Rich captured a pretty awesome moment in this photo, at the XTERRA World Championships in 2005. (Click on the photo for the larger version).

It is late in the bike leg, and I've swam fairly well, and riding fairly well. I'm in the top 25 at this point, and riding with Peter Reid, (behind me). I loved the fact that Peter and I were working together, it was a dream-made moment. I had idolized him and his accomplishments, and to be able to battle back and forth with him on the course was a great moment for me. It helped to show me that I had the ability to compete against the best.

What you can't see in this photo, is Ned Overend. Ned had caught Peter and I, and proceeded to drop both us, (on none other than "Ned's Climb", no less). One of the media folks on the course asked Peter and I during the race, on the climb, how it was going. Peter responded with, "We're getting beat by a 50-year old! How do you think we're doing???" Classic!

Peter and I did catch Ned and a few others on the run. Peter had too much legs for me on the run, and I faded to 17th, with cramps. I remember coming into the home stretch, and I was in 17th, but 11th was less than a minute in front of me. Close race.

It was this duel, which began a friendship with Peter, and later lead to him coaching me and helping me get 3rd at Ironman Florida, as well as 8th at Coeur d'Alene.


Tuesday, November 4, 2008


It's rare that I ever post about politics, but this is a significant day. I'm proud to be an American. My wife cried when the news projected he would win. She was worried. I wasn't. I believe in dreams, and I believe that if you do the right things, and work hard enough, you will be rewarded. Much like Ironman.

Barack, congrats on your Ironman victory.