Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Diversions...Not the type you create to take attention away from something else, but the type when you're on a commercial flight from San Diego to Chicago and one of the engines fail, so you have to divert the flight to Amarillo, Texas. No joke, I'm writing this post from the airport in Amarillo, after my flight to Chicago made an emergency landing here. I was sitting right along side the left wing, when the left wing engine died.

When we landed, there were emergency rescue crews, fire engines, everything, waiting for us on the runway. I took some photos, but don't have the adapter to download the photos yet. Plenty of people checking out the plane, making sure there was no damage or fire.

The pilot did a great job of salesmanship, downplaying the situation and keeping everyone on the plan calm.

Ironically, we were not even the first plane to have an emergency landing in Amarillo. When we landed on the runway, and exited out the rear emergency exit to get on a bus, there was another propeller plan parked next to us. On the bus from the jet to the terminal, some of airport crew were telling me the other plane had smoke in the cabin, and we were the 2nd emergency landing of the day. Crazy.

I'm about to get on a new flight after a few hours waiting here in Amarillo, and will be in Chicago until Monday. I'll be working with athletes at a big TrainingBible Coaching clinic on Saturday, and a speaking to a bunch of local coaches on power and training with technology, on Saturday.

Stay tuned for more. I'll try to upload pictures as soon as I can, but it may not be until Tuesday, if my adapter is at home.


Monday, January 26, 2009


The new site is up...I'll continue to use the site, whether I'm still racing professionally or not. I assume I will return at some point.

Check it out!

Send me some feedback on the site.


Friday, January 23, 2009

New Supplemental Training Plans

Hopefully if you read this blog, you read my coaching blog as well. I just announced a new style of training plan today, which I call the Supplemental Training Plan. If you haven't read about it, check it out...


Saturday, January 17, 2009

What is the word for...

Not quite retired, but not racing? I keep finding myself in a position to explain to people where I am at, and I end up either being asked, or pressured to say, "I'm retired."

I'm not really retired. Retired in my mind means you have no plans to return the daily grind of the profession. I can't say that. I can't say I will return, but I know I also can't say I won't.

The best alternative words for retirement that I've found are:

Semi-Retired - This doesn't even make sense. If I'm not retired, how can I even be semi-retired?

Suspended Indefinitely - True, but it always sounds like you did something wrong. I'm not Plaxico Burres here. I didn't shoot myself in the leg and commit a felony to be suspended from racing. I just don't want to train and race right now.

On Extended Vacation - Perhaps, but that makes it sound like I didn't enjoy my gig. I did, at least for the most part.

Leave of Absence - Perhaps this works, but I always think these people are sick. I'm not sick. At least, not that I'll admit to anyway.

On Hiatus - This one seems to work, as it's the most neutral.

So that's it, I'm on hiatus from racing. Till when? Who knows. I'm not worried about that right now.

The past few days I've actually gotten out on my mountain bike, tooling around. One of my clients is in town staying with me, and I'm working with him, riding here and there on the Look 986. It's such an awesome bike, I enjoy riding it a lot. I'm looking forward to actually getting back on some trails to ride and just mess around. I think that will be a lot of fun. (NO, I am not going to race XTERRA!)

Today I rode with my client Adam, and some fellow Nebraska boys, up to B+L. They did the Swami's ride, while I rode back on the 986. I noticed the tide was out, so when I hit Torrey Pines State Beach, I hit the sand and rode that almost all the way to Scripps Pier! Cool ride, as I have never done that.

Beautiful day here, over 70 degrees. I am blessed by the choices I have made in my life, especially the one to move here!

In the meantime, things with coaching are going extremely well. I continue to gain more clients each week, and I've also seen a huge jump in my writing opportunities, that have really changed my financial situation, and things are moving up! I have 3 articles due by the end of the month for various publications, and I just turned another one in on Thursday. All good signs.

My clients are all seeing great gains, and I am happy to be more focused on them, rather than trying to balance them with my training. Life is good, even if it is while I'm on hiatus.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Tressa Follow-up

If you've followed this blog for awhile, you'll remember my old Nebraska teammate, Tressa Thompson, and the February 2008 post about her fall from Olympic stardom to drug addiction.

The other night, the A&E show Intervention did a follow-up on her, and it was good to see. I am happy for her. (I still can't believe she missed the Olympic Trials by only 6 feet, after nearly 8 years of intense drug use and breakdown of her body. Just goes to show how damn gifted you were.) This is the summary, and follow-up story, to how she's doing now...

Best of luck Tressa...I would love to see you again, and wish you well in person. You're only up the road from me, but I've had trouble finding out how to contact you. Hopefully, it will happen.


Friday, January 9, 2009

Competitors Radio Show - Sunday night

I will be an in-studio guest on The Competitors Radio Show with Bob Babbitt and Paul Huddle, on Sunday evening. For those of you who won't be watching the Chargers game, or if it ends early, feel free to tune in and listen to the program. I'll be on the air discussing XTERRA Saipan, and the Tagaman Triathlon, both races held on the island of Saipan, in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. I blogged about this trip back in March, so check the archives for photos and reminders.

It's an epic race, and one I would encourage people to try, especially if you love the adventure of off-road triathlons.

We might also be talking about other topics, but this is the main one. I'll be on around 8:20 or so, on the local Mighty 1090 AM, or you can listen in a podcast later...

Have a great weekend, and GO CHARGERS!


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Anniversary!

2 years ago today, I married Orlanda. I love her more today than even then.

Here's to 2 years!!!


Sunday, January 4, 2009

More on being a Husker...

Recently, I read an article from the Omaha World Herald, which discussed the recruiting strategy of the Nebraska football coaching staff. Nebraska has shifted it focus of recruiting efforts to athletes who come from the more successful high school programs, not just whoever has the greatest stats. Here's an excerpt:

The theory goes like this: Players from dominant high school programs understand the work necessary during the season and offseason to ease the transition to college. In addition, the Huskers hope the winning ways of their recruits will infect the hallways and meeting rooms at Memorial Stadium.

“The thing you know you’re going to get with these kids is that they’re going to have great work ethic, character, probably good grades, and a lot of them will be able to handle the grind — what it means to be a college football player,”...

This really got me thinking about the people who are successful, and what their backgrounds are. I even started looking at myself, and my background, to see if this applied to my own life, racing and performances.

I would say I have had a lot of success, and was a part of a very successful program when I first got into endurance sports. I started running in high school, while at Lawrence Central in Indianapolis, initially because my dad insisted I try it. Then after hearing the coach talk to a group of us in the weight room, I decided to give it a try. The track team was ranked #1 in the state, and had just missed winning the state meet the season before. So late in my sophomore year, I came out for the track team, and in a matter of weeks saw some success, and was hooked. Come the fall, I went out for the cross country team, instead of my normal football path. In a matter of a few months, I went from a beginner, to as high as 3rd man on a team ranked 8th in the state of Indiana. In all my time there, we were never ranked lower than #1 in the state in track.

My coach was Mike Holman, who is still a major figure in coaching education for USA Track and Field, and has been named head coach of many national teams, and recently was even named to the US Olympic Coaching Staff for Beijing. My junior year there was a senior on the team named Nick Middleton who Holman coached to the National Title in the mile, running 4:07.47. Nick also won 4 state titles while I was on the team, in a state where there is only one class, not divisions based on school sizes. It was every school against every school.

Nick helped set the standard of performance, which led me to continuing on to be successful as well. I had a competitive spirit, and Holman's coaching knowledge and the standards of the program he helped set made me be successful. It taught me what it took to get to the top. As a senior I was the #1 runner for the team all year, and qualified individually for the state meet 3 times. I finished All-State three times, and as a senior won 2 Marion County titles, 3 Sectional titles and even 1 Regional title. My senior season, we finished 2nd at the Indiana State Championships.

I wasn't ending up with the top ten times in the nation in any event, but I ran sub 4:20 for the mile, and had a desire to run the steeplechase, which is where most people agreed I would shine. Sub 4:20 milers are a dime a dozen nearly in high school, so Nebraska saw something special in me.

When I went to Nebraska, I/we had a lot of success as well. I was a key scorer for a team that finished 7th at the NCAA Cross Country Championships, still the best finish in the university's history. I was also a member of team that won countless Big 8/Big 12 Championships, and even a close second a few other times. In 1996, we became one of the first programs to dethrone Arkansas from their top podium spot for the prior 11 years at the NCAA Indoor Track and Field Championships.

The point of this post is that I believe it was this standard of being a part of winning programs that taught me what it took to be so successful in triathlon at the many different levels. The fact that I didn't know how to swim when I started the sport of triathlon didn't matter to me because I knew the work it would entail, and I did it. I became a student of the sport, much as being at Nebraska and Lawrence Central forced me to be a student. You had to know and understand the finer details to become a winner. You had to go the extra mile, because that was the standard.

It's funny, I look at the top recruiting classes for college football each year, and the Huskers never seem to rank very high. Even when they won 3 National Championships in 4 years, they never had a top 10 ranked recruiting class. Yet it didn't matter, because winning is as much as about hard work and the mental toughness that comes from putting in the time and effort, as it is about talent. They just won 9 games this past season, and no one expected that. No one expected me to ever do what I did in the sport of triathlon, or even running. But it was the standards the programs set that forced me to rise about the rest.

I remember a post from Jameson's blog back in 2007, where he said:

"I really want to race hard. It's someting I will continue to work on and something I was lacking last year. I had some good results last year but I think it was far from what I am capable of. In this respect I really look up to Jim. He races hard. It doesn't matter what phase of training he's in. He could be shelled or fresh. It doesn't matter whether it's an Xterra race, a local 10k, a club Aquathlon, and I think most people know about his IM debut in Florida (3rd overall, 8:37 just in case you didn't). He shows up, puts his game face, and races hard. He can flip the switch and get the best of whatever he has on that day. To achieve the lofty goals I have set for myself this year I am going to need to learn how to do this and truly leave it all out on the course."

This is something I learned directly from my past experiences. No excuses, just performances. We had to be ready at all times, no race was small or unimportant. We wanted to win and run fast at all times. It was funny to me when I read that post back then, because I didn't realize I was that way, it was just what I used to.

It's because of this, I am proud to say I am still a Lawrence Central Bear, and a Nebraska Husker!


PS - The good grades part, I did well there too, with 2 academic scholarships and Academic All-Big 12 every year. I wasn't just legs and lungs!

Friday, January 2, 2009

I just can't stop laughing about this...

Found this at a friend's site, and I just can't stop laughing about all the different videos like this. And it's not just the dancing...

Back to more serious posts tomorrow.


Thursday, January 1, 2009

Good day to be a Husker

For those of you who don't know, I am a Husker. I graduated from the University of Nebraska in December of 1999, with my BS in Physical and Health Education. I ran track and cross country for Nebraska, lettering all 4 years. It was, and still is, a key factor in making me the person I am today.

My wife and family sometimes think I'm a crazed fan, but I have a lot of identity with this program. Last week I was screaming at the TV watching the Husker women's volleyball team nearly upset Penn State in the Final Four. I cheer for them as though I am on the team. I visit and learn about the athletes who are there and a part of the programs. Heck, I live in San Diego, yet have 4 season tickets to the football games. I would also call my devotion a great sense of loyalty.

Today, it felt great to watch them win the Gator Bowl, in a game that did not start off well for them. I was worried, but they showed a lot of heart, and came back from a 14-3 halftime deficit to win 26-21. After last year's debacle, (actually 2 of the previous 4 years debacle), it was good to see the program back to it's winning ways. Pelini is the man, and it's great to see a guy like him be successful.

What does this have to do with triathlon? Not much directly, but indirectly it has a lot to do with my success in the sport. More on that in coming posts. For now, I'm enjoying this great day to be a Husker.